Questioning One’s Motives

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The real question we must ask and the answer we must constantly affirm is, “What are we trying to accomplish? What are we doing?”

 

Mysticism is a process in which we can often get caught up. As with many things in life, we can often forget that there is indeed a goal we had in mind, a reason that we began doing something.

 

My own “adventures in Christendom” pertain largely to this whole issue. Many times I forget that it was the Gnostic revelations that actually brought me back to any semblance of Christian orthodoxy; I sometime get so caught up in trying to receive the Sacraments that I also began getting swept up in other ideas about Christianity that may not prove to be accurate in the real world.

 

The world views that we create for ourselves can be dangerous, as typically any given world view that we have is actually the manifesting of a personal archetype. What I mean to say is that we “shift” into a particular identity, albeit subconsciously, and then we begin living from that identity. The trick, then, is not to destroy that identity, but to embrace it fully, and then offer it to God.

 

There is a truth in that we can never escape ourselves, and that we do have to constantly embrace ourselves and push ourselves towards a wholeness, because then God can take us out in one fell swoop.

 

Well, I guess the process is actually more complicated than that, but that isn’t the point.

 

So, to affirm again what I’m after: I’m after the state the Buddhists call “Nirvana.” In Christianity, this would be roughly parallel to “theosis,” though some would argue that Nirvana is a state beyond theosis.

 

The trickiest idea that we have to deal with is whether or not the perfection of the human can come in this life or if it must await for the hereafter. Almost all Christians would state that the perfection of the soul is in the hereafter, and not in this life; I’m skeptical and will push forward until I myself know what’s going on.

 

The whole essence of Gnosticism, in reality, is finding out for one’s self. It’s really strange that it became a matter of heresy and orthodoxy and dogma and doctrine, that even today so-called “good Catholics” shit bricks when they encounter someone claiming to be Gnostic. Why people take such an issue with private revelation or a direct knowledge of God, I’ll never know; or hell, maybe I will.

 

Anyway, so as much as I love the Roman Catholic Church, I also have to say that I’m not quite cut out to conform there, and as much as I love the Episcopal Church, I will never, ever call myself “Protestant,” and only “Protestant,” so Anglo-Catholicism in the Episcopal Church it is, and I will simply have to mock the Prots and correct the Romans.

 

Okay, so I won’t really do all that. But seriously: they all need to get their poop in a group, stop the corruption, clarify the mystical reality of the theology, get over the gay and women-priests thing, and take a tip from the Eastern Orthodox folks.

 

I will affirm once again, now that I’ve gotten way off topic, that I don’t see ideas such as Heaven and Hell as being specific locations we enter when we die. Instead, I see them as states of being within the presence of the Ultimate Reality that we call God.

 

However, contrary to the views that many people in the New Age arena have, I don’t think that everything is just freely available within us. I do think that some sources of energy exist outside of us, including God- to some extent, yes, we do have God within us, but on the other hand, there’s something to be said about the grace we receive in the Sacraments.

 

Okay, I lost interest in writing this entry as my mind is distracted.

Beaux

 

 

 

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Resonance

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Resonance is an important but apparently often over-looked aspect of the mystic’s quest. For me, resonance ties in heavily with gnosis; resonance is a guiding principle by which I walk the path.

Resonance cannot easily be put into words; it is more than something simply seemingly like a neat idea and is instead something that is incredibly real, incredibly close to something real, incredibly indicative of something else.

Resonance deals with a meta-cognition, a meta-experience of sorts.

Resonance is what happens when I sit in a Church full of statues and stained glass, and, despite my rejection of so much of self-styled “orthodoxy,” I know that they still know something, that the people who have developed these things are still in tune with me somewhere.

All is not lost.

God help us.

Don’t ever overlook resonance to guide you, to help you. You will see things and know them for what they are to God and not what they are to man.

Beaux

Morality and Rules

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Often, I complain to people about the moral issues we find in orthodox Christianity. While my own ethical points of view are highly influenced by the Christian culture in which we live, I also want to say that the Old Testament version of God, no matter how you dice him, turns out to be, well, a kind of evil bastard, for lack of better terms, if we take what’s written there at face-value and as a literal reading.

But of course, the more enlightened people of eras past as well as our own era point to the fact that much of the Bible, including the nicer parts, aren’t actual history. Instead, we’re dealing with legends, myths, poetry, and stories that are meant to illustrate a point.

Some people attack Christians who disregard the negative Jehovah of the Old Testament as simply cherry-picking, as they seem to think that it’s only the bad parts that people don’t take seriously or take as an allegory, but I don’t think that’s the case. Rather, I think even the good stories are told to convey something important that is beyond the immediate meaning of the words.

The morality still sucks, though. I mean even the Ten Commandments that people seem to revere so much aren’t really all that smart of a set- maybe like 7 out of the 10 actually make good sense when you think about it. A person in our modern era could much more easily come up with a set of commandments, I think, or at least a set of “really good advice for getting along with everyone.”

Naturally, you also have the Christians who argue that we are not held by the Old Testament whatsoever, that Jesus abolished it, and then you have the people who say that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it, saying He didn’t do away with any of it.

Right.

Typically, these are people who need Old Testament support for condemning gay people, specifically Leviticus and Genesis. Either they haven’t read Romans or Corinthians or they just prefer to ignore them in favor of Old Testament Law.

The point is, when Jesus says He comes to fulfill the Law, what exactly does that mean? This opens us up the wide world of interpretation, where fulfilling of the Law can mean several different things.

Moreover, what is the meaning of the phrase in Greek? Is there an underlying suggestion here?

Again, typically Christians don’t live by much of the Old Testament. We don’t have the crazy rules that exist there. Instead, we try to focus more on loving our neighbor as ourselves and loving God the most, helping the poor, the sick, and the afflicted- no matter who they may be. This is the essence of Christianity: love, love, and more love.

Then come the Harshness Christians who seem to think that it isn’t about love, that it’s about eternal damnation. My question still remains whether or not a lot of said Christians actually believe in the existence of an Eternal Hell or if they’re simply saying that because it keeps other people in line and because it worked in the past.

Now, I don’t dismiss the notion of their being Temporal Hells. I do think we must in some way atone for karma or sin that we have created in our lives, especially if we haven’t done a great deal of penance or worked for the sake of others in any way. However, I do not think for a second that our finite lives create eternal consequences, and I do not think that the notion of burning in Hell for all Eternity makes a great deal of sense, nor is it reflective of God’s Nature.

Jesus does sum up things rather nicely when He talks about Loving God and Loving One’s Neighbor. That seems to be easy enough- unfortunately, that’s not what typically happens in practice, and when it comes down to loving one’s enemies, that can be the most brutal sort of situation ever.

Christianity is not an easy religion, contrary to what the pastor of Ridgecrest Baptist Church of Dothan said a few weeks ago in his sermon. Rather, to love one’s enemies requires several things, such as not bad-mouthing them or attacking them in any way. Loving one’s enemies may truly be the most difficult thing Christ ever suggested that we do, and He wasn’t calling for a “well, I just won’t kill you” type attitude- remember, Christ looks at the intention, not the action.

Anyway, so the point of this blog was to begin coming up with a list of morals which we could use in our modern era, along with commentary- commentary that allows for clarification of what exactly the rules mean and what exactly they don’t. This will probably show up in a few blogs in the very near future.

Beaux


Inconsistencies Noticed

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Often when Gnostics argue against the Creation myth of orthodox Christianity, they do so by understanding the myth from a literalistic point of view. If this indeed the case, yes, the Genesis myth says some terrible things about God, and as God throughout the Old Testament is portrayed, he is often not fit for worship.

If and only if we take it 100% literally as factual history.

The issue here is that Gnostics take their own Scriptures most often as being symbolic, metaphorical, and having many layers of meaning to them- but rarely do modern Gnostics understand their own Scriptures as being 100% literal and historically accurate. So the question that I have is why this same principle and method of exploration is not applied to the Creation myth according to Genesis.

The Temptation and the Fall of Mankind have a completely different meaning when taken symbolically- it isn’t that God is cruel and that we’re horrible and disobedient; rather, it’s an Existential situation in which mankind makes a choice to leave the Divine and bears the consequences thereof. It all comes down to free-will and choice and reaction. God never abandoned us; we abandoned God, in other words. HUMANS created the rift between the spiritual and the material, between the Divine and the Mundane.

But in the same way, when Christ comes, it shows that God has not forgotten us. God still loves us. God still wants us. And God’s immersion and incarnation into the material realm, along with His life, death, and resurrection (the return to the spiritual, in other words) repaired the rift that we created. Man created the rift, and God, in the form of man, repaired it for us.

Naturally, that doesn’t explain why suffering exists and does not explain the problem of evil, which is probably the first thing someone would point out. But perhaps that’s what Genesis tells us- leaving the Divine abode creates evil inside of us. This is a Neo-Platonic idea that evil is the absence of good, not unlike how cold is the absence of heat.

We might also question mankind’s motives for leaving the Divine abode. Why would we do it and do so collectively? This is the important part of the story, the nagging question that arises in the mystical understanding of the orthodox myth.

The Gnostic account is much more helpful here, as the “fall” is no “fall” at all but the beginning of liberation from the false god. Christ’s eventual coming is a finishing of the liberation of mankind begun by Sophia and a redeeming of the material world that ultimately belongs to Sophia anyway.

I find it interesting to note that Sophia’s fall in Gnosticism is much more indicative of humanity’s fall or analogous to humanity’s fall in the orthodox account, and Christ redeems Her; and then, in turn, when mankind is created in an enslaved fashion, Sophia begins the process of redemption for mankind, and Christ again is the ultimate Redeemer.

Another humorous thought I have about why the Catholic traditions don’t take so much of the Scripture literally is because of the literal belief in transubstantiation. You don’t have to really believe too much of the Bible to be 100% accurate when your God shows up to every single Mass, do you?

Beaux


On the Holy Spirit as the Divine Feminine: God the Mother, the Queen of Heaven, the Pagan Goddess

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As I looked at Rosamonde’s pictures, I saw reflected in her the Divine Feminine. There are so many women I’ve known in my life who are in touch with the Goddess, as it were, with their Inner Feminine Reality. They own their femininity, they are beautiful, they are strong, they are powerful, and they are self-aware.

These are the women that the patriarchally obsessed men are afraid of most. Despite hearing about feminazis and how feminism and female promiscuity has destroyed Western society (because patriarchy never caused any problem), the average feminist should not worry these men- though they’re the ones who receive this projection most often. Rather, it is the mystical woman that should send them into states of awe.

But despite this fact, these are also the women who understand the harmony of life, the relation between the masculine and the feminine, and they, in fact, are the ones who do not abuse the Divine Feminine and femininity in general. They are the ones who embrace the Divine Masculine as it relates to the Divine Feminine; there is no war or conflict in them.

Now, to speak of the Holy Spirit. I think it largely due to my being in an Assembly of God church when I was younger, a Pentecostal or charismatic church, as we know them generally, that the Holy Spirit became such an incredible influence in my life. To the orthodox Christian, the Holy Spirit is certainly the most mysterious member of the Holy Trinity- the Old Testament speaks of God the Father as YHWH, and the New Testament is almost wholly about God the Son. God the Holy Spirit makes a few appearances, which are often vague and not really frequent. To the Gnostic Christian, however, certainly God the Father, Who is much more transcendent than the Old Testament YHWH, is the most mysterious member of the Holy Trinity, but that is not the focus of this entry.

First, allow me to say that the Holy Trinity was absolutely the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard the first time I was told of this particular theological concept. How is it that one has God the Father and then God the Son, but that they are actually One God? And how does the Holy Spirit, Who is mentioned much less frequently, incorporated into the Holy Trinity?

The rationalistic part of my mind has an easy explanation for this that likely won’t surprise the reader: the Holy Trinity developed because of the great focus that was placed on Jesus by the Christians, and as Jesus came to be worshiped, it was understand that only God could be worshiped; therefore, Jesus must necessarily be incorporated into God.

But that leaves out the Holy Spirit. That doesn’t explain how the Spirit fits into the Trinity.

That is not the focus of this entry, so we won’t dwell there.

The Holy Spirit, as far as I understand, is actually God the Mother. Thus we have God the Son, God the Mother, and God the Father- and this makes sense.

The Spirit is known as the comforter- it is the Mother, the Feminine which comforts. So, too, is the Spirit referred to as the “Giver of Life.” It is the Feminine which brings life forth in this world.

The Holy Spirit is the one who overshadowed the Blessed Virgin Mary- it is not that the Spirit impregnated her so much as it is that the Virgin Mary reflected the Holy Spirit’s power to create virginally.

Many of the charismatic churches display signs that are similar to the awakening of the kundalini energy according to the Eastern religions. The kundalini energy is necessarily associated with the goddess Shakti- the feminine and creative element and power of the masculine Shiva.

The Holy Spirit is also regarded to be the immanent aspect of God, in that the Spirit is everywhere- there is nowhere that the Spirit is not. Immanence is a Feminine principle, whereas Transcendence is a Masculine one.

After my original bout with Christianity, I was drawn to Paganism, as I’ve documented in earlier entries. The Goddess spirituality in particular drew me, and now I understand why- I had already been in touch with the Divine Feminine for a long time, and so it was natural for me to be drawn to an expanded worldview and understanding of the Divine Feminine.

Now, the full circle has arrived, and the relationship to the Divine Feminine has again fit back into the Gnostic/Christian context. The Queen of Heaven is truly God Herself, the Holy Spirit- and it has always been this way. Her time has come, Her time has come, for us adore Her in this world, praise be to God.

Not everyone will agree with me. There are many who would vehemently deny my opinions on this matter, many who would be horrified that I suggest God the Holy Spirit is indeed God the Mother, but I maintain this position, both from my own experience and my own reasoning, and I welcome Her in my life to share with others and bring peace to this troubled world.

Beaux


On How Gnostics are Able to Not Accept as Literal Everything Scripture Says

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Because Gnostics, unlike some people of other denominations, don’t hold that the Scriptures are Absolute Pronouncements from God. That doesn’t mean that Scriptures are not divinely inspired, but it also doesn’t mean that many books and poems are not divinely inspired. Rather, the freedom to interpret things from various sources as divinely inspired and the ability to celebrate with great gusto and freedom the Presence of God in the world.

There are Gnostic Scriptures, for instance, which condemn homosexuality. But a rational, thinking Gnostic today doesn’t have to subscribe to such a belief, which reflects the author’s prejudice more so than Divine Inspiration.

Experience is the guide par excellence,

These are just some thoughts that I have. I’m continuously filled with gratitude to God for the ability to explore and embrace reality instead of trying to slice myself off, isolate myself from this or that, or be worried that what I think may be condemned by a moral authority who is trapped in his own mind and so far away from anything practical in reality.

Amen.

Beaux


More on the Label Game

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That question I continue asking myself is why I’m even worried about the labels in the first place, why I’m concerned in the slightest with trying to relate myself to other people.

Years ago, I staunchly opposed labels and labeling people and things because to me, labels constricted things and were indicative that one was identifying with temporal, conditioned things. This certainly shows Buddhist influences and perhaps the nature of Buddhist dogma affecting me from long ago.

But the reality is that labels are practical- they have a particular linguistic function, and so, too, have a social function, giving us the ability to identify and group ourselves and others accordingly. While many well-meaning people would certainly like to remove every label and every group, I think the presence of differences is a matter to celebrate, not a matter to dissolve.

On the absolute level, certainly, nothing is actually any different than anything else- everything is composed of the same thing, everything is basically the same thing in the first place. Nothing to worry about there.

As Ms. Tweedie says in one video, the world is an illusion from the standpoint of Eternity, but while you are here and in the world, it is tremendously real.

So this means that if we suffer in this world, it is real- it means if someone violates us, it is real. I think this is what many mystics and New Agers end up missing in the end.

For many years now, I’ve not been able to pin down or ground myself in a particular system. I tried for years to do this with Catholicism, and in one fell swoop, an experience shattered it all for me. Had I really examined what was going on, I would have realized what a true Grace of God I had been given in the moment, for what essentially happened is that the ego-structure was destroyed in such a way as to reveal a long-hidden part of myself and an essential nature of reality that existed in that moment. Instead of embracing that odd, meaningless, purposeless world, I struggled against it.

But it was really a veil of God, as I can now see.

At any rate, I do try to describe myself to other people in the best way that I can for the sake of establishing a clarity of what I stand for and what I represent.

So here we are: on my Facebook today, after a long and difficult consideration, I created a strange but rather accurate label to enter into my Religious Views.

Gnostic/Anglo-Catholic with Sufi Contemplative Prayer

What, exactly, do you suppose that means?

Why such complexity?

I feel that it sums up my religious attitudes and beliefs rather well.

  1. My attitudes, and to some degree, soteriology are highly influenced by Gnosticism and the allegorical understanding of the Bible. While I do have a skeptical streak still present in me at various points, I am also aware that the ego-mind is quite capable of distorting reality and does so frequently.
  2. I find comfort worshiping in the Episcopal Church. Most Episcopalians are likely more orthodox and closer to traditional Roman Catholic beliefs than I am. But the sacramental nature of the Church and the emphasis on their own Catholicity brings the Catholic Faith to me, and I am allowed to participate fully in the Mass without having received Confirmation. I’ll likely receive confirmation at some point anyway. The love of Christ is truly present in the Episcopal Church as I have known it.
  3. Sufi’s Longing and Love for God describe the central mysteries of mysticism. They need not be applied only to Islam- the prayer of the heart, the meditation of drowning one’s thoughts and feelings into love, the fervent burning of Divine Love in the heart- these are all very much so elements of Catholic Christianity’s mysticism.

Some might accuse me of being a fence-sitter. Some might say that I’m distorting the teachings of the Church. I would argue that rather than distort anything, I am fully, and I mean fully, embracing the Essence of the Love of God.

Again, it is the habit of the intellectual to become lost in words and abstractions without seeing what these things mean in practical reality, and it is a danger that is near and dear to my own heart, a trap I’ve one too many times stepped into.

With great certainty, I will assure you that my understanding of Christ is largely different from most people who bear the label “Christian,” but it is not utterly and completely different- it is not something the defames Christ or reduces Him to less; rather, it is an embracing of Christ as both man and God, an embracing of the fullness that He embodies. I think I understand Christ in an expansive way that many Christians are not allowed to by thought-police, well-meaning pastors, and the like.

But what I tell someone if they were to ask me what my religion is? Well, that could be difficult- the label above is a mouthful, and it would take some explaining to do.

We’ll see what happens when the time comes.

Beaux


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