A mixed bunch of comemmorations which I feel is pertinent to the Gnosis,
since I didnt share my thoughts with you about these on time, when they
were immediate events, they will remain for me to explicate:
16th March 1244where the 760th anniversary of the surrender of the Montesegur
fortress and the consequent burning of some 200 parfaits, faidits and
believers on the mountains outside of it. For many this marks the dramatic
end of the Albigensian/Catharist movement: a heresy entirely erradicated
from the face of the earth, for reasons we today have problems with believing.
What else is new, my brothers and sisters? I will return my attention to the Cathars later; their teachings have been consistently misrepresented both by self-appointed enemies – especially conservative Roman Catholics, and by self-appointed supporters, much of their history is legendary – which means, it has been forgotten and then re-membered after a fashion. They did leave a heritage, they did inspire an undercurrent within our very culture – in fact, their influence lingers where you would never expect it to appear, still it does.
18th March 1314– 690 years ago Jacques de Molay, the last formal Grand Master of the Templar Knights, where put to the pyre after a long imprisonment on charges of sorcery,heresy,buggery and above all treason against the Church and the Empire. Much has been said of the Templars, there are even Templar revivals, I have addressed the Larmenius/Fabre-Palaprat lineage in an earlier post to this very blog.
The original constitution of the order was really quite plain: a pilgrimage, spawned by troubled times in the Christian West, were progressing steadily
towards the East and Holy Lands there, with it followed industry,trade and the exchange of other commodities – of symbolic,intellectual,societal and economical value to the Christian West, it was still quite volnurable for the onslaught of enemies, raiders, brigands and so forth.. so a chivalry which were attuned to all the concerns of this activity, and its participants were created with a sacred duty towards the protection of the symbols of Christian and Jewish heritage (sic!); The Poor Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem was founded and were the first chivalric order to adopt mendicant (which is to say, Monastic but not monestary-bound) vows and discipline. No chivalric order has gained such an exotic and eccentric following in Modern Age; I am uncertain if it has been continued, or if it was revived. And also, what portion of it has been, if it was revived. Consider the Premiss: The GodTemplars on one end and the Ordo Templi Orientis on the other…
18th March 1944 – a rather humble artiste was born somewhere in Norway, around Oslo, who I was fortunate to befriend the Autumn of 1995, Jan Valentin Saether – has survived another decade within the talons of the watchers of this world; interiorily and visibly transfiguring and dissolving shadow images and impressions deep in our psychic soil – through his work as an artist; always re-inventing himself in the process (speaking of artistic expression, I dare not comment on anything else). He had his 60th anniversary some time ago, and is now preparing an exhibition of over 35 years vocation as painter, sculptor etc. In addition to his vocation as painter and teacher, Jan has also functioned over 17 years as a Gnostic priest in Ecclesia Gnostica, it was this occasion and our shared interest in Gnosticism and related traditions, which
caused the two of us to meet, and through our meeting together on subsequent
sundays, the formation of the Oslo Parish of Ecclesia Gnostica. 9 years coming up on my part as participant in this ministry. Time presently prohibits me from elucidating more on this. But I`ll be sure to revisit it.
22nd March 1944. – 4 days later, Constant Martin Chevillon, nome d`eglise Tau Harmonius, was gunned down by the partisans of the German occupants of France – 1one of the reasons for his swift assasination his involvement with
Masonry, Rosicrucianism, Martinism and the Gnostic Church (and its fraternal
allied in the cultural and political trenches of the occupation – the National
Gallician Catholic Church). I wrote a memorial a year ago about him.
23rd March 1948 – Nicolai Berdyaev, an important russian thinker and theologian, with a special place in the idealist and Sophiological current
inspired by Vladimir Solovyov, dies in exile, Paris. More about him later, I hope.
27th March 1765 – Franz Xavier Von Baader, industrialist and Theosophist, is born. Of the little I have read of Von Baader as well as what has been rephrased from him in different books I have read throughout the decades of my romance with the western mystical traditions, I feel very affiliated to him and his mentor/friend, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin.
30th March 1202 – The Prophet of the Fourth Age, The Age of the Holy Spirit – Friar Joachim of Fiore, transcended the limitations of his own age. While guilty of what I quite idly would call a tremendous heresy and a stumbling-block to be sure, his authorship and vision carries more authority and clarity for everytime I permit myself exposure, because what he
writes can be mediated by such filters as must have existed in his own mind
as well, for Friar Joachim was not a Savonarola, he was not a head-dunker, flagellant, arsonist or crusader.. however, perhaps what came later were a
little more extreme. A catalyst, if not a prophet.
24th April 1575 was the birthday of Jacob Boehme… As im re-reading his dialogues… Jacob Boehme is a rather important figure in my own spiritual developement, given time I`ll excerpt from my meditations
on his Way to Christosophia(the dialogues in question) later on.
25th April 277 was Mani`s Behma what does this mean? That he
sat down upon the Mercy Seat; He was guilty of a trespass against
the authoritarian,jealous rule of certain Magian priests in the court of the
Sassanids, being himself of noble descent, brought up in Babylon at the hands
of the Mugtashila (baptisers) in their closed-up monastic society – he contributed to Iranian culture with the invention of instruments, painting styles and metres.
Manichean religionists spread from Fujjian and Taiwan in the East to the Gaul (France) in the West, one famous ex-Manichean is Augustine, and many blame
him for introducing so-called alien teachings into Catholic Christendom such as
original sin, the low estimation of women, asceticism and dualism of body against spirit, by way of his former adherence to Manicheism. Strangely
enough, in contrast to certain traditions of the Gnostic tradition, the Manichean doctrine of matter views it as particularly necessary for Redemption itself; without the intervention/embodiment in the material
vessel, which can be broken apart and is moreover mallable and subject to
certain processes we would associate with chemistry and physics today –
the sparks of Light which had been devoured by the darkness would remain unredeemed. It is consciousness and the priority of spiritual energy within a body and its interfacing with matter without proper care that is the subject of the asceticism, at times extreme and stern, of Manicheism. Here the original Manichaean teachings are in extreme contrast with the Cathar ethics and certain of the earlier Gnostic schools; but the strongest difference between all are on superficial matters. It is a certain ethics of custodial nature; proper care, right praxis, conscience and the applying of love,compassion and Agape whilst in the world – and how to remedy what appears to be a universally recognized predicament: How man has come to forget who he is and where he is and where he is heading, and what he should do.
There`s less gristle to chew than one expects, with the Manichaeans.
On the same day, Maistre Anthelme Nizier Phillippe was born, in 1849.
An important figure in the history of Modern Martinism and the French Gnostic Church even though he personally were never directly involved with either, but rather inspired Paul Sedir, Phaneg, Papus and a few other early acolytes of this tradition.
30th April – the world comemorates the passage of the brilliant mystic Meister Johannes Eckard (Meister Eckhart), who died in 1328.
May the 3rd was the festival of the Ikon Our Lady of Czestochowa, who for a time was the emblem of the L`Eglise Gnostique Apostolique ,
and a Black Madonna. The current Roman Catholic Pope, H.H. John Paul II,himself a Polish national, is Catholic protector and patron of the tradition and Ikon of Our Lady of Czestochowa.