Chrism, Christ and Annointing

“Christ and chrism are conjoined; the secret with the visible is mingled: the chrism anoints visibly, Christ seals secretly. … The chrism of Christ separates, the sons of the mystery from strangers; and by it they that are within are separated, and known from them that are without.
“The oil which Elijah multiplied, might be tasted with the mouth; for the cruse was that of the widow, it was not that of the chrism. The oil of our Lord that is in the chrism, it is not food for the mouth. …The chrism of the meek and lowly one changes the stubborn to be like its Lord. The Gentiles were wolves and feared the severe rod of Moses. Lo! the chrism seals them and makes a flock of sheep out of the wolves!” ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

Christ and Chrism

What St. Ephraim means when he says that Christ and chrism are “conjoined” is that chrism represents Christ in an allegorical sense, and when one is anointed with chrism, it symbolizes that the person has become one with Christ, or at least has been accepted by Christ. But this may be confusing because here “Christ” does not refer to Jesus, or any other person, but to that eternal spirit which existed long before it d welled for a time in the man, Jesus.

When Ephraim says the chrism of Christ separates “the sons of mystery from strangers” he means those who are true followers of the teaching of Jesus Christ, rather than those who simply worship Him while ignoring what he taught, from the general public. This separation may or may not be true on a physical level, as with the Essenes who lived in their own little communities, but more importantly, it means spiritually, they are not in the same group, the same class. This does not mean that one group is better than another, only that they have reached a higher level of spiritual development. Continue reading “Chrism, Christ and Annointing”

idle hands

Idle Hands, Busy Hands

“God does not want us to be lying idly on our backs; therefore He does not effect everything Himself. Nor does He want us to be boastful; therefore He did not give us everything. … But we are laboring in vain, thinking that through our own power or efforts we shall accomplish something. Therefore, he who wishes ‘to stand against the wiles of the devil’ (Eph. 6:11) and render them ineffectual, and to share in the divine glory, ought day and night to seek Go’s help and divine succor with tears and sighs, with insatiable longing and fire in his soul. He who wishes to share in this glory purges his soul of all worldly pleasures and of hostile passions and desires.” ~The Philokalia

Idle Hands

Most of us have probably heard the old saying that idle hands are the devil’s playground. The intent of that saying is to imply that those who are not kept busy will get into mischief. While that certainly does happen, especially with children, it goes beyond that.

We are not in this world to lay around and do nothing. Actually, it is impossible to do nothing. No matter how lazy we are, we have to breath, eat, take us space, and otherwise use up resources. We need to put something back into the world to compensate for that which we consume, and that does not mean the waste that comes out of us for eating and drinking.

I know many won’t believe this, but in a way, I actually feel sorry for the people born into very wealthy families who inherit so much money they never have to work. Some of them choose to work anyway, and they are the smart ones. Those who don’t, however, can never feel any true sense of accomplishment for getting a tough job done, or for getting a creative project completed. Continue reading “Idle Hands, Busy Hands”

rise above, Creature evolving, integrated being, purification, spiritual evolution, abstract transformation

Spiritual Evolution and Development

“It is intensely interesting to follow season after season the rapid evolution and change of public thought in the direction of the mystical. The educated mind is most undeniably attempting to free itself from the heavy fetters of materialism. The ugly caterpillar is writhing in the agonies of death, under the powerful efforts of the psychic butterfly to escape from its science-built prison, and every day brings some new glad tidings of one or more such mental births to light. …
“The reader has but to throw a retrospective glance at the publications of the last few years to find that such topics as Mysticism, Magic, Sorcery, Spiritualism, … are becoming predominant in every kind of literature.” ~H. P. Blavatsky

Spiritual Evolution

If I didn’t know that Blavatsky wrote all her books approximately one hundred years ago, I might think this was written last year. I can’t really say much about the popular literature of her day (I’m not that old!), but it is certainly true that the interest in the mystical the spiritual, and the occult has drastically increased in the past few decades. In the nineteen-fifties we were reading about cowboys in the Zane Grey books or The Hardy Boys. Now it’s Harry Potter and the Twilight series with witches, vampires, werewolves, and so on. Granted, these are all fictional series, but there has also been an increase in serious spiritual and mystical literature also. And even if it is mostly fantasy fiction, they do help open minds to the idea that the world of the materialist isn’t all that there is. Continue reading “Spiritual Evolution and Development”

Spiritual Hierarchy

Spiritual Hierarchy of Needs

“The three great classes of symbols which I propose to consider, appeal to three deep cravings of the self, three great expressions of man’s restlessness, which only mystic truth can fully satisfy. The first is the craving which makes him a pilgrim or wandered. It is the longing to so out from his normal world in search of a lost home. … The second is that craving of heart for heart, of the soul for its perfect mate, which makes him a lover. The third is the craving for inward purity and perfection, which makes him an ascetic, and in the last resort a saint. These three cravings, I think, answer to three ways in which mystics of different temperaments attack the problem of the absolute: three different formulae under which their transcendence of the sense-word can be described.” ~Evelyn Underhill

Mystical Restlessness

There are probably many ways to categorize those who are awakening to the needs of the spirit, and Ms. Underhill’s are as good as any other. These are often more like stages that different paths, but they can be either. I call the first group the Seekers. The are searching for something that they know is missing from their lives, but they don’t quite know what. I would make the second group more general and say that they are those who seek peace and love for all, not just for themselves and a soul mate. The third group is those who seek perfection for themselves and others. Continue reading “Spiritual Hierarchy of Needs”