The Christ which receives the baptized is necessarely different than the Christ exterior to the mystery of baptism.
He entered the tomb with them, entered death on their behalf and resurrected with them – to a new life he delivered them, to which is added the Hope of Glory, rid of the transgressions of this age.
In this context it is only proper to reveal the relationship between the eternal and the timebound –
Christ is Anti-Zeitgeist, Zeitgeist is Anti-Christ.
The process towards regeneration, amplified so loud that it was declared a heresy and an atrocity to the traditional churches – by the Theosophers – is a necessary measure, once the bond with the past life is broken. Christ is not understood “in this age”, whatever page in the book of history you inspect – the reality beneath Christ, interior to Christ – is misrepresented. It begins with an exteriorising response to that which is interior and irreconcilable with the appearances and constructs of society. We have an example of this reaction, even in the Synoptic account of the life of Jesus: Being witness to the Transfiguration himself, present in the flesh at Mount Tabor, the Apostle Peter was completely unprepared for this critical event. Tradition should have prepared him, one might argue. Apparently quite a few theologians are so frustrated by the conundrum that they never quite face the implications of this account of the Transfiguration:
The Gospel of Mark , Chapter 9,2
9:2Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John and led them alone up a high mountain privately. And he was transfigured before them,6 9:3 and his clothes became radiantly white, more so than any launderer in the world could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared before them along with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 9:5 So Peter said to Jesus,“Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three shelters—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 9:6 (For they were afraid, and he did not know what to say.) 9:7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came from the cloud, “This is my one dear Son. Listen to him!”
9:8 Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more except Jesus.
9:9 As they were coming down from the mountain, he gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 9:10 They kept this statement to themselves, discussing what this rising from the dead meant.
Peter does not give proper heed to what has just happened to him and his fellow disciples, his immediate response to the transfigurative mystery is quite simply to attempt to assimilate it to an exterior situation; clearly Jesus followed in natural progression from the first introduction of an organized kingdom to the last greater prophetic figure, finally to Jesus – in this hierarchical order.
But this is not the nature of the vision which the disciples received.The vision immediately provokes a response from their unconscious mind when faced with unformed and unrecognized, unworldly illumination; it is salvaged from becoming the object of a premature cult, an imitation of the Covenant of Moses at Mount Hermon, which the voyage up the high mountain put them in mind of, by the inexplicable voice from the clouds “This is my Son. Listen to Him!”.
This puts the event in a new potency, for if this testimony is true, in effect – real, and relevant – the object of their attention is no longer a participant in the History of Man, but rather a participant in the Eternal unfolding of God; later the disciples saw how relevant it were – through the Gnostic and Apocryphal accounts we now have access to the tradition of intimate conversations and individual visionary encounters with Christ after the crucifixion and before the resurrection, and even later – after the ascension, through the medium of the Holy Spirit, points towards this potency, but only as Mysterium; the Tradition itself is explicit with regards to this; it is necessary that this new Communion between Man and the Divine shifts focus from the fragile, yet magnificent architechture of outward temples and elaborate ritual cults – to a truely new order, far removed from the old order; from which each single new communicant needs to, quite simply, die.
Peter stumbled, At the moment prior to this Divine announciation, the second in the Chronology of the Gospel – for beforehand the witnesses of the Baptism at Jordan, and the Epiphany which occured there, had already been exposed to it; and before the sealing of this Mysterium with Jesus insisting nothing be spoken of it, before he has risen from the grave – that is; nullified the boundaries and attraction of the world and its time and orderl, this Aeon – and in and through it; the annihiliation of death itself.
What kept Peter asleep, even when the veil of this world is torn aside so as to enable the disciples to see with their own eyes the nature of Christ’s presence and ministry – is the traditions of the forefathers. Jesus speaks to it, while attending to his disciple who is buried somewhere deep beneath all of it; predictably this affluence of traditional hogwash does not make sense to him either, but apparently it is all he has. Peter earlier receives Christ formally as the Messiah, but only responds after the Resurrection.
The individual response, which is caused by an interior Vision which penetrates all layers of the human personality – is necessary on account of the nature of the Christ. It was the means through which every single convert became a Christian in the Primitive Church. When the Church ceased to be “Primitive”, that is to say – oriented from a pre-historical and archaic non-entity; a timelessness in history, a homelessness in the world, it could only fall back on the prior generations, whose numbing and intoxicating poison Jesus repeatedly warned his disciples against.
One interesting issue we approach when we leave behind the orthodoxy proclaimed and embrace the heterodoxy implicit – in the Christian Tradition which necessarely embrace both, is the question of Baptism. I feel I tell no one of my readers anything new, nor am I likely to shock them – if I insist that the baptism of infants can only indirectly affect the recipient party, and only through the mediation of his or her parents and sponsors.This the risk every generation of clergy within the Sacramental Churches have been willing to take; that conscientously the parents in question is fit to, later in life, administer in bite-size particles, the meaning of the sacrament, received while unconscious, to the baptized child. Moreover the aforementioned death will only occur naturally and in reverse order to the intended (this is Explicit in the Gospel) manner of administration – which is a conversion in the heart, an abandonment of former attachments and a circumcision of the heart, that is Metanoia; which comes from a life lived, from wisdom gained and individual, intimate conversation with the Spirit interior to every human being – followed by the conscious immersion into a death to the world and a resurrection to the Kingdom. The Valentinians intuited already in the second century of the common era that something was afoot in the popular Roman Church; the outer communion: apparently their contemporaries had come to the belief that their responsibility were minimal and that they these days could abandon their spiritual duties to the priesthood, and a hope in a resurrection after the fact of death. To wit, they thought that the intended and administered, Apostolic, sacrament of Baptism, fumbled up with the ablution and anointment of infants on account of the superstition that there existed a Sectarian God who would cast the stillborn,and every unbaptized child into Hell for the “disobedience” of its parents – would be automatically insured by this formality, at death. The Valentinians thought someone was lost and became vocal on this matter; but only within their communion – several Valentinian authors, among them the compiler of the Gospel of Philip, addressed this.It appears very likely that the Valentinian Gnostics, as well as a good part of Primitive Church (heterodox as it was) – subscribed to the understanding that each individual human soul pre-existed prior to Incarnation. Incarnation, insofar as its many powerful attractions causes the Soul to forget her origin (see the Exegesis of the Soul for a meditation on this), was itself the great obstacle; the immobilizing Tomb – from which a quickening of memory, an Anamnesis, enables one to rise up from; to resurrect from this forgetting. Birth into the world thus becomes an entry into exile, insofar there is no discernment between one’s true self and the representations in the world. Which is the beginning of one’s voluntary journey, into discerning exile – into pilgrimage towards the Mount of Vision; whose exact location remains fixed, not in Geography but in Biography, and the Hierosgamos of Spirit with Life, Light with Man, Truth with Wisdom, Logos with Sophia.
The visible, interpersonal experience of Baptism is still central to this our humble communion; but it must be discerned that it is neither subject to the fashions and trends of the contemporary; nor to the rigid dictates of tradition and ancient norm – It is a rehearsal and a recitation of the Redemptive Mystery in the Space between Initiator and Initiate; which is the selfsame pattern which exists above and which is exercised bodily and mentally here.
In the ancient Ekklesia a new orientation; a new childhood, even symbolized by the feeding of the baptized with milk after the incubation (which lasted a whole night)- A knowledge interior to the baptized were confirmed among others who had similarily received and confirmed it. For each additional event, each individual and integral testimony to the same – the Communion of these Equals iun the mysteries were renewed and refreshed.The Ekklesia saw the miraculous birth of many, it saw the face of humanity renewed as something pristine,regenerated and radically different than “the generations” before. Men of Spirit walked among them, and like Philip the Evangelist administered, unconditionally, to persons outside the conjectured confines of the “tradition”; be it Jewish-Christian or Gentile; such as the Ethiophian servant and indeed, Simon Magus.
I have asserted earlier that the Disciples were that type of witnesses to the mystery which had occasion to be the first to receive him, consequently they will be the last to rest in this labour, obliged by the selfsame reception, until the Magnum Opus is completed and perfect in and through Man. Consequently – the truely Apostolic would be those with the least occasion to celebrate either their own personal fame and glory or that of their predecessors- only looking to the Harvest, wherein the true glory, in a future time, lay. All that is in the present is service and the care,love and passion which thrives in the work itself.
To the extent it has been opportune to speak of it in the past, such as has been endeavoured in the Gospels testimony – it is equally true of the Disciples; this is the condition of their inheritance: fragile as is every single thing of soul and intellect – in the grasp, still, of the world. But renewed in a secret capacity towards a love which does not discriminate between human beings out of concern for own gain and propriety towards dead precepts.
Therefore with the incomprehensible, unappraisable quality in the One towards whom every inquiry goes, should they approach it, they need to see it themselves; their self is the medium which, like a mirror or the surface of the waters – it has chosen to be revealed in and by revelation, to increase, in and through.
Today no cipher, no code, no cryptogram is necessary:
language itself as a medium keeps the Sacred intact, on account of it being of so little assistance, and on account of the necessity of every single inquiry towards the true and real to be so focused as to be languageless,voiceless and perfectly in Silence, as the Hermetic saying goes:”Gnosis is Holy Silence and rest to every inquiry”.
What language assists is a growing consciousness of exactly the places, in our minds and in our conversation, the Sacred and the Profane is distinguished from eachother and each made plain and distinct from the other. We take language into Liturgy, breaking the Word, the Reason, the Name, the Because – the timebound and causual counterparts, lost in the swirl of galaxies and atoms as much as any human meat apart, so that it may have resurrection in Truth; that action is the beginning of Wisdom.
Today, we may speak of Church, yet it does demand of us a spiritual vocabulary, a spiritual aesthetic, a spiritual discernment – since outside of it, it carries only similes which is just as little effective as “three sanctuaries”, one to Moses, one to Elijah and finally one to Jesus, suggested by the Apostle Peter.
The Place of our Cross is not within the Synagogue of our inherited, natural humanity. The world belongs to the world, to the extent that we are indeed exiles, so long as we insist to belong to ourselves, to God and to the Spiritual realm. The Baptism is the place of our Cross, not only is it received only once, but once received it continues to expand and intensify, to the extent we can say; it continues to be received and is not subject to conclusion.