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Christ and Prometheus

I have been spending time lately with a congregation of Pentecostal Christians. The Pastor of the local Church and his wife have become good friends of mine, and we meet outside of Sunday morning worship – which I attend with my family – to enjoy one another’s company. Our daughters are only a few months apart in age, and our wives are both invested in diet and physical fitness. He is a brilliantly warm and hospitable man, physically fit, intelligent, and well spoken; I quickly grew to like him upon our first handshake.

    There is within our broadly pagan circles an – often justified – distrust or dislike of Christianity. A large majority of the readership and social circles herein likely had satanic heavy metal and the disdain for Christianity as a staple in our teenage years. It remains extremely stylish among intellectuals to chastise and ridicule Christian belief while predictably remaining nihilistic and empty, a perpetual chasing of external stimuli to numb the soul as many of our contemporaries and mentors have previously discussed at adequate length. In this segment, I do not strive to point out the flaws with modern man’s absence of relationship with the divine for the umpteenth time nor provide any particularly detailed dissection of any specific branch of the tree of Christian values, but rather, my own experience thus far in my interactions with the Church.

    I first heard of this particular church through an entertaining yet depressing reddit thread on a page for my hometown that I masochistically used to check in on every few weeks and have since broken the habit. One of the threads was something to the effect of “disgusting new oppressive church set to open in town”. I was extremely intrigued, were we getting some manner of Westboro Baptist church? Could it be some openly extremist church? In progressive coastal BC? The first few comments furthered that notion, suggesting fellow readers check out the church’s instagram and official website and just see all the bigoted garbage being spouted. Upon looking fervently, hoping for some passing amusement, I saw nothing that could vaguely pass for the boogeyman of “intolerance” and was instead greeted by sleek modern graphic design, and invitations to come meet and hear about their mission in person.

    The comments went on to make such statements as “being a member of the LGBT community I feel extremely unsafe that these people are coming here” and more broadly and generally “fuck these people” and so forth. While I couldn’t find anything on the church’s website and instagram even vaguely indicating something akin to “fags burn in hell” I was immensely amused by the degree of rustled jimmies among the redditors and so I messaged the Church simply saying “hey, I’m not a Christian, but I hope you guys do well on opening here, welcome to [town].”

    I wisely neglected to follow the thread on that godforsaken website, and when the Church posted to their instagram that the first few congregations were going to take place I decided to go meet them and get a vibe check. I arrived in the middle of their service, and was greeted immediately by the smiling faces and handshakes of young, happy, healthy looking families, and an assortment of kind elderly couples. The pastor – from another campus, I would learn – was speaking about coming together in the name of Christ above and beyond all mundane contemporary issues that may otherwise divide us.  I stood at the back of the hall for the remainder of the sermon, listened to their worship music, and then chatted with the majority of the congregation afterwards. I asked a few standard questions pertaining to what denomination they were, what philosophies outlines their particular strain of Christianity and so forth. They were all outstandingly kind and engaging.

    Speaking with the head pastor who had founded this Church, I told him that while I am not a Christian myself, I felt that the time is nigh for those of us who feel a connection with divinity, God, the Gods, the Heavens, to largely set aside these differences and come together in our communities against the grey morass of consumption and subjugation that Jack Donovan has named “The Empire of Nothing”. As a side note I was later speaking with Ioan and Zack and I told them that, while he agreed with me, the pastor also said “I’ve known lots of people on their spiritual journey and development.” I asked them if they think he was implying that becoming a Christian, “finding Christ” is the inevitable final destination of any spiritual journey; they said of course; for that head pastor, it would and should only be natural that his conviction tells him there is no other path.

    Years prior I had also attended a number of meetings with a Gnostic “congregation” which I enjoyed greatly. The discussions of archetypes spanning Christianity, Vedic and Norse paganism, Buddhism, and specklings of psychology, numerology, and general occultism set the hook in for me and since then I have been highly invested in this philosophical outlook largely as a thought experiment for investigating cultural parallels, archetypal manifestations, and representations of aspects of humanity.
    In this line of thought, I have come to view “Christ” as a symbol for the enlightened, individuated, elevated, perfected man. In line with Buddha, Odin/Wotan after his self-sacrifice, or any other Bodhisattva across the cultural board. Much in the same manner as we all strive for a perfect unattainable archetype that we know we will not reach in this life, Christians will never be Christ – yet they aspire to be as Christ-like as possible during their time here. This unwavering faith and devotion is immensely admirable whether we agree with the philosophy behind it or not.

    Is this type of thought too invested in some degree of Monism? I’m not sure yet myself. I don’t know if these myriad deities across time and cultures are all “the same” and have just been given new names and masks from each peoples who they sang to in their blood. Are Thor and Indra and Perun the same? This is highly likely given the shared Indo-European background and as many of our contemporaries and forebears have explored in spectacular depth. What about if we begin to call the archangel Michael a parallel to these “Strikers”? Michael leads the angels in battle against “the Dragon”, and his earliest sanctuaries and holy places are also associated with “healing waters.” St. George also takes up the mantle as dragon/serpent slayer as another Christian symbol superimposed over that timeless archetype of He who slays and casts down that which is dark or evil.

    The key area that I have found myself in disagreement with these Christians is the concept of salvation or the “breaking of chains” through servitude and devotion to their God and his manifestations. The current theme spanning the coming weeks of the Sunday services is “Jesus is King” wherein the pastors have said in no ambiguous terms that “you cannot make it through life on your own – you cannot be your own king – you cannot bear the weight of this world yourself” and so forth. My knee jerk reaction is to wholly disagree, but if I decide to play with this notion I can argue for symbolic aspects of it. 

    For Christians, God is their absolute axis mundi about which they navigate their lives. He is the Light and the Way; for this they cannot do it “on their own” without this guiding point. I have conceded to myself that in such a way, this is true. We as mundane fleshy creatures cannot “do it all ourselves” insofar as we require the vertical thought of ideals and hierarchy, we need “God” upon which we can orient ourselves, our choices, our actions, and our relationships. Largely it is the choice of the word “submission” that sits on my tongue as a bitter taste. Though the etymology of the word is as such “to place (oneself) under the control of another, to yield oneself,” from Latin submittere “to yield, lower, let down, put under, reduce,” and while again my initial response is the shirk away from terms that lower me, I must also keep in mind and recognize that for me to have ideals and lofty ambitions, it is necessitated that I be beneath those. 

    But the jealous desert God does not want us to climb that ladder as we know from the archetypal fall of Lucifer who wished to be more. Who tempted Eve with the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Like Prometheus who stole the fire of the Gods to bring it to mankind, which elevated us closer to our own Godhood and actualization – and for this he is punished. Chained to the rock of eternal noontide.

    This, I believe, is the point where we come across the trope of “the Church is all about control”. From what I see in daily life, these Christians are kind, loving people who don’t seem to want to control anybody, but passively hope for everyone that they find this light in their lives which has brought them such meaning. This meaning also provides the scaffolding upon which to base their behaviour and morals, so it can be argued that it does function as a form of “control”, and by that token every concept or idea is also “control” insofar as it provides framework for the mindset and lifestyle of the individual or group. To take a brief step back, my wife pointed out to me a few months ago that of all the other women she had gone to high school with, it was those among them who were Christian who largely “had their lives together”. They were married, had children, a nice home, and by all accounts appeared very fulfilled and happy. She said by contrast, most of the “other” girls were living lives largely outlined by many red-pill advocates or otherwise generally directionless and “figuring out what they want from life/doing me/in my lane.” Which seemed obvious enough to me that the prior women were operating within a set of moral guidelines with a solid community around them that shared these principles. They have a proper cultural framework.

    When your stereotypes are being kind, performing community outreach beyond your own church for people who don’t share your beliefs, praying for people and communities and wishing them well, having wholesome families, and coming together in a common belief of a positive light, it’s difficult to hold on to the disdain for Christians. “Don’t hate the player, hate the game” some might say. And while my experiences spending time with these Christians so far has been enjoyable and finally given me a glimpse into that community, I know I will always be slightly “other” from them. Perhaps they will hold on to the idea or believe strongly that “he’s right on the cusp” or that some miracle or notion or other will pull me over to see the light. What they perhaps don’t know or would prefer to not acknowledge is that much like they consume the flesh and blood of their God, my Gods are already also within me. I have incorporated them into my being and will continue to do so in a flaming, undulating Mobius strip Ouroboros of being and becoming.

    Christ “took our place” upon the cross for our sins. He was crucified atop Golgotha, which is the crown of the skull. Within the Sahasrara Chakra from which the Lingasarira erupts from the body to higher realms. His life was condemned and he was pierced through the ribs with a spear and placed in “the cave” – which we will of course see as the underworld – from which he arose, resurrected after 3 days. 3 days, 3 nights, a tripartite God – 9 – 9 worlds, 9 nights or 9 moons, a full gestational period from insemination to birth. The resurrection of Christ is the lynchpin upon which the faith of many Christians hangs, and it is a tale of ascension wherein the Son rejoins the Father –of whom he is a manifestation – beyond the firmament. It is the unification of divinity beyond our comprehension and ourselves as we too leave “the cave”. Yet the Christians do not seek to emulate Christ in this manner, they do not wish to risk the cleaving of their crown by the sword of Michael as they approach the throne of Godhood themselves. The jewel from which will be sought by many through the ages…

    I will always see fate, destiny – or “God’s plan” – as an extended Promethean hand beckoning me to explore all avenues during my time here in this round. To amalgamate my experiences and to indulge in all manner of undertaking that can embolden or reshape my preconceived notions. I will not stagnate under one single God, regardless of the positive impact His Word has led to in the lives of these people whom I have grown to call friends. His word is not what is in my blood, I will be cast from the garden for daring to eat the apple – I know it is one of the golden ones of the Hesperides. For it is only once we feel the longing and need to reclaim that Paradise within our souls, at the bottom of the Ocean, and beyond the Poles, can we begin to orient ourselves back North and pass beyond the winds.

O divine air Breezes on swift bird-wings,
Ye river fountains, and of ocean-waves
The multitudinous laughter Mother Earth!
And thou all-seeing circle of the sun,
Behold what I, a God, from Gods endure!
Look down upon my shame,
The cruel wrong that racks my frame,
The grinding anguish that shall waste my strength,
Till time’s ten thousand years have measured out their length!
He hath devised these chains,
The new throned potentate who reigns,
Chief of the chieftains of the Blest. Ah me!
The woe which is and that which yet shall be
I wail; and question make of these wide skies
When shall the star of my deliverance rise.
And yet-and yet-exactly I foresee
All that shall come to pass; no sharp surprise
Of pain shall overtake me; what’s determined
Bear, as I can, I must, knowing the might
Of strong Necessity is unconquerable.
But touching my fate silence and speech alike
Are unsupportable. For boons bestowed
On mortal men I am straitened in these bonds.
I sought the fount of fire in hollow reed
Hid privily, a measureless resource
For man, and mighty teacher of all arts.
This is the crime that I must expiate
Hung here in chains, nailed ‘neath the open sky. Ha! Ha!
What echo, what odour floats by with no sound?
God-wafted or mortal or mingled its strain?
Comes there one to this world’s end, this mountain-girt ground,
To have sight of my torment? Or of what is he fain?
A God ye behold in bondage and pain,
The foe of Zeus and one at feud with all
The deities that find
Submissive entry to the tyrant’s hall;
His fault, too great a love of humankind.
Ah me! Ah me! what wafture nigh at hand,
As of great birds of prey, is this I hear?
The bright air fanned
Whistles and shrills with rapid beat of wings.
There cometh nought but to my spirit brings
Horror and fear.

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