Sep 102012
 

When a person wishes to unify the Blessed Holy One and His Divine Presence (the male and female aspects of the Divine), he must banish all other thoughts. [Such thoughts] are the Klipot, regarding what is written, “There are many thoughts in the heart of man” (Proverbs 19.21). One must bring the Divine Presence into his mind, as the verse continues, “But the counsel of God will abide.”

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This is the mystery of Unification. The individual who is worthy of the World to Come must unify the name of the Blessed Holy One. He must unify the upper and lower levels and limbs, uniting them all bringing them all to the necessary place, where the knot can be bound.

This is the mystery of “Hear O Israel, God is our Lord, God is One.”

The mystery of “Hear” is the Name which becomes seventy names.

This is the unifying category, Israel. It is called the Elder Israel, since there is also a lesser [Israel]. Regarding [the latter] it is written, “Israel is a child and I will love him” (Hosea 11.1). But [the one alluded to in “Hear O Israel] is the Elder Israel.

[This Elder Israel is] a single mystery and a single unifying category. “Hear O Israel” thus includes the [supernal archetype] Female and her Husband.

The Zohar

Oct 232011
 

Rich in blossoms many tinted, grateful to the ravished eye,
 Gay and green and glorious Kanka was like garden of the sky,

Rich in fruit and laden creeper and in beauteous bush and trep.
 Flower-bespangled golden Lanka was like gem-bespangled sea!

Rose a palace in the woodlands girt by pillars strong and high.
 Snowy-white like fair Kailasa cleaving through the azure sky,

And its steps were ocean coral and its pavement yellow gold .
White and gay and heaven-aspiring rose the structure high and bold!

By the rich and royal mansion Hanuman his eyes did rest,
 On a woman sad and sorrowing in her sylvan garments drest,

Like the moon obscured and clouded, dim with shadows deep and dark,
 Like the smoke-enshrouded red fire, dying with a feeble spark,

Like the tempest-pelted lotus by the wind and torrent shaken,
 Like the beauteous star Rohini by a graha overtaken!

Fasts and vigils paled her beauty, tears bedimmed her tender grace,
 Anguish dwelt within her bosom, sorrow darkened on her face,

And she lived by Rakshas guarded, as a faint and timid deer,
 Severed from her herd and kindred when the prowling wolves are near,

And her raven locks ungathered hung behind in single braid,
 And her gentle eye was lightless, and her brow was hid in shade!

“This is she! the peerless princess, Rama’s consort loved and lost,
 This is she! the saintly Sita, by a cruel fortune crost,”

Hanuman thus thought and pondered: “On her graceful form I spy,
 Gems and gold by sorrowing Rama oft depicted with it sigh,

On her ears the golden pendants and the tiger’s sharpened tooth,
 On her arms the jewelled bracelets, tokens of unchanging truth,

On her pallid brow and bosom still the radiant jewels shine,
 Rama with a sweet affection did in early days entwine!

Hermit’s garments clothe her person, braided is her raven hair,
 Matted bark of trees of forest drape her neck and bosom fair,

And a dower of dazzling beauty still bedecks her peerless face.
 Though the shadowing tinge of sorrow darkens all her earlier grace!

This is she! the soft-eyed Sita, wept with unavailing tear,
 This is she! the faithful consort, unto Rama ever dear,

Unforgetting and unchanging, truthful still in deed and word,
 Sita, in her silent suffering sorrows for her absent lord,

Still for Rama lost but cherished, Sita heaves the choking sigh,
 Sita lives for righteous Rama, for her Rama she would die!”

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

Jan 072011
 

The pendulum has swung back again—or at any rate is about to start its swing. In speaking of ‘the unity of the world and all things in it’, we must, however, avoid the error of oriental monism which denies the dual existence of Creator and created. According to this view the universe and all the inner worlds therein have been self-created, or at best emanated from a central source.

This means that God is in everything, in the holiest of holies and in the dust on the sandals of the worshipper at the temple gate. As a child of an acquaintance put it with devastating childlike logic. ‘When I stamp on the ground am I stamping on God?’ To this the monist would rush to reply ‘Yes’, but the theist would say ‘No’. The monist would go on to say that as God is also in the child’s foot, sock and shoe, God was stamping on God. The theist would go on to say that although God is not in everything He is omniscient as far as the creation is concerned and is therefore aware of the child stamping and in empathy with both the child and the ground.

All this is not academic, theological or philosophical hair splitting, for the consequences of believing one thing or the other are profound. If we are going to build a philosophical or theological edifice we need to be very certain of the rock upon which it is founded. To believe that all things unfurl of their own accord from nothing is to assume that man is capable of expanding his consciousness until he comes eventually as God, comprehending all — and that animals  expand their consciousness to become humans, plants likewise to become animals, even minerals to become plants.

This is a theory that is, in fact, held by many students of the occult, based on the monist philosophical assumptions of the East It has its superficial attraction as a logical sounding kind of arrangement. It takes in the ideas of human progress and general life evolution that were newly formulated and current in the nineteenth century, and it is hardly surprising that these ideas in occult form were first promulgated in the West in the late nineteenth century by the efforts of the newly formed Theosophical Society.

What Madame Blavatsky, its founder, did really was to take nineteenth-century materialist evolutionary theory as formulated by Darwin and stand it on its head as a spiritual evolutionary theory, in much the same way that
Marx had inverted the spiritual dialectic of Hegel to form the dialectical materialism of Marxism. Both Marxism and Theosophy have a great spurious appeal as seeming  to answer many questions by this agile topsy-turveydom. Unfortunately both are wrong — though this does not alter the fact that Marxism as a political philosophy came to dominate a third of the world and Theosophical monism  dominates  much  of modern occult thought.

It is not our task to try to judge why certain particular nineteenth-century philosophical ideas should retain such a hold into modern times, though in the case of oriental monism and occultism its influence spread because a whole generation of occult students sat at the feet of Madame Blavatsky and imbibed her principles  even if they later rejected some of the superstructure of her philosophy. They later taught others and so the basic assumptions spread — with various modifications to and arguments about the superstructure, but with the entire theological foundations  taken for granted and accepted unchallenged.

The whole Western occult tradition, which had followed an underground course for centuries, burst out into the open, only to be thoroughly mixed, swamped and diluted with Eastern ideas deriving from Hinduism and Buddhism. The true occult heritage of the West stems, however, along with the religion of the West, from Christian and Judaic tradition  — or rather from revealed as opposed to natural religion.

Gareth Knight, Experience of the Inner Worlds, The Sphere of Light

Sep 212010
 

The Card, “The Pope” puts us in the presence of the act of benediction. It is essential to have this in mind when one undertakes the interpretation not only of the structure of the whole Card but also of each of its particular elements.

One should therefore never lose from sight that in the first place it is a matter of benediction and everything associated with it – no matter who the Pope may be or who the acolytes kneeling before him are, and no matter what the two columns behind the Pope signify, and no matter what his tiara and the triple cross he is holding symbolise.

What is benediction? What is its source and its effect? Who has the authority to bestow benediction? What role does it play in the spiritual life of humanity?

Now, benediction is more than a simple good wish made for others; it is also more than a magical impress of personal thought and will upon others. It is the putting into action of divine power transcending the individual thought and will of the one who is blessed as well as the one who is pronouncing the blessing. In other words, it is a sacerdotal act.

The two sides of the Cabbala – the “right” side and the “left” side – and the two columns of the Sephiroth Tree, the pillar of Mercy and that of Severity, and similarly the two pillars of the Temple of Solomon, Jachin and Boaz, correspond exactly the the two columns of prayer and benediction on this Card. Because it is Severity which stimulates prayer and it is Mercy which blesses.

the venous “blue blood” of Boaz ascends and the arterial “red blood” of Jachin descends. The “red blood” bears the vivifying benediction of oxygen; the “blue blood” rids the organism of the “severity” of carbonic acid. It is the same in the spiritual life. Spiritual asphyxia menaces he who does not practise some form of prayer; he who practises it receives vivifying benediction in some form. The two columns therefore have an essentially practical significance – as practically spiritually as rerspiration is for the life of the organism.

Thus, the first practical teaching of the fifth Arcanum – for the Major Arcana of the Tarot are spiritual exercises – relates to spiritual respiration.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter V, The Pope

May 132010
 
Storm's River

Storm's River

Absorb thyself in this Great Sea of the Waters of Life
Dive deep in it until thou has lost thyself.
And having lost thyself,
Then shalt thou find thyself again,
And shalt be one with me,
Thy Lord and King.
Thus shalt thou learn the secret
Of the restoration of the King unto his throne.

And in this path of Stability
Shall my knowledge of the Roots of Being
Be united to the glorious Splendor
Of the perfect Knowledge
Which is established in the mirror
Of the clear waters of HOD.
For when the surface of those waters
Is disturbed by no slightest ripple of thought
Then shall the glory of my Self,
Which is thy true Self,
Be mirrored unto thee.

From the Book of Tokens