ignorance

Ignorance is the Root of Evil

” As long as they are hidden, most things in the world are upright and live. If they are revealed they die, as is clear by the example of the visible person: as long as the intestines are hidden, a person is alive. When the intestines are exposed and come out, the person will die. So also with a tree. While its root is hidden, it sprouts and grows. If its root is exposed, the tree dries up.

“So it is with every birth that is in the world, not only with the revealed but also the hidden. As long as the root of wickedness is hidden, it is powerful. But when it is recognized, it is dissolved. When it is revealed, it perishes. That is why the word says, “Even now the ax lies set against the root of the trees.”It will not merely cut—what is cut sprouts again— but the ax penetrates deeply until it brings up the root.

“Jesus pulled out the root of the whole place while others did it only partially. As for us, let each one dig down after the root of evil that is within us and pluck it out of our heart from the root. It will be uprooted if we recognize it. But if we are ignorant of it, it takes root in us and produces fruit in our hearts. It masters us. We are its slaves. It takes us captive to make us do what we do not want; and what we do want we do not do. It is powerful because we have not recognized it. While it exists it is active. Ignorance is the mother of all evil. Ignorance will eventuate in death because those who come from ignorance neither were nor are nor will be. But those who are in the truth will be perfect when all the truth is revealed.” ~Gospel of Philip

Hidden are Upright in Ignorance

I believe what Philip is saying is that those who are ignorant, but unaware of it, can remain upright and alive in a world where ignorance is the norm. However, when they become aware of their ignorance, and the ignorance of others, they must change that status. They will no longer seem alive and intelligent to themselves once the ignorance and illusion of the world they live in is revealed. They do not truly die if they awaken to their ignorance and seek to change. It is those who cling to the ignorance and comforting illusions who are truly the walking dead.

He is also saying that people who are in truth not powerful can appear powerful in a land of ignorance and illusion if they are good at negotiating and manipulating the illusion. There are even people who believe that by manipulating the illusion through a process called “manifesting” that they are being spiritual, but manifesting is spiritual only when it is used for spiritual purposes, not material gain. Continue reading “Ignorance is the Root of Evil”

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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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Confession

Confession to Men, Confession to God

“Men mistake in thinking that the only confession is that made with the voice before magistrates; there is another confession made in the life and conversation, by faith and works corresponding to the faith. The first confession may be made by a hypocrite; and it is one not required of all; … the other confession must be made by all. He who has first confessed in his disposition of heart will confess with his voice also when need shall arise and reason require.” ~Heracleon

Confession to Men

To the more materialistic person, or at least the Atheist, “confession” either means something you do in a courtroom, or to your parents, or to your spouse. To many other, you also confess to your priest, minister, guru, or congregation. The first type of confession is for those who have violated the laws of man and, as Heracleon points out, one can easily lie when doing so. One of the strangest things to me is when people will confess to crimes they didn’t actually commit in order to get publicity, but there are many more cases where the guilty will lie and claim innocence. It is often not quite so easy for a child to lie to his parents. They often develop a knack for recognizing when you are lying, or simply hiding something. And then there are the ego-boosting “confessions” that few people fall for: “Yes Jenny and I made out in the park last night,” or “Don’t listen to the experts, I’m worth $10 billion, not three.” The second confession is different. Continue reading “Confession to Men, Confession to God”

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renewed life, renovate yourself, sun rises again

Awaken from the Sleep of Sin and Deception

The Sleep of Sin

“Joyous today were the Watchers, that the Wakeful came to wake us! Who would pass this night in slumber, in which all the world was watching? Since Adam brought into the world the sleep of death by sins, the Wakeful came down that that He might awake us from the deep sleep of sin. Watch not we as usurers, who thinking on money put to interest, watch at night so oft, to reckon up their capitol, and interest. Wakeful and cautious is the thief, who in the earth hath buried and concealed his sleep. His wakefulness all comes to this, that he may cause much wakefulness to those that sleep. …
“For whoever is like this clear One, wakeful and powerful in darkness, him in this darkness visible a light unseen surrounds! The bad man that in daylight stands, yet as a son of darkness deals; though with light clad outwardly, inside is with darkness girt. Be we not deceived, beloved, by the fact that we are watching!” ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

The convoluted and archaic language makes this quite difficult to understand, especially if you have limited experience with the spiritual. Let’s see if we can break it down into something understandable.

The “watchers” mentioned in the early part of the quote could also be called “the seekers”, namely those of us who seek spiritual enlightenment. The Wakeful (note the capitalization) clearly represents a holy being, a Light Being or Angel. St. Ephraim is calling this being “Wakeful” meaning that he is one who awakens us from our spiritual sleep, from the sleep of illusion, the sleep of sin. This sleep is the sleep in which we accept the physical, material world at face value. We don’t question it’s reality, we don’t question it’s permanence, we don’t ask,”is there something more?”. This is the sleep of the spirit and soul. The spirit and soul are in a dormant state, a kind of coma, when we come into the material world, and the Wakeful one try to awaken us from that sleep. St. Ephraim goes on to warn that those of us who spend too much time collecting and counting our money, in other words, those who become too attached to the material, make it harder for us to awaken, or be awakened by the efforts of the Wakeful. Continue reading “Awaken from the Sleep of Sin and Deception”

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