palace

Palace of the Soul, Ruins in the Mind

“suppose there were a very great palace, and this were deserted, and became full of every evil smell, and of many dead bodies. Well the heart is Christ’s palace. And it is full of uncleanness, and of crowds of many wicked spirits. It must be refounded and rebuilt, and its store-chambers and bedrooms put in order; for their Christ the King, with the angels and holy spirits, come to rest, and to dwell, and to walk in it, and to set his kingdom. I tell you it is like a ship furnished with plenty of tackle, where the captain disposes of all, and sets them their tasks. … The heart has a captain in the mind, the conscience, which is ever judging us. … The heart contains many natural faculties bound up with it, and it is the mind and conscience which chides and guides the heart. …

“From the time that Adam transgressed the commandment, the serpent entered and made himself master of the house, and became like a second soul beside the soul. For the Lord says, Whoso denieth not himself and hateth not his own soul, is not my disciple. … Sin entering into the soul has become like a member of it, and is united with the bodily man, and therefore many unclean thoughts spring up in the heart.” ~St. Macarius the Egyptian

A Ruined Palace

Ruins

Heidelberg Castle

Decades ago, when I was in the Army and stationed in Germany, I visited with friends several ruined castles. It was sad to see these ancient buildings that undoubtedly took much work to build, crumbling and being the homes now of bats, snakes and worms. But there are other castles there, such as the one in Heidelberg, that have been kept up and are still functioning in one way or another. Some have been made into museums. Others are public buildings such as libraries. One of my army friends was married in Heidelberg castle, and I attended a fasching party there. Some smaller towns and cities are making an attempt to restore these old castles and palaces. But no one would hold a wedding or a party in ruins full of snakes, rats, and bugs. The vermin and filth have to be cleaned out first. Continue reading “Palace of the Soul, Ruins in the Mind”

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sin must die

Sin Must Die to Allow Enlightenment

“Sin must die in the Will of the Soul, or else there can be no vision of God. For the earthly Will, in sin and the wrathful nature, shall not see God. It is only the regenerated Nature, the inward Man, that is capable of the Divine Vision or enjoyment. The Soul must put on the the spirit and flesh of Christ; it cannot inherit the Kingdom of God in this earthly tabernacle. For the kingdom of sin hangs to it outwardly, which must putrify in the Earth, and rise again in new power.

“Hypocrisy, Flattery, and verbal Forgiveness avail nothing. We must be children, not by outward imputation, but by being born of God from within, which is resigned in and to God. …

“Flattery of ourselves by saying that Christ has paid the ransom and made satisfaction for our sins, and that He died for our sins, is a false and vain comfort, if we also do not die from sin in Him, and put on His merit, in new obedience, and live therein.” ~Jacob Boehme

Sin Must Die

Yes, sin must die if we are to grow spiritually. But what do we consider sin? Some think of crime more than sin. They think of murder, rape, robbery, and so on as sin. While such crimes are sins, just avoiding criminal behavior is not enough. We have to live according to the Law of God. But to do that, we must know the Law of God. Because our souls lie dormant until we make an effort to awaken them, we don’t have that direct connection with the worlds of spirit. Without that connection, we are ignorant of such things. That ignorance is the only real sin.

We don’t actually know God, we know only opinions of God passed on to us from others, who in turn learned from others, and on and on. The true Law of God is not known to us, either. We know only the opinions of men on what God’s Law is. And when we have a spiritual awakening, we find that those opinions are mostly false, misleading, or incomplete. Sin must die, and we must awaken to make that happen.

Earthly Will

Many will assume that the “earthly will” that Boeme is talking about is the ego. I suppose that depends on your definition of ego, but for the generally accepted definition of it, that is not what he means. Ego is the “I”. It is our desire to accomplish. But there are all kinds of accomplishments. A materialistic ego is an earthly will, a spiritual one is not. The difference is the goals of the ego. So the idea is to turn the ego away from greed and materialism to spiritual goals, not to destroy or suppress it. With no ego, you have no desire to accomplish anything. God’s Army of Light needs to be made up of those who are active participants in the Great Plan, not pieces of driftwood floating with the tides.

Regenerated Nature

What is the regenerated nature of man? It is the awakened spirit and soul. It is our true nature, our permanent nature. It is free of all sin, which is why sin must die to have it.

Many today are confused about this. They think simply because they have recognized materialism as a failed system, they are awakened. But that is only the first step in the process of awakening. Complete awakening is much more. One way to understand is to look at a few examples.

Awakened Masters

There are not many truly awakened people, and even fewer masters who are completely awakened. They don’t have to be told that sin must die, they just know it. Some of them are well known religious leaders and founders. That includes Jesus and Buddha. Others are recognized as saints, prophets, or spiritual teachers. This group includes St. Francis of Assisi who, after being awakened while watching a sunrise, starting calling all beings his brothers and sisters. I believe he did that because he could actually see them as spirits rather than the illusion of matter. Another is Jacob (or Jakob) Boehme quoted above. He had his awakening when the sun reflected off a shiny metal bowl and struck him in the eyes. But don’t get the idea that reflecting the sun off a metal bowl will bring an awakening to anyone. We do need to take in light from the spiritual sun to awaken. But the awakening will happen only to those in whom sin is gone. So sin must die first. Or at least be reduced to the point where it is minimal. That also means we must rid ourselves of false beliefs. Those beliefs block us from the truth. John of Ruysbroeck and Biensa Douno are others who awakened through the light of the spiritual sun.

Verbal Flattery and Forgiveness

We are taught that spiritual and religious people should forgive. We are also taught to compliment others. So why does Boehme say that verbal flattery and forgiveness is wrong? He is saying that because such things are good to say only if they are what we actually believe. If we compliment someone by saying something we don’t actually believe, it isn’t a true compliment. Likewise, if we verbally forgive a person, but don’t feel forgiveness in our hearts, it is false. If we don’t feel it, we shouldn’t say it. Just be quiet, or say something neutral. And if you compliment or forgive someone with the goal of getting something from them, you have not learned that sin must die and you need more practice or training.

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cleaning house mentally

Cleaning House Mentally for Spiritual Growth

“Every person in whom the mystical instinct awakes soon discovers in himself certain tastes or qualities which interrupt the development of that instinct. Often these tastes and qualities are legitimate enough upon their own plane;but they are a drain upon the energy of the self, preventing her from attaining the intenser life for which she was made and which demands her undivided zest. Hey distract her attention, fill the field or perception, stimulate her instinctive life: making of the surface-consciousness so active a thing that it can hardly be put to sleep. … The nature of these distracting factors which ‘confuse and enchain the mind’ will vary with almost each individual.” Evelyn Underhill

Cleaning House

Cleaning house is something we all need to do regularly. But that shouldn’t be limited to cleaning floors or dusting furniture. More importantly, we need to clean house mentally. Unfortunately, that kind of cleaning can get complicated.

What to Throw Out

The first problem with mentally cleaning house is deciding what to throw out. Experts on removing clutter tell us to look at everything in our closets and put them in three or four piles. One pile is for those things we really use and must keep. They go back in the closet. Another is for those we occasionally use and might keep. We have to think about each one and decide if they go back. The third is for good things that we really don’t use. They should be donated to charity. The last is for useless things that should be thrown out.

For mind cleaning, we throw out that which is not true and doesn’t serve us. We throw out wishful thinking and fantasies that don’t help us grow. We can only grow by facing reality, no matter how harsh it may be. Limitations put on us by other also need to hit the trash can.

What to Keep

What we keep when cleaning house is that which helps us grow. We keep the open mind, not the blinders. Keep that which we know to be true rather than just opinions that were passed on to us. Also keep that which is reality and not fantasy. It is fine to believe in a future world where everyone lives in peace, harmony, and perfect health, but that world doesn’t exist now. It doesn’t serve us to pretend that it does. In fact, pretending that the world is already what it should be prevents us from making the changes we need to make o improve it.

I’m not going to be polite about this at all. Anyone who says that is no evil in the world is either blind or an idiot. There is much evil in the world and we need to get rid of it. But we have to start by cleansing ourselves. By cleaning house in our own mind, we are preparing to o the same for the world. Continue reading “Cleaning House Mentally for Spiritual Growth”

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rotten teeth

Rotten Teeth of Materialism

“I had a decayed tooth in my mouth that troubled me. … One day, as I grew impatient, I went to the dentist and told him to extract that damned tooth that dealt me misery. …

“The dentist shook his head and said, ‘It is foolish to ave your tooth extracted if we can cure it.’

“Then he started to drill its sides and clean its cavities and use every means to restore it and free it from decay. Having finished drilling, he filled it with pure gold. …

“But before the week was over, the cursed tooth returned to its diseased condition. So I went to another dentist. … obeying my command, he extracted the tooth. Looking at it, he said, ‘You have done well to have this rotten tooth extracted.

“In the mouth of Society are many diseased teeth, decayed to the bones of the jaw. But society makes no efforts to have them extracted and be rid of the affliction. It contents itself with gold fillings. … A nation with rotten teeth is doomed to have a sick stomach.” ~Kahlil Gibran

Teeth and More Teeth

The tooth Gibran speaks of is allegorical. Hopefully, that is obvious. But what is he really talking about? Many things on many levels.

In government today we have many “rotten teeth” in Politics. There are politicians who forget that they are supposed to serve the people of their land. There are government bureaucrats who know that what the rotten politicians tell them to do is wrong, but they do it anyway to keep their jobs. Just because someone else is telling you to do it, doesn’t mean you have no responsibility for your actions. There are rotten judges who let the politicians get away with serious violation when they are of the same political party, but not when they are of another party.

There are “rotten teeth” in the business world. Business leaders who care only to make as much profit as possible. They will charge so mush for medicines that the sick can’t afford them. They will charge so much for housing that millions live in the streets and under bridges. Then they will gather in the country club and congratulate each other for their wonderful business acumen while the smoke fifty dollar cigars and drink a two-hundred dollar bottle of wine.

The news media is another place to find many “rotten teeth”. Not only do many news outlets play favorites with regard to politics, but they decide what is worthy of coverage and what isn’t. The result is we now have news programs that concentrate on the trivial such as who won a football or baseball game, while important things are ignored. After years of doing this, most of society now accepts that sports is more important than just about anything else and there is nothing wrong with paying sports figures millions of dollars while schools teachers can barely get by. Continue reading “Rotten Teeth of Materialism”

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