Message from The Heart Of The World:
‘Don’t Say They Didn’t Tell Us’ – MESSAGE From the Elder Brothers (03/27/2020)
Voices from the Sacred Mountains
The Arhuaco indigenous peoples of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, are known for their century-long track record of environmental protection, but their cultural survival and conservation of this sacred mountain’s ecosystems are at risk.
Message from The Heart Of The World! (Corazón Del Mundo) Shortfilm
- From the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers’ Warning – Kogi Message to Humanity:
In the second documentary, the Kogis have re-emerged, realising that the importance of their warning had not been grasped. As well as warning Younger Brother they have decided to share their secret sciences in the belief that sharing these sciences will share their burden of changing the world for the bette
Aluna means “conscience “. Enter the last theocratic chiefdom in America, hidden for centuries on a mountain in Colombia. The Kogi have made this amazing documentary to help us understand how to avoid the destruction of the world that they are trying to protect, and of ourselves.
If you watch this video and feel inspired by the Kogi and their message, please know that they have NO interest in people coming to visit them and their sacred lands. This includes visiting La Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City), which for the Kogi was never “lost”. Rather, it was purposefully hidden, because it is an incredibly sacred site that even many Kogi are not sanctioned to visit… and certainly not tourists.
The Kogi have gone to GREAT lengths, for the past 500+ years to keep their sacred lands free from the energy and unconscious spiritual issues of outsiders. This is something the average “Westerner” might have a hard time understanding. But all we need to understand is that the Kogi DON’T want people visiting their lands, and whether we understand the spiritual reasons for this, or not, is unimportant. Being in their territories uninvited is like walking into a complete stranger’s house, uninvited, and walking through the rooms of that house as if it were your own. It is rude and inappropriate. Please take this to HEART and KNOW what it means to violate their wish to NOT have outsiders in their sacred lands.
If you feel—and KNOW within your heart—that you have a genuine calling (not just idle curiosity) to support the Kogi in some way, my only recommendation is that you take a serious and sincere interest in recovering your attention from the great many distractions—most especially “spiritual” distractions—and doing what it takes to come into greater consciousness of who you are as Spirit, where you are from as Spirit, and precisely why you are here, as Spirit. This is hard and, at times, painstaking work. Most importantly, know that the message of the Kogi is a practical one. That we day-by-day apply ourselves to the deep work of resolving our issues, misconceptions, projections, negative tendencies, etc. And that we do EVERYTHING within our power to stop living a lie (the Modern world) which is quite obviously destructive and out of alignment with LIFE. In simple terms, they are making it clear that the Western world must drastically change its ways, less we go through drastic changes. If you’re reading this, that likely includes you. The Kogi are not simply something interesting for our entertainment or idle curiosity. They do NOT wish to be idolised, for that only marginalises the deep importance of their message, which is, in reality, the Mother’s message.
- The ancients guardians of the earth
“The Younger Brother is damaging the world. He is on the path to destruction. He must understand and change his ways, or the world will die,” Luis Guillermo Izquierdo lamented as he walked beside me, his cheeks swollen with a wad of coca leaves that he slowly masticated.
Ritual flute music drifted through the forest from some unseen source as Izquierdo – a mamo, or enlightened spiritual leader, of Colombia’s Arhuaco indigenous people – led me to the sacred natural pool Pozo de Yaya for a ritual cleansing. He removed his sandals, lowered himself onto a rock and sat cross-legged beside a fast-running stream. Izquierdo bade me remove my shoes and step into the water. Then he handed me a piece of thread representing the umbilical cord tethering me to Mother Earth, and in a warbling falsetto told me to pour my thoughts into the thread.
The Younger Brother is damaging the world – he must understand and change his ways, or the world will die
Hair as thick and whorled as a flokati rug flooded over Izquierdo’s shoulders from beneath a woven white conical hat, worn in reverence to the snow-capped peaks of the sacred Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains. He was dressed in thick, snow-white trousers and a matching serape (shawl) of maguey fibre, tied by a belt at the waist. He reminded me of a Star Wars Jedi – a wise member of the noble protective order capable by mental training of tapping into the metaphysical ‘Force’ in search of peaceful and righteous solutions. The metaphor seemed appropriate.
“We want the Younger Brothers to know more about our culture. In that way we can stop him destroying the world,” said Izquierdo, referring to the modern world beyond the mountains.
The Arhuaco are (with the neighbouring Kogi and Wiwa, or Malayo) one of three peoples whose ancestors were connected to the ancient and advanced Tairona civilisation. Brutally subjugated by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th Century, the survivors retreated into the pyramidal Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta that explode upwards from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Their homeland – the world’s highest coastal mountain range – comprises every distinct climatic ecosystem in Colombia, from coastal wetlands and equatorial rainforest to alpine tundra and glacial peaks. Declared by Unesco in 1979 as a Biosphere Reserve of Man and Humanity, the mountain range was named as the most irreplaceable ecosystem on Earth by Science journal in 2013.
The three communities, who still total about 90,000, according to non-profit organisation Cultural Survival) call themselves the ‘Elder Brothers’ and are ruled by mamos, who maintain an ancient cosmovision (a conscious, cognitive interpretation of the world) based on a worship and custodianship of Mother Nature.
The mamos believe themselves uniquely possessed of a mystical wisdom. Izquierdo, like fellow mamos, spent his entire youth in intense spiritual training. Chosen by divination and sequestered for 18 years from birth to adulthood within dark confines near the summit of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, they’re inculturated in their societal values until they master a cosmic consciousness that they believe permits them to commune with the planet directly. “They learn to work as hidden-spirit midwives to all life, keeping it in balance,” explained Alan Ereira, a documentary filmmaker and founder of the Tairona Heritage Trust.
“The thoughts of our ancestors are embedded in every rock and other element in which humans have contact,” said Izquierdo, who holds to Arhuaco belief that we exist in a conscious universe where all material things have life and awareness. It’s unfathomable to them that ‘modern man’ does not believe the Earth consciously experiences the harm we inflict on it.
“They cannot understand why it is that we do what we do to the Earth,” said Wade Davis, an anthropologist and former National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence who spent many years studying and living among the Arhuaco.
Surrounded by almost impassable jungle (and in recent decades caught in the crossfire between the Colombian Army, Farc guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries), this ‘lost’ indigenous people lived for five centuries in almost complete isolation and obscurity, steadfastly guarding their territory against outside intrusion. Despite this isolation, their consciousness and cosmovision charges them with the responsibility of maintaining the harmony of nature and the universe on behalf of all mankind.
The thoughts of our ancestors are embedded in every rock and other element in which humans have contact
Three decades ago, the indigenous people of the Sierra realised that the sacred Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta snow caps – for them, the literal heart of the world – were melting. The páramos (high-altitude savanna) were drying up. Amphibians and butterflies were disappearing. In 1987, concerned that climate change was impacting the cosmos, they established the Organización Indígena Gonawindúa Tayrona to represent the mamos at a governmental level.
The Kogi were the most traditional and withdrawn group, and according to Ereira, they were fearful that their work of taking care of the world would be disrupted and damaged by contact. But in 1990, their mamos decided that, without drastic change, all would be lost, so they persuaded their people that they had to go public, and they invited Ereira to film From the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers’ Warning.
But their aching exhortation of ecological disharmony and potential disaster fell on deaf ears. Two decades later, they called Ereira back to make a sequel: Aluna. “They had to do better, driven by fear of what they see will happen next,” Ereira said.
As the world accelerates towards calamity, the Sierra peoples’ self-awareness as wards for the Earth’s ecological welfare has taken on a sense of urgency.
While in Bogotá researching a National Geographic guidebook to Colombia, I was introduced to Arhuaco political representative (and future Senate candidate) Danilo Villafañe Torres. Known as ‘El Canciller’ (the Chancellor) and ‘Gran Hermano’ (Big Brother), Villafañe inherited the mantle of tribal leader at age 23 from his father, Adalberto, who was killed in 1996 by drug traffickers for opposing illegal coca plantations on Arhuaco land. Villafañe invited me to visit the ‘heart of the world’ in the care of Izquierdo.
“Brother Christopher is here to share our message with the Younger Brothers,” Izquierdo said to the border guard. He dipped his hand into a beautifully hand-woven zijew (shoulder bag) and withdrew a handful of coca leaves. The guard did the same. They exchanged leaves as a symbol of sharing and goodwill.
We were attempting to enter the Resguardo Arhuaco. Occupying a vast tract of land on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the community’s autonomous territory was granted legal recognition by the Colombian government in 1983. (The Kogi occupy their own resguardo on the northern slopes; the Wiwa, to the south-east.)
The sullen guard scrutinised me with disdain.
Izquierdo – known by the honorific Mamo Menjavi – spoke again, more authoritatively. I heard the words ‘National Geographic’. At that, the custodian smiled, and the massive gates swung open, creaking on their rusting hinges.
The ravine-slashed, boulder-strewn drive up the mountain from the village of Pueblo Bello would have challenged a goat. Few vehicles ever make this journey into the heart of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. I felt honoured. Permission for bunachis (outsiders) to visit Nabusimake, the ‘capital’ of the Arhuaco resguardo, is rarely given. To be allowed entry to Nabusimake’s sacred walled inner sanctum is almost unheard of. ‘The entrance of non-indigenous is prohibited’ reads a sign above the thatch-topped entrance gate. For the lucky few who make it inside, photography is forbidden.
But the mamos held council the evening of my arrival and granted me permission to enter. The next day, I clambered up a narrow ladder beside the gate to photograph the hallowed hamlet, nestled in a small pine-scented plateau cusped by a mountain meniscus.
Huddled together against a rough mud-and-stone wall, three teenage girls giggled nervously, unsure whether to pose or flee. Younger children scattered. Women withdrew at my approach. The men – aloof, expressionless and haughtily proud – avoided eye contact, impervious to my presence as I walked a cobblestone thread between worlds. They eased past, mysterious as ghosts. Several wore cowboy hats and other sartorial accoutrements that set off their white Arhuaco attire.
Izquierdo smiled serenely. By contrast, he seemed pleased by my presence.
Indefatigable and inspired, the self-assured mamo is at the forefront of a third wave of Arhuaco initiatives that represent a huge leap beyond the unheeded warnings from their mountain refuge. Izquierdo champions opening up the resguardo for ethno-tourism and autonomous economic empowerment, such as the sale of Arhuaco crafts to the Younger Brothers.
Since 1995, various Arhuaco communities have organised themselves into cooperatives to produce and sell export-quality organic coffee. But as climate change pushes coffee production to cooler, higher mountain slopes, they’re now working to supplement coffee earnings with those from selling cacao. And as spiritual leader for Puerto Bello (the gateway village at the base of the mountains), Izquierdo has promoted the cultivation of sugarcane locally to produce panela (unrefined, organic raw brown sugar) for export.
“The idea is also to let the world know more about our culture,” Izquierdo said. “We want to carry the message that it is not simply to cultivate, but to cultivate with conscience,” he added, referring to organic farming, without harmful pesticides and other inputs, in harmony with Mother Nature.
By integrating into the cash economy, the Arhuaco are gaining cultural recognition while deriving income to buy back, parcel by parcel, ancestral territory owned by Younger Brothers, Izquierdo explained. The ultimate goal is for the Arhuaco to control more than 190,000 hectares (almost half a million acres), reconstituting ancestral territories like a rombacabeza (jigsaw puzzle), piece by piece.
I watched, fascinated, as Izquierdo moistened a wooden stick with saliva and dipped it into a poporo (a gourd filled with lime from powdered seashells), a carry-over from pre-Columbian civilisation. Izquierdo extracted some lime, wiped it on a wad of coca leaves to enhance the coca’s stimulating effect, and stuffed the wad in his mouth.
The thick limescale, the hard residue that builds by incremental degree with each wipe around the rim of the gourd, is a living library of every thought underlying every stroke of the stick. For the Arhuaco, an individual’s every thought or dream is literally recorded by the metaphorical action of poporeando (dipping into the poporo). “We write our thoughts with it. It’s a record of a man’s entire life,” Izquierdo said.
Equally, every knot in their intricately crafted zijews and clothing represents a thought or memory. I watched men perched on low wooden stools weaving cloth on ancient looms, deep in concentration as their deft fingers wove together the material world with that of spirit.
The idea is also to let the world know more about our culture
Every aspect of Arhuaco life is permeated with the symbolism of weaving. “Their central metaphor is a loom,” Davis said. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the very spindle from which the all-knowing Mother’s thread unwinds, turning possibility into reality, dreams and memory. The power of embedded thought is the very weft to the warp of their cosmovision.
Suddenly the meaning of the maguey thread that Izquierdo had handed me became clear. My experience with the Arhuaco was indelibly printed in that metaphorical umbilical cord. A cord uniting the past and present, the spiritual and material worlds, and my understanding – my thoughts, dreams and memory – of the Arhuaco’s cosmovision to be shared with the world.
- ‘Don’t Say They Didn’t Tell Us’
MESSAGE FROM THE BIG BROTHERS (03/27/2020)
We, the Mamos from the Heart of the World, that is also the Heart of the Universe, from our Sacred House. the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, greet all our younger brothers and sisters of all the races of the world, the great brotherhood, all masters, the lightworkers, all of those who are on the path to change consciousness, to those who are awakening to a new consciousness and also to all those who are still asleep. We invite you to reflect on what is obvious, what everyone is talking about, the message that crowns us all as a single unit, in a single pain, in a single suffering, as a single humanity that suffers, cries that it is broken and that has to rise empowered, different, freed from incomprehensible egos, from values that did not help, and from powers that left us weak and tired of carrying them and that did not help when we needed them most. The Mother spoke, life shouted it in our faces, nature revealed it, the unintentional fires screamed it as a Truth.
But we did not hear them, because we were busy with grandiose work for ourselves, because they did not touch us directly, because we were busy building a better tomorrow without knowing for whom or for what. Today, we cannot say that we were caught off guard, that we were not warned, that it was a surprise. Don’t say they didn’t tell us. We, the Mamos who have learned for hundreds of generations and lineages to take time to develop communication with the higher and lower dimensions, who lived for 18 years of our present life learning to silence our minds, to desensitize our biological bodies and our senses, to extinguish our egos, to put our minds to sleep so that they do not judge, do not sentence, do not condemn. In those years and until the end of our existence we continue to learn to be Mamos, by sharpening the senses of the higher being and training ourselves to perceive, with the senses of the soul and the heart, the whisper of the divinity carried by the wind, the breeze, the waters, the clouds, the mountains, the animals, the forests, the very small like the bacteria, the visible and invisible beings, as the guardians of our Sacred Sites. We have learned that they speak with the innocent laughter of children, in the old wisdom of the one who is already leaving, with the color of the clouds, in the melting of the Chundwas (snow peaks), in the birds that stopped flying, in the volcanoes that woke up perplexed and began to roar until they made Mother Earth tremble.
We the Mamos read it, understood it, witnessed it when the slow and accurate walk of the father sun changed, hugging Mother Earth until she was burned, and when the lunar cycles no longer aligned to direct life, the planting time and the harvest. Younger brothers and sisters, the things that may seem insignificant to you have an enormous meaning for us, the Mamos. In every natural event, in every manifestation the Mamos see a messenger and a message, a guardian, a teacher, a counselor, who offer us the opportunity to hear, to dialogue with them, with Mother Nature and with Mother Earth.Thus, we learn the power to lead without insisting that others follow us. We call those viruses, bacteria, those who do good things for us or who plague us, or alter our time and space, our Elder Brothers. Today, one single tiny entity is producing a huge disturbance forcing all of us to make a stop on our sacred pathway of life.
For us, the Mamos, when Mother Earth had her first dawn everything was manifested from the spirit, in Ánugwe. Then, everything was manifested in Ti’na. Ánugwe is the immaterial force of existence, the intangible and greater “Law Force” that governs and controls everything that exists in nature and in the cosmos. Ti’na is the force in the material way, visible and manifested from Ánugwe. Thus, all kingdoms, animals, plants, waters, rocks, and everything that exists are manifested in Ti’na. They came first, ahead of us, in Ánugwe,where they manifested as the supreme force of life, of creation, and thus they had tocontinue in Ti’na. We were the last to arrive in Ánugwe and Ti’na. We arrived yesterday, and although we have not yet been able to understand what we came for, or why we were the last, nor what would be our sacred mission, or why did we come to be with the elder brothers, we became their executioners and as cannibals we began to consume and destroy many of them. We have altered the order established by the Most Sacred Law of the Universe, the Law of Origin, which is the Law of Order, of life and of respect for the inner being We have not learned to put ourselves at the height of Mother Earth, nor of Nature. As capricious children blinded by the power of reason, we begin to change everything, destroying, annihilating everything in our path.
We were so powerful that in a blink of an eye we overheated the planet, thawed the poles, causing many brothers of flora and fauna to disappear. We polluted the breeze and the air. Very few have acted with a consciousness of transformation wanting to change the system. That chaos is what today governs us. Until now, we were playing with fire. We put ourselves off balance. And then, a virus, the smallest of the elementals, the most insignificant creature before the eyes of the younger brothers forced us to stop the pursuit of the race, without knowing after what we were running. That virus became a great teacher, an authentic messenger.
From our communication sites with the portals from the different dimensions, we, the Mamos, perceive that this teacher is fed by fear, vibrates with it and is empowered by the fear that he perceives in all of us who feel terrified of losing what we have, what we built or planned to build. As humanity we have been crowned with the vibration of fear. From the Sacred sites the Guardians send us courage and we Mamos add to this courage a good dose of solidarity, unconditional love and self-confidence in ourselves to spread it to others as an effective shield against fear.
We, the Mamos, speak with Mother Earth, we speak with life and with beings from all kingdoms. From our sacred offices we ask for forgiveness, first for ourselves, our neighbors, the breeze, the water, the animals and the plants. We heal them, we balance them, because by healing and balancing our Elder Brothers, we heal and balance ourselves, because everything is integrated into the whole by interacting with each other and with ourselves. Only when we achieve the new balance will the New Humanity be empowered by solidarity, giving way to the New Earth, promoted, honored, respected and loved. Then, not only will pure air be possible, not only will healthy animals be possible, will plants be possible, but each element, each being will be fulfilling its mission, without being destroyed, violated, by what is called development, civilization, modernity and which we, the Mamos, call unconsciousness.
Our Sacred Mother Earth will be protected when we as humanity make the resolution to do things respecting and revering all life. For us, the Mamos, this is an invitation to change and transform ourselves without aggression, with love and kindness. It is something that you talk about the transformation or mutations that modern viruses are doing. The Mamos see this as an approaching reality that we can reach with the greatest humility that will assist us with the absolute truth of being able to apologize to ourselves and to all brothers and our elder brothers, to have a change in attitude, a transformation of consciousness and habits of thinking before this sacred planet, before this sacred mother and before our sacred elder brothers.
We have demonstrated how powerful we are to change, to transform. Let’s use the same power to mutate our consciousness adding a strong dosage of love, compassion, respect and reverence for life without rejecting with pride or arrogance the elder brothers of nature, because they were here ahead of us. Mother Earth, the Guardians of our Sacred Sites, the Mamos of the Chundwas are calling all of us, mobilizing Mamos and younger brothers and sisters to work together bringing that change in humanity and in the world. May power, light and love be with all of us to make that transformation during this time of change.
Mamo Dwawiku Izquierdo, Mamo Arhuaco from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia
Compiled and translated by Amanda Bernal-Carlo, President, The Great Balance
More info here:
- For actual info look at The Tairona Heritage Trust
- Living the Law of Origin: The Cosmological, Ontological, Epistemological, and Ecological Framework of the Kogi
- Gold and Power in Ancient Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia
The Art of Pre-Columbian Gold
- Gold, Stone, and Ideology: Symbols of Power in theTairona Tradition of Northern Colombia
- Aluna: A Message to Little Brother
by charles eisentein https://charleseisenstein.org/essays/aluna-a-message-to-little-brother/
A black line, a network of hidden connections, links all the sacred places on earth. If that line should be broken, calamities will ensue, and this beautiful world shall perish. Destroying a forest here, draining a swamp there might have dire consequences across the globe. The Kogi shamans cannot perform their work of maintaining the balance of nature much longer in the face of our depredations.
How are we to interpret this warning coming from the Kogi people of the Sierra Madre in Colombia, delivered through their latest film, Aluna?
Contemporary Western viewers may respond to the film with resistance and skepticism. The old guard will undoubtedly reproduce the violence of well-worn colonial discourses, dismissing the Kogi’s message as primitive magico-religious thinking. For the ethnically sensitive, such a crude dismissal is passé. Today we have more sophisticated ways to deafen ourselves to what the Kogi are telling us.
The first we might call “ontological imperialism.” It would be to say, “Yes, the Kogi are onto something after all. The black line is a metaphor for ecological interconnectedness. Their talk of the voice of water is code for the hydrological cycle. They are keen observers of nature and have articulated scientific truths in their own cultural language.” That sounds fair enough, doesn’t it? It gives them credit for being astute observers of nature. However, this view takes for granted that basal reality is that of scientific materialism, thereby disallowing the conceptual categories and causal understandings of the Kogi. It says that fundamentally, we understand the nature of reality better than they do.
If their message were merely, “We must take better care of nature,” then the above understanding would be sufficient. But the Kogi are inviting us into a much deeper change than that. Do we understand the nature of reality better than they do? It once seemed so, but today the fruits of our supposed understanding—social and ecological crisis—gnaw at our surety.
A second and related way that Western viewers may resist the Kogi’s message is through what Edward Said called “Orientalism”—the distortion (romanticizing, demonizing, exaggerating, reducing) of another culture to conform it to a comfortable and self-serving narrative. An Orientalist response to Aluna would seek to turn the Kogi into a kind of cultural or spiritual fetish object, subsuming them into our own cultural mythology, perhaps by making them into an academic subject and stuffing their beliefs and way of life into various ethnographic categories. In that way we make them safe, we make them ours. It is just another kind of imperialism.
We might do the same by inserting their messages into a comfortable silo called “indigenous wisdom,” elevating the Kogi to superhuman status and, in the process, dehumanizing them as well. It is not true respect to worship an image—the reverse image of our own shadow—that we project onto another culture. Real respect seeks to understand someone on their own terms.
I am happy to say that Aluna avoids both traps (of imperialism and Orientalism). What makes this film remarkable is that fundamentally it is not a documentary. I have always been a little uncomfortable with documentaries about other cultures, even those that avoid the overtly patronizing tone of “look at those happy natives,” because they of necessity objectify their subjects, turning them into the material of a (video) “document.” By documenting others, we incorporate them into our world, into a safe educational or entertainment or inspirational frame, and into the “society of the spectacle.” But this film is not a documentary.
Who is the filmmaker here? Ordinarily one would say it was Alan Ereira, a former BBC producer who produced it. But that’s not what he says, and that’s not what the Kogi say either. According to them, the Kogi noticed the accelerating degradation of the planet and contacted the outside world to deliver a message that we must stop the destruction. They did so first in the early 1990s with the BBC documentary From the Heart of the World, after which they again withdrew from contact.
Obviously, we didn’t heed their message. “We must not have spoken it clearly enough,” they concluded, and so they sought out Ereira again to make a sequel. Fittingly, this is not a masterly production in conventional terms. Ereira appears to be in a little over his head, guileless, uncertain, and humble. These qualities are palpable throughout and contribute to one’s confidence that the Kogi and their message have not been conveniently packaged for commercialization or ecospiritual objectification. It is a raw and honest film.
The cynical observer, practiced with the tools of post-colonial analysis, might think that the assertion that “the Kogi have requested this film be made in order to convey their message” is a mere cinematic trope, or a way to preempt charges of exoticism, Orientalism, and cultural appropriation. However, that analysis is itself a kind of colonialism, based as it is on the patronizing assumption that the Kogi must be the helpless pawns of the filmmaker. It discounts the Kogi’s own explicit assertion that they have called the filmmaker back in order to transmit an important message to “little brother” (the industrialized world).
Dare we take the Kogi at face value? Dare we hold them in full agency as authors not only of this film, but of a message sent to us on their initiative? To do so reverses the power relations implicit in even the most post-colonially sensitive ethnography, in which the distinction between the ethnographic subject and the ethnographer is usually preserved in some form (and institutionalized when, with all due disclaimers, it appears in academic publications). Anthropologists don’t normally grant ethnographic populations agency as the originators of messages to academia.
The Kogi are not interested in being studied. They have not allowed anthropologists to live among them. They have not let their civilization become an object within ours. They, in fact, have been studying us—and with increasing alarm. “We have warned little brother,” they tell us, “and little brother has not listened.”
The Gift of Humility
In one telling scene, the Kogi mama (shaman) Shibulata visits an astronomical observatory in England. The astronomer is struck by the fact that Shibulata evinces no desire to learn from Western science, no curiosity about the telescope. He shows him photographs of galaxies invisible to the naked eye. The mama is not impressed. He is here to teach us, not to learn from us. Perhaps he recognizes the telescope as another manifestation of the same desire to conquer nature that has destroyed the forests and rivers and mangrove swamps near his home. He also displays an uncanny power, picking out from a large photograph the single star in it among multitudinous galaxies and other objects. Naming it, he says, “That star is not visible to our eyes.”
In this film, the colonial gaze is turned back on the colonizers—sternly, imploringly, and with very great love. The Kogi tell us, “You mutilate the world because you don’t remember the Great Mother. If you don’t stop, the world will die.” Please believe us, they say. You must stop doing this. “Do you think we say these words for the sake of talking? We are speaking the truth.”
Why hasn’t “little brother” listened? It has been over twenty years since the Kogi first spoke their message to the modern world. I think perhaps we have not listened because we have not yet inhabited the humility that this film embodies. We continue to try to somehow box, contain, and reduce the Kogi and their message so that it can rest comfortably in our existing Story of the World. The Kogi themselves say that thought is the scaffolding of matter; that without thought, nothing could exist. The official Aluna website describes the Kogi’s view thusly: “We are not just plundering the world, we are dumbing it down, destroying both the physical structure and the thought underpinning existence.” The conceptual reduction of the Kogi, and indigenous groups generally, to academic subjects, museum specimens, New Age fetish-objects, exploitable labor, or tourist spectacles is part of this dumbing down.
Thankfully, the requisite humility to truly hear the Kogi is fast upon us, born of—what else?—humiliation. As our dominant cultural mythology falls apart, we face repeated humiliation in the failure of our cherished systems of technology, politics, law, medicine, education, and more. Only with increasingly strenuous and willful ignorance can we deny that the grand project of “civilization” has failed. We see now that what we do to nature we do to ourselves; that its conquest brings our death. The utopian mirage of the technologist and the social engineer recedes ever further into the distance.
The breakdown of our categories and narratives, the breakdown of our Story of the World, gives us the gift of humility. That is the only thing that can open us to receive the teachings of the Kogi and other indigenous people—to truly receive them, and not merely insert them into some comfortable silo called “indigenous wisdom,” as if they were a museum piece or a spiritual acquisition.
I am not suggesting that we adopt, part and parcel, the entire Kogi cosmology. We need not imitate their shamanic practices or learn to listen to bubbles in the water. What we must do is embrace the core understanding that motivates the attempt to listen to water in the first place: the understanding that nature is alive and intelligent, bearing certain qualities of a self that Western thought has arrogated to human beings alone. We must make it no longer an Other; we must grant to nature the same agency that this film humbly grants to the Kogi. Then we will find our own ways of listening.
What Does Nature Want?
The modern mind does not easily comprehend the idea of the intelligence of nature except through anthropomorphizing or deifying it—another attempt at conquest. That would impose upon nature the same neocolonial attitude that this film does not impose upon the Kogi, and it is contrary to their message. Living much closer to nature than we in industrialized society, the Kogi can be under no illusion that nature is always nice, fair, and pleasant. From a dualistic mindset, the putative “intelligence of nature” looks like a capricious, evil intelligence. If you or I were in charge, we’d do better, wouldn’t we? We wouldn’t arrange for 999 tadpoles out of a thousand never to achieve froghood. We wouldn’t write so much suffering and death into nature. We would improve on nature. Such is the conceit of civilization as we know it.
To the extent we participate in modern society, “you and I” have been in charge. Look at what has happened to the world. Maybe it is time for younger brother—to see through different eyes.
Granting subjectivity and agency to nature and everything in it does not mean to grant human subjectivity andhuman agency, making them into storybook versions of us. It means asking, “What does the land want? What does the river want? What does the planet want?”—questions that seem crazy from the perspective of nature-as-thing.
The Kogi are not talking about a non-material, supernatural spirit to infuse consciousness into otherwise dead matter. For the Kogi, matter is not a container for thought; matter is thought made manifest, the thought of the Mother. Their beliefs are not actually supernatural, not in the sense of abstracting spirit (and all that goes with it like sacredness, consciousness, etc.) out from matter. To do so denies the inherent beingness of nature just as much as standard scientific materialism does.
Materialism, however, isn’t what it used to be. Science is evolving, recognizing that nature is composed of interdependent systems within systems within systems, just as a human body is; that soil mycorrhizal networks are as complex as brain tissue; that water can carry information and structure; that the earth and even the sun maintain homeostatic balance just as a body does. We are learning that order, complexity, and organization are fundamental properties of matter, mediated through physical processes that we recognize—and perhaps by others we do not. The excluded spirit is coming back to matter, not from without but from within.
So the question, “What does nature want?” does not depend for its coherency on anything supernatural, an external intelligence. The “wanting” is an organic process, an entelechy born of relationship, a movement toward an unfolding wholeness.
A Non-Utilitarian Argument Against Ecocide
In that understanding, we can no longer cut down forests and drain swamps, dam rivers and fragment ecosystems with roads, dig pit mines and drill gas wells with impunity. The Kogi say, to do so damages the whole body of nature, just as if you cut off a person’s limb or removed an organ. The well-being of all depends on the well-being of each. We cannot cut down one forest here and plant another there, assuring ourselves through the calculus of net carbon dioxide that we have done no damage. How do we know that we have not removed an organ? How do we know we have not destroyed what the Kogi call an esuana—a key node on the black thread scaffolding the natural world? How do we know we have not destroyed a sacred tree, what the Kogi call “the father of the species,” upon which the whole species depends?
Until we can know it, we’d best refrain from committing further ecocide on any scale. Each intact estuary, river, forest, and wetlands that remains to us, we must treat as sacred, while restoring whatever we can. The Kogi say we are close to the dying of the world.
As the film makes clear, science is beginning to recognize what the Kogi have always known. An invisible web of causality does indeed connect every place on Earth. Building a road that cuts off the natural water flow at a key site might initiate a cascade of changes—more evaporation, salinization, vegetation die-off, flooding, drought—that have far-reaching effects. We must understand that as exemplfying a general principle of interconnectedness; furthermore, we must see the aliveness and intelligence of the world. As the Kogi say in the film, “If you knew she could feel, you would stop.”
Otherwise, we are left only with the logic of instrumental utilitarianism as reason to protect nature—save the rainforest because of its value to us. But that mindset is part of the problem. We need more love, not more self-interest. We know it is wrong to exploit another person for our own gain, because another person is a full subject with her own feelings, desires, pain, and joy. If we knew that nature too were a full subject, we would stop ravaging her as well.
Aluna brings this knowing a little closer. Only by hardening our hearts can we view the film’s images of filled-in swamps and bare, scarred mountains, and disbelieve that something is feeling very great pain. Only by the colonialistic dismissal of an entire culture’s cosmology and ways of knowing, can we uphold our own dying mythology of nature as an insensate source of materials and repository of wastes. The sober indignation of the Kogi defies easy dismissal. It is not hard to believe that they—the largest intact civilization that has remained separate from global industrialized society—are indeed “Elder Brother.” It is not hard to believe their warning. To act on it, though, might require the same courage, patience, and wisdom the film reveals in the Kogi.
- The Refuge: Pilgrimage
To Become a “Refugee” means to make a migration to Sincerity or to the“uprightness” of Love.
Man as stubbornness of the intellectual rebellion of our Ego / The Twice Born Man
The Refuge: Pilgrimage to Reconciliation with his Soul
Man as “Whore of Babylon” The Twice Born Man
The Refuge: Pilgrimage
The Freedom of choice of the “Refugee”:
We are not the first generation to know that we are destroying the world, many communities and civilisations collapsed before us. But we could be the last that can do anything about it, not with the vanity of earthly knowledge and so called democratic solidarity and wisdom here on earth as this commercial of WWF wants to convince us, but with asking humbly the help of Divine Wisdom so realising in us the image of the man who painfully transcends his material ego: The birth of his soul. It is a test. It’s time to decide!
- The Soul That Does not Live in God is not Alive
Spring makes red and white flowers appear on the trees,
But the spring that is the origin of colors is colorless.
Understand what I have said, and give up all talk;
Run to the Origin without color and unite yourself to it.
Annihilate yourself before the One Existence
So that thousands of worlds leap out of you
And your pure existence flames out of itself
And goes on and on birthing different forms.
Of course, none of these forms will last.
Happy is the one who knows this mystery!
Happy is he who gives his life to know this!
He leaves this house for another far more radiant.
You cannot understand this mystery through reason;
The Way to Knowledge winds through suffering and torment.
If you do not feel pain, you do not look for healing.
The soul that does not live in God is not alive.
She seems like a soul, but does not deserve the name:
She has not been made alive by the Beloved.
The soul is given life by the four-elements
Like a lamp that burns through the night:
The light is from oil and wick, it is not eternal.
While the oil exists, the lamp burns, but then goes out.
The one made alive by God will never die.
He lives through God and not through gold or bread.
God is the Light, the Eternal Source of Lights.
The Light is causeless, as is His fiery radiance.
Like gold, God’s value comes from His pure, perfect essence.
Part II – Exercise:
- The Rest on the Flight into Egypt of the “Holy Refugees”
The Rest on the Flight into Egypt is a subject in Christian art showing Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus resting during their flight into Egypt. The Holy Family is normally shown in a landscape.
The subject did not develop until the second half of the fourteenth century, though it was an “obvious step” from depictions of the “legend of the palm tree” where they pause to eat dates and rest; palm trees are often included. It was a further elaboration of the long-standing traditions of incidents that embellished the story of the Flight into Egypt, which the New Testament merely says happened, without giving any details .The single New Testament account, in Matthew 2:14, merely says (of Joseph): “When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt”. This account was embellished in various early New Testament apocrypha, which added various legendary incidents. Late medieval accounts continued to add detail, in particular the Vita Christi of Ludolph of Saxony, completed about 1374, just a few years before the time that the first artistic depiction of the Rest is found. This includes a description of Mary breastfeeding, which is found in Meister Bertram’s Grabow Altarpiece, the first known painting. Ludolph also mentions the journey passing “through dark and uninhabited forests, and by very long routes past rough and deserted places to Egypt”, setting the tone for the great majority of the landscape settings throughout the history of the depiction, though the trees usually clear sufficiently to allow a distant view. The Rest on the Flight into Egypt of the “Holy Refugees” give us all the elements to meditate on our path to migration.
- Migration of the “Refugee”
- Pilgrimage as a Theme for the “Refugee”
Therefore we who are pilgrims in this world—for we have no permanent city, but we seek one that is to come—if we have within ourselves in a spiritual sense the things that those pilgrims had, the Lord will be a companion on our journey.
The Exercises themselves can be seen as an interior pilgrimage, a structured journey with times of consolation, when the way seems clear, alternating with others of desolation, where the exercitant seems to be in the wilderness. Moments of isolation and reunion follow one another.
Follow the Bird:
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26
Be quiet as the child Moses , trust the basket/ coffin and follow God:
5.Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe at the river. Her maidens walked along by the riverside. She saw the basket among the reeds, and sent her handmaid to get it. 6 She opened it, and saw the child, and behold, the baby cried. She had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Should I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?” 8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” The maiden went and called the child’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” The woman took the child, and nursed it. 10 The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.”
The “baby left in a river” story is not unique to Moses. It may have originated in the story of Romulus and Remus left in the Tiber, or in the tale of Sumerian king Sargon I left in a caulked basket in the Euphrates.
Jonah and the Gourd
“Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?”
1 But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. 2 He prayed to the LORD, “O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4 But the LORD replied, “Have you any right to be angry?” 5 Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” 9 But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?” “I do,” he said. “I am angry enough to die.” 10 But the LORD said, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” JONAH IV
DIVINE Mercy had warned and preserved the great city of NIneveh, but the narrow-hearted prophet Jonah was disappointed and angry. He would rather his consistency had been maintained, although a whole people had perished. He had gone to the outside of Nineveh. He made a small booth to shield him from the hot rays of the sun, and watched and waited to see what would be the fate of the city. The day was hot, and the prophet vexed, fretful, and weary. After one day thus spent, during the night there grew up a plant of the melon or calabash kind, with green wide-spreading leaves, and this gave an agreeable shelter to the prophet for another day. Another night came, and as it passed into morning the gourd, so grateful to the heat-harassed prophet, was seen to have lost its vigour; it was blighted by a worm, and no longer lent its pleasant shade. It was dead. Fainting beneath the breath of the hot wind, the prophet wished to die. He was disappointed and forlorn; he could see no use in his life. He was despairing, and sighed to quit his post. Like many a weary soul deficient in faith, he had not yet learned submission and confidence, and pined and prayed that his toil and his life might end, as if He who gives our life, and saves our future, did not best know the time, place, and way in which to draw it to a close. Read more here
Gourds were a sacred symbol among Abraham’s Habiru (Hebrew) people. They represented fertility, new life, the arousal of God (whose emblem was the sun), and the rising of the sun in the east. Gourds carved into cedar decorated the inner sanctuary of the temple.
The house, that is, the nave in front of the inner sanctuary, was forty cubits long. There was cedar on the house within, carved in the shape of gourds and open flowers; all was cedar, there was no stone seen. 1 Kings 6:18
Gourds also decorated the bronze sea, a circular basin which held a supply of water for ritual use.
Now he made the sea of cast metal ten cubits from brim to brim, circular in form, and its height was five cubits, and thirty cubits in circumference. Under its brim gourds went around encircling it ten to a cubit, completely surrounding the sea; the gourds were in two rows, cast with the rest. It stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east; and the sea was set on top of them… 1 Kings 7:24
In the story of Jonah, the LORD prepares a gourd plant to shelter Jonah. This pleases Jonah, but a worm destroys the plant. The gourd represents the new life to be enjoyed by the people of Ninevah after repentance and deliverance from destruction. The worm is Jonah’s bitterness that his enemies should be saved, just as he feared, knowing that the LORD is gracious and merciful.
The LORD said, “Do you have good reason to be angry?” Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city. So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.… Jonah 4:4-6
Anger (Ira) by Brueghel
The gourd is a solar symbol. As it matures, the gourd swells. It is a reference to the Creator God whose emblem, the sun, swells as it rises in the morning. There is a connection to the ancient Egyptian root bn, meaning to swell, and to the the Proto-Dravidian root brih, which means to swell or enlarge. The Egyptian word for the rising sun is wbn, and that which is enlarged or swollen to its limits is designated by the reduplication bnbn.
- Jonah and the Whale
The Speculum Humanae Salvationis and the Biblia pauperum became the two most successful compilations.
Example of Jonah
The story of Jonah and the fish in the Old Testament offers an example of typology. In the Old Testament Book of Jonah, Jonah told his shipmates to throw him overboard, explaining that God’s wrath would pass if Jonah were sacrificed, and that the sea would become calm. Jonah then spent three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish before it spat him up onto dry land.
Typological interpretation of this story holds that it prefigures Christ’s burial and resurrection. The stomach of the fish represented Christ’s tomb; as Jonah exited from the fish after three days and three nights, so did Christ rise from His tomb on the third day. In the New Testament, Jesus invokes Jonah in the manner of a type: “As the crowds increased, Jesus said, ‘This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.’” Luke 11:29–32 (see also Matthew 12:38–42, 16:1–4). In Jonah 2, Jonah called the belly of the fish “She’ol“, the land of the dead (translated as “the grave” in the NIV Bible).
Pride (Superbia) by Brueghel
Thus, when one finds an allusion to Jonah in Medieval art or in Medieval literature, it usually represents an allegory for the burial and resurrection of Christ. Other common typological allegories entail the four major Old Testament prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel prefiguring the four Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, or the twelve tribes of Israel foreshadowing the twelve apostles. Commentators could find countless numbers of analogies between stories of the Old Testament and the New; modern typologists prefer to limit themselves to considering typological relationships that they find sanctioned in the New Testament itself, as in the example of Jonah above.
In Judaism, the story of Jonah represents the teaching of teshuva, which is the ability to repent and be forgiven by God. In the New Testament, Jesus calls himself “greater than Jonah” and promises the Pharisees “the sign of Jonah”, which is his resurrection. Early Christian interpreters viewed Jonah as a type for Jesus. Jonah is regarded as a prophet in Islam and the biblical narrative of Jonah is repeated, with a few notable differences, in the Quran. Some mainstream Bible scholars generally regard the Book of Jonah as fictional and often at least partially satirical, but the character of Jonah may have been based on the historical prophet of the same name mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25.
Although the word “whale” is often used in English versions of the Jonah story, the Hebrew text actually uses the phrase dag gadol, which means “giant fish”. In the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the species of the fish that swallowed Jonah was the subject of speculation for naturalists, who interpreted the story as an account of a historical incident. Some modern scholars of folklore have noted similarities between Jonah and other legendary figures, specifically Gilgamesh and the Greek hero Jason. Read also Escaping the «Jaws of Death»: Some Visual Conceptualisations in Late Medieval Islamic and Eastern Christian Art
- Quranic Account of Jonah (p)
Then he cried out in the deep darkness: “there is no deity save Thee! Limitless are Thee in Thy glory! Verily, I have done wrong.” And so We responded unto him and delivered him from [his] distress: for thus do We deliver all who have faith.
Qur’an 21: 87-88
The Qur’anic account of the story of Prophet Jonah (p) is similar to the Biblical story in many grounds. However, less historical details are given in the Qur’anic account, for the purpose of the Qur’an in narrating the prophetic stories is not to give historical information, but to provide guidance to believers. The Qur’an shows how each story points to a universal truth that is relevant to everyone at all times. Hence, the Qur’an teaches how each prophet is a model for the believer. [iii]
The story of Jonah (p) goes as follows. Jonah (p) is sent as a messenger to a people. When the people reject his message, Jonah (p) abandons them in anger, and, in the words of the Qur’an, flees “like a runaway slave,” ( Qur’an, 37: 140 ) thinking that God would not put him in distress. ( Q, 21:87 ) He will, however, be held accountable for this flight. The ship that he boards runs into a storm and he ends up being thrown into the sea.
According to one tradition, the people at that time believed that if there were a slave who has run away from his master in a ship, it would bring ill luck to the ship. Since no one in the ship admitted to being a fugitive slave, people decided to take lots. The lot fell on Jonah (p), and thus he was cast into the sea, whereupon a fish swallowed him. ( Q, 37:141 ) Here the implication is that Jonah (p) was indeed a fugitive slave, for he did not trust his Master and escaped from the mission that his Master assigned to him.
There in that deep darkness Jonah (p) says a prayer, which becomes the key for his deliverance. If it were not for this honest repentance (or “remembrance,”) Jonah (p) would have never got out of the fish. ( Q, 37:143 ) In this sense, Jonah’s (p) prayer is the turning point of the story. Soon after his prayer, God rescues Jonah (p) (or “the man of the big fish” as the Qur’an also calls him), bringing him to the shore. Thereafter, he is sent back to his people, who this time believe in his message. Consequently, God foregoes the impeding destruction, and allows them “to enjoy their life during the time allotted to them.” ( Q, 10:98 )
The Secret of Jonah’s (p) Prayer
According to the Qur’an, Jonah (p) calls upon God in the midst of “darkness.” In a dark night, in the darkness of the belly of the fish, Jonah (p) was buried in a spiritual darkness of helplessness. [ix] It seemed that all creation — including the sea, the night, and the fish — was united against Jonah (p). At that point, Jonah (p) realized that nothing in all creation could save him. There was no way, no avail, and no help from any creature. Even if the entire creation had become his servants or helpers, they would not have been able to deliver Jonah (p) from that situation. [x] Jonah (p) fully realized that only the One whose power subdues everything on earth could save him. Thus, Jonah (p) experienced the reality that the Sustainer is one, He is the Causer of the causes and of their effects. Nursi reads this as the culmination of affirmation of Divine Unity, the foundation stone of Islam. [xi]
As Jonah (p) witnessed the reality of Divine Unity, he turned to his Sustainer and prayed: “There is no god, but You. Limitless are You in Your glory! Verily, I have done wrong.” The Qur’an tells us that as a result of his supplication, the stormy sea calmed down, and the fish became a vehicle for Jonah (p), carrying him to the “shore of salvation.” [xii] That is, with the command of the Merciful Creator, the creation that seemed hostile to him was put into his service. Indeed, Jonah (p) had perceived his situation as unbearable because for a while he overlooked the fact that nothing happens haphazardly. When Jonah (p) remembered that every single thing and every event is created on purpose by the Merciful Creator of All Things, he understood that he had misinterpreted his situation. Read here An Insight Into the Prayer of Jonah (p) in the Qur’an
- The City of Idols
In Pseudo-Matthew (ch. 22-24) when the family arrives in Egypt in a city called Sotinen all the idols in the land fall to the ground and shatter, whereupon that city’s governor and people are so impressed that they come to believe “in the Lord God through Jesus Christ.” There are similar accounts of this incident in The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Savior (¶10-11), the Speculum Ecclesiae (837) and the Golden Legend (#10), and we see it illustrated from time to time in the art (example).
- Why You Should Not Idolize All People:
Don’t change the world in hopes of changing yourself,
change yourself so the world changes because of you.
This is the mistake of the west, in its morally bankrupt history and its many notable figures it has come to idolise just about any person who has achieved something in life, while people should be acknowledged for their work that is different from placing them in a position to nurture your society from, the west is clearly lacking insight into the implications of raising people of questionable morality above them, or not, its leaders may perfectly understand who they want you to emulate and its results.
- A Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms
It concerns the Netherlandish artist Pieter Aertsen, a religious painter. When the sacred figurative art began to be contested and destroyed by an extreme Protestant iconoclasm, he changed his residence town and converted his works into genre scene. Very strange ones, indeed, since a scrupulous spectator can discern small holy scenes dissimulated in the background.
His Butcher’s Stall with the Flight into Egypt or A Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms, which we have in two copies (1551; Uppsala University Art Collection and North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh) is the most ever disconcerting “Flight into Egypt”.
Rather than versus a certain religious confession, it looks the cryptic protest of an autonomous art, against whatever human foolishness and violence.
Terra Documentary 2015
A visually stunning documentary that reflects human’s relationship to other species on Earth as humanity becomes more and more isolated from Nature.
What, when adopted by Aertsen, might appear an expedient, became a full invention in the works of his nephew Joachim Beuckelaer. He depicted two “Flights into Egypt”. Now in the Rockox House at Antwerp, the former is more traditional.
In the latter, titled The Four Element: Earth. A Fruit and Vegetable Market with the Flight into Egypt in the Background (1560; National Gallery, London), the author develops his uncle’s lesson into a not less striking allegory.
In the composition, we have three levels: a still life, in the foreground; some figures of peasant women and men, in the middle; a country landscape, with the detail of the Holy Family on a bridge across a stream, in the rear on the left. Despite all, between nature and humankind the sacred mystery survived as a subdued link. That is an anomalous example, of what is conventionally called “inverted perspective”. If we consider it well, not a few things on earth do not happen otherwise…
This “inverted perspective” changes the traditional wisdom of man and it opens the door to the modern perpective of earthly knowledge and wisdom being cut off from his Divine Source.
The seasons all in One….
Arcimboldo died in Milan, where he had retired after leaving the Prague service. It was during this last phase of his career that he produced the composite portrait of Rudolph II , as well as his self-portrait as the Four Seasons. His Italian contemporaries honored him with poetry and manuscripts celebrating his illustrious career. Arcimboldo criticized rich people’s misbehavior and showed others what happened at that time through his art.
The Four Elements (Arcimboldo)
Patinir, Pieter Aertsen, Brueghel were living in the same period and try to find a way to show us what was wrong in their society: Vanity of earthly knowledge
In Revelation Vanity is represented by the Whore of Babylon. On earth this woman here represents all the pride of the world, all the temptations that we are constantly confronted with in our daily lives and to which we often succumb or the woman with the venom of the earthly senses (the serpent), but nature’s love (the earth) comes to her assistance.
In Chapter 13 the beast from the sea is depraved evil come to kill all virtues in the human heart. It derives its strength from the dragon, the poison of earthly wisdom, while the beast with two horns like a lamb and speaking like a dragon is hypocritical earthly holiness in the flesh which prevents the simple soul from’praying to God (the mark on the right hand or the forehead). The number of the beast is the whole of humanity.
Babylón is interpreted as the confusion of earthly senses; the Whore is false earthly wisdom, her golden jewels hypocritical holiness and the cup fuIl of abominations the carnal appetites.
The beast with seven heads is the evil caused by earthly knowledge and wisdom and its rule on earth; its seven heads are the doctrines of earthly wisdom and the seven kings are personal vindictiveness under the guise of holiness.
Ego rules the world: Anti-“God”, Anti-“Humanity”, Anti-“Nature
The story of the Tower of Babel (like that in The Suicide of Saul, Bruegel’s only other painting with an Old Testament subject) was interpreted as an example of pride punished, and that is no doubt what Bruegel intended his painting to illustrate. Moreover, the hectic activity of the engineers, masons and workmen points to a second moral: the futility of much human endeavour. Nimrod’s doomed building was used to illustrate this meaning in Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools. More about the tower of Babel here
There is a real reason Muslims deliberately follow a sunnah and only raise in esteem above them saintly people, it is because you imitate those you idolise, you make them the vision you take from spiritually in hopes that your society as a whole maintains a moral standard.
In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus says: “Whoever finds the meaning of these words will not tate (spiritual) death.” He said to them, “You examine the face of heaven and earth (the outward, the physical), but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment (your reality, your stateof your soul).”
Our civilization is in decay. Because we have blown-up our ego. Cosmic Balance has been disturbed. The painting “Dulle Griet”of the great painter Bruegel express very clearly the Crisis of Modern man and his Rebellion against his Soul:
….In the Spiritual Land of Peace:
In the Spiritual Land of Peace all the Idols are becoming “petrified” converted into stone through a suddenly process of disintegration. This process in your mind can sometimes go slowly, sometimes quikly…
Near the Virgin we see a clolapsed statue of a Idol , above the ball we can see two little feet on it..
… It depends of the sturburness of our Ego, the Donkey.
In the Spiritual Land of Peace, the donkey, our ego is quiet, he submits totally to the “Holy Refugee” and eats the “Greenness” of the spiritual field of the Land watered by the Eternal Water of Life….
…He is even smiling…
It depends also how we feed our Reason, here reprensented by Joseph, ( meaning ‘to add; to increase”). Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic, and adapting or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. The original Greek term was “λόγος” logos, the root of the modern English word “logic” but also a word which could mean for example “speech” or “explanation” or an “account” (of money handled). As a philosophical term logos was translated in its non-linguistic senses in Latin as ratio.
Hildegard of Bingen says in her commentary on the Prologue of St John:
“In the beginning was the Word( Logos) , and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1-1
“For we are the image of God, Hildegard tells us, and if we wish to see God we need look no further than our souls and bodies, ourselves and our neighbors.”
Few of us have been blinded by the reverberating light of Christ or seen the shimmering form of Lady Wisdom spinning her cosmic wheel. But then, we do not need to: For we are the image of God, Hildegard tells us, and if we wish to see God we need look no further than our souls and bodies, ourselves and our neighbors. “God willed that his Word should create all things, as he had foreordained before the ages. And why is it called a Word? Because with a resounding voice it awakened all creatures and called them to itself.” In the same way, human beings, formed in the Creator’s likeness, are inescapably creative, for we work with our hands and command with our voices. “What was made in the Word was life”: Like our Creator, we too live by the works that we create. By our making, we reveal ourselves to ourselves, and, what is more, we reveal God to one another. God’s rational word echoes in our speech, his praise resounds in our songs, and his creativity is declared in our creations.
“The living Light that made us is the singing Word that took our flesh; he made us because we were eternally his and he wished to be revealed as ours. We are his mirrors, his marvels, his fellow workers, and the work of his hands.” Read HILDEGARD’S COMMENTARY ON THE JOHANNINE PROLOGUE
This word is to compared to the Islamic expression “kun faya Kun”
Kun (كن) is an Arabic word for the act of “manifesting“, “existing” or “being” and consisting of the letters Kaph and Nun (letter). In the Qur’an, Allah commands the universe to “be” (“kun!” كن!), so that it is (fa-yakūnu فيكون).
Kun fa-yakūnu has its reference in the Quran cited as a symbol or sign of God’s mystical creative power. The verse is from the Quranic chapter, Surah Ya-Sin. The context in which the words kun fa-yakūnu appear in the 36th Chapter, verse number 82:
Does man not consider that We created him from a [mere] sperm-drop – then at once he is an open disputant? And he presents an (argument of) likeness for Us and forgets his own creation. He asks (in confusion): “Who will give life to the bones when they are disintegrated?” Say: “He will give life to them Who brought them into existence at first, and He is cognizant of all creation.” He Who has made for you, from the green tree, fire. and then from it you kindle (fire). Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like of them? Yes Indeed! and He is the Superb Creator (of all), the Ever-Knowing. Surely His Command, when He wills a thing, is only to say to it: Be! and it is!” Therefore glory be to Him in Whose hand is the Kingdom of all things, and to Him you shall be brought back.
“Be, and it is” (كن فيكون kun fa-yakūnu) is a phrase that occurs several times in the Qur’an, referring to creation by Allah. In Arabic the imperative verb be (kun) is spelled with the letters kāf and nūn.
- The Miraculous Wheat Field
Among these is the story of the miraculous field of wheat, which sprang up instantly to a height sufficient to hide the Holy Family from Herod’s pursuing troops.
According to this legend, when Herod’s soldiers question peasants about when the Holy Family passed, they respond truthfully that it was when they were sowing the wheat, which is now full height. What the soldiers do not know is that at the very recent passing of the Holy Family, the freshly sown wheat had suddenly and miraculously grown.
A perfect example of “kun faya Kun”: “Be! and it is!”
Jung coined the word “synchronicity” to describe “temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events.” In his book Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle, Jung wrote:
How are we to recognize acausal combinations of events, since it is obviously impossible to examine all chance happenings for their causality? The answer to this is that acausal events may be expected most readily where, on closer reflection, a causal connection appears to be inconceivable.
In his book Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle, Jung wrote:
…it is impossible, with our present resources, to explain ESP, or the fact of meaningful coincidence, as a phenomenon of energy. This makes an end of the causal explanation as well, for “effect” cannot be understood as anything except a phenomenon of energy. Therefore it cannot be a question of cause and effect, but of a falling together in time, a kind of simultaneity. Because of this quality of simultaneity, I have picked on the term “synchronicity” to designate a hypothetical factor equal in rank to causality as a principle of explanation.
- The Massacre of the Innocents
In the New Testament, the Massacre of the Innocents is the incident in the nativity narrative of the Gospel of Matthew (2:16–18) in which Herod the Great, king of Judea, orders the execution of all male children two years old and under in the vicinity of Bethlehem
- The Innocents be called innocents for three reasons.
First, by cause and reason of life, and by reason of pain, and by reason of innocence.
By reason of life they be said innocents because they had an innocent life. They grieved nobody, neither God, by inobedience, nor their neighbours by untruth, nor by conceiving of any sin, and therefore it is said in the psalter:
The innocents and righteous have joined them to me.
The innocents by their life and righteousness in the faith, by reason of pain, for they suffered death innocently and wrongly, whereof David saith:
They have shed the blood of innocents by reason of innocency.
That they had, because that in this martyrdom they were baptized and made clean of the original sin, of which innocence is said in the psalter:
Keep thou innocency of baptism and see equity of good works.
A world that has seen children fall victim to genocide and young male prisoners in the Balkans and Africa systematically massacred lest they someday swell the ranks of fighters cannot find the story of Herod’s deeds at Bethlehem unbelievable. A government’s fury unleashed indiscriminately on a village and the surrounding countryside, a family escaping to become political refugees in a foreign land: these are very modern images, or perhaps ageless ones.
‘Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims;
and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants
and establish your rule of justice, love and peace.”
Massacre of the Innocents (Bruegel)
Having compared the figure dressed in black at the centre of the Massacre of the Innocents in Vienna to portraits Duke of Alba, critics concluded that there is a peculiar and compelling likeness between the two. Consequently, they concluded that Bruegel placed a recognisable portrait of Alba in the Massacre to draw analogies between the biblical Herod’s hubris, who ordered the execution of all the babies in Bethlehem following the birth of Christ, and the Habsburg dynasties’ similarly pitiless efforts to retain a Catholic grip on the Low Countries.
Furthermore, although the original Massacre has suffered extensive overpainting done between 1604 and ’21, these are unlikely to have altered the appearance of the horseback figure because this campaign was targeted at disguising the bodies of the murdered babies.
In our time the secular celebration of Christmas, which begins to wind down immediately after Christmas Day and is definitely over by January 1, is a week of vacation, of partying and shopping for bargains.
Instead, the Church turns our attention in the days after Christmas to teaching us something else, that Christmas is not a happy fairy tale, although there is a happy ending in the Resurrection. During the octave of Christmas (the time between Christmas Day and the feast of Mary, Mother of God on January 1) the Church reminds us that faith in the Child born in Bethlehem has consequences. She invites us to consider some of those martyrs who have surrendered their lives in devotion to Christ.
On December 26th the Church celebrates the feast of the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen, killed shortly after the Pentecost, while the Church was still a small group of disciples in Jerusalem. On the 27th we celebrate the feast day of the Evangelist John, who survived martyrdom to die of old age. On December 29th we celebrate the feast of St. Thomas Becket, murdered in his own cathedral because of a dispute with King Henry II over the proper roles of Church and State. And on December 28th the Church celebrates the feast of the very first martyrs, the baby boys of Bethlehem, killed at the order of Herod the Great in his attempt to kill a potential rival: The Massacre of the Innocents
The Holy Innocents – Nearly Forgotten Baby Martyrs
Golden Legend – History of the Holy Innocents
- Laat je stem horen en teken de petitie!
Help ook mee om kinderen die alleen op de vlucht zijn uit de Griekse kampen in Nederland op te laten vangen. Zij leven onder erbarmelijke omstandigheden en mogen niet aan hun lot worden overgelaten! Teken daarom nu de petitie Teken hier
– The Parable of the Tares:
The Parable of the Tares (also known as the Parable of the Weeds, Parable of the Wheat and Tares, Parable of the Wheat and Weeds, or the Parable of the Weeds in the Grain) is a parable of Jesus which appears in Matthew 13:24-13:30. The parable relates how servants eager to pull up the tares were warned that in so doing they would root out the wheat as well and were told to let both grow together until the harvest. According to the interpretation supplied in Matthew 13:36-13:43, the parable’s meaning is that the “sons of the evil one” (the tares or weeds) will be separated from the “sons of the kingdom” (the wheat) at “the end of the age” (the harvest) by angels. This is usually taken to refer to the separation of the unsaved sinners from the saved believers during the Last Judgment. A shorter, compressed version of the parable is found without any interpretation in the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas.
The word translated “tares” in the King James Version is ζιζάνια (zizania), plural of ζιζάνιον (zizanion). This word is thought to mean darnel (Lolium temulentum), a ryegrass which looks much like wheat in its early stages of growth. Roman law prohibited sowing darnel among the wheat of an enemy, suggesting that the scenario presented here is realistic. Many translations use “weeds” instead of “tares”.
A similar metaphor is wheat and chaff, replacing (growing) tares by (waste) chaff, and in other places in the Bible “wicked ones” are likened to chaff.
The word “zizanie” in French designates a discord and a disagreement between people or in a group. “semer la zizanie” = to sow discord.
Example: Everything was going well until Bertrand came to sow discord.
Synonyms: scramble, discord, division, clash, disagreement, misunderstanding
An eschatological interpretation is provided by Jesus in Matthew 13:36-13:43:
Then Jesus sent the multitudes away, and went into the house. His disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the darnel weeds of the field.” He answered them, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
— Matthew 13:36-43, World English Bible
Although Jesus has distinguished between people who are part of the Kingdom of Heaven and those who are not, this difference may not always be readily apparent, as the parable of the Leaven indicates. However, the final judgment will be the “ultimate turning-point when the period of the secret growth of God’s kingdom alongside the continued activity of the evil one will be brought to an end, and the new age which was inaugurated in principle in Jesus’ earthly ministry will be gloriously consummated.”
St. Augustine pointed out that the invisible distinction between “wheat” and “tares” also runs through the Church:
O you Christians, whose lives are good, you sigh and groan as being few among many, few among very many. The winter will pass away, the summer will come; lo! The harvest will soon be here. The angels will come who can make the separation, and who cannot make mistakes. … I tell you of a truth, my Beloved, even in these high seats there is both wheat, and tares, and among the laity there is wheat, and tares. Let the good tolerate the bad; let the bad change themselves, and imitate the good. Let us all, if it may be so, attain to God; let us all through His mercy escape the evil of this world. Let us seek after good days, for we are now in evil days; but in the evil days let us not blaspheme, that so we may be able to arrive at the good days.
Some Christians understood “the children of the evil one” and “the children of the kingdom” to be something else than humans. Origen for instance offered such an interpretation. He also argued that Jesus’s interpretation of the parable needs an interpretation of its own, pointing to the phrase with which Jesus followed his exposition of the parable, namely, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”, which occurs after biblical passages with a hidden meaning (see Luke 14:34-14:35 and Mark 4:2-4:9). Here is an abridged version of Origen’s commentary on Jesus’s interpretation of the parable:
Good things in the human soul and wholesome words about anything have been sown by God the Word and are children of the kingdom. But while men are asleep who do not act according to the command of Jesus, “Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation”, (Matthew 26:41) the devil sows evil opinions over natural conceptions. In the whole world the Son of man sowed the good seed, but the wicked one tares—evil words. At the end of things there will be a harvest, in order that the angels may gather up and give over to fire the bad opinions that have grown upon the soul. Then those who become conscious that they have received the seeds of the evil one in themselves shall wail and be angry against themselves; for this is the gnashing of teeth. (Acts 7:54) Then shall the righteous shine, no longer differently, but all “as one sun”. (Matthew 13:43) Daniel, knowing that the righteous differ in glory, said, “And the intelligent shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and from among the multitudes of the righteous as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3) The Apostle says the same thing: “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differs from another star in glory: so also is the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Corinthians 15:41-15:42) I think, then, that at the beginning of blessedness the difference connected with the light takes place. Perhaps the saying, “Let your light shine before men” (Matthew 5:16), can be written on the table of the heart in a threefold way; so that now the light of the disciples of Jesus shines before the rest of men, and after death before the resurrection, and after the resurrection until “all attain to a full-grown man” (Ephesians 4:13), and all become one sun.
The parable seems to have been interpreted in a similar way by Athenagoras who stated that “false opinions are an aftergrowth from another sowing”, and by St. Gregory Nazianzen who exhorted those who were going to be baptized: “Only be not ignorant of the measure of grace; only let not the enemy, while you sleep, maliciously sow tares.” Moreover, St. Gregory of Nyssa relates how his sister St. Macrina cited the parable as a scriptural support for her idea that God gave humans a passionate nature for a good purpose and that passions become vices when we fail to use our reason properly. In her opinion, the “impulses of the soul, each one of which, if only they are cultured for good, necessarily puts forth the fruit of virtue within us”, are the good seed, among which “the bad seed of the error of judgment as to the true Beauty” has been scattered. From the bad seed, “the growth of delusion” springs up by which the true Beauty “has been thrown into the shade.” Due to this, “the seed of anger does not steel us to be brave, but only arms us to fight with our own people; and the power of loving deserts its intellectual objects and becomes completely mad for the immoderate enjoyment of pleasures of sense; and so in like manner our other affections put forth the worse instead of the better growths.” But “the wise Husbandman” leaves the growth of the “error as to Beauty” to remain among his seed, “so as to secure our not being altogether stripped of better hopes” by our passions having been rooted out along with it. For “if love is taken from us, how shall we be united to God? If anger is to be extinguished, what arms shall we possess against the adversary? Therefore the Husbandman leaves those bastard seeds within us, not for them always to overwhelm the more precious crop, but in order that the land itself (for so, in his allegory, he calls the heart) by its native inherent power, which is that of reasoning, may wither up the one growth and may render the other fruitful and abundant: but if that is not done, then he commissions the fire to mark the distinction in the crops.” Finally, Theophylact of Ohrid believed that the parable has a double meaning, writing that the field “is the world, or, each one’s soul”, that the “good seed is good people, or, good thoughts”, and that the tares are heretics, or, bad thoughts.
The Parable of the Tares has often been cited in support of various degrees of religious toleration. Once the wheat is identified with orthodox believers and the tares with heretics, the command Let both grow together until the harvest becomes a call for toleration.
Preaching on the parable, St. John Chrysostom declared that “it is not right to put a heretic to death, since an implacable war would be brought into the world” which would lead to the death of many saints. Furthermore, he suggested that the phrase Lest ye root up the wheat with them can mean “that of the very tares it is likely that many may change and become wheat.” However, he also asserted that God does not forbid depriving heretics of their freedom of speech, and “breaking up their assemblies and confederacies”.
In his “Letter to Bishop Roger of Chalons”, Bishop Wazo of Liege (c. 985-1048 AD) relied on the parable to argue that “the church should let dissent grow with orthodoxy until the Lord comes to separate and judge them”.
Opponents of toleration, such as Thomas Aquinas and the inquisitors, but also John Calvin and Theodore Beza, found several ways to harmonize killing of heretics with the parable. Some argued that a number of tares can be carefully uprooted without harming the wheat. What is more, the tares could be identified with moral offenders within the church, not heretics, or alternatively the prohibition of pulling up the tares could be applied only to the clergy, not to the magistrates. As a millennialist, Thomas Müntzer could call for rooting up the tares, claiming that the time of harvest had come.
Martin Luther preached a sermon on the parable in which he affirmed that only God can separate false from true believers and noted that killing heretics or unbelievers ends any opportunity they may have for salvation:
From this observe what raging and furious people we have been these many years, in that we desired to force others to believe; the Turks with the sword, heretics with fire, the Jews with death, and thus outroot the tares by our own power, as if we were the ones who could reign over hearts and spirits, and make them pious and right, which God’s Word alone must do. But by murder we separate the people from the Word, so that it cannot possibly work upon them and we bring thus, with one stroke a double murder upon ourselves, as far as it lies in our power, namely, in that we murder the body for time and the soul for eternity, and afterwards say we did God a service by our actions, and wish to merit something special in heaven.
He concluded that “although the tares hinder the wheat, yet they make it the more beautiful to behold”. Several years later, however, Luther emphasized that the magistrates should eliminate heretics: “The magistrate bears the sword with the command to cut off offense. … Now the most dangerous and atrocious offense is false teaching and an incorrect church service.”
Roger Williams, a Baptist theologian and founder of Rhode Island, used this parable to support government toleration of all of the “weeds” (heretics) in the world, because civil persecution often inadvertently hurts the “wheat” (believers) too. Instead, Williams believed it was God’s duty to judge in the end, not man’s. This parable lent further support to Williams’ Biblical philosophy of a wall of separation between church and state as described in his 1644 book, The Bloody Tenent of Persecution.
John Milton, in Areopagitica (1644), calling for freedom of speech and condemning Parliament’s attempt to license printing, referred to this parable and the Parable of Drawing in the Net, both found in Matthew 13:
[I]t is not possible for man to sever the wheat from the tares, the good fish from the other fry; that must be the Angels’ ministry at the end of mortal things.
Vandana Shiva On the Real Cause of World Hunger:
“…food production must once again be an issue of sustainability, taking care of the earth and the human right to food must be an inalienable right.” – Dr. Vandana Shiva Trained as a physicist, Vandana Shiva is an organic farmer, social activist and renowned environmentalist. She warns that global hunger is a product of “intensive chemical farming” which turns biodiverse land into monocultures that are too costly for farmers to sustain and produces too little nutritional crops for local consumption. In this 2009 interview, Vandana Shiva talks about third world countries like her native India where agricultural communities are surrounded by fertile farmland and highly favorable growing conditions yet struggle with high rates of childhood hunger. Much of the food grown by indigenous farmers are exported to richer countries.
- – We come back to the Rebel in the Soul: An Ancient Egyptian Dialogue Between a Man and His Destiny
“The man’s soul tells him that men of greater value than he have suffered from the world, and advises him to gain an insight from his attitude and search to overcome his despair.
It tells him about the “mythical field of transformations”
…both the field AND the plough are to be found within mankind.
The field is the ground – the earth, where the soul of the man dwells, and is to be cultivated by the plougher.
The harvest is what is then offered back to the soul. The “harvest”, what is left of the man after his life, is in dangerous hands if left uncultivated.
It is exposed to a “storm from the North” said to indicate the Head.. the storm is consciousness threatened by intellectual rebellion.
This mythical field of transformation, Become the place of theophany.
It ‘is what Rumi calls the spiritual resurrection: “The Universal Soul is in contact with the part of the soul and the latter has received from her a pearl and she puts it in her bosom. Due to this touch of her bosom, the individual soul has become pregnant, like Mary, of a Messiah ravishing the heart. Not the messiah who travel by land and sea, but the Messiah who is beyond the limitations of space! So when the soul has been fertilized by the soul of the soul, then the world is fertilized by such a soul .
More info about Rebel in the Soul: An Ancient Egyptian Dialogue Between a Man and His Destiny , Translation by Bika Reed here
- The best example of the Plougher is St George the Martyr
George is said of geos, which is as much to say as earth, and orge that is tilling. So George is to say as tilling the earth, that is his flesh. And St. Austin saith, in Libro de Trinitate that, good earth is in the height of the mountains, in the temperance of the valleys, and in the plain of the fields. The first is good for herbs being green, the second to vines, and the third to wheat and corn.
Thus the blessed George was high in despising low things, and therefore he had verdure in himself, he was attemperate by discretion, and therefore he had wine of gladness, and within he was plane of humility, and thereby put he forth wheat of good works.
Or George may be said of gerar, that is holy, and of gyon, that is a wrestler, that is an holy wrestler, for he wrestled with the dragon.
Or George is said of gero, that is a pilgrim, and gir, that is detrenched out, and ys, that is a councillor. He was a pilgrim in the sight of the world, and he was cut and detrenched by the crown of martyrdom, and he was a good councillor in preaching. Read more here
- Asking St George his Intercession, protection
he Prayer to Saint George directly refers to the courage it took for the saint to confess his Belief before opposing authority:
Prayers of Intercession to Saint George:
Faithful servant of God and invincible martyr, Saint George; favored by God with the gift of faith, and inflamed with an ardent love of Christ, thou didst fight valiantly against the dragon of pride, falsehood, and deceit.
Neither pain nor torture, sword nor death could part thee from the love of Christ. I fervently implore thee for the sake of this love to help me by thy intercession to overcome the temptations that surround me, and to bear bravely the trials that oppress me, so that I may patiently carry the cross which is placed upon me; and let neither distress nor difficulties separate me from the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Valiant champion of the Faith, assist me in the combat against evil, that I may win the crown promised to them that persevere unto the end.
O God! You are the Bestower of favours. No one has favour over You. O Possessor of Majesty and Nobility, You are the One Who constantly bestows His bounties. There is no deity other thanYou. You are the One who grants safety and refuge to those that seek it and to those in fear. We ask You to remove all tribulations, those that we know and those that we do not know and those about which You know more, for truly You are the Most Mighty, the Most Generous. ( From the Prayer on Bara’a Night )
look here Celebrations of St George’s Say all over the world
and the Patronages of Saint George all over the world
- The iconography of dragon slaying
The iconography of dragon slaying. To begin with, one must observe that in this Christian iconography, the dragon is not dead but is rather being transfixed by the weapon of the saint. The young Knight is the ideal, noble, and perfect man whose hospitality and generosity would extend until he had nothing left for himself; a man who would give all, including his life, for the sake of his friends.
The Lady, representing his Soul, is looking at him and keep a leach in her handand attached to the dragon, but is not affected by the dragon of the ego. When the Knight succeeds they shall be reunite again on the path of Love and Wisdom.
– The Nursing Madonna
The Nursing Madonna, Virgo Lactans, or Madonna Lactans, is an iconography of the Madonna and Child in which the Virgin Mary is shown breastfeeding the infant Jesus.
The depiction is mentioned by Pope Gregory the Great, and a mosaic depiction probably of the 12th century is on the facade of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome, though few other examples survive from before the late Middle Ages. It continued to be found in Orthodox icons (as Galaktotrophousa in Greek, Mlekopitatelnitsa in Russian), especially in Russia.
- Psalm 131:” Like a weaned child smiling to its mother, weaned is my soul.”
Psalm 131 is a psalm from the Song of Ascents, a title given to fifteen of the Psalms, 120–134 (119–133 in the Septuagint and the Vulgate), each starting with the superscription Shir Hama’aloth (שיר המעלות šîr ha-ma‘ălōṯ, meaning “Song of the Ascents”), or, in the case of Psalm 121, Shir Lama’aloth (שיר למעלות šîr la-ma‘ălōṯ, “a song regarding ascents”). They are also variously called Gradual Psalms, Songs of Degrees, Songs of Steps, songs for going up to worship or Pilgrim Songs. One view says the Levites first sang the Songs at the dedication of Solomon’s temple during the night of the fifteenth of Tishri 959 BC, more than 3000 years ago, but still very meaningfull and beautifull in his symplicity
1-Song of Sacrifice to the twinkling heights, from David,
Eternal One, my heart is not proud
nor are my eyes haughty,
i do not busy myself with great matters, with things too sublime for me
2 Rather, swaying and soothing i have stilled my soul,
Like a weaned child smiling to its mother, weaned is my soul.
3- Expect the Eternal One, Israel( He Rules)
From Now to Eternity!
The Utrecht Psalter: The psalmist, crowned and with spear and shield, stands in the center of the picture beside an olive tree and raises his hands to the beardless, cross-nimbed Christ-Logos seated within a globe-mandorla flanked by six angels.
Christ-Logos raises His right hand in the gesture of benediction or speech
On the ground to the left of the psalmist is a mother suckling her child (verse 2).
To right and left are groups of the Israelites ( verse 3). The right-hand group is armed
“ Like a weaned child smiling to its mother, weaned is my soul.”
“What is the good if Mary gave birth to the Son of God 2000* years ago, if I do not give birth to God today? We are all Mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born.” – Meister Eckhart (14th century German mystic) *adapted for present day
“I must be the Virgin and give birth to God.” –Angelus Silesius (17th century German mystic)
What does it mean to birth the holy in our own lives? In times of great uncertainty and suffering, how might be we bearers of the divine?
What wisdom does Mary, as the face of the sacred feminine in the Christian tradition, offer to us?
Each of us is called to participate in bringing God to birth in the world. We each hear our own annunciations and invitations to enflesh the sacred creative call of our hearts in service to others. The season of Advent invites us into a profound reflection on this invitation and the movement toward birthing as well as offer us archetypal themes that call us to take our creativity seriously.
This is the call of our times: to birth the holy in the midst of our lives, wherever we find ourselves. This is not something that waits until we have more time or space or money. We birth the holy right here, right now.
Birthing is a messy process with lots of unknowns along the way. Birthing the holy demands that we release control and let the journey take us where it will. This is a practice of cultivating trust in the organic unfolding of my life. If I make space to listen to the deep desires of my heart and I follow those, not knowing exactly where they will take me, I find myself being led to beautiful and exhilarating landscapes.
We hear of “birthing pains” because there is a physical and spiritual stretching apart as we make way for unleashing new life into the world. The poet David Whyte writes “What you can plan is too small for you to live.” The real adventure of life begins when I release my own plans and allow myself to birth what is being brought forth within me.
During this time that we wait for God’s coming enfleshed, we are called to pay close attention to our dreams, those nighttime visions that come to show us something new. An angel appeared in a dream to Joseph to tell him to wed Mary even though she was already pregnant. We listen for what holy invitations are being whispered to our own hearts that might seem hard to believe in the scrutiny of daylight.
God comes into the world through dreams of daring to break through perceived boundaries. We need the grace of Advent’s darkness to receive them. Mary walks alongside of us as the carrier of a lamp, as the opening to wisdom and grace, as the one who was called to say yes.
- The ‘dying to oneself’ in order to be ‘reborn from above’
[The Pilgrim) perceiving that these abominations of desolation do stand in the place where Gods Holy Beeing ought to stand [must] immediately flie out of the same and submit himself under the obedience of Love, and not have any regard any more to the Knowledg of Good and Evil, nor to Boasting of the Knowledge, nor to Assured Knowledg, nor to Presumption, nor yet to Unfaithfulness. [And thus he frees himself from] bondage to Bitterness, the king of that detestable land. From In TERRA PACIS by Hendrik Niclaes of the Family of Love,
(The Pilgrim) must at the end of his journey find himself altogether turned about.
Hendrik Niclaes is making it quite clear that there can be no half measures for seekers on the spiritual path. To be ‘altogether turned about’ is nothing less than the ‘dying to oneself’ in order to be ‘reborn from above’ that is taught in all traditions. He refers here to the necessarily arduous methods of spiritual work, symbolized in the text as ‘the Compass’, ‘the Cross’ and ‘Patience’. As “The Rest on the Flight into Egypt” , the “rest” place is a place where the dead people are buried. The word cemetery (from Greek κοιμητήριον, “sleeping place”. It is the place of Transformation where the “old man” is left behind and the “new man” is born.
Song to the twinkling heights,
Out of the deepest darkness clangs my cry for You, O Eternal One:
Master, hear my voice! Lend Your benevolent ear to my call for mercy.
If You would not pay the debt , Yah my Master, Who would be exalted?
For from You comes the outstretched hand of forgiveness, for which every one trembles with fear.
My soul awaits in hopes of waiting for the Eternal, .
And in His Word is my desire.
My soul expects the Master,
More than before dawn ,the guards expect dawn.
Thirst for the Eternal, Israel
For becoming one with the Eternal is full grace,
And union with Him complete redemption.
Only He Delivered Israel from All His Iniquity!
- The Twice Born Man
Born again, or to experience the new birth, is a phrase that refers to “spiritual rebirth”, or a regeneration of the human spirit.
The term is derived from an event in the Gospel of John in which the words of Jesus were not understood by a Jewish pharisee, Nicodemus.
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”— Gospel of John, chapter 3, verses 3–5, NIV
The final use of the phrase occurs in the First Epistle of Peter, rendered in the King James Version as:
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently: / Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.[1 Peter 1:22-23]
Here, the Greek word translated as “born again” is ἀναγεγεννημένοι (anagegennēménoi).
Dvija (Sanskrit: द्विज) means “twice-born” in ancient Indian Sanskrit.) The concept is premised on the belief that a person is first born physically and at a later date is born for a second time spiritually, usually when he undergoes the ritual of passage that initiates him into the wisdom of Life.The term also refers to members of the three varnas in the traditional Hindu social system, or social classes — the Brahmins (priests and teachers), Kshatriyas (warriors), and Vaishyas (merchants) — whose Sanskara of Upanayana initiation was regarded as a second or spiritual birth.
Note: Twice Born Man is to be find in the African Tradition as Ubuntu: Ubuntu (Zulu pronunciation: [ùɓúntʼù]) is a Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity.” It is often translated as “I am because we are,” or “humanity towards others,” or in Xhosa, “umntu ngumntu ngabantu” but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.
Traditional education system, still in use in our time by the Xhosa, where Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born to the Thembu royal family in Mvezo can help to revover our humanity as the Rites of passage used fort he youth
In his remarkable book, Clyde Ford restores to us the lost treasure of African mythology, bringing to life the ancient tales and showing why they matter so much to us today.
African myths convey the perennial wisdom of humanity: the creation of the world, the hero’s journey, our relationship with nature, death, and resurrection. From the Ashanti comes the moving account of the grief-stricken Kwasi Benefo’s journey to the underworld to seek his beloved wives. From Uganda we learn of the legendary Kintu, who won the love of a goddess and created a nation from a handful of isolated clans. The Congo’s epic hero Mwindo is the sacred warrior who shows us the path each person must travel to discover his true destiny.These and other important African myths show us the history of African Americans in a new light–as a hero’s journey, a courageous passage to a hard-won victory. The Hero with an African Face enriches us all by restoring this vital tradition to the world. Here free downoad.
- The Virgin Mary and the Lime Tree
The Virgin Mary is often represented asThe woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet in Chapter 12 of Revelation. As Bruegel and the Family of Love see it: She is the love of God.
We find her often associated with the Lime tree.The lime tree was traditionally a sacred and magical tree. Lime trees were often found at three-way junctions. Mostly these places were old cult places that later became Christianized and in which a little chapel was hung.In other places one finds the lime as a court tree, the tree under which the Vierschaar sat.
A Vierschaar is a historical term for a tribunal in the Netherlands. Before the separation of lawmaking, law enforcement, and justice duties, the government of every town was administered by a senate (called a Wethouderschap) formed of two, three, or sometimes four burgomasters, and a certain number of sheriffs (called Schepenen), so that the number of sitting judges was generally seven. The term Vierschaar means literally “foursquare”, so called from the four-square dimensions of the benches in use by the sitting judges. The four benches for the judges were placed in a square with the defendant in the middle. This area was roped off and the term vierschaar refers to the ropes.The Dutch expression “vierchaar spannen” refers to the tightening or raising of these ropes before the proceedings could begin. (Accompanied by the question whether the sun is high enough, ‘hoog genoeg op de dag‘, since the practice stems from the Middle Ages when these trials were held outdoors.) Most towns had the Vierschaar privilege to hear their own disputes, and the meeting room used for this was usually located in the town hall. Many historic town halls still have such a room, usually decorated with scenes from the Judgment of Solomon.Later it has been tranmsformed in great and impressive buildings as The Palace of the Dam in Amsterdam
The lime tree was the symbol of civil liberty and often we see lime trees as liberty trees in the village centers.We know from the annals that the dukes of Brabant took their oath under a lime tree. The lime leaf represents truth and sincerity and many countries have a linden tree or linden leaf in their shield.This is the case, for example, in the Czech Republic. In former Prussia, the lime blossom was the national flower. Linden was also known as a witch tree. In the popular belief, witches, nymphs and ghosts hid in the bark and in the armpits. It was considered dangerous to go past old lime trees during the night, because then one could be ridden by a witch.That is why they used to hang chapels and they became “chapel trees” that the evil powers no longer had any control over. In chapel trees, deceived girls came knocking nails while under the effigy of the Blessed Virgin pampering and blaming their ex-lovers. This form of fetishism is called “nailing”.
As the oak is the symbol of strength, courage and fame, the linden symbolizes desire, love and tenderness. It is therefore not difficult to understand that the linden tree is the Mary tree par excellence and so many statues of Mary and Mary shrines are situated in or in the vicinity of a linden tree.
This custom is still alive as we see in Uden ( the Netherlands)
- “Onze Lieve Vrouw ter Linde” –Our Dear Lady under the Linden in Uden ( the Netherlands)
“Our Lady of the Linden returns to its roots in Uden. Next month, a lime tree will be planted near the Crosier Chapel in Uden, depicting Mother Mary. Just like before”. May 2019
The worship of Mary really takes off when the Kruisheren are driven from Den Bosch and in 1648 decide to build a monastery in Uden. Initially this is on the Veghelsedijk, the monastery where the Birgittinesses still live, later they move to what is now the Kruisheren chapel and the monastery.Centuries ago people from all over the country go on a pilgrimage to Uden:People from all over the country, as far as Amsterdam, go on a pilgrimage to Uden. In its heyday, there are seventy processions per year, in 1786 30.000 pilgrims are given Holy Communion. The fact that at least nine miracles are attributed to OL Vrouw ter Linde will certainly have contributed to this. The annual holiday of OL Vrouw ter Linde is on October 23.The original statue of OL Vrouw ter Linde is housed at the Museum of Religious Art in Uden for security reasons. That is the famous wooden, gold-colored statue from circa 1520. The museum also shows all kinds of gifts that pilgrims have given to Mary over the centuries. The stone statue of OL Vrouw ter Linde, dating from 1400-1500, is located in the vault of the Heritage Center of Dutch Monastic Life in Sint Agatha.
With the tree and the statue, the chapel community honors the basis of the Maria worship in Uden. This is exactly where the centuries-long worship of Mother Mary in Uden started. As early as the thirteenth century, a Virgin’s chapel stood here.In the time of Bruegel the Lime tree was branding:In 2019 the Lime Tree and The Virgin Mary as Love of God come again to live!Prior to the blessing, there was a celebration of the Eucharist in the chapel that revolved around the great importance of Mary as a “humble but strong woman.” Everybody was happy with the return of the tree as it stood in front of the chapel for centuries and which resulted in well-attended pilgrimages to Uden.
The new tree is the great achievement of artist Ine van Grinsven. She also made replicas of the famous statue of the Virgin Mary. One was placed at the roots of the tree when it was planted in February. The other is attached to the trunk and, if it is good, will be absorbed by the trunk as ever, the original.
The tree of faith, a 50-year-old lime tree, is made up of three layers: the bottom layer symbolizes all people together, the second layer the group of leaders – from politicians and artists to priests – and in the top God the almighty.
Explaining the spiritual meaning of the Apocalypse Hiël from the Family of Loves says:“For a time the love of God lies hidden in the depraved heart of man (the woman in the wilderness), but it is lighted by the hope of faith (the one thousand two hundred and sixty days) until it reaches the heavenly sun of God’s righteousness.
…..Finally, when the heart of man (God’s temple) is opened in heaven and the hidden bond of God (the ark) is seen and felt in the soul, the earthly nature will tremble as if stricken by an earthquake and a tempest will destroy all earthly senses, lusts and thoughts”.
Our dear Lady Ter Linde
For centuries you have smiled at us, O Lady of Our Lady,
and you never tire of listening to those who trust you;
Everyone is welcome here with his sorrows, his pains and his worries;
you are always ready with your comfort from the early morning.
The little child, whom you tenderly bear, turns his face to us,
and when you ask, give to everyone the riches of His blessing;
with his little hand it shows us the book of comfort and peace,
the glad tidings of our saints of God Mercies.
We kneel before your mild throne of reverence and trust;
Obtain from your dear Son why we beg, Lady: questioning and forgiveness,
O Mother full of mercy; remember us by the divine Child resting in your arms.
How shall we you, Sweet Mother, thank you for all your goodness,
which revives joy and hope, for the salvation of the sick;
We may always find protection in distress and pain for you;
Hear us who are your children,
O Lady of the Linden.
Part III – Traditional wisdom:
- Man and His Becoming according to the Vedanta
Man and His Becoming according to the Vedanta is Guénon’s central exposition of traditional metaphysics, companion to his other two great works in this genre: The Symbolism of the Cross and The Multiple States of the Being. Guénon held that Hinduism embraces the most ancient, profound, and comprehensive expression of traditional metaphysics we possess, which can in some ways function as a key to every other traditional form, and this work has been called the first reliable exposition of Hindu metaphysics in any Western language. Before Guénon, the West’s image of Hinduism was a hodge-podge of translated scriptures lacking traditional commentary, fragments of doctrine reported by Jesuits and other missionaries, random impressions of merchants, imperialists, and adventurers, unreliable Eurocentric constructions of the orientalists, and the fantasies of the Theosophical Society and their ilk. To this day, Man and His Becoming remains one of the best (if not the best) expositions of the doctrines of the Vedanta, an exposition entirely free from the modernizing and Westernizing tendencies that first infiltrated the Indian subcontinent under the British Raj, and have not yet abated. This text is a veritable bible of traditional metaphysics and anthropology. In his Studies in Hinduism and Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctines, Guénon treats historical and cosmological aspects of Hinduism in further detail. Read here
see more at The Reign of Quantity and the signs of our times
- Similarity between The Family of Love and Sufism
In our daily life we come up against situations that we cannot overcome in our own strength, or with our own wisdom. We need a strength and a wisdom that comes from Above, that comes from Beyond, that comes from Another outside of us and yet rises up from within us.“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” This transformation – sometimes called rebirth – is maybe difficult to achieve and costs a man dearly because it takes place in opposition to everything he values in material life;but that is an illusory life which he mistakes for the other.The seeker of truth begins to see the contradiction between what he is at present and what he is called to become and, seeing this, he cannot avoid suffering. If he has the courage to continue and if, in spite of suffering and other difficulties, he remains on the true path, he will eventually come to what tradition refers to as ‘dying to oneself’ – in Sufism, ‘die before you die’ We find the same principle in Islam and Sufism : “la ilaha illallah ” : “there is no God but God” , it is part of the Shahada.
The Shahada has been traditionally recited in the Sufi ceremony of dhikr (Arabic: ذِکْر, “remembrance“), a ritual that resembles mantras found in many other religious traditions.
Sufism is the way of purifying the heart from bad manners and characteristics under the guidance of a Sheikh.
A Sheikh is someone who has inherited what the prophets brought and who is authorized to convey these teachings and secrets to those who take his hand as teacher. A true Sheikh is the one that has mastered his lower self’s bad characteristics through devotion and sincerity towards His Lord. For that reason he is able to guide his students to mastery of their own lower selves, opening the way to reach unlimited potential of their spiritual realities. Read more here
The Protection and the significance of Al-Khidr in the Sufi tradition:
Khidr is associated with the water of life. Since he drank the water of immortality, he is described as the one who has found the source of life. He is the mysterious guide and immortal saint. Sometimes the mystics would meet him on their journeys. He would inspire them, answer their questions, rescue them from danger, and, in special cases, invest them with the khirqa, which was accepted as valid in the tradition of Sufi initiation.
In Sufic tradition, Khidr has come to be known as one of the afrād, those “who receive illumination direct from God without human mediation.”
He is the hidden initiator of those who walk the mystical path, like some of those from the Uwaisi Tareeqah. Uwaisis are those who “enter the mystical path without being initiated by a living master.” Instead, they begin their mystical journey either by following the guiding light of the teachings of the earlier masters, or by being “initiated by the mysterious prophet-saint, Khidr.” Read more here
Khidr is not an abstract mystical figure, but an archetype of something essential within us. ‘The Green One’ images a natural aspect of our divinity, something so ordinary that we overlook it. To follow the way of Khidr is to awaken to our own natural state of being with God and with life. In this natural state of being we know how to respond to the real need of the moment. Read more
If we look to this world mandala ( the Basis frame of the Kalachara or “wheel(s) of time”
We can say that the 4 colors represents the 4 Traditional Races: red: Indian Tradition, yellow: Chinese traditon, Whithe: Western Tradition anb Black: African Tradition.
The Green Spot in the center represents the “Greenness” of the Living Breath, the Water of life, the water of Immortality of the World Soul.
As an active force, it acts under the directives of the Soul, and quadrature is the underlying structure of its modus operandi. Although it functions by means of the four generative principles, only two of these are active. This is because it is subject to the Soul’s determination, Ibn ‘Arabï explains, and the Soul has only two faculties: the theoretical and the practical. So Nature’s two active instruments come from the Soul’s inherent dual structure. They work together: the Soul provides knowledge, and Nature acts.
This reflects the understanding that the natural laws governing worldly existence alone cannot explain the reality of things. The laws of nature constitute the object of the science of causes (‘ilm al-asbâb), whereas the inner meanings can only be accessed through the science of realities (‘ilm al-haqâ’iq).
Nature’s two active principles are heat and cold. Heat causes dryness, and cold causes moistness. Dryness and moistness are thus passive outcomes in relation to heat and cold. They are also in opposition just as are heat and cold. Heat negates cold, and dryness negates moistness; hence they cannot naturally mix. Their contrasting qualities, however, enable a particular pattern of productive synthesis, wherein quadrature remains the underlying order. Active and passive forces of Nature join in four possible combinations only, producing the four natural elements: fire, air, earth, and water.
The active-passive interaction applies to the Pen and the Tablet as well, as both are subject to the ruling of the grand Nature.
The Pen represents the essential, active pole of manifestation, and the Tablet represents the substantial, passive pole.
The Pen, as the “cosmic refraction” of the primordial word, embodies the triplicity of the creative command “Be!”; whereas the Tablet, as the cosmic book, actualizes the command, materializing the quadrature of the arkân—fire, air, water, and earth.
The Pen corresponds to the productive triplicity of formation, whereas the Tablet corresponds to the designative quadrature of proliferation.
A reported prophetic tradition says that the first thing God created was the Pen, whose length equaled the distance between heaven and the earth.
He then created the Tablet, whose length extended between heaven and earth, and its width stretched from east to west. Read more here
The four humours and their corresponding qualities.
Humoral theory, also known as humorism or the theory of the four humours, was a model for the workings of the human body. It was systemised in Ancient Greece, although its origins may go back further still. The theory was central to the teachings of Hippocrates and Galen and it became the dominant theory in Europe for many centuries. It remained a major influence on medical practice and teaching until well into the 1800s.
The Green spot in the center represents the Greenness of the water of Life, sustaining the “Living Breath”, this Wisdom was kept by the Masters of Wisdom and still used till now. And it is what Hildegard of Bingen call Viriditas – the greening power of the Divine –
- THE MASTERS OF WISDOM OF CENTRAL ASIA
Between the tenth and the fifteenth centuries of the Christian Era, muchof the inhabited world passed through a period of convulsions which shattered and scattered the ancient cultures and gave birth to the modern age. The chief visible cause was the irruption of hordes of Goths and Tartars, Turks and Mongols from Central Asia into the decaying empires of China, India, Baghdad, Byzantium and Rome.
The Masters did not spring from nowhere. Before they appeared there was already a powerful stream of spirituality flowing in these regions. According to tradition, Selman the Persian, who was the first convert from the Magian religion to Islam and one of the close companions of the Prophet, belonged to the tradition which goes back at least as far as Zoroaster, who spent the latter part of his life at Balkh six hundred years before Christ. Read more here
-Khatm ul Awliya
The Seal of the Saints or “Khatam ul Awliya” is a central concept in the writings of 12th-century Islamic thinker and spiritual leader Ibn Arabi.
Concept of The Seal of the Saints in Ibn Arabi’s writings
Ibn Arabi (1165-1240), in his “Meccan Revelation” (“Futuhati Maqiyya”), explains that all the prophets and saints derive their light from the spirit of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.
In Ibn Arabi’s thinking, the prophets and saints are manifestations of the spirit of Muhammad, which is the start and end point of the whole spiritual hierarchy. The first manifestation of the spirit of Muhammad was the first man, Adam. The last and most perfect was Muhammad himself.
- Two lines of spiritual transmission:
In the mystical branch of Islam, Sufism, there are two main lines of spiritual transmission:
- The 40 tariqas, which trace their line of Spiritual Transmission through Ali Ibn abi Thalib to the prophet Muhammad. The Seal of Saints of the 40 Tariqas line is said to be Ibn Arabi himself.
- The chain of transmission which runs through Abu Bakr as-Ṣiddīq to Muhammad. The Seal of Saints of the Abu Bakr as-Ṣiddīq line is Abdullah Faiz Dagistani. This is the Naqshbandi (or Siddiqi) Tariqa.
Ibn Arabi, in his book “The Astonishing Phoenix – on the Seal of the Saints and the Sun of the West”, explains that the name of the Seal of Saints is Abdullah, who is a despised ajami. Ibn Arabi describes the Seal of Saints in detail, using notably difficult symbolic language.
Similarly, Sharafuddin ad Dagistani, Moulana Sheikh Nazim and Adnan Kabbani explain that the Seal of Saints of the Siddiqi or Naqshbandi Tariqa is Abdullah Faiz Dagistani.
See also :The Naqshbandi Sufi Way: History and Guidebook of the Saints of the Golden Chain
- Message of Sufi Saint Sultan al-Awliya Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani for our Times: “Be Rabbani”:
- “Be Those Who Establish Lordly Worship” Koonoo Rabbaniyeen,
By Sufi Saint Sultan al-Awliya Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani
“O People! From east to west, from north to south, try to be thankful servants for your Creator, that He created us and granted us endless favors here and Hereafter. And Almighty Allah is asking to be honored. He Almighty honors dominions of honors with no limits and He likes that His servants honor their Creator. They are not going to give anything, but He likes His servant to say, shukr Yaa Rabbee, “Thanks O my Lord!” That is an honor from weak servants to the Lord of Heavens, but He likes it. If an ant says, subhaanAllah yaa Rabbee, “Glory for You, my Lord,” He is happy and He likes it. That point we must learn, know, and teach, that every good word, good action, and good effort makes our Lord happy with us.O People! Whole religions are based on this principle from the beginning of Mankind, from Adam, peace be upon him, who called Rabbuna, Rabbuna! Allah Almighty likes His servants to call on Him, Yaa Rabbana, “O our Lord, O our Creator!” Therefore, He likes to change every thing on Earth, that means Mankind in particular, for every other thing”. Read more here
See the website sufi path of Love
In the Naqshbandi Order, the daily awrad and the weekly congregational dhikr, known as Khatm-ul-Khwajagan, are important principles which the murid must not leave. The Khatm-ul-Khwajagan is done sitting with the Shaykh in congregation. This is held once a week, preferably on Thursday night or Friday, two hours before sunset. The Khatm-ul-Khwajagan is of two categories: Read more here
More info on The Spiritual Land of Peace:
- Blessed Virgin Mary – Mystical Commentary
by Sheik Muzaffer Ozak Al-Jerrahi
To advance along the ascending way, one enters solitude and seclusion – not necessarily in a literal sense, but even while remaining within the context of family and social responsibility. These communal responsibilities are the sacred temple of human existence. However, solitude alone will not be sufficiënt.
One must remain oriented toward the mystic east, the direction of prayer. One must learn to gaze at the perpetual dawn of Divine Wisdom. This implies full participation in the science of prayer, as expressed within an authentic sacred tradition.
After entering that “solitary room facing east”, which is inwardness and simplicity of mind and heart, one can contemplate Divine Beauty manifest through the transparent creation – the universe in its pristine nature, untouched by conventional conceptuality but illumined instead by prophetic revelation.
Gradually, one’s being becomes more peaceful, harmonious, integrated. Divine Light begins to manifest directly.
Within this ineffable brightness, the conventional structures of society and our own habitual forms of perception are no longer visible. Within this dimension of sheer radiance, both waking visions and mystical dreams occur.
These subtle experiences are indications of progress along the evolutionary way, the steep path spoken of by Allah Most High in His Holy Quran. They can be accurately interpreted by a sheikh, or spiritual guide, who has received empowerment from a previous guide in the unbroken lineage of the Prophet Muhammad to carry on this sacred task of dream interpretation.
The combined inspiration and intention of disciple and guide, murid and murshid, sparks the alchemical process which is called inward. Read more here
- The birth of Jesus in man
Faouzi Skali in his book Jesus and the Sufi Traditon explains in the 10 chapter,The birth of Jesus in man:
The soul of the mystic, Rûmi teaches us, is similar to Mary: “If your soul is pure enough and full of love enough, it becomes like Mary: it begets the Messiah”.
And al-Halláj also evokes this idea: “Our consciences are one Virgin where only the Spirit of Truth can penetrate”
In this context, Jesus then symbolizes the cutting edge of the Spirit present in the human soul:“Our body is like Mary: each of us has a Jesus in him, but as long as the pains of childbirth do not appear in us, our Jesus is not born” ( Rumi, The Book of the Inside, V).
This essential quest is comparable to suffering of Mary who led her under the palm tree (Koran XIX, 22-26): “ I said:” 0 my heart, seek the universal Mirror, go towards the Sea, because you will not reach your goal by the only river! ”
In this quest, Your servant finally arrived at the place of Your home as the pains of childbirth led Mary towards the palm tree “(RÛMi, Mathnawî, II, 93 sq.)
Just as the Breath of the Holy Spirit, breathed into Mary, made him conceive the Holy Spirit, as so when the Word of God (kalám al-haqq) enters someone’s heart and the divine Inspiration purifies and fills his heart (see Matthew V, 8 or Jesus in the Sermon of the Mountain exclaims: “Blessed are pure hearts, for they will see God! “) and his soul, his nature becomes such that then is produced in him a spiritual child (walad ma’nawî) having the breath of Jesus who raises the dead.
“Human beings,” it says in Walad-Nama ( French translation, Master and disciple, of Sultan Valad andKitab al-Ma’ârif the Skills of SoulRapture), must be born twice: once from their mother, another from their own body and their own existence. The body is like an egg: the essence of man must become in this egg a bird, thanks to the warmth of Love; then it will escape its body and fly into the eternal world of the soul, beyond space. ”
And Sultan Walad adds: “If the bird of faith (imán) is not born in Man during its existence, this earthly life is then comparable to a miscarriage.”
The soul, in the prison of the body, is ankylosed like the embryo in the maternal womb, and it awaits its deliverance. This will happen when the “germ” has matured, thanks to a descent into oneself, to a painful awareness: “The pain will arise from this look thrown inside oneself, and this suffering makes pass to beyond the veil. As long as the mothers do not take birth pains, the child does not have the possibility of being born (. Rumi, Mathnawî, II, 2516 sq.) (…) My mother, that is to say my nature [my body], by his agony pains, gives birth to the Spirit … If the pains during the coming of the child are painful for the pregnant woman, on the other hand, for the embryo, it is the opening of his prison ”(Ibid., 3555 sq)
Union with God, explains Rûmi, manifests itself when the divine Qualities come to cover the attributes of His servant:
“God’s call, whether veiled or not, grants what he gave to Maryam. 0 you who are corrupted by death inside your body, return from nonexistence to the Voice of the Friend! In truth, this Voice comes from God, although it comes from the servant of God! God said to the saint: “I am your tongue and your eyes, I am your senses, I am your contentment and your wrath. Go, for you are the one of whom God said: ‘By Me he hears and by Me he sees!’ You are the divine Consciousness, how should it be said that you have this divine Consciousness? Since you have become, by your wondering, ‘He who belongs to God’.
I am yours because ‘God will belong to him. Sometimes, I tell you: ‘It’s you!’, Sometimes, ‘It’s me!’ Whatever I say, I am the Sun illuminating all things. “(Mathnawî, I, 1934 sq).
Once the illusion of duality has been transcended, all that remains in the soul is the divine Presence: the soul then finds in the depths of its being the divine effigy.
It has become the place of theophany. This is what Rumi calls the spiritual resurrection: “The universal Soul came into contact with the partial soul and the latter received from her a pearl and put it in her womb. Thanks to this touch of her breast, the individual soul became pregnant, like Mary, with a Messiah ravishing the heart. Not the Messiah who travels on land and at sea, but the Messiah who is beyond the limitations of space! Also, when the soul has been fertilized by the Soul of the soul, then the world is fertilized by such a soul “( Ibid., II, 1184 sq.).
This birth of the spiritual Child occurs out of time, and therefore it occurs in each man who receives him with all his being through this “Be!” that Marie receives during the Annunciation: “From your body, like Maryam, give birth to an Issa without a father! You have to be born twice, once from your mother, another time from yourself. So beget yourself again! If the outpouring of the Holy Spirit dispenses again his help, others will in turn do what Christ himself did: the Father pronounces the Word in the universal Soul, and when the Son is born, each soul becomes Mary (Ibid., III, 3773.)
So Jesus can declare: “O son of Israel, I tell you the truth, no one enters the Kingdom of Heaven and earth unless he is born twice!By the Will of God, I am of those who were born twice: my first birth was according to nature, and the second according to the Spirit in the Sky of Knowledge! » (Sha’ranî, Tabaqat, II, 26; Sohrawardî, ‘Awarif, I, 1)
The second birth corresponds to what we also gain in Sufism as the “opening (fath) of the eye of the heart“: “When Your Eye became an eye for my heart, my blind heart drowned in vision ; I saw that You were the universal Mirror for all eternity and I saw in Your Eyes my own image. I said, “Finally, I found myself in His Eyes, I found the Way of Light!” (Rumi, Mathnawî, II, 93 sq.)
This opening is the promise made by God to all those who conclude a pact with the spiritual master, pole of his time, like the apostles with Jesus or the Companions when they pledged allegiance to Muhammad: “God was satisfied with believers when they swore an oath to you under the Tree, He knew perfectly the content of their hearts, He brought down on them deep peace (sakina), He rewarded them with a prompt opening ( fath) and by an abundant booty which they seized ”(Coran XLVIII, 18-19).(The abundant loot indicates Divine Knowledge (mari’fa)
- Jesus – The Paradigm of a Pilgrim in God
Jesus, the physical embodiment of the divine Breath
For Ibn ʿArabī, Jesus is an exceptional being. As the Andalusian author relates, Jesus was his first master and was decisive in his entry into the way of Sufism. This personal relationship, similar to a first love, encouraged him to hope that he would be a witness to the day of Jesus’s coming, and perhaps this motivated him to live his final years in Damascus, the place of his descent.
Jesus follows a path from God, and returns to God, without ever having been away from God; his descent into this world is followed by his ascent to the second Heaven (the one of Mercury), waiting to descend again to the great mosque of Damascus, before making the final ascent to Paradise. His vertical movement combines with a horizontal movement – that is, he travels ceaselessly [his ceaseless travelling] across the world as a wanderer with no place to rest his head. This constant travel is a manifestation of the constant activity of God and reveals the nature of all reality. Every creature is a word that comes from God and is destined to return to Him. In addition, Jesus, by means of his preaching centred on asceticism and the reminder of death, and through his alchemical spiritual and health-giving activity, he helps human beings on their path of return to the Creator.Read more…
Viriditas is one of the most recognizable contributions of Hildegard of Bingen.
For Hildegard, viriditas encapsulated the divine force of nature, the depth and breadth of which is reflected in the various translations. These words within the word are laden with meaning; with lively, powerful connotations that capture the essence Hildegard had conceptualized so long ago.
The origin of Viriditas,” Viridity” may be the union of two Latin words: Green and Truth. (Latin viridis (source of Spanish, Italian verde), related to virere “be green, and Old English triewð (West Saxon), treowð (Mercian) “faith, faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty; veracity, quality of being true; pledge, covenant,” from Germanic abstract noun *treuwitho, from Proto-Germanic treuwaz “having or characterized by good faith,” from PIE *drew-o-, a suffixed form of the root *deru- “be firm, solid, steadfast.also *dreu-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning “be firm, solid, steadfast,
But like most Latin words, Viriditas does not easily translate into convenient, straightforward English. While being difficult to translate may be frustrating to some, there is beauty in this complexity.
The Basic Definition and Origin
The definition is both literal, as in “green”, “greenness”, and “growth”, yet also metaphorical, as in “vigor”, “verdure”, “freshness” and “vitality.” For Hildegard, the spiritual aspects were just as essential as the physical meaning. In much of her work, viriditas was “the greening power of God.” It was in everything, including humans.
This “greenness” was an expression of heaven, the creative power of life, which can be witnessed in the gardens, forests, and farmland all around us. And like those lands, she saw viriditas as something to be cultivated in both our bodies and our souls.
What is it? Hildegard says it is God’s freshness that we receive as spiritual and physical life‐forces. This is vivid imagery that probably came to her simply as she looked around the countryside. The Rhine valley is lush and green and as we know today, a wonderful place, flourishing in fruit and vineyards. This greening power mysteriously is inherent in animals and fishes and birds, in all plants and flowers and trees, in all the beautiful things of this world.
Human flesh is green she says and our blood possesses this special greening power. The “life force of the body” (the soul) was green. Whenever sex was involved—she said there was a particular brightness in the green. This greening power was at the heart of salvation and the reality of the Word was verdant life. This greenness connects us all together as humanity and shines forth giving us common purpose. It is the strength within us that manifests as a strong and healthy life. This greenness originates in the four elements: earth and fire, water and air. It is sustained by the four qualities: by dry and moist, by cold and hot; not only the body—but greenness of soul as well.
Hildegard contrasts greening power or wetness with the sin of drying up (one of her visions.) A dried‐up person or a dried‐up culture loses the ability to create. Hildegard saw this as a grave sin and a tragedy. It also describes how she felt about herself during those years when she was refusing to write down her visions and voices. Her awakening did not occur until she embraced her own viriditas. From then on Hildegard was constantly creating.
This is in contrast to greening— dry straw, hay or chaff representing dried up Christians who are scattered and cut down by the just Divinity of the Trinity.
‘O most honored Greening Force, You who roots in the Sun;
You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel
that earthly excellence fails to comprehend.
You are enfolded
in the weaving of divine mysteries.
You redden like the dawn
and you burn: flame of the Sun.”
– Hildegard von Bingen, Causae et Curae
Hildegard gives an interesting image about greenness stating that it drenches all things in this world and then gives the tree as an example. The function of the tree’s sap [its life blood that we know as its essential oil] falls to the soul in the human body. Its powers or abilities enable us to unfold or develop form just as it does in the tree. In other words, the tree’s essential oil gives life and nourishment— moistness to humans. She goes on to make comparisons between the tree’s branches, leaves, blossoms, and fruit with various stages within human life. For Hildegard, viriditas is that natural driving force, the life force that is always directed toward healing and wholeness. Love, too, is the breath of the same vital green power that sustains all life’s greenness. She sees the Holy Spirit as that power that gives human beings the green and open space where they are capable of responding to the Word and joining in all of creation. The Spirit purifies the world, scours away all guilt, and heals all wounds and sadness. So, green is not a mere color for Hildegard—it is an attitude and purposeful intent. It is the permanent inflowing and outflowing of viriditas. Ultimately—we are talking about physical health from the inexhaustible fountain of life’s living light. It is the very joy of being alive.