Monday, February 4, 2013

Manichean Cross



Could this be the original Manichean Cross?:


"Those who advocate using the crucifix in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church instead of the Mar Thoma Cross claim that the Mar Thoma Cross is actually the "Manichean Cross" a symbol of Manicheanism (a heretical early Christian sect that blended Christian and Zoroastrian beliefs and whose founder, Manichee, claimed to be the incarnation of the Holy Spirit)."

The cross has a dove above it representing the Holy Spirit. The lotus below is meant to represent the Father. The lotus in the East also represents the flowering of great beauty from the sludge and slime. Perhaps here, another symbol of the good overcoming evil and its results.

The following is about the fuss this cross has caused in the Mar Thoma Church:



"The warring factions in the Church could be described as the traditionalists and the reformists. The traditionalists maintain that the Syro-Malabar Church is a daughter-Church of the Chaldean Church with headquarters in Baghdad. They are for the adoption of the whole East Syrian (Chaldean) liturgy said to be prevalent in the Church in Kerala from the fifth century to the 16th century when the Latin Church established its sway with the advent of the Portuguese.

"According to the reformists, the traditionalists are for the removal of the crucifix and abolition of prayers like Rosary and Way of the Cross among other things and for the introduction of `Chaldean vestiges' like the Persian Cross, sanctuary veil and `Bema,' (a separate table to be placed in the front or in the middle of the aisle).

"The crucifix has disappeared from many convents which easily succumbed to the Chaldean propaganda,'' says noted religious scholar Prof. Scaria Zacharia. The crucifix, a matter of great religious and emotional attachment is being replaced by what is called the `Mar Thoma Cross'. The reformists contend that this cross is the Manichean Cross, a symbol of a heretic Church of a non-Catholic origin, which has since become defunct."

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Paraclete & the Redeemed Lucifer

Lucifer and all other adversarial spirits can only live within the Holy Spirit, as all life is encompassed by it.
  A quote from Rudolf Steiner:

That man is capable of this, that he is capable of understanding Christ,  that Lucifer, resurrected in a new form, can unite with Christ as the good Spirit this, as prophecy still, was told by Christ Himself to those around Him, when He said: Ye shall be illumined by the new Spirit, by the Holy Spirit!
This Holy Spirit is none other than the Spirit through whom man can apprehend what Christ has wrought. Christ desired not merely to work, but also to be apprehended, to be understood. Therefore the sending of the Spirit by whom men are inspired, the sending of the Holy spirit, is implicit in Christianity.
In the spiritual sense, Whitsuntide belongs inseparably to Easter. This Holy Spirit is none other than the Lucifer-Spirit, resurrected now in higher, purer glory the Spirit of independent understanding, wisdom-inwoven. Christ Himself foretold that this Spirit would come to men after Him, and in the light of this Spirit their labors must proceed. What is it that works onward in the light of this Spirit? The world-stream of spiritual science, if rightly conceived! What is this spiritual science? It is the wisdom of the Spirit, the wisdom that lifts into the full light of consciousness that in Christianity which would otherwise remain in the unconscious. 

The torch of the resurrected Lucifer, of the Lucifer now transformed into the good, blazons the way for Christ. Lucifer is the bearer of the Light, Christ is the Light! As the word itself denotes, Lucifer is the Bearer of the Light. That is what the spiritual scientific movement should be, that is implicit in it.
Those who know that the progress of mankind depends upon living apprehension of the mighty Event of Golgotha are they who as the Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feelings are united in the great Guiding Lodge of mankind. And as once the tongues of fire hovered down as a living symbol upon the company of the apostles, so does the Holy Spirit announced by Christ Himself reign as the Light over the Lodge of the Twelve. The Thirteenth is the Leader of the Lodge of the Twelve. The Holy Spirit is the mighty Teacher of those we name the Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feelings.

It is through them that his voice and his wisdom flow down to mankind in this or that stream upon the earth. The treasures of wisdom gathered together by the spiritual scientific movement in order to understand the universe and the Spirits therein, how through the Holy Spirit into the Lodge of the Twelve; and that is what will ultimately lead mankind step by step to free, self-conscious understanding of Christ and of the Event of Golgotha. Thus to cultivate spiritual science means to  understand that the Spirit has been  sent into the world by Christ; the pursuit of spiritual science is implicit in true Christianity. 

We find in "Parzifal" that his mother, the pregnant Herzeleide, nurses a young dragon in a dream:


For she did nurse a dragon, that
forth from her body sprung,
And its dragon-life to nourish awhile
at her breast it hung,
Then it fled from her sight so swiftly..


The ultimate redemption of Evil through Good appears in Mani himself.

Mani speaking at the age of 24: 

"This is how everything that has happened and that will happen was unveiled to me by the Paraclete", Mani says in the Kephalia, mentioning "everything the eye shall see, and the ear hear, and the thought think". 

"I have understood by him everything. I have seen the totality through him. I have become a single body with a single spirit."

 "The divine counterpart will appear and bring help to every apostle (Keph. 36: 6–9)" and not just one person. 







Friday, February 1, 2013

Eightfold Path


The city of Petalamund (Petal Mount) appears in verses in Eschenbach's Parsifal. It has sixteen gates and is besieged by a black (Blackamoor) army on eight of the gates and a white army on the other eight. Here is a picture of the throat lotus blossom or chakram. Eight of the petals (those
besieged by the Moorish army) have been developed through grace, the other eight require working on by the individual.

 This is a most practical way in the which noble eightfold path has been incorporated into the Christian context.

Rudolf Steiner suggested these exercises for students who wished to enhance these qualities:


For the Days of the Week

The pupil must pay careful attention to certain activities in the life of soul which in the ordinary way are carried on carelessly and inattentively.
There are eight such activities.

It is naturally best to undertake only one exercise at a time, throughout a week or a fortnight, for example, then the second, and so on, then beginning over again. Meanwhile it is best for the eighth exercise to be carried out every day. True self-knowledge is then gradually achieved and any progress made is perceived. Then later on - beginning with
Saturday - one exercise lasting for about five minutes may perhaps be added daily to the eighth so that the relevant exercise will occasionally fall on the same day. Thus: Saturday - Thoughts; Sunday - Resolves; Monday - Talking; Tuesday - Actions; Wednesday - Behavior, and so on.

SATURDAY

To pay attention to one's ideas.

To think only significant thoughts. To learn little by little to separate in one's thoughts the essential from the nonessential, the eternal from the transitory, truth from mere opinion.

In listening to the talk of one's fellow-men, to try and become quite still inwardly, foregoing all assent, and still more all unfavorable judgments (criticism, rejection), even in one's thoughts and feelings.

This may be called:

`RIGHT OPINION'.


SUNDAY

To determine on even the most insignificant matter only after fully reasoned deliberation. All unthinking behaviour, all meaningless actions, should be kept far away from the soul. One should always have well- weighed reasons for everything. And one should definitely abstain from doing anything for which there is no significant reason.

Once one is convinced of the rightness of a decision, one must hold fast to it, with inner steadfastness.

This may be called:

`RIGHT JUDGMENT'.

having been formed independently of sympathies and antipathies.


MONDAY

Talking. Only what has sense and meaning should come from the lips of one striving for higher development. All talking for the sake of talking - to kill time - is in this sense harmful.

The usual kind of conversation, a disjointed medley of remarks, should be avoided. This does not mean shutting oneself off from intercourse with one's fellows; it is precisely then that talk should gradually be led to significance. One adopts a thoughtful attitude to every speech and answer
taking all aspects into account. Never talk without cause - be gladly silent. One tries not to talk too much or too little. First listen quietly; then reflect on what has been said.

This exercise may be called:

`RIGHT WORD'.


TUESDAY

External actions. These should not be disturbing for our fellow-men. Where an occasion calls for action out of one's inner being, deliberate carefully how one can best meet the occasion - for the good of the whole, the lasting happiness of man, the eternal.

Where one does things of one's own accord, out of one's own initiative: consider most thoroughly beforehand the effect of one's actions.

This is called:

`RIGHT DEED'.


WEDNESDAY

The ordering of life. To live in accordance with Nature and Spirit. Not to be swamped by the external trivialities of life. To avoid all that brings unrest and haste into life. To hurry over nothing, but also not to be indolent. To look on life as a means for working towards higher development and to behave accordingly.

One speaks in this connection of

`RIGHT STANDPOINT'.


THURSDAY


Human Endeavor. One should take care to do nothing that lies beyond one's powers - but also to leave nothing undone which lies within them.

To look beyond the everyday, the momentary, and to set oneself aims and ideals connected with the highest duties of a human being. For instance, in the sense of the prescribed exercises, to try to develop oneself so that afterwards one may be able all the more to help and advise one's fellow- men - though perhaps not in the immediate future.

This can be summed up as:

`TO LET ALL THE FOREGOING EXERCISES BECOME A HABIT'.


FRIDAY

The endeavor to learn as much as possible from life.

Nothing goes by us without giving us a chance to gain experiences that are useful for life. If one has done something wrongly or imperfectly, that becomes a motive for doing it rightly or more perfectly, later on.

If one sees others doing something, one observes them with the like end in view (yet not coldly or heartlessly). And one does nothing without looking back to past experiences which can be of assistance in one's decisions and achievements.

One can learn from everyone - even from children if one is attentive.

This exercise is called:

`RIGHT MEMORY'.

(Remembering what has been learnt from experiences).


SUMMARY

To turn one's gaze inwards from time to time, even if only for five minutes daily at the same time. In so doing one should sink down into oneself, carefully take counsel with oneself, test and form one's principles of life, run through in thought one's knowledge - or lack of it - weigh up one's duties, think over the contents and true purpose of life, feel genuinely pained by one's own errors and imperfections. In a word:
labor to discover the essential, the enduring, and earnestly aim at goals in accord with it: for instance, virtues to be acquired. (Not to fall into the mistake of thinking that one has done something well, but to strive ever further towards the highest standards.)

This exercise is called:

`RIGHT EXAMINATION'.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Royal Will & the Jesuit Way


Receive the Godhead right into your willing

And it comes down from its cosmic throne.
-Schiller

Following, are a few interesting passages on the will and its training from Friedrich Rittelmeyer's Meditation. He makes the point that before will must come feeling:
"To Thee Divine Ground of the world- I turn my willing! May the power of this willing spring from feeling that unites itself with Christ, Who liveth in Thy Life..."
-Act of Consecration of Man

He continues:
"THE training of the will still languishes for the most part among humanity....

"And yet the increasing number of cases of sickness of the will- weakness of will, want of resolve, feeble vacillation - indicate that something must be done.

"One can work upon the will by asceticism, by breathing exercises, and also by taking certain medicines. These can be a support to the organic foundations of the life of our will. But it is in accordance with the spirit of our time that the will should be built up out of the spiritual centre of the human being, out of the ego. Only so is it fully healthy and enduringly strong. It is certainly a help towards this if one freely gives up certain enjoyments. One will indeed notice how this concentrates and confirms one's will. But it must be a free renunciation, which has something of royalty in it, which can act at any moment, but will not; out of the nature of the spirit. Violence and rules from without easily bring about a damming-up of the will which is not quite healthy and which threatens a relapse.

"It was otherwise in earlier ages when the human ego was still only little developed. Today the only safe renunciation is that which the ego renews at every moment out of its free insight. Such a renunciation is enormously refreshing for the life of the will.


He compares this with the Jesuit exercises:


"We must also reject such training of the will as is offered us in the jesuitical and similar exercises [such as those used by the military].

"It is not denied that they school and strengthen the will in a high degree. They break self-will. But they also break a man's own will. This is quite understandable because of the age in which they arose, and because of the object they were intended to serve.

"But they have no regard for the growing ego and its individual possibilities and tasks. They have no consideration for the ripening freedom in humanity. They do not see the royalty of a will which works out of an ego.

"So they develop, indeed the power of the will formally to a high degree, but at the price of having no free ego there to use this will. They put the man into a uniform. In this uniform he may feel his self to be strong, and believe himself to be something more than he really is. But nothing is more apt to lead humanity away from its goal than a spiritual uniform, at least in our age.

"In the exercises of the Jesuits, occult experiences of humanity are at work still with a thousand year-old power, but they work upon an age that requires something different. They maintain the Middle Ages among us , even when through their pact with Modernism they fascinate many people.

"Besides much else which might be said about them - e.g., that they proclaim us the earthly king instead of Christ as Lord of the higher ego, that they overwhelm men with a whole system of dogma from the past, that they plant much egoism and materialism - this crippling of the free ego, of which alone the will may break forth, is decisive for us.

"If today we bring to men new exercises for the will, much greater care must be taken for the individual value of each several ego. Otherwise there arises a powerful aggregate of will which can be guided by some power or other, but not the fulness of the Godhead which reveals itself in personalities whose egos are free."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Julian the Apostate

Julian the Apostate presiding at a conference of sectarians, by Edward Armitage, 1875

The Roman Emperor, Julian the Apostate, had the aim of continuing the pagan mysteries. Dr. Steiner believed that Julian's expedition into Persia was to gain entrance into the Persian mysteries and those of Manichaeism. 

Julian was the one great hope that the ideal of Manichaeism - of marrying the ancient mysteries to Christianity - would be accomplished.

Augustine also failed, but this was his failure to understand the doctrines themselves.


"The aim of Manichaeism was the conquest of evil and of matter by thought. Julian was brought face to face with the deeper implications of the problem of evil and the relation of Christ Jesus to this problem...."

- Quote from Building Stones for an Understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha, Rudolf Steiner, lecture seven.  


Even at an early age, Julian displayed a specialness indicative of his future initiate status.

Dr. Steiner calls the murder of Julian one of the most significant occurrences in history.  Due to Sibylline prophecies concerning the destiny of Julian, his family had already been murdered off. 

St Mecurios killing Julian

Julian's star knowledge did not pass away however. He was
reincarnated as the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. Tycho made medicines which relied on his star knowledge - these he gave away for free.

We must incorporate the star knowledge into a future Christianity. And this star knowledge will enter right down deep into the physical world - as Tycho did with his remedies.

In 363, Julian, on his way to engage Persia, stopped at the ruins of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Julian ordered the Temple rebuilt, which would have proven the Sibylline prophecies wrong. Unfortunately for him, the workers had visions of leaping flames and left the job.

Herzeleide, Parsifal's Mother, was reckoned by Dr. Steiner to be the reincarnated Julian the Apostate.

So again we have the connection of the old Mysteries (Julian) melded with Christianity. 


He died of a spear wound that reportedly pierced the lower lobe of his liver, the peritoneum and intestines. The perpetrator was said to be a follower of Constantine.
This took place a few days after the Battle of Samarra (26th June 363) in which he was wounded. His reported dying words were: "You have won, Galilean".




More on the murder of Julian:

“MERKOURIOS,” or as it is commonly written in its Latinized form, Mercurius.

"There is a further inscription on the sword of Merkurios that connects it with the Archangel Michael.  We will soon see why.

"This first type of Merkurios, showing him standing clothed as a Roman warrior, is the type most commonly found.  But there is a second type, found particularly in Coptic Christianity, that shows him mounted on a horse, somewhat as in icons of George the Dragonslayer.  But instead of a dragon, there is a fatally-wounded man fallen (often with his horse) under Merkurios, and that man is the Emperor Julian.
Now if we stop to do a little historical math, we can see that Merkurios is said to have died in 250 c.e.  The Emperor Julian died in 363 c.e.  So we have a gap of 113 years between.  Why, then is Merkurios depicted in icons killing Julian?

"The answer lies in another of those fanciful stories common in the study of icons.  But first let’s look at an example of the rather violent second type:


"It depicts Merkurios killing Emperor Julian with a lance.  At right is a bishop,  easily identifiable as such by his garments, particularly the diamond-shaped epigonation worn at his waist.  This bishop is St. Basil “the Great.”  According to the tale, Basil heartily disliked the Emperor Julian and his “pagan” preferences.   Basil went to pray on a mountain with other Christians, and while doing so saw a vision of Mary calling St. Merkurios to her, and telling him to go and kill Julian.  So Christian tradition accounts for the death of Julian by saying a mysterious soldier appeared, stabbed Julian with his lance, then disappeared, and that soldier is supposed to be St. Merkurios, sent down from Heaven to do the violent deed."




Sunday, January 27, 2013

Augustinian Mistake

We know that Augustine spent some nine years amongst the Manichean communities. Due to the failing powers of clairvoyance that happened upon humanity at that time, our old friend Augustine was unable to experience the Divine in the Natural world and assumed that the Manicheans were just inclined to worship the material world rather than the Divine as manifested in it. This led to a misunderstanding of Manichean dualism.

Rudolf Steiner speaks of this in his lecture The Bridge between the Ideal and the Real:

Augustine passed through the impressions of the most diverse world views.... Above all, he passed through Manicheism and Scepticism. He had taken all those impulses into his soul which one gets if on the one hand one looks at the world and sees everything as ideal, beautiful and good, all that is filled with wisdom- and then, on the other hand, sees all that is evil.

Now we know that Manicheism tries to reconcile these two streams in the cosmic order by assuming an eternal polarity, an everlasting dualism, between darkness and light, evil and good; that which is filled with wisdom and that which is filled with evil.
Manicheism comes to terms with this dualism in its own way, only by uniting certain old pre-Christian basic concepts with its acceptance of the polarity of world-phenomena. Above all, it unites certain ideas which can be understood only when one knows that in ancient times the spiritual world was perceived by humanity in atavistic clairvoyance, and perceived in such a way that the content of the visions resembled in appearance the sense perceptions of the physical world.
 Now, because Manicheism took into itself such ideas of the physical 'appearance' of the supersensible, it thereby gives many people the impression that it is materializing the spiritual, as though it presented the spiritual in material form. That of course, is a mistake which more recent views of the world have made, a mistake even made by Theosophy [and by modern Spiritualism].

Augustine actually broke with Manicheism because in the course of his purified life of thought he could no longer bear this apparent materializing of the spirit.




As Augustine said:
"I fell among men who held that the light which we see with our eyes is to be worshiped as a chief object of reverence. I assented not: yet thought that under this covering they veiled something of great account, which they would afterwards lay open."

De Vita Beata. Pref.
Mani taught an essentially monistic system:

Quote:

"Manichaeism is a monistic system. For the Manichee, there is only one universe and it is man himself who has divided it into two: the perceptual and the conceptual. And it was within man himself that Mani sought a bridge between the world of the senses of the body, and the world of the spirit. 

He found it by integrating the senses of the body with the senses of the spirit in order to reveal within all terrestrial phenomena the spiritual reality which fashions and sustains them. In such a manner, Mani perceived that all human beings were themselves sun spirits. 
He taught his followers how to be reborn on the spirit and how to live in accordance with the life of Christ during his three years in a physical body on earth (that is, from the moment of the baptism in Jordan to the death on the cross at Golgotha.)"
-Trevor Ravenscroft

Thursday, January 24, 2013

All Earlier Religion was Water


Friedrich Rittelmeyer in his "Meditation" instructs us in the following:


"When the man of ancient times spoke of water, he did not think only of bathing or of sailing in a boat. He felt water to be religious. Water's power of purification was to him divine and worthy of veneration.

"In baptism still lives a remembrance of how man can dip into a purifying, revelation-bringing element. All laws and regulations about washing and purification are connected with this fundamental feeling. Man had above him a higher world which, through the water which it sent down from the heavens, received him again and again into its purifying forces.

Instead of bathing, ancient man thought of religious purification, instead of sailing, he thought of crossing the stream after death or in initiation. The latter, the crossing of the stream, was the esoteric of ancient religions, the former, the purification, its exoteric. And so the old religious feeling lived with water. And when we notice the miserable remains of these feelings, that are still alive in men today, when they rejoice in water because of bathing and sailing, then we can perceive with our eyes what changes there have been."

"All earlier religion was water."
- Rittelmeyer
All initiates from the beginning of the Fifth Root-Race had taken over their traditions from the time of the Atlantean Race, when there was as yet no wine. The Indian, Persian and Egyptian initiates had no need of wine. What played a part in the sacred rituals was exclusively water.

-Rudolf Steiner