Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Humanity's Need

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: "Do not make your way to gentile territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town; go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." (Matthew 10:6)

For a man who spent much of his time in the company of those on the fringes of society, or with the underclass such as tax gatherers and prostitutes, as well as with people in various states of immorality, the statement in Matt. 10:6 appears to be a somewhat heartless, unkind injunction to 'the twelve.'
          In my earlier post, "Still Scratching the Surface of Christianity" I quoted a comment by Bart D. Ehrman, the author of, "Lost Scriptures" in which he points out certain emphases in contrast such as those who can understand and those who cannot; between knowledge that is exoteric (available to all) and that which is esoteric (available only to insiders); between the immature outsiders (regular Christians, symbolically called "Hebrews") and the mature insiders (Gnostics, symbolically called "Gentiles").
          If one now applies that comment to the text quoted above, a meaning can emerge which is more in tune with what we read of Jesus' character. There would be little if any point in preaching the 'good news' or gnosis to the gentiles as they were already in possession of gnosis. Similarly, why waste time in Samaritan towns where gnosis (albeit mixed with a degree of error) was already present? They had already been awakened. It was the 'lost sheep' of the House of Israel, the unenlightened, literalist Hebrews, who needed to become enlightened to the true meaning of scripture, to refrain from 'taking things as read.'
          It was then, and still is now, important to change our way of thinking, or repent as both Jesus the Christ and John the Baptist often said. The principle of repentance and the acquisition of gnosis applies just as much in other fields, such as science, psychology, politics  as it does in more religious and psychospiritual areas of endeavour. The time is here when we must search beyond the forms of the realist universe around us, to gain fresh understanding, wisdom, and gnosis, if we are to meet the needs of humanity. Whether the news out there is good or bad, we need to listen and to hear.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

In Truth and in Error

Now why would I be interested in knowing where I stand on the spectrum of exoteric to esoteric knowledge? (See previous post.) I am interested because I need to know against what background I am living my life. I have spent too much time trying to adjust my inner life to what I have perceived to be my outer reality. I need continually to change my external life to conform to my inner reality.
          At this point I intend to become a little metaphysically creative. I will dispense, if I can, with the crutches of logic and rationality and, instead, try to use my imagination and intuition in my task, for I reason that it is consistency (or steadfast adherence to) that is key to determining some measure of truth.
          Now in the Holy Land the River Jordan, symbolising the flow of life within the psyche/spirit, first passes in its upper regions through the area of Galilee. This is the area in which Jesus the Christ is reported to have carried out his ministry. The key words here are 'upper' and 'Christ', for they can be said to relate to the Real-Higher-Christ-Self. In contrast to that the River Jordan at its lower end flows through the desert of Judea and into the Dead Sea. This of course is the region in which John the Baptist, the earthier relative of Jesus, carried out his mission. The key words here are 'lower' (or perhaps ego), 'relative' and 'dead', for they in their turn can be said to relate to the Lower-Self.  Metaphysically, 'dead' means spiritually unenlightened The Lower-Self has often been seen as a reflection, a virtual image of the True-Self and thus indissolubly linked or related to it.
          Between the two regions of Galilee and Judea lies the country of Samaria. Metaphysically Samaria represents a state of consciousness in which Truth and Error are mixed, the Samaritans signifying mixed thoughts, partly worldly and partly spiritual.
          So I think it is in this in-between land, looking both towards Judea and Galilee but never simultaneously, and where I must remain awake and stand watch in the metaphysical 'Watchtower of Samaria', that my I-self finds its inner life located; partly worldly and partly spiritual; partly in possession of Truth and partly in Error.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Still Scratching the Surface of Christianity

It is a new year, 2020. Yet whatever is going on inside me in this moment has its origins in all my pasts, and its fulfillment will be in all my futures. What is happening is part of a process of becoming or indeed many processes, perhaps. It does not restrict itself to a timeline defined by numbers, but only by changes in awareness, and those changes, that movement, is vital.
          Of late, I have been increasingly drawn to the study of the Nag Hammadi scriptures, and through that towards a renewed interest in orthodox, Christian scriptures. The distinction between the two sets of writings is blurring and beginning to fade. And this is right and appropriate. Perhaps and finally, I am beginning to scratch significantly, the surface of real Christianity. (Ref. my blog post of 27.4.2013, "L'Abbaye de Boquen.") Again, I find myself needing to write to clarify my thoughts, and to answer some impulse within me. It seems to offer me no rest, yet I feel that I am the least able person to express something that seems to be so far beyond me and my abilities to express what I might understand. However, I must at least try.
          I will begin with the Gospel of Philip, for no other reason than that it insists on drawing my attention to itself. So:-

The Gospel of Philip (Coptic Text: NHC II,3: 51,29 - 86,19)

In the introductory remarks of this gnostic gospel the authour of "Lost Scriptures", Bart D. Ehrman, points out certain emphases in contrast such as those who can understand and those who cannot; between knowledge that is exoteric (available to all) and that which is esoteric (available only to insiders); between the immature outsiders (regular Christians, symbolically called "Hebrews") and the mature insiders (Gnostics, symbolically called "Gentiles").
          Those who do not understand, the outsiders with only exoteric knowledge, err in many of their judgements -- for example, in taking such notions as the virgin birth or the resurrection of Jesus as literal statements of historical fact, rather than symbolic expressions of deeper truths.
          The first question that arises for me, and one to which I need give answer, concerns my place on the spectrum of exoteric/esoteric knowledge. That will begin to be addressed in my next post.