Monday, March 12, 2012

CLAIRVOYANCE AND KINDRED PHENOMENA

A very large and very interesting class of occult or psychic phenomena is that known under the very general classification of "Clairvoyance," which term we have thought it advisable to employ in this sense in this book, notwithstanding the technical objections urged by some against such a general usage. The term "Clairvoyance" really means "clear seeing," or "clear sight," but its special meaning, established by long usage, is "A power of discerning objects not perceptible to the normal senses." When it comes to the technical use of the term by students and teachers of psychic research and occultism, however, there is found a confused meaning of the term, some employing it in one sense, and others in another one.

Clairvoyance Defined
The English Society for Psychical Research, in its glossary, defines the term as follows: "The faculty or act of perceiving, as though visually, with some coincidental truth, some distant scene; it is used sometimes, but hardly properly, for transcendental vision, or the perception of beings regarded as on another plane of existence." A distinguished investigator along psychic lines, in one of her reports to the English Society for Psychical Research, has given the following definition of this term as employed by her in her reports, viz., "The word 'clairvoyant' is often used very loosely, and with widely different meanings. I denote by it a faculty of acquiring supernormally, but not by reading the minds of persons present, a knowledge of facts such as we normally acquire by the use of our senses. I do not limit it to knowledge that would normally be acquired by the sense of sight, nor do I limit it to a knowledge of present facts. A similar knowledge of the past, and if necessary, of future events, may be included. On the other hand, I exclude the mere faculty of seeing apparitions, which is sometimes called clairvoyance."

The last stated definition agrees almost perfectly with the views of the writer of the present book, and the term "Clairvoyance" is used here in the particular sense indicated by such definition. The student of this book, therefore, is asked to distinguish Clairvoyance, on the one hand, from the phenomena of Telepathy or Thought Transference, and, on the other hand, from the phenomena of communication with entities on other planes of existence, including the perception of apparitions.


The Phenomena of Clairvoyance.
The phenomena of Clairvoyance may be subdivided (a) according to methods employed, and also (b) according to general distinctions. The said classifications follow:

Classification According to Methods. The classification of Clairvoyant Phenomena according to methods employed, proceeds as follows: (1) Psychometry, in which the clairvoyant becomes en rapport through the medium of some physical object connected with the person or scene which is the object of the en rapport connection; (2) Crystal Gazing, etc., in which the en rapport connection is established by means of a crystal, magic mirror, etc., into which the clairvoyant gazes; (3) Direct Clairvoyance, in which the clairvoyant directly establishes the en rapport connection by means of raising his or her psychic vibrations so as to become "in tune" with the finer vibrations of Nature, without the aid of physical objects.


Classification According to General Distinctions.
The classification of Clairvoyant Phenomena according to general distinctions, proceeds as follows: (1) Present Clairvoyance, in which the objects perceived by the clairvoyant are present in Space and Time, although invisible to normal sight; (2) Space Clairvoyance, in which the clairvoyant vision includes objects and scenes removed in space from the immediate normal perception of the clairvoyant; (3) Time Clairvoyance, in which the clairvoyant perceives objects or scenes removed from him in past time, or future time.

In order that the student may obtain a comprehensive understanding of the phenomena of Clairvoyance, we have thought it well to give you a brief, general outline of the particular phenomena fitting into these several classes, and to give you, also, a general idea of the principal methods employed to obtain the phenomenal manifestations in question. We begin by calling your attention to the three general classes of method employed to obtain the manifestation of clairvoyant phenomena, namely: Psychometry, Crystal Gazing, and Clairvoyant Psychic States, respectively.

Source:

Genuine Mediumship, Swami Bhakta Vishita 
Author of Seership, the Science of Knowing the Future

Sunday, March 11, 2012

CAESALPINIA L. - Yün-Shih

Caesalpinia sepiaria Roxb.
Yün-Shih


Caesalpinia sepiaria or Yün-Shih, a shrubby vine with retrorsely hooked spines, is reputedly used as a hallucinogen in China. The roots, flowers, and seeds also have value in folk medicine.

The earliest Chinese herbal—Pen-ts'-ao-ching——state​d that the "flowers could enable one to see spirits and, when taken in excess, cause one to stagger madly?' If consumed over a long period, they produce levitation and "communication with the spirits?'

This plant is an extensive climber with pinnate leaves 9—15 in. (23—38cm) long and linear-oblong leaflets in 8—12 pairs. The large, erect, unbranched showy racemes, 21 in. (53 cm) long, bear canary yellow flowers. The smooth, elongateovoid, pointed fruit has 4 to 8 ovoid, brown- and black-mottled seeds, % in. (1 cm) long. An alkaloid of unknown structure has been reported from Caesalpinia sepiaria.

AMANITA MUSCARIA MUSHROOM

Amanita muscaria is a beautiful mushroom growing in thin forests usually under birches, firs, and young pines. It may attain a height of 8—9 in. (20—23cm). The somewhat viscid, ovate, hemispheric, and finally almost flat cap measures 3—8 in. (8—20 cm) when mature. There are three varieties: one with a blood red cap with white warts found in the Old World and northwestern North America; a yellow or orange type with yellowish warts common in eastern and central North America; and a white variety that is found in Idaho. The cylindrical stem, which has a bulbous base, is white, ½—i in. (1—3 cm) thick, with a conspicuous cream-white ring covered basically with encircling scales. The white valve adheres to the base of the stem. The gills vary from white to cream color or even lemon yellow.

 This mushroom, perhaps man's oldest hallucinogen, has been identified with Soma of ancient India.

CONOCYBE MUSHROOM

Conocybe sillgineoides Heim
Conocybe

Agaricaceae (Bolbitiaceae)
(Agaric Family)

Conocybe siligineoides has been reported as one of the sacred intoxicating mushrooms of Mexico. Psilocybine has not as yet been isolated from this species, but Conocybe cyanopus of the United States has been shown to contain this psychoactive alkaloid.

This beautiful mushroom, up to about 3m. (8 cm) tall, living on rotting wood, has a cap up to 1 in. (2.5 cm) in diameter that is fawn-orange-red, with a deeper orange at the center. The gills are saffron-colored or brownish orange with chrome yellow
spores.

Many species of the genus Conocybe contain psilocybine, are psychoactive, and are used ritually. Recently a rudimentary cult around Tamu (a Conocybe species, "Mushroom of Awareness") has been discovered.

Conocybe siligeneoides is an obscure mushroom which has not been found or analyzed again since its first description.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

DEMONOLOGY

The study of demons or evil spirits; also a branch of magic that deals with such beings. In religious science it has come to indicate knowledge regarding supernatural beings that are not deities. The Greek term daimon originally indicated ‘‘genius’’ or ‘‘spirit,’’ and Socrates claimed to have had intercourse with his daimon. However, with the advent of Christianity it came to mean a malevolent spirit entity. Demonology was especially developed during the Middle Ages.

Ancient demonology is discussed in the entries Egypt, Semites, Genius, and Devil Worship, and the demonology in preindustrial societies is examined in the entries on the various countries and peoples of its origin.

According to Michael Psellus (1018–ca. 1079), author of De Operatione Daemonum Dialogus, demons are divided into six main bodies: the demons of fire; of the air; of the earth; those of the waters and rivers, who cause tempests and floods;  the subterranean who prepare earthquakes and excite volcanic eruptions, and the shadowy ones who are somewhat like ghosts. (St. Augustine (354–430 C.E.) considered all demons under the last category.) Psellus’s classification is not unlike the system of the Middle Ages, which divided all spirits into those belonging to the four elements: fire, air, earth, and water (salamanders, sylphs, gnomes, and undines, respectively).


EARLY CONCEPTS OF DEMONOLOGY
The medieval idea of demons, of course, evolved from ancient Christian and Gnostic belief, especially from the accounts of demons in the Bible. Among the Jews, the gods of the surrounding nations were called demons, and those nations were condemned for making sacrifices to demons instead of to the one God, Yahweh (Deut. 32:17; Ps. 106:37). The Christian New Testament speaks of demons as inferior spirits who operate as subjects of the devil. Such demons can take possession of a human being causing various illnesses and physical ailments. Demons were named as causative factors in disease in a prescientific age.

Demons have an expansive role in the biblical record. They can affect the behavior of swine (Matt. 8:30–32) and speak with a knowledge beyond that of an ordinary person (Mark 1:23–24). Biblical authors did understand demons as objectively present in the world and pictured the apostles as trying to drive them away. Considering demons as having an objective existence placed many questions about the nature of their origin, existence, operation, and habitation on the theological agenda. By the third century, the angel Lucifer, who fell from heaven (Isa. 14:12), was identified with Satan, and the fallen angels with demons.

The Gnostics (who competed for members with the early Christians), imitating Plato’s classification of the orders of spirits, attempted a similar arrangement with respect to a hierarchy of angels. The first and highest order was named seraphim; the second, cherubim; the third was the order of thrones; the fourth, dominions; the fifth, virtues; the sixth, powers; the seventh, principalities; the eighth, archangels; and the ninth, and lowest, angels.
This classification was censured by the Christian church, yet almost outlived the pneumatologists of the Middle Ages. These scholars—studying the account in which the angel Lucifer rebelled against heaven (Isa. 14:12), and that in which Michael, the archangel, warred against him (Rev. 12:7)—long asked the momentous question, ‘‘What orders of angels fell on this occasion?’’

At length it became the prevailing opinion that Lucifer was of the order of seraphim. It was also asserted, after laborious research, that Agares, Belial, and Barbatos, each of whom deposed angels of great rank, had been of the order of virtues; that Bileth, Focalor, and Phoenix had been of the order of thrones; that Goap had been of the order of powers; that Purson had been of both the order of virtues and the order of thrones; and that Murmur had belonged to both the order of thrones and the order of angels. The pedigree of many other noble devils was likewise determined.

As the centuries progressed, theologians began to inquire, ‘‘How many fallen angels were engaged in the contest?’’ This was a question of vital importance, and it gave rise to the most strenuous research and to a variety of discordant opinions.
Others asked, ‘‘Where was the battle fought—in the inferior heaven, in the highest region of the air, in the firmament, or in Paradise?’’ and ‘‘How long did it last?’’ These were difficult questions, but the notion that ultimately prevailed was that  the engagement was concluded in exactly three seconds, and that while Lucifer, with a number of his followers, fell into hell, the rest were left in the air to tempt man.

A newer question rose out of these investigations: whether a greater number of angels fell with Lucifer or remained in heaven with Michael. Noted scribes were inclined to think that the rebel chief had been beaten by a superior force, and  that consequently devils of darkness were fewer in number than angels of light.
These discussions, which for centuries interested the whole of Christendom, exercised the talents of some of the most erudite persons in Europe. The last objective of demonologists was to assess Lucifer’s routed forces and reorganize them into a decided form of subordination or government. Hence, extensive districts were given to certain chiefs who fought under the general Lucifer.

There was Zimimar, ‘‘the lordly monarch of the north,’’ as Shakespeare calls him, who had his distinct province of devils; Gorson, the king of the South; Amaymon, the king of the East; and Goap, the prince of the West. These sovereigns had many noble spirits subordinate to them whose various ranks were settled with all the preciseness of heraldic distinction. There were devil dukes, devil marquises, devil counts, devil earls, devil knights, devil presidents, and devil prelates.

As a picture of the infernal kingdom was constructed, it was determined that the armed host under Lucifer had been composed of nearly twenty-four hundred legions, of which each demon of rank commanded a certain number. Beleth for instance, who has been described as ‘‘a great king and terrible, riding on a pale horse, before whom go trumpets and all melodious music,’’ commanded 85 legions; Agares, the first duke under the power of the East, commanded 31 legions; Leraie, a great marquis, 30 legions; Morax, a great earl and a president, 36 legions; Furcas, a knight, 20 legions. The forces of the other devil chieftains were enumerated after the same manner.


THE APPEARANCE OF DEMONS
The strange and hideous forms connected with the popular image of demons were derived from the descriptive writings of the early demonologists, who maintained that demons possessed a decidedly corporeal form and were mortal, or that, like Milton’s spirits, they could assume any sex and take any shape they chose. In the Middle Ages, when conjuration was regularly practiced in Europe, devils of rank were supposed to appear under characteristic forms by which they were as well recognized as the head of any ancient family would be by his crest and armorial bearings.

Along with their names and characters were registered the shapes they were said to adopt. A devil would appear like an angel seated in a fiery chariot or riding on an infernal dragon and carrying a viper in his right hand; or he would assume a lion’s head, a goose’s feet, and a hare’s tail; or put on a raven’s head and come mounted on a strong wolf.

Among other forms taken by demons were those of a fierce warrior, or of an old man with a hawk in his hand riding upon a crocodile. A human figure would arise having the wings of a griffin or sporting three heads, two of them like those of a  toad and one like a cat’s; or displaying huge teeth and horns and armed with a sword; or exhibiting a dog’s teeth and a large raven’s head; or mounted upon a pale horse and exhibiting a serpent’s tail; or gloriously crowned and riding upon a dromedary; or presenting the face of a lion; or bestriding a bear while grasping a viper.

Other forms were those of a goodly knight, or of one who bore lance, ensigns, and even a scepter, or of a soldier, either riding on a black horse and surrounded by a flame of fire, or wearing a duke’s crown and mounted on a crocodile.

Hundreds of such varied shapes were assumed by devils of rank. In his Sketches of the Philosophy of Apparitions (1824), Dr. S. Hibbert comments:

‘‘It would therefore betray too much of the aristocratical spirit to omit noticing the forms which the lower orders of such beings displayed. In an ancient Latin poem, describing the lamentable vision of a devoted hermit, and supposed to have been written by St. Bernard in the year 1238, those spirits, who had no more important business upon earth than to carry away condemned souls, were described as blacker than pitch; as having teeth like lions, nails on their fingers like those of a wild-boar, on their fore-head horns, through the extremities of which poison was emitted, having wide ears flowing with corruption, and discharging serpents from their nostrils. The devout writer of these verses has even accompanied them from drawings, in which the addition of the cloven feet is not omitted. But this appendage, as Sir Thomas Brown has proved, is a mistake, which has arisen from the devil frequently appearing to the Jews in the shape of a rough and hairy goat, this animal being the emblem of sin-offering.’’

The form of the demons described by St. Bernard (1090–1153) differs little from that which was no less carefully portrayed by English writer Reginald Scot 450 years later, and, perhaps, by the demonologists of modern times. ‘‘In our childhood,’’ says Scot, ‘‘our mother’s maids have so terrified us with an ouglie divell having horns on his head, fier in his mouth, and a tail on his breech, eies like a bason, fangs like a dog, clawes like a beare, . . . and a voice like a roaring lion.’’


THE POWERS OF DEMONS
Although the leading tenets of the occult science of demonology may be traced to the Jews and early Christians, they matured through communication with the Moors of Spain, who were the chief philosophers of the early Middle Ages. There was much intercultural exchange between the moors and the natives of France and Italy. Toledo, Seville, and Salamanca became the great schools of magic. At Salamanca discourses on the black art were, in keeping with the solemnity of the subject, delivered within the walls of a vast and gloomy cavern.

The instructors taught that all knowledge and power might be obtained from the fallen angels. They were skilled in the abstract sciences, in the knowledge of precious stones, in alchemy, in the various languages of mankind and of the lower animals, in belles lettres, in moral philosophy, pneumatology, divinity, magic, history, and prophecy, it was told. The demons could control the winds, the waters, and the influence of the stars; they could raise earthquakes; induce diseases or cure them; accomplish vast mechanical tasks; and release souls from purgatory. It was said that they could influence the passions of the mind, procure the reconciliation of friends or foes, engender mutual discord, induce mania and melancholy, or direct the force and objects of sexual affection.


HIERARCHY OF DEMONS
According to Johan Weyer, the prominent sixteenth century Protestant demonologist, demons were divided into a great many classes, into regular kingdoms and principalities, and into mobility and commoners. According to Weyer, Satan was by no means the great sovereign of this monarchy; this honor was held by Beelzebub. Satan was alluded to by Weyer as a dethroned monarch and chief of the opposition; MOLOCH was called chief of the army; PLUTO, prince of fire; and  LEONARD, grand master of the sphere. The masters of these infernal courts were ADRAMELECH, grand chancellor; ASTAROTH, grand treasurer; NERGAL, chief of the secret police; BAAL, chief of the satanic army.

Weyer maintained that each state in Europe also had its infernal ambassadors. Belphegor is assigned to France, MAMMON to England, BELIAL to Turkey, RIMMON to Russia, THAMUZ to Spain, HUTJIN to Italy, and MARTINET to Switzerland. According to Weyer’s calculations the infernal regions contained an army of 7,405,926 devils and demons, organized into 1,111 divisions of 6,666 each.

One of the strangest authorities on demonology was surely Alexis Vincent Charles Berbiguier, known as ‘‘the Scourge of the Demons,’’ author of the three-volume encyclopedic work Les Farfadets, ou tous les démons ne sont pas de l’autre  monde (1821). In this great study, he describes the infernal court: ‘‘This court has representatives on earth. These  mandatories are innumerable. I give nomenclature and degree of power of each: Moreau, magician and sorcerer of Paris, represents Beelzebub; Pinel, a doctor of Saltpétrière, represents Satan; Bouge, represents Pluto; Nicholas, a doctor of Avigum, represents Moloch.’’ But Berbiguier was not just a theorist, since he claimed to have caught thousands of demons, impaling them on pins like a butterfly hunter and sealing them in bottles.


MODERN DEMONOLOGY
Belief in demons possibly reached its lowest ebb in the nineteenth century, though occultists such as William Barrett proposed their own demonic hierarchies. By the beginning of the twentieth century, demonology was unfashionable, even in occult circles, but during the occult boom of the 1960s and 1970s, the theme of demonic possession was revived in conservative Christian circles and given widespread coverage in books and movies like The Exorcist, by William P. Blatty. The idea of demons became a divisive force in the church, with some churchmen reviving rituals of exorcism and others remaining adamant in their unwillingness to endorse ancient concepts of demonology. At any rate, the sensationalist aspect of possession by demons is in keeping with the apocalyptic character of modern life, and demons have once again become part of theological discourse.

Sources:
Bodin, Jean. De la démonomania des sorciers. Paris, 1580.

Conway, Moncure D. Demonology and Devil-Lore. 2 vols. London:
Chatto & Windus, 1879.

Ebon, Martin, ed. Exorcism: Fact Not Fiction. New York: New
American Library, 1974.

Irvine, Doreen. From Witchcraft to Christ. London: Concordia
Press, 1973.

Nauman, St. Elmo, Jr. Exorcism Through the Ages. New York:
Philosophical Library, 1974.

Neil-Smith, Christopher. The Exorcist and the Possessed. Cornwall,
England: James Pike, 1974.

Remy, Nicolas. Demonolatry. 1595. Reprint, New Hyde Park,
N.Y.: University Books, 1974.

Robbins, Rossell Hope. The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology.
New York: Crown Publishers, 1959.

Scott, Sir Walter. Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft. London,
1830. Reprint, New York: Citadel Press, 1970.

Shepard, Leslie. How to Protect Yourself Against Black Magic
and Witchcraft. New York: Citadel Press, 1978.

Strachan, Francoise. Casting Out the Devils. London: Aquarian
Press, 1972.
Wall, J. Charles. Devils. London, 1904. Reprint, Detroit:
Singing Tree Press, 1968.

Weyer, Johan. Witches, Devils and Doctors in the Renaissance:
Johan Weyer, De Praestigiis. Edited by George Mora. Binghamton,
N.Y.: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1991.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

CHAKRAS - Part 1

According to Theosophists, the sense organs of the etheric double that receive their name from their appearance, which resembles vortices. Altogether there are ten chakras (visible only to clairvoyants) but of these it is advisable to use only seven. They are situated not on the denser physical body, but opposite certain parts of it as follows: (1) the top of the head, (2) between the eyebrows, (3) the throat, (4) the heart, (5) the spleen (where vitality is drawn from the sun), (6) the solar plexus, and (7) the base of the spine. The remaining three chakras are situated in the lower part of the pelvis and normally are not used, but are brought into play only in black magic. It is by means of the chakras that the trained occultist can become  acquainted with the astral world.

The Theosophical concept of chakras was adapted from the ancient Hindu understanding of kundalini, a cosmic energy believed to be latent in the human organism responsible for sexual activity and also conditions of higher consciousness. The Hindu mystics pictured kundalini as a coiled serpent situated at the base of the spine in the subtle body. When aroused by spiritual disciplines, which included breath control and meditation, the energy darted up the spine in any of three subtle channels, illuminating the seven major centers or chakras in the body. These centers have been tentatively identified with the major nervous plexi. The seventh chakra, known as the sahasrara or ‘‘Thousand Petalled Lotus,’’ is located in the area of the crown of the head. Many Indian yogis have described blissful conditions of mystical consciousness resulting from the arousal of kundalini and its successful culmination in the sahasrara. This supreme experience is compared with the sexual embrace of the god Siva and his consort.

Today, the idea of chakras is somewhat universal in occult and New Age circles. There is some difference of opinion as to the actual nature of the chakras and the experiences associated with them but some uniformity as to their location. An early identification with the nervous plexi of the body was made by V. G. Rele in his book The Mysterious Kundalini: The Physical Basis of the ‘‘Kundali-Hatha-Yoga’’ According to our Present Knowledge of Western Anatomy and Physiology (1939).

For comparative Chinese mysticism and meditation techniques in relation to chakras, see the books of ‘‘Charles Luk’’ (pseudonym of K’uan yü Lu), notably The Secrets of Chinese Meditation (London, 1964).

Sources:
Avalon, Arthur. The Serpent Power. Madras: Ganesh, 1950.
Reprint, New York: Dover Pubications, 1974.

Gopi Krishna. Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man.
Boulder, Colo.: Shambhala, 1970.

Judith, Anodea. Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System.
St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, 1987.

Leadbeater, C. W. The Chakras. Wheaton, Iill.: Theosophical
Publishing House, 1972.

Rele, V. G. The Mysterious Kundalini: The Physical Basis of the
‘‘Kundali-Hatha-Yoga’’ According to our Present Knowledge of Western
Anatomy and Physiology. Bombay: Taraporevala, 1939.

Key of Solomon the King (Clavicula Salomonis)

A grimoire—textbook on magic—of medieval origin. It is supposed to be the work of Solomon, but is manifestly of later origin and was probably written in either the fourteenth or fifteenth century. A number of manuscripts have survived. There are stories of a book of magic spells ascribed to Solomon as early as the first century C.E.; the historian Flavius Josephus stated that Eleazar the Jew exorcised devils with Solomon’s book. Stories of a ring of Solomon’s are also found in the Arabian Nights.

The Key is not an authentic Jewish work, since it contains ancient concepts that may date from earlier semitic or Babylonian times. It may have come to Europe through Gnostic channels and mixed with later kabalistic notions.

In its popular form, its chief use appears to be in finding treasure and performing magic rites with the purpose of interfering with the free will of others. The power of the Divine Name is much in evidence, but the work appears to combine elements of both white and black magic.

The Lemegeton (Lesser Key of Solomon) is much more noteworthy. Its earliest examples date from the seventeenth century, and it invokes the hierarchies of the abyss by legions and millions. It is divided into four parts that enable the operator to control the offices of all spirits.

The first part, Göetia, contains forms of conjuration for 72 demons with an account of their powers and offices; the second, Theurgia Göetia, deals with the spirits of the cardinal points, which are of mixed nature; the third, the Pauline Art (the significance of the name is unaccountable), deals with the angels of the hours of the day and night and with the signs of the zodiac; and the fourth, Almadel, enumerates four other choirs of spirits. The operator is required to live a pure life, and none of the conjurations may be applied to the injury of another.

Sources:
The Greater Key of Solomon. Translated by S. L. MacGregor
Mathers. 1909. Reprint, Chicago: De Laurence, 1914. Reprint,
London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972.

The Lesser Key of Solomon/Göetia/The Book of Evil Spirits. Chicago:
De Laurence, 1916.

Shah, Indres. The Secret Love of Magic. London: Frederick
Muller, 1957. Reprint, London: Abacus, 1972.

Waite, Arthur E. The Book of Ceremonial Magic. New Hyde
Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1961.

Kepler, Johann (1571–1630)

Famous German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer. He was born on December 27, 1571, at Weil in Württemberg and educated at a monastic school at Maulbrunn. He attended the University of Tübingen, where he studied philosophy, mathematics, theology, and astronomy. In 1593 he became professor of mathematics and morals at Gratz in Styria, where he also continued his astrological studies. He had an unhappy home life and was somewhat persecuted for his doctrines.

The famous Rudolphine tables, which he prepared with the astronomer Tycho de Brahe, were printed in 1626.

Some of Kepler’s writings were influenced by occult and mystical concepts. In his work De Harmonice Mundi (1619) he expounded a system of celestial harmonies. His book Somnium (1634) was an early speculation about life on the moon. A discussion of Kepler’s concept of archetypes appears in ‘‘The Influence of Archetypal Ideas on the Scientific Theories of Kepler’’ in the book The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche, by C. G. Jung and W. Pauli (1955).

The laws of the courses of the planets, deduced by Kepler from observations made by Tycho, and known as ‘‘the three laws of Kepler,’’ became the foundation of Newton’s discoveries, as well as of the whole modern theory of the planets. His services in the cause of astronomy place him high among the distinguished people of science, and in 1808 a monument was erected to his memory at Ratisbon. Kepler’s most important work is his Astronomia nova, seu Physica Coelestis tradita Commentariis de Motibus Stellae Martis (1609), which is still regarded as a classic by astronomers.

Kepler died November 15, 1630, at Ratisbon.

KARMA

A doctrine common to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Theosophy, although not wholly adopted by Theosophists as taught in the other two religions. The word karma itself means ‘‘action,’’ but implies both action and reaction. All actions have consequences, some immediate, some delayed, others in future incarnations, according to Eastern beliefs. Thus individuals bear responsibility for all their actions and cannot escape the consequences, although bad actions can be expiated by good ones.
Action is not homogeneous, but on the contrary contains three elements: the thought, which conceives the action; the will, which finds the means of accomplishment; and the union of thought and will, which brings the action to fruition. It is plain, therefore, that thought has potential for good or evil, for as the thought is, so will the action be. The miser, thinking of avarice, is avaricious; the libertine, thinking of vice, is vicious; and, conversely, one thinking of virtuous thoughts shows virtue in his or her actions.

There is also a viewpoint which believes that karma comes not from the action itself, but the beliefs and feelings which motivate or allow the action. ‘‘The law of karma is not a justice and retribution system, so anyone who has had much suffering in this life is not a victim of ‘bad karma,’ but simply finds themselves in predicaments that are simply the result of their own beliefs about themselves.’’

Arising from such teaching is the attention devoted to thought power. Using the analogy of the physical body, which can be developed by regimen and training based on natural scientific laws, Theosophists teach that character, in a similar way, can be scientifically built up by exercising the mind.

Every vice is considered evidence of lack of a corresponding virtue—avarice, for instance, shows the absence of generosity. Instead of accepting that an individual is naturally avaricious, Theosophists teach that constant thought focused on generosity
will in time change the individual’s nature in that respect. The length of time necessary for change depends on at least two factors: the strength of thought and the strength of the vice; the vice may be the sum of the indulgence of many ages and therefore difficult to eradicate.

The doctrine of karma, therefore, must be considered not in relation to one life only, but with an understanding of reincarnation. In traditional Hinduism individuals were seen as immersed in a world of illusion, called maya. In this world, distracted from the real world of spirit, one performs acts, and those actions create karma—consequences. In traditional teaching the goal of life was to escape karma. There was little difference between good and bad karma. Karma kept one trapped in the world of illusion.

During the nineteenth century, Western notions of evolution of life and the moral order were influenced by Indian teachings. Some began to place significance upon good karma as a means of overcoming bad karma. The goal gradually became the gaining of good karma, rather than escape. Such an approach to reincarnation and karma became popular in Theosophy and Spiritism, a form of Spiritualism.

Western scholars have often mistakenly viewed karma and fate as the same concept. Fate, however, is the belief that the path of one’s life is established by agencies outside oneself. Karma is the opposite, implying the ability to alter one’s path of life—in a future life if not the present—by altering one’s feelings and beliefs, and by engaging in positive practices. ‘‘It is the coward and the fool who says this is fate,’’ goes the Sanskrit proverb. ‘‘But it is the strong man who stands up and says, ‘‘I will make my fate.’’

According to this view, reincarnation is carried on under the laws of karma and evolution. The newborn baby bears within it the seeds of former lives. His or her character is the same as it was in past existences, and so it will continue unless the individual changes it, which he or she has the power to do. Each succeeding existence finds that character stronger in one direction or another. If it is evil the effort to change it becomes increasingly difficult; indeed a complete change may not be possible until many lifetimes of effort have passed. In cases such as these, temptation may be too strong to resist, yet the individual who has knowledge of the workings of karma will yield to evil only after a desperate struggle; thus, instead of increasing the power of the evil, he helps to destroy its potency. Only in the most rare cases can an individual free himself with a single effort.

The karmic goal in reincarnation, however, is said not necessarily to raise the soul to a higher plain of existence, but entreat enlightenment to reign at whichever level of existence the soul happens to find itself. ‘‘Many. . .see the process of enlightenment as ‘‘ascension’’; it is in fact more true to say that it is a process of descension, that is bringing the light down to all levels.’’

Sources:
Abhedananda, Swami. Doctrine of Karma: A Study in the Philosophy
and Practice of Work. Calcutta: Ramakrishna Vedanta Math,1965.

Carus, Paul. Karma: A Study of Buddhist Ethics. La Salle, Ill.:
Open Court, 1894.

Feuerstein, George. The Shambala Guide to Yoga. Boston and
London: Shambala, 1996.

Glasenapp, Helmuth von. The Doctrine of Kerman in Jain Philosophy.
Bombay: Bai Vojibai Jivanial Panalal Charity Fund, 1942.

Hanson, Virginia, ed. Karma: The Universal Law of Harmony.
Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House, 1975.

Jast, L. Stanley. Reincarnation and Karma. Secaucus, N.J.:
Castle Books, 1955.

‘‘Karma: Meaning and Definition.’’ Hinduism Today June 19,
1994, http://www.spiritweb.org/.

Payne, John. ‘‘Reincarnation & Karma.’’ January 1, 1995
http://www.spiritweb.org/.

Reichenbach, Bruce R. The Law of Karma: A Philosophical
Study. London: Macmillan, 1990.

Sharma, I. C. Cayce, Karma and Reincarnation. Wheaton, Ill.:
Theosophical Publishing House, 1975.

Silananda, U. An Introduction to the Law of Karma. Berkeley,
Calif.: Dharmachakka Meditation Center, 1990.

Torwesten, Hans. Vedanta: Heart of Hinduism. New York:
Grove Weidenfeld, 1985.

Woodward, Mary Ann. Edgar Cayce’s Story of Karma. New
York: Coward-McCann, 1971.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

THE TWILIGHT LANGUAGE

Twilight language is a rendering of the Sanskrit terms ṃdhyā bhāṣā (written also: sāndhyā bhāṣā, ṃdhya-bhāṣā, sāndhya-bhāṣā) and saṃdha-bhāṣā (also written sandha-bhāṣā, saṃdhā bhāṣā and sandhā bhāṣā) — or of their modern Indic equivalents (especially in Bengali, Oriya, Assamese, Maithili, Hindi, Nepali, Braj and Khariboli).

The twilight language (Sanskrit:sandha-bhasa, Tibetan:gongpe-ke) is a polysemic language and communication system associated with tantric traditions in Vajrayana Buddhism and Hinduism. It includes visual communication, verbal communication and nonverbal communication. Tantric texts are often written in a form of the twilight language that is incomprehensible to the uninitiated reader. As part of an esoteric tradition of initiation, the texts are not to be employed by those without an experienced guide and the use of the twilight language ensures that the uninitiated do not easily gain access to the knowledge contained in these works. According to Judith Simmer-Brown:

As has often been said, tantric texts are written in "twilight language" (sandha-bhasa, gongpe-ke), which, as the Hevajra-tantra states, is a "secret language, that great convention of the yoginis, which the shravakas and others cannot unriddle". This means that the texts of Buddhist tantra cannot be understood without the specific oral commentary by authorized Vajrayana teachers.

DREAMS

Dream means "vision during sleep". Some dreams are  significant and  merit interpretation. Many dreams are  the  result of events of  the day. So a dream which  refers to something that has not happened to you in  your working hours within  the  last  week  or  so is likely to  have  a special  meaning, maybe a warning or promise for  good  or bad.

Astrologically dreams are connected with  first  house, Karka; for bad  dreams is Mercury. Reading of dreams is connected with "Rahu'". This has been  stated in Khanda V Slokas 1,5,35 & 52 of  Uurakalamrita.

A  bad   dream  is  considered a  mental disease which   has  been attributed to Mercury vide Sloka-5 Adhyaya XIV of Phala Deepika.
Dreams are  mysterious perceptions realised when   the  physical body of a person is at rest.When one sleeps, the body functions as usual, so  also, the  mind  functions. When  there  are  no external disturbances, the body, though at rest, does not prevent sensitivity and perceptivity in the subconscious from  functioning. So it appears that mind  will wander or record something which the person does in his awakening state.

Dreams are  seen  during daytime and  at  night. Sometimes these dreams predict some incident or give an indication of some good events. Dreams seen during an  illness or  when   the  man  is worried are  not reliable. Dreams seen  during the day are  less  reliable and  their  results appear after a long time.

Their Psychology and Significance
A dream has also  been  defined as a ''Series of pictures and events seen by a sleeping person". It is a hallucinatory experience occurring during sleep. It  has  a  latent (disguised) content different from   the  manifest (literal) content by which it is remembered. It gives a cross section of the extant state of physical function. It is real so long as it lasts  but is in fact  unreal inasmuch as it has no factual existence.
A dream state is an intennediate state between the waking state and sound sleep. It is neither a state  of consciousness nor  of death. It is a fleeting phenomenon  and a short duration (Atharva Veda 6-46-1). It is said that the longest dream lasts for five seconds. It starts suddenly and ends abruptly. It is an involuntary outpouring of the contents of the subconscious   and  the  conscious  mind.  Dreams   which  cannot   be connected with persons, places, activities and actions of present life presage coming events.

Dreams may be classified as under:
1. Pleasant
2. Unpleasant
3. Single
4. Composite
5. Absurd, meaningless, fantastic and baseless
6. Short
7. Realistic
8. Dreams about future events
9. Ordinary  dreams  which are  just a continuation  of routine life such as reading, writing, talking with friends etc.
10. Dreams before waking.

Dreams serve one of the following  purposes:
1. To presage future events.
2. To amuse and regale the dreamer in the interval between waking state and deep sleep.
3. To cause afflictions and misery to the dreamer.
4. To serve  as a safety  value  for  suppressed  desires,  unfulfilled wishes, lurking fears and anxieties.
5. To suggest guidelines for unsolved problems.
6. To disclose unknown secrets.

There are reported cases in which a deceased person appeared  in a dream  and  informed  his wife about  tbe whereabouts  of  the  money amassed secretly by them during their lifetime. On investigation  the disclosures were found correct.

It  is  the  mind  which  projects  the  dream  and  the  soul  which witnesses it. According  to Yajur Veda (34-1,3)  the mind wanders far and wide in the waking state as well as in the sleeping state, no act can be accomplished without it and it is the storehouse of memory.

It is stated in Atharva Veda (6-42-2) that Varunani is the mother of Yama, father  of dreams. Some scholars have interpreted  Varunani as the wife of Varun. This interpretation is incorrect, because if Varunani is the mother  of dreams  then Varun, being  the husband of Varunani, would be  their  father  and  not Yama. The  words  Varun  and  Yama connote different meanings depending on the context in which they are used in the Vedas.The most opt meaning of Varunani andYama as used in this hymn is darkness of the night and Sun respectively. It is evident that dreams  generally  occur at night which is termed as their mother. The sense organs  function  in daylight  which emanates  from the Sun. The sense organs  project  the dream experiences gained in daylight to the soul in a jumbled form.

There is authentic  source in the Upanishads about the projector of dreams. Their expositions are  summed up as under:

1. Verily mind is the yajman in the body. (Prasan  U. 4-4)

2. In dreams  the smd sees again whatever  has been seen before, hears  what has been heard before, enjoys once again what has been enjoyed  in different places and quarters. It sees what has been seen, and what has not been seen, it hears what has been heard and what has not been heard. It experiences what has been experienced and  what has not  been experienced.  It sees that which exists and that which does not exist. (Prasan  U. 4-5)

3. It  is  the soul  which  sees,. which  hears,  which  smells,  which tastes, which thinks and which is an action. (Prasan  U. 4-10)

4. Mind is the Divine eye of the soul and soul sees objects through it. (Chandogya U. 8-12-5)

5. In dreams,  the soul sometimes  becomes  a king,  sometimes  a fool,  sometimes   high  and sometimes   low.  (Brihadaranyaka u. 2-1-18)

6. In dreams there are chariots, no horses, no roads, the soul creates them  there. There  is  no happiness,  amusement  and  laughter there; but he creates them.There are no tanks, springs and rivers but he creates  them. That is why the soul is known  as "doer". (ibid. 4-2-10)

7. After entrusting  to the Pranas the protection of its body which is its nest, the soul goes out in dream and roams about wherever it likes. It assumes many forms, high and low, sometimes  enjoying the company  of a woman or laughing  or seeing  fearful sights. (Brihadaranayaka U. 3-3-12,13)

The  psychologists do not agree  about  the significance and interpretation of  most  of  the dreams. A comprehensive investigation about the dreams  and subsequent events  in the life of the dreamer and matters connected with the dreamer is likely to provide a scientific basis for interpreting most of the dreams. (Vedic Light, May  87)

PERIODS OF DREAM RESULTS:
Dreams  which  are seen  during  the first  part  of  the night  indicate the results  within  a  year. Dreams seen  during   the  second   part  of  night denotes  the results  within eight  months.  In the third  part of the night  a dream  seen  will give  the results  within  three  months. The  results  are experienced within a month of the dreams seen during  the fourth part of the night. Dreams  which  are  seen  within  one  hour  of  dawn  bear  the results within ten days. Dreams seen in the morning give  the results on the srune day.

"From  ancient times  people  have been interested in finding  out the significance of their dreams, and through  centuries a vast lore of dream interpretations has accumulated."

PALMISTRY: Types of Hand

Just as no two people, not even identical twins, have identical fingerprints, so no two people have exactly the same hands. That said, though, it is possible to identify six basic types of hand that can, in themselves, tell a great deal about the subject of the reading.

1. The Normal or Practical Hand
2. The Square or Elemental Hand
3. The Spatulate Hand
4. The Philosophical Hand
5. The Mixed Hand
6. The Physic or Pointed Hand

1. The normal or practical hand:
These tend to be on the clumsy side with fingers that are short in comparison with the palm. People with this type of hand often lack patience and are quick to lose their temper. They also tend to be among the most passionate.

2. The square or elemental hand:
People who have a tendency to being logical and, perhaps, creatures of habit often have square hands. They are also usually very helpful individuals who can be relied on in times of crisis. They are persistent to the point of doggedness, conventional, always above suspicion – and very often boring!

3. The spatulate hand:
The hand and fingers of this type represent a fan, which indicates restlessness and excitability – the sort of person who can go from one extreme to another in the blink of an eye. Such people are often inventive with an original view of the world that enables them to make discoveries. They are risk-takers and good company, but can be slap-dash and have a tendency to bend the rules more than it is wise to do.

4. The philosophical hand:
These long, bony hands often belong to teachers, philosophers and intellectuals, who are always seeking the truth. The minutiae of life is of little concern to people with Philosophical Hands, they are far too easily distracted. These are people who see the wider picture, often ignoring their immediate surroundings to the point that their untidiness borders on the eccentric.

5. The mixed hand:
Neither one thing nor the other, these are probably the most difficult to interpret. Sometimes such a hand is clawed, something that indicates long-term anxiety over financial matters, or that the person is overtimid and cautious in everything he or she does.

6. The physic or pointed hand:
Graceful and conic in shape with pointed, tapering fingers and a long palm, the Physic Hand suggests an intuitive person who is happy to follow his own instincts and is usually quite right to do so.

PALMISTRY - ALL FINGERS & THUMB

The first thing to look at is the thumb, which represents will-power, and see how it is held naturally. Insecure people tend to curl it up, defensively, within the palm. Then determine its size in proportion to the rest of the hand. When the lower knuckle of the dominant hand’s thumb is placed at the bottom of the little finger, it should be about the same length as that finger.

Strong, thick, thumbs say that the sitter has the capacity to deal with whatever life throws in their direction. Long ones indicate rational, clear thinking and leadership qualities. People with short thumbs tend to be subordinate to stronger characters, lacking the will to resist them, which often makes them unhappy. Aggressive tendencies are shown by short stubby thumbs.

More information can be gleaned from the thumb’s phalanges, the sections between the joints and which are read from the top down, the first one representing will and the lower one logic. They should be about the same length. If the lower one is longer, then its owner is probably someone who thinks and talks a lot – too much to get down to actually doing anything! If the upper phalange is longer, beware of a person who rushes head first into things and then cries for help as soon as trouble threatens.

Low self-esteem is indicated by a flattened thumb pad and is something that often manifests itself in sexual promiscuity. A square tip indicates a practical nature, and a spatulate one shows that the owner is good with his hands.

The angle of the thumb to the index finger also yields significant information. If it is less than 45° the owner has a tendency to be something of a control freak. An angle of 90° between the two says that the person is a charming extrovert, outgoing and great company. Beware a thumb that curves significantly backwards: it sits in the hand of a killer in every sense of the word.

Each of the fingers is named, as follows. The first (index) finger, Jupiter, indicates ambition and expansion. The second finger, Saturn, is connected with judgement and knowledge. The third (ring) talks of exploits and achievements: it is the finger of Apollo. And the little finger, Mercury, is to do with observation and perception. Generally, long fingers indicate that the person is something of a perfectionist, and extra-long ones say that he or she is prone to exaggeration. Short fingers indicate an impatient nature.
 
THE MIDDLE FINGER:
A long middle finger talks of ambition without humour. Those with long middle fingers work hard to get ahead, and will. A medium-length one indicates that the owner has the maturity to know when it is time to work and when it is time to play. A short middle finger is a sign of a careless person who hates routine so much that disorganization is a word often used in his or her connection.

THE RING FINGER:
The finger often associated with creativity, a long one points to an artistic nature that often leads its owner into considering design, especially fashion design, as a career. It can also warn of a gambling streak. One of medium length still points to having a creative nature, but a more traditional, conservative one. A short ring finger means that there is little creativity in its owner’s nature.

THE LITTLE FINGER:
Length here indicates intelligence and excellent communication skills that make their owners excellent writers and speakers. They might also have a stronger than average sex drive. A little finger that is medium in length says that the owner is of average intelligence – not too bright, but not particularly dim either. And a short one means emotional immaturity and a tendency towards gullibility and naïvety.
 
LENGTH:
The comparative length of the fingers are also indicative of a person’s nature. When the first finger is longer than the ring one, this is indicative of someone who is driven by their ego. Religious leaders and senior officers in the services often have such fingers.

Where the second finger is flanked by index and ring fingers of equal length, the owner has a serious, controlled nature with a well-developed sense of curiosity.

If the third finger is longer than the index finger, then an emotional, intuitive nature is indicated, someone who makes a good doctor or nurse, and whose advice is always well worth listening to.

And if the little finger rises above the top joint of the ring finger, then this is a charismatic person with a quick wit and shrewd business abilities.

SHAPE:
The shapes of the fingers are also significant. Square ones show a rational, methodical nature, someone who thinks a lot at the expense of creativity. Fingers that are pointed indicate a sensitive nature, fragile daydreamers who are often artists or writers. Someone with conical fingers is usually a person with a flexible nature who often has excellent negotiating skills and to whom emotional security is important, often over-important, to their well-being. People with spatulate fingers can be exhaustingly active not just physically but intellectually: they are innovators and inventors, explorers and extroverts.

FINGERNAILS:
Fingernails, too, play their part in hand-reading. Square ones indicate an easy-going temperament, while broad ones say, ‘Beware! I’m a strong character with an explosive temper!’ Fan-shaped fingernails are a sign that the owner has been under some sort of stress for quite a long time. A gentle, kind nature is indicated by almond-shaped fingernails, but can say that the person is prone to daydreaming. A selfish, cold personality is shown by narrow nails. Wedge-shaped nails say that the person is oversensitive and as touchy as a nervous cat.

The nails can also indicate health problems. If they are dished, then the person’s chemical balance is out of kilter. Dietary deficiencies may result in horizontal ridges forming in the nails: whereas rheumatism may cause vertical ones running down the nails.

THE PHALANGES:

These, the sections between the finger joints are read from the top down. The top one is concerned with introspection, the second corresponds to the subject’s attitude to material concerns, and the third with physical desires.

THE MANTRA: AUM: WORD AND WISDOM

In the universe, Brahma or Hiranyagarbha or the Cosmic (Mahat) first manifested himself as name, and then as  form, i.e. as this universe. All this expressed sensible universe is the form, behind which stands the eternal inexpressible (Sphota), the manifester as Logos or Word. This  eternal Sphota, the essential eternal material of all ideas or names, is the power through which  the Lord creates the universe; nay, the Lord first becomes conditioned; as the Sphota, and then evolves Himself out as the yet more concrete sensible universe. This Sphota has one word as its only possible symbol, , and this is the (Om). And as by no possible means of analysis can we separate the word from the idea, this Om and the eternal Sphota are inseparable; and therefore it is out of this holiest of all holy words, the mother of all names and forms, the eternal Om, that the whole universe may be supposed to have been created. But it may be said that, although thought and word are inseparable, yet as there may be various word symbols for the same thought, it is not necessary that this particular word Om should be the word representative of the thought, out of which the universe has become manifested. To this objection we reply, that this Om is the only possible symbol which covers the whole ground, and there is none other like it. The Sphota is the material of all words, yet it is not any definite word in its fully formed state. That is to say, if all the peculiarities which distinguish one word from another be removed, then what remains will be the  Sphota; therefore this Sphota is called the (Nâda- Brahma), the Sound-Brahman. Now, as every  word-symbol, intended to express the inexpressible Sphota will so particularise it that it will no longer be the Sphota, that symbol which particularises it the least and at the same time most approximately expresses its nature, will be the truest symbol thereof; and this is the Om, and the Om only; because these three letters, this is the Om, and the Om only; because these three letters, (A, U, M), pronounced in combination as Om, may well be the generalised symbol of all possible sounds. The letter ( A ) is the least differentiated of all sounds; therefore Krishna says in the Gita, —“I am A among the letters.” Again, all articulate sounds are produced in the space  within the mouth beginning 'With the root of the tongue and ending in the lips-the throat sound is A, and M is the last lip sound; and the U exactly represents the rolling forward of the impulse  which begins at the root of the tongue till it ends in the lips. If properly pronounced, this Om will represent the whole phenomenon of sound production, and no other word can do this; and this, therefore, is the fittest symbol of the Sphota, which is the real meaning of the Om. And as the  symbol can never be separated from the thing signified, the Om and the Sphota are one. And as  the Sphota, being the finer side of the manifested universe, is nearer to God, and is indeed the  first manifestation of Divine Wisdom, this Om is truly symbolic of God. Again, just as the “One only” Brahman, the Akhanda-Sachchidânanda, the undivided Existence- Knowledge-Bliss, can be conceived. by imperfect human souls only from particular standpoints and associated with particular qualities, so this universe, His body, has also to be thought of along the line of the  thinker’s mind.

This direction of the worshipper’s mind is guided by its prevailing elements or Tattvas. The result is, that the same God will be seen in various manifestations as the possessor of various  predominant qualities, and the same universe win appear as full of manifold forms. Even as in the  case of the least differentiated and the most universal symbol Om, thought and sound-symbol are seen to be inseparably associated with each other, so also this law of their inseparable association applies to the many differentiated views of God and the universe: each of them therefore must  have a particular word-symbol to express it. These word-symbols, evolved out of the deepest  spiritual perceptions of sages, symbolise and express, as nearly as possible, the particular view of God and the universe they stand for. And as the Om represents the Akhanda, the undifferentiated Brahman, the others represent the Khanda or the differentiated views of the same Being; and they are all helpful to divine meditation and the acquisition of true knowledge.

A sacred sound in Hinduism, composed of three syllables— A-U-M—merging into each other. The sound is used to preface and end the reading of sacred scriptures and prayers and is used in most mantras. AUM is also the subject of intricate mystical symbolism as a subject for meditation and is said to contain the origin of the alphabet and all sounds. In this respect it parallels the Shemhamporash of  Jewish mysticism and the creation of the universe. The Hindu scripture Mandukya Upanishad is devoted entirely to an exposition of the mysticism of AUM.