Book III: Chapter 7
Over a month had passed since my repentance and I was starting to feel better. I’d like to be able to tell you that I was fully recovered, but sadly, that was not yet the case. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I knew that all my (many) sins had been forgiven, and that, with the mercy of the Lord, I was able to put aside the heavy yoke of my great guilt.
But forgiveness and forgetfulness are two different things and although my soul had been washed clean, my mind was still dealing with unwanted memories.
I suppose it would do no harm to share some more of my life experiences with you now – perhaps it will help me to clear them out of my mind once and for all – call it a sort of summer cleaning.
And so, with a Guinness in hand (a great story-teller’s beer), let me see where to begin…
What’s that? Why am I still drinking if I’ve repented?
My friend, The Bible does not condemn drinking. Jesus drank wine, didn’t he?
The danger comes with over-indulgence – and since my Grand Forgiveness, I’m proud to say that I haven’t been drunk… yet.
Anyway, like I was saying, I suppose I’ve already told you enough about my life as John, the Beloved Apostle – both when I walked with Jesus of Nazareth as his disciple and on through the time when I was exiled to Patmos and wrote Revelation.
Now as I mentioned previously, after I left Patmos, I also left my original life and disappeared into the woodwork of the world. By that time I knew I was immortal, yet despite my aged appearance, I still felt vigorous inside.
For the next century or so, I wandered around the Mediterranean, using various identities; often, I passed myself off as a former disciple of John of Salome – thus giving myself an excuse for knowing so much about myself. During this time I wrote The Apocrypha of John.
I still remember the opening of that book…
The teaching of the Savior and the revelation of things hidden, even these things which he taught John, his disciple.
Now, I will admit that when I wrote that I was lying, but what can I say? I was getting desperate! It had already been over a century and a half since Jesus left me and I couldn’t understand why He was taking so long to return.
I convinced myself that I really did see these new revelations, but in truth, even as I wrote my Apocrypha, I knew that it was all just a dream of my own creation. I was desperate for Jesus’ return and I was willing to do anything to create His Second Coming on my own.
Obviously it didn’t work and that book has (thankfully) been lost to obscurity.
In any event, the years of the 200’s were a dark time for me. It was a century filled with sadness… fear… and eventually, intense anger.
For I gave in to my self-pity and wanted nothing more than to die.
Convinced that The Lord had deserted me — I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I created a new identity: Zosimos of Panopolis – passing myself off as a Greek-Egyptian Gnostic mystic (that’s quite a mouthful, huh?)
But most importantly, I took up a new hobby – Alchemy.
As Zosimos, my fervor for science and writing found an outlet in Alchemy, such that I quickly became known as a master. Furthermore, I published essays that attempted to tie my new passion (Alchemy) to my old one (Religion).
One of theories asserted that the fallen angels once known as The Nephilim were responsible for teaching the arts of metallurgy to the women they married, as recorded in the Book of Enoch and, more significantly, the Apocrypha of John – for I couldn’t resist trying to add some ‘unbiased’ legitimacy to my work. I explained that the external processes of metallic transmutation (lead and copper into silver and gold) was actually a mirror of an inner processes of Purification and Redemption.
The reason I am bringing all this up is to help you understand WHY I was so enamored with Alchemy.
I believed it to be The Science of Nature’s Balance, one that constituted the eternal cycle of birth and death. I theorized that this cycle was represented by the symbol of the Uroboros — the dragon that bites its own tail – and I pondered that “self-devouring is the same as self-destruction.”
Therefore I concluded that, in order to break the cycle of death, one had to sacrifice himself as part of a transformation ritual (this was an early precursor to The Magnus Opum).
Looking back now, I can see that The Lord was trying to reach out to me even then – giving me the secret as to how to find Him again, and yet I misread the signs and saw only what I wanted to see.
As a result, while I became quite famous as Zosimos, none of my experiments worked to the point that I could destroy myself (which of course was my ultimate goal).
Just as importantly, it was during my life as Zosimos that I became associated with The Brotherhood of the EArth.
(Now I know that I’ve been promising to tell you more about this secret society for most of my story, but I’ll have to apologize again, for now is not the time to interrupt our discussions with a history lesson about The Brotherhood –you could fill up an encyclopedia with writings about that group and still not crack the surface).
In any case, it was my alchemical research which led THEM to discover me – for even back in the early 300’s, The Brotherhood was already a society thousands of years older than the Christian movement.
As I learned more about The Brotherhood, I quickly became enamored with its doctrine – one that promised to break the bonds of this physical world and return my soul to the spiritual realm it originally came from. As a result (although I am ashamed to admit it now), I willfully took my oath to the Prince of EArth and rose through the ranks of my new family.
About 350 AD, I faded out my identity as Zosimos and disappeared for awhile. Thirty years later I emerged as a Roman scientist named Ambrosius and again got The Brotherhood to notice me. For the next few decades I toiled as a kind of biological engineer for The Brotherhood – my task was to create what you would call a ‘SuperBug,’ a weapon they could use to control the world – but in reality I was still just trying to find a way to destroy myself.
(Hey, if nothing else, I’m persistent, eh?)