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26 June 2007 @ 03:43 pm
From The Perfect Heresy  
"The god deserving of Cathar worship was a god of light, who ruled the invisible, the ethereal, the spiritual domain; this god, unconcerned with the material, simply didn't care if you got into bed before getting married, had a Jew or Muslim for a friend, treated men and women as equals, or did anything else contrary to the teachings of the medieval Church. It was up to the individual (man or woman) to decide whether he or she was willing to renounce the material life for a life of self-denial. If not, one would keep returning to this world--that is, be reincarnated--until ready to embrace a life sufficiently spotless to allow accession, at death, to the same blissful state one had experienced as an angel prior to having been tempted out of heaven at the beginning of time. To be saved, then, meant becoming a saint. To be damned was to live, again and again, on this corrupt Earth. Hell was here, not in some horrific afterlife dreamed up by Rome to scare people out of their wits."

The Perfect Heresy--The Revolutionary Life and Death of the Medieval Cathars by Stephen O'Shea
Kevinmurphy_slaw on June 27th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
When we were traveling around southern france near Carcasonne, we saw a number of signs proclaiming it "Le Pays Cathare", which I thought was pretty ironic. Sort of like putting up a sign near Auschwitz saying "Welcome to Jew Country!"

When we were wandering around the walled city itself, there were a number of New Age type storefronts selling books like "The Secrets of the Cathars" and such.
Tapatitapati on June 27th, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
From what little I've read (and I never read that book, only encountered the quote) it does seem like the Cathars were the New Age movement of their time and place. It doesn't surprise me that some latch onto them as inspiration. Compared to the prevailing thought of their time they had some revolutionary ideas.

Perhaps the signs are a way of trying to maintain a memory or preserve their spirit?