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    Cancer

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    Cancer The sign of Cancer (June 22 – July 22) has very little to do with that prickly crustacean, believe it or not. In fact, it’s hard to pin down exactly what constitutes the Cancer personality. The ancient Egyptians perceived Cancer as the sacred scarab. It was a symbol of resurrection and immortality and they often placed a carving of a scarab in the body where the heart had been, as part of the mummification process. Cancers are very imaginative and intuitive. They make great artists and musicians. They’re not risk takers, and will take the time to contemplate all sorts of outcomes and probabilities before taking on a new venture. They’re very sympathetic and protective of those around them. They will help out in whatever way they can, although not impulsively and will temper their generosity with calculating all the risks first. They’re emotional and loving, and great family and pet people. In the Zodiac Great Year, the Age of Cancer fell between 8600 and 6450 BCE. It was a time characterized by the worship of mother goddesses. During this period alcohol fermentation was discovered and people began to use copper. Cancers make good journalists, writers or politicians because of their ability to think and judge independently what they’re told. They’re good in public service, perhaps in social service agencies. Cancers are good providers because they themselves love comfort and a good life. Cancers can procrastinate and can upset their families with this trait. They’re not too good at taking orders, so positions where they’re required to be submissive or subordinate may not suit them well. Famous Cancers comprise an interesting mix of accomplishments. They include the Duke of Windsor and Bob Fosse, Sylvester Stallone, the Dalai Lama, Robin Williams and Ernest Hemingway. The best partner for Cancer is Taurus, while the sign with the least potential for a harmonious relationship with Cancer is Aries.



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    Bondage Bandage

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    As a subculture of BDSM, bondage involves people being bound, tied up, or restrained for pleasure. More often than not, bondage is performed as a sexual practice. The derivation of pleasure or sexual gratification by bondage is also known as vincilagnia, from the root words “vincio ” meaning to bind or fetter with chains, and “ lagneia” which means lust. Recent studies show that approximately three quarters of all men in the United states think of the idea of bondage as erotic, and so do other women. This only goes to show that the sexual appeal of bondage appeals to both sexes regardless of sexual orientation. In terms of fashion, leather has been a staple piece for most people in the BDSM culture. This not only serves as their a statement, most accessories and equipments used for BDSM activities like whips, belts, cuffs, and restraints are often made of leather. Even though most bondage games end up in sexual activities, not all bondage role plays turn out that way. On the contrary, role plays between casually acquainted partners may just end up in masturbation, or, believe it or not, no sexual release at all. Safety is always a key issue when performing bondage as this usually requires the aid of different devices or mechanisms used to bound or suspend victims. A recent study showed that bondage is the safest fetish to engage in. But this is provided that the role play is acted out with sober, trusted individuals and with the use of sterile equipments. Being bound or tied up for a long time may cause friction on the submissive partner's skin. This, in turn, may lead to bruising and open scrape wounds on the area where the restraints were put. Using unsterilized equipment may put you at risk of incurring infection from those open scrape wounds. In cases where the restraints are placed on the partner's genital area, one's sexual health may be put to risk if you take a chance on using unhygienic equipments. There are currently six major categories to which bondage can be divided into, these are: l Bondage that pulls parts of the bodies together. The use of rope, straps, and harnesses are required to bound the hands or feet together. l Bondage that spreads parts of the body apart. This requires the use of spreader bars and x frames, this time, to spread the hands or the feet apart. l Bondage that ties the body down to another object. This type of bondage requires the use of chairs, beds, or stocks. l Bondage that suspends the body from another object. This is also called suspension bondage. This requires the aide of an elevated device to which suspension cables, or chains are connected to to have the bound partner hanging fully or partially in mid air. l Bondage that restricts normal movement. The use of hobble skirts, handcuffs, or pony harnesses are used to stop a person from being able to move naturally. l Bondage that wraps the whole body, or part of it, in bindings such as cloth or plastic. Materials such as saran wrap or cling film may be used for mummification of the bound partner. A sleepsack, a type of sleeping bag, is also used for this type of bondage. Role players often set a fantasy setting in which they can play bondage. These settings include: l Rape fantasy. In this setting, the dominant partner supposedly abducts the consenting victim and has total control to do whatever he pleases with the victim. l Domination and slavery. The victim supposedly attends a training session in which he is rewarded for his obedience, and punished for any form of defiance against his master. Humiliation is sometimes involved in this setting. Bondage is not only helpful to a couple's sexual health, it transcends beyond the act's sexual connotation. The bondage roleplay's need for openness, trust, and full understanding of each partner's difference brings about a new bonding experienced to a couple, holding them closer together.



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    Lavender The Queen Of Herbs

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    Are you in love with lavender? If so, you're not alone, as lavender has become the most popular aromatic herb. In fact, in 1999, the "queen of herbs" was named as the "year of lavender!" As one of the most loved aromatic herbs, lavender has been cultivated and used throughout the centuries. In ancient times, the Egyptians used lavender in incense and perfume and it was even used in the mummification process. The Arabs, Greeks and Romans used lavender as an offering to their gods. Because of its tendency to render a better quality essential oil, true lavender which is found in the French and Mediterranean Alps, growing in altitudes of 6,000 feet is considered to be the most effective of these aromatic herbs. Common Uses Of Lavender As an essential oil in today's society, lavender is used, both internally and topically, for a number of conditions: Aromatic (a most popular fragrance) carminative (to relieve flatulence) antibacterial antiseptic nervine (to calm the nerves) expectorant stimulant cosmetic antispasmodic. It has also been used to prevent some childhood infections and to soothe temper tantrums in children. The most common uses of lavender are to: treat burns (from minor to scalding), eczema, grazes, cuts, inflammation, dermatitis, headaches, migraines, fainting, nausea, insomnia, bacterial infections, boils, acne, arthritis and rheumatism. As a germicidal agent, lavender oil is non toxic. It contains linalool and linalool acetate which play important roles in the healing process. Calming Effect Of Lavender Both humans and animals, when inhaling lavender, experience a sedative effect that closely favors the calming effect of the geranium and peppermint plants. This is probably the reason why these aromatic herbs are favored for a variety of uses from treating depression and sleep disorders to treating premenstrual syndrome. Lavender beauty and bath products, to be used for external purposes only, are often available in gift baskets. A wonderful gift for any occasion, lavender is sure to be appreciated by all who receive it. In addition to its use in aromatherapy products and treatments, lavender may be used to specifically treat depression. The Gift Of Lavender Lavender is a popular gift item that can be purchased separately or in a gift basket. Most of the aromatherapy gifts are made with essential oil and dried lavender buds. Examples of these are bar soap, bath bomb fizzers, bath crystals, bath oil beads, closet or drawer sachets, hand and body lotions, sleep pillows and soothing herbal sea salts. Beauty products that contain lavender range from body sprays and hair care products to a variety of skin care products. All of the above products mentioned are used for the sole purpose of creating a sense of peace and to promote relaxation. Lavender Trivia Did you know that lavender is also used in home cleaning products? Throughout history, lavender has found its way into the homes of many historical figures. Queen Victoria insisted that her furniture and floors be cleaned with lavender to freshen up the rooms in her castle. Queen Elizabeth I of England enjoyed drinking lavender tea as a way to relieve her migraines and other maladies. During World War I, nurses treated injured soldiers by washing their wounds with an antiseptic wash that contained lavender. Cooking With Lavender Lavender is an amazingly versatile herb that is also used for cooking not only at home, but also in many upscale restaurants. A member of the mint family, lavender flowers are wonderful flavor enhancers that can also add to the appearance of the food. Lavender flowers and leaves can be used freshly cut; their buds and stems can be dried before use. It is best to use lavender with other herbs, such as fennel, oregano and savory, and it can also be used with its other mint cousins (rosemary, sage and thyme). Lavender has an extremely powerful aroma, so it must be used sparingly or the recipe will have a bitter taste, and you'll feel like you are eating perfume. The next time you're cooking up a storm, add a sprig of lavender to the pot and enjoy!



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    Aromatherapy The Scent Through Your Skin

    #1

    Scents play a big role in our lives. Some fragrances may recall memories or transmit sensations. Who has not felt better after going to sauna with eucalyptus smell? Or associated flowers` scents to the feelings of calm and peace? Aromatherapy took advantage of this basic human instinct to treat diseases, provide well being, skin care and relaxation. It can be defined as the therapeutic use of essential oils for prevention and/or auxiliary treatment of physical, psychological and energetic problems. The true Aromatherapy consists on the therapeutic application of 100% essential oils in baths, massages, compresses, diffusions, internal use, etc. Before being used, the essential oils are frequently dissolved in neutral lotions such as vegetal oils, cereal water or cereal alcohol. This preserves chemical properties and chemical/physical activity in the human body. According to "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils", the favored technique of aroma therapists is the massage, because it ensures that the oils are absorbed in the skin and into the blood stream. On this method, the essence is diluted into base oil (jojoba, avocado, peanut, soy, peach kernel oil, etc). Another book, "Aromatherapy: Healing for the Body & Soul", emphasizes the importance of rubbing the oil in the skin. The author, Kathi Keville, claims that the human touch warms the body, relieves stress, relaxes and encourages deep breathing. Benefits Aromatherapy is known for bringing well being and stress relieve to people, but this is only one of its possible benefits. This therapy can affect the body chemistry; the emotions and attitudes; and the ability of the body to function. The book "Aroma Therapy: Healing for the body and soul" cites a wide range of therapeutical uses for Aromatherapy: Reduction of pain, inflammations and spasms; Stimulation of the immune system, hormone production and blood circulation; Skin infections; Heal of respiratory and digestive problems; Emotional problems, like depression and panic. Precautions Some essential oils, like camphor, thuja and red thyme, can cause damage to the patients due to their high toxicity levels, which can cause severe dermal irritation. Essential oils should not be applied directly at the skin; they should be diluted in a carrier oil or cream. It is also suggested to do a patch test on the skin before using the essential oil, because some people can be very sensitive or have allergic reactions. Some oils, like the lemon and the verbena, when exposed to the sun, may cause spots. The "Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils" warns that pregnant patients or the ones who have diabetes, high blood pressure and epilepsy can not be massaged with some essential oils. It is recommended that they inform the therapist about their condition. It also adverts that essential oils should not be used at home to treat serious medical or psychological problems. Oils properties The oils have different properties. Some of the most common essential oils are: · Calming chamomile, lavender, geranium; · Uplifting ylang ylang, clary sage, rose, neroli, lemon, fennel; · Energizing rosemary, thyme (white), grapefruit, cinnamon; · Cleansing rosemary, tea tree, lavender; frankincense; · Decongesting eucalyptus, pine, tea tree, peppermint; Profession Although nowadays Aromatherapy has become a widespread practice around the world, it is still considered a complementary medicine in the majority of the countries. In France, Aromatherapy is part of the formal education in Medical schools. During history, medicinal and aromatic plants were used to purify and scent places, scare away evil spirits, treat skin and other physical disorders as in the use of infusions, in the mummification process in ancient Egypt and Roman baths. According to The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), the organization that promotes and supports the practice of this method, there is no licensure or laws for Aromatherapy in the US. NAHA determined that to become an aroma therapist is necessary to be graduated in a course of at least 200 hours. Some professionals incorporate the training of this technique with their licensed work. It is the case of many massage therapists, acupuncturists, doctors and nurses.



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    Why Cairo Is A City Of Charm And Mystique

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    Cairo is the historian’s haven and an architect’s delight! And if you are not a historian or an architect but intrigued by all the different stories, movies and documentaries, that you have come across about Egypt and are interested in living the experience what are you waiting for head off for a vacation to Cairo! Cairo in Arabic is actually AL QAHIRA meaning “The Triumphant”, named by Al Muez one of her Babylonian rulers. The foundations for Cairo were laid by Al Muez’s aid Gauwhar in the tenth century. Cairo is situated in the northeast part of Egypt. The great Blue Nile snakes through Cairo from the north to the south splitting her into two parts east and west. It is home to one of the most famous gigantic Seven Wonders of the World “The Pyramids of Giza”. To get there you can contact your nearest travel agent or book your tickets online. A number of renowned airlines fly to Cairo, such as Emirates, British Airways, Austrian, KLM, and Egypt Air. Once there you can check into a five star hotel or hostel depending on your budget or of course if you have planned a package tour then its going to be the hotel booked by your travel agent! Inside Cairo, you can travel by air, bus or train. Egypt air and Sinai Air operate flights to all the important parts of Cairo. Some of the bus services in Cairo are Middle Delta Bus Company, East Delta Bus Company, International Service Station (Sinai), Upper Egypt, West Delta Bus Company. The Egyptian railways operate several ordinary as well as air conditioned trains through out Cairo. The Gastronome’s Delight – You can choose from traditional Egyptian cuisine consisting of kebabs made from minced meat and a mix of spices roasted over coal or fried, fried and cooked beans is another traditional dish. If you are not a foodie and not very keen on teasing your taste buds you can settle for continental and a variety of international cuisine familiar to you. Now that you have a roof over your head and know what to eat in Cairo, here is where you can spend your time and energy while you are there! The Pyramids: The Egyptian pharos built the pyramids to preserve their mortal remains by mummification. They are symbols of the Egyptians’ belief in resurrection and the afterlife. The famous Pyramids of Giza are located at the western outskirts of Cairo. There are three of them the Small or First pyramid, the Second and the Great Pyramid. King Khufu also known as Cheops of the Fourth Dynasty built the great pyramid. Khufu’s son Khafre also known as, Chephren built the second pyramid. It is located to the south west of the great pyramid. The remains of Khafre's mortuary temple, the Temple of the Valley, and rising causeway can be seen at this site. These temples witnessed the religious rites during the embalming of the body. Menkaure or Mycerinus built the third pyramid. Although very small as compared to the first and second, its distinguishing factor is the original granite slab covering the lower sides. It is located to the south west of both the second and the great pyramids. The Sphinx: On the way to the Temple of the Valley, lies the large statue of the Sphinx. One of most famous monuments in the world, it is a legendary statue for it has the body of a lion and the face of a man. It is 70 m long and 20 m high. The face of the Sphinx closely resembles that of King Kephren. The Museum at Tahrir Square: offers visitors a chance to acquaint themselves with Egypt's ancient history over a period of 50 centuries. Its most significant artifact is the magnificent King Tutankhamen collection. Religious monuments: Cairo is not just a confluence of great civilizations but also of the different religions that its people followed. Churches: Most of the ancient churches are located in the Old Cairo, near the ruins of the Fortress of Babylon. Most of them were constructed around the 4th 5th and 6th century when Christianity spread in the area. Some such interesting sites are – Al Muaallaqah or Hanging Church was constructed around the 4th or 5th Century, named "Al Muaallaqah" because it was built on top of the south gate of the Fortress of Babylon. Church of Abu Sergah (St Sergius) is built on the cave in which the Holy Family is believed to have stayed when they came to Egypt. It is regarded as a source of blessing. Church of Al Adra (The Virgin) dates back to the 8th Century, it contains some precious icons and has three "haykals" behind ivory inlaid wooden screens. Church of the Virgin in Zaytoon gained special significance after people reported the Apparition of the Virgin above one of itsChristianity in Egypt, were moved to this Cathedral from Venice where they had remained since their transport from Alexandria in the Middle Ages. The virgin’s tree and the Coptic museum are other interesting sites revealing dome. It is located in Al Zaytoon, in northeast Cairo. The Cathedral of Al Qiddis Morcos or St Mark is the largest church in Africa; it was built recently in Abbassia. The remains of St. Mark, the first to preach the presence of Christianity in Egypt. Mosques: The mosques of Egypt are testimony to the popularity of Islam in the country Mosque of Amr Ibn Al Aas (Al Fustat) was the first mosque built in Egypt and Africa. Mosque of Ahmed Ibn Tulum is the third largest mosque built in Egypt. It has a spacious hall (saha), unique spiral minaret and a large collection of gypsum decoration. AL Azhar Mosque was founded in Midan Hussein by Gawhar al Sikilli in AD 971 as both a mosque and Madrasah (school). It is named after Fatma al Zahraa, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad. It is considered the oldest Islamic University. The Blue Mosque located in Tibbanah Street has one of the most impressive blue mosaics on its walls. The museum of Islamic art or Bab Al Khalq is regarded as the largest in the Middle East. It houses 80,000 rare objects dating from early Islam to the Ottoman period.



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    The Meaning Of Talismans

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    What is a talisman? The word "Talisman," derived from the Greek verb "teleo," means, primarily, to accomplish, or bring into effect. The Talisman is an object marked with magic signs and is believed to confer on its bearer supernatural powers or protection. Virtually every religion in human history has offered as adherents small decorative objects which purpose is to do anything ranging between healing, protection or success. Talismans and sacred geometry Very often the talismans symbols are taken out of sacred geometry. The term "sacred geometry" is used by archaeologists, anthropologists, and geometricians to encompass the religious, philosophical and spiritual beliefs that have sprung up around. It is a term covering Pythagorean geometry and neo Platonic geometry. Sacred geometry is often referred to as a language of G d. Sacred geometry symbols are a means of bringing subtle, inner realities to a focus in outward expression. Within the fundamental unity of consciousness, certain symbols, such as the lotus lifting itself in purity above the muddy water, possess universal relevance and power. Ancient Egyptian Talismans Scarab beetle The young scarab beetles emerged spontaneously from the burrow they were born in. Therefore they were worshipped as "Khepera", which means "the one who came forth". The scarab beetle god Khepera was believed to push the setting sun along the sky in the same manner as the beetle with his ball of dung. In many artifacts, the scarab is depicted pushing the sun along its course in the sky. Ankh The Ankh is a symbolic representation of both Physical and Eternal life. It is known as the original cross, which is a powerful symbol that was first created in Ancient Egypt. Ankh is typically associated with material things such as water, air, sun, as well as with the Gods, who are frequently pictured carrying an Ankh. Heart In Egyptian history, the heart replaced the heart which was removed during mummification. Sometimes assimilated to the Bennu, "Soul of Rв", it brings the protection of both Osiris and Rв. Other Egyptian talismans Buckle or Knot of Isis, Djed, Ba, Two Fingers and Udjat or Eye of Horus. Christian Talismans The cross The cross of Christianity was a symbol of the faith. It was previously considered a pagan symbol, with several early church fathers objecting to its use. The cross represents Christ's victory over death and sin, since it is believed that through His death he conquered death itself. Fish The fish's first known use as a Christian religious symbol was sometime within the first three centuries AD. Christians began using the Greek word for "fish" as an acronym for "Jesus Christ God's Son, Savior". Followers of Christianity were called Pisciculi; the root of this Latin word is "fish". Jewish and Kabbalah Talismans Star of David The name David in ancient Hebrew (during the time of King David) is made up of three letters "Dalet", "Vav" and "Dalet". The letter Dalet in ancient Hebrew is actually a triangle. King David used the six pointed star as his signature (the two triangles of his name). The middle letter "Vav" means six The six pointed star. The six points symbolize that God rules over the universe and protects us from all six directions: North, South, East, West, Up and Down. King David used this symbol in the battlefield on his shield as an omen from God. Hamsa The Hamsa is known as the hand of Miriam or Hamesh hand. The Hamsa serves as an ancient talismanic way of averting the evil eye and providing a "protecting hand" or "Hand of God". The Hamsa often appears in stylized form, as a hand with three fingers raised, and sometimes with two thumbs arranged symmetrically. Five metals ring According to the ancient kabalistic text, the secret of the five metals ring success is that at the specific time of the creation of the ring with these five metals, Jupiter's influence is summoned forth. Jupiter is the star of development and expansion, and success is at it's strongest at the specific time of the ring's creation. The layer on the top of the five metals ring is pure gold. Below it there is a layer of lead and tin, and the last layer is copper, while the ring itself is made out of silver. Tree of life The Tree of Life is one of the most familiar of the Sacred Geometry Symbols. The structure of the Tree of Life is connected to the sacred teachings of the Jewish Kabbalah. The Tree of Life is explained in Sefer Yetzira ("Book of Creation"). The book explains the creation as a process involving the 10 divine numbers (sefirot) of God the Creator and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The 10 sefirot together with the 22 letters constitute the "32 paths of secret wisdom". Buddhist Talismans Buddha Buddha images provide a reassuring reminder of the basic tenets of Buddhist religion. Just as Buddhist religion is practiced in many different ways, the Buddhist image also serves a wide variety of ritual purposes and has different meanings for different people. Buddha can be invested with a huge amount of information, meaning and implication; they evolve and they are given life. The Buddha image cast in the human form gives it a value presented as calm, still and serene. Mandalas The Tibetans create their beautiful Mandalas from colored sand and if you'll take a metal plate and cover it with sand and make it vibrate with different sounds, you will be able to see different structures that are formed in the sand, that are very similar to the sand Mandalas. In the end, after a few weeks when the Mandalas is finished, they simply wipe the sand off Mandalas to show the non attachment to the illusion of the external, and also to show the constant change and the process of life and death that takes place in the external world of illusion. OM Om (ॐ) is the most sacred syllable in Hinduism, first coming to light in the Vedic Tradition. The syllable is sometimes referred to as the "Udgitha" or "pranava mantra". The symbol of Om contains three curves, one semicircle and a dot. The large lower curve symbolizes the waking state; the upper curve denotes deep sleep (or the unconscious) state, and the lower curve (which lies between deep sleep and the waking state) signifies the dream state. Tibetan Knot The Tibetan knot (Srivatsa or the endless knot) is one of the eight symbols of the Tibetan Buddhism. The Tibetan knot can stand for karmic consequences: pull here, something happens over there. It is an apt symbol for the Vajrayana methods: Often when we tug at one part of a knot while trying to loosen it, another part becomes tighter. You have to work with the knot to enable it to come undone. In its endless configuration, it evokes the cyclic nature of rebirth and also calls karmic connections to mind.



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    The Nile Cruise In The Footsteps Of The Pharaohs

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    Egypt is where history first emerged. It is here that we have the first pictographic record of events and persons. Hieroglyphics, the system of writing used by ancient Egyptians can be traced back to about 3200 BC. At about 3180 BC, the nations of Upper and Lower Egypt were brought under the rule of a single king titled Pharaoh. The first Pharaoh is thought to have been Menes, who set his capital at Memphis, 22 km south of Giza in today's Cairo. The Pharaohs established the systems that brought forth the highly successful Egyptian civilization. The history of Ancient Egypt lasted for about 3,000 years. Ancient Egypt declined, was overrun and thereafter ruled by foreign powers. The Greeks and Romans who ruled after the decline were aware of the great similarity between their own gods and those of the Egyptians. They not only tolerated Egyptian religion, but also expanded existing temples and dedicated new ones to existing cults. Some of the new overlords, Alexander the Great for example, styled themselves as divine priest kings in imitation of the Pharaohs. Emperor Theodosius, who reigned after Christianity became the state religion in Rome, extinguished the last remnants of the living culture. The Egyptians worshipped hundreds of gods a great offense against the monotheistic religions; whose first article of faith is that there is only one God. Theodosius decreed in AD 391that all pagan temples in the Roman Empire be closed. The Arabs, who brought Islam to Egypt in 640 AD, also had no time for deities such as Anubis the jackal, Horus the falcon god or even Amon the king of the gods. Ancient Egypt was dead for one thousand five hundred years, until the French came across the Rosetta Stone in the nineteenth century invasion of Egypt by Napoleon. This priceless discovery was inscribed in both Greek and Egyptian, and it was the key that allowed the deciphering of Hieroglyphics by Jean Francois Champollion in 1822. The voluminous literature produced by Ancient Egyptians was now accessible to curious scholars. This rekindled great interest in Ancient Egypt in the West that remains undiminished to this day. Religion is the common theme running through the attractions of ancient Egypt. The diversity of gods found worthy of worship is astounding. There were over 2,000 of them of either sex and they supposedly manifested themselves to earthlings as animals. There were overlaps and the same gods could be known with different names in various parts of the country. There was hardly any part of the life experience that was not assigned a deity digestion, mummification, sexuality, feasting, childbirth, writing you name it. Some gods came and went out of fashion, but those connected with basic aspects of life were enduring. Such deities had cults and temples dedicated to them. The afterlife was taken very seriously, and a lot of the monuments relate to preparation for that glorious time. Mortuary and burial preparation was so elaborate as to ensure a painless and enjoyable afterlife. The custom of mummification, for example, was seen as necessary for the soul needed a physical body to occupy in the other world. There was however great inequality in preparation for eternal life. The Pharaohs and other royals, nobles and key officials were mummified and accompanied by grave goods and great treasure. The common folk who could not afford the full treatment had to do with statuettes of mummies. The main draw to Egypt is the legacy of the Pharaohs and the Greeks and Romans who ruled after them. Basically this legacy is associated with temples, tombs and burial places. People in Egypt from the earliest times to present have always lived along the River Nile and this is where you find the richest harvest of ancient monuments. As many travelers will testify, the best way to experience classical Egypt is by taking a Nile cruise. The cruise is a very pleasant and relaxing way to get close to the attractions of antiquity, most of which are not far off from the banks of the river. You also get a glimpse of rural Egypt where many eke out a living just as their forbearers did thousands of years ago. The typical Nile cruiser is really a floating hotel. Amenities on board will include lounges, restaurants, bars, swimming pool, discotheque and shops. The rooms are rather smaller than those of a land based hotels but will have air conditioning, TV and enough room for twin beds, private shower, nightstand and dresser. The quality of cruisers varies and they are graded with stars just like hotels. Top end cruisers have spacious suites and amenities almost equal to those of ocean cruisers. Generally, the quality and romance of Nile cruisers surpasses other riverboats anywhere else in the world. Nile cruises normally take three, four or seven nights. You will be able to see the most important and interesting monuments on the shorter and more popular cruises that ply between Luxor and Aswan. The longer sail takes you up to Dendera. The boats sail both downstream and upstream and on the shorter cruises, you can embark at either Aswan or Luxor. The more adventurous travelers or those on a tight budget avoid the luxury cruisers in favour of fellucas the traditional Nile sailboats. Though amenities onboard fellucas are very basic, those who can survive them, visit all the attractions along the Nile at a fraction of the cost of the cruisers. At Aswan, the Nile is deep, calm and is at its most glorious. It is a good place to embark on your Nile cruise. Aswan was for long Egypt's southern frontier city and its gateway to Africa. This was the region known as Upper Egypt, being upstream of the Nile. After Aswan, the Nile passes through a section of hard rock, resulting in rapids or cataracts. Thus by nature did Aswan attain its strategic position and it has served as a garrison town for those who have ruled Egypt over the centuries. And for this reason, there are monuments here associated with the Pharaohs, Greeks, Romans, Christian Copts and Islam. At Aswan, make sure to visit the Philae Temple. Ptolemy II started the temple when the Greeks ruled, and the Romans completed it. It was dedicated to the goddess Isis, an important figure in Egyptian mythology that was worshipped across the Roman Empire. Even after Emperor Theodosius ordered all pagan temples to cease operations, Isis was still being glorified at Philae, until about AD 550 when Emperor Justinian finally shut down the temple. The early Christians converted the temple's hypostyle hall into a chapel. For good measure, they defaced some of the pagan reliefs adorning its walls. The temple forms an excellent backdrop for the nightly sound and light show. The temple was nearly lost after the Aswan High Dam was commissioned in the 1960's. It took UNESCO and the Egyptian government ten years to move it, one stone at a time, to higher ground on Agilka Island. Most people also visit Elephantine Island, which has temples and a museum. The Island has been inhabited since about 3000 BC and was an important trading and cultural centre. Aswan is home of the Nubians, a dark skinned people, related to the people of the north of the Sudan. You can see some Nubian villages at Elephantine Island. The Nubian museum celebrates Nubian culture right from prehistoric times. Aswan was once an important centre for Christian Copts. You can see the ruins of the once majestic Monastery of St Simeon, which was destroyed by the conqueror Saladin (Salah ad Din) in 1173 AD. Aswan was the source of the granite stone that the Pharaohs favoured for building temples and other monuments. The Northern Quarries are the site of the giant Unfinished Obelisk. Had the obelisk been successfully completed, it would be the single heaviest piece of monolithic stonework reaching about 42 m and weiging over 1168 tonnes. It must have broken the hearts of the builders, who supposedly abandoned it, after coming across defects in the rock formation. The next stop on the cruise is Kom Ombo, 48 km to the north of Aswan. The main attraction here is the Graeco Roman temple. Work on the temple was started by Ptolemy VII in early second century BC and continued by some of his successors. The Romans Emperor Augustus built part of the temple at around 30 BC. The Temple of Kom Ombo actually consists of two separate temples, each with its own entrance, colonnades, hypostyle hall and sanctuary. The southern temple is dedicated to Sobek the crocodile god, while the northern one honours Horus the falcon god. Though the two gods shared the same grounds, in mythology, Sobek was associated with the god Seth, an enemy of Horus. At Kom Ombo, the gods took the liberty to bring along family Sobek sneaked in his consort Hathor and son Khonsu, while Horus had his wife Tesentnefert and son, Panebtawy. If you have not seen mummies before, be sure to see the mummified crocodiles in the Sobek part of the temple. At Edfu, you disembark to see the Temple of Horus. Edfu was the cult centre of Horus the falcon god. It is perhaps the best preserved of ancient temples of Egypt. The temple standing today was started by Ptolemy III at about 237 BC on the site of an earlier Pharaonic structure. Work continued under some of the Ptolemies that followed. Appropriately, the entrance adorned by two majestic granite falcons. The walls bear reliefs depicting Horus. One scene would please any tyrant it shows Ptolemy XII dealing mercilessly with his enemies. You next stop and highlight of the cruise is Luxor. The range, magnificence and diversity of the monuments in the Luxor area is unsurpassed in all of Egypt. Known to the Greeks as Thebes, Luxor became the capital of Egypt at around 2040 BC. The city survived the sacking by the Assyrians in the 7th century BC, but steadily declined, and was finally destroyed by the Romans in the first century BC. Among the celebrated monuments dating from Luxor's heydays are the necropolis complexes at the Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens and Tombs of the Nobles. You will also come across some outstanding temples scattered in the region. The Egyptians buried their dead in the direction of the setting sun and the west bank at Luxor was the final resting place of royalty and high officials. The Valley of Kings is where the rulers of the period historians refer to as the New Kingdom period (BC 1550 1070) awaited the afterlife. The Pharaoh normally picked the spot for his tomb and had it built in his lifetime. Tomb building for royalty and high officials was very serious business and it supported a battery of architects and craftsmen, who had a settlement in the valley. The valley contains over 60 tombs that have so far been excavated. The tombs have suffered in recent years due to increased number of visitors, pollution and the rising ground water that has come with the Aswan High Dam. For this reason, not all of them are open to the public at any one time. Unless you are a scholar, visiting three or four tombs should be sufficient. Among the best tombs are those of Ramses I, Tuthmosis III and Ramses VI. Tutankhamun's is today the most famous though he is not considered a significant Pharaoh and he died at only nineteen. Treasure hunters had over the years looted most tombs in the valley. But Howard Carter, the British archeologist, discovered Tutankhamun's tomb almost intact in 1922. The treasure that was found here is truly amazing statues, chests, chariots, beds, weapons, and many items he needed for the afterlife. The main item today at Tutankhamun's tomb is his mummy. About 1700 items recovered at the tomb are now at display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The most outstanding of the collection is the 11 kg solid gold death mask. Imagine then, what the looters carried off from the bigger tombs of the more illustrious Pharaohs! On the other side of the Valley of Kings is the Temple of Deir el Bahri, built by Queen Hatshepsut. Hatseput. The temple is very impressive from a distance and is a great place to take photos. The name Valley of the Queens is misleading, as both male and female royals and some high officials were interred here. About 80 tombs have been identified, of which the most famous is that of Queen Nefertari. Take more photos at the Colossi of Memnon two huge statues that are the sole legacy of the temple of Amenhotep III. Amenhotep III also built the Temple of Luxor on the east bank. The temple was dedicated to the god Amon, though inside you also find a shrine dedicated to Alexander the Great. The temple's entrance is lined with Sphinxes, and inside you find colonnades, courts, obelisks and wall murals. The mosque of Shaykh Yusuf Abu al Hajjaj was built on top of part of the temple. You can also visit the Luxor Museum, which has interesting exhibits from the area. The incredibly impressive Temple of Karnak is a huge complex that was dedicated to the god Amon. In the New Kingdom period, this was the most important temple is Egypt. It is probably the largest religious building ever and it can carry no less than 10 average Christian cathedrals. Some of the interesting structures within the complex are the gigantic hypostyle hall, the Kiosk of Tarhaka, statue of Ramses II, temple of Ramses III and the sacred lake. The best time to take a Nile cruise is over the cooler months of November March. These are also the peak months and to avoid crowds, always start out early each day. October, at the end the hot season is tolerable, especially when you factor in that it falls with off season period: it is cheaper ad less crowded. When visiting the monuments, you are advised to hire a guide who will explain the historical context at each site. If you are on a Nile Cruise package, the services of a guide will usually be included. You do a lot of walking, and you need to bring along suitable shoes. Other items you ware encouraged to pack are: sunglasses and sun screen lotion. Remember also to carry bottled water and photographic film, which you can buy at the cruiser or at a bazaar. Light clothing is generally recommended though you may need a sweater and jacket for winter evenings.



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    Mystery Of The Soul Part 5

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    Basically, Baby, Infant and Young souls do not have as yet coordinated personalities and their souls are often governed by the lower instincts and impulses of their personality. Mature and Old souls are more in control and their personalities are integrated and functioning under the direction of the Higher Self, the Soul. At each stage and level the soul's consciousness level expands. It becomes more spiritually aware. Almost all prophets were Old souls. They gave teachings to the younger ones that eventually was misunderstood by them and created into dogmas. Young souls are incapable of spiritually guiding Old souls. Young souls merely believe that which they feel to be true; Old souls know what they know. Young souls guess, Old souls perceive. It is said that Infant souls learn their karmic lessons through suffering; Baby souls through pain; Young souls through losing; Mature souls through anguish; and Old souls through terror. There is one principle that ought to be understood, and that is the appropriateness of activity and expression of souls no matter what stage they are on. It is alright for a Baby soul to act as a baby, but for an Adult soul to act as one is inappropriate and is retrogressive. It is possible to draw a correspondence between the three systems discussed above. The eyes have long been considered as the windows of the soul. This is an occult fact. The soul's age may be intuitively felt by its eye emanations, by the way it gazes, the force and quality that it's eyes radiates. Younger souls are said to have clear energetic eyes while older souls possess a deeper, worn out, experienced look. Transcendental souls, or those bordering upon perfection, the Old souls, have eyes that radiates power, warmth, love, compassion, and sincerity. They often have a faraway look as though they were looking towards infinity. They have eyes that see through you. The predominant soul age of the population of any country reflects upon its social life, its social mores, beliefs, and the perpetuation of its cultural and traditional values. A country's soul age can clearly be seen in how their internal and external diplomatic affairs are conducted, and how their people act in a crisis. A materialistic nation is basically composed of Young souls whereas a mystically oriented society is comprised fundamentally of Old ones. Indonesia, the country where this writer lives is mainly composed of Infant and Baby souls; with a smaller percentage of Young souls trailing behind. Adult and Old souls are few in comparison. TYPES OF SOULS There are no two Monads exactly alike, just as there are no two Souls exactly of the same similarity. Each Monad, Soul, or entity are one of a kind, each a distinctive facet of the One Divinity, of the One Reality. Nevertheless, generally speaking, it is possible to broadly classify the psychological aspects of souls. There are many systems of classifying humanity based upon body type and psychological nature. Physically speaking, bodies may be classed as ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph; and psychologically as introverted or extroverted, etc. In metaphysics there are also various methods of classification. The astrological method seems to be the most popular one. It is no coincidence that both the Chinese and Western astrological systems have twelve signs representing twelve types of men. However, esoteric astrology teaches that this sum is erroneous. According to the esoteric teachings there are actually 144 basic types. Exoterically speaking, since the characteristics of each sign, both Western and Chinese have been well documented in books we will not trouble ourselves explaining them here. Still related to astrology are the planetary types. This gets its name from the planets of our solar system and the sun and moon, although the latter two are not technically planets. Below we list the positive and negative characteristics of these planetary types of men (excluding the Plutonian, for much is still not yet known of this type) as extracted from Michael's Handbook: The Moon or Lunar Type Positive: Calm, methodical, passive, patient, tenacious, maternal, sympathetic, and receptive. Negative: Moody, introspective, cold hearted, incommunicative, willfull, stubborn, unforgiving, depressive, and destructive. The Sun or Solar Type Positive: Radiant, creative, elegant, dignified, refined, innocent, fun loving, and childlike. Negative: Airy, aloof, intolerant, naпve, indiscriminate, greedy, and juvenile. The Mercurian Type Positive: Intellectually active, perceptive, witty, clever, versatile, and clarity of expression. Negative: Inconsistent, impulsive, explosive, nervous, sarcastic, argumentative, and cynical. The Venusian Type Positive: Harmonious, socially warm, loving, gentle, non judgmental, loyal, easy going, and friendly. Negative: Lazy, dependent, indecisive, careless, sentimental, and sloppy. The Martian Type Positive: Vigorous, energetic, passionate, decisive, brutally honest, heroic nature, and forthright. Negative: Impulsive, irritable, pugnacious, defensive, quarrelsome, brutal, rude, lacking forethought. The Jupiterian Type Positive: Grand, generous, benevolent, compassionate, kind, loyal, caring, affectionate, and philosophical. Negative: Self indulgent, extravagant, conceited, wasteful, and craving attention. The Saturnian Type Positive: Paternal, calm, secretive, just, moderate, and self controlled. Negative: Immutable, inflexible, overly intellectual, despondent, severe, aloof, and feelingless. The Neptunian Type Positive: Spiritual, quiet, idealistic, imaginative, sensitive, graceful, and artistically creative. Negative: Impractical, unworldly, uncertain, and melancholy The Uranian Type Positive: Independent, original, strong willed, loathing restriction, and humanitarian. Negative: Eccentric, rebellious, and deviant. *************** 7 Ray Types Aside from the methods of classification above, the 7 Ray types have acquired popularity in recent years with the teachings of the early Theosophical leaders and the writings of Alice Bailey. The study of the Seven Rays is an abstruse subject and there is much concerning it that has not yet been revealed by the Spiritual Masters. Nevertheless, that which has already been given to humanity in the Alice Bailey teachings are substantial and it takes more than mere intellect to apprehend them. Before briefly explaining the Seven Ray types, it would be appropriate to clarify matters regarding the Rays. We will attempt to present this simply, in accord with our present understanding of the subject. What are these Rays? Every object, entity, being, and particle radiates energy. The Sun in our solar system radiates tremendous amount of cosmic energies for the purpose of nourishing the planets and all beings therein. The Spiritual Sun, or the Spirit of the Sun, radiates a spiritual energy of a certain quality. This energy has three aspects to it and four attributes, just as the physical light spectrum has three primary colors and four lesser ones. Each aspect and attribute of this primary spiritual energy in turn have specific qualities. These seven differentiations of the primary energy of the Sun are called the Seven Rays. These Seven Rays are much higher in frequency than those detectable by our present scientific instruments. Every component in the microcosm of man is predominantly imbued by one of the Seven Rays. The physical body, for instance may be ruled by one of the Seven Rays, the emotional or astral body may be ruled by another. When the four lower bodies of the microcosm functions in harmony their ruling Rays are in turn coordinated by one specific Ray. When this occurs there are three ruling Rays in the microcosm of man to consider: the Ray ruling the Monad (the Spirit), the Ray ruling the Soul, and the Ray ruling the Personality. Each microcosm, or each human being as a totality, may not have the same ruling Rays. For instance, one person's personality may be ruled by the second ray, another the third, or fourth, etc. A study of these Rays help us to understand the Soul's make up, its potentialities, its weaknesses and strengths, its quirks, and karmic destiny. One's Ray type/s may be considered as the nature of the power assumed in order for one to play one's role in the cosmic scheme of things. The Seven Rays have spiritual, psychological and physical attributes, powers, and virtues. Their characteristics are represented by the seven fields of endeavor: [Please visit our website for the table] Each Ray may be perfectly or imperfectly expressed, and thus would seem that they have positive and negative qualities. However, the Rays are actually neutral in nature. Some of their attributes are: [Please visit our website for the table] The Seven Ray types of men are represented by the: King First Ray, Sage Second Ray, Server Third Ray, Artisan Fourth Ray, Scholar Fifth Ray, Priest Sixth Ray, Warrior Seventh Ray. We regret that we are not able to elaborate upon the teachings of the Rays and how the raw data given above adds up together. To do so would go beyond the scope of this paper. We advice those who wish to delve further to study the teachings of Alice Bailey and her modern interpreters. SOUL AND IMMORTALITY Immortality in a religious sense, is the conception of the survival or continuation of self identity, self awareness, and all of the soul's innate qualities and attributes through the "Great Initiation," as death is sometimes called. Some conceive immortality as a potential condition to be attained by the individual through good works and moral living; others believe that immortality is an innate state of the soul. Immanuel Kant (1724 1804), the German philosopher, defined immortality of the soul thus: "The immortality of the soul means the infinitely prolonged existence of one and the same rational being." The above statement implies that Kant believed souls would perceive and rationally understand themselves to be the same as they were in the mortal state. Among the people of ancient cultures, the Egyptians were perhaps the first to give credence to immortality. For the departed they formulated specific rituals that would guide those souls in the many events of the afterworld, such as the Judgement in the Hall of Osiris. It was believed that their angel of death, the god Anubis, would assist the newly deceased to pass over to the Otherside where in the Judgement Hall it would be weighed on the scales against Maat, or Truth. The famed "Book of the Dead" was a guide for the Ba, the soul, written in hieroglyphics upon the walls of the tomb so that the soul would know the things awaited it and what it had to do. That immortality was a salient point in Egyptian beliefs may be seen by one of the inscriptions found on a wall of a Fifth Dynasty tomb: "They depart not as those who are dead, but they depart as those who are living." The belief that the soul survived the body and its eventual return was one of the exoteric reasons that the Egyptians mummified their dead thus preserving it from deterioration. However, the real reason why cadavers were mummified is yet undisclosed. That they did not really expect their departed to return to the same body and be resurrected therein can be seen by their practice of the removal of the internal organs and placing them in special urns. If the body was to be reused they certainly would not have evacuated the internal organs. The practice of mummification is analogous to our modern practice of cryogenics in which newly deceased bodies are frozen. There is always a hope among men that future technology would be able to resurrect the dead. What motivates men to preserve the dead body is the instinctive desire for immortality. Men have always believed that a future life is possible, whether in this dimension or in some other realms. Cicero once wrote that, "There is in the minds of men, I know not how, a certain presage of a future existence; and this takes deepest root in the greatest geniuses and most exalted souls." Why is the immortality of the soul believed in so emphatically in most religions and philosophical thought? In ancient times man was considered to be a dual creature. He had a physical body that was tangible and corporeal; however the ancients also recognized the fact that man had feelings and thoughts, and this was related to an intangible factor that they conceived of as spirit or soul. In addition to this, the many supernatural phenomena such as hauntings and psychic contacts convinced man that the soul was indeed immortal and survive the death of the physical body. To the ancients, another factor that gave credence to immortality is that the life force accompanies the breath when man as a newly born child makes its first inhalation, and that they also depart simultaneously at the time of death. The soul was conceived of as being released together with the last breath. Since the breath is indestructible, so likewise was the soul. The living body breathes, the dead does not. Many cultures used the same word to mean both breath and soul, or life essence. The ancient Greeks for instance used the word, "pneuma" to designate the breath and likewise the vital force that animates man. They also used the word psyche to designate the mind and soul. Another concept of immortality is that the soul was never created and that it had always existed though its consciousness may not be as developed as it is now. What has no beginning has no end. Whatever had an inception is conceived to have a termination. In the Phaedo, Plato has Socrates arguing for the immortality of the soul. It is said that the belief in immortality is a direct extension of man's instinct of self preservation. All creatures struggle to survive, to maintain the life force; all of man's finer instincts imbues within him the sense of the continuity of self identity notwithstanding the transitory process. It is instinctive in man to believe in a continuation of life rather than its cessation. Subconsciously man knows what the conscious mind only has a faintest realization. In "Ethics" Spinoza affirmed: "We feel and know that we are eternal." From the scientific point of view, granted that the soul survives the physical form, it is still no assurance that it will maintain its integrity or structure forever. For instance, why is it that some religious doctrines believe that the soul may experience "the second death"? In what sense? Also, when the soul is considered to be immortal does this refer to its form or its essence? If its essence is considered immortal science would agree, for it knows that matter and energy are interchangeable one for the other and is essentially indestructible. Nothing is ever destroyed only converted or transmuted. However, as to the permanency of form, of structure the structure of the soul this is questionable. Another vital scientific inquiry would be, "Is self identity and consciousness related to the essence, function, or form of the soul?" Copyright © 2006 Luxamore



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    The Metaphysical View Of Death And Life After Death Part 5

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    When the time for transition has come to the incarnated soul the exact moment of which is determined and initiated by the Higher Self the physical seed atom which contains the soul plan of the Higher Self, releases certain information to the endocrine glands via the blood stream to stimulate the death process. The glands then secrete certain substances that Earlyne Chaney calls the "death hormone." This hormone then circulates around the physical system releasing the immaterial aspect from the physical. The mental, astral and etheric bodies dissociate themselves from the physical body, followed by the seed atoms. The first to be affected and released is the mental seed atom. As it leaves the physical body, the mental records of the soul and consciousness goes along with it. This is in fact the commencement of the bardo, of which no soul can avoid experiencing, even in a sudden impact of death. Once the mental seed atom escapes from the physical system, the physical body falls into a coma. Although the physical body still reacts to external stimuli, there is no registration in the consciousness of the soul through the brain. Next to be liberated from the physical body is the astral seed atom. With the absence of the astral seed atom, the physical body lies inert and senseless. The departure of the physical seed atom marks the beginning of clinical death. Its disappearance from the physical body causes the dissolution and disintegration of the physical form. In the above process no pain is involved, for the absence of the mental seed atom prevents any sensation to be noted in the consciousness. Also, the "death hormone" anesthetizes the whole physical system. Any death struggle or spasms to be seen in the dying merely reflects the release of the components of the soul and the physical body's straining to prevent its departure. As a person is about to leave the physical, the astral body increases in luminosity, even in the case of sudden deaths. All of the seed atoms as they leave the physical body, are transferred to the astral form. With the transference of the mental seed atom, the consciousness of the soul gradually awakens in the astral state and experiences the bardo. Once the bardo is undergone, the soul, the awareness principle in average cases, is greeted by advance beings and earth relatives who have prepared beforehand for the arrival of the soul. This we know personally having had psychic contacts when our dad was undergoing the dying process. The dying are often instilled peace with the help of music played by the disembodied spirits. The departure of every soul from the physical plane is known by spiritual beings, and preparation is always made for their reception in the astral world. Even while journeying in the bardo the soul is often aided by spiritual guides. Divine guides in the higher planes helping the newly dead is a common belief among ancient Egyptians. When the physical seed atom leaves the physical form and transfers itself to the astral body, the sutratma, the silver cord, snaps and recoils to the physical form where it infuses itself into the bones of the body. Imbued with the qualities or magnetism of the personality of the soul, the sutratma, as it recoils to the bones, impregnates the skeletal structure with the vibrations of the soul. The bones, therefore, acquire a magical quality, especially if the departed soul was a mystic or saint of a high caliber. This occult principle is well known among shamans of various cultures who often utilize bones of revered men as implements as ceremonial magicians would use their consecrated wands as tools of their will. We personally possess such a magickal object, a very ancient trisula, part of which is made by a human bone. During the above process of soul transference, or transition, the awareness principle undergoes the bardo, as we have said before. Since we will be considering the bardo at some length in a later section of this paper, we will now deal, instead, with the nature of the after death state. Once soul transference has been completed and the bardo experienced, the astral form drifts to the realm or region in the astral or mental world where it will sojourn for a time. The etheric body, is however, still connected with the physical form through a remnant of the sutratma. It dissolves simultaneously with the physical body. With the absence of the higher principles, the etheric body, like the physical form, is but an empty shell, and it may somehow be galvanized into some resemblance of life by astral entities using the life force borrowed from incarnated beings. Some forms of vampirism is also related to the etheric body. Corpses remaining fresh in their graves is the result of a vital etheric body animated by some intelligence maintaining subsistence through the act of vampirism. Possessing some psychological traits and memory of its former occupant, the etheric form is often used by malicious entities to deceive and mislead living relatives and persons through channels, psychics and mediums. It is for this reason that cremation, from the occult point of view, is often seen as a spiritual necessity and a psychically sanitary method for disposing physical remains. It prevents the occurrence of negative phenomena such as obsession and possession. In burial grounds, the etheric body may often be seen as bluish lights hovering buried bodies; these are often mistaken for ghosts or human spirits the correct term for these are phantoms. In ancient Egypt, the desire for preserving the etheric body may underlie the practice of mummification. Like the bones of a deceased person, the etheric body is also often used for occult and magical purposes usually necromancy or sciomancy, which are forms of divination. This is usually done with the use of the shedding of blood where it attracts the shades, the etheric forms of the dead used not by its former occupant, but by elemental or elementary spirits. Blood, as a medium of the life force, is an energy source sought after by malicious or mischievous spirits. With the presence of blood such spirits find it possible to be fully aware of the physical plane and materialize and converse with material beings; and also possible to satisfy certain base desires. We mentioned before that the soul, the awareness principle, gravitates to the realm most suited for it in terms of vibration. Mercy does not automatically lead a soul to heaven. A soul's personality determines where it would go. If the nature of the soul is of a low type, it will find itself in one of the lower astral regions which corresponds to the religious concept of hell. High natured souls will be drawn to the high astral worlds or to the mental mansions. Swedenborg speaks of this in his book, "Heaven and Hell": "It ought to be clearly understood that with the angels [souls] it is their interiors which cause them to be in one heaven or another. For, the more their interiors are open towards the Lord, the more interior is the heaven in which they are." (1958:16) Here Swedenborg says that souls enter the type of heaven that corresponds with the quality of the inner heaven within them. This spiritual principle is a known law among occultists. Cornelius Agrippa in the Three Books of Occult Philosophy, has this to say about the reward of lofty souls: "But the spirit of man, which is of a sacred nature, and divine offspring, because it is always faultless, becomes incapable of any punishment; but the soul of it hath done well, rejoiceth together with the spirit, and going forth with its aerial chariot [astral body], passeth freely to the graves of the heroes, or reacheth heaven, where it enjoys all its senses, and powers, a perpetual blessed felicity, a perfect knowledge of all things, as also the divine vision, and possession of the kingdom of heaven, and being made partaker of the divine power bestows freely divers gifts upon these inferiors, as if it were an immortal god . . ." (1995:594) He goes on to say that the soul of a negative nature is left to the pleasure of the "devil": "Wherefore then this soul being void of an intelligible essence and being left to the power of a furious planetary, is ever subjected by the torment of corporeal qualities." (1995:594) Agrippa alludes here to hell or purgatory. Should there be coarse material in the astral form as a result of negative habits, negative patterns of thoughts and desires, the soul sojourns temporarily in purgatory before transmigrating to its rightful place in the heavenly regions. Purgatory is a transitional plane of human souls of various natures and types; for instance, there are those bound there because of their unrealistic religious concepts, and they linger in purgatory until they accept the truth concerning the spiritual laws governing the higher spheres. There are those also stuck in purgatory until certain habits or desires are overcome. Atheists and intellectuals likewise find themselves in purgatory for a time. Attachment to earthly wealth, position, and power may also be a cause of bondage to purgatory. In purgatory the soul strives to rid itself of its moral, mental and emotional defects; and also the effects of its physical and sensual indulgences, as well as those sensual desires itself. In Hindu and Buddhist mythology, these souls in purgatory are called Pretas, or "hungry ghosts." Until the astral form has reached the required degree of purification, the soul would find it uncomfortable to live anywhere else in the astral plane. Purgatory is said to resemble the earth plane's slums and ghetto areas. The author of this paper once had an interesting experience in one of the lower astral regions in which he was directed to counsel souls who were kleptomaniacs. Although not informed as to the nature of the inhabitants of the realm, certain events such as personal objects carried on our astral person at that time which was suddenly amiss made us realize the common problem of those souls living there. Those souls were stuck in purgatory because of their thieving tendencies, and we were there to help them realize and give up their negative habit. Bad habits and desires follow us in the afterlife and they cause us intense suffering the result of being unable to completely satiate, gratify, or fulfill them. It is for this reason that negative habits and desires should be extinguished, or at least transmuted in the here and now, in the physical plane. Before entering purgatory, a soul may be given a glimpse of the astral heavens so as to awaken its aspirations, its desires to improve its condition and soul estate. When the soul is dissatisfied with mundane and carnal things in the lower astral and when it aspires for something better, it commences to purify its astral body of the lower particles, and suddenly it finds itself within a higher sphere. Souls that are psychologically unsound or mentally and emotionally disturbed are brought to healing centers in purgatory for the restoration of harmony among their soul vehicles. Souls with crystallized minds and are mentally imprisoned by preconceived ideas concerning life after death are likewise brought to healing centers for de hypnotization, or rehabilitation. Souls that led violent lives fall into suspended animation for a lengthy period of time. This enforced unconsciousness is therapeutic in nature, it is a period of soul healing. These souls are awakened from time to time to determine its attitude whether it feels guilt or repents of its negative deeds. If not, it is once again tranquilized. When ignorant of the existence of the higher spheres, souls in purgatory and in the hell regions are often shown, by guiding souls, of the splendour and glory of the upper regions of the astral and mental worlds. Souls are no more intelligent or knowledgeable in the astral as they were in the physical. Ignorance in the physical concerning Truth and Reality are brought along with them in the discarnate state. Opinions are maintained. Souls, therefore, see and experience what they have learnt to believe. Such "lost souls" are shown the way of ascension to the higher worlds. The astral body is plastic like in nature and it normally reflects the nature of the soul within. Souls with negative tendencies and evil traits assume forms with facial features reflective of its nature. They may take on the appearance of misshapen, grotesque, and monstrous forms. Conversely, souls with positive, clean, and pure natures take on angelic forms. The higher the quality and nature of the soul, the more beautiful and scintillating its appearance. Even the clothings worn by souls reflects the inner state. Referring to this principle Swedenborg declares: ". . . all the interior affections appear and shine forth from the face." (1958:22) He also relates the mystery of soul appearance of evil persons: ". . . and wonderful to tell, those in hell appear to one another as men, but in the light of heaven they appear as monsters, horrid in face and body, the exact form of their own evil." (1958:66) Among Chinese and Tibetan beliefs is that souls could reincarnate as animals. Considering the principle mentioned above, we can come to appreciate some truth in this concept. Men with animal characteristics do reflect their animal nature in their astral forms. Through death the mind retains the same personality, habits, traits, character and inclinations, and this is known through one's appearance. It is through the facial appearance, the quality of the clothings worn, and the luminosity and colours of the aura of the soul that the degree of evolution of the soul may be determined. Some beings are so radiant, that it hurts to look at them. We would probably shield our eyes with our hands to protect our sight from the glare this gesture could almost be interpreted as a salute a sign of honor and respect to those beings. These souls are bearers of Light, Life and Love. Their presence heals and vitalizes the younger souls. Overthere, in the astral and mental worlds, everyone sees us for what we really are, including ourselves. Though we may be "somebody" in the physical world, in the astral worlds we may be just another "person." In the higher worlds, our true character stands revealed. There is nothing of our private thoughts, feelings and character that we can hide. We are an opened book that reveals our inner selves to others around us. Again quoting Swedenborg: ". . . an angel who excels in wisdom instantly sees the quality of another from his face." (1958:22) Only virtues, good thoughts, deeds, and a search for Truth confers beauty of appearance. In the higher worlds we will discover the fact that thoughts are things. What we think manifests and affects us almost immediately without any time interval. Those with pre conceptions regarding heaven, such as religious devotees, will experience the type of heaven of their expectations. These various heavenly conditions, however, are illusions. They exist temporarily as dramas played on the behalf of the newly arrived soul for the purpose of teaching spiritual lessons, such as the errors of pre conceived ideas. The dramas are sometimes played by negative beings with non benevolent motive. These dramas last until the soul awakens to the fact that its concept of heaven as experienced, hardly reflects the true reality, state, and nature of the mansions of the Cosmos; or conversely, it could entrap him even further. The former condition is brought home when certain events occur in their personal "heaven" which indicates the artificiality of their paradise. For instance, a soul conceiving heaven to be one where its inhabitants wear wings and halos, and play on the harp and sing hymns for all eternity will experience just that . . . until ennui sets in, and voices begin to get hoarse, and harp strings begins to burst, and halos begin to fall, and wings begin to molt . . . In reference to these dramas in the astral dimensions, Torkom Saraydarian comments in The Science of Meditation: "Once you enter into it, you see that many colorful events are rapidly forming and dissolving according to your unnamed urges, aspirations, thoughts, and volitions, which are in continuous change and motion and in various intensities. All you see is the response of your astral substance, which mirrors your desires, urges, dreams, and mental modifications. The comic part of this is that you do not realize that whatever you see or experience is your creation, your own expression, which sometimes becomes the vehicle of astral entities who perform an illusive play or comedy to englamour and trap you even more." (1993:208) In the various astral and higher planes, the soul occupies some of its time analyzing its past life and the assimilation of its experience. This introspection is often done with the assistance of spiritual guides and group discussions. In the heavenly worlds the soul finds time to do and to learn the things that it always wanted to without being bothered by the necessities of earning a daily living. There are Halls of Wisdom and Temples of Learning in all branches of the arts and sciences, including the science of creation. In these schools the soul learns the purpose of life, the laws of the spiritual planes and how it may function effectively therein in its higher vehicles. The potential and expressions of one's creativity are also taught. Generally, the average soul will spend its time studying and serving others, with intervals of relaxation and play. In the astral state one discovers that it is unnecessary to eat or to drink to nourish the astral form. Nourishment occurs through spiritual osmosis. The astral form automatically absorbs the life giving energy fluid flowing through the astral ethers. This could be done physically as well, but it requires intense spiritual training to reach this level. Streams and fountains of energy are to be found in the higher heavens. Muslims call them Salsabil. A dip in them also vitalizes the whole spiritual constitution. There are several modes of locomotion available to the inhabitants of the heavenly worlds. There are vehicles to convey one from place to place. One may also choose to walk or to use the astral body's innate capability to fly. This latter mode of travel requires some mastery though, however, once mastered, it offers one of the most convenient methods of mobilization. Once settled in the higher astral, the soul does not possess the ability to view or manifest in the earth plane unless it has acquired the occult ability to do so. Generally speaking, it is not possible for the soul to visit the higher worlds beyond its soul level because of the intense fiery vibrations emanating from those worlds. Journeying to lower worlds, however, is much more easily accomplished. Communication in the subtle worlds is done mainly through telepathy, although sometimes normal speech is used. The utilization of telepathy means that every soul understands every other soul eventhough in physical terms there may be a language barrier. For instance, through the means of telepathy it is possible for an Englishman to understand an Italian, and vice versa. One also eventually learns to communicate through colours and sounds, these being universal languages. There is, however, a phenomenon that should be noted and expressed clearly by Swedenborg: ". . . the angels of a lower heaven cannot speak with those of a higher heaven. In fact when they look towards them, they do not see them, the higher heavens appearing like a mist over their heads. Angels of a higher heaven, however, can see those in a lower heaven . . ." (1958:100) Copyright © 2006 Luxamore



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    The Metaphysical View Of Death And Life After Death Part 2

    #1

    REVIEW OF LITERATURE When a Sadguru, or spiritual master first receives a novice or a candidate seeking Truth, one of the first steps that the master would assure himself is the sincerity and the purity of motive of the candidate requesting initiation into the mysteries. In order to augment or instill this sincerity and pure motive when absent, the master would speak to the candidate regarding death. The master would advise the candidate to contemplate upon the meaning of death and the opportunity that life provides. The master would refer to the fact that death often comes, stealth like, at an unannounced moment; that to be engrossed with trivialities is to waste one's life; that there are no guarantees in life except for death. The chela is made to ask, "what is the purpose of life if death cuts us down at our prime, leaving us with ambitions, aspirations and unfulfilled dreams? What is the purpose of life and death, if we are not able to take along with us through the portals of death our prized possessions, our titles, our fame, our temporal power?" The spiritual master would be quick to point out that the true purpose of life has very little to do with the earthly, evanescent riches or power that we acquire, it has more to do with the immaterial wealth that we take along with us our knowledge; our memories; our improved karma, habits and character; and our spiritual and psychic development. Earthly acquisitions fail to offer any help to the one undergoing transition. We each face death alone; and in death, stripped of all mundane superficialities, we come to realize our own true worth. And so, the chela, with perhaps impure motives at the outset, comes to understand after some spiritual guidance, and a prolonged contemplation and analysis of death as related to life that the aim, purpose, importance and goal of personal existence in this physical sphere with its many opportunities are for gaining freedom, perfection, salvation, enlightenment, and the ascension. We should all be aware that death may come to us at any moment, this will motivate us to direct our minds into proper perspectives, and to get our priorities straight. To eat, drink, and be merry as advertisements tell us, as the philosophies of the fallen angels would have us learn, is to be sidetracked from occupying ourselves with our "Father's business." Like the disciple referred to above, in this paper it is our intention to delve into the nature of death and its process so that we will come to know a greater life, and appreciate its intrinsic value. We will also consider the nature of certain aspects of life after transition, for this expands our spiritual horizon, and it offers us a glimpse into man's glorious future. Our main themes in this paper will be related to the following: 1) The survival of personal consciousness. 2) The process of transition. 3) The nature of life after so called death. The Survival of Personal Consciousness The average person often wonders if consciousness survives death. We have commented and alluded previously on the indestructible nature of energy. There can, therefore, be no dissolution of the essence of Soul, or rather Spirit not even through the process of transition. The forms, the structured energy fields that the Spirit and Soul indwell and embody may change, but the essence, the spiritual aspect of the microcosm, the Monad, the SELF, is immortal. Religion, mysticism, and psychicism, refers to this verity. If a person is to know this particular truth of the survival of consciousness, he or she must learn to expand the consciousness and to spiritualize his or her mind in order to be aware and function consciously in the higher planes. Failure to realize spiritual verities label us as "dead" a term referred to by the Piscean Master in the gospel narratives to people who are closed to the higher worlds and spiritual truths. People suffering from spiritual myopia live in physical tombs and not temples; such persons do not care much about the higher worlds and their relation to them; these individuals limit their awareness and deaden their consciousness in a three dimensional slumber. Individuals with limited minds do not see the whole picture of life's purpose. The writer of this paper firmly believes, or is convinced in the ability of consciousness to exist apart from the physical body. We had, personally, experienced many spontaneous astral projections, and many lucid dreams. Although experiences of astral projections may not objectively prove the survival of consciousness after death, it does give us some inkling of what it may be like to exist independently of the physical form; it also provides us with some reason for accepting the possibility and the high probability of the survival of consciousness. The reality and proof of the survival of personal consciousness itself may be acquired through one's personal interaction and relationship with the so called dead. This normally occurs unconsciously in one's sleep and dreams, however, it may occur with full astral awareness or in the awaking consciousness. Lucid dreams are typical of the former type, whereas visitations or psychic materializations are of the latter. If we are able to contact the so called dead who once were people living in the physical world and resume relationships with them, is this not proof that personal consciousness survives transition? Although this rhetorical question is simplistic in form and incapable of offering positive proof regarding the survival of consciousness, being subjective in nature, and which does not carry any weight under scientific scrutiny, it does imply that some materialistically oriented individuals are unwilling to attend to the reality experienced by others because of prejudice, pride, fear and cultural conditioning. How does the average man view death, what does he actually believe about it? Society has various beliefs concerning death, and what it entails, below are just some of these beliefs: 1) The cessation of consciousness and the annihilation of Self. 2) The termination of human relationships, and the loss of loved ones. 3) The termination of physical activities, of goals, ambitions and aspirations. 4) The passage into an unknown world or state of consciousness. 5) The facing of the Judgment and the accountability of one's sins the fear of eternal punishment in an everlasting hell, or in contrast, pleasure, rest and idleness in Paradise. 6) Physical, emotional, and mental agony in the death process. As we will see in later chapters, all of these beliefs are unfounded. The nature of life after transition is only unknown to those who do not seek to know. There is also no true severance of human relationships; and an eternal hell is non existent, although a certain degree of pain and scorching may be experienced when impure substances present in the astral and mental bodies are removed by a purifying fire. Death is not the end of anything; it is a continuation of what has gone on before. Rumi, the Sufi poet, speaks of this truth in the following oft quoted verse: "I died a mineral and became a plant; "I died a plant and rose an animal. "I died an animal and I was a man. "Why should I fear? When was I less by dying? "Yet once more I shall die as man, so to soar "With blessed angels; even from angelhood "I must pass on . . . "When I have sacrificed my angel soul, "I shall become that which no mind conceived." The Process of Transition Transition is not simply the cessation of the intake of the breath or the circulation of the life force. It is a process that involves the evacuation of the occult components within man's physical anatomy. These occult components for simplicity sake, may be called the soul, however, for the metaphysical student, a deeper understanding of the constitution of the soul must be acquired. The relationship and interaction between the immaterial aspect of man and the physical body must be known. How the spiritual components dissociate themselves from the physical body through the process of transition should be understood. It is the very presence of man's invisible forms and forces within the physical being that maintains the integrity and coherence of the particles forming the physical body. The absence of the magnetism, the electrical force, and the energy fields of the subtle bodies causes the dissolution of the physical form. Psychologically, during the separation of the material and immaterial bodies, certain visions arise in the psyche. The nature of these visions are dependent upon the degree of man's inner purity. According to Tibetan Buddhists, how man responds or reacts to these visions determines the place of his abode in the higher realms. Man's moral character is the deciding factor of his place in the universal scheme. The fear of death and dying hampers the smooth transition into the higher worlds. Attachment to the world and earthly possessions causes an unnecessary prolonged struggle in the death process, and this delays soul release. Suffering and pain are expressions of this struggle. Man should learn to be detached from all mundane affairs and relationships during transition and think about spiritual matters not because of the unimportance of the former, but because occupying the mind at the time of transition with spiritual aspirations and hope assists the soul consciousness to release itself from some of the harsh phenomena experienced in the bardo. Passing over into a new realm is like being born into the physical world. The process is somewhat similar, and this is in accord with the law of correspondence and the Hermetic axiom, "as above, so below." When one is born into this physical world one goes through the birth canal; during transition one experiences a "tunnel like" effect, a wormhole. During birth we are greeted by smiling relatives, likewise, the birth into a higher world surrounds us with people whom we love and who loves us. Passing over is no panacea for the suffering soul who resorts to suicide to end its earth life. Suicide does not solve our emotional and mental problems, for wherever we may be, we take along with us our inner world, our thoughts and feelings. Our outer world reflects our inner mental and emotional state. Problems unfaced, will have to be confronted once again in another incarnation, this is to teach the soul certain lessons that it requires for its evolution, its spiritual growth. One's attitudes, reactions and responses to problems are the main thing and not the problems themselves. The Spirit of man will not be cheated of its forces. Lessons to be learnt by the soul will repeat themselves until their essence has been assimilated, understood and wisdom gained. Suicide, therefore, should not be resorted to as an escape, for it causes spiritual stagnation. Suicides are treated as mental cases in the subtle worlds. According to psychic Donald Barrie, insane persons were suicides in past lives. Suicidal persons in the death process, like those who lived depraved, iniquitous and wicked lives, often encounter some of the most alarming visions in the bardo which includes the Judgment scene, where the conscience sits as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. Death is a personal experience. Through it we come to know our true evolutionary status as a soul, and all of our glamours and delusions concerning personal glory would fail to aid us at the time of our transition. Our poverty or wealth of our spirit is seen and known to us and others on the Other Side. The Nature of Life After So Called Death Humanity's concept of heaven is wrought with distortions of the true nature of the subtle worlds. There are many ideas concerning heaven that are disproved through the personal experiences of advanced psychics and mystics. It is, therefore, appropriate that people be informed and prepared for life in the other worlds, that they may know what to expect, that they may know how to function harmoniously therein, and the sort of activities that they may engage in. The higher worlds are worlds of activity. There is no rest there, unless we desire rest. Real rest is dependent upon the giving of another vehicle of the microcosm an opportunity for expressing itself. Overthere, we shall have the opportunity to be occupied with soul improving activities. Laziness and idleness Overthere are treated as illnesses. Individuals expressing those states are directed to special classes to learn the purposes of life, that they be motivated to engage in some worthy endeavour. There is not just one heaven or dimension in the higher worlds, there are many, and these are the "mansions" of Jesus' statement "in my Father's house there are many mansions." (John 14:2). St. Paul in his epistles mentions a third heaven; the Islamic tradition presents the Prophet Muhammad as visiting the seventh on a mythical creature no doubt a symbolic description of the subtle body. Several "alams" or worlds are discussed in Islamic literature. Theosophy speaks of seven planes with seven sub planes each, all of which constituting a cosmic plane. Hinduism also refers to the "lokas," to the many heavens as described in their scriptures. Swedenborg substantiates this truth in his spiritual works. People will be disappointed if they think that the afterdeath state will provide them what they lack here and now. This is not to say that their dreams will not occur to some degree, or that their happiness may not be derived from some longed for pleasures that Almighty God might manifest for them; what we are putting forth here is that the contents and quality of one's heart and mind determines strongly one's experiences in the heavenly world that one will live in. Purity in body, mind and soul begets a joyful experience in the higher heavens. Conversely, immorality and wickedness result in a life of misery in the lower astral realms. We carry our inner life to wherever we may find ourselves. There is no spiritual being to reward or punish us, we do this to ourselves by violating or living harmoniously with cosmic laws. To know where one would go, or to which heaven or plane one would reside, it is only necessary to look into one's mind and emotions, into one's character and personality, and there look for signs. In the chapters ahead we will be discussing in more detail of the nature of life in the higher worlds. We feel that this subject is of some importance to metaphysicians, as they are often asked by individuals seeking information on the spiritual dimensions. The Four Perspectives Although there are various perspectives that death and the process of transition may be discussed such as the clinical, the cultural, etc. We will be dealing with the aforementioned themes from the following perspectives: 1) Religion/Mythology 2) Occult teachings in general 3) Lamaism, or Tibetan Buddhism 4) Parapsychology and modern research Religion, generally speaking, offers us some information concerning the after death state with, regrettably, very little of the death process. However, it is important when dealing with religious concepts regarding death and the afterlife to be discerning and discriminative to sift through fanciful ideas of the many erroneous theological dogmas and concepts that had crept into the original teachings. Many statements in scriptures are not meant to be taken in a literal manner. Embodied within them are spiritual ideas that have to be intuited with the higher mind. Followers or devotees of religions often fail to understand this principle. They believe in the letter of the law without considering the underlying spiritual principle. The immortality of the soul has long been an essential tenet in almost all religious belief structures. The ancient Egyptians, for instance, believed in it; they accepted that the heart soul, the ka, the ba, and other components of the microcosm outlived the physical form for a longer duration, if not indefinitely. Thus mummification was instituted to preserve the body for the return of the incorporeal aspects of man. Myths are allegories or parables containing spiritual wisdom. They often deal with the fall of the soul into matter, its resurrection, the manner of its redemption, and the nature of the higher planes. In the ancient Mystery Schools of Greece, such as the Eluesinian, Cosmic laws and principles were personified and enacted in dramas. The mystae, or the candidate to the mysteries who witnessed these dramas was urged by the accompanying guide to discern the Cosmic laws and truths embodied within them. Often in such initiatory schools, candidates were put into trance like conditions where they acquired personal experiences of the externalization of their awareness principle. Thus, those candidates to the Mysteries came to know the reality of their soul and its independence of the physical body through empirical knowledge. Our treatment of mythology in this paper will be supportive in nature, emphasizing or stressing certain main points of our themes where needed. Regrettably, it is beyond the scope of this work to treat the subject exhaustively and completely in a satisfactory manner. Occultism as a whole, offers us a great wealth of knowledge concerning the death process and the nature of the post mortem states. There have been many eminent clairvoyants in the past such as Swedenborg and Andrew Jackson Davis who wrote about their experiences concerning transition and the astral planes as seen through their inner senses not to mention their communications and interactions with the inhabitants therein. In the opening pages of his work, Heaven and Hell, Swedenborg declares: ". . . it has been granted to me to associate with angels and to talk with them as man, also to see the things in the heaven as well as in the hells . . . " (1958:3) We are, however, indebted to Earlyne Chaney and her Mystery school, Astara, for most of our occult information concerning the mysteries of death. Information derived from her writings would greatly enhance the structure and support of our main themes. Of all religions, Tibetan Buddhism seems to be the richest source of information concerning the death process. It possesses a unique conception regarding transition. It is for this reason that we will consider it separately, apart from the general view of religion, giving it a category of its own. From the religious viewpoint, we have, therefore, chosen to treat the subject of the process of death in a detailed manner from the Lamaistic perspective. The esoteric science of death, it should be known, is one of the secret traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Our main source of information on Tibetan thanatology and eschatology, is derived from the "Bardo Thodol," or "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" as translated and edited by Evans Wentz and his Tibetan colleague. We will also be appropriating the teachings and commentaries of various Lamas to supplement and give form to our main themes. Tibetans consider dying to be an art, just as the spiritual teachers of the Middle Ages did, calling it "ars moriendi." To the Tibetan Buddhists, the training of dying commences in the meditative life. This is the preparation of the awareness principle for the bardos that it will undergo or the possible attainment of the "Clear Light" resulting in enlightenment. Aside from considering the role that the bardos play in the death process, we will, therefore, also comment in passing of this mystical art, of the preparation required for liberation in the bardo. Although there have been many modern, scientific researchers delving into the mysteries of death such as Raymond Moody and Elizabeth Kubler Ross, our principal sources of information will be derived from the works of Michael Newton, Ian Currie, and Filipo Liverziani as representative of the modern scientific approach. Investigations into psychic phenomena began way back in the last century when mediumistic activities began to flourish. Although many mediums and their displays of phenomena were found to be deceptions, a small percentage of occurrences were enough to convince psychic investigators of the survival of the personal consciousness and in the reality of man's inherent psychic powers. Notwithstanding the findings of past investigators, however, we will, concentrate more fully on the research discoveries of the writers mentioned above, as they offer the appropriate support for our main themes. Copyright © 2006 Luxamore



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