illumining light, soul care, knowing God, rays of love, glory, spiritual progress, Longing after light, Light the Soul, Instructs Herself, Bright Radiance from an Inner Light , wholeness of self, spiritual physician

The Soul Instructs Herself with Divine Light

“Such a process of development and unfolding is not accomplished at once, but requires time and patience; a neophyte cannot immediately understand the mysteries of initiation when he enters the sacred precincts. The soul must be gradually accustomed to the light until the power of spiritual thought is unfolded, and the latter being, continually directed towards the divine light, becomes at last united with it. If the soul is perfectly purified and sanctified she becomes free in her movements; she sees and recognizes the divine light and she instructs herself, while she seems to be instructed by another. … She is then no more subject to terrestrial conditions of time, but lives in the eternal.” ~Apuleius

Process of Development

It needs to be noted that virtually all of the great philosophers, seers, and prophets of the past talked about developing our spiritual faculties. No one taught the ideas that it could happen instantly. None of them said we would become spiritual simply by declaring ourselves to be so. We may be spiritual students, or spiritual neophytes, but no more. It takes time to develop into a truly spiritual person.

Understanding Mysteries

One reason it must take time to develop spiritually is that we need to understand the new truths we are exposed to. We would learn nothing by having thousands of new concepts and idea flash before our eyes in a few seconds. It would be like a person who has spoke one language all his lie trying to learn another in a few days. Even more because in the new language there would be words that have no equivalent in the language already known. The truth must be introduced gradually, and the resistance to it removed gradually.

Accustomed to the Light

we have probably all done the experiment at some time of sitting in darkness for some time, and then a bright light is turned on. You are blinded by it for a moment. And that is just physical light and physical darkness. Spiritual Light is much brighter than physical light. Likewise, spiritual darkness is much greater than physical. So one who has been trapped in a world of spiritual darkness must be exposed to spiritual Light gradually, just as he must be exposed to spiritual truth gradually. Then once accustomed to that great spiritual light, one can work to become united with it. Continue reading “The Soul Instructs Herself with Divine Light”

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Ezekiel's Chariot

Ezekiel’s Chariot and the Cherubim

“The blessed prophet Ezekiel relates a glorious and inspiring vision or apparition which he saw, and his description is that of a vision full of mystery unspeakable. He saw in the plain a chariot of Cherubim, four spiritual living creatures. Each living creature had four faces, one the face of a lion, another the face of an eagle, another the face of a calf, and the fourth the face of a human being. …Their backs were full of eyes; their bellies likewise were thick-set with eyes; there was no part about them that was not full of eyes. …

“The mystery which he beheld was that of the soul, that was to receive her Lord, and to become a throne of glory for Him. For the soul that is privileged to be in communion with the Spirit of His Light and is irradiated by the beauty of the unspeakable glory of Him who has prepared her to be a seat and a dwelling for Himself, becomes all light, all face, all eye, and there is no part of her that is not full of the spiritual eyes of light.” ~St. Macarius the Egyptian

Ezekiel’s Chariot

The story Ezekiel tells in the Bible of his vision or encounter with the strange chariot and its four-faced occupants has been one of great speculation by both scholars and theologians. If you try to make sense of it as something literal, you will certainly be confused. You will probably come to the same conclusion as Erich Von Daniken and his followers that it was simply an encounter with an alien spaceship full of strange-looking aliens that Ezekiel tried to understand in earthly terms. The fact that Von Daniken has no actual proof that aliens have ever visited Earth never seems to bother his followers.

St. Macarius correctly interprets the vision of Ezekiel’s Chariot as an allegorical one. A tale of the path of the soul in metaphorical images. Let’s look more closely at some of the allegory.

Four Cherubim

Ezekiel’s Chariot contained four living beings. These being did not look like anything Ezekiel had ever seen before. Four beings with four faces each.

We probably all know of the energy centers of the physical body most often called “chakras”. Most schools say there are seven of these, but a few, such as Cosolargy, say there are eight primary ones. These energy centers link our physical self to our spiritual self with corresponding centers on the spiritual level. The primary spiritual centers number four. The same number that seems so important in the vision of Ezekiel’s Chariot and it’s occupants.

The faces Ezekiel says on these beings resembles a lion, eagle, calf, and human. The four spiritual energy centers are form, being, intellect and consciousness. I would match them as follows:

  • Lion – Form
  • Eagle – Intellect
  • Calf – Being
  • Human – Consciousness

The first three are guesses, and the actual match may be different. The human face, however, is definitely a representation of the center of consciousness. On Earth, only man can achieve true consciousness. Continue reading “Ezekiel’s Chariot and the Cherubim”

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Earnest Seeker of Truth and Wisdom

“Beloved Soul, there is Earnestness required to do this, and not a bare rectal of words only! No, the earnest resolved will must drive on this work, else nothing will be effected. For if the Soul will obtain the triumphant Garland of Christ from the noble Sophia or Divine Wisdom, it must woo her for it in great desire of love. It must entreat her in her most holy name for it, and come before her in most modest humility, and not like a lustful bull or a wanton Venus. For so long as any are such, they must not seek these things; for they shall not obtain them …” ~Jacob Boehme

Earnest Seeker

We need to be earnest in seeking enlightenment if we are to truly achieve it. When he says that, Boehme doesn’t just mean that we really want it. The reasons we want it are also important. If we are seeking it with the idea of getting something to make us better than others, we will not find it. If we seek wisdom and knowledge so that we can use it to make a great deal of money, it will stay hidden from us. The earnest seeker is trying to better himself for the benefit of all. He wants to help the world, not just himself. The earnest seeker desires wisdom for its own sake, and to guide him on the path. He doesn’t seek it as a commodity he can sell.

Triumphant Garland

If there was any doubt that Jacob Boehme was a latter-day Gnostic, this sentence in the quote should change that. His reference to “Sophia or Divine Wisdom” makes it clear that he was a true Gnostic.

He tells us here, in an allegorical way, that Divine Wisdom is not something just handed out to anyone who asks. It’s not like a coupon dispenser at the supermarket. You have to work for it. You have to earn it. Just declaring yourself spiritual and ready for it won’t make it happen. The earnest seeker moves forward step by step like climbing a steep mountain. She does not seek shortcuts, for shortcuts get short results. That is to say that when we try to take shortcuts, we may be granted a quick glimpse of that Wisdom, but we don’t get it all. Not even close. Years of hard work, years of climbing that metaphorical mountain a step at a time is how the job gets done.

It is also important to understand that it would be dangerous to let someone who is not ready receive that divine Gnosis. Therefore, it doesn’t happen. The Army doesn’t send a soldier out to fight a battle until he has at least completed basic training. A hospital doesn’t let a medical student operate until he has enough training and experience. And Sophia doesn’t grant the earnest seeker Divine Wisdom until he has earned it and can handle it. So if you don’t succeed today or tomorrow, you must just keep going forward and upward until you do. Continue reading “Earnest Seeker of Truth and Wisdom”

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Slothful Behavior

Slothful Behavior We Should All Change

“Change not thy respect for a man’s person, according to goods and possessions. Make all things as though they were not and God alone were in being. If thou shalt ask of thy neighbor and he shall not give thee according to thy wish, see that thou say not in anger a word that is full of bitterness. Oppose not thou seasons, for many are the changes. Put sorrow far from thy flesh, and sadness from thy thoughts; save only that for thy sins thou should be constant in sadness. Cease not from labor, not even though thou be rich, for the slothful man gains manifold guilt for his idleness. … Despise not the voice of the poor and give him not cause to curse thee. For if he curse whose palate is bitter, the Lord will hear his petition.” ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

Respect All

With the possible exception of the most foul despots, murderers, and criminals, we should have respect for all people. Respect should not be based on how much money a person has accumulated, or how much property he owns. Respect a person simply because she is a person, and that in itself is something special. Few of us realize just how special we are. And since we rarely know another person’s circumstances in detail, or their mental processes, we have no reason to criticize. As St. Ephraim points out when he says “Make all things as if they were not,” material possessions, and all things associated with them are illusion. Only God and spirit is real and permanent. When you see people as spirits rather than as carpenters, lawyers, car salesmen, etc., you will have little choice but to respect all.

Give and Take

Some people do get angry with a neighbor if they ask a favor of him and he refuses. Even if the neighbor has what he considers to be a good reason to refuse, we may not agree with it and get angry anyway. And if we have done favors for that neighbor in the past, we may get really angry. We shouldn’t.

First, if you give to others with an expectation of something in return, it isn’t giving at all, but investing. Second, no one else is obligated to do things for you. Not even your neighbor, spouse, or child. Each of us has the ability and the right to make decisions for ourselves. We have no reason to get angry with another because they refuse to allow us to take that right away from them. Remind yourself that there have been occasions when someone has asked a favor of you and you, with good reason, refused. Even if you can’t avoid being annoyed with your neighbor for refusing your request, hold your tongue and do not speak in anger about it.

Change and Seasons

It is clear to me that St. Ephraim is speaking allegorically here. It is not only the change of seasons that we should not oppose, but change in general. It is also true, of course, that we should not embrace change for it’s own sake. We need to look at each change on its own merit and decide whether or not it is a good thing to do. We need to oppose a change when it is truly the wrong thing to do, not when it inconveniences us to do it.

Like many old farts, I still use Internet Explorer most of the time, only occasionally using Chrome or Firefox. But I don’t oppose those new browsers because of it. Continue reading “Slothful Behavior We Should All Change”

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