Sep 212014
 

MusŽe national du Moyen-ågeBut I determined this with myself that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that  maketh me glad, bu the same which is made sorry by me? And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.

For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part; that I may not overcharge you all. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.

So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also; for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ. Lest Satan should not get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. Furthermore, when I came to Tro-as to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord. I had no rest in my Spirit, because I found not Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumpth in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

2 Corinthians 2, St Paul

Sep 192014
 

stairway-to-heaven-julie-hamiltonOnce the past has been breached, it is usually annihilated, and there is no stopping the forward motion. But it is precisely this loss of connection with the past, our uprootedness, which has given rise to the ‘discontents’ of civilisation and to such a flurry and haste that we live more in the future and its chimerical promises of a golden age than in the present, with which our whole evolutionary background has not yet caught up.

We rush impetuously into novelty, driven by a mounting sense of insufficiency, dissatisfaction, and restlessness. We no longer live on what we have, but on promises, no longer in the light of the present day, but in the darkness of the future, which, we expect, will at last bring the proper sunrise?

We refuse to recognise that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse; that, for example, the hope of greater freedom is cancelled out by increased enslavement to the state, not to speak of the terrible perils to which the most brilliant discoveries of science expose us. The less we understand of what our fathers and forefathers sought, the less we understand ourselves, and thus we help with all our might to rob the individual of his roots and his guiding instincts, so that he becomes a particle in the mass, ruled only by what Nietzsche called the spirit of gravity.

Reforms by advances, that is, by new methods or gadgets, are of course impressive at first, but in the long run they are dubious and in any case dearly paid for. They by no means increase the happiness or contentment of people on the whole. Mostly, they are deceptive sweetenings of existence, like speedier communications which unpleasantly accelerate the tempo of life and leave us with less time than ever before. Omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est – all haste is of the devil, as the old masters used to say.

Memories, Dreams, Reflections, C.G Jung

Sep 142014
 

Judgement20_marseillesThe card that we have before us bears the traditional name “The Judgement”, and what it represents is the resurrection of the dead at the sound of the trumpet of the Angel of resurrection. It is a matter, therefore,  of a spiritual exercise where the use of intuition – that of the nineteenth Arcanum “The Sun” – has to be carried to a maximum, the theme of resurrection being of the order of “last things”, but all the same accessible to intuitive cognition.

Now the “last things” – or the spiritual horizon of humanity – are not the same for the whole of humanity. For some everything finishes with the death of the individual and with the complete dissipation – maximum entropy – of the warmth of the universe. For others there is a “beyond” , an individual existence after death and the existence of a non-material universe after the end of the world. For still others there is not only spiritual life after death for the individual but also his return to terrestrial life – reincarnation – as well as cosmic reincarnation, ie, an alternation of manvantara and prayla. Others, again, see for the individual something beyond repeated incarnations, namely the state of the supreme peace of union with the eternal and universal Being (the state of nirvana). Lastly, there is a part of mankind whose existential horizon goes beyond not only post mortem existence and reincarnation, but also even beyond the peace of union with God – it is resurrection which constitutes their spiritual horizon.

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XX, The Judgement

Aug 282014
 

341878994_8f7ab4aa31Love is strong as death, ie, death does not destroy it. Death can neither let one forget nor let one cease to hope. Those of us – we human souls of today – who bear within ourselves the flame of the memory of Eden cannot forget it, nor can we cease to hope for it. And if human souls come into the world with the imprint of this memory, and also with the impression of knowing that the meeting with the other will not take place for them in this life here below, they will then live this life as if widowed, in so far as they remember, and as if engaged, in so far as they hope.

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter VI, The Lover

May 112014
 

match_girlI see a great building, one enormous mass. In the front wall is a narrow arch with open doors; behind them, dark mists. In front of the high threshold there is a young girl… a pretty Russian girl.

A breeze comes from the dark and icy mists, a current of freezing air, bringing with it from the depths of the building the sound of a slow and muffled voice.

‘You who aspire to cross this threshold, do you know what awaits you here?’

‘I know,’ answers the young girl.

‘Cold, hunger, hate, mockery, scorn, injustice, prison, illness and even death?’

‘I know it.’

‘Do you expect to be shunned by everyone? Do you expect to be totally alone?’

‘I am ready. I know it. I shall bear all the suffering and all the blows’.

‘Even if they do not come from enemies, but from parents, from friends?’

‘Yes… even from those…’

‘Good. Do you accept the sacrifice?’

‘Yes’.

‘An anonymous sacrifice? You will perish and nobody… but nobody will evenknow whose memory to honour?’

‘I have no use for recognition and pity. I have no use for a name.’

‘Are you ready for crime?’

The young girl bowed her head. ‘Even for crime.’

The voice which was questioning her did not continue right away. At last it started again: ‘Do you know that one day you will believe no more in what you believe in now, and come to think that you have been a dupe and that it was for nothing that you have lost your young life?’

‘That too I know. Well though I know it, I wish to enter.’ The young girl crossed the threshold. A heavy curtain fell. Gritting his teeth, someone uttered behind her:

‘A foolish girl!’

At which, from another place, a voice replied:

‘A Saint!’

I. S. Turgenev, Poems en prose

Jan 312014
 

As soon as ever ofxxx my second age

I was upon the threshold and changed life,

Himself from me he took and gave to others.

When from the flesh to spirit I ascended,

And beauty and virtue were in me increased,

I was to him less dear and less delightful;

And into ways untrue he turned his steps,

Pursuing the false images of good,

That never any promises fulfill;

Nor prayer for inspiration me availed,

By means of which in dreams and otherwise

I called him back, so little did he heed them.

So low he fell, that all appliances

For his salvation were already short,

Save showing him the people of perdition.

For this I visited the gates of death,

And unto him, who so far up has led him,

My intercessions were with weeping borne.

God’s lofty fiat would be violated

If Lethe should be passed, and if such viands

Should tasted be, withouten any scot

Of penitence, that gushes forth in tears.

 

Dante, Purgatorio, Canto XXX

Aug 172013
 

lazarusThe revival of hermeticism in Christianity that, as we said, was foreign to the spirit of the religion of Israel – the latter being based wholly on family and community – was not in any way the result of an ‘Indian influence’ on Christianity. Neither St Anthony of Thebes nor St Paul the Hermit had been influenced at all by India. The same is true for St Jerome and all the other hermits (the Irish Anglo-Saxon hermits included)of whom history has related anything definite.

Christian hermeticism arose out of a profound need of the soul – namely, the need to personally experience the truth of the tradition. And the fact that this need is at the same time the living core of Hindu Buddhist spiritual life, only makes it more plausible that the eternally valid kernel of Hinduism and Buddhism reappeared in transfigured form – that is to say, was resurrected.

Its transfiguration consists in this: the ideal of redemption of the self from the world became the ideal of the redemption of the world: the striving for eternal rest in nirvana became a striving after unity with the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and the  yearning for deathlessness in the world became the hope for resurrection in this world.

The Christianity of the hermits, as the essential core of Indian spiritual life resurrected within Christianity, was no passing phenomenon limited to a few centuries only. Today it still lives with all the intensity of its youth. Though it may not be deserts and thick forests into which one can retire into an undisturbed solitude nowadays, there are still people who have found or created in the deserts of the great cities and among the thickets of the crowds a solitude and stillness of life for the spirit.

And as before, their striving is devoted toward becoming a witness for the truth of Christianity. The way into the depths has not led them to an individualistic brand of belief, but has given them unshakable security in the truth of the Christian revelation as transmitted and taught by the Church.

They know the truth of the following: Extra Ecciesiam non est salus (‘there is no salvation outside the Church’); the Holy Father is not and cannot be the mouthpiece of an ecumenical council; the Holy See alone can make decisions in questions of faith and of morals – a majority of bishops cannot do so, and even less can a majority of priests or congregations do so; the Church is hierarchic theocratic – not democratic, aristocratic, or monarchic – and will be so in future times; the Church is the Civitas Dei (‘the City of God’) and not a superstructure of the will of people belonging to the Church; as little as the shepherd follow the will of the herd does the Holy Father of the Church merely carry out the collective will of his flock; the Shepherd of the Church is St. Peter, representing  Christ – his pronouncements ex cathedra are infallible, and the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven belongs to him, and him alone.

In other words, those who become solitary in order to seek profundity may reach on their path of spiritual experience to the unshakable insight that the dogmas of the Church are absolutely true. And so it can happen that, as they did at the time of the Arian darkening of the Church, the ‘hermits’ of today may again come to the assistance of the Holy See, leaving their solitude to appear in witness to the truth of Peter’s Throne and its infallible teaching.

In those times it happened that St Anthony of Thebes left the desert and hurried to Alexandria to support St Athanasius with the weight of his moral authority – St Athanasius who became the standard-bearer for the divinity of Christ. The darkening that today is described as ‘the present crisis of the Catholic Church’ can lead to the necessity for the solitary sons of the Church to hurry to the aid of the Holy Father, the most solitary of solitaries, in order to save the Church from the abyss toward which she is moving.

Valentin Tomberg, Lazarus Come Forth!

 

Jun 252013
 

venus and adonisAnd as the bright sun glorifies the sky,

So is her face illumin’d with her eye:

Whose beams upon his hairless face are fix’d,

As if from thence they borrow’d all their shine.

Were never four such lamps together mix’d,

Had not his clouded with his brows’ repine;

But hers, which thro’ the crystal tears gave light,

Shone like the moon in water seen by night.

‘O, where am I?’ quoth she, ‘in earth or heaven,

Or in the ocean drench’d, or in the fire?

What hour is this? or morn, or weary even?

Do I delight to die, or life desire?

But now I liv’d, and life was death’s annoy;

But now I died, and death was lively joy.’

Venus and Adonis, William Shakespeare

 

Jun 092013
 

stress-chant-omRadiant in his light, yet invisible in the secret place of the heart, the Spirit is the supreme abode wherein dwells all that moves and breathes and sees. Know him as all that is, and all that is not, the end of love-longing beyond understanding, the highest in all beings.

He is self-luminous and more subtle than the smallest; but in him rest all the worlds and their beings. He is the everlasting Brahman, and he is life and word and mind. He is truth and life immortal. He is the goal to be aimed at: attain that goal, O my son!

Take the great bow of the Upanishads and place in it an arrow sharp with devotion. Draw the bow with concentration on him and hit the centre of the mark, the same everlasting Spirit.

The bow is the sacred OM, and the arrow is our own soul. Brahman is the mark of the arrow, the aim of the soul. Even as an arrow becomes one with its mark, let the watchful soul be one in him.

In him are woven the sky and the earth and all the regions of the air, and in him rest the mind and all powers of life. Know him as ONE and leave aside all other words. He is the bridge of immortality.

Where all the subtle channels of the body meet, like spokes in the centre of a wheel, there he moves in the heart and transforms his one form unto many. Upon OM, Atman, your Self, place your meditation. Glory unto you in your far-away journey beyond darkness!

He who knows all and sees all, and whose glory the universe shows, dwells as the Spirit of the divine city of Brahman in the region of the human heart. He becomes mind and drives on the body and life, draws power from food and finds peace in the heart. There the wise find him as joy and light and life eternal.

And when he is seen in his immanence and transcendence, then the ties that have bound the heart are unloosened, the doubts of the mind vanish, and the law of Karma works no more.

In the supreme golden chamber is Brahman indivisible and pure. He is the radiant light of all lights, and this knows he who knows Brahman.

There the sun shines not, nor the moon, nor the stars; lightnings shine not there and much less earthly fire. From his light all these give light; and his radiance illumines all creation.

Far spreading before and behind and right and left, and above and below, is Brahman, the Spirit eternal. In truth Brahman is all.

Mundaka Upanishad

Jun 032013
 

4402The perfecting of our faculties hereafter, requires the sacrifice of all here

When our covering of a day is dissolved, when time is rolled away for us like a scroll, then we shall more fully enjoy the spirit of life, and drink, with the Redeemer, the fresh juice of the eternal vine, which will restore our faculties to their perfect fulness, to be employed as it may please Him to ordain.

But, in vain should we promise ourselves such enjoyment hereafter, if we have not faithfully performed all our sacrifices here below, not only those belonging to our personal renovation, but those which concern the voluntary offer of our whole earthly and mortal being, by a daily care, on our part, to become orderly victims, without spot and blameless. For, in that invisible region which we enter on leaving this world, we shall find no more earth to receive those different kinds of blood, which we must necessarily pour out, to recover our liberty;and, if we carry with us the corruption, which these different kinds of blood may contain, there would remain nothing for us but suffering and anguish, since the time and place for voluntary sacrifices would be past.

Man:  His true nature and ministry, Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin