I think that ‘Christ’ is a universal symbol, an operative model; can each of us be ‘a Christ’?|
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‘There isn't a better Christian than the Languedoc Christian'
by Athos A. Altomonte
Q : I think that ‘Christ' is a universal symbol, an operative model; can each of us be ‘a Christ'?
A : Intimist initiatory systems associate the word ‘Christic' to the lighting of the cardiac center, for the apparition of spiritual energy at that point, which is destined to the contact (bridge) with the soul. The soul reflects the spiritual aspect in the physical conscience that Plato called monad.
The monad, or however we want to call the spiritual aspect, makes us ‘in the likeness of God'. Jesus said he was the ‘Son of Man' in the material guise and the Son of God in the spiritual aspect.
This reminds me of another symbolism, the ‘Son of the widow', where the widow is the Mother matter without spirituality and her children are those covered by physical bodies. They become ‘Children of Light' when the conscience is ‘filled' with spiritual afflatus (substance of the Father).
The metaphor is repeated in the inner re-birth of Master Hiram, who symbolizes the spiritual re-birth on earth of the (real) initiate that can eventually exclaim: ‘I know immortality'.
As you say, the ‘Kingdom of God' (like illumination) must be searched and found in ourselves; this is perfectly in line with the view of the mystic gnosis*, of which (in the West) Jesus was the forerunner. From here starts the research of people who want to understand where Jesus was initiated in his first 30 years, since there is no trace of him in the birthplace.
If the evangelists were initiated they were not fully initiated. By their own admission they were instruments of the christic fire, therefore ‘messengers'. In the evolutionary sense of conscience this is not the same as being Initiates. The work carried out by the evangelists was important, even those who were censored by politics; but Jesus the Nazarene (the healers among the Essenes were Nazarenes) was an Initiate for ‘having developed a christic conscience', not for the teaching that he spread among us blind in spirit.
To understand the deep implications of the words: ‘real initiation and Initiate' we should analyze their different degree of abilities and intentions. Unfortunately the people who choose the shortness of virtual initiation don't like talking about real initiation .
Going back to the gospels (and I wonder why we only talk about those accepted by the Catholic church) I find that the part that suits best what you say about the ‘inner kingdom' is the appeal from Jesus the Nazarene (not from Nazareth) that I quote approximately: ‘when you want to pray your Father, don't stand in a crossroad wearing your best dress, but go down in your secret room and there you will hear his voice'.
Apart from the exactness of the words, the meaning is univocal: God can be prayed by going down in our hearts, which is the most secret room. Therefore the teaching that I draw is that the true path showed by Jesus is interior, not exoteric and made by exterior clothes and cults. If we don't understand this teaching it means that we depart from the principles of Christianity and get close to Catholicism, which has made a political use of Christianity. Here is a small proof. Jesus bases his teachings on principles such as ‘love, grace and forgiveness' and he doesn't get his strength from the ‘fear' of the punishment for sins; he marks the difference between a God of love and a God of wrath.
Although I have ventured in a path that is different from mysticism, everything makes me believe that genuine mystic tradition is the inner way, viz. spiritual Gnosticism; Cathars tended to it, perhaps imperfectly.
On this subject, this is how I introduced an essay I wrote about the ‘Crusade against the Albigenses':
‘The Templar Order didn't participate to the crusade against the Albigenses; on the contrary, it protected them and nobody could ever reach them in the territories of their jurisdiction. Master Bertrand de Blanchefort, Grand Master of the Order of the Temple (1153-1170), like his predecessor Andrè de Montbard, never hid his sympathy for the Cathars. In Bernard of Clairvaux's statement ‘… there isn't a better Christian than the Languedoc Christian ' we can see the convergence with the Cathar ideas.'
* Gnosticism – System of religious philosophy whose adepts claimed to have a total and privileged knowledge of the divinity. The Gnostic claims that he has the immediate gift of knowledge of himself , that is the total and absolute knowledge that allows to solve all the problems related to divinity, man and the world.
It is an essentially intuitive knowledge, obtained thanks to a sudden and definitive illumination exclusive to some initiates and bearer of salvation. The individual can be saved only by this knowledge, not from faith or deeds.
In history Gnosticism doesn't actually exist; there are several forms of gnosis. Christian Gnosticism has had numerous ramifications at the beginning of Christianity; there were groups linked to a founder (Simon Magus, Basilides, Carpocrates, Valentine, etc.) or sects with a collective name (Ophites, Nicolaites, Cainites, etc.). Next to this heterodox Gnosticism we must remember the ‘orthodox' Christian gnosis mentioned by Origen.
We can also count Hebrew Gnosticism (Alexandrian School, cabbala) and Islamic Gnosticism (Ishmaelite and Druze theosophists). There are currents of Gnostic inspiration even in Hinduism and Buddhism. Until 1946 the texts written by Gnostics were known only through the quotes by Saint Irenaeus. In that year a proper library of Gnostic and hermetic texts was discovered near Nağ Hammadi, in Egypt.