Holy Eucharist at Home and Some on Bernadette Roberts

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Recently, I decided to join my husband’s Unitarian Universalist church. Several reasons contribute to my decision, but I’m not going to bother with them here.

I’ve decided to start doing the Holy Eucharist at home. No, I’m not an ordained priest, and so perhaps it isn’t “valid,” but here’s the thing: I’m tired of doing this idiotic dance of ordination. I’m tired of hoping, waiting, wishing for a Gnostic church to appear here.

It’s probably not going to happen.

In practice, I’ve gone to the UU for four years now, more than I ever did to the Episcopal Church- I still have fond memories of Saint Michael’s, of course.

At the end of the day, it’s just easier for us to go the UU and the come home and have Holy Communion.

And I’ve taken the liberty of creating a UU-esque Holy Communion as well. It has definite inspirations: the Liberal Catholic Church’s liturgy, the Book of Common Prayer, and a few Unitarian Universalist Holy Communions I found.

When I mentioned Holy Communion on Facebook, several UUs expressed interest in having this house Eucharist. I’m down for that while explaining to them a definite belief in the Priesthood of All Believers- I am no more or less a priest than anyone else around me.

I’m excited but have to do a few “test-runs” to make sure things will go smoothly. It’ll be nice to celebrate the liturgical  year with the people who are interested in it.

Shifting gears, I read a new article by Bernadette Roberts. I’m not sure how I missed it, but…let me say that whatever’s happened to me recently has also allowed me to see that I think she’s ridiculously aggressive in her approach and sometimes misrepresents other people’s positions. Some of her latest article sounded like word salad.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out how the Incarnation being God creating Its own Human Nature and uniting It to Itself has anything specifically to do with Jesus of Nazareth if the Incarnation is not also God the Son appearing in the flesh as Jesus Christ. I mean, why bother calling oneself a Christian?

But then I haven’t journeyed as far as Bernadette has.

The most bizarre aspect of my dear Bernadette to whom I’ve turned for so long is that she’s fairly unhelpful as far as what to actually do goes- are we to sit and still the mind? Receive Holy Communion frequently? A combination? Seek to help others? All these things and more? From everything I’ve gathered, she began having mystical experiences pretty early in life and proceeded from there. I’m not sure we’ve all had those kinds of experiences from the beginning.

My own experiences have shown me that the Green Man for sure exists, but there’s not much evidence I’ve had for other Gods, at least not anything that’s totally conclusive.

I just wanted to note that her unnecessary aggression will likely push people away.

Steve

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So Far, So Good: The Experiment

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Using a set series of correlations among planets, elements, days of the weeks, and Greek deities, I’ve been meditating the past few weeks to draw energy into myself and prepare myself to really dive into the study of magic.

So far, the interesting thing about these meditations is that several of the designated deities didn’t “show up” in the meditation- instead, other deities appeared.

This began with Selene not showing up for Monday but instead an image and imagery of Persephone.

Tuesday continued with Ares not being present but Hades.

Wednesdays, Hermes is definitely strong; so with Zeus on Thursdays and Aphrodite on Fridays.

Then, tonight (a Saturday), meant for Cronus…Hecate shows up. She especially seems interested in me. Hecate and Thanatos alike.

This is an interesting path I’ve taken. I’m looking forward to the Full Moon.

Steve

New Daily Magical Practice

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This my new magical practice that I’ll be doing from now on. It corresponds with the cycle of the week, so everything happens in terms of the 7 Days.

I begin by making the Sign of the Cross. Then I trace the symbol of the day’s corresponding planet. Today is Wednesday, May 4th, so I trace the planetary symbol of Mercury in the air.

Next, I focus on the element associated with that planet- in this case, the element is water. I imagine all kinds of water as well as a shimmering, glowing, ethereal water that washes over me.

Then I focus on the planet itself and its “soul” or “essence” and allow the energy to enter me- I allow myself to really feel what the energy of the planet is like, what it accesses in my consciousness.

After this, I use the corresponding Greek name of the planet’s associated god and chant the name over and over, attempting to “tap into” the god or receive the god and so on into myself.

I’ve spent a huge chunk of today reciting the name “Hermes” over and over again, for instance.

Eventually, I plan to integrate this into Kabbalah meditation and ritual.

Speaking of which, a weird thing happened earlier. I was at the local Unitarian Universalist church, and I looked at a guy’s watch. From a distance, it looked like he had Hebrew letters inscribed on it. I realized it was just the way the watch was positioned, but I tried to make out the letters- I wasn’t sure because some Hebrew letters look similar.

When I got home and was checking out the digital Tree of Life online, I saw that Mercury was associated with the Sefirot called “Hod,” and I saw the letters and realized that’s what I saw in the watch!!!

That’s a pretty bizarre synchronicity. I guess my unconscious mind was primed for the associations that exist.

Anyway, people are free to use and adapt this mini-meditation however they wish. I’m using it as a personal practice because I need to build up the energy and have gotten out of the rhythm lately.

Steve

 

 

Silence

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Last week, I went on a family vacation to see my fiancé’s in-laws. We were stuck in a roach motel that smelled like a dead rat, the four of us- my fiancé, our son, our dog, and myself.

I didn’t have a moment alone the entire time we were there save for having a shower, which in my opinion is not the same thing as being alone. Furthermore, I didn’t have the chance to meditate in any meaningful way, though I did chant several times using the japa mala my fiancé bought at one time because of his interest in Hinduism.

To say that my fiance’s lack of religion and spirituality bothers me isn’t accurate; I’m not so much concerned with his adopting certain beliefs as I am his having no spiritual progress and no sense of deeper levels of reality. I would at least feel better if he would return to Hinduism and make some effort at practicing, but perhaps that isn’t how his life is meant to unfold, and I’m okay with that. He can live his life however he wishes.

Upon returning, I began to meditate again, and I came upon a very interesting conclusion- I need silence. Many times, actually, all the time, meditation results in endless loops of thoughts and songs (or pieces of songs) going on and on and on. I’ve often had a frustration about why I should give up such beautiful music or anything that makes me feel so good.

But the truth is, after not having anything approximating peace for close to a week, I realized that I do need silence and stillness. My family consists of a loud fiancé and a loud child. Fiancé is loud by virtue of his playing music loudly and making loud noises when he does things, and child is loud by virtue of his just being a loud kid.

I need my meditation to lead to stillness of the mind, to lead to silence, to lead to quiet, so I can just sit and be still and know that God is God, or know that Ultimate Reality is Ultimate Reality, or whatever the hell you want to say- and I need to rest there, in that Silence, for as long as I can.

Finally, I see Silence as superior to noise and movement; I see Stillness as something I want above other things. 

I’ve heard the phrase “Silence is God’s first language.” Well, good; God and I can then do some talking.

Stevo

Dreams

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The night before last, I had a vivid dream. I was on my way somewhere and ended up at a strange church that I realized was actually an Eastern Orthodox parish of some sort. Before I left, a ceremony took place with me and another man, a man who was certainly an Orthodox monk or priest- he had the style of beard and I’m almost certain a cap as well.

The ceremony happened this way: we stood, facing each other, in proximity, in embrace. As another priest read certain lines, we repeated them, and then we would make certain gestures. I specifically had to kiss the man on the lips at one point. 

I can’t remember much else of the dream, only this part, and that the image was so powerful that I needed to record it at some point.

Another interesting meditation upon which I’ve happened is this: I cannot love my enemies or forgive them…but if I imagine them as their infant, newborn selves, pure and undefiled, I can find myself much more easily not holding grudges or ills toward them. I can love them, show compassion to them…it’s really miraculous.

Stevo

Centering Prayer Videos

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In this video, Father Anthony Silvia of the Apostolic Johannite Church (and Bishop Thomas Langley of the Alexandrian Gnostic Church *I think*) explores and explains Centering Prayer. In part 2, the participants at GnosticNYC actually do the Centering Prayer, and you can do it with them!

On Being One’s Individual Self, More on Bernadette Roberts, and Various Rantings

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Instead of engaging in Contemplative Prayer (which is what I should be doing), I am instead writing a bit about an insight I had earlier.

 

To counterbalance this grand insight, I ended up cutting myself shaving. I do think this is the whole paradox of reality- we recognize some powerful and great Truth which is then curbed by the distressing and often annoying realities of common life.

 

Unfortunately, I do spend too much time reading theology online, along with forums and people’s opinions on various matters of religion. I’ve done so less and less as time as progressed, rightly curbing such an atrocious habit, but it does possess me here and again.

 

Naturally, with my Jungian and mystical leanings to things, I do take it upon myself to Google Jung and Catholicism.

 

Some article or another popped up one day that, of course, was blasting Jung and the “liberalism” of certain Catholics who seem to think the goal of the Tradition is just to find the “Authentic Self” and apply this to the idea that the universal quest of all religion is to find the “Authentic Self,” and there ends the quest.

 

This is partially correct. However, the issue that many mystics seem to be pressing, and the issue that I discovered when I was age 15, is that there is a point where one transcends the Higher/Authentic Self.

 

The notion that there may be something beyond the Higher Self, or that the Higher Self could even be lost, is troubling and perplexing to many people who don’t understand how we could exist without it. However, there are some technicalities in the context of philosophical and theological definitions as to what the “soul” of a human being is, such that the soul includes body and mind.

 

Anyway, some of the issues I’ve seen recently are people’s attacking Bernadette Roberts and her particular way of viewing things. They seem to gloss over some points that she makes that are very important while dissecting her with all manner of philosophical attacks that they can, and the whole bit irritates me. I finally gave up reading that particular forum after I made it to the 8th or so page out of 18 pages of Walls of Text Coming After Me.

 

Given, I did find some of the philosophical points people were making interesting, but I think I can summarize in a better way what Bernadette is attempting to convey:

 

Instead of our having a ghost or inner spirit that pops out when we die, we have an aspect of the body that is immortal, an aspect of the body that our senses don’t normally inform us about. The Holy Eucharist, then, explains this: the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ while the Body and Blood don’t seemingly appear.

 

Now, this concept appeals to me, the idea of an immortal, unseen Body, because to me, it seems NOVEL. Christianity has a huge focus on the Incarnation, on physicality, and on the Sacraments being real and true and actual effective means of our receiving God.

 

I’m also not suggesting that this particular way of perceiving things should be accepted as dogma. Rather, one should test this and find out for one’s self by making the mystic’s journey, pure and simple.

 

There’s a bit of contradiction when it comes to people who perceive the Deceased and communicate with entities on the “other side,” along with comparisons of various Near Death Experiences. One wonders how these things possibly happen if it’s possible that we don’t have a thinking/feeling being that persists after the death of the body.

 

Anyway, moving on to the Insight I had earlier and referring back to the Authentic Self: as I’ve said, there’s been a new shift in my focus to try to stimulate the Third Chakra and to try to really have a sense of liking myself and who I am. The Bishop said something interesting to me prior to my Confirmation in that we have to be the person God created us to be. The problem is that this is variously understood to mean something along the lines of following a particular set of rules, but then in Catholic Christianity, the feel of it, too, is different. There is a specific measure in God’s plan that I can and should fulfill, and I have to embrace my individuality to the maximum.

 

Again, the irony that exists in trying to destroy a sense of identity and how that perpetuated my sense of self and then the embracing of a particular identity seems to erode the ego in a way I can’t precisely explain.

 

My concern has been that seeking my True Self or Ego Center might displace God. In fact, the opposite reality is what I’ve discovered: being one’s true self, finding one’s center, and living out that center, is in and of itself an act of worship. To be what God has created one to be IS a prayer, IS worship, and I’m satisfied with that.

 

I’ve heard the bit before about searching for God and finding one’s self or searching for one’s and finding God, which I think kind of illustrates this principle. I go searching for myself, and then I find myself in the Presence of God.

 

My heart chakra also seems to be able to open more freely now that I’ve been more wont to embrace the stomach chakra.

 

Another interesting thing, too, is that I’m able to enjoy my own being, my own company, and have a sense of appreciation for myself. A few times, I’ve finally felt like an adult somewhere, like there was a Bigger Me somewhere that understood things and could do things that I can’t normally do. I compare this to my finally feeling less like a child and more like a teenager; suddenly things that frightened me were more like an adventure of sorts, a fresh start, a new change that I could experience.

 

But that particular mode of being is something that requires such tremendous focus that I hope it becomes a force of habit after a while. I might well give up if I don’t get a second wind sometime soon, as it’s pretty difficult on the one hand.

 

Pax Vobiscum.

 

Beaux

 

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