Ahura Mazda and seeds

The answer to our predicament is in the last few paragraphs here but will make sense only if we understand what our predicament really is.

The route from seed to ripe vegetable is too slow to watch in real time but quite fast in relative terms, for example compared to our own growth. There are innumerable chemical processes taking place, as there are within our own bodies but one does not have to be a scientist to appreciate them. What one needs however is a certain amount of knowledge to help them – ensure the seed gets warmth, water, soil and some protection from predators and the elements perhaps. It might happen that we have a seed but we do not know what it will become, or perhaps the seed of some rare orchid that only flowers occasionally and requires a very special environment to grow. But let us assume that our greenhouse will enable most seeds to germinate and grow.

If we apply this to history we can see that certain events grew from tiny seeds and were able to happen because they had the right circumstances. So for example someone had the thought implanted in them to become a doctor. This person studied, got to medical school, passed the exams and became a doctor. Perhaps a more unusual person, inspired by the circumstances of his birth, became Alexander the Great, schooled by no less a figure than Aristotle – a short lived plant this Alexander one who died aged 33.

If you can follow the analogy we can see all events in our history in such a light, and the very many that never happened for one reason or another. In agriculture we have become very clever. A field of wheat can expect at least 90% of the seeds planted to become healthy adult plants. This would not be possible in the wild but farmers and scientists have developed seeds and ways to achieve this. As far as humans are concerned child mortality rates in the developed nations are quite low. In Britain, which is far from the best, around 5 children per thousand will die under 5, so that means something like 99.5% survive. It was more like 50% in the Middle Ages.

As far as ‘events’ go these days seeds are planted and carefully nurtured to ensure that they do take place while at the same time other events are carefully prevented. We might therefore expect a certain predictability here. But for competition. There are few places at medical schools compared to the numbers who aspire to become doctors and so only those with A* exam results can get in. Very few of us will ever become super rich or win the lottery and most of the rich will have started out in life in affluent families, nurtured if you like. So will some leaders and most monarchs, they are often born into dynasties.

When the competition reduces opportunity to the 50% level events become very unpredictable. The EU referendum in Britain for example had a surprising result as did the US presidential election. Both had two sides hovering around 50%, both have left the losing parties embittered and feeling robbed. As I write this the word COMPETITION suddenly appeared on my TV screen in large letters. It is always worth investigating such coincidences and this turns out to be a competition organised for viewers to win a holiday. They have to answer a question about a Disney Classic (the answer is easily found on the internet) and then pay between £1.50 and £3 to call in with the answer. I daresay we have all done this at some time, or bought a lottery ticket. The answer is predictable in most cases – about .0000001% chance of winning and 99.9999999% probability of not winning. It certainly tells us something.

These might I point out are the odds against us achieving enlightenment in our lives and the way the world works is why so few enlightenment seeds ever germinate. But some environments can nurture these seeds. If for example you start smoking tobacco after you leave school as I did then your chances of dying with cancer are very high. If you never take up this habit you are far more likely to live longer and die from something else. In enlightenment terms the equivalent to smoking is becoming rich. It closes all the doors unless you devote your time to giving it all away as fast as it accumulates, to those who really need it. But quite why we have to be poor or ascetics is difficult to see at the age we must make this decision. This is why children are whisked off to monasteries in Tibet to keep them in the greenhouses that should nurture the enlightenment seed. Unfortunately the seeds do not respond to that. The true enlightenment seed can only germinate and grow in difficult circumstances and they grow alone, not in crops.

The word ‘ascetic’ is used for a wide variation of practices. It can be applied to near starvation or fakir type affliction of the body, even the flagellation of Christians. It may just refer to a monastic existence or the life of the many hermits in our history who lived in the most inaccessible places, the desert in Egypt or forest in India to avoid mixing with humanity. It has been applied to celibacy too and to begging for one‘s meals. Buddha it is claimed practised a very extreme form of asceticism before he gained his enlightenment only to then teach that it was unnecessary and a middle way preferable. I use the term to mean having no more than one needs and living on a small income, earned if possible from a life dedicated to caring for others and nature. It may not be possible to do all of this, any job will do that is not injuring others, but it is always possible to avoid its extreme opposite – a hedonistic and selfish lifestyle. However we may note that many enlightened ones came from that kind of life and certainly Buddha did. He was a prince with a small family and lived like one until he walked away from it. Knowing something may well come from living it. I once had a guru who was not a very good man or guru but he used to say ‘young men think old men are foolish but old men know young men are foolish’. That was to put youngsters like me in their place but it has a certain truth to it.

The premise for living an ascetic or simple life is to make good karma and doing that has opened many eyes in our species.

It is perfectly possible for most humans to live such lives and if they did the planet would be a safe place for nature and its many species. We could concentrate on learning the important things in life and avoid the many traps which mean that 99.99999% of us will not only live in ignorance but will die in it and suffer the awful consequences of that. The reason that happens  is perhaps because we are governed by the very rich and not by the enlightened. They dread ascetics having any say in how the world is run and I suppose the thought of asceticism for all is akin to their view of hell. Sadly that is how things will remain and they will only realise how wrong they are after their deaths when they testify against themselves. Of course in our world many are forced into ascetic lives by poverty and in spite of the many traps as the poor fight for survival, the odds of a good afterlife are dramatically increased.

If you can see where you are going you will not drive over a cliff, let alone take your entire family or country or world with you. And if you know something of vital importance is there, buried 32 feet down, you will not stop digging at 31 feet. These are two lessons for enlightenment and distinguishing the real thing, although it may take a lifetime to learn.

We assume he was a historical character as he left an important religion behind although he would not be the only non historical person to do that. They cannot agree when he may have lived but it was some time between 1500BC when Moses is supposed to have lived and 500BC when Buddha, Confucius and LaoTse held sway. The man is called Zoroaster but this is not about him, rather about something he taught.

Zoroaster mentioned an ‘uncreated’ spirit called Ahura Mazda. They don’t know what he meant by that but Ahura Mazda was in fact the spirit of someone who had not been born, was yet to be born, and about whom there has been much speculation in the spiritual world. Most, in fact almost all spirits derive from someone who has already lived and earned merit but some in the past have existed in spiritual form before their physical birth. The story told in the Book of Enoch (written about 300BC) about the mysterious Binadham (literally ‘Son of man) is a good example of an uncreated spirit and was very influential on early Christianity, even included in the bible texts until removed around 300AD.

What we are told about Ahura Mazda explains what is happening in our world now. I have written a little here on the two great universal laws of Karma and Dharma, which might be termed Justice and Truth. The Truth is called Asha by the Ancient Persians who followed Zoroaster. Interestingly it was represented by fire in the physical world. It was, and still is opposed by Lies. I will copy some Wikipedia article which tell more:

Asha (/’ɑːʃə/; aša) is the Avestan language term (corresponding to Vedic language ṛta) for a concept of cardinal importance to Zoroastrian theology and doctrine. In the moral sphere, aša/arta represents what has been called “the decisive confessional concept of Zoroastrianism.” The opposite of Avestan aša is druj, “lie.”

The significance of the term is complex, with a highly nuanced range of meaning. It is commonly summarized in accord with its contextual implications of ‘truth’ and ‘right(eousness)’, ‘order’ and ‘right working’. For other connotations, see meaning below.

Its Old Persian equivalent is arta-. In Middle Iranian languages the term appears as ard-.

The word is also the proper name of the divinity Asha, the Amesha Spenta that is the hypostasis or “genius” of “Truth” or “Righteousness”…..Wikipedia

In our world we are seeing a huge amount of propaganda and are being told many lies. For example on just one issue – climate change – there is a chasm of opinion and even science. Both sides cannot be right. Recently our politicians have latched on to this and some now use the words ‘propaganda’ and ‘fake news’ about articles that they dislike or disagree with. It is very complex and who knows what is true and what is not, but then one might ask who ever knew? These matters may be political or religious essentials but if we look at the Persian view we begin to see the seeds of the mighty battle being waged on earth between Asha and Druj. Of course no one can avoid paying their karmic bill but it usually happens too late. If your eyes are closed you will almost certainly drive over the cliff. Imagine being at war with the signpost warning of this.

They mention the Amesha Spenta above and we need to look there next:

Amesha Spenta (Aməša Spənta) is an Avestan language term for a class of divine entities in Zoroastrianism and literally means “Immortal (which is) holy” Wikipedia

What they mean are the spirits of those who died with their eyes open who we call saints (not the saints created by a political church obviously). It gets more complicated but what I am looking for is the war between the spirits and the liars and how it is predicted to end. The six divine sparks mentioned below are really concepts taught to Zoroaster by the then uncreated spirit Ahura Mazda who appeared to him

“ Significantly more common than the non-specific meaning of Amesha Spenta is a restrictive use of the term to refer to the great six “divine sparks” of Ahura Mazda. In Zoroastrian tradition, these are the first six emanations of the noncreated Creator, through whom all subsequent creation was accomplished. This fundamental doctrine is only alluded to in the Avesta, but is systematically described in later middle Persian language texts, in particular in the Bundahishn (3.12), an 11th or 12th century work that recounts the Zoroastrian view of creation.

The expression “Amesha Spenta” does not occur in the Gathas, but “it was probably coined by Zoroaster himself. Spenta is a characteristic word of his revelation, meaning ‘furthering, strengthening, bounteous, holy’.” The oldest attested use of the term is in Yasna 39.3, which is part of the Yasna Haptanghaiti and in which the two elements of the name occur in reverse order, that is, as Spenta Amesha. Like all other verses of the Yasna Haptanghaiti, Yasna 39.3 is also in Gathic Avestan and is approximately as old as the hymns attributed to Zoroaster himself.

The “divine sparks” that appear in the Gathic Yasna 47.1 are:

[Vohu] Manah, approximately meaning “[Good] Purpose”

Aša [Vahišta], “[Best] Truth/Righteousness”

Xšaθra [Vairya], “[Desirable] Dominion”

[Spənta] Armaiti, “[Holy] Devotion”

Haurvatāt, “Wholeness”

Amərətāt, “Immortality”

The attributes vohu “good”, vahišta “best”, vairya “desirable” and spenta “holy” are not always present in the oldest texts. If they appear at all, they do not necessarily appear immediately adjacent to the noun. But in later tradition, these adjectives are integral to the names themselves.

While Vohu Manah, Aša Vahišta, and Xšaθra Vairya are consistently of neuter gender in Avestan grammar; in tradition they are considered masculine. Armaiti, Haurvatāt, and Amərətāt are invariably feminine.

In the Gathas, each Amesha Spenta represents a good moral quality that mortals should strive to obtain. Thus, the doctrine of the great six is that through good thoughts, words, and deeds, each individual should endeavor to assimilate the qualities of an Amesha Spenta into oneself.

Each of the six has an antithetical counterpart, and four of the six are already assigned one in the Gathas: aša/arta- is opposed to the druj-, vohu-manah is opposed to aka-manah-, xšaθra- to dušae-xšaθra-, and armaiti- to taraemaiti-. Not evident in the Gathas and first appearing in the Younger Avesta (e.g. Yasht 19.96) are the oppositions of haurvatāt- “wholeness” to taršna- “thirst”, and amərətāt- “life” to šud- “hunger.” These latter assignments reflect Haurvatat’s identification with water and Ameretat’s identification with plants.

In the Gathas, aša/arta is the most evident of the six, and also the most commonly associated with wisdom (mazda-). In the 238 verses of these hymns, aša-/arta- appears 157 times. Of the other concepts, only vohumanah- appears nearly as often (136 occurrences). In comparison, the remaining four of the great sextet appear only 121 times altogether: xšaθra-: 56 times; armaiti-: 40; amərətāt-: 14; haurvatāt-: 11 times.

In the context of Zoroastrian view of creation, the group of the Amesha Spenta is extended to include Ahura Mazda, together with (or represented by) Spenta Mainyu. However, in most scholastic texts, an unqualified referral to the “Amesha Spenta” is usually understood to include only great six. In Yasna 44.7, 31.3, and 51.7, Ahura Mazda’s Spenta Mainyu is the instrument or “active principle” of the act of creation. It is also through this “Bounteous Force”, “Creative Emanation”, or “Holy Spirit” that Ahura Mazda is immanent in humankind (Yasna 33.6), and how the Creator interacts with the world (Yasna 43.6).” Wikipedia

As usual very simple matters are drawn out into very complex ones by religion over the thousands of years. From the above we might deduce that ‘good’ is opposed to the unnecessary poverty in our world causing hunger. We might even consider from these texts that it opposes corporate and national water theft. And certainly that it opposes propaganda and the carefully maintained illusions that deceive the world. But we should look at the personification of the Liars. These are the ‘Angra’ ones. But first we may as well find out more about Ahura Mazda and how Zoroaster came across him:

“”Mazda”, or rather the Avestan stem-form Mazdā-, nominative Mazdå, reflects Proto-Iranian *Mazdāh (female). It is generally taken to be the proper name of the spirit, and like its Sanskrit cognate medhās, means “intelligence” or “wisdom“. Both the Avestan and Sanskrit words reflect Proto-Indo-Iranian *mazdhā-, from Proto-Indo-European *mn̩sdʰeh1, literally meaning “placing (*dʰeh1) one’s mind (*mn̩-s)”, hence “wise”.

The name was rendered as Ahuramazda (Old Persian) during the Achaemenid era, Hormazd during the Parthian era, and Ohrmazd was used during the Sassanian era.

The name may be attested on cuneiform tablets of Assyrian Assurbanipal, in the form Assara Mazaš, though this interpretation is very controversial.

Characteristics

Even though Ahura Mazda was a spirit in the Old Iranian religion, he had not yet been given the title of “uncreated spirit”. This title was given by Zoroaster, who proclaimed Ahura Mazda as the uncreated spirit, wholly wise, benevolent and good, as well as the creator and upholder of Asha (“truth”). As Ahura Mazda is described as the creator and upholder of Asha, he is a supporter and guardian of justice, and the friend of the just man.

Zoroaster’s revelation

At the age of 30, Zoroaster received a revelation: while fetching water from dawn for a sacred ritual, he saw the shining figure of the yazata, Vohu Manah, who led Zoroaster to the presence of Ahura Mazda, where he was taught the cardinal principles of the “Good Religion” later known as Zoroastrianism. As a result of this vision, Zoroaster felt that he was chosen to spread and preach the religion. He stated that this source of all goodness was the only Ahura worthy of the highest worship. He further stated that Ahura Mazda created spirits known as yazatas to aid him, who also merited devotion. Zoroaster proclaimed that all of the Iranian daevas were bad spirits and deserved no worship. These “bad” spirits were created by Angra Mainyu, the hostile and evil spirit. The existence of Angra Mainyu was the source of all sin and misery in the universe. Zoroaster claimed that Ahura Mazda was not an omnipotent God, but used the aid of humans in the cosmic struggle against Angra Mainyu. Nonetheless, Ahura Mazda is Angra Mainyu’s superior, not his equal. Angra Mainyu and his daevas (spirits) which attempt to attract humans away from the path of righteousness (asha) would eventually be destroyed.” Wikipedia

We all know there is good and evil in this world and that there is no point pretending that evil is in fact good for us. It is the corrupting and destructive force that kills us all. But however hard we may try to explain to the human that there is a hell after life where we pay for our destructive and corrupting ways, the Angra force will counter this. Cancer is destructive but thrives because it convinces our immune systems that it is harmless. A corruption for example might be observed in Aleister Crowley’s law. This magician claimed that ‘Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law’ which seems to be a view held by the many evil men and women driving us all to destruction. So while we are at this point we may as well see what Zoroaster had to say on that:

“Ascribed to the teachings of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster (or Zarathustra), he exalted their deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord), as its Supreme Being. Leading characteristics, such as messianism, heaven and hell, and free will are said to have influenced other religious systems, including Second Temple Judaism, Gnosticism, Christianity, and Islam.” Wikipedia

We can see how a simple subject has been embellished over the millennia but also how it has influenced other religions which either cynically used the prophecies to legitimize themselves or subscribed to a universal truth:

“Zoroastrianism also includes beliefs about the renovation of the world and individual judgment (cf. general and particular judgment), including the resurrection of the dead.

Individual judgment at death is by the Bridge of Judgment, which each human must cross, facing a spiritual judgment. Humans’ actions under their free will determine the outcome. One is either greeted at the bridge by a beautiful, sweet-smelling maiden or by an ugly, foul-smelling old woman. The maiden leads the dead safely across the bridge to the Amesha Spenta Good Mind, who carries the dead to paradise. The old woman leads the dead down a bridge that narrows until the departed falls off into the abyss of hell.

Zoroastrian hell is reformative; punishments fit the crimes, and souls do not rest in eternal damnation. Hell contains foul smells and evil food, and souls are packed tightly together although they believe they are in total isolation.

In Zoroastrian eschatology, a 3,000-year struggle between good and evil will be fought, punctuated by evil’s final assault. During the final assault, the sun and moon will darken and humankind will lose its reverence for religion, family, and elders. The world will fall into winter, and Angra Mainyu’s most fearsome miscreant, Azi Dahaka, will break free and terrorize the world.

The final savior of the world, Saoshyant, will be born to a virgin impregnated by the seed of Zoroaster while bathing in a lake. Saoshyant will raise the dead – including those in both heaven and hell – for final judgment, returning the wicked to hell to be purged of bodily sin. Next, all will wade through a river of molten metal in which the righteous will not burn. Heavenly forces will ultimately triumph over evil, rendering it forever impotent. Saoshyant and Ahura Mazda will offer a bull as a final sacrifice for all time, and all humans will become immortal. Mountains will again flatten and valleys will rise; heaven will descend to the moon, and the earth will rise to meet them both.

Humanity requires two judgments because there are as many aspects to our being: spiritual (menog) and physical (getig).” Wikipedia

This anti Christ figure is clearly a war god as seen through the eyes of a man who knew all about hordes of horsemen pillaging nations. Horus the hawk, great war god of Egypt:

Zahhāk or Zahāk (pronounced [zæhɒːk]) (in Persian: ضحّاک‎‎/ذهّاک) or Bivar Asp (Persian: بیوَر اَسپ‎‎ meaning “he who owns ten thousands of horses”) is an evil figure in Iranian mythology, evident in ancient Iranian folklore as Aži Dahāka (Azh dahak), the name by which he also appears in the texts of the Avesta. In Middle Persian he is called Dahāg or Bēvar-Asp, the latter meaning “[he who has] 10,000 horses”. In Zoroastrianism, Zahak (going under the name Aži Dahāka) is considered the son of Angra Mainyu, the foe of Ahura Mazda” Wikipedia

He takes the world into its final war blissfully unaware of the consequences for himself. He thinks he is indestructible and is filled with such contempt for most humans that massacring them does not bother him at all. He is always there, the parasite that eventually kills its host. In every generation there will be some maniac fulfilling that role, usually many. There is a lot taught about this one and I will copy the rest of the article below for your interest. Bear in mind that any kernel of truth is embellished until virtually unrecognisable. He delights in sacrifice, the spilling of blood. His adversary is also described. Zoroaster believed that this was him but it is an aspiration or posthumous title that can only be applied to whoever manages to defeat the illusion and propaganda and brings truth back to the world to stop it destroying itself unnecessarily. This happens several times in the world as corruption keeps erupting like an abscess and requires lancing:

Saoshyant (Avestan: Saoš́iiaṇt̰, IPA: [sɒːʃjʌnt]is a figure in Zoroastrianism who brings about the Frashokereti or final renovation of the world. The name literally means “one who brings benefit” in Avestan and is also used as a common noun….

Zoroastrian tradition envisions three future saviors, one for the end of each thousand-year period that comprise the last 3,000 years of the world. All three will be born of maidens, conceived while their mothers bathed in a lake that miraculously preserved the seed of the prophet Zoroaster himself. The first will be named Hushedar, the second Hushedarmah and the third will be the Saoshyant, who will lead humanity in the final battle against falsehood.

The story of the Saoshyant’s conception and early life are described in Denkard 7.10.15ff as follows: Thirty years before the decisive final battle, a maiden named Eredat-fedhri (“Victorious Helper”) and whose nickname is “Body-maker” will enter a lake (in Yasht 19.92, this is “Lake Kansava”). Sitting in the water, the girl, who has “not associated with men” will receive “victorious knowledge.” Her son, when born, will not know nourishment from his mother, his body will be sun-like, and the “royal glory” of the Khvarenah will be with him. Then, for the next 57 years he will subsist on only vegetables (17 years), then only water (30 years) and then for the final 10 years only on “spiritual food.”

The events of the final renovation are described in the Bundahishn (30.1ff): In the final battle with evil, the yazatas Airyaman and Atar will “melt the metal in the hills and mountains, and it will be upon the earth like a river” (Bundahishn 34.18) but the righteous (ashavan) will not be harmed.

Eventually, Ahura Mazda will triumph, and his agent Saoshyant will resurrect the dead, whose bodies will be restored to eternal perfection, and whose souls will be cleansed and reunited with God. Time will then end, and asha and immortality will thereafter be everlasting.” Wikipedia

They do love to put layers of nonsense into this but that is religion for you. Each generation has some theory it wants to include and have ‘believed’. The point is that we are at that time again. Any potential saviour is at a huge disadvantage in our modern world, partly because it is not listening any more to the warnings and partly because the Angra are in a headlong rush to have their war for which they give many conflicting reasons, none of which include their delight at spilling the blood of people they despise. It ends badly and we can see it happening as I write. They can of course stop this rush, calm down and settle for what they had a few years ago which really was not so bad and worked both for them and much of the world’s population. Our world can never be perfect because we are good and bad in more or less equal proportions but tolerance would help. The real problem however is that Asha or Truth or Dharma is being hidden and hurt. Without that in our world we really are finished and worthless, a silly illusion that destroys a magnificent creation. And that worries the rest of the universe and time. Here is more on the idiot causing all the problems who wants his adversaries put away, silenced and made into a warning for others. I must point out that this beast with replaceable heads is merely what we have in our world where removing some leader or chief executive does not in any way harm the beast they head. They are quickly replaced and there is not one of them but thousands. These heads are however our only hope of diverting the beast from its rush over the cliff:

“Aži Dahāka is the most significant and long-lasting of the ažis of the Avesta, the earliest religious texts of Zoroastrianism. He is described as a monster with three mouths, six eyes, and three heads (presumably meaning three heads with one mouth and two eyes each), cunning, strong and demonic. But in other respects Aži Dahāka has human qualities, and is never a mere animal.

Aži Dahāka appears in several of the Avestan myths and is mentioned parenthetically in many more places in Zoroastrian literature.

In a post-Avestan Zoroastrian text, the Dēnkard, Aži Dahāka is possessed of all possible sins and evil counsels, the opposite of the good king Jam. The name Dahāg (Dahāka) is punningly interpreted as meaning “having ten (dah) sins.” His mother is Wadag (or Ōdag), herself described as a great sinner, who committed incest with her son.

In the Avesta, Aži Dahāka is said to have lived in the inaccessible fortress of Kuuirinta in the land of Baβri, where he worshipped the yazatas Arədvī Sūrā (Anāhitā), divinity of the rivers, and Vayu, divinity of the storm-wind. Based on the similarity between Baβri and Old Persian Bābiru (Babylon), later Zoroastrians localized Aži Dahāka in Mesopotamia, though the identification is open to doubt. This could be India and Azi Dahaka could be Adi Sesha. Aži Dahāka asked these two yazatas for power to depopulate the world. Being representatives of the Good, they refused.

In one Avestan text, Aži Dahāka has a brother named Spitiyura. Together they attack the hero Yima (Jamshid) and cut him in half with a saw, but are then beaten back by the yazata Ātar, the divine spirit of Fire.

According to the post-Avestan texts, following the death of Jam ī Xšēd (Jamshid), Dahāg gained kingly rule. Another late Zoroastrian text, the Mēnog ī xrad, says that this was ultimately good, because if Dahāg had not become king, the rule would have been taken by the immortal demon Xešm (Aēšma), and so evil would have ruled upon earth until the end of the world.

Dahāg is said to have ruled for a thousand years, starting from 100 years after Jam lost his Khvarenah, his royal glory (see Jamshid). He is described as a sorcerer who ruled with the aid of demons, the daevas (divs).

The Avesta identifies the person who finally disposed of Aži Dahāka as Θraētaona son of Aθβiya, in Middle Persian called Frēdōn. The Avesta has little to say about the nature of Θraētaona’s defeat of Aži Dahāka, other than that it enabled him to liberate Arənavāci and Savaŋhavāci, the two most beautiful women in the world. Later sources, especially the Dēnkard, provide more detail. Feyredon is said to have been endowed with the divine radiance of kings (Khvarenah, New Persian farr) for life, and was able to defeat Dahāg, striking him with a mace. However, when he did so, vermin (snakes, insects and the like) emerged from the wounds, and the god Ormazd told him not to kill Dahāg, lest the world become infested with these creatures. Instead, Frēdōn chained Dahāg up and imprisoned him on the mythical Mt. Damāvand (later identified with Damāvand, the highest mountain of the Alborz chain).

The Middle Persian sources also prophesy that at the end of the world, Dahāg will at last burst his bonds and ravage the world, consuming one in three humans and livestock. Kirsāsp, the ancient hero who had killed the Az ī Srūwar, returns to life to kill Dahāg.

Zahhāk in the Shāhnāma

In Ferdowsi‘s epic poem, the Shāhnāma, written c. 1000 AD and part of Iranian folklore the legend is retold with the main character given the name of Zahhāk .

Zahhāk in Arabia

According to Ferdowsi, Zahhāk (Arabic transliteration: ازدهاق or Azdahaq) was born as the son of an Arab ruler named Merdās. Because of his Arab origins, he is sometimes called Zahhāk-e Tāzi, “the Arabian Zahhāk.” He was handsome and clever, but had no stability of character and was easily influenced by evil counsellors. Ahriman therefore chose him as the tool for his plans for world domination.

When Zahhāk was a young man, Ahriman first appeared to him as a glib, flattering companion, and by degrees convinced him that he ought to kill his own father and take over his territories. He taught him to dig a deep pit covered over with leaves in a place where Merdās was accustomed to walk; Merdās fell in and was killed. Zahhāk thus became both patricidal and king at the same time.

Ahriman now took another guise, and presented himself to Zahhāk as a marvellous cook. After he had presented Zahhāk with many days of sumptuous feasts, Zahhāk was willing to give Ahriman whatever he wanted. Ahriman merely asked to kiss Zahhāk on his two shoulders. Zahhāk permitted this; but when Ahriman had touched his lips to Zahhāk’s shoulders, he immediately vanished. At once, two black snakes grew out of Zahhāk’s shoulders. They could not be surgically removed, for as soon as one snake-head had been cut off, another took its place.

Ahriman now appeared to Zahhāk in the form of a skilled physician. He counselled Zahhāk that the only remedy was to let the snakes remain on his shoulders, and sate their hunger by supplying them with human brains for food every day otherwise the snakes will feed on his own.

From a psychological point of view the snakes on Zahak’s shoulders could represent his lust for killing or a form of sadism which if left unsatisfied would torment Zahak. Also when Zahak is defeated by Fereydun, he cannot think of a better fitting punishment than to simply bound him in cave where the snakes (not being fed) will eat Zahak’s own brain symbolizing his inner agony and unsatisfied homicidal lust.

This story is Ferdowsi’s way of reconciling the descriptions of Dahāg as a three-headed dragon monster and those stories which treat him as a human king. According to Ferdowsi, Zahhāk is originally human, but through the magic of Ahriman he becomes a monster; he does, in fact, have three heads, the two snake heads and one human head; and the snakes remind us of his original character as a dragon.

The characterization of Zahhāk as an Arab in part reflects the earlier association of Dahāg with the Semitic peoples of Iraq, but probably also reflects the continued resentment of many Iranians at the 7th century Arab conquest of Persia.

Unlike the figure of Zahak in Iranian Mythology, the word ‘zahhak’ in Arabic means to laugh and to smile.

Zahhāk the Emperor

About this time, Jamshid, who was then the ruler of the world, through his arrogance lost his divine right to rule. Zahhāk presented himself as a savior to those discontented Iranians who wanted a new ruler. Collecting a great army, he marched against Jamshid, who fled when he saw that he could not resist Zahhāk. Zahhāk hunted Jamshid for many years, and at last caught him and subjected him to a miserable death—he had Jamshid sawn in half. Zahhāk now became the ruler of the entire world. Among his slaves were two of Jamshid’s daughters, Arnavāz and Shahrnavāz (the Avestan Arənavāci and Savaŋhavāci).

Zahhāk’s two snake heads still craved human brains for food, so every day Zahhāk’s spies would seize two men, and execute them so their brains could feed the snakes. Two men, called Armayel and Garmayel, wanted to find a way to rescue people from being killed from the snakes. So they learned cookery and after mastering how to cook great meals, they went to Zahhāk’s palace and managed to become the chefs of the palace. Every day, they saved one of the two men and put the brain of a sheep instead of his into the food, but they could not save the lives of both men. Those who were saved were told to flee to the mountains and to faraway plains.

Zahhāk’s tyranny over the world lasted for centuries. But one day Zahhāk had a terrible dream – he thought that three warriors were attacking him, and that the youngest knocked him down with his mace, tied him up, and dragged him off toward a tall mountain. When Zahhāk woke he was in a panic. Following the counsel of Arnavāz, he summoned wise men and dream-readers to explain his dream. They were reluctant to say anything, but one finally said that it was a vision of the end of Zahhāk’s reign, that rebels would arise and dispossess Zahhāk of his throne. He even named the man who would take Zahhāk’s place: Fereydun.

Zahhāk now became obsessed with finding this “Fereydun” and destroying him, though he did not know where he lived or who his family was. His spies went everywhere looking for Fereydun, and finally heard that he was but a boy, being nourished on the milk of the marvelous cow Barmāyeh. The spies traced Barmāyeh to the highland meadows where it grazed, but Fereydun had already fled before them. They killed the cow, but had to return to Zahhāk with their mission unfulfilled.

Revolution against Zahhāk

Zahhāk now tried to consolidate his rule by coercing an assembly of the leading men of the kingdom into signing a document testifying to Zahhāk’s righteousness, so that no one could have any excuse for rebellion. One man spoke out against this charade, a blacksmith named Kāva (Kaveh). Before the whole assembly, Kāva told how Zahhāk’s minions had murdered seventeen of his eighteen sons so that Zahhāk might feed his snakes’ lust for human brains – the last son had been imprisoned, but still lived.

In front of the assembly Zahhāk had to pretend to be merciful, and so released Kāva’s son. But when he tried to get Kāva to sign the document attesting to Zahhāk’s justice, Kāva tore up the document, left the court, and raised his blacksmith’s apron as a standard of rebellion – the Kāviyāni Banner, derafsh-e Kāviyānī (درفش کاویانی). He proclaimed himself in support of Fereydun as ruler.

Soon many people followed Kāva to the Alborz mountains, where Fereydun was now living. He was now a young man and agreed to lead the people against Zahhāk. He had a mace made for him with a head like that of an ox, and with his brothers and followers, went forth to fight against Zahhāk. Zahhāk had already left his capital, and it fell to Fereydun with small resistance. Fereydun freed all of Zahhāk’s prisoners, including Arnavāz and Shahrnavāz.

Kondrow, Zahhāk’s treasurer, pretended to submit to Fereydun, but when he had a chance he escaped to Zahhāk and told him what had happened. Zahhāk at first dismissed the matter, but when he heard that Fereydun had seated Jamshid’s daughters on thrones beside him like his queens, he was incensed and immediately hastened back to his city to attack Fereydun.

When he got there, Zahhāk found his capital held strongly against him, and his army was in peril from the defense of the city. Seeing that he could not reduce the city, he sneaked into his own palace as a spy, and attempted to assassinate Arnavāz and Shahrnavāz. Fereydun struck Zahhāk down with his ox-headed mace, but did not kill him; on the advice of an angel, he bound Zahhāk and imprisoned him in a cave underneath Mount Damāvand, binding him with a lion’s pelt tied to great nails fixed into the walls of the cavern, where he will remain until the end of the world. Thus, after a thousand years’ tyranny, ended the reign of Zahhāk.“ Wikipedia

Of course it is too much to take in let alone refer to our present world but the fact is that the problems we face now are considerably more complex and diverse. There are many threats and many reasons for them however all taken together we have a vast population thrust into poverty, denied justice and a tiny population living in luxury denying that justice. It is painted as a good and fair system when it cannot possibly be so described.

So to go back to seeds what we are seeing is a world where illusion and inequality are nurtured, indeed rule. Even so we could cope were it not for the fact that the next war between superpowers will be the last and that denial of the problem caused by fossil fuel emissions ensures that no action can be taken until it is too late. What cannot be denied is that carbon dioxide and methane concentrations are increasing in our atmosphere and that these increases have been noted in previous mass extinctions. Inequality if it continues its upward trend may lead to violent revolutions. Corruption in high places has already dealt a blow to many governments‘ credibility as has the huge power of ‘lobbies‘ to make policies that only suit the interests of corporate sponsors. But as they say there are none so blind as will not see. The world is dividing against itself and the result of this conflict cannot be predicted reliably. We have ’yes men’ advising our governments and the ’no men’ being discredited. Our politicians are vain and shallow, our media unable to influence the changes necessary. Our situation is akin to a family in trouble. The parents are constantly arguing, the children suffering as a result. The parents are about to separate but still tell the children that they will not. Why do so many parents do this? Is it because they fear their children will object, demand reconciliation, security and proper mealtimes? The children if so are right and the parents extremely selfish. In families where this happens one or other parent is usually having a secret affair or is domestically violent. When I was young divorce was extremely rare, now it is almost mandatory. I know hardly any couples that have stayed together, even for their children. This says a lot about the state of our world. I am not suggesting that people should be staying in unhappy relationships just noting that when times become difficult it is tempting to live in denial or to walk away from one’s responsibilities. Or as Homer noted to listen to the sirens luring you to destruction!

So what is the answer?

No one really understands why we are literally rushing to our destruction. If climate change wont do it then nuclear war will, if that fails then pollution will, if not pollution some asteroid strike. What we can see is that we are out of control and all efforts to stop this are failing, the people trying demonised. It is stunning to watch and the media is running along with it blindly too. Every condition is being met that allows humanity to come to a fast and sudden end. So here is why. If we made a huge universal effort to save our world and its endangered species we might succeed. But if you look at what is described below you will notice that the ‘good’ who survive only survive in spiritual form. That is how they can endure liquid metal and cast no shadow. This is the end of the third age where death releases the saints we have produced in our history and when the evil ones are thrown away.

“The eschatological ideas are only alluded to in the surviving texts of the Avesta, and are known of in detail only from the texts of Zoroastrian tradition, in particular in the ca. 9th century Bundahishn. The accompanying story, as it appears in the Bundahishn (GBd 30.1ff), runs as follows: At the end of the “third time” (the first being the age of creation, the second of mixture, and the third of separation), there will be a great battle between the forces of good (the yazatas) and those of evil (the daevas) in which the good will triumph. On earth, the Saoshyant will bring about a resurrection of the dead in the bodies they had before they died. This is followed by a last judgment through ordeal. The yazatas Airyaman and Atar will melt the metal in the hills and mountains, and the molten metal will then flow across the earth like a river. All mankind—both the living and the resurrected dead—will be required to wade through that river, but for the righteous (ashavan) it will seem to be a river of warm milk, while the wicked will be burned. The river will then flow down to hell, where it will annihilate Angra Mainyu and the last vestiges of wickedness in the universe.

The narrative continues with a projection of Ahura Mazda and the six Amesha Spentas solemnizing a final act of worship (yasna), and the preparation of parahaoma from “white haoma“. The righteous will partake of the parahaoma, which will confer immortality upon them. Thereafter, humankind will become like the Amesha Spentas, living without food, without hunger or thirst, and without weapons (or possibility of bodily injury). The material substance of the bodies will be so light as to cast no shadow. All humanity will speak a single language and belong to a single nation without borders. All will share a single purpose and goal, joining with the divine for a perpetual exaltation of God’s glory.

Although frashokereti is a restoration of the time of creation, there is no return to the uniqueness of the primordial plant, animal and human; while in the beginning there was one plant, one animal and one human, the variety that had since issued would remain forever. Similarly, the host of divinities brought into existence by Mazda continue to have distinct existences, “and there is no prophecy of their re-absorption into the Godhead” Wikipedia

This is more or less what the Book of Enoch describes. Fundamental Christians hope that their rapture will be physical but it is not.

Frashokereti (frašō.kərəti) is the Avestan language term (corresponding to Middle Persian frašagird <plškrt>) for the Zoroastrian doctrine of a final renovation of the universe, when evil will be destroyed, and everything else will be then in perfect unity with God (Ahura Mazda). The name suggests “making wonderful, excellent”.

The doctrinal premises are (1) good will eventually prevail over evil; (2) creation was initially perfectly good, but was subsequently corrupted by evil; (3) the world will ultimately be restored to the perfection it had at the time of creation; (4) the “salvation for the individual depended on the sum of [that person’s] thoughts, words and deeds, and there could be no intervention, whether compassionate or capricious, by any divine being to alter this.” Thus, each human bears the responsibility for the fate of his own soul, and simultaneously shares in the responsibility for the fate of the world” Wikipedia

Spirits can travel through space and time, humans cannot. How much better if we had taken the route of listening to the enlightened and protecting our poor and our habitat. The reasons we have not have enabled the evil ones to collect in one place and fool themselves into believing they are indestructible. The only indestructible part of us is what is called the rainbow body, something we need to make for ourselves in our lifetimes so that we can survive death’s judgement. It is never too late to do this if you open your eyes. It is perhaps to late to stop our headlong rush over the cliff and to hope this is but the second age but it seems unlikely that our corporate world really wants to save itself. Are corporations really so silly? Well they are only what we made them to be, robots who have challenged the humans for control of our planet and seem to have won.

 

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The master servant relationship

The master servant relationship is a lynchpin in the structure of humanity but one that holds it back from reaching its full potential. I should start by admitting that I consider myself a servant and have for many years. It may help by looking at Nature first. Every species seems to have a pecking order and we see it especially around mating, however no species apart from humans expect to have servants. Respect is one thing and what we might call a subservient attitude in the presence of the top dog, who may well steal the food others have caught, but I can think of no other species that will make the master’s bed for him, run his bath and stand in line to be inspected by him every morning.

I was brought up very aware of the master servant relationship. I have had friends who lived in castles, stately homes or two thousand acre farms and seen how the servants were treated. I have seen the earl inspect his gamekeepers in the morning, standing in a line in his hall until he is ready for them after his breakfast. Sat in his special pew facing the congregation in his church, been served grouse at his table by his servants. I have lived in the village where the manor house was inhabited by a family who had lived there since the Norman Conquest in 1066 and considered themselves Lords of the Manor AND the village. Now it probably belongs to the chief executive of some vast corporation but I am sure he is no different, has servants and demands the same respect from the villagers, many of whom will probably rent their cottages from him.

We are brought up in families that usually have a head of the house who issues the orders but it is when we get to school that we get the first real inkling of the relationship. The teachers were always called ‘masters’ in my youth. A few years ago I was working with a family of travellers, gypsies some would call them. The boy was sixteen but could not read or write, had been disruptive in every class and school he had attended, got into frequent fights, refused to take orders and predictably was eventually excluded from school altogether. He was difficult to talk to about this but after a few weeks managed to sit with me for a few minutes and told me what he wanted to be – basically a self employed scrap dealer driving his own lorry. I explained that meant passing a driving test which now includes a written test, that people could no longer pay someone else to take it for them and that he must spend the rest of his life trying to escape the fact that he could not do what every six year old can and thus be labelled stupid or worse. He eventually started attending writing classes for adults but could not break with his life long habit of disruption and lateness, along with a surly and disrespectful attitude. When I looked at him and his family it was as if he was ‘natural’ in many ways, unwilling to be broken like the rest of us, but of course he was putting himself at a huge disadvantage in life and getting into fights and theft is very antisocial usually bringing harsh consequences in our world. But he could see the essence of the problematical master servant relationship clearly.

It is even more true in our religions and the attitude they expect towards their deities and even their human representatives. Below is an article about the mysterious Suta family who appeared to a group of Indian ascetics at some time in the distant past. These men were clearly the masters of a subject that they were teaching but that was not good enough in the eyes of the guru who is relating the tale in our own time. He considers that a Suta was not a pure bred, high class Brahmin and therefore this guru states that he cannot have achieved true enlightenment, could not have reached the heights as that would mean being born into a high caste family. He goes on to say that because one Suta does not stand up when some deity arrives, the deity correctly kills him for his disrespect. The author also mentions another much more recent case where he feels this also happened. The man who states this is the guru Prabhupada who started the famous Hare Krishna movement. In fact ’Suta’ was not really killed by a deity, he was an emanation teaching a group of saddhus, but it is true that he was not a pure bred Brahmin. The point is that Prabhupada is displaying incredible ignorance in assuming that being in this caste means anything at all in spiritual terms. I suspect he tells this story to underline to his mostly international non-Brahmin followers that he is a class above them all and they must come back in later lives as high caste Brahmins if they wish to emulate him. It is nonsense, but dangerous nonsense, and illustrates something that corrupted religions more or less from day one:

http://www.iskcontimes.com/the-curious-story-of-romaharsana-suta/

Note the picture at the top of Suta dying of fright! Below is what is actually related about the Sutas which Prabhupada has grossly distorted for this master servant relationship:

 

“Ugrashravas (Devanagari: उग्रश्रवस, also Ugrasravas, Sauti, Suta, Sri Suta, Suta Goswami) was the narrator of several Puranas, including Mahābhārata, Bhagavata Purana, Harivamsa, and Padma Purana, with the narrations typically taking place before the sages gathered in Naimisha Forest. He was the son of Lomaharshana (or Romaharshana), and a disciple of Vyasa, the author of Mahābhārata. Ugrasrava belonged to the Suta caste, who were typically the bards of Puranic literature”

Wikipedia

 

“King Adhisima Krishna (alternatively, Asima Krishna) ruled the earth well. During his reign, several sages organized a yajna (sacrifice) on the banks of the sacred river Drishadvati. The river flowed through the region that was known as Kurukshetra.

The sacrifice went on for a very long time and the sage Lomaharshana came to visit the sages who were conducting the ceremony. Lomaharshana was so named because his recitals thrilled (harshana) the body-hair (loma) of his listeners. Lomaharshana was the disciple of the great sage Vedavyasa and had learnt the Puranas from his teacher. He was also well-versed in the Vedas and in the stories of the Mahabharata. As soon as Lomaharshana arrived, the other sages greeted him warmly. Lomaharshana greeted them in return. The assembled sages told Lomaharshana, “Great Suta, we are gratified that you have decided to grace our ceremony by your august presence. This is an auspicious occasion for telling us the stories of the Puranas. You have learnt them from the great Vedavyasa himself. Please recite the Puranas and slake our thirst for knowledge.” Lomaharshana belonged to the suta class. A suta was the son of a kshatriya (the second of the four classes) mother. Looking after horses and acting as charioteers were occupations that were prescribed for sutas. In addition, they sung the glories of kings. The accounts of the Puranas state that sutas were first born when the great king Pirthu organized a yajna. They accordingly became raconteurs of the great deeds of Prithu, and thereafter, of all kings. They also recited the stories of the Puranas.

“I am a suta,” replied Lomaharshana. “It is therefore my duty to recite the Puranas. You have asked me to do that which is my duty. I shall gladly accede to your request.”

The ancestors (pitri) had a daughter named Vasavi. She was cursed that she would be born as a fish. This fish had a daughter. The great Vedavyasa was born as Satyavati�s son. Vedavyasa learnt the Vedas from the great sage Jatukarna. He also composed the Mahabharata and the Puranas.

“I have learnt the Puranas from Vedvyasa,” continued Lomaharshana. “There were several sages who lived in the forest known as Naimisharanya. They requested the wind-god Vayu to tell them the answers to many questions. Vayu’s replies constitute the Vayu Purana and this is the text that I shall recite for your benefit. It is the most sacred of all the Puranas and is full of wisdom.”

“What is this business of Vayu reciting the Purana to the sages of Naimisharanya?” asked the assembled sages. “We are not aware of it. Please tell us about it first.” Lomaharshana complied. Naimisharanya forest is on the banks of the river Gomati. At a time when King Pururava used to rule the earth, many sages organized a yajna in Naimisharanya. The chief priest at this ceremony was Brihaspati, the preceptor of the gods, and the ceremony went on for twelve long years. When the ceremony was over, the wind-god Vayu recited the Vayu Purana to the sages. In reciting the text, Lomaharashana began with the account of the creation.

http://www.gloriousindia.com/scriptures/puranas/vayu_purana/lomaharshana_and_the_other_sages.html

 

When Lord Baladeva heard that the Pāṇḍavas and Kauravas were about to go to war, in order to remain neutral He left Dvārakā on the pretext of going on pilgrimage. The Lord bathed in sacred places such as Prabhāsa, Tritakūpa and Viśala, and eventually He came to the holy Naimiṣaraṇya forest, where great sages were performing an extended fire sacrifice. While being worshiped by the assembled sages and offered a seat of honor, the Lord noticed that Romaharṣaṇa Sūta, sitting on the speaker’s seat, had failed to stand in deference to Him. Greatly angered by this offense, Lord Balarāma killed Romaharṣaṇa by touching him with the tip of a blade of kuśa grass.

The assembled sages were disturbed by what Lord Baladeva had done, and they said to Him, “You have unknowingly killed a brāhmaṇa. Therefore, even though You are above the Vedic injunctions, we request You to set a perfect example for the general populace by atoning for this sin.” Then Śrī Baladeva, following the Vedic maxim that “one’s son takes birth as one’s own self,” granted to Romaharṣaṇa’s son Ugraśravā the position of speaker of the Purāṇas, and in accordance with the sages’ desires He promised Ugraśravā a long life with unfailing sensory capacity.

Wanting to do something more for the sages, Lord Baladeva promised to kill a demon named Balvala, who had been polluting their sacrificial arena. Finally, on the sages’ advice, He agreed to go on a year-long pilgrimage of all the holy places in India.

How is this killing of Romaharshana (for simply not standing up) justified?

Does Balarama ever regret his action? If not, what is the point of going on a pilgrimage?

http://hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/15429/does-balarama-ever-regret-killing-romaharshana

It is simply a ‘lesson’ and one well learned. The deity appears to kill the teacher for disrespecting him but the students make a stand against him for doing this and he has to put the matter right. A real master is one who cares for and teaches his students. Not some aristocrat or deity that expects to be worshipped and cared for by them. It is the reason so many gurus start their own sects and have followers who must pay them and look after them in their old age. A true leader is at the front, not sitting in some protected bunker ordering his troops to attack his enemy and get killed for doing that. But that is what we get and what is wrong. You will not see a chief executive get his hands dirty these days. He or she expects to be driven around in some prestige car, dine at the most expensive restaurants, be paid a fortune and be lord and master to all the employees. How did we get to that?

I would point out that the system is just as true in the communist countries we have seen as it is in the capitalist ones, monarchies, democracies or republics. We are not all equal in the eyes of man. Nor am I advocating anarchy. We cannot have anarchy in our classrooms, workplaces, homes or communities. But law and order do not really require some class to give orders to an underclass and to throw them into prison, evict, sack or kill them if they do not follow these orders. Deities are no exception, but ‘deities’ are used to keep this system afloat. Unfortunately the real law and order – Dharma and Karma – are grossly offended by this unjust behaviour and I might add the grotesque inequality that is its direct result. This is where our physical world grates against the spiritual, where illusion disguises the truth.

We have an excellent phrase – public servant – which often means nothing of the kind but reflects that certain people serve their communities. And we rely upon these people – firemen, medics, police, council workers etc – to maintain our world. Politicians like to call themselves this too but are the ones responsible for the total mess and mass of corruption overtaking humanity. The real role models of service are extraordinary. Nurses are one wonderful example, carers another. Doctors who spend years studying, need the highest qualifications to get to medical school and end up working in very difficult situations for most of their lives are another example. If only our chief executives were half as worthy of our respect but the ones I have come across were not really worthy of any respect. They have been deceitful, autocratic and corrupt while serving an interest that is certainly not that of the community they should have been serving. Politics have much to answer for. I will give just one example of this. Twenty years ago our councils looked after a huge stock of housing, mostly for the poorer people in our communities. The rich either owned or rented more prestigious accommodation. But the council housing was the replacement for the slums that the poor endured for centuries. It was of good quality and maintained with rents that were affordable for nurses, low paid council workers and even the unemployed. These people had what were called secure tenancies to protect them for life.

Then politics intervened. The politicians did not like this and decided to allow some tenants to buy the council housing if they could afford to. They told the councils to hand over the properties to housing associations which traditionally had performed a similar service. Bear in mind that a Council Housing Director probably earned about £50,000 a year back in 1993 and was responsible for thousands of homes. Now look at what happened – the housing associations put up rents year after year, even if they are still deemed ‘affordable‘. The idea was to close the gap with private landlord rents, enabling them to levy vast increases too. The housing associations formed boards of directors to run the operations. I have blanked out the names to spare them embarrassment

Highest paid housing association chief executives 2015/16

Chief executive Housing association Total pay Rise/fall
1 £528,870 9.8%
2 £400,010 12.1%
3 £355,105 32.1%
4 £340,000 6.6%
5 £320,933 6.7%
6 £273,242 1.6%
7 £261,873 2.9%
8 £251,478 9.8%
9 £251,281 10.1%
10 £245,996 1.9%

 

http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/inside-housing-salary-survey-2016/7016527.article

Bear in mind that these are basically not for profit charities and that the frontline workers have seen a constant increase in their workloads but many are still paid around what was paid back in the 1990’s. Also bear in mind that the other directors (financial directors, human resources directors etc) in these associations are also earning fortunes. They would argue that this is to attract the best people and to provide the best service but I have worked in them and it is not! It is all about the master servant relationship and the widening of the gap between the new masters and their servants. This is no longer about aristocracy but plutocracy, however whatever we call it this system is destroying and disgracing humanity. One in three children in Scotland where I live are in poverty while we pay fortunes to all these so called executives who once were ’public servants’.

Here is a bit of the history to this:

“Housing associations first appeared in the second half of the nineteenth century as part of the growth in philanthropic and voluntary organisations brought about by the growth of the middle classes in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. Early examples are the Guinness Trust and Peabody Trust.

They increased in importance over the last decades of the twentieth century due to changes to council housing brought in by the Thatcher government, when rules were introduced that prevented councils subsidising their housing from local taxes, channelled grants for construction of new social housing to housing associations and allowed council tenants to buy their homes at a large discount. This, combined with cost-cutting initiatives in local government and a housing benefit scheme that was more generous to housing associations than local authorities, led to many councils transferring their housing stock to housing associations. These organisations are often referred to as large-scale voluntary transfer organisations or local housing companies.

The Housing Acts of 1985 and 1988 facilitated the transfer of council housing to not-for-profit housing associations. The 1988 Act redefined housing associations as non-public bodies, permitting access to private finance, which was a strong motivation for transfer as public sector borrowing had been severely constrained. These new housing associations were also the providers of most new public-sector housing. By 2003 36.5% of the social rented housing stock was held by housing associations” Wikipedia

I could have pointed to many other facts in our society but housing is a very basic right. One denied to far too many people born into a world which has already been carved up and where the richest have almost all the land while the poorest own very little or none. Is there a spiritual basis for this?

I recall working in the 1970’s for a man who started by selling ice creams in Scotland and finished owning a chain of 800 hotels. I have known quite a few such people. One invented a food mixer which he made in his garage at home. He lived in our village and I went to school with his sons. It became a world famous brand. Some people make things happen and I would call them masters, teachers if you like. They invent. I have also worked with men and women who worked very hard to make things happen. But these days we have corporations run by trained leaders, men and women with MBA’s. The top 100 companies in Britain pay these people an average over £5 million a year, not including their bonuses, golden handshakes, pensions and share options. This is the modern ‘master’ in our world and they take over the many smaller enterprises often created and run by the kind of people I described above. It is a huge change from the days when perhaps very rich men ran coal mines on their land or imported cotton and made fabrics in their mills. These people are now anonymous shareholders who charge the professional executives to run their vast corporations. And there is a huge difference. The difference between the king riding to war at the head of his army and the men and women who calmly despatch professionals to do this for them.

So we must go back to Egypt for the explanations. At one time kings were not hereditary there but were carefully chosen and only ruled until such time as they were deemed too old, then ritually killed. As you can imagine it was not a job that everybody wanted. The test of the king’s ability and age was a race with the high priest and this was called the Heb Sed. So important was this race that after the first pharaohs arrived and took control around 3500BC they kept the Heb Sed, in fact it lasted for hundreds more years well into the 2000’s when it was enacted around the pyramids. But in these later races were mere tokens or ceremonies by then. The king did not die and probably did not even run.

“Despite the antiquity of the Sed Festival and the hundreds of references to it throughout the history of ancient Egypt, the most detailed records of the ceremonies—apart from the reign of Amenhotep III—come mostly from “relief cycles of the Fifth Dynasty king Neuserra… in his sun temple at Abu Ghurab, of Akhenaten at East Karnak, and the relief cycles of the Twenty-second Dynasty king Osorkon II… at Bubastis.”

The ancient festival might, perhaps, have been instituted to replace a ritual of murdering a pharaoh who was unable to continue to rule effectively because of age or condition. Eventually, Sed festivals were jubilees celebrated after a ruler had held the throne for thirty years and then every three (or four in one case) years after that. They primarily were held to rejuvenate the pharaoh’s strength and stamina while still sitting on the throne, celebrating the continued success of the pharaoh.

(picture)

Detail from an ebony label of the First Dynasty pharaoh Den, depicting him running around the ritual boundary markers as part of the Sed festival

There is clear evidence for early pharaohs celebrating the Heb Sed, such as the First Dynasty pharaoh Den and the Third Dynasty pharaoh Djoser. In the Pyramid of Djoser, there are two boundary stones in his Heb Sed court, which is within his pyramid complex. He also is shown performing the Heb Sed in a false doorway inside his pyramid….. Wikipedia

But soon things changed in Egypt and one change was that the monarch ruled for life, usually having a vizier to run his day to day tasks. The other was that the monarchy became hereditary. This is the foundation for inheritance these days where titles and estates pass to the oldest son if there is one. Meanwhile the pharaohs insisted that they were incarnations of gods. Even this has carried on with what is called the ‘divine right’ of monarchs to rule. But these very alterations started the rot of humanity. No longer were the leaders real leaders. They were seldom the warriors or people who cleared the land and grew the food, defended the villages from predators. They used professionals for all of that, with some notable exceptions, but these exceptions were often men who did that and ended up taking over the monarchy.

Almost everybody wants to leave whatever they have collected and created in their lives to their children. It is considered a natural desire to want to protect our young. And no different whether it is an empire, a house or just a name and reputation. But it leads to a vast inequality and is certainly not justified by the merits of those inheriting. One child ends up a vast landowner another a humble tenant, even slave. The child of a slave is a slave as surely as the child of a king is not.

Anyway the system originated long ago, perhaps in Egypt, and has lasted ever since. So too has the master servant relationship and imprinted in it a spiritual base namely that the monarch is the incarnation of a god. This is Prabhupada’s misconception but easy enough to assume ie that any god or goddess would surely choose to be a monarch if incarnating here, and any enlightened one must therefore choose to be a pure bred and high caste Brahmin. It is nonsense but also a licence for corruption and theft. However this master servant relationship is so highly prized in its present form that any challenge to it is branded the most unholy crime of all, both heresy and dangerous antisocialism.

It is the Maya or illusion that covers our eyes from birth, that tells us to accept our lot in life, even that this is what we deserve because of the actions or karma from our previous lives.

It is not my intention or work to change any of this but merely to explain the consequences. We need stability in our world and it is founded in this system. Revolutions never change the system, just who the people are in each of the roles which is no better. But even if the kings no longer face de-selection and a ritual death they nevertheless have inherited a mighty responsibility and in many ways that ritual death would be far preferable to what they do now receive. Our executives in whatever roles must account for their actions when they die. Very few will be judged to have earned a good karma, almost all will have to pay the heaviest of prices for their actions. For most of us we are merely responsible for our own actions but these ones are responsible for millions of actions. If they make wars they face the most horrendous justice as a result. But even if they exploited their staff, caused poverty or eviction they will suffer grievous consequences. There have been many attempts in the past to explain this to them but it is countered by others telling them what they want to hear, that they are divine in many ways and this is their right.

If you want true enlightenment do not fall in this trap. This is why we choose an ascetic life without followings. More to the point it is why we choose real ‘public service’ to create a positive karma. All of us are servants unless we master some art. I am sure the MBA’s consider that business administration is an art and perhaps if handled in an enlightened way it could be, but the pursuit of profit is not. The rich have a huge responsibility to the poor and unless they exercise that wisely they face the most awful afterlives. I have seen what happens over there and was so horrified that I complained and objected, however it is what they do to themselves. We cannot avoid that which we do to others being done to us and if we do it to millions the pay back is awful to behold. Whether we like it or not we will all serve karma and dharma eventually because we create them in our lives. We all have a part of us watching our lives and testifying against us when we die. Hiding this fact is what enables a ridiculous and totally irresponsible system not only to thrive but now to threaten humanity’s very survival.

Apophis

(NB I keep adding to this Apophis section)

Every now and then in life we need a clearout. Sometimes things go wrong and we need to start again – our business might fail, we lose our job or relationship, our home gets repossessed or flooded. The same is true with our gardens, our attics and many other aspects of our lives. It is also true on a national scale occasionally and every now and then on a world scale. Bankruptcy for example can happen to individuals, businesses, banks, nations and even be seen in global economic crashes and recessions. It can also happen with our health and with the health of our planet.

I doubt many would consider that there actually are gods or goddesses like the Ancient Egyptian Shu (Sky god)), Nun (Sea god) or Geb (Earth god). We find them in many cultures with different names and genders. Even if we consider them in abstract terms – our atmosphere, oceans and our planet (or farmlands and forests) very few would agree that we can communicate with them. Even fewer would dream of apologising to them for the pollution we have caused, poisoning them. I would add that very few have their eyes open to our real world and its spiritual base and therefore have not asked these ones for more time to sort out the problem. Having said that I am not aware of a huge international effort to clean up the pollution although one young man has gained over $2 million crowd funding to clean up the plastic rubbish in the Pacific – (https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-08-17/meet-22-year-old-big-idea-cleaning-great-pacific-garbage-patch). Empty words and apologies will not convince these gods.

The ancients saw this too and could forecast it. In Egypt they saw it as a snake that could encircle the world and destroy it, along with the creator gods. They gave this snake a name – Apep and the Greeks called it Apophis thus when we seemed to be threatened by an asteroid a few years ago they called it after this beast:

 

“99942 Apophis (/ə’pɒfɪs/, previously known by its provisional designation 2004 MN4) is a near-Earth asteroid that caused a brief period of concern in December 2004 because initial observations indicated a probability of up to 2.7% that it would hit Earth on April 13, 2029. Additional observations provided improved predictions that eliminated the possibility of an impact on Earth or the Moon in 2029. However, until 2006, a possibility remained that during the 2029 close encounter with Earth, Apophis would pass through a gravitational keyhole, a small region no more than about 965 kilometres (600 miles) wide, that would set up a future impact exactly seven years later, on April 13, 2036. This possibility kept it at Level 1 on the Torino impact hazard scale until August 2006, when the probability that Apophis would pass through the keyhole was determined to be very small. By 2008, the keyhole had been determined to be less than 1 km wide. During the short time when it had been of greatest concern, Apophis set the record for highest rating on the Torino scale, reaching level 4.……Receiving a permanent number made it eligible for naming, and it received the name “Apophis” on July 19, 2005. Apophis is the Greek name of an enemy of the Ancient Egyptian sun-god Ra: Apep, the Uncreator, an evil serpent that dwells in the eternal darkness of the Duat and tries to swallow Ra during his nightly passage. Apep is held at bay by Set, the Ancient Egyptian god of storms and the desert. David J. Tholen and Tucker—two of the co-discoverers of the asteroid—are reportedly fans of the TV series Stargate SG-1. One of the show’s persistent villains is an alien named Apophis. He is one of the principal threats to the existence of civilization on Earth through the first few seasons, thus likely why the asteroid was named after him. In the fictional world of the show, the alien’s backstory was that he had lived on Earth during ancient times and had posed as a god, thereby giving rise to the myth of the Egyptian god of the same name.” Wikipedia

The Egyptians called this Set, Sutekh or Sutah. Throughout Egyptian history this ‘foreign god’, usually depicted as a hound,  stood in the prow of the boat belonging to the sun god with a harpoon in his hand and as soon as he saw the snake he threatened it, eventually chopping off its head and cutting it in pieces. He was thought to be the only one capable of subduing this serpent but he never killed it because the next night it would be there again, at the seventh hour. The boat was called the boat of millions of years and we might deduce that this ’nightly journey’ was in fact one that happened at the end of an age, not a day. We can also see when these times occurred in Egyptian history. For most of it Sutekh was an unpopular god (demonised by successive pharaohs) but at certain times the pharaohs called him out of exile and either took his name or adopted his hound symbol. These reigns were times of change, rooting out growing corruption. If you want to know more about the instances where this happened or even see all the pictures and statements recorded of Sutekh this article below is absolutely the best thing I have seen on him:

http://www.matertiamat.com/docs/set-find.pdf

Joan Lansberry has gone to great trouble to collate all of this but my interest today is to show how the pictures showing Sutekh spear the beast are relevant today and may help to explain how we might be saved from extinction this time around. There are other cultures that speak of this beast.

” Jörmungandr the serpent grew so large that he was able to surround the earth and grasp his own tail.] As a result, he received the name of the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent. When he lets go, the world will end. Jörmungandr’s arch-enemy is the god Thor.” Wikipedia Norse mythology

” One was the lethal poison known as Halahala, which in some versions of the story, escaped from the mouth of the serpent king as the demons and gods churned. This terrified the gods and demons because the poison was so powerful that it could destroy all of creation. Then the gods approached Shiva for protection. Shiva consumed the poison in an act to protect the universe, and his wife Parvati pressed her hand on Shiva’s throat to save the universe. As a result, Shiva’s neck turned blue. For this reason, Lord Shiva is also called Neelakanta (the blue-throated one)” Wikipedia

Sutekh was a predynsatic god and we first find him in the prototype Egyptian writings, for example engraved on a famous macehead and palettes from 3500BC. The first pharaoh to take his name and standard was Seth- Peribsen in the 2nd Dynasty (before the pyramids) about 2800BC.

Peribsen’s royal name is a subject of curiosity for Egyptologists because it is connected to the deity Seth rather than Horus, as was traditional for the name of a pharaoh. The debate continues over why Peribsen chose this name. Earlier theories have favoured the idea that Egypt was split in two realms during Peribsen’s time or that he was a heretic, who sought to start a new monotheistic religion with Seth as the only worshipped god. However, newer evidence and evaluations tend to show that the Egyptian kingdom was unified, but witnessed a vast and profound reform during the second dynasty. Seal impressions from tombs of this era reveal great changes in the titles held by high officials, pointing to a reduction of their power” Wikipedia

Another pharaoh came much later:

“Menmaatre Seti I (or Sethos I as in Greek) was a pharaoh of the New Kingdom Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt, the son of Ramesses I and Sitre, and the father of Ramesses II. As with all dates in Ancient Egypt, the actual dates of his reign are unclear, and various historians claim different dates, with 1294 BC to 1279 BC and 1290 BC to 1279 BC being the most commonly used by scholars today.

The name ‘Seti’ means “of Set”, which indicates that he was consecrated to the god Set (also termed “Sutekh” or “Seth”). As with most pharaohs, Seti had several names. Upon his ascension, he took the prenomen “mn-m3‘t-r‘ “, usually vocalized as Menmaatre, in Egyptian, which means “Established is the Justice of Re.” His better known nomen, or birth name, is transliterated as “sty mry-n-ptḥ” or Sety Merenptah, meaning “Man of Set, beloved of Ptah“. Manetho incorrectly considered him to be the founder of the 19th dynasty, and gave him a reign length of 55 years, though no evidence has ever been found for so long a reign……After the enormous social upheavals generated by Akhenaten‘s religious reform, Horemheb, Ramesses I and Seti I’s main priority was to re-establish order in the kingdom and to reaffirm Egypt’s sovereignty over Canaan and Syria….” Wikipedia

It is from this time, the 19th Dynasty, that we find the ‘Stela of Taqayna’ depicting Apep with a human head.

What happens in empires is that some organisations, and temples, become incredibly powerful and wealthy. But they also become corrupt. It happened to Egypt a few times in its long history but also to its neighbours, to Greece and Rome. Possibly it happened to Britain’s vast colonial empire under Victoria and her successor emperors. We may be seeing something of a vast and bloated corporate empire now. But what the story tells us is not that the thing is killed. It has its head removed, perhaps we might see that as the CEO or board sacked, and it is cut up into smaller parts. This is sometimes done to prevent monopolies these days when very large corporations are forced to split. Otherwise they strangle the planet because the temptation of monopoly is to charge extortionately whenever there is no competition.

I should explain how Sutekh and Horus work. They are ‘influences’. Horus is a war god and represented by the hawk. We see his influence in every generation and in every war. Sutekh is very different.  Horus has always ‘contended’ with him. Sutekh’s concern is with the ordinary people, the poor and  he seems to intervene when oppression is too great and stability is threatened. One need only look at history to see how these influences have worked but bear in mind that it is written that Thoth sprang from Sutekh’s head and Thoth is not only the peacekeeper of the Gods but the bringer of writing to humanity. Sutekh’s influence has often been through what we might still call scribes, for whom Thoth was the protector, thus his ‘influence’ has often come from writers and thinkers rather than warriors. He wanted rule by a group of elders rather than a single monarch and we can note that there is a group of highly respected elders in our time, not that they have that much influence right now:

The Elders is an international non-governmental organisation of public figures noted as elder statesmen, peace activists, and human rights advocates, who were brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007. They describe themselves as “independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights”. The goal Mandela set for the Elders was to use their “almost 1,000 years of collective experience” to work on solutions for seemingly insurmountable problems such as climate change, HIV/AIDS, and poverty, as well as to “use their political independence to help resolve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts“.

The Elders

  1. Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
  2. Kofi Annan (Chair), former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
  3. Ela Bhatt, founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India
  4. Lakhdar Brahimi, former Foreign Minister of Algeria and United Nations envoy
  5. Gro Harlem Brundtland (Deputy Chair), former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization
  6. Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil
  7. Hina Jilani, international human rights defender from Pakistan
  8. Graça Machel, former Education Minister of Mozambique, President of the Foundation for Community Development, widow of Samora Machel and widow of Nelson Mandela
  9. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  10. Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico
  11. Ricardo Lagos, former President of Chile

Honorary Elders

  1. Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, former Bishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and former Chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Nobel Peace Prize laureate

Former Elders

  • Nelson Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was the founder of the Elders and a former president of South Africa. He stepped down to become an honorary member until his death in 2013.
  • Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, microcredit pioneer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is a former Elder. Yunus stepped down as a member of The Elders in September 2009, stating that he was unable to do justice to his membership of the group due to the demands of his work.
  • The Myanmar opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is a former honorary Elder. During her period under house arrest, the Elders kept an empty chair at each of their meetings, to mark their solidarity with Suu Kyi and Burma/Myanmar’s other political prisoners. In line with the requirement that members of The Elders should not hold public office, Suu Kyi stepped down as an honorary Elder following her election to parliament on 1 April 2012.
  • Li Zhaoxing, former Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China, attended the launch.
  • Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States, Nobel Peace Prize laureate”
  • Wikipedia

The idea behind this is inspired but the actual group leave much to be desired.  They do good work and mean well however I don’t feel they are a match for the human headed beasts strangling our planet and oppressing the poor.  Downsizing is what we need to survive and a vast effort by all nations, the kind of effort we saw made by many nations in World War 2, to take on pollution, poverty, drought, famine and war. Corporations need to turn their expertise to these challenges and making clean energy while we have time, not to make matters worse. Both might be profitable ventures for them but one leads to their extinction the other to our salvation. Quite why they cannot work that out is exactly why Sutekh ‘influence’ is needed and the Horus ‘influence’ countered for a while or preferably working with him. Our armies and navies are the only ones who can save us now and this is the war they must fight, their generals the ones who can win it for us. One day we will need all our satellites and missiles to stop our planet being destroyed by comets and asteroids. How satisfying to win such a battle for humanity and our other species who need their protection. Then of course life will go on as normal just as it has done since the year dot – until the next crisis.

The rivalry between Sutekh and Horus through the ages is only really explained thousands of years later in Greek writings, and by then probably in a very corrupted form as they do not make a lot of sense. The battle between the influences culminated in a boat race. I will copy the Wikipedia text on this:

Horus and Set challenged each other to a boat race, where they each raced in a boat made of stone. Horus and Set agreed, and the race started. But Horus had an edge: his boat was made of wood painted to resemble stone, rather than true stone. Set’s boat, being made of heavy stone, sank, but Horus’ did not. Horus then won the race, and Set stepped down and officially gave Horus the throne of Egypt. After the New Kingdom, Set was still considered lord of the desert and its oases.

In many versions of the story, Horus and Set divide the realm between them. This division can be equated with any of several fundamental dualities that the Egyptians saw in their world. Horus may receive the fertile lands around the Nile, the core of Egyptian civilization, in which case Set takes the barren desert or the foreign lands that are associated with it; Horus may rule the earth while Set dwells in the sky; and each god may take one of the two traditional halves of the country, Upper and Lower Egypt, in which case either god may be connected with either region. Yet in the Memphite Theology, Geb, as judge, first apportions the realm between the claimants and then reverses himself, awarding sole control to Horus. In this peaceable union, Horus and Set are reconciled, and the dualities that they represent have been resolved into a united whole. Through this resolution, order is restored after the tumultuous conflict.

Egyptologists have often tried to connect the conflict between the two gods with political events early in Egypt’s history or prehistory. The cases in which the combatants divide the kingdom, and the frequent association of the paired Horus and Set with the union of Upper and Lower Egypt, suggest that the two deities represent some kind of division within the country. Egyptian tradition and archaeological evidence indicate that Egypt was united at the beginning of its history when an Upper Egyptian kingdom, in the south, conquered Lower Egypt in the north. The Upper Egyptian rulers called themselves “followers of Horus”, and Horus became the tutelary deity of the unified nation and its kings. Yet Horus and Set cannot be easily equated with the two halves of the country. Both deities had several cult centers in each region, and Horus is often associated with Lower Egypt and Set with Upper Egypt. Other events may have also affected the myth…” Wikipedia

There are a few points that can be made. Modern writers often call Sutekh (Set) a ‘trickster’ deity but above we can see that Horus is the trickster. The race should be re-run or the result annulled but it is a bit late for that. What is shown is how the hawks gained the upper hand in history and wars were frequent if not continuous. We might look at a Nostradamus quatrain for our own century:

“The year 1999, seventh month,
From the sky will come a great King of Terror:
To bring back to life the great King of the Mongols,
Before and after Mars to reign by good luck.”

http://www.sacred-texts.com/nos/cen10eng.htm

Mars is the war god Horus.

As for the race in boats of stone. These seem to me to be the huge stone sarcophagi in which the early pharaohs were buried and they certainly would not float. In time they were replaced by wooden coffins, decorated like their predecessors, sometimes plated to look like solid gold. But we can see that over the course of Egyptian history the two contenders were at times reconciled and there is no need for that to be impossible now. Munition manufacturers can easily turn to making electric cars and lorries, or converting those we have. They can turn to developing tidal barriers and solar panel farms to power the new infrastructure. New electric central heating boilers and cookers to replace gas. The vast corporations and armadas of ships and tankers can turn to cleaning the seas. There is much work in providing a food alternative so that fish stocks and the sea bed can recover. They can stop the logging and forest clearances by turning to alternatives recycling all that plastic and glass. Our armies can stop the poaching of endangered species and we can give them the space and water they need. The problem is this. Corporations feel that if they do not drill more oil wells, overfish the seas, log the forests, build the diesel and petrol cars, the gas and nuclear power stations etc then someone else will. So they carry on even though they know there is a problem. Farmland is becoming sterile from repeated drenches of pesticide and fertiliser and needs organic regeneration. A vast human effort can do that. Even organised crime can do something more user friendly with their huge resources. But where is the money for all of this? I would point out that it would be found if world war three broke out and in a real sense this is our world war three, a global war against the huge dangers most species including us face to survive this century.

Defence Industries? We need sea defences for all the world’s coastal cities and low lying arable land before the salt gets into it. It is work that will cost trillions and save many more. Holland shows exactly how it can be achieved but work needs to start now and get funding now based on reasonable or worst case projections, not wishful thinking. This funding needs to be international from bonds or specially printed money if necessary and available asap.

Hopefully Horus and Sutekh can agree on this and start work.

This is why we see this name Sutekh or Sutah cropping up here in its later version:

“ Soter derives from the Greek epithet σωτήρ (sōtēr), meaning a saviour, a deliverer; initial capitalised Σωτήρ; fully capitalised ΣΩΤΗΡ; feminine Soteria (Σωτηρία). Soter has been used as:

as a title of gods: Poseidon Soter, Zeus Soter, Dionysus Soter, Apollo Soter, Athena Soteria and Hecate Soteria.

as the name of a distinct mythical figure, Soter (daimon)

any heroized leaders of Hellenistic dynasties, see hero cult:

Antigonus Monophthalmus, awarded the title for liberating Athens from Cassander

Ptolemy I Soter of Egypt (reigned 323-283 BCE)

Antiochus I Soter of the Seleucid Empire (reigned 281-261 BCE)

Demetrius I Soter of the Seleucid Empire (reigned 161-150 BCE)

Diomedes Soter

Dionysios Soter

Polyxenos Epiphanes Soter

Rabbel II Soter

Attalus I

Seleucus III Ceraunus

Ptolemy IX

Diodotus I

Strato II

Strato I

Menander I

as a title of liberators (see also eleutherios (disambiguation)

a title of Jesus of Nazareth, most particularly in the fish acronym

Pope Soter, r. ca. 167-174

 

Soteriology (/səˌtɪər.i’ɒl.ə.dʒi/; from Greek: σωτηρία sōtēriā “salvation”) is the religious doctrine of salvation. It may also refer to the branch of theology that deals with salvation, especially in Christianity. Salvation theory occupies a place of special significance in many religions.

In the academic field of religious studies, soteriology is understood by scholars as representing a key theme in a number of different religions and is often studied in comparison to various ideas about salvation and how it is obtained among the world religions…”. Wikipedia

Satori

I am well aware that almost no one would agree with me about ‘enlightenment’. The word is used by some who consider it to be about being nice, always positive perhaps doing some yoga occasionally. The followers of Guru Maharaji believed that he imparted it to them more or less just by touching them. I knew one quite well and he, the guru and I were all at the 1971 Glastonbury Fayre. Almost everyone agrees that Buddha was enlightened. If enlightenment is what I know then he possibly was not which I realise is ‘heresy‘ but will explain. I do not mind throwing in a bit of eastern language and understanding into the mix. Perhaps it is easier to say that our world is filled with illusion, maya than filled with ‘fake news‘. That truth and justice, dharma, are obscured by these illusions rather than suggesting our world is corrupt and unjust. Well an enlightened person is merely able to see through these illusions or deceptions to the stark facts. Some people who consider themselves enlightened have complained to me that I am negative and that I do not see the goodness in this world. I will try to redefine the term but can start with the wikipedia definition:

“Enlightenment refers to the “full comprehension of a situation”. It is commonly used to denote the Age of Enlightenment, but is also used in Western cultures in a religious context. It translates several Buddhist terms and concepts, most notably bodhi, kensho and satori. Related terms from Asian religions are moksha (liberation) in Hinduism, Kevala Jnana in Jainism and ushta in Zoroastrianism.” Wikipedia

I agree with the first sentence but also think we need the Buddhist definition:

“The English term enlightenment is the western translation of the term bodhi, “awakening”, which has entered the Western world via the 19th century translations of Max Müller. It has the western connotation of a sudden insight into a transcendental truth. The term is also being used to translate several other Buddhist terms and concepts used to denote insight (prajna, kensho and satori); knowledge (vidhya); the “blowing out” (Nirvana) of disturbing emotions and desires and the subsequent freedom or release (vimutti); and the attainment of Buddhahood, as exemplified by Gautama Buddha.

What exactly constituted the Buddha’s awakening is unknown. It may probably have involved the knowledge that liberation was attained by the combination of mindfulness and dhyana, applied to the understanding of the arising and ceasing of craving. The relation between dhyana and insight is a core problem in the study of Buddhism, and is one of the fundamentals of Buddhist practice.

In the western world the concept of (spiritual) enlightenment has taken on a romantic meaning. It has become synonymous with self-realization and the true self, being regarded as a substantial essence being covered over by social conditioning.” Wikipedia

Clearly this requires a deeper understanding of the Buddhist terms because ‘enlightenment‘ seems to be used to cover various quite different words and concepts:

“Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening, “comprehension; understanding”. It is derived from the Japanese verb satoru.

“In the Zen Buddhist tradition, satori refers to the experience of kensho, “seeing into one’s true nature”. Ken means “seeing,” sho means “nature” or “essence.”

Satori and kensho are commonly translated as enlightenment, a word that is also used to translate bodhi, prajna and buddhahood” Wikipedia

“Bodhi (Sanskrit: बोधि; and Pali) in Buddhism is the understanding possessed by a Buddha regarding the true nature of things. It is traditionally translated into English with the word enlightenment, although its literal meaning is closer to “awakening.” The verbal root “budh” means to awaken” Wikipedia

Paññā (Pāli) or prajñā (Sanskrit) “wisdom”, is insight in the true nature of reality, namely primarily anicca (impermanence), dukkha (dissatisfaction or suffering), anattā (non-self) and śunyatā (emptiness).” Wikipedia

“In Buddhism, buddhahood (Sanskrit:buddhatva….) is the condition or rank of a buddha ….. Sanskrit pronunciation: [‘bud̪d̪ʱə] ( listen), Pali/Sanskrit for “awakened one”). “ Wikipedia

I will try to relate these terms to the experience and find out what is so hard about achieving this and what is ‘awakened’ or why that term is used for seeing the true nature of something. Here I would point to the word we have – ‘clairvoyance’ – and although I know we can all develop this ability a bit, or at least use it more often, for one reason or another some people are born particularly clairvoyant and others scoff at them and the mere thought that it is not just an elaborate con. It may well be the case with a lot of them as with many of the so called enlightened masters too. Hard to say if you cannot see yourself and actually experience it. But clairvoyance is much closer to this than ordinary sight. It is also the ability to see the spiritual behind the physical and to communicate with it. Most natural clairvoyants I have known were kind and gentle people born with this peculiar ability. But they did not use it to look at the whole world and many were quite timid, almost unwilling to look too deeply at it.

I remember in the sixties a strange statement was put out that some master had claimed that all was illusion and that even a washing machine was an illusion. It seemed at the time that they were suggesting that everything was maya except some lama sitting in a lotus position in some Himalayan retreat or Buddha under his bodhi tree. In reality compared to the woman washing a sari in a river by beating it against a rock our washing machines are an illusion. Quite apart from the pollution and destruction of nature required to make the thing, something done to make money not wash clothes, we plug it in to our pollution, nature destroying electricity supply and process our clothes with a large dose of chemicals which are also produced without much care for the environment. We then release this toxic brew into our rivers and seas where it wreaks further havoc. Unless we believe what it says on the packet and use non-biological and natural detergents we can scarcely claim our clothes are ‘clean’ at the end of this process. This is the kind of thinking that strips away the illusions that surround the innocuous washing machine. When extended to the world we live in it becomes clear that it is not at all what it claims. Education is not always education but brainwashing. Religion is not necessarily religion but often some form of possession. Some foods we prize are poisonous us in the long run. Even if we live in a ‘democracy’ we do not have much say in what we do with our lives. Our farms could be seen as concentration camps for animals and the great polluters on the planet. For all our posturing we are not really trying to alleviate poverty or cleaning up our oceans and atmosphere……………

If for example seeing like this was enlightenment it is not what most seekers are looking for. It does not lead to sitting serenely contemplating paradise but sitting, seething at the hell we are creating. ‘Buddha’ did not write anything but we do have records supposedly left by his disciples. He was a man from a wealthy family who left them and went to live as a hermit and who wanted to understand why disease and death were so prevalent. If you try to find his actual words you will find them dwarfed by comments about what they mean. This is all maya. A good example if you want to see this is here:

http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/buddhas-words/selections/buddhas-words-introduction-part-i–human-condition

One of the teachings closest to his heart apparently and which is recorded as a conversation he had with one of his disciples is called the Diamond Sutra. But reading this starts those alarm bells ringing again and I will explain why. All over the internet these days are the sayings of Osho. I had friends who studied under this ‘guru’ in India and gave me a book he had written ‘Neither this nor that’. This is the infamous Bhagwan with his fleet of Rolls Royces. It is classic guruism in that it sends students all over the place, never really answers anything and hides behind this exterior of a smile. What is enlightenment? – it is neither this nor that. But we should expect this subject above all to be cloaked in many layers of illusion, if not downright lies. Those that recite the words faithfully and put them on site after site believe that they are enlightened and one must sympathise with their predicament. They have invested heavily in their gurus. It is not easy to break free and to open one’s eyes to one’s own stupidity and gullibility which are really the human condition thanks to the ridiculous education and religion we receive.

The Diamond Sutra. If you wish to read it you can. I will only put an extract here to explain my discomfort with suggesting that these are the words of an enlightened man rather than a guru who relied on his disciples to keep him in his dotage. If I am falling into Bhagwan’s trap that it is neither this (Buddha) nor that (Bhagwan) so be it. I will at least explain what it really is, however that can only be my opinion. We have to find out what it is for ourselves and to do that we need our eyes open, only to find that this is all it is anyway. But it is exceedingly rare all the same.

” Hidden for centuries in a sealed-up cave in north-west China, this copy of the ‘Diamond Sutra’ is the world’s earliest complete survival of a dated printed book. It was made in 868. Seven strips of yellow-stained paper were printed from carved wooden blocks and pasted together to form a scroll over 5m long. Though written in Chinese, the text is one of the most important sacred works of the Buddhist faith, which was founded in India.”

Warning: Buddha lived 1300+ years before it was even written but let us assume it was faithfully handed down by those who memorised every word and had them handed down by a reliable witness.

“What is a sutra? The word comes from Sanskrit, the ancient and sacred language of India. It means a religious teaching or sermon, and is most often used to describe the teachings of the Buddha. Sutras preached by the Buddha were committed to memory by his disciples and passed down from generation to generation. The illustration at the beginning of this ‘Diamond Sutra’ shows the Buddha expounding the sutra to an elderly disciple called Subhuti. The sutra answers that question for itself. Towards the end of the sermon, Subhuti asks the Buddha how the sutra should be known. He is told to call it ‘The Diamond of Transcendent Wisdom’ because its teaching will cut like a diamond blade through worldly illusion to illuminate what is real and everlasting” http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/sacredtexts/diamondsutra.html

It sounds promising like the pickaxe Book of Enoch.

“Chapter 1.

This is what I heard.

At one time the Buddha was staying in the Jeta Grove, near the city of Sravasti.

With him there was a community of 1,250 venerable monks and devoted disciples.

One day before dawn, the Buddha clothed himself, and along with his disciples took up his alms bowl and entered the city to beg for food door to door, as was his custom.

After he had returned and eaten, he put away his bowl and cloak, bathed his feet, and then sat with his legs crossed and body upright upon the seat arranged for him.

He began mindfully fixing his attention in front of himself, while many monks approached the Buddha, and showing great reverence, seated themselves around him.

Chapter 2.

After a time a most venerable monk named Subhuti, who was sitting in the congregation, rose from his seat.

He uncovered his right shoulder, placed his right knee on the ground, and as he joined his palms together he respectfully bowed and then addressed the Buddha:

“Most Honored One, It is truly majestic how much knowledge and wisdom your monks and disciples have been given through your most inspired teachings! It is remarkable that you look after our welfare so selflessly and so completely.”

“Most Honored One, I have a question to ask you. If sons and daughters of good families want to develop the highest, most fulfilled and awakened mind, if they wish to attain the Highest Perfect Wisdom, what should they do to help quiet their drifting minds and help subdue their craving thoughts?”

The Buddha then replied:

“So it is as you say, Subhuti. Monks and disciples have been favored with the highest favor by the Buddha, the monks and disciples have been instructed with the highest instruction by the Buddha. The Buddha is constantly mindful of the welfare of his followers. Listen carefully with your full attention, and I will speak to your question.”

“If sons and daughters of good families want to develop the highest, most fulfilled and awakened mind, if they wish to attain the Highest Perfect Wisdom and quiet their drifting minds while subduing their craving thoughts, then they should follow what I am about to say to you. Those who follow what I am about to say here will be able to subdue their discriminative thoughts and craving desires. It is possible to attain perfect tranquility and clarity of mind by absorbing and dwelling on the teachings I am about to give.”

Then the Buddha addressed the assembly.

Chapter 3.

“All living beings, whether born from eggs, from the womb, from moisture, or spontaneously; whether they have form or do not have form; whether they are aware or unaware, whether they are not aware or not unaware, all living beings will eventually be led by me to the final Nirvana, the final ending of the cycle of birth and death. And when this unfathomable, infinite number of living beings have all been liberated, in truth not even a single being has actually been liberated.”

“Why Subhuti? Because if a disciple still clings to the arbitrary illusions of form or phenomena such as an ego, a personality, a self, a separate person, or a universal self existing eternally, then that person is not an authentic disciple.”

(rattuos: Well the first alarm bells are already ringing)

Chapter 4.

“Furthermore, Subhuti, in the practice of compassion and charity a disciple should be detached. That is to say, he should practice compassion and charity without regard to appearances, without regard to form, without regard to sound, smell, taste, touch, or any quality of any kind. Subhuti, this is how the disciple should practice compassion and charity. Why? Because practicing compassion and charity without attachment is the way to reaching the Highest Perfect Wisdom, it is the way to becoming a living Buddha.”

“Subhuti, do you think that you can measure all of the space in the Eastern Heavens?”

“No, Most Honored One. One cannot possibly measure all of the space in the Eastern Heavens.”

“Subhuti, can space in all the Western, Southern, and Northern Heavens, both above and below, be measured?”

“No, Most Honored One. One cannot possibly measure all the space in the Western, Southern, and Northern Heavens.”

“Well, Subhuti, the same is true of the merit of the disciple who practices compassion and charity without any attachment to appearances, without cherishing any idea of form. It is impossible to measure the merit they will accrue. Subhuti, my disciples should let their minds absorb and dwell in the teachings I have just given.”

Chapter 5.

“Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Buddha be recognized by means of his bodily form?”

“No, Most Honored One, the Buddha cannot be recognized by means of his bodily form. Why? Because when the Buddha speaks of bodily form, it is not a real form, but only an illusion.”

The Buddha then spoke to Subhuti: “All that has a form is illusive and unreal. When you see that all forms are illusive and unreal, then you will begin to perceive your true Buddha nature.”

Chapter 6.

Subhuti respectfully asked the lord Buddha, “Most Honored One! In the future, if a person hears this teaching, even if it is a only a phrase or sentence, is it possible for that person to have a true faith and knowledge of Enlightenment awaken in their mind?”

“Without a doubt, Subhuti. Even 500 years after the Enlightenment of this Buddha there will be some who are virtuous and wise, and while practicing compassion and charity, will believe in the words and phrases of this Sutra and will awaken their minds purely. After they come to hear these teachings, they will be inspired with belief. This is because when some people hear these words, they will have understood intuitively that these words are the truth.”

“But you must also remember, Subhuti, that such persons have long ago planted the seeds of goodness and merit that lead to this realization. They have planted the seeds of good deeds and charity not simply before one Buddhist temple, or two temples, or five, but before hundreds of thousands of Buddhas and temples. So when a person who hears the words and phrases of this Sutra is ready for it to happen, a pure faith and clarity can awaken within their minds.”

“Subhuti, any person who awakens faith upon hearing the words or phrases of this Sutra will accumulate countless blessings and merit.”

“How do I know this? Because this person must have discarded all arbitrary notions of the existence of a personal self, of other people, or of a universal self. Otherwise their minds would still grasp after such relative conceptions. Furthermore, these people must have already discarded all arbitrary notions of the non-existence of a personal self, other people, or a universal self. Otherwise, their minds would still be grasping at such notions. Therefore anyone who seeks total Enlightenment should discard not only all conceptions of their own selfhood, of other selves, or of a universal self, but they should also discard all notions of the non-existence of such concepts.”

“When the Buddha explains these things using such concepts and ideas, people should remember the unreality of all such concepts and ideas. They should recall that in teaching spiritual truths the Buddha always uses these concepts and ideas in the way that a raft is used to cross a river. Once the river has been crossed over, the raft is of no more use, and should be discarded. These arbitrary concepts and ideas about spiritual things need to be explained to us as we seek to attain Enlightenment. However, ultimately these arbitrary conceptions can be discarded. Think Subhuti, isn’t it even more obvious that we should also give up our conceptions of non-existent things?”

Chapter 7.

Then Buddha asked Subhuti, “What do you think, Subhuti, has the Buddha arrived at the highest, most fulfilled, most awakened and enlightened mind? Does the Buddha teach any teaching?”

Subhuti replied, “As far as I have understood the lord Buddha’s teachings, there is no independently existing object of mind called the highest, most fulfilled, awakened or enlightened mind. Nor is there any independently existing teaching that the Buddha teaches. Why? Because the teachings that the Buddha has realized and spoken of cannot be conceived of as separate, independent things and therefore cannot be described. The truth in them is uncontainable and inexpressible. It neither is, nor is it not. What does this mean? What this means is that Buddhas and disciples are not enlightened by a set method of teachings, but by an internally intuitive process which is spontaneous and is part of their own inner nature.”

Chapter 8.

“Let me ask you Subhuti? If a person filled over ten thousand galaxies with the seven treasures for the purpose of compassion, charity, and giving alms, would this person not gain great merit and spread much happiness?”

“Yes, Most Honored One. This person would gain great merit and spread much happiness, even though, in truth, this person does not have a separate existence to which merit could accrue. Why? Because this person’s merit is characterized with the quality of not being merit.”

The Buddha continued, “Then suppose another person understood only four lines of this Sutra, but nevertheless took it upon themselves to explain these lines to someone else. This person’s merit would be even greater than the other person’s. Why? Because all Buddhas and all the teachings and values of the highest, most fulfilled, most awakened minds arise from the teachings in this Sutra. And yet, even as I speak, Subhuti, I must take back my words as soon as they are uttered, for there are no Buddhas and there are no teachings.”

http://www.diamond-sutra.com/diamond_sutra_text/page7.html

There are 32 chapters of this. Enjoy. My difficulty is whether this is a faithful recollection of an actual conversation with the Buddha or made up many years later. If you want enlightenment reading this sutra will not help you, of that I am certain. Reading what I write might not help you either but practising clairvoyance may well and it is easy to do. What you need to do is to get to a level where it becomes reliable and accurate which may take many years but is well worth the effort and wait. But of course that is not enlightenment, just a very useful tool. When I found my third eye in the Thames I was told that this was the way and day of my enlightenment. Perhaps looking deeper at that statement is helpful. I used my natural clairvoyance to listen to some instructions. If your clairvoyance ever asks you to do something violent or destructive pack it in. that is schizophrenia and there is a thin line between that and real clairvoyance or clairaudience as far as the practitioner is concerned. There are dangers here, but so there are with learning to drive. My instructions told me that a treasure was to be found near something purple. I looked but could see nothing valuable in the mud. I nearly despaired and gave up especially when I attracted the attention of a group of thugs making their way out to me but saw some purple plastic and scooped up the mud and gravel next to it into my bucket. It was a few days later that I cleaned it and found the eye. So the way of it was trust, not being deflected from my purpose and not judging what I collected until a later time when it would be recognisable as valuable. This is all about gaining knowledge and finding what is hidden. For you I am sure it will be different. If we are to believe the story of the Buddha’s enlightenment it was different:

“Raised in a life of privilege and luxury and protected from all knowledge of pain and suffering, young Prince Siddhartha Gautama at the age of 29 is said to have left the family palace to meet his subjects, at which time he was confronted with the reality of human suffering.

Having been confronted with the Four Passing Sights, (a sick person, an aged person, a corpse, and a holy man) and greatly troubled by them, the young prince renounced his life, then left his home and family to discover the truth of birth and death and to find peace of mind.

He sought out one yoga teacher and then another one, mastering what they taught him and then moving on.

Then, with five companions, for five or six years he engaged in rigorous asceticism. He tortured himself, held his breath, and fasted until his ribs stuck out “like a row of spindles” and he could almost feel his spine through his stomach.

Yet enlightenment seemed no closer.

Then he remembered something. Once as a boy, while sitting under a rose apple tree on a beautiful day, he had spontaneously experienced great bliss and entered the first dhyana, meaning he was absorbed in a deep meditative state.

He realized then that this experienced showed him the way to realization. Instead of punishing his body to find release from the confines of the self, he would work with his own nature and practice purity of mental defilements to realize enlightenment.

He knew then that he would need physical strength and better health to continue. About this time a young girl came by and offered the emaciated Siddhartha a bowl of milk and rice. When his companions saw him eating solid food they believed he had given up the quest, and they abandoned him.

At this point, Siddhartha had realized the path to awakening was a “middle way” between extremes of the self-denial he had been practicing with his group of ascetics and the self-indulgence of the life he had been born into.

Under the Bodhi Tree

At Bodh Gaya, in the modern Indian state of Bihar, Siddhartha Gautama sat beneath a sacred fig (Ficus religiosa) and began to meditate. According to some traditions he realized enlightenment in one night.

Others say three days and three nights; while others say 45 days.

When his mind was purified by concentration, it is said he acquired the Three Knowledges. The first knowledge was that of his past lives and the past lives of all beings. The second knowledge was of the laws of karma. The third knowledge was that he was free of all obstacles and released from attachments.

When he realized release from samsara, the awakened Buddha exclaimed,

“House-builder, you’re seen! You will not build a house again. All your rafters broken, the ridge pole destroyed, gone to the Unformed, the mind has come to the end of craving.” [Dhammapada, verse 154]

…….”

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-enlightenment-of-the-buddha-449789

Released from ‘samsara’?

“Saṃsāra is a Sanskrit word that means “wandering” or “world”, with the connotation of cyclic, circuitous change. It also refers to the theory of rebirth and “cyclicality of all life, matter, existence”, a fundamental assumption of all Indian religions. Saṃsāra is sometimes referred to with terms or phrases such as transmigration, karmic cycle, reincarnation, and “cycle of aimless drifting, wandering or mundane existence”. Wikipedia

So we must make up our own minds on this and everything. It appears that Buddha achieved enlightenment on his own and saw it as release from rebirth and from craving physical things while opting for a middle way between asceticism and material life. Personally I have not seen my previous lives and my opinion has always been that this is my only life from which I have done all my work in the past, now and to come. But certainly in my case I had guidance from a spiritual source, My main source has been myself at the end of my life, one I have communicated with since childhood but only realised was ‘me‘ when I was about 40.

The sutra comes across as classic guruism. Gurus love to explain to their disciples that they understand impossible concepts and this concept that you must have no attachments or cravings or ego to see reality is classic and widespread however the people who tell us this clearly do have attachments, cravings and often inflated egos. One thing that certainly comes across is ‘ego’ above. How can they have compassion and charity if all form is illusion. The begging bowl is physical and unless someone works to put something in it for the beggar, he or she will die of starvation. They are the ones who earn merit.

I have known quite a few gurus and that has certainly opened my eyes but not in the way they say they can. Most have had many followers slavishly obedient for a few years and most disciples have kept the gurus in a style to which they wish to become accustomed. They are not Buddha but from my perspective he comes across just like them. When the guru is dead the sects can take on a life of their own. The guru is deified and must never be questioned – well how can he be questioned when he is dead? And there are female gurus who are no different. It is when they meet someone with their eyes open that they become uncomfortable. I like Buddhists – they have all been well meaning and calm people that I have met, some very knowledgeable. But they do spend their lives chasing illusions and fantasies. Much of the maya has been created by them. One of these is levitation. That is a sign of bilocation – the physical body does not levitate but the spiritual apparition can. I wish the practitioners of this were a bit more honest about it. Buddha above says there is huge merit in passing on his sutra – well the opposite is true for passing on nonsense.

Tantra and enlightenment

This next bit is very difficult but mostly because of the prejudices that are programmed into us from an early age. If we want enlightenment we need a special type of energy to work with. Whatever I write here about tantra would be denied by those who work with it but most of them are working from scriptures they do not understand, scriptures passed down through the ages by many others. From what I see in them and from what I know from my personal experience of working without them I find them to be misleading at best. But the essence of tantra is secret and I think it suits the masters and mistresses of this to keep the secrets well hidden.

I cannot say that someone in the 21st century can open their eyes better or faster than those living 2500 years ago. Even if life was simpler then they were still living in a difficult world for this. What we do have on our side now is a certain detachment from the religious thinking that has so long clouded our judgement. One part of that has been to stop people even attempting to do this, another part to insist it is done in a certain way. But against us are the many charlatans who claim to have done it, written the book and opened the ashram. And of course some who really have achieved this state and wish to profit by it or feel that they need a host of followers to achieve their personal aims.

I would point to one in particular. First let me point out that his charitable work has been simply extraordinary. Take a look:

Sathya Sai Baba founded a large number of schools and colleges, hospitals, and other charitable institutions in India and abroad, the total cost of which is usually estimated at Rs. 400 billion (US$9 billion). However, estimates as high as 1.4 trillion rupees (about US$31.5bn) have also been made Wikipedia

He was a highly skilled conjuror famous for producing gold charms etc out of thin air. He came from a humble background and was considered an incarnation of Shiva. Although he was accused of various things including money laundering it was certainly not to pamper himself but to aid his work for the many suffering and poor people in his country. He died in 2011 and this is his will:

I, Sri Sathya Sai of Parshanthi Nilayam P.O. Indian Inhabitant hereby declare as follows:-

1) I was born in the village of Puthaparthi District Anantpur and am at present 44 years old. I joined the school and gave up studies and dedicated myself spread Sanatan Dharma. I am unmarried and I left my parents house at the age of Twelve and have taken up religious order with saffron dress and I have no worldly/or family attachments. I declare that when I left parents’ place permanently and adopted Holy order with no intention to revert back. I relinquished all my right title and interest in the family property moveable and/or immovable whatsoever and wherever they may be and that I do not own and possess any personal property, wealth or estate. Whatever is given to me by my devotees is under my management, supervision and control as a Trustee to be used for public charitable purposes. This declaration I am making so that nobody can claim under or through me in the family properties, if any. Wikipedia

Among his followers were famous teachers themselves and I have heard from some who met him who were by no means fools or gullible. But it must be said that among the criticisms is one that comes up time and again with gurus – sexual abuse. This brings up something that has to be mentioned. Many of the men and women considered to be enlightened, and certainly Sai Baba as he is called, were practitioners of tantra. Tantra gets a bad press as do tantric practices because of its relationship with sex. But in some ways sex has much to do with enlightenment. Perhaps because most of this was handed down over many generations and not understood it has led to abuse. Sexual abuse, bullying and deceit can never be part of the life of an enlightened person.

I can only relate here what I know personally and some will not like it but like and dislike are often the inhibitions to eye opening. First there are those who separated themselves from the opposite sex (monks and hermits) and even society so that they could rise above the temptations of the flesh, or that is what is taught about their particular practice and celibacy, still expected of many religious orders. I do not think this is necessary but suppression has a lot to do with tantric energy. On a very basic level consider this kundalini serpent they claim lies coiled at the base of the spine and whose energy they wish to release to the brain. If you think of it as a spring, suppressing it is how one stores energy and under normal circumstances such a spring may work a clock gradually releasing that energy in a controlled fashion. This is how our body works with its chemical processes. But one can also release that spring to eject something very fast and powerfully. An air rifle would be a good example. That can be dangerous but it is also a way of temporarily experiencing a rush of energy to the head. Some drugs do this for example and then leave one feeling worn out for days. Athletics is again under the microscope for thit. LSD does this too with all the dangers attached to it.

Sexual energy is surprisingly powerful. We can see in our society that some cannot control it and it drives them to crime. We can see in our society how advertisers and the entertainment media use it. It is in some ways all we are made for. Many species work entirely to reproduce and die as soon as they do. Birds have attractive plumage because of it. Discounting such a basic energy is like shutting ones eyes. I would compare this energy source with fire, oil and nuclear power. Mankind discovered fire aeons ago and then the power of steam. That is what powered the industrial revolution as it is called. Oil opened up even more possibilities and nuclear energy is poised to enable remarkable breakthroughs for the human. But they come at a cost and with great danger. We are seeing the costs of overusing these energy sources already and they may yet destroy us. But I would not be typing on a laptop but for this knowing that someone on the other side of the planet can read this almost simultaneously. It may not be as beneficial as we think but it is faster and really that is why enlightenment may be possible in a much shorter time span now, but also why it may not do us much good.

I should mention two Ancient Egyptian gods who may be one in fact. In that language they did not write vowels and we have to guess them. In the past Egyptologists tended to use the letter e for most of the missing vowels unless there was good reason to think otherwise. The two gods Amen (Iman, Amun, Ameen) and Min are both often portrayed with an erect penis. They compare with Shiva in India who is often represented by a penis too. This tends to be written about as part of a fertility cult which is understandable but not the case. The Maypole for example and even the obelisks of Egypt are traditionally considered to be symbols of this cult. But Amen was considered to have created the world by masturbating. This gets less press than most Egyptian subjects and the statues with erect penises are seldom on display, or have been broken deliberately, but this is where we find the hidden roots of Tantra. And this is what has to be tackled in an adult way because what we call sexual energy is an essential part of Ancient Egypt, Enlightenment and even Clairvoyance. We need to breathe, we need blood pouring through our lungs and bodies and we need this sexual energy. But all of those physical processes also underpin our spiritual lives and bodies.

Let us start off by looking at some of the writings on this subject which are completely misleading. First the wasting of semen as it is called is revealed as a deadly sin in the bible which leads to this:

Have mercy on your holy soul and stop blemishing it with the sin of wasting semen. Take heed of what the kabbalah says and stop committing this sin of wasting semen.

Wasting semen is one of the most severe sins that a Jew can commit according to the Kabbalah. A person who has a practice of wasting semen and masturbating cuts himself off from all spiritual light.

http://www.truekabbalah.org/pages/door/zera/kabbalah-sin-wasting-semen.htm

It is not recommended that men masturbate, as the sperm are abandoned souls that become demons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabbalah_Centre

Contrast with this:

There are depictions of male masturbation in prehistoric rock paintings around the world. Most early people seem to have connected human sexuality with abundance in nature. A clay figurine of the 4th millennium BC from a temple site on the island of Malta, depicts a woman masturbating. However, in the ancient world depictions of male masturbation are far more common.

“An Ancient Greek krater from the 6th century BCE of a satyr masturbating”

“From the earliest records, ancient Sumer had a relaxed attitude toward sex, and masturbation was a popular technique for enhancing potency, either alone or with a partner“.

“Male masturbation became an even more important image in ancient Egypt. When performed by a god it could be considered a creative or magical act: the god Atum was believed to have created the universe by masturbating to ejaculation, and the ebb and flow of the Nile was attributed to the frequency of his ejaculations. Egyptian Pharaohs, in response to this, were at one time required to masturbate ceremonially into the Nile“.

“The ancient Greeks had a more relaxed attitude toward masturbation than the Egyptians did, regarding the act as a normal and healthy substitute for other forms of sexual pleasure. They considered it a safety valve against destructive sexual frustration. The Greeks also dealt with female masturbation in both their art and writings. One common term used for it was anaphlan, which roughly translates as “up-fire”.

Diogenes, speaking in jest, credited the god Hermes with its invention: he allegedly took pity on his son Pan, who was pining for Echo but unable to seduce her, and taught him the trick of masturbation in order to relieve his suffering. Pan in his turn taught the habit to young shepherds.Wikipedia

The process began when Atum appeared on the mound and gave rise to the air god Shu and his sister Tefnut, whose existence represented the emergence of an empty space amid the waters. To explain how Atum did this, the myth uses the metaphor of masturbation, with the hand he used in this act representing the female principle inherent within him. He is also said to have “sneezed” and”spat” to produce Shu and Tefnut, a metaphor that arose from puns on their names. Next, Shu and Tefnut coupled to produce the earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut, who defined the limits of the world. Geb and Nut in turn gave rise to four children, who represented the forces of life: Osiris, god of fertility and regeneration; Isis, goddess of motherhood; Set, the god of male sexuality; and Nephthys, the female complement of Set.

Theban theology claimed that Amun was not merely a member of the Ogdoad, but the hidden force behind all things. There is a conflation of all notions of creation into the personality of Amun, a synthesis which emphasizes how Amun transcends all other deities in his being beyond the sky and deeper than the underworld. One Theban myth likened Amun’s act of creation to the call of a goose, which broke the stillness of the primeval waters and caused the Ogdoad and Ennead to form. Amun was separate from the world, his true nature was concealed even from the other gods. At the same time, however, because he was the ultimate source of creation, all the gods, including the other creators, were in fact merely aspects of Amun. Amun eventually became the supreme god of the Egyptian pantheon because of this belief Wikipedia

Amun-Ra was considered to be the father and protector of the pharaoh. The Theban royal women wielded great power, and influence and were closely involved with the cult of Amun. Queen Ahmose Nefertari (the Great Wife of the Pharaoh Ahmose I) was granted the title “God’s Wife of Amun” with reference to the myth that Amun created the world by masturbation. This title was then granted to the Great Wife of every Pharaoh in recognition of her role in the state religion of Amun. The female Pharaoh Hatshepsut went one stage further and specifically stated that Amun had impregnated her mother (in the guise of the Pharaoh Thuthmoses II, her father). Thus she established her right to rule on the basis that she was his daughter.

http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/amun.html

There are many similarities between Amun/Atum (Adam?) and Shiva. And between Thoth/Set and Shiva. Thoth and Shiva for example are both depicted with a crescent moon. If we look at the culture that predated India:

Many Indus valley seals show animals but one seal that has attracted attention shows a figure, either horned or wearing a horned headdress and possibly ithyphallic figure seated in a posture reminiscent of the Lotus position and surrounded by animals was named by early excavators of Mohenjo-daro Pashupati (lord of cattle), an epithet of the later Hindu gods Shiva and Rudra. Sir John Marshall and others have claimed that this figure is a prototype of Shiva

The Tantras, composed between the 8th and 11th centuries, regard themselves as Sruti. Among these the Shaiva Agamas, are said to have been revealed by Shiva himself and are foundational texts for Shaiva Siddhanta..

Shiva’s form: Shiva has a trident in the right lower arm, and a crescent moon on his head. He is said to be fair like camphor or like an ice clad mountain.

He is depicted as both an ascetic yogi and as a householder, roles which have been traditionally mutually exclusive in Hindu society

However, In the Nath tradition, Dattatreya is recognized as an Avatar or incarnation of Shiva and as the Adi-Guru (First Teacher) of the Adinath Sampradaya of the Nathas. Dattatreya was at first a “Lord of Yoga” exhibiting distinctly Tantric traits

Dattatreya is one of the oldest deities. The first reference to this deity is found in epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana. In Mahanubhav panth Dattatreya is worshipped as the Supreme Lord who wanders the earth taking different forms. Similarly, in the Dattatreya Upanishad, which is a part of the Atharva Veda, he is described as being able to appear in the form of a child, madman in order to help his devotees achieve moksha, liberation from the bonds of worldly existence. Even today He is believed to appear before yogya purush (men and women who have cleansed themselves and are worthy of moksha).

The single head for Dattatreya can be explained if one considers the Tantric traditions which prevailed in India about 1000 years back. It was Gorakshanath who changed/removed the aghori traditions and gave the Nath sampradaya the acceptable civil form it has today. Dattatreya may have been a very powerful sage existing before this time, and over the centuries he acquired a divine status. It has been argued that the three heads came later, in the last 900 years or so Wikipedia

If you hear of tantra now it may well be a very recent derivative called tantric massage, sold as a sexual service. It is intended to be a communion where the male takes the form of an Indian God and the female a goddess. But in its derivative and somewhat crude form it is a sexual massage. In genuine tantra that would be arousal with no release with the intention of storing this priceless energy for use in ones spiritual work. But as sex for sale it is merely a slow arousal that allows a powerful release. Sex was important to the ancients. Although the Kama Sutra is not particularly ancient it describes an art that is.

Sexual energy is very powerful and surges through all our senses. It is like a flood tide and if its original purpose was procreation it can also power other things. The moon moves our oceans and causes tides and if we harnessed that energy we would have raw electrical power. It is a reasonable analogy. You need raw power to do the work required to achieve enlightenment whatever it is.

We have to push our thinking and feeling. It is easy to look at something and then to look at something else without much thought. It is easy to watch TV for hours without thinking too deeply about anything. But consider the difference if for example you are reading a book to try to find a quote somewhere in it. It requires more work. Or reading a book that requires translation. Or reading something you have to learn by heart.

I was walking with the dogs yesterday and passed a tree with three small birds in it. We stopped and watched them. There were two male bullfinches with magnificent pink chests and one female. They seemed to be collecting nesting material from the tree. I do not often see these lovely birds but I needed to look harder. This is because I study what adepts call the language of birds. Sometimes they have a message for us perhaps from the local nature spirits. This is a place which humans have long regarded as sacred. It is only a very small example but what I am trying to explain is how we have to look deeper to open our eyes and work at it constantly. It can be exhausting and we need whatever energy we have stored to do that.

In mythology, medieval literature and occultism, the language of the birds is postulated as a mystical, perfect divine language, green language, adamic language, Enochian, angelic language or a mythical or magical language used by birds to communicate with the initiated…….” Wikipedia

It is a struggle sometimes to remember our dreams but if we can do that through our tiredness it is very rewarding.

I will go into more detail on all of this but will finish this for now with a quote extracted from a fairly representative work on tantra just to show you how far away my thinking is on this subject. It is interesting but it is confusing too. There are many writings on the subject and many tantric sects. How many understand what they are writing about and how many are just regurgitating what they have been told I leave you to contemplate. This site was just at the top of the Google list for ‘tantra enlightenment’ there are another 537000 sites listed.

Tantra is a concept of philosophical totality. It is a teaching of deep spiritual profundity and a vehicle that facilitates enlightenment here and now regardless of circumstance, status, gender or understanding. The ordinary experience of everyday life is transformed into the enlightened expression of the mind. The world that presents itself to the senses is not in error at anytime regardless of the nature of its manifestation. All is useful. Enlightenment is not dependent upon the changing of circumstance, but rather upon the penetration of phenomena with the developed wisdom of a mind freed of the tyranny of dualistic thinking. Whereas early Buddhism presents spiritual development in terms of ‘leaving’ the familiar for the unfamiliar, tantra emphasises that it is exactly through the ‘familiar’ that enlightenment is attained. What initiates this transformation of the ordinary into enlightenment is a chosen sadhana, or ‘spiritual method’, one which can consist of virtually any method whatsoever, relevant to the karma of the practitioner. The method serves to focus the mind through developed Buddhist concepts but in such away that offers a dynamic opening of the mind to the true empty nature of phenomena. The difficulty of the chosen method acts as the spiritual force that breaks through the haze of the deluded mind. As the true nature of phenomena is empty – there is not a single place or circumstance that is not a representation of the enlightened state. Delusion separates the practitioner from the direct realisation of this truth. Reality – as emptiness – can be accessed from anywhere in phenomenal existence. Position in this context is of no consequence. It is the method – sadhana – which will vary in definition and content from practitioner to practitioner according to individual karmic requirements. The sadhana takes the practitioner through the apparent delusive mind to the empty essence beyond. Although these sadhana can be very elaborate and consist of layers of explanation, these explanations themselves exist within the world of dualistic thinking. Sadhana can be very direct and to the point and consist of little unnecessary intellectual verbage. The tantric movement appears very much to be a development from Mahayana Buddhist thought, which is itself an elaboration of Buddhist philosophy as found in the Pali Canon and the Sanskrit Agama. A careful examination of key Buddhist texts suggests that tantra, as a distinct aspect of Buddhist practice, is the product of the development of philosophy and spiritual experience over-time, and that despite how different its outer appearance may seem – when compared with other, more conservative Buddhist schools – it is in fact in many ways a logical consequence of the extension of the concept of ‘sunyata’. The school of tantra – i.e. ‘Tanrayana’ – represents a culmination of creativity within Buddhism that began with the Lord Buddha himself. The acknowledgement of the importance of the ‘depth on interpretation’ of the Buddha’s teaching is very important. Tantra is note a later distortion of Buddhist thinking and practice, but rather a sublime manifestation of the karmic consequences of the Buddha’s Turning of the Dharma Wheel in ancientIndia. The ripples emanate outwards throughout time bringing the teachings to innumerable beings afresh with each new generation. Tantra is the consequence of the Buddha’s compassionate teachings, whereby people of different mentalities and abilities were taught the Dharma according to their existential need. This process did not change the Dharma or nullify its timeless, universal truth, but rather demonstrates that wherever wisdom of this kind manifests – compassion must always be its companion and that although practice can occur in isolation, it can also occur within spiritual partnerships. Whatever the case, it is true that at the very least, the individual must acquire the teachings in one way or another that is dependent upon the efforts of other – even if those efforts appear indirect and of no obvious import. A book, for instance, must be written, published, sold and acquired, thus creating a long list of contributory stages and individuals who fulfil the work itself. A teacher must be educated – this simple requirement enlists the help of many, many others, before knowledge can be truly said to ‘belong’ to the teacher. A student who retires from the world does so because his economic and social circumstances allow him such a choice of action. Often, the practice of tantra obviously involves either the direct or indirect assistance of others and is not a movement away from the familiar structures of early Buddhism.

Tantra (तन्त्र) is a Sanskrit term that translates literally as ‘weave’ – but more specifically refers to the ‘weft’ of a loom, or the horizontal threads that are ‘weaved’ through the lengthwise warp threads. Indeed, the Sanskrit term ‘tantravaya’ refers to a ‘weaver’. The term ‘tantra’ can also be used to refer the ‘thread’ that is actually ‘weaved’, and is related to the Sanskrit term ‘tanti’ (तन्ति) which translates as a ‘cord’ traditionally used to tether calves. Furthermore, the verbal root ‘tan’ is defined as to ‘stretch’, ‘expand’ and ‘extend’. This description of a practical handicraft has become adapted to describe a specific practice that links the practitioner to his teacher, to the Buddha, and to the goal of enlightenment. There is a common ‘thread’ that weaves its way through time and space, and which also links the practitioner as existing in the deluded sphere, to that of the unconditioned enlightened sphere. Tantra as a method appears to be an elaboration of the Mahayana teaching that suggests that ‘samsara’ – the deluded world – is identical to ‘nirvana – the enlightened world. Enlightenment is immanent ‘here and now’, and that by necessity all things exist within enlightenment itself……..”

https://thesanghakommune.org/2012/02/10/tantra-enlightenment-through-the-ordinary/

 

 

 

Potential

Reaching our full human potential is almost impossible but it can still be glimpsed. We are used to people reaching their athletic or intellectual potential if we measure these against athletic records and IQ ratings. But they are a tiny part of what the human is capable of.

I have written here about hypnosis. Not a lot is known about this even now but some things stand out. People put under hypnosis have some rather extraordinary physical abilities. Back in the 1840’s the Scottish surgeon James Braid noted that hearing is increased 32 fold, smell also greatly enhanced and pain suppressed. Some hypnotised people have been found not to bleed and hypnotherapy gained a good reputation for helping surgery by minimising the bleeding of those under its care. Hypnosis can remove warts. What else it can do we do not really know but it certainly makes it easier to remember things. There are also problems with it but my intention is just to point out how our bodies have capabilities we do not access routinely.

I recall a story that a woman picked up a car that had run down her child! Some say it was a bus.

Whether we accept the reality of clairvoyance and telepathy, if true this is another extraordinary ability of the human. Intuition and instinct certainly are. I may be more biased in this respect than most because I practised clairvoyance for many years and met many other clairvoyants. I am sure most readers here have had flashes, known when a phone was about to ring, was thinking of someone as they rang etc. My own evidence long ago convinced me, as did my father‘s occasional ability to dream of a racehorse winning a race the following day. Which brings me to the greatest frontier of all in the human.

We spend much of our lives asleep and cannot do without it. But what happens in that time is pretty much unknown to us. The body repairs and restores itself in that time and we may awaken with snatches of dreams we have had but even if we do they represent a tiny percentage of that time we are asleep. There is technology that seeks to explore this hidden world and to make our dreams lucid but it certainly does not release the potential we have here.

It is often said that we only use a fraction of our brain.

Some people in history appear to have had fated lives and great destinies. Our religions certainly tell us of men and women who have had the most extraordinary abilities and powers whether or not these stories are true. Some men and women are famous for their healing powers.

I often come across people who spend a few hours a week in the gym developing their muscles or who go jogging every day. But over my life I have come across a tiny few who have devoted much time and energy to developing any of the powers or abilities I mention above. I have met quite a few who practise yoga and they do tend to look healthy. Also some who practise meditation regularly and I would include these people in those who are trying to develop more than their physical muscle or IQ. But I also discovered years ago how the techniques that almost all follow in yoga and meditation in fact slam doors shut on the potential possible. I have never met a genuine clairvoyant who practised either yoga or transcendental meditation for example although I am sure there are some and particularly in India. All of us meditate in some way or another but in my view the many courses teaching these practices do not help develop these innate abilities.

Sadly the secrets of the Egyptian sleep temples are lost but they taught their novices how to ‘incubate’ dreams and much more. I will copy a Wikipedia article here on what is known about these temples and note that one was found in Britain:

Sleep temples (also known as dream temples or Egyptian sleep temples) are regarded by some as an early instance of hypnosis over 4000 years ago, under the influence of Imhotep. Imhotep served as Chancellor and as High Priest of the sun god Ra at Heliopolis. He was said to be a son of Ptah, his mother being a mortal named Khredu-ankh.

Sleep temples were hospitals of sorts, healing a variety of ailments, perhaps many of them psychological in nature. The treatment involved chanting, placing the patient into a trance-like or hypnotic state, and analysing their dreams in order to determine treatment. Meditation, fasting, baths, and sacrifices to the patron deity or other spirits were often involved as well.

Sleep temples also existed in the Middle East and Ancient Greece. In Greece, they were built in honor of Asclepios, the Greek god of medicine and were called Asclepieions. The Greek treatment was referred to as incubation and focused on prayers to Asclepios for healing. A similar Hebrew treatment was referred to as Kavanah and involved focusing on letters of the Hebrew alphabet spelling the name of their god. Mortimer Wheeler unearthed a Roman sleep temple at Lydney Park, Gloucestershire, in 1928, with the assistance of a young J.R.R. Tolkien.” Wikipedia

This is what they say about Lydney Park’s temple:

“The area has an early British Iron Age promontory fort–type hill fort, known as Lydney Camp, covering 4.5 acres. The Romans dug there for iron ore, probably in the 3rd century AD, but apparently abandoned the workings as unproductive. Open-cast iron mines, or scowles, and tunnels still exist throughout the hill.

In the late 4th century, the Romans built a Romano-Celtic temple to Nodens, a Celtic divinity who is reflected by the later figures of Nuada and Nudd/Lludd in Irish and Welsh mythology respectively. Lludd’s name survives in the placename of Lydney. Several model dog images have been found there, indicating it was a healing shrine; dogs were associated with such shrines and may have been kept to lick wounds. The structure was a somewhat unusual design consisting of a cross between a basilica and the usual Romano-Celtic style temple. The walls of the sanctuary or cella were arched colonnades until a fault in the rock below caused the almost total collapse of the temple. It was rebuilt with solid walls to the cella. There was a fish-covered mosaic with an inscription that referred to ‘Victorinus the Interpreter’, probably an interpreter of dreams. The temple was accompanied by a large courtyard guest house, a long building used as dormitory accommodation and an elaborate bath suite or thermae.

Sir Mortimer Wheeler excavated the site between 1928–9 and more excavations took place in 1980–1. The finds included a hoard of imitation Roman coins which were thought to date from the 5th century, but are now believed to be 4th century artefacts. Other finds suggest that the temple was still being used in the 5th century. The author of The Lord of the Rings novel, J. R. R. Tolkien, then a well-known philologist, was asked by Wheeler to write a paper, The Name ‘Nodens’, which was included as an appendix to the excavation report.

Local folklore claims that, after the Romans’ departure, the local people began to believe the ruins were the home to dwarves, hobgoblins or little people” Wikipedia

I find the role of dogs here interesting but the mention of the dream interpreter Victorinus is remarkable. What the fish have to do with this is not stated, nor the baths.

But for adepts the peak of our potential is gaining enlightenment in our lives and more fool us if we do not try. We are extremely unlikely to meet any enlightened people or even discover genuine enlightenment in history books and scriptures – unless we dedicate ourselves to realising our innate ability to find and know truth from illusion. It is noticeable how at this time of revelation we are bombarded every day with media and political discussion about fake news.

The potential that so many opt to achieve instead is to do with amassing money. It has been the human obsession since money was first created.there is no money to be made from genuine clairvoyance or enlightenment. If there was half the planet would be chasing it.

Jiahu and turquoise

Look at the early written (Jiahu) symbols here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiahu

Dated to around 6600BC. Notice the top one which looks like an eye with two lines below.

Now look at D9 here, the Egyptian hieroglyph from considerably later.

http://www.egyptianhieroglyphs.net/gardiners-sign-list/parts-of-the-human-body/

Here is the Jiahu music played on beautiful flutes one of which you can see here:

http://tlapitzalli.com/rvelaz.geo/china/china.html

 

The oldest phase at Jiahu only contains two flutes, which are tetratonic and pentatonic; the middle phase at Jiahu contains several flutes, including an interesting pair of hexatonic flutes. One of the flutes was broken, and the other flute seems to be a replica of the first flute, as it shows evidence of adjustments made to match the pitch of the first. Innovations in the last phase include the use of heptatonic flutes. The flutes were cut, smoothed at the ends, polished and finally drilled with a row of holes on one side. One of the broken flutes was repaired by drilling fourteen tiny holes along the breakage lines and then tying the sections together with hemp string.

The flutes play in the so-called pentatonic scale, in which octaves are divided into five notes—the basis of many kinds of music, including Chinese folk music.” Wikipedia

Three or four thousand years before Stonehenge and the pyramids. What kind of people were they?

“The Jiahu people are not believed to have been warlike in nature, but capable of defending themselves if the need arose.

Thorough examination of the site has revealed no evidence of any armed conflict. Unearthed human remains showing signs of violent death are very rare, and scattered along the known timeline—rather than occurring at the same time which would indicate a battle. It is possible that the large size of the settlement, its substantial defenses, and the improved weapons of the Jiahu people may have caused potential enemies of that time to keep their distance. Such a scenario is consistent with the substantial growth in population and longevity exhibited by the Jiahu site. Without war, and with plenty of nutritious food, the village flourished……

They found signature molecules proving alcohol was fermented from rice, honey, grapes, and hawthorn. Researchers hypothesize that this hybrid beverage (a beer, wine, and mead combination) was fermented by the process of mold saccharification, a uniquely Chinese contribution to the art of beverage-making in which several mold species are used to break down the carbohydrates of rice and other grains into simple, fermentable sugars. Specific aromatic herbs and flowers such as chrysanthemum, in addition to tree resins such as China fir, had been added to the hybrid beverages, the researchers found. These aromatic additions, as well as the honey, indicate that fermented beverages with a pleasing aroma and sweet taste were important to the Jiahu people.

Substantial quantities of rice and millet were stored in pottery jars, enabling the specialization of labor. Jiahu society is believed to have been fairly egalitarian, with several hundred residents of the village at the height of its development. Comparative DNA evidence from remains in the Jiahu settlement itself, as well as other evidence gathered, leads to speculation among researchers that there were one or more other ancient villages nearby, with peaceful interaction with the Jiahu in some form; but the sites of other villages nearby have not been located…….

At Jiahu, archaeologists identified eleven markings of #HYPERLINK “/wiki/Jiahu_symbols”Jiahu symbols, also known as pictograms: nine on tortoise shells and two on bone, as possible evidence for proto-writing. The markings correspond to the middle phase. Some of the markings are quite similar to later Chinese characters; two of the most intriguing marks appear to be similar to later characters for eye () and sun (). However, correspondence of many early non-writing symbols with the Shang dynasty period oracle bone writing is to be expected, given the pictographic style of many of the Shang characters.

In later Chinese culture dating to around 3500 BC, tortoise shells were used as a form of divination. These were subjected to intense heat, and the cracks that formed were read as omens. The cracks were then carved as permanent marks on the surface of the shell. The evidence of shell pictograms from Jiahu may indicate that this tradition, or a related one, has much deeper roots in ancient Chinese culture than previously considered. Since the earliest pictograms were not intended to visually represent anything, and resulted from the random cracks appearing in overheated tortoise shells, it appears that the creation of the early Chinese written language was very random…..

Based on the archaeological evidence, a severe flood from the nearby rivers submerged most or all of the Jiahu settlement under a few feet of water sometime around 5700 BC. The inhabitants evacuated. It is not known where they went. The absence of tools and weapons in most of the residences indicates that they were able to salvage most of their belongings. They may have built a new village that has not been discovered, emigrated to the Peiligang villages, or scattered.” Wikipedia

There were many subsequent cultures living in this area called Shandong but how extraordinary these ancient ones were and how beautiful their artefacts. Like the Egyptians they had a great love of turquoise and imported it from hundreds of miles away. We might note that lapis lazuli imported from Afghanistan has been found in tombs in Egypt dating to 3300BC. The Jiahu were up to 4000 years before that.

“For example, as an earthen shaft tomb, M55 is rectangular in plane and 2.7m long and 1.25m wide. The southern part is destroyed by a modern well. From preliminary judgment, the grave master is a roughly six-year-old child who is about 1 m tall with the head facing west. An ivory engraving is put below the head, and a round-belly hu-pot with two ears is on the left side of the head. Three pieces of pottery are discovered near the north wall of the tomb. What’s more, ornaments of turquoise are found on the neck, waist as well as legs. 228 turquoise pieces are found on the skeleton. Moreover, four turtle shells with stones inside cover the feet of the dead. Besides, a tooth of river deer is found by the side of the feet. All of these discoveries demonstrate the significance of the grave owner’s social status.

Tombs M56, M62, M65, M73, M75, M81 and so on, have lots of ornaments of turquoise, too. These tombs are belonged to the second phase of Jiahu culture according to the time of the artefacts and cultural stratums. The unearthed ornaments of turquoise are in different sizes, which range from 1mm to 3mm showing the difficulty and accuracy of procession. So many ornaments of turquoise are found for the first time in the tombs which are intensively distributed in the northwest zone of the excavation, indicating that certain social division and different sections of tombs might already existed at that time”

http://www.kaogu.cn/en/News/New_discoveries/2014/0314/45557.htmlre leaving something for us.

They orientated most of their graves east-west but two were found north-south (like many predynsatic Egyptian tombs). Obviously here is a most ancient culture leaving something for us. What were they trying to tell us?

We might note:

“The oldest known skeleton in Ancient Egypt was discovered in a burial site referred to as Taramsa 1, close to the Temple of Hathor at Dendera. The body of an “anatomically modern” child was found which was dated to around 55,000 years ago (Pleistocene Age). The body was seated, with its legs bend to the left, leaning backwards in an east-west orientation.

Nazlet Khater (an Upper Palaeolithic site near Tahata in Upper Egypt) is the site of the oldest known underground mine in Ancient Egypt. Close to the mine archaeologists discovered two graves tentatively dated to 30,000 – 35,000 BC. One grave was in a very poor state, but in the other the body was clearly placed on its back, knees bent, head tilted to face the west. The left arm rested on the pelvis, the right stretched along the body. A bifacially shaped axe had been carefully placed at the bottom of the grave close to the head.

Qadan burials dating to between 14,000 and 12,000 (late Paleolithic) have been excavated at Gebel Sahaba (near Wadi Halfa in Lower Nubia). Bodies, a large number of which showed signs of violence and many of whom were buried in mass graves, were semi-contracted (where the body is placed in a foetal position) on their left sides with heads facing east. They were interred in pits covered with large sandstone slabs. Near contemporary burials at Wadi Tuskka (north of Abu Simbel) were marked by the placement of cattle skulls.

Neolithic Burials

The Quarian people lived in the high ground overlooking Proto-Moeris (dating to around 7050 BC). A single burial of a woman has been discovered in this location. The body was in a partially contracted position on the left side, head oriented south and facing east. Her left hand was under her head, her right covering her face”

http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/prehistoricburials.html

They mined ‘chert’ a hard, dark rock often embedded with fossils or found as flint. This most ancient flint knife which I found in the sand of the Ramesseum when on honeymoon but thought was a pebble until I got home is an example.

Bladelet April2015 013

Bladelet April2015 014

Both sides with my other pebble I consider a ‘wish fulfilling jewel’ which is limestone.

Have you ever considered that the orientation in which you sleep may affect you? The ancient Chinese did:

“Correct feng shui bed placement can really help you avoid a series of misfortunes. If you are tired of falling back into financial troubles or health troubles or misfortunes coming in battalions then you could be a victim of a bad bed placement. Rearranging your bedroom can help you tap into an immense good luck.

http://www.fengshui-tips.org/feng-shui-bed-placement.html

As we have advanced as a civilisation we have also lost so much and if we want our eyes open we must look in curious places. Why turquoise? Is it just the colour? It is the stone associated with the ancient Egyptian love goddess Hathor.

“Turquoise Stones have been in use for thousands of years, and are some of the oldest stones to be made into jewelry.

They have impressive metaphysical properties, and are powerful healing stones that will filter the fifth element ether, into the etheric body.

The natural energy of these stones will help you to communicate with truth. They are a strong stone of spiritual attunement and are very effective to aid communication.

They have a strong effect within the throat chakra, and they may aid you to manifest clairaudient and clairvoyant abilities, and they help to balance your male and female aspects.

The distinct vibration of these stones resonate within the throat and third eye chakras, allowing you to access past life knowledge.

This may be helpful if you are aiming to work in psychic employment as they enhance your effectiveness to communicate what comes through from spirit, within your day to day physical life.”

http://www.healing-crystals-for-you.com/turquoise-stones.html

Is there any truth in that? There is only one way to find out.