Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sin, Karma, and the Beloved Disciple

I have been digging through some drafts of things that were half written in my blog, things that were not published.  I am working to get these out.  This entry is the easiest for a mid-week effort. 

The great wonder of our inquisitive spirit is that our need to discover overcomes our impulse to stay rooted in the past.  After fifteen hundred years of a solidified canon within the Christian church, we are getting a breathe of new air as discovered in the codices found that emerged in the 18th century and did not come into a broader light until the latter half of the 19th century.  These codices include the Gospel of Mary Magdeline, The Apocryphon of John, and the Sophia of Jesus Christ.  These, along with the Nag Hammadi codices represent a new voice that has emerged about the teachings of Christ that reveal an expanded view of the teachings of Jesus.  Perhaps because of their deeper mystical bent, they may have been dismissed out of hand due to either ignorance or a desire to keep these teachings out of the view of the masses.  And who really knows, except that many "scrolls" were ordered destroyed at the time of Constantine.  He had bishops in the newly formed church to go out and find some of these after the first big round of purges took place in the wake of the Councils that formally pronounced what the canonical books would become for the followers of Jesus. 

These "new" books help to shed important light on the depth of the teachings that this man and his followers were about.  Perhaps for their depth, they were not understood.  It is easy to see why they did not appeal to the burgeoning church of the day.  As was the tradition of the day, women were often called men, a term that is not too different from our use of "mankind" when we really mean both men and women.  In books such as the Nag Hammadi, you can actually see how those who were educated in the mysteries of his inner teachings would be called "male" even though they are female.  It was certainly something born of a sexist society, but it also suggested a certain level of worthiness to hear and discuss such lofty ideas and realities.  And so it is that Mary is referred to as "Him" in her own gospel.  She was an equal to the men. 

What I find so congruent with my own inner discovery about the nature of karma is how sin is discussed.  From chapter 8, which is the beginning of a fragmentary gospel it says:

. . . Will matter then be destroyed or not?
22) The Savior said, All nature, all formations, all creatures exist in and with one another, and they will be resolved again into their own roots.
23) For the nature of matter is resolved into the roots of its own nature alone.
24) He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
25) Peter said to him, Since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world?
26) The Savior said There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin.
What can often escape some of us is an important point being driven home here in this passage, which is that of the Essential Self, the "root" from which all things emerge out of.  Peter, in what is a very common line of questioning about our fallen nature in the world, he asks about the world and sin.  But.  Sin does not exist as such.  We are the ones who make this sin.  It is not on the shoulders of some craven world, but rather is the result of our adulterous nature. It is easy to think that Mary is saying that sin includes adultery (for instance), but the drift is subtle, powerful, and points to our delimna; just as in adultery we turn from another, we turn from that which can heal us which is what is IN us and is resolved back into the root of our nature not as fallen beings but as beings who, if we were able to, could heal ourselves.  In fact, the passage continues on to explain that this thing in us, our divine nature, is what can heal us and make us well.

This shifts our understanding quite radically, and is entirely in keeping with what I have learned is the nature of negative karma.  If you go through my writing back through the years, you will see as I have mused that karma is like pulling away from a magnetic compass bearing.  Doing this causes pain and trouble for us.  It is against our true nature, and yet because of where we are, we pull from that magnetic pole even as it causes us trouble.It is a fundamental turning away from our authentic nature, which we all seem to be afflicted with this turning away.

So instead of karma being some kind of punishment, or sin as being something real in the world, sin is not as we think it is.  But we have made in spiritual circles, karma into an image of ourselves.  Needing punishment for those who have harmed or hurt us, we prefer to keep the cycle of hurt going in a never-ending cycle of pain for pain.  We call this "justice" which is the old eye for an eye concept of how to handle our affairs.  We have been at this quite a while and we have prisons full of these offenders and we aren't any closer to fixing the problem.  That is because, on balance, we just aren't interested because to do so would be to crack the old paradigm wide open and reveal something entirely different underneath.  We continue to die by the sword because we live by it.  But this does not mean that karma is a punishment.  Its the idea that everyone is going to "get theirs" in good time that is what is amiss.  The world is all aflame, like a house on fire and some stay in to be consumed by the drama and thus the ongoing karma or we flee that building, never looking back.

I say it is time we begin to flee and not look back.

I will be the first to admit that I have at turns sought to flee my old life.  I say flee in the same way one withdraws their hand from a hot griddle.  Some, though, think that there is some honor in frying their hand to the marrow.  But there isn't.  The only advantage to feeling pain is that it teaches you to no longer desire it.  Yes.  Desire.  We have this lust for pain sometimes, even as we run from it.  It is this odd thing we tell ourselves.  We say we don't want it yet put ourselves right back where it can capture us.  Why?  It is a perennial question.  It just is.  And it may be that this thing will serve as our greatest teacher when the time comes to undo that next seal within us.  It might wind up being perfect.  But until that time, we keep it at arms length but without ever really letting it go.  it is the devil that we know, right?  We chose that devil.  When we can own up to it, something pretty powerful can happen.  We stop this yo-yo action with that which destroys us and we face it directly so that its appearance completely changes. 

The world is not a broken place, but perfectly made for an amazing level of realization to take place.  You will see what I mean when you can stare into the core of things and realize that the world placed within our world supercedes all of our current dreams about it.  It is this......vehicle for something remarkable.  Our bodies, made up of all the same matter, is also this. We are all of this coming to a level of awareness and realization.  The trick is to know how important it is to stop running from our demons and begin to face them.  And we can each liberate souls that are caught in these traps by no longer holding on to the old paradigm of an eye for an eye or of karma as a kind of cosmic punishment where no one is really involved except you, as though the divine has somehow checked out of the whole affair.  No, it is right there, supportive as always.  In a world as ours, there is never a moment when we have been abandoned.  Rather, we have taken leave of our inner divine.  It is there, though, marvelous and majestic. 

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