Sunday, 9 February 2014

The importance of truth to the priest

The priest is a guardian of truth and righteousness.  We live in a world in which humans play an important role.  We are below the gods, but we ourselves are beasts.  The difference is that we are closer to gods than the other animals.  This means that humans are not perfect.  We fail to have full and complete understanding of the universe.  We don't know everything, though sometimes we like to think that we do.

When it comes to religion and spirituality, many of us are confused.  After all there are many different ideas and viewpoints out there.  And with confusion there sometimes comes doubt.  Sometimes people fall into ignorance due to a lack of understanding of the rites.  They may live in fear of jealous and capricious gods, fearing superstitiously the wrath of these cruel and vengeful divinities.  They may even grow to hate the gods, seeing them as wicked beings of wrongdoing.  It is in this state of temporary imperfection that demons will attack that person mentally and spiritually.  Remember that demons live in an imperfect state themselves- in fact they are the children of imperfection and wrong.  When this occurs in humans, humans will temporarily lose their godliness, and the demons will attack them in their weakest areas like parasites.  Their intention is to either turn people away from the gods and their rites, or to make them wholly confused about what to make of the rites.

That is why the priest should be the guardian of truth.  The priests should always be open-minded, experienced with proper hermeneutics and exegesis when it comes to myths and texts, and prepared to work with the people closely and to help them with their problems.  And simply stating that you are open-minded and pious is not enough.  You must show it.  Your deeds must follow your words, or your words are untrue.  Too many priests these days are far more prepared to denounce people as heretics, or else to denounce worship of the gods altogether.  This cannot be what a truly pious individual does.  If you denounce worship of gods based on what myths about them may say, then you aren't taking them into proper context and are acting out of ignorance, which does not promote respect for the divinity but the opposite.

It is important for the priests to guard against ignorance and save the rites of the gods, and to lead the people to truth and understanding, helping them to embrace a vision of reality which is really true.  That is the role of the Canaanite priest.  How can we do it?  The answer I think lies in a philosophical and rational justification for religion.  This includes the works of Ya-milku, who himself lived in a time of great spiritual confusion.  Just as today, when many people turn confused towards materialism because of fear or hatred of the gods.  It is born from this very same form of confusion and ignorance of the spiritual.  So the spiritual must be taught properly through the mouth of the philosopher-priest.  Ya-milku himself was a philosopher-priest-noble-charash (theurgist magic-worker) in some way, as was his persona Abammon the Egyptian high priest.  He was a Canaanite charash of the order of the Chaldeans as it began in Syria.  This is how he plans to teach religion to the people, through magic and practical experience as it had always been performed in his homeland Syria.  He was a noble from a noble family descended from the priest-kings of Homs started by King Shamsigeramu I (several of these priest-kings also bore the name Ya-milku, a priestly name of much prestige related to the speaking and command of El).  But he also filled the role of a philosopher, specifically a Neoplatonist, who used philosophy to rationally justify theurgy and religion and the role that it has in society.  It is these philosopher-priests that we must aspire to be like.

Finally, we must remember that to combat spiritual ignorance is a sacred duty which will allow the light of truth to shine even through the thickest darkness.

Yishlam le-kum,

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