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Edmond Bordeaux Szekely
The Teachings of the Essenes

From Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls

To all those who perceive that peace for the whole depends upon
the effort of the individual.

The several chapters of this book are compiled from material
antedating the findings of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. During the
twenty preceding years, 1927 to 1947, I wrote and published a
number of books on the Essenes based on certain historical sources
such as the works of Josephus Flavius, Philo and Plinius, and on
manuscripts in the Library of the Vatican, the Library of the
Habsburgs in Vienna and the Library of the British Museum. In
these books I concentrated on the Essene traditions which I
consider of great practical value for modern man.

When the first discoveries at Qumrum became public and many
persons urged me to publish an interpretation of these new
findings, I decided to do so in two volumes. This first volume
condenses the quintessence of the Essene traditions from pre-
Qumrum sources. The second volume will deal exclusively with the
new discoveries.

The present work is concerned with the meaning of the Essene
traditions in relation to their values for mankind today and the
actual practices which result in an expansion of consciousness.
These values may be considered from four standpoints.

The Essene traditions represent a synthesis of the great
contributions to humanity of the different cultures of

They represent for us a path leading away from the one-
sided utilitarian technology of contemporary civilization, a
valid and practical teaching utilizing all the sources of
energy, harmony and knowledge everywhere surrounding

They give us permanent standards in an age where truth
seems to dissolve in a continual shifting of concepts.

This resulting neurosis and insecurity is given a complete
balance and harmony through the Essene teachings.

It is noteworthy that in his book, "The Meaning of the Dead Sea
Scrolls," A. Powell Davies says of the Essenes, "The Christian
Church in its organization, its sacraments, its teaching and its
literature is related to-and in its early stages may have been
identical with-the New Covenanters, who were known as Essenes,
some of whom wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls."

Likewise significant in the pre-Qumrum traditions of the Essenes is
the existence of certain Zoroastrian elements, a fact which I have

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previously maintained and which Arnold Toynbee has also pointed
out in a recent writing. They bear a similar correlation to later
teachings like those of the Kabala and Freemasonry. Their most
unique element, which has apparently been developed
independently, is their science of Angelology.

The quotations appearing on the page preceding each chapter are
from two of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the "Manual of Disciplines" and
the "Thanksgiving Psalms," or "Book of Hymns," which I have
translated from photo static copies of the original texts found in the
caves of Qumrum.

Edmond Bordeaux Szekely -San Diego, California, 1957

And Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him.
Genesis 5:24



1. The Essenes and Their Teaching

2. The One Law...............

3. The Essene Tree of Life.........

4. The Essene Communions

I --Their Purpose and Meaning .

5. The Essene Communions

II. Their Actual Practice

6. The Sevenfold Peace

7. Essene Psychology

8. Individual Inventory

"The Law was planted in the Garden of the Brotherhood to
enlighten the heart of man and to make straight before him all the
ways of true righteousness, a humble spirit, an even temper, a
freely compassionate nature, and eternal goodness and
understanding and insight, and mighty wisdom which believes in all
God's works and a confident trust in His many blessings and a spirit
of knowledge in all things of the Great Order, loyal feelings toward
all the Children of truth, a radiant purity which loathes everything
impure, a discretion regarding all the hidden things of truth and
secrets of inner knowledge."

From "The Manual of Discipline" of the Dead Sea Scrolls

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Cosmic with Currents Cosmic Ocean

The Communions with the Powers of the Invisible Realms


with the Morning and Evening Communions

"May He bless thee with every good, may He keep thee from all evil
and illumine thy heart with the knowledge of life and favor thee
with eternal wisdom.

And may He give His Sevenfold blessings upon thee, to everlasting
Peace." From "The Manual of Discipline" of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Chapter 6

The Sevenfold Peace

The Sevenfold Peace of the Essenes was the summation of their
inner teaching.

Their Tree of Life and the Communions taught man his relationship
with the fourteen forces of the visible and invisible worlds. The
Sevenfold Peace explains his relationship to the parts of his own
being and to his fellow men, showing how to create peace and
harmony in the seven categories of his life.

Harmony to the Essenes meant peace.

They considered that human life can be divided into seven
departments, physical, mental, emotional, social, cultural, its
relationship with nature and its relationship with the entire cosmos.

Man, it was held, has three bodies that function in each of these
departments, an acting body, a feeling body and a thinking body.
The thinking body's highest power is wisdom. The feeling body's
highest power is love. The acting body's function is to translate the
wisdom of the thinking body and the love of the feeling body into
action in an individual's social and cultural worlds and in his
utilization of the terrestrial and heavenly forces.

The Sevenfold Peace explains the utilization of these powers and
forces with the utmost clarity. Every noon a Peace Contemplation
was held with one aspect of Peace; and every Sabbath was
collectively dedicated to one, the entire cycle covering all phases of
man's life being completed in seven weeks' time.

I - Peace With the Body

The word used by the Essenes to indicate the physical body, both in
Aramaic and in Hebrew, signified the body's function, to act, to

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This differs greatly from other concepts. The Greeks, for instance,
exalted the body for its esthetic qualities, its proportions and
beauty, and were unaware of any deeper purpose. The Romans
looked tipon the body simply as an instrument of strength and
power for conquering nations, planting the Roman eagle in far
lands. The medieval Christians disdained the body, considering it
the source of all man's troubles, a barrier between man and God.

The Essenes had a much deeper understanding than any of these.
They knew that in the acting body, evolving through hundreds of
thousands of years, are manifested all the laws of life and the
cosmos; in it is to be found the key to the whole universe.

They studied it in relation to man's whole role in the universe, and
their concept of that role was greater than any other which has
ever been held. They considered man has three roles: one of
individual evolution; second, a function in regard to the planet on
which he lives; and third, a purpose as a unit of the cosmos.

The acting body has its part to play in all three of these roles. It is
a Divine product, created by the law for the purpose of the Creator,
in no way inferior to any other instrument of man, nor to anything
else in the universe. It is waiting for man to make conscious use of
its terrestrial and spiritual energies.

The Essenes knew that man is not an isolated being alone in the
universe, but one among other beings on earth and on other
planets, all of whom have acting bodies which are evolving even as
is man's own. All of these acting bodies are therefore related to
each other and affect each other. Every individual's bodily health
and vitality is consequently of the utmost importance both to
himself and to all other beings on earth and on all other planets.

The daily practices of the Essenes were derived from this dynamic
all-sided concept of the acting body as an integral part of the whole
universe and their extraordinary health and vitality was a result of

Those who joined their Brotherhoods were trained to perfect the
acting body in all three of its roles, and were taught how to adapt it
to the constantly changing field of forces in which it lives and

They were taught the effects on the organism of different foods and
the different natural forces of earth, the sun, air and water. They
were required to follow certain rituals utilizing these forces, such as
starting each day with a cold water ablution and exposing the body
once every day to the solar rays. Through practical experience they
learned the vitalizing power of working in the fields and orchards
and gardens.

They learned how disease is created by deviations from the law and
how to heal the diseases that result from the deviations. They were
taught the qualities and curative powers of different herbs and
plants, of heliotherapy and hydrotherapy, and the proper diet for

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man, earth and joy. The individual is to realize the
importance of good health for his own sake and for the sake
of others; and he is to practice all ways of improving his
health, in thinking, feeling and acting.

Joy is man's essential right and he is to perform all his daily
activities with a deep feeling of joy surging within him and
radiating around him, understanding its great importance
for himself and others.

These are the forces of nature which man is to learn to understand
and utilize. The following eight powers of the cosmos are even
more important in man's life, for he cannot live in complete
harmony with the earthly forces unless he is also in harmony with
the heavenly powers.


1. Power is manifested continually through man's actions and
deeds, both of which are the result of his cooperation or lack
of cooperation with all other powers and forces, in accord
with the iron law of cause and effect. The individual is to
understand the importance of good deeds; and he is to
realize that his personality, position and environment in life
are the result of his past deeds, even as his future will be
exactly what his present deeds make it. He is therefore to
strive at all times to perform good deeds that express
harmony with the laws of both nature and the cosmos.

2. Love is expressed in the form of gentle and kind words to
others, which affect the individual's own health and
happiness as well as that of others. Sincere love toward all
beings is to be manifested by harmonious feelings and

3. Wisdom is manifested in the form of good thoughts and it
is man's privilege and right to increase his knowledge and
understanding in every way possible so that he may think
only good thoughts. He is to seek to grow in wisdom so as
to understand more and more the cosmic order and his own
role in it. Only by attaining a degree of wisdom can an
individual learn to hold only good thoughts in his
consciousness and to refuse to entertain negative,
destructive thoughts about any person, place, condition or

4. Preservation of values concerns the power to preserve all
that is useful and of true value, whether a tree, plant,
house, relationship between people or harmony in any form.
When anyone destroys, or lets any good thing go to waste,
deteriorate or be damaged, whether material or immaterial,
he is cooperating with the negative destructive forces of the
world. Every opportunity is to be used to prevent damage to
whatever has value.

5. Creation signifies the necessity for man to use his creative
powers, since his role on the planet is to continue the work
of the Creator. He is therefore to try to do something
original and creative, something new and different, as often

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as he can, whether it is an invention of some kind, a work of
art, or anything which will benefit others.

6. Eternal Life concerns man's sincerity with himself and
others in all he does and with all those whom he meets. He
is to be deeply sincere in analyzing his relationship, his
understanding and utilization of all the forces of nature and
the cosmos; and he is to make every effort to evaluate
himself honestly as he actually is without rationalizing or
justifying the things he does or says or thinks.

7. Work is the precondition of many other values. It means
the performance of one's daily tasks with care and
efficiency. It is an individual's contribution to society and a
precondition of happiness for all concerned, for when one
person does not perform his work properly, others have to
do it. Man is to learn to have a deep feeling of satisfaction in
his work so that he may return to society all he receives
from it.

8. Peace is to be created and maintained by every individual
within and around himself that he may be an instrument in
helping to prevent inharmony, enmity and wars, since the
condition of the whole of humanity depends upon the
condition of its atoms, the individuals who compose it. The
individual is to feel deeply the need for this inner peace and
to do all he can to establish and maintain it wherever he is.

The person who evaluates himself according to these sixteen
elements of life will know clearly wherein his personal development
may be improved, and in what ways he can help more fully in the
evolution of humanity.

By so doing he will move further toward his final goal, the goal
toward which all mankind is moving, union with the Heavenly

"I have reached the inner vision

and through Thy spirit in me

I have heard Thy wondrous secret.

Through Thy mystic insight

Thou hast caused a spring

Of knowledge to well up within me,

a fountain of power, pouring forth living waters,

a flood of love and Of all-embracing wisdom

like the splendour of eternal Light."

From "The Book of Hymns" of the Dead Sea scrolls.

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