The reason why everyone is guilty of Original Sin is Because everyone Commit the Original Sin

So, I think its fair to say that only God himself is completely free. Now, in God, freedom and necessity coincide: it is necessary that he be free, but he freely embraces necessity. Divine simplicity. However in creatures, there is tension between freedom and necessity; in creatures, freedom and necessity are not the same thing. God wants to create us immediately in heaven, completely free, but this is not possible; we are creatures and therefore we must be created with a “history” of becoming and growing into our freedom.

Hence the story starts with humanity (represented by adam) in the garden of eden. God says to us “You may eat of any tree in the garden” – this corresponds to the modern idea of voluntarist, spontaneous freedom (which DBH rallies against so hard in all of his writings). Basically, any option is as good as any other; any tree in the garden we can explore, sample, experience, enjoy. But all of the trees are as good as any other, therefore there’s no real rhyhm or reason for why we would pick one rather than another. For this very reason it was not enough for God to give us this spontaneous freedom, because such a freedom is almost entirely “random” and therefore it is not appropriate to the sort of freedom that a “man made in the image of God” should have: God’s freedom is not random and spontaneous, therefore neither should man’s freedom be purely random and spontaneous.

Hence, God appends to his universal permission a single prohibition “But I command you: please do not eat from this tree, because if you do, you will die.” Now, the game has changed, rather than adam and eve being confronted with a field of arbitrary possibilities which they will randomly select between, all of a sudden the possibilities have a rational weighting. In other words, some possibilities are “better” than others. At this point, human freedom becomes one that does not merely randomly select from among equal options, but it must rationally deliberate and make a rational choice to select the best/the correct/the most good option. At this point, human freedom has been “shaped” by God so that it is not merely spontaneous and arbitrary but is rather rational and purposeful . So we are now getting much closer to a human freedom that accurately “images” divine freedom, because divine freedom is rational and purposeful, rather than merely being spontaneous and unconstrained/uncoerced.

So far so good. Adam and eve now have a collection of epistemic knowledge: 1.God is good, we can trust him. 2. Those trees are good and we should explore them. 3. That tree is bad and we should avoid it. 4. We are children made in our fathers image and he wants us to grow up to be just like him; this is our destiny.

Now, in order to grow up to be like God, this epistemic knowledge needs to become gnosis knowledge. So while adam and eve are aware that all the good trees contain hidden delights and pleasures, they do not have direct, experiental gnostic knowledge corresponding to their purely intellectual understanding. Hence God wants adam and eve to explore all of the good trees, and in doing so, accumulate more and more gnosis of both God and the creations inherent goodness.

The way God has set things up, everything should work smoothly to produce a divinised adam and eve who have maximum gnosis, and are therefore rendered incapable of sinning, because as they acquire more and more “direct knowledge” (gnosis), they will simply have less and less reason to act in a way contrary to that gnosis. Once adam and eve have eaten from ALL of the good trees in the garden, they would have ALL the gnosis, and therefore be fully and completely divinised, incapable of sinning, perfect children of the father existing in a state of perfect love and harmony from which no fall is possible. The reason why this is predetermined is because Adam and Eve would tend to always choose correctly on the basis of the gnosis they have already acquired, as well as the episteme which guides their choices (again, “These trees are good, those trees are bad. We should eat from these trees, not from those trees”). Basically, adam and eve have absolutely no reason to sin and misuse their freedom at this point, and therefore everything looks set to progress smoothly with no fall, no sin, no death, no pain.

But here comes the twist! Somehow, somewhere, some of the angelic beings had already fallen! Satan hijacks the snake and slithers into the garden, and introduces something of a “computer virus” into the whole order established by God. This computer virus takes the form of a well crafted lie. Adam and eve are doing well, they are on track, things are going smoothly. Adam and eve are eating from the good trees and accumulating gnosis, which is something of a “vaccine” against any possibility of sin. Their deliberative (gnomic) wills are operating just as God designed them to; they are making the correct decisions, avoiding the wrong decisions, because they simply have no reason to sin, so why would they? God is their loving father who has been nothing but a good dad, so why would they have any motivation to disobey him and eat from the bad tree?

So, Satan comes in under the guise of the snake, and introduces a great lie which serves to scramble Adam and Eve’s decision making. Adam epistemically knows that his purpose and destination is to be like God, and he epistemically knows that if he disobeys God, it will be really bad, leading to death. Adam epistemically knows that eating from the bad tree would be a bad idea. However Adam has not yet acquired the full amount of gnosis in order to see through a lie. So the snake comes in and tells an incredibly crafty lie: “God wants you to be like him right? and you want to be like God? well, you and I and God are all fully aware that if you eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will be like God, so why is God stopping you? Does he want you to be like him or not? Why is he making you wait? You are already very smart and enlightened, you have already eaten from all the good trees and have already learned so much: so why is God making you wait? Why not just take a shortcut to theosis and eat from the tree God has forbidden you?”

Short but relevant tangent: It is a popular opinion among the church fathers that adam and eve would have been permitted to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil later. So God’s prohibition was just a provisional thing for while they were “little children” (as it were). Once adam and eve had accumulated enough gnosis by eating from all the good trees, at such a stage the father would have said to them “Ok, you have learned everything, you are ready now; you may eat of the final tree and experience the gnosis of death.” So basically, the mission of adam and eve was to eat from ALL of the good trees, acquire ALL the gnosis, and only then would they be ready and permitted to confront death.

So, Satan slides in, and constructs a lie. Adam knows that his destiny is to become like God, so why is Father Yahweh not letting him eat from the forbidden tree, which allegedly will do just that? All of a sudden, Adam’s “deliberative” (gnomic) freedom has gone haywire, because it has become faced with a cognitive dissonance: Basically, should he continue to trust God the father, continue to accumulate gnosis in the slow and patient way? Or should he trust the snake, who has managed to make a compelling argument that it would be better to just cut to the chase and eat the forbidden fruit NOW .

Another short but relevant tangent: The story of adam and eve eating the apple is a typology for every individual human person ever. For more details, read Bulgakovs, “The bride of the Lamb”. Basically, all of us were in the garden, and all of us were individually tempted by the snake, and all of us individually succumbed to his lies, although in each case the lie was different and the fall was different (hence why each of us is born into different circumstances during our lives: some in better circumstances, some in much worse). Bulgakov calls this “meta-history.” During this meta-history, everyone become personally guilty of the original sing just because everyone personally commit the original sin. As such, every individual person has an individual and personalised original sin somewhere in their past, and we can’t do the augustinian thing and put all the blame on adam himself. All of us are personally culpable. At the point that each of us succumb to the snakes lies, that is the exact point that each of us are individually cast out of eden and born in this broken world. (However, the boundary between meta-history and history is a mind-blowing thing and hard to explain. again, read bulgakov)

Returning to adam and eve and the snake: The snake delivers a perfect lie, and all of a sudden the clear distinction between right and wrong, good and evil doesn’t seem so clear. All of a sudden adam is uncertain whether God the father really is completely trustworthy. At this point of confusion and indecision, the opportunity to disobery God becomes a live option. Now, some of us gave in to this lie sooner, some of us gave into this lie later. For some of us, we continued to trust God, continued to eat from the good trees, continued to accumulate gnosis of how good, loving and wonderful God really is. However, the snake kept coming back, and his lies became more and more elaborate: every time we grew in gnosis, the snake was able to use that very gnosis to construct an even better lie. Eventually, one by one, all of us ended up giving in and committing the original sin, and one by one each of us fell out of eden (metahistory) into this broken world (history).

Once we fell into the world, our freedom became totally hijacked. Now our deliberative (gnomic) will is constantly making bad decisions, and where before the journey towards God was easy, now we struggle to continue to grow in gnosis of God, instead, we experience gnosis of suffering, sin, evil and death. Our freedom was always a combination of sponaneous/arbitrary freedom with the rational freedom oriented towards God, but now both of those aspects of our freedom have gone haywire. We deliberate, and we think we know what the best choice is, but as it turns out that’s actually not the best choice and just causes more problems. Basically, we end up in a severe “bondage of the will” situation.

But lets zoom out of history and return to the story happening in eden, in metahistory. Back in eden, humanity is being seduced by the snake one by one and falling into this history. But as mankind slowly apostatiss into a massa damnata, there are two souls who continue to trust Father Yahweh, despite being constantly and repeatedly lied to by the snake. No prizes for guessing who 🙂 Mama Mary and Christ Jesus.

Now, Mary is constantly being approached by the snake, and the snake is constantly tempting her to “cut to the chase” and just eat from the forbidden tree. But mary continues to eternally say her “fiat” and trust God, regardless of how convincing the snakes lies become. Mary knows that Father Yahweh is good and trustworthy, and has his reasons for making her wait. The struggle only continues to get more intense and the lies become ever more convincing, but Mary stalwartly trusts Yahweh and continues to accumulate gnosis by only eating from the good trees.

Eventually, it gets to the point where Mary has eaten from literally every good tree in the garden. In other words, Mary eventually achieves a full and complete gnosis. In other words, Mary manages to live an authentic human life without ever committing the original sin, like the rest of us do. We can imagine someone like St Isaac of Ninevah in the garden, resisting all the lies and onslaughts of the devil, and yet even he at some point was seduced by the serpent and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, and therefore “fell” into this broken world (I personally tend to think that the lie the snake told St Isaac was something along the lines of “Look at all your brothers and sisters suffering on earth and in Hell: they need your help, right now; why is father God stopping you from going down to rescue them? He wants you to rescue them right? Look how much they are suffering: it would be so cruel of you to remain up here and continue your training in righteousness: you already know enough to rescue so many souls, why don’t you eat the fruit now and try to rescue as many of them as you can?” and of course, this appeal to love overcame st isaac, and he ate the fruit before the right time, commit the original sin, and fell into earth, just like the rest of us)

But unlike St isaac, Mary never gave in. She successfully became what all of us were called to be, by trusting in Father yahweh to the end. At this point, father yahweh entered the garden and spoke to her: “Mary my lovely daughter! You have been my best child! You are now ready to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You now know all that there is to know: you are prepared to experience the final gnosis: the gnosis of death, and because you have full gnosis of my love and goodness, you will not be overcome by it”. At this point, mary eats the fruit and yet does so without committing original sin. As such, Mary does not fall into history; rather, she obediently descends into history, so as to save all the rest of us who commit the original sin. By being recapitulated in Mary (the church), all humanity is obedient to the father, just like she was, with the same human obedience that she displayed.

Now, Jesus is different: Jesus was also in the garden, but Jesus, being the only-begotten, homoousian son of the Father, always had the gnosis necessary to avoid committing original sin. Jesus did not have to acquire and grow in gnosis of the father because he eternally possesses such gnosis. This is why, while the snake did indeed tempt and lie to Jesus just as much as he tempted and lied to mary; in Jesus case it was impossible that he could have fallen because he always had the full gnosis necessary to see right through the lies of satan. Whereas Mary was merely human and therefore had to grow in this gnosis. So while recapitulation and redemption was a real struggle and ordeal on the part of both Mary and Jesus, the human acheivement is thanks to Mary in a sense that it isn’t thanks to jesus, because Mary was a kierkgaardian “knight of faith” – constantly trusting God even in the face of the compelling lies of Satan. Whereas Jesus always had maximum gnosis, and therefore his obedience was always a foregone conclusion.

In any case, Jesus too eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, just like mary. And just like mary, for jesus it was not the original sin because he and mary had both “completed their training,” and therefore they were both ready to descend to the deepest depths of the gnosis of sin, suffering, evil and death, without being overcome by it. So Jesus and Mary do not fall into this broken history, instead, they obediently and joyfully descend into this history, so as to gather humanity up, redeem all of our mistakes and sins, and eventually bring us back into our final destination: blissful trinitarian union with God.

Returning to the “freedom” theme we started with: all humanity, one by one, was deceived by the lies of satan, and thus our freedom became hijacked and diverted from it’s proper course. Mary was the only one who never fell for it, and Jesus (being God) simply never could have fallen in the first place. So Mary is a type of all of us: eventually all of us become perfect in a synergistic struggle and attain to the full gnosis that we were all originally destined for, and it is only at that point that humanity finally becomes free in the sense that it was always destined for: we have finally achieved a full and comprehensive gnosis of everything, both good and bad, and therefore never again will it be possible to “choose wrongly.” Once we have experienced that full gnosis, never again will we ever sin. Finally we will be free in the same manner that God is free. We will always choose God, the highest good, and no lie of satan will ever again be able to interfere with that freedom. Just as jesus always and everywhere had full gnosis, and therefore it was logically impossible for him to fall for the lies of the devil, so too – in Mary (the church) – we will have also acquired that same full gnosis. Jesus – being God – always had the gnosis, whereas Mary – being merely human – had to acquire the gnosis. But she did, and in her, so shall we all. Our freedom is something that we grow into, through mary and into Christ.

So in summary, all of us are on a journey of becoming and none of us has ever really experienced “true” freedom yet. We are all on a journey, starting with the spontaneous and deliberative freedom of adam and eve, fighting forth into the victorious human freedom of Mary, and destined to finally emerge into the divine freedom of loving necessity and necessary love that we see in Christ. Every saint and every bodhisattva ate from the forbidden tree before the right time, out of compassion, so as to rescue humanity, but only Christ and Mary ate from the tree at the right time, once they had fully completed their training in gnosis. Mary and Jesus know enough to experience sin, death, evil and suffering to the full without being overcome by it, and for that reason, when we cling to them we are enabled to do the same. Eventually, apokatastasis will be achieved and it will be glorious.

As for the salvation of the ultimate liar and slanderer himself: who knows what he will do once there is no one left to fall for his lies. I think it’s fair to assume that at that point he will have gone through his own journey of gnosis, and discovered the utter pointlessness of evil and rebellion. At that point, perhaps the only person left to lie to will be he himself, and perhaps that will be the first time he has ever looked within himself and encountered the beautiful soul that he has been running from this entire time. Perhaps at that point, he too will have to concede defeat, and join us all singing hosannas and glorias and mahamantras to the loving God who created him.

“Why Don’t You Have Facebook?”

Business-Does-Not-Need-Facebook-Page[1]Would you like to know the real reason why
I don’t have a smart phone,
I don’t use facebook,
I rarely send emails,
I avoid internet communication almost entirely?

It’s because everyone is talking to everyone else at once.
And no-one knows who anyone else is talking to.
And no-one knows what anyone else is talking about.

I can be having different, separate, deep, meaningful conversations with many people on many topics at the same time.
There is no commitment online: It is possible to jump from one chat to the next so easily.

If there is a pause in your typing… are you talking to someone else?
I have to tell myself “You’re just thinking” or “You’re just feeling overwhelmed”
But I have no way of knowing this to be true!
I can’t see your body language
I can’t read your facial expressions
I can’t connect with the soul reflected in your eyes.
This makes it harder for me to trust.
A digital wall between us
This plants seeds of suspicion and jealousy.
Thorns that grow up and choke my heart

But real life communication is not like this.
In the real world, when there is a pause in the conversation I can easily tell whether the other person is thinking carefully or if they are distracted by something else.
In the real world, if the person I’m talking to walks away to talk to someone else, I know, and I can walk away and talk to someone else too.
In the real world, it isn’t possible to become emotionally invested in a conversation which has already evaporated.

So now I go back and look over the whole Discussion.
Suddenly it looks very different.
Those moments where you weren’t saying anything begin to seem incredibly ambiguous:
What were you really doing while I poured my heart out into that chatbox?
Were you thinking about how to respond?
Were you struck down by emotion?
Or were you just talking to someone else,
and reading a random internet article…

I’m not saying give up technology for my sake.
The fact that I feel jealous and suspicious is not your fault.
My emotional responses are my own problem to deal with.
But I refuse to suck it up, desensitize, stop caring or push my feelings down.
So how do I deal with them?

Life is better offline

Alex Herlihy – 2014

Ecstasy

sexyforeplayblackandwhite[1].jpgThe kiss, playful and testing at first, then committing to penetration with the tongue. At first I feel surprise, but then dive in and the kiss turned full body as we drew our bodies closer and closer together. We were melting into each other. I was losing my breath, she was losing hers. It was awesome. Her wetting her lips in expectation and tilting her chin back saying “I want this”.

The grope. It was great to play with her erect and electrified nipples and to delicately squeeze her wonderful breasts. It was brilliant to watch her smile and see her look of bliss, to hear her lose breath, hide under the covers, let out little moans, lose control, all just by my love, my fingers and her trust. As she guided my hand beneath her shirt and held it there. All too much. All too good.

Her eye contact, the avoidance of her eye contact. Every now and then she would look at my face, then close her eyes and smile and turn away with a look that said “How did I get here? How did this happen? why did he pick me? How did I end up with this great guy holding me? Who is he?”. The fact that I was so comfortable gazing at her and taking her in while she felt overwhelmed by it in such a positive way.

Her face, hair, nose, lips, cheeks, eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes. Her sleeping head resting on my chest.

The little, honest comments I would drop which made her feel special made me feel brilliant, like I was the man. “You’re beautiful” I would whisper, staring into her eyes, and her face would light up as she closed her eyes and turned away, looking as if she was melting under intense love from the manliest man on the planet. The feeling of making a girl feel so special is wild. “You’re lovely”, “So are you”. The fact that she was speechless. “You… There are no words that describe you…”. I felt like The Shit. My love is indescribable? Well thank you lord!

Her attachment. “Don’t leave without me”. Her tracking us back to the flat. “Come have tea with us”. “Come to breakfast with us”. Her stream of text messages! How did I manage to make such an impression on her? If it is the love of God, I can’t stand to see it perverted. By this point, there was all too much pride…

Playing with her hair and hands. Having her draw on me. The physical trust.

“It could have been anyone” “but you’re the one who stole my phone”

“fine… enjoy your stoopid walk”
“Oh I will 😛 Until next time :)”
“Next time?”
“:)”
“…”
Silence

Alex Herlihy – 2014

The Riddle of the Universe

space-960x460[1].jpgI sublimate all that I hear, smell and feel.
Savour that taste which I see is not real,
Believe that by this, it all comes together
As Identity for now and forever.
The choices I make, the best I can be,
Both to myself and society,
Life, the universe and all are the same,
For I have met God, and absurd is his name.

And now my head is spinning round;
I fly up only to come plummeting down.
For the final Zenith of Absurdity
Is only a proud ode to Insanity.
As I fall under the gaze of eternity
I look back, and there’s nothing to see
Where is the truth? The Light? The life?
I’m cornered by sin, surrounded by strife

To dive down into deepest despair
Nothing makes sense, I’m gasping for air
Pulled down by my pride

A bible story
A man in the desert, Tempted by Satan
What does it mean?

Faith

Alex Herlihy – 2014

I will miss you

I will miss you.
How annoying is it? How human is it? How honest is it? How wonderful? How sickenly, illogically sentimental…
You are leaving. And I will miss you
A sad song plays
I will miss you, Even though we rarely spoke, Even though sometimes I avoided your gaze, your questions, your conversation.
And for a time we were at odds with each other
Jealousy, Contempt, Lust, Judgement
All corrupting my heart and mind, destroying the relationship we should have had.
And yet I will miss you regardless,
Our honesty has blossomed in these last days
Strange how when the end is in sight the barriers come down
I wanted to love you when I first met you, but I was lost and confused in my self-centeredness
I wanted to hate you when I couldn’t find my way into your heart
The eve of a new year. I fell a little bit in love with you that night.
The realisation that soon you will just be a memory was sobering.
Why do I feel such a sense of loss? such an emptyness?
Why did we have to connect right when we are tearing away from each other?
Our emotions might actually be more rational then they seem,
But I am still confused by the fact that…
You have left
and I miss you.

Alex Herlihy – 2014

12173_10153834955405375_141281355_n.jpg

Sailing

3275322890_54d4aae6b2_b[1].jpgI find it hard to ignore, out at sea
The amazing line at infinity
Dancing there, water dance, fields of blue, blue fields, symphony.
endless in all directions
always a line, flat, distinct, but attempts at focusing, always undefined, foggy, as the swell, rises and falls, man high swell, meter high swell.
Back to earth, the spray, sunburn, Australian cliffs and beaches and land. company mood shift. peaceful

The words I spoke in no way resembled the vivid, intense images floating through my mind, but I must have told a good story regardless; the two boys sat mesmerised before me, waiting with eager anticipation for the next chapter to arrive.

I have seen geometrical infinity
and I’m not merely espousing poetry.
I have stood and store out at that long colourless line,
where the sky meets the sea.
I’m still not being poetic.
For that is the definition of infinity
The long long long line,
where the sky meets the sea

Alex Herlihy – 2011

Dark Nostalgia

dark-dream-christiano-torres[1].jpg

Did you dream about me?
That’s all I am to most people now.
No address. No phone. No facebook.
Dimly remembered.
I recognise people from long long ago everyday and when they see me
It is strange strained stares that I draw. Stares that say
“Who are you?”
“How do I know you?”
“Why do I recognise you?”

I am dark nostalgia
Someone who sat before you and shared your torture,
Someone who knows how to speak your language,
Someone who remembers where you live, the bus you caught, the school you attended
Yet you still can’t quite place that presence of the past in the present.

And yet my face draws dazed recollections into your eyes
Your gaze swiftly averted
Fluttered heart breaking
You don’t remember me
The only explanation
You never knew me
The final answer
Did you dream…
One last hope –
About me?

Alex Herlihy – 2011

A Simple Rite of Marriage for Two True Believers

https://i2.wp.com/www.romeoandjuliet-weddings.com/images/rome/rome-church-wedding/medieval-church/slide/medieval-church-trastevere.jpg?resize=676%2C454&ssl=1

I take issue with the traditional western Christian understanding that the wedding vows are only in effect “until death do us part”. This would be appropriate in a Buddhist context, where there is a strong emphasis on the impermanence and conditioned nature of all phenomena, however I am utterly convinced that this sort of language is entirely inappropriate in a Christian context, which is supposed to give an absolute priority to the permanence and unconditionality of the eternal life that Christ has won for us all.

Appending “until death do us part” to your wedding vows strikes me as a blasphemy against the resurrection of Easter; as a denial of the total victory of life, love, light and grace over death, selfishness, darkness and sin; it is a repudiation of the conquering of evil, demons and damnation by goodness, angels and salvation; it is to renounce marriage and Heaven and embrace divorce and Hell; it is to substitute the obedience of Christ for the rebellion of Adam.

As far as I’m concerned, claiming that every marriage dissolves at death is strictly equivalent to denying that Christ has risen from the dead, and so even if this doesn’t make you a heretic in the eyes of Holy Mother Church, it renders you a heretic under the divine gaze of goodness, truth and beauty himself. If ever I find myself in the awkward and unfortunate situation where my conscience compels me to choose between God and Holy Mother Church, I will choose God every time. Thankfully it’s never come to that before, and I have confidence that it won’t happen over this issue either.

Of course, the Divine Liturgy is inspired and infallible, so there must be some reason why God allowed this troublesome phrase to be inserted into our wedding vows. Well, legal contracts dissolve at death, it is true. No law can compel you once you have passed from life into death. And in this sense, the “until death do us part” condition in the traditional Catholic vows is a valid summary of the legal situation we find ourselves in. But marriage is not merely a legal contract; it is also a holy and everlasting covenant, akin to the holy and everlasting covenant between Christ and Church.

DIVINE MASCULINE & FEMININE JAN 14 - 20, 2018 MULTIPLE ...According to the order of Law, marriage is understood in a legal and contractual sense and therefore divorce is possible and is in fact ultimately inevitable, as all sin and so all die. However according to the order of Grace, marriage is understood to be an unconditional covenant, and therefore once truly entered into, it is a divine relationship that never can and never will be broken by anything: On account of the resurrection, not even death is able to dissolve it. It is in this sense that marriage here on earth reflects the heavenly marriage between Christ and Church. Just as Christ will never abandon the church and the church always clings to Christ, and on account of the resurrection not even death can separate them, so too husband pursues wife and wife clings to husband, and on account of the victory of the resurrection, not even death can nullify this marital union.

In light of these reflections, I have composed a wedding liturgy complete with vows which better reflect the reality of the victorious Gospel.

The Wedding Liturgy

Twin Soul Ascension Report ~ Easter Gateway Divine ...

Groom:

I vow to you that I will love you and fight for you in every way, always and everywhere, whether we be together or apart,

I vow that as you ascend to Heaven, I will be your partner on the journey and assist you; and whenever you descend to Hell, I will be your companion in the darkness and rescue you,

I vow that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers nor rulers, nor height nor depth, nor Hell nor damnation, nor anything else whatsoever, will divorce me from you.

I vow that even if God himself should declare us to be divorced, I will not accept it and will wrestle with him until he allows me to continue loving you in peace.

Groom (or a trusted minister)

Do you have faith that these my/[Groom]’s vows are infallibly guaranteed by the unconditional promise of God himself, by the supreme victory of the resurrection, and by the eternal and everlasting life that the Lord Jesus Christ has won for us all?

Bride:

Just as I have faith in these holy and divine mysteries, and just as I have faith in God, so too I trust you and I trust your vows.

Groom:

Truly, I am now and forever married to you.

[Put a ring on her finger and kiss her on the cheek]

Bride:

I vow to you that I will love you and fight for you in every way, always and everywhere, whether we be together or apart,

I vow that as you ascend to Heaven, I will be your partner on the journey and assist you; and whenever you descend to Hell, I will be your companion in the darkness and rescue you,

I vow that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers nor rulers, nor height nor depth, nor Hell nor damnation, nor anything else whatsoever, will divorce me from you.

I vow that even if God himself should declare us to be divorced, I will not accept it and will wrestle with him until he allows me to continue loving you in peace.

Bride (or a trusted minister):

Do you have faith that these my/[Bride]’s vows are infallibly guaranteed by the unconditional promise of God himself, by the supreme victory of the resurrection, and by the eternal and everlasting life that the Lord Jesus Christ has won for us all?

Groom:

Just as I have faith in these holy and divine mysteries, and just as I have faith in God, so too I trust you and I trust your vows.

Bride:

Truly, I am now and forever married to you.

[Put a ring on his finger and kiss him on the cheek]

Trusted minister/witnesses:

I/we declare and recognise {Groom] and [Bride] to be truly and eternally married as husband and wife!

[Thunderous applause from the witnesses]

[The newlyweds share a kiss and then depart to the bedroom to get it on all night long like it’s the song of songs, baby]

catholicity and covenant: Song of Songs: rediscovering the ...

Don’t look back

Don’t look back
She’ll turn to dust
Melt away, decompose,
Disappear into that void devoid of love
Fall down the absolute hell that you just overcame
Only to be with her again.
Only for a minute.
In a minute it will all happen anyway
A dead lover dies again today
A minute is all you have to pay
And once again she’ll be taken away
Should you believe what the God had to say?
I want to turn around, reflect on a face
Kiss, hold, hug and embrace
But impossible this seems to be
The curse has grown worse, the burden is on me
Don’t look back.
Look forward
To what? The trains? No.
Or maybe. I never said what was meant to be read when sitting on those trains
Look forward to the future.
No
Just look to it.

Alex Herlihy – 2010

Windows

window-size[1].jpgIn the room of our mind there lives in each of us a third eye: The “Mind’s eye”. With this eye there are four windows through which we can gaze at reality: Knowledge, Belief, Understanding and Wisdom.

Pure knowledge is nothing. We can know nothing. It is demonstrated by its’ owner in sentences full of contradiction and confusion. It is held by an orphan whose only inheritance is a Latin Bible and the last words of their parent expressing the opinion that there is nothing more important in life than to follow those unreadable words.
The window of knowledge is covered in dirt and does not allow any light to pass through its’ glass. Our perception of reality is not widened by looking through it because it may as well be a wall.

The orphan can take the dying message to heart, in which case the knowledge has become belief. The orphan does not really comprehend it, but will invest all their trust in its’ truthfulness. Belief is everything, and it is often confused with knowledge. We can know nothing, but believe anything. Everything we think we know is only strong belief. Belief is the axiom. Knowledge is the theorem. Belief is the idea that we breath air, that the sky is blue, that the earth is round, that there is a God, that we have eleven fingers, that one and one make two, that blood is green, that all physical things consist of tiny little particles called atoms. Belief is everything.
The window of belief is only the window of knowledge, but washed and polished so that we can actually use it as a window. However the absence of the dirt reveals less of a view into reality, than it does the fact that the window was not very wide in the first place. You must press your cheek against the wall and put your mind’s eye to the window as you would when peeking through a keyhole. You must strain your mind’s eye to see anything through the window of belief.

The orphan could take the time to learn Latin, read the Bible, and ponder upon its’ meaning. In the process learning, organising thoughts, forming opinions, absorbing the thoughts and opinions of others. The knowledge has changed into understanding. Understanding is the sort of thing found in textbooks. It is the insight that allows you to learn a language, soak up a mathematical formula whilst seeing clearly how it works, what its’ purpose is. It is what comes from reading a book; picking up second hand thoughts and wrestling with them until they give up their meaning. When you have a body of beliefs built on other beliefs, with everything logically fitting together into one big picture, you have found understanding. It is a big window. It is the window that allows you to stand back and enjoy the view of reality with a relaxed eye, everything fitting together, seeming so beautiful, so amazing and incomprehensible, and yet able to be appreciated. It reveals reality as the most carefully constructed artwork. It is the big picture itself.

Wisdom however, cannot be inherited. It cannot be acquired from the outside world in the way that the other three can. The outside world may stimulate the discovery of wisdom by providing knowledge, understanding and belief, but in the end wisdom must come from within. It is pure thought leading to gems of insight that cannot be conveyed with words, only approximated; For to give word to wisdom is to transform it into knowledge, and this can never again become wisdom. Only two people who arrived at the same conclusion on their own can use words to communicate the wisdom they share while being confident that both understand exactly what it is that the other speaks of. It is thinking outside the box, it is realising that there is no box, it is questioning everything and anything until the questions become statements and those statements must themselves be questioned. It is where you can arrive at a deep understanding completely independently, only reading a book or seeking a respected opinion in order to confirm that wisdom which you already have. Wisdom is what forms your Identity. Certain kinds of wisdom are shared among many people, other kinds of wisdom are specific to individuals. Wisdom is the widest window through which we can see reality. It is a window so wide that you cannot see where the room of your mind ends and reality begins. It is so wide that you may doubt there is even a window at all, you can simply extend your hand, your whole body into the image before you and experience everything that reality has to offer. When gazing through the window of wisdom you no longer need to wrap your mind around reality: Reality wraps itself around you.

Alex Herlihy – 2010