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What are you currently reading?

Post  Khephra on Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:11 am



“The appalling thing in the French Revolution is not the tumult, but the design. Through all the fire and smoke we perceive the evidence of calculating organization.”—Lord Acton

This book is an invitation to the secret world behind the veil of daily events. In its pages you will meet the legendary Cagliostro and the Comte de Saint-Germain as they travel through the royal courts and Masonic lodges of eighteenth-century Europe, fomenting Revolution and working to overturn the social order of their day. Alchemists, magicians, Illuminati adepts, mystics, and Freemasons joined forces with politicians, journalists, scientists, writers, philosophers and libertines in a movement that forever altered the cultural landscape of Western civilization.

Inaugurating two centuries of revolution and upheaval, the French Revolution of 1789 put an end to the concept of the divine right of kings, led to the formal separation of church and state, destroyed the remnants of medieval feudalism, and heralded the values of the Enlightenment as the triumphant banner under which the modern world would be born. Yet it was accompanied by a level of violence whose ferocity spoke more of an exorcism than a political restructuring.

What lessons does the Revolution hold for us today? Do the forces of secret societies and silent conspiracies continue to influence the world?

Historian Una Birch’s classic account was originally published in 1911. Her proximity to and sympathy with the events offer a unique perspective. Secret society expert James Wasserman has made this work accessible to the modern reader with extensive annotations, a history of the Revolution, an introduction that places the Illuminati in context, and biographical sketches of the main participants.

* Highlights the secret activities of the Bavarian Illuminati and the Freemasonic lodges in organizing the French Revolution.

* Traces the influence of the mysterious Comte de Saint Germain as he traveled through the courts of Europe as an Illuminati agent.

* Offers a unique perspective on the Revolution by an author who supported the Illuminati war against Tyranny and Superstition, yet does not shrink from examining the darker side of that event.

* Will help the reader to understand the goals and methods of secret societies operating in the world today.

The Bavarian Illuminati have long been regarded as the secret society most responsible for the ideology and organization of the French Revolution in 1789. The Illuminati declared war against Church and State a decade earlier, and worked feverishly to spread their new gospel of Liberty and Reason. Although they were officially suppressed on the eve of the Revolution, their efforts appear not to have been in vain.

Illuminati recruiting efforts were focused on the powerful and influential — government ministers, educators, the press, authors and philosophers, booksellers and publishers, even religious leaders open to agnostic or atheist views. Many such men belonged to the Masonic lodges of Germany, Austria and France. The greatest success of the Illuminati conspiracy was the French Revolution. Its effects are felt to this day in the political destinies of millions of people. -(Studio31)

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:34 pm

Secret Societies: Illuminati, Freemasons and the French Revolution looks tasty. Do report back on how you enjoy it, won't you?

Here's what I'm currently digging into:



Inventor of the geodesic dome and the phrase "spaceship earth," Fuller reportedly once had an out-of-body experience in which a voice told him: "You do not belong to you. You belong to the Universe." The cocky, self-assured architect-engineer-poet-futurist, expelled twice from Harvard, who went on to shake the world with his technological innovations and vision of global unity, is brought down to earth in this absorbing biographical study. A lecturer-consultant specializing in Fuller's philosophy, Sieden here attempts to translate Fuller's ideas from the tech-guru's convoluted, jargon-laden style into accessible language. Though many of Fuller's major projects were commercial failures, Sieden succeeds in demonstrating how his search for Nature's underlying rules of harmony and efficiency is relevant to fields ranging from aviation and manufacturing technology to environmentalism, housing, parapsychology and extraterrestrial anthropology.

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  Khephra on Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:48 pm

ankh_f_n_khonsu wrote:Secret Societies: Illuminati, Freemasons and the French Revolution looks tasty. Do report back on how you enjoy it, won't you?
Wasserman occasionally takes positions I disagree with (e.g., The Slaves Shall Serve: Meditations on Liberty), but his editorializing was mostly limited to the appendices and his survey of the French Revolution was a decent enough introduction. Although he skipped many relevant factors, the survey serves its purpose competently.

Aside from those few editorial additions of Wasserman's, the remainder was made up of Birch's essays. Her family was intimately affected by the reign and fall of the Emperor, and she writes with authority. She first penned the text in the early 1900s, but aside from some zealous use of commas, it has aged quite well. She begins her discussion with the nature and influence of French Freemasonry and illuminism, then delves into their efforts at toppling the monarchy and provoking revolution. Next, there's a wonderful segment of biopics of relevant personages involved in the Revolution (e.g. Cagliostro, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin and the Count of St. Germain), before a provocative discussion on Madame de Staël's substantive role in toppling the Emperor.

I enjoyed it, but your mileage may vary. Smile

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:42 pm

scratch

Where'd all the 'bibliophiles' go?

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  Frater_NS on Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:26 pm




Gnosticism was a wide-ranging religious movement of the first millennium ce?with earlier antecedents and later flourishing?whose adherents sought salvation through knowledge and personal religious experience. Gnostic writings offer striking perspectives on both early Christian and non-Christian thought. For example, some gnostic texts suggest that god should be celebrated as both mother and father, and the self-knowledge is the supreme path to the divine. Only in the past fifty years has it become clear how far the gnostic influence spread in ancient and medieval religions?and what a marvelous body of scriptures it produced.
This is the first time that such a rich and diverse collection of gnostic texts have been brought together in a single volume, in translations that allow the spirit of the original texts to shine. The selections gathered here, in poetic, readable translation, represent Jewish, Christian, Hermetic, Mandaean, Manichaean, Islamic, and Cathar expressions of gnostic spirituality. Their regions of origin include Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, China, and France. Also included are introductions, notes, an extensive glossary, and a wealth of suggestions for further reading.


From Publishers Weekly
This book may well be the most comprehensive collection of Gnostic materials ever gathered in one volume. After a dry introduction to current debates about gnosticism (by Meyer) and a luminous, marvelously literary introduction to issues of translation (by Barnstone), the bulk of the text is taken up with primary sources, which are drawn from three continents and span an astonishing 13 centuries. These are helpfully organized into various schools of Gnostic tradition: Sethian, Valentinian, Syrian, Hermetic, Mandaean, Manichaean, and--in an unusual move--relatively late Islamic and Cathar texts. Each grouping of texts is preceded by a brief introduction to that particular section's brand of Gnosticism. What is clear from this sourcebook is the tremendous diversity of thought that exists under the "Gnostic" umbrella, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, pagan, Zoroastrian and Greco-Roman themes. Many of the texts are being published here in English for the first time, making this a valuable resource for students and scholars.

Library Journal
Recommended for all libraries with an audience interested in religions, alternative spirituality, and early Christianity

About the Authors
Willis Barnstone, Ph.D., former O'Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University, is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and is in the Institute of Biblical and Literary Studies at Indiana University. A Guggenheim Fellow, poet, scholar, and memoirist, his many books include The Poetics of Translation, The Other Bible, The New Covenant, With Borges on an Ordinary Evening in Buenos Aires, Life Watch, and Border of a Dream: The Poems of Antonio Machado. He has received numerous awards for his work, among them the Emily Dickinson Award, the W. H. Auden Award, and a PEN/Book-of-the-Month-Club Special Citation for translation.

Marvin Meyer, Ph.D., is Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies at Chapman University, Orange, California, and is one of the foremost scholars of Coptic and gnostic studies at work today. He is Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute, a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, and a Pacific Coast regional past president of the Society of Biblical Literature. He is the author of numerous books, including Ancient Christian Magic, The Gospel of Thomas, Secret Gospels, Jesus Then and Now, The Magical Book of Mary and the Angels, and The Ancient Mysteries. Dr. Meyer appears frequently in documentary television programs for ABC, BBC, A&E, and the History Channel.

Book Description
Gnosticism was a wide-ranging religious movement of the first millennium CE—with earlier antecedents and later flourishings—whose adherents sought salvation through knowledge and personal religious experience. Gnostic writings offer striking perspectives on both early Christian and non-Christian thought. For example, some gnostic texts suggest that god should be celebrated as both mother and father, and the self-knowledge is the supreme path to the divine. Only in the past fifty years has it become clear how far the gnostic influence spread in ancient and medieval religions—and what a marvelous body of scriptures it produced.

This is the first time that such a rich and diverse collection of gnostic texts have been brought together in a single volume, in translations that allow the spirit of the original texts to shine. The selections gathered here, in poetic, readable translation, represent Jewish, Christian, Hermetic, Mandaean, Manichaean, Islamic, and Cathar expressions of gnostic spirituality. Their regions of origin include Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, China, and France. Also included are introductions, notes, an extensive glossary, and a wealth of suggestions for further reading.

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  Khephra on Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:10 pm

I've found The Gnostic Bible an indispensable addition to my home library! In combination with The Other Bible, there's oodles and oodles of yummy apocrypha! Some of the introductory essays can get a bit biased, but that's rather par for the course, I figure. Wink

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:56 pm



Like Larry Young, Warren Ellis has a fascination with space. That love is readily apparent in Orbiter, a graphic novel dedicated to our desire and need to travel beyond our own world. Following any disaster, NASA is faced with more than procedural concerns. The will of the public to spend money and risk lives in order to reach the stars becomes sapped. For those first few months following a tragedy, there's a very real possibility that space exploration could come to an end. Orbiter is part plea, part inspiration to fuel our dreams of space once more.

As Orbiter begins, the space program has in fact come to a close. Ten years prior, space shuttle Venture vanished following lift-off. It is the final straw that puts a quash on our journey beyond Heaven. Then Venture returns, coated in a veneer of skin, all but one crew member missing. Where has the shuttle been for ten years? How did it suddenly vanish? Where has is been? What happened to the rest of the crew? Ellis uses these questions and the answers to prompt a more important query: Why did we ever stop?

Orbiter is a little deceptive. The first quarter of the book might fool you into thinking this is Ellis' version of Event Horizon, a taught sci-fi thriller with a dark mystery at its core. That's not the case however. As a crack team of former space aces gather to examine the mysterious shuttle, we stay grounded. There are no alien attacks, no demons from hell to fear, not thrills. Instead, we watch as the team thinks out of the box to discover the remarkable truth behind Venture's departure. While this may come off as a bit of a let-down to some, Ellis managing to make each new discovery thrilling.

Ellis might just be the best comics writer we have at turning scientific jargon into easy reading and with Orbiter he's at his peak. Perhaps most surprising is that the normally cynical Ellis is quite optimistic, mixing practicality to flights of fancy. The choice to team up with A Distant Soil's Colleen Doran is a wise one. Her art helps ground some rather fantastical ideas in the real world, making Ellis' theories seem all the more plausible.

Orbiter isn't for everyone. Those looking for vulgarity and bloodshed will be disappointed. Dreamers and space cadets will be thrilled. (IGN)

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  Khephra on Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:13 pm

After years of waiting in line, I've finally pulled this off the shelf to give it a read:



Less than 50,000 years ago mankind had no art, no religion, no sophisticated symbolism, no innovative thinking. Then, in a dramatic and electrifying change, described by scientists as "the greatest riddle in human history," all the skills and qualities that we value most highly in ourselves appeared already fully formed, as though bestowed on us by hidden powers. In Supernatural Graham Hancock sets out to investigate this mysterious "before-and-after moment" and to discover the truth about the influences that gave birth to the modern human mind.

Hancock's quest takes him on a detective journey from the stunningly beautiful painted caves of prehistoric France, Spain, and Italy to rock shelters in the mountains of South Africa, where he finds extraordinary Stone Age art. He uncovers clues that lead him to the depths of the Amazon rainforest to drink the powerful hallucinogen Ayahuasca with shamans, whose paintings contain images of "super-natural beings" identical to the animal-human hybrids depicted in prehistoric caves. Hallucinogens such as mescaline also produce visionary encounters with exactly the same beings.

Scientists at the cutting edge of consciousness research have begun to consider the possibility that such hallucinations may be real perceptions of other "dimensions." Could the "supernaturals" first depicted in the painted caves be the ancient teachers of mankind? Could it be that human evolution is not just the "meaningless" process that Darwin identified, but something more purposive and intelligent that we have barely begun to understand?

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Yoga of Power

Post  Liqueriana on Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:39 am

*edit*


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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:07 am

Belzebez wrote:I am currently trying to penetrate one of the most comprehensive books on tantric philosophy in the western world.

I've heard good things about that text... hopefully you'll post some impressions after finishing it. Smile

Following digest #25, I'm delving into One: The Grimoire of the Golden Toad:




It is the first full grimoire-text to treat specifically and from personal account of the Traditional East Anglian ritual called 'The Waters of the Moon': the solitary initiation of the so-called 'Toad-witch'. The textualisation of this magical process was, in this unique instance, undertaken as an extension of the ritual itself - a perfection of its cycle of arcana to a point of individual crystallisation.

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  Frater Feeze Fissile on Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:59 pm

really enjoying this...




BACK COVER #
This mesmerizing, surreal account of the bizarre adventures of Terence McKenna, his brother Dennis, and a small band of their friends, is a wild ride of exotic experience and scientific inquiry. Exploring the Amazon Basin in search of mythical shamanic hallucinogens, they encounter a host of unusual characters -- including a mushroom, a flying saucer, pirate Mantids from outer space, an appearance by James and Nora Joyce in the guise of poultry, and translinguistic matter--and discover the missing link in the development of human consciousness and language.

From Publishers Weekly
In 1971 ethnobotanist McKenna ( The Archaic Revival ), his brother Dennis and three friends boated to a town in Amazonian Colombia, seeking a hallucinogenic plant that enables the Witoto tribe to talk to elf-like "little men." In psychedelicized ravings interspersed with diary excerpts, McKenna records their experiences after ingesting mind-altering mushrooms and other psychoactive plants. A flying saucer slowly flew over McKenna's head; he calls it a "holographic mirage" of a future technology. Dennis had a revelation about a "psychofluid" that pervades the universe. McKenna flashes forward to Hawaii in 1975 where mantis-like creatures from hyperspace attack his lover, and flashes back to his tantric lovemaking in Tibet and to Indonesia where unrepentant Nazi scientists tried to recruit him in 1970. He posits the existence of a particle of time, the chronon , which conditions matter.

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Rev Psych

Post  rickyrick on Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:06 pm

Revolutionary Psychology
by Samael Aun Weor



This book is a wonderful introduction to an ancient teaching present in all Authentic Esoteric Traditions. In it Samael Aun Weor gives the foundation for the Esoteric Work (which is: the 'Work upon Oneself') in a format that is easy to read and digest.

The chapters are brief, but the subject matter is profound. This book offers us an opportunity to take a journey into the interior of ourselves: to see the secret causes of all our thoughts feelings and actions. With this knowledge, we can begin our exploration and observation of ourselves which is how we acquire Knowledge of Ourselves:

"The starting point of official science, in its practical side, is the observable. The starting point for the work on oneself is self-observation, the self-observable... The type of knowledge that transforms someone internally can never be achieved through external observation."

This knowledge is called GNOSIS.

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:19 am

Weor was an interesting character, and his highly syncretic versions of esotericism seem to be gaining in popularity among North American audiences. Do you have previous experience with his brand of "gnosticism"?

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Fri May 01, 2009 6:45 pm



This volume introduces what has sometimes been called "the third component of western culture." It traces the historical development of those religious traditions which have rejected a world view based on the primacy of pure rationality or doctrinal faith, emphasizing instead the importance of inner enlightenment or gnosis: a revelatory experience which was typically believed to entail an encounter with one's true self as well as with the ground of being, God.

The contributors to this book demonstrate this perspective as fundamental to a variety of interconnected traditions. In Antiquity, one finds the gnostics and hermetics; in the Middle Ages several Christian sects. The medieval Cathars can, to a certain extent, be considered part of the same tradition. Starting with the Italian humanist Renaissance, hermetic philosophy became of central importance to a new religious synthesis that can be referred to as Western Esotericism." The development of this tradition is described from Renaissance hermeticists and practitioners of spiritual alchemy to the emergence of Rosicrucianism and Christian theosophy in the seventeenth century, and from post-enlightenment aspects of Romanticism and occultism to the present-day New Age movement.


Featuring:

Roelofvan den Broek, "Gnosticism and Hermetism in Antiquity: Two Roads to Salvation"

Jean Pierre Mahé, "Gnostic and Hermetic Ethics"

Johannes van Oort, "Manichaeism: Its Sources and Influences on Western Christianity"

Jan Helderman, "A Christian Gnostic Text: The Gospel of Truth"

Gilles Quispel, "The Asclepius: From the Hermetic Lodge in Alexandria to the Greek Eucharist and the Roman Mass"

Jean Pierre Mahé, "A Reading of the Discourse on the Ogdoad and the Ennead (Nag Hammadi Codex VI.6)"

Roelof van den Broek, "The Cathars: Medieval Gnostics?"

Antoine Faivre, "Renaissance Hermeticism and the Concept of Western Esotericism"

Cees Leijenhorst, "Francesco Patrizi's Hermetic Philosophy"

Karen Claire Voss, "Spiritual Alchemy: Interpreting Representative Texts and Images"

Joscelyn Godwin, "Music and the Hermetic Tradition"

Roland Edighoffer, "Hermeticism in Early Rosicrucianism"

Arthyr Versluis, "Christian Theosophic Literature of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries"

Wouter J. Hanegraaff, "Romanticism and the Esoteric Connection"

Jos van Meurs, "William Blake and His Gnostic Myths"

Daniël van Egmond, "Western Esoteric Schools in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries"

Soscelyn Godwin, "Stockhausen's Donnerstag aus Licht and Gnosticism"

Wouter J. Hanegraaf, "The New Age Movement and the Esoteric Tradition"




See here for the Google Books version. Smile

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  amandachen on Tue May 12, 2009 3:34 pm


THE TREASURY OF KNOWLEDGE Book Eight, Part Three: The Elements of Tantric Practice
The Elements of Tantric Practice sets forth the essential components of the path of highest yoga tantra, a system of meditation that unites wisdom and compassion in its two phases of practice. The first phase, that of creation, relies primarily on the use of the imagination to effect personal transformation. The phase of completion allows the practitioner to perfect the process of transformation by training in methods that manipulate the energies and constituents of the mind and body. The result of this path is the direct experience of the fundamental nature of mind and phenomena.

The Elements of Tantric Practice concerns the meditative processes of the inner system of secret mantra--that of highest yoga tantra--and is based primarily on tantric sources. The author introduces the subject by describing the path of tantra and its underlying principles. The main body of the book deals with two major elements essential to all highest yoga tantras: the practice of the creation phase and that of the completion phase.

For the first phase, Kongtrul describes the visualization sequences in which ordinary perceptions are transformed into the forms of awakening, and explains how these practices purify the stages of cyclic existence---life, death, and rebirth. The creation phase prepares the practitioner for the techniques of the completion phase, which entail focusing directly on the channels, winds, and vital essences that form the subtle body.

Kongtrul presents the key elements of a variety of tantras, including the Guhyasamaja and Yamari, belonging to the class of father tantras, and the Kalachakra, Hevajra, Chakrasamvara, Mahamaya, Buddhakapala, and Tara, mother tantras. All these tantras share a common goal: to make manifest the pristine awareness that is the union of emptiness and bliss. Together these practices constitute, in Kongtrul's words, "a magnificent tradition composed of teachings explicitly set forth in the tantras...cherished by scholars and siddhas of [ancient] India who achieved total realization by relying on it."

More info at SnowLion Publications

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  Khephra on Wed May 13, 2009 12:35 pm

This is one that provokes conversations: John Bourke's Scatalogic Rites of All Nations, by John G. Bourke:

A dissertation upon the employment of excrementitious remedial agents in religion, therapeutics, divination, witchcraft, love-philters, etc. in all parts of the globe. This work is based upon original notes and personal observation, and upon compilation from over one thousand authorities. The subject of Scatalogic or Stercoraceous Rites and Practices, however repellent it may be under some of its aspects, is none the less deserving of the profoundest consideration, if for no other reason that that from the former universal dissemination of such aberrations of the intellect, as well as of the religious impulses of the human race, and their present curtailment or restriction, the progress of humanity upward and onward may best be measured.
Also available on Google Books.


Suspect


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"Sacred Activism is the fusion of the mystic's passion for God with the activist's passion for justice, creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing." - Andrew Harvey

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Thu May 21, 2009 3:28 pm


This one was tough to find substantive reviews of, but here are blurbs from the back:
"Drive Yourself Sane applies Korzybski's brilliant general semantics philosophy to its readers' everyday lives and shows them how to live more sanely."–Albert Ellis, Ph.D., President, Albert Ellis Institute

" Using the methods in this book can cure racism, sexism and similar dangerous follies quicker than any other educational technique."
Robert Anton Wilson, futurist, author of Schrodinger's Cat and Quantum Psychology

"An outstanding work, takes a complex subject and makes it simple and approachable."
Michael J. Gelb, author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Everyday Science

"Science > Knowledge > Living > Joy: This can be yours from what you learn by reading this book..."
Robert R. Potter, Ed.D., author of Making Sense: Exploring Semantics and Critical Thinking
I'm finding it quite yummy!

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  amandachen on Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:31 pm



Oracles and Demons of Tibet: The Cult and Iconography of the Tibetan Protective Deities
The author, Rene de Nebesky-Wojkowitz a scholar and adventurer who studied Tibetan culture, primarily in Sikkim, journeyed to the Himalayan region in the 1950s just before and during the Chinese invasion of Lhasa, when great upheavals were taking place in Tibetan society and culture. This book, a reprint of a long out of print study sheds fascinating insights on the occult secrets of Tibetan mysticism. It details the classification, appearance, and attributes of the Tibetan protective deities, their iconography, sacrifices, ceremonies, oracles, ritual dances, black magic and their cult of weathermaking.

"Many of the guardian goddesses especially those of the ma mo type, are pictured as ugly women with long emaciated breasts and huge sexual organs, while only a few are said to have the lovely appearance of ' a girl who has just passed her sixteenth year of age.' " Description of one of the Tibetan protective deities, considered to be the guardians of the Buddhist Dharma.

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  amandachen on Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:44 am


Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols by Robert Beer

This is a streamlined version of Beer's Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs (which you can browse a fair bit of on google books) I like the way the book doesn't shy away from some of the darker aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. See the gruesome pic I pasted in? Those are severed noses, tongues, eyes on stalks, etc. arranged into a beautiful display... a bit like a flower arrangement from Hell lol!

EDIT: Hey, I inserted a bigger pic, just for fun.


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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:59 pm



John Horgan, author of the best-selling The End of Science, chronicles the
most advanced research into the mechanics—and meaning—of mystical
experiences. How do trances, visions, prayer, satori, and other mystical
experiences "work"? What induces and defines them? Is there a scientific
explanation for religious mysteries and transcendent meditation? John
Horgan investigates a wide range of fields — chemistry, neuroscience,
psychology, anthropology, theology, and more — to narrow the gap between
reason and mystical phenomena. As both a seeker and an award-winning
journalist, Horgan consulted a wide range of experts, including theologian
Huston Smith, spiritual heir to Joseph Campbell; Andrew Newberg, the
scientist whose quest for the "God module" was the focus of a Newsweek
cover story; Ken Wilber, prominent transpersonal psychologist; Alexander
Shulgin, legendary psychedelic drug chemist; and Susan Blackmore,
Oxford-educated psychologist, parapsychology debunker, and Zen
practitioner. Horgan explores the striking similarities between "mystical
technologies" like sensory deprivation, prayer, fasting, trance, dancing,
meditation, and drug trips. He participates in experiments that seek the
neurological underpinnings of mystical experiences. And, finally, he
recounts his own search for enlightenment — adventurous, poignant, and
sometimes surprisingly comic. Horgan"s conclusions resonate with the
controversial climax of The End of Science, because, as he argues, the
most enlightened mystics and the most enlightened scientists end up in the
same place — confronting the imponderable depth of the universe.




So far so good. Definitely articulate and provocative.

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  Khephra on Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:43 am



The Invisible House Society was founded for the sole purpose of training students of Magick in the grades of the Order of the Golden Dawn whereby they propel themselves into the Order of the Rosy Cross (these orders representing levels of attainment, not to be confused with the societies or congregations that have named themselves after these grades). The Invisible House (IH) utilizes the same structure and guidelines as is used by the A A (Astron Argon), as delivered by Aleister Crowley and George Cecil Jones.

After years of initiating and training students, it was decided by the founding members to take the proven methods of training and compile them into one resource. One book. This compendium contains all of the necessary instructions for the Probationer, Neophyte, Zelator, Practicus and Philosophus. Now there exists a comprehensive resource for student advancement that encompasses guided-initiation, apprenticed-initiation, and self-initiation with the plethora of oral instructions and demonstrations put into the written word.

Who should use this book? The tasks and dedication necessary to pursue the paths of Magick are daunting enough to scare many prospective students away. Superstition and societal taboo are enough to make others hesitate. Self-doubt, self-loathing, the false sense of obligation to others and ridicule from peers; the list of excuses not to become an Initiate is endless. But you, the daring individuals who take a step onto the path, who follow the calling of your hearts to something more - into truth, strength and confidence - despite what others might think, it is for you that this book has been written. You who have the desire, drive, and tenacity to take that first step and attempt to stay the course will exceed beyond the limits set upon you by your peers, discover and develop yourself into excellence.

What does this book teach? The great magicians of every era have endeavored to gather together traditional wisdom and practices, update them with newer information and concepts, and further refine these systems according to the contemporary levels of comprehension and language. While maintaining the structure of the AA , Path to the Invisible House provides a clear and concise breakdown of the journey through the occult mysteries, elucidating points that have been hitherto lost, omitted or unclear, removing much of the ambiguity that is inherent in such writings, and further explaining very complex components of certain grade tasks. The methods of instruction have been refined for greater impact upon the desensitized mind of the current generations and the exercises explicated in general terms for greater application and adaptability, the desirous results the same.

Path to the Invisible House has been written sequentially from the first step through to the end of the student grades and shows the student of Magick the ways of self-discovery, self-mastery and enlightenment. Each section provides a foundation and initiations necessary for success in subsequent sections. Followed through to its end, this handbook will take the assiduous student into a world where nothing is unattainable with the proper application of Will. This book puts into simple terms secrets and mysteries that have tested the vocabularies of literary masters for ages. As clear as the language is within this book, there are still subtler levels of information conveyed that act as proofs of accuracy for postulations made and confirmations of attainments described within that will go unnoticed to the uninitiated. Therefore, the value of this book increases with the progressive work and experience of the magical student.

The Great Work is not a path for the chosen, but a path we choose to take.

Available via Trafford Publishing.

_________________
"Sacred Activism is the fusion of the mystic's passion for God with the activist's passion for justice, creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing." - Andrew Harvey

Khephra

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  Khephra on Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:37 pm



A fascinating portrait of one of the most brilliant, complex, and colorful figures of the Renaissance.

Although his accomplishments were substantial -- he became a trusted confidante to Queen Elizabeth I, inspired the formation of the British Empire, and plotted voyages to the New World-John Dee's story has been largely lost to history. Beyond the political sphere his intellectual pursuits ranged from the scientific to the occult. His mathematics anticipated Isaac Newton by nearly a century, while his mapmaking and navigation were critical to exploration. He was also obsessed with alchemy, astrology, and mysticism. His library was one of the finest in Europe, a vast compendium of thousands of volumes. Yet, despite his powerful position and prodigious intellect, Dee died in poverty and obscurity, reviled and pitied as a madman.

Benjamin Woolley tells the engrossing story of the rise and fall of this remarkable man, who wielded great influence during the pivotal era when the age of superstition collided with the new world of science and reason. Written with flair and vigor, based on numerous surviving diaries of the period, The Queen's Conjurer is a highly readable account of an extraordinary life.

_________________
"Sacred Activism is the fusion of the mystic's passion for God with the activist's passion for justice, creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing." - Andrew Harvey

Khephra

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  RChMI on Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:46 am


Just finished 1434 by Gavin Menzies. May have the potential to reinterpret how we have been programed to believe/understand the accounts of certain recorded history. Menzies also has many of his documentation up on his website 1434. However, there are some detractors as to certain points within his research as noted on Wiki
But all-in-all an enjoyable read.

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  Khephra on Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:33 am

RChMI wrote:Just finished 1434 by Gavin Menzies.

That looks tasty! Cheers for the reference!

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"Sacred Activism is the fusion of the mystic's passion for God with the activist's passion for justice, creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing." - Andrew Harvey

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Re: What are you currently reading?

Post  amandachen on Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:34 pm

As a Chinese woman, I find it laughable that his books are marketed as historical fact.

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