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Fall and Resurrection of Man and the World

“’For the fall and resurrection of many in Israel is the lord appointed’, says the Holy Gospel (Luke :34). We should ask consequently whether He may not be appointed for the fall of those who contemplate the visible creation solely according to the senses and to those who stick to the mere letter of Holy Scripture, not being able in their folly to go further and grasp the new spirit of grace. And we should ask whether He may not be appointed for the resurrection of those who contemplate God’s creatures and listen to His words in a spiritual manner, cultivating in appropriate ways only the divine image that is within the soul.

“If the Lord’s being appointed for the fall and resurrection of many is understood in the right way, than the fall will refer to that of the passions and of evil thoughts in each of the faithful, and the resurrection to that of the virtues and of every thought that enjoys God’s blessing.” ~The Philokalia

Fall and Resurrection

This quote from the Philokalia is using fall and resurrection with a dual meaning. We are all familiar with the greater meaning: the symbolic fall of Adam and Eve from Heaven to Earth, and the resurrection of Jesus back to Heaven. But here they are talking more of an individual fall from grace, and resurrection back into a state of grace. Both variations are valid. As above, so below.

Contemplating Visible Creation

There are primarily three ways to look at the physical universe or visible creation:

  1. It is the one and only creation. Nothing exists but the physical.
  2. It is an illusion and there is nothing real.
  3. There is more than the physical and the physical is not all that it appears to be.

Those who accept the first or second point-of-view are generally not good candidates for spiritual development. Those who accept the third usually are. The quote is saying that Jesus came to help those in the third group find the best path to follow for a true awakening. He didn’t waste His time on the materialist who cannot accept anything spiritual, or who consider the spiritual just an extension of the physical.

The good news is that it is becoming harder to stay trapped in the materialistic viewpoint. With quantum physics agreeing with the spiritual types that the physical universe is not what it appears to be. Specifically, they say it is a hologram. The physicists may not be saying so, but if you think about it, a hologram, being a projection of light, must have a source. The source cannot be the hologram itself. Therefore, there has to be something beyond the physical realm from which the great illusion is being projected.

Letter of Scripture

A similar kind of person to those who believe only in the physical are those who interpret everything in scripture and holy books literally. The Philokalia correctly classifies those people as fallen souls also. Those who are true believers then come to foolish conclusions such as the Earth is only six thousand years old. Those who are not believers say that the holy books are lies because they are obviously not literally true. Both of those groups fail to recognize that most scripture of any religion is written in allegory. This is done partly to make it understandable to the less educated. Mostly, however, it is done to hide the truth from the profane who would misuse such knowledge.

Contemplate God’s Creatures

The quote says that the Lord is not appointed to help those who “contemplate God’s creatures and listen to His words in a spiritual manner.” This seems illogical. Should He be helping those most of all? I think the intention here is to say that those who have already found the true path of their own don’t need the Lord’s help. Unless, of course, they stray off the path.

So how do you contemplate God’s creatures in a spiritual manner? St. Francis is probably the best example of how. After his awakening, he says all beings as spirits. I believe he could actually see beyond the mask of the physical body to the spirit of each being. For that reason, he referred to animals, plants, and everything as his brothers and sisters.

Likewise, anything that Jesus said in public or private talks needs to be interpreted in a spiritual way, much like with allegorical scripture. And this goes for all other religious and spiritual leaders.

I remember reading some years ago of a small (fortunately!) cult in India that follow the teachings of one particular Guru. The guru said in a popular speech that men must be more like women if they want to be saved. It should be obvious that this was not supposed to be taken literally, but figuratively. But the members of the cult interpret it literally. The male members castrate themselves and dress like women. This, they believe, will save them. We laugh at their foolishness. Yet it is no more foolish than those who believe that a priest actually turns bread and water into the flesh and blood of Jesus, and then they consume His flesh and blood to be saved.

Things said by spiritual people must be interpreted in a spiritual way. Literal interpretation leads to false conclusions, much like that sad cult.

Resurrection of Virtue and Blessed Thought

On a personal level, we need to be “resurrected” or awakened to a life of virtue and service to God. This does not mean slavery. The awakened serve God because they recognize that He knows more than they do about everything. When journeying through a strange land, following a guide who knows the path and the dangers isn’t slavery. It is being smart. Yet there are those who will still fight against the idea. They don’t realize that by doing so, they are serving the fallen angels who did the same thing long ago. So either way, they are serving someone.

The smart person will accept resurrection, and not fall even further into the clutches of matter.

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Resurrection, Seventh Day, Eighth Day, and Creation

“He who for our sake shared in God’s rest of the seventh day also for our sake participates in God’s deifying energy on the eighth day, that is, in the mystical resurrection, and leaves lying in the sepulcher his linen clothes and the napkin that was about his head. Those who perceive this, like Peter and John, are convinced that the Lord has risen.

“The Lord’s tomb stands equally either for this world or the heart of each faithful Christian. The linen clothes are the inner essences of sensible things together with their qualities of goodness. The napkin is the simple and homogeneous of intelligible realities, together with the vision of God, in so far as it is granted. Through these things the Logos is initially recognized. …

“Those who bury the Lord with honor will also see Him risen with glory.” ~The Philokalia

Day of Rest

There is much misunderstanding about what it means to rest of the seventh day. It doesn’t mean that on that day we should sit around and do nothing. That doesn’t mean that that is a day for frivolity and entertainment. It is the day when we are to put aside worldly jobs and tasks and do only the work of God. You could also say it is a day to concentrate on your spiritual side rather than either the physical or mental. This may not always be possible, but we should try. Some may also have to do worldly work on Sunday. They can devote another day to spiritual growth. We should also devote a few minutes every morning to our spiritual awakening techniques.

Seventh Day

The Seventh day is generally the day of “rest” discussed above. Most consider that day to be Sunday. Yet we also say that Sunday is the first day of the week, not the seventh. I think matters got confused because the Jews consider Saturday the Sabbath rather than Sunday. I think the Christian were correct in changing it to Sunday. The day of the Sun should be the day devoted to God. As such, it should also be the day of doing God’s work, even if it is the first day of the week. Continue reading “Resurrection, Seventh Day, Eighth Day, and Creation”

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Spirits in Heaven, Not Bodies

“Some ask whether one will be saved immediately, if the body is left behind. Let no one doubt. The visible parts of the body that are dead will not be saved. Only the living parts that exist inside will rise. What is the resurrection? It is the revelation of those who have risen. If you remember reading in the gospel that Elijah appeared and Moses with him, do not suppose that the resurrection is an illusion. It is no illusion. It is truth. It is more proper to say that the world is illusion, rather than the resurrection…
The living will die. How do they live in illusion?
The rich become poor and kings are overthrown.
All changes. The world is an illusion. …
The resurrection has nothing of this character. It is truth standing firm. It is … a transition into freshness.” ~The Treatise on Resurrection

soul2The short Treatise on Resurrection is a Gnostic document whose author is unknown. It expresses many important aspects of resurrection. Let’s take a look at some of them.

First, we need to understand what is meant by “resurrection” in this treatise. It is not a reference to zombies coming out of their graves in the End Times. What it really is about is the ascent of the spirit and soul into “heaven” or spiritual realms after physical death. It makes it clear that the dead physical body is not resurrected, than, now, ever! The physical body dies, falls apart, and is gone. It is the spirit and the soul that are eternal. It is the spirit and soul that are reborn. It is the spirit and soul that return to higher realms, spiritual realms, never the physical. Only when the physical universe is converted back into its original spiritual state will what is now physical become part of the spiritual realms, but then it will no longer be physical. Nothing physical can exist in a spiritual universe. Continue reading “Spirits in Heaven, Not Bodies”

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