Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Captives III: Remorse, Awe of God and Prayer

Jesus going to Pray (Tissot)

In Mythraism and Christianity, this day rememorates the rebirth of Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun, the Christ. From here onwards, days become longer, light conquers darkness. 

Inwardly, this points to an inner rebirth in us. And as it was said saw yesterday, before being reborn, the “old man” must die, and before that, one must realize how terrible the inner condition is. In the beginning there might be little awakenings that come and go, but these can´t last until one doesn´t feel and see the misery of the blind and selfish situation, a realization that is usually hindered by “psychological resistances”, forcing oneself to sleep longer. 

Hence the importance of learning to feel conscious remorse, every time divine conscience touches our “lower nature”. Then we feel we are not as we should, and then “something” rebels and gets sad; the Divine suffers in us (see The Language of Depression, published on 8th of August 2009). 

There is a profound feeling which is quite absent in modern humanity:

In the Bible it is expressed as Awe of the Lord (Yirah Adonai), and usually translated as “fear of God”, what makes people believe it is fear to be punished by God or being afraid of offending God –two views that have no sense, unless it refers to a false, wrathful, punitive, proud and minor “god”. 

The awe of God is the instinctive and sublte feeling of fragility and awe in the contemplation of something sublime that shatters the little "ego-complex" into pieces, and also when we feel our insignificance or imperfection after being touched by the Light of Consciousness.

An feeling modern man rarely experiences given the habitual hypnotic state of ego inflation.

When we are touched by something deeply, the veils of selfishness fall, and it´s then when sentiments such as compassion, remorse, true love and awe emerge easily. And divine is the faculty behind them; in fact, it is our divine part what feels wonder and awe.  

(A more complete article on this was published as Awe of the Lord on the 5th of June of 2014)

These realisations help one adopt an adamant and detached attitude, allowing the true self to manifest, raising a “no” towards harmful habits.

Iamness can became a form of meditation and prayer in several traditions.

A good example lies in the Old Testament, when the Divine presents itself to Moses with the enigmatic name:

 I am that I am (Exodus 3:14)

 Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58)

It is difficult to express in words the art of prayer, so let´s avoid making things too complicated. It suffices to know the I am prayer is "contemplative", not a "prayer of petition"; in other words, its content is meant to be experienced, as in the Lord´s Prayer. 

The I am prayer is basically oriented to those moments in which it is necessary to resist and be detached from a certain psychological tendency: anger, stray thoughts, restlessness, etc. Its most simple form, well known in many traditions, consists in “inhaling” through the nose, feeling “I” in back of the head, solar plexus and spine –as if one stood up watching–, and “exhaling” naturally through the nose feeling “am”, relaxing the whole body. The words are not verbalized externally, but internalized until it is no longer necessary, since the crucial point is to be a "silent witnessing force", aware of sensation and feeling of divine life in oneself. 

Yet, this first approach is never enough, for one needs  higher help.

A powerful prayer practised by the Fathers of the Desert is Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, mistaken one; Kyrie Iesu Christé, Yie tou Theou, éleison me, ton hámartolon.

Hamartolón derives from hamartia, which means to “miss the mark”, the “fall” of the heroe in his journey, as Aristotle tells in the Poetics. Hence the word “sinner” does not fit here, for it is so corrupted that it does not resonate as it should. 

And there is a special way of reciting it. First of all it is essential to let go of wandering thoughts and feel the breath and the heart beating, to feel the presence of life, which is divine. 

For the sake of simplification, it can be repeated rhythmically  as Lord Have Mercy, or Kyrie Ele-són, oKyrie Chris-té, ele-són me, or Jesus Christ, Son of the Abba, have mercy on me, fallen one.

The Hesychast tradition stresses the importance of the “rhythmic breath” [1]:

A relaxed form would be:

1.Lord  during exhalation
2.Have mercy during inhalation


1.Iesu Kristé, Yie tou Theou (pronounced Kere Kresté, e to theó), during the exhalation.
2.éleison me, during the inhalation, receiving air consciously, as compassion coming from above.
3.ton hamartolón, in exhalation, feeling openness and surrender, letting go of the falls, hedlessness...
4.Inhalation in deep silence.
Repetition of the process.

This makes one see the uselessness of mummbling and grunting at high speed –as it is usually done in churches. Prayers are to feel something deeper within that may purify and heal. After all, the Consciousness one aspire to receive is the Christ, which means “Anointing Light". 

Concerning the art of praying, Yeshua said almost everything (Matthew 6:5-8): 

 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites...enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

There is another exemplar text, quoted below. [2]

With this, we leave this crazy year 2013, and hope that our captivity can be useful in the Real World.


[1] The Power of the Name. 
See exposition of Ted Nottimgham. Link in the post Captives

[2] With regard to prayer:

"Take the ordinary God have mercy upon me! What does it mean? A man is appealing to God. He should think a little; he should make a comparison and ask himself what he is and what God is. Then he is asking God to have mercy upon him. But for this, God must first of all think of him, take notice of him. But is it worth while taking notice of him? What is there in him that is worth thinking about? And who is to think about him? God himself! You see, all these thoughts and many others should pass through his mind when he utters this simple prayer. And then it is precisely these thoughts which could do for him what he asks God to do. But what can he be thinking of and what result can a prayer give if he merely repeats like a parrot: 'God have mercy! God have mercy! God have mercy!' You know yourself that this can give no result whatever." (G.I.Gurdjieff in Fragments of an Unknown Teaching, Ch 15).


queridia said...

My thoughts about 2013 are many faceted, it was a 'crazy' year in many ways, but the word 'crazy' has many facets too. Funny things happened and 'funny' things happened in the psychological context. My own thinking has changed from negative to a more positive understanding of the rapid changes, we have to live the changes, just as Jesus had to live in a body to know something of what 'human' beings experience. But his mission may have primarily been intended to tell us more about the 'kingdom of heaven' which is within.

Tireless Seeker said...

Of course "the world madness" is part of Divine Reality. As Heraclitus pointed: "To God, all things are beautiful, good and just; but men have assumed some things to be unjust, others just."

Yet, the understanding of Non Duality is the greatest challenge, don´t you think?.

Although it´s perhaps mankind´s main destiny.