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Copyright 1999, Gregg Braden
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Due to the volume of inquiries, Gregg Braden can no longer respond to each piece of
correspondence personally. As questions fall into general themes, however, he will reply to
those themes in the Translations newsletter. Please mail comments, letters and questions
P.O. Box 5182, Santa Fe, N.M. 87502
The Newsletter of Gregg Braden and Sacred Spaces/Ancient Wisdom
Fall/Winter 2000 Volume 5 Issue 2
The Mystery of the Essenes
Lost Science of a Forgotten People
Copyright ©2000 Gregg Braden
Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, a mysterious group of scholars formed communities to honor an ancient teaching that began before history as we know it. Collectively known as the Essenes, Roman and Jewish historians referred to the members of this spiritual tradition as "a race by themselves, more remarkable than any other in the world." The underlying wisdom of many Essene traditions pre-dates the dominant traditions of their day and is traced through ancient writings to at least 4,000 years BC. Key elements of nearly every major belief system existing in the world today, including those of China, Tibet, Egypt, India, Palestine, Greece, even those of the American Desert Southwest, appear to have common roots in this ancient lineage of wisdom. Additionally, many of the great spiritual traditions of the western world, as different as they appear from one another today, appear to have originated from this lineage of wisdom, including the Free Masons, Gnostics, Christians, and the Kabalists.
Also known as the "Elect" and the "Chosen Ones", the Essenes were the first people to openly condemn slavery, the use of servants, and the killing of animals for food. Viewing physical labor as a healing communion with the Earth, they were agriculturists, living close to the land that gave them life. The Essenes viewed prayer as the language through which to honor nature and the creative intelligence of the cosmos--they made no distinction between the two.
Their prayers were practiced on a regular basis. The first prayer of the day was offered upon arising in the pre-dawn darkness to work in the fields. These were followed by prayers before and after each meal, and again upon retiring at the end of the day. The Essenes viewed their practice of prayer as an opportunity to participate in the creative process of their lives, rather than a structured ritual required of them throughout the day.
Strict vegetarians by today's standards, members of the Essene communities abstained from animal flesh, blood foods, and fermented liquids. Perhaps one of the clearest explanations of their diet may be found in the following passage from the Dead Sea Scrolls: "Kill not the food which goes into your mouth. For if you eat living food, the same will quicken you, but if you kill your food, the dead food will kill you also. For life comes only from life, and death comes always from death. For everything which kills your foods, kills your bodies also." Their lifestyle permitted them to enjoy advanced ages,attaining 120 years or more with vitality and great endurance.
During their time, the Essenes proved themselves to be meticulous scholars, recording and documenting their traditions for the generations of a future that they could only imagine. Perhaps the best example of their work may be seen in the hidden libraries that they left throughout the world. Like methodically-placed time capsules, their manuscripts provide snapshots into the thinking of an ancient people and a forgotten wisdom. What is their message to us today?
In the words of their time, Essene scholars appealed to those who would find their texts to remember that "the Earth is in us", that "we are in her", and that the two of us are intimately enmeshed in all that we experience. New translations of Essene documents from the Dead Sea caves illustrate even greater, and sometimes unexpected depths, of their author's understanding.
The motivation for the ceremonies, rituals, and lifestyle of early Essene communities was their deep conviction honoring the living thread that binds all life, throughout all worlds. Essene masters viewed our bodies as a convergence point through which the forces of creation merge to express the will of God. They considered our time together in this world as an opportunity to heal the memories of anger, rage, jealousy and hatred--the very experiences that we sometimes shun and judge in our lives. It is through such experiences, that we hone the qualities of love, compassion, and forgiveness that elevate us to the greatest expressions of our humanness. For this reason, they regarded our bodies as a sacred place, a soft and vulnerable temple for our soul.
Interestingly, the Qumran scholars focused upon a particular place within the body, rather than the body itself as the landscape of divine expression. Echoed through the words of the Essene Gospel of Peace, we are reminded that through our bodies we have "inherited a Holy Land...this land is not a field to be plowed, but a place within us where we may build our holy temple."
Within the innermost recesses of ancient temples are found the most sacred portions of the sanctuary. Often small in comparison to the rest of the structure, timeworn scriptures refer to the single room embedded within winding corridors and preparatory shrines as the beth elohim, the holy of holies. It is in the holy of holies that the invisible world of spirit touches the physical matter of our world.
Carrying this metaphor from the hard temples of stone to the soft temples of life, our body must have a holy of holies as well. Perhaps in a manner that modern science is just beginning to understand, the innermost portion of our living temples represents a sacred place where the body of matter is touched by the breath of spirit. Does such a place exist within us?
In a remarkable report published from the 3rd Annual Conference of The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and EnergyMedicine, scientists documented the non-physical force of emotion actually changing the physical molecule of DNA.
Based in rigorous testing of individuals capable of emotional self-management, as well as control subjects without any specialized training, the study reported that, "Individuals trained in generating focused feelings of deep love...were able to intentionally cause a change in the conformation (shape) of the DNA (italics and parenthesis are author's)". Specific qualities of emotion, produced at will, determined to what degree and how tightly the two strands of the molecule of life were coiled! Confirming the long-held suspicion that emotion greatly affects our health and quality of life, these reports now demonstrate, perhaps for the first time, that emotion is a missing link, a direct line of communication to the very core of life itself.
Could the Dead Sea Scroll references to a "holy land..the place within us where we may build our temple," be a description of the actual cells of our bodies? If this is the case, then each cell within the temple of our bodies is, by definition, a holy of holies. Each cell must be considered sacred!
The understandings gleaned from something as unlikely as twenty-three hundred year old texts, now validated by twentieth-century science, may be considered as a kind of biological unified theory. Beyond science, religion, and mystic traditions, we have no name for our revised world view as yet. Echoing the traditions of ages past, such perspectives are reminiscent of the words held for so long by so many; "We are all connected." "We are all expressions of one life." "We are all the same one."
Join Gregg Braden and confirmed speakers including Jean Houston Ph.D.,
Robert Anton Wilson, James Tywman and Dr. Doreen Virtue at the Prophets Conference in Palm Springs, Ca. December 15-17, 2000! For details call our office or visit www.greatmystery.org
Join Gregg Braden and confirmed speakers including Ram Dass, Michio Kaku and Huston Smith at the Prophets Conference in New York City, N.Y. May 18-20, 2001! For details call our office or visit www.greatmystery.org.
Welcome to the fall/winter issue of Translations, the newsletter of Sacred Spaces/ Ancient Wisdom. During the last months of 1999, some of the best minds of our time were asked what they foresaw in the first decades of our new century. In addition to the anticipated surge of information and communication through the world-wide-web, an increase in the average life expectancy attributed to new technology and changes in lifestyles, there was another category of change that wove its way throughout the future visions. Ranging from unprecedented extremes in weather, new diseases that we have no cure for, and the possibility of a third global war, the scientists, religious and spiritual leaders believed that the next few years may very well hold the greatest challenges ever to face humankind! At the same time, many of the leaders shared a sense that the technology of our world will fail us in the presence of such challenges.
While such scenarios are not necessarily new, the suggestion that our outer technology may fail us brings even greater relevance to understanding the role of prayer in our lives. Twentieth-century science has now measured, validated, and replicated the effects of another technology, the inner technology of a non-denominational, non-mystical, feeling-based prayer available to each woman, child and man that walks our earth. At the dawn of our new century, we find ourselves at a time when the impact of feeling-based prayer upon the conditions of our lives can no longer be discounted. Ancient traditions remind us that prayer is the single-most empowering force ever to grace our world. The Isaiah Effect and this issue of Translations is dedicated to exploring precisely such technology. Please accept my thanks for creating the time to enjoy our newsletter.
Northern New Mexico
The Great Isaiah Scroll
One of the most controversial of the Essene libraries was discovered hidden among forgotten caves in an area known as Qumran, a mountainous area adjacent to the shores of the Dead Sea, between Israel and Jordan. Known collectively as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the original number of documents hidden for safekeeping is believed to have numbered nearly one thousand.
In the Spring of 1948 specialists at the American School of Oriental Research determined that the first seven manuscripts, including two copies of The Book of Isaiah, were written hundreds of years earlier than any other texts discovered to date in the Holy Lands. Of the two Isaiah scrolls, only one was complete with all 66 books of Isaiah intact; The Great Isaiah Scroll.
Today, the Great Isaiah Scroll is unrolled and mounted upon a vertical cylinder displayed within the Shrine of the Book Museum in Jerusalem. Considered to be irreplaceable, the exhibit is engineered to retract into an under-floor vault covered by steel doors, designed to preserve this single document for future generations in the event of any natural, or man made disaster.
The age, completeness and language of the Isaiah Scroll provides a unique opportunity to consider it as a "Rosetta Stone" of sorts, a template into understanding similar traditions of life-affirming technologies, preserved as other traditions in a less complete form.
Gregg Braden and Deepak Chopra
On June 13, 2000, Gregg Braden accepted an invitation to speak at Dr. Deepak Chopra's week-long intensive, Seduction of Spirit, in La Jolla, California. The synchronicity between the teachings of both men was recorded, in its entirety, and will be released by Hay House Publications in January of 2001. Following is an excerpt of a further dialogue between Dr. Chopra and Mr. Braden regarding Braden's latest book, The Isaiah Effect.
Deepak: Precisely what is "The Isaiah Effect?"
Gregg: The discovery of the Great Isaiah Scroll among the Dead Sea caves in 1946 revealed keys to our role in creation that were lost in the biblical edits of the 4th century A.D. Among those keys were the instructions to a "lost" mode of prayer that quantum science suggests has the power to heal our bodies, bring a lasting peace to our world and, perhaps, avert the greatest tragedies ever to face humankind. Each time we employ this inner technology of prayer, we experience "The Isaiah Effect."
Deepak: What is the source of controversy that surrounds this book?
Gregg: The Isaiah Effect crosses the boundaries of traditional science and scholarship to offer an empowering, new interpretation of a twenty-five-hundred-year-old text. This view is considered to be a radical departure from traditional biblical and indigenous prophecies describing events of our present and future world.
Deepak: How do modern religions view your interpretations of such texts?
Gregg: Interestingly, as different as the specific doctrines of many religious beliefs appear to be from one another, for the most part today's major religions have found that their beliefs are supported in The Isaiah Effect! This suggests that beyond the outward differences of specific traditions, there may be a common wisdom that is the source of all religious beliefs, and that Isaiah's message may have originated from such wisdom.
To read this dialogue in its entirety, please see the web site dedicated to Dr. Chopra's new book, How to Know God, at www.howtoknowgod.com.
A Dialogue Between Gregg Braden and Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Available 1-1-2001 On Audio Cassette
See Products & Events for Details
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New Audio Release from SOUNDS TRUE The Lost Mode of Prayer
Beyond Zero Point
The Isaiah Effect
Available Fall, 2001. Recorded and manufactured by SOUNDS TRUE. ISBN 1-56455-848-7
The Gregg Braden Box Set - A three volume collection including
New Audio Release from SOUNDS TRUE
The Isaiah Effect
Available Spring 2001. Contents: 2 cassettes in boxed sets. Running time: 3 hours. Recorded and manufactured by SOUNDS TRUE. ISBN 1-56455-840-1
New Audio Release from Hay House
An Ancient Magical Prayer
Insights from the Dead Sea Scrolls. A Dialogue Between Gregg Braden and Deepak Chopra, M.D.. Available January, 2001. Recorded and manufactured by Hay House Publications. ISBN 1-56170-821-6. www.hayhouse.com
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Beyond Zero Point
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Unlocking the Mystery of the Power to Live
Modern science suggests that our bodies require six nutrients to live in optimum health. The same science, however, continues to document cases of illness, disease and suffering even when optimal amounts of these nutrients are present. Could there be a lost nutrient that we have failed to account for in our understanding of life?
In this exclusive offering of Passionate Grace, visionary scientist and author Gregg Braden merges his most recent work, The Isaiah Effect (Crown, 2000) with information recovered from 2500-year-old-texts and new studies (some yet to be published at press time) linking human DNA, prayer, breath, movement and emotion.
Braden offers compelling evidence suggesting that there is, in fact, at least one additional "nutrient" that is not accounted for in Western models of health. In a relaxed retreat environment, this powerful multi-media weekend is your opportunity to:
Discover the forgotten nutrient that weaves the materials of nature into the life of our bodies.
Witness rare images from Egypt, Tibet and the Dead Sea, revealing new links among breath, movement and emotion.
Experience the effects of focused prayer and emotion as real-time visual displays through newly-released biomedical technology from the Institute of HeartMath.
This year 2000 offering is scheduled exclusively as a 3-day residential retreat at the Kripalu Yoga Institute. For additional information, please see the schedule insert in this newsletter, call Kripalu at 413-448-3224.
The Isaiah Effect
Decoding the Lost Science
of Prayer and Prophecy
Is there a lost science with the power to heal our bodies, bring a lasting peace to our world, and avert the greatest tragedies ever to face humankind? Ancient texts, as well as modern science, suggest that the answer is "Yes!"
Quantum science suggests the existence of many possible futures for each moment of our lives. Each outcome lies in a state of rest, until it is awakened by choices made in the present. Braden suggests that the Isaiah scroll describes precisely such possibilities in a language that we are just beginning to understand. In addition to sharing his visions of our time, Isaiah describes the science of how we choose which future we experience. Each time we do so, we experience the Isaiah Effect.
Combining studies of quantum physics with the ancient texts of Isaiah, as well as native American Hopi, Mayan and Egyptian traditions, Braden offers a compelling account of how we may reclaim the ancient, mystical and empowering technology of mass prayer that is key to transcending our most frightening predictions of post-millennial chaos and suffering. This one-day intensive includes the opportunity to:
See rare video footage and slides capturing seldom seen libraries in Egyptian and Tibetan monasteries.
Identify and research the lost tenets of mass prayer.
Witness direct evidence of prayer's effect upon contemporary conditions of personal health and global events.
Experience real-time applications of state-of-the-art biomedical technology from the Institute of HeartMath.
"I invite you to join me as we journey into earth mysteries and the lost
traditions of compassion and prayer through these empowering messages
of hope and possibility!"
Research, Announcements and Perspectives
Gregg Braden and the Institute of HeartMath
It gives me great pleasure to announce a new relationship between myself and the Institute of HeartMath, in Boulder Creek, California.
As many of you know, The Institute of HeartMath is a nonprofit research and training organization dedicated to the study and development of innovative, heart-based, technologies for emotional and mental self-management.
I have enjoyed the friendships and sharing of information with the staff and founders of HeartMath since 1992. With the focus of feeling-based prayer in The Isaiah Effect correlating closely to the HeartMath techniques of managing emotions and feelings, we have chosen to carry our relationship to the next level.
Through a unique agreement between the HeartMath Institute and myself, I have been granted permission, as an independent author, to share their leading-edge research and demonstrate their real time, biomedical technology in support of our live presentations. I am honored to be part of such an agreement, and recognize our relationship as an expression of trust, friendship and our mutual desire to employ the wisdom of our hearts to empower the lives of our communities and loved ones. I look forward to sharing HeartMath technology through our year 2000 and 2001 events. For information regarding The Institute of HeartMath, please visit their web site at www.heartmath.com.
HeartMath Study Links Emotion and DHEA Levels
In a report published by the Institute of HeartMath, studies conducted on a group of 28 people practicing HeartMath techniques of emotional self-management over a 30-day period, produced significant increases in the production levels of the master hormone DHEA. The increase was achieved in the absence of any new dietary, exercise or lifestyle changes. The report stated that the participants "showed an average increase of 100% in DHEA levels after one month of practice...".(1) and indicate that an even greater increase may have been produced through regular practice over time.
1. Childre, Doc Lew, Cut-Thru. 1996, Boulder Creek, California, pp82-84.
HeartMath Study Links Emotion and Cortisol Levels
Additional studies by the Institute of HeartMath, reported a 23% decrease in Cortisol levels over a 30-day period by individuals trained in techniques of emotional self-management.(2) Cortisol has been identified as a hormone stimulated by stress, and known to accelerate the aging process.
These studies are especially important because they demonstrate that our body chemistry can be directly affected by the quality of our thoughts, feeling, emotions and perceptions. As we discover positive ways to think and feel about the events of our lives, our body responds with a health-enhancing, life-affirming chemistry.
2. Childre, Doc Lew, Cut-Thru. 1996, Boulder Creek, California, pp82-84.
Birthing A New Technology
Recent studies into the effects of prayer offer new credibility to ancient propositions suggesting that we may "do something" about the tragedies and suffering of our world, both present and future. These studies add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that mass human emotion (focused prayer) has a predictable and measurable effect on the quality of life during the time of the prayer.(1) Scientists suspect that the relationship between mass emotion and the activity of individuals in communities is due to a phenomenon known as the field effect of consciousness.
Over 100 years ago, in 1898, William James suggested the existence of "a continuum of consciousness uniting individual minds...". In 1993, studies by the U.S. military indicated that the field effect extends even to the minute level of individual cells in the human body. White blood cells taken from the mouth of a volunteer responded electrically in one room, to the emotional stimulus that the cell's donor experienced in another room within the same building. Through a relationship that modern science is just beginning to understand, the effects continued, even when the cells and the donor were separated by a distance of 50 miles!(2)
At the doorway to the twenty-first century, we stand on the threshold of a time when the survival of our species may actually depend upon our ability to marry our inner and outer technologies into a new, self-empowering science based in our understanding of heart-generated subtle energy fields. The implications of such a technology are immense, and to some, overwhelming. As we redefine the role of technology in our food supplies, political affiliations, military alliances and the extremes of nature, we have arrived at a time when the power of human emotion can no longer be discounted.
1.Orme-Johnson, Alexander, Davies, Chandler, Larimore, "International Peace Project in the Middle East," the Journal of Conflict Resolution 32, no. 4 (December 1988), 778.
2.J. Motz, "Everyone an Energy Healer: The TREAT V Conference in Santa Fe." Advances Vol. 9 (1993) pp.95-98.
Letters And Frequently Asked Questions
Due to the volume of mail received, I am unable to respond to each piece of correspondence personally. As inquiries fall into general themes, however, I will reply to selected themes in the Translations newsletter. Please mail letters to Editor, Translations, P.O. Box 5182, Santa Fe, N.M. 87502
Q. Rather than respond to one specific letter, I prefer to take this opportunity to generalize a number of inquiries that we have received regarding the use of prayer and The Isaiah Effect to "change" the events of our world, such as the November presidential elections, or the lives of loved ones.
A. The nature of these questions illustrates the very essence, as well as the subtlety, of The Isaiah Effect and our "lost" mode of prayer.
In the words of their day, ancient traditions, such as those of the Essenes, remind us that every prayer is already answered. Every outcome that we could ever imagine, and each possibility that we could ever conceive of, is an aspect of creation that is already created and presently existing as a "sleeping" state of possibility. It is these very possibilities of many outcomes that provide the basis for the new models of String and N-Theory, and quite possibly, are responsible for the many dimensions now believed to make up our creation. From this perspective, our use and application of feeling-based prayer becomes less about creating this-or-that outcome, and more about accessing a desired outcome that is already created.
While ancient, as well as modern, traditions appear to be in agreement regarding the existence of many possibilities, the question has always been one of how we awaken a specific outcome and make it real in our lives today? How may we call to the possibility of peace in our world, for example, or healing in our bodies, possibilities that already exist, when the events of our world appear to show us conditions of violence and disease? The answer to this question, and the key to The Isaiah Effect, is found in unlocking the mystery of feeling-based prayer.
The ancient Essenes remind us of a very powerful relationship between what happens in our inner world of feeling, and the conditions of the world around us. Perhaps deceptively simple, this relationship states that the condition of our health, our societies, even the patterns of weather are mirrors of the way we deal with life from within. Recent research in the science of subtle energy research and quantum physics now lends credibility to precisely such traditions.
Through a language that we are just beginning to understand, Isaiah shows us how to access the already-created possibilities of healing, peace and cooperation and bring them into the reality of our lives. As our outer world of action reflects our inner world of feeling, we do so, Isaiah suggests, by feeling as if our prayers are already answered. It is the power of such feeling that breathes life into our prayers. New research suggests that when we feel the gratitude of our prayers fulfilled, our feelings produce the very conditions, the field effects, that attract new possibilities into the conditions of our lives.
Understanding that the outcome matches the feeling may help to make sense of what happens when our prayers appear to go unanswered. When we pray for a healing in our relationships, for example, while experiencing rage, jealousy and anger at our relationships, why are we surprised to see these very qualities mirrored as illness in our bodies, our families, schools, workplaces and the social conditions around us? Science has demonstrated that every feeling we experience, creates a unique chemistry in our bodies--the love and hate chemistry discussed in the books, The Isaiah Effect and Walking Between the Worlds. The good news is that the same principles hold true for life-affirming feelings. As we respond to the challenges of life through compassion, understanding, loving tolerance, and peace, we may expect to experience these conditions in our bodies, and see the effects extend to the world around us.
With regard to the letters received by our office, Albert Einstein once observed that we cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created the problem. The power of non-denominational, feeling-based prayer represents an opportunity to address the great challenges of our time through a new paradigm of conscious understanding and feeling, as well as thinking. Rather than imposing our belief of one candidate's superiority over another in the case of the elections, for example, our lost mode of prayer reminds us that nothing ever needs to be "created", as every outcome we could ever imagine for our presidential election is already present. We may be better served by first feeling the outcome of the very conditions we choose to experience in our world, the peace and cooperation between governments and nations, the prosperity that can only come with the equal treatment of all people and all races and the honoring of all life. It is the appreciation and gratitude that we feel in the presence of such conditions that creates the quantum effects allowing creation to match our feelings. My sense is that in the presence of such understandings, our ballot box experience on election day 2000 will take on a very different meaning!
Translations and Tours
The Isaiah Effect has been translated and is now being published in Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Dutch and Italian. While the remainder of year 2000 is dedicated to U.S. venues and research for a new series of books, 2001 will be a year of travel and tours. I will be in Montreal and France in the spring, followed by an extensive Australian tour in the fall, with a German tour scheduled for the spring of 2002.
Sacred Journey into Tibet is full!
Though our departure date is still many calendar months away, our 2001 pilgrimage into Tibet has filled to capacity. A wait list has been created to fill any cancellations on a first-come-first-served basis. Many thanks for your interest and support for what promises to be the journey of a lifetime. For additional information, please call 1-800-234-TOUR.