Monday, September 28, 2009

On Dreams

On Dreams Cover

Book: On Dreams by Aristotle

WE must, in the next place, investigate the subject of the dream, and first inquire to which of the faculties of the soul it presents itself, i.e. whether the affection is one which pertains to the faculty of intelligence or to that of sense–perception; for these are the only faculties within us by which we acquire knowledge.

If, then, the exercise of the faculty of sight is actual seeing, that of the auditory faculty, hearing, and, in general that of the faculty of sense–perception, perceiving; and if there are some perceptions common to the senses, such as figure, magnitude, motion, c., while there are others, as colour, sound, taste, peculiar [each to its own sense]; and further, if all creatures, when the eyes are closed in sleep, are unable to see, and the analogous statement is true of the other senses, so that manifestly we perceive nothing when asleep; we may conclude that it is not by sense–perception we perceive a dream.

Download Aristotle's eBook: On Dreams

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The Goals Of Islam

The Goals Of Islam Cover
The primary goal of Islam is to enjoy eternal life, both physical and spiritual, in heaven with Allah. Heaven is a paradise in which all the joys and pleasures abound, in which one lives amid beautiful gardens and fountains, enjoying the choicest foods served by sweet maidens. Man is the noblest creation of God, ranking above the angels. It is the sacred duty of Muslims to convert others to the Islamic faith. Islam has an ardent conviction that it is the only true religion, the only path to salvation. From this belief arises an extraordinary zeal, to share the faith and to convert others. The ideal human society is an Islamic theocracy.

Total submission to Allah is the single path to salvation, and even that is no guarantee, for Allah may desire even a faithful soul to experience misery. The good Muslim surrenders all pride, the chief among sins, and follows explicitly the will of Allah as revealed in the Koran by His last and greatest prophet, Mohammed. This and this alone brings a full and meaningful life and avoids the terrors of Hell which befall sinners and infidels. He believes in the Five Doctrines and observes the Five Pillars. The virtues of truthfulness, temperance and humility before God are foremost for Islam, and the practices of fasting, pilgrimage, prayer and charity to the Muslim community are most necessary to please Allah. The five doctrines are: 1) There is only one true God, Allah. 2) There are angels, chief of whom is Gabriel. 3) There are four inspired books: the Torah of Moses, the Zabur (Psalms) of David, the Injil (Evangel) of Jesus, and the Koran, Allah's final message, which supersedes all other scriptures. 4) There have been numerous prophets of Allah, culminating in Mohammed, the Last Prophet. 5) There will be a final Day of Judgment and Resurrection. A sixth, but optional, doctrine is belief in kismet, "fate" or "destiny."

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The Great Awakening

The Great Awakening Cover

Book: The Great Awakening by Michael Sharp

What a pleasure this book is! For those taking their tentative first steps along "The Path," Michael Sharp outlines clearly, concisely, and in no uncertain terms some of the critical basic (and not so basic) steps appropriate to incorporate into your daily routine in order to facilitate your process. For the rest of us, it's still a more than worthwhile refresher course - I caught myself saying, "Oh, yeah, that's right...how did I forget to do that every day?" more than once, and I've been doing this for a while! Definitely a must have in every aspiring ascender's library! Deb, SunDiskScribes

After pondering the messages in Michael Sharp’s books I discovered a rather profound realization. The human race is constantly looking backwards. Have you been searching for ancient wisdom, researching long standing religions, joining secret societies, traveling the planet for clues, or practicing methods and techniques pasted down from our ancestors? There is a very common belief that the wisdom of the ages can be accessed by looking into the messages of the past but I would like to suggest there is another way. The new belief is that you have the capability to establish the same connection to an all?knowing consciousness that the ancient prophets and masters utilized. This point in time is unique and you no longer need to look any further than your own personal spiritual instinct. Michael’s material is designed to stretch your awareness, expand your consciousness, shift your limiting belief system, clear your emotional blocks, balance your feminine and masculine aspects, reawaken your non?physical sense, and generally give you simple techniques to create a quiet and peaceful mind. I know the laundry list of items mentioned above sounds crazy from a human perspective, but I have experienced all of that and more. These books are spot on. Rod Nelson

Download Michael Sharp's eBook: The Great Awakening

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Threats To Religious Freedom

Threats To Religious Freedom Image
In the U.S., a wall of separation has been established between church and state. Thus, the state and its institutions remain religiously neutral. The government promotes neither religion nor secularism. Church and state try to keep out of each others' path. This is not the situation throughout much of Europe, where most countries have a two (sometimes three) tiered religious system. Some denominations and religions are given special privileges, while others can be actively discriminated against. Many countries have a single recognized state religion which receives special status for cultural and historical reasons. A second group of religions, (e.g. Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc) are recognized, but may be given a lower status. The lowest level is populated by small religious groups, which the state may not recognize as religious institutions. These may be regarded as cults or sects, and are sometimes allowed few freedoms.

European threats to freedom of religion, speech and assembly are very different from those in North America. In the U.S. and Canada, the main, concentrated attacks on new religious movements come from:
- The anti-cult movement (ACM). These groups target new religious movements, believing them to be largely criminal, mind-controlling, dangerous cults. The influence of the ACM has been in decline for a few years, partly because of. recent court rulings which have linked them to criminal activities. Law suites drove the largest ACM group, the Cult Awareness Network, into bankrupcy.
- The counter-cult movement (CCM). These groups are largely conservative Christian ministries which hold traditional, historical religious doctrines. They target fellow Christian faith groups whose theology deviates from their own. Although there are many hundreds of CCM groups, most are quite small and often target only a single non-orthodox faith group. Their influence is not great outside of the Evangelical Christianity community.

In much of Europe, there appears to a gradual improvement in religious freedom and tolerance. New religious movements are largely ignored. However the anti-cult movement appears to have taken hold in a few countries, notably: Belgium, France, Germany, Greece and Russia. Governments in these countries are now spreading the ACM message. They have inspired religious hysteria, mounted economic attacks on faith groups, and spread heavily biased religious propaganda.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Classics Of Spiritual Philosophy And The Present

Classics Of Spiritual Philosophy And The Present Cover

Book: Classics Of Spiritual Philosophy And The Present by Vladimir Antonov

This is one version of the Grand Satanic Ritual, This Ritual format can be used in Standard Rituals, Thanksgiving Rituals, As well as the invocation and summoning of the Gods.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Buddha Relics On Rare Display In Sri Lanka

Buddha Relics On Rare Display In Sri Lanka Image
Reclining Buddha passing into final nirvana (parinirvana) prior to cremation and disbursal of the relics, Thai megalith, Ayutthaya, Thailand (Marty Windle/Flickr)

Millions of Sri Lankan devotees pay homage to sacred Buddhist relics from Pakistan

Millions of Sri Lankan Buddhist devotees paid homage to sacred relics of the Buddha from Pakistan [until recently an ancient part of India called Gandhara alongside Afghanistan, formerly the Indian frontier region where Siddhartha was likely born and raised] during a 17-day exhibition of the sacred relics in Sri Lanka.

These sacred relics were sent by the Government of Pakistan at the special request of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, during the visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to Sri Lanka.

In addition to the millions of Buddhist devotees, the president, the prime minister, speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament, several parliamentarians, and other prominent personalities paid homage to the sacred relics.

Sacred cremation relics of the Buddha on exhibition (IANS)

The sacred relics were taken back to Pakistan on Monday after the conclusion of the exhibition, according to a message received here from Colombo. They included the cremation remnants of the Buddha, the Kanishka relic casket from Shah-Ji-Ki-Dehri (pictured below), a stone reliquary in the shape of a stupa (Buddhist burial mound), and a golden casket.

The exhibition of the sacred relics was declared open by the Sri Lankan president on June 4 at Maligakanda Temple in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, where the sacred relics were on display from June 5-9, 2011. Over 300,000 people paid homage to these relics daily.

They were were then taken to the Gangaramaya Temple, Hunupitiya, where they went on public exhibition from June 10-12, when over 350,000 devotees visited them daily.

On June 13, the relics were taken to Tissamaharama Temple, Hambantota, to mark the celebration of Poson (June full moon day observance) on June 15. The sacred relics remained there for three days and were visited by over a million devotees.

On June 17, the relics were brought back to Colombo to Mahamewna Asapuwa in Malabe. From June 17-19 they were kept in the inner chamber of the newly constructed stupa [pagoda] to sanctify and confer blessings on the new stupa. As a lasting testimony to this blessed event, the stupa was named the "Blessed Gautama Dharma-King Reliquary" (Siri Gauthama Dharmarajika Stupa).

Afterwards the sacred relics were exhibited at Mahamewuna Asapuwa, Malabe until June 19. The exhibition of the relics in Sri Lanka has further strengthened the deep rooted cultural relations between the two friendly nations. It marked the 2600th year since the Buddha's attainment of enlightenment.

Buddhism left a rich and monumental legacy on the art and architecture of modern Pakistan [ancient Gandhara]. Despite the vagaries of the centuries, the Gandhara region preserved a lot of the heritage in craft and art. Much of this legacy is still visible [although being bombed and ruined by American military forces engaged in a destabilizing war of aggression using drone aircraft and secret raids] in Pakistan.

* [NOTE: "Pakistan" was, of course, only created a few decades ago when the departing British rulers and colonists partitioned it from India to ensure that the newly independent countries would remain divided, conquerable, and easily manipulated from a distance even as they relinquished legitimate control of this geo-politically sensitive region. Kashmir, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Tajikistan, India, Bangladesh and other provinces such as Sikkim and Nagaland have been in turmoil ever since.]

The Gandhara Civilization was the center of spiritual influence and also the cradle of world-famous Gandhara culture, art, and learning. It was from this center that a unique sculptural art originated, which influenced the ancient Greek statuary [although it is generally thought Greek art influenced Gandhara Buddhist art, often showing the Buddha with Westernized features, flowing robes akin to togas, and royal markings].

Today Gandhara sculptures occupy a prominent place in the museums of America [Norton Simon, Getty, etc.], England, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, China, India, and [of course] Afghanistan, together with many private collections the world over, as well as a vast collection in the museums of Pakistan.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Comparative Religion For Dummies

Comparative Religion For Dummies Cover

Book: Comparative Religion For Dummies by William Lazarus

This is a great introduction to the history of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It covers the origins of each religion, as well as the basic tenets and sacred texts of each. As in the other "Dummies" books, the text is easy to follow and very readable (though I would disagree with the reviewer who stated it was "for little kids").

Want to know more about the faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? This plain-English guide traces their evolution from their commonorigin - Abraham - and explains their different, yet linked, beliefs.You'll see how each religion developed, endured setbacks, and became a fixture in modern society - and you'll learn how members havedeveloped similar approaches to worship.

Discover:

* How the belief in one God originated
* The roots of Abraham's family tree
* The sacred texts of each faith
* Major similarities and differences
* How these religions influenced the world

This book is written from a historical perspective by religious scholars, and is fairly even-handed (it doesn't support one of these religions over the others), which I appreciated. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a simple place to start in learning about the Abrahamic religions and increasing their level of religious literacy.

Buy William Lazarus's book: Comparative Religion For Dummies

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Where Was The Buddha Really Born

Where Was The Buddha Really Born Image
The assertion that the Buddha was born in Nepal is a bluff, a denial of history perpetrated by archeological deception and modern Indian-Nepalese acceptance.

THE NEPALESE BLUFFText by Dr. Ranajit Pal Buddhism literally throbs with the history and geography of India. The relics from Sanchi, Ajanta, Bharhut, Amaravati, Gandhara, Mathura, and Thotlakonda link India with early Buddhism. The Indian tradition of tolerance and moderation goes beyond the 6th century B.C.E. And traces of primitive Buddhism are found in the HARAPPAN era. Buddhist history is an [odd] mix of facts and fiction that baffles the discerning reader.

The Buddha grew up in ancient Kapilavastu, India, near modern Bamiyan, Afghanistan.

There were [24] buddhas before Gautama (Pali, Gotama). This implies that Buddhism was as old as Zoroastrianism. A detailed study reveals close links between early Buddhism with Hinduism, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, which arose in the Bamiyan-Baluchistan-GANDHARAN area. The crucial fact that the Silk Road passed through the Buddhist heartland seems to have escaped the notice of historians.

Nepal is a beautiful country, but a Gautama from Nepal is a [terrible] fraud. Nothing in the art, archaeology, history, or literature of early Nepal has the faintest hint of Buddhism. R. Thapar affirms that Gautama was from Nepal, but this has no archaeological basis.

Christmas Humphreys laments over the stark ground reality, "The Lumbini gardens, where Gotama was born, lie in the difficult Nepal TERAI, and KUSINARA, where the Buddha passed away, has little to show."

Until 50 years ago, "India" included Pakistan. In ancient times Afghanistan was Buddhist Gandhara. Iran was Indo-Iran, the frontier.

The renowned Belgian scholar Edward Conze also flatly dismisses the fanciful text-based accounts:

"To the modern historian, Buddhism is a phenomenon which must exasperate him at every point and we can only say in extenuation that this religion was not founded for the benefit of the historians. Not only is there an almost complete absence of hard facts about its history in India; not only is the date, authorship and geographical provenance of the overwhelming majority of the documents almost entirely unknown...."

The way out of the chaos is shown by the British scholar T. Phelps, who has exposed the dreadful FORGERIES of archeologist F"uhrer, who moved pillars and faked inscriptions and relics to falsely locate Lumbini in Nepal.

Gautama was a prince, but after he was abandoned in the wilderness of the Terai by the rogue F"uhrer, his history went to pieces.

A strong rebuttal of the Nepalese [deception] about early Buddhism comes from the discovery of ancient Buddhist sites at Thotlakonda, Bavikonda, and Pavurlakonda near Vishakhapattanam. The name Thotlakonda resembles the name [the Buddha used for himself] Tathagata [the "Wayfarer"] of Gautama, and Pavurlakonda is a clear echo of Baveru or Babil.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Gods Do Witches Worship

What Gods Do Witches Worship Cover
The God and Goddess are seen as the male and female aspects of Nature. They do not reign over the Universe; they instead are the Universe itself. Most of the early inhabitants of Europe followed one God and one Goddess, even though there might be many more deities in their particular pantheon. Often times the particular pair of deities someone followed would reflect some important aspect of their life such as their occupation, location, or path in life. The God is usually represented a protector or warrior and the Goddess often related to fertility or the land. The Gods and Goddesses are not omnipotent. They have egos and what we would consider to be human characteristics.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Asatru As An Ethnic Religion

Asatru As An Ethnic Religion Cover An ethnic religion is generally meant to be a religion, Spirituality, and cosmology that is firmly grounded in a particular people's Traditions and unique cultural views. It represents a religion that co-developed with a particular ethnic group. In this way, particular ethnic groups can carry their religion with them through time.

In other ways, ethnic religions are wrapped around ethnic groups so that they become justifications and explanations for that folk’s ethnic existence. By providing a common cultural outlook among a folk, an ethnic religion builds and reinforces the distinctions of that people from others as they interact with outsiders who don’t share those views. An ethnic religion embodies the ethnic identity of a particular folk. In this way, ethnic religions sustain and promote the ethnic identity and the culture of a people.

Asatru, most especially, Folkish Asatru, is an ethnic religion. It has developed among the Northern peoples of Europe and expresses their unique cultural outlooks that developed throughout the millennia. It does not offer a universalizing worldview applicable to all peoples. Its stories and sagas are geographically limited to Northern Europe. Stories of ice and snow goddesses make little sense to people who’ve never experienced ice and snow. Asatru, as an ethnic religion, embodies the unique outlooks, ideals, behavior patterns and values of the Nordic and Germanic peoples of Europe as they developed through history. It developed as they developed and speaks of their unique spiritual way of seeing and explaining the universe.

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Anathema Of Zos The Sermon To The Hypocrite

Anathema Of Zos The Sermon To The Hypocrite Cover

Book: Anathema Of Zos The Sermon To The Hypocrite by Austin Osman Spare

Magickal currents pass as the Great Wheel swings endlessly to and fro driven by words of power whose origin is inestimable. Spare was a watcher on the threshold. AGAPE of the Christos had spent its force. It laid upon the land as a shroud when once it had been a bright and shining spell of liberation. Under this pall the scorpion bred Consciousness in the charnel house of putrefaction. Monsters arose and walked the earth in the guise of living men and women.

These are the hypocrites to whom the sermon was delivered. The goat-herd found himself in a pigsty; Speaking to swine bred on foul aethers. Where once there was the sermon on the mount, now there need be a Sermon of the Midden. Zos eats complacency and his leavings bear the name of Doubt. Zos heralds the onrush of
the Beast as John the Baptist once swept the path of the Christos. This time it is not the Oracles' head served upon the platter. Be not complacent. The anthem of Liber
L will, on Saturn’s touch, turn its melody inward and become a funeral dirge of the Soul. If there is ought to be learnt it is this....we are the hypocrites to whom
Zos speaks. There is no hope. The Great Wheel turns. All that we love and will is its grist. Nothing Remains. Will – Love! Louis Martinie (S.M.Ch.H. 353) Vernal Equinox, 1985

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Eternity Of Sounds And The Science Of Mantras

The Eternity Of Sounds And The Science Of Mantras Cover

Book: The Eternity Of Sounds And The Science Of Mantras by Pt Shriram Sharma Acharya

The knowledge of Sabda Brahm - Nada Brahm is an important branch of the Indian school of Spirituality. The science and philosophy of Sabda Brahm encompasses the methodology and effects of mantra-japa, prayers, collective chanting and sadhanas of the vedamantras and that of the Nada Brahm deals with the genesis, expansion and influence of music. The volume 19 of the “Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya Vangmaya” series presents truly rare and detailed Information and guidance on this topic. The present book is compiled from the English Translation of the first two chapters of this volume that focus on the cosmic dimensions of sound and the sceince of mantras.

Acharya Sharma’s elucidation of the esoteric and complex subject matter of Sabda Brahm and Mantras is indeed lucid, logical and scientific. The book also outlines – how the modern science could offer multifaceted benefits towards the incessant welfare of human society by constructive investigations in the Science of Mantras. – Dr. Pranav Pandya, MD Chancellor, Dev Sanskrati Vishwa Vidyalaya, Hardwar

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Malleus Maleficarum

Malleus Maleficarum Cover

Book: Malleus Maleficarum by Montague Summers

Certain it is that the Malleus Maleficarum is the most solid, the most important work in the whole vast library of witchcraft. One turns to it again and again with edification and interest: From the point of psychology, from the point of jurisprudence, from the point of history, it is supreme. It has hardly too much to say that later writers, great as they are, have done little more than draw from the seemingly inexhaustible wells of wisdom which the two Dominicans, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, have given us in the Malleus Maleficarum.

What is most surprising is the modernity of the book. There is hardly a problem, a complex, a difficulty, which they have not foreseen, and discussed, and resolved. Here are cases which occur in the law?courts to?day, set out with the greatest clarity, argued with unflinching logic, and judged with scrupulous impartiality. It is a work which must irresistibly capture the attention of all mean who think, all who see, or are endeavouring to see, the ultimate reality beyond the accidents of matter, time and space. The Malleus Maleficarum is one of the world's few books written sub specie aeternitatis.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Afghan Taliban Orders Buddhas Destroyed

Afghan Taliban Orders Buddhas Destroyed Image
Wisdom Quarterly, original text from The Guardian archives

Buddhism traveled directly from NW India to SW Sri Lanka (The Southwestern Coast)

* WHY THE FANATICAL DESTRUCTION OF ANCIENT INDIA AND MODERN AFGHANISTAN'S SPIRITUAL HERITAGE?

"Because God is one God and these statues are there to be worshipped and that is wrong. They should be destroyed so that they are not worshipped now or in the future." Officials from the Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and the Promotion of Virtue will be sent out to destroy the statues.

* RECOLLECTION ("ANUSSATI") NOT WORSHIP, BUT "GOD" ORDERED IT?

Mullah Omar's order, the latest in a long line of anti-cultural and misogynistic decrees, appeared to be a stark response to a visit by western diplomats who travelled to Kabul after reports that ancient statues in the capital's museum were being destroyed.

* THE BUDDHAS OF AFGHANISTAN RISE AGAIN


The diplomats met the Taliban's information and culture minister yesterday but were not allowed into the museum. More than a dozen pre-Islamic artifacts in the museum have been damaged in recent months by zealous Taliban soldiers. Most of the building's finest treasures were looted in fighting which followed the decade-long Soviet occupation.

Massive Buddha statues adorn many countries like Thailand

* THE US, USSR, CHINA, EVERYONE WANTS TO STRIP AFGHANISTAN OF NATURAL RESOURCES (MINERALS, OIL PIPELINE THRUWAY, STRATEGIC MILITARY BASES)

Over the past 20 years many of Afghanistan's richest archaeological finds have been smuggled across the border to Peshawar, Pakistan, and sold to private collectors. Others have been destroyed by artillery and rocket fire.

* DID TITANS ("ASURAS") OR U.S. FORCES AND ARMS SUPPLIERS (FIGHTING A LONG COVERT WAR AGAINST SOVIETS) INSTIGATE THIS, LETTING THE BLOW BACK HIT THE TALIBAN AS A PRETEXT FOR U.S. RETALIATION? U.S. PSYOPS ALREADY USES THE PROPAGANDA OF FIGHTING MISOGYNY AS A JUSTIFICATION.

In the past Mullah Omar has ordered non-Islamic artifacts to be protected, although to little effect. Afghanistan's finest archaeological site is in Bamiyan, 90 miles west of Kabul, where the world's tallest standing Buddha is 174 feet (53 meters) high, carved out of a sandstone cliff-face. Nearby stands another Buddha 120 feet (37 meters) high.

Although the sculptures, carved in the 2nd century AD, withstood Genghis Khan's invasion, the land was mined during the Soviet occupation and they stand in a region where the Taliban are still fighting opposition forces.

In September 1998 the shorter Buddha's head and folds of the robes were blown up by a Taliban commander. He then fired rockets at the groin and the folds of the clothes of the larger statue. Since seizing Kabul four years ago the Taliban have enforced a brutally strict interpretation of Islamic law.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Most Holy Grimoire Or Grimorium Sanctissimum

The Most Holy Grimoire Or Grimorium Sanctissimum Cover

Book: The Most Holy Grimoire Or Grimorium Sanctissimum by Medieval Grimoires

This material may be interpreted as a method for securing the fluids of the sex-act for magical application. It is unwise to attempt this work without instruction and an effective body of light under control.


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The Open Book

The Open Book Cover

Book: The Open Book by Rabbi Michael Laitman

The Open Book presents the principles of the ancient scientific wisdom of authentic Kabbalah, along with explanations of its basic rules. Kabbalah is a practical method for transcending the limits of one's senses and acquiring a new sense that opens the gate to the Spiritual World, while still living in this world. Rav Laitman clearly explains what goes on behind the scenes in the development of one's soul and the step-by-step attainment of the Upper Worlds. For anyone who wants to understand why our lives develop the way they do, and what we should do to make them develop differently, Laitman sheds light on every stage in the corporal and spiritual life of one who wants to be exposed to this wondrous wisdom.

Throughout time, man has sought answers to the fundamental questions of life: who am I? What is the purpose of my being here? Why was the world created and is there life after death. Each of us tries our best to find the answers in our own unique way and through the sources of information at our disposal. Each of us creates his or her own unique perspective on life, depending on what we discover, and the confidence we place in our source of information. The question of the meaning of our lives adds a global dimension to our everyday torments. And indeed, why are we destined to suffer so? That question relentlessly irritates us, denying us of satisfaction even when we do succeed in satisfying one of our mundane desires...

Download Rabbi Michael Laitman's eBook: The Open Book

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Modern Revival Of Ancient Wisdom

A Modern Revival Of Ancient Wisdom Cover

Book: A Modern Revival Of Ancient Wisdom by Alvin Boyd Kuhn

Since this work was designed to be one of a series of studies in American religions, the treatment of the subject was consciously limited to those aspects of Theosophy which are in some manner distinctively related to America. This restriction has been difficult to enforce for the reason that, though officially born here, Theosophy has never since its inception had its headquarters on this continent. The springs of the movement have emanated from foreign sources and influences. Its prime inspiration has come from ancient Oriental cultures. America in this case has rather adopted an exotic cult than evolved it from the conditions of her native milieu.

The main events in American Theosophic history have been mostly repercussions of events transpiring in English, Continental, or Indian Theosophy. It was thus virtually impossible to segregate American Theosophy from its connections with foreign leadership. But the attempt to do so has made it necessary to give meagre treatment to some of the major currents of world-wide Theosophic development. The book does not purport to be a complete history of Theosophy, but it is an attempt to present a unified picture of the movement in its larger aspects. No effort has been made to weigh the truth or falsity of Theosophic principles, but an effort has been made to understand
their significance in relation to the Historical situation and psychological disposition of those who have adopted it.

The author wises to express his obligation to several persons without whose assistance the enterprise would have been more onerous and less successful. His thanks are due in largest measure to Professor Roy F. Mitchell of New York University, and to Mrs. Mitchell, for placing at his disposal much of their time and of their wide knowledge of Theosophical material; to Mr. L. W. Rogers, President of the American Theosophical Society, Wheaton, Illinois, for cordial co-operation in the matter of the questionnaire, and to the many members of the Society who took pains to reply to the questions; to Mr. John Garrigues, of the United Lodge of Theosophists, New York, for valuable data out of his great store of Theosophic information, and to several of the ladies at the U.L.T. Reading Room for library assistance; to Professor Louis H. Gray, of Columbia University, for technical criticism in Sanskrit terminology; to Mr. Arthur E. Christy, of Columbia University, for data showing Emerson's indebtedness to Oriental philosophy; and to Professor Herbert W. Schneider, of Columbia University, for his painstaking criticism of the study throughout.

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Alvin Boyd Kuhn - A Modern Revival Of Ancient Wisdom

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Religion Belief Covering Head Is It Only In Islam

Religion Belief Covering Head Is It Only In Islam Image
I remember once when I attend an interfaith forum, there's 3 speakers, represent Islam, Christian and Buddha. This forum is basically about whats approach by the religion towards a social crisis nowadays. So the three speakers gave their points. After 2 hours, it come to question and answer session. One of the student raised and threw a question about Christian nuns that wearing a scarf, why just the Christian nuns wearing the scarf and not all Christian women? He also quoted whats bible mentioned about covered head for women in Corinthians chapter 11:6; If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.

So the speaker said that was because the nuns had dedicated themselves to God and they need to be modest and for the public women, why they should cover their heads? Hairs is a women's crown, its should be shown. Erk well, I am not going to discuss about that Christian's speaker statement, I just wanna say that covering head is actually not just for Muslim women but even for Christian women. A common misconception is that Muslim women are the only who cover their hair. It's obviously because Islam is the only religion in which most women follow its directive to cover the hair, but it is not the only religion to have such directives.

It is interesting to look at the case of Christianity, since Christianity is the predominant religion in the West, and it is Westerners, including observant Christians, who are often the first to criticize Islam because of the hijab (modest dress, including head covering). Additionally the idea behind modest dress does not only for females, but to males also. Modesty is encouraged for both genders in Islam and is seen as a sign of piety. Indeed, even Mary, the mother of Jesus wore the hijab. Also, today nuns virtually practice hijab for the same fundamental reason as the devout Muslim woman; to express piety as an individual who chooses to surrender their will to God and God's Sacred Law.

Have you ever wondered why Catholic nuns dress like they're wearing hijab (Muslim hijabi women, have you ever been mistaken for a nun?).Have you ever wondered why Mary the mother of Jesus (peace be upon them both) is always depicted in Christian art with her hair covered? Did you know that until the 1960s, it was obligatory for Catholic women to cover their heads in church (then they "modernized" the service)? It is true that most Christian women do not cover their heads, and many don't take other teachings of the Bible (against pre-marital sex, adultery, etc) literally either.

The Holy Qur'an says:


:"And say to the faithful women to lower their gazes, and to guard their private parts, and not to display their beauty except what is apparent of it, and to extend their head coverings (khimars) to cover their bosoms, and not to display their beauty except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband's fathers, or their sons, or their husband's sons, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their womenfolk, or what their right hands rule (slaves), or the followers from the men who do not feel sexual desire, or the small children to whom the nakedness of women is not apparent, and not to strike their feet (on the ground) so as to make known what they hide of their adornments. And turn in repentance to Allah together, O you the faithful, in order that you are successful." - the Holy Qur'an [24:31]

:"O Prophet! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw their outer garments close around themselves; that is better that they will be recognized and not annoyed. And God is ever Forgiving, Gentle." - the Holy Qur'an [33:59]Men are also encouraged to be modest. modesty is not only a call to women, but to men too.

:"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do." - the Holy Qur'an [24:30]

So according to Matthew's account what did Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) have to say about men "lowering their gaze" for greater purity? Let's take a look at the Bible's account of his Sermon on the Mount:

"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. - New Testament (Matthew 5:27-28)

Jesus' statement is very clear about why men should lower their gaze. He even equates the mere act of looking in lust with committing adultery. So what does Jesus recommend to do if a man can't control himself from visually lusting after women? Well his following statement seems to really underline the importance of not committing these acts in which we often write off as minor sins.

"If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. - New Testament (Matthew 5:29)

Now we don't know for certain that Prophet Jesus -peace be upon him- really recommended gouging one's eyes out but we can conclude with relative certainty that this is a warning to the believers to first save their soul, rather then succumbing to the temptations of mundane desires. Often people follow their own passions and lusts to a detriment, further straying from the straight path of understanding and guidance.

:"Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire? Then would you be responsible for him? - Or do you think that most of them hear or reason? They are not except like livestock. Rather, they are [even] more astray in [their] way." the Holy Qur'an [25:43-44]

:"But if they do not respond to you - then know that they only follow their [own] desires. And who is more astray than one who follows his desire without guidance from God ? Indeed, God does not guide the wrongdoing people." the Holy Qur'an [28:50]

Now let's be reasonable here, God knows man and woman's natural inclinations and desires. So these rules of modesty are not to take away from our individual freedom but rather they serve as loving guidance for us to avoid self destruction. Furthermore, what kind of society fosters a more conducive moral environment to avoid such sins? A society where men and women guard their modesty and lower their gaze as such in a true Islamic society or of that from which we see in many countries today where men and women walk around practically nude?

Obviously God is all loving and wouldn't make a law for man to follow without facilitating the proper environment to help him/her follow those laws with comfort. Remember, God is All-Loving and does not want to see man destroy himself. So in conclusion, the moral environment of the ideal Islamic society described in the Qur'an is the same exact model society that Jesus professed. Indeed, God knows man's nature can often be weak, therefore we are not expected to be perfect all the time. In light of this reality, God shows us an immeasurable amount of mercy towards anyone whom is willing to humbly turn to Him in sincere repentance:

"God wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak" the Holy Qur'an [4:28]

:"And We charge no soul except [with that within] its capacity, and with Us is a record which speaks with truth; and they will not be wronged." the Holy Qur'an [4:28].

Allahua'lam..Allah knows best

Reference: Holy Quran, Bible, www.islamawareness.net/



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