Essay, Research Paper: Magus Of Strovolos

Religion

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The neophyte stood in front of the altar with a large divine imagine facing her.
On the alter was a folded white robe with a sword upon it. A initiated member of
the inner circle lit white candles and incense while another switched on a
powerful twin light to illuminate the divinely image. The highest member of the
inner circle then took the sword, and preceded with the ritual initiation of the
neophyte into the inner circle of the ancient mysteries. (Markides 124) This
scene invokes the imagination to think of Freemasonry, fraternal organizations
and even Witchcraft. This is a ritual steeped in the esoteric world of
mysteries, but yet it is seemingly Christian! This is the world of Spyros Sathi,
the Magus of Strovolos. A man of great spirituality and wisdom. He is known in
his region as a great healer, and is highly revered for his gift. Today he
coexists with the Christian church who would have most definitely sent the
inquisitioner after him in the past. Although Spyros Sathi is a Christian holy
man, is teachings are a swirl of Gnostic and alchemical mysticism. Mysticism is
a spiritual discipline aiming at a union with the divine through meditation and
contemplation. (Webster’s 466) It has long played apart in religious
traditions in every part of the world. “Those who claim to have actually
experienced this direct revelation constitutes an elite tradition which
transcends the boundary lines of individual religions, cultures and
languages.” (Adhayananda 1) There are many Mystic Schools of thought, but some
of the more well known are; Ancient Egyptian, Cabalistic, Tantric, Yogic,
Sufism, Alchemy and Gnostic. Spyros Sathi, also known as Daskalos, seems to work
with all these traditions, especially Gnosticism. Of course I must add that
there’s always blurred boundaries between these traditions because they all
inter link in various aspects. Daskalos transcends these boundaries, and uses
these traditions as an artists would a palette. Daskalos is greatly influenced
by the Gnostic-Christian legacy. His teachings mirror that of the Gnostic
gospels. It was Simon Magus who first brought Gnosticism to light in the
apostolic era. (Picknett & Prince 316) The first clue to Gnostic thought in
Daskalos’ teachings is his invisible master, Yohannan. “Daskalos went on to
explain that Yohannan was none other than Jesus’ disciple, John the
evangelist, who spoke through Daskalos’ body.” (Maekides 6) The fact that
John the evangelist is Daskalos’ invisible master is very significant because
John the evangelist was supposedly recipient of Jesus’ secret teachings.
(Pickett & Price 333) These teachings are what have come to light in the
“Gnostic Gospels”, found in the Egyptian desert, and date back to the fourth
century.(Pagels xvi-xvii) These versions of the canonical gospels are very
Gnostic in verse, and it is well known that the New Testament was not complied
until 325 CE at the council of Nicaea by bias Catholic priest. Daskalos seems to
be teaching those secret teachings of Jesus, which greatly differ from the
current popular Christian doctrines. Another apparent correlation between
gnosticism and Daskalos’ teachings is the way each views the role of Judas
Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus. In a Gnostic writing, Judas was held to be a man
far advanced in the gnosis. “Judas’s ‘betrayal’ was in fact an act of
complicity with Christ’s purpose, and he thus contributed to the scheme of
salvation.” (Holroyd 48) Daskalos has some very similar words about Judas;
“The role of Judas is something within the Divine Plan because it facilitates
its unfolding.” (Markides 115) Although not as pronounced, but still worth
mentioning is how the apostle Peter is portrayed. “I remember Peter was
rough-looking, blondish, with heavy arms. He always held a stick, chasing people
away from Jesus. Peter was envious of Yohannan because of his education. He
apparently had an inferiority complex because he was illiterate. I remember that
Yahannan would smile and shake his head whenever he would see Peter with the
stick in his hand driving people and children away from master.” (Markides
120) Although Daskalos is not informing us of some great new revelation in the
personality of Peter , he has always been viewed as , for lack of better words,
the “macho man” of the disciples, the fact that Daskalos makes this
statement in reference to John the evangelist is! Lynn Pickett and Clive Prince
write about the great occult scholar A.E. Waite, in their book, The Templar
Revelation: “The presence of a secret tradition within Christianity that was
behind the whole concept of legends also recognize the alchemical, hermetic and
Gnostic elements in the stories.” Although he [Waite] was certain that there
are strong hints about the existence of such a ‘hidden church’ in the Grail
legends, he does not come to any firm conclusion about its nature, but he does
give a prominent place to what he called the ‘Johannine Tradition’. He
refers to a long-held idea in esoteric circles of a mystical school of
Christianity that was founded by John the Evangelist, based on the secret
teachings he had been given by Jesus. This arcane knowledge did nor appear in
the outward or exoteric Christianity that came down through the teachings of
Peter.” (Picknett & Prince122) Could Daskalos be of this same school of
thought? I think there is some indications of this subtly hidden in Daskalos’
teachings. Daskalos also uses alchemical symbolism in his teachings. He talks
about transmuting silver into gold and vice-versa. He seems to be explaining a
universal, metaphysical law on personal transformation. He tells a story of
someone he knew that heard he was able to make gold. “After learning of the
experiment,[this person] knocked at his door carrying along several bars of
lead. He wanted Daskalos to transform them into gold. Daskalos got angry and
sent him away.” (Markides 194) Being that Daskalos got angry at this person
shows that there is a underlying message of alchemy. More than just simply
creating gold out of lead. This has always been the lore of the Alchemist; to
transmute lead into gold, but there’s an underlying message here. “It was
made very plain that alchemy was just as much to do with self-mastery as with
mastery of the physical laws of nature, and that neither could be achieved
without patience, observation and devotion.” (Gilchrist 7) Although Daskalos
can actually transmute metals into gold, that is not is point. His point is that
he uses the analogy of transforming something into gold as a metaphor for self
transformation or enlightenment. Daskalos, the Magus of Strovolos carried on an
age-old tradition of esoteric Christian mysteries, and his teachings are still
being taught by faithful followers. His teachings were most likely in the
esoteric tradition for a reason. Could it have posed a direct threat to the
Catholic and Orthodox Churches? Gnosticism, along with other traditions like
alchemy have long been deemed to be heresies to the church. Daskalos carried on
this Gnostic message in the esoteric art in order that the truth remained
obtainable for those who seek it! As Jesus himself put it so elegantly; “and
you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32)

BibliographyAbhayananda, S. History of Mysticism: The unchanging Testament. Olympia: Atma
Books, 1937. Gilchrist, Cherry. The Elements of Alchemy. Rockport: Element
Books, Inc., 1991 Holroyd, Stuart. The Elements of Gnosticism. Rockport: Element
Books, Inc., 1994.. Pagels, Elaine. The Gnostic Gospels. New York: Vintage Books
, 1979 Markides, Kyriacos C. The Magus of Strovolos. London: Penguin Books Ltd.,
1985 Picknett, Lynn., and Clive Prince. The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians
of the Indentity of Christ. New York: Touchstone, 1998. “Mysticism.”
Webster’s New World College Dictionary. 1997 ed. The Holy Bible. Revised
Standard Version. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1952.
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