Sunday, May 27, 2007

Anima Astrologiae Or A Guide For Astrologers

Anima Astrologiae Or A Guide For Astrologers Cover

Book: Anima Astrologiae Or A Guide For Astrologers by William Lilly

We have formerly some thoughts of revising our Introduction to Astrology, now out of print, and to have enriched it from another edition with the choicest aphorisms, both from the writings of the ancients and our own many years’ experience, but the laboriousness of that work, considering our age and many infirmities of body, with the discouragements we have already me with from some ungrateful persons, caused us to lay aside (at least for the present) those intentions.

Yet that we might not be wholly wanting to promote anything that might tend to the advancement of Art and gratification of its painful students, and knowing how necessary the ensuing Considerations of Guido Bonatus and Aphorisms adjoined, are to be known and regarded, which many of our ingenious countrymen could not do, for they have hitherto remained in the Latin tongue with the rest of the works of these authors in large volumes, difficult to be got at and too chargeable for man to buy, we therefore recommend them to a friend to be translated by themselves, which he has judiciously performed in plain significant language, so that we judge the work may deserve the title Anima Astrologiae which we have given it, comprehending the marrow and substance of Astrology, and much excellent matter necessary to be observed by all honest students that practice Art to discover truth and not to vapour with.

We doubt not but the legitimate Sons and well-wishers of Urania will find considerable advantages from hence, directing them to a certainty in giving judgments upon all occasions, and they will for this publication have cause to thank their old friend. William Lilly Walton-upon-Thames, 2 August, 1675.

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Dark Night Of The Soul

Dark Night Of The Soul Cover

Book: Dark Night Of The Soul by Saint John Of The Cross

It is perhaps not an exaggeration to say that the verse and prose works combined of St. John of the Cross form at once the most grandiose and the most melodious spiritual canticle to which any one man has ever given utterance. The most sublime of all the Spanish mystics, he soars aloft on the wings of Divine love to heights known to hardly any of them. . . . True to the character of his thought, his style is always forceful and energetic, even to a fault. When we study his treatises—principally that great composite work known as the Ascent of Mount Carmel and the Dark Night—we have the impression of a mastermind that has scaled the heights of mystical science;and from their summit looks down upon and dominates the plain below and the paths leading upward. Nowhere else, again, is he quite so appealingly human; for, though he is human even in his loftiest and sublimest passages, his intermingling of philosophy with mystical theology; makes him seem particularly so. These treatises are a wonderful illustration of the Theological truth that graced far from destroying nature, ennobles and dignifies it, and of the agreement always found between the natural and the supernatural—between the Principles of sound reason and the sublimest manifestations of Divine grace. E. ALLISON PEERS

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Saint John Of The Cross - Dark Night Of The Soul

Friday, May 25, 2007

Shaman Saiva And Sufi

Shaman Saiva And Sufi Cover

Book: Shaman Saiva And Sufi by Ro Winstedt

THis book is the outcome of a close study of the language and beliefs of the Malays during a period of residence in the Malay Peninsula that has now reached twenty?two years. Its object is to unravel a complex system of magic in the light of historical and Comparative data. By itself this system is a tangle every thread of which scholars working in Europe are led to term Malay, although even the native distinguishes this thread as Indian and that as Muslim. Chapters i.?iv. deal with the Malay's evolution from animist to Muslim; chapters v. and vi. with his animism; chapters vii. and viii. with his shamanism; chapter ix. with rites largely infected with Hindu magic; and chapters x. and xi. with Muslim accretions. Like all writers on this subject I am indebted to the classical works of Tylor, Frazer, and Jevons, and particularly to the articles by specialists on the magic of different races and faith in Hastings' Encyclopaedia
of Religion and Ethics. Working far away from an adequate library, I have found this Encyclopaedia of incalculable value.

Chapters iv., vi. and viii. are based almost entirely on manuscripts written down for me by Malays and checked by my own observation. The chapter on "Magician and Muslim" is founded on Malay lithographed texts and on a Manuscript magic religious treatise obtained by Dr. Gimlette in Kelantan and kindly lent by him to me. The same manuscript and an old Perak court charm book have been used for the chapters on "The Malay Charm" and "Magician and Mystic." Papers on Malay charms, on birth and marriage ceremonies, on the ritual of the rice field and the ritual of propitiating the spirits of a district have appeared from my pen in the Journal of the Federated Malay States Museums, and should be in the hands of those who wish to study original sources and vernacular terms. I owe a debt to the authors of many articles printed in the Straits (now Malayan) Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, to Dr. Gimlette's Malay Poisons and Charms, to Fasciculi Malayenses by Messrs. Annandale & Robinson, and above all to that assiduous collector, Mr. W. W. Skeat, the author of Malay Magic. Not to burden my pages with footnotes I give detailed References and authorities for each chapter in an appendix. I would remind Malay readers that every race has its lumber room of magical beliefs and practices, and many such survivals are gracious and beautiful and full of historical interest. It is to be hoped that the rapid influx of modern ideas will not wash away too many of the landmarks of their complex and ancient civilisation.

I have to thank Mr. C. O. Blagden, Reader in Malay at the School of Oriental Studies, London, and Che' Zainal Abidin bin Ahmad of the Sultan Idris College, Perak, for reading this work in manuscript; the former has made many useful suggestions and the latter given me valuable material. SINGAPORE,1924.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Comparison Of Buddhism With Christianity

Comparison Of Buddhism With Christianity Cover
Since so many American adults are converting from Christianity to Buddhism, it may be useful to compare the two.

We define as "Christian" any person or group who thoughtfully, sincerely, prayerfully regard themselves as Christian. This is the definition that pollsters and the census offices of many countries use. It includes as Christians the full range of faith groups who consider themselves to be Christians, including Assemblies of God members, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, United Church members, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, etc. Many Christians have a much less inclusive definition of the term "Christian" and specifically exclude many faith groups from this list.

Beliefs not shared:

Buddhists do not share most of the core beliefs of historical Christianity and many of the less critical beliefs accepted by some Christians. Buddhism does not teach:

- An original golden era in the Garden of Eden, and a subsequent fall of humanity.
- Original sin shared by all present-day humans, derived from Adam and Eve.
- A world-wide flood in the time of Noah, causing the greatest human genocide in history.
- The need for a sinless personal savior whose execution enabled individual salvation through atonement.
- A god-man savior who was born of a virgin, executed, resurrected and ascended to heaven.
- Salvation achieved:
- Through good works (a common liberal Christian belief) or
- Specific beliefs (as in repenting of one's sin and trusting Jesus as Lord and savior as taught by many conservative Protestant faith groups) or
- Sacraments (as baptism within the Roman Catholic Church, followed by confession later in life).
- Life after death: Almost all religions teach that a person's personality continues after death. In fact, many religious historians believe that this belief was the prime reason that originally motivated people to create religions. Christianity and Buddhism conceive of life after death in very different forms:
- Buddhism teaches that humans are trapped in a repetitive cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. Each successive rebirth may be into a better, a worse life, or a similar life, depending upon the person's Karma -- the sins and merits that have accumulated during their present and previous lives. One's goal is to escape from this cycle and reach Nirvana. Once this is attained, the mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. Suffering ends because desire and craving -- the causes of suffering -- are no more.
- Christianity has historically taught that everyone has only a single life on earth. After death, one's beliefs and/or actions are evaluated in the Final Judgment. An eternal life awaits everyone. Depending on the judgment, it will be either in Heaven or Hell. There is no suffering in Heaven; only joy. Torture is eternal without any hope of cessation for the inhabitants of Hell.
- Return of a savior to earth at some time in the future.
- An end of the world as we know it, in the near future.
- The belief that their religion will continue forever. Most Christians believe that Christians will increase in numbers until essentially the entire world is of this one faith. Some Buddhists believe in Miroku, the "future Buddha." They expect that Buddhism will eventually fade from the scene. This belief is compatible with their principle that all objects, religions, etc. are impermanent. However, they expect that at some future time in the future, another person will attain Buddhahood -- the state of perfect enlightenment -- and will recreate a religion similar to Buddhism.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Book Of Gates Vol Ii

The Book Of Gates Vol Ii Cover

Book: The Book Of Gates Vol Ii by Ea Wallis Budge

The Book of Gates is an Ancient Egyptian cosmological treatise describing the architecture and inhabitants of the Tuat, the underworld which the boat of the Sun God, Ra, traverses during the night hours. This is the second volume of the three volume Budge series which deals with the books of the Underworld, the Egyptian Heaven and Hell . It also includes a short summary of the Book of Am-Tuat, the longer version of which comprises the first volume.

THIS volume is the second of a series of three volumes which treat of the Egyptian Heaven and Hell. It contains the complete hieroglyphic text of the Summary, or short form of the BOOK AM-TUAT, and the complete hieroglyphic text of the BOOK OF GATES, with translations and reproductions of all the illustrations. A series of Chapters dealing with the origin and contents of Books of the Other World, with prefatory remarks, and a full index to the whole work, will be found in the third volume.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Journal Of Experimental Spirituality

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Book: Journal Of Experimental Spirituality by Ashe

At first glance, this issue may appear to be a departure from our previous offerings. William S. Burroughs has long been and continues to be, though somewhat softened by time, a controversial figure. His life and theories remain kewl and are still discovered by successive younger generations. To a large extent Burroughs is talked about but not discussed. He has become another larger than life pop icon—all be it one that retains the potential to be both edgy and disruptive. Key quotes and his larger theoretical constructs are discussed in academic, literate and specialized circles. Few, however, actually peer beneath the hood and attempt to figure out the moving parts in his engine of genius. Even fewer have looked at his theories in a spiritual, or more appropriately a magical, context. At the center of his work, especially from The Wild Boys forward, is a grappling with his reality of a magical universe populated by diverse gods and multiple zones beyond the control of the terrestrial material world.

Would it surprise one that Burroughs wrote often of drugs, control systems and communication? Probably not. Would it surprise the casual fan that he believed in a magical universe, felt affinity with the Egyptian notion of seven souls and was an initiated Chaos magician at the time of his death? Quite possibly. Burroughs’ later writing is infused with complex episodes and examinations of the magical universe, the importance of dream space, the travels of the soul after death and the power of magick. His characters conduct postmodern rituals from the wild boy tribes’ unigenesis to his hard-boiled detective’s occult investigative techniques. Sometimes spiritual gnosis is a lambent flame warming the seeker with the careful time-honed glow of wisdom and sometimes spiritual metamorphosis is a blast furnace reducing the old to ash. Much of the work contained in this feature would fit the latter more than the former. Some may find portions of this material disturbing or offensive. There is currently a notion circulating in scientific research circles that high risk holds the potential for high gain. There are those who have reached the determination that the
same holds true for experimental spirituality as well. Prem, Sven

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Goals Of Christianity

The Goals Of Christianity Cover
The goal of Christianity is eternal life with God in heaven, a perfect existence in which God's glory and bliss are shared. It is also a personal life, enjoyed differently by souls according to the amount of grace achieved in life.

Man's plight is caused by disobedience to God's will. Man needs redemption from the forces which would enslave and destroy him -- fear, selfishness, hopelessness, desire and the supernatural forces of the Devil, sin and death against which he is powerless. His salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ, that is, in acceptance of Jesus' resurrection from the dead as proof of God's power over the forces of sin and death. The good Christian lives a life of virtue and obedience to God out of gratitude to God for sacrificing Jesus for the sins of all who come to accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. Jesus is to return again to judge the world and bring God's rule to the Earth. Through following the law of God as found in the Holy Bible and through God's grace, man attains salvation. Those who do not achieve this blessedness are, after death, consigned to a hell of eternal suffering and damnation.

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Monday, May 7, 2007

Taoism And Confucianism

Taoism And Confucianism Cover Taoism's relation to Confucianism--the dominating influence behind the system of social norms, upheld by the central government, maintained by the local officers, supported by the literati, and transmitted through education--has been complex. Classical Confucianism focuses on the social aspects of human life. Taoism is by no means uninterested in these issues, but its views are based on different grounds. Despite this, and with exceptions with respect to Neo-Confucianism, the contrast between Taoism and Confucianism has not primarily involved their philosophical views (the respective claims in this respect were known and quietly acknowledged by both), but their religious aspects. As Anna Seidel has noted (1997, pp. 39-41), although Taoism is the higher form of Chinese native religion, it has always occupied a position subordinate to the imperial--that is, official--cults. For the Confucian officers, the Taoist priests represented spiritual powers over which they had no control. Replacing the state ceremonies to Heaven and Earth, or to paragons of Confucian virtue, with rituals performed by Taoist priests and addressed to the divine personifications of the Dao, would be equivalent to granting Taoism an official role in the administration of the empire. For this reason, the Confucian officer and literatus did not hesitate to acknowledge Taoism only in its philosophical, mystical, or literary aspects, and even to regard it as equal to common religion.

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Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Gospel Of Thomas

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Book: The Gospel Of Thomas by Anonymous

These are the secret sayings which the living Yeshua has spoken and Didymos Judas Thomas inscribed. (Jer 23:18, Mt 13:34, Lk 1:1, 8:10, 10:21, Jn 21:25)

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Goals Of Buddhism

Goals Of Buddhism Cover
The primary goal of the Buddhists is nirvana, defined as the end of change, literally meaning "blowing out," as one blows out a candle. Theravada tradition describes the indescribable as "peace and tranquility." The Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions view it as "neither existence nor nonexistence," "emptiness and the unchanging essence of the Buddha" and "ultimate Reality." It is synonymous with release from the bonds of desire, ego, suffering and rebirth. Buddha never defined nirvana, except to say, "There is an unborn, an unoriginated, an unmade, an uncompounded," and it lies beyond the experiences of the senses. Nirvana is not a state of annihilation, but of peace and reality. As with Jainism, Buddhism has no creator God and thus no union with Him.

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