The Serpent, Science, and Religion

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It’s time for us to step aside and take a deeper look at the serpent and it’s role in the human story. To do so I will quote at length from Valentin Tomberg’s magnum opus, Meditations on the Tarot. This is from his meditation on the ninth major Arcanum, “The Hermit:”

…the serpent of Genesis “who was the most cunning of all living creatures” (Genesis iii, 1),…aspiration is the expansion of consciousness in the horizontal (“the fields”). The ultimate aim of the logic of cunning, that of the serpent, is not to become God but to become “like God.” “To become like” – this is the essence of cunning and is also the meaning of scientific faith, the scientific creed, which is at the same time only a paraphrase and development of the promise of the serpent: “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil”(Genesis iii, 5).

To open your eyes, to be like gods, knowing good and evil – this is the great Arcanum of empirical science. This is why it is dedicated to the cause of enlightenment (“open your eyes,” for the horizontal); this is why it aspires to absolute power for man (“be like gods”); and this is why, lastly, it is intrinsically amoral or morally neutral (“knowing good and evil”).

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Does it deceive us? No. It opens our eyes in fact, and thanks to it we see more in the horizontal; it gives us power over Nature in fact, and makes us sovereign over Nature; it is useful to us in fact, no matter whether for good or for evil. Empirical science in no way deceives us. The serpent has not lied – on the plane where its voice and promise were audible.

On the plane of horizontal expansion (“the fields” of Genesis) the serpent certainly keeps its promise…but at what price with regard to other planes, and with regard to the vertical?

What is the price of scientific enlightenment, this “opening of the eyes” in the horizontal, i.e. for the quantitative aspect of the world? It is at the price of the obscuration of its qualitative aspect…Science reduces quality to quantity…It [uses] formula[s] expressing quantitative factors…of something deprived of all quality.

But here’s a wrench in Tomberg’s spokes. Although he acknowledges the serpent’s honesty in regards to the horizontal, biological evolutionary plane, he speaks as if the serpent has always been only in league with the horizontal. Yet the Genesis story implies the serpent’s stature used to be vertical, upright. And the serpent’s promise was audible on the plane of the vertical, while Adam and Eve were still in full relationship with God. It is only after imparting it’s knowledge via the Knowledge of the Tree of Good and Evil that it became the serpent that we know today, “cursed” to only existence on the horizontal plane (“eating dust”).

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The serpent wasn’t just cunning, but was wise. Even Jesus himself told his followers to be wise as serpents. Yet the serpent’s cunning/wisdom seems to be only self-referential, not being able to reach beyond it’s own needs. That’s why Jesus tempers his saying by finishing with the injunction to be innocent as doves. So a valid interpretation overlooked by Tomberg is that the serpent makes a monumental sacrifice for all of humanity. Without the serpent’s “gift,” we would never have inherited the values and ethics of the vertical plane. Yes, friends, the story is a bit more complicated than Tomberg would have us understand. It would seem for there to be an expansion of consciousness in the horizontal, it is necessary for the vertical to be imparted. It is this point that Preston Harold seems to overlook as well in his comment from our previous post where he said, “But man, the only true biped, posed himself uprightly- alone in all the world, threw himself transverse the ‘natural’ line, became a vertical being, in truth measuring more than he was and more than evil measures.” Nowhere does Harold mention how man posed himself uprightly.

Yet both Harold and Tomberg speak the truth as to our current predicament, as our journey back to the source must always begin right where we are. And so we return to Tomberg:

What should one do, confronted with the choice between science and religion?…is it necessary to choose? Does it not suffice to give each of these two aspirations its place – not that which they arrogate to themselves, but that which is their proper place?

In fact, if there is not a religious empirical science or a scientific religion, there are religious scientists and scientific believers. In order to be a religious scientist or a scientific believer honestly, i.e. without compromising one’s conscience, it is necessary to add to the definite horizontal aspiration the definite vertical aspiration, i.e. to live under the sign of the cross:

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It is at this point where “The Shining Stranger” enters the picture. Not only does “The Shining Stranger” postulate that science and religion must work in tandem, it reaches beyond and claims that scientific striving has already “crossed” over the strictly horizontal realm and found itself smack dab in the middle of exploring Jesus’ Kingdom of God, itself the very same quantum realm that science has been attempting to come to terms with since the early 20th century. In other words, the serpent of materialistic science has been crucified on the cross of matter and now must come to terms with its resurrection. The question for humanity now is will it heed the prophetic truth proclaimed by Tomberg, Harold, and those akin to them who had eyes to see and ears to hear? In other words, “When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on the earth?”

Until next time, peace.

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Lucifer Rising

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“Lucifer Rising” by Elvinia DC

Why must evil be resurrected along with righteousness? What purpose does it serve?

…Lucifer, the devil, means “light-bringer,” and light is primordial energy – but Lucifer is not himself the light he brings. It must be that if “your father, the devil” is resurrected in man causing him to express evil, this expression brings in its wake a necessary enlightenment. If man’s evil is wed to his very being, his good, life must be recasting his evil into a measure of “something” indispensable to him, and this “something” must be flesh over which consciousness has full dominion: flesh man can in truth call his own and keep. To have it, man must have knowledge of evil, of matter itself, and he must have dominion over evil. That is, he must learn to live without corrupting his flesh and abusing life itself in evil doing; he must complete the task begun in Eden, which is to acquire knowledge of good and evil.

Ah, a necessary enlightenment! Many people, including great philosophers and theologians throughout the ages have looked into and considered the possibility of redemption not just for human beings, but for Old Scratch himself. Origen said that nothing is beyond being healed by its maker.  Rudolf Steiner postulates that through resisting and balancing the extreme forces of spirit (Lucifer) and matter (Satan) we redeem evil. In his early lectures on the Bible, Valentin Tomberg says that Lucifer experienced an inner metamorphosis through the Mystery of Golgotha, and that at the crucifixion he recognized the nature of the sacrifice of Christ. Gregory of Nyssa said that the originator of evil WILL be healed. At the heart of these interpretations seems to be a deep intuition that there is a reason for the existence of evil, that it is serving a greater purpose which could not be accomplished without it’s resistance. Preston Harold would say that reason is “flesh man can in truth call his own and keep.”

One here must also consider here the role that Judas played in Christ’s drama. In his “Cipher of Genesis,” Carlo Suares reminds us that the Gospel of John has Judas following Jesus’ instructions to the letter.

I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfulled. He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it comes that when it is come to pass ye may believe that I am he. Verily, verily I say unto you: He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent meVerily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall HAND ME OVER (OR, DELIVER ME)…He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

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So Satan enters Judas, Jesus then sends Judas. In essence, Jesus has sent Satan. So it must follow, according to Jesus’ own words, that he who receives Satan receives Jesus, therefore in the process receiving God. Once again we must ask ourselves, “Does this offend us?”

The lesson in all of this? Suares tells us:

In terms of gnosis it is the statement of a simple fact: there is only One energy, only One life, only One movement. All is one and one is in all. The One is the one game of life and existence, of energy as energy and of energy as its own physical support, which is its own resistance to itself, without which nothing would be.

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…