For many people, words like “Christianity” and “Church” summon images of women in floral dresses and men in suits (their Sunday best), of hard wooden pews, of a gospel choir, of a priest in black with a white collar (more on that later), of hands opening a Bible (and the smell of the paper that only Bibles have), of nuns in black habits with rosaries and crucifixes hanging from their necks.
None of these images really have anything to do with what Christianity is about, though. Yet they may deter a lot of people from the philosophy due to their association with boredom, or authority, or bigotry, or even childhood sexual abuse.
Christianity is named after a man called Jesus Christ. Therefore, he, his life and the beliefs he shared are arguably the most (and only) things important in understanding what the religion is about. What we know of him, among other things, is:
- He was a carpenter (not much social status).
- He preached the very humanistic and mystical message of unconditional love and tolerance for his fellow man.
- Accordingly, he openly associated with prostitutes and lepers (again with the flagrant disregard for social status).
- This message he preached and lived by (rightfully so) struck a cord with a great many people and inspired them to follow him and live as he did. 5. When he was thirty-three, Jesus was brutally murdered for sharing his status-quo defiant message (see Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” etc.).
By his actions and his words, Jesus lived a life of humble service to humanity, compassion for people less fortunate than he, faith in the good will of others and the universe, and disregard of social status and material possessions, knowing that in the true reality that is beneath the world that we can see and hear and touch around us, such things do not matter. One of his best friends was a prostitute. He washed the feet of his subordinates. In public. On that note, he didn’t even regard these people as his subordinates.
Before his death, Jesus achieved a lifestyle that transcended the limits of the world that we live in. The limits of loneliness, of feeling like we don’t have enough, of desperately needing something to fill us, of lacking purpose, of poverty, of basic and simple fear. Jesus was a mystic to such a deep degree that he has become the archetype of the word.
mystic |ˈmistik| noun a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.
There could be a picture of Jesus next to this dictionary definition.
In spite of all of this, the images mentioned above dominate the perception of Christianity.
In the context of this article, to be “saturnized” is to be bound to the material world, the low realm of duality that we all live in. Let’s take a look at how Christian mysticism has been Saturnized (and therefore corrupted) by the world. Below is a list of some of the elements of Saturn followed by examples of how Christian mysticism has been entangled in it.
Elements of Saturn:
1. Physical Structure = The traditional architectural aesthetics of the church. Pews. The Cross (interestingly, in occultism, the symbol of the cross has nothing to do with the wooden structure that Jesus was crucified on – it is the Cross of Matter, the symbol for the material world that we live in). The Pulpit (which is a symbol of authority – did Jesus ever come across as authoritative?).
2. Social Structure = The Vatican. The hierarchy of the Pope and Cardinals. That status of dressing up for Sunday service. Church gossip. The social status conferred onto priests. The social status conferred onto devout Christians (clichés include well-dressed nuclear family, parents with well-paying / socially desirable jobs, kids popular and doing well in school, etc. See “Saved” starring Mandy Moore for reference.).
3. Time – Scheduled service times (traditionally Sunday morning).
4. Duty – Kids should say their prayers before bed. Priests can’t have sex. Guilt for not attending church service. Donation encouraged.
5. Duality – Seeing God and Jesus as separate entities from us. Being encouraged to reach out to these external sources for help. Being encouraged to look to the patriarchal authority figures of the Priests for guidance (and about that black attire w/ white collar – it should be noted in occultism that black and white paired together is symbolic of the dual world we live in – of light and dark, good and bad, love and hate, poor and rich – all of the illusions of polarity and separateness that characterize being alive).
Of these elements discussed above, how many did Jesus talk about? Ever? Okay, maybe the praying to God part, but priests? Pews? The Vatican? Dressing up for Sunday service? Indoctrination? Narrow minded judgement of the world and other people?
Jesus had nothing to do with most of the things that turn people off from the religion.
In regards to Jesus / God, as stated in The Gospel of Thomas:
I am the light that shines over all things. I am everything. From me all came forth, and to me all return. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone, and you will find me there.
All of the intellectual arguments that people put up against religion are invalid, because the things that deter them from the love of God are also invalid. The harsh nuns in Catholic school, the bigotry against homosexuals and people living alternative lifestyles, the authority of the church, the boredom of Sunday service. None of these are valid representations of Christ’s teachings.
The reason all of this is important is because Jesus’s life, beliefs and behaviors are very clear, effective and significant examples of the path to transcend this world and its limits. If you are a seeker of this goal, do not be tricked into ignoring Jesus’s validity and importance in this regard due to superficial, Saturnine reasons. And this goes for every other religion and spiritual discipline as well.*
*Use great caution in regards to Scientology and cults in general.