Friday, December 28, 2007

The Shambhala Guide To Sufism

The Shambhala Guide To Sufism Cover

Book: The Shambhala Guide To Sufism by Carl Ernst

THE SHAMBHALA GUIDE to SUFISM is a virtuoso performance in academic scholarship. The complex difficulties of the subject can be readily appreciated form the fact that the first 30 pages are devoted to an effort to define the meaning of the words sufi and sufism. It is a global misfortune that in our commonly received historical accounts political and religious forces have been conflated, leading Islam and Christendom to regard each other as enemy. Into these dark clouds of mutual misunderstandings Prof Ernst brings his brilliant light. His book needs to be widely read, for the benefit of both East and West; pace Kiplng, in Ernst the twain have met.

It's difficult to find a more meticulous Introduction to Sufism than the Shambhala Guide. Professor of Islamic studies Carl W. Ernst shows us the many facets of Sufism, from the time of Mohammad to contemporary Sufic leaders. He introduces both the political sphere of Sufism--how the orders have played significant social roles and because of this are persecuted by modern fundamentalists--and the personal sphere--the Relationship between master and disciple, the sacred texts, the mystical experience. Ernst also provides critical background information for poetry, music, and dance that is difficult to find in the many Sufi literary anthologies. Shambhala Publications may have gotten more Scholarship than they expected from Ernst, but the occasional hairsplitting is welcome for its absence elsewhere in English Sufic literature.

The soaring voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the ecstatic dance of the Whirling Dervishes, the rapturous verse of Jalaluddin Rumi—all are expressions of Sufism, often regarded as the mystical tradition of Islam. Who are the Sufis? They are more than mystics; they are empowered by the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad. They are guided by saints and masters. They belong to orders ranging from North Africa and Turkey to India and Central Asia. In addition to prayer and fasting, they practice techniques of meditation. They recite poetry, delight in music, and perform dance, all towards one goal—union with God, the Divine Beloved. This comprehensive introduction clarifies the concept of Sufism and discusses its origin and development. In addition, the author discusses the important issues of Sufism's relationship with the larger Islamic world and its encounters with fundamentalism and modern secularism, along with the appropriation of Sufism by non-Muslims and the development of Sufi traditions in the West.

Buy Carl Ernst's book: The Shambhala Guide To Sufism

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Zoroaster - The Chaldean Oracles
Franz Bardon - The Golden Book Of Wisdom
Ro Winstedt - Shaman Saiva And Sufi
Anonymous - Witchcraft A Guide To Magic
Paschal Beverly Randolph - Seership Guide To Soul Sight

Monday, December 24, 2007

Summoning Spirits The Art Of Magical Evocation

Summoning Spirits The Art Of Magical Evocation Cover

Book: Summoning Spirits The Art Of Magical Evocation by Konstantinos

This book is your guide to the art of Magical Evocation. It is the only book you'll ever need to learn this ancient practice, and it is unique in that it covers
every aspect of magical training necessary to obtain results. Even if you've never practiced Magic Before, you can still safely perform evocations by first practicing the magical training exercises in the following chapters.

The names and seals of many useful spirits are found in Ancient Grimoires. Some of the spirits are so vaguely described, however, that a magician summoning them for the first time has little idea of what to expect. So to make things easy, in Chapter 9 I've included a listing of entities and their sighs that I have personally evoked and found useful. These entities are fully explained, including their appearances, areas they are knowledgeable about, and tasks they could best perform. This way you can begin conjuring without wondering what it is you're calling, and more practically, without another visit to the bookstore. As an added feature, I made sketches of some
of the entities and gave them to a professional artist who created the illustrations for Chapter 9.



Buy Konstantinos's book: Summoning Spirits The Art Of Magical Evocation

Books in PDF format to read:

Phil Hine - Aspects Of Evocation
John Dee - The Practice Of Enochian Evocation
Malcolm Mcgrath - Practical Magickal Evocation
Konstantinos - Summoning Spirits The Art Of Magical Evocation

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Major Groups Of Canonical Daosist Texts

Major Groups Of Canonical Daosist Texts Cover 1. Dongzhen (Cavern of the Realized) (The Shangqing School)
Includes books of the Shangqing ("Consummate Purity") School revealed starting in 364 to a certain Yang Xi (330-386) by apparitions of Wei Huacun, founder of Shangqing.
However also included here are some Lingbao charms and liturgies, as well as the Huangdi Yinfu Jing (Yellow Emperor's Classic of Esoteric Charms).
2. Dongxuan (Cavern of the Mysterious) (The Lingbao School)
Includes the Lingbao ("Spiritual Treasure") scriptures, traditionally thought to be originally collected by GE Xuan, a relative of the IVth century alchemist GE Hong. They are a collection of rituals, liturgies, and talismans.
However, some Shangqing texts are also to be found here, including the Huangting Neijiing Yu Jing.
3. Dongshen (Cavern of the Spirit) (Putative Writings of Lao zi and Other Sages)
This section originally included the Sanhuang Jing ("Scriptures of the Three Sovereigns"), which contained magic formulas and invocations, claiming to date from the Three Kingdoms period (25-265). They were destroyed in the Tang dynasty (618-907).
That did not prevent the section name being kept in use. In later canons this section includes the Daode Jing, Zhuang zi, and related materials, as well miscellaneous later texts attributed to Lao zi. (In today's canon this section also includes some Lingbao texts, including the BEidou Yansheng Jing.)

You also can download this ebooks:

Max Heindel - Teachings Of An Initiate
Michal Jerabek - The Book Of Enoch Vol I The Watchers
Jester Raiin - Major Arcana 2nd Update And 1st Typohunt

Friday, December 21, 2007

Humanistic Judaism Organisations

Humanistic Judaism Organisations Cover Humanistic Judaism has existed since the early 19th century as an intellectual tradition. It was first formally organized in 1969 as the Society for Humanistic Judaism -- founded by Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine in Detroit, MI. The Society currently has about 50 affiliated communities in the U.S. and about 35,000 members worldwide. According to their official web site: "Humanistic Judaism embraces a human-centered philosophy that combines rational thinking with a celebration of Jewish culture and identity. Humanistic Jews value their Jewish identity and the aspects of Jewish culture that offer a genuine expression of their contemporary way of life. Humanistic Jewish communities celebrate Jewish holidays and life cycle events (such as weddings and bar and bat mitzvah) with inspirational ceremonies that draw upon but go beyond traditional literature."

The International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism was founded in 1985. According to their official web site, the Institute "is the intellectual and educational arm of the Secular Humanistic Jewish movement. It was established...to train Humanistic rabbinic and non-rabbinic clerical leaders and teachers and to provide philosophic and cultural guidance to all its members. The Institute's commitment to Jewish identity and continuity forms the foundation of its programs. Humanistic Judaism sees pluralism as the best guarantee of Jewish survival. By training rabbis, leaders, and educators for communities and schools, by publishing philosophical and celebrational texts, by offering adult outreach and children's programs to the world Jewish community, the Institute serves as a positive force for the continuation of the Jewish people, enriching life for all Jews." 5 The Institute has published a book "Judaism in a Secular Age;" it assembled "the secular Jewish voices that the Enlightenment allowed to be heard." They have also sponsor Colloquiums on various topics, such as: "Reclaiming Jewish History," and "The Struggle for a New Jewish Identity." Plans are underway for Colloquium 2001, which will discuss secular spirituality.

You also can download this ebooks:

Marcus Cordey - Magical Theory And Tradition
John Dee - Enochian Magic Spanish Translation
Anonymous - The Mysticism Of Masonry

Buddhism In America

Buddhism In America Cover

Book: Buddhism In America by Richard Hughes Seager

This "road map to the American Buddhist landscape" succeeds in being both "engaging and informative," as the author intended. While it could be used as a text for a college class, it will also be of interest to American practitioners of Buddhism (like me) who want to know more about our roots and about the variety of forms of Buddhism in America.

Part One provides background material on the history of Buddhism and its transmission to America and includes a short chapter on "Very Basic Buddhism" for those new to the subject or wanting a refresher. Part Two, the largest part, discusses the various forms of Buddhism in America, with chapters on Jodo Shinshu, Soka Gakkai, Zen, Tibetan, Theravada, and "other Pacific Rim migrations." And Part Three explores some "Selected Issues": gender equity, social engagement, intra-Buddhist and interreligious dialogue, and the Americanization of Buddhism.

Richard Seager marks out a magnificent road map, directing us to important people, places, and issues in multifaceted Buddhist America at the turn of the millennium. . . . Under Seager?s guidance we discover a great deal about the Buddhists of America, but also a great deal about the Americanization of Buddhism.

Seager does a great job of providing a thorough and detailed history while managing to stay accessible to readers who may be new to the topic. His goal is to show and explain how Buddhism has been Americanized since its arrival, and how it is now its own entity, different from the Buddhist sects around the world. He has example after example to support his statements; when talking about the "flower power" 60s, he quotes several different people and gives specific details about times and places such as "Storlie recalls finding himself at Sokoji for the first time in 1964, after an LSD trip on Mount Tamalpais" (Seager 99). There is no room for generalizations in his work, and this book represents a wealth of knowledge that could probably not be equaled in five other books on the subject.

The only problem with this book is that he spends so much time detailing events and the lives of the people involved in them, that he neglects to really discuss the practices and thoughts driving the Americanization. There are points where the reader is so caught up in keeping track of people, places, and events that when he makes a statement such as, "Some Buddhists are also concerned that Americanization will lead to a decline in the dharma if the aspiration to realize Buddha mind becomes overidentified with psychotherapy, or if practice becomes too accomodating to the economic and emotional needs of the American" (Seager 112), that the reader is too surprised to really pay attention to the point of the statement. These few ideological statements are usually posited at the very end of chapters, probably because he feels he needs to say something conclusive before moving on to the next sections. These would be much more interesting if he actually gave them attention in the bulk of the text, instead of as afterthoughts related to the history. The reader reaches the end of the work having gained a multitude of knowledge regarding specific information about Buddhist American history, but having no knowledge of the ideas and actual practices that were at the heart of Buddhist Americanization.

Find Richard Hughes Seager's book in amazon.com:
Buddhism In America

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Atalanta Fugiens

Atalanta Fugiens Cover

Book: Atalanta Fugiens by Michael Majerus

Hermes, the most industrious searcher into all the Secrets of Nature, doth in his Smaragdine Table exquisitely thus succinctly describe the Natural Work when he says: 'Wind carried Him in his belly,' as if he should have said that He whose father is Sol & mother is Luna must, before he can be brought forth into the light, be carried by windy fumes, even as a Bird is carried in the Air when it flies.

Now from fumes or winds (which are nothing else but Air in Motion) being coagulated, Water is produced, & from Water mixed with earth all Minerals & metals do proceed. And even these last are said to consist of & be immediately coagulated from fumes, so that whether He be placed in Water or fume the thing is the same; for one as well as the other is the master of Wind. The same the more remotely may be said of Minerals & Metals, but the Question is: Who is He that ought to be carried by Winds? I answer: Chymically it is Sulphur which is carried in Argent Vive (contained in quicksilver), as Lully in his Codicill cap. 32 & all other Authors attest. [Marginal note: "Lully ibid: 'The wind carries him in his belly;' That is, sulphur is carried by Argent Vive; & Ch. 47: 'The Stone is Fire carried in the Belly of Air.'"] Physically it is the Embryo, which in a little time ought to be borne into the light. I say also that rithmetically it is the Root of a Cube; Musically it is the Disdiapason; Geometrically it is a point, the Beginning of a continued running line; Astronomically it is the Center of the Planets Saturn, Jupiter & Mars.

Download Michael Majerus's eBook: Atalanta Fugiens

Books in PDF format to read:

Rabbi Michael Laitman - Kabbalah For Beginners
John Dee - La Tabula Sancta French Version
Michael Majerus - Atalanta Fugiens

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Asatru As A Religion

Asatru As A Religion Cover Asatru is a serious, modern religion inspired by historical knowledge of the past, but adapted to our current conditions. It seeks to enhance the spiritual connection of the past, present and future and to make the Gods and Goddesses of our ancestors relevant to daily life in today’s world. As a Godhi, you will have the important responsibility of promoting Asatru and helping people experience this spirituality by following their ancestral religion.

Asatru is not a role-playing game. It is not a dress-up game. It is not an opportunity to fantasize about being a Viking or recreating a society that existed a thousand years ago. We want to avoid make-believe weekend Viking role-playing and rather bring a Spiritual Vision and guidance leading our people to goodness and prosperity in Midgard and to a communion with their Gods, Goddesses and ancestors. Additionally, we are preparing the way for future generations. These are solemn tasks that require focus and seriousness.

Asatru is derived from a deep understanding of the practices and beliefs of our ancestors. It is not just "made up." There is a strong historical basis for just about everything in Asatru. It has been said that "Asatru is the religion with homework" because there's so much to learn about in rediscovering the spiritual ways of our ancestors. To do this, we are learning about and reconstructing past beliefs and practices and then adapting those beliefs and practices to the modern world. The various readings in this course will guide you through a lot of historical literature. Additionally, there are readings, which are modern syntheses of those historical ideas into Contemporary practices.

Asatru is not part of a larger "Pagan" religious grouping which includes religions such as Wicca or other foreign or eclectic paths. We do not welcome their influences. Admittedly, we have some of our modern origins with some of those groups, but our values differ significantly. Whereas they revel in universalist pantheism, as polytheists we have set forth a path which reverently places our own Gods and goddesses at the forefront while leaving foreign ways behind. Asatru is not a Universalist religion. It does not seek universal salvation for all human beings. What it seeks to do is help the individual find meaning and spirituality in their gods and goddesses in Asgard, their folk in Midgard and their ancestral roots.

Asatru is a Folk or Ethnic religion; we believe that our Gods and Goddesses have a special affection for us because we are their descendents. We believe that our gods and goddesses are our oldest ancestors, that our ancestry is good, and that we must promote our unique and special ancestral identity and culture into an enduring future. Consequently, we believe that we have a responsibility to promote a Folk existence, which is more important than anything else in Midgard.

Ethically, Asatru holds high regard for both the individual and ethnic folk. It is not a self-denying religion; we want the Individual to discover their personal strengths, weaknesses and insights, but to also willingly apply them for the good of the folk. Asatru is also a life-embracing spirituality, which does not merely prepare the individual for an afterlife. We seek to apply ourselves to accomplish great things, to live a worthy and full life and experience the joy of our time in Midgard.

But, there are many ways of looking at Asatru as a religion. We can compare and contrast it with other religions. We can describe it as we see it today. We can describe it as we’d like to see it. We can describe it as it is practiced individually. We can describe it as it’s practiced in groups. Looking at it in these various ways will help us better understand the many aspects of modern Asatru.

Books in PDF format to read:

Irv Slauson - The Religion Of Odin
Aleister Crowley - Great Drug Delusion
Anonymous - Asatru And The Paranormal
Lil Bow Wow - What Is A Warlock
Reeves Hall - Asatru In Brief

Friday, December 7, 2007

Jainism As Sramana Tradition

Jainism As Sramana Tradition Cover In the Ancient World, the Jain tradition was known as the Sramana tradition. The sramanas were ascetics, who led pure and austere lives, without possessions, wandering from place to place and subjecting themselves to rigorous austerities and self-discipline. They focused on renouncing the causes of sin and suffering to achieve liberation from pain and the cycle of births and deaths. Through the teachings of Parsvanatha and Mahavira, the last two of the 24 tirthankaras, the tradition grew into an organized religion, attracting a sizeable following in various parts of the Indian subcontinent. To those who are familiar with Hinduism, the beliefs and concepts of Jainism sound familiar, making one wonder whether there was any connection between the two in some remote past. There is an argument that Jainism was a popular ascetic tradition of India with its roots in prehistoric times, whose beliefs regarding soul, nature of existence, liberation, austerities, time, karma and incarnation of souls found their way into Hinduism directly or indirectly and enriched it greatly with a strong spiritual and Philosophical base. In this article we will discuss some of the important concepts and core beliefs of Jainism, by knowing which we will gain a fair Understanding of how it differs from Hinduism.

Books in PDF format to read:

Anonymous - Odinism And Asatru
Robert Mathiesen - Magic In Slavia Orthodoxa The Written Tradition
Bylaws - Unicorn Tradition Of Wicca
Marcus Cordey - Magical Theory And Tradition
Robert Ambelain - Martinism History And Doctrine

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Nature Of Magic An Anthropology Of Consciousness

The Nature Of Magic An Anthropology Of Consciousness Cover

Book: The Nature Of Magic An Anthropology Of Consciousness by Susan Greenwood

This work is an anthropological study of magic and Consciousness conducted through an examination of nature spiritualities. Often collectively termed ‘nature religion’, nature spiritualities are concerned with developing intense personal
relationships with nature, as demonstrated by my own encounter with the Snowdonian elements above. In Western cultures, nature, the earth, or ‘the environment’ as it is now frequently called, has been progressively devalued by some dualistic conceptions of the universe that separate humans from nature. A definition of the environment as ‘all material entities which exist on planet Earth but which are not human’ reveals the fundamental separation between humans and the natural world (Simmons, 1993:1). The central theme of this work is to examine how practitioners of nature spiritualities overcome this cultural alienation and relate with nature as a living and inspirited cosmos.

The sociologist Max Weber observed that the ‘fate of our times’ was characterized by rationalization, intellectualization and, above all, by the ‘disenchantment of the world’ (1948:155). Through the use of Friedrich Schiller’s disenchantment phrase, he was referring to the degree in which rationalization had displaced Magical Elements in modern Western societies (Gerth and Wright Mills, [1948] 1970:51). Non-Western cultures have not been so affected and the anthropologist Victor Turner has astutely noted that African thought, which consists of autonomous linked world-views, ‘embeds itself from the outset in materiality’, but this materiality is ‘not inert but vital’ (1975:21).

The methodology that I adopt for this research is one of direct involvement. I have dealt at length with the complexities of conducting anthropological fieldwork from a participatory approach in previous works. This is notoriously difficult when studying magic due to the varying and often derogatory attitudes to what is seen as the non-rational and non-logical in Western social science.

Buy Susan Greenwood's book: The Nature Of Magic An Anthropology Of Consciousness

Books in PDF format to read:

Nathan Elkana - The Master Grimoire Of Magickal Rites And Ceremonies
Sir James George Frazer - The Golden Bough A Study Of Magic And Religion
Susan Greenwood - The Nature Of Magic An Anthropology Of Consciousness

Understanding Sufi Poetry

Understanding Sufi Poetry Image
Speed-linking few notable sites and articles across the web on Sufi Poetry, their background meanings and on Sufi Poets.

[::] Sufi Master Inayat Khan's writing on Sufi Poetry, Poetic Imagery is a good place to start with. From his writing "Sufi poetic imagery stands by itself, distinct and peculiar in its character. It is both admired and criticized for its peculiarity.... These free thinkers of Persia, with their dancing souls and continual enthusiasm, began to express their souls in this particular imagery, using words such as 'the beloved, wine, wine-press,' and 'tavern.' This poetry became so popular that not only did the wise benefit from it, but also the simple ones enjoyed the beauty of its wonderful expressions, which made an immediate appeal to every soul. No doubt souls who were already awakened and those on the point of awakening were inspired by these poems. Souls who were opening their eyes after the deep slumber of many years began to rise up and dance." read here. more writings.

[::] One of the most comprehensive web resource on Sufism and Sufi theme is maintained by Dr. Alan Godlas at University of Georgia. His page on SUFI POETS AND SUFI POETRY has a good deal of information.

"Sufism and the encounters that Sufism facilitates - encounters with God, love, and the deepest aspects of human consciousness - have evoked feelings in Sufis that have poured out through their ravaged hearts onto their lucid tongues, providing us with some of the most beautiful and profound poetry ever written." visit here.

[::] Whenever classical Persian poetry is discussed, the subject of the symbolism and meaning of its images is bound to arise. The article in The Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society talks about Jami's Symbology on Divine Love and the image of wine. read here.

[::] Poetry Chaikhana has a introduction to Islam and Sufi Poetry with works from eminent masters. Also you can browse the Sacred Poems on different theme here.

[::] Seeker After Truth has a nice article by Hossein M. Elahi by the title, Poetics and Aesthetics in the Persian Sufi Literary Tradition. good read. Also check other entries on Sufi Poetry. Western Encounters with Persian Sufi Literature by Farhang Jahanpour is another article worth reading.

[::] A wonderful Interview with David Fideler on Sufi Poetry and on his latest book "Love's Alchemy" where he address quesions such as "How did Rumi ever become the best-selling poet in America or what makes Rumi so popular"?

Answering the important question, WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE DO YOU THINK THE SUFI POETS HAVE FOR US TODAY, AS MODERN PEOPLE LIVING IN TODAY'S WORLD? David Fideler responds "I think that people are incredibly hungry for a deeper vision of human nature than is offered by, or even recognized by, American culture. It's probably safe to say that we have developed the most self-centered kind of psychological outlook ever seen in human history - and the perspective of the Sufi poets is directly opposite to that.

For the Sufis, you only begin to discover who you really are when you go beyond yourself. While that may seem like a paradox, it's a major theme in the poems we've collected in "Love's Alchemy".... The reason that love can be such a transformative force is because, in love, the ego is no longer in control, or the center of the personality. If you are really in love, someone else becomes far more important than you yourself - love forces you to go beyond yourself. In the words of one of the poets, "When I went beyond myself, the pathway finally opened."

When we start having experiences of depth in our lives - and develop the ability to no longer identify with the socially conditioned ego - that's an opening, and an invitation to discover who and what we really are.

Another thing that people resonate strongly with is the Sufi view that there is an underlying, divine unity that binds all people together, despite the outward differences of religion and culture. That's something that many of us instinctively realize and feel, but no one says it better than the Sufi poets - and they were saying it hundreds of years ago". read the full interview. its very rich.

[::] Spirituality Practice has a lovely section on Sacred Poetry.

[::] Salonim has a nice article by Ali Alizadeh by the title, Confused About Sufi Poetry? The article takes on the rise in the contemporary mainstream Western readers' interest in Sufi poetry which he points at the same time potentially positive, and yet paradoxically dubious.

[::] The Arab World Book website has an article on Sufi Poetry and selection from Rumi's Masnawi (A. H. 670). "The very essence of Sufism is poetry, and the Eastern Mystics are never tired of expatiating on the 'Ishq or "love to God," which is the one distinguishing features of Sufi mysticism"

[::] Giuseppe Scattolin's article: The Key Concepts of al-Fargh^ani's Commentary on Ibn al-F^arid's Sufi Poem, al-T^a'iyyat al-Kubr^a (pdf) via The Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society

[::] Wikipedia Entry on Sufi Poetry[+] Please visit MysticSaint.Info For full multimedia experience and enjoy special music.

Blessings,
Sadiq



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