The Weekly Report Cornerstone

   WEEK 40 Sept 22nd to 28th 2003



   1 The Cathars didn't acknowledge the sacraments, the doctrines of hell or purgatory, or the resurrection of the body and developed their own church and ritual, rejecting the authority of the Church. They had lives of simplicity and penance in which salvation lay only in the Lord. Thousands were killed and many more tortured into accepting orthodox faith and by 1244 they had been crushed.
   2 "The Brethren of the Free Spirit - divine amorality" by Paul Harrison
   3 Those are from Nordlinger and Albert Magnus lists. "The decree of Vienne also listed eight errors of 'an abominable sect of malignant men known as beghards and faithless women known as beguines in the Kingdom of Germany' which are generally considered to be the essence of the Free-Spirit heresy. The first tenet was the central one. This stated that man can attain such a degree of perfection in lies earthly life that he is incapable of sin. In this state he can achieve no additional grace because such would give him a perfection superior to Christ. The second point followed that such a man need not fast or pray because in his state of perfection sensuality is so subordinated to reason that he can accord freely to his body all that pleases him. Similarly the third point was that such a man is not subject to human obedience or to any laws of the Church because 'where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty' (2 Corin. 3:17) " - from "The Heresy of the Free Spirit in the Later Middle Ages", Robert E. Lerner, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1972,.(extracts on web at:
   4 Around the end of the 13th century Marguerite Porete wrote "The Mirror of Simple Souls" which was condemned and burned by the Bishop of Cambrai. She refused to be shut up and eventually was arrested and tortured. Refusing to answer any Inquisitors questions even after a year in prison, the authorities eventually executed her by using extracts from her book as evidence. She was burned along with a converted Jew who "relapsed" and spat in hatred on an image of the Virgin.
   5 In 1307 at Aix-en-Othe the Bishop accused a man of having said that normal baked bread was as good as bread consecrated on the altar and that it was better to confess to a tree trunk than to a priest. How many individuals were accused on this kind of basis? How many we never hear about?
   6 The report finishes..."Finally, though this was not an error so much as an anecdote, when one of the heretics was asked by three women to teach them about the Trinity, he had them take off all of their clothes and lie on their backs. Then, after binding each by the leg to the other, he violated them all sexually "in the most scandalous manner," and, "casting his lecherous eye on their exposed shame," he said "here is the Holy Trinity." Afterwards he had intercourse with each of them separately." (from "The Heresy of the Free Spirit in the Later Middle Ages" - see note 3).
   7 Ibid.
   8 In 1486 a Papal Bull to the Bishop of Brescia and Inquisitor of Lombardy, "emphasises the close connection, nay, the identity of witchcraft with heresy." (Introduction to the Malleus by Rev. Montague Summers) Summers holds that "In fact heresy was one huge revolutionary body, exploiting its forces through a hundred different channels and having as its object chaos and corruption. The question may be asked - What was their ultimate aim in wishing to destroy civilisation? What did they hope to gain by it?"
   9 Although in places like Finland, Russia and Estonia more men than women were killed, overall about 85% of those killed were women. Women can be naturally more intuitive, more in touch with Life/Power/Whatever you want to call it. Don Juan described women as having a direct relationship with the Nagual, whereas men had to work on it a bit more and many initiation rites in primitive tribes are concerned with trying to get the boys to open up. In a lot of places the girls are assumed to just know this stuff instinctively. I'm not suggesting that women here in civilisation have this gift - it's obvious that they don't - but in a culture where intuitive forms of knowledge are prized, women do seem to have a natural ability to tune into energies around them. Maybe by the time of the witch-hunts more men had lost this ability, while women were still a little 'tuned in' and therefore a much bigger threat to civilisation.
   10 It's interesting to see how this is repeated throughout history. Tacitus records "Therefore to scotch the rumour that the fire had taken place by his own order Nero substituted as culprits and punished with the utmost refinements of cruelty, a class of men loathed for their vices, whom the crowd styled Christians."
   11 Paranormal means 'beyond normal'. It's worlds away from the christian idea of 'supernatural' 'above nature'. Nothing can be above nature, nothing can be outside of Life. Paranormal also has some definitions as "beyond the range of scientifically known or recognizable phenomena". That is more what I mean than anything 'outside of nature' - a ludicrous idea.
   12 Old English 'wigle' = 'divination', 'wiglian' = "to divine". Divine=to perceive, make out, or discover intuitively or through keenness of insight. (All in the Webster-Merriam dictionary, as are all definitions mentioned) This animist way of knowing is in complete contrast with civilised habits of prioritising reason above intuition. "Let a man obey the law of his intellect rather than that of nature..." the Malleus warns, yet no knowledge can come purely from the intellect.





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Entered 2003-10-01