Saturday, July 24, 2010
The biggest obstacle that most people have when beginning is their own consciousness. Your mind is what holds you back. Yes, astral projection is the ability to leave your physical body and 'walk among the stars'. This out of body experience is hindered by fear and skepticism. Once you realize your only obstacle is you, the process is quiet simple.
The second obstacle that people have is being able to silence themselves. If you can not still and silence your mind, I would absolutely suggest that you begin with learning to mediate. It will greatly improve your chances of having the experience you are seeking with astral travel.
Start by laying down in a comfortable location where you will not be disturbed for at least 20 minutes. Turn off the cell phone and the television. Begin by feeling the air around you and focusing simply on your breathing. The deeper state of your relaxation, the more sensations you will feel. Don't panic if you begin to feel a tingling sensation in your toes and fingers. It is simply your body's signal that you are going into a deeper state of relaxation. If thoughts creep in simply let them float back out and refocus on your breathing.
As you become completely relaxed your body may have some additional physical sensations. These are normal. Your heart may begin to race as your vibrational rate shifts. Just allow these sensations and don't think about them. Treat them as any other thought and let them just float back out.
I always recommend that you breathe inwards deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth while allowing the tip of your tongue to touch the roof of your mouth.
At this point begin to visualize a set of stairs that go up ward. See them disappearing into the clouds. Begin to visualize yourself taking one step at a time upwards. See your astral body stepping upward and focus on the feeling of floating upwards.
Each time you practice this simple exercise the higher up the steps you will go. The rest of the walk is up to you. Each person's experience in astral travel will be different. There are no right or wrong walks to take. With time you too will be 'walking among the stars'.
Originally published on SearchWarp.com for Rev. Carla Goddard Saturday, July 24, 2010
Article Source: Learning Astral Travel
Are You a Spiritual Warrior? (Part 1of 3: How We Got to This Point)
by E. Raymond Rock
Dhammabucha Rocksprings Meditation Center
An evolution is stirring. People are beginning to break free. To understand this evolution better we must look at what we were before the evolution began, before we made a radical decision to think for ourselves. Thinking for ourselves requires us to become warriors, different from what we were when we succumbed to weak finalities and continued down paths of least resistance. To become aware of where we were before we began this evolution, we must look closely at our comfort zones; God, country and family, those cherished values so key to our security.
These are our truths that we are willing to fight to the death to protect. Anyone questioning these values is considered an enemy and will certainly be shunned . . . or worse. These values have been with us as long as humankind has walked the earth. When we were no more than primitive tribes, we fought each other over territory and beliefs, one clan believing perhaps in a Sun God and the other in a Moon God. We believed in nature Gods in those simpler times because we didn't understand nature, and we seem to always deify those things we don't quite understand.
Admittedly, the definition of God is a little fuzzier now, no longer simply a celestial object or a bearded, old man emerging from clouds surrounded by sunbeams. God is now either a non descript universal awareness or something very personal but hard to define, something different for each one of us when we try to explain who or what God means to us. When we have a sudden enlightening episode that we can't understand, our programmed mind must immediately categorize and manage it. We can't seem to say, "I don't know." We must link it to whatever beliefs are in vogue at the time.
The fact that we never see the reality of our situations is not complicated; something simply holds us back from understanding clearly what exactly is going on without prejudice or belief. This thing that holds us back is a familiar phenomenon; it is called fear. When we are fearful, we rely on others to do our thinking for us, especially about the biggies such as religion or culture.
While we adamantly project our independent views into things more easily understood, we bow to higher authorities when it comes to our religion, our country, and even our families. We call it tradition, but in reality, it is fear of change. We go along with everyone else because to think for ourselves would be risky. That would require energy, intelligence, and especially courage. Furthermore, thinking for ourselves has always been discouraged by those in power.
To go against the grain of society is considered to be negative, anti-social, and subversive. So why trouble ourselves? It's easier not to question or make waves. After all, things are going along pretty well so why rock the boat? If we lived in a country where freedoms are not available, where corruption and inequities abound, we might not be so tolerant, but we live in free country and that's good enough.
But then, why are we still fearful and dissatisfied?
We must be brutally honest with ourselves here. We must admit that we feel these things all the time. These are the result of belief . . . belief not so much in outward circumstances, but belief in an inward illusion of a separate self or ego; a construction of mind that can never escape fear and worry. That's why it seeks refuge in religions that promise immortality, or an ideal that promises perfection.
Being told what to do and think can be comforting. It shifts responsibility to an authority. We look to a political party, or a plan of action, a guru, a priest, anything to keep from taking responsibility ourselves. However, a problem arises when we capitulate like this; we subject ourselves to abuse. Being taken advantage of always requires, in one way or another, our passive acceptance, usually for the sake of convenience.
However, some people don't accept being abused or taken advantage of, and these are the iconoclasts that cause all kinds of problems with the status quo!
Most of us, however, passively resign ourselves to look toward others to tell us what to do and what to believe. It's easy, it's comforting, and it feels secure to be part of the herd requiring little or no investigation or ferreting out what is true or what is false.
Truth becomes secondary to a daze-induced mediocrity of inaction. When we surrender in this manner, our situations become so comfortable that we soon find ourselves blindly following all kinds of ideals without questioning anything. Then we get into trouble. The ideals are more often than not ambitions of powerful egoistic individuals or organizations that want to structure humanity within their own narrow vision of the world.
The histories of organizations always reveal their real intentions, regardless of what they espouse. When we capitulate our independent thinking to the greed and hatred of these egoistic, unenlightened leaders or organizations, we, ourselves, become the cause of the wars that are certain to result. Then the security that we had hoped would result from blindly following an ideal instead of taking responsibility and seeing for ourselves becomes not a security at all, but uncertainty and fear.
What keeps us from becoming independent thinkers? Why do we blindly follow the decrees of others? Do we do it because it is comfortable, a short cut, and makes us feel secure, warm, and fuzzy?
God, country, family - these are our realities, and to question them would be to question the very fabric of our lives. But if we use our perceived realities in a conceited way, hitting people over the head with them, then our realities separate us from the rest of humanity.
And all of this is where we are, before the evolution.
His 30 years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk.
Originally published on SearchWarp.com for E. Raymond Rock Friday, July 23, 2010
Article Source: Are You a Spiritual Warrior? (Part 1of 3: How We Got to This Point)
Friday, July 23, 2010
The main Christian doctrines and festivals, including a great mass of affiliated legend and ceremonial, are really quite directly derived from and related to preceding Nature worships. It has only been by a good deal of deliberate mystification and falsification that this derivation has been kept out of sight.
The whole subject is a very large one, with each stage filling antiquity volumes. At the time of the life or recorded appearance of Jesus of Nazareth and for some centuries before, the Mediterranean and neighboring world had been on the scene through a vast number of Pagan creeds and rituals. There were temples without end dedicated to the Gods like Apollo or Dionysus found among the Greeks, Hercules among the Romas, Mithra among the Persians, Adonis and Attis in Syria, and Phyrgia, Osiris, Isis, and Horus in Egypt and Baal and Astarte in the Babylonians and Carthaginians regions; the list could go on and on.
Societies whether large or small united believers and the devout in the service or ceremonials connected with their respective deities, and in the creeds which they confessed concerning these deities. Extraordinarily an interesting fact is that notwithstanding great geographical distances and racial differences between the adherents of the these various religious view, as well as differences in the details of their services, the general outlines of their creeds and ceremonials were so markedly similar as we find them.
It would be out of the scope of this article to go into length as to these different religions, however, it can be said that all or nearly all the deities above mentioned it is found to have have believed in that of:
1.They were born on or very near modern day Christmas
2.They were born of a Virgin Mother
3.They were born in a cave or underground chamber
4.They led a life of toil for mankind
5.They were all called by the names of Light bringer, Healer, Mediator, Savior, Deliver
6.They were however vanquished by the power of darkness
7.They descended into Hell or the Underworld
8.They rose again from the dead and became the pioneers of mankind into the Heavenly world
9.They founded Communions of Saints and Churches into which disciples were received by Baptism
10.They were commemorated by Eucharistic meals.
In order to fully show this, here are a few brief examples:
1.Mithra was born in a cave on the 25th of December. He was born of a Virgin. He traveled far and wide as a teacher and illuminate of men. He slew the Bull (symbol of the Earth which the sunlight fructifies). His great festivals were the winter solstice and the spring equinox (Christmas and Easter). He had twelve companions or disciples (the twelve months). He was buried in a tomb, from which he rose again, and his resurrection was celebrated yearly with great rejoicing. He was called Savior and Mediator, and sometimes figured as a Lamb. A sacramental feasts in remembrance of him were held by his followers. This legend is apparently partly astronomical and partly vegetational. The birth feast of Mithra was held in Rome on the 8th day before the 1st of January, being also the day of the Circassian games, which were sacred to the Sun . This at any rate was reported by his later disciples.
2.Osiris was born (according to Plutarch) on the 361st day of the year. He was a great traveler. As King of Egypt he taught men civil arts and "tamed them by music and gentleness, not of force of arms". He was the discoverer of corn and wine. He was betrayed by Typhon, the power of darkness and slain and dismembered. "This happened on the 17th of the month Athyr when the sun enters into the Scorpion (the sign of the Zodiac which indicates the oncoming of Winter), according to Plutarch. His body was placed in a box, but on the 19th came again to life and an image placed in a coffin was brought out before the worshipers and saluted with glad cries of "Osiris is risen". "His sufferings, his death and his resurrection were enacted year by year in a great mystery -play at Abydos".
3.Vegetation myth of Adonis or Tammuz, the Syrian God of vegetation was a very beautiful youth born of a Virgin (Nature) and so beautiful that Venus and Proserpine (the Goddesses of the Upper and Underworlds) both fell in love with him. To reconcile their claim upon him, it was agreed that he should spend half the year (summer) in the upper world, and the winter half with Proserpine below. He was killed by a board (Typhon) in the autumn. Every year the maidens 'wept for Adonis'. In a spring a festival of his resurrection was held, the women set out to seek him, and having found the corpse and placed it in a coffin or hollow tree and performed wild rites and lamentations, followed by even wilder rejoicings over his resurrection. At Aphaca in the North of Syria and halfway between Byblus and Baalbec, there was a famous grove and temple of Astarte, near which was a wild romantic gorge full of trees, and the birthplace of a certain river Adonis from the water rushing from a cavern under the lofty cliffs. Here every year the youth Adonis was again wounded to death and the river ran red with his blood, while the scarlet anemone bloomed among the cedars and walnuts. A discoloration caused by red earth washed by rain from the mountains, and which has been observed by modern travelers.
4.The story of Attis was a fair young shepherd or herdsman of Phrygia beloved by Cybele (or Demeter) the Mother of the Gods. He was born of a Virgin Nana who was conceived by putting a ripe almond or pomegranate in her bosom. He died, either killed by a boar the symbol of winter or was self-castrated (like his own priests), and he bled to death at the foot of a pine tree (the pine and pine cone being symbols of fertility). The sacrifice of his blood renewed the fertility of the earth, and in the ritual celebration of his death and resurrection his image was fastened to the trunk of a pine tree (compared to the Crucifixion). The worship of Attis became widespread and much honored and ultimately incorporated with the established religion at Rome.
5.The legends of Hercules and Krishna are associated the solar myths. Both benefactors of humanity. Hercules or Heracles was like other Sun gods and benefactors of mankind, a great Traveler. He was known in many lands and was invoked as a Savior. He was miraculously conceived from a divine Father. Even in the cradle he strangled two serpents sent to destroy him. His many labors for the good of the world were ultimately epitomized into twelve symbolized by the signs of the Zodiac. He slew the Nemxan Lion and the Hydra (off spring of Typhon) and the Boar. He overcame the Cretan Bull and cleaned the stables of Augeas. He conquered Death descending into Hades bring Cerberus there and then ascended into the Heavens. He was followed by the gratitude and prayers of the mortals.
6.Krishna, the Indian God, has so many points of agreement with the general divine carer to be fully recorded. He was born of a Virgin (Devaki) in a cave, and his birth announced by a Star. It was sought to destroy him and for that purpose a massacre of infants was ordered. Everywhere he performed miracles, raising the dead, healing lepers, deaf, blind and championing the poor and oppressed. He had a beloved disciple, Arjuna before whom he was transfigured.
His death was upon a crucifixion on a tree. He descended into hell and rose again to ascend into heaven in the sight of many people. He will return at the last day to be the judge of the quick and the dead.
Some of the legends concerning the Pagan and pre Christian deities which are only briefly sketched here, the purpose only to gain a new perspective of the subject. What we chiefly notice so far are two points. One is the general similarity of these stories with that of Jesus Christ, Second the analogy with the yearly phenomena of Nature as illustrated by the course of the Sun in heaven and the changes of Vegetation on the earth.
The similarity of these ancient legends and beliefs with the early Christian traditions was indeed so enormous that it excited the attention and the undisguised wrath of the early Christian fathers. They had to feel the similarity, but not knowing how to explain it when it was questioned, fell back upon the innocent theory that the Devil in order to confound the Christians had centuries before caused these other cultures to adopt certain beliefs and practices.
Justin Martyr describes the institution of the Lord's Supper as narrated in the Gospels and then goes on to say "Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithra, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated you either know or can learn." Tertullian also wrote that the "devil by the mysteries of his idols imitates even the main part of the divine mysteries..... He baptizes his worships in water and makes them believe that this purifies them from their crimes..... Mithra sets his mark on the forehead of his soldiers, he celebrates the oblation of bread, he offers an image of the resurrection, and presents at once the crown and the sword; he limits his chief priest to a single marriage, he even has his virgins and ascetics." Cortex, too, will be remembered complained that the Devil had positively taught to the Mexicans the same things which God had taught to Christendom.
Justin Martyr again speaks in the dialog with Trypho says that the Birth in the Stable was the prototype of the birth of Mithra in the Cave of Zoroastrianism and boasts that Christ was born when the Sun takes its birth in the Augean Stable, coming as a second Hercules to cleanse a foul world; and St Augustine says "we hold this (Christmas) day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the sun, but because of the birth of him who made it.
There are countless other instances in the Early Fathers of their indignant inscriptions of these similarities of the world of devils, but we need not dwell over them. On the contrary the Christian writers are the evidence of how to what extend in the spread of Christianity over the world as it had become fused with the other beliefs previously existing.
It was not until the year 530 CE, a near five centuries after the noted birth of Christs, that Dionysus an abbot and astronomer of Rome, was commissioned to fix the day and the year of his birth. Since the historical science of that period left much to an imagination, he assigned the date of December 25 which was a date that had been in popular use since about 350 BCE, which was within a day or so of the supposed birth of the previous Sungods. From this single fact alone it is easy to conclude that by the year 530 ce the earlier existing Nature worship had largely fused in Christianity. In fact the dates of the main other cultural religious festivals had been so popular at the time, Christianity was obliged to accommodate itself to them.
For instance the festival of John the Baptist in June took the place of the Pagan midsummer festival of water and bathing. The Assumption of the Virgin in August took the place of that of Diana in the same month. The festival of All Souls early in November the world wide Pagan feasts of the dead and their ghosts at the same season.
"There is however a difficulty in accepting the 25th of December as the real date of the Nativity, December being the height of the rainy season in Judea, when neither flocks nor shepherds could have been at night in the fields of Bethlehem. Some believe that the Feast of the Nativity was taking place before the fourth century CE. It was not until 534 CE that Christmas Day and Epiphany were reckoned by the law-courts.
This brings us back to the analogy between the Christmas Day and Mithra. As stated it was believed that Mithra was born on the 25th of December (which on the Julian Calendar was reckoned as the day of the Winter Solstice and of the Nativity of the Sun). Plutarch wrote that Osiris was born on the 361st day of the year, when a voice rang out proclaiming the Lord of All. Horus, he says, was born on the 362nd day. Apollo on the same. Is this all mere coincidence? Why did the Druids at Yule Tide light roaring fires? Why was the cock suppose to crow all Christmas Eve ("The bird of dawning singeth all night long")? Why was Apollo born with only one hair (the young Sun with only one feeble ray)? Why did Samson lose all his strength when he lost his hair? Why were so many of the Gods Mithra, Apollo, Krishna, Jesus, and others born in caves or underground chambers? Why at the Easter Eve festival of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem is a light brought from the grave and communicated to the candles of thousands who wait outside, and who rush forth rejoicing to carry the new glory over the world?
Why except that older than all history and all written records has been the fear and wonderment of the children of men over the failure of Sun's strength in Autumn the decay of their God, and the anxiety lest by any means he should not revive or reappear? This is the same legend of Gods being born in caves has, curiously enough, has been reported from Mexico, Guatemala, the Antilles, and other places in Central America. Compare the Aztec ceremonial of lighting a holy fire and communicating it to the multitude from the wounded breast of a human victim, celebrated every 52 years at the end of one cycle and the beginning of another the constellation of the Pleiades being in the Zenith.
Think back for a moment in a time when there were no almanacs or calendars when all the timid mortals could see that their great source of Light and Warmth was daily failing, daily sinking lower in the sky. Science now tells us that there about three weeks at the end of the year when the days are at their shortest. Evidently the God had fallen upon evil times. Typhon the prince of darkness had betrayed him, Delilah the queen of night had shortened his hair; the dreadful Boar had wounded him; Hercules was struggling with Death itself; he had fallen under the influence of those malign constellations - the Serpent and the Scorpion. Would the God grow weaker and weaker, and finally succumb or would he conquer after all?
Imagine the anxiety of man and women of the time watching for any indication of a day lengthening in the sky, and the universal joy when the 'Priest' (some representative of primitive religion) having noted some simple observations announce from the Temple steps that day was lengthening that the Sun was really born again to a new and glorious beginning. It was undoubtedly that these observations were what gave the 'Priesthood' its power.
Looking at the elementary science of those days, how without almanacs or calendars could the day of the Sun's rebirth be fixed? Step out the next Christmas Evening and stare up to the midnight skies, you will see the brightest of the fixed stars, Sirius, blazing in the southern sky. Tis would not be due south but somewhere to the left of the Meridian line. Some three thousands years ago (owing the precession of the equinoxes) that star at the winter solstice did not stand at midnight where you now see it, but almost exactly on the meridian line. The coming of Sirius therefore to the meridian at midnight became the sign and assurance of the Sun having reached the very lowest point of his course, and therefore of having arrived at the moment of his re birth. Where then would the Sun be at that moment?
In the underworld beneath of our feet. Whatever view the ancients may have had about the shape of the earth, it was evident to the mass of people that the Sungod, after illuminating the world during the day, plunged down in the West and remained there during the hours of darkness in some cavern under the earth. It is thought that there he rested and after bathing in the great ocean renewed his garments before reappearing in the East the next morning. On this longest night it was believed that the new birth would come, if at all, at midnight. Midnight was the sacred hour when in the underworld (the Stable or the Cave) the child was born who was destined to be the Savior of men. At that moment, Sirius stood on the southern meridian) and that star is the Star in the East mentioned in the Gospels. To the right, as an observer looks at Sirius at midnight of Christmas Eve, stands the magnificent Orion, the mighty hunter. There are three stars in his belt that lie in a straight line pointing to Sirius. They are not so bright as Sirius, but bright enough to attract attention. From ancient times they were named of the Three Kings.
It was Charles Dupuis in 1822 that wrote immediately after midnight then, on the 25th December, the Beloved Son (Sun god) was born. If we go back in thought to the period, some three thousand years ago, when at that moment of the heavenly birth Sirius coming from the East did actually appear to stand on the meridian, it is then we can look at the touch of another curious astronomical coincidence. For at the same moment is when the Zodiacal constellation of the Virgin in the act of rising, and becoming visible in the East divided through the middle by the line of the horizon. The constellation Virgo is a Y shaped group of which the star at the foot is the well known Spica a star of the first magnitude.
The other principal stars at the center and the extremities are of the second magnitude. The whole resembles more a cup than the human figure; but when we remember the symbolic meaning of the cup, that seems to be an obvious explanation of the name Virgo, which the constellations has borne since the earliest times. Three stars lay very nearly on the Ecliptic (the Sun's path). At the moment then when Sirius, the star from the East, by coming to the Meridian at midnight signaled the Sun's new birth, the Virgin was seen just rising on the Eastern sky the horizon line passing through her center.
Many people think that this astronomical fact is the explanation of the very widespread legend of the Virgin birth. It is not the sole explanation of the wide spread legend or acceptance of a myth, rather it seems that the convergence of a number of meanings and reasons in the same symbol is what is worth consideration.
In the Temple of Denderah in Egypt on the inside of the dome there was an elaborate circular representation of the Northern hemisphere of the sky and the Zodiac. Here Virgo's constellation is represented as in our star maps of today, by a woman with a spike of corn in her hand (Spica). The margin close by is an annotating and explicatory figure. The figure of Isis with the infant Horus in her arms resembling in style the Christian Madonna and Child except that she is sitting and the child is on her knee. This seems to show that whatever other nations may have done relatively to the association of Virgo with Demeter, Ceres, Diana, etc. The Egyptians made no doubt of the constellation's connection Isis and Horus. It is a well known matter of history that the worship of Isis and Horus descended in the early Christian centuries to Alexandria, where it took the form of the worship of the Virgin Mary and infant Savior, so passing into the European ceremonial. We have the Virgin Mary and the infant Savior connected by linear succession and descent with the remote Zodiacal cluster in the sky. It is also worth mentioning that on the Arabian and Persian globes of Abenezra and Abuazar a Virgin and Child are figured in connection wit the same constellation.
A curious confirmation of the same astronomical connections are afforded by the Roman Catholic Calendar. The festival of the Assumption of the Virgin is placed on the 15th of August, while the festival of the Birth of the Virgin is dated the 8th of September. Remember that the stars of Virgo are almost exactly on the Ecliptic or Sun's path through the sky and a brief reference to the Zodiacal signs and the star maps show that the Sun each year enters the sign of Virgo about the 15th of August and it leaves about the 8th of September. In present day the Zodiacal signs have shifted some distance from the constellations of the same name, however, at the time when the Zodiac was constituted and these names were given the first date obviously would signalize the actual disappearance of the cluster Virgo in the Sun's rays or the Assumption of the Virgin into the glory of the God while the second date would signalize the reappearance of the constellation or the Birth of the Virgin. The Church of Notre Dame at Paris is said to be on the original site of a Temple of Isis; and it is said that one of the side entrances (on the left in entering from the North side, s figured with the signs of the Zodiac except that the sign Virgo is replaced by the figure of the Madonna and Child.
Innumerable legends and customs connect the rebirth of the Sun with a Virgin parturition. In Part IV in the Golden Bough it says "If we may trust the evidence of an obscure scholastic the Greeks (in the worship of Mithras at Rome) used to celebrate the birth of the luminary by a midnight service, coming out of the inner shrines and crying, 'The Virgin has brought forth! The light is waxing!'" Another reference is made in the book Primitive Folk, "On the longest night of the year two priests, of whom one is disguised as a woman, go from hut to hut extinguishing all the lights, rekindling them from a vestal flame, and crying out, 'From the new sun cometh a new light!'" All of this and much more written on the Solar or Astronomical origins of the myths does in no way imply that the Vegetational origins must be ignored. These were doubtless were the earliest, but there is no reason that the two elements should not to some extent have run in parallel or been fused with each other.
In fact it is quite clear that they must done so and to separate them out too rigidly or treat them as antagonistic is, by many accounts, a mistake. The Cave or Underworld in which the New Year is born is not only the place of the sun's winter retirement, but also the hidden chamber beneath the Earth to which the dying vegetation goes and in the spring re arises. The amours of Adonis with Venus and Proserpine, the lovely Goddesses of the upper and under worlds, or of Attis with Cybele, the blooming Earth mother, are obvious vegetation symbols, but they do not exclude the interpretation that Adonis (Adonai) may also figure as a Sun god. The Zodiacal constellations of Aries and Taurus rule in heaven just when the Lamb and the Bull are in evidence on the earth; and the yearly sacrifice of those two animals and of the growing corn for the good of mankind runs parallel with the drama of the sky, as it affects not only the sad constellations but also Virgo (the Earth mother who bears the sheaf of corn in her hand).
Between Christmas Day and Easter there are several minor festivals or holy days such as 28th December (the Massacre of the Innocents), the 6th January (the Epiphany), the 2nd February (Candlemas Day), the period of Lent (German Lenz, the Spring), the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin which have been commonly celebrated dates in other religions before Christianity and in which elements of Star and Nature worship can be traced.
Looking to Easter, this festival of Purification of the Virgin corresponds with the old Roman festival of Juno Februata (purified) which was held in the last month (February) of the Roman year and which included a candle procession of Ceres in searching for Proserpine.
The list here is only a brief sketch that in studies represents only the most glaring similarities. The commonalities go far beyond the facts when one begins to look into the theological similarities.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Writing For, Not Against
by Gregory Lewis
Licensed To Live
About four years ago I attended a lecture given by a prominent lawyer who represented two Guantanamo detainees. As this took place during the depressing Bush-Cheney years, the theme of the lecture was steeped in the setback to the U.S. Constitution which included, among other disturbing trends, Presidential signing orders to Congressional decrees, a policy of rationalizing torture, the War Against Nouns (Terror, this time around), unwarranted wiretaps, and several other forms of domestic spying.
After the lecture I met an older gentleman who said he had been an activist for three decades. I asked him how come he wasn't burned out.
"You don't burn out working for what you love," he told me. "Burn out happens when you fight against what you hate."
Lacking his experience, I could only take his word for it at the time, and reflect back on it throughout my writing career since. What I have found to be the case is that this gentleman was right.
Being a man subject to the whimsical circadian rhythm of the muse, I can't say there are not periods when my imagination seems to have lost its viscosity. I worry that my new situation, the absence of interesting people in my community, and the hot sun will sap my creative fluids, or at least dilute them. But my love of the the Great Liberal Ideal of a just, peaceable and educated world has kept my head above water, my back straight, and my quill inked (so to speak).
I suggest to my colleagues that you, too, speak out on behalf of that which you love. You will speak with a clear, distinct resonance. You will feel revived and tonified after an 800 word article, rather than drained and burned out. Your sex life will improve, pimples will clear, and you will outdistance the other guy who's made his life's mission "anti this" and "anti that."
Go ahead and try it. Write for the love of your ideals, believing that every word uttered is a step toward the prospect of a better world. Hope to see you again in about five years. Maybe 10, maybe 20.
Freelance journalist and graduate psychology student Gregory G. Lewis was a regular contributor to the West County News of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. As a correspondent to several Franklin County towns Mr. Lewis was better known by his Arts & Entertainment contributions, especially On the Marquee, a nuanced review of the region's outstanding art, music and drama.
Before his paper closed its doors in August of '08,
"My assignments took me to dinners and breakfasts with the Governor; to the 2006 Massachusetts Democratic Convention where I met candidate Deval Patrick, US Senator John Kerry and Kitty Dukakis; and backstage interviews with headliners like Scottish folk legend Dougie MacLean, The Mammals, The Wailin' Jenny's, and bluesman Chris Smither," said Mr. Lewis.
Gregory now explores exotic personalities, promoting introspective counseling through dream analysis.
Originally published on SearchWarp.com for Gregory Lewis Friday, June 04, 2010
Article Source: Writing For, Not Against
The deal is that you must start on your inner reality. What I mean by that is ask yourself first what you believe right this moment that is creating your outer reality. When you can honestly look at your own truths and beliefs (even those pesky hidden ones) , it is then that you can find out what attitudes, judgments, and decisions that have formed the foundation for your current reality. When you realize that YOUR beliefs have created your reality, it is then that you can begin to figure out what needs to be changed in order to change the outer reality. You have the power to create. You have the power to change. Beginning to bring focused awareness to the process of creating your desired reality is a healing and emotionally charged process.
I base my truths on the knowledge that Spirit (call it God, Divine, Source, Great Spirit, or whatever deity you wish) lives within each person. When you slow down enough to look within for the wisdom of what needs to change rather than looking at the outside world, it is empowering. Go past the shadows of doubt and look for the truth that is living and breathing within.
Your truths and belief patterns are what create your reality. If you are desiring something else - a different reality, beginning to ask yourself the simple question of what lies inside will rockey you into a new dimension. Think about it, if you are not a relaxed serene person - why? If you do not have a passion for your career - why? Can't find a relationship that is a soul level love - why? Asking yourself these questions and finding the honest answers is the first step in creating your reality.
Having discovered through this process the why's of your reality, the next step is discovering what the inner truths and beliefs need to be in order for you to have that desiered reality. Let's use a relationship as the example. You can do this whether you are in a relationshi or not. Make a list of your ideal relationship. What kind of relationship should it be? Fun? Honest? Loving? Adventerous? We are not talking about the type of person here, we are focused on the relationship itself. After writing the list of the ideal relationship, look at the relationships you currently have. Can look at work relationships, love relationships, children relationships. Where in each of these relationships are you lacking? Where have you not be honest? Loving? Adventerous?
When you stop looking at the outside reality and start looking at where your beliefs and truths are actually affecting your outside reality, it is then that you can begin to determine the changes are that you need to make. It takes some work; but the work is worth it. Use this same process regarding every aspect of your life and you will create the desired reality of your dreams.