In light (pun intended) of the discussion following Ted Heistman’s recent post regarding Charles Manson, here is an interview with “anti-guru” and “spiritual terrorist” U. G. Krishnamurti (not to be confused with Jiddu Krishnamurti):
Tag Archives | Mysticism
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.)
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This approach challenges many of the preconceived Western notions of yoga.
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
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:
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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.
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...
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
Via blogger Travis Apollonius, comes news of a new esoteric journal titled Correspondences. Sound intriguing?
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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.
Philip 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:”
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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.
Jonathan Talat Phillips | The DisinfoCast with Matt Staggs: Episode 11The Electric Jesus: The Healing Journey of a Contemporary Gnostic, on The DisinfoCast with Matt Staggs.
The father of physics was deeply involved with esoteric and Kabbala studies, and was convinced that Jewish scripture and the geometry of temples contained crucial worldly secrets, the Daily Mail reveals:
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He laid the foundations of classical physics and is considered to be one of the greatest scientists of all time. But Sir Isaac Newton was also deeply interested in the occult and applied a scientific approach to the study of scripture and Jewish mysticism.
Now Israel’s national library, which contains a vast trove of Newton’s esoteric writings, has digitised his occult collection and posted it online. Among the yellowed texts is Newton’s famous prediction of the apocalypse in 2060.
Newton learned Hebrew and delved into the study of esoteric Jewish philosophy, the mysticism of Kabbala and the Talmud. He based his calculation on the end of days on information gleaned from the Book of Daniel, which projected the apocalypse 1,260 years later.