The Holy Vow

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The Holy Vow

#1 Postby Tau Malachi » Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:23 pm

I thought, perhaps, I should post the Vow of the Order of St. Michael for the sake of discussion and contemplation. The Vow is as follows:

Do not fear in the face of the Enemy;
Do not lie, but live by the Spirit of Truth,
even on the pain of death;
Love the Holy One,
with all your heart and soul,
mind and strength;
Love Wisdom;
Defend the orphan and widow,
the poor, the outcast and the oppressed;
Cultivate love and compassion,
and stand as a righteous warrior;
Guard the Holy Grail,
and the Order of the Grail;
Bring peace;
Do not do what you hate.


This vow becomes the spiritual practice of the Templars of the Order of St. Michael and has outer, inner and secret levels of interpretation and meaning, which are drawn out through prayer, contemplation and meditation on the vow, as well as listening and hearing oral teachings associated with the vow.

One practice given to new Templars for contemplation of the vow is as follows:

With sword drawn and upraised, invoke the Great Maggid and speak your vow before the Holy Shekinah of Messiah; and pray to receive the knowledge, understanding and wisdom of the vow, and empowerment to uphold it.

When you sheath your sword, remember peace and pray for peace in the world, and pray to be empowered as a peacekeeper.


(If you are willing, remember your duty and offer your life each day to the service of the Divine Will and Divine Sovereignty.)

In this way remember your vow so that you might live by it. Amen.

Through this practice, quite naturally, new Templars become intimately acquainted with the Vow of the Order; yet, as simple as it may seem on the surface, it is also a powerful theurgic gesture in this practice, which is played upon and drawn out by other practices that are given to the Templars as they progress in the service of the Order.

Blessings & shalom!
Last edited by Tau Malachi on Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#2 Postby Phillip » Thu Aug 03, 2006 8:41 am

Shalom Tau Malachi!

With the mention of the Grail, and the Order of the Grail, there is in the very opening of one's entrance into the Order of St. Michael a play between the order of St. Michael and the Order of St. Mary Magdalene. Can you speak a bit about this Holy Order of St. Mary Magdalene to which the Knights of the Order of St. Michael place their lives in such devotion and perhaps a bit about the play between the two?

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The Beginning

#3 Postby Tau Malachi » Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:04 pm

Dear Brother Phillip!

Does the Grail and Order of the Grail indicate Magdalene and the Order of St. Mary Magdalene, or does it have a deeper meaning among Sophians? If we speak of Magdalene as the Holy Grail, we are speaking of her as the Mother of the Royal Blood, which is to say Mother of the Gnostic Apostolic Succession – a role she assumes as the First Apostle and the Apostle of apostles; thus the “Order of the Grail” is the Gnostic Apostolic Succession, whether manifest as the lineage of tzaddikim or as those ordained in the sacred priesthood. This quite naturally may extend to the Order of St. Mary Magdalene, and to other “orders” within the lineage, but first and foremost the Grail is the Light Transmission itself and the Order of the Grail is the Gnostic Apostolic Succession through which it is embodied and imparted.

There is another line of the vow that esoterically points directly at defense of the Holy Bride and the Order of St. Mary Magdalene; following the proclamation, “Love Wisdom” (Sophia), we are told, “Defend the orphan and the widow.” This has the obvious surface meaning intended, yet “the orphan” is the child or children (Michael/Sarah) of Magdalene in legend, and “the widow” is the Holy Bride in her exile. Quite naturally, as much as defend the Gnostic Apostolic Succession, the knight or dame of the Order will defend the spiritual lineage of Magdalene itself – teachings and practices of the Divine and Sacred Feminine.

To take the contemplation of the vow deeper, perhaps a contemplation of “defense,” “protection” and “guardianship” is indeed called for; but before that, drawing out a contemplation and discussion of the vow beginning with the first line might be necessary, so that the vow might first be outlined in general, and then probed more deeply based upon that foundation.

Blessings & shalom!
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#4 Postby Phillip » Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:40 pm

Shalom Tau Malachi!

Thank you for the guidance! I fear I am too eager in my romantic pursuit... please forgive my eagerness!

I hear this instruction above as saying that the object of fear is not the enemy, but fear itself is the enemy. This seems to communicate to me that there is immediately an instruction on identifying energy intelligence within oneself in a very direct implied method at overcoming "enemy". Defeat fear and one defeats enemy, defeat enemy in one's mind and one has defeated "The Enemy". I hear Yeshua's words, "remove the board from your own eye before the speck in your neighbors..." for how often do we create enemies by our violent attitudes and behavior, and how often, when we are unfairly persecuted by someone with some issues do we amplify and instigate further abuse and attention from this one who is "damaged" by obsessing on fear/hate patterns of thought which translate into behavior. This goes right into the question you pose, what does it mean to "protect" and "defend"? For if we are not literally fighting, what are we doing when we "defend" and "protect"? Perhaps something literally is called for at times, but I sense a more subtle teaching witihin and behind this.

Similarly the opening statement seems to also imply, "be bold," yet also implies that being "bold" does not imply "be violent"... so a balance is also called for, and a re-direction of the energy of our impluse to attack or defend ourselves. I wonder if this first line gets right at the Order of St. Michael's duty as an order of exorcists...?

May the Glory of our Soul's purpose be revealed and the Dance of the beloved enacted in our lives!

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#5 Postby sophia-suzette » Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:01 am

"Do not fear in the face of the enemy;"

I looked for my enemy and found myself;
I looked into the face of the enemy and saw myself.
I looked for myself and found my Beloved.

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Fearless

#6 Postby Tau Malachi » Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:20 am

Salutations!

Do not fear in the face of the Enemy.”

You seem right on track, Brother Phillip, for “face” implies appearance and rather than saying “your enemy” the vow speaks of “the Enemy,” as in the Adversary (“Satan”). First and foremost the nature of this “enemy” is inward, it is our own fear and self-negativity, our own shadow; beholding the enemy or when we behold the faults of others, we are beholding our own shadow – in a manner of speaking, “our shadow is in our face.”

Fear may be understood as aversion or our tendency to avoid. If we do not acknowledge our shades and shadows, and seek to transform and integrate them, sparks of consciousness remain bound up in them and we are conditioned by negativity. Learning to integrate shades and shadows is important it is the first lesson of a chevalier, for as we embody a greater Light-power, quite naturally we will experience a greater Shadow – such is the very nature of our experience here.

If we take the image of a warrior on a field of battle, fear clouds the mind and may represent a failure to act; likewise, it is an assumption of defeat – quite simply a warrior is not at their best when filled with fear, but is compromised by fear. We may say the same of challenges in life – we cannot afford to fall into fear.

Generally speaking, in fear we project what is “going to happen” or what “could happen” For example, if I’m climbing the face of a mountain and look down and all of a sudden fear falling, thinking of what would happen if I fall, actually I’m not falling but rather my mind is imagining what *could happen* – fear is often this way, taking us out of the moment and what is happening.

This is not to say that there is no place for fear, or that we cannot ride it into the moment. Taking the example of being on the mountain or in a similar situation, our fear can be transformed into exhilaration and concentration, which brings us into “the zone” and makes us more aware and present in the moment. To say, “Do not let fear arise” would be unrealistic – an impossible task; the question is what we do with the fear that arises – Do we let it remain fear and let it dominate us, or do we engage it and transform it, using the energy to accomplish what must be done?

Essentially, fear or any form of negativity is *energy*, and within it there is the positive. Just as fear can be transformed into exhilaration and concentration, and ultimately into awareness, so it is with any form of negativity we can name – there is a holy spark within it that we can draw out, and this becomes the duty of the knight or dame: dispelling the klippot (husks of darkness) and drawing out and uplifting the holy sparks.

Looking into negativity to see the spark of holiness in it, not avoiding and suppressing it, but letting it arise to look and see it and work with it – this is what it means “not to fear in the face of the Enemy.” All too often we become bound up in negativity because we are afraid to face it and deal with it; likewise, we fail to see the innate emptiness of the negativity arising and believe it is a “real” power, in and of itself, as though it is what it is and cannot be worked with and transformed, and thus we give into it. Of course, in so doing, we are defeated from the very outset and negativity dominates and compels us.

Thus far we have spoken of this purely on the psychological level, in the psychic being or mental-emotional being, but the knight or dame in a Gnostic Templar lineage understands that we exist in the midst of a conflict of forces, a play of cosmic and spiritual forces, and understands that we form links with spiritual forces through our thoughts and emotions, speech and actions, whether divine and luminous forces, admixed or titanic forces, or dark and hostile forces; in a manner if speaking, “the Enemy” is all too “real.”

The aim of a knight or dame, a spiritual warrior, is to be a conscious participant in the play of spiritual forces and to seek a mastery of spiritual forces; this necessarily requires self-discipline and a mastery of one’s own mind – for it is through the human heart and mind that spiritual forces come into play in the world, human beings becoming the agents of the spiritual forces that they link with and embody through thought, emotion, word and deed.

As much as we might speak of spiritual forces that come from the “outside,” ultimately this struggle is on the inside, within our own mind, heart and life, for when we engage and transform negativity in ourselves we serve to banish admixed and dark forces, giving them nothing to link with; generating the sacred heart of love and compassion, as spoken in the vow, and cultivating positive thought, speech and action, in place of what is admix and dark we invoke what is divine and luminous, serving as an agent of the Divine Light in the world.

Here we may remember the classical words of St. Paul speaking as a Gnostic:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and put on the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the archons, against the authorities, against cosmic powers of this present darkness, against spiritual forces of evil in celestial places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation [gnosis], and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:10-17).

St. Paul seems to perfectly understand and elucidate the way of the knight, the art of a spiritual warrior – he speaks of a holy war not outwardly, in folly, with blood and flesh, but inwardly with spiritual forces. And here we may say: There is no such thing as a “holy war” save for the struggle in the interior life to embody the Light-presence and Light-power, and to bring peace. This struggle is within ourselves and within our daily living as we walk among the people – it is the essential effort of the Great Work.

As a conscious agent of the Great Work it is not that the chevalier holds the aim of banishing all darkness from the world – that cannot be done and the darkness has a role to play in the progress of creative evolution and the development of souls. Rather, the aim of the chevalier is to face whatever manifestation of darkness she or he encounters, and to tend to a balance in the play of forces in the astral earth, so that dark and hostile forces do not come into full dominion and bring the earth into destruction prematurely. It is in this sense that the chevalier or spiritual warrior is an “exorcist.”

Quite naturally, prayers, meditations and theurgic rites that aim at the purification of the psychic atmosphere or astral earth, which serve to banish dark forces and invoke divine forces, is a central part of the spiritual practice of a knight or dame of the Grail; hence, the creation of sacred space in which the Light Transmission might occur, or a place of sanctuary, a place of peace, giving refuge to beings. Of course, in order to accomplish this, the knight or dame must guard their own body, speech and mind against negativity; for sacred space is first manifest inwardly and only then can it be manifest outwardly – the spiritual warrior is strong and true for the people.

May we be empowered as true spiritual warriors; amen.


Blessings & shalom!
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I am your shield

#7 Postby Elder Gideon » Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:44 pm

Shalom Tau Malachi!

I can't separate what is means to "Not fear in the face of the enemy" from the shield of faith of St. Paul's exhortation to dames and knights of the inner battlefields of holy war.

We learn, for example, that this shield 'quenches the flaming arrows of the Evil One". What are these 'flaming arrows' but persecutions and false accusations spoken by spiritual forces of darkness through unconscious people in the world?! How are they quenched, but by the resolution of persecutors and accusers WITHIN ourselves? When this is accomplished, persecutions and accusations WITHOUT do not penetrate us! This precisely the Anointed teaches TWICE in the eighth beatitude of the Sermon on the Mount:

Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Divine Sovereignty. Blessed are YOU when people revile you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you falsely. Rejoice and be glad, for in the same way did they persecute the prophets who were before you.

Resolving these degrading voices occurs only within ourselves. I appreciate your insight above, Tau Malachi, regarding the virtual impossibility of not fearing; in other words, I hear: "Do not be paralyzed in the face of the enemy". Indeed, how we move through fear with exhileration, presentness and aliveness fulfills the first line of the vow. We are mobile and fluid in the face of fear by the integration of persecuting and accusing shades and shadows in our consciousness; in a word, we are self-accepting. This principle centers on Abram who is first to initiate the covenant of circumcision.

1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
"Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.


As you recently taught, circumcision more esoterically, is not of the phallus, but of all that we are NOT-- insecurities and inadequacies within us which expose us to the flaming arrows of the Evil One. Ironically, to flaming arrows we are vulnerable and exposed with the orlah (husk) upon our heart and life intention; when this is cut away, we become shielded and invulnerable. The shield of faith, then, must be deeper than (faith as) 'believing' or recognition of the Light Indweller. Rather, it is the diamond-hard realization of the Light Indweller, unfolding as our life intention.

May what we are NOT be cut away.
May the Shield of the Gnosis be ours who hear the call to protect and defend all that is good.


Amen and amen!

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Truth Speaking

#8 Postby Tau Malachi » Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:55 pm

Greetings everyone!

Your post is quite insightful, Brother Michael+, and leads us towards the second and third lines of the vow:

Do not lie, but follow the Spirit of Truth,
even on the pains of death
.”

The obvious meaning on the surface I believe to be clear, but given the teachings on circumcision as cutting away that which we are NOT and all that has been outwardly imposed upon us, following the Spirit of Truth become BEING ONESELF as a chevalier, being true to the Light-presence and Light-power within oneself. This truth is not a creed or doctrine imposed upon us from the outside, but rather it is who and what we are, and is the Truth and Light known inwardly; the truth of the “still small voice” in our heart that guides us.

The implication is: “Know yourself and be yourself in the Divine Light.”

I’m reminded of the teachings of the Master, when he says to us, “Let your yes be yes, and let your no be no.” As much as saying, “Do not lie,” akin to the ninth commandment in the Torah, it also says, “Be true to your word.”

In this sense it is interesting to note the weighing of the heart of the deceased in the Hall of Dual Ma’at, the Judgment as conceived in the ancient Egyptian Mystery Religion; what was weighed on the scale of Ma’at (Truth) was the words of the deceased to see if they were true to their word.

We might remember that Master Yeshua embodies Christ the Logos, the Living Word, and that the Word is the Creative Power; thus there is the suggestion of a conscious direction of our creative power or desire-energy in this segment of the holy vow.

How often as people do we say “yes” when we mean no, or say “no” when we mean yes? How often does what we say or do outwardly not match what we are thinking or feeling inwardly, or not match our stated intention? In such moments, are we being ourselves and are we speaking truth – are we true to our word?

The question becomes: If the chevalier does not stand for truth, then what do they stand for; if the chevalier is not her or himself, then who is she or he? The ideal, of course, is to be an authentic individual, a true human being; to be ourselves and to speak truth – standing in our power as a knight or dame of the Holy Grail.

The phrase, “even on the pains of death” is very interesting; for if I am not myself, am I alive so as to die? If I am afraid to die, will I ever truly live? This phrase sounds so sever, and yet it speaks an important truth; for if I am afraid of not being liked or being rejected, or I fear persecution, can I be myself and speak truth to stand in my power – can I stand as a righteous warrior? It seems that I will only find myself sorely compromised when such fear is present, and likely bound to deception.

May we be empowered to know and speak the Gospel of Truth, to abide in our perfection as the Human One of Light, unafraid; amen.

Blessings & shalom!
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#9 Postby sophia-suzette » Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:48 pm

Shalom Tau Malachi!

In 1992, I made the Holy Vow in my own intuitive words. Indeed the first thing I had to face was my fears, even the ones that I did not know I had or knew I will ever face. Yet through facing my fears the falsities of my life was revealed and the many layers of them. The most subtle of which is indeed, captured in your words;

" ... for if I am afraid of not being liked or being rejected, or I fear persecution, can I be myself and speak truth to stand in my power – can I stand as a righteous warrior? It seems that I will only find myself sorely compromised when such fear is present, and likely bound to deception."

Within those words the exile became clear, and with it, Ma'at came into view. It is said that written above the entrance of Delphi was "Know thyself. " and "Nothing in exess." From my present vantage point the balance of my extremes, the balance between the spiritual and mundane, the balance between masculine and feminine, is a process that also seem to be unending, keeping the spiritual warrior to remain alert with awareness, to keep on the Middleway.

If I do not walk my truth, am I even truly alive?

Shalom,
Sophia

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Love of the Holy One

#10 Postby Tau Malachi » Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:26 am

Greetings!

There is a saying. “When my will becomes God’s will, then God’s will becomes my own.” And we may say, “When my truth becomes God’s truth, then God’s truth becomes my own.” This seems to be expressed by the next three lines of the vow.

Love the Holy One,
with all your heart and soul,
mind and strength
.”

In the scriptures with this phrase we may find the divine name Yahweh Elohim, which is translated “Lord God” and we may find the divine name Yahweh Elohenu, which means the “Lord your God.” Yahweh Elohim indicates That Which Was, Is and forever Shall Be within and behind That Which Appears, the source and ground of all, the Sacred Unity underlying all creation. Yahweh Elohenu indicates your own knowledge and experience of this – the Divine as you know and understand the Divine. It may also point to the Holy One manifest as you – the noble ideal of realization and embodiment; hence the correspondence of this name to Tiferet, the Christ Center on the Tree of Life.

The fruition of love is *union*; thus to love the Holy One is to seek union with the Holy One – the mystery of the bridal chamber.

The intention in the vow is not religious, it is not obedience to a dogmatic creed or doctrine, but rather it is spiritual and mystical, having the aim of unfolding the experience of the Divine within the interior life of the knight or dame; for apart from direct spiritual and mystical experience, how shall we know the Spirit of Truth in order to live by it? Apart from the experience of Divine Gnosis, how shall we speak of salvation from the Ignorance (Demiurge)?

Love is an experience of intimate acquaintance – it is experiential and emerges from the depth of being; in Gnostic scripture gnosis is often called “acquaintanceship.” Thus, to love the Divine with our heart and soul, mind and strength, is to experience the Divine on all levels of our being, and yet more, to integrate the Divine Light, the Divine Presence and Power, into all levels of our being – it is to walk in beauty and holiness aware of our innate unity with the source of all being, the Divine.

The “heart” is the seat of intelligence and is associated with speech, and the “soul” is our being within and behind the mind, heart and body. The “mind” is our thought and thinking, and “strength” is our body and life. On all of these levels we can have experience of the Divine and on all of these levels we can reflect and express the Divine – nothing is to be excluded from our spirituality, but all is to be transformed and uplifted.

Knowledge of the Divine follows the knowledge of yourself, for if you do not have self-knowledge how can you acquire knowledge of the Divine? Thus, Gnostic scriptures teach us that we must seek to know ourselves and seek to recognize and realize the Divine in our own experience, because it is in ourselves and in our own experience that the Divine is revealed and made known to us.

Here we may say that when we are circumcised, our will is the Divine Will and our truth is the Divine Truth, for the holy spark in us, our unique essence (yechidah), is the Divine, the Christos (Sophia-Logos).

Quite naturally, “love” may assume an esoteric meaning, indicating desire-energy, and more to the point, indicating the Serpent Power. To “love the Holy One” would mean the sublimation of the Serpent Power through which it is drawn into the central channel-way, turned inward and upward, Godward. This indicates the path of chivalric love, which is the liberation of “love” from the dualism of subject/object relationship, desire-energy liberated from all objects of desire – a love that is satisfying and fulfilling in itself, with or without any external expression: Perfect Bliss or Pure Joy.

Here we may say: The gift of love is love itself.

If I love the Holy One, then I will love the Holy One manifest as all peoples, all sentient beings; if in my love I seek to serve the Holy One, then I will serve the Holy One manifest as all peoples, all sentient beings. Of this love and devotion we may say, it is love and devotion for the sake of love and devotion itself, for the sake of the Holy One.

If we wish to contemplate love we may meditate upon the words of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter thirteen; likewise we may contemplate the single commandment given by the Master in the Gospel of St. John: “Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: that they lay down their life for their friends.” Is this not the very essence of the noble gesture of the chevalier, willing to give her or his life for the sake of love?

May we be empowered to love as the Master loves; amen.


Blessings & shalom!
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Circle of Love

#11 Postby Elder Gideon » Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:28 am

Shalom Tau Malachi!

Your post on the love of the LORD invoke two strong contemplations. The first comes from the Apocalypse of St. John, Chapter 2 where the Great Angel HUA is addressing the first of the seven churches:

1"To the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. [...] 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which you have fallen!


Attributed to Malkuth in Sophian tradition, this message to Ephesus is particularly potent when we remember that to love the LORD (YHVH)with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, we are also loving ourself as a unique manifestation of the LORD our God (YHVH Elohenu). To fail in this remembrance is to be in poverty consciouness and coveting, the breach of Malkuth and of the 10th Commandment.

What also happens in this moment of the vow when is it is fulfilled with love is equally intriguing, for it is the Sh'ma! Grounded in the love of another as for ourself, we are a righteous warrior ever in the center of a sacred circle, for

the love of YHVH with all of our heart is the West
the love of YHVH with all of our mind is the East
the love of YHVH with all of our soul is the South
the love of YHVH with all of our strength is the North and
the love of our neighbor as for ourself is the center and axis of this all, guarding us to guard others!

We are empowered to this guardianship through love by the archangels of this sacred circle of love, for

with all our heart is Gabriel
with all our mind is Raphael
with all our soul is Michael
with all our strength is Uriel and
our neighbor as ourself is Metatron-Sandalphon--HUA!

May we be ever guarded in our first love to guard others.

Blessings and Shalom!

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The Love of Wisdom

#12 Postby Tau Malachi » Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:45 pm

Greetings Michael+!

That is a wonderful teaching you have drawn out of the contemplation within your post – excellent, dear brother! You have invoked a big smile to my face.

It seems to open the way to the next line of the holy vow: “Love Wisdom” (Sophia/Hokmah).

I do not know that one person can tell another person what this means – the possible interpretations are vast and run very deep, and its essential meaning is most subtle and sublime. There is no doubt that it points us towards devotion to the Divine and Sacred Feminine which is at the heart of true chivalry. Yet at the same time it indicates the cultivation of knowledge, understanding and wisdom, the cultivation of the Divine or Fiery Intelligence in us, which makes us truly human, and more than human, divine.

Following the statements of loving the Holy One, this certainly reminds us that the Divine (“God and Godhead”) is both masculine and feminine, though at one and the same time beyond gender, and teaches us that as much as calling the Divine “God” we may also call the Divine “Goddess.” There are many initiates have who read this: “Love the Goddess and love her daughters.”

There is an even more subtle level to these word, for the nature of the mind, consciousness or soul is frequently called the “Wisdom Nature.” Thus, this can also be interpreted: “Seek to recognize the Wisdom Nature,” or alternatively, “Seek to rest the mind in its own nature.” In some teachings the sword of the chevalier has been attributed to truth and wisdom, in the sense of that which cuts through all illusion or that which dispels all shades and shadows; this power comes from the recognition of the Wisdom Nature, the innate emptiness of all that appears (belimah/ain).

If Wisdom is Enlightenment, then to love Wisdom is to love Enlightenment; thus this line may also be read: “Desire Enlightenment.”

Here we may remind of the saying, “Your soul becomes what you most love.”

Though we cannot tell another person what this line of the vow means, perhaps this might serve to facilitate the contemplation of this line in our heart – the “One Heart,” as a Sufi would say.

May we know the wisdom of our inmost heart’s desire, that we might seek to fulfill our holy desire, our true will; amen.

Blessings & shalom!
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#13 Postby Phillip » Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:55 pm

Shalom!

I feel this romantic element you point continue to play out in the next few lines, for in each of these is the duty to the Chevalier's beloved.

"Love Wisdom," brings us to contemplations of the Song of Solomon and the personification of Wisdom as a woman in contrast to the adulteress in Proverbs. Certainly there is a romantic play with Widsom and with Shekinah here, and a reference to Malkut or Kingdom as we hear spoken about the King and Shekinah in each of these texts throughout. Also, in each case this play is a romantic play, one of emergence and withdrawl, of the bliss and joy of unification with one's beloved, and the torture of being separated. But within this is the willingness to the torture, for the beloved has completely possessed the life and heart of the ones who are in love.

This is also played out in the next two lines it seems, for it says, "Love the Orphan and the Widow." For just as in Song of Solomon, the character who chases her beloved, King Solomon, as Malkut, is an Orphan, and she is a widow, for her beloved leaves her alone and alienated soon after coming to her and her "mother's sons" quarrel with her, making her guard the vinyards that are not hers. She could likened to Cindarella with the wicked stepsisters, except these are her brothers, but not her father's brothers, or why the cruelty? And how could they command her to keep the vinyards that are not hers if her father were not there to protect her and ensure she guarded her own inheritance, which is her dowry as a woman?

So this seems a play of the Orphan, who has lost her true parentage, and who is enslaved to "step parents" who level work that is not her true life's work, which is the state of our being in this world, no? But then she meets her beloved and yet looses him, which is the state of the Widow, who has found and married a husband, but lost him, and suffers persecution again as before.

Just as we discover wisdom and light, but we feel separate from it, and then feel separated from it as a result, we discover that we must put this wisdom and light into practice in our life, for it is not an object outside of ourselves to be possessed, but something that must be integrated and made a part of us. But we must also integrate this Orphan and Widow in us, the outcasts in us, or the love play is not complete, for this seems also to be the pursuit of our beloved...

I know also from the teachings that the Orphan and Widow are also considered to be Magdalene and her children, but I am not clear on how this interpretation plays out in this vow completely...

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Philo Sophia--Love of Wisdom

#14 Postby Elder Gideon » Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:02 am

Shalom Brother Philip!

'Love Wisdom' has indeed been drawn out by your post of Cinderella's story of the displacement and separation of Wisdom. What displaces Her is ignorance into which She immerses Herself, having our experience of coming into the Pure Being from which She has never departed.

Philo-sophers are classically Lovers of Wisdom. Without a doubt, the Firey Intelligence burned in Socrates, making him an Awakened One through whom enlightenment teachings clearly flowed. Something displaces Sophia, however, when She is only archetypal and metaphysical, as became of Her in Greek discourses. To be sure, She is Primordial and She is Cosmic, but Her True Will, when we consider two stories in our lineage, is to awaken in and as matter, which in Latin is Mater (Mother).

You'll remember the story in Zohar of Elohim (Mother) desiring to create, of which YHVH (Father) would have no part. He is transcendent; She is immanent. Turning from the Father, She emanates an aspect of Herself as the Seven Sephirot of Construction, immersing herself into matter and chaos, for sake of conscious union within creatures. The other story is parallel, but reversed. The Bride, upon first recognizing the Risen Savior, is carried up, ascending with Him into the Pleroma. She is invited into His repose, but She shifts in remembrance of the many in matter who are yet lost and ignorant of the Living One, the Human One of Light, vowing, "Until the time of the Second Coming, may I incarnate in every generation in woman's form."

The full spectrum of loving Sophia-Wisdom, to be Philo-Sopher, must then indeed be embracing Her non-dual, transcendent aspect in Being. More profoundly, however, loving the whole of Sophia is to recognize Her dualistic, immanent aspect in Becoming. Do we love our whole self, in all of its contradictions, blindspots and karmic filters? And what is this powerful relationship between self-love that opens and empowers our capacity to honestly love others? Somehow, we need not-knowing Sophia to fully experience what in us is all-integral, all-knowing and all-receptive to Reality As It Is. Her aspects are US, which flicker inseparably and immediately in Thunder, Perfect Mind. Both of these aspects are joined also by White Buffalo Cow Woman when, escorted out by the Lakota Nation, She raises Her hand and points in all directions of the endless land about them, saying, "Whatsoever you do to all of this, you do to yourself."


May we love and honor You Sophia who are having our experience.

Blessings of the re-membering of Sophia,

Brother Michael+

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#15 Postby Phillip » Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:37 am

Shalom!

Yes, this is exactly what I was getting at! In one sense, the Orphan and the Widow can be us, those parts in us that are outcast, and clearly, defending and protecting them seems to be implying a work of integration.

Yet there seems, in Song of Solomon and in Proverbs to be this portrayal of Wisdom as the Outcast and Widow, so I wonder what THIS means, and what it meanst to "defend" the Orphan and Widow in this sense...? This seems to imply a contemplation of Mary Magdalene as the Widow whom we defend and her Children the Orphans whom we defend. Yet what does it mean to defend them, since they are still primarily and idea here also, symbols representing something?

May we be empowered to protect the Orphan and the Widow and know the secret of their nature to protect them.

Phillip

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Defense of Orphan, Widow, Outcast and Oppressed

#16 Postby Elder Gideon » Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:32 pm

Shalom Brother Philip!

Defending the orphan, widow, outcast and oppressed, as it sounds to me in the vow, is to literally serve them. This class any where in the world are often as invisible as they are disposable. Where and how are they served? In the moment, either with our pocketchange, our brown bag lunch, or a warm, acknowledging smile. Maybe we know or meet such individuals through our work or our friends. Perhaps we hear an intolerant slur among acquaintances. What will we do? When are we a knight and dame? HOW? Sophia is looking right at us through their eyes. We who bear the sword are protectors of those who cannot protect themselves, for these, according to the Thunder, Perfect Mind ARE Sophia, whom we love.

The practicality of serving the orphan, widow, outcast and oppressed is vital, bringing us out of concepts of what it is to be a knight or dame of St. Michael and into an experience. Consider two points of scripture where this principle is so strong. St. James is constantly constrasting merely believing (headspace) with service (heartspace).

If anyone considers themself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on their tongue, they deceive themselves and their religion is worthless. 27Religion that the Holy One accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (1.26)

Isaiah's first chapter goes even farther, likening the self-righteous, religious headspace of believing 'enough' with what leads to the unfeeling depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah!

10 Hear the word of the LORD,
you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the law of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!

11 "The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?" says the LORD.
"I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

12 When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?

13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your evil assemblies.

14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts
my soul hates.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.

15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even if you offer many prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood;

16 wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds
out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong,

17 learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.


A knight and dame defending the orphan, widow, outcast and oppressed are loving Sophia. Without the literal, practical application of action and good works, this Holy Order merely becomes as conceptual as an esoteric 'dungeons and dragons' game.

May we bold, Sophia, to know all outcast and powerless as ourself and act!

Blessings and Shalom!

Brother Michael+

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Righteous Warrior

#17 Postby Tau Malachi » Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:02 am

Greetings Michael+ and Phillip!

Defend the orphan and the widow,
the poor, the outcast and the oppressed
.”

What an admirable elucidation of this portion of the vow you have accomplished as knights of the Order, my brothers. Delightful! All of these terms, indeed, are used in reference to Sophia in the scriptures, likewise, they are meant to have an internal and external application – with ourselves and with others. The teaching of White-Buffalo-Cow-Woman perfectly reflects this section of the vow, for it is a “grounding” element of the vow, calling us to the activity of service – to “defend” is to honor and serve, to take up *good works*.

Here we may point to a principle spiritual practice of the knight or dame of the Order: the spiritual practice of *service work*, with the aim of the Way of Work in which we seek to no longer be the doer. We would agree with St. James when he teaches that faith (and gnosis) mean very little apart from works, for if we claim to have faith or gnosis, but have no works, what good is it? Faith and gnosis lead to good works, and we may say good works, “noble deeds,” is the duty of a knight or dame. Thus, quite naturally, knights and dames are typically involved in some form of service work or active charity.

On an esoteric level the contemplation of Sophia as “Virgin” and “Whore” is connected with this part of the vow – on the most practical level, this is the awareness of the Wisdom Nature in one and all alike, an awareness in which all judgment is suspended and we seek the greater good of all beings.

The next two lines of the vow are intimately connected to this section and serve as an extension of it:

Cultivate love and compassion,
and stand as a righteous warrior
.”

Love of the Holy One and love of Sophia naturally extends as love of one’s neighbor, for the love of the Divine does not exist apart from the love of one’s neighbor – love and compassion for all beings. After all, the experience of Higher Consciousness is an experience of Sacred Unity and the recognition of the Divine manifest as all beings – if I wish to serve the Divine, I will serve all beings, for the Divine is the source of all beings and is manifest as all beings.

To cultivate love and compassion is to generate the Sacred Heart of Christ – this is the noble ideal of the True Christian, and the art of the spiritual warrior, the righteous warrior, is founded upon this; for as we have said, the true holy war is the cessation of the violent inclination within ourselves – it is to maintain the *peace*.

To stand means “to take action,” and yet implies repose in the movement – a principle innate to Gnostic teachings, as we see in the Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas where the Master tells us that movement and repose is the “sign of the Living Father in us.” This speaks to the nature of the righteous warrior, for she or he is no longer the doer, but rather it is the Light-presence (Christ) and the Light-power (Holy Spirit) that is the doer – such is the righteousness of the spiritual warrior.

Quite naturally, if I am the doer then I remain bound to the law of cause and effect – karma, and whether in the act of good or evil I am bound, for a golden chain and an iron chain is still a “chain,” the play of consequences remains in effect. The only liberation from the law of cause and effect is the cessation of the doer: *repose in the movement*.

We may consider this in terms of the art of the “exorcist,” for if I enter into battle with a demon and I am the doer, even if I’m acting in defense of another and there is an appearance of “righteousness,” nevertheless I shall become the evil I fight against – there is no true victory in this way. Perhaps there is righteousness if I have chosen to take the negative karma upon myself, rather than allowing it to fall upon another, making myself a sacrifice on account of love; yet, only if it is the Light-presence and Light-power acting am I immune to evil and free from karma, for only then is the law suspended as Divine Grace takes up the action.

This may be said of any action, of any activity just the same.

The aim of the chevalier is right thought, right speech and right action; this, of course, requires the Spirit of Truth (or Spirit of Enlightenment), and we may say that right thought, right speech and right action are only discerned by the Christ Self, the Light-presence. Thus, whether in mind, voice or body the only righteous movement is one that is directed by the Light-presence and taken up by the Light-power; and we may say that the righteous warrior does not act apart from the Light-presence, but rather she or he abides in repose, waiting upon the movement of the Light-power, seeking to move with the Light-power. At least this is the noble ideal of the knight or dame of the Order, which he or she seeks to practice in all activities of life.

Perhaps this extends our contemplation of the vow a bit further…

Abiding in repose, may the Light-power move with, in and through us, and come to manifest as us, accomplishing all things according to the Divine Will; amen.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi

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Leslie Kaneel

Being Concentrated

#18 Postby Leslie Kaneel » Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:33 pm

Shalom Malachi!

When the Light-presence(Christ) and Light-power(Holy Spirit) become the Doer, the mind is allowed to be concentrated to a pinpoint precision in the moment of NEED bringing about "Repose in the Movement." There is Strength and Clarity to it. The meaning of this kind of concentration is like the extreme opposite of being diluted.
I may have had a sense of this earlier today while waking up on the hard ground of a tent and being hit by dark force trials. I was in cause and effect for awhile, but then, the concentration arrived and, shortly after, the problem dissipated off. The remainder of the day was good! Quite illuminating! and pretty well exactly what you are speaking about in this part of the vow.

May we make room for Christ and the Holy Spirit to move and do work within us. Amen.

Good to be back,
Leslie.

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Grail

#19 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:53 pm

Perhaps, given what has been said we may go on to the next two lines of the vow:

Guard the Holy Grail
and the Order of the Grail…
.”

At the outset, leaping to this most sensational part of the vow, we gave some definitions regarding the “Grail,” but truly there is something of a trick in this line of the vow, and something most subtle and sublime – it assumes that the knight or dame knows what the Grail is and is in “possession” of it, so as to guard it. However, at the outset, the knight or dame does not know what the Grail is, or where the Grail is, or how or when the Holy Grail might be found. In other words, this section of the vow is a pledge of the chevalier to embark upon the Grail Quest; after all, one cannot guard the Grail or the Order of the Grail unless one has succeeded in the Grail Quest. Wouldn’t that be impossible?

If we say, “It is the Holy Bride,” and the “Order of the Holy Bride,” what does that mean? If we say, “It is the Apostles of Light” and “Gnostic Apostolic Succession,” what does that mean? To be perfectly honest, just like the term “Grail” itself, all these terms are meaningless apart from direct spiritual and mystical experience of the Truth and Light indicated by them. Thus, this section of the vow is a commitment to seek direct spiritual and mystical experience, in a word – Gnosis.

The knight or dame refuses to take up a faith of blind believe, or belief in religious creeds and doctrines that do not accord with his or her experience of the Truth and Light – their commitment is to the spiritual life and practice through which Divine Gnosis is made manifest.

Here we may point out, aside from the mention of the Grail, which may suggest to the mind a specific pagan tradition or an esoteric Christian tradition, in truth this vow does not identify itself with any single religion or wisdom tradition; one could very well be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, or of any religion or tradition, and speak this vow and honor it. Indeed, according to masters of this Holy Order, the “Grail” indicates something transcendent of any single wisdom tradition, pointing to something cosmic and primordial; yet, at the same time it is something that has been made manifest, is now manifest and that shall be made manifest in the world.

This line in the vow is enchanting and mysterious, and it seems it was intended to be! In this we might take a hint, and perhaps inquire: Is it the mystery of the Grail or the Grail itself that is the real “power of the Holy Grail”? Merely consider the tendency of the profane to go out in search of a literal and historical cup, or a literal and historical bloodline, and the folly of those who claim to have “found it” or “be it” – consider the folly of those who seek to slay the mystery or possess the mystery? If the profane go one way, dear sisters and brothers, you can be certain the True Initiate goes in the opposite direction!

This question is akin to looking into desire itself, and looking into chivalric love – it is not possessing the object of desire that brings delight, but rather it is desire itself that is perfect delight or pure joy; indeed, in this world, often times to acquire the object of desire is to kill the joy of desire and to invoke sorrow and suffering. How often may we say this of “love”? Of course, this is not to suggest that there is anything wrong with the manifestation of our desires in the world, or that the union of the subject and object of desire necessarily destroys the joy of desire or joy of love; rather, it is only to point out a fundamental misconception that commonly surrounds desire and love in our experience: *the belief that our happiness, satisfaction or fulfillment inherently exists in anything external to ourselves, the illusion that any object of our desire will gives us perfect and lasting happiness in and of itself*.

Here, perhaps, we have come very close to indicating the true nature of the Holy Grail and the Order of the Grail; but, truly, whatever the Grail is can only be realized through the Grail Quest, and speaking this vow we have pledged ourselves to this Sacred Quest, all for the sake of the Divine Will and Divine Sovereignty.

May we be blessed to know the wisdom of courtship and the true love of life; amen.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi

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#20 Postby Phillip » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:29 pm

Shalom Tau Malachi!

I have also heard many interpretations of the Grail as the mystical or revelatory experience. By "guarding" such a thing, perhaps a knight is learning to stay true to this mystical revelation in her/his experience, and learning to maintain the spiritual life and practice throughout life.

In this, I am stricken by so many teachings of warrior traditions in which the practice of the warrior art is done for the sake of the practice alone. In Kabbalah, we learn that this is called "Lishma" - for it's own sake. The true warrior practices, trains and hones his art as a warrior not really even because of the inevitable battles he will face, but for it's own sake. He is in love with the warrior art, and trains for the sake of training. It is his joy to train. Certainly, in this, he has become the perfect warrior, and is prepared, not only through his training for the practical act of war, but in mental attitude for war. He does not enter the battlefield with Glory in mind or with destroying the enemy, only with what must be done. It becomes another exercise in Lishma. So the "Warrior Mystic" then may not even train with the mystical revelation in mind, but for the joy of the mystical practice itself, which then makes the warrior more open to the mystical revelation, and generates the appropriate mindset to enter it properly, ironically. So in this metaphor, the spiritual experience are akin to the battlefield, the "moment the warrior was waiting for" and the training, the spiritual life and practice. So, it seems "lishma" is the best guardianship of any mystical revelation, or any spiritual progess.

By "guarding the grail" in his practice in this way, it seems the warrior can also act to facilitate this lishma in others, for others can be taken up by the delight of it, and thus "guard the Grail" in an expanded sense!

Shalom!

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The Place of Life

#21 Postby Elder Gideon » Tue Aug 15, 2006 6:12 pm

Shalom!

Very lucid angle, Brother Philip! 'Lishma'--for its own sake--is a superb way to contemplate the guardianship of the Grail and the Order of the Grail. Is not the Grail lost when it is (believed to be) found or possessed? In this light, I also hear how,

"The awe of the Holy One is the beginning of wisdom." (Psalms 111.10)

Ironically, the call in Knights and Dames of an order such as this does not negate the sensitivity and wonder which is experienced by children, "to whom belongs the Divine Sovereignty." For young children, everything is animate, spontaneous and extraordinary. For this reason, the Anointed points us in saying four of the Gospel of Thomas, that

"The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small child of seven days about the place of Life, and he will live. For many who are first shall become last, and they shall become a single one."

Adolescence and adulthood is exile from the Garden of Awe. I'm convinced from an unforgettable dream experience of this passage from Thomas, that we do not remember (nor could we manage) the bliss of our once little bodies experiencing animals, places and sensations without any preconceptions.

It feels like this part of the vow is aligning the Grail to the place of Life, overwhelmingly blissful.

May we guard awe!

Brother Michael+

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Peace & Love

#22 Postby Tau Malachi » Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:52 pm

Greetings!

Having some insight into the play involved with the lines of the vow speaking of the Grail and Order of the Grail, perhaps we may consider the next line of the vow and what it means:

Bring peace

This line is much like those speaking of the Grail, for one must realize peace inwardly in order to bring peace – one must put an end to the violence within oneself to serve as a true peacemaker in the world.

Here is the term for a true spiritual warrior: peacemaker, peacekeeper.

And here we must say that a peacemaker is not a patriot, for their service is not to mortal monarchy and country, but rather is to the Divine and the Divine Sovereignty; though in this world, they are not of this world, they are of the Light Realm – the Risen Christ.

We may remember the saying of Yeshua with this line of the vow: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (or children of Light).

In essence, the entire vow is summed up in this line of two words.

The final line of the vow is:

Do not do what you hate.”

This line of the vow is called “the rule of the Order” and is found in ancient Gnostic scriptures; it defines what it means to “bring peace” and teaches us how to honor and keep the vow – profoundly, it reminds us that inwardly we know what is right and true. No one needs to tell us what this means, because we know what it means in our heart – if we are open and honest with ourselves we will always know what feels right and what is truly good; our true being is Gnostic Being, *Knowing Being* – the Christ Self.

(Brother Phillip’s post on “pacifying, enriching, subjugating and destroying” can shed light on these two concluding lines, as well as upon the opening lines.)

May we be empowered to follow in the Way of Gnostic Being, the Christ; amen.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi

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#23 Postby Dennis » Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:15 pm

Greetings everyone,

First, let me express my appreciation for all of the wonderful comments on this vow. I've found this to be deeply interesting but really haven't had much to say.

I wonder if anyone might be interested in elaborating on the short ritual that was given:"With sword drawn and upraised, invoke the Great Maggid and speak your vow before the Holy Shekinah of Messiah" Is it correct to assume the Great Maggid is Yeshua and the Holy Shekinah is St. Mary Magdalene?

There is an interesting pattern in the vow that could be related to the Tree of Life although it is not clear if this was intended or even if it is useful:
Keter: Love the Holy One, with all your heart and soul, mind and strength;
Hokmah: Love Wisdom;
Binah: Defend the orphan and widow, the poor, the outcast and the oppressed;
Hesed; Cultivate love and compassion,
Gevurah: and stand as a righteous warrior;
Tiferet; Guard the Holy Grail,

It was also noted that there are 3 "do nots' -- two at the beginning and one at the end. Again, I'm not sure what to make of this although it does tend to frame the rest of the vow in an impactful way.

In the One Heart,
Dennis

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Michael

#24 Postby Tau Malachi » Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:09 am

Greetings +Brother Dennis!

Delightful insights, my drear friend; especially the attribute of the sayings to the Tree of Life – that proves and intriguing contemplation. They may also be configured to encompass the entire Tree of Life, which offers another interesting contemplation of sayings falling in what at first seems to be odd positions, but rich in esoteric meaning.

The three “do not” sayings have been said to correspond to the Threefold Body of Melchizedek and the Threefold Sanctuary; hence, the self-purification that gives rise to the Truth Body, Glory Body and Emanation Body, respectively, and to the secret, inner and outer dimension of the Holy Sanctuary. (They have also been said to correspond to the three triads on the Tree of Life, the chevalier speaking the vow corresponding to Malkut.)

The purification of the Body of Truth and Body of Glory at the outset of the vow open the way for Divine Gnosis; the purification of the Body of Emanation at the conclusion represents the embodiment of Divine Gnosis in action.

The fifteen lines of the vow correspond to the divine name Yah, attributed to Hokmah; a name indicating the purity of the Natural State, as well as the union of the LORD and Shekinah – supernal hieros gamos.

The phrase “Perfect Maggid” is applied to Lord Yeshua at times, however the phrase Great Maggid means “archangel,” and usually is not applied to him. That said, however, in Gnostic teachings the Living Yeshua is often said to emanate in the form of various archangels and the Mystical Body of Christ at the level of Beriyah appears as the archangels. *All appearances the Living Yeshua assumes are the manifestation of the Holy Shekinah of Messiah*, which is personified by St. Mary Magdalene but not isolate to her; in the case of speaking this vow we are called to remember the images given in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Apocalypse, *the Woman of Light and the archangel Michael* – in the Order of St. Michael the phrase “Great Maggid” typically indicates St. Michael in archangelic form. On occasion, however, it is an esoteric veil for another archangel to be invoked, as for example the archangel Kamael who is frequently invoked by chevaliers in the performance of their duties.

In traditional Jewish Kabbalah Michael is the Maggid Cohen Ha-Gadol, the “Angelic High Priest,” presiding in the celestial temple; this infers St. Michael as an angelic representative of the Order of Melchizedek, of which the Messiah is said to be the High Priest. Michael is also said to be the commander of the hosts of heaven, as though the “Grand Marshal of a celestial Knights Order” – these two roles are join in the invocation of St. Michael to witness the vow of the knight or dame.

St. Michael is also said to be the name of the son Magdalene bore, so there are other esoteric suggestions to the invocation of Michael as well.

Of course, most significant of all is the meaning of the name Michael, which is actually a question: “Who is like unto God (El)?” When translated the name means “One-Who-Is-Like-God” This implies the very nature of the sacred question among Gnostic Christians, for the aim of the Gnostic is not only to be Christian, but to become Christ – enlightened. More than implying the sacred quest, as in the Grail Quest, it implies the method of attainment, for in Sophian Gnosticism we *take the Goal as the Path* and would say that *there is no Goal but the Path*, akin to the view of Tantric Orders of the East. Quite simply, if I recognize the Truth and Light, and then live according to the Truth and Light, the Truth and Light is actualized and realized, I resemble the Truth and Light, embodying it. The spiritual life and practices itself is, thus, the “attainment.”

The Master of the Order is Lord Yeshua, specifically the Risen Christ, and the Perfect Dame of the Order – “Mistress of the Order,” is Mirya of Magdala, but the Great Maggid is St. Michael. The vow is taken before St. Michael so as to say you will be Christ-like (Christian) and embody the Christ not as Yeshua or Mirya, but rather as yourself – as you having become like the Christ, like the Divine. In this we know a secret, for the true image of St. Michael is the *supernal zelem of the knight or dame* – the image of one’s own Supernal or Enlightened Being. Yet, until this is recognized we have the image of the Great Maggid before us, holding that sacred space for us as a righteous warrior of the celestial abode.

Thus, in the practice of speaking the holy vow we perform an invocation of St. Michael and the luminous assembly of the heavenly hosts that are with him – it is an invocation of the forces of the Divine Light into the astral earth to maintain a balance in the play of spiritual forces upon the earth. There are many different practices for the invocation of archangel Michael within the Order of St. Michael, beginning with prayers of the heart calling upon the Divine Name and invoking the Great Maggid. Having outlined the basic meaning of the vow, shortly I hope to begin a stream of discussion on the topic of “The Invocation of St. Michael,” laying out some of the practices associated with him in the Order – but that is best another topic, so that we might discuss the practices in themselves.

In the meantime, with the names Yahweh, Elohim and Tzavaot, and prayers of the heart, St. Michael can be invoked by anyone applying themselves to the way of the chevalier taught in the Order of St. Michael.

Here we may say that, generally speaking, the sword is drawn facing the east and the chevalier turns to face the direction south of the sacred circle when invoking St. Michael and speaking the vow. Then, when the invocation is complete, the sword is inverted facing the west while praying for peace, and is sheathed facing the north – facing again to the east the chevalier gives praise and thanksgiving to El Elyon, God Most High, in remembrance of the Divine Order.

May St. Michael walk with us in this world; may the Angel of the Holy Shekinah go before us in all actions – Amen.

Shabbat Shalom!
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#25 Postby Marion » Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:13 pm

Shalom!
With regards to the line in the vow, "Do not do what you hate." I was contemplating this, and it seems like if one is doing what they hate then hate is generated. And dark and hostile forces feed off of hatred. Therefore, could we say that this line in the vow is urging the templar not to feed dark and hostile forces? Is this also intrigal to guarding to continuum, which is one of the tasks of the templar? It is also interesting that the vow begins and ends with a "do not..." line: "Do not fear in the face of the Enemy," and "Do not do what you hate" Hatred and fearf are intimately connected, it being said that fear leads to hatred. In this I hear that it is wize to exersize the silent witness so that when we feel fear arise, we can not attach onto it, and perhaps if this is missed, if we feel hatred arise we can know not to attach onto it? So, can fear be seen as a subtler demension of hatred?

Many blessings and Shalom!
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Fear

#26 Postby Tau Malachi » Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:56 pm

Shalom Sister Marion!

Yes, indeed, this final line of the vow implies that we should not feed negativity...very much so.

In terms of fear and hatred, fear becomes anger, and anger becomes resentment and hatred - fear is the cause of hatred, so yes, they are intimately connected.

As it has been said, "Fear is the slayer of the soul, the slayer of the heart and mind and all that is good."

Another name for fear is "aversion."

Good insights, my templar sister...

Blessings!
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somethings that occur to me

#27 Postby Brion » Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:01 am

in first contemplating the vows it seems that "Guard the Holy Grail, and the Order of the Holy Grail", refers to us and our journey. It has been said that we are vessels of the Supernal Light and enlightenment. so if we do not guard... set our sheild againt that which prevents the influx, the permutation of Divine Influence, Supernal Light, then there is no vessel, there is no Holy Grail to be filled and to impart from.

the second thing that comes to me right away from "Do not do what you hate" seems to be telling us on the surface.."do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

I cannot always put my thoughts and feeling into words, however I wanted to share this

Blessings
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Dust Devils

#28 Postby Tau Malachi » Sat Aug 26, 2006 5:19 pm

Greetings Brian!

Ah, yes, a contemplation unflolds from this though - for, "who am I"? Is the Holy Grail this dust-devil in the wind? If we say it is "us," who are we? Is the Holy Grail this name and form, or my personal history?

What am I protecting?

Ah, the delight of the play of this contemplation - all in the wind of the Holy Spirit, I pray!

Blessings & shalom!
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The Faces of St. Mary Magdalene

#29 Postby MaoShan » Mon May 05, 2008 6:06 pm

I have a few practical questions that logic seems to imply, but I am aware that I may not be entitled to the answers, so please let me know if my inquiry is not welcome.

I have recently finished reading "St. Mary Magdalene" and it can be found written in several places that She is physically present in a woman's body right now. In fact, in a more restricted form, she has a specific number of emanations (in separate nefeshim I assume). Since the Knighthood is pledged to watch over her and protect her, is it known among the elect where she is residing on the Kingdom plane, that is, here on Earth? I would not be so brazen as to ask where, I only wish to know if it is known.
Also, since there are several emanations, they would also be protected. In that aspect, are all of them aware of what they are, or in some cases is she concealed from the ruach in which she resides? It would certainly be possible to keep her safe without her knowledge.
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Grail Wisdom

#30 Postby Tau Malachi » Wed May 07, 2008 5:32 pm

Salutations in the Light of the Messiah!

The Grail and Order of the Grail is a profound and sublime mystery in our Templar tradition, one with many layers of esoteric meaning and interpretations – on the outermost level the Grail may be understood the Magdalene and the Order of the Grail as a secret lineage that flows from her, and this would include reincarnations of the soul of Lady Mirya (or emanations of her soul), as well as those who embody sparks of her soul (ivurim), along with the teachings and practices associated with the lineage (or lineages) initiated or inspired by her.

Yet, as we venture to inner levels of esoteric meaning, the Grail is more than the person or soul of Lady Mirya – it is the *Shekinah of the Messiah,* the living presence and power of the Anointed; specifically, it is the full spectrum of the Gnostic and Light Transmission, and the Order of the Grail are those spiritual lineages that bear all grades of the Light Transmission. Thus, on an inner level the guardianship of the Holy Grail and the Order of the Grail goes far beyond the guardianship of reincarnations of the soul of Lady Mirya, or souls bearing sparks of her soul – it is guardianship of a wisdom tradition teaching the Path to Messianic Consciousness, and guardianship of lineage-holders and initiates embodying that realization or Light Transmission.

From this outer and inner meaning, it also extends to guardianship of mystical traditions in the three branches of the faith that honor the Divine and Sacred Feminine as co-equal with the Divine and Sacred Masculine, and may even extend beyond the three branches of the faith to other wisdom traditions that honor the Divine and Sacred Feminine, and that teach an actual Path to Enlightenment.

Now, as to the reincarnation of the soul of the Magdalene, or souls bearing holy sparks of her soul, yes, in the Light Continuum this is known – at times during sacred ceremonies or other moments of power tzaddikim in the lineage might speak something of this knowledge to close friends, during moments of inspiration by the Holy Spirit; but apart from this such things are typically not spoken, and the knowledge is preserved in the inner dimensions of the soul, not so much brought into the surface human personality.

Indeed, most of the time when the soul of a holy one of the past reincarnates the person themselves is unaware of the gradation of the soul that is in them – at the level of their nefesh and ruach, usually they do not know the depths and breadths of their previous incarnations and who they were; essentially they have no need or reason to know, and such knowledge could very well interfere with their mission and work in the present incarnation – they are meant to be where they are and who they are, not where and who they were in the past.

The only exception to this, generally speaking, is in advanced stages of the self-realization process when the holy neshamah is actualized, realized and embody – many who realize this grade of their soul, specifically the neshamah of neshamah, have recall of their past lives in extraordinary detail; but then in such gradations of realization one no longer suffers from self-cherishing, attachment and aversion of the egoistic condition, and at that level this knowledge is useful to their mission and work in this life, for they also have insight into the karma of others souls and their tikkune.

The thought of oneself early on the path as some renown character of the past is almost always a sure sign of spiritual immaturity or serious psychological imbalance – even well into the journey such thinking can prove very dangerous, more likely an empowerment of the ego than the holy soul.

This was well reflected to me shortly after the publication of St. Mary Magdalene: The Gnostic Tradition of the Holy Bride, when I was flooded with correspondence from women claming to be the reincarnation of Magdalene, or telling me that I wrote about them and knew them, and so forth; it was really very sad, for when I could not acknowledge them as the reincarnation of Magdalene or some Divine Feminine figure, usually very poor behavior and hostility followed. Interestingly enough, not one of these lost and suffering souls was seeking the Light Transmission or the labor of actual self-realization in the Messiah, yet that exactly would be the thrust of a reincarnation of Magdalene – the teachings and practices of actual self-realization or enlightenment.

Such a holy soul would not need to announce themselves – the Light-presence and Light-power moving with, in and through them, and manifesting as them, would be their “calling card,” and such things are quite recognizable among initiates; the Holy Spirit bears witness to such holy persons in undeniable ways.

Two generations back in the lineage there was a woman lineage-holder whom virtually all initiates around here believed to be the reincarnation of the soul of Magdalene – she, however, would fiercely rebuke any such suggestion about her and wanted nothing to do with such “drivel,” as she called it. She said that our purpose is to embody our holy neshamah and to realize Supernal Consciousness in this life, in this place and time, in this personality and life-display; as for the past she taught that it did not matter, save to the extent that such knowledge served to facilitate the tikkune of the soul.

Essentially, this holy woman was herself in the Divine Life and wished to be no one else.

There is much that is seen and heard and known when we are working directly in the Light Continuum, but there is much of this that is never brought into the person and consciousness on the surface, and apart from when we are working directly in the Light Continuum it is not part of our knowledge and we do not think of it – knowledge of the reincarnation of the Holy Bride is like this, as are many things.

Indeed, one need not know who or where the reincarnation of the soul of the Magdalene is in order to extend energetic assistance and guardianship – our angel may go to her defense regardless, and we may sojourn to her in body of light regardless; such knowledge in our person is not necessary to attend to our duty as Templars.

May the Holy Bride be received in full – Amen.


Blessing & shalom!
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#31 Postby MaoShan » Wed May 07, 2008 8:16 pm

Thank you for your valuable teaching; I continue to be overwhelmed with love for the Holy Shekinah and all who receive her.
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Re: The Holy Vow

#32 Postby malochim » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:34 am

Do not fear in the face of the Enemy

There are three things that stands out in the sentence: Fear, face and the Enemy.

Fear is an emotion that is closely connected with the illusion of separation. We fear because we are afraid of losing something that we are grasping at in the realm of form. It is an emotion that is directly connected to the preservation of the physical organism and by extension the ego. Fear can only exist in the realm of dualism, how ever it is a natural and sometimes unavoidable sensation while in the body. It is through the practice of primordial meditation and silent witness that we can observe our own emotions and natural responses to them. We can also learn how to keep an awareness that enables us to consciously respond to the emotions that surface and not let our Nefesh Behamit autopilot the response in preservation of the ego. This awareness and self exploration is also part of the process of repentance and tikkunim of the soul. By knowing our shades and shadows we can participate in the metanoia needed for the cycle of purification.

I also feel that this is intimately connected with desire energy. That we can look square in the face whatever arises in us and outside of us, realizing it is all the radiant display of our mind. That it is our desires and serpent power that participate in the unfolding experience. We need to recognize our desires, not suppress them or indulge in them. And if needed sublimate them and redirect them.

The face or Resh is the interface towards the supernal light manifest. It is the structure of the radiant display of our mind experienced subjectively. It is the screen on which our experience is projected. I've experienced Resh as feeling as if all of reality was a two dimensional film just millimeters from my consciousness. The depth was just an illusion, everything existed in this black void which I could feel around me but this thin film kept me from seeing the void, but I could sense the real world behind the screen. The spiritual forces exist in that void and what I see on the screen is some kind of interpretation of that energy intelligence, that supernal light.

I also associate Resh with the head or the mind in which our whole existence takes place. It is the projector of the film or the screen. When the desire energy or serpent power wakes up the descending force guides it upwards through the lamps or interior stars anointing them with oil. The destination is the crucifixion at the brow star and the crown star or the head. I've experienced in meditation a light from below, seeing as if there was a light source in my mind but coming from the heart or below. I imagine that this light is connected to the serpent power. Perhaps later in my journey I will experience that light as coming from within or above my head.

The Enemy with a capital E is the Adversary; the Demiurge or Satan. It is the personification of cosmic ignorance and the illusion of separation. This alludes to the macrocosmic perspective, that everything that transpires in the microcosm of our experience has a counterpart in the macrocosm, in the Olamot. Spiritual forces can and will form links with us, as an initiate of the templar order of St. Michael one must keep this in mind. That the tikkunim of our soul is also part of the Great work. That salvation is not personal but interpersonal, interwoven. By working on our personal dramas, psychological obstructions etc we also banish links to hostile spiritual forces and form links with divine forces. We so tend the balance of the inner worlds and help other beings in our lives, our vicinity. We become a center of peace, we become bringers of peace.

Blessings Jonas
”Only love has meaning, it raises the smallest action into infinity.” , Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

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Re: The Holy Vow

#33 Postby malochim » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:36 am

Do not lie, but live by the Spirit of Truth, even on the pain of death

There is an intriguing play of words in this sentence. Truth in Hebrew is amet, the truth devoid of Aleph the Spirit of Truth is met which means death, so death is a lie; unreal. So to be truly alive we have to live by the Spirit of Truth everything else is unreal and met and in truth a lie. It is said that Enoch and Elijah walked with God, maybe to live by the Spirit of Truth is also a reference to the Spirit of the Initiate and the Spirit of the Prophet (Spirit of the Messiah) and the mystic knowledge associated with Metatron and Sandalfon (Kether, Malkuth) and by extension Hua.

So how can we discern what is a lie and what is the Truth? If we are still in a state of cosmic ignorance and “dead” consciously then the world of illusion and separation is everything we know. An animal can never take a step back and “reject” nature but always completely accept nature as it is. In that sense the Nefesh Behamit can not escape the system in which it was made, it can not transcend the rules or borders of the system of which it is made and reside in. However our Nefesh Elokit through the agency of our Neshamah can transcend and override the natural system because it is bornless and beyond the Gilgulim.

In order to recognize the Truth and escape the phenomenal “husk” we need to know ourselves, our true selves; the Neshamah. Knowing our bornless nature we know that death is only a transition, that in ourselves there is both repose and movement. Both the changeless, transcendent nature of the Father and the ever unfolding, growing aspect of the Mother. In that sense we truly are “created” in the image of God, we are a microcosm of the macrocosm; Hua.

Blessings,
Jonas
”Only love has meaning, it raises the smallest action into infinity.” , Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

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Re: The Holy Vow

#34 Postby BrandonLw » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:41 pm

Do not lie, but live by the Spirit of Truth, even on the pain of death

I am intrigued by this aspect of self-knowledge in regards to Truth in our experience, as you have spoken Brother Jonas. I spoke recently with Elder Sarah at lunch regarding an interesting phenomenon we discussed: How is it that in one moment we might be in a space, longing for another space; then be in the space we longed for, finding ourselves longing for the one we were in previously? I shared an example of a time I spent days working while longing to see someone after work, and then upon seeing that person, I found myself thinking of work while with them. Sarah mentioned an interesting teaching on this: that it is the nature of mental consciousness to oscillate between mercy and judgment. She shared how the middle way is transcendent of these, and we discussed how this leads to satisfaction.

This play of mercy and severity in experience, and the finding the middle way with these in activity speaks to me of transcending "the system in which it was made" as you have shared..

I appreciate this teaching, for I watch how there is an aspect of self that may advise me to deny myself a moment of relaxation to take on “spiritual activity” and then when in engaging in “spiritual activity” will beckon to go relax in recreation. The activity seems not to be the problem, only the self apart from self. We discussed this, and spoke more about how enjoyment really comes from finding this practical balance of mercy and severity. I am looking forward to drawing this out further. I wonder here, what more might be said of this balance of mercy and severity and “live by the Spirit of Truth”?

I sense within this statement is a way to be present with what is, and to be satisfied and uplifted in Our Lord.

Shabbat Shalom


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