lørdag 31. desember 2016

A New Year's Letter

Box from the past

A short tale on the passing of time and of how time steals the memories of our ancestors. While the heroes of the ages may pass from factual memories to become legends and then perhaps even myths, most people’s lives unravel and fade into the mists of the past.


My great grandfather’s brother was a heretic. In Norway. He was a schoolteacher and also held the office of the bell ringer in a protestant church north of Oslo; jobs he would loose because of his nefarious interests in things mystical. Now, literature on these matters was hardly available in provincial Norway at the closing of the 19th century unless they were sanctioned by the church. However that may have been, his interests seems to have been directed specifically towards Swedenborg.

This was of course before my own conscious interest in such matters. I had on rare occasions as a child heard him be mentioned in family settings as a man of the enlightenment. Later, at least on one occasion my mother had showed me a short text he had written about Swedenborg and his grand work of a vast metaphysical order. Unfortunately, when I later, and before my mother died, had the opportunity to examine the few pages they proved virtually impossible to read on account of the tiny letters in faded ink and carefully handwritten in the old style. It could only be deduced that the content of the pages in question was not very profound. All in all it would seem that these few pages hardly would have contained reasons for removing him from his prestigious positions. As the text’s whereabouts are now unknown to me, most likely they lie forgotten in some uninterested relative’s loft (which could be my own), I can of course not at the present time investigate that matter any further.

Nevertheless, he was of some threat to the church and state and now the fact of this hidden text merely confirm his interests and corroborate the fact of his dismissals.

Apparently he did not recant.

That is all I know of him except that he carried the name of the male line on my mother’s side: Pedersen. The man himself… a relative, and the only one in my family records with whom I seem to share some proclivity towards heresy has slowly bit by bit, been disappearing from view.



Time, as we know, like Jupiter the god, seems to eat its offspring. It is experienced as fact. Knowledge about lives bygone fragments and disappears. Only some headlines from the chapters of their lost stories survive. In his case not even that. Just the hearsay of a local parish scandal and these few crumbs still not lost survive. The rest is gone along with the memories carried by those family members who lived in the time space between him and me. They were perhaps too embarrassed to even cultivate his memory beyond the scandalous bits.

 Time conspire against memory and is without any need of a theory. And memories told of things past are, in themselves, feeble attempt to conquer times passing. The stories we tell, big and small are bulwarks against this deep black well. Strangely, Swedenborg’s big tome which had caught Mr. Pedersen’s interest, was in itself an attempt at synthesizing our collective self remembering. These metaphysical codices where I perhaps could find paths to myself, can though on this side of the veil of mysteries, lead to none other of flesh and bone.


And yet…..there are some items, a fine box of lacquered walnut with a smooth Biedermeier rounded lid and brass hinges. It measures 19 x 13 cm and is 17 cm high. Inside there are now two small leather bound books. Both books being psalters and set in Gothic type, both published in Christiania by Cappelen in 1870, but they are different in appearance.

One has a gold inlaid crucifix set in rose ornaments on the front and a chalice on the back, the gold now half worn away. Along the edges of the leather covering there are brass protections and a beautifully shaped brass snap keeping the covers firmly together. This one must have been the luxury version of the same publication and seemingly suitable as a gift for a special occasion, as the name Henrik Hansen, October 2 1870, is printed in gold on the front free end paper, the same year as the book was published and thus brand new. The next and blank page reveals a dedication by a Madame Christine Berg to the said Henrik Hansen. Perhaps a confirmation present?

The other book, with exactly the same content, though more plain, also has embossed leather, but no gold and now with Jesus on the cross front and back. It is much more tarnished and brittle by dedicated use. There is written with pencil at the top of the title page ‘Pedersen’ and below, mid page in the same hand, ‘Hansen’.

Now, how all this figures I cannot tell. I know Pedersen, but who this Fredrik Hansen was is now completely lost. However, what I seem to recall is the that my mother took the pages Pedersen wrote out of this box when she first shoved them to me.

The lacquered box is still in good shape and standing on my desk with the books inside this moment. They are not much, but the one with his name inside is still some kind of surface membranes between him and me. I can touch what he must have touched.

He becomes confirmed with these items, - more than flimsy and partially unreadable words presented inside an equally flimsy memory.


 There is yet one more item, and one of a more sensory sort. It is a pipe, or rather, the end of a pipe. The mouthpiece is gone. Most likely it was one of those curved ones, like an upside down letter J. The pipe’s head would have suited one of those. The head itself is of fine burl and with a hinge and a bent silver lid still stuck in the scorched wood at the top. The varnish is worn off at the bottom where the bulbous head would rest in an open hand.

 When I remember back, at the beginning of a new year I fill up his burl pipe head, -though I don’t smoke - and imagine myself spending an intimate time with him. Perhaps even some of the old residue in there heats up and mixes in with smoke I inhale. And thus I feel I commune with him though both pipe and memories are fragments. This is as close as I now can get to this partner ‘familias’ in heresy. It is not much, but it is more than I get out of handling his psalters, which I hardly ever do.

With the pages gone for now and the psalters being of a more dubious providence, I have made up my mind this year to remove the psalters and install the pipe in the walnut box


Before I do this again tomorrow we are counting 2017 and I realize that more than in a very long time we will be leaving behind, not just last year’s days and events, but a whole age. Our new generations will not comprehend what will be gone forever. We are at a threshold of a new and grim world which we do not yet know. I think we all know this somewhere in our quiet desperation.

And as it is with threshholds of time: There is no going back. This destructive longing is a large part of our problem. “Make America great again,” …. and Britain, ….and Turkey, …. etc. etc. We all know it will not work. “Make Humanity great”, is what we need.

What we must safeguard and seek to bring over this threshold is Science, Art and Spirit so that we can nourish our personal and collective imagination. So we can tell our stories still and prepare ourselves and our communities to remember our past, and to remember what an individual is and how we may become one. This we can still do, we have the faculties.

Everything else will be gone forever. Like Egypt.

May the God–Spirit within you bless you and prepare you for Anno Domini 2017

And keep an Eye on what is becoming more and more known about what Consciousness truly is, and know I AM.

lørdag 26. november 2016

The 27th Anniversary of Reverend Jan Valentin's Ordination to the Priesthood

We congratulate 

Rev. JAN ISAK VALENTIN BEN ABRAM SAETHER 

on behalf of the Ecclesia Gnostica Norvegia

The Good Shepherd, The Catacombs of St. Domitilla, Rome

On the occasion of this celebration, the second Sunday of Advent, we re-publish the Hymn of Remembrance, which was written for the original occasion in 1989, with the permission of the author, Jan Valentin Saether. You may download a facsimile of the original here.


HYMN
Of
REMEMBERANCE
Souvenir

Ordination
to the Priesthood in the Ecclesia Gnostica
of
Rev. Jan I. Saether

the Rt. Rev. Stephan A. Hoeller
Ordaining Bishop


INRI

God does not belong to history
the soul’s journey towards the Light,
belongs to a quest all unto itself.
the wedding that happens hence
changes natural water
into spiritual wine.
Such is the bridegroom’s power
such is the bridegroom’s love.
Hear all you lovers,
do not misunderstand,
Great Life is a river and four springs feed it;
Grace, Love, Mercy and Foreknowledge.

This river, this Holy river cannot be stopped.
Beasts and men build no dams
in this River.
Their rivers and dams themselves
Float down the Great River.
  
Civilizations rush down the Holy River.
History itself is like a little tree
In her swelling Holy Stream.

            God dooes not belong to history,
nor does the unknown Father-being
reflect himself in it.
History does not unfold.
as we are prone to hope and believe,
rather – it infolds,
collapses in on its own victories
until there is no more spiritual freedom anywhere.
Then people go mad and destroy
Their foundations

Wars have long since ceased to be over land and nations 
– that is just what rulers want you to believe.
Since Babylon wars have been over laws.

Those who win rule over the law.
These are the Rulers.
They are appointed
by our selfhatred
for only those gathered in hatred
and suspicion of God’s love
are in need of leaders.
God is not a ruler.
God is not a leader.
God is not a fear.

            In the childhood of civilization
men-kings made themselves into gods
and legislated their own worship.
In time they came to rule over life,
over law and calendar.
All our days were ruled.
As soon as we knew the length
of the solar year
Rulers ruled over it.

            At first history was the stories
about the first men-kings.
Then the idea of history became the hope
of rival kings,
and hope itself became exploited
through their promises.
King versus king.
God versus god.
Such was our childhood here
in this unique world of sad creation
            But in the midst of the error
and our crimes against Love,
in the density of forgetfulness,
a Word came forward from the Silence.
This Word was not a message to man,
it WAS man. It was a particular man
as we are particular men and women
He was born Jesus,
when he died he was Jesus Christ

and when he resurrected he was Christ.
This man was the firstbegotten
son of the Great Father-being
He still lives in those who know themselves
as One.
            He came into the Holy Stream
and was his Father’s essence as a knowledge:
My Kingdom is not of this world.
Behold this astonishing man.
He makes all things new.
He reveals the greatness,
and sets us free.
Through him our suffering is undone.
God came into the world with him.
His life revealed
the darkness of the Error.
For the erroneous ones nailed him to a cross
and pierced his Heart.
And proclaimed him King

As in a carnival,
when he was dying.
When the truth comes all the way
out into this world it dies
at the hands of the rulers.
They thought he was dead.
But he knew not death
because he came in the Holy Stream
from the Fullness,
and he was a fish to the stream.
His death was only in a stream within
the Holy Stream.
The Word is a living Word.
It does not remain on a cross
This Word is a light
a living light,
see it resurrect in you
when you stop waiting for him
in history or in barren images
that have become ideas.

            God does not belong in history.
God is not born of our efforts
nor from our expectations.
the good news is that his knowledge comes
into the world in a mystery
that cannot be held
as the world holds.
Nor is the gate to his Father’s mansion closed.
Seek and you shall be let in.
But when you ar elet in,
you will be astonished and you will seek no more

            Make not of your seeking a virtue
for such virtue makes one blind.
Trust and gain strength
but build not from faith a stronghold.
Such fortifications shut the Redeemer our.
He came as a suffering servant
and yet he suffered not

for he knew the Greatness
of what he revealed.
He brought the redeeming knowledge
that lies at the heart
of Trust
For when he comes to you in Glory
you shall also know.
Free yourselves
from the fetters of this world,
be in it,
but not of it
and your bridegroom’s hour shall come
to you.

            Be of courage in your dark night.
Rest in Remembrance
- if you seek him
you have already known him.

            His word is subtle
Offer attention to his mystery

for his Body and Bloood
shall nourish you.
Watch his Body break
and watch his Blood flowing in the wine

            In him know the voice of Wisdom.
He endures all experience
and through him all things are Real.
Cast the world into the Wine
and you shall have
eternal Life.
Such Life restores the Wisdom
and She will green the wasteland
before your eyes
in the midst
of your Remembrance
She came first
and she shall come again at last.

Find her Wisdom
through the Bridegroom.
He is the revealer of your Soul.

AMEN

from peace to peace

lørdag 11. mai 2013

Messer i mai

Program


Søndag 12. mai: Søndag etter Kristi Himmelfart


12:30 Dagens nøkkelord diskuteres - Hjemreisen til lyset
13:00 Messe
Ikom som fremstiller Kristi Himmelfart. 800-tallet. Sinai.

Søndag 19. mai: Pentēkostē


12:30 Dagens nøkkelord diskuteres - Den Hellige Ånds ankomst
13:00 Messe
Ikon i gresk-ortodoks stil. Fremstiller øyeblikket da disiplene mottok Den Hellige Ånd

Velkommen!


fredag 9. november 2012

OBS! Messen søndag 11. november er dessverre avlyst!

Messen søndag 11. november er dessverre avlyst grunnet sykdom!

Vi beklager dette.

lørdag 29. september 2012

lørdag 15. september 2012

Søndag 16. september - Messe

Kl 12:30 Tema for dagen: Nestekjærlighet
Kl 13:00 Messe

Mer om dagens tema, se http://gnosis.org/ecclesia/lect093.htm

Velkommen!




Illustrasjon: Jesus helbreder en kvinne. Tegning av Rembrandt





søndag 22. juli 2012

22. juli: Den hellige Maria av Magdalas dag

22. juli feirer vi Maria Magdalena, i gnostisk litteratur omtalt i vendinger som "the Apostle who excels the rest, the Disciple of the Lord, the One who knew the All, the One who reveals the Greatness of the Revealer, the Inheritor of the Light, the privileged Interlocutor, the One who is always with the Lord, the One whom they call His Consort, and the Chosen of Women." Maria Magdalena var Jesu første og fremste apostel. Tau Steven har skrevet følgende homile i anledning hennes dag: The Beloved of the Logos. (Sitatet nevnt over er hentet derfra.)

Maria Magdalena, tegning av Leonardo da Vinci
Maria Magdalena, tegning av Leonardo da Vinci


Ellers finner du her en henvisning til en rekonstruksjon av Maria av Magdala's evangelium fra Nag Hammadi biblioteket:
A Complete Version of the Gospel of Mary Magdalen.

Det foreligger også en bok, Mary Magdalene, the first apostle: The struggle for authority av Ann Graham Brock fra Harvard University Press, 2003. (Kan bestilles bl.a. fra nettbokhandelen Capris.) Denne har fått en meget god omtale og burde være interessant i et gnostisk perspektiv.