There is a phenomenon we have all experienced, and most of us have not, for the most part, been able to name. I call it the MACHINE, and it is the face of the BLACK IRON PRISON as it is visible to the common eye. Philip K. Dick expressed it as, “The Empire never ended.” You can see it too: whenever someone follows the rules in cold calculation; blind to all but the exacting of the regulations; where instead, compassion could be shown: this is the action of the MACHINE. They let a piece of their soul die rather than to have a heart. This is how it proliferates. This is where we die, as black iron infuses our blood.
It is the mechanism of LAW, over LOVE. That being by which, according to the Apostle Paul, we are damned by brute, efficient justice. This is “just following orders”. This is us standing by because we were told not to interfere, when evil happens right in front of us. And we know we can do something. It is the opposite of the Golden Rule, to follow the printed word rather than to feel for our fellow human being. It is the remnant of the Age of Iron, where such things as live sacrifice was necessary.
You can see it in everyday transactions. Where instead of being a human being, they forego humanity to become one with the mechanistic cold calculations of the Black Iron. Something simple like not letting someone pay $3 instead of $2.50 on a cold January night — just because the rules say you can’t do that. You know what? This is the one time I’ll swear: FUCK the rules. Be a human being. This is to say that being “only human” can work in the other direction, too. May it be that you are “only human” and have a heart. Why would you rather choose death over life?
As Philip K. observed, to fight the MACHINE is to succumb to such mechanistic process, because its nature is violence. (If you fight the empire, you become part of the empire.) To become one and the same with it is a living death. This is why the Lord told you how properly to deal with the MACHINE: love your enemy, turn the other cheek, pray for those that abuse you. This is how the Lord ultimately defeated it: He let it win. This is the mystery of the crucifixion. Because the MACHINE is not God, and knows not from where things come, nor to where things go. It is the Lord who is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. What the MACHINE lets go of, the Lord picks up. And it is not in all things: split open a piece of wood and it is the Lord who is there.
Heed this advice: whenever you can give someone a break, do it. God is watching, and He’ll remember all those little things. If you need rules, let love be your rule. This is the path of life. For by becoming part of the MACHINE: this is what it means to die. Not of body, for even though what is given to us in form is precious, God made you from the dust, and can make you anew when you return to dust. It is our temple, but we know that what we are, what is truly our life, is in the decisions that we make: so out of which font do you draw your inspiration? The narrow way, that leads to life, or the broad gate, that leads to destruction?
Those who say that they are Christians are not magically immune to the machinations of the MACHINE. In particular, those who say that they are followers of the Lord but are such as Fundamentalists, who hold to the letter of the Bible, so it is then that they die by the word. For the Way is not the Bible. The scriptures speak of the Way, and they point to the Way, but salvation is not the words of the Bible. It never has been. Before there was a New Testament, all that being Christian was were the questions, “Do you believe in a resurrected Jesus Christ?” and “Have you received the Holy Spirit?” That’s it. The Way has always been in Christ, and what did He tell us was that Way? Love God, love each other. This instruction from the Scripture overrules the Scripture. It is how one defeats the MACHINE.
Remember that most falls from grace do not happen from one grand gesture, but small whittlings on our souls. Remember that there is always a line you should not cross, for if you cross it once, twice, enough times — then that line is gone. This is what it means to be lost to the darkness. It begins and ends with your choice: choose life, instead of the mechanism that is death. Do not think, “it is a little thing” and decide unwisely; think instead to start small in the positive. If you have not yet, start. Today. For there is no other day than today!
I still believe in the human race (because that’s the only race we have). (Once all other options have been exhausted) I know we will do the right thing. We will feed the hungry (as soon as we find out how to profit from it). (When there is no more point to it) we will stop waging war. We will learn to live with Mother Earth (because we are not completely suicidal). (By the grace of God) we will redeem ourselves to our children. We will make of this planet a home we can be proud of (for there will be outcry whenever we start going too far wrong from this task). (Like AA, we will trust in a higher power to give us strength) ourselves to believe that the problems that we have can be solved. And we will stop thinking the Apocalypse is around the corner, to neatly fold everything up and throw it in the fire (for if you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth). (No, this is not the end) rather to believe that the Beginning is near.
Now, the sighting of the Knowledge was possibly the most important milestone of salvation after Christ left the planet. After that, the end of the War in Heaven. Then the Mystery could be revealed. (The Mystery is love, as is the Certainty, the Power, and the Knowledge.) When the Knowledge was sighted, there was an overwhelming exhale in heaven and earth, and everything changed. When the War in Heaven was won, all things could then be told, without the overarching fear that one might be helping the enemy, if inadvertently. What this is, in the unfolding of the Mystery, is to say that salvation has been implemented in the world. And I am a witness to this, for I am the keeper of that Mystery.
The question is only a simple decision: do you believe? Is there enough evidence, presented here, for you to wonder if there truly are things in heaven above that are worth your attention? Can things make sense when there is a God in heaven, or do you still believe that ultimately, things are meaningless? For I cannot make your decisions for you — no one but you lives your life. If you decide not to give it a chance, that there might be something more than what you can hold in your hand — if you say that what you can hold in your heart cannot be real, as well, it is not the end of all things. For no one comes to the Word except they be called. I still look forward to seeing you in Heaven, unbeliever. Or if it is that you do believe, but only talk about it: watch out, for God can make of the stones sons of Abraham. It all just depends on love.
There come certain moments in life, when it is as if everything stops turning, and for that moment, you are doing right by God and the world, and all that is wrong is quiet, and faded in the background’s background. When for that short space in time you understand how it is that God is love, with all that happens in the chaos of things and the violence of the malcontented. Do not think it is an illusion that these moments are, for it is the worry, and concern about lesser things, that is truly the illusion. The place where you find the presence of God is hallowed ground, wherever you may find it. The bush that burns and is not consumed. Like the heart that knows what it is to love.
The Purpose, in this far strewn world, of which science and faith are clues that lead the way, is to find the music that creates you, and dance in your heart.
> From this.
Love is work. To those who don’t think so, you have not known in reality what it is to love; perhaps you have only heard about it in fairy tales. And even in fairy tales there is a challenge that the prince or princess must undergo. Because this is an inescapable truth in the real world: love is work. Any parent, for one, knows how this is so. This is the world we are presented with. One realizes, however, upon certain milestones, that the work is worth it. If it were not so, that conclusion just might be the death knell of the human race, at least of civilization. But by the mercy of God, we do find meaning in the toil. Even though there may be many a time when we feel we are at the end of our rope.
Now, Satan did not realize what he was doing when he was contending with God on how things would turn out in the universe, and the world at large. For all his works of pure evil, he did not comprehend it: that his spoiling, his making a wreck of things made a worthy ground for creation. This being why things are as they are is in large part by that adversity. Without Satan, there would be no such thing as adversity at all, and many, many things that are present in our reality would have been only of academic value. When there was only Heaven, love was free, not work, “ask and it shall be given you”. Everything was in synchronization, true love was like an everyday happenstance. Everything worked out, not just in the end, but moment to moment, and there was no thing like pain. Things were sheer perfection.
Satan’s “gift”to all of us was that of imperfection itself. It was the invention of pain. This was the new thing that he thought was so great, the opposite of good. What the Devil did was that within creation, now love is no longer effortless, but instead, that love needs to work at whatever it faces. Love costs. That this invention of pain, that it is for the most part not fun. God Himself must struggle to give meaning to anything. And God Himself must to die to be a sacrifice for His creation. Now, there is randomness rampant in the cosmos, disasters to kill and maim great swaths of population without thought as to who is deserving and who is not. At whatever random place you end up, life is ultimately unfair. No one gets what they deserve. And true love, the very meaning of life, is impossible. But this: this is a test worthy of the children of the greater God. That is why God let it happen. This is the new meaning of life, found in the struggle.
This is not to say that evil will ultimately be forgiven: it just shows how God handles adversity: it is with such skill that it looks like Satan is doing God’s will. This is in no wise the case; Lucifer does everything in opposition to what he perceives is God’s will. But the Devil ultimately struggles in vain. You cannot win against the God who is love. This is where the whole issue of pride comes in, that somehow, the thought was undertaken that the creation could somehow prove greater than the creator. Not Satan’s way, can this be so. Evil by its very nature cannot sustain itself, much less a world.
In this world at large, Satan is its prince, for how else could he have tempted the Lord with all the world’s kingdoms? This is a world where evil is easy, and good is hard. So life is the ultimate test of whom you belong to, your very existence the knowing: will you do the work that God intended for you, or will you go the path of least resistance, to follow only that which is easy, and what gives you advantage? The children of God know what the answer to that is, and we prove it in our surviving. We fight the good fight. We finish the race.
And so is this existence now become a worthy test to see who we are that are God’s children, for us to prove themselves worthy of the life we are given. The children of darkness, the Devil’s own, shall they fail the test, and the wages of sin is death. But fear not, for it has been foretold from the first how you will choose. Courage, child. God is love.
> From this.
I read in the book A History of God mention of a mystic text called Shiur Qomah (The Measurement of the Height), and the image that was invoked by the few pages in which it is described left quite an impression on me. In the measurement of God, the basic unit is the parasang, which equivalent to 180 trillion “fingers”, and each of those “fingers” stretches from one end of the earth to the other. Of course, it isn’t supposed to be taken literally, but it puts into perspective the kind of scale we should be thinking in when we conceive of the Divine. (Surely this speaks of how blind may pride make of us, that any of us would put our own intellect as holding a better logic than how this speaks of the Most High. Yet every time we commit a wrong, we are doing just that.)
I had this image one day of the garment of Him, each thread the diameter of a world, and each thread composed down to nanometer scales, with images in motion down the thread in the cross section, which one could only view if one cut it open — and this, no one would ever do. These threads sewn together by the seraphim, the “burning ones” in such infinite elaborations to make the holy cloth as the raiment of the “I AM”… Heady. It reminds me of the prayer that declares not to think I am something, but instead to know I am nothing. We should heed such a humility, when faced with such possible glory of what may be, above. And we wonder why we do not understand the purposes of such a being.
> From this.
I come not to reassure all who call the Christ, Lord, that their places in Heaven are certain. That you who profess with your lips that Jesus is the Son of God are surely written down in the Book of Life. The prophets spoke wisely to some out there, that they praise God with their lips but inwardly are their hearts inclined toward resentment. Do you not have eyes to see? You must not think like those in religious power, who toe the line of a strange messiah; that fellow cannot be the Jesus Christ I have met. Your righteousness cannot be like those who accept that things cannot change, that it has always been like that: the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. I think I must try to love as Jesus Christ loved us, and sing my song to the sinners, the Godless, the heathens, the pagans, the addicts, the perverts, the prostitutes, those who dwell in the darkness by choice or profession. And how will you love? How will you do God’s work?
For my part, you may call me Saint Jude the Tuned In — the twin of Philip K. Dick, who is Saint Jude the Tuned Out — and I am patron saint of all gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, transsexuals, transvestites, and all you other FREAKS out there. And no, I’m not gay, etc.: these do deserve a patron saint, and therefore, since I so have advocated their cause, the higher ups deigned to put that patronage squarely on my shoulders. And I am surely glad of it. Those who would malign these who are different, who give no effort to understand, your own excuses shall be ignored. What hope is there for you, who burn the bridges you yourselves must cross in the pathway of salvation? As you have judged, so shall you be judged. Love returns to its source, and so does hate.
> From this.
As I said previously, it is where in our souls we have said no to the Holy Spirit, these places are where we have died. And it actually takes only one such like that for us to technically be damned. For thus we become imperfect, resigning any infinite nature, and are therefore subject to death. This is of the Age of Iron. So how are we saved, any of us? With God, all things are possible. I have seen glimpses of a Purgatory: it is a place to let go of those places where we died, to let that which is dead die and never again bring them to mind.
Remember how the Lord said, “If your right hand offends you, cut it off,” because it is better to be one-handed than our entirety be thrown into Gehenna? Purgatory is just that. Where the holy fire burns away all sin, and burns off where we have died, and that once we are bathed in the river Lethe, we may enter Heaven true saints: without sin. This is the gift of God to us. This is of the Age of Gold. Nothing we can possibly earn, only that the love of God is so great that He forgives us, even though we are undeserving. For what shall we boast about? That we have done what we are told? Surely, if we do all that we are assigned, we must say, “We are unprofitable servants, for we only did as we were told.” This is the salvation of the Lord: bend thy knee, and be saved.
> From this.
How strong is your faith? It is true that for beginners, we would like to nurture their faith in a friendly environment, not rock their boats too severely. But those who claim to believe, who say they have weathered the years in their faith, yet in truth, they have their faith rooted in flimsy foundation: we don’t want you. If your faith rests on God having made the heaven and the earth in six twenty-four hour days, we don’t want you. If your faith rests on marriage only defined between male and female, we don’t want you. If your faith rests on a Jesus Christ who hates anyone, we don’t want you. For if you do any of these, you are rooted in ignorance, and not faith. He told us a few things that we should do, if we truly believed, and said, “Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?” Do we forget what these were? It’s just one word: love. Nothing else.
We don’t want you who follow those dogmatic ways, because we were not told by Him to abandon reason and science, to abandon compassion, to abandon forgiveness for anyone who asks for it. To listen instead to your own prejudices. You adhere to the teachings of mortal men, and not the words of God. Why don’t we forgive you for such things as you do? Because you do not ask for forgiveness, thinking instead you are right in hating in the Lord’s name. Because you do not forgive others, you fools. For He told us to love, and you do not follow that commandment. There is more hope for a criminal than for you, for a criminal knows what he does is wrong. Have you not read? Have you not heard? God is love, and He knows His own, and His own know Him.