Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all manner of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you. (Gospel of St. Matthew 5:10-11)
Persecution, first and foremost, must be dealt with inwardly, within ourselves. For the vast majority of persecution is self-persecution, by way of insecurity and the self-negativity it engenders. After all, if someone speaks negatively about us, calls us names, slanders us, gossips about us, does not like us, and so on, it is more a reflection upon that person than it is on us, and it really only has the power that we give to it. Fundamentally, such persecution reveals our inner persecution by way of our
Ten own insecurities, feelings of lack, unworthinesi and underlying self-ioathing—all of which are as much enemies to enlightenment as are pride, arrogance, and the like. In fact, pride and arrogance themselves are the product of deep insecurity. The truth is. most forms of persecution cannot harm us in the least unless we allow them to do so. In this sense, they are like spiritual forces of admixture and darkness that have nothing to lia< with unless we entertain negativity in our minds, hearts, and lives.
It is certainly possible for persecution to go much further than mere words and for persecution to be put into action, which more or less may cause actual harm and injury to one's person. Such circumstances are, indeed, a great challenge to the truth and light within a person, and of course, the question would become whether to cleave to the truth and light or to give in to the admixture and darkness. It seems that the life story of Ycshua, whether historical or mythical, gives every disciple an answer to this question. Ultimately, our aim is to bear forth the light-presence regardless of whatever opposition might arise.
To those who actually embark upon the mystical journey and sincerely seek enlightenment and liberation, some form of persecution is likely, which is to say some degree of resistance, tension, stress, and pressure, both from within one's own consciousness and from the external environment. Quite frankly, there is little, if any, place for the mystic and prophet in our society and culture, and virtually nothing in our society and culture encourages a pursuit of self-realization or en-I ghtenment. As a matter of fact, for the most part, what our society encourages and supports is generally quite the opposite of the path to enlightenment, and thus there is always a subtle, if not overt, persecution of mystically inclined individuals. It is not so much that our modern society will outright kill a prophet or apostle. Rather, it ignores them gives them no real place, and thus seeks to discourage them and to kill their passion and soul. The mystical journey flies in the face of the establishment. The way of the holy ones runs opposite to the way of profane society. Thus, truly speaking, the path to enlightenment is . kin to swimming upstream in this world. It has alway been r!.: ; way.
We might liken the divine impulse to the spiritual quest to the instinctual impulse of the salmon to spawn. Quite literally, the salmon are driven by a powerful impulse to swim upstream, against the prevailing current, and to struggle to overcome all obstacles that appear along the way. In this process of spawning, the strength, overall fortitude, intelligence, and all qualities of the salmon are tried and tested. The strength and cunning of the salmon, along with a bit of luck or grace, determines whether or not the salmon makes it up the river to the spawning ground to reproduce the new generation. The same is true of the spiritual path in this world, only the impulse to return home is a psychic and spiritual one—an impulse from the depths of our being. Given the prevailing climate and the upstream journey, it becomes quite clear why it is essential to overcome self-negativity and inner persecution, for otherwise it would be impossible to go against the currents of the unenlightened society in this world.
This Beatitude points to a very interesting truth. Yeshua himself speaks or the path to Christ consciousness as very narrow, and as it turns out, it is quite narrow indeed: On the one hand, it is narrow because it is unique to every individual and cannot be found outside of oneself. On the other hand, it is narrow because the actual path to enlightenment always lies in between extreme religious conservatism and more radical alternative spiritual liberalism, it is too liberal for orthodox and fundamental religion, and it is too conservative for most who seek alternative forms of spirituality. Hence, it is a rather unpopular ground. Yet, it is exactly this ground to which Yeshua calls his disciples and to which he calls us—an authentic spirituality that seeks an actual self-realization.
In this light, we might consider another saying in the Sermon on the Mount: "Enter through the narrow gate,- for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it."7 The analogy of salmon spawning seems to reflect
7. Gospel of St. Matthew/:I3-I4
something of this saying, for relatively few salmon succeed to arrive in the spawning ground. According to Christian Gnosticism, the same principles we sec in a material evolution and the life-cycles in nature equally apply to a psychic and spiritual evolution and the spiritual life—hence, the idea of a divine election common to virtually all Gnostic schools.
Was this article helpful?
This work on 2012 will attempt to note them allfrom the concepts andinvolvement by the authors of the Bible and its interpreters and theprophecies depicted in both the Hopi petroglyphs and the Mayan calendarto the prophetic uttering of such psychics, mediums, and prophets asNostradamus, Madame Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce, and Jean Dixon.