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Image Reminders for Mind and Soul

“The initiates of old warned their disciples that an image is not a reality but merely the objectification of a subjective idea. The images of the gods were not not designed to be objects of worship but were to be regarded merely as emblems or reminders of invisible powers and principles. Similarly, the body of man must not be considered as the individual but only as the house of the individual, in the same manner that the temple was the House of God. In a state of grossness and perversion man’s body is the tomb or prison of a divine principle; in a state of unfoldment and regeneration it is the House or Sanctuary of the Deity by whose creative powers it was fashioned. ‘Personality is suspended upon a thread from the nature of Being,’ declares the secret work. … The immortal is the reality; the mortal is the unreality.” ~Manly P Hall

Images and Symbols

In an age when many people never visit parks or other countries in person, but instead view videos online, or read the Facebook posts of those who do, it is not surprising that they can’t tell the difference between what is real and what is merely symbols or images of reality. In a sense, of course, an image is a kind of reality. But the reality of a photo of a rose is not the reality of an actual rose. Even if you could make the photo three dimensional and add the scent of a rose, it would still be just an image.

Image Reminders

When we do go on a trip, we are likely to take photos. These photos are used to show others where we went, but also as reminders to ourselves in the future. A reminder is not the thing itself, however. Looking through our vacation photos is not the same as retaking the vacation.

When it comes to the mostly invisible world of spirit, we are more prone to confuse images with reality. Since we can’t see the reality of angels, we start worshiping the statues and paintings of them. Paintings and statues which, by the way, almost never depict angels as they really are (hint: they are not people with bird wings on their backs). Likewise, people start worshiping statues of God and saints as if the image was the actual thing. When I visited Vatican City many years ago, I saw an old copper statue in St. Peter’s with it’s feet nearly worn off. That is because many worshipers visiting the place will put their hands on the feet while they pray. They can certainly see that they are damaging the statue by doing so, yet they continue. They can understand the physical reality of a statue better than the abstract concepts behind it, so they are really praying to the statue, even if they deny it. Similarly, in a Greek monastery, I saw elderly woman shoving tourists aside so they could get close enough to touch a painting of an important saint and pray to him. They need to touch the image, but not the actual saint. Again, confusing the symbol with the think itself. Ann religion is not the only place we find this. Continue reading “Image Reminders for Mind and Soul”

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New Perception of the Spiritual Adept

“The clairvoyant can at this stage perceive things which are almost or entirely withheld from the senses. He can, for instance, tell the astral difference between a room full of low or of high-minded people. Not only the physical but also the spiritual atmosphere of a hospital differs from that of a ballroom. A commercial town has a different astral air than a university town. In the initial stages of clairvoyance this perception faculty is but slightly developed. … It will, however, become fully awakened. … The highest achievement of a clairvoyant who has attained the degree of vision described above is that of which the astral counter-effects of animal and human impulses are revealed to him.” ~Rudolf Steiner

A New Perception

If you replace the word “clairvoyant” with “spiritual student” or “spiritual adept” in the above quote, the meaning remains the same, as does it’s truth. Just becoming a spiritual student means that one has started to question the reality of that which most people think is the only reality. It is also true that many who become spiritual students, and most who are candidates for such training, have displayed some limited degree of that New Perception Steiner is talking about.

Perception of Place

Steiner is correct in saying that we can feel different vibes in different places. That ability improves with spiritual training. It is one reason why spiritual gurus tend to avoid crowded places unless it is a crowd of their followers.

Mr. Steiner chose two interesting locations to compare. You might at first think that the hospital would have the higher vibrations as it is a place of healing while the ballroom is a place of frivolous time-wasting. On the other hand, the hospital is also a place where many die and there is much sadness while the ballroom is full of joy and happy thoughts (for the most part). Continue reading “New Perception of the Spiritual Adept”

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Gnostic Kabbalah and Spiritual Growth

“By far the most potent contribution that has been made to Jewish thought by Gnosticism is provided by developments in the Kabbalah, a philosophical system which is said to predate any religion. In fact, it only became well known in the twelfth century AD. … In essence, it is thought to be a set of precepts that were provided by the good Creator God so that people could improve their lives and achieve fulfillment. …

“A wide variety of terms were used for those who studied the tradition of Kabbalah: children of faith; … masters of knowledge, masters of mystery; … those who know wisdom; …to name but a few. These all have a peculiarly Gnostic ring to them.
“a traditional Kabbalistic view is that although the creation is in a damaged and imperfect state the Kabbalist, by virtue of his or her state of consciousness can bring about a real healing.” ~Bernard Simon

Gnostic Kabbalah

The study of Kabbalah has become popular among spiritual seekers in the last few decades. Unfortunately, some of the schools and books on it touch only on the surface and not the roots of true Gnostic Kabbalah.

While it is certainly useful to study the Tree of Life as used in Kabbalah, and other symbols and ceremonies, the spiritual student must dig deeper to truly understand Gnostic Kabbalah.

Predates Religion

Mr. Simon says that some Kabbalists claim their system predates religion. But he then adds that is didn’t become known until the twelfth century. While that may seem like a contradiction, it isn’t. First, just because historical evidence of the Kabbalah only goes back to the twelfth century doesn’t mean it didn’t exist long before. Second, while the name Kabbalah may go back only to the twelfth century, he basics of it’s teachings go back long before that under other names.

It is much like the Essenes who claimed to have existed for over 100,000 years. They were not lying. While evidence of the group called Essenes can only be found in a brief period of history, the group existed under many names in many lands for many centuries before.

The Good Creator

Why use an expression like “The good Creator God?” There can only be one reason. There are other being known as god, or who claim to be god. What’s more, this false god must also be a creator of sorts, otherwise just saying “the Creator” would be enough to define the Good Creator God.

But there is a false creator god which is known to the Gnostics as the Demiurge. This false god, also known as the Fallen Angels, is a false creator because all he did is warp and bend existing spirit turning it into matter. That is a kind of creation, but not true creation. The true Good Creator God creates spirit not matter. And he creates it from nothing because nothing existed before spirit except God Himself. Continue reading “Gnostic Kabbalah and Spiritual Growth”

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Perception Deception and Overcoming Its Control

“The key to awakening to the true nature of reality is to realize that perception, when taken at face value, is in fact a prison. As Goethe, one of the great thinkers in history so astutely pointed out, ‘The best slave is the one who thinks he is free.’
“And yet such is the status of the majority of humanity. We are slaves to our perceptions while thinking they are making us free to see reality as it is. Only when we see the undeniable fact that perception merely shows us what it is programmed to see can we make the leap to look beyond the limitations of the five senses toward ultimate reality.
“And what is ultimate reality? … Nicola Tesla gave us a clue when he said, ‘If you want to know the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.’” ~Ziad Masri

Perception Deception

The five senses of the physical body are really astounding. They make it possible for us to function in the world of matter. And when one of those senses stops working, or we are born without one of them, an interesting thing happens. Science has found that information gathered from each of the senses is stored in a specific are of the brain. If one sense is missing, that part of the brain is not wasted. Instead, one of the other senses will take it over. This gives that sense more abilities and makes it seem that the particular sense has become more sensitive, but it really hasn’t. It can simply store more data about the things is senses.

But the deception part comes when the greatest sense organ of all starts interpreting that data. The actual perception of reality that we deal with daily comes from the brain. The brain interprets signals from the senses and forms images from them. It does that based partly on what the senses report, but also on other things. It uses past experience, teachings, and beliefs to interpret what the senses report. Because of that, our perception is unreliable.

Higher Senses

We often hear of a higher sense called the Sixth Sense. I think that is probably an oversimplification. If the physical body needs five senses to help it understand the physical world, the spirit probably needs several to understand the worlds of spirit. In fact, since the spiritual words are more complex than the physical, there are probably more than five spiritual senses. For now, it is reasonable to assume that each physical sense has a spiritual counterpart. They may not operate the same way, but in terms of results, they are similar. The most important difference is that the spiritual senses are not easily fooled.

Slaves of Perception

It may be an exaggeration to say that we are slaves to our emotions, but only a slight one. We act according to the information our senses deliver and our brain-mind interprets. If we firmly believe that angels don’t exist, one could be standing right in front of us and slap us in the face and we would insist it was the wind that knocked us over. We really cannot see, hear, or feel that which we do not believe ism possible.

Recently we had an incident in the United States where hundreds of Nazis and White Supremacists marched in Virginia. Many carried guns, often military style semi-automatic rifles. They were probably loaded. A lot of the participants were new to this. They had been indoctrinated online and led to believe unproven nonsense. After the event, some participants were identified in news photos, and otherwise. When they returned to their homes, they sometimes found themselves being ostracized by others. A few lost their jobs. One young man cried when it happened to him. He hadn’t expected the negative reaction. The websites he had listened to never told him that would happen. He, like many other, were slaves to the perception deception of these groups. But the Nazis are not the only ones engaging is such activities. Many of us listen to at least one category of these deceptive messages. We all need to learn to be open-minded and seriously look at all sides of an issue. Continue reading “Perception Deception and Overcoming Its Control”