Sunday, December 22, 2013

Captives I: The Fall



The Winter Solstice arrived yesterday. Helios, the Sun, reached the bottom of its journey, touching without hesitation the frightening pit of darkness, where it is crucified. There it will rest three days, as Jesus on the tomb, rising on the same spot (hence solstice, from sol-stare), until it is born again, as every year.
Similarly, we, the human spirit, is crucified into matter, captured by Mrs.Deception:
 If the thought begins innocently as a simple “suggestion”, if the soul dialogues with it, then comes the “ascent”. When the object lodges for long time and the soul gets used to it, finally comes “captivity”, when the heart is dragged alone involuntarily. Hence St.Basil says we must watch over ourselves and always have our attention in an awakened state. [1] 
This is how the Fathers of the Desert used to teach, going direct to the wound. And we may follow them, guessing that our "ascent" takes place on Mount Sinai
Isn´t such a gradual fall interesting?  Its subtlety is overwhelming. What makes it so appealing? The donkey-mind hears something or watches something, and suddenly, a reactive mental image or words emerge, as activated by a button; a force then drives smoothly the mind, which  blindly considers the "suggestion", and before the rooster crows, the human automaton feels forced to obey and react like a hyena, caught by gluttony, anger, groach, hate, lust or any other passion.
Such is the daily behavioral ABC of the so called homo sapiens sapiens “man knower-knower”:), who believes to be the apex of evolution and of the food chain; who believes he is the "owner of himself"; who calls himself “Christian, Muslim, Jewish, socialist, republican, democrat and then condemns, hates, despises and kills the neighbour”; who regards himself as “rational”, “artist”, “creative” and "owner" of a planet full of insane dumps...
Why is man such a terrible fool? And why “knowing it” is not enough to change? 

Well, we will focus on these questions on the next post. Now, without going too far, we can start realising that something strange in our DNA pulls us down, for it splits our nature into two: “the animal nature” and “the spiritual nature”. And perhaps that is necessary to evolve, but both natures tend to coexist as enemies. In many cases the weak part wins without effort and the spiritual side simply retreats, ashamed and horrified of its savage earthly vessel. In other cases these two natures struggle with ardent passion against each other, as a group laughing hyenas trying to devour a wounded lion. And despite the fire generated gives access to "precious jewels" everybody would long for, sometimes there is so much cruelty in the struggle that one side kills the other, and the evolution is thwarted.
For this reason, lucid teachings invite us not destroy the dark, but rather to transform the negative and passional side into a positive and willingful one, such as anger into creative will, self-love into self-respect and so on.
So, will we keep playing the role of victims, blaming old shaitanic forces and the dark prehistory of our DNA for our slavery or we will rather open our eyes and start unveiling the “psychological” roots of our contradictions? How much pain are we willing to endure to transform our "false selfishness" and fulfil a higher purpose? Where is our true love for the Divine that shines in us and in others? How can we liberate our trapped Unicorn? Do we want to be truly free or our longing for love and freedom is just cheap poetry?
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[1] from The Power of the Name, by Alphonsse and Rachel Goettman, quoted by Ted Nottingham on the wonderful presentation Early Christian Mysticism: The Jesus Prayer: 

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