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The Meaning of the Cross - Spiritual Maturity

A Gnostic Understanding

Many years ago in a dream state I found myself transported by a beam of light, drawn up into a star. From the star, six rays of light went out. Immediately I heard the word 'choose!' I entered one of the beams of light and was transported into a set of events which marked the course of my life from that point on.

Years later, having learned I could re-enter the dream, I returned to the star, curious about the origin of the voice. "Who is speaking to me?" I asked. The answer was immediate: "Cross!"

It took me another period of years to realize this was not only a name. but an imperative: Cross! In the words of the Gnostic Gospel of Philllip*: "Become not a Christian, but a Christ!"

But how? What is the crossing?

Look at the physical representation of the cross - it is literally a crossing of the vertical and the horizontal dimensions. In the body, this occurs at the shoulders (try holding your arms straight out to the sides; you become a cross).

In earlier Messages I have noted that the difference between humans and other animals is that animals live their lives with spines essentially parallel to the earth. They distribute energy on the planet. We live our waking lives with our spines largely upright - we integrate above and below, heaven and earth.

When passion enters our life, the energy at the base of the spine heats up. The first heated stage is red; thus sacred as sac-rum red. The Sacred is the Tao, the fusion of the twin snakes of yin and yang, ida and pingala, into one current, which rises up to activate the chacras, or crossing points (areas of life activity). When the fused energy reaches as high as the heart, the nurturing center, we have arrived at the first of the spiritual chacras - compassion becomes possible, the realization that others exist in their own right apart from whether or not their existence benefits us. We begin to become directed not alone by survival (1st chacra), sexuality and bonding (2nd) or power (3rd), but love. We expand. But we have not yet been on the cross. Love is not enough to cross over. The heart hesitates on the threshold of the warrior.

The energy narrows again to make it through the neck - the narrows, the Truth.

    Enter ye in by the narrow gate: For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way that leads unto life, and few are they that find it.
        - Matthew 7:13-14

The fifth chacra is sometimes called the Truth Center or Warrior's Way. In Native American terms, we must "walk our talk". The ideas and ideals of the mind must fit the actions of the body. The mind (mind; obedience) no longer knows the way.

    From an old Dylan song:

    Seems like only yesterday I left my mind behind;
    Down in a gypsy cafe
    With a friend of a friend of mine.

We enter the path of the Spiritual Warrior because we must walk it without knowing where it leads - we lose our minds, our maps - we raise our foot for the next step, but there is no path in view - only the yearning that Spirit somehow open a path. Possessions are left behind. Friends and allies and lovers are left behind. Grievances and excuses are left behind. Authority, perhaps especially religious authority, is abandoned. Self-identifications, ambitions, security. Nothing fits this narrows but the truth of our yearning. The past is a burden and the future an illusion. Only the passion to serve, to make our own bodies and spirits a passage-way for the greater spirit.

    Those who name themselves bishop and deacon and act as if they had received their authority from God are in reality waterless channels. Although they do not understand mystery, they boast that the mystery of truth belongs to them alone. They have misinterpreted the teachings and have set up an imitation church in place of the true.
        -Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter*

When we don't cross into the mystery, the unknown, the energy of love falls back into power and lust and fear (survival). We become, as Lenin would say, liberals - people who want to feed the wolves but keep the lambs uneaten. We want universal peace and love; but we also want our personal SUVs.

We are not Spiritual Warriors until we give ourselves away to the Truth. And Truth is the meeting. Meeting of Earth and Sky. Meeting of Man and Woman. Meeting of Races. Meeting of Time and Eternity. We become the cross. We become the crossing.

    When you make the two one, and when you make the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same - then you will enter the Kingdom.
        -Gnostic Gospel of Thomas*

The cross is also the crossing into adulthood as a species. As long as the goal is something outside ourselves - anything from Salvation to our bank account to the Withering Away of the State - we are like children who seek parental authority and protection. These last 2,000 years have been our coming of age; the cross is our first driver's license on the spiritual interstates that lace our universe. When we have crossed, we are free; but before the crossing, we are terrified (or terra-fied - confined to the earthly or material plane).

Young souls accept external authority. Teenage souls struggle against authority. Mature souls find authority within. Old souls embody all possibilities.

For those who seek the protection of external authority, the snake is always the enemy. But when the snake, the kundalini, has finally crossed over through the narrows of truth, of living impeccably, then earth and sky unite and we are one with Spirit. The way in is the way out. This is the meaning of the cross. This is the truth that will set you free.

*The Gnostic Gospels, like the writings of Essenes, were lost in the early centuries of the age, banned by the church, and only emerged again, from hiding places in Egypt and Israel, in the mid-part of the last century.

Copyright 2007 - 2017 by John Sacelli. All Rights Reserved.