Sunday, April 15, 1984

Secret nocturnal initiations

At three p.m. I called at Grant’s. We played records and went to the Print Biennale at Hainsworth Hall. We came across Grant’s friend RJ, who is still living with girl friend Jackie in Lockley. He’s applied to do Politics at UEA. The Print Biennale was very well attended but bored us stiff, save for three prints, “Death Kiss" I & II and "The Poet Searches for her Muse."

We went back to Grant’s briefly and then out for a drink at the Moon Inn in Farnshaw centre. The streets were virtually deserted.

Grant came back home with me and stayed to watch the second part of Channel 4’s Jesus: The Evidence which has raised a storm of protest for its “irreligious bias” and appraisal of the theory that Jesus may not have existed. Tonight’s episode has us laughing at its visuals, which seemed deliberately over the top, and advanced Professor Morton Smith’s “intriguing speculation” that Jesus practiced “secret nocturnal initiations” (hypnotism?) that showed initiates the reality of the Kingdom of God. Professor Smith inferred this from a recently discovered letter from Clement of Alexandria he found in the end-papers of a seventeenth-century book.

Maybe the earliest version of Christianity (practiced by Jesus himself) and the ‘occult’ traditions of the Kabbalah might not be too different in terms of their end result—a mystical state of union with a ‘principle of God’ that confers the feeling that Heaven can be reached on Earth.

This idea is reminiscent of those proposed by Colin Wilson.

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