poor woman harvesting

Caring for the Poor and Downtrodden

Scholar: How then will those subsist in the day of the last judgment, who afflict and vex the poor and distressed, and deprive them of their very sweat, necessitating and constraining them by force to submit to their wills, and trample upon them as their footstools? …
Master: Christ suffereth in the persecution of His members. Therefore all the wrong that such hard executors do to the poor wretches under their control is done to Christ Himself; and falleth under His severe sentence and judgment. And besides that by such oppression of the poor the draw them off from Christ and make them seek unlawful ways to fill their bellies. Nay, they work for and with the Devil himself, doing the very same thing which he doth.” ~Jacob Boehme

The Plight of the Poor and Middle Class

The scholar is smart in asking what punishment awaits those who mistreat, steal from, and suppress the rights of poor people. Today, perhaps even more than when Boehme wrote this, we have an institutionalized enslavement of the masses, not just those considered poor. We see people making millions of dollars a year for playing sports, singing, or acting in movies, but people who work hard every day digging ditches, paving roads, putting roofing on houses, and so on, get paid very little. Yet we have people who have the audacity to say that the poor are simply lazy, which implies that the zillionaire CEO of the corporations actually work 500 times as hard as that low-level employee getting paid very little. Yet the employees can do little about it or they will lose their jobs and get even less. We promote work as a virtue—which indeed it is—but ignore the idea that a worker should be paid a fair percentage of what he is earning for the company he works for and not have most of it going to the top. Continue reading “Caring for the Poor and Downtrodden”

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Relationships Matter

“Ought we not to consider first whether that which we wish to learn and to teach is a simple or multiform thing, and if simple, then to inquire what power it has of acting or being acted upon in relation to other things, and if multiform, then to number the forms; and see first in the case of one of them, and then in the case of all of them, what is the power of acting or being acted upon which makes each and all of them be what they are?” ~Socrates

In other words, you can’t know a thing without studying its relationships with other things. A chunk of granite may seem like something insignificant when looked at as a stand-alone object, but when it is the cornerstone of a great temple, the relationship it has with the other rocks that make up the temple, and the relationships the temple has with the people who built it and who visit it, and the relationships those people have with others in the world all contribute to what that rock truly is. Suddenly, it is not so insignificant.

A shiny, yellow rock is of little importance until the gold is extracted from it, melted down, and made into a ring for a king. Suddenly, that little yellow rock has become significant because of the relationships it has. A king is killed to get the ring from him by a rival. A king from another kingdom starts a war thinking that, after seeing the ring, this little kingdom must have a lot of gold. And on it goes. Continue reading “Relationships Matter”

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Mystics, Mysticism and Reality

“Mysticism is the art of union with Reality. The mystic is a person who has attained that union in a greater or lesser degree; or who aims at and believes in such attainment.”

“It is not expected that the inquirer will find great comfort in this sentence when first it meets his eye. The ultimate question, ‘What is reality?’—a question, perhaps, which never occurred to him before—is always forming in his mind; and he knows that it will cause him infinite-distress. Only a mystic can answer it: and he, in terms which other mystics alone will understand. Therefore, for the time being, the practical man may put it on one side. All that he is asked to consider now is this: that the word ‘union’ represents not so much a rare and unimaginable operation, as something which he is doing, in a vague, imperfect fashion, at every moment of his conscious life; …” ~Evelyn Underhill

MysticismPyramidI think that very short definition of mysticism is such a great one, as is the definition of a mystic that follows it. We can find rather complicated definitions elsewhere that are open to interpretation. It is often defined as “union with the Deity” but what Deity? Different people have different ideas of God, different beliefs of how God behaves, and different ideas of how to become one with this Deity. In some cases, the one they believe to be The Deity is actually just a fallen angel or demon pretending to be the true God. In short, most of us have some ideas or what God, or The Deity is, and in almost all cases that belief is not totally accurate. So if we seek union with The Deity, but it is really a false god we are thinking about, such a union might be achieved, but would not truly be a mystical union for it is not the real God, it is not reality, that we have joined.

So instead of seeking to become one with the god, or gods, of one particular faith or another, if we seek union with ultimate truth and reality, our union will be one with the real God, even though he may not be what we expect. Continue reading “Mystics, Mysticism and Reality”

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Separation VS Unity

“For where there is envy and strife, there is an incompleteness; but where there is unity, there is a completeness. Since this incompleteness came about because he did not know the father, from the moment when they know the father, incompleteness will cease to exist. As one’s ignorance disappears when one gains knowledge, and as darkness disappears when light appears, so also incompleteness is eliminated by completeness. Certainly, from that moment on, form is no longer manifest, but will be dissolved in fusion with unity. Now their works lie scattered. In time unity will make the spaces complete. By means of unity each one will understand himself. By means of knowledge one will purify himself from multiplicity into unity, devouring matter within himself like fire and darkness by light, death by life.” ~The Gospel of Truth

UnityHeartWhen we each view ourselves as separate, we open up opportunities for competition. And out egos encourage us to think of ourselves as better than others. Whether we are thinking as humans who are better than other life forms, or as people of a particular nation which is better than all other nations, members of a church that is better than all other churches, or members of a race that is better than other races, all are symptoms of separateness or incompleteness as this bit of ancient Gnostic scripture calls it. Sadly, we often celebrate this love of separateness by calling it things like self-reliance, self-made, or independent. Actually, I have never net a single person to whom any of those terms actually apply, though there are many who think they do. We here people who started their own business being called self-made, but if he didn’t grow his own food, make his own clothes, build his own house, etc., etc., etc. then he isn’t really self-made. It’s a self-delusional title. We all rely on others and we need to start recognizing that and stop talking such nonsense as self-made or independent. Continue reading “Separation VS Unity”

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