God’s Psychology: A Sufi Explanation

God’s Psychology is not normal psychology. It goes beyond the mind, beyond feelings, beyond emotions and beyond the study of behavior and beyond science. It goes to the core of who we are. Why we came to this world. How to return to a place within us that is untouched by the world. The One that created us is the One who takes us through this journey within. This book is revolutionary and unlike any book you have ever read. It can change your life. It will bring true peace. The extraordinary discourses in this book, God’s Psychology, were spoken in Tamil by Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen while he was residing in Colombo, Sri Lanka. They were given over a ten-day period, from March 7, 1982 to March 16, 1982. Read here

The Rocky mountain of the Heart

This original “Heart’s Work” painting by Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (Ral.), “The Rocky Mountain of the Heart,” was completed on January 28, 1980, and it illustrates the stone-hearted qualities we have grown within ourselves; this mountain is harder than the hardest mountain in creation, and is layered with arrogance, selfishness, religious differences, religious arrogance, conceit, and desire for name, fame, and titles. This hard heart is unmelting and shows no compassion for other lives.

The animals that surround this rocky mountain are representative of the animal qualities that have entered the hearts of mankind. All these animals and even the shrubs and bushes illustrate the distractions that we need to clear from within ourselves. We must then build a place of worship to remember God.

The seven colors in the painting represent the seven states of consciousness within mankind: feeling, awareness, intellect, judgment, wisdom, divine analytic wisdom, and divine luminous wisdom. The fish represent creation, and the swan represents subtle wisdom, the perfection that accepts only purity.

This “Rocky Mountain of the Heart” has to be split open and blasted away, and in its place the house of God’s qualities must be built within our own hearts and within our own lives.

(Sources: From a discourse by M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (Ral.) given on January 28, 1980 and from The Tree That Fell to the West: Autobiography of a Sufi, Chapter Seven, “The Rocky Mountain,” December 22, 1983.)

The words of Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen [Ral.] reveal the Sufi path of esoteric Islām: that the human being is uniquely created with the faculty of wisdom, enabling him to trace himself back to his Origin—Allāh, the Creator and Cherisher of all  the Universes who exists in Oneness with all lives—and to surrender to that Source, leaving the One God, the Truth, as the only reality in his life. This is the original intention of the purity that is Islām.

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen[Ral.] spoke endlessly of this Truth through parables, discourses, songs, and stories, all pointing the way to return to God. Over fifteen thousand hours of this ocean of knowledge were recorded.

What we know is that he was first sighted by spiritual seekers—a man we know only as Periari and a few others from the town of Kokuvil—at the edge of the jungle near the pilgrimage town of Kataragama in what was then known as the island country of Ceylon.

The tiny island that is shaped like a teardrop falling from the tip of southern India is a place known for its legendary as well as its sacred geography. Adam ’ s Peak in the center of the island is said to have retained the imprint created by the impact of Adam ’ s foot from when he first touched the earth after being cast out of the Garden of Eden.

Referred to in the ancient text of the Ramayana as Lanka, it was the site of Princess Sita ’ s captivity by her abductor, Ravana, the evil demon-king of Lanka. The Ramayana contains details of the battlefields where the armies of her husband Prince Rama fought the armies of the demon-king, and describes the groves of exotic herbs dropped by Hanuman, the monkey-king who helped Prince Rama rescue his wife.

When the island was called the Isle of Serendib, the voyage of Sinbad was described in the Thousand and One Nights. Medieval Arabs and Persians made regular pilgrimages to Adam ’ s Peak. The fourteenth century Arab traveler and scholar Ibn Batutah made that pilgrimage.

Legends record the visit of the Qutb[Ral.] who after visiting Adam’s Peak meditated for twelve years in what came to be known as the hermitage shrine of Daftar Jailani that lies at the edge of a precipitous granite cliff in the south central portion of the island, a site that has become a place of saintly visitation and mystical meditation.

Living in that land of legends, those seekers from Kokuvil recognized Bawa Muhaiyaddeen[Ral.] as a uniquely mystical being when they began to interact with him, begging him to teach them. He had lived peacefully alone in the jungle for so long that he had almost forgotten human speech. Gradually, he began to speak with those seekers. Telling those seekers that God was the only Teacher, he consented to study side by side with them. Working long hours in the rice fields as a farmer by day, he spoke and sang to them of his experiences of God in the evenings. Eventually, he and that small group of seekers from Kokuvil built an ashram in Jaffna, a town in the northern tip of the country.

Travel was difficult in that small country, yet the refuge of his presence was irresistible. As more and more people came to know about him and to hear him sing and speak of God, many of them began to invite him to stay in their homes. Among those people were Dr. Ajwad Macan-Markar and his wife Ameen Macan-Markar who lived in the city of Colombo. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen[Ral.] told them it would not be easy: that he was like a tree upon which many birds needed to take shelter. If he was to agree to stay at their home, they would also have to accommodate these birds. He warned them that there could be many at times. Dr. Ajwad and his wife did not hesitate to agree to open their home to all who wished to accompany him. After that, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen[Ral.] always stayed at their home when he was in Colombo. For forty years Bawa Muhaiyaddeen[Ral.] spent his time with those seekers until 1971.

In The Tree That Fell to the West, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen[Ral.] tells us:

“Before I arrived at 46th Street in Philadelphia for my first visit, Bob Demby, Carolyn Secretary, Zoharah Simmons and some others sitting here arranged for me to come.

“They formed a society for that purpose, to invite me here. I did not come to Philadelphia with the idea of establishing a fellowship. There is only one Fellowship and that is Allāh’s. There is only one family and one Fellowship. We are all the children of Adam [A.S.], and Allāh is in charge of that Fellowship.”

After that first visit, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen[Ral.] went back and forth between Philadelphia and what by then had been renamed Sri Lanka until 1982, when he stayed in the United States until December 1986.

In these distressing times, his words are increasingly recognized as representing the original intention of Islām which is the purity  of the relationship between man and God as explained by all the prophets of God, from Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad, may the peace of God be upon them, who were all sent to tell and retell mankind that there is one and only One God, and that this One is their Source—attainable, and waiting for the return of each individual soul. See Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship

The Golden Words of a Sufi Sheikh

In this comprehensive collection of parables, proverbs and words of wisdom, M.R.Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (Ral.) provides guidance about nearly every aspect of a spiritual life.

Drawing on examples from animal life and nature, M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (Ral), cautions the reader to avoid what is wrong and turn towards what is right in every aspect of existence. Just open the book for inspiration, reflection and truth. These words illuminate the life of the soul and lead the reader towards God and unity with all lives. Read here

A Book of God’s Love

True Love, Forgiveness, Cultivating the Heart, and Eternal Youth;comprise a collection of discourses that offer a glimpse into some of the wonders of God.
The nature and mystery of God s love is explained a love that does not break or fail, an endless, unfathomable love without condition or attachment.
In the chapter titled Forgiveness, M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (Ral), explains that God does not punish us or forsake us, but treats us with limitless patience, and continues to forgive the faults we commit out of ignorance, until the very last breath. Read Here

Sufi landscapes of the Heart by a Calligrapher of Nature: Photography book  ( free download)

The Personality of a Mother needed for the man of our times

  • “I can’t Breathe” is the expression of the Crisis of the modern world.

Justice for All March – Dec. 13, 2014I can’t breathe is  sure the slogan associated with the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. The phrase is derived from the words of Eric Garner and George Floyd, two African-American men who died of asphyxiation during their arrests in 2014 and 2020, respectively, as a result of excessive force by primarily white police officers. The phrase is used in protest against police brutality in the United States.

But this protest, this Cry show us the real problem of the Modern man:

  • Modern man is a human without Soul, without the “Living Breath”.

The protest is the expression of  his deep spiritual Crisis in the times of deep ignorance..

Modern man suffocates and cries:  “i can’t breathe” , because  a human without “the living Breath” is always dying. It is his only certainty in life, man shall once die and all traditions in the world teach us to take care of our Soul, our “Living Breath”, always in our daily life, but sure at the moment when we are dying. Modern man is the only one of all the traditions of the world who dares to think that he is right to live without his soul and without his “Living Breath”. What an arrogance and Vanity! But remember Vanity is the quality of being vain, something that is vain, it is always empty, or valueless. Read more here

  • Ego rules the world: Anti-“God”, Anti-“Humanity”, Anti-“Nature

Our civilization is in decay. Because we have blown-up our ego. Cosmic Balance has been disturbed. The Origin – Cosmic Womb/Vacuum – “doesn’t tolerate” this. With the help of Her two Cosmic Forces of “Death and Rebirth” (“Stirb und Werde” – “Die and Become”-J.W. von Goethe see Goethe , the “refugee) She breaks down our ego-accumulations, thus restoring the Original Balance and become a “refugee” for our times. See Spiritual exercise for the “Refugee” of our Times

Current decadence, greed, evil, falsehood, corruption, violence, injustice, exploitation, thus have a Cosmic undertone. It is a “Cosmic Law” that civilizations which have become megalomaniacal will inevitably collapse. Because all levels of existence are corroded – including the religious realm – only a Dimension that is beyond – META – God and the world can redeem us.  “God hasn’t created the world out of nothingness, but Nothingness (Cosmic Womb) is giving birth to God and the universe, the latter continuously returning to the Origin”.

  • The Personality and mentality of a Mother needed for the man of our times
The Lespugue Venus is a 25 000 years old ivory figurine


Mother is personification of love, compassion and kindness. Hence mother in many cultures is considered as an Avatar of God and Goddess. She is godmother as she loses her complete identity in the person of her child. She bears the child in womb for nine months and as soon as she gives birth to the child, milk of human kindness flows from her breast for the new born to suck till the child can grow up and feed on cow milk and other nutrients.

She burns the candle of her life for the well-being of her child totally forgetting about her comfort, bearing all the pain of child bearing cheerfully and gleefully. Night and day she sacrifices her comforts, her leisure and gives her everything for the wellness of her child.

This continues till she exists and her life is for her children and for their welfare. She takes utmost care of her child and bestows best of attention with deep love. She burns midnight candles for the upbringing of her child. She is constant in her love and nothing can shake her from loving her child and many more children she bears. Each and every of her children are her favorites and she does not distinguish her children from one or the other.

She inculcates best of culture, manners in a child and furthers the child’s mind with pure thoughts and moulds the child’s character and conduct. Come rain or summer shine, she is at the beck and call her children and bestows her best attention in all times to come till her last breath.

This sacrifice of mother is possible because of effacement of her ego and ‘I-ness’. It can happen only when the heart has turned golden and mind glitters with love and deep affection.

 ‘Mother is love and love is Mother’; caring, comforting, pacifying, creating hopes, applying balm to the wounds and restoring ruffled feathers. She suffers sleepless nights to give comfort to her children. She protects her children all through from adversaries. She takes away all the grieves, sorrows and pathos and protects the children from parching Sun; from rain and storms; covers with blankets for warmth and to prevent from shivering of cold.

She goes hungry and suffers thirst to feed her children at all times and seasons. She prays and prays for grace and love to fall on her children. She sucks away all the poison from the wounds of her children, so that her children can live in happiness. A mother has shunned her identity and becomes nameless, faceless to give succor to her children. So rightly it has been said that heaven lies below the feet of mother. If one needs benediction then one needs to serve one’s mother. It is the mother’s prayers and supplication that brings success and glory to the children.

  • Jung: “The world hangs on a thin thread… and that is the psyche/soul of the man”

The world hangs on a thin thread, and that is the psyche of man. Nowadays we are not threatened by elementary catastrophes. There is no such thing [in nature] as an H-bomb; that is all man’s doing. We are the great danger. The psyche is the great danger. What if something goes wrong with the psyche? You see, and so it is demonstrated to us in our days what the power of the psyche is of man, how important it is to know something about it. But we know nothing about it. Nobody would give credit to the idea that the psychical processes of the ordinary man have any importance whatever. One thinks, “Oh, he has just what he has in his head. He is all from his surroundings, he is taught such and such a thing, believes such and such a thing, and particularly if he is well housed and well fed, then he has no ideas at all.” And that’s the great mistake because he is just that as which he is born, and he is not born as “tabula rasa,” but as a reality. Read more here

  • The path from I to i

In contrast to Occidental philosophy, the Sufi idea of seeing “Many as One”, and considering the creation in its essence as the Absolute, leads to the idea of the dissolution of any dualism between the ego substance and the “external” substantial objects. The rebellion against God, mentioned in the Quran, takes place on the level of the psyche, that must be trained and disciplined for its union with the spirit that is pure. Since psyche drives the body, flesh is not the obstacle to humans but rather an unawareness that allows the impulsive forces to cause rebellion against God on the level of the psyche. Yet it is not a dualism between body, psyche and spirit, since the spirit embraces both psyche and corporeal aspects of humanity. Since the world is held to be the mirror in which God’s attributes are reflected, participation in worldly affairs is not necessarily seen as opposed to God. The devil activates the selfish desires of the psyche, leading the human astray from the Divine. Thus it is the I that is regarded as evil, and both Iblis and Pharao are present as symbols for uttering “I” in ones own behavior. Therefore it is recommended to use the term I as little as possible. It is only God who has the right to say “I”, since it is only God who is self-subsistent. Uttering “I” is therefore a way to compare oneself to God, regarded as shirk.

the path from Majuscule I to minuscule i

The Path from I to i – Book final

  • Man and his Soul

Man’s real identity which is called soul has numerous aspects and layers. Quran mentions its three states (carnal, self-reproaching and peaceful). It is well inferred from Quranic verses that human soul and spirit has three stages:
1-The carnal soul or man’s animalistic layer:
Man’s animalistic layer is summarized in lust, anger and carnal desires[2]. This internal inclination and state of soul is termed by Quran as the carnal soul. The Quran emphasizes that: “Most surely (man’s) self is wont to command (him to do) evil” Quran 12:53
That is why it has been called the carnal soul (the soul that commands to the vices). In this stage the intellect and the faith have not become so strong to control and harness the untamed soul. Instead the intellect and faith become dominated and defeated by the carnal soul in many cases.
In a quotation by ancient Egypt’s queen, this stage has been referred to where she said: “And I do not declare myself free, most surely (man’s) self is wont to command (him to do) evil”. Quran 12:53

2-Self-reproaching soul:
Lawwama soul”: It is a stage of soul reached by humans following education, training and effort. During this stage, human may occasionally commit vices due to the swelling of instincts. However he becomes immediately remorseful, blames himself and decides to recompense by cleaning his heart and soul through tawba [repentance].
Quran calls this stage “lawwama soul” and states: “Nay! I swear by the self-accusing soul.”Quran 75:2

3-Peaceful soul:
Mutma’enna soul” is a stage achieved by humans following purification and complete training. In this stage untamed instincts are unable to fight with the intellect and faith because the intellect and faith have become so strong that instincts do not have much power to confront.
This is the position of prophets’ and God’s friends and their true followers; those who have learned lessons of faith and piety purifying their souls for many years  accomplishing jihad akbar [the grand jihad].
Quran calls this stage as “mutma’enna soul” and says: ” O soul that art at rest! Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with him), well-pleasing (Him)” Quran 89:27-28

See also Seven levels of being

Man meeting his Soul
  • The birth of Jesus in man
  • Faouzi Skali in his book Jesus and the Sufi Traditon explains in the 10 chapter,The birth of Jesus in man:

The soul of the mystic, Rûmi teaches us, is similar to Mary: “If your soul is pure enough and full of love enough, it becomes like Mary: it begets the Messiah”.

And al-Halláj also evokes this idea: “Our consciences are one Virgin where only the Spirit of Truth can penetrate

In this context, Jesus then symbolizes the cutting edge of the Spirit present in the human soul: “Our body is like Mary: each of us has a Jesus in him, but as long as the pains of childbirth do not appear in us, our Jesus is not born” ( Rumi, The Book of the Inside, V).

This essential quest is comparable to suffering of Mary who led her under the palm tree (Koran XIX, 22-26): “ I said:” 0 my heart, seek the universal Mirror, go towards the Sea, because you will not reach your goal by the only river! ”

In this quest, Your servant finally arrived at the place of Your home as the pains of childbirth led Mary towards the palm tree “(RÛMi, Mathnawî, II, 93 sq.)

Just as the Breath of the Holy Spirit, breathed into Mary, made him conceive the Holy Spirit, as so when the Word of God (kalám al-haqq) enters someone’s heart and the divine Inspiration purifies and fills his heart (see Matthew V, 8 or Jesus in the Sermon of the Mountain exclaims: “Blessed are pure hearts, for they will see God! “) and his soul, his nature becomes such that then is produced in him a spiritual child (walad ma’nawî) having the breath of Jesus who raises the dead.

Human beings,” it says in Walad-Nama ( French translation, Master and disciple, of Sultan Valad and Kitab al-Ma’ârif  the Skills of Soul Rapture), must be born twice: once from their mother, another from their own body and their own existence. The body is like an egg: the essence of man must become in this egg a bird, thanks to the warmth of Love; then it will escape its body and fly into the eternal world of the soul, beyond space.

And Sultan Walad adds: “If the bird of faith (imán) is not born in Man during its existence, this earthly life is then comparable to a miscarriage.

The soul, in the prison of the body, is ankylosed like the embryo in the maternal womb, and it awaits its deliverance. This will happen when the “germ” has matured, thanks to a descent into oneself, to a painful awareness: “The pain will arise from this look thrown inside oneself, and this suffering makes pass to beyond the veil. As long as the mothers do not take birth pains, the child does not have the possibility of being born (. Rumi, Mathnawî, II, 2516 sq.) (…) My mother, that is to say my nature [my body], by his agony pains, gives birth to the Spirit … If the pains during the coming of the child are painful for the pregnant woman, on the other hand, for the embryo, it is the opening of his prison ”(Ibid., 3555 sq)

Union with God, explains Rûmi, manifests itself when the divine Qualities come to cover the attributes of His servant:

God’s call, whether veiled or not, grants what he gave to Maryam. 0 you who are corrupted by death inside your body, return from nonexistence to the Voice of the Friend! In truth, this Voice comes from God, although it comes from the servant of God! God said to the saint: “I am your tongue and your eyes, I am your senses, I am your contentment and your wrath. Go, for you are the one of whom God said: ‘By Me he hears and by Me he sees!’ You are the divine Consciousness, how should it be said that you have this divine Consciousness? Since you have become, by your wondering, ‘He who belongs to God’.

I am yours because ‘God will belong to him. Sometimes, I tell you: ‘It’s you!’, Sometimes, ‘It’s me!’ Whatever I say, I am the Sun illuminating all things. “(Mathnawî, I, 1934 sq).

Once the illusion of duality has been transcended, all that remains in the soul is the divine Presence: the soul then finds in the depths of its being the divine effigy.

It has become the place of theophany. This is what Rumi calls the spiritual resurrection: “The universal Soul came into contact with the partial soul and the latter received from her a pearl and put it in her womb. Thanks to this touch of her breast, the individual soul became pregnant, like Mary, with a Messiah ravishing the heart. Not the Messiah who travels on land and at sea, but the Messiah who is beyond the limitations of space! Also, when the soul has been fertilized by the Soul of the soul, then the world is fertilized by such a soul “( Ibid., II, 1184 sq.).

This birth of the spiritual Child occurs out of time, and therefore it occurs in each man who receives him with all his being through this “Be!” that Marie receives during the Annunciation: “From your body, like Maryam, give birth to an Issa without a father! You have to be born twice, once from your mother, another time from yourself. So beget yourself again! If the outpouring of the Holy Spirit dispenses again his help, others will in turn do what Christ himself did: the Father pronounces the Word in the universal Soul, and when the Son is born, each soul becomes Mary (Ibid., III, 3773.)

So Jesus can declare: “O son of Israel, I tell you the truth, no one enters the Kingdom of Heaven and earth unless he is born twice! By the Will of God, I am of those who were born twice: my first birth was according to nature, and the second according to the Spirit in the Sky of Knowledge!  » (Sha’ranî, Tabaqat, II, 26; Sohrawardî, ‘Awarif, I, 1)

The second birth corresponds to what we also gain in Sufism as the “opening (fath) of the eye of the heart“: “When Your Eye became an eye for my heart, my blind heart drowned in vision ; I saw that You were the universal Mirror for all eternity and I saw in Your Eyes my own image. I said, “Finally, I found myself in His Eyes, I found the Way of Light!” (Rumi, Mathnawî, II, 93 sq.)

This opening is the promise made by God to all those who conclude a pact with the spiritual master, pole of his time, like the apostles with Jesus or the Companions when they pledged allegiance to Muhammad:God was satisfied with believers when they swore an oath to you under the Tree, He knew perfectly the content of their hearts, He brought down on them deep peace (sakina), He rewarded them with a prompt opening ( fath) and by an abundant booty  which they seized ”(Coran XLVIII, 18-19).(The abundant loot indicates Divine Knowledge (mari’fa)

Read more jesus and the Sufi tradition

  • God’s Mercy

Muslims begin the recitation of the Qur’an with the opening verse (1:1) “Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Rahim,” translated as “In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”. Reciting this verse before beginning any activity (including meals) is considered an essential part of Islamic life. But how many of us try to find out how is God Most Merciful? And what is the relationship of His Mercy with human beings?

Take the Arabic words RAHIM and RAHMAN used so often in the Qur’an. They are most often translated in English as MOST MERCIFUL and MOST GRACIOUS (as given above). These translations do not fully explain the depth and the breadth of the meaning contained in the original Arabic.

The root of both RAHIM and RAHMAN is R-H-M, which means mother’s womb.

The womb of the mother is where a child grows from conception until birth. The mother nourishes the child with her blood. The child develops there slowly and gradually according to a timetable. As the child grows, its nourishment is adjusted accordingly. Also, this nourishment for the child is free. The mother’s womb provides a flexible yet completely protected environment in which the child may grow. All of these aspects are included in the root meaning of the Arabic word RAHIM. Thus RAHIM is one who provides free nourishment slowly and gradually for growth and development that adapts to changing needs

The difference between RAHIM and RAHMAN is that RAHIM is based on the weight of FA’EELUN and that RAHMAN is based on the weight of FA’LAANUN. FA’EELUN implies a gradual or progressive act and FA’LAANUN implies a sudden or emergent action. A child’s growth inside the mother’s womb will be considered a progressive evolution. This is one kind of God’s mercy on a gradual, slow and progressive basis. But, as soon as the child is born, her requirements suddenly change. Providing nourishment on a sudden or emergent basis is characterized as RAHMAN. This is called emergent evolution. Since God has provided both kinds of nourishment for our growth and development HE is both RAHMAN as well as RAHIM.

Now consider this. The Earth is our home from which we derive all the nourishment for our growth and development. But this would not have been possible if our Earth was not protected from the constant bombardments from deadly radiations such as X-rays and Gamma rays. The protective shield that God has created to block these deadly radiations from reaching the Earth is similar in function to the mother’s womb. God has created this nature’s womb so that we can grow and develop within its protective shield. He has also provided all the essential nourishment for our growth and development for free. But this is only one aspect of His Mercy.

The other aspect of His Mercy includes our spiritual growth and development. For this he has sent His ultimate Book of guidance, the Qur’an, under whose protective moral shield we can grow and develop spiritually. And He has made Mosques—“And the places of worship are for Allah (alone)” (72:18)—centers for this spiritual growth and development.

Truly, He is Al-Rahim and Al-Rahman, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

If we emulate these attributes of mercy (within human limitation) in our daily lives we become agents of God on earth. If we relinquish our compassion and mercy to ideologies of hate and revenge, we become only agents of destruction.

  • Bism ‘Lláh al-Rahmán al-Rahim / In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Traditions affirm that everything in the Book is encapsulated in the words ‘In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful’ ; this symbolises how all things are contained in the Being of their Being-Giver; that is, that everything in them branches from what is in Him: Nor is there anything but with Us are the treasuries thereof [Q.15.21]. That the Divine Name (Allah] comes before the other Beautiful Names  symbolises the precedence of the Essence, and how the Names and   Qualities are contained in Its treasury.

al-Rabmán

The first of the Names to be proclaimed thereafter is The Compassionate (al-Rabmán): ask any informed of Him! [Q.25-59]; because of this, it among all Names is given in the bismillah to describe Him. Were it not that it was the first Name to be manifested, it would not have been assigned the position of `rising'(istiwa’): The Compassionate, raised upon the Throne [Q.20- 5].

Because of this `rising’, this Name has precedence over all other Names, both those of Majesty and those of Beauty. This is alluded to in those sacred hadith’ which affirm that mercy has precedence over wrath. The rising of the Compassionate over all beings is what allows the unbeliever to receive divine favours, and what allowed Satan to rebel.

al-Rabim

As for His Name ‘the Merciful’ (al-Rabim), it is the last of the revelations (In the sense that it is the last word of the bismillah, which here symbolises the whole of the Qur’án), and its effect is hidden within the actions of created beings. This is alluded to in the hadiths, ‘The merciful are shown mercy by God,’ and, ‘To fail to thank people is to fail to thank God.’ The presence of His mercy in them means that they merit thanks; and all thanks is due to God.

Now the ba’ of the bismillah  requires a verb to give it context (That is, it requires us to say ‘I begin in the Name of God’, or the like), and this verb is here elided.

This symbolises how a Quality (ija) requires a context to make its manifestation necessary; and this context is provided by the Act of the Essence, but it is elided; which is to say that it is only supposed (muqaddar), but has no being of its own independent from its Being-Giver.

This is the difference between the two kinds of being. As to whether it comes before or after the Quality, this depends on the perspective of the given spiritual wayfarer.

He who is immersed in the divine Magnificence will not see it at all, nor will he describe it either with being or nonbeing, never mind see it as coming before or after.

Read more Commentary on the Bismillah

  • THE ISLAMIC CONCEPT OF HUMAN PERFECTION

THE GOAL OF HUMAN LIFE

Those dimensions of Islam dedicated to providing the guidelines for the development of the full possibilities of human nature came to be institutionalized in various forms. Many of these can be grouped under the name `Sufism’, while others can better be designated by names such as `philosophy’ or `Shiite gnosis’. In general, these schools of thought and practice share certain teachings about human perfection, though they also differ on many points. Here we can suggest a few of the ideas that can be found in most of these approaches.

1 Human beings are God’s vicegerents (Khalifa) or representatives in this world. The cosmos as a whole represents an infinitely vast display of the signs of God. All the divine attributes are reflected in unfathomable diversirv through the myriad worlds and the creatures scattered therein. But human beings are microcosms. Just as the universe reflects all the divine attributes in an infinitely vast display, so also human beings reflect all the divine attributes in a concentrated unity. Man is the mirror image of both God and the cosmos. Since man finds all things within his own being and awareness, he is able to rule the outside world. He recognizes all things within himself, and, knowing them, is able to control them. This provides him with the necessary qualities to be God’s vicegerent. But by the same token, he is responsible for the manner in which he interacts with the creatures under his pover.

2 The model for attaining to human perfection, also called the `vicegerency of God’, is set down in the divine word, that is — in the Islamic sense — the Qur’án. Without following the guidance set down in the Scriptures, human beings will fall short of their full humanity and fail to reach ultimate happiness, which depends upon being truc to their own nature. The divine guidance revealed in the Qur’án is embodied in the Prophet Muhammad. Thus his wife A’isha remarked that those who wanted to remember the Prophet should read the Qur’án, since character is the Qur’án’. But emulating the Prophetic model does not mean simply conforming to the Prophet’s outward activity: it demands assimilation of his moral and spiritual traits as well. In other words, the Qur’án and the Sunna represent God’s guidance for the full actualization of human perfection on every level, from the outward levels — those of activity and social concerns — to the more inward levels, such as knowledge, morality, love, spirituality and every human virtue.

3 All human attributes are in truth divine attributes. Just as the cosmos and everything within it are nothing but the signs of God, so also man and everything within him are God’s signs. Every positive trait displayed by a human being derives from God. All human knowledge represents a dim reflection of the divine knowledge, just as all virtues — generosity, justice, patience, compassion, gratitude, love — are manifestations of divine qualities. A human being possesses nothing positive which he can claim as his own, since everything belongs to God. This holds for other creatures as well, but human beings, because of their peculiar synthetic configuration embracing all the divine attributes, are held responsible for their own choices and activities. The fact that most of them dweil in heedlessness (ghafla) of what they owe to God will not excuse them from being called to account. (This concept of heedlessness, it should be noted, is as close as Islam comes to the concept of original sin.)

4 People are profoundly mistaken when they identify anything positive as their own. This holds not only for outward possessions, which are on ban from God, but also for inward possessions, such as the positive attributes and characteristics that go to make up their own specific identities. The only thing human beings may rightfully claim as their own are those attributes that define the distante that separates them from God. Existence and everything that goes along with it — such as life, knowledge, will and power —      belong strictly to God, whilst non-existence and its concomitant qualities —      such as ignorance, need, death and weakness — belong specifically to the creature.

5 Human beings on their own are nothing, but as representatives of God they are everything, since they manifest all the divine names and attributes. However, the fundamental nature of this `everything’ is itself indefinable, since it is modelled upon God, who is ultimately unknowable. Full human perfection involves the actualization of all the divine attributes present in the human configuration, and hence it involves entrance into indefinability. When human beings identify the positive contents of their persons with any specific attribute or definition, they have failed to grasp their own true nature. Perfection demands the shedding of all attributes and definitions, since these are limitations. Perfect human beings manifest all divine attributes, so they are defined by none of them. They employ each divine attribute in the appropriate circumstances, recognize all things for what they are, and interact with all creatures in accordance with the creatures’ realities.

6 Though in theory any human being can achieve the fullness of human perfection, in practice only a tiny minority will reach it. Nevertheless, the majority will benefit from the human state if they observe the Law and strive to the extent of their own capacities, and they will benefit from all those who achieve human perfection, since it is the vicegerents who act as intermediaries between God and the cosmos, serving as channels for the divine replenishment that sustains the world.

7 The purpose of the social order is to provide a stable framework within which human perfection can be achieved, and all other goals are secondary. The more a society forgets the purpose of human existence, the further it moves from legitimacy. It is the duty of the learned to preserve to the fullest extent possible the teachings and practices of religion in order that the greatest number may attain ultimate happiness and the door to human perfection may always remain open.

Universal Man by ‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili 1365-1424/

Abd al-Karim al-Jili was born near Baghdad, a descendent of the great saint and founder of the Qadiri dervish order, ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani. Little has been discovered about his life, save a few glimpses of spiritual autobiography revealed in his writings, but it is known that he travelled in India, and then lived for a time in the Yemen. He produced more than twenty books, of which Universal Man (al-Insan al-Kamil) is the most celebrated. His teaching follows that of Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi, of which it can be regarded as a systematic exposition, though expressed in a manner which is uniquely his own.

Universal man is Man the Macrocosm, the complete image and manifested consciousness of God, exemplified and expressed in the lives of saintly individuals.

Jili’s account therefore takes the form of a series of chapters on the appearances of Absolute Reality such as Essence, Names, Qualities, and Divinity. These appearances correspond to contemplative states encountered by the mystic on the path of Union, which are discussed more particularly in the later chapters.

Jili’s exposition is incisive and illuminating, his intention entirely practical. He writes: “I will mention of tall that only that which happened to me on my own journey to God; moreover, I recount nothing in this book, neither of myself nor of another, without my having tested it at the time when I traveled in God by the path of intuition and direct vision.”

Titus Burckhardt has provided an extensive and helpful introduction to Jili’s work, and commentary on the text. Extracts, translated with commentary by Titus Burckhardt

Read here Universal Man – al-Insan al-Kamil

What is the difference between Satan and the carnal soul?

What is the difference between Satan and the carnal soul? An Islamic view:

Man’s real identity which is called soul has numerous aspects and layers. Quran mentions its three states (carnal, self-reproaching and peaceful).
The carnal soul is formed when animalistic desires dominate man. It is a state of human soul that constantly commands human toward vices and to satisfy carnal desires.
But Satan is literally and terminologically applied to any untamed and defiant creature whether human, jinn or animal.
 Iblīs is a specific Satan that is a jinn upgraded to angels’ level because of long years of worship. However he defied God’s command (to prostrate Adam) and thus he was expelled from God’s compassion.  Iblīs vowed to misguide humans through temptation.
Therefore the carnal soul is in fact one of Satan’s tools to dominate and control humans. It is considered one of Satan’s soldiers.
Thus the temptation by Iblīs as the external Satan and temptation and stimulation by the carnal soul as the internal Satan would lead humans to collapse. In other words, in view of animal inclinations of humans, the carnal soul is influenced by Satan’s temptations giving way to Satan to advance step by step until the person is considered a member of Satan’s party.

The answer to this question requires a few premises:
First premise: The soul and its levels
Mankind’s real identity has three aspects and layers (animal, human and divine). It is well inferred from Quranic verses that human soul and spirit has three stages:
1-The carnal soul or man’s animalistic layer:
Man’s animalistic layer is summarized in lust, anger and carnal desires. This internal inclination and state of soul is termed by Quran as the carnal soul. The Quran emphasizes that: “Most surely (man’s) self is wont to command (him to do) evil” Quran 12:53
That is why it has been called the carnal soul (the soul that commands to the vices). In this stage the intellect and the faith have not become so strong to control and harness the untamed soul. Instead the intellect and faith become dominated and defeated by the carnal soul in many cases.
In a quotation by ancient Egypt’s queen, this stage has been referred to where she said: “And I do not declare myself free, most surely (man’s) self is wont to command (him to do) evil”. Quran 12:53

2-Self-reproaching soul:
Lawwama soul”: It is a stage of soul reached by humans following education, training and effort. During this stage, human may occasionally commit vices due to the swelling of instincts. However he becomes immediately remorseful, blames himself and decides to recompense by cleaning his heart and soul through tawba [repentance].
Quran calls this stage “lawwama soul” and states: “Nay! I swear by the self-accusing soul.”Quran 75:2

3-Peaceful soul:
Mutma’enna soul” is a stage achieved by humans following purification and complete training. In this stage untamed instincts are unable to fight with the intellect and faith because the intellect and faith have become so strong that instincts do not have much power to confront.
This is the position of prophets’ and God’s friends and their true followers; those who have learned lessons of faith and piety purifying their souls for many years  accomplishing jihad akbar [the grand jihad].
Quran calls this stage as “mutma’enna soul” and says: ” O soul that art at rest! Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with him), well-pleasing (Him)” Quran 89:27-28

Second premise:  Iblīs and Satan


1- Iblīs:  Iblīs is a specific Satan, a jinn upgraded to angels’ level due to long years of worship. However he was expelled from the heavens following his defiance because he disobeyed the divine command and committed a vice.

2-Satan: Satan is derived from the Arabic verb “sha-ta-na” meaning defiance and distancing. Any defiant creature is called Satan whether a human, a jinn or an animal.
As we read in Quran: “And thus did We make for every prophet an enemy, the Shaitans from among men and jinn.” Quran 6:112

 Iblīs is called Satan because he is a defiant, saboteur and untamed creature.

Third premise: The relation between the carnal soul and Satan
The carnal soul is in fact one of Satan’s tools to dominate and control humans. It is considered a soldier of Satan.
Thus the temptation by Iblīs as the external Satan and temptation and stimulation by the carnal soul as the internal Satan would lead humans to collapse.
Satan’s primary effort is to mislead humans hindering them from reaching the reality. He has sworn by divine might in this regard, as we read in Quran:” He [ Iblīs] said: Then by Thy Might I will surely make them live an evil life, all Except Thy servants from among them, the purified ones.” Quran 38:82-83
Eghwa is derived from the Arabic word “ghayy” meaning “against rushd” and “rushd” means to achieve the reality.
Satan has sworn by divine might that he will mislead humans -Quran 38:82-83 . He advances step by step to mislead humans influencing them by his temptations up to the point where humans become satans themselves. Then Satan employs them to mislead other human beings.
A human being who surrenders himself to his animalistic desires as a result of Satanic temptation, has in fact been entangled by the carnal soul.
Imam Ali (PBUH) says: “Like a hypocrite, the carnal soul flatters the person depicting itself as a friend so that it can control the human leading him to next levels”
Satan tempts people with weak faith and makes their hearts his house using their carnal desires and the carnal soul. Finally he touches their hands and bodies, shakes their hands and becomes their friend. Because one whose heart has become Satan’s house, he is not only Satan’s host but also his assistant. About this group, Imam Ali (PBUH) says: “…Thus Satan looks through their eyes and speaks through their tongues.”
Conclusion:
Satan and the carnal soul are both mans’ enemies.
Therefore Quran mentions Satan as man’s external enemy and advises him to consider Satan as his enemy. Quran 2:168
Also in traditions by the infallibles (Peace be upon them all) the carnal soul (whims) has been considered an enemy. That the holy prophet (PBUH) said: “Your worst enemy is your own soul” refers to the abovementioned stage of soul.
The secret to call the soul “the worst enemy” is because it is internal. The external enemy/burglar is unable to damage the person without the company of the internal enemy/burglar. This internal enemy is an insider who knows everywhere and applies this information to report the person’s desire to Satan and reports back Satan’s message (who is the external carnal soul). Therefore the carnal soul is considered one of Satan’s jonoud (soldiers) because many of the carnal soul’s characteristics are similar to those of Satan’s soldiers.
Therefore the carnal soul is influenced by Satan’s temptations giving way to Satan to advance step by step until the person is considered a member of Satan’s party.

Iblis (top right on the picture) refuses to prostrate before the newly created Adam from a Persian miniature

In Islam, the principle of evil is expressed by two terms referring to the same entity:Shaitan (meaning astray, distant or devil) and Iblis. Iblis is the proper name of the devil representing the characteristics of evil. Iblis is mentioned in the Quranic narrative about the creation of humanity. When God created Adam, he ordered the angels to prostrate themselves before him. All did, but Iblis refused and claimed to be superior to Adam out of pride. [Quran 7:12] Therefore, pride but also envy became a sign of “unbelief” in Islam. Thereafter Iblis was condemned to Hell, but God granted him a request to lead humanity astray, knowing the righteous will resist Iblis’ attempts to misguide them. In Islam, both good and evil are ultimately created by God. But since God’s will is good, the evil in the world must be part of God’s plan. Actually, God allowed the devil to seduce humanity. Evil and suffering are regarded as a test or a chance to proof confidence in God. Some philosophers and mystics emphasized Iblis himself as a role model of confidence in God, because God ordered the angels to prostrate themselves, Iblis was forced to choose between God’s command and God’s will (not to praise someone else than God). He successfully passed the test, yet his disobedience caused his punishment and therefore suffering. However, he stays patient and is rewarded in the end]

Muslims hold that the pre-Islamic jinn, tutelary deities, became subject under Islam to the judgment of God, and that those who did not submit to the law of God are devils.

Although Iblis is often compared to the devil in Christian theology, Islam rejects the idea that Satan is an opponent of God and the implied struggle between God and the devil.] Iblis might either be regarded as the most monotheistic or the greatest sinner, but remains only a creature of God. Iblis did not become an unbeliever due to his disobedience, but because of attributing injustice to God; that is, by asserting that the command to prostrate himself before Adam was inappropriate. There is no sign of angelic revolt in the Quran and no mention of Iblis trying to take God’s throne and Iblis’s sin could be forgiven at anytime by God. According to the Quran, Iblis’s disobedience was due to his disdain for humanity, a narrative already occurring in early New Testament apocrypha.

As in Christianity, Iblis was once a pious creature of God but later cast out of Heaven due to his pride. However, to maintain God’s absolute sovereignty, Islam matches the line taken by Irenaeus instead of the later Christian consensus that the devil did not rebel against God but against humanity. Further, although Iblis is generally regarded as a real bodily entity, he plays a less significant role as the personification of evil than in Christianity. Iblis is merely a tempter, notable for inciting humans into sin by whispering into humans minds (waswās), akin to the Jewish idea of the devil as yetzer hara.

On the other hand, Shaitan refers unilaterally to forces of evil, including the devil Iblis, then he causes mischief. Shaitan is also linked to humans psychological nature, appearing in dreams, causing anger or interrupting the mental preparation for prayer. Furthermore, the term Shaitan also refers to beings, who follow the evil suggestions of Iblis. Furthermore, the principle of Shaitan is in many ways a symbol of spiritual impurity, representing humans’ own deficits, in contrast to a “true Muslim“, who is free from anger, lust and other devilish desires.

In Sufism and mysticism

See also: Nafs

In contrast to Occidental philosophy, the Sufi idea of seeing “Many as One”, and considering the creation in its essence as the Absolute, leads to the idea of the dissolution of any dualism between the ego substance and the “external” substantial objects. The rebellion against God, mentioned in the Quran, takes place on the level of the psyche, that must be trained and disciplined for its union with the spirit that is pure. Since psyche drives the body, flesh is not the obstacle to humans but rather an unawareness that allows the impulsive forces to cause rebellion against God on the level of the psyche. Yet it is not a dualism between body, psyche and spirit, since the spirit embraces both psyche and corporeal aspects of humanity. Since the world is held to be the mirror in which God’s attributes are reflected, participation in worldly affairs is not necessarily seen as opposed to God. The devil activates the selfish desires of the psyche, leading the human astray from the Divine. Thus it is the I that is regarded as evil, and both Iblis and Pharao are present as symbols for uttering “I” in ones own behavior. Therefore it is recommended to use the term I as little as possible. It is only God who has the right to say “I”, since it is only God who is self-subsistent. Uttering “I” is therefore a way to compare oneself to God, regarded as shirk.

Read alsoThe Meaning of Nafs and the Struggle Against the Lower Soul ( JIHAD AL-NAFS)

The Eclipse of the Soul and the Rise of the Ecological Crisis

by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos

For many of our contemporaries, there is no more pressing issue than the acute ecological challenges facing the planet. Environmental degradation has reached a tipping point, but how have we fallen into such a predicament? At a deeper level, this critical situation can be seen as a mirror that reflects the spiritual crisis gripping the soul of humanity today.

This commenced with the secularizing impetus of the Enlightenment project, which has led to a diminished understanding of the human psyche and the cosmos itself. The anomaly of modern Western psychology is that it stems from the same desacralized and reductionistic outlook.

By contrast, a deep-seated connection between sentient beings, the environment, and the Spirit has been recognized in all other times and places, throughout humanity’s traditional civilizations.

By a resurrection of a “science of the soul” via a rehabilitated sacred cosmology, the spiritual roots of the ecological crisis can be restored and seen in a proper light. This essay examines the metaphysical dimension of the environmental crisis. The framework employed for this study is the “transpersonal” perspective of the perennial psychology—an application of the insights found in the world’s great wisdom traditions. The objective of the study is to propose a more holistic approach to understanding the essential relationship between our humanity and the natural environment—in all of its boundless and complex variety—seen as a manifestation of divine reality. Read more here

The Transfiguration of the Human Being

Since the most remote times there has been a practice of continuously living with the awareness of death in one’s consciousness. The words of the adage Memento mori, Latin for ‘Remember that you are mortal’, encapsulate this practice. All the saints and sages speak in unanimity of identification with the empirical ego or separate self as the source of all human suffering. As ́Sri Ramakrishna (1836–1886), the Paramahamsa of Dakshineshwar, a spiritual luminary, powerfully expressed the need to die to our lower nature: ‘When “I” is dead, all troubles cease.’

An essential element in the world’s religions is the injunction that finds expression, for instance, in the well-known words of the Prophet of Islam: ‘Die before ye die’ (mutu qabla an tamutu). Correspondingly within the Hindu tradition there is the concept of being ‘twice-born’ (dvija): our initial birth into terrestrial existence is one type of birth, the second birth that the religions refer to is an initiation into the spiritual path. This alchemical and transformative psycho-spiritual process of dying before dying reoccurs in a myriad diverse forms and descriptions throughout the spiritual traditions, yet we can observe the myriad points of convergence.
Just how universal this transformative process is has been underscored by the philosopher Frithjof Schuon (1907–1998): ‘every complete tradition postulates in the final analysis the “extinction” of the ego for the sake of the divine “I.”’

The French metaphysician René Guénon (1886–1951) also confirms the universal nature of the doctrine of mystical death and resurrection: ‘[T]he idea of a “second birth”, understood in a purely spiritual sense, is indeed common to all spiritual doctrines.’ At the heart of every integral psychology or ‘science of the soul’ is the recognition of psycho-spiritual transformation or metanoia, which is inseparable from metaphysics and integral spirituality. This perennial psychology that is an application of the perennial philosophy discerns between the horizontal dimension consisting of the empirical ego, and the vertical dimension that that pertains to the transpersonal Self. The horizontal and vertical dimensions are interdependent, and are both required for the human realm and the realm of the Spirit.
However, it is essential to bear in mind that the vertical dimension precedes the horizontal and that the horizontal is reliant on the vertical dimension and not the other way around. As we recall, ‘To deny the spiritual is to deny the human.’ In what follows, we will
explore psycho-spiritual integration and the symbolic meaning behind mystical death and resurrection, as found in the universal and timeless wisdom found around the world. Read more here…

The Shadows of God

The First Book of Urizen; Man floating upside down, 1794 (colour-printed relief etching) by Blake, William (1757-1827)

The fall of man, seen in intellectual terms, begins as a primal misunderstanding of the true nature of God. All else follows from this, since a failure to understand Who God really is distorts our picture of every other thing, person, situation, or level of being. Where the intellect is darkened by spiritual ignorance, it can reveal to us only shadows of the Truth, false objects which the will is attracted to because of their partial resemblance to the Truth they hide, in the course of which it becomes weakened and distorted, until it can no longer will the Good—even if, by the Grace of God, the darkness of the Intellect were to be lifted for a moment, and that Good revealed.

A shadow requires three things: a source of light, an opaque object, and a field where the shadow falls. If the light is God, the opaque object, the ego, and the field where the shadow falls, the universe, then the shadows of the ego, projected by the Light of God, are false beliefs, which appear to that ego not as its own shadows, nor even as beliefs, but as the literal nature of reality: the shadows of God.

The ego, by definition, does not know itself. It tries to convince us that we can become unique and original if we submit to its magic. It forgets that egotism actually stereotypes us, makes us drearily predictable, because human egos, at root, are much alike. Our deepest fears and desires, of which the ego is composed, are very few and very common.

God is the only Reality, the sole object, and subject, of all knowledge. But when primal fear and desire, which are the seed-form of the ego, separate subject from object, so that the perceiving subject is apparently no longer God—as in Reality it always is, since only God, in the last analysis, is Witness of His own manifestation—then limited and conditioned views of Reality are born, held within the minds of limited and conditioned subjects. From one point of view, these limited views, and the limited subjects who perceive them, are the creative manifestation of God in space and time; from another, they are God’s shadows, His veils. When these shadows become thick, and their darkness intense, it appears as if God were absent from His creation. It is into these places and times of the apparent ‘death of God’ that God sends the prophets, saviors and avatars who found and renew the great wisdom traditions.

The Shadows of God By Charles Upton

If Gods combine against Man Setting their Dominion above
The Human Form Divine. Thrown down from their high Station
In the Eternal heavens of the Human Imagination: buried beneath
In dark oblivion with incessant pangs ages on ages
In Enmity & war first weakened then in stern repentance
They must renew their brightness & their disorganized functions
Again reorganize till they assume the image of the human
Cooperating in the bliss of Man obeying his Will
Servants to the Infinite and Eternal of the Human form
WILLIAM BLAKE, from The Four Zoas

Read also ENERGY AND ARCHETYPE A JUNGIAN ANALYSIS OF Four zoas of William Blake

In the well-known words of St Paul from the book of Ephesians, ‘We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ These principalities and powers, in my opinion, can be legitimately seen as elements of the system of the Antichrist, a system which ‘constellates’ only at the end of the aeon, but which is virtually present all throughout ‘fallen’ human history, as when Paul speaks of ‘the god of this world [who] hath blinded the eyes of them that believe not’ (2 Cor. 4:4). The ‘god of this world’ is obviously Satan, but Satan in his particular aspect as the patron of ‘worldliness’, of the organized social and mass psychological system created by the human ego in rebellion against God. The Antichrist per se represents the establishment of this system in its terminal form for this aeon via the breakthrough of sub-human, ‘infra-psychic’ forces into human history, just as Christ—and Muhammad, and the Buddha, and the Hindu Avatars—represent the breakthrough of Divine Wisdom and Love.

For many of the early Christians, the Roman Empire represented, for obvious reasons, the system of Antichrist. The Roman Emperor was worshipped as a god at one time, at least in the provinces, and the Number of the Beast, 666, is often solved as a numerological reference to the emperor Nero. The central grievance of the Jewish Zealots, the anti-Roman guerrilla terrorists of Jesus’ time, was that to require that the Jews pay taxes to Rome was an act of emperor-worship and thus a blasphemy against God,

especially since the Roman denarius in which the tax was to be paid bore an image of the emperor, and so was technically an idol in the eyes of many Jews, who, like the Muslims in later centuries, prohibited the making of any image of Yahweh, and considered any deity who could be visually represented as inherently false. That Jesus was on one level sympathetic to the Zealots, though he was certainly not a political revolutionary—any more than he was a collaborator with Rome—is shown by the fact that he criticized every known Jewish sect of his time—Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, and Herodians—except the Zealots and the Essenes, and numbered one Simon the Zealot among his disciples, though we can’t be sure whether ‘Zealot’ refers to Simon’s affiliation or only his character.

In the Apocalypse, the central symbol of the Antichrist is the Beast, who acts as an agent of the Dragon (Satan). Upon the Beast rides the Whore, whose name is Mystery, Babylon the Great. The seven heads of the Beast, which are seven kings, are also seven mountains upon which she sits, like the seven mountains of Rome And so, on one level, the Beast is the Roman Empire, compared by the writer of the book to the Babylonian captivity of the Jews. This identification of the Beast with Rome has led certain Protestant sects to see it as a symbol of the Roman Catholic Church —an attribution which would be partly justified only in the case of the complete apostasy of Catholicism, which, in my opinion, cannot be assumed to have happened even now.

The Dragon of the Apocalypse, identified with Satan, represents a perverted spiritual order. Based on this Satanic order is the perverted social order of the Beast. And the Whore of Babylon, who rides the Beast—that is, who both guides it and is carried along by it—is the perverted psychic order of the latter days. The seven heads of the Beast, who are seven kings with whom Babylon consorts and seven mountains upon which she reigns, symbolize—among other things—the seven major faculties of the soul, which in antiquity were represented by the seven planets: the Moon, fertility and sub-conscious emotion; Mercury, thought, cunning and the ability to deal with information; Venus, love, sexuality and relatedness; the Sun, intellect, the spiritual center of the soul and source of its life; Mars, will and aggression; Jupiter, leadership ability and philosophical intelligence; Saturn, long-term planning ability, mystical knowledge and the wisdom of old age. If the Beast and the Whore ‘occupy’ the seven provinces of the soul, this indicates that the regime of Antichrist has conquered and perverted all these aspects of human life, both socially and psychologically, a perversion which is represented in Catholic theology by the seven deadly sins.

According to Martin Lings, in his article ‘The Seven Deadly Sins in the Light of the Symbolism of Number’, ‘superbia (pride) is related to the Sun, avaritia (avarice) to Saturn, luxuria (lust) to Venus, invidia (envy) to Mercury, gula (gluttony) to Jupiter, ira (anger) to Mars, and accidia (sloth) to the Moon.’ The power of the Beast over the human soul is symbolized by the ‘mark of the Beast’—who in this case is actually, according to the Apocalypse, a second Beast, servant of the first, identified as the False Prophet—which is placed either upon the right hand or upon the forehead. The mark upon the right hand symbolizes power over the will, and that upon the forehead power over the intelligence: when the intelligence is darkened, the will is overpowered as well, since it must now follow error instead of Truth.

The regime of Antichrist, then, operates on three levels, which are the three ontological levels of the human being: the material level, including both the socio-historical realm and the human body; the psychic level, embracing both the conscious and the sub-conscious mind; and the spiritual level, which though it cannot ultimately be perverted, since it is Divine, can be obscured by the powers of darkness, and also counterfeited, according to the principle that ‘Satan is the ape of God’.

The Beast, who is Antichrist, is thus the counterfeit of Christ, a perverse and distorted version of the image of God within us. Under his regime, all the powers and qualities of the human form, considered as God’s central act of Self-revelation in this world (‘who has seen me has seen the Father’ said Jesus, speaking as the Divine Archetype of Humanity) are aped by demonic forces: wisdom, love, miracles of healing and control over natural forces, and even the resurrection of the body, all will be enacted in counterfeit, ‘so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.’

See here: To Become a “Refugee”: Emigration to Sincerity or “uprightness” of Love

Evangelical Christians tend to concentrate on predictions relating to how the system of Antichrist will appear in future history and society. This is a valid and important level upon which to view the matter, though we have to be careful not to interpret scripture too narrowly, since an event recounted in a densely-symbolic text like the Apocalypse may appear in history as several different events, or trends, happening at various times. My intent, however, is to concentrate more on the psychic and metaphysical aspects of ‘the darkness of this world’, including that level of things where the unconscious mind interacts with society, the realm where the powers of darkness appear as unconscious belief-systems and social mores.

A spiritually degenerate society rules its members not only by police-state tactics, or by influencing them to consciously believe false doctrines, but also by indoctrinating them to adopt certain beliefs unconsciously, beliefs that will have all the more power over them by this very unconsciousness, since they are never brought into the light of day where they can be critically evaluated. An evil society will inculcate these beliefs deliberately, through various sorts of propaganda, indoctrination, and mind-control. On the other hand, the rulers of the society in question will in some ways be just as unconscious as the population they indoctrinate. While they may consciously lie to the people on questions of fact, nonetheless they take the fundamental beliefs they disseminate absolutely for granted, and are therefore unconscious of them. The deepest lies—the unconscious social mores and the false conceptions of God on which they are based—appear to our rulers simply as the nature of things. Because they believe in them implicitly, they need never become aware of them as beliefs. If you want to delude others, it is best to begin by deluding yourself; that way none can question your ‘sincerity’. Read more here

The “Refugee” of our Times – Sources materials

Our Lady of Medjugorje, the Queen of Peace – Messages

The divine is supernatural, but religion is very much of this world. The way people worship even has an impact on their physical surroundings. Here’s a telltale sign that you’re in Catholic country: chapels, shrines and grottoes dot the roadside. The latter are replicas of the cave in southern France where the Virgin Mary appeared to a local peasant girl in the early 19th century.

Those Marian apparitions themselves are another peculiar point of contact between faith and the world. Typically, they happen in times of crisis to young children from a humble background. They are often the only ones able to see the apparition. The visitations sometimes reoccur over a prolonged period. If the Virgin speaks to those who can observe her, it is to ask for a chapel or church to be built, to implore the faithful to be more devout, and/or to offer warnings for the future. Witnesses are often able to report in great detail on the dress and attributes of the apparition, but mostly there is no direct contact between the Virgin and the observers.

For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort. These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others. Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.

Latest Medjugorje Message, October 25, 2022

“Dear children! The Most High permits me to be with you, and to be joy for you and the way in hope, because mankind has decided for death. That is why He sent me to keep instructing  you that without God you do not have a future. Little children,  be instruments of love for all those who have not come to know the God of love. Witness joyfully your faith and do not lose hope in a change of the human heart. I am with you and am blessing you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

For quite a while now, in Medjugorje (Čitluk, Bosnia-Herzegovina) six trustworthy witnesses, testify firmly under oath, that since the 24th of June 1981, the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the “Gospa”, as she is affectionately known as here, appears to them every day up to the present.

Suddenly, while the children were still on their way a light flashed three times. To them and to those following them, it was a sign indicating Our Lady’s whereabouts. On that third day Our Lady appeared even higher up than on the previous days. All at once Our Lady disappeared. But when the children began to pray, she reappeared. She was cheerful and smiling serenely and once again her beauty was overwhelming.

As they left their houses some older women advised them to carry holy water with them to make sure that it was not of Satan. When they were with Our Lady Vicka took the water and splashed it in the direction of the vision saying, “If you are Our Blessed Mother, please stay, and if you are not, go away from us”. Our Lady smiled at this and remained with the children. Then Mirjana asked her name and she replied, “I am the Blessed Virgin Mary”.

On the same day, coming down Podbrdo, Our Lady appeared one more time, this time however only to Maria saying, “Peace, peace, peace and only peace”. Behind her, Maria could see a cross. After which Our Lady repeated, in tears, the following words, “Peace must reign between man and God, and between all people!” The area where this took place is about half way up to the Apparition Site.

The fourth day

On the 27th of June 1981, Our Lady appeared three times to the children. On that occasion the children asked all kinds of questions and Our Lady responded. For priests, she gave this message. “May the priests firmly believe and may they take care of the faith of the people!” Once again, Jakov and Mirjana asked for a sign, because the people had begun to accuse them of lying and of taking drugs. “Do not be afraid of anything”, Our Lady replied.

Before parting, when asked if she would come again, she indicated that she would. On the way down Podbrdo, Our Lady appeared one more time to say goodbye with the words, “May God be with you my angels, go in peace!”

The fifth day

On the 28th of June 1981, big crowds were gathering from all parts even from the early hours of the morning. By noon there were about fifteen thousand people. On the same day, the Parish Priest, Fr. Jozo Zovko, examined the children on what they had seen and heard in the previous days.

At the usual time Our Lady appeared again. The children prayed with her, and afterwards they questioned her. Vicka, for example, asked “My dear Lady, what do you want from us and what do you want from our priests?” Our Lady replied, “The people should pray and firmly believe”. Regarding priests, she replied that they should believe firmly and help others to do the same.

On that day Our Lady came and went many times. During one of these times the children asked her why she doesn’t appear in the Parish Church for every-one to see. She replied, ” Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”.

Even though the crowds were pushing them with their questions and curiosities and the day was heavy and sultry, the children felt as though they were in heaven.

The sixth day

On the 29th of June 1981, the children were taken to Mostar for a medical examination after which they were proclaimed “healthy”. The statement of the head doctor was: “The children aren’t crazy, the person who brought them here must be though”….

The crowds on Apparition Hill that day were greater than ever. As soon as the children arrived at the usual place and began to pray, Our Lady appeared. On that occasion the Blessed Mother exhorted them to have faith saying, “The people should believe firmly and have no fear.”

On that day, a doctoress who was following and observing them, during the apparition desired to touch Our Lady. The children guided her hand to the place where Our Lady’s shoulder was, and she felt a tingling sensation. The doctor, even though an atheist had to admit that, “Here, something strange is happening!”.

On that same day a child was miraculously healed by the name of Daniel Šetka. Her parents had brought her to Medjugorje, praying specifically for a healing. Our Lady had promised that this would come about if the parents prayed and fasted and strongly believed. The child thereupon was healed.

The seventh day

On the 30th of June 1981 two young girls suggested to the children to go by car further away to be able to stroll in peace. Really their intention was to bring them away from the area and keep them until after the normal apparition time had passed. However, even though the children were far away from Podbrdo, at the usual time of the apparition, it was as if an interior call prompted them to ask to be let out of the car. As soon as they did, and said a prayer, Our Lady drew near to them, from the direction of Podbrdo, which was now over a kilometre away. She prayed seven “Our Fathers” etc. And so the girl’s trick had no effect. Soon after this the police began to hinder the children and the pilgrims going on Podbrdo, the site of apparitions. The children, and soon afterwards even the crowds were forbidden to go there. But Our Lady continued to appear to them in secret places, in their homes and in the fields. The children had already gained confidence, and openly spoke with Our Lady, eagerly seeking her advice, listening to her warnings and messages. The events of Medjugorje continued in this fashion up until the 15th of January 1982.

In the meantime, the Parish Priest began to host the pilgrims in the Church, enabling them to participate in the rosary and to celebrate the Eucharist. The children also gave out the rosary. Our Lady sometimes appeared to them in the church at that time. Even the Parish Priest himself once while praying the rosary, saw Our Lady. Immediately he broke off praying and spontaneously started to sing a popular hymn: “Lijepa si, lijepa, Djevo Marijo” – “O how beautiful you are, Most Blessed Virgin Mary”. The whole church could see that something unusual was happening to him. Afterwards he stated that he had seen her. And so, he who up until then had not only been doubtful, but openly against even rumours of the apparitions, became their defender. He testified his support of the apparitions even to the point of serving a prison sentence.

From the 15th of January 1982 onwards the children saw Our Lady in a closed off area of the Parish Church. The Parish Priest arranged this because of the newly arisen difficulties and sometimes even dangers, which provided themselves for the visionaries. Previously the children had ensured that this was in accord with Our Lady’s wishes. Because of the prohibitions of the Diocesan Bishop however, from April 1985 onwards the children ceased to use the area of the church as an apparition site. Instead, they went to a room in the Parish house.

All this time, from the beginning of the apparitions up until today, there have only been five days when none of the children saw Our Lady.

Our Lady didn’t always appear in the same place either, nor to the same group, nor individuals, nor did her apparitions always last a specified period. Sometimes the apparitions lasted two minutes, sometimes an hour. Neither did Our Lady appear at the children’s will. Sometimes they prayed and waited but Our Lady didn’t appear until a little while afterwards, unexpectedly and unforewarned. And sometimes she appeared to one and not to the others. If she hadn’t promised an appointed time, nobody knew when she would appear, or if she would appear. Neither did she appear always to just the aforesaid visionaries, but to others also of different age, stature, race, education and walks of life. All this suggests that the apparitions are not a product of the imagination. It depends neither on time nor place, nor desire nor the prayer of pilgrim or visionary, but moreover on the will of He who permits it.

In the beginning Our Lady made her messages known to the visionaries on a daily basis and through them to the whole world. Commencing from the 1st of March 1984, Our Lady began to give weekly messages on Thursdays to the parish community in Medjugorje, and through them to the rest of the world. Since some of the things that Our Lord desired were fulfilled, as Our Lady said [O], from the 25th of January 1987 onwards, Our Lady would give her monthly message on the 25th of each month This has continued up until the present. Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo, Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez and Jakov Colo had daily apparitions until 1982, 1985, i.e. 1998. Since then, Our Lady appears to them once a year and gives a message.

Look here Messages – General overview of messages

Latest Medjugorje Message, October 25, 2022

“Dear children! The Most High permits me to be with you, and to be joy for you and the way in hope, because mankind has decided for death. That is why He sent me to keep instructing  you that without God you do not have a future. Little children,  be instruments of love for all those who have not come to know the God of love. Witness joyfully your faith and do not lose hope in a change of the human heart. I am with you and am blessing you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

This year our Lady give still the same warning:

Medjugorje Message, August 25, 2022

“Dear children! God permits me to be with you and to lead you  on the way of peace, so that through personal peace,  you build peace in the world. I am with you and intercede for you before my Son Jesus, that He may give you a strong faith and hope in a better future, which I desire to build up with you. You be courageous and do not be afraid, because God is with you. Thank you for having responded to my call. ”

Medjugorje Message, September 25, 2022

“Dear children! Pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten you that you be joyful seekers of God and witnesses of love without bounds. I am with you, little children, and, anew, I am calling all of you: take courage and bear witness to the good works that God is doing in and through you. Be joyful in God. Do good to your neighbor so that it will be good for you on earth and pray for peace, which is threatened because Satan wants war and peacelessness. Thank you for having responded to my call. ”

Brigde of Mostar

Medjugorje (Serbo-Croatian: Međugorje / Међугорје, pronounced [mêdʑuɡoːrje]) is a town located in southwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina, about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of Mostar and 20 km (12 mi) east of the border with Croatia. The town is part of the Čitluk municipality and geographically part of Herzegovina. Since 1981, it has become a popular site of Catholic pilgrimage due to Our Lady of Međugorje, a purported series of apparitions of Mary, mother of Jesus, to six local children[1] that are supposedly still happening to this day.[2]

The name Međugorje literally means “between mountains”. At an altitude of 200 m (660 ft) above sea level it has a mild Mediterranean climate. The town consists of an ethnically homogeneous Croat population of 2,306. The Roman Catholic parish includes four neighbouring villages: Bijakovići, Vionica, Miletina and Šurmanci. Since 2019, pilgrimages to Medjugorje have been authorized by the Vatican.[3][4] See more here

It is situated 30km from Mostar where the famous brigde were distroyed during the war:

30 km from Medjugorje is the village of Balgaj

The saint Sari Saltuk (also spelled Sarı Saltuk, “the blonde”,[1] Ottoman Turkish: صارى صالتق, romanized: Ṣarı̊ Ṣaltı̊q; also referred as Sari Saltuk Baba or Dede) (died 1297/98)[2] was a 13th-century Alevi Turkish dervish, venerated as a saint by the Bektashi Sufi Muslims in the Balkans and parts of Middle East as well as the mainstream Sunni Muslim community.

In various legends he is identified with Christian saints (Saint George, Elijah, Saint Nicholas, Saint Simeon, Saint Naum or Saint Spyridon). According to a legend, his body was buried in seven coffins, in remote towns in the lands of the Infidels.[7] Nowadays, alleged tombs (türbe) are found over the Balkans (Blagaj village of Mostar, Krujë, Kaliakra) and western Anatolia (İznik).[20]

Al-Khidr plays a critical role in the slaying of a seven-headed dragon by the warrior saint Sari Saltiq – may Allah sanctify his secret – in the Ottoman epic.

Sari Saltik: A Bektashi Story

There was in Dobruja a seven-headed dragon, to which the two daughters of the King were allotted as food. Sari Saltik (who had been sent to the region by Hajji Bektash himself) agreed to deliver the girls if their father would embrace Islam. He went to the column to which they were tied as victims for the dragon, accompanied by his seventy Dervishes, who were beating drums and swinging the banner. He untied the Princesses, and then waited with his wooden sword, expecting the dragon himself, as the seventy Dervishes beat their drums.

When the dragon approached, Sari Saltik addressed it with the verse of the Qur’an that begins, “Greeting on Noah in both worlds.” He then cut off three of the dragon’s heads, so that it fled with the remaining four. Sari Saltik followed him up to his cave, at the entrance of which he cut off the remaining heads with his wooden sword, and followed the dragon into his den. The beheaded dragon began to struggle with Sari Saltik and to press him against the rock, which gave way under his hands and feet — their marks can still be seen there. The dragon, having exhausted his strength, fell to the ground dead, and Sari Saltik, with his bloody breast and wooden sword, now led the two girls to their father the king.

But the man who had shown Saltik Sultan the road to the column had picked up the tongues and ears of the three heads cut off, and had hurried before Sari Saltik to lay them before the king, boasting that he himself had killed the dragon. Now, though the daughters asserted the contrary, yet the impostor persisted in his boast, so Sari Saltik proposed as a proof, to be boiled with the man in a cauldron. Though the pretender did not like this kind of trial, yet by order of the king he was obliged to undergo it. Sari Saltik was tied up by his Dervishes, and the impostor by his companions, and both were put into a cauldron heated by an immense fire.

Hajji Bektash was at that moment at Kirshehri in Anatolia, and was suddenly overcome. He swept with a handkerchief a dripping rock, saying, “My Saltik Muhammad is now in great anxiety, may Allah help him!” Ever since that day salt water has dripped from that rock, and from thence the salt called Hajji Bektash is produced.

Built around 1520, the Blagaj Tekke monument attracts many tourists

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On his travels around eastern Europe, the BBC’s Nick Thorpe describes his three separate encounters with Sari Saltuq, a 13th Century legendary Turkish dervish.
I first came across Sari Saltuq in Bosnia – at the source of the Buna River – at Blagaj, where the river flows blue and fully-formed straight out of a sheer cliff. To say “came across” him requires some explanation. I sat quietly at his graveside. Green felt covered the raised coffin. I was inside an ancient tekke, a place of worship traditionally used by Sufi Muslim dervishes.
Zijo, the wild man who slept among the graves when the Croats were shelling Blagaj during the war, told me how he put a dish of water by the head of the tomb each night and how it was often gone, drained to the bottom, by morning. The rooms next door were for praying, talking, and drinking tea and coffee. There was even a sort of bathroom where you could shower, once upon a time, but only when it was raining, as the water flowed through star-shaped holes carved in the stone of the domed roof.
‘Flying carpet’
I came across Sari Saltuq next in Babadag, in the Dobrugea region of Romania, close to the Black Sea Coast. Legend has it that Saltuq, a Muslim holy man and worker of miracles – sometimes synonymous with Saint Nicholas in the Christian tradition – arrived here by flying carpet in the mid-14th Century. On the edge of Babadag is a graceful mosque – a surprise in Christian Orthodox Romania. Outside it is a hexagonal turbe, or tomb, of pink and yellow stone. And once again the green, raised coffin, with a dervish mitre at the top end: Sari Saltuq’s grave.

Slow journey

The city of Kruje sits alongside a panoramic mountainside location I ran into him again in Albania last week, beneath the head of the mountain over Kruje. The name Kruje comes from the Albanian word for water source. Up ahead I thought we were driving into the clouds at first, but no… those really were mountains. Kruje is a small, handsome town, hanging like a necklace beneath the chin of Sari Saltuq’s mountain.

Saltuq’s bravery
Kruje is a Bektashi town, and Sari Saltuq was a Bektashi saint. The Bektashis are one of the most remarkable of the dervish orders in Islam, closely associated with the Jannisary fighters who brought Islam to the Balkans in the Middle Ages.
But while the Janissaries wielded tempered steel, the Bektashis are famous for their wooden swords and their kindness to Christians. Sari Saltuq, himself, chopped off the seven heads of the dragon that used to live in a cave on the top of the mountain at Kruje. The dragon had an unpleasant habit of eating young local girls and the king was so relieved to be rid of the dragon that he offered him his daughter’s hand in marriage.
Sari Saltuq, already an old man, nobly declined, asking nothing more than permission to live in the cave. Happily installed, with a magnificent view of Albania’s Adriatic Coast, his followers brought him food each day up the mountain until he was warned that jealous local men were plotting his assassination. Infuriated by their ungratefulness, he leapt down the mountain and across to the island of Corfu in just three steps.

‘Fleet-footed traveller’
Our progress downhill was more laborious, but the bus stopped for a few minutes to inspect the shrine of his footstep in the marbled rock, just below the town.
Slightly larger than my own, the footprint is deep and polished by the touch and veneration of several hundred years of visitors.

a map shows Sari saltuq graves troughout Balkans, one mistake altough it has also atleast one grave in Bulgaria, Kaliakra

For more info look at St Georges and Khidr

Here the saint always appears upon a fish, and it was Coomaraswamy who rightly associated this vehicle in its Indian context with the Makara, or sea-dragon.see Khwaja Khidir and the Fountain of Life in the Tradition of Persian and Mughal Art

What is more, the fish (Nun) is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an (68: 1), and Tabari for his part explains that this is the fish that supports the earth in Islamic cosmology: “The fish moved and became agitated. As a result, the earth quaked, whereupon He firmly anchored the mountains on it, and it was stable.” This role of the mountains in balancing the instability of the world has been designated in the Holy Qur’an by a specific term: {And the mountains: stakes} (78, 7). Now, “stakes” (awtad, singular watad) has in turn been applied to an exalted group of four in Islamic esoterism, and al-Khidr – peace be upon him – is among them. It may even be observed that the saint’s staff in this iconography depicts a kind of “stake,” and is therefore equivalent to the weapon of Saint George which fixes or “stabilizes” the dragon.


40 years later in 2021 Our Lady, the Queen of Peace,  in Medjugorje gives still message for all people:

Message, 25. May 2021

“Dear children! Today I am looking at you and calling: return to God because He is love and out of love has sent me to you to lead you on the way of conversion. Leave sin and evil, decide for holiness and joy will begin to reign; and you will be my extended hands in this lost world. I desire that you be prayer and hope to those who have not come to know the God of love. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

In his book The System of Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age, Charles Upton describes the war against Love in our times:

The War Against Love
The modern world does not only pervert our beliefs and our actions, it also devastates our feelings—as witness the violation, by almost every sector of contemporary society, religious, secular and ‘esoteric’, of the realm of romantic love. We used to say, ‘Love conquers all’; but since nothing is left to us now of the word ‘love’ but dumb sentimentality and the automatic
reaction to sexual stimulus, we have forgotten the incomparable power of that Conqueror, forgotten that only Love can press all the human faculties, including courage, self-sacrifice and strategic intelligence, into Her service.
Romantic love has been a buried foundation, and sometimes an acknowledged pillar, of European civilization for almost a thousand years. It reached its highest literary expression in the Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach, and in Dante’s Divine Comedy, the greatest single
compendium of spiritual knowledge in Western Christendom, where the lore of the troubadours was fully reunited to the Christian tradition, culminating in the figure of Beatrice Portinari as an incarnation of Holy Wisdom. And since, if my family genealogy is accurate, I am 29th in direct
(though often female) line from Eleanor of Aquitaine, who presided over the famous Courts of Love, and thus 31st in line from her grandfather Guillaume of Poitiers, the first troubadour, my ancestors now press me to speak for Love again, in the face of the darkness of the latter days, and to refute the slander of ‘the World’ that Love is blind. On the contrary, it is passion that is blind, but Love’s vision penetrates like an arrow, into the depth of the spiritual Heart.

The Antichrist will be the perfect shell. He will be politically, culturally, religiously and even metaphysically ‘correct’. Everything he does, according to all explicit criteria, will initially appear to be right. Those who recognize and oppose him will not seem spiritual in the eyes of the
world; perhaps not even in their own eyes. They will appear unbalanced, arrogant, reactionary, petty. In the face of the towering emptiness of the Beast, only a healthy emotional nature which has endured the shame of Love, whose feelings are grounded in Love Itself, will have the power to smell the corruption, the ‘dead men’s bones and all uncleanness,’ hidden in that whitewashed tomb. Read more here…

…..In the Orthodox Christian icon of St George, the saint is shown as a knight mounted on a white horse, in the act of rescuing a princess from a dragon by impaling him with his lance. If St George is Knowledge, then the princess is Love, and the dragon is Power. In the outer world, the dragon manifests as tyranny, oppression, collective vice, and the established regime
of heartlessness; in the inner world, he is the nafs-al-ammara, the passional soul, the rule of concupiscence over the human heart. The dragon, in other words, is Satan, the spiritual archetype of Antichrist. And the princess is the energy of Eros, who is either a slave to the power-motive, as with the Whore of Babylon ‘with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication’ (Rev. 17: 2), or the bride of Knowledge, the living body of Truth, as in the case of the Heavenly Jerusalem, described in Rev. 21: 2 as ‘coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

  • THE ELIATIC FUNCTION IN THE ISLAMIC TRADITION: KHIDR AND THE MAHDI

by ZACHARY MARKWITH

The present article is an in depth examination of the role of Khidr (or  KhiZr, KheZr) and the Mahdi in the Islamic tradition, focusing on their significance as spiritual guides, transmitters of sacred knowledge and on their importance in the preparation for the end of time. The author uses the concept of the ‘Eliatic function’ presented by Leo Schaya as a guiding principle for this study, and begins the article with an explanation of this concept. On the basis of this, he then discusses the traditional Islamic understanding firstly of Khidr and then of the Mahdi. Throughout the analysis the author presents quotations from the Qur’an and Hadith along with the interpretations of classical and contemporary commentators, focusing in particular on Shi’ism and Sufism. Here the article

  • Ibn ʻArabi’s messianic secret: From “the mahdi” to the imamate of every soul

Know, o (true) listener, that the people of God, when the Real One (al-Haqq) draws them toward Himself … , He places in their hearts something calling them to seek their (true) happiness. So they seek after that and inquire about it (until) they find in their hearts a certain tenderness and humility and striving for peace and release (salàma) from the state of ordinary people (al-nas) with their (normal condition of) mutual envy, greed, hostility and opposition. Then when they have completed the perfection of their moral qualities or have nearly done so, they find in their nafs something calling them toward solitary retreat and withdrawal from ordinary people. So some of them take to wandering (siyaha) and frequenting the (wild) mountains and plains, while others do their wandering between the towns and cities – moving from one to another as soon as they’ve come to know and get used to the people of a particular place -, while still others isolate themselves in a room in their own homes, staying there alone and cut off from people. All of that is so that they can be alone and at ease with the Real One (al-Haqq) who has called them to Him – not in order to find any particular being or miraculous event, whether sensible or in their innermost selves. Thus all of those we have mentioned continue like that until they are suddenly illuminated by something from God that comes between them and their nafs – which for some of them occurs in their nafs; for others in their imagination; and for others from outside themselves. Then they are suddenly filled with longing from that occurrence and immediately seek the company of (other human) creatures …. Now there comes to them through that occurrence (wàrid) a (divine) “addressing” and informing them of their state or of what (God) is calling them to, as with …. Then they are given comfort and solace (uns) wherever they are ….  Read more here

Jung’s Prophetic Visions and the Alchemy of Our Time

Carl Jung was a highly intuitive person. Over the course of his long life he had many flashes of insight, premonitions and instant knowings that related to both his personal life and his professional work. One of the most intriguing of Jung’s vision was his last, occurring just eight days before he died, when (in the words of his close friend and student, Barbara Hannah) he was “largely concerned with the future of the world after his death.” This vision, Jung felt, was of the time 50 years hence, i.e. in 2011, and it is intriguing for what it foretells, and what inducement it can offer us to work on ourselves and create more consciousness in the world. In this three-part essay we will examine Jung’s visions (Part I), his insights about the value and applicability of alchemy in understanding personal and collective change (Part II), and how these two—Jung’s visions and his use of alchemy—can help us re-perceive where we are now collectively and what the future might hold for us (Part III).

Part I: Jung’s Prophetic Visions

            Carl Jung was known for many things: his work with dreams; his early work as a psychiatrist with association experiments leading to the concept of the “complex,” work that brought him to the attention of Sigmund Freud; his interest in archetypes, which became such a feature of his brand of psychology that it often is labeled “archetypal psychology.” What is not so well known is Jung’s very keen intuitive nature, which manifested in his quick assessment of his patients’ conditions and, outside the clinical arena, in both his personal life and his role as a public figure.

            Intuition is that function that allows us to see around the corner of the future. Jung experienced this repeatedly in his personal life. In 1896, when he was 21 years old and living in Basel as a medical student, Jung was asked by his mother to pay a social call on an old family friend, Frau Rauschenbach. During this visit Jung had a fleeting glimpse of a young girl and he knew intuitively that he had seen his future wife. This was highly improbable, given that Emma Rauschenbach was then only 14, the daughter of a rich industrial family, and he was an impoverished medical student with many years of education ahead of him. But Jung never wavered and, once he achieved financial independence, he courted her persistently and married her in 1903.

            Nineteen years later, in November of 1922, Jung had a dream in which his father (who had died in 1896) came to him with questions about marital psychology.] At the time Jung found the dream obscure. But two months later, he had a disturbing dream, which he recounted in his autobiography, Memories, Dream, Reflections:

I was in a dense, gloomy forest; fantastic, gigantic boulders lay about among huge jungle-like trees. It was a heroic, primeval landscape. Suddenly I heard a piercing whistle that seemed to resound through the whole universe. My knees shook. Then there were crashings in the underbrush, and a gigantic wolfhound with a fearful, gaping maw burst forth. At the sight of it, the blood froze in my veins. It tore past me, and I suddenly knew: the Wild Huntsman had commanded it to carry away a human soul. I awoke in deadly terror,…

The following morning Jung got news that his mother had suddenly died, and he then remembered the dream of two months earlier and understood that in that dream his father had sent him a warning.

            Another example of Jung’s intuition arose from his habit of painting mandalas. When he did so, Jung operated in what can be referred to as “allow mode.”In this mode, one’s intuition emerges out of the end of the pen or brush, without intermediation by the conscious mind. One mandala Jung painted in 1928 developed a Chinese character and Jung was puzzled at this. Within a few weeks he was approached by a Sinologist, Richard Wilhelm, who asked Jung to write a psychological commentary on The Secret of the Golden Flower, a Taoist-alchemical treatise.

            A final example of Jung’s intuition operating in his personal life was his initial meeting in 1933 with Marie-Louise von Franz, who was to become one of his most diligent students, analysands and co-workers. The meeting came about through Jung’s interest in getting to know more about the young people of the day. Von Franz was the only girl in a party of 8 that Jung hosted with lunch and supper and, as he spoke to them of his psychology, he felt certain that von Franz had something to do with alchemy. His intuition prefigured reality a year in the future: In 1934 von Franz became Jung’s analysand and translator for him of Greek and Latin alchemical texts. Many years later, she wrote Alchemy, one of the definitive texts on alchemy and Jungian psychology.]

            Jung’s intuition was no less impressive about collective situations. In 1913, Jung sensed the “atmosphere” of Europe was “darkening,” and there was “something in the air,” something that felt oppressive in concrete reality, not just in his unconscious. In October of that year, Jung had a prophetic vision which he described in his memoir:

I was suddenly seized by an overpowering vision: I saw a monstrous flood covering all the northern and low-lying lands between the North Sea and the Alps. When it came up to Switzerland I saw that the mountains grew higher and higher to protect our country. I realized that a frightful catastrophe was in progress. I saw the mighty yellow waves, the floating rubble of civilization, and the drowned bodies of uncounted thousands. Then the whole sea turned to blood. This vision lasted about an hour…. Two weeks passed; then the vision recurred, under the same conditions, even more vividly than before, and the blood was more emphasized. An inner voice spoke. “Look at it well; it is wholly real and it will be so. You cannot doubt it.”

When Jung was asked later in the year what he thought were the prospects for Europe’s future, he replied that he “had no thoughts on the matter,” but added that he had seen rivers of blood. In the Spring of 1914 he had three dreams in which Europe was covered with ice and all the vegetation was killed by frost. World War I broke out 2 months after the last of the three dreams.

            During the 1920’s, while most people gave “the Roaring Twenties” its name with their partying and blithe lifestyles, Jung grew more and more aware that the “carefree optimism” was a “groundless illusion.” He began to warn his students to avoid living in fantasy: he intuitively sensed the tension building and, while he did not then know just where it would manifest, Jung was sure there would eventually be another war.This was more than a decade before World War II began.

            In 1958 Jung warned people that “an archetype was stirring in a way that was characteristic for ‘the end of an era.’” He knew of the lore in mundane astrology that posits a shift from the Piscean to the Aquarian age and Jung spoke of the upheavals and great changes we can expect during such a major transition. Few people had listened to Jung previously, when he warned of the coming of the two world wars so he had no illusions that he would be heard in 1958, when Cold War concerns so preoccupied the collective mind. But he felt compelled to speak up.

            Jung’s gravest warning came three years later, on his deathbed. Reflecting the concern for the well-being of the world that had been a constant feature of his life, Jung’s waning energies were focused not on his children, his psychology, the Institute he founded or his own reputation. Rather, he looked to the future of the world after his death. On May 30, 1961, eight days before he died, Jung dictated to his daughter his last visions, with instructions that the notes were to be given to Marie-Louise von Franz. The images were sobering:

“I see enormous stretches devastated, enormous stretches of the earth. But thank God, not the whole planet.” And Jung made a drawing, with a caption under it that said, “The last 50 years of humanity.”

            That was in 1961. Fifty years hence would be 2011. The date is interesting, given the Mayan prophecy that speaks of the end of an era in 2012. We have no indication in the historical record that Jung knew of the Mayan prophecies. That he got the same timetable as an ancient people might be another reflection of his keen intuition.

            Jung’s last vision—foretelling the destruction of a large part (but not all) of the world—might leave us feeling gloomy, if not despairing. But that was not Jung’s intention: he always worked to support healing, for people and planet and, as part of that intention, he offered us a road map for change. This road map can set his final visions in a larger context. An explication of his road map is the focus of Part II of this essay.

Part II: Alchemy and Its Phases—A Road Map for Individuals and Cultures

             “Alchemy.” The word conjures up medieval men hunched over flasks and fires trying to turn lead into gold. Historians of science regard alchemy as the precursor of modern chemistry.The dictionary defines it as “a combination of chemistry and magic studied in the Middle Ages, especially the search for a process by which cheaper metals could be turned into gold and silver…” It was part of Jung’s genius, born out of his respect for ancient ways and wisdom traditions, to recognize that the medieval alchemists were about something much more profound than making gold out of lead.            Rather than metallurgical transformation, alchemy is about the process of personal transformation. Lead is symbolic of the basic unconscious state that we’re in when we come into the world, and the gold is the achievement we reach when we have developed in ourselves what Jung called “individuation,” that is, when we have become fully and truly who we are meant to be. This process of change takes many forms, involves many processes and takes us through many phases as we work to individuate. 

Jung and his followers (especially Marie-Louise von Franz) describe the phases of alchemical change using the terms developed by the early alchemists.These medieval researchers were fluent in the scholarly language of the day, Latin, hence the terms show up in forms that are foreign to the ears of most contemporary Americans.            The alchemical change process occurs in four major phases: the nigredo, the albedo, the rubedo and the citrinitas. In this Part II we will define and describe each phase in terms of an individual’s experiences. Then we will apply the phase on the collective level, in a general way. In Part III we will relate the phases to our current reality, with reference to specific events and phenomena we are witnessing now, and then look into the future.

The Nigredo 

   The first of the phases is dark, dismal, a very black time, well-labeled the nigredo, which comes from a Latin word (niger) meaning “black” or “dark.” For the person in this phase, life is not pleasant, as it is full of confusion and bewilderment, disorientation, sickness of spirit and confrontations with the shadow. Jealousy, envy, irritability, anxiety, self-righteousness, greed, melancholy and inflation are just some of the panoply of feelings that show up during this most difficult of the phases.A variety of alchemical processes are part of this time, including:the putrefactio, when we come to recognize some component of our existence is putrid, or rotten, with little or no energy left to feed our life.the mortificatio, “death”—of people, things, parts of ourselves, in a metaphorical or (more rarely) literal sense—which leaves us with a sense of loss and grieving.the calcinatio, “burning” or the “refiner’s fire” spoken of in the Old Testament, the process in which we experience the frustration of our desire nature, with the purpose of purifying or “refining” our will.the solutio, or dissolution of one or more of the elements of our existence that give our life structure, a process during which we are flooded with affect.            These are just a few of the more than dozen processes that alchemists recognized and described. Since each alchemist wrote from his/her own experience, each alchemical text describes the order, sequence and processes differently, making close comparison difficult. But Jung saw the close correlation between their varied descriptions and what he himself experienced in his own development and in that of his patients.

            The nigredo is the phase when we are still operating mostly unconsciously. Our complexes are mostly autonomous in this beginning phase.As a result, we suffer more acutely than in the later phases.

The Albedo           

The term albedo comes from the Latin albus, meaning “white” or “bright.” Things begin to feel lighter, “brighter” in this phase, compared to the previous misery of the nigredo. The work of this phase is to become aware of our “contrasexual side” and make the acquaintance of our “inner partner.”As we wrestle with our complexes and strive to domesticate them, we experience strong passions and bitter hostilities, within and without, in dealings with others (often those closest to us). The challenge is to balance the opposites and achieve an integration of the animus/anima. In the process of the sublimatio, we become more objective, able to rise above situations to see them from a transcendent perspective. In developing a conscious relation to the inner man (for a woman) or woman (for a man), we redeem the body and matter, and come to experience what the great 13th century abbess, Hildegard of Bingen, called benedicta viriditas, the blessedness of being alive.  In the albedo phase we work to bring up from the unconscious (that is, we “redeem”) attitudes and feelings about ourselves, our bodies, our sexuality, the opposite sex and the host of feelings we have around embodiment itself. The purpose here? To come ultimately to a deeper level of wholeness and a greater appreciation of life on the physical plane.

The Rubedo           

The third phase means “reddening” in Latin and just as our face reddens in the process of blushing, so we experience a surge of renewal in the rubedo phase. After confronting the shadow in the nigredo and wrestling with our inner opposite sex in the albedo, we come to the third phase more able to hold the tension of opposites (good and bad, male and female). The process of the sublimatio has led to the development of new attitudes, and the deus absconditus (the hidden god within) becomes known. Through long-term conscious suffering the ego now becomes conscious of the Self: we begin to recognize the wise source of inner guidance. After numerous experiences of “crucifixion” the ego begins, in this rubedo phase, to subordinate itself to an authority higher than it. The Self becomes actualized, rather than just a potential within. And we begin to be able to sustain the paradox of recognizing our divine nature without identifying with it.

            By this point in the spiritual journey life is feeling very different from where we were, and what we were feeling, when we set out in the nigredo phase. By this penultimate phase, life seems to be working better, we feel better—as if we are “getting our act together.” Stay the course and we come to the final phase.

The Citrinitas           

The source of our English word for the yellow-green gemstone “citrine,” citrinitas is the alchemical term for the final phase of transformation, the fulfillment of the opus, or work, the metaphorical “gold.” A new day dawns. A new way of being lies before us, as we recognize ourselves as filii macrocosmi (children of the Universe). Fertilized by spirit, illuminated by repeated transmutations of our inner dross into the “gold” of consciousness, we participate consciously in the process of creation in this final phase. We consciously take up our role as co-creators with the Divine.           

These four phases—nigredo, albedo, rubedo, citrinitas—describe the stages of alchemical change not only on the individual level. Jung recognized that “the collective psyche shows the same pattern of change as the psyche of the individual.”

This being so, collective life would manifest the following:

In the nigredo phase: fires, floods, epidemics and natural disasters, plane crashes and other events that leave hundreds or thousands dead; inflation, in the economic sense of rising prices; the discovery of rot and corruption in the public sphere, in corporations and in government; greed, with the basic motivation being money, with people being “bought” in a variety of ways, and the political system held hostage by the plutocrats or moneyed interests; large segments of the population not understanding what’s going on in the world, experiencing confusion, disorientation, feelings of being “out of the loop,” shut out of public life; sickness of spirit, with many signs of spiritual malaise, e.g. widespread substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual violence; anxiety and irritability, along with a rash of psychosomatic illnesses, a rise in mental illness and more minor forms of madness like “road rage.”

In the albedo phase: confrontations between the sexes; public debates about the role of women in the public sphere; protests and agitation for more equal rights for women and minorities; more push to integrate women and minorities into the mainstream of our collective life

In the rubedo phase: more discussion of unity, the interdependence of all beings (not just human beings), the preciousness of life, a growing reverence for life and Earth, our planet that sustains our life; and the appearance of new attitudes and concerns (e.g. the growing planetary awareness of global warming)

In the citrinitas phase: new ways of being and living that create a world that works for everyone, all beings, not just humans; the rise of a way of living and working that sustains natural systems, that provides spiritual fulfillment and economic justice to all.

Visionaries in indigenous cultures hundreds of years ago have provided descriptions of this phase as a time of: peace (all sources of conflict are gone); union (all recognize that we are one); life directed by the Creator, with everyone understanding the cosmic plan; everyone being able to communicate with everyone and everything else (i.e. telepathy is the usual way communication occurs); a single currency, with no governments; love and joy being experienced all the time.

          In general terms, this is how we might expect the alchemical stages to show up on the collective level. In Part III we get specific. Was Jung right? Can we see actual events in our current reality that might suggest just where we are along the alchemical road map?

Part III: Our Current Situation in an Alchemical Context

            In this part we will examine the 4 alchemical phases with reference to specific events in the daily newspapers that provide us with insights into the phases underway in this transitional time. Then we will consider what the next few years might hold for us,  using alchemy as a guide to the future.

            Pick up the daily newspaper and what do we read about? Major forest fires burning thousands of acres and leaving hundreds of people homeless. Massive hurricanes dissolving beaches, breaking down structures, flooding whole cities. Tens of thousands dying in large earthquakes , and terrorist attacks. Currencies losing their value.] The revelations of corruption at all levels of business and government, as Governors and Senators] are forced from office for malfeasance, bribery, or other “high crimes and misdemeanors;” heads of state castigating other heads of state as “the axis of evil” and refusing to engage them on the world stage; Wall Street tycoons getting huge paychecks, CEOs claiming big bonuses, “golden parachutes” and salaries hundreds of times larger than those of ordinary workers; hot shot “dealmakers” fancying themselves “Masters of the Universe;” confusion, bewilderment, disorientation and melancholy as tens of thousands of people lose their homes in the mortgage crisis; hundreds of young people becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol each year; major banks collapsing, ratcheting up the anxiety level throughout our society.

            Do we need to wonder what is going on? Clearly we are now in the nigredo stage as a society, experiencing the calcinatio (fires), solutio (floods), mortificatio (dying), inflation (both economic and personal), the putrefactio (corruption), confrontation with the shadow (which George Bush projected out in seeing others as “evil”), greed, confusion, sickness of spirit, and anxiety. This is not a good time in our collective reality! Some elements of our society would have us believe it is the beginning of the end, that we will soon witness Armageddon or the Apocalypse.

            But Jung reminds us that the nigredo is not meant to be the end. It is only a phase, the hardest phase, admittedly, but one that we are meant to grow through. Using alchemy as our road map, we can also see signs of the albedo, the phase after the nigredo.

            We saw in 2011, the strong passions and bitter hostilities that are characteristic of the albedo phase in the Obama-Clinton exchanges during the Presidential primaries. Other examples of this were: the hostilities between Sunnis and Shi’ites in Iraq, between Tibetans and Chinese in Tibet, and between the Islamic jihadists and the U.S. military in Afghanistan. There is growing awareness of the need to balance opposites like home and work, work and play, in, for example, the studies of Anne Wilson Schaef and others on the dangers of addictions (e.g. workaholism). In the rise of feminism, gender studies on college campuses, and the women’s rights movement internationally we saw growing attempts, on the collective level, to integrate animus and anima. In the rising awareness of holistic health, eating disorders and the value of diet in health maintenance we see the redemption of body and matter. The popularity of the books by Marion Woodman speaks to the growing concern with the body and its connection to soul. Finally, the environmental movement is the modern form of Hildegard’s benedicta viriditas, the blessedness of “greenness” and life on this planet. But we see after that also the reluctance to change and more extreme right movements to reboot their ego’s, and egoistic view of the world, going back to a time of “Cold war” every where on the planet.

            Signs of the rubedo phase are just emerging in our collective experience. Renewal seems to be showing up in the growing number of people who are now working on healing themselves, including becoming conscious of the unconscious. New attitudes are appearing: there is more respect now being given to indigenous peoples and what they can offer us; more people are waking up to how global capitalism is destroying the planet; reverence is being given to Mother Earth in more places and more ways; the push for peace is growing as more people wake up to the reality that violence never solves anything; we are seeing a more conscious holding of the tension of opposites, as more people recognize the “clash of universalisms” and realize that gravity—and the Source of gravity—truly does work for everyone (even those who profess a different religious belief). As more people “authorize their own lives” they look within for direction and recognize the wisdom that their inner Divinity offers. Finally, we are hearing messages (even in media like television that usually pander to the lowest common denominator) reminding us “we’re all in this together,” and in such venues we are seeing nascent visions of unity. “Nascent” because this phase is just beginning to emerge on the collective level.

            The nigredo, by contrast, is well underway. What does it suggest the next few years are likely to hold for us?

Our Possible Future in an Alchemical Context

            The years ahead are likely to see widespread confusion—times when people really aren’t clear as to what’s happening. Disintegration—where things fall apart—is also likely, in what George Land called the “breakdown” time (which makes possible the “breakthrough” later on). Another likely part of our future is aggression: anger against oneself, as well as with other people. All sorts of base passions are likely to rise up: rage and jealousy, resentment and frustration.

            There is likely to be lots of death. In the mortificatio people experience the death of various aspects of themselves or the death of some important people in their lives, or the death of a phase of life, or the death of a job. Given the current round of layoffs reported daily in the news, we are witnessing lots of mortificatio now. Deaths from fires, earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes and tornados show up on the evening news with distressing regularity. We also see widespread deaths from epidemics.

            There are lots of dangers in the collective form of the nigredo, and these dangers are likely to continue until we have moved out of this phase. There are demonic energies at work, energies from our unreconstructed side, energies from those people in the collective who would cause disintegration and disharmony and who would try to break down whatever is whole and healing. This is part of our confronting the shadow in ourselves and in our culture.

            There is, in this time, lots of projection of the shadow. All the talks of the “axis of evil” accusing each other. We are projecting the shadow out on to these people, rather than recognizing it in ourselves. Unless or until we, as a collective become more reflective and introspective, we are likely to continue to see the shadow outside.

            Another quality of the nigredo phase is emotional outbursts, and it is very likely that we will see further expressions of anger and rage as more people become confused, disoriented and anxious. Many are likely to be highly emotional and volatile.

            More and more people will recognize the old ways are inadequate . In the nigredo, on the individual level, it does eventually dawn on the person that the old way in which s/he has been living probably isn’t working very well anymore. In many cases people at this point fall into psychological depression. On the collective level it is very likely that we will fall into economic depression.

So, for those very much identified with their stuff, there is likely to be a sickness of spirit, manifested perhaps in acute despair. Many people will feel all is lost, all is gone, there is no hope etc. There may be suicides and homicides.

            Illusions are likely to be shattered. People looking to government for solutions will be disappointed and this may lead to uprisings and riots, perhaps even rebellion and revolution. Around the world people are likely to be forced by events to recognize that government does not have the solution. In general, governments are not going to be able to solve our problems. National governments are actually atavisms, that is, at a certain period of history they were appropriate but, as we have evolved collectively, as a global civilization, national governments are no longer appropriate. Over the next 3 or 4 decades there will be growing recognition that national governments are yet another source of divisiveness and problems, being too big to solve local problems and too small to solve global problems.

            There will be other illusions that have to be shattered as well. For example, Americans tend to think that we have the best country in the world, the best systems and all the answers. That illusion definitely has to be dispelled. We’re likely to see the breakdown of the systems that run a country: glitches in the electric grid, problems with transportation—subway systems, roads etc. This (and the enormous rise in the price of petroleum and gas) will lead to widespread disruption in distribution systems and in the transportation of vital resources. In some locales there may be empty food shelves. If you live in an area very near farms and places where people can grow food this may not be as much of a problem. But in many of the major cities there will be problems from disrupted distribution chains.

            The nigredo is a time when there is very little reflection or introspection, because the old mode of orientation to the outer world is still so entrenched. It’s only toward the end of this phase that the individual begins to make a habit of looking within. Then s/he becomes far more reflective and starts to wonder what’s going on at deeper levels. Prior to this the tendency is to try to figure out who can be blamed for the misery the person is experiencing.

            On the collective level the early stage of the nigredo is likely to show up in accusations, of pointing the finger, of fixing blame on somebody or some group or agency of government.

            The nigredo is not a pleasant time and prophecies from many sources warn us that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. In Part I, the last of Jung’s prophetic visions foretold the destruction of most, but not all, of the world. He felt this was 50 years in the future, which means he anticipated some sort of cataclysm in 2011. This date coincided with ancient Mayan prophecies that identify 2012 as the time of a major shift of perception. Some spoke of this as “the end of time,” which might refer to the point at which human beings switch from living mostly out of the left brain (which is time-bound) to right-brain dominance (the right brain operates outside of linear time).

            It will be very important in this nigredo phase, when things are going from bad to worse, that we remember this phase is not the end. It is merely a clearing-out phase. Although there may be mass destruction and global catastrophe, this is not meant to be the end. It is a transitional phase, just one phase (difficult, to be sure) but the necessary breakdown phase. It will clear away what has to be removed so that we can break through to a much better reality.

            The nigredo prepares us for the albedo phase. The albedo is easier than the nigredo. In the individual it is the time when a person begins to confront and deal very consciously with his or her contrasexual side. On the collective level this is likely to take the form of a re-evaluation and a re-appreciation of the feminine. The feminine, and women, will move much more into positions of equality, true equality with the masculine, with men. The feminine perspective will be integrated into all aspects of life. In doing this we will begin to differentiate our capacity to relate to our fellow human beings. We will resist falling into the herd phenomenon, and we will also have to work at transcending “bi-polar thinking,” i.e. seeing things in dichotomies, or the “us-them” way of thinking. In bi-polar thinking, it’s man versus woman. Rather than this “either-or” mode, we will have to learn to think more inclusively, with a “both-and” approach. As we learn to hold the tension of opposites we will see the emergence of what Jung called “the transcendent function,” the function that reconciles these opposites into the “mystic marriage,” where the animus and anima, the masculine and feminine, are integrated.

            Given our thousands of years of history of bi-polar thinking, this new way will not be easy. It thwarts the will of the ego, which isn’t used to thinking like this. It isn’t used to treating the opposite gender in this way so there will be some struggle (especially for men),but it’s not going to be as difficult as the nigredo phase was. We can also anticipate that with the re-appreciation of the feminine will come a revering of Mother Nature, of planet Earth, and all things associated with The Mother. A real ecological consciousness will arise in people as part of the albedo phase on the collective level.

            The albedo will eventually lead to the rubedo. This will be a breakthrough time. On the individual level it is a time when all the scattered pieces of life are accepted and integrated and we come to sense within the archetype of wholeness that, in the ancient world, was called the Anthropos. This is also the time when the body and matter are spiritualized. In other words, this is the phase when the individual recognizes that matter is not primary.

            In our materialistic culture now we definitely operate under the assumption that matter is what’s real. This is an error, and people will begin to recognize this error in the next few years, during the nigredo phase, as their identification with matter and money and outer things falls away. The point of all the destruction in the nigredo phase is to get us to recognize that it is not matter that is primary: spirit is primary. We are fundamentally spiritual beings. While we are on earth we are having a physical experience. But we are not essentially matter. So, on the collective level in the rubedo phase, spirit will become recognized as primary and we will relinquish possessive attitudes. We won’t be so focused on “our” stuff; we won’t feel things have to be our “own.” Eventually there is likely to be complete sharing.

            During the rubedo phase people will come more and more to recognize their inner divinity, the divine spark within them. In this stage of enlightenment matter will come to be sanctified. The Earth will be seen as sacred and we will begin to give respect to indigenous peoples’ sacred places and spaces. There will much more of a push for global peace and unity—the recognition that all peoples are in this world together.

            In the final phase, the citrinitas, there will be no conflict. Peace will be the norm. The Hopi prophesy that everyone will be able to communicate telepathically, with animals as well as other humans. All limiting thought will be gone. Everyone will understand the cosmic plan and everyone will recognize our divinity as human beings. We will not believe in separation between humans and the world, or between people and their Creator. In other words, the current idea in Western civilization that humans are somehow separate from and superior to Nature—that they have “dominion” over Nature—will be recognized as an extremely destructive way of thinking and will be gone. Life will be directed by the Self (with a capital S). Life will not be ego-driven. The technologies that we use will serve the cosmos and the living Earth, and will not be driven by greedy corporations that have to constantly push stuff on to us to continue to expand their bottom line. Technologies will be very Earth-friendly. Love and joy will be experienced all the time. There will be no governments because there will be no need for governments. As Locke and Hobbes remind us, governments derive from a certain attitude or vision about the nature of human nature, and that, of course, will be seen in a very different way in the citrinitas phase, when the adaptation to a cosmic consciousness will be complete.

Conclusion

            Why should we be hopeful as we look ahead? For several reasons: first, we must recognize that despair is disempowering, and the only thing that despair produces is more despair. The nigredo is likely to be a difficult time, but we must not fall into despair. The nigredo is just one phase and the others will be easier.

            We should also remember that we have choices. John Perkins, the author of The World Is As You Dream It, reminds us that by the visions we set for reality we determine the kind of reality we have. We can choose to dream a positive dream or a positive vision for the future and the dream will make it so. If we choose to dream a negative dream, or if we choose to fall into despair, it’s going to worsen the conditions around us, and we could possibly put an end to the planet. This is a choice and it’s our choice to make. Each person counts here.

            In The Undiscovered Self, which is one of the books Jung wrote for a lay audience, he said that each individual has to recognize that he or she could very well be the “makeweight,” that is, the crucial figure that tips us into a whole new mindset. None of us knows who this crucial figure might be: it could very well be any one of us. If you are reading this blog posting, you are hereby put on notice that you count and you could be the crucial figure who tips us into a new reality.

            “How do you think we’re going to get there?” In response go back to 1989. There are a lot of people that don’t remember that period. But in 1989 there was a massive transformation of Europe and not a single shot was fired. There was no violence at all, but at some point the countries of Eastern Europe recognized that they were no longer under subjugation. They could leave the Soviet bloc and the Soviet Union fell apart. Now how did that happen? It happened because there was a fundamental shift of attitude on the part of most of the people. In time, people are going to wake up—they will make a major shift in attitude—and will recognize that the reality we have now is fundamentally unsustainable, extremely unjust and ecologically destructive. And in this recognition, our current reality will loose its legitimacy.

            There are a whole series of indigenous cultures, in addition to medieval alchemy, that provide us with descriptions of what we are going through now. They describe the lay of the land in this phase of our journey. These cultures and alchemy, like ancient maps, note “Here be dragons.” “This is a danger spot.” “This is going to be a difficult interval.

Look :St George and Al kidhr: Kill your dragon

They lay out forks in the road. These forks are choice that we must make. As Yogi Berra said, “When you get to the fork in the road, take it!” But there are a lot of people in our culture now, and certainly in the years ahead, who will take that fork but then they’ll wander around looking for the knife and the spoon as well. In other words, they’re not going to make a choice. They’re going to be dithering. They will be very reluctant to move on to a new, more viable reality.

Look here: The Choice for Spiritual Ethics,Virtues and Uprightness in our times

            Native cultures and alchemy describe the destination that Nature intends us to reach. In other words, the fork that we are meant to choose is toward a better world, a world of peace, a world of environmental reclamation, a world of harmony, a world of wholeness. This is the fork that we’re meant to choose. As Jung would remind us, our role as individuals is to become more conscious of our responsibility, to come to recognize who we are, what we are meant to be, how we are meant to serve, and how we individually can work for a world that works for everyone.

            The culture today would keep us disempowered. It wants you to be locked down into fear—fear of terrorists, fear of illegal aliens, fear of losing your job, fear of losing your house—all sorts of fears. You can choose to go down that path but your reality and your future will not be nice. You can also choose to recognize what the authorities are trying to do: people that are fearful are very much easier to control. Then you can say to yourself, “I’m not going to buy that! I’m not going to allow the powers that be to disempower me! I am going to claim my choice, as an individual, to begin to serve the new, better reality which is coming.” Armed with the road map of alchemy and Jung’s prophetic visions, you can be prepared for the challenges and exciting future that is in store for us.

Look also: Jung: “The world hangs on a thin thread…”

Read here :

Civilization in Transition (C. G. Jung )

Psychology and alchemy (C.G.Jung)

The Prayer of Brother Klaus

Nicholas of Flüe (German: Nikolaus von Flüe; 1417 – 21 March 1487) was a Swiss hermit and ascetic who is the patron saint of Switzerland.[1] He is sometimes invoked as Brother Klaus. A farmer, military leader, member of the assembly, councillor, judge and mystic, he was respected as a man of complete moral integrity. He is known for having fasted for over twenty years. Brother Klaus’s counsel to the Diet of Stans (1481) helped prevent war between the Swiss cantons.

500 years ago, the brother Niklaus von Flue saved the Swiss Confederation from collapse in the so-called “Stanser Kommommnis” and entered the history of Switzerland as the “Father of the Fatherland”. Niklaus von Flue brought it from farmer to captain, councilman and judge and then lived as a hermit for 20 years. Winfried Abel, a young, poetically gifted pastor in Kasset, has attempted to decrypt the visual testament of Brother Klaus, and we are astonished and grateful to find out what God foreshadowed and revealed to the little ones. Here is bread for the soul, according to which the person threatened by the emptying of meaning is starving as never before. A Message of Peace for our Times!

Of the many spiritual insights Nicholas received in his visions, one, in particular, is reproduced often in a reduced logographic format, as a mystical wheel.[24] Nicholas described his vision of the Holy Face at the center of a circle with the tips of three swords touching the two eyes and mouth, while three others radiate outwards in a sixfold symmetry reminiscent of the Seal of Solomon. A cloth painted with the image, known as the meditation prayer cloth[25] associates the symbol with six episodes from the life of Christ: the mouth of God at the Annunciation, the eyes spying Creation both in its prelapsarian innocence and redemption from the Fall at Calvary, while in the inward direction the betrayal by his disciple Judas in the Garden of Gethsamene points to the crown of the Pantocrator sitting in the judgment seat, the glad tidings of the Nativity scene’s “Glory to God in the Highest and Peace to his people on Earth” echoes in the ear on the right of the head, while the memorial of the Lord’s Supper “This is my body, which will be given for you” at the prayers of consecration in the Divine Liturgy of the Mass echoes to the ear on the left of the head.

These six medallions contain additional symbols of acts of Christian kindness:

  1. two crutches suggest Visiting the sick as a work of mercy
  2. hiker’s walking stick with travel pouch suggests Hospitality to strangers
  3. a loaf of bread, fish and a pitcher of water and wine represent Feed the hungry, quench the thirsty
  4. chains indicate Care for the incarcerated
  5. Christ’s garments evoke Clothe the naked
  6. a coffin reminds us to Bury the dead

This visual interpretation encapsulates the personal piety of rural peasants, many illiterate, for whom salvation history was expressed in these crucial aspects of God’s loving relationship with us and the Christian duty to the love of neighbor. Sanctifying grace flows from the Paschal Victim on the Cross, an image Nicholas described in his vision by the stream,[26] where the Tabernacle sits atop a spring that flows forth covering the earth, echoing the rivers flowing from the Temple in Ezekiel’s visions. Such profound insights on the allegorical,[27] anagogical and tropological senses of scripture are often lost in modern biblical exegesis that focuses too narrowly on the literal sense, the historical-critical method. One vision he had between 1474, the year the monk Hans von Waltheim [de] visited him, and 1478, when Albrecht von Bonstetten.[10] He was frightened by the vision of a glowing face and adopted a bewildered appearance which also shocked von Bonstetten.[10] The medieval biographer Heinrich Wölflin wrote that other visitors were also frightened but there is no other report about this.[28]

The Prayer of Brother Klaus:

My Lord and my God,

take everything from me,

which hinders me to you.

My Lord and my God,

give everything to me,

which helps me towards you

My Lord and my God,

take me and just give

me completely to you o Lord.

Amen

look hereThe prayer book of the holy Brother Klaus

Saint Niklaus von Flüe, the patron saint of Switzerland, was held in the highest esteem by both CG Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz. Jung even declared him the Patron Saint of Psychotherapy, due to the Saint’s deep inward reflections and profound experiences. His visions reportedly began while still in his mother’s womb and continued until his death. One of his later visions was a terrifying image of the face of God. Von Franz saw Niklaus as the shadow brother of Christ and wrote of him as the alchemical Anthropos, a universal man. His visions were an evolution of Christian mysticism.

Carl Jung on Brother Klaus living without material sustenance for twenty years

Carl Jung on the Vision of Brother Klaus

The Miraculous Fast of Brother Klaus

A Sufi Saint about Brother Klaus:

Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Al-Haqqani An-Naqshibandi, Sohbat from January, 1991

“I was passing through Switzerland and I was visiting a holy man through Switzerland. According to traditions, he was a very simple person, never belonging to emperors or kings. Simple and poor person, living through forest, far away from people, running away from people, running to his Lord’s service.

Running to be able for his Lord’s servanthood better. He was asking servanthood for his Lord. Perhaps, 300 years or more, he passed away. But yet, he has been respected and visited. Because his Lord dressed him honor from His Divine Presence. And it is someone that belongs the nation of Christians.

But he was a true believer in his Lord and in His, Almighty’s prophets and His Beloved Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Sayyidina Muhammad, peace be upon him. Now that I am speaking for him, he’s sending to me to say that “I was follower the Seal of Prophets also. Don’t think that, that honor given to me only to be follower Jesus Christ.” That was the reason he was saying “that I was escaping from people away. And blessings that coming with me, it was a protection for this country. And so many years, through centuries, I was a guarantee for the peace, to be peace in Switzerland.”

Retreat at Bruder Klaus in Flüeli-Ranft – june 2018

The noble Mantis: Wisdom of the San people

The San are the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa, where they have lived for at least 20 000 years. See also: SAN PEOPLE: THE WORLD MOST ANCIENT RACE

The term San is commonly used to refer to a diverse group of hunter-gatherers living in Southern Africa who share historical and linguistic connections. The San were also referred to as Bushmen, but this term has since been abandoned as it is considered derogatory. There are many different San groups – they have no collective name for themselves, and the terms ‘Bushman’, ‘San’, ‘Basarwa’ (in Botswana) are used. The term, ‘bushman’, came from the Dutch term, ‘bossiesman’, which meahttps://maypoleofwisdom.com/san-people-the-world-most-ancient-race/nt ‘bandit’ or ‘outlaw’.

The Bushman or San people of Africa have a fascination for the Praying Mantis and love this small insect. The mantis created many things and appears in numerous myths. He can be foolish, wise or helpful, The Koi San people of Southern Africa worshipped the praying mantis. They believed that he gave them words and fire.

As they are also small people they appreciate the Mantis’ place in nature. Although, whenever they walk on the African landscape and feel ’the animal eye upon them’, it was the small Mantis that they worship and neither of the Big Five.  They converse and weave stories about the Mantis, see things through its eyes and learn to value the little things in life.

Although Mantis is a type of San ‘super-being’, the Namibian San / Bushmen do not regard him as a god, like the moon and sun. Indeed, he is all too human and in many ways personifies the San himself.

praying

He is a kind of dream Bushman, and resembles the real mantis, with his small wedge-shaped face and intelligent look. The figures which primitive artists painted on the walls of their rock shelters, prance along like Mantis himself. Mantis is very much a family man and likes to have his folk around him.

Hyrax

His wife is Dassie, the rock hyrax. His son is young Mantis, very like his resourceful father.

Then there is Porcupine who is an adopted daughter, whose real father is a weird monster called the All-Devourer, with whom she is too frightened to live.

Porcupine

Porcupine is married to a being who is neither human nor animal, but a part of the rainbow, called Kwammanga.

They have two sons, one called Kwammanga after his father, and the other Mongoose or, as he is sometimes known, Ichneumon.

mongoose

The latter is a bossy young character who is always putting his grandfather Mantis in his place.

Mantis also has a sister, a lovely lady called Blue Crane, of whom he is most fond.

blue crane

So, this is the family of Mantis, and not all that strange a family, if compared to some human families

Praying Mantis – Patience and Wisdom

Follow Mantis

To “Follow Mantis” means to honor your true nature, your highest self – and let it direct you. When a praying mantis comes to visit, its message may be one of a spiritual nature. Mantis asks that we take a moment to pause, reflect, and become aware of our surroundings. Has life gotten a little out of hand? Feeling overwhelmed? Gaze into the eyes of a praying mantis and let him/her teach you how to still the mind and go within.

The First Bushman

Water in a desert country is so precious that for those who depend on it, it can assume divine properties. To the Bushman water is the ancient symbol of life. In it he can revitalize himself an make a fresh start. His legendary hero, Mantis, appears at the time of the beginning of the world, when the face of the earth was covered with water.

Mantis was carried over the tumult of the dark and turbulent water by a bee (bees, as honey makers, are an image of wisdom). The bee, however, became warier and colder as he searched for solid ground and Mantin felt heavier and heavier. He flew slower and sank down towards the water. At last, while floating on the water, the bee saw a great white flower, half-open, awaiting the sun’s first rays. He laid Mantis in the heart of the flower and planted within him the seed of the first human being. Then the bee died. But as the sun rose and warmed the flower, Mantin awoke and there, from the seed left by the bee, the first Bushman was born.

Mantis, Ostrich and Fire

In addition to life, Mantis also brought the first fire to the people. Before this, they ate their food raw, just as they killed it, like the leopard and the lion, and they slept in their shelters at night, with no cheering light to brighten the long dark hours.

Mantis had noticed that whenever Ostrich went to eat, his food smelt different and delicious. So one day he crept close to Ostrich to observe him as he ate. He saw Ostrich furtively take some fire from beneath his wing, and dip his food into it. When he had finished eating, he carefully tucked the fire back under his wing, and walked off.

Mantis knew that Ostrich would not give him any fire, so he decided to make a plan. One day he went to visit Ostrich. ‘Come,’ he called, ‘I have found a tree with delicious yellow plums on it.’ Ostrich was delighted. He began to eat the plums that were easiest to reach. ‘No, higher, higher! The best ones are right at the top,’ Mantis urged him.

As Ostrich stood up on tiptoe and spread his wings to balance himself, Mantis snatched some of the fire from beneath his wing and ran off with it. This was how he brought fire to the Bushmen. Since then, Ostrich, terribly ashamed, has never flown and keeps his wings pressed to his sides, to preserve the little fire he has left. According to the Bushmen, the ostrich has always been rather an odd fellow. When the female makes her nest in a hollow in the warm sand, she lays 20 to 30 round, creamy eggs, but invariably leaves one outside. Why?

Because she and her husband are so busy brooding on the theft of their fire, that they can be very absent minded. She is even liable to forget she is sitting on a clutch of eggs, and so she puts one the outside of the nest, just to remind herself and her husband, that they have eggs in the nest..

The mantis, the eland and the meerkats

The /Xam were a southern San (Bushman) group living in the central Cape Colony, South Africa. Prominent among the /Xam myths recorded by the philologist Wilhelm Bleek in the 1870s is a series of episodes concerning the adventures of the Mantis (/Kaggen), the southern San trickster-deity. The principal episodes include the Mantis’s creation of the Eland from a shoe, the death of the Eland, the Mantis’s fight with the Meerkats (suricates: small furry mammals), and the Mantis’s creation of the moon. At the heart of the myth lie the negotiation of social relations between affines and a specific conflict resolution mechanism. This mechanism was brought into play to deal with internal social stress in the years of contact with Bantu-speaking agropastoralists and, later, white settlers. To provide an understanding of the functioning of this mechanism, the author first briefly outlines the cosmological stage on which many southern San myths were played out and the kinship relations within the Mantis’s family. He argues that the performances of ‘The Mantis, the Eland and the Meerkats’, especially those in which the narrator developed the shamanic episodes, served to reproduce acceptance of the key role of shamans in coping with social tensions and was one of the ways in which shamans consolidated and increased their power.

THE MANTIS, THE ELAND AND THE MEERKATS myth
The Mantis stole /Kwammang-a ’s shoe and put it into a waterhole. When /Kwammang-a missed his shoe, he asked his wife, the Porcupine (the Mantis’s adopted daughter), about it. She replied that she knew nothing about the matter.
Then, at the waterhole, the Mantis made an Eland out of the shoe and fed the animal on honey that he should have taken home to his family. /Kwammang-a was angry when he missed his shoe, and he told his son, the young Ichneumon, to spy on the Mantis to see what he was doing with the honey.
The next day, the Ichneumon accompanied the Mantis, and, whilst pretending to sleep beneath a kaross, he saw him call the Eland out of the waterhole. When the Eland came up to the Mantis, he wetted the animal’s hair and smoothed it with honey. When the Ichneumon saw this, he jumped up and cried out, “This is the creature who is eating the honey! The Eland is drinking the honey!’ The Eland went back into the reeds, and the Mantis and the Ichneumon returned home. The Ichneumon told /Kwammang-a what he had seen and said that /Kwammang-a should collect honey and take it to the waterhole. Then, if he moistened the honey and called, he would see the Elands He did so, calling out what the Ichneumon had told him to call:
‘/Kwammang-a’s shoe’s heel!’ The Eland jumped out of the reeds and trotted up to /Kwammang-a. As it drank the water and the honey, he shot it. It sprang back and ran off to die.
Later, the Mantis went to the waterhole and found that his Eland was no longer in the reeds; he wept. He saw blood on the ground. He returned home. Meanwhile, /Kwammang-a went to Ki-ya-koe and the Meerkats, and together they tracked and found the dead Eland. /Kwammang-a took his arrow out of the carcass and returned home. While the Meerkats were cutting up the Eland, the Mantis came and pierced open the Eland’s gall, thus angering the Meerkats. The meerkats then fought him and threw him on the Eland’s horns. The Mantis fled.
At home the Mantis lay down because his head ached. He trembled, and the tree on which the Meerkats had placed the Eland’s meat and their clothes came out of the ground, flew through the sky and came down near the Mantis’s head, thus making a shelter for him.
The Meerkats returned to their home naked, and the women asked them why they had brought home neither eland meat nor their quivers. Read more here

Way of the Bushman

Told in their own words, these teachings reveal how the Bushmen are able to receive direct transmissions of God’s love in the form of the universal life force, n/om. The individuals who are filled with this force describe it as an awakened, energized feeling of love that inspires a spontaneous and heightened ecstatic awareness that opens mystical perception. Having your heart transfixed by this force enables true healing and spiritual growth to occur. Experiencing the force in your entire being, through a vision of “God’s egg”, awakens deep spiritual wisdom and extraordinary healing gifts. Those who “own the egg” are blessed with the ability to have direct communication with the Divine, a “rope to God,” and can communicate with others for all “ropes” are connected.

Conveying the deep love that is the dominant emotion of Bushman spirituality, the book explores tribal legends and teaching tales, the importance of dreams and encounters with animals, the origins of their dances, such as the giraffe dance, and specific rituals and ceremonies, including puberty rites for boys and girls.

“As the elder teachers of the Ju’/hoan Bushman (San) people, we hold the most enduring traditional wisdom concerning healing and spiritual experience. This book is a testimony of our ecstatic ways. We happily share our basic teachings about spirituality and healing with those whose hearts are sincerely open.” Read here

All africa within Us”

Sir Laurens van der Post tells his story about his first encounter with Africa after the War. Produced by Jonathan Stedall and filmed by Paul Bellinger for BBC Television ‘ World About Us’

In this moving sequel to The Lost World of the Kalahari van der Post records everything he has learned of the life and lore of Africa’s first inhabitants. The Heart of the Hunter is a journey into the mind and spirit of the Bushmen, a people outlawed by the advance of blacks and whites alike. read here

The distinguished explorer and writer recounts his rediscovery of the Bushmen, outcast survivors from Stone Age Africa. Faced with constant attack from all the peoples who followed them, the last of the Bushmen have retreated to the scorching depths of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. After a gruelling trek, van der Post finds the Bushmen, thriving in one of the world’s most inhospitable landscapes, with their physical peculiarities, their cave art and their joyful music-making intact. Read Here

In his classic A Mantis Carol, Laurens van der Post tells the true story of an episode in his life that lead him from his home in London to New York City in search of one of the “First People” of his native Africa. Hans Taaibosch, a Bushman from Africa working the circus in modern America, is the focus of this remarkable tale, which begins with a recurring dream of a praying mantis and follows a web of coincidences to a deeply moving conclusion. Read here

Southern Praying Mantis (Chinese: 南派螳螂) is a Chinese martial art originating with the Hakka people. It is most closely associated with Hakka-origin styles such as Southern Dragon Kung Fu and Bak Mei.

Man’s Fate and God’s Choice – An Agenda for Human Transformation

The world today is facing a bewildering array of problems stemming from human behavior, which is now both brazen and bizarre, narcissistic and nihilistic. Those who are searching for a way out are daring to ask fundamental questions:

What is man’s rightful  place in the cosmos? Are we a doomed species? Is God becoming weary of mankind? How should we synthesize human effort and divine grace?

In Man’s Fate and God’s Choice , Bhimeswara Challa shares his comprehensive study of the human way of life and suggests that the very paradigm of our awareness, comprehension and thinking does not address the root of all problems. Indeed that is the principal problem. The choice before mankind, he says, is either to stagnate and die as a ‘human’ caterpillar, or be transformed and soar as an ‘angelic’ butterfy.

….Stagnate as a ‘creepy caterpillar’ or transform into a ‘beauteous butterfly– is the seminal choice before mankind, and every one of us. In this setting, the book raises some fundamental questions: What is man’s rightful place in the cosmos and his manifest destiny on earth? Why are we so self-righteously self-destructive? Are we a doomed species? Or ‘divine’ beings struggling to overcome the hubris of the human intellect? Is God getting weary of mankind? How should we synergize human effort and Divine Grace? The book posits that any betterment in human behavior needs a cathartic change at the deepest levels. That requires diluting the dominance of the mind and reawakening the long-dormant intelligence of the human heart.

To meet that challenge, we need minimum numbers, a ‘critical mass’ to create self-sustained momentum for transformation through consciousness change. And every single human of this generation should behave in such a way that he or she is that single person whose transformation could make the decisive species-scale difference. The book offers a menu of ideas and an agenda of action. This book could be itself become an input to mobilize that very ‘critical mass’ it advocates for human transformation. Well-planned and cohesively written, the book is noteworthy for its delightful blend of information and arguments, and reveals the depth of the author’s understanding of the human predicament…

Man’s Fate and God’s Choice , a book of a rare genre, incisively covers an array of issues and proposes an agenda of action, blending scripture and science, that could reverse our drift towards premature extinction.Bhimeswara Challa is a ‘double-retiree’: he retired from the Indian Administrative Service in 1983 and from the United Nations in 1996. Over a career spanning nearly forty years of professional work, Bhimeswara Challa has served in multiple capacities, from the grassroots to the global level, and has travelled extensivly. Alongside, he has also been a part-time but passionate writer, having published to two novels in his mother tongue (Telugu), as well as numerous articles on a broad range of subjects in newspapers and journals, in India, UK, and USA. Read here

The War Within – Between Good and Evil (Reconstructing Money, Morality and Mortality)

The human has always prided himself as an exceptional ‘moral species’ but has always been haunted by two questions: ‘Why am I not good when I want to be; ‘why do I do bad when I don’t want to’. This is at the heart of what scriptures and sages have long alluded to as the eternal internal struggle-between good and evil – that wages in the human consciousness. The book posits that much of our confusion and angst stems from our inability to recognize the ramifications of this ‘war’ between two sides of our own ‘self’. It is because we are ignoring this ‘war’ between two sides of our own ‘self’. It is because we are ignoring this war that we are losing all other wars of the world. That ignorance is the primary source of all the horrors, malevolence, and violence that fill us with so much dread. But a ‘favorable’ outcome is possible only if the forces of goodness are aided to get an upper hand consistently – and that calls for two cathartic changes: consciousness-change by inducing a turn from the mind to the heart; and contextual-change, by radically reconstructing the roles of morality, money, and mortality in our everyday lives. The book offers a menu of insights and options we all can use to tilt the scales in the war waging inside each of us. Read here