Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Buddhism In Mexico Before Christianity

Buddhism In Mexico Before Christianity Image
Xochitl, Wells, MacPherson (Wisdom Quarterly, Cinco de Mayo edition)

Xochimilco Mexico City Slideshow: TravelPod Attractions's trip to Mexico City, Central Mexico and Gulf Coast, Mexico. More

Nowhere in America is the 5th of May more popular than Los Angeles -- gateway to Tijuana, Baja, Cancun, and the pyramidal wonders of [pre-drug war] Mexico.

Every Mariachi band is booked months in advance, in spite of the fact that no right minded Chicano (Mexican-American) would ever listen to such a cacophony at any other time of the year. Restaurants make matador's killing in selling liberation and independence to Caucasians egging on their Hispanic friend's bad habit of drinking Dos Equis ("XX") corporate brew and such strange and wonderful cuisine:

* nachos (a corn chip dish with microwaved cheese-like substance)
* tacos (anything wrapped in a corn shell or tortilla, roughly a "sandwich")
* burritos (anything wrapped in a wheat flour shell, roughly a compact mess)
* salsa (anything tangy, spicy, and minced)
* and, of course, chimichangas (deep fried and unhealthy)

The fact is most Americanized "Mexican" food, while recognizable to Mexicans, is about as authentic as Americanized "Chinese" food, which is original enough to be sold in Asia as American-Chinese food with even Chinese and Koreans scratching their heads. We're a land of innovation, after all. I mean, we invented pizza here. That was never found in Italy before someone in New York concocted it. But food brings us together.

The Buddha in Mexico in the shape of our headless Zen figurine, but in the "Buddha Bar"

My big Mexican family is not Buddhist but nominally Catholic. (It's the duty of every Mexican mother to be as Catholic as every Irish mother, as guilt-inspiring as every Jewish mother, and as warmhearted as every Midwestern farmer). It's the culture. Here's a hug!

Growing up I always admired the headless Zen Buddha and Japanese Virgin Mary figurines my mom had in the living room. We'd glue the head back on, but it would always comes off again. When I was old enough to realize it was "the Buddha" and Gwan Yin, I was overjoyed that my mom was so liberal. She inadvertently introduced me to Buddhism!

She swore blind that that might well be the Buddha (who could tell without a head?) but there's no way that wasn't the Virgen de Guadalupe. When I explained Kwan Yin and the worldwide manifestation of the divine feminine and Mother Goddesses, she was satisfied that that was close enough. That's what happens when you shop in nearby China Town and buy things that look familiar.

Well she was positively stunned when I showed her evidence that Buddhism preceded the arrival of Catholicism to Mexico and Mesoamerica by centuries. NO WAY, she insisted. "Everybody" knows the Mexicans were all born Catholic.

Tibetan wanderers, who might have first crossed the Bering Straits land bridge 30,000+ years ago to establish the Eskimo and North American native "Indian" populations, now go as missionaries to Mexico.

Of course, the truth of the matter is that we were once proud Native Americans, caretakers of the Earth, and astro-theological admirers of feathered dragons from space (nagas and devas, apparently) -- just like East Indians, Khmer Cambodians (whose great jungle empire built the civilization anchored in the enormous metropolis of Angkor and Angkor Wat), early Europeans, and the amazing Dogon Africans.

But more amazing is the history of Buddhism in America Rick Fields uncovered in his tremendously influential, but largely unacknowledged (because it's unacceptable and turns everything we think upside down) book:

(Shambhala, Boston/London, 1992)

How the Swans Came to the Lake:

A Narrative History of Buddhism in America

But generally few care what American historians say. Moreover, no one wants to know how clean, civilized, and cultured the indigenous peoples were when colonists from Norway (Vikings), France, Spain, Portugal, and johnny-come-lately England arrived in the future United States to label them "savages, heathens," and kill them to save them with the hypocritical Word of the Lord God, smallpox, private property, free trade, and so on. (Reading Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and other obscure uncoverers of the unpopular truth might teach one this much).

Mexico was established where the garudas symbolically slayed the nagas, Eagle beings versus Serpent beings leading to the symbolism of the Mexican flag.

But the pre-Mexican cultures that culminated in Mexico (Aztecs, Mayans, Olmecs...) have seen their memory largely wiped out or sanitized by Christian conquistadores (genocidal "conquerers").

Mexico was once an unexplained marvel with pyramids and connection to the "gods" (devas arriving from space and imparting advanced knowledge).

Now it's a good place to import and export drugs, undermined by our CIA, its leaders deposed and friendly politicians installed and manipulated. Sadly, it's no longer safe to travel to as a haven of college drinking and debauchery streaming in from Texas and [upper] California. California was Mexico until the 1850s.

But what does historian Rick Fields add to the strange and wonderful history of the Americas pre-Spanish Catholic conquest? The nub of the story is that Asian Buddhist monks set out on a boat and were blown far, far off course, eventually landing on the other side of the Pacific rim, on the coast of this continent. They shared the advanced technological knowledge they had with the native peoples and revolutionized ceramics, language, art, culture, and philosophy.

Many place names are echoes of the religion they brought with them: Gautama (the Buddha's surname) and mala (necklace) combined to form the name Guatemala. Maya (the Buddha's mother's name, as well as a popular Eastern Philosophical term for "illusion" or "beauty") may have formed the basis of the Mayan culture.

There are, of course, Tibetan Buddhist (Vajrayana) centers in Mexico. Mahayana missionaries have also gone in, either because Gwan Yin is so recognizable to "Virg Yin" (Mother Mary) lovers or because the missionary zeal of Christianity is rooted in the missionary manner of spreading the Buddha established. Theravada, the oldest extant form of Buddhism, is being spread in Mexico as well.

One of the few African American Theravada Buddhist monks in the world is from Los Angeles. He now divides his time between Sri Lankan and Vietnamese traditions. But he is living and spreading the Buddha-Dharma in the most dangerous city in the world, Ciudad Juarez near El Paso at the Texan-Mexican-American border. He is a great friend of Wisdom Quarterly and will be interviewed when he next returns to Los Angeles.

The more things change, the more they stay the same: So happy Cinco de Mayo from the again increasingly Buddhist and Mexican City of Angels!

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The Mystical Qabbalah

The Mystical Qabbalah Cover

Book: The Mystical Qabbalah by Anonymous

THE Tree of Life forms the ground-plan of the Western Esoteric Tradition and is the system upon which pupils are trained in the Fraternity of the Inner Light. The transliteration of Hebrew words into English is the subject of much diversity of opinion, every scholar appearing to have his own system. In these pages I have availed
myself of the alphabetical table given by MacGregor Mathers in The Kabba/ah Unveiled because this book is the one generally used by esoteric students.

He himself does not adhere to his own table systematically, however, and even uses different spellings for the same words. This is very confusing for anyone who wishes to use the Gematric method of elucidation, in which letters are turned into numbers. When, therefore, Mathers gives alternative trans literations, I have followed the one which coincides with that given in his own table.

The capitalisation employed in these pages may also appear unusual, but it is the one traditionally used among students of the Western Esoteric Tradition. In this system,
common words, such as earth or path, are used in a technical sense to denote spiritual principles. When this is done, a capital is used to indicate the fact. When a capital is not used, it may be taken that the word is to be understood in its ordinary sense. As I have frequently referred to the authority of MacGregor Mathers and Aleistet Crowley in matters of Qabalistic mysticticism, it may be as well to explain my position in relation to these two writers.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Practical Taoism

Practical Taoism Cover

Book: Practical Taoism by Thomas Cleary

I found this collection of translations to be very helpful. Compiled by a seventh-generation master of the Northern Branch of the Complete Reality School of Taoism known as the Preserver of Truth, this Extraordinary collection of teachings and commentaries illuminates the many profound mysteries of inner alchemy in the Taoist tradition. I read Cleary's books from a student's perspective and not from a Taoist scholar's perspective. The insights gleaned from this book are priceless. It is a great wonder how our present age and society has fallen into such a moral decline even though these scriptures have been around since man's early days. Read and apply. These teachings may seem cryptic but they turn into truths once they are applied to our lives.

Thomas Cleary is a master translator of eastern religious and Philosophical texts. His academic skill is complemented by a deep Understanding of the practices described in his translations. He gets to the original intent. Practical Taoism is worth reading for the introduction alone. Never have I found a more concise and practical description of observations, functions and practices regarding the Tao then I have here. If you want a solid introduction to Taoism and how it can benefit your life, this is a good place to start.

Buy Thomas Cleary's book: Practical Taoism

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Theosophic Correspondence

Theosophic Correspondence Cover

Book: Theosophic Correspondence by Louis Claude De Saint Martin

WITH the greatly increased interest in the subject of theosophy during the past several decades it is felt timely to reprint this work of some 18th century "theosophers," as representative of a movement active since the commencement of our racial experience. Even though most serious students today, including those in the lay category, approach their researches from the critical point of view, few are aware of the full scope of theosophic effort put forth in the centuries previous to the 19th, when H.P. Blavatsky once more revivified its active dissemination.

Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, Cagliostro, and the Count Saint Germain in their respective ways exerted a major influence on the thought of their time as did Jacob Boehme in an earlier period. Old and crystallized molds of dogmatism were broken through, at least in the field of the best educated researchers. The courage of their followers, risking 'burning at the stake' for their heresies, has given us, however, some fruits of their labor that we of the 20th century may benefit by their efforts.
In this volume, containing as it does the correspondence between two active "theosophers," the one a pupil, will be found the fundamental background of the original Theosophia, divine wisdom, from which all progressive thinking springs. It is reprinted in the hope that it will reach the serious-minded theosophists of our time who find themselves in the same stream of expansion in which were those earlier exponents of the ancient mystery teachings. A. L. CONGER December, 1949 Covina, California

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ancient Roman Religion

Ancient Roman Religion Image
On April 15th, every year, the Ancient Romans held the festival of Fordicia, also called Hordicidia. This festival was in honor of Tellus, or Terra Mater, the Roman personification of the earth.

Terra Mater or Tellus Mater was a goddess personifying the Earth in Roman mythology, with both names meaning "Mother Earth" (a common metaphorical expression for the Earth and its biosphere as the giver and sustainer of life) in Latin. She was associated with Ceres in respect to growing crops, was responsible for the productivity of farmland, and was also associated with marriage, motherhood, pregnant women, and pregnant animals. Her Greek counterpart is Gaia.

During the festivities, a pregnant cow was sacrificed, the calf fetus burned and the ashes saved for the Parilia festival (an agricultural festival performed annually on April 21). The whole event was governed by the Vestal Virgins and the Pontifex Maximus.

The purpose of the sacrifice was to assure the fertility of the planted grain already growing in the womb of Mother Earth in the guise of Tellus, to whom the sacrifice was offered. As with certain other rituals over which the Vestals presided, the unborn calf is a liminal or mediating being: not yet born, but living; not a full-fledged victim, but sacrificed. The role of the Vestals emphasizes their importance in linking through the ritual reuse of elements the Earth's fertility, the health and safety of the flocks, and the security of the city, including and especially its military security against invasion.

A similar spring festival in China was witnessed in 1804 by the British ambassador to China, John Barrow. At the temple of Earth, a large porcelain cow was carried in procession then shattered to reveal several small cow-images inside. These were distributed among the people as tokens of a good growing season. Fowler speculated that the Chinese rite was in origin an animal sacrifice similar to that of the Fordicidia.

Source: Wikipedia

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Historical Sketch Of Buddhism And Islam

Historical Sketch Of Buddhism And Islam Image
Dr. Alexander Berzin (with archeological information by Sergei Sokolov)Ancient India's influence reached deep into the west, and the Buddhism there spread throughout ancient Greece and Russia, eventually seeding Christianity.

BUDDHISM AND ISLAMThroughout the region [Russia, Central Asia, the New-istans], there are many indications of cultural borrowing between Buddhism and Islam. For instance, Kazakh Sufis not only believe in rebirth, but also identify reincarnations of past Sufi masters like the Tibetan and Mongol Buddhists do of their teachers.

The Sufis build shrines as graves for their masters, circumambulate them and light butter lamps, reminiscent of Buddhist practices around "stupas" of deceased masters.

Sufi meditation includes recitation of the Islamic equivalent of "mantras," often combined with breathing cycles, as well as visualization of the[ir] Prophet and spiritual masters.

PARTHIA AND BACTRIA [Iran and Afghanistan]

Historically, Buddhism was found in all five former Soviet Central Asian Republics that constitute West Turkistan: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan.

It initially spread in the first century BCE from Gandhara (modern Pakistan) and Afghanistan to the kingdoms of Parthia and Bactria. Turkmenistan and northeastern Iran constituted the Kingdom of Parthia; while southern Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and northern Afghanistan constituted the kingdom of Bactria .


Buddhism spread to Sogdia in central Uzbekistan and northwestern Tajikistan mostly from Bactria. The sixth century Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang (Hs"uan-tsang) reported two huge Buddhist monasteries at the Sogdian capital at Samarkand.


In the seventh century, when the Turkic people from Mongolia conquered most of Central Asia, Buddhism spread from the Sogdians and from Kashgar/Khotan in southern East Turkistan to the Taraz (Talas) River valley in southern Kazakhstan and the Chu River valley in northern Kyrgyzstan.... These regions constituted parts of the Western Turk Empire .

In the eighth century when Tibet ruled East Turkistan, the Tibetans also occupied eastern Kyrgyzstan, bringing with them early Tibetan Buddhism.
Although Islam came to the southern part of these Central Asian republics in the ninth and tenth centuries, and to the northern part in the eleventh, Buddhism was not totally eliminated in the north.

Islam was always weak there and mixed with shamanism and even Buddhism. The main form of Islam throughout the region has always been Sufism [which many today treat as if it were a form of Buddhism, and RUMI A BUDDHIST, recognizing many similarities], a non-doctrinal sect that emphasizes meditation and a community of highly devoted practitioners living around a master.

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Quinti Libri Mysteriorum Appendix

Quinti Libri Mysteriorum Appendix Cover

Book: Quinti Libri Mysteriorum Appendix by Frater Alastor

Quinti Libri Mysteriorum Appendix Scanned by Frater Alastor Today December 27, 2003 and Converted to Adobe Acrobat.

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Books in PDF format to read:

John Dee - Five Books Of Mystery Mysteriorum Liber Tertius
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John Dee - Five Books Of Mystery Liber Mysteriorum Quintus Appendice
Frater Alastor - Quinti Libri Mysteriorum Appendix

Friday, September 19, 2008

Some Deeper Aspects Of Masonic Symbolism

Some Deeper Aspects Of Masonic Symbolism Cover

Book: Some Deeper Aspects Of Masonic Symbolism by Arthur Edward Waite

THE subject which I am about to approach is one having certain obvious difficulties, because it is outside the usual horizon of Masonic literature, and requires, therefore, to be put with considerable care, as well as with reasonable prudence. Moreover, it is not easy to do it full justice within the limits of a single lecture. I must ask my Brethren to make allowance beforehand for the fact that I am speaking in good faith, and where the evidence for what I shall affirm does not appear in its fullness, and sometimes scarcely at all, they must believe that I can produce it at need, should the opportunity occur. As a matter of fact, some part of it has appeared in my published writings.

I will introduce the question in hand by a citation which is familiar to us all, as it so happens that it forms a good point of departure:- "But as we are not all operative Masons, but rather Free and Accepted or speculative, we apply these tools to our morals." With certain variations, these words occur in each of the Craft Degrees, and their analogies are to be found in a few subsidiary Degrees which may be said to arise out of the Craft- as, for example, the Honorable Degree of Mark Master Mason. That which is applied more specially to the working implements of Masonry belongs to our entire building symbolism, whether it is concerned with the erection by the Candidate in his own personality of an edifice or "superstructure perfect in its parts and honorable to the builder," or, in the Mark Degree, with a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, or again with Solomon's Temple spiritualized in the Legend of the Master Degree.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Fellow Crafts Handbook

The Fellow Crafts Handbook Cover

Book: The Fellow Crafts Handbook by John Sebastian Marlowe Ward

Those who have read the first volume of this series, which deals with the E.A. Degree, will realize that our ceremonies have a deep inner meaning and teach profound spiritual lessons seldom realized by the average Mason. In the second volume we are dealing with the degree of Life, in its broadest sense, just as in the first degree we were dealing with the degree of birth, and as life in reality is educational for the Soul, we are not surprised to find that throughout the whole degree the subject of education is more or less stressed. We should, however, realize that each of the degrees builds on the one which has gone before, and the ingenuity with which the lessons inculcated in the first degree are carried forward and developed in the succeeding degrees is one of the most striking characteristics of our Masonic ritual.

This is true not only of the obvious exoteric moral instruction conveyed in the ceremonies, but even more of the deep mystical and spiritual lessons which lie hidden beneath the surface. For example, in the first degree we perceived that
the st....s which led the initiate to the Ped. when combined with that which we found thereon symbolically produced the Name of God, and in the second degree the main lesson is that the Brn. discover the name of God in the M. Ch., while the manner of approaching the Ped. gives us the Divine name, written with the five letters which denote that the Creator has become Messias, the King. Thus among other lessons we learn that the second person of the Trinity comes forth from the first. When we come to the book which deals with the M.M. we shall perceive that that degree likewise builds on what has gone before.

As one or two Brn. who have read this manuscript have asked me to refer them to a copy of the Kabala where they can themselves read what those ancient sages wrote concerning the descent of the letter "Shin," I would recommend the
"Kabala Denuda," translated by Mathers, where they will find that, and many other points of peculiar interest to Masons.

Download John Sebastian Marlowe Ward's eBook: The Fellow Crafts Handbook

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John Sebastian Marlowe Ward - The Master Masons Handbook
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John Sebastian Marlowe Ward - The Fellow Crafts Handbook

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Craft Grimoire Of Eclectic Magic

The Craft Grimoire Of Eclectic Magic Cover

Book: The Craft Grimoire Of Eclectic Magic by Parker Torrence

Greetings, and welcome to the “Grimoire of Eclectic Magick,” and yes this is a book about real magick! What is Magick, & why read this book? “Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” - Aleister Crowley. What should you learn/know first? This is just my opinion, but I believe that the single most important thing you can learn in regards to magick, is the Wiccan Rede and the Three Fold Law!

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Numerology For The 21st Century

Numerology For The 21st Century Cover

Book: Numerology For The 21st Century by Thomas Muldoon

Over 30 years ago I was fortunate to have discovered the world of Numerology and to say my life changed would be an understatement. I began a journey that has taken me around the world enlightening, frightening, entertaining and upsetting many with its concepts. I broke all the rules and now I want to share my world and take you on a journey of discovery that will change your life, are you ready? The concepts and ideas that I'll present to you are my own observations having been tried and tested over many years. You'll be introduced to only four numbers, no fancy calculations, no adding this number to that number, no peaks or pinnacles.

All 'characters' and 'scenarios' contained in this publication are fictitious and for illustrative purposes only, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental. No responsibility will be taken by the author, publisher or website content for those who act or fail to act on any of the information contained herein. (c) 2008 Thomas Muldoon

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Golden Tractate Of Hermes Trismegistus

The Golden Tractate Of Hermes Trismegistus Cover

Book: The Golden Tractate Of Hermes Trismegistus by Hermes Trismegistus

In order to form a just estimate of the following Treatise, attributed to Hermes Trismegistus - as the Greeks termed Thoth - it will be necessary to consider that in all time there has been two opposing schools of science, or, as we may perhaps be permitted to term them, the positive and negative schools of thought - Theosophical and Materialistic Science.
The Grand old Egyptian culte proceeded in its researches upon the axiom that as all things were produced from primordial or first matter by the will and meditation of the One eternal mind, so all things were again resolvable to their first principle. The Father, of all Being, was the Sun, symbolising Spirit, the Mother the Moon, symbolising first matter and generation; and from these all nature had birth. It was the belief of the Adepts that in immense cycles everything would again be resolved into first principles. It was upon this basis that Theosophic Science proceeded, and sought by art the mode of transmuting one thing into another, or, to take one instance, to transform the baser metals into pure gold.

Amongst the occult sciences carefully studied by the Egyptian priesthood were Astrology and Alchemy. It is not possible, in our present knowledge, to assign an approximate date when Alchemy, the father of modern Chemistry, became a recognised science, or even to follow its development with precision. But whether we accept the Hebrew story of the Golden Calf as a literal fact, or an allegory of the time of Solomon, it at any rate proves that if Moses, or a later priest, could resolve gold to powder, the Egyptians, from whom that chemical problem was derived, were advanced in the science. This assumed qualification of Moses was greedily seized upon by the old Alchemists as a proof that the ancient lawgiver was an Adept of their secret fraternity; and they even gave out that an apocryphal work on the science was written by the Jewish king, Solomon. They also applied the legend of Jason and the Golden Fleece to allegorise transmutation.

We consider that there is internal evidence in the works attributed to Hermes to prove that, though garbled by the later Greeks, they yet enshrine, with perhaps some redundancy, the actual doctrine of the Egyptian Thoth. The Egyptian priests are said by the various writers to have preserved the original scriptures down to the period of Greek domination; but those that have come down to us under the name of Hermes are the oral versions received in the course of secret initiation. The original books of Thoth, being in a language known only to the priests of Mizraim, have hence become lost to our generation.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Buddhism End Of The World Eschatology

Buddhism End Of The World Eschatology Image

Wisdom Quarterly Wikipedia edit

"Till the World Ends" by Ke$ha performed by Britney Spears (Jimmy Kimmel Live)

Buddhist eschatology, as subscribed to by some Buddhist schools, derives from purported Gautama Buddha's prediction that his teachings, the "Dharma," would disappear after 5,000 years.

According to the discourse collection (Sutta Pitaka), the "ten wholesome courses of conduct" will disappear. People will follow the ten unwholesome courses of action -- bad karma that includes murder, violence, theft, sexual misconduct, false speech (perjury, divisiveness, abuse, and idle talk), greed, ill will, and delusion.

Greed manifests as perverted lust and rapacious craving for resources resulting in skyrocketing poverty and the end of compassionate behavior born out of the true Dharma.

How long would the Buddha's teaching last? Signs of corruption were evident in the Buddha's time (e.g., old Subhadda held wrong views, DN 16, 6:28) span of time was expanded to 5,000 years.

Commentators like Ven. Buddhaghosa predicted a step-by-step disappearance of the Buddha's teachings: During the first stage, enlightened beings would no longer appear in the world. Later, the content of the Buddha's true teachings would vanish and only their form would be preserved. Finally, even the form of the Dharma would be forgotten.

During the final stage, the memory of the Buddha himself would be forgotten.

The last of his relics would be gathered together in Bodh Gaya and cremated. Some time [one school says millions of years, another thousands] following this development a new buddha will arise.

Maitreya Buddha will arise to rediscover and reveal the timeless Dharma, namely the path to nirvana. The Buddha said that Maitreya is currently residing in Tuita heaven, where he is awaiting his final rebirth in the human world.

The decline of the Dharma (the core of Buddhism) in the world, its disappearance, and its eventual re-establishment by another buddha are in keeping with the general shape of Buddhist cosmology.

Buddhism like Vedic Hinduism teaches that there are cycles of evolution and destruction over the aeons, of which the present epoch represents only the latest step.

The historical Buddha Shakyamuni is only the latest in a series of supremely-enlightened teachers (buddhas) that stretches back into the past. (The Buddha named 29 of these buddhas).

The belief in the decline and disappearance of the true Dharma -- the teaching that successfully leads to enlightenment and nirvana -- in the human world has exerted significant influence in the development of Buddhism since the time of the Buddha.

In Vajrayana Buddhism and various other forms of esoteric Mahayana Buddhism, the use of tantra is rationalized as justifiable by the degenerate state of the present world.

The East Asian belief in the decline of the Dharma (mappo in Japanese) was instrumental in the emergence of Pure Land Buddhism. Within the oldest Theravada Buddhist tradition, debate over whether nirvana was still attainable in the present age helped prompt the creation of the Dhammayutt Monastic Order in Thailand and more importantly as various popular lay Insight-Meditation (Vipassana) movements such as Goenka.

In China, Buddhist eschatology was strengthened by the Taoist influence: The messianic features of Maitreya are widely emphasized. The figure of Prince Moonlight obtains prominence unknown in Sanskrit sources. So one of the T'ang Dynasty apocrypha predicts his rebirth in the female form, thus creating religious legitimacy for the Wu Zetian Empress's usurpation. Making more Taoist associations, the "Sutra of Samantabhadra" portrays Prince Moonlight as dwelling in a cave on Penglai Island.

Buddhist cosmology speaks of incredibly long cycles. During these, the lifespan of human beings lengthens and shortens according to collective human conduct (karma). In the Cakkavati Sutra the Buddha explains the relationship between the lifespan of human beings and behavior. According to this discourse, in the distant past unskillful behavior was unknown among the human race (Agga~n~na Sutra, DN 27).

Humans devolved from celestial, space-traveling beings (devas). As a result of their generally skillful behavior, people lived for an immensely long time -- 80,000 years -- endowed with great beauty, health, pleasure, and strength. Over time however they began behaving unskillfully. This gradually shortened average lifespan to 100 years, where it now stands. But this is cyclical. It will continue to go down along with human morality until it is 10, with girls reaching sexual maturity at the age of five.

Ultimately, conditions will deteriorate to the point of a "sword-interval." Swords will be wielded by human beings, who will hunt one another. However, a few people will take shelter in the wilderness to escape the carnage. When the slaughter is over, they will come out of hiding and resolve to take up a life of skillful and virtuous conduct again. With the recovery of virtue, the lifespan will gradually increase until it again very gradually reaches 80,000 years, with girls attaining sexual maturity at the age of 500.

According to Tibetan Buddhist literature, the age of the first Buddha (28 buddhas ago) was 100,000 years, and his height was 100 cubits. But the 28th buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (563-483 BCE) lived 80 years, and his height was 20 cubits.

"Everything You Know Is Wrong" (Lloyd Pye)

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Odin Ravens Song

Odin Ravens Song Cover

Book: Odin Ravens Song by Hrafnagaldr Odi

This very obscure poem has been regarded as a fragment only of a poem, of which the Beginning and end are wanting. With regard to the beginning, the want may Possibly be more apparent than real; the strophes 2-5 being in fact a sort of introduction, although they do not at first strike us as such, in consequence of the obscurity of the 1st strophe, which seems very slightly Connected With the following ones, in which the gods and dwarfs are described as in
council, on account of certain warnings are forbodings of their approaching downfall, or Ragnarok. Another point of difficulty is its title, there being nothing in the whole poem to connect it with Odin's ravens, except the mention of Hugr (Hugin) in the 3rd strophe.

Erik Halson, a learned Icelander, after having spent or wasted ten years in an attempt to explain this poem, confessed that he understood little or nothing of it. In its mythology, too, we find parts assigned to some of the personages, of which no traces occur in either Semund or Snorri Edda; thought we are hardly justified in pronouncing it, with more than one scholar of eminence, a fabrication of later times.

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Hrafnagaldr Odi - Odin Ravens Song

Monday, September 1, 2008

Vedic Experience

Vedic Experience Cover

Book: Vedic Experience by Anonymous

VEDIC EXPERIENCE Dedicated To His Holiness Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, The Guiding Light of the Discovery of Veda and the Vedic Literature.

The Vedas are mankind's oldest scriptures considered by Hindus to be a direct revelation of God. One of the finest translations to the English Language is done by Professor Raimon Pannikar, who now lives in a small mountain village in Spain. Himalayan Academy has been commissioned to publish his 1000-page anthology of the Vedic Experience in a special edition in the West, while Motilal Banarsidas has produced the Indian edition. In July of 1995 Professor Pannikar gave permission for these Vedic verses to be published on the World Wide Web. Finally we have all the seven parts of Vedic Experience on line. In the future we will make it more user freindly with its footnotes.

What would you save from a blazing house? A precious, irreplaceable manuscript containing a message of salvation for mankind, or a little group of people menaced by the
same fire? The situation is real and not for this writer alone: How can you be just an "intellectual," concerned with truth, or just a "spiritual," busy with goodness, when Men desperately cry for food and justice? How can you follow a contemplative, philosophical, or even religious path when the world shouts for action, engagement, and politics? And, conversely, how can you agitate for a better world or for the necessary revolution when what is most needed is serene insight and right evaluation? That the burning house is not my private property should be clear to all my neighbors on this earth of ours. But to speak about myself alone: this anthology is the product of an existential overcoming of my concrete situation by denying the ultimate validity of such a dilemma. If I am not ready to save the manuscript from the fire, that is, if I do not take my intellectual vocation seriously, putting it before everything else even at the risk of appearing inhuman, then I am also incapable of helping people in more concrete and proximate ways. Conversely, if I am not alert and ready to save people from a conflagration, that is to say, if I do not take my spiritual calling in all earnestness, sacrificing to it all else, even my own life, then I shall be unable to help in rescuing the manuscript. If I do not involve myself in the concrete issues of my time, and if I do not open my house to all the winds of the world, then anything I may produce from an ivory tower will be barren and cursed. Yet if I do not shut doors and windows in order to concentrate on this work, then I will not be able to offer anything of value to my neighbors.

Buy Anonymous's book: Vedic Experience

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