Freedom is not achieved by turning our backs upon the heritage of the land, nor is it won by force of arms. The restricting vessels of a true tradition are the way to freedom, but only if they are correctly understood and utilized. If this operation is successful, the restricting power itself is not only transcend, but transformed.

–The UnderWorld Initiation

Re-reading the underworld initiation. Just finished the hidden adept which was a fun book. Debating whether to read some Gersholm Sholem, Ibn Arabi and/or fiction about cats…..

The liberation mentioned above is a spiritual union if all opposites and transcended. The UnderWorld tradition is a universal one found world wide. The Orphic mysteries, sleeping beauty, the Cult of Venus and the Goddess in her tomb. Transformation within the very depths of the earth, within and without…

As we know in Hermeticism, “As above so below” The macro and microcosm. Transformation in the depths of the earth then is seen on a stellar, solar, lunar scale.. within this lunar scale is ourselves.  Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum lapidem. Visit the interior of the Earth through purification you will find the hidden stone.

I realised, it is this aspect that I must initially explore in the home I live in. Misplaced from England and New york city, now in this spiritually, botanically unfamiliar land. To truly work here, I must work here. Therefore I must pass through the inverted tree, downwards into wonderland… to the realms below.

They summoned Eurydice and gave her to him, but upon one condition: that he would not look back at her as she followed him, until they had reached the upper world. So the two passed through the great doors of Hades to the path which would take them out of the darkness, climbing up and up. He knew that she must be just behind him, but he longed unutterably to give one glance to make sure. But now they were almost there, the blackness was turning gray; now he had stepped out joyfully into the daylight. Then he turned to her. It was too soon; she was still in the cavern. He saw her in the dim light, and he held out his arms to clasp her; but on the instant she was gone. She had slipped back into the darkness. All he heard was one faint word, “Farewell.”

I must embrace the Rose, meet the natives of the land….


From this it is plain that the Earth is like the bass above which the rest of the harmony of the universe progresses. If it were removed, the other voices would remain in an unpleasant and imperfect harmony of many dissonances. Believing sufficient to have been said on the universal symphony of the planets, we will now turn to the particulars of their symphony.

Athanasius Kircher


If this metaphysical space is to be known,

such knowledge can be attained only by faith and grace,

not by ‘entering’ but by ‘being entered’

-this is so because the greater must reveal itself to the lesser.

Put differently, that which is immanently ‘Spirit’ can only be known receptively,

through its own intellective vision, and not any derivative faculty such as reason,

feeling or sensation. Reason can only discern conceptually,

at best reducing reality to a dualism of subject and object

(as in the case of Descartes) or catagorical postulate

(as in the case of Kant) or dialectic process

(as in the case of Hegel) – its ‘telos’ will tend to be utopian(as in the case of Marx),

fundamentalist( as in the cases of religious, political or secular dogmatism)

or anthropocentrically consencual (as in the case of Rousseau’s social contract);

while sensation or feeling even where elevated to

the level of empirical ‘science,’ can only discern reality as matter or as psyche,

quantitatively, thereby cutting it off from its transcendent

and qualitative roots, leading to an emphasis on hypertrophic subjectivism

(as in the case of Nietzsche), Psychologism(as in the case of Freud),

or reductive positivism(as in the cases of philosophical positivism and of scientism).

That which transcends us cannot be known reductively

but only by that transcendent faculty which is immanent in us-which in

Tradition is termed the ‘Intellect’

or the Self-knowing Spirit. To know is to discern BEING.

We must empty ourselves or our ‘self’ in order to know who we ARE.

We must return to the sacred emptiness of the space that is our

ontological core in order to know that which truly IS.

–M Ali Lakhani (the Distance between us, found in Sacred Web issue 31)




Soaring upwards
Can be like reaching down

Pushing forward

Can be like pushing back

Going right

Can be like Going left

Within is within

All things begin

And end at the cross roads

–GraalBaum 2013



This world-mountain was Nizir to the Chaldeans, Olympus to the Greeks, Hara Berezaiti to the Persians of the Avesta, the later Alborz and Elburz; a transfer, as says Mme. Ragozin, of ‘mythical heavenly geography to the earth.’ This mountain—the solar hill of the Egyptians—we shall again refer to in the next two or three chapters. At its apex springs, the heaven tree on which the solar bird is perched. From its roots spring the waters of life—the celestial sea, which, rushing adown the firmament, supplies the ocean which circumscribes the earth or falls directly in rain. At their fountain these springs are guarded by a goddess. In Egypt Nut, the goddess of the oversea, leans from the branches of the heavenly persea and pours forth the celestial water. In the Vedas, Yama, lord of the waters, sits in the highest heaven in the midst of the heavenly ocean under the tree of life, which drops the nectar Soma, and here, on the ‘navel of the waters,’ matter first took form. In the Norse, the central tree Yggdrasil has at its roots the spring of knowledge guarded by the Norns, the northern Fates; two swans the parents of all those of earth, float there. In Chaldea the mighty tree of Eridu, centre of the world, springs by the waters. The Avesta gives a very complete picture—Iran is at the centre of the seven countries of the world; it was the first created, and so beautiful, that were it not that God has implanted in all men a love for their own land, all nations would crowd into this the loveliest land. To the east somewhere, but still at the centre of the world, rises the ‘Lofty Mountain,’ from which all the mountains of the earth have grown, ‘High Haraiti;’ at its

summit is the gathering place of waters, out of which spring the two trees, the heavenly Haoma (Soma), and another tree which bears all the seeds that germinate on earth. This heavenly mountain is called ‘Navel of Waters,’ for the fountain of all waters springs there, guarded by a majestic and beneficent goddess. In Buddhist accounts, the waters issue in four streams like the

Eden from this reservoir, and flow to the cardinal points, each making one complete circuit in its descent. In the Persian Bundahish there are two of these heavenly rivers flowing east and west. To the Hindus the Ganges is such a heavenly stream. ‘The stream of heaven was called by the Greeks Achelous.’ The Nile in Egypt, the Hoang-Ho in China, and the Jordan to the Jews, seem to have been celestial rivers. This mountain of heaven is often figured in Christian art with the four rivers issuing from under the Throne of God.

Sir John Maundeville gives an account of the earthly Paradise quite perfect in its detailed scheme. It is the highest place on earth, nearly reaching to the circle of the moon (as in Dante), and the flood did not reach it. ‘And in the highest place, exactly in the middle, is a well that casts out the four streams’—Ganges, Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates. ‘And men there beyond say that all the sweet waters of the world above and beneath take their beginning from the well of Paradise, and out of that well all water come and go.


It is precisely the challenge involved

in using inadequate words

that drives the mind

beyond all words…

At the borders of speech

we open ourselves

to the positive value of silence….

Literary reading,

through its complexity, its music,

its suggestiveness, points to a fuller realm of being.

–Edward k Kaplan (citing Abraham Joshua Heschel)

Aum Mani Padme Hum!!


By Frater S. J. Marx

[The Rosicrucian Digest November 1933]

IN THE October, 1925, issue of THE MYSTIC TRIANGLE, the forerunner of the ROSICRUCIAN DIGEST, there was published an article by Sri. Ramatherio on the “Mystical Meaning of Amen.” Our illustrious Frater called our attention in that article to the vibratory powers of this ancient word, which has been referred to in many occult and mystical works as AUM, OM, AMEN, AUM-EN, AHMEN. He compared its relation to Numbers, Music, and other Etherical Vibrations.

The purpose of the present article is to reveal a further significance of the occult meaning of this mystical word AUM when used either alone or combined in the Tibetan incantation “AUM MANI PADME HUM.”

No matter how far back we try to trace its origin in the Vedas, in the Bible or other sources, we seem to be baffled as to its varied uses. In India the mystic word OM or AUM may signify the three persons of the Hindu Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, or Shiva. To the Brahman, it signifies the “One without a second” of the Adwaita Philosophy. In every case, however, AUM is used as a creative sound whose vibration is to build words. Thus, when the mystic is capable of hearing all in one of the countless voices, cries, and songs, and noises of all human beings and things that exist and move, it is the unique sound of AUM that reaches him. The same AUM vibrates also in the utmost depth of his inner self. He who can pronounce it with the right tone, is able to work wonders, and he who knows how to utter it silently, attains supreme emancipation.

In a splendid work by Madame Alexandra David-Neel on the Magic and Mystery in Tibet, this mystic who spent fourteen years in that “Land of Snows” which for us Westerners is a land wrapped in an atmosphere of mystery, and is the land of the unknown, the fantastic and impossible; has collated her personal experiences with the lamas in the attainment of concentration and its Cosmic revelations. She states that in Tibet where the learned use the formula AUM MANI PADME HUM, together with the proper breathing exercises, they divide this formula into six syllables or vowel sounds and connect these six vowel sounds with the six classes of sentient beings, which are likewise related to one of the mystic colors as follows:

AUM is white and is connected with the Gods (Iha).

MA is blue and connected with the non-gods (Ihamayin).

NI is yellow and is connected with men (mi).

PAD is green and connected with animals (tudo).

ME is red and connected with non-men (Yidag).

HUM is black and connected with dwellers in Purgatory.

She further states that there are several opinions regarding the effect of the recitation of these six syllables. Popular tradition declares that those who frequently repeat the formula will be reborn in the Western Paradise of the Great Bliss. Others who deem themselves more enlightened, declare the recitation of AUM MANI PADME HUM may liberate one from a rebirth in any of the six realms.

It is likewise used for the support of a special meditation which may be approximately described as follows:

One identifies six kinds of beings with the six syllables which are pictured in their respective colors as mentioned above. They form a kind of chain without end that circulates through the body, carried on by the breath, entering through one nostril and going out of the other.

As the concentration of the mind becomes more perfect, one sees mentally the length of the chain increasing. Now when they go out with the expiration, the mystic syllables are carried far away, before being observed again with the next inspiration. Yet the chain is not broken, it rather elongates like a rubber band and always remains in touch with the person who meditates.

Gradually also the shape of the Tibetan letters vanish and those who “obtain the fruit” of the practice perceive the six syllables as the six realms in which arise, move, enjoy, suffer and pass away innumerable beings belonging to the six species.

And now it remains for the meditator to realize that the six realms, (the whole phenomenal world) are subjective; a mere creation of the mind which imagines them into which they think.

Advanced mystics reach, by the way of this practice, a trance in which the letters of the formula, as well as the beings and their activity, all merge into THAT which, for lack of a better term, Mahayanist Buddhists have termed “emptiness.” Then having realized the “Void” they become emancipated from the illusion of the world and, as a consequence, liberated from rebirths which are but the fruit of a creative delusion.

From this description of the use of AUM MANI PADME HUM by the mystics of Tibet, we can agree with Madame Alexandra David-Neel in her definition of the use of mysticism and psychology, that everything which relates, whether closely or distantly, to psychic phenomena and to the action of psychic forces generally, should be studied like any other science. That there is nothing miraculous or supernatural in them, nothing that should engender or keep alive superstition. Psychic training, rationally and scientifically conducted, can lead to desirable results. That is why the information gained about such training–even though practiced empirically and based on theories to which we cannot always give our consent–constitutes useful documentary evidence worthy of our attention.

Let us turn our attention from Tibet now to India and endeavor to secure the reason why breathing practice is enjoined in Raja-Yoga, together with the proper posture and the use of the sacred word AUM.

From rhythmic breathing comes a tendency for all the molecules in the body to move in the same direction; and this is needed, for when the mind is focussed into will the nerve-currents change into a motion resembling that of electricity. The nerves have been proved to show polarity under the action of electric currents. This indicates the fact that when the will is transformed into nerve-currents it has something of the force of electricity. So the rhythmic breathing helps to transform the body into a gigantic battery of will. When this is gained the yogi speaks of rousing the coiled-up power latent at the lower end of the spinal cord.

Thus to bring a state of perfect concentration the Yoga teaches that all the molecules must first move in the same direction, this being brought about by proper breathing. Posture is the next important point to concentrate properly the Yoga states. The meditator is taught to sit upright, the chest, neck and head must be in a straight line. Then breathe in and out in a rhythmic way. This brings harmony and tranquillity. Next comes the most important part, that of the inward repetition of some SACRED WORD. Repetition is advised because the act of repetition sets up certain rhythms and vibrations. The sacred word AUM is chosen in India because of its mystic meanings.

It is a syllable composed of three letters A U M. The first letter A is a root sound pronounced without touching any part of the tongue or palate.

The U sound rolls from the very root to the end of the sounding-board of the mouth.

M concludes the series and closes the lips on sound.

When by the use of these three syllables the Yoga has secured the proper atmosphere and the proper vibrations for pure concentration, and sufficient time has elapsed in the exercise to become mechanical, it is stated that the whole aspect of the nature of WILL is changed, and the book of knowledge of the Akasha records are opened.

A careful study of the two doctrines given above and their results, gives to Rosicrucian students an insight of the care and deliberation with which these Eastern mystics devote to a proper subduing of the OBJECTIVE MIND and the careful nurturing of the SUBJECTIVE MIND, and calls to our attention the numerous lectures we receive on the value of VOWEL SOUNDS, their uses and power.

We no longer wonder when we read in history, romance, fiction and religious books of the East, the power of OM, or AUM, and likewise we learn with gratification that even in the services of the Occident, the vibratory powers set up in a church service of the use of the word, AMEN, more especially in some forms of ritual where this Amen is chanted and properly used. The Occident has still much to learn from the Orient on the vibratory powers of vowel sounds.

Let us meditate on this magic, long drawn out syllable that has been sacred since before Atlantis sank under the ocean and new races explored new continents–the WORD that signifies, immeasurable, absolute, unthinkable, all-compassing, for ever infinite and unattainable, sublime and holy Essence–the Beginning and the End.

“O-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o, -m-m-m-m!!”

“He who would understand the PLAINS must ascend the ETERNAL HILLS, where a man’s eyes scan Infinity. But he who would make use of understanding must descend to the PLAINS, where PAST and FUTURE meet and men have need of him.”


On the meaning of: OM MANI PADME HUM

The jewel is in the lotus or praise to the jewel in the lotus

by His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso The Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet

It is very good to recite the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM, but while
you are doing it, you should be thinking on its meaning, for the
meaning of the six syllables is great and vast. The first, OM, is
composed of three pure letters, A, U, and M. These symbolize the
practitioner’s impure body, speech, and mind; they also symbolize the
pure exalted body, speech and mind of a Buddha.

Can impure body, speech and mind be transformed into pure body,
speech and mind, or are they entirely separate? All Buddhas are cases
of being who were like ourselves and then in dependence on the path
became enlightened; Buddhism does not assert that there is anyone who
from the beginning is free from faults and possesses all good
qualities. The development of pure body, speech, and mind comes from
gradually leaving the impure states and their being transformed into
the pure.

How is this done? The path is indicated by the next four syllables.
MANI, meaning jewel, symbolizes the factor of method- the altruistic
intention to become enlightened, compassion, and love. Just as a
jewel is capable of removing poverty, so the altruistic mind of
enlightenment is capable of removing the poverty, or difficulties, of
cyclic existence and of solitary peace. Similarly, just as a jewel
fulfills the wishes of sentient beings, so the altruistic intention to
become enlightened fulfills the wishes of sentient beings.

The two syllables, PADME, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom. Just as
a lotus grows forth from mud but is not sullied by the faults of mud,
so wisdom is capable of putting you in a situation of non-
contradiction where as there would be contradiction if you did not
have wisdom. There is wisdom realizing impermanence, wisdom realizing
that persons are empty of self-sufficient or substantial existence,
wisdom that realizes the emptiness of duality (that is to say, of
difference of entity between subject and object), and wisdom that
realizes the emptiness of inherent existence. Though there are may
different types of wisdom, the main of all these is the wisdom
realizing emptiness.

Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and
wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable, HUM, which indicates
indivisibility. According to the sutra system, this indivisibility of
method and wisdom refers to one consciousness in which there is a full
form of both wisdom affected by method and method affected by wisdom.
In the mantra, or tantra vehicle, it refers to one conciousness in
which there is the full form of both wisdom and method as one
undifferentiable entity. In terms of the seed syllables of the five
conqueror Buddhas, HUM is the is the seed syllable of Akshobhya- the
immovable, the unfluctuating, that which cannot be disturbed by

Thus the six syllables, OM MANI PADME HUM, mean that in dependence
on the practice which is in indivisible union of method and wisdom,
you can transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure
body, speech, and mind of a Buddha. It is said that you should not
seek for Buddhahood outside of yourself; the substances for the
achievement of Buddhahood are within. As Maitreya says in his SUBLIME
the Buddha nature in their own continuum. We have within us the seed
of purity, the essence of a One Gone Thus (TATHAGATAGARBHA), that is
to be transformed and full developed into Buddhahood.

(From a lecture given by His Holiness The Dalai Lama of Tibet at the
Kalmuck Mongolian Buddhist Center, New Jersey.)

Transcribed by Ngawang Tashi (Tsawa), Drepung Loseling, MUNGOD, INDIA

“Growth in experience implies a serious self-doubt and self-questioning
in which values previously held seem to be completely exploded and no
other tangible values come to take their place.  This may even take the
form of a crisis of religious faith in which our whole conception of God
and of our relationship to him may be tuned upside down.  There may seem
to be ‘no God’ at all, or else our relationship to him may seem so
desperate that we feel as though we are damned, in our moments of

–Thomas Merton

“To be a Buddhist
You must not be a Buddhist


When we search endlessly for something, a label often we never find. As you say, the “work” is there
and carries on being there regardless.

Labels are Labels…. it is too easy to follow vain pride and proclaim I am this, and thus I am not that.

“Religion is club, hence the beatings
Spirituality is a path, hence the journey”

–Sis. Artemisias

What is Sister Artemisias saying?

It is too easy to fit a round peg in a round hole. Some people approach their spiritual/religious journey that way. They run out, buy books, nice hats with fluffy bits on and a picture of a pink moose. Once the books are read, the nice fluffy hat can be worn; we can devote decades to saying mantra to the pink moose….

What have we achieved?

We have achieved a nice devotion to a path, a religion, a mantra, a pink moose.

The alternative is to be dynamic. To change…to BE…
To literally follow a journey, to GROW, to become
sure we can have a devotion to a path or a pink moose mantra along the way
but we need to not join clubs….we need to be on a journey. So once you have painted a wall with a brush you can learn to use a roller. it is too easy to get stuck saying magic words to pink moose and thinking that’s where its at….

So dont be afraid to feel you arent part of a club…
as in my opinion, that is a good thing…

I identify with the Holy Grail personally, as I grew up in the shadow of Glastonbury, England
However… as some say, I think LOVE is the only true universal religion….
Of course discerning what love IS…is another story….

“I gained nothing from supreme enlightenment
It is for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment.”


It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am the more affection I have for them…. Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.

–Thomas Merton


Anyone can meditate in a silent place. Where it is calm, restful and relaxing, often people seek meditation. This is however a falsehood. Like taking a special place outside the world, when really outside the world is still the world. In Gnosticism we embrace this idea wholly. Often many seek to “escape” or remove themselves from the world. No matter where you turn to you are in the world. This is a Gnostic truth.

Many see Gnosticism as a spiritual “escape hood”. The same could largely be said for Buddhism. However as opposed to escaping the world, Gnosticism in its “escape” actually embraces. For example in some forms of Gnosticism there are 7 false “heavens” run by “evil” forces called Archons. Archons can be thought of in many ways. One simple way is the inner forces in a person that holds us back; anger, greed, sloth, envy, lust… These “forces” are seen in Gnosticism to hold the individual and the universe “down” or “keep everyone asleep.” This battle or inner struggle is often seen as the greatest battle a seeker must face.

Often we are tempted to speak up, for others, for ourselves, our voices need to be heard:

“First they came for the Jews. I was silent. I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists. I was silent. I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists. I was silent. I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me. There was no one left to speak for me.”

Martin Niemöller

Speaking up is often thought to be the best way to approach life. It is for a seeker just the reverse. The more we speak, the less we say. In Gnosticism we know that the more silent we are, the closer to the “mark” we are. This silence is beyond simply speaking or not speaking, it is a silence of transcendence, when two become one and they reach beyond the sum of their parts. Thus this silence as Merton mentions is a special one…Often this is mentioned in spiritual texts as having “left” or “escaped” the world. If we penetrate below the surface though we find it is not escaping at all, it is embracing the world at a heightened state.

So where as often people seek calm and silence to meditate , true silence is not found in silence at all; as I hope I have explained, this is a false silence, one that really does not exist, as there is no escaping the world. Thus to truly find silence, one seeks noise. When one can find silence in a cacophony, in an argument, in a turmoil, in LIFE!, then one is truly on the road. Thus a seeker seeks no the easy road of calmness, but seeks the hurricane, and seeks to be calm within the eye of the storm, knowing the loudest sounds are also the quietest. Just some thoughts…


The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.

–Rachel Naomi Remen

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