Anti-Intellectualism in Spiritual/Occult Practice
When I first started out investigating alternative spiritual practices, before I knew I would end up with a devoted practice of my own, I remember reading in Cunningham’s, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner that “the mysteries” cannot be understood via the intellect—that true understanding of them defies the intellect and is gained by direct experience only. As a hardcore Intellect groupie, my natural reaction was, “Bullshit, Mr. Cunningham!” and years of practice have not changed my opinion. (I pick on Cunningham here, but this spirit of anti-intellectualism is rampant.)
Experience is nothing without intellect to process it, derive meaning from it, apply that meaning forward, and move the experiencer to future action based on that meaning and application. There are times you must discipline your intellect to listen rather than talk, and there are absolutely things you will not be able to describe, but just because you can’t describe something doesn’t mean you are not intellectualizing it.
Anti-intellectualism in spiritual/occult practice is destructive and dangerous. If you aren’t doing the thinking, you can be damn sure someone or some thing is doing the thinking for you.
Lux Aeterna is a piece for 16 solo singers, written by György Ligeti in 1966. It is most famous for its use in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
This person must have been pissed when they came back to this manuscript.
Azores Pyramid the Lost Island of Atlantis?
Sailor Diocleciano Smith has discovered, based on bathymetry readings, a 60 meters high and 8000 square meters underwater pyramid near the Bank De João de Castro, between the islands of Terceira and São Miguel. The mysterious building is around forty meters below water and aligned with the four cardinal compass directions, similar to the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Is this newly discovered underwater pyramid man-made or natural?
The discoverer doesn’t believe the pyramid is of natural origin. This matter is already being investigated with the support of the Portuguese Navy.
Are these the remains of the lost City of Atlantis?
Legends of an advanced prehistoric civilization known as Atlantis have been around since the beginning of history, but previously those who searched for it were divided whether or not it was located near the Azores, South America or elsewhere. From as far back as Plato it was suggested the original builders of the pyramids lived west of Gibraltar, but findings of Machu Picchu, and other curiosities in the Mediterranean, led people to believe it was on the other side of the Atlantic.
The Azores are a chain of nine volcanic islands in three main groups that are 930 miles west of Lisbon. They are above what is known as a geological triple junction where the North American, Eurasian, and African tectonic plates meet. They were recolonized in 1941, but artifacts have been found suggesting they had been previously inhabited. Those artifacts are thought to have predated Christ by a few thousand years, but the location of the pyramid has been below water for 20,000 years since the last ice age.
This map is that of Jesuit Priest Athanasius Kircher depicting the location and shape of Infula Atlantis, complete with volcano projections atop it.
His map is from Mundus Subterraneus, a book published in 1669. It is shown on Wikipedia here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantis
The map is oriented with south at the top.
Here is the map inverted, now oriented with north at the top.
Compare this with the image of the Azores.
(A = Supposed location of the pyramid.)
The initials of the Latin sentence which was placed upon the cross: Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum, meaning Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. The Rosicrucians used them as the initials of one of their Hermetic secrets: Igne Natura Renovatur Integra meaning that By fire, nature is perfectly renewed. They also adopted them to express the names of their three elementary principles salt, sulphur, and mercury by making them the initials of the sentence, Igne Nitrum Roris Invenitur. Ragon finds in the equivalent Hebrew letters nor the initials of the Hebrew names of the ancient elements: Iaminim, water; Nour, fire; Ruach, air; and Iebschah, earth.
— Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry
Aramaic Incantation Bowl: Scorpion Rider
An ancient Judeo-Aramaic incantation bowl with a seven line inscription spiraling around the interior, invoking protection from demons for Abba and his family. At the center a figure brandishing a spear is mounted on a scorpion like quadruped.
Inscription translation by J.N. Ford:
(1) May there be healing from Heaven for the threshold of Abba son of Imma and may he be guarded from everything evil. F[urthermore], sealed and doubly sealed are the house and the dwelling (2) and the threshold and the household and the sons and the daughters and the wife and the possessions and the body of Abba son of Imma, from idol-spirits, (3) and from evil fiends, and from evil dreams, and from evil and severe visions, and from demons, and from d vs, and from satans, and from liliths, and from banned ones, and from (4) mevakkaltas, male and female, by seven bonds and by seven seals. Sealed, bound and sealed is the threshold of Abba son of Imma, by the Yes, by the great Throne of Kingship, (5) by the first seal of Michael and Saniel, by the second seal of wkyzyl and sngy l, by the third seal of the mighty ssngy l, by the fourth seal of the great dyrmsys, by the fifth seal (6) of nkyzryt, by the sixth seal of zbwrwn son of rgy , by the seventh seal of rgy son of pwry, by the great stone (of a ring) of the earth and by this mystery of heaven, which no one can transgress, (7) which is sound and established and their words are sound. Amen, Amen, Selah.
Relatively Simple: Explaining the Theory of General Relativity
Published in 1916, Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity is one of the towering accomplishments of 20th-century physics, completely changing our picture of the universe. While formulating his theory of special relativity, Einstein found that space and time are one and the same thing—they’re woven together into a single fabric called space-time. Everything that happens in the universe affects space-time, and space-time affects everything in the universe. Matter is embedded within this fabric, and so it warps, bends and distorts the space-time. Imagine setting a basketball on a trampoline—its mass will make a dent in the springy sheet. If you then rolled a marble around the basketball, the dent would cause the marble to spiral inwards towards the larger ball, much the same way as the gravity of the sun pulls at the Earth—like the basketball, the sun curves and warps the space around it. Newton postulates that smaller masses travel towards larger ones because of a force of attraction between them, but Einstein theorises that actually, massive objects cause a distortion in space-time, which is felt as gravitational influence. It’s a cool thought—that matter makes space-time stretch and warp, forming mountains and valleys that create ‘paths’ for objects to move through. The planets travelling around the sun are simply following the curvature of space-time. As theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler said, “Matter tells space-time how to curve, and curved space tells matter how to move.” Although we can’t actually see or measure space-time, it’s been confirmed by observing phenomena like gravitation lensing, which is the way light bends around massive objects such as black holes because of the warped space-time around them. Newton wasn’t wrong—matter is the source of gravity, and his equations still hold up most of the time—Einstein just delved further into how and why gravity exists.
(Image Credit: Wonders of the Universe)
A circle of dots, but every dot alone is just moving in a straight line.
What we term ‘esoteric’ is not really a term for something that is unknowable or can only be known by a few. The term more generally means simply a continuing knowledge of reality which is rejected. That it is esoteric not because it cannot be known but because we refuse to recognize it. Therefore it remains a profound secret.
— Manly P. Hall
Another interesting property of the logarithmic spiral is revealed if you roll it along a horizontal line. This animation shows the curves traced by points on the spiral, and note that the very centre follows the path of a straight line. The angle between this line and the horizontal is called the pitch of the spiral, and for our spiral galaxy the pitch is around 12 degrees. [more] [code]
Paracelsus and the Light of Nature
For twenty centuries, the humoral medicine of Greek and Arabic physicians dominated medical practice in the Western world. The body was thought to consist of four “humors” which mixed together in the correct proportion to create health. This meant that diseases were not looked upon as specific entities, but as imbalances between the humors. Medicinal agents were not conceived of as possessing specific capacities or affinities, but only the ability to change the relationship between humors: by purging, vomiting, sweating, salivating, etc. This was a medicine that lacked the notion of specificity in bodily processes, functions, medicines, biological laws, and diseases.
A tendency towards specific medical knowledge was developing slowly, however. Empirical doctors and folk practitioners often found herbs that worked in an exact, reliable way for a certain problem. Primitive metallurgists and alchemists were slowly accumulating knowledge about the specific properties of substances. This movement was gathering momentum over the centuries. Eventually it would replace humoralism with a more or less “chemical” concept of how the body functions and is healed. Distinct organs, diseases, and medicinal agents would be recognized.
When the momentum had developed long enough in this direction, it was inevitable that an advocate for these new ideas should appear. This person was a Swiss-born physician, Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), popularly known as Paracelsus. He was the first person to advocate an essentially “chemical” view of the world. He saw the living organism as a complex of different substances, each of which could be understood and affected through specific medicinal powers. He developed the technical capacity to manipulate substances through a simple system of chemistry, so that he could create chemical remedies suited to chemical problems in the organism. Paracelsus anticipated the basic disciplines that constitute modern medicine—-pharmacy, physiology, biochemistry and drug-therapy. He was also one of the first modern surgeons. In his practice we recognize the rudimentary elements of our modern system of medicine.
There is, however, an important difference between the medicine of Paracelsus and modern science. His approach united the spiritual to the material, the divine to the natural, the whole to the part. For him, the purely reductionist and materialist view of the modern era would have been unthinkable. His chemical substances corresponded with spiritual values, his principles to eternal laws. His medicine encompassed the life force, the wisdom of nature, and the spiritual faculties of human nature. Because of this orientation, the medicine of Paracelsus anticipated much that would later appear in alternative, as well as conventional, medicine.
Paracelsus was a revolutionary who had to jerry-rig terms and concepts in order to express ideas which were essentially alien to his own generation. This, coupled with his lack of social skills, caused his work to be largely unappreciated outside a small group of followers who circulated his manuscripts in private. These loyal students, as well as his phenomenal reputation as a healer and alchemist, stimulated interest in the Paracelsian corpus after his death, so that his collected works were published within a generation. They fertilized Western science and medicine from about 1565 to about 1665, giving rise to many new ideas. After that date his name was increasingly stigmatized and dropped from the agenda of dominant, mainstream thought. The importance of his contributions were forgotten. Only a few iconoclasts remembered him.
Because the system of Paracelsus is founded on universal and spiritual principles, poured forth in a voluminous rush of fresh, newly invented, stimulating words and grammar, his writings have a numinous quality, pregnant with spiritual implications. He has inspired savants down through the centuries. Power and beauty hover in the work of Paracelsus, inspiring us to look beyond the limitations of the materialist worldview. This quality is not appreciated by the advocates of conventional science, but it provides a valuable foundation for a medicine which is natural, spiritual, vitalist, and holistic in composition.
Young Manly P. Hall appears in the 1938 movie trailer for the movie “When Were You Born”, a movie based off a story he wrote of a murder mystery involving astrology.
- H. R. Giger’s 1978 airbrushed painting “Hieroglyphics”
- H. R. Giger airbrushing “Hieroglyphics” circa 1978
- Egyptian tomb carving depicting Nuit
- The Stele Of Revealing, or The Stele Of Ankh-en-ef-Khonsu i
Begun in April 1978, one of H. R. Giger’s best known works, “Hieroglyphics”, was created for the original 1980 Alien movie. Influences of Egyptian iconography present themselves readily as one notices the over-arching figure of Nuit, the ancient personification of sky/space deification. Of course, Giger was apt to use Her through his association with the Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn, of which he is still a member today.
The Golden Dawn and other Thelemic groups carry the torch of Egyptian mythology due to Aleister Crowley, when in 1904 his wife Rose Edith Kelly identified Horus on the Stele Of Revealing which was housed in the Cairo Museum. Also present on the Stele was Horus’ grandmother, Nuit (She being the mother of Isis, Horus’ mother). Nuit was also the ‘author’ of the first chapter of The Book Of The Law (Liber AL vel Legis) which can be considered the supreme mystery within the Thelemic movement.
"Note that Heaven is not a place where Gods Live; Nuit is Heaven, itself." —-Aleister Crowley; Magical And Philosophical Commentaries On The Book Of The Law (1974)