Blogs are supposed to be original, so apologies in advance. I can claim no authorship of the text below. It is attributed to a vaugely Catholic sect which flourished in a number of European countries in the 13th century paticularly in France and more particularly in Albi in the south of that wonderful country.
When I heard it today for the second time in less than a month I decided it was more than a coincidence and it was a sign I should share it with others.
My intention is not to get into an argument about the rights and wrongs of the theology attributed to the Cathars or their persecution by the Papacy and Crusaders from Northern France whose motives seem purely mercenary. I suggest we judge the piece on its own merits, on how it speaks to our spirit and its effect on our own lives.
Along with the Song of St Francis, St. Patrick's Breastplate and of course the Sermon on the Mount, it is one of the most moving statments I have ever heard or read.
Make of it what you will. It 'reads' better out loud. Shalom!
The Cathar Creed
It has no membership, save those who know they belong.
It has no rivals because it is non competitive.
It has no ambition - it seeks only to serve.
It knows no boundaries, for nationalisms are unloving.
It is not of itself because it seeks to enrich all groups and religions.
It acknowledges all great teachers of all the ages who have shown the truth of love.
Those who participate, practice the truth of love in all their being.
There is no walk of life or nationality that is a barrier.
Those who are, know.
It seeks not to teach, but to be, and by being, enriched.
It recognizes that the way we are may be the way of those around us because we are that way.
It recognizes the whole planet as a being of which we are a part.
It recognizes that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemical act of conscious change of the ego in to a voluntary return to the whole.
It does not proclaim itself with a loud voice, but in the subtle realms of loving.
It salutes all those in the past who have blazoned the path, but have paid the price.
It admits no hierarchy or structure, for no one is greater than another.
Its members shall know each other by their deeds and being, and by their eyes and by no other outward sign, save the fraternal embrace.
Each one will dedicate their life to the silent loving of their neighbour and environment, and the planet, will carry out their task, however exalted or humble.
It recognizes the supremacy of the great idea, which may only be accomplished if the human race practices the supremacy of love.
It has no reward to offer, either here or in the hereafter, save that of the ineffable joy of being and loving.
Each shall seek to advance the cause of understanding, doing good by stealth and teaching only by example.
They shall heal their neighbour, their community, our planet and living beings in whatever form they take.
They shall know no fear and feel no shame and their witness shall prevail over all odds.
It has no secret, no arcanum, no initiation, save that of true understanding of the power of love and that, if we want it to be so, the world will change, but only if we change.
All who belong, belong; they belong to the Church of Love.