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The Kephalaia chapter 1




In the beginning, the disciples sought knowledge about his apostolate and the divine unfolding of his presence in the world. They pondered the mystery of his journeying through every city, across every land, and the manner in which he was sent before even choosing his sacred church.


And the apostle addressed them, saying, “I shall reveal to you the essence of my mission, though veiled in the shroud of words. Listen, O beloved ones, for all the apostles dispatched to the world are akin to farmers in the vast fields of creation. The churches they are like the feasts of Parmuthi1 and Paophi, each with its distinct season, not manifesting in every month of the year.


Behold, Parmuthi, it is revealed only in its appointed time, as doth Paophi, and the apostles tend to their crops in the designated season. Just as the farmer meticulously tends to Parmuthi and sows the seed of corn, investing labour and care from the very beginning. So, too, do the apostles toil in the initial stages of their divine mission. As the summer of their endeavours arrives, the harvest of their labour emerges.


Even as the gardener diligently tends to the fruits, nurturing and picking them in the due season, the apostles navigate the world. They are not mere flesh, but emissaries sent forth before the world was formed. They traverse the entirety of creation, choosing from its vastness, shaping the elect and the catechumens into forms of freedom in the flesh.


Likewise, they act as stewards in the world, tending to the divine harvest in both the winter of preparation and the summer of fulfilment, reaping the fruits of their labour in the appointed time, just as Parmuthi and Paophi yield their bounty.”


Moreover, in the way that many years transpire before the world, as He descends to the depths to bestow freedom upon the form of His church and liberate it from the constraints of the flesh; just as the farmer, at the opportune moment, commences the process of tending to his crop, reaping when the time is ripe, even to the abundance of Parmuthi and the fruits of Paophi.


This, too, is the manner of the apostles, from the inception of humanity's formation, as I have shared with you. They precede all things, shaping freedom above before descending to the flesh. When it is born into the flesh, the apostle descends to it and promptly nurtures it within the divine emanation. The one raised up to greatness continues in the world until the appointed season arrives, and then he ascends from the world, leaving his church behind, yet not forsaking it. He continues to support and aid his church, becoming a guide and leader to those who come forth after him from the body, except those firmly rooted in the flesh. He serves as a helper and guardian, not concealing secrets until his church undergoes a change. When his church is raised up after him, he goes into the land of glory, rejoicing and finding rest in the finality of his journey.


Like the joyful heart of the farmer at the harvest, or the merchant returning from a distant land, with doubled riches. So is the apostle and his church when they are raised from the world, anticipating a bountiful yield of the first fruits. They propagate and nurture new ones, ensuring they mature to bring forth the fruits in their appointed season. There is no time when the tree laden with its first fruits ceases to bring forth abundance.


Behold, the tree is never barren of fruit! Instead, as they pick those about to ripen, they propagate new ones on its branches. From the tree, they pick those that mature and ripen. The farmer does not rest from labour and pain, ceasing only when he finishes harvesting the corn in Parmuthi. He plants them in the winter, and the fruits grow and are picked in the month of Paophi.


The apostles, too, follow this pattern. When an apostle ascends to the heights with his church, departing from the world, another apostle is sent at that instant to another church. Before descending, he frees the forms of his church in the heights. Once again, he comes down, revealing himself, releasing his church, and saving it from the flesh of sin. The advent of the apostle has occurred in various epochs. It started from Sethel, the firstborn son of Adam, to Enosh, and onward through Buddha and Aurentes in the East, Zarathustra in Persia, to the advent of Jesus the Christ, the son of greatness.


The coming of Jesus the Christ, our master, was spiritual, devoid of a physical body, as I have narrated. I praise him, for he came without a body, and his apostles preached that he assumed the form of a servant, appearing as a man. He manifested in the world within the sect of the Jews, choosing twelve and seventy-two disciples to fulfil the will of his Father. However, envy arose among the Jews, and Satan, entering Judas Iscariot, accused Jesus before the sect of the Jews with a treacherous kiss. Judas delivered him into the hands of the Jews, initiating a sequence of events that led to the fulfilment of divine purpose.


The cohort of soldiers seized the son of God, and the Jews themselves took hold of him. They passed judgment on him with lawlessness in an assembly, condemning him without cause. They raised him upon the wood of the cross, crucifying him alongside robbers. Afterward, they took him down from the cross, placed him in the grave, and, astonishingly, after three days, he arose from the dead. He approached his disciples, becoming visible to them, and bestowed upon them a divine power. He breathed his Holy Spirit into them and sent them out to proclaim the greatness throughout the whole world. Yet, he himself ascended to the heights.


Jesus, together with his twelve disciples, was a master to them, guiding and instructing. They were not faint-hearted; rather, they were all active, raised up, and rested in the greatness. While the apostles stood in the world, the Apostle Paul reinforced them and preached. He imparted power to the apostles, strengthening the church of the Saviour. After fulfilling his mission, Paul also ascended and rested.


However, as time passed, and day by day, humanity began to stumble. They departed from righteousness, neglecting the narrow and challenging path, and instead, preferred the broader road. Simultaneously, in the last church, a righteous man of truth appeared, belonging to the kingdom. He reinforced and cared for the church of our master according to his capacity, yet, like those before him, he too was raised up to the land of light.

Afterward, gradually, the church perished, and the world was left without a church, resembling a tree without fruit. The tree, once laden with fruit, is now plucked, and its fruits are taken away, leaving it barren.


As the church of the Saviour ascended to the heights, my apostolate commenced, as you inquired! From that time, the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, was sent, as foretold by the Saviour. When the Paraclete comes, he reproves the world concerning sin, advocates righteousness, and imparts judgment concerning those who disbelieve.


I preach on behalf of the Paraclete of truth, who has come in this last generation. He manifests the known one, unfolding the mystery hidden from the worlds and generations—the depths and heights, the light and darkness, the calamity of conflict, war, and the great battle waged by darkness. He revealed to me the construction of ships, where gods of light reside, purifying the light from creation, while the dregs and effluent are cast into the abyss.


At the appointed time, in the years of Artabanus, the king of Parthia, and later, in the reign of Ardashir, the king of Persia, I assumed my image and grew tall, reaching the fullness of the season. In the same year of Ardashir's coronation, the living Paraclete descended to me, spoke with me, and unveiled the hidden mystery of the universe. He opened my eyes to the mingling of light and darkness, revealing the way ships were constructed to allow gods of light to dwell within, purifying the light while casting impurities into the abyss.


The Paraclete, in his revelations to me, unfolded the mystery of the fashioning of Adam, the first man. He disclosed the enigma of the tree of knowledge from which Adam partook, and he revealed the mystery of the apostles sent to the world, empowering them to choose the churches. The Paraclete laid bare the mysteries of the elect with their commandments, the catechumens with their helpers and commandments, and the sinners with their deeds, exposing the hidden consequences awaiting them. Everything that has occurred and will happen was unveiled to me by the Paraclete—seen by the eye, heard by the ear, and understood by thought. Through him, I comprehended everything, becoming a single body with a single Spirit.


In the last years of King Ardashir, I ventured out to preach, crossing to the land of the Indians and proclaiming the hope of life. In that place, I selected a good election. When Ardashir passed away, his son Shapur ascended to the throne. I journeyed from the country of the Indians to the lands of Persia, Babylon, Mesene, Susiana, and beyond. Shapur, the king, received me with honour, granting permission to preach the word of life.I spent years in Persia, the country of the Parthians, Adiabene, and the borders of the Roman provinces.


I have chosen you, the holy church, the good election sent to me from the Father. I have sown the seed of life, spreading it from east to west. My hope has reached the sunrise of the world, covering every inhabited part, even to the clime of the north. None of the apostles have done what I have done, for my hope will remain in the world until the appointed time. Jesus, seated upon his throne, spoke of the establishment of his church. He designates the right side as belonging to the church on the right and the left side to the church on the left—responding to the inquiry posed by his disciples. As the Spirit is of the Paraclete, the one sent from the greatness, he revealed both past and future events to me. I have written about it comprehensively in my books.


Upon your recent inquiry, I have now repeated the lesson briefly. The disciples, upon hearing these words, rejoiced greatly, and their minds were enlightened. In their joy, they expressed gratitude to their master, acknowledging that while they had read about his advent in the scriptures and believed it, his repetition of the information in this condensed form further reinforced their understanding. They believed this apostle to be the Paraclete, whom Jesus had spoken of, who was sent from the Father, the revealer of all hidden things.


Manichaean Devotional: Embracing the Divine Harvest


Opening Prayer:


Radiant Light, Eternal Source, In the fields of creation, we seek your wisdom. Guide us through the seasons of Parmuthi and Paophi, As we labour in the vineyards of divine understanding.


Reflection:


In the vast fields of existence, we are akin to farmers, cultivating the seeds of truth and understanding. As Parmuthi and Paophi mark the divine seasons, So do our efforts in shaping the sacred within and around us.

The apostles, predecessors in this cosmic harvest, navigated the world, shaping and choosing, Their toil resonates with the diligent farmer, tending to the growth of the elect and the catechumens.


Contemplation:

In the appointed times of ascent, The apostles left their churches behind, ascending to the heights, embracing the divine harvest. A new apostle descends, revealing and saving, guiding the church through the cycles of spiritual growth.

As we stand in the fertile fields of existence, Let us heed the lessons of the apostles, cultivating virtues, shaping freedom in the flesh, And nurturing the divine harvest within and without.


Closing Prayer:


Great Paraclete, Spirit of Truth, unveil the hidden mysteries within our souls. Guide us through the seasons of our spiritual journey, That we may reap the fruits of righteousness.

In the light of understanding and the darkness of unknowing, May we find harmony in the divine symphony. As we ascend through the heights of awareness, Let our lives be a testament to the eternal harvest.

Amen. Notes: 1

In Manichaeism, Parmuthi and Paophi are indeed associated with specific months in the Manichaean calendar. Manichaeism was a syncretic religious movement founded by the prophet Mani in the 3rd century CE. The Manichaean calendar had twelve months, each linked to various cosmological and religious themes.

  • Parmuthi (or Fašūn): This is the seventh month in the Manichaean calendar. It typically falls in May–June in the Gregorian calendar. Parmuthi is often associated with the birth of Mani.

  • Paophi (or Pūša): This is the eighth month in the Manichaean calendar, and it usually corresponds to June–July in the Gregorian calendar. Paophi is linked to events in the life of Mani, particularly related to his travels and teachings.

The Manichaean calendar was closely tied to the narrative of Mani's life, incorporating elements from various religious traditions, including Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, and Christianity. The months often had symbolic significance, reflecting aspects of Mani's mission, teachings, and the cosmic struggle between light and darkness inherent in Manichaean cosmology.



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