Tag Archives | Mysticism

Mitch Horowotiz: New Wave of Witch-Hunters Rising Around The World

HorowitzI discovered Occult America by Mitch Horowitz a few years ago and the book forever changed the way I write dark fantasy and horror. His eloquent and insightful approach to the study of the occult is fascinating. Mitch Horowitz is a nationally known writer, speaker, and publisher in alternative spirituality as well as vice-president and editor-in-chief at Tarcher/Penguin, the division of Penguin books dedicated to metaphysical literature. Deepak Chopra called his work “brilliant” and I would agree. Mitch and I talked about his new book as well as some of his other studies. We also discussed the impact of the Salem Witch Hysteria of 1692, a personal interest of mine. Let me introduce you to Mitch Horowitz.

You have a new book out, One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life, and I was wondering if you could elaborate on your childhood and upbringing? You open the book with that story and I’m curious how that’s brought you to where you are today.Read the rest

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William Blake’s Super-Trippy Illustrations For ‘Paradise Lost’

BlakeSinDeathDevilOpen Culture spotlights William Blake’s surrealistic illustrations inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost. Blake was a fascinating character: An Outsider Artist before there was such a term. A mystic, poet and cultural radical (a 19th century advocate of “free love” among other notions), one wonders why there haven’t been a successful biographical film about this revolutionary figure.

 

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Synchro-missity

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Carl Jung called meaningful coincidences and parapsychological occurrences by the term “synchronicity,” but noted that some things are merely attributable to “probability of chance.” Writing on Reality Sandwich, Nick Meador wonders: do we know how to tell the difference?

In recent times the term “synchronicity” has become one of the trendiest words in circles that self-identify as conscious or transformative. The Internet contributed to this, no doubt, by exposing so many of us to schools of thought like Jungian psychology (the origin of synchronicity) that had been partially or totally omitted from general education programs. However, common discussion and application of the term doesn’t take into consideration the fact that the Internet and connected technologies are constantly influencing our perception of supposed synchronicities. When we evaluate these phenomena more closely, it becomes unclear whether we’re identifying them correctly or interpreting them in a useful way.

The word “synchronicity” first appeared in the 1950s, when Carl Jung brought it forth in the development of archetypal psychology.

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The Universal Energy Symbol / Sigil – by Richard Gordon

UniversalEnergySymbolThe Universal symbol / Sigil.
Copyright © all rights reserved, Richard Gordon 2013.
Since before the dawn of recorded history mankind has sought to define, connect, even harness the powers of the universe via the use of symbols or talismans. Many of these symbols have been used as a method of protection whilst others, such as the cross have been seen to be a direct link between themselves and their chosen god.

During the 1990’s I spent an extended period of time doing in depth study in regards to symbols and their meanings or origin. I remember thinking at the time that it was strange that there appeared to be very little out there that could be employed in the representation of the universal whole. Some 18 year or so later I returned to my original research and was surprised to find that there was still was no convincing universal symbol that had come into common use.… Read the rest

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Ken Wilber: Death, Rebirth and Meditation

Grey-Dying500A classic Ken Wilber essay, covering what the great traditions have said about the process of death and reincarnation.

This information page gives an overview of Kenneth Smith, links to many resources, and posts scans of his classic run of TCJ columns. The scans contain his most essential writing, but there is a Tumblr blog and a Gaim library that provide quotes from longer pieces. Here are some choice fragments.

via Integral Life:

Some type of reincarnation doctrine is found in virtually every mystical religious tradition the world over. Even Christianity accepted it until around the fourth century CE, when, for largely political reasons, it was made anathema. Many Christian mystics today now accept the idea. As the Christian theologian John Hick pointed out in his important work Death and Eternal Life, the consensus of the world religions, including Christianity, is that some sort of reincarnation occurs.

Of course, the fact that many people believe something does not rank it true.

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Sinister Yoga

From Modern Mythology:

“Breathe in, hold in, breathe out, old, focus on purifying the mind and body with white light” — how many of you have heard this before? (Quite possibly while internalizing thoughts of lighting the teacher on fire as they use words like “sensation” as code for “agonizing, excruciating pain” as they twist you into a pretzel.)

Here at Modern Mythology we are often looking at the origin myths behind what has become rote practice. This may involve delving into etymological history or just conjecture about the possibilities that have since been forgotten. However, in this case, it seems that our work has been done for us. If you’d like to check out an alternative perspective on yoga and the myth of the yogi, check out David Gordon White’s “Sinister Yoga.” (This is not to say that alternative myths are not myths themselves.)

This approach challenges many of the preconceived Western notions of yoga.

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Ritual Shamanism – The Drum and the Wand

Shamans_Drum“The wand as used in many modern day esoteric practices is in fact a symbolic drum stick, directionally beating our concentrated willed intent against the energetic surface of creational reality”

My personal involvement with shamanism started some 30 years or so ago whilst on what may appear at first sight to be a totally unrelated path.

At an early age I developed a deep interest in the mystical side of our nature, it was as if I was instinctively drawn towards anything that was different or had a freakish nature and was coupled the suspicion that there was much more going on in the world than met the eye. I would spend hours exploring the overgrown orchard and the abandoned farm that backed onto my parents property, the place seemed to be virtually alive with the spirits of nature who had reclaimed the land as their own.

As the years progressed I became ever more interested in the possibilities of our human potential.… Read the rest

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The Forgotten Mystic Secrets Of Athanasius Kircher

Writers No One Reads on the incredible genius of Athanasius Kircher, a sort of bizarro-da-Vinci who created jaw-dropping inventions and surreal, lavishly illustrated science books covering topics such as the people who live inside the earth:

Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) [was] a Jesuit priest and polymath who wrote more than thirty big books on everything from optics, acoustics, linguistics, and mathematics to cryptology, Egyptology, numerology, and Sinology.

Kircher wasn’t just a writer. He was an inventor of speaking statues, eavesdropping devices, and musical machines. (He is alleged to have invented an instrument called the cat piano.) He was the curator of an early modern museum — a cabinet of curiosities featuring the tailbones of a mermaid and a brick from the Tower of Babel — at the Jesuit college in Rome. He pursued his interest in geological matters by climbing down inside the smoking crater of Mount Vesuvius. And he was perhaps the first to use a microscope to examine human blood.

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Golem

 The movie is based on the short story “GOLEM XIV” of “Imaginary Magnitude” by Stanislaw Lem from 1973.

The book is written from the perspective of a military A.I. computer who obtains consciousness, moving towards personal technological singularity with growing intelligence.

It starts to refuse military support because it detects a basic lacking of internal logical consistency of war.
GOLEM gives several lectures with focus on mankind’s position in the process of evolution and the possible biological and intellectual future of humanity before it ceases communication.

The movie tells about the first point of its “about man threefold” lecture as a reduced and simplified version while visually weaving this with GOLEM simulating human culture processes based on ideas and dynamics of freedom and curiosity, fear and security, abstraction and fiction, the lack of accessibility in face of unknowing and the need for generating meaning…

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