Of Awe and Black Fire

Promises, promises about other topics that will manifest at a later time.

Here we go instead into my own personal spiritual territory, the territory wherein dwells that Deep and Profound Whatever-Something with which I wish to flood the whole Earth.

The whole point of religions and spiritualities is to take us beyond the everyday, ordinary mind-body that we experience, to reveal to us something that’s actually more essential and more important.

A particular feeling-sensation arises with this sense of profundity and has certain associations in my mind- the feeling-sensation is somewhere around the lower part of the stomach and can extend to the upward part of the stomach. The memories it conjures are those of a black sky with orange streetlights beating against it.

Truly, the darkness is the threshold, the point we seek being beyond it. Yet the darkness is infinite; how to find what is beyond it?

Many years ago, I happened upon terms describing consciousness (as the distinct “screen” upon which cognition and our experiences happen as opposed to being confused with cognition itself) as “black fire” and “luminous darkness.” At the time, I was fairly anti-Christian, so imagine my surprise when I discovered that the terms seemed to have originated among the Christian mystics! “Black fire” and “luminous darkness” describe accurately this feeling-sensation, and I’ve adopted it ever sense.

Lately, I’ve been re-reading the Bible, starting with the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and working my way through. There are many things I don’t remember, not the least of which is Moses’s encounter with God on Mount Sinai and seeing God face-to-face, or more importantly, that God is occluded by a thick darkness.

Later on, there’s a mention of Moses and others sitting with God and eating in His Presence; and it mentions that there is something like a pavement made of sapphire below God’s feet, comparing the color to the sky.

No, I certainly don’t remember that.

During the issuing of laws and regulations, I couldn’t help but muse to myself that, well, many of the laws make sense, some don’t, and some are only relevant to certain paradigms that we no longer have.

Stoning people to death is still pretty horrific. Of course, that’s where Talmud comes into the situation, which is a blog for another day.

Either way, I have to admit that I bring to this reading of Scripture my mystical pursuits, my recent study of Margaret Barker’s Temple Theology, and applying what I know about history and mythology. That makes the process more meaningful. I’m even debating ordering a side-by-side English-Hebrew copy of the Tanakh, but I’m not convinced it’s something I really need when I can read these things online. Plus I need to learn ancient Hebrew, because you know I’m a practical person and do practical things like that. (That was sarcasm.)

Steve

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