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Summum -- a Latin term meaning "the sum total of all creation" -- is a religious movement founded in 1975 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
According to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune, "Members believe pyramids have the power to channel cosmic energy and support mummification to prepare bodies for the journey through the afterlife." - Source
The group itself says that "Summum is not about doctrine, dogma, or beliefs, but about gaining the experiences that will awaken us to the spirit within and to our place in the matrix of Creation's formulations":
Summum is a 501(c)(3) and 170(b)(1)(A)(i) tax exempt organization incorporated in the State of Utah, USA in 1975. One of the by-laws and basic tenets of Summum is the practice of the rites of Mummification and Transference. In 1986, the practice of these rites was formally recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as exempt from federal taxation.
Summum first introduced the public to Modern Mummification in 1975. Since that time Summum has continued to research, develop, and refine this exoteric and esoteric art and science. Today, Summum is the only organization in the world to offer this remarkable and distinguished tradition.
The word "summum" is a Latin term meaning "the highest or greatest; the sum total." In the context of Summum and other philosophies, "summum" means "the sum total of all creation."
Another closely related term found within Summum and philosophical readings is "summum bonum." Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines "summum bonum" as "the supreme good from which all others are derived."
Summum is an informal gathering of people who are seeking to understand themselves, to know who they truly are inside. Summum is not about doctrine, dogma, or beliefs, but about gaining the experiences that will awaken us to the spirit within and to our place in the matrix of Creation's formulations.
- Source: About Summum Summum (Official website), last accessed Apr. 11, 2008
Summum states that its teaching are those of 'Gnostic Christianity':
In Gnostic Christianity, spiritual gnosis is not just a knowledge of facts or figures or an intellectual understanding of theological ideas. Rather, it is an experience. This knowledge or gnosis is subjective in its nature. The Gnostic doesn't just believe in God, he or she experiences God. Spiritual gnosis can not be attained through the intellect. It is special initiatory knowledge given to the few who are ready to receive it.
By the end of the 5th Century CE, the Gnostic movement and most of its writings had been destroyed by Catholic "heresy hunters" and the Roman army. The iron hand of Constantine smothered philosophy with a blanket of theology. Anything that had to do with gaining revelatory experience was cast aside. Writings were compiled for the purpose of establishing power and control and anything that did not fit this purpose was banned. The loss to the Christian Church was incalculable, for its very essence and spirit was gutted.
- Source: The Teachings of Summum are the Teachings of Gnostic Christianity Summum (Official website), last accessed Apr. 11, 2008
Gnosticism is considered a heresy -- doctrine which is erroneous in such a way that Christians must divide themselves as a church from all who teach or accept it.
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