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    Thread: Carl Gustav Jung - Videos, Books, Ruminations

    1. #476
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      This is ancient Jewish (Kabbalistic) symbolism, and I believe the Books of Enoch are Jewish, aren't they? This may well relate to the oil in the 4th river.
      There's debate over that. The book's claimed origins are Jewish, there are scholars who believe it is a Christian work. Also some who think it was altered in part to conform with a later Christian cosmology.

      Oil as a symbol of anointment is a good catch, though, and probably the intention of the author.

      Another random thought, but "river of milk and honey" is of animal products, and the "river of oil and wine" is of plant products

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      It comes from this article: Is Suffering Really Necessary?
      "Suffering is necessary until we discover that it is not." that is a good quote!!

      From my readings it seems to be a necessary part in progressing past the point where a person is ruled by their emotions, and overcoming the struggle with that self. I'm not wholly sure I understand why it is necessary, just that many different traditions seem to agree it is a necessity.

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Edit – Another of the fruits (these are fruits on one of the Trees - either Life or Knowledge of Good & Evil, but of course in some sense they turn out to be the same tree seen from different sides*) is Grapes, which also get crushed and pressed – to make wine. The crushing and pressing again representing the troubles and turmoil we must experience here in the Egoic world - the suffering that if we contextualize it properly lifts us to the next level, as when Jesus miraculously turned water to wine.

      Biblically as I understand it Water is the primordial void or Chaos (Ein Sof), from which God created everything. In Genesis (story of the creation of Consciousness) it represents the deep unconscious - a chaos rife with uncontrolled emotions. God formed the Firmament to separate the upper waters from the lower waters - these would be the subconscious and what I've heard called the Superconscious. I mentioned several times on this thread that the unconscious has 2 parts - first you must descend into the Underworld aspect of it, the frightening part where you encounter the Shadow repeatedly. This would be the chaotic Subconscious. The higher unconscious would be the Kingdom of Heaven I suppose, or the Fire level? The upper realm where God dwells and has his throne. This must be pure water, water untroubled by emotional turbulence.
      I like where this line of thought is going... for some reason I haven't considered the symbolism of creation past Adam, Eve, the Serpent, the Tree, and Eden. I had not thought to extend the symbolism to the other aspects of creation.

      The beginning of a thought about the symbolism of "seven days" is starting to form... I think it is the Mithraic religion that viewed the soul as ascending up the seven heavens as a symbol of spiritual development, but also taught that the soul descended from the levels of heaven before being born. Perhaps the seven days of creation are symbolic of the seven-staged descent of a soul?? This needs more thought.

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Or maybe that's wrong - I think the Air level (Christ level) would be the Superconscious. We're able to attain that level through our own efforts, but we can't reach the Fire level until we've attained Air and then God can reach down and touch us or speak to us.

      Strange though that this upper realm is symbolized by Water in Genesis but later by Air and Fire.
      This probably comes down to ancient Jewish cosmology.



      The idea was the world existed in something of a bubble, and the blue of the sky was due to the fact that it was the water of the world held back by the firmament of the sky.

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Fire I believe means the light of the Sun, which is pure Love, as well as the light of the stars and planets maybe, the heavenly bodies? All existing above air. Or maybe we just perceive it as water, similar to the troubled (impure) water of the subconscious, when we're still in the Ego/Flesh/the World, but when we raise our consciousness we can perceive it as air and then fire (sunlight).
      Fire is often seen symbolically with light and love (as well as other emotion), so you're likely on to something there.

      Fire is also sometimes used as a symbol of suffering. I wonder if this is an intentional parallel between the connection of emotion and love to suffering??

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      In Hermeticism sunlight is pure love, the love of God beaming down upon the world. I've started reading Eckhardt Tolle's The Power of Now, in which he describes his spiritual awakening, and he said he suffered terrible depression and turmoil one night in bed - the worst of his very troubled life, and then entered into what he perceived as a void that sucked him in. From there after some time he fell asleep and when he woke the sun was shining through his window and he was in a state of pure bliss - he knew then that sunlight is so much more than just visible light - it really is pure and unconditional Love, and somehow because he was so removed from God before he just couldn't sense it that way.

      * Apparently we see one side of it as we're leaving the Garden, into the fallen world of suffering (thistles and thorns), where we must learn to deal with suffering and to move toward the higher levels of consciousness, and then as we're re-entering the Garden (Paradise) we see the other side of it, and now it's the Tree of Life - now eternal life (the timeless state of pure Now) is ours.

      I like the idea of sides to the tree.

      Approach from one direction: The Tree of Knowledge, Symbol of Disunity.

      Approach from the other: The Tree of Life, Symbol of Unity.

      Trees are sometimes symbols of placemarkers, such as the Sidrat al-Muntaha, which is the lote tree said to grow at the highest point of heaven, marking the closest possible spot a being can approach to God.

      So if the Tree in Eden is a similar placemarker, between a united mind and a divided one, then depending on from what direction you are approaching the tree is either a marker of the world of disunity or the world of unity.

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      The suffering of duality is necessary because our original state of Unity is naive - we must learn and grow and for that it's necessary to live in a body (Flesh), through the Ego, and in the World. Only then can we experience free will - Adam and Eve were like Angels, in that they had no free will and experienced no suffering. They are essentially God's automatons. Only as human beings can we live and learn in order to re-attain the level of Unity but this time with the necessary experience to make sense of it as autonomous beings. All of this I've learned in the last few days from the various esoteric websites I've posted links to in here.
      Do angels not have free will?? If so, what of the stories of the rebellion??

      I've heard some denominations of Islam believe angels have no free will, but those get around the problem of the rebellion with the belief that Satan is a djinn, not an angel.

      But if the rebelling angel story is taken to be, certainly the angels have capacity of free will, I would think...
      Last edited by LabyrinthDreams; 03-04-2019 at 06:55 PM.

    2. #477
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      This is a very productive dialogue for me. This back-and-forth of ideas is really helping me understand this stuff better.

      Quote Originally Posted by LabyrinthDreams View Post
      Another random thought, but "river of milk and honey" is of animal products, and the "river of oil and wine" is of plant products
      Ah true! I've seen that idea mentioned somewhere - I don't remember where or what it was about, but it probably does apply here.


      Quote Originally Posted by LabyrinthDreams View Post
      "Suffering is necessary until we discover that it is not." that is a good quote!!

      From my readings it seems to be a necessary part in progressing past the point where a person is ruled by their emotions, and overcoming the struggle with that self. I'm not wholly sure I understand why it is necessary, just that many different traditions seem to agree it is a necessity.
      My understanding is that the original state of unity might refer to when we were infants, or even before, in the womb. Maybe that's the Garden? Or more likely the state of total trust and dependence on Mother in the early months, when we just think everything we see is a part of ourself, including her. Originally of course, we WERE just a part of her body, until the separation, when the umbilical was cut. We aren't aware yet of a division between people or between "I" and the world. But of course along with this comes total naivete and innocence. Apparently the journey through the world with all its suffering and sorrow is to allow us to gain experience - to work our way through to the higher levels of consciousness in spite of all the suffering or because of it, to learn to accept it and move on anyway.

      I also think that original unity refers to our own pre-human stages of evolution, when we didn't have a conscious mind yet and couldn't discriminate between Good and Bad, at least not intellectually. I think that animal state of unconsciousness is very similar to an infant's conception of the world.

      I believe this is linked strongly with the idea in another recent post that God as Ein Sof (in Kabbalism) needs to expierence himself through human beings - through every one of them all at the same time, and undergo suffering - something he has never known and would never know if he didn't put a piece of himself in each of us. This also ties in with Jung's interpretation of Job. He said that when God (the primitive jealous God of the Old Testament) encountered Job he saw a man who was better than he himself was - more moral and more faithful. And so he had to evolve, toward Christ (or rather toward the loving God Christ spoke about).



      Quote Originally Posted by LabyrinthDreams View Post
      The beginning of a thought about the symbolism of "seven days" is starting to form... I think it is the Mithraic religion that viewed the soul as ascending up the seven heavens as a symbol of spiritual development, but also taught that the soul descended from the levels of heaven before being born. Perhaps the seven days of creation are symbolic of the seven-staged descent of a soul?? This needs more thought.
      I believe it's also linked with the 7 chakras and the number 7 representing Perfection in a spiritual sense.


      Quote Originally Posted by LabyrinthDreams View Post
      Do angels not have free will?? If so, what of the stories of the rebellion??

      I've heard some denominations of Islam believe angels have no free will, but those get around the problem of the rebellion with the belief that Satan is a djinn, not an angel.

      But if the rebelling angel story is taken to be, certainly the angels have capacity of free will, I would think...
      Haha!! Ok, you got me there! I guess they do. Maybe it's more that they don't experience themselves as vulnerable and mortal in a physical world where suffering is a necessity. The suffering must cause a need to evolve and grow spiritually, something God and the Angels never needed to do. And generally you don't do something until you need to - necessity is the mother of invention. So as it also said in that article about Kabbalism, God and Humanity are co-evolving through each other and through this spiritual quest some of us undergo.

      On a related note, I just realized that when Adam and Eve were cast out, the Garments of Skin didn't mean animal skins - it meant the human body!! Before that they didn't have physical bodies apparently, they shone like Angels. In fact God said that they were like "one of us", meaning they were Gods. I think this was before they were separated into male and female, when they existed in perfect Unity. And the rib doesn't actually mean a single bone, that's a mistranslation, the word can mean that, but it can also mean the entire side, as in a side of beef! So essentially it means he split Adam (Atum, Atom) in HALF.

      And thank you for posting that picture of the Hebrew conception of the Earth and Heaven!! That explains a lot! For one thing, all that water above the Firmament is how the Earth could completely flood, though I guess God could have done that anyway through a Miracle or whatever (I guess most people wouldn't think of it as a Miracle, since it wiped out most life on earth! )
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-04-2019 at 07:46 PM.

    3. #478
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      This really helps to contextualize the Flat Earth movement and the meaning behind it. It makes sense put like this - the primary meaning of the Earth isn't a ball of dirt and water making pointless loops on the outskirts of an obscure galaxy, to us as human beings that isn't the way we ever experience it. Instead it's a vast place where our entire lives play out, and the fact that it's spherical is an abstraction that's unnecessary and meaningless unless you're a scientist making calculations. Lol, just realized, it's what Werner Herzog would call an "Accountant's Truth".

      Just like with Einstein's Relativity - yes, it's factually true, but it isn't necessary or even remotely useful until you get close to the subatomic scale or the speed of light. Until then, Newtonian physics are completely relevant, far more useful in our daily lives, and convey a sense of meaning to us as human beings. Relativity and the rest of the highly abstract scientific theories, while useful in a very specific and narrow context for technically measuring the physical universe, just don't apply to our normal daily lives or convey any kind of meaning.

      In fact I'm reminded of a line from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Some noblemen were discussing the new theory that the earth might be spherical, and one of them said something like "Nonsense, I know that's not true! I've been everywhere, and everywhere I go, it's flat!"
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-04-2019 at 10:39 PM.

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      The fruits of the Fig tree are inwardly blossoming flowers??!#%?? Wow! What a great metaphor for a human being blossoming spiritually from meditation and prayer. Also, I believe the part at the end from the Bhagavad Gita about the fig tree growing downward from Heaven is where the idea of the Tree of Life growing upside-down originated - its roots are in heaven and the fruits are down close to the ground where we can reach them easier. Of course, that idea springs from the fact that the fig fruit is an inwardly-blossoming flower, when you consider the esoteric meaning of the Kingdom of Heaven being inside us. The Kingdom is the higher state of consciousness, and the fruits of a tree growing from that would be like inward spiritual nourishment as well as sweet fruit.

      "As within, so without" translates to "As above, so below". Spirit being both the above and the within part.

      I wasnt' sure about all this, so I did a quick web search and found some info: FIGS: FRUITS OR FLOWERS?

      Yes! They actually are inward-blooming flowers, and they contain the digested remains of a female Fig Wasp! Weird, but recently I was thinking along similar lines as I scrubbed and peeled some potatoes. There are places where I need to cut out what seem like dark tunnels going down inside, and I started thinking, don't insects or grub worms or something tunnel in there? What happens to them, do they come back out? I never see a tunnel that goes all the way through, only in a little ways, and I started thinking they must go in so far and then get digested by the potato. Which is a weird thought, but not all that bad really. Once they're digested they're nothing but nutrients.


      _____________


      Suffering
      I've been thinking about suffering and why it helps us grow. I believe at least in part it's because it changes our perspective on life. In times of desperation things that seemed really important suddenly fall away and you learn what's really important, and it's a lot simpler than you thought when you were living in comfort. I think if you can contextualize the suffering properly rather than get angry or hurt about it (in other words keep faith like Job did), it can be as powerful as a psychedelic like Ayahuasca.

      _____________


      This video showed up in my feed, after writing the above. I'm sure Google knows everything we write anywhere on the net, and probably in our private journals etc as well, if we type them on the computer, and gives us all kinds of synchronicities, but sometimes that actually works out for the better, even though it's really dystopian surveillance state stuff ( ):



      Now I'm visualizing suffering; the "crushing and pressing process" for making wine and oil, as similar to chewing as a part of digestion. And our own suffering as our being partially digested into Spirit. All this crushing and pressing stuff and insects being digested by vegetables and fruits is reminding me of the almost miraculous healing powers of fasting from a couple pages back, and how it causes your body to digest any growths as well as healing old injuries. The endless profundity and transformative capabilities of these organic engines we call bodies never ceases to amaze me! And if bodies can work such miracles every day, what is Spirit capable of?

      And meditation is like fasting for the mind, a shutting down of the normal daily busywork in order to allow the maintenance crew to go in and do their work, which in modern civilization they almost never get to do (body or mind).
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-06-2019 at 02:51 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Yes! They actually are inward-blooming flowers, and they contain the digested remains of a female Fig Wasp! Weird, but recently I was thinking along similar lines as I scrubbed and peeled some potatoes. There are places where I need to cut out what seem like dark tunnels going down inside, and I started thinking, don't insects or grub worms or something tunnel in there? What happens to them, do they come back out? I never see a tunnel that goes all the way through, only in a little ways, and I started thinking they must go in so far and then get digested by the potato. Which is a weird thought, but not all that bad really. Once they're digested they're nothing but nutrients.
      Nature is supremely weird. I would not have thought fig trees were that complicated of a species.

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Suffering
      I've been thinking about suffering and why it helps us grow. I believe at least in part it's because it changes our perspective on life. In times of desperation things that seemed really important suddenly fall away and you learn what's really important, and it's a lot simpler than you thought when you were living in comfort. I think if you can contextualize the suffering properly rather than get angry or hurt about it (in other words keep faith like Job did), it can be as powerful as a psychedelic like Ayahuasca.
      I've been thinking on the same topic and I think you're on to something.

      Recently I read on the topic: "The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end." (Seven Valleys), which got me thinking.

      The "Valley" in the above quote is the "Valley of Love", which is the second "Valley", and would be the equivalent of the Sacral Chakra within the "Seven Valleys" model. One of the main symptoms of an out-of-balance Sacral Chakra is being ruled and controlled by emotion, and likewise a key facet of the Valley of Love is madness-inducing love.

      I think suffering might be a means of breaking out of a emotionally enslaved mindset, through as you say changing a perspective in life. Since if you are wholly ruled by emotion, and yet experience no suffering, you have no cause or reason to change that mindset. No reason to abandon zealous, overly-emotional action.

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Now I'm visualizing suffering; the "crushing and pressing process" for making wine and oil, as similar to chewing as a part of digestion. And our own suffering as our being partially digested into Spirit.
      In the Azoth model the first two of the seven steps is all about breaking things down. First being Calcination, the operation of reducing something to ash, then Dissolution, the operation of dissolving the ash in a water or acid. This is essentially meant as a spiritual process of breaking down the ego.

      Drawing then parallel to the earlier quote about pain as a necessary step of the Second Valley, and a parallel to this "crushing and pressing process" here, suffering might be a means to break down the ego (so in the later steps it can be rebuilt into something greater).

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      All this crushing and pressing stuff and insects being digested by vegetables and fruits is reminding me of the almost miraculous healing powers of fasting from a couple pages back, and how it causes your body to digest any growths as well as healing old injuries. The endless profundity and transformative capabilities of these organic engines we call bodies never ceases to amaze me! And if bodies can work such miracles every day, what is Spirit capable of?
      Perhaps another synchronicity?? You are reminded of fasting today, which is both the first day of Lent period of fasting for Christians as well as the 5th day of the ‘Alá’ month of fasting for Baha'is.

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      And meditation is like fasting for the mind, a shutting down of the normal daily busywork in order to allow the maintenance crew to go in and do their work, which in modern civilization they almost never get to do (body or mind).
      Is "fasting for the mind" an intentional reference to the Zhuang Tzu?? It's one of my favorite passages of that book, which is one of my favorite books.

      Yen Hui went to see Confucius and asked permission to take a trip.

      "Where are you going?"

      "I'm going to Wei."

      "What will you do there?"

      "I have heard that the ruler of Wei is very young. He acts in an independent manner, thinks little of how he rules his state, and fails to see his faults. It is nothing to him to lead his people into peril, and his dead are reckoned by swampfuls like so much grass. His people have nowhere to turn. I have heard you say, Master, 'Leave the state that is well ordered and go to the state in chaos! At the doctor's gate are many sick men.' I want to use these words as my standard, in hopes that I can restore his state to health."

      "Ah," said Confucius, "you will probably go and get yourself executed, that's all. The Way doesn't want things mixed in with it. When it becomes a mixture, it becomes many ways; with many ways, there is a lot of bustle; and where there is a lot of bustle, there is trouble - trouble that has no remedy! The Perfect Man of ancient times made sure that he had it in himself before he tried to give it to others. When you're not even sure what you've got in yourself, how do you have time to bother about what some tyrant is doing?

      "Do you know what it is that destroys virtue, and where wisdom comes from? Virtue is destroyed by fame, and wisdom comes out of wrangling. Fame is something to beat people down with, and wisdom is a device for wrangling. Both are evil weapons - not the sort of thing to bring you success. Though your virtue may be great and your good faith unassailable, if you do not understand men's spirits, though your fame may be wide and you do not strive with others, if you do not understand men's minds, but instead appear before a tyrant and force him to listen to sermons on benevolence and righteousness, measures and standards - this is simply using other men's bad points to parade your own excellence. You will be called a plaguer of others. He who plagues others will be plagued in turn. You will probably be plagued by this man.

      "And suppose he is the kind who actually delights in worthy men and hates the unworthy-then why does he need you to try to make him any different? You had best keep your advice to yourself! Kings and dukes always lord it over others and fight to win the argument. You will find your eyes growing dazed, your color changing, your mouth working to invent excuses, your attitude becoming more and more humble, until in your mind you end by supporting him. This is to pile fire on fire, to add water to water, and is called 'increasing the excessive.' If you give in at the beginning, there is no place to stop. Since your fervent advice is almost certain not to be believed, you are bound to die if you come into the presence of a tyrant.

      "In ancient times Chieh put Kuan Lung-feng to death and Chou put Prince Pi Kan to death. Both Kuan Lung-feng and Prince Pi Kan were scrupulous in their conduct, bent down to comfort and aid the common people, and used their positions as ministers to oppose their superiors. Therefore their rulers, Chieh and Chou, utilized their scrupulous conduct as a means to trap them, for they were too fond of good fame. In ancient times Yao attacked Ts'ung-chih and Hsu-ao, and Yu attacked Yu-hu, and these states were left empty and unpeopled, their rulers cut down. It was because they employed their armies constantly and never ceased their search for gain. All were seekers of fame or gain - have you alone not heard of them? Even the sages cannot cope with men who are after fame or gain, much less a person like you!

      "However, you must have some plan in mind. Come, tell me what it is."

      Yen Hui said, "If I am grave and empty-hearted, diligent and of one mind, won't that do?"

      "Goodness, how could that do? You may put on a fine outward show and seem very impressive, but you can't avoid having an uncertain look on your face, any more than an ordinary man can. And then you try to gauge this man's feelings and seek to influence his mind. But with him, what is called 'the virtue that advances a little each day' would not succeed, much less a great display of virtue! He will stick fast to his position and never be converted. Though he may make outward signs of agreement, inwardly he will not give it a thought! How could such an approach succeed?"

      "Well then, suppose I am inwardly direct, outwardly compliant, and do my work through the examples of antiquity? By being inwardly direct, I can be the companion of Heaven. Being a companion of Heaven, I know that the Son of Heaven and I are equally the sons of Heaven. Then why would I use my words to try to get men to praise me, or try to get them not to praise me? A man like this, people call The Child. This is what I mean by being a companion of Heaven.

      "By being outwardly compliant, I can be a companion men. Lifting up the tablet, kneeling, bowing, crouching down - this is the etiquette of a minister. Everybody does it, so why shouldn't I? If I do what other people do, they can hardly criticize me. This is what I mean by being a companion of men.

      "By doing my work through the examples of antiquity, I can be the companion of ancient times. Though my words may in fact be lessons and reproaches, they belong to ancient times and not to me. In this way, though I may be blunt, I cannot he blamed. This is what I mean by being a companion of antiquity. If I go about it in this way, will it do?"

      Confucius said, "Goodness, how could that do? You have too many policies and plans and you haven't seen what is needed. You will probably get off without incurring any blame, yes. But that will be as far as it goes. How do you think you can actually convert him? You are still making the mind your teacher!"

      Yen Hui said, "I have nothing more to offer. May I ask the proper way?"

      "You must fast!" said Confucius. "I will tell you what that means. Do you think it is easy to do anything while you have [a mind]? If you do, Bright Heaven will not sanction you."

      Yen Hui said, "My family is poor. I haven't drunk wine or eaten any strong foods for several months. So can I be considered as having fasted?"

      "That is the fasting one does before a sacrifice, not the fasting of the mind."

      "May I ask what the fasting of the mind is?"

      Confucius said, "Make your will one! Don't listen with your ears, listen with your mind. No, don't listen with your mind, but listen with your spirit. Listening stops with the ears, the mind stops with recognition, but spirit is empty- and waits on all things. The Way gathers in emptiness alone. Emptiness is the fasting of the mind."

      Yen Hui said, "Before I heard this, I was certain that I was Hui. But now that I have heard it, there is no more Hui. Can this be called emptiness?"

      "That's all there is to it," said Confucius. "Now I will tell you. You may go and play in his bird cage, but never be moved by fame. If he listens, then sing; if not, keep still. Have no gate, no opening, but make oneness your house and live with what cannot be avoided. Then you will be close to success.

      "It is easy to keep from walking; the hard thing is to walk without touching the ground. It is easy to cheat when you work for men, but hard to cheat when you work for Heaven. You have heard of flying with wings, but you have never heard of flying without wings. You have heard of the knowledge that knows, but you have never heard of the knowledge that does not know. Look into that closed room, the empty chamber where brightness is born! Fortune and blessing gather where there is stillness. But if you do not keep still - this is what is called sitting but racing around. Let your ears and eyes communicate with what is inside, and put mind and knowledge on the outside. Then even gods and spirits will come to dwell, not to speak of men! This is the changing of the ten thousand things, the bond of Yu and Shun, the constant practice of Fu Hsi and Chi Ch'u. How much more should it be a rule for lesser men!"


      (As a background reference, Zhuang Tzu often wrote parables in which Confucius gave advice from a Taoist perspective. This was at least partially done to annoy the Confucians, who at the time of Zhuang Tzu were thoroughly opposed to the Taoist viewpoint.)
      Last edited by LabyrinthDreams; 03-06-2019 at 08:34 PM.

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      Wow, that is a massive post!! Might be bigger than any I've made on this thread.

      I suspected fasting represents meditation in the Bible and other religious books, but that's the first time I've seen real evidence of it. And I didn't even realize it's Ash Wednesday! I've been doing some fasting (of the body as well as the mind) and will be doing some more, in fact some during this upcoming month.

      I learned recently in relation to the movie At Eternity's Gate, which is about Vincent Van Gogh, that he used to fast 3 or 4 days out of each week so he could afford paint. And if you think about his paintings, he would really gob it on thick!! Sometimes he'd squeeze it straight out of the tube onto the canvas like toothpaste. Hard to imagine the level of devotion it takes to do that when each drop of paint represents food you could be eating and probably need. Some of my own fasting is also financially motivated, but I'm glad I learned the amazing benefits of it and have tried it and discovered that I hardly get hungry except for the first few days. Knowing that and having done it a couple times now makes it a much different experience than just 'going hungry' or thinking of it as starving.

      Incidentally, this financial trouble is also me getting chewed and partially digested by the crushing and pressing machinery of life. It's changing my perspective on things day by day - sometimes I feel like life is a big potato and it's starting to digest me.

      I really want to see this movie - it looks amazing:


      And thanks for posting that story. So much there to think about.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-06-2019 at 07:38 PM.
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      Wait what??%$! Seriously, Alita Battle Angel has strong esoteric themes? That is just too cool to believe, but the guy in the video spells it all out.

      Hold on - it just struck me, I know enough about the story to say she's on a path of return, and it's thanks to a process of self-remembering. Geeze, was the original manga actually based on Gurdjieff?

      Possibly.

      My question is, does Cameron understand what esotericism is? Does Rodriguez? Or were they just faithfully adapting a story without knowing what it was based on? Either, way, super cool!!

      ____________

      Hold on - incoming thoughts. She was originally cast down from a much better realm above into a hellish world where she forgets who she used to be and gradually remembers. That's not just Gurdjieff, it's also the Gnostic story of Sophia! Only instead of being the goddess of Wisdom, she's the goddess of kicking ass. If she's also rescued by a Christlike figure then it's too much to be a coincidence I think. Though I suppose if it was based on either it would suggest the other to a large extent - many of these esoteric ideas do bear a striking resemblance to each other. In fact this has got me wondering if Gurdjieff's ideas might have been partially based on the story of Sophia? Hmmm...

      Edit - actually it's because they all come form the same source, which is experience of mystical union/ascension. Many mystics and masters around the world have experienced it and their stories tend to be very similar.

      ____________

      Found this on the Wiki page about the original Manga series:


      Besides renaming Gally to Alita, the North American version of the manga also changed the city of Salem to Tiphares, after Tiferet. Since Kishiro also used the name Jeru for the facility atop Salem, Jeru was renamed Ketheres in the translation, after Keter. To further develop the Biblical theme in the original series, Salem's main computer was named Melchizedek, "the king of Salem" and "priest to the Most High God".[5]

      Tiferet and Keter are sephirot (spheres) on the Kaballah, the Tree of Life graphic I posted a little ways back. And that's very esoteric/Hermetic, so if the writers were aware of it they probably know about the rest of this stuff.

      Oh wait, that was a change made by the North American team who adapted it for American release - so not the original writers, but I'd say they all knew something about esotericism.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-09-2019 at 12:23 PM.
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      Hmm, I like that quote about suffering and agree with it in a very broad and generalized sense; however, I don't regard it as a truthful statement in and of itself. Suffering, to me, is entirely necessary. What isn't necessary is that the nature of our suffering and our perception of it stay the same as we understood it prior to a certain point of enlightenment and/or self-actualization.

      Suffering is arguably not only the most real of all potential sensations and perceptions we're capable of experiencing, but it can even be said that suffering (which can, of course, vary widely in degree) is the only perception of ours that truly makes our experiences real to us. Think back to Genesis and the state of blissful unity we existed in prior to acquiring the knowledge of good and evil, self awareness, and ultimately, suffering. It's somewhat up for debate whether knowledge itself begets suffering, or vice versa, but given the nature of our self discovery, the way we learn about the world, and our personal growth as individuals on both a daily basis and over the long-term, it appears without much question to me that it is in fact suffering that leads to knowledge and wisdom, rather than the other way around.

      Why, as both a species and as individuals, even when we've physically matured to the point that our frontal lobes and brains overall have more or less fully developed, do we continue to and even feel cursed or doomed to repeat history's mistakes and the mistakes of others? The smart learn from their own mistakes, the wise learn from the mistakes of others. The answer, to me, is simple enough. Even with the knowledge of the overwhelmingly negative consequences and relatively high odds making certain decisions will have for us, we often tempt the Fates up until we suffer the harsh consequences we KNEW were likely to pass ourselves--even when we've suffered from the repercussions of actions in our past so similar to ones we've yet to suffer for that they're nearly identical. It's because the reality of the very threat taking those courses of action present to us don't become real to us until we've been hurt directly because of those actions. The same is true of the real and deep understand, appreciation, and respect for the suffering we may willingly cause others until we wind up in situations where the roles are reversed and poignantly so such that we feel as though the pain that we feel in those moments is the same pain we were guilty of causing willingly in another. Before these moments of revelation, the mere knowledge of the reality of the pain we cause others is so aloof it can be thought of as a distant dream.

      Likewise, think of the times we truly appreciate the greatness, joy, and how amazing that even the smallest of life's pleasures (like a warm meal, even having a meal, finishing a marathon or extremely intensive physical situation and the simple and euphoric joy that comes from it being over, etc.) are. It's always preceded by a period of what eventually becomes cathartic suffering and tribulation and willingly our way through it/survival and successfully overcoming it. We don't appreciate the well until it runs dry. It isn't long after a long enough era that the well overflows that we forget that joy and lose appreciation for it all over again. In no time at all we grow complacent, until the cycle resets and begins once again. Life is a never ending story of cycle and repetition.

      It can be argued that each new successive repetition of a cycle, while in its own way unique, is fundamentally the same as each previous cycle. Each time we enter a period of peace, we grow closer to a state of blissful and mindless unity. As the era of peace progresses it is marked by a growing tendency of mindless consumption of enjoyable experiences and indulge in life's various pleasures. Eventually we grow tolerant to the degree of pleasure such mindlessness and indulgence is capable of producing in us, and we become more and more discontent with the state of our reality and the world. If a natural disaster or some unforeseen consequences of our actions or events out of our control don't seem to strike swiftly and suddenly out of nowhere, then we as a society, community, and/or as family wind up misguidedly and mistakenly blame our discontent and the wrongness we perceive in the world on the actions of one another until serious conflict is inevitable and we fall from grace (breaking the harmony and peace that preceded the events that follow) we experience the kind of suffering that comes when our wells run dry and we go thirsty once again... or we eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and know the limitless, uncaring, and unfeeling suffering that a reality totally unaware of and indifferent to our existence and the plight of the human condition dishes out to us. That kind of unawareness and indifference to our suffering coupled with the magnitude of suffering possible is literally the most terrifying, horrifying, and hopeless kind of evil I can think of.

      It's important to understand and acknowledge that we fundamentally view all phenomena that we experience and interact with through a sort of anthropomorphic lens (that is to say, we attribute some kind of external will to the factors and events that directly contribute to our joy and suffering--this is, imo, something pretty easily understandable on an intuitive level anyway, but scientific studies provide us with evidence that seems to support this, a good example being that the most successful companies are those that adopt PR techniques and standard operating procedures that make the companies and corporations themselves appear as some sort of individual in and of itself that is capable of relating to and with the target consumers. That, and our tendency to treat public institutions as entities with wills of, personalities, desires, and goals of their own, like is commonly done when talking, thinking about, and discussing the government, religions, and ideologies. That, and how spooky coincidences to ghosts or other types of occult or paranormal phenomena, and natural disasters and such to the wills of gods.

      This inescapable proclivity of perceiving our world and surroundings as a generalized other resulting from the fundamental mechanism by which we form and construct our perceptions and model of reality (which in my opinion is a manifestation of the underlying the truth that we perceive all phenomena as a generalized "other" that is based on and a reflection of our self-perception and self-image on some level) means that even with the knowledge or belief that the universe is an absurd place whose existence is utterly devoid of any self-awareness or intent, we still unconsciously perceive the suffering that befalls us as being the result of something's will and is why we view suffering in and of itself as evil or some form of it. This is also, again, in my opinion, why one of the, by far, most common, prolific, and fundamental questions we always find ourselves asking during traumatic experiences is "why? why me? why now? why them? why god? why? why?" The question is rarely ever actually directed at anyone or anything in particular, and yet at the same time we also seem to be asking anything and everything, "why?"

      This is what I think is most conclusive about what the story of Genesis, Original Sin, and the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil represent. At the first moments of birth, we come into this world alone (not knowing of others and therefore, in accordance with Hegel's views, unaware of our own existence). naked, and unashamed, just as Adam and Eve in The Beginning. Upon drawing our first breath crying, we both unconsciously desire food/sustenance and to return to the womb (or in this case, the state of existence we were in prior to birth inside the womb)... mother's milk, and to be swaddled in clothing/blankets and our mother's embrace. Thus represents the point where Adam and Eve first experience suffering, pain, and shame in realizing that they are naked. They become aware of their capacity to feel pain and more generally their mortality, as well as their own existence, others' existence, the passage of time, and the experience and pain of loss and unyielding change. Adam and Eve's experience is more just an amalgamation of the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of the same fundamental cycle and process repeating itself indefinitely from the day we're born to the day we die... the endless cycle of death and rebirth, suffering and joy, ignorance and discovery/learning, night and day, sleeping and waking, etc.

      The knowledge of this infinitely repeating essential/fundamental loop first brought on by experiencing some sort of hardship and suffering, coupled with our unconscious perception of all phenomena external to our own existence as being a highly generalized "other" that possesses wills and desires is what makes the cause of our hardship and suffering evil. Even further, our conscious awareness of how fundamentally the same other people are as one another/ourselves and our own wills an desires while other phenomena seem to otherwise lack this quality is what, to us, makes acts committed against us (and others) truly and irredeemably evil. Because we live in an imperfect and ephemeral existence, it is not possible for us to live and interact with others without hurting one another despite anyone's best efforts to avoid doing so. Looking at the positive side of things, that suffering begets learning, but the experience itself reintroduces one in the most intimate and real (in a human perception sense) way possible to the true nature of our reality and the extent to which we are capable of being rendered with no other desire than to cease existing or die. That truth is harsh, it's unpleasant, it hurts, and we do our utmost to run from it and forget about it that we possibly can. Our birth itself, as well as our continued spiritual and psychological death and rebirth are what result in us gaining new knowledge, and that knowledge in itself both wields the potential for inflicting on us future suffering and acting as the tool of our salvation from it (depending on our attitudes, beliefs, the actions we take on others).
      Last edited by snoop; 03-09-2019 at 03:44 PM.
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    9. #484
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      Holy crap!!!

      And with that this thread is done. No more reason for it to exist - I think you've just figured it all out.

      Wow Snoop, honestly I think that's your best response yet in here, and maybe the best post on the thread. I kept getting all fired up reading it and wanting to immediately stop reading and post the ideas that started cascading through my head. I'll try to quickly capture some of them before they're gone.

      So, the cycle of hard men make easy times, easy times make soft men, soft men make hard times, hard times make hard men - it's another way to state the repetitions of psychological birth, death, and rebirth, the continual finding and then losing of Paradise or Higher Consciousness. The Fall and the Path of Return. It all happens over and over, not only to us individually but to the culture as a whole. And suffering is at the center if it - the only thing that causes us to become aware of the need to change and to grow.

      I'm reading Edinger's Anatomy of the Psyche, which is his explanation of Jung's Individuation process represented in alchemical symbols, which is what the alchemists were really exploring without understanding it. They were playing around with chemicals and melting down matter in their alembics and projecting inner unconscious transformation out into the process (what they called The Work, or The Great Work, aka the Magnum Opus), because they could feel it happening but they weren't sure where it was going on - there was as yet no understanding of the unconscious aspect of the mind.

      One of the most important stages in The Work (there are 7 of them ) is called the Calcinatio or the Calcination (to translate any of these terms from the latin just add an N at the end), which means a burning away of the dross, a form of purgation by fire. This seems to be their version of the crushing and pressing process, and is then followed by Solutio, which is a dissolving into water or some kind of acid, or often Mercury (Quicksilver, Mercurius), known chemically to dissolve both gold and silver (which represent the Self and the Ego in this process respectively, also represented by the Sun and Moon, and also being the male and female aspects of the personality, the King and Queen).

      Their Solutio is parallel to the Water level of consciousness, represented by baptism in esoteric Christianity. Interestingly, I had started reading this book when I got it many months ago (close to a year probably) but it was really rough going - dense with concepts I didn't understand. Now I find I understand most of it without any problem thanks to all this Chrisitan mysticism and esotericism I've been absorbing here on the thread. Well actually I think it's more because I'm starting to see all these different religious/spiritual practices as being the same underneath (esoterically, meaning inwardly). Plus I'd say a lot of personal experience that I didn't have under my belt then, because it's clear to me that I've been seeing a lot of transformations (death and rebirth imagery) in my dreams that I just didn't understand because I didn't have the symbolic language to express it. Well I've been learning that language here, and these discussion parts of the thread are where it all gets chewed up (crushed and pressed) and then digested (Solutio, in an acidic solution of stomach acid and digestive enzymes) before becoming a part of our constitution.

      That's all I can write right now, I'll probably come back and have another go at it later. I seem to have a hell of a lot I need to write today, so much has been pouring out into conscious awareness for me this morning already. So many dreams of the last few years have taken on a whole new level of meaning. I think it's going to be an exhausting but fruitful day.

      ____________

      ... And wouldn't you know, it's storming today and there was a power failure, on a day when I feel the need to write all day long in my computer journals. That stopped me for a good 20 minutes at least while the computer rebooted. A little bit of suffering courtesy of Zeus I guess, or maybe Thor. Makes me appreciate that even if I lose the ability to write this stuff all out (how I bring it all into conscious awareness, which is vitally important), it's still working inside the crucible of my unconscious to transform me. Really the writing is just a formalized recording of it that concretizes my bringing it into conscious awareness. And it reminds me of it all later, or I'd forget!

      ____________


      Here's my DJ entry from last night's dream - really massive including all the dreamlets and visualizations. Wanted to cross-link them because they really play off of each other.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-09-2019 at 09:58 PM.
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    10. #485
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Holy crap!!!


      I'm reading Edinger's Anatomy of the Psyche, which is his explanation of Jung's Individuation process represented in alchemical symbols, which is what the alchemists were really exploring without understanding it.

      Now I find I understand most of it without any problem thanks to all this Chrisitan mysticism and esotericism I've been absorbing here on the thread. Well actually I think it's more because I'm starting to see all these different religious/spiritual practices as being the same underneath
      I'm glad you mentioned Edinger's book, I remember the older gentleman with that youtube channel that read from Jung's Red Book mentioned Edinger a lot, now I've got some new reading material!

      Also, I agree with the second statement, getting deeply involved in studying all this kind of stuff has definitely led me to the same basic conclusion. It's funny just how much perceptions can change, I used to view Western spirituality and religion as being quite different from its Eastern counterpart, but they all pretty much describe all the same things, only they come with their own bits of cultural baggage.

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      Might be taking a break for a while

      Ok, so I feel like I've had a major breakthrough with the last dreams and visualizations and the new context for interpreting my dream imagery. Massive thanks to Snoop, LighrkVader and LeaningKarst in particular for all their help on my journey into the unconscious, and to LabyrinthDreams for sharing so much esoteric knowledge and thoughts.

      I'm not sure, but I may well take a break from DV for a while.

      I know I'm not done with this journey, though I now believe I'm a good deal farther into it than I thought. But it isn't a race, it isn't even a marathon. More like something you pick up when you need to and get as far as you can, and then you put it down and just enjoy life for a while, until you feel things starting to stir in the depths of the psyche again - then you know it's time to go back in.

      If any of you haven't seen my DJ lately, I've posted quite a bit just in the last 2 days there.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-11-2019 at 12:35 AM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post


      Wait what??%$! Seriously, Alita Battle Angel has strong esoteric themes? That is just too cool to believe, but the guy in the video spells it all out.
      Dang, sounds interesting but I can't watch this until I see the movie to avoid spoilers.

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      does Cameron understand what esotericism is? Does Rodriguez?
      I can't find the direct quote right now... but didn't Jung propose something to the effect of these symbols being something present in all human subconsciousness that manifests in dreams and art?? If I'm wrong and it wasn't Jung himself, I'm sure I read some Jungian psychologist's writings that proposed just that...

      If that is the case, Cameron and Rodriguez don't need to consciously understand the symbolic relevance of their own art for it to be there.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      I'm reading Edinger's Anatomy of the Psyche, which is his explanation of Jung's Individuation process represented in alchemical symbols, which is what the alchemists were really exploring without understanding it. They were playing around with chemicals and melting down matter in their alembics and projecting inner unconscious transformation out into the process (what they called The Work, or The Great Work, aka the Magnum Opus), because they could feel it happening but they weren't sure where it was going on - there was as yet no understanding of the unconscious aspect of the mind.

      One of the most important stages in The Work (there are 7 of them ) is called the Calcinatio or the Calcination (to translate any of these terms from the latin just add an N at the end), which means a burning away of the dross, a form of purgation by fire. This seems to be their version of the crushing and pressing process, and is then followed by Solutio, which is a dissolving into water or some kind of acid, or often Mercury (Quicksilver, Mercurius), known chemically to dissolve both gold and silver (which represent the Self and the Ego in this process respectively, also represented by the Sun and Moon, and also being the male and female aspects of the personality, the King and Queen).
      Oh, hey, I'm actually studying that right now. Not that book in specific, but I've been doing a massive comparative analysis of different seven-stage progressions and the alchemical work is one of them. Others include the seven heavens concept of Enoch 2, Dante's Paradiso, Muhammad's Mi'raj, and the merkavah traditions, alongside the seven upper worlds of Hinduism, the seven egos of Sufi tradition, the seven Chakras, the seven Valleys of Attar and Baha'u'llah, the seven Amesha Spentas of Zoroaster's vision, the seven rungs of the Mithraic ladder, etc.

      As a result of all the sources I've been using, I've so far only gotten halfway through #3. And you may have just given me another source to add to the mix.

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      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      Also, I agree with the second statement, getting deeply involved in studying all this kind of stuff has definitely led me to the same basic conclusion. It's funny just how much perceptions can change, I used to view Western spirituality and religion as being quite different from its Eastern counterpart, but they all pretty much describe all the same things, only they come with their own bits of cultural baggage.
      The similarities, especially in the realm of alchemy, almost seem to me like there was a great theological exchange along the silk road that went mostly unnoticed...
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      While I don't really think you're wrong, the fact I came to understand most of these concepts myself independently first through dissociative and psychedelic experiences prior to to really studying or understanding any of these esoteric belief systems suggests to me Carl Jung was pretty on the mark when describing all this as emerging as a result of something more fundamental to all human beings in the structure of our nervous systems/biology, belief systems, and cultures. Something more essential to the nature of ourselves as conscious beings seems to be behind the manifestation of these same recurrent concepts across all cultures in all geological locations across the world.

      I may be talking out of my ass here, but I'm sure Native American legends and belief systems, among others, not directly connected in any way by trade routes or any other form of cultural bridge likely contain the same basic concepts.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      I'm not sure, but I may well take a break from DV for a while.

      I know I'm not done with this journey, though I now believe I'm a good deal farther into it than I thought. But it isn't a race, it isn't even a marathon. More like something you pick up when you need to and get as far as you can, and then you put it down and just enjoy life for a while, until you feel things starting to stir in the depths of the psyche again - then you know it's time to go back in.

      If any of you haven't seen my DJ lately, I've posted quite a bit just in the last 2 days there.
      Just came across your post. Have a nice break! Hope to see you back on here again.
      Dreams are real while they last. Can we say more of life? - Havelock Ellis

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