Sunday: It is all about our unique individuality and what we do with it.
“All that survives of these solar hymns are an altered version of Proclus’ Hymn to the Sun, and the 9th hymn in the Nomoi … the Sun is ruler of the other planets, and with them governs all terrestrial things. …The theory of prayer with which Pletho introduces his hymn is remarkably like the theory of magic behind Ficino’s astrological music; Pletho addresses the gods thus:
‘May we carry out these rites in your honor in the most fitting manner, knowing that you have no need of anything whatever from us. But we are molding and stamping our own imagination and that part of us which is more akin to the divine, allowing it both to enjoy the godly and the beautiful and making our imagination tractable and obedient to that which is divine in us.’
Pletho’s hymns and rites, like Ficino’s do not aim at any objective effect on the deity addressed, but only at a subjective transformation of the worshiper, particularly his imagination.” -(p.61)
Spiritual and Demonic Magic from Ficino to Campanella by D.P. Walkervia Mark Stavish of the Institute for Hermetic Studies
Plants are people that participate in our world in wondrous, mutualistic ways. Plants serve as the foundation of our human lives, in so many ways, grown by Solar rays of a very high Source. Plants bridge us and the Sun. How can we serve plants? A mystical practice, known as a type of theurgy, is one way to empower plants to give greater gifts as they go forth in life, using the power of human mind to imagine and visualize colors and light.
Definitions of theurgy tend to be vaguely described, as hints of it seep out from the mysticism of various traditions. Definitions often include compelling or querying supernatural beings and deities. I offer this definition based on my learnings and experiences on alchemy:
Theurgy is the mental animating of matter, so to bring out more of matter’s inherent qualities and potential capacities, without imposing a state or process on the matter that is not in harmony with its nature and natural laws of cause and effect .
There could be a lot to unpack here, but I will leave that to your own inner and outer inquiries. I raise this work to share an ecological application of it. Based in imagination, it is the use of visualization and color to enliven objects with their vital three-part nature.Continue reading →
Breathing is an essential element of health. The following breathing practices improve body, emotion, and mind. Practice a little bit regularly, and stay grounded.
Breathe easy, be content.
Inhale slowly and fully by letting your chest rise, then your solar plexus, then expand your belly (pull your diaphragm down) to pull air deep into your lungs. Air will fill all the way down to around your naval all the way up to your throat.
Exhale slowly and completely by relaxing. Let your diaphragm relax and rise naturally, your lungs will release air. To remove stagnant air and exhale completely, compress your abdomen gently at the natural end of your exhale so that you force out any remaining air you have (be gentle so to not disturb your insides, you are doing this to help refresh them not stress them).
Some call this square breathing, 4×4 breaths, four-way breathing, grounding breaths.
Begin by exhaling completely.
Inhale as described in the full breathing comment. As you do count to 4. This count should be comfortable for you, it is not 4 seconds, it is just breaking up the natural time it takes for you to inhale fully into 4 sections. 1, 2, 3, 4 at your pace. Whatever the pace is, keep this same pace throughout this exercise.
Hold your breath in for the same pace count 1, 2, 3, 4.
Exhale as described in the full breathing comment. 1, 2, 3, 4.
Hold your exhale out for the same pace count 1, 2, 3, 4.
Repeat this process 4 complete times with your awareness following the breath and the count. This will help you with energy.
Basic Qi’gong Form for Four-Fold Breathing
Mindful body movements can be added to this ‘4 square breathing’ as in Daoist qi’gong exercise.
Begin in basic qi’gong posture. You can learn simple and comfortable qi’gong forms in videos or local instruction. Legs shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, feet straight forward or slightly angled. Relax and practice good posture, as if a golden string runs from your tailbone up through the back of your head and out the top of your head to support you.
Inhale as you bring your arms from resting position up to shoulder-height with relaxed full arm length outward. As you raise your arms, also raise your body by straightening your legs, but keep your knees at least slightly bent at all times.
Hold breath in as you gently drag your hands close to your chest (near where your chest and shoulders meet), letting your arms calmly fold at elbows to do so. Try to keep your hands at a constant elevation – comfortable shoulder height – as you draw them near.
Exhale as you smoothly lower your hands from near your chest to near your hips, keeping hands near your body (~1″ in front of you). Let your body ease into gravity, bending your knees as you sink into a slight squat.
Hold breath out as you move your hands forward, near hip-height, until your arms are in a relaxed full extension.
As you begin the next cycle with an inhale, raise your arms in front of you to shoulder-height as in the beginning. Continue with four fold breath and hand motion, slightly straightening upward with inhales and squatting downward with exhales.
Complete the practice with an exhale that presses your attention and qi into the ‘lower cauldron‘, storing energy in one’s center of gravity, at the location three-finger-widths below one’s belly button and within mid-way between front and back. Relax as you release that exhale and continue relaxed, down-to-Earth breathing. Feel gravity and peace, and give thanks to all practitioners of all time in service to all.Continue reading →
A beautiful bit of wisdom along with a very meaningful tapestry.
The prayer on the bottom of the tapestry is the most essential Jewish prayer, the Shema:
Shema Yisrael, Adonai Elohanu, Adonai Echad
It has great significance in many layers and is especially sacred written in the Hebrew alephbet. The prayer can translate directly to:
Hear Israel, "G-d" is "our Lord", "G-d" is the one
The Hebrew word for “G-d” as used in the Shema has deep meaning and is associated with the allso profound Tree of Life, as shown in the above tapestry.
One mystical interpretation is:
Hear, inner spiritual 'Home': The ALL is (All) our world, The ALL is One.
A brief but potent reminder about a metaphysics of panentheistic panpsychism – two words with much to unpack, put less academically as: One Love אהבה אחת
שלום שלום שלום
Being in the moment involves embracing change and the churning of reality. Patience, anonymous charity, ever evolving in LVX (lux, light) Life Death and Flux. A sort of surrender to All(ah) unfolding over time, moment by moment. After all, HaShem’s four letters correspond to the Tree of Life and the four quarters of breath, the sacred bolt; breathe deep with the One and All and Movement.
Emanation, creation, formation, action.
- Poetry and singing prayer and blessing for food and all other things to be thankful for. May it be healthy, come from good health, and go forward in good health. May it be for the best, may it be of minimal suffering.
- Ancient and prevalent tradition of theurgy, as in Greek cults bringing statues to life with spirits of the gods, or Jewish Kabbalists trying to repair the world by awareness of the oneness of the spheres of the Tree of Life. Visualizing the color of an object as blue red and white is one simple theurgic exercise, serving as a means of conveying blessing to minerals, plants, animals, and humans (practice patiently in that order). Imagine practices along those lines and Greek mystics animating statues, or mystic Christians seeking connection with their higher self in All.
- Connection to place, relationship with being. Even the ________ (e.g. toaster oven), what is one’s relationship with it? What is its Source? What are its connections? In oneness one recognizes the valuable ripple effects of mutual benefit.
- Focused gratitude and well-wishing for the well-being of an entity. As in the exercise of imagining the highest and best potential for ___________ (e.g. land as in ecological restoration), casting blessings from an animistic awareness can help bring about a better world.
- Lessons from ecosystem restoration: “Connection to place”, “Love”
In twilight at times it’s hard to see what’s there. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you might not notice there’s anything to be seen. Things can be recognized, discovered like an epiphany, yet hard to point out to another. You can try to show someone the thing in the twilight, but unless they make their own effort to look and pierce the veil of uncertainty, they may miss it completely as it blends into the chaos. This is even more true in the dark of night. Yet what’s in the day is plain to sight.
So goes the occult. The word that means unseen, concealed. Not secret teachings, but teachings about the secret. Secret in being unseen, hidden. Revelation, mystical experience to reveal that which cannot be taught or pointed out. Concealed not by any one’s secrecy but by the inherent secrecy of The One.
And it need not be supernatural: from Nature’s complexities emerge profound connections, often occult (unseen) but available in sparks to the bits of Mind distributed in life systems. While science dis-covers much, much more is left out of touch, parsed only in glimpses (if at all) most commonly via intuition of the subconscious Mind.
Explained via the Jewish tradition:
Kabbalah is not a secret teaching. It is the teaching of a secret.
“The secret teaching” means that we are trying to hide something from you.
“The teaching of the secret” means that we are trying to teach something to you, to open up and reveal something hidden.
Now, you might point out, if the secret is taught, it is no longer a secret. A revealed secret, it would seem, is an oxymoron.
That would be so if we were discussing an artificial secret, one that is secret only because it is shrouded in secrecy, because others don’t want you to find out. True secrets, even once taught, explained, illustrated, analyzed and integrated into your consciousness, remain just as mysterious as before. No—vastly more mysterious, for as the island of knowledge expands, so too its beach upon the infinite sea of the unknowable.
Life teems with such mysteries: What is love? What is mind? What is life? What is existence? How do they come to be? From where do they emerge? What is your soul, the person within your body? You experience all these at every moment. They are you. And yet, the more you gaze upon the depths of their mysteries, the deeper their waters become.
The deepest of all secrets are those best known to all, that which we learn as small children, take for granted the rest of our lives, live with daily—and yet never manage to unravel or grasp with our cognitive mind.
There is. Things are. I exist. I am alive. Life is not death. Darkness is not light. There is that which is bigger than me.
Kabbalah plunges into these secrets and pulls their depths into the open. It provides metaphor, parable, understanding. It shines light and opens our eyes. It inspires and guides us to use this wisdom for healing and growth in everyday life. That is why the experience of learning Kabbalah is one of “Yes! I knew that truth all along! My heart knew, but my mouth was unable to speak it!” The truths of the Kabbalah belong to every sentient being.
Yet, most of all, Kabbalah provides a sense of the beyond; the knowledge of that which cannot be known, the wisdom of mystery, the understanding that we do not understand. Kabbalah is the knowledge of wonder.
Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
Artwork – Ryan J Flynn
I give thanks to the Source. And I say shalom שלום.
Introduction to Qabbalah and Hebrew Alefbet
Qabbalah קבלה means ‘receiving’ in Hebrew. It is a mystical discipline of Jewish and alchemical traditions. At its heart is the role of language in Jewish thought. That is a subject in and of itself – one brief angle:
In Hebrew, there’s no word for objects, only names. “Things” exist essentially as name, as language in thought and breath create the potential and material universe.
The Hebrew alefbet is of great significance. It is the fruit and pathways of the Tree of Life. Each letter having many associates such that, as a whole, the letters of the Hebrew alefbet contain, correspond with, and create All of creation. An elementary particle if you will, near the Source of All.
In this post and possibly others I will share some simple glimpses of the qabbalah of simple words, songs, prayers. Through that receiving will be more information on Qabbalah, or you can read about it at https://www.crystalinks.com/kabala.html or ask about other approaches.
שלום: Peace; hello; goodbye; a name of the One, synonymous with ‘the Lord’ or Allah الله. Shalom is a common word used by Hebrew speakers, and its equivalents in other languages are common as well. Arabic says salam سلام, Latin pax, English peace. Peace.
Peace has many forms. I will not speak on that in this post. I encourage you to seek and dis-cover peace in your life. “May peace be upon you” as these ancient languages say.
ש ל ו ם – letters read from right to left: shin, lamed, vav, mem – Sh L U M – four letters form shalom, representing four sounds or ways of breath. Or four classical elements, or . . .
Here is a table of each letter and some of its correspondences, after which is a stream of meaning of the letters together to spell peace ש ל ו םContinue reading →
This video (@12:30) demonstrates how a minimal effort movement is used in scything. This movement is one I learned as fundamental to qi’gong and kung fu: a simple twisting at the hip with arms swinging around naturally, and moving so that hands naturally hit the dantian. Similar to this video: