Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Ritual Mystery of the Resurrection

by Dr. Jean Houston
Since we are getting close to Easter I thought that the essential ritual drama of the West would be an evocative way to explore ritual in its mythic and profoundly psychological dimension.
In the story of Jesus the resurrection is the essential miracle, the deepest mystery, and the greatest stumbling block. For us, it actually has more validity, greater personal meaning and power. How dare I make so blasphemous a statement? Easy. Consider it's history.
The miracle of the godded one who dies or is killed and comes back to life has a long and extraordinary history in the myths and ritual patterns of many cultures, most familiarly those of ancient Greece and the ancient Near East. Isis searches for the scattered parts of her husband, Osiris, binds them together and animates him to produce new life; Demeter calls forth her daughter, Persephone, from her dwelling place in the Kingdom of the Dead; Tammuz, Adonis, Dionysius all are destroyed and all are remade.
In the Greco-Roman world these acts of resurrection were celebrated in the Mystery Religions. These ecstatic forms of piety involved dramatic, highly ritualized inward journeys of anguish, grief, loss, resurrection, redemption, joy, and ecstasy. The Mystery Religions provided the alienated individual lost in the nameless masses of the Roman Empire with an intimate environment and community of the saved, in which he counted as a real person and in which he found a deeper identity. Identifying with the God-man or the Goddess-woman of the mystery cult, the initiate died to the old self and was resurrected to personal transfiguration and eternal life.
We know that in Egypt, Chaldea, Greece, and India the Mysteries sometimes involved initiation rites in which sufficiently trained neophytes were put into a three day death-like sleep by a hierophant or priest. In the esoteric schools it was thought that in these states the subtle body received the training it needed to impress upon the physical body a new order of being. This process involved the temporary surrender of the life spirit. There are even those who believe that Lazarus was in a state of death-like sleep when Christ called him forth.
The resurrection story of Jesus differs radically from that of the traditional mystery cult figures. By being historical, by living a human existence in space and time, Jesus brought a new dimension, that of human experience, to the trans personal and archetypal dimension of God-Identity. Read More

Monday, April 07, 2014

Astronomer Says Spiritual Phenomena Exist in Other Dimensions

By , Epoch Times

Albert Einstein stated that there are at least four dimensions. The fourth dimension is time, or spacetime, since Einstein said space and time cannot be separated. In modern physics, theories about the existence of up to 11 dimensions and the possibility of more have gained traction.
Carr, a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Queen Mary University of London, says our consciousness interacts with another dimension. Furthermore, the multi-dimensional universe he envisions has a hierarchical structure. We are at the lowest-level dimension.
“The model resolves well-known philosophical problems concerning the relationship between matter and mind, elucidates the nature of time, and provides an ontological framework for the interpretation of phenomena such as apparitions, OBEs [out-of-body experiences], NDEs [near-death-experiences], and dreams,” he wrote in a conference abstract.
Carr reasons that our physical sensors only show us a 3-dimensional universe, though there are actually at least four dimensions. What exists in the higher dimensions are entities we cannot touch with our physical sensors. He said that such entities must still have a type of space to exist in.
“The only non-physical entities in the universe of which we have any experience are mental ones, and … the existence of paranormal phenomena suggests that mental entities have to exist in some sort of space,” Carr wrote. Read More

‘The new normal’ will reach a tipping point

[] The latest report on climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is now out (“U.N. Panel Issues Alert on Global Warming,” April 1), and it’s based on about 12,000 peer-reviewed paper.  The warnings are clear and serious. Yet many people still deny that the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and excessive meat consumption are having much effect on world climates. One reason for this is that we tend to mentally adapt to slow changes and even talk about “the new normal,” as if that means that everything is OK in a slightly different way.
To put the new normal idea into perspective, consider something else that has been slowly changing. Since the 1970s, workers’ income compared to GDP growth has been slowly decreasing. In any given year things haven’t seemed to change much, and most people have adapted to a new normal about every decade or so. Suddenly, after many such new normals, it has been noticed that most people in this country aren’t doing well. Then in 2007 we hit a tipping point that was really devastating. While the wealthy have done very well since then, most of the people in this country and in the entire world have fared poorly. The latest new normal is hurting a lot of people.
Think of the slowly accumulating effects of climate change as like this economic trend. Everything seems bearable for a while, and we hesitate to do anything to change the underlying causes of the slowly developing problem. But at some point we will suddenly realize that the latest new normal is not something that we can adapt to. Tipping points analogous to the great recession of 2007 will suddenly make things even worse. It’s not too late to do something, but accepting continuous small changes to climates as OK will not be OK in the long run. Read More