Greetings in the Light of the Messiah!
Yes, indeed, we may approach inner shades and shadows with love and compassion – that is the approach in the way of transformation, embracing the klippah we may pacify, enrich, subjugate or transform as necessary. Yet, it takes courage to do this, it takes courage to stand up for what is right and true, courage to live a spiritual life and take up spiritual practice, courage to actualize our full potential and overcome our fears and weaknesses, or to admit and address our imperfections, and it takes courage to love and to enact compassion.
In fact, according to the Kabbalah, compassion, Rehamim, which is a name for the Sefirah Tiferet, is composed of Mercy or Loving-kindness and Judgment or Severity – the play of Gevurah and Hesed, and as such compassion isn’t exactly bleeding-heart liberalism, nor the stereotypical sentimentalism as so often conceived. In true compassion, there is mercy, and it is motivated by love, but there may also be severity, even fierceness or harshness when called for, when necessary.
The very first line of the Templar Vow teaches us, “Do not fear in the face of the Enemy,” which put another way means: “Have courage, be strong, in the face of the Enemy.” Then we are taught, “Do not lie, but honor the Spirit of Truth, even on the pains of death.” Again, it is an admonition to courage.
In the spiritual life, in Christ, we must have courage – we must have some moxy!
Just to go before the presence of Elyon, the Most High, and pray and worship requires courage – it takes a lot of courage to speak with Elohim Hayyim, the Living God, and it takes courage to be a fool of God, a zealous lover of God, in an all too often godless society!
The Vow begins with the admonition to courage because for everything the Holy One would ask of us it takes courage – the righteous warrior is a courageous warrior, a fearless warrior.
Of course, as Mother Sarah was fond of saying, “There can be no courage without fear,” but then she also taught, “Through courage, fear is overcome and is transformed, becoming power – a state of fearlessness arises in this way.” Here we might add, that for all of her capacity of nurturance and love, she was noted as a master of the sword, even in her old age, and was quite the “feminist Templar” in her time, as well as a gifted lineage-holder, a holy tzaddik.
Now, if we want to speak of courage in Christ, it is, indeed, a courage through hope – our hope in the resurrection to eternal life, our hope in the enlightenment and liberation of the soul, our victory in Yeshua Messiah over ignorance, sin and death; in this hope we have great courage and strength, potentially in the face of great challenge, or in the face of the final enemy, old age and death.
Just as we can say that there is no courage without fear, so we can also say that there is no passionate love or compassion without courage – the courage that comes through our faith and hope in the Risen Christ.
In this regard, we might consider the order in which St. Paul speaks of the three greatest gifts of the Holy Spirit – faith, hope and love; faith leads to hope, and hope leads to love, and within hope there is the courage to love, such as we witness in our Adonai, our Savior, who faces a torturous death to deliver souls from their bondage to ignorance and to fulfill the divine revelation, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Light Transmission.
The traditional correspondence of the Gospel of St. Mark with the Lion-faced Kerub and with Archangel Michael is very interesting – it is the oldest and most concise of the four gospels appearing in the Bible, and if we look into it, the gospel is very magical and gnostic. It is magical because again and again it will speak of something happening “suddenly,” or “immediately,” as though a magical or miraculous action, and likewise, because of the promise of wonderworking or magical powers to those who believe, and who receive the Holy Spirit. It is gnostic, because it emphasizes the actual reception of the Holy Spirit and the witness of the Spirit with power, and in this reception of the Holy Spirit, as we know and understand, spiritual knowledge, gnosis, is joined to our faith, pistis – through the reception of the Holy Spirit, as our awareness opens to the World of the Holy Spirit, we become “gnostic,” a true spiritual or mystical Christian.
The Gospel of St. Mark is, indeed, a hopeful gospel, and it does inspire courage – just consider the confrontation of unclean spirits and demons, or the handling of serpents, or the transmutation of deadly poisons of which Adonai Yeshua speak in the fruition of this gospel! Talk about a vision of hope and some moxy!
Given this confrontation of ignorance, darkness, evil, in the Gospel of St. Mark, whom better than the Lion-face Kerub and St. Michael as the personification of the spiritual energy or power of this holy gospel, the great maggid who is the commander of the host of heaven in the apocalypse, leading the righteous warriors of heaven in a victorious battle against Satan and his minions?
Here we may remember that St. Michael stands in the Direction South in Sacred Circle – the direction that corresponds with the Way of Power, magic or wonderworking, the way of the spiritual warrior or exorcist.
In this regard, it is interesting that the wonderworking art is given to St. Uriel (Oriel) in the tradition, rather than to St. Michael – but this speaks to an esoteric understanding among spiritual or mystical Christians of good works as works of spiritual assistance as much as practical or material assistance, and likewise speaks of the power of manifestation in the wonderworking art, or the power to shift movements of energy in the material matrix, the earth. Any good and charitable person, even an atheist, can give material help to those in need, but only a Spirit filled person can provide spiritual assistance and work wonders for the people.
The Order of St. Michael, of course, deals with the play of spiritual forces within and behind the matrix – banishing and dispelling negative forces, admixed and dark forces, tending a balance amidst the play of spiritual forces, and serving as guardians of the faithful and elect; hence, the arts of an “exorcist,” or spiritual warrior.
This, too, is a working of wonders, but on a more subtle and sublime level – in the invisible.
In speaking of the Gospel of St. Mark, of course, I must cite one of my favorite parts of this gospel – the mysterious young man who follows Yeshua around, appearing here and there, but who is never named, and who near the end of the gospel is reported running off naked when someone tries to catch hold of him and tears off his tunic! He is a most curious character. Some have said that he was an angel or maggid physically manifest, and it is said that he was from the order of the Watchers, angels spoken of in the Book of Enoch, a popular Scripture in the original Christian circles that spoke a great deal about the play of spiritual forces, and the struggle for balance between the forces of light and forces of darkness.
Unfortunately, fundamentalist “church fathers” feared that the faithful were not mature enough for the any of the three Books of Enoch to be included in the Holy Bible, although the Letter of St. Jude that the chose to include does mention the Book of Enoch.
The young man has been associated with the Watchers because many angels of that order take up the sacred task of watching or witnessing events, and telling the stories of them, whether in heaven or on earth – following Yeshua around as he did, this “young man” seems to do something similar to this.
We may mention the order of Watchers here because there are also angels among them that are said to be very powerful warriors and guardians, and at times Templar adepts have spoken of their guardian angels as Watchers, or have worked very closely with the order of Watchers.
It has been said that holy guardian angels of souls frequently come from among the Watchers – and if we understand what a Templar is, they are rather like guardian angels to the faithful and elect, and to the oppressed and outcast.
Of course, “watcher” is also a term used for “gnostic bishops” in the tradition, a play upon the term “overseer,” but one implying the role of a tzaddik or apostle (elder) on a spiritual and energetic level.
In closing, here we can comment that it is very interesting to contemplate the Threefold Sanctuary of Melchizedek, the outer, inner and secret dimensions of the second “object of sanctuary” in light of the correspondence of the Kerubim and Archangels of Sacred Circle to the four gospels in the Bible: Gospel, Archangel and Body of Glory, respectively.
May we be blessed to receive our gospel from the Risen Christ, and receiving our gospel from our Adonai, may we be empower to stand with the sword of our truth in hand as a righteous warrior of peace, our holy angel standing with us. Amen.
Blessings & shalom!
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia