Today we are going to cover the first millennium and the events that led up to it after the sixth century. The Pope became more and more powerful. Roman bishops became politicians turning one ruler against another and feudalism became established as a hierarchy and caste system.
Because of all the politics the Roman bishops in the Church were considered the only powers able to mediate disputes among the rulers. So the Pope’s political power increased and the lands that the Church owned increased.
The Church also gained in temporal power during the fifth century. We are going to talk about a few things that should be considered. The Merovingian dynasty was founded by Childric in 457 and was not Christian until his son. Clovis converted to Christianity because of one of his wives. For the first time the whole area of Western Europe or Gaul as it was known came under Merovingian rule.
We’ve been trying to track down Organic Gnosticism and that was further east so I’m just going to leave the west for right now.
I would like to add that in Eastern Europe, the Bogomils came in. They had a civilization that was almost legendary, and then they were slaughtered by the Muslims. That was in Eastern Europe. We don’t really know a lot of what was going on except that there was a lot of bloodshed.
But Western Europe didn’t have it much better as the millennium arrived. I’m going to quote some material here because you would not believe what I’m saying unless I quoted it from a definitive text. It’s from the Medieval Sourcebook. There was a monk historian, Ralf Glabor, who wrote about the turn of the millennium, and I think everybody’s going to find it interesting because we never hear about this.
“For in the seventh year before that date, Mount Vesuvius, which is also called Vulcan’s cauldron gaped far more often than his wont and belched forth a multitude of vast stones mingled with sulfurous flames, which fell even to a distance of 3 miles around; and thus by the stench of his breath he began to make all the surrounding province uninhabitable. ..It befell meanwhile that almost all the cities of Italy and Gaul were ravaged by flames of fire, and that the greater part even of the city of Rome was devoured by a conflagration. During which fire the flames caught the beams of St. Peter’s Church, beginning to creep under the bronze tiles and lick the carpenter’s work. When this became known to the whole multitude that stood by, then, finding no possible device for averting this disaster, they turned with one accord and, crying with a terrible voice, hastened to the confession;”
[Coulton note: The part of the choir in which the celebrant makes his confession before saying mass. See Dom Martene, De Antiquis Ecclesiae Ritibus, lib. i,c. art. 2, ad fin. At St. Peter’s of Rome, this is the space eastward of the saints tomb]
“even the chief of the apostles, crying upon him with curses that, if he watched not over his own, nor showed himself a very present defender of his church, many throughout the world would fall away from their profession of faith. Whereupon the devouring flames straightway left those beams of pine and, died away…At this same time a horrible plague raged among men, namely a hidden fire which, upon whatsoever limb it toned, consumed it and severed it from the body.”
[Coulton note: this is St. Anthony’s fire, one of the curses of the Middle Ages, which modern medicine has traced to poisons generated in corrupt rye bread.]
“Many were consumed even in the space of a single night by these devouring flames. ..Moreover, about the same time, a most mighty famine raged for five years throughout the Roman world, so that no region could be heard of which was not hunger stricken for lack of bread, and many of the people were starved to death. In those days also, in many regions, the terrible famine compelled men to make their food not only of unclean beasts and creeping things, but even of men’s, women’s and children’s flesh, without regard even of kindred; for so fierce waxed this hunger that grown up sons devoured their mothers, and mothers, forgetting their maternal love ate their babes.”
That was what was happening in Rome at the end of the first millennium. No wonder they thought it was the end of the world and no wonder the Pope wanted out of there!
In all likelihood that’s really why the Pope decided to move the papacy to Avignon. It was basically because Rome at that time was uninhabitable. Okay, now what’s interesting is that we never hear about what was going on at the time in Rome. We never hear that conditions were so horrible, but it was terrible over all of Western Europe as well.
This volcano erupted and there is not as much sunlight for things to grow, so the dark ages ironically were really pretty dark! People feared for the survival of humanity itself.
Think of the Crusades as a desperate action by the Church to regain control of Jerusalem from the infidels.
I’m not going to be talking about the Crusades. They’ve already been dealt with as well as the interaction between the Templars and the creation of the banking system.
They don’t really have anything to do with the subject that I’m trying to pursue which is the thread of Organic Gnosticism or the development of the soul through love relationships between men and women. What we’re looking for is something that was taught to the common people, was available to them, was powerful and it was suppressed. It was suppressed by the educated elite who wanted at all costs to keep control of the general population. So hopefully we are getting an idea of how things developed.
Here we see traces of Organic Gnosticism creeping up within alchemy, but also creeping up in Tantrism and Buddhism and the martial arts. So it’s around but remains hidden, deeply hidden and it’s strongly persecuted.
PS: I started a Facebook discussion group called Organic Gnosticism. If you are interested feel free to join.