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Last Post 10/15/2012 9:34 AM by  Ronald and Dwinn
Final Assignment: Observations on the Movie AGORA
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12/05/2011 11:03 AM
In terms of wisdom learned from the movie and applying it to our times, Clare de Lis speaks about how today “increasing numbers of the current generation” are beginning to understand the teachings that lead to “the basis of Self-discovery of who they are” and to thereby ”be released from the grip of the purveyors of illusion and those whose desire is control and manipulation”. Hypatia was a victim of such purveyors. The vying for power and control among Christian sects and other groups at the time was in direct opposition to the true teachings of Jesus and his message of love, mercy, compassion, brotherhood and oneness in God.
Fortunately today in our society, we have the freedom to explore our own Self-discovery and knowledge of God in our own way with little chance of exposure to the violence that Hypatia experienced. This is not true everywhere, however. Today we witness examples of intolerance among people who insist on seeing greater differences among people, be they racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, etc., rather than seeing the common humanity in all of us and the inherent divine core of each human being. The motivation for many continues to be based on fear and other negative emotions and values. Many places on the Earth are experiencing shifts in political and social systems (particularly in the Middle East and Africa), where many people are seeking freedom of speech, assembly and religion as well as justice, equality and self-determination. Mother Earth and the elementals are also bringing forth occurrences in the nature world that are seeking balance for humanity’s lack of love and appreciation for nature, mankind, and God.
So, how can my spiritual work assist in the process of moving into the age of Aquarius? In my path to Self-discovery, I am attempting to move forward step by step, to know, to understand, to be and to manifest Self-in-God and the God-qualities that we seek for all of mankind and all of life in the early budding of this new age. We are all One. All of life is One. This truth is being felt now across the globe. For God’s truth and God’s way to manifest externally, we know it must first manifest within each Self. So in order to contribute, I must begin the work within myself first.

12/06/2011 8:45 AM
Agora and the Path of Initiation
by Lenore Harris

Much of life is initiation—for individuals and groups of peoples alike. The movie Agora demonstrates this in an intensely graphic way. Along with Hypatia, we see the initiations of her father, her students, the leaders of the religions in Alexandria and their followers. These initiations were fundamentally ones of whether or not to succumb to pride and the human ego. Everyone in Alexandria went through them during the extremely turbulent times portrayed in this movie.
Hypatia’s father had his first initiation when he was outraged at the Christians for having burned to death one who was speaking on behalf of the pagan religion--his religion. He lined up the household slaves and demanded to know if any of them were Christians and then proceeded to beat the one who made that admission. Hypatia told the slave later that he had felt badly about what he had done.

The whole cycle of violence began when the Christians began mocking the pagan gods in the agora. One leader of the pagans, in response, was inciting the pagans to avenge this. Hypatia begged him to stop since she knew what it would lead to. He then turned to her father and acknowledged that as director he would have the last word. He was at that moment facing possibly the greatest initiation of his life. The entire course of the history of Alexandria and hundreds of people lay upon his decision. And what did he choose? He proclaimed, “Let the gods be avenged for this insult.”
I considered Davis, Hypatia’s slave, to be a very compelling character in the story. He was intrigued by Amonius and his preaching about Christianity and finally did become a Christian after feeling compassion well up inside as he passed out his entire basket of bread to starving people in the temple. His admiration for Hypatia and his own great interest in her work, however, left him somewhere in between in this battle of the religions. His pride was a bit wounded when Hypatia made off-hand disparaging remarks about slaves. He passed the early initiations by brushing off the hurt.
But a major test came when the library was being stormed and after feverishly searching for Hypatia to help her in this dire situation, finds her and she berates him by demanding of him where he’s been and then blustering,” Slaves—they’re never there when you need them—they’re just idiots!” Overcome by his hurt pride, Davis storms out and overtly joins the Christians and the killing spree. His next failed initiation comes when he accosts Hypatia physically.
His decision to side with the Christians later bothers him though after being a part of so much violence. Deeply troubled, he wonders out loud, “Suppose we’re wrong.” In the end, his love for Hypatia trumps all as he frantically searches for her and when he finds her attempts to “save” her from the mob of Christians who are preparing to stone her to death. Without judging that particular act, you could make a case for him passing that initiation.
Orestes is another character we get to know well in the course of the movie. His love and loyalty for Hypatia puts him in the middle of a church scene in which he must prove his Christianity before the bishop and the congregation by denying Hypatia. Confronted with such a horrendous decision, he passes the initiation of standing for what he knew to be right and refused to accept their accusation of Hypatia as being a godless witch.
Another test comes when he, as the prefect, has the opportunity to step in and prevent yet another round of vengeful violence, this time on the Jews. Hypatia implores him, “If you do nothing this will continue to happen again and again.” Knowing that if he was seen as standing up for the Jews, half the town would be against him. He does nothing and allows the violence to ensue.
And the mobs, the pagans, the Christians and the Jews—are they undergoing initiations as a group? I think so. They are all easily swayed by the “orators” inciting them to move against the targeted group. And they all, summarily, fail the huge initiation to reject the calls for revenge. This is an initiation largely of rising above the human ego that cannot stand to be mocked, ridiculed and made out to be wrong.
I have found it to be valuable to look at the movie in this way. It has helped me to look at the path of initiation from a different perspective than I usually do. These initiations were so extreme and yet it’s been beneficial for me to meditate on how I would do in these circumstances. And in fact I may have been one of those people. What keeps coming to mind is Andrew Harvey’s premise that the only way humanity is going to survive the dire circumstances we find ourselves in at this point in history is for us to become the Divine Human. That Divine Human, when faced with such initiations, will reject the strong temptation to avenge blows to the false pride of the human ego.

Meru class 1107

Holly N

06/07/2012 10:03 AM
Agora was a shockingly violent film. There apparently was incredible need for those who perceived a new belief system to force it on everyone else – otherwise maybe they thought their new way of life wouldn’t be quite so valid if ‘everyone’ wasn’t living it. Human beings have an internal desire/need to feel that what they’re doing is ‘right’ – they feel their survival is at stake. So (since we are all one), even if they’re doing what they ‘know’ is ‘right,’ if everyone else isn’t doing it the world is not right.
Necessity for stark contrast between ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ And having chosen a direction, everyone in the world was required to follow it on pain of death. There was an intermediate period when ideas were being explored and people had not become polarized as yet.
There are always parts of ourselves that are the sentinels that require all other parts of ourselves to think and behave according to our current belief system, and if they don’t we punish ourselves.
I find it much more meaningful to view the movie as events, experiences taking place within a single host – the one. Me, for instance. I flagellate myself whenever parts of me don’t live up to the parts who have decided what is right and wrong.
It was just so shocking to see it taking place ‘outside of me’ in the movie. And parts of me couldn’t understand why the sentinels had to force their ideas on others so radically - - and yet I do it to myself all the time. And having the habit pattern developed and in place for so long, it’s difficult to let it all go and just love myself.
I think the challenge is to see the beauty of the one in all people at all times, and to understand and consciously know that at the same time people are still dealing with the dweller pretty much at all times, and we have to see past that… to move past that into the beauty of the light, love and joy of God’s Holy Will, Wisdom and Love.
Carol Daly

07/20/2012 2:00 PM

Posted By Carol Daly on 17 Sep 2011 09:07 PM
I have often wondered about the burning of the books in Alexandria and what triggered it. I was unaware that the Christians of the time were so fanatical, their response to Jesus's teachings of love and redemption were certainly not evident. The cruelty of how they treated each other was almost like things are today, the slaves wanted freedom but they had no idea what it meant they burned the books without any thought of what was in them and defaced and destroyed the artifacts of the time, much like those who destroyed some of the Buddhic statues today.

It appeared as though the men were jealous of Hypatia's intelligence, and it was the putting down of the feminine ray with Hypatia having to accept this new church authority and not being allowed to teach anymore, she could not accept their demands and therefore she was murdered mercifully by her former slave, and her body was then tortured. Mother was given another opportunity to teach the truth and set the record straight.

Hypatia was a very feminine and beautiful woman, & she was the only woman in the movie. She lived in 355-415 AD, she was a philosopher, visionary, and a mathematician. She had no degree was taught by her father who was a professor at the time. She loved teaching and taught geometry to her students. She was also interested in the topics of the day, very intelligent and in some ways smarter than the men in her time. She was compassionate, showed care and tenderness when her slave admitted to being a christian and was beaten by her father as that wasn't acceptable in those days, she tended to his wounds. Her slave cared much for her and it appeared to me was jealous of the young man who openly confessed his love for her, and later she embarrassed him in class in front of the other students, giving him a gift of her cycle on a cloth stating he was in love with that and not truly her. That took courage I don't know if I could have done that.

She later freed her slave and in the end he mercifully took her life so she wouldn't feel the pain they were about to inflict on her, otherwise I don't know that she would have been able to endure that would have probably past out from the pain. How brutal and ugly the human can get when the ego rules.

The brutality of the human ego and it's jealousy of others is ending. It's an age of taking responsibility for oneself forgiveness of the past and we can now thru vision,bring in a Golden age.
Dean Baylor

07/31/2012 4:28 PM
The masters have told us that there is nothing more sacred than the "holy of holies" of a person's faith or religion. This is why we should take great care to allow people to pursue their beliefs until they conclude on their own that maybe there is more to the truth than they at first realized.

Our ability to tolerate views we may see as incorrect is as important as promoting the things we believe in with a sense of non-attachment to how others perceive it.

The movie AGORA reminds us how powerful an attachment to our beliefs can be and how readily people can become angry and violent when faced with challenges to their beliefs.


As we transition into the age of Aquarius with all of its attendant change, I think we will see many long-held beliefs and traditions challenged as God moves us higher. As this happens, we should be prepared to maintain our harmony, especially in the presence of others so that we may be a calming influence when uncertainty or confusion should appear. I thought it was interesting how the movie portrayed the mobs as being easily manipulated by one or two "leaders," and how important one or two people can be when placed in the middle of such chaos. The ability to counter such manipulation with calm (poise, prayer, peace) and love will go a long way in bringing about a smooth transition into the next age.

It occurred to me as the mobs were murdering people in the movie how different it could have been if a handful of people had been giving prayers and devotions in their temples or homes allowing the forces of heaven to prevent the violence before it began. For me, because we are few in number, maintaining our prayer vigils so that such events never occur is the overriding message of AGORA.

Hypatia in the School of Athens?

One of my favorite works of art is the SCHOOL OF ATHENS by Raphael, a frescoe which was painted about 1510 and which can be found in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

When Raphael allegedly submitted the draft of this work to the church fathers for approval, they asked him "who is this woman in the middle?"

He replied "Hypatia, the most famous student of the school of Athens."

The bishops replied "remove her. Knowledge of her runs counter to the belief of the faithful."

Raphael replied "as you command."

Many believe that Raphael altered her appearance and put her into the painting anyway.

Others believe this is an image of Jesus in his youth. Notice that this figure is one of the only figures in the painting looking out at the observer. Why?

So disappointing that even 12 centuries after Hypatia, certain religious authorities were still persecuting her.

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