Pussy Riot Aces Anarchy and Lennon and Tolstoy Smile
Eileen Fleming Salem-News.com
"Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God."
(CLERMONT, FL) - On Tuesday, Pussy Riot received one of five LennonOne Grant for Peace awards and on Wednesday an appellate court in Moscow set free one of the three jailed members of the punk protest band but upheld the two-year prison sentences of her band mates.
In August they were convicted over their plea to the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Vladimir V. Putin as he headed into a March election that handed him a third term.
The three band mates have consistently insisted that they committed no crime and also admitted their anger was aimed at the Russian Orthodox patriarch, Kirill I, who supported Putin.
Patriarch Kirill had expressed strong support for Putin, praising his leadership as “God’s miracle” and he described the punk performance as part of an assault by “enemy forces” on the church.
The Russian Orthodox Church had requested the court show leniency if the three women repented.
Yekaterina Samutsevich was released today because she had been thrown out of the cathedral by guards before she could even remove her guitar from its case and take part in the performance.
Her new lawyer, Irina Khrunova pleaded “She did not participate in the actions the court found constituted hooliganism.”
Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova all spoke in court from inside a glass cage called the “aquarium.”
Samutsevich stated, “If we unintentionally offended any believers with our actions, we express our apologies. The idea of the protest was political, not religious. In this and in previous protests we acted against the current government of the president, and against the Russian Orthodox Church as an institution of the Russian government, against the political comments of the Russian patriarch. Exactly because of this I don’t consider that I committed a crime.”
Aloykhina said, “We are imprisoned for our political convictions. We will not be silent. And even if we are in Mordovia or Siberia (where prisoners in Russia are often sent to serve out their terms) we won’t be silent.”
Tolokonnikova added, “It is clear as daylight that this performance was purely political. It was under no circumstances antireligious. There is no religious hatred in me; I have no reason to have religious hatred. And none of us in our performance had it, none at all. I don’t consider myself guilty. But again I ask all those who are listening to me for the last time: I don’t want people to be angry at me: Yes, I’m going to prison, but I don’t want anyone to think that there is any hatred in me.”
Putin claims the two-year sentence was justified because “It is impermissible to undermine our moral foundations, moral values, to try to destroy the country.”
Defense lawyer Mark Feigin responded, “I want a ruling on President Putin on the inadmissibility of his meddling in a court decision.”
This struggling Christian anarchist and candidate for US HOUSE, imagines Tolstoy smiling with pride over the three women because he wrote about how the Orthodox Russian Church had merged with the State and left behind the true message of Jesus Christ, specifically the Sermon on the Mount.
In his "The Kingdom of God Is Within You" which was banned in Russia and first published in Germany in 1894, Tolstoy poured out his thirty years of meditating-meaning thinking-about the Christian life.
In it Tolstoy offered a new organization for society based on a literal interpretation of what Jesus said and when Christianity is lived rightly it looks a lot like anarchism.
Anarchy is best understood as Rebellion against UNJUST laws.
The Yang/male force of anarchy resists authority and causes disorder and is socially and politically incorrect by the norms of the status quo for it seeks the higher ground of justice.
The Yin/feminine force of anarchy births a new order out of the chaos and chaos is creativity in action.
What follows are a few excerpts from Tolstoy's THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU: CHRISTIANITY NOT AS A MYSTIC RELIGION BUT AS A NEW THEORY OF LIFE
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”– John 8:32
I do not believe, and consider as mistaken, the Church’s doctrine, which is usually called Christianity. Among the many points in which this doctrine falls short of the doctrine of Christ [is] the principal one the absence of any commandment of non-resistance to evil by force.
The perversion of Christ’s teaching by the teaching of the Church is more clearly apparent in this than in any other point of difference...I knew what had been said on the subject by the fathers of the Church – Origen, Tertullian, and others – I knew too of the existence of some so-called sects of Mennonites, Herrnhuters, and Quakers, who do not allow a Christian the use of weapons, and do not enter military service...
There are many reasons why Christ’s teaching is not understood...
But the principal reason, which is the source of all the other mistaken ideas about it, is the notion that Christianity is a doctrine that can be accepted or rejected without any change of life...Christ’s teaching is not only a doctrine that gives rules that a man must follow, it unfolds a new meaning in life, and defines a whole world of human activity quite different from all that has preceded it and appropriate to the period on which man is entering.
The life of humanity changes and advances, like the life of the individual, by stages, and every stage has a theory of life appropriate to it, which is inevitably absorbed by men. Those who do not absorb it consciously, absorb it unconsciously. It is the same with the changes in the beliefs of peoples and of all humanity as it is with the changes of belief of individuals. If the father of a family continues to be guided in his conduct by his childish conceptions of life, life becomes so difficult for him that he involuntarily seeks another philosophy and readily absorbs that which is appropriate to his age. That is just what is happening now to humanity at this time of transition through which we are passing...
“It is unreasonable,” says the socialized man, “to sacrifice my welfare and that of my family and my country in order to fulfill some higher law, which requires me to renounce my most natural and virtuous feelings of love of self, of family, of kindred, and of country; and above all, it is unsafe to part with the security of life afforded by the organization of government.”
But the time is coming when, on one hand, the vague consciousness in his soul of the higher law, of love to God and his neighbor, and, on the other hand, the suffering, resulting from the contradictions of life, will force the man to reject the social theory and to assimilate the new one prepared ready for him, which solves all the contradictions and removes all his sufferings – the Christian theory of life.
And this time has now come.
We think today that the requirements of the Christian doctrine – of universal brotherhood, suppression of national distinctions, abolition of private property, and the strange injunction of non-resistance to evil by force – demand what is impossible.
The time will come – it is already coming – when the Christian principles of equality and fraternity, community of property, non-resistance of evil by force, will appear just as natural and simple as the principles of family or social life seem to us now.
Humanity can no more go backward in its development than the individual man. Men have outlived the social, family, and state conceptions of life. Now they must go forward and assimilate the next and higher conception of life, which is what is now taking place.
This change is brought about in two ways: consciously through spiritual causes, and unconsciously through material causes.
Humanity has outgrown its social stage and has entered upon a new period. It recognizes the doctrine that ought to be made the basis of life in this new period. But through inertia it continues to keep up the old forms of life. From this inconsistency between the new conception of life and practical life follows a whole succession of contradictions and sufferings that embitter our life and necessitate its alteration.
One need only compare the practice of life with the theory of it, to be dismayed at the glaring antagonism between our conditions of life and our conscience.
Our whole life is in flat contradiction with all we know, and with all we regard as necessary and right. This contradiction runs through everything, in economic life, in political life, and in international life...we do the very opposite of all that our conscience and our common sense require of us.
We are guided in economical, political, and international questions by the principles that were appropriate to men of three or five thousand years ago, though they are directly opposed to our conscience and the conditions of life in which we are placed today.
Men of ancient and medieval times believed, firmly believed, that men are not equal, that the only true men are Persians, or Greeks, or Romans, or Franks. But we cannot believe that now. And people who sacrifice themselves for the principles of aristocracy and of patriotism today don’t believe and can’t believe what they assert...we know and cannot escape knowing the fundamental truth of the Christian doctrine, that we are all sons of one Father, wherever we may live and whatever language we may speak; we are all brothers and are subject to the same law of love implanted by our common Father in our hearts.
Whatever the opinions and degree of education of a man of today, whatever his shade of liberalism, whatever his school of philosophy, or of science, or of economics, however ignorant or superstitious he may be, every man of the present day knows that all men have an equal right to life and the good things of life, and that one set of people are no better nor worse than another, that all are equal.
Everyone knows this, beyond doubt; everyone feels it in his whole being. Yet at the same time everyone sees all round him the division of men...
The more delicate a man’s conscience is, the more painful this contradiction is to him. A man of sensitive conscience must suffer if he lives such a life. The only means by which he can escape from this suffering is by blunting his conscience, but even if some men succeed in dulling their conscience they cannot dull their fears.
The men of the higher dominating classes, whose consciences are naturally not sensitive or have become blunted, if they don’t suffer through conscience, suffer from fear and hatred. They are bound to suffer...
A man must suffer when his whole life is defined beforehand for him by laws, which he must obey under threat of punishment, though he does not believe in their wisdom or justice, and often clearly perceives their injustice, cruelty, and artificiality...
Count Komarovsky, the professor of international law, writes in his learned treatise:
“We live in a time that is full of inconsistencies. The press of all countries is continually expressing the universal desire for peace, and the general sense of its necessity for all nations. Representatives of governments, private persons, and official organs say the same thing; it is repeated in parliamentary debates, diplomatic correspondence, and even in state treaties. At the same time governments are increasing the strength of their armies every year, levying fresh taxes, raising loans, and leaving as a bequest to future generations the duty of repairing the blunders of the senseless policy of the present. What a striking contrast between words and deeds! Of course governments will plead in justification of these measures that all their expenditure and armament are exclusively for purposes of defense. But it remains a mystery to every disinterested man from where they can expect attacks if all the great powers are single-hearted in their policy, in pursuing nothing but self-defense. In reality it looks as if each of the great powers were every instant anticipating an attack on the part of the others. And this results in a general feeling of insecurity and superhuman efforts on the part of each government to increase their forces beyond those of the other powers. Such a competition of itself increases the danger of war. Nations cannot endure the constant increase of armies for long, and sooner or later they will prefer war...it is a mistaken idea that such a crisis might deliver us from the political and economical troubles that are crushing us. The experience of the wars of latter years teaches us that every war has only intensified national hatreds, made military burdens more crushing and insupportable, and rendered the political and economical position of Europe more grievous and insoluble.”
The antagonism between life and the conscience may be removed in two ways: by a change of life or by a change of conscience...
In the words of the Gospel, “They have loved darkness better than light because their deeds were evil.” This principle shows itself in men not trying to recognize the truth, but to persuade themselves that the life they are leading, which is what they like and are used to, is a life perfectly consistent with truth.
Slavery was opposed to all the moral principles advocated by Plato and Aristotle, yet neither of them saw that, because to renounce slavery would have meant the break up of the life they were living. We see the same thing in our modern world.
The division of men into two castes and the use of force in government and war are opposed to every moral principle professed by our modern society. Yet the cultivated and advanced men of the day seem not to see it.
The majority, if not all, of the cultivated men of our day try unconsciously to maintain the old social conception of life, which justifies their position, and to hide from themselves and others its insufficiency, and above all the necessity of adopting the Christian conception of life, which will mean the break up of the whole existing social order. They struggle to keep up the organization based on the social conception of life, but do not believe in it themselves, because it is extinct and it is impossible to believe in it.
All modern literature – philosophical, political, and artistic – is striking in this respect. What wealth of idea, of form, of color, what erudition, what art, but what a lack of serious matter, what dread of any exactitude of thought or expression! Subtleties, allegories, humorous fancies, the widest generalizations, but nothing simple and clear, nothing going straight to the point, that is, to the problem of life.
But that is not all; besides these graceful frivolities, our literature is full of simple nastiness and brutality, of arguments that would lead men back in the most refined way to primeval barbarism, to the principles not only of the pagan, but even of the animal life, which we have left behind us five thousand years ago.
And it could not be otherwise.
In their dread of the Christian conception of life that will destroy the social order, which some cling to only from habit, others also from interest, men must be thrown back upon the pagan conception of life and the principles based on it.
Nowadays we see advocated not only patriotism and aristocratic principles just as they were advocated two thousand years ago, but even the coarsest Epicureanism and Animalism, only with this difference, that the men who then professed those views believed in them, while nowadays even the advocates of such views do not believe in them, for they have no meaning for the present day.
No one can stand still when the earth is shaking under his feet.
If we do not go forward we must go back.
And strange and terrible to say, the cultivated men of our day, the leaders of thought, are in reality with their subtle reasoning drawing society back, not to paganism even, but to a state of primitive barbarism.
This tendency on the part of the leading thinkers of the day is nowhere more apparent than in their attitude to the phenomenon in which all the insufficiency of the social conception of life is presented in the most concentrated form – in their attitude, that is, to war...
Men look at the subject from different points of view, but all alike talk of war as though it were something absolutely independent of the will of those who take part in it.
Christianity is Not a System of Rules, but a New Conception of Life, and therefore it was Not Obligatory and was Not Accepted in its True Significance by All, but only by a Few...
It is often said that if Christianity is a truth, it ought to have been accepted by everyone at the very moment when it appeared, and ought to have transformed men’s lives for the better. But this is like saying that if the seed were ripe it ought at once to bring forth stalk, flower, and fruit.
The Christian religion is not a legal system that, being imposed by violence, may transform men’s lives.
Christianity is a new and higher conception of life.
A new conception of life cannot be imposed on men; it can only be freely assimilated.
And it can only be freely assimilated in two ways: one spiritual and internal, the other experimental and external.
Some people – a minority – by a kind of prophetic instinct divine the truth of the doctrine, surrender themselves to it, and adopt it.
Others – the majority – only through a long course of mistakes, experiments, and suffering are brought to recognize the truth of the doctrine and the necessity of adopting it.
One sometimes wonders what necessitated the corruption of Christianity, which is now the greatest obstacle to its acceptance in its true significance.
If Christianity had been presented to men in its true, uncorrupted form, it would not have been accepted by the majority, who would have been as untouched by it as the nations of Asia are now. The peoples who accepted it in its corrupt form were subjected to its slow but certain influence, and by a long course of errors and experiments and their resultant sufferings have now been brought to the necessity of assimilating it in its true significance.
The corruption of Christianity and its acceptance in its corrupt form by the majority of men was as necessary as it is that the seed should remain hidden for a certain time in the earth in order to germinate.
Christianity is at once a doctrine of truth and a prophecy. Eighteen centuries ago Christianity revealed to men the truth in which they ought to live, and at the same time foretold what human life would become if men would not live by it but continued to live by their previous principles, and what it would become if they accepted the Christian doctrine and carried it out in their lives.
Laying down in the Sermon on the Mount the principles by which to guide men’s lives, Christ said, “Whoever hears these sayings of mine, and put them into practice, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that hears these sayings, and does not put them into practice, shall be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.” (Matt. 7:24-27)
Not having followed Christ’s teaching generally and its application to social life in non-resistance to evil, men have been brought in spite of themselves to the inevitable destruction foretold by Christ for those who do not fulfill his teaching.
People often think the question of non-resistance to evil by force is a theoretical one, which can be neglected. Yet this question is presented by life itself to all men, and calls for some answer from every thinking man. Ever since Christianity has been outwardly professed, this question is for men in their social life like the question that presents itself to a traveler when the road on which he has been journeying divides into two branches. He must go on and he cannot say, “I will not think about it, but will go on just as I did before.” There was one road, now there are two, and he must make his choice.
In the same way since Christ’s teaching has been known by men they cannot say, “I will live as before and will not decide the question of resistance or non-resistance to evil by force.” At every new struggle that arises one must inevitably decide: Am I, or am I not, to resist by force what I regard as evil.
The question of resistance or non-resistance to evil arose when the first conflict between men took place, since every conflict is nothing else than resistance by force to what each of the combatants regards as evil. But before Christ, men did not see that resistance by force to what each regards as evil, simply because one thinks evil what the other thinks good, is only one of the methods of settling the dispute, and that there is another method, that of not resisting evil by force at all.
Before Christ’s teaching, it seemed to men that the one only means of settling a dispute was by resistance to evil by force. And they acted accordingly, each of the combatants trying to convince himself and others that what each respectively regards as evil, is actually, absolutely evil.
And to do this from the earliest time men have devised definitions of evil and tried to make them binding on everyone. And such definitions of evil sometimes took the form of laws, supposed to have been received by supernatural means, sometimes of the commands of rulers or assemblies to whom infallibility was attributed. Men resorted to violence against others, and convinced themselves and others that they were directing their violence against evil recognized as such by all.
This means was employed from the earliest times, especially by those who had gained possession of authority, and for a long while its irrationality was not detected.
But the longer men lived in the world and the more complex their relations became, the more evident it was that to resist by force what each regarded as evil was irrational, that conflict was in no way lessened thereby, and that no human definitions can succeed in making what some regard as evil be accepted as such by others.
Already at the time Christianity arose, it was evident to a great number of people in the Roman Empire where it arose, that what was regarded as evil by Nero and Caligula could not be regarded as evil by others. Even at that time men had begun to understand that human laws, though given out for divine laws, were compiled by men, and cannot be infallible, whatever the external majesty with which they are invested, and that erring men are not rendered infallible by assembling together and calling themselves a senate or any other name. Even at that time this was felt and understood by many.
And it was then that Christ preached his doctrine, which consisted not only of the prohibition of resistance to evil by force, but gave a new conception of life and a means of putting an end to conflict between all men, not by making it the duty of one section only of mankind to submit without conflict to what is prescribed to them by certain authorities, but by making it the duty of all – and consequently of those in authority – not to resort to force against anyone in any circumstances.
This doctrine was accepted at the time by only a very small number of disciples.
The majority of men, especially all who were in power, even after the nominal acceptance of Christianity, continued to maintain for themselves the principle of resistance by force to what they regarded as evil. So it was under the Roman and Byzantine emperors, and so it continued to be afterwards.
The insufficiency of the principle of the authoritative definition of evil and resistance to it by force, evident as it was in the early ages of Christianity, becomes still more obvious through the division of the Roman Empire into many states of equal authority, through their hostilities and the internal conflicts that broke out within them.
But men were not ready to accept the solution given by Christ, and the old definitions of evil, which ought to be resisted, continued to be laid down by means of making laws binding on all and enforced by forcible means.
The authority who decided what ought to be regarded as evil and resisted by force was at one time the Pope, at another an emperor or king, an elective assembly or a whole nation. But both within and without the state there were always men to be found who did not accept as binding on themselves the laws given out as the decrees of a god, or made by men invested with a sacred character, or the institutions supposed to represent the will of the nation; and there were men who thought good what the existing authorities regarded as bad, and who struggled against the authorities with the same violence as was employed against them.
The men invested with religious authority regarded as evil what the men and institutions invested with temporal authority regarded as good and vice versa, and the struggle grew more and more intense. And the longer men used violence as the means of settling their disputes, the more obvious it became that it was an unsuitable means, since there could be no external authority able to define evil recognized by all...
It has come to men in power ceasing to attempt to prove that what they regard as evil is evil, and simply declaring that they regard as evil what they don’t like, while their subjects no longer obey them because they accept the definition of evil laid down by them, but simply obey because they cannot help themselves. It was not because it was a good thing, necessary and beneficial to men, and the contrary course would have been an evil, but simply because it was the will of those in power...
Governments and the ruling classes no longer take their stand on right or even on the semblance of justice, but on a skillful organization carried to such a point of perfection by the aid of science that everyone is caught in the circle of violence and has no chance of escaping from it. This circle is made up now of four methods of working upon men, joined together like the links of a chain ring.
The first and oldest method is intimidation.
This consists in representing the existing state organization – whatever it may be, a free republic or the most savage despotism – as something sacred and immutable, and therefore following any efforts to alter it with the most cruel punishments. This method is in use now – as it has been from olden times – wherever there is a government: in Russia against the so-called Nihilists, in America against Anarchists, in France against Imperialists, Legitimists, Communards, and Anarchists.
Railways, telegraphs, telephones, photographs, and the great perfection of the means of getting rid of men for years, without killing them, by solitary confinement, where, hidden from the world, they perish and are forgotten, and the many other modern inventions employed by government, give such power that when once authority has come into certain hands, the police, open and secret, the administration and prosecutors, jailers and executioners of all kinds, do their work so zealously that there is no chance of overturning the government, however cruel and senseless it may be.
The second method is corruption.
It consists in plundering the industrious working people of their wealth by means of taxes and distributing it in satisfying the greed of officials, who are bound in return to support and keep up the oppression of the people. These bought officials, from the highest government ministers to the poorest copying clerks, make up an unbroken network of men bound together by the same interest – that of living at the expense of the people. They become the richer the more submissively they carry out the will of the government; and at all times and places, sticking at nothing, in all departments support by word and deed the violence of government, on which their own prosperity also rests.
The third method is what I can only describe as hypnotizing the people.
This consists in checking the moral development of men, and by various suggestions keeping them back in the ideal of life, outgrown by mankind at large, on which the power of government rests. This hypnotizing process is organized at the present in the most complex manner, and starting from their earliest childhood, continues to act on men until the day of their death. It begins in their earliest years in the compulsory schools, created for this purpose, in which the children have instilled into them the ideas of life of their ancestors, which are in direct antagonism with the conscience of the modern world. In countries where there is a state religion, they teach the children the senseless blasphemies of the Church catechisms, together with the duty of obedience to their superiors. In republican states they teach them the savage superstition of patriotism and the same pretended obedience to the governing authorities.
The process is kept up during later years by the encouragement of religious and patriotic superstitions.
The religious superstition is encouraged by establishing, with money taken from the people, temples, processions, memorials, and festivals, which, aided by painting, architecture, music, and incense, intoxicate the people, and above all by the support of the clergy, whose duty consists in brutalizing the people and keeping them in a permanent state of stupefaction by their teaching, the solemnity of their services, their sermons, and their interference in private life – at births, deaths, and marriages. The patriotic superstition is encouraged by the creation, with money taken from the people, of national fetes, spectacles, monuments, and festivals to dispose men to attach importance to their own nation, and to the aggrandizement of the state and its rulers, and to feel antagonism and even hatred for other nations.
With these objects under despotic governments there is direct prohibition against printing and disseminating books to enlighten the people, and everyone who might rouse the people from their lethargy is exiled or imprisoned.
Moreover, under every government without exception everything is kept back that might emancipate and everything encouraged that tends to corrupt the people, such as literary works tending to keep them in the barbarism of religious and patriotic superstition, all kinds of sensual amusements, spectacles, circuses, theaters, and even the physical means of inducing stupefaction, as tobacco and alcohol, which form the principal source of revenue of states. Even prostitution is encouraged, and not only recognized, but also even organized by the government in the majority of states. So much for the third method.
The fourth method consists in selecting from all the men who have been stupefied and enslaved by the three former methods a certain number, exposing them to special and intensified means of stupefaction and brutalization, and so making them into a passive instrument for carrying out all the cruelties and brutalities needed by the government.
This result is attained by taking them at the youthful age, when men have not had time to form clear and definite principles of morals, and removing them from all natural and human conditions of life, home, family, kindred, and useful labor. They are shut up together in barracks, dressed in special clothes, and worked upon by cries, drums, music, and shining objects to go through certain daily actions invented for this purpose, and by this means are brought into an hypnotic condition in which they cease to be men and become mere senseless machines, submissive to the hypnotizer. These physically vigorous young men (in these days of universal conscription, all young men), hypnotized, armed with murderous weapons, always obedient to the governing authorities and ready for any act of violence at their command, constitute the fourth and principal method of enslaving men.
By this method the circle of violence is completed.
Intimidation, corruption, and hypnotizing bring people into a condition in which they are willing to be soldiers; the soldiers give the power of punishing and plundering them (and purchasing officials with the spoils), and hypnotizing them and converting them in time into these same soldiers again.
The circle is complete, and there is no chance of breaking through it by force...
There remains now only one sphere of human life not encroached upon by government authority – that is the domestic, economic sphere, the sphere of private life and labor. And even this is now – thanks to the efforts of communists and socialists – being gradually encroached upon by government, so that labor and recreation, dwellings, dress, and food will gradually, if the hopes of the reformers are successful, be prescribed and regulated by government.
The slow progress of the Christian nations again to the necessity of deciding the question they have evaded – the question of the acceptance or non-acceptance of Christ’s teaching, and the question following upon it in social life of resistance or non-resistance to evil by force.
But there is this difference, that whereas formerly men could accept or refuse to accept the solution given by Christ, now that solution cannot be avoided, since it alone can save men from the slavery in which they are caught like a net.
But it is not only the misery of the position that makes this inevitable...the truth of the Christian religion has been growing more and more evident.
Not in vain have the best men of Christian humanity, who apprehended the truth by spiritual intuition, for eighteen centuries testified to it in spite of every menace, every privation, and every suffering. By their martyrdom they passed on the truth to the masses, and impressed it on their hearts.
Christianity has penetrated into the consciousness of humanity, not only negatively by the demonstration of the impossibility of continuing in the pagan life, but also through its simplification, its increased clearness and freedom from the superstitions intermingled with it, and its diffusion through all classes of the population.
Centuries of Christianity have not passed without an effect even on those who accepted it only externally...in the depths of their souls they believe (they can only live through this belief) that the only salvation from this position is to be found in fulfilling the Christian doctrine in its true significance.
As to the time and manner of salvation, opinions are divided according to the intellectual development and the prejudices of each society. But every man of the modern world recognizes that our salvation lies in fulfilling the law of Christ.
Some believers in the supernatural character of Christianity hold that salvation will come when all men are brought to believe in Christ, whose second coming is at hand. Other believers in supernatural Christianity hold that salvation will come through the Church, which will draw all men into its fold, train them in the Christian virtues, and transform their life.
A third section, who do not admit the divinity of Christ, hold that the salvation of mankind will be brought about by slow and gradual progress, through which the pagan principles of our existence will be replaced by the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity – that is, by Christian principles.
A fourth section, who believe in the social revolution, hold that salvation will come when through a violent revolution men are forced into community of property, abolition of government, and collective instead of individual industry – that is to say, the realization of one side of the Christian doctrine.
In one way or another...our salvation is only to be found in the application of the Christian doctrine, or parts of it, in its true significance to our daily life.
Christianity cannot, as its Founder said, be realized by the majority of men all at once; it must grow like a huge tree from a tiny seed. And so it has grown, and now has reached its full development, not yet in actual life, but in the conscience of men of today.
Now not only the minority, who have always comprehended Christianity by spiritual intuition, but also all the vast majority who seem so far from it in their social existence, recognize its true significance...
The position of our Christian humanity, if you look at it from the outside with all its cruelty and degradation of men, is terrible indeed. But if one looks at it within, in its inner consciousness, the spectacle it presents is absolutely different.
All the evil of our life seems to exist only because it has been so for so long; those who do the evil have not had time yet to learn how to act otherwise, though they do not want to act as they do.
All the evil seems to exist through some cause independent of the conscience of men.
Strange and contradictory as it seems, all men of the present day hate the very social order they are themselves supporting.
I think it is Max Müller who describes the amazement of an Indian convert to Christianity, who after absorbing the essence of the Christian doctrine came to Europe and saw the actual life of Christians. He could not recover from his astonishment at the complete contrast between the reality and what he had expected to find among Christian nations.
If we feel no astonishment at the contrast between our convictions and our conduct, that is because the influences, tending to obscure the contrast, produce an effect upon us too. We need only look at our life from the point of view of that Indian, who understood Christianity in its true significance, without any compromises or concessions, we need but look at the savage brutalities of which our life is full, to be appalled at the contradictions in the midst of which we live often without observing them.
We need only recall the preparations for war, the machine guns, the silver-gilt bullets, the torpedoes, and – the Red Cross; the solitary prison cells, the experiments of execution by electricity – and the care of the hygienic welfare of prisoners; the philanthropy of the rich, and their life, which produces the poor they are benefiting.
And these inconsistencies are not, as it might seem, because men pretend to be Christians while they are really pagans, but because of something lacking in men, or some kind of force hindering them from being what they already feel themselves to be in their consciousness, and what they genuinely wish to be...
We are so accustomed to the inconsistency that we do not see all the hideous folly and immorality of men voluntarily choosing the profession of butchery as though it were an honorable career, of poor wretches submitting to conscription, or in countries where compulsory service has not been introduced, of people voluntarily abandoning a life of industry to recruit soldiers and train them as murderers.
We know that all of these men are either Christians, or profess humane and liberal principles, and they know that they thus become partly responsible for the most insane, aimless, and brutal murders. And yet they all do it....
The position of the Christian peoples in our days has remained just as cruel as it was in the times of paganism. In many respects, especially in the oppression of the masses, it has become even more cruel than it was in the days of paganism...
Humanity is passing through seemingly unnecessary, fruitless agonies. It is passing through something like the throes of birth. Everything is ready for the new life, but still the new life does not come.
There seems no way out of the position. And there would be none, except that a man (and thereby all men) is gifted with the power of forming a different, higher theory of life, which at once frees him from all the bonds by which he seems indissolubly fettered.
And such a theory is the Christian view of life...
Let a man but realize that the aim of his life is the fulfillment of God’s law, and that law will replace all other laws for him, and he will give it his sole allegiance, so that by that very allegiance every human law will lose all binding and controlling power in his eyes.
The Christian is independent of every human authority by the fact that he regards the divine law of love, implanted in the soul of every man, and brought before his consciousness by Christ, as the sole guide of his life and other men’s also.
The Christian may be subjected to external violence, he may be deprived of bodily freedom, he may be in bondage to his passions (he who commits sin is the slave of sin), but he cannot be in bondage in the sense of being forced by any danger or by any threat of external harm to perform an act that is against his conscience.
He cannot be compelled to do this, because the deprivations and sufferings that form such a powerful weapon against men of the state conception of life have not the least power to compel him.
Deprivations and sufferings take from them the happiness for which they live; but far from disturbing the happiness of the Christian, which consists in the consciousness of fulfilling the will of God, they may even intensify it, when they are inflicted on him for fulfilling his will.
And therefore the Christian, who is subject only to the inner divine law, not only cannot carry out the enactments of the external law, when they are not in agreement with the divine law of love that he acknowledges (as is usually the case with state obligations), he cannot even recognize the duty of obedience to anyone or anything whatever, he cannot recognize the duty of what is called allegiance.
For a Christian the oath of allegiance to any government whatever – the very act that is regarded as the foundation of the existence of a state – is a direct renunciation of Christianity. For the man who promises unconditional obedience in the future to laws, made or to be made, by that very promise is in the most positive manner renouncing Christianity, which means obeying in every circumstance of life only the divine law of love he recognizes within him...
For a Christian to promise obedience to men, or the laws of men, is just as though a workman bound to one employer should also promise to carry out every order that might be given him by outsiders. One cannot serve two masters.
The Christian is independent of human authority, because he acknowledges God’s authority alone. His law, revealed by Christ, he recognizes in himself, and voluntarily obeys it.
And this independence is gained, not by means of strife, not by the destruction of existing forms of life, but only by a change in the interpretation of life.
This independence results first from the Christian recognizing the law of love, revealed to him by his teacher, as perfectly sufficient for all human relations, and therefore he regards every use of force as unnecessary and unlawful; and secondly, from the fact that those deprivations and sufferings, or threats of deprivations and sufferings (which reduce the man of the social conception of life to the necessity of obeying) to the Christian from his different conception of life, present themselves merely as the inevitable conditions of existence. And these conditions, without striving against them by force, he patiently endures, like sickness, hunger, and every other hardship, but they cannot serve him as a guide for his actions. The only guide for the Christian’s actions is to be found in the divine principle living within him, which cannot be checked or governed by anything.
The Christian acts according to the words of the prophecy applied to his teacher: “He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, until he sends forth judgment to victory.” (Matt. 12:19,20)
The Christian will not dispute with anyone, nor attack anyone, nor use violence against anyone.
On the contrary, he will bear violence without opposing it.
But by this very attitude to violence, he will not only himself be free, but will free the whole world from all external power.
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” [end Tolstoy]
About 2,000 years ago, when Christ was about 33, he hiked up a hill and sat down under an olive tree and began to teach the people;
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven."
In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their own limitations and 'sins' honestly and trust God loves them in spite of themselves who already live in the Kingdom of God.
How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven't got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.
God's name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, "My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not yours." -Isaiah 55:8
Christ proclaimed more: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled."
In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what "God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord."-Micah 6:8
"Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy."
In other words: how comforted you will all be when you choose to return only kindness to your 'enemy.'
"For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you" Christ warns his disciples as he explains the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God."
In other words: how comforted you will be when you WAKE UP and see God is already within you, within every man, every woman and every child. The Supreme Being is everywhere, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. Beyond The Universe -and yet so small; within the heart of every atom.
"Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God."
And what a wonderful world it would be when we all seek peace by pursuing justice; for there can be none without the other.
"Blessed are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires, theirs is The Kingdom of Heaven."
And one fine day the lion will lie down with The Lamb and man will make war no more; and create the Kingdom of God on planet earth.
PS: The root of all 'sin' is selfishness.
I am Eileen Fleming for US HOUSE and I approve of all of my messages.
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