Hebrews & Christians; Winter & Summer

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Tamara
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Hebrews & Christians; Winter & Summer

#1 Postby Tamara » Sat Sep 03, 2005 4:55 pm

Greetings,

In my edition of the Gospel of Phillip (Jean Yves Leloup's translation) verse 6 from page 54, plate 100 reads:

"When we were Hebrews we were orphans, knowing only our mother; becoming Christians, we discover both our mother and our father."

What is meant here by Hebrews and Christians? I don't think the author is just speaking about the historical transition from Judaism to Christianity.


The next verses go on to say:

"Those who sow in winter reap in summer. Winter is this world; summer is the world of Openness." Let us sow in the world, so as to harvest in summer. To pray is not to prevent winter, but to allow summer. Winter is not a time of harvest, but of labor."

My reading of this passage relates to the experience of working at our spiritual practice, often feeling that we are in a period of "winter" when we don't perceive any obviouse fruit of our work. Those fruits may ripen later, or may be ripening at the time, but "beneath the ground" so to speak, where we don't perceive them. Hence to pray is not to prevent winter, which is necessary if summer is to follow.



Is that the idea of the passage or is there more to the symbolism of winter and summer that I'm missing? And do winter and summer in these verses relate to Hebrews & Christians in the earlier verse?

Peace & Blessing,
Tamara
Student, tell me: what is God? The breath within the breath.

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having a father and a mother.

#2 Postby Marion » Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:21 pm

Dear Tamara,

Leloup's book on the Gospel of Phillip is a very good book, However, I think it is good to remember that it is an interpretive translation. Therefore, in the translation he emphisises ceratin points. So I always find it helpful to read his work in conjunction with a more traditional translation of the gospel of phillip. such as the one in www.sacredtexts.com or The Gnostic Bible by Marvin Meyer.
That seems to be a very good connection you made between these two verses, jew’s and Christians and winter and summer. And yes I do think that the Gospel of phillip is speaking about much more than a historical view of these two wisdom traditions. For we know that it is good to honor all peoples of any of the diverse authentic wisdom traditions, it is very important to see that the Holy Spirit moves wherever and whenever she is given a vehicle. So we know that this gospel probably is not seeking to demine jews in any way. Really the only difference is that the Jewish people did not recognize the first coming, perhaps to be more prepared for the second. In this regard we may contemplate the story of Moses. While Moses did not embody the soul of the missiah, he served to make way for the missiah, to carve the path for the one who would come after him, and to prepare the people for this influx of the supernal light presence. One may wonder when God told Moses to speak to the people and Moses refused on account of his speech impediment, was Moses disloyal and distrusting in God? This may be the case, however there seems to be another side to it. What is the children of Israel were not ready for a prophet who could both speak to the most and and to them? And what if this is a reflection of Israel’s own Klippot (husks of darkness)? After all, they did frequently complain to Moses that they wanted to go back to Egypt, going back on their original statement that they wanted to leave. Is this a manifestation of wrong speech in the people which then Moses had to take on as a Rabbi (teacher) for the people? It seems then that these two verses might be invoking a diologue on right timing, all in due season. We may also contemplate it this way: Does not winter come into being for the sake of summer? For if every season was summer then things would have no time to rejuvinate, and would die very swiftly. It is the constant cycle of movement that creates life. We can also think of a baby. A baby cannot do hardly anything of its own, yet it has an imeasureable amount of potential, that may be drawn out in time. The important thing to remember is that it does take time, often much time for a child to fully actualize its potential. We see this in Moses, and we see this in winter.
So, all things in due season.

Blessings and Shalom!
Marion

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Gnostic Contemplation

#3 Postby Tau Malachi » Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:05 am

Greetings Tamara & Marion!

The Gospel of Philip begins with a dialogue of “Hebrews” and “Christians,” giving an esoteric definition. Essentially, the classical Gnostic model of the bestial, faithful and elect, or the material, psychic and spiritual humanity is called into play – Hebrew representing the faithful or psychic humanity and Christian the elect or spiritual humanity. This point to “three races” within the present humankind, or to three stages of the evolution of the soul-being; likewise, it points to three levels within each and every human being, though what is meant by “spiritual” remains only a potential in most of humankind.

In terms of Jew and Christian we may say this: One is born of Jew, under the Law, but one becomes Christian by Grace – a spiritual movement. One is born a Jew, but one must choose to be Christian. One who is bound by the Law, under the dominion of the demiurge (Ignorance) is a “Jew,” and one who is awakened by Grace and liberated from the Law and the dominion of the demiurge is a “Christian”; hence, like the Christ.

From the Sophian perspective, God speaks in the Old and New Testament, and it is one and the same God, but in the old covenant there is the taint of the demiurge (Ignorance) in those receiving the Divine Revelation – hence, it is a more primitive and distorted version of Divine Revelation than the Gospel. Of course, if the same Ignorance is in place, whether the Old or New Testament is viewed, the wisdom of the Scriptures will not be known and understood according to the Spirit of Truth, but will be corrupted by the Ignorance. In this sense, the Hebrew is the faithful person who, as yet, lacks the direct spiritual and mystical experience of the Truth and Light – Divine Gnosis; the Christian is the spiritual person who has acquired Divine Gnosis – a state of Divine Illumination. It is the distinction of the religion of faith and the spirituality of Self-realization. In this sense, there are many who call themselves “Christian” who are “Hebrews,” according to the Gnostic Gospel of Philip.

The “Mother” here represents partial or distorted visions of God – our concepts of God, versus God as God Is in Godself. Essentially, all of our concepts about God are partial truth, and therefore partial falsehood; in this is the taint of the demiurge (the Ignorance). In the mental consciousness there is always an admixture of truth and falsehood, more or less, for it is dualistic; to know the “Father” we must pass beyond mental consciousness into Supramental or Supernal Consciousness (Messianic Consciousness). This development and evolution to Supramental Consciousness is the Path of the Gnostic Christian, from a Sophian perspective.

The material and spiritual worlds are one, but until we awaken we see two.

So long as we remain bound by the Law, bound up in the Ignorance, this life is filled with sorrow and suffering, and materiality is cut off from spirituality – this is a world of darkness and falsehood. Yet, when Divine Grace enters and illuminates us, and we experience the influx of Supernal Light, when the Ignorance is dispelled, we behold the World of Supernal Light within and all around us. It is, indeed, the difference between winter and summer, night and day.

“Winter” and summer may point to something more, for here in the material dimension is where we labor, and where we make actual progress in the process of actualization and realization of the Soul of Light in us; the afterlife reflects the development and evolution of the soul we have accomplished – it is here we are able to consciously evolve, not in the afterlife states.

On another level, winter and summer say something more, for winter implies restriction of movement and summer implies freedom – in the material body we are sorely restricted, but in the Body of Light we are set free. At the heart of the spiritual life and practice of the Gnostic Christian is the generation of the Body of Light – the development of consciousness beyond the body and the development of the continuity of awareness throughout all states of consciousness. In this development one knows that sin and death have never substantially existed, and one is free – established in the Great Resurrection and Ascension.

Quite naturally, one who generates this Body of Light experiences Repose and Movement; she or he is in repose, and is moved by the Light-presence (Christ) and the Light-power (Holy Spirit).

We may say this: So long as one is the doer, one is bound to the Law and to the Ignorance; but when one is no longer the doer, one is set free. And so it is said, “The knowledge of Truth will set you free” (the meaning of the name Yeshua).

I imagine there are many layers of meaning in these Gnostic sayings, far more than I have touched upon, but these are the teachings that arose in my contemplation this Shabbat morning.

May the Mother show us the Face of our Heavenly Father, amen.

Shabbat Shalom!
Tau Malachi
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orphaned

#4 Postby Marion » Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:26 am

Dear Malachi and Tamara,

In reading this verse again from the Gospel of Phillip, the word "Orphan" really stood out to me. Because typicaly speaking, an orphan is a child who has lost both their mother and their father. But the verse says that these orphans have a mother, just not a father. I was thinking that this may be because The word mother here has been interpreted as the demiurgos-ignorance. and we know that ignorance has never substantially self existed though it appears here. So, really, if one has only the demiurge, one is orphaned, cut off from the life power, and the life force which sustains all things?

Shalom!
Marion

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On to someting

#5 Postby Tau Malachi » Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:34 am

Greetings Sister Marion!

I think you are on to something there, my friend. And we may also say this: When the Mother is joined to the Father, she is the Divine Mother, but when separated from the Father she is Demiurgos, for she is the All in All. This, of course, in Kabbalah is Elohim.

Good insight!

May the Mother and Father be joined, and may the Daughter become the Mother in her union with the Bridegroom; may divine rapture transpire, amen.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi

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#6 Postby Kat » Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:17 pm

Shalom Malachi and all,

I was reading Marion's post and it is as though this lacking of mother and father being joinded is something that is to be resolved in the second coming. As the Risen Savoiur talks of a new name, could this be the manifestation of the bride (Adoni)? This dance of Demiurge and Divine Mother in Elohim seems to be suggested in the story of the women of Light.

Shalom,
Kat

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#7 Postby Tamara » Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:37 pm

Shalom, Susan,

I hadn't thought about it, but you have a point. The question that came to my mind as I read your post was "What is the Father without the Mother?"

In Kabbalistic thinking about the process of manifestation, the absolute is equally masculine and feminine. However, there is the idea that the act of pouring out is more masculine (father) and that which receives is more feminine (mother). And yet in a way the Mother must arise 1st or there's no vessel to receive this outpouring.

It seems to me that the Mother separated from the Father corresponds to the demiurgos, but the Father without the Mother is a kind of arrested development. Nothing can manifest at all. So no one to even have this discussion! If that's so, then the real point is that for wholeness to occur the masculine and feminine equally "need" one another and there is really no hierarchy at all.

Peace & Blessing,
Tamara
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#8 Postby Phillip » Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:04 pm

Shalom!

Keep in mind that this is a provisional teaching in the context of one line of Philip, and Tau Malachi mentioned the meaning of "mother" in that particular context.

The Gospel of Philip will flip on you pretty quickly. In one place, for instance, it seems to berate people who "borrow" the name of "Christian" in another context, it says this is how we become united with Christ... so it is an enigmatic scripture!

Even current language is very patriarchal, we are in the midst of an old paradigm, attempting to shift to a new paradigm. This language problem may very well be the work of the "father" in the same context of "mother" above, the half-maker, the Demiurge, who is usually cast as male. But there are sticky points when looking into documents from the past... this is a part of the karmic conditioning of the time in which the documents were written that still exists today. But I don't think this means we should throw out the baby with the bath-water. They still contain much wisdom we need to evolve our spirituality, I think. But, I must confess, in many Gnostic texts there is still much to transform. But it is a work I think we're all devoted to here! Thanks for sharing our devotion! :)

I like Tamara's point about a division between the masculine and feminine being a key to their possible "Demiurgic" quality, if I was reading you correctly, Tamara. When these principles are separate within us, when I am "MALE" and you are "FEMALE" we are separate and exist in dualism, in the Demiurge, essentially, in ignorance. The truth of these principles, the truth of the bridal chamber is that they are ALWAYS united, but in ignorance, they believe they are divided and act in ignorance.

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No Gender; Yet There Is Gender

#9 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:34 pm

Greetings Sister Susan!

First, of course, it must be said that the Source or the Divine is beyond gender. Thus, in using gender terminology to speak of the Divine we are speaking in the context of our experience; hence we are speaking in a provisional and relative fashion, and in a play of metaphor.

Though the Divine is beyond gender, in that creation flows forth from the Divine and gender occurs in creation, the principle of gender exists as a potential within the Divine and we play upon this principle and our experience of it to speak of mysteries of the Divine.

That said, we could very well say, “One who worships the Father, but who does not worship the Mother, worships the demiurge.” What would we mean by this? Any isolate concept of the Divine is not the Divine: all concepts of the Divine, in fact, are partial truths and to some extent represent the “demiurge,” which is to say cosmic ignorance.

In Sophian teachings, depending on the spiritual or metaphysical truth being expressed, and the context of its expression, we continually play with terms of gender, and in fact we tend to switch gender roles from one teaching to another, from one time to another, quite intentionally. For example, if one reads the teaching given in the paper called “The Womb of God,” the Divine Feminine is spoken of as the First Cause, yet elsewhere we also speak of the Divine Masculine as the First Cause. Of course, the First Cause in its nature and essence is beyond gender or is androgynous, so rightly it ought to be called Mother-Father or Father-Mother, or else have no gender associated with it. Yet, playing with terms of gender and our human experience with gender, seeking to express more subtle and sublime spiritual and metaphysical truths we play with ideas of gender in association with the Divine. It allows us to contemplate and meditate on the Divine in the context of our human experience.

Here, the transcendent aspect of the Divine is being called the “Father” and the immanent aspect of the Divine is being called the “Mother.” The reason for this is that we are seeking to use the human experience of the conception and birth of a child as an analogy for a process that occurs within the Divine in the activity of creation. Just as the actual involvement of a man in the conception, gestation and birthing of a child occurs at the instant of conception, and it is the woman through whom the gestation and birthing actually occur, so it is with the transcendent and immanent aspects of the Divine; hence the terms “Father” and “Mother” in the context they are used here. In this context a hierarchy is implied only in dualistic consciousness, or only if we assume that the transcendent and immanent are actually separate from one another, or assume that the transcendent is “superior” and the immanent is “inferior.” Of course, among Sophians we make no such assumptions, and because we teach the co-equality of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine, when we play with the language of gender we naturally assume this co-equality within and behind all teachings that use gender terminology to express deeper mysteries.

In many schools of classical Gnosticism there does appear to be some level of bias in the use of masculine and feminine terminology; yet, in such schools we watch a shifting of the use of gender in their scriptures at certain points, and we do not know the more subtle and sublime level of teachings that may have been imparted as an oral tradition – so they, like ourselves, might assume a co-equality, though we can’t be certain whether they did or did not.

In terms of the “independence” of the feminine or masculine from one another, in truth, nothing has an independent and substantial self-existence, but rather, everything is completely interdependent and interconnected – “empty” of any independent or substantial self existence apart from all. Thus, the masculine is interdependent with the feminine and the feminine is interdependent with the masculine; they cannot exist separate and apart from one another. Granted, in our human experience as incarnate men and women, men and women can act independently from one another; but our actual existence is completely interdependent and interconnected, and we are inseparable from one another. If we were to speak of gods and goddesses – male and female divine beings, we could say the same thing; indeed, the same is true at any level of sentient existence.

Receiving teachings of the divine or of enlightenment is a very delicate process, for at the outset we are encountering them through the lens of our karmic vision – the vision of ignorance or the unenlightened condition (Our limited self-identity with name and form, and personal history, and all our preconceptions, preconditions and expectations). It is very easy to get caught up upon the words and concepts being used to convey a higher spiritual or metaphysical truth and, thus, to miss what the teaching is actually pointing at. In terms of Sophian teachings, one really must consider any one teaching in the context of the larger whole – a more panoramic vision, and one must also consider the teaching within its own context for the spiritual and metaphysical truth it intends to convey. This is certainly true in the Sophian use of gender terminology, for it is constantly shifting in a very purposeful way. It is really all merely play for the sake of the Gnostic and Light Transmission, and it is this Gnostic experience which is our aim.

As the Gnostic experience unfolds, the vision of ignorance gives way to the vision of experience, and we find the teachings communicating something much more subtle and sublime than at the outset – as we bring the vision of experience into pure vision, the teachings are simply a vehicle that has brought us to the “other shore.” In other words, all teachings are completely provisional, and all are relative truth, not absolute truth – the truth of the absolute cannot be spoken.

May we realize the True Light of the Human One within and beyond the play of gender; amen.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi

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#10 Postby Phillip » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:22 am

Shalom Susan!

I think you make an interesting and powerful statement as you challenge us to look at what these terms mean for each of us.

As a man or a woman, we each have a vast internal life that is far more diverse in it's reality than the personality roles this world allows us to play. These "masculine" and "feminine" principles exist within the man and the woman alike. Perhaps a man will feel more able to connect with those that resonate with the personality roles he has been allowed to play, and perhaps the same is true for some women, but this can also be a shell, a husk, covering the true principle as it exists. What we think is divine can be a Klippot covering the principle as it truly exists. Thus, each of us must learn to dance with BOTH in order to "unveil" this within us that is beyond gender, and yet metaphysically takes on characteristics that we, from our body/personality point of view would name as "masculine" or "feminine". Without this process, how can we come to reveal this "bridal chamber" within us, that is in eternal union?

I often wonder if these terms are merely useful from the point of view of beings that experience gender. Surely, "As below, So above" applies, yet the question arises, if that which is below is above, yet it is not so in the way our name and form interprets this, how is it so above? Quite a subtle and sublime exploration!

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Virgin, Whore & Bride - as well as Maid, Mother & Cr

#11 Postby Tau Malachi » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:26 am

Greetings everyone!

When we speak of Sophia, the Divine and Sacred Feminine, we may speak of her in transcendental aspects or her immanent aspects; generally speaking, however, the Divine and Sacred Feminine is spoken of in the context of the immanent aspect of the Divine, the known aspects of the Divine, and she has many faces, many forms – she is the All-In-All. Because of the imbalance in the Judaic-Christian tradition between the Divine Masculine and Feminine, to gain insight into Sophia as the Goddess of Wisdom and Savioress, Sophians look into ancient mystery traditions to study and contemplate the archetypes of the Goddess, and work with various aspects of the Goddess to gain understanding of her. The study of the Goddess in ancient Egyptian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean traditions is quite common, as well as other wisdom traditions.

There are distinct influences of patriarchal religion and culture in the ancient Gnostic scriptures that have been found in speaking of Sophia’s role in creation – the Greek and Roman model of the “ideal family” being used as the pattern of hierarchy in the Divine Order. Quite naturally Sophian lineage-holders have taken notice of this and are responding in our generation, looking into what our ancient brothers and sisters wrote and seeking to refine and evolve the myths and metaphors in the light of our womanist theology and theosophy; hence, through our Gnostic experience new Gnostic scriptures are being written, drawing upon the Sophian oral tradition of our beloved Sophia. This is one of the projects I’m currently working on, in fact. The “Womb of God” and other works are part of this labor.

The terms “virgin” and “whore” are very specific in the mystical and symbolic language of the Sophian tradition. Essentially, these two terms are meant to indicate the reality of the Divine Feminine in relationship with all beings and manifest as all beings, whether divine, admixed or dark and hostile. By “virgin” is meant that Sophia, the Divine Feminine, remains in her essence and nature, completely transcendence and unchanged – without trace, taint or stain from her involvement; by “whore” is meant the mysterious and enigmatic quality of the Divine Feminine which facilitates falsehood and evil, as well as truth and light. In other words, virgin and whore point to the Divine Feminine as the All-In-All, inclusive of darkness and evil – all life without exception.

Coupled with this are teachings on the Divine Feminine as Maiden, Mother and Grandmother (or Crone); thus, the terms virgin and whore are not the only terms used in Sophian teachings – we speak of the fullness of the Divine and Sacred Feminine, including all aspects of her.

Sophians, like other Gnostics, are champions of playing off of “orthodoxy” and taking terms that have negative connotations and utilizing them in a positive way. The word “whore” is an excellent example, as it is used to indicate mercy or compassion by saying that Sophia does not discriminate between good and evil, light and darkness, but gives herself to one and all alike, facilitating the experience of all beings necessary for their development and evolution, and ultimate awakening. We see this Sophian tendency in taking the orthodox propaganda of Mary Magdalene as a “prostitute” and spinning it to communicate deep spiritual and metaphysical truths of the plight of souls bound to the cosmic ignorance that dominates this world.

Consider the play in the Gospel of Judas in which Gnostics take the traditional villain and transform him into the Gnostic hero – all for the sake of communicating a deeper metaphysical mystery and pointing out the plight of orthodoxy, which is simply a new version of worshipping of the demiurge and archons from a Gnostic point of view.

Something similar can happen with positive terms of typical religious piety among Gnostics as well. For example, in the Secret Revelation of John the typical religious terms of piety are ascribed to the archons created by the demiurge, pointing out that the formation of religion is a parody or imitation of direct spiritual and mystical experience, a dim reflection of the actual enlightenment experience. Essentially Gnostics are attempting to relate how deceptive appearances are – what is called “good” may not be good and what is called “bad” may not be bad.

An interesting question is this: Apart from the idea of “original sin” and negative connotations projected onto sexuality, what would the term “whore” mean to us? Here we strike into a deep mystery, because once upon a time priestesses of the Goddess used sacred sexuality to teach and to initiate into metaphysical mysteries – she, as the embodiment of the Divine and Sacred Feminine acted as a teacher and initiator in ancient mystery cults.

Along similar lines, the bride of a king was the priestess-queen, and yet more, the embodiment Goddess, from whom he received the authority of the priest-king to rule over the people and the land. Thus, the term “bride” can carry some connotations to the ears of Sophian initiates that are significantly different than might occur in the stereotypical patriarchal view. After all, as the Holy Bride, Sophians speak of Mary Magdalene as co-equal with Yeshua, and just as much as he fulfills her, she fulfills him. That suggests a very different meaning to the term “bride” than merely an appendage to a man or sacred only because of being with a man – she is the Holy Bride because she is the Daughter of the Divine Mother or Goddess (the embodiment of Sophia), just as he is the Groom because he is the Son of God the Father (the embodiment of Logos). In the Sophian view, together they are the fullness of the Divine Incarnation of Christ, Sophia-Logos.

In much the same way that Sophians play with the term whore at times in connection with the Holy Bride, they also play with the term “blasphemer” and “drunkard” in connection with the Bridegroom, saying in the oral tradition, “Yeshua was the lord of blasphemy” and “Yeshua was a drunkard, drinking strong wine every day.” Of course they are taking some of the charges leveled against the Master by the Sadducees and Pharisees and striking at fundamentalist Christian ideals, while communicate esoteric Gnostic teachings. The use of shocking terms or shocking statements can have an interesting affect-effect in consciousness during a spiritual transmission; likewise, they can be part of a coded language an initiate would understand but that would put off a non-initiate or not be understood by a non-initiate. This is a play in the Way of Wild Gnosis or Crazy Wisdom.

Now we may point to connotations with the terms virgin and whore and consider a subtle esoteric meaning underlying – both may imply an action “independent” from masculine in the sense that neither are the “wife” of a man; taken on an esoteric level, apart from any mundane meaning, they imply Sophia wild and free in the play of the Gnostic and Light Transmission. She may elect to withhold herself (the “virgin”) or she may give herself freely (the “whore”), and no rule of creed or doctrine, or boundaries of religious piety, can prevent her when she desires to give herself – this is among the many layers of meanings intended among Sophians.

In the midst of this we are playing with gross and subtle meanings, and the wealth of connotations and ideas within and behind words – all from the Gnostic view derived from the Gnostic experience, not the typical view and meaning of the unenlightened patriarchal society. Perhaps some of the above ideas might seed our contemplation further and help to draw it out.

May we be blessed with the Divine Gnosis of Sophia-Logos, and the Virgin of Light, the Mother-Father; amen.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi

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#12 Postby sophia-suzette » Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:47 am

Greetings!

We live in culture that is very much word based, within the terminology of words a lot of confusion seem to arrise, as each individual seem to attach a preconceived emotional response to words, even though there are definite dictionary meaning attached to it, the same word can change in meaning from individual to individual, culture to culture, and time- and contextualy related. I do so agree with Tau Malachi's post on the Virgin and Prostitute. In reading the post, our sensual nature arose in my mind's vision. In so many spiritual traditions our sensual experiences are considered as lesser experience. We seem to experience our senses and feeling on the whole in a very superficial way; habitually conditioned. We no longer use the energies of sense and feelings to propel ourselves into a greater understanding and attunement. Through my adventures into Shamanism, in experiencing what is called oracular awareness, awareness is trained by experiencing each sensual awareness as new; in other words learning to go beyond the habitually reaction , and experiencing it as a child will with open awareness. Thus not limiting the meaning of the experience to preconceived set of ideas.

I have found this practice very useful in learning to experience the present. Even the most mundane experience can in that way become a transcendent experience, limited only by depth of focus and ability perceive beyond preconceived perception. Looking at the myth and terminology in this way, also open for me a new understanding, or experience when the symbolism is entered with open awareness, New images arises which has helped me to receive deeper understanding of the same thing, reaching towards what some calls “the original concept” behind the layers of attachment, gathered through the generations, each adding a new layer. This is what arose into my consciousness in response to Tau Malachi's insights.

Blessings and Shalom,
Sophia

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Making Sense

#13 Postby Tau Malachi » Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:40 pm

Greetings Sophia!

Your insight based upon your experience with Shamanism provides a perfect insight into the Sophian view, for in many of our teachings and practice we hold what could be called a Shamanic perspective and we have many practices that reflect Shamanism in the tradition. In fact our actual circle of Sophia Fellowship uses some practices and ceremonies drawn directly from Native American spirituality; for example, we use the sacred pipe ceremony parallel to the traditional wedding feast (Eucharist) as another method of Holy Communion. Quite naturally, Sophians could not overlook an indigenous tradition given by an emanation of Sophia, White-Buffalo-Cow-Woman.

I bring this up because I believe you have made an important point and shared a very powerful view and practice in your post – one that strongly reflects the Sophian Gnostic perspective. Essentially, we hold a non-dualistic view of “heaven” and “earth,” the spiritual and material dimensions, or what Gnostics would call the Pleroma and Entirety. Thus, we seek an integral Self-realization that includes every aspect and level of ourselves, whether spiritual, psychic or material; this includes our body, sensuality and sexuality, and everything that might be called “earthy.” We are spiritual beings in material bodies and a material world, therefore we must use our bodies and senses, and our material experience to actualize and realize our spiritual being (divine spark) in full; rather than perpetually creating unnecessary conflict in us, we seek to recognize the Great Natural Perfection on all levels of our being-consciousness.

This is very different than the view of some of the major wisdom traditions and religions of the world which tend to deny the earth in their quest for heaven or enlightenment; as much as speaking of the Sophian view as Shamanic in quality, we may also speak of it as akin to a “Tantra Yoga of the West” – an inclusive spirituality that transforms everything into a vehicle of Self-realization in Christ.

In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas we are told, “Split a piece of wood, I am there; turn over a stone and you will find me there.” This characterizes the Sophian view – a creation centered spirituality that honors the Cosmic Christ and Pistis Sophia.

It is interesting. The denial of the body, the senses and sexuality, goes hand in hand with the rejection of the Divine and Sacred Feminine. Thus, if we are to honor the Divine and Sacred Feminine we truly must restore the sacredness awareness of the body, sensuality and sexuality within our spiritual life and practice. By this I do not mean an overemphasis upon sexuality, as though catering to a false need to justify our sexuality (as we see in many of the pseudo-Tantric teachings that are prevalent in the West) but rather I mean giving sensuality and sexuality its rightful place and being willing to include it in our spiritual life, no longer suggesting that it is in any way a contradiction to our spirituality. In doing this, of course, there are many ideas and words that will assume a new and different meaning to us, and we will entertain deeper intimacy with the Divine and Sacred Feminine.

I believe what we are talking about is an essential tikkune-healing of the Human One, for our tendency to reject and avoid our sensual/sexual nature is a very deep wound, one that has produced much unnecessary sorrow and suffering, especially for women and children in our societies and cultures. I believe we merely need to look at churches that have demonized the sensual/sexual nature, and women along with it, to gain some understanding of this – the extremely unhealthy condition of “men of the cloth” who are taught to deny whole dimensions of themselves as human beings and the immeasurable harm that has come to pass because of it.

As you so well point out, if we can embrace our sensuality (senses) and our sexuality in their natural goodness, in the newness of a child who is not bound up in concepts and vital conflict, therein we shall find the Holy Spirit speaking to us as much as within any other level of our being-consciousness.

In this light it is very interesting to consider the release of our grasping at name and form, and personal history, for these words could sound like a denial of the body, and of our sensual/sexual nature; yet, as it is meant within the Sophian tradition, that is not the case. In truth, name and form, and personal history, represent the concepts and vital conflicts that condition our perception of reality so that we cannot look and see Reality as It Is or the Divine as the Divine Is; if we go deep into the experience of our senses we find that we pass beyond name and form, and personal history, into an experience of Pure Being, Bornless Being. We may say the same of a deep experience of intimacy with a lover in the act of love-play; indeed, in the person of a lover we may encounter the Beloved made manifest to us on a material level and have a profound experience of the Beloved on a spiritual level – in that instant there will be no difference between the spiritual and material. Indeed, it is an instant of recognition that may lead to non-dual realization (Union).

Perhaps it might be good to remind that in Sophian Gnosticism we do not hold the view that we are “conceived in original sin,” but rather that we are conceived in an Original Blessing. Essentially, when we speak of the Entirety as “imperfect,” we are pointing to the impermanence of all that appears and to creation as an evolutionary process through which the Divine potential is actualized and realized, and ultimately embodied. The material dimension and material incarnation is an innate and integral part of this process, without which the Divine potential would not be actualized and realized. Thus, the difficulty is not sin, but rather is the ignorance that keeps us bound to dualism and prevents our realization of Divine Union (the Pleroma of Light.)

In truth, there is no problem with the present humanity – it is a necessary stage in an evolutionary process; thus there is no problem with any aspect of our human experience, whether on the spiritual, psychic or material level. If there is a problem it is just that we do not recognize our present humanity as a transitional state of being, and therefore do not actualize the human capacity for conscious evolution towards a Divine or Supernal Humanity. If we actualize our capacity for conscious evolution, then the whole of our present human experience is the vehicle of our Self-realization, including the body, senses and sexuality: the physical, vital and mental altogether seeking the realization of the spiritual and supernal.

Here, perhaps, we may speak an open secret: Matter is a manifestation of the Great Spirit, and the Supernal Light is within every particle of Matter – the Supernal Light is everywhere, above and below.

In closing I must add that I'm very happy to see more and more input in the forums from women who are members of our online community - the voices of women in spirituality are so very important and it is a wonderful blessing to be hearing them!

May we recognize and realize the Divine Spirit within and all around us, embodied and transcendent; amen.


Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

Elder Gideon
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North and South Winds

#14 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:15 am

Shabbat Shalom!

“Winter” and summer may point to something more, for here in the material dimension is where we labor, and where we make actual progress in the process of actualization and realization of the Soul of Light in us; the afterlife reflects the development and evolution of the soul we have accomplished – it is here we are able to consciously evolve, not in the afterlife states.

On another level, winter and summer say something more, for winter implies restriction of movement and summer implies freedom – in the material body we are sorely restricted, but in the Body of Light we are set free. At the heart of the spiritual life and practice of the Gnostic Christian is the generation of the Body of Light – the development of consciousness beyond the body and the development of the continuity of awareness throughout all states of consciousness. In this development one knows that sin and death have never substantially existed, and one is free – established in the Great Resurrection and Ascension.


A recent moment in teaching bids that I share here what was heard and remembered regarding another analogy between winter and summer. Tau shared that those who die in climates and elevations that freeze for months throughout the winter cannot be buried for the ground is too hard, even for the most aggressive machinery. Nothing can actually break frozen earth. What is done, is that the body of one who's died is refrigerated until spring, when the ground thaws and an interment becomes possible.

When one cannot act because the matrix does not allow or if in the attempt to act with what will not move or change, one wastes their own vitality, this is energetically what mekubalim call winter. Throughout Zohar, this principle of constriction, of freezing, is attributed to Gevurah, the direction north, the wind of which is winter. It stops what is happening and no one can move it otherwise until its opposite principle of expansion, of flow, begins, namely Hesed, the direction south, the wind of which is summer.

In the South Wind, there's movement, possibility, even flux as intense as its opposite. That St. Phillip attributes Pleroma to Summer is more than we might sentimentally enjoy of the physical season called summer. Instead, we're told Pleroma is every possibility of Grace imaginable, beyond imagining, even overwhelming any fixed point of reference whatsoever.

So why is it wrong to pray in winter? We've often heard that the Spirit cannot rest upon an angry or depressed person. Also, the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:8). But more subtly, given what is meant by winter as the North Wind, it is 'wrong' to pray for a change when the karmic effect of a cause is in motion according to the Law. The larger the context, such as the environment or the economy, the slower to change. Some national and international events will not change until they've run their course. To pray otherwise might be from self-grasping and not faith, a great waste of one's vitality.

In such cycles, abiding daily without commentary, silently, is not only enough, but a great act of faith in an internal winter. Such periods of winter Tau Malachi directly relates with the dark night of the soul, which is tremendous news for any find themselves in a personal winter that just won't thaw http://sophian.org/forum/viewtopic.php? ... 4088#p4084.

When it is winter, Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).

Elder Gideon

Tau Malachi
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Re: Hebrews & Christians; Winter & Summer

#15 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:17 am

Grace and peace to you in Hayyah Yeshua!

“It is wrong to pray in winter.”

This corresponds with a saying in the Gospel of St. Thomas:

“If you fast you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray you will be condemned, and if you give charity you will harm your spirits. When you go into any region and walk through the countryside, and people receive you, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them. What goes into your mouth will not defile you, but what comes out of your mouth will defile you” (14).

When we first encounter this saying of the Living Yeshua it is perplexing, for we know Adonai Yeshua taught his disciples how to pray and meditate, and how to fast and give charity. This is the foundation of the spiritual life and practice, and it is how exorcism, healing, and various wonders transpire through the Holy Spirit, and in this very same passage he gives his disciples instructions to minister to people with power and with healing. However, in this saying he is speaking about the prayers, fasting and charity offered up under the law and religious obligation, or in the ignorance, the illusion of separation; hence, a worship of the demiurge, cosmic ignorance, and false concepts of the Divine, which perpetuates the delusion of lack, the illusion of separation, and keeps souls in bondage to the archonic realm and transmigration.

This is praying in winter, and indeed, nothing will be accomplished in this way, the Spirit of God will not move with, in and through us in this way, and the angels of God will not be with us in this way; nothing good comes from prayer, fasting or charity in the illusion of separation, nor of religious activity on the surface, in self-righteousness.

Winter is the Entirety, or Realm of Perud (separation), and summer is the Pleroma of Light, or Realm of Yichud (unity, oneness). We must learn how to pray, and fast, and give charity, in oneness, and worship God in spirit and truth, embodying the Holy Light and Spirit of God, and living within, thinking, speaking and acting from the Spirit of God, in union with Christ and God, the True Light. Then there is a ministry with power, with Light Transmission, exorcism, healing, prophecy and wonders, for the Spirit of God indwells us and the angels move with us; we walk with God, and God is with us – Emmanuel.

Very truly, I say to you dear brother, if one walks in the Living Presence in this way, and one embodies the Living Spirit of the Infinite One in this way, they can, in fact, bring about radical shifts in the matrix of spiritual forces, and can, in fact, bring about great shifts in the karmic matrix of this world, all in the Messiah, all as Yahweh Elohim, Shaddai, wills and ordains; but one must abide in the Sanctuary of Grace, in oneness, and embody the Holy Light and Spirit of the Messiah in full, and must live according to their faith and love.

This is the power of Shaddai, the Almighty, with those who receive the Messiah, the Anointing; there is the witness of the Holy Spirit with them, the power of El Shaddai, God Almighty, so it was with the prophets of old, and so now with true apostles in the Messiah.

Look and see how many religious authorities espouse dogmatic creeds and doctrines, rites and rituals, in place of a spirituality of direct experience and an actual communion with God, and who preach and teach, but who have no witness of the Holy Spirit, and who cannot impart the Holy Light and Spirit, or enact exorcism, healing, prophecy, wonders, or any sign of the Spirit of God with them. In such religions, truly, their “god is dead,” and these religions are dead, having no True Light and Spirit – no life, and in them the blind lead the blind! What good is it?

Or consider how many take such things as the Holy Kabbalah, and they go out and put themselves off as spiritual teachers and guides to others, but do not engage in inner work, and embody no spiritual realization, and have no witness of the Holy Spirit, but speak of mysteries in ignorance, deceiving people and leading them astray – again the blind leading the blind! What good is it?

This is “prayer in winter,” and if there is an outward gesture of prayer, fasting or charity in this way, it does, indeed, harm the soul, leading to greater karmic bondage, and greater sorrow and suffering.

Understanding this, St. James writes:

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with a greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes” (3:1-2).

Now, where there is a holy person who has received the Anointing, the Holy Light and Spirit of the Messiah, the power of Shaddai is with them, the power of the Holy Tzaddik, and receiving the Anointing, embodying the Holy Light and Spirit of the Messiah, through that Holy Light and Spirit – Divine Grace, they abide in oneness, a Union of Grace. When two or more gather in the Blessed Name who have received the Anointing, how much greater is the influx of the Holy Sefirot with them, the power of Shaddai? Naturally, there is Light upon Light, and a greater movement of the Spirit of God, Ruach Elohim, in the world, and therefore greater wonders can transpire, and greater Light Transmission.

According to the master of the tradition, if and when a Sun of Heaven, a great Anointed Tzaddik appears, and twelve Anointed Tzaddikim gather with them, who also are Stars of Heaven, and they abide in unity, with a conscious intention in prayer, whatever they intend, whatever they speak, will come into being, or come to pass, even “something from nothing.”

When two who are anointed agree on anything in the Blessed Name, it is done on earth and in heaven, or released on earth and bound in heaven, “something from something,” and when more are in agreement, so it may be “something from nothing” becomes manifest. Contemplate this well, and understand!

We are given essential, esoteric teachings concerning this power of Yahweh Elohim, Shaddai, in the Risen Messiah and Ascended Messiah in the Pistis Sophia, and so in those who are Anointed with the Supernal Light, the “Father in the form of the Holy Dove.” When the Messiah ascends, and returns in revelation, putting on his three light bodies, and passing through the realms of the archons and seven heavens, and into the eighth heaven, the Pleroma of Light, the Supernal Abode, he diminishes the powers of the archons and demons, and shifts the balance in the matrix of spiritual forces, causing the spheres and powers to turn this way and that, all according to Ratzon Elyon, the Will of the Supreme. This very power of Shaddai is within those who receive the Anointing with Supernal Light, and therefore he speaks of the power of the twelve saviors in the disciples, their ordination as co-saviors, co-redeemers, with him.

When this power of Shaddai is actualized and realized in a soul, great currents of spiritual force can be moved in this world, new aeons formed and set into motion, and new heavens and earths created, and pure light realms emanated, and the karmic continuums of the Entirety or Perud can be shifted in radical ways, sparks and souls being uplifted in return to God, light being purified and received, reintegrated with the True Light – wonders of wonders may transpire, such as cannot be imagined or conceived in the unenlightened condition, or among mortals.

One must understand, though, in oneness with the Infinite, Yahweh Elohim, in Supernal or Messianic Consciousness, the Entirety and Pleroma, or Perud and Yichud, are recognized and realized as inseparable from one another; Being and Becoming are recognized and realized the radiant or magical display of the Infinite One, and there is no “other.”

In this awareness, this remembrance, souls pray, fast and enact charity in oneness – in “summer,” and there is power in it, and it is good (Ki Tov).

This awareness, this remembrance, corresponds with our rebirth from above, from the true kingdom of heaven – Malkut of Atzilut.

We co-labor with the Spirit of the Messiah to generate this presence of awareness, this holy remembrance, and we seek to walk and abide in it, and let it illuminate our minds, hearts and lives.

In closing we can speak an open secret. You cannot fast, you cannot pray, you cannot give charity, for if you do, it will harm you; but rather it is the Light-presence (Christ) and Light-power (Holy Spirit) within you that van fast, pray and enact charity with power, the power of Shaddai.

When God prays to God, when Christ within us prays to Christ beyond us, this is a prayer in oneness or unification, and it is the invocation of Abundant Mercy, Supernal Grace; all spiritual forces, great and small, are subject to these prayers, for they are the Living Word of God, the utterance of Eheieh, the Divine I Am.

This seems enough for one time; I’m inclined to abide in repose, waiting upon the movement of the Holy Spirit.

O Shaddai, may all transpire as you will, and may all remember that they live and move and have their being in you, Yahweh Elohim. Amen.


Shaddai Shalom!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia


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