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    Thread: Carl Gustav Jung - Videos, Books, Ruminations

    1. #426
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      Transformation is the essence of spiritual awakening. You need to be ready to drop it all – your entire life – commit completely to the new reality that awaits. A caterpillar doesn’t hold onto any of its habits when it emerges from the chrysalis – why would it when it can fly now? And from the point of view of the newly born person, I’m, sure the ideas of the former one seem old fashioned and immature. I’ve also been getting the same message from Osho, Gurdjieff and Maurice Nicoll.

      If art is a truly essential part of me, then my interest in it will continue I'm sure. If it isn’t then I probably shouldn't be messing with it anyway. Maybe it isn’t truly meaningful in my life? If it was, I probably wouldn’t feel the need for drastic change.

      But the thing is – this is a total transformation into a new being – literally being born again. This is why people who undergo a religious conversion would change their names - to represent that they’re not the same person anymore.

      And it really does require total commitment. You need to shed all fear, all doubt, and leap into the void of the unknown with your heart filled with joy. I believe if you have serious doubts but go ahead with this anyway, you’ll get damaged. I’ve read this in a few places as well.

      I’m not saying I'm ready to make the total commitment. Right now I’m really not. But if I reach the point where I am, that’s when I’m ready for the spiritual awakening. You must develop courage and a desire to continually face the unknown, to plunge into it. Learn to love it. And stop clinging to the known. The known is the dead – it’s the things you’ve been doing that aren’t working. If you continue to do them, how can you change?

      ________________________

      ... And I just realized why people will often move and get a new job after an awakening. Otherwise you're still in the same place, with all the same people, who don't understand what you've done or why. If you talk to them about it they think you're a nut job, or at the very least they want you to still be who you were - the you they knew. All the familiar places and things all around you every day, reminding you of what you left behind. Yeah, that isn't ideal.

      ________________________

      My deconstruction of the early-life survival template has revealed to me that 2 major components of it are:

      • Lack of Trust
      • Fear of Commitment - might better be termed refusal to commit
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-09-2019 at 11:39 PM.

    2. #427
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      I have to wonder, DM, if you aren't placing your concept of a Spiritual Awakening on some higher pedestal than it perhaps ought to be. Your idea of it being some grand commitment to change and shedding your old life like a snake molts its old skin and as permanent as choosing to commit suicide seems a bit off the mark, IMO. Or rather, perhaps the ramifications behind those grand changes seems to mean something to you that isn't inclusive of the bigger picture here.

      A Spiritual Awakening, to me, is an event in one's life whereby their awareness of themselves, their reality, life, the world, and how it is all related and interlinked suddenly broadens by such a degree in a short amount of time that the person they have just become differs greatly enough from the person they essentially just were that it is as if comparing someone quite old to a younger version of themselves. They are technically the same person, but in more ways than they are, they are simultaneously not.

      I don't really think that saying it requires commitment, at least they way you describe it, is really an accurate way of putting it. A Spiritual Awakening doesn't necessarily always happen in somebody who is actively seeking enlightenment or spiritual awakening of any kind. I also believe that the differences between the recently Awakened/reborn, while being great enough on one hand to be described as essentially becoming a new individual, actually entails differing so much from the person that they were before that the old them isn't recognizable by anybody.

      What exactly does it mean to be a specific individual, exactly? What does it mean to die or be reborn? In a lot of ways, even from moment to moment, it is as though the past self has died, and the current newer self is that individual born (or even an altogether different one depending on your perspective). A bit more tangible example is treating each time you wake up and go to bed as a figurative death and rebirth. Are we really the same individuals we were before going to sleep once we wake up? If the answer is yes, why? Each momentary slice of time that you exist in could be thought of and labeled as a unique individual that is distinct from "yourself" because of its unique configuration, be it physically/atomically speaking or when it comes to the information possessed and processed by the mind.

      What should happen, considering that, is a necessary deconstruction of what we define being an individual to be, where the boundaries outlining its nature blur significantly. Not only is it difficult to actually pin down just who or what you are, but everybody else as well. From here, you should be realizing that individuality and identifying too strongly as one narrows your understanding of what the experience of being a conscious, sapient being actually is or can potentially be. Think of this in terms of the evolutionary process of living beings. What we use to define something as being a chicken, alligator, ape, or human being is more or less arbitrary. There is no point in the history of past living beings where we can truly say "this is the FIRST human being/whatever organism it is". Yet, humans and other distinct organisms no doubt exist. It gets even harder to do when trying to compare individuals within their own respective categories. That is what individuals are like.

      So, while being reborn as a result of a Spiritual Awakening may mean the figurative death of your old self, does that mean the spirit of your older self has died with it? Is there actually significance in the fact your old self has "died"? Ultimately, all forms of living are merely another form of existing. "You" simply are, no matter the manner you perceive yourself or your nature to be. Such considerations are purely mental/psychic, meaning that they are only relevant in a context of comparison and contemplation. What you "were" and what you "are" isn't something that is affected by a Spiritual Awakening as perhaps would seem on the surface, because all you ever really have been is what you "are". The nature of what you are is always changing, always growing, always ebbing and flowing.

      That said, is a Spiritual Awakening really that large of a commitment or change, then? Nothing fundamental to your existence really changes. It's just another group of changes to the more ephemeral aspects of your being. Given the transient nature of what changed about you, the exact way how those aspects of yourself transitioned doesn't really seem to matter all that much regarding your personhood, as they were destined to change either way. Sure, they make a difference, undoubtedly, but how great that difference actually is happens to be a perception, rather than some objective fact.

      edit:

      I suppose the best way of putting this is by viewing it this way: imagine how sex might seem like some amazing thing to a virgin, or some other experience seems to be elevated to some heights far greater than what those who've actually had those experience would choose to rate it in hindsight. Your view of it sounds an awful lot like some kind of idealized version of it rather than the reality of it.
      Last edited by snoop; 02-11-2019 at 12:35 PM.
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    3. #428
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      Snoop is right, and I was thinking the same thing.

      There is a saying: Before awakening chop wood, carry water. After awakening chop wood, carry water.

      There is a lot of snake-oil being sold... promises and grand words. Not necessarily out of malice, but often out of spiritual pride. As we talked about earlier.

      I don't know much about the Christian approach. But I see some very stark differences to the eastern traditions.

      As we know these two traditions approach the same topics to some degree. But In Christianity it is spread out veiled, encoded and symbolized in a way that could protect certain esoteric knowledge.
      This is also true to a degree in hinduism, whereas buddhism tries to approach things as directly as possible with minimal distraction. Buddhism is a recipe and method to enlightenment where christianity is a religion which contains it.

      From what little I've seen from the christian enlightenment teaching youtubers you have posted I notice that they use traditional christian preachers rethoric, powerful grand words in an authoritative voice almost like a cry to battle.
      In zen everything is very played down. Down to earth. They play silly games to trick their students... It's poetry never mentions any "grand spiritual topics" directly unless it is as a joke. They have rituals and ornaments and all sorts of fancy which their leaders wear completely ironically.

      Maybe what they teach is something else completely and what you will get out of their teaching is different and really has a profound effect on your person and drives. But for most people things stay more or less the same. Chop wood, carry water.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCM-6olyWVk

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmW3DVCxynM
      Last edited by LighrkVader; 02-11-2019 at 01:21 PM.

    4. #429
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      What are the Spirit and the Soul? Also, ghosts.

      Given my question to you, DM, in my last post ("So, while being reborn as a result of a Spiritual Awakening may mean the figurative death of your old self, does that mean the spirit of your older self has died with it?"), I figured it was necessary for me to outline what I believe regarding spirits and the soul. Also, I suppose ghosts too.

      What are spirits? I think spirits are best understood as the underlying essence or nature of something that serves as the metaphysical/astral/noncorporeal glue that binds the existence of what would otherwise be seen from moment to moment as unique and disparate configurations of existence. For instance, the spirit of Darkmatters is what forms a real and definite link between the Darkmatters existing in the present and the multiple iterations of Darkmatters from the past. Rather than being any kind of tangible form of Darkmatters that can be directly interacted with (interactions with the Spirit of Darkmatters is mediated through its "influence" on the current Darkmatters), it is the collective of all the mental projections and gestalts of Darkmatters that exist within both himself and all other conscious observers having witnessed or interacted with him or some kind of "ghost" of his past interactions with the world (like if receiving a college fund or scholarship that you/he/DM created).

      A soul is very similar, but a clear distinction for me is that even dead, non-living, and non-corporeal/metaphysical forms of being are capable of having spirits, whereas they do not possess souls. There is a spirit of the law, of justice, of various social institutions, etc. When it comes to a soul, though, I believe they are particular to a specific form of being that is conscious and sapient. If you possess the characteristics we generally ascribe almost exclusively to human beings (or other higher beings we might imagine, like intelligent aliens), then you have a soul. To have a soul is for it to be recognized that someone possesses legitimate personhood or an identity. They are capable of not only perceiving the external world, but considering their place and actions in it, others' places and actions in it, and the nature of their reality. They are something/somebody afflicted by what we refer to as the "human condition".

      Ghosts to me are a much more inanimate, dead/lifeless kind of phenomena. Ghosts are trails or ripples left in the wake of our universe that are capable of being traced back to something. They don't exist merely as trails or ripples, but that is a fundamental aspect of their nature. Cave paintings and rock carvings are ghosts of the individuals that drew them as much as the footprints and broken sticks that can be used to track and hunt wild game are ghosts of said game.

      So, a soul to me is more of a cognizant awareness of something's individuality and personhood, ghosts are the physical effects of a given thing's existence (whether living, dead, or an inanimate object), and spirits are mental understandings and perceptions of something's essential nature. Out of the three, the spirit is the closest to being a concept that is "living" and is capable of actively evolving and growing, as well as influencing the perceptions and outcomes of our reality. A soul more or less denotes a state of being, and ghosts are totally dead/without life as a phenomenon and only exist markers for other forms of existence.

    5. #430
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      Quote Originally Posted by LighrkVader View Post
      From what little I've seen from the christian enlightenment teaching youtubers you have posted I notice that they use traditional christian preachers rethoric, powerful grand words in an authoritative voice almost like a cry to battle.
      In zen everything is very played down. Down to earth. They play silly games to trick their students... It's poetry never mentions any "grand spiritual topics" directly unless it is as a joke. They have rituals and ornaments and all sorts of fancy which their leaders wear completely ironically.
      Great post! Not just because you agree with me, either, lol. I think what I quoted is a very good way of characterizing the difference between the way the two more generalized types of mystics seem to go about this topic/process.

      Without really knowing as much about Eastern traditions, spirituality, or philosophies, I can't say I knew this much already about their attitudes toward Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment, although I had kind of gotten an inkling or this vibe from them before reading your response. That said, I'm the type of person that gravitates most heavily toward the Buddhist perspective that generally treats most things as being more mundane and emphasizing humility, but I like having a touch of the poetic grandiosity you see in Christianity to go along with it so as not to lose sight of the existence of the universe's profundity, significance, and meaning altogether. Think of it as nihilism and absurdism with (what I feel is) just the right blend of existentialism/mysticism.

      What I know is that to hype something up is a very real cognitive bias that human beings have. Knowing that, I temper my own conceptualization of something I've yet to experience with the understanding that, as has been with literally all other experiences I have ever had, my expectation of what it will be like is entirely different from what the experience actually happens to be like. Before experiencing something, there is an air of mystery and the unknown that give it a bit more allure and significance than it deserves up until you finally experience it and it pokes a hole in your tire and all the air leaks out. Once that happens, you're left with something of real substance to analyze.

    6. #431
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      Thank you guys for all that writing and explanation!

      I think I need to explain better why I've been doing this specifically the way I have.

      For the past page and a half or so I've been obsessing on the one specific question that I keep repeating:



      "Is there a chance I might lose my desire to do art?"



      This is the burning question inside me that right now everything depends on. And right now I'm not willing to risk letting it go. I've invested so much into it - years of training, decades of messing around with it and dreaming of being a 'real' artist one day, as well as a deep reverential love for drawing/painting in general. I think of it as the deepest, most profound part of me and completely essential, and if there's a chance that will be stripped away then I won't risk it.

      That's why I focused the way I did on a commitment to change. Since I haven't got any kind of answer in here on whether I could lose the art, I thought another way to approach it is to think deeply about:

      Is this really an essential part of me?
      If it is, does that mean I won't lose it? Or is there still a chance I might?
      Could I be happy if I do lose it?

      Well, I mentioned somewhere in all my long and winding posts above that once you change your new self probably won't give a fig about what your old self liked. So I'd doubtless be happy with whatever I become.

      But still I can't just let it go like that. At this point it's too important to me. I don't think I can let go of it without deep sense of loss, at least going in. Afterwards sure, if I don't care about art anymore and my previous efforts and dreams seem silly then so be it. But the me I am now (or think I am) can't just let it go. And maybe that's a big part of my problem.

      That's what I was starting to explore in that last post, about commitment to change. Another way to say it would be willingness to drop any and every aspect of yourself. And I know you won't drop EVERY aspect of yourself, obviously, but I mean you have no way to know WHICH aspects might drop away, so I think you need to be comfortable with the idea that any aspect of you might drop away - I don't think you can know which ones will or won't ahead of time. And something like art isn't a hobby like stamp collecting - it runs much deeper and (I believe) is at the center of my total self-image. A part that I'm not willing to risk right now.

      You guys have done an amazing job of talking in a general sense about this, and from what I think I understand about all this, I agree with everything you've said. But still nobody has addressed my one specific question (typed in large letters above). And I'm so fixated on it, I can't move on until I feel I have some better understanding on that one issue.

      Lighrk, you held on to your interest in music right?

      _________________________________

      All that said, I don't mean to put off everything you guys wrote. I read it all, and I will be reading it again, this time without single-mindedly scanning it for any specific info concerning my obsessive issue.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-11-2019 at 06:59 PM.
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    7. #432
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      I would consider myself to already have had my "Spiritual Awakening" as well a few years ago. I had been on the path toward it for a while, but I wouldn't say it was quite as fully realized until the last 2 or 3 years, where unsurprisingly the bulk of my progress overcoming years of terrible mental issues resulting in large part from my initial concussion in 8th grade and another one in the Army about 6 years ago actually occurred (as well as improving myself as a person in general).

      I've always been an artist. I played several instruments growing up, loved music, drew, made 3d models and 3d sculptures, and always tried but failed at decent world building and story writing with the goal of making a game of my own being the primary motivation behind it, but not being opposed to writing fiction either. After the "awakening" I'd say I'm just as heavily an artist as I was before, with probably my fascination with and appreciation of music in every facet of its existence, creation, and structure increasing significantly. Music, more so than any other art form to me, is the closest thing to being of divine essence and origin that exists in this world. If there truly is a God and he/it/whatever left proof of his/its creation, then to me, music is it.

      Honestly you have absolutely nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the fear of losing your love for art as a result of this. I think somebody would be hard pressed to experience a Spiritual Awakening and somehow come out the other side being less of an artist than they were before. Really, your anxiety over potentially losing some aspect of your personality you hold dear to you is very reminiscent of the fear of death itself (really because both are just a fear of losing something precious to you). Do you feel like you fear death? Why?

      On the fear of loss in general, why be afraid of losing something when its loss will be inevitable (even if it's only lost because you die)? There is a difference between appreciating what you had and lamenting the fact you would no longer have it but accepting that you eventually won't and being afraid of losing it such that you cannot imagine a world where you are without it and somehow anything but totally miserable and destroyed. The way I see it is that to ever have had a thing in the first place, you were always going to have to lose it at some point. All things that begin must also end. All things born must die. All things gained must be at some point lost, and to gain anything at all something else must be given and therefore lost in return. This is reality, this is how the world works.

      I don't see the nature of our reality and existence as cruel, unfair, or at all negatively. Rather, it is a thing of profound beauty, and I am lucky to have the opportunity to take part in it or experience anything at all. Things that I have, people that I know, parts of my own self... they're all things I possess or can interact with on borrowed time. The fact that our time is limited isn't evil or terrible. Impermanence is in fact what gives any of this at all meaning and significance. It's more a blessing in disguise than anything else. And so, since I am alive, I must too die, and all my belongings and relationships will eventually be lost or crumble to dust. This is something I appreciate, something that I am okay with, something that I am happy for. I could never have had any of this if I didn't also wind up losing it later on, and I am happier to have had it and lost it than to have never had it at all.

      So, if by some strange twist of fate, having a Spiritual Awakening were to cause you to lose interest in art, who is to really say it is a bad thing? If you lose interest in art, there would be a reason behind that, right? And that reason would be good enough to justify your waning interest in art to the Spiritually Awakened you, correct? Otherwise, why would you lose interest? Keeping that in mind, why worry about whether you lose interest in it or not, knowing that the potential you that loses interest in it wouldn't actually find losing that interest to be problematic for some reason unbeknownst or understood by the current you?
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    8. #433
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      I should add this too. I asked a ways back if there could be some kind of "test drive" or "trial version", to get an idea of what's involved before fully committing, and I now understand that there is. As you indicated Lighrk, there are level-ups in consciousness, that aren't the whole "Spiritual Awakening" thing, but that most likely do give you a feel for what it would be like.

      My fear on that is that I keep seeing videos where people find out about spiritual awakening, try it, and BAM!! They get the whole thing. I think this is what you were talking about, how some people who are used to getting things handed to them and not having to work for it can do it easily.

      Possibly these are also people who haven't invested a lot of effort and time on developing something within themselves that they aren't willing to let go? I don't know. Or maybe they just don't think it through so much and obssess on things the way I do. I think it's related to the lack of trust and aversion to commitment I mentioned earlier - I don't like to just trust that "it's going to be ok" - I want to get some kind of experiential evidence of what it's going to be like. And I didn't think that was possible here, until somebody brought up those 'level-ups' I mentioned. But since some people apparently go through the whole ego death experience their first time, without much effort, it seems pretty risky. Sort of like Russian Roulette where the bullet is the whole spiritual awakening (though maybe with 200 chambers in the revolver?)

      Fear, I know - nobody needs to tell me that.

      Anyway, this is where I'm at right now.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-11-2019 at 07:13 PM.

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      Neon Genesis Evangelion

      So I don't think I can resist my urge to ask you two whether either of you has seen the original TV anime Neon Genesis Evangelion and it's theatrical movie release that replaces (more like kind of expands on and retells somewhat) the final two episodes, the End of Evangelion?

      It starts off a bit slow and a bit depressing or odd I guess for about the first 7 episodes, and then kind of morphs into a "monster-of-the-week" kind of thing until probably episode 16, and then from episodes 20 through 26 and the movie EoE, turns into a full blown psychological, philosophical, depressing and twisted apocalyptic drama. Series director and creator Hideaki Anno drew heavy inspiration from Freud and Jung's psychoanalytic theories (as well more indirectly, Lacan) as well as his own serious depression in the creation of the series. They chose to base all of the religious symbolism on Christianity and Jewish Kabbalism. Choosing Christianity was said to be a result of it being foreign and more interesting to Japanese audiences and this is often taken to mean there isn't any actual significance or meaning behind the symbolism, but that's entirely untrue.

      In short, the series is a masterpiece. It's a flawed one to be sure, but it's nothing short of amazing. To this day it remains one of my favorite artistic works ever and has played a massive role in understanding myself, others, and reality in general in my life (I first watched it at 14 myself, which was a year before getting my first concussion and winding up as messed up as pretty much all the main characters and often found myself watching it again and again trying to better come to terms with myself and how to deal with things). It's so expertly deeply and richly woven with meaning and connections everywhere, Anno is truly a genius.

      Really, even if you guys aren't into anime, giving the whole series + EoE a watch is still something I'd highly recommend doing because it's a piece of art that transcends its medium.

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      Wow Snoop, amazing post!! The one in between mine - I missed it before.

      I had no idea you were so deeply into music, or that you had already experienced spiritual awakening. You might have already mentioned it and I forgot - your posts can be as long and meandering as my own, which makes it easy to lose details in the overall mass. (And actually now that I think about it, I did know you had experienced awakening, it's just been a log time since you mentioned that and it had slipped my mind).

      I must say, I felt weight coming off my shoulders as I read what you wrote. I needed to hear it from an artist who's been through it and didn't lose touch with art.

      As for your very Stoic ideas concerning fear of loss and death, I don't really fear death, but do I fear a life without my deep attachment to art. But I've been starting to move toward acceptance that if I do lose the art impulse as part of awakening or whatever you want to call it, then so be it - I guess deepening the Stoic attitude toward loss. I had never applied it to my art, which is more dear to me than I guess anything else. Maybe it's important to accept that it might be lost - after all, that's the meaning of the Christian Mystic line "He who would gain life must first lose it". I think it's also covered by the line "If you love something let it go. If it returns then it's yours forever". You must be willing to give it up. This is very similar to what Jordan Peterson says - "If you're able and willing to fight, then you probably won't have to".

      Thank you for setting my mind at ease!

      Now I'll dig into your most recent post.


      ______________________________


      I remember you bringing up Evangelion/Neon Genesis before, and I went searching but couldn't find any way to watch it short of buying it. I've seen clips and know what it is, I think the art looks really cool at least for some part of it (don't remember which part). And we might even have already discussed this - I seem to have deja-vu about it, but I remember a red-headed teenage girl character named Jung-Freud, but I believe she's in a different series? The Japanese seem to have a fascination approaching my own about Jung and Freud, as well as schoolgirls saving the universe.

      ______________________________

      I have thought before about the possibility of losing my art by losing my eyesight or getting bad arthritis or something beyond my control like that, and I can accept it then - I figure I can just write, by setting up the computer for speech recognition or something. But I had never considered actually losing it through my own doing* before. That was the new part for me, the wild card in the mix. And I couldn't see taking action that could result in losing my art unless I had some reassurance that it probably won't happen, from someone with experience.


      * Lighrk - STOP!! Before you say "It's not about taking action, it's about dropping your conception of what Self is", I do get that!! It's just a lot easier to talk about it this way, with that part always implied.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-11-2019 at 08:27 PM.
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    11. #436
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      I don't know if you could call what happens "saving" the world in this case, even though you're not wrong at all about the whole schoolgirl thing. This anime is actually a deconstruction of the general "highschoolers saving the world" trope and mecha genre and was actually made during a time before any serious deconstructions this kind of trope in anime existed. The series itself is pretty dark and bleak by the end of it, even though I find both the TV and EoE ending to be hopeful endings (I think some people might call me an optimist for that, idk).

      And yeah, music is mankind's greatest achievement and I really don't foresee anything that could change my opinion on the matter.

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      I know what you mean about music - of all the arts it gets into your emotions the most directly and powerfully.

    13. #438
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      End of 1st water fast

      I didn't write about this when it happened - I ended it last Thursday. So it went for 4 1/2 days. I ended it early (was wanting to go at least 5 if I could) because I was starting to get hungry but also getting a lot of pain from my core muscles, front back and sides, as well as my left arm around the shoulder/bicep/tricep. These are specifically areas I had injured a while back by lifting too heavy, and I suspect the fast was beginning to heal the injuries, and that it involves re-experiencing some pain.

      I could have kept going but the pain was making me very irritable and I had learned what I wanted to from this first water fasting experience - that indeed I can go longer than 3 days, and I don't get hungry (until that 5th day in). I'll be starting another one soon and trying to go longer - goal is 7 days but we'll see.

      Most interesting thing that happened, and I had forgotten this happens when you're in keto - my breath suddenly turned very sweet and fruity or flowery smelling. Like perfume, and I couldn't get away from it for the last day and a half! At least it was a very pleasant smell. Also my sense of smell became extremely sensitive, like it can when you're recovering from an illness. I opened the refrigerator after ending the fast and it smelled horrible - overpowering. Turned out to be some eggs that had been there too long, but my roommate couldn't even smell them, and 2 days later I could just barely notice it anymore (a smell like that lingers for a long time). It also made everything I ate taste way stronger than it normally would for a day or so.

      I broke the fast with nothing but veggies the first day and added some fruit the second, then just started eating normally. It went excellently, no digestive problems or nausea as can happen if you go right to heavily processed foods or overeat. The first day the only thing I ate was a small salad with cottage cheese for dressing. That was plenty, and I didn't feel the need for any more all day.

      Overall the 1st water fast was a great success. Plus now I believe if I can go long enough it will heal my injuries. Apparently it heals whatever needs healing, but it has a hard time doing its work when you're constantly eating, because 90% of the auto immune system is in the gut, and it can only go to work when it isn't busy digesting. A weird setup, sort of like if all doctors and nurses also work for the post office and can't do their healing duties until all the mail has been delivered. Then it takes something like a mail shutdown for things to start getting done.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-12-2019 at 02:59 PM.

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      @ Snoop - about the loftiness or whatever you called it of the Bible, as I understand it now, that's only there with an exoteric surface reading, plus of course all the pomp and ceremony added by the Church. Since learning the esoteric (inner) interpretation of it I've found it to be very no-nonsense and to-the-point, entirely about the awakening - reaching the higher states of consciousness just like Buddhism.

      On that topic - I've lost interest in Gurdjieff and his Fourth Way. It all seems overly complicated and to consist of his bloated Theory of Everything where he believes he can figure out/discover absolutely anything using this system that he devised, supposedly based on ancient teachings. It seems a lot more like sorcery than spiritual awakening, and I'm not interested in that - in fact that was part of the aspect of the Castaneda books that threw me off from them as well.

      However I'm really glad I discovered Maurice Nicoll. Not the books where he's exploring Gurdjieff's 4th way (he apparently was captivated by that for a long time) but there are several that are entirely devoted to the esoteric meanings of the Bible and to achieving spiritual awakening. If you can learn how to properly interpret it, it becomes a powerful guidebook on the journey.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-12-2019 at 02:56 PM.

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      A couple of good videos about the benefits of fasting:



      Here's the book mentioned in the video: The Fasting Cure by Upton Sinclair @ Archive.org



      And I'll re-post the link to a book I mentioned earlier on the thread, amazing resource: Shelton: The Hygienic System Vol III; Fasting and Sun Bathing (PDF)

      A big part of what was so fascinating to me about this book is the way major transformations take place in animals when they're fasting, such as caterpillars going into chrysalis in order to change into butterflies, and the fact that dogs (and many other animals) instinctively know to stop eating when they're sick - they won't eat until the body heals itself, which happens much faster and more efficiently while fasting.



      Autophagy. "To eat thyself"

      It's a way of making your body refresh and renew cells, causing rejuvenation, and can help with or cure many diseases. And it happens whenever you fast over a certain amount of time (I think it's just like 8 hours? - I'm sure the video says). And the longer you go after that, the better it gets.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-12-2019 at 07:12 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post

      Is this really an essential part of me?
      If it is, does that mean I won't lose it? Or is there still a chance I might?
      Could I be happy if I do lose it?
      Hm, let me give these a try.

      First answer: no, because there is no such thing as an essential part of you. I’m a Buddhist, of course I’m going to say that.

      I’ve read quite a bit of Jung, but I was never entirely clear on whether he would have agreed. He had a lot to say about the Self – but for all I know, he may have just called it that because it’s what’s there instead of what we commonly refer to as the self. A classic paradox. But this is the big thing I’d want to know right up front because if you do believe in some kind of essential self, what I have to say may not really apply.

      Someone on a Buddhist path focused on transformation wouldn’t have to give up anything that they currently do—especially not something they’re passionate about. Passion is the fuel that the whole thing runs on. But they would absolutely have to give up their self-concept as a person who does that thing. They would have to give up making their happiness conditional on doing it. When you realize that your own nature is completely open, there’s no possible basis for letting go of the thing itself. But if your ideas about it are blocking you from realizing that your nature is completely open, then it gets problematic.

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      My fear on that is that I keep seeing videos where people find out about spiritual awakening, try it, and BAM!! They get the whole thing. I think this is what you were talking about, how some people who are used to getting things handed to them and not having to work for it can do it easily.
      I’m not familiar with these videos, but I can believe that some people only need to hear about these ideas in order to be able to immediately put them into practice. I’ve had less dramatic (though still life-changing) experiences that happened just through learning something was possible. That’s interesting for me because, at first glance, it looks as if conceptual knowledge is doing what experience ordinarily does. But what I think is happening is more like you’ve had a whole pile of kindling up until then but no match. The experience is already there, but you haven’t realized its transformative implications yet.

      But you’ve been learning about spiritual awakening without it triggering a realization of this sort, right? That suggests to me that you don’t have to worry about suddenly becoming a radically different person. If it was going to happen, it already would have. It’s going to be a more controlled process, as fast as you’re willing to take it—as I’d imagine it is in the vast majority of cases. Your relationship with art might have to change as you do—but that’s what keeps things interesting, right?
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      Also - wow, I had no idea there were so many creative people on Dreamviews. Why aren't we all working together to make a video game or something?
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      Quote Originally Posted by LeaningKarst View Post
      I’ve read quite a bit of Jung, but I was never entirely clear on whether he would have agreed. He had a lot to say about the Self – but for all I know, he may have just called it that because it’s what’s there instead of what we commonly refer to as the self.
      Interesting question, and I have no idea. My suspicion is that he saw it similarly to the way I do (most of my ideas on it came from reading Jung after all), and I'll try to explain that just below.


      Quote Originally Posted by LeaningKarst View Post
      This is the big thing I’d want to know right up front because if you do believe in some kind of essential self, what I have to say may not really apply.
      I had to think about this one for a while (and I still am - probably will be for a long time in fact).

      First, I believe there are sub-personalities. I don't mean in the sense of multiple personalities - not fully formed personalities each with its own name or anything, more like fragmentary sub-selves that can take over motive functions temporarily, like hungry you, or horny you, or overanalyzing you. Not really what I'd call Selves, but I think it demonstrates that my idea of the interior landscape of the self isn't fixed. I suppose these all function as parts of the ego, or somehow coordinated by it and subject to it.

      And I see the Self (Archetype of Wholeness) as a sort of loose congregating factor that doesn't function as the entire personality itself, but holds together the sub-personalities and whatever else does function as personality (which I think is complex and composed of various parts - probably changeable). Sort of the One Self To Rule Them All And In The Darkness Bind Them.

      edit - just remembered, Jung called the Self a center of personality, not the personality itself.

      Basically, I don't believe the personality is essential, but changing - flexible. Adaptable. And I think - for myself anyway, that it adapts when it needs to, and until that time it likes to run in familiar ruts. From the time I was young people who know me used to say I was a creature of habit, and they were largely right, but as soon as it becomes necessary or even just desirable to me to change a habit, then I do and can surprise even myself with how quickly and completely I can adapt and not look back.

      Quote Originally Posted by LeaningKarst View Post
      Someone on a Buddhist path focused on transformation wouldn’t have to give up anything that they currently do—especially not something they’re passionate about. Passion is the fuel that the whole thing runs on. But they would absolutely have to give up their self-concept as a person who does that thing. They would have to give up making their happiness conditional on doing it. When you realize that your own nature is completely open, there’s no possible basis for letting go of the thing itself. But if your ideas about it are blocking you from realizing that your nature is completely open, then it gets problematic.
      Well that shouldn't be a problem, considering I suffer the occasional burnouts or just art blocks and can spend months at a time not even thinking about doing it. But when I am drawing or painting and I hit that sweet spot where I lose all track of time and lose myself completely in the process to a state of ecstasy (in the sense of standing beside myself, not blissed-out happiness, though there's an element of that in it too) then I know that art is essential to me. Maybe I should say deeply important to me. Drawing, painting or writing can do that like nothing else.


      Quote Originally Posted by LeaningKarst View Post
      ... at first glance, it looks as if conceptual knowledge is doing what experience ordinarily does. But what I think is happening is more like you’ve had a whole pile of kindling up until then but no match. The experience is already there, but you haven’t realized its transformative implications yet.
      That sounds like it's right on target to me. I have a tendency to approach things like this by spending a good deal of time gathering info and marinating in it, filling my head with it until it's all swirling in a vortex around me. An analytical fact-gathering and dissecting period before I launch myself into the transformational (synthetic?) period. It's how I approached lucid dreaming, and also the physical transformations I put myself through a few years ago when I lost 100 pounds and rid myself of pre-diabetes and a couple of other really nasty results of the Standard American Diet and couch potato-ing.

      Quote Originally Posted by LeaningKarst View Post
      But you’ve been learning about spiritual awakening without it triggering a realization of this sort, right? That suggests to me that you don’t have to worry about suddenly becoming a radically different person. If it was going to happen, it already would have. It’s going to be a more controlled process, as fast as you’re willing to take it—as I’d imagine it is in the vast majority of cases. Your relationship with art might have to change as you do—but that’s what keeps things interesting, right?
      This sounds right to me. Thanks for setting my mind to rest on another issue. And about my relationship to art needing to change - I HOPE so!! It definitely needs to grow and mature - if I thought it wasn't going to do that I'd probably just quit.

      Quote Originally Posted by LeaningKarst View Post
      Also - wow, I had no idea there were so many creative people on Dreamviews. Why aren't we all working together to make a video game or something?
      It does make sense - those of us who care about dreams and give them some respect are more interior-oriented than the great mass of extroverts who scoff at the whole idea of dreaming, as if it's just something foolish and embarrassing for the feeble-minded to fritter away their time with.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-13-2019 at 02:53 AM.

    19. #444
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      1st Excerpt from Maurice Nicoll's The New Man

      There’s a lot of posting about the Devil lately on the board:



      It so happens at the moment I’m reading Maurice Nicoll’s The New Man, and I’m currently into the section explaining the esoteric meanings behind Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness at the hands of Satan. Esoteric simply means inner, as opposed to the outer (exoteric) or literal meaning usually ascribed to the scriptures. This is the underlying meaning aimed at teaching people how to accomplish what Jesus himself accomplished through the New Testament - to raise yourself up from the ordinary ego level (called Earthly) to the higher level of the Kingdom of Heaven, which is not a realm we go to after death, but rather an inner state of higher consciousness. I shouldn’t write so much about it myself at this point, I'm probably screwing it all up! So I’ll let Maurice do it himself.

      This interpretation of what the Devil represents agrees with ideas that I’ve long held, though my own understanding was much more vague, just aligned with the idea that Heaven and Hell are really here on Earth, inside of us - as reward or punishment for the kind of life we’ve been living. And that the only real power the Devil has is to tempt us, but if we give in to that temptation then he’s got us by the short hairs and won’t let go. These books by Nicoll are really filling out my understanding to a new level.

      I think I’ll post the entire section on the Temptations broken up over a few days. The book can be downloaded as a PDF here: The New Man: An Interpretation of Some Parables and Miracles of Christ.

      First a little patched-together introduction:

      Jesus had to undergo inner growth and evolution. Let us start from this point. Jesus was not born perfect, as a fully−developed, a fully−evolved Man…Jesus then had to bridge the human and divine in himself and in this way re−establish a connection between heaven and earth. He had to undergo all the difficulties of an inner evolution of the human in him so that it became subject to the higher or "divine" level. He had to pass through all the stages of this evolution in himself by trial and error, until it was perfected, through endless inner temptations, of which we are only given a few glimpses.
      And with that out of the way, here’s Part 1:

      Let us ask ourselves: How is inner evolution reached?

      All inner development is possible only through inner temptation.

      Three temptations of Christ by the devil are mentioned in detail in the early parts of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and referred to very briefly in Mark, in terms of "wild beasts". Nothing is said of this in John but the Miracle of Water into Wine is made as the starting−point of the teaching and miracles of Jesus. Let us study for the present the version of the three early temptations as given in Luke, in order to realize that Jesus had to advance by undergoing development by the method of temptation and so pass through stages of inner growth, by means of inner self−conquest.

      But let us first remember that the conception of Mankind in its unawakened state as given in the Gospels is that it is in the power of evil and this is represented by the idea that Man is infested by evil spirits. That is, Man is under the power of evil moods and impulses and thoughts, which are personified as evil spirits, whose object is the destruction of a man and of the human race.

      The conception of the Gospels is that Man is continually being dragged down by evil forces, which are in him, not outside him, and to which he consents. By Man's consent to these forces in himself, progress in human life is prevented. The evil powers are in Man, in his own nature, in the very nature of his self−love, his egotism, his ignorance, his stupidity, his malice, his vanity, and also his thinking only from the senses and taking the seen world, the outer appearances of life, as the only reality. These defects are collectively called the devil, which is the name for the terrible power of misunderstanding everything that undeveloped Man possesses, the power of wrongly connecting everything.

      The devil is the aggregate of all these deficiencies, all these powers of misunderstanding in Man, and all their transmitted results. So the devil is called the slanderer or scandal−maker, from one point of view, and the accuser from another point of view. But we shall see a little more clearly what is meant by the devil when we begin to understand what temptation really means.

      In the account of the tempting of Christ by the devil given in Luke, it is said that Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days, "being tempted of the devil". This number forty appears in the account of the Flood, where the rain lasted for forty days and nights, in the allegorical account of the Children of Israel wandering forty years in the wilderness, and it is said also of Moses that he fasted forty days and nights before he received the Commandments written on tablets of stone. Here, in Luke, the forty days in the wilderness are directly connected with the idea of temptation:

      "Jesus was led by the Spirit in the wilderness during forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he did eat nothing in those days and when they were completed he hungered. " (Luke iv, 1−2).

      Then comes a description of the first resulting temptation of this period of temptation, which is represented in the following way:
      "And the devil said unto him, If thou art the Son of God command this stone that it becomes a loaf of bread. " (Luke iv, 3. )

      Let us take the superficial literal or first level of meaning. Christ hungered and the devil suggests that he should transform a stone into bread. "And Jesus answered and said unto him, It is written, man shall not live by bread alone". (Luke iv, 4. )

      On the literal level this is just as it appears—a physical temptation. Notice, however, that it is said above that Jesus was in the wilderness forty days "being tempted of the devil". If we suppose the wilderness to be a literal physical wilderness, how is it that nothing is said about how he was being tempted all this time? One might merely say that he was starving. But in connection with inner development we must understand by the term wilderness a state of mind, a general inner state, comparable with a literal wilderness—that is, a state where there is nothing to guide a man, where he is no longer among familiar things and so is in a wilderness, a state of distress and bewilderment and perplexity, where he is left entirely to himself, as a test, and does not know in which direction to go and must not go in his own direction.

      This itself is temptation, for all the time he is being starved of meaning. Why should a man leave the familiar and go into a wilderness? He hungers for bread—not literal bread but that bread that we ask for in the Lord's Prayer, so wrongly translated as "daily" bread—namely, guidance, trans−sub−stantial bread, and, literally, bread for the to−morrow, in fact, meaning, for the development of our lives, not for our lives as they are to−day, now, but as they can become, the bread necessary for our support in growing, the bread for successive and necessary stages of understanding. (For the Lord's Prayer is a prayer about inner evolution and the bread asked for is the bread of understanding necessary for it.)

      In such a state the temptation is to make bread for oneself— that is, to follow one's own ideas, one's own will—exactly as the builders of the "Tower of Babel" used bricks and slime of their own making, in place of stone and mortar. They thought they could make a new world from their own ideas. Why should one not fall back on oneself and so on life once more instead of waiting for something that seems doubtful? In Matthew the answer of Christ to this temptation is:

      "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. " (Matthew iv, 4. )

      See clearly that the devil has asked Christ to make bread by himself to ease his state—that is, not to await the Word of God. The devil says: “If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." That is, nourish yourself by your own powers and ideas. But the mission of Christ, which began immediately after the temptations in the wilderness, was not to manufacture truth and meaning by himself, but to understand and teach the Truth and meaning of the Word of God—that is, of a higher level of influences. The test was as to his own self−will and the will of a higher level. He had to do the will of "God"— not his own will. He had to bring the lower human level in himself under subjection to the will of the higher or divine level.

      It is the human level here that is under temptation for Jesus was born of a human mother. To mistake the lower for the higher is the annihilation of a man, for then he will ascribe to himself what does not belong to him. A man will then be tempted to say: "I am God", and not "God is I". If he says: "I am God", he identifies himself with God from a lower level. This annihilates him. If he says: "God is I", he surrenders his self−will and makes the will of God "I" in him and so is under, and must obey, God— that is, a higher level. Notice that the devil is made to address Jesus in the words: "If thou art the Son of God... " and so suggests that Jesus can do as he likes, as if he were at the level of God. All this was in Jesus. It took place in him. And although this temptation can be taken quite simply as one relative to overcoming the appetites, in this case, hunger, it is clear that other and far deeper meanings lie behind the literal meaning and that they are concerned with those problems of self−love and power—and violence—in which human nature is rooted.
      My own interpretation:

      All inner development is possible only through inner temptation.
      Of course - temptation by the Devil, who is the ultimate Shadow figure. This is shadow work, which is the beginning and almost the totality of Individuation or Inner Transformation. Add in some Anima or Animus work and I believe it's neatly wrapped up.

      ____________________________


      Edit - I can't shake the feeling that fasting is metaphorical here as well. For what? I suppose abstinence from The World, social life (or social media). Solitude maybe.

      2nd edit - I notice he didn't mention the meanings of the numbers. In the ancient Hebrew alphabet the letters were also numbers (don't ask me, I only work here ) and they carry very specific meanings - certain ones more so than others I believe. 40 means Probation, Trials, Testing, according to this page: Biblical Meaning of Numbers and many others you could check. That definitely fits with each Biblical story the number shows up in.

      Here is a really in-depth PDF about it - an excellent resource: The Biblical Meaning of Numbers from One to Forty

      A couple of relevant passages from it about the number 40:

      "Forty is the product of eight and five. Eight is the number of New Beginnings, while five is grace. Thus, forty can be seen as entering grace after a period of trial, as well as the beginning of something new."

      "The 40th time David’s name is mentioned is in 1 Sam. 17:51, which says that he cut off Goliath’s head with his own sword. The purpose of a time of trial or testing is to overcome the flesh and subject it to the rule of the spirit. Goliath, as a Philistine, depicts the flesh prophetically, and David subdued this “giant” in a great type and shadow."


      ____________________________


      I should be able to do this over 2 or 3 more posts. Meanwhile, if anybody has anything else to post (or wants to post about the excerpts) feel free - go ahead and intersperse it. It should keep things interesting.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-13-2019 at 04:47 AM.

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      Why does the Devil have cloven hooves, goat legs and a tail, and what do the horns mean?

      A quick break for my own commentary concerning the Prince of Darkness :


      Dave Grohl in The Pick of Destiny depicting a suitably salacious Satan


      Not exactly the Devil, I know, but there is a close family resemblance.
      In fact Hellboy is the offspring of Satan trying very hard to transcend his
      Ego/animal nature and rise above it - a sort of dark Jesus figure!



      In esotericism (inner wisdom) the lower part of Man represents his ego - the Earthly, as that part of him that’s in contact with the earth.

      It’s been said that man spans the distance between Earth and Heaven - connects them inside himself, because his feet are on the Earth and his head in the sky. What it really means is he has part of himself entrenched in the Ego (Hell) but is capable of dissolving it and reaching to a higher state of consciousness, referred to as Heaven.


      Jesus is a representation of each of us - he’s half human and half divine.

      But he needs to wrestle with the Devil quite a bit - deal with all the Temptations of the Ego, and come out on top - cast that sucker out and refuse all of his temptations toward power, pride and pettiness. In this way the temptations offer each of us the ability to perfect ourselves, to rise toward ever higher levels of consciousness and develop the Kingdom of Heaven within. Through shadow work actually.


      With this in mind, what does the Devil represent?

      His lower half is animal - hairy goat legs, cloven hooves and a tail. Not only is it in touch with the Earthly ego, but it’s incapable of rising above it. The animal is lower than the human, it’s incapable of transcendence – mired completely in the muck of the appetites, wallowing happily in them. Half of the upward journey is seeking Truth, which is about separating the true from the untrue, and the other half, when that is well in hand, is to begin to seek the Good. Truth alone is not enough, you must also turn toward the Good, which is what Buddhists refer to as Loving-Kindness. When the wrestling with the Devil begins (Shadow work), that’s when a person is beginning to turn toward separating the Good from the Bad.

      The Devil is unrepentant animalistic Ego gone wild - pure gloating Narcissism unleashed. As for the horns, being on his head they don’t represent animalistic nature. The head is the highest part, closest to Heaven/Enlightenment. “Horns” is actually a mistranslation of a word that can also mean Rays, as in rays of light - emitted from the head. It’s a halo. Many representations of Moses are based on the same mistranslation - for instance Michelangelo’s famous statue has horns. A halo is a symbol of great spiritual power. Satan was an angel after all, the highest of them all, before being cast down.

      So he comes originally from the realm of Heaven, and sat on God's right hand side - the highest position under God. Along with his hordes of rebellious angels (I suppose these are archetypes - tricksters and mischief-makers and worse) he was cast down - into the lower part of the psyche. I mentioned somewhere else in this thread that the psyche has 2 main parts – a higher part called Heaven, Valhalla, Nirvanna, Mt. Olympus etc, and a lower part - the Underworld, the Land of the Dead, of the Ancestors, of damned souls. Hell. This part is the Realm of the Shadow, through which you must trek to reach the higher level.


      Satan has been called the Prince of this World (of the Earth). He symbolizes the Earthly delights, sexual debauchery, greed, gluttony, rage, self-love, pride, vanity, etc - all the deadly sins rolled up into one humanized symbol.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-14-2019 at 03:46 AM.

    21. #446
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      'Nuther quick breakaway. This was just posted on a stopmotion animation website I visit. Stopmotion was another of my great art passions years ago, but too demanding and difficult, especially trying to do it alone.

      Here we all are, looking for our little powerups in consciousness:

      Well crap - apparently Vimeo videos aren't supported. Just click on through: Nocturne (Nachtstück)

      At least here's a picture:


      Dark, moody, atmospheric and dreamlike - just the way I like it!!

      And with plenty of lingering silence - very contemplative.

      Edit - I noticed one character opens a drawer in its chest and pulls something out. Heart. Another cracks its egg-head and something emerges from it - Brains. This is very Wizard of Oz - only Courage left out. The heart and the brains (would that be the Good and Truth?) combine in the nest (Crucible of nature? Birds representing the thoughts of the mind, as they do in esoteric Christianity sometimes?) and become - some kind of powerup in consciousness apparently? Not sure what to make of it beyond that. Must ponder more.

      2nd edit - I'm thinking in the Bible Courage is called Faith.

      3rd edit - Probably reading too deep, but an empty nest, with no birds in it, could be the mind cleared of all logical, left-brain thinking. In other words meditation.

      Also, I had a thought concerning the Wizard of Oz recently, and I guess I'll drop it randomly in here to mix into this strange crucible of ideas that is this thread:

      Brain, Heart and Courage sound an awful lot like Magician, Lover and Warrior to me. The archetypes that when properly balanced combine to create the inner King, at least in the masculine psyche - not sure if the feminine is different.

      A lot of ideas merging now concerning all this. A King wears a crown of gold. Gold symbolizes sunlight and also eternity, because it never tarnishes or corrodes. Bury gold and someone can dig it up in a thousand years and just wipe it off - perfect. No other metal will do that, hence eternity. A crown represents rays of the sun shining from an exalted person's head, closest part to Heaven:


      So really a crown is a halo.

      To anoint someone is to put oil on their head. The effect of this is to make their head shine, sparkle as they turn this way and that under the light. Very attention-getting. Sort of an ancient special effect to show "This person is something special - he radiates light and none of us here in the congregation do" (unless somebody is really sweating? - But then they're not in the exalted position front and center, up on the dais). And I suppose a gold crown is a higher-budget special effect showing the same thing.

      And of course, the horns of the Devil represent all this as well, but he's fallen, into pure Ego identification.

      Perhaps his rays transformed into horns to represent that even his thinking part, the highest part, has become pure animal? No longer shining eternal sunlight (which represents pure Love). And rather than a holy scepter, representing powers granted from above, from a higher level, he holds a pitchfork, an instrument of farm work and also capable not of any higher level symbolic anything, but only of inflicting pain here on the base Earth level, level of pure materialism and physicality/literalism. Wow, had never thought so deeply about the symbolism of a pitchfork before. This esotericism is a language of symbolism, and as you learn it you begin to see symbolism in everything. Hopefully it doesn't become obsessive and sweep me away...
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Brain, Heart and Courage sound an awful lot like Magician, Lover and Warrior to me. The archetypes that when properly balanced combine to create the inner King, at least in the masculine psyche - not sure if the feminine is different.
      ]
      Sounds like Wisdom (Brain), Power (Passion/Heart), and Courage to me, Legend of Zelda? Lol. It also falls in line with the pattern of sacred trinities.

      What I find strange is that, despite the fact that acquiring knowledge/wisdom was the Original Sin, Jesus Christ, the Logos (representing Truth, Language, Rational Logic, and specifically the logic behind an argument) is the salvation of mankind. Knowledge is both Original Sin and our one and only Salvation. I mean, I find the idea to be true enough honestly, but it seems kind of surprising, doesn't? That's where I wonder if part of the Original Sin doesn't include in particular Adam's attempt to conceal his knowledge from God by deceiving Him.

      Now, I recognized that Logos is not the same thing as Gnosis, but it's more or less a specific form of knowledge, or the specific utilization of it. Through the Logos, faithfully upheld, we are saved.

      Also, I think the Devil's appearance as a half goat half human with horns and whatnot is derived from Baphomet, whose appearance is derived from the Egyptian god Baal, who is represented by the bull and sheep/goat. Baal was major competition for Yahweh during the time of Judaism's inception, and several mentions of Baal are made in the Bible, with God specifically having Jews challenge Baal's legitimacy in comparison to his own through various challenges in the forms of Baal's followers making requests of him and having them fail to be delivered. I think if there's anywhere to look into the symbolic imagery behind the Devil's appearance (other than his common appearance as an evil serpent), research into Baal would be the place to go.
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    23. #448
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      One thing I know about Baal (aside from the fact that he was a featured baddie in the Ash vs Evil Dead cable series over the last few years) is that he was also known as Beelzebub, aka the Lord of the Flies (or Fliers, meaning flying things because he had wings). I forget where I read that - been stuffing my head so full lately it all runs together.

      I've noticed that too about Original Sin. I mean it being at one time the greatest sin and later our salvation. Could have something to do with the shift from the primitive Old Testament conceptions of God to the New Testament ones, Or (/and?) because when we first 'stepped up' from an animalistic/childish level of low consciousness to the half-God level represented by Jesus the demi-god, we became fully human, in the sense that we were then capable of reaching Salvation (higher levels of consciousness), which wasn't possible before. Able to bridge the span between Earth and Heaven through the psyche.

      On a (very closely) related note, apparently the correct translation for The Word as in "In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God" -- is Meaning. Veery close to Logos, well it's another word for it I guess. But when you stop and think about this part: "The Word was God", it means that God is Meaning. This fits very nicely with the Archetype of Wholeness I think - meaning brings wholeness or healing, it binds everything together out of chaos into a comprehensive whole that now takes on - well, meaning.

      Wiki entry on Ba'al/Beelzebub (Ba'al-Zebub)
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-13-2019 at 11:04 PM.

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      2nd Excerpt from Maurice Nicoll's The New Man - 2nd Temptation

      Maurice Nicoll was an eminent psychiatrist who worked apparently closely with Jung. From his Wiki page:

      "Henry Maurice Dunlop Nicoll (19 July 1884 – 30 August 1953) was a Scottish psychiatrist, author and noted Fourth Way teacher. He is best known for his Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, a multi-volume collection of talks he gave to his study groups…. He studied science at Cambridge University before going to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and then to Vienna, Berlin and Zurich where he became a colleague of Carl Gustav Jung. Jung’s psychological revelations and his own work with Jung during this period left a lasting influence on Nicoll as a young man.

      "Though Nicoll advocated the theories of the Fourth Way, he also maintained interests in essential Christian teachings, in Neoplatonism and in dream interpretation until the end of his life.”

      He wrote a book called Dream Psychology, available as a PDF here: Dream psychology - SelfDefinition.Org


      _________________________________________


      ^ This just so we understand his qualifications – and I think they’re extremely impressive – a highly logical scientist, yet able to understand symbology at the level of someone like Jung, known for immense right-brain intuitive capabilities.

      So here’s installment 2:

      Jesus had human nature in him from the woman—his mother. The task was to transform it. This is quite obvious in the second temptation, where Christ is offered all power over the visible world. The devil is represented as leading Christ to a "high place" and showing him all the kingdoms of the world in a point of time:

      "He led him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, To thee will I give all this authority, and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship before me, it shall be thine."(Luke iv, 5−7).

      This is temptation as to earthly power and the deep vanity that lies in everyone. It is again directed to the self−love. It includes love of the world and its possessions. The devil will give Christ the world. Love of power (authority) and love of possessions represent two sides of self−love. Here the human level in Christ is represented as being subject to the most tremendous temptation conceivable in regard to worldly gain and possessive power. The temptation is described in such a way as to bring this out clearly: the whole world is presented to Jesus "in a point of time"—that is, simultaneously.

      Jesus is made to answer: "It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve." That is, not the world and its possessions. The answer is from the same ground of understanding as that given in the first temptation. There is something apart from the world and the love of possessing it. There is something else that Man must possess. This higher level, both possible to Man and already in a man, is the direction in which his desire for power and glory must turn.

      But even although a man knows and is quite certain about this direction, he can still be tempted—and even more so. Otherwise Christ would not have been tempted in this way. His human side was still open to this temptation. It is not only the overwhelming effect of the senses and any immediate appeal to self−interest and vanity that has to be thought of here but perhaps the far subtler ideas of being able, by worldly means and outer power and authority, to help mankind by becoming a king on earth.


      We know that the disciples thought Jesus was going to be an earthly king possessing the whole world and give them earthly rewards. They thought from the lower level about higher things. They could not at first see what Jesus was talking about—namely, the reaching of a higher or inner level which has nothing to do with the lower or outer level of life. We must remember here that the path that Christ had to follow led to apparent failure in outer life, and outer powerlessness—and to a death reserved only for the worst criminals.

      He had only a few ultimate followers. It looked as if everything had been useless. Certainly we cannot expect to understand this unless we grasp the whole idea of two levels. But we shall speak more of this later on, and only say here that temptation in the real sense is about these two levels and relates to the passage from one to the other. If Jesus had been born perfect, he would have been beyond all temptation. He would not have represented the New Man or the Way to it. He called himself the Way: "I am the Way”, for this reason.


      PART TWO
      THERE are different ways in which we can be tempted and different ways in which we can yield to temptation. Let us speak of temptation in general. All temptation (if it is real) implies a struggle between two things in a man, each of which aims at getting control. This struggle has two forms. It is always either between what is true and what is false, or between what is good and what is bad. The whole inner drama of Man's life and the result of it all, in terms of his inner development, lie in this inner struggle about what is the Truth and what is a lie, and what is good and what is bad. And actually it is about these things that everyone is always thinking and wondering in the privacy of his mind and heart.

      The mind is for thinking what is true and the heart for perceiving what is good.


      Let us take first temptation in regard to Truth. This takes place in the intellectual life of a person. Everyone holds to certain things he regards as true. Knowledge itself is not Truth, for we know many things but do not regard all of them as necessarily true, or we are indifferent to them. But out of all the things we know, some we hold to be true. This is our personal Truth, and it belongs to our personal, intellectual life, for knowledge and Truth are of the mind.

      Now the intellectual life of a man is nothing but what he believes to be true and when this is assailed in any way, he feels anxiety. The more he values what he believes to be true the more anxiety will he feel when doubt enters his mind. This is a mild state of temptation, in which a man must think about what he believes and values as Truth and from it fight with his doubts. You must understand that no one can be tempted about what he does not value. It is only in connection with what he values that he can be tempted.

      The meaning of temptation is to strengthen all that a man values as Truth.


      Throughout the Gospels the idea that a man must struggle and fight in himself is apparent. The Gospels are about the inner development and evolution of a man. This demands inner struggle—that is, temptation is necessary. But people are sometimes offended at the idea that they must fight for Truth, and must go through temptations in regard to it. But it is necessary to fight for knowledge as much as to fight with oneself.

      Now let us take temptation in regard to Good. This is not intellectual but emotional. It belongs to the side that a man wills, not what he thinks. The basis of what a man wills is what he feels is good. Everyone wills and acts from what he feels is good, and all that a man wills belongs to his voluntary life. Nothing else makes the voluntary life of a man but that which he has impressed upon himself as being good.

      If all that a man holds as Good were taken away from him, his voluntary life would cease, just as if all that a man believes to be Truth were taken away from him, his intellectual life would cease.


      Now in the Gospels all Truth has to do with knowledge of the teaching given by Christ, and all Good has to do with the love of God and the love of one's neighbour. Now whatever a man loves he regards as good, and what he regards as good he wills and acts from. If he only loves himself then he is a man to whom Good means only his own good, and anything that does not apply to his own good he will regard as bad. The development of the will is through the development of the love, and the development of the love is at the expense of the self−love.

      Now since a man can only be tempted intellectually through what he values as Truth, he can only be tempted in regard to his will and deeds through what he loves. And since all temptation in a real sense is about the Truth of the Word—that is, the teaching of the Gospels—and the Good of the Word, temptation as to Good (as distinct from Truth) only begins when a man begins to pass beyond the level of self−love into what is called charity or love of neighbour through a sense of the existence of God as the source of love.

      Temptations as to Truth necessarily begin long before temptations as to Good, but if there is no sort of natural charity in a man, his temptations as to Truth will be less easy to pass through. Truth must enter and grow in a man first before he can change the direction of his will—that is, before his feeling of what is good can change. When he begins to feel the feeling of new Good entering him the two feelings will alternate. Later he will feel a struggle between the new Good and what he formerly felt as good. But by this time he should be able to hold on to Truth, however he fails in regard to Good.

      The man is really between two levels, lower and upper, and all real temptation only begins when this is the case, for the lower level attracts him and he has to find a path between them.

      Actually he lifts himself up a little and falls back like a drunken man trying to get off the floor.

      But if temptation as to Good really begins, whatever it results in, at any time, he must never let failure or apparent failure war against the Truth on to which he is holding. If he does, he will lose some sense of Truth with each failure. Whatever he is or does, he must hold to the Truth he has received and keep it alive in him.
      I'll probably be formatting on this for the rest of the afternoon, and adding to it as well if I know me. Gotta break up those massive solid walls of text and scatter the Crunchberries of BOLDFACE, ITALICS, and UNDERLINING as well as the occasional SIZE CHANGE to draw readers in.


      ___________________________________________


      More thinking on the metaphorical nature of Fasting in the Gospels:


      Food is never really food in the Bible.


      It represents wisdom of different kinds, which issues from the mouth and is taken into a person and then becomes a part of them, just as food does on being digested. In fact this may be what's represented by Jesus' penchant for kissing people on the mouth, as he was said to do so many times for Mary Magdalen, as well as his other apostles. Like a mamma bird feeding her young?

      There's the ultimate wisdom of God, then there's wise counsel from intelligent people like a King Solomon. And then there's the lower, Worldly 'wisdom' of the masses, the pull toward egoistic behavior practiced by most, and the false wisdom taught by Sophists.

      To partake of any of these false or lower wisdoms is folly, and I suspect fasting represents a turning-away from all wisdom except the inner, found in solitude (in 'the desert' or 'the wilderness'). And quite possibly it involves an actual, physical desert or wilderness, and also actual fasting - as in abstinence from food, as well as solitude and meditation/prayer.


      ___________________________________________




      What's happening when you give in to the Devil's temptations is, you become the Devil. To some extent anyway, depending on how thoroughly you gave in. It's like in Pinnocchio (Disney version), when he was on Pleasure Island (a veritable Underworld of pure Ego temptations) and he as well as all the other boys started turning into donkeys. Wow, remarkably similar now that I think about it - it must have been thought through that way. Turning into an animal form and losing all their humanity (erm - puppethood in his case?), including the ability to speak and think - becoming braying jack-asses. Was it not until he rescued his father from the belly of the whale that he returned to puppet form? I'm not sure. Or did he remain half-ass until the Blue Fairy granted him full Boyhood? I'd need to check.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-14-2019 at 05:34 AM.

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      Final excerpt from The New man - 3rd Temptation

      A little more commentary from me before launching into the third and final section.

      So in one regard, shadow work (temptation) consists of recognizing when you’re being tempted to place the worldly, or the trappings of outer success over the deep things of the spirit, over character development, over the things that truly make life worth living and improve it immensely in a way that other people can’t see. I’m not trying to cover all types of temptation in this passage, just one aspect of the 2nd temptation of Christ, one that might not be so obvious at first.

      This is like driving a car that looks run down and plain on the outside (nobody will want to steal it, but it also doesn’t get admiring looks), but that rides comfortably, has an amazing stereo (but doesn’t look like it through the window) and that runs like a dream, and also gets great gas mileage. The outer trappings don’t do much for you, living as you do INSIDE your body and your life and not being able to see it from outside the way other people do.


      You see other people only from the outside - you see their bodies rather than who they really are inside, just as you see the exterior of their cars. A shiny red sports car freshly waxed with mag wheels and neon can look mighty impressive, but it’s conspicuous and draws attention only to the surface, not to the things that truly matter. What's the gas mileage like? What does all the attention matter? If you sit in the car you can no longer see the shiny red paint job or the spinners going at the stop light. You see only the admiring stares of people on the sidewalk or in the other cars. You have to constantly race other people or pull over and lift the hood to show them the engine. The insurance is through the roof. And you worry about every scratch or nick or smudge, so that it spends most of its time sitting in the garage under a tarp.

      I think this aspect of temptation is about living humbly, rather than flashily. It’s about developing yourself on the interior, rather than pumping iron to get big muscles and trying to get ripped.

      All these are just metaphors of course - I’m really talking about your character, not the inside of your car or even the health of your body. Modern society emphasizes the exterior, the trappings of material wealth and success, but it leaves people feeling empty and life meaningless. In the end the only thing that really matters is your character.

      Ok, that said (and I don't feel like I said it very well - haven't put in the time to develop it enough yet) - on to section 3:

      ____________________________


      IN the third temptation of Christ, the devil once more begins by saying: "If thou art the Son of God.... " We must understand that Christ had to fight against self−love in all its forms and all kinds of earthly loves and everything derived from them. He had to overcome every feeling of self−power arising from the human level in him so as to make it subject to the higher level.

      Now temptation in a real sense has to do with the relation of the lower level in a man to any higher possible level. Bear in mind that the central idea in the Gospels is that a man should pass from a lower to a higher state and that this is inner evolution or re−birth. Since the "Word of God" is teaching about the means necessary for this inner evolution, all intellectual temptation in the Gospels refers to a man's private thoughts about the Truth of the Word, and the truth of the senses, and all emotional temptation is about self−love and the love of God.



      There is, naturally, disagreement between the lower and the higher level, just as we might say there is disagreement between a seed and a plant.




      We might say that a seed can live for itself and be full of its self−love or it can surrender itself and its self−will to the higher influences that seek to operate on it, so that it becomes, by transformation, a plant.

      The third temptation is given in these words in Luke:
      "And he led him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, to guard thee: and, on their hands they shall bear thee up, lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. " (Luke iv, 9−12. )

      It can be understood that the self−love necessarily only worships itself. So it can and actually does ascribe divineness to itself. That is, the lower imagines it is the higher and so tempts God. It cannot feel its own nothingness and so swells itself up to heaven; and then in the intoxication of its own divinity, in the madness of self−illusion, it may attempt the impossible and destroy itself.

      In the accounts of the temptation by the devil it is said that Christ was led by the spirit into the wilderness. In Luke, he was "led by the spirit in the wilderness during forty days being tempted of the devil." In Mark, the expression is stronger: "And straightway the spirit driveth him forth into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan; and he was with the wild beasts." (Mark i, 12−13. ) In Matthew: "Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. " (Matthew iv, i. )

      The temptations in the wilderness, in each Gospel where they are described, are made to follow on the baptism of Jesus by John. It seems strange that Christ should be led into temptation by the very spirit of inner illumination with which he was filled. But Christ taught that a man must be born again of the spirit; and without temptation there is no transformation.


      The spirit is the connecting medium between higher and lower.


      The human in Christ had to be transformed and lifted up to the divine level. And since the spirit is the intermediary, drawing the lower by a series of transformations to the higher, the work of the spirit is to lead a man into the wilderness—nay, rather, into utter bewilderment—and subject him to being tempted by every element in himself so that


      all that is useless for his self−evolution is put behind him and all that can grow and understand is put in front.


      The devil represents all in a man that cannot evolve and all that does not wish to and hates every idea of inner evolution, all that wishes only to slander and misunderstand and have its own way. All this must gradually be put behind a man who seeks real inner development and not allowed to take the first place and control him. That is, the order of things in a man must change and what is first become last. So in one of the accounts Christ is made so say to the devil: "Get thee behind me Satan."

      That this new inner order in a man which is brought about by temptation cannot take place at once is clear from Luke's words, where it is said that the temptations of Christ were not ended. "The devil", it is said, "departed from him for a season."



      ****

      Excerpts from the above:


      "It cannot feel its own nothingness and so swells itself up to heaven; and then in the intoxication of its own divinity, in the madness of self−illusion, it may attempt the impossible and destroy itself."
      "The devil represents all in a man that cannot evolve and all that does not wish to and hates every idea of inner evolution, all that wishes only to slander and misunderstand and have its own way."
      "Christ had to fight against self−love in all its forms and all kinds of earthly loves and everything derived from them. He had to overcome every feeling of self−power arising from the human level in him so as to make it subject to the higher level."
      Each part that I bolded in the above statements represents pure unabashed Narcissism. But it's important to understand, every character in the Gospels represents an inner part of yourself - just as dream characters often do. The Pharisees and Sadeucees and Philistines are not other people - they're arrogant or rule-bound parts of your own inner nature that must be discovered, called out and guarded against. Satan is this as well, he's the ultimate shadow figure, the emblem of total and absolute narcissism -- not to be recognized only in others but in YOURSELF - especially there, where it's the most dangerous - a snake in the grass.

      It's easy enough to see these character flaws in others, but by far the more important thing is to learn to see them in yourself. They're there, trust me. In fact, if you're highly bothered by certain character flaws in other people, it means you're doubtless guilty of those exact same flaws yourself and don't want to admit it, so you're projecting them out onto others where you can pretend they don't belong to you. It's a form of Scapegoating, to give it a Biblical name. In the beginning we learn to recognize bad traits in others, and the childish or narcissistic personality will go no farther than that - he will blame and shout and decry others for his own inner crimes, and never be capable of any inner development as a result of it.

      But if you manage to grow beyond that level and begin to develop some mature self-awareness, you should begin to admit your own faults. In fact it's necessary if you're to grow any farther. Use others as a mirror - when you notice character flaws in other people check mercilessly to see if you possess any traits of those same flaws - "Let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone".

      The more repulsion you have to this idea, the more likely it's true.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-15-2019 at 05:58 PM.

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