- Project Runeberg -  The esoteric meaning of the seven sacraments. The ancient therapeuts. /

(1910) [MARC] Author: Mary Karadja
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on the Lake Mareotis, in the vicinity of Alexandria.
They had branched oflE from the Essene Brotherhood,
which was spread all overPalestine.
The Essenes were one of the three great sects into
which the Jews were divided at the time of Christ. They
were universally recognised as the most pious members
of the Jewish community.
The word " Essene " is supposed to come from the
Arabic root "hassan "—to’ be pure ; or from the Hebrew
word " asa "
—to heal. The word " therapeut " signifies,
as you all know, healer.
There were ver}- great analogies between the two sects,
but they were not absolutely identical. Their working
methods were slightly different, but they had the princi-
pal things in common. The members of both societies
were highly evolved men and women, true servants of
God, filled with a burning desire to help struggling
humanity upwards. They attempted to heal, not merely
the suffering bodies of their fellow-creatures, but above
all their darkened souls. The great a,im of their lives
was to restore the Adamic race to spiritual and physical
They deserved indeed to be called healers.
It maj’ be fairly questioned whether any religious
society has ever produced such a community of saints.
Through maintaining the highest possible standard of
purity and holiness, they hoped to be worthy of be-
coming recipients of Divine revelations.
Their programme was of sublime simplicity. They
XDromised :

To love God above all things.
To show merciful justice to man and brute.
To lead chaste lives.
These three vows really include all our duties to God,
to our fellow-creatures, and to ourselves. It is impos-
sible to improve upon this threefold code of ethics.
In describing the different sects which existed among
the .lews in his own time, Josephus dwells at great
length and with special emphasis on the faith and prac-
tices of the Essenes.
What most struck the outside observer was their excel-
lent organisation and thorough-going asceticism. In vil-
lages and towns they generally settled around a central
house, in which they followed their religious observances,
of which one was the common meal, or holy supper.
There was no such thing as private property. Whatever

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