Love and the Authority-Ego

Through the cycle of life and death we come to know the fullness of love. Up through the “twisted tree of knowledge of good and evil” our Authority-Ego within leads the way.

In rebirth, one partakes of love’s spirit…He is reclothed in the flesh of God, virgin flesh, that he may live again to learn the cost of evil doing and through learning, be redeemed. In death the Authority-Ego divests man of his garment: it is this psychic factor that sheds one’s blood for the remission of the many sins of his ego-group; it is this factor that determines life or death…Love itself, which is his Authority-Ego, resurrects and holds inviolate in the id those of the ego-group whose own expression of love has redeemed them; and love resurrects also those that must live again unto the resurrection of damnation until their forces of good and evil are recast into a nonmaterial responsive factor that will prevent abusive exercise of power, and into the pure or purified evil that matter in itself must be seen to be; and in each rebirth love brings to life something of its whole being that has yet to partake of the tree of knowing.

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What might this “nonmaterial responsive factor that will prevent abuse of power” be? Preston Harold will ultimately turn once again to William Wordsworth for a poetic description:

Thus, into a new world of being, the Authority-Ego brings its love of life, the ego-group restated: “he was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” In time, as consciousness comes to the ego-group, the voice of worldly experience is heard: conscience sounds its note from one’s subconscious depths. And then, the superego is formed of that element in the id that is responsive to truth and can carry a word of it into the world, as the Authority-Ego “elects” them, giving to these the “keys” to the kingdom within. Through the superego, love speaks, and makes its presence felt in:

…that blessed mood

In which the burden of the mystery,

In which the heavy and the weary weight

Of all this unintelligible world,

Is lightened: -that serene and blessed mood,

In which the affections gently lead us on,-

Until, the breath of this corporeal frame

And even the motion of our human blood

Almost suspended, we are laid asleep

In body, and become a living soul…

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Here Wordsworth describes an “out of body” experience, a body-free state of rapture; a “nonmaterial responsive factor.” As we become a living soul, there is no need for abuse of power, no need to flaunt ourselves, just increasing knowledge and assurance of blessedness. But why does this knowledge have to be hard earned? Why can’t God simply and totally reveal Himself and our full human nature to us? Let’s ponder this in our next installment. Until then, peace.

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A Reason to Be

The goal of our existence is not to become “a good person” but to understand and know love. But to know love, one must participate in a paradox. Preston Harold opines:

Once man had partaken of the fruit of knowing, consciousness stood naked, until clothed in the flesh of God, in the “skins” of the animal world, and in this flesh the pain of knowing good and evil, the pain of knowing love, is borne. To know love, man must know pain. Love incorporates a degree of agonia. Pain, patheia, tends to be pathological. But pain agonia, or the word agony incorporates in its meaning: contest, celebration, violent striving, sudden delight – it involves a “wrestling” that blesses, an intensification of meaningful being that allows it to be joyfully accepted.

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In terms of violent striving, one is reminded of Jesus’ words, “The kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” In terms of a wrestling that blesses, one is reminded of Jacob’s wrestling with the angel and refusing to let go until he is blessed.

Harold continues by opening a door into the secret of good and evil…

The fruit of the tree of life…could not be partaken of, after knowledge of good and evil had been incorporated in his consciousness and being, until life had taught him the secret of these opposing forces and had attenuated through many generations the virulence of both. For the secret of good and evil, insofar as human experience can determine it, appears to be that good turns into evil in the maximum expression of good, and evil turns into good in the minimum expression of its force. For example, utter surfeit that gives rise to loss of appetite or desire is little if any better than hunger or extreme want. Want (evil) must be attenuated so that it cannot express beyond periodic and diversified desire; surcease from want (good) must be attenuated so that it cannot express beyond periodic and diversified satisfaction. Both good and evil must be recast in life to make everlasting life endurable and to be desired.

And so let us be thankful that love is beyond good and evil:

Up through the strange, twisted tree of knowledge that turns good to evil and evil to good, man must grow, led by the spirit of attraction first to the one idea and then to the other, to become neither good nor evil, but divinely human – as love is. Although love and life may be corrupted as lust expresses itself, though one’s “sins be as scarlet,” love’s returning washes them “white as snow.”

Until next time, peace.

A Strange Twist

What is the goal of mankind? What are we meant to become? Genesis clues us in right from the beginning:

There is a strange twist in the Eden legend that bears examination. Eve speaks of the tree in the midst of the garden, but earlier in the legend this plant is described as two trees: the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Not until after Adam and Eve had partaken of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is man driven from the garden, lest he also partake of the tree of life and live forever.

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This always struck me as a point we can tend to slide right past. The reason for expulsion from the garden wasn’t merely because the fruit of knowledge had been eaten, ie Adam and Eve sinned, but rather that the fruit from the tree of life may not be partaken of. Not only does the expulsion happen, but a Cherubim with a “turning, flaming sword” is stationed to guard not the way back into the garden, but rather “the way to the tree of life.” One must also wonder what life process this “turning, flaming sword” represents.

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Why was deathlessness then a danger? For life to express itself eternally in sentient flesh that could feel the extremes of pain and want, and in consciousness that could suffer intolerable boredom as want is surfeited, is a curse beyond the imagination of man. But had man partaken first of the tree of life, life must express itself eternally in a form that could not know love or a reason for being. Thus, the “fruit to be desired” was the fruit of knowing, so that this fruit was forbidden, thereby making it attractive.

Here Preston Harold tells us that our reason for existing, our task, is “to know love; a reason for being.” It is this thought we will continue exploring in our next post. Until then, 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…

Empathy’s Impetus

Harold follows up his questions that ended our last post by explaining how Jesus’ teachings must become yeast for the future of humankind:

Jesus, giving voice to man’s Authority-Ego when the time had come that man must take an unprecedented turn, gave the commands that point the way, the only way, to bring about the transformation of man and of society that humankind seeks.  The first and greatest command, “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” turns man’s vision inward to grasp God-being within himself, as individual, and points him toward individualism and individual effort – the second command, He said to be like unto the first, “That ye love one another” and “thy neighbor as thyself,” poses the concept that cooperation, good will, decency, and the high ethic of love at work in human affairs is in the highest possible interest of individual, nation, and species.  Slowly but surely realization of this fact, as the command is handed from generation to generation via the word, is creating a higher type society in which the “new command” will eventually take over from the permanent hostility animals exhibit towards territorial neighbors, their hostility reborn in each year’s offspring; and in time these two commands must produce a new type man fully conscious of himself and empathetic enough to create a satisfying society.

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“A new type man fully conscious of himself and empathetic enough to create a satisfying society.”  Here Harold equates empathy with being fully aware of oneself.   In other words, the more self-conscious we become, the more we grow in empathy.  And from this empathy will be birthed a more satisfying society. But what about those who are satisfied with the way society is today while at the same time lacking a good amount of empathy?  ImageWhy change things if not caring about others is putting one at the front of the line? Why does our society seem to reward ruthlessness and egocentrism in an exponentially lopsided way? Only each individual can answer this perplexing question for him/herself.  Society will improve overall when individuals become transformed and expectations are raised one person at a time.  This is commonly known as “maturing.”  Fortunately we do see people standing up publicly and working behind the scenes for righteous change all the time.  Yes, humanity is growing and struggling towards something better…

Jesus said this generation of man is child.  Thus, he projects that Homo sapiens must and will change in body, mind, consciousness, awareness, and capacity to experience. Today, men tend to believe that Homo sapiens is man in very nearly finished form – that biological evolution has all but ceased – forgetting that “ a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday….”  When they view life everlasting in terms of life’s being forever vested in Homo sapiens’ garment, they come in the end to find the prospect of it appalling. If man is child, he will outgrow his present garment, his mental and physical vesture.

What might this vesture look like? We’ll explore that in our next post. Until then, peace.

The Gift of Paul

With the season of Christmas soon to be upon us, a time for reflecting on “gift” seems appropriate.  Amid the differences Harold distinguishes between the doctrines of Jesus and Paul, he rightly admits that the mighty mind of Paul was a vital factor for spreading the message of Jesus.  He tells us…

There is no evidence that Jesus knew it would be Saul of Tarsus who would do the tremendous job of carrying Christianity forward by compromising with Judaism, but He appears to have known that this had to happen to insure its immediate future and establish it firmly in the hands of men – and that a masterful, worldly mind would accomplish the task.  ImageThis is projected in the parable of the factor facing dismissal who is praised although he bribed his Lord’s debtors to provide security and welcome for himself in the houses of the people.  The Lord commends him: “…for the children of this world look further ahead, in dealing with their own generation, than the children of Light.”  In the parable, Jesus says in effect that he who compromises with the past in order to insure the future is, in his own generation, faithful with a large trust – for truth rests with man and all kinds of men are required to make it welcome and to carry it forward, even as they carry man’s heritage forward in themselves.  Or one might say that both the true and the false, the worldly and the unworldly, the steadfast and the compromiser serve life’s process through which man will be brought to full consciousness of himself as son of God.

And what is the ultimate ingredient needed for humans to fully recognize their “child of God-ness?” It is the gift that Paul presents us with.  It is his “bottom line,” so to speak.  Harold confesses:

In appraising Pauline doctrine, its most important contribution cannot be overlooked: love transcended his redemption dogma, clothing his Imagewords in shining armor, sending them unsurpassed through the centuries to lead and comfort men who should not today forget the struggle he had with his own generation to save Christianity from premature dismissal.  He transfused its feebleness with the stubborn strength of Judaism; he stands the towering figure in Christian history; his place in the Bible of man’s consciousness is not to be shaken.

 And it is love that is the greatest gift of all.  Until next time, peace.

Sex, Love, Marriage, and Divorce…

On the issues of sex, love, marriage and divorce, Harold pits St. Paul against Jesus in a match to the death.  No, not really.  But he does show how their views are at odds with one another.  Let’s begin with his statements about St. Paul:

St. Paul wrestled mightily with the Freudian god, sexual libido, as is Imageevidenced by these words: the “immoral man sins against his body….You are not your own, you were bought for a price; then glorify God with your body….It is indeed ‘an excellent thing for a man to have no intercourse with a woman’; but there is so much immorality, that every man had better have a wife of his own and every woman a husband of her own….”

Now Harold goes on to contrast Jesus’ understanding of the situation…

When one gathers Jesus’ words on the subject of sex, he sees that Jesus expressed a very different attitude toward sexuality from that expressed by St. Paul.  In answer to the Pharisee’s question of divorce, He refers to Scripture that attests to the need, right, and desirability of male and female to engage in sexual union: “Have ye not read, that He which made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?”

Because God, Love, joins them, male and female are not to be put asunder – thus in Jesus’ view it is not an “excellent thing to have no intercourse with a woman.” 

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Continuing on the Pharisee’s question on divorce, Jesus doesn’t say divorce should be prohibited, but that it arises as a misunderstanding of the reality of the situation, which is the innate equality between male and female…

Nor are man and wife to be put asunder by a law which does not reflect the true nature of their being – (Jesus) says Moses’ bill of divorcement was given because of the “hardness of men’s hearts, but from the beginning it was not so.” The hardness of men’s hearts causes them to deal inequitably with their wives – in pointing to the beginning, Jesus presents the innate bisexuality and equality of man and woman which society no longer recognized.

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We will continue exploring the innate equality of male and female in our next post.  Until then, peace…