Oct 27, 2009

Drunvalo: The Maya of Eternal Time

As discussed here, Drunvalo Melchizedek has been in close contact with the National Mayan Council of Guatemala and it's leader Don Alejandro Cirilo Perez Oxlaj for some years. This council, which is the head of all 440 Mayan tribes, has not put out a statement on any prophecy for 527 years. They are only now breaking their silence regarding the Mayan Calendar. Over the summer, Drunvalo was able to deliver a sanctioned message, via webcast. In this program, he discusses those elements of the prophecy that the council is ready to report. This includes events that have occurred -- such as the "blue star prophecy" -- as well as signs that they are still waiting for. He also explains the background of the crystal skulls and how the secrets they hold are in the process of being recovered by the Maya.

Those who are nervous about the date Dec. 21, 2012 can relax... sort of. According to Drunvalo, that's the one date the Mayans are certain the forecasted events won't happen. Instead, they say, we have entered a window they call "the end of time." The pending polar shift and other events could happen anytime between now and 2015.

I find one of the most intriguing parts of this broadcast in Drunvalo's explanation of the ceremonial work he participated in. Readers of Graham Hancock's Supernatural should be interested at his description of events during a ritual that took place deep inside a cave. Here is Hancock's description of the cave paintings at Pech Merle (p. 16):

Oct 21, 2009

Drunvalo on the Mayan Calendar, Pole Shift, The Secret, and the Heart

This September interview with Drunvalo Melchizedek manages to cover a lot of ground in a fair degree of depth. He explains his fascination with and detailed study of sacred geometry, and where it has led him. It was sacred geometry which initially drew me to study and train in the Flower of Life with Drunvalo years ago. He explains these geometries, and how they underpin manifest creation, better than anyone, in my opinion.

Mostly this interview focuses on the present time and how it relates to the Mayan Calendar. Drunvalo has enjoyed a very special relationship with the Maya for many years. He has been saying for some time that none of the interpretations of the calendar, in wide circulation, have come from the Maya themselves, and are, therefore, incomplete and largely wrong. The Mayan council is only now beginning the process of bringing forth an interpretation consistent with their traditions, oral history, and hidden knowledge. He reports that they are distressed that we have been so focused on the doomsday scenarios, which they say are only one part of the prophecy. They say that it will involve some type of pole shift, which could be very disastrous, but they emphasize that the way to move through this is to stay in the heart, not the head, and it will actually be a very positive transformation of the planet.

Drunvalo goes into great depth about the importance of being in our hearts. By way of example he explains the deeper problem of The Secret. As I have said many times, the determination to be "positive" does not allow for wholeness, or oneness consciousness. Drunvalo explains it as being a problem of creating with the head (our thoughts) rather than our hearts. Whereas, our hearts are in wholeness, our brains are polarized. They are binary instruments, and he says can only create dualism. He points to the way the authors of The Secret manifested loads of money, but have also invited the dark reflection of that manifestation. Much of the money is tied up in litigation. (Litigation, and possibly criminal charges, are also likely for Secret contributor James Arthur Ray whose sweat lodge disaster has now resulted in a third death.) By focusing on our heart consciousness, Drunvalo explains that we can transcend duality and the seesaw effect of polarized creation, and this is where we will need to be to transition into the new reality, on the other side of this great shift.

Oct 20, 2009

Sandra Ingerman Interview

Very interesting interview with shamanic healer, psychotherapist, and author Sandra Ingerman. Her book Soul Retrieval is considered by many to be the seminal text on this cross-cultural, shamanic healing practice. In this interview she explains the mechanism of soul loss and the importance of retrieving and integrating these scattered pieces of self. She also discusses why and how so many of us have submerged our inner light, to live as cogs in an industrialized society, rather than living our soul's purpose.

Oct 13, 2009

Tide Turning in West Memphis Fishbowl?

There have been some new developments in the strange, sad case of the West Memphis Three. If you're not familiar with the history of the witch trial that put three teenage boys in prison over 15 years ago, you can find background in previous entries here and here. As reported previously, DNA evidence implicates Terry Hobbs; the stepfather of one of the murdered children. Now comes evidence that he lied under oath about not having seen the boys the day they were murdered. Three eyewitnesses have come forward, who place him with the children earlier that evening.

The claims are from Terry Hobbs' neighbors; a woman and her two daughters.

One states, "Between 5:30 p.m. And 6:30 p.m., I saw Stevie Branch, Michael Moore and Christopher Byers playing in my backyard. I am absolutely, completely and totally positive that I saw Terry Hobbs hollering at Stevie, Michael and Christopher to get back down to the Hobbs' house at approximately 6:30 pm."

. . .

Meantime, you may be asking why the three women just came forward. They say they were never questioned by police at the beginning and were unaware, until now, of Hobbs' recent statement that he hadn't seen the boys the day of the murders.

. . .

The affidavit continues, "Following the murders, the police never came to interview me or my family. In fact, after the murders, I do not recall ever seeing any police vehicles on my street or seeing any police interviewing any of the people in my neighborhood."

If there was ever any question that the police did not do their due diligence in investigating the murders of the three eight year old boys, there you have it. They never even questioned Stevie Branch's neighbors. Well, they were a little busy interrogating Jessie Misskelley for 13 hours. I mean, why burn shoe leather when you have a mentally handicapped boy you can convince to tell you exactly what you want to hear?

One of the most troubling features of the West Memphis Three case is the way the entire town got swept up in a "Satanic Panic," that seemed to supersede any sense of reason. To outside observers, that Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, could have been convicted, on such flimsy evidence, seems absurd. Thus, has the case become a cause for many people, including a number of noted celebrities; Henry Rollins, Eddie Veder, Natalie Maines, Trey Parker... The list goes on. Yet, with all the press attention, benefit concerts, etc., the town only seemed to dig its heels in deeper. That may finally be changing. The New York Times reports:

For years, outsiders have raised questions about the guilt of the three misfit teenagers, Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley Jr., who were convicted of the murders. But more recently, a steady dribble of new evidence has begun to seep into the consciousness of West Memphis, eroding the once nearly unanimous belief that those outsiders — including rock stars, HBO filmmakers and the creators of “South Park” — did not know what they were talking about.

First came reports that John Mark Byers, once considered by many observers to be a prime suspect, had started publicly supporting the West Memphis Three, and proclaiming their innocence. Then, the mother of Stevie Branch, Pam Hobbs, turned in evidence implicating her ex-husband, and saying she thought he may have done it. Slowly, skepticism, about the original verdict, seems to be growing, within the insular, little town of West Memphis.

Still, the trial remains a delicate subject in West Memphis and its county, Crittenden. The mayor of West Memphis, William H. Johnson, declined to be interviewed about it. Linda Miller, who owns a health food store with her husband and believes that the convictions were wrong, said she was wary of speaking her mind because the issue was so “polarizing.”

. . .

But a lack of open debate about the case does not mean that there are no deep, if quiet, misgivings about the convictions. From his living room recliner, Mrs. Bailey’s husband, Otto, offered his opinion. “I bet if you polled three-fourths of West Memphis,” he said, “they would say those boys had nothing to do with it.”

Oct 12, 2009

Happy Indigenous People's Day

Reconsider Columbus Day

From the moment a sailor aboard the Pinta sighted land from the sea, on October 12, 1492, the course of indigenous history was forever changed. Upon landing on what is now the Bahamas, once known as Guanahani, Columbus encountered indigenous peoples of the Lucayan, TaĆ­no or Arawak, nations. Peaceful and friendly, Columbus and his Spanish explorers manipulated their hospitality and mercilessly slaughtered, enslaved, and stole lands in the name of the Spanish crown. He wrote of them in his journal, "They ought to make good and skilled servants, for they repeat very quickly whatever we say to them."

In his four voyages to the Americas, traveling extensively throughout the Caribbean and Central America, each voyage became more deadly than the first. Within two years of his initial landing historians estimate that half of what is believed to have been 250,000 Taino people were massacred. Remaining survivors were either sold into European slavery, forced to mine gold for the Spaniards in the Americas, and many later died of disease.

. . .

What we have failed to realize in the United States is that Native American history is our history. If we are to call ourselves "Americans" we must honor and respect the first peoples of the Americas. So on this day, let us reconsider why we celebrate Columbus Day and not Indigenous People's Day.

Oct 11, 2009

The Secret, a Sweat Lodge, a Dreadful Tragedy

Two people have died and 19 others were hospitalized, in a sweat lodge ceremony that appears to have gone horribly awry. My heart goes out to the families of Kirby Brown and James Shore, and to those who are recovering in hospital. James Arthur Ray, "Personal Success Strategist" and contributor to The Secret, included the sweat in his Spiritual Warrior seminar.

Consider this a lesson in the dangers of dabbling. Ray claims to have studied with native shamans in Peru, the Amazon, and other places he doesn't "care to recall." He even claims to have "mastered" the techniques of these indigenous people. Somehow he seems to have missed this basic bit of wisdom: Don't cram 64 people into a sweat lodge.

Joseph Bruchac, an expert on Native American traditions and author of “The Native American Sweat Lodge,” said that number far surpassed the 8 to 12 typically present at such a rite. “It means that all these people are fighting for the same oxygen,” he said.

It also means it's very, very hot, because the body heat of all those participants has to be factored in. From early reports, it seems clear that the heat was dangerously excessive.

Authorities said 21 people were taken to hospital suffering from burns, dehydration, respiratory arrest and elevated body temperature after sitting in the sweat lodge at the Angel Valley Spiritual Retreat in Arizona. One of those people is in a critical condition.

. . .

Similar to a sauna, a sweat lodge, is an enclosed space where water is poured on heated rocks to cleanse the body. Used in Native American ceremonies the traditional lodges are made of willow branches and covered in canvas or animal skins. They are not meant to be air-tight and participants normally spend less than an hour inside.

However, authorities told the New York Times the James Ray's sweat lodge was covered in plastic and blankets. It is believed temperatures inside the lodge reached up to 49 degrees. [That's 120.2 degrees Farenheit.]

I have been very critical of The Secret, for, among other things, its glib, superficial approach to spiritual growth. This latest incident, involving a member of its brain trust, is a reminder that you can't just pluck things out of the context of spiritual traditions and repackage them as "self help" seminars, without risking psychic, emotional, and even physical injury.

That superficiality is readily apparent in the marketing copy for the seminar. I'd be wary of anyone claiming to teach any sort of warriorship or spiritual mastery, that won't require personal sacrifice.

There is no sacrifice—only greater and more magnificent results, wealth, adventure and fulfillment.

It would seem he gave the lie to that bit of slick marketing with his now deleted tweets, during the seminar.

JamesARay: Day 2 of SPW: "Ware must you be willing to give up to live the life you say is important to you?"

JamesARay: is still in Spiritual Warrior... for anything new to live something first must die. What needs to die in you so that new life can emerge?

Once again, once we know the "Secret" everything is really simple and painless... except when it isn't.

I picked through more of his site, and found more facile platitudes. There's this from his Practical Mysticism seminar:

Maybe you, like me, are tired of the so-called "spiritual individual" who is sick and broke all the time, or the "mystic hopeful" who can't carry on an intelligent conversation about real life.

Where, oh where, would motivational speakers be, without the mythical ne'er do well to use as a whipping boy? His disdain for the sick and economically disadvantaged is also highlighted on the home page.

Likewise, there are others who qualify as a creative genius, and they're physically sick all the time. That's not real wealth!

Then there are those who claim to be really "spiritual," and they're always financially broke. That's not wealth either!

Is it any wonder that so many people came away from The Secret feeling like their illness and adversity meant that they had failed somehow? If there's one thing I genuinely hope we learn as result of the economic downturn, it's to stop viewing poverty as a character flaw or spiritual weakness.

Many have criticized The Secret for its relentless focus on money. In the wake of this incident, I've seen much criticism of James Arthur Ray for charging nearly $10,000 for this training. I disagree with those who claim that real shamans don't charge anything, and that it's inherently wrong to accept remuneration for spiritual teaching. It is absolutely untrue that traditional shamans work for free. You can't compare tribes that live communally with the modern, western world and its economic system. Indigenous peoples use barter, which is just a simpler, more direct currency. Shamans and healers in many cultures receive produce, livestock, and other necessities as offerings for their work. That's a form of payment, and an exchange of energy that is wholly integral with their lifestyle. Trained, practicing shamans who live in our culture, require payment consistent with our economic system. There is nothing wrong with that. HOWEVER, $9,695.00 for a 5 day seminar is indefensible. It's hard for me to believe that this tragedy is, at bottom, about anything other than simple greed.

A little learning is a dang'rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

~ Alexander Pope in "An Essay on Criticism"

Oct 8, 2009

Was Jesus a Librul?

The Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, 1620-5

Buy at AllPosters.com

It would appear that the frequent assertion that Jesus was a "dirty hippie" has finally pushed the Christian Right too far, and they're fighting back. The Conservative Bible Project has begun. Not satisfied to leave translation to linguists, Conservapedia is determined to take back ancient scripture and restore it to its 21st Century, conservative roots.

As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines:[2]

  1. Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
  2. Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity
  3. Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the NIV is written at only the 7th grade level[3]
  4. Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[4] defective translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle".
  5. Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as "gamble" rather than "cast lots";[5] using modern political terms, such as "register" rather than "enroll" for the census
  6. Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil.
  7. Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
  8. Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story
  9. Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels
  10. Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word "Lord" rather than "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or "Lord God."

Rod Dreher of Belief.net explains a bit of the absurdity.

"The liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio"? Hoo-wee! Elitists like to use words, and lots of 'em! "Unnecessary ambiguities"? But how are you going to abide by the conservative mandate to avoid "dumbing down" Holy Writ while at the same time avoiding big words liberals use?

It's not only the more modern translations that these conservative ideologues have in their sights. (Although, the New International Version really has them spinning, because it is so "liberal and feminist in outlook.") It seems liberalism infected the Bible from its earliest inceptions. The conservative version of the Bible would exclude the adultress story. True, the Periscopa de Adultera has been a bone of contention among Biblical scholars for some time. However, calling verses which appeared in the canon at least as early as 200 A.D a "later-inserted liberal passage," seems like something of a reach.

I'm left wondering how deep their edits will have to go. What to do with the Sermon on the Mount, for instance? Jesus comes across really squishy, what with all those blessings of the meek and merciful, and compassion for enemies. And, I don't know how well it comports with their desired "free-market" spin.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -- Matthew 6:19-21

Free marketeers may also bridle at this one:

So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.

And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
-- Luke 18:22-25

Squishy, squishy, squishy... and maybe even a little, dare I say it, "socialist." The Conservative Bible Project really hates socialism.

Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible, without justification. This improperly encourages the "social justice" movement among Christians.

For example, the conservative word "volunteer" is mentioned only once in the ESV, yet the socialistic word "comrade" is used three times, "laborer(s)" is used 13 times, "labored" 15 times, and "fellow" (as in "fellow worker") is used 55 times.

See if you can follow the logic, here. Socialist movements have used the words "comrade," "laborer," and "fellow." Therefore, those words are now the exclusive domain of socialists... so the Bible needs to be revised, to remove any appearance of socialist leanings. It seems to me, the larger problem is that Jesus went around telling rich people to redistribute their wealth to save their souls. I mean, how do you spin that, in a capitalist friendly way?

I think Conservapedia has its work cut out fixing this mess. Let's face it. Constantine was a real pansy, and Jesus just comes off looking soft. And, if the Bible is going to continue to use words like "government" -- check it: the word government is liberal -- there will be no restoring the Lord to his rightful place as a conservative hero.

Oct 6, 2009

O Egypt, Egypt

Carmen Boulter, much like Omm Sety, has spent her life pursuing an obsession with ancient Egypt, that dates back to early childhood. Traveling extensively there, and studying its sacred sites, she has been able to connect many pieces of her past life memory to physical locations, and put forth cogent theories on the land and its secrets.

In this interview she puts forward the tantalizing notion that the pyramids were actually functioning devices, rather than tombs. By putting them into a broader context of surrounding structures, she posits that they were an energy system, focusing sound and light to power their mysterious technology. Her description of the pyramids as sonic resonators reminded me of something I recently read about the Mayans possibly using their pyramids to create sound.

SIT on the steps of Mexico's El Castillo pyramid in Chichen Itza and you may hear a confusing sound. As other visitors climb the colossal staircase their footsteps begin to sound like raindrops falling into a bucket of water as they near the top. Were the Mayan temple builders trying to communicate with their gods?

The discovery of the raindrop "music" in another pyramid suggests that at least some of Mexico's pyramids were deliberately built for this purpose. Some of the structures consist of a combination of steps and platforms, while others, like El Castillo, resemble the more even-stepped Egyptian pyramids.

She also references Walter Cruttenden's theories on precession and the Great Year. According to Cruttenden, ancient writings across many cultures describe great cycles of time in which Earth civilizations rise and fall, volleying between periods of enlightenment and degradation. This, according to Cruttenden, is why some of our most ancient recorded cultures seem to have been more advanced than those that followed them; our current age reaching its nadir during the dark ages. He also posits that our sun and Sirius are actually a binary star system, explaining our cross-cultural obsession with that star. I found two excellent interviews, here and here, with Cruttenden, on Conscious Media Network, in which he thoroughly explains his theories.

O Egypt, Egypt, of thy religion nothing will remain but an empty tale, which thine own children in time to come will not believe; nothing will be left but graven words, and only the stones will tell of thy piety. And in that day men will be weary of life, and they will cease to think the universe worthy of reverent wonder and of worship. And so religion, the greatest of all blessings, for there is nothing, nor has been, nor ever shall be, that can be deemed a greater boon, will be threatened with destruction; men will think it a burden, and will come to scorn it. They will no longer love this world around us, this incomparable work of God, this glorious structure which he has built, this sum of good made up of things of many diverse forms, this instrument whereby the will of God operates in that which be has made, ungrudgingly favouring man’s welfare, this combination and accumulation of all the manifold things that can call forth the veneration, praise, and love of the beholder.

Darkness will be preferred to light, and death will be thought more profitable than life; no one will raise his eyes to heaven ; the pious will be deemed insane, and the impious wise; the madman will be thought a brave man, and the wicked will be esteemed as good. As to the soul, and the belief that it is immortal by nature, or may hope to attain to immortality, as I have taught you, all this they will mock at, and will even persuade themselves that it is false. No word of reverence or piety, no utterance worthy of heaven and of the gods of heaven, will be heard or believed.

And so the gods will depart from mankind, a grievous thing!, and only evil angels will remain, who will mingle with men, and drive the poor wretches by main force into all manner of reckless crime, into wars, and robberies, and frauds, and all things hostile to the nature of the soul. Then will the earth no longer stand unshaken, and the sea will bear no ships; heaven will not support the stars in their orbits, nor will the stars pursue their constant course in heaven; all voices of the gods will of necessity be silenced and dumb; the fruits of the earth will rot; the soil will turn barren, and the very air will sicken in sullen stagnation. After this manner will old age come upon the world. Religion will be no more; all things will be disordered and awry; all good will disappear.

But when all this has befallen, Asclepius, then the Master and Father, God, the first before all, the maker of that god who first came into being, will look on that which has come to pass, and will stay the disorder by the counterworking of his will, which is the good. He will call back to the right path those who have gone astray; he will cleanse the world from evil, now washing it away with water-floods, now burning it out with fiercest fire, or again expelling it by war and pestilence. And thus he will bring back his world to its former aspect, so that the Kosmos will once more be deemed worthy of worship and wondering reverence, and God, the maker and restorer of the mighty fabric, will be adored by the men of that day with unceasing hymns of praise and blessing.

Such is the new birth of the Kosmos; it is a making again of all things good, a holy and awe-striking restoration of all nature; and it is wrought in the process of time by the eternal will of God. For Gods will has no beginning; it is ever the same, and as it now is, even so it has ever been, without beginning. For it is the very being of God to purpose good.

~ from The Prophecy of Hermes Trismegistus