CHRIST THE WARRIOR

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire… And he was clothed with a vesture dipt in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses… And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations… And I saw the beast, and the kings of earth, and their armies, gathered to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”

– The Revelation of St. John the Divine 19:11-19

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A couple months back I wrote a posting that talked about the internal Trinity of Mind, Heart and Will that exists within a human being. Recently I was meditating in my Shaolin Kung Fu class when I came to a realization about the Triune nature of Jesus, and how it relates to that internal trinity of Mind, Heart and Will. While many speak and praise Jesus as the wise teacher and compassionate healer, what is far less talked about, at least outside of what would be viewed as “extreme fundamentalist” Christianity, is the third and most controversial aspect of the personality of Jesus- that of the Warrior King.

The concept of being a warrior and doing battle is something that many people have learned to recoil from through societal or personal trauma. Much of this is a natural reaction to the horrors of modern warfare and the increasing public awareness of the self-serving and deceptive motivations behind it. Family members and loved ones go to die overseas, while the “War on Terror” and the “War on Drugs” have been shoved down our throats and turned our own backyards into battleground. People are tired of war and often seek to run in the other direction from the mere mention of the word.

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All that being said, it is no wonder that passages such as the above from Revelation, or the infamous “I came not to send peace, but a sword” passage from Matthew 10:34 tends to offend modern liberal Christian consciousness to the point where some deny that it was even stated at all. Again, I try to stay out of the truth vs. fiction arguments surrounding the historical Jesus for reasons I stated in my last posting. As for the inherent warlike nature of Revelation, one only need look at the turmoil that was taking place at the time it was being written to understand it, which I also covered in my previous posting. So then, how do this concept of Christ Jesus the Warrior have any sort of positive translation or application to us modern day folks who may not be the “Hellfire and Brimstone” types?

To answer that question, I think we should look not at the principles and tactics of modern warfare, but rather the principles of traditional martial arts practice. One of the principles behind traditional martial arts practices is the idea of “being like water”- being loose and fluid in your movements and your mindset. This allows us to get a better feel for our opponent. This fluidity allows one to use the momentum of an opponent against them. The martial arts practice of Aikido is a perfect example of this. I recently did an exercise where the group leader had us clasp hands with the person in front of us and we would both push towards one another while saying “My way”, showing the nature of one trying to exert their will directly onto another with the hopes of overpowering them. This contrasts nicely to the Tai Chi push/pull partner exercises where you remain fluid and rooted to the ground, simply wait for your partner/opponent to become too invested in their own desire to “win” and knock them off balance, rendering them vulnerable.

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The “my way” exercise I see as an illustration of the modern warfare tactic of brute force and imposing will. This is also something a many of us do or have done in personal relationships as well to some degree. This differs from the rooted and fluid method of martial arts, where we remain adaptable to what happens around us, but still rooted in our own sense of Being. Then when the opportunity presents itself, we act in the calculated manner of the martial artist, never exerting more force than necessary.

This is the way of the spiritual warrior; the path I have been striving towards since the beginning of my conscious spiritual journey 13 years ago. I first discovered this concept when studying and practicing the principles of Toltec Shamanism. Gary Van Warmerdam, a student of Don Miguel Ruiz, describes the spiritual warrior as someone who “challenges the dreams of fear, lies, false beliefs, and judgments that create suffering and unhappiness in his or her life”.

I discussed some of these principles in my “Introduction to Step 1” posting back in January- the idea of being mindful of our thoughts and belief systems, as well as the origins of these. However, to understand this concept of Christ Jesus as the Warrior, I think we need to incorporate more than just internal work, or work relegated to just ourselves. The Buddhists also have a concept of a spiritual warrior, which is defined in a well-sourced Wikipedia entry as:

“One who combats the universal enemy: self-ignorance, the ultimate source of suffering according to Buddhist philosophy. A heroic being with a brave mind and ethical impulse. Different from other paths which focus on individual salvation, the spiritual warrior’s only complete and right practice is that which compassionately helps other beings with wisdom. The Bodhisattva ideal, the spiritual warrior who resolves to attain buddhahood in order to liberate others.”

Here with the Buddhist concept of the spiritual warrior, we have the added component of not just rigorous work with one’s self, but the desire to work with others in service to help them obtain liberation from self-ignorance. This self-ignorance could be seen as the root cause of the dreams of fear, lies, false beliefs and judgements the Toltec spiritual warrior seeks to liberate their individual selves from. When working to help other beings, it is essential that we have compassion. It is also essential that we have “a brave mind and ethical impulse”. In other words, we need to have courage.

Courage is the heart of the warrior. In life it takes courage to do the right thing, when it seems the entire world is telling us the opposite. It takes courage not to give into peer pressure; whether it is from family, friends, coworkers, or society at large, and instead speak and live your truth as Jesus did. It takes courage to stand up to authority figures and expose that they are working for their own self-interest and leading society astray, as Jesus did with the Pharisees. It takes courage to stand up for those whom society has deemed as “wicked”, as Jesus did with the adulteress. It takes courage to stand up to the powerful institutions that are destroying the moral fabric of society, as Jesus did when he drove the Moneychangers from the Temple.

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I see this figure of Christ Jesus the Warrior King relating to the Will component of our internal being, while Jesus the Wise Teacher and Jesus the Compassionate Healer relate to the Mind and Heart respectively. These are all aspects of ourselves as well that can be “tapped into”, as Jesus is the archetype of what humanity is capable of becoming. The Warrior King gives us the courage needed to end the war within ourselves, becoming unified and creating internal sovereignty, or “self-mastery”.

When this happens, we are truly in a position create external freedom in the world, which as we know, is a VERY dangerous concept to those who desire any form of control, as the self-actualized, self-realized individual who has achieved liberation from his own illusions and become a “sovereign” does not fall in line to easily. This sovereign being also has the potential to show others that they can do this as well, which they will inevitably do. This is why I think a man like Jesus would have been seen as so dangerous to the established order of his day.

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The courage of the spiritual warrior is a call to action. Whether it’s the courageous action taken standing up for the free will rights of another or the courageous action it takes to simply admit we did wrong to ourselves or to another being. We need courage to walk the path of Light, Life, and Love, because this is NOT the path that mainstream commercial culture promotes. We need that brave mind and ethical impulse of the spiritual warrior to be able to successfully navigate through boggy mire that is the world humans have made and have allowed to be made for us. We need to be beacons of light to our fellow travelers who may be lost themselves.

Those who have ears should hear- answer the call and take the path of the spiritual warrior- the world needs as many as possible.   Until next time, Namaste and God Bless.

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THE LAMB, THE FISH AND THE BATTLE OF THE AGES (Part 2)

“Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”

– Matthew 4:19

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We are now going to shift our historical perspective to the first century AD- the start of the Age of Pisces the Fish, which followed the Age of Aries. This was a time of great upheaval in what had become known as Judea. This was the time of the Judeo-Roman Wars, the first of which was known as “The Great Revolt”, which lasted from 66-73AD. This resulted in a massacre of Judeans and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and eventually the entire city. Much of what is known as the “Apocalyptic Texts”, most famous of which is the Revelation of John would have been written during this time- a time when to the people of Judea, the world as they knew it was indeed coming to an end.

The Jewish/Roman historian Flavius Josephus placed the blame for the revolt on a sect of Judean nationalists known as the Zealots. Originating out of Galilee, this movement sought to incite the people of Judea to rebel against the occupying Romans and expel them from their land as they believed in their right to self-rule. The principle motivations behind this were due to Roman taxation policy and the requirement of worshiping Caesar as a god, as God alone was ruler of Judea. There were also tensions with the Judeans and the Greeks who inhabited the region under the Roman occupation, as well as growing frustrations with the Jewish elite class who profited under Roman rule.

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Two principle leaders of the Zealot movement were Eleazar Ben Simon and Judas of Galilee. However and interesting passage out of the writings of Josephus suggests another individual may have played a prominent role during the Revolt:

“So Jesus the son of Sapphias, one of those whom we have already mentioned as the leader of a seditious tumult of mariners and poor people, prevented us, and took with him certain Galileans, and set the entire palace on fire, and thought he should get a great deal of money thereby, because he saw some of the roofs gilt with gold. They also plundered a great deal of the furniture, which was done without our approbation; for after we had discoursed with Capellus and the principal men of the city, we departed from Bethmaus, and went into the Upper Galilee. But Jesus and his party slew all the Greeks that were inhabitants of Tiberias, and as many others as were their enemies before the war began.”

JosephusbustNow, it should be noted that Jesus in Hebrew translates to “Yeshua” or “Jehoshua”, or “Joshua”. That being said, it is likely that name may have been quite common. In my research alone I have found at least two more men on historical record of that same name living around that time. One of which was a high priest (Jesus son of Damneus) and the other, Jesus Ben Ananias, was a man who went about Jerusalem four years before the Great Revolt, shouting in the streets and prophesying the city’s destruction. He was turned over to the Romans by the city’s leaders, where he was then tortured and released after being deemed insane. He shouted, “Woe once more to the city and to the people and to the temple, and woe to me also,” before he was struck in the head with a rock and killed.

The Talmud, the Jewish repository of traditional Jewish knowledge refers to a man named Jehoshua Ben Pandira. This was a man who is said to have been accused of being a wizard and fled persecution from the rabbi’s by going to Egypt. He was eventually arrested upon return and stoned to death, then crucified on a tree on the eve of Passover. The Talmud recalls this man as being born during the reign of King Jannaeus which was from 106-79BC. This Jehoshua was known for teachings as well as performing wondrous works and healings. This may potentially shed light on the anomaly of Christian sects appearing the better part of a century or more before Jesus was reported to have lived.

All this being said, I am not looking to write an essay on the reality of Jesus as an individual flesh and blood man, or the possibilties that he was a composite like the rest of the Bible, or even a collective incarnation among multiple men: however you slice it, Christ Jesus was the embodiment of the life-giving Light of the Sun and the sub-luminous Light that dwells beyond it, and the movement and materialization of these archetypal forces in the consciousness of humanity. If one reads the Gnostic writings that were rejected by the Catholic Church, there are many stories that show Jesus as a form of spirit that appears to people (i.e. Paul on the road to Damascus).326156a84a58c0b41b84bd807fb8b781

The story of Jesus is one that is meant to capture the imagination. Imagination is the key to beginning the spiritual journey. The imagination moves the passions and hopefully stirs one to delve into the deeper mysteries, so long as they have the courage to pursue them. Jesus the Christ was and is the embodiment of the human being in his/her purest state. This was a state that was becoming available through the progression into the Age of Pisces. This was a state of consciousness that was being born again within humanity. I know Christ Jesus as the archetype of the ascended man for this Age- a spiritual and super-conscious being that encompasses the entirety of the Earth as a presence that can be communed with when one’s heart and mind is open.

Early Christianity recognized they were a movent devoted to embodying the new realities and “commandments” of this burgeoning New Age of Pisces. Early Christians even called themselves “little fishes,” and a code word for Jesus was the Greek word for fish, “Ichthys.” This is the true meaning behind the “Jesus Fish” you see on the back of cars.

Stele_Licinia_Amias_Terme_67646Fish-IchthysWe see this same symbol at Osireion, the Temple of Osiris in Egypt, which dates from at least 1300BC, if not 2300BC. This may be reference to the previous Age of Pisces, which would have occurred nearly 30,000 years ago. Osiris was the great father god of the Egyptians who was killed by a family member- the dark sun god Set (as Jesus was killed by his Judean bretheren) only to be resurrected by his consort, Isis, the divine mother. The two were parents of the golden falcon god Horus, who was the young Sun and a predescessor of Jesus as the Son/Sun.

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In Christ Jesus we saw the mystery of this cosmic drama realized in a fully human way. No longer were we looking at semi-human gods with unattainable powers, but were instead seeing the reality that this promise of eternal life and ascension can be realized for flesh and blood men and women in their current form. In essence the immortality of the gods becomes ours when we understand and more importantly live the deep teachings and mysteries of Christ.

The figure of the ascended God-Man, Christ Jesus- the fisher of men who was baptized in and walked on water; calmed the seas; performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes was the herald of what was then the New Age- the Age of Pisces. But the message of Jesus was at odds with the ways of the Scribes, Pharicees and Saudicees. These men now represented the clinging human consciousness that looked to hold onto the power and fortune the Old Age of Aries had brought them. They did not want to hear the new covenants and commandments that were necessary for humanity to thrive in this New Age.

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We see with the persecution and the crucifixion of Jesus, the attempt by the Old Age to subvert and kill the New Age so as to maintain power. But the coming of the New Age and the inevitable shift in consciousness and reality that comes with it CAN NOT BE STOPPED. This holds true even when those who cling to the Old Age would try and subvert, subdue and destroy that spark, like the Phoenix, the New Age rises from its seemingly apparent death.

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Now there are of course obvious references in the saga of the adult Jesus to the transition of the seasons from winter into spring, and the apparent “resurrection” of life that comes with it. It is also reference to the Pisces to Aries transition that happens (which is the reverse of how they are ordered in the great precession) at that time. And most importantly, it all has to do with the Sun/Son- the Light of the World. Again, this is another example of the reflection of macrocosm (i.e. the Great Year) into microcosm, which is in this case, our solar year.

image049According to the International Astronomical Union, the Age of Pisces is set to end around approximately 2597AD, when the March Equinox will cross over into the constellation of Aquarius. So as I’ve said before, the New Age of Aquarius is probably not actually here yet. But like the early Gnostic Christians, we can prepare our consciousness and get in tune with what is coming and many are. This involves a release of the old ways of thinking and doing on every level. Of course I strongly advise you to use discernment and not be fooled by the many attempts of the Old Age to rebrand itself as the New. Get to know yourself, as the Kingdom of Heaven is within you.

When does the Age of Aquarius begin?

As with the transition period of any age, it is always a tumultuous time historically. We would do well to understand that and do what we need to prepare every aspect of ourselves for the inevitable great changes that WILL happen while starting to bring the consciousness of the coming Age into the present. This begins by getting in touch with not only the Laws and Workings of Creation on a “macro” scale, but understanding and working with these Laws as they are reflected and manifested within ourselves. With that I will leave you with a quote from my teacher and mentor, Rev. Matthias, and until next time, Namaste and God Bless.

“Christ nailed to the cross is representative of spirit being affixed to the ‘cross of matter’. This ‘affixing’ is an alchemic principle that binds consciousness with form. It is only when we are fully human that we can be fully divine and it is only when we are fully divine that we can be fully human… The Christ impulse born in us at Christmas must be bonded with the body and with material consciousness. We can only raise up or resurrect from death, that which we as spirit have fully attached to. That journey IS the Way of Solar Initiation.”

THE LAMB, THE FISH AND THE BATTLE OF THE AGES (Part 1)

“The ancient pseudo-science of astrology, which attempts to predict the future by the motions of the planets, may have a bit of science in it, after all. This week Radio Corporation of America, no easy prey to superstition, announced in the RCA Review that it is successfully predicting radio reception by a study of planetary motions.”

– Time Magazine article: “RCA Astrology”- No Author given; April 16, 1951

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Perhaps the most fundamental concept I have found necessary to grasp in order to understand the meaning behind the “Mysteries” of Christianity (and pretty much every other major religion) is the idea that the human being is a microcosm (a miniature copy or representation of a larger whole) of the universe. This means Earth, Sun, Moon, Planets, Stars, and whatever realities lie between and beyond that. I might add that this understanding also opens the doors to making sense of what on the surface appears to be randomness and even chaos in the world around us and within us.

All of these things are represented within our being from our seemingly limitless consciousness right down to cellular, molecular, electro-chemical, and even atomic processes. The atom itself resembles a little solar system in its makeup and function. We reflect the energy and processes of these mysterious objects in the sky. It is well established that the Moon affects the tides as well as people’s mental states. Similarly it is known that the Sun affects the weather and climate patterns, as well as our own ability to create vitamin D3, which we need in order to maintain general health and wellness.

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However, mainstream science seems to want to stop with that and tends to deny that any of the other planets or stars have any affect on life here on Earth whatsoever, aside from the occasional meteorite pelting us. But there is science that has been done to show that the planets do indeed have some form of measurable affect on our environment in some capacity, as the quotation from Time Magazine illustrates. Likewise, whatever affects the environment inevitably affects US. Indeed the effect of the heavenly bodies on the Earth is something that humanity has known on one level or another for a very, very long time.

Beyond the Sun, Moon and planets, we have the stars. The stars, particularly the stars that make up what we know as the constellations of the Zodiac, were very important to the ancients. It was through reading the stars and the way the Sun (as well as the Moon) seemed to have specific qualities when passing in front of them that allowed the ancient priest and elite class to record their history, as well as understand the passage of the epochs and patterns of history. This knowledge would have also been used by the elite class to stay in power and manipulate events to their benefit. This knowledge was not necessarily something the common uninitiated man or woman possessed. Author Chricton E. M. Miller wrote in his article, “Stick, Stones and the Zodiac- Breaking the Seal”:

“Measuring time and distance was a power only available to a few and only passed through the family of rulers or through mystery schools to suitable initiates, while the general masses were seen, at the time, as filled with disease and avarice, lacking either
personal responsibility or intelligence… Clearly, the common man, who was
considered profane, was not allowed to know Priestly knowledge about Time, or their belief that God’s work was the creative combination of the Sun’s energy in the moment, and/or that the Creation was measurable from Time immemorial.”

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Now it would appear that this issue of time eliteism has been resolved as every electronic device on the market has a clock, and every Joe Schlubb is encouraged to purchase multitudes of these. However this is still a very superficial version of time that pretty much is there just to get us to work when we are required to be there. No doubt the agrarian peoples of the ancient world knew how to tell time in accordance with the motions of the sun and the moon, but again this is still a task-oriented version of time. This sort of small-scale timekeeping does not make it necessary to understand the deeper notions of time that are alluded to in Miller’s quote. Even if they could navigate with the stars, they did not necessarily understand them and how they related to the past, present and future. It is this deeper understanding of time that we will be looking as we examine the story of the Exodus of Moses and then the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus.

What we are going to look at are the passing of astrological ages, and how they affect the history and consciousness of humanity. These Ages occur due in part to a phenomenon known as the “Procession of the Equinoxes”. During this time the Sun appears to rise within the region of a particular constellation for a period of approximately 2,000-2,500 years. The transition point from one ruling constellation or “House” happens on the spring equinox, which is a major reason why Easter and Passover fall around this time. This process continues through all twelve constellations during what is known as a “Great Year”, which translates to approximately 25,920 solar years.

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These astrological ages were known by the ancient astronomers and learned class as periods of time that paralleled major changes in the development of the culture, society and politics of humanity, as well as potential changes or shifts within the Earth Herself. Many are not aware that the Bible is filled with references to these astrological changes.

The Bible itself is a synthesis of re-workings of the myths and allegories of the ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Phoenician and Greek mystery traditions (the major influences in the world at the time) that speak to the microcosm-macrocosm concept. This is then overlaid with a sort of semi-historical fable-ism and behavior placement (stories that show consequences and rewards for behaving in the manner the ruling class wanted, as well as laying out the Hebrew “commandments” and laws). This was a written compilation of what had been oral traditions up to that point. Arguably, this book has been compiled and edited by everyone from the Hebrew Scribes and Priests, to the ruling classes of Babylon and Caesar’s Rome, right down to the Roman Catholic Church.

The nature of the “historical” origins of the Bible, particularly the Exodus, is an interesting subject in and of itself. There is strong archaeological evidence that traces the Israelites of the Bible back to the Hyksos, a nomadic tribe of Semitic peoples originally thought to have been from central Asia. Known as the “Shepherd Kings”, the Hyksos made their way into Canaan before continuing on to Egypt, where they conquered and ruled from 1700-1550BC. There is debate as to whether the conquest was by direct conquest or gradual migration, infiltration, subversion and coup. However the Egyptians under the pharaoh Ahmose I, eventually expelled the Hyksos, pursuing them across northern Sinai into southern Canaan. Interestingly, St. Jerome and Irish Archbishop James Ussher both put the birthdate of Moses right in this time period at 1592BC and 1571BC respectively. Although Moses, like Jesus is a figure of historical controversy and uncertainty who may possibly be based in part on a real person or persons, and in part on mythic heroes of the ancient world.

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During this time, the Hyksos leaders would have learned from the great mystery traditions of Babylon and Egypt (The word “Israel” is a synthesis of the Egyptian mother goddess Isis and sun god Ra, along with the Phoenician/Canaanite god, El). It was more than likely here the Hyksos learned the secrets of the procession of astrological ages and how important it was to recognize them and work with their influence to maintain order.

We see this astrological symbolism in the story of Moses, where the blood of the Passover Lamb was smeared on the doors of the Israelites in Egypt during the Plagues. The sacrifice of the Passover Lamb was an honoring of the Age of Aries, the ram and the celebration of the fortune this age would bring. This was the age of the “Promised Land”. Historically, this would have been the period of time these stories were first “scribed”. Through the Lamb/Ram, the Israelites were liberated.

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However, the Israelites quickly forgot the promises of this New Age, and sought to go back to the old ways of the previous Age, and began worshipping the Golden Calf while Moses was on Mount Sinai; for those who aren’t familiar, the Age of Aries the Ram is preceded by the Age of Taurus the Bull. Moses was furious with how quickly the people lost faith in the promise of the New Age and the liberation it had allotted them.

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What the above story illustrates is that the previous Astrological age always tries to stay beyond its allotted time, specifically as it relates to the way the age manifests within the consciousness of humans- particularly the attached and grasping mind that fears change. It is a battle between the illusion of fixed or static consciousness and the reality of fluid or moving consciousness. I also find it interesting that the Israelites worshipped a calf, which seems as either a way of trying to create the illusion that the conditions they were attached to will remain forever the same- forever young; or it is a way of highlighting the phenomena of attempting to re-brand the Old Age/Order as the “New Age/Order”, which is something that is being attempted once again in modern times.

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The Israelites would eventually gather themselves and move forward to live by the commandments of the Age and get the Promised Land that came with it. In the story of Joshua we see the Israelite’s taking down the walls of Jericho with the sound of the Ram’s Horn as commanded by the Canaanite/Hebrew tribal god, Yahweh/YHVH. Throughout the Old Testament it is shown what happens when a nation of people does and does not live according to Laws of the Ages. Another moral that can be taken from is that we gain freedom and liberation when we act in harmony with the greater Laws of Nature and Creation.