The latest bonkers religious idea comes courtesy of Catholicism.
Pope Benedict XVI has authorised the give away of free indulgences to mark the 150th anniversary of the Virgin Mrys appearence at Lourdes.
Catholics visiting the site within a year of December 8th will be able to receive an indulgence which the Church teaches can reduce time in purgatory.
Is this the greatest tourist scam in history or what !
I have a few 'issues' about this new version of viral marketing which I define as Theological Consumerism.
As someone who studies the Gnostic gospels this is my opinion on the matter of the granting of indulgencies ;
1) The idea that God speaks through only one man or one church is itself blasphemy. The idea that any church or institutionalised religious structure can offer divinity via obedience gto its whims and its rules or holy book is itself a profanity against the eternal Spirit that dwells in the Soul of all men.
2) The idea of purgatory, hell and heaven are concepts alien to the Soul, which is itself eternal and spiritual and co-existent and co-equal with God. For God to contain Souls to hell would be the equivalent of self harming, and such a God is not truly God but a demiurge. Yaldaboath has many faces, each of them false.
The true message of Christos was that we are each capable of becoming Christos, but that only a few seek to become Christos.
3) The idea that a spiritual God would grant a license to a Church to issue 'Get out of Purgatory Free' cards is the equivalent to the creation of a theological mafia,. and the Pope the eqivalent of Tony Soprano.
4) Christos of the Gnostic gospels said that there was no such thing as 'sin' as defined by the Church and that sin was in fact ignorance of ones own spiritual nature and potentiality.
As the Gnostic Valentinus writes in The Gospel of Truth, "Ignorance....brought about anguish and terror. And the anguish grew solid like a fog, so that none was able to see. For this reason error is powerful.."
By remaining ignorant of their own divine inner soul, and seeking their certainties in the illusions and delusion of religions, they live in 'hell' which is doubt, confusion and slavery to the demiurge and its many religious emanations. They can never achieve the Kingdom of Heaven which is for the Self to achieve spiritual union with the Soul and then transcend to the Second Aeon with Seth as a Pneumaticos and obtain the release from rebirth and to enter an eternity of wholeness and spiritual bliss.
Such people who live in ignorance, and who believe in sin, are said to 'dwell in deficiencies' and remain 'creatures of oblivion' who are destined to become dwellers of The Fourth Aeon,the Realm of Light.
This is the Spiritual world for those of Sophia, whose mercy allows good souls to be redeemed through rebirth. This is the realm is for Psychic Souls lacking understanding of the Gnosis. These are Purified souls awaiting rebirth and who are not of the Perfecti / Sethian line of Pneumaticos Gnostis who dwell in the Second Aeon of Seth and who are free from the cycle of rebirth. This is the place for those who have worshipped the religions of the Demiurge. Because they have not sought or experienced the Gnosis in their lives, though have sought spiritual redemption via the religions of the demiurge during their life and so have sought to serve goodness even whilst living in ignorance, their souls will be reborn again so that they may achieve the Gnosis.
As stated in the Gospel of Thomas by Jesus Christos, " If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you ".
Their is no such thing as sin as defined by the religions of the demiurge (which is nothing but disobedience), but their is ignorance and their is good and evil. Those that have not sought goodness, but who have done evil in the name of the religions of the demiurge - then their souls are destined for the hell they themselves will bring forth for themselves, which is either complete spiritual extinction or perpetual rebirth in new human forms that will seek to suffer from life after life as a way to educate the soul about its true nature. They will flay themselves time after time on the wheel of rebirth, until their Souls transcend their self imposed state of ingorance and delusion.
Christos said that 'The lamp of the body is the mind'. The lamp is found in a book, a church, a preist, an imam or any of those who say 'Obey' instead of 'Become'.
As Jesus Christos said " The Kingdom of Heaven is within you ".
It cannot be sold to people for financial or political gain, it cannot be offered as free gifts to promote tourism and it cannot be and pimped out by Popes and priests in the neame of God.
That is heresy.