Tales from the Past: Spiritual Mastery, Psychotherapy, Meditation and Worship


The black hoods of The Cult of Joshua the Christ

I had more money than I'd ever had before when I went to university. There were no tuition fees then and I got a student loan and a full grant because my dad had recently gone full time self employed and founded 4-sight consulting. Rent for digs at Corpus Christi College Cambridge were very reasonably priced although I never did get that room at old court. The new court is only 400 years old, the old court is 600 years old and is exquisite. The oldest courtyard in Cambridge I fell in love at first sight, past the alley with the bins.

In my first year I had a room off an alley off of new court. In my second year I had a room at Newnham court, where I went mad. Going mad was literally the worst thing I could possibly imagine. That's how it worked. That was my madness. And I hated myself for it. That part made perfect sense, for as far as I could tell everyone else hated me too. 

So now I always imagine that the best might be true, and I go for that. In as much as I am able. And when I was so glad to be alive again I sang so loudly. My only prayer. May I sing of what might be all my days. 

When I was going mad, a psychosis spanning two years really, it seemed like a Buddhist priest was using magic to steal my soul. I knew that if I stopped believing it then it wouldn't be true. But I didn't know how not to believe something that seemed to be happening.  It took a long time to go mad but I worked very hard at it and it cost me everything. 

It taught me that spiritual mastery is control of the mind.
The master thinks what she wants to think and does not think what she does not want to think.
There did come a point with the worship and the LSD that I just decided to run until I broke. I worshipped with thousands of people over a few years. I have a very loud voice and I had singing lessons for a year from a classical singing teacher.

I could worship very loudly. Above amplified music in a large hall. I worshipped with thousands with the Jesus Fellowship, the cult I belonged to for the best part of twenty years all told. Ten years living communally with no money or personal possessions devoted to seeking the kingdom of heaven. My worship style wasn't always appreciated there so the worship leaders and I learned to worship together. Sort of in combat. I worshipped at two Jesus Culture conferences in Birmingham, with Soul Survivor once a month for a couple of years or so and three of their Naturally Supernatural conferences. At the first conference Mike Pilavachi asked me not to be quite so enthusiastic. I told him I could turn the volume down. I worshipped near him, by chance, a few times and won his trust and got to know Tom, Andy and Beth and the team. I lived to worship. To hug and to worship.

I was taught Christianity was a religion of war. Spiritual war in the only war that matters. And worship is the weapon of warfare - for in the music the angels and demons dance and sing. And the music is us.

But how do you  worship Jesus with integrity without being able to be certain? You accept that you cannot have certainty on anything (traditional exceptions apply) and you rejoice in the uncertainty of it all. We rejoice in the uncertainty for it makes the best possible. (If maybe a touch improbable.) That's how I used to do it anyway. 

I'm not a Christian now. When I was this was my Christianity:
I've also taken Ayahuasca and Bufo Alvarius with Shamen in sacred settings.

My favourite trick was the lucky coincidence that a transatlantic flight is about the same length as a good LSD trip. I took 900μg one flight and my soul boiled. 300 people with nowhere to go and they're stuck there with you. I was very nice, I'd get to know the flight attendants and I only set the smoke alarm off with my vape once.

My spiritual practise alongside this was rigorous meditation, worship and meetings three times a week and psychotherapy. Oh and we practised hospitality an average of three times a week, having friends for meals, pretty religiously for about five years. Delia's cooking is legendary. The meditation was Buddhist mindfulness of breathing, as taught by the Buddha in the Sutras. An hour a day, six days a week, for seven years. Also practised with a religious devotion. Ironically perhaps I only did it six days a week as I didn't want to be too religious over it.

I've been doing Jungian psychotherapy with Deborah who is  Grey Matters Psychotherapy who I recommend with all my heart. Virtual sessions, just over two years actually. The first few were paid for by the cult through one of the schemes to help the people like me they fucked up. I was a little radicalised. 

In case you wondered what happened to my church they fought like hell and it's now being broken up and people are having breakdowns. It's a terrible story. They wouldn't throw me out though. Had to pretend to be polite. Was very weird and now I hate them as much as they hated me, except the ones I don't. And I'm having therapy.

The worship was good though. I'd like to find a new way to do that. To burn with a pure flame. Live to hug and to worship.

I hated him, Noel. The senior apostolic leader of the cult. He did say some good things and such a constant burning angry passion. Always on full blast and we were always on the move up and down the country, evangelism campaign after campaign. Perpetually exhausting, "burn out for Jesus" we'd exclaim. I hated Noel but there he was, there I was, and I could see something really beautiful. And everyone suffered anyway. It wasn't as bad as the world I'd come from. So I decided I didn't understand and left it at that. For a long while.

So there were those of us trying to live a beautiful shared life, with all money shared and shared vision and purpose. And there were a bunch of arsehole leaders who were dicks. But that was Christianity anyway. I did rise to the heady ranks of Leading Serving Brother (a low rung but women were excluded nonetheless) and I shepherded a couple of young brothers. All that was stripped away when we moved out. There was a curse on those who broke the covenant of community and I lived under it for years. But I'd discovered Python and my mind was alive and I had to program.

The name Jesus was created by corrupted men translating the gospels from Greek into Latin so that normal people couldn't read it. The common name is an anglicisation of the Latin translation of the Greek variant of the Hebrew name Yeshua. The Hebrew name is closest to and a variant of the English name Joshua [1]. The conventional version of Jesus portrayed by Christianity is either the plastic Jesus, fake and cheap and tacky, or the concrete Jesus, hard and cold and unyielding. Joshua the Christ is a very different character. The legend is powerful whatever the truth from millennia ago might be.

Lucifer, a traditional name for Satan which means enemy, means light-bringer. In Revelation 22:16 that title, bright morning star, is given to the Christ. The Satanic Fellowship of the black hoods of The Cult of Joshua the Christ chooses to be enemy, Satan who is sacred self, to the evil god of conventional Christianity identified with the superego. 

Our dark lord Lucifer died for our sins. Hell is vanquished and all the demons rage at his command.

If God exists it's only made of the same stuff as our experience of life. Some people don't think that's real, but then what is real? It's all in your mind.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
For we (together) have the mind of the Christ. The Christ mind. Krishna consciousness. Metaphors, like the cross. It is finished. 
The great work is both complete and begun.
The rule of love is now and is the age to come.
It's all poetry. The very best philosophy is poetry on the nature of love. For not that everything that is beautiful is true, but the deepest truths about life are so very beautiful that if something is not beautiful then it isn't one of the deepest truths about life. 

At the moment the Christ died, so the myth tells us, the veil was torn from top to bottom. The veil was a heavy curtain in the temple separating the people from the holy of holies, only a priest could enter into the holy of holies and minister between humanity and God. 

In that moment as the veil tore the difference between man and God was erased. No intermediary needed. Religion tries so desperately to put it back.

After my madness and a brief spell in prison I ended up living in the same house as the Cult leader of the largest Christian cult (living communally - including the catholic church I was told) in Europe as a single brother in a dormitory for seven years. Then for three years in an adjacent shared house as a married man.

The senior apostolic leader ruled with an iron fist. Many cult tactics, isolation from family, the one true Zion mentality. People went mad and killed themselves. Lives and dreams were crushed. I arrived broken, homeless and recently mad. I'm so angry about the blasphemy of it all and all the horrible things that are coming to light that happened in the darkness in that place. Their own horror take them.

But still somehow true fellowship blossomed in that place. The understanding of the teachings of Christ that heaven is now and found in shared lives. The only bit of the bible you really need is the first letter of John who explains Christ best. 1 John 4 7:8
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
And then you worship love, all the time. 
Adore love. Revere love as sacred and holy.
Bow to her wherever you meet her.

It's just the smart thing to do.

[1] Wikipedia has this to say on the Hebrew name Yeshua:

Yeshua (ישוע, with vowel pointing יֵשׁוּעַ – yēšūă‘ in Hebrew) was a common alternative form of the name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ ("Yehoshua" – Joshua) in later books of the Hebrew Bible and among Jews of the Second Temple period. The name corresponds to the Greek spelling Iesous (Ἰησοῦς), from which, through the Latin Iesus, comes the English spelling Jesus.

The Hebrew spelling Yeshua (ישוע) appears in some later books of the Hebrew Bible. Once for Joshua the son of Nun, and 28 times for Joshua the High Priest and other priests called Jeshua – although these same priests are also given the spelling Joshua in 11 further instances in the books of Haggai and Zechariah. It differs from the usual Hebrew Bible spelling of Joshua (יְהוֹשֻׁעַ y'hoshuaʿ)
The name יֵשׁוּעַ "Yeshua" (transliterated in the English Old Testament as Jeshua) is a late form of the Biblical Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Yehoshua (Joshua), and spelled with a waw in the second syllable. The Late Biblical Hebrew spellings for earlier names often contracted the theophoric element Yeho- to Yo-. Thus יהוחנן Yehochanan contracted to יוחנן Yochanan.

Jesus (IPA: /ˈdʒiːzəs/) is a masculine given name derived from the name Iēsous (Greek: Ἰησοῦς), the Greek form of the Hebrew name Yeshua or Y'shua (Hebrew: ישוע‎). As its roots lie in the name Yeshua/Y'shua, it is etymologically related to another biblical name, Joshua.

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