Welcome to Xolton's Gnostic Thread. Here, we weave science, spirituality, and religion into something called the metaphysic. Aristotle brought life to metaphysics when he explored the physical sciences and called them nature. Here, we discover that all is one, and one is everything.
“Now we turn to a startling development in the world of science. The brains of dead pigs have been partially revived in the lab hours after the animals were killed in a slaughterhouse. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports that scientists and ethicists alike are grappling with the implications.” This was announced by Audie Cornish on National Public Radio April 17, 2019.
This is not science fiction. Scientists purchased the heads of swine immediately after slaughter, cleaned the brains, and pumped a supply of oxygen, nutrients, and injury-repairing ingredients four hours after death. Before we go any further, let’s think about this for a moment. They managed to resuscitate the brain of a pig. Why the researchers were attempting this is unclear. Consider what this might suggest.
Could Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein story have been a prediction? Was she on to something? What does it mean to be dead? Religions and metaphysicists have speculated as to what the function of the brain is outside of Nature’s ultimate creation. The brain was believed to house the soul aspect of a person. They teach that the body requires its presence. Science tells us the mind is merely the product of electrical and chemical interactions. Is there more? Frankenstein’s creature was considered an abomination. After the shock has worn off, what will the bioethicists, religious leaders, and naysayers declare? What qualifies as being alive?
Before we can answer anything regarding the nature of being alive, we have to determine what alive, live, and living mean. Live is simply being alive. Alive is interpreted as not dead. Would this mean the swine in question was brought back to life? A second definition suggests active or animated. Does the brain being active or animated qualify as being alive? If so, then science may have stumbled upon something remarkable. If we go further, alive also means alert. Alert is to be aware. If we follow this line, then we have to question the metaphysical viewpoint which says even inanimate objects are alive. What evidence is offered to support this belief? There is none. Beliefs do not require evidence. Therefore, rocks may possess a level of awareness despite the facts.
Did scientists cause the swine to become alive? The brain was active, which fulfills part of the definition. Does the brain constitute the swine? Can a limb or organ constitute the entire being. If we apply holographic theory, then potentially, yes. Holographic theory suggests that within a single particle the whole can exist. Thus, those possessing transplanted organs may also be merged with the donor. This may be too abstract. Let’s put this in terms easily understood. From the brain the entire animal may be recreated. After all, it holds the requisite DNA.
The scientists managed to keep the brain alive for six hours. They also administered a drug to prevent the occurrence of any structured electrical activity. This suggests that being alive may require a level of structure. This also suggests that consciousness may be a structured event. If we choose to view consciousness as energy, then it must be organized energy systems. The brain typically represents an organized system when functioning properly. In this instance we are discussing the idea of cohesive neuron activity, which involves chemical and electrical systems. Consciousness, then may be a structured activity that relies upon some form of guidance. This also suggests the life-force, or the animating force may be separate from consciousness and is a type of electricity. Ironically, the ancient Egyptians believed the animating force or spirit was passed on through a person’s parents.  This means each surrenders a part of their life-force to initiate the life of a fetus. They also believed the soul was a person’s personality and remained intact after death. Soul and spirit are separate manifestations.
In order to explain how the consciousness might be guided we must consider Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of morphic field resonance. The gist is that invisible fields of information form as part of a developing system possibly through communication between particles. Logically, in order for a system to develop communication must take place. Morphic fields are an essential part of nature and the creative process. For instance, during coitus the respective DNA strands are establishing a level of communication.
These fields are also easily influenced. We see these influences as genetic anomalies, mutations, and manipulations. Humans have been influencing the natural unfolding of nature for centuries. One has only to look at the nearest stray dog or cat, rose, vegetable, and host of other agricultural produce. Nature has provided her own variety of birds, fish, and other breeds through natural selection. We are not questioning the validity of humans creating. We are demonstrating the natural process of evolution. The question that may be on the edge of our thoughts is how do these fields form?
We believe they form through communication, but that may be too vague. Loosely put, morphic fields are formed through patterns of repetition. An anomalous occurrence is the corruption of a given field. While a single occurrence may be difficult to repeat, the pattern still exists. When similar conditions do occur, the pattern is executed. Each time a pattern repeats itself, the more stable the pattern becomes. In the case of our science experiment with the brains of swine, each time they repeat the experiment and confirm their findings, they strengthen the field associated with it. Presently, the electrical activity of the brain was incoherent. However, the pattern of reanimation is somewhat established. The natural cohesive neuronal activity of the brain of a swine is already established. Eventually, the non-cohesive pattern will merge with the cohesive pattern. When this happens consciousness may appear to have spontaneously arisen. Presently, the pattern is limited to swine but may will eventually infest other fields of consciousness. We have taken a tiny step towards something that may one day have a huge impact upon our lives.
While scientists wrestle the potentiality of re-animation, and script writers prepare for another round of zombie movies, those with an affinity for spiritualty are faced with a far more serious question. Would a re-animated body retain an imprint of the original host? Can the host be forced back into a vacated vessel, or would another consciousness be able to inhabit it?
We can continue posing various esoteric questions, which may never be answered for a variety of reasons or we can simply dismiss the experiment all together. The fact is, there is now the potential to literally resurrect the dead and possibly suggest immortality as a reality. If this becomes the case, I will have to revise my opinions regarding the concept because it may no longer be wishful thinking. On a more serious note, what happens when hospitals begin forwarding bills for re-animation? Will insurances pick up the tab? Would there be co-pays foisted upon us? How would this affect Medicare?
Greenfieldboyce, N. (2019, April 17). Health Shots. Retrieved from NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/04/017/714289322
Schommer-Aikins, M. (2004). Explaining the epistemological belief system. Introducing the embedded systemic model and coordinated research approach. Educational Psychologist, 39(1), 19-29.
Sheldrake, R. (1981). Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press.
The Trustees of the British Museum. (2010). Journey through the afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. (J. H. Taylor, Ed.) London: British Museum Press.
 (Greenfieldboyce, 2019)
 (Schommer-Aikins, 2004)
 (Greenfieldboyce, 2019)
 (The Trustees of the British Museum, 2010)
 (Sheldrake, 1981)
There is something we struggle with more than anything else. It is mysterious and enticing. We witness its effects as much as we experience it from the hands of others. We fear it and yet, furtively seek it. We give it away freely and struggle to recognize how others wield it so effortlessly. This thing we struggle with is unseen, yet we desire to befriend it. We utilize it without realization and run when we witness its aftermath. This unseen thing we search for and struggle with at the same time is power.
We are part of a culture that worships power, as many cultures do. We entertain ourselves with its darkest aspect while condemning its use in the hands of those we despise. We often fantasize being immersed in its countenance. All of this we do within the confines of mind, pretending we are safe from its tendrils.
In the natural order of life, power is what rules, and rightly so. Power is the ability to influence. Without influence, we are less than noses floating in the sea like flotsam. We cast our influence upon others every day, every moment. We do so willingly, and often without thought. Then suddenly, one of whom we exert ourselves upon wields a power mightier than ours. At that point we recoil in shame.
Politics is about power. We have only to direct our gaze upon our nations to witness its effects. Though we should scrutinize the interplay of politics much closer, we prefer to view it from afar. We purposefully ignore the fallout. I often find myself wondering if the macrocosm of the realm of politics mirrors the interplay of wills from the microcosm of our daily dance or if it’s the jockeying for position on the mini stages throughout our cities, towns, villages, institutions, organizations, clubs, and playgrounds. Do those politics reflect the global display? It matters not. What matters is how we choose to wield our power of will.
There are few things that make us all equals. Power is one of those things. We are born with it and wield it almost immediately. We begin influencing others from the womb, or as some believe as souls before entering a fetus. Our first exercise with power is that of survival. Our first lesson is the one which stays with us the longest. Throughout our lives, we apply power in order to survive, whether it is defensively or offensively. Through survival, we find justification. We do not struggle with this. We struggle with the rest.
Every society, every institution, every social event requires a leader. If we invoke the principles of nature, we will find that politics deals directly with power and is the demonstration of natural leadership. Every collective requires a leader. Every leader must prove themselves worthy to lead. This is where part of the fallacy lay. It is not that leaders must prove themselves worthy to lead, but they must prove themselves worthy for a single person to follow. It is not the leader that wields power, it is the individual that infuses the leader with power.
A leader may have defeated all contenders, but if there are not enough followers to support them, they are impotent. We naturally follow strong leaders. This has little to do with whether they are responsible for hundreds of deaths or saving thousands of lives. Those who appear to be unsure or fill their followers with uncertainty often find themselves only leading themselves.
Power does not lay within the leadership only. Each of us holds sway over those associated with us, as they hold sway of ourselves. We do not associate with those who appear weaker than we, unless we are insecure with ourselves. Most prefer to be among equals or betters. We depend upon them for inspiration. This does not dismiss those whom we judge to be weaker, because they often align themselves with us for similar reasons. This is part of the flow of information. This is part of the process of evolving.
As with all things, whether tangible or not, there resides within their polar opposites. Much of what we vicariously witness are the abuses of power in the form of harassment, verbal, physical, emotional and sexual misuse, as well as religious, sexual, and racial prejudices. Some of these may have taken up residence within us during our lifetime, or its vestiges yet remain. Experiences such as these mislead us into the belief that power corrupts, which is false. Power simply is. The corruption lay within the individual wielding it.
This brings us to the purpose of this writing, which demonstrates the offhandedness or thoughtlessness behind our demonstrations of power. Love is a verb, and verbs describe actions. Actions are attributed to the influence of power. We act in certain ways towards others. Often the only consideration given to these actions are how they impact us. This is normal and part of our need to survive. There is nothing detrimental in this regard. As we expand our awareness during the awakening process, we begin to take others into account, but it still rests with the need to survive.
Love has become a catch-all phrase that encompasses a variety of meanings. Therefore, we are going to define love as nurture. Nurture encompasses all actions that support another. When we utter the words, I love you, we are pledging our support. Support occurs in a variety of ways and can range from words of encouragement, to providing transportation, to holding hands. Think of love as a beneficial means of the use of power. Power is the ability to influence others and love is composed of those actions of support.
There is the Natural Principle of Polarities, which is aptly described within the words, as above, so below. This means that within all things resides their polar opposite. When this concept is crudely expressed, these polarities oppose each other. Therefore, when love is crudely expressed, it may be comprised of what we term abuse, which is actually a misuse of power. Before abuse can occur, one must first have an understanding.
Maintaining the idea of love being the nurturing effects of power, it must also include the detrimental effects of power. This is why many say there is a fine line between love and hate, or they refer to the words love/ hate relationship. The same is true of pain and pleasure. Typically, pleasure can be viewed as a response to nurturing. This leaves pain as a natural response to what is harmful. These are natural occurrences. From a general perspective this would be considered the opposite of love, or nurture.
Most will agree that pain and pleasure are opposites, however, this not the case. For those whose awareness is expanding, they will understand that pain and pleasure are perceptions. Perceptions are merely the manner in which something is understood. Part of our understanding comes through the value we assign. This means that pleasure and pain do not oppose each other; they complement each other. This does not mean that in order to know pleasure one must know pain. What this means is that what one may consider to be pain, may be pleasurable. Power itself has no value. We are the ones who judge the actions of others and assess value.
When we consider the terms beneficial and detrimental, they are at odds. They are also complementary. This brings us to the last aspect of our inquiry. We have focused on the one exerting power. What about the one being acted upon? They are the one’s who provide value to the act. They determine if the power being exerted is beneficial or detrimental. In other words, what appears to be abusive to you or I may be beneficial or desirous of another.
It’s not power that we struggle with. It’s not what we judge to be an abuse or beneficial use of power that we struggle with. What we struggle with is our perception of the power we wield. Part of the struggle is our reaction to the how others exert their power, because we are fearful of doing the same. In order to surpass our struggle, we must love all, or nurture all.
The religious experience is something many people hunger for. To the uninformed, it is the pathway to God. This is our expectation. We blind ourselves to that which we desire most.
Never mind, that we are hard wired for the event. The brain produces dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which may be responsible for mystical experiences. To explore this avenue is trivial though borne of fact. We are explorers though many have no clue as to what they are exploring. We are not concerned with this. To do so, would muddy the waters. Our concern is the religious experience.
The foremost aspect we must resign ourselves to is rather mundane. We must achieve an altered state of consciousness. What makes this so mundane is the ease this is attainable. Such an achievement is quite simple and requires little effort. The real effort lays in maintaining the state. All one need do is focus. Simply concentrate on the task at hand. In my case, it is to concentrate on this writing before being momentarily distracted. The distraction can be nothing more than sipping a glass of juice. The train of thought comes to a rest. While returning to the task is easily accomplished, the experience is different from the last.
Achieving the altered state of consciousness is relatively simple. A normal state of consciousness is considered to be our waking non-dreaming state. An altered state of conscious occurs when the normal state of consciousness no longer exists or has become destabilized. What this means is that the mind is no longer scanning the environment for information. It becomes focused and the usual filters are no longer functioning. Remember the last time a closing door startled you? You may have been having a religious experience.
Before continuing, we have to know what a religious experience is. Again, exploring the scientific aspect is tedious and more correct, but lacks imagination. Thus, we shall barely touch the surface. A clinical religious experience is the awareness of a benevolent being. See what I mean? So, we’ll turn to a few examples some you may be familiar with.
In one of the revered Gospels, Jesus comes to John to be baptized. Upon coming out of the water, heaven opened, and he saw the spirit of God descend upon him like a dove. A voice, probably a loud voice, said, this is my son, whom I love and am well pleased. Spectacular, right? There’s more.
Saul is traveling along the road to Damascus, when suddenly a bright light engulfs him. From this light came a voice, why do you persecute me? Terrifying and awesome. Exactly what one would expect as a religious experience or life changing event.
Muhammad often left the company of men to meditate in a cave. During such excursions, angels visited him, dictating the early books of the Quran. A less frightening experience than Saul, yet still impressive.
Hermes Thoth Trismegistus meditated often. During one meditation, he was greeted by a ball of fire, not unlike the sun. From this fiery ball emerged a Dragon, whom he beseeched to reveal to him the secrets of the Universe. The Dragon acquiesced. Exciting, isn’t it?
A young man, no one in particular, climbs a pole, maybe twenty or thirty feet. Suffice to say the pole was high enough that those looking on beneath appeared very tiny. This high up, it would be foolish to close one’s eyes for fear of toppling. Yet, the young man did just that. During this brief moment, he saw the bottom portion of an eye lid, with a tear seeping out. Not quite as dramatic or inspiring as the previous portrayals.
From each of these, came something profound. While Jesus did not give us Christianity, he did, reinterpret the Judaic laws, providing the foundation for the New Testament. Paul taught us Christianity. Muhammad gave us the Quran. Hermes provided Hermetic Philosophy. Although there are only fragments left, it confounds the untrained mind. What of the last example? We’re not sure if he had a religious experience. After all, there was nothing grand about it. It was more of a spiritual experience and is considered more down-to-earth.
These examples have similar properties. They all appear to have a fantastic quality that may be considered enviable. When attending a mediumship class, meditation was part of the course. After a ten to fifteen-minute meditation, or something of that nature, we shared our experiences. Each of the others described having a fantastic vision. Wow, I thought, I want that. When it was my turn to share, I had no grand vision to relate. I had only darkness and clouds of color. I was embarrassed. Several years later, I learned that such visions were to be ignored because they were considered distractions.
Each of these examples can be seen as distractions, profound distractions. They were so profound that when others read their descriptions, they focus on the distraction, ignoring the idea that these individuals were moved to do something. In each instance, each person set about the purpose of bringing their experience to others. Each one sought to bring the experience to others through teaching harmony or unification. Each one sought to teach others about a mystical understanding about the nature of Nature. The common thread is not the visual components of the experience. It is the connection experienced that motivated them.
If a religious experience is important and is actively sought, beware of the distractions. It is not the vision that motivates. It is the not the booming voice that motivates. They are like stoplight at intersections. Their purpose is to gain your attention. The true religious experience occurs when the participant senses a connection to something else. When they realize there is more to their being than who they are. This is the religious experience. When you experience the Divine within your being, you may be having a religious experience. All else is a distraction.
You have the experience more often than you think. While bicycling, writing, painting, driving, during sex or love play. These are opportunities for a religious experience. They are happening all the time. The trick is to expand the awareness and understand the meaning behind them. You are not alone. Not only are you a part of something grand and beyond your present concept, you are the interpreter. The experience may put life into a new perspective.
“… man, in his inner self, is one with the self of the Universe[i].” Within this sentence lies profound wisdom. The wisdom lies in the identification of the inner-self. We call this inner-self the inner-critic, the authentic-self, and the Christ-self. These are just a few of names we give ourselves. In addition, the inner-self dwells within the inner-reality, which may be the true reality. What do we know about our inner-reality? We know exactly what the spiritual, intellectual, and religious gurus tell us.
We are told to seek Christ within. We are also told to go within to find answers to our questions, and anything else we find troubling. In short, we are to seek enlightenment from within. This search often becomes obsessive and may lead to the denial of self. Christ taught us the Kingdom of God lies within. Christ also taught that when we look upon him, we are also looking upon the Father. His last teaching, as recorded in the Gospel of John, was that the Father dwells within him, and he dwells within his disciples. Many spiritual schools teach something similar. The Buddha dwells within each of us. When saying Namaste, we are greeting the Buddha, or more appropriately, the god within whom we greet. Perhaps, this is secret-knowledge. For this lesson, we might better serve others if we use Christian teachings to demonstrate it.
Secrets are best kept in the open because most will not believe them to be true. Simple deductions explain some of the mysteries taught by Christ. We see his teachings before the birth of Jesus, and after his transition. We can attribute the last to exposure, but what about beforehand? The concept of the three are one, and yet, separate is a common theme in many of the early mystery schools. From one came many and the many are the One. The idea is very simple and complex at the same time.
If God dwells within Christ, then Christ must also dwell within God. This is a simple deduction, which many agree with. When a person lives with another, the two develop similar behaviors. This is because of their familiarity with each other. Their behavior reveals a certain intimacy. The longer they spend time together, the likelihood their actions will mimic the other’s increases until they begin to act as one. Thus, Christ becomes synonymous with God.
Christ also said he dwells within his disciples and, consequently, us. If this is true, then we should eventually take on some of Christ’s qualities. By taking on some of his characteristics, we also take on characteristics God. This is where people betray themselves.
The idea of becoming Christ-like, and therefore, God-like is an enormous attribute and responsibility. As long as we separate Christ and God, we avoid those qualities and actions called virtuous, righteous, and truthful. While we see God and Christ outside of ourselves, we can take comfort in knowing they are convenient scapegoats. For these people, everything can be in God, especially they. God can be in everything, as long as God is not in them. For the idea of God, existing in human beings is blasphemous. Humans are far too imperfect to contain perfection. Therefore, they deny God and vainly attempt to evict God from themselves and others. For them, perfection is blasphemous.
There was a time with I would ask why people chose to separate themselves from their God, but not anymore. Responsibility is why others dissociate themselves from their God. They become inconsistent with their belief. The Hebrew Testament begins with God creating the Earth. One might infer that the definition of God is Creation. We were the last creation and were made in the image of God. Thus, God is also the Creator, whom we resemble. When God began meting out discipline, the idealized version of God became altered. What was thought to have been perfect became imperfect. God cannot possibly have created imperfection if God is perfect. Yet, here many of us stand, claiming to be imperfect creations of a perfect being. Perhaps the imperfection does not lie with us, but within our perception.
Most agree with the assumption that God and Christ are perfect. They may also agree that all they create is perfect. Yet, they will also counter in the same breath that all is of perfect creation, except humankind. If we were to scrutinize nature, we will find that imperfection abounds. They may even claim that a creature’s slight imperfection is what makes them unique. They may even claim the creature is perfect. However, we are different, as we are imperfect. While our imperfections make us unique, they do not make us perfect. We are not of nature. How ridiculous is this? We are all perfect because our creator is perfect. Our creator is God, and because we are of God, we are part of the perfection.
Unfortunately, it is not enough to understand, because it is not the same as knowing. Without knowing this to be true, we insist upon our separation through ignorance. Having a connection with our Creator is much easier to bear. Seeing ourselves as being connected to our Creator, the Divine, the Universe, or the Infinite is often too much. Having a relationship with our Creator allows us to acknowledge those aspects of God that we are in agreement with, and to dismiss the rest. Thus, our dissonance is not disturbed.
Some are aware of our inner reality and comprehend the true meaning of being alive. They are able to grasp the concept of the many who are the one. They know the hidden meaning of what it is to be alive and to be dead. They recognize God within All. They no longer comprehend the dissonance experienced by others.
[i] Besant, Annie (1897). The Ancient Wisdom: An Outline of Theosophical Teachings. Wheaton, IL: The Theosophical Publishing House.
I can understand why reading is seldom encouraged. The approach has little to do with controlling the masses. Its more about perpetuating a deception. For the most part, people submit to others of their own choosing. I find this upsetting, disturbing even. However, pause and consider those you’ve encountered during the week. Consider those who felt trapped or overwhelmed. How did they allow that to happen to them? Did they follow through on their own, or did they follow another’s lead?
The masses are starving for leadership. What’s amazing is that the leaders are few in number and could easily be over powered. The question becomes why don’t they. The response can be found in the Who’s Won’t Get fooled Again; Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Those in leadership positions are not necessarily leaders. They could be people starving for power and have usurped the guise of leadership as a means of satisfying their hunger. This has often been the case. Their intent behind the lack of educational encouragement or reading is to discourage those who would challenge them. The curious and the inquisitive often discover truths, which in turn challenge those in positions of power.
Decades ago, when I first began inquiring into the validity of spirituality and the domain of religion, what I found was not unique. The questions put forth were not special in any way. What is God? Why is my fate determined by one supreme all-powerful being? What is spirit? What is soul? The company line, meaning the traditional response was and still is, don’t question God. Why can I not question God? This and similar questions are dangerous avenues to travel in pursuit of truth. However, it is not the validity of God I wish to present. I would like to examine spirit and soul. The response to what is spirit and what is soul appears to be interchangeable. If they are the same, why do we treat them as though they are not?
The worst thing the average person can do is to set an intelligent mind loose upon a vast amount of information without knowing their agenda. Simply stating truth would be careless, because truth is relative to perception. To say truth is unchanging demonstrates ignorance. Such was mine until the realization of all inquiries became apparent. The nature of all inquiries is the need to understand. Comprehension is what makes a person dangerous to false leaders or power-hungry imposters. Knowledge is nothing more than loose ideas scattered about like seeds on the ground. Some will take root, embedding themselves deep into the minds of the curious. Others will barely take hold, risking the off chance of being supplanted. The rest, lie upon a sparse landscape starving.
Many religions utilize the words spirit and soul. I say religions and not religious philosophies. The philosophies are often more practical and the proponents less volatile. Interestingly, there are few of both. Hinduism and all of its derivatives, which include Buddhism and Taoism, are primarily comprised of philosophies. Judaism, which is said to be the basis of Christianity and Islam, depends upon a duality. An interesting observation is the first is about the realization of suffering and relieving it and the second depends on it. However, all religions share the same source and basic terms, such as suffering, the soul, the spirit, and some sort of continuity of life.
What is spirit and what is soul? I thought who better to ask than those attending Spiritualist churches. After all, they profess spirit communication and should be some sort of experts on the topic. The response received was that spirit is the personality of the departed. This is to be expected, as this is part of their doctrine. When questioned about the soul, the response was silence. Would this mean there is no soul?
One of the many things separating us from our ancient ancestors is the words we use and how we use them. We tend to blend words together or add to their definitions because some believe close enough is good enough. This may be due to our desire for efficiency. Texting is an excellent example. Some use shortened versions of words in order to meet the limitations of phones, networks, and attention spans.
Our ancestors had a bit more freedom and chose to be a bit more precise.
The ancient Egyptians believed the Ka, which is the life force is passed on from a child’s parents. The Ba is a child’s personality, which is developed throughout life. Upon the demise of the body, the Ba moves about of its own accord. Meaning, the Ba is independent of the body and is the soul. Ba is our personality, which develops throughout our lives. When the body ceases to function, who we are is reduced to an essence; much like a fragrance left behind after all else has been simmered away. This essence, this Ba is what escapes from the confines of a body. We now ask, what is spirit?
Our society or perhaps we should say today’s religion, then again, this is also incorrect, kneaded together Ka and Ba into a single being. The idea of a single supreme being is not of Christian origin. The Greek philosophers had already discussed the matter and concluded that a single supreme being was more beneficial to human kind than having many gods. While this makes sense, the concept is not theirs. The Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaton introduced the idea. His version was not a vengeful or loving god as most modern religions condition us to believe. His was one based on observation. All life depended upon the sun for continued existence. Thus, the single most important aspect of all nature should be revered. The Hebrews may have stumbled upon a similar idea. Perhaps they lost track of their origins as they mingled with the various cultures. Abraham, the patriarch of the religious culture we have come to call Christianity, wandered about the plains of Mesopotamia, moving his herds from one pasture to another. Like the people of his time, he built many altars, giving thanks to the elements. One such element was that of a mountain, he called El Shaddai, god of the mountain. While Moses’ encounter in Midia was slightly different, he renewed the belief. Instead of a mountain, his was the foot lands of a volcano. However, earlier still was the god El of the city of Ugarit off the Mediterranean and north of Lebanon. El is the creator of all creatures and is the father of humankind. Though not the singular god we are familiar with today, El was/is the progenitor of all gods.
During the Dark Age, which is so named because of the desire to suppress any form of progress that may have threatened those in power, established a pattern of blissful ignorance. While the higher hierarchy of Christianity may have understood the difference between the words spirit and soul, the lower echelons and peasantry did not. They were encouraged not to read and to accept what was provided for them. Perhaps here is when the two terms began to merge. Eventually, the many overthrew the few. Yet, because the many didn’t know any better, the tradition continued. Thus, today’s religion merely follows the pattern set before it.
Please, don’t make the mistake of thinking the religious are doomed because of changes in their history. Not one thing is immune to change. To think otherwise is foolish. This does not mean anything changes at the same pace either. Through change, the term spirit was expanded to include many attributes, much as the Hindu god Shiva. However, change for the sake of change is never good. Not all changes are beneficial.
Before ghosts became synonymous with the word spirit, the word meant swirling dust, and spirit was breath. Many of the early cultures also defined spirit as breath. The modifier of spirit determines the type of breath. Typically, the word had something to do with life, as in the breath of life, the animating force of all. Naturally, we can’t allow this because it smacks of paganism. Before the onset of gods, there was simply breath or anima as we call it today. Anima, that which vitalizes all that is alive, that which animates, continues to be worshipped.
The life force or spirit is described in a variety of ways. Chi, Ka, and H. P. Blavatsky’s Fohat are only a handful of terms, but they all refer to the same thing. They refer to the creative process we call life. The soul, while being intimately connected to spirit, describes what follows the coalescence of the animating force of creation and intelligence. While this is a poor description and possibly incorrect, it is the best we can muster. The forces at work are so entangled, it is impossible to separate any of them, even for a brief explanation. Many of our ancestors realized the hopelessness of such a task. Yet, the need to do so was and is overwhelming. Psychology offers a way through the development of the personality that demonstrates the fluidity of soul.
From the perspective of personality development, our traits would be comparable to spirit. As life is dependent upon that animating force, so too is our personality dependent upon our traits. Traits are received through our parents and are relatively steady throughout our lifetime. This doesn’t mean they cannot change, if they do it’s a slow process best explored through the teachings of reincarnation. Traits are generally seen as outgoing, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. All of us have these traits, and some are more dominant than others. From these our personality develops.
Throughout life, we experience numerous events that impact our development. This doesn’t mean other events don’t, because they do. Major events such as the death of loved ones, the birth of a child, and certain accomplishments have an almost immediate effect on us. Other events such as debt, marriages, and the many discoveries along the way have more of an accumulative effect. Only upon reflection do we discover our choices are linked to our personalities.
Another way of presenting this is personalities are the summation of our habits. Depending upon a person’s belief regarding an afterlife, their personality may be a deciding factor.
For those subscribing to Karmic Law and reincarnation, the personality one has developed may allow them to move up the evolutionary ladder or down the social ladder. For the Christian, the personality determines where they journey next, to heaven or to hell. To the Spiritualist, the personality follows their dominant habits. Theirs is a belief in life continuity based on the continuation of habits, with the option of improving them or continuing as they are. The personality or soul transitions into a new aspect of life when leaving the vessel. Andrew Jackson Davis compares the transition to the departure of a trip. Upon arriving at our destination, we no different than when we left.
Soul and spirit are not synonymous. For those who like their Bible, just read the first two chapters of Genesis. They are complimentary. Don’t allow their relationship or their designations to become blurred. Returning them to their former positions doesn’t change anyone’s belief. The spirit is the aspect of God within, that which animates them shaping the soul. When spirit withdraws, the soul is ready for the next portion of the journey.
 (The Trustees of the British Museum, 2010)
 Akhenaton’s monotheistic religion was not in recognition of a single god. He saw the sun as being the one obvious component in all that existed. The sun became Egypt’s living god (Assmann, 2002).
 (Bahm, 1964)
 (Bahm, 1964)
 (Wyatt, 2007)
 (McCrae & John, 1992)
 (Davis, 1851)
Assmann, J. (2002). The Mind of Egypt. New York: Metropolitan Books Henry Holt and Co., LLC.
Bahm, A. (1964). The World's Living Religions: A searching comparison of the faiths of East and West. Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL: Souther Illinois University Press.
The Trustees of the British Museum. (2010). Journey through the afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. (J. H. Taylor, Ed.) London: British Museum Press.
Meditation is a topic we often return to, because of its many boons. This time we would like to touch on something John Hagelin said, in his 2006 interview with Byron Belitsos Meditation with intention, adds to the direction of thought. Thus, when meditating, consider saying a prayer of intention. This may direct the energy being gathered and sending it in a specific direction.
Every time a prayer is said, an intention is sent to the universe. When meditating for the purpose of developing clairvoyance, mediumship, or intuition, state this as your purpose for this particular meditation. Prayers don’t have to be offered every time we meditate, but they don’t hurt either, mostly they don’t hurt.
Napoleon Hill, in his book Think and Grow Rich, suggests we write our own prayer or desires because saying another’s prayer does us no good. He’s right. Words never hold the same meaning from one person to the next. Just because a prayer sounds pretty, doesn’t make helpful. Many are able to offer insults as grandiosely as the most profound compliment. We don’t have to use fancy words unless that is who we are. We do have to be sincere, as one should in all they do.
Many meditate for guidance, asking no one in particular. Sometimes, a response is received, though it is often vague. We can ask our guides and hope for the best, that is if we know who they are. We can also arrange for our own guides. Napoleon Hill set up an imaginary cabinet to discuss his dreams, plans, and challenges. The purpose of this type of meditation was to receive assistance from a higher source, namely, those he admired. Members included Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Bonaparte, Thomas Edison (who was alive at the time), Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Ford. I developed board whose members consist of Rudolph Steiner, C. W. Leadbeater, Helena Blavatsky, Napoleon Hill, William James, Rupert Sheldrake, Rev. Harry Hilborn, Rev. Louis T. Miller, Rev. Benjamin Purnell, Frank Frazetta, Botticelli, Albert Einstein, and Robert Heinlein. Some are scientists, others are artists or writers, and the ones not recognizable were people I knew. All are those I admire and respect. With this group of notables, I was able to put together a small workshop on shifting from positive thinking to optimism, otherwise known as The Re-Creator: Being. Any of us can put together a similar group as well. Call out to those you would like in your inner circle during meditation. Set a day and time each week to meet with them, and keep notes. By adopting this or a similar strategy, you will be well on your way to becoming exceptional.
Xolton's Gnostic Thread will be transitioning to a new name and forum under the Chartership of the Independent Spiritualist Association. Spiritual classes are being developed for you.
More news to come.
If you're having problems go to independentspiritualists.org.
In the Benton Harbor, Michigan or Michiana areas? The Independent Spiritualist Association is having their convention at Howard Johnson's formerly America's Best Value Inn
798 Ferguson Drive, Benton Harbor, MI 49022. Workshops available Friday and Sunday. Readings available Saturday 9 am - 11 am. Plenty of mediums available.
Creation by Design is now available at Amazon. Now all three ebooks have been compiled and revised and available in a single volume.
Creation by Design explores why we attract unwanted events in our lives and offers a way to attract what we desire.
Yes, this is another Law of Attraction book. However, we also explore the potential science behind the natural principle. Check it out. Get your copy at Amazon today.
The establishment of the three aspects of humans was done so in order to establish authority over others. Thus, it is humans that have created the class system in order to enthrall other, not God or any other aspect of nature. We are the only entities upon the Earth that takes great pride in separating ourselves from ourselves, from each other; from nature, and from God or Creation. We are, perhaps the only society within nature that actively separates ourselves from the very thing, condition, or aspect they seek, in order to form a more perfect unity with ourselves under the pretenses of seeking unity with God or Creation. The Mystics desire this, while the Occultists see through this. One has to wonder if the hidden Hierarchy, Council, or Hosts are an invention of our making, or if we mimic them in an attempt to place ourselves above. Reminds one of the story of the King of Tyre who sought to place himself above God.
Inspired by Adolphe Frank (1926). The Kabbalah, or the Religious Philosophy of the Hebrews. Translated by I. Sossnitz.
Nature manages to maintain a reasonable equilibrium of those who have mystical experiences and those who do not. Perhaps the belief that anyone can be a medium/psychic is a myth.
Todd R. Murphy (2010). The role of religious and mystic experiences in human evolution: A corollary hypothesis for neurotheology. NeuroQuantology, 8 (4) 495-508
Interestingly, one who kills and is willing to suffer the consequences is practicing a higher religion than one who prays for more than they deserve.
Ignorant belief is typical of many. It is a belief without understanding.
Inspired by Archie Bahm, The World's Living Religions