Tag Archives | Mysticism

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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 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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You May Be a Member of a Secret Society and Not Even Know It

I spent my holidays reading a lot of esoteric literature. After polishing off Louis Bergier’s The Morning of the Magicians, I moved on to a cache of Rosicrucian literature in my collection, and then a book on Jungian symbolism. To top it all off, I started reading Manly P. Hall’s The Secret Teachings of All Ages.
Fantasy and Fantastic Reality

This isn’t a new habit for me, mind you: I’ve always enjoyed reading philosophical, magical and mystical texts. I’ve half-joked with friends that I’m some kind of amphibian: I need to spend a least part of my day submerged in the fantastic. This isn’t necessarily a healthy way to live, but to quote Shirley Jackson, “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.”

There are rewards, too, though: Learning to safely entertain multiple contradictory ideas is one of them; developing a sense for symbolism and correspondences is another.… Read the rest

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Correspondences: A New Journal of Western Esotericism

Picture: JR Brubaker (CC)

Via blogger Travis Apollonius, comes news of a new esoteric journal titled Correspondences. Sound intriguing?

Correspondences seeks to create a public academic forum devoted to discussion and exposition of issues and currents in the field commonly known as ‘Western esotericism.’ The editors acknowledge that the use of “Western esotericism” as an umbrella term for a widely variant field of alternate scientific and religious ideas is problematic. Thus, articles related to esoteric currents from other global cultural centers may be accepted if a connection to alternative currents in “western culture” is implicitly established. The following list of areas of study is provided for clarification:

Alchemy, Anthroposophy, Astrology, Eco-spirituality, Esotericism in art, literature, and music, Freemasonry, Geomancy, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Illuminism, Initiatory secret societies, Kabbalah, Magic, Mesmerism, Mysticism, Naturphilosophie, Neo-paganism, New Age, Occultism, Occulture, Paracelsianism, Rosicrucianism, Satanism, Spiritualism, Theosophy, Traditionalism, Ufology, Witchcraft.

Correspondences encourages submissions from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds such as: History of Religions, Sociology, Art History, Philosophy, History of Science, Literature, Musicology, and Cultural Studies, just to name a few.

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The Exegesis Of Philip K. Dick

Philip K DickPhilip K. Dick’s innovative science fiction is best-known for its portrayal of characters trapped in Gnostic false realities which they may unravel by way of divine or god-like helpers, mystical experiences, and active paranoia. As his career progressed, his novels became increasingly bizarre—and increasingly autobiographical. By the time he died in 1982, he had come to regard his collected work not as the production of his own fertile imagination, but as a kind of Scripture; the novelization of essential truths revealed to him in a series of visionary experiences with a higher intelligence.

A new window into the intense process of dizzying introspection by which Dick struggled to explicate his mystical experiences has recently opened with the publication of a 900-page collection of his private papers. As Daniel Karder of The Guardian puts it, “…if you want to know what it’s like to have your world dissolve, and then try to rebuild it while suffering mental invasions from God, Asklepios or whomever, you should read The Exegesis:” 

Philip K Dick rewired my brain when I was a mere lad, after I plucked Clans of the Alphane Moon at random from a shelf in my local library.

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