Thursday, October 30, 2008

There Is One God Let The Mankind Celebrate And Sing His Praise

There Is One God Let The Mankind Celebrate And Sing His Praise Image
Each of the major religions has, at its very core, the fundamental concept of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator that is beyond the understanding of the limited minds of mankind. Since these diverse cultures all agree that there is One Creator, a Creator whom we all honor, and whose ways we all strive to learn to live in harmony with, then isn't that a common bond that we should all share and celebrate?

Who can claim to know the "true" name of the That Which is beyond name and form? Is it even meaningful to try to name That Which is beyond name and form?

God, Khoda, Allah, Alaha, El, Elohim, Elat, Om, YHWH, Jehova, Jah, Yahweh, Brahman, Ram, Krishna, Ahura Mazda, Tao... and many more, have all been used to refer to That Which is beyond name and form.

For Christians who find it difficult to say the name Allah, it may be helpful to note that in the Semitic language of Aramaic that Jesus spoke, the Aramaic name that is translated as God in the European bible was actually Alaha. Indeed, Allah of the Qur'an and Alaha of Jesus are the same One. The name God is a relatively new, and perhaps unfortunate, European invention that has been the source of much misunderstanding. The word "God" can be made plural (as gods) and can be made Godess, which is not proper for Glorious, Holy God who have no partner whatsoever. Because He is selfsufficient and independent of everything. But the word, Alaha or Allah is free from those cons.

Those who are engaged in the worship of demigods enter into the darkest region of ignorance - Isha Upanishad

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Monday, October 20, 2008

The Essentials Of Hinduism A Comprehensive Overview Of The World Oldest Religion

The Essentials Of Hinduism A Comprehensive Overview Of The World Oldest Religion Cover

Book: The Essentials Of Hinduism A Comprehensive Overview Of The World Oldest Religion by Swami Bhaskarananda

This book was exactly what I was looking for: something to help me understand the basics of Hinduism without either oversimplifying or overcomplicating things. I had previously thought that Hinduism was difficult to understand, but it turns out that it just needed to be explained properly, something this book does far better than any others I have encountered. Bhaskarananda fills the pages with colorful stories and analogies, and sets up much of the book in a question-and-answer format, making it a delight to read. I found that almost all of the basic questions I had about Hinduism were answered. Questions are given in large, bold headings organized by topic, and are then answered in a concise but clear manner. Since Essentials of Hinduism is organized so well, it is excellent for keeping on the bookshelf as a quick reference. If you only buy one book on Hinduism, this should be it.

Swami Bhaskarananda, a monk of the Ramakrishna order, here offers a brief catechism aimed at Westerners unacquainted with Hindu religious traditions. Perforce covering those traditions in broad terms without going into doctrinal complexities, his book has a straightforward style that should appeal to casual readers and students at a basic level but will not interest advanced students and scholars. Bhaskarananda, who has founded and led several Vedanta societies, has also been involved in interfaith relations. His tone is frequently apologetic, and he corrects American stereotypes about India and Hindus. In general, he points out, Hinduism emphasizes family and personal devotion over communal celebration and values variety in viewpoint and observance. While this book is not broad enough to be a reference work and is somewhat biased toward the Vedanta philosophical school of thought, it could fill a gap in collections on Hindu philosophy and practice, especially in those collections dominated by the works of individual gurus. Recommended for public libraries.

Find Swami Bhaskarananda's book in
The Essentials Of Hinduism A Comprehensive Overview Of The World Oldest Religion

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Spirit Of Zen

The Spirit Of Zen Image
The philiosophy of Zen is very interesting to me. I am very much inclined to mysticism, metaphysics and among them Sufi philosophy attracts me most. I see a very close relationship between the Spirit of Sufi and of Zen.

Sufism tells its the essence of religion and it is beyond the form we call religion. Zen also have the similar approach. It transcend beyond conventional Buddhism. I have just gathered this book THE SPIRIT OF ZEN by Alan W. Watts, from Singapore Theosophical Society and it seems very nice.

Here i wish to quote about "'what Zen really is' "from this book.

Zen has no exact equivalent in English. It is a Japanese word dervied from Chinese Ch'an which is again from Sanskrit Dhyana. In Yoga psychology, Dhyana is A HIGH STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN WHICH MAN FINDS UNION WITH THE ULTIMATE REALITY OF THE UNIVERSE.

Thus if Zen is to be translated the nearest equivalent would be 'Enlightenment', but even so Zen is ont only Enlightenment; it is also teh way to its attainment.

From the start Zen dispenses with all forms of theorization, doctrinal instruction and life less formality; these are treated as mere symbols of wisdom, and Zen is founded on practice and on an intimate, personal experience of the reality to which most forms of religion and philosophy cmoe no nearer than intellectual or emotional description.

In a certain sense Zen is feeling life instead of feelings something "about "life.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Buddhism Between Extremes

Buddhism Between Extremes Image

It is said that the Buddha did not inform or instruct others about the Dharma, but rather he proclaimed the truth, or more exactly, he revealed it. We can't give the truth to someone as an object, we can only point to it, inviting inspection. It is in that spirit that we can hear or read a teaching and then look at our own lives, at our own experiences to see whether anything might have been revealed about them.

In the Buddhist texts there are phrases depicting the response of people hearing a teaching: "That which was overturned has been righted, the hidden revealed, the way has been shown to one who was lost, a lamp has been held up in the darkness." In the end, we can't hold on to the teachings as an identity or an object, we cannot become attached to them because in some strange sense there is nothing to claim. There's no commodity we can take with us. There is only our lives, whether we live them wisely or whether we live them in ignorance. And this is everything.

The Buddha said once, "I do not argue with the world. It is the world which argues with me." Many times the Buddha was asked what he thought about a certain teacher, or a certain presentation or doctrine. He would often say things like, "Look to see if the path, if the practice, leads to the complete ending of greed, hatred, and delusion in your lives. And if it does, you can trust it. Look to see whether it leads to the end of suffering. Look for yourselves." That is our invitation and responsibility.

by Sharon Salzberg

You also may enjoy this free books:

Aleister Crowley - Letters Between Aleister Crowley And Frieda Harris
Anonymous - Understand The Secret Language Of Trees
Robert John Stewart - Robert Kirk Walker Between Worlds

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

In Search Of Zarathustra The First Prophet And The Ideas That Changed The World

In Search Of Zarathustra The First Prophet And The Ideas That Changed The World Cover

Book: In Search Of Zarathustra The First Prophet And The Ideas That Changed The World by Paul Kriwaczek

"In Search of Zarathustra" is very well-written and an excellent example of how to make history entertaining, without compromising the requirement to accurately inform. But the book is much more than simply history though. It's really a search for something important and very profound, and the author makes it a joy for the reader to join him on the journey. Part history. Part travelogue. Part investigation of the soul... All seamlessly woven together!

The ancient prophet Zarathustra, founder of Zoroastrianism, was a "deeply radical figure" who believed in "one true God," saw the world as a "battlefield between good and evil," and predicted the coming of a messiah and the end of time, convictions that became the foundation for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. So intrigued did Kriwaczek, formerly a Central and South Asia expert for the BBC, become with Zarathustra's largely overlooked legacy, he launched an original, exacting, and many-faceted inquiry into the Iranian visionary's deep, abiding, and remarkably universal influence. Working backward in time and blending vivid accounts of visits to historic Zoroastrian sites with a fresh and consistently perceptive and surprising analysis of religious history, Kriwaczek weaves an enticingly complex tapestry. He seeks and finds evidence of Zoroastrianism in twentieth-century Iran and Afghanistan, parses Nietzsche's adoption of the prophet as muse and conduit, tracks the puzzling history of the Cathars, discerns Iranian elements in Gothic art and feudalism, and discusses how the prophet Mani nearly turned Zoroastrianism into a "world faith."

Hidden by the looming shadows of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, Zoroastrianism seems a largely forgotten religion today. Yet this ancient tradition so powerfully influenced these other three faith groups that they would not exist in their present state if not for the teachings of Zarathustra, the prophet of Zoroastrianism. Kriwaczek's lively and fast-paced study offers a unique view of Zarathustra's impact on Western religious history. Beginning in present-day Iran (the Persia where Zarathustra first began his teaching around 1200 B.C.), he participates in New Year festivities that demonstrate that pre-Islamic Iranian mythology and religious customs exist in uneasy alliance with contemporary Islamic practices. Kriwaczek then sets off on a backward travelogue, examining the significance of Zarathustra for Nietzsche in the 19th century, the Cathars of the Middle Ages and Hellenistic and Jewish thought from the third through the first centuries B.C. The prophet's teachings, recorded in the Avesta, offer a dualistic view of the world, a dualism that can be seen in the apocalyptic visions of the Book of Daniel and in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Zoroastrianism also featured divisions of heavenly beings, each lined up on one side or the other, supporting either darkness or light. In both Christianity and Islam, the influence of Zoroastrianism can be clearly seen in the pantheon of heavenly beings arranged in hierarchical fashion according to degrees of goodness or evil. This is the best and most thorough survey of Zoroastrianism, and its prophet Zarathustra, to date.

In some ways this book reminds me of two other books I've read: "In Search of the Birth of Jesus: The Real Journey of the Magi" by Paul William Roberts, and "The Other God: Dualist Religions From Antiquity to the Cathar Heresy" by Yuri Stoyanov (the author here actually cites an earlier edition of Stoyanov's book as a reference). The former is a light-hearted, more entertaining read, while the latter is a thorough, vast and erudite (though still very readable) survey. Both are excellent books, but what I especially like about "In Search of Zarathustra" is that it combines the best of both worlds: highly readable, entertaining, imaginative, and yet complete in its exploration of the subject.

This really is the best book that I've read in quite some time. I'm not sure what more I could say to recommend it. So instead I'll simply end with: Get this book. You won't regret it!!

Buy Paul Kriwaczek's book: In Search Of Zarathustra The First Prophet And The Ideas That Changed The World

Books in PDF format to read:

Vladimir Antonov - Classics Of Spiritual Philosophy And The Present
Frater Achad - The Egyptian Revival Or The Ever Coming Son In The Light Of The Tarot
John Ankerberg - Satanism And Witchcraft The Occult And The West Part Ii
Anonymous - Aleister Crowley And The Enchantment Of The Wicked Man

Friday, October 10, 2008

Goddess Movement

Goddess Movement Image
By Durwydd MacTara

My RELIGION is Wicca, my LIFE-STYLE is Witchcraft! I believe in a supreme being that is both Immanent and Transcendent, that is expressing itself within AND without. However, I also believe that trying to define/describe such an infinite Divine Being in finite terms to be a waste of time and energy. I CAN describe my perceptions of the Ultimate in terms of the energies that I work with and find significant in my daily living. My style and methods of relating to what I can perceive of these Divine Energies are what I describe as my RELIGION. How I apply these insights gained via my religious practices, I term my CRAFT.

The name for my religion is derived from the Saxon root "wicce" (pronounced
) and is loosely translated as "Wise". The word "Wicca" was first used in modern times in England by Gerald B. Gardner to describe/define an attempt at restoring "the old wisdom" of pre-Christian beliefs and practice into a modern context in the 1940's. Ergo, I could call my religion "wisdom" and my style of application of this wisdom "wise-craft" or more simply, "The Craft of the Wise".
For the sake of convenience and easy understanding, I divide the expressions of the Divine Energies into two groups; that of the active positive (symbolically
) energies represented to me by the stag horned Lord of the Forest, and those of a more passive, nurturing, or "negative" polarity represented to me by the Threefold Goddess. Approaching my perceptions of the universe and its energies in this way allows me to break them down into "bite sized chunks",
applicable to my daily life in a mundane world, and what good is ANY belief system if it is not of immediate and practical use here and now?

So what are some of the beliefs and practices of this religion called Wicca, and how do I apply them to my daily life? What does it all mean? The following explanation is based on a press statement released by the American Council of Witches released in the early 1970's, with some editing on my part to reflect my own beliefs and practices.

Basic Principles Of The Craft

1. The first principle is that of love, and it is expressed in the ethic,

a) Love is not emotional in it's essence, but is an attribute of the individual as expressed in relation to other beings;
b) Harming others can be by thought, word, or deed. Thought is included here, because for the Witch, "thoughts are things" and every action, even thoughts, can become magical actions, whether consciously intended or not;
c) It is to be understood the "none" includes oneself, though it is permissible to harm self in helping others, should one so choose;
d) The harm which is to be regarded as unethical is gratuitous harm; war, in general, is gratuitous harm, although it is ethical to defend oneself and one's liberty when threatened by real and present danger, such as personal defense or defense of another WHEN REQUESTED.

2. The Witch must recognize and harmonize with the forces of the universe, in accord with the Law of Polarity: everything is dual; everything has two poles;
everything has it's opposite; for every action there is a reaction; all can be categorized as either active or reactive in relation to other things.

a) The Infinite and Ultimate Godhead is one unique and transcendent wholeness, beyond any limitations or expressions; thus, it is beyond our human capacity to under-stand and identify with this principle of Cosmic Oneness, except as It is revealed to us in terms of It's attributes and operation.
b) One of the most basic and meaningful attribute of the One that we, as humans, can relate to and understand, is that of polarity, of action and reaction;
therefore Witches recognize the Oneness of the Divinity, but worship and relate to the Divine as the archetypal polarity of God and Goddess, the All-Father and the Great Mother of the universe. The Beings are as near as we can approach to the One within our human limitations of understanding and expression, though it is possible to experience the divine Oneness through the practices of the Mysteries.
c) Harmony does not consist of the pretty and the nice, but the balanced, dynamic, poised co-operation and co-relationship.

3. The Witch must recognize, and operate within the framework of the Law of Cause and Effect; every action has its reaction, and every effect has its cause.
All things occur according to this law; nothing in the universe can occur outside this law, though we may not always appreciate the relation between a given effect and it's cause. Subsidiary to this is the Law of Three, which states that whatever goes forth must return threefold, whether of good or ill;
for our actions affect more than people generally realize, and the resulting reactions are also part of the harvest.

4. As Above, So Below. That which exists in the Macrocosm exists, on a smaller scale and to a lesser degree, in the Microcosm. The powers of the universe exist also in the human, though in general instance they lie dormant. The powers and abilities can be awakened and used if the proper techniques are practiced, and this is why initiates of the Mysteries are sworn to guard the secrets from the unworthy: Much harm can be done by those who have power without responsibility, both to others and to themselves according to the Laws of Cause and Effect and of Threefold Return.

a) Since our philosophy teaches that the universe is the physical manifestation of the Divine, there can be nothing in the universe which does not partake of the nature of the Divine; hence, the powers and attributes of the Divine exist also in the manifest, though to much smaller degree.b) These powers can be awakened through the various techniques of the Mysteries, and, although they are only capable of small effects in and of themselves, it is possible to use them in order to draw upon the forces of the universe. Thus humanity can be the wielders of the power of the Gods, a channel for Godhead to act within It's own manifes-tation. This, many feel, is further reason for the oath of secrecy.
c) Since the universe is the body of the One, possessing many of the same attributes as the One, it's Laws must be the principles through and by which the One operates. By reasoning from the known to the unknown, one can learn of the Divine, and thus of oneself. By experiencing the Mysteries a person can truly LEARN more about the One. Thus the Craft is a natural religion as well as a MYSTERY religion, seeing in Nature the expression and revelation of Divinity.

5. We know that everything in the universe is in movement or vibration and is a function of that vibration. Everything vibrates; all things rise and fall in a tidal system that reflects the motion inherent in the universe and also in the atom. Matter and energy are but two poles of one continuous phenomenon.
Therefore the Witch celebrates, harmonizes with, and makes use of the tides of the universe and of life as expressed through the cycle of the seasons and the motion of the solar system. These ritual observances are the eight great Festivals of the Year, referred to as the Wheel of the Year. Further, the Witch works with the forces and tides of the Moon, for this body is the mediator of much energy to our planet Earth and thus to ourselves.

6. Nothing is dead matter in the universe. All things exist, therefore all things live, though perhaps in a different manner from that which we are used to calling life. In view of this, the Witch knows that there is no true death, only change from one condition to another. The universe is the body of Godhead, and therefore possesses one transcen-dent consciousness; all things partake of the consciousness, in varying levels of trance/ awareness.

a) Because of this principle, all things are sacred to the Witch, for all partake of the one Life.
b) Therefore the Witch is a natural ecologist, for Nature is part of us as we are a part of Nature.

7. Throughout the development of the human race, civilizations have seen and worsh-ipped many and various attributes of the Divine. These universal forces have been clothed in forms which were expressive to the worshipper of the attribute of the God-head which they expressed. Use of these symbolic representations of the natural and divine forces of the universe, or god forms, is a potent method for contacting and utiliz-ing the forces they represent.
Thus the Gods are both natural and truly divine, and man-made in that the forms with which they are clothed are products of humanity's striving to know the Godhead.
a) In keeping with the Law of Polarity, these god-forms are brought into harmony by the one great Law which states: All Gods are one God. All Goddesses are one Goddess. There is one Initiator. This law is an expression of our understanding that all of the forces of the universe, by whatever ethnic god-form is chosen to clothe and relate to whichever force, can be resolved into the fundamental polarity of the Godhead, the Great Mother and the All-Father.
b) It is the use of differing god forms, of differing ethnic sources or periods, which is the basis of many of the differences between the various Traditions of the Craft. Each Tradition uses the forms, and thus the names, which to that Tradition best express and awaken an understanding of the force represented, according to the areas of emphasis of the Tradition.
c) Because we know that differing names or representations are but expressions of the same divine principles and forces, we require our members to swear that they will never mock the names by which another honors the Divine, even though those names be different from and seemingly less expressive than the names and god forms used by our Tradition (for to the members of another Tradition, using it's names, ours may easily seem equally less expressive).

8. A Witch refuses to allow her/himself to be corrupted by the great guilt neuroses which have been foisted on humanity in the name of the Divine, thus freeing the self of the slavery of the mind. The Witch expresses responsibility for her/his actions, and accepts the consequences of them; guilt is rejected as inhibiting to one's self-actualization, and replaced by the efforts of the Witch to obey the teachings of harmlessness, responsi-bility for the consequences of one's actions, and the goal of actualizing the full powers of the individual.

a) We refuse to believe that a human being is born innately sinful, and recognize the concepts of sin and guilt are tremendously inhibiting to the human potential; the consequences of the Law of Cause and Effect, called karma by some, are not punish-ment, but the recurrences of situations and their effects because the individual has not gained the Wisdom needed to handle or avoid such situations.
b) There is no heaven except that which we ourselves make of our life on Earth, and likewise there is no hell except the effects of our unwise actions. Many of us believe in a "waiting place" sometimes called Summerland where we rest, recuperate and prepare for our next sojourn in the earth. "Death is not followed by punishment or reward, but by life and the continuing personal evolution of our human potential. c) One cannot damn the divine in oneself; one can, however, cut oneself off from it through the rejection of wisdom and a refusal to strive for self-realization. This cutting off does not lead to personal suffering in "hell", for there is no Self to suffer if the tie to one's own divinity has been severed; what remains is merely an empty shell, a
"personality" or thought-form devoid of it's ensouling Spark of the Divine Fire.

9. We know of the existence of the life-force which ensouls all living things, that is, all that exists. We know that a spark of this Divine Fire is within each and every thing that exists, and that it does not die; only the form of its existence changes. We know that this spark of the life-force returns to manifestation again and again in order to fully realize and actualize it's potential, evolving finally to the peak and essence of existence which is pure being. In this process of reincarnation each form returns in the same type of form, though it's ever-increasing actualization may lead to higher levels of existence of that form. Man returns as man, cat as feline, mineral as mineral, each class of form evolving as the individual forms of that class evolve.

10. This process of evolution through successive incarnations in manifest form works through the utilizations of wisdom gained, the essence of the life- experience. This essence of experience, or Wisdom, is an attribute of the spark of life itself, one and inseparable.

11. We must care for the body, for it is the vehicle of the spark of life, the form by which we attain. Thus we must heal the body of it's ills and keep it a tuned and perfected tool; so must we heal others (both physically and psychologically) as far as it is within our power to do so. However, we cannot interfere with the life of another, even to heal, except at their request or with their express permission. The reasoning behind this apparent limitation is that we are endowed with Free Will, and what the Gods themsel-ves hesitate to infringe upon, is best left alone by us "mere" mortals.
12. Harmony with, and utilization of, the great natural forces of the universe is called magick. By magick we speak, not of the supernatural, but of the superbly natural, but whose laws and applications are not as yet recognized by the scientific establishment. The Witch must strive to recognize these forces, learn their laws, attune her/himself to them, and make use of them. The Witch must also be aware that power corrupts when used "for the gains of the self, and therefore must strive to serve humanity: Either through the service in the Priesthood, or by example and effects of his/her life on others. The choice must be made in accord with the true nature of the Witch.

You also may enjoy these free books:

Aleister Crowley - Household Gods Comedy
Francesca De Grandis - Be A Goddess
Francesca De Grandis - Goddess Initiation

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Witchcraft Definition

Witchcraft Definition Cover There is no universal meaning for what Witchcraft is. It means different things in different cultures. But here I will try to give as detailed a description as possible, with providing as many views as possible. You may also want to look at the Additional Reading list that expands on some of the information here.

First let's make it clear that Witchcraft is the title of the religion. Not Wicca. Here in the U.S. there is a large debate about this. But if one is open to the historic evolution of the religion; Wicca is a moderately new tradition within the religion and not the religion itself. You can read much more about this in the Is Witchcraft A Religion article.By Eric Tewder, 1996

So what is Witchcraft?
Witchcraft is a spiritual practice, a way of life, a belief system and a religion. Witchcraft is the religion that sets the foundation of belief. The denominations of Witchcraft are called Traditions. They further define and implement the foundation of beliefs into their own perspectives of practice. Defining their own creed, troth or rede of faith to provide guidance and principles for that tradition.

"The Craft" is a much older way to describe what is commonly known as Witchcraft. But some suggest "The Craft" is actually the craft of Magik, or magikal practices which are not specific to, or only used by, pagan religions.

Some refer to their spiritual belief system by the name of their particular tradition (ie: Wicca). We will discuss this further below.

There is no single Bible or sacred text defining all of Witchcraft, in all its many sects or traditions. However each practioner and/or coven has their own Book of Shadows or Grimoire. The Grimoire contains rituals, invocations and charms, experiences and journal entries from the coven as a whole. They contain information and teachings learned from experiences and from each other. Practioners often copy from each others books, and more often students from their teachers. Often a teacher will define exactly which entries a student must copy into their own Grimoire before their initiation process into that coven can be completed.

Even though a coven has a base or official source of Grimoire, no two Grimoires are ever exactly the same. Ideally a Grimoire should contain only methods that have proven successful and have been consistent in their workings or hold up to scrutiny. Failed ideas are excluded. Along with the Grimoire, many covens see other essential texts to the Grimoire: The Greater Key of Solomon the King which dates from medieval times and The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage which was published in the late 1900s. These two books are said to contain the basic lessons and principles of magik that should be utilized in every coven. Of course this is not a requirement and not all covens provide these additional works.

Witchcraft is a recognized religion by the United States government. In 1985/86 the U.S. Army included a section in the Army Chaplin's Handbook on Witchcraft/Wicca. If you examine the entry, you will notice that the religion is known by other names, and you'll find Witchcraft listed in that section of the document.

In the most simplistic definitions, Witchcraft can be described as:
A nature based religion that believes in the balance of mind/body/spirit within the divine multiverse. It is a religion and way of life, honoring all things seen and unseen within that divine multiverse. Practitioners strive to live in harmony and balance within nature, believing we (human and nature) are all interconnected and parts of the greater divine force. Some call this force, The GreatSpirits, The Divine, God/Goddess, All That Is and so on. It's really up to the individual and what label best fits their view of the Divine Spirit.

Books in PDF format to read:

Tom Peete Cross - Witchcraft In North Carolina
Gerald Gardner - Witchcraft Today
Louise Huebner - Witchcraft For All
Jaroslav Nemec - Witchcraft And Medicine
Anonymous - Witchcraft Dictionary

An Encyclopaedia Of Occultism

An Encyclopaedia Of Occultism Cover

Book: An Encyclopaedia Of Occultism by Lewis Spence

This was the first comprehensive coverage of its kind covering the topic of occultism, and was originally titled with a long, daunting title peculiar to its 1920 origins. Dover's reduced the title to a managable read and provided a fine reprint of a dictionary-style set of entries which embrace occult terms and explore the roots of mythology, folk literature, and the occult. A thrilling, oft-cited resource packed with important keys to understanding, this will still prove applicable and important to modern audiences.

This "compendium of information on the occult sciences, occult personalities, psychic science, demonology, spiritism, and mysticism" was one of a kind when it was first published in 1920 and is still considered the best in its field today. Spence organizes a world's worth of magic -- from "Ab" (a magical month in the ancient Semitic calendar) to "Zulu witch-finders" -- into 2,500 dictionary-style entries that explore concepts and personalities both familiar (Freemasonry, Morgan le Fay) and obscure: palingenesy (a process by which plants or vegetables are destroyed and then "resurrected"), Leonora Galigai (a 17th-century Italian aristocrat who was burned as a witch). A delight for devotees of the weird and the strange, and a valuable resource for students of mythology and the evolution of scientific thought, this important volume is at home in the libraries of all book lovers. Scottish journalist and folklorist LEWIS SPENCE (1874 -1955) was a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, and Vice-President of the Scottish Anthropological and Folklore Society. He published more than 40 works on mythology and the occult, including History of Atlantis, An Introduction to Mythology, and Myth and Ritual in Dance, Game and Rhyme.

A lot of the entries are eerily similar and have the same subject matter with few differences. Although I must admit its easier to read Spences' version if you are not familiar with French and if you could find a viable copy of De Plancy's work. Between the two you can get a massive amount of information concerning the subject. Some entries are more extended in one version than the other.

Buy Lewis Spence's book: An Encyclopaedia Of Occultism

You also can download this ebooks:

Sepharial - A Manual Of Occultism
Robert Ellwood - The Encyclopedia Of World Religions

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Buddhism Meets Taoism

Buddhism Meets Taoism Image
Buddha in Bhutan (Michael Foley Photography)

Brenda Smage reads Prof. Rev. Dr. James Kenneth Powell II's scholarship on Taoism, Buddhism, and medieval China. Buddhism spread "hippie-like" from Dharma bum wandering ascetic scholars on the Silk Road. They settled in Loyang, hanging around with the Taoists/Daoists. Before long they have taken over the spiritual-philosophical landscape. Confucianists came to the rescue: T'ang Dynasty persecution put an end to Theravada Buddhism. (It eradicated Sarvastivada Buddhism, the original and much maligned "Hinayana" school). As the original teachings from India and Central Asia were driven out of China, only the overly wooden Ch'an (Zen) and overly devotional "Pure Land" traditions survived.

(Open Source Buddhism)

* Buddhist India: landlocked Ladakh, the roof of the world

You also may enjoy this free books:

Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Nameless City
Aleister Crowley - His Secret Sin

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