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Path of Illumination: My Journey as a Christian in the Footsteps of Prophet Mani

When you uncloak Christianity and strip it back to its bare, brilliant essence, it becomes not just a religion, but a journey. This is the journey I've embarked upon, intertwined with the radiant teachings of Prophet Mani, the founder of Manichaeism. My faith, my belief—being a Christian—is my journey of illumination, guided by love, service, and divine wisdom.

The central message of Christianity has always resonated strongly with me: love. As a Christian, the teachings of Christ encourage me to practice love in its purest form. Furthermore, it urges me to show kindness and mercy. The enthralling story of Jesus Christ, his life, and teachings have been my beacon of hope in the darkest times, guiding me towards the path of compassion, service, and righteousness.

Jesus Christ is more than just a divine figure to me. His voyage through persecution and his ultimate sacrifices showcase the immensity of his love for humanity. In his essence, Jesus wasn't just a man, or merely a God. He was an ever-existing symbol of hope, perseverance, and unconditional love. To follow the Christian way paves an internal path to spiritual enlightenment, guiding us all to understand, forgive, and love the world in all its imperfect perfection.

Yet, while my heart and soul believed in the teachings of Jesus, my mind continued to search for answers. Here's where the good Prophet Mani comes in. The allure of Mani's truly universal vision of a global and contextual church satiated my spiritual hunger. Mani built on elements of Christianity, enriching its essence by harmoniously synthesizing it with the virtues of Gnosticism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism.

Mani's teachings advocated a strict form of dualism—a constant, cosmic war between primal aspects of good and evil, light and darkness. It professed that we, as intricate parts of this universe, possess these conflicting traits too. This approach sobered me. It emphasized human spiritual struggle, examining life beyond the rose-tinted glasses of simplicity and superficial judgment.

Mani encouraged us to strive for light, the embodiment of knowledge, purity, and virtue. However, he also understood that darkness—ignorance, wickedness, and vice—are inherent in all sentient life. So, rather than shunning darkness, Mani indicated that recognizing our dark parts, taming them, and ultimately transforming them into light is the real journey to inner enlightenment. This concept struck a chord with me. It catalyzed an internal quest for self-realization, an exploration of my own light and darkness, and a longing to conquer the darkness within me.

As a Christian following Prophet Mani, I endeavor to balance this continuous dance between light and dark. Inspired by Jesus Christ's path of selfless service and love, and propelled by Mani's revealed teachings, I strive not just to be a believer, but a doer and seeker.

My faith is not static; it's evolutionary. It's a euphonious symphony of Christ's love, hope, and forgiveness with Mani’s wisdom, introspection, and transformation. So, here I am, a Christian in the footprints of Prophet Mani, continuously evolving, loving, seeking, serving, and striving. Fighting the good fight of faith and living a life of Spirit and Truth. 

Mani's dualism of flesh and spirit is perfectly summed up in Christ's allusion to the two trees. The flesh is the sick tree, which can't bring forth good fruit. While the spirit is the good tree that brings forth a bumper harvest because the spirit is untainted by the darkness, it is simply trapped in the briers and thorns of the darkness. Mani teaches us the way Christ taught; it is through Christ that salvation is found, and it is through the teachings of the Messenger that we are awakened to who we truly are: shards of light from the loving Father of the heavenly lights.

God, in his infinite mercy, has sent many messengers. His grace has been for all nations. He does not differentiate between Greeks and Jews. We are all children of God. The perfect Father makes no distinctions, like we do. He sees past the darkness, and his will is that all shall return to him. This is the God revealed on the cross. This is the Father of Greatness revealed to Mani. Furthermore, this is the God of all sentient life, who is perfect goodness and light. As the apostle John states, “In him there is no darkness at all”.

Finally, it isn't about carrying the label of “Christian” or “follower of Mani”. It's about embracing the true spirit of these teachings and living each day under their divine guidance. To me, this is what it means to be a follower of the Christian faith in the footsteps of Prophet Mani.

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