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Contemporary knowledge about God, Evolution, and the meaning of human life.
Methodology of spiritual development.

 
Sects, Heresies and the Straight Path
 

Vladimir Antonov

Sects, Heresies and the Straight Path


Translated from Russian by Anton Teplyy

Corrector of an English translation:
Keenan Murphy and Hiero Nani

Article from the book "Life for God"




Let us begin to examine the subject of this article by answering the following questions: what is a human being and what does he or she live on the Earth for?

Most people believe that a human being is a body, but this is not true. A human being is a soul, a consciousness, or, in other words, a condensation of energy, an energy substance that is capable of perceiving itself, being aware of itself. A body, on the other hand, is only a temporary abode for the soul, an abode that is given to us by God so that we can pass through the next stages of our self-perfection.

Developed souls who are not incarnate right now also think, remember, generate new ideas, communicate with each other, and try (sometimes successfully) to interact with incarnate people in order to induce them to act in a certain way.

Those incarnate people who have developed relevant abilities can also freely communicate, to this or that degree, with non-incarnate people.

It is important to emphasize that souls — both incarnate and non-incarnate — feel emotions, since emotions are the states of consciousnesses, i.e. the states of ourselves as souls.

Our emotions can be weak and of short duration or, on the contrary, strong and of long duration.

According to a qualitative criterion, emotions can also be classified as positive and negative. The first ones bring us good, while the second ones do quite the contrary. That is why, among other reasons, it makes sense to learn to regulate our own emotional states, to control them. This can be easily achieved through mastering the functions of one’s own chakras [18].

Emotions create energy fields that can influence other individual consciousnesses. Such influences can be destructive, pathogenic, enslaving or, on the contrary, harmonizing, healing, and transmitting bright and pure states.

For this reason as well, we need to learn to watch over and regulate our own emotions if we do not want to harm other souls but, conversely, to help them live and evolve.

Moreover, after disembodiment, we continue living in those states of consciousness which we accustomed ourselves to during the incarnation. Those who lived in subtle states of tender love-care and giving love earn “posthumous” existence in paradise among similar beings, while those who accustomed themselves to coarse emotional states find themselves in hell among similar beings as well.

* * *

Many of us have wondered why God needed to create the material world and to incarnate souls in material bodies. Could it be that He only did it in order to distribute these souls then between paradise and hell? This looks ridiculous, absurd!

The truth is that God in the Aspect of the Absolute (more detail in [11,17-18,20]) resides in the state of constant development of Himself as the Universal Consciousness. Such is His Life, and for the sake of this, He has created conditions in which souls or units of consciousness can develop themselves in the material world, being incarnated in bodies.

We exist for Him rather than He exists for us!

Normally, a soul incarnates every next time in a body with an increasingly complex structure, thus obtaining the opportunity to incarnate finally in a human body, in which it continues (if the development of this soul goes well) its personal evolution. The purpose of these incarnations is to develop oneself up to the Divine Perfection according to the ethical, intellectual, and psychoenergetical criteria and to flow then into the Creator, enriching Him with oneself in this way.

Such is the eternal Process of the Evolution of the Universal Consciousness, and the right decision for every one of us is to find our own adequate place in It.

Those who fulfill this ascend gradually and harmoniously to the Perfection through the stages of paradisiacal existence.

Those who resist find themselves in “the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30)…

* * *

Reasonable people understand that the religious forms that are based on rites and prayers have only a minor positive effect. This effect consists merely in that these forms accustom its adherents to remembering about the Existence of God. However, rites and prayers by themselves do not bring us closer to the Perfection at all.

So what should we do?

It is necessary to study the Will of God for us and then to understand what should be corrected in oneself, i.e. which qualities should be eliminated and which, on the contrary, should be developed.

The main emphasis should be put on the ethical component of development. We should refuse the ability to cause any unjustified harm to others, to lie, to be violent, to revenge, to be jealous. We should refuse narcissism, self-praising, and all other egocentric motives.

It is necessary to develop ourselves intellectually in every possible way: through receiving standard education, through the possibilities that the Internet, television, radio, etc. give us, or through the communication with many other people, who express their different points of view on a variety of topics.

As for the psychoenergetical aspect of development, it includes two directions: a) the refinement of the consciousness (it is essential, because God in the Aspect of the Primordial Consciousness or the Creator — according to the scale of subtlety-coarseness — is the Subtlest One among everything that exists) and b) the direct growth of the consciousness (the growth of the size, of the volume of the soul) [11-13, 18-20, 39].

It should be understood that the psychoenergetical aspect plays a leading role in the development of the soul. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to hope to make considerable progress in this direction without the proper assimilation of the first two components of development that we mentioned above.

Yet there is something in the psychoenergetical aspect of the development that everyone can begin with: it is the work on the development of the spiritual heart.

“God is Love” — as Jesus Christ teaches us (1 John 4:7-8) — and “learn (this) from Me” (Matthew 11:29).

From these words, it follows that it is possible to come closer to the Creator, to the direct cognition of Him only through the development of emotions of love in ourselves. These are tenderness, care, respect for those who are worthy of this, forgiveness, refusal of any manifestations of egocentrism, life for the sake of God*, and not for the sake of one’s own comforts and pleasures.

For people who progress in all these things, God creates the most favorable conditions for their all-round personal development, and then He allows them to approach Him and submerge into more and more intense states of happiness from the contacts with Him and from the following immersion in Him.

We have already explained many times and using different words how to develop oneself and how to help others develop themselves on the spiritual Path [5-9,11-22,28-36,39-40]. Therefore, now I just want to mention that in order to achieve success, it makes sense to pay serious attention to the development of the spiritual heart. Initially, a spiritual practitioner works with this structure inside his or her own material body. Then he or she, as the spiritual heart, becomes much bigger than the body and gradually acquires the ability to communicate easily with the Holy Spirits (i.e. with Those Who traversed this Path before). Then this person can cognize the Abode of the Creator, merge with Him and afterwards proceed from Him in order to help incarnate people grow spiritually.

In other words, it is necessary to become a huge spiritual heart that is refined up to the Divinity and then flow into the Heart of the multidimensional Absolute, i.e. into Its main Part, Which is called the Primordial Consciousness, the Creator, God-the-Father, Allah, Tao, Ishvara, Svarog, Rod and by other similar words in different languages.

It is important to point out that in the Abode of the Primordial Consciousness, there are no differences among Those Who reached it by the criteria of Their sex or “faith”. It is so, because They all abide there in mutual Mergence regardless of what was the base of Their personal spiritual growth, be it Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, Islam or something else. Enmity and discord are inherent only to those who are still very far away from the Goal, the Goal in Which there are no contradictions, since there are only the Perfect Ones there!

This is — very briefly — the Truth about the meaning of our existence in bodies on the Earth. This information is not a fantasy of the author of this article or an attempt to create a new religious doctrine. No! God has always taught this to people, but they — due to their intellectual insufficiency or selfish motives — have always distorted these Teachings. Thus, diverse sects have been formed whose false concepts are called heresies.

These words do not mean that all religious opinions in which the Truth is interpreted with slightly different words or not as fully as it was done above are heretical. There were, are and will be many people who — as their spiritual growth advances — start trying to develop their own methodological nuances and lead those people who want to follow. However, such opinions should be evaluated by comparing them with the Teachings of God.

The most common cause of the formation of sects is the absence of integral religious philosophical knowledge among people. That is why they cannot clearly comprehend the Goal and, consequently, the Ways of achieving It. That is also why some people with leadership qualities begin to invent different false “methods”.

There are many examples of this:

— the “coloring” of the chakras;

— the deliberate development of a human lower “I”*; this lower “I” manifests itself in egoism, strongly pronounced egocentrism and other disgusting qualities;

— specially created methods of intentional destruction of the intellect (it is believed that intellect prevents spiritual “liberation”);

— the affirmation that the more sex one has with as many partners as possible, the faster one’s spiritual growth goes;

— urine therapy, astrology, conversations with the “extraterrestrials” (whereas it would be right to seek the communication with the Holy Spirits).

There are also sects in which hatred towards everyone who is “not with us” is inculcated, in which their followers try to defile the Messengers of the Creator, in which dangerous psychedelics and other “esoteric” methods that destroy the consciousnesses are used, in which violence is cultivated, in which serious spiritual work is substituted with child-like diversions in which invented “gods” are worshiped, in which there is no distinction between subtlety and coarseness, in which the power aspect of the development is taught to everyone who wants it, while other components of the development are ignored…

* * *

There is an interesting historical fact:

In the fourth century, the Council of Nicaea took place in order to approve once again what, in their opinion, the Mission of Jesus Christ consisted in.

There was a consensus among the participants about some issues, but there were arguments as well.

For example, during the speech of Arius, one bishop (let us designate him as N.) approached Arius and struck him on his face. (In the Internet, it is possible to find historical information according to which N. also put an evil curse on Arius and his internal organs fell out after sever hours as a result of this).

This is how N. “defeated” Arius.

For that slap in the face — such a disgraceful antichristian act — N. was expelled from the Council and imprisoned.

However, it turned out that he had supporters. They quickly concocted a story according to which all of them had the same dream the night after the Council, and this dream informed them that N. was a good person…

The next day they retold this fantasy to the gathered Christians. As a result, N. was released from a prison and recognized as a “Christian”…

… Afterwards, new tales arose, saying that N. was the one who saved navigators in storms…

(It is quite easy to concoct many of such stories just in one evening)…

Since then it became “legalized” that it is “admissible” not to be real Christians but to be called as such in spite of this. (Every reasonable person clearly understands that it is appropriate to only call a person a Christian if that person follows the Teachings of Christ, and not just because he or she has passed through the rite of baptism).

Later on, people who incarnated from hell and who called themselves Christians burned alive all those who had a “wrong” nationality or whose opinions were different from established standards, impaled them, tore out their tongues and severed their arms (so that those people could not speak or write anymore)… The same pseudo-Christians went to conquer other nations… They sacked, tortured, killed, etc.

However, Jesus Christ offered people something diametrically opposite: it was tender love for each other and care, humility, forgiveness, aspiration for the cognition of the Heavenly Father, the dedication of one’s own life to the spiritual perfection and similar things!

… In addition, already in the sixth century (on the Second Council of Constantinople), one of the constituent parts of the general conception of the world was eliminated. This part explained what is God and what is man, why God settled us in our earthly bodies, and what kind of relationship we should have with Him. In other words, the evolutionary component of the Teachings of God was lost, and thus it became impossible to understand the meaning of everything that happens around us and the meaning of our lives.

Without this knowledge, the adequate methodology of spiritual development could not be formed. That is why, instead of developing themselves in accordance with the Teachings of Jesus Christ [8,17-18,21], the followers of some sects began to do something quite opposite (they were taught so): they began to hate everyone and everything, to cry about their own hopeless sinfulness, to beg God to save them from future eternal torments of hell, to practice unreasonable asceticism and believe that suffering could save them. Besides, since God was “incognizable”, it was necessary to obey the will of “pastors” in everything, no matter how stupid and criminal they were…

A reasonable person sees that negative emotional states imposed in this case doom the followers of such sects to hell, and only those of them who manage to escape from the fetters of these sects save themselves from it. However, such “heretics” were hunted, seized, tortured and killed… (More information in [11]).

… Let me remind you that it is possible to enter the bliss of paradise only if a person accustomed himself or herself to the subtle states of tender and giving love during the incarnation…

… Thus, the greatest depth of knowledge left to us by Jesus Christ — at the price of His death on the cross — was substituted in those sects by a false knowledge that provoked massive degeneration of people…

* * *

In most cases, one is involved in a particular religious tradition because one’s parents or friends involved one there or because “everyone else” around this person professes this conception.

Yet it also happens that someone tries to start the search alone and then, having encountered for the first time something unusual and extravagant, this person sometimes decides that this is the Truth! The examples of this are “urine therapy”, “group sex”, “cool” psychedelics, “Satanism”, “black magic”…

Ivan Pavlov, a famous Russian physiologist of the early twentieth century, by conducting experiments on animals, discovered the regularity that is important for the topic we are examining.

In these experiments, dogs formed a salivation reflex in response to a certain sound, for example, a bell. It happened this way: after a sound of a bell, a portion of food was given to a dog, and thus it became accustomed to reacting with salivation to a sound of a bell, and not only to the appearance or smell of food, as usual.

Then researchers began to produce other sounds for this dog, for example, whistles of different tonality and something else. The dog initially expected that it would receive some tasty food after each new sound and thus also responded to them with a salivation reflex.

Nevertheless, the food was given to it only after a sound of a bell.

Gradually, the dog began to understand the situation and responded with the indicated reflex only to a certain signal.

The first stage (of positive reaction to any sound) was called the stage of generalization (i.e. a generalized reaction), while the second one was called the stage of differentiation (i.e. of discernment).

This regularity turned out to be inherent to numerous phenomena in the human psyche. For example, we all learn to distinguish the edible from inedible, the useful from harmful and dangerous. The same thing happens when we try to distinguish people around us, for instance, when we try to decide whether we can rely on a certain person or not.

Moreover, every time we begin to study for the first time a new sphere of certain knowledge, we pass, if we have become intellectually developed for this, through the same stages of cognition.

Our religious philosophical outlook is also formed according to this regularity. So initially, it may seem to us that the conceptions of all sects that we encounter are highly spiritual! We try this and that…

In this way, a quite legitimate process of cognition is realized. We learn to discern and, after developing ourselves through this, may eventually come to the understanding of the true Path.

… Yet one needs to take into account that in a society, there are always those who are still not capable of thinking seriously at all, and they inevitably will operate only with the patterns of thinking received from their parents or from the first preachers they met.

* * *

So, sects are those religious associations which have conceptions that are radically different from the true knowledge.

Among them, there are destructive sects whose activities cause direct harm to the health of their members. We have already mentioned several examples of this. There are also other signs of the activity of such sects: they instill in people chronic despondency, mystical fear, hatred towards humans and other creatures, aversion to beauty and love instead of directing their attention to the active spiritual development, to the aspiration for the cognition of God through love for Him.

It is interesting that if we look back, we will see that the members of the most powerful destructive sects were the ones who accused other people of… sectarianism and heresies, tortured them, burned them at the stake…

So how can we help people avoid sectarianism?

Of course, it is impossible to do this through violence.

Moreover, everyone has a right, given to him or her by God, to choose by himself or herself the way of life and thus go to hell or to the Creator. This is how God makes “natural selection” among people: He only allows those who sincerely and voluntarily have chosen Him as the Goal of their lives to come closer to Him.

Therefore, the only right solution in this situation will be to familiarize people, especially the youth, as fully as possible, with the experience of the spiritual search that has been accumulated by humankind and with the true Straight Path to the Creator. This is the Path of Love, the Way of the spiritual heart!

Let us also remember that ethical purity is the first thing that allows one to achieve success on the spiritual Path.

A due level of intellectual development is the second thing.

The aspiration for the Goal is the third.

To possess the methods that contribute to the advancement is the fourth.

To have travelling companions on this Path is also an important prerequisite for success.

* * *

“The whole Creation is illusory!” [9]. What does this mean? How should one understand this really wise formula? (Yet let us not take into account the opinions of schizophrenics).

Atheists, and not only they, believe that a human being is “the top of the evolution”, the most important object in the visible space. This opinion is called anthropocentric.

From it, many people begin to perceive themselves as the center of the surrounding world. This is what egocentrism is. It can manifest itself in very different forms, up to “Dutch courage” and the perpetration of violent crimes in this state. Another example is the situation when a certain ruler starts a war and forces the masses of people to kill each other…

Yet we cannot say that all forms of egocentrism are false and pernicious. For example, in the case of a child, with its still small outlook, egocentrism is natural. It also could be beneficial during the years of youth if it is moderate and controlled by its owner. It is so, since such an egocentrism contributes to the development of power and of indispensable intellectual qualities of the soul. The examples of this form of egocentrism are competition in sports and the desire to ascend by the stages of social growth.

In the popular religious environment, egocentrism manifests itself vividly in the following formulas: “Give me, Lord!” and “Have mercy on me, Lord!”. This is the manifestation of the attitude towards God in which a person believes that God owes him or her, while, in reality, the situation is quite opposite: every one of us owes God. For people who have such an attitude, God is not a clear Reality but just an abstraction, an object of faith, and not of knowledge.

One increasingly begins to include real and cognizable God in one’s outlook only on the higher levels of spiritual growth, which are reached through the successful development of oneself as a spiritual heart. Then one really begins to perceive God as the Infinite Multidimensional Ocean of the Universal Consciousness, called the Absolute, and all the objects of the Creation, including one’s own body, our planet, constellations and galaxies, as negligibly small integral parts of this Absolute.

The same thing is true about the souls: we are infinitely small particles that exist in the boundless Ocean of the Absolute.

By gradually expanding his or her own horizons in the subtle and subtlest layers of the multidimensional Absolute, a successful spiritual seeker cognizes Its Vastness in comparison with himself or herself.

When we develop ourselves up to that level on which we can really become aware of this, we should surrender ourselves to this situation and, having completely defeated our egocentrism, flow into Him. This is how the full Godcentrism is obtained.

One of the criteria of success in this is the ability to look from the Primordial Depths of the Absolute towards one’s own body and the entire material world.

Moreover, on that level, a spiritual practitioner cognizes in practice that the Creator is the inalienable Basis, the Foundation for all the constituent parts of the Creation. Nothing can exist without this Foundation. Separateness, i.e. independent — in relation to the Creator — existence of the elements of the Creation is illusion, a false perception. A feeling of separateness of one’s own body from Him is illusory too.

A human ego is also illusory and erroneous. Only a Godcentered perception of the world is true.

… This and many other things can really be cognized by those who advance towards the Perfection by following the Straight Path and avoiding sectarian deviations.

The Straight Path is the Path of the spiritual heart and of directing the attention of the seeker to the cognition of God, which is achieved against the background of love for Him.

… Not everyone will be able to realize right now all that was said. Nevertheless, you can remember this as the prospects for your further spiritual growth. Meanwhile, in order to approach the realization of Godcentrism, you can act on the Earth not for yourself or any small group of people, but for the sake of the Creator, for the sake of contributing, within your powers, to His life, in His Evolution. Let us live like this always!

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