Πέμπτη, 23 Νοεμβρίου 2017

Devi in Hinduism

Devi in Hinduism

Visions of the divine as female, both as goddesses and as a cosmic principle, suffuse Hinduism. As we have seen, there are many mother goddesses, and most of the prominent gods of the Hindu pantheon are paired with a sexual consort or wife. Vishnu has his Lakshmi, Shiva has his Parvati, and the once great Brahma is now all but overshadowed by his wife Sarasvati, goddess of knowledge and the arts. These goddesses are thought to be the divine counterparts or complements to their gods, providing a devotee with access to divine attributes such as wealth, creative power, or knowledge and wisdom. One of the most important goddesses in India is the River Ganges. Descending to earth through the Himalayas, she is said to be the celestial Milky Way, her fall being softened by the mass of dreadlocks that cover Shiva’s head. Through subterranean channels her cleansing powers are dispersed into all of India’s rivers, which are, themselves, looked upon as the Ganges. Finally, because of its many sacred rivers, ponds, and lakes, and innumerable other holy sites, India itself is considered a goddess. As Kathleen Erndl observed, “Of all the world’s religions, Hinduism has the most elaborate living goddess traditions.” (Kathleen M. Erndl in The Hindu World, edited by Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby, New York: Routledge, 2004, p. 159, her emphasis.) Devotees who choose the goddess Devi rather than Vishnu or Shiva call themselves Shaktas. Numbering around 50 million, they envision Devi as the creative power, or shakti, of the universe. She is seen as encompassing all the other goddesses, who express her many aspects. These partial manifestations of Devi include the consorts of Vishnu and Shiva as well as several horrific forms such as Chamunda, Bhairavi, Candi, and Kali. For example, Chamunda, the goddess of famine, is the most prominent “mother” in a group know as the Seven Mothers. An emaciated hag, she abducts and eats infants and drinks blood from her begging bowl. Likewise, Kali (“dark one”) wears a necklace of skulls and wields four savage weapons with her four arms to butcher her enemies before eating their flesh and drinking their blood on the field of battle.
The most popular manifestation of Devi, however, is the goddess Durga. A beautiful, richly clad goddess with ten arms, she moves about the world astride a lion. Her most famous myth, told throughout India, begins with the familiar defeat of the gods at the hands of the demons, and the Buffalo Demon’s rise to supreme power in the cosmos. Helpless in the face of this new ruler, Vishnu and Shiva become enraged, their combined anger producing the goddess Durga, a power far greater than either. After a prolonged battle in which the Buffalo Demon changes form many times, Durga beheads him and restores order to the universe. In late September and early October her great victory is celebrated in the Durga-Puja, a nine-day festival in which almost all the inhabitants of Bengal take part. At the end of the festival, goats and buffalos are slaughtered in her honor, and the many temporary devotional images that her followers have used to worship her during the Puja—thousands upon thousands—are thrown into the Ganges after Durga’s presence leaves them.
While it might seem that most of Devi’s manifestations are fierce goddesses, her followers nonetheless see her as their loving mother. Her violence and great power are the attributes of a protective mother who cherishes and disciplines her children, while annihilating any who would threaten them. From a metaphysical perspective,
moreover, Devi is understood as using her powers of annihilation to dispel the popular but false notion that the spirit (purusha) is superior to matter (prakriti), and that salvation is a process of liberating oneself from the material world through austerities and renunciation.  Unlike the followers of Shiva, who identify their god with spirit and honor him as the great renouncer, Shaktas see Devi as the creative force of the universe and honor her as the basis for its physicality—its substance or matter. For Shaktas, therefore, the physical body is good, not evil, and the true path to salvation must unify the spirit with the body by actually subjecting the spirit to the body. In a striking reversal of the male-dominated relationship between Shiva and his consort that is envisioned by the Shaivas, a popular Shakta image depicts Devi, as Kali, dancing wildly on Shiva’s pale, lifeless body. In subordinating Shiva’s passive, austere energy to her active, creative energy, Devi is able to lead her devotees to salvation by joining physical enjoyment (bhukti) with release.
The devotional practices of Shaktas take two forms, often called exoteric, or public, and esoteric, or secretive. The former largely resemble the bhakti practices of Vaishnavas and Shaivas, but with Devi’s murti as the object of devotion. The secretive practices, by contrast, include visualization techniques that use yantras, which are abstract images of the goddess; a form of Tantric discipline known as Kundalini Yoga; and the cultivation of magical powers called siddhis.
A yantra is a two-dimensional, geometric design. It typically consists of a square perimeter containing concentric circles, triangles (half of which are inverted), and arcs resembling the petals of a lotus flower. The upright triangles are spirit (purusha), the inverted ones are matter (prakriti). The interior of the square is made accessible through entrances on the square’s four sides,
which are aligned to the cardinal points of the compass. These different features of the yantra, as well as the additional shapes formed by the intersection  of the circles, triangles, and  arcs, correspond to different aspects of the Goddess. At the very center of the yantra is a small area that gives access to the essence of the Goddess. The  devotee’s  goal is  to  reach  this  point  by transmuting  his or her being into the Goddess herself. By metaphysically advancing  though one of the entrances, the devotee crosses over into Devi’s sacred world. He or she then chants mantras and uses hand movements (mudras) to draw on Devi’s creative energy. Since this process is thought  to involve the manipulation  of tremendous  power, the yantra is thought of as the essential tool for controlling a person’s progress and for steering him or her in the desired direction. While using the yantra, the devotee will also ingest certain substances, understood as divine aspects of the Goddess entering into his or her own body.

Figure 1.14 The Shri Chakra, a popular yantra design, with upward and downward-pointing triangles.

In  Kundalini  Yoga, shakti,  Devi’s  creative power, is envisioned as a snake sleeping in a coil at the base of the human  spine. Through the use of mantras, techniques  of visualizing the deities and their attributes, and other yogic procedures such as breath control, the practitioner attempts to awaken this snake and guide it  through  six power  centers  in  the  human body.  These  are  called  chakras (discs),  and are located along the spinal column and in the head. As shakti moves up through the chakras, the deities associated with each power center are activated and join the Goddess, such that she becomes all the deities, or brahman. Since the chakras in the body correspond to different parts of the yantra diagram, yantric techniques and Kundalini-Yoga often go hand- in-hand. If successful, a practitioner will guide Kundalini from the chakra near the anus through  chakras located in the sexual organs, the navel, the heart, and the throat, to the point at the top of the nose between the eyebrows. This last chakra is the “thousand-petalled lotus,” where shakti (as matter) joins Shiva (spirit). 

Figure 1.15 A diagram of the human body, showing the location of the six chakras.

When this occurs, the practitioner experiences the eternal union and divine bliss of Shiva-Shakti in his or her own body.
Ritually and socially, esoteric Shaktism exists on the margins of Hinduism because it requires devotees to manipulate deities in order to gain siddhis (supernatural powers), which outsiders often suspect are used for nefarious purposes. These suspicions are rein- forced by the movement’s protocols of secrecy, for its doctrines and practices are transmitted only to devotees, only in private interactions with spiritual mentors (gurus), and only after devotees have undergone a rigorous testing and purification process. Finally, the movement also endorses certain ritual practices known as left-handed Tantra which violate conventional Hindu notions of purity.
Among these left-handed practices, those that are particularly disturbing to outsiders are ones that involve self-immolation, the Five Ms, and (it is rumored) human sacrifice. The Five Ms are five things whose name in Sanskrit begins with the letter “m”: fish (matsya), parched grain (mudra), meat (mans), alcohol (madhu), and illicit sexual intercourse (maithun). These work according to a reversal of Hindu norms, which Tantric practitioners argue is necessary in this final, corrupt age of the world (the Kali Yuga). Most Hindus consider the Five Ms to be powerful sources of impurity and bad karma. In Tantra, however, practitioners attempt to master and manipulate their dangerous power, and use it in their quest to become gods. By ingesting one or more of the first four Ms in carefully planned rituals, they internalize and absorb this power. And in those branches of the tradition that practice illicit inter- course,  the  male  seeks to  absorb  the shakti of the female, who is envisioned as the Great Goddess herself.

From the book : Understanding the Religions of the World  An Introduction By Willoughby Deming

Δευτέρα, 20 Νοεμβρίου 2017

Δεν πολεμάμε με τα φαντάσματα του παρελθόντος μόνο, αλλά και με αυτά του παρόντος

Δεν πολεμάμε με τα φαντάσματα του παρελθόντος μόνο, αλλά και με αυτά του παρόντος 

Δεν πολεμάμε με τα φαντάσματα του παρελθόντος μόνο, αλλά και με αυτά του παρόντος, διότι οι άνθρωποι σήμερα μοιάζουν σαν φαντάσματα εξαιτίας της συνειδησιακής τρικυμίας μέσα στην οποία ζουν και την φανερή πλέον ηθική κατάπτωση τους.

Το πρόβλημα κατά κόρον στους ανθρώπους σήμερα είναι η αδυναμία σύγκρισις και διάκρισις μεταξύ του ορθού και του λάθους του σημαντικού και του ασήμαντου, η γελοιότητα να μην θέλουν να κοιτάξουν μέσα τους, το πλέον απογοητευτικό, να μην θέλουν καν να εργαστούν μην τυχόν και κουράσουν το φτωχό μυαλουδάκι τους.

Καμία ικανότητα προσήλωσις και προσοχής κανένας σεβασμός, ένας ψυχικός αχταρμάς ο οποίος συχνά προβάλετε και σαν τούρτα παγωτό γιατί ο βλάκας καμαρώνει για την βλακεία του επιδεικτικά.

Παρόλα αυτά εμείς είμαστε εδώ, η Αδελφότητας μας δεν κάνει αποκλεισμούς και απευθύνεται σε όλους.
Για αυτό πολλές φορές στον εξωτερικό μας λόγο βλέπετε αυτές τις επαναλήψεις τις οποίες τονίζουμε ξανά και ξανά και που σε ορισμένους φαίνονται βαρετές, αλλά αυτοί δεν μπορούν να ξεχωρίσουν τα αυστηρά πλαίσια εργασίας μας, τον τρόπο μέσα από τον οποίον η ένδοξη μας Αδελφότητα εργάζεται.

Νομίζεται αγαπητοί φίλοι πως με τα δυο βιβλία που διαβάσατε ή τους τρεις προφορικούς λόγους τους οποίους ακούσατε από εμάς θα φτάσετε στην Αλήθεια, θα κατασκευάσετε την Λίθο μας τόσο απλά και εύκολα;

Η Τέχνη μας δεν είναι μια τέχνη του φανταστικού ούτε μια τέχνη του γελοίου για αυτό μην περιγελάτε άσκοπα τον εαυτό σας αν δεν είστε άξιοι για αυτήν, γιατί ο μαθητής, ο εργάτης, ο φιλόσοφος ο οποίος επιθυμεί να εργαστεί πάνω σε αυτήν την αρχαία τέχνη θα πρέπει να συνειδητοποιήσει, να είναι ενήμερος πως εδώ ομιλούμε για ζήτημα ζωής, και πως από την αρχή μέχρι και το τέλος αλλά ακόμη και μετά από αυτό, ο υποψήφιος θα πρέπει να δίνει σταθερά και ουσιαστικά μέσα από την δική του πνευματική ουσία στους άλλους, άφοβα και συνεχόμενα.

Οπότε μην αναζητείται τους πνευματικούς μας θησαυρούς γιατί αν δεν το γνωρίζεται το επαναλαμβάνουμε πως αν θελήστε να προσχωρήσετε στην αδελφότητα μας δεν θα πάρετε αλλά θα πρέπει να δώσετε, αυτά για να αποθαρρύνουμε τους ανόητους.

Παρασκευή, 17 Νοεμβρίου 2017

Η κατανόηση των εννοιών δεν σηματοδοτεί και την πραγμάτωση τους

Η κατανόηση των εννοιών δεν σηματοδοτεί και την πραγμάτωση τους

Η κατανόηση των εννοιών δεν σηματοδοτεί και την πραγμάτωση τους ή την αποκάλυψη τους μέσα μας, καλύτερα θα έλεγα.
Για αυτό και δεν έχουν τόση σημασία οι γνώσεις με την έννοια της συλλογής, της μόρφωσις διότι όλα αυτά όπως και σήμερα εύκολα διακρίνεται είναι επιδερμικά, μορφικά εξωτερικά.

Το ζήτημα είναι πως θα βρει ένας άνθρωπος μια μεθοδολογία μέσα από την οποία οι Ιδέες θα ζωντανέψουν μέσα του, και μιλώ κυρίως για τις ιδέες που προϋπήρξαν του ανθρώπου!

Αυτές είναι ενός είδους φωτιστικής δομικής φύσης ενέργεια μέσω των οποίων εκφράζεται ήχος και φως, ένα είδος μιας υπερβατικής νοημοσύνης σαν στήλες ενός μουσικού φωτός.

Και εμείς για αυτήν την διεργασία σας μιλάμε με απλό λόγο μιας όπως και μας λέει ο αγαπητός φίλος και αδελφός Theophilus Schweighardt, η Πανδώρα μας απευθύνεται σε όλους, δεν μπορεί να αποκλείσει κανένα άνθρωπο σε κανένα χώρο ή τάξη.

Παρόλα αυτά αν και ο Οίκος της Αδελφότητας είναι σε κοινή θέα, ελάχιστοι μπορούν να τον δουν και μόνο ορισμένοι καλά προετοιμασμένοι κατά το παρελθόν μπορούν να χτυπήσουν και να εισέλθουν εκεί μέσα.

Δεν περιμένουμε από την μάζα η οποία χορεύει στους ρυθμούς της σύγχυσις και της ιδιοτέλειας να προσέξει, και ακόμη ακόμα περισσότερο να κατανοήσει τους λόγους μας, οπότε η ειρωνεία είναι συχνή ενάντια μας όπως και οι κατά καιρούς επιθέσεις, θέματα τα οποία είναι γνωστά σε εμάς και τα οποία δεν μας απασχολούν άλλο.

Το φρούριο μας είναι καλά προετοιμασμένο, όπως και οι αντοχές του, διότι η προστασία του είναι πέρα από κάθε φαντασία.

Στο σχέδιο αυτό που σας έχουμε δώσει μερικούς αιώνες πριν υπάρχουν ορισμένα κλειδιά τα οποία αν κατανοηθούν σωστά από την καλόπιστη καρδιά και νου σας, μπορούν να σας προσφέρουν όχι μόνον την βεβαιότητα της γνησιότητας της αδελφότητας μας αλλά και τον τρόπο μέσα από τον οποίον αυτή εργάζεται καθώς και τις βασικές αρχές και τις κανόνες που την διέπουν.

Αν θελήσετε να προχωρήσετε εσωτερικά, πνευματικά να τα λάβετε όλα αυτά καλά υπόψιν, ώστε να φωτιστείτε στον βαθμό που αυτό, στην παρούσα στιγμή είναι δυνατόν από εσάς.

Τελειώνοντας θα ήθελα να επαναλάβω τα σοφά λόγια του αγαπητού Θεόφιλου :

'Για αυτόν τον λόγο αγαπητοί  αδελφοί, εν Θεό, στην φύση και την σοφία, λάβετε και σημειώσετε αυτές τις αξιόπιστες μου οδηγίες, διαβάστε τες και εξετάστε τες προσεκτικά, και θα βρείτε αυτό που πολλοί χιλιάδες επιθύμησαν από την αρχή, αλλά ελάχιστοι βρήκαν.'

Κυριακή, 12 Νοεμβρίου 2017

Comment on devient alchimiste By François Jollivet-Castelot, 1897

Comment on devient alchimiste By François Jollivet-Castelot, 1897

Catéchisme ou instruction pour le grade d'Adopter ou Apprentis Philosophe sublime et inconnu.

Ε. Ποια είναι η πρώτη μελέτη ενός φιλόσοφου;

A. Είναι η αναζήτηση για των λειτουργιών της φύσης.

Ε. Ποια είναι η έννοια της φύσης;

Α. Ο Θεός, σαν την πρώτη αρχή.

Ε. Από πού προέρχονται όλα τα πράγματα;

A. Από τη μία και μοναδική φύση.

Ε. Σε πόσες περιοχές χωρίζεται η φύση;

A. Σε τέσσερις κύριες.

Ε. Ποιες είναι αυτές;

Α. Ξηρό, υγρό, ζεστό, κρύο που είναι οι τέσσερις στοιχειώδεις ιδιότητες, από τις οποίες προέρχονται όλα τα πράγματα.

Ε. Σε τι αλλάζει η φύση;

Α. Σε αρσενικό και θηλυκό

Ε. Τι συγκρίνεται με αυτό;

Α. Ο Υδράργυρος.

Ε: Τι ιδέα θα μου δώσεις της φύσης;

Α. Δεν είναι ορατή, αν και ενεργεί ορατά, επειδή είναι μόνο ένα πτητικό πνεύμα, το οποίο υπηρετεί τα σώματα και  ζωογονείται από το παγκόσμιο πνεύμα, το οποίο γνωρίζουμε στη χυδαία Μασονία, κάτω από το αξιοσέβαστο έμβλημα του Φλεγόμενου Αστεριού.

Ε. Σε τι αντιστοιχεί επακριβώς;

A. Την θεία πνοή, την κεντρική και καθολική δράση,
που ζωοποιεί όλα όσα υπάρχουν.

Ε. Ποιες ποιότητες οι ερευνητές της φύσης πρέπει να έχουν;

Α. Πρέπει να είναι όπως η ίδια η φύση, δηλαδή, αληθινοί, απλοί, υπομονετικοί και σταθερή. είναι τα βασικά χαρακτηριστικά που διακρίνουν τους καλούς Τέκτονες και όταν αυτά τα αισθήματα έχουν ήδη ελεγχθεί από τους υποψηφίους στις πρώτες μυήσεις, έχουν προετοιμαστεί εκ των προτέρων για την απόκτηση των προσόντων που απαιτούνται για την φιλοσοφική τάξη.

A treatise on chemistry By Christophe Glaser 1663

treatise on chemistry  By Christophe Glaser 1663 

The purification of gold by antimony.

The best purification of gold is that which is done by antimony; for lead only carries imperfect metals, and weary of silver with gold: cement often leaves impure gold, and eats a portion of it: the inquart is not always a definite proof of purity of gold; for sometimes it happens that gold having been mixed with some sulphurous matters, their odor envelops some portion of silver, which was added to the gold to inquire it: which portion falls into precipitates with the gold by the departure, and gives surprising and short joys, half wise, to which it happens believing to have found the means to increase the gold, but when one examines the whole with funds, they are found far from their expectations. We can be sure that the gold that has passed through the antimony, is perfectly purged & delivered from any mixture, because only gold can resist this devouring Wolf. 
Take, therefore, an ounce of gold, such as the goldsmiths use, put it in a crucible between the coals, in a furnace, and when it is very red, it is necessary to gradually put four ounces of good antimony powder, which will melt immediately, and at the same time devour the gold, which otherwise is of a very difficult fusion, because of its very perfect composition: when all is melted like water, and the material is sparking, it is a mark of the action that antimony has made to destroy the impurities of gold, which is why it must be left a little longer on the fire, then throw it promptly into a horn of iron, which has been previously heated and greased with a little oil, and when the material is poured into it, it is necessary at the same time to strike with the tweezers on the cornet to bring the regulate down to the bottom: & after the material is a little cooled, it is necessary to separate the slag, and then weigh it, put it to melt in a rather large crucible, and gradually add double its weight of saltpetre, then cover the crucible, so that the coal can not enter, & giving a fire alive, saltpeter consumes all that may have remained of the antimony with the gold, and the gold is put in the bottom in very beautiful and pure base, and one can throw it all hot in a corner, or let it cool in the crucible, which must be broken afterwards to separate the pellet from the salts. 
This method of purifying the golden rule is not common and ordinary, but it is preferable because it is done more quickly, but it is practiced only in small quantities; the common way is done by putting a flat crucible on the melting fire, and in the crucible the golden regulator, and blowing continuously, until the antimonial part is exhaled, it takes not only time, but to be exposed to the harmful exhalations of antimony, which it is always good to avoid.

In 1663, Christophe Glaser (1628-1678) published a treatise on chemistry that will have about forty editions. It indicates the preparation of salts known as "Glaser salts", there is salt eye (potassium nitrate) and polychreste salt (potassium sulfate), it describes the operations with care and takes care of little theory, finally it mentions only one chemist Jean-Baptiste Van Helmont (1580-1644), the discoverer of the existence of gases. He distinguishes the active principles: mercury, sulfur, salt and passive principles: phlegm and earth. Antoine Vallot (1594? -1671), first doctor of King Louis XIV, made him the post of demonstrator in the Garden of the King (Jardin des Plantes) after the departure of Nicaise Le Febvre (1610? -1669). Nicolas Lemery (1645-1715) was one of his students. He must flee France in 1672, following the poison case.

The third part of the Mineral Work By Jean Rudolphe Glauber 1659

The third part of the Mineral Work By Jean Rudolphe Glauber 1659

On the Book of Paracelsus, called the Philosopher's Heaven, or the Book of Vexations, in which the transmutations of Metals are taught, with an appendix relating to melting, separation, and other necessary operations.
'The Holy Spirit is the true Doctor who has been accustomed to reveal the secrets to us if we pray to him properly. 
Where did Paracelsus draw his great insights from Philosophy, Alchemy, and Medicine? 
No doubt it was the Father of lights and truths, which every day makes us see his full power by such generosity.
They are therefore deprived of reason, who say that nothing can be added to the perfection which we have, as if God had his hands closed to favor the feeling of these stunned men.
If we knew God well, nature would not be unknown to us. But because man by natural infirmity loves darkness, it is not surprising that he only gropes, and strays from the right path. There are many secrets that will one day be revealed.
And we must not believe that God is suffering any longer the abomination that is in the world. 
The day is past, and the night approaches, which must begin the punishment of the wicked. 
Happy are those who make friends of unjust wealth, and who follow the will of God by discovering the wonders of nature to his glory. 
Woe to those who make their God of riches, and who strive to suppress the glory of God and the wonders of nature, here I finish this Appendix of the Mineral Work that I have brought to light for the good of the neighbor and for the glory of God.'

The description of new philosophical furnaces - Jean Rudolphe Glauber 1651

The description of new philosophical furnaces - Jean Rudolphe Glauber 1651

This is what the Ancients agree with the Moderns, and for centuries from the great Hermes to our, we will find that the most learned men have made a particular profession of this Art. Solomon had never had so perfect a knowledge of all the plants, from hyssop to cedar, if he had not used the lights which one draws from these operations. To conceive of the esteem one must make if one only has to read what Geber, Rassis and Roger Bacon wrote about it. Arnauld de Villeneuve, Isaac Hollandais, the incomparable Raymond Lulle, the abbot Tritheme, Basil Valentine, Paracelsus, Dornaes, Alexander Suctenius, Severinus Danus, Sendivegius named the Cosmopolitan, Robert Flut, Qurectanus or the Violet, Helmont, and especially it is not necessary that know the esteem in fact Mr Valot, very worthy first Doctor of the King, & the care which he takes for some years of the laboratory which he entrusted in the hands of the Febvre Apothecary of the King, who on the first day he goes back to the Chemistry Court, which he has already taught several times, with the universal applause of all those who have listened to his precepts, and seen his demonstrations, and I want the reader to know the obligation he has as well as me, for having given me lights for the senses, some German Dictionaries & Phrases, being as well versed in this Language.