Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Inherently Christian

Coming on the heels of Monday's post about Matthew 6, another set of questions.

Everyone with an interest in the Gurdjieff work eventually discovers that Gurdjieff referred to it on more than one occasion as "esoteric Christianity."

Might we say that the Gurdjieff work is, in other words, inherently Christian?

And if it is, why don't we hear more about Christ in the Gurdjieff work? Why aren't Christ's teachings ever discussed? ...Can we study an elephant and try to understand it--without ever mentioning an elephant?

Memoirs of exchanges while Gurdjieff was alive indicate that questions on Christianity were often raised and discussed, but in over twenty-five more or less uninterrupted years of work within the Gurdjieff foundation, I can probably just about count the number of times Christ has been mentioned in a group or a meeting on the fingers of my two hands.

On the first point, it's evident, one can discover disagreement. In the first place, there's little doubt that the Gurdjieff work owes more than a passing nod to Islam, and, perhaps more specifically, Sufism. (One can, of course, mount a cogent argument suggesting that Sufism and even Islam in general owe more than a passing nod to Judaeo-Christianity. But let's not run in circles.)

The other apparent non-Christian source of genesis for the Gurdjieff work is Tibetan Buddhism. Here again we find interesting correlations, parallels which are not too surprising, given the indications that Gurdjieff spent time in Tibet.

Above all, however, Gurdjieff's roots lie in his Eastern Orthodox childhood. There can be no doubt that the origin of his religious impulses began here, and that (as I have pointed out before in other posts) he never abandoned them.

The intricacies, majesty, and glory of orthodox Christianity (be it Roman or be it Eastern) find direct parallels in the extraordinary iconography, ritual and outright magic of both Hinduism and Buddhism. In my own view, all of the planet's "great religions" are one religion. Born and raised a Christian, I openly admit my Christianity and embrace it wholeheartedly. My own personal experience defaults me back to Christ over and over again, regardless of my interest in and respect for other practices.

Thus I find myself asking why we don't discuss Christ's words more in the Gurdjieff work. Over the years, I have discovered, it is a common practice for apologists to explain that this is because we are not a religion. This despite the fact that some aspects of the Gurdjieff work seem to suggest we are trying to become one ...albeit rather clumsily. So far, the formal branches of the Gurdjieff work haven't even qualified as a decent cult. We are too disorganized-- and, of course, we should probably be thankful for that, even as we scoff at ourselves, and each other.

In any event, it's not just discussion of Christianity that is missing in the Gurdjieff work. We don't discuss a lot of important concepts when we meet in groups. One rarely hears discussions, for example, about love. I've heard all kinds of excuses about that, primarily one that suggests we don't discuss it because we don't really understand what it means. The argument is an unfortunate one, because if group discussions were restricted to subjects we truly understand, there wouldn't be any group discussions, would there?

This lack of attention to the question of love seems bizarre to me, given that love lies at the very heart of this work. Many people have left the work because they determine, in the end, that (for them at least) there isn't enough emphasis on love. It seems to me that the Work may be doing a poor job of communicating this by remaining a bit too silent on the subject. Perhaps it would be all right to talk about love, if we are willing to blather on about so many other things we don't really understand, such as "silence," "energy," and so on.

What do you think?

In the same spirit, perhaps it would be all right to actually study and discuss Christ's words. The man said the most extraordinary things, things no other man has ever said. If the literalist Christians, the fundamentalists, and the organized church are the only institutions laying claim to Christ's words and examining them, then we have only ourselves to blame for what we get. It may be that esoteric organizations such as our "famous" Gurdjieff work ought to be paying more attention to the question of Christ.

If the work is esoteric Christianity, it is inherently Christian. And if it is inherently Christian, should there perhaps be a bit more time spent examining the questions of Christianity itself? Not from the point of view of the books that Gurdjieff wrote, but from the perspective of the New Testament? After all, despite the disturbingly fawning reverence with which the book is treated in the Work (but don't get me wrong here-- I feel it is an extremely valuable piece of work), Gurdjieff did not ever say that his teaching was "Esoteric Beelzebubianity."

This raises yet another awkward question: the quintessentially disturbing dilemma that Gurdjieff mischievously shrink wrapped his entire enterprise in.

Can one be an admirer of Beelzebub and a follower of Christ at the same time?

This question, in and of itself, invites its own special brand of trouble. In the interest of avoiding a tongue-in-cheek endnote, I will try to summarize in a less flippant manner.

The work is inherently Christian. We cannot sign on to the Gurdjieff work and avoid this question. If we consider ourselves Gurdjieffians, it behooves us to study what Christ said, and study it carefully. It not only behooves us from the point of view of our own inner work -- which definitely needs to be informed, that is, inwardly formed, by effort at a relationship with Christ. It is also our solemn responsibility, as members of this work, to strive with all of our being to understand what Christ called us to, to penetrate the mystery he presented us with, so that the words of Christ are not left to be prostituted solely in the hands of the circus acts, the ignoramuses, and the jailers.

One of the most stunning revelations in recent years was Frank Sinclair's memoir ("Without Benefit of Clergy") of Gurdjieff exhorting his followers, one Christmas Eve, to seek Christ and to call on him as though he were real and could come to help us.

If it was good enough for Mr. Gurdjieff to call on Christ, I think it is good enough for me.

I may not get an answer, but to be humbled by the mystery as I call is enough.

May your roots find water, and your leaves know sun.


  1. Here we could have an interesting discussion.

    When Mr. Gurdjieff began to teach it was in Russia and in 1913 -- 14and most of his students were Orthodox Christian -- not Muslim, not Buddhist, not Taoist, not Hindu. The majority of his early students were upper-class Russians and many of them considered themselves very good Orthodox Christians.

    In the very beginning Mr. Gurdjieff did not use Christian terminology nor did he use the word God as he did later, and so his students or disciples kept pestering him about the lack of love in his system, about the lack of Christian terminology.

    I believe that this is the only reason why he finally said, "for those who know already, the work is 'esoteric Christianity'".

    While it is true that Mr. Gurdjieff was brought up in the Orthodox Christian Church, he very soon took his search elsewhere.

    On page 203 of "Views from the Real World", Mr. Gurdjieff states: "I have studied about 200 religions, but if they are to be classified, I would say that there exists only four ways".

    I know of no other place where he referred to his Work as "esoteric Christianity". There are many statements about Christianity in "Views," including the statement that the entire purpose of his school was to enable men and women to become real Christians rather than simply taking the name willy-nilly.

    But by and large, he was speaking to people who thought of themselves as Christian -- who called themselves Christians already. I believe that if he had been speaking to members of another faith, he would've spoken of esoteric Islam or esoteric Buddhism or esoteric Hinduism.

    I know of only one instance of the following report: one day while Mr. Gurdjieff was speaking to some new people in Russia, a certain Dr. Z. (who followed him for his entire life) blurted or shouted out the following: "Mr. Gurdjieff is the second coming of Christ!".

    Mr. Gurdjieff turned to Dr. Z. and emphatically told him to shut up (shouting), and to never say such a thing again. Dr. Z kept his tongue after that.

    My own personal belief is that Mr. Gurdjieff brought a new dispensation; a new revelation equal to any of the other dispensations occasionally given to mankind in order to further his evolution.

    The Buddha or Mohammed or others have nothing like the scope or power that Mr. Gurdjieff's teachings have, if one makes the effort to try to understand them. Perhaps they did when they arrived, but the jist was soon lost.

    I believe that Mr. Gurdjieff's teachings reveal a skeleton key not only of the possibility of work on oneself, with others and for The Work, but a means whereby one can open the secret chambers of all religions, including but not strictly Christianity.

    Personally I am glad that we do not hear more about Christ in the Gurdjieff work. I can hear all about Christ on the subway and through all of the fanatically hypnotized so-called Christians.

    I have often said that there ought to be "Christian checkers" who stand outside of churches and slap the people coming out or stick hat pins in their asses or step on their nicely shined shoes, hard, and see if they turn the other cheek or they have left their Christianity behind in the church.

    An ability to become truly Christian is embedded in the Work like yeast. There is no reason to talk about it.

    People have been trying to find out where Mr. Gurdjieff got his ideas since the very beginning, and asked him endless questions about it. Sometimes he said he made it all up himself. Sometimes he said he learned it in secret monasteries. Sometimes he said that he learned it from the devil himself.

    I myself have studied many religions, perhaps not 200 as Mr. Gurdjieff has said, but many, and I haven't found anything like Mr. Gurdjieff's views of man's purpose and position in the cosmos in any of them. People talk of his debt to the Sufis as if the Nashkabandhis invented the Enneagram and somehow kept it secret for centuries. I say hogwash.

    Some people claim his tradition is from the Tibetan Buddhists -- but they don't have anything like the science of being that Mr. Gurdjieff brought.

    On page 79 of "Views", Mr. Gurdjieff talks of India. Nobody ever thinks of trying to trace his teaching to the Sanatana dharma, but it is obvious that his teaching regarding the Law of three stems from the Samkya and the concept of the three Gunas. He also speaks in "Fragments" of sleeping next to a Fakir near a Temple in India -- which is nowhere near Tibet.

    As for love, it has almost so many meanings that it has become a useless word, like God. Sometimes a website will ask you to answer a silly question as security.

    Sometimes the question is "who is your favorite fictional character?" I almost always answer "God." The idea of a Almighty personal God (and I am a Gnostic) is just a whole lot of fiction. The hierarchy of the government of the universe just doesn't work like that. Anyway, that's what Mr. Gurdjieff taught, and I believe him before I would believe anybody else. I am not denigrating the efficacy of prayer, only the level of those entities that may answer it.

    I have no idea why you would want to talk about Christ and to hear more about Christ in Gurdjieff meetings. That would appear to me to run completely in circles and perhaps even destroy both teachings.

    Mr. Gurdjieff himself very early on (in the same book of reportage that the quote about "esoteric Christianity" comes from, Mr. Gurdjieff claims that his work is an entirely new unknown teaching, while at the same time tying it to "ancient" teachings -- pre-Christian, pre-Judaism, pre-Egyptian, etc..

    Anyway this is a silly argument. Those who leave the Work because it does not contain enough "love" do so because they have what Mr. Gurdjieff calls "requirements". They want love but they don't radiate love themselves or they would see love everywhere.

    There is an old story about a man who went from guru to guru complaining about the burden he carried, and that he could find no one willing to help him carry it. Finally he was told of the true master and he climbed the mountain and found him. He said "Dear Sir, I can find no one who is willing to help another carry his burden. What am I to do?"

    The Master said: "it is easy to find one who is willing to carry the burden of another. Simply go and find one with a burden and help him to carry it. Then you will have found a man who is willing to help another carry his burden".

    In my own opinion Mr. Gurdjieff is a brother to Christ. Jesus is called the shepherd, who looks after the flock of sheep. Sheep are meek and easily looked after.

    Mr. Gurdjieff instead is the "Goat Herder". Goats are an entirely different animal -- stubborn and recalcitrant, and they will eat any old thing -- even an old tin can. The world is no longer full of sheep but is instead full of goats all butting each other in rut.

    That's why Mr. Gurdjieff was sent.

    My personal opinion only.


  2. Christianity is not a religion, it is Reality. That is not a platitude either. It's a real observable fact for anyone to contact. And that is the point, the worlds 'great religions' are most definitely NOT one religion. That they all bare elements of truth is evidence of their shared source in general revelation. Only Christianity describes reality. When the power of darkness and ignorance cloaked the world general revelation was corrupted. Through special revelation and the inspiration of scripture, the redemptive work of Christ and the plan of God offered a way back home. The Scriptures are 'God-breathed' and really not to be confused with hadiths and sutras. When you can taste it, when you awake to His presence in your heart then you understand and know His dominion is eternal, "his kingdom is from generation to generation." (Dan4:34) Why so little talk of Christ? It is safer to praise men. Everyone's vanity is nicely massaged, we're all comfortable, safe, at ease in the world. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2Ti 4:3-4)

  3. Here we have a perfect example, in the comment on your post by + of the necessity of seperating Gurdjieffian language from talk of "Christ".

    Mention Christ and the "Christians" crawl out of the woodwork like bedbugs: certain of themselves and their doctrine; special and saved; ready for the soap box; preachy; pontificating; assured and ready to take up the sword against any and all comers. Pugnacious and belligerent, like the rest of the United States, at war and ready to fight anybody and anything.

    I attended many meetings of pseudo-Gurdjieffians, where the members were led to feel that they were special -- that they had been given esoteric knowledge which made them superior to sleeping man.

    The real work makes you feel the truth of your nothingness, your abysmal tiny being virtually powerless against the onslaught of hypnotic impressions from the outer world.

    Real Christians practice the precepts of Christ, they do not preach at others but take themselves in hand. Real Christians are students of their teacher, and they work tirelessly to prevent the necessity of a second coming. They are themselves the second coming if they were only to stop shouting about the glory of Christ and start working on themselves.

    I hardly know where to begin when I see posts that quote scripture and make declarations like "Only Christianity describes reality."

    Only reality is reality. There are no words to describe it, Christian or otherwise. It is indescribable and inscrutable and well outside the purview of words, excepting if you use the Greek word logos, which also means image and ratio as well as "Word" all at the same time. The proclamation of Christianity has nothing to do with it.

    This is the dilemma that Mr. Gurdjieff met with when he began to teach. He talked often of the uselessness of trying to convince someone that he needs to work for something he believes he already has, like salvation of faith in Christ, or salvation by works in Christ, or objective consciousness or objective conscience.

    Tell a man that he is not conscious and he becomes conscious just long enough to proclaim through his half sleep that he IS conscious, has free will and a conscience, and then he promptly lays his head back on the pillow.

    I am not saying any of this in order to talk to +. He is beyond talking to, having been deeply hypnotized into becoming a tongue wagging puppet by political Christianity. Although there is no way to tell if he is Christian or not, the high stance and certain pronouncements he makes prosecute him themselves.

    Real Christians do not pontificate. This only turns people off. There is enormous hidden meaning in the fact that the first disciples were fishermen. Fishermen get up while everyone else is asleep and prepare their tackle boxes. They slip out of the house without waking up anyone and they meet by the waters. They quietly put their boat out and rarely talk even amongst themselves. There is a saying amongst fishermen: "a noisy fishermen only catches sick fish."

    Jesus said: "the kingdom of heaven is like unto a woman to put a small amount of yeast in her loaf. After putting the loaf in the oven, the entire loaf rose. Let them who have ears to hear, hear!"

    Islam means submission, but there are those who insist on submission upon threat of the sword. Who can submit another to the will of God?" One can only submit oneself, voluntarily and without coercion.

    Christianity is no different. It is a religion that has come to coerce its practitioners into making fierce moral and ethical demands upon others, while the so-called believers sit pretty in their belief that their faith in Jesus will save them no matter what their sins, through an act of grace freely given and obtained through the passion of the Lord.

    Personally, although my birth certificate calls me a Christian, and I have served as a lector in church, and have sponsored accolades through catechism, and know the Bible inside out, I am entirely a Gurdjieffian and would not dare to call myself a Christian, because I fail to turn the other cheek; truly love my enemies, or follow any of the other precepts which Christ demanded of his followers. I try and I cry but like St. Paul, that which I do not wish to do, I do, and that which I wish to do, I fail to do.

    Here is a logian from the Gospel of Thomas:

    "A man wished to kill the King. He therefore took his sword out of its scabbard and used all of his strength to stab the wall, to see if his own arm had the strength to carry through. Let those who have ears to hear, hear; and those who have eyes to see, see."

    + has the sword of his tongue, but it does not carry through. The Gospel in this case is that he does not have any real weapons, or we would all be facing the Inquisition again.


  4. I am not sure how Gurdjieff could call the work Christian (esoteric or otherwise) if Christ was not at the centre of it.

    Christian influenced he and his students may have been, but we could say the same for Mohammed. Mere influence does not make one a Christian, one must embrace him as Messiah. Faith, hope and love are at the core of Christ's teachings. I don't think the occasional mention counts as embracing Jesus as Master.

  5. There's just too much shouting going on here. Which is a shame but it's the usual thing, contestants in a boxing ring bent on demolishing the opponent - rather than apprehending knowledge of truth. I'm beyond talking to? A happy privilege it must be.

    Most of rinyc's 'points' are merely association. He argues from objections raised in the outer part of centres, that's obvious. Working from small I's he maintains a view of Christianity based entirely upon personal association. It has nothing to do with self-knowledge nor even a basic effort to understand something new - to cast aside negative imagination (& historically formed associations) to learn a-new. It suits the old man to shoe-horn Christianity into something dark and small, to keep it in a lowly place. But the high stance rinyc accuses me of adopting is itself Christian. And good too. You should know how the world eats our energies, how energy of consciousness is so easily taken. It all descends. Christianity has no truck with our vanity, imagination, pride, self-will, favourite idols, personal glories - it is just not going down there. It's here to confront those temples of self-love. Christianity is against this dark kingdom of violence - it favours conscious love. I suspect rinyc has been too long in the company of Churchy types. Don't drag me down there, (that's your old business.) Maurice Nicoll talked of taking a holiday from people - he meant letting go of associations and accepting that you know nothing about other people. Rinyc might be in need of that holiday.

    Remember, Real I is under the Law of Will, and above Real I is God. Paul, in Romans, teaches that because of sin we have no free will, our hearts are in bondage to sin. We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners. Any fool who believes they are superior hasn't understood this simple truth. Bunyan marked this point accurately in Pilgrim's Progress, it's the 'village of morality' mentality making oneself good before God. Calvin referred to our extensively ruined nature as 'Total Depravity'. This phrase hits hard and pinpoints the state in which all sleeping men find themselves. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom 8:7-8) To understand this you have to be broken down, and severely so, harshly, for a long time - because there can remain no vestige of importance or worth in the old man. It's my understanding that no one contacts the Work or Christ until they have understood their own nothingness. All manner of people are drawn into these orbits, but only superficially - and, until they are broken down there can be no real contact with higher influence.

    As rinyc claims to know what real Christians do and don't do, it would be valuable to remember that a Christian is one who invites Christ in to their lives, one who has faith in Christ. Salvation is by Grace. It's not complicated. Though perhaps it isn't always easy either. Spiritual warfare is like that.

    Matt Stone's point is an interesting one.

    Christianity's central or distinguishing characteristic is one with the Work. Whilst this may not always be obvious, it becomes utterly blatant at the point of the second conscious shock - it becomes impossible to deny. The Work teaches the inner meaning of Christ. Gurdjieff said 'Once the head has remembered, let it go'. He emphasised, we must 'feel, feel' (Mi 12).

    Understand this kingdom is mediated. It's simple yet profound, Christianity is reality.

    I broke a cardinal rule in this post by mixing the language of the Work with the language of Christianity. It's folly. Shoot me.

  6. Lee,
    You mentioned that in 25 years of group work you partook in only a few exchanges about Christ and Christianity, or something to that effect.

    My experience has been different, so I would like to share a bit with you on that.

    In my time with Mrs. March, she consistently brought something of Christ and Christianity to us in a way that inspired our practical work.

    She shared private anecdotes from Mr. Gurdjieff; expressed her own insights and convictions; offered material for study -- Gnostic readings, the Acts of St. John, etc. Most of all, she guided us through the 40-day Lenten period leading up to Easter, in the manner she had experienced with Gurdjieff at the Prieure.

    Those were marvelous times of exploration and discovery, on a group and individual level; the vibration is still with me today.

    Raised as I was in an agnostic-Jewish family, this was completely new; but I felt it was the truest introduction to a religion one could be lucky enough to partake in.

    In equal measure, Mr. Nyland's material has offered pure perspectives on Christ in relation to my innermost currents of working. I get a sense that all of what came from him and Mrs. March was imbued with Mr. Gurdjieff's grasp of esoteric Christianity in practical terms, conjoining with their own lifetimes of efforts and searching.

    Now I reflect often on Gurdieff's statement about "Christians in quotation marks." It is a very useful question to carry about myself in daily life -- what would it mean to be truly Christian?

    I have no interest in churches, congregations, mass marketing of religious values... for every good thing to be found there, something else false and hypocritical is inevitably nearby.

    So being a Christian without quotation marks has to be something different than ideas, labels, prescriptions... I think it may be measured in how I manifest, behave, particularly in relation to other lives outside my own --- plants, animals, family, friends, strangers.

    At the heart of it, experience and lessons/examples from teachers forge for me a conviction that 'Christ' and 'I' are qualitatively the same. But here the sense of this word 'I' is as it is used in "All and Everything," not the Ouspenskian "multiplicity of I's." (That of course is a separate interesting discussion).

    Enough.... I appreciate your blog entries quite much.

  7. Thanks for sharing that, DSS.

    I didn't know Mrs. March, but her daughter Sylvia is a good friend of ours. I haven't asked her about this aspect of her mother's work, but I will.

    The Welch line of work, which I am in, certainly has a tradition of including Christianity in exchange. it just surprises me that we hear relatively little about it, overall.

    Anyway, it is worthwhile and stimulating to see the dialogue this post has generated. I try to avoid taking positions on the comments, but I am grateful to everyone who contributes.

  8. I am happy to be the recipient of +'s misplaced sense of outrage and feelings of having been attacked, even though I only mention him by his handle twice, once at the beginning and once in the middle where I do in fact say that he (or she) is beyond talking to. I can easily imagine that that statement could be taken as a slight, and engender a mechanical knee-jerk response of hurt feelings and negative emotions.

    +'s reply only strengthens that impression. I don't know if he can be talked WITH, but nobody likes to be talked AT. We are then both guilty of falling far short of any Christian principles.

    Mr. Gurdjieff stated that a Christian is one who practices the precepts of Christ, and advised those who were with him that this was a VERY big thing for a "man", and extremely rare.

    I speak from principles, and believe like Saint Augustine that there have been Christians from the beginning of the "world"; that there were Christians before Christ's birth.

    If so, how could they have been expected to "know" or know OF Christ?

    It cannot have anything to do with "faith" IN Christ if the Christians who lived BEFORE Christ acted accordingly so that they might BE true Christians - it had to be in the way that they manifested and lived having nothing to do with after the fact "faith"; or maybe St Augustine was as full of it as a puff pastry.

    Mr. Gurdjieff later in his teaching career showed much more of his roots in Chritianity than he did at the beginning, one of the reasons Ouspensky left. Towards the end of his life he celebrated Christmas and Easter with large celebrations, but then who can forget that he wanted the Christmas tree hung UPSIDE DOWN from the ceiling one year.

    He had a sense of humor which we seem to lack. My apologies to + for putting him in a lather, and bravo to me for stepping on his toes and ruffling his feathers, so that perhaps he might have something to "Work" on.

    I know I have plenty of work on myself ahead of me. Any faith I might have is not in being saved already, but faith that my Work produces results and that the universe must pay up, a fact which MR. Gurdjieff pointed out was a LAW. If I then choose to give that payment to a charity, like to the Cosmos as a whole, or to the Solar system, it's my own act of will, the only real will we have.


  9. Christians prior to Christ's birth in the flesh & blood? Absolutely true. Christ has always existed, He is God the Son, he is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Rev 13:8. He is Eternal. He was with God in the beginning, before the foundation of the world when he chose the elect, for whom he was made flesh, to dwell amongst. It was for the redemptive plan that God sent his son. The circle of 'our' time is a very different thing to the Eternal.

    I am aware of G statements regarding Christians and i understand why he said those things, however Scripture is the source of the Christian teaching and one cannot dismiss the fact that, by definition a Christian is one who has a relationship with Christ - regardless of personal short comings. As much as we would "go unto perfection" we are yet still prisoners of the flesh. I agree with G, but never mind the precepts, simply for a man to recognise a higher authority, to put himself in front of Christ is a VERY BIG THING. Yet people do. That is because faith is a positive emotion, and because somehow through our depraved corrupt sinful level of Being the Holy Spirit teaches us humility, and we yield to God's mercy - and understand there is nothing left in ourselves that is not rotten.

    G taught the Work not theology, not scripture. Nicoll recounts (Commentaries, p1444) O being asked if Christ taught the 4thWay. His answer was that the Way of Christ is much bigger. Now you may ignore or dismiss such statements or you make the effort to understand. Something to meditate on perhaps.

    PS. Rinyc: there is no outrage nor negative emotions.

  10. The hypnotic state governing the ideologies and proclamations of the fundamentalist "christians" is not subject to subjective or objective reason. They are the exact equal of the Islamic fundamentalist Jihads.
    I can say no more but that
    Monotheism is the worst scourge to ever have visited the Earth.

    May "God" have mercy on + and his kind. The first rascooarno will out them for what they are, with the faith of fools with big mouths and violent rage (disguised as "scripture" or "dogma") at any who disagree with their certainty. Please, mr. +, have the last word... I am sure you are going to take it anyway. You are sure you are saved. You need no more comment from me. I'm movin on.


  11. I have no great hankering for the last word but your apparent hostility forces it upon me. I say again you bring all your associations to the table and refuse to have an honest discussion. Any violent rage is your own imagination, is that because I do not agree with YOUR certainty?

    Who is saved? I know it is a question that has burned in the hearts of many over the centuries - it's a misleading line of enquiry. No one is saved because of anything they have done or anything they believe. Even faith is a gift of God, nothing we take credit to ourselves. Can I be sure I am saved? No. The world is a battleground, we are engaged in continuous spiritual warfare (not sporadic) - the Work is consciousness of that battle in real time. We have as part of our armour the hope of salvation - which is not the same as the 'hope-so' attitude of modern times. Hope is a grace of God, it is a positive emotion and spiritual armour, it is an expectation not only in ultimate deliverance and victory but temporal deliverance from evil. The practise of non-identification develops an understanding of this. Hope expands our horizons yet victory is not mechanical, it is not automatic. A Christian life is not a matter of following certain steps, doing and saying the right things - the whole struggle is dynamic, not passive, based upon the soul in relationship to Christ: relational realities. Hope is also a target, it can be weakened, it can be assaulted. The confidence, the expectation, the firm assurance Hope offers can be brought down - the reality and identity of our former master who bound our soul in sleep can be forgotten. School discipline is needed.

  12. As blog "owner" and mediator, the responsibility of contributing the last word here falls to me.

    I agree that enough has been said on this particular subject. No further comments will be published.


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