Tell me: did you wake up today thinking about God?
Now we are going to learn about the orthodox festivity of Easter, which is one of the methods to remind us about God. Now we are not going into the depth of this ritual, which lasts seven days but we will look into the key phrases which are used during the days of this holy festivity.
- “Jesus Resurrected!” “Truly Resurrected!”. We always hear these words precisely over those days. But what is the meaning of these words? First of all what is Christ?
Christ is consciousness. To resurrect means to awaken consciousness: “Christ Resurrected!” It is a custom to reply: “Truly Resurrected!”, where “Truly” could be understood as “in truth” resurrected, i.e. awakened in the Highest.
And now try to grasp these words and repeat them consciously: “Jesus Resurrected!” What do you hear now in these words? Just a historical fact or something deeper?
The majority of people during the Soviet years lost respect for these holy words and formed an attitude similar to congratulating each other upon New Year’s Eve. But now when the orthodox faith is not in danger of governmental prosecution we can pronounce these words like genuine Christians with deep faith in the triumph of Christ!
Christ had died on the cross: the son of God could not die the way we understand death. He died as false personality, died as matter, so that he could resurrect for eternal life, so he could revive in Truth, be with God eternally. That is what happened: he sacrificed everything to become himself.
- Rephrasing a well-known phrase we could say the following: “no use to blame life if your existence is crooked” – i.e. no point to demand anything from life, it is useless, one can not change the world, and one can do nothing unless he changes his being.
Then what it does it mean to “become holy”? It means to develop one’s being to a level where one remembers God without anyone’s reminders.
- Let’s look at God’s Law, how the Orthodox Church conducts a service for this holy festivity of Easter.
The word “Easter” in translation from Jewish means “passage” or “redemption”. Jews celebrate the Old Testament Easter, remembering the liberation of their ancestors from Egyptian slavery. This is a historic fact. But one could see the deeper meaning of this festivity.
Slavery – is a false personality, i.e. In the liberation of Jewish people from slavery we can see the possibility of liberation of our divine essence from the personality obtained in the social world. Hereby this festivity reminds us that we have two parallels: essence and personality (truth and lie). Essence is what truly belongs to us, as it was given to us by God; lie on the other hand is not ours. And truly when we live by the personality we feel enslaved. When we live in the essence we feel freer and could become a Christ (not in personality which could only wish for being taken for Christ, but in essence, as only an essence could be as pure as Christ).
Orthodox Christians celebrate the New Testament Easter, celebrating deliverance of all humanity through Christ from slavery of the Devil and for the gift of life and eternal bliss.
What is the Devil? It is deliverance from lies, false personality and from the sordid nature of humanity. When a man can step over the lies, conquer his sordid desires, when he takes the path of truth and becomes a Christlike being. And until we learn about our divine essence, until we understand, we will be constantly sent to the Earth again and again by God, until we get fed up with all the disappointments, lies, and sufferings – in Devil. Till we decide that there is no use for suffering in vain, but only for his truth. Only then will we be able to free ourselves from the Devil, when we can see all the beauty of suffering.
- “By the importance of benefactions received through the resurrection of Christ, Easter is the festivity of festivities, solemnity of solemnities – that is why worshiping this festivity is majesty and triumph”.
Why was Easter so important for Christians? Because it is the most important festivity – it is the beginning of new life and liberation.
The process of worship looks like this: a while before midnight all believers dressed in light coloured outfits gather in the temple awaiting with reverence the beginning of the Easter celebration. The priests all dress in light clothing. Just before midnight the bells toll announcing the start of a great moment of the holy festivity of the Christ Resurrection.
Great moment – is the precise beginning time of the festivity (astrologically this festivity starts when corresponding planets get into a certain position. In ancient times there were special observatories determining precisely to the minute when the real Easter would begin). But in our time the majority of people do not know this and make the calendar the point of reference. But if people really want to live according to the cosmic laws (and we do know what it means to live in agreement with God) they would have considered this.
When the real event was happening with Christ, people who were there were circuiting his coffin three times. In our time because we do not have the coffin believers walk round the church three times. At this time the bells ring, pealing as if from the sky and all praying people walk with lit candles which represent spiritual darkness and the joy of the light bringing festivity.
The candle is not by coincidence here: to see the light, the darkness is needed. Who is in darkness? Humans. And when he holds a lit a candle in his hands he represents Christ, i.e. highest. In its highest meaning the candlelight – is the light of consciousness, the light of Christ. In order for sound to exist, silence is needed. Therefore all this exisst in our lives simultaneously.
Christ says: “Ask and you shall receive”. Really why is it that when a man prays to God, he either receives what he asks for or he does not (then he feels upset with God)? If we ask for something, even if we already have something (though we could have nothing), we need to be able to know: “Do I have a need for it? Good that I have it now. But when the time comes to loose it would I really see it as being the meaning of life?!…” in this way we learn to become like Christ. I.e. we become aware that whenever we obtain something sooner or later we are going to lose it. If for example we want to enjoy having a car we need to be prepared that one day it is going to break down.
And it’s like this in everything. If you have a prestigious job today, it does not mean that you will always have it. You need to be prepared for various negative situations, for instance, conflict with your boss, colleagues, controlling organisations and many other things.
All of this needs to be adopted by you if you are on a spiritual path too. You should not be thinking that if you go regularly to church it means that you are rising up. You would have falls too. And it should be taken with joy. THIS IS A NATURAL PROCESS OF LIFE. From this position we could develop the observer. Why are we talking about the observer? Because the observer comes prior to Christ’s resurrection (Moses in us).
At six the people stop at the closed gates of the temple, as if at the door of the coffin of Christ.
The gates are shut and they enter from the west, which has its significance. Initially the churches were built according to the world directions; there were separate entrances for certain groups of people.
This ritual has a deep meaning. Here the call of the priest is similar to the Angels” enunciation of the Christ resurrection. He announces the joyful news: “Christ is resurrected from death, He has conquered death with death and gifted the living in coffins with life”. This song is repeated three times by clergymen. Three times has its significance too: it is a symbol of triune, holy trinity.
- If we are to convey the essence of the Christ teachings in one sentence, the abovementioned phrase would be the most suitable one: “Christ got resurrected from death, conquered death with death and gifted the living in coffins with life”. This phrase is one of the key phrases of Christianity; the whole knowledge is hidden in it. This teaching is for inner work. Christ is teaching us what could happen in out essence: consciousness could only be resurrected when it is resurrected from death. What does it mean “death”?
Let’s remember the Easter egg. It has not only a shell, it has three membranes: outer shell – illusion, second membrane – attachments, third – habits. The outer shell is the most fragile, as it consists of the external impressions (lie). I.e. through this image of an egg we see what we need to sacrifice –lie. Take smoking for instance: is it good for you to smoke? The body is the one that smokes, but image is the one that wants it, i.e. lie. The habit is connected to body – it is the same lie, just stronger, because it is attached to the essence. “Christ got resurrected from dead” – who is dead here? Consciousness (light) – is the opposite to robotization (mechanicalness, darkness). It means that the consciousness is resurrected from mechanicalness. The Christ would not be able to get resurrected to begin with if he would not be mechanical beforehand. He was incarnated here to destroy all mechanicalness; he overcomes all lies and resurrects consciousness. It would not be possible without a physical body; development is only possible on the physical plane, as life is the training ground for fostering souls. “To conquer death with death”!
Christ died for the lies, although other people who identify with lies will live in in the circle of life and death for as long as they consider themselves to be these lies.
What does it mean “died for lies”? For instance before he got resurrected the son of the carpenter had died in him (it is only one lie, but there are lots of it).
There is a parable about a seed which was told by Christ. It says: one seed was planted on a stone and it died. The second seed was planted on the road – it rooted but the sprout was split by a carriage. And only the third one which was planted on good soil grew. What does this soil represent? It means the Egregor: if you are in the Egregor, it means you are in good soil, which means you can grow.
There was a lot of seeds – this is the personification of the rule which exists in everything: mass is required in order for the only few who attain. Any civilisation existed just for this purpose, so that very few would reach the highest level of development. Other people are also needed but not many could achieve the same level. Thus the Christian egregor was created so that a man like Christ could come.
Why are people so joyful when they say “Christ is resurrected!” – “Truly Resurrected!”?
Because they share the joy that someone got resurrected in Truth which means – got liberated.
The priest comes out of the altar – this reminds of the frequent emergence of God to his students on Sundays. Sundays – means awakening.
The church is an object not so much for people who consider themselves to be Christians, but for those who are really becoming Christians. The Priest in this action comes and goes like our consciousness on this particular level of faith (development) can come and go.
That’s what this part of the ritual represents.
At the end after the morning singing people hug each other: the brothers and the ones who hate us– everyone is forgiven on Sunday. The believers start greeting each other saying: “Christ is Resurrected!” – And get an answer: “Truly Resurrected!”
- This greeting is accompanied by the gift of Easter eggs which is a symbol of rising from the coffin, the resurrection of life by the power of almighty God.
Eggs are a symbol of rising from a coffin. Yolk – is our essence which is supposed to break through lies (through the shell), to become Christ and not just a man. Favourable conditions are required for the egg to grow. Hence we could freeze an egg and a chick is not going to be born. But we could keep it in a warm space and the chick inside it would become strong in these favourable conditions
And then it could break the shell on its own. A favourable environment is required!
If you are under the guidance of genuine faith, you are like these eggs, even though you are not developed yet – you still have the possibility to become a chick! It means one day you would be able to fly! But….before you fly you need to hatch. It means that we need to understand that we won’t be able to part with all our habits, to get rid of the false personality, of the Devil straight away, the moment we decide to take a spiritual path. No! But the sooner we obtain the understanding that without the favourable environment our essence is like an egg without an incubator, the sooner our chick is going to get stronger. And if someone thinks that somebody else could do it for him, let him visualise the egg again: if it could be done from the outside it could be done by only one means – breaking the egg. Is it going to work? No. The Chick is our soul; it’s only us alone that could develop our Soul.
- Brothers and the ones who hate us hug each other; we forgive everyone on the day of resurrection. This is hard to understand, but if we look at the word “hatred” we would get closer to understanding.
In Russian language the word “hatred” could be also read as “not to see”. So the ones who hate us are the ones who do not see who we are. Truly, we often do not see a person because we do not understand him. But when we get to understand him the hatred disappears.
- And now let’s remember the words of Jovan Zlatoust: “may the one who is godly and prayerful enjoy God’s glory”. Jovan appeals to everyone; the rich and the poor to be joyful. All are the same to God: rich and poor – it is all false labels, the same ones like that Christ was the son of a carpenter. Before the end of the liturgy the Easter bread is consecrated and shared during the holy Saturday after the liturgy with all believers as an Easter blessing. When offered to taste Easter bread –a true believer is supposed to feel the connection to Christ and Christianity.
- Holy remains – it’s when the monks, who attained a certain level go through a special ritual, like Christ. These monks – are not ordinary people, they are people who have developed their astral body to a certain extent. This quality extends all over the body. To make their remains holy the monk would gradually get his body into a mummified state, after which he would leave his body. The monk would get his body prepared for this.
What happens when a man dies quickly? The soul start suffering, this could affect family members and other people who are emotionally connected to this person. In this case a vast amount of energy is released. Therefore monks get prepared for death long before it happens: they gradually leave their body.
Note that all the worlds’ nations have a special meaning attached to holy remains. Why do bones have this special meaning, why are bones in particular considered to be holy? Using the shaman’s perspective we could say that bones contain information and also if the bones belong to a holy person he leaves his power in his bones after death. His soul goes to God but through his bones he keeps the connection with the earthly.
What for? So that this developed being can have a connection with us.
Why are only the bones of holy people considered to be holy? Because the holy people are precisely the ones who have this kind of energy. If we are tuned into receiving help and information from these holy remains we can receive an answer or healing when we touch them.
- What does it mean to “tune in”? In the Russian language the words “tune in” could be also read as “three of us”. This means that to tune in is to have three.
What do we have that is three inside of us? Body, feelings and mind. Which means that with our mind we need to understand what answer we want to receive; with our feelings we need to be in a certain state (not angry or aggressive but humble); with our body we need to do certain actions such as praying, bowing, crossing ourselves.
If all these three parts are working in us simultaneously – it means we are tuned in, and that will bring about a result from any contact with holy remains.
- If there is no tuning in, the “Babylon tower” appears. The Tower is the symbol of false Personality. Instead of creating a cult of simple truth, of divine “I”, people create a cult of false personality. That is why God had destroyed the “Babylon Tower”. It is written in the Bible that Gods have become angry with people and that’s how people began talking in different languages and therefore stopped understanding each other.
- The same principle as with holy remains we could see in charged icons.
How were the charged icons created? Some monks were making holy remains out of their bodies; some would put their energy into icons so that later on descendants would be able to use them. Holy icons could have been also created by a group of monks: when a big group of people tuned into the same idea (in icon for example) gather, their energy accumulates in this object. And this object becomes truly magic: it heals; it sends bliss – and it helps people.