Ears to Hear

In his “Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning,” Thomas Troward wrote that Jesus came:

“…not to proclaim Himself, but Man; not to tell us of His Own Divinity separating Him from the race and making Him the Great Exception, but to tell us of our Divinity and to show in Himself the Great Example of the I AM reaching its full personal expression in Man.”

ThomasTroward

Why do we not want to believe this? Why does the Church proclaim a Jesus who is ontologically different from the rest of humanity? Why is He proclaimed as “the Great Exception?” Is it because He followed all the rules? We all know he certainly did not do that! Is it because he loved perfectly? Ah, now maybe we’re getting somewhere. But in spite of His perfect love, why would he waste His time with all he taught and lived if he didn’t think we were equal to the task? Of course through His death and resurrection He “made a way” for humanity into life eternal. But there’s the rub. That one word. DEATH. Don’t like it. Don’t want to go there. Let’s let Jesus be the only one who has to die, worship Him, and that will be what saves us. But the only way our I AM fully flowers is through death. It’s a narrow path most definitely. Many are called but few are chosen and all that.  This truth terrifies our egos. And as Preston Harold explains to us that Jesus came to put the “Messiah outside of us” idea to death, we continue to not have “ears to hear…”

…true Messiah must restore to man himself the power and glory of life, freeing him in the last reaches of being from the authority of priesthood, parent, or sovereign – from all save self- governing law and the necessity to seek truth within himself…And [Jesus} allowed it that through His death drama He could reveal again a truth seen in humanity’s legends: the King’s image coinciding with the Messianic concept men hold must be destroyed in order that the image of man, each monarch of a realm of his own, may rise. This is to say, as long as man fastens his mind upon any authoritarian concept, even Babel Tower building, seeing such as this to be saving grace, he will fail to seek the governing authority within himself….The concept of Messiah as absolute authority in the social realm, be it an earthly or heavenly society Messiah masters, was destroyed by Jesus.

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Let those who have ears to hear, hear! Until next time, peace…

Eternal Gain

“So if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed!” – John 8:36

Jesus came to set humanity free. How is that possible? Harold elaborates for us:

Jesus saw that man is not chained to the sin of the past or present, prone or doomed to repeat his sins because he is bound to the wheel of rebirth; He saw that what a man has gained in knowing, in knowledge of good and evil, he has gained for eternity. In the words of the Psalmist, the Lord “will not suffer thy foot to be moved…” and he “shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” (Psalm 121:8) This is to say, Jesus saw that man is committed to life everlasting and thus he cannot escape it. But He saw, too, that life is becoming an ever more conscious state of being and that in time the swinging of the pendulum between life and death will move as evenly as breathing, with no loss of consciousness or sense of dying attendant upon it, that death and rebirth will be accomplished with the ease of laying down and picking up one’s life again in sleep and waking.

This brings us back to our friend Valentin Tomberg, and his assessment of forgetting, sleep and death and their antitheses, remembering, waking and life. While Plato is the one who taught us remembrance and Guatama Buddha is the one who showed us how to permanently awaken, it is Jesus who unveils to us the way death is overcome. Thank you for sharing your insights with us, Mr. Tomberg! And what is this way of Jesus?

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THANKS, GUYS!

Jesus says God is love. In the unconscious, the kingdom of God within, love enfolds both the tried and the true, the untried and the untrue, enfolds ALL that man is and ALL that life is. “Ye” of the conscious domain express the unattenuated lusts of prime evil which leads men to abuse themselves even as they abuse their brothers. In effect, Jesus says to the men confronting Him that only love can draw one man to another and give understanding, each of the other, and that love is not parent of the consciousness they are expressing. Evil fathers it. But His words – ‘your father, the devil” – indicate that man’s quota of evil is part of his very-being…

And when that quota has been spent, death shall be no more. Until next time, peace…

Error, Forgiveness, and Resurrection

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“The hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28

Preston Harold tells us that the “end of the world” is subjective and comes for each person at the moment of his or her death. But there are many “small deaths” that occur before that:

…the conscious domain [is] peopled with countless images of oneself and others, images born of one’s experience with them. Thus, within this domain man lives a world of lives, and each day that passes leaves a grave in the subconscious, a self-of-himself has expired.

Notice in the gospel passage quoted above that

Jesus does not say, “shall hear MY voice.” He says, “shall hear HIS voice,” and thus He is speaking as symbol of the Son in man. His words present the concept that those of the ego-group in bondage to sin and error are returned to consciousness unto the resurrection of damnation in this domain until they spend themselves of their destructive potential and grasp truth as it works in life. Thus, the “lusts of your father ye will do.” But in the process truth disciplines – it does not destroy. In the legend God does not destroy Cain. ALL that is given man is precious – even his evil. Nothing of IT is to be lost. The resurrection of good AND evil in man presages the build up of something of value to be realized in time to come as evil’s destructive potential is spent.

Forgiveness is the key to expending the fullness of our evil:

Jesus says that the Son in man is the Self-factor that will lead him to reap in kind his sin and error. Thus, each punishes himself. But Jesus proclaims also that the power to forgive is vested in the Son, and that one’s return on the bread he casts upon life’s waters is hundred-fold. He saw that in reality a man cannot forgive a brother-being without forgiving himself a like measure of the evil he has done. As though the poet senses this, Goethe writes in Iphigenia:

Life teaches us

To be less strict with others and ourselves:

Thou’lt learn the lesson, too.

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Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Amen. Until next time, peace.

Life Between Death and a New Birth

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The great philosopher Immanuel Kant said, “Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heaven above me and the moral law within me.”   The spiritual scientist Rudolf Steiner combined these two “wonderful/awesome” ideas of Kant to explain what happens to the unconscious human soul between death and a new birth. Steiner gave many lectures on life between death and rebirth in which he speaks of the human soul traversing through the planetary spheres with each sphere playing a significant role in taking stock of our previous incarnation and preparing us for our next one. Our moral and spiritual victories and shortcomings are accounted for while the angelic hierarchies begin preparing us for the new tasks we must undertake in our upcoming earthly sojourn.

From a lecture given on May 13, 1913 Steiner explains that what was outer space to us while incarnated becomes inner space to us after death, and vice versa:

Here on the earth we are situated at a point on the earth’s surface. Our organs are within us, whereas the starry heavens are outside. The opposite is the case after death. Then man grows to a cosmic dimension. When he has expanded up to the Moon sphere, the spiritual that belongs to the Moon becomes an organ within him. It becomes after death what the brain is for us on earth as physical human beings. Each planetary body becomes an organ for us after death inasmuch as we have expanded to its orbit. The Sun becomes a heart for us. As here we bear the physical heart within our body, so there we carry the spiritual part of the Sun within us. There is only one difference. We are perfect physical human beings when, after the embryonic evolution, all the organs have formed; They are simultaneously present. After death we acquire these organs little by little, one after another…. After death we grow into that of which the physical part has been discarded, and the spiritual part of the cosmic organ is now inside us. What is then our external world? What at present is our inner world, what we have experienced by means of our organs that make us into physical, earthly beings, and what we have done by means of these organs.

As far as the angelic hierarchies are concerned, Steiner adhered to the traditional Christian teaching expounded by Dionysius the Areopagite when proclaiming his spiritual research. Here is one way in which Steiner explains the role the hierarchies play in human development after death:

It is with the Hierarchy of Angels, Archangles and Archai that a man is essentially concerned during his Moon existence after death, while the higher Hierarchies are still beyond his knowledge. The judgements of the Angels are especially important for the deeds of individual men, and it is from the Angels that a man learns the value his own deeds have in the cosmos as a whole. From the Archangels he learns more about the value of what he has done in connection to the language he speaks, with the people to whom he belongs, and from this source also come impulses which work into his further destiny. From the Archai he learns what value his actions during a given period on Earth will have for the time when he has to descend once more into earthly existence…. In the Moon sphere he comes to know what he is destined to be in his next earthly existence, though the actual preparations cannot be made for it at that stage. For this he has to rise to the sphere of the Sun…

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On coming into the vast sphere of the Sun, where our interests are substantially widened, we are able to work with the Exusiai, Dynamis and Kyriotetes on preparing the spirit-germ of a physical body which can then be born for us from suitable parents… Our essential work there…is to concern ourselves together with beings of a higher degree, with all that takes place among these beings as spiritual events, just as here there are natural events; with all that takes place in them as art of the spirit, just as here we have the art of nature. All this enables us to bring together what has thus been worked at into a great, spiritual, archetypal picture which is the spirit-germ, the foreshadowing, of what will later be born on Earth as our physical body.

Although Steiner explains these excarnate experiences as though we were conscious of them, of course we are not! We lead ourselves into all sorts of errors if we imagine we are.

We’ll return to TSS in our next installment. Until then, peace.

Absolutely Human

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Moving our focus away from God and over to humans, how is The Absolute expressed within our being?   If we are created in the image of God, we must declare this absoluteness to some extent.

Man in image and likeness of God, a priori, is now a power absolute unto himself only, but in terms of one, “I,” enfolding a measure of ALL, or unity. Man’s unconscious, not manifest in life, is seat of the Father living in his being to which he returns in death and through which he is returned to life. But the Father living in man’s being does not mean that the sum of mankind spells God. Creation itself, all manifestation as well as all unmanifest, is needed to spell God.

In other words, although man is the measure all things, mankind alone does not spell the fullness of God. It takes all of creation in addition to all that is unmanifest in creation to approach what we define as God. This is all well and good, but what about the image of our absoluteness which is our God-inheritance? Harold continues…

But man is made of all the powers of God, and because the Absolute, God, a priori, destroyed Himself-as-Absolute in giving of His life to man after He had brought forth His creation, man inherits a tendency toward self-destruction. This is to say, he expresses the need to exercise and know this God-power. Although he clings to life fiercely, the instinct to survive is by no means unopposed in him. Day after day he shows himself willing to risk death for reasons great and small. The suicide rate speaks for itself. Death is the absolute man expresses, but something within tells him that he cannot express death absolutely because life persists on the other side of this veil.

Because part of the absolute power of which man was made is evil, man must express his evil, even as God has expressed His evil so that only good, the constructive potential, remains in His being. But man cannot express the whole of his destructive potential in one act because this would be an absolute expression of power, entailing the absolute destruction of the manifest energy which he is. Evil-doing is now the limited aspect of absolute power man expresses. This is to say, he cannot express evil absolutely, finally, and thus destroy it – in parable, Jesus tells him this (Luke 11: 24-26). It would appear, then, that man must reconcile, recast, or regenerate his evil into something of value in life, laying down evil’s destructive potential a measure at a time in each of the many lives he lives.

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And thus the need for reincarnation. In our next post, we will step aside from the Shining Stranger to inquire into what might happen to us between death and a new birth. Or as Preston Harold says above, when we fully enter into our “unconscious…the seat of the Father living in our being to which we return in death and through which we are returned to life.” Until then, peace.

The Cure for Absolutism

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Preston Harold asks how The Absolute can rid itself of its absolutism:

The Cain and Abel drama presents the clue that in bringing creation as man knows it into being, the Absolute expended itself as such, having done with this evil by laying down its absolute power – which is to say, absolute power cannot now be expressed by man or God: Cain attempted to exercise ALL power, to express the absolute, to decree finality, but Abel’s blood cried out from the ground, and in dealing with Cain, the Lord did not exercise ALL power, express the absolute, or decree finality. The question becomes: how does the absolute dispose of itself?

He goes on to say that the answer is found in the words of Jesus quoted from the Gospel of John in our previous post. Jesus’ words, Harold tells us, give us the answer that

God is not now absolute. God is now power thrice stated, or twice divided – The Absolute thereby becoming Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Son-energy is manifest. The Father-energy is unapparent. The Holy Spirit is transparent – is energy-as-such entirely spent in physical terms, as it yet remains in being, absolute unto itself only. In divesting Himself of His absolute power, God divested Himself of destructive potential, or the evil inherent in the absolute – divested life of the power to express the absolute or to express power absolutely or finally. Death, or the ultimate, is finished through God’s laying down His absolute life and power, through His not-being in manifestation. Because death is finished in God’s act, death is not finality for man – life is. That life can be absolutely destroyed is the lie, gives lie to the murderer.

So it is the idea that God is still one power, yet three times expressed, that rids us of the idea of absolutism when we say, “God is one.” Harold expresses this beautifully here. We can also see this idea of God’s power expressed multiply in the Hindu idea of different aspects of the one God, Brahman: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

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We will continue exploring more thoughts on the absolute and how it applies to man made in the image of God in our next installment. Until then, peace…

Two Sides of the Absolute

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Jesus showed us both sides of the coin of truth, presenting on one side the loving Father image and on the other, the murderous primeval image within mankind. Jesus contrasts the teaching He receives from His Father with the teachings the Pharisees receive from their father. Jesus and the Pharisees converse:

“You are doing the works of your own father.”

Then they said to him, “We are not illegitimate children; the only father we have is God himself.”

“If God were your Father, you would love me, for I come from God. I have not come of my own; God sent me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? Because you are unable to hear my word. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

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Preston Harold elaborates: 

Here, Jesus takes man back to the first murderer, to the evasive Cain, traces of whose blood runs in the veins of Homo sapiens. But from whence did this blood come? Whatever man expresses or is must have its root in God, for if he received his being, his good from the hand of God, so too he received from the same source, the only source, his evil.

So God is the cause of moral evil? No, but He does bear ultimate responsibility, for it is His creation after all! In what way does God bear responsibility?

What makes of the murderer a liar, or vice versa, and how could this stem from God? The answer rests in the concept of The Absolute. Before creation was, God must be seen as The Absolute. The Absolute (however) is now seen to be evil.

In the words of Meir Ben-Horin:

The twentieth century has seen the Absolute as the Terror. Henceforth the loyalties of enlightened mankind will go out to the religions that can help them to overcome the absolute and thus to achieve a fuller manifestation of the promise that inheres in existence, in intelligence and in love.

Any form of fundamentalism cannot be this religion, as can be observed especially in radical Islam where Allah is taken to be terrorismabsolutely absolute. This Allah is a complete dictator, and those who serve him certainly believe that they are doing “the will of their father” in serving him and his commands absolutely. This absolutism is certainly one way to understand God, although the fruits don’t seem to serve creation in a faithful way. In the next post we will look at the possible cure for the “God as Absolute” delusion. Until then, peace…

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