Tag Archives: spirituality

Shoring up an inner search

The following is a response to a person who was reaching out for help in reconciling different concepts of divinity. They were facing the dissonance between different spiritual traditions being both helpful and at times harmful (on individual and societal levels). They also raised the fact that some spiritual traditions reject other traditions, and yet this person had found value in both.

Sounds like a search

I recall that a sure foundation for spirituality is shamanism, that is personal connection with the wise and sacred in all by nature and ancestry.
The value of alchemy with our dark spots and neglected edges also comes to mind. Carl Jung’s guidance about one’s shadow self is a more modern/mainstream thread to follow on this. I think of it simply as shining the light of one’s humble, honest, critical awareness on that which one hates or fears. Calcinate by querying like a child, asking ‘why?’ then ‘why?’ and ‘why?’ again, with the patience of lifetimes. Any time is the right time to start. I find that the better I understand what/why I fear or hate, the less my mind is consumed by it.

May peace be upon you!

Burying the dead in the beginning

Adult raven photograph by Ron Hanna via https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/common-raven#photo3

Studying Jewish folklore brings one around many old testament stories, and with that, the source of many cultural idioms and expressions: “the writing on the wall”, the value of atonement, among much else.

Something new to me is a source of wisdom on burying one’s dead. I did not realize advice about it for Jews goes back to beresheit:

After Hevel [aka Abel] was slain, he was lying in a field, his blood spattered over sticks and stones. The dog who had been guarding Hevel’s flock now also guarded Hevel’s corpse from the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky.

Adam and his mate came and sat by the corpse, weeping and mourning for him, but they did not know what to do with Hevel’s body.

A raven whose companion had just died said: I will teach Adam what to do. The raven took his dead companion, dug up the earth before the eyes of Adam and his mate, and buried him in it.

Adam said: We will do as the raven. At once he took Hevel’s corpse and buried it in the ground.

Commentary on the fourth reading of the first torah cycle, via https://headcoverings-by-devorah.com/MidrashBereishit3.html, with image via https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/common-raven#photo3

Philo on The Name: Panpsychism and Panentheism

Philo was a Jewish philosopher living in Hellenistic Alexandria, Egypt, of the Roman Empire around 20 BCE to 50 CE. He thought of “Logos” [1] along the lines of Plato’s “theory of Ideas” or “theory of Forms” [2]. These are related to panpsychism [3] and the role of archetypes in that consciousness context. For more on that subject, see the post All is Mind.

Philo identified the metaphysical “Logos” with HaShem [4] (an ineffable name of G-d, Hebrew for “the Name”, Tree of Life). Following these connections is one clue connecting the Kabbalistic Tree of Life with a metaphysics of panpsychism and mystical Jewish panentheism [5].

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo#Logos
2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_forms
3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panpsychism
4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo#Knowledge_of_Greek_and_Hebrew
5 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panentheism

Image via https://update.gci.org/2017/10/primer-on-panentheism/

Thanks to the Source. A little more info about Philo:

“Philo visited the Second Temple in Jerusalem at least once in his lifetime.[10] Philo would have been a contemporary of Jesus and his Apostles. Philo along with his brothers received a thorough education. They were educated in the Hellenistic culture of Alexandria and Roman culture, to a degree in Ancient Egyptian culture and particularly in the traditions of Judaism, in the study of Jewish traditional literature and in Greek philosophy.”

via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo#Life

Point Pros of Animism

  • 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”

The Grasshopper, The Ant…The Squirrel

So much going on in the world, and so much work to do. Thinking on Aesop’s fable of the grasshopper and the ants, I wonder where squirrels fall on that spectrum, and I wonder about the fact that ants are quite communal compared to the fable’s hedonistic grasshopper.

Squirrels, arch nemesis and greatest ally in the work toward satisfying basic needs in mutual benefit. Just kidding, we are probably our own worst enemy 🙂

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Twilight Shine Light: On The Occult

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:

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