Sunday's Thoughts
by Alice-Alexandra-Sofia
 

Archive_Page_2_2008

 

Priest

Heresy

Imagination

Logic of Death

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Priest

Because the lips of a priest guard knowledge,

they will seek instructions of his mouth,

for he is a messenger of the Lord Almighty…

{Malachi 2:7}

 

The first reference to a priest in the Bible points to Melchizedek the king of Salem, the priest of the Most High God – Creator of heaven and earth. It is not disclose, whose son Melchizedek is, and what happened with him after meeting with Abraham. All that is known: the Melchizedek’s order of priesthood has divine origin, and it is eternal, therefore, superior to the order of priests established for the chosen nation later. The mystery of Melchizedek and the meaning of his order of priesthood come to the ultimate disclosure in the New Testament: he is a presage, fore–sign or forerunner of the Highest Priest of the Almighty God Who in the New Testament revealed Himself as the Word and Son of God, the Beginning and the End, the eternal Almighty God {Genesis 14:18–18; Psalm 109(110):4; Zechariah 6:12–13; Hebrews 5:5–6; 7:1–7, 15–28; 8:1–2; Revelation 1:10, 17–18; 19:13; 21:22–23}.

The priests have particular responsibilities; the meaning of priesthood is the service to God by those chosen by God: the ancient Israel had to become the royal priesthood and the holy nation. The other responsibilities include instruction and guidance in the matter pertaining to the Law of God. At the moment when God permitted Aaron to ascend the mountain along with Moses to meet the Lord, all priests of the future times, similarly to the Prophets, were set apart from the general population: God Himself defined their ordinance forever. The priests were given the gift of discernment between the unholy and the holy as well as between the uncleanness and the purity; they had to make atonement for the sins of men, to observe the special manner of life, to keep the clean heart and clean hands, so they would not defile the temple with mental and physical uncleanness and corruption. Their offerings to God on behalf of the people, their conduct, garments, customs, food, their lot among the tribes of Israel, communications with the relatives and other people were strictly defined. On their shoulder the greatest burden fell: they have to educate and to judge people, to discern diseases of body and soul, and to control observance of the laws of Moses. Later, they anointed the kings and blessed them for their battles; they restored the temple of God in Jerusalem after Babylonian exile. Some of them also possessed the prophetic abilities {Exodus 19:24; 28:1–43; 40:1–15; Leviticus; esp. Leviticus 21:1–24; 22:1–32; Joshua 18:1–2, 6–7; 21:1–8, 41; 1 Kingdoms 3:1, 19–21; 7:15–17; 1 Ezra 5:54–55; Malachi 2:7; Luke 1:67–68; Hebrews 5:1–4}.

In summary, the priests were chosen to be the guardians of the ark of God, the mediators for the sins of men, keepers and interpreters of the Law, the guardians of faith, mentors and counselors of kings and men; they have to be the highest moral authority – the core and the role model of the chosen nation.

The punishment of the corrupted priests was death {Leviticus 22:1–3, 9}. However, with the growth of population and multiplication of the temple servants, the signs of corruption appeared; for instance, the sons of Eli the priest became the sons of destruction who ruined the offerings to God and corrupted His people. Because of corruption of the priests, sons of Eli, the Ark of covenant they carried during the battle was taken by the enemies. The Philistines killed sons of Eli and placed the Arc near their idol. Although the Arc eventually returned to Israel, corruption advanced into the next generation and next level; it spread onto the ruling authority – the judges of Israel. When Samuel the prophet and the judge of Israel, who came after Eli the priest, became old, he made his sons judges of Israel.  The sons of Samuel turned after gain: they judged for gifts and perverted judgment. Eventually, their corruption triggered the petition of the elders to appoint the king for the people, so the king would judge them and lead their battles, and they would be “like all the other nations” {1 Kings 2:12–17, 22–25, 27–36; 3:11–14; 4:2–22; 5:1–2; 8:1–6, 19–20}.

Probably, the elders assumed that if the priests violate the Law and that even the Arc was taken by the enemies, they cannot rely on God’s promise to protect the nation: they have to rely only on their own power. In fact, they rejected God as their Ruler, Guardian, and Protector: corruption of the priests prepared the foundation for made this decision.

So, that is how the latent processes of destruction of ancient Israel began. The first step on the road to ruin was taken at the moment of corruption of the priests who have to be the guardians of the Law, justice, and righteousness:

––  instead of serving as the role model, the corrupted priests carried out the temptation, offence, and scandal

–– instead of facilitation of life and mission of those they were chosen to guard and to prepare for God, their actions caused proliferation of idolatry (see Idolatry – posting for May 8, 2008), suffering and death of many.

So, with establishment of kings and development of the state, when the contacts with the surrounding nations became customary and the material wealth increased immeasurably, the corruption spread into all groups of the society. The priests became the most dangerous violators of the Law: they desecrate the holy things of Lord and act falsely; they lost an ability to distinguish between the unholy and the holy as well as between the unclean and the clean things; consequently, they reached such a degree of corruption that they accepted false prophets {Ezekiel 22:1–31}.

The consequent history of the chosen nation became the history of idolatry, violation of the Law of God, and establishment of the patterns of perversion and collapse. The corruption of the priests culminated not only in inability to recognize and to accept the Messiah – the Word–God: they developed perverted perception of the world and began to despise the people who they were supposed to educate and to protect. They took the key, yet were unable to enter and obstructed the entrance to the others; they became the plants not planted by God, the hypocrites and the blind leaders leading into the pit. Eventually, the inability to comprehend the teachings of God and to contain His Word triggered off the decision to murder Him:

– they, who were chosen to serve, rebelled against their Lord and Master and attempted to take His place

– they, who were chosen to guard and to educate the people, deprived their flock of life–giving knowledge of God, turned it into the source of enrichment, ruled with unkindness; they made it scattered, so it became pray of the beasts

– they, who were admitted to eating the bread with their Master*1*, lifted up their heel against Him {Exodus 25:30; Leviticus 2:10; 22:7, 10–14; 1 Kingdoms 21:6; 2 Chronicles 15:3; Jeremiah 5:30–31; 6:13; 8:8–9; Ezekiel 7:26; 22:26; 34:1–5; Hosea 4:1–19; 5:1–4; Micah 3:11; Malachi 2:7–9; Luke 11:52; Matthew 7:21–23; 15:7–9, 13–14; 23:1–38; Luke 6:39; John 1:11; 7:48–49; 8:37; 11:47–53; 12:10–11; 13:18}.

Therefore, the priests committed the abomination and the mortal sin against God and against the people they have to guard, to educate and to protect from heresies and violations of the Law. The Pharisees’ words “for not knowing the Law, this crowd is cursed” {John 7:49; Deuteronomy 30:31} – summarize the priests’ failure.

The road started by the sons of Eli led to inability to recognize God, to rejection of the Messiah – the Word–God, and, finally, to acceptance of the authority of the enemy (the Caesar, ruler of the heathen Rome) as the highest authority over the nation {John 11:47–53; 12:42–43; 19;5–15} intended to be the holy nation of priests, the God’s Own people.

In general, it might be inferred that the corruption and uncleanness of leaders, especially the priests, have the greatest negative influence on the overall moral health of the people; moreover, the substitution of own assumptions for the Law of God opens the door for leaders’ deification (idolatry).

Some people assume that the Holy Scriptures describe the events of the remote Past; to the contrary, the Bible conveys the commandments and words of Living Almighty God, Who has no change, and Whose Law sustains and controls life of all His creations. It means that the same patterns of fulfillment and of violation of the Law of God are constantly repeated: they define the destiny of each person, establishment, state, nation, empire, civilization, and all other creations of men in the Present, and they will define the Future in same fashion as they defined the Past. Until the heaven and the Earth pass away, neither iota nor a point from the Law would pass away until all is accomplished {Psalm 101(102):26–28; Matthew 5:18; Luke 16:17}.  Until the end of times, the patterns of destruction, which is triggered by violation of the Law, will remain.

Many establishments perished because of the actions of the priests; among such establishments, for instance, the empire created by the papacy on the ruins of the Christian Church of Rome. Initially, the papal empire controlled all European nations and covered almost all Europe (see postings Thomas Aquinas  –––– November 16, 2008, Political Theology  –––– November 23, 2008, “Hierarchical Church”  –––– November 30, 2008, “Church Militants”  –––– December 7, 2008). Now, its physical space shrunk into the smallest state in the Earth, yet, still, it controls thinking and behavior of a significant part of the Earth’s population, and it still deprives its subjects–laity of the Cup of the Eucharist given by Lord God Jesus Christ.

The formation of the papal church of Rome was completed with institution of the Inquisition and acceptance of Thomas Aquinas’ political theology as the official doctrine of the “Roman Catholic Church.” The papal subjects were arranged into the elaborated hierarchy headed by the pope – the Prefect of Inquisition. The following papal assertions illustrate a papal self–image and facilitate comprehension of the meaning of the “priest” within the papal hierarchy.

                1/ According to pope Innocent III (1198–1216), the pope is positioned between God and man: “less than God but greater than man, judging all men and judged by none”; the power of coercion belongs to the pope according to the words of God addressed to the Prophet with the priestly ancestry {the words of Jeremiah the prophet were taken out of contest to sustain the papal assertions – Jeremiah 1:10}.  The popes began to interpret these words of God as definition of the responsibilities and rights of a priest who – as they asserted – is set over nations and kingdoms to pluck up, to destroy, and to overthrow. Eventually, the pope declared that God appointed him to be “His Vicar on earth” and that God transferred to “the single person of Christ’s Vicar” the right and responsibility to unify kingdom and priesthood. The pope’s inferences from this assertion:

                ––“as every knee is bowed to Jesus,” of all things in heaven, the earth, and under the earth, in the same fashion all men must obey His Vicar – the pope

                ––the pope acts on behalf of the Holy Trinity, “by the authority of SS Peter and Paul,” and by own authority [Selected Letters of Pope Innocent III  65–66, 178; Innocent III ref. and qtd. in: Encyclopedia of the Vatican and Papacy 213–214; La Due 118–118, 124; Willett 11]. 

                2/ According to pope Boniface VIII and pope Pius XII, the papal authority is divine; hence, for the sake of eternal salvation it is necessary “for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” From the pope’s point of view, it is a dangerous error to believe that it is possible to accept Christ without acceptance of submission and loyalty to the Christ’s “Vicar on Earth” [The Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302, in: Documents of the Christian Church 127; Pius XII qt. from Mystici Corporis Christi  in: Sherrard 60].

The papal hierarchy begins with the high priest who claims the place and divine authority of God; consequently, his subjects became the members of the “divine” hierarchy.

For example, after Thomas Aquinas (the main theologian of the papal church of Rome) introduced such a phenomenon as “grace of the office,” the very fact of admission to the Episcopal (papal) Office began to signify the state of perfection: the place/status within the papal hierarchy became the particular state of perfection. According to Aquinas’ logic, if the leaders of this hierarchy “represent the person and take place of Christ,” for the papal subjects, disobedience to the superior is a mortal sin [Summa Theologica  I–II Q.98 a5 ro2; II–II Q.105 a1; The Religious State XV–XVII, XIX–XX 85–87, 90, 92–93, 104, 107, 113–114; Truth Q.29 a7 ad3].

Thomas Aquinas completed elaboration of the divine status of the papal hierarchy with the remarkable by their contradiction to the Holy Scriptures statements: prelates and princes, although they are wicked, should be honored because they are “standing in God’s place” and are “having a share of the dignity of God”; even “a fool honored if he stands in God’s place or represents the whole community” [Summa Theologica II–II Q.63 a3].

However, no man is able and is not supposed to take the place of God; no man has the divine authority; no man should dare to claim the authority to act on behalf of the Holy Trinity: the papal self–references disclose the logic of self–idolization. The Aquinas’ assertions reveal the process of idol–making; moreover, they are sacrilegious, because they imply that wickedness and foolishness of man co–exist with dignity of God.

The Aquinas’ assertions facilitated the advancement of moral degradation of the papal clergy. For instance, if in 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council attempted to reform the morals and behavior of the clergy and to restrain “clerical incontinence,” three centuries later, the Council of Trent (1545–1563) (which, according to its participants, was guided “by the mind and spirit of St. Thomas” [Walz ref. in: New Catholic Encyclopedia 14:134]) declared that the “priests who are in mortal sin” still discharge their duties “by the power of the Holy Spirit” received in ordination [Decrees of Ecumenical Councils  242, 707]. The rationale for such a conclusion obviously has the Aquinas’ assertions that “members of Christ by the actual union of charity” are free from mortal sins and “all the consecrations of the Church are immovable”: the sacramental power received by consecration remains in men as long as they live, even if they become heretics [Summa Theologica  II–II Q.39 a3; III Q.8 a3 ro2].

This assertion creates the irreconcilable conflict between the definitions of

 

St. John the Apostle: man who commits a sin “is of devil” {1 John 3:4–10; 5:17}

and

the Council of Trent:  those who commit a mortal sin

(or as the Apostle wrote, are “of devil”)

can act with “the power of the Holy Spirit”.

 

The papal dogma that man in a state of the mortal sin can discharge his duties “by the power of the Holy Spirit” is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; only this one article is enough to prove the incompatibility of the papal dogma with the Christian teachings.

The tradition of the Christian priesthood was established and the conduct of the Christian priests defined in the New Testament {e.g., in: Luke 22:17–22; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26; 1 Timothy}: by the Word–God the Christian priesthood exists, and the Word–God is the only light, life, and way of the true Christians.

For instance, the Christian theologians [St. Maximus the Confessor 34 in: The Philokalia 2:244; St. Gregory Palamas §8 in: The Philokalia 4:295] hold that sin is a state of the freely chosen death – death of the soul, which rejected God.

The texts of the Gospels and the Apostles’ Epistles {John 1:1–4; 9–13; 14:15–26; 15:1–27; 16:7–13; 1 John 1:5–9; 3:4–10, 14–15; 4:7–10, 16–19; 5:12, 16–18; James 1:13–15; 1 Corinthians 3:16–17; 6:19–20} make evident that a mortal sin is incompatible with life in God: the mortal sin is called “mortal” because the sinner freely has rejected God – the source of life. Although the soul is immortal, without God it does not have life: the soul either lives in God or dwells in death. Man purified and sanctified by truth of the Word–God is born of God; he dwells in God Who is perfect love, and he is the dwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. Such man cannot sin: sin is lawlessness and “he who commits sin is of devil.” The evil and mortal sins of man do not exist in presence of God: either man has the Spirit of God or he is in the state of mortal sin.

Therefore, any assertion that a priest in the state of mortal sin still could be the priest or could act with the power of the Holy Spirit received in ordination, contradicts the Scriptures and the Christian dogma: the assertion that God dwells in the sinner along with mortal sin is sacrilegious because it implies that God dwells with the evil. The Aquinas’ positive correlation of mortal sin and of the status of being a priest contradicts the Christian dogma.

Many historical events could facilitate the deeper insight into the inner world of the “divine office” and reveal the degree of defenselessness of the laity and ordinary subjects before the members of the papal hierarchy.

For instance, in the case with the Bohemians who rebelled against the deprivation of the laity of the Cup of Eucharist [Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 418, 428–431], the Bohemians – papal subjects – were rejected the right of hearing because, according to Capistrano the Inquisitor, the servants are not superior to their master [Capistrano ref. in: Lea 2:473]. The revolt triggered the papal Crusade against the Bohemians who adhered to the most precious and fundamental Christian tradition established by Lord God Jesus Christ Himself {Luke 22:17–22; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26}.

Therefore, it is understandable, that in such matters as complains about the sexual abuse of a child by the corrupted priest (who also is the superior for the laity), the official position of the hierarchy might be exactly the same as defined by Capistrano the Inquisitor.

The execution of Jan Hus*2* (1414) and the Crusade against Bohemia initiated by pope Martin V opened the manifest stage of the destruction of the Holy Roman Empire [Trager 141–142]. These events triggered off the chain of the consequences, which led to the Reformation, ended the spiritual dominance of the papacy over Europe, and culminated in the deprivation of the papacy of the secular power. However, the official doctrine and the claims on the global power of the papal Church of Rome remain the same.

                For instance,

– after the complete loss of the secular power over the states, which constituted the papal empire, the First Vatican Council (1869–1870) nevertheless, re–asserted “preeminence” of papal power over “every other church, the pope’s “divine right of the apostolic primacy” and “the full and supreme power of jurisdiction” over the whole church worldwide. The Council again declared anathema to those who do not recognize that

                a/ the Roman pope is the “true vicar of Christ” and “the father and teacher of all Christians”

                b/ the Roman pope is the “supreme judge” with the “full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church”

                c/ the Roman pope holds “a worldwide primacy.”

– the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) re–iterated the old definition of the pope’s title as the infallible “supreme shepherd and teacher of all Christ’s faithful” [Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 812–815, 869].

                We, the Christians, hold the Word of God as the only absolute, infallible, and supreme Judge and the teachings of God as the only absolute truth. The Son of God – Lord Jesus Christ cleaned and propitiated sins of those who follow Him. God Himself granted us the infallible criteria of judgment; one of them – to judge by the fruits {Luke 6:43–45}. If to apply this universal for us criterion, there is no ground to believe that any establishment, which in the Past corrupted those under its authority, committed crimes against humanity, and brought death and suffering to many, in the Present or in the Future might ever be capable of teaching or instructing in the matters pertaining to the Law of God and to the Christian teachings – the teachings of love, mercy, truth, and freedom.

For instance, even today, the simple act of protection of a child from the abuse by the “priest” in the state of mortal sin demands extraordinary bravery of the child’s parents: their actions would be evaluated as the rebellion against the entire papal hierarchy, especially because of the Aquinas’ postulate, that even the wicked prelates must be obeyed to avoid scandals. The eight–century old Aquinas’ doctrine still defines the Present of the papal hierarchy; in particular, it facilitate understanding

– the scale and amplitude of the recent sexual scandal and children abuse in the papal churches

– the overall degree of contamination by pedophilia and perversion among the papal clergy

– the initial reluctance of the papal authorities to punish the “priests” who raped children, desecrated the very word “priest,” and caused deepening of the abyss between the Christianity and Thomas Aquinas’ political theology, which for the papal hierarchy supplanted the teachings of God

– the plentiful harvest of shame and humiliation gathered – as it was predicted by Malachi the Prophet {Malachi 2:8–9} – by those who ruined the covenant of priesthood.

However, the place, where the “clergy” of pedophiles is in charge and the parents have no courage to complain and no right to overturn such an establishment, might be defined as the trap for the sheep under the supervision of “grievous wolves” {Acts 20:28–30}, not as a Christian community, which lives according to the Christian apostolic traditions. The time came to name the things by their actual name and to re–claim the name of “Christianity” only for those Churches and for those people who literally follow the Word of God and keep the traditions established by our Lord God Jesus Christ and His Apostles.

And I think that as cancer leading to death of a body starts with one abnormally mutated cell, in a similar way, death of the nation and collapse of the mighty establishments begins with corruption of a priest or another person endowed with the responsibilities to guard and to rule according to the Law of God, yet, who prefers pursuit of self–advantages, wealth, power, dominance, or any other kind of idol–worship to the fulfillment of the duties before God and before His creations. 

 

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Notes:

*1* The priests and members of their households were allowed to eat the bread of Presence and some food Offerings [e.g., in: Exodus 25:30; Leviticus 2:10; 22:7, 10–14; 1 Kingdoms 21:5–7].

 

*2* “Sentence of Degradation against Jun Hus” and “Condemned Articles of J. Hus” in: Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 428–431. Reference follows.

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 References:

 

Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils. Ed. Norman P. Tanner. London and Washington, DC: Sheed & Ward, Georgetown University Press, 1990.

Documents of the Christian Church. Selected and edited by Henry Bettenson. 3rd ed. Ed. Chris Maunder. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford UP, 1999.

(The Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302, in: Documents of the Christian Church 127)

Encyclopedia of the Vatican and Papacy. Ed. Frank J. Coppa. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1999.

La Due, William J. The Chair of Saint Peter: A History of the Papacy. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1999.

Lea, Henry Charles. The Inquisition of the Middle Ages. New York: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, 1887. 3 vols.

New Catholic Encyclopedia. Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America, 1967. 17 vols.

The Philokalia: The Complete Text Compiled by St. Nikodimus of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth. Trans. and ed. G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware, with the assistance of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery (Brookline) Constantine Cavarnos, Dana Miller, Basil Osborne, Norman Russel. London: Faber & Faber, 1979–1995. 4 vols.

Selected Letters of Pope Innocent III Concerning England (1198–1216). Eds. C.R. Cheney and W.H. Semple. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1953.

Sherrard, Philip. Church, Papacy, and Schism: A Theological Enquiry. London: SPCK, 1978. (Pius XII qt. from Mystici Corporis Christi  in: Sherrard 60)

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). The Religious State: The Episcopate and the Priestly Office. Ed. with Prefatory Notice by John Procter. Westminster, Maryland: Newman Press, 1950.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica I–I, I–II. Summa Contra Gentiles. Ed. Anton C. Pegis. New York: Random House, 1945. 2 vols.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Summa Theologica. v. 2: Parts II–II, III. First Complete American Edition in 3 volumes literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. New York, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Francisco: Benziger Brothers, 1947. 3 vols.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Truth. Trans. Robert W. Mulligan. 1954. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, 1994.

Trager, James. The People’s Chronology: A Year–by–Year Record of Human Events from Prehistory to the Present. Rev. ed. A Henry Holt Reference Book. New York: Henry Holt, 1992.

Willett, Franciscus. Understanding the Inquisition. N. Easton, Massachusetts: Holy Cross Press, 1968.

 

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 Heresy

…For there must be heresies among you,

that the tested ones may be revealed…

{1 Corinthians 11:19}

 

According to St. Paul the Apostle, heresy is needed for testing the knowledge of truth. Consequently, it might be inferred that the mind, which is immune to the corruptive influence of heresies, had reached maturity, has faith, is loyal to God and is ready for the kingdom of God. 

Tertullian*1* (born in Carthage, AD 155– 220?) compares heresy with the fever – “deadly and excruciating” calamity whose purpose is annihilation of mankind. The following statements summarize his doctrine [On The “Prescription” of Heretics II, III, IV, VI, VII, XV, XVII, XXX, XXXVIII, XXXIX]:

a/ heresies have to exist because they test faith

b/ heresies are “equipped by philosophy”

c/ heresies cannot exist without the Holy Scriptures, because corruption of faith corresponds with corruption and falsification of its source – the Scriptures

d/ heretics – false prophets, “spurious evangelizers,” and “rebels against Christ” –  falsify and misuse the words of God; they modify, cut or reject some texts of the Holy Scriptures, pervert the referred texts with own additions, provide “spurious interpretation,” and fraudulently rearrange words and phrases

e/ heresies have the power because of two reasons: 1/ they speak of “some truth,” which they expropriate from the Scriptures, because they do not exist without the Scriptures; usually, the heretic introduces his assertions with the initial reference to the word of God, and 2/ human weakness in faith, lack of experience, or ignorance in knowledge of God.

Another kind of heresies stems from the inflamed imagination: the mind genuinely believes in own fantasies and ultimately, propagates them as the prophetic revelations received from God.

Any heresy is disguised with true statements; frequently, heresy might be defined as the mixture of truth and false, which looks verisimilar. People become attracted with the truth and unnoticeably come to the agreement with the false.             

In summary, heresy is misinterpretation and falsification of the statement originally accepted as truth: heresy is the false knowledge of the system, which results from corruption and perversion of truth–foundation of the system. As such, heresy might be likened to the malignant tumor, which develops within the presumably healthy body, usurps control of the life–maintaining resources, and then, destroys its host.

The Tertullian’s doctrine makes understandable that acceptance of heresy is possible only through deceit –

–– intentional, when heretic seeks to deceive and enslave the others with the purposes to gain access to the power of coercion or achieve any advantage over the others

                                         or

–– unintentional, when the mind sincerely believes in figments of own imagination and propagates them with the best intentions to illuminate and educate the others.

Initially, a heretic substantiates own assertions by the authority of God – by the Holy Scriptures, because the appeal to the words of God influences people, diverts their attention, and prepares them to accept unconditionally all the following assertions, inferences, and suggestions. Then, the heretic makes new assertion, which modifies (sometimes, unnoticeably for the listeners who became accustomed to their shepherd or teacher) the original concept, notion, article of faith, or justifies change of the Church’s tradition, customs, or practice. At this stage, the heretic corroborates his assertions with the modification, frivolous interpretation, or falsification of the passages from the Holy Scriptures: he misinterprets the words of God to prove figments of his own imagination.

In the strict sense, the term “heresy” defines the contradiction to the universal – absolute – truth, which is the foundation of the systems–establishments sustaining and defining the human nature and the very existence of man, in spite of that this truth is constant and unchangeable as its source – God – is constant and unchangeable {Psalm: 101(102):27(28)}. For a Christian, the examples of such absolute truth are the Law of God {The Ten Commandments, which define the human nature and the relations of a human being with God–Creator and other human beings – Exodus 20:1–17; Deuteronomy 6:4–5; Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:37–40} and the Christian teachings revealed by the Word of God – Lord Jesus Christ {The Gospels}. For a Christian, heresy is any assertion, which contradicts the commandments of God and modifies or misinterprets the words of God, which are conveyed by the Prophets and the Apostles and assembled into the Books of the Prophets – the Old Testament, and the Gospels – the New Testament, also known as the Holy Scriptures or the Bible.

As it could be inferred from the history of Western civilization, there are two most favorable conditions for propagation of heresy:

1/ the audience of the heretic should consists from the people who do not have access to the Holy Scriptures and are ignorant in the maters of faith; the wide spread of heresies in Medieval Europe followed restriction of the access to the Bible. In 1229, the Inquisition in Toulouse announced prohibition of the Bible: the Bible became the forbidden book for the laity. The pattern established by the papal Inquisition became the favorite way of actions for all those who strive to enslave men. Seven centuries later, the bolshevist/communist party repeated the Inquisition’s decision: in post–1917 Russia, the Bible also became the forbidden book; today, the Bible is forbidden for the people living in the countries with totalitarian and oppressive regimes, which suppress freedom of conscience and freedom of thinking.

Consequently, during many centuries, the knowledge of the original words of God and His Law was forbidden for the vast majority of the papal subjects who were fed with the images produced by the Magisterium, and had to accept as the divine truth any assertion, which the papal hierarchy considered beneficial for its own purposes. The Inquisition’s decision was supported with the drastic measures; for example, William Tyndale who translated the Bible into English (published in 1526), has to flee England, yet, eventually, in 1536, he was arrested and burned at the stake [Trager 174, 179; Baybrook 603; “Preface”]

2/ the spiritual, secular, or sometimes both types of the power sustain, protect, and propagate heresy; e.g., in the heathen Roman Empire sustained by the cult of divine emperor, disobedience to the living deity–emperor was heresy equated with the state treason and punished with death. Later, in the papal church of Rome, disobedience to (as well as any disagreement with) the Roman pope and “the superiors” (members of the papal hierarchy) were equated with the worst heresy and mortal sin: the special oppressive structure – the papal Inquisition was established for extermination of the heretics, disobedient, schismatics, and freethinkers. 

The controlling structures of all establishments evaluate as heresy any belief–opinion–system of thought, which contradicts or modifies an assumption or a set of assertions accepted as “the absolute truth,” and which, therefore, challenges or threatens the authority. Consequently, the word “heresy” is applied to all spheres of the human thought, which evolve from the mutual foundation accepted by the majority as the unchangeable–untouchable–absolute truth; the term “heretic” might be used by any establishment, which protects own foundation from modifications and changes.

However, sometimes, the official “truth” of the establishment might be neither “the absolute” nor “the truth” at all.

The general systems theory facilitates comprehension of the meaning and the consequences of heresy. For achievement of a purpose, the mind creates an assumption or a set of assertions, which it recognizes as the absolute truth or which it makes the absolute truth for other minds and subsystems. This absolute truth becomes the foundation for a doctrine, concept, theory, belief, etc. on which a group of people–believers–followers–subjects builds a system–establishment intended to achieve some purposes by implementation the beliefs into the actuality. The derivatives of the absolute truth become the laws–conditions–terms–rules through which the establishment–system achieves the purposes. It means that any doubt (especially embodied into structures–organizations opposing the existing social–political–religious–state order) resulting in modification of the absolute truth–core–main code of the system leads to failure to achieve the system’s purposes and to the consequent destruction of the original system. The mind of heretic becomes the core of destruction either own or the establishment that embodies “the absolute truth,” which the heretic defies.

For instance, in a case of political establishments: distrust of a government leads to creation of the organized opposition, which (if it overthrows the government, gains access to the power of coercion, and assumes the authority to judge, kill, and destroy) ruins the original political and social structures, changes the hierarchies of values, laws, power, distribution of benefits, assassinates the followers of the overthrown government, and undertakes other actions usually referred to as “revolution.”

In a case of religion, heresy leads to the utter discontent among the followers and might result in schism, creation of sects, and perversion of the main assumptions, which are the original foundation of the religious establishment; it also might trigger off religious wars and persecutions of the “heretics” and “apostates.” According to the most dangerous scenario known from the history and followed by the contemporary conquerors, the heretics penetrate the highest levels of the hierarchy and then, use the existing structures of power for destruction of the same establishment, which they were created to control and protect. In this case, heresy gradually and for the majority of subjects unnoticeably supplants the absolute truth until the original religion is perverted completely. 

There are two types of heresy; both of them are the consequence of the different levels of development and different abilities to comprehend the absolute truth or the universal law, which controls existence of the world and defines the connection of a human being with God–Creator and with other creations:

1/ immaturity of the mind–creator of the thought, which contradicts the absolute truth of the establishment; in this case, the level of development of the mind–heretic is lower than the average level of development of the minds, which compose the establishment; in this case, heresy is a consequence of inability to comprehend the inner harmony of the absolute truth and congruence of this absolute truth and the nature

2/ inconsistency of the absolute truth of the establishment to the nature–main law of the world, which accommodates existence of this establishment.  In this case, the assertions and assumptions, which the establishment holds to be the absolute truth, in fact, are misinterpretations, distortions, or misreading of the main law–nature–absolute truth of the world in which the establishment came into existence. Therefore, the level of development of the mind exceeds the level of development of the establishment, and the establishment is heretic, not the mind, which defies the establishment’s official “truths.”

Consequently, the main problem with heresy is determination:

– who is wrong – an establishment or the mind defying the establishment

– who is the heretic

– which one of two interpretations of the absolute truth confirms the main–universal law.

Usually, the last judgment belongs to the side, which possesses the actual power of coercion, although it might be deprived of knowledge of the truth.

The most significant problem with heresy and its carriers–heretics always is distinction between the false knowledge (that is heresy) and the true knowledge–consequence of the higher level of development of the mind, because all establishments exterminate heresy: in the worst (for heretics) case, through physical extermination; in the best (for heretics) case, the heretics are allowed existence although they are separated from the establishment and prohibited to influence the others. Usually, such a separation looks like expulsion (excommunication), changes in social or other status, re–education, and mandatory access to additional information or knowledge with which the establishment justifies its outlook and attempts to transform the mind–heretic into own loyal subject.

Some researchers came to a conclusion that the heretics and heresies are behind the overall development of the scientific, social and political establishments, as well as the states, nations, and societies: that what is recognized as heresy today, might become the proven truth tomorrow.

For instance, Aristotle’s doctrine absorbed the Plato’s assertion [Timaeus 31a–b] that God created only one Universe (fourth century B.C.); following Aristotle, Ptolemy (A.D. second century) developed the earth–centered concept of the Universe, and Thomas Aquinas made it the article of the Catholic faith (thirteenth century). In the seventeenth century, the popes Paul V and Urban VIII declared that Galileo Galilei and Giordano Bruno are heretics because they defend Copernican “heresy” – the Sun–centered concept of the Universe. The papal Inquisition

–– had burned Giordano Bruno at the stake for his attempts to disprove the Aristotelian–Ptolemaic–Aquinas Earth–centered cosmos and for the notion of the infinite universe consisting from the multiple worlds

                              and

–– persecuted Galileo Galilei for the support of Copernican astronomy [Baybrook 280–283; Trager 211, 223, 232].

Later, the fact that the Earth moves around the Sun was recognized as the proven truth; the concept of multiple worlds still awaits the proof.  

Historically, heresy always was a significant threat to any religion, any political organization, and any society. The main danger of heresy is that by weakening the belief into the truth accepted as the absolute, heresy weakens the establishment, which the people built to embody this truth into their existence. In such a sense, the influence of heresy might be likened to invisible corrosion of the iron frame, which sustains the building: iron becomes rusty, and the building collapses. So far, the deadly influence of heresy became a subject of concern for all structures of power. The heathen societies developed most elaborated techniques for finding and exterminating of heretics, because

– they assumed that a change of beliefs triggers the wrath of gods and the consequent ruin of the city/society, which harbors heretics or even tolerates their existence

– the value of human life was defined by the market price of a slave.

The Chaldeans created the most elaborated system of social and political protection – the universal model, which determined the longevity of the Chaldean–Babylonian civilization (3000~539 B.C.).  The traces of this model can be detected in Egyptian, Minoan, Greek, and then, Roman structures of the power. In particular, the law issued by the king was the absolute law even in the religious matter; the king himself has no authority to change his own law after it was enacted {Daniel 6:8, 12, 15}.

Following the universal model, the heathen societies of the Past held the religious beliefs to be the most significant element of the cohesive power (although the doctrines and the deities might be different), which sustains the establishment and defines its strength in the time of peace and prosperity as well as in the time of war and troubles, In fact, even today, all kinds of establishments (without exceptions, tyrannies as well as democracies)  follow the ancient Egyptian dogma: the absolute authority to define the beliefs of the subjects and define the meaning of truth (as well as the meaning of good and evil, virtue and sin) belongs to of the head of the hierarchy – pharaoh–king–ruler–pope–leader; anyone who challenges this authority must be exterminated, exiled, expelled, proclaimed to be insane, that is by any means must be removed from any position of influence on the others.

In ancient Greece, Plato invented the special Nocturnal Council, which controlled the people’s beliefs and the manner of life; the Council had the peculiar rights:

– for the sake of salvation of person’s soul to imprison a person whose openly expressed beliefs or behavior are inconsistent with those accepted by the state

– to impose the penalty of death (without proper burial) on those who have not returned to the “right mind” after imprisonment and persuasion

– to determine, who “deserve more than one death” [Laws 908a–e, 909a–910d, 951c–e, 961a–b] that is to condemn the soul of heretic to the eternal death after execution.

For a free thinker, the only problem in such situations would be determination whose mind is more insane – one who risks his life by preaching new fantasies or one who protects the old fantasies by ascribing to himself the power to rule the after–life and to condemn the soul of “heretic” to spiritual death. Yet, even if the truth is known, the very nature of man makes him to rebel against false and lies; the problem is that without knowledge of truth, the rebels, at least temporarily, accept other lies and follow other deceivers.

The Plato’s Nocturnal Council realized the authority of the polis (city–state) and protected the society with eradication of religious non–conformists. By such actions, the state expected to prevent dreadful anger of gods and to protect itself from destruction. The Plato’s Council became a precursor of the oppressive structures (e.g., the papal Inquisition and the consequent structures of coercive power, which were created after the Inquisition’s blueprint; for instance, such as special secret police in fascist, Nazi, and communist regimes) intended to protect social and political stability through the implementation of standardized social–political–religious–ideological–scientific–etc. beliefs and suppression of free thinking, which could create any kind of opposition.

Plato established the precedent of termination the freedom of conscience, religion, thought, and choice of man with the purpose to stabilize and protect the men’s establishments. If, at the beginning of their history, the admirers of the Plato’s political utopia restricted the freedom of religious thought and persecuted heretics and atheists, later they expanded their control to all spheres of the human activities: political, business, social, research, culture, arts, etc. More and more representatives of different layers, classes, and groups of population faced extermination for disagreement with official ideology and for an attempt to exercise freedom of thought.

The Romans, who conquered Greece and made the heathen Greek theology and philosophy the foundation for their empire, classified heresy as treason punishable by death.

In 1199, pope Innocent III equated heresy to the state treason as it was in the heathen Roman Empire [in: Vergentis In Senium]. The meaning of treason in this case was contradiction to the religious beliefs and articles of faith acknowledged as the papal dogma, and that is why the Inquisition came to existence: to guard purity of faith of the papal subjects. Later, the Inquisition evolved into the “great system of anti–heretical machinery” of the papal church, and the most efficiently organized system of persecution; it hunted and exterminated heretics with “ferocity unknown in any beast” [Burman 222; Lea 1:335; Maycock 104; Durant 784].                 

However,

the Inquisition, as well as “ferocity of a beast,” is not compatible with Christianity,

the “ecclesiastic–politic–financial organization” – the papal church of Rome, is not the Christian Church, because it had demonstrated its destructive potential with the sacrilege and destruction of the Christian temples of Constantinople, murder of “the Greeks” – the Greek Christians, the Crusades, with the torture chambers and the stakes of the Inquisition, with political assassinations and plots (for instance, see history of France and England), and with acceptance of the political theology of Aquinas and heresy of Manicheans.

Christianity is the religion of freedom and love. The Apostles, their apprentices, the desert Fathers for whom the words of Lord God Jesus Christ became the direct experience or the precious inheritance of the previous generation, and all the others who had formed the Christian traditions, regarded the life and freedom of each human being as the most sacred gift, as embodiment of the will and love of God.

Tertullian (160–220) reflects the deepest conviction of the early Christian Church when he writes that the freedom of worship is “a fundamental human right,” and religion must not be compelled: “It must be embraced freely, and not forced.” Lactantius in his Divinae Institutiones (308) also considers religion as the matter of personal free choice; he writes that if people defend religion by “bloodshed, by tortures and crime,” they do not defend the religion; they “pollute and profane it” [Tertullian and Lactantius qtd. in: Vacandard 2–4].

St. John Chrysostom (345–407) expresses the collective opinion of the Church elders: “To put a heretic to death would be to introduce upon the earth an inexpiable crime” [St. John Chrysostom qtd. in: Willett 21].

The New Testament defines overall attitude of the Christian Church toward heresy and heretics: discernment of the false is by the fruits, persuasion is allowed only by the brotherly words, and only excommunication is permitted. The heretics – “factious” and perverted men, unbelievers who are the temples of idols, and “the sons of disobedience” deceived with “empty words” must be avoided, and their “unfruitful works of darkness” must be exposed {Matthew 7:15–20; 18:15–17; Titus 3:9–11; 2 Corinthians 6:14–18; Ephesians 5:6–11}.

For the Christian Church, excommunication means avoidance of communications with a heretic who is not allowed to participate in the life of the Church until he, by his own free will, reconciles his disagreement or misunderstanding in the matters of faith. Nevertheless, even after excommunication, the Christian Church considers heretic’s life and freedom as the sacred gifts of God – the gifts, which belong to any human being by the will of God, therefore, must not be taken away by the God’s creations. Neither a human being nor a human institution has the rights to murder a heretic, to deprive him of his freedom and property, to forcefully change his life, or to inflict on him any harm. Bloodshed and assassination by any means are forbidden for a Christian {Genesis 9:5–6; Exodus 20:13; Matthew 26:52}.

The history of the Manicheans illustrates the danger of heresy for any establishment, which violates the Christian dogma even for the sake of survival: evil always comes back to those who unleashed it.

The Manichaeism*2* was the most dangerous heresy, which brought great confusion and threatened purity of the Christian teachings, because the Manicheans imitated the Christian terminology. Mani (A.D. third century, Persia) proclaimed himself the last prophet and “the Holy Spirit”; he chose own twelve “apostles,” promulgated own “ten commandments,” and wrote for his followers Fundamental Epistle – substitute for the Bible. Mani established the ritual, which imitated the ancient rites of the Zoroastrians and was named “the communion,” yet, contrary to the Christian Eucharist, it was the communion with one element – bread only.

Mani asserted that the salvation for the vast majority of the population, including majority of his own followers, is impossible: only insignificant part of humankind – the elite of his followers or “the Perfected” – will achieve the salvation, which Mani envisioned as the union with the pure light. Other parts of his sect (“the Hearers” or “the Believers”) have to go through the cycles of reincarnation. Their souls transmigrate into the plants (for which they might be freed by the Perfected) or into the Perfected. The only way to reach “the light” is becoming the Perfected.

The Mani’s doctrine included concepts borrowed from

a/ the Persian doctrine of dualism –– the good and the evil are two primeval independent forces; this assertion is not compatible with Christian teachings

b/ Gnosticism –– the concept of “evil mater,” which is not compatible with Christian dogma, because all creations of God are good and perfected, especially the human nature re–created by Lord God Jesus Christ

c/ heathenism –– the concept of reincarnation).

Mani offered specific interpretation of the human abilities and many things sought after by the proud mind that rejects the Christian teachings and attempts to reach salvation through own efforts and specific kind of perversion, which Mani called “perfection” of the human nature.

Consequently, Mani asserted that the matter is evil and the visible world is the creation of evil: human flesh is the manifestation of evil, which had to be suppressed; only the Perfected can achieve personal salvation by own efforts, through repentance, mystical knowledge, and severe suppression of the human nature.

Mani forbade marriage for the Perfected: men and women had to live in separate communities, and to conceive a child for the Perfected was “the height of immorality.” The very life became a sin because it sustains existence of the matter. Consequently, voluntary or suggested by the superior suicide (“endura”) through self–imposed starvation and other austerities became the method of perfection and salvation.

In general, the Manichaeism is the most inhumane and antisocial doctrine from all heresies ever invented by the human mind. The Roman Empire, and then, the Byzantine Empire exterminated the Mani’s heresy without any mercy.

Those Manicheans who survived persecutions in Byzantine Empire, fled and settled in Europe. During sixth–eleventh centuries, the underground sect penetrated another countries, reached India and Tibet, and in the twelfth century, revived under the name of Albigensians or Cathari in Southern France and Northern Italy*2*.

The apparently virtuous manner of life of the Perfected contrasted so drastically with the life of the papal clergy and especially, with morality and behavior of some Roman popes in the fifteenth–sixteenth century [e.g., New Catholic Encyclopedia 10:959], that the Perfected attracted many followers and the Albigensians–Cathari–Manicheans’ movement became the actual threat to the papal power. Eventually, the papal Inquisition exterminated the Albigensians–Cathari–Manicheans; however, their doctrine continued to live and penetrated the very core of the papal establishment. The following line of the events (1 through 5) illustrates how the heresy of the executed heretics overwhelmed the executors.

1. In the fifth century, the Roman pope Leo the Great condemned the communion in one element (by bread only) as heresy because it was the practice of the Manicheans: in imitation of the ancient rite of the Zoroastrians, the Manicheans replaced the Eucharist with breaking of bread*2*.

2. The Fourth Lateran Council (in 1215, about 10 years before Tomas Aquinas was born) recognized the proper (orthodox) order of the Holy Communion in the statement: by the power of God, bread is transubstantiated into the Body of Christ and wine into the Blood of Christ [Documents of the Christian Church 163].

3. Thomas Aquinas, the main papal theologian whose doctrine became the official doctrine of the papal church of Rome, modified the concept of transubstantiation with the Aristotle’s concept of accidents – inessential, although detectible by senses, changeable property of the substance. In particular, Aquinas asserted: as soon as “an accident is divinely given the power to exist in itself,” the accident becomes able to be “in itself the subject of another accident” [Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica III Q.75 a2, a4, a5; Q.77 a2; Documents of the Christian Church 163–166]. The essence of the Aquinas’ assertion is the logical gymnastics in the Aristotelian style:

– there is no difference between “accidents”; therefore, this something that human senses discern as bread has no different essence that another something that human senses discern as fruit of vine

– there is no difference between bread and fruit of vine anymore – the transubstantiated bread is both the flesh and the blood

– as soon as the “accident” (bread) by the divine power becomes able to exist by itself, without substance, to assume another substance, and to become the subject of another accident, there is no difference between the communion by two elements (bread and fruit of vine) or by one element (bread only).

It means that Aquinas opposes the Aristotelian logic to the most sacred tradition of the Christian Church. As soon as Aquinas is recognized as the main papal theologian, the papal establishment accepted the communion of the Manicheans instead of the Divine Eucharist.

The Church is the Christian Church only if she preserves the order of the Eucharist established by God Himself. The Cup of Salvation as the symbol of the anticipated Christianity was foreseen long before coming of the Messiah {Psalm 115(116):4(13)}. At His last supper, Lord God Jesus Christ called Himself “the True Vine” and His followers – the branches, which must bear the fruits. God gave His disciples a cup with fruit of vine; with the words “Drink of it, all of you, for this is My Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins,” He established the order of the Holy Communion, which all His followers should keep in remembrance of Him {Matthew 26:26–29; Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:19–20; John 15:1}. The order of the Eucharist is the most precious tradition, which unifies the group of people into the Christian Church.

4. The Council of Trent (1545–1563), which was guided by “the mind and spirit of St. Thomas” and which was summoned to define the Catholic doctrine and to reform the papal church [Walz ref. in: New Catholic Encyclopedia 14:134], at session 21, of June 16, 1562, denied that the Holy Communion with both elements is a “divine commandment,” asserted that the custom to use both elements had been changed “in the course of time,” and condemned those who deny that “the whole Christ is received when Holy Communion is received under the form of bread alone” [Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 726–727; Documents of the Council of Trent in Latin ref. and qtd. in: Hughes, Philip 327–328].

The decision of the Council of Trent contradicts the Gospels and the words of St. Paul the Apostle with which he conveys “the received from the Lord Himself” order of the Holy Communion: with bread that is His Body given for many, and the Cup that is the new covenant in His Blood shed for many for the forgiveness of sins {Matthew 26:26–29; Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:19–20; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26}.  

5. Contrary to the commandment of God, contrary to the Roman pope who lived five centuries before the Great Schism, and contrary to the post–Schism Council of the papal church of Rome (the Fourth Lateran Council, in 1215), the Aquinas’ modification of the most sacred tradition of the Christian Church resulted in revival of the old Manichean heresy: the papacy withdrew the Cup of Eucharist from the Catholic laity; the communion with both elements (bread and fruit of vine) was left available only for the papal hierarchy: the pope, prelates, the papal clergy, etc. The Council of Constance (1414–1418) named the official reason for such a practice: avoidance of “various dangers and scandals.” The Council also warned that the priests who “communicate the people under the form of both bread and wine” would be excommunicated [Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 418–419].  

This is the most dreadful event in the history of the Western civilization, which confirms ultimate destruction of the Christian Church of Rome and establishment of the heathen establishment – the papal empire – on her ruins:

–– although the papacy through the Inquisition physically exterminated the Manicheans, the main papal theologian and canonized papal saint Thomas Aquinas incorporated the Manichean heresy into the papal dogma

–– those who in violation of the Christian teachings shed blood of the countless “heretics” and worship the idol, became unable to keep and thus, by their own will, forfeited the most precious tradition of the Christians.

The acceptance of the Manichean heresy (communion with bread only) by the papal hierarchy triggered off the revolt of the faithful Christians in Bohemia under the leadership of Jan Hus the priest who demanded the Cup of Eucharist for all the laity, because Lord God Jesus Christ gave it to all. The papacy denounced Jan Hus and his followers (who believed in the supreme authority of the Gospels and refused to accept the papal heresy) as disobedient to the Roman Church schismatics and heretics, who “rashly dared to assert that the Christian people ought to receive the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist under the form of both bread and vine” [Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 418].

The personal destiny of Jan Hus the priest illustrates the deadly potential of heresy covered with the label of “the article of faith” and protected with the oppressive worldly structures: he was summoned to the Council of Constance with the oath of “safe–conduct” (the guarantee of physical safety), condemned as a heretic, and, in violation of the oath of “safe–conduct,” burnt at the stake, in 1415. The reasons for the perjury included not only rejection of the Aquinas’ heresy; Jan Hus reminded the papacy and its subjects – Catholics of the right order of the Christian Church: the highest authority is the Word–God, not heresy, which became the core of the papal dogma through philosophical speculations, figments of imagination, compromises, and slavish praises produced by the theologians philosophizing at the steps of the pope’s throne.

The anger of the papacy was also fueled by the Jan Hus’ appeal directly to Lord God Jesus Christ as to the Supreme Judge, “bypassing the church’s intermediaries” and “greatly scandalizing Christ’s faithful” [Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 428]. It looks like the main reason for the “scandal” was the rejection of the papal pretense to be the “supreme judge” and mediator between God and man. Yet, following the Scriptures, Jan Hus did not honor usurpation of the place of God committed by the pope, and refused to commit the sin of blasphemy by ascribing the attributes of God to the creature. For Jan Hus, as for all Christians, Lord God Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man and the only Supreme Judge. Only through Him, the Holy Spirit comes from God the Father, and a human soul–heart–mind illuminated and educated by the Holy Spirit, becomes the dwelling of the Holy Trinity {Matthew 23:8–10; John 14:6, 15–27;  1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Peter 5:4}.

The Sentence of Degradation against Jan Hus  and Condemned Articles of J. Hus  indicate that Jan Hus by literally following the Gospels and Epistles of the Apostles {e.g., 1 Peter 5:1–4} consistently and completely refuted the main Aquinas’ assertions concerning the papacy, especially the claims on the supremacy and “divine” status of the pope and papal hierarchy. For instance [in: Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 428–431], Jan Hus

– denies that St. Peter the Apostle was or is the head of the Holy Catholic Church; only Lord God Jesus Christ is

(this articles is against the foundation for the claim on supremacy of the Church of Rome over the entire Christendom and against presentation of the Church of Rome as the estate of St. Peter, therefore against the assertions of the papacy that the Roman popes exclusively possess the special power, which – as the papacy alleges – only St. Peter the Apostle received from God and which only the Roman pope receives as the heir of the “St. Peter’s estate”– the Church of Rome)

– declares that there is no proof that the Church must be governed by one head: the God’s true disciples scattered through the world would better serve the God’s purposes “without these monstrous heads.” Furthermore, the popes should not be called the “Most Holy” by the reason of the papal office only. Until the popes literally follow the way of earthly life of Lord God Jesus Christ and His Apostle, they must not hold “the place of Christ or of Peter”: the popes invented the ecclesiastical obedience “without the express authority of Scripture”

(these articles defy the papal claims on the supreme authority of the Roman popes over the Christendom and refute the Aquinas’ doctrine of unreserved obedience to the pope and the superior, which maintains  the very foundation of the papal hierarchy).

Although the papacy was successful with physical extermination of the Manicheans–Albigensians–Cathari, it failed with the Bohemians – followers of Jun Hus. The execution of Jan Hus in 1415 and the consequent unsuccessful crusade against Bohemia initiated by the pope Martin V began the manifested state of the destruction of the Holy Roman Empire and revealed the latent, yet, irreversible process of decay, which ended the spiritual dominance of the papacy over entire Europe. Three strikes accomplished collapse of the papal empire:

1) humiliation and confinement of Pius VI and Pius VII at the time of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Napoleon’s Empire in 1804–1815, which brought to the end the papal manifest power and supremacy over the secular authorities

2) the ultimate transformation of that what was the vast papal empire into the Vatican – the smallest state in the world (108.7 acres) [New Catholic Encyclopedia 10:964–965; 14:555]; besides, the papacy had bought its political autonomy much later, for the price of cooperation with fascism, through the Concordat of 1929 with fascist Italy

3) the perjury committed against Jan Hus and his execution for the attempt to profess the true Christian faith had provided Dr. Martin Luther with the solid arguments, which facilitated acceptance and expansion of the Reformation [e.g., Luther Address to the Nobility].

New Catholic Encyclopedia ascribes to Martin Luther a remark: “it was Thomas Aquinas who prevailed over” Jan Hus at the Council of Constance in 1414 [in: New Catholic Encyclopedia 14:110].

In fact, the papal hierarchy was successful only in treacherous execution of Jan Hus, it did not prevail over the truth; moreover, the legacy of the Christian martyr destroyed the wholeness of the papal establishment sustained with the heresy of Thomas Aquinas.

In the contemporary Western societies, the problem of heresy lost its significance, and – as of today – heretics of all denominations live happily and seduce the others without fear to be burned at the stake in the middle of a public market: the separation of the Church and the State made impossible (at least today) such manifest expression of religious zeal.

However, for the Christian communities, heresy remains the same deadly enemy as it was in the beginning of Christianity. The main question is how to distinguish the truth from heresy, and the association of heretics from the Christian Church. Today, as two millennia ago, the human intellect has only one ultimate method to discriminate truth and good from the false and evil in any concept, doctrine, and dogma: to judge by the consequences – by their fruits {Matthew 7:15–20; Luke 6:43–45}. If this judgment is impaired or the political, commercial, or if any other considerations overcome the Christian teachings, the results are the ultimate annihilation.

Only the mind, which does not have the solid foundation, oversteps the threshold of reality and then, becomes able to misinterpret the truth of the Gospel and to produce heresy. Heresy co–exists with the religious thought perhaps in the same fashion as any deadly virus co–exists with mankind to destroy bodies with the damaged immune system or with impaired–distorted genetic code. When the virus begins its work, a human body undergoes definite processes of decay and destruction, which a physician detects as the symptoms of particular diseases; these symptoms might have different range of manifestations determined by the initial health or conditions of life, yet the essence of disease and its outcome are the same. Likewise, the ancient and contemporary versions of the same heresies reveal the permanent patterns of behavior through which the particular stages of self–annihilation of a person, a society, the state/ nation, might be detected.

For instance, heresy in the religious matters does not come alone; it has plenty of companions – superstition, prejudice, disloyalty to all kinds of authority, betrayal, cynicism, immorality, crimes against humanity, corruption, physical and spiritual perversion, and other plagues. Today, as it was in the beginning of human civilization, the core of a normal human society, the pledge of its prosperity and longevity is faith in God. If this core–faith is corrupted, the society disintegrates like the rotten fruit, and its remnants are waiting to be consumed by the internal and external enemies.

The heresy is conceived at the level of the religious establishments, where the Gospels become the subject of spoken or written sermons and provide the rationale for social behavior and for the Church’s policies. At this level where the human intellect acts, the different understandings of the same Truth and its misinterpretation might become the actuality, because each human being creates own interpretation of the Absolute Truth, arranges own life as an embodiment of the cognized truth, and defends own creation–embodiment of own absolute truth with all the means available.

Therefore, only at the level of human intercommunications and interrelations, within the social–political–other systems where the people inter–act and communicate, division and discord come into existence and originate the different denominations, because each religious establishment reflects particular mentality of a particular social group. For instance, the Inquisition burned the Protestants at stake not only because the Protestants follow the teachings of Lord God Jesus Christ; the Inquisition attempted to compel other Protestants to submit themselves to the papal authority. The Inquisition strived to return them into the papal community, to impose again on their minds the papal matrix–set of beliefs, which were constructed by human imagination within the framework of Aquinas’ political theology, and to force them again to worship the images and idols created by Aquinas and his followers.

And I think that as soon as the contemporary analytic techniques employed for assessment of the overall health of the society, the nation, and the state (therefore, knowledge of the Present and design of the Future of the society, the state/nation) do not include such a criterion as the corruption by heresies, the resulting evaluation (therefore, the means of control and regulation of the social and political life) cannot be relevant.

For instance, the mind, which accepts one heresy and believes in one kind of lies today, will believe many other lies tomorrow, because such a mind does not have the foundation for adequate reasoning. Yet, which kind of the Future, if any at all, expects the society in which the minds susceptible to heresy and its companions compose the majority of population, the means of social and political control degenerate to the level of propaganda and comprehensive surveillance, ideology takes the place of religion, and the media assumes the rights of manipulating the truth and forming opinions instead of responsibility to communicate the actual events? 

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Notes:

*1* After his conversion in the end of the second century, Tertullian became a brilliant apologist of Christianity. Later, Tertullian left the mainstream Church because of disagreement with the corrupted clergymen who were in a position of authority; he joined the prophetic movement founded by Montanus. However, this movement was based on another kind of heresy, which strikes the proud mind that pretends to have special gifts of God. Montanus did not philosophize in the temple; he strictly followed the Scriptural texts and spoke against sins and corruption of his contemporaries, yet, he ascribed himself the ability to possess the Holy Spirit, therefore, authority of God. Eventually, Tertullian recognized heresy of Montanus and left his sect.

 

*2* References in: Baybrook 182–184, 310–311, 314;  Lea 2:472–474; Pilkington Note 1 64, 66; Vacandard 50, 58–59, 72–73; Willett 13; the existence of Mani’s “apostles” also confirmed in: Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 120.

 

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References:

 

Baybrook, Gar. Heresies of the Christian Church. Payson, Arizona: Leaves of Autumn Books, 1998.

Burman, Edward. The Inquisition: The Hammer of Heresy. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England: Aquarian Press, 1984.

Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils. Ed. Norman P. Tanner. London and Washington, DC: Sheed & Ward, Georgetown University Press, 1990.

Documents of the Christian Church. Selected and edited by Henry Bettenson. 3rd ed. Ed. Chris Maunder. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Durant, Will. The Story of Civilization. The Age of Faith. (A.D. 325–1300). New York: Simon and Schuster, 1950.

Hughes, Philip. The Church in Crisis: A History of the General Councils 325–1870. New York: Hanover House, 1961.

Lea, Henry Charles. The Inquisition of the Middle Ages. v. 1&2. New York: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, 1887. 3 vols.

Luther, Martin. “Address to the Nobility.” Basic Luther. Four of his Fundamental Works. (The Ninety–five Theses. Address to the Nobility. Concerning Christian Liberty. A Small Catechism.) Springfield, Illinois: Templegate Publishers, 1994.

Maycock, Alan L. The Inquisition from Its Establishment to the Great Schism: An Introductory Study.  With an Introduction by Ronald Knox. New York and Evanston: Harper & Row, 1969.

New Catholic Encyclopedia. v. 10&14 Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America, 1967. 17 vols.

Pilkington, J.G. "Notes" to The Confessions by St. Augustine. A Select Library of the Nicene and Past–Nicene Fathers. v. 1. Buffalo: Christian Literature, 1892. 27–207. 14 vols.

Plato. Complete Works. Edited with Introduction and Notes by John M. Cooper. Associated Editor D.S. Hutchinson. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing, 1997.

 “Preface”. The Bible. New York: American Bible Society, 1970.

Tertullian, Quintius Septimius Florens. "On The “Prescription” of Heretics." On The Testimony of the Soul. On The "Prescription" of Heretics. Trans. T.Herbert Bindley. New York: E.S.Gorham, 1914. 31–96.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Summa Theologica.  v. 2: Parts II–II, III. First Complete American Edition in 3 volumes literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. New York, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Francisco: Benziger Brothers, 1947. 3 vols.

Trager, James. The People’s Chronology: A Year–by–Year Record of Human Events from Prehistory to the Present. Rev. ed. A Henry Holt Reference Book. New York: Henry Holt, 1992.

Vacandard, Elphege. The Inquisition: A Critical and Historical Study of the Coercive Power of the Church. 1915. Trans. from the 2nd edition Bertrand L. Conway. Merrick, New York: Richwood Publishing, 1977.

Willett, Franciscus. Understanding the Inquisition. N. Easton, Massachusetts: Holy Cross Press, 1968.

 

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Imagination

…the imagination of man is diligent toward evil from his youth…

{Genesis 8:21}

 

The expulsion from the Paradise and other consequences of the original sin reveal the evil and destructive power of imagination.

Initially, Eve had two pieces of information:

1/ given by God – if man and woman eat the fruit of the tree of learning of knowledge of good and evil, they surely die

2/ given by the serpent – no, they will not surely die; for God knows that the fruit of the tree of knowledge and evil will make them “as gods,” knowing good and evil.

Then, she looked at the tree, she saw that it is good for food and that it is pleasant for eyes to watch, and she perceived it as beautiful; so, she ate the fruit and gave Adam to eat {Genesis 2:16–17; 3:2–7}.

The texts describing the actions and words of God and severity of the punishment imposed on our ancestors {Genesis 3:17–25} lead to the conclusion that before she acted, Eve should make judgment and choice. Even in the times controlled by the laws of Moses, the man was granted sanctuary if he unintentionally murdered another man, and according to the law has to face own death {Exodus 21:12–14; Deuteronomy 4:41–42}. Later, Lord Jesus Christ would explain that if even evil people give their children the best they have, how much good might be expected from the Father {Matthew 7:9–11}. Any father would never punish his child who by innocent mistake ate something non–digestible nor did something dangerous for own well–being: he would attempt to heal the child and correct the consequences of child’s actions. Likewise, loving God–Father would never punish His creation for unintentional transgression.

It means that, although Eve did not discern good and evil yet, and did not foresee the consequence of own actions (she disregarded the warning of death received from God – their Creator and their Highest Authority), she obviously had an ability of desire, therefore, she should have the faculty of imagination. Eve assumed that the fruit, which is beautiful and pleasant to look upon, cannot be dangerous, she desired the knowledge which would make her “as god,” probably, she could imagine an opportunity to become equal to her Creator that is to have the knowledge that God has.

Consequently, she either imagined (created own knowledge of) her Future, and accepted this image/knowledge of her Future as truth, while, as she learned afterwards, it was false knowledge, or did not think of the Future at all, because “gods” do not have time. The greatest part of the original sin was Eve’s acceptance of the serpent’s assertion that they not surely die for God knew that His creations would become “as gods” {Genesis 3:4-6}. The serpent’s words impart the assumptions that

1/ God might intentionally deceive His creations, so they would not attempt to become “as gods knowing good and evil” – the beings of the higher level, with more power than their Creator planned

2/ that in the world created by God anything, which contradicts His will, might interfere with His power, therefore, might exist indefinitely without destruction.

Therefore, if Eve, instead of discarding the serpent’s words of running from the serpent, turned to the tree and ultimately, discarded the commandment of God by eating the forbidden truth, the motives of her actions could be deciphered as

1/ either she accepted the words of the serpent as the truth

2/ or her imagination painted so desirable pleasure of eating the fruit that the power of her imagination had overcome the warning of God.

The drop of venomous poison fallen into the human mind (mistrust to God, rejection of His commandment, and misuse of imagination) became the seed–core of the dreadful Future of man: it evolved into the greatest evil – the heathenism. Later, the Prophets and the Apostle would visualize this evil as the beasts – embodiments of the hatred to God, atheism and idol–worship, rejection of truth, denigration of human nature, of every type of evil underlying the heathenism–reality of anti–evolution, and which will have their judgment at the allotted time {e.g., Daniel 7:2–8, 11–12; Revelation 12:9, 19:20}.

Adam and Eve, and all their descendents paid dearly for the desire to learn knowledge of good and evil – to acquire the property, which could make man “as gods knowing good and evil”; moreover, becoming “as gods” did not happen. The knowledge of “gods” should include something more than just an ability of discernment; for instance, knowledge of the nature, potency, and purposes of “gods” is needed. So far, the human mind–creation of God obviously has no complexity–ability to comprehend the nature, potency, and purposes of its Creator: man was created for existence within the particular setting/world, from the elements of this world, and for the particular job within this world {Genesis 1:26–28; 2:7, 15; Isaiah 40:13–15}.

Therefore, although the human mind/living soul is the breath of God – the spirit, or the particular function (manifestation) of the Divine Energy, it has been tied to (manifested at) the particular levels of complexity (human body–flesh–matter within the world of the matter): it is endowed with the potency restricted with by purposes of existence.

All that the human mind can assume concerning the life time–range is to believe in the promise of God, hence, in a possibility to exist infinitely after completion of the work within the limited world of the matter. To acquire the power to live indefinitely, the mind, which has learned the evil, has to undergo the transformation by the power of God–Creator; only God–Creator can elevate the human mind at another level of complexity, at which neither time nor other restrictions of the world of the matter exist {John 6:47–58; 12:24}.

The desire for the knowledge remains the greatest passion of any human mind that possesses the natural faculty of deliberation, intelligence, reasoning, and understanding. The mind has two options – two ways to satisfy this passion, which, as love, is more powerful than self–preservation:

–– to ask God to grant the gift of wisdom and to seek knowledge through faith 

–– to create own assumptions and accept them as the knowledge of truth.

Consequently, two sources of knowledge exist:  

–– knowledge given by God through the Hebrew Prophets and the Apostles of Lord Jesus Christ

–– knowledge originated by human mind – “imagination of the heart” of false prophets, priests–diviners, poets, and philosophers who created the imaginary worlds of false religions, which in the Past received a collective name “heathenism,” and which in the Present exist as philosophical doctrines, ideologies, atheistic ethics–free sciences, new–pagan beliefs, and cults – all of them based upon the two–layered foundation: the false presumptions and unjustified opinions about God, and misrepresentation of the human nature.   

 The Holy Scriptures refer to God as to the God of knowledge. God gives wisdom and knowledge of hidden and manifest things: the essence of life, the composition of the Universe and operation of the elements, the beginning and the end of times, the nature of animals and the temper of beasts, power of spirits, and deliberation of men {1 Kings 2:3; Wisdom 7}. This knowledge remains unsurpassed and uncognizable still: with all the government and private funds, the contemporary sciences are not able to ascend to the knowledge, which was opened to the sages of the Past free, just for asking.

People comprehend wisdom and knowledge, mainly, as an ability to discern the good and the evil: this wisdom–ability is the power sustaining life and evolution of human mind.

The mind, which separates itself from God and originates own assumptions, might be defined as a  dreaming  mind, because it creates dreams: the imaginary worlds inconsistent with the actuality, incomplete snapshots of the real universe supplemented by imaginary constructions with inadequate levels of complexity. The process of imposing imaginary worlds onto the actuality of human existence (or an attempt of actualization of dreams) results in creation of false knowledge: the dreaming mind lacks the power to create the actuality – the world sustained by the divine energy of Omnipotent God–Creator, hence, capable of existence and development.

The dreaming mind produces insufficient simplified soulless toys, with which it entertains, distracts, and destroys itself instead of searching for the truth and accomplishing the mission to dominate, to toil, and to cherish the perfect world in righteousness and justice {Genesis 2:15; Wisdom 9:1–3}.

Two reasons transformed the history of mankind into the list of vanished civilizations, destroyed establishments, and ruined expectations:

1) the knowledge assembled by the dreaming mind has an insufficient level of complexity; it is deprived of creative power, which is the inalienable property of truth/wisdom granted by God

2) any insufficiency/deprivation of any system results in destruction, because insufficiency of knowledge leads to degeneration of the cohesive (life–maintaining) power.

It means that all destroyed establishments of men shared two mutual features: they were based on the false or imaginary knowledge with an inadequate level of complexity, and they embodied particular patterns/codes of creation–actualization of insufficient knowledge. 

If to recall that evil is insufficiency (e.g., insufficiency of energy, time, and other resources) and deprivation (e.g., deprivation of energy, resources, life, and other possessions), it becomes clear that the evil imagination is an insufficient function of the insufficient mind. The actual meaning of creative processes of evil imagination might be similar to construction of a model: the mind discards the parameters of the actuality and creates own – simplified, thus deprived of truth and insufficient world. When such a world is focused on own desires and necessities (as a response of a particular mind to the needs of a particular body – “the lusts of the flesh”), the mind seeks to replenish own insufficiency by deprivation of the others or by sliding down into the dream worlds.

Solomon the king became the first of philosophers and thinkers who place imagination, evil, wickedness–sin, folly, and insanity into one logical realm {Ecclesiastes 1:12–17; 2:12; 7:16-18, 23-30; 9:3; 10:12–13}:

 

although man was created righteous,

the heart became attached to figments of imagination

the imagination of men is evil from their youth,

folly (as wickedness and evil) is ended with madness

 

the heart of man became full of evil and madness.

 

Only knowledge harmonized with the nature of man elevates the mind at the level of development, which is necessary if the mind desires to achieve the main purposes and to avoid sin–failure to accomplish the mission–purposes a human being has been created to accomplish. This kind of knowledge the mind receives through comprehension and observation of the Law of God.

The Apostles {Jude 8, 12–13; 2 Peter 2:1–3, 17–19} write about the dreaming ones (visionaries, dreamers – ενυπνιαζομενοι –  who live by dreams/imagination). They live in sin, yet, allure the others; they are the false teachers who speak by the lusts of their flesh and promise freedom while they themselves are the slaves of corruption/decay. In this context, the meaning of sin receives a new interpretation: the state of ignorance – the lack of comprehension {for which God promised to reject, punish, and forget the priests of Israel –– Hosea 4:6–10} coupled with uncontrolled imagination producing false knowledge, and resulting in failure to accomplish the main mission of man (the main purpose/mission of man is fulfillment of the Law/will of God).

The original mistrust to God and decision to learn good and evil in spite of God’s warning had brought knowledge of the evil, which determined the destiny–Future of mankind and the Earth: suffering, pain, death, and ultimate destruction foreseen and foretold by the Prophets from the beginning. The uncontrollable power of imagination originated the root of this evil, yet, what is it – imagination?

The word imagination denotes the creative power of mind: an ability to reconstruct the wholeness when only some parts are present, to re–create a system when only a subsystem might be identified, to re–arrange known images into a new combination–image, for instance. Imagination might be also seen as an ability to supplement insufficient knowledge of the actuality, or in other words, to create a new system–wholeness from subsystems, parts, fragments, pieces of information – sometimes, seemingly unrelated (see the concept of the unknown systems).

The mind accomplishes this task by re–arranging available pieces of information into assumptions, establishing the logical links among them, inferring the underlying laws, projecting the cohesive power and patterns of knowledge creation–transmission–consuming–learning, and finally, by unification of all elements into a new system – knowledge of a particular law, event, phenomenon, system, reality, universe, the Future, etc. Then, the mind accepts the created system as reflection of the actuality, or at least as the satisfying substitute for complete knowledge of the actuality.

The faculty of imagination defines the difference between database and knowledge; for instance, between

 

a/ collection of information, assembling of interactive databases

and

b/ creation of knowledge (e.g., new assumption, hypothesis, theory)

from the collected information and assembled databases.

 

During these processes, the mind draws and then, accepts as “known” the pieces of information – subsystems and elements of the actuality – from the chaos of the unknown. The purposes–reasons of existence of events, phenomena, systems, etc. determine the actual meaning and usefulness of any pertinent information. These purposes are the manifestations of the underlying laws, correlations, and conditions, which the mind might not understand, infer, or imagine. It means that if the mind does not comprehend the underlying laws, co–relations, and links, the mind might not decipher the actual meaning of information, because the complexity of consideration is inadequate to the complexity of the considered object, phenomenon, event, system, etc. In such a case, the mind creates false assumptions instead of true knowledge, and fails.

For instance, sailors know that a tip of iceberg never should be accepted as a reflection of the actual shape of a mass, which is hidden under the ocean surface; there were many shipwrecks, because of the close encounter with the unseen, yet, dangerous presence.

The faculty of imagination does not guarantee an ability of comprehension. An ability to learn and to compose assumptions, to apply logic and other methods of inquiry and creation of knowledge as the foundation for own actions, words, and deeds – all these factors do not guarantee the survival. For instance, St. Paul the Apostle does not consider knowledge as the main value – something else is needed:

– the knowledge puffs up (in the context of the physical nature, appearance)

– yet, love builds/sustains (in the context of being known by God, therefore, being admitted into the house/household of God)

– and the love of Christ surpasses knowledge: through the power of God working in His creations, the love of Christ fulfills with the completeness of God {1 Corinthians 8:1–3; Ephesians 3:10, 19–21}. “

"Completeness” in the context of the Apostle’s Epistle {Ephesians 3:14–20} implies perfection of God–Father, which should be sought after, found, and achieved by the followers of Lord Jesus Christ {Matthew 5:38-48}.

To survive, the mind–creator has to comply with the will of God the Creator, with the universal Law that controls existence–termination and other parameters of any system within the universe perceivable by the mind.

The ultimate essence of the mind, its life, productivity, and achievement of the purposes of existence depend on many factors, and imagination just one of them. The summary of the factors, which make possible existence and actualization of the human nature, compose the reality/framework accommodating life of the mind.

Two general frameworks exist, which sustain work of two types of human mind and define created knowledge and its consequences – thoughts, words, and actions of man: one of them is based on the knowledge of God, another – on the heathenism.

The reality/framework based on the knowledge of God

 

determines the mind’s overall ability of comprehension

and its vitality: the complexity, the degree of development/evolution,

or the mind’s compliance with the original pattern – the image and likeness of God




defines the purposes and empowers its activities:

creation of thoughts – the seeds/codes of new systems,

which would be created within the world of the matter

or serve the mind’s own development–evolution


controls the parameters of existence:

maximal potency, time–range, terms of development/evolution,

and conditions of degeneration triggering the consequent annihilation.

 

This reality stipulates the mind’s overall complexity or creative potency, the nature of knowledge and disposition of mind, and the mind’s faculties of deliberation, reasoning, and imagination, therefore the main patterns of knowledge creation, transmission, and consuming.

This reality provides access to the energy–source of existence and the energy fields, which create–maintain–empower the mind; it enables the mind to function–create thoughts appropriate to its nature and consistent with the purposes of existence; it defines the nature, meaning, and adequacy of knowledge to the actuality – the completeness of the knowledge of truth.

This reality–framework was named faith; it might be likened to the channel/media through which the mind receives its food – Λογος {John 6:47–58}, an ability of comprehension of the Law of God, and the power to become that what St. Maximus the Confessor defines as “wisdom in potency” and “Illumination of knowledge…born of love for God”*2*.

The Law of God sustains the Christian faith and the Christian dogma that define the Christian Greek theology. Theology or the knowledge of God, which is granted by God, accommodates existence of the mind:

–– it enables the mind to comprehend the Law

–– it underlies the creations of mind: realms of knowledge known as philosophy, epistemology, and natural ethics–oriented sciences as the means of cognition of the world created by God and maintained by His Law

–– it defines the methods of inquiries and collection of the data and information concerning the world of the matter, applications of the derivatives of the universal law at the adequate levels of complexity, interpretation of the collected information and data according to the laws controlling the matter

–– it facilitates the consequent creation of knowledge of the world of the matter, and application of this knowledge for the benefit of man.

Another framework – the heathenism is based on atheism, rejection of God and deification of the matter: other peoples (kings, priests, leaders of any kind), beasts, valuables of men, political and other establishments, on everything referred to as idols – figments of imagination worshipped by mind and figments of imagination worshipped by body.

The heathenism is the reality of false knowledge, dream worlds, and dead images, which mind creates from the images of the world of the matter, and which therefore, do not have the adequate complexity necessary to sustain normal mind’s functioning. This realm might be likened to the Plato’s underground den/prison masqueraded as a rental shop, in which the confined mind wastes its life–time, resources, and power by playing with games/toys of imagination invented by the others similarly disconnected from the actuality.

The heathenism as the framework of a particular knowledge was created by the mind, which is deprived of (or rejected) the knowledge of God and which does not have access to the divine energy of creation descending with the Λογος.  Such a mind, empowered by own imagination, is a self–consuming entity – a dweller of the beleaguered city: it feeds itself with own limited resources {eats own flesh – in Isaiah 9:20}, therefore, it is unable of adequate cognition and creation of adequate knowledge. It deprives other beings of life and other resources, destroys and consumes everything in struggle to prolong own existence. Even if it attempts to create something beneficial for the others, it embodies death into all creations.

For instance, poisonous drugs and vaccines, which the commercialized ethics–free biomedical sciences develop through experiments on animals, test on animals, and apply to the people although animals and people are not compatible: making animals the substitutes for the people results in perversion and mutation of both types of nature – the human nature and the animal nature. Human beings and animals have different “flesh” including different genetic codes, which determines the composition of the matter, and different time–range defined by the different purposes of existence.

In general, with the high degree of simplification, it might be said that the human and animal natures are different reading of the universal code accomplished at the different levels of complexity, within different energy fields, and actualized by the forces, which define the different subsystems of the world.

The laws of Moses attempted to prevent inter–breeding of animals and condemned to death those who had sex with animals: they were not allowed to live because of imminent and contagious destruction, which in the contemporary terms might be defined as own perversion and the consequent abnormal mutation of descendents: any violation of the Law of God, therefore actions inconsistent with the human nature, triggers irreversible alterations/mutations. After accumulation (or reaching some still unknown threshold), these mutations trigger off the program of self–annihilation, which all living beings carry within as the means of preservation of survival of their kind. The first symptoms of the irreversible destruction include, for instance, an ability of consuming of own (self–consuming) or the similar matter–flesh of the same species – cannibalism (its contemporary forms include harvesting of organs from human beings and harvesting of stem sells from human embryos).

The Hebrew Prophets and the Apostles had this knowledge; they mention {Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:22-25; 19:19; Deuteronomy 28:53-57; Isaiah 9:20-21; Jeremiah 19:9; Lamentations 4:10; Zechariah 11:9; Jude 7; 1 Peter 4:3–4; 1 Corinthians 15:39}:

–– the abomination of mixing with animals

–– the curse of cannibalism falling on those who reject God: overwhelmed by their enemies, they eat their own flesh and flesh of their sons and daughters, and of each other, yet they would not be satisfied, and they would not live

–– the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because their inhabitants “went after the other flesh”

–– the difference between human and animal flesh, between the nature of animals and the nature of man.

Now the ethics–free sciences mix the human “flesh” and animal “flesh” triggering the unprecedented possibility of deadly mutations, which would lead to extermination of human and animals:

–– human–rodent, human–rabbit, human–avian, human–cow, human–virus combinations of genes, cells, and eggs are created and used in an attempt to develop cure – drugs and vaccines – for incurable human diseases, while these diseases are the consequence of the program of self–annihilation activated by the perversion and degeneration of the nature, which is incapable of existence and which is in a process of extermination from the face of the Earth

–– human embryos are destroyed for stem cells extraction, and these cells – pieces of human flesh – are consumed by other people: as supply for research laboratories, component of drugs, component of cosmetic creams for rejuvenation of aged faces of women, etc.

–– human embryos are to be developed into “savior siblings” to serve as the resource of tissue and organs for their biological brothers/sisters

–– if those born deaf and with dwarfism insist on their right to reproduce children after their likeness, new generations of dead and dwarfs are to be developed from the human embryos pre–screened and chosen, because they carry the same mutated genes as their biological producers

–– woman womb is to be fertilized with human–animal embryo.

It looks like the contemporary sciences adopted the logic of Daedalus who helped Pasiphae*1* to be fertilized by the bull and to deliver Minotaur – the monster produced from woman’s egg and semen of the beast. Minotaur was elevated to the rank of deity and fed by human flesh – bodies of sacrificed to it men and women. Consequently, the Minoan civilization was destroyed, probably, with the means similar to those which were mentioned by the Old Testament’s prophets, therefore, known to their contemporaries {e.g., Leviticus 18:23–25; Ezekiel 26:15–21; 28:1–19}.

The ancient Greek myth became prophetic, because it grasped the essence of the basic/fundamental cycle of evil. For instance, although Daedalus’ “science” came into oblivion, yet, the contemporary science of human reproduction is guided with the same spirit: the meaning of the actions is the same as in the time of the Minoans.

With all resources at their disposal, the contemporary researchers at the service of atheistic ethics–free commercialized sciences either are incapable of comprehension the abnormality and the grave danger of their actions or intentionally disregard the warning signs. Having being unable to cure humans with the drugs effective for the rats, mice, and other victims of mankind, for the sake of their own survival and continuation of grant solicitation and consuming funds and resources of the societies, for the sake of the national/personal/etc. pride, they trigger mutation, which would denigrate human nature to the level of rats and other laboratory animals, yet, which – as they expect – would make their drugs of annihilation looking effective, and consequently, attractive and profitable. The products delivered to the market (drugs, genetic and other vaccines) already carry the side effects and nobody can predict what will be their influence on human nature in the long time–range: they were tested on animals and are sold to the humans without any understanding that human nature and animal nature are neither compatible nor can be used as a substitute for each other.

The peculiar ignorance of so–called “law–makers” of the contemporary societies, who are expected to protect life of their constituents and the states they are supposed to serve, and who instead are engaged in fruitless debates, is terrifying by the absence of reasoning and understanding of the consequences of legalization of the criminal manipulation with the human nature: nobody takes into consideration the real threat of extermination of healthy human nature before the meanings of “health” and “human” would be comprehended in full. Those researchers, who realize the consequences of illiterate interference with uncognized yet fundamentals of human life, are forced to silence because of propaganda campaign in the media and necessity to satisfy appetites of the investors and pride of grant providers. This propaganda is based on unsubstantiated promises to find cure for incurable diseases, and the personal tragedies are shamelessly exploited to manipulate with the public opinion.

So far, nobody takes into consideration that the contemporary biomedical sciences do not fulfill any one of the promises, which sustained funds and grants solicitations for development and manufacturing of vaccines and drugs for treatment of cancers, HIV, devastating diseases and disorders of immune and nervous systems, allergies, plagues of suicides and mental disorders debilitating the contemporary societies. They never will: the cure for human diseases is not in the animal flesh; the key is in another place inaccessible for those who are not able to imagine its existence.

The basic reason of this devastation is the rejection and hatred of God, fueled by darwinism and atheism, which prompt the ethics–free scientists to prove that there is nothing divine in man, that man is the same kind of animal as rat, pig, cow, etc. is, that man can live by consuming human flesh in the same manner as rats devour their own offspring when there is not enough human waste to consume. To come to their senses, they should recall events of the previous century, which would reveal the potency of darwinism applied, for instance to the social life. The state politics of Adolf Hitler developed on the basis, which includes social darwinism (e.g., the concept of “German race” superiority over all other nations of “underhumans” and assumption of the right of Nazis to exterminate other nations to free for themselves life–space and to gain access to the natural resources); they resulted in World War II with the concentrations camps for mass disposal of human beings run by those who assumed the rights to treat humans in the same fashion as animals are treated at slaughterhouse.

Atheism embodied into the ethics–free sciences begets an inability to cognize the world created by God and employ the knowledge for the benefit of mankind: it confines the mind within the dead world of cannibalism and false assumption of unity of all creatures according to the darwinism and similar neo–heathen beliefs; it covers the inhumane ignorance with the appearance of compassion to the victims of the mutations triggered by the actions inconsistent with the human nature. The “knowledge” manufactured by such minds spreads suffering and death, while promises healing and life.

                And I think that now, the most terrifying cycle of evil, which shaped the ancient history, unfolds at another level, at which totalitarian ideologies, neo–heathenism, ethics–free sciences, propaganda, and culture of death took place of serpents and beasts, and the scale of human sacrifices has grown immensely:

 

in the beginning, the mind of Eve was fertilized with the seed of evil – mistrust to God

the seed of mistrust planted into imagination had grown into

the hatred and rejection of God and brought deadly fruits:

humans began to worship serpents and beasts, to sacrifice them other humans

 including own children, and to feed them with human flesh

now, child’s flesh (e.g., embryo for extraction of stem cells) is consumed for the sake of the “humans,”

scientists and “physicians” kill human beings to have their organs harvested and sold,

and woman’s body again is offered to serve reproduction of monsters

(human–animal embryos created for IVF).

 

Indeed, there is nothing new under the Sun {Ecclesiastes 1:9–11}: irreversibility of cognition sustains the mankind’s universe, and once devised, evil never leaves this world.

And I think that the greatest treasure of human mind – the power of creation or faculty of imagination – became the greatest curse resulting in death and destruction. Indeed, all depends upon the general framework of knowledge, which accommodates existence of the mind: the knowledge of the Law of God opens access to wisdom and life, the knowledge of the heathenism is knowledge of evil and death.

 

 

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*1* Pasiphae was a wife of Cretan king Minos. The mythical founder of the Minoan civilization is a son of Zeus and Europe kidnapped by Zeus who assumed an image of a white bull. When Minos ascended the Cretan throne, he asked Poseidon to send a white bull for sacrifice. Yet, when the beautiful white bull emerged from the sea, Minos decided to keep it for procreation of his herd; he sacrificed another animal. Poseidon avenged the broken promise: he imposed on Minos’ wife Pasiphae unnatural lust to the spared bull. According to the myth, Daedalus was moved by the suffering of the Minos’ wife; he made for her the device with which she was able to have intercourse with the bull.

Daedalus had the creative inquisitive mind, and he was an engineer and sculptor; probably, he did it because of curiosity, which today would be classified as the scientific inquiry, probably, because of his own perversion, or for some reward: it is hard to assume that any normal man would pity the woman with the lust to animal.

The same Daedalus built a special palace – the Labyrinth, in which Minos hid his wife along with the monster she delivered and in which he imprisoned Daedalus and Icarus – Daedalus’ son.

After an intercourse with the bull, Pasiphae delivered the monster Minotaur – half–bull and half–man with a head of a bull, and with lower part of man’s body. For the ancient heathens, such a composition of Minotaur signified the supremacy of the bestial deities over the man; it also reveals the assumption that the unification with “divine absolute animal” would infuse the power of beast into man, therefore, would facilitate control of the society, progress and evolution of men and improvement of their life. Minotaur became the symbol of death for the world, which worshipped death, and the deity for men who worshiped it with human sacrifices: Minos sacrificed boys to the Minotaur.

 

*2* St. Maximus The Confessor. Selected Writings: The Four Hundred Chapters on Love. Chapters on Knowledge. The Church's Mystagogy. Translation and Notes by George C. Berthold. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1985. 36,195.

 

 

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Logic of Death

 

…For God made not death…

but ungodly men with their deeds and intentions

invited death to be their companion…

They made a covenant with death, because they are worthy to share it…

{Wisdom 1:13, 16}

 

 

For the normal human mind, there is no such thing as the logic of death: by the definition, death is the irrational and illogical phenomenon – the perversion inconsistent with the normal (original) nature of man created in image and after likeness of immortal, eternal, perfect, and omnipotent God.

God did not create death. Wicked men attracted death with their thoughts and deeds; they made death their friend and companion, and perished {Wisdom 1:13–16}. Since, death has become the reality, which accommodates the decay, termination, and dissolution of any being within the world of the matter. The laws of destruction control the reality of death.

The logic of death justifies the end; it seeks the proof of the rationale behind the process of perversion (if to define perversion as the degeneration of human nature, which activates the program of self–annihilation) and a reason behind re–arrangement of the religious, social, and political institutions into the slaughterhouses with which the death–driven civilizations accomplish the gruesome task of self–extermination.

The logic of death sustains the heathenism and its derivatives – ancient Greek philosophy. The fruits of ancient Greek philosophy reveal the danger of the heathenism and disclose the meaning of the logic of death. The history of humankind became the list of vanished civilizations, states, societies founded on the theological and philosophical doctrines conceived within the unreal worlds of heathen philosophy. Each of them, beginning with the empire of Alexander of Macedonia and concluding with the majority of the totalitarian (communist and fascist) states of the twentieth century, had disappeared after causing death and suffering of countless human beings.

In general, three inseparable components – insufficiency, simplification, and perversion – sustain the destructive method (or mode) of reasoning, which might be identified as the logic of death, because ultimately, it culminates in degeneration of mind, in mental and physical degradation and death of human beings, and finally, in destruction of the religious, political, and social institutions, which harbor its advancement.

The first component of the logic of death is insufficiency; the essence of insufficiency is evil.

The second component is the logic of simplification. This kind of logic was developed by Aristotle; its contemporary modifications (for instance, creation of mathematical models for simplified description of the reality, forecasting of economics, social and political development of states and other institutions) still serve as the foundation of many studies.

The third component of the logic of death – perversion – is a collective name for the processes of decay, abnormal mutation, aberration, and irregularities, which take place of the normal life–sustaining process when system enters the final, irreversible, phase of disintegration.

The logic of death embodies evil into human thoughts, and through embodiment of human thoughts into the words and actions of men, transfers evil into the world of men.

The ancient Greeks considered evil as disharmony and violation of the laws, which govern the cosmos.

Seneca’s definition connects evil and sin with indecisiveness and false knowledge: the source of sin is an error, and the proof of evil within mind is the unsteadiness – wavering between virtue and vice [Seneca XCIV 3:25, CXX 3:393].

Plato envisions evil as the natural component of the all levels of the world–order, starting with the human soul; he asserts that soul is “the universal cause” of all contraries, including good and evil, right and wrong, and that evil controls the realm of earthly existence and must always exist as the force “ranged against good” [Plato Laws 896d; Theaetetus 176a; italic in the original].

Hermogenes the heretic made the logical inference from the Plato’s assertions: he identified God–Creator as “the author of evil” (if Plato’s soul is the source of evil, consequently, the creator of such a soul should be the author of evil); he also suggested that evil should be attributed to the will of God [Hermogenes ref. in: Tertullian The Treatise against Hermogenes 9:3; 10:1 38–39].

In the Augustine’s interpretation, evil does not have substance; it is the loss of good [Augustine The City of God against...XI.ix 3:463].

Yet, in order to lose the good, the mind, at first, must substitute own arrangement, the singularity of evil, for the world of perfect God.

With the reference to the Augustine’s expression “there is no possible source of evil except good” and Aristotle’s assumption that an entirely evil thing or complete evil is self–destructive, Thomas Aquinas declares that although evil has only an “accidental cause,” good is the cause or foundation of evil: evil is caused by good. The unjust law of men is derived from the eternal Law of God; moreover, the evil can exist only in the good “as in its subject.” Evil always is mixed with good: good is always the foundation of evil. As soon as the opposites (“contraries”) exist on a “common ground,” they have one common cause; therefore, evil should be reduced to “some good cause” [Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica I Q.48 a3; Q.49 a1 ro1, a2, a3; Q.103 a7; I–II Q. 93 a3 ro2, a4; Truth Q.3. a4 ad7, ad8; Q.5 a2 r, ad4].

It means that for Thomas Aquinas, the Catholic saint and main papal theologian, the good is the subject of evil, and the Aquinas’ god is the cause/source of two opposites – the good and the evil. Obviously, Aquinas adheres to dualism; in this assertion, he follows heresy of Hermogenes and the Manichean traditions of Augustine.

Baruch Spinoza correlates the concept of evil with the concept of knowledge: inadequate knowledge is the knowledge of evil; would the mind have the adequate knowledge, evil would not exist [Spinoza IV:64 211]. This assertion makes evil the product of deficiency of the mind.

Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin considers evil as a by–product: the Universe develops by the means of errors and trials, and “evil of disorder and failure” are necessary in the process of evolution [Teilhard de Chardin ref. and qtd. in: Schwarz 52, 73].  Such a vision incorporates evil into the natural order of the Universe and depicts evolution as the purposeless process of accidents, which accidentally results in development.

To the contrary, God is the perfect Creator of the perfect world; the Scriptures confirm impossibility to relate evil to God, and the Christian theology holds that any assertion, which by any means establishes any connection between God and evil, is sacrilegious:

 – God is light, and there is no any darkness in Him {1 John 1:5}

– the knowledge of the only One True God is the eternal life {John 17:3}

– the evil and destruction are not compatible with the knowledge of God {Isaiah 11:9}

– God did not create death – He created the worlds of life: only through intensions and deeds of godless men, death became the companion of humankind {Wisdom 1:13–15}

– God is the perfect love and He loves His creations – to save men from the death (that is from the consequence of the men’s own deeds) God sent His Son Who took on Himself the sins of the whole world, conquered death, and offered salvation and eternal life to all who desire to live {John 10:17–18, 27–28; 11:25–26; 1 John 3:16; 4:9–19; 5:11–13}.

The God’s act of creation establishes life; the God’s act of creation does not include, presuppose, expect, or prepare place for evil. Evil comes when people willingly, according to their own free will, choose to violate the universal law of perfection. In view of that, when they have to confirm that they have knowledge of virtue, this something called “evil” conducts test/trial of men; evidently, it performs the role of a trash–collector or the kind of recycling service intended to clean the world out of those who do not have the truth/good/life inside {Job 1:6–13; 2:1–6; Luke 4:1–13; Matthew 4:1–11; John 15:6}, that is to free the space of the insufficient systems incapable of optimization.

 If the mind knows God, it is unable to commit evil; therefore, it has eternal life because it is not the subject to the laws of disintegration: the knowledge of God, His image, and His Word protect from the evil and destruction {John 3:16–21, 36; 6:47–51, 63; 8:12, 51}; perhaps, that is why the Hebrew Prophets exalted wisdom and the knowledge of God – more than earthly life and everything else men have.

For a Christian theologian, evil is not consistent with the nature: it exists only at those levels of the material world where errors of judgment are possible. For instance, according to St. Maximus the Confessor (580–662), evil is the result of mistaken judgment, which is followed with “irrational movement of the natural energies” toward the end inconsistent with the nature; evil is the ignorance and privation of good; the false knowledge becomes the first sign of impure mind [St. Maximus the Confessor Selected Writings: The Four Hundred... §29, §34 65, 66]. 

Such a point of view seems to be an inference from text in the Holy Scriptures: “The Lord is a God of knowledge” {1 Kings 2:3}. As soon as life is cognition of truth, and God is the Creator of life, ignorance and false knowledge are the evil incompatible with the original nature of any of God’s creations. The errors of judgment might happen only when the mind operates with the insufficient knowledge, with imaginary worlds instead of the actuality, and only within the realities, which include the matter structured for the particular purposes. In the contemporary terms, such evil is the distorted reading of the universal code when distortion results in the arrangement of imperfect systems, which are unable to accomplish their purposes and achieve the state of optimum, thus, have to disintegrate, or must be terminated or void.

St. Gregory Palamas (1296–1359) considers the act of creation as the only moment when a human being realizes own essence and discovers the image of God within own soul–mind. Therefore, there is no place for corruption in the act of creation: creation and evil are not compatible, and the evil one is not able to create. Indeed, the history of humankind confirms that any evil is actualization of the same pattern of death or disintegration (deprivation of resources/energy––insufficiency––decay/degeneration––annihilation/disintegration) modified with the social, political, religious, and personal features of the originators of evil and those whom the evil attacks: there is nothing new in death and destruction; all deaths and all ruins differ only by time–range, place, and the means of termination.

In summary, the Greek theologians identify evil as                

– the abnormal phenomenon incompatible with the human nature

– the acts incompatible with the knowledge of God

– the deficiency of the soul–mind, which results in false knowledge and ignorance

– the errors of judgment, which result in disordered and ineffective use of energy, information, knowledge, and other resources and inability to accomplish the purposes.

Two types of destructive processes exist as the consequence of the initial violation (original sin of Adam and Eve) of the universal law. Two realities people identify as “evil”.

One of them includes the thoughts and actions of men – their own products; it is the natural end–disintegration (natural for the particular reality of the dissipating matter) of all material structures and systems, which have achieved their purposes within the material time–space–complexity–bounded realities and must disintegrate in due course of the evolution: by man, the death came into the world, and in Adam, all the people – entire mankind – died {1 Corinthians 15:21–22}.

Another reality accommodates the manifestation of the Law of God – the universal law of perfection, by which any perverted system (perversion might be seen, for example, as abnormal mutation) became unable to receive the divine energy, which sustains existence of any being; after such a system consumes all available recourses left in its discretion, it disintegrates. Annihilation of the imperfect and incapable of development systems with a perverted or distorted nature, which became impediment of the evolution because of their inability to accomplish the purposes for which they have been created, illustrate the work of the universal law of perfection.

 St. Maximus the Confessor envisions the law as the shadow of the Gospels. While the Gospels carry the blessings of God, the law “checks the actualization of evil” [St. Maximus the Confessor First Century on Theology §90 in: The Philokalia 2:133]: according to the law, annihilation of the evil, which endangers existence of the following generations, results in death/disintegration of the beings with the perverted nature. The work of this law might be discerned, for example, in the destruction of inhumane empires and appearance of new and incurable diseases, which terminate the abnormally mutated beings that became the threat to preservation of the original nature. Similarly, to prevent death and suffering, men do not hesitate to destroy the deadly virus when they are able to find the proper means.

 Perhaps, the habit to identify the natural end of the material structures as “evil” has evolved as the result of re–orientation of the mind into the world of matter – the setting in which the universal energy creates the matter restricted by time–space–complexity parameters, and which accommodates

creation –– structuring–origin of the matter

existence –– cycles of energy transformation)

death –– disintegration of the material structures).

 

However, evil and death do not exist at the presence of perfect and good God–Creator. The evil as the synonym for death/destruction of the material systems (e.g. a human body) exists only at the levels of the matter as the result of the conviction of men that it is evil.

Besides, only human thirst for the knowledge of good and evil is responsible for the reality of human existence, which includes the “natural” end as the only way to return home {John 14:2–3}. As the result of the choice of cognition of evil and good, the mind was re–oriented into the world of the matter: it was destined to undergo the phase of existence as the temporal function of the spirit–intelligence at the level of the energy–information and energy–information–matter, and to learn the meaning of death and destruction as the features of the temporary matter. The Prophet wrote about the consequences of such re–orientation: the Earth was “cursed” for the deeds of man (transformed into the setting for accommodation of the disintegrating systems) and consequently, man had to learn the meaning of suffering–disintegration/death because of transformation of the perfect Earth into the “cursed ground” where he has to labor {Genesis 3:17–25}.

Therefore, each mind has the choice between two realities:

1/ the reality of good or optimization–evolution, where the universal law/will of God rules in harmony, leads all beings toward perfection–realization of the maximal potency of the good and the eternal life

2/ the world of the dissipating matter, where the material structures, systems, and realities undergo destruction, annihilation, or transformation, and become ready for the next cycle of creation or are dissolved up to the level of the universal energy of creation.

When the mind identifies itself with the world of the matter, it creates the reality of anti–evolution traditionally identifiable as the evil because it accommodates decay, death, and destruction, thus, suffering, pain, and sorrow of those beings whose earthly life and properties of the matter became the only meaning of existence.

The following postulates convey the concept of evil (1 through 12).

1. Man–child of God is able of synergism – co–creation of the world; man–child of the evil is able to assemble the singularity of evil – the void where good is no more {references to child of God and child of evil in John 1:12–13; 8:38–47 and 1 John 3:1–2, 8–10}. The mind is able to arrange and to make operational the imaginary worlds and realities governed by the laws established by the mind itself; these imaginary constructions reflect the processes of disintegration of the mind that has perverted own nature and undergoes annihilation.

2. The ignorance, lack of faith, and the consequent inability to love God and other beings are the monstrous parents, which produce the ability to commit evil against God, men, and the nature. The evil exists only where there is no presence of God; therefore, the evil becomes possible only within the specific singularity–void arranged by the mind that discarded the Law of God.

3. The Law of God is the essence and meaning of good: there is no good without the Law of God; therefore, the very existence of such singularity–void is evil.

4. Evil is the product of the human mind, and only men are responsible for evil, which exists within the world they had been created to dominate and develop–lead to actualization of the maximal good.

5. Evil is singularity, abnormal reality–world, which is sustained by the logic of death. Singularity of evil becomes the actual reality when the mind embodies the monsters of own imaginary worlds into the material structures of the material world and force them on other beings.

(For instance, in which void of good – singularity of evil – a particular mind was able to find the idea of crucifixion or burning at the stake as the allowable methods to deal with the human beings? Furthermore, in which depths of perversion and disintegration of the human nature men should fall to integrate such executions or any other form of capital punishment into the lawful practices of the state or other establishments and even name these practices “justice”?)

6. Only the Law of God has the capacity to annihilate the singularities of evil created by the mind. Some of the singularities of evil cease existence with the death of their creators; some of them become the shared worlds and expand: they consume systems and realities of the real world, distort their nature and incorporate them into own cycles of consumption.

7. Evil is the pattern of death/disintegration or the core/code of a system. This pattern might be reproduced again and again at the different time–space–complexity points, where favorable conditions exist (e.g., ignorance, insufficient or excessive resources, or other features, which signify readiness for destruction).

8. Evil exists only at the level of a mind susceptible to errors of judgment.      

9. Evil does not exist for/within the mind that had restored within itself the image and likeness of perfect God–Creator, thus, achieved the state of optimum – the perfection or readiness for the unity with God.

10. The divine creative energy of God and the evil are not compatible (the void of evil is annihilated by the divine energy of creation). Those who produce evil do not create new additions to existing cosmos: they arrange, order, and structure the singularities of void, which do not have access to the divine creative energy of God. They arrange the singularities of evil with the resources they have in their discretion or can take away from the others. The ability to create is the gift of God and the creative energy originates or transfers (at the level of human activities) energy, which sustains life. To the contrary, evil culminates in deprivation of energy and the consequent dissipation, destruction, and annihilation. Besides, all activities, which result in arrangement of the evil, follow the same pattern and do not have anything new or original that can be interpreted as creation.

For example, the history of humankind confirms that the essence of any evil is always the same: it is insufficiency, which stems from deprivation of something accepted as the good and as the life–supporting necessities. From such a point of view, the evil might be classified by the degree of detriment and conditionally compared with two types of blood–sucking parasites: one simply consumes blood of its victim (those who deprive the others from material goods or inflict physical harm); another injects own poison into the victim’s body to keep it under control, yet still living, until it consumes all victim’s resources (those who re–program conscience of the victims and make them slaves – source of labor and resources – destined to serve the needs of the slave–owner). Ultimately, both types of parasites support own existence by depriving other beings of life; they differentiate by a degree of the instant impact and time–range of assimilation of the victim’s resources.

11. Singularity of evil might be seen as an arrangement of the conditions, which facilitate deprivation the victims of their resources. The essence of any evil–crime against God, man, or nature is the same anytime and anywhere; this essence is deprivation:

 – if men deify themselves and pretend to share the power or dignity with God or to sit at the place of God, they, in fact, attempt to overthrow God and deprive the others of God, because the self–proclaimed deity transforms own followers into idol–worshipers

– if man enslaves other men, he deprives them of freedom and possibility to arrange their lives in accordance with their life–mission; simultaneously, the slave–owner intends to intervene with the plan of God and pretends to deprive God of His power by usurping the authority over life and death of the others

– if man becomes a robber, thief, or assassin, he deprives other men of the possibility to arrange their live in accordance with their purposes, therefore, as in the previous example, he attempts to play God and usurp the God’s authority

– if man pretends to become a teacher of the truth and instead corrupts the conscience, consciousness, and reasoning of his followers with the false knowledge, he overthrows the commandments of God with own rules (e.g., to burn heretics at stake vs. “you shall not kill”); he attempts to usurp the authority of God and transforms men into slaves and assassins, or into the living dead. In particular, he not only deprives the heretics of their life: he also takes away life from those whom he – in violation of the commandment of God – has made executioners of his victims. 

12. The producers of evil are the beings at the irreversible stage of destruction or the living dead. In particular, to overstep the threshold between the reality of good and the singularity of evil means to admit possibility of existence by deprivation the others of their life or other good. To become able to intentionally deprive other beings of their life and good, man must not have faith, love to God, knowledge of God, and love to His creations; it means that he is not able to have the Spirit of God within his soul. However, the soul, where God does not dwell, in fact, is dead because without God there is no life.

The widely known creations of minds, which are founded on the logic of death, include heathenism and such its derivatives, for instance, as the heathen philosophy of ancient Greece, which still sustains the contemporary Western civilization.

Currently, the term heathenism*1* denotes different polytheistic cults/religions, which acknowledge existence of many deities –“other gods” or justify deification of men and their establishments. Although different heathen doctrines assert different deities/ideas/concepts as the objects of worship, all of them have the same foundation: false knowledge of God. With the contemporary terms, the heathenism might be defined as a set of shared imaginary worlds with the fixed rules of game – conditions of existence. To become the actuality, any imaginary world of the heathen religion/cult needs to be structured: there should be division of the participants into at least two groups and strict distribution of their responsibilities:

1/ a leading group includes the privileged minority – the priests and priestesses, diviners, and other members of the temple hierarchy; this group designs the imaginary world, organizes its embodiment into actuality, and maintains its existence; it produces the set of beliefs designed for the majority; the temple hierarchy is intertwined with the hierarchy of political power; usually, a king or an emperor is initiated into the most secret mysteries of the cult; sometimes, the “sacred king” performs the duties of the chief–priest or has to marry the chief–priestess (or a daughter of chief–priest)

2/ another group consists of the ordinary worshipers, or the rest of population; it follows the commands of the elite, embodies the imaginary world into actuality of own existence, and provides the material support.

Although the heathen doctrines pretend to convey the knowledge referred to as “divine,” they usually have the earthly purposes: establishment of a particular social order, maintenance of the hierarchies of the political power, legalization of enslaving of men (therefore, establishing human chattel as the permanent source of resources) as the natural or deity–given order of the Universe. The creators of the imaginary worlds of heathenism forcefully impose figments of own imagination (e.g., a cult of the state, deification of a leader or ruler, ideology intended to take place of religion) onto all the others in an attempt to realize quite material purposes:

–  to extract the resources and to use the potential of the others for own advantages

–  to transform the others into slaves, which would serve the desires, bodily needs, and other necessities of their owners

–  to profit from exploitation of the others by all means possible.

Three components sustain theological speculations, with which the heathen diviners and philosophers assemble the shared imaginary worlds of manmade religions:   

a) the assumption that the human mind is able of cognition of God through His creations, in particular, through observation of visible structures and realities composing the discernible material world, which a human being is able to perceive with the sensory faculty; this assumption is based on the false belief that the matter (the matter exists at lowest level of complexity) is capable to reveal–cognize–control the attributes of the spirit (the spirit controls the highest level of complexity)

b) the inadequate complexity of analysis of the world of the matter; the Aristotle’s dialectics based on the logic of simplification gradually made its way into all spheres of human activities; however, there is no chance to learn the properties of the matter or any other derivatives with the simplified (therefore, inadequate) knowledge of its nature

c) the needs of rulers who control the establishment (society, state, etc.).

The shared imaginary worlds of manmade religions unified under the name of heathenism share the same features:

1) they serve the needs of political/social establishments (state, empire, society, religious/other institutions), which for the sake of own survival enslave and subdue a human being in an attempt to achieve the absolute power over body and mind of any subject/member

2) they result in disparagement of man accomplished through deification of beasts (literal deification of beasts as the mass religion in pharaoh’s Egypt, or symbolical, as the reflection or embodiment of human perversions)

3) they transform a human being into the beast with the mind controlled by the phantasms and with a body controlled with fear, physical coercion, pain/pleasures, and deprivation of vital resources.

In summary, the heathenism begins with insufficiency of the knowledge of God. Insufficiency of the knowledge of God triggers the work of imagination and proceeds through embodiment of the images into the particular framework, which determines and arranges the actual existence of the creators of deified images and people correlated with the creators of images.

The heathenism denotes the set of imaginary worlds assembled from the pieces of real knowledge and from the distorted or misrepresented reflections of the reality. These worlds are focused on the deified material objects, which might be discerned by senses or created with the logical reasoning. Each part/subsystem of the imaginary world serves the particular necessity of the mind, which is deprived of true knowledge of God and seeks to replenish the life–sustaining reserve–the knowledge of God. When the mind does not have access to the true knowledge, it creates own worlds–the idols and corresponding settings–cults, which take the place of God.

From another perspective, the heathenism might be seen as an alternative system of beliefs, which confronts monotheism and provides a possibility of definite and predictable existence within the shared imaginary worlds tailored to the needs of their creators. In this case, the heathenism might be compared to a dream, science fiction, or the distorting mirror, because the intellect misinterprets the truth of the actuality in favor of own presumptions.

Some researchers separate the heathenism and idol–worship; they consider the heathenism–as natural theology, which deifies the Nature and idol–worship – as the perverted reflection of the Nature and deification of creations of human thought and hands.

However, they both – the heathenism and idol–worship – share the same roots, have the same essence, and produce the same destructive consequences. Would it be the artifacts made from wood or stone, celestial bodies, the concept of the deified matter, the deified forces of the Nature, the deified Earth/Universe, or deified establishments of men (e.g., the empire, the state, the papacy) – the essence is the same. Both of them – the heathenism and the idol–worship – substitute the figments of imagination for God; they both accommodate the service to “other gods”; thus, they are identical.

The history of humankind reveals two common features innate for any establishment built on any of imaginary worlds sustained by the heathen theological doctrine:

1. the dreamers–innovators of a new theological concept frequently pretend to be idealists struggling for the common good, yet, they use the most ruthless methods to justify and propagate figments of their imagination and embody them into the institutions and establishments intended to control the actuality – life and death of human beings

2.  a common pattern describes the behavior of creators of the heathen doctrines:

 

they pervert true knowledge of God

or use the remnants of this knowledge to create verisimilar assertions

they obtain access to the power of coercion and – in pursuit of the purpose to establish own dominion over the others –

combine it with psychological intimidation, deceit, oppressive structures, material and psychological stimuli

they create an establishment–system, which sustains and protects the imaginary world with

the definite material means and methods

(army, hierarchies of social and political power, system of education, other social and political institutions,

which control the terms of existence through the rules, norm, laws, morals stipulating survival),

or they subdue/re–organize existing societies and other establishments

they deceive and transform into slaves the majority of population

and lead them to degeneration and destruction.

 

In general, in all time and in all places, the heathenism or imaginary world of manmade religions actualizes the same, typical or universal, pattern of destruction, which differs only by the details corresponding to the degrees of degeneration, decay of the reasoning, and destruction of the Nature. The heathenism denotes the deadliest weapon of self–destruction invented by humankind. The contemporary versions of the heathenism, such as atheism, materialism, neo–pagan beliefs and their derivatives – the state ideologies and cults, ethics– and value–free sciences continue termination of human beings, societies, and establishments.

Acceptance of the false or inadequate knowledge indicates degeneration of the mind; in fact, only perverted reasoning, which has rejected or forgot own Creator, becomes able to accept the false as the truth and then, to create the false knowledge for the others. Consequently, the heathenism indicates the stage of irreversible destruction of the state and the society.

In the temporal perspective, the heathenism is the term, which identifies the accelerated disintegration of mind and decay of the intellect: it starts with human imagination; it is fed by human blood; it progresses through the destruction of men and their creations. The contents and potency of false knowledge circulating within the observed system might disclose the remaining destructive potential and the specifics of the processes of degeneration and disintegration of the mind and its creations.   

The point of no return is creation of deities and idols – deification of any object, which exists in the world of the matter or image of which becomes the basis for the work of imagination: an idea, a person with access to the power of coercion, the establishment, celestial body, statue, tree, fictional character, celebrity, etc.

During the process of deification, the mind attributes the power to create to the lifeless images incapable of creation and transfers to the material objects the authority over the mind itself.

The essence of deification is a shift of the levels of complexity: the mind attempts to downgrade God’s energy of creation {the divine energy, which man does not possess for he is mortal who lives by the “borrowed spirit”; being mortal, he creates only this that is dead –  Wisdom 15:16–17} at the level of the dissipating matter, and simultaneously, to elevate the matter at the level of the divine energy of creation {the energy, which the mind is not able to access itself – Exodus 33:20–23; Deuteronomy 29:29}.

At the following stages of deity–manufacturing, the mind generates fantasies disguised with the remnants of the truth; it substitutes own fantasies for true knowledge of God, attributes to own fantasies the power over own life and death, and finally, accepts own fantasies as the truth. Ultimately, it begins to evaluate itself with the material objects – it degrades itself at the level of the material structures and men’s possession: it enters the reality of death and activates the program of self–annihilation.

If to evaluate the “progress” initiated by the heathen philosophy, it might be noticed, that overall development of concepts created with the logic of death resembles the unwinding spiral: with each circle, it deepens enslaving of men, consumes more and more human lives, and accommodates more and more human suffering. For example,

    a/ the pre–Platonic philosophers constructed theological doctrines, which downgraded the concept of invisible uncognizable God to the level of visible celestial objects, forces of nature, and the Universe; still some of their doctrines preserve some remnants of primordial knowledge and the ideals of humanity: they are centered on man as the main criterion of evaluation and hold the man’s well–being as the main meaning of good; for them, “the right end” of the laws is happiness of men, and the purpose of laws is to secure for men “all good things”

    b/ the Plato’s philosophy became the next stage: it introduced the concept of “divine philosopher” who is above the mob–beast and who knows the thoughts of gods. The Plato fantasies prepared the ground for deification of men’s establishments: with deification of the consummated philosopher, the “perfect community” was designed with such means to control the ordinary people’s beliefs and the manner of life as the Nocturnal Council (the Nocturnal Council became the precursor of the papal Inquisition). In fact, the Plato’s utopia – the Republic – propagates the perverted “ideals” of the inhumane “perfect community” controlled by the class of guardians deprived of all human attachments and supervised by the Nocturnal Council. Nevertheless, the Plato’s followers continue to deceive themselves and their audience with the theoretical speculations concerning the good and the ideals of humanity, which they falsely attribute to the inhumane logic of perverted slave–owner. Obviously, acceptance of the Plato’s doctrines denote the stage, at which the mind lost the ability to discern good and evil

    c/ the Aristotle’s doctrines deified the matter, perverted the concept of morality by association of the virtues with physical pain or pleasure, and induced the worship to the establishments of men; Aristotle asserted slavery as the universal pattern and natural order of the society and declared divine origin of the state. Consequently, Aristotelian doctrines became the foundation for Aquinas’ political theology and for ideologies of the totalitarian states.

                Therefore, the logic of death begins with an attempt to denigrate God, proceeds through deification of man, and reaches the maximal destructive potency with deification of human establishments.

The history confirms warnings of the Hebrew Prophets: idolatry pollutes the earth and begets the curse – disgrace, madness, premature death, and destruction. Service to “other gods” becomes the root of death and evil from which the fruits of Sodom and Gomorrah’s grapevine are harvested {Deuteronomy 11:26–28; 28:1–68; 29:18–28; 30:15–20; 32:32–33; Jeremiah 3:6–10}.

 And I think that it is the constant never–ending process: testing of the loyalty to God, and then, either a leap to the higher level of cognition and development – optimization or a collapse into idolatry and destruction. Eventually, the idolatrous minds wipe themselves out from the reality of God’s world and ruin own creations, because they pervert their nature and become incompatible with the image of God, thus, with the created by God world. Yet, before they perish, they commit evil and bring suffering and death to those who made them the reality or depend on them.

Moses the prophet prayed to God to grant him the knowledge of God, so, he would cognize the way to obtain the good will and benevolence of God. When Moses asked God that He Himself would lead His people, the answer of God {Exodus 33:13–17; 34:9–17} reveals that Moses, in fact, asked God’s protection from the plague of the heathenism. Moses was born in Egypt, he knew the Egyptian religion and his reference to “stiff–necked people” discloses the danger of the heathen knowledge, which, as Moses knew, could be overthrown only by the very presence of God and demonstration of the great and terrifying power of true God–Creator. If the mind leaves God, where it would find strength to live and protection from the worst enemies, including own imagination bent upon evil things from its youth {Genesis 8:21}, because it has to live and to learn its lessons within the world that has to accommodate cognition of evil?

The problem of the Present is that in the contemporary societies, the Christian teachings became either forbidden or falsified until such a degree that no truth left and the producers of the Inquisition and followers of the Aristotle– Aquinas’ political theology claim the name of Christians and pretend to dominate the entire Christendom. So, if the people do not come to the true knowledge of God, what is left for them who are caged within the establishments founded on the logic of death?

 

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*1*  See postings: Imagination – April 6, 2008; “Θυσατε ανθρωπους μοσχοι γαρ εκλελοιπασι” – “sacrifice humans, for sacrificial bulls perished”, March 2; concerning the Orphics – The True Vine  – August 3, 2008.

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References:

 

Augustine (Augustinus, Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo, Saint). The City of God Against the Pagans. The Loeb Classical Library. London:  William Heinemann; Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Harvard UP, 1960–1968. 7 vols.

St. Maximus The Confessor. Selected Writings  (The Four Hundred Chapters on Love. Chapters on Knowledge. The Church's Mystagogy). Translation and Notes by George C. Berthold. Mahwah, New Jersey:  Paulist Press, 1985.

St. Maximus the Confessor.  “First Century on Theology.” The Philokalia: The Complete Text Compiled by St. Nikodimus of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth. Trans. and ed. G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware, with the assistance of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery (Brookline) Constantine Cavarnos, Dana Miller, Basil Osborne, Norman Russel. London:  Faber & Faber, 1979–1995.  4 vols. In: vol. 2:114–136.

Plato. Complete Works. Edited with Introduction and Notes by John M. Cooper.  Associated Editor D.S. Hutchinson. Indianapolis, Indiana:  Hackett Publishing, 1997.

Schwarz, Hans. Evil: A Historical and Theological Perspective. Trans. Mark W. Worthing. Minneapolis:  Fortress Press, 1995.

Seneca. Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales. With an English translation by Richard M. Gummere. v. 2, 3. Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Harvard UP; London:  William Heinemann, 1967. 3 vols.

Spinoza, Baruch. Complete Works. Trans. Samuel Shirley. Ed., with Introduction and Notes, by Michael L. Morgan. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, 2002.

Tertullian, Quintius Septimius Florens. The Treatise against Hermogenes. Trans. and Annotated by J.H.Waszink. Ancient Christian Writers. The Works of the Fathers in Translation. № 24. Westminster, Maryland:  The Newman Press, 1956.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Summa Theologica. First Complete American Edition in 3 volumes literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. New York, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Francisco: Benziger Brothers, 1947. 3 vols.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint).  Truth.  Trans. Robert W. Mulligan. 1954. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, 1994.

 

 

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