selfishness


Just in case there are those who refuse to be caught forever by ugliness and seek some alternative, the evil of cruelty makes its claims. Cruelty is something we recognize so easily as a physical activity, yet find so hard to identify in its finer but no less dangerous forms. It is essentially an intentional misuse of power by a strong entity toward a weaker one on the same plant’ of action. For instance, a helpless cripple could scarcely be physically cruel to a strong and healthy person, yet could very well be diabolically cruel mentally to the same person if he were intellectually vulnerable. Cruelty is only possible as a calculated discharge of destructive energy directed at feebler creature unlikely to retaliate effectively. Thus cruelty automatically implies cowardice as well.The motivation of cruelty is commonly again the artificial ego-enlargement resultant from its practice. It makes the little boy feel bigger when he kicks his baby brother. If we can make others frightened of us we seem larger by comparison to their shrinking. That is the secret of cruelty. A false sense of boost because of aggressive action which appears to avoid injurious reprisals. To hurt and kill some helpless and defenseless creature makes cruel people feel enormously powerful by contrast. They may even delude themselves for an instant that they are acting like gods. Taking their pathetic little share of life energy, they are willing to expend this on damaging the lives of weaker beings for the sake of supposing themselves more powerful than they truly are. None cry louder than such cowardly criminals when justified retribution rebounds on them. Nobody hates being hurt more than those who hurt with hate.

We need not always look for evident violence in order to recognize cruelty. It is possible to be extremely cruel in the “nicest and sweetest” ways. Staging little scenes deliberately to humiliate and hurt someone’s feelings while remaining righteously on the side of conventional virtue meanwhile. With the aid of a little intelligence people can contrive all sorts of cruelties yet themselves keep in the clear so far as rule books apply. Attendants in mental hospitals, for instance, have ample opportunity on these lines. So has anyone in charge of children or animals, or whoever is unable to hit back where it hurts most. Let those who think they could not be cruel examine what conscience they have within their own life-frameworks If we are still in human bodies then we are yet capable of cruelty in some degree or another. It is well to see this and convert our energies otherwise as we can.

–William G. Gray (Exorcizing the Tree of Evil)

tree-of-evilmkni2

If only this did not relate to numerous people in my life at the moment… lol oh well, can’t change them, when it is their own internal battle, their own lack. A baby will eventually soil it’s diapers, a hateful, spiteful, ungrateful, manipulative personage will soil their diaper too…although as they are so oblivious they’ll probably sit in their own feces and not notice the difference…..

Sometimes kitty’s are so honest… at least their malice is only over kibble, belly rubs and how much wool you dangle in front of their face….
……………………………………………………………………………….

We and God are not two separate existences; therefore the will of God is also our own will. If we want to change, then God will not stop us from changing. The poet Nguyen Du put it like this:
“When necessary, the heavens will not stand in the way of humans.
The result of past actions can be lifted,
future causes and conditions can be created.”
The real question is, do we want to change or not?

Do we want to hold on to the lure of suffering and let our minds wander around in dreams? If in your heart you want to change, then whatever spiritual being you believe in will also be happy for you to change.

Families work the same way; no person is completely separate. If the son or daughter changes, then the father and mother will also change. If the energy arises from the son or daughter and effects a change in them first, then it will also produce a change in the heart of the father and mother some time later. Families are not made up of completely separate entities. Even if God has predisposed things to be a certain way, we can still change because, as the Bible says, “we are children of God” (I John 3:2).

What is the relationship between the creator and the creature? One has the ability to create and the other is what is created. If they are connected to each other then we can talk about them as subject and object. If they are not connected to each other, how can we call them subject and object? The subject that creates is God; the object created is the universe in which we live. Between the subject and the object there is a close relationship, just as there is a close relationship between left and right, night and day, satisfaction and hunger; just as, according to the law of reflection, the perceiver and the perceived have a very close link.

When the angle of incidence changes, the angle of reflection will change immediately. What we call the will of God is linked to our own will. That is why the retribution of our past actions can be changed.

– Thich Nhat Hanh (The Energy of Prayer: How to Deepen Your Spiritual Practice)

Cat-wool

If this metaphysical space is to be known,

such knowledge can be attained only by faith and grace,

not by ‘entering’ but by ‘being entered’

-this is so because the greater must reveal itself to the lesser.

Put differently, that which is immanently ‘Spirit’ can only be known receptively,

through its own intellective vision, and not any derivative faculty such as reason,

feeling or sensation. Reason can only discern conceptually,

at best reducing reality to a dualism of subject and object

(as in the case of Descartes) or catagorical postulate

(as in the case of Kant) or dialectic process

(as in the case of Hegel) – its ‘telos’ will tend to be utopian(as in the case of Marx),

fundamentalist( as in the cases of religious, political or secular dogmatism)

or anthropocentrically consencual (as in the case of Rousseau’s social contract);

while sensation or feeling even where elevated to

the level of empirical ‘science,’ can only discern reality as matter or as psyche,

quantitatively, thereby cutting it off from its transcendent

and qualitative roots, leading to an emphasis on hypertrophic subjectivism

(as in the case of Nietzsche), Psychologism(as in the case of Freud),

or reductive positivism(as in the cases of philosophical positivism and of scientism).

That which transcends us cannot be known reductively

but only by that transcendent faculty which is immanent in us-which in

Tradition is termed the ‘Intellect’

or the Self-knowing Spirit. To know is to discern BEING.

We must empty ourselves or our ‘self’ in order to know who we ARE.

We must return to the sacred emptiness of the space that is our

ontological core in order to know that which truly IS.

–M Ali Lakhani (the Distance between us, found in Sacred Web issue 31)

Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge. 
  --Kahlil Gibran 
 
 
 
Only crime and the criminal, it is true, 
confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; 
but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.
 
--Hannah Arendt

 

 
 
 

"Jesus said, `Blessed are those alone and chosen, for you will find

the kingdom. For you are from it, and to it you will return'" (Gos.

Thom. 49).

 

In our Yahoo chat room the other day, someone asked me about this

verse, and generally what it means to talk about "the chosen"

or "the elect" in a Gnostic context. This concept has been another

of the many subjects through which Christianity has attempted to

denigrate Gnosticism, in this case by suggesting that we Gnostics

believe that only a certain (small) class of people are capable of

gnosis, creating a kind of fundamental soteriological hierarchy. In

other words, this would mean that being "chosen" would be a kind of

volitional and constitutive act, presumably by God, without which

one cannot enter through the gate of knowledge.

 

There may indeed have been some Gnostics in the past who believed

this, and who suggested that initiates into their religious groups

could only be drawn from a very small "gnosis-capable" part of the

human population, so to speak. However, the earliest articulations

of Gnosticism, and pre-Gnostic texts such as the Gospel of Thomas,

suggest in contrast a radically inclusive version of "the chosen," a

version that is flowering again today in our neo-classical Gnostic

Renaissance. I would like to take a few minutes here to suggest the

outlines of this understanding, which I hope may be helpful for you

in considering the history and theology of Gnosticism, and your own

personal spiritual outlook.

 

While the limited, exclusive theory of "the chosen" is attributed to

Gnostics by mainstream Christians, it actually is far more clearly a

part of THEIR religious traditions. The notion of predestination,

in particular, has made this idea of "divine election" profoundly

volitional in its metaphysical origins and constitutive in its

metaphysical effects on human beings. What many do not realize is

that a fairly robust form of predestination continues to be

theologically present in the belief systems of many denominations

that no longer emphasize it publicly, such as the Catholic Church –

in the case of Catholicism, as recently as the Council of Trent that

followed the Protestant Reformation, a Catholic doctrine of

predestination was solemnly affirmed. I say this only in passing to

provide you another example of the many inconsistencies in Christian

denunciations of Gnosticism – although, as I have said before, we

should not expect to find any consistency, because Christian polemic

against Gnosticism is not fundamentally concerned with being either

rational or coherent, but rather with foisting off on Gnosticism all

the difficulties, repressions, and forms of guilt that have

accumulated over the centuries in the massive social and cultural

edifice that calls itself the Christian church.

 

Now, on to the contrasting INCLUSIVE theory of "the chosen." What

in fact does it mean to be chosen or set apart? Is this setting

apart purely self-referential, or does it have an object? In other

words, are we just chosen, or are we chosen FOR something? This is

the key distinction that allows us to make sense of the whole

concept. When we embark on the path of gnosis, we are responding to

the basic call of the spirit within us, and the spirit beyond us

that ultimately is God. Because of this response, we are chosen by

God and set apart to be as it were the avatars of the spirit in the

world. As we move forward toward enlightenment, we have more and

more responsibility for the actualization of our own spirits but

also for true spiritual compassion of those all around us. We

are "the chosen" not indeed as if those around us are incapable of

gnosis, but in fact to be the instruments by which their gnosis can

come about as well! This is, of course, not at all the same as the

mainstream Christian notion of conversion, because that is about

dominating the other, about forcing the other into your own

prefabricated "truth." Being called and chosen, we are to form a

kind of sacred river, flowing through the world with what looks to

those outside to be passivity and even surrender, but gently picking

up the salt of the spirit as it were on our way to the sea.

 

So, the idea of a certain "chosen" group does not necessarily mean

in any way that other individuals are incapable of gnosis, for it

seems certain that other human beings, who share the basic

experiences of life with us, must have those experiences rooted in

the same kind of spiritual nature. Rather, being chosen, or

constituting an "elect," is in many ways a practical description,

since most of the people around us, fully capable of gnosis as they

are, are held back by many painful and frightening things from

taking those first steps that set us apart at the very beginning.

This point is made clear by another saying from the Gospel of

Thomas, which is included in the canonical New Testament as

well: "Jesus said, `The harvest is great but the laborers are few.

Beseech the Lord, therefore, to send out laborers to the harvest'"

(73).

 

Look around you: how great is this harvest, how ripe the fruit of

human beings standing just on the front porch of enlightenment,

ready to take that first step through the door! How late the time

is, my dear friends, and how quickly the sands of time are falling;

look at the darkness descending and the blood-red sun sinking low on

the horizon, as our world is weighed down ever more by the pain of

violence and hatred. How many sit in the lingering twilight,

yearning for the night to come – for the pain of living in this

world without joining in the life of the spirit has become

unbearable without drugs, and distractions, and addictions that ease

the pain.

 

We have been called to be those laborers, to be those shepherds, to

live not only for ourselves, but for all. To be chosen is to be set

apart as a gift to others, not to be elevated above others. Pride

is extinguished in love, and the ultimate love leads us to the

sacrifice of the bodhisattva, to the sacrifice of Christ. While the

light is still with us, before the clock strikes the closing of the

day, let us seek love and the fruits of love. For truly "there is

light within a person of light, and that person lights up the whole

world" (Gos Thom. 24).

 

In Christ and Sophia,

 

Matthew

 

Some musings of my own from a discussion board…..

………

I can see the gnostic side of wicca in the sense that it is experience of the divine…of a kind

but then some would argue Wicca largely deals with what is often called the astral plane….

this “perhaps” is the mythic realm as mentioned in other threads…. the thing is there is “more beyond” the astral plane…

the astral plane and wicca if we look to kabbalah deals with malkuth the kingdom and yesod the foundation…LARGELY

as do most forms of magick….. perhaps it is no co-incidence that yesod is often associated with the groin.

Of course some forms of magick go beyond yesod, hermetic strains tend to proudly announce their allegiance to Hod or mercury/Hermes….
here we get the attempt of marriage between Hod and Netzach…. Hermes Ahphrodite… leading upwards to Tifferet, the sun….

Jesus the solar sun god savior being personage….
In fact many “paths” stop here…. why go further? lol shucks …..

But of course there is more above the 6th emanation….

so we fall into the trap of self transformation….

as the Sufi say there are two steps… the passing out of the self…which s where many stop, this is to gain gnosis, to know that I am 5 part being…that I am physical and I am a part of the astral… the 5 elements.

the second sufi step is union with the friend…..or to become the grail again…to JOIN….

magick has been mentioned is largely about ritual, ritual is helpful for some..but like religion, like eating soup with a spoon, once the job is done its time to drop it….. before one is devoted to the ritual and not God……

In fact one of the paradoxical secrets of magick is there is no magick.
Essentially the goal of magick is to not use magick…

when we look for a secret formula we are lost..as thomas clearly states.
Of course ask the vast majority of magick users today and they will laugh in your face,

mainly because they are too busy doing magick to realise they dont need to do magick in order to do magick….

essentially this is largely like:

“to be a Buddhist you must not be a Buddhist.”

Of course it is far deeper than this, in that it is not merely saying you must not be a follower, you must do your own thing…
but that you don’t need a magick decoder ring in order to jump tall buildings…. you already can jump tall buildings….

“I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment
It is for this very reason it is called supreme enlightenment”

I gained nothing at all…so the Buddha again is telling us here, we have it all….. thus the goal of magick is to not do magick at all…so one could ask why do magick at all? mmmm your choice…

I gained nothing at all….well, I…. I gained nothing at all….the I, the ego gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment… here Buddha is also telling us I has nothing to gain…..at least that is one view…

Of course I am rambling

to go full circle….
Wicca, correct me if I am wrong, does not deal with divine union….
yes there is communion, channeling the gods, goddesses… this is relatively “easy” so to speak, again as its a part of the astral plane….
Wicca also really, despite the attempts by some, does not have a place for a savior christ figure…. as christ is the 3rd…. male and female combined…both and yet neither…..

So arguably Gnosis… “higher gnosis” for want of a better term ….. is seeking that da’ath…. and beyond….which some will again tell you is impossible..but Gnostics would argue it is not…

rambling..sorry….

maybe coherant lol

just my thoughts

“To unify your life unify your desires.

To spiritualize your life, spiritualize your desires.

To spiritualize your desires, desire to be without desire.”

–Thomas Merton (Thoughts in Solitude, p56)

……………..

“In the Jewish mystical discussion of Creation, the Creator’s act of tzimtzum—making space in the All-God Presence for the existential possibility of Other—was followed by shevirat hakelim, or the shattering of the vessels (the big bang?). As the God-Will to create filled the space formed by the vacuum of stepping back, of tzimtzum, the resulting universe became a vessel that was capable solely of receiving but not of giving. And so it became filled with so much God-Light that it exploded, and in so doing became a vessel capable of receiving as well as yielding, of containing as well as pouring forth. It is in that universe that our world was conceived. A world of give and take, of inhaling and exhaling, of to and fro, of back and forth, a universe in which there could be dance, where life could be dynamic rather than static. In such a universe there is room for receiving only when there is also the capacity to give, of feeling loved only when there is also the capacity to love.

Shevirat hakelim is experienced by the average person at least some of the time. When you are the recipient of potent dosages of loving from someone and it is coming from a place of authenticity and altruism, you may experience an ‘explosion,’ a bursting-forth transformation in your heart that leaves in its wake amoebic stages of evolving love for the Other, the very beginnings of a wholesome partzuf (countenance) process.”

- Gershon Winkler (The Place Where You Are Standing is Holy)


……..


Tat:
But now tell me this; how are the castigations of darkness, which are twelve in number, driven out by ten forces? How does this come about, Trismegistus?

Hermes : The tent dwelling which we have left, is composed from the circle of the zodiac which, in turn, consists of twelve elements; one nature, but manifold of conception, in keeping with man’s erring thoughts. Among these castigations, my son, there are some that act in combination. For instance, undue haste and thoughtlessness cannot be separated from anger. They cannot even be distinguished. That it is understandable and logical that they will disappear together when they are driven away by the ten forces. It is these ten forces, my son, that give birth to the Soul. Life and light are united. And so the number of unity is born out of the Spirit. Likewise, according to reason, the unity contains the number ten and the number ten again contains unity.

Tat: Father, I perceive both the entire All and myself in the Spirit-Soul.That is rebirth, my son – one cannot form any three dimensional concept of it. You know and experience it now thanks to this Discourse on Rebirth, which I have put in writing solely for your benefit, since we would not divulge all this to the multitude, but exclusively to those whom God has chosen.
…………

It’s not just enough to change the players. We’ve gotta change the game.

Barack Obama

………….

“Lord, those are Your best servants who wish to shape their life on Your answers rather than shape your answers on their wishes.”

Amen

–St Augustine (Confessions 10, 26)

The Oklahoma Dominionist Crisis
by
Thomas Saunders

Wikipedia defines ‘Dominionism’ as “a tendancy among some conservative politically-active Christians to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action….” The following is a statement which confirms the movement in the American culture.

”Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the ‘Vice Regents of God,’ we are to exercise Godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors — in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.”http://www.theocracywatch.org/about_us2.htm

In describing Dominionist Theology Wikipedia states….

“All strains of Dominion Theology are small minorities, and are rejected by most mainstream Christians.”

According to an accumulation of information by me from members of several political activist groups, Oklahoma’s mainstream Legislators are selling out the state and federal Constitutions in favor of funding, and making laws which reflect Dominionist activities. So much so Dominionist Theology is no longer a minority, it has become the ruling force.

Several books are available about the methods of the Christian Dominionists to dominate politics like, ”Tempting Faith,” by David Koa. ”American Theocracy,” by Kevin Phillips, and ”Faith and Politics,” by Senator John Danforth. All outline the political goals of the religious right to influence aspects of American life. All confirm the corruption of the Faith Based Initiative programs….

In Arnold Hamilton’s March 25th article, “Church-State, Separation In Peril, Wall’s Tumbling Down?”, the editor of the Oklahoma Observer, points out prima facie, some of the felonies being committed in regard to criminal violations as to Oaths of Office, to protect both the Oklahoma State Constitution, and the U.S. Constitution. Hamilton’s article points out specific Legislators and their actions, as did an entire conference I attended on March 29th of supporters of the Oklahoma Americans for the Separation of Church and State.

I’ve been collecting information on Dominionists for several years. I have on a regular basis shared this information with the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma, The Drug Policy Forum of Oklahoma, the National Judicial Conduct Disability Project, and several other political activits, and organizations. I currently serve as the Field Investigator, on the Board of Advisors for The Congress Against Racism, and Corruption in Law Enforcement.

One of the big parts of the Oklahoma crisis for me is that none of the organizations mentioned above can officially endorse any legal action against any of the Legislators they have documented proof against. This seems to me on one hand to be a little too ‘Catch-22.’

One of the ways in Oklahoma for people to seek indictments is to petition the Oklahoma Grand Jury. None of the Organizations I mentioned above, could officially endorse steps to present evidence and circulate the needed signatures of the electorate. One of the reasons for this is none of these organizations can stand up to any liability in case they are sued. There primary mission as they see it is to raise public awareness.

This means the only viable solution to put together a petition for the Grand Jury is to do it with a force of individuals who need to meet the criteria of proofs, and collect the signatures for the required petition. Then it has to be submitted and reviewed by a District Court. It has to be done so no organization gets involved. Very tricky, but other Oklahomans have done it. According to one of my attorney friends people in Florida (clients) have been murdered going up against the Dominionist forces.

If the Dominionists see a Grand Jury action comming there is a chance they could stop it, due to the last provision of the Oklahoma Grand Jury section of the state Constitution which allows citizens to petition. The last sentence of the Section II-18 provision of the Oklahoma State Constitution…. “The Legislature shall enact laws to prevent corruption for convening a grand jury.” There is little question the Dominionists would interpret such an action as an unlawful insurrection of sorts. There are ample horror stories of violence, and outrageous abuses against people who have stood up to the Dominionists.

I have spoken with Mikey Weinstein the Founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and I know he, his supporters, and family have been shot at, threatened, and abused by minions of the Dominionist movement. There is no doubt that Dominionists see Mikey and his organization a serious threat. Mikey has documented the infiltration of the Dominionists into the United States Military, and they have created the same kind of crisis there as in the Oklahoma Legislature. Mikey’s experiences as an activist are proof the Dominionists will use any means.

Those that take an ‘Oath’ to defend the Constitution need to know, this is a serious commitment, and subversion of it, is a serious crime. Few politicians in the state of Oklahoma have much regard for this obligation. The Dominionists have taken over the Legislature and their abuses have become a matter of public record. The ‘Americans United’ presentations at the March Conference, disclosed a number of serious violations of the state and federal ‘Separation’ clause, and the state mandate…

Section II-5, of the Oklahoma State Constitution…

“No public money or property shall ever by appropriated, or used directly or indirectly for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such. “

This provision of the Oklahoma State Constitution makes it clear that no money ‘directly or indirectly’ should go to any religious organization. There can be little doubt this provision is related directly to the Separation clause of the First Amendment. This is only one of many concerns which involve the criminal negligence to protect constitutional mandates.

It has become a matter of public record that Oklahoma State Rep. Rebecca Hamilton diverted funds to her own church. The anti Gay outlawing and rantings of Rep. Sally Kern, have become as much a national embarrassment as did the rantings of Florida’s Rep. Katharine Harris. The Dominionist movement has permeated the entire Oklahoma government, at all levels. Dominionist legislation that has to be challenged in courts is costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

One of the claims of the Dominionists is that they are distributing federal money, and does not apply to their state obligations. I ask, “If I claim to ‘indirectly bitch-slap’ you upside your head does that make me ‘not quilty’ of battery, or manslaughter?” I don’t think ”Barbara Jean” on “Reba” is stupid enough to believe that theory.

The question is how would an Oklahoma Grand Jury look at this problem? Perhaps an entire Grand Jury of Dominionists has to be a consideration, by anyone who might use this method for the redress of grievances, or the fair reporting of crimes. Taking on Dominionists is a nightmare no matter how you look at it.

 

 harlequin3.jpg

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5)

Humbleness and meekness create in man a bottomless receptacle of recipiency to hold Truth. A proud irascible individual, like the proverbial rolling stone, rolls down the hill of ignorance and gathers no moss of wisdom, while meek souls at peace in the valley of eager mental readiness gather waters of wisdom, flowing from sources human and divine, to nourish their flowering vale of soul qualities.

The imperious egotist is easily riled, defensive, and resentfully offensive, repelling emissaries of wisdom who seek entry into the castle of his life; but the meek and humbly receptive attract the unseen assistance of beneficent angels of cosmic forces proffering material, mental, and spiritual well-being. Thus do the meek of spirit inherit not only all wisdom, but the earth, that is, earthly happiness, along with it.

–Paramahansa Yogananda (The second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the Christ within you)

The intrinsic definition of Limitlessness is that It lacks nothing and can receive nothing, for It is everything. As It is everything, theoretictically It is the potential to be an infinite source of giving.

The question arises, however, that there is nothing for It to give to because It is everything. It would have to give to Itself. This has been a major creation. conundrum in philosophy and theology for thousands of years.

Kabbalah suggests one way of dealing with this issue. It says that as long as the infinite source of giving has no “will” to give, nothing happens. However, the instant It has the will to give, this will initiates a “thought.” Kabbalah says, “Will, which is [primordial] thought, is the beginning of all things, and the expression [of this thought] is the completion.

That is, the entire creation is nothing more than a thought in the “mind” of Ein Sof, so to speak. Another way to express this idea is that the will to u give instantly creates a will to receive. The idea that an infinite giver can create receptivity in Itself is what Kabbalists call tzimtzum (contraction). It has to make an opening within Itself for receiving.

That which is given is called light. That which receives is called vessel. Light and vessel are always in balance, because light comes from an infinite source and thus will fill a vessel to its capacity. If we put a bucket under Niagara Falls, it instantly fills. If we put a freight train there, it also instantly fills. Imagine that the entire universe rests under a Niagara Falls of light, continuously being filled.

According to Kabbalah, the interaction between vessel and light is what makes the world go around. Everything in the universe is a vessel that “wills” to receive the light of the infinite bestower. Each molecule, plant, animal, rock, and human is a vessel; each has the “will” to be exactly what it is.]

Human consciousness is unique in that it has the quality of being “in and the universe. If we the image of God.” This quality is expressed by what we call free will, and free will at its core is nothing more than the ability to bestow light. That is to say, human consciousness has an inherent will to give. This human capability of acting like God in being a bestower is the fulcrum upon which the entire universe is balanced.

The reason this is so important is that if there were a will only to receive, as described above, the universe would be completely predictable. Everything would be predetermined, all receptivity would find shape in its implicit design, and every aspect of the unfolding of creation could be anticipated. The wild card introduced here is the premise that human consciousness is informed by a soul force that gives it the capacity to emulate the infinite Bestower.

Thus human beings have an extraordinary capacity to influence the direction of creation. Each time we make use of our free will by giving, we are in copartnership with the infinite Bestower. When this is accomplished, with clear awareness of what we are doing, we raise the consciousness of creat1on.

–David A Cooper (God is a verb)

Ein Sof

I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

–Revelation 22:13

Actually, the ground of everything is within me and it is God, and it’s within everybody too. And there’s one ground for everybody, and this ground in the Divine Mercy. . . . The peo­ple of the unveiling, that is to say the Sufis, ask the Mercy of God to subsist in them. These are the ones who ask in the Name of God and He shows Mercy upon them only by making the Mercy subsist in them. This is a totally different outlook. It is the outlook whereby the Mercy of God is not arranged on the outside in events for me-in good and bad events-but it is subsisting in me all the time. Therefore what happens is that if the Mercy of God is subsisting in me-and that goes to say if I am united with the will of God- . . . if I am completely united with the will of God in love, it doesn’t matter what happens outside, because everything that is going on outside that makes any sense is grounded in the same ground in which I am grounded. The opposition between me and everything else ceases, and what remains in terms of opposition is purely acci­dental and it doesn’t matter. And this is . . . a basic perspective in all . . . the highest religions. You ought to get down to this, you get down to it in Christianity, you get down to it in Buddhism, you get down to it in Hinduism, and so forth. It is arriving at a unity in which the superficial differences don’t matter. It doesn’t, mean that they’re not real, it doesn’t mean that they’re not there. They still subsist… .

–Thomas Merton


1. Left Hand Path Practices in the West

Satanism is not a white light religion; it is a religion of the flesh, the mundane, the carnal – all of which are ruled by Satan, the personification of the Left Hand Path

The Satanic Bible, Book Of Lucifer 3:paragraph 30

The Left Hand Path is solitary, individualistic, personal, based on self development, self analysis, self empowerment. Altruism is materialistically equated as long term selfishness. I think all forms of Satanism are considered Left Hand Path, even Devil Worship and inverse Christian-Satanists are Left Hand Path, although they are frequently considered deluded. Frequently called “evil” and “dark” by non Satanic religions, the followers of the left hand path often have had to remain in the darkness or face severe persecution from the religions that ironically call themselves “good”. This is testimony enough that the image of the purely “good” icons is a veneer; a non-truth.

Features of LHP philosophies frequently include:

  • Emphasis on freethought, not dogma or strict systems.
  • Highly individualistic
  • A distinct rejection of absolutes and moralism
  • Personal, not universal.

Freethought, Individualism and moral relativism
Left Hand Path philosophies all have an emphasis on freethought; not dogma or strict systems. The “rules” in LHP religions are frequently merely “guidelines”. The same attitude it applied to all knowledge, including that of the knowledge of reality and morals. Subjectivism and relativism are almost universally assumed amongst followers of the left hand path.

Personal Belief, not Universal
Left Hand Path philosophies do not claim that they are the best religion for all people and frequently claim they are only a valid religion for some people. “Satanists are born, not made” Anton LaVey. Satanism and the LHP is striking for the lack of missionizing. This is probably the result of the admission that no religion, philosophy or belief system is suitable for all people.

Yes, I can see why the idea of free thought, individualism and moral relativism (which requires the effort to think for yourself before judging something right or wrong) may be a turn off for some people or why they just don’t get it. I hope that doesn’t apply to you.”

 

oh I get it, I understand it fully

at a fundamental level I think it is un-Christ like though…

give and receive…vessels and light…kabbalah, that is all there is.

I know many see the divine as a nice treasure chest to plunder…I don’t.
I think the “gimme gimme gimme” approach to life and the divine is childish.
At a very real fundamental level it is rape to my mind, forcing the hand, taking the fruit before it is ripe

Agenda is agenda. Agenda is always wrong, as you are not following the true self, the “divine will”; I realize it is your path and that it embraces selfishness and sees that as divine will…to some extent.

However I will never agree to something that is fundamentally about the self, survival is one thing, taking and empowering at the expense of others is another

This is not meant to be an attack, it is just my view.

You wrote
” Self development? Isn’t that what spiritual training is supposed to offer? Isn’t this the point of alchemy?
Self Analysis? Aren’t we supposed to learn about ourselves? Don’t we value the inward path?
Self Empowerment? Don’t we prefer to be beings that have significance in the world of others or do we prefer to be
ineffectual?”

No it is Self development, not self development. In the east views generally speaking there is ONLY self. This is the root of one of the misunderstandings of the LHP since its inception. That self is NOT the self, it is THE SELF; or, GOD. The self development of alchemy etc. is to grow the true self as Thomas Merton calls it. It really has nothing to do with the self at all.

The I before is I and WE, the I after is I, and only I as there is no WE. And there is no i.

 

That is the fundamental point. Your view is like a man who opens a door..but refuses to enter. They are happy quickly going in, and running back out. Having gotten something that they want it is time to stay outside the door. This makes illusion more attractive, nicer, you are indeed self empowering. But illusion is illusion.

 

Like a drug addict you have to carry on taking more drugs to keep that high. That is of course part of where other people come in; little fish feed on big fish at a very real physical and spiritual level. Exploitation. There is someone at the top of the pyramid, sat back laughing, gaining all the power.

Just as the Buddha gained many great powers along the way, he also rejected them all. For trinkets and power is not what it is about. That is the temptation of Christ by Satan in the desert.

So no, I would say spiritual training has nothing to do with self development, no matter how many paper bags you put over your head to “look nice”, you are still wearing a paper bag… This goes for knowing yourself also, knowing yourself is NOT KNOWING YOURSELF. This is fundamental basic thing.

 

 

“He who sees himself only on the outside,

not within, becomes small himself and makes others small.”

–Mani (turfan fragment M 801)

Power and influence, again this is a false notion. God is the only Rabbi as the Jewish proverb goes. Only God has power. Mankind may think he can build a dam and conquer nature, but he is fooling himself. Power is for the weak. Power in its “correct” application is about serving and sacrifice. Agenda is agenda, and again is un-Christ like.

You said

Emphasis on free thought, not dogma or strict systems? What’s wrong with respecting members to be conscious and
sentient adults who are capable of thinking for themselves and deciding what is the right or wrong course of action
instead of slavish devotion to some ancient text or the words of some “authority figure”?

There is nothing wrong with free thought. But often it becomes childish. Too often people seek the mysteries, spirituality etc etc out of rebellion.
Free thought is good, rebellion is good it helps grow new branches, new plants, where none would have grown. However it soon devolves into as what James Dean said “What you got?” Until the point is reached when all you are doing is rebelling. You gain a new uniform, a new prison. Your prison becomes that of the “rebel”, the “free thinker”

The fruitfulness of our life depends in large measure on our ability to doubt our own words and to question the value of our own work. The man who completely trusts his own estimate of himself is doomed to sterility. All he asks of any act he performs is that it be his act. If it is performed by him, it must be good. All words spoken by him must be infallible. The car he just bought is the best for its price, for no other reason that he is the one who has bought it. He seeks no other fruit than his, and therefore he generally gets no other.

If we believe ourselves in part, we may be right about ourselves. If we are completely taken in by our own disguise, we cannot help being wrong.

 

–Thomas Merton

We exchange one strait jacket for another. Instead of embracing what is called the middle way. If we are rebelling we eventually miss the basic truth, the basic truth is we are all on the same boat. Spending your life preening and shouting “look at me, I am special, I think for myself, not like you” is great and dandy, but it really is childish. Like a teenager who dresses up as a punk or a Goth. Nihilism and solipsism only serve to embrace the self as opposed to the SELF. Spiritual masturbation serves no purpose, it may feel good, and seem good..But again, like a drug addict you have to carry on doing it perpetually; or you are back to square one.

Instead there is another way…you open yourself to the wind and fly like a kite, like a kite that is unrestrained..guided by the wind…taken and changed and moved by what is. Instead of fighting the wind and insisting that the wind does not exist. Like the Shakespearean king….you can try to hold back the sea all you like, you are really fooling yourself.

You wrote

” A distinct rejection of absolute moralism? What is wrong with seeing that what may be considered right yesterday may not
be right today (such as burning witches, jews, locking jews up in ghettos, killing in the name of religion, executing
homosexuals, not giving women the same rights as men, etc.). And what is wrong when thinking that what may be
acceptable may not be so tomorrow and that there is a better way? Is this “moral relativism” worse than the moral
absolutism that created the atrocities mentioned above?
Personal, not universal? What is wrong with accepting that there are many paths to spiritual growth and development and
that each person has a right to choose which is the best for them?

Now right and wrong are arguably subjective terms, yes I agree. In Gnosticism (as you’ll read below if you read it) there is no good and evil per se, there is more “levels of imperfection.” So what are we to do when faced with good and evil, morals and dogmas? We have discernment. Like a good parent would never hand a box of matches and gasoline to a child, we need to work out what is helpful and what is not. For the LHP there is often stated the phrase “nothing is wrong, everything is permissible.” This is the mantra of Chaos magicians, as I am sure you know. Well find and dandy, if we follow this logic, it means we should stick pencils in our ears and nose…after all it is not wrong, and ultimately will help in our spiritual development. Clearly this is absurd. Everything is permissible is nonsensical, an excuse for debauchery and to again bathe in temporary pleasures…back to taking drugs, again.

Your rejection is based upon the idea that absolute moralism=hatred. This is untrue. Anything taken to extremes and to an unswerving ascetic extreme is wrong. Atrocities are atrocities, and are again about the individual not the group. The individual hates the Jew and the homosexual. The individual wants them gone, dead, removed. These people are of the collective, the collective is the collective. By singling out the Jew, the witch, the homosexual…these acts are selfish. Suffer not a homosexual or Jew to live.

“The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human.” –Adolf Hitler.

The act of purification, inquisition…again is serving a part of the collective, it is serving individuals. NIMBY or “Not In My Back Yard” mentality. “I do not mind homosexuals or blacks, as long as they don’t live near me.”

In the end LHP becomes miniature acts of solipsism, misanthropy and nihilism.
Solipsism is, well just plain “silly.” I have interacted with the non physical since I was child. Before I even knew what I was doing. So I reject solipsism.

Nihilism is rejection, to take it to a tongue in cheek extreme; I would say the ultimate goal of nihilism is suicide. I would argue nihilism is suicide on a smaller lesser “vibration.”

Just as Nihilism is suicide, misanthropy is purely selfish. But that is the LHP, “selfishness and indulgence.” There really is nothing else to the LHP at a fundamental underlying basic level. If Nihilism is suicide, then misanthropy in its embracing hatred of all mankind can only lead to one conclusion. Misanthropy requires you to kill everyone, but yourself…in order that you are more and more self empowered. Of course this never happens, but on a smaller level people try… Or as the rock star Marilyn Manson wrote “There’s no time to discriminate, hate every motherf****** that gets in your way.”

To conclude, this is what is wrong with the LHP, as you can see, I have indeed thought about this…for a very long time. I really do like to think for myself. But I am not afraid to admit and embrace knowledge, experience “energy” etc. that is far more wise, profound and simply BETTER than my self….as opposed to my SELF.

 

“To respect the personal aspect in man is to respect
his solitude, his right to think for himself, his need
to learn this, his need for love and acceptance by
other persons like himself. Here we are in the realm
of freedom and of friendship, of creativity and of
love. And it is here that religion begins to have a
meaning…”
Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, (N.
Y: Doubleday, 1989) p 82.

Further (although flawed, but still interesting):

“TRUE SELF” AND GAY SPIRITUALITY

 

Dear Friends,

I am posting my response to a question in our Yahoo chat room about

the meaning of the term “archon.” I hope this very brief discussion

may interest you in finding more about the subject, perhaps in the

Nag Hammadi text “Hypostasis of the Archons.”

I will be posting a brief discussion before the end of the week in

combination with this one — What is an “Aeon”?

-Matthew

Here is the archon discussion:

An archon, sometimes translated as a “power,” is a spiritual entity

or force that serves the demiurge, the creator of the physical

world. To be really crude about it you could say they are bad

angels, but it is a lot more complicated than that.. just consider

them the forces that define and limit physical existence.

One of the Nag Hammadi texts is called the “Hypostasis of the

Archons,” and has a mythological discussion of their nature.

You know how in Christian mythology there are some beings

called “archangels?” That is borrowed from this same greek word,

meaning “ruler..” so an arch-angel is an angel that is really

powerful and rules over the others, whereas in Gnosticism the

archons are the “rulers of this world,” the princes of the world

that Christ referred to, for example, in the story of Christ being

tempted in the desert. The tempter shows him the world and promises

to give him the “principalities of the world” if he will bow down in

homage…and we would interpret those principalities as the realms

of the archons, so to speak.

The thing I should caution you against is thinking that they

are “demons” or something like that… there are no demons or devils

per se in Gnosticism, because ultimately there is no metaphysical

category of “evil,” just various forms of imperfection. The

demiurge is in some way the full realization of imperfection, just

as God is of perfection. The demiurge personifies and draws within

himself the ultimate manifestations of physical form, limitation,

physical space, time, as well as the dimensions of space-time, as

well as natural laws and natural processes that govern the physical

world — including the law that everything that lives must die.

+Matthew

 

…………….


Better than one thousand verses
Where no profit wings the word,
Is one solitary stanza
Bringing peace of mind when heard.

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