Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. . . .
-- Psalm 104 --
unity of the world's great wisdom traditions - the unity of religions and teachings that seem to be more and more related, the more we come to know of the ancient world - the attached video on the Essenes (creators of the Dead Sea Scrolls), by the Rev. Theodore Nottingham, a polymath scholar of the world's ancient and modern spiritual teachings, is a must-see.
"The Essenses were an advanced and highly evolved race of people," Nottingham observes. "Much of their time was devoted to the study of ancient texts, various branches of the healing arts, (and) there were also those who travelled far and wide through the various centers they maintained."
In very modern terms, Nottingham explains how, "(l)ike many of the ancient gnostic groups, the Essenes believed that humankind was made up of three aspects: the body, mind and emotions."
"The ultimate goal of the individual," he explains, "was the evolution, not only within him or herself, but also in regards to the planet and universe as a whole. The body was the outer means through which this was expressed, while the mind was seen as the inner manifestation, and creator of thoughts and emotions, which the body then responded to and acted upon. Thought was therefore considered to be the highest, most powerful force in the universe, as it was seen as the instigator of both feeling and action.
"The Essenes," Nottingham points out, "therefore trained themselves to harness this power in a positive way, knowing that each thought effected the lives of everyone on the planet through the vibrations they sent into the collective unconscious."
(The Rev. Theodore Nottingham is a theologian, television producer and author of many books exploring the esoteric teachings of Christianity and other wisdom traditions. He is currently the pastor of Northwood Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.)