Across almost two millennia, the Catholic Church maintained a stranglehold over life in Europe. It was able to do this because Christianity gave it a monopoly on the meaning of life: everything that was sacred, everything that mattered was not to be found in this world, only in another. Man was impure, profane, trapped in a worthless earth with everything beautiful forever locked beyond his reach, in heaven. Only the Church could act as an intermediary to that other world, and only through it could people approach the meaning of their lives.
Mysticism was the first revolt against this monopoly: determined to experience for themselves a taste of this otherworldly beauty, mystics did whatever it took—starvation, self-flagellation, all kinds of privation—to achieve a moment of divine vision: to pay a visit to heaven, and to return to tell of what blessedness awaited there. The Church grudgingly accepted the first mystics, privately outraged that anyone would sidestep its primacy in all communication with God, but believing rightly that the stories the mystics told would only reinforce the Church's claims that all value and meaning rested in another world.
But one day, a new kind of mysticism appeared; those who practiced it were generally known as the Brethren of the Free Spirit. These were men and women who had gone through the mystical process, but returned with a different story: the identification with God could be permanent, not just fleeting, they announced. Once they had had their transforming experience, they felt no gulf between heaven and earth, between sacred and profane, between God and man. The heretics of the Free Spirit taught that the original sin, the only sin, was this division of the world, which created the illusion of damnation; for since God was holy and good, and had made all things, then all things truly were wholly good, and all anyone had to do to be perfect was to make this discovery.
Thus these heretics became gods on earth; heaven was not something to strive towards, but a place they lived in; every desire they might feel was absolutely holy and beautiful, and not only that—it was the same as divine commandment, more important than any law or custom, since all desires were created by God. In their revelation of the perfection of the world and themselves, they even were able to go beyond God, and place themselves at the center of the world: accepting the Church's authority and objective world view had meant that if God had not invented them, they would not exist; but now, accepting their own desires and perspectives as sovereign, and therefore accepting their own subjective experience of the world as the only authority, they were able to see that if they had not existed, then God would not exist.
The book of Schwester Katrei, one of the sources that remains from these times, describes one woman's pursuit of divinity through this kind of mysticism; at the end, she announces to her confessor, in words that shook the medieval world: "Sire, rejoice with me, for I have become God."
Of course the Catholic Church responded to this heresy by slaughtering the Brethren by the thousands. Anything less than a campaign of all-out terror would have sealed its fate, as its authority was almost entirely undermined by this new liberating theology. Despite the violence of this repression, however, the secrets of the Free Spirit were passed across vast measures of time and space; they traveled unseen and uncharted, through corridors hidden to history (perhaps because they consisted of moments lived outside of history?) to appear in social explosions and near-revolutions hundreds of years and thousands of miles apart.On many occasions the power of the Church and the nations that served it was almost broken by these seemingly spontaneous uprisings; they appear throughout official history like a heartbeat in a sleeping body.
taken from CrimethInc's manifesto, Days Of War, Nights Of Love.
Gonna leave Athens once more from 16 to 23 August, so next post is expected after 23 of August..also, MEGA will be used again as the main file host for Precession Of The Equinoxes.Take care.