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Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:07 pm
"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all humanity, because all sinned - for before the law was given, sin was in the world".
- (Romans 5:12-13)
This concept of sin as it is described by Paul when read exoterically resembles the traits of a genetic deficiency that is passed on from one generation to the next. Unfortunately this is exactly the idea that Orthodox Christianity pontificates to the masses - "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"
There are two problems with this teaching. First, the inherent sinfulness of humanity lies on the premise that humanity inherited sin from our 'original' ancestors Adam and Eve. This cannot be as sin is an act of will or conscious choice to 'miss the mark.' As such only Adam & Eve would have to bear the responsibility for their 'sin' for it is written, "a man reaps what he sows!"
Second, since Orthodox Christianity rejects both the eternality of the spirit-soul and its transmigration (reincarnation) it has no logical and therefore no justifyable basis for 'our sins', as we could not have existed during the time of Adam & Eve.
Basilides says that the demiurge is the power called "death" and "sin". In his exegesis of this passage, he quotes a variant reading: "'sin reigned from Adam to Moses,' as it has been written, for the Great Archon reigned, having an empire that extends to the heavens, and imagining himself alone to be God."
The Valentinians agree that Paul is describing the demiurge's reign. According to Valentinus, "the origin of death is the work of the cosmic demiurge."
Apparently the Demiurge in his ignorance was helpless to avert the corruption that plagued his creation from its beginning, so that sin and death became inevitable correlates of his reign.
I look forward to reading everyone's views on this topic.
In the name of The Great Life,
- Yahisha Ha Nazorean
Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 7:47 am
The concept of "Original Sin" is one of my favorites to contemplate, as, I believe, Genesis makes some subtle points missed by orthodoxy oftentimes. Even a philosopher, when contemplating the situation that Adam and Eve are placed in at the beginning of the story in Chapter three of Genesis must find the situation quite interesting, and even more so for the mystic! Yet rarely does orthodoxy pause to consider a very important, yet critical point:
Adam and Eve were told NOT to eat of the tree of "Good and Evil" BEFORE they had knowledge of "Good and Evil." In order to comprehend that one should or shouldn't do something, that something is permitted or not permitted, it is requisite that one understands "Good" and "Evil". Many people claim that Adam and Eve had this knowledge, and cite children who seem to be born with an inherent understanding of at least 'pain' and 'pleasure' which translates into 'good' and 'evil' through parents utilizing positive and negative reinforcement. Yet such an argument overlooks the fact that we are all born with this knowledge and understanding that Adam and Eve originally was not. So in this situation, "God" or perhaps "A god" is giving a direction to Adam and Eve that Adam and Eve do not have the capacity to understand. And if this is truly God, or even a god, then we can probably infer that this God knew what Adam and Evil could comprehend. In addition, it is ironic that, their "disobedience" leads to their comprehension of "Good" and "Evil".
But what does all of this point to? The human condition is riddled with paradoxes and uncertainty. In much of our theologizing and philosophizing, we like to describe clear explanations for some oftentimes disturbing or uncomfortable truths. We often believe that these disturbing truths won't be disturbing when we provide an explanation that is clear and makes sense, and perhaps it works... until we realize that down deep, the inherent fact that this dissatisfaction with ourselves and this world remains, inwardly we still feel separate from God and we don't really know who or what God or we really are. The descriptions are a nice pasttime, but I'm not really any closer to God in them, I'm just shielded by another concept. But here, in our discomfort we find cosmic ignorance, or the inherent pain and dissatisfaction in the "I - Thou", "Subject - Object" relationship. Isn't this essentially what Adam and Eve are introduced to in eating the tree?
But is such a state inherently bad, or is it a stage in evolution? Did some big bad spirit in the sky trick us into this mess? Did we screw up somehow? Perhaps none of these really get to the core of the issue, for each of them depends upon some kind of subject-object relationship, whether it be a big cosmic daddy who is punishing us, or a big bad elder brother who is playing a nasty prank on us. Perhaps it points to an inherent flaw in the subject - object relationship in consciousness, the tendency to depend upon the sense of blame for it's existence, the inherent suffering of separateness ironically fueling the blame game in order to perpetuate the illusion of a separate and distinct self. I mean, hey, isn't the mantram of physical existence, "it's better to be alive and suffering than dead" ?
But this program is so deeply ingrained in the very sense of "I, Me, and Mine" itself, that it's not something we describe or see directly in words within our mind, it's not a logical thinking process, but an emotional pattern that acts itself out without any thought at all. But the disturbing quality of this story in Genesis mirrors this state within consciousness, reflects it artfully, providing a cute little logical paradox to incite us to look a little deeper. Ah, one of my favorite mysteries to explore!
Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:29 am
Greetings Yahisha and Phillip!
I too have often found this an interesting contemplation. Without the knowledge of good and evil, how could Adam and Eve have sinned by eating the fruit?
The question of the Demiurge is curious in this respect. It would seem that prior to eating the fruit, Adam and Eve existed in a state of cosmic ignorance, which is attributed to the Demiurgos. Although eating the fruit gave rise to duality and the sense of separation, without this apparent duality and separation, how could or why would we seek conscious unification with God?
Perhaps it is in this sense that original sin can be considered original blessing!
Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:23 am
Greetings Rebeka, Yahisha and Phillip!
This is an interesting contemplation.
If sin means missing the mark, do that mean missing our unification with the Divine? If so, then it would make sense that eating the fruit would be considered "sin". It is not a value judgement, but instead a statement of truth... that by eating the frut Adam and Eve went off track from unifcation.
But Rebeka's contemplation of it actually being a blessing is so true. Even though unification was lost, it gave humanity the chance for free will and differentiation. This "sin" is passed down from parent to child, not for punishment, but because the Knoweledge of good and evil is present in all. This differentiation causes us to be seperate from God, but in the long run is a blessing because it give us the choice to return.
I always find that one of the hardest parts of reading the canonical books of the Bible is that so many terms have connotations (assumed meanings) different from their denotations (actual definitions). I believe sin, repentance, etc. are wors that fall into this category. We always think of sin as evil, bad, etc. and repentance as punishment and a ceasing of the "sin. In actuality, sin only means "missing the mark" and repentance means "to turn around and go the other way". If you take negative, judgement connotations out of the picture, the scriptures take on new life.
The Original Blessing & Original Sin
Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 12:26 pm
Greetings One and All!
In the Sophian teachings it is said that we are conceived in an “original blessing,” which is reflected in the Kabbalah in teachings on the mysteries of the arayot (sexual mysticism), as well as in teachings on the Hieros Gamos in some schools of Christian Gnosticism. The idea of an original blessing is spoken of in this way: When the human being is conceived he/she comes into being from a drop, which is comprised of three aspects: the father (white father seed), the mother (red mother seed) and the Holy One of Being (Hayyah Nefesh, living soul). The father seed and mother seed shape the body, and on an energetic level are the roots of the twin forces of the Serpent Power; the soul of light comes from the Most High and is an emanation of the Infinite Light (Ain Sof Or). The father seed and mother seed, spiritually speaking, have their origin in Adam and Eve, the First Man and First Woman (as archetypes) – specifically the Supernal Adam and Eve; yet with the involution into the matrix of creation and material dimension there are klippot associated with these seeds, hence husks of darkness surrounding these holy sparks. Thus, there is the purity of the original blessing in our conception, as well as a certain admixture, all transpiring in a great mystery – the same mystery through which the First Man and First Woman come into being.
Of course, in the stories of Adam and Eve we are speaking about the Divine Potential of the Human One and the process of involution and evolution through which the Divine Potential is actualized and realized – it is an evolution of awakening from a primordial unconscious state of union through an individuation process, which leads to a conscious unification.
Integral to this process is Cosmic Ignorance (personified by the Demiurge), which is the principle that facilitates individuation – in order to enter into a conscious unity, first the unconscious unity must be shattered, and there must be an illusion of separation, allowing the individual to come into being, to develop and evolve. This process is alluded to by the story of the separation of Adam and Eve, and the play of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, which leads to the “fall,” symbolic of the involution of human souls into humankind on earth, and the evolution of human souls from within humankind on earth – two apparent movements that are, in fact, one and the same.
The Ignorance is the appearance of separation, the Forgetfulness, as it were, of our innate unity with all that is and with the Source of the All, God – it is dualism in consciousness, but also it may be viewed as unconsciousness unity, hence unconscious oblivion. Thus, if we go looking for the beginning of Ignorance we will not find it, for all begins in an unconscious unity – this is called “primordial Ignorance.” Likewise when we look into the Ignorance, into our own coming into being from potential into actual, we emerge from an unconscious unity, individuating through dualism – this is called “fundamental Ignorance.”
“Sin,” or “missing the mark”, or “separation,” this is the product of Ignorance, the Demiurge, and is reflected in the literal meaning of Demiurge, “the half-maker.” Sin leads to death, which is the loss of the continuity of awareness in transition from one state of consciousness to another, or a fall into unconscious oblivion, hence the playing out of Forgetfulness or Ignorance. In the Ignorance we can miss the mark (of Truth) either unconsciously or consciously, for in the Ignorance, we do not know the Truth and Light, but we are bound to Falsehood and Darkness; hence bound to sorrow, suffering and death (the fruits of sin). Yet, this appearance of separation, this dualism, by nature, is illusory – for when the Ignorance is dispelled, then we can look and see that the eternal realm is the Real and this world is the Real; and we see that “sin” and “death” never existed (in an absolute sense). In some way, however, these appearances are necessary for this creative evolution, for the actualization and realization of the Divine Potential, and no doubt there is a relative reality in which there is a play of Light and Darkness, Life and Death.
We may rightly say that we are conceived in an original blessing, and that we are meant to actualize and realize this original blessing, this Divine Potential of the Human One. Yet, we may also say that we are born in original sin, which is to say born in Ignorance, for no one is born Enlightened or Christed, but this Divine Potential must be actualized and realized in us; hence “redemption” through Gnosis, which dispels the Ignorance.
From the Sophian perspective, what unfolds between the generation of the First Adam (before the separation of Adam and Eve) and the coming into being of the Second Adam (the Messiah) is a process of involution/evolution of consciousness; hence a process through which the Divine Potential of the Human One is actualized and realized (in the Risen Messiah).
Above I mentioned the White Father Seed and Red Mother Seed, which have their root in the Supernal and represent the Male and Female Principle in us, the descending and ascending forces of the Serpent Power, respectively. Their innate nature is Peace and Joy, the essence of which is Love and Compassion, which we experience in the Gnosis of the Living Yeshua, the Risen Messiah. Yet, as I mentioned, on account of the Ignorance and the involution of consciousness into the matrix of creation and matter, there are klippot associated with them – husks of admixture and darkness. The nature of the Ignorance in us is the bestial nature, which is to say self-grasping or the egoistic condition. This gives rise to the klippot associated with the father seed and mother seed, fear-anger (aversion) and desire-lust (attachment), respectively.
This points us to a dual-truth of our conception in an original blessing and birth in original sin (the origin of sin, which is the Ignorance). While “original sin” has been projected in sex and sexuality, in fact it is a statement of the fundamental Ignorance in which we all begin this life – the Desire to Receive for Oneself Alone, the bestial nature. This is readily apparent in little children, for as a little child we begin by necessity here as complete selfish beings and in our process of individuation we generate the klippah of the egoistic self, a strong self-identification with name and form and personal history. Thus, we come to live only on the surface, in ignorance of our True Being (Soul of Light) and the Source of Being (True Light).
It is rather like the caterpillar that has entered into the chrysalis phase, in which exists the potential of the butterfly – but there is a radical transformation that must occur in consciousness and we must seek to shed the chrysalis of the egoistic self. The call to the spiritual life and practice is the impulse within us to this self-transcendence and self-transformation; hence the conscious evolution towards Supernal or Supramental Being (Messianic Consciousness).
As I mention above, no one is born Enlightened or Christed, but the process of Self-realization must be enacted with each and every incarnation, even in the case of souls that enter who have previously been Enlightened or Christed. Thus, though conceived in an original blessing (Divine Intention), we are all, in effect, born in original sin (Ignorance).
The original blessing in which we are conceived is, in essence, the Divine Intention for us, which is our Divine Destiny, which is prefigured in the Person of the Risen Messiah, who is the prototype of a New Humanity. In the emergence of this New Humanity, a New Heaven and Earth come into being (or the realization of the Union of Heaven and Earth), according to the Sophian view.
For the sake of initiates familiar with the teachings, here we may say: The essence of the White and Red Seed is in Yechidah.
This, of course, is a “nutshell” version of something that is the very foundation of the Sophian view and teachings, and the Self-realization towards which the Sophian way of the spiritual life and practices aims. Yet, perhaps these thoughts might help extend the contemplation and discussion.
May the Mother bless us to remember, amen.
Blessings & shalom!
Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 1:52 pm
Could you expound on the concept of the white father seed and the red mother seed?
The Father and Mother Seeds
Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 6:10 pm
Greetings Brother Mark!
Yes, something more can be said of the Father and Mother Seed – the White and Red Essence. The Father Seed is the vital force that comes from your father at the time of your conception, and the Red Mother Seeds comes from your mother – the vital energy within and behind the sperm and egg, respectively, the union of which brought about your conception. The vital essence of the Father Seeds rests in the Crown Center and the vital essence of the Mother Seeds rest in the Root Center – in their purity the Father Seed is Peace and the Mother Seed is Joy, but in impure or karmic manifestation they are the cause of fear-anger and desire-lust.
The Father Seed corresponds to Hesed and the Mother Seed to Gevurah, thus the Father Seed has a tendency to gadlut (expanded consciousness) and the Mother Seed has a tendency to katnut (restricted or narrowed consciousness); their essence is in and Abba (Hokmah) and Imma (Binah), however, and spiritually they represent our connection to Adam and Eve, the first man and woman.
While we may speak of the physical DNA that we receive from our father and mother, we may also speak of something similar on a psychic and spiritual level – a kind of psychic and spiritual DNA. Through this matrix of life-potential the soul enters and incarnates, the soul of light proper coming from the Holy One of Being, who enters in between a man and woman at the time of conception imparting Nefesh Hayyim – the Living Soul.
On one hand, in speaking of the Father and Mother Seeds we can say that they have a correspondence to Bet, for by these two seeds the house of our incarnation is formed – our body-mind complex; yet, on the other hand, in that the Holy One plays a role we can say that this instant corresponds to Gimel (three) and the mystery of the gilgulim – the generation and transmigration of the soul.
Because the White Father Seed and Red Mother Seed have their essence in the Supernal Father (Abba) and Mother (Imma), and their roots in Hesed (Mercy) and Gevurah (Judgment), they may be said to have a correspondence to the descending and ascending force of the Serpent Power – the awakening and redemption of the Serpent Power being the purification of the Father and Mother Seed.
With this in mind you might look into the chapter on Yesod in Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ and consider what is said of the Father and Mother Seed in terms of the inner dissolution in the dying process – it may give some insight into their play in the awakening and redemption of the Serpent Power as taught in the Sophian lineage.
If we wish to meditate on the natural and spontaneous arising of the White Father Seed and Red Mother Seed, according to their true essence in the Supernal Father and Supernal Mother, we need only meditate upon the Risen Messiah.
The White and Red Seeds are akin to the poles in between which the entire spectrum of our consciousness-force unfolds; hence the seven centers in the subtle body. The state of Cessation or Repose occurs through the mystical union of these two Seeds in our Heart Center, which produces the Self-realization of the Secret Center above the head – the Supernal or Supramental Star. In this we have spoken something of the great mystery of Hieros Gamos and the Resurrection on an inner level.
We have hinted at original sin and original blessings in our discussion of this – the impure and pure manifestation of the Father and Mother Seed, yes?
Perhaps this will help in your contemplation of the White and Red Seeds.
May we remain awake and alert in the instant of the mystical embrace, may the Mother’s Good Grace grant the continuity of the Presence of Awareness, amen.
Blessings & shalom!
Posted: Thu May 05, 2005 12:14 pm
In contemplating your explanation of the father and mother seed, recognition of this within us appears quite close and accesible in each of our daily experiences. I'm contemplating the teaching on the name of Yeshua, that it means, "the force that binds is the force that liberates." I wonder at how we can look into our fear/anger, desire/lust to find the father and mother seed at it's heart... is this liberating sparks from husks of darkness? Is it as simple as abiding, unmoved without attachment or aversion, allowing these to liberate themselves?
Pure Intention & Desire
Posted: Fri May 06, 2005 11:37 am
We have said that the essence of the White Father Seed and Red Mother Seed is in the Supernal Father and Supernal Mother; Abba and Imma emerge from Arik Anpin-Big Face, or from Keter-Crown. Thus, the inmost essence of the White and Red Seed is in Keter, which is Ratzon, Divine Will-Desire; this is the force of their union, the influx of the Supernal Light.
It has been said, “If I make my will God’s will, the God’s will becomes my own,” and in truth my own true will and inmost heart’s desire is God’s will and desire for me – the Truth and Light of Neshamah (Divine Nature) in me, and the Hayyah (Life Essence) and Yechidah (Unique Essence). The Light of the Holy Neshamah shines in me to the extent my Ruach (Intelligence) and Nefesh (Consciousness) reflects my Neshamah, and thus are aligned and in harmony with my Divine Nature – the expression of which is my inmost heart’s desire.
The physical body and life is generated by the Red Mother Seed and White Father Seed, and generally speaking represent karmic conditioning – that which is under the Law and bond to the Ignorance (Demiurge). In order to purify these Seeds and discover their Supernal Essence requires a complete baptism, which is to say full immersion in the spiritual life and practice in which I divest myself of the physical and direct my will and desire to the spiritual – I must turn inward and upward, Godward.
Generally speaking, our desire and will is for the physical – directed to materialism, and thus klippot form upon our desire and will because of self-grasping at the ego illusion. Grasping at name and form, and personal history, living only in the surface consciousness, desire-energy becomes greed-lust and fear-anger; hence the attachment and aversion that binds us. To come to the essence of the Mother and Father Seeds – to draw upon our Life Essence and Unique Essence, self-grasping must be brought to Repose or Cessation, and with it attachment and aversion. Of course, we are speaking of the very essence of the spiritual life and practice.
It is simple – I must have a single thought, a single holy desire and one intention in all that I do: unification with God and Godhead. Any thought that is not in harmony with this one thought is an alien thought and a distraction; any desire that is not in harmony with the one holy desire is an alien desire and a distraction; any intention other than this one intention is false – thus, all thought, desire and intention must be aligned and in harmony with this individuality/singularity.
Of course, we are talking about the development of kavvanah and devekut in the spiritual life and practice, and the spiritual life and practice taken up lishmah – “for its own sake,” for it is enlightenment and liberation, unification with God and Godhead, which is our inmost heart’s desire. When this is recognized the spiritual life and practice will naturally be our delight – there will be nothing that brings us greater joy.
It seems to me that all spiritual teachings and practices aim at this – that this is the very purpose of the spiritual life and practice. To the extent we desire spirituality and immerse ourselves in the spiritual life and practice we progress towards this self-transcendence, generating the Body of Light and experiencing consciousness beyond the body; hence the Resurrection.
When you engage in spiritual practice seek to divest yourself of the physical and to focus completely upon the spiritual; in the midst of life let your thoughts, words and actions express your spirituality and live according to the spiritual view – the Truth and Light that has been revealed to you. This will naturally purify the five elements, of which the White and Red Seeds are the “fifth element,” from which the four elements arise.
In other words, seek to live as the Tzaddikim, seek to live as the Messiah. If the Holy Spirit called you to be the Tzaddik – to embody the Spirit of the Messiah in yourself and your life, what would you do? What does the Inner Tzaddik in you want you to do? That advice is good advice, and it is that advice we must learn to follow – for the Tzaddik is the essence of the fifth element, the innate union and harmony of the four elements, our inmost heart’s desire and life intentionality.
Perhaps you might wish to reflect on the teachings given in the Gnosis of Melchizedek - I believe it addresses this.
A broad question and a broad answer – I guess each of us will have to narrow it down for ourselves!
May the Mother Spirit guide us in the narrow way that leads to life eternal, amen.
Blessings & shalom!
Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:49 am
Greetings Malachi & Philip,
Thank you for this dialog, it has helped a great deal.
I will review the material in Gnosis & in the Melchizedek informaiton.
Blessings & Shalom, Mark
Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 10:59 am
You are most welcome, Brother Mark!
Praise be to the Mother Spirit who reveals the mysteries...
Blessings & shalom!