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Light from the Darkness: A Manichaean Reflection on John 14



Dear children of the Light,


Today let us delve into the profound wisdom embodied in the Book of John, Chapter 14, one of the cornerstones of the New Testament. As disciples of Manichaeism, we will examine these scriptures through our dualistic lens of darkness and light, good and evil.


John 14:1 tells us, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me." This profound statement directly speaks to our understanding of the Manichaean cosmology. Jesus calls us to believe not just in the God of light, the god of spirit, but also in him, Jesus, the embodiment of the primal man who battles and transcends the world of darkness. Just as we must believe in the pure radiance of a world beyond this physical realm, we must also put our faith in the human possibilities of goodness and enlightenment amidst our worldly struggles.


In verse 6, we hear Jesus declare, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." As Manicheans, we regard this as a quintessential proclamation of Jesus Christ's role in facilitating our journey towards the world of light. Similar to the Luminous Jesus of Manichaean scriptures, the Christ of the Gospels is the spiritual guide who leads us beyond the veil of darkness that harnesses this world.


The profound interaction between Jesus and Philip in verses 8-9, brings the Manichaean cosmic drama into light. Philip asks Jesus, "Show us the Father," to which Jesus says, "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." In language relatable to a Manichaean ear, Jesus personifies the cosmic interplay of light entrapped within the dark matter, the divine spirit residing within the earthly form. He emphasizes reintegration, an essential Manichaean doctrine. Each one of us, like Jesus, possesses trapped particles of light within, aspiring to reunite with the Father, the realm of pure light.


Lastly, Jesus's farewell discourse highlighted in verses 26-27 acts as the embodiment of the promise of a Paraclete, the comforter, paralleling the Manichaean's belief in the "Third envoy." He says, "The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you..." This is a mirror to our belief in the guidance and teaching of the 'Third envoy' sent after Jesus's departure, whose influence allows us to ascend from the realm of darkness into the purity of light over time.


The essence of the conversation in John 14 is an echo of our Manichaean worldview. It is a reinforcement that there will be an end-time, where evil existing within us and in the world will be dissolved. Light shall return to the realm of Light, and total liberation shall become the path of the spirit.


Remember, we are called upon not to dissociate from the world but recognize the inner light within us and the divine omnipresent in the contingency of the material. As Manicheans, our journey is to accept this world's dualistic nature, seek out the light in the dark, and pursue the path of enlightenment guided by the teaching of Jesus Christ.


May the Light be with you all.


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