The Mystery of Christ
Apocryphal Letters of Thales of Argos
Translated from the Russian by John Stewards
When starting to read Thales of Argos, one feels oneself quickly carried away into a sphere which seems to lie somewhat out of our space and time. The events take place in existing places as Bethlehem and Thebes and during periods of history that are well-known to us. Because of this the stories have a strongly visionary and mystical character. Normally, these kind of stories become static because the lack of time prevents any real development to take place. Also the characters stay flat in their eternal realm. Luckily this is not the case with Thales; on the contrary.
As Thales says in the first legend, ‘the truth has to appear in the dust.’ And that is what happens in Thales: John the Baptist is depicted as someone with an ‘emaciated, hairy body with black nails; the locks of his long, matted beard fell down on his shoulders and chest...’ And the temple of the Mother of God is a simple, loam house with a table, a bed made of reed, a spinning wheel and an oil lamp. Thus the persons and scenes we know from the Bible, are depicted with such bright colours and love of details, that these outworn stories come to life again and begin to shine in a new light. By the richness of the language the scenes seem to be projected on the retina like in a film.
But the stories are not only more lively than the rather factual account from the Bible, there are also revealed many deeper layers of the mystery of Christ. There are, of course, books from the Rosicrusian and Anthroposophic tradition that deepened out the more profound mystical and metaphysical sense of the incarnation of Christ on earth. Thales however introduces a completely new perspective on this: before his meeting with Christ, Thales has a vision, in which he foresees everything that Christ will endure. His heart petrifies at the vision in which all the human suffering is contained. And then begins a path that should finally lead to an escape from the errors and sufferings of the human kind. In this respect Thales is very close to Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, who says: ‘Man is something that should be overcome.’
And who doesn’t know the longing to surpass, or even the feeling of having surpassed the human worries, the human problems and suffering? The cool gaze with which Thales looks down onto the stupidity, the blindness and vanity of the ‘human flock’ are in one way or another familiar to us. Nonetheless it is strange that the events that surround Christ and Maria, who form the embodiment of mercy, love and humility, are seen through the rather cool and proud eye of Thales. But the dramatic power and the credibility of the book lies in the fact that this side is not banned from the book, but on the contrary is interwoven with the meekness and tenderness of Christ.
Thales succeeds to conquer his human, all too human nature, but nonetheless it doesn’t end well. In the epilogue of the book it is told how Thales has ended in a melancholic, gloomy place, out of which he seems not to be able or to be wanting to escape. But the greatness of the tragic heroic of Thales makes that the reader does not simply reject him as a cold- hearted person, who does not want to accept the love and humility of Christ, but it arouses a feeling of awe for a mystery that cannot be fathomed completely. With this comes a feeling of respect and compassion for Thales. In this way, the reader himself experiences something genuinely christian while reading. Maybe this is even the hidden, initiatory porpose of this mysterious text.
Thales of Argos was written in Odessa in the 1930s. More about the circumstances of the book and the author you will find in the chapter A Word about the Author. The book contains eight chapters and an epilogue. At first it circulated in the form of a manuscript in the Russian mystical underground. In Moscow there appeared a good edition with a foreword, annotation and beautiful, icon-like illustrations. I translated the book from Russian both into Dutch and English. In Holland the publishing houses have not yet shown interest to publish it in book form. One publishing house to which I offered the translation, said it was a beautiful, deeply mystical book, but that the public was not yet ripe for it. By publishing two chapter of Thales on the internet, I hope to arouse interest for publishing houses to publish the Dutch or English translation in book form. If you are interested in this, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thales of Argos is full of literary, philosophical and existential riches, and it deserves a careful reading. Therefore it is advised not to read it from screen, but to print out the text. If you feel like sharing your impressions of the legends with me, please send an e-mail to: email@example.com.
The translator, Stewards, John
Chapter I: In the Garden of Magdala
Thales of Argos - to Empedocles, son of Miles of Athens, - about the Wisdom of the Great Galilean Teacher - let us rejoice!
Listen attentively my friend, for never did a story so strange and so secret trouble a mortal ear. I, Thales of Argos, say this is a true story and not a legend! When the Lighthouse of Eternity crowned my forehead with its light beam, as a sign of the highest Initiation of the Theban sanctuary, I, Thales of Argos, and Claudius of Macedonia, being conferred with the same degree, received, from the hands of the Great Hierophant a drink of the Cup of Life, and he sent us to the secret refuge, to the Son of Wisdom, Heraclit, whom human rumours called the Obscure One, for the people understood neither him, nor his Teaching. So many years passed by while we were absorbing his Wisdom, so many times we would leave the sanctuary in order to bring to the people the agreed crumbs of knowledge, and again we would return – there's no need to count. In one of such incarnations, when I had come into the world in the personality of a Stoic philosopher, I found you, my friend Empedokles, near the wise Sokrates and fastened more firmly those ties that bound us since the times of the City of the Golden Gates that is resting under the waves of the ocean. Once the wise Teacher called us to him and said: 'go out into the world to greet in my name our New Teacher, who is coming into the world. I will not tell you where you will find Him. May your own Wisdom be your guide...' 'But if this Teacher is so great, Claudius from Macedonia said, why don't you yourself, the Wise One, go out to meet Him?' 'Because, Heraclit answered to us, I know who He is. And here my knowledge says to me that I am not worthy to meet Him. But you do not know Him, you know only from me that He is the Great Teacher, and nothing more. Only blind people can look at the Sun with impunity...' At that time I was still able to obey, and silently I went away with Claudius. The next day the camels carried us away towards the north, to the Sanctuary of the black-faced Ishtar. There, the last black priests, silent like stones of the desert, directed us to the Great Centre, to the one who is called 'Silence', whose age is lost by the planetary calendar, and whose destination was to await the end, in order to be the last grave-digger of the Earth. When Claudius and I stretched ourselves before him in the dust, he tenderly made us rise and said: 'Children! I saw Him when He was just an infant. I have kneeled before Him. If my son Heraclit sent you to Him, go! He is already sowing the seed. But remember, children, that when you find Him, you will lose everything... He told us nothing more, the son of the Morning Star, whose name was 'Silence', whose existence was secret, whose destination was to be the godfather and the grave-digger of the Earth, whose title was: 'Priest of the Inexpressible'. He did not say anything, he only pointed with his hand to the north. Again we were lost in the desert. We did not speak a word; we only tried to catch the magnetic currents of Wisdom that were familiar to us. We were not afraid 'to lose everything', for we were able to obey... And then we reached Palestine, from where, it seemed to us, the currents of Wisdom were coming, that were mixed in such a strange way with the repulsive fluids of the people who were servants of the Lunar power. We suffocated in the density of the atmosphere of the temples, where false wisdom, hypocrisy and cruelty reigned. We talked with priests who were sly, rich people; we asked them if amongst them were the Teachers of Wisdom. Sometimes they showed us such people, but alas, we found people who were even greater liars and more stupid than the masses, and even more cruel. The people, the common people, intimidated and fooled by the priests, willingly shared with us their legends, distorted and full of superstition. But here I, Thales of Argos and Claudius of Macedonia, heard here echoes of the great legends of the Red Race, refracted in the scientific prisms of the solar Chaldea, and distorted by the barbaric ignorance of the Judean priests: the wretched heritage the renegade and madman Khosarsyph. This people awaited the Teacher. But expecting a Teacher in purple and bronze, who, in their opinion, should hand the world to the supremacy of the greedy priests, it did not know anything about the Teacher who already had arrived. But one outstanding Judean, who was born and had lived in Athens nearly his whole life, delivered these words to us: 'I, Nicodemus, can point out a strange person to you, philosophers. He lives in a cave on the bank of the river Jordan. Go to him and put before him the questions that are necessary for you. He is poor and a pauper, and his disciples have a savage appearance and are unsociable. His name is John. Go quickly, for I heard that apparently the order has been issued to imprison him for his incessant accusations of priests and even of the emperor himself. However, philosophers, Nicodemus added with a smile, you will find in him hardly what you are looking for... But why, Wise Ones, would you not get acquainted with the person that our people call 'The Prophet?'
And we have seen this John. He was truly frightening: lacking garbs, a thin, emaciated, hairy body with black nails; the locks of his long, matted hair and beard fell down on his shoulders and chest; his throat was hoarse and penetrating. We saw him sitting on a stone at the bank of the river before a crowd of kneeling people. He gesticulated and, with foam on his mouth, he cursed and damned the people as if in frenzy. He summoned the wrath of God over the wretched human flock, he threatened the pitiable, the dirty and the hungry with terrible tortures. Humbly and servile the people listened to him... But we, on whose face the Lighthouse of Eternity was shining, saw his fiery eyes and identified in them the sacred light of the Sons of Life, we saw his fluid emanations, in which there was nothing similar to those of humans. And I, Thales of Argos, and Claudius of Macedonia, hung our heads, thinking over the mysteries of our paths by which the Perfect One sends his currents to the world of matter, for here, before us, under a dirty cover, was undoubtedly a Son of Life and not a human being. 'We have come near, Argive', Claudius said to me. 'Is this the goal of our wanderings?' But I, Thales of Argos, was more cold and quiet than Claudius, and my mind was not so hot and quick, but more earthly and therefore -alas! - more wise. ‘The Teacher can only be a human being, Claudius, I answered, while this is a Son of Life!’ We waited until the man who was called John, had immersed the whole crowd into the water of the river Jordan, and the crowd, being cursed and spitted at and with a wet body, but with a happy spirit, went back to the city, wailing some disharmonious songs. We went quietly to the prophet, who was left in solitude on the bank of the shallow and dirty river. I, Thales of Argos, raised my arm, and poured currents of the welcoming warmth of the Sanctuary over John's back and the back of his head, and I pronounced a formula in the secret language of the secret Wisdom, calling upon the Son of Life. Slowly John turned himself towards us. His eyes that were threatening a minute ago were now shining with unspoken goodness. 'What do you, sons of the earthly Wisdom, need from the servant of the Lord?', the throat, that one moment ago was inexhaustibly and terribly roaring with curses and damnation, sounded soft and harmonious. 'We are looking for the Great Teacher', I, Thales of Argos answered. 'We bring Him greetings of the Sanctuary and the Refuge. Where can we find Him?' He looked at us gently and lovingly, this Son of Life, John in his human cover. 'But do you know', he asked, 'what you will lose, when you see Him?' 'Yes', we answered. 'But we are only the obedient disciples of the Sanctuary. Does the water really cry when, evaporated by the rays of the Sun, it goes upwards, loosing its watery quality?' John smiled tenderly. 'Truly, you are wise men, noble Greeks', he answered. 'How you can find the Teacher? Go to Galilea. May the All-Blessing bless your meeting with Jesus of Nazareth... And, returning our greetings, he went away. And I, Thales of Argos, said to Claudius from Macedonia: 'restrain the flight of your mind, Macedonian. For if the Son of Life takes such a dirty and repulsive cover of a Judean prophet, what then must the Teacher look like? Don't look at the stars, look at the earth: in the earthly dust the Truth must appear... And so, late in the evening, we arrived in a simple manner, because everything in the world of the All-Highest is simple. It was evening, and there was a full moon. We were told:
'Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are looking for, went to the house of Lazarus whom He resurrected from the deadly sleep. Look, the house is there... A densely planted garden surrounded the house. When we entered the garden, two persons blocked our way: one in the prime of his male powers, rough and dark, the other was a young man, gentle, with long, flaxen hair, that was falling over his shoulders. 'What do you want, foreigners?', the first asked rudely. 'To see the Great Teacher', Claudius of Macedonia answered.
'The Teacher did not come for you, gentile', the Judean said angrily. 'You are not worthy to see Him... Go away from here!' 'I see that you, Sir, are a holy and righteous person', I, Thales of Argos answered. 'What will the Teacher not give to you if you are holy and righteous? But we, gentile and poor, ignorant sinners, we too want to learn from the Teacher... At least in order to become as holy and righteous as you, great and blessed man... Then the young man quickly tugged at the sleeve of the tunic of the Judean who was embarrassed and looked at me angrily. He whispered something to him and then he told me, smiling tenderly: 'Noble foreigner, do not spend the arrows of your Attic wit to the destruction of a poor Judean. Sit down on this bench, I will now send to you one of our friends, tell him whatever you need... Tired we sat down on the bench. But a great fire was burning in the heart of Claudius of Macedonia and a marvellous light flooded over my, Thales of Argos’, mind: we knew that we had found the Teacher, for the Light of Eternity, that was flooding over the modest olive garden in Magdala, could not be hidden from the eyes of an Initiate. And there before us stood a man in a white, clean garb, with the mark of wisdom on his forehead; above his forehead the secret sign of the Initiation of the Red Race was shining, whose Sanctuary was hidden in the Far East, from where the Thrice Greatest came to us, where whole cities are populated with Wise People, and where the dominion of the Triangle was established. And we saw that for him our signs of the Lighthouse of Eternity were no secret. He bowed to us and said: 'Greetings, brothers from Thebes. I am Thomas, the humble servant of Him Whom you are looking for. Please, tell me the aim of your journey. Who sent you?’ And our conversation poured out in the secret language of the Sanctuary of the World. After about an hour we learned from brother Thomas everything that preceded the appearance of the Teacher, and how, and through what, it pleased Him to reveal himself to the world... We were caught by a great, reverent bewilderment: for accustomed to seek for the small in the great, how could we contain the great in the small? 'Truly', Claudius of Macedonia ardently exclaimed, 'this Teacher contains within himself all legends and myths of the world!' 'And he has turned them into the Truth', I, Thales of Argos said. 'Or did you, Claudius, forget what the Great Heraclit told us? Or did you forget how the priest of the Inexpressible, whose name is 'Silence', told us about the worship of the Teacher at His birth? Prepare yourself to see the very Truth, Macedonian...’ Thomas stood up and bowed to me, Thales of Argos: 'I cannot tell you anything more, brothers', he said. 'Your Wisdom really serves you as a lighthouse... I shall go and warn the Teacher.' As soon as he went away, I, Thales of Argos, calling the secret name of the Inexpressible One, sank into a contemplation of the future, and it was given to me to see something that was underlying everything that time had brought me. When I opened my eyes, a woman was standing before us, still young and beautiful and with the mark of the Great Care on her forehead. 'The Teacher is calling for you, foreigners', she said softly.
We followed her, Claudius of Macedonia proceeded hastily, not being able to withhold the impulse of his burning heart, but I, Thales of Argos, was quiet, for my mind was full of the Cold of the Great Cognition, that was given to me in the short contemplation of the future. I was carrying the cold of the whole world within me, -where was the warmth expected to come from? Thus we went to the terrace that was lit by the moon. In its corner, in the half-light of a shadow of an olive tree, He was sitting, the Teacher. This is what I, Thales of Argos, saw. He was of long stature, rather lean. He was clothed in a plain tunic with a dusty hem; his bare feet were lying on a simple mat made of reed; his dark, chestnut-coloured hair and beard were combed; his face was thin and exhausted by the Great Suffering of the World, but in his eyes I, Thales of Argos, saw all the Love of the World. And I understood everything, regardless of what the spiritual circle of the Teacher had revealed to me as to an Initiate. But Claudius of Macedonia was already lying at the feet of the Teacher and kissed them, filling the garden and terrace with his sobbing. The hand of the Teacher tenderly rested on his head. And the woman who had brought us looked half-frightened, half-indignantly at me, Thales of Argos, who was quietly standing before the face of her Teacher. The look of the Incarnation of Love embraced me with a quiet, heavenly kindness. His voice, similar to the voice of the mothers of the whole world, said to me: 'Sit next to me, wise Argive. Tell me, why were you looking for me? I will not ask your friend this question... His sobbing tells me everything. But you?' And I, Thales of Argos, sat down at the right side of God, for the cold of all the world was in my mind. 'I have come to You, Inexpressible One', I quietly answered, 'and I have brought to you greetings from my Teacher Heraclit. I have brought to You greetings from the one who is called 'Silence'. I have brought You greetings form the Sanctuary and the Refuge. I have come to You, in order to lose everything, for I carry within the Coldness of the Great Cognition...’ 'But why is your comrade, who lost everything, now carrying within the Warmth of the Great Love?', He softly asked me. 'He did not see what I saw, Inexpressible One', I quietly answered.
'And you, wise Argive, did you recognise me, if you call me thus?'
'It is not possible to recognise You ', I answered. 'It is only possible to recognise what it pleases you to show us. And I do not ask anything from you, for I have lost everything and I do not want to possess anything.' And His tender hand touched my hair very softly. But the Cold of the Great Foreseeing reigned in my heart, and I, Thales of Argos, was sitting quietly. 'Maria', His voice resounded, 'let the flower of the Divine Love opened up in your heart tell you, who, does it seem to you, from these two persons loves me and knows me more?' The eyes of the woman blazed up.
'Teacher', she said hardly audible, 'he loves you more -pointing at Claudius-, but he, he scares me, Teacher!' 'Even the Divine Love was frightened by your Great Suffering, Argive’, He said to me. 'You are blessed, Argive, that your heart is full of courage and endured this Cold of the Great Cognition, called the Great Suffering... 'Teacher!', the woman ardently interrupted Him, 'but he... he, whom You call Argive, he is closer to You.' A smile appeared on the mouth of the Nazarean.
'You are right, Maria', He said. 'The Argive is closer to me, for he now anticipated in his heart what I will soon endure. But he is only a human being... So, Claudius -he addressed himself to the Macedonian, will you follow me?' 'I am Yours, Teacher', Claudius said sobbing.
'I will take you to my place.’ And the hand of the Inexpressible One imperiously extinguished the Lighthouse of Eternity on Claudius' forehead. 'I extinguished the cross on your forehead and put it on your shoulders. You will go and carry my Yoke and my Word into countries unknown to you. People will not know and remember about you; I now replace your Wisdom by Love. Towards the end of your life the cross that I put on you, will be your deathbed, but you will conquer death and will come to me. Hence I will separate you and your comrade; your paths are separate. But you, Argive, the Inexpressible One addressed himself to me, 'you also have lost everything... What shall I give you in return?' 'I have seen you and I have spoken with You,' I quietly answered. 'What more could You give me?' With great love the look of the Inexpressible One rested upon me.
'The earthly Wisdom is truly blessed in you, Argive,' He said. 'Will you also follow me?' 'It's impossible for me not to follow you', I said. 'But I will never follow those who go after You.' 'So be it', the Nazorean mournfully said.
'Go now, Argive. I will not extinguish the Lighthouse of Eternity on your forehead. I will only give the term of your human life back to you. I will not take your Wisdom, for it is blessed by the Great Suffering. Carry it into the abysses, where you, Wise One, will carry your Lighthouse. Return to your Teacher and tell him that I command him to wait for my return. Do not go to the one whose name is 'Silence', for I am always with him. But then come back here and endure my ending, for only my ending will remove from you the weight of the Cold of the Great Cognition….' I, Thales of Argos, stood up and, leaving Claudius of Macedonia at the feet of the Nazorean, I slowly bowed to Him and went down the terraces. On my way I came across the group of silent disciples. And the one who had met me so roughly, separated himself from them, and coming closer to me, he said: 'Sir! If I offended you, forgive me.'
And looking at him, I saw in the depth of his eyes his enmity and irreconcilability.
'There is no offence in my soul, Judean', I answered. 'Extinguish the enmity that is burning in your eyes with the Love of your Teacher. We will see each other again when your suffering will be bigger than mine. But for the time being... rejoice about the wisdom of the great goddess Pallas Athena, for she, Great One, revealed to me that among the thorns of the crown of your Teacher your thorn will be too, the thorn of the great betrayal of the Inexpressible One!' The Judean jumped away from me as if he had been bitten. The disciples in fear made way for me, Thales of Argos, who was carrying the Cold of the Great Cognition in his dead soul. Only Thomas and another young disciple followed me to the exit of the garden. Here Thomas stretched himself before me, Thales of Argos, and in the language of the secret Knowledge, he said: 'The Great Wisdom of the Theban Sanctuary is now consecrated in you by the Light of the Inexpressible, Argive. I bow before her, my benefactress, for in her we are brothers...' I was standing quietly, and, smiling shyly, the young disciple touched me.
'I feel your Great Suffering, Argive, and I pity you. Take this rose from the garden of Magdala. May it warm your cold heart by the love that is within my powers. Do not refuse my gift, Argive, for this rose was picked by the Teacher, and we are both disciples of Him...’ And I took the rose and kissed it, and, concealing it at my chest, I answered:
'For your love I will give you my former peace, for it is no longer in my soul. It is near me; take it. We will see each other and I will tell you the place of the Sanctuary, so that you may visit my Teacher Heraclit, for I see that your lives will come together in one point: his life, that of the great herald of Wisdom of the Morning Star, and yours, that of the great Apostle of the Inexpressible. But you are mistaken: I am not a disciple of your Teacher, I cannot be one, for I know who He is...’ And I left Palestine.
When I arrived at the Secret refuge, I saw my Teacher, who in great confusion ran to me.
'O, Argive!, he called. Our hearts are connected by the chains of the life of the Spirit, but what is this cold of death that is coming from you? My Wisdom could not penetrate into the circle of the Great Teacher, and I do not know anything of what happened to you. Tell me everything, Argive!' And while standing at the columns, I told him everything without haste. And then I saw the Great Heraclit, prostrating himself at my feet. 'Greetings to you, Thales of Argos, my wise disciple, who has been sitting at the right hand of God!', he exclaimed. I thank you for the Great Cross of expectation, brought to me by you from Him, the Inexpressible One ! May His will be done!' And I, Thales of Argos, left the Teacher without regret, for what did he mean to me, who was carrying the cold of the Great Foreseeing in his soul? I sailed to Pallas and there, in the calm of the Sanctuary of the Pelion, I loudly called upon Pallas Athena and she, the radiant One, came to me, Thales of Argos, in the nightly calm of a cool grove, at the roots of a holy plane-tree. 'I heard the call of a wise son of Hellas, who is dear to my heart', the goddess said. 'What do you, Son of Wisdom, want from your mother?' And again I told everything that had happened to me. The Wise one listened thoughtfully, and then her motherly hand was on my cold forehead. 'And you, Argive, came to tell me that you will renounce me?' she asked. 'Let it be so! For you, who has been sitting at the right hand of God, there is no place at my feet. But, Argive!, who knows, if you will not meet a part of me over there, when the horrible things you have foreseen are fulfilled? If my eyes will not flash to you from underneath the thick veil of a Judean woman? Who knows, Argive! Great is your cold wisdom, son of Hellas, but we, who live in heaven, know more than you, don't we? You left Claudius at the feet of the Inexpressible One? But how do you know that I did not sit at these feet earlier than him, even before the dawn of life broke over your planet? Look, Argive -and the Wise One pointed to the Milky Way- how many gardens of Magdala are scattered across the Palestines of Heaven? Why could I not have been a modest Maria in them? Think, Argive, you have enough time, dear, wise son of mine, son of my beloved Hellas, who was sitting at the right hand of God! I accept your renunciation, for I foresee an even greater renunciation that is ripening in your heart. Truly, it's impossible for you not to follow Him, but you will never follow those who go after Him!' And with her hand the goddess lightly touched the rose that was given to me in the garden of Magdala, and the rose started to bloom again, and the resurrected love rushed through my chest in a hot wave, but, meeting the cold of the Great Foreseeing, it stopped... The goddess went away, and I stayed behind, alone with my thoughts, in the shadow of the holy plane-tree. I severed the ties with the Wisdom, severed the ties with the gods. The last connection that remained to be broken was the connection with mankind; and I, Thales of Argos, quietly went on my way to achieve this last aim. And I came to Palestine once again. There, under the cover of a noble Arab, I met the one who once wisely ruled the Black Race, together with him whose name was 'Silence', and who had greeted the infant Jesus. He was not surprised that I did not give him, the Great One, due respect, for all secrets were revealed to him. His eyes, quietly following the chain of the Manvantars, rested on me with sympathy. 'Thales of Argos', he said, 'I see that you are walking on a path alien to you. You, who are forever keeping the Lighthouse of Eternity on your forehead, will meet me again in the abysses, and we will work with you in the Name of Him, at whose right hand you were sitting in the modest garden of Magdala ...' My friend Empedocles! Shall I repeat to you what you already know about the supreme betrayal that once took place in the abysses of the Universe, about the supreme crime, about mankind crucifying its own God? No, I will not repeat this to you. I will tell you only that I, Thales of Argos, was at the foot of the cross together with the former ruler of the Black Race, and the dying look of the crucified God rested upon us with unspeakable love. And this look melted the Cold of the Great Cognition that was in me and took the ice-fetters from my heart, but it did not change the decision of my Wisdom. And in that garden, where He was buried and resurrected, I met the modest Judean woman, from underneath a thick veil the eyes of the goddess Pallas Athena looked at me. Her name was Maria. The young John, disciple of the Crucified, told me another name, but my lips will keep the secret of this name. And I saw the very disciple who had spoken so roughly to me in the garden of Magdala. He was running, completely covered in sweat, his eyes opened wide with terror and foam on his mouth. He was growling like a wild animal. And on seeing me, he prostrated himself on the ground and yelled: 'O wise Sir! Help me, for I betrayed Him and the sufferings of the whole world are tormenting my heart!' And I, Thales of Argos, silently gave him a rope and showed him the nearest tree. He screamed, and, taking the rope, rushed to the tree... And I quietly watched how in the face of this Judean all of mankind that I loathed so much, died... The disciples of the Crucified asked me to stay with them, but I, Thales of Argos, left them and went to him, whose name is 'Silence' and said to him: 'Emperor and Father! Here I am, Thales of Argos, son of the free Hellans, Initiate of the highest degree of the Theban Sanctuary, descendant of the imperial dynasty of the City of the Golden Gates, I now renounce you, Emperor and Father, and renounce mankind. My Wisdom revealed to me that the Master of the Air Element will accept my spirit. Let me go, Emperor and Father.' And he let me go, as for this aim the blessing of the Crucified was given. Many years passed, and on the journey of my flight I met a clot of the human world. That was my comrade Claudius. He told me proudly how he was crucified in the name of Jesus, and how his mother and his sisters had been tortured on earth, and how he, Claudius of Macedonia, himself helped them to go to the torture. Then the cold of quietness was no longer in my elemental heart, and I answered him: 'Greetings to you, Claudius of Macedonia, wise disciple of the earthly Wisdom and child of the human Love! And why would I, poor elemental spirit, not greet you, human light, who, having betrayed your God to the crucifixion, had a false notion of serving Him by passing both your mother and your sisters to torture and crucifixion! O mankind, wretched and cruel in the very ambition to serve its Saviour whom it crucified! O viperous brood, how can you be the dove's nestling!' And roaring and proud because of my alienation from cursed humanity, I, Thales of Argos, darted off in whirlwind and tempest. But the wretched clot of the human light, in fright, made a sign of the cross behind my back. Crosses, crosses! Do you not think that the Lighthouse of Eternity that is shining on my forehead, is more pure than your cross, which you have stained by your great betrayal? No, I received it unsullied by some horrible crime, and nothing human, not even your human holiness, will stain its pale but noble, elemental light. May the peace of the crucified God be with you, my friend!
Chapter II: A Conversation with the Mother of God
Thales of Argos - to Empedocles, son of Miles of Athens, - about the Wisdom of the everlasting Juno Virgin-Mother - let us rejoice!
At that time, Empedocles, I didn't find it necessary to tell you that after the meeting in the garden of Magdala had filled my heart with the Cold of the Great Foreseeing, I did not immediately leave Palestine. I, Thales of Argos, felt with all my being that the deep mysteries of the alliance of the Fiery Curtain with a being that manifested itself in the Cosmos, were not yet completely mastered by my Wisdom, and that the mystery of the manifestation of God in a human form could not be comprehended by me, as long as I did not understand the Source of Life, the Divine flesh that manifests itself as the Divine Flesh. But I had to understand this, for I understood that however dreadful the Cold of the Great Foreseeing was, that had frozen my heart, still the abyss of Wisdom that was lying on my cosmic path had to be investigated completely. A Great Initiate cannot stop halfway. When I, Thales of Argos, walked through the intricate, curved and dusty streets of Nazareth in the mysterious light of the rising Selena, they were quiet and empty. Around the small painted houses that were hiding the peaceful inhabitants, olive trees had been planted; I, Thales of Argos, did not have to ask the way, for I already saw a column of a weak blue light, that was rising up from one of the houses right into the sky, where it was lost in the galaxies. This was the light of a special shade, characteristic for the source of the Great Life, the light of the Women Goddesses, the light that was dawning upon the head of the eternal Juno Virgin-Mother in Atlantis and that was surrounding the manifestation of the Divine Isis in the Theban Sanctuaries. Softly, but with confidence I knocked on the door of this little house. The door was immediately opened, and on the threshold appeared a tall woman, whose well-balanced shape disappeared in the wide folds of her simple, rough dress. Her face was hidden under a veil of muslin of Phoenician making. 'What do you want, traveller?', her soft voice resounded on a low, abdominal pitch, that immediately evoked in me the remembrance of the sounds of the silver strings of the sistron in the temple of the Divine Isis. 'I am a foreigner, Mother', I answered. ‘I am looking for rest and food. Is it a custom of the children of Adonai, to receive a tired traveller at such a late hour?' 'I am only a poor widow, foreigner', was the soft answer. 'The teachers in our synagogue condemn single women who receive strangers, and I am single, for the sons of my deceased husband work for the rich Sadducees on the fields near Bethlehem, but my only son..., and here the woman hesitated, went to Jerusalem. But I don't have enough courage to refuse you my hospitality, tired traveller, and if a mug of goat milk and some bread will satisfy you, well...' 'Then I will call the Divine blessing over you, Mother', I answered. Some days ago I saw your Son, Mother, and I spoke with Him...' 'You spoke with him? What did he...', She impetuously moved towards me, but she stopped immediately. 'Forgive me, traveller, forgive a mother who is worried about her only son. Come in, rest and eat...' I, Thales of Argos, entered the more than modest dwelling of the mother of God. Two benches, a big table, a wretched, squalid bed made of reed in the corner, a spinning-wheel at the curved window and an old oil-lamp on the small shelf in the other corner; this was all the furniture of the New Temple, into which I, Thales of Argos, had entered. Hastily She put a big, clay mug with milk on the table, and some bread that was black from the charcoal that stuck to it, and, bowing to me, she said: 'Taste our bread, foreigner...' I bowed too and sitting down at the table, giving a keen glance at the woman who was standing before me, I said: 'Blessed be Thy bread, Mother, and Thy milk I already tasted...'
The woman rose her head.
'You have already visited us, foreigner?', She asked.
A new, dreadful mystery from the life of the Inexpressible One resounded from Her mouth.
But should I, Thales of Argos, the Great Initiate of Thebes, who was carrying the sign of the Lighthouse of Eternity on my forehead, and the Cold of the Great Foreseeing in my heart, step back before the mysteries of life? I strained every nerve and shrouded her by the warmth of my Wisdom, that was hiding the breath of Mother Isis. The woman winced and sat down opposite to me on the bench.
'You have called the Divine blessing upon my house, stranger', She said, and this is most certainly so, for I immediately felt peace in my heart. Did you see my son and did you speak with him?' 'I saw Him and spoke with Him, Mother', I answered, 'and He blessed me. What does it mean that, I, wretched worm of the earth, called the Divine blessing over the house of the Mother of Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth, compared to his His blessing?' The woman quivered.
'You, did you believe in him, stranger? Didn't he take you as one of his disciples?', She asked softly, but impetuously. 'No, Mother', I answered. 'I did not believe in him, for I recognised Him. And I could not be His disciple, for I will always be, now and ever, only His wretched servant... ' 'Your words are strange, foreigner', she said after a while. 'But on your face I read wisdom and a great suffering, and my heart, the heart of a poor, wretched widow, has compassion with you and is drawn to you. Tell me, wise foreigner, whom do you consider my son to be?' 'And whom do You Yourself consider Him to be, Mother?', I, Thales of Argos, asked her in return. The woman sighed and began to turn over the corner of her veil by her fingers.
'You, foreigner', she said, 'have somehow brought the breath of my son in here... It is as if he were here... And my whole heart is trusting you... The question that you asked has been torturing me all my life, and -do you believe it, foreigner?- its solution now and then frightens me. Who is my son? Do I know it, foreigner? Does my weak, woman's mind understand all that happened on my modest path?' And softly, hastily whispering, She began to tell me, Thales of Argos, the amazing, simple words about her pure childhood in the family of simple, pure parents, about marvellous voices of invisible beings who were inexhaustibly whispering strange, marvellous stories to her, about her extraordinary dreams, about the light, winged youth who had appeared before her bringing the words of the Annunciation, about the immaculate marriage and the immaculate birth of her Son, to whom three men with imperial outlook had bowed when He was born. 'They were similar to you, foreigner', she said, 'not by their face, no, but by the great peace that spread around them, and by the features of wisdom that I see in you... Only did they not have the furrow of the great suffering, unknown traveller...' 'And what else was there?'
And again the words flowed about the early wisdom of the Marvellous Child, about the miracles that had happened around Him and those that were done by Himself, about His great love towards every being... There was one thing that the Mother Herself, didn't seem to understand: it was this inexpressible, cosmic love that She Herself put into Her words about Her son... And in the heat of the conversation She lifted the veil from Her face, and - the Name of the eternal Juno Virgin-Mother be blessed! - I, Thales of Argos, saw her marvellous, beautiful features and eyes, the depth of which scattered my doubts, but at the same time even deepened the abyss of the mystery that had opened wide before me. 'Mother!', I said to her. 'Don't you believe that Your Son is the Messiah, who was foretold by the prophets and Moses? And maybe, I added softly, more than a Messiah?' The Woman looked at me, frightened.
'But... he is a human being, foreigner, isn't he?', She said puzzled.
‘But so are You, You are an ordinary woman, Mother', I answered. 'You too are not at all different from Your sisters, are you? Or maybe you have not told me everything, Mother?' The woman was embarrassed and hung her head.
'There is only one thing, She said, that disturbs my heart, foreigner. I am a sincerely faithful Judean, who diligently fulfils all the decrees of the Law and of our teachers... but... my dreams confuse me.' 'I am a dream interpreter from Egypt, I said quickly. 'Tell me your dreams, Mother, and I will try to explain them to You...' 'Is it true?!, the Woman exclaimed happily. 'Blessed be thy arrival, foreigner! Maybe you can take the load of ignorance from my soul...' And timidly as if she were ashamed, she began to tell me her dreams. With her first words the dawn of the Great Understanding was breaking in my mind. Before my mind, amidst loud noise of cosmic elements and amidst sighs of engendering worlds, images passed by of the inexpressible, grandiose life of the almighty Great Goddess, having brought forth with her breast new and ever new cosmoses, powerfully trampling with her Divine heel on the debris of the old, of the Goddess, establishing the existence of the dark abysses of Chaos, of the Goddess, listening to the prayers of hundreds of billions of countries, nations, humanities and evolutions, of the Goddess commanding legions of light spirits, from whose radiant look the Master of Darkness is fleeing, of the Goddess, who had heard my voice, of the great Hierophant of the temple of the Eternal Juno Virgin-Mother...' And it was amazing for me, Thales of Argos, to listen to these stories from the quivering mouth of a simple, poor, humble widow of a wretched carpenter from Judea...' 'Tell me, Mother, I asked, did you ever talk about these dreams to Your Son?' 'I did, the Woman hardly audibly answered.
'And what did You hear from Him, Mother?'
'His answer was strange, She answered. 'He tenderly said to me: 'Mother, forget about you marvellous dreams for the time being. But there is no sin in them, for they are from the Lord.' And furthermore he said: 'When the cross, that you took upon yourself for me, will be finished, mother, you will return to the life of your dreams....' But I don't know what this means....' 'Tell me, Mother, I asked again, don't You remember seeing me amongst Your visions?' The Woman looked attentively over me and thoughtfully she cast her unfathomable glance at the dark corner of the shack. 'The moment you entered here, foreigner', she said quietly, 'I felt that you are not strange to me. But for the time being I am digging in my memories in vain... But... wait... wait...’ And suddenly she turned her unfathomable eyes to me. 'What did your mean when you said that you already drank my milk?' And she jumped up from her place, without taking her look off me, that was suddenly setting a myriad of suns ablaze. I, Thales of Argos, stood up, understanding that the great and dreadful moment had arrived of the victory of Light over darkness, of Spirit over matter, of Heaven over the Earth, of the Goddess over the woman...' 'Wait, I remember something', the Woman slowly said, and from the dark corners of the shack resounded the tender sounds of the cistron and the silver bells. 'I see... a temple... I... and you, prostrated at my feet... my faithful servant... another temple... and again you, great and wise... you... you drink my milk... Thales of Argos, my faithful servant!' -a jingling chord burst out of Her mouth, and the same moment I was lying at the feet of the Great Goddess Isis in the form of a human being. For a long time I, Thales of Argos, lied down, not daring to raise my head, for I did not consider myself worthy to contemplate the face of the awakened Goddess. But the sounds of the tender, unearthly melodies all spread and grew, and now and then it seemed to me that a majestic, but sad and mournful sound dominated in them, as if the whole cosmos complained to God for its loneliness without the God-Mother who had left to a place unknown to anyone. 'Stand up, Thales of Argos, stand up my beloved servant', the voice of the Goddess rustled above me. 'Stand up and sit down. Forget Heaven, for we are not here for the sake of Heaven, but for the sake of the Earth...' And I, Thales of Argos, stood up and sat down. Everything was as before: the shack and the dark corners, and the Woman dressed in a dark, rough dress with a veil before her face. 'Your fate is really strange, Argive', Isis-Maria continued. 'When I gave you my milk to drink, I myself did not know that you were going to take such a well defined part in my deeds and existence: to appear at that moment when my earthly dream had to end. But it ended and already now I know that the hour for which I have come to the Earth is at hand. You know about which hour I am speaking, Argive, this very hour, from the foreseeing of which your virile and wise heart, son of Hellas, has frozen. The Great Sacrifice is coming nearer. And now I understood about which weapon that had to penetrate into my soul the prophet was telling me, when I climbed the steps of the temple of Adonai for the first time... It is terrible, Argive, to possess the heart of a loving, earthly mother, but more terrible it is to illuminate it by the Divine consciousness... This is the cross about which He, Whom I considered to be my Son, has told me... This is where this Great love came from, connecting my heart with the appearance of the Inexpressible One.'
There was a silence. The head of Isis-Maria was hanging low and Divine thoughts were circling above Her forehead, which was hidden by a veil. 'Argive', She continued softly. 'Did your Wisdom tell you why I appear right now as an ordinary woman, under the shell of which nobody, except three persons and now also you, Hierophant from Egypt, recognised the Goddess-Mother? My Divine Son had to appear on the Earth as a human being, for only a human being can save humanity. For that reason he also had to be born from an earthly mother, so that nothing would disturb the look and the mind of people at the appearance of the God in the form of a human being. And therefore I assumed the human flesh according to the will of the Inexpressible One... Moreover, Argive, I even gave up my consciousness, turning it into the consciousness of an earthly woman, until the time I would need the power and might of the Goddess, in order to fulfil the task that was put upon me. And now I will not let anybody notice my awakening; I will stay the former Maria until the end of my earthly days, which in no way will be different from the end of the days of every human being... In the life of each Virgin-Mother, giving birth to a new earth, Argive, there comes such a moment when she, fulfilling her highest goal, absorbs in herself the sorrow and sadness of all she gave birth to, and for that moment all her power and all her wisdom is needed, in order to really stay the Mother of All Beings, for only by giving birth to the God, you will know all the Love of God, which until now was peacefully slumbering in the clearings of the Paradise of the All-Highest, in the Garden of the Divine Mothers... Be near to me, Argive, when this dreadful hour arrives. Oh, not in order to help me, because nobody will help me and nobody must help me, but in order that your great Wisdom will become even greater from the sight of the two Divine Sacrifices... But now, Argive, collect thy Wisdom and recall before me the face of my Son, for since I have awoken from this sleep, I shall need the reassurance of His look... I myself do not have the right to step out in one way or another from the borders of the possibilities of an ordinary woman of the Earth...'
And I, Thales of Argos, stood up and powerfully calling upon the crafty spirits of reflection, I told them to send our forms into space and together with them I also dispatched the fiery arrows of my thoughts. In a whirlwind around us the light spots of the reflections of the roads, the fields, the gardens, the trees began to waver... they trembled... they stopped. And then we saw a lonely olive tree amongst green fields; some people were peacefully sleeping near the tree. But one was sitting, bent over a stone not far away. This was Him: Son and God. With a quiet, truly Divine tenderness He looked at His Mother... 'May the blessing of the Father rest upon you, my awakened Mother, He said.
'That which was predetermined from the age of this Earth is taking place. Go back to Jerusalem, Mother, the goal of the path of our cross is near...' And His Divine look rested upon me. 'You have settled everything that had to be settled, wise son of the Earth, he said. 'Finish the path of your earthly wandering, for such great mysteries have been revealed to you, that the Earth will not hold you, Argive. I see that wings are growing behind your back, son of Hellas; you will fly from star to star and you will carry the Sign of my Cross to the border of the Universe, preaching my Name and the Name of my Mother...' He stretched his blessing hands, and the vision disappeared.
And again I prostrated myself before the Mother Isis. 'Great Mother!, I exclaimed. 'Everything that I possess and everything that I will possess, everything I bring to Your feet. Great Mother, my heart and my mind are frozen, and now I see that I am poor and I don't need anything at all...' Tenderly the hand of Isis-Mother touched me.
'Stand up, my servant, stand up, servant of God the Inexpressible One. What My Son has said has to be fulfilled. But no wings will ever carry you away from my love and my breath, Argive... But now go on your way, wise son of Hellas, we shall meet another time at the foot of the cross of my Son...' And I went away. The fields were silent and the nightly road was silent, and Selena let her light stream silently; and all this reflected the cold spots of light in the frozen heart of a lonely stranger, who was carrying in his chest the dreadful Wisdom of Vision... And somewhere in the heights, at the blue arch, the strings of the invisible sistron could still be heard, as if the angels of the Invisible One, guarding the peace of the incarnated Isis-mother, were quietly running their wings over them.
Peace unto thee, Empedocles!
A Word about the Author
In all epochs, amidst all peoples and races there were people who reached the highest degree of spiritual development. Creating their temple of the spirit, they underwent cruel experiences and many of them became worthy of the Wisdom of the Earth only after they had looked into the face of death. Belonging to different religions, they did one single thing: they send currents of high thoughts into the aura of the planet, they aroused an artistic impulse, they supported the faithful advancement of evolution, they harmonised the life of mankind in relation to the Kosmos. They possessed amazing powers and by them they changed the nature, and their prayers reached the Highest Worlds. Their lives were legends, their incarnations were secret.
The Mystery of Christ is written on behalf of one of these people, in the name of the Great Initiate, Thales of Argos.
Some years ago, when Fate presented me the machine written pages of The Mystery, the question about its origin was unclear. The encyclopaedias were silent and occult sources were silent as well. There was a wish to identify an author with Thales, citizen of Milete, born as a Phoenician, antique philosopher and magus, who received his initiation in Egypt…
After years I arrived in Odessa, and I asked one exceptionally intelligent acquaintance of mine if he knew the Argivian. I asked without hope, as I had asked already many, and unexpectedly I received the answer: ‘It is Georgii Osipovitch Volskii! Until the Revolution he was editor of one of the Odessa newspapers, outwardly similar to Maksim Gorkii and, according to his own declaration, Thales of Argos in his past incarnation.’
My acquaintance, whose Phoenician eyes were shimmering slyly, told the little that he knew about Volskii. Quickly after the revolution he was arrested and sentenced to execution, but in a miraculous way he was freed unexpectedly. Apparently having no possibilities to leave Odessa, Volskii lived secretly at the house of Anastasia Vasilevna Theodorida. In the compulsory domestic confinement, leaving the flat only at night, Georgii Osipovitch had the possibility to dive deeply and concentrated into his rich, past spiritual experience –the higher spheres of spirit-, as a result of which The Mystery of Christ and other unusual manuscripts were born. The owner of the Phoenician eyes, who had revealed the secret of Volskii to me, acquainted me with a woman, who had closely known the spiritual friend of Thales in her youth. And she told the history of Theodorida.
Anastasia Vasilevna was a surprising person and had left a truly high reminiscence of herself. During many years she had taught the vocal art at the conservatory of Odessa. Outsiders could not have guessed about her rich spiritual life and unusual abilities, that she, following the tradition of all true occultists, hid carefully. Only now and then the concealed shell of this woman appeared surrounded by all its mysterious and beautiful light. Thus once, having heard by coincidence about a mentally ill woman, Anastasia Vasilevna offered her night gown to rescue her, that healed the unfortunate woman by its extraordinary harmonious and powerful emanations. In the presence of pupils, who tenderly called her ‘mama Nastia’, Theodorida was sometimes caught by a strange, drowsy state, that revealed to her what was behind the earthly threshold. ‘How difficult it is to live in two worlds at the same time!’, it once escaped from her mouth.
G.O. Volskii lived secretly at Theodorida’s house until his last days (somewhere in the 1930s). Even after he passed away, he continued to communicate with his spiritual sister, dictating work he had not finished during his life and letters about his new existence. In one of them are words like this: ‘The court occurred at the mount Sinai. Everything was weighed and it was spoken solemnly: ‘May they be immortal in their death!’ As if according to a high decree, Anastasia Theodorida left this life completely consciously in 1958, working until the last day. When she approached her death she lied down and thus she remained quietly until the evening, and then she turned to her friend with the words: ‘I will die, don’t you worry, I have told you everything.’ At night she passed away quietly and in full consciousness. Until his last days Volskii had written unusual texts, marked by a gnostic intuition. But in Theodora’s copy books not much was contained. The majority of the texts were dedicated to a cabbalistic and theosophical interpretation of the tradition. Together with Theodora Volskii had been busy to decipher biblical texts and similar to Fabre d’Olivet, he had reached the highest symbolical meanings of the Great Book. Once it was communicated to Volskii and Theodora, that revealed knowledge that falls into the hands of unworthy people, can lead to evil, and therefore, according a common decision, the work that had been already finished, was burnt. The work of Thales of Argos is called Mystery, but it must not be understood in the Medieval sense of this work. It is not only and not so much a religious drama, but in the mystical sense a Mystery, an activity and a state, when the human consciousness is mixed with truth, the essence of the world. Thought is revealed, unfolded and in this revelation the theurgic unity with Eternity is cognized.
It seems to me that The Mystery of Christ is no Gospel, no Good Tiding from one of the disciples of Chirst, and it would be a mistake to conceive it like that.
The book of Thales-Volskii should be understood in the sense of a personal, mysterious revelation of an author, who lived through a mystery, that became for him a ‘mysterious legend’, a legend tightly connected to the concealed truth.