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7528Re: [anthroposophy] The initiations and us sinners

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  • Br. Ron
    Jan 24, 2003
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          > Bradford comments;
          > While I am in full agreement with the quotes above, that is hardly the
          > issue. It was stated that the Native Americans had that depth and they had
          > it intimately, daily and in a higher understanding than the Pilgrims.
      Well this of course is a crock of  romanticized buffalo pukky, Bradford.
      The Indians would skin each other alive and throw the screaming
      victim to writhe in agony, on a hill of red ants, for the remaining 3
      days of his life.
      This is "depth" all right, but it had little to do with spiritual awareness, compassion
      or the ideals of Christian brotherhood attempted by the Puritans. (The Salem trials
      and their love of raw, wild turkeys, notwithstanding :-)

          > Barfield had that depth and Lewis struggled with his wooden Christian
          > Ethics.
      What you call 'wooden ethics' are patterns for joy set forth by the
      Solar Logos. Not all solid things are bad. The degree of a person's initiation
      into this solar ray is directly proportional to his level of ecstatic receptivity
      toward it..
      And if, as the scriptures proclaim, that "Joy is witness to the ineffable
      presence of Spirit" then I would take CS Lewis' simple and happy inspirations
      any day over the, more often than not, agonizing cynicism of Oscar Wilde.
      His quotes you posted below are beautiful and these must certainly be
      registered on his behalf. But he was more often than not, a miserable,
      sexually confused, echo of a man and this alone betrays a primal disconnect
      from his Source.
      Tolkein and Lewis on the other hand were not only intellectual but moral lights.
      They were good friends and their common places in the 'Inkling
      Rings' Literary Fellowship made them more than just friendly antagonists.
      (I'm not sure, but may even be the namesake for the title of his
      Fellowship of the Ring volume
      Nor was Tolkein a pagan. His Ring Trilogy was an metaphorical analog
      for the return of Christ and was brought to a climax in his final "Return
      of the King."
      (This Bradford, is assuming that you are using the term 'pagan' in it's
      classical, polytheistic sense. None of those Oxford writers were polytheistic)
          > but it is a question of Living Perception and the shadow of what you think
          > you carry around that constantly runs guilt and shadow or Image of some
          > Unbending Cosmic Good which might or might not sit on a throne
      The fact is...and facts are stubborn things, that there is such a thing as
      unchanging Absolute Truth. Yes, we have an infinite variety of relative ways
      to perceive this but there is one hub that doesn't spin at it's core like the
      spoked wheels around it do.  And this core is Being...'a' Being and Beingness
      itself. Therefore HE and SHE ...God...are worthy of being addressed in the
      first person.
      It is always relativists like Simon Magus that believe their situation ethics
      can somehow replace the Primal Patterns laid down by the Original Word.
      But sooner or later, their flying capes give way to the unchanging law of gravity
      and they wind up in a steaming heap at the bottom of the tower.
      Devotion to the Absolute gives grounding roots to our myriad flowers
      of thought and builds up a foundation to support our beauteous castles
      in the air.
      Icarus and Nietzsche were two birds of a feather (so to speak :-)
      who eventually lost their self made wings of wax to a warmth...
      a  joy...and a love infinitely greater than their own thought processes.
      This warmth eventually proves to be naught but the fires of Hell to those
      incapable of the most humble and profound gratitude toward it.
      But this is not a moral condemnation from some angry God... It's simply
      that we become what we worship...and those who, like Oliver Twist,
      can open themselves up to receive "another plate of food" become
      embodiments of that warmth of joy themselves..due to the very emptiness
      of their condition!
      Devotion and gratitude are not just good moods. They are primal virtues.
      It is only the cold intellect, unwarmed by the humble heart that loses it's
      essential nature when touched in Kamaloca by the fronds of the fiery
      Cosmic Christ.
          > but in our world, He (God) apparently hasn't been doing a lot of flushing of
          > the system. It is in the entangled webs of our thinking and dogma that we
          > fail...
      God isn't the problem. Our poverty of  devotion and joy is the problem. 
      Gratitude is a combining form of the words 'greatest attitude' and
      such a state...exalted by it's very lowliness, is the one thing this world
      needs desperately. But paradoxically, it only comes by asking...and
      that in itself requires a certain humility sorely lacking amongst the
      thought junkies and other homeless denizens lost in the ever shifting
      patterns of definition.
      This reveals the nature of the spiritual prison encumbering most who live
      on this earthly, malkuthic sphere.
      Br. Ron

      > Now to Oscar Wilde. Well he
      towers in his deeds and perceptions above Lewis,
      > but he also understood
      the Shadow and that, that is the problem, Wilde
      > understood the Shadow
      and thereby understood depth, greatness and goodness
      > in the same
      clarity that Owen Barfield did.
      > Wilde on Christ;
      > ************ " Those whom he saved from their sins are saved simply for
      > beautiful moments in their lives. Mary Magdalen, when she sees Christ,
      > breaks the rich vase of alabaster that one of her seven lovers had
      > her, and spills the odorous spices over his tired dusty feet, and
      for that
      > one moment's sake sits for ever with Ruth and Beatrice in the
      tresses of the
      > snow-white rose of Paradise.
      > "All that
      Christ says to us by the way of a little warning is that every
      > moment
      should be beautiful, that the soul should always be ready for the
      coming of the bridegroom, always waiting for the voice of the lover,
      Philistinism being simply that side of man's nature that is not illumined by
      > the imagination. He sees all the lovely influences of life as modes of
      > light: the imagination itself is the world of light. The world is made
      > it, and yet the world cannot understand it: that is because the
      > is simply a manifestation of love, and it is love and the
      capacity for it
      > that distinguishes one human being from another." 
      > **********************************************
      *******  " I had said of Christ that he ranks with the poets. That is true.
      > Shelley and Sophocles are of his company. But his entire life also is
      > most wonderful of poems. For 'pity and terror' there is nothing in
      > entire cycle of Greek tragedy to touch it. The absolute purity of
      > protagonist raises the entire scheme to a height of romantic art
      from which
      > the sufferings of Thebes and Pelops' line are by their very
      horror excluded,
      > and shows how wrong Aristotle was when he said in his
      treatise on the drama
      > that it would be impossible to bear the spectacle
      of one blameless in pain.
      > "Nor in AEschylus nor Dante, those
      stern masters of tenderness, in
      > Shakespeare, the most purely human of
      all the great artists, in the whole of
      > Celtic myth and legend, where
      the loveliness of the world is shown through a
      > mist of tears, and the
      life of a man is no more than the life of a flower,
      > is there anything
      that, for sheer simplicity of pathos wedded and made one
      > with sublimity
      of tragic effect, can be said to equal or even approach the
      > last act of
      Christ's passion.
      > "The little supper with his companions, one
      of whom has already sold him for
      > a price; the anguish in the quiet
      moon-lit garden; the false friend coming
      > close to him so as to betray
      him with a kiss; the friend who still believed
      > in him, and on whom as
      on a rock he had hoped to build a house of refuge for
      > Man, denying him
      as the bird cried to the dawn; his own utter loneliness,
      > his
      submission, his acceptance of everything; and along with it all such
      scenes as the high priest of orthodoxy rending his raiment in wrath, and the
      > magistrate of civil justice calling for water in the vain hope of
      > himself of that stain of innocent blood that makes him the
      scarlet figure of
      > history; the coronation ceremony of sorrow, one of
      the most wonderful things
      > in the whole of recorded time; the
      crucifixion of the Innocent One before
      > the eyes of his mother and of
      the disciple whom he loved; the soldiers
      > gambling and throwing dice for
      his clothes; the terrible death by which he
      > gave the world its most
      eternal symbol; and his final burial in the tomb of
      > the rich man, his
      body swathed in Egyptian linen with costly spices and
      > perfumes as
      though he had been a king's son.
      > "When one contemplates all
      this from the point of view of art alone one
      > cannot but be grateful
      that the supreme office of the Church should be the
      > playing of the
      tragedy without the shedding of blood: the mystical
      > presentation, by
      means of dialogue and costume and gesture even, of the
      > Passion of her
      Lord; and it is always a source of pleasure and awe to me to
      > remember
      that the ultimate survival of the Greek chorus, lost elsewhere to
      > art,
      is to be found in the servitor answering the priest at Mass.
      "Yet the whole life of Christ - so entirely may sorrow and beauty be made
      > one in their meaning and manifestation - is really an idyll, though it
      > with the veil of the temple being rent, and the darkness coming
      over the
      > face of the earth, and the stone rolled to the door of the
      sepulchre. One
      > always thinks of him as a young bridegroom with his
      companions, as indeed he
      > somewhere describes himself; as a shepherd
      straying through a valley with
      > his sheep in search of green meadow or
      cool stream; as a singer trying to
      > build out of the music the walls of
      the City of God; or as a lover for whose
      > love the whole world was too
      > "His miracles seem to me to be as exquisite as the
      coming of spring, and
      > quite as natural. I see no difficulty at all in
      believing that such was the
      > charm of his personality that his mere
      presence could bring peace to souls
      > in anguish, and that those who
      touched his garments or his hands forgot
      > their pain; or that as he
      passed by on the highway of life people who had
      > seen nothing of life's
      mystery, saw it clearly, and others who had been deaf
      > to every voice
      but that of pleasure heard for the first time the voice of
      > love and
      found it as 'musical as Apollo's lute'; or that evil passions fled
      > at
      his approach, and men whose dull unimaginative lives had been but a mode
      > of death rose as it were from the grave when he called them; or that
      when he
      > taught on the hillside the multitude forgot their hunger and
      thirst and the
      > cares of this world, and that to his friends who
      listened to him as he sat
      > at meat the coarse food seemed delicate, and
      the water had the taste of good
      > wine, and the whole house became full
      of the odour and sweetness of nard.
      > "Renan in his VIE DE JESUS
      - that gracious fifth gospel, the gospel
      > according to St. Thomas, one
      might call it - says somewhere that Christ's
      > great achievement was that
      he made himself as much loved after his death as
      > he had been during his
      lifetime. And certainly, if his place is among the
      > poets, he is the
      leader of all the lovers. He saw that love was the first
      > secret of the
      world for which the wise men had been looking, and that it was
      > only
      through love that one could approach either the heart of the leper or
      the feet of God.And above all, Christ is the most supreme of individualists.
      > Humility, like the artistic, acceptance of all experiences, is merely a
      > of manifestation. It is man's soul that Christ is always looking
      for. He
      > calls it 'God's Kingdom,' and finds it in every one. He
      compares it to
      > little things, to a tiny seed, to a handful of leaven,
      to a pearl. That is
      > because one realises one's soul only by getting rid
      of all alien passions,
      > all acquired culture, and all external
      possessions, be they good or evil.
      > "Every single work of art is
      the fulfilment of a prophecy: for every work of
      > art is the conversion
      of an idea into an image. Every single human being
      > should be the
      fulfilment of a prophecy: for every human being should be the
      realisation of some ideal, either in the mind of God or in the mind of man.
      > Christ found the type and fixed it, and the dream of a Virgilian poet,
      > either at Jerusalem or at Babylon, became in the long progress of the
      > centuries incarnate in him for whom the world was waiting.
      > "To me one of the things in history the most to be regretted is that
      > Christ's own renaissance, which has produced the Cathedral at
      Chartres, the
      > Arthurian cycle of legends, the life of St. Francis of
      Assisi, the art of
      > Giotto, and Dante's DIVINE COMEDY, was not allowed
      to develop on its own
      > lines, but was interrupted and spoiled by the
      dreary classical Renaissance
      > that gave us Petrarch, and Raphael's
      frescoes, and Palladian architecture,
      > and formal French tragedy, and
      St. Paul's Cathedral, and Pope's poetry, and
      > everything that is made
      from without and by dead rules, and does not spring
      > from within through
      some spirit informing it.
      > "But wherever there is a romantic
      movement in art there somehow, and under
      > some form, is Christ, or the
      soul of Christ. He is in ROMEO AND JULIET, in
      > the WINTER'S TALE, in
      Provencal poetry, in the ANCIENT MARINER, in LA BELLE
      and in Chatterton's BALLAD OF CHARITY.We owe to him the
      > most diverse
      things and people. Hugo's LES MISERABLES, Baudelaire's FLEURS
      > DU MAL,
      the note of pity in Russian novels, Verlaine and Verlaine's poems,
      > the
      stained glass and tapestries and the quattro-cento work of Burne-Jones
      and Morris, belong to him no less than the tower of Giotto, Lancelot and
      > Guinevere, Tannhauser, the troubled romantic marbles of Michael Angelo,
      > pointed architecture, and the love of children and flowers - for both
      > which, indeed, in classical art there was but little place, hardly
      > for them to grow or play in, but which, from the twelfth century
      down to our
      > own day, have been continually making their appearances in
      art, under
      > various modes and at various times, coming fitfully and
      wilfully, as
      > children, as flowers, are apt to do: spring always seeming
      to one as if the
      > flowers had been in hiding, and only came out into the
      sun because they were
      > afraid that grown up people would grow tired of
      looking for them and give up
      > the search; and the life of a child being
      no more than an April day on which
      > there is both rain and sun for the
      > "It is the imaginative quality of Christ's own
      nature that makes him this
      > palpitating centre of romance. The strange
      figures of poetic drama and
      > ballad are made by the imagination of
      others, but out of his own imagination
      > entirely did Jesus of Nazareth
      create himself. The cry of Isaiah had really
      > no more to do with his
      coming than the song of the nightingale has to do
      > with the rising of
      the moon - no more, though perhaps no less. He was the
      > denial as well
      as the affirmation of prophecy. For every expectation that he
      > fulfilled
      there was another that he destroyed. 'In all beauty,' says Bacon,
      'there is some strangeness of proportion,' and of those who are born of the
      > spirit - of those, that is to say, who like himself are dynamic forces
      > Christ says that they are like the wind that 'bloweth where it
      listeth, and
      > no man can tell whence it cometh and whither it
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