Sunday, December 25, 2011

Gnostic Christmas?


gnos·tic/ˈnästik/
Adjective:
Of or relating to knowledge, esp. esoteric mystical knowledge.
I've always been a seeker of truth.  One of the things that attracted me to Serafina is that she also is a seeker of truth, in all it's forms.

End of life makes us consider . . 
It's not always an easy path, being a seeker.  While my Serafina remains a practicing Christian to this day, she's been invited by more than one particular church to worship elsewhere.

If you are thinking those invitations had anything to do with the lifestyle we live today, you couldn't be more wrong.

Those incidents happened long before we knew each other, back when Sera was a God fearing, Bible toting, and home schooling Mother raising her 4 children.  She was damn near a "poster child" for what today's religious right appears to be.

Except for one thing.  Serafina asks questions.

Everyone talks about an era when children were supposed to be seen and not heard, but there have been recent times where that was also expected of women.

I believe Sera was told the equivalent of, "Shut up, sit down, don't ask questions."  The essence of the message she was given was to submit to the will of her church leaders, after all they had been trained, she hadn't.

I can picture my Serafina bristling at the suggestion that she shouldn't think for herself.  Trained or not, she had a mind of her own, and she could read the Bible as well as any minister or preacher.  Why could they not be questioned?  After all, are they not mortal men themselves?

My experiences, while not directly equivalent, were equally messy and problematic.

I remember wondering.  I remember asking questions.  When I felt like the questions were not answered, or worse yet, that the question was avoided by my Minister, I had my moments of doubt.  I teetered on the brink of losing faith.

I told my Minister, a man who I considered to also be a friend, about that feeling.  I suppose I was looking for compassion, understanding.  I suppose I was still hoping for answers.

I was told about the fiery pits of Hell to which my soul would be confined were I to continue doubting.  I was told of untold tortures, agony, and suffering.

Perhaps the moral there is the one I often give to my slave/wife in a BDSM context;  "Be careful what you wish for."

I mean I got my answers all right.  But they certainly weren't the answers I was looking for.

So, I went looking for other answers.  No God I could worship would forsake a man for a moment of doubt.

For the longest time I've considered myself a Buddhist Christian.  I'm a weird hybrid.  The Dali Lama has said he sees no great inherent contradiction in following Buddhist practices while worshiping a Christian God.  Misunderstanding Buddhism to be a religion rather than a spiritual practice (there's a difference - at least in my mind and understanding) my personal faith is often condemned by fellow Christians.

More recently, I've been reading a bit about Gnostic Christians.  Here's an interesting tidbit:
Gnostic Christians believed that questioning one's faith was always important.  To know (gnosis) Christ was to to  seek a deeper and honest meaning for one's  life.  This gnosis led to wholeness in a person's relationship to God and the world.  Christ's way was a spiritual  journey, encouraging persons continually to seek God and all truth.  Gnosis did not mean secret knowledge but a vital relationship with Christ and God.  
    -- Larry Angus
The Gnostics were also condemned by their fellow Christians.  It's my understanding that they were condemned for asking questions for questioning everything.

Sounds good to me!

While I'm not particularly interested in adopting any new belief systems, I'm always looking for truth, gleaning kernels of wisdom as I find them.  As such, I'm currently enjoying my explorations of Gnosticism as an intellectual exercise, an experience in truth seeking.

On this spiritual journey we call life, I intend to continue seeking truth, beauty, worldly pleasure, and God.  It no longer matters to me what the name of my belief might be, just as today's December 25th date isn't even the most important day of the month to me.

But I do also know that today's date might be important to you.  It's not likely many others reading this post have a slave/wife who's committed to making every day like Christmas.

As such, I'd like to extend well wishes to everyone I've ever met or known, as well as anyone joining the conversation over the world wide web.

Merry Christmas everyone.  May your holiday season be filled with joy, light, and with truth.

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