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Servants of the Sacred Flame of Arnor: God and the Great Religion
What an amazing video. I don't know anything of the author or channel, but the content stands on its own. Manley Hall constructed a reading of history that hews close to the Hermetic, Augustinian, and Steinerian, that under everything is an irreducible hunt and hunger for God, the source of goodness and truth.
Obviously the director of this video is Perennialist, with too simplistic a sense of each of these characters, but that is understandable in modern culture.
Instead of seeing Christ as the fulfillment of a long journey of spiritual evolution, of God's direct self revelation, he's limited to a lineup of sacred celebrities.
Some will instantly dismiss this as fodder for Freemasonry, and fear that Christianity is eliminated as a compelling need.
But this is a far better starting place to understand the story of human history, and the progressive deepening of spiritual awareness that prepared us for the GodMan. Instead of jumping on David's sidebar bandwagon that ‘all the gods of the gentiles are demons,’ we can restore to the angels and the powers and the gods their dignity and honor.
Not all of them. Plenty of them are deliberately misconstrued, and plenty are invented by us, and plenty are evil. But painting all with the same brush is more than silly, its irresponsible. And I don't believe David was doing that. He was referencing the direct gods attacking Israel. And perhaps he didn't know much about the depths of these gods, beyond being idols.
A beginners course in mythology and ancient spirituality, and also spirituality not so ancient, reveals profound depths and beauty, incisive views on human psychology and angelic influence.
“The same thing which is now called Christian religion existed among the ancients. They have begun to call 'Christian' the true religion which existed before.” - St Augustine
Christians aren't called to weild flame and blood against brother human beings, stamping out their faiths and replacing them with ours. That's not Christianity at all. That's empire. Conquest. Ego. It's a tragedy.
Christianity seeks the Flame within each religious path, recognizing that they are Guardians of an Aspect of Truth that shouldn't be lost.
Just as we Christians are Guardians of an Aspect of Truth, his Divine Aspect, the loving glance of his embodied face. We celebrate what is noble, true, good, and beautiful, and invite when another asks for our reasons for the hope that is in us. We proclaim without proselytizing.
We must learn their insights, muddled and muddied by every human failing, and embrace those confessional insights to help us break free of our own failings.
We hold the Blood and Body of God in earthen vessels, mixed with our own mud and sin. But most religions alive have far greater devotion, reverence, and integrity than the modern first world west. We bear gifts to each other.
We are Magi passing each other in the night. If we could meet, in humble generosity and faith, we could see the lifelight of God beaming out from the eyes of our brothers and sisters.
“I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you, Flame of Udun! Go back to the shadow.” - Gandalf
All this is to say that understanding the reality below the surface is a necessary thing.
And we live in a constant tension of exorcism and celebration. We can't lose either. And before we douse candles at our enemies, we must enter into very deep contemplative silence with ourselves.
A silence where our house is at rest. and we are free to seek the fruits and the pascha of our King and Lover, Christ, the same Christ who burns as the life inside every person, human and angel alike.
Emerging from this encounter, we can only do what the mystics do. Suffer for all, smile with the joy of God, inch toward a fuller humanity that is more and more porous in the grace of God. We constantly renew our bodies with the sacraments. We constantly renew our souls with presence.
Much of the language in the video is pelagian, naturally. But if we accept that God's relentless love precedes our life, and crackles and burns deep below the level of our awareness, urging and prompting us every day, every moment, we can safely lose our fear.
We can safely abandon our need to be good and right in our own eyes.
We can safely do the next right thing, in the silence of our inner rooms, airing out our tabernacles.
And then we can trust. Hope for the deliverance of all. Because every person is grounded in the same existence and the same purpose:
Unity with God. Sparks that long to be united with the Primal Flame.
The journeys go every which way, and some detours are darker and more painful. None of them are ever thoroughly evil, because persons cannot choose evil. It's a logical contradiction. We can derail, fall to right and left, and misunderstand the goal. But we only ever race toward a good.
The Christian gift to creation is the sifting of all journeys, and the immediacy of presence with God.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and inspire us with the fire of your love.
Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, and save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in the most need of thy mercy.