Does this Offend You?

I am that bread of life…This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world….Verily, verily, I say unto you, except you eat of the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you….As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eats of me, even he shall live by me… -John 6:48-57

 The-last-supper

Sounds like cannibalism, right? At this point is would be good to remember Harold’s earlier assertion that the earliest humans were probably cannibals, most likely feeding off the brains of their fellow humans. So Jesus here is tapping into something very primordial within mankind. Yet the idea of eating of a fellow human being offends us.

Jesus speaks these words, then asks, “Does this offend you? What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” Here, He makes plain that His strange words are not to be taken literally – that He is sacrament only in the sense that this word means token or symbol of the truth he tries to convey.

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OK, so Jesus isn’t talking about literal cannibalism.  As Harold sees Jesus as the outward symbol of the inward I AM, it is best to read Jesus’ words as “The I AM is the bread of life…The I AM is the living bread which came down from heaven…He that eats of the I AM shall live by the I AM…”

Within the mystery of the I AM is the mystery of the sustenance of all of life:

The profound mystery of life, the mystery of sustaining it, is wrapped up in these words and in the sacramental, symbolic enactment of them a t the last supper: “Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

And although it may offend us, life feeds on life in order for existence to continue…

In the view of this study, Jesus spoke profound biological truth. To do so, He unlocked His unconscious and let the voice of life itself, “I,” speak freely through Him. His words did offend, still offend. But “does this offend you?” – life cannot exist without something that is extracted from living or once-living tissue.   That something is an enzyme.

Oh, this sounds like it’s going to be interesting! Can’t wait for the next post.

Until then, peace…

Two Sides of the Coin of Authority

Every coin has two sides, yet it remains one. What are the two sides of the “coin of authority?”

Jesus saw that a man who plays the role of absolute authority, or God, a priori, plays the same role as the man who plays Satan, for both roles veil a grasp for power. When accused by the Pharisees of casting out devils by the prince of devils, He does not deny this, but answers, “And if I by Be-el-ze-bub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?” Then, having spoken of the house divided if Satan casts out Satan, He adds, “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” Jesus says if. He will not admit to playing either the role of the devil or of God, saying on another occasion, “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.”

Jesus-vs-Satan

We as humans cannot condone anyone who makes a claim to Godhood; to absolute authority. Preston Harold continues…

Jesus recognized that both the Satanic and Messianic concepts conceal the will to express absolute power, and that the truth bearer who loses himself in his own revelation, believing himself to be or allowing himself to become deity, poses such threat as the sanity or logic associated with Satan could never pose. He showed in his drama that the man who allows himself to be called the Son of God, God in the flesh, or Messiah, will not be tolerated, that Judaism would not in truth tolerate any man’s fulfillment of prophecies regarding the Christ as these are set forth in the Scriptures. Judaism could not in Jesus’ day, nor can it now, tolerate its own Messianic concept, if actualized, any more than Christianity can tolerate the Pauline elaboration of it.

Yet Jesus revealed that we are all endowed with the very being of God, and that that being never allows us to truly be lost from sight:

Jesus refused to play either the role of God or of the devil. He was divinely human, and so must have been that first “gigantic one” who could not extricate himself from the role of God, intolerable, and thus was murdered only to return again and again, a promise and reminder in man’s mind, as parent truth in Homo sapiens led others to speak the same words, “Ani hu.”

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Until next time, peace…

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?

plato buddha1 jesus-christ-love

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.

goethe

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

Life Between Death and a New Birth

 G CIEL 1_025

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…

angels-hildegard_von_bingen

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.

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