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The lower order is not the real order

If you don't understand my writing (or John Bunyan's, for that matter) the lower order needs to be provoked by the higher order.

Yes, you've got a lot of sub-normal cases at the lower order who need some sort of basic treatment in a 'church', but the faith is not just defined by the sub-normal or the average (the good, upstanding family types who think producing children makes them righteous). That level really isn't even the true level of the faith.

This is not to say the higher order aren't sick cases. We all are.

One thing that distinguishes the higher order though is unlike the lower order we know our own smell. We know we are sinners, and we know sin isn't cool. We don't define our sin in terms that the world would smile at as if it were something cool. We actually know we are sinners, and that we smell, and that that smell is not a good smell.

A worse smell - far worse - is the smell of people who smell like the worst untreated bacterial infection yet who consider themselves to smell like roses. Meet the lower order.

How do you enter the higher order? You separate from the world. From 'all you hold dear.' You actually engage the word of God as if it is something higher than you. You get it into you complete. And you go on pilgrimage. And no you don't have to trek over deserts and mountains. That is thinking too literally. You cast off your worldly shell and you begin to develop your essential being, and you get your vanity and pride and self-will beaten to a bloody pulp in the process.

Practically speaking you can start this process by engaging influences that you, in your current fear of man, would never think of engaging. Influences just above your current level of understanding, just outside your current circle of interests. Music, art, religion in general, history, philosophy, imaginative literature, science...anything in those general categories. Throw in some performing arts, athletics... Sounds simple, but you really have to engage higher influences. Kind of systematically, until they begin to 'take'. Until they actually form a center in you. Until you value such influences and the direction they lead you in and what they lead to more than you value food, sex, money, and mother-in-law.

These influences contain in them by degree - greater or lesser degree - an even higher influence. You will discern the higher influence by following bits and pieces of ideas and images that occur and recur as you further engage these influences. It eventually leads you to a school, or school knowledge.

Doing this will make the people around you do a double take, then begin to get angry at you, to make accusations against you, to revile you. Then you kind of know you are on your way. You know you are now leaving the camp of darkness and stepping into the light. This makes the world very angry towards you. They'll even try to kill you. But you will have some degree of protection, hopefully. In God's providence he probably hasn't set you in the midst of a Muslim family in an Islamic hell hole, or something similar. So with the word of God, the living word of God, the Sword of the Spirit, you will have some protection.

You'll need more guidance than this note, but you get that on the Way...


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