Thursday, July 23, 2009

Taoist Views Of The Body

Taoist Views Of The Body Cover Three main terms define the traditional Chinese views of the human body. The first, ti or "body," designates the physical frame as an ordered whole made of interdependent parts. The second, xing or "form," mainly refers to the body as the counterpart and residence of spirit. The third, shen or "person," denotes the whole human being, including its non-material aspects ranging from thinking and feeling to personality and social role. These terms show that the Western notion of "body" as physical structure is inadequate to convey the complexity of the Chinese views. The specifically Taoist views are further enriched by significant varieties among different traditions. In the absence of a single way of seeing the body shared by all Taoist traditions, this article outlines some of the main themes that emerge from different contexts.

Body and state. The human body and the state are two microcosms related not only to the macrocosm but also to each other. (See Macrocosm and Microcosm.) The body is often described with bureaucratic metaphors, and governing the state is often likened to self-cultivation. This analogy runs throughout Heshang gong's commentary to the Daode jing and is restated in later texts. One of Heshang gong's relevant passages reads:

If in governing the body one cherishes one's breath, the body will be complete. If in governing the country one cherishes the people, the country will be peaceful. Governing the body means to inhale and exhale essence and breath (jing and qi) without letting one's ears hear them. Governing the country means to distribute virtue (de) and bestow grace (hui) without letting the lower ones know it. (Laozi Heshang gong zhangju 10)

At the center of the bureaucratic metaphor are the five viscera (wuzang), described as "offices" (or "officers," guan) in both Taoist and medical texts including the Huangdi neijing (Inner Scripture of the Yellow Emperor; Suwen, sec. 3.8).

Body and cosmos. Taoism adds much to the theory of the correspondence between cosmos and human body, beginning with descriptions that focus on Laojun, the divine aspect of Laozi. According to the Laozi bianhua jing (Scripture of the Transformations of Laozi), the Kaitian jing (Scripture of the Opening of Heaven), and other texts, Laozi exists at the beginning of the formation of the cosmos and reappears throughout human history, transforming his body each time. In other instances, the cosmos itself is seen as the body of Laozi, a theme that appears to have originated in myths concerning Pan Gu, the "cosmic man". A text quoted in the Buddhist Xiaodao lun (Essays to Ridicule the Dao) describes the cosmic body of Laozi as follows:

Laozi transformed his body. His left eye became the sun; his right eye, the moon; his head, Mount Kunlun; his beard, the planets and constellations; his bones, the dragons; his flesh, the quadrupeds; his intestine, the snakes; his stomach, the sea; his fingers, the five peaks (wuyue); his hair, the trees and the herbs; his heart, the Flowery Canopy (huagai, i.e., Cassiopea in heaven and the lungs in the body); and his kidneys, the Real Father and the Real Mother of humanity.

Attesting to the continuity among different times and traditions, an echo of this passage is found in an invocation that the Taoist priest pronounces at the beginning of the Offering (jiao) ritual, when he performs a series of purifications of outer and inner space. With the Great Spell for the Transformation of the Body (da bianshen zhou), the priest identifies himself with the cosmos and with some of the divinities who inhabit it.

The body as residence of gods and spirits. The spirits of the viscera have a human shape and the texts provide details on their names, heights, garments, and functions. Since the earliest descriptions, found in the Taiping jing (Scripture of Great Peace), these details are provided as support for meditation: visualizing the inner gods causes them to remain in their corporeal abodes and perform their functions, while their departure would result in illness and death. More extended descriptions of the inner deities are found in the Huangting jing (Scripture of the Yellow Court) and especially in the Laozi zhongjing (Central Scripture of Laozi), and were later developed by the Shangqing school. The Huangting jing describes the gods of the five viscera and of the niwan, the upper Cinnabar Field (dantian) located in the region of the brain. The Laozi zhongjing features a group of deities who dwell in different regions of the human body, all of whom are differerent forms taken by the Great One (Taiyi). In both texts, the deities of the viscera perform administrative functions within the body, establishing a link with the views of the medical texts referred to above.

In other instances, the viscera are the seats of impersonal forces. According to the Heshang gong commentary and to medical texts, the hun "soul" (representing the Yang components of the human being), the po "soul" (representing the Yin components), the essence (jing), the spirit (shen), and the Intention (yi) respectively reside in the liver, lungs, kidneys, heart, and spleen. Elsewhere, hun and po are represented in a divinized form; in this case, the hun are said to number three and the po seven. They are often mentioned with the "three corpses" and "nine worms" (sanshi and jiuchong), malevolent spirits who report the faults and sins of the individual in which they dwell to the Director of Destinies (Siming). Accumulating merit through good actions, abstaining from cereals, and performing rites on the gengshen day (the fifty-seventh of the sexagesimal cycle) were among the methods used to neutralize them.

The body as mountain and landscape. The Wushang biyao (Supreme Secret Essentials, 41.3b) associates the Authentic Talismans of the Five Emperors (wudi zhenfu) with the five planets in heaven, the five sacred mountains on earth, and the five viscera in the human body. The body itself is often represented as a mountain. Liang Kai (thirteenth century) painted a famous scroll that depicts an immortal — possibly meant to be Laozi himself — as a mountain, using the technique normally applied for painting landscapes. Images of the body as a mountain are also found in Taoist texts (see an example). They illustrate loci in the body that are important for the practices of Nourishing Life (yangsheng) and internal alchemy (neidan). Some of these sites are represented as palaces that function as headquarters for the administration of the inner body: here too the metaphor of the government of the country as the government of the body is apparent. In turn, the visual depictions of the body as a mountain are related to the best-known Taoist image of the inner body, the Neijing tu (Chart of the Inner Warp), which maps the body as a landscape whose features (e.g., the watercourse, the mill, the furnace) have symbolic meanings in neidan.

The body in internal alchemy. The neidan view of the body is complex, and remarkable differences occur among various subtraditions and authors. In general, the main components of the internal elixir (essence, breath, and spirit, or jing, qi, and shen), as well as the tripod and the furnace, are said to be found within the human being. Beyond this basic premise, neidan shares some of the views outlined above and dismisses others. For instance, it inherits from traditional medicine the importance of the Control and Function channels (dumai and renmai) that play a central role in the circulation of essence; on the other hand, neidan practice as it was codified during the Song period does not involve visualizing the inner gods.

Neidan, however, is more than a technique, and the importance it gives to immaterial notions such as inner nature and vital force (xing and ming), or inner nature and individual qualities (xing and qing), shows that its focus is not the physical body. Li Daochun (fl. 1288-92) explains that the various notions and practices have multiple "points of application" or "points of operation" (zuoyong chu); they take on different meanings at different levels, from the physical to the spiritual and beyond this distinction. An example is the Mysterious Pass (xuanguan), which according to different authors is located between the eyebrows, between the kidneys, in the gallbladder, in the navel, or elsewhere, while others say it has no precise location in the body. As Li Daochun remarks: "The Mysterious Pass is the most mysterious and wondrous pivotal pass (jiguan). How can it have a fixed position? If you place it in the body (shen), this is not correct. If you separate it from the body and search for it outside the body, this is also not correct"

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kabbalah For Beginners

Kabbalah For Beginners Cover

Book: Kabbalah For Beginners by Rabbi Michael Laitman

The Kabbalist Rabbi Laitman, who was the student and personal assistant to Rabbi Baruch Ashlag from 1979-1991, follows in the footsteps of his rabbi in passing on the wisdom of Kabbalah to the world. This book is based on sources that were passed down by Rabbi Baruch’s father, Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), the author of ‘‘the Sulam,’’ the commentaries on The Book of Zohar, who continued the ways of the Ari and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and many great Kabbalists throughout the generations before them.

The goal of this book is to assist individuals in confronting the first stages of the spiritual realm. This unique method of study, which encourages sharing this wisdom with others, not only helps overcome the trials and tribulations of everyday life, but initiates a process in which individuals extend themselves beyond the standard limitations of today’s world. Benzion Giertz, Executive Editor

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ceremonial Magic Unveiled

Ceremonial Magic Unveiled Cover

Book: Ceremonial Magic Unveiled by Dion Fortune

This article first appeared in the Occult Gazette in January I933 and has not been available for a wider audience since. It is of particular relevance in revealing D.F's considered opinion about The Golden Dawn as well as Aleister Crowley.

If I read the signs of the times aright, the veil of the Temple of the Mysteries is being drawn back at the present moment. There are phases in the spiritual life of mankind just as there are weather cycles extending over periods of years, and the tide which began to move during the first decade of the twentieth century is gathering head as it proceeds. The signs of the times are to be seen in the publication of certain books on magic in which the genuine secrets are given, and given in a form available for any reader with a capacity for metaphysical thoughts. Among the most important of these are Israel Regardie's two books: The Garden of Pomegranates and The Tree of Life.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Buddha Day In India

Buddha Day In India Image
The "Buddha Day Festival" ("Buddha Purnima "or "Jayanti") falls on the full-moon night in the lunar month of "Vaisakha" (April or May depending on the year). It commemorates the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. This is officially the year 2454 (Buddhist Era). And according to another reckoning, it has been 2,600 years since the great enlightenment.

"The Buddha in meditation (dhyana, zen, jhana, ch'an"), Japanese style

Notwithstanding the Indian summer heat (routinely touching 45 degrees Celsius), pilgrims came from all over the world. They congregated in Bodh Gaya, the place of the great enlightenment, to attend the Buddha Day celebrations.

Nothing disturbs the serenity of a mindful meditator fully aware and at peace

The day is marked with devotions ("pujas"), meditation ("bhavana"), sermons (sutras or "bhana, "recitation) on the life of Gautama Buddha. There is continuous chanting reciting Buddhist scriptures from all traditions, group walking and seated meditation, banner waving processions, and honoring the Bodhi tree and the temple and statue erected on the spot believed to be where Siddhartha sat to reach buddhahood.

The Mahabodhi ("Great-enlightenment") Temple wears a festive look and is decorated with colorful flags, flowers, incense, banners, and a sea of saffron robes. The ancient Chinese scholar and traveler, Fa-Hien, recorded celebrations of this festival.

The Buddha, Sariputra (left), and Mahamoggallana, Cambodian style

There are Buddhist festivals throughout India, particularly at the main places memorializing his early life, later spiritual quest, and the establishingof the Dharma. The principal annual ceremony for all the Buddhist is the Vesak ("Vaisaka") festival, as it is known in Sri Lanka and throughout the world.

"GREAT" ENLIGHTENMENT?

He attained "supreme" enlightenment (buddhahood) -- that is,not only did he glimpse nirvana, but he consummated the perfections ("paramis" or "paramitas") necessary to be a teaching "buddha." (There is another kind of silent "buddha," one who partiallydevelops the perfections and thereby gains enlightenment on his own without the ability to establish a dispensation or bring others to liberation). That is why Siddhartha's attainment is called the "great" enlightenment. It takes much longer than the path or quest of someone following a fully enlightened trailblazer.

His quest was successful beneath the Bodhi-tree at Buddha Gaya (Bodh Gaya or "Enlightenment Grove," Bihar state, India). Thirty-five years earlier, he was born in Lumbini Garden (on the frontiers of Northwest India). Forty-five years later, at the age of 80, he passed away in "parinivana" on the same day full-moon night of Vesak in Kushinagar, India.

The great Buddha of Bamiyan, Afghanistan (removed by the Taliban) was once a monastic cave complex in the hillside.

So Buddha Day celebrations are concentrated at these three locations: modern Lumbini (relocated in Nepal), Bodh Gaya, and Kusinara, India. One day Bamiyan may be recognized as the original Kapilavastu, where Siddhartha grew up, and Baluchistan (on the frontier provinces bordering modern Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) as the place where he was born. (According to ancient Indian tradition, a woman returns to her parent's home to give birth).

These are regarded as sacred places -- along with Sarnath (in the suburbs of Varanasi suburbs) where the Buddha set rolling the Wheel of the Dharma by delivering the first sutra.

Buddhists from Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Tibet, China, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Mongolia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal, Japan, and a growing number of Western countries (most notably Germany, England, France, and the US) participate in festive celebrations.

The great Buddha Day Festival, although it is a day of rejoicing, does not encourage hectic gaiety, fervent devotion, or abandon. Instead, it encourages reflection, joy, and calm. The happiness that Buddhists feel when they are "celebrating" it is a tranquil, peaceful, and full of well wishes.

The festival has a vibrant side, of course, with most Buddhist countries being decked in brightly illuminated with colorful lanterns, electric lights, banners, parades (or processions and circumambulations), and festive decorations.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Christianity Defined

Christianity Defined Cover
The majority of Christians adhere to the Apostles' Creed: "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into Hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended unto Heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost,...the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting." Most Christian faith revolves around the basic principles of this creed, but with important exceptions to its various beliefs. Christianity has an unswerving conviction that it is the only true religion, the only path to salvation. This engenders a missionary zeal, an urgency to evangelize around the world.

Stress is placed on acceptance of Jesus as God incarnate and Savior, on good conduct, compassion, service to mankind, faith and preparation for the Final Judgment. Only good Christians will be saved and accepted into heaven. Today over half of all Christians are black. Membership is diminishing in developed nations but increasing in undeveloped nations.

FOUNDED: Christianity began about 2,000 years ago in what is now Israel.
FOUNDER: Jesus of Nazareth, or Jesus Christ, "Anointed One," "the Messiah."
MAJOR SCRIPTURE: The Bible -- Old and New Testaments.
ADHERENTS: Estimated at 2 billion.
SECTS: Christianity is divided into three main sects: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant. Among Protestants there are over 20,000 denominations.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Jesus And The Hermit Sufi Story

Jesus And The Hermit Sufi Story Image
1.

It is related that Isa or Jesus, peace be upon him (Its preferrable that we call him by his original Aramaic name Isa, rather than Jesus, which is a later latinized name. His true name is ISA, or Eesa as refreshed in Quranic Arabic, also English transliteration of Ancient Aramaic put as Eashoa', as inspired by God through the Holy Spirit, Ruh al-Quddus, to his noble Mother, Maryam and its only polite and proper to call someone by his / her actual name as it sounds in actuality. And his name Eesa, mind you, is never given to any other "Son of Man" before him. The name itself is a source of Baraka and it contains undisclosed secret in it) during one of his wandering trips, passed a mountain in which there was a hermit's cell. He came to it and found a worshiper there whose back had been bent down and whose body had grown very thin out of very serious ascetic practices.

Ea-shoa' M'shee-kha (Isa Messiah) greeted him and was astonished by his evident signs of piety and devotion. Isa asked him, "How long have you been in this cell?

The hermit replied: "For the past seventy years I have been asking God for one thing which He has not yet fulfilled for me. Oh, Spirit of God, if you acted as my intercessor, perhaps my desire would finally be granted."

Isa Messiah asked, "And what is your request?"

The recluse said, "I have been asking Him to let me taste a tiny amount of the purest of His love."

Isa replied, "I shall pray for you to that effect."

So Isa Messiah prayed for the man, and God revealed the following: "I have accepted your intercession and granted the petition of your prayer." Isa ibn Maryam went back to the same place after a few days to see what had happened to the worshiper. He saw that the cell had collapsed, and the earth under it had opened into a great crevice.

Isa descended into the crevice and came, after several leagues, to its end where he found the hermit standing with his eyes fixed and his mouth wide-open.

Isa Messiah greeted him with his usual greetings of peace in his mother tonque Aramaic, Shalom Aleichem (peace be upon you), but he didn't reply. Master Isa was astonished at the man's condition and heard a mysterious voice call out: "O Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary)! He has asked Us for a tiny amount of the purest of Our love, but knowing that he was unable to bear it, We gave him only the seventieth part of an atom, and it has stupified him, as you can see. What if We had given him more!?"

2.

The story is related in a sufi manual by the title "Mahasin al-Majalis" (The Attraction of Mystical Sessions) by Ibn al-Arif and translated by William Elliott and Adnan K. Abdulla. This story appears in describing the stage of love (al-mahabba) of the mystical path.

Describing this stage, the author says, "As for love, it is the beginning of the valleys of extinction and the mountain from which one descends through the stages of self-annihilation. Love is also the last of the mystical stages, where the vanguard of the mass of believers meets the rearguard of the elect ones (the saints and purified ones).

.. There are those who talk freely of love and profess to disclose its secrets, but they have never tasted it and were only moved by the ecstasy of its smell. If one actually tastes of love, he forgets how to explain or describe it. Real love does not show itself on the lover by his speech, but rather by his qualities and his glance. Its reality (haqiqa) is not understood either by the one who loves or by the one who is loved, because ecstatic union is a blending of secrets and hearts."

3.

"Whatever I have said about love, when love comes, I am ashamed to speak." - Rumi

4.

Going back to the story of Isa and the dumbfound hermit, the author further goes on to explain that the denseness of the world, as if like minerals are the filters that protect us to be effaced by the Divine Love. For the sufis, everything that comes from the slave, the creation is defective, due to the slave's incapacity and emptiness. So esoteric reality means that the entire creation including the slaves of God subsists only from the substance that their Lord grants them; he loves with the love from God; and he sees with the vision allotted by God.

. graphics credit Rumi prints by Michale Green and Mattia Preti

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History Of Buddhism In China

History Of Buddhism In China Cover
Buddhism is the most important religion in China. It is generally believed that it was spread to China in 67 AD during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220) from Hotan in Xinjiang to Central China. During its development in China, it has a profound influence on traditional Chinese culture and thoughts, and has become one of the most important religions in China at that time. In general, the development of Buddhism in China can be divided into the following periods.

The first period is Buddhism in Han Dynasty when it was just introduced into China. During this period of time, many Buddhist scriptures were translated and explained. The White Horse Temple was built during this period of time and it signifies the first time of Buddhism doctrines delivered in China.

The second period is in Jin (265-420), Northern and Southern Dynasties (386-589) when more Buddhist scriptures were translated and Buddhist writings came out. From the beginning of Northern and Southern Dynasties, Chinese Buddhism has entered its prosperous time. During this period, the Buddhism ideas were popularized across the land. The number of Buddhists was on increase.

The third period is the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) Dynasties when Buddhism welcomed its heyday and got unprecedented development. During this period, many new Buddhist denominations were founded. The emperors of the Sui Dynasty believed in Buddhism, and though Tang's emperors believed in Taoism, they showed a protective and tolerant attitude toward the development of other religions such as Buddhism. So in this period, Buddhism got a rapid and great development in China.

However, in the late of feudal society, because of the social unrest, Chinese Buddhism was slow in development. After the founding of People's Republic of China and the implementing of the policy of freedom in religion belief, Chinese Buddhism embraced its new growing age. Now it is developing greatly and the international academic exchanges are expanded.

Sects of Buddhism

Three different forms of this religion evolved as it reached the centers of population at varying times and by different routes. The social and ethnic background in each location also affected the way in which each of these forms developed and eventually they became known as Han, Tibetan and Southern Buddhism.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Egyptian Heaven And Hell

The Egyptian Heaven And Hell Cover

Book: The Egyptian Heaven And Hell by Ea Wallis Budge

THE present work is the outcome of two lectures on the Books of the Tuat, i.e., the Egyptian Underworld, or "Other World," which I had the honour to deliver at the Royal Institution in the spring of 1904, and it has been prepared at the suggestion of many who wished to continue their inquiries into the beliefs of the Egyptians concerning the abode of the departed, and the state of the blessed and the damned.

The object of all the Books of the Other World was to provide the dead with a "Guide" or "Handbook," which contained a description of the regions through which their souls would have to pass on their way to the kingdom of Osiris, or to that portion of the sky where the sun rose, and which would supply them with the words of power and magical names necessary for making an unimpeded journey from this world to the abode of the blessed. For a period of two thousand years in the history of Egypt, the Books of the Other World consisted of texts only, but about B.C. 2500 funeral artists began to represent pictorially the chief features of the "Field of Peace," or "Islands of the Blessed," and before the close of the XIXth Dynasty, about 1300 years later, all the principal books relating to the Tuat were profusely Illustrated. In the copies of them which were painted on the walls of royal tombs, each division of the Tuat was clearly drawn and described, and each gate, with all its guardians, was carefully depicted. Both the living and the dead could learn from them, not only the names, but also the forms, of every god, spirit, soul, shade, demon, and monster which they were likely to meet on their way, and the copious texts which were given side by side with the pictures enabled the traveller through the Tuat-always, of course, provided that he had learned them--to participate in the
benefits which were decreed by the Sun-god for the beings of each section of it.

In the present work the object has been to give the reader the complete Hieroglyphic texts of the BOOK A-M-TUAT and the BOOK OF GATES, with reproductions of all their illustrations in black and white, and English Translations and descriptions. The illustrations of the former work have been specially traced from the plates of the excellent edition of the tomb of Seti I. published by MM. G. Lefebure, U. Bouriant, V. Loret, and E. Naville, in the second volume of the Memoires de la Mission Archeologique Francaise au Caire , Paris, 1886. The illustrations of the BOOK OF GATES have been traced from Bonomis Sarcophagus of Oimenepthah I ., London, 1864, but for certain scenes I was permitted by the late Mr. G. Birch, Keeper of Sir John Soanes Museum, to compare the tracings with the scenes on the sarcophagi-is itself. A copy of the scene on the portion of the cover, which I acquired for the Trustees of the British Museum a few years ago, has also been included.

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Emmanuel Swedenborg - Heaven And Hell
Aldous Huxley - The Doors Of Perception And Heaven And Hell
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Ea Wallis Budge - The Egyptian Heaven And Hell

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Goals Of Shintoism

The Goals Of Shintoism Cover The primary goal of Shintoism is to achieve Immortality among the ancestral beings, the Kami. Kami is understood by the Shintoist as a Supernatural, holy power living in or connected to the world of the spirit. Shintoism is strongly animistic, as are most Eastern and Oriental faiths, believing that all living things possess a Kami nature. Man's nature is the highest, for he possesses the most Kami. Salvation is living in the spirit World With these divine beings, the Kami.

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The Book Of Raziel The Angel Or Sefer Raziel Hamalakh

The Book Of Raziel The Angel Or Sefer Raziel Hamalakh Cover

Book: The Book Of Raziel The Angel Or Sefer Raziel Hamalakh by Medieval Grimoires

The long-awaited first English translation from ancient Hebrew of the rare and complete 1701 Amsterdam edition, of this famous magical text. According to Hebrew legend, the Sepher Rezial was given to Adam in the Garden of Eden, by the hand of God. The myth suggests that this diverse compendium of ancient Hebrew lore was the first book ever written. Includes an explanatory text on the holy names of God, the divisions of Heaven and Hell, and the names and hierarchy of the angels and spirits.

The legendary Book of the Angel Raziel, or Sefer Raziel, that contains all celestial and earthly knowledge. Originally written in 1000CE, and finally went to print in Amsterdam in 1701 over 300 years ago. This amazing book is one of the first written Astrology Books! This original 300 year old book is located in my personal library. The story goes, that Adam being cast out of Eden with Eve, prayed for three days, " I pray you reveal what will come of the generations coming after. What will occur every day and every month. I pray you do not conceal the wisdom.". God heard his prayers and God sent The Angel Raziel to teach Adam the ways of Nature. Raziel said to Adam, "Do not fear and lament any longer, your prayers have been heard, know what comes to pass every month, and between day and night". Raziel the angel opened the book and began to read from it. Hearing the words Adam fell to the ground in fear. Raziel said, "Rise up and be strong! Take the book from my hand and learn from it. Understand the knowledge. Make it known to all who are pure! Then you can establish what will occur in all time." The book was hidden and again the Angel Raziel came to Noah befor the flood and gave Noah the book too.The Book "Raziel Hamalach" explains everything from, Astrology and the zodiac signs, the planets in our solar system, to how to succeed in life itself. The legend goes that the other angels were so envious that Adam was given this book that they cast into the sea, and God ordered the demon of the deep sea to fish it out, which he did and gave it back to the descendents of Adam. Before I ever found it, I had a dream about it, and it was given to me, then I searched for it and I still didn't know what it was. Perhaps in heaven they knew I would share it with you.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Macrocosm And Microcosm

Macrocosm And Microcosm Cover Like several other cultures, China has developed the macrocosm-microcosm theory in different forms. Taoism has borrowed some of them and elaborated others. These multiple formulations are not restricted to the universe and the human being, as other components come into play. The first is the state: the human community with its codes, hierarchies, and physical seats of power ideally mirrors the configuration and order of Heaven. Reciprocally, Heaven is an administrative system managed through bureaucratic procedures similar to those performed at court and in government offices. The second is the ritual area, whose altars correspond to the cosmos and its temporal and spatial configurations. Other environments and surroundings, including gardens and gourds, are also said to represent a "cosmos in miniature." Cosmos, human being, society, and ritual area are analogically related to each other, so that an event or an action that occurs within any of these domains can be relevant for the others. This is determined by the principle of "resonance" (ganying, lit. "impulse and response"), by Which Things belonging to the same class or category (lei) influence each other. Ritual, for instance, reestablishes the original bond between humans and gods, and a True Man (zhenren) or a Saint (shengren) benefits the whole human community in which he lives by aligning himself with the forces that rule the cosmos. On the other hand, a ruler who ignores Heaven's omens brings about natural calamities and social disturbances.

In many cases, the conduits linking each domain to the others are the abstract emblems of correlative cosmology, or the gods of the outer and inner pantheons. Emblems and gods are closely related to each other, as several divinities correspond to cosmological notions. Symbolic numbers and images (xiang) play a central role in establishing these relationships. In Taoism, however, numbers and images also perform an even more important function, as they serve to express both the emanation from Dao to macrocosm, and the reverse process of return to the Dao, which is often performed with the support of a microcosmic framework.

Cosmos, gods, and the human body. The macrocosm-microcosm theory lies at the core of correlative cosmology. The pattern of the five agents (wuxing) in particular forges relations among various sets of entities and phenomena, such as numbers, colors, spatial directions, seasons, planets, musical notes, and so forth. Within these sets, the relation of the five viscera (wuzang) to the seasons and directions aligns the human microcosm to the macrocosmic categories of space and time. An example of the adaptation of this theory in Taoism is the practice of absorbing the "breaths" (or energies, qi) of the five directions. In other instances, the macrocosm-microcosm theory establishes looser analogies between cosmic phenomena and functions or organs of the human body. Here too, the identification with the cosmos is not only spatial but also temporal. Several Han-dynasty texts, for example, indicate Correspondences between the 360, 365, or 366 days of the year and the identical numbers of joints in the body.

The human being, moreover, is home to a host of major and minor inner gods. The most important among them dwell both in Heaven and within the individual, and therefore play a role in connecting the two realms. The gods who dwell in the three Cinnabar Fields (dantian) are, according to different texts, the Three Primes (sanyuan, which represent the original, precosmic breaths) or the Three Ones (sanyi, which represent the three basic levels of the cosmos). The twenty-four body spirits formed by the three sets of Eight Effulgences (bajing) are also related to the three Cinnabar Fields; they correspond to the twenty-four jieqi (energy nodes) of the year, and each set represents Heaven, Earth, and Humanity within the human being. In another formulation, the main inner gods rule over 18,000 other inner deities; when an adept meditates on these deities, Heaven "makes 18,000 more divinities descend to complete the inner body. This makes 36,000 gods altogether, who raise the whole body and let it ascend to Heaven" (Wushang biyao [Supreme Secret Essentials], 5.12b-14b). The inner landscape of divine beings and their palaces is depicted in the Neijing tu (Chart of the Inner Warp), a Representation related to other pictures that portray the body as a mountain, which in itself is a microcosm.

Macrocosm and microcosm in ritual and alchemy. Taoist ritual represents a complete time cycle, and its arrangement of altars reproduces the spatial structure of the cosmos. In a manner reminiscent of the body spirits mentioned above, an altar described in the Wushang biyao has each side measuring twenty-four feet, corresponding to the twenty-four periods of the year, and is provided with three tables assigned to the Three Sovereigns of Heaven, Earth, and Humanity (49.1a-2a). Spatial correspondences are also apparent in another altar, which is arranged in such a way as to correspond to the eight trigrams (bagua) at its four sides and the four corners, and the twelve Earthly Branches (dizhi) along its periphery. The altar, moreover, is a microcosm not only in relation to the cosmos in its temporal and spatial aspects, but also to the deities who inhabit it. Images of these deities are painted on scrolls and placed in positions to which their respective gods descend to take part in the ceremony.

The macrocosm-microcosm theory is also one of the main modes of expression in waidan and neidan ("external alchemy" and "internal alchemy"). Based on the emblems of correlative cosmology, the elixir represents all the temporal and spatial features of the cosmos. As stated in the Zhouyi cantong qi (Token for the Agreement of the Three in Accordance with the Book of Changes), for instance, the 384 scruples that compose one symbolic pound of elixir correspond to the number of lines in the sixty-four hexagrams of the Book of Changes (Yijing). Thus the elixir incorporates the cosmos and all its actual and potential changes. In both waidan and neidan, macrocosmic time sequences are reproduced in the system of fire phasing (huohou), while in waidan the spatial arrangement of instruments on the alchemical altar is also established according to cosmological principles.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Natural Table

Natural Table Cover

Book: Natural Table by Louis Claude De Saint Martin

After travelling in Italy and settling in Versailles, Louis Claude De Saint Martin published his Natural Table of Correspondences Which Exist Between God, Man and the Universe in 1778. It is an extension of his first work, and details the relations and analogies which hold between various levels of being. Through a proper understanding of correlations, the will can elevate man to higher levels of self-conscious unity. The effort must be undertaken in a spirit of renunciation and self-sacrifice. Otherwise we will not cease to be fascinated by the gross relativities which bind us in a fallen state. Correlations can be understood mathematically, though this method is the most difficult because it is the most precise. The fall of man can be found in the movement from 4 to 9. "The proportion of evil to good here below is numerically as 9 to 1, in intensity as 0 to 1, and in duration as 7 to 1." But the Divine is not subject to calculation and is therefore ever unknowable.

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Natural Table

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Analysis Of The Church Of Satan The Emperor New Religion

Analysis Of The Church Of Satan The Emperor New Religion Cover

Book: Analysis Of The Church Of Satan The Emperor New Religion by Ole Wolf

This paper investigates the Church of Satan, its ideology, and its Practices, and observes that the Church of Satan includes the same dynamics as can be observed in many other Religions. In addition, the Church of Satan appears to deliberately mislead its members via conflicting policy statements and communication. The paper concludes that the Church of Satan is a personality cult that seems to have less Interest in maintaining an ideology than in gaining members, and that the Church of Satan may be no more than the invention of a skilled con artist who saw an unused opportunity.

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Enochian Temples Generating The Abyss Experience With The Temple

Enochian Temples Generating The Abyss Experience With The Temple Cover

Book: Enochian Temples Generating The Abyss Experience With The Temple by Benjamin Rowe

WARNING: The technique described herein can be VERY DANGEROUS to the emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of the magician who makes use of it. I am releasing it solely because full disclosure was one of the requirements under which the Enochian Temple system was originally given to me. The entities who provided the basic information feel that people can not grow to spiritual adulthood without being exposed to adult hazards. My experience of the results prevents me from being quite so cold-blooded. The same goals can be accomplished by more gradual means, as those entities have stated themselves.

The magician who choses to use this technique must take full personal responsibility for both the decision to do so, and for any events resulting from its use. Should a magician want use it despite this warning, he or she should do so only after constructing a strong, fully charged Temple which includes the altars of the sub-elements. And any invocations using this technique should be immediately preceded by the erection of the strongest wards the magician is
capable of constructing.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Traditional Paganism

Traditional Paganism Cover Though to the traditional Pagan there is no “one right way” to believe, at the core of Paganism there are four basic beliefs that Pagans share.

1) The Divine Principle is within allliving things and each is an important, integral part of the universe and has made itself Manifest in different ways, in differentplaces and at different times and no one manifestation can express the totality of theall encompassing whole.

2) The Divine Principle is present in Nature and in each one of us. Pagans are very concerned about the state of Mother Earth and consider themselves Her guardians and protectors. They honor the life forms which lived with them on the planet, take only what they need and pay homage to the Earth for providing for them by giving back to the Earth.

3) The Divine Principle is represented as both female and male, the Goddess and God, the yin and yang. Pagans believe strongly in the balance and harmony of these dualities and that they must address theimbalances encountered and bring them into balance.

4) The Basic Pagan Ethic is “do no harm”. This means a Pagan cannot cause harm to anyone or anything and they must give back in some way to counteract anything taken or abused.

Like most religions, Pagan celebrates rituals marking changes and events in life. Rituals can be Ceremonies of celebration or a way of honoring the Deities and thanking them for their blessings. In the Pagan calendar there are usually eight major holy days, or Sabbats relating to the cycles of Nature. The major pagan Sabbats or Festivals are determined by the position of the Sun and Moon within the agricultural year which ordained the days when one should plant or harvest crops, breed animals, or kill livestock and decreed the times when the Gods should be worshipped. These Sabbats were usually celebrated on the evening preceding the festival day, for the night was seen as belonging to the next day. The day was traversed from sunset to sunset.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Zoroastrian Beliefs

Zoroastrian Beliefs Cover
1. I believe there are two Great Beings in the universe. One, Ahura Mazda, created man and all that is good, beautiful and true, while the other, Angra Mainyu, vivifies all that is evil, ugly and destructive.
2. I believe that man has free will to align himself with good or evil, and when all mankind is in harmony with the God Ahura Mazda, Angra Mainyu will be conquered.
3. I believe the soul is immortal and upon death crosses over Hell by a narrow bridge -- the good crossing safely to Heaven and the evil falling into Hell.
4. I believe that a savior named Sayoshant will appear at the end of time, born of a virgin, reviving the dead, rewarding the good and punishing the evil, and thereafter Ahura Mazda will reign.
5. I believe that Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra, is the foremost Prophet of God.
6. I believe in the scriptural authority of the Zend Avesta.
7. I believe that purity is the first virtue, truth the second and charity the third -- and that man must discipline himself by good thoughts, words and deeds.
8. I believe that marriage excels continence, action excels contemplation and forgiveness excels revenge.
9. I believe in God as Seven Persons: Eternal Light; Right and Justice; Goodness and Love; Strength of Spirit; Piety and Faith; Health and Perfection; and Immortality -- and that He may best be worshiped through the representation of fire.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Secret Teachings Of All Ages

The Secret Teachings Of All Ages Cover

Book: The Secret Teachings Of All Ages by Manly Palmer Hall

Numerous volumes have been written as commentaries upon the secret systems of philosophy existing in the Ancient World, but the ageless truths of life, like many of the earth’s greatest thinkers, have usually been clothed in shabby garments. The present work is an attempt to supply a tome worthy of those seers and sages whose thoughts are the substance of its pages. To bring about this coalescence of Beauty and Truth has proved most costly, but I believe that the result will produce an effect upon the mind of the reader which will more than justify the expenditure. Work upon the text of this volume was begun the first day of January, 1926, and has continued almost uninterruptedly for over two years. The greater part of the research work, however, was carried on prior to the writing of the manuscript. The collection of reference material was begun in 1921, and three years later the plans for the book took definite form.

The entire theory of the book is diametrically opposed to the modern method of thinking, for it is concerned with subjects openly ridiculed by the sophists of the Twentieth Century. Its true purpose is to introduce the mind of the reader to a hypothesis of living wholly beyond the pale of materialistic theology, philosophy, or science. The mass of abstruse material between its covers is not susceptible to perfect organization, but so far as possible related topics have been grouped together.

The pre-publication sale of this book has been without known precedent in book history. The subscription list for the first edition of 550 copies was entirely closed a year before the manuscript was placed in the printer’s hands. The second, or King Solomon, edition, consisting of 550 copies, and the third, or Theosophical, edition, consisting of 200 copies, were sold before the finished volume was received from the printer. For so ambitious a production, this constitutes a unique achievement. The credit for this Extraordinary sales program belongs to Mrs. Maud F. Galigher, who had as her ideal not to sell the book in the commercial sense of the word but to place it in the hands of those particularly interested in the subject matter it contains. Valuable assistance in this respect was also rendered by numerous friends who had attended my lectures and who without compensation undertook and successfully accomplished the distribution of the book.

I sincerely hope that each reader will profit from the perusal of this book, even as I have profited from the writing of it. The years of labor and thought expended upon it have meant much to me. The research work discovered to me many great truths; the writing of it discovered to me the laws of order and patience; the printing of it discovered to me new wonders of the arts and crafts; and the whole enterprise has discovered to me a multitude of friends whom otherwise I might never have known. Manly P. Hall. Los Angeles, California May 28, 1928

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Manly Palmer Hall - The Secret Teachings Of All Ages

Buddhism Continues To Flower In Mongolia

Buddhism Continues To Flower In Mongolia Image
Erdene Zuu, Mongolia's oldest Buddhist monastery, was built in 1585 in the ancient capital of Kaakorum, once home to 67 temples and 1,500 monks.

"The practice of Buddhism, suppressed for decades by the Communist Party, is being reclaimed by Mongolians as an integral part of their national identity."

SHAND KHIID, Mongolia - In the crimson-painted interior of a monastery in central Mongolia, boys as young as 6 face one another cross-legged on benches and chant Tibetan Buddhist prayers that they barely understand.

* CHINA AND TIBET -- ON THE GROUND
* WORLD BUDDHIST FEDERATION IN SRI LANKA IN NOVEMBER

Some fidget and get up every now and then to ladle bowls of fermented horse milk from a large metal vat. Their teachers occasionally call out directions.

The boys are at a three-month religious camp at the monastery, Shand Khiid. The oldest monk in residence is 97. A visiting sage from Tibet relaxes in a back room, watching sports on television.

According to a monk who showed a group of visitors around one recent day, the monastery guarded Genghis Khan's black flag of conquest until it was moved to Mongolia's National Museum of History in 1994. Four years earlier, the collapse of Soviet-bloc communism had led to the ouster of Mongolia's Communist Party. Today, Buddhism in Mongolia continues to emerge from a decades-long hiatus.

"During the Communist period, you had a devastation of Buddhism in terms of the material culture and the loss of knowledge," said Vesna Wallace, a professor of religious studies at UC Santa Barbara. "Now more people are coming to temples and visiting monasteries. There is also a new interest in meditation among the general public."

Wallace, an expert on Mongolian Buddhism, has spent the last 10 summers there and has seen Buddhist youth groups grow from three or four people to major gatherings. She says Mongolians have reclaimed Buddhism as an integral part of their national identity.

Couples who grew up with no religion are now choosing to be married in temples and by monks. The Gandan monastery in the capital, Ulan Bator, is the largest in the country and busier than it's been in decades.

Mourners across Mongolia are again consulting monks before deciding whether a loved one should be buried, cremated or left outside to the elements for what's known as a "sky burial."

And prayer piles, enormous cairns known as "ovoos", have sprung up around the countryside. Truck drivers leave punctured tires to pray for safe travels and shepherds leave livestock skulls in hopes of a healthy herd. Blue scarves flutter in the wind, symbols of the blue sky that Mongols worshiped in the pre-Buddhist period.

Mongolian Buddhism is predominantly the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhism practiced in Tibet and China. But Wallace says it has evolved into its own version, having incorporated the pre-Buddhist religion of Tangarism as well as shamanistic influences.

"Tibetans prefer white scarves, Mongolians prefer blue," she said. "Even certain deities that are preferred by Mongolian Buddhism are the blue ones that represent eternity, spaciousness, and the comprehensiveness of the sky."

by Nomi Morris



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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fairy Witchcraft Traditions

Fairy Witchcraft Traditions Cover What classifies as a fairy tradition? Paths that label themselves as a fairy tradition incorporate fairy folklore and beliefs into their practices. This does not extend to Celtic countries only, as the belief in similar fairy-like spirits or Supernatural creatures permeates cultures worldwide. Traditions that work with the fey may incorporate pagan beliefs and practices involving fairies, or the ‘good folk’, that were practiced when the fairy-faith was still prevalent in Europe. Other methods of working with the fey may include contacting them, journeying to the otherworld, or incorporating them into the path’s mythology (use of deity, spirits, and belief within the tradition).

The traditions listed in this lesson are not to be confused with the Radical Faeries, or Kisma Stephanich’s Faery Wicca,which claims to have rediscovered the traditions of the Tuatha De Danann, an ancient fairy race . While it is agreed that some of her Information is based on Irish mythology, the majority of her books are based on pseudohistory, imagination, and plagiarism from R.J. Stewart’s books as well as other authors. Faerie Wicca or Faerie Faith, a Wiccan tradition founded in Texas, is also not associated with the paths covered in this introduction.

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