FLORES: Che Guevara & The Christ – What’s Missing in the West is Martyrdom & the Struggle

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Published on: Oct 9, 2018 @ 17:36 – Che Guevara was martyred on October 9th, 1967. Since then, so much has been written about him that is readily available today.  My aim here is not to add to that. I’m also aware that Che is a divisive figure, as a symbol of Communism. Some of the things I’m about to say will be deemed heretical in terms of theology and the faith of a portion of our readers as well. I think this ties into the mission of Fort Russ News which as a meta-editorial position understands the need to bring together religious communities of faith, conservative communities, along with socio-economic justice and and the struggle against unjust hierarchies, imperialism, finance capitalism, and unnecessary suffering. I expect in this case that I will fail everyone. 

Still this is our work, and in it we see the emerging reality that has already moved beyond the left-right paradigm of mid-century modernity. When we look at Christ’s actions and work, I see socialism as a mandatory outcome of fulfilling the faith. When we look at the message of what divinity is, and in what way we share in this, it gives us the resoluteness required to make the same physical sacrifice that Christ made. I don’t deny that there are parallel allegories outside of the Christo-Islamic tradition, such as in Hinduism and in pre-Christian Europe, in Tengrism, in the so-called animism of various peoples, and so on, but we should also not deny that by and large what we are working with in modernity is a product of the confluence of the primary tradition being examined here and now.  Those views also form the foundational ideas of Hegel, the crypto-Christian theologian posing as a secular philosopher, who in turn influenced Marx. Marx would go on to create a world-view which would later manifest as a redemptive ideology and social movement, in so many ways that so many cannot yet fully understand. This is not to say that like with Islam and Christianity, “Marxism” cannot also be used against its initial aims, or involve many bad-faith or ‘missing the mark’ actors now engaging actively under its banner.

Let me say first that we have all observed in this realm, on this plane, that there are those who do not believe they are acting from God, but still God acts through them nonetheless, and there are those who believe they are acting from God, and worse others who claim they are acting through God, but do not in anyway, and we can even say they are acting against His creations and His will.

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With that preface, these are some of my reflections on the essence of Che and what’s missing from the West. I present them colloquially and allegorically, and hope to avoid pedantic challenges based on opinions on dogma, for I challenge not dogma but offer some perhaps imperfect opinions on how dogma can be interpreted.

What’s missing from the West is the Praxis which arises when people have transcended the fear of death. Even among the nominally religious, mourning has come to take on an entirely other dimension than perhaps it ought to. We mourn the deaths of those who have died, young or old, no matter what, and I feel also that our feelings may be misplaced. Do we mourn for those who have died precisely, or do we mourn for those whom they have left behind? Do we mourn the same for the unfinished life of a youth who has left us too soon the same as the nonagenarian who has completed their life’s work? Are our feelings of loss and sympathy in fact for the one who has died after a full life, or out of sympathy for those they have left behind?

Do we mourn automatically, ritualistically, or do we mourn when it is felt? Certainly the act of ritual can help us get into the place of authenticity. Should we examine our own souls if we ought to mourn more in instances where we feel it not? I do not present answers here, only those questions to help frame this.

Today, which I believe in centuries to come will be a high holy-day, recognizes the martyrdom of Che – October 9th. It comes as the leaves begin to turn, and comes also as we enter the season of Halloween, summer’s end. October 9th through 11th also sees us in: The Feast of Divine Wisdom – Source of all knowledge, honoring God-Goddess as Odin-Frigg (Norse); and Goddess as Sophia/Wisdom (Christian), Truth – Maat (Egyptian), Metis (Greek), Sarasvati (Hindu), & the Goddess of Fate – Manat (Arabic-Sufi).

I feel here that we praise the martyrdom, more so than we mourn it. It is a blessing, and shows the path that some of walked, and that others too can walk, walking in the image of the Christ. The martyrdom of Stephen the first Christian martyr (after Christ) is a prime example of martyrdom. The martyrdom of Ali and Husayn in Islam are excellent 7th century examples of martyrdom in the image of the Christ. 

Here are some of the passages I present to frame my thoughts on this day, for one of the things really missing that can allow us to understand the necessary role of martyrdom today, is Theosis. This comes through freeing oneself from Hamartia, and I propose this means to understand the infinite spark of divinity that constitutes each of our souls, as fragmentations of the infinite God.

2 Corinthians 3:18 –  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Romans 8:29 – For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Psalm 82:6 – I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

John 10:34 – Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

 

I will include Che in the category of those whose actions were divinely inspired, and were martyred, regardless of their conscious beliefs. Likewise the Cuban revolution itself, in Castro’s eyes, was not consciously a socialist revolution, but an ‘Olive Green’, national revolution when it started, was socialist only unconsciously so, and only later were the events understood, after the fact, in this way. Outside of the English language, there is a large and growing body of work that may be deemed ‘Liberation Theology’, that encapsulates much of the struggle against secular evils, in the areas of Latin America, Africa, and the Middle-East, from the point of view of Christianity and Islam, respectively.

Likewise we know very well that God works through the unbeliever, and there is much confused discourse which always lumps this into the question of God working through Evil, when instead people want to know if inspired works can come through the unbeliever. We can see in the example Nebuchadnezzar that this may be so. It is God who gives Nebuchadnezzar the new title “my servant” (Jer. 25:9; 27:6; 43:10). Nebuchadnezzar, wittingly or unwittingly, is the “servant” used by God to discipline the disobedient Yahoudi.

But it is through the example of Stephen where I believe we can see that martyrdom is not just being killed for refusing to renounce one’s religious views, as is so conventionally thought of in the mainstream church, but through Stephen’s martyrdom as well as that of Ali and Husayn in Shia Islam, we see that it is deeply connected to actions and who one acts against. In the case of Stephen, he accuses the Yahoudi of disobeying God time and time again, that their entire tradition, what defines them, is the failure to live up to God’s expectation of them. He recounts the history of Yahoudi religion and practice, and demonstrates that from failing to heed Moses on down, at every opportunity, they had failed to make good on the covenant. In Acts 7:51-53 he says; “Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him.” These are the reasons that he angered the Yahoudi Sanhedrin who martyred him. 

It is therefore most appropriate to compare Che Guevara with Stephen the first martyr. Both walked in the image of Christ and were far advanced in the process of Theosis by the time they were martyred. 

Earlier this morning in my prayer to the one God, I continued on a theme of prayer over the last few days, to move back into my connection with deep religious and contemplative thought which I felt blessed with this last winter and at the start of the spring, 2018. I had felt very strongly that the attacks from the bourgeois unbelievers which began several years ago, and had begun to amplify last fall, would only increase. They did. The summer came with some increased stresses, and great disturbances which effected the FRN team, as we have been under sustained attack from Atlanticist vectors, chiefly led by Mossad operations and the Atlantic Council. It felt very good to pray, and I hadn’t since July.

Now as the leaves turn, I look forward to be able to focus again on contemplation of the mystery of creation in its infinitude, and the work  hakadosh baruch hu, Adonai, HaShem, He who Is (I Am), has laid out for us, the spark which is inside all of us.

I want to hope that we can look beyond some of the ideological constraints which make Che a divisive character, and also risk making a theological error as well, in the search for some other truths on this realm. I will continue to make these errors in my attempt to search for answers missing in the present opinions on dogma.

I feel that the example of Christ as the martyr is a powerful one, and that walking the path of the martyr is a holy one. I know surely it is not for everyone, and that is why we must honor and venerate all the martyrs, and see them as saints of a sort. Again I say this allegorically, and we cannot all march to the beat of our own drummer, nor can any individual declare saints or martyrs for that matter, into being.

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The sparks, the spark of divinity are in us all. We can all walk the path of the martyr.

We cannot live without sin, however. But the seduction and intrigues of the physical realm can be balanced, we can indulge but not over-indulge, we can eat the fruit, we cannot all live a hermetic or ascetic life, nor is that what God wants from all of us. But when we hear the calling, we must answer it. And the righteous calling for all of us is not in the clergy as such, in its official structures, as they exist today. Sometimes it is for combat, sometimes for medicine, others for law and justice, others to be builders, and many other forms – these can all be our callings. But this is not the same as the work of the martyr.

I do not know if martyrdom is wanted from us all, providence shows that it is not required from us all in order for the unfolding mystery of the universe and creation to reveal itself, in the framework of ‘time’, the unfolding of time is that which characterizes the nature of existence in this realm. But it is required for some of us.

And those who do not answer that call, will live their life in regret. In  the retelling of the life of the internal struggle that Christ had, The Last Temptation of Christ, by Nikos Kazantzakis, first published in 1955, we are told a version in which Jesus is told by Satan posing as the Angel Gabriel that God does not really want martyrdom from him, and to come down from the cross. Satan points to the story of Abraham, where God commands Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. After Isaac is bound to an altar, a messenger from God stops Abraham at the last minute, saying “now I know you fear God.” Abraham looks up and sees a ram and sacrifices it instead of Isaac. Satan tells Jesus that the same is true for him, to renounce martyrdom and come down from the cross.

Jesus would go on to have two wives, and children, and live for forty-seven more years, until the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70. At this point, he realizes that his mission and role in life was to die on the cross, and here he asks to be gifted again his role as the martyr par excellence on the cross. Suddenly, God seems to time travel Jesus back to the cross, and we can infer that he thanks the Ancient of Days for the blessing of being given a second chance to be martyred.

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Perhaps we should all be living like we have lived our whole lives before, and that this life is a second chance to do what is right. There is a reason you have chosen to have this experience here. If we are able to vicariously live in some way through empathy, the lives of those who have lived lives to ripe old age, then we can perhaps understand that living a long life and living a full life are not the same thing. One can have a long empty life, and one can have a short life and have fulfilled ones mission.

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So in our life and in our work, we must arrive at the seriousness of our work, I believe also from the perspective of this calling. And for some, it calls upon us to engage in heroism, which can always pose the possibility of leading to martyrdom. There is no martyrdom without acts of heroism and sacrifice.

What’s missing from the West is sacrifice of the ultimate form, heroism, and martyrdom.

Westerners are afraid to die, point blank.

The entire materialist framework is in this sense a form of population control – if people are connected to a constant reminder that this life will never be eternal on this realm, no matter what, and that we have a soul which lives on and bears the marks of this life, then we can proceed to disabuse ourselves of the fear of death. The materialist framework does not work well as a practical guide to life, nor does it work as the foundation for a society.

It will change how we mourn, but also how we understand our own life and mission in life.

What the the socialist revolutionaries have to understand from martyrdom, something they once knew but since forgot, is its necessity. What religious communities of conscience must learn from the revolutionary socialists, is that there is in fact a social system mandated by their faith, and it is not the commercial, financial, mercantile system based in the same as those who martyred Christ and have since even influenced religion to conceal the nature of Christ and the true nature of that which is understood in Theosis.

These are some of the best Quotes of Che, in what will become his ‘book’ in centuries to come.

I hate money, it’s a fucking fetish

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Let’s be realistic! Demand the impossible

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Above all, try to be able to feel deeply any injustice committed against any person in any part of the world.

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One must endure without losing tenderness..

 

The life of a single human being is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth.

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The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.
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If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.
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I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.
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The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.
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Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms.
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Silence is argument carried out by other means.
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I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves.
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We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it.
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I don’t care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps on shooting.
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Many will call me an adventurer – and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his skin to prove his platitudes.
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