I read, THE FORBIDDEN RELIGION by Jose M. Herrou Aragon.

Available here

I learned:

The material universe, including this material world, is hell.

The God of this universe, and this world, is Satan.

Satan has underlings that help him. The lord of the material earth is, Satan Kumara.

There is a Higher God and a Higher Realm. This God is shrouded in mystique. He is referred to as, God the Unknowable.

The god of this world (Satan) has worked to deceive people into confusing him with the Unknowable God.

The Unkowable God sends a Representative of Himself to earth on rare occasions at enormous sacrifice and pain to His Messenger. This Person inspires worship of the Unknowable God.

Religious truths and writings are twisted over time to direct people’s love and service away from the the True God to the false god. The false god has also created the illusion of a devil that is not himself.

The serpent, Lucifer, who spoke to Eve in the Garden of Eden, was the Messenger of the Unknowable God. He encouraged Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of Knowledge. The god of the world had commanded her and Adam not to eat the fruit of that tree, saying they would die. When Eve and Adam did eat the fruit, their eyes were opened and they knew the difference between the Uncreated Kingdom and the created realm. Their god had lied, they did not die. The serpent had told the truth, they had been made wise.

The god of this world created the body and the soul of man. A physical material part, the body of dust, and an animic part, the breath of this creator, which we call soul.

But there is a third part, an Uncreated and Eternal Spirit. That Spirit was asleep in Adam and Eve until they ate of the Tree of Knowledge. The god of this world prefers that that part remain asleep so people will accept him as God and he can feed on their passive spiritual energy.

The god of this world likes battles, wars, diseases, accidents, plagues, disasters and so forth, so he can feed on the misery of human beings. He likes animals to be slaughtered by humans and other animals so he can feed on their misery as well.

The imperfections of this world reflect the imperfections of its creator.

Gnosticism was persecuted and it’s writings destroyed early in the Christian Era. The only books on Gnosticism that survive are those written by its critics. The critics would have, in my opinion, highlighted the more shocking of the Gnostic beliefs and exaggerated them to make them appear absurd. With that filter I have mollified some of the ideas which I found difficult to reconcile with my existing belief system as follows:

My Belief

I don’t believe that the Perfect, Just, although Unknowable, God would have abandoned human beings into the care of a lunatic demigod, other than Divine Messengers being sent every age or so. I believe there is a way that we can come into His presence right now. (Of course that would be through our relationship with the Messenger which Gnosticism also acknowledges).

I don’t believe that the Unknowable God would have delegated the created universe to an arrogant, inept, perverse spirit without there being a way to improve on his ineptitude. Perhaps that is where we come in.

I found The Forbidden Religion to be somewhat depressing to read. There are demons and devils everywhere and there is next to nothing we can do about it, is what I understood the writer to be emphasizing. I derived comfort from the following passage from the writings of Baha’u’llah:

The comforting words of Baha’u’llah

“Say: Beware, O people of Baha, lest the strong ones of the earth rob you of your strength, or they who rule the world fill you with fear. Put your trust in God, and commit your affairs to His keeping. He, verily, will, through the power of truth, render you victorious, and He, verily, is powerful to do what He willeth, and in His grasp are the reins of omnipotent might.” From the Writings of Baha’u’llah (Cited in Shoghi Effendi, “The Advent of Divine Justice” p. 82)

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