27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful new information about the Essenes and Jesus,
This review is from: Jesus and the Essenes (Paperback)
Initially, I found this book less readable than the sequel "They walked with Jesus", but as I progressed the book became more and more readable and in fact fascinating.
Dolores regresses her subject, Katie, back to a life as an Essene, Suddi, at a time that proved to be contemporary with Jesus, though Suddi was born some years before Jesus. She talks to Suddi at different periods of his life, from the age of 12 to subsequent to his death when he was over sixty.
Suddi lives in the community of the Essenes at Qumran. At first, he describes his occupation as studying the laws of the Torah (the Jewish religious book) and Hebrew law, but later he teaches. The Essenes adhere strictly to the "law" (the laws of Moses) and the Torah.
The community obtains its water from two fountains. They have a complex water system within the community including two baths. They have two types of lights, one containing oil, which is lit, but also lights with no flame. These apparently contain dry cell batteries and work by means of a sort of electricity!
The Essenes are an advanced and liberal community. For instance, the members of the community are not obliged to stay there but can leave if so desired. They do not believe in blood sacrifices, and women are regarded as being on a par with men and entitled to the same education. The Essenes compile astrological charts to determine, for instance, whether persons are suitable for each other with regard to matrimony. They do not condone slavery, but some choose to do menial work for a time as an act of penance.
The community houses a library comprising a vast collection of scrolls in numerous languages. The library also contains a model of the solar system (orrery) that moves constantly. This includes ten planets, though the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) have not been discovered in the time of the Essenes (though apparently they have been!). These include one past Pluto which Suddi terms Juna, that is apparently not known to us as yet. Juna is explained to have a very erratic orbit in that it swings in and out and "does a kind of a loop around Pluto". The model's method of operation is not explained precisely, but Dolores thinks it might be a perpetual motion machine operated by centrifugal force. It is explained that the model was made by the Kaloo, members of a dying race from whom the Essenes are descended. They came from the West, settled in Egypt and then travelled towards Israel. The Kaloo were a wandering race, this being part of their destiny. Their knowledge included the fact that somewhere in the near future (Saddi's near future) there will come a Messiah.
The library also containes a great crystal in pyramid form. Suddi terms it "an energy increaser". It is about two foot square and of changing colours. Only one person in the community, the Master, is able to approach this crystal. A wall has been built around it for people's protection. Energy iss imparted by the students to the Master, Mechelava, and then into the crystal, and this energy can then be directed or focused on whatever it iss to be used upon. The knowledge of how to handle this crystal will be passed on only to one deemed responsible enough have this knowledge.
Even at the tender age of twelve, when the first interview or interviews with Suddi are made, he has an amazing knowledge and understanding. He informs Dolores that the Essenes are not a religious group, which would be inhibiting, but their function is to protect knowledge and keep it alive.
Suddi, whose native language is Aramaic, when older, tells Dolores of the 12 commandments. The two unknown to her (and us) are "Thou shalt not follow the ways of the path of Baal" and "Thou shalt do only unto others as they would do unto you" (Though I think Dolores here has made an error and it correctly should read "Thou shalt do only unto others as you would have them do unto you".)
A chapter describes Suddi's knowledge of meditation and the chakras, and another particularly interesting section of the book tells of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. These towns, or villages, were located close to the "Sea of Death" (the Dead Sea). Suddi states that radiation caused the explosion that led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Pockets of pitch and tar were struck by lightning. When the explosion occurred, a large amount of salt would have been thrown into the air, thus accounting for Lot's wife "turning into a pillar of salt".
Also we are provided with new information about Daniel, David, Adam and Eve, Ruth and Joseph of "coat of many colours" fame. But it turns out that phrase was due to an incorrect translation. It was not a coat of many colours that Joseph was given but a coat with sleeves. (I've just seen on the net, on Wikipedia, that others now confirm that this was in fact a mistranslation, and the word meant a coat with sleeves as stated by Suddi,)
Much other new and fascinating information is presented to us by the knowledgeable Suddi.
But perhaps the most valuable section of the book is that on the life of Jesus, We are told about the Star of Bethlehem, whose appearance is witnessed by Suddi. It turns out that Suddi's two students, whom he taught for about five years from when they were about eight years old, were Benjoseph and Benzacharias, i.e. "son of Joseph" and "son of Zacharias", respectively, and thus none other than Jesus and his cousin John. They have also other teachers at Qumran and learn "mathematics, the study of the stars, the study of the prophecies, the mysteries".
This is a fascinating and extremely informative section, and includes a chapter on the preparation for crucifixion and one on the crucifixion and resurrection. Suddi witnesses the crucifixion from the after-death state and describes it to Dolores.
All Dolores' books are exciting and vastly informative. This one is one of her best, and I urge you to read it. I would award it ten stars if I could.