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Showing posts from May, 2010

The "G" Word

I know in our church, we have discussed the use of the word "Gnostic".  Many scholars point out those called "Gnostics" by people today were a very diverse group often with very little in common.  As a church we value the Nag Hammadi writings.  However, we are not trying to reconstruct everything those historical groups (who wrote and compiled the Nag Hammadi) believed or did.  In that way we are thoroughly modern.  Yet one of our primary studies is with the Sethians.  Also,our church engages other faith traditions.  They may even incorporate them in our services/rituals/liturgies.  We have various schools that represent modern or historical traditions.  Through these schools we engage other faiths, writings, or thinking about our own understanding of gnosis. 
So what would be the best way to describe us?  Modern Gnostic? Modern Sethian?  For me I might be inclined to Modern Gnostic.

Our Lady of Silence

Barbelo...first of the emanations of the Monad.  She is the silent one.  And yet she is mercy, she is love and compassion. I love what Jeremy Puma says about her:

"Barbelo can be anthropomorphized but not pictured, because our relationship to Barbelo is the relationship of a beloved infant to its loving Mother while still in the womb. She is warmth, light, nourishment. She is a Presence who is One with the Father, for how is an infant in the womb able to differentiate between the Mother in which he rests and the Father’s presence which he senses as well? She is comfort and peace and the first Restriction, as the Womb is the first limitation experienced by the ensouled child."  Source: http://www.palmtreegarden.org/2010/03/on-barbelo/

So in the mythos...what is Sophia?  Sophia is the final aeon emanated.  She is the lowest expression.  Where Barbelo is that Sacred Silence that is utterly ethereal and beyond words or understanding, Sophia is that active loving presence.  She, in…

Barbelo-Our Lady of Silence

Barbelo

The House of Wisdom

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Since my ordination and the secret ritual afterwards, I have had a sense of being enveloped by the Divine Feminine.  I feel wrapped in the cloak of the Mother.  I see and sense her at various times, like this morning when stepping out on the dewy grass at dawn with my bare feet.  I see her hiding behind and within every logion of the Gospel of Thomas, as if she is the secret he is hiding and yet challenging every person to know.  Bishop Mani and I had a good discussion while I was down about the Divine Feminine.  It is implied in some of the Nag Hammadi texts that there is the Divine Monad (The Great Invisble Spirit).  The One...who is without form and cannot be described by words...utterly beyond our ideas of a person.  At times they call the Monad, the Father.  But the Monad looks at its reflection as in the waters.   In this waters is Barbelo who is at times described as female, and others both male and female.   She is the personal image of the personal.  She is the pool that refl…

Sophia!

I found this on an interesting site (http://www.northernway.org/sophia.html)  There are some great prayers to her on it.

Sophia!
You of the whirling wings,
circling, encompassing energy of God:
you quicken the world in your clasp.

One wing soars in heaven,
one wing sweeps the earth,
and the third flies all around us.

Praise to Sophia!
Let all the earth praise her!

-Hildegard of Bingen

Who Is that Hottie Standing By Herself?

"Jesus said, 'How blessed are the ones who stand all alone and elect, for you will realize the kingdom. For you are from the kingdom, and to it you shall return.'"  Gospel of Thomas 49

I read this and immediately a warning flag goes up.  The word "elect" brings up baggage from my fundamentalist past.  I realize it and move on.  It is not for me to judge the word but to simply meditate on the passage.  My first question is, "What does it mean for me to stand alone?"  Must I shun all relationships with others?  I do not think so.  In my understanding of this verse, I look on this as being without attachments.  To use another logion of this same gospel..."Be passerby"  Allow our emotions, thoughts, feelings, filters to do what they do, watch it but cling to none of it.  Without the suitcases of our dramas and all the things and ideas we cling to, we truly stand alone.  Standing alone we are the elect.  Not chosen by anything outside us, but …

More about The Thomasine School

In really looking at this, apart from the handbook which is only a foundation as we try to establish this school and is subject to revision as we grow, I personally look at this path as the way of the teacher. In the GoT, Jesus is the teacher, but even he speaks of being found in wood and stone. I would argue that he is speaking as the Wisdom of God...Sophia...the Divine Feminine. The Holy Spirit our Mother is the teacher who guides in Silence. She does not proclaim her name loudly in the GoT but is found Hidden in every logion. She is found in the voices of those around us. She is found hidden in nature. The truly awake man or woman can perceive her all around. They know that they are one with Her....They proceeded from her and to her they shall return...like a wave returns to the ocean.



The Thomasine School of thought takes its inspiration primarily from the Gospel of Thomas and the Bhakti Vedanta tradition as well as a lesser relationship with some other eastern traditions (includi…

Credit where Credit is Due!

When the Palm Tree Garden Forums went down we suffered a loss.  One of those losses was being able to access the information there.  The four point plane we hold to is derived from something that was discussed many times there.  It was created by Jesse aka Spark. (thanks for letting me know who the was!) In my opinion it does an excellent job  describing some core common parts in this enigma of groups we call Gnosticism.  I have adapted them for our school.  Jesse, do you have a copy of the original?  I would love to post it here to!

1.We hold that all things emanated from Divine One.

2.God can be found hidden within all things.
3.Salvation is through inner gnosis, the experience of knowing who we are, where we came from and to Whom we go. It is the experience of Gnosis that is our salvation from the realms of imperfection.
4.Through spiritual practice, which for Thomasines are a variety of rituals and practices in the satsang which seeks to make the imperfect realms "holy" o…

Did You See Where That Mountain Went?

"Jesus said, "If two people achieve peace together in a single house, they will speak to the mountain, saying, 'Move from here!' and it will move."  Gospel of Thomas 48

What is Oneness?  There is many kinds of Oneness.  There is oneness with others, there is oneness with nature, and there is oneness within one's own self.  How divided we can be against ourselves.  We eat when stressed, angry, bored.  We rage then regret our anger.  What does it mean then to bring ourselves back into Oneness?  I believe it means to be truly present in what you are feeling, to truly see it as an observer, knowing that like all things it will rise and fall.  Emotions are not permanent.  States of joy, anger, peace will come and go.  So to be one with it is to recognize it when it is present but not to cling to it.  When we recognize this inner landscape how much easier it is to achieve oneness in our homes, our jobs, and all of life.  This is our true nature.  This is the simple…

Singing as a Spiritual Path

On my drive to my ordination, I had a six hour drive.  Normally this would be daunting to do alone, but on my way I sang and chanted.  In fact on my return drive, I sang 6 more hours.  I love to sing.  I have since I was a kid.  When I try to learn something, I put it in a song so I can remember it.  I am one of those mentioned in Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences who has a musical/rhythmic intelligence.  I think this applies not just to how I learn but how I relate to the Divine.  I spent three years under a spiritual teacher meditating for three sessions of 45 mins each daily.  While making some minor gains, the whole process was torture for me.  I grew to hate the practice.  I know many who love meditating and have deepened their spiritual lives through it.  However for me, I must spend time chanting or singing before I can be still enough to meditate.  I wonder why chanting or singing as not been promoted as a spiritual path?  I would love to read some books an…

The Finger Pointing at the Moon

After my ordination, I underwent a secret ritual with my bishop.  In it, I felt as if I were hit repeatedly by revelation upon revelation.  I felt surrounded and embraced by the Mother.  I felt as if I were Jesus.  I felt as if I could see God in everything and everyone.  I am still vibrating of the energy from this weekend.  Having been blessed with these revelations I cannot help but look at the Gospel of Thomas in a new light.  This was what it was talking about.  It is a finger pointing at the moon but is not the moon itself.  It cannot describe the indescribable...it is only one finger.  But at the same time it has done so much to point and guide me to opening to this.  I have worked with the text, played with the text, loved the text that it is a part of me.  It is inside of me....leading me all the way to this gnosis.

Reflections on My Ordination

The service was beautiful.  We did it in a form of a Gnostic puja.  We chanted and many other things...but my overall feeling was being embraced.  I felt a feminine force so strong just hold me and even sing over me.  Call it the Goddess, Sophia, Barbelo....whatever this experience was strong and tangible.  I am still processing all of this, mind you.  It is amazing that I am part of this apostolic succession going back to the apostles and Jesus, the wisdom teacher himself.

Ordination to the Priesthood

This weekend is my ordination to the priesthood as a Thomasine priest in the Universal Church of Autogenes.  I am nervous. :)