The Cathars were a sect of mystical and spiritual Christians living out the truth of love in all of their beings in medieval western Europe. They were hounded as heretics by the Church of Rome because they rejected the crucifixion of Christ and the rite of baptism outright. They believed in the laying on of hands and that every being born to flesh was fundamentally good instead. The key figures were all burned at the stake in south-eastern France in Languedoc, but they promised a revival from the 1950s onwards, 700 years later. Some say they were western Buddhists because their beliefs were and still are similar. Here is their creed so you can see for yourself: the bold markings are mine. If you want to know more, please go to my series of 10 articles The Cathars: The Curch of Love at : lindenthorp.wordpress.com
The Church of Love.
It has no fabric, only understanding. It has no membership, save those who know that they belong. It has no rivals, because it is non-competitive. It has no ambition; it only seeks to serve. It has 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 ages who have shown the truth of love. Those who participate, practise the truth of love in all their beings. 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, enrich. It recognizes that the way we are may be the way of those around us because we are the way. It recognizes the planet as a Being of which we are part. It recognizes that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemic act for conscious change of the ego into a voluntary return to the whole. It does not proclaim itself with a loud voice but in the subtle realms of loving. It salutes those in the past who blazed the path but have paid the price. It admits no hierarchy or structure, for no one is greater than the other. 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, while carrying out their task no matter how 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 here or in the hereafter save that ineffable joy of being and loving. Each shall seek to advance their causes of understanding, doing good by stealth and teaching by example. They shall hear their neighbour, their community and the Planet. They shall feel no fear, feel no shame, and their witness shall prevail over all odds. It has no secret, no Arcanum, no initiation save of the 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 ourselves first.
The Cathars were known in French as Les Bonnes (the Good) and Les Parfaits (the Perfect).