© Copyright 2004 by William Mistele. All rights reserved.
On Christianity and Judaism
This essay is in response to a Jew who wrote me. He pointed out that I seem to appreciate the limitations of religions while respecting the universal wisdom underlying them. He then asked if I could describe some of the genuine spiritual wisdom in Judaism since he found that the Jewish religious practitioners he had observed were narrow-minded and without inspiration.
To respond, I have to compare Judaism and Christianity, seeking to view the weaknesses in each as well as their strengths. These two religions are inextricably intertwined at least for Christians. My limitation is that I have to work backwards going through two thousand years of Christianity before I can even come close to understanding Judaism. But having me comment on Christianity is like placing the shark in the movie Finding Nemo in charge of a support group for fish. The shark by nature will have other agendas than offering support and encouragement.
Furthermore, fundamentalist Christian preachers often use fear and terror to control their congregations. Sometimes they engage in psychic rape--they torment and twist individuals’ emotions seeking to scar them for life to insure their power over the congregation.
Stephen King’s life long tribute in his stories to horror and terror will never be a match for a good fundamentalist preacher who feasts on the terrified souls of his congregation by dangling them on a thin thread over an eternal abyss of fire and brimstone. Trying to be fair and balanced after having observed “psychic rape” is not an easy thing to do.
I was raised a fundamentalist Baptist. The North American Baptist convention broke off from the Southern Baptist convention over the issue of slavery. When the good Baptists down south read the Bible it was perfectly clear to them that God intended slavery as a permanent human institution. Quite clearly and accurately, the Bible authorizes slavery. And after all, this is a state’s rights issue and the southern states were dependent on slavery to maintain their economy—and if God likes anything, he likes productivity.
And God doesn’t like people mixing races when they marry and in the exact same way that God is against stem cell research and abortion even in the third tri semester and even if it threatens the life of the woman; as he is against gay marriage as he is against feminism and woman’s equality, women preachers, etc. It is perfectly clear to them when they read the Bible and it will always be perfectly clear to them—that is the nature of a fundamentalist mind set. It just knows that it is right—it’s the tradition; its the faith of the fathers.
I notice, however, that pretty much the exact same mind set (if not social doctrines) can be found among Buddhists, Taoists, Hindus, native Americans, Hawaiians, etc. The Christians and Jews have no monopoly on fundamentalism.
Buddhists didn’t even teach their nuns to read and write but the Catholics did (they did something right). Taoists like to keep their traditions secret, in the family or the monastery—screw the masses. Hindu swamis, who do their yoga well, are so overwhelmed with a bliss more enticing than heroin that they could care less for the suffering of humanity.
At one point, I felt that the last two thousand years of Christianity had completely avoided the real spiritual issues and purposes at the heart of Christianity. I used to argue with divinity students that the “Old Testament,” as the Christians refer to it, has in fact more water running from its tap than anything in the “New Testament.” The Old Testament prophets were unique among world cultures—for a thousand years Jewish prophets held a power over temporal rulers and the entire culture that is found in no other tradition.
The only similar prophetic religion on earth
that I can see is the Hopi Indians whose culture directly derives from their
attempt to fulfill a spiritual quest. If
the culture gets off course, five different spiritual groups in their society
were authorized to act to restrict or even destroy their own people. It just was not a divine authority completely
responsible for originating the religion as with
According to modern science, Jewish Levites still have distinctive genetic markers compared to other Jews. And Jews of course are distinctive genetically compared to everyone else.
The Dalai Lama asked some Rabbis how they
could maintain such powerful traditions for thousands of years. The Dalai Lama wanted to know because Tibetan
Buddhism only really flourished in
The Rabbis replied it is in the family tradition and the family rituals that keep us together. This may indicate in part why all those gentiles are so incredibly jealous of Jews—because without a home you still have your blood and your traditions. It is just incredible.
Imagine trying to establish a pure bloodline such as the Germans were trying to do using their Germanic legends and myths. But then they have right there throughout their society a racial heritage 3,800 years old that is extremely pure genetically and which indeed has profound divine origins. There is just no comparison and no competition. The Jews were terribly threatening and utterly inexplicable in terms of anything other cultures could come up with.
I sometimes imagine it like this. God, Divine Providence, akasha, whatever, wanted for its own purposes to establish on earth a monotheistic religion, something to honor in part the yang, or masculine principle, something that was without form or image as is akasha.
So Ra arises in
Now we come to Christianity. If I were a Jew I think I would have to be impressed by how clever Christ, his gospel writers, and the Apostle Paul were in seeking to use and then destroy Judaism. Christ, for example, was absolutely brilliant first in taking the mysteries and revealing them as stories for ordinary people.
Except a grain of seed fall to the ground and die it can not bring forth new life: this is the integration of the essence of the pagan and the Christian mysteries. Hardly any masters on earth bother to speak directly to the masses since they feel so special and are so elitist but Christ was not. I have not met any masters currently on earth who are so articulate in expressing universal principles through simple stories. Among world teachers, Christ had unique gifts regardless of one’s religious or metaphysical perspective.
And second, Christ times his death so it became symbolic of a Passover sacrifice. This guy knew exactly what he was doing: altering Judaism to replace animal sacrifice with a one time upgrade to a human sacrifice. He foreshadows his resurrection and his death is taken as dying for the sins of the world.
Christ (or more so Paul) is throwing away
the Messianic establishment of the
If the high priest in
Maybe Christ would have replied, “I am one with God the way a drop of water is one with the sea.” Or, “the way a circle in two planes is one with a sphere in three planes.” Or, the way a man can say he is one with the will of his father in fulfilling the task set before him.” Or, “My authority is by proxy—I have full power of attorney to speak and act on God’s behalf.”
Or maybe he would have said, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and nothing was created without it and I am this Word made living flesh and now standing before you.” Or, perhaps “I am a portion of the Word and its direct activity manifest in human form in a specific historical setting to fulfill a specific historical purpose.” But we will never know what Christ might have said. In so many ways and times with Christ and with God, you have to ask the question before you get an answer.
In the heart charka is a petal of a psychic lotus according to my understanding and experience with the Hindu system that when activated grants an individual the ability to feel one with God. We all have brains but we don’t necessarily use our brains. We all have psychic abilities but we don’t necessarily draw upon them. But they are there.
In this case, though, you have to overcome Vishnu’s knot to experience the oneness with God. This direct experience of oneness is certainly not a part of Judaism. The Jewish prophets operated quite well without relying on yoga. But such oneness with deity if not God is certainly a very common experience among advanced yogis.
Vishnu’s knot is in part a psychological blockage. The individual’s energy can not move directly through his heart the way water can not run through a closed tap. The energy moves around the heart like a leaky faucet with drops of water trickling down into the sink. Conversion experiences suffer from Vishnu’s knot because the religious practitioner does not have a means for repeating and deepening the original experience.
The original source of inspiration remains hidden—it does not flow freely—it leaks, it trickles. You only get an aftertaste and never again that first moment of being swept away, of “falling in love.” The individual is then left with having to convert or witness the conversion of others to relive the experience in a vicarious or second hand way.
In this sense, an individual may intend to and want to use his heart to be compassionate but the feelings, natural empathy, and energy are not there. For example, an individual may very much want to care for others but in practice remains repulsed by and even hateful of those who are not like himself.
Putting yoga aside, from the point of view of a hermetic magician, the higher spirits of the solar sphere, in my experience anyway, unlike all the other spirits in our solar system, are, from within themselves, one with God. They are so empty, so pure, so like a mirror, that they can fully reflect a portion of God’s presence directly within themselves.
Gabriel says in the New Testament, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God.” (And here is Gabriel again, not only later on talking to Mohammad but right here aiding and abetting these early Christians). Gabriel presides over the sphere of Yesod, the spiritual aura of the moon.
In Yesod are the rhythms of time, of nature, of birth and death, of renewal, of the changing of the seasons and the birth of new light. Gabriel encompasses in his consciousness all of space and time and is the perfection of understanding and inner intuitive and immediate vision of how every purpose will be fulfilled in due season.
But these solar spirits are more—they reflect God within themselves. For this reason, they are wild and creative like no other beings in our solar system. And so their light, their songs, wrapped up in the vibration of photons, has been shining to the ends of the universe for four billion years.
They provide a unique and specific vision of what God is accomplishing within them. By contrast, the spirits of Moses, of the Mercury sphere, are ferociously determined and incredibly pure in bearing witness to the truth and desiring to communicate it. They have this immense capacity to solve every problem regarding matter and spirit as well as science and magic.
The solar spirits, by contrast, do not bear witness to the truth (reveal the laws handed down to them by God). Rather, they are the truth—its manifestation, its harmony, its beauty, its radiance, its work, its very being and essence.
The Gnostics felt that Christ was overshadowed by one of these great solar beings. And this is why the early Christians were rabid about destroying every vestige of Gnosticism, of spiritual wisdom or any form of direct knowing of God from their ranks. For the Gnostics, Christ was only a human being yet one who was divinely inspired.
In the novel and movie, The Last Temptation of Christ, the devil disguises himself as an angel and tells Christ who is dying on the cross that God is pleased with him and that Christ has suffered enough. Christ comes down from the cross and lives for decades with a few women in peace.
But one day Christ overhears the Apostle Paul preaching. Christ explains to Paul that he did not really die on the cross. And Paul says in effect, “I am really glad I met you. Because now I realize more than ever that my message of Christ crucified and risen is what gives people hope.” (My words:) “And your wishy washy pie in the sky message about how the poor, outcast, downtrodden, and persecuted are somehow blessed in God’s eyes can never give genuine hope.”
The Gnostics did not understand the basics of human motivation. No where in pagan mythology or experience does the Creator come down in human form and sacrifice himself for all of mankind. There is blood price to be paid and a de facto demonstration: The message is God is within each of us and all men, not just Jews, Greeks, or Romans, are our brothers. Buddhists would understand this message but have no inclination, not until this century anyway, to use it to transform the world around them.
But the early church went to the opposite extreme from the Gnostics. To counter this heresy, they made Christ so much a part of the trinity that he lost any humanity. You can not have a human being without choice and, given the doctrine of the trinity, the only choice Christ could have made was to incarnate. He could not have done other than God’s will because in fact by definition he was God.
However, when Christ says, “Not my will but Thy will be done,” that certainly implies a personal will and also that a choice is being made. And if there was a choice then he could also have said, “I am going to pass on this one God because I know with you all things are possible. And I really feel my best calling is as a teacher. I am truly needed as a shepherd to guide those who wish to follow a spiritual path. If I depart now, the religion that follows after me will torture and kill millions of innocents in my name and enslave far more to false doctrines devoid of spiritual life and light. They will take my teachings to authorize the control of empires.”
And so consenting to this prophetically accurate argument God might very well have fathered another son or daughter to die for the sins of the world. After all, God is not limited when it comes to creativity. But this conception of freedom the church is incapable of considering and so it writes theology not to seek and express the truth but only in order to combat heresy.
You can not get away with saying you are one with God in Judaism. But in magic, it is a basic exercise to imagine and practice joining with God until you feel a complete and overwhelming conviction that you have accomplished it. It’s an exercise like running the hundred yard dash is physical exercise. You do not go around running the hundred yard dash every minute of the day but you practice for it so that you can do it when you need to.
In a Christian marriage encounter group, one of the wives said in regard to her life’s purpose that “I want to be one with God.” There it is: even a twentieth century Christian woman can intuitively pick up on this concept even though it was perfectly clear to me this woman had not the faintest intention of doing a single thing to become one with God. It remained just a wish.
Apostle John had to write the book of Revelations since after reviewing his
gospel he noticed that nothing that Christ did was not already in the Old Testament. John realized that a reader of his gospel could
conclude that Christ was just another prophet, one rather spiritually oriented,
but actually not directed toward fulfilling the prophecies concerning the
So John had to write Revelations to reveal the cosmic Christ—that divine and powerful spiritual aspect we did not witness in the historical person or historical actions. Ok. Fine. Good. But what is the connection between the cosmic Christ and the historical Christ of the Gospels?
Maybe you can tie the two together by faith. But something serious is missing here. As John put it, “I was caught up in the spirit.” And there it is: one of the things missing in two thousand years of Christianity is being “caught up in the spirit,” that is, a prophetic tradition.
Christians say, “Well, you know, we have a different dispensation. Prophets were for the Old Testament times. We have grace and the Holy Spirit.” But in fact the early Church had all sorts of prophets. They were coming out of the walls, out of no where. So what happened?
The Old Testament in fact had schools for prophets. And then you get guys like Daniel who goes out on his own initiative and fasts and prays until he gets an angel sent by God to grant him a vision in answer to his prayers. Daniel had method. But then again, he was the descendant of Jacob. Daniel had spiritual guts.
Spiritual method is missing from Christianity. When I say method, I don’t mean you punch in a few numbers the way you do with a calculator and get an output.
Method is more like building a farm in the wilderness. You have to cut down the trees and remove the stones. You have to set up drainage, build wells, and irrigation. Then you have to plant, tend, and harvest. And on top of all of that you have to placate and make peace with the natives who are on occasion hostile with someone interfering directly with their hunter gatherer culture.
That is method. It takes incredibly hard work, ferocious determination, and careful planning. If you don’t learn to farm, you don’t develop civilization. You remain back in the stone age spiritually speaking.
Christianity is a stone age religion with a hunter gatherer level of spirituality. You get hungry for inspiration you go out and get a bite or two and then you come back. Better, you have a revival—a revival is like throwing a drop of water into a hot pan. You get an instant sizzle and a flash. But it will not even make you a cup of afternoon coffee or tea. Its there and then it is gone. Nothing worked at, nothing accomplished. In Christianity, there is no storehouse of spiritual wisdom, insight, and inspiration to draw upon during a winter of the soul.
Christ said, “How can you understand the things of the spiritual world if you can not understand the things I say about this world?” He was not about to grant the keys for originating a spiritual civilization through genuine knowledge and power when no one was grasping the basics of what he was saying.
You do not get saints in the Catholic Church
being produced by a prophetic tradition.
They appear in spite of the church.
The church in cases would recognize them only in order to co-opt them
into joining the mainstream. Give
But the Roman Church shut down Celtic
Christianity in the next century because these saints were in the habit of
using spiritual power. Forget that Pope
Leo single-handedly without support turned about a massive army on the verge of
(Christianity may be a Stone
Age religion spiritually, with a few exceptions, but that is not to say it is
not effective politically. Christ must
have known that the religion he was going to establish would inevitably defeat
“Go with the Roman a second mile” would inevitably produce a sense of wonder from any Centurion who heard about it. The rumor would travel up the line to the Roman Senate. It might take a few centuries but those in power would get around to noticing that Christians are a lot more hard working and motivated and honest than anything the pagan temples were producing. They might start to say like one Greek governor, “I can’t go on persecuting these Christians. They are the only ones around who can read and write. I need them alive to be my accountants and tax collectors.
And if you are real hard put to reorganize and revamp your corrupt empire and you are Caesar you might say, “Lets make Christianity the state religion so that now we have one faith, one doctrine, and one effective test of political loyalty.”)
Back to inner experience. The book of Revelations got into to the New Testament because Augustine argued that it was symbolic. The book was too politically hot to be allowed a literal interpretation. When I read the book of Revelations I thought to myself, “This is stuff that should never be allowed to happen.” Prophecies are often negotiable.
Jonah prophesized the destruction of
Abraham had a “dark vision” revealed to him
by God about the future suffering of his descendents in
But you don’t get “dark visions” for nothing. God was putting right in front of Abraham an opportunity to revise and reshape the future but Abraham failed to seize upon this opportunity. And so enters Moses with miracles galore to liberate an enslaved people.
None of this needed to happen. Abraham could have said simply to God, “Tell
me what I need to do so that my children do not end up as slaves in
Not long ago I was sitting in a Christian
church listening to a minister ask the congregation why God chose Jacob to
This is what happens when ministers don’t understand the basic aspects of storytelling, when they study Paul’s writing and not the Gospels. Christians like to twist the Old Testament so that everything in it points toward the coming of Christ. But there is absolutely nothing in the story of Jacob that is analogous to Christ. There is absolutely no reference to God’s sovereignty in this story.
Its a fabulous story: a guy wrestles with some sort of entity. This is the hook. How did Jacob meet, see, come upon this being? In a good story, you leave some things to the reader’s imagination.
We ask ourselves, “How will this turn
out?” Jacob persists and won’t let
go. The entity says, “Dawn is coming,”
and so he touches the thigh of Jacob.
Jacob however persists under great duress and pain. Then we have a climax—an answer to the
question, “How will this turn out?” The entity says, “What do you want?” Jacob
says, “I want a blessing.” Ok, says the
entity, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he
replies. “Your name is no longer Jacob
I do know how you can get more clear than
that about why God chose Jacob to be the founder of
Christians can not stand this idea because for them God does it all. We human beings have no part to play in salvation. But that is exactly the opposite of what the story says. The story says God entertains and interacts with human beings to enable them to discover their own will and their own power and their own mode of interaction with God—which is precisely what Jacob did.
A Rabbi who used to write for the Jerusalem Post pointed out that the Jewish God is not the same as the Christian God. For the Jews, they put their own lives at risk before the Passover by putting blood over the doors. They thus participated in the act of liberation.
Which brings me to a cute story the
Christians also hate to talk about. When
Peter was leaving
Make a note of this story for your English teachers to see if they can top it--this utterance by Christ is the most sarcastic statement ever made in all of world literature. Christ is calling Peter not just a wimp but a wimp for of all time and for all ages of the world.
The Christians never got this: God wants friends who will stand by His side, who will understand and fight for His purposes, and represent His interests on earth.” But the Jewish prophets got it over and over again for a thousand years—they put their lives at risk. They acted out of pure faith. They spoke with and interacted with God and at times demanded visions and explanations from him directly without intersession and they got it.
So Peter was a coward not once but
twice. But so was the Apostle Paul. A prophet warned him in the book of Acts not to go to
So Paul gets in front of the Jewish leaders
No. He cops out. He fudges. He lies. He plays one group off against the other by saying I am being persecuted for proclaiming the resurrection of the dead knowing that the two Jewish groups would then start fighting among themselves over this statement. But this is not a description of Paul’s primary message. It’s a political ploy to avoid being a martyr. To be a martyr in good faith you have to stand up for the truth and Paul was standing in the penalty box on this one.
Shortly later before governor Titus, Paul
does state his true mission by reviewing his vision concerning Christ on the
But Paul did not go to
why would a guy on a divine mission need to bribe anybody much less look for an
external validation for his spiritual work?
Paul lost touch with that still inner voice of his spiritual intuition
Sometime when you are amid your most glorious moments of activity and accomplishment you have to stop, be still, and listen from within as a check on the values and purpose underlying your choices. The early church was not so good at this.
A bishop in the first century proclaimed, “Do not seek God on your own. Just believe what I tell you,” and so was coined by that bishop the word “orthodox.” No more inner voice here. No more prophets. No more being “caught up by the spirit.”
The Christians hate Balaam and revile him in their writing. He was the gentile non-Jewish prophet in the Old Testament who could interact more easily with God than Moses. Hey, no mediator here. Christians hate the idea of an individual being able to interact directly with God without the intercession of Christ. It’s like someone opening a Burger King on the corner and then someone else opens a McDonalds next door. Christians hate spiritual competition—they would rather stop selling hamburgers altogether if selling them meant they had to compete with someone across the street.
Considering the story of Balaam, there is no one guarding the gates to God’s presence. If Balaam can interact directly with God, so can anyone. But Balaam simply never accepted a divine mission though he was quite qualified whereas Moses did accept and act on a Divine mission.
This conflict exists perhaps in all religions to varying degrees—the prophetic/intuitive/originating/direct experience orientation and its opposite: the rule making, “it has to be done this way,” we must follow the examples set for us—which is the hardening of once original experience into a traditional, vicarious, second hand, and derived authority based approach.
Let’s summarize that:
First hand experience versus second hand experience.
Direct experience versus vicarious experience.
Experience arising out of personal discovery versus
faith in someone else’s experience.
Faith versus belief.
Inner connection to God versus outer confirmation.
Being guided by the spirit versus conforming to the rules
of a community.
Intuitive understanding versus doctrinal dictates.
Inner conviction versus outer authority.
The gospel stories that speak directly to each individual’s
heart versus Paul’s exposition that speaks to the mind
(but after all, Paul most likely never read the gospels)
This same conflict is seen between the law and the prophets in the Old Testament. The prophet will say your lawful and correct priestly sacrifices are absolutely disgusting to God because your heart is not in it and your actions betray His purposes.
Or for Christians, Christ is the demonstration that God is near. He is found within your own heart which is “be still and know that I am God.” This versus “If you want to join our loving community, you must subscribe to the doctrines of our church.” But on a practical level, how can any religion deal with much less respect such direct, original, non-derivative experience with God?
So here I am sitting on top of two thousand years of Catholic tradition and five hundred years among Protestants. Protestants have perhaps the only religion in the history of the planet that has no spiritual practices—there is nothing that persists more than thirty minutes that carries with it a discovery process, an inner capacity to reflect, to intuit, to encounter, observe, sense, feel, intuit something within yourself.
Billy Graham recommends not praying for longer than a minute. This is the advice of an extrovert. Neurological brain scans indicate that extroverts like to move directly from emotion to action. They have no innate brain capacity to reflect on or explore their feelings. Protestant Christianity is the perfection of a religion for extroverts.
And if Christian do something relating to contemplation or meditation, they will not develop it and hand it down so it can be refined and enhanced. The whole concept of improving or upgrading one’s spirituality runs contrary to “its free, you can’t do anything to earn grace.”
And the Catholic theologians themselves such as Father Keating (the originator of centering prayer) will point out that over their reign in history they stopped doing any kind of meditation or contemplation that was similar to the competing heretics or other religions in order to maintain and emphasize the Christian monopoly. So maybe two thousand years is not a lot of time in terms of reviving, renewing, or rediscovering what a religion is really about.
My disappointment and dissatisfaction with evangelical Christianity was so great that I made a deal with God that I would study the great religions before returning and trying to understand the incarnation of Christ. It was pretty obvious to me that whatever the Christian church has been doing for two thousand years it was not producing much in the way of spiritual insight.
An evangelical friend of mine mentioned how he liked the Monty Python comedic version of the Holy Grail. I pointed out to him the Holy Grail stories were an attempt to renew a dead religion. They suggested a spiritual quest involving a personalized discovery process through engaging the spiritual universe right here amid our world—“of taking the ordinary of things of daily life and turning them into something sacred.”
According to one story, Islam exists as a religion because Mohammad asked some Christians what they could tell him about God. Their response was pretty much what you would expect Billy Graham or any evangelist to say: We don’t really know God except through Christ. Seeking God was Old Testament stuff. We have a different dispensation. So Mohammad, a descendant of Abraham, went off by himself and had a talk with Gabriel and that produced the Koran.
Religion requires a minimal amount of transcendence—some sort of perspective larger, bigger, and more insightful than what is offered by the dominant culture. Martin Luther had enough insight to realize that selling indulgences for sin is a not good thing. When asked by what authority he objected to the church’s actions he was in a pinch. So he said that it is my conscience replying on the scripture that forms the basis of my ethical decisions.
The Protestant evangelist, Billy Graham,
role models himself after the Apostle Paul.
Paul’s version of “being born
again” goes something like this: “I had a vision of Christ on the road to
For Paul, Christ was a sacrifice fulfilling the demands of the law acting like the serpent on the pole that cured whoever looked upon it who had been bitten during the infestation of snakes when Moses was in the desert. For Paul, there is only an external vision and experience of Christ and not an internal one.
Every time Billy Graham or Jerry Farwell opens their mouths to speak I hear what they are saying and it is this: Do not seek God. Do not contemplate, enter, or work with the spiritual universe. You can’t know God other than through imitating the Apostle Paul whom for practical purposes we follow and not Christ. Because Christ in fact didn’t give us a spiritual set of practices and so we are never going to ask for them, experiment with them, or pursue them.
Join a church like our church and do as we do: be cheerleaders for capitalism or else convert others so they too can be cheerleaders for capitalism working hard and raising their families with an occasional mistress on the side, ops, we didn’t mean to say that out loud but you know how we Christians are, full of contradictions anyway, get used to it.
Billy Graham and Jerry Farwell too get a lot of their support from hard core Republicans. Good Christian radio announcers like to say that the Republican candidates or platforms are more in line with Christian values than the Democrats. But every form of economy or political perspective has its karma.
Capitalism produces suffering which the capitalists fail to recognize or take responsibility for. The corporations leave huge toxic dumps to kill the children of the future. They pollute the air and the earth and the sea. They create virtual economic concentration camps in ghettoes and they hide their murder of innocents behind sealed court documents.
Talk to two men in jail. Ask, “How long you in for?” One may reply, “I robbed a liquor store and I am in for life because three strikes and you are out.” Ask the other, “How long you in for?” “Two and half years. As CEO, I stole the life savings of eight thousand people by raiding their pension funds but I had no previous convictions.” This is unchecked capitalism.
If your nation is fighting with other
nations for survival, as was
The remedy for capitalism however requires not an overthrowing of the capitalist class by the worker class but rather individuals who are completely selfless, unselfish, and unbiased, without an ideological agenda, who will stand up for the poor and the suffering.
It requires people like Ralph Nader who obviously was extremely effective as a proponent of corporate reform. Unfortunately, he is not as skilled as a politician since he is now promoting an ideological agenda rather than a case by case demand for responsibility. Capitalism like feminism is good. Feminism, having killed romance, just requires that that we now invent a new kind of “romance.” Capitalism requires an “invention” of individuals who will insure corporate responsibility.
This demand for responsibility or genuine “Christian values” preachers like Billy Graham and Jerry Farwell will never understand because these preachers have no transcendence. Their spiritual values arise from within their culture and are not from any eternal, akashic, or spiritual point of view.
Billy Graham and Jerry Farewell are the Dallas Cowboy’s sexy cheerleaders for capitalism shaking their asses to glorify the Protestant work ethic. They are connected no doubt to God but not to a sacred presence of God, not a transcendent God who is more than the foundation of their ethics and morality.
Their faith, however, is strong enough to rally vast numbers of people to their banner. They have charisma but they do not have an inner stillness that knows God from within. Their Christian values are corporate values. They are like Paul who sold his divine mission down the drain because he was so needy to have his work validated by some external authority.
Evangelical Christians are pro life. Actually there real agenda is anti-sex for young people. They do not want information about how to prevent pregnancy distributed or taught. They are for abstinence.
Newt Gingrich and Tom Livingston, good
solid Republicans, both resigned as speakers of the House in their zeal to
Jimmy Swaggart is the television evangelist who I just saw on TV last night. He once ranted against another minister’s ethics. So the minister caught Swaggart who was not only propositioning a prostitute. Swaggart wanted both the prostitute and her daughter at the same time.
One of the Baptist ministers down the block from me divorced his wife to marry his babysitter. Another Baptist minister a few townships over committed suicide in part because of an affair with his church’s secretary. And members of Billy Graham’s original crusade team were caught having a sex orgy in a hotel amid their crusades.
Let me see if I have this right. Evangelicals want to withhold information about preventing pregnancy from teenagers who can get through algebra but who often haven’t a clue as to how to prevent pregnancy? Are you Evangelicals fucking out of your minds asking for abstinence from teenagers when your own political and spiritual leaders can not control their dicks?
The fundamentalist mind set is analogous to what is sometimes said about the fascist mind set: it has gears missing. It runs in high performance mode and then it goes blank and just stops for a while before kicking in again later on. The fundamentalist mind set has no self reflective, real world capacity to distinguish between when it is doing good and when it is doing evil.
I heard a Baptist minister a few months ago say to the congregations, “Let us now pray to God that the governor of our state sign the bill into law that limits abortion.” I said to my mother sitting next to me, “Why doesn’t he pray to reduce the number of abortions rather than to further the political agenda of a specific party?”
Like I say, the real agenda is anti sex. Fundamentalists can not stand others acting in a way that they do not. Not teaching information about sex creates more abortions, not less. Why not just say it? “We are anti sex” and call it ‘Anti Sex Pride.’” There you go. That is more honest.
I will readily admit that an abortion is a horrible thing. But a religious group trying to control others’ choices is far worse. It has been so through all of history. But putting all the questions of agendas and political strategies to the side, it is the desire to control in the heart rather than an understanding that encompasses everyone’s interests that is at fault. There is nothing a matter with making tough choices. The problem is using power without the love that is the source of all power.
There are I suggest two kinds of “born again” Christians. There are those who come forward in a Billy Graham rally and get funneled into the Protestant work ethic with a set of family values equivalent to corporate values. This is not a bad thing. With drugs and teenage pregnancy and crime we need more of these “born again” Christians produced by Youth for Christ and so forth to keep our nation on track. Why not?
Go into an evangelical Christian church with a dynamic minister or go back in time and listen to Martin Luther preach and you will hear what I am saying—their message is “Get your life in order, take responsibility for your actions, work hard, and God will bless you.” With all due respect, this is not Christ but one of the divine powers within Judaism with its primary directive: be fruitful, multiply, and have dominion over the earth. Like I say, it’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing.
(In fairness, Protestant Christianity has the best use of the cosmic letter K--of faith and conviction—among all the religions on earth. In Protestant Christianity each individual through faith is directly connected to God who will bless that individual’s work in life. This makes for a fabulous work ethic and thus the Protestant Ethic in some individuals is extremely powerful and incredibly inspired in that one aspect of faith and conviction. It also is often terribly abused as well when the power is used to manipulate and degrade others.)
But every conversion entails a being “caught up in the spirit,” a turning around of one’s perspective on life, an attempt at a higher source of inspiration and divine guidance. In a high grade conversion, regardless of whether or not the individual’s conversion results in joining the Republican Party, the individual is “overshadowed” or connects in some way (is born of the spirit) to the light of God. This light or spiritual consciousness or attunement I have seen in full force only in three individual’s heart hearts.
However, this light makes these individuals very vulnerable because they now feel and think in terms of genuine compassion—a sea of compassion—that is alive and flowing within them. But they are surrounded by other religious individuals who are motivated by fear of hell, fear of failure, fear of debt, fear of not being socially accepted, fear of violating social taboos, fear of sensuality, etc. So this light is often put out. Little in Protestant Christianity allows for its expression.
Don’t try to reconcile the Protestant Ethic with love and compassion, empathy and caring or social responsibility: these nurturing qualities have no correlation with faith and conviction since these hard working Protestants often repress their feelings in order to maintain their focus on productivity. And indeed it is extremely difficult to work very hard and then have any kind of sympathy for the suffering of others. I can’t emphasize this motivational disparity too much. There is just that gut reaction in the Protestant Ethic that others should be working extremely hard just like me if they want to reap the benefits of having dominion over the earth.
So continuing my analogy, Billy Graham or an evangelical minister might want to give an invitation at the end of his sermon for those who wish to come forward and be born again. It might go like this:
“For those who wish the conversion of the Apostle Paul and his church that is a gentile version of Judaism without the law--I want you to come forward and stand to my right. This “born again” will produce in you a willingness to work hard, be moral, become a member of our loving church communities [by the way, as you sign our registration card you can check the little box if you want to receive free information from the Republican party] and to put aside your sinful ways and make something valuable of your life.”
“And for those of you who wish to convert not to the gentile version of Judaism but to having the light and compassion of Christ overflowing from your heart stand here on my left. This is the more difficult path because you will not be welcome into any of our churches. Instead, I suggest those of you who come forward in this group create your own church. You will feel vulnerable and be confused by your direct awareness that all men and women on earth, not just our elitist Christian communities, are now your brothers and sisters.
“You will not want to convert others and make money like us who are only the slaves and servants of God and running a good race to a goal line which we all will cross when Christ returns. No, you are the lovers of God seeking first to love Him and unite with Him even as Christ loved God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, seeking first this experience, this inspiration, and this realization and seeking to see and find it as it is hidden within the heart of every human being.
“You will suffer not a little death of a little bit of selfishness in being born of spirit. No, you will suffer the big, complete death, a genuine spiritual death in which you become nothing and completely empty of yourself so that God may appear within you. Do this and you will have no need for a second coming of Christ because you will indeed already have found and entered the kingdom of God within your hearts.”
But Billy Graham and Jerry Farwell and Jimmy Swaggart will never offer this invitation—for this Christ of inner life and transformation is their enemy.
Love is an inner union, heart to heart. You get it in mother Teresa who seeks Christ in disguise in every person. Your Protestants are not married to Christ or God as lovers. They are worshipers of the Apostle Paul. They seek to preach and to convert but not to love.
Well, what about Corinthians Chapter 13? some preachers will proclaim. This is the greatest treatise on love in the Western world, they will say. That’s absolute crap. This treatise is written by a man who clearly was never in love with a woman. It speaks nothing of inspiration, of an inner connection, of a willingness to seek the beloved’s heart, of the desire to join, to celebrate oneness.
What the Apostle Paul has written is a prenuptial agreement designed by a lawyer to spell out the nuts and bolts of what is expected and required in the legal ensuing marriage as a contractual obligation between to people.
Now it is nice to be reminded of the basic responsibilities of love but only a fool would attempt the sacrifices a relationship requires without some sort of inner connection to the other person. You simply can’t maintain the responsibility without the deep, inner sharing of lives and this Paul knows nothing about that, at least, he doesn’t even hint of it here.
The only treatise on love in the entire Bible is, from the point of view of Christianity, the story of Christ’s life, a living and not a written word. The story speaks to the heart and imagination and not to the rational mind. In the gospels we see humility and inner stillness in service to a divine mission, a mission that exists for the benefit of all humanity.
The first task of any religion is to produce in its practitioners a sense of wonder, awe, and mystery. One of Billy Graham’s counselors told me that she quit Christianity (becoming a Christian refugee) turning to druidism because as she rode her bicycle back from the crusade stadium to her home she discovered she could not reconcile the beauty of nature with this religion.
The energies of nature and beneath nature are the training ground for entering the realms of spirit. Peter walked upon the sea according to the New Testament as a result of his own request to walk as Christ was walking upon the water. But Peter’s faith failed him and that lack of faith threw the entire history of Christianity into an antagonism with nature. Give Peter credit—he was bold but also acknowledge his weakness--he could not sustain his courage because in the depths of his heart he was a spiritual wimp.
Unlike Peter, I meditate on the sea, the sky, the stars, the moon, the planets, and the spirits within them. I don’t walk on water but I appreciate beauty when I see it and my sense of wonder has lead me directly into contact with the beings created by God who underlie the physical universe.
I will admit, though, that we didn’t know
much about nature much less the galaxies or the cosmos until this century. We didn’t know about the biosphere, the ozone
layer, or nuclear winter until recently.
And the man who has discovered the must exploding stars in the universe? An amateur astronomer, a Baptist minister in
He has the images of several thousand galaxies in his memory so that when he looks out at night from the telescope in his backyard he notices immediately if there is a new bright star appearing. Good for him. That man has got to have a sense of wonder. The most beautiful thing I have ever seen, more beautiful than Monica Bellucci or Michelle Pfeiffer, is M100, a spiral galaxy. You can almost see the billions of stars that circle its center.
The generation before me grew up with the wonder of horses having been replaced by cars and railroads and having witnessed the flight of birds surpassed by the flight of airplanes. Some of them could disassemble and reassemble a car engine blindfolded. They fell in love with the freedom and the power these things granted them.
In sixth grade, I knew the names and
profiles of all the missiles in the
I live among a people who create temperatures hotter than the sun. Who create and track subatomic particles that have not existed for billions of years. Who create new life forms that have never existed in nature. Who rewrite DNA. Who travel to other planets. Who seek knowledge and mastery over nature in every aspect. And then they tell me they are unworthy and unable to enter the spiritual worlds and learn to create as God creates.
It seems to me that if we have individuals able to accumulate fortunes of tens of billions of dollars, who are working to develop practical fusion reactors, to cure cancer, to produce cheap, economical space travel for tourists and so forth then there might be a few also willing to weigh the depth, breath, and height of the spiritual universe and check in with God on behalf of human destiny. I just don’t seem to run into them.
The thing that set me off was that when I was in second grade in elementary school we were hiding under our desks at school practicing a response to a nuclear attack—which was well understood: whole cities swallowed up in fire. And then we would go to our Christian churches and be told how God, (not Oppenheimer, Einstein, or General Leslie Groves, Roosevelt or Truman or some president or premier) was going to put his enemies in a lake of fire for eternity.
And then none of these churches, not one, prayed to God to assist mankind in preventing nuclear war. Now what kind of transcendence or community of absolute wimps, wimps like unto the Apostle Paul or the Apostle Peter, would fail to direct God’s attention to the most pressing issue confronting the human species? That was cowardice and dereliction of duty in the face of the enemy. That was insane complacency—“its God’s responsibility, not ours.”
That is when I began to notice, right there in second grade, that the religious establishment had no transcendence, no ties to the sacred, no spiritual power, and its faith--its direct ties to God--was being used only to make money and not to transform the world. Sure, Senator Ted Kennedy could describe nuclear war as “unthinkable.” But I could not. I dreamed about it occurring every single week during my youth.
Of course, these followers of Peter and Paul consider human beings to be complete wimps. We can not save ourselves. Only God can save us. It would seem to me if we design nuclear weapons, build them, and deploy them then we are completely responsible for them.
People write me and ask about what
motivates me to study magic. They
sometimes think in terms of individuals like
And there are time when injustice rises to the level where there are no other solutions other than turning to magic, that is, to direct contact with the Creator--not the creator of the Christian church (who sent Christ to die for the sins of mankind), not the creator of Judaism (who established a nation that would “strive with God for a blessing” as did Jacob), but the Creator of two hundred billion galaxies, whose wonder is exhibited every morning at dawn, in every wave breaking on the shore of every sea, in every tree, every touch of the wind, the light of every star and moon—His glory is proclaimed, his creativity is sustained, his wonder is without end—who can fail to see it, to feel it, to taste it?
I was having a chat one day with the first of seventy-eight spirits of the sphere of Mercury whose name is Vehuiah. These are the angels who assisted Moses. They stand on the edge of the Mystery of God’s presence and, among other things, praise and glorify His name. (I might add that when these beings praise and glorify the name of God this is real magic and real ritual and not just singing a few inspired hymns amid the congregation.)
If you have any problem and are in need of a miracle or two, plagues, storms raised or abated, water from rocks, the design of an ark that can slay enemies with streams of fire, the walls of a city knocked down, etc. these are the guys who will get the job done.
Vehuiah asked me with that profound “Jewish” awareness of the formlessness of God,
What is like unto God?
What breath can express His presence?
Whose voice can sing His songs?
What created thing reflects His Essence?
What image captures His form?
What priest or sage can measure His mystery?
What prophet or mage can comprehend His plans?
Is there an artist anywhere in the universe,
A sculpture whose hands are so skilled
He can create beauty like unto the beauty
God creates on a billion billion worlds?
Can the creature who is mortal or any created being
Ever understand the Creator who remains unseen?
Now I am writer and experiences like this I give to the characters in my stories. That’s where they belong—not here in the twentieth century but in some mythological landscape where it is easier to imagine them occurring than it is in our world of Christian and Western history. And so my character, He’ad’ra, in my story and screenplay, The Fall of Atlantis, replies to these questions put to him not by Vehuiah but in this story by God.
He’ad’ra, knowing that God reveals Himself not through one but through ten different spheres of emanation, shifts the discussion from the sphere of Hod (of intellection, science and magic) to the sphere of Tipareth (of oneness, all-embracing love, of service and mission):
These are not my questions. I do not wish to speak after the
way of metaphor or by using analogy. I do not desire
philosophy or to experience vicariously. The encounter I
require is face to face. It begins with love, proceeds towards
union, and then results in a sacred mission.
And God asks (with wild passion), And how does one unite with God?
And He’ad’ra replies, As in any act of love, the union is heart
to heart and the result is feeling and being fully alive.
But such inner unions are rather expensive and dangerous as He’ad’ra and his soon to be destroyed civilization of Atlantis found out.
There are a lot of things I don’t get about Judaism and Christianity. A dumb, inferior gentile like me can not understand a high priest going into a temple once a year to enter God’s presence and attain forgiveness for the sins of the entire people of the nation.
I know a little bit about ritual. Rituals and ritual magic, for that matter, generate a spiritual charge of energy that is specific and limited. Its purposes too are specific and limited. An elaborate ritualized Taoist salute generates a charge that places energy into a collective spiritual account of a specific monastery. You can draw freely on the group energy but you don’t want to waste it since the account can be overdrawn.
Or, a thought form can be created by a magical group to find a parking space or get through LA traffic. Why not? You want to make money, get love, develop clairvoyance—you can do a ritual and repeat it until you get what you want. It is nice sometimes to focus on what you want specifically with a profound conviction and powerful mental clarity. It helps make things happen. A thought form for securing the forgiveness of a specific people is still a ritual with specific limitations.
Five generations of Christians in my line of fathers each had a profound faith in God. They felt directly connected to God and they felt He would guide and bless their lives. So now when I go into a Protestant church I can sense sitting behind me not a Christian angel but one of those Mosaic angels of the sphere of Mercury, one not unlike Vehuiah.
The faith of my fathers was not in Christ. Their churches were again as Paul understood the early church to be—a new form of Jewish synagogues but without the law. I have never observed psychically the energy of Christ or his spirit in the sixty or so Protestant churches I have been in. They talk about Christ. They invoke his name. But they do not share his heart.
You want Christ energy, you have to go outside the Christian building to some Christian organization perhaps like maybe the salvation army or a group working with young people or feeding the poor—people working directly as the good Samaritan helping another in need. There you might find Christ, but not inside Paul’s Protestant churches. They are still under the guidance and inspiration of the angels of the sphere of Hod/Mercury.
So here I am, when I enter a Christian
church, an angel is quietly sitting in the pew behind me. With perfect persistence he whispers in my
ear, “Is there a miracle you would like to accomplish? Perhaps a pillar of fire by night or a sea
divided?” The faith of five generations
of fathers produced that ease of spiritual contact: that’s ritual—five
generations of men developing a thought form and spiritual evocation--the kind occultists
Working for generations day after day and night after night and you produce in the here and now a spiritual consciousness and power that existed thousand of years before. This angel is specific and has a name and is very Jewish at least in its presentation. He haunts the children and grandchildren of this family bloodline waiting patiently to see if someone has a need for his specific skills and abilities.
By contrast, a universal thought form such as a cosmic letter in the Quabbalah (the occult version of the Spoken Word of God) is a way of working directly with universal and cosmic energies. It is not specific or limited though it can be so shaped if a group wished to do so. In this case, the group could do so by altering the letter in some way, as in e.g. using the Jewish, Greek, Hindu, Tibetan, or Chinese alphabets with their traditional religious images and meanings. .
You practice the first letter of this magical language in a Jewish Quabbalah setting and you get a collective Jewish awareness, energy, and consciousness as an output. You practice the cosmic letter “A” imagining your consciousness is like the sky containing all things within it with perfect clarity, enlightenment, cosmic wisdom, so that the mind is experienced as clear, open, and luminous then you get a more universal and cosmic output.
This is not a realization or spiritual virtue dependent on any specific religion. It relates to the nature of the spiritual universe predating the origination of life on earth. It is not ritual. It is direct, intuitive awareness.
To be honest, I can not understand how God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son to die a hideous death on a cross to placate a righteous God. What kind of God is this who demands human sacrifice? Other than as a symbol with the implication that you have to give your all, a hundred per cent, to fulfill your God given mission in life, other than saying, “Except a seed of grain fall to the earth and die, it can not being forth new life;” Other than saying, “The spirit of God, a formless and timeless awareness, must be born directly within you, without this you can not enter—be aware of, sense, intuitive, or even faintly grasp—the kingdom of God.”
Perhaps God’s reply to my version of Christ’s request to God to remain on earth as a teacher could have been: “They will get a teacher and a shepherd for a spiritual path when they ask, seek, or discover one and not before. I need a little initiative here on humanities part before I give away power like the kind I gave to Jacob. He wrestled with me. That’s what I expect and nothing less.”
Maybe someday some Jewish Rabbi will explain to me this thing about sacrifice, but I just don’t get it. And maybe someday a Christian will explain to me why Christ’s sacrifice, of giving up his life, is a greater sacrifice than what God asked of Abraham—to sacrifice his own son—sacrificing your son is a greater spiritual challenge than sacrificing yourself. That is, Christ sacrificed himself in obedience to God but Abraham was willing to go further and sacrifice his own son. God doesn’t get credit for sacrificing his son because he isn’t on the scene, that is, he is not here in human form whereas Abraham was.
Maybe I have died too many times already both psychologically and spiritually, an inner death, a death of spiritual initiation, so that I just don’t get this outer death thing, this desire to be a martyr a la the Apostle Paul thing, this imitations of Christ thing. I just don’t get it in the same way that Christians will never get or understand Christ’s words when he says, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” Who but Christ would know if he was forsaken by God—that means, no Holy Spirit, no inner union, no oneness, no I AM. Forsaken is forsaken. Its not a mistake or a neat and tidy ritual thing.
This is not a “cloud passing over Christ” as some ministers like to say because a righteous God can not look upon sin. Shit, I can look upon sin and the worst evil. What’s God’s problem here?
No, this was an infinite abyss of separation occurring and if the good preachers want to imitate Christ maybe they should also probe this experience: of being abandoned by God amid your spiritual mission and life’s journey.
Let them taste that before they try to speak of the atonement of Christ or before they display their crosses on their places of worship. The spiritual death is greater than the physical death as infinity is greater than the number one. If a Christians want to follow Christ, comprehend the selflessness—the voidness of self—that goes with that kind of death: this Peter, Paul, and John too never even came close to understanding.
As I mentioned, the spirits of the solar sphere know and embody: to reflect God in yourself, to be united with God from within, you have to be perfectly empty, more pure and clear than a mirror, and yet utterly receptive and open. “Why hast thou forsaken me?” Here is a man on the verge of death who is totally abandoned by God. There is nothing left. It is all gone. There is no longer any attachment. A true Buddhist master would understand this emptiness for it is the perfection of Buddhism.
What the Gnostics didn’t grasp was the abandonment, the emptiness, the becoming nothing that is the heart and the very beginning of genuine initiation. If Christ was overshadowed according to the Gnostics by a great solar spirit then perhaps the spirit withdrew in order to allow Christ to become as they are: so empty that he could qualify and be like unto them: a being united and one with God.
Maybe John was after this experience when he says in his Revelations that the angels searched the heavens and the earth for the space of a half hour for one who was worthy to open the seven seals. When you are this empty, nothing can be hidden from you—because you are already one with everything that exists.
Again, to be united with God from within you have to be still, you have to be empty, and you have to be nothing so that you become a place where the Divine presence can manifest without distortion. Peter was afraid of finding this kind of spiritual power within him as was Paul who was so greedy to have his work in life validated and approved by external authorities. They did not want the spiritual power because the price for it was too great for them to pay. Connection to God is always unique, original, and without precedence. It is not a function of tradition: it creates tradition.
But a dumb, inferior gentile like me can understand “They shall beat their swords into plow shears….they shall not learn war anymore” in combination with “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Peacemakers make peace—they don’t go around speaking platitudes like “Christ is the answer” when what is required is understanding others’ hearts from the core of their being.
This I strive to understand. This method is in the Hindu epic, the Mahabarata, where
To put an end to war takes a strong heart, a strong akashic awareness, a strong will, and the ability to unite love, wisdom, justice, and power as one within your consciousness. This challenge Christians will never comprehend. They are like Peter and Paul: absolute cowards when it comes to being still and knowing God from within—the price is too great
The Jews suffered the holocaust, a holocaust that could have been prevented if they had produced one single well-trained magician among their ranks. But they did not. And yet the holocaust remains as itself a true and genuine prophecy of what was about to befall all of humanity, the entire world--in a post nuclear holocaust. The holocaust was a warning to us all just as Isaiah walked naked for three years in prophecy not to Israel but to what would befall the princes of Egypt and as Jonah’s body was scared and marked in the belly of a great fish in order to prophecy effectively to an arrogant and pagan Assyria.
Again, God showed Abraham a “dark vision” of
the future of his heirs in
Like the angel Gabriel, you encompass all of space and time in your heart and you intervene when necessary to elevate suffering. This is working with akasha. This is turning on the tap of water that flows from God’s presence. This is eating of the fruits of the tree that is for the healing of the nations.
The prophets were for all nations, all people, and for all time—establish justice upon the earth and peace among the nations. That was their message. This is something the popes, evangelists, the Christians, and I think also the Jews simply do not comprehend. This is not a bleeding heart liberal’s good intentions. Here is a universal message and a cosmic vision charged with the power to accomplish it right in front of the world.
The words, “They shall be their swords into plow shears….” Those words are on the wall across the street from the United Nation’s building. Where are those who wrestle with God to accomplish them?
Well, this dumb, inferior gentile—It has shaped my life and made me who I am (which I will admit was not always for the better—there is a cost that goes with confronting your karma in full force so you can try to lay hold of a vision. Visions don’t come cheap and buying into them, trying to live them is very expensive emotionally, spiritually, morally, in every way.)
Any religion has the task of taking selfish people and attempting to make them unselfish. To do this, it often must make the congregation feel special, elite in fact, so that on occasion they feel so good that they can do something for others that does not directly benefit themselves.
In this sense, in a practical sense, religion is two more things: it is a party and it is family. It is a party because you get these diverse individuals who would never otherwise be talking to each other getting together to celebrate the ceremonies of their faith that draw them close to what they consider to be sacred.
This is party. It is getting together and acknowledging the presence of something more powerful than themselves which nonetheless they feel connected to through their rites and practices. When it is done well, you come out feeling you have the energy and the motivation to get through the next week.
And it is a family: you make friends and associate closely with other individuals with whom you hopefully or supposedly have an inner bond of faith or of some primary religious experience, again, something that makes you feel special and no doubt above other people who do not share this experience.
Three per cent of the population of the
I imagine that if a Jew were to go out into the desert and spend six hours every week in stillness and contemplation demanding of God not one archangel as Mohammad got but one for each sephiroth. What if this Jew said to God, I am going to do this every week for the rest of my life. When I die, the burden will be on you God to account for why You did not respond to my request.
I tell you God would take notice and be impressed. (And one way or the other He would probably respond, “No one is guarding the gates to My Presence. I am here. I have always been here. Anyone can find Me if he or she looks….and I tell you, I have been waiting a long time for My children to return to Me and seek again My blessing upon their lives—‘to establish the work of their hands.’”)
I did something like this but I am only a
dumb, inferior gentile. What did I
get? I sat so still on a rock out there
The wind would stir from one direction, fade, and return again from another direction. The moisture in the air would rise and then fall and then rise again with a temperature change. The light would grow bright and then dark. Ray Elkins once said that God made deserts so big and so vast so that human beings could not love them or hate them but instead would have a place to go in order to seek His presence.
What did I get? Besides visions of the way and means to work for avoiding a nuclear war, one day, with the help of a few cups of coffee and a Tylenol, for the space of three hours I felt I was aware of everything in the universe, including each and every particle of dust among all two hundred billion galaxies. It was God’s way of saying to me, “This is what I can do. I expect the same from you. If you seek my Heart, to feel as I feel, to see as I see, and to create as I create, I will pour out my blessing upon your life and your work.”
This vision according to Bardon is part of Quabbalah, the cosmic letter “E” on the akashic level. Its standard Quabbalah, but on a cosmic, not a Jewish racial level. You can find it in part in the aura as well of some of the earthzone and planetary spirits Bardon describes. A Jew has a genetic advantage over an inferior, dumb gentile like me when it comes to petitioning God for a vision that is real time, real world, and results oriented.
(For another version of this essay in story form, see my Moses and Aaron and Jacob poems, my The Fall of Atlantis screenplay [forthcoming along with Three Wise Men story] St. Columba story, and Balaam story for exploration of direct experience and its advantages and disadvantages relating to Judaism and Christianity. See also my essays on The Presence of God that explores God’s manifestation in each of the ten sephiroth.)
I can easily imagine my good Christian friends raising their brows, giving me that “questioning my sincerity look” as if I have fallen from grace by introducing psychic and magical perspectives into a theological discussion. But come off it.
Right now as I am writing
This problem of nuclear proliferation has been on the table for the last thirty years. It is not going to go away. Ignore it and it will require no prophet to tell you that at least four million people will be vaporized by some terrorist in the near future. And then every nation on earth will have an excuse to institute a virtual police state.
This problem has no solution through normal diplomatic channels. The UN lacks effective executive authority and who would ever want to give it to them? You have to invent a solution. Perhaps a group of unselfish and profoundly inspired and equally skilled individuals that is willing to say, “During my watch, no nuclear wars.”
If an Arab state attacks
My only point is that a science of a nuclear technology requires a spiritual wisdom of the same degree of sophistication. It is only a wimp like Peter and Paul who would blindly quote like Billy Graham that “Christ is the answer” without lifting a finger to prevent a “dark vision” from occurring.
“Blessed are the peacemakers.” I would like to see some people make peace on this planet rather than asking after the fact, “How could God let this happen?” Its time for a few men and women of good will to put aside the idiotic narrow—mindedness of their religions and demonstrate that they are the children of God.
Each generation has to renew its religious experiences and validate them through some sort of real and challenging discovery process. Lose this and you may spread your faith and solidify your religion but you kill your connection to God and turn the sacred into a sales pitch for the contemporary cultural values which your leaders naturally want to embrace such as slavery, capitalism, racism, anti abortion, etc.
Though always subject to charlatans and con
men—you can absolutely count on that-- allow for a spiritual discovery
process. If you can’t upgrade your
religion, you end up like the Arabs who are trying to return to their golden
age back in the twelfth century or like the Catholic Church which keep wanting
to return to the theocratic power it held in the third century
Allow for some sort of spiritual practices to develop and flourish. The spiritual universe is as vast and mysterious of the physical universe which astrophysicists will readily admit they still don’t know what composes ninety-five per cent of the matter in the universe—it’s still missing.
All spiritual practice requires a basis: being practical, down to earth, solid, grounded, and able to see the world clearly as it is right now. If you don’t have that, you are not going anywhere in your spiritual voyages that drugs won’t take you faster.
Remain experience oriented so that the community understand and celebrates its inner bond rather than its external beliefs as the primary basis for its community. Otherwise, every church becomes a separatist and elitist experience.
Every practitioner should be a prophet but they should test their dreams and visions in the acid of common sense, every day experience, history, intelligence, and a thorough understanding of the common cons and self-deceptions, inflation and deflation of ego, elitism, arrogance, rigidities, and narrow-mindedness that befall all spiritual practitioners. That is, keep a spiritual journal and record of your dreams, hopes, ideals, and your personal journey toward them. And share this at some point.
Christianity and Judaism are inextricably entwined. A good Christian theologian might liken the relationship to brothers like Esau and Jacob whereby Jacob stole Esau’s birthright and blessing. Or worse, as my grandmother would say, never take a pregnant woman to a Catholic hospital. They will sacrifice the mother for the child. Christian theologians might feel that Judaism existed only to give birth to Christianity and it died spiritually with that birth.
(From a technical magical point of view, both Judaism and Christianity as religions are almost bankrupt and totally unaware of the spheres of Yesod and Netzach—that is, of an inner peace that passes all understanding, an inner oneness with the universe of Yesod; and a artistic, enchanting, ecstatic and passionate love that fully engages the attraction that exists between opposites that is Netzach.)
I think of Judaism like the woman in the movie Titanic. Forget about Christianity—the Christians are content with the insurance policy (which nonetheless is of considerable value) and not the real thing (that is, they do not seek God). But this woman has this incredibly valuable jewel (unique among the nations) but she hides it reserving its beauty only for her self in privacy.
But the story is not finished--in the end,
does she throw it into the ocean or does she return her gift to the world so
that it can be shared and celebrated by everyone else as well? Can she put aside her shallow, selfish,
fundamentalist narrow—mindedness (that is, can she let go of her self-pity, her
vulnerability, and the memory of the love she once had) to give to the world