More about Veils, the Body, and Reality

Leave a comment

I may get letters for this entry, too, but I’m posting it anyway.

It’s quite possible that, during the course of humanity, we’ve developed completely wrong mental “maps” of how things work.

That’s okay, though.

This is the way I am currently conceiving of things, and I have to explain it in such a way as is in accordance with my own experience. Some of the terminology came while in the process of Contemplative Prayer, and I’ll have to work to adjust it accordingly; please try to bear with me.

Continuing on with my concept of “veils” that I posted yesterday, today, while contemplating (or meditating), I had the sense that reality is structured in this way: our own sense of self or ego works as a veil that keeps us separated from the world around us but also from the true nature of our body.

The true nature of our body and the true nature of reality are both occluded.

But then our body, too, is a kind of veil, veiling us from what I call our Big Body. Now, of course, the issue that I can’t explain here is how one knows that one has a body larger than one at this time, yet in the contemplative prayer, I could very well see it. This may be the very “spiritual body” mentioned in Christianity.

The Big Body, then, is the veil between us and the Body of Christ, and Christ is the veil between our Big Body and the Father.

Now, I should point out a few things; I am indeed suggesting that we have no spirit or soul that “pops out” when we die. But I am not suggesting that we therefore have no continuity after the apparent death of our body; rather, I am stating that the death of our body is the falling away of a veil to reveal something even more real.

The big issue that arises at this point comes up to the notion of various supernatural entities and spirits and so forth, and how they could possibly exist. I am not suggesting non-corporeal entities don’t exist, either; I’m simply saying, humans are not that kind of entity or creature. We’re something eternal and substantial.

But then, I could be wrong about all this. Something about it seems so unique, so right, so fresh, that I can’t help but be excited that I’ve somewhat haphazardly stumbled upon this little gem.

The experience of the “Big Body” as I’m temporarily calling it is an experience of absolute confidence and absolute security. One is HELD, one is KEPT, one is CONTENT, and one may also be said to be FREE.

Perhaps the “Big Body” experience is what is meant by the “Higher Self.” But this doesn’t feel like ethereal or wispy, and maybe it all comes around to my sense of being mistaken about what others have meant by “Higher Self” all this time.

It’s quite possible I’m the one who got it all wrong and now am seeing what was really meant.

More later.

Stevo

Advertisements

A Reflection on the Holy Eucharist and the True Nature of Matter

Leave a comment

Dear God, I hope this isn’t too explosive to post or write, and I hope someone reads it and understands where I’m coming from.

The universe itself, indeed, the true nature of matter, is the very Body of Christ. What happens at the Mass is an “unveiling,” simultaneously in the Eucharist and in the participants themselves, of the true nature of material reality, which the typical consciousness of humanity cannot perceive directly. Each human is, prior to their own uniqueness, existent as the Imago Dei.

 

To receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist, then, is to be drawn into and united with the Mystery of the Holy Trinity. By revealing that our bodies are in fact consonant and derived from the Body of Christ, and to be lifted back from our fallen state into this Truth is one of the aims of the Mass.

 

The veil is torn, albeit for a temporary time, the same veil that divides the Imago Dei from the Body of Christ; the Holy Eucharist serves to tear the veil time and again, and with consistent practice on the part of the Faithful, the veil is eventually totally destroyed, at least in some instances.

 

After the veil has permanently been torn within an individual to reveal that the Imago Dei and the Body of Christ are synonymous in substance (though not ontologically the same), the Eucharist becomes an ever-living dialogue, the manifested, loving relationship of the Holy Trinity. This revelation does not, however, exhaust the Mystery of the Eucharist, for the Mystery of the Eucharist cannot be exhausted, its very nature being Divine.

 

The Communion of Saints is a reference to those who have fully been drawn into or participate fully in the Second Person of the Trinity, those both living and dead, without boundaries of Creed or any other such element of Identity or Division.

 

The God-Man Jesus Chrsit is a human Incarnation of the Divine Logos,the true, underlying, cosmic Principle and Nature. But in this context, “Principle” should not be understood as merely an abstraction conducive for the sake of human understanding; rather, the God-Man Jesus Christ is substantially a perfect human image of a vital and fundamental Reality beyond the normal human understanding of “Being.”

The argument against panentheism which would normally arise at this point is the result of a few mistake notions; first, the conceptual separation between God and Creation, and second, the notion that particulars in Nature in and of themselves are Divine without their greater participation in the underlying Christ. Creation is not a process that occurred once and now remains static; rather, Creation is an ever-continuous process rooted in the Body of Christ that unfolds; Creation is a Bodily Process of God, if you will.

 

A further explanation of the issue of panentheism is the honoring of Nature as Divine is really a product of the separated or fallen human consciousness as opposed to the Imago Dei’s experience of the Body of Christ. The process is an exercise in separation rather than a Fountain of Life-Giving Unity. The exception to this lies in the person who experiences his unity with Nature on the level of the Imago Dei, regardless of his particular set of terminology.

 

These are some rather undeveloped thoughts that I jotted down today and relate to a particular experience with the Christ-as-Earth-Father archetype I had recently. More later.

 

Beaux

Mystical Experience Updates

Leave a comment

First off, today marked my fourth Mass at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Ozark, Alabama. That tops the three Masses I went to at St. Mark’s in Troy, Alabama. The main thing that has changed: I am going to Mass for Christ and not for myself. That’s an incredible shift in my own consciousness.

Another good point is that since I am single at this point in my life, I attend Mass with a full dedication to Christ and can put my full focus on Him. I felt a bit uncomfortable before when I went with my then-boyfriend, as I felt I was ignoring him or not giving him the due attention. However, there was also the reality that we weren’t totally able to be open about our relationship and so on at the church on the one hand, so perhaps that played into it.

The mystical experiences to note:

One night, I had the experience of everyone being part of the Body of Christ. The mystical Body of Christ is a reality, not a metaphor. Unfortunately, Christianity often enough gets everything backwards: what is literal is taken as symbolic and what is symbolic is taken as literal. This is highly bothersome.

At any rate, the experience accorded to me that everyone is a part of THE BODY of Christ, that we are substantially, in a flesh-and-blood sort of way, made out of His very Body. Receiving the Eucharist reveals this Truth in our own bodies- the Truth of our Oneness with God and each other. This is a very real and vital sort of thing, not just a strange, flowing, undefined energetic sort of way; it’s like being a great, organic body, connected in a direct and real manner.

The next experience: as I drove to Mass today, I had the experience of Christ being on the cross, high in the sky, and all reality being united to Him. Then, I had the experience of seeing myself melt away, along with all people melt away, to reveal that underneath, we are all actually Christ. So to treat another human being in a certain way is verily to treat Christ in that way.

This comes around to a picture that my friend Richard posted recently of a man shooting heroin into his vein, showing that in doing so, he, too, is shooting heroin into the body of Jesus. The point, then, is that not only is it a matter of what we do to another person, BUT HOW WE TREAT OURSELVES, a point that is not emphasized enough in Christianity.

In the Second Great Commandment of Christ, we are told to love our neighbor as ourselves; the implication, then, is that we must FIRST love ourselves, for if we hate ourselves, we will hate our neighbor as well.

The final revelation that occurred today happened as I took a walk and, with my mala-turned-chotki, I prayed the Name of Jesus or the so-called Jesus Prayer. After a time, I began to see the shimmering in everything; there’s a strange shimmering that’s appeared more and more these days, perhaps a function of meditating more on the Third Eye. Either way, I see a light, a shimmering, in things that I have only begun seeing since a little before starting to go to Mass and probably after I started doing the meditation on the Secret of the Golden Flower.

All I can say is, “Praise be to God.”

I hope my words can be of use to others, that they either take encouragement from them or find parallels in their own mysticism.

Beaux

Mass at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Ozark, Alabama

2 Comments

For the first time in over a year, I attended Mass again, this time at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Ozark, Alabama.

 

The church is small, quite small, and I went alone; this was a big deal for me, as I had to drive half an hour to get there, and I’m unaccustomed to going places alone.

 

Call me crazy, call me ballsy, call me whatever, but I was bloody-minded enough (read: insanely determined) that I was going to go to this freely available Mass tonight, because I was actually awake and had the chance and all that jazz.

 

I didn’t go for myself, ultimately, either; I went for Christ. I kept reminding myself that I was doing this for Christ and not for me, which helped me more to understand what the Sufis mean about surrendering to the Will of God.

 

The priest, Father Tom, was especially welcoming; especially since I ended up arriving a half-hour early for the service. He asked me normal questions, and then people began showing up; they introduced themselves, and I enjoyed the small congregation of only 12 people tonight.

 

The Mass was actually just the communion part; there was no sermon or singing, praise be to God. I do like hymns, and they do have an organ (a small, electrical one), but getting to the good stuff of the Lord Christ is what makes me a happy panda.

 

I’ve never been to such a welcoming church before. I’ve also never been to a church that kept so many Catholic elements for being such a heavily via media church. (They, in fact, had the prayer candles- the votive candles lit when one says a prayer- and we all said, “Amen” after receiving communion, and everyone crossed themselves. This didn’t happen at St. Mark’s in Troy, where they even had a quite visible Tabernacle!)

 

Of course, I shouldn’t read into that sort of thing, either; the important thing is that I went, and I saw Christ proclaimed magnificently in the Episcopal Church once again with a lovely group of people who are indeed the Body of Christ.

 

Receiving the Eucharist did something for me this time, among these beautiful, loving people, and I know that Christ somehow transformed me within, and that I should go receive communion as often as possible. God has done something amazing, something that I don’t fully understand but can palpably feel inside of me.

 

Maybe I am simply more open to God now. Maybe I have matured somewhere inside of myself. Who knows the why and the how? I am concerned only with the fact that receiving communion has changed me in a way I wasn’t expecting, in that same, real manner that’s true- something that is real just IS.

 

After Mass, we had a soup and salad dinner; naturally, I asked if there was any meat in the soup, and someone checked for me. Turns out it was she-crab soup, and it was absolutely amazing; the salad wasn’t half bad, either, and I had a glass of wonderful sweet tea.

 

Then Father Tom gave a semi-humorous presentation on the Top Ten Failed Evangelism Ideas. People commented and tried to figure out how to best help evangelize in the community; the ultimate idea came back around to Facebook and Youtube.

So, in a way, I suppose I’m doing my part.

 

The Episcopal Church is, in many ways, a mess, yet there is undeniably a statement of truth- they accept everyone, especially this parish. They accept absolutely everyone, regardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation. (I should note that a gay couple made up part of tonight’s congregation!)

 

A few of my other devoted friends have ended up in the Episcopal Church. True, the mystic in me will never relent from my heresies, but perhaps that’s exactly what will ultimately grant the Episcopal Church its greatest strength- the outcasts who hold a piece of Christ’s Mystery that was never written down and given the Seal of Approval.

St. Michael’s is an openly and avowed gay-friendly church; this is true for the priest and the congregation, as I experienced first-hand tonight. You will feel welcome, no matter who you are!

Praise be to God, and let us proclaim the ultimate Mystery of Christ’s love.

You can visit their Facebook page here.

 

Beaux

 

 

 

 

On the Sacrifice of the Lord Christ

1 Comment

Another issue that has come about more recently is the de-emphasis of the crucifixion and death of Christ on the cross. While the matter is open to interpretation, especially among Gnostics, I think an issue is of making the Incarnation itself the true sacrifice and disregarding the rest of the mystery of the life of Christ.

 

 

In fact, I think we can resolve rather easily the issues regarding the esteem of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of God and Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix by focusing on the Incarnation, and so, too, we can uphold the power of the Crucifixion, all at once, if we look to the true Mystery of Christ.

And here the true Mystery is clear enough: it is not strictly the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, or the Resurrection that matter; rather, THE ENTIRE LIFE OF CHRIST IS THE ACT OF REDEMPTION ITSELF; CHRIST IS THE BEING OF REDEMPTION, THE PROOF AND ETERNAL EXISTENCE OF REDEMPTION.

What I mean to convey here is that the Mystery of Christ is not that He comes along and somehow “completes” the Hebrew tradition, as is the notion held by many modern Evangelicals; rather, Christ IS the Mystery of Salvation, of Sacrifice for the sake of Love, and so forth.

To address Mary’s role in this, I should say that God could have simply “appeared” somewhere without going through the process of human life, from beginning to end; instead, He chose a woman, a human being, through whom to manifest. Mary’s cooperation in the process of salvation seems, then, to take on a much larger role; indeed, she could not have been any ordinary woman.

The archetypal dimension of these things may speak of something quite different, where Mary is the potential of matter to give birth to Divinity that is both man and God. Perhaps this is the true mystery that happens all along; truly, the Eucharist is the revelation of the latent Christ within matter, and each Eucharist encompasses the celebration of Incarnation, Passion, Crucifixion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension.

I wish the Mystery were less obfuscated by the legalism and attempt of modernism of the various Churches. Maybe Christ will one day reunite all the Churches to Himself again. In the meantime, I will devote myself to His Most Sacred Heart and pray most fervently that the Unknown Father would reveal Himself to us in whatever ways He can.

Beaux

Belated Updates

2 Comments

So much to say, so little time. So many thoughts that I’ve not been sharing.

Several days ago, I made an “executive decision” to create a kind of religious retreat for myself. This retreat requires a few simple things, the main thing being to try to get me to meditate more each day. I will say for the past few days, I’ve chanted much earlier than usual, so that’s something.

For a month or so, I plan to simply keep to myself and not go out more than the few scheduled times I set up. Friday is typically going to be my outing. Around the end of September, I’ll lift the self-imposed cloister, and I’ll return to daily life in whatever way.

My main issue is having avoided meditation so much. It isn’t that I haven’t meditated; it’s that meditation has ended up coming at the very end of the day and only for a few minutes at that, and I can’t put myself in that position. Meditation, like prayer, affects one even if one isn’t meditating or praying.

I don’t know if I’ve spoken about “spiritual delay” yet, but spirituality is not like fast food. Mysticism is not McMysticism; you cannot meditate and expect things to just magically be okay 10 minutes later. That’s just NOT how it works. Yes, you will eventually see the results, but for whatever reason, they’re delayed, and it’s a difficult thing to explain how and why this happens.

Prayer today may result in a sudden descent of God’s Grace three days later, abruptly. Visualizing something intently today may result in its appearing two weeks later when I don’t care to have it anymore. Maybe that’s a method of God teaching us a lesson or something.

My organized prayers have fallen through again, too, but the good news is that all the problems I had trying to reconcile various religious traditions with one another have essentially fallen through as I’ve gone to a deeper level in understanding them. That’s how I end up using Hindu chants and praying to the Sacred Heart of Jesus all at the same time; Gnostics are allowed to do this, you see, as these things facilitate gnosis and bring us closer to God. That’s what matters.

I spoke with Erik the other night about Gnostic views of the Holy Eucharist, and of course, the Gnostic views of the change in the bread and wine parallel those of the Anglicans in some ways- the acknowledgement of a spiritual change, though the spiritual change is a complete and utter change; the bread and wine DO completely change, but naturally, it is ultimately a mystery we cannot explain.

We also pointed out something very interesting as well- Lutherans don’t seem to often acknowledge any kind of change in the bread and wine. Communion is simply a blessing of bread and wine, not the actual sacramental union or whatever Lutheran terminology is supposed to be. The technicality may be consubstantiation, but this often seems to be unknown to Lutherans.

By contrast, Episcopalians will not be happy if you tell them the bread and wine aren’t really the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. You’re not going to sell Anglo-Catholics and your garden variety High Church Episcopalians on the “Hey, it’s just a symbol, folks!” ilk; it’s just not going to happen.

While I’m sure there are Episcopalians who don’t acknowledge the Real Presence, they’re most likely in the minority.

And at this point, I understand this entry isn’t helping anyone, so I’m just going to stop here.

Anyway, I’m having to incorporate a HUGE amount of what I know about mysticism and spirituality and really jump in and start using it. I find a lot of times that whatever I do or say or practice seems to work for a while, then it begins to stop working or seems less effective; maybe I’m just craving novelty? I’m not totally sure what the issue is here. But lately, I’ve really begun to understand how things work, and I’m going from that level.

More later. I’ll try to update more frequently, especially now that I’ll have more free time.

Beaux

A Response

Leave a comment

This is in response to an entry I read here. 

 

A few thoughts here.

 

First, if this blog entry is simply a joke (which I sincerely believe it must be, as insane as it sounds), you’ll have to forgive me for what I’m about to say. Otherwise, ignore this comment, and proceed.

 

You haven’t convinced anyone- and by anyone, I mean anyone at all- that Roman Catholicism is somehow superior to Anglicanism in writing this blog. In fact, your snide attitude strikes me as anything but Christian- like, not a drop of charity, not any sign of loving God OR your neighbor in here. Pretty much the entire blog is your attempt to feel better than other people by spewing your ill-founded and uninformed opinions, and that would fall under the capital sin of pride, JUST so you know.

 

I’ve seen a few Catholics who have this same attitude, and honestly, it just drives me (and others) further from converting to Roman Catholicism. In fact, if I were Roman Catholic and saw this entry, I would probably leave the Church by virtue of not wanting to be associated with the nastiness here.

It’s interesting that I’ve also met Catholics who are quite the opposite of this and are highly interested in both a traditional Mass AND a widespread embrace of all people.

Oh, and if you REALLY want to play hardball, the Roman Church could be called the Pope’s Little Social Club, whereby the True Catholics have declared their independence. But of course, since YOU and YOU ALONE are right about EVERYTHING, I guess that doesn’t really matter.

Given, this is an old blog entry apparently, and maybe somewhere, you’ve matured. But if not, take my words into consideration; so long, and thanks for all the fish, honey pie!

 

Older Entries