THE fourth century was the turning point in the history of the Western world, the period in which Christianity took the form of a strong political organization.
Throttling the old religions, sciences and philosophies, “the Church” arose as a temporal power upon their remains.
At the same time, admiring crowds began gathering at the door of the academy where the learned and unfortunate Hypatia taught.
Hypatia, expounding the doctrines of the divine Plato and Plotinus, thereby impeded the progress of Christian proselytism.
She successfully dissipated the mists of the religious “mysteries” invented by the Christian Fathers, and was therefore considered dangerous.
H. P. Blavatsky writes in Isis Unveiled:
“This alone would have been sufficient to imperil both herself and her followers.”
The city of Alexandria is interesting to the Theosophical student, for there, just fifteen hundred years ago, existed the last great Theosophical School in history — the School which was begun by Ammonius Saccas, (called theodidaktos, or “god-taught”), and ended with the death of Hypatia.
It is quite possible, considering the fifteen hundred year cycle of reincarnation, that many frontier thinkers and theosophists of the present day were members of that old School. It would be perhaps easy for them to imagine the city of Alexandria as it was in 193 A.D., the year Ammonius founded his School.
Forces of Intolerance
It was precisely the teachings of the old Pagan philosophers, Blavatsky writes:—
“… teachings which had been so freely borrowed by the Christians to give a finishing touch to their otherwise incomprehensible scheme — that had seduced so many into joining the new religion.”
And now with the Platonic light shone by Hypatia — shining so inconveniently bright upon the pious Christian patchwork — every one could easily see the true Pagan source of the “revealed” doctrines.
“The film ‘Agora’,” writes A. O. Scott in the N. Y. Times review, May 28, 2010, “[is] not only sad, but also chilling. It is entirely — not dogmatically but stubbornly — on the side of reason, science and liberalism, values opposed by superstition, fundamentalism and political expediency.
“The world of Alexandria in the later years of the Roman Empire is one in which the forces of intolerance, whatever deity they profess, always seem to have the upper hand, and in which even ostensibly rational, compassionate rulers collaborate with the faith-based holy warriors.
“The parallels between then and now are hardly subtle. The warning bell that ‘Agora’ sounds may be loud and at times a little grating, but what’s wrong with that?
“The skeptical and the secular also need stories of martyrdom and rousing acts of cinematic preaching.”
Ms. Weisz plays Hypatia, the Theosophical adept who directs the library in ancient Alexandria, in Alejandro Amenábar’s film “Agora.”
Hypatia was one of the last great thinkers of ancient Alexandria and one of the first women to study and teach mathematics, astronomy and philosophy. Though she is remembered more for her violent death, her dramatic life is a fascinating lens through which we may view the plight of Theosophy in an era of religious and sectarian conflict.
Why Hypatia was Murdered
(Excerpts from H. P. Blavatsky)
But there was a still greater peril. Hypatia had studied under Plutarch, the head of the Athenian school, and had learned all the secrets of theurgy. While she lived to instruct the multitude, no claimed “divine miracles” could be produced in her presence, as she could easily divulge their true natural causes.
Her doom was sealed by Cyril, whose eloquence she eclipsed, and whose authority — built on degrading superstitions — had to yield before hers, which was erected on the rock of immutable natural law.
It is more than curious that William Cave, the author of the Lives of the Fathers, should find it incredible that Cyril sanctioned her murder on account of his “general character.” A saint who will sell the gold and silver vessels of his church, and then, after spending the money, lie at his trial, as he did — may well be suspected of anything.
Besides, in this case, the Church had to fight for her life, to say nothing of her future supremacy. Alone, the hated and erudite Pagan scholars, and the no less learned Gnostics, held in their doctrines the hitherto concealed wires of all these theological marionettes.
Once the curtain was lifted, the connection between the old Pagan and the new Christian religions would be exposed — and then, what would have become of the Mysteries into which it is sin and blasphemy to pry?
Freedom of Spirit
D.M. Murdock, a.k.a. Acharya S, gained expertise in several religions, as well as knowledge about other esoterica and mystical subjects. She is the author of several books, including: The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold, Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled, Who Was Jesus: Fingerprints of The Christ, and Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection.
An independent scholar, she majored in Classics and Greek civilization at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She has also served as a trench master on archaeological excavations in Corinth, Greece, and Connecticut, USA. She’s a member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece.
Acharya S talks about her book The Christ Conspiracy and how the stories of all religions seem to have very similar content.
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Truth Be Known
The Sun of God
“The assertion that the ‘Son of God’ is the ‘Sun of God’ is frequently raised as another strawman argument that detractors like to knock down. Like these other criticisms, I have already addressed this one… The complaint stems from the impression that I and others are claiming the words ‘son’ and ‘sun’ are interchangeable and that, according to mainstream etymology, these two words in fact constitute “false cognates.”
“The phrase comparing ‘son’ and ‘sun’ is usually meant to be a PLAY ON WORDS, not to suggest that the two words are etymological cognates and are interchangeable. Hence, this complaint represents a strawman argument. According to mainstream etymology, the two words are not cognates and are not related. Using this PLAY ON WORDS to make a point is perfectly allowable, but one that is evidently lost on the critic.” –Acharya S.
The Secret Doctrine:
“By simply comparing the Sun-gods of every country, one may find their allegories agreeing perfectly with one another; and the more the allegorical symbol is occult the more its corresponding symbol in other systems agrees with it. Thus, if from three systems widely differing from each other in appearance — the old Aryan, the ancient Greek, and the modern Christian schemes — we select several Sun-gods and dragons at random, these will be found copied from each other.”
-H. P. Blavatsky, SD 2:381
More from Acharya S: Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled