The God pill

DeusLuxMeaEst

Pelican
Orthodox Catechumen
Gold Member
It may have been recommended in this thread or on the forum, but I've found The Orthodox Study Bible excellent.

I'm doing a thorough reading cover to cover and just in the introduction and first 20 or so pages I've learned a lot.

I also found a book titled How Satan Deceives People by Elder Cleopa.

This a very well written story that will resonate with anyone who was on the materialist path. I highly recommend it, it's concise, entertaining, and most importantly you will learn how you've been being deceived.
 

open source

Robin
Gold Member
Glaucon said:
Victor Pride aka Bold and determined just went all in:

https://boldanddetermined.com/let-it-be-known/

Let it be known that I, Nickolas, a reformed sinner, and bondservant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, have been saved by the blood of our blessed Lord Jesus. Let it be known that I do hereby declare that I will no longer operate in commerce under the nom de guerre Victor Pride. Let it be known that from this date forward I use my Christian name alone. Let it be known that I renounce any article, podcast, or video et al which has blasphemed God. Let it be known that I renounce any such material which does not glorify our Lord and Savior. Let it be known that I do hereby repent all transgressions against God. Let it be known that I, Nickolas, do hereby announce that I am a living sacrifice for the Lord Jesus Christ and I renounce my own will and declare to do only the perfect will of the Lord. Let it be known that Jesus Christ is Lord. Let it be known, now and forever, that Jesus Christ loves us, died for us, and brought us everlasting life. Written and declared at Asuncion on the twenty-ninth day of February, in the year of the incarnation of our Lord two thousand and twenty. Signed in the blood of Jesus Christ.

-Nickolas


I wish him the best.

All the previous blog posts were removed today.

He's made his books free to download (minus Monk mode and new world ronin)

xWc4PkL.png


His business partner JDB who mostly talk about bodybuilding did a recent podcast talking about his faith which he hadn't planned on doing because it would turn off a lot of readers. The podcast was encouraged partly by Victor's conversion.
https://johndoebodybuilding.com/being-lost-in-life-jdb-podcast/
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
↑ OK but isn't that "Texas Junkie" girl a model?

She talks about how women shouldn't sell their bodies and yet she makes a living selling pictures of her body (which she would not be able to do if she wasn't an attractive girl with sex appeal).
 
Glaucon said:
Victor Pride aka Bold and determined just went all in:

Glory to God!

I was a faithful reader of B&D from the beginning up until Victor hit his dry spell a few years back. Those old posts were hugely influential on me, especially the bodybuilding stuff and the "live like a spartan" series. When he came back as a Gnostic and preached the health and wealth gospel, I couldn't keep reading. I'm so happy to know he's found Christ.
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Catholic
Gold Member
Glaucon said:
Victor Pride aka Bold and determined just went all in:

https://boldanddetermined.com/let-it-be-known/

Let it be known that I, Nickolas, a reformed sinner, and bondservant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, have been saved by the blood of our blessed Lord Jesus. Let it be known that I do hereby declare that I will no longer operate in commerce under the nom de guerre Victor Pride. Let it be known that from this date forward I use my Christian name alone. Let it be known that I renounce any article, podcast, or video et al which has blasphemed God. Let it be known that I renounce any such material which does not glorify our Lord and Savior. Let it be known that I do hereby repent all transgressions against God. Let it be known that I, Nickolas, do hereby announce that I am a living sacrifice for the Lord Jesus Christ and I renounce my own will and declare to do only the perfect will of the Lord. Let it be known that Jesus Christ is Lord. Let it be known, now and forever, that Jesus Christ loves us, died for us, and brought us everlasting life. Written and declared at Asuncion on the twenty-ninth day of February, in the year of the incarnation of our Lord two thousand and twenty. Signed in the blood of Jesus Christ.

-Nickolas


I wish him the best.

:mindblown:
 

AnonymousBosch

 
Banned
Gold Member
Enhanced Eddie said:
Roosh said:
Discussing meditation or other secular strategies does not belong in this thread.

Isn't Buddhist meditation spiritual (as opposed to the secular "transcendental meditation" for example)?

And isn't it in principle the same thing as the Christian "prayer of quiet", which is particularly common in the Orthodox Church?

JLP taught it on youtube a while back:


From "The Science of Enlightenment" by Shinzen Young (inb4 yeah he's a tractor... but is the following factually inaccurate?)

A lot to unpack here.

Understand that there's a repeated pattern of Reform Jew agents attempting to steer Christians towards Buddhism.

It is embraced by Hollywood Actors and those in the Media, particularly using Gentiles who have rejected 'western' meaning inferior and problematic Christianity. You can be an open Buddhist in that system and face no mockery or condemnation whatsoever.

I once discussed how my Asian Doctor attacked me out of nowhere for reading one of the Catholic Saints, and told me that Jesus travelled in Asia as a child to spread Buddhism. Doing some research, I discovered this was all the teaching of a Socialist Russian Jew back in the late 1800's. Some English researchers a few years later went and tracked down the Monastery in question only to find the Monks had never heard of the writer, and couldn't understand how he could just make a story like that up without any punishment coming his way.

About a month back, my Sister was provided with three 'Christian' texts but instantly smelled something was off about the Priest who gave them to her: "It all sounds very New Age, and I've been there, done that. It's all lies." The first book was condemned by the US Bishops Council. The second was an 'Catholic' Asian Monk from the 60's and 70's condemned by the Vatican.

She said the third one was 'The Dark Night of the Soul' by St John of the Cross, so "It's safe, right?"

Something niggled at me, particularly as I can recognise she's a few years off that book being useful to her, so I looked up the translator: a Mirabai Starr, a - sigh - Reform Jew who was raised on a hippie commune, so I instantly-understood it would be a perversion:

One review:

As other reviewers have noted, this is not a translation of St. John of the Cross's work, but a FALSIFICATION that presents him in a New Age light and alters his beliefs to provide readers with a spiritual buzz, without the existence of belief in a higher power (dare we say God?). Better to read the Institute of Carmelite Studies' translations of their founders John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila.

A review of someone who likes the book:

It is a spiriritual [sic] book, not a religious one
.

We all know what that means.

Unfortunately, she's in (((academia))), and has a long career of bastardizing the Saints and Doctors of the Church.

Mirabai Starr,, who has studied Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism, brings the seeker's sensibility to Dark Night of the Soul. She is a published writer of fiction and essays and is adjunct professor of philosophy, religious studies, and Spanish at the University of New Mexico at Taos. She has been studying St. John of the Cross's text for more than twenty years.

From reviews of her butchering of St Theresa of Avila:

Don't even bother with this translation. This is a blatant re-write and not true to what St. Theresa actually wrote. The translator removes any and all religious dogma that is central to St. Theresa's writing. Throwing mine away.

This "translation" is horrendous and has a clear agenda - it really represents a re-write rather than a translation. The "translator" tries to change what Theresa says by divorcing her writings from her beliefs. It removes concepts that are central to St. Theresa's spirituality - the teachings of the Church, obedience to one's superior, struggles with Satan, sin and evil.

These are not the words of a 16th century Carmelite nun. This is a new-age knock off written for those who are "spiritual not religious."

Now, remember, Reform Jews come out of what is known in Jewish History as the Sabaatean-Frankist Heresy. They believe their Messiah can only return and kill or enslave all the gentiles when everyone is entirely good, or evil, and encouraging evil is the easiest route.

The other strand of this is known as the JewBu, (like Leonard Cohen or Robert Downey Jr). This is the Chabbad strand - Trump's backers, Jared and Ivanka - who reject Jesus Christ as Messiah and instead believe the Messiah was Lubavitcher Rebbe, whose teachings was a NWO 'all paths lead to God' mess, which, for some reason, the Evangelicals don't seem to remotely-register as being something to worry about.

This article is very telling:

https://www.cjnews.com/perspectives/jews-become-buddhist

Note the references to the Satanic Torah and Kabbalah. Note quotes like this:

In Buddhism, one escapes suffering not through a reliance on an external god, but “through the skillful effort of your own mind,”

... which is a complete inversion of Catholic Mystic States. As such, everything Shinzen says is a manipulation of the truth, so Christians believe all religions lead to God.

Most Christians don’t have a clue that members of their religious tradition actively cultivated meditative states at some point in the past. If you were to ask even well-informed Christians the technical term within their religion for a state wherein the mind becomes highly focused, most wouldn’t know what to tell you. But these terms do exist and reflect what was once a rich tradition of cultivated concentration.

Meditation is the second lowest level of Catholic prayer, available to all beginners. It's not remotely Buddhist. It's a conversation of love between you and God where you experience sensible graces, clear images of the imagination and infused knowledge. The most familiar form would be the Rosary, which I see as meditative training wheels, which is why it is stressed so hard. Another familiar form is Lectio Divina, where you peruse a written work, meditate upon what is being read, until God reveals himself sensibly or via infused knowledge.

My Sister and I were discussing Infused Knowledge via the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery recently, 'The Carrying of the Cross'. She said "I kind of understood all the little ways we can hurt each other." I replied: "I was once shown that it's a series of small acts of love possible amongst the worst kind of hatred and turmoil".

It's really just a simple exchange of love: God will show you his goodness and why he loves you, and you can tell him you love him in return.

If you faithfully meditate regularly and attempt to mortify your passions for about 6-7 months, God then shuts down your ability to meditate, or produce any images of the imagination. This is known as the passive purgation of the senses, or 'the dark night of the senses'. You can never meditate after this. He's calling you to higher, superior forms of prayer.

According to the Catholic Church, there are two kinds of prayer.

There's nine forms of prayer, though one is contentious amongst the Mystics, going across three 'ages' of the Interior Life.

Purgative Life of Beginners

1 Vocal Prayer
2 Meditation
3 Affective Prayer

<Dark Night of the Senses begins. God wants to be loved for himself, not for the good things he gives you>

Illuminative Life of Proficients

4 Prayer of Simplicity
5 Infused Contemplation (Some believe it's separate to the next, some believe its a weak form)

<the transition to Mystic States of Prayer>

6 Prayer of Quiet

<Dark Night of the Senses ends>
<Dark Night of the Spirit begins. God wants to be loved even in the blackest night, in the absence of all hope, with simple trust>

Unitive Life Of The Perfect

7. Prayer of Union
8. Prayer of Conforming Union
9. Prayer of Transforming Union

Everyone is called to the highest state in this life, but it depends on everyone's willingness to hear the call and willingly-mortify all passions. He will leave you where you choose to be left, due to your inability to give up your attachments.

The first type of prayer is what most people today usually think about when they hear the word “prayer”: creating words and images in the mind, and feelings in the body about God. We talk to God, we think about God, we feel an emotional connection to God. This type of prayer is known technically as discursive prayer, meaning prayer in the nature of a discourse or a conversation.

He's just dumbed down the first four states. Yes, they're considered discursive, but they're all very different forms of prayer.

The second type of prayer is called nondiscursive prayer or the prayer of quiet. In this type of prayer, we go into a state of very deep peace and high concentration that is without words. Prayer of quiet (hesychia in Greek) is, roughly speaking, the Christian term for samadhi.

This is NOT the Prayer of Quiet. You still use words, just very few, like your blowing lightly on a candle to keep it alight, only when necessary. You don't concentrate at all. It is necessary to empty yourself of thought due to what the Prayer of Quiet is.

The Prayer of Quiet is your entry into Supernatural Levels of Prayer. God has seen you fight for him, and struggle to reach him, and sacrifice generously for him. Now he reaches down, and grabs hold of you because you're incapable of coming any closer to him under your own power.

You can make the lower five levels of prayer happen through sheer force of will. One sign that you have crossed into the Prayer of Quiet is your utter inability to produce this state under your own power.

How to describe this... it's kind of beyond words. I've experienced it about 9 or 10 times in the last eight months. It's always come on unexpectedly - so rather than being in a prepared 'meditative' state, it's in the midst of activity. Suddenly, there's a hush, and an urge to stop whatever you're doing. Time seems to slow down. I was walking and saying vocal prayers the first time this happened to me, and confused and terrified of offending God by stopping prayer, I didn't understand what was happening, so kept going.

Then I could no longer make a sound vocally. My voice was silenced. And with that, so was the world. All became peace, and stillness, and everything hope and desire you ever had suddenly falls away. You're fully aware that something completely outside your realm of experience is taking place: that this is a supernatural experience. The problem with my first few experiences in this prayer was my inability to shut my internal monologue up. "What is happening?" "There is no longer any doubt God exists." Particularly: "What do I do?"

That was my error. The point isn't about willing action, you've done all that. The point is now to be completely passive, to still yourself, and let God do 'spiritual surgery' on your soul. He's repairing all the broken things inside you that you're incapable of changing yourself. This hugely-frustrates the Devil, because it's all happening in your Spiritual Soul, the Pneuma, which we share with the Angels. The Demons only have access to your Animal Soul, the Psyche. This is why they can use Imagination and memory to tempt you into sin, which is why God shuts down your ability to imagine when Purgation starts. So, when God is working on you, the Devil doesn't know what is happening, and has no idea how to disrupt this or tempt you further using what used to work, because, his temptations don't work as well.

Before this happened, I used to wonder how you could spend eternity in Heaven with God: "wouldn't you get bored?" No. You're complete. You're home. Nothing matters because you have everything. This is so far beyond any secular meditative state to make it laughable, and I can see why those opposed to God want to confuse the issue about what even a taste of Union with God is like.

So, you're still, and quiet, then just as suddenly, it ends. I could talk again. I could only explain this to someone as being 'let go'. You were seized by God, then 'let go' and the world is back to normal.

As you cross into the three highest states of prayer, you're no longer stilled during this: you can share this state of higher union with God during activity and work, as long as the prayer lasts.

I found an obscure Carmelite work recently, the Book of the First Monks, that had a beautiful description of God talking with a Carmelite Monk, that I recognised:

For although you will overflow with indescribable delights as long as you drink form the torrent of my raptures, for two reasons you will not yet be complete:

Firstly, because from the very depths of your heart you will desire intensely to look directly upon my face; however you will not be able to see it clearly, "For no man shall see me and live", because "I dwell in an inaccessible light," which no man can see in this life, nor can he see.

Secondly, because although you will seek to remain a while in those inexpressible delights which you drink from the torrent of my raptures, yet suddenly, due the fragility of your body, you will be removed from them and returned to yourself. "For the corruptible body burdens the soul, and this earthly shelter weights down the mind that has many concerns."


See it. Suddenly, you're 'let go'. How you know it's genuine? Because you start longing for union with God, with all your heart. This is why, even though I'm terribly sick, I trudge up the hill each morning to pray at sunrise. This is why this pops up every morning in the Divine Office.

"Oh God, my God, I keep watch for you at daybreak. My soul thirsts for you."

The more it's happened, the more I've learnt to just still myself, stop all activity and empty myself, and let it happen. Don't question it. Don't analyse it. Go with it.

From here, God becomes more Obscure to you, rather than clarified. You start to sense him 'through a glass, darkly'. I entered the dark night by an experience often referred to as 'The Void', where you suddenly experience your Nothingness and God as The All. I think it was Saint Therese of Avila was told by God, "I am He who is, and you are She who is not". Suddenly you have a sense of the immense void between you and Him, and understand the mercy he has shown you to even reach down to you. Rather than thinking I'm graced, note that this happened to a Priest friend when he was eight years old.

Another term for high concentration in Christianity is recollection. This word does not mean “to remember” as it does in modern English. Rather, it means “to gather back together,” in other words, to become concentrated. We gather the scattered mind; we “re-collect” it. In fact, a Catholic priest is required to become recollected for at least one moment, even if he can’t be recollected in his daily life. That moment is when he consecrates the host. In former times, great numbers of Christians wanted not just sporadic moments of recollection but to be able to live their entire lives in the recollected state. That led to the development of monasteries.

No, Recollection is simply recognizing that God dwells within you, you being a living tabernacle when you're in a state of grace. So, to find him, you retreat to 'the little heaven of your soul'. It only requires stillness in the early stages of learning it. It can also be called 'practicing the presence of God'. Sister Maria once told me it's 'a simple glance towards heaven'. So, I'll be walking, notice the trees blowing in the wind, see God's presence: now I'm recollected in Him, and Contemplation follows.

There are perhaps three works that best exemplify the Christian meditative tradition. The Interior Castle of Saint Teresa of Avila, who was a Spanish Carmelite nun, is useful because she analyzes the prayer of quiet into a series of well-defined levels. It makes it easy to see the different benchmarks along that continuum and how they rather roughly line up with the standard Buddhist system of eight or nine “absorptions.”

But she doesn't. The interior castle is a description of all the states I discussed above. He's twisting fact to make it seemingly-line up with Buddhist Meditation. Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection worked in busy Parisian Kitchen whilst in the highest states of prayer. I can pray in a crowd, in the midst of activity. A friend of mine recognises when I'm doing it because he senses the state of recollection. A couple of older Priests I know are so contemplative they seem never to be quite in the world - not absent-minded or senile - just very at peace .

Now I've crossed into Mystic Prayer, the idea is to unwill action, because your will would get in the way of God's. Which would include forced attempts to meditate, which are conscious action. When I go to adoration, I sit there, utterly-bereft and unreliant on my own power, no longer trying to make declarations of love or force the connection. It's utter abandonment to God for as long as this state persists. The result is an increasing peace and trust in God, though you couldn't explain why because nothing obvious is happening.

A great book for crossing this barrier into Mystic Prayer is 'Common Mystic Prayer' by Fr Gabriel Diefenbach, which answered all the questions Priests couldn't quite explain for me, particularly why the lack of willed action is necessary to purify you. It's called a 'passive purgation'. You can see the obvious problem with Jews trying to force the connection through meditation, under their own will.

Another book is called the Cloud of Unknowing, by an anonymous fourteenth-century English author, which gives a very beautiful poetic description of the meditative process.

Anonymous discusses Contemplation, which isn't Meditation, in 'The Cloud...'
This is where JLP comes into things: what he's doing in that video is known as Centering Prayer. It's a way to prepare to receive the obscure form of God. Some monasteries teach it, other's don't. The Buddhists leap on him due to him suggesting to hold onto one word, like a mantra, to centre yourself on God as evidence that 'all roads lead to God'.

I find it an over-complicated and unnecessary process if God can be experienced during the midst of activity. If you puff the candle, it's only the briefest conscious thought. Be quiet and drink from the torrent, you know? God stole my voice a couple of times to still my foolish belief that praying consciously is Doing Something, at this stage of prayer. There are levels beyond Buddhist Meditation, but you can't get there if you are unwilling to give up the need to act by trusting that you no longer have to, for the time being.

Hope that clarifies things a bit more.
 

NoMoreTO

Hummingbird
Catholic
AnonymousBosch said:
Purgative Life of Beginners

1 Vocal Prayer
2 Meditation
3 Affective Prayer

<Dark Night of the Senses begins. God wants to be loved for himself, not for the good things he gives you>

Illuminative Life of Proficients

4 Prayer of Simplicity
5 Infused Contemplation (Some believe it's separate to the next, some believe its a weak form)

<the transition to Mystic States of Prayer>

6 Prayer of Quiet

<Dark Night of the Senses ends>
<Dark Night of the Spirit begins. God wants to be loved even in the blackest night, in the absence of all hope, with simple trust>

Unitive Life Of The Perfect

7. Prayer of Union
8. Prayer of Conforming Union
9. Prayer of Transforming Union

Everyone is called to the highest state in this life, but it depends on everyone's willingness to hear the call and willingly-mortify all passions. He will leave you where you choose to be left, due to your inability to give up your attachments.
+1

Thanks for this very helpful post.

I have St. John of the Cross' "Dark Night of the Soul", it is a beautiful book but still very far beyond my state. Still it led to a real curiousity in understanding these high states of prayer and your post puts a context on the process as a whole.

I will double check the translator.
 

iop890

Peacock
Orthodox
Gold Member
AnonymousBosch said:
...Mirabai Starr...

This name sounded familiar so I dug through the stack of books on my desk, and sure enough the copy of St. Teresa of Avila's autobiography that I'd dropped less than halfway through due to the weird translation was her work as well.

I'll be getting rid of that one and being more careful with translations in the future.
 

AnonymousBosch

 
Banned
Gold Member
iop890 said:
This name sounded familiar so I dug through the stack of books on my desk, and sure enough the copy of St. Teresa of Avila's autobiography that I'd dropped less than halfway through due to the weird translation was her work as well.

St Teresa reformed the Carmelite Monasteries by being very realistic about the natural failings of women, particularly when living together in groups: whining about problems, ganging up on each other, seeking personal power, spreading gossip, not obeying men or superiors. Following her advice to counteract these issues, the monasteries flourished and the Golden Age of Spanish Mysticism began. Nuns, Priests and Monks easily-obtained the Unitive Forms of Prayer following her guidelines of How To Pray. The Teresian Form of Prayer is known for its rapid advancement into the Mystic State. It's why St Teresa is a Doctor of the Catholic Church: her teaching is respected enough to be considered a foundational component of Catholicism.

Her simple statements of observable sex-based behavioural differences are hugely-politically-incorrect under the Progressive / Reform Jew worldview, which stresses Feminism and Equality, so I went through multiple copies only to find the translators crowing about 'fixing' some of her 'outdated' beliefs, since 'society has changed'. There's a Penguin Copy from the 90's which was a Berg or a Stein that mentioned that that quickly went in the garbage.

For any of her works, or other Carmelite Saints, you either want copies translated by the ICS (Institute of Carmelite Studies), or translations by E. Alison Peers, OCD. (Order Discalced Carmelites), both of which are considered the Gold Standard. The ICS are incredibly-thorough, but pricier. Peers is available in extremely-affordable budget editions. These are free of 'modernisation'.
 

AnonymousBosch

 
Banned
Gold Member
NoMoreTO said:
I have St. John of the Cross' "Dark Night of the Soul", it is a beautiful book but still very far beyond my state. Still it led to a real curiousity in understanding these high states of prayer and your post puts a context on the process as a whole.

I was initially told it was a beginners work, but, during 18 months of friendship with four Carmelite Nuns, I learnt 'The Dark Night of the Soul' is supposed to be read after you have already read his first book, 'The Ascent of Mt Carmel'.

His idea of the ascent of the mountain is to inspire heroic virtue from people who read it. If you study his drawing of the mountain of perfection, the idea is to mortify - die - your passions and desires, and by wanting nothing you will gain everything. People can chose the wrong paths up the mountain. The more obvious one is by following the path of earthly desires. Jesus warns us clearly about this, so, if we walk in Imitation of Christ, we won't be waylaid.

More subtly, St John of the Cross also says the other trap is to follow the path of spiritual desires - of seeking holiness for personal satisfaction. Through contemplation, I understood that if we walk in Imitation of Mary, always humble, always conformed to God's will, we won't get waylaid on the journey either.

So, if these ideas seem too complex for a beginner: this is the beauty of the later Carmelite Doctor of the Church, St Therese of Lisieux. She thought the Mount of Perfection was such a grand and inspirational metaphor to inspire heroism in souls, but she, a young enclosed Nun at the end of the 19th Century - meaning she would never leave the convent - couldn't, due to her state in life, aspire to such grand things as missionary work or being martyred for God, though all the desires for such great acts of love for God were there in her soul. To her eyes, God made the great, beautiful flowers in the garden, but also made small wildflowers, so insignificant that most wouldn't notice their beauty, but He would.

She'd heard about these new inventions for Elevators, where people could very quickly rise to the heights under very little power, and thought "Well, someone like me is far too little to ever climb such a big mountain, which meant God would have left an elevator for all us little flowers to reach him." She found all the light she needed in Jesus' words in the Gospel. Through further contemplation, she understood that she was a little fledgling, looking up at grand eagles (the saints) circling the sun (God) in the sky, dreaming of soaring with them but understanding she is is too little to fly. But by accepting her littleness, she knew God wouldn't leave her in such a helpless state, and so would reach down in mercy and... this is beautiful... carry her up the mountain in his arms, like a child.

This is her genius. Yes, the heroic souls can climb the mount of perfection bravely, rising to the challenge. For the rest of us, who are far less heroic, well we simply turn around and walk down into the valley of Humility with childlike trust, and he'll come for us. She's still teaching what St John is - there's no contradiction there - it's still a way of mortification and abandonment - it's just she identified a third, more innocent path.

This is why she became so beloved by the Church, for the Theologicans in the Vatican realised that what she was teaching was always there in scripture.

------

If you want a more 'meat and potatoes' book about the Catholic Progression through life, I can highly-recommended a Perennial Formation Text for Religious, which predates Vatican II, 'The Spiritual Life' by Adolph Tanquerey. It's available for free on Archive.org. It will walk you through The Three Conversions (initial justificaiton, the two dark nights), the three 'ways' or 'ages' of the spiritual life, and focus on what you should be attempting to achieve during each age. Books like 'The Ways of Mental Prayer', 'The Three Ages of the Interior Life', or the St John of the Cross works are great, but obscure and intellectual. Tanquerey is written like a Car Manual.

I was initially so worried about presumption, I never read beyond the first three forms of prayer in the 'Ways of Mental Prayer' book, thinking someone like me would never be called higher. It was only during my initial confusion of the Dark Night of the Senses of no longer being able to even imagine Jesus on the Cross - me having no idea this was a known thing - that a Sister of Charity (the Mother Theresa nuns) said to me "You need to read [St Teresa's] 'The Way of Perfection'".

I told her I already had, but she said, "No. Reread it. It won't make sense until you're ready for it, and now you are."

She was right. I've seen this happen with multiple religious texts over the last 2 years: it's meaningless garble, then, approached months or a year later, there's worlds of meaning on each page.

-----

Just one further note on what i labelled as 'unwilled action' yesterday. I found this story ascribed to one of the early Desert Fathers.

He said he approached Jesus' house and knocked on the door. Jesus asked him "Who is there?"

"It is I," the Monk said. "May I enter?"

"There is no room in this house for you," Jesus replied.

The Monk walked away from the world into the desert, and spent the next year fasting, doing penance and praying. After this, he returned to the house, and, once again, knocked.

"Who is there?" Jesus asked.

"It it thyself," the monk replied.

The door opened.

----

This gets to the crux of the 'what is being mislabled as buddhist meditation' problem. There isn't room for both your will and God's will inside you during the mystic states of prayer. You have to unwill any personal desire or thought or action or concentration device. If you do, it's the smallest puff on a candle.

This would be related to St John of the Cross: once you've ascended the Mount, you no longer have to follow God's Laws and are a law unto yourself. This is because your Will *is* now God's. Once you reach the Unitive Life - the third purgative trial of the Dark Night of the Soul - you can't sin, the union with god's will is so constant. Because of the resultant humility and mistrust in self and lack of worldy desires, the Devil can no longer work his tricks.
 

infowarrior1

Crow
Protestant
I do wonder how some people even when confronted by the testimony of God in beauty and order of creation and the futility of life.
Somehow find contentment as long as they live yet find God unbelievable. Its just "Religion" to them.

Its either that or suicide among those who apostasize.
 
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