12 Days Later and The Real Christ

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At some point in time, after I had the experience of God (the one mentioned in the previous entry), I found myself researching Bernadette Roberts yet again.

Turns out, her book The Real Christ was now available for purchase through an actual publishing house and was on Amazon.com!

The price is steep- close to $50, but it was a worthy purchase.

Well, I obtained the book after a few days, and let me tell you, this is the most hardcore thing Bernadette has written yet.

In some ways, I think it would take a stronger background in reading the Church Fathers to grasp what she’s saying.  But the most important thing to note is that Bernadette is speaking from her experience- her direct, mystical journey. EVERYTHING she says is in that context.

I found a forum where people were pretty keen on bashing her due to their clinging to old dogmas and doctrines and criticizing Bernadette for putting her authority of experience over the authority of the Church. Well, what do you expect? Do I go with what’s actually happening to me, or do I adhere to believing what a bunch of people who didn’t have the experience tried to formulate through sheer reasoning with virtually nothing to back it up?

The two can go together- Father Troy Pierce once said that our gnosis can be verified through epistemis. And that seems largely to be what Bernadette has done- she’s made her journey, and she’s verified it through research into the Church’s teachings and writings.

The most bizarre thing about that forum is how so many of them hadn’t read the book, and how Bernadette had answered almost all their complaints.

The experience I’ve had as a Gnostic is this: most people are more willing to cling to the superficial narrative and imagery rather to understand those as symbolic of something deeper and more profound.

Moreover, Bernadette has a central point of saying that Christianity is about the Living God, the Living Experience of God (my phrasing, not hers), and it isn’t about the Dead Letter of the Bible. She speaks of how Catholics derive their authority from the Holy Eucharist, and how Protestants (generally speaking) do not- they’ve clung only to the Bible.

So, too, (most) Gnostics would claim that our authority and power is derived from and celebrated in the Holy Eucharist- that the Holy Eucharist is the experience of gnosis, albeit perhaps more like a glimpse rather than a complete and radical change.

Bernadette says so many amazing things that overlap with the Gnostic worldview that it’s almost shocking but definitely feels like it jusifies my own path in some way.

That’s all for now.

S.

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

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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

On the Sacrifice of the Lord Christ

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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

A New Era, New Insights, and Gnosticism

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Gnosticism, as with any tradition, can get things wrong, and I think so often that Gnosticism is conceived of in terms of our precious spirits being trapped in our awful bodies, and that what we must ultimately do is break free from the bodies to return to God.

But the issue here is that perhaps this is not what Sophia meant to do in placing the spirit in Adam in the first place. Rather, I think the myth illustrates something else happening- this is Our Lady’s way of redeeming the material world that ultimately belongs to Her and the Lord Jesus Christ anyway.

Our mission here, in these bodies, is not about escaping them or the material universe. Rather, our mission is to draw God fully and completely into this world, to take what the Demiurge has messed up and liberate it. We are here to free matter, we are here to liberate the material universe from the Demiurge; we are here not only to participate in the Redemption that Christ afforded us, but we are here to continue the Redemption for the entire cosmos .

So truly the act of Salvation from Jesus Christ is not simply a matter of His saving us; he enjoins us to save His world, to truly emulate Him, to truly be Christ-like.

The Name “Sophia” does not mean “Wisdom” for no reason at all, and here we see that She, too, participates in the plan of Salvation.

I sense a new era dawning. Whether or not this is merely personal or something that’s happening collectively that thus becomes personal, I cannot say, but the vibrations and underlying world view that I have is beginning to shift again and has been for a little over a month. What is the mystery that is being unveiled, I wonder? What is it that God is trying to tell us?

Today is a calm, sleepy day. The Grace of God will pour out soon, Amen, Amen.

Beaux

More Thoughts.

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Some of the mystical movements and notably the words of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee suggest that this is God’s world and that this is God’s story, and that we must take a part in God’s story; in other words, our lives are not about us, they are about God, and we must focus on God and not ourselves; otherwise, we’ll never find happiness.

This is a difficult thing for me to do for several reasons.

First, the notion that we must focus on God and not ourselves is fantastic- if one believes in God, if one has a clear idea about who, or more importantly, what God is, and if one has a clear idea about what God expects from us. In this case, a devout Catholic (or Anglican) has it much easier than the devout Gnostic or Sufi or New Ager. If one firmly believes in God, and then if one has a “rule book” that relates one to that God, well, you’ve no problem. I should add that if one experiences God, that this applies as well.

Second, what happens when you aren’t even sure what God is, and then you aren’t sure that God exists at that, and then you aren’t sure what God’s standards would be anyway? I can’t trust a Holy Book from any religion simply because it is a Holy Book. So a religion may have rules, and they may claim these rules come from God, thus setting the standard for our behavior and how we are to live.

But I don’t buy that.

If someone asks me if I believe in God, I can’t give them an answer, not a clear one, not an easily articulated one. There’s no belief in me of an Old, Bearded Man Sitting on a Throne, the “classic” image of both Zeus and Jehovah. I don’t believe in that. Period. But do I acknowledge that the cosmos may have a binding force that holds us all together, that is aware of us in a way that we can’t imagine, that perhaps even loves us and wills us into existence? Sure. I can see that, totally.

Now, I want to point out that originally and even today, MUCH OF CHRISTIANITY ACTUALLY VIEWS GOD THE FATHER IN THIS WAY. This is not the “popular” image of God that’s espoused in the media and in many of the Evangelical churches, which take a more literal reading to the Bible, but the “formless” Ground of Being was one of the first aspects of God identified in Christianity and used to counter to the Jews; in other words, early Christians pointed out that the Jews had anthropomorphized God and done a disservice to him in the process. This is one of the reasons that the Incarnate Christ was such a big deal. The Ultimate Cosmic Force condensed Itself into one particular human form- not a small feat.

But back to the point. My skepticism is still quite present inside of me because of disappointment after disappointment with different religions and philosophies. The ultimate problem I’ve found is that it comes down to squabbling over highly abstract systems that have little bearing on reality. Some might argue that the systems tell us how to think and therefore how to act. I would say this can only be true to a certain degree, but that isn’t the point of this blog entry.

The question is, if you don’t really believe in God, how can you live your life for him?

The “bubble” that Llewellyn and others wish to burst is simply the idea that our lives are only and strictly about us. Well, not everyone has the idea that their life is strictly about themselves and no others, so the presupposition is shaky as it is, but for me, I have found the selflessness comes at the service of other people, namely those people with whom I have fallen in love. As the old saying goes, “Being deeply loved gives us strength; deeply loving gives us courage.”

Only when I have been deeply in love have I had courage to face things I would otherwise not face. I have done the craziest things, things that would have otherwise made me cower and quake, for the sake of love.

The Sufis speak of loving God, of God being the Beloved. Again I cite the problem: how are we to love a Nameless, Faceless, Bodiless, Amorphous Nothingness? Loving Christ, the image of Jesus, came easier to me, yet even that image is tainted.

If there is a God, and God will show me what it means to love It, then BRING IT ON.

Certainly, a life where one is only concerned with one’s self is going to have negative results. One will never be happy this way, or fulfilled, in any substantial way. So there is a merit in saying that one should “live for God.” But again, in practice, what does that really mean? How does one do that when one doesn’t even really have the same definition of “God” that most people do, and how does one do that when one doesn’t really even have a sense of God really existing?

And since I asked Keegan to read this, I’ll mention him in here as well at this point: after many debates about religion, he finally told me the truest thing that he ever said to me: “You have a really weird definition of religion, dude.”

That’s a perfect statement of me and how I approach religion as a whole: I don’t understand Christianity as most (not all) Christians do, and it’s likely that I don’t understand Sufism as most Sufis do, though that’s not the same kind of gap. But I’m not a “heretic” in the traditional sense where I simply don’t agree on a few doctrines or dogmas. My entire approach to religion is different than most religious people’s approach, and truth be told, many would label me more agnostic or even atheistic than they would theistic and religious.

So the point is, in line with Keegan’s words, I see religion as a tool, as a means to an end, not as an end in itself. This is perhaps where Bernadette Roberts and I would part ways in terms of the Holy Eucharist, as she affirms that it is an end in itself as THE Cosmic Christ, and I would say the Holy Eucharist is the means to Nirvana while also (potentially) being an end in itself. I could be wrong, and time will tell.

Maybe the reality is that one can’t understand God or religion until one has gone through other religions and even through atheism. Who knows?

This gave me another idea to write about.

Beaux