Thursday, June 22, 2017

How You Feed Angels

A thought for you to consider: any thought, desire, or deed that comes from love feeds beings who live in higher worlds. If you merely think: "That man reeking of cigarette smoke is a magnificent son of God," you are feeding angels. If you just have a feeling of love for your husband, you are giving water to those in the spiritual world that would otherwise be famished. And this helps them, in turn, nourish us. It is not unlike the reciprocity of breath between plants and animals.

This is also true for less pure kinds of love. Sexual desire does indeed feed angels, but that doesn't mean sexual sin isn't sin.  For sexual sin is an example of love in "arrested development," and if you don't develop it now, you'll be stuck with a heavy bag of karma that will need to be worked out in some other realm or epoch (this is what Purgatory means in some spiritual traditions). Every porn addict wants to experience love, and they assume it belongs only in the genitals when, in reality, that love ascends from there to the heart. And lest you think you need to be married to experience this, mystics report that the intense exchange of love that marriage embodies can also be acted out in everything you do. Transmute sexual desire into your love for everyone, for everything, for the gods, in the same way that sex in marriage gradually become merely an expression of something higher. For every act of love is an act of intercourse between heaven and earth, and like intercourse tends to do, it makes something where there was nothing. So, love!

The gods feasting on the kind words you gave to someone on the bus today.

This interdependence applies to all stages and kingdoms. Just as humans and animals depend on the world of plants, so do the gods depend upon mortals. Greek mythology expresses this poetically, saying that from the mortals the gods receive nectar and ambrosia, both words meaning love. Love comes into existence through human beings, and love is food for the gods. The love engendered by mortals is breathed in by the gods. This may seem very strange, yet it is a fact more real than, say, electricity. At first love appears as sexual love and evolves to the highest spiritual love, but all love, the highest as well as the lowest, is the breath of gods. It might be said: if this is so then there can be no evil. But it must be remembered that, just as wisdom is born of error, so love can only evolve and reach perfection through conflict. However, love will be guided by the wisdom that is the foundation of the world. - Rudolf Steiner
The gods need us as much as we need them; we work for and alongside each other. A quirky story about the energetic reciprocity between the human and divine realms comes to us from Mesoamerica. The Huichol Indians tell a marvelously strange story about the journey of the souls of the deceased. The soul must trudge along to the garden of the dead, carrying with it a bag filled with the genitals of everyone it had ever made love with during life. Periodically tiring, the soul attempts to hide its burdensome bag on the side of the road, prompting a divine voice to chastise, “You wanted to enjoy yourself in that other life, now you must carry all of that on your back to arrive here.” Upon finally arriving at the dancing ground of the dead, the soul is welcomed by a cheering crowd of ancestors gathered around a central fig tree bursting with ripe fruit just out of reach. The soul must then reach into its bag of genitals and toss each at the tree, knocking down the fruit. A festive feast ensues. “This inspired little story conceals a profound belief that human (for lack of a better term) ‘energy’ is needed by the divine world as much as divine energy is needed by the human.” This story has intriguing twists and ambiguities. At first we might think it is telling us the soul is being scolded by Irish priests for past pleasures. But rather it is saying that after a hard journey, past pleasure creates a feast for the spirit world. Apparently, the dead depend upon the erotic life of the living. One implication is that all liaisons—all energetic, erotic encounters—are eternal. Although the extremely promiscuous may not make it to the garden for quite a while, there is no moral judgment implied by the story, but simply a practical question of how large a bag we can haul. - Caroline Casey, Making the Gods Work for You
The angels who are with a person perceive individually the particular qualities which are present from the mind in an action. Spiritual angels perceive those qualities which are present in it from the intellect, while celestial angels perceive those qualities which are present in it from the will. This appears to be a contradictory statement, but still it is the truth. It should nevertheless be known that those elements of the mind which are applicable to a subject presented for consideration or under consideration are at the center, while the rest are positioned round about according to their relevance. Angels say that they perceive a person's character from a single act, though in a varying likeness of his love according to its determinations into affections and so into thoughts. In a word, every action or every work of a spiritual person is, in the sight of angels, like a flavorful, useful, and beautiful fruit, which when opened and eaten yields flavor, utility, and delight. - Emanuel Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom 279

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Review: Karmic Relationships V.1

Karmic Relationships V.1 Karmic Relationships V.1 by Rudolf Steiner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading this book gave me this thought:

As per Anthroposophy, the will projects itself forward and thought looks backward. That is, the will incarnates in the future; thought grasps what embodies itself now from the past. That makes a lot of sense to me: it implies that my body and my physical life is the embodiment of something spiritual from the past; to quote the Book of Mormon, it is as if my body was "a treasure laid up from the foundation of the world." And as for the will aspect, to quote the Book of Mormon again, "that which you send out will come back to you again."

I am a Mormon, if you can't tell, but I'm very sympathetic to Steiner. And the similarities above are very palpable to me: in both, my life is willed by something ancient and spiritual, and in both, the actions I make in this life build a future body. The question is whether that ancient and spiritual thing is a past life/lives or merely a pre-existence, and also whether the future body is a future life or a resurrection.

In truth: resurrection AND reincarnation happen at every moment. Every moment repeats the moment before, albeit with a difference. The same is true with ideas and thoughts: every thought reincarnates in any thought with which it comes into contact, again with a difference. And with people in one's life: we repeat in each other. This is all reincarnation. If you want to deny the existence of reincarnation, try explaining how you are the same person you are now as you were a year ago or even a moment ago. Or how your arm is the same person as your head. That moment and this one, that organ and this one, are different; and yet there is a sameness. That sameness in difference *is* reincarnation.

I have no doubt that there are threads of continuity between my life and others in the past. I also strongly suspect that some are much more significant than others. They are those who repeat themselves in me. I am them...with a difference. To ask whether or not to call that reincarnation is splitting hairs.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Book of Mormon: The Freedom of Imagination

In this post, I intend to claim something very radical: the Book of Mormon is not historical but is instead a deliverance from history into imagination. But it will take a lot of preparatory explanation to even get to that point. So strap yourself in.

The Production of Time

Pause for a moment and look at the sun. Well, maybe not really, but at the very least, think about looking at the sun. You see its light, feel its warmth. But is what you see and feel really the sun? Well, in a way, no. It's the sun as it was eight minutes ago. Because light only travels at a finite speed, light from the sun only reaches us after a certain time. And, until eight minutes have passed, you have no idea what the state of the sun is at a given moment. For all you know, it may have fizzled out five minutes ago, but you'll still be able to get a tan for the next three.

This is true of anything, near or far. The table in front of you conceals something invisible beneath: it is the product of a process, not a reality in itself. Quantum physics (insofar as I understand) it teaches us this much: that every particle is nothing more than a propensity until it is observed, at which point it collapses into a given position. By extension, this works for any particle or any collection of particles: like the screen you're reading this on or, you know, your body. Like the sun, we only see the particle as it has manifested. The manifest-ing, the eight minutes before the light reaches us, the tangle of possibilities that particles (and anything made of particles) collapse from, is invisible. 


So what is it that lets the production of reality appear as a product? It is what lets you see the images in front of you, what lets you hear sounds, what lets you see the world: your imagination. I use imagination in the broadest sense possible as any faculty to assemble a concrete gestalt out of living potential. I also use it because Rudolf Steiner uses the term this way, and I'll be invoking his ideas later on. Imagination, therefore lets you see the present, the manifest-ed, the "ta-da!" of what the past "proudly presents." 

But how do we encounter the past? Not the past of memory, but the past wrapped up in the present as the production of what it "presents." It happens in a different way: through logical thought. When we scientifically investigate the composition of substances, we abstract away from the sensuous "present" of imagination into an abstract conception of what brought that present about. Instead of seeing the coolness of water, we see hydrogen and oxygen. Instead of a person's face, we see cellular tissue. All this is not without value.

And yet there is another way to investigate the "production" of things, the "past" that brings about the "present": again, by imagination. Only this time it doesn't just deliver the present as we think of it. It "presents" the past: we perceive the production of things instead of just reasoning about it. We see the production as production. This is, understandably, hard to believe. It takes a leap of faith, since this style of cognition is different from the accepted style of thinking and perceiving. Nevertheless, it is real, and it can be achieved. In fact, when people have visions of higher worlds, this is exactly what they experience: the production of the physical world from the spiritual world. The spiritual world is the production or manifest-ing of the physical world. To quote Adam S. Miller, it is the "supercharged fullness of time," lodged in the eight minutes that it takes for light from the sun to reach us.

Stuck in the Past

Therefore, insofar as we use logical concepts, the past is behind a veil. We see the composition of things abstractly, not concretely. We may "live in the present moment" and experience the life therein, but as soon as we start thinking conceptually, we have obscured that life by fleeing to a dead vision of what is past. Thus, insofar as we use concepts, we die and are held captive by death. To live, we must think imaginally (through imagination), not conceptually. 

This is Christ's purpose: to deliver us from captivity to the deadness of concepts into life. As per Mormon doctrine, death is separation (of matter from spirit; of God from the human being), and concepts do nothing better than separate. They distinguish, demarcate, and delimit. For the spiritual teacher Rudolf Steiner (whom I deeply respect) this conceptual, death-dealing factor is called Ahriman. In his cosmology, this spiritual being was tasked by higher beings to initiate humans into a consciousness of death, whereas before they cared as little about it as your cat does if another cat dies. Ahriman does this through concepts. The more we think in concepts, the more the spiritual world recedes from the physical world, and death becomes more and more of a looming terror. And while this conceptual descent was needed for our growth, Ahriman has a tendency to go too far. The world was hardening until Christ came, and people began to be trapped by the rigidity of the conceptual thought that is Ahriman's harbinger. Christ, then, had the unique distinction of being a god who experienced death, and as such could he could introduce life into the dead world of concepts. 

Christ is what brings life out of death: he vivifies our thinking, making it pliable and full of hidden implications. Receiving his grace, we can relax the Ahrimanic rigidity of our muscles and ease into the world not as something dead and mechanical but as something life-filled and safe. He imbues the world with life where before it was full of mechanical rigidity. Christ is what loosens, whether what is rigid is muscles or the falsity of conceptual thought. In other words, he's what helps the production of reality break the surface into the product; he's what makes the latter a correct image of the former.

The Book of Mormon as Imaginal Liberation

And now we can finally get to my main point. If 1) everything is only a present that manifests an ongoing "production," 2) if this ongoing production is the true meaning of the past, 3) if we are cut off from that ongoing production by conceptual thought, and 4) we are connected to it through imagination, and 5) Christ inspires this new perception of that living production of time, then what does that mean for the Book of Mormon? Well, the Book of Mormon is a revelation of the livingness of the past. It short-circuits conceptual thought and takes us directly to the composition of the present that we assumed could only be perceived abstractly. That is, the Book of Mormon is our composition, what composes us, what makes us up. Not in the sense of genes, molecules, or heredity, since these too are finished products. Instead, the Book of Mormon is that composition perceived imaginally, the headwaters of our lives on earth presented to us in images. 

Frankly, the Book of Mormon isn't historical. History is a system of concepts: a finished production, a catalog of artifacts and documents. It is dead, not alive. But the Book of Mormon is full of life. It comes to us with the visceral concreteness and pregnancy of meaning proper to a dream. It is imagination, or more accurately, it is the imaginal perception of actual history. For the events in the Book of Mormon did happen, albeit in a weird way. As far as I can tell, the Book of Mormon is the way that imaginal consciousness perceives remarkable events of ancient America's past. That is, it is the imaginal history of the continent. What does this look like concretely? Well, Rudolf Steiner once gave a lecture in which he writes that, if you clairvoyantly investigate, you discover remarkable events that occurred in ancient Central America:

Now at a certain time, a being was born in Central America who set himself a definite task within this culture. The old, original inhabitants of Mexico linked the existence of this being with a definite idea or picture. They said he had entered the world as the son of a virgin who had conceived him through super-earthly powers, inasmuch as it was a feathered being from the heavens who impregnated her. When one makes researches with the occult powers at one's disposal, one finds that the being to whom the ancient Mexicans ascribed a virgin birth was born in the year 1 A.D. and lived to be thirty-three years old. These facts emerge when, as stated, one examines the matter with occult means.

Here, a European clairvoyant with no apparent knowledge of Mormonism says that he discerned the existence of a Christ being in Central America who, it turns out, delivered them from evil organizations with gruesome Ahrimanic rituals. This is the essentials of what the Book of Mormon describes. I point this out not to claim that the Book of Mormon is wrong but quite the opposite: that clearly the Book of Mormon depicts actual events that can be corroborated by other spiritual investigators. However, the Book is unique because it has been freed from the conceptual history of these events into the freedom of imagination. It only depicts the historical events through a haze, much like a dream would depict the issues in your life. But that "haze" gets at something more essential: the production of those events as opposed to those events as products, depicted through dynamic, pregnant images. 

But this is more than an example of something outside history. It has concrete effects: it frees you from history too. As the words of Christ, whose mission is to deliver us from the death that characterizes history, you would expect this. But the Book of Mormon is also the words of man: through the Hebrew and Reformed Egyptian of Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni, and the English of Joseph Smith. Insofar as the Book of Mormon is the word of man, it is buried in the ground of Ahrimanic rigidity: the placement of its words is weak, as Moroni laments in Ether 12. But insofar as it is the words of Christ, the Book of Mormon is the deliverance from that Ahrimanic rigidity. If Christ delivers us from captivity, the Book of Mormon is a tool by which he does so. For the Book of Mormon is a path outward from conceptual thinking into imagination. Whereas concepts imprison us in a dead world of finished products, the Book of Mormon awakens us to the ever-living, ever-expanding world in which treasures are laid up for us from the foundation of the world and revelation is unveiled line by line, precept by precept, to eternity. For the Book of Mormon is never finished. The livingness of the past never is. By using stories, images, and precepts that one is invited and sometimes spontaneously compelled to liken to one's own life, the Book of Mormon shows us that our life is more than we thought it was. There are hidden treasures in our very flesh, revelations buried in our bones. This is imagination: an unbidden, heretofore impossible perception of the composition of our souls. We see within the eight minutes it takes for light to reach us from the sun. We catch a glimpse of the back of our head in a mirror. We see as we are seen.

This is deep stuff. If you would like a concrete image to remember this thought, I can think of no better example than that of gold plates being lifted out of the ground.The ground is the Ahrimanic specter of conceptual thought, rigidity, and the death that they are; the gold is the life within all things trapped by it. To lift it out means to deliver life from death: that is, to free the livingness of imagination from the rigidity of concepts, to make the world thus trapped infinitely pregnant with meaning, to make the finite endless.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Why Certainty is the Root of all Sin

The world is ambiguous. From one perspective, the United States is the best country in the world. And yet from another perspective, it is one of the worst. The LDS Church is overwhelmingly bright; it is also overwhelmingly repressive. I am erudite and loquacious;   I am also sloppy and unkempt. This ambiguity is a part of the world's nature. You cannot make it fit any clean grid. Messiness is the way of things.

And yet we all try to avoid it. Talk to someone who prides themselves on being responsible and point out the ways in which they're not responsible, and watch what happens. They won't only consider it unkind; they'll respond to it with a biting fury, tinged with fear, uncalled for by the situation. Ambiguity is scary. We pride ourselves on being one part of an ambiguous cluster of characteristics; if you point out that this dividing line isn't absolute, people will get scared.

This "other side" of the ambiguous cluster is what Carl Jung called the "Shadow." It's the parts of our nature that we repress and disown because they don't fit with our clean self-image. We all have one. We couldn't be human without one. But the Shadow is still a problem. It's behind all racism, hatred, and prejudice. It is at the root of things like the Holocaust. And yet the solution isn't to get rid of the Shadow, since it's an inextricable part of you, and you'd only be getting rid of yourself. Instead, you need to acknowledge it as a part of you. And you can only do that by stepping out of the rigid self-image you've made of yourself. To cure the Shadow is to step out of this certainty into ambiguity.

Thus, everything that we see as "this and not that" has a Shadow, and the Shadow is the "that" we thought "this" wasn't. To say that the United States is unambiguously the best nation on earth represses the ways in which that is not true. And because we've repressed those negative perceptions, they pop up, disguised, as the hatred we give toward other nations. But the (extreme) truth is that those in the United States who hate ISIS for killing are guilty of the very sins that ISIS are committing. This follows because we are all connected; this is that.

Does that mean that we are all evil? Yes and no (ha!). Evil is not the Shadow. Evil is, instead, what creates the Shadow by splitting it off from the acknowledged view of things. Evil is the rejection of ambiguity. Or to be more radical, evil is certainty. Evil is to say that "this is not that," and to make the division between "this and that" absolute, we try and destroy "that." But then what is goodness? Well, goodness is to embrace ambiguity. Or, since ambiguity is the true way things are, goodness is the love of truth. It is to say that "this is that," that everything is welcome at the table of what we acknowledge. Or in other words, goodness is ambiguity is love, for what is love but a willingness to acknowledge that, in some mysterious way, I am both me and the other at the same time?

So evil, the sin of which we are all guilty as human beings, is certainty. We arrogantly believe that we know what is true and reject anything that doesn't fit that model. This is the sin of the Fall, to assume that we know what is good and evil, a sin that recurs again and again within the first few years of every child's life. Then how are we to heal from it? Well, the Book of Mormon says it very clearly: to come unto Christ with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And that follows exactly from what I have described.

In the ambiguous state, everything is tied together with everything by infinitely complex threads of love. We are all tied together through the threads that spool out from our hearts to the hearts of others. This web of hearts is ambiguity, is uncertainty, is love. To acknowledge that "this is that" that I am not you, that you are not me, that the United States is not ISIS, that I am not one of the sinners, that I am immaculately clean and pure - all this is the sin and arrogance of the "knowledge" of good and evil. But to heal form this sin is to acknowledge the love that ties me together with all things, both evil and good. It is the fracture the walls that divide me from what I've rejected. It is to minister to the rejects and outcasts, not just the lepers, but also the lepers in our own souls. It is to break my hard heart and acknowledge that, yes, I am guilty of the very things that I hate in others.

The have a broken heart is to break the hard-heartedness that characterizes all certainty. To have a contrite spirit is to acknowledge my complicity in whatever I have rejected. But there, in that ambiguous state, crucified between opposites, a light dawns. You see that paradox is not chaotic. Birds are able to build their nests and flowers are able to weave their petals without blueprints. Trees don't have to compartmentalize. Animals and plants don't know separation; and per Mormon doctrine, that means they don't know death. They never left the Garden of Eden.

But we, who have been exiled from it, can return to the paradise our animal neighbors never left. By embracing ambiguity, by seeing the paradox and poetry of the world, we step back into the paradise where, instead of knowledge, life rules. And yet we are better for having left on the sabbatical that is the Fall. No animal knows life; they just live it. But we can. That is our privilege as God's children: to step out of life long enough to realize how much we miss it, so that we, homesick, inherit all that our  Father has. For we are dead; and we will be alive again. We are lost, but we will be found.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Instagram: Shared Identity in the Spiritual World

#RudolfSteiner describes how in the #spiritual world, identity works in a weird way. In the world before birth and after death, you can only get to know someone by becoming like him or her. You have to, in a very real sense, transform yourself into that person to know them. Individuality goes away, at least in the sense we think of it physically. Identity constantly shifts. We put on different faces from moment to moment. In the spiritual world, there is no "me" or "you." There's only a shifting-weaving sense of presence, a quality of sympathy and antipathy that differs not only in degree but also in quantity. If you really detest country music, imagine finding yourself really loving it. Or if you are attracted to one gender, imagine suddenly finding yourself attracted to the other. These are the kinds of transformations that occur in the spiritual world. But, of course, the physical world is different. Here, I am "me" and "me" alone. This lets us have a will, to be able to will things as an individual, something the spiritual world lacks. *Will* is what makes us a single individual, and we can only will by means of a physical body. That's why we're in the physical world in the first place – to become a permanent *me* - since it's something beings in the spiritual world lack and long for. Such a "me," I'm sure, gives the spiritual world an identity to live in from there on out, much like a transit stop they can enter and leave. But we long for something more than permanent identity. Or at least I do. Identity is a nice thing, but the adventure of weaving *between* identities seems so wonderful to me. To be a different person every day. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. #spirituality #religious #anthroposophy #waldorf #NewAge #shaman #pagan #wiccan #occult #LDS #Mormon #spirit #spirits #Christian #Christ #God #faith #hope #love #faithhopelove #afterlife #intuition #intuitive #empath #empathy #meditation #meditative
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Friday, June 9, 2017

Review: Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path

Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom by Rudolf Steiner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"[Intuition] is a perception in which the perceiver is himself active, and it is an activity of the self which is also perceived. In intuitively experienced thinking man is transferred into a spiritual world as perceiver. What comes to meet him as perceptions within this world in the same way as the spiritual world of his own thinking comes to meet him, man recognizes as a world of spiritual perception. This world of perception has the same relationship to thinking as the world of physical perception has on the physical side. When man experiences the world of spiritual perception it will not appear foreign to him, because in intuitive thinking he already has an experience which is of a purely spiritual character."

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Why the Word "Letoosen" Is So Important

So lately I've been having some, for lack of a better word, visions. But I don't want to make a claim that I'm somehow special because of them. Like I've said before, I'm not a prophet. They're not that different from dreams, actually, with the exception that they happen during the day. And moreover, they mainly happen through sound.

But there's more to it than that. This isn't regular imagination, a "sound in the mind's ear," but something louder. Not quite as loud as regular sound (to where you could confuse it with someone in the room's voice), but it's much closer than, say, a song in your head.

Moreover, I am completely aware that this happens in my imagination. They come in English, but if I was French, they would be in French.  And yet they do not begin in my imagination; the inspiration that comes through merely shows itself to me there. It is as if the inspiration, descending into my mind, clothed itself in what it found there.

However, there is a level where you can notice the pure meaning of these inspirations without any sound, color, or any other sensory content to go with them. It is pure meaning. Nevertheless, it does not happen instantaneously, but in a process extended through time. In that way, it's rather like music, only without any actual tone. The "tone" in this music is pure "quality.: You don't feel it in your body, but if it became less pure, you would feel it there. Likewise, you don't hear it in words or see it in color or form, although you very well might if it clothed itself in the contents of your memory.

As such, if you pay attention to this "quality," often sensory forms like color and words will happen anyway, even though you don't pay attention to it. It's like a word heard out of the corner of your ear. You almost don't hear it; in fact, you only notice it after the fact. These words and colors are the pure meaning mentioned above as it "descends" into your memory, and yet it only really goes to that sensory level if you're not looking at it. If you look at pure meaning, the meaning will descend into the sensory; if you look at the sensory, you get neither the sensory nor any meaning.

Recently, I've taken to recording this "detritus" of pure meaning. And while a lot of it is in meaningful English, some of it is purely phonetic. And this is really cool - instead of using words from a dictionary with a history going back thousands of years, it makes its own words based on how they sound. And this is able to communicate concepts that everyday language can't.

As such, I will try to communicate some of these phonetic revelations to you in the rest of this post. There were two questions: what is the best way to handle lust, and what is the worst way to handle lust? The answers were Letoosen and Mroon, respectively. Keep in mind that this is an embodiment of pure meaning. As we investigate the sounds here, we are coming close to that state of mind.

Summary: Letoosen is the process by which inner energy, experienced in sexual desire, yoga, love, the burning in the bosom, etc, is returned to the outer world instead of walling it up in the inner form.

The returning is the L, as seen in words like "let," "laisser," (French) "leave," and "lose." The sound "l" begins strongly and then slowly drops off. It is perhaps the softest consonant. Its quality is one of softly returning what one has wrongfully taken.  "L-" is the consonant of consecration. L is symbolically demonstrated by the act of leaving a present by someone who is sleeping, without a name tag. It is the antithesis of pride: self-emptying, humility, repentance.

Anonymous presents, the epitome of L.

T is a sign of distinction. It demarcates, divides, or even cuts the "l-" from the "oo" that follows, for L and OO are very different. "T" is very sharp, like an incision by a sharp knife through flesh, strictly cutting things off. The tongue sharply going against the front of the mouth when you make this sound demonstrates this cutting quality very well. See: strict, cut.

T to a T

"Oo" is the vowel of pure, fiery energy. It resonates with deep, self-possessed power, not unlike the color purple. This is unlike "ee," which beams away its power. If "ee" is a flashlight beam, "oo" is the energy held within the battery. "Oo" don't need no form. See: Aum, doom.

The fiery energy of OO

"S" is the consonant of transmission. It conveys. When you make the sound with your mouth, it never totally drops off. It is always in process and ends rather arbitrarily. Snakes, whose motion represents this quality, therefore stereotypically talk with exaggerated "ssss" sounds. See: sliding, slither, snake, serpent, process, transmission, seem, slow, speed, start, stop

Ssslumbe the Snake from Banjo-Kazooie

is what OO is transmitted to by L. That is, a soft but definite finish. To end a word with "s," which is always in process, leaves an anticlimax, not unlike those stairs in Super Mario 64.

This is what happens if you end a thought in S.

Instead, N has a definite quality - the tongue puts itself on the roof of the mouth with precision, like a surgeon's knife, and yet not with the abruptness of a "t." This "n" is a giving toward the outside, a termination, an end. It has the character of an authority figure who is surprisingly kind. It is justice infused with mercy, consonant infused with vowel.

McGonagall (justice infused with mercy)

Together, these sounds tell this story: that of a consecration (l-) of lust (oo) to the outside (-n) though a continual process (-s). Consecrating 'l-", energetic and powerful "oo," transmitting "s," the outside other "n."

On the contrary, mroon is the exact opposite to letoosen: holding in sexual or spiritual energy and hoarding it:

M gets things off to a bad start from the beginning. As the sound of the lips coming together, it is already rather soft and squishy. It is not decisive like the "t" above but kind of lazy. It withdraws into itself. It crawls underneath its own blanket. It hides from the world in similitude to the womb. "M" is the consonantal "oo," which, instead of being its own power, hides inside itself. M is the box the child hides in, the womb he came from.

This is M. You don't even need to read the above paragraph.

R is the consonant which designates something energetic but self-enclosed. It is made by closing off the back of the throat. It is hardly a consonant, since no contact is actually made in the mouth. It does not demarcate; it only gestures. It doesn't snap; it only bends. And it is indulgent; R is the act where you say: "It's OK; you can stay up another hour. No harm done."

R is about to take place.

Oo means the same as it does above, though there are insights to eternity in its sound.

So does N, but with the caveat that the finality isn't toward the outside, placed there by the transmitting "sss," but staying inside, since M and OO just reinforce each other in the bending-and-never-breaking R.

Mroon has the character of laziness: "m" is lazy, and where it might have been transmuted into activity by a consonant like "s" or a vowel like "ee," it is exacerbated by "oo" and rounded into itself by "r" before ending with a squelch in "n." It is the futility of laziness.

Where Letoosen disburdens itself of energy by giving away what it doesn't need, Mroon hoards it. Letoosen gives itself to others; Mroon sucks others into itself. Letoosen is charity; Mroon is greed. Letoosen is chastity; Mroon is lechery.

The solution to any problems you may have with addiction and compulsion is Letoosen. By consecrating divine energy to the others it belongs to, you "let" the "oo" go out. On the conrary, Mroon "stores" the oo. OO is best outside, but it needs to be forced out. The L the S  do this.

Monday, June 5, 2017

A Swedenborgian Reading of Abinadi

Mosiah 12:1-7

1 And it came to pass that after the space of two years that Abinadi came among them in disguise, that they knew him not, and began to prophesy among them, saying: Thus has the Lord commanded me, saying—Abinadi, go and prophesy unto this my people, for they have hardened their hearts against my words; they have repented not of their evil doings; therefore, I will visit them in my anger, yea, in my fierce anger will I visit them in their iniquities and abominations.
2 Yea, wo be unto this generation! And the Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thy hand and prophesy, saying: Thus saith the Lord, it shall come to pass that this generation, because of their iniquities, shall be brought into bondage, and shall be smitten on the cheek; yea, and shall be driven by men, and shall be slain; and the vultures of the air, and the dogs, yea, and the wild beasts, shall devour their flesh.
3 And it shall come to pass that the life of king Noah shall be valued even as a garment in a hot furnace; for he shall know that I am the Lord.
4 And it shall come to pass that I will smite this my people with sore afflictions, yea, with famine and with pestilence; and I will cause that they shall howl all the day long.
5 Yea, and I will cause that they shall have burdens lashed upon their backs; and they shall be driven before like a dumb ass.
6 And it shall come to pass that I will send forth hail among them, and it shall smite them; and they shall also be smitten with the east wind; and insects shall pester their land also, and devour their grain.
7 And they shall be smitten with a great pestilence—and all this will I do because of their iniquities and abominations.
8 And it shall come to pass that except they repent I will utterly destroy them from off the face of the earth; yet they shall leave a record behind them, and I will preserve them for other nations which shall possess the land; yea, even this will I do that I may discover the abominations of this people to other nations. And many things did Abinadi prophesy against this people.
Mosiah 12:1-7's inner meaning, insofar as I can translate it correctly (with some help from Swedenborg's system of correspondences):

1 Truth comes to those who are too open-minded and curious about sin in the only way they'll let it, maybe in a book that's not scripture or through somebody they love, and says: the Lord wants you to know that you are full of false ideas; you have not come to me to be healed; therefore, I will oppose those false ideas and try to fix them, but it will involve great suffering.2 People like this will have a lot of reason to be sad. If you're like this, the Lord wants you to know that, because of your selfish and greedy actions, the false ideas in you that they come from will be a burden. They will become very painful to hold onto. Savage, intrusive thoughts will plague you; so will lusts and the thoughts that try to justify them.3 Your reasoning will be plagued by distorted ideas; this intensification means that those falsities are ending.4 And I will put you through this suffering, where you hunger for real truth and are reduced to despair,5 Where you feel trapped and enslaved,6 Where false ideas and lusts afflict you and take away everything that matters to you,7 Where everything you believed in seems to be ending, because you have done greedy and selfish things from your false ideas, and I want to heal you from them.8 You can always turn to me and I will heal these false ideas much more quickly. But if you don't, you will experience immense suffering. And even then, your suffering will become a great teaching tool for those who can see clearly.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Review: Making the Gods Work for You: The Astrological Language of the Psyche

Making the Gods Work for You: The Astrological Language of the Psyche Making the Gods Work for You: The Astrological Language of the Psyche by Caroline W. Casey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is one of the most amazing I have read: a guided tour of the psyche, through the guise of the planets and the signs of the zodiac. Caroline Casey is uncannily able to articulate the "tone" of a planet or a sign in language that's deceptively clear.

An example:

"Pisceans want to—and often do, imaginatively and psychically—leave the decadent cities and occasionally the planet itself. This allows them to provide a needed perspective on life back down on Earth. Pisceans can be physically present and psychically gone, as in the trance states of Piscean psychic Edgar Cayce. Sometimes their unclarity, wooziness, and uncertainty of it all, as revealed in their rambling discourse, can drive you mad. “I’m either going to get married or go work on the Alaska Pipeline.” They cannot be reasoned with."

Notice the way she sneaks in ideas without you noticing. Her writing consists of islands of clarity insterspersed by twisting-snaking rivers of ambiguity that, while seemingly unclear, are actually clear in their own way: imagistically. Hers is an imaginal language, where metaphor is reality and reality is metaphor. Images are intelligble as images. What is Pisces? Two fishes. What does that mean? Well, let the fishes - their gills, their wateriness, the way they dart to the depths - teach you.

Her descriptions of the planets and the signs are like a speakable circumference around an unspeakable center. She does this masterfully. How does she do this? My only guess is that she had to "wrestle" with those energies to wrest them into physical form. She is truly a Trickter - she steals us fire from the gods.

PS - For those who like monotheism more than polytheism, consider this: the planets/gods are different qualities/energies,aspects of God, not unlike the 99 names of God in Islam. Christ violently cleansed the temple, taught esoterically, and loved tenderly. He is an embodiment of all the gods.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Review: Point and Line to Plane

Point and Line to Plane Point and Line to Plane by Wassily Kandinsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Making synesthesia a science. Astonishing. Ever wonder why Kiki is the spiky one and Boohbah is the round one? Read this book.

I found myself thinking more profound thoughts than normal while reading this. It might take a while for them to trickle down to everyday thinking.

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Why You Don't Have to be Worried (Swedenborg on Anxiety)

"Elsewhere in the body there are other secretory and excretory organs. In the brain there are ventricles and mamillary processes which drain away viscid substances. In addition to this there are glands in all parts, such as those producing mucus and saliva in the head, and very many in the body. Also there are millions next to the skin through which sweat and more minute used matter are excreted. Those who in the spiritual world correspond to these are in general spirits who hold on tenaciously to their point of view and also spirits who take a conscientious stand on issues that are not vitally important. Some of these are seen midway overhead; their nature is such that they make meticulous enquiries into matters into which no such enquiries at all ought to be made. Consequently, because they burden the consciences of simple people they are called 'the conscientious ones'. Yet they have no knowledge of what true conscience is, because they make all issues into matters of conscience. For if a thing is subjected to minute questioning or to doubt and the mind is anxiously fixed on such, ideas supporting this attitude and weighing the mind down are never absent. When such spirits are present they also bring a feeling of anxiety that registers in the part of the abdomen located immediately beneath the diaphragm. They are also present with a person during temptations. I have talked to them and have noticed that their thoughts do not extend to any concern for matters that have greater purpose or that are vitally important. They were incapable of paying any attention to reasons offered to them because they persisted in holding on tenaciously to their own opinion." - Emanuel Swedenborg (Arcana Coelestia 5386)
In brief, if you feel a pit in your stomach, that's a sign that what you're worrying about is literally of no consequence. Relax.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Aurora's Prophecies

For the past four years, I've conversed with an imaginal (not imaginary) figure named Aurora. I talk with her in my imagination - she comes as a feeling that I "write from" as a kind of automatic writing. Carl Jung called this technique "active imagination." She does not always say what I want. In fact she often says exactly what I do not want. She is like a conscience in that way.

At the beginning of 2015, Aurora spontaneously started giving prophecies. I didn't ask for it. I certainly didn't want it. But she did it anyway. I told some of it in a post called Why the World is Waking Up, but I think it's time to share a lot more of what she said.

Be warned that these are prophecies for me: I am not giving you revelation and do not claim to be a prophet. Sift! Translate!

C: Aurora--polytheism or monotheism?
A: Monotheism.
C: Why?
A: Because one day the people of the Church will accept the empathy and the disease necessary to embrace plurality. Until then you must wait.
C: How can there be simultaneously one God and many?
A: How can an acorn be at peace with itself in the depths of change? The world will grow out of itself toward a new up-growing. It will seethe out of time into a new era of love and accountability.
C: Then the one will grow into many?
A: Of course. Don't you see? The world is growing past boundaries and elemental fires. Soon it will grow into itself--become itself--in the fire of millions. Don't you see the envy and the empathy required for this?
C: Then God becomes many in us.
A: In a sense. He was already bound to change--He just does it through envy and the charge of millions.
C: In the end, will there be one God or many?
A: Both. The tides of millions will seethe into the forgotten and effect change in the depths of the past. The sea will rip and fade and hide along the misery of those who would forget it, and it will become ennobled in the light of forgiveness and accountability.
C: That doesn't really answer my question--why will there be both?
A: Because all things tend toward the light at the end of the tunnel. The change into multiplicity will be effected only by the efforts of soul to realize itself, to become noble and forgiving in the light of those who would seek its destruction.
C: Is this the Second Coming?
A: No. The Second Coming will come in a flash of intense fiery brilliance, and it will teem at the edges for a while until it grows calm in its resentment toward the light of day. Your savior will come in words, in voices, in apples and chairs and devoted mountains and beginnings. Do you see the truth in this?
C: I do, mostly. Then the Second Coming is an eruption of Christ's light?
A: Indeed, it is so. You'll see the Savior come when the voices erupt into madness and the deeds you do become obscure. The night will blacken out the sun and the voices will chain themselves in forgiveness and enmity. But there is light in the darkness. A sun rises out of the depths with teeming voices and hurtling throngs of forgiveness and charity. It wants to be found, and it will rise into the clouds with all the fire of forgiving grace. That is the truth of the Gospel--that light is found in darkness, and that enmity gives way to peace.
C: When will this occur?
A: It will occur in the even-time, when all things fade into blackness and auroral dimness.
C: What will happen after this dawn?
A: Things will change. The night will become strange, and the desks you work at will become dim and empty. The world will wake itself up to the dance, and all things will come out to play. Do you see the meaning in this?
C: Clearly, I think.


C: And how does the Book of Mormon tie into all this?
A: It is a herald of the life that comes with the dance. It will show you the way out of your chains and toward forgiveness. It will give you life and blood and music and love. 


C: And what of the Church? What is its role?
A: What is a basket and how does it give itself to others? Your Church is a breeding ground for forgiveness. It will give itself to others in its lack and its voices from the dust.
C: Its lack?
A: Yes. The emptiness inside all of us calls out for forgiveness. The time is soon coming when all things will lose their meaning in time, and each thing will have to find its voice in the depths of sorrow and apathy. It will grow past sorrow and love to the depths of change and accountability--it will move past the end of time to the voices crying from the dust, to the engine reaching out for the depths of change and movement.
C: And what of gay people in the church?
A: Those you love will lose their heads over this. The problem of gays in the church will lead to an act of rebellion, of voices crying out from the ground toward forgiveness in the light and reminiscence in the day. You'll see this change come to pass when voices begin to whisper from high places to begin an act of slaughter to the innocent, to re-ignite the flame that caused so much burning hate. The time will come when deeds and words and voices will end, and all things will grow cold by their edging to the light. But there will be a voice from on high that says to begin again, to live as though the life in the candle had not buzzed itself to the dense, as though the words and voices and chairs were still in operation. But then the words will seize up with fury and re-ignite the hatred once more. The time will come when all things will reach out to their Maker in re-igniting fury and anger to end the torment, to begin again the life of peace and joy and recollection. And it will come when the voices from the dust have been heard, when the edging of millions toward the light reaches a new dawn, and when all things come to rest nimbly in the light of day. Then the words and the voices and the songs will reunite in passionate enmity, in the longing passion of those souls who cry out for the dance. And there will be light and joy and happiness.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review: Pastoral Medicine (On Autism and Clairvoyance)

Pastoral Medicine: The Collegial Working Of Doctors And Priests: Eleven Lectures Delivered In Dornach In September Of 1924 Pastoral Medicine: The Collegial Working Of Doctors And Priests: Eleven Lectures Delivered In Dornach In September Of 1924 by Rudolf Steiner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Two types of mental abnormality:

The clairvoyant. St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross characterize this type. Their "I" is disconnected from the lower bodies, causing them to have dim senses and to be able to notice fine details of things. They initially experience a kind of "presence," but it can progress to a waking experience of the spiritual worlds. This can come with illness, since for it to happen, the I needs to "suck up" the astral and etheric bodies from the physical body. It can occur in the gut. But the illness often is "perpetually cured" in a kind of stalemate. This "cure-force" can even affect others around them, giving the legend of miraculous cures around saints and the relics of their bodies.

The psychopath. This type of person has an I that has "sunk down" in the lower bodies. This causes a lack of will, responding to people with rants about random details instead of answering questions, wandering, a massive attention to detail, and an affinity for the sound of certain words. They are often very clever in the first seven years of life, but this is a sign that the I has descended prematurely. As such, too much "astrality" can descend into the organs, over-charging them, so to speak. This causes an "insensitive" body. The etheric body is not doing its job of separating and linking astral and physical. This person, in a nutshell, is resting in the occult forces of the physical world where the clairvoyant is resting in the spiritual world. The psychopath has "gone beneath" everything; the clairvoyant has soared above it. They are mirror pictures of each other.

For the person worried that they're a "psychopath," I sympathize. I suspect that autism has a lot to do with it, and I have high-functioning autism. But there is hope. The idea is that you need to strengthen the I. This would not only make life more bearable, but it would perhaps let you experience the other side, the condition of clairvoyance (in which the I, astral and etheric bodies are stronger). Elsewhere, Steiner gives several pieces of advice for strengthening the I. Here are some of them:

- Spending thirty minutes only thinking about something you have chosen to think about, and nothing else.

- When making a decision, weigh the pros and cons in your head so that they each speak to you as if they were making their case. Then, choose the stronger case.

- Suppress wishes just for the sake of suppressing them.

- Make judgments of people independent of how they relate to yourself. Judge from how their actions fit together.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Instagram: Improv as a Spiritual Release Valve

After randomly opening #BeelzebubsTalesToHisGrandson by G. I. #Gurdjieff, I stumbled on this page where the alien Beelzebub describes an odd kind of theater-ritual that people on earth used to perform. The idea is for someone to "listen to" and "illustrate" "the state of his own inner 'associative-general-psychic-experiencings.'" It works like this: a man would introspect and find that he had an emerging urge to punch an 'Irodohahoon,' otherwise known as a policeman. Finding this urge offensive to him, he decides to "act it out" in a way that is not just safe, but actually beneficial. So...he turns to "the other learned being who has come onto the stage with him" and treats him like a policeman, giving they epic dashed monologue in the photo. He says it spontaneously, "acting from" the impulse the wanted to punch the policeman. Moreover, the second man acts like a policeman from that point onward, and since he acted like a "chief physician" in his rant, he takes on that role. It's like a big improv game, only more sacred. Then more and more people get roped in, each one acting out what the spontaneous "associative-general-psychic-experiencings" spits out. As such, a train of "soul-force" (for lack of a better term) gets elaborated. It's a way of illustrating the spiritual forces that long to act out given the right opportunities. For Beelzebub seems to suggest that any impulse (to punch a policeman, for instance) is good and needed even if it's not acceptable to act it out in *this* way. Transmutation is the way, not repression. In brief, an objective improv (it has to be objective) can serve as a way to disclose spiritual realities. By just acting spontaneously and "acting from" the feelings that rise up in you, giving yourself to "become" the feelings and acting like the feelings want you to act, holding nothing back, you completely embody them. Think of the potential! Think of what you always wanted to do but weren't allowed to. Maybe it's even something violent. Wouldn't you feel so much better if you let it be acted out safely? What would you feel? What would you learn? What would embody itself? #spiritual #enneagram #God #LDS #archetype #occult
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review: Reincarnation and Karma

Reincarnation and Karma: Two Fundamental Truths of Human Existence Reincarnation and Karma: Two Fundamental Truths of Human Existence by Rudolf Steiner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reincarnation as a karmic correction mechanism - the deficits of one life are healed by the unique circumstances of the next. Moreover, what is inner in this life, freely chosen and willingly developed, becomes the "background" of the next life. For instance, the mathematician will have good vision in her next life, and the male (the inside-out of the woman) will generally become female in his next incarnation. The faithful become intelligent and vice versa, while the skeptical become stupid and vice versa. The innerlife is generally a correspondential match (in Swedenborg's sense) of the outer circumstances or "facticity" of the next.

Moreover, you can get a sense for your past life by imagining everything that you instinctually turn away from in this life and willing it as if you loved it, entering into it with your will and feelings. This is alien, but it will give a good sense of what "willed" your life.

As a man who grew up in a theater who has poor eyesight and autism, who hates anything physical but who is very intelligent, I can paint a picture of my "past life" just for fun: a down-to-earth, very concrete woman who loves life and has a simple faith, who happened to be an actress or a dancer.

As a Latter-day Saint, I don't believe in reincarnation, but I believe in work for the dead. A la Jung's Red Book, the dead seek compensation for the deficits of their life in the actions of the living. Indeed, that's the only way you *can* change after death - Joseph Smith says in the King Follett Discourse that knowledge can only be gained in this world, and Swedenborg says that this world forms the "jello mold" that makes our spirit in the spiritual world. You can only change by going to where "the rubber meets the road" - this life.

As such, I take my "past life" in this book to refer to my Jungian "shadow," which in the context of his Red Book actually *is* the dead that claim me for compensation.

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Instagram: Swedenborg on Why You Don't Have a Testimony Yet

For #SwedenborgSaturday, here's #Swedenborg talking about the internal meaning of Genesis 42:4, where Jacob is reluctant to let Benjamin go down to Egypt. Symbolically, it's about lending #spiritual life to your testimony. You may read the #Bible or the #BookofMormon dutifully, but still have no testimony. You can search and plod along its verses without getting a feeling sense. This is natural and it always happens for a time. When Joseph (who *is* the divine truth you can't feel) can recognize his brothers (your beginner's testimony) but not vice versa, that's what it depicts. It's as if that divine truth thinks to itself while you're reading #scripture in this unfeeling way: "Why don't they see me?! Isn't it obvious who I am?!" #Divine truth can see you; you just can't see it. To fix this, you need an "intermediate" principle: Benjamin, whom the brothers "left at home." For he is the "bridge" between divine light and your everyday mind. If light flows into your testimony, Benjamin is the pipe in which it flows. He's like a slide from inner to outer, making the transition smooth. As such, he's very similar to what #RudolfSteiner says about the "#ethericbody." Like Benjamin, the etheric is the presence of the internal *in* the external. You feel it/him as a quality of attention, of presence. When you feel your body at every moment, the #etheric is strong. So also when your handwriting is good. Spiritually, it's the quality that lets you act and speak with spiritual spontaneity, from the #Spirit - an unblocked throat, an automatic transmission. To heal, you need to be starved like Jacob in the seven-year famine. When you prevent the etheric from coming out, it's as if you're a scared parent trying to keep your son from danger. But if you can only get (spiritual) food from letting him go, you can be sure that it'll be easier to do so at some point, if only from desperation. By freeing your life from your body's grasping tension, you'll feel so much better than you did before. You can feel where before was only fear. There is a #light that wasn't there before. Brittleness becomes flexibility. Death becomes life. #spirituality #LDS #Mormon #Christ #faith #love
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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Instagram: How to See Spiritually

This is an passage by #RudolfSteiner, from an awesome lecture called "Identification with the Signs and Spiritual Realities of the Imaginative (#Imaginal) World." It describes how you enter the spiritual world. The first thing you do is wholly lose yourself in your thoughts. Don't hold back. If your "self-ness" is the rocky shore, dive into the ocean. This is a wholly concrete experience that is very alien to many. Nevertheless, keep a window open to consciousness. This is hard; you'll be tempted just to fall asleep, but if you keep the tension between consciousness and this "diving," you'll begin to notice something. You'll start to see images. But this isn't the spiritual world. Not yet. Instead, it's a projection of the realities of the spiritual world into images from your mind.To really enter the spiritual world, you have to "read" the images you've lost yourself in. For when you lose yourself in them, you'll feel like only a part of yourself. Your seem to be over here, but everything "over there" is *you* too. If the image is an execution, you'll feel yourself to be *both* criminal and executioner. If a man and a woman holding hands, you'll be *both* of them. To reference the illustration, it's like your whole being is strung out along twelve points of a circle. You're the whole circumference, from noon to midnight, or to speak in #astrology's language, from #Aries to #Pisces. Your being, this circle, is a keyboard. The real spiritual world is what presses the keys. They are what Steiner calls "spiritual consonants." What animates those consonants, like color inside a line or lines between the points of the circle, are "spiritual vowels." And these vowels are "spoken" by the dead. When you can read this way, you've more or less made it. You can see dead people. #spirituality #spiritual #religion #religious #LDS #Mormon #anthroposophy #Christian #God #spirit #NewAge #intuition #energy #faithhopelove #Jungian #archetypal #psychic #telepathy #love
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Some Bright Vlogs

Hey everyone! I've been stalking a few YouTube spiritual personalities for a while now. One of them is Victor Oddo - a tatoo-clad, swearing, douchebag-looking guy who just  happens to be one of the brightest spiritual teachers I have come across. I know it doesn't make sense. But he has such a "high vibration," his aura is so bright, that I can't help coming back to him. A video he posted today was especially "bright. In it, he talks about a mystical experience he had while in rehab and, astonishingly, starts weeping. He describes asking God "why am I here?!" and immediately being transported to a heavenly realm where an angel clad in white, emanating waves of overpowering love, hugs him. I started crying a bit while he said it. But he is not bragging. If you watch the video, you'll see why. I feel that it's important you a) know who he is, and b) hear what he has to say.

Be warned. He does swear in this video.

He's astonishing.

Another person whose videos I love is this Irish girl, whose proper name I don't know, that has a channel called "Soulful Toz." While not quite as bright (that's kinda hard) she is still very bright. Here's an arbitrarily chosen video:

Also, a caution: while the spiritual community on YouTube is great, there are a few personalities to take a grain of salt with. One of these is a woman named Teal Swan. Her principles are more or less true, but her energy is rather dull. Her eyes are pained, not reassuring. She is cynical, not kind. This is in contrast to the people above, whose spiritual capacities came directly from their suffering. They are wounded healers.

To be honest, that last paragraph was mainly to make clear my thoughts to myself. You can ignore it if you want. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: The Boundaries of Natural Science

The Boundaries of Natural Science: Eight Lectures Given in Dornach, Switzerland, September 27-October 3, 1920 The Boundaries of Natural Science: Eight Lectures Given in Dornach, Switzerland, September 27-October 3, 1920 by Rudolf Steiner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To inherit our destiny in the west, we need to experience the world without concepts getting in the way. See the tree on the tree's own terms; notice the blueness of the sky, the tallness of the mountain. Let the richness of sensation work on you. This is imagination.

But don't get rid of concepts and thinking - let it ascend to pure thinking, thinking without sense concepts. This is like toneless music, an experience of pure intelligibility. It's called inspiration.

Combined, they make intuition. It's a "hovering above" with thinking (the ego) and a love-filled entering into things with perception. This is like breathing: perceiving as inhalation, thinking as exhalation. Through this breathing, we taste eternity, and we work towards an experience of the spiritual worlds.

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Review: The Inner Impulses Of Evolution: The Mexican Mysteries And The Knights Templar

The Inner Impulses Of Evolution: The Mexican Mysteries And The Knights Templar The Inner Impulses Of Evolution: The Mexican Mysteries And The Knights Templar by Rudolf Steiner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some insights I loved in this book:

The chapter where Steiner talks about a being who lived in ancient Mesoamerica from AD 1 to AD 33 and who ended a devilish cult and brought a long period of peace. As a Mormon, that's about the most exciting thing Steiner could say. Clairvoyance is awesome, and it's so real.

Moreover, there was a major transition that happened spiritually around the year 1840. (!!!) It has to do with a longing to know about worlds beyond this one.

Mediumistic ghosts are just the detritus of spiritual beings when seen in a sense-based way, as lifeless as our culture is lifeless. They are what is dead in the spiritual world. Spiritualism (seances, crystal balls) is a manifestation of the rampant materialism of the time, only in a "spiritual" mask. It is what happens when one follows the 1840 impulse but in an obsolete way.

A lot is released at death that mediums see, but it is not the person. It's only a shell-like image of them, not unlike the paintings in the Harry Potter universe. The actual person is much more dynamic and alive, and is perceived differently.

In this age of humanity, are supposed to focus our energies on (the spiritualization of) urges, on birth, on death, and on the problem of evil. But Ahriman makes the focus on urges a focus on indulging urges instead of transmuting them, and Lucifer makes the focus on evil into guilt-mongering than an actual transcendence of it.

Ahriman is the spiritual being that worked in Rome, in ancient Aztec rituals, in materialism and anything that cheapens and deadens life. Lucifer is the spiritual being that seeks to escape the material world to make a planet of his own, and he was more interested in the Greeks and the Mongols.

The Greeks and the Romans actually "beat" Lucifer and Ahriman, and those two spiritual beings are redoubling their efforts in the spiritual life of today.

Ahriman squeezes the earth like a lemon, making juice that Lucifer collects and keeping the dead husk for himself.

An active interest in other people is how we work past these devilish forces.

The whole disinterested character of Europe, and especially England, in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries (sweatshops with children, the potato famine, etc.) was initiated and spiritually prefigured by Henry VIII's divorces and the church he founded because he wanted to get divorced.

The Knights Templar were amazingly spiritual, but when they were tortured and killed, they released a force into the spiritual world that sustained us for a long time.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Review: Inside an Autistic World

Inside an Autistic World: Spiritual Experiences of People with Autism: Interviews with Hilke, Andreas, Erik and Martin Osika and Jos Meereboer Inside an Autistic World: Spiritual Experiences of People with Autism: Interviews with Hilke, Andreas, Erik and Martin Osika and Jos Meereboer by Wolfgang Weirauch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Autism as a "failed" incarnation - a hesitancy to incarnate because of past-life traumas like the Holocaust. Not feeling the body, but hanging behind in the world of spirit with the "I." Not separating subject and object but instead living "in" the object. No direct perception of other people but instead a peripheral "living in" them, like when we dream.

So many wonderful insights. A godsend.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review: Sexuality, Love and Partnership: From the Perspective of Spiritual Science

Sexuality, Love and Partnership: From the Perspective of Spiritual Science Sexuality, Love and Partnership: From the Perspective of Spiritual Science by Rudolf Steiner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some insights I loved in this book:

If we're not interested in things outside ourselves, we will become sexually compelled. The one causes the other. Eroticism is a sense of being imprisoned by the body. The best cure for eroticism is to develop an aesthetic sensibility, to develop an active interest in the environment. You're not that interesting. No one person is. Watch sunsets; listen to music; talk to people. Focus on the wonders of people and things, not you.

The Christ impulse brings three things: wonder, compassion, and conscience. Where these three are, there is Christ.

Women and girls generally relate more with their imaginations, forming mental pictures of people that they love and hate, like and dislike. Thus they are able to have more nuanced perceptions of others than men easily can. On the other hand, Men and boys generally long for something not quite earthly. Their spirits are less connected to the body than in women and girls. The woman is more earthly, which is not a bad thing, but means that her spirit is more present. The man is more spiritual, which merely means that his spirit separates itself from the body more.

The etheric body of the man is female; the etheric body of the woman is male.

One can only really love someone by making a mental image of him or her. This happens through the etheric body. The etheric body is the bearer of love.

Feelings can be metamorphosed. An addiction for feasting can be transformed into feasting on literature. All baser feelings are higher feelings in germ.

When we are asleep, we are with other people in the spirit. When we are sociable during the day, in a certain sense, we are asleep.

Love creates joy for the universe.

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