Hello! Shalom! Aloha! Mabuhay!

If this is your first visit to Modern Apocrypha, I have only two recommendations for continuing on with minimal confusion:

1) Please begin with the first introductory post (found HERE) and work your way forward. Almost all the posts on this blog flow chronologically and will make more sense with the background and context of previous ones. Jumping in anywhere might be disorienting.

2) Please read along in the texts posted off to the right. I try not to summarize too much in the commentary and discussion, and being at least somewhat familiar with what we're discussing or I'm commenting on will be most beneficial and edifying for all involved. Plus, going along with the theme of this blog, any hidden truths to be brought to light will be found within the text itself and not necessarily within my ramblings.

Okay, fine, three recommendations:

3) Please read with an open heart, mind, and spirit. See what truths you can find in these works--ones which speak to you. Namaste : )

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Suran next searches for the other records Ngameke had spoken of which were hidden there at the waterfall and finds many that contain the genealogy of their ancestors and stories of the Lord leading them out of captivity to these islands. (More on that later.)

There is also a mysterious inscription on a piece of bamboo that describes the location of a repository containing many sacred items and great riches. They recognize the location as being far from home, and Suran speaks with his family to see if they should journey to investigate this repository. He confesses to his wife, Tinal, that he really wants to find this repository to "prove" to himself that this is all real and finally put his mind at ease. (Again, this depiction of Suran seems very authentic. Even after all that he's experienced, there's still that sliver of uncertainty that's eating at him.) Tinal faithfully and lovingly supports her husband by testifying that the things he has taught are true and that the Lord will guide them in recovering these sacred artifacts, and she encourages him to do the will of the Lord. What a wonderful example of a faithful, believing woman--and loving, humoring wife. (Though, I think it would've been nice if this turned into a family road trip : )

So Suran and his three sons journey southeast into the mountains and, after many days, come to the foot of the mountain called Genas, as indicated by the inscription. As they are looking around, Ahkman sees a large stone with engravings matching those on the bamboo and begins removing stones from the side of the mountain, revealing a cave. (An echo of Elisha in Visions 2.)

Suran sees this and tells his sons to go gather wood to build a fire so they can see into the cave. They see it goes back farther than the light can reach, so they each take a torch and journey into the cave. (This begins an amazing parable of walking by faith into the dark.) After a while, Kodal's torch is extinguished, but they press forward into the depth of the cave. Soon all their fires go out, and they're left in perfect darkness to ponder which way to go. Kodal sees a faint light shining ahead of them (maybe his eyes adjusted faster than the others' to the darkness), and they make their way toward it. As they reach the light, they realize just how truly bright it is, and that it is coming from a room whose walls are lined with luminescent stones. The light from these stones is brighter than fire, and they are able to see the interior of the cave as if it were day. (Immediately, LDS readers will think of the brother of Jared lighting his group's barges with God-touched stones, but there are also older traditions hinting that Noah's ark was lit by such items, too. It's possible Jared's brother was simply following an earlier pattern.)

The room itself contains a great treasure of gold and silver objects, ancient records, bronze artifacts, and fine swords and weapons that seem to have been there for years and years. Suran instructs his sons to take what they can carry and hurry home so they can construct a temple as described in the records in which to place the relics and treasure and offer sacrifice in the way instructed by the Lord. The sons only take what is needful (noteworthy), seal up the mouth of the cave, and return home.

Now back to the parable of walking by faith. How often is our life, or portions of it, like walking into an unknown cave with only the light of our little fiery sticks to guide us--our previous knowledge, understanding, beliefs, preconceived notions, even whole worldviews and paradigms. In the grand scheme of spiritual things, those possessions of our own creation and experience can only get us so far before their usefulness is extinguished or snuffed out (or even sometimes they become detrimental to progression). When (not if) that happens, we are left alone in complete darkness to ponder our path. The engulfing, overwhelming, claustrophobic blackness of a cave is a perfect metaphor for those times of doubt, despair, emptiness, loss, abandonment, loneliness, betrayal, etc. that we all endure. This dark night seems like a world-shattering crisis while we're in it, but ends up becoming an essential step toward illumination and union with God. Either we can retreat to the comfort of our former life and self, or we can realize and recognize that the end goal--the whole reason we entered the cave in the first place--can only be achieved by laying aside everything we brought with us, giving ourselves over to God, and relying on Him to guide our path. It is within that utter darkness, that wretched state, that we can then see the faint glimmer of God's immense, beautiful, pure, and self-luminescent light in the distance that had been previously upstaged by our small, dancing, flickering, and easily extinguished flame. At the end of that journey into and through the darkness is God's gifts and treasures, whatever they may be--enlightenment, knowledge, love, peace, joy, life, etc.

(What's kinda cool, too, is there's an apocryphal text from the 4th century AD called "The Cave of Treasures" that talks about Adam and Eve living in a special cave after their banishment from Paradise. There are many Jewish and Christian traditions and folklore depicting sacred caves serving as burial places and/or containing records and treasure.)

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