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The Robes We Wear

January 23, 2013

In another essay (The Light Dismantled), I brought up the believer’s belief. This is often demonstrated more as an unbelief, which, in my experience, translates as a lack of faith. Not only does this translate as a lack of faith, but it may, unfortunately, transubstantiate into a purely negative impulse, which renders all input as un-sacramental output : what goes on inside that brain of ours that causes us to perform such unbelievable Acts for the purposes of Religion.

Example: There was a man on a public Religion Reform Forum who berated everyone who either asked a relevant question about his Catholic Religion, or challenged him in this. He developed the reputation as being cruel, lacking compassion. Why? For one, he does not believe the stories on the clergy sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Religion and he does not believe the suicides in these were caused by the abuse. Liars is what he calls them. Easy accusation on this, by the way, since the victims are bodily dead and cannot testify. He claims the families are making up stories to get money. He also publicly stated that anyone who disagreed with his beliefs, any RC tenet or practice, are Catholic haters. Scary. Scary because it is the largest and richest Religion in the world. This left me with the question: How did it get this way?

I am of the belief that if you have to defend your Religion, you lack faith, and Jesus says:

Be eager for the word. The FIRST aspect of the word is FAITH, the second is love, the third is works, and from these comes life. The Secret Book of James

So you see, if a member lacks love, it’s quite likely the member has little or no faith, and it would explain the works. However, there is a component to this that needs attention, which leads to another question: Was this member getting paid to put on such a horrendous display? If so, would this be to make that Religion look bad? No, it was to turn people away from hearing the truth. Clever tactics from those OF Religion. But for those who see, it was evident how this Religion got to be the largest and the richest.

Unbelievable, but true. This is minor when you think about the stories that came out the last two years about at least one Catholic hospital in Spain, and what the nuns, priests and doctors did to those poor mothers who had just given birth. Baby selling is a lucrative business. A woman, especially a poor unwed young woman, is vulnerable at the hands of nurses and doctors while pregnant and giving birth. A mother of two, God it makes me cry. And if the devastated mother insisted her baby did not die, a frozen one was brought from the refrigerator to show her. Politics and Religion went hand in hand in this atrocity, but what was also a core interest in this was QUANTITY NOT QUALITY. It was about numbers in Religion.

How many of us have paid into Religious Agenda? When you warm those pews every Sunday, are you absolutely sure your hard-earned dollars aren’t going to pay members such as these? If you don’t believe me, ask my SPIR partner; he was a member for twenty years, give or take a few, and he was privy to a few inside delicacies from the ranks.

Complacency and ignorance do not make it through that narrow gate that Jesus demonstrates on the Word, not even if you THINK you are in the right church. Being a member of any Religion, one that you attend, support, and pay into, holds you accountable in ways that you were never taught possible.

Let’s get away from these uncomfortable topics for a moment and focus on diligence in self-knowledge:  how this dresses us for true success in our faith, and how loving others produces true spiritual farmers, athletes and warriors, that which springs forth truth so others might see.

 

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Song of Andradimus (Archangel Raphael) – L.Thiel Hewlings

I’ve chosen these two Spirrealism pieces to demonstrate images in that projected spiritual ascesis, and I use the word spiritual in this not as an adjective, or to appear redundant. I use it to claim gnosis.  Another way to say this last is to say I use it to call out gnosis. I explained in Part Two of Why a Secret?  what ascesis is. It’s washing out the stone and the sand to get to the gold. In the life of the orthodox spiritual, it’s sophia in and through self-knowledge, and self-knowledge comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God. Wait. Self-knowledge comes by hearing? The scripture verse says Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Roman 10.17).  I wasn’t trying to pull the wool over your eyes, as some try to do in desperation to defend Religion, or even by substituting Religion (aspects of this); I am removing the wool from your bodies, that gnosis may come out. Your inner sanctuary is stripped down that truth about who you are in relation to God may be revealed. Spiritual nakedness is prosoche, or attentiveness. You are naked save for your inner attentive spirit, who is examining who you are. You become of a listening heart within your mind. In this state, you explore all facets of self while listening for the voice of ascetic reason.

I once read a comment posted on a Virgin Mary thread by one of Roman Catholicism to all Protestants. It went something like this: I leave my truth at the door when I go into a room full of Protestants. First, what this poster does not realize is that Protestants are the offspring of Roman Catholicism. He is insulting what could potentially be his own children, and we know that sometimes our children have quite a bit to offer on the truth front. Although I was not part of that conversation, and rarely got involved in polemics of this nature, I could not resist posting this in response:

Then you be stones under the great tree, and know not truth in the presence of adversity. If your enemy be kind, let him dine on the finest of work, but if he be unkind, he shall stone the day in the life when your lamp was not lit as the wolf was swifter than your horse.

In the Annunciation painting, we see Mary (the Blessed Theotokos) wearing her wool garments. These have many folds, and many layers of overlapping cloth. In some places, the cloth even appears jumbled. The area is busy, symbolic of her lifestyle, and her confusion in such an unusual greeting. And once she realizes the calling, I can imagine that she was supremely aware of her human state , that flesh and blood consciousness of “who am I that I might be called to attention in this work?” Also, this applies to her humble lifestyle. She has no monetary wealth and is not a child of an earthly king. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant. Luke 1.48 … And earlier in the chapter, the story says … she was troubled and considered what manner of greeting this was. Luke 1.29  What manner of greeting. It’s almost as if she questions the good and evil in this – the friend or foe – from the Archangel Gabriel. This would be self-knowledge, worn in her faith in a God she has believed in since birth. She is spiritually awake, assessing what is being asked of her. And Gabriel, more formally attired, ethereal in his presentation, but because of the way his hand is reaching – extended – is the Presence worth listening to. Gnosis claimed. Mission accomplished. Hallelujah!

The Archangel says nothing about Religion. He says … YOU HAVE FOUND FAVOR WITH GOD. Luke 1.32

The painting Song of Andradimus is complex, and I know Alfred has written on this and plans to share in this in SPIR Volume Two, but I want to draw your attention to the obvious – two angelic Beings, naked. The nakedness is to reinforce that Understanding that God sees all without the frills of our Religions, no matter what they comprise, or how busy, or lucrative, or dressed-up, or wordy. The center represents Sophia (wisdom), and like Gabriel in Annunciation, we see arms extended, but the hands are infused with the other two figures. One is angelic. The other is human. The angelic could be Guardian, depending on whether or not the human believes, and is willing in this calling. And the human is OF spirit, whether or not he is listening to that voice of ascetic reason ordained by God, or listening to a voice of another.

Religion provides structure, but should never exceed love.

 

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