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

Aug 092010
 

When they reached the house of t he west wind, the east wind said that the girl he had brought with him was destined for the prince who lived in the castle east of the sun and west of the moon. She had set out to find him, and he had brought her this far and would be glad to know if the west wind knew how to get to the castle.

“No”, said the west wind. “I’ve never blown that far. But if you want, I’ll go with you to our brother the south wind, for he’s much more powerful than either of us, and he has blown far and wide. Maybe he’ll be able to tell you. Climb on my back, and I’ll take you to him.” Yes, she climbed on his back, and they traveled to the south wind, and I think it didn’t take them very long at all.

When they got there, the west wind asked if the south wind knew the way to the castle that lay east of the sun and west of the moon, for the girl with him was destined for the prince who lived there. “Is that so?” said the south wind. “Is she the one? Well, I have visited plenty of places in my time, but I have never yet blown over there.

“If you want, I’ll take you to my brother the north wind; he is the oldest and most powerful of us all. If he doesn’t know where it is, you’ll never find anyone in the world who will know. Climb on my back, and I’ll take you there.” Yes, she climbed on his back, and off he went at a good clip.

They did not have to travel far. When they reached the house of the north wind, he was so fierce and cantankerous that he blew cold gusts at them from a long way off. “Blast you both, what do you want?” he roared from afar, and they both felt an icy shiver. ” Well,” said the south wind, “you don’t need to bluster so loudly, for I am  your brother, the south wind, and here is the girl who is destined for the prince who lives in the castle that lies east of the sun and west of the moon. She wants to know whether you were ever there and whether you can show her the way, for she so much wants to find the prince again.”

“Yes, I know where he is,” the  north wind said, “Once I blew an aspen leaf over there, but afterward I was so tired that I couldn’t blow  single gust for many days. If you really want to go there and aren’t afraid to come along with me, I’ll take you on my back and see if I can blow you over there.” Yes, with all her heart, she wanted to go and had to get there if it was at all possible. And she would not be afraid, no matter how wild the ride.”

East of the Sun, West of the Moon, Asbornsen and Moe

Aug 072010
 

The spiritual revelation recorded in the seventh chapter of the Book of Daniel affords us what we need for our task. In that chapter, the karma of evil is boldly outlined. The delineation begins with the picture of “the four winds of heaven [that] strove upon the great sea” (Daniel 7:2).

This figure shows us the cosmic scene of the conflict between good and evil. Space – with its four cardinal points of north, south, east, west – is neither one of the three abstract categories of Kantian philosophy, nor is it merely the distance that must be covered to reach some particular point; it is an ocean of forces at rest, set in motion by four active forces. These four active forces are the spiritual influences within the elemental world – the “winds” that cover the elemental world.

The currents caused by the four “winds” in the elemental world give rise to the four elements, which are impregnated by the four realms of elemental beings (salamanders, sylphs, undines and gnomes). These four groups of elemental beings are simply the lowest expression of the “four winds”. Their origin is rooted in the eternal Trinity, from which issue the cosmic impulses called ‘north’, ‘south’, ‘east’ and ‘west’. The Father being works through the cosmic impulses of north and south’ the Son and the Holy Spirit are active in the impulses of east and west.

When these impulses work together, cosmic good results; when the “four winds” work against one another, the result is cosmic evil. This is why the description of Daniel’s night vision begins with this image: “The four winds of the heaven strove.” These winds striving against one another are the four currents of cosmic evil. They are not controlled from Heaven, but from the depths of the ‘sea’; their origin must be sought in the “four….beasts” that appear out of the depth of the sea:”And  four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse from one another” (Daniel 7:3).

Christ and Sophia, Valentin Tomberg

Jul 172010
 

I collected my small portion of rice and went to sit with the others, who at that moment were eating in sombre silence whilst seated at long trestle tables in the open-air canteen.  The scenery was not at all unpleasant and I wondered why everybody seemed so glum and grey. Our dining area was in the middle of quite a stunning panorama – long, gently rolling fields that stretched for miles to the East and West, low hills to the North and a lightly forested region some distance South.  It was a clear sunny day that felt like Spring.

I ate quietly for some moments, thinking nothing in particular, when I heard a faint but unmistakable humming sound emanating from beyond the Northern hills.  As the noise grew loud enough for them to perceive, my dining companions leapt from their seats and began running wildly in all directions – evidently looking for places to hide – for many of them took refuge under the tables, in the absence of any other form of shelter.  This was desperate too and I wondered what on Earth was going on.  Looking up into the sky, things suddenly became clearer – approaching like a poisonous fly was what looked to be a World War II aircraft. Everyone seemed to think it was about to bomb us.

I looked around in hopeless dismay, wondering what we were supposed to do – we were so exposed we wouldn’t stand a chance if the pilot picked us out for destruction.  I looked up again, willing him to go away, and by some extraordinary stroke of luck, the plane passed right over our heads in the direction of the forest and disappeared from both view and audible location. For the first time I heard voices of hopeful animation from the others, as they came out from their hiding places in evident relief. 

But then – to our helpless terror – we heard the noise once again, this time bearing down with renewed vigour from the Southern forests that may have been our only chance of survival – had we only the time to reach them.  As the plane passed by from the other side at lightening speed, I looked up just in time to see and actual bomb dropping out of the sky, literally, right above my head.

Nothing more or less than a split second later I was engulfed by a terrible and blinding white light and white heat, and the only things I could see around me were a few melting shadows of other people, flailing round as if in slow motion.  The horror was totally unbearable – with dreadful livid certainty I felt the skin melt from my body and heard the shriek of my dying body as if it were already metres away from where I actually stood.

No more was possible, I staggered blindly once again, finding no plausible direction in which to turn, and just as the end drew near I heard the voice whispering once again: “Do not be afraid, you will not remember this, you will not remember this pain, this pain is only in the flesh”.

Small mercy, but still I was grateful for this pure voice of hope, slender as a feather in the wind, strong as the wings of a dove, obliterating all sensation, annihilating my last grip on mortality.

Jun 082010
 

When he first looked upon the world and wondered how best it should be ordered, Zeus released the Eagles of East and West, bidding each to fly around the Earth in his own direction.

The birds were reunited at this place and Zeus set down a sacred white stone, to mark it forever as the centre of the planet. The first shrine was created around this stone and from that moment onward, Zeus’s son Apollo, keeper of the sun, began relaying the will of his father to those who came here.

She stands within the fourth Apollonian Temple to have been built here, which has undergone extensive and ongoing repair works following the War that almost destroyed it.

The first Temple was much smaller than the present building and constructed from branches of Thessaly’s sacred laurel trees, while the next was created by bees of wax and feathers, designed to bridge the gap between Earth and the underworld.

Bees make the journey to and from Hades as a matter of course and the secrets they retrieve therein are for the golden ears of Apollo and his twin sister Artemis, the virgin huntress, keeper of the moon.

The third temple was a great bronze edifice, which stood for many years before the heat of the Sun God melted it back into the Earth. The fourth was built before she took up her office and the fifth shall be put on its foundations when she has left for the Elysium Fields.