Friday, June 29, 2007

A Prophecy of September 11 and Iraq

Nostradamus is one of my favorite topics - I have a collection of interpretations on just about all of his prophecies. I hope to publish a book on it one day, but looking at how busy my schedule is these days, it looks like it is close to impossible.

There are a number of quatrains that concern the attack of September 11, 2001, and the war on Iraq. I am of the opinion that our government was complicit in allowing the attack of September 11 to happen, in order to go to war for oil. War games were scheduled to ensure that the hijacked planes would not get intercepted. This is why Cheney has kept his "energy task force" meetings private - basically he met with oil companies to discuss oil resources in Iraq. Cheney and Bush deserve to be impeached for what they have done. So far, the media has been successful in blinding the mass majority.

Anyway, all major events in history since 1556 was foreseen by Nostradamus, and this is no exception. Here are two quatrains to consider closely:

Earth-shaking fire from the center of the earth
Will cause the tower of the new city to tremble:
Two great rocks will make war for a long time
Then Arethusa will redden a new river. (I-87)

Arethusa was a nymph of Elis in Greece who was chased by the river god Alpheus, and was changed by Artemis into a stream which ran under the sea until its waters rose again in the island of Ortygia, near Syracuse. However, according to the classical writer Apollodorus Arethusa was one of the nymphs called the Atlantides or Hesperides, who guarded the golden apples. The blessed isles of Hesperides were located by some to the West beyond the Atlas mountains. Hesperides is a term used throughout the quatrains to refer to America, thus the new city is a reference to New York. The French spelling for Arethusa is Arethuse, but here the Latin spelling is used. The word Arethusa contains the initials USA. The word for "earth-shaking" is an epithet for Neptune, god of the sea, used throughout the quatrains to refer to a sea power – in this case America.

This prophecy was fulfilled with the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Two planes slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, causing them to collapse and creating a minor earthquake in New York City. Thus it was in fact an "earth-shaking fire." It came from the "center of the earth," that is, the World Trade Center. The "two great rocks" are the two twin towers. The attacks came from the Al-Qaeda organization which had close associations with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Following this America launched an attack on Afghanistan. "Arethusa" happens to also be the name of a river in Syria, near the border of Iraq - showing America will use this as an excuse to redden the rivers of Iraq with blood.

A villainous, wicked, infamous one will enter
Tyrannizing Mesopotamia:
All friends made by the adulterous lady,

Land horrible, black of physiognomy. (VIII-70)

Mesopotomia is the classical name for modern Iraq, and means "the land between two rivers". The villainous wicked tyrant that enters the country is America, during the two Gulf Wars. I take that back - the first Gulf War in fact never ended. This would cover the period from 1991 to present. The land made horrible and black of physiognomy refers to the oil fires of the first Gulf War, and the suicide bombings that have been occuring recently. The "adulterous lady" has three meanings: a lady is used by Nostradamus to refer to a Republic, referring to a system of government that did not have a king, for that was strange to him. Secondly, the adulterous lady refers to the symbol of the Statue of Liberty, which was a gift to our country from France. Thirdly, it refers to the system of adulterous alliances made to invade the country for oil.

Certainly, when the prophetic eye reveals the true character of the foreign policy of the United States it is not so gratifying, is it?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Seven Stages of Spiritual Development (or, the Seven Chakras)

I have been meaning to get to a certain point in my previous blogs, but kept getting side tracked. I discovered that within scripture there is much hidden knowledge, much more than I thought. I recently stumbled across the possibility that the seven days of creation may in fact refer to the seven (or eight) spiritual chakras described in Eastern religions. This has taken me by surprise, and has been the subject of my thoughts for the last few days.

The Bible has a literal sense to its words, upon which most people reflect, but there is a hidden spiritual meaning behind every word. That this was so, was indicated by the parables of Jesus, and by the visions received by Emanuel Swedenborg. Despite the fact that the Bible is actually a collection of books written by different authors, the internal symbolism is consistent.

In the literal sense of scripture, the seven days of creation refer to the creation of the universe. Here is a summary of what was created on the seven days:

1. Light separated from darkness.
2. The waters below (the seas) separated from the waters above (the blue sky).
3. Dry land separated from the seas.
4. Sun, moon and stars.
5. Fish and birds.
6. Animals and man.
7. The day of rest.

Swedenborg examined the symbolism of this passage and showed that it refers to seven stages of spiritual development, a creation of a new spiritual being, as follows:

Stage 1: Out of Darkness into the Light of Truth


In our initial sinful state, from the time we are born to right before regeneration, is represented as being "formless and void". When we start to learn the truth, especially spiritual truth, we learn how to separate truth (light) from falsity (darkness). We walk in darkness as long as we follow the path of the selfish ego. Light dawns when we become aware that this is evil, and that there is a higher love, a potential for spiritual happiness.

Stage 2: Temptation, Trials and Sorrows

Once we learn what is good, and what is evil, when spiritual truth dawns upon us we will inevitably turn our eyes inward and see what is false and evil within our own character. This is a period of temptation, a period where one has to fight against internal habits and desires. A "flood" of water which destroys everything represents a flood of temptation to do evil. The "firmament" (or upper expanse) which divides the waters above from those below is one's internal spirit, which begins to develop in this phase. The external body will fight with the internal things of the spirit, until the two are distinguished.

Stage 3: Doing Good, and Knowing Truth, from one's own effort

On the third day land was created, and seeds grew into trees and bore fruit. The seed is the initial seed of thought planted in the mind, and at this stage it has grown where one starts to do good deeds - and good deeds are called "fruits" in scripture. Thus John the Baptist told people to "bear fruits worthy of repentance", and Jesus said every man is known by the fruit they bear. The stage of repentance was the stage of temptation. Now one commits to changing one's life, and one starts to bear fruit.

Stage 4: Spiritual Enlightenment

With stage four, things start to change, and this is represented by animated objects, instead of inanimate objects in the first three stages. The first three stages are successive changes in one's own internal thoughts. Now successive changes take place in one's own heart. Love is represented by the Sun. Thoughts originating from that Love get reflected into the mind, this is represented by the Moon and the stars. Whereas stage three things were changing from one's own effort, now in stage four, love, truth and internal light springs forth from the heart. Sun, moon and stars also represent the three spiritual heavens - showing there is more internal communion with heaven at this stage.

Stage 5: A Confident Faith confirmed in one's Life 

Day five was when fish and birds were created, to dwell in the waters. The birds represent higher rational and intellectual thoughts which belong to one's internal spirit, and the fish below factual knowledge in one's external memory. All of one's knowledge receives new spiritual life. To be a "fisherman" in the Word, means one who teaches others. One lives by the truth in this stage.

Stage 6: A Life of Good Intentions from the Heart

Whereas "birds" and "fish" represented one's internal thoughts enlightened by spiritual truth, "animals" and "man" here represent things of the will. Except now, anything we do that is good is acknowledged to originate from God, and not ourselves. We become the image of God inasmuch as we do good.

Stage 7: Communion with God

This final stage, represented by a day of rest on the Sabbath, is one of perfect communion with God. Few reach this state, and as such, is harder to describe. Each successive state is more internal than the first, and the majority of people do not even go past stage one or two. To rest from one's labors, means to do nothing from one's self. It is a letting go of the ego, where it almost no longer exists. And yet, it is a state of utter happiness. At the beginning, the selfish ego was everything, in the final stage, it is nothing.

An ancient teaching, that has been introduced to the West in the last few decades, involves a breathing technique to open up seven points of energy, called chakras, along the spine. This energy is imagined to be a coiled serpent around a tree - thus some have speculated that the serpent in the garden of Eden may be related to it. It is called kundalini. Could the seven days be a mythical teaching of the seven chakras, that get successively opened in spiritual development?


There are a variety of teachings on the chakras, but all are quite similar in their basic ideas. According to the Wikipedia, the seven chakras (in some systems, eight) are as follows:

Sahasrara

Sahasrara or the crown chakra is generally considered to be the chakra of consciousness. Its role may be envisioned somewhat similar to that of the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones to communicate to the rest of the endocrine system and also connects to the central nervous system via the hypothalamus. The thalamus is thought to have a key role in the physical basis of consciousness. Symbolised by a lotus with a thousand petals, it is located above the head outside the body.

Ajna

Ajna (along with Bindu, either or both are considered to correspond to the third eye) is linked to the pineal gland which may inform a model of its envisioning. Ajna is held as the chakra of time, awareness and of light. The pineal gland is a light sensitive gland that produces the hormone melatonin which regulates sleep and awakening. Symbolised by a lotus with two petals.
(Note: some opine that the pineal and pituitary glands should be exchanged in their relationship to the Crown and Brow chakras, based on the description in Arthur Avalon's book on kundalini called Serpent Power or empirical research.)

Vishuddha

Vishuddha (also Vishuddhi) or the throat chakra may be envisioned as relating to communication and growth, growth being a form of expression. This chakra is paralleled to the thyroid, a gland that is also in the throat and which produces thyroid hormone, responsible for growth and maturation. Symbolised by a lotus with sixteen petals.

Anahata

Anahata or the heart chakra is related to complex emotion, compassion, love, equilibrium and well-being. It is related to the thymus, located in the chest. The thymus is an element of the immune system as well as being part of the endocrine system. It produces T cells responsible for fending off disease and may be adversely affected by stress. Symbolised by a lotus with twelve petals. See also heartmind.

Manipura/Nabhi

Manipura (also Nabhi) or the solar plexus chakra is related to the transition from simple or base to complex emotion, energy, assimilation and digestion, and is held to correspond to the roles played by the pancreas and the outer adrenal glands, the adrenal cortex. These play a valuable role in digestion, the conversion of food matter into energy for the body. Symbolised by a lotus with ten petals.

Swadhisthana

Swadhisthana or the sacral chakra is located in the groin and is related to base emotion, sexuality and creativity. This chakra is considered to correspond to the testicles or the ovaries that produce the various sex hormones involved in the reproductive cycle which may cause dramatic mood swings. Symbolised by a lotus with six petals.

Muladhara

Muladhara or the base or root chakra is related to instinct, security, survival and also to basic human potentiality. This centre is located in the region between the genitals and the anus. Although no endocrine organ is placed here, it is said to relate to the inner adrenal glands, the adrenal medulla, responsible for the fight and flight response when survival is under threat. In this region is located a muscle that controls ejaculation in the sexual act in the human male. A parallel is charted between the sperm cell and the ovum where the genetic code lies coiled and the kundalini. Symbolised by a lotus with four petals.
Most eastern teachings teach a method of opening the bottom chakra, and from there the upper ones in succession. Rudolph Steiner taught a method in the exact opposite direction: from the top down, which he called the Christos path. He stated that this way has not been available for much of humanity's history. There is much teaching on this topic. Does it have any bearing in fact? I found the following very interesting:

Chakras and the endocrine system

"The primary importance and level of existence of chakras is posited to be in the psyche. However, there are those who believe that chakras have a physical manifestation as well. Some authors allege that there is a relationship between the positions and functions of the chakras, and of the various organs of the endocrine system (Sivananda 1953). It is noted by many that there is a marked similarity between the positions and roles described for chakras, and the positions and roles of the glands in the endocrine system, and also by the positions of the nerve ganglia (also known as "plexuses") along the spinal cord (branching to plexuses by endocrine glands or organs), opening the possibility that two vastly different systems of conceptualization have been brought to bear to systemize insights about the same phenomenon. By some, chakras are thought of as having their physical manifestation in the body as these glands, and their subjective manifestation as the associated emotional, mental and spiritual experiences."



Thus an ancient way of teaching for the spirit may in fact be reflected in a physical manner, in the human body. Endocrine glands are ones without ducts, and release hormones directly into the blood stream. The life of the soul resides in the blood. Maybe this is why blood is so sacred in many ancient rituals. Moreover, Swedenborg stated that everything physical was a symbolic manifestation of something spiritual, and he stated that the ultimate symbolic manifestation of heaven itself is the Human Form. He went as far as stating that all of heaven has the form of a Divine Human.

So, now lets take things a step further. Is there in fact, a relationship between the seven days of creation and the seven (or eight) chakras? If we understand the symbolic significance of the seven days of creation, they are in fact a way of explaining the seven stages of spiritual development. As for chakras, there are different teachings, and I am not familiar with all of them, but again, they describe seven (or eight) stages of meditation. Instead of relying on religious texts, which can contain errors, why not compare the seven phases of creation with the seven glands of the endocrine system? Is there a correspondence between the two? I started to delve into researching the endocrine system in our human anatomy, and this is what I uncovered:

1. The Pineal Gland

The pineal gland resides at the center of our brain, and some have surmised it is the seat of our soul. The book, The Spirit Molecule, says that the drug DMT is produced from this gland, but this is unproven. Its function? It produces melatonin. Melatonin production is triggered by darkness, and inhibited by light. The pineal gland receives signals from our eyes, and helps govern our circadian rhythm - when we should sleep, and when we should wake up. Hmmm, well thats interesting, because:

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good:
and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.
And the evening and the morning were the first day. Gen. 1:3-5

2. The Pituitary Gland

Proceeding from top to bottom, the next gland we encounter is the pituitary gland. Its function? Well several, they include growth, blood pressure, breast milk production, uterine contractions, sex organ functions, thyroid gland function, metabolism, and water and osmolarity regulation in the body. This last one caught my attention. What is osmolarity? Look at this:

"Osmotic pressure is the hydrostatic pressure produced by a solution in a space divided by a semipermeable membrane due to a differential in the concentrations of solute."

A semipermeable membrane? You mean a firmament or expanse between two systems of water?

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. Gen. 1:6-7

3. The Thyroid Gland

What is the primary function of this gland? It produces thyroxine, which is "involved in controlling the rate of metabolic processes in the body and influencing physical development." It also produces Triiodothyronine, which "affects almost every process in the body, including body temperature, growth, and heart rate." It also produces calcitonin, which influences bone development.

If we understand Biblical symbolism, the external body is represented by the "earth". And on the third day, God created dry land. Bones are as dry as you can get.

4. The Thymus Gland

This has been associated with the heart chakra, as the thymus gland dwells near the region of the heart. And the fourth stage of spiritual development, was an opening of the heart, that is, love. On the fourth day, bodies of light were created to separate the day from the night. The primary function of the thymus? White blood cell production. They are central to our immune system, for protecting good cells from foreign invaders. And that is what love is, choosing what is good and keeping the evil out. It is represented by our immune system.

5. The Adrenal Gland

We all know this one: adrenaline is produced for our fight or flight mechanism, when we our under stress our threatened. It is highly linked to our blood pressure. The adrenal gland sits on top of each kidney, the area that has the most water. It can pump adrenaline into our blood at a moment's notice. The fifth stage of development was that of spiritual enlightenment, and teaching, and truth will often be at war fighting against what is false. The adrenal gland represents this state of spiritual development.

6. The Pancreas

This gland releases digestive fluids into our intestines, so that the food can be processed. And what happened on the sixth day?

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. Gen. 1:29-30

7. The Testis (male) or Ovary (female)

The seventh day is a day of rest. What to do next? Reproduce and start over! Thus the seventh state is represented by the sexual organs. Thus after the seventh day we have a description of Adam and Eve, tempted by the serpent, coiled around a tree. They join and reproduce. The union of a male and female represents one angel in heaven.

The seven glands of the endocrine system seem to be physical manifestations of the seven stages of spiritual development, which is hidden in the myth of the seven days of creation. The implication is that the chakras need to be opened up to down, as Rudolph Steiner proposed, not down to up, as stated in Eastern mysticism. Moreover, we can judge the truth behind any system of kundalini awakening, by comparing the chakra description to the function of the endocrine gland, recently discovered by modern science.










Monday, June 25, 2007

The Light of Divine Truth



In a previous blog, The Secret Symbolism of the Creation Myth, I described how the creation of heaven and earth is not a description of the creation of the universe, but rather the creation of a human being from the time of conception when the male seed achieves union with the female egg. This is described as serpent coiling about an egg in the Orphic mystery religion, and as a bird (the "Spirit of God") brooding over an egg.

In the visions of Emanuel Swedenborg, he was shown that the seven days of creation are seven stages of spiritual development in man. Whereas the literal sense seems to describe the creation of the world, the more spiritual sense describes the creation of a spiritual being. The more spiritual sense of scripture is revealed through symbolism, or what Swedenborg said was a series of "correspondences". When describing heaven and earth, earth represents one's external body, formed from the earth of the ground, and heaven represents one's internal soul - for it is the spirit which enters heaven. In fact, we already dwell in heaven or hell, just we are not aware of it as we are preoccupied with the senses of the body. We only become aware of where we are after the body dies, and our spiritual sight is opened.

The initial state of all of us is described as earth being "formless and void" - that is, a wasteland or desert. From the state of infancy, to the time when spiritual development begins, is a state of the selfish ego and materialism. Love of self and the world reigns supreme. One tries to be better than others. Selfish satisfaction is more important than the needs of others. It is the ego which is directly opposed to the will of God. God's will in our lives is represented as a Spirit, a dove hovering over us. Among the Eastern Orthodox we have the prayer: God have mercy on me, a sinner. For we have greatly sinned. The Spirit of God approaches as we let go of our pride, and humble ourselves at God's feet. This first simple step, is the step many are unwilling to take.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good:
and God divided the light from the darkness. Gen. 1:3-4

Light is spiritual truth, causing us to separate truth from falsity, taking us out of our spiritual darkness, bondage and depression. It is spiritual enlightenment. Truth is what sanctifies, truth is what sets us free. And the primary truth: all that is good in humanity comes from God. God is Good, and God desires to live inside of us. God offers us the gift of Light.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. 1 John 1:5-7.

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 1 Thes. 5:5

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. Eph. 5:8

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Rom. 13:12

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes in me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness;
and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:4-5

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:19-21

God Himself is Divine Love, a fire that no man can approach and live. But from that fire emanates Divine Light, and that Divine Light is what gives us life. We are receivers of that Light, like a prism we choose how to reflect it. If we are a perfect reflection of that Light, we will reflect white, if we absorb everything into ourselves and reflect nothing, we will reflect black, and will live in darkness. This is why whiteness is symbolic of truth and purity, and darkness is symbolic of what is false.


In the physical world, white light contains all spectrums of visible light: the seven colors of the rainbow. This was first discovered by Isaac Newton, although light is a continuous spectrum, he divided it into seven from the ancient Greek belief that there was a connection between colors, the music notes, the known objects of the solar system, and the days of the week.

But physical light is but a material manifestation of the Divine Light. God is Light, and many people who have had a Near Death Experience have seen themselves going through a tunnel, at the end of which is a great White Light. And when they reach this Light, they become full of bliss and peace, pure Love. They are asked one question, which the Light will ask all of us: What have you done with your life?

Once this Light is encountered, one's life flashes before your eyes. Every single act we did is examined, and how it affected others. For acts of love, there is no condemnation: those who live by the light, shall enter the Light. Such a Light that is seen after death was revealed to Emanuel Swedenborg in his visions, and was written about in the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts. 1 Cor. 4:5

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever makes manifest is light. Wherefore he says, Awake ye who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. Eph. 5:11-14.

But why wait until we die? We can meditate on that Divine Light now, to be revealed to all who seek it. He who dies before he dies, does not die when he dies. Let the old life die, let the new life be born anew.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Origin of Angels

Where do angels come from? They all come from the human race. Not one angel exists, who has not been born as a human beforehand. We are all destined to become angels. This was seen in visions of Emanuel Swedenborg. The idea that there were angels before the creation of the universe, or that there is a constant distinction between man and angel, is false. Here is a summary of his thoughts, taken from Divine Wisdom.

"THERE DOES NOT EXIST, NOR CAN THERE EXIST, ANY ANGEL OR SPIRIT WHO HAS NOT BEEN BORN A HUMAN BEING IN THE WORLD

It may be found demonstrated in HEAVEN AND HELL, Nos. 311-317, that angels have not been created angels directly, but that all who are in heaven, or who ever were in heaven, were first born as human beings and became angels after a life spent in the world. That neither is it possible for any angel to have come into existence except from being born a human being in the world, and that this is according to Divine Order, will be seen from the following:

(1) There is in man an angelic mind.
(2) It is not possible for such a mind to be formed except in a man.
(3) Nor, except in man, can it be procreated, and, by means of procreation, be multiplied.
(4) It is owing to spirits and angels having been men, that they are able to continue existing and to live for ever.
(5) It is owing to this also that they can be adjoined to, and conjoined with, mankind.*
(6) And thus heaven, which was the end-in-view of creation, can come into existence.

[[2]] [107.] (1) There is in man an angelic mind. It is well known in Christendom that man is born for heaven, and also that if a man lives well he will go to heaven, there to be associated with angels as one of them: furthermore, that he has been given a soul or mind which is of such a nature and which will live for ever: and that this mind, regarded in itself, is wisdom from the Lord, derived from love to Him, and that angels also have similar minds. It is obvious from this that there is in man an angelic mind. In addition to which, this mind is the man himself, for everyone is man by virtue of it: and so, everyone is such a man as that mind is. The body, with which that mind is clothed and encompassed in the world, is, in itself, not a man, for the body cannot be wise from the Lord and love Him of itself, but only from the mind within it. This, moreover, is the reason for the body being separated and thrown off when the mind is about to depart and become an angel. The reason the mind then comes also into angelic wisdom is that its higher degrees of life are then opened. For everyone has three degrees of life; the lowest is the natural degree: men in the world are in this; the second is the spiritual degree: all angels in the lower heavens are in this; the third is the celestial degree, in which is every angel in the higher heavens. And a man is an angel in proportion as, by means of wisdom from the Lord and by means of love to Him, the two higher degrees are opened with him in the world; still he is not aware in the world that these degrees are opened, before he is separated from the first degree, which is the natural; this separation is effected by the death of the body. That he is then wise, as an angel is, although he was not so in the world, it has been given me both to see and to hear. I have seen a number of both sexes in the heavens, who had been known to me when they were on earth, and who, while there, had believed in simplicity the things that are from the Lord in the Word, and had faithfully lived in accordance with them, and in heaven they were heard speaking ineffable things, as angels are said to do.

[2] [108.] (2) It is not possible for such a mind to be formed except in a man. There are several reasons for this. One is that all Divine influx is from first things into ultimates (or "outermost things"), and, through the connection with ultimates, into intermediate things: and in this way the Lord connects all things of creation together; on account of this He is called "the First and the Last."** It was moreover for that reason that He came into the world and put on the Human Body, and also that he glorified Himself there, so that from first things and at the same time from ultimates, He might rule both the whole heaven and the whole world. It is the same with all Divine operating. That this is so, is due to the fact that in ultimates all things exist together; for all things that are in successive order, are, when in ultimates, in simultaneous order, and consequently everything in this latter order is in unbroken connection with everything in the former. From this it is obvious that the Divine, in that which is ultimate (or "outermost"), is in its fullness. What successive order is and the nature of it, may be seen above [No. 80], also what simultaneous order is and its nature. It is evident therefore that all creating is effected in ultimates and that all Divine operating passes through down to ultimates, and there creates and operates.

[109.] That the angelic mind is formed in man is evident from his formation in the womb, and also from his formation after birth, and from this, that it is according to a law of Divine Order that all things should, from their ultimates, return to the first "from which they originated" and man to the "Creator by Whom he was created".

[[4]] From man's formation in the womb: This is clear from what was said in Nos. [75, 76, 82, 83], showing that it is while there that man, up to the time of birth, is being fully formed, out of life from the Lord, for the receiving of life from Him, for the receiving of love by means of the future Will, and for the receiving of wisdom by means of the future Understanding, these together constituting the mind able to become angelic.

[[5]] From his formation after birth: in that all the means are provided enabling a man to become such a mind; for every nation possesses a religion and the Lord's presence is everywhere, and there is conjunction with Him according to a man's love and the wisdom therefrom. Thus, in everyone there is the possibility of his being formed for heaven, and, with whoever desires it, there is a continual forming for heaven, from infancy to old age, so that he may become an angel.

[[6]] [110.] It is according to a law of Divine Order that all things should, from their ultimates, return to the first from which they originated. This can be seen from every created thing in the world. A seed is "the first" of a tree: from it the tree begins coming up out of the ground, then grows and branches, blossoms, bears fruit and in the fruit places seed again, thus returning to that from which it began. It is the same with every shrub, every plant, and every flower. A seed, again, is "the first" of an animal: the animal is formed in a womb or in an egg until the time of birth: after birth it grows up, becoming an animal of the same kind, which on reaching maturity, has seed in itself; thus, everything in the animal kingdom, like everything in the vegetable kingdom, from "a first" grows up to its ultimate, and from its ultimate rises again to the first from which it began. Similarly in the case of man, but with the difference that "the first" of an animal or vegetable is natural, consequently when it has grown up, it passes back into Nature, whereas "the first" of a human being is spiritual like his soul, capable of receiving Divine Love and Wisdom; this, when separated from the body which passes back into Nature, cannot but return to the Lord from Whom it had life.

Other instances of this law are found in both the animal and vegetable kingdoms; in the vegetable kingdom, in their resuscitation from ashes, and in the animal kingdom, in the metamorphosis of caterpillars into chrysalises and butterflies.

[3] [[7]] [111.] (3) Nor, except in man, can the angelic mind be procreated, and, by means of procreations, be multiplied. Anyone acquainted with the nature of substances in the spiritual world, and, in comparison, the nature of material substances in the natural world, can easily see that there does not take place, nor could there take place, any procreation of angelic minds except in, and from out of, those who dwell in the ultimate (or "outermost") work of creation, the earth. As, however, the nature of substances in the spiritual world as compared with; material substances in the natural world is not known [it must be described].

Substances in the spiritual world have all the appearance of being material: they are not material, however, and, not being material, they do not stay constant; they are correspondents of the affections of angels, continuing as long as the affections, or the angels, are present, and disappearing when they cease to be present. The same would be the case with angels if they were to be created in that world. But in addition to this, there does not take place with angels, nor could there take place with them, any other procreating and resultant multiplying than a spiritual one, and this is a procreating and multiplying of love and wisdom, such as takes place also in the souls of men who are being born anew or regenerated. In the natural world, on the other hand, there are material substances by means of which, and out of which, procreations, and afterwards the forming of them, are possible; thus, there can be a multiplying of human beings, and thereby of angels.

[4] [[8]] [112.] (4) It is owing to spirits and angels having been men, that they are able to continue existing and to live for ever. This is because the angel or spirit, in virtue of his having been first born a human being on earth, has that in him which continues to exist, for he brings with him out of the inmost things of Nature a medium between the spiritual and the natural, which medium provides him with termination, so that he may be continuously existent and permanently himself. Owing to this, he possesses something that has relation with things in Nature, and also something corresponding to them. By means of this also, spirits and angels can be adjoined and conjoined to mankind: for conjunction exists, and where there is conjunction, there must also be a medium; that there is such a medium, angels well know, but because it is out of the inmost things of Nature, and the words of languages are from its ultimates, it can only be described by means of abstract things. From these things it now follows that the angelic heaven, which was the end-in-view of creation, could not otherwise come into being; thus, that mankind is its seminary and source of supply.
* As will be seen in its place, a separate paragraph was not made of this heading. It is included as part of No. 4. No. 6 also is included in No. 4, and slightly altered.
** Isaiah xii, 4; xliv, 6; xlviii, 12; Revelation i, 11, 17; xxii. 13."

The part I find interesting in the above passage is that not only will we become angels, we will literally create the heaven in which we live. Objects will appear and then change according to our internal emotional state. This is often what happens in dreams. The philosopher George Berkeley stated that there is no separation between the observer and the observed. This led to a question: if there was a tree in a forest and no one was there to see it, would it still exist? This debate was summed up in the following limerick:
There was a young man who said "God
Must think it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When there's no one about in the Quad."
"Dear Sir, your astonishment's odd;
I am always about in the Quad
And that's why this tree
Will continue to be
Since observed by Yours faithfully, God."
At first a ridiculous argument, of no use whatsoever, but if what Swedenborg is saying is true there is a spiritual world where things don't exist unless someone is thinking about it. Every time a man enters heaven and becomes an angel, heaven literally becomes bigger: space is created by one's presence. Heaven is constantly expanding, just like our universe. Think good thoughts, speak good words, and do good deeds: the effects of these will only be truly known after we die.



Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Seven Stages of Existence

Whereas science is objective, and the rules are known, religion is subjective and must be experienced. In the West, science and religion have diverged, when in fact they used to be one. Chemistry was derived from Alchemy. The laws of physics were discovered by Isaac Newton who was trying the determine the laws of God. Whereas science is based on factual observations, religion is based on revelation - dreams, visions and prophecy.
One amazing book I have read is The Reflexive Universe, by Arthur Young. It is a theory that combines science with religion. Earlier I wrote that the seven days of creation has nothing to with the creation of the universe. Well actually it does, somewhat, but not in the way we think. What Arthur Young discovered is that all of creation can be divided into seven phases of creation:
1. Light Particles
2. Nuclear Particles
3. Atoms
4. Molecules
5. Plants
6. Animals
7. Man
Each one builds on the other. As he examines each phase of creation, each phase of creation can be further divided into seven smaller stages of existence. There are seven categories of atoms, seven categories of molecules, seven of plants, etc. The seventh stage of each phase is where things get really interesting. For example, the seventh stage of molecules is the DNA double helix. Each stage is distinguished by "degrees of freedom". The less freedom there is, the more well known the laws are, and thus the more well known that stage of existence will be to science. Thus we have the following diagram of all of existence:


The "box" in the above diagram is the phase of molecules, the least amount of freedom, the most amount of rules, and thus the area of existence we know most about. When we get to humans, we get into psychology, the stuff we know the least about. We have to experience it in order to learn. What is interesting about the theory is that it presents consciousness as descending from light into the basest of matter, and then ascending back up into higher and higher life forms, until we "return to the Light" as it were. This reminds me of one of Rumi's poems:
I died from minerality and became vegetable;
And From vegetativeness I died and became animal.
I died from animality and became man.
Then why fear disappearance through death?
Next time I shall die
Bringing forth wings and feathers like angels;
After that, soaring higher than angels -
What you cannot imagine,
I shall be that.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Secret Symbolism of the Creation Myth

This ancient creation myth has always intrigued me, since I first read about it in Robert Graves book on the Greek myths. Here is a summary of it from Wikipedia:

"The Pelasgian Creation Myth [1] is one of the ancient religious stories of the origin of the world. It is a matriarchal, monotheistic system, in which one goddess dominates man, and predates other deities. The goddess gives birth to all things, fertilised not by any male opposite but by symbolic seeds in the form of the wind, beans or insects. The myth predates the Hellenistic era and survives in fragmentary sources amongst ancient greek literature. The account given here is based on Robert Graves' Greek mythology.

Eurynome was born from Chaos at the start of time. The first problem she encountered was that nothing existed for her to exist in or on. The first goddess, Eurynome split the waters from the air, and lived among the seas. As Eurynome headed south she noticed the North Wind on her back, and discerned this as a new, separate entity. Eurynome caught the North Wind, and worked it up between her hands to create a third new thing - Ophion the Serpent. The North Wind, combined with Ophion, curls around Eurynome and sex between them creates a child of hers. Eurynome becomes a dove. In this form, amongst the seas, she broods over and finally lays her egg. She commands Ophion the snake to curl seven coils around her egg until it hatches in to two parts. All things are born from the egg, and they include the sun, moon and planets, the land and all its flora and all its fauna. Ophion and Eurynome inhabit Mount Olympus until, when Ophion claims credit for creating all things, his mate molests him. Eurynome kicks him in the head. Eurynome knocks his jaw so his teeth fall out. Eurynome condemns him to imprisonment in caves below the land. In place of Ophion, Eurynome assigns the powers of the universe to a series of couples, each of a he and she Titan. For the Sun, Theia and Hyperion, Moon, Phoebe and Atlas, Mercury, Metis and Coeus, Tethys and Oceanus for Venus, Dione and Crius for Mars. Also, Themis and Eurymedon look after Jupiter, and Saturn is overseen by Rhea and Cronus. On Earth meanwhile Eurynome creates Pelasgus, first of the first Pelasgians, sprung from the soil of Arcadia. Under the guidance of Pelasgus, his people learned to make shelter, to survive on acorns and to clothe themselves from the skins of pigs, of the type still worn by the people of Euboeoa and of Phocis in the time of the writer Pausanias."

Portions of this ancient creation myth are quite similar to the creation myth of Genesis. The serpent entwining with Eurynome is comparable to Eve and the serpent in the garden of Eden, perhaps entwined around a tree. The first creation is followed by a series of division: the sea from the air, and the egg breaking into two. In Genesis creation begins with a division of light from darkness, the waters below from the sky above, and the land from the sea. Whereas in Genesis we have the seven days of creation, the Pelasgian creation myth assigns the seven planets to a male and female Titan. At the end of the seven days Adam is created from the dust of the earth, and after the seven planets are assigned Eurynome creates Pelasgus from the soil of Arcadia.

So why all the parallels? The Greeks received their teachings from the Middle East, in many cases from ancient Phoenicia. Before the Judaic religion was formed, there was a more ancient monotheistic religion, which became corrupted by idolatry. This ancient religion was universal among the nations of the area, thus we find common elements in their myths. Whereas today a "myth" has the meaning of a story that is untrue, in ancient times myths were ways of teaching, by way of parable and symbolism. One teacher once told me:

"Myths are lies that tell the truth".

Myths make use of symbols, and many modern religions based on the occult ("occult" simply means hidden), or New Age systems of thought, try to discern their meaning with no systematic thought in place. The keys to the meaning of these symbols have been lost. We are so clueless as to what these myths mean, that many do not even realize that the creation myths I just mentioned have nothing to do with the creation of the world. The western world is so literalistic in thinking, it does not know what to do when confronted with symbolic language. It is a different way of thinking, and it is a way to hide spiritual truth from those who don't care to see it.

That there was an ancient monotheistic religion that became so corrupted that its teachings became lost, was seen in the visions of Emanuel Swedenborg. These teachings were given to the ancient Greeks, who then turned them into fables:

"From what is told in the books of Moses it is manifest that worship by sacrifices was known, and that men prophesied from the mouth of Jehovah before the Word was given to the Israelitish nation through Moses and the prophets. ....Do you suppose that the ancient wise men, such as Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, and others, who wrote about God and the immortality of the soul, obtained this knowledge primarily from their own understanding? No; they obtained it from others by its having been handed down from those who first knew of it from the ancient Word....It was not from themselves nor from their own intelligence, but from the ancient Word, and afterwards from the Israelitish Word, that from the most ancient times religion has existed, and the inhabitants of the earth everywhere have had a knowledge of God, and some knowledge of a life after death. From these two Words religious systems spread into the Indies and their islands; through Egypt and Ethiopia into the kingdoms of Africa; from the maritime parts of Asia into Greece, and from Greece into Italy. But as the Word could be written only by representations, which are such things in the world as correspond to and thus signify heavenly things, the religions of these nations were turned into idolatries, and in Greece into fables; and the Divine attributes and properties were turned into as many gods, over whom one was made supreme, whom they called Jove, possibly from Jehovah. It is known that they had a knowledge of Paradise, of the flood, of the sacred fire, and of the four ages, from the first or golden age, to the last or iron age (as described in Daniel 2:31-35)." (True Christian Religion, 264, 273, 275).

This would explain the parallels between the Pelasgian Creation Myth and Genesis. From that we know myths are not just "fairy tales", and they may in fact carry hidden spiritual knowledge. Returning to the two creation myths, what about that Cosmic Egg, around which the serpent coils seven times? It seems to be absent from the Genesis account. Or is it? It is there, and it is quite hidden:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void;
and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Gen. 1:1-2)

The word for "spirit" is the same word for "air", thus Eurynome first creates things from the "north wind". But what about that Hebrew word for "moved"? It also means "to flutter, to hover". It is mentioned two other times, and one of them is quite revealing:

"For the LORD'S portion is his people;
Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
He found him in a desert land,
and in the waste howling wilderness;
he led him about, he instructed him,
he kept him as the apple of his eye.
As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young,
spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings:
So the LORD alone did lead him,
and there was no strange god with him." (Deut. 32:9-12)

The word for "move" is the same one used for "flutter", and it is used for birds brooding over their young - thus an egg! Not only that, but the word for "waste" is the same word translated as "without form" in Genesis. The entire world, over which the Spirit of God flutters, is actually in the shape of an egg. This is known as the Cosmic Egg in myth, and the egg of the Pelasgian myth was adopted as a symbol in the Orphic mystery religion of ancient Greece.



The Orphic egg is usually represented as an egg surrounded by a coiled serpent. The egg smbolizes the belief in the Greek Orphic religion that the universe originated from within a silver egg. The first emanation from this egg, described in an ancient hymn, was Phanes-dionysus, the personification of light:

"ineffable, hidden, brilliant scion, whose motion is whirring, you scattered the dark mist that lay before your eyes and, flapping your wings, you whirled about, and through this world you brought pure light."

The serpent that coils around the egg is known as the Cosmic Serpent, described in an article from Wikipedia, showing how widespread the symbol became:

"The serpent, when forming a ring with its tail in its mouth, is a clear and widespread symbol of the "All-in-All", the totality of existence, infinity and the cyclic nature of the cosmos. The most well known version of this is the Aegypto-Greek Ourobouros. It is believed to have been inspired by the Milky Way as some ancient texts refer to a serpent of light residing in the heavens.

In Norse mythology the World Serpent (or Midgard serpent) known as Jörmungandr encircled the world in the ocean's abyss biting its own tail.

In Hindu mythology Vishnu is said to sleep while floating on the cosmic waters on the serpent Shesha. In the Puranas Shesha holds all the planets of the universe on his hoods and to constantly sing the glories of Vishnu from all his mouths. He is sometimes referred to as "Ananta-Shesha" which means "Endless Shesha." In the Samudra manthan chapter of the Puranas Shesha loosens Mount Mandara for it to be used as a churning rod by the Asuras and Devas to churn the ocean of milk in the heavens in order to make Soma (or Amrita), the divine elixir of immortality. As a churning rope another giant serpent called Vasuki is used.

In pre-Columbian Central America Quetzalcoatl was sometimes depicted as biting its own tail. The mother of Quetzalcoatl was the Aztec goddess Coatlicue ("the one with the skirt of serpents"), also known as Cihuacoatl ("The Lady of the serpent"). Quetzalcoatl's father was Mixcoatl ("Cloud Serpent"). He was identified with the Milky Way, the stars and the heavens in several Mesoamerican cultures.

The demi-god Aidophedo of the West African Ashanti is also a serpent biting its own tail. In Dahomey mythology of Benin in West Africa, the serpent that supports everything on its many coils was named Dan. In the Vodun of Benin and Haiti Ayida-Weddo (a.k.a. Aida-Wedo, Aido Quedo, "Rainbow-Serpent") is a spirit of fertility, rainbows and snakes, and a companion or wife to Dan, the father of all spirits. As Vodun was exported to Haiti through the slave trade Dan became Danballah, Damballah or Damballah-Wedo. Because of his association with snakes, he is sometimes disguised as Moses, who carried a snake on his staff. He is also thought by many to be the same entity of Saint Patrick, known as a snake banisher."

In addition to the symbol of a serpent coiled around an egg, another common symbol is a serpent coiled around a staff or tree, again from Wikipedia:

The Sumerian god Ningizzida accompanied by two gryphons. It the oldest known image of snakes coiling around an axial rod, dating from before 2000 BCE.
The Sumerian god Ningizzida accompanied by two gryphons. It the oldest known image of snakes coiling around an axial rod, dating from before 2000 BCE.

"Sometimes the Tree of Life is represented (in a combination with similar concepts such as the World Tree and Axis mundi or "World Axis") by a staff such as those used by shamans. Examples of such staffs featuring coiled snakes in mythology are the caduceus of Hermes, the Rod of Asclepius and the staff of Moses. The oldest known representation is that of the Sumerian fertility god Ningizzida. Ningizzida was sometimes depicted as a serpent with a human head, eventually becoming a god of healing and magic. It is the companion of Dumuzi (Tammuz) with whom it stood at the gate of heaven. In the Louvre, there is a famous green steatite vase carved for king Gudea of Lagash (dated variously 22002025 BCE) with an inscription dedicated to Ningizzida. Ningizzida was the ancestor of Gilgamesh, who according to the epic dived to the bottom of the waters to retrieve the plant of life. But while he rested from his labor, a serpent came and ate the plant. The snake became immortal, and Gilgamesh was destined to die.

Ningizzida has been popularised in the 20th C. by Raku Kei Reiki (a.k.a. "The Way of the Fire Dragon") where "Nin Giz Zida" is believed to be a fire serpent of Tibetan rather than Sumerian origin. Nin Giz Zida is another name for the ancient Hindu concept of Kundalini, a Sanskrit word meaning either "coiled up" or "coiling like a snake". Kundalini refers to the mothering intelligence behind yogic awakening and spiritual maturation leading to altered states of consciousness. There are a number of other translations of the term usually emphasizing a more serpentine nature to the word— e.g. 'serpent power'. It has been suggested by Joseph Campbell that the symbol of snakes coiled around a staff is an ancient representation of Kundalini physiology. The staff represents the spinal column with the snake(s) being energy channels. In the case of two coiled snakes they usually cross each other seven times, a possible reference to the seven energy centers called chakras."

The serpent is quite widespread in myth, and can have several meanings, but what about the serpent coiled about the Orphic Egg? Or the serpent coiled about a tree? Or two serpents coiled around a staff in the form of a double helix? These myths have nothing to do with the creation of the world. These myths are describing the incarnation of the soul in a human body, when the seed of man (the serpent) achieves union with the female egg. These myths are quite close to describing the conception and birth of a human being, both in a human's natural development, as well as a human's spiritual development. It is this creation that is being described, not the creation of the world. Thus the egg floats in the waters, formless and void, as the embryo does in a woman's womb. The serpent coiling about the egg is the sperm that surrounds the female egg. And once the serpent coils about the egg and achieves union, the egg breaks open, and the world is created in a series of divisions that build upon each other, just as an embryo is formed by cell division. And within each cell is the DNA code, formed in a double helix, just like two serpents around a staff:



As for the four code elements that make up a DNA strand, could those have been represented by the four elements of earth, wind, fire and water that the ancients once thought composed all of creation? Well it is a thought. Consider this passage from Genesis, where God curses the serpent:

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Gen. 3:15)

This one verse encapsulates many of the Greek myths described in the constellations of the zodiac. It is also a prophecy of the Messiah, how he would incarnate into a human body. When man, woman, and serpent are cursed, they are banished from the garden of Eden, and man must toil to bring forth fruit from the ground. Could this in fact describe the banishment of the soul from its heavenly paradise, to toil here on earth until our lesson is learned? The four rivers of Paradise are also widespread in myth, and people look in vain to find its geographic location. It is not here on earth, it is in the spiritual world from where we all came. What of the bruising of the heel of the seed of the woman, and crushing the head of the serpent? That statement could be reflecting that when the sperm achieves union with the female egg, it "bruises" it by breaking through, and in the process the head of the sperm is crushed and its tail breaks off. At this point a human soul incarnates, "banished" from its heavenly realm. Here is an interesting image of an Orphic bowl:



The image of this Orphic bowl shows eight males and eight females, with their feet touching the coiled serpent around a hidden egg. Not only do the myths seem to model the natural process of the creation of a human, but also in the secret teachings of Orpheus, the development of the human soul:

"Orpheus, the poet-Argonaut, is also said to have come on earth to purify the religion of its gross, and terrestrial anthrophomorphism. He abolished human sacrifice and instituted a mystic theology based on pure spirituality. Cicero calls Orpheus a son of Bacchus."
- M. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled

"I am parched with thirst, and perishing,
But drink of me, the ever-flowing spring on the right, (where) there is a fair cypress.
Who are you? Where are you from?
I am a child of Earth and of starry Heaven, but my race is of Heaven (alone)."
- Orphic Lamella from Thessaly

"To the Orphics, the soul is of celestial origin and divine; man is a child of earth and starry heaven; his body of the earth, but his soul, as a late Orphic line expresses it, is 'rooted in the celestial element'. Each soul had lived in the society of Gods, and was in fact a God.

"This godly soul however sinned and ended up in a body. We are told by Aristotle that in the Orphic verses the soul was said to be carried to and fro by the winds, and drawn into the body by respiration. The cause of the soul's descent was sin, and its imprisonment in the body has a penitentiary purpose."

"...As soon as a soul got into the body, the doors of the prison-house close around her. The soul has entered upon what the Orphics call the 'circle' or 'wheel of generation', a long and weary circuit of birth and death."
"While present in the body, the soul is therefore a fallen angel who is doing penance for her sins and her ultimate aim is to be released from her chains and recover the inheritance she has lost."
- "Orphism, Return to the Gods" in Advance, Issue 119

"The followers of Orpheus turned the Dionysian method on its head, seeking ecstasy through abstinence and rites of purification, denying the senses rather than using them as vehicles for bliss."
- Search for the Soul

"Associated with the Orphics was a myth. Dionysos was killed and devoured by the Titans; his heart was rescued and a new Dionysos born from it. The Titans were destroyed by Zeus' thunderbolt, and mankind formed from their ashes. Man is thus compounded of a Titanic element, the body, and a Dionysiac element, the soul, and his aim is to purify himself of his Titanic element."
- John Ferguson, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions

"...The purer their lives the higher will be their next reincarnation, until the soul has completed the spiral ascent of destiny to live forever as God from whom it comes."
"Their methods of purity were mainly in the form of living a clean life according to their rules, which included several rules of abstinence, such as the rule against eating animal food, prohibition against beans and eggs. There were also a great variety of elaborate and complicated rites and ceremonies to accelerate the soul's release from the bodily prison."
"Various kinds of life were thought to form a graduated scale, with plants being lowest, followed by animals and then human bodies. When fully purified, one would rise up to Gods, sharing the same hearth and table with other immortals."
- "Orphism, Return to the Gods" in Advance, Issue 119

In the Mithraic rites, there were seven stages of initiation. In the visions received by Emanuel Swedenborg, he was shown that the "seven days" of creation represented seven stages of spiritual development of the human soul. It is not a story concerning the creation of the world, it is the story of how God creates a newly formed spiritual being, destined to become an angel of heaven.