The World Illusion, Truth, and Literal Facts

Traditional Wisdom teaches that the material world is an illusion from which we will all someday awaken. What does this mean?

I have not reached Enlightenment, and anyone reading this who has reached Enlightenment already knows the answer(s) to this. From an Unenlightened state, we can not fully understand this. The World Illusion seems very real to us, and indeed, it should. In the Late Iron Age, we are firmly entrenched in the material world, so the material world is more real to us than ever before.

Yet, every Tradition teaches that there are worlds other than the material world. There are worlds that are higher and those that are lower than that which we live in. The Christian Tradition simplifies this greatly by calling everything higher than the material world Heaven and everything lower than it Hell. From a Traditionalist perspective, there are many Heavens (places above the material world) and many Hells (places below the material world). All of these worlds are a part of manifestation and Creation, and all will eventually return to the One at the inbreathing at the end of time. Any state other than reunion with the One is temporary, even Paradise.

From an Unenlightened state, however, our understanding of this can only be a theoretical understanding. Even to talk about the inbreathing at the end of time is not really accurate, as time itself is a part of the World Illusion. Because we are bound in space and time, we really can not understand that which is not bound in space and time. For this reason, we have been given Mythos and stories. These Mythos and stories are told as if they were in space and time, so that we can understand them, but the Truth is beyond space and time. That is the meaning behind the statement, “The Tao that can be spoken is not the True Tao.”

Literal facts are details about the material world. History tells what happened in space and time in the context of physicality. Literal facts can be true or false within the context of the World Illusion, but they are not Truth so far as the Reality that exists beyond the material world. Filianist Scripture contains a Creation Mythos, which we believe to be True, or more accurately, we believe it to tell the story of Truth in a way that we can understand it in this day and age. We believe it to be the Only Truth, which means that we believe it tells us enough for us to live our lives and attain Liberation; however, we also believe that other True Creation Mythos exist, and are also the Only Truth which can lead to Liberation. We do not believe that this story itself as it is told in our Scripture happened in space and time in the material world, nor do we believe that any True Creation Mythos could have happened in space and time.

GuanYin4This being said, the material world is a reflection of the spiritual world, and what happens in physicality is a reverberation of the Truth. An example of this is the Mythos of the Sacrifice of the Daughter, which is found in almost all Traditions in one form or another. Filianst Scripture tells a version of this Mythos. The Sacrifice of Quan Yin is a different telling of the story, but it is the same story. The Daughter descending to Hell and dying and the vow of the bodhisattva to remain in the physical world until the “last blade of grass” is redeemed is the same sacrifice told of in a different way.

Modern Christianity teaches that a person by the name of Jesus lived and died at a specific place and time and was resurrected. It has been noted, and rightfully so, that this story is not new to Christianity and that the God Sacrifice is found everywhere in many different Traditions. From a Traditionalist perspective, if the historical story has relevance, it is because it is a reflection of the True Story, which happened outside of space and time. It may have happened in the material world or it may not have, but if it only happened in the material world in time and space, than it would not be a story of Truth, but merely one of historical fact. From this perspective, the question is not whether or not the actual events happened in history, but whether the Story itself rises to the level of Mythos, and thus able to lead to Liberation and Truth.

What does this mean for our lives within the physical world as time and space bound creatures? Does this mean that what we do in the physical world does not matter? Filianism teaches that there is a balance. It is neither world affirming nor world denying. We believe that the material world is a beautiful gift from Our Mother, the Creator God, and our relation to it should be that of humble appreciation and gratitude. We should enjoy what we have been given, and do our best to live the life that we have been given striving to manifest our True Selves, which in the context of manifestation, are our best selves. On the other hand, we try to remember that this world is not all that there is, and to avoid excessive entanglement within it.

Our thoughts and actions in the material world do have an effect on our souls, which we believe are eternal. We can not be permanently separated from Our Mother, but we can experience separation. Within manifestation, there is Light and Dark, and Good and Evil. On one hand, even Evil is a necessary part of Creation and will return to the Mother in the inbreathing at the end of time; on the other hand, Evil also represents profound separation from Our Mother, and from a Filianist perspective, as well as a general Traditionalist perspective, is something to be avoided. This is a paradox and cannot be understood from an Unenlightened state.

New Site: The Stars In Their Courses

I have started a new site which will be focused primarily upon Astrology, and in particular, Astrology as a Traditional Sacred Science. This site will continue to explore areas of Feminine Essentialist philosophy and metaphysics; however, on the new site, I will be delving more deeply into the specific discipline of astrology.

Here is the link to the new site:

The Stars In Their Courses: Astrology as a Traditional Sacred Science

About Eclipses

As we are in the middle of eclipse season, it seemed to be a good time to talk about eclipses.  Eclipse season is the period of time in between a pair (or trio) of eclipses.  Generally, each year has two eclipse seasons, with at least one solar and one lunar eclipse within a few weeks of each other.  Physically, these are the new and full moons which occur near the North and South Nodes, or the head and tail of the dragon.  Metaphysically, the lunar light blocks the solar, and as the lunar is dependent upon the solar, her own light becomes blocked as well.

With this understanding, it is easy to see why eclipses have been traditionally seen as evil omens.  Modern Western rationalist scholarship teaches that this view is based on a naive superstition that the sun (or moon) would never return.  Given the incredible detail in which the Ancients charted the heavens, including the timing of eclipses, this view strains credulity.

In addition to coming in pairs (or trios), each eclipse is part of a larger family of eclipses, known as a Saros Series.  Saros Series are 12 to 15 centuries long, with an eclipse from the Series touching down approximately every 18 years.  While Solar and Lunar Eclipses each have their own Saros Series, they come in pairs (or trios) that touch down together.

The most recent Solar Eclipse which occurred shortly before the Vernal Equinox is from Saros Series 120, which was born on May 27, 933 AD, and which will have its last eclipse on July 7, 2195.  The paired Lunar Eclipse, which will occur on April 4, 2015, is from Saros Series 132, which was born on May 12, 1492, and which will have its last eclipse on June 26, 2754.  As you can see, the Solar Saros Series is older than the Lunar Saros Series.  Prior the birth of the younger Lunar 132, Solar Saros 120 was paired with Lunar Saros 94, which was born on May 9, 320 and had its last eclipse on June 6, 1582.

When one Saros Series is in its last eclipses, a new Saros Series is born to replace it.  When there are three eclipses in a season, one of the Saros Series is elderly, the Saros Series of the other luminary is in its prime, and the third Saros Series is in its infancy.

Queen-Isabella-and-Christopher-ColumbusFor astrologers who study Mundane Astrology, or the astrology of world events, each Saros Series can be linked to historical themes with long pedigrees.  Those familiar with U.S. history will likely recognize the year of the birth of the current Lunar Saros Series, 1492.  Interestingly enough, it was during the eclipse season that Christopher Columbus signed the contract with Spain and was given the commission to equip his fleet.  This was the expedition that led him to “discover” the Americas.  That season began with an eclipse from Lunar Saros 94 on April 12, 1492.  Next, on April 26, 1492, there was a Solar Eclipse from Saros 120.  The season ended with the first eclipse from Lunar Saros 132 on May 12, 1942.

On April 17, 1492, Christopher Columbus signed the contract with Spain to search for the Indies, and on April 30, 1492, he is given his commission to equip the royal fleet.  Also on April 30, Spain announced that it was expelling all Jewish people from the country.

Interestingly enough, the second eclipse season from that same year occurred between October 5, 1492, with Lunar Saros 99 and October 21, 1492 with Solar Saros 125.  It was during this period of time, Mr. Columbus “discovered” several places in the Americas.

A detailed analysis of the meaning of these events is beyond the scope of this article, but I think that it is safe to say that despite apparent material benefits, there was also Darkness surrounding these events.  One can not scratch the surface of historical records of subsequent events without uncovering horrors and cruelty.  On the other hand, I think that it is a good illustration of the effect of eclipses in general.  On a material level, what will actually happen during an Eclipse season can be complicated, and might even seem fortunate.  On the other hand, it will be laced with Darkness and poison, which may or may not be immediately apparent.

The good news is that from eclipse lore throughout the world, the effects of an eclipse can be avoided if proper precautions are taken.  Indeed, one of traditional duties of astrologers was to predict the timing of eclipses so that these precautions could be taken.  These precautions included staying indoors, fasting, covering wells, and most of all, avoiding viewing eclipses.  Today, eclipses are announced and filmed for people to watch over the Internet.  This seems particularly risky on a soul level.

The current eclipse season in quite interesting in its timing.  The Solar Eclipse occurred just before the Spring Equinox.  For Filianists, it occurred on the day in which Hiatus is observed.  A detailed article about the Solar Eclipse and Hiatus observance can be found here.  In short, for Filianists, Hiatus the day (or days) that ritually do not exist, and which has the same ritual symbolism as an Eclipse.

Physically, the Solar Eclipse occurred at 29 degrees of Pisces, rather than 0 degrees of Aries.  This is very important.  A Solar Eclipse at 0 degrees Aries, which is the beginning of the astrological new year, would have been particularly ominous, I think.  At 29 degrees, it still occurred during the old astrological year, and at the very end of the year at that, giving it much less impact.

Also interesting is that the paired Lunar Eclipse will occur on April 4, 2015, which for Western Christians is Holy Saturday, the day in between Good Friday and Easter, which also has the same ritual symbolism of an Eclipse.

In the modern world, it may seem difficult to protect ourselves from the effects of eclipses.  World events intrude upon our lives whether we want them or not.  Still, I think it is possible to take some basic precautions.  First and foremost, it is wise to avoid viewing eclipses at all, whether physically or on the internet.  Ritual warding and expelling of evil according to one’s tradition is also a good idea.  Also, it is good to be careful of any “opportunities” that present themselves during an eclipse season.  Even if they seem fortunate, they may be quite costly on a soul level.  Additionally, it is wise to back off from any conflict during this time, as it may be being fueled by the storm of eclipse season.  In general, it seems best to avoid anything during this season that can wait until the season is over.

The True Meaning of Evolution

I think that one of the most difficult Essentialist teachings for Modern people is its teaching on the subject of Evolution.  Particularly troubling is the notion that the motion is of decline, rather than progress.  In the West, we are educated in the Pseudo-Mythos of the forward progress of humanity, particularly in terms of knowledge of the material world and technology.  From an Essentialist standpoint, however, increased knowledge of and interest in the material world and increased technology are signs of decline, not progress.

spiral timeTechnology comes about as a compensation for our decreased mental, physical, and spiritual capacity, and from a Traditionalist perspective is a sign of decline, not progress.  Writing, for example, came about because of a decline in memory and the decay of oral tradition.  We can see this decline in our own lifetime.  Our grandparents were able do many things without technology that we need technology to do.  I am often surprised and alarmed that many people younger than myself are unable to perform simple mathematics without a calculator, and that many store clerks are unable to make change without a cash register.

Throughout history, people have worried about the decline in the then current “youth,” and what this would mean for the future.  Language has declined throughout history.  For example, all of the Romance languages are far simpler than Latin from which they are descended.  In many churches, there are movements to “modernize” worship, which often means to make it simpler and more accessible for people.  In Christianity, first worship moved from Latin to the vernacular, and now, there are many paraphrased versions of the Judeo-Christian written tradition available, including “The Message.”

With this in mind, we can see historical spiritual and intellectual inventions for what they were, not as advances, but as attempts to make ancient knowledge and wisdom accessible to our reduced capacities.  This is inevitable.  Inventions, such as writing, started off as quite intricate and complex, and became simpler over time.  Early ideographic styles contained rich symbolism of their own.  The only significant survivor of these styles is Chinese/Japanese hanzi/kanji.

Will decline continue throughout time?  Yes, in a way; however, this decline happens in a spiral not a line.  From Ancient wisdom, we can understand that we are at the end of the Iron Age, when decline it at its greatest.  We are headed to a new Golden Age.  This Golden Age will be lower than the previous Golden Age, but from our perspective, it will be much higher than the age we live in.  What will this Golden Age be like?  We have no way of knowing that as this Age will be much beyond what we can imagine.  It is possible, and even likely, that we will not be physical, manifest beings in the new Golden Age.

When will this happen?  Tradition tells us that we are near the end of the Iron Age, but no legitimate Tradition will tell us when that is to occur.  Does this have anything to do with the “Age of Aquarius”?  I do not know.  Perhaps.  The Age of Aquarius will be (or is, depending on which calculation one follows) ruled by Saturn, and the following Age, the Age of Capricorn will also be ruled by Saturn.  4,000 years of being under the rule of Saturn seems a bit chilling, but we also know that Saturn is both the builder and the destroyer of the material realm.

This being said, there is a good reason that no legitimate Tradition will tell us when the end of the Age of Iron will be.  This is not really information that will help us.  Interestingly, though, in many ways, our lives are already becoming much less physical because of the computer and the Internet.  Many of us spend a great deal of our time in “virtual reality,” and more and more our economic system is virtual as well.

What does all of this mean as far as Free Will?  No matter what Age we find ourselves in, we still have Free Will.  As discussed in earlier articles, Free Will is the choice between Dark and Light, between our True and False Selves, and between Good and Evil.  Even now, near the end of the Age of Iron, we can still hold on to the Light.

See also:

The Theory of Evolution

Kali Yuga: the Patriarchal Dark Age

Cyclical Time or Spiral Time

 

Telling Time, Astrology, and Japanese Kanji

Starry Sky

Recently, I have been studying the Japanese language.  There are several reasons for this, but one of them is very much related to the work of this weblog.  The purpose of this weblog has been to explore, learn, and discuss the Ancient Wisdom that is the true foundation for Traditional Sciences, such as astrology once was.  Much of the material currently available to astrologers is post-Aristotelian.  As I discussed in previous articles, Aristotle taught a subtle, but quite significant, deviation from Traditional Wisdom with respect to the nature of Perfect Form and its relationship to physical manifestation.

I have observed that this deviation is embedded in all of Western thought, science, and philosophy.  Such a deviation did not occur in the East until the East was exposed to Western thought.  One can find information and clues with respect to Traditional Wisdom in Japanese kanji.  Recently, I have been studying time expressions, and the kanji for them are quite fascinating.

In order to fully understand why these kanji are so fascinating, it is important to understand the original and primordial purpose behind astrology.  As our ancestors became more consolidated into the material world, it was important to them to ensure that their earthly activities were still in harmony with the Divine Music of the Spheres.  They looked to the heavens and studied the movements of the heavenly bodies to determine the time that their endeavors were in accord with this Divine Music.

Music of the Spheres

The Feminine Scriptures contain references relevant to this:

It is Love that holds the stars within their courses, and all the worlds of the immeasurable cosmos within the harmony of the celestial music.

Truly, all the cycles of the times and the seasons; all the rhythms of the soul and of the mind and of the flesh; truly all these flow from the love of Our Lady, the Maid, that creation may not decompose, each several member flying away into black eternal chaos.

The Clew of Love

For there are ways and rhythms in the course of life, of day and night, of seasons and the moon, by which all life, all thought, all work are governed and these movements are the breath of the Divine, reflected in the highest spheres and every living thing.

All nature is a vast and subtle movement to which the innocent soul is close attuned.

The profane assay to sever themselves from this music, fixing new laws of gain and self-advantage against the law of universal love.

Honor in all things the times and the seasons, keeping fast in the times of fast with diligence and care; rejoicing in times of feast with generous outpouring.

No tree may blossom out of season, nor any flower greet springtime with austerity, but a maid lacking in inward control is broken from the rhythm.

The Way of Simplicity

Starry SkyFor readers of the Judeo-Christian tradition, these concepts can be found in the Hebrew written tradition as well:

And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.”  And it was so.

Genesis 1:14-15 (NRSV)

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NRSV)

These are the traditions I am most familiar with; however, I would imagine that this is a Universal concept, and that it can be found in all traditions.

To my joy and delight, I discovered that this concept seems to be embedded in the Japanese kanji for time expressions.

TokiOn the left is the kanji for time, toki, and also, ji, the marker for hour expressions, the Japanese equivalent of “o’clock.”  This kanji is made up of two other kanji.  The element on the right is the kanji for “temple.”  The element on the left is the kanji for “Sun.”  Quite simply, the hours are marked by the temple watching the Sun.

JikanThe Japanese word for time in the abstract sense and the word used to mark a number of hours is jikan.  The kanji for jikan is to the right.  As you can see, this kanji incorporates the kanji for time with a second kanji.  This second kanji also includes the element for Sun, but it is inside an element that symbolizes a gate.  The Sun is contained inside a gate!

Another interesting kanji is found in the word, matsu, “to wait,” 待つ.  The kanji is the first character in this word.  The temple is in this kanji as well. The other element of this kanji, is labeled “going man,” by Rikaichan, a wonderful translation aid/kanji analyzer that works with Firefox.  That element, or radical, is also found in the kanji included in the word, iku, “to go,” 行く.  I think one could speculate that the kanji contained in the word for wait may indicate that human endeavors are being directed by the temple; in other words, people are waiting for the proper time for action!

I find all of this quite fascinating!

For more information about the metaphysics behind Japanese kanji, I refer the reader to the following excellent articles on the subject:

Japanese Kanji for Left and Right: Why They Are What They Are

Kanji Symbols – Fire, Movement and Humanity

Learn Japanese Kanji through Symbolism

A Light in the Darkness

Tomorrow, it will be the Deanic/Filianic celebration of Nativity.  This is the celebration of the birth of the Daughter.  In the Filianist Mythos, we hear how before the dawn of time our souls danced and laughed with the Mother who created us.  We were tempted by the Snake to ask the Mother for Darkness and to embrace it so that we could rest.

After we turned from Her, a chasm opened between the Mother and our souls, a gap She bridged by giving birth to the Daughter, who could  be our Light in the Darkness. On Nativity we celebrate the birth of the Daughter.

Do Filianists believe this to be a factual, literal recording of history for which we can dig up physical artifacts?  No, of course not.  Filianists believe that historical fact is the lowest form of knowledge, as the material world is much lower than the spiritual realms.  This Mythos is at a much Higher Level of knowledge than that.  We believe that this Mythos is a description of Truth that is beyond space and time and is one way of understanding Truth.  Are there other stories and Myths that describe Truth?  Of course, there are.  While we believe that there is only One Truth, we also believe that the Truth may be described and taught in many ways.

Nativity TreeNativity is celebrated near the Winter Solstice, the darkest time of the year, when Light starts to reassert itself, as the Daughter was born to re-Light our Path back to the Mother.  This is also the time of the year when Christians celebrate Christmas.  Many Filianist traditions surrounding Nativity are similar to Christmas traditions, such as the date, the Nativity tree, and the symbolism of candles and light.  These Christmas traditions were taken from older traditions surrounding Midwinter.

In the West, there is a tendency towards controversy on many matters, and the controversies around Christmas can be particularly intense.  These controversies often center around religious symbolism as opposed to secular symbolism.  There are also controversies about traditional symbolism being of a “pagan” nature.  I have nothing to say about these controversies, except to say that they do not arise in Deanism/Filianism.  We do not have the same separation between the “religious” and the “secular,” nor do we have any notion that our way of seeing the Truth is the only way or that our forms of worship and celebration are the only right ways to celebrate.

When I listen to Christmas music and see Christian religious symbolism, I can see this as another form of the Truth, with a clear conscience.  I can see this as a re-enactment of the Nativity in time and space without any contradiction to the Mythos of the Daughter.  If I see a Christian Nativity scene when outside, I can give honor to it, even if it no longer my tradition.  I am speaking for myself in this.  I am not saying how anyone else should view these matters, but the differences between these celebrations need not really concern us, I think.

Golden-Christmas-GiftThis is a time of return to Light after a time of Darkness, and is a joyous one!  So, for all of my readers….

Happy Nativity!

Merry Christmas!

Gud Yul!

Happy Solstice!

Happy Midwinter!

Enjoy the season, and rejoice in the return of Light!

See also:

All About Nativity

Honoring Our Ancestors

As I am writing this article, it the day after Halloween, or for Deanists and Filianists, the second day of the three day festival of Tamala.  In addition to being a festival to face some of the scarier parts of life and to honor the dearly departed, Tamala is also a festival to honor our ancestors.

Ancestor worship is a practice in most traditional cultures, and remnants of it can be found in the Christian celebration of All Saint’s Day.  In the modern world, there is a misconception that ancestor worship is a superstitious or primitive type of spirituality.  Actually, in the truest meaning of the word, it is a “primitive” type of spirituality, in that it is one of the earlier forms, and closest to the Primordial Tradition.

So, one may ask, why would people honor their ancestors?

To answer that question, I think it is important to understand who is being worshiped when we honor our ancestors.  Yes, on one level, we are honoring departed parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, but there is another level to ancestor worship that is far deeper than this.

To explain this, I need to refer back to two previous articles that I wrote, The Unfolding of the Ages and Where We Come From, and Why it Matters.  The most important part of these articles is that the Traditional understanding of our origins as Axial Beings is that we have been created from before the dawn of time.  There was a period before time that we existed in Union with Dea as Primordial Maid.  Each generation that passes is a generation further away from Primordial Maid.

The current movement of physical manifestation is away from the Center, or away from Dea.  We believe that at the end of time, all of us will be re-united with Dea, although, that understanding is a bit beyond our comprehension from an un-Enlightened state.  Tamala is, in part, a celebration of this end of time.  Yet, for now, we are aware that the movement is towards decline and separation.

Ancestor worship is one way of holding on to a line to Dea even though we live in a time of decline and separation.  Each previous generation was one generation closer to Primordial Maid, and in worshiping our ancestors we keeping a connection all the way back to Primordial Maid, who lived in Union with Dea.  We are also worshiping Dea in this fashion, and remembering the time that our souls were much closer to Her than they are now.