Namdrol wrote:Right, I think they are lying. You don't want to know Genden Chopel's opinion of George Roerich.
Well, that's one way to quash a debate-- to refuse to believe the other side's source. I do know Chopel's opinion of the Roerichs. That doesn't mean they're lying, it just means they didn't pay him fairly for his translation services. "Fragrant herbs" raises a good point: monks/lamas lie to protect secrets. Also, more recently when someone went to Hemis monastery asking about the text, they weren't told it didn't exist, they were told the abbott was away in Lhasa and had given strict instructions not to open the library while he was away.
But we digress. Here's some interesting info on the tantric front in Judea:
"Many Gnostic texts were written by (or attributed to) women. Mary Magdalene played an important role in many Gnostic writings, often being second only to Jesus in status. [...] Christian writers who attacked Gnosticism sometimes reported conflicting accounts of sexual behavior. [...] Some wrote that some Gnostic groups...were expected to remain celibate. Other Christian writers criticized other Gnostic groups for allegedly practicing ritual sex magic." http://www.religioustolerance.org/gnostic2.htm
Simon Magus is considered by some to be the founder of Gnosticism. He had a consort, Helena of Tyre. His sect was said by early orthodox church fathers to be one that practiced antinomianism: the doctrine that moral laws did not apply to one who had attained salvation or enlightenment (sound familiar?). The apostle Thomas (who started his own Gnostic movement, and btw, eventually relocated to Kashmir to minister to a Jewish community that was there) accepted Jesus as a teacher of mystical truth, not a savior.
The following, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fathers_of ... Gnosticism
"Jesus is usually claimed as a Gnostic leader by Gnostics, as are several of his apostles, such as Thomas. Mary Magdalene is respected as a gnostic leader, and is considered to be superior to the 12 apostles in some Gnostic texts."
Just for clarification, I'm not implying that tantra in Judea necessarily came from Eastern influences. (Tantra AFAIK didn't exist in India in Jesus' time, but possibly some seeds of tantra had been planted back then, idk.) I'm only pointing out some interesting parallels between Judeo-Christian practices and Indo-Tibetan. Egypt surely knew about the Kundalini, as practices to raise the Kundalini for healing purposes go back eons in Africa, and there's some speculation that Jesus went to Alexandria during his youth and young adulthood (the "lost years"), where there was also a Buddhist community.