‘I exists’ is the only permanent self-evident experience of everyone. Nothing else is so self-evident as ‘I am’. What people call self-evident, that is, the experience they get through the senses, is far from self-evident. The Self alone is that. So to do self-enquiry and be that ‘I am’ is the only thing to do. ‘I am’ is reality. I am this or that is unreal. ‘I am’ is truth, another name for Self.
Devotion is nothing more than knowing oneself.
— Ramana Maharshi , Be as you are
The consciousness which is the real existence and which does not go out to know those things which are other than Self, alone is the Heart. Since the truth of Self is known only to that consciousness, which is devoid of activity, that consciousness which always remains attending to Self alone is the shining of clear knowledge.
– Ramana Maharshi, Be As You Are, chapter 1
Maybe this post is not so related with spirituality/enlightment, but I recently played with burning some incenses. Probably some karma to do such things and play this or that.. 🙂 To be honest, I didn’t experienced any purification effect with any incense or maybe the effect was not on this level which I expected. I tried with amber and frankincense+sandalwood mixed together. I experienced better effect with some mantras or prayers that really worked.
I actually begin to think that it’s a matter of faith. If we have faith in some power, it’s like we feel already that power inside as a potential and by some form of mantra/prayer we connect with this power, we activate it, because we are That power. If we believe that something is holy, we are holy. If we believe that something is powerful, we are powerful. So this will work for us. But If we don’t believe, we don’t connect with this power inside, because faith is light.
Of course there are some objective effects on mundane level, but what matters most is inside us.
Planetary correlations according to Eliphas Levi:
|white sandalwood, camphor, amber, aloe||X||benzoin, mace, storax||ambergris, saffron||rose, myrtle||alum, sulphur||olibanum (frankincense), saffron, red sandalwood|
Zodiacal correlations according to Sybil Leek:
|pine, cypress, attar of roses||musk, rose, carnation, honeysuckle, violet, saffron, satinwood||bayberry, mastic, sandalwood||aloe, bay leaves, camphor, cedar, myrtle, cinnamon, sandalwood, poppy||red sandalwood, olibanum, camphor, cassia, clove||bayberry, cinnamon, citron peel, mace|
|yasmine, musk, rose, violet, satinwood, sandalwood||pine, yucca, rosemary, cypress, briar rose, dogwood||nutmeg, saffron, clove||olibanum, khus khus||olibanum, pine, pepperwort||clove, nutmeg|
Frankincense is a good general-purpose incense to use for consecration; however, if you want to add more power to your working you may want to mix it with one of the herbs or resins that are attributed to the appropriate planet. These will open centers in the brain that correspond to the various planetary forces.
— Nick Farrell
Planetary correlations according to Nick Farrell (Golden Dawn magician):
|Myrtle, camphor, and myrrh||Tabacco, lignium aloes, rowan oil, and dragon’s blood||Cinnamon, cloves, galbanum, mace, and storax||Nutmeg, ash, cedar, basil, and sage||Rose, musk, jasmine, and violet||Cumin, pine, yew, myrrh, and sandalwood||Frankencense, saffron, citrus fruit rind, mastic, and storax|
Note: Every planet correspond to a specific day of the week, in this case: Monday – Moon, Tuesday – Mars, Wednesday – Mercury and so on according to the order in the table above. Besides that, planetary hours are also important. Here we can check planetary hours for a particular day and specific localization: www.astrology.com.tr
“The Cabbala compares the role of prayer and benediction to a double movement, ascending and descending, similar to the circulation of the blood. The prayers of humanity rise towards God and after having been divinely “oxidised”, are transformed into benedictions which descend below from above. This is why one of the acolytes of the Card has his left hand raised and the other has his right hand lowered. The two blue columns behind the Pope symbolise in the first place this twofold current —rising and descending —of prayers and benedictions. At the same time the Pope himself holds aloft a triple cross on the side with the “column of prayer” and the praying acolyte, whilst his right hand —on the side with the “column of benediction” and the acolyte receiving (or “inspiring”) benediction — makes the gesture of benediction.
The two sides of the Cabbala —the “right” side and the “left” side —and the two columns of the Sephiroth Tree, the pillar of Mercy and that of Severity, and similarly the two pillars of the Temple of Solomon, Jachin and Boaz, correspond exactly to the two columns of prayer and benediction on this Card. Because it is Severity which stimulates prayer and it is Mercy which blesses. The venous “blue blood” of Boaz ascends and the arterial oxidised “red blood” of Jachin descends. The “red blood” bears the vivifying benediction of oxygen; the “blue blood” rids the organism of the “severity” of carbonic acid. It is the same in the spiritual life. Spiritual asphyxia menaces he who does not practise some form of prayer; he who practises it receives vivifying benediction in some form. The two columns therefore have an essentially practical significance — as practical spiritually as respiration is for the life of the organism.
Thus, the first practical teaching — for the Major Arcana of the Tarot are spiritual exercises — of the fifth Arcanum relates to spiritual respiration.
There are two kinds of respiration: horizontal respiration which takes place between “outside” and “inside”, and vertical respiration which takes place between “above” and “below”. The “sting of death” or the essential crisis of the supreme agony is the abrupt passage from horizontal to vertical respiration. Yet he who has learnt vertical respiration whilst living will be spared from this “sting of death”. For him the passage from the one form of respiration to the other will not be of the nature of a right angle but rather the arc of a circle: —I -J . The transition will not be abrupt but gradual, and curved instead of rectangular.
Now, the essence of vertical respiration is the alternation between prayer and benediction or grace. These two elements of vertical respiration manifest themselves in all domains of the inner life —mind, heart and will. Thus a relevant problem for the mind, which is not due to curiosity or intellectual collectionism, but rather to the thirst for truth, is fundamentally a prayer. And the illumination by which it may be followed is the corresponding benediction or grace. True suffering, also, is fundamentally always a prayer. And the consolation, peace and joy which can follow are the effects of the benediction or grace corresponding to it.
True effort of the will, i.e. one hundred percent effort, true work, is also a prayer. When it is intellectual work, it is prayer: Hallowed be thy name. When it is creative effort, it is prayer: Thy kingdom come. When it is work with a view to supplying for the material needs of life, it is prayer: Give us this day our daily bread. And all these forms of prayer in the language of work have their corresponding benedictions or graces.
The law of correspondence between the column of prayer (problems, suffering, effort) and that of benediction (illumination, consolation, fruits) is found expressed by the Master in the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount. The nine (for there are nine, and not eight) beatitudes can thus be understood as the formula of vertical respiration. They teach it to us.
This respiration is the state of soul that the apostle Paul designated as “freedom in God”. It is a new way of breathing. One freely breathes the divine breath, which is freedom.
The Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (II Corinthians iii, 17)
The spiritual counterpart to horizontal respiration is the alternation from “extroversion” to “introversion” or from attention to the objective external life to the subjective inner life. The law of horizontal respiration is: “Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke x, 27). There is the equilibrium between these two directions of attention.
With respect to vertical respiration, its law is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew xxii, 37). There is the relationship between prayer and benediction or grace.
There are three levels of horizontal respiration, just as there are three stages of vertical respiration.
The three levels of horizontal respiration are:
- love of Nature;
- love of one’s neighbour;
- love of the beings of the spiritual hierarchies (Angels, etc.)
The three stages of vertical respiration are:
- purification (by divine breath);
- illumination (by divine light);
- mystical union (in divine fire)
This is why the Pope holds aloft the triple cross. The triple cross has three crosspieces which divide the vertical line into three parts. It is the cross of complete and perfect spiritual respiration, horizontal and vertical: It is the cross of triple love of neighbour (lower neighbour = Nature, equal neighbour = man, higher neighbour = beings of the hierarchies) and triple love of God (breath or faith, light or hope, fire or love). ”
— Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot
“Passing on to mysticism which has not given birth to gnosis, magic and Hermetic philosophy —such a mysticism must, sooner or later, necessarily degenerate into spiritual enjoyment” or “intoxication”. The mystic who wants only the experience of mystical states without understanding them, without drawing practical conclusions from them for life, and without wanting to be useful to others, who forgets everyone and everything in order to enjoy the mystical experience, can be compared to a spiritual drunkard.
So tradition can only live —as with all other living organisms —when it is a complete organism of mysticism, gnosis and effective magic, which manifests itself outwardly as Hermetic philosophy.
This means to say simply that a tradition cannot live unless the whole human being lives through it, in it, and for it. For the whole human being is at one and the same time a mystic, a gnostic, a magician and a philosopher, i.e. (s)he is religious, contemplative, artistic and intelligent. Everyone believes in something, understands something, is capable of something and thinks something. It is human nature which determines whether a tradition will live or die. And it is also human nature which is capable of giving birth to a complete tradition and keeping it living. Because the four “senses”—mystical, gnostic, magical and philosophical — exist, be it in potentiality or in actuality, in each human being.”
— Anonymous, “Meditations on Tarot”
“I once read that Abdala the Muslim, when asked what was most worthy of awe and wonder in this theater of the world, answered, “There is nothing to see more wonderful than man!” Hermes Trismegistus concurs with this opinion: “A great miracle, Asclepius, is man!” However, when I began to consider the reasons for these opinions, all these reasons given for the magnificence of human nature failed to convince me: that man is the intermediary between creatures, close to the gods, master of all the lower creatures, with the sharpness of his senses, the acuity of his reason, and the brilliance of his intelligence the interpreter of nature, the nodal point between eternity and time, and, as the Persians say, the intimate bond or marriage song of the world, just a little lower than angels as David tells us. I concede these are magnificent reasons, but they do not seem to go to the heart of the matter, that is, those reasons which truly claim admiration. For, if these are all the reasons we can come up with, why should we not admire angels more than we do ourselves? After thinking a long time, I have figured out why man is the most fortunate of all creatures and as a result worthy of the highest admiration and earning his rank on the chain of being, a rank to be envied not merely by the beasts but by the stars themselves and by the spiritual natures beyond and above this world. This miracle goes past faith and wonder. And why not? It is for this reason that man is rightfully named a magnificent miracle and a wondrous creation.
What is this rank on the chain of being? God the Father, Supreme Architect of the Universe, built this home, this universe we see all around us, a venerable temple of his godhead, through the sublime laws of his ineffable Mind. The expanse above the heavens he decorated with Intelligences, the spheres of heaven with living, eternal souls. The scabrous and dirty lower worlds he filled with animals of every kind. However, when the work was finished, the Great Artisan desired that there be some creature to think on the plan of his great work, and love its infinite beauty, and stand in awe at its immenseness. Therefore, when all was finished, as Moses and Timaeus tell us, He began to think about the creation of man. But he had no Archetype from which to fashion some new child, nor could he find in his vast treasure-houses anything which He might give to His new son, nor did the universe contain a single place from which the whole of creation might be surveyed. All was perfected, all created things stood in their proper place, the highest things in the highest places, the midmost things in the midmost places, and the lowest things in the lowest places. But God the Father would not fail, exhausted and defeated, in this last creative act. God’s wisdom would not falter for lack of counsel in this need. God’s love would not permit that he whose duty it was to praise God’s creation should be forced to condemn himself as a creation of God.
Finally, the Great Artisan mandated that this creature who would receive nothing proper to himself shall have joint possession of whatever nature had been given to any other creature. He made man a creature of indeterminate and indifferent nature, and, placing him in the middle of the world, said to him “Adam, we give you no fixed place to live, no form that is peculiar to you, nor any function that is yours alone. According to your desires and judgment, you will have and possess whatever place to live, whatever form, and whatever functions you yourself choose. All other things have a limited and fixed nature prescribed and bounded by our laws. You, with no limit or no bound, may choose for yourself the limits and bounds of your nature. We have placed you at the world’s center so that you may survey everything else in the world. We have made you neither of heavenly nor of earthly stuff, neither mortal nor immortal, so that with free choice and dignity, you may fashion yourself into whatever form you choose. To you is granted the power of degrading yourself into the lower forms of life, the beasts, and to you is granted the power, contained in your intellect and judgment, to be reborn into the higher forms, the divine.”
Imagine! The great generosity of God! The happiness of man! To man it is allowed to be whatever he chooses to be! As soon as an animal is born, it brings out of its mother’s womb all that it will ever possess. Spiritual beings from the beginning become what they are to be for all eternity. Man, when he entered life, the Father gave the seeds of every kind and every way of life possible. Whatever seeds each man sows and cultivates will grow and bear him their proper fruit. If these seeds are vegetative, he will be like a plant. If these seeds are sensitive, he will be like an animal. If these seeds are intellectual, he will be an angel and the son of God. And if, satisfied with no created thing, he removes himself to the center of his own unity, his spiritual soul, united with God, alone in the darkness of God, who is above all things, he will surpass every created thing. Who could not help but admire this great shape-shifter? In fact, how could one admire anything else? . . .
For the mystic philosophy of the Hebrews transforms Enoch into an angel called “Mal’akh Adonay Shebaoth,” and sometimes transforms other humans into different sorts of divine beings. The Pythagoreans abuse villainous men by having them reborn as animals and, according to Empedocles, even plants. Muhammed also said frequently, “Those who deviate from the heavenly law become animals.” Bark does not make a plant a plant, rather its senseless and mindless nature does. The hide does not make an animal an animal, but rather its irrational but sensitive soul. The spherical form does not make the heavens the heavens, rather their unchanging order. It is not a lack of body that makes an angel an angel, rather it is his spiritual intelligence. If you see a person totally subject to his appetites, crawling miserably on the ground, you are looking at a plant, not a man. If you see a person blinded by empty illusions and images, and made soft by their tender beguilements, completely subject to his senses, you are looking at an animal, not a man. If you see a philosopher judging things through his reason, admire and follow him: he is from heaven, not the earth. If you see a person living in deep contemplation, unaware of his body and dwelling in the inmost reaches of his mind, he is neither from heaven nor earth, he is divinity clothed in flesh.
Who would not admire man, who is called by Moses and the Gospels “all flesh” and “every creature,” because he fashions and transforms himself into any fleshly form and assumes the character of any creature whatsoever? For this reason, Euanthes the Persian in his description of Chaldaean theology, writes that man has no inborn, proper form, but that many things that humans resemble are outside and foreign to them, from which arises the Chaldaean saying: “Hanorish tharah sharinas”: “Man is multitudinous, varied, and ever changing.” Why do I emphasize this? Considering that we are born with this condition, that is, that we can become whatever we choose to become, we need to understand that we must take earnest care about this, so that it will never be said to our disadvantage that we were born to a privileged position but failed to realize it and became animals and senseless beasts. Instead, the saying of Asaph the prophet should be said of us, “You are all angels of the Most High.” Above all, we should not make that freedom of choice God gave us into something harmful, for it was intended to be to our advantage. Let a holy ambition enter into our souls; let us not be content with mediocrity, but rather strive after the highest and expend all our strength in achieving it.
Let us disdain earthly things, and despise the things of heaven, and, judging little of what is in the world, fly to the court beyond the world and next to God. In that court, as the mystic writings tell us, are the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones in the foremost places; let us not even yield place to them, the highest of the angelic orders, and not be content with a lower place, imitate them in all their glory and dignity. If we choose to, we will not be second to them in anything.”
— Pico della Mirandola “Dignity of Man”