Saturday, December 30, 2006

Out Of Body Experiences How To Have Them And What To Expect

Out Of Body Experiences How To Have Them And What To Expect Cover

Book: Out Of Body Experiences How To Have Them And What To Expect by Robert Peterson

This book is about Out-of-Body Experiences, or "OBEs" for short. The OBE is also called Astral Projection in much of the literature. I'll use these terms interchangeably in this book. Simply put, an OBE is an experience in which you seem to be consciously apart from your physical body. This book is not a complete detailed discourse on the OBE; there are dozens of books on out-of-body experiences, with stories, theories, and good information. Rather, this book offers a new perspective on the OBE, based on the author's experience and point of view. My goal is not to reiterate the old theories, but to present new information based on what I've learned and provide tools to induce OBEs. A good word to describe an OBE is "Escapade," which has the same root as the word "Escape." According to the American Heritage Dictionary, an escapade is: An adventurous action that usually violates conventional standards of behavior. It's an escape from our bodies. It is adventurous. And it certainly violates conventional standards of behavior!

Most OBEs have common features. For instance, the subjects often see their own physical body during the experience, like any other object in the room. They usually report having "ghostly" bodies that can pass through solid objects during the experience. Sometimes their ghostly bodies are even seen by others! They also report floating or flying, and often report seeing places or events that were out of eyesight. There are many books about Out-of-Body Experiences with many different approaches, from scientific to the occult (see the bibliography for more information). Many of these books give the readers stern warnings against trying it themselves, for fear of: death, disease, possession, insanity, heart attack and even the fear of being mistaken for dead and buried alive! I'm writing this book to try to dispel some of these myths.

Download Robert Peterson's eBook: Out Of Body Experiences How To Have Them And What To Expect

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Germanic And Celtic Religions

Germanic And Celtic Religions Cover The only real differences between Germanic and Celtic religion seem to be the names by which the Gods are called. A viking of the tenth century would likely have felt quite comfortable in a Celtic ritual among the Gauls a thousand years earlier. Celtic religion deviates from the "Asatru norm" no more than do, for example, a priestess of Freya in Iceland and a warrior pledged to Wotan in Germany in Herman's time. Indeed, one is inclined to say that there is only "European religion" - and that the Germanic and Celtic beliefs are two expressions of it.

So what are the implications of all this? Well, it means that the Irishman need not feel out-of-place calling on Gods more often associated with Norway's fjords than the Emerald Isles hills and valleys. Ultimately all us Northfolk are spiritual as well as genetic kin.

Also Celtic-Germanic unity flies in the face of the sometimes-herard assertions that since Europeans often boast roots in different countries we're somehow mixed ancestry. How often have you heard someone say "I'm a Heinz 57 blend...part Irish, part Swedish, with some Englis h and German thrown in?" Clearly that's not mixed at all, because the Northern peoples are essentially one, in both their physical aspects and in their ancient relgiions. We musn't let people divided us on the basis of superficialities!

Thirdly, the catalog of our similarities measn we can use the one to fill gaps in our knowldge of the other.l As we reconstitute the tapestry of our ancient Asatru beliefs, there will be holes where the moths of time and persecution have done their work. But if we know the common pattern and how it's woven in the Celtic material, we can patch the holes with greater confidence.

Enough! All this scholarship makes thirsty work! I'm going to pour a fine bottle of Guiness into my mead horn, and toast all things Celtic/Nordic...Skoal, and Slainte, to you!

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Books And Links On Messianic Judaism

Books And Links On Messianic Judaism Cover
There have been an enormous number of books written about this topic. However, most seem to be now out of print. Some still available are:
- Michael Brown, "Answering Jewish objections to Jesus: General and historical objections," Baker Book House, (2000). You can read reviews and safely purchase this book from Amazon.com
- Shoshanah Feher, "Passing Over Easter: Constructing the boundaries of Messianic Judaism." Read a review or buy this book
- Ruth Rosen, "Testimonies of Jews who believe in Jesus," Purple Pomegranate Productions (1992). Read a review or buy this book
- Dan Cohn Sherbok, "Messianic Judaism: The first study of Messianic Judaism by a non-adherent," Continuum Pub. Grp, (2000). Read a review and/or buy this book (It isn't really the first such study).
- Ruth Tucker, "Not ashamed: The story of Jews for Jesus," Multnomah Publ., (2000). Read a review and/or buy this book

References:


1. "Messianic Jews," Religious Movements Homepage Project, at: http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/
2. Steve Heiliczer, "What is Messianic Judaism" at: http://www.execpc.com/~dwolfe/mjfaq.html
3. The Christian Jew Foundation has a web page at: http://www.cjf.org/ Their doctrinal statement at http://www.cjf.org/pages/aboutcjf.htm discusses Biblical inspiration, the Trinity, original sin, salvation and pre-millennialism.
4. "Why you need Messiah," Messianic Bureau International, at: http://www.messianic.com/articles/rescued.htm
5. Messianic Jewish Alliance of America has a home page at: http://www.mjaa.org/
6. "The rebirth of Messianic Judaism," an essay on the International Messianic Jewish Alliance's web site at: http://www.imja.com/rebrth.htm The IMJA publishes a magazine: Messianic Jewish Life.
7. International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues has a web site at: http://www.iamcs.org/
8. "The rebirth of Messianic Judaism," an essay on the International Messianic Jewish Alliance's web site at: http://www.imja.com/rebrth.htm The IMJA publishes a magazine: Messianic Jewish Life.
9. "What is Messianic Judaism?," at: http://www.baruchhashem.com/menus
10. "Answers to your Questions," Beth Emunah Messianic Synagogue, at: http://www.bethemunah.org/FAQ.htm

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Course Of Alchemy

Course Of Alchemy Cover

Book: Course Of Alchemy by Jose Luis Ramos

Dear student of Alchemy. The fact that you receive this unit it implies that you have assimilated the teachings of the previous one and overcome with success the test of corresponding evaluation. For it, I allow me to talk to you with the trust and the opening own among siblings of the sacred order of the Alchemy. Although you have not received the Initiation that, in an indelible way, it transforms you into a Philosopher by the Fire, when having discovered the
Initial Matter (true key to accede to the Work), have you learned the Philosophical Principles that govern our Road and have you manifested your determination of continuing, you have reached a knowledge that it have been denied along the
times to many investigators and erudites.

On the other hand, Internet is, at the present time, the Translation of the old medieval zoco, where there is of everything (good and bad) and anyone can enter and to expose its " goods ". The page of GAP is one more among so many others
which it mix the Alchemy with the Magic, the Astrology and all type of esoterisms (there are serious pages, but they are few...) and the possible visitors don't have trial elements to be able to appreciate the seriousness of our offer. Also, the net is full with places " free " and all that you gets paid, still that it is moderate, it always sounds to suspect...

For everything it, we reiterate our congratulation to you and we wish you a fortunate Road whose unavoidable difficulties have begun to overcome.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Writings Of Martin Buber

The Writings Of Martin Buber Cover

Book: The Writings Of Martin Buber by Will Herberg

The purpose of this book is to present, within the available
space, a selection of the writings of Martin Buber that will
communicate to the reader something of the power and relevance
of the thought of one of the most profound religious
philosophers of the century. Selection is no mechanical operation,
and the selection the auther has made more or less obviously reflects
his convictions as to what aspects of Buber's thinking are
of particular significance amidst the problems and perplexities
of our time. These convictions are made even more explicit
in the introductory essay, where exposition is supplemented by
an attempt at criticism and evaluation.
Selections are taken exclusively from Buber's writings already
available in English. The translations indicated in the sources
have been employed; although here and there, in the interests
of clarity, The author has permitted himself certain modifications upon
comparison with the original.
He desired to express his gratitude to Professor Buber for his
encouragement and for his approval of the selection I have
made, and to Maurice S. Friedman, for his advice and criticism.
Neither, of course, is in any way responsible for his interpretations
and conclusions, which are entirely his own.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Jainism Defined

Jainism Defined Cover
Jainism strives for the realization of the highest perfection of man, which in its original purity is free from all pain and the bondage of birth and death. The term Jain is derived from the Sanskrit jina, "conqueror," and implies conquest over this bondage imposed by the phenomenal world. Jainism does not consider it necessary to recognize a God or any being higher than the perfect man. Souls are beginningless and endless, eternally individual. It classes souls into three broad categories: those that are not yet evolved; those in the process of evolution and those that are liberated, free from rebirth. Jainism has strong monastic-ascetic leanings, even for householders. Its supreme ideal is ahimsa, equal kindness and reverence for all life. The Jain Agamas teach great reverence for all forms of life, strict codes of vegetarianism, asceticism, nonviolence even in self-defense, and opposition to war. Jainism is, above all, a religion of love and compassion.

FOUNDED: Jainism began about 2,500 years ago in India.
FOUNDER: Nataputra Vardhamana, known as Mahavira, "Great Hero."
MAJOR SCRIPTURES: The Jain Agamas and Siddhantas.
ADHERENTS: About six million, almost exclusively in Central and South India, especially in Mumbai.
SECTS: There are two sects. The Digambara ("Sky-clad") sect holds that a saint should own nothing, not even clothes, thus their practice of wearing only a loincloth. They believe that salvation in this birth is not possible for women. The Svetambara ("White-robed") sect disagrees with these points.

The soul passes through various stages of spiritual development, called gunasthanas, progressive manifestations of the innate faculties of knowledge and power accompanied by decreasing sinfulness and increasing purity. Souls attain better births according to the amount of personal karma they are able to eliminate during life. Between births, souls dwell in one of the seven hells, the sixteen heavens or fourteen celestial regions. Liberated souls abide at the top of the universe. All Jains take five vows, but it is the monk who practices celibacy and poverty. Jainism places great stress on ahimsa, asceticism, yoga and monasticism as the means of attainment. Temple pujas are performed to the twenty-four Tirthankaras or spiritual preceptors, literally "ford-makers," those who take others across the ocean of samsara.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Roots Of Jainism Religion

Roots Of Jainism Religion Cover The followers of this religion believe that its roots within India are even older than the Brahmanism (Hinduism) which they believe came with the people ( the Aryans ) migrating from other parts of the world (near the Caspian Sea ). The naked statues resembling the Jain monks amongst the remains of the Indus Valley Civilization, do substantiate some of the claims. However, there is no conclusive evidence that most of the concepts in Hinduism came from outside India. In fact, even the Aryan invasion theory has not yet been proven . In those days, people from other parts of the world came to India in a gradual manner. India offered milder climatic conditions and where, agriculture was better developed than several other places in the neighbouring countries. Gradually, these people adopted the life style prevalent in India and that is how, it is a country made up of different kinds of people and in real sense, it is a melting pot.
Jainism lays heavy emphasis on non-violence (ahimsa) and the believers of this religion, whether a monk or a householder, follow a very strict, well disciplined life. In fact, the householders are supposed to evolve to the monkhood in the later stages of life as was the case with the Hinduism in the Vedic era.

The first Tirthankar, Rishabhdev flourished prior to the Indus Valley Civilization and has been referred to as Lord Vishnu in the Puraanas. This name is also mentioned in the Vedas. This shows the inseparability of the two religions in the earlier times. His sons, Bharat and Bahubali (his 57 feet high statue at Shravanabelgo in Karnataka is quite famous) are well known in the Indian history.
The ancient Indian script, Braahmi, is believed to be named after his (Rishabhdev's) daughter. He was followed by 23 other Tirthankars who did not necessarily follow in a continuous manner, one after another. Their names are:
1. Rishabha
2. Ajita
3. Sambhava
4. Abhinandana
5. Sumati
6. Padmaprabha
The Jains believe that the Indus Valley
7. Supaarshva
Civilization flourished during the times
8. Chandraprabha
between the third and the ninth
9. Pushpadanta
Tirthankaras
10. Shitalnatha
The Aryans arrived into India
11. Shreyaamsha
12. Vaasupujya
13. Vimala
14. Ananta
15. Dharma
16. Shanti
17. Kuntha
18. Aara
19. Mallinaatha
The Aryanization of India complete
20. Munisuvrata
21. Nami
22. Nemi
23. Paarshvanath
24. Mahavira
The birth places of the 13th, 19 - 21, and 24th Tirthankaras were in Bihar ; and on the hills of Parasnath (Shikharjee), 20 out of 24 Tirthankaras obtained nirvana. Lord Mahavira obtained nirvana at Pawapuri in Bihar.

Magadha was the center of Jainism in the written history of India. Starting with Bimbisar, the kings of the Nanda dynasty and the early Maurya dynasty were believers of Jainism, according to the Jain literature.The Hindus consider them to be the believers in the Hinduism. Lord Mahavira gave his first sermon on the Vipula Peak at Rajgir. He was born at Vaishali in a noble family. They practised democracy in Vaishali, and some of the remains of the glories of those days, is still preserved in a museum there. It includes, potteries, coins, and other pieces of art. The 23rd and the 24th Tirthankaras had tremendous impact on Hinduism which had degenerated because of (a) the practice of the untouchability of the shudras, (b) the animal sacrifices in the yajnas, and (c) the dominance by the brahmin caste in the religious matters. Both these Tirthankaras were kshatrias and were princes. Lord Mahavira was given a name - Vardhamana, which means rising or growing, by his parents because the family saw its prosperity after his birth. They were strict followers of the 23rd Tirthankara who had lived around 250 years before Lord Mahavira. Vardhamana renounced the world at the age of 30, became ascetic and then spiritually advanced through the stages of Arhat to Kevalin or Jina (conqueror of the self). In the Pali Buddhist texts, he is referred to as the Niggantha Nataputta. After leaving home, for twelve years, he devoted himself to self discipline and practised severest penance and austerities. He preached for the next 30 years, i.e. until the age of 72 when he obtained nirvana. His first sermon was at Mount Vipula, one of the five hills surrounding Rajgir. His first disciple was Indrabhuti Gautama. The female ascetics of the order were headed by Chandana and the male laity, by Shrenika also called Bimbisara, the emperor of Magadha. In his teachings, women had equal role to play. They were not looked down upon.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Illustrated World Religions A Guide To Our Wisdom Traditions

The Illustrated World Religions A Guide To Our Wisdom Traditions Cover

Book: The Illustrated World Religions A Guide To Our Wisdom Traditions by Huston Smith

This book has deep respect for the wisdom traditions and Huston Smith has lived this. A practicing Methodist, Smith had discussions with the Vendanta Society, does Hatha Yoga, and prays five times a day like the Muslims. His perspective is not one looking for divisions within a religion, but as an outsider wanting to understand the experiences. For example, in discussing Islam, he talks about the Sufis, but not about the division between Sunnis and Shi'ites.

In lucid and captivating prose, Smith, the dean of world religionists, conducts readers on a whirlwind tour of the beliefs, practices and experiences of the world's religious traditions. Smith explores the major features of these religions by combining his own worlds with passages from the sacred texts of each. In addition, beautifully arresting images of icons, religious Practitioners, sacred texts and sacred art accompany Smith's lyrical writing. The words and images of this book continually remind us that the world's faiths are not stagnant pools of decaying values but dynamic and vibrant waters from which their practitioners daily drink. The book also brings within range of our American hearing the voices of a wide variety of people for whom religion is the central fact of social and cultural life. If one buys only one of the number of recent introductions to World Religions, this should be it.

This book is less about details, facts, and religious holidays, and more about the underlying meaning and unique insight of each religion. E.g., in discussing Hinduism he looks at "What people really want", about a wearing out of the material world. In the chapter of Judaism he discusses meaning in history and justice.

The illustrations complement the text with a symbolic sense of the culture and beliefs. Looking at a sculpture of a very sensual Shiva with consorts helps one realize that the Hindu view of pleasure may be different than your own. The Buddhist and Taoism paintings project a sense of peace. The photographs of the worshippers are very respectful.

Huston has obviously done a great deal of research in the area of World religions. This work is an interesting and informative guide to Understanding why people believe what they believe. In each section he gives a brief discussion of the history of each system of belief (for instance, he talks about Siddhartha's life in the section about Bhuddism). He then continues to discuss the main points, or fundamental beliefs, of each religion. In these discussions, Huston is concise and incredibly informative. Again, it's very obvious that he's done his homework. I found all of these sections very illuminating.

All of the major branches of religion are repressented here (both oriental and occidental thought). That doesn't necesarilly mean that all of the offshoots of any particular religion are repressented --that would probably lead to a much larger, more cumbersome work. With this in mind, Huston's book is an excellent source of information on the various world religions. I would recomend the book to anybody with an interest in religion. It is an excellent tool to help you understand the world, and is well worth the read.

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The Butterfly And The Buddha

The Butterfly And The Buddha Image
Once upon a time, someone found the chrysalis of a butterfly. Soon a small opening appeared. The person sat and watched the butterfly for hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole. Then it stopped unable to go any further.

Deciding to help the butterfly, a pair of scissors were used to snip off the end of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The person continued to watch it, expecting that at any moment the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body in flight. It did not happen. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around like a caterpillar. It was never able to fly.

What the person in kindness and haste did not understand: The butterfly's struggle to get through the restricting cocoon was a way of forcing the fluid from the body into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once it emerged.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. Going through life without obstacles to overcome would cripple us. We would not become as strong as we could nor fly as happily as we might. So if we struggle, rather than asking someone or something to remove everything we dislike, it will be to our benefit for a long time to come.

TEENAGE GIRL TO SAIL AROUND THE WORLD


Australian 16-year-old sailor Jessica Watson walks to her boat after a final shower on land as she prepares to depart... SYDNEY - She steered her bright pink yacht out of Sydney Harbor on Sunday to start her bid to become the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world. SLIDESHOW

While the author of this famous story is unknown, like any good tale, it has different levels of meaning. For meditation instructor Piya Tan, it has a profound connection to the Buddha's teaching on self-reliance in personal development.

BUDDHIST MEDITATION PARALLEL


Piya Tan (The Minding Centre, Singapore)For me the story of the butterfly is a powerful reminder of how Buddhist meditation gently allows us to evolve and grow in a cocoon of calm and stillness so that we can accept ourselves just as we are. This may sound simplistic, even trite. The point is, how many of us really accept ourselves as we really are? We do not even know ourselves.

How do we end up like the maimed butterfly? We maim ourselves emotionally. We stunt our spiritual growth when we measure ourselves against others, or when we blindly allow our lives to be dictated by others. When what controls us is outside ourselves, we do not have self-control. Our happiness and unhappiness are defined and decided by others. In other words, we can never be really happy as a choice.

We must constantly ask ourselves what we are thinking, or saying, or doing: "Am I happy doing this?" If we are, we must then ask, "Am I hurting myself doing this; am I hurting others; am I hurting the environment?" If "no" in all three counts, then that's fine. If there is even one "yes," we need to ask why, and adjust our actions accordingly.

On the other hand, when we ask, "Am I happy doing this?" And the answer is "no," we need to ask ourselves again, "Why so? Why am I not happy?"

Occasionally, try to visualize ourselves having achieved our life's goal (following the guidelines just listed). Then we work our way backwards: What must be done to attain this goal? What must we do before that, and so on, until we arrive where we are now. We are then better aware of what we need to do with our lives.

If we have done all we can, and things still do not seem to work our way, then we need to reflect on the butterfly story. We are still evolving in our karmic cocoon; let things be for a while. Do what needs to be done for the present. And keep asking ourselves: What do I do next? Don't think, just feel, be at peace with ourselves because we will hear the answer soon enough.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Power Of The Dharma An Introduction To Hinduism And Vedic Culture

The Power Of The Dharma An Introduction To Hinduism And Vedic Culture Cover

Book: The Power Of The Dharma An Introduction To Hinduism And Vedic Culture by Stephen Knapp

The Power of the Dharma: An Introduction to Hinduism and Vedic Culture offers a concise and easy-to-understand overview of the essential principles and customs of the Hindu tradition. It also provides many insights into the depth and value of the timeless wisdom of Vedic spirituality and reveals why the Dharmic path has survived for thousands of years.

Seems some have issues about what is lacking in here, or not in-depth or complete enough. I went ahead and chose this book anyway, as it was titled as an "Introduction", after my first visit to the Vedic Temple here. This book served my needs totally. I did not want right now to have a full comprehensive book, simply one that would explain many of the aspects of this, and an explantation of the celebrations and deities. This makes it easy to understand, clear, and not too much information as to lose you starting out. If this is your intent, buy the book.

Author Stephen Knapp reveals why the Dharma is presently enjoying a renaissance among an increasing number of people who want to explore its teachings and see what its many techniques of self-discovery have to offer. In The Power of the Dharma, you will find:

* quotes by noteworthy people on the unique qualities of Hinduism;
* essential principles of the Vedic spiritual path;
* particular traits, customs, and explanations of Hindu worship;
* descriptions of the main yoga systems;
* significance and legends of the colorful Hindu festivals;
* benefits of Ayurveda, Vastu, Vedic astrology, and gemology;
* important insights of Dharmic life and how to begin.

The Dharmic path can provide you the means for attaining your own spiritual realizations and experiences. This is the power of Dharma’s universal teachings which have something to offer everyone!

The Power of the Dharma: An Introduction to Hinduism and Vedic Culture is authentic and easy-to-understand. Stephen Knapp has been praticing vedic culture for more than 40 years and contributing significanlty to preserve and protect this highest knowledge that is universal. So, this is a practical book also. This book has truly inspired me and has brought some positive changes within me.
I read a lot of books on self help, personality development, leadership (all time best-sellers) and I've to tell you that to be honest they are all mundane. I'm already feeling that I wasted all these years looking into all other books except Vedic Knowledge. Anyway, I'm glad now that I've realized the value of it after a lot of research.

Stephen Knapp has studied the major Vedic texts of India and practiced yoga and the Eastern teachings for nearly forty years. He has traveled throughout India and has authored several well-received books on Vedic culture and regularly gives lectures. Knapp is also the president of the Vedic Friends Association.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Han Buddhism Development

Han Buddhism Development Cover Buddhism during the Han Dynasty was regarded as having its basis in magic in much the same way as Taoism and it first took root among members of the royal family and aristocracy. During the Three Kingdom Period Buddhism was studied as an independent subject. Luoyang in North China became a major center where there was a focus on the translation of the scriptures while in South China Buddhism thrived in a tolerant atmosphere.

The Jin Dynasty witnessed the popularization among ordinary people. In 401 Kumarajiva was invited to Chang'an from the Western Region that lay to the west to Yumenguan Pass and together with 3,000 scholars translated 74 sutras. Obviously, this was an event of great importance to spread of Buddhism.

During the Jin Dynasty a new class emerged; that of the scholar-bureaucrats. They brought together the established, popular metaphysics and Buddhist doctrines. In the north of China there were quite a few reputed monks while in the south many scholar-bureaucrats were well versed in Buddhism. The royal families were passionate toward Buddhism and granted monks and nuns considerable privileges. The number of temples mushroomed to 1768 and with them as many as 24,000 monks and nuns. Monks were to become a new class in China and Buddhism took a firm hold on the country.

Buddhism reached its zenith during the Sui and Tang Dynasties. Emperor Wen of Sui ordered the restoration of temples and statues of Buddha that had been destroyed during Northern Zhou. Tang Emperors claimed they were descendents of Lao Zi, the creator of Taoism and paid homage to Taoism but in practice they recognized the importance of Buddhism. An Institute was set up to translate Buddhist sutras in the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in the capital city of Chang'an (today's Xian). Xuan Zang was the most reputed monk at this time, and it was his journey to India that was the model for the Ming novel The Journey to the West (also known as the Monkey King).

Hui Neng (638-713), the sixth Patriarch of Zen Buddhism, should not be ignored. His famous verses, "Originally there was no Bodhi-tree, nor stand of a bright mirror. The mirror was originally clean and pure; where can it be stained by dust?" These words have otherwise been translated as: "The Tree of Perfect Wisdom was originally no tree. Nor had the bright mirror any frame. Buddha-nature is forever clear and pure. Where is there any dust?" These lines have become the first thing to pop into the mind when people think of Zen. In 730 Hui Neng's disciples won debates with other sects and Zen was strengthened in China. Zen was introduced to Korea in the 8th Century and to Japan at the end of the 12th Century.

Buddhism penetrated daily life and had a substantial impact in architecture, sculpture, painting, music and literature.

However, Buddhism was forbidden in 845 due to social and economical reasons. Over 4600 temples were demolished and 260, 500 monks and nuns were forced to give up their religion.

The combination of Buddhism and Confucianism led to the formation of Li Xue, the Confucian school of idealist philosophy of the Song and Ming dynasties. This tradition was inherited by the Qing Dynasty and Zen became synonymous with Han Buddhism.

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Peter De Abano - Heptameron Or Magical Elements
Rodolfo Amadeo Lanciani - Pagan And Christian Rome
Terry Findlay - Phronesis The Development Of Practical Wisdom

Sunday, November 5, 2006

The Mysterious Great Sage Buddha Statue

The Mysterious Great Sage Buddha Statue Image
Maha Muni: Great Sage Buddha statue being covered in gold leaf

There is a legend that once when the Buddha went to teach among the people of northern Burma, a local king requested him to leave an image of himself for the benefit of the people. Then, it is said, the Buddha sat for a week of meditation under a Bodhi tree while Sakka, the king of the "devas", created a life-like image of great beauty. Pleased with the image, the Buddha decided to imbue it with his spiritual essence for a period of five thousand years.

It is debatable, but according to ancient tradition, only five likenesses of the Buddha were said to have been made during his lifetime: two were in India, two in paradise (somewhere in space, the celestial world where Sakka holds sway), and the fifth is the "Maha Muni" ("Great Sage") statue.

Archaeologists believe the image was probably cast during the reign of King Chandra Surya (whose name is a combination of two heavenly bodies, the Moon and Sun), who ascended the throne in AD 146, more than 600 years after the Buddha actually passed away. Little is known of the "Maha Muni" over the next 1,500 years. It was stolen, moved around by various kings and was once buried beneath a crumbling temple in the jungle.

Brought to Mandalay in 1784 and placed within a specially built shrine, it is the most venerated Buddha image in all of Burma. The statue, 4 meters tall and originally cast in some baser metal, is now entirely coated in a two-inch thick layer of gold leaf. So much gold leaf has been applied by so many different hands that the figure has developed an irregular outline. Many thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine each day and a great festival in early February draws hundreds of thousands.

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Thursday, November 2, 2006

Grimoire Of Chaos Magick

Grimoire Of Chaos Magick Cover

Book: Grimoire Of Chaos Magick by Julian Wilde

The purpose of this book/manual is solely to aid the reader in his/her unfolding/developing/inner growth/individuation. This magickal process must inevitably be accompanied by some pain, doubt and disillusionment. We have endured
(but so far SURVIVED!) years of conditioning and repression and to break free from this protective but limiting shell is an act of courage and perhaps for some of us, an act of desperation.

Modern life, as lived by most of us, seems to conspire against our being 'awake'. The robotic self, originally evolved as a necessary/defensive element of human Consciousness, has now become almost too efficient, assuming more and more
authority and allowing us to sleep far more than is 'good' for us, for instance, to drive a car adequaely whilst engaged in conversation. Difficulties arise when the robot begins to operate where/when it is not necessary/appropriate, undermining free will and narrowing our choice of alternative attitudes/decisions/actions.

It is the author's sincere wish that this manual will be of help on your journey. All concepts/rituals/practiques/belief-patterns contained herein are presented as working models only, awaiting your personal touch to be Experiences, explored, understood, altered and ultimately transcended. The book may at first glance appear to contain much that is theoretical/conceptual and a lesser amount of hard, sharply-defined Practical work. This is not so - what you bring to the exercises by way or attitude/approach has great bearing on the ultimate results. It is perhaps worth repeating that the chaos-activity presented here is deliberately open-ended, purposely susceptible to adaption/transformation. This book is merely your ticket and programme for the great game - YOU are the main action...

Download Julian Wilde's eBook: Grimoire Of Chaos Magick

Books in PDF format to read:

Austin Osman Spare - The Zoetic Grimoire Of Zos
Medieval Grimoires - The Grimoire Of Honorius
Parker Torrence - The Craft Grimoire Of Eclectic Magic
Frater Fp - Pocket Guide To Chaos Magick
Julian Wilde - Grimoire Of Chaos Magick

Friday, October 27, 2006

Why Do We Exist Physics And Buddhism

Why Do We Exist Physics And Buddhism Image
Matter and antimatter phenomenology (xenomorphic.co.uk)

A Step Closer to Explaining our Existence


John Roach (Cosmic Log, MSNBC)

Why are we here? It remains one of the most perplexing unexplained mysteries of the universe. But particle physicists are gaining more confidence in a result from an atom smashing experiment that could be a step toward providing an answer: We exist because the universe is full of matter and not the opposite, so-called antimatter. When the Big Bang occurred, equal parts of both should have been created and immediately annihilated each other, leaving nothing leftover to build the stars, planets, and us. More

During insight meditation the body becomes transparent and particles become visible in the mind door (Buddhist-images.co.uk)

Why do "we" exist? (Buddhism answers)

Dharmachari Seven (Wisdom Quarterly)

Of course, ultimately speaking, we do not. That is what it means to say all conditioned things are impersonal (not self, anatta). What are "conditioned things"? They are the constituents of being, of clinging, of the delusion that things are self, permanent, or able to bring lasting satisfaction. It should be more obvious that there is a self. But what is the nature of that self?

Self, soul, ego, personality, "I" all refer to five functionally integrated components -- the physical and the psychological. The physical or material components of the self are the four characteristics of matter (called the Great Elements, mahabhuta). They further break down to what is called derived materiality* that make the sense organs, which are just configurations of the Four Great Elements. All of this is referred to as one group labelled "form."

The other Five Aggregates feel closer -- sensations, perceptions, mental formations (such as volition), and consciousness. They cling to the illusion of a "self" inDEPENDENT OF THEM, IN POSSESSION OF THEM, CONTROLLING THEM. THE SELF ORIGINATES DEPENDENT ON THEM. THE ILLUSION OF OUR ACTUAL EXISTENCE ARISES DEPENDENTLY ORIGINATED ON THE AGGREGATION OF THESE FIVE GROUPS OF FACTORS. THAT IS THE SELF (SOUL, ATTA, ATMAN, I, ME, MINE)! BUT WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THE SELF? LOOKED AT CLOSELY -- IN A PARTICLE PHYSICS LAB (IN THE CASE OF FORM AND KALAPAS) OR IN A MEDITATION HALL AFTER EMERGING FROM THE FOUR ABSORPTIONS (IN THE CASE OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND CITTAS) -- IT BECOMES PERFECTLY CLEAR THAT THEY ARE:

* RADICALLY IMPERMANENT (ARISING, TURNING, PASSING)
* unsatisfactory (disappointing, distressing, unpleasant)

* impersonal (not subject to control, following their own nature, not able to be clung to, dependent on karma, not self, not me, not mine, devoid of an owner and in that sense "empty").

It is completely incorrect to say we are "nothing." What we call a "self" is composed of many things. However, as with all "things," the composite is not what it seems.

Buddhist phenomenology, the "Five Aggregates of Clinging" (khandha)

UNDER THE PENETRATING ANALYSIS OF MEDITATION (FOR PURIFYING CONCENTRATION AND ANALYTICAL INSIGHT, JHANA AND VIPASSANA), EVEN FORM IS REVEALED. IN BUDDHIST PHYSICS, FORM IS SEEN AS KALAPAS ("PARTICLES OF PERCEPTION") AS EXPLAINED IN THE ABHIDHARMA. IN BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY, THE AGGREGATES OF SELF-AWARENESS ARE CALLED CITTAS (MIND MOMENTS, PROCESSES, consciousnesses, which make the most sense to me as being comparable to neuronal impulses, bearing in mind that there are neurons in the heart and throughout the gut as well as the spine, nerves innervating the body, and concentrating in the brainstem and cavity of the skull but in no way limited to the skull).

Why?

What is impelling the process, what causes the "self" to re-arise after passing away? Karma. This is not a guess. It is revealed by the insight-meditation practice of Dependent Origination, tracing back this life through the chain of causation, which the mind discovers is not in this life. It is not the same self -- which is passing away all the time -- but a self dependent past causes and present conditions.

Meditation (virtue, concentration, insight) is the key to realization.

Moral of the Story


All of this is directly, personally verifiable. We don't own a large hadron collider; yet, it is possible for the mind to be collected and intensified (through optimal-concentration, samma-samadhi) to discern kalapas. None of this is to be taken on faith. None of this is dogma. It is all experiential. And this is sure: If one does not make the effort to realize THE TRUTH (NOT "LEARN" IT OR "BELIEVE" BUT REALIZE IT FOR ONESELF), WHATEVER THE TRUTH IS, ONE WILL NOT BECOME ENLIGHTENED OR LIBERATED FROM IGNORANCE AND ILLUSION. WITHOUT LIBERATION, DISAPPOINTMENT IS CERTAIN (NOT EVENTUALLY BUT IN EVERY MOMENT).

Particle Physics


* That wily Higgs boson is running out of places to hide
* New subatomic particle: real or anomaly?
* Aging U.S. particle accelerator gets more time
* Seven smashing atom smashers

* Night vision contact lenses?

Buddhist Physics


* The Nature of Materiality (Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw)
* Mindfulness and Four Elements Meditation
* *What is "derived materiality"?
* The "Ultimate Teaching" (Abhidharma) on materiality

* The "divine eye" knows and sees (direct knowing)



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Enochian Temples Analysis Of The First Enochian Key

Enochian Temples Analysis Of The First Enochian Key Cover

Book: Enochian Temples Analysis Of The First Enochian Key by Benjamin Rowe

The following section fits into the "Symbols and Visualizations" section of Enochian Temples at point 3. It was deleted from the published version to save space.The First Enochian Key or Call is a recapitulation of the steps by which the creator of the system brought it into being. The Key follows the same macrocosmic-to-microcosmic progression used in the example consecration ritual, but then supplements this with a response from the microcosm directed at the macrocosm. Note that the description of the downward current contains seven significant phrases, suggesting the planets and sun, the macrocosm, while the description of the response contains five
significant phrases, suggesting the Four Elements and elemental spirit, the microcosm.

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Benjamin Rowe - Enochian Temples Analysis Of The First Enochian Key

Thursday, October 26, 2006

3 Enoch Or The Hebrew Book Of Enoch

3 Enoch Or The Hebrew Book Of Enoch Cover

Book: 3 Enoch Or The Hebrew Book Of Enoch by Hugo Odeberg

The writer owes profound gratitude to his teacher, Professor G. H. Box, of the University of London, without whose guidance, encouragement, generous Interest and helpful criticism the present work would never have been brought
into shape.

The Venerable the Archdeacon of Westminster, Dr R. H. Charles, has authorized the writer to give the present book the title "3 Enoch". The second and third parts of the book (Translation with Notes and Hebrew text with critical apparatus) are in the main identical with those of the writer's thesis for the Ph.D. degree. The Introduction, however, has been wholly revised and partly shortened. The revision has been approved by Professor Box, who has been kind enough to read through the Introduction in its final form.

The writer wishes to express his thanks to the readers of the Cambridge University Press for the care and trouble which they have taken with the correction of the proofs and for the valuable suggestions given by them. To the Senate of the University of London the writer is indebted for a grant of $100 out of the University of London Publication Fund, and to the Trustees of the Olaus Petri Stiftelse of the University of Upsala for a grant of the same amount towards the publication costs. HUGO ODEBERG Bjdrklinge, Sweden 15 February 1928

Download Hugo Odeberg's eBook: 3 Enoch Or The Hebrew Book Of Enoch

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Ralph Blum - The New Book Of Runes
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Hugo Odeberg - 3 Enoch Or The Hebrew Book Of Enoch

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Sin Of Witchcraft

The Sin Of Witchcraft Cover "Unfortunately, by the Bible's standards, many of the practices done by pagans dishonor Elohim. Again, I do believe this is using the Bible when and where convenient, while completely ignoring the rest."

I'm sure you would agree that we ALL do things from time to time that dishonor the Divine to some degree. A passage in the OT lists the sin of "witchcraft{" right up there with getting a tattoo and shaving or trimming a beard. The fact that most people today do not consider getting a tattoo or shaving a sin, seems to prove your statement about ignoring the parts of the Bible that are not convenient. I'm just curious ... do you feel that shaving dishonors Elohim too?

It would be very helpful if you would clarify exactly what behavior you mean when you say "many of the practices done by pagans dishonor Elohim". . In our previous posts we have already covered prophecy and fortune-telling, but quite honestly, very few of the Pagans or wiccans I know claim to do this anyway. MOST are drawn to these paths simply because of their love for nature and animals. They have a deep respect for our Mother Earth and all living things. Like Moses, John the Baptist and Jesus, they feel closer to God on a mountain top, in the wilderness or even in the desert, and they prefer to seek divine guidance in these places. I understand and share these feelings, and I'm fairly sure it's not this love for nature that you feel dishonors the Divine.

I honestly can't think of anything significant the average Pagan or wiccan does that Christians don't also do. When I began to follow the Wiccan path, I asked several Christians I knew to let me know if they caught me doing anything that the Bible said I shouldn't. So far, no one has identified ANY behavior in my life that is condemned by the Scriptures. You seem to feel that Wiccans and Pagans are living a sinful life. Perhaps you could clarify for me what practices we actually do that dishonors God.

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John Mitchell - The Philosophy Of Witchcraft
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The Treasure Of Treasures For Alchemists

The Treasure Of Treasures For Alchemists Cover

Book: The Treasure Of Treasures For Alchemists by Paracelsus

Nature begets a mineral in the bowels of the earth. There are two kinds of it, which are found in many districts of Europe. The best which has been offered to me, which also has been found genuine in experimentation, is externally in the figure of the greater world, and is in the eastern part of the sphere of the Sun. The other, in the Southern Star, is now in its first efflorescence. The bowels of the earth thrust this forth through its surface. It is found red in its first coagulation, and in it lie hid all the flowers and colours of the minerals. Much has been written about it by the philosophers, for it is of a cold and moist nature, and agrees with the element of water.

So far as relates to the knowledge of it and experiment with it, all the philosophers before me, though they have aimed at it with their missiles, have gone very wide of the mark. They believed that Mercury and Sulphur were the mother of all metals, never even dreaming of making mention meanwhile of a third; and yet when the water is separated from it by Spagyric Art the truth is plainly revealed, though it was unknown to Galen or to Avicenna. But if, for the sake of our excellent physicians, we had to describe only the name, the composition; the dissolution, and coagulation, as in the beginning of the world Nature proceeds with all growing things, a whole year would scarcely suffice me, and, in order to explain these things, not even the skins of numerous cows would be adequate.

Now, I assert that in this mineral are found three principles, which are Mercury, Sulphur, and the Mineral Water which has served to naturally coagulate it. Spagyric science is able to extract this last from its proper juice when it is not altogether matured, in the middle of the autumn, just like a pear from a tree. The tree potentially contains the pear. If the Celestial Stars and Nature agree , the tree first of all puts forth shoots in the month of March; then it thrusts out buds, and when these open the flower appears, and so on in due order until in autumn the pear grows ripe. So is it with the minerals. These are born, in like manner, in the bowels of the earth. Let the Alchemists who are seeking the Treasure of Treasures carefully note this. I will shew them the way, its beginning, its middle, and its end. In the following treatise I will describe the proper Water, the proper Sulphur, and the proper Balm thereof. By means of these three the resolution and composition are coagulated into one.

Download Paracelsus's eBook: The Treasure Of Treasures For Alchemists

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Hinduism Defined

Hinduism Defined Cover Hinduism is a vast and profound religion. It worships one Supreme Reality (called by many names) and teaches that all souls ultimately realize Truth. There is no eternal hell, no damnation. It accepts all genuine spiritual paths -- from pure monism ("God alone exists") to theistic dualism ("When shall I know His Grace?"). Each soul is free to find his own way, whether by devotion, austerity, meditation (yoga) or selfless service. Stress is placed on temple worship, scripture and the guru-disciple tradition. Festivals, pilgrimage, chanting of holy hymns and home worship are dynamic practices. Love, nonviolence, good conduct and the law of dharma define the Hindu path. Hinduism explains that the soul reincarnates until all karmas are resolved and God Realization is attained. The magnificent holy temples, the peaceful piety of the Hindu home, the subtle Metaphysics and the science of yoga all play their part. Hinduism is a mystical religion, leading the devotee to personally experience the Truth within, finally reaching the pinnacle of Consciousness where man and God are one.

FOUNDED: Hinduism, the world's oldest religion, has no beginning -- it predates recorded history.
FOUNDER: Hinduism has no human founder.
MAJOR Scriptures: The Vedas, Agamas and more.
ADHERENTS: Nearly one billion, mostly in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Indian Ocean, Africa, Europe and North and South America.
SECTS: There are four main denominations: Saivism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism and Smartism.

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Max Heindel - Teachings Of An Initiate
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Charlotte Fell Smith - John Dee

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Buddha And King Pasenadi Of India

The Buddha And King Pasenadi Of India Image

KING PASENADI LEARNS THE PAIN OF ATTACHMENT

King Pasenadi ruled in KOSALA, which was a province north of MAGADHA -- where the Buddha lived -- ruled by KING BIMBISARA. The capital of the kingdom of Kosala was SAVATTHI), where the Buddha frequently visited as a wandering teacher in northern India.

One of King Pasenadi's sisters was the chief queen of King Bimbisara, which made him the brother-in-law of King Bimbisara.

King Pasenadi became a follower of the Buddha very early on and remained a loyal supporter. His chief queen was Mallika, a wise and spiritual queen who was well versed in the Dharma and acted as the king's guide on several occasions.

Although raised far to the west (ancient Gandhara, modern Afghanistan), the Buddha mainly taught in northern India around Magadha.

The first time the king met the Buddha, he asked, "How is it that Master Gautama claims he has gained full enlightenment? Master Gautama is both young in years and young as a renunciate."

The Buddha replied, "Great King, there are four things that should not be looked down on or despised because they are young:

* noble warrior (KSHSTRIYA)
* serpent ("naga", a simple snake or a reptilian shape-shifter)
* fire, and a
* monastic ("bhikkhu").

An enraged young warrior may ruthlessly cause harm to others. The bite of even a small snake may kill. A little fire may become a huge inferno that destroys building and forests. Even a young monastic may be a saint [fully enlightened]."

Hearing this, King Pasenadi understood that the Buddha was indeed a wise teacher and decided to become his follower.

Ancient India extended west to modern Iran. Evidence shows the Buddha's hometown, Kapilavastu, was near modern Bamiyan and Kabul, whereas Lumbini was in the province of Baluchestan (S.E. Iran, S.W. Afghanistan, W. Pakistan). See ranajitpal.com

The king liked going to the Buddha to seek advice. During his official duties, he often found time to visit and speak to the Buddha.

When discoursing with the Buddha one day, he received news that Queen Mallika had given birth to a daughter. The king was not pleased with the news because he had been longing for a son.

The Buddha spoke in praise of women. He reminded the king: "Some women are better than men, O king. There are women who are wise and good, who regard their mothers-in-law as goddesses and are pure in thought, word, and deed. They may one day give birth to brave sons who would rule a country."

The king remembered then once hearing the Buddha say, "It is the dear ones whom we love [with deluded attachment] that bring us [through whom we bring ourselves] sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief, and despair."

The king asked Queen Mallika whether she agreed with the Buddha. She said that if the Buddha had said so, it must be true. But the king was not satisfied. "How can a "loved" one bring sorrow?" he wondered.

Queen Mallika approached a brahmin to ask the Buddha to explain this. Having heard many stories to explain the problem, the brahmin related them to the queen. She then quizzed the king: "Sire, what is your opinion, is your daughter Princess Vajira dear to you?"

"Yes, Mallika, she is very dear to me," answered the king.

"If some misfortune were to befall Princess Vajira, would that bring sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief, and despair?"

"Yes," answered the king.

"Sire, it was because of this that the Buddha said that it is dear ones whom we love that bring sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief, and despair."

"Mallika," exclaimed the king, "It is wonderful! It is marvelous! How far the Enlightened One sees with understanding."

When the king later lost a battle to his nephew (King Bimbisara's patricidal son) and had to retreat to his capital of Savatthi, the Buddha commented to his disciples that neither the victor nor the defeated experience peace:

"Victory breeds hatred.

The defeated live in pain.

Happily the peaceful live,

Giving up victory and defeat.
"

Later there was another battle. The two kings fought again and King Pasenadi won. Moreover, he captured King Ajatasattu, his nephew, alive with all his war elephants, chariots, horses, and soldiers.

The king thought that he might release the young king but keep his elephants, horses, and men. He wanted the satisfaction of keeping these material possessions as the prizes of victory.

On hearing his, the Buddha told his disciples that it would have been wiser for King Pasenadi not to have kept anything for himself. The truth of this statement applies even to our modern war-weary world:

"A man may plunder, as he will.

When others plunder in return,

He who is plundered will plunder in return.

The Wheel of Karma turns round


and makes the ones who are plundered plunderers.
"

King Pasenadi of Kosala passed away at 80 when his son, Prince Vidudabha [as in THE TRAGIC CASE of King Bimbisara, a stream enterer, when he was overthrown by his treacherous patricidal son Prince Ajatasattu], revolted against him.

Then as now, wandering yogis are regarded as "saints" in India (Vitor E. Santos/Flickr).

THE KING LEARNS TO ASSESS CHARACTER


One evening, when King Pasenadi was having a discussion with the Buddha, there passed on the road a wandering band of yogis with long knotted hair, hairy bodies, and long fingernails.

They walked by slowly, with heads bowed. At once the king got up, approached them, and knelt down in homage, uttering his own name three times.

The king came back to the Buddha and said, "Venerable sir, there were saints among those ascetics. Just see how calmly they walked with heads bent low."With his divine eye faculty the Buddha saw that those men were not saints, not even yogis, but spies who were sent out to gather information.

"Your majesty," explained the Buddha, "by mere appearances alone it is not possible for one who leads a life of comfort and sensual pleasure to know the real nature of another.

If we want to understand a people's real nature, their good and bad qualities, we must associate with them for some time. We must be wise and develop sharpness of mind."

"We can know people's purity by conversing with them, observing their courage in the face of misfortune, and even understand their level of wisdom during discussions with them. Bad people, O king, sometimes pretend to be good, and it is difficult for you to judge their moral character."

* THE SIXTEEN DREAMS OF KING PASENADI (PDF)
* VIDEO: KNOBBY BIGFOOT FILMED CROSSING ROAD
* INDIAN CITY IRRADIATED BY NUCLEAR BLAST 8K YEARS AGO

There is ample evidence of ETs ("devas, asuras, nagas, kinnaras"), UFOs ("vimanas"), and even nuclear weapons in the long history of ancient India, including ancient Buddhist texts that frequently mention cosmology.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Masonic Symbolism

Masonic Symbolism Cover

Book: Masonic Symbolism by Pansophic Freemasons

This course of study is a guide to help the applicant to prepare for Initiation as an Entered Apprentice. Before Initiation, he or she must provide brief and correct written responses to the questions found at the end of this introduction. These comprise a basic orientation to Freemasonry in general. The answers must be typed and may be submitted to the Sponsoring Master, Secretary, or other designated official of the Initiating Lodge on paper or by electronic media. They will be duly examined and graded for accuracy by the Sponsoring Master. The applicant must achieve an accuracy of at least 90% and must satisfy the Mentor that he or she has gained a correct understanding of the questions missed before being approved for Initiation.

Download Pansophic Freemasons's eBook: Masonic Symbolism

Books in PDF format to read:

Reynold Nicholson - The Mystics Of Islam
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Pansophic Freemasons - Masonic Symbolism

Friday, October 20, 2006

Psilocybin Magic Mushroom Growers Guide

Psilocybin Magic Mushroom Growers Guide Cover

Book: Psilocybin Magic Mushroom Growers Guide by Ot Oss

This book is respectfully dedicated to R. Gordon Wasson and Albert Hofmann, whose investigations of the botany and chemistry of the magic mushroom brought psilocybin to the world. The publisher does not advocate the breaking of the
law. The material herein is presented as information which should be available to the public.


Download Ot Oss's eBook: Psilocybin Magic Mushroom Growers Guide

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