Aug 142012
 

And the Holy Spirit said to the apostles: Let all of you together, having come by the clouds from the ends of the world, be assembled to holy Bethlehem by a whirlwind, on account of the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ; Peter from Rome, Paul from Tiberia, Thomas from Hither India, James from Jerusalem. Andrew, Peter’s brother, and Philip, Luke, and Simon the Cananæan, and Thaddæus who had fallen asleep, were raised by the Holy Spirit out of their tombs; to whom the Holy Spirit said:

Do not think that it is now the resurrection; but on this account you have risen out of your tombs, that you may go to give greeting to the honour and wonder-working of the mother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because the day of her departure is at hand, of her going up into the heavens. And Mark likewise coming round, was present from Alexandria; he also with the rest, as has been said before, from each country. And Peter being lifted up by a cloud, stood between heaven and earth, the Holy Spirit keeping him steady. And at the same time, the rest of the apostles also, having been snatched up in clouds, were found along with Peter. And thus by the Holy Spirit, as has been said, they all came together.

*

And when she had thus prayed, the Lord said to His mother: Let your heart rejoice and be glad; for every favour and every gift has been given to you from my Father in heaven, and from me, and from the Holy Spirit: every soul that calls upon your name shall not be ashamed, but shall find mercy, and comfort, and support, and confidence, both in the world that now is, and in that which is to come, in the presence of my Father in the heavens. And the Lord turned and said to Peter: The time has come to begin the singing of the hymn. And Peter having begun the singing of the hymn, all the powers of the heavens responded with the Alleluiah. And then the face of the mother of the Lord shone brighter than the light, and she rose up and blessed each of the apostles with her own hand, and all gave glory to God; and the Lord stretched forth His undefiled hands, and received her holy and blameless soul. And with the departure of her blameless soul the place was filled with perfume and ineffable light; and, behold, a voice out of the heaven was heard, saying: Blessed are you among women.

St John the Theologian, The Falling Asleep of the Blessed Mother of God

Aug 082012
 

The manifestation of Christ’s resurrection in the human soul was the Pentecost. That event is the primal phenomenon of the sixth cultural epoch, which the Apocalypse calls the ‘church of Philadelphia’.

The community of Pentecost was no longer a circle surrounding Jesus Christ, but now a circle from which Christ revealed himself to the outer world. The language he used to reveal himself was such that people of all nationalities were able to understand.

The two main characteristics of the philadelphian spiritual culture are the immanence of Christ in human consciousness and the cosmopolitan community that arises from that consciousness. In this sense, the sixth cultural epoch can be called the epoch of Pentecost.

This name acquires even more meaning because the consciousness that leads to the culture of that time must stand the test of ‘keeping the word’ and ‘not denying the name of Christ’ (3:8); that is, much be concerned with the word of Christ and with a relationship to his being as these become realities in the Pentecost.

What was given then as a ‘dispensation of grace’, however, must now be earned or submitted to before the cultural epoch of the spirit self can be realised. We must study the path that leads from the consciousness soul to the spirit self (manas) in order to understand the meaning of ‘keeping my word’ and ‘not denying my name’.

*

When it comes to understanding ideas, the point is not to spin them into a system of logic, but to root them firmly in the spiritual moral organism of Christ’s cosmic work. In the Apocalypse, such work is called the ‘name of Christ’ and ‘not denying’ his ‘name’ is the soul attitude that accepts as true only ideas indebted not just to logic, but also always to the moral forces.

Not to deny the ‘name’ is moral logic, just as amoral, formal knowledge is itself a denial of the name of Christ, since it excludes the voice of goodness from the realm of knowing.

Valentin Tomberg, Christ and Sophia, Letters to Future Churches

May 282011
 

To ‘ray forth within your own individual limitations means nothing else than to become an individual – but limited – sun. And that is the star principle.

It is different from the sun principle in that the latter works unboundedly, universally (‘the sun shines upon good and evil alike’) which the star principle is an individually concentrated and limited sunlike quality. It differs from the moon principle, however, in that it does not reflect light but rays it forth out of itself. “Stars”, in this sense, are “sun seeds”, sprouting sun corn.

There thus arises a wonderful picture out of a deeper consideration of the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand: in the centre, high up on the mountain, Jesus Christ, as the shining and life-giving sun; then the circle of disciples as the silver moon; and round about the mountain a swarm of thousands of stars – the people.

The people, the five thousand, experienced more than the stilling of their hunger; they experience the reality of the hierarchical principle, as it was founded on the fourth day of creation. That is the reason why, after the feeding, the wanted to make Jesus Christ king (john vi, 15).

For during the “sign” they experienced the kingly effects of the cosmic ruling centre point, but interpreted this experience according to the concepts of their ordinary day consciousness in such a way that they said: “Truly this is the prophet that should come into the world” (john vi, 14), and they thought that he should become king in an earthly sense. This interpretation brought the divine cosmic nature of the event down onto the level of human earthly nature. Therefore Jesus “withdrew again into the mountains by himself” (John vi, 15).

Lazarus, come forth! Valentin Tomberg, The Seven Miracle’s of John’s Gospel

 

Jan 032011
 

It is recorded that, at the hour of his death, “the veil of the temple was rent in twain” (Mark 15.38); this indicated that a new karmic balance had been established between good and evil when the curtain was lifted from Hell. Then, too, the curtain (or “veil”) was lifted from the “Holy of Holies”.

Now, however, the consequence of this new karmic relationship is this: when the mystery of good and the secret of evil have both become available to human experiential knowledge, goodness gains by being known, while evil loses by being recognised as such. This is the essential difference between good and evil: good gains by being recognised; evil loses when it is recognised.

The most sublime act of cognitive courage occurred when Jesus Christ renounced the “veil of Hell” and (instead of witnessing the life tableau) descended with his whole being into the darkness of the subterranean spheres. That “descent into Hell” was an event that no human speech can describe. There is nothing more unsettling than the disappearance of Jesus Christ into the darkness of the lower spheres, out of sight of he beings watching from the spiritual world.

A breathless expectation was maintained in expectation of either the most triumphant victory or the most disastrous catastrophe. During those days, only one thought and one question filled the whole world of the hierarchies: Will he return? Will he emerge from the abyss? Again, all human speech is powerless to give even the faintest reflection of the cosmic exultation that ensued when the risen Christ reappeared from the darkness of that abyss in the realm of twilight. Cosmic Easter was celebrated in the realms of heaven, a cosmic festival that continues for all time as the archetype of all human festivals on Earth.

Valentin Tomberg, Christ and Sophia (The Mystery of Golgotha)

Dec 232010
 
“The ‘I’ is the member of the human being that continues from incarnation to incarnation. The result of each incarnation continues to live in the ‘I’, …forming what is often called a ‘string of beads’ in Indian symbolism, of which the individual ‘beads’ are the ‘I’ being of various incarnations, while the ‘string’ represents the continuity of consciousness from incarnation to incarnation. Thus the ‘I’ being of former lives lives on and represents the ‘inner’ past that is inseparable from an individual. This miracle of healing indicates a power that affected not only the present but also past ‘I’ being – the ‘I’ that passed through death with the responsibility for the previous life course.
‘I’ consciousness of the past, which preserves its activity from the previous incarnation and in which many human beings live and act, is called consciousness of the ‘dead’ in the Gospels, and those who live under the ‘I’ impulse of the past are simply called ‘the dead’. Thus, healing the paralysed man involved more than merely the present ‘I’; the ‘dead’, in particular, heard the ‘voice of the Son’ and experienced a conversion in his past consciousness. ‘For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will’ (John 5.21).

These words of Jesus Christ have a direct connection with the healing and refer to it. And words that follow express it even more clearly: “Verily, verily I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” (John 5.25). True, only a few of the dead had heard this voice – a fact expressed, for example, in these words: “let the dead bury their dead.” (Luke 9.60).

This is the fundamental challenge to which we must respond if we wish to gain spiritual hearing. It is a summons to conquer ourselves again and again and, shutting out all personal impulses, repeatedly listen in silence to the voice of conscience. The sounds that the spiritual world uses to speak are moral and spiritual voices, not fixed ‘vibrations’ for the purpose of being caught by a sensory organ. Those voices can be heard only after the soul has adapted to the voice of the conscience; those who are prepared to follow dictates of conscience without hesitation are thus prepared to hear the voices of cosmic consciousness.

Valentin Tomberg, Christ and Sophia, The Signs and Miracles in John’s Gospel

Oct 162010
 

There is in man – notably in his soul, and not in his body – a seed of evil of his own, without which temptation coming from outside would not exert any action on him. Because temptation would be impotent if it did not find a terrain already prepared in the human soul.

The unfortunate misunderstanding locating innate human evil in the body instead of in the soul is due to a tendency towards a materialistic interpretation of our Biblical story of paradise and the Fall. It is the body which, rightly. has more reason to be ashamed of the soul inhabiting it, than the latter of the body.

For the body is a miracle of wisdom, harmony and stability, which does not merit scorn but rather the admiration of the soul. For example, can the soul boast of moral principles as stable as the body’s skeleton? Is it as indefatigable and as faithful in its sentiments as, for example, the heart, which beats day and night? Does it possess a wisdom comparable to that of the body, which knows how to harmonise such opposing things as water and fire, air and solid matter?

Whilst the soul is torn by opposing desires and feelings, this ‘contemptible’ body knows how to unite opposing elements and make them collaborate: the air that it breathes, the solid matter of food, the water that it drinks, and the fire (warmth) that it produces unceasingly within it….and if this does not suffice to change scorn into respect, admiration and gratitude, the one can recall, if on is a Christian, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, inhabited this flesh and that he honoured it to the point of uniting himself with it in the Incarnation.

Similarly, if one is a Buddhist or Brahmanist, one should not forget that Buddha and Krishna, also, inhabited this flesh and that it served them well in the accomplishing of their respective missions. Negative ascetisism, directed against the body and not for celestial things, is the practical consequence of the materialistic interpretation of paradise and the Fall. However, the fact alone that a Cherubim “was placed at the east of the garden of Eden, with a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life”  (Genesis iii, 24), suffices to drive away any shadow of a doubt: here it is a matter of a plane higher than the terrestrial plane, and it was therefore souls who committed the original sin – and the body had nothing to do with it.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XVI, The Tower of Destruction