Thursday, January 2, 2020

From Sweden to Siberia

King Charles XII's "Victory at Narva"--Gustaf Cederstrom (1835-1933)

From Sweden to Siberia--Theo Berigsen

Editor’s Foreword

By 1700 A.D the example of Jacbob Boehme (1575-1624 A.D.) that lay-people were capable of great spiritual insight had traveled from his home in Goerlitz across the German states and the Low Countries. Boehme’s legacy also had a profound effect on Sweden as a forerunner to the Radical Pietism movement that flowed from the Lutheran philosopher Phillip Spener (1635-1705 A.D.) who created a revolution by stressing the individual mystic connection between people and God. Spener called for an organization of believers through small groups lead by ordinary citizens called “conventicles” which met outside the customary church structure; a very controversial idea in those days.

Spener was acquainted with Wilhelm Kriegsmann (1633-1679) who was a student of spiritual alchemy and other mystical practices widespread in the Germanic states, Austria, Bohemia, Hungary, and other European countries. Kriegsmann had studied the great mystics like Valentin Weigel (1533-1588), Johann Arndt ((1555-162) and especially Jacob Boehme. Spener would meet Kriegsmann at a Frankfurt conventicle during the formative period of the conventicle movement.1 This was a period of great intellectual and theological fervor and debate with speculative theologians influenced by Boehme and other “enthusiasts” [mystics] coming into contact with establishment Lutherans who were interested in reform.

The Pietist movement Spener began in the 17th century continues today as Christian mysticism which is part of the Western Esoteric tradition. Spener also has a central place in the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). Click Here for information about ECC

As Pietism came to Sweden, “... the principal leaders and transmitters of Pietism during the first quarter of the eighteenth century were civil servants and other government officials in Stockholm. The most prominent leader and organizer of the Stockholm circle of Pietists in this period was Elias Wolker. Wolker was an accountant, and it was he who worked both to organize many of the conventicles in Stockholm and to establish a connection with Spener-Halle Pietism through active correspondence with Francke. Other notable leaders of this Pietist circle in Stockholm were Lorens Carelberg, a mint-master, and Georg Lybecker, a deputy judge. The remaining lay-people who participated in the Stockholm circle of Pietists, at least in the first decade of the eighteenth century, were primarily lower government officials and merchants.”2

At the same time these cultural events rocked Sweden the country and their young leader King Charles XII (b.1682) became involved in the “Great Northern War” 1700-1721, something few people in the USA are familiar with but changed the map of northern Europe for over 300 years.

A half century earlier by the end of the “30 Years War” (1618-1648) Sweden had saved Protestantism in Europe from the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation. In doing so they amassed an empire on the shores of the Baltic Sea that was not challenged until 1700. At the end of the Great Northern War Sweden’s empire is supplanted by the Russian Czar Peter the Great and King Charles XII is dead.
 [D S Reif-Ed.]

1“Between Alchemy and Pietism, Mike Zuber, 2014
2 “Swedish Pietism (1700-1727) as Resistance and Popular Religion”, Todd Green, Lutheran Quarterly, December, 2007

Mr. Berigsen begins...

Pietism in the Army of Sweden’s King Charles XII


Pietism in the Army of Sweden’s King Charles XII in Siberia from 1709 to 1722 is an important part of the history of Pietism in Scandinavia. After the battle of Poltava in 1709 in Ukraine the king and his ally, Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa managed with a few of their armies to escape to Ottoman territory (present day Moldavia). King Charles left it to his leading generals to decide if the main Swedish army was to retreat to the Crimean Khanate, an ally of Sweden, to continue the fight, or surrender. The over 20,000 strong army including almost 2,000 women and children did surrender and the captives were marched by foot to Moscow to be humiliated in a march through the Russian capital guarded by Russian officers and soldiers. After the march from the village of Perevolochna to Moscow the prisoners were divided up. A great part was sent to the capital of Siberia, Tobolsk, while others were forced to work in the newly established Russian shipyards at St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea and Voronets on the Black Sea.

Many of the prisoners, their wives and children died during the years in captivity and it is estimated that only 25 percent of them could return to Sweden in 1722 after the Peace Treaty at Nystad, Finland, was signed in 1721.

The First Contacts

In his thesis ”Yttre kyla och inre glöd – Pietismen bland Karl XII:s Karoliner i Sibirien 1709-1722” (Freezing Outside and Fire inside – Pietism among the Army of Charles XII in Siberia 1709-1722) in the history of theology Marcus Johansson has in 2012 (University of Stockholm) brought to life the harrowing experience of the soldier families in Tobolsk and how they reached out for spiritual guidance to the leading pietist in Germany, August Hermann Francke of Halle [Halle was a stronghold of Radical Pietism in Saxony, now Germany-ed].

Johansson in his work has studied both published and unpublished material. He concludes that the evangelical movement had its origin in the piety of the Swedish soldiers of the time combined with their situation of deprivation in captivity. The spiritual origins came from Halle and German pietism. The focus was on conversion, struggle against sin and participation in conventicles combined with social activities in education in a school that in practice was a children’s home. Bible reading was important, the views concerning divine retribution and the belief that grace only could save man. The representatives of the state Church of Sweden allowed the Pietists in Tobolsk to express their religious belief as long as it did not compete with Lutheran orthodoxy.

Pietism, Francke and the Swedish Prisoners in Siberia

Pietism began with Philipp Jakob Spener (1635 – 1705), who was born in Alsace and had a devout Christian upbringing. in Rappoltsweiler, a village in upper Alsace, northwest of what is present day Colmar, France. He was raised by his devout Christian and pious parents, and entered the University of Strasbourg in 1651 and completed his studies in 1659. After that he did some travelling, first to Basel in Switzerland, and then to Geneva, Switzerland. Here, he listened to the preachings of French reformed preacher Jean de Labadie (1610 – 1674) who was calling for a true belief and holy living.

In 1675 he published his Pia Desideria proposing reform. Firstly he suggested a greater emphasis and use of the Bible, including institute small group Bible studies. The second proposal was reform in the priesthood. Thirdly he wrote that knowledge of Christian doctrine was not enough, for Christianity consisted also of practice. The unbelievers and heretics should be prayed for, corrected with loving admonition and led back to Christianity by living a godly example of the Christian life was the fourth proposal. This approach should be used instead of disputation, polemics and virulent personal attacks. Fifthly, universities and schools should encourage godly, instead of worldly, living among their students. The sixth proposal was that sermons should be written with the goal of instilling faith and its fruits in the listener to the greatest possible degree. There was generally a very positive public response to the book, but also opposition.

In 1686 Spener was called to become court preacher in Saxony. Shortly after the arrival in Dresden Spener was informed about a conventicle which was administered by August Hermann Francke (1663 – 1727) and Paul Anton (1661 – 1730). Francke had studied at Leipzig University and later lectured there but his employment was terminated and conventicles were forbidden by the Saxon government.

Later Francke was ordained as pastor in Erfurt but had to leave the city in 1691. Soon thereafter he was called to Halle and appointed professor of Greek and Oriental languages. Halle would later be known around the world as a center of Pietism. It was in Halle that Francke started to develop his famous foundations. He started a school for poor children and later in 1696 an orphanage, a hospital, a bookstore, a home for widows, a library, a bakery, a brewery and an art museum. A print shop for bibles was opened in 1697. In 1710 a Bible Institute was created and the world’s first Bible Society. Pietism in Scandinavia first took hold in Denmark and Francke helped the Danes to send missionaries to the trading post of Tranquebar, India.

In 1713 nine Swedish officers imprisoned in Tobolsk (Siberia) had written to Francke in Halle requesting aid in education, medical facilities, and libraries. He was positive and provided money, medicine, books and equipment. This resulted in the creation of Pietist institutions for the prisoners in Tobolsk. Swedish soldiers started to carry devotional booklets written by Francke and printed in Halle. When he passed away in 1727, the pietist movement had been born and continued to thrive.

(The short overview above is based on ”The Rise of German Pietism in the 17th Century” by James Paulgaard. It is available on Internet but was first published as a thesis in History, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, December 1,1998.)

Halle was in East Germany and during the Soviet occupation until 1989 – 1991 the foundations of Francke suffered great damage from neglect. They were restored in the 1990s and Halle now houses a study center, libraries and archives devoted to Pietism and the Early Enlightenment. The large orphanage is once more in perfect condition.

Boehme’s Legacy Continues

Boehme’s mystical tradition continues in Sweden with the influential Swedish Christian mystic Hjalmar Ekstrom (1885 – 1962). He was also a shoemaker born in Helsingborg in Scania region, Sweden. In 1907 he had a strong revelation and later in 1916 he experienced what he called ”the mystic death”.

Among his works are two significant contributions in Swedish: ”The Hidden Woekshop” (1962) and ”The Still Chamber” (1968). In 1980 Ekstrom was the subject of an academic dissertation at Lund University, Sweden: Anton Geels, ”Mystikern Hjalmar Ekstrom 1885 – 1962”.

In the so called Flodberg Circle in Sweden, which included Ekstrom, there was a strong belief in ”The Silent Song of Praise.” It focused on song as a means in the kenotic spirituality. By singing songs, giving music life in one’s inner space one lets the own self, body and mind – become an instrument for music that stems from a divine source. The basis for understanding a life of belonging to Christ is in the understanding of singing. It was the Christian practice known as self-emptying -. Kenesis.

Ekstrom once said that “Boehme belonged to the most pure mysticism”. Further information on Swedish Christian mysticism can be found in ”Western Esotericism in Scandinavia” (ed. Henrik Bogdan and Olav Hammer, Brill Publisher, Netherlands, 2016).

--Theo Berigsen

Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version cease to exist. After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits. I still go to work everyday as an artist squeaking out a living with my wife creating things to sell. It is no easier today than ever .

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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Europe Reconsiders Jacob Boehme

"Strasbourg Inspiration" 

There are some very interesting development regarding Jacob Boehme coming from Europe. Below is an excerpt from an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine about the recent interest in Boehme. For my part I am not so interested in the clinical recitations of the various new finding from antique book shelves. Rather it is the effect after nearly 400 years since the death of the venerable Mr. Boehme that his spirit continues to exert on people. It is the quantum mysterium which captures my reverence.

In den Osten kommt das Licht [To the East Comes the Light]
Von REINER SCHWEINFURTH (International Jacob Boehme Society)
Frankfurter Allgemeine 19Aug2019

“...In addition, the first biographer of Boehme, his confidant Abraham von Franckenberg(1593-1652), published his life report here for the first time. Now a text comparison possible with the saved handwritten manuscripts, which were preserved by the upper class in Silesia. The unrefined edition is accompanied by margin notes from the editors, whoseevaluation promises previously unknown information.

All contributions to the conference in Gotha confirmed the growing international interest in Jacob Boehme the “Philosophicus Teutonicus”. Around the research center led by Martin Mulsow
the Boehme expert Lucinda Martin has created a network. In the Research library at Gotha are about 10, 000 manuscript records, many from the seventeenth century, not yet cataloged.

One of the attractions of exploring Bohemia is the discovery of the far-reaching, often subversive
ties that were already formed during his lifetime, then after his death in 1624, throughout Protestant Europe. His manuscripts were a precious commodity and many trustees profited. The pious and irrational diction of his writings remains a nuisance to positivistic-materialistic minds. Until
today.But after secularization, at least in this country, no one need fear, to be put in prison for spreading Bohemian ideas, for centuries this was different...”
* * *

I want to point out a few items in Mr Schweinfurth’s insightful essay“The pious and irrational diction of his writings remains a nuisance to positivistic/materialistic minds.” This is a very interesting sentence. Allowing for the translation and the cultural difference between the American and German audience the use of the term “...pious and irrational diction...” may be off putting to some as it may seem condescending. I don’t think it is meant that way. I believe this is the way European scholars viewed spiritual philosophy in the recent past where anything “religious” or Christian is often regarded as quaint or intellectually suspect. I think Mr Schweinfurth is attempting to bridge a generational gap here. When writing for an audience who is still mired in European anti-Christian thought where condescension is baked into the cake, Mr. Schweinfurth skillfully sidesteps existing bias but continues to move forward.

Who could blame Europeans for holding rather negative views about Christianity after centuries of war often blamed on religion when economic and territorial motives were the real causes. Between the often oppressive legacy of Roman Catholicism and the neo-Marxist pretensions espoused by John Barth (and others) it is little wonder that religious philosophy is suspected of duplicity. Boehme offers an escape from the doctrines of the past.

It is important to point out that Mr. Schweinfurth continues by emphasizing that “...positivistic-materialistic minds...” may find Boehme difficult due to the “nuisance” of troublesome abstract ideas involved in his writings and advanced concepts often out of reach to the modernist worldview. I believe Mr Schweinfurth is walking a narrow line while making an important point about Boehme at the same time not opening himself up to partisan criticism. Mr. Schweinfurth offers us this extraordinary thought “ one need fear, to be put in prison for spreading Bohemian ideas...”. Except in a clinical (or secular) environment whenever controversial spiritual ideas are discussed there seems to be an underlying element of fear just beyond peripheral vision.

Winter Solstice 2019

(original text)
Hinzu kommt, dass der erste Biograph Böhmes, sein Vertrauter Abraham von Franckenberg
(1593 bis 1652), hier zum ersten Mal seinen Lebensbericht publizierte. Nun ist ein
Textabgleich möglich mit den gesicherten handgeschriebenen Manuskripten, die in der
erweckungswilligen Oberschicht Schlesiens kursierten, gesammelt und teilweise bearbeitet
wurden. Die Karnal-Ausgabe ist mit Marginalien der Herausgeber versehen, deren
Auswertung bisher unbekannte Informationen verspricht.
Alle Beiträge der Tagung in Gotha bestätigten das international wachsende Interesse am
Philosophicus Teutonicus. Rund um das von Martin Mulsow geleitete Forschungszentrum
hat die Böhme-Kennerin Lucinda Martin ein Netzwerk gesponnen. In der
Forschungsbibliothek Gotha sind etwa 10 000 Handschriftensätze, viele aus dem siebzehnten
Jahrhundert, noch gar nicht katalogisiert.
Ein Reiz der Erforschung Böhmes besteht im Aufspüren der weitreichenden, oft subversiv
geknüpften Verbindungen, die sich schon zu seinen Lebzeiten, dann nach seinem Tod 1624,
im ganzen protestantischen Europa nachweisen lassen. Die Manuskripte waren eine kostbare
Ware, von deren Verkauf mancher Treuhänder profitierte. Die fromme und irrationale
Diktion seiner Schriften bleibt für positivistisch-materialistische Gemüter ein Ärgernis. Bis
heute. Doch nach der Säkularisierung muss wenigstens hierzulande niemand mehr fürchten,
wegen Verbreitung Böhmischer Gedanken ins Gefängnis gesteckt zu werden. Über
Jahrhunderte war dies anders.

The entire text is here:

Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version cease to exist. After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits. I still go to work everyday as an artist squeaking out a living with my wife creating things to sell. It is no easier today than ever .

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Ultimate Kingdom

I borrowed the title for this painting “The Last Kingdom”, (Das Lezte Konigreich”) from a line in a poem written in 1801 by the famous German writer Novalis (Fredrich von Hardenberg). When I read it there was an immediate resonance with the concepts involved.

The last kingdom struck me as the “ultimate kingdom” rather than the “final kingdom”. This is not the description of the eschaton but of the ideal pinnacle where we strive for the understanding that Jacob Boehme pointed too. A scene of dynamic resolution not a vision of destruction.

Boehme’s writings are a blueprint of the spiritual universe. However, understanding the mechanics of nature is not enough. Later writers who surreptitiously fed off Boehme work (Kant, Hegel, Marx) misunderstood Boehme’s processes and their descendants would interpret their work to see the universe as a grand device. Once all the inputs, programs, knobs, and gears were mapped and subjected to taxonomy then it could be manipulated to enhance the personal power of the technicians.

Von Hardenberg intuitively grasped the “meta” program that was running underneath the words of Boehme and in his poem “To Tieck” he introduced the concept of “the abundance of being”. This acknowledged the true mission as mystical. Understanding the mechanisms of God’s universe was not an exercise in positivism or philosophical materialism rather it was the search for fulfillment not affluence.

D S Reif

The original extended essay (and translation) about the painting refereed to above can be viewed on the website of the International Jacob Boehme Society,   CLICK HERE


Friday, August 30, 2019

The Divine Embryo

The Archangel Gabriel appears to Mary

 The cosmic event that shakes our world.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? Luke 1:34 KJV

[Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" Luke 1:34 NAS]

Two translations, the King James Version and the New American Standard, both conveying the same meaning.

Perhaps this statement spoken by Mary and recorded by the Apostle Luke is the most controversial in the New Testament. It seems to be an enigma. Within this short sentence is a challenge to the rational mind and an assault to our understanding of time and space.

The man who would be known first as Jesus and later Lord Christ born to a woman was the Son of God and the King of the Universe. This man who changed the course of history for the last two millennia was the product of a birth by a virgin, a woman who had not had sexual relations. “How can this be…”?

This human event that has never been duplicated continues to fascinate the believer and perplex the atheist. It has taken us over two thousand years of natural history study to finally glimpse the root of this awesome occurrence.

In the last half century the study of human embryos has unwittingly shed light on this mystery of the Virgin Birth. Modern scientist were perhaps the last people who would have wanted to help the world understand the testimony of Mary. More interested in establishing a “Brave New World” than casting light on an ancient conundrum the idea of cellular embryology verifying a Christian truth was not in the mind of the molecular biologist of the Twentieth Century.

Yet in this field of study we get a glimpse of a deeper truth that surrounds the Virgin Birth. In the 1970’s Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Dr. Robert Edwards introduced the concept of “in vitro fertilization”1 as a fertility aid2.. Their research lead to what is now called the In-Vitro Services Industry (IVF) which is a multi-billion dollar business. Its theory and practices are well understood and used throughout the globe.

By studying this process it became obvious to me that the question asked over two thousand years ago could be part. The embryo that would develop within the womb of Mary was implanted by God. There was no genetic material from her or her (soon to be) husband Joseph involved. The event was complete unique. The blood ties to history were broken. Jesus the Lord Christ was born of a woman as every other human on Earth but had no hereditary linkage to anyone except God.

As this idea developed in me a question was generated. Yes an embryo from outside the body can be successfully implanted into the lining of the womb but where did the embryo come from?

After some further research I found the answer in Luke 1:35, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” There the answer was in plain sight. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee...” The embryo was a material manifestation of a Divine entity delivered through the Holy Ghost of God [the Highest] into the uterus of Mary.

That explained the delivery system but still left the big question open of how was the Divine Embryo created. Of course I do not pretend to know the internal process of God. Jacob Boehme tells us about the continuous process of Creation being generated around us so I knew there would be an indication for us to follow3. What I was looking for was in John 1:1-5.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

God creates material objects out of nothing (darkness) through the use of His Divine light (supernatural energy).

I can imagine that even for God the creation of a viable embryo and implanting it in a human womb was perhaps a challenge and that is why it does not seem to happen everyday. Yet in this case the operation went flawlessly.

1“in vitro fertilization”
noun, a specialized technique by which an ovum, especially a human one, is fertilized by sperm outside the body, with the resulting embryo later implanted in the uterus for gestation.

2In this essay by Tian Zhu is a brief history of “in vitro fertilization” and embryo implantation.

3 Jacob Boehme, Aurora: the Day Spring, 1612, transcribed Wayne Kraus, Online Edition, 2:77

*Researchers: You may use this essay as a resource.  Please credit the source.*
David S Reif

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Mystery of the Palm II

"Tree of the Soul"

Jacob Boehme's (1575-1624) concept of Creation as illustrated by Dionysius Freher (1649-1728)

The seven layers within the circle of illumination are the seven spirits that organize the awesome power of God.  This is the continuous force of Creation coming from God. Our world, seen at the base of the Majestic Palm, can only look in prayerful wonder at the incredible forces that surround us.

The symbolism of the palm tree recurs here as it did in John 12:12-19 which is the story of Lord Christ entering Jerusalem.  Freher roots the palm in the deep wisdom of antiquity and the cosmic truth of Creation.

Click here for the first part:  The Mystery of the Palm I    

Much more can be learned about Jacob Boehme at the website of the International Jacob Boehme Society.  The physical facility is located in Goerlitz, Germany (ancient Silesia) where Boehme spent much of his life.  There is an extensive English language site that is frequently updated.  

                                         Jacob Boehme Society 

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Martyr to What?

Understanding Richard Rohr’s complex theological and social teaching is a challenging enterprise particularly when we factor in the implied blast at Globalism and the world atheist order. Occasionally he adds references to his posts to broaden our knowledge and provide context for complicated issues. In two reading just prior to Easter he included Marcus Borg and John Crossan.

Rohr writes:
Two theologians I deeply respect, Marcus Borg (1942-2015) and John Dominic Crossan (b. 1934), offer important historical and symbolic context for the crucifixion. The theory of “penal substitutionary atonement” only became dominant in recent centuries.

“This common Christian understanding
(Atonement) goes far beyond what the New Testament says. Of course, sacrificial imagery is used there, but the language of sacrifice is only one of several different ways that the authors of the New Testament articulate the meaning of Jesus’s execution. They also see it as the domination system’s “no” to Jesus (and God)...Though Mark provides the earliest story of Good Friday . . . Mark’s narrative combines retrospective interpretation with history remembered. . . .”

“Mark tells us that Jesus was crucified between two “bandits.
[the Chinese Communists call opposition “bandits” or “roaders” not much different from the EU terms like “criminals” or “gangsters”, names for the French Yellow Jackets or Gilet Jaune] The Greek word translated “bandits” is commonly used for guerilla fighters against Rome, who were either “terrorists” or “freedom fighters,” depending upon one’s point of view….Ordinary criminals were not crucified. Jesus is executed as a rebel against Rome between two other rebels against Rome [to drive home the point]. . . .(When Jesus died), ‘the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom’ (Mark 15:38)...To say that the curtain was torn in two has a twofold meaning. On the one hand, it is a judgment upon the (Hebrew) temple and the temple authorities . . . who colluded with imperial Rome to condemn Jesus to death. On the other hand, . . . [it] is to affirm that the execution of Jesus means that access to God is now open.”

This affirmation underlines Mark’s presentation of Jesus earlier in the gospel: Jesus mediated access to God apart from the temple and the domination system that it had come to represent in the first century. Then Mark narrates a second event contemporaneous with Jesus’s death. The imperial centurion in command of the soldiers who had crucified Jesus exclaims, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son’ (15:30). . . .That this exclamation comes from a centurion is very significant….The emperor was Lord, Savior, and the one who had brought peace on earth. But now a representative of Rome affirms that this man, Jesus, executed by the empire, is the Son of God. Thus the emperor is not.”

Jesus...spoke to peasants as a voice of peasant religious protest against the central economic and political institutions of his day. He attracted a following and took his movement to Jerusalem at the season of Passover. There he challenged the authorities with public acts and public debates.

According to Mark, Jesus did not die for the sins of the world. The language of substitutionary sacrifice for sin is absent from his story. But in an important sense, he was killed because of the sin of the world. It was the injustice of domination systems that killed him...And thus Jesus was crucified because of the sin of the world. . . .”

“Was Jesus guilty or innocent? As Mark tells the story, Jesus was not only executed by the method used to execute violent insurrectionists; he was physically executed between two insurrectionists. Was Jesus guilty of advocating violent revolution against the empire and its local
[Jewish] collaborators? No.
As Mark tells the story, was Jesus guilty of claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed? Perhaps. Why perhaps and not a simple yes? Mark does not report that Jesus taught this, and his account of Jesus’s response to the high priest’s question about this is at least a bit ambiguous. Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replies, ‘You say so’ (Mark 15:2).
[or “Thou sayest it.” KJV]
As Mark tells the story, was Jesus guilty of nonviolent resistance to imperial Roman oppression and local Jewish collaboration? Oh, yes.”

By using these two learned scholars Rohr supports a point he has made before, that Jesus was opposing not only the spiritual but the social order of the time. The Roman Empire was the political overlords but it was the Jewish bureaucracy that kept the civil reigns through the use of “The Law” an artifact of Old Testament Hebrew thinking.
These powers were the Globalists of the time. Rome was the supreme Global power and its vassals in the Hebrew bureaucracy were tasked with keeping the population under control. Today State powers like NATO are the equivalent to Rome and non government organizations (NGO) and quasi-governments like the European Union (EU) assume the role of controlling the people through the secular religion of Big Science and the atheist world order.

We will continue to unbolt the layered view of perennialism that Richard Rohr has brought into the world.

Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version cease to exist.  After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits.  I still go to work everyday as an artist squeaking out a living with my wife creating things to sell.  It is no easier today than ever .

I have added a Donorbox link to this blog.  Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going.  Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.   

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Monday, April 8, 2019

The Perennial Rohr

Recurring Springtime

When Richard Rohr gets it right he certainly shines. In this 2015 essay entitled The Perennial Tradition he give his definition for the Perennial Wisdom that we have been studying since the 1980’s. He mentions some of our favorite authors, particularly the often overlooked Huston Smith whose insights into perennialism and his critique of modernism are some of the best in print.

Richard Rohr writes...

The things I teach come from a combination of inner and outer authority, drawn from personal experience and a long lineage of the “perennial tradition” as Aldous Huxley, Huston Smith, Ken Wilber, and many others have called it. I don’t believe God expects us to start from zero and reinvent the wheel of faith in our one small lifetime. Thankfully, we can each participate in the “communion of saints,” and draw upon the force field of the Holy Spirit. The Great Tradition, the perennial philosophy, has developed through the ages, and is an inherited gift.”

“The Perennial Tradition points to recurring themes and truths within all of the world’s religions. At their most mature level, religions cultivate in their followers a deeper union with God, with each other, and with reality—or what is. The work of religion is to re-ligio—re-ligament or reunite what our egos and survival instincts have put asunder, namely a fundamental wholeness at the heart of everything. My calling (and the CAC’s work in the last twenty-nine years) has been to retrieve and reteach the wisdom that has been lost, ignored, or misunderstood within the Judeo Christian Tradition. Any truth that keeps recurring and gathers humanity’s positive energy is called wisdom and most assuredly has to be from the One Holy Spirit.*

Of course this squares very nicely with what we have written in Perennis as well as what others have taught for years.

Many of you have been enjoying Perennis blog for years since the print version cease to exist. After over a decade we continue to post on this blog as time permits. I still go to work everyday as an artist squeaking out a living with my wife creating things to sell. It is no easier today than ever.

I have added a Donorbox link to this blog. Please consider contributing a monthly donation to keep this work going. Or just a one-time sum will be appreciated. You can contribute anonymously if you like.