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The story behind Afterlife Teachings of Stephen the Martyr: Part 5: The Twelve search continues

Posted on 11 March 2019, 17:54

“He always knew that my temple was a house of cards”

I have already described how Stephen the Martyr, in his role as spiritual director, set us ”sitters” in our group the task of “finding twelve.”
In a first episode, we opined that as we were twelve in number, we were the twelve, like twelve apostles around our Lord.  That suggestion blew up in our faces. Not that kind of twelve.

In a second synchronistic episode, I was visited by a Moonist who described a Korean flag that I had in my possession, as symbolising the union of human opposites.  It is an admirable flag for a country, the most spiritually orientated perhaps of all

In the third episode two members of our group experienced synchronicity with regard to the temple at Gilgal, and I had pointed out that the temple was supported by twelve stones.  I had dreamed of such a temple existing on two levels God the Father celebrated Communion with a loaf of bread on the higher altar, and at a lower level there was a similar altar, and the bread from above appeared on the lower one.

This is a summary of what I have described so far. But to get the feeling behind it all, one needs to read my previous blog.

Just now we are not hearing the direct teaching of Stephen. He is leaving us to find out for ourselves. So the next episode finds one of our number harking back to seeing ourselves as a special twelve.  This is episode four.  He had the idea that we could answer the question about the twelve from the Tarot. He had a book by Corinne Heline, called “Tarot and the Bible” He opened the book at random, and his eye immediately fell on this quotation from Joshua 4:9-20 which the author rendered as, “Joshua set the twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan where the feet of the priests who bare the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day And the twelve stones that Joshua took out of the Jordan did Joshua pitch in Gilgal “ 

Episode Six: “Living stones and the rock foundation.”

The next morning I am celebrating Holy Communion according to the liturgy of the Anglican Church in New Zealand, and it is the 8th Sunday after Pentecost.  The liturgy prescribes the Bible readings, and the Epistle and the Gospel seemed a real commentary on our twelve stones and Gilgal.
1 Peter 2: 1-6… “Come to the Lord, the Living Stone (stone shaped by a mason): “rejected as worthless by man, chosen as valuable by God. Come as living stones and let yourselves be used in building a spiritual temple where you will serve as priests to offer a spiritual and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Then Matthew 16:13-19: “{to the disciple who had been called Cephas] [Aramaic for “Rock”] “You are Peter [petros= Greek for an individual rock] and on this bedrock “Petra” I will build my church, which not even death will overcome.”

The above seems to provide convincing examples of events synchronistic ally fitting together. As I as a priest celebrated the Holy Communion that day, I had felt that I had been experiencing the work of Spirit. But had we solved the puzzle set by Stephen when he invited to “choose twelve?”

Episode 7: “Get on with the job and finish it!”

When our group next assembled together, I jokingly remarked that we hadn’t experienced any synchronicity for twenty minutes. Whereupon Phil suddenly opened his Bible and touched blindly on to a page. He exclaimed, for he had touched Zechariah 8.9, which read:
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Let your hands be strong, you who have been hearing from the mouths of the prophets since the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, that the temple might be built.’”

Another member of the group was much moved, because that very afternoon she had touched in her Bible (Living Bible paraphrase) and found similar words: “Get on wit the job and finish it You have been listening long enough. For since you began laying the foundations of the temple the prophets have been telling you about the blessings that await you when you have finished it!

Episode 8: You have tired the Lord with your talk!

I prayed for a comment on our present situation. I felt that I should see what Malachi 3.1 would have to say.

I found these words: “You have tired the Lord with your talk”

Episode 10 if we take this leap without his command

I feel instructed to find an instruction to look up Vol. 10 page 82 of Alexander McClaren’s Sermons: I found these words:
“If we take this leap without his command, we shall fall mangled on the very temple pavement. It is when we are on the way that he has prescribed, that the angels of the Lord come and meet us.”

Episode 13: We fall mangled on the temple pavement

The group who questions Stephen met again, and what a fuss and a quarrelling! One member expresses great dissatisfaction with the rest of us, and expresses a wish to go off and start a group of his own, or go off and join a Buddhist Sphere group. Another attacks our picture of Jesus. We were all wrong about him. The group was quarrelling about whether or not we were a special group of twelve. Or did our twelve point away from ourselves to something universal, or rather to the overarching consciousness in which we participated

[Simon Best, (now editor of a UK journal, Caduceus member of the group, was with us for the last time. As a farewell present he gave me a copy of Jon Michael’s “City of Revelation”, which turned out to be a very significant gift… More about this in the next blog. It will be of great interest.]

Epsisode 14 Hew always knew my temple was a house of cards

For several years our group had a member who rarely was present because lived in Laramie, Wyoming inn the USA Once or twice he would call oon his way to the South Pole, where his duties were to measure containments in the upper atmosphere. He was remarkable for providing remarkable synchronicity at the right moment.

On the day after our quarrelsome meeting, I received a letter from him in which he quoted from C.S. Lewis’ “A Grief Observed”: “he always knew that my temple was a house of cards.”

Norman continued, “I had an interesting thought on turmoil earlier this evening while I was cooking a pudding. The pudding must be kept in a constant state of turmoil so that it will not stick or burn, becoming useless.”

I mentioned this letter to Olive the wife of Tom our Stephen channel or medium. Olive was most interested. When Stephen first spoke throughh the mouth of a sleeping Tom, he first said, “Sic Ecclesia Spiritus Sanctus: and then he had added in English, “To bake a cake, one must have turmoil.”

Norman did not have us in mind when he wrote. They related to his own personal life.

Episode 15: A visiring clergyman talked about his view of reality changed. He quoted a German poet, Joseph von Eichendorf (1785-1857)

“Du bist Der, Was wir bauen / mild uber uns zerbricht /das wir Himmel schauen / darum klag’ ich nicht”

“Thou art He, who mildly breaks to pieces what we have built over us, and I won’t complain about that.”

My thoughts now about all the above

The group around Stephen did not finally break up. Nor did members leave. As I will refrain from passing judgement on them or any others, I will speak for myself.

As I have reported, the continuing patterns of synchronicity were highly impressive, and they did seem to convey patterns of spiritual teaching.

But what effect did they have on our spiritual lives?

Speaking for myself, they caused me to be very aware of the teaching that can come from the world of Spirit. I felt surrounded by Spirit. But my physical mind took over. I reasoned, classified and compared. I showed my discoveries to others. At one stage the University of Melbourne were willing for me to write a doctoral thesis on synchronicity. I did not proceed, because conversations with Stephen had begun. Had I begun that work my physical mind would really and truly have been in charge. Even so I have left my physical mind too much in charge. Whereas in fact my mind should have more subservient to my soul, to Spirit. My prayer life often was much too shallow.

All of us need to heed the Spirit,

St Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13 makes the problem very clear.

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.

Comment: I cite these words, not to accuse either myself or other members of our group, who naturally are not perfect people, but to put our synchronicities in perspective. If we had taken 1 Corinthians 13 more to heart, we would have been saved from some important errors. Academic training can encourage one to get satisfaction from true statements and facts. But the essence of the spiritual realm is relationship and love, or the lack of it. We in the group were far from being cold, unloving people, but so,mestimes excitement over the phenomena distracted us from the relationships towards which they were pointing. In the present instance, the spiritual teachings we received about the Tenple led us to become fixated on the imagery rather than the love. So there was dissension

Michael Cocks edits the journal, The Ground of Faith.
Afterlife Teaching From Stephen the Martyr by Michael Cocks is published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and other bookstores.

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Next blog: The Cubic City of Revelation.


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