The Cathars



THE CATHARS

An eternity sense
Víctor Manuel Guzmán Villena

The Cathars appear in the West in the X century. At this time the heresies are denounced throughout of Europe. The majority of the times is described them like maniqueas. The Cathar term means pure. In 1017 they are in Orleans. After a judgement emitted by a council of bishops they were burned alive. In 1022 the fact is repeated in Toulouse. In 1030, in Italy, in the region of Asti a colony is found and suffered an equal fate. However, in spite of bonfires, the movement had extended as an oil spot, so that, in century XII it is in all Europe.

In agreement with the writer Mauricie Magre, who makes of the Buddhist initiation the main spiritual source of the Albigensian. It is possible to indicate that the Essenes like the Buddhists, professed the dualism of the world. They had three order of affiliates, with three degrees of initiation. They practised the sacred bath, like Brahmans and the Buddhists. They condemned the sacrifices, they abstained from meat and wine and practised an exemplary moral. Do not forget that the region of the Garona is an old druids part of earth, very wise men and with very height philosophy

They believed mainly in the migration of the souls and its reincarnation after the death. Reason why we know of them, is certain, in any case, that the Cathar doctrine is something more than a simple heresy. In many points it separates of the traditional Christianity and rejects all the dogmas of the catholic church.

The gnostic inspiration, which attributes to the man three natures: the body, the soul and the spirit, being the body the residence of the soul and this one the residence of the spirit, was gathered by the Albigensian. Opposite to the Roman Church, the Cathars continue and amplify the tradition maniquea, rejecting the sacraments, the cross, symbol of death and the ceremonies of the cult. At the same time they were despising the Ancient Testament, work of the Jews, they were showing and considering Jesus to be a purely spiritually being.

We can extract its great principles. Its base constitutes the dualism, that takes like text from reference the Gospel of John, considered like unique and the authentic one, which it emphasizes the eternal opposition between two principles: the good and the evil. Thus, in this world, there is an antagonism between the matter like the devil and the spirit described like God.

The Cathar's doctrine can be seen in Pythagoras, follower of the metempsychosis or reincarnation of the impure souls in men's new bodies. Also they rejected the dogmas, that is to say, Eucharist, the remission of the sins and the sacraments that seemed to them sacrileges: baptism, communion, marriage. Hostile to the impure matter, they condemned the marriage for the initiates, also they were prohibit to eat the delicacies cooked of meat.

This belief implies that the soul, to reach the perfection, must be purified of the material dirt and of the contact with the meat, as which they behaviour had an extremely hard discipline. The asceticism was for the good or perfect men, small minority of wise persons, only ones capable of receiving the lighting of the knowledge. They respected the nature in all manifestations, abstaining to kill no animal, the perfect ones always dressed black, with a tiara on its head. When their ceremonies had finished, they removed a leather roll that they kept on the chest, the gospel according to John and they read it aloud. The invested ones were abstaining from meat, eggs and from dairy products, and all animal products, practising a feeding purely vegetarian. They were professing an absolute chastity and were avoiding, therefore, any sexual commerce.

Since it is from the most ancient times, the men who wished to acquire the knowledge had to undergo the tests of the initiation; but these could not take place anywhere. They were necessary temples that were privileged places where the essence of the knowledge was concentrated into the hands of the teacher-wise people. But concerning their rites they were simple by reaction against the church that covered with gold and purple and were released of all spirit of superstition: they mainly constituted by prayers, signings and sermons, being inspired in the books of Manes and in the Gnostic's.

Cathars did not have predilection for places to practise their cult, the nature was offering them its forests and its meadows. They were practising a formula of public confession that they were calling “Apparellamentum:, but their principal rite was the famous "Consolamentum". It was given, both to a believer who wanted to join the community of the perfect ones, and to the moribund ones that wanted to reach a good death. This ceremony, very simple, was consisting of the fact that the perfect one was imposing the hands on the head of the consoled one, pronouncing certain words which content is ignored up to the actuality. It is possible to supposed that in the background of their ceremony, were secrets proceeding from the Gnostic and from the first Christians, which had as it bases the transmission of a vivifying and immense force, force that the perfect ones could try by means of the “baptism of the spirit”, of the sign of the purity made by the dyeing's. This invisible help was allowing to escape to the chain of renaissances and was allowing the access to the spiritual kingdom.

Also they had for the aid to the dying procedures that science has lost for ever. Not fearing to the death, there were occasions in which certain perfect that they were going so far as to allow themselves to die by means of the Endura: “Their doctrine that was allowing like the druids, the suicide; nevertheless, it was required that one not should finish his life for the weariness of living, for fear or for pain, but in the state of perfect indifference of the matter”, this ritual could be make by a pair, that is to say to go to another life in the most ideal friendship, continued years of effort and intensive spirituality, wanted in accordance with them in another life also the real life.

To finish to theirs days, they were choosing between five types of death: poisoning themselves, allowing to die of famine, opening the veins, being thrown to an abyss or diving in the frozen water after an ardent bath, that was provoking a pulmonary congestion that was killing them. Some indications were allowing to suppose also that the Albigensian ones were choosing sometimes the death in group. The Cathars had a model life. Before the pursuits, they taught to the masses, preaching a gospel of purification and simplicity, lashing the corrupt customs of a part of the catholic clergy. The people was following these men dressed in black, who were living like saints, leaving the bad priests. The nobility attracted by the ideal of the Cathars was adhering to the new faith. The official church was weakening, with so much facility all that that was removed from the people. The Cathars were sharing the miseries of each one, exercising the medicine, taking care of the patients and taking “the good word”.

This immense movement was evident in the Alps, in the Rhine and the Netherlands, where the civil unions were rebelling against the bishops and the primitive church. In Italy, Dante's ideal was to see the emperor of Germany, Enrique of Luxembourg overthrowing the Pope and to restore another Christianity. Dante was the big pontiff of this Cathar sect and his Divine Comedy was written to exalt his faith towards the Cathar's Church and to chase the papacy, since he could not excuse it for the provenzal hecatomb.

The year 1163 the Council of Tours, the Pope Alejandro II, to instances of the bishops of the North of France dictated a resolution that was denouncing the progress of the “Cathar heresy”. In the third Council of Toulouse several prominent men of the nobility were excommunicated and the threat was outlined against the Cathars and theirs protectors. This was the first sign against the Albigensian ones, which according to Maurice Magre was the biggest milestone of the religious history of the men.

From 1207 the pontifical legacy tries to face misters southerners against the Albigensian ones, the Cathars they wanted to insure themselves a place where they should shelter in case of attack. Montségur, is the heart of the Pyrenees and it was chosen like high spiritual place. It was a citadel that was protecting the sacred mountain of the Tabor, Parnassus of the Romance countries, it was fortified and organized. It seemed to an ark, it could still, during half a century, defy the wave of blood and of crimes that was going to break loose and sink their culture and civilization.

Until 1220 more than one million persons is spent by the edge of the sword, that is to say more than the cost of the suppression of all the other heresies. The reason of the big Albigensian slaughter, the conceals cause, but the real cause, the fact had been that the secret of the sanctums, the ancient education of the mysteries so zealously kept in all the temples of the world for all the brotherhoods, had been revealed. It had been revealed and it had been understood that what was happening in this time still had not been seen in the history.

Nevertheless Montségur, temple of the catharism, was still getting up, like a challenge to the orthodoxy, with his inviolate walls. The murder of the inquiring Dominicans of Avignonet had to decide the siege and fall of the fortitude. Thetask began in the spring 1243, but, six months later, the siege had not progressed. The Cathas were benefiting from numerous informations of all the Countries in Europe, from Italy, the Sacred Germanic Empire included Constantinople. Finally Senecal of Carcasona, Hugues de Arcis that was directing the "crusade", could end the resistance to the treachery. A guide who knew the secret way led the armed group to the summit. From there, the capitulation of the fortitude was only a question of time. On the first of March, 1244 a truce was signed and on March 16 the citadel gave up. Two hundred Cathars, between them fifty prefects, who were refusing to abjure of theirs belief, preferred to die in the bonfire erected in a field, that its remembers, for the name of the sacrifice: "The Field dels cremants”.

As for the treasures, the historian Pierre Roger says that it was consisting of beautiful objects, coins and bars of gold and silver. But the real treasure of the Cathars, were preparations of the Cathar faith: books, manuscripts, secret educations, relics, religious objects and the Holy Grail, that it is a grial with the content of Jesus's blood, according to historians specializing in this one period of the history of the man, the same one that was extracted in the moments of the truce by four men who escaped of the citadel and undoubtedly concealed in one of the next numerous caves of Montségur. Therefore the word “treasure“ seems to hide another thing, some knowledge or information that inspired big antipathy and greed to Rome.

With passing of the times their philosophy is still alive and it offers to their followers a cosmogony, a conception and explanation of the universe, both material and universal that it attracts to numerous intellectual elites to which it leaves unsatisfied the comments of the gospels. They contribute an esoteric knowledge in opposition to the vulgar one or belief of the masses. The real doctrine is and it will be revealed to a limited number of chosen that have arisen after a long peregrination.

1 comment:

maria said...

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