AcademiaSTEMHumanitiesAgriculture & FarmingSocial Sciences

Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, Espousing the Essenes

Updated on January 27, 2017
Portrait Sketch of Edmond Bordeaux Szekely (1905-1979)
Portrait Sketch of Edmond Bordeaux Szekely (1905-1979) | Source

Author's Foreword

Among my many spiritual readings and studies, The Essene Gospel of Peace, originally translated by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely (TSAY-kay), holds a special place in my heart. The work is literary and offers an inner teaching of Jesus the Christ about communing with angels.

We have a special connection with the earth, the trees, rivers and streams, the air, and are recharged by the sun as well through our energy centers.

The Essenes were precursors to Jesus and were considered "a race unto themselves." Their system of ritual and sacred living maintained a vibration high enough to allow our Lord to enter our world through physical birth and fulfill his dharma, or God's plan, for our enlightenment.

In the brief biography about Professor Szekely on the book's back cover, i was moved by the wisdom and talent of this man.

In sharing aspects of his life with you and introducing you to his philosophy, I hope you will be deeply moved within your soul to the extent that will enable you to shed some of the old, encrusted beliefs and errors that may be hidden within your psyche.

Welcome to Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, Espousing the Essenes. May your life take on a new meaning with its reading!

The Austrian-Hungarian Empire

When trying to understand the makings of a man, especially a great figure, one must look at his roots, his family, upbringing, and the social and political climates of his life.

The Dual Monarchy, ruled peaceably by Franz Joseph I of Austria, began in 1867 and lasted until the end of WW I in 1918. Hungary was the second land under the emperor-monarch's reign and experienced much independence, as afforded by the ruler.

In Europe, the Empire's acreage was second only to Russia and third in population density (Russia was first, Germany second). The Empire also became proficient in machine manufacture, with a standing of fourth in world productivity (surpassed by the United States, Germany, and Britain).

Edmond, born on March 5, 1905, in Máramarossziget, Hungary (now Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania), grew up in this fortuitous environment.

The Ethnic Makeup of Hungary Prior to WWI

Hungary was defeated during World War I, and the ethnic groups became separated into corresponding countries: Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, and Romania (Transylvania).
Hungary was defeated during World War I, and the ethnic groups became separated into corresponding countries: Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, and Romania (Transylvania). | Source

Family Background

Edmond's paternal grandfather was a poet and Unitarian bishop, with lineage going back to Hungarian philologist Sándor Kőrösi Csoma, author of the first Tibetan-English dictionary. Edmond's father was Hungarian Unitarian and his mother was French Catholic. The family was affluent, with Szekely estates in both Transylvania and Dordogne, France.

A Memory of Nuage
A Memory of Nuage | Source

An important part of Edmond's childhood was his Pyrenean Mountain dog Nuage (NEW-ahj, French for puffy cloud). How can one explain a relationship of a boy to his dog, especially when there are no siblings?

According to Edmond's memoirs, his grandparents had several dogs guarding the estate in France. While the boy was very young and the dog a puppy, the two connected with each other. Even though the dog stayed at the estate and only saw Edmond during summer visits, there was something special about their relationship.

An except from the memoir partially explains the dog's friendship and loyalty: "Nuage followed me everywhere. As a child, when I sat in my room doing lessons . . . . Nuage was always in his favorite spot under my chair, and I would feel the furry comfort of of his head under my stockinged feet from time to time, answered by a contented grunt. It was the summer of my twenty-second year, when one afternoon . . . . Nuage of my childhood, now very old but still dignified and erect, followed me in and took his place, as usual, under my chair. I kicked off my shoes and tousled his ear with my toe, and he made a contented sound and went to sleep. I worked for several hours. Finally I got up, being careful not to disturb Nuage with the chair. But Nuage had died in his sleep--there in his favorite place, at my feet . . ."

Edmond on his trip to the Carpathians (circa 1930) shows his dress influenced by monastic education.
Edmond on his trip to the Carpathians (circa 1930) shows his dress influenced by monastic education. | Source

Edmond Szekely's Monastic Education

Under his parents' cooperative guidance, Edmond went to a Piarist Order Catholic monastery, a stark contrast to his luxurious childhood, and studied Greek, Latin, and Ecclesiastical Literature. He became proficient in these classical languages and wrote Let St. Francis Sing in your Heart for his required graduation thesis. He graduated as class valedictorian, magna cum laude.

The Prior of the Monastery provided him a letter of recommendation to the Vatican's Prefect of the Archives (who also happened to be one of Edmond's former schoolmates) so the young graduate could continue his research.

The Restored Convent of Monte Cassino
The Restored Convent of Monte Cassino | Source

At the Vatican and Convent of Monte Cassino

In 1928 during his studies in the archives of the Vatican and the Convent of Monte Cassino, Edmond found The Essene Gospel of Peace in Hebrew by Plinius. The writing contained many things not found in the Bible, specifically the details of Jesus' healings and his instructions to the people.

So impressed was Edmond with this discovery, he translated the teachings into French and started to privately distribute them, eventually giving lectures on Essene life. After 1934, his works were becoming translated from French into English by L. Purcell Weaver, who met Professor Szekely in Tahiti and began recovering health under the Professor's guidance.

A Video Review of the Essene Gospel of Peace

In watching the following video, it is recommended that you use the pause feature from time to time to actually read the passages presented for a spiritually high experience. The words, indeed, speak to the soul from Master Jesus the Christ, our elder brother and teacher of the Piscean Age, himself. The teachings given are profound.

The Essene Gospel of Peace is the epitome of Edmond Szekely's work. To be familiar with this translated, literary piece is to know the essence of the man.

Logo of the International Biogenic Society
Logo of the International Biogenic Society | Source

The International Biogenic Society

In 1928, he co-founded the International Biogenic Society (IBS) with 1915 Nobel-Prize-winning, French author Romain Rolland.

The logo's theme of the IBS is "Man amidst all the forces of Nature and Cosmos." In looking at this logo, it appears rather tumultuous with swirling clouds, light flashing from above, and plant forms nearly engulfing the human figure. At first, one might interpret this as somewhat negative and unsettling, quite opposite to the mission of the IBS.

Here are some paraphrased tenets of the IBS:

  • the most precious possession is life
  • there is an ability to overcome deadly forces through proper living
  • peace is paramount to man's survival and is based on understanding and cooperation
  • there's a duty to preserve natural resources for the next generation
  • fresh, natural, pure, whole foods, without chemicals and artificial processing, must be the diet of mankind
  • life should be simple, natural, and creative to attune with all God's energies and create harmony
  • the brother- and sisterhood of mankind is cradled in Mother Nature and Father God.

Given these tenets, the symbols of the logos take on a new meaning. Nature is clearly represented here by the shafts of light (sun), a cloud-like object emitting almost magnetic streams (rain, water), the swirls (wind, air), climbing leaves (plants and trees), and the human figure holding in his right hand what appears to be a key (the path of life). There is certainly a heightened energy about the depiction, suggesting a dynamic life of purpose.

Summary of Education, Social Life, and Travels

Edmond attended the Sorbonne University of Paris for a PhD in Philosophy and obtained other degrees from the Universities of Vienna and Leipzig. He served as a professor in Philosophy and Experimental Psychology at Bolyai University Kolozsvár (now Cluj, Romania). Some time after graduating, he founded an Essene church.

In 1939, Professor Szekely married American Deborah Shainman, whose mother was a past vice-president of the New York Vegetarian Society in Brooklyn. In 1940 the couple opened a camp in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico, which they named Rancho la Puerta, where they could explore and test natural living. The couple had two children, Alexander and Sarah Livia. Edmond Szekely did research, wrote books (over 80 in his lifetime), and conducted seminars all over the world. Expeditions took him to Africa, the Carpathians, France, Eastern Europe, and Tahiti.

The couple divorced in 1970, and Professor Szekely left Rancho la Puerta. He later married Norma Nilsson, a long-time assistant, and continued to focus on writing and teaching. He died in 1979 at the age of 74.

Professor's Park (Parque del Profesor) in Tecate, Mexico, near Rancho la Puerta, was named after Professor Szekely.

Location of Tecate, Mexico

Tecate lies just over the border between Mexico and California.

Author's Epilogue

In trying to summarize the life of Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, I found the following commemoration appropriate:

In giving the spiritual treasures of his rich life to millions,

He can never die,

Even when his days have reached their end.

Shedding his earthly remains,

He becomes a life-giving spirit.

And even as he fades away in time and space

He survives:

Pure Light, Eternal and Endless . . .

--Anon via Community of Peace

Resources and Credits

© 2014 Marie Flint

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Marie Flint profile image
      Author

      Marie Flint 7 months ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      @Carmel,

      INTERNATIONAL BIOGENIC SOCIETY, P.O. BOX 849, NELSON, B.C. CANADA V1L 6A5

      I apologize that I was unable to find a phone number. If writing to the above address isn't helpful, perhaps a contact at their website or on Facebook may help. Also, there is an online library for studies. Blessings!

    • profile image

      Carmel 7 months ago

      Thank you,do you know the tel# of the International Biogenic Society in Canada please as I am interested in studies.

    • Marie Flint profile image
      Author

      Marie Flint 8 months ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      @Gary Samer, thank you so much for sharing your life experience with the Essene teachings! I've never done more than a 14-day fruit juice fast myself, so I am in awe of your fasting discipline.

      I tried to watch the video with the link you provided, but, for some reason, I couldn't get the audio. My computer is slow and has a few bugs, so this may be the problem. I can try again later.

      How wonderful that you have followed your chosen path! I know I don't really need to wish you peace, because you already have it! Wonderful. --Marie

    • profile image

      Gary Samer 8 months ago

      Dear Friends I first read The Essene Gospel of Peace in the early 80's while living at the Findhorn Community in northern Scotland. It made a deep impression on me to the point where I read it once a week for a full year and inspired me to work up to a 42 day fast! I eventually bought and read all of Professor's books and loved every one. Oh, by the way, I obtained an original first edition-1937, of the Essene Gospel of Peace. The title back then was The True( Unknown) Gospel of John.

      I started applying all the teachings in Gospel 1 in my naturopathic clinic with outstanding results, and I continue my own modified system to this day. I studied with Swallow in Nelson, BC and became an Essene Teacher of Biogenic Living. I re-established( with Swallow's blessing) The Essene School of Life in Australia. I taught The Essene Way in week long seminars on an Island off the northwest coast of Tasmania! We ate raw foods, made our own Essene Bread, communed with the Angels of The Earthly Mother and Heavenly Father and had miraculous experiences for all participants. I eventually incorporated a lot of these teachings into my present system. I still follow a modified Essene Way but commune with all the Angels of Heaven & Earth daily. I was in contact with Swallow every 2 weeks by phone until a few years ago. I know she has passed on the custodianship to a German Naturopath/Spiritual teacher. If you're on Facebook, just type in International Biogenic Foundation to access their site. Here is a WONDERFUL short film by professor's daughter Livia( Little Owl) . Enjoy and Peace be with you my friends.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nex0D0-EHZ0&t=...

    • Marie Flint profile image
      Author

      Marie Flint 9 months ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      @Martine and H--I thank both of you for reading and commenting on this hub article.

      Martine, unfortunately was unable to find any more about the Professor's mother. My apologies. I hope you have been able to contact a genealogy association in France.

      H--although I am unfamiliar with many of your comment's terminology, I feel affinity and agreement with them.

      Blessings to both!

    • Marie Flint profile image
      Author

      Marie Flint 16 months ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Thank you for your query, Martine. I will attempt to do a little more research on this and also post your comment on Facebook. Have a wonderful day!

    • profile image

      Martine Bourdeau 16 months ago

      I just discovered excerpts from Edmund Bordeaux's main work and his life and would like to know if anyone knows anything about his French mother. I am French and my name is Bordeaux. Where was she from, what background? Thank you in advance. I love his society of biogenics founded with the French writer Romain Rolland.

    • Marie Flint profile image
      Author

      Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Unfortunately, Edwina, I have not. I apologize for such delay in responding, but Hub Pages is not a priority these days with my nanny and mother's helper duties. (My grandson is 8 months old as of this writing.)

      Like you, I trust all is well.

      Blessings!

    • profile image

      Edwina Hunte 2 years ago

      Dear Marie, have you been in contact with Norma (Swallow of IBS) recently - I have not heard from her from a long while. I am trusting all is ok.

      Peace be with you

    • Marie Flint profile image
      Author

      Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      No, Mark, I've never had the opportunity to meet Prof. Szekely in person, but I've read some of his books and admired his knowledge of the Aramaic language. Out of my fondness and respect for the man, I researched the material in this hub article online. THE ESSENE GOSPEL OF PEACE is still one of my favorite spiritual books, even though I no longer have my copy.

      Blessings!

    • profile image

      Mark Boutwell 2 years ago

      Hey Maria,

      How did you learn so much? Most of his books are out of print. Did you have the opportunity to meet Him or the family? What a honor if so!

    • Marie Flint profile image
      Author

      Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Thank you, Tiger. I removed the question mark. I appreciate you taking the time to follow through on this detail. Great and glorious goodness to you as well!

    • profile image

      The Tiger 3 years ago

      Hello again, Ms. Marie. I noticed in the picture of Professor with his beloved Nuage above you have a question about the source. It is indeed Professor, in his book, "Messengers from Ancient Civilizations", which he co-authored with Swallow.

      Thank you again. I wish you all great goodness.

    • Marie Flint profile image
      Author

      Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Irving, I couldn't understand you comment until I reread Tiger's comment (second paragraph from the end). I don't believe the IBS is located in Canada simply to dodge U.S. taxes.

      If you read the hub, you will realize that Edmond Bordeaux Szekely was never a U.S. citizen; he was Hungarian and traveled around the world. You might also note that he was born into a wealthy family, but took on the rigors and denials of missionary life.

      So, clearly, in the spirit of Professor Szekely, the point of his organization was to enlighten people--not avoid U.S. taxes.

      Thank you for the comment, though.

    • profile image

      irving 3 years ago

      sounds like a Canadian/ U.S. tax dodge to sell books from canada and not pay U.S. taxes

    • profile image

      The Tiger 3 years ago

      To all the dear friends of the Essenes and Professor Szekely,

      Many thanks to Marie for posting this brief survey of Professor's life and work - it is always a blessing to see that great interest in it thrives. As a long-time student of Professor, I can tell you he'll never leave you wanting. You can read the same book over and over and each time be struck by something entirely new as he wraps you into his consciousness.

      A brief comment on the authenticity: Professor was not interested in those who required footnotes and end notes and sources and so forth. As any great soul, he was more interested in reaching those who understood the truth intuitively and were ready to walk the path of all-sided goodness he laid out for us. He knew we are coming into a very serious time, and facing tremendous problems - something he said over and over. He directed his efforts to showing how the problems might be avoided, or if not, how we might protect ourselves in whatever trials might lie ahead. As he said, "Hope for the best, but plan for the worst."

      Professor wrote 80 books, all of which can be gotten from the International Biogenic Society, P. O. Box 849, Nelson, B.C. Canada V1L 6A5. They don't have a web site, but if you will write a letter, you'll eventually hear back from The Illustrious Swallow, who now heads his organization. You won't be disappointed.

      With many thanks, and all great goodness to you all.

    • Marie Flint profile image
      Author

      Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Mr. Leekley, thank you for your informative comment! I read that criticism also about "no manuscripts" from which Szekely translated his work. The original title also was different. After the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Essenes became a hot topic, and, so, probably at the publisher's suggestion, the book title was changed to THE ESSENE GOSPEL OF PEACE.

      I personally have no doubt that Professor Szekely found SOMETHING from which to work. The Catholic Church officiaries were often denying works in Christian and Gnostic history that they conveniently left out of the Bible. Also, the Convent of Monte Cassino was destroyed during the war, so no manuscripts were left to verify Szekely's work. In my modern spiritual studies, the teachings strangely parallel Szekely's interpretation of the Essene doctrine. And what about the obvious compassion of the man for his childhood dog? That says something about his sincerity, doesn't it? I, for one, believe in the integrity of this man. He did much to help people by introducing a philosophy, a way of life, that transcends modern skepticism and alienation from nature.

      Thank you for the wonderful tips about online resources!

      P.S. I also regard Edgar Cayce very highly.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      About 10 years ago I gave a lay sermon in a Unitarian-Universalist church on THE ESSENE GOSPEL OF PEACE and a few others books by Szekely. They are very fascinating books.

      Later I read a criticism that no evidence can be found that the manuscripts supposedly translated by Szekely ever existed. Have you found evidence, aside from his say-so, that they do or did? Might he have put his own philosophy into the mouth of a fictional Jesus? That the miracle cures of Jesus were a matter of teaching healthy living habits, like cleaning your outside and inside with "the angel of water", doesn't seem to jive much with anything else written about Jesus--though it does make more sense.

      THE ESSENE GOSPEL OF PEACE, BOOK ONE is available online in pdf format. Specify the format in a Google advanced search.

      Edgar Cayce had a lot to say about the Essenes in his Readings. For examples, Google on: cayce essenes

    • Marie Flint profile image
      Author

      Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Michael, I am very glad that you found the subject of Prof. Szekely meaningful. The ESSENE GOSPEL OF PEACE, while I don't have a copy at present, is a favorite book of mine. I came very close to experiencing his community in the 70s, but never followed through on the idea.

      In researching for this hub, I was excited to find the video review of the book. I also learned the correct pronunciation of the professor's name and was touched by his relationship with his childhood dog. Out of curiosity, I looked up the breed online; those dogs are huge! I can understand why the animal meant so much to the growing boy.

      I hadn't realized, too, that Prof. Szekely was Hungarian. Perhaps it is more than a coincidence that I should find an interest in this man with my Slavic heritage. There is a Gerson Therapy clinic in Hungary, too. Casually, I see myself applying to work there. I'm very busy right now, though, trying to start an organic garden in the backyard. ***

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Good evening Marie Flint.

      Excellent Hub. In a nutshell you have introduced the professor E.B. Szekely and his marvelous works ( never heard of him before), as well additional info of Essenes as their contribution to the history of earthly life Jesus from Nazareth. Both dear to my heart, the professor born on the opposite side of Danube River of my birth place, and Essenes have been in my focus since mid ninety sixties while working on my degree . Ahh.

      Voted awesome and interesting.

      Pax vobiscum

    • Marie Flint profile image
      Author

      Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Reader note: The spelling of "Essense" to Essenes was corrected in the previous comment. The essence of Prof. Szekely, however, is very close to the essence of an Essene. ***

    • cecileportilla profile image

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      This was well done. I learned a lot from this post about the Essense people. I had no knowledge of them prior to your post! Thank you!

    • Marie Flint profile image
      Author

      Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      The Essenes were a sect along with the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Essenes, however, viewed women as equals to men and had female priests. They observed the weekdays with the corresponding angels of the Essene Tree of Life: air, water, earth, sun, joy, life, nutrition, wisdom, love, power, peace, creative work, and eternal life. They regarded themselves as one with the Earthly Mother and Heavenly Father.

      The Essene diet was uncooked foods consisting of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and sprouted seeds. A flat bread was made from mashed, sprouted grain that dried in the sun.

      Professor Szekely encouraged the wearing of loose-fitting, 100% cotton clothing, so as to allow the body to breathe and energies to flow. His philosophy of simple living was to reduce stress and to experience harmony, peace, and creativity.

      The closest I came to actually experiencing this life style was at Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston, Massachusetts during the mid-70s. There is something to be said for a raw food, vegan diet. As one guest at the Institute explained, when we digest our food, the electron drops into a lower orbital and releases energy--the energy so lacking in our processed, over-cooked food today. At the Institute, we were also encouraged to go barefoot to ground our body's natural currents to the earth and recharge.

      While Essene thought, diet, and lifestyle may not be for everyone, it is certainly something one can explore with gradual, gentle changes. So many of our problems today would disappear if we understood and practiced the basic Essene tenets.

      God bless!