Sunday, October 25, 2009

Paganism And Witchcraft

Paganism And Witchcraft Cover To most people unfamiliar with the subject the words “Paganism” and “Witchcraft” are synonymous. However, while some Pagans are Witches, most are not. Witches, like Shamans are practitioners of specific rituals and traditions within the general framework of the tribal pagan experience.

Witchcraft is the name that was used by the Christian Church to stigmatize the practitioners of "The Old Religions". It is the continuation of the practices of the native spiritual and cultural beliefs of Europeans and others that existed prior to the advent of Christianity. The witch is a practitioner of a paganistic lifestyle, but the paths (traditions) that individual witches follow often vary widely. A witch will follow the principles and beliefs of the pagan philosophy, but not according to any set of parochial dogmas. A witch's individual path comes from the epiphany of their own individual experience and the exercise of their own given talents. Witchcraft is a considered a religion; however that classification is more a legal label rather than a definition of witchcraft as a congregational approach to spirituality.

To become a witch, one must become a practitioner of the “Old Religion”. Different traditions have different methodology for becoming a part of their tradition. For most, this involves some form of self-dedication to the Gods and Goddesses of the Earth. Even for those born into a family tradition, a conscious decision to follow the "Old Ways" must be made.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

The Encyclopedic Sourcebook Of Satanism

The Encyclopedic Sourcebook Of Satanism Cover

Book: The Encyclopedic Sourcebook Of Satanism by James Lewis

In the public imagination Satanism is associated with bizarre rituals, perverse hedonistic lifestyles, heavy metal music, immature adolescents acting out, horror movies, and rumors of ritual abuse. But what are the facts behind the urban legends and the "moral panics" that periodically sweep the country regarding this countercultural phenomenon? This authoritative reference work gathers together scholarly studies of Satanism and original source material, focusing on two major aspects—organized religious Satanism and the Satanic Ritual Abuse hoax that was prevalent in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Satanism is popularly associated with hedonism and horror, but there are concrete facts which actually surround the practice of Satanism, and this reference gathers together scholarly studies of Satanism along with original source material to survey its history and practices. Both historic and modern Satanism are covered in a survey which discusses its practices, common misbeliefs, and modern concerns such as the role of the media in Satanistic coverage. An outstanding sourcebook and a 'must' for any library where Satanism and alternative beliefs are covered.

The contributors first examine modern Satanism, a decentralized movement whose only coherence is based on certain themes that date back to the writings of Anton Szandor LaVey, especially his Satanic Bible. Among other factors, the authors discuss how the emergence of the Internet as a form of communication has created some coherence among disparate groups through cross-reference.

Many Articles are devoted to the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare, an erroneous belief in a vast underground network of Satanists who were abusing children. For years members of the law enforcement community and numerous therapists, encouraged by the hype of mass media, bought into this panic.

Other topics include the role of the media in the perceptions of Satanism and Satanic Ritual Abuse, juvenile delinquency and Satanism, and police pursuit of satanic crime. The volume concludes with primary source material, including a report from the Ritual Abuse Task Force and selections from current Satanism groups.

This objective reference work will be useful for professionals in many fields and members of the public interested in sorting out the facts from the myths surrounding this controversial subculture.

Buy James Lewis's book: The Encyclopedic Sourcebook Of Satanism

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Aryans Of Asia Kalash Buddhist History

Aryans Of Asia Kalash Buddhist History Image
"Aryan" has come to mean spiritually "worthy" or "noble" in Buddhism. But in ancient India it referred to widespread legends of northern invaders who brought their culture and Vedic religion to the Indus Valley with superior technology that seems to have come out of the blue. Alexander the Great, the Greeks, the Arabs, and others before them came in as maurading waves, plundering and occupying the fertile Punjab and the Gangetic plains. Eventually, Buddhism was wiped out. But originally Buddhism had some of its strongest support in modern day Afghanistan.

In numerous sutras the Buddha refers to himself as being part of the Solar race, a mythical lineage tracing itself back to Surya (the Sun God, who sent his emissary Manu "the law-giver"), who figures so powerfully in ancient Egyptian and modern Abrahamic traditions (see smritis). All of this is part of ancient pre-Buddhist Indian lore. The swastika -- an ancient and venerable Vedic, Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist symbol -- represents the sun. The Nazis appropriated the mythology and incorporated it into their propaganda to serve very unskillful political ambitions of world domination.

The Buddha, his son Rahula, and Ananda were all said to be potential "world monarchs," who bore the marks of great men ("lakkhana"). A world monarch is a righteous king who could rule not the planet, if one reads carefully, but the entire known world, that is, the continent extending in all directions, bounded by the sea. If China and Mongolia were known, it would include all of Asia, near east and far east. Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophists had brought these ancient legends back to the West. They were known throughout Siberia, India, and other parts of Asia, which at one time included the cradle of Western civilization, ancient Greece.

The Taliban brought Afghanistan's forgotten history into sharp relief by attempting to obliterate the largest standing Buddha figure in the world. Ancient Chinese historians had already documented how well establish the Afghani Sangha was, how numerous their buildings, how grand their statuary. At that time, the area was "India." The borders have changed, as has the dominant religion. Zorastrianism, Christianity, and Islam have all usurped legends and locations of great spiritual significance.

Are they the original Aryans? Descended from Alexander the Great, strange tribes of white people reside in far northern Pakistan, formerly India, near Kashmir. They have definite Caucasian features, and their culture and religious practices are distinct from Islamic neighbors on all sides. They are the (Nordic-appearing) Kalash.

* Kalash people call for survival
* Rare people of the world (rustyline)
* Images of the Kalash

* The Swastika and Sanatan Dharma (George Sipos)
* The Real History of India and Buddhism (Ranajit Pal)

GAUTAMA BUDDHA AND NEPAL


Text: Ranajit Pal

"Buddhism literally throbs with the history and geography of India. The archaeological finds from Sanchi, Ajanta, Bharhut, Amaravati, Mathura, and the Gandhara area (now in Pakistan and Afghanistan) firmly link India with the rise of Buddhism....there is much more to the history of early Buddhism than meets the eye. In fact, Buddhist history is a strange mix of facts and fiction that baffles the discerning reader.

"Historians such as H. C. Raychaudhuri and R. Thapar boldly affirm that Gautama belonged to the Nepal area, but sadly there is no firm archaeological basis at all for this conjecture. Early India [known as Bharat then Jambudvipa] was far wider than British India, and it is in this 'India' that Buddhism was born.

"Nepal is a beautiful country, but a careful study reveals that Gautama of Nepal is a nauseating fraud. Absolutely nothing in the literature, art, history, or archaeology of early Nepal has the faintest hint of Buddhism. The British researcher T. A. Phelps has exposed the widespread forgeries of...Dr. A. F"uhrer, who moved pillars and other relics and produced fake inscriptions to locate Gautama's birthplace in Nepal. Gotama was a prince but after he was abandoned in the wilderness of the Terai by F"uhrer, his history went to pieces. C. Humphreys points to the stark archaeological scenario in Nepal...

"The renowned Belgian scholar E. 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...' "

Was Tibet a theocratic Shangri-La with a god-king? Or was it an Aryan stronghold destroyed by Communist China? This National Geographic documentary explores Tibet in the popular imagination and explores other views, such as its relationship to Nazi Germany, using archival footage.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Glory Of Buddhist Gandhara

The Glory Of Buddhist Gandhara Image
Gandhara was a cosmopolitan confluence of cultures, East and West (Dawn.com/file).

KARACHI, Pakistan - Ancient Gandhara was a cosmopolitan confluence of cultures where East met West and where, thanks to the network of monasteries, reliquaries ("stupas"), and temples as well as state patronage, Buddhism experienced a golden age, exemplified by the relics of Gandharan art that survive to this day.

This Buddha is an example of Gandhara art; manuscripts at UC Berkeley.

This view was expressed by Mahmood-ul-Hasan Shah, assistant director in the federal government's directorate-general of archaeology and museums, while delivering a virtual presentation on Gandhara at the Goethe-Institut here on Monday.

The presentation was based on an exhibition titled "Gandhara - The Buddhist heritage of Pakistan: legends, monasteries, and paradise." The exhibition was on display for 10 months in the German cities of Bonn and Berlin. Mr. Shah represented Pakistan during the exhibition in Germany. He initially gave a historical background of the area known in antiquity as Gandhara, consisting of parts of modern Afghanistan and north-western Pakistan.

Buddhism was patronised by the area's Kushan rulers - who had originally come from Central Asia - and experienced its golden age from the first to the fifth century AD, when it was "dealt a death blow," as Mr. Shah put it, by the White Huns, who practiced Hinduism [or early Vedic religion].

He described the people of Gandhara as "totally cosmopolitan," adding that the art that emerged from the area was influenced by indigenous cultures as well as Greco-Roman culture.

by Qasim Ali Moini



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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Martinism History And Doctrine

Martinism History And Doctrine Cover

Book: Martinism History And Doctrine by Robert Ambelain

In other works, appearing before or after the war, we have often presented esoteric doctrines, each different from the other. Each time, we published them with impartiality and care for precision. We have even taken so much care, that we sometimes appear to be promoting these doctrines. Although to us these merited being ascribed very diverse labels, we were at the mercy of certain readers! And so, since the appearance of our book on the symbolism of Cathedrals, we have been authoritatively linked to one of the most redoubtable satanic sects! Nobody seems to know the sect’s name and chiefs exactly, but it must be of the blackest magic. With our studies on Gnosis and the Ophites, we became fanatical Luciferans; however, critics did us the favor of not overburdening us with the epithet (however flattering) of Rose-Croix, despite the last chapter which explained their doctrine. Truly, our vanity has been agreeably gratified!

Now we are publishing a study of Martinism. No doubt people will attribute to us the spiritual heritage of Martinez de Pasqually, not forgetting to enthusiastically describe the mystical ceremonies by which we try, in our perverse pride, to bring Evil powers under subjection to our empire, to evoke the celestial Intelligences and to converse with them, indeed in sacrilegious defiance, to attempt to summon, that which Martinez de Pasqually and his disciple Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin called “the Repairer”.

The fanatical adversaries of occult secret societies will ascribe dark and shadowy intentions to us, and, for sure, will place us among the mysterious cohort of the “Unknown Superiors”! They will ask us whence we have obtained our abundant documentation, and by what miracle we even know the facts and deeds of a multi-secular society, existing at a time when, vigorously proscribed and persecuted, its members had to increase both prudence and precaution. We reply to our ill-intentioned critics, to our declared and hidden adversaries, that all this adds little of value to this book. It is of little importance that we have had access to archives which have evaded them, that we have been written about in such purposeful terms, or that we of right have had access to a realm where the doors have remained firmly closed to them. It concerns noone but us. We are bringing the public a work which we wish to be historical and to cover the doctrine. That is the only thing on which we put any value For the rest, we trust that certain Cherub, guardian of an undoubted “Threshold”, to give them – or not – access to this sanctuary which up till now they have sought in vain! - ROBERT AMBELAIN

Download Robert Ambelain's eBook: Martinism History And Doctrine

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History Of Freemasonry Vol I Prehistoric Masonry

History Of Freemasonry Vol I Prehistoric Masonry Cover

Book review: History Of Freemasonry Vol I Prehistoric Masonry by Albert Mackey

IN the study of Freemasonry there are two kinds of statements which are presented to the mind of the inquiring scholar, which are sometimes concurrent, but much oftener conflicting, in their character.

These are the historical and the traditional, each of which appertains to Freemasonry as we may consider it in a different aspect.

The historical statement relates to the Institution as we look at it from an exoteric or public point of view; the traditional refers only to its esoteric or secret character.

So long as its traditional legends are confined to the ritual of the Order, they are not appropriate subjects of historical inquiry. They have been invented by the makers of the rituals for symbolic purposes connected with the forms of initiation. Out of these myths of Speculative Masonry its philosophy has been developed; and, as they are really to be considered as merely the expansion of a philosophic or speculative idea, they can not properly be posited in the category of historical narratives.

But in the published works of those who have written on the origin and progress of Masonry, from its beginning to the present time, the legendary or traditional has too much been mingled with the historical element. The effect of this course has been, on adversely prejudiced minds, to weaken all claims of the Institution to an historical existence. The doctrine of "false in one thing, false in all," has been rigidly applied, and those statements of the Masonic historian which are really authentic have been doubted or rejected, because in other portions of his narrative he has been too credulous.

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Albert Mackey - History Of Freemasonry Vol I Prehistoric Masonry

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Secret Doctrine Vol Ii Anthropogenesis

The Secret Doctrine Vol Ii Anthropogenesis Cover

Book: The Secret Doctrine Vol Ii Anthropogenesis by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

The Secret Doctrine, the Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy, a book originally published as two volumes in 1888, is Helena P. Blavatsky's magnum opus. The first volume is named Cosmogenesis, the second Anthropogenesis. It was an influential example of the revival of interest in esoteric and occult ideas in the modern age, in particular because of its claim to reconcile ancient eastern wisdom with modern science. Blavatsky claimed that its contents had been revealed to her by 'mahatmas' who had retained knowledge of mankind's spiritual history, knowledge that it was now possible, in part, to reveal.

The second half of the book describes the origins of humanity through an account of "Root Races" dating back millions of years. The first root race was, according to her, "ethereal", the second root had more physical bodies and lived in Hyperborea. The third root race, the first to be truly human, existed on the lost continent of Lemuria and the fourth root race developed in Atlantis. According to Blavatsky, the present fifth root race is approximately one million years old. It overlapped the fourth root race and the very first beginnings of the fifth root race were approximately in the middle of the fourth root race.

Download Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's eBook: The Secret Doctrine Vol Ii Anthropogenesis

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Treatise On Astral Projection

Treatise On Astral Projection Cover

Book: Treatise On Astral Projection by Robert Bruce

This is part one of a series of Articles that will endeavor to define the astral world and the projection process. Please keep in mind, while reading v1.x of this Treatise, that it was my first attempt at serious writing. That is, I was learning to write while writing them. I have been studying the astral plane, in my astral form, for most of my life. I have attempted, by careful observation and critical thinking, to understand it, and hopefully, to shed a little light on it. Everybody, without exception, leaves their body in a low powered projection, when they go to sleep. I call this sleep projection. The astral body hovers a few inches above the physical like a balloon on a string, mimicking the sleeping position and going no further. Once the astral body has separated, it is free to create dreams. This is the natural (sleep, dream) process we are all familiar with. During this, you sink into the collective dream consciousness of the world. This ‘dream pool’ settles into layers. According to what type of person you are, spiritual, moral advancement etc, you will tune in to a level you have affinity with. These levels are commonly called the ‘Planes’ or sub Planes. There is nothing wrong with this analogy except that it can confuse things when you try to grasp the whole concept.

If you become aware during sleep projection you can take some control over it as in a lucid dream, and move amongst the levels. If you do take control though, you cannot return to the real world and function as an astral form in it. You are in the topsy-turvy world of the dream pool or astral planes, where everything is possible, but not very plausible. When you do a ‘fully conscious’ projection of the astral form you project into the physical world, not any astral world. This has long been misunderstood. What is usually thought of as Astral Projection today is better called ‘Lucid Dreaming’ which is completely different.

The Eastern concept of the levels; physical, astral, mental, Buddhic, Atmic etc is very real. They have been confused though and mixed in with the Western concept of astral projection. They are different levels of consciousness, not planes as such. When you AP you don’t raise your consciousness, it is the same as when you are awake. These ‘higher’ levels can only be reached by raising your consciousness; you can’t just project into them. It is a different kind of ‘projection’. I have been in these higher levels but it is difficult to explain them, they really have to be experienced. They are normally reached during deep meditation. In order to reach these higher levels, some clairvoyant ability is required. This can be developed, or natural ability. - Robert Bruce

Download Robert Bruce's eBook: Treatise On Astral Projection

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sufi Poets And Poetry The Classical Masters

Sufi Poets And Poetry The Classical Masters Image
The Esoteric dimension of Islam which often termed as the way of the Sufi and the encounters that Sufism facilitates - encounters with God, love, and the deepest aspects of human consciousness. Sufism is like a holy well of sacred experience and has inspired some of the finest mystical poetry given to the world.

Here is a list and links of some of the most prominent and classical Sufi Poets. Poetry Chaikhana that brings Sacred Poetry from Around the World has a comprehensive list of classical sufi poets, their brief biographical sketch and selected poems. The following list is adopted from Poetry Chaikhana.

Abu-Said Abil-Kheir (967 - 1049)

born in Mayhana, modern day Turkmenistan. lived more than two centuries before Rumi yet, like Rumi, much of his mysticism follows a similar path of annihilation in divine Love.

Ahmad al-Alawi (1869 - 1934)

an Algerian saint considered by many to be one of the greatest Sufi Masters of the 20th century.

Abu 'l-Husayn al-Nuri (? - 908)

was a native of Baghdad. He was a friend of al-Junaid and a leading figure of Sufism in the region.

Sheikh Ansari (1006 - 1088)

was born and died in Herat, northwestern Afghanistan and his burial place in Herat is still a place of pilgrimage for thousands of Sufis every year.

Farid ud-Din Attar (1119? - 1220?)

was born in Nishapur, Persia (Iran) and is traditionally said to have been killed by Mongol invaders. About thirty works by Attar survive, but his masterpiece is the Mantic at-Tayr (The Conference of the Birds). Attar's poetry inspired Rumi and many other Sufi poets.

Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia (1238 - 1325)

Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, affectionately known as Mehboob-i Elahi or "Beloved of God," was born in Badayun, India, east of Delhi. He showed profound spiritual realization and was a master of the Chishti Sufi order.

Sultan Bahu (? - 1691)

one of India's most enduringly beloved and influential Sufi poets. A respected scholar from what is today the nation of Pakistan, Bahu became famous worldwide for his eloquent and inspirational Punjabi poetry and prose, which constitute a central pillar of the Sufi religious and literary tradition of northern India. So popular is his poetry in Pakistan and India even today that illiterate Punjabis can recite it by heart.

Abdul-Qader Bedil (1644 - 1721)

his family originally came from Afghanistan and at some point moved to India as part of the Muslim Moghul court. Abdul-Qader Bedil wrote extensively - poetry, philosophy, wisdom stories, and riddles - and most of his writings remain with us today.

Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (1689 - 1752)

Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (sometimes written Bhittai or Bhittaii) was a devout Muslim Sufi, but his spirituality was broad and welcoming, making room for Muslim and Hindu alike. He is one of the most revered poets and saints of the Sindh region of what is today Pakistan.

Bulleh Shah (1680 - 1758)

is considered to be one of the greatest mystic poets of the Punjab region, India-Pakistan. Bulleh Shah was a respected scholar, but he longed for true inner realization. Later he became a disciple of Inayat Shah, a famous master of the Qadiri Sufi lineage, who ultimately guided his student to deep mystical awakening.

Yunus Emre (1238 - 1320)

a Sufi dervish of Anatolia, Emre is considered by many to be one of the most important Turkish poets. He was a contemporary of Rumi, who lived in the same region. While Rumi composed his collection of stories and songs for urban circle of Sufis, writing primarily in the literary language of Persian; Yunus Emre, on the other hand, traveled and taught among the rural poor, singing his songs in the Turkish language of the common people. His poetry expresses a deep personal mysticism and humanism and love for God.

Baba Sheikh Farid (1173 - 1266)

was a Sufi saint from Multan, Pakistan, who is considered by many to be the first major poet of the Punjabi language. Later, when the Sikh holy book the Adi Granth Sahib was compiled, many of Baba Sheikh Farid's poems and couplets were included.

Seyh Galib (1757 - 1799)

was born in Istanbul and was a sheikh of the Mevlevi order. He is considered to be the last of the great classical Ottoman poets.

Mirza Ghalib (1797 - 1869)

is the pen name of Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan, Indian poet of Turkish ancestry. His best poems were written in Urdu and are still widely sung.

Hafiz (1320 - 1389)

whose given name was Shams-ud-din Muhammad, is the most beloved poet of Persia. Born in Shiraz, he lived at about one hundred years after Rumi. When he died he was thought to have written an estimated 5,000 poems, of which 500 to 700 have survived. His Divan (collected poems) is a classic in the literature of Sufism.

Mansur al-Hallaj (9th Century)

was born in the province of Fars, Persia (Iran). He later moved to what is now Iraq, where he took up religious studies, particularly the Sufi way. He is one of the more controversial figures of Sufism. Considered by many to be a great poet-saint, he was executed for blasphemy.

Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi (1165 - 1240)

born in Murcia, in Moorish Spain, Ibn 'Arabi is considered by many to be the greatest Sufi philosopher. Among his many writings, perhaps his most influential philosophical works are Spiritual Conquests (al Futuhat al Makkiya) and Facets of Wisdom (al Fusus al Hikam).

Umar Ibn al-Farid (1181 - 1235)

The poetry of Shaykh Umar Ibn al-Farid is considered by many to be the pinnacle of Arabic mystical verse, though suprisingly he is not widely known in the West. Ibn al-Farid's two materpieces are The Wine Ode, a beautiful meditation on the "wine" of divine bliss, and The Poem of the Sufi Way, a profound exploration of spiritual experience along the Sufi Path and perhaps the longest mystical poem composed in Arabic. Ibn al-Farid's Poem of the Sufi Way refers to the Beloved - God - as "Her," rather than in the more traditional masculine gender which was a revolutionary vision in his contemporary time.

Ibn Ata' Illah (1250 - 1309)

was a Sufi saint and was an early spiritual leader of the Shadhiliyyah Sufi order in Egypt. His Kitab al-Hikam (The Book of Aphorisms) is his most widely read and memorized work, a rich, poetic collection of spiritual maxims composed in majestic Arabic.

Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877 - 1938)

was born in what now is Pakistan, is considered one of the finest poet from Indian subcontinent.

Fakhruddin Iraqi (? - 1289)

born in Kamajan near Hamadan, was a fascinating figure who bridged several Sufi traditions. His own masterpiece of commentary and poetry named the Lama'at or Divine Flashes.

Ahmad Jami (1048 - 1141)

was born in Namaq and later settled and also buried in Jam (near the present-day Afghan border).

Kabir (15th Century)

was born in Varanasi (Benares), India. Kabir can not easily be categorized as a Sufi or a Yogi - he is all of these. He is revered by Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. He stands as a unique, saintly, yet very human, bridge between the great traditions that live in India.

Baba Afzal Kashani (13th Century)

was a respected Sufi philosopher and poet who lived in the Kashan region of Persia (Iran). The popular image of him is as an ecstatic and his mystic poetry is celebrated today for that reason.

Omar Khayyam (11th Century)

was best known in his time as a mathematician and astronomer. As a poet his masterpiece is the Rubaiyat.

Najmoddin Kobra (1145 - 1221)

he became a disciple of Abu JaJib Sohrawardi's disciple Ruzbehan al-Wazzan al-Mesri. Najmoddin himself became a great Sufi shaykh and founded the Kobrawi order.

Niffari (? - 965)

is considered to be an early sufi. Niffari's Book of Standings (Kitab al-Mawaqif) is a fascinating collection of visionary poems.

Qushayri (? - 1074)

is from Nishapur in what is today Iran. His "Risala ila al-sufiyya" or "Epistle to the Sufis" is so widely read in Sufi circles that it is often called the "Treatise of Qushayri" or simply "Treatise," no other name required.

Jelaluddin Rumi (1207 - 1273)

was born in Balkh, in what is now Afghanistan. Rumi's most extensive work is Diwan-i Shams-i Tabrizi. His most famous work is without doubt the Mathnawi, dubbed by Jami as the "Koran of the Persian language". Another major poetical work of Rumi is the Ruba'iyyat.

Saadi (1207 - 1291)

was born and died in Shiraz, Persia. Two best known works are the Bustan (the Garden), composed entirely in verse, and the Gulistan (the Rose Garden), in both prose and verse. He was particularly known for the wry wit he injected into his poems.

Hakim Sanai (1044? - 1150?)

is one of the earlier Sufi poets. He was born in the province of Ghazna in southern Afghanistan. Rumi acknowledged Sanai and Attar as his two primary inspirations, saying, "Attar is the soul and Sanai its two eyes, I came after Sanai and Attar."

Mahmud Shabistari (1250? - 1340)

lived in Persia (Iran). Shabistari's Secret Rose Garden (the Gulistan-i Raz, which can also be translated as The Rose Garden of Mystery) is considered to be one of the greatest works of Persian Sufism. In it Shabistari expresses a viewpoint of Sufi realization similar to the perspective of the great Sufi philosopher Ibn Arabi, but expressed through the rich Persian poetic tradition. The work was regarded as one of the central works of Sufism.

Sultan Valad (1240 - 1312)

was Rumi's son, his biographer, and his spiritual successor. He formally founded in the Mevlevi Order of Sufis following his father's teachings.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Western Buddhism

Western Buddhism Cover Although Buddhism had spread through Asia for the past two and a half millennia, it has only recently become widely known in Western countries. It was first brought to Europe by visitors to the East over a century ago. Also during the late 19th century, Chinese immigrants settled in Hawaii and California where they introduced Mahayana Buddhism. Later Japanese immigrants to these states brought other Mahayana sects. According to Buddhanet, during 1893"

"Dharmapala from Sri Lanka and Soyen Shaku, a Zen master from Japan, attended the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Their inspiring speeches on Buddhism impressed their audience and helped to establish a foothold for the Theravada and Zen Buddhist Traditions in America. During this period, the Theosophical Society, which teaches the unity of all religions, also helped to spread some elements of Buddhist teachingsin America." 9

By the early 20th century, most Therevada scriptures and many Mahayana texts had been translated into English, French and German.

Refugees from Tibet brought Vajrayana Buddhism to America. More recently, immigrants from Vietnam, Thailand, etc. also brought their beliefs and practices with them. Today, Theravada, Pure Land, Ch'an (aka Zen), Vajrayana and Nichiren Shoshu traditions of Buddhism are well established in Europe, South America, and English Speaking countries worldwide. Buddhanet continues:

"Today, there exist numerous Buddhist centres spread across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North and South America. Virtually all the major Buddhist traditions are represented and continue to attract the interest of Westerners in all walks of life."

As noted above, Buddhist in the West are generally accepting of GLBTs. This follows naturally from the influence that culture has on all religions. Western culture has tended to emphasize human rights, social equality, tolerance, compassion, personal freedom, and the recognition that each person has to find their own answers. Buddhists here have been heavily influenced by the gay liberation movement which was triggered by a police riot in New York City during 1969-JUN.

James Shaheen comments:

"Western dharma communities are known for their tolerance, and the Dalai Lama himself has openly gay students. It's rare to hear of anyone being drummed out of a Western Buddhist community for being gay, and in most Buddhist traditions practiced in the West -- including the Tibetan communities -- sexuality is rarely if ever an issue."

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky - Studies In Occultism
Reeves Hall - Asatru In Brief
Trieu Phuoc - The Quintessence Of Secret Esoteric Buddhism
Miac - Asatru And Odinism

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dhammapada

Dhammapada Cover

Book: Dhammapada by Siddhartha Gautama

The Dhammapada is one of the primary collections of teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, who is revered as the "Shakyamuni Buddha" and considered founder of the Buddhist Traditions. It contains 423 verses in 26 categories, which, according to tradition, are answers to questions put to the Buddha on various occasions, most of which deal with ethics. These sayings were selected and compiled into one book as being worthy of special note on account of their beauty and relevance for moulding the lives of future generations of Buddhists. They are divided into 26 chapters and the stanzas are arranged according to subject matter.

Download Siddhartha Gautama's eBook: Dhammapada

Books in PDF format to read:

Ro Winstedt - Shaman Saiva And Sufi
Tuesday Lobsang Rampa - The Rampa Story
Arjun Vishad Yog - Bhagvad Gita
Wh Auden - Havamal
Siddhartha Gautama - Dhammapada

Monday, October 5, 2009

Al Azif The Cipher Manuscript Known As Necronomicon

Al Azif The Cipher Manuscript Known As Necronomicon Cover

Book: Al Azif The Cipher Manuscript Known As Necronomicon by Abdul Alhazred

This etext version of the book, Al Azif has been entered into Hypertext by Ken Ottinger over the course of some few months. This project was completely funded by the Universal Life Trust.

The reason for the project was the realization that so many people were fascinated by H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos. Reading the newsgroups alt.necronomicon and alt.necromicon and seeing so many requests for an online copy of the Necronomicon, and then seeing the arguments and debates as to whether the text actually existed or not prompted me to search out the research work of Colin Wilson, George Hay, Robert Turner and David Langford.

These men, publishing through CORGI Books of Chaucer Press, Ltd., Great Britain, provided a translation of a cipher manuscript of Dr. John Dee's called Liber Logaeth, a portion of a larger manuscript, the origin and nature of which is not known. Due to its history and the similarity in content to the Cthulhu Mythos, this document has been presented by these men as being, at least a portion of, the document which was the inspiration for HPL's Necronomicon.

Download Abdul Alhazred's eBook: Al Azif The Cipher Manuscript Known As Necronomicon

You also can download this ebooks:

Andrew Pernick - A Meditation On The Simon Necronomicon
Abdul Alhazred - Al Azif The Cipher Manuscript Known As Necronomicon

The Real History Of The Rosicrucians

The Real History Of The Rosicrucians Cover

Book: The Real History Of The Rosicrucians by Arthur Edward Waite

This is Arthur Edward Waite's study of the elusive Rosicrucians, a secret society of which the first public notice was in early 17th century Germany. Was this an actual organization, or just a fantasy? No actual Rosicrucians ever surfaced, but there was plenty of documentation about them. The problem is that these documents are, for the most part, obviously fictional. In time, a mythology grew up around the Rosicrucians. Today there are groups which claim the name. These date at the most to the late 19th century, although they usually claim pro forma to go back as far as Egypt or Atlantis. The Rosicrucians have also been woven by conspiracy theorists into their web alongside the Freemasons, Illuminati, Templars, and so on, even though there is not a shred of evidence for this.

Waite presents complete translations of all of the texts which defined the Rosicrucians, including the Fama Fraternitatis, the Confessio Fraternitatis, and the Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz. The longest text, the Chemical Wedding is a fever-dream which is a thinly veiled alchemical allegory. The authorship of these documents is disputed, but it may have been written by Johann Valentin Andreas, a German theologian and writer. Waite also surveys Rosicrucian literature from successive centuries, including extensive quotes from authors who wrote about the Rosicrucians such as Michael Maier, Robert Fludd, Thomas Vaughan and John Heydon. Heydon wrote Voyage to the Land of the Rosicrucians, reminiscent of Thomas More's Utopia, about a voyage to an obscure continent inhabited by Rosicrucians, included here in its entirety.

All in all, this serves both as a survey of the literature about Rosicrucians and an invaluable anthology of that literature. Waite, although he had a solid background in the occult, is in a firmly rationalist mode in this book. The Real History will be of use to both academic and general readers, and makes fascinating reading. --J.B. Hare

Find Arthur Edward Waite's book in amazon.com:
The Real History Of The Rosicrucians

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Buddhism Turns 2600 Years Old

Buddhism Turns 2600 Years Old Image
May's full moon day (May 17, 2011) will officially mark the twenty-sixth century of Buddhism.

Two-thousand six-hundred years ago, Siddhartha Gautama culminated six years of renunciation, moral-restraint, meditation, and keen investigation of mental phenomena with a startling realization:

"Everything that is of a nature to arise is of a nature to cease." Having purified and balanced his mind by successive practice of the eight meditative absorptions ("jhanas"), he emerged and began to contemplate Dependent Origination.

THE PATH TO COMPLETE FREEDOMThis is a formula or technique that leads to insight into the true nature of things -- revealing their "radical" impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and impersonal nature. A glimpse of the Truth causes the mind/heart to pull back and away from the corruptions (lust, anger, delusion) like a feather dropped in fire. The mind thus freed perceives nirvana, touches it, enters the first stage of enlightenment.

This momentous step -- after an inconceivably long course of "wandering on" through birth and death (innumerable past lives and states of becoming) -- begins the process of full liberation from suffering.

UNDER THE BODHI TREEWe are often swept up with the misleading story of the Buddha's heroic effort, fighting temptation and fear: Siddhartha sat down, gritted his teeth, vowed not to stand until he attained his goal of enlightenment even if his blood and skin should shrivel up and turn to dust, in spite of Mara's fearsome attacks and his own self-doubt.

This is exactly the wrong notion that prevented enlightenment. It was not Siddhartha's fierce determination that ultimately allowed his heart/mind to find the Truth. Too much "efforting" fills the heart with yearning, strains the mind, and wearies the body. The breath ("SPIRIT") is then anything but calm, subtle, soothing, or serene.

THE MIDDLE WAYIn this way, no realization is possible. The Bodhisattva (the "buddha"-to-be) had for years failed in his efforts exactly because of this sort of strenuous striving and fierce determination. The "Middle Path" avoids extremes of striving/laziness, austerity/luxury, rigidity/limpness, or VIEWS. It invites balance and direct-knowledge.

In our world so filled with lust, greed, and lassitude, we need to hear the message of strong determination. But in a world of annoyance, hate, and drive, we need to hear the other side of the story -- the letting go, the letting be, the mindful (or non-thinking, non-striving, non-preference, non-judgmental) attention.

The meditative absorptions allowed Siddhartha to maintain equanimity in the face of keen investigation. He was observing, not "doing." He was practicing mindfulness (bare attention), not discursive thinking.

The purity of heart/mind cleansed by deep concentration/collectedness ("samadhi") allowed his insight-practices ("vipassana") to succeed. Indeed, two of the most important arms of the ennobling Eightfold Path are "right concentration" and "right mindfulness. Right" simply means balanced, optimal, effective, not strenuous, dogmatic, or driven.

That First Vesak Day


For a long time (innumerable aeons) we have wandered on this weary trail of rebirth, lusting here, lusting there, ever in search of satisfaction, meaning, and peace. We do not find them for very long. Good states and situations pass away. When the mind is brightened by absorption and brought to bear on insight-practices -- nirvana. That's it! There it is! And finding it Siddhartha, now the Buddha, is reputed to have exclaimed:

"I WHO WEPT WITH ALL MY BROTHERS TEARS, LAUGH AND AM GLAD, FOR THERE IS LIBERTY!"

What was it? What eternal truth did he rediscover? Nirvana, nirvana, what is this "nirvana"?

* Nirvana. "nir-va", to blow out. According to ancient lore, complete freedom; according to Buddhist lore, liberation. The goal of Buddhism is the condition of [enlightened individual,] one who has achieved nirvana: a condition where there is neither earth nor water nor fire nor air; neither infinite space nor infinite consciousness; nor the sphere of void, nor the sphere of perception or non-perception. It is the end of woe. (Yoga Illustrated Dictionary, Kaye & Ward).

by Dharmachari Seven



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Correllian Times Emagazine - Issue 48 August 2010 Blessed Oimelc
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