Friday, January 31, 2014

The Road to Rebirth is out now!



My second novel The Road to Rebirth: Book Two of The Children of Telm is out now! You can order it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, and numerous other vendors.

Read the blurb (but WARNING, it contains SPOILERS of Book One, which you should read first):



THE DYING BREATH. THE DYING WILL. THE DYING HOPE. 

After the catastrophe of the Call of Agon, Ifferon and his companions find themselves in the unenviable situation of witnessing, and partaking in, the death of another god—this time Corrias, the ruler of the Overworld. 

With Corrias locked inside the corpse of the boy Théos, he suffers a fate worse than the bonds of the Beast Agon. Yet hope is kindled when the company find a way to restore the boy, and possibly the god, back to life. 

The road to rebirth has many pitfalls, and there are some who consider such meddling with the afterlife a grave risk. The prize might be life anew—but the price might also be a second death.



Watch the trailer:





Buy the paperback version here:



Buy the Kindle version here:


Help get the word out! Tell your friends. Share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and anywhere else you frequent. Thank you!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

The Call of Agon is out now!



My novel The Call of Agon: Book One of The Children of Telm is out now! You can order it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, and numerous other vendors.

Read the blurb:



THE LAST LINE. THE LAST WORDS. THE LAST CHANCE.

Ifferon is one of the last in the bloodline of the dead god Telm, who mated with mortal women, and who imprisoned the Beast Agon in the Underworld. Armed with a connection to the estranged gods in the Overworld and a scroll bearing Telm’s powerful dying words, he is tasked with ensuring the god’s vital legacy: that Agon remain vanquished. Fear forces Ifferon to abandon his duty, but terror restores his quest when the forces of Agon find his hideaway in an isolated coastal monastery.

Weighed down by the worries of the world, but lifted up by the companions he encounters along the way, Ifferon embarks on a journey that encompasses the struggles of many peoples, the siege of many lands, and discoveries that could bring hope to some—or doom to all.



Buy the paperback version here:



Buy the Kindle version here:


Help get the word out! Tell your friends. Share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and anywhere else you frequent. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pre-order Kerubim Press Books

Check out the latest press release from Kerubim Press. Golden Dawn and Enochian - what more could you want?


Pre-order Now!

Limited Hardback Editions available for pre-order.

The Kerubim Press launch titles, King Over The Water by Nick Farrell and Enochian Magic In Theory by Dean F. Wilson, are now available for pre-order. Both books are set for a late February launch, which is only weeks away, and there are only 100 copies of the Limited Hardback Edition of each title. All 100 copies will be signed and numbered by the author, and each copy will come with a Kerubim Press bookmark that is sure to be the envy of whatever it is you're currently using as a bookmark. If that wasn't enough, the Limited Hardback Editions also feature a different cover design compared to their paperback cousins, making them a true collector's item.

Paperback editions will be available from online retailers like Amazon in late February. Ebook versions will also be available within the coming months.

KING OVER THE WATER


King Over The Water is Nick Farrell's controversial prequel-come-sequel to Mathers' Last Secret, the exposé on Samuel Mathers from Golden Dawn fame. This book is set to rock the magical work just as much as its predecessor, with a thorough look at the ousted King of the Golden Dawn and how things went in his post-rebellion group, the Alpha et Omega. There are also a number of previously unpublished original GD and AO documents, such as the original Z documents and the Book of the Tomb, the secret and much coveted text that was required for making a Vault of the Adepts.


ENOCHIAN MAGIC IN THEORY


Enochian Magic In Theory is Dean F. Wilson's long-awaited tome on the theoretical elements of the powerful Enochian system of magic. The book provides an indepth look at the history of the system and answers many of the questions about the puzzles left behind by Dee and Kelley. Using a unique mix of scholarly critique and personal insight, Wilson provides a thorough understanding of a system that has beguiled many. As a magician who has worked extensively with Enochian magic for many years, Wilson prepares the foundations required for using the system - the necessary steps before delving into the practical guidelines of Enochian Magic In Practice, the sequel expected later this year.


Remember that there are only 100 copies of these Limited Hardback Editions. Make sure to pre-order your copy today to avoid disappointing both yourself and your bookshelf.

KERUBIM PRESS

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Announcing Kerubim Press

DUBLIN, IRELAND – Kerubim Press, independent publisher of occult books, officially announces its existence today, giving the esoteric community a valuable array of texts on topics ranging from ceremonial magic to paganism.

Kerubim Press authors deliver thoroughly researched topics presented in an accessible, yet scholarly format and/or easy to follow guidelines for practical magical work.

Books are published in both a limited hardcover edition of 100 signed and numbered copies, standard paperbacks for a more affordable budget, and multiple ebook formats for the revolutionary digital book age, which Kerubim Press plans to be major mover in.

The first two books in Kerubim Press' lineup are Nick Farrell's King Over The Water and Dean F. Wilson's Enochian Magic In Theory, both scheduled for release in February 2012. Pre-orders for the special limited edition of each will be available before release. Pricing has yet to be decided.

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(Temporary artwork)

Over the years many myths have built up about one of the founders of the Golden Dawn, Samuel L. MacGregor Mathers. Many of these have been created by those who wish to damn the Golden Dawn and its system of magic or by those who want to naively believe a bogus magical story about the Order and its founders.

In King Over The Water, Golden Dawn magician Nick Farrell paints a picture of the founders of the Golden Dawn becoming out of their depth as the Order began to create magicians. Rather than painting Mathers as an eccentric genius, Farrell sees him as an autocratic fantasist. He sees Mathers struggling to keep up as his students rapidly became better than him at the system he created, and shows how he was unable to raise his game to help the Order develop further.

In what will be a portrait of the problems that could befall any esoteric leader, Farrell (author of Gathering The Magic, a textbook on magical group dynamics) reveals how Mathers' later rituals were an attempt to remove the magic from the system he created so that he could milk it for money.

Included will be previously unpublished papers from Mathers' own version of the Golden Dawn, the Alpha et Omega, including the unexpurgated version of the Tarot manuscript, the full version of the Book of the Tomb (a key document for creating a Vault of the Adepts), the original method for the consecration of the sword, and much more.

King Over The Water is the prequel to Farrell's groundbreaking exposé on the Alpha et Omega, Mathers' Last Secret (2011, Rosicrucian Order of the Golden Dawn), and provides another look into the mind of a magician that helped develop the magic we use today.

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(Temporary artwork)

The first of Dean F. Wilson’s eagerly awaited Enochian Magic series, detailing John Dee and Edward Kelley’s magical system in extraordinary detail, from the Heptarchic system to Enochian proper.

Wilson provides a unique mix of thorough research with his own experience and understanding from using the system for many years, resulting in a book that is both scholarly and insightful.

He explores the history behind the famous magician and seer, shows how the system was delivered, explains why it is such a powerful magical tool, and answers many of the questions that people have asked about the nature of the angelic beings.

Gain an indepth knowledge of Enochian magic. Learn how to derive the names of angels from the various tablets. Discover the purpose of the tools. Ponder the mysteries of the more obscure parts of the system, with Wilson’s suggestions for what they might mean.

This tome provides a comprehensive overview of the Enochian system for both scholars and magicians, with excerpts from Dee's diaries and insights from a number of Enochian magicians over the last century.

Enochian Magic In Theory is the first of a two part series on Dee's angelic system, with Enochian Magic In Practice providing the practical instructions for how to put the magic into use. The latter is scheduled for a late 2012 release.

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Like the Kerubim of Ezekiel, Kerubim Press aims to look in all directions to provide one of the most comprehensive selections of occult books on the market, while remaining committed to quality in everything it publishes.

Spread the word about Kerubim Press by telling your friends and colleagues.

Bookmark Kerubim Press' website:
http://www.KerubimPress.com

Like Kerubim Press on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/KerubimPress

Follow Kerubim Press on Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/KerubimPress

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Gnostic #3


The third issue of The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality. Featuring a cover by C.G. Jung, Lance Owens on Jung's Red Book. Interviews with David Tibet of Current 93, Jacob Needleman and Zohar expert Daniel C. Matt. Articles on Gnostic anime, Robert Graves, Gnostic texts, the Gospel of Luke, William Blake, deja vu, coincidence, a ten page comic, reviews and much more.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Poetry: A Pale Afterthought

In these mingled moments when the earth grows cold,
When all of us yet living watch catastrophe unfold,
There is a lonely glimmer buried deep beneath the rubble
Of our colder hearts that led us to this trouble.
If only we had dared to cast our greedy glances
Upon the poorest nations who do not get our second chances
To live a life worth living on this angered earth,
This little ball of rubble that is our place of birth,
Then maybe, for a moment, we would make a change,
A bargain well worth making, a life for death exchange,
A little bit of offering, a helping hand in need
Instead of giving only to our hungry friend called greed.
Then maybe we could give to them when they're still alive
Instead of this pale afterthought to help a few survive.
I suppose it clears our conscience, makes us feel real good
That our aid has reached these people now... instead of when it should.

Healing for Haiti

I join with many other mystics and magicians in offering my prayers and magical energies to Haiti, to both the living, the dead, and the dying. Please join your fellow Fratres and Sorores in offering your time, money, magic, or anything you can to aid the people of Haiti and the aidworkers who are struggling to deliver this aid. Monetary donations can be made to a number of organisations, including the Irish Red Cross.

Let us also take time to remove the veil of ignorance and spend some time and money on preventing such disasters occuring. There are other poor countries around the world who are prone to natural disaster, only they do not have the resources to prevent buildings collapsing, etc. This is the man-made disaster that made things worse.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Gnostic #2


The second issue of The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality. Featuring an interview with Colin Wilson and an indepth examination of his ideas on the occult. An interview with Tessa Dick, widow of Philip K Dick, plus an excerpt from her memoir and Anthony Peake's analysis of Dick's precognitive abilities. An interview with noted scholar April DeConick on the Gospel of John. The Gnosticism of the TV series The Prisoner. Kimetikos, Jeremy Puma's Gnostic practice. Tony Blake's meetings with remarkable people including J.G. Bennett, David Bohm and Idries Shah. Articles on asceticism, the symbolism of the Bible, Resurrection, Schrodinger's Gun, a short story by Andrew Phillip Smith. Extensive book reviews, original art and more.

Published Autumn 2009 by Bardic Press. Perfectbound softcover, 186 pages, ISBN 978-1906834029, $14, £9 €10. See http://www.the-gnostic.com

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1906834059/thegospeoftho-20

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Gospel & the Zodiac

Scott Rassbach of the AJC gave a lecture on the Gospel and the Zodiac (based on the Unitarian minister Bill Darlison's book of the same name) as part of the AJC's Conclave 2009. A video of this lecture has been uploaded to Youtube, which you can watch in four parts below:









Another video of an interview with Bill Darlison himself (note that this interview was done before the book's release, and thus it is now widely available for purchase).



Finally, check out the book itself (my review of which should be in #2 of The Gnostic):


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Whoever is Free is a Slave...

"Whoever knows the truth is free, and a free person does not sin, for 'one who sins is a slave of sin....' Those who do not allow themselves to sin the world calls free. They do not allow themselves to sin, and the knowledge of the truth lifts them up - that is, it makes them free and superior to all. But 'love builds up'. Whoever is free through knowledge is a slave because of love for those who do not yet have freedom of gnosis. Gnosis enables them to be free."

- Gospel of Philip (via Jeremy Puma's column in The Gnostic #1)

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Gnostic #1 Now Available

From Andrew Phillip Smith's blog:



"The Gnostic #1 is finally available.

It includes an interview with John Turner, an expert on Sethian Gnosticism, a new translation of the Gospel of Judas, a whirlwind tour of the alternative Judas, and a note on translational issues in the Gospel of Thomas. Gnostic-influenced writers are featured heavily with a long interview with Alan Moore, and an excerpt from a prose work inspired by William Blake, and articles on William Burroughs and Philip K. Dick. The more adventurous scholarly articles include Will Parker’s examination of the magical worldview, a look at the figure of Judas outside of the New Testament, and an examination of Paul’s attitude to Moses. Jeremy Puma’s regular column looks at the pivotal topic of Gnosis itself. Plus reviews of more than a dozen books. Oh, and an excerpt from Freke and Gandy's Gospel of the Second Coming. And more.

Scott Finch, John Coulthart and Eddie Campbell provide visuals.

The easiest way to purchase it is through Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1906834024/thegospeoftho-20

It's also available through amazon.co.uk, most other online bookstores and eventually in selected brick-and-mortar bookstores. Comp copies are on their way to contributors.

Thanks to you all for your encouragement and help."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Knowledge of God

If God is beyond the grasp of our fragile minds, then we have to content ourselves with the fact that our approximations of what God is are merely that - approximations. This should not, however, discourage us from using mythology, religion, and art as an attempt to describe and understand the majesty of God, however ultimately futile such an attempt might be, nor discourage us to use our heart and our Gnosis to come to the only real knowledge of God that can be attained.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Book Review: The Gnostics

Gnosticism has become increasingly popular over recent years, with the publication of the Nag Hammadi library, the even more recent Gospel of Judas, the blockbuster Matrix films, and, of course, the infamous Da Vinci Code book and film, not to mention countless others that slip under the radar of all but those who have “eyes to see”. However, all this popularity has led to a very skewed understanding of what Gnosticism is all about – some people think it was invented by Aleister Crowley, that it was all about Jesus' relationship with Mary Magdalene, or that it was a single obscure heretical group that didn't last very long. The Gnostics, by Andrew Phillip Smith, is an accessible book that dispels these erroneous views with a thorough introduction to the history, tradition, scriptures, and influence of Gnosticism in all its facets.

The book, numbering just under 250 pages, is broad in scope, dealing with nearly all of the Gnostic groups of note from its inception two millenia ago to its revival in modern days in both an occult and ecclesiastical form. Entire chapters are devoted to the Sethians and Valentinians, the Manichaens, the Cathars, and the Mandaens, with brief mention of other smaller groups (which we sadly lack information on) in between. Other chapters deal with Gnostic mythology, psychology, praxis, and, of course, that illusive concept of
Gnosis itself. Smith includes a rather sizeable chapter on the modern Gnostic revival which “brings it home”, as it were, in a way that people can relate to; works from Blake, Philip Pullman, Philip K. Dick, and other modern works are mentioned, allowing the reader to see how the transmission of Gnosis never truly died out. References, a good bibliography, and an index are also supplied, which will please anyone looking at this from an academic perspective.

It is evident that Smith is not merely a scholar in this field, but immensely interested in the traditions and texts which he studies. His enthusiasm is apparent in nearly every page of the book, and his sympathy for Gnosticism is a welcome change for Gnostics like myself, who all too often have to contend with the cruel eye of heresiological bias. However, in stating this, Smith never abandons historical accuracy or conventional scholarly practice in presenting his views. His arguments are generally solid and widely accepted throughout the academic world. One such argument is “Gnosticism is dualist”, which frequently raises the ire of modern Gnostics who vehemently disagree with the notion. Initially a Gnostic reader might bite their lip when reading this same argument coming from Smith, but it quickly becomes apparent that he has found a balance between the conventional view and the modern Gnostic one: “...classical Gnostic dualism was a dualism within unity.” Smith also takes care not to lump every Gnostic group into the same “dualistic” heading: “There is a clear distinction between absolute or radical dualism [...] and mitigated or moderate dualism, which posits a good God or good force at the beginning and culmination, at the highest point of the universe, but which acknowledges that an independent evil force or lower God has as much, or more, influence on our present world. The Sethians and Valentinians were mitigated dualists, the Manichaens absolute dualists.” While many modern (Valentinian) Gnostics might still grind their teeth at the word “dualist” being used here at all, this explict distinction between absolute and mitigated forms, so well described by Smith, goes a long way to ammending the somewhat negative usage of the word.

The Gnostics
is one of the few introductory texts that covers almost the entire scope of Gnosticism, providing a true and accurate portrayal of the variety and uniqueness that comes with Gnosis through the ages. In these days when people are questioning the orthodox Christian viewpoint, hungry now for a tradition that utilises the mythology they are used to in a radically different and positive way, it is important that they educate themselves on these alternate traditions that have remained a secret for too long in this world. In light of this, this book is one of the few I would recommend to those who know little or nothing about Gnosticism, and yet even for those who actively engage in the Gnostic path, for, as Smith puts it, “the opportunities for Gnosis are greater now than they may have been for several centuries.”

The Gnostics
, by Andrew Phillip Smith; Watkins Publishing (2008)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Prayer for the Global Economy

We send energy to aid in the regeneration of the global economy, that we might all be prosperous, that we might all avail of wealth, and that we might all return to days of hope and joy, and partake in a better, more affluent world. We will for reinvigoration, recovery, and stimulation in the global economy, and we take the fear and gloom and despair that permeates the world and transform it into hope, joy, and universal happiness, for such such is the power and potency in us as global alchemists to bring about change and transformation, to ensure a thriving and flourishing economy for this day and the many days to come.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wasatch Gnostic Society - 2009 Tolkien Lectures

The Lord of the Rings, while perhaps not intended as a Gnostic work, is a piece of fiction that tends to resonate loudly with Gnostics around the world - so much so that the Ecclesia Gnostica has a section dedicated to Tolkien on its website.

Recently when checking a fan-site (theOneRing.net) I found an interesting series of lectures being held by the Wasatch Gnostic Society. Details can be found here.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

My Views on Fate

I believe that certain things are "fated" to be, but, in fact, they're also completely changeable. In a normal human sense they are fated, but in a more "godly" sense they are changeable. This is where the distinction between Higher and Lower Self is needed. The Higher Self chooses, while the Lower Self enacts a choice. Indeed, this is where, to give an analogy from the Matrix, the Oracle tells Neo "You've already made the choice. Now you have to understand it". If we will, we may change anything that is "fated", but only through the Higher Self - and we may decide not to change something after initially trying to once we realise it was an essential choice for our spiritual growth.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Demiurge's Laugh

The Demiurge's Laugh

It was far in the sameness of the wood;
I was running with joy on the Demon’s trail,
Though I knew what I hunted was no true god.
It was just as the light was beginning to fail
That I suddenly heard—all I needed to hear:
It has lasted me many and many a year.

The sound was behind me instead of before,
A sleepy sound, but mocking half,
As of one who utterly couldn’t care.
The Demon arose from his wallow to laugh,
Brushing the dirt from his eye as he went;
And well I knew what the Demon meant.

I shall not forget how his laugh rang out.
I felt as a fool to have been so caught,
And checked my steps to make pretense
It was something among the leaves I sought
(Though doubtful whether he stayed to see).
Thereafter I sat me against a tree.

- Robert Frost

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Gnosticism as Playful and Celebratory...

"Another aspect of Rosicrucianism which few writers have touched upon, but which I feel is important, is its quality of playfulness, something that is arguably present in the Gnostic tradition that so influenced Rosicrucianism. The dualistic universe of the Gnostics, with its demiurge who created the physical world, need not be gloomy and depressing. Rather, it opens up the possibility of seeing the world as a marvellous conjuring trick, with the demiurge as the conjurer, whose skill is admired and applauded. But sooner or later the show will end and you must leave the theatre. From this viewpoint, Gnosticism ceases to be a negative, melancholy view and becomes instead a playful, celebratory one."

- Christopher McIntosh, The Rosicrucians

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"The Gnostics" by Andrew Phillip Smith



Andrew Phillip Smith, who is a well known author within the Gnostic community, has just released a new book entitled "The Gnostics", which is an introductory text on the subject, numbering just over 250 pages. It looks like a very intriguing book, with a solid scholarly backing, and I will be posting a review of it here on Henosis Decanus soon.

In the mean time, you can order it here, or, if you want the slightly different cover of the American version, try here (although you'll have to wait 'til early October for that version). Also check your local bookshops.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Blog List Updated

I've finally gotten round to updating my blog list with the better blog feed that Blogger has introduced (where you can see updates and click straight into the latest post of each blogger). I've also added a few new blogs and removed a few old ones. The two I'd like to highlight are:


This is run by a team from the Palm Tree Garden, and has some excellent posts thus far.


This is run by a friend, who has written a number of books on Gnosticism, and is the Editor of the new The Gnostic magazine, which should be out by the end of the year. I'll keep you posted.

I'll be attempting to update this blog a little more regularly, but in the mean time, feel free to check out my other blog:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"The Sunlight And Air Of The True Spirit"

"[Roiscrucianism] did develop a coherent teaching, which represented a highly interesting late revival of a Gnostic way of thinking. By "Gnostic" I mean, in essence, the view that the human spirit is trapped, as it were, under water, living a kind of half-life, ignorant of the fact that the sunlight and air of the true spirit are overhead. If knowledge (or gnosis) can make people aware of this, they will make the effort to swim upward and be reunited with their real element."

- Christopher McIntosh, The Rosicrucians

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Poetry: Doubters Of Divinity

You doubters of divinity -
You see devils in the hearts of all God's people,
Who must, by your great will, come out in straw
With pitchforks ready
To clash, steel on wood, against the sceptres of sure Science,
Held aloft upon the horses of your reign.
If only it were simple,
Adam cast across the rift from Atoms,
An uncrossable Abyss,
A mental chasm where only malice lies.
But where is subtlety in these uncertain times,
Where we, in our doubt, assume we know it all?
There is only red and blue and yellow,
Stark around their corners
Where no meld of hue is seen,
Nor permitted, nor encouraged,
As was once the case
When the brilliant light of art
Merged with the evanescence of the angels
And the candescence of great culture
Saw no contradiction between the art of science,
And the science of art.
There was none of this vile blindedness,
Where the books of chemistry and physics
Cannot rest upon the shelf amidst the classics,
Those epitomes of literature
And the episodes of Man.
Our books are bound more tightly,
And thicker are their covers,
For fear we might somehow contaminate each other
With these opposing truths, these opposing lies.
The incivility of cynicism,
That vast tidal wave of suspicion,
Washes over many, a ravage rampant tempest
Against those "savages" who believe in something more.
And in the shadows of our minds creeps a growing creed:
Turn the other eye instead of cheek,
Afraid to face the possibility
That there are answers in the artistry
That only the humble heart can read.

Inspired by Richard Dawkins

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Knights Templar Threaten "Inquisition" (Legal Action) Against Vatican

"The Knights Templar are demanding that the Vatican give them back their good name and, possibly, billions in assets into the bargain, 700 years after the order was brutally suppressed by a joint venture between the Pope and the King of France.

"If the Holy See doesn’t comply, the warrior knights, renowned for liberating the Holy Land, will deploy that most fearsome of weapons: a laborious court case through the creaking Spanish legal system.

"The Daily Telegraph reports that The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ has launched a court case in Spain, demanding Pope Benedict “recognise” the seizure of assets worth €100bn. The Spanish-based group of Templars apparently says in a statement: "We are not trying to cause the economic collapse of the Roman Catholic Church, but to illustrate to the court the magnitude of the plot against our Order." This might come as a surprise to those who believe that the order of warrior monks – also credited with possessing the Holy Grail and laying the foundation of the European banking system - was smashed in 1307 by Pope Clement V and Philip IV of France."

Read the rest here.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Love Is Full Of Rest

"And so I urge you, go after experience rather than knowledge. On account of pride, knowledge may often deceive you, but this gentle, loving affection will not deceive you. Knowledge tends to breed conceit, but love builds. Knowledge is full of labor, but love, full of rest."

- The Cloud of Unknowing

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Gnostic Parallels In The Qabalah


As a student of both Gnosticism and Qabalah, I began to find many similarities between the two, and wondered just how deep the parallels went. Indeed, it made me question if the Qabalah was influenced by Gnosticism, which even the Qabalistic scholar Gershom Scholem wondered in his many excellent books on the subject. It seems likely that this is so, at least in the Lurianic school of Qabalah, but for now I will content myself with merely pointing out the parallels and letting my readers come to their own conclusions.

  1. God is conceived of as beyond the Three Negative Veils of Existence, (Limitless Light, Limitless, and Nothing), as the Unmanifest, in the Qabalah. Likewise it was common Gnostic principle (as well as being a general approach in mysticism as a whole [see the Cloud of Unknowing, for example]) to define God in negative terminology.
  2. While the above is true, God was also seen as part and parcel of the entire manifest universe, while also being beyond the Three Negative Veils. This is called panentheism, believing the universe to be part of God, but not all of God, which is in stark contrast to pantheism. Of course, there were many Gnostics who claimed definitively that the world was not in the least bit divine, but there were also many others who believed otherwise - the Valentinians in particular. They shared a predominantly panentheistic view. This can also be found in the Qabalah, where God is present in all the Sephiroth, and yet there is also part of him that is Unmanifest, beyond the Veils.
  3. The process of emanation in the creation process ("emanationist cosmogony") is part and parcel of, at the very least, Sethian and Valentinian belief. It is a typical point that, in a sense, defines Gnosticism (though, of course, not all Gnostics adhered to this, but this is pushing the term to its most open and inclusive). At the very least, the Sethians are the only group to actually call themselves Gnostics, and since they believed this, it is the most definitive source, in terms of scholarship, for defining the belief. The Qabalah shares this cosmogony, with emanating Sephiroth instead of Aeons. Indeed, the Aeons often numbered 10, the number of the Sephiroth.
  4. God of the Manifest Universe, either seen in Chokmah or Kether, is not the "real God" - you see a beared man in Chokmah (traditional "man in the clouds" god), or a bearded man in profile in Kether, showing you can only see one side of God. This is very similar to the conception of God throughout Gnostic myth, with the God of Chokmah or Kether (depending on your source and personal inclination), who is the "Creator God", being equated as the Demiurge.
  5. Gnosticism espouses a belief in a Divine Spark in Man. Qabalah also espouses this belief (via the Yechidah, etc.). See here and here for Qabalistic passages by the Baal Shem Tov on the Divine Sparks.
  6. Gnosticism teaches us that this world is a fallen one (sometimes likened to a prison, which the Qabalists would not necessarily have agreed with), with the Divine Sparks trapped inside. It must be raised up and restored to its original condition. This is a pivotal belief in the Qabalah, which focus on the Tiqqun ha-Olam, the Restoration of the World. This usually takes the form of Malkuth being fallen and requiring reunion with Tiphareth (see here for my Qabalistic Cross material on Tiqqun as an illustration of this).
  7. There is a feminine form of Divinity in Gnosticism, which is termed Sophia. The Qabalistic equivalent, often used by many modern Gnostics, is the Shekinah. Sophia was once one of the primary emanations, but has now become trapped in the physical. This is mirrored in the Qabalah, where Sophia (or Barbelo in her higher Sethian aspect) lies in Binah, but her fallen counterpart lies in Malkuth. Interestingly enough, Sophia is Greek for "Wisdom," while Chokmah is Hebrew for "Wisdom". Some Qabalists would attribute the Demiurge to Chokmah (while others will choose Kether or even Chesed), and the Demiurge is typically linked to Saturn, which is attributed to Binah. Thus we have a kind of reversal of attributions of Sophia and Demiurge between these two Sephiroth in the Qabalah.
  8. The most important principle about Gnosticism is Gnosis, experiential knowledge of the Divine. While the Qabalah does not have a direct equivalent, Gnosis is usually translated as "Knowledge", with a potential equivalent being the Hebrew Da'ath, also translated at "Knowledge". To access the Supernal Realm the Qabalist must peruse Da'ath, or, to put it another way, Gnosis allows us to experience the heights of Divinity. This is a fundamental hidden principle to Qabalah.

These are but a few of the parallels I've found between these two systems, which, as both a Gnostic and a Qabalist, have allowed me to use them together without contradiction (and have allowed me to explain Qabalistic ideas in Gnostic terms, or Gnostic ideas in Qabalistic terms). There are many more parallels, including the Sepher Yetzirah and Sepher ha-Bahir. I will be exploring these in a more indepth article on this matter in the future.

Friday, July 04, 2008

No Setting Free Of Captives Is Greater

"The holy sparks that fell when God built and destroyed the worlds, man shall raise and purify upward from stone to plant, from plant to animal, from animal to speaking being. It is known that each spark that dwells in a stone or plant or another creature has a complete figure with a full number of limbs and sinews, and when it dwells in the stone or plants, it is in prison, cannot stretch out its hands and feet, and cannot speak, but its head lies on its knees. And, whoever, with the good strength of his spirit, is able to raise the holy spark from stone to plant, from plant to animal, from animal to speaking being, he leads it into freedom, and no setting free of captives is greater than this. It is as when a king's son is rescued from captivity and brought to his father."

- Baal Shem Tov (via Rev Yakov Leib HaKohain)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Bottle, Not The Wine

"The Christ may have been in Jesus, but Jesus was not the Christ. He was the bottle, not the wine; the lightbulb, not the light; the wrapping, not the gift; the birdcage, not the bird."

- Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Commentary On "The Ten Major Principles Of The Gnostic Revelation", Part 1

1. The creator of this world is demented.

The Demiurge. "Demented" implies that he is deluded, a bit mad, as it were. This falls in line with Gnostic teaching that the Demiurge is deluded enough, egotistical enough, to believe that he is God, that there is naught before, above, or beyond him, and that we are his Creation.

2. The world is not as it appears, in order to hide the evil in it, a delusive veil obscuring it and the deranged deity

Like in the Matrix, this is a false world, or as the Buddhists would say, an illusion. A veil obscures us from seeing anything spiritual or non-physical, let alone anything else. Spiritual practice begins the process of piercing this veil. In the Qabalah that are multiple veils - between Malkuth and Yesod, signifying the astral, between Yesod and Tiphareth (Paroketh), signifying the Higher Self (which is mentioned in a later part), and between Tiphareth and Kether (the Abyss), our Divine Spark, the Yechidah (and then three further Veils to the Unmanifest: God). We're living in a dream world, living dream lives, and, like all dreams, it's entirely illusory and entirely transitory. The goal is to wake up.

3. There is another, better realm of God, and all our efforts are to be directed toward
a. returning there
b. bringing it here

The God beyond "God" (the Demiurge). Not the caricature of the old white-bearded man sitting in the clouds, but the real indescribable nothingness of God beyond the Veil. We must strive to return to this realm of God (the Pleroma, the Fullness), which is where we came from; and this same process involves bring it here. We elevate the physical to the spiritual, but we also invoke the spiritual into the physical. This is the Kingdom of God on Earth, the New Jerusalem.

4. Our actual lives stretch thousands of years back, and we can be made to remember our origin in the stars.

We are older than we think. These physical bodies of ours are but imitations of our true form, which is inimitable. Our lives are eternal, and our origin is far from here, far in the depths of the Fullness of God. When Crowley said "Every man and woman is a star", what do you think he meant?

5. Each of us has a divine counterpart unfallen who can reach a hand down to us to awaken us. This other personality is the authentic waking self; the one we have now is asleep and minor. We are in fact asleep, and in the hands of a dangerous magician disguised as a good god, the deranged creator deity. The bleakness, the evil and pain in this world, the fact that it is a deterministic prison controlled by the demented creator causes us willingly to split with the reality principle early in life, and so to speak willingly fall asleep in delusion.

The Higher Self. We must elevate our consciousness from this sleepwalking state, puppets of circumstance, into the consciousness of our Higher Selves, who pull the strings. Then we are no longer sleeping, and no longer prisoner to this dangerous magician, this demented creator. The reunion with our Higher Selves is the remembrance of that which we've always had, and when we were born into this "reality" we were forced to forget it, forced to obey a set of rules that never should apply to God, and never should apply to us. These rules are: Death, decay, deception, and dumbness.

I'll explore the next five in another post another day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Suffering & Deliverance From Suffering

"One thing only, brothers, do I proclaim, now as before. Suffering and deliverance from suffering."

- Buddha

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Salvation

Salvation, like many words and topics, is very misunderstood. From a Gnostic viewpoint, Gnosis offers salvation. Gnosis is knowledge of the Divine, which is also simultaneously knowledge of the self (see here). Thus, it is in no way contradictory to the idea that your spiritual evolution is up to yourself. It is. And you are ultimately the one who "saves" yourself. What you save yourself from can depend on your tradition. It might be the prison of the Cosmos, the cycle of samsara, or simply: ignorance. In the end, they are all the same thing.

""Salvation" must be self-induced and self-devised."

-Israel Regardie, The Tree of Life

I think we may have inadvertently "tabooed" the word "save", since so many people want to "save our Souls". Only we can do that. A Gnostic does not see Christ (Soter, the Saviour) as an external agent, or would only see him thus in order to personify the Higher Self (as all traditions do). The Qabalistic assignation of Christ and similar mythological figures to Tiphareth is in accordance with this.

Salvation, as someone pointed out to me recently, implies that we have a debt to pay (original sin, etc.). In this modern age of reclaiming our authority over our own lives, this is not an acceptable notion. But in a sense, we do have a debt - a debt to ourselves. It's our failure to recognise the truth about ourselves, about our divinity, about the world around us (and how the physical isn't everything), that results in us being fallen. The Fall may only be a state of mind, an illusion, the product of ignorance, but this is what mythology is all about - describing these things. In the end, there's something wrong with us here - otherwise we'd all be enlightened. It's this lack of enlightenment that we need to be saved from, even if the Saviour is ourselves.

Sin, as so many of us Gnostics point out, did not originally mean "a spiritual crime", as it is often depicted today. It simply meant "missing the mark". We missed the mark. We took a leap and we fell. We do not have to throw out concepts; we can simply reinterpret them, as Gnostics have done for millennia. A Gnostic might also accuse the Demiurge of committing the original sin, the sin of ignorance, a sin against the true divinity of God beyond the Veil. See an old poem of mine for more on this potential interpretation.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Poetry: Demons

I wrote a new poem today on the topic of demons. You can check it out here:


We all have to face our demons some day. Indeed, the very phrase "face your demons" is ingrained in our modern psyche, but what exactly does it mean? In Jungian terms it is the Shadow, all the parts of ourselves we do not like, the parts we ignore and repress; and one day it rebels against us, like a child locked away in his bedroom. In the end we find we neglect our Shadow. But is it the same as our demons? Is our Shadow made up from our demons? It is the Nephesh of the Qabalah, our animal nature, and it does us the good service of taking all our unwanted junk. Its reward: we shun and ignore it. We must, of course, sacrifice our demons, our Lower Self, before the altar of the Higher. But we also need to open the locked door; we need to make amends for our neglect, for ultimately we find that the dog-face is merely a mask, and when we demask our demons we might be troubled at what we find. And when we become troubled we will be astonished, and we will rule over the All.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My New Blog...

I've created a new blog to deal with my more overtly occult topics, particularly within the stream of the Golden Dawn tradition. You can find it here:


Meanwhile, I'll continue to post my Gnostic musings here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Summary Of My Spiritual Beliefs

I was recently asked on my forum Occult Ireland what a summary of my religious/spiritual beliefs were. This is not an easy question to answer, as a synopsis of belief is often vague and lacking in the subtleties that a thoroug exposure, discussion, or debate might offer. However, it's also a good excercise, as it forces you to think about how you can communicate what you believe to others, especially in a short, simplified, and coherent manner. Below you will find my answer to their question (noting that they assumed that Enochian was my main spiritual interest from other posts of mine).

A Summary Of My Spiritual Beliefs

Enochian is only one of my three prime interests. These are:

Qabalah
Gnosticism
Enochian

I've spent the last four years, with the O.'.S.'.D.'.L.'., dedicated to studying Enochian, from Golden Dawn material to the original Dee material to more modern work like that of Benjamin Rowe.

I am, however, much more intrinsically fascinated by the Qabalah, and it meshes so well with my Gnostic beliefs (as does Enochian to a certain degree). It is difficult to summarise beliefs, but I will take a "stab" at it:

1) I believe in God, though I use the term merely for simplicity's sake. The true God is both immanent and transcendent (i.e. part of this world while also beyond it), so this can be characterised as panentheism. This God is also beyond description. We cannot say what he is, but more what he is not: illimitable, indescribable, etc. This type of unknowable God belongs to both Gnosticism and Qabalah (the Three Negative Veils).

2) In contrast to this, I believe in a lesser form of Deity - i.e. the Demiurge and Archons, who are the Creators and crafters of the physical universe (the Cosmos). Through a divine mistake, on behalf of Sophia, the forces of ignorance were created, as opposed to the emanation process which previously occurred with God (i.e. when God emanates his divinity, all is well. When something is created, however, something goes wrong). This emanationist cosmogony belongs to both Gnosticism and Qabalah (Aeons and Sephiroth).

3) I believe that God has fallen, to a certain degree, and is trapped in the physical world (not all of him, however, as he is also transcendent). This is Sophia of Gnosticism, the Shekinah of Qabalah. We are the Sparks of God (Yechidah in Qabalah), and our goal is to escape our physical prison (which is, like in Buddhism, an illusion), which is achieved through the Saviour, the Christ, who we become (in Tiphareth). This fallen state is known as Malkuth in Qabalah, which acts as a pendulum to the Tree. The goal, known as Tiqqun, the Repairing of the World, is to reunite Malkuth, the Kingdom, with the King, Tiphareth. This is frequently symbolised in Qabalistic teaching. Reincarnation is a form of entrapment that must be escaped to unify with God (this is essentially the same teaching as Buddhism's samsara).

4) I believe, like all Gnostics, that this salvation is only achieved through Gnosis, direct experiential knowledge of the Divine. Faith has its place as a pre-runner to Gnosis, but it is Gnosis alone, which is, in actuality, anamnesis, the act of remembering (such as remembering our divinity, our origin in God, our imprisonment, our ultimate knowing of all things, and our ability to save ourselves and, thereby, save God), which Plato taught about (which was thenceforth absorbed, like many Platonic teachings, into Gnosticism), that saves us. In the Qabalah, Knowledge is Da'ath, and thus it could be said that the goal of a Gnostic is to cross the Abyss into the Supernal Realm, the Garden of Eden. This is, in effect, the Tiqqun, for the Fall was us being thrown out of the Garden of Eden, and thus humanity's Rise is the re-entry of that Garden.

These are just my main beliefs, and don't explore all the subtleties, but I would have no problem describing myself with any of these terms:

Jewish
Gnostic
Christian

If we look at the early Gnosticism, we will note that it was both Jewish and Christian, and, indeed, the early Christians still considered themselves Jews. I would, in turn, follow suit. There is much of value in the Christian teachings, primarily that of the dying-and-resurrecting Godman, the Christian Rosenkreutz of Rosicrucianism, but, as a Qabalist, I have a very big soft-spot for Torah and the Hebrew bible (and language).

In comparison to the above, I only employ Enochian when I need to. It is a system of magick, and you can believe what you will and still practice it to great effect. I am actually more enamoured by the Qabalah, and have always been.

Why not try a summary of your own religious/spiritual beliefs?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Poetry: Revenge

I recently published a new poem on the topic of "Revenge" at Helium. You can check it out here:


Vengeance is something all of us have to deal with, and it can be a hard one to manage. We all get angry, and anger is a healthy emotion, despite what we may think of it. Anger is the natural response to something or someone hurting us in some way. It may be trivial, or it may be epic in scope, depth, and application. Regardless, vengeance is the extreme end of anger, when we fail to forgive, which is not, admittedly, an easy thing to do. Vengeance brings us over the edge, and it can be hard to come back from the darkness that it leads to. I hope I have made this clear in my poem.

I pray that we all, myself included, learn how to forgive, and that when someone wrongs us, we do not wrong them in return, but express our dissatisfaction and, if necessary, remove ourselves from the situation. Let us not get caught up in the cycles of revenge, for they lead to no good places. Let us, instead, try to understand one another, and express our anger in a productive and healthy manner. Lord, in token of this, forgive us for all that we have done to anger others, and I ask for the forgiveness of these people, whether they feel ready to offer it or not. Let us also remember not to judge someone on their readiness to forgive, for we cannot understand the pain they may feel. Lord, grant us empathy and understanding, that we might live in a better world.

Amen.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Archons As Planetary Forces

Many Gnostic texts display the Archons as the 7 “old planets” (Mars, Venus, Sol, Luna, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn), and most of them attribute the Demiurge (as head of the Archons) to Saturn. So, does this mean that the Gnostics of old actually believed in evil entities that existed “up there” who rule the fate of humanity? Or does it mean that many Gnostics saw these not as beings, per se, but more in an astrological sense, as the planetary influence upon our lives?

We know from Science that the Moon (Luna) has an actual effect on water on this planet, on the tides, and even on the menstrual cycle of women (which is tied up in the cycles of the moon). The moon is also said to affect the minds of men and woman (after all, we are dominantly made of water), and asylums frequently report more “madness” at the time of a Full Moon. Indeed, this is where we get the terms lunacy and lunatic form: luna-cy and luna-tic.

We know from sheer existence that the Sun (Sol) has an actual effect on the life of this planet, and that without it life could not exist. It provides heat. It helps plants grow. It even affects our moods, for when the sun is less frequent in Winter many people report the “winter blues” (which is why so many religions have adopted solar ceremonies in an attempt to off-set this). Indeed, some modern research indicates that the flu virus becomes prominent in winter simply because our Vitamin D levels have been depleted by lack of sunlight.

Now, I’m not as well-versed, scientifically-speaking, on whether or not the other planets have such a noticeable affect on us here on Earth, and, if so, what those effects might be. However, it doesn’t take much of a leap to consider that they do, given their proximity, have an effect on things here. This is what astrology teaches us.

What if the bondage of the Archons is the bondage to our “fate”, delineated in our natal chart in astrology? What if it is the bondage to the effects of the planets on our lives? What if freedom from them involves planetary workings to off-set these effects? What if, for example, a writer lacking in Mercury in his chart (the planet best associated with writing and the intellect), knowing that he is bound by the forces of the Archons to produce inferior material, propitiates Mercury, invokes this planetary energies on a regular basis? What if a volatile person banishes Mars energies? Is this the work of a Gnostic? Is this part and parcel of some of the ancient ceremonies that Gnostics carried out?

Now, let’s look at Saturn. Some people point out the remarkable similarity between the name “Saturn” and the name “Satan”, and perhaps the Gnostics of old were some of those people (after all, some Gnostics equated the Demiurge with Satan). Saturn is the most malignant planet in our system. He is, in essence, the primary force of bondage. He is Death. The image of the Grim Reaper was originally an image of Saturn. If Yahweh in the Old Testament is the Demiurge, and his kicking humanity out of Eden was the removal of humanity’s primordial immortality, then he is the instigator of Death, and he is, thus, Saturn. In Western Astrology there is a thing called a “Saturn Return”, which is basically the time when Saturn returns to its original place in your birth-chart (taking roughly 30 years to do so). Then follows a 2 year period of, effectively, “bad luck”. Vedic Astrology has something similar, called a Sade Sati, which lasts for a painstaking 7 and a half years (I’ll take the 2 years please!). Again, the emphasis is on bad stuff happening: accidents, loss of money, illness, friends and family dying, etc. All in all, Saturn is seen as the “big bad daddy” of the astrological system. Of course, Death is also transformative, as anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the Tarot or the dying-and-resurrecting-gods mythoi will know. But the emphasis is still that Saturn is bad, and it’s easy to see how the Demiurge came to be associated with him.

I’m pushed for time at the moment, but the purpose of this short post is to illustrate the different ways we can look at the mythology available to us. This is one way we can look at the Archons of old in modern light, and one that may feel most at home for all the astrologers among us. How do the planets affect us? And how do we make the most of their good effects and lessen the effects of the bad?

Monday, May 05, 2008

From Everlasting To Everlasting

"The corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be reaped, nor was ever sown. I thought it had stood from everlasting to everlasting. The dust and the stones of the street were as precious as gold; the gates were at first the end of the world. The green trees when I saw them first through one of the gates, transported and ravished me, their sweetness and unusual beauty made my heart to leap, and almost mad with ecstasy, they were such strange and wonderful things. The men! O what venerable and reverent creatures did the aged seem! Immortal Cherubim! And the young men glittering and sparkling angels, and maids, strange seraphic pieces of life and beauty. Boys and girls tumbling in the street, and playing, were moving jewels ... I knew not that they were born or should die. But all things abided eternally as they were in their proper places. Eternity was manifest in the Light of the Day, and something infinite behind everything appeared ..."
and
"All appeared new and strange at first, inexpressibly rare and delightful and beautiful. I was a little stranger which at my entrance into the world was saluted and surrounded with innumerable joys. My knowledge was Divine; I knew by intuition those things which since my Apostacy I collected again by the highest reason. My very ignorance was advantageous. I seemed as one brought into the state of innocence. All things were spotless and pure and glorious; yea, and infinitely mine and joyful and precious. I knew not that there were any sins, or complaints or laws. I dreamed not of poverties, contentions, or vices. All tears and quarrels were hidden from my eyes. Everything was at rest, free and immortal. I knew nothing of sickness or death or exaction. In the absence of these I was entertained like an angel with the works of God in their splendour and glory; I saw all in the peace of Eden ... All Time was Eternity, and a perpetual Sabbath ..."

from Centuries of Meditation by Thomas Traherne (via the Introduction to Israel Regardie's The Golden Dawn)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Deus Matter

"Matter, you in whom I find both seduction and strength, you in whom I find blandishment and virility, you who can enrich and destroy, I surrender myself to your mighty layers, with faith in the heavenly influences which have sweetened and purified your waters. The virtue of Christ has passed into you. Let your attractions lead me forward, let your sap be the food that nourishes me; let your resistance give me toughness; let your robberies and inroads give me freedom. And finally, let your whole being lead me towards Godhead."

- Teilhard de Chardin, The Divine Milieu

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Jesus On Asceticism

In early March I was asked to share my thoughts on Asceticism and how it applies (if at all) to Gnosticism. I’m admittedly not a fan of it, and recommend only brief stints of abstinence from food, sex, and other sensory pleasures – almost purely to develop the Will. Now I will share some of Jesus’ teachings on this subject from the Gospel of Thomas:

His disciples questioned him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How shall we pray? Shall we give alms? What diet shall we observe?"
Jesus said, "Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered."

- Logion 6


Jesus’ disciples ask him what practices they should do to be worthy, and many of the things they ask are physical observances. Should they restrict their diet (i.e. not eat meat) or fast? Should they give offerings to the temple and the poor? Should they pray, and how shall they pray?

Jesus does not give them the law. He does not say: do this and don’t do this. All he says is: “Do not tell lies”, for isn’t the observation of a diet that you do not truly wish to keep a lie? Isn’t the giving of alms which you do not wish to give a lie? Isn’t the doing of anything that you do not truly wish to do a lie? Jesus tells us: “Do not do what you hate”. Do not restrict your diet or avoid sex or create this image of false piety, for “all things are plain in the sight of heaven” – God sees all, and he knows the truly pious of heart from those who don the vesture of piety. You do not enter the Kingdom of Heaven by changing your diet or restricting your desires. These are just as much a part of the illusion as everything else. The Key to the Kingdom is inside you. You can use fasting to find it, and you can use fasting and find nothing. You can’t do A, B, and C and magically attain enlightenment.

Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will give rise to sin for yourselves; and if you pray, you will be condemned; and if you give alms, you will do harm to your spirits. When you go into any land and walk about in the districts, if they receive you, eat what they will set before you, and heal the sick among them. For what goes into your mouth will not defile you, but that which issues from your mouth - it is that which will defile you."

- Logion 14


This is a very striking verse. Jesus says that these practices will result in bad things. While it is perhaps safe to assume that this is a bit of a hyperbole on Jesus’ part, the real crunch of the matter comes with his explanation. He encourages hospitality – eat what is offered to you, for it is rude to observe a diet that results in rejecting that which is offered to you by your host. Heal the sick no matter what time or day. Do not allow good will to be restricted by these conventions of man. What enters you mouth (food) is not as important as what issues from it: words. Those who deal in tainted words shall be tainted by them. Control what you let leave your mouth, not what you let enter.

I sill leave with the remaining passages from the Gospel of Thomas that deal directly with his views on ascetic practice: May those with ears to hear, hear:


Jesus said, "Do not be concerned from morning until evening and from evening until morning about what you will wear."

- Logion 36


His disciples said to him, "Is circumcision beneficial or not?"
He said to them, "If it were beneficial, their father would beget them already circumcised from their mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit has become completely profitable."

- Logion 53


Jesus said, "Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Do you not realize that he who made the inside is the same one who made the outside?"

- Logion 89


They said to Jesus, "Come, let us pray today and let us fast."
Jesus said, "What is the sin that I have committed, or wherein have I been defeated? But when the bridegroom leaves the bridal chamber, then let them fast and pray."

- Logion 104

Motivation

Apathy is a dangerous thing. If we do not care about our planet, who will protect it, who will save it? If we do not care about our children, who will nurture them, who will teach them? If we do not care about our friends, who will they turn to in times of need, who will be a friendly ear, a helping hand? If we do not care about what we do, who will do it, and why?

Motivation is an area that many people feel they lack in, yet they may be surprised to find just how motivated they can be when it comes to certain things. We might complain about the lack of motivation we have to go to work, but we may be highly motivated to buy a new house or new car, or even to read a book, watch a movie, or have an in-depth discussion with someone.

If we’re not motivated to do something, we rarely do it, or reluctantly and begrudgingly do it. We may want it done, but we don’t want to do the “doing”. In these cases, what do we do?

Motivation comes in two primary forms: negative and positive.

Negative motivation comes in the form of us being driven to do something for fear of the consequences. For example, we go to work so we don’t get fired, lose our money, our house, our car, and possibly our family. Someone who is negatively motivated may visualise all these nasty things happening if they don’t go to work – and this motivates them to go to work. It doesn’t sound very nice, and it isn’t. This form of motivation is about avoiding painful experiences. You’re not motivated towards riches, but are motivated away from poverty.

Positive motivation comes in the form of us being driven to do something because we want the rewards it offers. We go to work because we want the money, or maybe we like the “good job!” pat-on-the-back sentiments, or maybe we like team-work, or if we’re in a supervisory role we may like feeling in control. Whatever it is, we do it because we like what it gives us, be it money, happiness, or just personal satisfaction. We may even take up dead-end jobs because it goes towards something we’re striving for: a new apartment, a new car, that trip to a spa. We put in the overtime and do the hard work because we envision a goal we want. This form of motivation is about approaching pleasurable experiences. You’re not motivated away from poverty, but are motivated towards riches.

Once we understand this basic premise, it’s easier to deliberately motivate ourselves. “What?!” I hear some of you cry. Many people seem to think that motivation is an external force, like some big bad Demiurge pushing or pulling them towards success or misfortune. Many artists and writers seem to think that their muse is an external entity that comes and goes as it pleases, and that they cannot do a thing in their craft until inspiration strikes. They’re wrong. Inspiration and motivation work on the same system, and both are under our control. The reason they feel so external is because we’re too used to going on autopilot. Now it’s time to take he reins.

Firstly, what I want you all to do is this: think of something you want to me motivated about. Maybe you want a new job or new car. Maybe you want to write a novel. Whatever it is, get a good mental picture of what you want. This is your goal. Now, how do you get motivated about it? Try this: play out a scenario in your mind of you at the desk in your new job (if there is a desk – if not, demand one from your boss), actually there, doing the work. Imagine getting your new paycheck, and make special note to pay attention to the nice sum of money you’ve earned. Imagine looking in your bank account at the savings you have after just one year at your new job (even if you feel you can’t save to save your life). Imagine the great place you can now afford, the new TV, the new car. Likewise, imagine driving this car. Imagine picking it out in the shop and driving it home. Hell, imagine all the women or men turning heads as you glide past, sunglasses on, the wind in your hair (if you have no hair, imagine you have some, or imagine a woman or man in the back seat giving you a lovely Indian head massage). Imagine yourself smiling. Now really smile if you aren’t already. Invoke the feeling of pleasure. Let it well up inside you, let it fill you with its warmth, with its energising rays, as if the very Sun itself bows down to you and becomes a part of you. Imagine writing your book. Imagine yourself at the laptop as you complete your first 1,000 words, then 10,000, then 50,000, then 100,000. Imagine the satisfaction of a chapter completed. Imagine the greater satisfaction of the whole novel completed. Imagine sending it off to agents and publishers, and imagine receiving a lovely acceptance and being invited to a nice wine party to celebrate. Imagine reading an extract and receiving a wild applause, and maybe even a standing ovation. Imagine receiving a copy of your book in the mail. Feel the satisfaction it offers. Imagine all those wonderful praises the reviewers give: “Best thing since sliced bread. Tolkien or Stephen King, eat your heart out!” Imagine the sales figures jumping through the roof (then imagine a very high roof). Imagine the lifestyle you can live now. Imagine being able to whip out a copy of your book and finally prove you’re a real author.

Now, once you’re finished imagining all this, go out and do it. Make it real.

Monday, March 24, 2008

"Aleph" & "Teth"

Two of my esoteric poems on two of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet were published in Issue 2 of "Hidden Spirit" here last year, but not they've been reprinted online in the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition, so I thought I'd share the links:

Aleph

Teth

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Book Of Beth

The Book of Beth

by Fr. J/Yachin


1. The House of God has many colours, and it has ten rooms, and it has four floors. It is built of a stone that has no form, and the blueprints of the house are hidden in the words of the Architect.

2. The foundations are strong, yet this house was first built from the roof downwards; each person who enters it shall build it anew from the foundations up.

3. There are two main floors of attainment, a basement at its base where Man is cemented in form, and a roof that opens out into the sky, where the Air is full for the breathing.

4. And God is found through Spirit in the House, the Air that blows here and there; and He is found at the back of the House, where the back door is open to the fullness of His infinite majesty.

5. The breath is as a gale from the East, so the House was built to face the West, for the builder must face the tools of his creation.

6. A King must build a Kingdom, and the beginnings of His Kingdom start with His House.

7. The Kingdom is the Door to the House of God, and you shall enter by the basement, where the chamber is damp and moist.

8. The clay is broken and built up over years, and weeds from the desecrated garden slither in and out of cracks and crevices. There are seven weeds that coil and spring, and they are the Rulers of the garden.

9. The basement is dark, yet there appears to be three passages where light streams down, and the light of a Great Lantern above illuminates the moss and the mould below.

10. The Basement is cluttered and overgrown, and the garden needs tending, lest the weeds overrun the garden above, smothering the roots of the tree that knows no bounds.

11. The people of the Kingdom must beseech the King, and they must approach His Palace by way of the steps that rest upon the foundations.

12. The Palace hides a Temple, and you shall not shake the foundations of the Temple, lest it be to raise new steps to the Summit.

13. The King has a Seat in the middle, but you must pass through His guards; one is a pillar of strength, the other a pillar of mercy. You must thread the path between them, and this path encompasses a second stair.

14. The King sits upon a Crossroads, and he has six wings, and he has eight arms, and these arms point in seven directions, and one points at you.

15. The King hears the words of His people; then He casts off His robe of glory and they hear the Word of their King: Tiqqun.

16. The Garden of God’s House needs gardeners.

17. The people must cross into the Heavenly Garden to know what tools they need; a third stair waits for them, and these steps are as a bridge, and each step is formed from their thought.

18. Stray thoughts create stray steps, and you shall stray with them. Keep then to the Way and you will keep your footing.

19. The Attic appears dusty, for it has seen little use by Man; but you grow to find that the dust is merely in your eyes, for there is no dust in this place.

20. What you see you will drown in, so keep to the goal of the garden and meet with the one who drew its bounds.

21. He will have the blueprint, but He has another Master, and this is the King Above.

22. God is in the Rafters.

23. Take a Ladder of Ten Rungs and you shall meet Him, yet you shall not glance upon His fullness, lest you become smoke and ascend into the clouds, where His majesty is unknowable and true.

24. There are three great clouds which obscure your view; the concentration of condensation is thickest near the chimney top, and this cloud is as a Limitless Light, so bright as to blind the onlookers who are not meet to meet that which is above.

25. Should you penetrate that (Heaven of Heavens be praised), you will see the Limitless, and there the Mind of Malkuth crumbles, for none can look upon the Infinite and live.

26. Life is only Life in the Light, and you shall have Life from the Limitless Light.

27. Your old eyes will melt, and you shall be given new ones, and you shall see the majesty of He that is unknowable and true, for sight is the sword that cuts the Veil, and sight is the source of penetration to the Source, where you shall see Not.

28. There is no Darkness here, nor is there Light; there is no Day, nor is there Night; even the Monad ceases to Be.

29. Hail the majesty of He That Knows No Bounds; and Hail the majesty of He Who Knows Not, for He is the Knower of All.

30. He Who Knows All knows how to mend the garden of God’s splendour, and he gives three commands:

31. You shall keep the weeds down, for they choke the flower of God’s worth.

32. You shall plant new seeds, for the Sower is the Reaper, and those who plant well supplant the Throne of Saturn.

33. You shall know the Tree by its roots; climb to the top and you will see them.

34. This is the glory of God’s Garden, and the glory of His Garden is the glory of His House.

35. Those who know God’s House know the manner of His living, and those who know the manner of His living know the mystery of His life.

36. The mystery of His life is found by the back door, yet few will think to open it.

37. So ends the Book of Beth; it ends in Silence.


For anyone who wants a nice PDF copy of the above, click here.