December 14, 2017
There are all kinds of prayer. Prayers can be said through music, whether sung or expressed emotionally through an instrumental. You can pray silently, just a little private conversation with you and God. Prayer can be shouted out from the mountaintops. Sometimes, we don't even have the words and the Holy Spirit prays through us. There are even times when our prayer is a quick thought directed up to God, a silent plea in a time of impending disaster. A blog post could be dedicated just to the different ways to pray, and would still not likely cover all of them.
This post focuses on ecstatic prayer, which can take almost any form, including most of those listed above. Ecstatic prayer is not the only way to pray, but it is something which everyone should seek out. I don't want you to think that you have failed in any way if it takes you decades to get it, and you'll lose it quickly if you become boastful if it hits you hard and fast the first few times you try it. It will happen when it's meant to happen for you, when things are right in your life, and when you have the proper outlook, charity, and humility. That said, it is something which should always be sought.
A simple definition of ecstatic prayer is that prayer which one feels the Presence of God. It's more of a two way conversation than a plea directed out to the air. That's not saying you'll necessarily hear a booming voice, or even a still small voice like Elijah. (1) What you can expect is an experience which is unique to you, but which you will know that the Divine was listening to you.
While this post focuses on ecstatic prayer in a Christian context, it is absolutely not unique to Christianity. Hasidic Judaism calls it "Davening" (pronounced "dah-veh-ning" and sometimes spelled with two "v's.") (2) Sufi's refer to it as "audition" or "sama." (3) Hinduism has many practices which seek what they would call union with the Divine Ground, such as mantra chanting or the Transcendental Meditation methods taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. (4) It is pervasive through most religions, and it is abundantly present in Christianity.
Many people who experience this type of prayer will hear or feel answers come to them, or they'll get their answers through dreams they have when they next sleep. However, not everyone achieves that level of connection when praying, and even those who do have that kind of connection don't usually have it every single time. Sometimes a person is given only one such perfect moment of prayer in a lifetime. The goal is communion with God, which sometimes involves a two way conversation, and sometimes it's just your prayers and cries with the knowledge and feeling of God's Holy Presence.
While in some religions drugs, plants, extreme fasting, flagellation, self torture, and other methods are used to achieve this state, it is not my belief that such extreme measures are necessary. We will not be exploring drugs or torture in this post, and will instead focus on a more meditative method.
Why should I seek ecstatic prayer and union with God?
Most of you probably think the answer to this question is obvious, and you can skip to the next section if you'd like. However, some of you might say, "Hey, God will hear my prayers whether they're ecstatic or not, so why would I bother?" This small section is for the latter group of people.
Put simply, the best reason to seek ecstatic prayer experiences is because it is one of the best ways to strengthen your walk with God. The ecstatic experience is to draw closer to the Presence of God, and to develop a more personal relationship with Him. Your walk becomes less one about vague faith, and more about knowing; experiencing God and knowing for yourself that He really is there with you.
Lest you make the mistakes of Simon Magus, and think the gifts of God are just a power to be exploited, or even purchased, you should not go into it seeking the Gifts of the Holy Spirit for show and ego. (5) That said, it is good to seek these gifts for yourself because God wants to give them to us freely to help us, and others around us, in our walk with Him. (6) It is through ecstatic prayer that these Gifts of the Holy Spirit are most easily manifested within you.
Ecstatic prayer is the heart of Jewish or Christian mysticism, or indeed the mysticism of any religion. All of the mystics have had ecstatic prayer experiences of some kind or another. If you want to plumb the depths of God and the universe, of creation and angels, of the fabric of everything; there is perhaps no better way to begin to delve into these mysteries than through ecstatic prayer.
How to do it
While the goal is to be able to achieve some level of ecstatic prayer, some level of connection to God, in just about any situation, to have the purest and deepest experience, a certain level of preparation is necessary. It is helpful to have the right frame of mind and setting, especially the first several times you attempt ecstatic prayer. Keep in mind, you don't have to do any of these things to have an ecstatic prayer experience, but these steps certainly help.
You should be freshly showered, hair dried and combed, but not put up tightly. Being clean is more relaxing. I know I feel in better spirits after a good shower.
Next, prepare your space. A quiet church is often the best place for this experience, but anywhere you can be free from distractions will work. Have any icons, crosses, statues, or whatever helps you focus on God (simpler is better) in front of you.
Drink water, and make sure you urinate before you start. A clean inside will help you be in a purer state, more ready to meet the Divine. You also do not want to be dehydrated, as your thirst would be a distraction. Your only thirst should be for the Holy Spirit and the Water of Life.
Similarly, you should not go into your prayer meditation when you are hungry, but neither should you go into it bloated with food. Eat sensibly, a small amount, so that you will not suffer from hunger pangs; unless, you've trained yourself to better reach an ecstatic state with minor fasting (skipping a single meal.) Some people prefer more intense fasting, as mentioned earlier, but such is not the focus of this post. I will only say that you should seek competent medical advice before undergoing any kind of fast, and I don't believe fasting is the only way to reach the ecstatic state.
If you have a tallit cloth, a Jewish prayer shawl, it is useful to pull it up over your head, so that your gaze is focused on one object. Jewish people often refer to this as going into one's, "prayer closet." Many people believe it is what Yeshua meant when he said that we should go into our closet and pray privately. (7) Of course, you can pray with your eyes closed if it is easier for you, but I still like to be wrapped in the tallit when I pray; it's a connection to Yeshua, the Apostles, and all of the Prophets, who all wore the tallit.
Praying alone or with a small group
Decide what language or languages in which you'll be praying. Some people find that praying in your native language is perfect, as you understand what you are saying. Understanding the depths of what you're saying is important to some people. However, sometimes people find that praying in another language, particularly Hebrew or Latin, is most powerful to them. Of course, in some ecstatic prayer experiences, the Holy Spirit takes over and one prays in the tongues of angels; so, ultimately, the choice of what language in which you'll pray may not be entirely up to you! (6)
Music is sometimes helpful, particularly hymns of praise, and an ecstatic prayer journey should always involve scripture reading. If you can't sing, you can listen to recorded music. As for scriptures, you should read at least one of the Psalms, a passage from the Torah (first five books of the Old Testament, I particularly recommend the "shema" in Deuteronomy 6,) and something from the Gospels (The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6 is excellent, but any words of Yeshua are powerful.) You might also read from one of the Epistles of the Apostles, or from Revelations. The reason I include scripture readings along with singing, is because you might even wish to combine the two and sing scripture! Many of our scriptures, especially the Psalms of course, were likely sung long before they were ever written down, and there is a special power to singing scripture. Whatever your music choices, just make sure it won't distract you from your focus on God.
You may choose to take a cue from the Dervishes (Sufi) and dance while you pray, but you might be surprised to know that prayerful dancing has long been a part of Jewish religious practice as well! We're not talking about doing the Hustle or the Cabbage Patch (I know, I need more modern references) but just letting your body go and letting the spirit guide your dance. Of course, make sure you are in a safe place to dance ecstatically without hurting yourself or someone else. In lieu of dancing, you can try rocking in place, or gently rotating your hips and torso where you sit or stand.
In the same vein as singing and dancing is, of course, musical instruments. (8) Some people find instruments distracting to the experience, while others find they help keep the mind from wandering and help set the mood. Drums, a kinnor like King David played or other kind of harp or lyre, organ, piano, acoustic guitar, or whatever instrument you find soothing and spiritual. Again, sometimes silence is best, but find what will work best for you in that moment.
Regardless of all the peripherals discussed above, none of it will matter unless your prayer is done right. You must remain focused on your prayer. Your prayer should include genuine praise and thanks to God for all that is good, as well as your intercessions for others. Of course, intercessions for yourself can also be a part of an ecstatic prayer experience. Remember to ask for Wisdom, as it's God's favorite request. (9,10) Above all, ask for the Holy Spirit to come and fill you. It may seem obvious, but it's easy to overlook simply asking God to send His Holy Spirit to fill you at that moment.
Prayer in Church during services
You might be tempted to think that a church service is the worst place to have an ecstatic experience with God, but it is actually one of the best places and times to have such an experience. The sheer energy of everyone singing and praising God, and enjoying the readings from and expounding upon scripture, and the power of holy communion all add to your experience.
The main thing you need to watch out for is to not be distracted by other people. Don't chit chat or gossip. Don't worry about what anyone else is wearing, or how they approach the communion line. Other people are not your enemy, indeed it is having others praying and praising with you which particularly heightens a church experience; however, focusing on them instead of on yourself and God will take you away from your experience.
Praying by yourself, or with a small group, before service is particularly helpful. Free and open, not scripted, prayer can be a big part of that preparation, but most people find that reciting the prayer Yeshua taught us, lovingly called the "Our Father" or "Pater Noster," (11) or another scripted prayer, such as the Rosary, (12) is particularly a good way to begin the experience.
Find something on which to focus. While Jews may focus on the Torah scroll (2) Christians whose churches don't have Torah scrolls, some Christian churches do, may focus on a cross or crucifix in their sanctuary. For Catholics, it is especially appropriate to focus on the Tabernacle which houses the Holy Eucharist; as we believe that it contains the real Presence of our Lord. The idea is, just as when praying alone or in a small group, to find one object on which to focus your attention during the service, and one which will make you think of God. Of course, don't become so focused on the object that it replaces your focus on God, or your ability to know what's going on during the service.
A single ecstatic prayer experience is a treasure and gift from God, and developing an ecstatic prayer life is nourishment for the soul, direct from the Holy Spirit of God. As you work towards developing these ecstatic experiences, you will find that you can feel that connection to God in more and more situations. Eventually, the goal is to feel the Presence of God always, in all situations.
This post did not cover the phenomenon called, "The Dark Night of the Soul." Such a state is where you cannot feel the Presence of God no matter what you do, and your faith alone must carry one through such times. I do not claim to know why they happen, sometimes to some of the seemingly holiest people. I only know that if you persevere, God will show Himself to you again.
The final words I want to leave you with are the most important: In order to have the purest ecstatic prayer experience and truly know the Presence of God, you have to strive to walk rightly. God abhors sin. You do not have to be perfect, for you are perfected through the Blood of Christ. (13) However, the closer you follow the teachings of Yeshua, His beloved Son and our Messiah (Jesus Christ,) the closer you will be able to draw to the Father, and the Holy Trinity. Be charitable, kind, forgiving, loving, prayerful, thoughtful, and seek God in all things. Eventually, you'll even feel the Presence when you're washing the dishes or cooking, and you'll be amazed at when your gifts are used.
Baruch Haba B'shem Adonai!
References and further reading
1 1 Kings 19:11-13
4 https://tmhome.com/books-videos/maharishi-mahesh-yogi-tm/ (for further reading about Transcendental Meditation. I did not quote from this page.)
5 Acts 8:9-24
6 Isaiah 11:2, 1 Corinthians 7-11 Romans 8:26
7 Matthew 6:5-6
8 Psalm 150 as one of many examples
9 1 Kings 3:3-14
10 James 1:5,6
11 Matthew 6:9-13
12 http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/rosaries/how-to-pray-the-rosary.cfm (for reference on the Rosary. Page not quoted.)
13 Hebrews 9:11-13
November 9, 2017
September 22, 2017
I'll start with the example of Annie, a cat who belonged to a wonderful neighbor of ours. Annie was an old cat, and she absolutely adored her human. She had been abused by her previous humans, and didn't trust men much, but she had an immense amount of love to share.
Tragedy struck when Annie's human mommy died. It was just the two of them, mommy and kitty, in the apartment, and Annie was alone. Fortunately, her human mommy's human daughter took her in and took incredibly good care of her.
Annie was well fed, well groomed, and doted on by the women where she went to live, but none of that mattered to her; she wanted her human mommy back. She would run across town, despite her old, arthritic bones, just to sit on our doorstep and wait for her human to get home. She never understood why her mommy didn't come back. Annie truly did love her human, and I'm sure the two of them are happy together in the afterlife.
Let's deal with an issue which makes people say, "no, animals don't love at all;" the issue of animals eating their young. Some species of animal do actually sometimes eat their young, and some more often than others. However, to dismiss all animals as incapable of loving because of this heinous action would be to ignore the fact that many human women, sadly, murder their own babies. I'm not referring to abortion, that's a topic about which you're unlikely to see me blog, but babies after their born being thrown in trash cans, drowned it toilets, children driven off of cliffs by their mothers, and many more inexplicable, heinous actions. It doesn't mean human women are incapable of love, not even those who are led to commit such a horrendous deed. This post isn't about the psychology of infanticide by mother, so that's all on that depressing topic.
Let's take a look at happier examples of humans and animals living together, particularly cats and dogs. Our animals are genuinely excited to see us, and it's definitely not just about food and treats. They don't necessarily get food or treats every time they see us, and I know my own animals will even ignore treats given them just to come sit on my lap and get attention.
Cats and dogs are social animals who form close groups. They want to snuggle with their human pack/pride members when we sleep. I know my cat wants to snuggle even when it's blazing hot, even though he eventually gives up and lays elsewhere on my bed. Yes, to some extent it's about safety in numbers, but it's also very clearly about affection for a close member of his family; his caregiver. He wants to spend every waking and sleeping moment he can with me. I know it's that way with many pet owners, and it's not just limited to those of the canine or feline varieties.
Cats and dogs also seem to instinctively know when we are well or not, and want to help us. Dogs are well known for wanting to, and often succeeding at, helping their humans. I've heard many stories of animals taking extra care to give extra attention and love for people who are sick.
I'll use another personal example of my former cat, Mihos; named for the Egyptian lion god. I used to have terrible seizures, which are thankfully much more under control now, which would leave me helpless in the "post-ictal" (after seizure) period. Mihos would sit right next to me until I could get up, and if my roommate was home Mihos would pound and scratch on the roommate's door until he came to help.
Another pack love example comes specifically with dogs and pregnant women. If a member of the household is pregnant, anyone who acts threatening towards her better pray hard and run harder if the family dog sees it going down! Yes, it is canine instinct to protect the next generation, cats have been known to stand up for small children too, chasing off dogs or even strangers who were threatening their littler humans. However, it goes beyond instinct, to "that's my family, and you don't hurt my family," which is a major expression of love.
One last pack example is the love between pets in the same household, and I'll use the example of my mom's old Siamese cat and our dog. The cat knew the dog since he was a puppy, and he was almost like her own baby. She was an old lady even when he was young, and had a couple generations of kittens she had birthed and mothered, even grandmothered.
After the puppy grew up, he lived primarily in an outside yard during nice weather, and other dogs would come up to his fence to try to pick fights. One day, a rottweiler came up and was getting really vicious in his barking and attempts to bite my dog through the fence. We ran out, as usual, to stop the incident, but before we could get there the Siamese cat flew out the door and jumped up into the rottweiler's face! A few whips with her claws, and that dog ran off crying. That cat was not going to stand for someone messing with her puppy!
Now, one main contention is that people say love is a choice and animals can't choose to love, but I think that misunderstands the nature of love. Perhaps one can say that animals don't love in the same way that humans love, but they absolutely do have an abundance of love. Perhaps there are even some species of animals which don't feel love in any way we'd recognize as such, or maybe even devoid of emotions altogether. I certainly think at least mammals, and many other animals experience love.
Perhaps humans just over-complicate love, just as we do with other things, and to animals it's simpler. Perhaps in some ways we even do understand love better than they do, but I think we could still learn a lot about love even through just understanding the simplicity of their love.
April 18, 2017
Angelic sins are not entirely like human sins, but there are similarities. Angels can be wrathful; extremely wrathful. Generally they won't act without God's blessing, and they almost never act against the Will of God (the consequences are dire, and we'll get to that later.) Angels can be impatient and unforgiving.(1) Angels can be lustful. (2) Angels can be jealous. The biggest temptation for an angel, however, is ego; just look at the fall of Lucifer.
However, there are sins which angels cannot commit. It is nearly impossible, perhaps entirely impossible, for a Holy Angel (not a fallen angel) to lie. In fact, even fallen angels often have to use trickery instead of outright lies, and cannot lie about their name. It is just entirely against angelic form and function to lie, as it is so opposed to God. Any angel can mislead someone, but outright lying is nearly impossible. Likewise, it is a dire thing for an angel to kill any living thing except by the direct Will and Power of God.
The Presence of God is the purifier of all. No soul or angel can be imperfect in the Direct Presence of God. The closer an angel gets to God, the more it is perfected. If an angel sins too gravely, coming into the Presence of God physically hurts, but it is a cathartic pain; they are released from the burden which "sin" puts on their being.
See, angels don't exactly "sin" for the most part. Their misdeeds are not weighed like human misdeeds, and instead have a more direct effect on them. They can be tempted, but falling into temptation causes them discomfort and weakness; nonetheless, it happens. Humans are actually affected similarly, but the consequences aren't as apparent in physical form and are measured differently; perhaps the topic of a different blog post. I digress. When an angel is drawn into the Presence of God, it is purified, strengthened, and renewed.
Certain angels are always in the Direct Presence of God. Among them are Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, but there are others as well. (3) While these angels do act on the Earth, they are never out of the Presence of the Divine. It would be complicated to explain the ethereal physics of the arrangement, but simply put; God is always close by when they are around. It is in their nature to always be with God, and to always act according to the Divine Will. Because of their link to the Divine Presence, they are also the most powerful among the angels.
If angels were perfect beings at all times, the two most famous angelic blunders of the Bible would be impossible to happen. The first, of course, being the fall of Lucifer, who took a full third of the host of Heaven with him. Get that, 1/3+1 angels rebelled against God! It was the ultimate act of defiance, and it merited them the ultimate punishment which can be meted out upon an angel; to be eternally removed from the Presence of God, and eternally tormented. The fires of Hell are almost a mercy compared to the pain of being removed from the Presence of God and being weighed down with ultimate sin! No wonder demons are so awful to humans, the ones God loves so much. The second is an obscure reference in the Book of Genesis, at the beginning of chapter 6, which is expounded upon by religious philosophers and in the Book of Enoch. This is the case where "Sons of God," in Hebrew, "Bene Elohim," literally, "sons of the gods/God" which most scholars and the Book of Enoch interpret as being angels, saw the "daughters of men" (human women) and made children with them. These angels, though their crime wasn't to the equivalent of the original fallen angels, were punished extremely harshly; however, the punishment described in the Book of Enoch isn't entirely accurate, because it wasn't intended to be.
These are the only stories we have in reliable texts. Some obscure texts, such as the Gospel of Judas, refer to other stories of angels which fell away from God, but their versions of the story are either not accurate enough or too obscure in details for most students to glean much from them. Therefore, I'm not going to reference any one of those texts specifically, rather, I'll tell you an old story which many obscure texts touch on just a little bit, a story about certain angels who came really close to falling.
When the Earth was created, and long before humans existed, certain angels were sent to the Earth to watch over and guide creation. Some of them even dwelt within nature, being like spirits of mountains, volcanoes, forests, deserts, waters, and clouds and storms. It was a great and honorable task, but because they were not Angels of the Presence, and because they were integrated into creation, it meant being almost the farthest an angel can be from the Direct Presence of God, at the outskirts of God's Being.
At first, it wasn't too bad; there were temptations, but most temptations were easily scoffed at and didn't lead to any misdeeds. However, when the result of the War in Heaven was that Lucifer and the other fallen angels were cast to Earth, the fallen ones began to tempt them gravely. They were tempted to all kinds of destruction, and belief in their own power as forces of Nature.
Temptation of these angels grew as intelligent beings were formed on the Earth, as God allowed primitive sentient beings of every creation on the Earth to think of these angels as Divine; it was a primitive understanding and relationship with God, a starting place. Unfortunately, the fallen ones were able to twist the minds of some of those angels into believing that they were actually gods; maybe, not equal to God, but certainly gods in their own rights! They were, after all, among the most powerful forces on the planets.
Some of these angels were also born into human bodies to human women by human fathers, according to the Will of God. They usually did not know of their angelic nature, though most suspected it, and they would live many lifetimes as human beings. They were given an innate wisdom which most people misunderstood, and were always fascinated with things of the spirit world and the Divine. Thus, they could learn, like humans but with an innate insight which surpasses human understanding, and they could teach and guide. Being angelic souls, they have an immense capacity for love, and a strong sense of justice. Most of them are warriors of one kind or another, as well as scholars and priests.
The angels who became full of their own ego and likened themselves as gods met various fates. Some were numbered among the fallen angels, and will suffer that most sad fate of Lucifer and his army. Others were recalled to Heaven, where they underwent a most painful and wonderful cleansing. Still others fell in between, they had sinned gravely enough to not be able to stand the Direct Presence of God, but not enough to warrant being cast aside; therefore, they were allowed to incarnate among the others who already were doing so. They renew their souls slowly through their unwavering service to God. A few, and only a few, were allowed to remain at their posts, and an Archangel was appointed to bring them nourishment from God to keep them strong.
Unfortunately for those who are born among humans, they feel most out of place. They somehow know they're not like other humans, but they don't know what they are. They make up all kinds of stories about their origins, and play on the mythologies of many cultures to explain themselves. They need nourishment from the Presence of God, but they can only find some through spiritual practice, shamanic practice, temples, and religious adherence.
The greatest bonanza for these incarnated angels was the Eucharist. See, Yeshua, the one called Christ, came as the Son of God to renew humanity and to save it from damnation. He brought love for all humans, and the angels who were born among humans did not get left out. When Yeshua instituted the Eucharist, it was primarily for humans, but it was also for these angels. The Eucharist, unlike any other ritual, contains the Divine Presence, and humans take God into themselves when it is consumed. Therefore, the more these angels consume the Eucharist, especially those who have damage from sin to undo, the more they feel the Presence of God; thus, the more they are healed, renewed, and strengthened.
The irony is that the most powerful form of the Eucharist can be found in the Catholic and Eastern churches, even though these angels would be branded heretics by either or both churches if they ever knew enough of themselves to reveal their nature. Of course, most or all other sources of the Eucharist also come from human churches which would misunderstand these beings, and either worship or revile them; either way leading to the doom of those people. In addition to consuming the Eucharist, preferably under both species (bread and wine) such beings also find healing and strength through Eucharistic adoration, reading the scriptures, and other religious activity. Of course, some inevitably are born in Hindu, Islamic, or other cultures and must find the Divine Presence through those paths, but they are more difficult paths for such beings as they do not contain the gift of the Eucharist.
If you think you are one of these angelic beings, incarnated, the best advice I can give you is: live life full of love, forgiveness, and compassion; serve God in every way you can and strive to never harm anyone; participate in the Eucharist as often as possible, but only if you have the right according to the rules of that church; and don't tell anyone what you are, or what you think you are, unless you are absolutely sure they will both understand and not feed your ego because of it. The greatest danger to an angelic being is ego. Human, angel, or otherwise, we are all servants of God, and it is through that service from which comes all power, strength, renewal, and hope.
How much of the above story is true, and how much is allegory or parable to teach a lesson? I would say that at least most of it is true, but it is up to those granted the Wisdom of God (4) to discern.
*** Note on Wisdom texts such as the Book of Enoch, referenced here. These books are not intended to be taken literally, just like much of the Bible itself. They contain secrets which those with Wisdom from God can glean about the nature of angels, humans, God, life, and Heaven. Many of them also contain magic, but the magic is a result of the practice, not really a goal of the practice. That is, you don't gain the magic by seeking the magic, you gain it by earnestly seeking the Wisdom and Knowledge hidden within.
(1) Exodus 23:20-21
(2) Genesis 6:1-2, Enoch 4:1-4
(3) Enoch 20
(4) James 1:5-8
*Vague references in this document allude to stories found in the Koran, the Gospel of Judas, and other texts, but not to an extent warranting citation.
August 24, 2016
I won't pretend everything is hunky-dory. We are financially struggling like never before, and things weren't exactly easy before. We often don't know how we will get rent paid or have food. Somehow we've made it work, but we're running out of options. All we can do is keep praying and keep trying. Maybe God will bring my book to the attention of enough people who will enjoy it and it will become a real source of income, or one of my upcoming books (one in final editing.) I don't know what He has in store for us, but we keep praying and trying to keep the faith.
October 22, 2014
This post is the first real mysteries post. Obviously mysteries can't be fully explored in a blog post, but herein is an intense introduction to the mysteries of magic and religion. Behold the doorway to understanding how Stonehenge and other great structures were built, how matter exists, and the nature of the most ancient magic in the Universe.
Who are the Ancients?
"Ancients" can refer to a lot of different groups of people. However, for the purpose of this article it does not refer to the antedeluvian civilization; rather, it refers to the people who were the post Ice Age remnants of that civilization, and to the otherworldly beings who helped guide the earliest forms of our post Ice Age world.
These people are those who taught secrets to our ancestors, and who built or guided the building of history's greatest structures and monuments.
While there are certainly much more ancient civilizations on the Earth, the ideas our civilization has about magic originates with the people referred to in this article.
You probably know that matter is made of molecules, which are comprised of atoms. You likely also know that atoms are constructed of protons and neutrons, inside of the nucleus, and electrons in orbit around the nucleus. However, modern physics is still working on deciphering from what these ions, charged particles, are made.
I am not going to get into an argument as to which modern theory is correct. Instead, I will give you the ancient understanding, from when science was more advanced.
The Universe is a living thing comprised of various thoughts. These thoughts comprise all of the forces of the Universe. However, they are without mass, and have no form of their own. They are empty space, which always grows.
At some point these forces were caused to organize together to create the illusion we call the physical Universe. This illusion is the means through which the soul of the Universe grows more complex; that central force which some think of as the heart of God.
The song which began everything
Vibration was the first physical force. Romantically, and somewhat literally, it was a song sung by God and the, yet noncorporeal, angels. The vibration of this song, its resonance, ordered the forces of the Universe to create the lesser forces.
The song caused those lesser forces to spiral and to spin, which created different harmonies. Each harmony created each of the subatomic particles we know of, along with those yet undiscovered.
Thus, matter and what we call energy are the result of those harmonies. It is not so much that they created matter and energy as much as it is that the harmonious resonances formed the intangible substance of the Universe into tangible forms.
Modern physics already talks about some of these forces, because they have other effects in the physical plane aside from forming energy and shaping it into matter. They may speak of the weak or strong forces, gravity and magnetism among them, but they are just beginning to unravel the beginning cause of these forces. It is amazing what humanity has already accomplished again.
Magnetic and gravitational magic
Modern science has already captured some of the magic of the ancients once again. The funny thing about magic is that once it is understood, it becomes science.
Our computers, magnetic trains, electricity generation and control, and much of our modern technology is magic to most people. They know that someone understands these things and makes them work, so they don't literally think of them as magic. However, the knowledge of how many of these things work is limited to a few, and to the rest they are but mystical devices.
Magnetism has been used since antiquity, and today we understand electromagnetism and use the forces to levitate and move massive trains at astounding speeds. Magnetism is the core of modern electricity generation, an ancient force, harnessed to power so much of our lives.
Modern science is beginning to see how massive objects warp space, using the spectrum of light to estimate the masses and determine composition of distant planets and stars, learning to compensate for the effects massive objects, such as the Earth, have on time, and otherwise harnessing and understanding the forces of nature in increasingly amazing ways.
The basis of ancient magic was in science, and sometimes technology.Thus, our modern science and technology begin to demystify some of that magic. Humanity is growing ever closer to reclaiming some of the greatest mysteries of the Universe.
The Ancients used gravitational and magnetic magic as balancing forces. They understood how the planets from Jupiter inward, including the moon, have an effect on the gravitational and magnetic waves of the Earth, as well as the Sun's similar effects and the much lesser effect of other stars and the planet Saturn. This knowledge is part the origin of why most ritual magic has certain ties to lunar, solar or astrological patterns; the other obvious reasons are agriculture, hunting, migration and the seasons of subtropical regions.
Remember that it was the resonance of the vibration of a song which caused the forces of the Universe to spin and spiral; creating the physical plane. Likewise, sound, and inaudible vibrations, can reorder the physical world by aligning the spins and spirals of the ions and the lesser forces of the Universe. Sound alone can accomplish amazing transformations of stone; causing it to weigh far less, liquify it, shatter it, or even cause it to dance and move on its own!
Modern science has touched on how to weaponize sound, but it has also begun to explore how it can be used in other ways. It is possible that they will once again discover these complex melodies.
Here's a hint for you: many of the ancient carved groupings of spirals found around the world are actually an early means of recording a melody. Unfortunately, I do not know exactly how to read and interpret them, so it is up to musicians and mathematicians to work together to decipher them.
When you sing hymns, drum, chant mantras, or sing out your emotions, you are likely engaging in sonic magic (coupled with thought magic, discussed below.) There is power in rhythm, melody and resonance. Some kinds of dance are an extension of that magic, using the body to help shape the resonance, but dance is a complex topic worthy of its own future post.
Photons, light particles, are the earliest expression of the physical Universe. They are pure energy, and, in a way, everything is constructed from them. That is, they have the potential to be transformed into the subatomic particles which comprise matter. Granted, they are not thought of as photons when they are in their earliest state inside of stars; wherein almost all physical matter is formed. They are only photons when they are emitted as light.
People have been producing light for thousands of years, and today we can produce it in myriad ways, and even harness it to create electricity and movement. We can even focus light with lenses, and intensify or "amplify" beams of light by lasing it through stimulated emissions of radiation.
The Ancients used light to do many of the same things, though actual laser technology was no longer possible by that time period. They did amplify and intensify beams of light in other ways, and Archimedes is among those who carried forth the legacy of their knowledge. Parabolics is the key to most of what they accomplished with light.
Remember that when the primary forces of the Universe were first mentioned, they were referred to as thoughts. They are an extension of the consciousness of the Universe. So are we.
Conscious living beings are physical embodiments of a part of the Universal consciousness; sparks of God. Physical existence is a means for these sparks to become established souls on the prime dimension of the Universe; oneness with God, yet still individuals.
Because we are sparks of God, we have thought. Though ou individual power of thought is miniscule compared to the Universal consciousness, collectively our ordered and focused thoughts can accomplish many great wonders. After all, thought is among the primary forces of the Universe. Love, of course, is the most powerful of these thoughts.
Unfortunately, only science fiction and paranormal sciences have seriously considered the links between thought and the physical plane; with the exception of the increasingly rate experiments into psychic phenomenon by mainstream science. It will probably be a while before science once again realizes the power of thought to be directed to change the makeup of the Universe. It is said that thinking without acting is futile, but directed thought power can create action.
Dimensions and layers
The Prime Dimension of the Universe is mostly immutable, and it is not subject to entropy. In order to expand, the Universe had to create different layers, often referred to as planes or dimensions, with different properties.
Each of these dimensions is unique, and the further out from the Prime Dimension, the more mutable the domension is. The outer most dimensions are subject to entropy, and among those dimensions is what we know of as the physical Universe.
The inner dimensions, those which are somewhat mutable but not subject to entropy, is where the entities such as gods, devas, angels, great spirits, and by other such names dwell. Between those dimensions is where the dark forces of entropy dwell, and where shaman are tested. Some say that there are nine such dimensions, others say thirteen, while some believe that there are twenty-seven or more.
The next dimensions out are where our spirits are, which are somewhat immortal; except that our thoughts and actions on these entropic planes can cause them to either grow and thrive, or to wither and suffer.
Shaman use thought magic, guided by higher spirits, to walk the different spiritual planes, including those of gods and angels. Witches, shaman and other magic users amplify their thought magic, often called "intention," through these same dimensions. Even prayer is an amplification of intention being carried to the Divine and the Angels through the dimensions; to where thought has origin. Many good spirits echo our intentions, and resonate with our spells and our prayers.
The Ancients used dimensions for all of these things and more. Some could even alter their form to use dimensions for swift transport in the physical dimensions.
Through a combination of magics, people such as Solomon could even command demons in the physical world. The Hindu vedas and Mahabharata have similar stories.
Ancient structures and monuments
Any of the above forms of ancient magic could be used by itself to create most of the greater Neolithic structures and monuments, if they happened to have the technology. However, technology had all but disappeared by this time, so they had to use a combination of forces to accomplish the same tasks. That said, some few structures did have the benefit of the advanced technology brought by otherworldly beings (not aliens, per se.)
Stonehenge, for example, was a collaborative effort between humans, ancient humans, and otherworldly beings, but without too many technological devices available. Humans provided raw labor, were recruited for chanting, drumming and singing, or added to the meditation (thought) circles which powered parts of the operation. The Ancients provided the technical knowledge, and the most intelligent among them devised the chants and melodies or worked on tying the different forces together. Astronomers from every group did the calculations to figure out gravitational and magnetic effects on the Earth, so that adjustments could be made by the geniuses.
Many ancient structures around the world show keyhole shaped impressions cut out of them, some few with copper remnants. While I don't know the exact mechanisms used, I do know that the copper was more than a staple to join blocks together. Adding it to the stone allowed for electromagnetic forces to also play a role in moving massive stones. Usually, there was a technological device involved, but sometimes it was simply an ancient people trying to imitate those who they thought of as gods. Either way, the copper did also work as a staple to hold stones together.
Through a combination of different technologies, even without technological devices, the Ancients were able to accomplish what seemed like magic.
Only the beginning
Great Neolithic structures are only the most tangible examples which remain of the magic of the ancients. Some of the feats they accomplished regularly were equally or even more amazing, but the only evidence left of it is the watered down stories which come to us through the filter of countless generations which lacked the ability to remember and grok the mysteries behind those stories.
Some mystery traditions have guarded many of these secrets through the ages, including that through which I learned these secrets. Some few shaman and other magic users still employ some of these secrets in our arts. This article exists to open that understanding to more people.
Though this is not a strictly Hindu post, I am not Hindu, I believe that it is appropriate to end this piece with:
Namaste. Om shanti shanti shanti.
September 21, 2014
The purpose of this post isn't to convince anyone that God exists. One either sees it and believes, or doesn't. In addition, I'm not speaking specifically about the Abrahamic God in this post, though my beliefs are heavily influenced by the Abrahamic faiths.
There are many levels of my belief, as I tend to be the kind of person who analyses everything, perhaps too much at times. Each and every one of my beliefs has to sit well both with my heart, and my reasoning. Thus, the specifics of my beliefs change over time; they evolve to better understanding. To me, that is the purpose of life.
There are times when my heart has been shattered, or my life thrown for a major loop, and part of me wanted to give up believing in God. I am going through a particularly rough patch at the moment; however, I find that as time goes on, my ability to doubt the existence of God dwindles. My intellectual side has considered the question too often, and even the pieces of my shattered heart still echo with love for God.
I'll admit to feeling a little abandoned right now, but overall I know that God is a force for love and life. It is not God who has caused my issues, but God tries to motivate other people to help those who are in need. Such is the design of our world; we grow most by helping one another succeed, so God leaves most of it to us.
Cogito ergo Deus est
Descartes famously said, "Cogito, ergo sum," which is, "I think therefore I am." I agree, and I also say, "Cogito ergo Deus est," which is, in my middling grasp of Latin, "I think, therefore God is."
Consciousness is a sign of God. It is almost believable that life, even complex life, could randomly evolve from the elements created in stars; given the currently understood size of the Universe, it's statistically probable that if it is at all possible to happen, it would happen somewhere. However, consciousness is amazing, especially among humans. We have the ability to think and reason, to drastically alter our environment, and even to leave it and go into space. Unlike machines, we can wonder about existence and purpose. Consciousness and sentience are signs of God, or at least some divine force, even if you think of it as a universal consciousness (see "Who is God" also on this blog.) Consciousness and sentience are not things which I believe can occur by random chance evolution; it goes far beyond survival strategy, and often works against us because of our ignorance.
Related to those concepts are good and evil. We don't see much sense of good and evil from animals, though pack, flock, pride, and other group animals they do have a concept of behavior which is or isn't socially acceptable. We find this distinction most pronounced in carnivorous and omnivorous mammals, elephants (herbivores) and primates (some of whom are herbivores.) Our dogs, and only some cats, will even express what looks to us like guilt when they piddle on the rug, or steal food when our backs are turned. It's a survival response, and evolved so that weaker group members could survive.
Humans have these same drives, but we also have the ability to think of right and wrong as individual and abstract concepts, beyond survival and what is socially acceptable. Even some atheists are vegetarians because they believe it is morally wrong, while some deeply spiritual people are omnivores and see eating both plants and animals as part of their place in the cycle of life. We have empathy, even genuine empathy, when others suffer, often even if they aren't a part of their own pack. Though, some animals, such as the African painted dog, will care for older and injured pack members, and form relationships with other animals. Sometimes even animal behavior can be seen as more than just for survival. They too mourn their dead, and perhaps some plants do as well. There's no evolutionary reasoning for morals, ethics, sentience and consciousness in general to randomly happen. It is evidence that there is something greater guiding evolution and life, even if you simply think of life as the Universe guiding its own evolution and trying to understand itself.
I believe in evolution
Evolution, as it has happened on Earth, is evidence of God.
Based on the evidence currently available to humanity, evolution seems like a probability. It does appear that life began as simple organisms, and gradually became more complex. My book, "An Angelic Journey Within," offers one theistic answer to why it happened in such a way.
It is almost feasible, as I said, that life could evolve randomly, through the trial and error of random mutations, and become more complex. However, since most mutations are maladaptive, causing sterility and/or death before reproduction, it simply doesn't make statistical sense that enough adaptive mutations would occur to explain the billions of varieties of life on the Earth (think plants and insects, mold, fungi and bacteria, etc) not to mention all those which came before and were wiped out without leaving genetic descendants; including some species of hominid (early human variations) and billions or trillions of species at the end of each zoological era, only a tiny fraction of which survived to leave descendants. (If future science proves that last fact to be untrue, we still have trillions upon trillions of species which have evolved over the past lifespan of the Earth.)
So, evolution itself becomes a proof that some force greater than us, which I think of as God, is guiding the development of life upon the Earth. It has happened successfully too many times on one planet to be random chance, and I personally think that the way nature and different species balance one another, like wolves culling herds, deer eating and then fertilizing plants, happens almost too perfectly to be random chance. Only humans violate those principles, and our ability to do so, as mentioned in the previous section, with choice is even further evidence for something greater than us.
I believe in God
The reasons which shape my personal beliefs about the nature and being of the aforementioned greater force; ie, God, are complex and, well, personal. I believe that there is historical and cultural evidence of the Divine around the world. There is evidence that the overall teaching of the Divine is that we are to learn real love and compassion for one another, and to seek knowledge and wisdom. I believe that Yeshua, the one many call "Jesus," and his ministry are one important reflection of that message, and that there have been many others around the world throughout history and prehistory. It is a nearly universal theme. However, the specifics of belief are topics for other blog posts.
The spirit of God be strong with us all.