The Mass of TOB
 

My previous paper on the current Theology of Body (TOB) movement (hereafter referred to as West-TOB, after the name of its leading ideologist), ‘A pure gaze of lust’, was the outcome of my attempts to understand why my encounter with it was so destructive to my prayer life and especially to my relationship with Jesus Christ. I rationalized in the end of that paper that the major reason for this was the West-TOB’s profanation of the most sacred, of the love of God for a human soul, via muddling the sacred with what they call “bold talk about sex”:

I have been into Carmelite spirituality for some time now, with St John of the Cross being my spiritual guide. Until I heard and read “the TO” my mind was free from the obscene associations discussed above. It means that when I read the lines of St John of the Cross from his ‘Spiritual Canticle: Songs between the soul and the Bridegroom’:

“In the inner wine cellar
I drank of my Beloved, and, when
I went abroad
through all this valley,
I no longer knew anything,
and lost the herd that I was following.” 

I see the spiritual reality of the pure intimacy of a soul with God and the transformation that causes, to the soul. I still perceive those lines in this way. However, the TOB of West made me aware of other possible interpretations. After hearing and reading about “God and sex, sex and God” I had to labour for days to get rid of the dirt which got stuck to my soul. Please notice that I have been studying Christian mystical tradition for years now – and still I was profoundly affected. It is really hard to address God along the lines of ‘Song of Songs’ if ‘Song of Songs’ was turned, by a “theologian”, into the “centrefold of the Bible” because “centrefold” and God do not go together! Imagine then someone who has never read anything of the Christian mystical tradition (and it appears to me that it is the condition of the majority of lay Catholics now, in the English speaking world at least) but instead reads/listens to TOB. The ability of such a person to perceive any spiritual reality conveyed by the language of human love is ruined, probably forever. Why? – Simply because the sex drive is an instinctive, primary, and very powerful force, and for a human being it is much more natural/ easier to see “sex” instead of the “sacred” everywhere; unless they are educated properly so that their inherent sense of the sacred is not ruined.”

In my experience of working with destructive states of a psyche an identification of the original source of a state usually drastically diminishes that state or at least begins the process of diminishing it.  I was quite sure that identifying the West- TOB’s profanation of God [via muddling Him with sex] as the source of the pollution of my relationship with God would relieve my subjective sense of the loss of intimacy with Him. Yet it did not happen. Examining myself I realized that I was not just suffering the loss of an intimate connection with Our Lord (a periodical experience familiar to any Christian) – something in me was also resisting the very possibility of that intimacy. I was longing for the intimacy with the Lord I knew before and at the same time I was terrified of something else, something inexplicably dirty, forbidden, even evil that now was attached to it somehow. By no means could it be just “the sexualisation of God” like, for example, a transformation of Christ the Bridegroom of the soul into a fleshy lover. Why am I so sure about that? – Because although to think of Christ as just of a human lover is inappropriate it is still normal – not normal and desirable from a Christian point of view but normal if one thinks of Christ as just a man (and He is the Son of Man). A thought about Christ the Lover is a thought every mystic has but it is always “more than earthly”, “other than earthly”, “the early term points towards the greater metaphysical reality” etc. “Christ the Lover” is an entirely normal concept of romantic love between God and the soul hence the fact that someone thinks of it in very earthly terms cannot wreck another person’s relationship with the Lord.

‘A pure gaze of lust’ dealt with the West-TOB disembodied. laying down the critique of its concepts, hence it is highly desirable that the reader reads it, first, before proceeding with this paper that is its practical counterpart. Quite deliberately, it says nothing about my personal encounters with West-TOB adepts, both before and (naturally) after writing it. The encounters that followed after its completion especially convinced me that the West-TOB itself would never make such a big impact at me if I did not have several opportunities to see it “embodied” and “in action”. Neither would I be able to understand what is there that so effectively blows off not only the intimacy of God with the soul but inserts into the soul an overwhelming – and entirely “insane” – dread of that intimacy. This is why, for the sake of providing the reader with the sense of “lived experience” which I credit for my understanding of it, I decided to speak about my highly personal West-TOB related experiences, including bodily responses.  For the same purpose, I kept a chronological order of the events.


Metaphysical rape

I happened to attend four lectures on the TOB given by a Catholic priest. There was nothing of note about the first two, apart from a curious mismatch of the extremely undemanding intellectual take of the lecturer and the complex and murky Wednesday audiences of Pope John Paul II. The only thing that stuck in my mind were the strange statements of the priest which punctuated an otherwise monotonous discourse. One of them was that a priest (the lecturer himself) was the bridegroom of the Church.  Another that the seminary is called “seminary” because it produces priests who “inseminate their congregations”. The third lecture dealt with marriage and various sexual deviations; that priest also briefly spoke about ‘Song of Songs’ treating it exclusively as sexual, purely bodily affair entirely omitting its symbolic meaning. The discourse was sufficient to cause a listener, a man in his late sixties to blurt out “some say there is porn in the Bible!” with the fire and enthusiasm of a teenager – the lecturer nodded approvingly. ‘Song of Songs’ thus became porn. And then (a quote from my notes):

“The last lecture, called ‘Responsible Parenthood’, proved to be the climax, for the lecturer and a revealing point, for me. The setting: a relatively small room. The lecturer, a priest in his black cassock, was discoursing about the sin of Onan, withdrawal, condoms, natural family planning, and so on. My body, the body of a person who is used to naming phenomena as they are, somehow felt very uncomfortable – to the point that it could hardly resist the urge to leave. My reaction, quite atypical of a married woman in her forties, became understandable to me when I realized the sheer absurdity of the situation: the lecturer, a male, a priest dressed as a priest was talking, in great depth and physiological detail, about contraception and sexual acts before an audience overwhelmingly consisting of seventy-eighty year old people, mostly women. Somehow I feel pressed to repeat with astonishment “in a black cassock!” This picture, to my mind, while being entirely absurd and quite shameless, matched the TOB somehow.  What I could not understand about the TOB before [I glimpsed at the work of JPII in the past] suddenly made sense in this absurd frame: I realized that the TOB, designed for “married couples” makes much more sense for those to whom the idea of the marital relationship is deemed, for the variety of reasons, to remain an abstraction.”

Now, when I read what I wrote at that time, I find it quite comical. Obscene, stupid perhaps but not anything that could warrant the lines followed the description of the farce:

“I suffocated, felt being squashed and raped.”

Now I have a fairly good idea why I had that bizarre, seemingly disproportionate reaction. If I simply name it here the reader is not likely to be convinced. I also have a point to make that is better conveyed by an example.

Let us imagine that the lecture about the West-TOB is given by a man who is not a priest. The context of Christian mystical theology is removed. He says “I, John Smith, am the bridegroom of the Church. I am not a priest but I went to a seminary. There they make priests to inseminate congregations; this is why a place is called a “seminary”. ‘Song of Songs’ is about good sex, read it to your wives – it is good for foreplay. And also, do not forget that coitus interruptus is a sin! Remember how Onan did it? – I will remind you, like that, and like this, and like that… Yes! And watch out for your fertile periods, old hens!”

Sounds comical. Compare that to the real encounter then. I will retell it now, putting the words and actions of the lecturer together and interpreting them symbolically. It is not me who brings the symbolic interpretation to the situation; it is the priest who is, apart from being a man, also a symbol, especially when he is dressed accordingly and even more so in the ecclesial environment. With keeping all that in a mind see how the picture changes.

A Catholic priest dressed according to his status proclaims to the ecclesia (a group of Catholic believers) that he is the Bridegroom of the Church i.e. he takes upon himself the celebrated title of Jesus Christ, “Christ the Bridegroom”, of the Church and of each individual’s soul. By doing that he becomes Christ, symbolically, just like he does during the Eucharist – this is the only context which actually sanctions his becoming such a symbol. In the case of the Eucharist he does not proclaim anything, it is given by the Mass itself; here he does so outside of that context hence he needs to announce it. Being now “Christ” he then states that his vocation is to inseminate the congregation. It means that Christ now is turned into “an inseminator” [albeit spiritual, at that stage]. An action (sacrificial love) of Our Lord towards a believer thus becomes a [spiritual] ejaculation into him. Then he engages in foreplay with the audience unfolding, in his take, “the centrefold of the Bible”, ‘Song of Songs’. Apart from titillating the audience, this also pulls God into a human bed so to speak. It is the end of the pure relationship of the soul (as bride) with her true Bridegroom, Christ. The message: “What you knew before is romantic nonsense, some shy kisses – now I will show you the real thing!” The theme of semen then is picked up again and developed in the detailed discourse about the sin of Onan. This action, taken out of context, is just obscene but within the context it serves as something that gives the “physical reality” to the previously “spiritual insemination”, enforcing the notion of “Christ the inseminator” even more.

There is no difference between these two situations, in what was said. The only difference is that in the second case there is a symbolic figure, a priest who gives the ideas of the West-TOB their symbolic meaning. He does it via his words i.e. referring to himself as the Bridegroom of the Church and also via simply being a priest; this aspect is highlighted by his priestly robe. It is the latter that allows him to “pull off” the former statement, because of the reference to his role as Christ the High Priest during the Eucharist. Remove the notion of “priest as Bridegroom” and the episode loses all its potency – that potency I admit will be entirely lost on non-Christians or even on non-Orthodox and non-Catholics and on those who know little or nothing about Christian mysticism that is all about the Beloved, Christ the Bridegroom. It also makes full sense only in the context of ecclesia, the Church that is the Bride of Christ.

Hence, being considered from the angle of that knowledge, the actions of a priest,  can be read symbolically like this: an imposter of Christ attempted to corrupt His Bride, the Church, profaned Christ’s sacrificial love for her and then raped her.

And finally, a personal touch. The indecency of the discourse made me physically suffer[1] and that fact was clearly visible via my words and gestures which conveyed disdain, disgust and protest. It did not stop the priest however and he went on with the same topic, up to the climax of his discourse. This gives the whole story the subjective sense of violation; being done via the sexualized content, it can be defined as “verbal sexual violation”. It is more understandable then why I wrote in my notes:

“I suffocated, felt being squashed and raped.”

And later on:

“The shock was not because of the outwardly matters but because of the inner reality which I did not understand on a conscious level yet (now I do). It was all about “the Bride of Christ being raped”.

The result of that encounter was quite unexpected. I was plagued by an irrational fear of sexual violation and also by the mental image of a fake Christ, The Imposter.

The Imposter    Christ the Bridegroom

The sight of the real Christ on the icons triggered fear in me and I gradually grew numb to Him. To my astonishment, I seemed to exhibit typical signs of being abused – sexually abused albeit metaphysically. As it happened, at that time the Church was dealing with the aftermath of child sexual abuse scandals yet again. It suddenly became clear to me what makes child sexual abuse, when it takes a place within the Church, a true pinnacle of evil. It is not that a priest “does not live what he preaches”, along the lines of the common wisdom of this world. It is not even what only a Christian can comprehend and be horrified by, that a priest partakes Christ in communion and then rapes – non-priests partake and rape or partake and murder and it is not yet a pinnacle of evil although it comes close. It is that a priest symbolically becomes Christ during the Eucharist, distributes that very Christ among the faithful, and then rapes one of those to whom he gave Christ, often in the proximity of the altar. Being a symbolic figure, he brings into what is already an evil action something I can only define as “the triumph of inferno over the Church”, the symbolic rape of the Church. But this is not all. Being a father figure, by the nature of his vocation and by his official title, he brings into this sexual abuse a distinctive flavour of incest. Symbolically, in him the imposter, “Christ the rapist” and “Father the rapist” come together. This unplugs the bottle of wild associations like “father figure – God the Father” together with “Black Mass”, “children sacrifices” and so on which naturally pull the mind away from Christianity and back to the dark mysteries of the dawn of humanity like fertility cults and so on. And then a mind which is already troubled enough by all those associations is presented with a striking similarity between the god of primitive fertility cults, that is, sex and god preached by the West-TOB.

The similarity between the West-TOB and the fertility cults was discussed in ‘A pure gaze of lust’ hence there is no need to repeat the argument. I only wish to note briefly another strange feature of the West-TOB, that while speaking  much about “sex oriented towards  procreation” it is somehow silent about its fruit, children. Neither does it discuss the relationship between parents and children; “responsible parenthood” is understood strictly as an issue of birth control. This depersonalisation and zero family relationships creates an even stronger impression of similarity with fertility cults.

However, for now I would like to make quite an outrageous move. Namely, to  consider some of the details of the ‘Gnostic Mass’ set forth by Aleister Crowly.


Phallus, Candle, Lance

I am not sure how to satisfactory explain to the reader how I ended up looking into the “golden standard” of Satanism and, even more so, why what I found there made me keep looking further. If I say that the way the West-TOB treats Christian symbols reminded me the way contemporary Gnosticism/Satanism does it and therefore “the West-TOB is Satanic” I would probably fall into the category of the Bible bashers who consider the depiction of fleur-de-lis ornament decorating the floors of the Catholic churches to be an ample proof of theirs conviction that the Catholic church is “Satanic”.

The matching details of two phenomena prove nothing by themselves, unlike the similarity of the spirit of the phenomena. However, while the details do not prove anything the way those details are organised and used usually reveals something about their author i.e. the spirit which I would define as “the spirit of an attitude, methods, and purposes”.  For example:

The fact that the Blessed Mother's womb became fruitful indicates that a masculine act of giving life occurred. It doesn't have to be in the natural order of sexual intercourse any more than we have to think that God had intercourse with our mothers to give us spiritual life. But, the marital embrace is an earthly SIGN of life-giving love which points to the spiritual life-giving love that God bestows on us.
I still do not understand why this cannot all apply to the Easter vigil liturgy. If the candle is a symbol of Christ on the Cross, which is the marriage bed on which Christ consummates His marriage to His Bride where He gives His spiritual seminal fluid to her, wouldn't it make sense that there would be some sort of phallic imagery there? Rahner and Bux use the terms procreative and fertilize which are both masculine actions. Phallic images denote the masculine act of fertilizing since they are used in relation to crops and animals as well as human fertility.”
[2]

I went a bit ahead though. I must state here plainly that, being an ex-occultist I found it startling that the West-TOB discourses would bring to my mind lines from the occult literature I had studied in the past. And not just lines but the vague, general spirit of Gnosticism which, while operating under Christian symbols and names, is making out of them something else. That “something else” is most noticeable in its take on “someone else”, Jesus Christ.

Here is an example of “something being not exactly right” taken from ‘The Perfect Matrimony’ by Samuel Aun Veor.  It is deliberately lengthy because the length is necessary for the full effect of “immersing” into modern Gnosis. I italicized the notions which overlap with the West-TOB, at least by association.

“The betrothal of the Soul and the Lamb is the greatest feast of the Soul. That Great Lord of Light enters her. He becomes human, while she becomes divine. From this mixture of divine and human develops that, which the Adorable so aptly calls: “The Son of Man.”
When the Internal Christ enters the Soul, He is transformed into Her. He is transformed into She and She into Him. The Alchemists say that we must transform the Moon into the Sun. The Moon is the Soul.
The Sun is the Christ. The transformation of the Moon into the Sun is only possible with the Fire, and this can only be lit in the amorous connubium of the Perfect Matrimony.
The Son of Man is born of Water and Fire. Water is the Semen. Fire is the Spirit. God shines upon the Perfect Couple.
The semen is the astral liquid of man. In the semen is the Astral Light. The semen is the key of all powers and the key to all empires.”

The Bible also has many allusions to the phallic cult. The oath from the time of the Patriarch Abraham was taken by the Jews by placing their hand beneath the thigh; that is, on the sacred member. The Feast of the Tabernacles was an orgy similar to the famous Saturnalia of the Romans. The rite of circumcision is totally phallic.
We find much phallicism in Christianity. The circumcision of Jesus, the feast of Epiphany, the Corpus Christi etc, are phallic festivals inherited from the holy Pagan religions. The dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit and of the voluptuous Venus Aphrodite, is always represented as the phallic instrument used by the Holy Spirit to impregnate the Virgin Mary.

The phallic cult is terribly divine. The phallic cult is scientifically transcendental and profoundly philosophical. The Era of Aquarius is aleady approaching and then even laboratories will discover the energetic and mystical principles of the phallus and uterus.”

“It is impossible to receive the initiations of the Major Mysteries without the phallic cult and without Sexual Magic. Many single students receive the initiations of the Minor Mysteries in their superlative and transcendental consciousness when they are chaste. Nevertheless, the initiations of Major Mysteries cannot be attained without Sexual Magic and Kundalini.

Sex is the foundation stone of the family, because without it the family could not exist.
Sex is the foundation stone of man because without it man could not come into existence. Sex is the foundation stone of the Universe because without it the Universe could not exist.

The force of the Holy Spirit must return inwards and upwards. It is urgent that the sexual forces are sublimated to the heart.
In this magnetic centre these forces are mixed with the forces of the Son, to rise to the superior worlds. Only the person who completely develops Kundalini is totally christified. Only the person who is christified can incarnate the Father. The Son is one with the Father and the Father is one with the Son. No one reaches the Father but through the Son. Thus it is written. The forces of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit descend, to later return inwards and upwards. This is Law.
The energies of the Holy Spirit descend to the sexual organs. The energies of the Son descend to the heart, and the energies of the Father, to the mind.
We return via the energies of the Holy Spirit, and on this return there are marvellous encounters. In the heart we meet the Christ and in the mind, the Father. These encounters signify the return in wards and up wards. Thus we pass beyond the fourth, fifth and sixth dimensions of space. Then we liberate ourselves completely.

The four Gospels are really four texts of Alchemy and White Magic. Initiation begins
with the transmutation of the water of life (semen) into the Wine of Light of the Alchemists. This miracle is realized at the Wedding of Canaan (sic!); always in wedlock.  The four Gospels can only be understood with the key of Sexual Magic and the Perfect Matrimony.

Christ can do nothing without the Snake. This only develops, evolves and progresses by practicing Sexual Magic.

All the priests of all religions, teachers of all schools, the worshippers of Christ, the lovers of Wisdom, can traverse the Path of the Perfect Matrimony. The Synthesis harms no one and benefits all. This is the Doctrine of the Synthesis. This is the Doctrine of the New Era. We, the members of all schools, religions, sects, orders etc., would do well to agree on the basis of the Perfect Matrimony as the foundation for a new civilization based on the Wisdom of the Serpent. Jesus was a complete man. Jesus was not castrated as depicted by many religions. Jesus followed the Path of the Perfect Matrimony. Jesus formed the Christ within himself by practicing Sexual Magic with his wife.”

I could sum up the similarities between this modern Gnostic text and the West-TOB, like the insistence on the “phallic underlining” of the Gospels, interpretation of the Gospels mysteries as sexual, preoccupation with “seminal fluid” and so on but I am afraid doing that would cause the reader to come too close to the texts, so to speak, concentrating on the details instead of grasping the whole. Instead I ask the reader to step back as if he is looking at an Impressionist painting so the rough brushwork would blend and make a whole – an impression.  To aid this process, I will provide two sets of quotes, with two quotes in each set.

1.

Initiation begins with the transmutation of the water of life (semen) into the Wine of Light of the Alchemists. This miracle is realized at the Wedding of Canaan (sic!); always in wedlock. The four Gospels can only be understood with the key of Sexual Magic and the Perfect Matrimony.”

If the [Easter] candle is a symbol of Christ on the Cross, which is the marriage bed on which Christ consummates His marriage to His Bride where He gives His spiritual seminal fluid to her, wouldn't it make sense that there would be some sort of phallic imagery there?

2.

The Alchemists say that we must transform the Moon into the Sun. The Moon is the Soul.
The Sun is the Christ. The transformation of the Moon into the Sun is only possible with the Fire, and this can only be lit in the amorous connubium of the Perfect Matrimony.
The Son of Man is born of Water and Fire. Water is the Semen. Fire is the Spirit. God shines upon the Perfect Couple.
The semen is the astral liquid of man. In the semen is the Astral Light. The semen is the key of all powers and the key to all empires.”

“I forgot to mention that Christ's baptism in the Jordan is also part of that metaphysical sexual pattern. Whether carnal or virginal, it's the same pattern.
A husband 'knows' his wife.
The flame (or Christ candle) plunges into the font.
Christ plunges into the river Jordan.
The seed falls into the ground.
The Holy Spirit hovers over the waters.
The Holy Spirit overshadows the womb of Mary.
The Persons of the Holy Trinity all indwell each other in an eternally fruitful and blessed union.”

The spirit here is so similar (if not identical) that it seemed even to cause the similarity of the style, of the modern gnostic and of the West-TOB follower. An interpretation of the Baptism of Our Lord as “metaphysical sexual pattern” appears to be a twin of the gnostic approach “We find much phallicism in Christianity. The circumcision of Jesus, the feast of Epiphany, the Corpus Christi etc, are phallic festivals inherited from the holy Pagan religions.” But, while it is transparent why a gnostic = occultist = pagan is trying to find in Christianity phallic symbolism of “holy pagan religions” it is impossible to understand why the Christian authors of the quotes above are doing just the same. Surely a phallus can add something to the mystery of the Resurrection only for someone who has no idea what the Resurrection (and whole Christianity) is. Is this an answer then?

The same sense of “something familiar” that led me from the West-TOB to Gnosticism brought me then to the ‘Gnostic Mass’ by Allister Crowley. Everyone knows that Black (Satanic) Mass is intentionally a mockery of Catholic Mass hence it keeps the same structure and makes use of Christian symbols and actions by the priest turning them into blasphemy. Below is the ‘Thelemic Creed’, to illustrate how it is done:

“I believe in one secret and ineffable LORD; and in one
Star in the Company of Stars of whose fire we are created, and to which we shall return;
and in one Father of Life, Mystery of Mystery, in His name CHAOS, the sole viceregent of the Sun upon the Earth; and in one Air the nourisher of all that breathes.
And I believe in one Earth, the Mother of us all, and in one Womb wherein all men are begotten, and wherein they shall rest, Mystery of Mystery, in Her name BABALON.
And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET.
And I believe in one Gnostic and Catholic Church of Light, Life, Love and Liberty, the Word of whose Law is THELEMA.
And I believe in the communion of Saints.
And, forasmuch as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance,
I believe in the Miracle of the Mass.
And I confess one Baptism of Wisdom, whereby we accomplish the Miracle of Incarnation.
And I confess my life one, individual, and eternal that was, and is, and is to come.
AUMGN. AUMGN. AUMGN.”

Other texts of the Catholic Mass are similarly turned into blasphemy. Two key figures of Gnostic Mass, Priest and Priestess perform a ritual (symbolic) sexual act. During the preparatory part, the priestess dresses the priest in a scarlet robe and then puts a crown on his head. The priestess then undresses behind the veil. During the Gnostic Mass the priests and priestess engage in various symbolic actions with the Lance. That the context of the Gnostic Mass makes a mockery of the tool of the Passion is self-evident; it is enhanced by its interpretation of  the Lance as the Phallus and by acting this interpretation out:

“Kneeling, she [Priestess] takes the Lance, between her open hands, and runs them up and down upon the shaft eleven times, very gently.”

What stood out to me in the Gnostic Mass was something I have not known before: it’s murky references to the Bride and Christ the Bridegroom. The Priest dresses in a “scarlet robe and a crown” bringing to mind the scarlet robe and the crown of Christ during the Passion. The depiction of Him wearing them is called ‘Christ the Bridegroom” or ‘Ecce Homo’. Dressed [let us assume] as Christ the Bridegroom the priest approaches his “virginal Bride”, the priestess who is undressing while proclaiming the lines which immediately brought to my mind ‘Song of Songs’:

“But to love me is better than all things: if under the night-stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour. Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in splendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy. I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe, and covered with a rich headdress. I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me! To me! To me! Sing the rapturous love-song unto me! Burn to me perfumes! Wear to me jewels! Drink to me, for I love you! I love you! I am the blue-lidded daughter of sunset; I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky. To me! To me!”

Yes, it definitely is ‘Song of Songs’, a Satanic version i.e. “sex strong as death”. Hence I conclude that the “scarlet robe” and “crown” signify Christ the Bridegroom who, during ‘Gnostic Mass’, de-virginizes his “virgin bride” – and then the result of this act, the “communion” is distributed [there is no contradiction between the previous statement about “Christ being killed by the Lance = phallus because it is the Christ of Christianity who is killed and the Gnostic Mass shows “the real Christ who screws”]. There is of course absolutely nothing surprising in the fact that the Satanic Mass blasphemes via making out of the loving relationship between Christ the Bridegroom and His Church an act of sexual intercourse, turning the Passion and Crucifixion into sexual intercourse as well. What is surprising is that the West-TOB, bybringing sex into the Liturgy seems to achieving the identical result. Like here:

“So, is your sex life improving? It should for those who have really understood and embraced the season of Lent. We said last time in this column that the season of Lent was great for our sexual lives.  Now it gets even better!

… The events of the week leading up to Christ’s death on the Cross are like a mystical “foreplay.” In fact, Jesus is even stripped naked during this process. What happens on the Cross is not just the death of Christ but the consummation of a mystical marriage between God and His Bride. This is why Christ looks down from the Cross at his mother and calls her “Woman.”  He echoes the name Adam gave to Eve because in this climactic moment, Christ becomes the new Adam and his Mother becomes the new Eve.

…  This is why in my church we sing with great exuberance on the days of Pascha (EasterJ “Christ emerges from the tomb like a bridegroom from the bridal chamber and fills the women with great joy!” Wow! Now is that sexual or what!?”[3]

I find it is very interesting that the text of the Gnostic Mass and the standard discourse of the West-TOB on the same topic [any Mass re-enacts Christ’s Passion and Sacrifice] somehow clarify each other. For example, a standard West-TOB argument against the accusation of indecency in putting together Our Lord and sex, that the sexual intercourse described here is mystical, cannot withstand the fact that the sexual intercourse performed during the Gnostic Mass is mystical as well. Another argument, that “there is nothing shameful about sex” and therefore, that it is fine to bring it into the Liturgy does not work when put together with the fact that Satanists have a very positive view of sex, in fact probably much more positive than most Catholics. Certainly they are not burdened by any sense of guilt regarding sex; that sense of guilt the West-TOB is seeking to release the Catholics from; hence sex in the Gnostic Mass cannot be viewed as something shameful in itself. It seems to me then that Satanists use sex in conjunction with Christian (and other) symbols for two reasons:

1) to perform the “sex magick” and also to make a reference to some scraps of ancient dark mysteries/Kabbala/Alchemy

2) “to blow Christianity off” by marrying it with something that it cannot be married with. Indeed, the discourse of Fr Loya about Christ’s “mystical foreplay of Passion” successfully wipes off the struggle, pain, self-sacrifice, in one word, Passion itself and also death which is being turned now into the “climatic moment” of the consummation of the marriage. The reference to the sexual life of believers which the recollection of the Passion Week is supposed to improve completes the “finishing-off” the reality of the suffering and death of Our Lord. The real Christ is literally “killed with the phallus” as he is in the Gnostic Mass and then the Church is presented with the Imposter, the god of sex who “fills the women with great joy”. Someone like “Jesus Christ” on the “icon” ‘Jesus Christ the God of Dance’ by Fr Lentz.



This could be the end of this paper if I was interested only in establishing the nature of the West-TOB. My original quest, as the reader may recall, was not so much the West-TOB as an abstract phenomenon but to understand its impact on my prayer life and my connection with Jesus Christ. What I wrote above still could not explain my strange fear of Our Lord satisfactory/completely. While the Gnostic Mass made it clear to me why I was having the obsession about “a fake Christ, the Imposter” ever since my encounter with the West-TOB priest it could not explain why I continued being fearful even after this clarification.  Furthermore, now not only icons of Christ triggered my fear but also the writings of Christian mystics which, before the encounter, were my staple.

The solution of the enigma came from the special issue of ‘The Journal of Thelemic Studies’, ‘The Mysteries of the Gnostic Mass’:

“The union of the Lance and the Cup as the Father and Mother united (the Father “dying” in orgasm in the Mother; the ego is dissolved in the Absolute in Crossing the Abyss; “'Jesus,' slain with the Lance, whose blood is collected in a Cup”) are the Greater Mysteries. The Lesser Mysteries are those of the Sword and Disk. The Sword and the Disk are the Mind and Body and refer to the Miracle of Incarnation, the cycle of Birth-Life-Death that is celebrated in O.T.O.'s Man of Earth degrees, which Crowley connects with “On, Oannes, Noah, and the like.”

It is not that the mix of symbols “explained” anything – something in it unexpectedly brought me back to the setting of a Catholic cathedral and me, among others, listening to the homily on the day of Our lady of Sorrows. The priest was the same West-TOB priest of my first encounter. And, strangely enough, when I put the two together, I understood why my relationship with the Lord went to almost nothing.


The second encounter

I probably have to remind the reader about the meaning of the feast Our Lady of Sorrows first. Significantly, if before the second encounter I would simply convey it with my own words now I somehow feel compelled to back up my understanding with the regular/official/traditional understanding of the Church and, even better, to provide the quote from the official Catholic resource: [4]

“The title, Our Lady of Sorrows, given to our Blessed Mother focuses on her intense suffering and grief during the passion and death of our Lord. Traditionally, this suffering was not limited to the passion and death event; rather, it comprised the seven dolors or seven sorrows of Mary, which were foretold by the Priest Simeon who proclaimed to Mary, This child [Jesus] is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed and you yourself shall be pierced with a sword so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare (Luke 2:34-35). These seven sorrows of our Blessed Mother included the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt; the loss and finding of the child Jesus in the Temple; Mary's meeting of Jesus on His way to Calvary; Mary's standing at the foot of the cross when our Lord was crucified; her holding of Jesus when He was taken down from the cross; and then our Lord's burial. In all, the prophesy of Simeon that a sword would pierce our Blessed Mother's heart was fulfilled in these events. For this reason, Mary is sometimes depicted with her heart exposed and with seven swords piercing it. More importantly, each new suffering was received with the courage, love, and trust that echoed her fiat, let it be done unto me according to Thy word, first uttered at the Annunciation. (…)

Interestingly, in 1482, the feast was officially placed in the Roman Missal under the title of Our Lady of Compassion, highlighting the great love our Blessed Mother displayed in suffering with her Son. The word compassion derives from the Latin roots cum and patior which means to suffer with. Our Blessed Mother's sorrow exceeded anyone else's since she was the mother of Jesus, who was not only her Son but also her Lord and Savior; she truly suffered with her Son. (…)

The key image here is our Blessed Mother standing faithfully at the foot of the cross with her dying Son: the Gospel of St. John recorded, Seeing His mother there with the disciple whom He loved, Jesus said to His mother, 'Woman, there is your son.' In turn He said to the disciple, 'There is your mother.' (John 19:26-27). The Second Vatican Council in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church wrote, A...She stood in keeping with the divine plan, suffering grievously with her only-begotten Son. There she united herself, with a maternal heart, to His sacrifice, and lovingly consented to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth (#58).

St. Bernard (d. 1153) wrote, Truly, O Blessed Mother, a sword has pierced your heart.... He died in body through a love greater than anyone had known. She died in spirit through a love unlike any other since His (De duodecim praerogatativs BVM).

Focusing on the compassion of our Blessed Mother, our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, reminded the faithful, Mary Most Holy goes on being the loving consoler of those touched by the many physical and moral sorrows which afflict and torment humanity. She knows our sorrows and our pains, because she too suffered, from Bethlehem to Calvary. 'And they soul too a sword shall pierce.' Mary is our Spiritual Mother, and the mother always understands her children and consoles them in their troubles. Then, she has that specific mission to love us, received from Jesus on the Cross, to love us only and always, so as to save us! Mary consoles us above all by pointing out the Crucified One and Paradise to us! (1980).

Therefore, as we honor our Blessed Mother, our Lady of Sorrows, we honor her as the faithful disciple and exemplar of faith. Let us pray as we do in the opening prayer of the Mass for this feast day: Father, as your Son was raised on the cross, His Mother Mary stood by Him, sharing His sufferings. May your Church be united with Christ in His suffering and death and so come to share in His rising to new life. Looking to the example of Mary, may we too unite our sufferings to our Lord, facing them with courage, love, and trust.”

After establishing a quite obvious fact that follows even from the name of the feast itself, i.e. that the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is about the pain of the sorrows = the unbearable pain of the Mother watching her only Son dying an exceedingly painful death the reader can appreciate my sense of unreality when the priest, after singing ‘Stabat Mater Dolorosa’ said the following:

“Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. On paintings the Virgin Mary is often depicted standing at the cross with the chalice in which She is collecting the blood streaming from her Son’s side. There is a rich symbolism in today’s feast. The Virgin Mary is the symbol of the Church. The Church is the Bride. On the cross Christ consummated the mystical marriage with His Bride. Mary is the Bride of the Lamb, Christ. Christ calls her “Woman”, from being his Mother she is becoming “Woman”. Mary is the New Eve; Christ is the New Adam. From their union the Church is born. Those symbols are worthy to think about.”

I did not need to think: if the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ is the Bride of Christ that makes her the Bride of her own Son. If the Cross was “a marriage bed” then, following this line of thought, it is incest.[5]

I predict the argument that the marriage is “mystical” [and “virginal” as Cristopher West adds elsewhere]. The words “mystical marriage” however cannot remove the connotation of incest inherent in this context because the absolute taboo against “a mother engaging in sex with her son” is engrained in normal human conscience to such a degree that any hint to that possibility causes a sense of disgust and horror [and also the rejection of everything that is connected with that incest].

Similarly, the words of Christ on the Cross “woman, behold your son; [son], behold your mother”, which the West-TOB stresses to smoothly move on to the “mystical marriage of the New Adam and the New Eve” addressed to Apostle John, cannot remove the connotation of incest because they cannot alter the fact that the Virgin Mary is the Mother of God. The words of Christ indicate that:

1) on the earthly level, He wishes His beloved disciple to take care of Her because She does not have anyone else

2) on the metaphysical level, those words indicate that now, in His death that is about to take a place, He is acting as God, atoning for humankind, that is He is no longer just the Son of Mary. And yet He is. [If he wasn’t it would undermine His humanity, the ground reality of His Incarnation, Death and Resurrection and all Christian dogma including the Atonement. He would effectively become the Christ of Gnosticism.] She is His Mother for all eternity hence any hint of her “spousal” relationship with Christ [of whatever kind] always carries the air of incest with it. This is probably why, although indeed Christian mystics speak of the Virgin Mary as “Bride of the Holy Spirit” or even (much rarer) “the Spouse of God” they (and the Church as a whole) never link Her directly with Jesus Christ otherwise than as Mother and Son. This is evident in the reading and hymns of the feast of Our lady of Sorrows which are about the pain of the Mother (‘Stabat Mater Dolorosa”), the Sacrifice of Her Son (Death of the Lord and Eucharist in the Letter of Ap. Paul to the Corinthians) and also about the relationship of Mother and Son (the Gospel of Ap. John). This is precisely why the words of the West-TOB priest were such a shock to me.

There is something else disturbing in all that: even if I attribute the insistence of the priest on the existence of “many paintings depicting the Virgin Mary collecting the blood of her Son into the chalice” to his lack of knowledge of Christian art I cannot get rid of the gnawing thought: why is that that he cannot see, from a purely human point of view, the utmost artificiality of such a scene? How can one expect a mother to hold a chalice collecting the blood of her child while a Roman soldier is piercing the flesh of her flesh? I imagine that all she could think of at that moment would be her son, not some “ecclesia” [which, according to the West-TOB is meanwhile being born from “God’s imperishable seed” (Christ’s) and “the New Eve” (her)]. It appears that the artists shared my opinion because such depictions do not exist. The blood, if it is collected at all, is gathered by an angel or the symbolic female figure representing Ecclesia. Aha! – may say the reader, but the Virgin Mary is the symbol of the Ecclesia, is she not? Yes, but somehow she is never depicted as “an abstract figure” like the figure of Ecclesia. What we have in Christian art are two distinct types of images, of the Crucifixion and of the symbolic representation of the mystery of the Eucharist. The former shows the Virgin Mary standing under the Cross together with the Apostle John and St Mary Magdalen (with other women) who support her because she is unable to stand on her own beholding such a sight. Occasionally an angel collecting the blood of Christ is depicted.

       

The latter is, essentially, a vision of the crucified Christ during the Eucharist. The best known of such images is ‘The Mass of St Gregory’ that shows Pope Gregory contemplating the Man of Sorrows during the Mass. Another and much less known is the vision of St Hildegard of Bingen, which shows the Crucifixion together with other Mysteries of God. The female figure symbolising Ecclesia collects the blood of Christ (like in the vision of St Hildegard of Bingen) flowing from His side into the Chalice; below the Crucifixion the same figure is shown kneeling in adoration before the altar where the Chalice is now being placed. The figure of Ecclesia here is in the place of St Gregory.

   

The figures, of the Virgin Mary and of Ecclesia, never overlap/interchange in the context of the Crucifixion; if anything, they are deliberately separated, via highlighting the role of the Virgin Mary in the Incarnation and her motherly love and sacrifice, like this very common juxtaposition of the Virgin with Her Child (‘Nativity’) and Crucifixion:

Apart from theological reasons for that, I am quite sure it is so because the purpose of Christian art is to express the truth, both of God and of men. Christianity is not some abstract [Gnostic] teaching but the faith of Incarnation, meaning there cannot be anything contrary to the normal human psyche as it is intended by God. While, abstractly speaking, one could depict the Virgin Mary collecting the blood of her Son in a chalice “because she is a symbol of Ecclesia” such a depiction would always have something very odd about it because, to a healthy mind, the sight of a mother collecting the blood of her child for the purpose of distributing it among others conveys not the Christian truth but something else, quite opposite to what the Crucifixion and Eucharist are supposed to mean. It is so because such a depiction would deny the normal humanity expressed in the relationship of the Mother and her Son.

It is probably fitting to add here this strange numbness to the realities of the “parent – child” relationship of Virgin Mary and Her Son appear to be entirely in a harmony with the West-TOB take on fatherhood as “insemination” and motherhood as “being inseminated”, phallus and womb (as it already was stated in the beginning, the West-TOB speaks neither about born children as persons nor about the relationship of their parents with them, as anything personal). In this context, and also in the context of the extreme and senseless sexualisation of Christian theology, the transformation of “mystical marriage” into “mystical incest” seems to be a logical end of the development of the West-TOB. 

West-TOB "mystical incest"


The end of Christian mysticism

As it was stated in the very beginning, this paper is the record of my desperate attempts to identify what first damaged and then completely blew off my relationship with Our Lord. In case the rather heavy material of the previous chapter obliterated an already emerging answer I will sum it up: the transformation of Christ the Bridegroom into a “sexually obsessed fake Christ, the Imposter” during the first encounter with the West-TOB embodied by a priest caused the cracks in the relationship; the notion of incest, being attached to the “mystical marriage” during the second encounter, ruined the relationship completely. The mechanics are easy to understand if we turn to the true Christian mysticism.  

A human soul, according to the Christian mystical tradition, is a bride of Christ. In baptism, she is betrothed to Christ; life after baptism is the run towards her Beloved, towards an ever fuller possession of Him (a process that lasts for eternity, according to St Gregory of Nyssa[6]). The term “mystical marriage”, apart from conveying the supernatural reality that is “somewhat like human spousal union but immeasurably more and not the same”[7], also signifies the perfect conformity of her will with the will of the Beloved that is only possible through sacrificial love.  As a result of this conformity with Jesus Christ, a human person enters into a blissful eternal communion with all the Persons of the Blessed Trinity, something that numerous Christian saints were granted already in this life.

Both the language of mystical theology and the realities it conveys may sound “esoteric” and appear to have little to do with the life of a common Christian. The mystics however do not say anything different from the statement made by Jesus Christ Himself, “Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home in him.”[8] As for the language of the mystics, it is also entirely scriptural, that is of the ‘Song of Songs’.

Basically, the whole body of writings of various Christian mystics boils down to the following: God touches their hearts; they fall in love with Him; being on fire, they run after Him; this run, punctuated with the moments of reunion with God, would stretch towards what is called “mystical marriage”. It is a passionate love story, between God and man; being such it is fitting to write about it in terms of the love story of human lovers. A mystic’s soul falls in love with Jesus Christ, her Beloved Bridegroom, both human and divine and through Him she is brought to the loving union with the other two Persons of the Most Holy Trinity. It is only natural then that ‘Song of Songs’, which is the song between Bride and her Bridegroom, a soul (or Israel, in the Old Testament) and Christ (or God, ibid) and also the love story of human lovers is the staple of all who desire God.

It is also natural for those who long for intimacy with God and find help and inspiration in the writing of the mystics to begin adapting their language, including symbols, and to begin thinking accordingly because mystical writings are anything but “academic”; they are practical maps of the journey with God and to God. Even if a person does not make use of the notion of Christ the Bridegroom of his soul the bride in his relationship with the Lord i.e. even if he does not think about his relationship with Christ along those lines this notion will nevertheless convey to him something of the nature (or taste) of the objective reality behind those symbols. Our Lord, when he speaks of Himself as Bridegroom, quite naturally alludes to the meaning of the betrothal in the ancient Israel. That is, the bride and bridegroom are already promised and given to each other but the marriage as such is not consummated yet; all the other realities [“love as strong as death” or even stronger than death, in the case of Christ and a soul] apart from consummation are already there.  The spiritual reality which the terms “Bride and Bridegroom” convey is of both passionate love and purity, and also of the security the Bride has in her Bridegroom (as the Church has in Christ). I repeat, this is something that one who regularly reads Christian mystics becomes accustomed too, as a glimpse into the reality of the love of Christ for her soul and of what she may hope to attain. Like this, expressed by St John of the Cross:

One dark night,
fired with love’s urgent longings
ah, the sheer grace!
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

O guiding night!
O night more lovely than a dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her
Lover.
[9]

It is, as St John puts it, “songs of the soul that rejoices in having reached the high state of perfection, which is union with God, by the path of spiritual negation”. To put it simply, it is the joyous experience of the union with God a soul was granted after long days of being deprived of Him.

It is of course an extremely exulted state. However, in its meaning and aspirations it is not so different from the experience of a Christian who fasts and contemplates the Passion of Our Lord during the bleak period of the Great Lent so then he could die with Christ and be resurrected by Him again and be united with Him in communion [the most intimate union with Our Lord] on the day of the Resurrection. Regarding which another West-TOB author writes:

“So, is your sex life improving? It should for those who have really understood and embraced the season of Lent. We said last time in this column that the season of Lent was great for our sexual lives.  Now it gets even better!

. . . . The events of the week leading up to Christ’s death on the Cross are like a mystical “foreplay.” In fact, Jesus is even stripped naked during this process. What happens on the Cross is not just the death of Christ but the consummation of a mystical marriage between God and His Bride. This is why Christ looks down from the Cross at his mother and calls her “Woman.”  He echoes the name Adam gave to Eve because in this climactic moment, Christ becomes the new Adam and his Mother becomes the new Eve.

. . . . This is why in my church we sing with great exuberance on the days of Pascha (Easter) “Christ emerges from the tomb like a bridegroom from the bridal chamber and fills the women with great joy!” Wow! Now is that sexual or what!?”

It feels unnatural to make a connection between the two texts even by comparison because there are no real points of comparison there apart from the names: Christ, Bride, mystical marriage and so on. There are two realities – true Christian mysticism and the West-TOB’s “something” or even Christianity and “something”. I have no idea how to call it, but one thing I know for sure: those two cannot be combined. Even more so, they cannot be accommodated by the same mind or, as a matter of a fact, by the same Church. If the Church sees the “the events of the [Passion] week leading up to Christ’s death on the Cross are like a mystical “foreplay” [during which] Jesus is even stripped naked during this process” and recognises in this description “One Whom her soul loves” she cannot then miraculously turn from the Whore-mode into the Bride-mode and exult in her Divine Bridegroom, the Almighty, the First and the Last, “one Who is coming on the clouds; everyone will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the races of the earth will mourn over Him.” She really should make a choice with whom she is.


The “priest factor”

I stated in the beginning of this paper that “the encounters that followed after its completion especially convinced me that the West-TOB itself would never make a big impact at me if I did not have several opportunities to see it “embodied” and “in action”. Neither would I be able to understand what is there that so effectively blows off not only the intimacy of God with a soul but also inserts into a soul the overwhelming – and entirely “insane” – dread of that intimacy.” Finally, we can turn to the key-figure without which the West-TOB would be doomed to remain, as it is often said to excuse its existence within the Church (i.e. “who cares about it?”), on the fringes and not known to the common church-goer. That is, to the figure of the priest.

I am absolutely convinced that, just as that figure was indispensable for me to understand the most important things about the West-TOB, it was also indispensable for the “insemination” of a congregation (as the West-TOB puts it) and for the fact that that “the seeds” would fall on the fertile soil, not dry, not shallow, and that no birds of the air would be around.

The upper layer of my parable is quite obvious I think, namely that the presence of the priest who endorses the West-TOB ideas makes it much more probable that a common believer will encounter them. Given during a homily, in the frame of Mass, the West-TOB ideas may easily pass as Church teachings. In such a context they are not likely to be questioned, by most parishioners. Finally, the figure of the priest has a natural air of authority about it and as such gives an additional credibility to the message thus making a bigger impact. 

The next layer of the parable is the realm of symbols. As it was shown here, the aftermath of my two encounters with the West-TOB priest was the invasion of my mind by the two notions, of “metaphysical rape” [a fake Bridegroom, the Imposter, rapes the Bride of Christ, the Church] and of “metaphysical incest” [the play of the West-TOB with the symbols of Bride and Bridegroom, Mother and Son, in the context of its preoccupation with “sex” acquired the strong connotation of incest, between Virgin Mary and Christ]. I am absolutely convinced that, while I could see both notions of the West-TOB in the writings of its authors, I would never be affected by them to the degree I have been. That is, I would never become irrationally scared of “Christ the Imposter”, would never have developed the symptoms of being sexually abused, and – most importantly – would never feel as if there was something forbidden, terrible, dirty about intimacy with Our Lord and by all means resist that intimacy. Finally, I would never experience “the total destruction of meaning” which somehow enabled me to understand the experiences of the victims of child sexual abuse within the Church. What blew my connection with the Lord off was not the message of the West-TOB by itself but the messenger which embodied or acted the West-TOB out, the priest.

Let us now play with the figures and symbols like the West-TOB does.

Priest is the Father. The congregation are his Children.
The father figure must not be sexualized; neither must he sexualise his children and his relationships with them. Priest/Father who acts sexually (verbally in this case) towards his Children engages in incest.
Priest/Father who conveys the connotation of incest speaking of the relationship of Mother/Virgin Mary and Son/Christ to his Children engages in “double incest”, not just introducing some “sexual aspect” (that would be one) but also introducing the story of another incest which he relays to his Children, of the Son of God and His Mother.

Bad as it is, the play still can be enhanced. Priest/Father who takes upon himself the title Bridegroom/Son of God becomes thus Father/Son of God who engages in incest with own Children/ Siblings while telling them about incest of Son of God and His Mother in which he is involved as well, being now the Son as well as the Father. I.e., he now (symbolically) engages in incest thrice: as Father to Children; as a teller about incest of the Son of God with His Mother; by participation in the latter, via assuming the identity of the Bridegroom, the Son of God. I.e. it is now him who engages in imaginary incest with Mother of God.

The Priest hence “incarnates” the West-TOB incest. It is one thing to read the blasphemous poisonous nonsense about God and another – to hear it in the context of the Church, as an integral part of the Mass, between the readings of the Gospels and the Eucharist, presented as some “deeper teaching of the Church” by the priest, the teacher and the icon of Christ – and thus becoming, at the same time,  an active participant in the mystery of God and an object of a sexually abusive action of the priest that not only violates the faithful but also makes out of Christ and His Mother something that they are definitely not.

But is it not what the Gnostic Mass is about? Definitely, apart from “sex magick” the Gnostic Mass is about the mockery of Christianity and Christ and His Mother, “the union of the Lance and the Cup as the Father and Mother united (the Father “dying” in orgasm in the Mother; “'Jesus,' slain with the Lance, whose blood is collected in a Cup”) are the Greater Mysteries.”  There is a subtle difference though. The Gnostic Mass kills “Jesus” symbolically, via the penis (Lance) of Father who engages in a sexual act with Mother. The West-TOB also symbolically “kills” Christ with the penis of “sex” of a couple, father and mother, meaning it destroys God with sexualisation of God. The Gnostic Mass did not go so far as to make “Father” into Son and “Mother” into the Virgin Mary, to ensure that the already dead Saviour would not rise again. 


--------------------------------------------------------

[1] I suspect not only me; someone, an old man, left at that point.

[5]The discourse of St Augustin of Hippo to which the West-TOB routinely refers to back up their interpretation of the cross as “marital bed” speaks of “a bed of pain, not pleasure” on which Christ “surrendered Himself to torment for his bride” [that is humanity], excludes any sexual interpretations.

[6] St Gregory of Nyssa, ‘On the Soul and the Resurrection’.

[7] The words of St Teresa of Avila quoted by memory.

[8] John 14, 23.

[9] St John of the Cross, ‘The Dark Night’.

 

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