As I am writing this it’s almost 3am on a chilly July night. I can feel the latest cup of coffee wear off quickly and I’m trying to write this down while I still have some energy left. This has been a post that has been underway for a long time. It has almost been underway for so long that the pressure I’ve built up around it in my head has made it harder for me to sit down and write. Headlights pass by the window behind me and I see my shadow move across the wall in front of me. Now would be the perfect time for a cigarette, but I quit a long time ago. I know my urge to smoke now is that tiny voice in my head wanting a distraction, because what I’m about to divulge is important and a lot to keep track of.
I better start at the beginning. Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated with angels. Growing up I used to love the biblical stories of these creatures. I enjoyed them for many reasons. In the church and community I grew up in there wasn’t much talk of angels, so whenever they would come up I would let all the details sink in. I would take time to reflect, understand and comprehend. I remember the grownups I knew being uncomfortable answering questions about angels.
“The stories are symbolic”, “angels are not real”, “angels are only good”, “how odd that you are interested in this”, “why would you care about these things?”, “angels don’t matter”, “understanding the details of angels are not important”, “you really shouldn’t be asking questions like this”, “there are more important questions to ask”, “why would you want to know anything about demons?”, and “are you still not over talking about angels? Have you not asked those questions before?”.
I asked a lot of questions, and yes I would repeat them if I didn’t get answers. I would keep searching and picking the brains around me as much as I could. I would get in trouble for my questions. And mind you, dear reader, this was in the 1990s, and I was a kid – so my options for research were limited to the people I knew or came into contact with – but I used every opportunity to ask questions pertaining to spirituality – especially about spiritual beings and creatures. I was captivated. Especially seeing how uncomfortable it made the adults around me talking about them. I didn’t know how to decode it at the time, but I liked asking questions to people I assumed were smarter than me and seeing how insecure they would get. As a child you don’t have a lot of power, you live your life in the care of someone else, so finding this key that would unlock this consistent reaction in adults was an early taste of power. At the time I didn’t know that that was what it was, but looking back I can see that was part of the kick for me.
I even remember on my first day of boarding school in 8th grade I met my new school mates and some of them I had gone to church with. I remember one of them spotting me from across the yard, extending his arm, pointing his finger and yelling:
“I remember you. You were that weird kid at church who always talked about angels and demons”.
That was true. At the time, at that age and with my personality it was a lot for me to digest a situation like that. It was a lot of attention and I was insecure and alone. The weird one with weird interests. Great. What a great start.
Now would be another perfect time for a cigarette. I’m sorry if this tempts you, dear reader, but this late hour has a certain feel to it and it’s just not the same to me without a cigarette – even after all these years.
Fast forward through puberty, first love, first heartbreak and a steep climb to escape the hardships of my life. Hardships that I will share little by little as I get comfortable. Until then, just know, that from the vantage point I have now it is very surreal to me to recollect that journey since I feel like I to some extend am referring to someone else’s memories. That I have managed to remove myself so much during my life from the life I used to live that it almost doesn’t seem real that I am still living this one life. I have the feeling that this can’t possibly be part of the same story – but it is.
In my twenties my knowledge of world religions, spiritual societies and schools of philosophy had gotten a lot more advanced and sophisticated. My curiosity and mild obsession with specific topics within these categories had led me down many avenues and I had brought many gifts with me back home from those adventures and detours. I had at that time started tuning into the finer details of my interests. I was still hungry to understand all there was to know about angels, but also demons, evil spirits, the devil himself – and on that journey I had many synchronicities that led me to the same title “the Sons of God”. Now this title received even more raised brows and disapproving looks than most other religious questions I could think of. It was clear to me that I was either onto something or slowly losing it, but I couldn’t honestly believe the latter. This was not the result of a psychotic break. It was things I was uncovering after years of amateur research. I wasn’t trying to bend facts or reality for that matter – I wanted to understand reality. I was calm and analytic about what I was finding, not on the verge of pushing all of my personal progress over a cliff because I had a fragile sense of what was real.
Again, let’s take another leap in time. This time let’s jump to the time I spend at the university. I’m sure I will in future posts go back and forth in time, but for this introduction I will try to make this timeline tight without too many details.
At the time I started my education at the university I was at yet another crossroad in my life. I had lost everything. I had had a number of major illusions burst and with them an understanding and expectation to what my life was going to be like gone. Completely gone. I was starting from scratch. The identity I had and the understanding I had been artificially keeping alive with those bygone illusions were now crumbling rapidly. I was learning hard truths about love, about family, about work, about taking responsibility and being held accountable, changing bad habits, truths about friendships, truths about the church I was in at the time, truths about money, truths about life, truths about myself when I peeled back everything else and at first I wasn’t sure I liked what I saw. But I knew for the very first time I saw myself for who I was. I knew it was necessary and I didn’t look away.
Very few truths were left in my life. I knew I needed to heal. I knew I desired to go to university. I knew I wanted to know more about any and everything related to spirituality, philosophy and religion. I knew this last truth would take a whole lifetime to scratch the surface of, but I also knew my curiosity about these things would propel me as it had done before. So I took the first step in that direction and in the summer of 2012 I started my bachelor degree in Theology at the University of Copenhagen.
In my very first class on the old testament professor Høgenhaven casually mentioned “The Sons of God” and it was like a light came back on. Here I was so many years from my first introduction to the bible, the concept of angels and “The Sons of God” and I was at the university hearing this renowned scholar talk about these entities in a collected and factual matter. No laughter in the auditorium. No one rolling their eyes or looking over at their friends with a look that read “did you hear that?”. People were attentive and taking notes. So I did the most terrifying thing I could think of in the situation, but I had no way of avoiding this impulse. I raised my hand and questioned him about “The Sons of God”. I could tell he had not been asked about them in a long while, maybe ever. The answer was short, slightly nuanced, but ultimately not enough to satisfy me entirely. His conclusion was that “there wasn’t a whole lot of study on the matter and the information we have about them is very limited”. What he did know, he did share. But I could tell he recognized me after that, and there was a kindness to his voice when he would answer my questions following that day that I had not experienced before. It was just the beginning. Slowly I realized that the intricate and detailed understanding and knowledge of the bible that I had along with my countless niché questions were appreciated and valued among all of the professors I encountered.
Something wonderful was happening. I was remembering who I really was.
Underneath all of my painful experiences, all of the wounds that were starting to close, all of the stone cold facts of my current reality I felt a familiar pull and a familiar voice. I was remembering and recognizing that I had a knack for investigation and I wanted to get to the bottom of several mysteries. Waking up to this second chance at life I felt more strongly than ever before that I couldn’t take no for an answer anymore. My heart was in it and I couldn’t let myself down again. There were things I needed to know. I was determined more than ever to pursue these interests again and not let anything steer me off course. I had nothing holding me back anymore anyway. It’s such a cliché that “when you have lost everything you have nothing left to lose, and therefore everything to gain, so don’t hold back”, but like most clichés when you get to that point where you experience in your own life what that means you see the vastness of that truth in the cliché. As the years would progress I started valuing all of my losses a lot more because each and everyone of them had left a vacuum to be filled with things that were vastly better. But before those gaps were filled all I could see was an open horizon of nothing limiting me and I was committed to healing in such a way where I would not trip myself up on purpose anymore, but I would be my own biggest supporter. I was owning my weird kid realness.
Thus started my journey at the university. Finding myself, healing myself and getting back into the things that really mattered to me. By the end of my education I had immersed myself in all of the subjects I loved. I felt so lucky I got to devote myself to these studies. It was an honor. I had explored all of my favorite stories of Genesis, apocalypse literature, wisdom literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi Library, The Book of Enoch, the pseudepigraphical literature, the apocryphal literature, angelology, demonology, magic in the ancient world, King Solomon, Judas Iskariot, Mary Magdalene, the western esoteric traditions, philosophy, church history, among many other topics. I had learned Latin, Koiné Greek and biblical Hebrew. I was very comfortable in all the theological disciplines, especially exegesis, which was and is my favorite.
Although I got the most recognition at the university for the things I uncovered about magic in the old and new testament, the true nature of what angels and the sons of god was, the relationship between the two and the full understanding of every passage they showed up in was still lurking in the back of my head. Just thinking about it now and I can slightly feel a presence behind me – whether imaginative or not it correlates perfectly to how this subject was stalking me as I was following other obsessions and fulfilling other tasks. I knew it was inevitable for me to commit myself uncompromisingly to this subject – and eventually I did.
I uncovered a treasure trove of information. It was too much to be packed into my thesis. I had to focus on writing the thesis and answering my thesis as precisely as possible and thusly had to leave a lot of things out. It pained me so to sift through and condense everything. I promised myself I would return to this research, because I was not done. It has now been a little over a year since I finished my thesis and I finally feel ready to pick up where I left off. I have been going through my old notes, organizing my books, sticking post it notes to every single page in every single book that might have something that is relevant to my research. I am not done looking into this matter. This blog will be dedicated to uncovering my findings on the matter. I will reveal it layer by layer as I go through all of my old research and pair it with the findings I am currently looking at. I am remembering all the things I was saving for a more full investigation and I am piling more on top of that. If you follow this blog you will be presented with the best research I can find on the matter. I will take you along for the ride as if we were meeting in a late night diner and I slipped you the folder with my top secret research myself. I will carry you through my manic episodes of elation when dissecting the matter into the smallest details as well as share my frustrations with writer’s block, dead ends and leads that turned out to not be leads anyway. Some parts may be better edited than others, but that’s what happens when you follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
The sun is finally getting up and it’s time for me to plan my next plan of attack – where to start this research into the subject 2.0.
So join me on this adventure and feel free to join the discussion.