Stein, G. Stevenson, R. Wells, H. Notre Dame de Paris.
Charlotte Mason Homeschool Series
Further Particulars of Claude Frollo. I N Quasimodo was about twenty, Claude Frollo about thirty-six. The one had grown up, the other had grown old. Claude Frollo was no longer the simple-minded scholar of the Torchi college, the tender guardian of a little child, the young and dreamy philosopher, who knew many things, but was ignorant of more. But in the course of time some bitterness had mingled with these things he once had thought so sweet. With time, says Paul Diacre, even the best bacon turns rancid.
The elder brother had counted on a pious pupil, docile, studious, and honourable. He was an unruly little devil, which made Dom Claude Knit his brows, but also very droll and very cunning, at which the elder was fain to smile. And the result was a fine report drawn up in Latin, brought by the sub-monitor of the Torchi College to Dom Claude, with piteous mien, the which bore the melancholy marginal remark, Rixa; prima causa vinum optimum potatum.
He became, therefore, more and more erudite, and, as a natural consequence, more and more rigid as a priest, less and less cheerful as a man. In each of us there are certain parallels between our mind, our manners, and our characters which develop in unbroken continuity, and are only shaken by the great cataclysms of life.
The ancient symbol of the serpent biting its tail is especially appropriate to learning, as Claude Frollo had evidently proved. Many trustworthy persons asserted that, after having exhausted the fas of human knowledge, he had had the temerity to penetrate into the nefas, had tasted in succession all the apples of the Tree of Knowledge, and, whether from hunger or disgust, had finished by eating of the forbidden fruit.
It is certainly true that the Archdeacon frequently visited the cemetery of the Holy Innocents, where, to be sure, his mother and father lay buried with the other victims of the plague of ; but he seemed much less devoutly interested in the cross on their grave than in the strange figures covering the tombs of Nicolas Flamel and Claude Pernelle close by.
It is certainly true that he had often been seen stealing down the Rue des Lombards and slipping furtively into a little house which formed the corner of the Rue des Ecrivains and the Rue Marivault. This was the house which Nicolas Flamel had built, in which he died about , and which, uninhabited ever since, was beginning to fall into decay, so much had the Hermetics and Alchemists from all the ends of the world worn away its walls by merely engraving their names upon them.
Some of the neighbours even declared how, through a hole in the wall, they had seen the Archdeacon digging and turning over the earth in those two cellars, of which the door-jambs had been scrawled over with innumerable verses and hieroglyphics by Nicolas Flamel himself. Again, it is true that the Archdeacon was seized with a remarkable passion for the symbolical portal of Notre Dame, that page of incantation written in stone by Bishop Guillaume of Paris, who is without doubt among the damned for having attached so infernal a frontispiece to the sacred poem eternally chanted by the rest of the edifice.
What this cell contained nobody knew; but on many a night from the shore of the terrain, from which a little round window at the back of the tower was visible, an unaccountable, intermittent red glow might be seen, coming and going at regular intervals, as if in response to the blowing of a pair of bellows, and as if it proceeded rather from a flame than a light. Hell-fire is blazing up there! After all, these were no great proofs of sorcery; but still there was sufficient smoke to warrant the supposition of flame, and the Archdeacon therefore stood in decidedly bad odour.
Consequently, in spite of the excessive austerity of his life, the Archdeacon was in bad repute with all pious people, and there was no devout nose, however inexperienced, that did not smell out the wizard in him. Yet, if with advancing years deep fissures had opened in his mind, in his heart they were no less deep. So, at least, they had reason to think who narrowly scanned that face in which the soul shone forth as through a murky cloud. Else why that bald and furrowed brow, that constantly bowed head, those sighs that forever rent his breast? What secret thought sent that bitter smile to his lips at the selfsame moment that his frowning brows approached each other like two bulls about to fight?
When you live with what is essential, you will recognize and feel that your life is essential. Likewise, if you surround your life with what is not essential, you will feel your life is not essential. Understanding Creation at the level of the Greater Community, then, gives immense clarity to your life and experience of purpose here in this moment, within the limited circumstances of your existence.
Here you learn to see the difference between what is different and what is the same and the difference between the great variability of manifest life and the singularity, clarity and union of your inner spiritual life. Here you recognize the great hierarchy of your life, where your body serves your mind and your mind serves your Spirit. As you translate this into your experience of being in the world, it clears up so much confusion and uncertainty, conflict and self-denial.
For you are here now to serve a world in need. That is your greater purpose. Yet only Knowledge in you knows what that service is, where it can be rendered most fully, the other individuals you will need to unite with in order to provide this service, who your essential relationships will be with, what the criteria for those relationships are and how you will be able to unite yourself into one person with one deeper reference point within yourself, instead of being a person who is pulled here and there by many different forces of persuasion.
Only God knows how to redeem you. Only the Plan that has been set in motion can sustain you and unite you and give you the experience of having a greater purpose. All individuals in manifest life have been given a greater purpose, though a very small percentage of them have ever discovered this. A large part of that has to do with the environments in which they live. If you live in a highly structured, highly technological civilization, the possibility for you to experience Knowledge as well as express Knowledge is very small. Your learning environment, then, can be extremely restrictive. And here again you do not realize the great advantage you have living in a world of relative freedom, a world that has a diversity of religious expressions and experiences.
You look at your disadvantages and your weaknesses, but you do not realize, in contrast with the Greater Community in which you live, what immense strengths and opportunities you have. You may lose these opportunities, which you are at risk of doing in facing the great changes that are coming to your environment—the great change coming as a result of your diminishing resources, your ability to grow food, the distribution of water and the risk of conflict and war. These things will show you how precious your advantages are and how much you and others have neglected them previously—failing to see their great importance, failing to understand how rare they are in a universe where intelligent life more often than not tends toward uniformity and control in environments where there is no freedom, environments where the possibility to discover the power and presence of these Unseen Forces in the universe and the reality of Knowledge within oneself is extremely remote.
Time is not an issue for God, but it is an issue for those who live in manifest life. Time here can be equated with suffering. The time it takes you to come to terms with who and what you really are can be measured in terms of suffering—confusion, denial, self-hatred, depression, addiction and immense errors in life. You are in the wrong place with the wrong people doing the wrong things—things that are harmful, things that are setting you back, things that are holding you back. If you had any sense of your true nature and purpose, you would see how utterly destructive this is, how pointless this is, how in the end it will not amount to anything and how easy it would be for you who have these freedoms in this world to waste this great opportunity you have in living in an emerging world such as this—where there is still freedom of personal expression, where there is a diversity of religious expression and where the opportunity to gain access to Knowledge is still very great.
The shock of learning about life in the Greater Community is the shock of learning how little freedom there is, how oppressive so many nations in the universe are and how devoid of inspiration this existence is for their citizens. Still isolated within your own world, you cannot yet appreciate these things from your own experience. Humanity is heading towards resource depletion. What you need to understand is that every advanced nation in the universe is facing resource depletion. That is the threat that hangs over them. That is their condition. They have generated technological innovation to deal with this problem, but technology requires resources as well.
To lose your self-sufficiency in this regard, you cast yourself into a very difficult set of circumstances where your life and your circumstances will be controlled by others—others who are providing you resources that you cannot provide yourself. This establishes nations that are uniform and oppressive, where everyone must think the same and do what they are told. This is the norm among advanced nations in the universe, while free nations, nations that value the creativity and the possibility for the individual, are extremely rare in contrast.
This is not what you want to hear, but it is what you must hear, or you will not understand life beyond your borders. You will not understand the progress of life. You will not understand the difficult circumstances that exist in the Greater Community. And you will not understand the nature and intentions of those who are visiting your world now, why their objectives are what they are and what motivates them.
God has a Greater Plan. You cannot understand it. You can only participate within it. If you participate within it, it will become evident that there is a Plan, that there are Greater Forces beyond your visual range who are assisting you and that there is a great movement not only within your world, but throughout the universe—a movement towards resolution, a movement towards ending separation, a movement of redemption to discover the experience of Knowledge.
This is universal. The problems that you face in this world are the same problems that individuals in all worlds face. Do not, then, look at the Greater Community as a vast resource awaiting your exploration.
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- Creation and Destiny in the Physical Universe!
Do not think that it is a big playground where you can go and enjoy recreation, traveling around as a tourist, having adventures and so forth. These motivations all demonstrate that you do not take your life seriously and do not recognize the greater opportunity your life is giving you to discover your deeper inclinations and to find a greater fulfillment here.
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It is the destiny of all intelligent life to rediscover Knowledge and to return to God through service to their worlds. This is what ends the Separation. For if you are acknowledging, experiencing and following the deeper Knowledge, it means that you are experiencing a relationship with the Divine. You are following the Divine Will. God is speaking to you through Knowledge.
You are following this in very specific ways, leading you to do very specific things, to engage with certain individuals and to establish relationships that represent a higher purpose in life. You are still an individual. You are still living in your respective world. You are still facing the challenges of your circumstances. You are still facing the limits of freedom that exist within your world. But now you are connected to something deeper and far more profound—something that brings unity and clarity to your life and relief from your own inner conflicts and contradictions.
The universe then becomes a place where you can contribute.
Here contribution becomes your emphasis as you experience a greater fulfillment through service and giving to others, giving from this well of Knowledge that is serving you, that is nourishing you and that is providing you a direction to follow in life, a direction that you are meant to follow. There is a Presence with you. It is the unseen Presence.
It is here to encourage you, to reinforce you, not to rule you. You must find Knowledge to guide you. No spiritual force will rule you. It is Knowledge that you must find and follow. This gives you back to yourself. This establishes your authority in life. This gives you power.
This gives you certainty. This gives you direction. And it also connects you to your Source. It gives you fundamentally what you need as an individual, and it begins to end separation in your life. Here you look at the physical universe as a temporary place. No longer is it so overwhelming.
The Bow of Destiny
No longer is it so threatening. You are able to travel through it guided by a Greater Power, recognizing its opportunities and its limitations, its pleasures and its tragedies, without becoming lost in these things. You may pray to God for many things, for advantages and for protection, but you have already been given the greatest gift that God will give you—a gift that remains to be discovered, experienced and expressed. That is why God is bringing the most fundamental spiritual practice in life into the world through the form of The Greater Community Way of Knowledge, for you to practice now what others throughout the universe are practicing, to develop the skills that races throughout the universe are developing, to gain a deeper resonance and therefore a deeper connection to life.
Perhaps you already feel a connection to life in the universe because you have a Greater Community orientation within yourself. This will bring clarity to this connection, making it meaningful, purposeful and giving it great relevance in your life. God has given you free will. You may choose what you will follow in your life though few people fully utilize this freedom of choice. In most places in the universe, they do not have or are not granted the freedom of choice.
Yet they still have it. Once they realize that Knowledge is a reality, they will have a choice as to whether to recognize it or not, whether to follow it or not, whether to choose to experience it or not and whether to express what it has given them to express or not. God will not force redemption upon you.