A CLUB OF SUPERNAL INTERESTS Christian Esotericism, Spiritual Science, Esoteric Christianity - All Authored by a Lodge of Christian Teachers (unless otherwise stated.) (All writings copyright) ©

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Death & Taxes- 14th March 2008

THERE is a humorous saying that in life you can only be sure of two things: death and taxes. And the humor seems to come from the sadness in that line, rather than the real truth of it in relation to certainty.

Someone once said (or at least if they didn't, they are saying it now) that the qualities in Man each resonate the instincts of the Gods; and that we should never come to know laughter, certainty and sorrow, if it did not exist also in the heart, mind and experience of Heaven in prime reality.

The grim Death and Taxes perspective pervades the thinking of too many women and men today. With it comes an attitude of gritting one's teeth and sad resolution - it is a statement of the hardship of life with there being little reward; it is an expression of hopelessness and lack of control. It is far more than just trying to be pathetically funny.

Men are constantly reminded, irrespective of their wealth, that their lives are dogged by death relentlessly. Now here is the interesting point to be had - historically it used to be that when a man caught a flash of his own mortality and possible departure from this life, he would immediately be inspired to try to do better, be better and cherish the moments left. In other words, thoughts of Death were both sad yet inspirational.

If you listen carefully to the hum of a man's thoughts in today's world you will find that they do not carry along any one thread for very long. They expire quickly and most thoughts are in very quick snatches of one or two refrains. A large amount of these thoughts are purely reactive or simply off the beginning point; whilst the reflective thoughts at best will go in a certain direction, but rarely progress on to there being further realizations from that thinking. Thinking itself may be about more complex items, yet it is far more simple and less energetic than ever before. 

Early man had the strength, persistence and cheerfulness of a small child. Man today has the experience and maturity, but the cognition is dull, the thinking is not elastic to circumstance or new thought, and the curiosity and cheer is next to none. This writing is not just to complain but to cite a symptom of the thought-depressive condition that finds humor in Death and Taxes. For if men largely experience grim and frightened nonsensical thinking, how is it that they can venture forward into the happiest of spiritual concepts, which are energetic, expansive and require perseverance in application as well.

Of course there are many behaviors which men do employ in order to feel more cheerful, when it is that they are morally depressed. When the thinking is rigid and tardy, you will find that the personality will become more and more careless - pursuing hobbies and event activities which are implied to be 'fun' or carefree. 

People are not naturally careless or stupid; and for those that do not develop intellectually from birth, there can be a true child-like condition which is blessed in nature, and still very energetic also. However, there is a very real correlation between the narrowness of thinking today and fun seeking.

This is to say, that if people in general are afflicted by a mentality which is more restricted than ever before, it tends to give over to a society that will seek out recreation before religion, self-soothing before self challenge, parties before study, physical relationships before mindful relationships, holidays before culture, gambling before sharing (stocks included), card games before conversation.

The question therefore here to ask is: How can we improve our own thinking and that of the world, so that folk may be enabled to pull back from the tread-mill of 'fun' and experience some life that is in-depth and varied? How can we develop our own thinking elasticity and awareness that leads us on into further thinking, questioning and findings - that prove to be exhilarating, inspirational, and wisdom-filled?

The one element that narrow thinkers appear to lack the most, even though they are attempting to mimic a childlike playfulness in their persona, is a strong and healthy imagination. They may have an imagination which presents images of fear or lewd images when provoked, but not a healthy imagination that can take them into unknown, unrevealed concepts.

One could say that it is a lacking in the imagination which has led to this condition - but that would not be true. The powers of the Imagination have never been developed to the extent that they can be today. In the past all men and women have had windows into the spiritual worlds and the psyche of their race or family, which could inspire their thinking and prompt thought which was outside of their immediate experience, but this was not imaginative thinking. Imaginative cognition requires a self-conscious egoic individual, a starting point in participation and a co-creative determining, working out from that individual. Imaginative cognition as experienced in the mind of the thinker within the physical world, is where the thinking is transcending up into the mind of the spiritual thinking ... for imaginative cognition is Spiritual Mindfulness. 

The Hans Christian Andersen story of The Tinder Box takes the listener/reader into a journey that walks, meets and explores - speaks with creatures of a sort and then asks the fellow traveler (the person imagining this story as it goes along) to travel down into a hidden place and look behind doors one, two and three. The Tinder Box really does spark the imagination quite perfectly for it opens the thinking as it goes. It is not predictable yet nor is it merely fantastical either. There are pursuits and reasons and tangible items amongst the unforeseen fantasy.

Guided meditations encourage individuals into a more relaxed and lively thinking often more because of the storytelling than the actual meditative condition itself. During the storytelling the person has decided to go along with the imagination and experience what is being put before them. They are lifting out of the tedious thoughts and judgments, and temporarily giving over into new findings and experiences (albeit in the mind). And both good stories and good guided meditations do achieve a real boost to the thinking as a whole, invigorating and expanding.

It is easy to understand why individuals can go to dangerous lengths with narcotics, alcohol and extreme practices in order to try to 'expand' their thinking. The young in the West have been known to participate in extreme sports that are physically threatening, in the name of 'fun'. 'Fun' is the most unfunny word in the dictionary. Its etymology actually means: 'futile'. It later took on the meaning of 'to fool' - to hoax - it is about false appearance - and if something was described as being 'funny' it meant that it was not quite right or what it should be.

So there is the truth in the very word itself. If someone tells you that they just want to have fun, or they ask you what could be wrong with that, there is everything wrong with it.

Death and Taxes were walking along the road together one day and they came across a big gathering of people. The men and women from the town had come out to vote at their biennial election for Town Mayor.

The clouds were threatening imminent rain and a very cold wind bit into any bare skin. A small band was playing music that whined a discordant muse, and several children danced a performance that had been taught them, and they waved quite proudly to all who boringly looked on.

There was a cart used for conveying prisoners, with people in it chained foot to foot. They were there in application for a public pardon, which also was scheduled for this occasion. They each had a sign around their neck saying what it was that they were publicly begging forgiveness for.

Some stalls had been set up, where merchants and farmers had brought along their offerings for sale. There were booths also where consultations could be made - mainly to do with agriculture, veterinary, or general health questions - where people could go and ask the knowledge of the person behind the table. There were no astrologers or spirit-seers, but there were midwives and priests - all animated in great and lengthy discussion.

There was just one central ballot box, where papers were dropped in, one by one. And the candidates were all in a line, withstanding the wind and trying best to already look official. Becoming the Mayor was a favorable position, as people always bribed well and the Mayor himself was generally above the law, as he made the law. Not only was it prestigious, it assured a comfortable life for the duration.

Both Death and Taxes decided it might be fun to join the Candidates line. "Why not?” they said to one another, "for we are both handsome and appealing to the many!". And so they sauntered up to the line and Death went to one end and the Taxes to the other.

Death was dressed well, but his suit was very worn. There were actual places where the material on his coat were so stretched thin that the frail weaving was pulling apart. His breath smelt like green beef - rotten, putrid, rank decaying meat. His teeth were few and they too were worn back. His skin hung about him in folds of many many wrinkles and his bones creaked audibly as he took his place within that line. He smiled proudly.

Taxes also had an air about him that was not so pleasant. His appearance spoke of leprosy or some similar disease where the endings had shriveled back.... for his finger tips were all missing, as was the end of his nose, and his spiky hair sprouted at irregular lengths; he did not look well at all. There was an odor to him too, but it was more of a burnt delivery with an element of feces mixed in. His suit did not fit him, being at least two sizes too short - and his shoes were too tight, even over his stub-like toes.

A small tornado of storm pirouetted past the waiting candidates and the ballot box jumped several feet into the air. When it came down very quickly, all of the names within the ballot box had mysteriously changed to Taxe’s. Someone said later that it was at that very point of the day that every man, woman and child grew shorter by two inches each. The food lost its flavoring too and the milk, its cream. The cows deflated and the bread also lost its puff - even the wind lessened to but a breeze.

Death stepped forward and with a stroke of his invisible hand changed all of the names from Taxes into Death.

Ever so suddenly then all of the people, each and every one of them, turned into stone.

"You always do that" complained Taxes to Death, and Death just shrugged resolutely.

"What do you expect?" he answered back - "Don't you realize that once you have taken from them your tithing, the rest is mine anyway?"

And then the two departed shuffling back down the dirt road that they had come from.
 A whole month had passed by and a bird flew over head. It saw from its height that something was very wrong with the scene he saw below. When he drew courage to work his way closer, not one of the enormous crowd was moving - and then he realized that they could not, for each and every one of them had been turned into stone.
So with sadness driving him on, he undertook a journey, which lasted countless hours in a little bird's life - until he reached the golden halls of Gladness, where the Christ Child was in residence. He tapped with his beak on the broad tall gates and they opened immediately. There in the garden beyond the halls sat the Christ Child Himself. He seemed to have a light of His own coming from Him. It was not too bright a light, just vaguely visible really, but very beautiful if you did see its glow.

He knew the reason for this visit and put gently a small spray of an unknown flower onto the ground right before the little bird.

"Here," he explained "if you take this to the Stone people and place it on the ground where they stand, they will enliven again and all will be back as before. They will not remember what did change them. They will not thank you, but I do, little friend."

The little bird stepped forward to receive this magical gift and bowed his head with a loving shyness. Before he took it into his beak to carry, he asked just one thing -
"Master, how could this happen when these are good people, who did not deserve to be turned to stone?"

And the Christ Child replied by asking:
"Tell me little friend - what was it they were doing just before this terrible happening took place?"

And to this the little bird considered, and recalling the line of men and the box and the booths he replied,
"I believe that they were choosing a man to be a leader of all of them."

"Oh" said the Christ Child, "well, as long as men will give the unworthy a high position, and place one man above another in power and privilege, then you can be sure of one thing to always follow - Death and Taxes".

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