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

Manga, Musings, and the Mind…

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A Red State Mystic has written recently about the sort of crashing down of our 90s utopia. He also clarifies what he means by this, and he points out some very startling realities that we’re facing in this era.

The 90s did have some awesome music and styles. The 90s did see an era of good writing, great video games, and inventions such as the Tamagotchi. Sailor Moon was created and ended in the 1990s.

I sit here at age 27 and wonder if my life has really come to this point and stagnated. Given, I’m actually involved in the inner life, which is more involved than the outer life in many regards, but still. I sit here and ponder a very important question: am I being sincere with myself?

Life is meant to be lived. This much is true, and I’m not denying it. But at the same time, I also know that wherever I go, there I am.

I want to create peace in myself, here, in this small town. I want to create happiness and fulfillment in this small town, to find that unshakeable core of the God-man Jesus Christ at my own center, and then, and only then, do I want to go out into the world, to live life- because only then will life be worth living. Only then will my own ability to encounter anything and everything be real.

I’m holding on to something, and I can’t tell what it is. All I know is that my life is fleeting, my years are fleeting, and I can’t help but wonder why I’m not experiencing- and have never experienced- what society says I should.

Do people really have that much faith in society? Do people really follow cultural memes so well that they aren’t bothered by the world around us? There’s an increase in lack of authenticity among people in our society.

Or maybe I’m just becoming an adult, and this why so many people fight growing up- because being an adult means you die on the inside, walking around as a hollow husk of a human.

Damned alliteration.

I’m drawing again. My manga is up. I plan for it to be a kind of subtle evangelism, dispersing ideas Christian and mystical in a user-friendly form. You can visit the link below.

Super Yummy Angel Cake

Beaux

Improvements

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Things have improved somewhat since yesterday. The experience is similar but not entirely the same; things seem to have mellowed out enough for the moment, and whatever this transformation may be, it seems to be continuing in its own way as it should be.

All I can do it cling to whatever symbols I’ve encountered in my journey and pray that things go deeper than this. Today, physically, I have felt under the weather; a bit of a sinus headache and generally a sense of being depleted energetically, though I did manage to get some studying and writing done.

There’s not been any true development at this point, other than a general lessening; I’m still painfully aware of the evil within myself, and I can accept that. I pray that whatever debauchery I fall into isn’t too consequential to make me suffer even more later on. Part of the issue into which I’m running is that I can never seem to just let go and rest, but that’s likely a by-product of being vigilant and stressed out from repression instead of expression. What is at the end of the road? I pray that this is worth it.

“He descended into Hell.”

 

Beaux

I, Satan

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How best to write this blog, I don’t know. This started last night as I was falling asleep, as a great deal of my psycho-spiritual work takes place in the dream world and especially on the borders between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.

Let us first go back to a few nights ago, during the weekend, when I had dreams. I dreamed of seeing my friends Pam, Michelle, and Brandi, and we were all going to Montgomery for some LGBT event. In the dream, it seemed we were awake early, and I remember being excessively tired and wanting to back to sleep. I remember stopping at a restaurant and needing to pee but being unable to find the bathroom or shut the door in the bathroom or something.

At another point, I recall being at my house, outside, in the sunlight, and reciting prayers. Then the Light came, the warmth, the Inner Light that I’ve seen more and more frequently.

Allow me to go back even further; the first experience with the Light happened when I was in high school or had just started college; I can’t remember exactly when it was. When I first began participating in Wicca and doing rituals, I ended up triggering some kind of kundalini energy, which was often apparent in a hypnogogic state of mind.

The experience was one of intense vibrations, of an inability to move, of an expanded psychic awareness; the vibrations felt like I would be shaken to pieces, and a few times, I felt like I would come out of my body (though I never had an experience of astral projection.)

One time, this process continued, and then I suddenly saw a light. The light was so bright and so apparent that I thought someone had turned on a light in the room. I came out of the state and threw the covers off my head- nothing. No light. I was still in the dark.

I asked the only “mystic” I knew at the time what the light was. His response, in his pseudo-guruship idiocy was merely, “Shut up.”

Anyway, last year, I had a similar experience and posted about it on Facebook. When I would come into the light, everything would be still. No vibrations, no noise, just light- dead silence.

The terrifying part about this Light is that I’m the only person there. There is no God, no angel, no entity, nothing- just me.

Now, more recently, this has happened in a more gradual way. Back to last weekend’s dream. I was outside my house in the dream, I began praying, and the light gradually appeared. Now, I noted that it was warm, that it was real, that the more I prayed, the greater it became. There was no absolute silence; the vibrations came but were not strong. I think I prayed to not die, because the pressure on my chest grew so great I thought my heart might stop.

Now, to bring us up to speed: last night. I read an article yesterday that discussed how violence is addictive in the same way as food, drugs, and sex can be. That makes sense, and I would note that a good part of my own Shadow (in Jungian terms) is a repression of my sense of violence and aggression. I often lament the modern-day culture that seems to think that if we just all decide to be happy and not hate people that those things will go away. But the problem is, our inner evil is born with us. Men do not become evil. They only discover they are evil, then go from there.

Years ago, perhaps in the first hypnogogic experience ever, I was quite young. I had almost forgotten about the experience, but I recall that it involved a process where the “seed of Satan” was planted in me, and I remember being terrified and hearing people scream that it was too late, the “seed of Satan” had already been planted.

Last night, this all collapsed in on me, combined with my sense of shame and guilt that pervade so many aspects of my life, and I realized that Satan was inside of me.

This is not an easy realization. In fact, to accept that anything remotely related to the concept of “the Devil” exists, much less that it exists inside of me, is anathema to everything I’ve gone through since I left evangelical Christianity at age 15.

 

Then last night, I had strange dreams, but the dreams ultimately culminated in seeing the light again at one point while praying, and then in having a dream that involved a grey alien. Instead of running from the alien, instead of screaming, I reached out and touched its face as it began screaming at me.

Then I awoke with the dreaded epiphany, a realization that I did not want to face, a horrifying twist in the story of reality.

I realized that I am Satan.

Maybe it would be better to say that I am “a Satan.” But the core of me stood up, and I realized I was evil, out for myself and only myself, and that all good will was an attempt to steer myself away from what I truly and really wanted.

I could put this in Jungian terms and say that I’m facing my “Shadow,” but I want to express this as gravely as possible to make clear the reality of it.

The violence, the sex, the desire to destroy, the desire to cause mayhem, pain, destruction, and hurt other people simply because I want to revel in their hurt- indeed, the idea of destruction and more destruction makes me so giddy, so enthralled, that I can’t imagine that I would have ever presented to anyone in the world that I was a good person, that I had any sense of ethics or holiness.

It truly bewildering and somehow a great cosmic joke to have sought God and the Truth so fervently only to discover that the Truth is that I myself am Satan. All the the things I’ve read about our Higher Self, our Soul, some Divine aspect of ourselves; all of it rendered rubbish by one real experience.

I sought gnosis. Well, I got it. I got what I wanted- at least part of it- and even though I don’t like what I see, I accept it because that’s all I can do.

Naturally, during this process, there are moments when I see myself as Satan and then see myself as containing mostly Satan. This sense of absolute sinfulness, of not only being pure sinfulness, but being the actual cause of sin in the first place, and the notion that I will burn forever because of the mayhem, is ridiculously strong.

Yet to see that I don’t care about the eternal judgment, so long as I can bring down everything with me, is what ultimately is bewildering. I can’t care about tomorrow when today I can steal, kill, and destroy.

Is there forgiveness for me? I don’t know. I have never felt this evil before. I have never felt this level of “bad.”

The only good news is that, knowing that I am the worst thing that exists, I understand that I have reached the ontological threshold of “bad.” Nothing can be worse or more awful than this inner Satan phenomenon. This is it. This is THE worst thing, from which all bad things flow.

The kind of power that exists in Satan is amazing. It is truly amazing. I understand his words to Christ that if he bows down and worships him, he can give Him anything He desires. It’s true. Having this sense of evil inside makes me have confidence I didn’t know I could have. When you just don’t give a fuck about anyone else, well, you don’t have anything to lose.

So this is where I am. I wondered when I first broke with Christianity if perhaps I were the Antichrist- I loved all religions, I wanted to see peace in the world, and I’m a grade-A Sodomite. The perfect Antichrist cocktail.

This whole process is exhausting, all this awful emotions, and the awful sense that I could get exactly what wanted by crushing anyone and anything that’s in my way while simultaneously standing horrified that it’s possible and that I’m somehow the cause of it.

If this is only the integration of the Shadow, well, by God, I pray for every bit of grace possible, but I dare not receive Christ in the Eucharist, unworthy as I am now, for it would surely kill me.

Pray for me, Holy Mother of God, that I may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Beaux

The Bridge

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Somehow, I understand even more the predicament in which Christ found Himself. Allow me to explain:

 

Point-blank, I’m too orthodox for the Gnostics. I’m too Gnostic for the orthodox. I’m too Catholic for the Protestants, and I’m too Protestant for the Catholics.

Invariably, I seem to fall somewhere between extremes in terms of my views. I can never take sides because my side is where I am, and that’s nowhere, or somewhere between two places that is said not to exist.

 

That being said, I can see the Anglican response: “Via Media!”

Yes, but, and here comes the sharpest thing I’ve had to say about Anglicanism in quite sometimes, calling Anglicanism a “via media” between Protestantism and Catholicism doesn’t depict what it looks (or feels) like in practice. Anglicanism, by and large, has left the flavor in my mouth of being a Catholic-coated Protestant treat. If they had been wiser back in the day and hadn’t gone all crazy with accepting thing from Luther and Calvin, then maybe “via media” would be true of it- Popeless Catholics, incorporating the theology of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and so on. But that’s simply not how it played it out or plays out from what I can tell. The Anglo-Catholics do a good job of this for the most part; they can out-Catholic Romans almost any day. But I still question what an “ordinary” Episcopalian would say about Eucharist adoration, veneration of the Blessed Virgin, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, praying the rosary, and how to identify with the word “Protestant.”

Anyway, tonight I watched a small part of a Latin Mass. The app on the iPad wasn’t working well, and it never does, but I did get to see about the first third of the Mass. The Latin Mass had a kind of simplicity to it, oddly enough- it was elegant, it was thoughtful, it was quiet, and the mystical dimension of it was visible- plainly visible. Even the quiet intoning of the Latin by the priest was enough to lead me to a deeper place within myself.

Once I arrived home, I came to the realization of why I don’t fit into this or that camp: it’s because I’m the bridge, the living bridge between different worlds. A mediator, as it were- the glue that’s holding it together.

Now I know how Jesus Christ felt. He had to hold together two worlds, the Divine and the Creation- He indeed is the bridge between the two worlds, and by His Holy Incarnation and Death and Resurrection, He forever closed the wounds in Reality. Nay, not only closed, but healed and restored them.

There is much work to be done. Pray for me, brethren.

And maybe I’m wrong about the Anglicans. I have at least one friend who knows what I mean when I speak about them. Maybe the idea that I, too, question the validity of the Holy Orders and so on attests to my unconscious already surrendering to the Roman Catholic Church as THE Church. The Anglo-Catholics, too, stand in contradistinction to the typical Protestant imagery, and saying “Anglo-Catholic Protestant” seems totally meaningless.

 

God be with us. Our help is in the Name of the Lord.

I’m probably again over-thinking things.

Beaux

A Quote from Stephan Hoeller

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some clarification re: gnosticism. “it is not the physical world with its earth and trees, but the system (in Greek kosmos) created by unconsciousness that is evil, or at least relatively so. it is not an ethereal heaven, but individuated consciousness that the pneumatic [i.e., filled with spirit, from the Greek pneuma] Gnostic attains to when the limitations of unconsciousness are overcome by Gnosis. it is not sexuality that is evil, but the psyche’s bondage to blind instinctuality with its accompanying unconsciousness. it is not life that is rejected, but a life of brutish unconsciousness, which is the cause of most of humanity’s afflictions. the Demiurge is none other than the human ego, alienated from its deeper psychic background (the Pleroma): arrogant, one-sided, and having rejected the wisdom of the Feminine.” —Stephan A. Hoeller, “How to Understand Gnosticism,” Gnosis Magazine 2

The Light

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My current circumstances are somewhat odd. A new focus has been taken up inside of me with respect to the dhikr and the repetition of the Name of God.

The Grace of God has been descending constantly for a few days. The only way to explain this is to say that a certain kind of inner and deep tranquility is present- not perfected, not complete, but I am aware of its presence somewhere.

I’ve had an interesting week- first, having contact with a new Gnostic friend named Erik who helped to clarify many things about Gnosticism to me; second, celebrating (or not celebrating) my birthday; third, having some intense spiritual experiences on top of that.

Last week, I realized I would have to make a concerted effort at repeating the Name of God. I’ve meditated nightly for a year and a half, only to have barely any “results,” as it were; in other words, I cannot see a profound difference in myself even if it’s possible that one exists. So in the moments when my emotions would go awry, in the moments when I would be worried about something, in the moments when my sex drive would attempt to usurp me, I would necessarily repeat the Name of God even harder.

All these things came to point at something interesting- I’ve said many times that my religion is Beauty, or that I seem to go for the religion that appears to be most Beautiful at any given moment. Beauty and Majesty are the two major means that are discussed in Sufism- and moreover, these two are also likely hypostases of God in Gnosticism- Beauty certainly is.

While commenting on Beauty and Majesty is too complicated at this point and beyond the scope of this entry, it’s something to point out- that Beauty calls to me, and that I can offer up my attention on bad emotions and feelings to the focus on Beauty.

So, let’s begin with May 10th. I had an overwhelming sense of tiredness. But as Nick the Buddhist once said, Americans can’t tell the difference between relaxation and falling asleep- once an American begins to relax, they think they’re falling asleep because they’re so accustomed to being stressed out. All the stress did not leave, but an almost mindless did appear, and certainly the thinking processes seem to have been slowed down and almost stopped into total silence at points- and this is in full, waking consciousness.

I stayed at a friend’s house until 5:30 in the morning- my birthday- because of the great conversations that the people present were having, and then I drove home.

But instead of going inside and straight to bed, I walked around outside- truly something different and new for me. The exhaustion was beyond a normal exhaustion, and everything seemed magical in a way, connected into some kind of great unity. The notion that we are inside of God and totally protected seemed quite apparent- and I didn’t have much of any kind of emotion at this point, only an interest in seeing the world around me.

Later that day, the experience of the Grace of God was still with me- a kind of tiredness and detachment.

The same thing the next day, whereupon I had a dream of receiving the Holy Eucharist- actually being in a church at Mass, walking up to the altar, kneeling, receiving the Eucharist (albeit in my hand), and then consuming it. This was the first time I’ve ever had that kind of dream, which implies something.

And now, today- the tiredness, the relaxation, the Grace of God, is here.

But last night, while asleep, I had an experience. A kind of spiritual teacher was talking to me, and then I recall seeing light. In the dream, the first impression I had was that the light was simply a lamp overhead, and I began chanting the Name of God. As I repeated it, the light grew brighter and brighter. At this point, I was no longer dreaming- I could hear the sounds in my room around me. So the light became brighter and brighter and hotter and hotter- I recall distinctly the heat- and I remember feeling a lightness on the lower part of my body, as though I were no longer connected to it, or as though it were floating upwards.

I entered the light, however briefly, to the point where my room around me went silent. This sounds interesting but in reality is tremendously terrifying. Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee would state the the light is the Higher Self, which is, of course, a spark of God’s light, or the Gnostic might also say a spark of Christ’s light.

Then it was over, and I was awake- the fear of what was happening always seems to stay with me into the silence.

I’ve seen the light several times in my life and still have yet to fully understand what it is or why I see it in said situations. What I do know is that as I repeated the Name of God, the light increased in intensity. The increase in light may not be apparent on the regular level of consciousness, but I’m almost sure that it happens regardless. What this ultimately means is that the dhikr has been doing more than I realized, coinciding quite well with the realization I had back in January after everything went to hell when I stopped saying the dhikr. This slight bit of encouragement is all I need, and especially in a positive sense, to keep doing it faithfully.

Another realization that I’ve had is that to repeat the dhikr is constantly draw Beauty into the world. This is important since Beauty is important.

The wife of my former preacher used to say something that I think is not just ill-informed but incredibly stupid- she said that the Devil makes sin “beautiful” because he was the most beautiful angel. Essentially, she equated beauty with being malevolent- and I happen to have a problem with this as God is the author and origin of Beauty, not the Devil (or the demiurge, as it so happens.) So to suggest that sin is beautiful when grace is far more beautiful and God Itself is Infinite Beauty is to say something that amounts to bullshit.

On another note, I’m making a better attempt at celibacy of all forms. This is extremely difficult on the one hand but also a chance to offer the sexual energies to Beauty- which is what I really want. I really want Love, I really want Beauty- not just sexual pleasure. Thereto in addition, I’ve wondered if the phrase, “I will cry to Thee and cry to Thee until the milk of Thy Kindness boils up” has a reference to the transmutation of semen and sexual energy. Certainly the imagery of semen and milk is common, from what I’ve seen, and it seems that the dhikr does cause the energy to move up the spine.

It’s true that I think our society is oversexed. That doesn’t mean that I look down upon people who have sex for pleasure or outside of marriage- they’re entitled to do as they please. What I’ve seen, though, is that while sexual release gives a temporary sense of relief, ultimately, it can also drain one of energy entirely and that it creates a kind of slight emotional instability. This is a subtle process, not a blatant one, and only when one sees it over and over again and knows how bad one will feel after too many orgasms does one “get” it.

But that’s only from my personal experience- maybe other people don’t feel so terrible about sexual release, and if they don’t, more power to them.

The sex drive is incredibly powerful and incredibly capable of producing strange thoughts for the sake of its own release. The sex drive can literally trick you into thinking you’re in love with someone- or that you could love them- in order to get you to have an orgasm. It’s that powerful.

But really, all it wants is the orgasm.

Truly being in love with someone goes deeper than sexuality. This is a hard truth that people in our culture don’t really grasp so many times.

And the reality is, when the heat of the moment strikes, when sexual passions strikes, it is difficult to resist, to stop it. The sex drive is extremely compelling! It’s not like we can just “control” ourselves without leading to some serious repression.

Thus, spiritual practices are necessary to transmute the energy unless one just receives a special grace from God- and lucky is that person.

Again, I’m not trying to demonize orgasm, I’m not trying to demonize sex- no moral or value judgments here. Instead, I’m attempting to look at things practically, to point out that sexuality is extremely powerful and that we must be extremely careful about our sexuality because it can not only hurt us but can also hurt other people as well.

The rant for today is done.

Beaux


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