Demon or Angel

An Effort Toward Good

“The very wronging of man by man may be derived from an effort toward the Good; foiled, in their weakness, of their true desire, they turn against each other; still, when they do wrong, they pay the penalty—that of having hurt their souls by their evil conduct and of degradation to a lower place—for nothing can ever escape what stands decreed in the law of the Universe.
“This is not to accept the idea, sometimes urged, that order is an outcome of disorder and law of lawlessness, as if evil were a preliminary to their existence or their manifestation: on the contrary order is the original and enters this sphere as imposed from without. … Why the wrong course is followed is scarcely worth inquiring: …” ~Plotinus

Plotinus thinks that when men do evil things, it is because of a misguided attempt to do good. While they may be true eighty, or even ninety, percent of the time, I think there are some who are well aware that they are doing evil and either don’t care, or actually revel in the wrongness of it. As I write this, one of the headlines in the news is of a well known teenager (I wont give him publicity by listing his name) who got off with ten years probation and a mandatory stint in a country club pretending to be a rehabilitation center. This murdered, who got off on the grounds that he was so spoiled by his parents that he didn’t know right from wrong, has now fled with his mother and is believed to have left the country. I expect he will turn up after getting arrested for some crime in another country, where he won’t get off with a good scolding. In any case, this young man is probably a good example of what Plotinus is saying. Since the kid was never taught to consider the consequences of his actions, he does whatever feels good at the moment, and never worries about the long term consequences. Sadly, teenagers are not the only ones who think that way. Continue reading “An Effort Toward Good”

indifferent state, Perfect Stillness

Becoming Unified with the World

Becoming a Unified Person

“Though we may look separate on the surface—in physical reality—under the surface in nonphysical reality we all overlap fields and contain each other. In fact, you share a field with the entire world. When fields overlap and merge, everything inside the combined field knows about everything else. The idea of anything being impersonal, in the sense of being so distant you don’t have to care about it, disappears. …
“Practicing unified field attention is a powerful way to accelerate your transformation, and seeing how nonphysical fields connect intimately with physical reality is extremely helpful.” ~Penney Peirce

That there are fields around us, and everything else, is a scientific reality that none can deny. We may differ on our explanations of what those fields are, where they come from, and what their purpose is, but they definitely exist. Ms. Peirce believes that when these fields overlap, they join and become one, or at least share energy and information with each other for a time. This may seem irrational to some, but it is actually quite logical. It also fits very well with the theory of Quantum Physics that states that our universe is really a complex hologram of many beams of light, and that those beams of light exchange energy and information when they touch. This explains things like the fact that if you teach a number of animals in a specific species something, all the others learn it instantly as well (the Hundredth Monkey Effect)1. Continue reading “Becoming Unified with the World”

Meeting Christ & God

The Fruition of Man is a Spiritual Thing

“Fruition, a concept which Eucken’s philosophy has brought back into current thought, represents a total attainment, complete and permanent participation and possession. It is an absolute state, transcending all succession, and it is applied by Ruysbroeck to the absolute character of the spirit’s life in God; which, though it seems to the surface consciousness a perpetually renewed encounter of love, is in its ground ‘fruitive and unconditional,’ … Thus he speaks of ‘fruitive love,’ ‘fruitive possession’; as opposed to stiving, dynamic love, partial, progressive and conditional possession. Perfect contemplation and loving dependence are the eternal fruition of God.” ~Evelyn Underhill

Dictionaries define fruition as the point at which a plan or project is realized, or the state of being real or complete (Merriam-Webster). I’m sure that Ruysbroeck meant something close to that second definition when he wrote about fruition. When the acorn becomes an Oak tree with acorns of it’s own, it has reached fruition. When the rose opens to glorious color and scent, it has reached fruition. But what does it mean for a human to reach “fruition”?

The materialist would say that a person has achieved fruition if he has used greed to rob others blind and collect far more money that he could ever possibly use, while around him others starve and live in the streets. As you might suspect from the way I worded that, I do not accept that definition as a person who has achieve fruition. A scientist may say that a person in that field who has made a great discovery: the chemist who discovers a new element, the doctor who discovers a cure, the archeologists who discovers a lost civilization, has achieved fruition. That is getting closer to it, but we’re still not there. Continue reading “The Fruition of Man is a Spiritual Thing”

Woman given wisdom

The Woman Given Wisdom

The Woman Saved and Given Wisdom

“O what amazement befell the Evil One, of a sudden, my brothren: when the sinful woman was corrected, and gained Wisdom! Glory to the one who alone conquered the Evil One. … The Evil One marveled ‘Where is her laughter? Where her perfumes? Where her dancing and outward ornament, and inward wickedness?’ … Naught lasts in her: from our instructions she has escaped and cast away all that I taught her. She has denied us and our acquaintance, and even as though she had never seen me she has blotted my image out of her mind. The living leaven of Jesus flew to her, Jesus was silent: but she made bold to press and enter, though none called her. … Zaccheus I made chief of executioners, and her I made chief of wantons; my two wings, Jesus has broken. … I shut men’s eyes that they might not perceive, … Jesus opened their eyes to see.” ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

It may truly have been a shock to Satan that the woman he considered one of his servants, Mary Magdalene (or Mary of Magdala), not only turned away from him, but turned to his greatest enemy: Jesus Christ. Of course, this is the opinion of St. Ephraim and we don’t know that Satan was surprised by this at all. In either case, the point is made.

When Jesus saved her from those attempting to stone her to death, she was very grateful, but it was more than that. Being on the edge of death, and being pulled back, can cause great changes in people. They will start looking at things differently. They may, as Mary apparently did, realize the folly of living for immediate, but short-lived pleasures, and start thinking more long term. They may start seeing thing differently, with greater truth. It was with those newly awakened eyes that she gazed upon Jesus and recognized Him as more than just the gentleman who had saved her. She was, to some degree, awakened at that point and became one of his most devoted followers.

Satan complains that she has escaped his instructions and cast away that which he taught her. What does he mean? Did Satan actually give classes to Mary and others on how to serve him? No, he didn’t. He works in a much more subtle way. By whispering in your ear during a moment of weakness. By subtly encouraging you to act out of fear instead of reason. By pointing out how others are richer, prettier, smarter than you in an effort to make you jealous. He may not have schools in every village and town, but he and his minions are there teaching, nonetheless. Subtly so we don’t realize who we are listening to, who we are letting drag us around on a leash. Stephen King’s book Needful Things is a good example of this system at work.

Of course, Mary didn’t change drastically overnight. She changed enough to join Jesus and become one of His disciples, and continued to change more and more as she listened to what He said and practiced the spiritual development techniques that he taught. According to the Gospel of Mary, she grew spiritually at a rate faster than most of the others and became a favorite of Jesus because of it. Some consider that gospel false, however, but it may be a real one, though not written by Mary herself.

The last part of the quote is also interesting. The too great tools of Satan, at least according to St. Ephraim, were Zaccheus the executioner, and Mary the wanton women. That both became disciples of Jesus and turned away from the ways of Satan is certainly a dramatic way to clip or break Satan’s wings, as Ephraim puts it. This statement, of course, is more important in it’s allegorical meaning than in it’s literal accuracy. That Christ could easily take Satan’s favorite tools away from him shows that even in Satan’s realm of matter, God and Christ remain supreme. It also illustrates that point that no mater where we are in life, no matter how far we have fallen, we can still chose to turn around and follow the Path to God, as Mary and most of the other disciples did.