Check out the book give-away
Tags: book, gift, give-away, lottery, occult, Ordained, present, psychological thriller, spiritual
This is an opportunity to get 1 copy of ‘Ordained – a novel’ by Stephen Muires for free!
I am giving three copies of ‘Ordained – a novel’ away to three people. No strings attached. If you are one of the three lucky ones the book will be mailed to you wherever you live in the world.
In other words, you do not need to live in Sweden to take part. Anyone can take part. This is a virtual event.
The only thing you need to do is sign up to follow this web site, using the box on the left. That way you will be part of the drawing.
If you already are a friend on Facebook, you can click ‘Going’ on the following event:
On Sunday December 13, 2015, I will randomly select three names from the list. One day later I will post the result right here on this web site, as well as on the Facebook (virtual) event page.
This is a private event, only people in my Friends list can take part. But if you know someone whom you want to invite you are absolutely welcome to do that.
Details: this give-away concerns the book ‘Ordained: Part I Denmark.’
Taking part in this draw is free. If you win the book you get it sent to you for free, postage included. The current list price on Amazon is $12, plus postage.
A software engineer becomes a religious teacher in Sweden and finds himself using shamanic powers, as well as an app that can crack any password on earth, to fight against the very church he was ordained in.
So all you need to do now is to click ‘Going’ on this event, and your name is in the pot for winning a free copy of this amazing novel.
The last day for this give-away is December 13. Good luck!
Author’s page on Amazon for complete series.
Tags: archon, Christianity, demiurg, demons, devils, evil, Jesus, New Church, psychiatry, shamanism, spirit possession, Swedenborg
The book ‘Ordained – a novel’ (2015) regularly describes a view of the world that includes spirits. Unseen entities. It’s not a big deal, but it is a recurring theme. Such a world view is old-fashioned. So why make this ‘mistake?’
When I still lived in Denmark an amazing news story became the focus for a week or so. In a large hospital, if I remember right it was in the Copenhagen suburb of Herlev, a psychiatrist had been fired after the family of a patient had complained. What had this man done and why was it serious enough to get fired?
The family visited the hospital one day and encountered the following scene. The patient was sitting on a chair in his room, eyes closed. The psychiatrist, wearing his white coat and stethoscope and official badge, was slowly walking circles around the patient. In his hand he held a rattle, which he shook rhythmically as he walked. When the family entered he stopped at once what he was doing. The family members were a little upset and asked him to explain himself. The psychiatrist said he was addressing the unseen spirits that caused the patient’s distress. He was trying to drive them out.
He was instantly fired. It hit the newspapers big time for a few days. There was never ever any discussion concerning the validity of his working methods. He had broken the unspoken ethics of his profession and could no longer work at this hospital.
Cartoonists drew him dressed in feathers dancing around a hospital room together with another man dressed the same way. A nurse comes in and asks, “Which one of you is the patient?”
This is the current, modern state of affairs. People who talk to spirits are crazy. Professional medicine cannot and will not have anything to do with this. The jury has long returned on that one.
That would be wonderful and progress and a liberation from medieval superstitions were it not for the fact that psychology and psychiatry are in fact not able to cure mental disease. They can sometimes help, they can certainly engage in long-drawn processes, and they can alleviate a patient’s suffering. But the method for curing isn’t there. So they offer no sure alternative and no certain, validated understanding of what might be going on inside the person who hears voices or feels persecuted.
‘Ordained – a novel’ refers back to an 18th century philosopher and scientist who wrote a lot about spirits. His name was Swedenborg. A small, insignificant church movement has started up in the 250 years since his death, called the New Church. Mostly these folks have taken Swedenborg’s ideas to create an enhanced, or modified, version of Christianity. Another movement that refers back to Swedenborg as a founding father is the spiritist church. These folks engage in laying on hands for the sake of healing and in channeling the spirits of the deceased.
Do spirits really exist?
Yes and no, could be one answer. Who cares, could be another. You’re missing the point, friend, is my answer.
In the world we are very aware of the different languages that each nationality speaks. It’s a big pain in the butt. Why can’t we all simply speak English, right? Problem or not, we accept that this is so and that each language actually represents a unique perspective. Some things can only be said in Danish, and no translation will ever capture the nuance precisely. Or in Chinese or French. This does not invalidate English. They are different languages, that’s all.
When we cannot understand Swahili is that grounds for discriminating, judging, and excommunicating a Swahili-speaking person? Normally, no. Yet the psychiatrist in Denmark who used the language of spirit possession was fired.
Relating to unseen spirits is a language. It is not a scientific truth. It is not a theological truth. It is not true. Maybe there are no spirits. But the language damn well exists, and it damn well explains some things that no other approach can uniquely and successfully replace.
Swedenborg considered that we humans are surrounded by spirits all the time, every second. He even stated that without this presence we could not breathe, our bodies would shut down, and we would die. An extreme viewpoint. No grey areas. He also said that there is a kind of hierarchy in the spirit world, or maybe a chaining is a better word. We are not just connected to one or two spirits, we are connected to the spirits that live with our individual spirits, in a chain going both up and down and backward and forward in time and history. In other words a person may have hundreds of spirits with him or her. Our thoughts and emotions are influenced by these worlds.
Swedenborg did not write, caused by. He said influenced. This matters, because the modern scientific view will look for cause and effect, and in that sense there are indeed no spirit worlds and no dead grandmothers who act as guardian angels. The term influence means at a simple level: a nudging. Like the wind blowing from the left will influence the traveler to tilt his hat. Like the sniper will adjust his aim, knowing that the wind will push the bullet off to the right. Like the mountain climber will decide to turn back, afraid of the risk.
According to Swedenborg, therefore, all of our lives, all moments, all actions, are influenced by spirits from other dimensions. He calls these dimensions heaven and hell. But we will safely steer clear of these very muddy moralistic swamps. There is no space for good and bad here. Some people suffer, and experience that as bad. Some people are thrilled, and experience that as good. There are infinite permutations possible. Modern New Age channelers almost exclusively focus on the pure, benevolent, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky figures like Jesus, St Germaine, Pleiadians from another galaxy, and so on. Highly developed beings that only want to assist and help the human race. These supernatural, galactic powers seem to be spectacularly unsuccessful at their job, but the believer in this nonsense doesn’t notice that at first.
That is why Swedenborg’s claim that the influence from spirits is both good and bad simultaneously has to be taken seriously. Forget the moral implications of good and evil. All he is saying, in this language, is that some influences are going to be good for us and some are going to be bad for us. That’s not hard to understand. An apple can be good for you. But sometimes people get taken to the hospital after eating one. Sometimes they die. Or peanuts, or bread, or vodka.
So I’d like to repeat: viewing the world and people within the context of spirit influences is a language. Nothing more. If you don’t want to speak this language, well OK, that’s your business, sayonara.
When there is an outbreak of violence, like the civil war in the Middle East or the terrorist attacks in Paris, it is the mass influence of aggressive spiritual entities having fun with people. Spirits do not care about us. They feed on us. We are food. Or rather, our emotions, energies, thoughts, and confusions. So the terrorist spirits are not evil. They probably do not even know about pain, or about France, or about the Middle East. They certainly do not care about the religious ideals. But they will cloak themselves as such ideals if that creates the biggest influence, the biggest feeding.
A soccer stadium is filled up with people, and they become one mind, one sentiment. Thousands of people get taken over, temporarily, by one big motherfucking spirit and wow what an unforgettable experience that is. A good, exciting, wonderful experience.
People gather in a church and they feel the sacred presence. Yes, the spirits are gathering with them, waiting for their solemn emotions, their adoration, their submission, their grief. Jesus Christ is a figurehead, literally, for a conglomeration of spiritual entities. He is like the mail man. Send your letter to me and I will make sure they get to the right party. Use of the word party here as a pun is deliberate.
As people grow older they build character. Have you noticed? A young man gradually settles in his own mind into a limited, but strongly held, set of beliefs. What’s going on? His ties to certain groupings of spirits become more and more habitual, until in the end they’re unbreakable.
Sometimes people work in a profession where everyone looks at them all the time. A politician or an actor for example. Then they retire, and within a very short time they fall sick and die. Their spirits have left them. Or you find them in an old folks home, empty shells of the charismatic people they once were. Their spirits have left them.
By this time the thought must have come up for you that you don’t like this perception. It is inhuman. Hopeless. Even should it be true you don’t want it to be.
Here’s where we get to the title of this article. We do not live, we are being lived. Pretty depressing, I agree. Yeah. Well, life isn’t a joy ride, as you have noticed. There actually is no God who guides our lives or world events. There may be guardian angels, but if so they have an agenda that is not necessarily the same as ours.
Let me backtrack for just a moment. I want to fetch some references to give the point a little back-up. Who else has taught about spirits?
Jesus did, the historical one in the Gospels. The theme of spirit possession is big there. He talks at one point about seven devils leaving a person when he or she cleans house. Look it up. Plato, way before Jesus, described us as prisoners in a cave, seeing only shadows cast on the wall in front of us by a fire from behind. We call those shadows reality. Gurdjieff was cynical in the extreme, saying that the whole universe was a feeding chain. Humans are low in the hierarchy, we are not free, and we are mostly just food. Abraham Hicks states our full dependence on non-physical reality, but it’s a mutual dependence. In other words ‘they’ depend on us, too. Shamanic traditions have explored our interwoven ties to spirits as a matter of course. A shamanic healing would be a temporary relief from the harassment by our current spirits, giving the patient a chance to think clearly and make new choices before the spirits return. And so on, and so on. The list is really long.
I believe that we indeed are being lived. There is simply no counter argument that I have ever found that held up under scrutiny. When people say they feel free, often they mean they’re having a good time. Nothing to do with freedom. When people fall ill, out of the blue and still young in years, and the doctors cannot cure them, don’t tell me this is genetic or caused by environmental pollution. That is stupid. We are the battlefield, not the soldiers. Swedenborg also was adamant that all illness is a result of spiritual battles or interference. We do not live, we are being lived.
The novel ‘Ordained’ paints a world where those subtle influences become visible. There really is no way around it. The story is large, and it is random, like life is. Random means unexplainable, not due to choices made. I fight a battle in Stockholm that I never bargained for. Even though the book is fiction, that part isn’t. This is what makes ‘Ordained’ unique.
So we don’t have free will? No, no, we do have free will. But there’s a catch. It’s not automatic. It is achievable, but not available, not given. Free will is a lot harder than the feel-good philosophies have made it out to be. That is why you are not free. Read Gurdjieff. Read Castaneda. Or read ‘Ordained.’
Get Ordained now!
The question that presented itself to me during this period: why did the people in the New Church stay in their church? Why did they come? And why did some of them fall into a passionate defense of their religion when they perceived it was under attack? These questions became all the more puzzling as I observed that they really didn’t enjoy themselves. They were in fact bitter and hostile and hard as crumbling granite, even among each other. With Theodor especially there was a fear-filled caution that permeated everything he said or did.
I felt it was self-demeaning to explain this behavior with the seeking of salvation insurance, like people who think they will regenerate merely by going to church. That would be as silly as expecting to become a car by sleeping in a garage.
There had to be another explanation.
The rest is in the book.
Tags: anger, demons, hypocrisy, manipulation, minister, New Church, pastor, religion, Stockholm, struggle, Swedenborg, terror
How did I feel towards the end of my time as minister in Stockholm?
But what I felt or feel now isn’t that important. There’s a story that has roots and reaches deeper than personal. I hope I have been able to communicate that story in Ordained. Excerpt from Part III:
It was quite remarkable, even for myself, how absolutely angry I felt.
I was re-living the worst of theological school, the moments where a teacher or a minister had shown me by word or action what the true face of this organized religion was. I was re-living the forced move to Stockholm, the forced move into a too-small apartment in the middle of a too-large town. I was re-living the subtle, manipulating ways of the church board, particularly of Fritz Osberg. I was re-living the unmanly hypocrisy of my boss, Theodor Söllscher. And most of all I was re-living every disappointment I had felt in my soul when something happened that was meant to be full of light and it was squashed out hard-handedly by some unseen, monstrous, arrogant entity that to all appearances was ruling the New Church in Stockholm with a dour gray face.
Tags: bullshit, destruction, enemies, friendship, liberation, New Church, novel, offense, revenge, Swedenborg
Ordained – a novel, in three parts, is now launched, published, out there. When I wrote the novels I had some control over it. When I went through the publisher search and the publishing itself I still had some control.
But now they’re out there and I have no control over what happens from here. The torpedoes are in the water. They carry a payload. An explosive one.
During the writing process I asked myself many times, Do I really want to offend almost anyone I once knew in the New Church? But it was a choice between telling the story (and offending) or not telling the story at all. So that was no choice.
If you see a bubble trail in the water, it’s Ordained – a novel coming toward you.
Tags: academics, charity, Christianity, dissertation, research, Swedenborg
Another snippet from my time as a minister in the Swedenborgian castle. Big obvious questions, which were never discussed, never even asked.
Was I the only minister who could not reconcile obeying the job dictates with his inner conscience? No, I had heard plenty of stories of ministers in the New Church that left, got fired, got side-railed, or got posted to no-man’s land. Maybe the bigger question was how so many of them stayed, appearing content with their job and work. If you dance just enough do you get left alone?
What did that make the New Church? A Christian community it was not: the mutual care and compassion only went skin deep. A Swedenborgian embodiment it was not: the central teachings about regeneration were filtered out and ignored. An educational institution it was not: no one retained and built on acquired information, and research was quite unknown. I had discovered that when I wrote my dissertation.
Tags: Colchester, employment, fired, New Church, Stockholm, Swedenborg
A situation that happened when a certain minister in Colchester, UK, got fired. This was about 9 months before I myself got fired. A large percentage of European New Church ministers got fired (or went on really early retirement).
It was a Big Culling. Reasons? No one knows.
I knew exactly what that statement would say. It would formally and in vague language announce that Rev. Jørgensen no longer was the minister in Colchester. Probably he’d add an information tidbit that served the noble purpose of creating a smoke screen, something like corporate confidentiality to protect all parties involved.
“OK,” I said, playing the role of backing down. “Uh, what would you like me tell his parents in Denmark?” I asked innocently.
Theodor almost exploded. It was weird. “You tell them exactly what I just told you! That’s the correct version!”
Well, Herr Theodork, I thought, you have exactly told me nothing. Instead I said, “Sure, I will do that.”
Rationally, what could be the reason for a church leadership to fire this minister? A man whose parents had brought him up within the New Church religion, a man who had spent considerable time, effort and money to take himself through Bryn Athyn college in a country far away from home, a man who leaned toward the conservative side on church issues, a man who had a wife and six kids who depended on him? What kind of heinous crime had he committed that a church would drop him like a brick?
I didn’t know, but I did suspect that there probably was no crime. That didn’t make sense, but then I had begun to notice there were more than a few things in this church organization that didn’t make sense.