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By combining her philosophical and theological views, Sylvia creates a spiritual umbrella that rises above traditional religion. All paths that lead to knowing God have merit—Sylvia simply invites you to know Him/Her in your own way, free of dogma and fear.
The True God Is Love
Sylvia: "I am the Lord thy God, and thou shalt not have strange gods before me," says the First Commandment brought down by Moses from Mount Sinai. Moses spent 60 days in the wilderness seeking just the right words to communicate his inspiration in terms that would impress the people of those days. But what was motivational in that ancient era of crisis needs rewording today. How could there be a jealous god? Jealousy is a human trait, not at all Divine. This passage in the Bible immediately sets the tone and tempo for a conniving, petty, jealous, malicious, vengeful god.
Moses was trying to free his people from slavery under the Egyptians. To do so, he had to make his god more powerful, mean, vengeful, and jealous. But the problem is, we never let go of this interpretation. Even today, we are told to "fear God," but I cannot.
Sadly, the First Commandment creates fear, which is the antithesis of love.
In fact, fear is a powerful force that thrives on this planet, having found its home here. It is nourished, it flourishes, and it's alive and well, usually existing in all of us. But the adage, "There is nothing to fear but fear itself," is very true.
The Gnostics, who go back to the beginning of time, knew a loving, trusting, omnipotent, all-merciful God. But this didn't bring in big money or big memberships, even then. Gnosticism is the religion that Jesus followed. Modern research confirms this. We're trying to bring back his original teachings. Gnostics try to show the world thatfear breeds fear, that hate breeds hate, that vengeance breeds vengeance, and that love breeds love.
The Gnostics believe in the power of reasoning and intellect. Think. If you pay homage to a vengeful, mean god, what's that doing to your soul? Your behavior will reflect what you believe in, emulating what you worship and adhere to. You become a reflection of the god that you adore, the god that you love. If your soul needs to fear, to hate, to be vengeful, and to worry about hellfire and damnation, then you worship the wrong god. You're then creating a vengeful, jealous god inside of you as well as outside of you.
You must drop that "strange" god.
As a child, attending a Catholic church, I memorized things, believed things, and did things automatically, because I didn't know better. Then all of a sudden, I began to think about what the words actually meant. It is frightening to know that I could have gone along with this mindless acceptance my entire life. But that's the way the world often is. Ignorance blooms and flourishes. Children seek acceptance by not questioning—well, in my day they didn't.
I ask you to drop your false gods, your false beliefs, and your false demons. They're tired and tattered. You must be tired of them, too.
Get rid of those old fears, those old strange gods, just as children eventually stop looking under their bed every night for a boogeyman. Let go of that god of greed, too. Now, money is important, but so often the love of money is our downfall. We must not fall into, "I want this; I have to have that; you must give me this." All these wishes become your gods—little gods we build, which lead us astray.
In fact, what do you really own? Not much, and ultimately nothing. If you don't believe me, then don't make your car payment or your house payment, and see who owns it. Even if you bought it outright, how long will it last?
We construct false gods from people and situations: "I've got to have someone in my life. I've got to be loved. I've got to get divorced. I've got to be alone. I'll be happy if I go on vacation. That wore me out, and now I'll be happy if I go back home." Half the time we don't even know what to do with ourselves, but seem to always know what other people should do.
Just live, and let go of these strange gods.
A woman said to me, "You know, Sylvia, it's tough to take responsibility for yourself." Of course it is! But don't you see how smart you were? When you wrote your chart, you knew that you had to perfect your soul. Doing so means struggling through hard times. If you had it easy, you would never know your true strength. How could I say anything of value if I hadn't been through a marriage that failed, a father who was dying, kids who drove me crazy at times, a pain in my back, a mother who made me half nuts most of my life, and whatever else it might have been?
I had a girlfriend once who was just a maniac. I dislike saying it, but she was just nuts. She wanted to find the ideal man. I used to say to her, "Look at you, mean as a snake. And you want someone perfect?" She said, "It doesn't make any difference. I deserve somebody perfect."
She made herself into a false god. Most of us, truly, don't see their own inner God. We don't construct a large enough God outside or inside. We walk around underestimating our Source, with poor self-esteem, not knowing who we are, where we have been, where we're going, and what we should do.
The God inside us is brilliant, shining, tall, straight, and healthy. Any time I use the word God, please understand that I'm referring to both the male and female principles. For together, They made our world and are the loving Parents of humanity. Father God is the omnipotent, static, loving force that holds us all. The Mother God is the interfering, emotional, active part of existence here. We ignore the feminine principle, and half the time we ignore the masculine principle; we certainly ignore our own God Consciousness. People don't see God as a real entity, but as more of a nebulous force with no real interest in us.
What about the lost days and minutes that pass in this futile activity? Do you know that if you live to be 80 years old, you will have lived about 700,000 hours? That isn't a lot. Try to have $700,000 in the bank. It's absolutely finite. And anyone may go at any given time. This is why we must cherish life, and know the true God.
Sometimes when you give it all up—give up all those false gods—you get the real one.
Going back over a lot of the books that profess the Mother God, we see that, tragically, those who revere Her have always been labeled a cult. Sadly, a belief in Mother God has always carried a stigma. Two books, Holy Blood, Holy Grail and Messianic Legacy, speak of this very strongly. Yet we know that a loving, maternal consciousness is breaking upon us, which is as old as time. That's why I really regret the perception of ours as a "New Age" religion. We're not. As a resurgence of Gnosticism, we are an "Old Age" religion. This is a time of renewal in which all of the old and wonderful things come back, renewed, without the baggage of repressed cultures and judgment.
Take the principle, "Honor thy father and thy mother." It seems to be so clear, so succinct, doesn't it? What you don't know is that it really referred to Mother and Father God! Honor the Mother God, who is the Mother of Creation, and the Father God, the source of knowledge.
I said to Francine, my spirit guide, "What if you really don't feel like you want to honor your parents?" She said, "You need only honor them if they're honorable." That cleared it up for me.
Also, today you don't really have to give people respect if they're not respectable. What if someone is mean, hateful, and nasty to you? Say you walk in the room where your children are watching TV, you change the channel they're watching, and you don't say please or I'm sorry. Do you think that those kids are going to have much respect for you? You have been disrespectful to them.
We can't wait for our children to talk, can we? Some of us regret they ever learned how by the time they become teenagers. "Oh, isn't that cute, how my little baby is babbling," we say when they can't be understood. Then eventually they really talk and talk. At that point, we still expect this formerly little person to be quiet whenever it suits us.
When I was teaching school, I would refer to my students as "little people," because that's what they are. Little people with souls. Little people with feelings and fully intact memories, who can only honor their parents if they're honorable and respectable.
Now, what if we take it further? It's widely accepted by historians that Gnosticism goes back as far as any recorded knowledge texts, very often under the term nature religion. Churches have tried to suppress it, but unsuccessfully. That came out in the Nag Hammadi (the location in Egypt where many ancient scrolls were uncovered, similar to the Dead Sea Scrolls); it became obvious in many sources. People are finding new knowledge in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the suppressed written words, and many books that were deleted from the Bible. Tragically, some scrolls haven't been found yet, including parts of James, Timothy, and Thomas.
The ancient belief says that even Moses was part of the Gnostic movement. It encompassed many of the Jews and other thinking people of that time, but they always had to go underground because of political opposition. Gnostics were usually considered heretics because they questioned the authority and wisdom of the hierarchy.
Be reasonable. That's all we ask you to do. Think in your own logical mind, using both intellect and emotion, male and female, working together. You're both. You have a male side of your brain, known as intellect; and an emotional side, known as feminine. You couldn't have been made from only one side of a Creator, the unmoving Father's mind. If that's the case, where do we women come from? If we are a genetic stamp from a rib of Adam, please help me! No, even Genesis says, "We created man ..."—go read it for yourself.
I went through theology classes hoping that I could find some truth in them. I kept arguing and fighting with the instructors. They didn't know what to do with me. They figured I had somewhat of a brain, plus I was a Jewish girl and a Christian convert, so they didn't want to kick me out. But I was troublesome.
Gnostics always address and challenge the issues of the day. If there is any one book in the Bible that's Gnostic, it's Leviticus, which gives rules of hygiene and of right action. It's not dogmatic, however.
Please realize that much of the Old Testament is instructive, but not Divine, discourse. The reason why Jews were forbidden to eat pork in those days was actually because pork was dirty, and there were no curative methods available at that time. So when people became ill as a result of eating poorly cooked pork, the Jews said, "We're not going to risk our people eating this." This was a manmade decision, not an edict from God.
Do you realize that during the time of the plague, the Jews were mostly untouched by the disease? Many others thought that they were all witches and warlocks because they were the only ones who believed in bathing. And their food preparation rules ensured good health. Others were eating animals that were already long dead and disease-ridden.
So the Jewish people were healthy and clean, while most of Western Europe didn't believe in bathing. You know how you see everyone in movies wearing those gorgeous, medieval gowns? In truth, they were far from spotless, because their owners rarely bathed, nor washed their clothes; they didn't believe in it.
These old laws that have become dogma are exactly why we must use our own, God-given powers of reason. What kind of insanity do we impose on God? What kind of a maniac have we envisioned in a god that plays "Russian roulette" with people's lives? A god that hates one person and sends him a lot of unbearable pain, and then is really good to another person? What kind of a god is that?
It was not too surprising when eventually people started saying, "God is dead."
No wonder they did. The god that they envisioned either died or never was. The Gnostics say, "No, God is omnipotent, a perfect unit. Complete and gorgeous, magnified billions of times, with unconditional love." Unconditional love is funny: A parent may rant and rave about their children or not like them at all, but can you show me any parent who wouldn't give up their life for their children? And we're human. Now take that concept, but magnify it to God's level. Why then do people think that God is going to "damn" them? We give our souls away, not relying upon ourselves. Gnosticism can tell you truths—but you yourself must envision and act upon your own truth, live your own truth.
We come together because that gives us more power as we grow spiritually. Form a body of people who are united in thought and belief, because it makes a more powerful arrow to pierce the darkness of ignorance.
Gnostics are piercing—we ask everyone to think.
God is all-loving and caring. Allow this truth to generate for you the God that we love, honor, and serve.
People always ask if I tell the truth to my clients. A man wrote to me: "You were the only one who told me that my son was going to die." I had said, "You will have him 16 months. He will come and go, and then his life force will depart." This was a horrible message to deliver, but I did so.
He said, "It turned out to be 16 and a half months. But I heard from some people that God took him from me." That would be a god who plays Russian roulette again, wouldn't it? Any god who says, "I want your child" is so cruel. How can God be unfeeling and uncaring?
The loving God, the caring God, the omnipotent God, doesn't create pain. Some people claim they're "better" than others, and God "loves" them more. That's never true. Isn't God everything?
Nobody realizes that all the great, ancient prophets had the same basic message. What happens after the prophet comes, whether it's Buddha or Mohammed? The simple truth begins to be "explained" by the disciples through interpretation and rebuttal to existing beliefs. It leads to a man-made perversion of the original message. I hope that after I'm gone, my beliefs stay pure, keeping the Mother God concept and the emphasis on forgiveness and common sense.
Within our loving, are we allowed to have righteous anger and fight back? You bet. Because to be anything else is wimpy. Most of what we fight in life is simple ignorance. Sit and listen to people discuss their beliefs, and note how sincerely they're attached to them for their own "salvation." You realize that there is no thinking going on, that only fear and tradition hold power. But, as I've said thousands of times, thinking will never be for everyone.
Many people don't want to think. They want to turn over their soul to somebody else to "save" it. That's why people send in their money to televangelists. I'm not judging these people, but they themselves will tell you, "If I send in $20, then my soul is saved." And that's sad.
You, along with God, are the salvation of your own soul. You never need an intermediary.
You were saved when you came into life. God wouldn't have put you here unattended. You live within the influence of the Mother God, too. The Catholic church was smart about this when they exchanged Mary for "Mother God." Most religions have a primary female entity, such as the Lady of the Lotus in Buddhism. Even Jesus was trying to bring in the female entity; whether Mary Magdalene, his own mother, or simply women in general. We've forgotten that feminine side of ourselves. We see what happens with pure, unbalanced patriarchy: namely, Inquisitions, Holy Wars, Crusades, and so on. Some think if you bring in the maternal side of Creation, then the whole masculine side is diminished. No. It's enhanced—the wondrous completeness of our Duality. Our Lord said this, didn't he?
He said, "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder."
We've split the intellect and the emotion, not only away from ourselves, but in our religious beliefs. We've taken away the emotional side. Intellect by itself becomes oppressive and devoid of humanity. Then we get fanatics, don't we? Is there anything worse? I don't care whether it occurs in business, with parents, with a spouse, whatever it might be.
Fanaticism is insanity. When you're in a rational, reasoning state, you can't get fanatical.
That's why you will never find fanaticism in Gnostic Christianity, because we balance intellect and emotion. We self-audit and adjust. It's not easy. Like I said, our philosophy can be stated in about one paragraph, but to live it is very difficult.
You have to think. You have to search. You have to read. You have to be constantly wary of ignorance. When we come into human form, we immediately get stupid. One problem is that we're constantly barraged by our physical needs: We're too hot or cold; our bones feel too heavy or too fragile; we have to eat and excrete; we have to work despite our headaches in order to survive and feed our kids. Just surviving is tough!
Then we are told to add religion on top of that, not realizing that survival is religious and spiritual. Because we're doing it for God.
Living, breathing, doing, and caring for people is a prayer by example. People ask, "Do you pray?" I say, "Every day of my life is a prayer; I take care of people." I would much rather be helping six people than be kneeling silently for three hours. How beneficial is that?
People say, "I pray all the time." Great, but then go do something for others, too. Go to convalescent hospitals, help the poor, talk to people; be loving, caring, considerate, and watchful. We as a group want to take care of each other. We want to bring people into our caring. We want to take care of the aged and children, to create a society that celebrates the family group. If one of us doesn't have enough food, I want to give them food. That's what Gnosticism is about. We go and fetch and carry and help.
To serve God is to serve Their people. The only way we're going to make it economically anymore, is in community living. Other cultures have known this. We've been stupid. We got away from it. We have to live as a community. We have to live as mutually caring people.
Say, "I'm there for you." Then God's presence is among us. God is here. God is with us. Rather than saying, "Did you see so-and-so and what she was wearing? I think she looks like hell."
That's all part of the human experience. But if someone in our church were hurt, you better believe everybody is there. That's what it means to have a family community group.
You know the group that really makes this work is the Amish community. They do. Not that I want all of us to go buy a farm and till the fields and all that. But look at that way of life as something beautiful. Severe as it may be, it is beautiful.
There are too many people walking around with a heavy heart, thinking, I'm not going to be saved. Saved from what? The only thing you have to be saved from is yourself, what you absorb, and how much pain you internalize. There is no other salvation beyond that.
Don't you know that God wants you to be happy? Why make such an awful god? You say, "Oh, God really hates me." What? He has nothing to do except look at your name, and say, "I hate him or her"?
Stupid. That makes God too human. God isn't human, and what difference does it make what we call God? Whether we call Him Yahweh, Allah, or Sophia. That doesn't matter to God.
God is all-loving and always there for us. The word forgiveness is about giving. Chop the word in two—for-giving.
For giving, to me, is what I want to be. I love to be forgiving to you, but I have to first forgive myself. I have to give to me, and love me. Every great thinker said, "Love your neighbor as yourself." We said, "Yes, I can love my neighbors, and sometimes me, but then I feel too selfish."
Wrong. You're a part of God. The finger of God moves through you just as strongly as it does the Pope, any bishop, or me. The fact that you do not give sermons doesn't mean you're not as advanced. You may be more so. Someone who ends up in the spotlight may just be the infusing channel at that time, but then they go away, and another takes their place.
|Chapter 1||The True God Is Love||1|
|Chapter 2||The Soul's Choice||23|
|Chapter 3||The Great Battle||51|
|Chapter 4||Mystical Traveler||79|
|Chapter 5||Letters to the Universe||91|
|Chapter 6||Spiritual Philosophy||109|
|Chapter 7||Gnostic Christianity||141|
|About the Author||169|