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Phoenix of Immortality

The Path of the Phoenix:
The Spiritual Road to Physical Immortality
by Robert Coon

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Apollonius of Tyana

Apollonius was born around 4 BC at Tyana, in Cappadocia, and is last heard of in Ephesus, over 100 years later. There are no records, or traditions, of his death. Immediately after his disappearance, his friends stated that he had been translated into the eternal realms, and was an Immortal. After his ascension, a temple was built in his honour at his place of birth, Tyana.

Today, the ruins of Tyana are an ancient site in Turkey, located at 37.48N, 34.36E, about 100 kilometres north of Tarsus, the home of Paul. At the time of Apollonius, the region of Cappadocia contained an interesting mixture of spiritual influences. Zoroastrian magicians were well-established in the area, teaching the ancient wisdom of the Fire Aeon of Aries. As the new age of Pisces was emerging then, it was essential to transfer the fruit of the fading Aeon, in terms of its most profound principles, to this new Aeon. In southern Cappadocia, in the Comana region, the great nature goddess, Ma, had her centre. And at Venasa, in the western area, Zeus had a major temple. As a child, Apollonius would have grown up amidst these three primary forces: Zoroastrianism, nature-earth goddess worship, and Greek influences.

At the age of 16, Apollonius was initiated into a Neo-Pythagorean school. This was at a Temple of Asclepius, who is also an Immortal. It was at this temple-school that Apollonius was instructed in the art of physical immortality. Aegae, where this initiation occurred, is north of Mt. Olympus. Today, it is the Greek city Edessa. In ancient times, it was called the Garden of Midas, because of its abundancy of fruit. Aegae was the spiritual centre of ancient Macedonia. It was from here that Greek culture spread throughout the region, through the efforts of Alexander and his successors. In Roman times, Aegae was one of the main sites along the second great Roman road, the Via Egnatia.

Centuries before the time of Apollonius, Pythagoras worked with an Immortal called Abaris. Abaris, who regularly worked at Callanish Stone Circle, on the Isle of Lewis, in Scotland, was a breatharian and regularly teleported to Greece. Abaris was a High Priest of Apollo. The deepest mystery of Apollo was the secret of Everlasting Life. In the Cabala, Apollo is the sun behind the sun, and may be invoked from the sphere of Daath as the Spirit of Truth.

Asclepius the Immortal is known as the son of Apollo. Today we know him as the patron saint of medicine and healing. His symbol is a wooden staff with one snake winding around it. The wooden staff symbolises the Tree of Eternal Life, and the snake represents the ascent of this Tree. Asceplius developed the ability to transmit the Immortal Elixir, Ambrosia, to humans. This brought the gods of Olympus into conflict with each other. Apparently, the rapid abolition of all physical death was much too radical a thing to contemplate for some of them. In this conflict, Apollo supported Ascelpius.

Asclepius used his knowledge to help Hippolytus gain physical immortality, on the coast, not far from Athens. Hippolytus teleported to Italy and changed his name to Virbius, and married Egeria. They continue to live in Italy to this day, leading a very secluded and obscure existence. The name he currently uses, "Verbius", means twice-man. This is identical to the immortal concept used in mystical Christianity referring to physical immortality, twice-born, or born again. Often, Immortals choose to retreat from society and disguise their true nature. Historically, most societies have neither understood nor tolerated physical immortality. For this reason, Immortals like Virbius choose to work behind the scenes.

Asclepius has several family members who are also immortals. His three daughters are best known: Hygiea, Jaso, and Panacea. Hygeia teaches the art of maintaining perfect health and vitality. Jaso, also known as Ioso or Meditrina, teaches the art of restoring health. Panacea teaches the art of curing every possible malady. The English words hygiene and panacea are obviously derived from these sources. Not so much is known about the wife of Asclepius. Her name is Epigone. She is adept at bringing peace, tranquility, and harmony to healing. In addition to his immediate family, another mysterious person sometimes appears with Asclepius. His name is Telesphoros. He is the size of a small boy and wears a mantle, or hood, which obscures his face. He teaches the art of bringing healing forces from distant, eternal sources; and then establishing these energies inside the body of the patient. Telesphoros bears a strange resemblance to Kenny, a character in the animated series, South Park. Kenny is always getting killed, and then coming back alive again. This is a phenomenon that the skills of ancient Telesphoros can produce.

The principal temple dedicated to Asclepius was at Epidaurus, near the coast of NE Peloponnisos. Today, the city is called Palaia Epidavros. The theatre there is the most beautiful in Greece. The most ancient and sacred site in the Epidaurus area is at the sanctuary of Apollo, on the slopes of Mt. Cynortium. This is the location where Asclepius attained Everlasting Life long ago. The great healing temple was constructed in the 4th century BC. Patients would sleep in the temple, and then Asclepius and his family would visit them in their dreams. In the morning, patients would awaken, cured of their illnesses, and vividly recalling the visitations from the Immortals.

It is difficult to determine the year of birth for Asclepius. He is probably over 3,000 years old. Homer gives him a brief mention in his Iliad, and says he had two sons, Machaon and Podaleirius, who were Greek healers. Philostratus, the biographer of Apollonius, places the date of Homer's birth at 1159 BC. The events which Homer describes at Troy probably took place around 1200 BC. Asclepius was born in Thessaly, the area south of Olympus, probably sometime before 1200 BC.

If you follow the telluric energy path south along the coastal range from Mt. Olympus, you come first to Mt. Ossa, and then to Mt. Pelion. These are the two primary initiatory sites on this particular earth current leading to Olympus. When young, Asclepius went to Pelion and was initiated into the art of healing in caves near the summit of this mountain. These initiatory teachings were ascribed to the legendary Chiron.

Apollonius was born over a 1000 years after the emergence of Asclepius. If we want to trace the current of physical immortality he is connected with, we can start with Olympus, and then move through Ossa to Pelion. From Pelion, travel to Epidaurus. Finally we arrive at Aegae, where Apollonius enters the story. Clearly, all the immortals identified with this story are part of an Apollo tradition.

Apollo has interesting connections with an Immortal realm which the Greeks located beyond the north wind - Hyperboria. Immediately north of ancient Greece was the region of Scythia. This land was south of the Carpathian mountains, and extended along the eastern and northern sides of the Black Sea. Anacharsis, who was from this region, is included in ancient lists of the Seven Wise Men. Sometimes, Abaris is also called a Scythian, although he is often described as a Hyperborian.

Somewhere north of Scythia was Hyperboria. It is a land of light and fruit where everyone lives for over 1000 years. Apollo would go there regularly. Perhaps it is best to interpret Hyperboria as an Immortal dimension, rather than a normal country with a fixed geographical location. Sacred sites are often doorways to these Immortal realities. If we look for a major sacred site portal to Hyperboria, we must travel from Mt. Olympus, north across Scythia, and arrive at the High Tatra area, on the border between Slovakia and Poland. The High Tatra area is the cardinal energy centre of Central Europe. There is a special connection between High Tatra and Olympus. Primal, cardinal inspiration emanates from the Tatras. Structure and usefulness is given to this Tatra energy in the Stockholm, Sweden area. Olympus is the creative, artistic expression of this force. The period from 2008 to 2027 AD will see an increase of activity at these sites.

If you want to explore the Immortal current associated with Apollo, begin at Olympus. From there, go to the High Tatras, and also to Callanish stone circle, in the Hebrides, in Scotland. From the Tatras, connect to Mt. Elbrus, the highest point in greater Europe. Let the geomythics of all these locales interact with your purpose and your imagination. Geomythics is the interaction of mythology and landscape. The living spirit of the earth communicates fluently through the language of geomythics.

I have digressed from the principal subject of this essay, Apollonius, in order to suggest that he was part of a well-established Immortal tradition. Physical Immortality, in many parts of the world, and during different eras, has been a normal topic for conversation and spiritual exploration. Today, perhaps the largest cultural population supportive of Physical Immortality is the Chinese Taoist community. Many Chinese would be aware that certain Immortals are reputed to live on Tai Shan, and other sacred mountains around China. And also, for Apollonius, the idea of physical immortality would have been a natural part of his world.

One of the negative effects of Christianity has been its tendency to deny many regional cultures their wealth of tradition and lore relating to the magick of the Immortals. This magickal Immortal awareness has been suppressed. This is ironical, as Jesus, an Immortal himself, certainly recognised that he was part of an ancient Immortal tradition. He probably had no intention of founding a new religion, which, over time, would try to deny Immortality to everyone else, other than himself. At least the Catholics give his mother her own physical immortality.

Apollonius and Jesus were born into the same world. Apollonius came to represent the very best of the old pagan world which Christianity would eventually eclipse. Why is Jesus so famous today, and Apollonius so obscure? If both of them are, as I believe, physically immortal beings, then they are probably reacting to the present situation with a mixture of ruefulness and laughter. Both Immortals were charged with crimes and brought before judges. How they reacted to these similar situations was quite different.

Almost everyone knows the story of Jesus. He taught physical immortality and was brought before a court during the reign of Tiberius (14-37 AD), and was crucified. The power of his immortality overcame his supposed death, and he came out of his tomb and taught in public for 40 days after, to over 500 people. Then he made a vertical retirement from public activity (ascension) and left people to try to figure out what it was all about.

Apollonius took a different approach to dealing with the law. On the first instance, which happened during the reign of Nero, the written charges against him suddenly disappeared from the scroll they were recorded on. The second situation was even more dramatic: During the reign of Domitian (81-96 AD), Apollonius was again charged with crimes. this time he declared that the court could not restrict either his body or his soul, and then vanished in a blaze of light, in front of many witnesses. This illustrates the Liberty that an Immortal has. If Jesus had made this same choice, and had not allowed himself to be crucified, then it is very likely that the subsequent history of Christianity would have been very much altered. In the Piscean Age, the suffering of Jesus had a deep cultural resonance. Now, in the Aquarian period, liberty and the complete internalisation of law will become more prominent themes. Immortals are pure expressions of law, and move with liberty.

Apollonius was a traveller. In his day, all roads led to Rome, so he spent much time there. He wasn't always in trouble with the rulers of Rome. In between his two brushes with the law, he was able to act as an advisor to two of the more enlightened emperors, Vespasian (69-79 AD) and Titus (79-81 AD). It is not uncommon for Immortals to try to positively influence governments and politicians. Like Apollonius, there is a tradition that the Immortal St. Germain also takes an interest in politics.

Apollonius also roamed the world, activating sacred sites and gaining wisdom. The most distant journey he made was to the vicinity of the world crown chakra, Mt. Kailas, in Tibet. There he met other Immortals and was given new work to accomplish. He was told to travel to many sacred sites, and to prepare them for future activation. Sometimes, places develop an energy for many centuries, and then suddenly - when the time is right - project this stored energy into social and cultural change. Some Immortals tend the development of these sacred sites over very long periods of time.

One of the Immortals that Apollonius met in Tibet was called Iarchas. The Mt. Kailas area is the 7th earth chakra, which in the human body corresponds to the top of the head. The Scorpio full moon is most auspicious at Mt. Kailas. It is on this particular moon, in April or May, when the Immortals energise new agendas and launch new campaigns for positive change in the world. It would have most likely been on such an occasion when Iarchas and his companions charged Apollonius with the task of preparing many sacred sites throughout the Roman Empire. It is quite possible that events in the 20th and 21st centuries are being influenced by the activities of Immortals long ago.

There are many tales of Apollonius recorded in his biography, written by Philostratus around the year 200 AD. This book is available in several editions, and should be tracked down by anyone interested in the Immortals. Julia Domna, who was born in Syria, became the wife of the Emperor, Septimius Severus (193-211 AD). She was highly regarded as a patron of artists and writers. It was she who commissioned Philostratus to research and write the Apollonius biography. The book proved very popular, and exerted an influence on subsequent emperors. The immediate successor to Septimius Severus, Caracalla (211-217 AD), built a shrine to Apollonius. A few years later, Emperor Severus Alexander (222-235 AD) had a very interesting array of honoured sages in his own personal meditation room. He would regularly contemplate statues of Apollonius, Orpheus, Jesus, and Abraham. Gibbon, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, says that a purer faith and worship was practiced in the household of this devout ruler. Severus felt that Abraham, Orpheus, Jesus, and Apollonius taught four different ways of seeking union with the divine. Unfortunately, this eclectic and tolerant philosopher-emperor was succeeded by a man of very contrary dispositions. This was often the case throughout the history of the ebb and flow of morality exhibited by the various Roman Empire rulers.

Philostratus, the biographer of Apollonius, was born on the island of Lemnos, which is just to the east of Mt. Athos. He taught at Athens and then moved to Rome. In addition to Apollonius, he wrote interesting books about the Olympics and the Sophist philosophers. Today, he is best known because of the poet Ben Jonson. Jonson translated part of letter 33 of Philostratus' Epistolae, and titled it "Song to Celia". This is a poem about love, alchemy, and immortality. One breath, one glance, one touch from the Beloved immortalises all things.

Apollonius of Tyana is a fascinating figure, and has stimulated the imaginations of artists and writers. Viereck and Eldridge, in their great immortalist classic, My First Two Thousand Years: The Autobiography of the Wandering Jew, give Apollonius an honoured place in their novel. Cartaphilus, who has been cursed with Immortality by Jesus, studies with Apollonius for a year. The great sage teaches him that everlasting life does not have to be a curse. If the veil can be lifted from the face of life, then the True Will can direct the journey in positive directions. Apollonius tells Cartaphilus to find a great purpose that will last for centuries. Seek that which can not be found, and, perhaps, someday you will find it. All things are possible. The Spirit of the World, through the expression of infinite possibilities and eternal experimentation, may evolve your highest dream, until the dream becomes reality.

Apollonius was a vegetarian, as are all Pythagoreans. It is essential to not eat animals, if you want to be an Immortal. No one can claim Immortality for themselves, if they persist in making the death of other beings the foundation for their own eternal life. Apollonius mainly ate fruit, and preferred to eat wild fruits that he could find as he travelled.

Because he studied at a temple of Asclepius, Apollonius was an expert on health and healing. Often, he would help to vanquish plagues. Once, he had to suddenly teleport to Ephesus because of the plague troubling the city. When asked how he knew, from hundreds of kilometres away, that he was instantly needed at Ephesus, he replied: "I live upon a diet that is lighter than most individuals". This was what the Pythagoreans discovered from experience. All of one's intuitive and spiritual abilities are increased if a person is a vegetarian, a fruitarian, or lives on only prana.

Apollonius taught the alchemical system of the four elements - earth, water, air, and fire. He also said that the fifth element was ether, or prana, and that this was the substance that the Immortals inhaled, in order to maintain their vitality. Mortals inhale air; Immortals inhale ether. He also states that the Immortals have the ability to render themselves visible or invisible at will. This is the power he exhibited when he vanished from the judgement court of Domitian. Apollonius also taught that the universe is a living being. This perspective is important. If we see everything as having consciousness, then we have a greater sense of the sacred, and we are able to travel upon the great road of evolutionary change in a much more magickal way.

Apollonius developed simple rituals and invocations, based upon the four elements, as they are found in nature. Here is an example of a solar ritual he regularly performed: He would invoke a solar blessing at either sunrise or at noon. Apollonius would say a prayer, or invocation, such as the following:

O thou Sun, send me as far over the earth as is my pleasure and thine,
and may I make the acquaintance of good beings,
but never hear anything of bad ones, nor they of me.

Then he would cast a handful of frankincense - the cabalistic incense of the sun - into a fire. As the smoke rose and swirled into patterns, he would meditate upon the shifting designs and receive guidance for the next phase of his work and journey.

Apollonius is one of the great Immortals. He states that the great virtues of life must be developed and mastered. But more importantly, he says that one must master the art of using the great immortal laws and virtues to create change in society. If you have perfect peace within you, that is good. But the question is: How can you use that peace to create the greatest change in the world? Master the creative art of using all of your immortal virtues.

After Apollonius vanished in a blaze of light at the judgement court of Domitian, he travelled away from Rome. Around the age of 100, he was at Ephesus. This was during the reign of the Emperor Nerva. Ephesus was one of the great sacred sites of the ancient world. John, the disciple of Jesus, had a school there, and immortalised himself while there. A great temple to Artemis, or Diana, was the spiritual magnet which gave Ephesus its greatest fame. It is appropriate that Ephesus is the site where Apollonius disappears from the public awareness, and begins to work in a more hidden manner. For Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo. Apollonius was initiated into a school of physical immortality associated with Apollo - the sun behind the sun. Asclepius, Abaris, Virbius, and many other Immortals are a part of this Apollonian current. Artemis, twin to Apollo, is the moon behind the moon. There is a great tradition of physical immortality connected to Apollo. There is also a great Immortal Magick associated with Artemis. When the gold and silver are united, when the initiation of Apollo and Artemis is attained, then the full Truth and Beauty of Everlasting Life is unveiled. Today, somewhere in the world, Apollonius of Tyana is travelling along the great road of infinite life, forever seeking new imaginations of Grace and Beauty...

Copyright Robert Coon 1998-2012
All rights reserved.

Immortals and Immortalists