Thoughts on the Real Christ, Continued

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First, one must always recall that Bernadette Roberts is one of the main reasons I returned to Christianity in any capacity. Specifically her Eucharistic theology is what causes me to hold fast to Christ- indeed, there is nothing like the Holy Eucharist the world over.

I will have to offer some points of thought from my point of view here as well, but then what else could I offer?

Bernadette defines Christ in a specific way; other people use the word differently. For instance, we Gnostics would tend to refer to the Eternal, pre-existent Logos as the Aeon Christ.

Curiously, the modern Gnostics tend to hold a view that’s virtually identical to Bernadette’s own regarding the man Jesus and the Logos, though the word “Christ” comes into play here as well. So, too, would the Gnostics be in line with Bernadette’s Eucharistic theology (the Holy Eucharist is the Glorified, Spiritual Body of the Risen Christ, not the literal flesh and blood of the man Jesus of Nazareth- an enormous difference, and a huge reason to use the full phrase “Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.”)

So, let’s establish some things here on my end.

First, I’m not overly concerned with attempting to maintain “strict monotheism” or to avoid “tri-theism” or “polytheism” or “anthropolatry.” To be perfectly honest, there are various theological ways of looking at things that make all of these perfectly valid and subsumed into one another.

Second, I tend to fall along the line of Monism. Bernadette mentions this briefly but doesn’t detail it the way she does tri-theism and anthropolatry.

In fact, mainstream Christianity would make more sense if it had simply admitted it was tri-theistic or that it was practicing anthropolatry instead of doing the bizarre song and dance of theology regarding the Holy Trinity.

I’m not here to deny the Holy Trinity, only here to say that, at least from the Gnostic point of view, it’s virtually unnecessary to conceive of God in this way.

Bernadette did, amazingly enough, really highlight the virtue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and my devotion to Our Lady has grown immense, but the reality here is that the Gnostics see the Virgin Mary as the icon of Sophia in the way that Jesus is the icon of the Logos!

So you see, it’s all coming together, full circle, in a way I never imagined. The Blessed Virgin Mary is easy for me to have devotion to; I’m eager to pray the rosary, I’m eager to say Litanies to her. Am I falling into Mariolatry? Perhaps, but I also don’t care about maintaining “party lines” as Bernadette calls them.

Yes, yes, I’m stumbling toward God as ever. I have half a mind to one day write a book entitled, “How I Fell Up the Stairs to Enlightenment: Memoirs of a Christian Mystic.”

The experience of the Silence has happened a few more times, notably on Labor Day, as I rode with my husband and my stepson to see my in-laws. The ego dissolved somewhat, and I had a great sense of peace and almost of floating.

More recently, I was riding to a wedding and praying a sort of “mini” version of the rosary, and my heart opened to the Blessed Mother and God and I felt very in tune with and very in line with Nature- I could sense the connection, the “vitality” of the world around me and myself.

Suffice it to say that it seems like I’m on the correct path! Glory be to God.

Steve

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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.