In the course of many earthly incarnations, we prepare ourselves for entering the last stage of personal evolution, which is the true monasticism. I stress that it is the true one, because many people only play “monks” without having understood what God is.
Before this stage the general rules of life for everyone were the following:
1. To develop the intellect (as one of the functions of the consciousness, as the “tool” of thinking: of remembering, analyzing, creating), to accumulate knowledge about the main things: about God, man, evolution. (Concrete knowledge accumulated during the earthly life is usually not retained from incarnation to incarnation; it is the structures of the consciousness developed through their right functioning that are passed to each new life, also the developed qualities such as vigor, certain intellectual abilities, certain ethical inclinations, etc.).
2. To perfect oneself ethically, orienting oneself at what God wants us to be.
3. To develop the emotional sphere correctly and to grow in oneself love for God, which at some point has to turn into a passion for Him.
4. To strive for emotional subtlety and to avoid the coarsening of the consciousness.
It is natural that on the early stages of personal evolution we do not strive for the knowledge of the highest levels, we fall in love not with God, but with people and things, we want to climb not to the Heavenly Kingdom but to a mountain peak when we go hiking, or we want to receive a university diploma, a Ph.D. degree. It is good, it is all right. All this is training before the main Climbing. And it is appropriate to perform this Climbing only when we are ready by all the parameters mentioned above.
And only then, not before, the final redistribution of one’s attention starts — from the earthly to one’s final and main Beloved — the King of everything. As a result, the spiritual warrior enters the Bridal Chamber (The Gospel of Philip, 67,125,127), where he or she meets the Beloved, ultimately settles there and merges with Him.
This stage of being burned with the passion of love for Him is the true monasticism.
Monk is a word of Greek origin. It denotes a person who came to the state of solitude in respect to all the earthly, including his or her own body, the state of being turned with the “face” of the consciousness to the Beloved, first of all. The monk misses Him, when something on the Earth distracts the monk from communication with Him. The monk is burned with passion anticipating every new meeting. The monk is ashamed of his imperfections during loving meetings in the Lord’s Abode. The monk strives to become better, and the Lord explains how to do it. The “Kingdom” where the monk lives now is really “not of this world” (John 8:23; 18:36). Though, the monk’s behavior in relationships with other people remains adequate.
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“Go in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in through it. Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way which leads to the (True) Life, and there are few who find it!” (Matt 7:13-14)
“… I desire you to be without (earthly) anxiety. The one who is unmarried cares for the things that belong to the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the one who is married cares for the things of the world, how to please his wife. The wife and the virgin are different. The unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” (1 Cor 7:32-34)
“Whoever has come to know (truly) the world has discovered (that it is) a carcass, and whoever has discovered (that it is) a carcass, of that person the world is not worthy.” (The Gospel of Thomas, 56)
“Let one who has found the world, and has become wealthy (in earthly things), renounce the world!” (The Gospel of Thomas, 110)
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (i.e., material wellbeing) shall be added to you!” (Matt 6:33)
“The Bridal Chamber invited us in!” (The Gospel of Philip, 125)
“While we live in this world, it is necessary for us to acquire the Resurrection, so that when we strip off the flesh, we may be found in Calm, but not walk outside.” (The Gospel of Philip, 63)
“Those who have come out of the world cannot be seized... Now they are above passion… and fear.” (The Gospel of Philip, 61)
“Those who say that they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not receive the Resurrection while being incarnate, they will receive nothing after leaving their bodies.” (The Gospel of Philip, 90)
“Only those who cognized their Essence will enjoy truly!” (The Gospel of Philip, 105)
“The Sons of the Bridal Chamber have one and the same name!” (The Gospel of Philip, 87)