Monday, May 9, 2022

Antonin Gadal

Antonin Gadal was a French mystic and historian who dedicated his life to study of the Cathars in the south of France, their spirituality, beliefs, and ideology.

Gadal was born in 1877 in the Pyrenean town of Tarascon in the Ariège region in the south of France, which was one of the centres of the heretical gnostic Christian movement known as the Cathars or the Albigensians in the 12th and 13th Centuries.

Gadal's belief was that the spirituality of the Cathars traced back through various Gnostic beliefs to the most ancient sources of the Western Mystery Tradition - the Essenes, Hermeticism, the Egyptian Mysteries and so on - but seen in a Christian context. He argued that in the Ariège basin, and particularly the Lombrives caves, Cathar Perfecti (the spiritual elite of the movement) underwent a three-year period of initiation in which they experienced a transformation of the human soul, much like that experienced by Christ in the Gospels - Transfiguration, Death & Resurrection.

Lombrives Caves

Transformed by the Holy Spirit, the Perfecti then went out into the world, having 'died' to it, to spread the Cathar faith and minister to the Credentes, or Believers. Gadal's belief was that this process of Initiation was contained within the Christian message of the Gospels and the cycle of the Christ story and was the hidden meaning of the Grail Legend.

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