May 2017 Symbols of the Day

April 2017 Symbols of the Day

Each month I want to have a blog post that reviews all the "Symbols of the Day" for the month before. This will be the first post for this new monthly tradition, let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Why I Love Symbols

Symbols are much more than mere pictorial representations of simple ideas; symbols are open doorways of meaning into the collective unconscious of humanity. By simply glancing upon a symbol research has shown that both human behavior and thought can be influenced. No wonder corporations spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads, subliminal messaging, and associating their brand with specific concepts and emotions. As we look around modern society we are inundated with more symbols than ever in our history as a species. What does this do to society? What does this do to the individual?

I absolutely love learning about the meaning of symbols and myths. Despite there always being so much more to learn, my efforts for the last six years in the field of Religious Studies has only further fueled my passion for symbolism. Learning about mythologies and symbols has empowered and enhanced my life in many different ways. The ability to walk around a college campus or city square and recognize statues, architecture, and motifs imbues the places I visit with a deeper layer of meaning. How often are we blind to the symbols around us? Obviously to the masons who build these symbolic state houses, federal buildings, and national monuments symbols and myths are very important. However, it is not just the ability to know what things mean that has positively impacted my life. Though I am not personally religious, my studies have allowed me to better connect, understand, and relate with people from cultures very different than my own. By studying comparative religion and mythology a person can begin to see how many similarities the great religious traditions have, how alike we are as people, and how truly relative our cultures are.

In addition to the ability to recognize symbols and connect with other people, symbols have given me a mirror to study myself. The symbols and myths that I study exist within the individual psyche as much as they do in the physical world. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung developed the theory of psychological archetypes, which, in my opinion, has demonstrated that powerful myths and symbols gain their power because they reflect deep rooted patterns of meaning ingrained within our subconscious. The theory of psychological archetypes answers conundrums such as how similar myths, symbols, and rituals can be found in cultures that would have never had influence on each other.  For example animals, plants, and colors tend to have similar meanings in different cultures; wisdom deities such as the Greek Hermes, the Indian Ganesha, the Egyptian Thoth, the Polynesian Anulap, or the Babylonian Nabu are all associated with writing, language, poetry, and magic. Knowledge or wisdom deities seem to commonly be the bringers of language to humanity in many different traditions. Myths of virgin births, great floods, and divine mother goddesses are all weaved into our ancestral memories. In his book The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Carl Jung describes how these ancestral patterns of meaning go back to primordial man:

 

“... because it tells us that so far as the collective unconscious contents are concerned we are dealing with archaic or—I would say—primordial types, that is, with universal images that have existed since the remotest times. The term “représentations collectives,” used by Lévy-Bruhl to denote the symbolic figures in the primitive view of the world, could easily be applied to unconscious contents as well, since it means practically the same thing. Primitive tribal lore is concerned with archetypes that have been modified in a special way. They are no longer contents of the unconscious, but have already been changed into conscious formulae taught according to tradition, generally in the form of esoteric teaching. This last is a typical means of expression for the transmission of collective contents originally derived from the unconscious."

“But the very fact that this process is unconscious gives us the reason why man has thought of everything except the psyche in his attempts to explain myths. He simply didn’t know that the psyche contains all the images that have ever given rise to myths, and that our unconscious is an acting and suffering subject with an inner drama which primitive man rediscovers, by means of analogy, in the processes of nature both great and small.”

 

Symbols then have allowed me to recognize the contents of my own psyche. Not metaphorically but literally, myths and symbols have allowed me to become more conscious about my own internal conflicts, archetypal structures, and relationship dynamics with other people. This is why in my opinion, the recognition of symbols and myths are so important in today's world. We are bombarded with so many symbols and the majority of people don't have the passion or time to study these topics. Just as a baker bakes or a painter paints, I feel it is my sense my duty or purpose to explain the meaning and cross cultural connections of symbols and myths. Though I have been academically studying World Religions for the last six years of my life (receiving my BA and MA in Religious Studies), along with another five years for my doctorate program, I feel like my professional journey is just starting. The way I view my studies then are not just an academic endeavor, but a practical one. I don't want to write obscure scholastic books, but rather create content that anyone no matter their background can find useful. Anyway, if you would like to check out my symbol of the day follow me on Instagram @dpharry. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you have a wonderful day. 

 

 

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What Is Magic?

Abracadabra, alakazam! For the majority of people the word "magic" conjures mental images of a David Copperfield like figure pulling white rabbits out of a black top hat. However, this is not the magic of ancient Egypt, the Druids of Ireland, shamans of the Amazon, or the alchemists of the Renaissance. The wonder of magic has been naively associated with illusionists due to the childlike awe summoned by their clever slight of hand, subtle card lifts, and manipulations of human perception. At the same time we find ourselves immersed in cultural images celebrating the magical, evidenced by the explosive success of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones to name a few which strike at a sort of mystical chord within a global audience. Horror movies like The Exorcist and The Conjuring also fulfill the terror which magic has historically invoked due to its continual relation with the exercising of demonic possession, the conjuring of spirits, and the cleansing of alleged haunted places. However what do these popular books, movies, and T.V. shows actually say about the nature of magic? What is magic?

Sympathetic Magic

Well, with the right knowledge these shows may reveal more than one would suspect. You see, magic exists in the space between mind and physical reality. Magic has less to do with the tricking of perception and more to do with the immanent power residing within words, symbols, and ritual. The most central of all concepts in regards to understanding the mechanism which is believed to allow magical correspondences to happen is the theory of sympathetic magic. Sympathetic magic is an academic term coined by J.G. Frazer which describes the manner in which magical efficacy or energy is transferred. Roughly the theory can be summed up by the ancient Hermetic adages, "as above so below" and "like effects like." The idea is by developing sympathetic resonances starting with the natural world, humanity has the ability to harness the power of the natural universe into their personal endeavors.

If our goal was to utilize the power of the sun, what this looks like in a ritual scenario is symbolization of the sun in every feature of the ritual. It would take place at the hour of the sun (8am & 8pm), on the day of the sun (Sunday), wearing the colors of the sun (gold/yellow and white), burning candles for the sun, while singing hymns or prayers to the sun, and so on. The more sympathetic resonances you have towards the source of energy which you are trying to harness the stronger the ritual.

Another concept that some might be more familiar with and works in the same manner is a Voodoo doll. You cannot just take any doll off the rack, stick it with pins, and suddenly your enemy is struck down with physical pain. Rather, one has to make a doll and then through sympathetic bonds tie it back towards the person they intend to harm. Therefore, typically, one has to have hair from the person and make it the hair on the doll, as well as shirt and pants fabric from the person to be made as the shirt and pants on the doll. Like effects like, so in this type of magic now that the doll is like the person, they can begin doing things to the doll and it will be done to the person.   

These sympathetic connections between what is man-made and what is universally/divinely made is central to language as well as magic. For example money and water are linguistically symbolized as the same thing and this can be found in languages all over the world. Money is a man-made creation, whereas water was created by the creator; the power and importance of water in the natural world can be mimicked by symbolic magical correspondences into the human created world of culture/language/symbols. So where do you find banks? On the sides of rivers, "river banks," and river banks direct the flow of the current, or our "currency." That is why you liquidate something when you turn it into cash, and like water "cash flows." We work all week to ensure that we have a "revenue stream." People who are financially struggling are trying to "stay afloat," and not "drown" in debt, but when the ship takes on too much water they must be baled out, or "bailed out." When times are rough we may even "pool" our funds together with others. This is why we say monetary accounts can be "frozen." Even in modern times we find the same symbolic connection to water when claim to be "making it rain" while throwing money in the air. Due to these linguistic connections to nature money can now acts as the man-made water; in the societies we've constructed money is as essential to living as water is to living organisms. For further understanding on the relationship between money and water look into Maritime Admiralty Law.

Terence McKenna, in his book Food of the Gods points to another linguistic-sympathetic connection between human speech and cordage. Being gatherers, typically it was women who advanced the enterprise of language as they sat together in groups and it was women who were responsible for cordage making in a tribal context. With this in mind, Terence states,

"it is interesting to note that the English vocabulary that refers to spoken discourse is often the same as that used to describe cordage-making and weaving. One weaves a story, or unravels an incident, or spins a yarn. We follow the thread of a story and stitch together an excuse. Lies are made from whole cloth, reality is an endless golden braid."

Hermeticism

Fundamental in understanding the history of the Western magical tradition is to be familiar with the esoteric tradition of Hermeticism. Grounded in mythologies of the Egyptian wisdom deity Thoth and then renovated with Grecian cultural elements around the dawn of the common era, Hermeticism is based on a series of texts called the Corpus Hermeticum allegedly written by the "thrice great one" Hermes Trismegistus. These texts are astonishingly insightful with a surprising contemporary feel; the Hermetica contains philosophical discussions on the cosmos, alchemy, astrology, health, imagination, nature, and the divine.

Whether Hermes Trismegistus was a historical figure is impossible to prove and highly doubtful, however this does not take away from the intrigue, mystery, and relevancy of the teachings. Greeks and Egyptians knew that the Greek god Hermes was syncretic with Thoth and in fact both deities were worshiped at the Temple of Thoth in Khemnu, which the Greeks named Hermopolis. Both deities were the gods of writing, magic, and goers-between realms. Once Rome adopted Christianity as the empire's official religion Hermeticism was decimated; many of the original Greek writings were destroyed by Christians and were only preserved in Syria until the Renaissance once translated from Syriac to Latin. Roughly 2,000 years ago the city of Alexandria, Egypt was a spiritual hub for seekers all over the world and was a strong hold for Hermeticists, Gnostics, and other esoteric practitioners. Unfortunately, when the library of Alexandria was destroyed so much of our spiritual and historical knowledge was lost and destroyed along with it.  

Below is a video of Terence McKenna describing his opinion of what magic is along with a brief description of Hermeticism. For McKenna magic resides in the mystery of language; he claims that the "world is made of language" which hints at the riddle between quantum physics and psychology. If the observer does influence what is observed, then language is uniquely positioned between mental worlds and the physical world. Make sure to catch the ending in which Terence reads form the Hermetica regarding the sacredness of the imagination.

“The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.” - Terence McKenna


Words and Names

Linguistic commands and magic are intrinsically linked. Words and names have a special bond back to things in which they describe. So it is interesting to note that "in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God."(John 1:1) In Christian theology it is commonly believed that Jesus Christ was the incarnation of the Logos; the informing voice to pre-socratic, Socratic, and platonic philosophers. This seems to again put further emphasis on the unique human ability for language.

Essential in the performance of exorcisms is finding out the name of the spirit being exorcised. If you've ever seen Hollywood horror films of spirit possession, there is typically a catholic priest - as if they're the worlds defenders against the demonic - demanding the demons name and information. Language is the way we humans communicate no just with each other but also the world of spirit. Magic attests that with the correct words man can command the world to act.

Arguably, Hollywood is the producer of some of the most influential images and stories that imprint onto the human mind. So it is interesting to note that he name "Hollywood" itself finds its origin in the western magical tradition. Magic wands were and are a staple for wizards and magicans alike. The holly tree produces wood that was believed to be the most efficacious for magical performance; this is why Harry Potter was presented with a special white wand made from "holly-wood." Hollywood then is the name of what many in Europe use to believe to be the most powerful of magic wands; it seems to still be working its magic on us all.  

Many of the names and logos of major corporations find their roots in mythologies all around the world. If Carl Jung was right in his theories on the collective unconscious, the use of these symbols are able to reach deeper into minds of observers. Whether the individual is conscious of its meaning or not, at an unconscious level we are aware of many of the symbolic meanings around us.      

Alan Moore is an English writer primarily known for his work in graphic novels including Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. In 1993, on his fortieth birthday, Moore openly declared his dedication to being a ceremonial magician, something he saw as "a logical end step to my career as a writer." Moore associates magic with any creative act;

"I believe that magic is art, and that art, whether that be music, writing, sculpture, or any other form, is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words or images, to achieve changes in consciousness ... Indeed to cast a spell is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people's consciousness, and this is why I believe that an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world to a shaman."

"Magic is a state of mind. It is often portrayed as very black and gothic, and that is because certain practitioners played that up for a sense of power and prestige. That is a disservice. Magic is very colorful. Of this, I am sure." - Alan Moore


Scholarship On Magic 

As a Religious Studies scholar, there are a few key names anyone should know in regards to the academic study of magic. Though their opinions are at times skewed by 19th and early 20th century prejudices against native and indigenous people, these are a few of the scholars who have shaped the academic study of magic. 

Non-Academics

A modern reinterpretation of the chemical retorts from Renaissance Alchemists, the sympathetic word-play of wizards, the defiance of physical laws by Yogis, ecstatic flights by Amazon shamans, and the power of religious ritual must include a cross-disciplinary approach through the fields of anthropology, history, psychology, neuroscience, quantum physics, and religious studies. Hopefully in the future the academia will become more open to the supernatural and paranormal as well look to other fields to add perspective to age old conundrums.

Types of Magic and Magical Traditions

 


Fusing Matter & Spirit

General Overview of Where Science, Technology and Spirituality Merge

 

Intro

"God is dead." This often quoted and catchy phrase was written by the brilliance of Friedrich Nietzsche in his The Gay Science back in 1882. Since then this statement has been taken as a war cry for some, a direct threat to others and a meditative concept for the philosophic. Whether Nietzsche meant it as the end of Abrahamic Theology or a bold declaration for Nihilism opinions differ and no one knows for certain. However, "God is dead," seems to have also become the mantra of Scientism and aided in stamping out the centrality of one's personal experience for devout allegiance to number and measure as the only way to truth. The expansion of mind into matter since the Enlightenment has brought countless new benefits, technological advancements, revolutionized transportation and materialized the collective unconscious in the form of the Internet. In our journeying through matter we have wandered away from the doorway of our original perspective, the doorway in which we stand looking out between two infinities. Looking forward with our two eyes we see the endless dream of the night sky; with eyes closed our third eye/imagination beholds the eternality of the fifth dimension, dare I say the point before the Big Bang. Too many have become lost and can no longer find their way back to the spiritual and correct frame of reference, where infinity is understood as both inner and outer. Here, with this perspective, humanity is infinite, all powerful, occupying great significance and seeing the divine in all; fully aware that the shadows of physical life are projected from the light of our inner world. 

Though my posts certainly cannot cover all aspects and topics I hope to give a general overview of a few areas where our scientific tools and technologies can offer new perspectives on spirituality. Areas where science and spirituality merge are fields such as Neuroscience, Immersive Technology (Virtual Reality), Psychology, Quantum Physics, Epigenetics, Neurolinguistics, Cymatics, Herbal Science, Neuropharmacology and many others. Techniques and technologies like psychoactive substances, meditation, Yoga, lucid dreaming, asceticism and modern flotation tanks are just few of the methods available for a person to attempt to rupture the mundane plane and experience the numinous. Therefore science can now be seen as an ally and not an enemy in regards to investigating the phenomenal and spiritual.

For this post I limited my overview to only three topics, these are Visible Sound, Geometry (letters and numbers) and Neuroscience & Psychology. Each of these topics are entire books unto themselves, so by no means will my measly discussion do justice. However, my goal is to make aware these doorways that may previously lay hidden, these doors open up many possibilities but its for you to continue travel down the rabbit hole ... Alice.   


 Visible Sound

 

Whether mantra, magic/magick, prayer, exorcism, curses, blessings or ritual, humaniy's divine power lies in the spoken word. This spoken word goes far beyond the mere conveyance of definitions and ordinary meaning; such as writing or having any sort of ordinary conversation. Therefore, Sacred/Ritual Language and Sacred Time are concepts employed to distinguish such uses of linguistic power, because at those instances the practitioners are existing outside the cyclical flow of ordinary time. In performances of sacred language when definitional meaning to words is absent, it is the sound's frequency or vibrations that hold the important power and ability to affect the world.

 Cymatics is the scientific study of how sound can and is made visible. The various vibrational  frequencies contained within sound have a harmonic accordance with a particular sacred geometric pattern. This is why throughout the history of art but more specifically religious iconography you see veneration directed at sacred geometric patterns. Correctly understood - both mythologically and scientifically (fractals, fibonacci sequence, golden ratio and so on) - these patterns literally contain the building blocks for life. Below is a quick video that demonstrates these harmonic patterns within sound by allowing the vibratory frequencies to organize sand particles into the corresponding geometric shapes. The video will progress from lower to higher harmonic variations, so you'll hear a high pitch and if you have sensitive ears you may want to turn down the volume.

 

These patterns can also be formed by the manipulation of the human voice. Within the buddhist tradition it was and is common of an experienced monk to know how to chant cymatic patterns into water. The video below is a series of chants recored within the Great Pyramid of Egypt and then played back in a cymatic machine.  

 

Known to many tribal societies with active psychedelic shamanism, language and sound can also manifest itself visibly under the use of psychosomatic substances. Famously, the psychedelic brew known as Ayahuasca has had a long tradition of being the plant ally for Amazonian shamanism. Ayahuasca induces states of Synesthesia where audible sounds visibly manifest themselves as particular correspondent colors. The shaman then performs spiritual songs known as Icaros, these icaros are not just heard but also seen by the tribe and is critiqued as a visual piece of art. In the book True Hallucinations, Dennis and Terence McKenna retell their fascinating and tremendously impactful experience where they attempted to experiment with the limits of visible language while maintaining a psychedelic intoxication lasting over two weeks deep in the Amazonian basin. Very little research, if any at all has attempted further investigations into the synesthetic phenomenon induced by psychedelics. Due to current laws scientific research into psychedelics is illegal despite the miraculous experimental results acquired during the 1950's and 1960's when they were still listed as legal substances. 

Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is an indigenous neurotransmitter to the human brain but also the world's strongest, fastest acting and safest of all known psychedelic substances. The secreting gland of DMT is the Pineal Gland, within spiritual traditions this gland is referred to as the Third-Eye or the seat of the soul. Iconography and symbolism of the Pineal gland is replete throughout religious art; often it is symbolized by a pine cone, a single open eye or some demarcation in the center of the forehead. The reason a pine cone is used (and got its name) is because the spiraling fractal golden ratio seen when looking at a pine cone is said to be similar to the visible vortex one experiences upon full activation of the Pineal. How DMT is related to visible language is due to the bizarre "machine elves" experienced by those who take the trans-dimensional voyage. These elf like entities are insistent that a person begins to condense three-dimensional objects via ecstatic states of glossolalia just as it appears they are doing. Now I will come back to the topic of glossolalia in the section on Neuroscience because of the interesting questions experimental results have raised. However, there is a lot to be said about the tryptamine family of psychedelics and it is not my intention to discuss such things now. Being a general overview my goal is only to identify psychosomatic substances and their relation to visible sound.  


Numbers, Letters and Geometry

 

 

Sacred Geometry makes sense, but you may be wondering how are letters and numbers related to spirituality and science? To preface I should say this topic is much more expansive than any blog post could do justice to, let alone my brief overview. However, unbeknown to most, what we regard as generic numbers and letters actually have deep esoteric and occult spiritual significance. In order to comprehend the series of correspondences I will mention its important to have a grasp on the concept of Sympathetic Magic or Magical Thinking. In its simplest explanation sympathetic magic is basically encapsulated by the old Hermetic adage, "like affects like ... as above so below." Whether one subscribes to the belief in sympathetic associations between like objects or not is unimportant; for the only way to understand the metaphorical and symbolic significance behind words and symbols is to see their fractal sympathetic link back to divine powers.

Any introduction into the philosophy of behind numbers usually begins with research into Pythagoras and his mystical school. However, don't assume that Pythagoras was the originator of such ideas about numbers and their spiritual or trans-dimentional significance; it is impossible to know for certain and obviously was understood within the ancient megaliths. Some Renaissance Christians like Johann Reuchlin argued - though contrary to Jewish opinion - that Pythagoras received his knowledge of numbers, mathematics, theology and geometry from the Jewish Kabbalah. Not to mention the legends of Pythagoras wandering from mystery school to mystery school traveling from Greece, to North Africa, India, China, Persia, to Ancient Palestine and back home. Similar tellings have been said about Jesus of Nazareth (theory of him being an initiated Essene Jew), Plato and many others so to what degree these stories are factual who knows. However, we do know that these Ancient Mystery schools did exist and there was transmission between them.

 Numbers tie into all this is for the same reason why Renaissance Christians were eager to establish Pythagoreanism as an off shoot of the Kabbalistic tradition. First, it substantiated Christianity's ties to the historical Jewish tradition rather than Pagan Greece; second, it provided a numerological argument for a monotheistic theology.  Like Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Esoteric Buddhism and other solar oriented religions/traditions the theology of the One and the Three are central. For Pythagoras it was the Monad and the Triad, for Christians it is the Son/Sun ("the light of the world," "the risen savior," "God's only begotten Son/Sun" etc.) and the Trinity, in India it was Brahma, the One, with a triune consisting of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and this can be found in countless other theologies. Unlike the Moon which is dualistic (having a dark and light side) and typically associated with fleshly desires, the Sun was customarily symbolized as a complete unity, spiritual purity, divine intelligence, androgynous (though physical incarnation is usually male), all giving, self sustaining, the source of life, the highest of the high, God's chosen One and so on. Pythagoras taught that zero, one and two are not (philosophically) numbers and that three should actually be considered the first real number. He based this in the concept that zero and two are both dual numbers and exist to modify the one; the one is existence, being itself, universal consciousness and the un-namable. Zero is dual because nothing insinuates the possibility of something and two is just the self generative aspect of the 1 making a copy of itself.    

  DISTINCT = 2                                                    UNITED = 1                                              EQUAL = 0

 

DISTINCT = 2                                                    UNITED = 1                                              EQUAL = 0

If we designate these different essences with the corresponding number we will find that many archetypes and mythologies will reveal themselves of their deeper wisdom. For example, lets first use Christianity, making God the Father = 1, the Son/Jesus = 2 and the Holy Spirit/Mother Mary = 0. Symbolic analysis alone we can deduce that its logical that Jesus - both God and Man, both dead and alive - is signified by 2; a DISTINCT split or representation of the Father. The Holy Spirit or Mary is the generative component, obviously then 0 is the universal vulva, the cosmic gateway and metaphorically symbolized in the New Testament as the Immaculate Conception. Also it is 0 and 2 that reside in the lower triangle, or physical world. In this example, God the Father, the 1 reigns over 0 and 2 because being dualistic, or being in the dual physical world they are mere variations of the UNITED self. Because of this, Pythagoras taught three to be the first number since it must take all three to compose the triangle, three dimensions to form physicality

Continuing with this same example above, let me briefly mention how letters and alphabets are related as well. Like I mentioned before, 0 and 2, or Mary and Jesus being in the lower world are trying to get back up to perfection/unification but must depend on each other to do so. This ascent was symbolized by raising the bottom horizontal line of the triangle (connecting 0 and 2) to the mid waypoint and thereby establishing the first letter of the alphabet, A. Similar little esoteric origin stories can be found for the other letters, other languages and other cultures with persistent curiosity and some internet searches. Language is arguably one of the most important components of Religion, Magic and what it means to be human. According to Genesis, the Gospel of John, Gnostic creation myths, majority of indigenous folk tales state that the world was spoke into existence, essentially forming with language. If those spoken commands of God were his physical manifestation it is apropos symbolism that Jesus - God's Son/Sun and his dual incarnate would then be referred as the "alpha and omega;" the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. What makes Classical Greek, Hebrew and Sanskrit (though can be made true for all alphabets) sacred or particularly special is that each letter has a numerological equivalent that then allows for words and phrases to also add up to specific number sets. This adds a mathematical dimension to a language and can therefore be condensed to contain even more occult meaning.

Again, referring back to the triangle above, if you look at the center where the three lines merge into a single point, you'll notice that it appears as if you are staring at the corner of the room or the inside of a cube. This cube plays a significant role in mathematics, geometry as well as theology. In Mecca - one of the holiest cities in the Islamic tradition - there is an large black cube called the "Kaaba" which many muslims have circled during their religious hajj.  This Kaaba or cube holds the geometric key to understanding many symbols and motifs of the Abrahamic traditions. For instance, envisioning a six-sided three-diensional cube and unfolding it flat reveals the central symbol of the christian tradition, the cross.

Turning our focus to Judaism there is the six-pointed Star of David, another two-dimensional representation of a six-sided cube; a symbol essentially comprised of two triangles laid upon each other, one pointing up one down. Could it be the same triangle from above, depicting the divine decent and redeeming ascent of the human soul by the Messiah? The interesting thing about symbols is they can contain many different meanings and hold various sympathetic associations but because being psychic excretions are rooted in archetypes of our collective unconscious.

Books on such symbolism are dense and numerous, so my objective is not to go any further with an analysis but to draw the connection between geometry, numbers, letters, language and theology. Unfortunately due to indoctrination on all such subjects we divide these studies and view them as separate, perhaps even put into their own separate "boxes." If we educated in the effort to show the pervasive fractal pattern of universal intelligence and organization, maybe then the rational soul of humanity could fuse with the mysterium and once again behold the absolute magic of spirit.  


NEUROSCIENCE

 

Neuroscience and Psychology is another area where scientific experiments, theories on mind and neuro-imaging have reshaped perspectives on modern spirituality. The human Mind is the frontier of the 21st century; more expansive than scattered stars across the night sky, more bizarre than sea creatures from the unexplored depths and closer to us than the embrace of a lover are the lurkings of inherited archetypes hidden within the dark recesses of the unlit mind. Penetrating into that darkness is the brilliant light of the messianic descent and template for our own hero's journey. Deep within the collective unconscious resides all the gods, demons, elves, ferries, monsters and legends of mythological lore. Theories like Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind gives a voice to such entities which have been described as animate being in sacred books all over the world. The bicameral mind is a hypothesis that states the corpus callosum - a bundle of neural-fibers responsible for connecting the two hemispheres of the brain - was once not fully active and therefore communication from one sphere to another was perceived as a voice from divine beings. As human history unfolded and the egoic mind began to emerge those voices which were once the insight of a higher dimension were inoculated as our own. Personal connection with the transcendent other was consolidated into priest crafts, dogma, and tradition. Continuing even today God is said to directly speak only to a chosen few but what if the Other is only veiled by the thin curtain of ordinary consciousness; able to be accessed and contacted within the limitless of our own Innnerverse.  

Within Neuroscience there is an emerging field called Neurotheology due mostly to the efforts and research of Dr. Andrew Newberg M.D.. Using the latest equipment in brain imaging Neurotheology investigates the dynamic within the brain during religious and spiritual experience. Dr. Newberg has performed experiments regarding meditation, prayer, hymnal singing, glossolalia (speaking in tongues) and more; here is a quick snippet of him describing his own research.

Neurotheology is not attempting to prove anything within the metaphysical or theological realms, it merely is using modern neuro-technology to document the phenomenological activity in the brain. Dr. Newberg's results in scanning meditative vs. non-meditative brains and christians speaking in tongues have produced very interesting data. If you are interested in seeing these results here is the link to his research.

 

Neuolinguistics is another branch within neuroscience that also is bringing forth fascinating results pertaining to how visual perception and words are connected, how language programs the mind, how language is used in mental categorization and so on. Dr. Gary Lupyan is the man which has contributed significant research in these areas and continues to push the bounds of understanding. One of the more significant results that are tangential to the spiritual or religious traditions is his findings on visual perception and words/naming. In his article, Language can boost otherwise unseen objects into visual awareness Lupyan tested whether or not verbal cues could improve a persons ability to see otherwise unseen objects. The results showed that once a person was given a word or name for a before unseen object, it was in fact now made present in ones conscious awareness. Lupyan’s results stated “language can provide a boost to perception, propelling an otherwise invisible image into awareness.” The way in which this ties into spirituality is because Lupyan's experiment is preceded by thousands of years of sacred mythology stating that in fact the world is a linguistic creation; the God(s) spoke the world into existence.

This now brings the discussion back full circle from the beginning on sound being made visible. Shamans of the Amazon  already know that the matrix of experience is coded by the language of the perceiver. Experiment after experiment Quantum Physics has shown that the world doesn't exist with any real properties until it is observed. So, if the organization of matter depends on mind and language is the code or film which mind uses to project the world, than we can see how the theologic myths of the Word and the power/sacredness of language are given new meaning. The recursive feedback loop between mind, thought and language is another trinity in which worlds are made; mind is the 1 (unified) giving rise to 0 the generative principle of thought (equal) and mind manifests itself physically through language or the 2 (distinct).  How fully do we truly know the languages we are using and in turn how much does a language contribute to the construction and limits of who you think you are? It is truly an exciting time to be, these questions and many others that I have raised here are just now being delved into.

 

Conclusion

Science, Technology and Spirituality are now converging into each other and offering brand new ways to see ourselves and the numinous. Despite the new look and feel I believe that this convergence is essentially a reconnecting with ancient wisdom and mending the broken cycle of time. We have veered away from our original position between two infinite worlds; fortunately that outer perspective is bending back unto itself and now science can help in reestablishing the importance of spirit.

Thank you for your time and attention, I hope you enjoyed my post and it potentially brought you some new ideas and insights. Comment below, let me know what you think and if you enjoyed it please Share and Like.

 

 

ALL IS SELF

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