THE FOG – The Sacred Journey
The underworld was an important place for our ancestors. It was a place where no light existed. Therefore it was a place where they had to travel to face their fears, self-doubts and wounds. As humans we are constantly shedding the old to embrace the new. This is why we need good maps to follow. Without a good map, or guidance we may lack inspiration and risk remaining lost in the darkness of the underworld. We can become driven by our shadow self and unhealed wounds. This can result in being seduced by creature comforts through addictive substances, escapism into virtual realities, or engagement in destructive behaviors.
Today one does not have to look too far to see the great shadow which has been cast upon Mother Earth due to the lack of light or gnosis. Humanity has been seduced by the empty promises of the underworld. As a result many souls have been trapped and are experiencing emotional and physical illness caused by soul sickness. This soul sickness has become a pandemic. It exists because humanity lacks the healthy light of integration between their inner and outer perceptions.
To heal a sick soul we must be willing to enter into the underworld. The underworld is a metaphorical place where we can face our emotions and interior life. It is the place of the lower-self. To enter the lower-self is to begin the human journey of self-discovery which can result in greater self-awareness.
The journey into the underworld has a definite path which all people are asked to follow in the hope of awakening to their higher self. The motif of the seeker begins with a quest. This quest is followed by a departure into the darkness of the underworld where they must commit to a struggle. Then after doing battle with their inner demons they will rise from the darkness of the underworld into the light of a new day. Once the battle is over they return to the place where the quest began. However now they are different. This difference depends on what happened in the battle. Were they the victor or the vanquished? Did they seek a truce of compromise or did they pursue the freedom of a conqueror. For the underworld is no easy place to navigate. Especially with an erroneous map.
In the beginning the first decent into the underworld of the interior life may be the most difficult. The reason being is you are entering into unfamiliar territory for the first time. This is why the death of your first pet or the end of your first relationship can seem like the hardest. This is why the more resistance we exert to avoid the issue the more we fall deeper into the grasp of the underworld. However the more we honour the cycles of life the easier the decent and eventual resurrection from the underworld becomes. To help us on our quest humanity has discovered the importance of passing through various rites of passage. Each rite is a sign post which can help the wayfarer along the pathways of life. These rites may be daily observances, seasonal events or annual celebrations. Some may be experienced alone or within a community.
At some point we have to walk the talk and experience what is waiting for us on the roads and passage ways of life. We must never forget that no matter what or whom we meet on the road of life, everything is governed by the laws of nature, whether they believe in them or not.
With this knowledge as our birth right we come to understand and appreciate that experience is our greatest teacher.
1st Experience plus Knowledge equals Awareness
2nd Awareness plus Mindfulness equals Wisdom
3rd Wisdom plus Wakefulness equals Gnosis
This is why the sacred journey of Jesus has been so profound for humanity. The story goes like this.
Light entered into the world of matter.
Light struggles with dark matter.
Light conquers darkness and is raised as Divine spiritual light
One of the great challenges of being a contemporary Gnostic is that we are still pursued by the ghosts of orthodox heresiologists. Modern Christian theological students are invariably taught—incorrectly—that Gnostic thought and literature is Dualistic because we make a distinction between the ideal world of the Pleroma and the cosmos of the Demiurge. This binary approach permeates Christian culture: God vs the Devil, orthodoxy vs heresy, etc. However the Gnostic view is vastly more subtle, and therefore easily misinterpreted.
The world is not, in and of itself, evil. Just as a child is born perfect, the world was created perfect to support all life. The concept of original sin is simply a bad idea created by single minded creationist who are afraid to look at their own dualist nature and enter into the underworld of self-discovery. Disease, hunger, poverty, disaster, are all the result of human pride, greed and the denial that all life is connected and dependent on one another. Gnosticism involves a challenge to negotiate the mysterious systems of the cosmos. To do this we must be willing to look at what is both above and below the surface of consciousness. To deny the shadow is to follow the flawed path of certitude and human arrogance.
Orthodoxy accuses Gnostic’s of believing the world of matter is evil and therefore the world is evil. So what does this mean? The natural disasters, physical pain and death we find in the natural world, more aptly describes the view of the world and the concepts we humans have created by our ignorant desire to oppress and control. Thus we create heartless mechanistic philosophies that treat sentient beings as if they were inanimate objects. We commit acts and create laws that restrict and objectify other sentient beings, all in search of an illusory idea of safety and survival. We find ways to justify our ends of obtaining greater dominion and control by maintaining our psyches in fear and convincing ourselves that our actions are righteous and that they justify the means we use. We deceive ourselves and indulge in revenge by calling it justice.
Gnostics called these tendencies in the personal and larger world community “Archons.” For the evil deeds in the world, Gnostics do not use the word sin. We prefer the word ignorance. We see a great tragedy unfolding, with ignorant humanity inflicting this tragedy upon each other and upon all of nature. This is where it is helpful to understand the difference between diluted Gnosticism and deep Gnosticism.
As Gnosticism makes its resurgence people become curious and ask questions. In the beginning they still hold onto old ideas. But due to frustration and the need to find a meaning for their life they become willing to look deeper within themselves to find truth. As a result many alternate views of the world may be considered. These are the parables and teaching techniques which help to motivate individuals to consider more ethical, connected and loving ways to be a human being. These teachings are not completely in accordance with ultimate truth, but at the beginning of the journey many people benefit from them. If we want to grow and evolve as humans we must be willing to open up to new ways of looking at our lives and the world around us. For if we cling to the views we presently hold we cannot make progress. As we continue to make progress we will always be asked by our deeper self to abandon a current view for one which will bring us closer to the truth. Just as a child eventually discovers the truth about Santa Claus, we all discover the truth about ourselves. As we pass from a diluted old world view we will cross the threshold into a deeper world view which will bring us closer to the truth.
As we become more intimate with the truth we become more intimate with ourselves and all life. For instance we no longer make any distinction between inanimate and animate. As we feel this connectedness the truth becomes apparent that what we previously considered inanimate is actually very animate. We can no longer make any distinction between human beings, other living beings or other living inert matter. We do not see our world view or any world view as the best. We only see possibilities that are truthful for the observer. In this way the spirit of Gnosticism is very tolerant. We should always keep our hearts open to people who have different views or beliefs. In doing so everyone may progress at their own pace in their given state of grace. Deep Gnosticism is therefore synonymous with deep ecology. We are the planet and the cosmos and the cosmos and the planet is us.
Deep Gnosticism asks us to examine everything with a critical mind. To carefully examine everything we see and hear before putting it into practice. It also helps us to avoid attachments so when the time to give up an old practice for a new one presents itself the transition can be accepted. This helps us to understand the ultimate concept of death from a completely new perspective. We no longer ask the uncertain question, is there life after death? The perspective of death is no longer a concept we possess. The question we now ask is what does rebirthing feel like? For if the body is a garment this implies that the mind and body are separate from each other. This also implies that if the body is temporary, the mind and spirit are somehow permanent.
In deep Gnosticism selfish and childish things are displaced with intimate and mature eternal wonders. This rebirthing is the revelation of a continued transformation re-manifesting as the impermanence of no birth and no death. For as we know. Energy can only be reshaped. It cannot be destroyed. For the Gnostic the energy of self-awareness becomes unrestricted and the personality becomes pure unfettered consciousness. If we now meditate beyond the coldness of reason we will begin to see with the eyes of the heart that we are, and always have been, united with the source of creation as one unified force of love.