Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Priscillian, the Good Man...?

So what, then, is the world?

Simply put, hell.

This, folks is the realm of the Devil - you are in the Matrix, trapped on the island like Truman and the only way you are going to break out is to come to the realisation of what you are, where you have come from, what binds you to this world of suffering, and what you have to do to extricate your soul.

And you'd better wake up soon or you are destined to continue to be trapped in ignorance for many lifetimes.

Some very notable comparisons between the Cathars and the Priscillianists can be made here: both groups were vegetarians eating no meat or meat products, although fish appears to have been allowed since fish, according to the Cathars, did not have sexual intercourse to reproduce. Neither group drank wine as it was considered not only intoxicating to the spirit but contaminated with the earth of the material world. I am not sure what they thought about leeks and carrots. But I digress.

Both groups were expected to pray, day and night, but while Priscillian asked his followers to read all books including the Apocrypha it seems more likely that such books were not available to the Cathari who seemed to take much of their doctrine from the Gospel of St. John. This is not to say however, that there could not have been an oral tradition of additional material or perhaps they may even have had one or more of the so-called heretical writings as part of the much-written about "Cathar treasure".

The Cathars had no respect for the cross likening it to "the gallows on which your father was hanged". Instead their symbol was the dove of peace. Scorning the visible opulence in which the clergy, and particularly the Pope lived, they sought voluntary poverty. They denied the Apostolic Succession believing the Catholic Popes to be the Antichrist. The Perfecti aimed to live their lives in purity. Once they had taken the Consolamentum they became quite literally Christs themselves, and it is for this reason that the credentes would worship them, often by prostration, not because of any attempt at worldly glorification on their part but because they beheld the living God.

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