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International womens day history pdf torrent

Опубликовано 04.12.2019, автор: Grogore

international womens day history pdf torrent

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The teaching I will be identifying as common to Mystery schools and secret societies from all over the world will outrage many people and fly in the face of common sense. One day my mentor told me I was ready for initiation, that he would introduce me to some people. No doubt fear played a part. I wanted to continue enjoying trying to work it out for myself. And neither did I want to take an oath that forbad me to write.

These chapters will aim, too, to provide an account of the world-view of the secret societies, a pair of conceptual spectacles - so readers may the better appreciate what follows. In the following seven chapters many figures from myth and legend are treated as historical figures.

This is the history of what happened before written records began, as it was taught in the Mystery schools and is still taught in the secret societies today. Chapter 8 includes the transition into what is conventionally thought of as the historical period, but the narrative continues to tell stories of monsters and fabulous beasts, of miracles and prophecies and historical figures who conspired with disembodied beings to direct the course of events.

That explains the bizarre confessions of demon-worship by the Knights Templar To prove this would, of course, require a whole library of books, something like the twenty miles of shelves of esoteric and occult literature said to be locked away in the Vatican. But in this single volume I will show that this alternative, this mirror image view, is a consistent and cogent one with its own logic that has the virtue of explaining areas of human experience that remain inexplicable to the conventional view.

I will also cite authorities throughout, providing leads for interested readers to follow. Some of these authorities have worked within the esoteric tradition. Others are experts in their own disciplines - science, history, anthropology, literary criticism - whose results in their specialist fields of research seem to me to confirm the esoteric world-view, even where I have no way of knowing whether their personal philosophy of life has any spiritual or esoteric dimension.

But above all - and this the point I want to emphasize - I am asking readers to approach this text in a new way - to see it as an imaginative exercise. I want the reader to try to imagine what it would feel like to believe the opposite of what we have been brought up to believe. Because at the very heart of all esoteric teaching in all parts of the world lies the belief that higher forms of intelligence can be accessed in altered states.

The Western tradition in particular has always emphasized the value of imaginative exercises which involve cultivating and dwelling upon visual images. Allowed to sink deep into the mind, they there do their work. So although this book can be read just as a record of the absurd things people have believed, an epic phantasmagoria, a cacophony of irrational experiences, I hope that by the end some readers will hear some harmonies and perhaps also sense a slight philosophical undertow, which is the suggestion that it may be true.

Of course, any good theory which seeks to explain why the world is as it is must also help predict what will happen next, and the last chapter reveals what that will be - always presuming, of course, that the great cosmic plan of the secret societies proves to be successful. This plan will encompass a belief that the great new impulse for the evolution will arise in Russia, that European civilization will collapse and that, finally, the flame of true spirituality will be kept burning in America.

Lastly there are illustrations from modern European artists such as Ernst, Klee and Duchamp, as well as from American outlaws such as David Lynch. Their work is also shown to be steeped in the ancient and secret philosophy.

In fact if anything in this history is true, then everything your teachers taught you is thrown into question. Time is nothing but a measure of the changing positions of objects in space, and, as any scientist, mystic or madman knows, in the beginning there were no objects in space. For example, a year is a measure of the movement of the earth round the sun. A day is the revolving of the earth on its axis. Despite this initial absence of matter, space and time, something must have happened to get everything started.

In other words, something must have happened before there was anything. Since there was noTHING when something first happened, it is safe to say this first happening must have been quite different from the sorts of events we regularly account for in terms of the laws of physics.

Might it make sense to say this first happening could have been in some ways more like a mental event than a physical event? Can this everyday example tell us anything about the origins of the cosmos? In the beginning an impulse must have come from somewhere - but where? They have envisaged an impulse squeezing out of another dimension into this one - and they have conceived of this other dimension as the mind of God.

A scientist will not like it at all. Of course there is no reason at all And this is what happens in this book, because in this history everything is the other way round. Alice enters the other-way-round universe. Everything here is upside down and inside out.

In the pages that follow you will be invited to think the last things that the people who guard and maintain the consensus want you to think. You will be tempted to think forbidden thoughts and taste philosophies that the intellectual leaders of our age believe to be heretical, stupid and mad. But what I am going to do, is ask you to stretch your imagination. Our most advanced thinkers would be horrified, and would certainly advise you against toying with these ideas in any way at all, let alone dwelling on them for the time it will take to read this book.

There has been a concerted attempt to erase from the universe all memory, every last trace of these ideas. What was the primal mental event? In this story God reflected on Himself. He looked, as it were, into an imaginary mirror and saw the future. He imagined beings very like Himself. He imagined free, creative beings capable of loving so intelligently and thinking so lovingly that they could transform themselves and others of their kind in their innermost being.

They could expand their minds to embrace the totality of the cosmos, and in the depths of their hearts they could discern, too, the secrets of its subtlest workings. Sometimes the love in them was almost snuffed out, but at other times they found deeper happiness the other side of despair, and sometimes, too, they found meaning the other side of madness.

You are willing the image of yourself you see there to come alive and take on its own independent life. As we shall see in the following chapters, in the looking-glass history taught by the secret societies this is exactly what God did, his reflections - humans - gradually and in stages, forming and achieving independent life, nurtured by Him, guided and prompted by Him over very long periods.

The stars can show you only indifference. The human task is to grow up, to mature, to learn to come to terms with this indifference. A nineteenth-century depiction of the cabalistic image of God reflecting on himself. The universe that this book describes is different, because it was made with humankind in mind. In this history the universe is anthropocentric, every single particle of it straining, directed towards humankind.

This universe has nurtured us through the millennia, cradled us, helped the unique thing that is human consciousness to evolve and guided each of us as individuals towards the great moments in our lives. When you cry out, the universe turns towards you in sympathy. Scientists may talk of the mystery and wonder of the universe, of every single particle in it being connected to every other particle by the pull of gravity. They may point out amazing facts, such as that each and every one of us contains millions of atoms that were once in the body of Julius Caesar.

They may say we are stardust - but only in the slightly disappointing sense that the atoms we are made of were forged from hydrogen in stars that exploded long before our solar system was formed. The notion that the physical world responds to our inner desires and fears is a difficult and perhaps somewhat troubling one that we will keep returning to in order to try to understand it better.

On the other hand in the mind-before-matter universe that this book describes, the connection between mind and matter is much more intimate. It is a living, dynamic connection. Everything in this universe is alive and conscious to some degree, responding sensitively and intelligently to our deepest, subtlest needs.

In this mind-before-matter universe, not only did matter emerge from the mind of God, but it was created in order to provide the conditions in which the human mind would be possible. The human mind is still the focus of the cosmos, nuturing it and responding to its needs. Matter is moved by human minds perhaps not to the same extent but in the same kind of way that it is moved by the mind of God.

The secret societies teach that something like this speculation is true. According to them, a tree only falls over in a forest, however remote, so that someone, somewhere at some time is affected by it. Nothing happens anywhere in the cosmos except in interaction with the human mind.

By looking at the cat we kill or save it. The secret societies have always held that the everyday world behaves in a similar way. In the universe of the secret societies a coin flipped in strict laboratory conditions will still land heads up in 50 per cent of cases and tails up in 50 per cent of cases according to the laws of probability. However, these laws will remain invariable only in laboratory conditions. In other words, the laws of probability only apply when all human subjectivity has been deliberately excluded.

In the normal run of things when human happiness and hopes for self fulfilment depend on the outcome of the roll of the dice, then the laws of probability are bent. Then deeper laws come into play. These days we are all comfortable with the fact that our emotional states affect our bodies and, further, that deep-seated emotions can cause long-term, deep-seated changes, either to heal or to harm - psychosomatic effects.

But in the universe that this book describes, our emotional states directly affect matter outside our bodies too. In this psychosomatic universe the behaviour of physical objects in space is directly affected by mental states without our having to do anything about it. We can move matter by the way we look at it.

Note that he emphasizes he is not talking metaphorically. He is talking directly and quite literally about a powerful, ancient wisdom, preserved in the secret societies, a wisdom in which the great artists, writers and thinkers who have forged our culture are steeped. At the heart of this wisdom is the belief that the deepest springs of our mental life are also the deepest springs of the physical world, because in the universe of the secret societies all chemistry is psycho-chemistry, and the ways in which the physical content of the universe responds to the human psyche are described by deeper and more powerful laws than the laws of material science.

No, by these laws the secret societies meant laws that weave themselves into the warp and weft of each individual life at the most intimate level, as well as the great and complex patterns of providential order that have shaped the history of the world. The theory of this book is that history has a deeper structure, that events we usually explain in terms of politics, economics or natural disaster can more profitably be seen in terms of other, more spiritual patterns. We have almost no evidence to go on when we decide what we believe happened at the beginning of time, but the choice we make has massive implications for our understanding of the way the world works.

If, on the other hand, you believe that matter is precipitated by a cosmic mind, you have the equally difficult problem of explaining how, of providing a working model. Pure mind to begin with, these thought-emanations later become a sort of proto-matter, energy that becomes increasingly dense then becomes matter so ethereal that it is finer than gas, without particles of any kind. Eventually the emanations became gas, then liquid and finally solids.

Working in friendly rivalry with his contemporaries at MIT in the United States, he has made robots able to interact with their environment, learn and adjust their behaviour accordingly. These robots exhibit a level of intelligence that matches that of the lower animals such as bees.

Within five years, he says, robots will have achieved the level of intelligence of cats and in ten years they will be at least as intelligent as humans. He is also in the process of engineering a new generation of robotic computers he expects to be able to design and manufacture other computers, each level generating the lesser level beneath it.

An alchemical engraving from the Mutus Liber, published anonymously in In alchemy the precipitation of the morning dew is a symbol of the emanation of the Cosmic Mind into the realm of matter. As the Cabala puts it, the Ancient of Days shakes his shaggy head and a dew of divine white light falls. More particularly dew is a symbol of the spiritual forces that work on the conscience during the night.

This is why a bad conscience may give us a sleepless night. Here initiates are seen collecting and working on the dew - in other words reaping the benefits upon waking of the spiritual exercises they performed when they went to bed. According to the cosmologists of the ancient world and the secret societies, emanations from the cosmic mind should be understood in the same way, as working downwards in a hierarchy from the higher and more powerful and pervasive principles to the narrower and more particular, each level creating and directing the one below it.

These emanations have also always been thought of as in some sense personified, as being in some sense also intelligent. When I saw Kevin Warwick present his findings to his peers at the Royal Institute in , he was criticized by some for suggesting that his robots were intelligent and so by implication conscious. They form something very like personalities, interreact with other robots and make choices beyond anything that has been programmed into them.

Kevin argued that while his robots might not have consciousness with all the characteristics of human consciousness, neither do dogs. Dogs are conscious in a doggy way and his robots, he said, are conscious in a robotic way. We might think of the consciousness of the emanations from the cosmic mind in similar terms. We might also be reminded of the Tibetan spiritual masters who are said to be able to form a type of thoughts called tulpas by intense concentration and visualization.

At the lowest level of the hierarchy, according to the ancient and secret doctrine in all cultures, these emanations, these Thought-Beings from the cosmic mind, interweave so tightly that they create the appearance of solid matter. Today if you wanted to find language to describe this strange phenomenon, you might choose to look to quantum mechanics, but in the secret societies the interweaving of invisible forces to create the appearance of the material world has always been conceived of as a net of light and colour or - to use an alchemical term - the Matrix.

This raises the philosophical question: could we ourselves be in such a simulation and could what we think is the universe be some sort of vault of heaven rather than the real thing. In a sense we could ourselves be the creations within that simulation.

And this is making them question what is really real. Philip K. Dick, who was perhaps the first writer to seed these ideas in pop culture, was steeped in initiatic wisdom regarding altered states and parallel dimensions. But the biggest has been The Matrix. In The Matrix menacing, shade-wearing villains police the virtual world we call reality in order to control us for their own nefarious purposes.

In part, at least, this is an accurate reflection of the teachings of the Mystery schools and secret societies. Although all the beings that live behind the veil of illusion are part of the hierarchies of emanations from the mind of God, some display a disturbing moral ambivalence. These are the same beings that the peoples of the ancient world experienced as their gods, spirits and demons.

In its account of interlocking, evolving dimensions, the clashing, morphing and intermingling of great systems, in its scale, complexity and awesome explanatory power it rivals that of modern science. We cannot simply say that physics has replaced metaphysics and made it redundant. There is a key difference between these systems which is that they are explaining different things. Modern science explains how the universe comes to be as it is.

Ancient philosophy of the kind we will be exploring in this book explains how our experience of the universe comes to be as it is. For science the great miracle to be explained is the physical universe. For esoteric philosophy the great miracle is human consciousness. Scientists are fascinated by the extraordinary series of balances between various sets of factors that has been necessary in order to make life on earth possible.

They talk in terms of balances between heat and cold, wetness and dryness, the earth being so far from the sun and no further , the sun being at a particular stage of evolution neither hotter nor cooler. At a more fundamental level, in order for matter to cohere, the forces of gravity and electromagnetism must each be of a particular degree neither stronger nor weaker.

And so on. Looked at from the point of view of esoteric philosophy we can begin to see that an equally extraordinary series of balances has been necessary to make our subjective consciousness what it is, in other words to give our experience the structure it has. What, for example, is needed to make possible the internal narrative, the collection of stories we string together to form our basic sense of self?

The answer is, of course, memory. It is only by remembering what I did yesterday that I can identify myself as the person who did these things. The key point is that it is a particular degree of memory that is needed, neither stronger nor weaker. We have to be able to perceive the outside world through the senses, but it is equally important for us not to be overwhelmed by sensations which could otherwise occupy all our mental space.

Then we could neither reflect nor imagine. That this balance holds is as extraordinary in its way as - for example - the fact that our planet is neither too far from, nor too close to, the sun. We also have the ability to move our point of consciousness around our interior life - like a cursor on a computer screen.

As a result of this, we have the freedom to choose what to think about. If we did not have the right balance of attachment and detachment from our interior impulses as well as from our perceptions of the outside world, then at this very moment you would have no freedom to choose to take your attention away from the page you are looking at now and no freedom to think about anything else. For example, we may be required to make decisions at the great turning points of our lives.

Again, it is the common, if not universal human experience, that if we try to work out what is the right thing to do with our lives using all our intelligence, if we work at it with a good and whole heart, if we exercise patience and humility, we can - just - discern the right thing to do. And once we have made the right decision, the chosen course of action will probably require all the willpower we are capable of, perhaps for just as long as we are able to bear it, if we are to complete it successfully.

This is right at the core of what it means to experience life as a human being. There is no inevitability about our consciousness having the structure that makes possible these freedoms, these opportunities to choose to do the right thing, to grow and develop into good, perhaps even heroic people - unless you believe in Providence, that is to say unless you believe that it was meant to be. Human consciousness is therefore a sort of miracle.

If today we tend to overlook this, the ancients were stirred by the wonder of it. As we are about to see, their intellectual leaders tracked subtle changes in human consciousness with as much diligence as modern scientists track changes in the physical environment. Their account of history - with its mythical and supernatural happenings - was an account of how human consciousness evolved.

Modern science tries to enforce a narrow, reductive view of our consciousness. It tries to convince us of the unreality of elements, even quite persistent elements in experience, that it cannot explain. These include the shadowy power of prayer, premonitions, the feeling of being stared at, the evidence for mind-reading, out-of-body-experiences, meaningful coincidences and other things swept under the carpet by modern science.

And much, much more importantly, science in this reductive mood denies the universal human experience that life has a meaning. Some scientists even deny that the question of whether or not life has meaning is worth asking. We will see in the course of this history that many of the most intelligent people who have ever lived have become devotees of esoteric philosophy.

I believe it may even be the case that every intelligent person has tried to find out about it at some time. It is a natural human impulse to wonder if life has a meaning, and esoteric philosophy represents the richest, deepest, most concentrated body of thought on this subject. Before we embark on our narrative, therefore, it is vital that we apply one more sharp philosophical distinction to the softer edge of modern scientific thought.

But then at other times our lives do seem to have meaning. Or it happens that someone decides against boarding a plane, which then crashes. We may have a heightened sense of the precariousness of life, how easily things could have turned out differently had it not been for an almost imperceptible, perhaps otherworldy nudge. Similarly with the down-to-earth, science-oriented part of ourselves we may see a coincidence as a chance coming together of related events, but sometimes deep down we suspect that a coincidence is not a matter of chance at all.

In coincidences we sometimes feel we catch a hint, albeit an elusive one, of a deep pattern of meaning hidden behind the muddle of everyday experience. And sometimes people find that just when all hope seems lost, happiness is discovered the other side of despair, or that inside hatred hides the growing germ of love. We will then be able to relate the reasonable laws that govern objects we can sense with the very different behaviour of phenomena in the sub-atomic realm.

Once this has been formulated we will understand everything there is to be understood about the structure, origin and future of the cosmos. We will have accounted for everything there is, because, they say, there is nothing else. A boy arranges to meet his girlfriend for a date, but she stands him up. When he tracks her down, he interrogates her.

His repeated question is WHY? WHY the universe? Obviously we can choose to give parts of our lives purpose and meaning. If I choose to play soccer, then kicking the ball into the back of the net means a goal. But our lives as a whole, from birth to death, cannot have meaning without a mind that existed beforehand to give it meaning.

The same is true of the universe. Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? Such questions are strictly meaningless, we are told. Just get on with it. And so we lose some of the sense of how strange it is to be alive. This book has been written in the belief that something valuable is in danger of being snuffed out altogether, and that as a result we are less alive than we used to be. In the next chapter we will begin to imagine ourselves into the minds of the initiates of the ancient world and to see the world from their perspective.

We will consider ancient wisdom we have forgotten and see that from its perspective even those things which modern science encourages us to think of as most solidly, reliably true, are really just a matter of interpretation, little more than a trick of the light. What size would it be? What wood would it be made of?

How would the wood be joined? Would it be oiled or polished or planed bare? What other features would it have? Imagine it as vividly as you can. Now look at a real table. Which table can you be sure of knowing the truth about? What can you be more sure of - the contents of our mind or the objects you perceive with your senses?

Which is more real, mind or matter? The debate springing from these simple questions has been at the heart of all philosophy. Today most of us choose matter and objects over mind and ideas. We tend to take physical objects as the yardstick of reality. What I want to suggest now is that people did not formerly believe in a mind-before-matter universe because they had carefully weighed up the philosophical arguments on either side and come to a reasoned decision, but because they experienced the world in a mind-before-matter way.

While our thoughts are pale and shadowy in comparison with our sense impressions, in the case of ancient man it was the other way round. People then had less of a sense of physical objects. Objects were not as sharply defined and differentiated to them as they are to us. If you look at depiction of a tree on the walls of an ancient temple, you will see that the artist has not really looked to see how branches are joined to the trunk.

In ancient times no one really looked at a tree in the way we do. This history belongs to the other type. In this history consciousness changes from age to age, even from generation to generation. Note the anatomically inaccurate and somewhat perfunctory depiction of a tree from an 8th Dynasty tomb.

The artists who painted these walls were less interested in these physical objects than in the gods depicted only a few paces away in the inner sanctum of the temple. These they portrayed in golden, bejewelled and highly detailed images. The contention of this history, therefore, is that, contrary to what our tour guide might say, any similarity between women washing today and women washing four or five thousand years ago is little more than a matter of appearances. We tend to go along with the prevailing intellectual fashion that sees thoughts as nothing more than words - perhaps with a penumbra of other stuff, such as feelings, images and so on - but with only the words themselves having any real significance.

However, if we dwell on this fashionable view, even only briefly, we will find that it flies in the face of everyday experience. If we then concentrate harder, it may well become apparent that these associations are rooted in memories that bring with them feelings - and may even carry with them their own impulses of will. The guilt I feel at not having phoned my mother earlier, as we now know from psychoanalysis, has roots in a complex knot of feelings that go back to infancy - desire, anger, feelings of loss and betrayal, dependency and the desire for freedom.

As I contemplate my feelings of failure, other impulses arise - nostalgia for when things were better perhaps, when my mother and I were one - and an old pattern of behaviour is reanimated. Signet ring from Mycenae with poppy-bearing priestess. Experience of a thought in all its constantly mutating, multi-dimensional glory may well be familiar to people who experiment with drugs such as marijuana or hallucinogens such as LSD.

William Emboden, Professor of Biology at California State University, has published convincing evidence to show that in ancient Egypt the blue lily was used, along with opium and the mandrake root, to induce a trance state. As we continue to try to pin this thought down, it will twist this way and that. The very act of looking at it changes it, causes reactions, perhaps sometimes even contradictory reactions. A thought is never still.

It is a living thing that can never be identified definitively with the dead letter of language. Words can never convey or capture the complexity of an image or of the feelings. Whole dimensions lie glistening on the dark side of even the most dull and commonplace thought.

The wise men and women of the ancient world knew how to work with these dimensions, and over many millennia they created and refined images which would perform just this function. As taught in the Mystery schools, the very early history of the world unfolds in a series of images of this type. Before considering these powerful and evocative images I now want to ask the reader to begin to take part in an imaginative exercise: to try to imagine how someone in ancient times, a candidate who hoped for initiation into a Mystery school, would have experienced the world.

Of course it is a way of experiencing the world that is completely delusional from the point of view of modern science, but as this history progresses we will see more and more evidence that many of the great men and women of history have deliberately cultivated this ancient state of consciousness.

We will see that they have believed that it gives them a view of the way the world really is, the way it works, that is in some ways superior to the modern way. Everything was watching him. Unseen spirits whispered in the movements of the trees. A breeze brushing against his cheek was the gesture of a god. If the buffeting of blocks of air in the sky created lightning, this was an outbreak of cosmic will - and maybe he walked a little faster.

Perhaps he sheltered in a cave? When ancient man ventured into a cave he had a strange sense of being inside his own skull, cut off in his own private mental space. If he climbed to the top of a hill, he felt his consciousness race to the horizon in every direction, out towards the edges of the cosmos - and he felt at one with it.

At night he experienced the sky as the mind of the cosmos. Modern drawing, after Rudolf Steiner, illustrating the disposition of human organs as taught in Rosicrucian philosophy. When he walked along a woodland pathway he would have had a strong sense of following his destiny. Today any of us may wonder, How did I end up in this life that seems to have little or nothing to do with me?

Such a thought would have been inconceivable to someone in the ancient world, where everyone was conscious of his or her place in the cosmos. Everything that happened to him - even the sight of a mote in a sunbeam, the sound of the flight of a bee or the sight of a falling sparrow - was meant to happen.

Everything spoke to him. Everything was a punishment, a reward, a warning or a premonition. Part of her, a warning finger perhaps, was protruding into the physical world and into his own consciousness. They believed in a quite literal way that nothing inside us is without a correspondence in nature.

Worms, for example, are the shape of intestines and worms process matter as intestines do. The lungs that enable us to move freely through space with a bird-like freedom are the same shape as birds. The visible world is humanity turned inside out. Lung and bird are both expressions of the same cosmic spirit, but in different modes. To the teachers of the Mystery schools it was significant that if you looked down on to the internal organs of the human body from the skies, their disposition reflected the solar system.

In the view of the ancients, then, all biology is astrobiology. Today we know full well how the sun gives life and power to living things, drawing the plant out of the seed, coaxing it to unravel upwards, but the ancients also believed that the forces of the moon, by contrast, tend to flatten and widen plants. Bulbous plants such as tubers were thought to be particularly affected by the moon. More strikingly, perhaps, the complex, symmetric shapes of plants were believed to be caused by the patterns that the stars and planets make as they move across the sky.

As a heavenly body takes a path that sees it curving back on itself like a shoelace, so that same shape is traced in the curling motion of a leaf as it grows, or a flower. For example, they saw Saturn, which traces a sharp pattern in the sky, forming the pine needles of conifers.

Is it a coincidence that modern science shows that pine trees contain unusually large traces of lead, the metal believed by the ancients to be inwardly animated by the planet Saturn? In the ancient view the shape of the human body was similarly affected by the patterns made in the sky by stars and planets. The movements of the planets, for example, were inscribed in the human body in the loop of the ribs and the lemniscate - bootlace shape - of the centripetal nerves.

But beyond these more obvious rhythms, the ancients recognized how other, more mathematically complex rhythms that involve the outer reaches of the cosmos work their way into human life. Humans breathe on average 25, times per day, which is the number of years in a great Platonic year i. This sense of interconnectedness was not just a matter of bodily interconnectedness. It extended to consciousness too. When our man on a walk saw a flock of birds turn as one in the sky, it seemed to him as if the flock were one moved all together by one thought - and indeed he believed that this was the case.

If the animals in the wood moved altogether in a sudden, violent way, if they panicked, they had been moved by Pan. Our man knew that this was exactly what was happening, because he commonly experienced great spirits thinking through himself and through other people at the same time. He knew that when he reached the Mystery school and his spiritual master introduced astonishing new thoughts to him and his fellow pupils, they would all be experiencing the very same thoughts, just as if the Master were holding up physical objects for them all to see.

In fact he felt closer to people when sharing their thoughts than he ever did through mere physical proximity. Today we tend to be very proprietorial about our thoughts. We want to take credit for originating them, and we like to think that our private mental space is inviolate, that no other consciousness can intrude on it. If we are honest we must admit we do not invariably construct our thoughts. For all of us it is the case that everyday thoughts naturally just come to us too.

The reality of everyday experience is that thoughts are quite routinely introduced into what we like to think of as our private mental space from somewhere else. And an individual is not always prompted by the same god, angel or spirit.

While today we like to think of ourselves as each having one individual centre of consciousness located inside the head, in the ancient world each person experienced him or herself as having several different centres of consciousness originating outside the head. We saw earlier that gods, angels and spirits were believed to be emanations from the great cosmic mind - Thought-Beings in other words.

What I am asking you to consider now is that these great Thought-Beings expressed themselves through people. If today we naturally think of people thinking, in ancient times they thought of Thoughts peopling. The focus of these changes will often be an individual. For example, Alexander the Great or Napoleon were vehicles for a great spirit, and for a while carried all before them in a remarkable way. No one could oppose them and they succeeded in everything they did - until the spirit left them.

Then quite suddenly everything began to go wrong. We see the same process in the case of artists who become vehicles for the expression of a god or spirit for a certain period of their lives. But when the spirit leaves, an artist never again creates with the same genius. Similarly if a spirit weaves through an individual to create a work of art, the same great spirit may once again be present whenever that work of art is contemplated by others. When a thought came to the man walking through the woods, he felt as if he had been brushed by the wing of an angel or by the robe of a god.

He sensed a presence even if he could not always perceive it directly and in detail. But once inside the holy precinct, he could perceive not just the wing, not just the swirling waves of light and energy that made up the robe. In the midst of the light he saw the angel or god itself. On these occasions he would have believed that he really was perceiving a being from the spiritual realm.

Today we experience moments of illumination as interior events, while the ancients experienced them as impinging on them from outside. The man we have been following expected the Thought- Being he saw to be visible to others - what today we would call a collective hallucination. In the ancient world experience of spirits was so strong that to deny the existence of the spirit world would not have occurred to them.

In fact it would have been almost as difficult for people in the ancient world to deny the existence of spirit as it would for us to decide not to believe in the table, the book, in front of us. Paucity of experience makes belief in disembodied spirits difficult today.

In fact the Church teaches that belief is admirable because it is difficult. The more your belief is out of proportion to the evidence the better, it seems. This teaching would have seemed absurd to people in the ancient world. In this history gods and spirits control the material world and exercise power over it.

We will see, too, how sometimes disembodied beings break through, unbidden. Sometimes whole communities are possessed by a convulsion of uncontrollable sexual savagery. This is why commerce with the spirits was always considered highly dangerous. In the ancient world controlled communion with the gods and spirits was the preserve of the Mystery schools.

The point is that the ancient Egyptians were neither ignorant nor childlike, even though we may be tempted to consider them so. First-century Roman relief of a candidate being led to an initiation ceremony. One of the stupid beliefs we are fond of attributing to the ancients is that they worshipped the sun, as if they believed the physical object were a sentient being.

Other gods rayed their influences through the other planets and constellations. As the positions of the heavenly bodies changed, so the various patterns of influence give history direction and shape. Returning to the man walking through the ancient wood, we see now that he experienced the spirits behind the sun, the moon and the other heavenly bodies as working on different parts of his mind and body. He felt his limbs move like flowing Mercury and he felt the spirit of Mars raging inside him in the fierce river of molten iron that was his blood.

The state of his kidney was affected by the movement of Venus. Modern science is only just starting to understand the role the kidney plays in sexuality. Then in the s the Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Weleda began to conduct tests which showed that the movements of the planets affect chemical changes in metal salt solutions that are dramatic enough to be seen with the naked eye, even when these influences are too subtle to be measured by any scientific procedure so far devised.

What is even more remarkable is that these dramatic changes come about when a solution of metal salt is examined in relation to the movement of the planet with which it has traditionally been associated. Modern science may be on the verge of confirming what the ancients knew well. It really is true to say that Venus is the planet of desire.

The Mystery schools taught that as well as head-consciousness we each have, for example, a heart- consciousness which emanates from the sun then enters our mental space via the heart. Or to put it another way, the heart is the portal through which Sun god enters our lives.

Likewise a kind of kidney-consciousness beams into us from Venus, spreading out into our mind and body via the portal of our own kidneys. The working together of these different centres of consciousness makes us variously loving, angry, melancholy, restless, brave, thoughtful and so on, forming the unique thing that is human experience. Working through our different centres of consciousness in this way, the gods of the planets and constellations prepare us for the great experiences, the great tests that the cosmos means us to have.

The deep structure of our lives is described by the movements of the heavenly bodies. I am moved to desire by Venus and, when Saturn returns, I am sorely tested. In the next chapter we will cross the threshold of the Mystery school and begin to follow the ancient history of the cosmos. But science has very little to say about this mysterious transition, all of it highly speculative.

Scientists are even divided on whether matter was created all at once or whether it continues to be created. By contrast, there was remarkable unanimity among the initiate priests of the ancient world. In what follows we will see how a secret history of creation is encoded in Genesis, that a few overfamiliar phrases can be opened up to reveal extraordinary new worlds of thought, mighty vistas of the imagination.

And we shall see, too, that this secret history chimes with the secret teachings of other religions. If a human eye had been looking at the dawn of history it would have seen a vast cosmic mist. This gas or mist was the Mother of All Living, carrying everything needed for the creation of life. Again, to a human eye it would have looked as if the gently interweaving mists that had first emanated from the mind of God were suddenly overtaken by a second emanation.

So this it what it would have looked like to a physical eye, but to the eye of the imagination this great cloud of mist and the terrible storm that attacked it can be seen to cloak two gigantic phantoms. It is important to let these images work on our imaginations in the same way that initiate priests intended them to work on the imagination of the candidate for initiation.

He killed the Mad Axeman in the back of a van with a sawn-off shotgun, then bathed in his blood, laughing. But his most vivid memory, the one he personally found the most chilling, was also his earliest. He remembered a fight he must have seen when he was perhaps just two or three years old. His grandmother was bare-knuckle fighting on the cobbles outside her home among the Victorian terraces of the old East End. He remembered the gaslight on the wet cobbles and flying spittle, and how his grandmother resembled a giantess, lumbering but supernatural in strength.

He remembered, too, that her massive forearms, built up and rubbed raw by the washing she took in to help feed him, thudded again and again into the other woman, even as she lay on the ground unable able to defend herself.

We must try to imagine something similar as we contemplate the two titanic forces locked in combat at the beginning of time. The Mother Goddess would often be remembered as a loving, life- giving and nurturing figure, comfortingly round and soft looking, but she also had a terrifying aspect. She was warlike when needs be. Among the people of ancient Phrygia, for instance, she was remembered as Cybele, a merciless goddess who rode on a chariot pulled by lions and who required devotees to work themselves into such a wild and savage delirium that they would castrate themselves.

Her opponent was, if anything, more frightening. Long, bony, his skin was a scaly white and he had glowing, red eyes. For if the first emanation from the mind of God would metamorphose into the goddess of the earth, the second emanation would become the god of Saturn. Saturn would trace the limits of the solar system. In fact he was the very principle of limitation. In other words because of Saturn there is a law of identity in the universe by which something exists and is nothing else and neither is anything else it.

Because of Saturn an object occupies a certain space at a certain time and no other object can occupy that space, and neither can that object be in more than one place at one time. If an individual entity can exist through time, then by implication it can cease to exist too.

This is why Saturn is the god of destruction. Saturn eats his own children. He is sometimes portrayed as Old Father Time and sometimes as Death himself. Because of Saturn our lives are hard. Because of Saturn every sword is double-edged and every crown a crown of thorns. If we sometimes feel our lives almost too hard to bear, if we bruise and if we do cry out to the stars in despair, it is because Saturn pushes us to our limits.

And it could have been worse. The potential for life in the cosmos could have been extinguished even before birth. The cosmos would have remained through all eternity a place of the endless sifting of dead matter. In the course of this history we will see that Saturn has returned at different times and in different guises to pursue his aim of mummifying humanity and squeezing the life out of it.

At the end of this history we will also see that his most decisive intervention, an event long predicted by the secret societies, is expected to take place shortly. His tyranny was eventually overthrown, and Saturn, if not entirely defeated, was kept in check and confined to his proper sphere. How was this victory achieved? Of course there are two accounts of creation in the Bible. The second, at the start of the Gospel of St John, is in some respects fuller and it can help us to decode Genesis.

But before we can continue to decode the biblical story of the creation, we must deal with a sensitive issue. We have already started to interpret Genesis in terms of the Earth goddess and Saturn. Anyone brought up in one of the great monotheistic religions will naturally feel some resistance to this. Surely this polytheistic belief in the gods of stars and planets is characteristic of more primitive religions like those of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks or Romans?

Conventionally minded Christians may wish to stop reading now. This is perhaps partly because of the dominance of a science that leaves little room for God. In science-friendly Christianity God has become an undifferentiated and undetectable immanence in the universe, and spirituality is nothing more than a vague and fuzzy feeling of at-oneness with this immanence. But Christianity has roots in older religions of the region in which it arose and all of these were naturally polytheistic and astronomical.

The beliefs of early Christians reflected this. For them spirituality meant commerce with actual spirits. Throughout history certain sites like these have been regarded as portals for the spirits, cracks in the normal fabric of the space-time continuum.

The science of astro-archaeology has demonstrated that these portals are aligned with astronomical phenomena, intended to funnel influx from the spirit worlds at propitious times. At Karnak in Egypt at sunrise on the summer solstice a thin ray of sunlight would enter the portals of the temple and travel five hundred yards through courtyards, halls and passageways until it penetrated the darkness of the Holy of Holies.

It may surprise some Christians to learn how far this tradition has continued. Great cathedrals from Notre Dame in Paris to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona are covered with astronomical and astrological symbols. Christian chapel of the Seven Sleepers, built over a dolmen neat Plouaret, France. Beautiful astronomical symbolism on the exterior of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris. Modern churchmen are often quick to condemn astrology, but none can deny, for example, that the great Christian festivals are all astronomically derived - Easter being the first Sunday following the full moon that falls on or follows the vernal equinox, or that Christmas is the first day after the winter solstice when the rising sun begins to move visibly back in the reverse direction along the horizon.

The Bible refers to many disembodied spiritual beings, including the gods of rival tribes, angels, archangels, as well as devils, demons, Satan and Lucifer. All religions believe that mind came before matter. All understand creation as taking place by a series of emanations, and this series is universally visualized as a hierarchy of spiritual beings, either gods or angels.

A hierarchy of angels, archangels and so on has always been a part of Church doctrine, alluded to by St Paul, elucidated by his pupil St Dionysus, codified by St Thomas Aquinas and vividly imagined in art and also in literature by Dante and others.

These doctrines are often overlooked and disregarded by modern Christianity, but what Church leaders have been actively determined to suppress - what has been reserved for esoteric teaching - is that different orders of angels are to be identified with the gods of the stars and planets. A passage like this might be dismissed as incidental to the main theological thrust of the Bible.

You might suspect it of being an interpolation from a foreign culture. But the reality is that after layers of mistranslation and other types of obfuscation have been removed, the most important passages in the Bible can be seen to describe the deities of the stars and planets. The four Cherubim are among the most powerful symbols in the Bible, appearing in key passages in Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Revelation.

Popular in Hebrew and Christian iconography, prominent in Church art and architecture everywhere, they are symbolized by the Ox, the Lion, the Eagle and the Angel. In esoteric teaching these four Cherubim are the great spiritual beings behind four of the twelve constellations that make up the zodiac.

But for the most important and telling example of polytheism in Christianity we must return to the story of the creation as it is told in Genesis and the Gospel of St John. This is a rather puzzling anomaly that clergymen outside the esoteric tradition tend to turn a blind eye to, but inside this tradition it is well known that what is being referred to here are astronomical deities We can discover their identity, as I have suggested, by matching the passage in Genesis with the parallel passage in the Gospel of St John.

He was referring to a tradition already ancient in his lifetime, and which he evidently expected his readers to understand. Thus both Old and New Testaments allude to the role of the Sun god in creation as it was generally understood in the religions of the ancient world. Download The Republic by Plato for free. Dwalin - Free novels in text format.

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