We, the Arctuarians (#1) and Jesus Christ: Testing the Spirits

Hello Lightworkers,

We, the Arcturians (c.1990), by  Norma J Milanovich, exhibits themes that are by now familiar, in the genre of new age spirituality and extra-terrestrial visitations: a group of ET’s makes contact with a gifted or open-minded seer, who channels their saving message, in order to assist the rebirth or ascension process of earth. Earth is to move from a paradigm of separation (marked by domination, strife, greed, and competition) to a consciousness of unity (marked by mutual respect, peace, generosity, and cooperation); and from a three-dimensional into a fourth and fifth-dimensional reality.

Not all such new spirituality, involving extraterrestrial contact, attributes its origins, however, to Jesus–at least indirectly. Milanovich was a professor in New Mexico when she began to channel celestial beings from the planet Arcturus, who claim to be on a “mission of love and light”. They say, moreover, that “they are aided by the Ascended Masters, work for Jesus, the Christ and other magnificent Beings” (loc. 112).

Given the role of Jesus in these channeled messages, I will devote several posts to addressing the question, whether the Jesus of the Arcturians, here, is compatible with the Jesus of the Gospels and Christianity.

Let’s start first, then, with the matter of testing the spirits, which arises, in both Christian and channeled material, whenever the claim is made that a certain message is from a celestial, divine, or holy source.

As a channel, Milanovich asks this question herself: “Are these claims and messages fact or fiction? Is the source of these transmissions actually Beings from a higher state of consciousness, or are these messages coming from entities who are pathological liars with a plan to deceive and take over the Earth?” She concludes that the messages are benign, wise, full of love and light. Their meanings are consistent, neither tricky nor unreliable.

The descriptions of galactic life that they impart, moreover, and the conceptual complexity of their ideas, convey a veracity beyond what one could concoct as a fiction.  The spirits proved themselves, moreover, by paranormal interventions. Once the spirits caused a crystal to turn on its own, as a sign of their presence, for instance.

I grant the sincerity of Norma J. Milanovich – (together with that of her two friends in the channeling circle, Betty Rice and Cynthia Ploski).  As an academic researcher, she was schooled in a worldview and epistemology that clashed with the awakening of her newfound psychic gifts. Her decision to embrace her channeled message and to speak about her contact with the Arturians took courage, no doubt, and a commitment to push forward, with a spirit of service, along new frontiers in human evolution.

Nevertheless, Milonovich’s question for testing the spirits draws a false dichotomy, as I see it. The spirits need not be either holy or liars. Perhaps they are benign spirits, who can do tricks, such as the trick of making crystals swirl; if these spirit entities communicate, how valuable is their message?

In early Christianity, which took for granted a cosmology that included spirits of various kinds, a test was set up for distinguishing the holy spirit from spirits of a lesser kind. In the Acts of Peter, a second century work, a man named Simon the Magician is placed in a competition with Peter, the Apostle of Jesus Christ. Simon has the capacity to make “certain spirits enter in, which were only an appearance, and not existing in truth.” (Acts of Peter, XXXI)

These spirits could make miracles seem to happen, briefly: Simon could make “lame men seem whole for a little space, and blind likewise, and once he appeared to make many dead to live and move”. However, the illusion would last only for a minute. Simon stuns a crowd by flying in the air, only to be cast to the ground at Peter’s command.

In contrast, Peter is filled with the holy spirit, as an apostle of the living God. Thus, he can actually raise a girl from the dead. This story signifies that lesser spirits can imitate the acts of God, but they cannot sustain these excellent deeds, in substance and truth.

My point, here, is not to defend Christianity, as it currently exists, over against channeling and new age spirituality. Nor do I mean to degrade or discredit the Arcturian visitors. Instead, I raise this question: how do we test the authenticity of a spiritual message? Is the message from Jesus Christ, the living God? Or from a lesser spirit?

 

 

 

 

Bread of Heaven

This post belongs to our study of the Gospel of John. Please see the side menu to review the previous posts. The text of John 6: 16-59 is reproduced below.

Gospel of John study #36

Hi All,

In the last post, we looked at John 6: 1-15. Jesus feeds a crowd by his bread miracle.  On this basis, the crowds wish to make him King. They see him as the expected “prophet like Moses,” a figure in Judaism of the time who was regarded as God’s appointed servant, worthy to rule.  Jesus refuses the role, just as he refuses the devil’s temptation of turning stones into bread. The devil understands that the one who possesses storehouses of food, in times of famine, can rule over and subjugate hungry hordes.

Yes, Jesus will multiply bread to feed people, in generosity and service, and to demonstrate the unlimited creative power of God.  Yet, Jesus will not make use of his miraculous abilities, in deference to Satan, as a way to deprive people of their freedom by controlling their food supplies. As this next passage shows, Jesus offers the people the true “bread of heaven,” instead of perishable bread: the Life of God, which we may ingest as an eternally renewable source of eternal life, love and freedom.

We will return to consider this claim, again, in our next post. For now, I will break down this passage, analytically, in the hope of clarifying its meaning.

In this passage (6:16-59), Jesus demonstrates his God-bestowed miraculous abilities by walking in water (vv. 16-21). While his bread miracle recalls God’s provision of manna to the wilderness generation under Moses, so his walking on the sea recalls God’s parting of the seas, during the Exodus, so that Israel may cross out of Egypt, the place of bondage. Jesus demonstrates that he is not merely a new “prophet like Moses” but indeed one who can perform works directly sourced from God.

Jesus then gives a speech, explaining that the true gift he has to give is not merely food to eat (to sustain biological life) but instead eternal life. Furthermore, while the people under Moses ate manna in the desert (which is perishable) as a gift from God, the people now, in the presence of Jesus, may eat the bread of life itself, which has come down to heaven from God. It is Jesus himself who is this heavenly bread. It is his body that must be eaten.

This puzzling assertion, suggesting cannibalism, causes consternation and anger in some of Jesus’s audience. How can Jesus claim to be the bread of life, when he is a mere mortal, the son of their very own neighbors in their village?

41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 

Jesus explains:

56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 

We learn later in the Gospel (John 15) that to “abide” in Jesus means to abide in Love. Thus, by offering his own flesh, as heavenly bread, and his own blood, as heavenly drink,  Jesus asks us to supply ourselves with a new spiritual foundation for our lives. Our lives, in communion with God, will be the life of God, which is Love.

The mission of Jesus Christ is to offer us this communion and union with God, which in turn gives freedom, and even an ability to perform miracles of our own.

John 6:16-59

16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.

22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.

25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; 38 for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”

41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” 59 He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.

 

A Boy Meets the Angel Gabriel

Gabriel_from_Vysotsky_chin_(14c,_Tretyakov_gallery)

Angel Gabriel

archangel-gabriel2

Image of Gabriel courtesy of  Higher Density Blog

archangelmichael

earliest depiction of Archangel Michael 525-530 CE

Here is a beautiful account of a visit by an angel, which utterly changed the life of a teenaged boy. The boy comes to identify the angel as Gabriel. (See: Clancy, Robert. Soul Cyphers: Decoding a Life of Hope and Happiness. See also link below to interview).

During a period of anguish, when Robert’s will to live had slackened, a waitress soothed his distress by suggesting that he meditate and gave him a book on the topic. While meditating in his apartment, Robert saw a light, which emanated from no natural source.  The light transformed into an angel, which then touched his forehead, whereupon Robert entered into a timeless sphere. He knew that heaven is real and God is present.

Robert describes the angel: “She had the most Divine face I’d ever seen, beyond all the paintings and books I’d come across in my life—a pure, classic beauty. She was larger than a human—approximately six-and a half to seven feet tall, adorned in a thin, white robe, a simple braided rope around her waist, a delicate tiara seated on her head, and plain sandals wrapped her feet—exactly what you’d expect, but more. I could feel only pure love radiating through my body within her presence. The whole figure was ghost-like, shimmering white, and semi-transparent—almost as if she was made of light. She exuded a nobleness that made me feel like I was in the presence of royalty.”

He describes her wings and her kiss: “The perfectly formed wings stretched out nearly four feet from each of her shoulders. I focused on the details of every feather intimately as she slowly floated forward. I was nose-to-nose with her, and I leaned back as I became slightly cross-eyed to keep focused on her beautiful face. She then greeted me with a momentary kiss before backing up. I felt a love in my heart like no other I’d ever experienced in my life when she touched me.”

After the angel touches his forehead, between the eyes, Roberts dedicates his life to a path of service. The angelic figure disappears into a point of light.

Not everybody receives visits by angels in the same manner as Robert did — through the visual senses. Angels may make their presence known by other sensations, both subtle and ordinary,  by a pervasive sense of peace and joy, or by a euphoria that expands and uplifts one’s awareness.

While angels bring messages, as Gabriel brought a message to Mary, the mother of Jesus, likewise the very encounter of somebody with an angel will change him or her.  The angel offers love and protection as well as proof that heaven is real.

Here are some resources about angels: (see Links):

Article on Jewish Angelology

Angels in Literature

Angels: Encylopaedia Article

525 CE : Early Statue of Archangel Michael

Interview Robert Clancy with Karen Swain

Festival of Eternal Beauty (miscellaneous tributes)

On Christmas, we revere the Beloved, the Beautiful One  –

the Beloved God, adored by the the mystics:

Rabiʿa al-Basri (717–801), Muslim female mystic and poet,  composed this prayer, revered by Sufis:

Oh, my Lord, if I worship Thee from fear of Hell, burn me in Hell,

and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me thence,

but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake,

withhold not from me Thine Eternal Beauty

(quoted in: Images of Jesus Christ in Islam)

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And our poets: (Dante)

“Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from The Eternal.”

― Dante Alighieri

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Aleksandr Pushkin

To the Beauty

She’s all just harmony and wonder,
Higher than passions and the world,
She rests, with her sweet shyness, under
Her beauty’s ritual abode;
She looks around self in silence:
There’re no contenders hers, no friends,
Our beauties’ circle, pale and blend,
Fades out in her dazzling brightness.

Wherever weren’t you hurry, yet,
Even to date with your beloved,
What sense with weren’t your heart upset,
Even with song of highest sound, –
But having met her in alarm,
You suddenly shall stop, embarrassed –
In ecstasy, like one of prayers,
Feeling the holiness of charm.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, December, 2001

***see end of post for recitation in Russian

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Beauty takes the shape of Healing through Jesus:

On Jesus by Rumi

From the Masnawi (lines 298-363): by Rumi, mystical poet of Islam

(See blog post: Rumi and Jesus)

The house of Jesus was
the banquet of the followers of the heart
Oh, the suffering one! Don’t quit
his door.
From all sides people gathered
around his house
Some were blind, some lame,
and some insane.
Each morning they went to his door
So that their defects could be
healed by Jesus’ Breath
Jesus, that man of the good path,
would say his prayers
And would come out, seeing
many groups of sick and weak
people
Sitting and waiting at his door
of hope.
Jesus would say: Oh, the stricken
ones!
God has granted your needs and
cures.
The people would then walk,
with no pain and trouble,
Toward the blessings and mercy
of the Divine.
Like the camel whose chains
were lifted from their feet
The people would walk freely
and joyfully toward home.
They all were cured by the
prayers of Jesus.
And now, you, my friend!
Have you examined your own
defects?
Have you found a healthy state
of being
In the presence of the masters of
the good path?
Has your lame walking on the
spiritual path been cured?
Has your soul been free from the
sufferings and sorrows of this world?

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Beauty, which is God, shines through Christ and the beauty of soul, cherished and beloved by the lover, is contained within every human being:

“To love someone means to see them as God intended them.” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

” There is in the world only one figure of absolute beauty: Christ. That infinitely lovely figure is, as a matter of course, an infinite marvel.” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Letter to niece Sofia Alexandrovna)

(See Post on Dostoyevsky and Christianity)

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Look, too, at these beautiful Christmas cakes from India:

Christmas in Kerala, India —

Modern: Plum Cakes for Christmas in India

See Plum Cakes Christmas CelebrationKerala-Christmas-dish.jpg

Ancient Syriac Christians in IndiaMalabar_Christians_of_19th_century.jpg

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Russian Recitation of Pushkin Poem:

Here, at a technological school near San Francisco, a sculpture reminds us that Truth is Beauty too:

Truth is Beauty: sculpture  (See: Truth is Beauty Art)tib_about.jpg

 

 

Healing by Jesus and Reiki #2

 

japanese-madonna

Japanese Madonna

Hello Lightworkers,

According to Mrs. Takata, who helped to disseminate Reiki healing in the United States, the founder of Reiki, Mikaomi Usui, had been a Japanese Christian schoolmaster. He developed Reiki, in the late 19th century, at the prompting of a spiritual meditation upon the healing powers of Jesus. How did Jesus heal?

Mikaomi Usui pondered, also, the healing powers manifest among Buddhists. He prayed and fasted on a mountain in Japan, Kurayama, not far from Kyoto, in order to discover the secrets of spiritual healing.  There, a mystical experience occurred on day 21 of his retreat. He saw a bright light, which remained with him. Once he descended the mountain, his healing abilities were evident. He cured himself of a toe injury and a woman at a diner of a toothache.

Some historians of the movement say that Mrs. Takata, who brought Reiki to the USA after the second world war, in a climate of American prejudice against Japanese, created a legend about Reiki’s founder, so that it would appeal to Christian pieties. In fact, Mikaomi Usui had been scrutinizing Qigong methods, when he discovered Reiki healing modalities.5437109

Whatever the origins of Reiki, some Christians gain acquaintance with spiritual healing — including the healing powers of Jesus –through Reiki. These practices enable people to heal by “laying on of hands,” a technique practiced in the Bible by the early Christians.

Is Reiki a counterfeit version of authentic Christian healing? as some Christian evangelicals claim? See: Healing by Jesus and Reiki #1 Or: are Reiki and Christian healing both benign but only superficially similar? Again, does Reiki and energy healing come close to the kind of healing performed by Jesus himself and by Christians in his name?

12a4On the history of Reiki, see: History of Reiki and On the History of Reiki
For Christians who are beneficially influenced by Reiki or practitioners themselves, see : On Reiki and Christianity and Christian Reiki

Healing by Jesus and Reiki (#1)

Japanese Jesus Lightworkers,

There are Christians who believe that the Japanese healing technique of Reiki  is demonic. This judgment means (so I infer) either: a) demons give people the idea that something harmful (Reiki energy healing) is actually healing;  and/or b) the use of Reiki healing methods invites demons into one’s life. This explanation supposes  the reality of demons, i.e. unclean or evil spirits, which cause confusion, chaos, and morally debased actions.

In the youtube video below, please find the testimony of a former Reiki master, who meets up with a Christian evangelical group in Denmark, led by Torben Sondergaard.  (For a critical article about this leader see: Torben Sondergaard Article).

Apart from the question of the efficacy of Reiki — which I will not evaluate, here — the video raises a serious scruple about the Christian teaching of this Danish evangelical teacher. Before I make this critique, note that this group, called the Last Reformation, may have good things to say.

However, their critique of Reiki, and their larger theology, contain some dubious premises.  The leader of this group argues, in this video, that the Fall of Adam into Sin characterizes our lives unless we accept Jesus Christ as savior and the baptism by the holy spirit. So far his theology sounds like a standard evangelical Christian teaching.

If we listen more closely, however, it emerges that the God against whom we sin in our pre-saved predicament (i.e.  before accepting Jesus) resembles a tyrannical demon himself. This part of Sondergaard’s theology seems to promote a God who condemns us to guilt and fear.

For instance, Sondergaard says that when we come before God at Judgment Day, because God’s holiness is absolute and unparalleled — (infinitely grander and vaster than any human virtue or goodness)– our every sin will sink us. No matter how much good we have done, it will be our sins not our virtues, our evil not our goodness, that will be measured and judged.

According to Christian teaching, however– so it may be urged — God is infinitely good and wise. He or She rewards acts with the greatest mercy. Those who love God and have faith, even as small as a mustard seed, will obtain mercy. Though our sins be scarlet, he will make them as white as snow. Would a good and infinitely wise God really judge sinners in the manner of a tyrant or demonically angry Despot — as Sondergaard’s theology of intimidation suggests?

Is God himself a Vindictive, Suspicious, Angry Deity ? Such a characterization approximates the personality of a demon, according to  Webster’s Dictionary, whereby a demon is: a) an evil spirit angels and demons; b) a source or agent of evil, harm, distress, or ruin. This Pseudo-God (advanced by the Danish evangelist) seeks our harm, evil , distress, or ruin, insofar as anybody who fails to be baptized by the holy spirit and to recite the proper creeds will be condemned because of the slightest sin, no matter his or her goodness and righteous deeds.

Whatever one believes about Reiki in relation to Christian healing, it is surely lamentable that a Reiki master should fall prey to such a distorted preaching of the Christian Gospel. This kind of theology can make one suspicious of practices, like Reiki, which are either benign or innocuous in themselves.

Happiness and Healing : the example of Martin Brofman (1940-2014)

A puzzle about the Gospels: how does spiritual healing actually work? Did healing take place as described in the Gospels? and if so, how does spiritual — or specifically Christian healing — apply for our own day? Occasionally, we post about healers and healing (by spiritual means), in order to probe this question.

Martin Brofman (not a Christian) was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, while he was still a young man. He decided that if he had only a small time to live anyway, he would live his remaining days in peace and freedom. He began a quest for happiness, to mold his life according to his deepest desires.

In the process, he healed himself — against all the odds — and taught others to do the same. Surely, this interconnection between happiness and healing follows from, and confirms, a spirituality of abundant life and love. That is good news.