Oct 182012
 

The balance of karmic justice is an exact balance; nothing remains unpunished, nothing unrewarded.

Jacob recognised this and separated himself from his family so that they might remain unscathed. He waited alone on this side of the river, because he knew that he was destined to death. But he did not succumb to the temptation of fatalism; he defended himself against death.

He did not allow himself to be led astray by the spiritual falsehood of fatalism, but set love against the knowledge of inevitable death. The power that preserved his breathing is expressed in the words indicating the successful issue of his wrestling: “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Genesis 32.26).

If he had yielded to the knowledge of death, his breathing would have ceased, and he would have died. The balance of the first principles of breathing – knowledge and love – would have been overthrown in favour of knowledge. But as he resisted knowledge with the whole force of love, at the “breaking of the day” the angel of death, the archai being, surrendered. Love proved itself stronger than death.

Valentin Tomberg, Christ and Sophia

Sep 152012
 

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tabernacle for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19, to the chief musician, a Psalm of David

Aug 142012
 

That they should have knowledge of the languages, books, affairs, of those that lie at such a distance from them, it was a thing we could not tell what to make of; for that it seemed to us a condition and propriety of divine powers and beings, to be hidden and unseen to others, and yet to have others open, and as in a light to them.

At this speech the Governor gave a gracious smile and said that we did well to ask pardon for this question we now asked, for that it imported, as if we thought this land a land of magicians, that sent forth spirits of the air into all parts, to bring them news and intelligence of other countries. It was answered by us all, in all possible humbleness, but yet with a countenance taking knowledge, that we knew he spoke it but merrily; that we were apt enough to think that there was somewhat supernatural in this island, but yet rather angelical than magical.

Francis Bacon, New Atlantis

Jul 222012
 

I would urge those who desire the higher knowledge to set immediately about the task of correlating their vehicles of consciousness, and especially the mental one, so that when the higher knowledge is revealed to them they may act as links between that which is above and their fellow-men who as yet stand upon a lower step of the great stair.

I would urge them, if they need any spur to this effort, to remember how much it would have meant to them, when they themselves stood upon that self-same step, had the help which it will be in their power to give been available.

No effort after development is wasted, even if he who strives seems to lose sight of his goal and turn aside. It is the passage of many feet that widens the path for the multitude; we, in our day, will never have to face such trials as did the earlier initiates who broke the way for us.

Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate

May 092012
 

I am telling you facts, facts that are connected with the intentions not only of certain individuals who are joined together in brotherhoods but also of other beings who influence such brotherhoods and whose influence is also sought by those brotherhoods, beings who are not incarnated in the flesh like human beings but ones who have their body in the spiritual world…

Those brotherhoods who know about the spiritual impulses at work in human evolution saw the approach of that important event of the early 1840s, the battle between certain spirits and some other higher spirits which ended in 1879 when some spirits of an angel nature, spirits of darkness, fell victim to the event that is symbolised as the victory fo Michael over the dragon. On seeing this, those brotherhoods had to decide how to react to it and had to  ask themselves: What is to be done about it?

….it was out of good intentions that spiritualism was launched in the world during the 1840s…..well-meaning spiritual mebers of the brotherhoods held the erroneous view that by using mediums they could convince people of hte existence of the spiritual world all around them; and they thought on the basis of that conviction it would then be possible to teach them about higher truths as well…..

….It will be up to humanity during this period to come to grips with evil as an impulse in world evolution….a certain degree of evil must be placed at the service of world evolution in a good sense….

The fact that there are beings invisibly amongst us who are so closely related to human beings, and that human beings are prevented by the way forces of evil play into their lives from recognising the spirit with their reason, means that there will be many opportunities for people to succumb to obscure errors and suchlike…..the human being must be a warrior for the spirit.

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What  people lack today is the courage to embark properly on researching the spiritual world. …during [this] period the time is approaching when humanity will have to deal very carefully with certain great life questions that have thus far been hidden, in a way, by the wisdom of former times.

Endeavours are to be undertaken to place the spiritually etheric element in the service of external, practical life….

….certain groups of people working in egoistically occult ways are making efforts in certain directions. Initially it was necessary for a specific kind of knowledge to retire into the background for humanity…This knowledge had to disappear, be slept through, so that people no longer had the possibility of drawing soul qualities out of their observations of nature but were instead more thrown back on themselvs. So that human beings could awaken the forces of their own being it was necessary for certain matters to appear first in an abstract form which must now take on a concrete spiritual form…

…a certain quarter seeks to remove the impulse of the Mystery of Golgotha from the world by bringing in another impulse from the West, a kind of antichrist, and that coming from the East the Christ-impulse as it appears in the twentieth century is to be paralysed by distracting people’s attention from the coming of Christ in the etheric realm….

…More than anything else, that quarter will strive to make use of the electricity, especially the earth’s magnetism, to bring about effects all over the world. I have shown  you how the forces of the earth rise up in what I have termed the human double. People will discover this secret. It will be an American secret to use the earth’s magnetism in its duality, the northern and southern magnetism, in order to send controlling forces across the whole earth, forces that work spiritually.

What lies in store for humanity is that cosmic forces will be won for humanity in a dual way that is wrong or a single way that is right. This will bring a genuine renewal to astrology, which is atavistic in its old form – a form in which it cannot continue to exist. Those who know about the cosmos will struggle against each other….for the remainder of earthly existence the dead will collaborate with us to a high degree.

The moment you penetrate fully into all the secrets of the double, you will find yousrelf able to assess the value of brains that are merely lumps which you have placed on a scale, lumps which can be brought to life solely by the double.

You must come to realise that all the wishy-washy talk of ‘cosmic religosity’ or ‘how powerful the yearning for it is’, and so on is nothing other than a means of spreading fog over these matters which ought actually to be entering the world in clarity and which, above all, ought only to be carried in clarity into human life as practical moral and ethical impulses.

Rudolf Steiner, Individual Spirit Beings and the Constant Foundation of the Universe

Dec 302011
 

Then Almitra spoke, saying, we would ask now of death. And he said:

You would  know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea  are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; and like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your  heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king? yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing but free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin the climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Nov 122011
 

Let us consider the domain of forgetting and remembering – the memory.

Memory is magic, in the subjective domain, which effects the evocation of things from the past. It renders past things present. Just as a sorcerer or necromancer evokes the spirits of the dead by making them appear, so does the memory evoke things of the past and make them appear to our inner mental vision.

The present remembrance is the result of the magical operation in the subjective domain, where one has succeeded in evoking from the black void of forgetfulness a living image from the past.

A living image from the past….imprint? symbol? copy? phantom? It is all of these at once. It is an imprint in so far as it makes use f my imagination to represent a reality which goes beyond its imaginary representation; it is a copy in so far as it only aims at reproducing the original from the past; it is a phantom in so far as it is an apparition from the black abyss of forgetfulness and in so far as it recalls to life the past in making it present to my inner vision.

What is the force at work in the subjective magical operation of remembering? There are four types of memory that one experiences: mechanical or automatic memory, logical memory, moral memory and vertical or revelatory memory.

Vertical or revelatory memory is not a memory of the past in the sense of the horizontal line: today, yesterday, the day before, but rather in the sense of the vertical line: here, higher, still higher. It is a ‘memory’ which does not link the present to the past on the plane of physical, psychic and intellectual life, but which links the plane of ordinary consciousness to planes or states of consciousness higher than that of ordinary consciousness to planes or states of consciousness higher than that of ordinary consciousness.

It is the faculty of the lower self to reproduce the experience and knowledge of the higher self or, if you like, the faculty of the higher self to imprint its experience and knowledge upon the consciousness of the lower self. It is the link between the higher eye and the lower eye, which renders us authentically religious and wise, and immune to the assaults of sceptism, materialism and determinism.

It is also this which is the source of certainty, not only of God and the spiritual world with its hierarchical entities but also of the immortality of our being and reincarnation, wherever it is a matter of reincarnation. “Dawn is the friend of the muses” and similar proverbs relate to the benefits of vertical memory form which one benefits in the morning, after the return of consiousness from the plane of “natural ecstasy” or sleep.

Meditations on the Tarot, Unknown Author, Letter XIII, Death

Oct 212011
 

Since the time of Descartes, the brain has been considered the source of thought and feeling, but always some people have refused to accept this view. D H Lawrence expressed this reluctance as follows:

Man is a creature that thinks with his blood: the heart dwelling in a sea of blood that flows through the body always in two inverse tides is where chiefly lies what men call thought.

And to quote Norbert Wiener, one of the originators of cybernetics:

Messages which cause conditional or associative learning are carried by the slow but pervasive influence of the blood stream. The blood carries in it substances which alter nervous action directly or indirectly.

Compare now these ultramodern theories with the view expressed by a Memphite physician over 4,500 years ago.

The seeing of the eyes and the breathing of the nose bring messages to the heart. The seeing of the eyes and the hearing of the ears and the breathing of the nose bring messages to the heart. It is the heart which causes all decisions to be made, but it is the tongue which reports what the heart has thought. Thus is all action, whether simple or complex, carried out. The manipulation of the hands, the movement of the legs and the functioning of every limb. All is in accord with the command which the heart has devised and which has appeared on the tongue. Thus is determined the specific nature of everything.

These few ancient phrases summarise extraordinarily accurately the concept of mind-body relationship and its role in evolution which our contemporary behaviourist biologists are now struggling to formulate.

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Egypt symbolised [the] vision of life energies driven by a symphonic celestial tuning in its well-known texts concerning the twelve divisions or hours of the day and night and of the Dwat, commonly called the Netherworld, or the world of transformations, in which transformations are depicted occurring everywhere – in food, flesh, energy, mind and spirit.

The Dwat is the inner region of transformation beneath or within appearances….The introductory text of the Book of What is in the Dwat, which is divided into twelve chapters, corresponding to the twelve hours of the night reads:

This is the knowledge of the powers of the Netherworld. This is the knowledge of their effects, knowledge of their sacred rhythms [or ritual]. To Re [the Solar Deity], carrier of the knowledge of the mysterious power [or unconscious drive], knowledge of what is contained in the hours as well as in their Gods…[concluding]…O Flesh, who belongest to Sky, but who liveth on earth, O Flesh, Glory to thee. Come Re in the form of the Living One, breath through me here in the Netherworld of the Hours…Transverse the field [or region], O Protector of the body. He shines, the great Light-giver Re drives away darkness.

Here we encounter a blending of physiology with cosmology, the transformative living field of the body expanded into a vision of cosmic transformation. Rhythms set forth in galactical space, passing through hereditary levels, are transmuted into rhythms of incarnate life and mind.

Robert Lawlor, Ancient Temple Architecture, Rediscovering Sacred Science, edited by Christoper Bamford

Sep 152011
 

Imagining Orpheus is a different matter. Most people can recall two things about him: that he was a musician, and that he went down to the Underworld to fetch his wife Eurydice. His story is the archetypal myth of the power of music.

With the lyre that was the gift from Apollo, Orpheus could move everything in creation, from stones, trees, and beasts, through humans, to daimonic and even divine beings (whom we might call angels and gods).

Armed only with his songs, he charmed the denizens of Hades and persuaded Pluto and Persephone to let him take Eurydice back.

Orpheus was a prince of Thrace, the land to the north of Greece. His mother was Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry. Some say his father was Apollo, and certainly Orpheus stands under the patronage of that god. Apollo also had northern connections, either coming from Hyperborea (the land beyond the north wind), or else visiting that far northern land after his birth on the island of Delos.

Where was Hyperborea? As it was said to contain a circular temple to the sun, some have identified it with Britain, and its temple with Stonehenge, a monument far older than any in Greece.

Stonehenge, and the people who constructed it, were Apollonian in the sense of being dedicated to the sun, to astronomy, mathematics and music. A number of modern researchers have penetrated beyond the limitations of academic prehistory to reveal, through intuition, the bases of this ancient science.

John Mitchell, the pioneer in this regard, has reconstructed the diagrams and dimensions that seem to lie at the basis of megalithic design. Jean Richar has shown that there is an imaginary zodiac whose twelvefold symbolism links mythology with the geography of the Aegean area. Paul Broadhurst and Hamish Miller have traced a plethora of Apollonian sites in geometrical alignment, all the way from Ireland to Palestine.

Mitchell, in addition, has traced the myth of ‘perpetual choirs’ maintained at ancient sanctuaries for the purpose of what he calls ‘enchanting the landscape’. If one is attentive to such findings, it is clear that there was a high and orderly civilisation well established by the third millennium BC, of which the archaeologists know almost nothing.

This enchantment of the landscape is exactly what Orpehus is reputed to have done with his music, casting a benign spell over nature and bringing peace among men. As part of his mission, he reformed the cult of Dionysus and tried to persuade his followers to give up their blood sacrifices. In place of Dionysian orgies, Orpheus founded the first Mysteries of Greece. The purpose of these, as far as we can tell, was to transmit some kind of direct knowledge that was helpful in facing the prospect of death.

Orpheus’s journey to the Underworld to fetch Eurydice should be understood in the context of the Mysteries. In the earliest versions of the myth, he did succeed in restoring her to life.

Joscelyn Godwin, The Golden Thread, The Orphic Mysteries