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8.06.2015

The practice of the faith

1. Conscious Labor

2. Intentional Suffering

If you understand these two things you'll understand the true practice of the Christian faith.

What the churchians teach always comes down to dead ritual. "Drink grape juice and eat crackers! And, oh, yes, just sit there and don't worry about knowing anything, just be 'under the care of' these 'ordained' elders." Who don't know shit. That's like 'being under the care of' Vinnie the Bouncer at the Sports Club Bar and Pizzeria; or daddy the minivan driver who thinks everybody who doesn't look like him is trying to molest his children. Neither of them have ever done much about the shallowness they were born with and born into.

A Christian is a prophet, priest, and king. Where do kings gather? If you knew history (i.e., churchian elder, if you weren't so damn shallow) you'd know the only place you're likely to see a gathering of kings is on a battlefield. The spiritual battlefield in this case. I don't know what's going on in that churchianity church of yours. It looks like a nursery full of grown ups on the spiritual battlefield. Just where the devil wants you. Off the King's Highway and docile.

I'll give a thumbnail description of intentional suffering. There's fake suffering, there is real suffering, and there is intentional suffering. People indulge in fake suffering most of the time (resentments, whining, making requirements on everybody and everything, boredom, etc.). Then there is real suffering, i.e. suffering that can't be avoided, but it can be redemptive (illness, injury, loss, seeing tragedy or suffering, etc.). Then intentional suffering; i.e. suffering that never happens as a part of life or mechanically, but has to be conscious (loving your enemy, seeing in yourself what you dislike in others, replacing gratitude for resentment for everything all the time, etc.).

One note: illness or injury that is real suffering can morph into fake suffering if the person indulges it in that direction. There are other caveats to all the above, but you just have to be savvy and see them.

If you have eyes to see you can see how intentional suffering is visually seen in what is called the Lord's Supper, that visual parable. You in effect eat your suffering, in the event/moment/circumstance, and join with your Savior on the cross. The more unjust the act or word against you the more real your intentional suffering. The effect though is awakening and being more conscious and not wailing and pouring dust on your head.

So what then is conscious labor? And how is it like baptism, or baptism of the Holy Spirit? More like intake of the Holy Spirit. (We can have the Spirit by degree. Jesus was the only human being who could have the Spirit "without measure.") Conscious labor is not as easy to describe in a short paragraph. It's basically the opposite of sleepwalking through life (and fascinated with shiny objects and other things), which is what fallen humanity does, whether street dweller or king, street sweeper or famed surgeon. All human beings sleepwalk through life. It takes effort to not sleepwalk through life, hence the 'labor' in conscious labor. I'm going to take the easy way out and direct you to a book titled the Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution by Ouspensky to learn about conscious labor. If you're scared of that, then fine, go back to your nursery. [Note: 'evolution' in the title does not refer to mechanical, Darwinian evolution. And, the book is method, not dogma.]

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Another necessary note: with Ouspensky's books, the main ones being Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution, the Fourth Way, and the more 'chaff-y' and narrative In Search of the Miraculous, you *have* to get the actual paperback editions. The Kindle editions are horrible and missing illustrations and just, again, horrible in more ways than that.

I'm giving this information because people who have read my blog here and there over the years need to know why I'm so weird compared to the mainstream Christian blogger types.

One thing is I've always been pulled between two different languages, Work language, and Christian language. You can't mix languages. Mixing them downgrades both. In the least you have to know both languages to a very full degree of understanding to begin to use them together. Hardly anybody on the internet has a real understanding of the Work ideas, practices, and goals (you'll mostly run into cult use of the language on the one hand, and shallow New Age use of it on the other); and having a complete understanding of the Bible and biblical doctrine is also rare among Christians let alone non-Christians.

The problem with both groups is a lack of development with higher influences (imaginative literature, history, philosophy, music, art, religion, science, and everything that falls into one or another of those categories; also physical development, athletics or performing arts). And it has to be a unique - balanced - development; and, another big thing: inwardly motivated. I.e. balanced and motivated by a search for real understanding, not to get a passing grade or to impress people in conversation. It has to 'take'. It has to start to build a unique center in you, out of which emerges the beginning of real self-awareness. Also conscience. Or the unburying of conscience.

You can read a library and get nothing from it. You can learn at the foot of Jesus and get it all wrong.

Anyway...

Conscious labor and intentional suffering are more Gurdjieffian phrases (I was never a Gurdjieffian, but he was more in tune with a kind of Christianity of his youth and geographical area (Armenia? or thereabouts), so his language could sound closer to Christian language; Philokalia type Christianity). As a Christian I wouldn't recommend Gurdjieff's books, you might as well read Rabelais. But he stated Ouspensky put the teaching into sound form. He was impressed. The New Agers like Gurdjieff's works more because they aren't really looking for practical understanding; and they want to avoid that anyway because it inevitably leads - As Gurdjieff knew - to Christian teaching itself. You find yourself on the spiritual battlefield and you realize: I need the armor of God. Gurdjieff as evangelist is the father who throws the child into the pool and says, "Swim!" It's unique evangelism. He throws you onto the spiritual battlefield, naked and ignorant and weak, and says: "Figure it out!" Suicide, alcoholism, lifelong pagan/occult/New Age idiocy... You need the real armor of God. Once you have that the Work language puts you at a different level, but...TWO POINTS:

1. You're still a beaten down, smashed up apparent loser to the rest of humanity. You don't grow antlers the more you develop in a real way.

2. Regeneration by the word and the Spirit also puts one on the spiritual battlefield, whether you try to get there or not. So, you need the armor of God even if you never learned any extra-biblical teaching, sophisticated or not. And read Ephesians 6:10-18. Doctrine is the armor of God. Hard biblical doctrine, associated by name with Calvinism. See it, accept it, value it, it then changes you - reorientates you - internally. It makes you God centered and not man-centered. It makes you a fully armed soldier of Christ in the spiritual realm as well as here under the sun.

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