Page 1 of 1
Saying 19: The Cessation
Posted: Wed May 12, 2004 6:30 pm
Those who say that the Lord first died and then rose from the dead are mistaken, for he first arose and then died. If one does not first get the resurrection, one will not die. As God lives! that person... (Gospel of St. Philip, saying 19)
Frequently Gnostic Scriptures speak of a mystical death preceding the acquisition of the resurrection, however here the apostle in this fagment of a Gnostic sermon reverses the terms to indicate a greater mystery. In this saying the resurrection is the development of consciousness beyond the body, and yet more, the development of a continuity of awareness throughout all states of consciousness, and "death" represents the transcendence of need for physical incarnation, or liberation from the gilgilm (the compulsory transmigration of the soul).
Thus, the resurrection is the enlightement which liberates the soul from potentially endless cycles of reincarnation. Unless one acquires the resurrection before one dies and departs this life, the soul remains bound to the dominion of the demiurgos and archons, the karmic matrix, and is destine to incarnate again, potentially in less favorable circumstances.
Something more esoteric may be seen in this saying, however, for this "death" is the state of cessation or profound emptiness in which the fullness of supernal or Messianic consciousness dawns. The resurrection, according to this interpretation, is thus Mochin Gadlut at the level of the Universal Mind or Cosmic Consciousness, and the ascension following the cessation is the supernal or Messianic consciousness; the fruition of Mochin Gadlut in a supramental consciousness.
In any case, throughout Gnostic Scriptures, the resurrection is not something merely experience following death or in the afterlife states, but rather represents an enlightement experience initiates have while as yet in the body; hence the gnosis of the indweller of Light (indwelling Christ). According to the Gnostic view, unless one has a direct spiritual or mystical experience of the Risen Savior and Christ consciousness, one is not yet "saved," for faith alone does not enlighten and liberate the soul. Faith must come to fruition in gnosis, and it is this that "saves" the soul.
Even in the outer Scriptures canonized in the Bible there are hints to this. For example, Colossians 1:9-10 says, "For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and grow in the knowledge (gnosis) of God." The nature of this spiritual knowldge is gnosis of the Risen Savior and the experience of the resurrection, which is well reflected in the verses following these that speak of the Cosmic Chrirst - hence the aspect of the indweller of Light transcendent of incarnation.
There are numerous passages like this throughout the Epistles of the New Testament which point to gnosis.
Perhaps this is a good start for a contemplation of this saying...
Blessings & shalom!
Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:35 pm
There is an interesting theme in this passage about being alive before death and the spiritual death. Can you be resurrected before you die? This idea of being saved and being alive seem to relate to each other. To be "saved" we must give up our lives and ideas of ourselves up to the Divine. I like this word saved firstly because it has been taken out of context and word tikkun is needed and secondly it talks about the epower of Grace. It is is as though until we are touched by Grace we have not yet tasted Life.
Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:39 pm
Greetings Sister Kat!
I must agree, there is need for word tikkune with thr terms "salvation" and "saved," for there is salvation in Christ and we are saved in the Risen Christ - made alive in Christ by the Mother Spirit. Already we are already established in the resurrection, we need only recognize and realize our salvation. This is the very essence of the Gnostic Christian Path, at least from a Sophian perspective.
What do we mean by this? It's simple, through a direct spiritual or mystical experience we recognize the reality of the Risen Savior, we recognize that we are persons of Light who come from the Light-continuum, and who, in fact, have never departed from the Light-continuum. Our spiritual life and practice is to live according to this Truth and Light once revealed in our experience, and to the degree we live according to it, it is realized and embodied in us. Thus, the Goal is the Path, and there is no Goal but the Path - the resurrection is a present truth in our experience. We are, indeed, saved! There is no other way to live! (Of couse, this same truth could be expressed differently, according to one's own symbolic and mystical language.)
This is an interplay of faith and gnosis, one continually generated higher manifestations of the other, so that we continually arise in a better resurrection, a progressive ascent of consciousness into the One-Without-End. It is at one and the same time transcendence and transformation, divine rapture and divine embodiment - such is the Gnostic Way.
May the Divine Mother empower us to realize our salvation, amen.
Blessings & shalom!
Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:06 pm
I'm intrigued by the Resurrection being the consciousness beyond the body. For too long, I took this literally to mean astral projection and such until an awareness grew that "beyond the body" is a term describing self-transcendence.
Throughout the day, the practice of this self-transcendence--this consciousness beyond the body--is available hour to hour. The most practical and immediate examples are when presented the choice to be a cause or an effect, as well as to give, rather than take. I underestimated the power of these tiny decisions until I started applying them. After some time, I notice a kind of reservoir of energy building up, raising the vibration of my consciousness: Monday morning isn't hell and serving people is can actually be energizing!
Above all, the raised vibration allows for something so magical, which sounds only like words too good to be true, until it's in one's experience: the practice of being a cause, rather than an effect. For me, this is the opportunity at every moment of shifting with greater consistency the view and vibration of an event presented. It's entirely possible to transcend oneself in the most mundane moments. The wisdom of the teachings prove true, when practiced consistently and patiently.
Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:28 am
Greetings Brother Michael!
Yes, indeed, you are right on the mark with this, for whatever we might speak of in terms of the practice of the transference of consciousness or any other formal spiritual practice must be rooted in the spiritual life - living daily according to the Truth and Light that has been revealed to us. If I do not generate positive energy in my daily living and actively seek to live from a higher consciousness - a higher "vibration," how can I actually generate the Body of Light and learn to shift my center of consciousness into it? After all, the subtle body is a body of consciousness and reflects my state of consciousness.
What is brought into cessation or repose? Dualistic consciousness and the egoistic self.
The development of consciousness beyond the body can be spoken of in many different ways. It can be spoken of as the ability to shift one's center of consciousness into a Body of Light (by this is meant something more than mere astral projection). But it can also be spoken of as an awareness of the Self beyond name and form, and as an expansion or widening of consciousness to include all creatures and God. As you say, it is an experience of self-transcendence, one in which we become most truly ourselves, the Christ Self or Christed Being.
What is the essential nature of this development of consciousness beyond the body? It is the generation unconditional love and compassion.
It does sound somewhat cliche to say that it is all about learning to maintain a "higher vibration," and yet this is the simple truth - a truth everyone knows and everyone can enact. Because it is commonly known it is usually overlooked or discounted - it seems just too simple and ordinary to us!
A wonderful insight, my friend!
Blessings & shalom!
Knowing how to suffer
Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 6:55 pm
I'm fascinated how similar the Gospel of the Risen Savior and the Dharma of the Buddha overlap with regards to liberation from suffering. While many of Yeshua's instructions on liberation are most succinct in the Sermon on the Mount of the canonized Gospel of Matthew, a very fascinating prescription appears in the "Round Dance of the Cross", from the Acts of John, where the Christos, speaking through Yeshua the night before his death, says:
"If you respond to my dance, see yourself in me as I speak and if you have seen what I do, keep silent about my mysteries.
You who dance, understand what I do, for yours is this human passion I am to suffer.
You would have by no means comprehended what you suffer unless I had been sent to you as the word from the Father.
You who will see me as suffer will see me [AS] suffering.
You who see this will not stand firm but be completely moved.
Being moved, you will become wise and you will have me for support. Rest in me.
Who I am you will know when I depart.
Who I am now seen to be I am not.
You will see when you come.
If you knew how to suffer, you would be able to not suffer.
Learn about suffering and you will be able to not suffer.
What you do not know, I myself shall teach you.
I am your God, not the traitor's.
I want holy souls to be in harmony with me.
Know the Word of Wisdom." (The Gnostic Bible, pg.354)
What strikes me here is some very subtle (or not so subtle) distinction between pain and suffering. Pain, we've heard in world wisdom, is inevitable and suffering is optional. But what if this is a truism? To experience very deep pain (not drama!) is itself a degree of suffering, like a continuum of degrees, rather than oversimplified poles. Is the Christos singing in the Round Dance that it is inseparable even from suffering? Apart from what is said of pain, am I hearing that even suffering itself is has a skillful and unskillful exercise in the Gnostic Path?
Transformation of Suffering
Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:58 am
Greetings Brother Michael!
Pain and suffering often may seem to us to be without purpose, which tends to increase pain and suffering. Likewise, when we are in pain and suffering we tend to want to ush it away and get out of it, which is only natural, yet which may increase the intensity of our pain and suffering. In our present human condition we will experience pain and suffering - perhaps, however, when we do, it can be transformed into a spiritual practice.
Part of the role of human beings as cocreators with God is that we are empowered to give life purpose and meaning, and this includes the pain and suffering in our experience. In the midst of pain and suffering instead of seeking to avoid and escape it, perhaps I can use it to identify with the Christ-bearer's passion and crucifixion, and perhaps I can pray to take into my pain and suffering the pain and suffering of others, with the heart wish that they are liberated from their anguish - hence taking the pain and suffering of others upon myself. In this the distinction between pain and suffering vanishes, and coincidentally it can ease pain and suffering, and even create the conditions for the Healing Power of God to enter, or whatever manifestation of Divine Grace is needed. This, of course, describes a basic application of Giving and Receiving Practice that labors for the cessation of the cause of all sorrow and suffering.
Identifying with the passion and crucifixion in the midst of pain and suffering, perhaps we can link with and experience the resurrection on a significantly deeper level - hence the Gnosis of the Risen Christ.
It would seem that our faith in the Risen Savior empowers us to this and that it is an expression of our spiritual hope in the resurrection - that we, too, might enact the Way of the Savior (the Messiah).
Last night, following the beginning of this week, which is called the Holy Week by Orthodox Christians, I had a dream of being a 'convicted criminal' who had been given a death sentence, though I was not guilty of any crime. The pain and suffering, the insanity of murder approved by unenlightened society, and all of the self-generated sorrow and suffering in the world (the violent inclination), penetrated my heart deeply. I found myself awakening in prayer for all beings in bondage to Ignorance (the Demiurge), with a deep desire for the illumination and liberation of all beings. This dream was quite "real" and was a great blessing of the Anointed and Holy Spirit - perhaps all of our sorrow and suffering can be a blessing if transformed into the generation of the Sacred Heart: the depth of spiritual love and compassion.
Reading and contemplating your post today following this dream proved interesting...along with the writing Bishop Storile shared.
Blessings & shalom!