Padwon was concerned about how to unplug the church from the Matrix. Must we become paleo? The answer is a qualified yes. Part of our captivity is due to our inability to see beyond our own cultural (or sub-cultural) shackles.
To be paleo is not to be attracted to ‘all things musty and dusty,’ it is to breathe in the wisdom of the ancients. You are right in saying that even the earliest Christian communities were in turmoil. However, the ‘church’ is not only the present day pew-sitter of a given era, it is the people from all times and all places whose primary calling in life was to be a light shining in the darkness. As Fr. Maximos says in Markides book The Mountain of Silence, “While we are in the dark not only do we assume that it is the natural state of things but that it is also beautiful.”
The church will always be filled with sinners redeemed by Christ. But there are those among us and those before us who saw the darkness for what it was, not as something beautiful, or as the natural state of things, but a mere shadow of the Eternal City. These are the ones we should listen to. These are the ones who bid us to come back to our original intent–continuous contemplation of the One–that we are so full of the light of the One, that the Church, and hence the world are forever changed.
An even bigger question–is Islam part of the Matrix?
“In him are woven the sky and the earth and all the regions of the air, and in him rest the mind an all the powers of life. Know him as the ONE and leave aside all other worlds. He is the bridge of immortality’ (Mascaro 79).
The wise men in the East seek him…Do you?
Mr. Condon, I am impressed with your words. You sound like Morpheus. Morpheus will not steer you wrong Padowan.
To change topics, let’s jump in with both feet. What is the role of neo-Gnosticism in the Matrix? It seems to me that the secular obsession with ‘spirituality’ is kind of a Gnosticism reborn. Let me explain. 2nd Century Gnositicm was a spurious version of Christianity that said the One was not truly human, but some sort of phantom. They said this because they thought the material world was inferior to the spiritual (‘luminous beings are we, not this crude matter’).
The rebirth of Gnosticism takes many forms. The most popular is the form that says the early church made up the doctrines of the One to make itself more powerful (see the Davinci Code and and of Elaine Pagels works), and that the ‘real’ One taught peace, justice and spiritual wisdom (which He did)over and against any claims to be the Son of God (Sorry neo-Gnostics, he did that too).
My question, seekers of truth, is why are the heterodox views of the One prevalant today?
I find your lack of faith disturbing. The first thing to do is to acknowledge that things ain’t right–that the Matrix has us by the proverbial nuts.
Then we remeber Indy. Only the penitent man will pass–the penitent man is humble before God.
That’s where the journey to the unseen begins. I emphasize that this is where the journey begins not ends.
You are right young learner. Paul knew of folks in the church who syncretized. That was the focus of much of his teaching. What is troubling is that modern Christians can’t see it. The Matrix has blinded them to the truth.
You’ve forced Fr. Neo’s hand. Fr. Neo loves the church because it is the vehicle to the unseen world, but it falls short so much.
Kevin is right. Not all popular art misses the mark. Otherwise we wouldn’t be going with the Matrix motiff.
There is, however, a disease in our world that keeps us from seeing beyond our own perception of what is real.
Sadly, this disease goes undedected–especially when it is in the most beloved institution, the Church.
So called mainline Christianity has lost its bearings and its center. Mainline churches are so absorbed in the Matrix, they cannot make their way out. They want the fantasy that society listens to them, that the culture actually cares that they exist, therefore they will do anything to say nothing.
The Matrix takes many forms in our world. In the Western world, we have a worldview that says there is no other realm but the one we can observe with our senses. The recent curiosity with ‘spirituality’ is really just a front for pleasure of the mind and emotions, it has little to do with the spirit. We only desire the ancient spiritual practices on our terms; only if it enhances good feeling. The ancient path to the world of the unseen is through self-denial and humility—it is to realize that there is someone larger and vastly different from us.
As for the artists and stars, many prattle about what can make them look the most favorable—you’ll never find the timeless among the popular.
Why is Fr. Neo really Paleo?
The Matrix really does have you. It surrounds you when you go to work, when you go to school, when you come home and turn on the T.V. It even has you in its grip when you go to church (especially if your denomination has a USA after it). The Matrix is a system of control, yet it is not in the places you might think.
The Matrix is not in authority, or in Tradition, or in custom, or in the Holy Books. In fact in our world it is in the opposite realm. Fr. Neo wants to open your eyes to the real world. A world where there is true freedom. A metaphysical world where names like Macrina and Basil are commonplace. Join in to find out about the real world.