Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The Essene Gospel of Peace Pt 2 (Diet/Health)

Having given you a little background to the Essenes and the Essene Gospel of Peace in Part One here, I'll now tell you what EGOP actually says in connection with health, particularly diet.

In so doing, I will be omitting some important sections of the book that focus on the non-physical. If you find the material here interesting, please do buy the book.

I’ll take the instructions in page order and supply the actual words, followed by my own interpretations (which of course may or may not be correct), and comments.

Could I please ask you to read with an open mind? I'd guess most readers will find things in the instructions that are at variance with what they believe to be true. Although many of the instructions are in line with Natural Hygiene, some are definitely not. But I offer them to you so that, when you hear people talking about Essenes, and the Essene Gospel of Peace, you will know what the book actually says, as many people who claim to be Essenes or refer to the Essene Gospel of Peace are not living in line with its precepts. And the second group…well, that would include me.

The instructions come from a teacher that Szekeley's translation of EGOP records as being Jesus.



Satan and his plagues may only be cast out by fasting and by prayer. Go by yourself and fast alone, and show your fasting to no man.’

(By ‘plagues’, EGOP at least partly means physical illness.) We are not to fast publicly. I know that it can seem to help to fast with others, but there are also disadvantages to telling others we are fasting. It can introduce an element of competition and when we tell others how long we are fasting/have fasted there might be an element of ego gratification creeping in. Some may not be able to resist telling others how difficult it is in an attempt to gain admiration or sympathy, and, in so doing, risk being derailed by this. Also, if we tell others we are fasting, we may be subject to their well-meaning attempts to stop us.

Seek the fresh air of the forest and of the fields, and there in the midst of them shall you find the angel of air. Put off your shoes and your clothing and suffer the angel of air to embrace all your body. Then breathe long and deeply, that the angel of air may be brought within you. I tell you truly, the angel of air shall cast out of your body all uncleannesses which defiled it without and within.

Easy to understand. We all know that taking deep breaths can help calm and detoxify. We all understand the importance of fresh air.


…seek the angel of water. Put off your shoes and your clothing and suffer [allow] the angel of water to embrace all your body…the angel of water shall cast out of your body all uncleannesses which defiled it without and within. And all unclean and evil-smelling things shall flow out of you…

We are to wash ourselves, to clean ourselves outside and inside. Here is an indication that EGOP is instructing us to allow water to enter our body for purification.


And he who cleanses himself without, but within remains unclean, is like to tombs that outwards are painted fair, but are within full of all manner of horrible uncleannesses and abominations….Seek, therefore, a large trailing gourd, having a stalk the length of a man; take out its inwards and fill it with water from the river which the sun has warmed. Hang it upon the branch of a tree, and kneel upon the ground before the angel of water, and suffer the end of the stalk of the trailing gourd to enter your hinder parts, that the water may flow through all your bowels.

So, no, this isn’t in line with Natural Hygiene thinking, as NH’ists think this sort of process, akin to colonics/enemas, is unnatural. But non NH’ists say that a colonic can serve as a kick start to the healing progress and note that Jesus here was talking to the ‘sick and maimed’.


Afterwards rest kneeling on the ground before the angel of water and pray to the living God that he will forgive you all your past sins, and pray the angel of water that he will free your body from every uncleanness and disease.

Note that the process is to be accompanied by prayer.

Then let the water run out from your body, that it may carry away from within it all the unclean and evil-smelling things of Satan. And you shall see with your eyes and smell with your nose all the abominations and uncleannesses which abode in your body, tormenting you with all manners of pains.

This suggests that the process eliminates toxins etc that were causing pain.

I tell you truly, baptism with water frees you from all of these. Renew your baptizing with water on every day of your fast,

The ‘colonic’-type process is to be undertaken daily in conjunction with prayer and fasting. So the average person on a SAD diet booking a series of weekly/monthlycolonics, living their normal lives inbetween...not the same thing.

till the day when you see that the water which flows out of you is as pure as the river’s foam….And this holy baptizing by the angel of water is: Rebirth unto the new life. For your eyes shall henceforth see, and your ears shall hear. Sin no more, therefore, after your baptism…

The process is to be repeated until the water runs clean. This quite clearly defines baptism as an actual inward physical cleansing - nothing like baptism as normally understood nowadays. However, it does say that it results in a ‘new life’ and that we shall then ‘see’ and ‘hear’. As there is no indication that Jesus was talking to blind and deaf people only, I think it fair to assume that Jesus did not intend the words ‘see’ and ‘hear’ to be understood in the literal, but meant that physical cleansing would result in a spiritual ‘opening of the eyes’.

And if afterward there remain within you aught of your past sins and uncleannesses, seek the angel of sunlight. Put off your shoes and your clothing and suffer [allow] the angel of sunlight to embrace all your body…

Exposing our skin to sunlight is of course healthy, and good for Vitamin D. (Raw fooders generally find they burn less than cooked food-eaters, if at all, but that has to be the subject of another article!)


The angels of air and of water and of sunlight are brethren. They were given to the Son of Man that they might serve him,…

Note that 'angels' are physical manifestations of God - the air, water, sunlight. The ‘Son of Man’ here is man, ie the term is not reserved for Jesus exclusively.

When the Earthly Mother’s angels enter into your bodies…then shall all evil smells depart in haste by your breath and by your skin, corrupt waters by your mouth and by your skin, by your hinder and your privy parts.

We know that bad breath, BO, smelly urine, smelly poos etc are indications of a toxic body. Even those who are ‘relatively’ healthy may experience one or all of these when fasting and the body is cleaning.

And when all sins and uncleannesses are gone from your body, your blood shall become as pure as our Earthly Mother’s blood and as the river’s foam…And your breath shall become as pure as the breath of odorous flowers; your flesh as pure as the flesh of fruits reddening upon the leaves of trees; the light of your eye as clear and bright as the brightness of the sun…

When we are clean, our blood will become pure, our breath will become sweet, our complexion shall improve, and our eyes will become bright.


…no one can reach the Heavenly Father unless through the Earthly Mother.

In EGOP, the Mother is the earth - the physical. The Father is the spiritual. We cannot reach the spiritual without cleaning ourselves physically first.


And many unclean and sick followed Jesus’ words and sought the banks of the murmuring streams…they fasted, and they gave their bodies to the angels of air, of water, and of sunshine…And all of them saw all evils, sins and uncleannesses depart in haste from them.

And the breath of some became as stinking as that which is loosed from the bowels, and some had an issue of spittle, and evil-smelling and unclean vomit rose from their inward parts. All these uncleannesses flowed by their mouths. In some, by the nose, in others by the eyes and ears. And many did have a noisome and abominable sweat come from all their body, over all their skin. And on many limbs great hot boils broke forth, from which came out uncleannesses with an evil smell, and urine flowed abundantly from their body; and in many their urine was all but dried up and became thick as the honey of bees; that of others was almost red or black, and as hard almost as the sand of rivers. And many belched stinking gases from their bowels, like the breath of devils. And their stench became so great that none could bear it.

These people were very ill. As they detoxified, they were sick, they salivated, they had poo-breath, they had skin eruptions. Mucus flowed from their noses. Pus came from their eyes. They sweated. They urinated frequently. There was blood in their urine. I’m not sure about the ‘sand’, but on googling did find something called 'urinary gravel'. And there were bad smells. Natural Hygienists will recognise many of these symptoms of detoxification. Of course, most people nowadays experiencing symptoms such as these would find them alarming and as something to be stopped at all costs. And ‘cost’ it would be, as modern medicine (and, Natural Hygienists believe, herbal as well as 'pharmaceutical' medicine), in its attempts to suppress the symptoms, would reverse the process of detoxification and true healing would not occur, with the patient becoming more ill with the burden of toxins from the drugs used to ‘treat’.

And the devils left their bowels in the shape of multitudinous worms

They were rid of intestinal worms.


You have been gluttonous, winebibbers and gone a-whoring

No interpretation needed.

Your Heavenly Father loves you without end, for he also allows you to pay in seven days the debts of seven years…but pay honestly and persevere till the seventh day…

Seven (consecutive) days’ fasting for each seven years’ sin.

…the devils of Satan write all your evil deeds in a book, in the book of your body and your spirit’

Our bodies are a record of our sins.


And they showed Jesus their feet in which the bones were twisted and knotted and said ‘Neither the angel of air, nor of water, nor of sunshine has assuaged our pains, notwithstanding that we baptized ourselves, and do fast and pray…’ And he pointed with his hand to where the running of the water and the sun’s heat had softened to clayey mud the earth by the edge of the water. ‘Sink your feet in the mire, that the embrace of the angel of earth may draw out from your bones all uncleanness and all disease…’

I have seen websites that recommend clay for healing, saying that minerals in it can help ailments, but, note, Jesus is not telling us to eat clay (see my article here).


And Jesus milked an ewe…he put the milk upon the sand made hot by the sun…And the milk became hot by the strength of the sun…And lo, the vapor of the hot milk began to rise slowly into the air…And the sick man whom Satan tormented did breath within himself, deeply, the rising whitish vapor. ‘Straightway will Satan leave your body, since for three days he starves and finds no food within you.

The physical ‘plagues’ (worms, cancerous cells?) had not been ‘fed’ as the man had fasted for three days. The man was then asked to inhale the vapour of the hot milk.

He [Satan] will come out of you to satisfy his hunger by the hot steaming milk, for this food finds favour in his sight.’

Satan is attracted by the smell of hot milk. As a child I found the smell of heated milk repulsive.I had nightmares where my parents had died in a car crash and I could smell the smell of heated milk. I know - weird!!

Jesus…drew out from the sick man all the body of the monster which was almost as long as the man. When the abominable worm came out of the sick man’s throat, he recovered at once his breath, and then all his pains ceased.

When I read this, I did some googling on intestinal worms. I read reports of people in some parts of the world suffering from very large worms.



And the flesh of slain beasts in his body will become his own tomb. For I tell you truly, he who kills, kills himself, and whoso eats the flesh of slain beasts, eats of the body of death. For in his blood every drop of their blood turns to poison…in his breath their breath to stink; in his flesh their flesh to boils; in his bones their bones to chalk;

When we eat meat poisons form in our blood.
When we eat meat our breath stinks.
When we eat meat…our bones turn to chalk!! Here’s a modern-day description of osteoporosis - ‘your bones turn to chalk and break with the slightest trauma’. For decades it had been thought that osteoporosis (bone problems in middle age) were due to calcium deficiency. People (middle-aged women especially) were told to eat lots of dairy. But recent research has shown that high consumption of ‘protein’ foods, such as meat, creates an acidic environment, causing the body to leech calcium from the bones in order to maintain optimum pH balance, causing…osteoporosis!

p37 [continuation of the instruction not to eat meat]

…in his bowels their bowels to decay.

When we eat meat, our bowels will decay.

…in his eyes their eyes to scales…

I’m not sure what could be meant here. Perhaps that meat-eating accelerates blindness? Or perhaps what is being described is that yellow stuff that can collect at the corners of the eyes after a night’s sleep. I had this as a child (meat-eater), but haven’t had it as an adult (24/25 years no meat).

…in his ears their ears to waxy issue…

If we eat meat, wax will come from our ears. Well, I still get a little wax from my ears on a vegan diet. However, before raw, when I did eat fish, wax would collect internally, necessitating syringeing every couple of years or so. This hasn’t happened in three and a half years on a meat and fish-free raw food diet.

And their death will become his death.

I’ll leave you to speculate.

Then another said: ‘Moses, the greatest in Israel, suffered [allowed] our forefathers to eat the flesh of clean beasts, and forbade only the flesh of unclean beasts. Why, therefore, do you forbid us the flesh of all beasts? Which law comes from God? That of Moses, or your law? And Jesus continued ‘God commanded your forefathers: ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ But their heart was hardened and they killed. Then Moses desired that at least they should not kill men, and he suffered them to kill beasts’.

So EGOP tells us that the law that allowed men to kill some beasts came from Moses, rather than God.


‘Obey, therefore, the words of God: ‘Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed…and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

Note that ‘meat’ here is simply the word for ‘food’; this is also generally the way the word is used in the Bible. God has given us ‘plant food’ for meat. This is backed by Genesis 1:29 ‘And God said: ‘Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for food.’ ('Herb' is the name for any plant.) This scriptural mandate for a vegetarian diet was used by the Nazarene sect. Although in the Bible it talks of Jesus being from ‘Nazareth’, many scholars say that there was no such place as Nazareth and that Jesus was in fact a ‘Nazarene’.

Also the milk of everything that moveth and liveth upon earth shall be meat for you;

EGOP allows the drinking of animals’ milk. An abhorrent concept to many vegans. I simply present it to you.

But flesh, and the blood which quickens it, shall ye not eat.

Quite clear. Kosher meat-eating Jews believe that eating flesh is OK if the blood is drained from it. This quite clearly says ‘flesh, and the blood’.



Therefore, eat not anything which fire, or frost, or water has destroyed. For burned, frozen and rotted foods will burn, freeze and rot your body also.

We will see later that Jesus instructed us not to cook our food at all. EGOP says also that we should not freeze our food, neither eat food that has rotted. We know that the Essenes did not touch 'fermented liquids', and here we see that they would not have eaten food that had 'rotted'. So it is unlikely that Essenes would have eaten what we nowadays refer to as 'fermented foods'.


‘Master, where is the fire of life?’ asked some of them. ‘In you, in your blood, and in your bodies’. ‘And the fire of death?’ asked others. ‘It is the fire which blazes outside your body, which is hotter than your blood. With that fire of death you cook your foods in your homes and in your fields…Eat nothing, therefore, which a stronger fire than the fire of life has killed.’

This suggests we should be eating nothing that has been heated beyond body temperature, ie in round terms around 100 degrees F.


Prepare and eat all fruits of trees, and all grasses of the fields, and all milk of beasts good for eating.

Just as ‘meat’ means ‘food’, rather than animal parts, ‘fruits’ probably means anything that comes from a tree, that is, fruit as we generally understand it, and nuts. This excerpt is saying that anything that comes from trees, ‘grasses’ (difficult to be sure what is meant here) and milk is ‘good’, although it does not say that these are the only things we are allowed to eat. Note the word ‘Prepare’. Later references suggest that this would not mean anything more than preparing food so that we can eat it, eg removal of inedible peel. ‘All milk of beasts good for eating’ implies that some milk of beasts isn’t good for eating.

Then crush your grain, and make thin wafers, as did your forefathers when they departed out of Egypt….

This is interesting. As EGOP describes the process by which we should make bread (‘cooked’ by the sun only) it is saying here that the bread the Israelites took with them when fleeing Egypt was not oven-cooked. EGOP defines cooking in the way raw fooders would generally understand it, as heating beyond a point somewhere between body heat and the heat of hot sun. Cooking bread in an oven is a sin, and the Israelites were fleeing a sinful Egypt.

We have always been taught that the bread they took with them was ‘unrisen’, perhaps because they had left in a hurry and there was no time for their bread to rise, and that, because of this, kosher Jews nowadays avoid yeast at Passover. What if the key thing was that the unsinful way to eat bread was simply not to cook it? Still, I guess billions of Jewish people can’t be wrong.

(In EGOP, Jesus describes the process of making bread, uncooked, from 100% wheat. See my article here on how to make Essene bread.) Essene bread is made from wheat only. Multi-ingredient raw breads calling themselves Essene breads are travesties, as later in EGOP we are told quite clearly that we should not mix lots of foods togethers.

So eat always from the table of God: the fruits of the trees, the grain and grasses of the field, the milk of beasts, and the honey of bees. For everything beyond these is of Satan, and leads by the way of sins and of diseases unto death.

As noted in the first part of the article, the Essenes kept bees for honey. Here, I would stress as I did in the first part that modern methods of obtaining honey and milk are very different from those of thousands of years ago. Note that it says that ‘everything beyond these’ is of Satan. As both ‘grain’ and ‘grasses’ are mentioned, it is possible that ‘grasses’ could include various leaves. ‘Trees’ could include bushes…who can be sure? What did the words that Szekeley translated mean thousands of years ago? I note that EGOP does not give the green light to sea vegetables, which is a bit of a prob for me, as I love them! But, there again, Natural Hygiene doesn't approve either...

And when you eat at her table, eat all things even [exactly, just] as they are found on the table of the Earthly Mother.

We are to eat things just as we find them. This suggests that we shouldn’t be blending, juicing, fracturing foods (eg removing oil) etc. However, this is slightly contradicted elsewhere. For example, when instructing us how to make bread, Jesus tells us to sprout wheat seeds, grind, flatten and dry them. As, if EGOP is the words of Jesus, He would not contradict Himself, then I must be misunderstanding in some way. (Sprouting is at least a process that we observe in nature.)

Cook not

Cook not!

…neither mix all things one with another, lest your bowels become as steaming bogs…(and on p42 ‘For I tell you truly, if you mix together all sorts of food in your body, then the peace of your body will cease, and endless war will rage in you.)

EGOP says no to abombo-combos! Natural Hygiene teaches that if we mix foods that take different times to digest, fermentation will occur as one food blocks the exit of another. It also teaches that different environments (in terms of alkalinity/acidity) are required for the digestion of different foods and that if we mix incompatible foods, putrefaction will occur.

And be not like the greedy servant, who always ate up, at the table of his lord, the portions of others. (And on p42 ‘And when you eat, never eat unto fullness….For Satan and his power tempt you always to eat more and more…So give heed to how much you have eaten when your body is sated, and always eat less by a third.)

We must not be greedy. However good the food, we must not stuff ourselves to the point at which we can’t take any more but must stop short of that. That of course takes much self-discipline.


Be content with two or three sorts of food, which you will find always upon the table of our Earthly Mother…And desire not to devour all things that you see around you.

The earth will provide us with sufficient food, but we must be content with two or three ‘sorts’ of food. Of course, ‘sorts’ is wide open to interpretation! But EGOP does seem to be saying that we should be content with a simple diet.

Trouble not the work of the angels in your body by eating often….he who eats more than twice in the day does in him the work of Satan…Eat only when the sun is highest in the heavens and again when it is set.

Natural Hygiene does teach that we should give our digestions a rest between meals, and some Natural Hygienists do advocate ‘no breakfast’ (see my article on this here). Many raw fooders, eg Tonya Zavasta, advocate eating two meals a day only. They recommend eating in the morning and at lunchtime. EGOP teaches noon and sunset.


Let the weight of your daily food be not less than a mina, but mark that it go not beyond two.

A mina is 50 shekels. A shekel is ½ oz, so we should eat at least 25 oz (about a pound a half) but not more than 50 oz (three pounds). A rough rule of thumb for a woman could be two pounds of food a day. 30BAD forum people - please don’t unsubscribe. I’m just telling you what the EGOP says. You’re all free to accept or reject it as is your wont.

And if you will that the angels of God rejoice in your body, and that Satan shun you afar, then sit but once in the day at the table of God.

The ideal is to eat once a day. And now I can hear people say ‘she’s encouraging anorexia!’. Please - don’t shoot the messenger! I eat several times a day myself.


From the coming of the month of…

We should eat foods in season.

eat barley

EGOP recommends the eating of barley and wheat, so clearly includes grain in man’s diet.

eat wheat, the most perfect among all the seed-bearing herbs. And let your daily bread be made of wheat, that the LORD may take care of your bodies.

Many raw fooders will not eat wheat. I have written extensively on wheat in my article here. A reminder that we are talking about wheat that is raw and sprouted, not cooked, although it’s a fair point that wheat thousands of years ago would have been quite different to wheat of today.

From Tammuz, eat the sour grape, that your body may diminish and Satan may depart from it. In the month of Elul, gather the grape that the juice may serve you as drink. In the month of Marchesvan, gather the sweet grape, dried and sweetened by the angel of sun, that your bodies may increase…

Sour grape…this would appear to be referring to unripe grapes. Not only does this contradict Natural Hygiene,which teaches that unripe fruit should not be eaten, but it also contradicts Jeremiah 31: 29 in the Bible. EGOP could be saying that the eating of sour grapes will result in elimination of toxins, or it could simply be saying that some weight/fat loss is necessary at this time. In the next month, we are told to gather ripe grapes. In the month after that we are told to gather sun-dried grapes to build our bodies.

You should eat figs rich in juice in the months of Ab and Shebat, and what remain, let the angel of sun keep them for you; eat them with the meat of almonds in all the months when the trees bear no fruit.

We should eat ripe figs, then keep sun-dried figs to eat with almonds in the months when the trees bear no fruit. So this would appear to be allowing the eating of sun-dried fruit and nuts when there is no fruit on the trees.

And the herbs which come after rain, these eat in the month of Thebet, that your blood may be cleansed of all your sins.

The word 'herb', in EGOP and the Bible, means plants in general. We can't be sure which plant foods are being referred to here. There seems to be some recognition here that men are going to sin, but an opportunity for putting things right is presented to us. Earlier, intense methods of detoxification such as 'colonic-type' processes, with prayer and fasting, were described as cleansing processes for the very sick. Perhaps eating plant foods that 'come after rain' is cleansing for those whose transgressions are fewer..

And in the same month begin to eat also the milk of your beasts

So note that EGOP is not saying we should eat dairy all the year round. It is not saying we should keep animals perpetually pregnant. It is not saying that we should be taking milk in those months where, naturally, animals would be feeding their young.

Eat not unclean foods brought from far countries, but eat always that which your trees bear.

By ‘unclean’ EGOP (and the Bible) means ‘unhealthy’. I may be twisting words, but it doesn’t appear to me to be saying ‘don’t eat foods from far countries’, just don’t eat ‘unclean’ foods from far countries. I don't know - I could be doing some fancy footwork here to suit me! Perhaps it is telling us to eat what our trees bear because we can at least then know in what conditions the food has been grown. In modern times, if we eat food from afar, it is more difficult to be sure what has happened to it before it gets to us.

And he gives to all peoples of all kingdoms for food that which is best for each.

This is clearer. ‘Eat local’. (Which is not great news for those of us who, like me, love tropical fruit! Yes, I know the answer - move to a warm country.).

Eat not as the heathen do, who stuff themselves in haste…defiling their bodies with all manner of abominations.

We should eat slowly. We know that if we do our bodies will have time to signal satiety.

And when you eat, have above you the angel of air, and below you the angel of water.

I have never understood the second part of this instruction. Perhaps one of you can help.

Breathe long and deeply at all your meals, that the angel of air may bless your repasts.

For this to occur, again, we must eat slowly.

And chew well your food with your teeth, that it become water, and that the angel of water turn it into blood in your body.

We all know that the more we liquify our food when chewing, the better for our digestion. Chemicals in the saliva pre-digest food.

…his inwards [inside of the body] into an altar, if he does the commandments of God. Wherefore, put naught upon the altar of the Lord when your spirit is vexed, neither think upon any one with anger…for all that you eat in sorrow, or in anger, or without desire, becomes a poison in your body

We should not eat when we are unhappy, angry…we should only eat when we are happy and truly desire food.

And never sit at the table of God before he calls you by the angel of appetite.

We should never eat unless we really feel like eating. So EGOP would not agree with eating to get to ‘calorie targets’ if we really don't feel like any more food. Neither does it countenance eating 'because it's lunchtime', 'to be polite' etc, or for any of the many reasons we eat when we don't truly have appetite for the food.

On six days feed your body with the gifts of the Earthly Mother, but on the seventh day sanctify your body for your Heavenly Father. On the seventh day eat not any earthly food, but live only on the words of God…And let not food trouble the work of the angels in your body throughout the seventh day.

We should fast for one day every seven days. Note that EGOP says there is work to be done in our body on this fasting day. Natural Hygiene would say that this is vital ‘house-cleaning’ - elimination of toxins.

Wake not by night, neither sleep by day, lest the angels of God depart from you.

We should sleep at night only. We should not be waking in the night. We should not be sleeping in the day. This obviously rules out the Continental ‘siesta’, night shifts etc!

And take no delight in any drink, nor in any smoke from Satan, waking you by night and making you to sleep by day. For I tell you truly, all the drinks and smokes of Satan are abominations in the eyes of your God.

Smoking, coffee, alcohol - abominations then, as they are now.


And let not your bodies become either hotter or colder than as God's angels warm or cool them. And if you do the commandments of the Earthly Mother, then as oft as your body becomes too hot, will she send the angel of coolness to cool you, and as oft as your body becomes too cold, will she send you the angel of heat to warm you again.

Quite a challenge for those of us living in cooler climates.


I leave you with this, from p48, the last page of The Essene Gospel of Peace:

Come to me, all that are weary and that suffer in strife and affliction! For my peace will strengthen and comfort you. For my peace is exceedingly full of joy. Wherefore do I always greet you after this manner: 'Peace be with you!' Do you always, therefore, so greet one another, that upon your body may descend the peace of your Earthly Mother, and upon your spirit the peace of your Heavenly Father. And then you will find peace also among yourselves, for the kingdom of God is within you. And now return to your Brothers with whom hitherto you were at war, and give your peace to them also. For happy are they that strive for peace, for they will find the peace of God. Go, and sin no more. And give to everyone your peace, even as I have given my peace unto you. For my peace is of God. Peace be with you.'

And he left them.

And his peace descended upon them; and in their heart the angel of love, in their head the wisdom of law, and in their hands the power of rebirth, they went forth among the Sons of Men, to bring the light of peace to those that warred in darkness.

And they parted, wishing one to another:


Monday, 12 July 2010

The Essene Gospel of Peace Pt 1 (Background)

Many of you will have heard of The Essene Gospel of Peace and some of you will know it well. It's often used as a 'spiritual' source to support raw eating. You may have noticed that some raw food teachers are also 'Essene Ministers' and there are several 'Essene' websites.

I know some of you don't have much truck with 'religion' (and I can understand why), but I'm hoping that those of you who don't will still find the article of interest from the point of view of learning a little more about a slim little book that was was written either thousands of years ago, or ninety years ago (depending on one's point of view) that does, at least, contain some excellent instructions on healthy living -particularly diet.

For those of you who do know The Essene Gospel of Peace well, I hope you will add to Pt 2 of the article via Comments.


Natural Hygiene - it didn't start with Herbert Shelton

Natural Hygiene is about the laws of healthy living that have been operable all the time human beings have been about, laws that apply to beings who have free will and choices. But, as we know, human beings have been rather prone to flouting those laws, to our downfall and premature destruction. And we've come up with all sorts of ways (eg medicine) to suppress the manifestations of our flouting of those laws, increasing our suffering in the long term.

The Essene Gospel of Peace, in common with Natural Hygiene, does not talk of 'medicines' or 'cures'; it simply instructs that purification and restoration of right living are what are necessary to rid the body of disease. Whether or not you feel that EGOP is authentic (see later) you will see that many of its instructions are in line with Natural Hygiene, and match relatively recent conclusions drawn about animal foods by scientists. For example, recent findings about the link between animal products and'll see in Pt 2 that Someone Else had already said that! Not everything in EGOP matches with NH, but I think you'll be interested to see the similarities.

Egop and me

I owe The Essene Gospel of Peace a debt; it was a major inspiration for my going raw. Although, the first time I read it, about five years ago, it went in one ear and out the other. That was because it came at a time when, after 25 years of not eating meat, I'd been misled (by 'Christian' writings) into eating (some) meat again, and I didn't want to hear anything that contradicted what I'd been told, as is so often the case when deep down we have doubts about what we are doing. And I definitely wasn't interested in its instruction 'Cook not.' Raw food? Bo-ring! Of course, that was then, and now is now, and when I did realise that I'd taken a wrong turn, EGOP was part of the mix that yanked me back onto the right path. I then read it again and felt great recognition, as in re-cognition, that is, I was learning something that I'd always known. Unlike many raw foodists, I've never had any problems staying raw, never had any yearnings for cooked food, and I credit EGOP with providing me with the strong underlying motivation for there never to be any question of returning to a cooked diet.

Who were the Essenes?

The Essenes are often described as a Jewish religious group living around two thousand years ago, before and after Christ. Although, as, according to historian Pliny, they 'had existed for thousands of generations', and 'Jewish' only applied to part of the original 'tribes of Israel', it may not be right to call them 'Jewish'.

They were united by their love of God, which of course included a love of honesty and morality. Some were celibate, some were married. They observed the Sabbath. They shared their money, property, food and clothing. They rejected the use of weapons and did not participate in commerce. Unlike other Jewish religious groups, they did not sacrifice animals.

They became known in modern times after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and have become particularly well known in the raw food world via the Essene Gospel of Peace, as it tells us not to cook our food.

Was Jesus an Essene? Relatively recent statements from the Pope have lent support to those who believe he was. See here.

Essene diet

'They lived only on vegetables that grew of their own accord, and wore only such clothing as could be procured from plants or trees.' (Josephus, 1st century historian) So they ate wild food only - they didn't cultivate. They would not have worn anything made from animals, eg no leather, wool, silk or cotton.

Philo, another historian, says the Essenes 'kept cows and bees'. They included a little dairy in their diets. Sources conflict as to the form of dairy. EGOP mentions 'milk'. Some say they ate yoghurt, or kefir, but others say they never touched fermented food. Edmund Szekeley: 'they were entirely vegetarian in their eating and never touched flesh foods nor fermented liquids.' They didn't drink alcohol.

So, the Essene diet was what most people nowadays would describe as 'lacto-vegetarian' - plant foods, dairy and honey. But, in case anyone thinks that I will be using the Essene diet to promote raw vegetarianism over raw veganism in 2010, I will point out that methods of obtaining milk and honey would have been very different then to methods used today.

Modern 'Essenes'

There are many people nowadays claiming to be 'Essene', but the vast majority are not remotely living in the way the Essenes used to. For example, I remember reading about an Essene gathering where the food served was cooked. Others certainly 'participate in commerce'! Sure, it's a tough call in 2010 to follow the lifestyles of thousands of years ago, but there are some aspects of Essene life described above that would be relatively easy to follow for someone who wishes to declare themselves 'Essene'.

Google Essenes and you'll find all sorts of 'Essene churches', which is interesting, because the Essenes didn't have 'churches'. 'Church' was a term that sprang up a few hundred years after Christ, when Paul launched 'Christianity'. Some of the sites do contain a wealth of precious information, and for that we must be grateful. However, be wary! When I was information-gathering on Essenes a few years ago I would find from time to time significant conflicts with Essene teaching and what was being said on the sites. I e-mailed a couple, asking for explanation, but received no answer.

Some sites offer 'Essene Ministerial Home Study Programs', or the like. Do bear in mind that anyone can take one of these home courses then put 'Essene Minister' on their raw cv and be 'authorised' to preside over weddings etc. I don't mean to be disparaging - I may well take the course myself one day, but one thing I'm pretty sure about is that it's all a far cry from what it took to be an Essene 'thousands of years ago'. 'After a total of three years' probation, newly joining members would take an oath that included the commitment to practise piety towards 'the Deity' and righteousness towards humanity, to maintain a pure lifestyle, to abstain from criminal and immoral activities, to transmit their rules uncorrupted and to preserve the books of the Essenes and the names of the Angels'. (Josephus)

The Essene Gospel of Peace

The Essene Gospel of Peace was brought to the 20th century world by Edmond Szekeley. Szekeley says that a Catholic priest led him into secret vaults at The Vatican, telling him there he would find the 'Source'. Szekeley then found the ancient manuscripts of the teachings of the Essenes and translated the writings.

The Catholic Church says The Essene Gospel of Peace is a fraud, that the manuscripts/secret vaults never existed. However, those who believe EGOP to be authentic point to its similarities to other writings that predate The Bible. Most shockingly for many Christians, it portrays Jesus as a vegetarian. EGOP also includes a beautiful passage on the nature of love - in EGOP attributed to Jesus, but in the Bible attributed to Paul.

Obviously, someone here is lying.

Did Szekely lie? If so, we have to wonder what his motivation for doing so would have been. Career ambitions? Money? He was adamant that EGOP should not be sold for more than a token price.

Did the Catholic Church lie? If so, we have to wonder what their motivation for doing so might have been. I will point out that, if anyone senior in the Catholic Church were to say that EGOP was authentic, this would obviously create a huge problem for the Catholic Church and in fact millions of Christians, as, if the Church decided that the words in EGOP attributed to Jesus were actually His words, all Christians would have to be directed to stop eating meat. Tricky.

Most of the Essene sites regard The Essene Gospel of Peace as authentic. However, one site had a diet page which was at odds with EGOP, and, as a rationale, the writer opined that EGOP was a 'fake' (Why? Because The Vatican had said so.) I'll leave you to figure out why the rest of the site was sprinkled with quotes from...The Essene Gospel of Peace.


I know people are always interested to know how long those in the business of promoting healthy eating lived, what they died of etc - and it's a reasonable question to ask. Szekeley died at 70 (don't know what of), which is really quite young for someone who had undertaken to spread the the principles of healthful living with particular regard to diet.

So, did Szekeley follow the dietary instructions in Essene Gospel of Peace? No he didn't. Uncorroborated sources say he was not a raw foodist himself. And it is recorded that he told his followers to eat between 10% and 35% of their diets as cooked food. Szekeley advised people to eat according to this 'food pyramid' - 30-50% raw fruits, 30-35% raw vegetables, 10-20% raw or cooked grains, cereals, and starches, 5-10% dried fruits, nuts, oily fruits, butter, honey and fats, and 10-35% cooked vegetables such as beans and pies'. Where did Szekeley get these ideas on diet from? Definitely not from The Essene Gospel of Peace. The Teacher's words in EGOP are quite unequivocal - they are 'Cook not'. They aren't followed by 'Of course, when I say 'cook not', I mean you can cook a bit'.

If, as Szekeley tells us, he believed the instructions in EGOP were the words of Jesus, why didn't he follow them, or tell his own followers to? Did he think 100% raw food would be too much for people? If so, was he right to mollycoddle them, to effectively tell them they didn't have to do as the EGOP instructs, that they'd be better off, that it would be 'easier' for them if they followed his diet instead? Did he forget the instructions he'd been entrusted with in a whirl of ego, fame, the feeling of being a 'guru' to others? Could he simply have been a victim of his own addictions to cooked food? In short, it would seem that, for whatever reason, Szekeley, having understood how he should live, just went his own sweet way, as 99.9% of people do to some extent (including the writer of this article), that is, we live falling short of how we know we should be living and we're felled prematurely by the 'spirit of disobedience'.

I do know some of you will be sceptical about EGOP, but let's not argue about that one, as my response would most likely be 'You could be right!'. None of us can be sure, but luckily in the parts of the world you and I live, we're all free to voice our opinions. I just hope that those who reject EGOP as the words of Jesus will nevertheless see it as an interesting little book on diet etc worth of consideration. My own position after much rumination over the years is that EGOP is not a fake. However, I'll also admit that I fail on its precepts in many ways, regularly and that my own diet is a long way from the way EGOP instructs us to eat (although it's closer than it was in my first year of raw). I hope that I can in some way make up for my failings (though I know I can't, really) by writing this article and helping, as Szekeley undoubtedly did, spread the Word.


In Part 2 (What The Essene Gospel Of Peace Says), I will go through EGOP in page order, adding my comments. If you'd like the content D.Took-comment-free it can be bought for next to nothing on Amazon.