Tag Archives | Mysticism

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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“The Electric Jesus” and Gnosis with Jonathan Talat Phillips on The DisinfoCast with Matt Staggs

Jonathan Talat Phillips | The DisinfoCast with Matt Staggs: Episode 11

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When Jonathan Talat Phillips experienced a devastating loss as a countercultural media activist, he unwittingly started on a mystical journey marked by underground ayahuasca ceremonies, kundalini awakenings, prankster spirit guides, extraterrestrial encounters at the Burning Man festival, and miraculous energy healings that reshaped his skeptical worldview. Join me as I interview Jonathan Talat Phillips, author of The Electric Jesus: The Healing Journey of a Contemporary Gnostic, on The DisinfoCast with Matt Staggs.

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The Occult Obsessions Of Sir Isaac Newton

newton_manuscript416The 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:

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.

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Egypt Closes Great Pyramid to Prevent 11/11/11 Rituals

Great PyramidWeird. Has anyone been digging into this story? Reports the AP via MSNBC:

Egypt’s antiquities authority closed the largest of the Giza pyramids Friday following rumors that groups would try to hold spiritual ceremonies on the site at 11:11 on Nov. 11, 2011.

The authority’s head Mustafa Amin said in a statement Friday that the pyramid of Khufu, also known as Cheops or the Great Pyramid, would be closed to visitors until Saturday morning for “necessary maintenance.”

The closure follows a string of unconfirmed reports in local media that unidentified groups would try to hold “Jewish” or “Masonic” rites on the site to take advantage of mysterious powers coming from the pyramid on the rare date.

Amin called all reports of planned ceremonies at the site “completely lacking in truth.”

The director of the complex, Ali al-Asfar, said Friday that an Egyptian company requested permission last month to hold an event called “hug the pyramid,” in which 120 people would join hands around the ancient burial structure.

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Gnosis: The Not-So-Secret History of Jesus

The Electric JesusThis article, which discusses the Mystery School origins of Christianity, comes from my new memoir, The Electric Jesus: The Healing Journey of a Contemporary Gnostic through Evolver Editions/North Atlantic Books.

In December 1945, during the tail end of the most devastating war in human history, a peasant named Mohammed Ali of the al-Samman clan stumbled upon an earthenware jar near limestone caves in the deserts of Upper Egypt. He feared an evil djin (genie) resided inside, but hoping for lost riches, he still opened the jar. To his disappointment, twelve ragged leather-bound codices fell onto the ground. He didn’t realize these 1,200 weathered pages contained a priceless treasure with dozens of lost Christian gospels that had been hidden away for 1,600 years. Mohammed carried them home to his mother, who kept warm throughout the night by feeding pages of what we now call The Nag Hammadi Library to her fireplace.

These fifty-two texts, with titles like The Gospel of Thomas, Secret James, The Gospel of Mary, The Origin of the World, The Gospel of Philip, Secret John, and The Sophia of Jesus, showed that first-through-fourth century Christianity was much more varied than previously thought, comprised of diverse sects claiming “secret knowledge” of heavenly realms.… Read the rest

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The Secret History of Rock ‘n’ Roll: Building a Mystery

SecretHistoryRockNRollSite editor’s note: The following is excerpted from The Secret History of Rock ’N’ Roll: The Mysterious Roots of Modern Music by Christopher Knowles (Viva Editions, October 2010). Used with permission.

I like to think of the history of rock & roll like the origin of Greek drama. That started out on the threshing floors during the crucial seasons, and was originally a band of acolytes dancing and singing. Then, one day, a possessed person jumped out of the crowd and started imitating a god.

—Jim Morrison

Most historians believe that the Mysteries began at the end of the Neolithic Age (also known as the New Stone Age, roughly 9000 to 4500 BCE), making them one of the earliest cultural developments known to humanity. Coinciding with the development of agriculture, the rituals were designed to appeal to the grain gods of the Underworld by acting out their myths, which celebrated the cycles of planting, growth and harvesting.… Read the rest

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Occult of Personality Podcast 92: Tim Wallace-Murphy

Hidden Wisdom by Tim Wallace-Murphy

Occult of Personality — Podcast Episode 92: Tim Wallace-Murphy

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In this episode, we’re joined by international bestselling author Tim Wallace-Murphy to discuss his most recent book, Hidden Wisdom: Secrets of the Western Esoteric Tradition.

Tim Wallace-Murphy is renowned for his books which delve into the mysteries surrounding the Knights Templar, Rosslyn, sacred geometry, and especially Rex Deus. His latest book encompasses all these and much more, broadening the scope to include the philosophies that were perpetuated and propagated by the guardians of the Western Mystery tradition. Hidden Wisdom begins in prehistory with the dawn of civilization and finishes in modern times, encompassing the intertwined currents of history and esotericism. In our conversation, Tim talks about this secret tradition, as well as its significance to world history and ourselves.

“The influence of the Masonic order has long been a matter of speculation and public concern, but the existence of the Rex Deus families was almost completely unknown until quite recently.

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