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Lecture 5

MUS 365 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: The Aquarian Weekly, Kurt Rudolph, Akashic Records

Course Code
MUS 365
Benjamin Ordaz

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Betrayal, Murder, and Prison
Part 6
The Greek word “gnosis” literally means “knowledge” or “insight” and gnostic ideas run
deep in our culture and are still quite vital today
As will be used here, Gnosticism follows the definition outlined by Kurt Rudolph
o This is only one of many that could be selected
Gnosticism is a dualistic religion, consisting of several schools and movements, which
took up a definitely negative attitude towards the world and the society of the time, and
proclaimed a deliverance (redemption) of man precisely from the constraints of earthly
existence through “insight” into his essential relationship, whether as “soul” or “spirit” a
relationship temporarily obscured with a supramundane realm of freedom and of rest
Gnosticism is usually characterized by secret knowledge that allows one to transcend
the flesh to fulfillment in the spirit
Practitioners often voice a pronounced hostility toward the flesh; setting the flesh and
spirit in sharp dialectic
In his autobiography, Nelson discussed the profound impact that the writings of Levi H
Dowling have had on his life, particularly Dowling’s 1908 book “The Aquarian Gospel of
Jesus the Christ”
Dowling was the son of a Disciples of Christ minister
He would become, in turn, a preacher, a chaplain in the Civil War, and finally a medical
doctor in his mature eyes
The “Aquarian Gospel was a ‘transcriptionof the life of Christ from the Akashic
Specifically, the “Aquarian Gospel recounts Jesusstudies of secret (gnostic) knowledge
on Egypt and his travels to India to learn the Vedas and other writings during the 18
“missing” years of his life that predated his New Testament ministry
Nelson wrote that “The Aquarian Gospel had a great impact on me. It all came together
with that book. Explained everything to my satisfaction
While originally published in 1908, a popular trade paperback edition of the “Aquarian
Gospel was published in 1972
The “Aquarian Gospel is an early 20th century gnostic text that presents the classic,
stark dualism between body and spirit that is found in Western thought, most
prominently in the writings of Augustine and other Christian writers that were
influenced by Plato
Nelson’s groundbreaking 1975 Country Music concept album, “Red Headed Stranger,is
infused with gnostic ideas drawn from the Aquarian Gospel
“Red Headed Stranger” sold over 3 million copies, contained Willie’s first number one
solo hit, attracted many younger listeners to Country Music, and vaulted him into the
front rank of Country Music performers
Recorded and mixed in a few days, the album featured sparse accompaniments to
Nelson’s evocative singing which stood in sharp contrast to the stranded heavily-
produced Music Row recordings of the time
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