Mark and I celebrated the summer solstice yesterday. As we both sat in a circle of trees in the light of the morning sun and did our ceremony, I read a selection of verses from a little known esoteric text called The Odes of Solomon. This text has defied interpretation, and yet that morning every word was filled with a meaning that resonated very deeply with Mark. Although the author is unknown, it became clear to us that it was written by someone who had experienced the final stages in the path of the spiritual Son, and whose words were profoundly shared and understood by Mark who has also passed through most of these same stages nearly 2,000 years later.
The Odes of Solomon are dated by most scholars to somewhere in the range of 70-125 AD. However, you’ll find references to it in another early esoteric Christian text called Pistis Sophia, which recounts the teachings Jesus gives to the disciples after his resurrection and ascension on the latter stages of the path of the spiritual Son, which Jesus illustrated in the events of his own life as did Mithras, Osiris, Hu, Krishna, Tammuz, Hun Hunahpu, Quetzalcoatl etc. The disciples refer to some of the odes in interpreting Jesus teachings on these final stages, because The Odes of Solomon likewise describe them. Interestingly, the disciples refer to the odes as though they were written by King Solomon (believed to have reigned from 970-931 BC) in the form of a prophecy, and some scholars suggest that these odes may actually be a much older text that was modified by an early Christian. Its exact origin continues to remain a mystery.
Here are some of the most beautiful songs of peace and joy that the world possesses. Yet their origin, the date of their writing, and the exact meaning of many of the verses remain one of the great literary mysteries.
They have come down to us in a single and very ancient document in Syriac language. Evidently that document is a translation from the original Greek. Critical debate has raged around these Odes; one of the most plausible explanations is that they are songs of newly baptized Christians of the First Century.
They are strangely lacking in historical allusions. Their radiance is no reflection of other days. They do not borrow from either the Old Testament or the Gospels. The inspiration of these verses is first-hand. They remind you of Aristides’ remark, “A new people with whom something Divine is mingled.”
~ Rutherford H. Platt, Jr., The Forgotten Books of Eden
Although these odes seem like simple devotional hymns, they are written in first person and contain first-hand descriptions of what someone experiences in the process of enlightenment. The key in understanding their deeper meaning is the first-hand experience of the same process, as this is what unlocks the descriptions of spiritual transformation encoded throughout history, and it is only because Mark has experienced the stages in this transformation himself that he is able to bring the meaning of so many sacred texts such as these odes back to life—extracting and synthesizing the most powerful information needed: the complete inner energetic transformation from darkness into light, the merging of one’s consciousness with the three forces of creation known as the trinity of Son, Mother and Father, and the return to spiritual source.
With such precision these odes describe the events Mark has endured over the last few years—the spiritual stages of betrayal: where someone suffers scathing attacks and injustice with the aim of the complete destruction of the person; the rejection and disappearance from the world; the internal descent into “Sheol” the underworld, where the darkest limits and regions of the psyche are tested; and then the resurrection for the one who can pass through these tremendous difficulties with love and right action as Mark has. In these stages the inner force of the Son and Mother merge. Following this is the ascension to the Father, which Mark has begun to work towards, and which the summer solstice symbolizes.
It is only because Mark has gone through the very same spiritual stages described that it is possible to understand the hidden meaning contained within this beautifully poetic, but elusive and deeply symbolic text. It seems likely that it was written by one who has merged with both the Son, the Mother and the Father—the three cosmic forces and higher parts of one’s Being—and who had ascended internally, which is something incredibly rare, and yet is the latent potential within every person’s consciousness.
At the moment Mark is working on writing a new book—one that describes the path of the Son and the process of transformation like never before, and found nowhere else in the world today. The sacred sites and texts of the world offer fragments of this knowledge, often encoded in symbolism impossible for one who has not gone through this transformation to do anything more than scratch the surface of. We hope to see it released in 2015, and that it restores and gives anew the means by which people throughout the world can embark upon the greatest journey of all—the inward journey back to the Light.
Here are the odes we read for our summer solstice ceremony. You can read them in their entirety here.
From the Odes of Solomon translated by James H. Charlesworth
I extended my hands and hallowed my Lord,
For the expansion of my hands is His sign.
And my extension is the upright cross.
As the wings of doves over their nestlings, and the mouths of their nestlings towards their mouths, so also are the wings of the Spirit over my heart.
My heart continually refreshes itself and leaps for joy, like the babe who leaps for joy in his mother’s womb.
I trusted, consequently I was at rest; because trustful is He in whom I trusted.
He has greatly blessed me, and my head is with Him.
And the dagger shall not divide me from Him, nor the sword;
Because I am ready before destruction comes, and have been set on His immortal side.
And immortal life embraced me, and kissed me.
And from that life is the Spirit which is within me. And it cannot die because it is life.
Those who saw me were amazed, because I was persecuted.
And they thought that I had been swallowed up, because I seemed to them as one of the lost.
But my injustice became my salvation.
And I became their abomination, because there was no jealousy in me.
Because I continually did good to every man I was hated.
And they surrounded me like mad dogs, those who in stupidity attack their masters.
Because their thought is depraved, and their mind is perverted.
But I was carrying water in my right hand, and their bitterness I endured by my sweetness.
And I did not perish, because I was not their brother, nor was my birth like theirs.
And they sought my death but did not find it possible, because I was older than their memory; and in vain did they cast lots against me.
And those who were after me sought in vain to destroy the memorial of Him who was before them.
Because the thought of the Most High cannot be prepossessed; and His heart is superior to all wisdom.
The Lord is my hope, I shall not be ashamed of Him.
For according to His praise He made me, and according to His grace even so He gave to me.
And according to His mercies He exalted me, and according to His great honor He lifted me up.
And he caused me to ascend from the depths of Sheol, and from the mouth of death He drew me.
And I humbled my enemies, and He justified me by His grace.
For I believed in the Lord’s Messiah, and considered that He is the Lord.
And He revealed to me His sign, and He led me by His light.
And He gave me the scepter of His power, that I might subdue the devices of the people, and humble the power of the mighty.
To make war by His Word, and to take victory by His power.
And the Lord overthrew my enemy by His Word, and he became like the dust which a breeze carries off.
And I gave praise to the Most High, because He has magnified His servant and the son of His maidservant.
Chasms vanished before the Lord, and darkness dissipated before His appearance.
Error erred and perished on account of Him; and contempt received no path, for it was submerged by the truth of the Lord.
He opened His mouth and spoke grace and joy; and recited a new chant to His name.
Then He lifted his voice towards the Most High, and offered to Him those that had become sons through Him.
And His face was justified, because thus His Holy Father had given to Him.
Come forth, you who have been afflicted, and receive joy.
And possess yourselves through grace, and take unto you immortal life.
And they condemned me when I stood up, me who had not been condemned.
Then they divided my spoil, though nothing was owed them.
But I endured and held my peace and was silent, that I might not be disturbed by them.
But I stood undisturbed like a solid rock, which is continuously pounded by columns of waves and endures.
And I bore their bitterness because of humility; that I might redeem my nation and instruct it.
And that I might not nullify the promises to the patriarchs, to whom I was promised for the salvation of their offspring.
To the blessed ones the joy is from their heart, and light from Him who dwells in them;
And the Word of truth who is self-originate,
Because He has been strengthened by the Holy Power of the Most High; and He is unshaken for ever and ever.
The gentle showers of the Lord overshadowed me with serenity, and they caused a cloud of peace to rise over my head;
That it might guard me at all times. And it became salvation to me.
Everyone was disturbed and afraid, and there came from them smoke and judgment.
But I was tranquil in the Lord’s legion; more than shade was He to me, and more than foundation.
And I was carried like a child by its mother; and He gave me milk, the dew of the Lord.
And I was enriched by His favor, and rested in His perfection.
And I spread out my hands in the ascent of myself, and I directed myself towards the Most High, and I was redeemed towards Him.
I rested on the Spirit of the Lord, and She lifted me up to heaven;
And caused me to stand on my feet in the Lord’s high place, before His perfection and His glory, where I continued glorifying Him by the composition of His Odes.
The Spirit brought me forth before the Lord’s face, and because I was the Son of Man, I was named the Light, the Son of God;
Because I was the most glorified among the glorious ones, and the greatest among the great ones.
For according to the greatness of the Most High, so She made me; and according to His newness He renewed me.
And He anointed me with His perfection; and I became one of those who are near Him.
And my mouth was opened like a cloud of dew, and my heart gushed forth like a gusher of righteousness.
And my approach was in peace, and I was established in the Spirit of Providence.
I extended my hands and approached my Lord, for the expansion of my hands is His sign.
And my extension is the upright cross, that was lifted up on the way of the Righteous One.
And I became useless to those who knew me not, because I shall hide myself from those who possessed me not.
And I will be with those who love me.
All my persecutors have died, and they sought me, they who declared against me, because I am living.
Then I arose and am with them, and will speak by their mouths.
For they have rejected those who persecute them; and I threw over them the yoke of my love.
Like the arm of the bridegroom over the bride, so is my yoke over those who know me.
And as the bridal chamber is spread out by the bridal pair’s home, so is my love by those who believe in me.
I was not rejected although I was considered to be so, and I did not perish although they thought it of me.
Sheol saw me and was shattered, and Death ejected me and many with me.
I have been vinegar and bitterness to it, and I went down with it as far as its depth.
Then the feet and the head it released, because it was not able to endure my face.
And I made a congregation of living among his dead; and I spoke with them by living lips; in order that my word may not be unprofitable.
And those who had died ran towards me; and they cried out and said, Son of God, have pity on us.
And deal with us according to Your kindness, and bring us out from the bonds of darkness.
And open for us the door by which we may come out to You; for we perceive that our death does not touch You.
May we also be saved with You, because You are our Savior.
Then I heard their voice, and placed their faith in my heart.
And I placed my name upon their head, because they are free and they are mine.