ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
[personal profile] ecosophia
DruidsChasing down leads on the origins of the material that went into The Druid Magic Handbook and The Dolmen Arch, and finding something unexpected...

Here's a quote from Letters on Tellurism by Gioacchino de Prati, which was published in an English magazine in 1834 and 1835, and which talks at great length about the solar and telluric currents: 

"The intelligence of individuals is, in regard to the absolute divine intelligence, nothing but the organs by which and through which the great act of revelation is performed."

Here's a quote from The View Over Atlantis by John Michell, which was published in 1968, and which also talks at great length about the solar and telluric currents: 

"The instrument of all human enlightenment is an educated mind illuminated by revelation. [..] whom the great discoveries in every age are made, are always those who have prepared themselves for revelation by the cultivation of such interests as characterize the natural philosopher."

It's quite possible that Michell read de Prati -- he was ferociously erudite and knew a great many obscure byways of occultism -- but there's more going on here than the possible continuity of a tradition. 

Down through the years there's been a lot of sloppy talk about the purpose of occult training. What makes it sloppy is the rather too common assumption that there's just one purpose, and all the different systems out there are better or worse methods for reaching the same ends. Not so; different systems presuppose different goals. These days, even though quite a few of the old occult schools have gone extinct, you can find various schools with their own goals -- those in the Rudolf Steiner tradition, which focus on developing seership; those pursuing various forms of Christian mysticism, which focus on seeking union with God through love; those in the broad Golden Dawn tradition, which use the methods of ritual magic to open up contact between the lower self and the higher self; and so on. 

What de Prati and Michell are talking about is something else again: a system of training that starts with "such interests as characterize the natural philosopher" and proceed from there to develop the capacity for revelation, which in the sense these authors have in mind means intuitive insight -- "the order of art and science seen in a flash" -- guided by an awakening sense of the whole cosmos and the place of each individual phenomenon in it. 

Two reflections come to mind: 

First, I'd wondered for quite some time why the Druid Revival didn't get into operative magic until quite late in its history -- as far as I can tell, not until the implosion of the Golden Dawn in 1903 sent a lot of well-trained Hermetic magicians into the Druid scene. This may be why. The goals outlined in de Prati and Michell fit very well with the image of the Druid in 18th and 19th century culture, and it may be that a careful study of old Druid writings will show other traces of the training meant to prepare the mind for revelation. 

Second, it seems to me that the particular skill set I've sketched out here is not something that existing occult schools teach, and it's something that the world could really, seriously use right now. Educated minds illuminated by revelation could accomplish much. 

Now to figure out more about the methods...

(no subject)

Date: 2019-03-23 07:21 am (UTC)
eremon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eremon
"The intelligence of individuals is, in regard to the absolute divine intelligence, nothing but the organs by which and through which the great act of revelation is performed."

Reminds me of Buckminster Fuller's assertion that humans were the sense organs of a self-observing universe.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-03-23 08:57 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Now that, sounds like an avenue worth pursuing John. Certainly appeals to my taste buds. Averagejoe.

Education and illumination

Date: 2019-03-23 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hmmmm. This has been very much on my mind as well, recently. I'm inclining to think that the answer is poetry, which is annoying, since my own grasp of the rules of verse is weak.


Re: Education and illumination

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-03-24 12:29 pm (UTC) - Expand


Date: 2019-03-23 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ritaer
Some suggested reading

Writing Poems--Robert Wallace--a college textpook
THE Making of a Poem: a Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms--Mark Strand and Eavan Boland--villanelles, pzntoums, sestinas, oh my--definitions and many examples of standard western formal poetry
Sound and Sense: an Introduction to Poetry--Laurence Perrine, more about close analysis than about writing, but a standard textbook
The Poet's Handbook-Judson Jerome--organized by topics rather than by forms

Any of these were common enough textbooks to be found in used bookstores or online.


Re: poetry

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-03-24 12:17 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Education and illumination

Date: 2019-03-23 09:23 pm (UTC)
amritarosa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amritarosa
Re: learning poetry in English

Hi Bogatyr & JMG,

I've had some very interesting experiences with this book recently, and would highly recommend the study guide that was made to go with it (free, downloadable) as a really good place to start. The book itself has some power and some preferences - it will not allow skimming, for one thing, and it goes forwards and backwards...there are things hidden within left to the attentive seeker to discover. Several friends have reported similar interactions with it.

It's not strictly about learning metrical poetry, but it was written for school children and has a freshness and absence of assumptions about the learner that I really like. One could well proceed on to more formal books on learning poetry from there.

I also really like the spell it's loosing in the world. I want to buy like 30 copies and give them to all my friends who have children or are teachers.

the book:

the study guide:
Edited Date: 2019-03-23 09:30 pm (UTC)

Re: Education and illumination

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-03-24 12:08 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2019-03-23 03:37 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This skillset would be beyond valuable to me. I recall, many years ago reading a Reddit AMA from an inventor with several hundred patents - he suggested that to do it you needed first "to invent a method of inventing" and hinted that there was a lot of introspection to get in touch with higher parts of yourself that are 'behind locked doors'.

Even a taste of the clarity of a Euclid, Hypatia, Issac Newton, Nikola Tesla, or John von Neumann would be sublime.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-03-23 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
So, what you discuss here is perhaps a new direction in occult studies?
It's worth meditating on the sorts of things that Natural Philosophers were doing back in the day. Broadly speaking, weren't they looking for patterns in the way that Nature works to gain an understanding of the underlying 'philosophy' of Nature? In other words, a sort of unified-fields theory...

Nicholas Taleb says, in his Black Swan/Incerto series of books, that mathematics is really a tool to enhance meditation, and I think it is helpful to some people when used as a means to pursue an understanding of nature.

Mathematics is not everyone's cup of tea--
But as an analogy, I used to have great difficulty with listed street directions until I began to visualize the directions as they were given to me. Shifting the processing centre from 'hearing' to 'visual' made a world of difference. In the same way, it is thought that early use of the abacus by Asian children trains them to use the visual cortex for maths-- and that leads to better skills in maths.

As for Revelation-- how far can we go with that, given the limitations of human-ness? Or is this possibly a way around those limitations?

(no subject)

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-03-24 03:06 am (UTC) - Expand

Geometry and proofs

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Re: Geometry and proofs

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Date: 2019-03-23 04:12 pm (UTC)
fringewood: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fringewood
At the risk of sounding naive and simple, wouldn't the experiences from practicing the excercises contained in "Between the Gates" lead me to revelation?


(no subject)

From: [personal profile] fringewood - Date: 2019-03-23 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2019-03-23 05:08 pm (UTC)
amritarosa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amritarosa
The idea/actuality that not every path leads to the same place is so freeing and explains so much.

If not every path leads to the same place, then the individual must -make a choice- , and that not everything, everywhere, will be attained by that person in one lifetime. Which can be scary for those who suffer from FOMO or who have a desire to be objectively "top of the heap". Or who don't want the responsibility of choosing, and so pretending we all end up in the same place with the same set of skills and experiences is more comforting.

The emphasis on discursive and other related types of meditation as a foundation skill in the Druidic path was one of the things that immediately stood out to me as something that set it apart from other paths I've practiced or researched. In the beginning I wondered what was so important about that, but it didn't take long to realize that my thought habits were getting a real workout- training for "Educated minds illuminated by revelation". It's to date the most difficult practice I've undertaken, but it yields real, tangible results.

Good stuff!!
I'm happy that the Dolmen Arch course is nearing its release date, and look forward to exploring that, once my year of current practice commitments is finished :)

As always, many thanks!

(no subject)

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-03-23 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2019-03-23 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] miikkaj
Would these telluric currents be the same thing as the generalized music model of universal frequencies? There's a holofractal-subreddit which has info on the concept of life creating and destroying EM frequencies.


Date: 2019-03-23 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] degringolade
I realize that pointing over to a response at my Dreamscape journal may be tacky, but since there was some synchonicity involved, I just wanted to let JMG know about my thoughts.

Re: Retreat

From: [personal profile] degringolade - Date: 2019-03-24 02:47 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2019-03-23 11:10 pm (UTC)
samhays: (Default)
From: [personal profile] samhays
If we are merely individual organs through which the divine intelligence performs revelation, then it begs the question: which organ are we? A spleen, a bladder, an intestine? And can we change into a different organ, like a pineal gland?

(no subject)

Date: 2019-03-23 11:56 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I think that's what death is for.

Cosmic feet?

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-03-24 09:05 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2019-03-24 01:00 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

I'm not as quick as the rest of you. Can you please elaborate on what you've said here, and what's meant exactly by revelation? What's being revealed, and for what purpose?

"it's something that the world could really, seriously use right now. Educated minds illuminated by revelation could accomplish much."

Thank you!

Ancient Egypt?

Date: 2019-03-24 04:46 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Throwing this out as a suggestion although it may be in far left field as it is a method from ancient Egypt. Recently, I was discursively meditating on The Book of Gates: a magical translation; translated by Michael Sheppard, commentary text by Josephine McCarthy; illustrated by Stuart Littlejohn. I got fairly far along before the gatekeeper of the section I had reached booted me out for awhile so I could work more on my project. This project is very much more like natural art and science of old than any current science project (having been there, done that). While I had a revelation about what that project was prior to meditating on the book, the revelations about the details and methods really blossomed as I went through the book. "Instructions" are revealed through meditation on the text. I would read Josephine's commentary after my meditation to make sure I was getting a good connection to the information. It seems to me that there is a running theme of telluric and solar currents throughout the text as well but you may think differently.

Ann from the capital of the Lakeland Republic

(no subject)

Date: 2019-03-24 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] robertmathiesen
One possible source for telluric vs. solar currents might be John Campbell Colquhoun's works, and especially his "Isis Revelata" (1836) and "A History of Magic, Witchcraft and Animal Magnetism" (1851). There might also be something along the same lines in Joseph Ennemoser's "History of Magic," an English translation of which was published in 1854. These were easily accessible writers who were quite learned men themselves, but who wrote for ordinary educated readers. These books of theirs were printed and sold in the thousands and tens of thousands. -- They are all easily downloadable as PDFs from multiple sites.


Date: 2019-03-24 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I don't know if this is directly related or not to this post, but i'll share just in case. One of the things that I have studied over the last 30 years (without much success i must add) is the receiving and transmission of gifts. Since the 19th century there have been people that have received gifts and knowledge. In at least three of the cases, the process was the same. A ball of light come from above, hit the person that immediately blacks out and upon waking up, discovers that has knowledge and capabilities that didn't have before. One of those people was Mikao Usui, the creator of Reiki The main difference between Usui and the other people that had the same experience , was that he was able to figure out a way to transmit what he received. Someone mentioned Tesla. and apart from the ball of light he had a very similar experience. He had what he later described as a seizure and upon waking up his brain had changed and he was able to perform a lot of experiments as simulations on his mind. The main difference from that experience to the one of Usui, was that he didn't saw the ball of light, but perhaps he was just looking in another direction. I don't know. The only practical advice that I found about this was to use the Gayatri mantra, that supposedly makes one's mind stronger, clearer, inspired.


Re: Gifts

From: [personal profile] fringewood - Date: 2019-03-25 01:56 pm (UTC) - Expand

The method of the revelation.

Date: 2019-03-24 08:48 pm (UTC)
jpc_w: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jpc_w
Based on what you have learned from these writings, do these revelations correspond to a one-way inbound channel from the higher self to the lower self, or "just" some kind of improvement/expansion of the mental body?

(no subject)

Date: 2019-03-25 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] walt_f
Omitting the personal anecdotes to justify them, here are some things I'd suggest including in the curriculum:

- The concept cluster that connects self-reference, recursion, fractal geometry, scaling, and natural processes (e.g. flows, morphogenesis, evolution). How and why does a tree resemble a lightning bolt?

- Metaphors, analogies, and models, as a general study separate from (but with appropriate reference to) e.g. literature, science, or esoterica. Including some overlap with useful areas of linguistics, symbology, and semiotics, without going down the latter's rabbit holes.

- Critical thinking. What need for revelation if you're satisfied with whatever explanatory narratives are already at hand, regardless of their shortcomings?

from an Indian Mystical perspective

Date: 2019-03-25 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Ah, JMG, you are touching a subject close to my heart! Just last week, I was recently telling my rather technically-oriented son how many breakthroughs in Western science and technology were made through dreams and visions by folks who kept on ‘butting their heads against the wall’ but could not reach the breakthrough via the intellect.

Certainly, there are many different kinds of revelations – from the highly practical to the most transcendental – so, clearly, much of what is ‘revealed’ depends largely on the mind-set/obsession of the individual and, I surmise, the culture in which the individual lives (the ‘group mind’ so to speak).

Every major decision in my life was made through either revelation or intuition and I am so happy that I have done so. The key question that you seem to be exploring, JMG, is how can one prepare oneself for revelation? Like the Muses of the arts, it is not something that we are in control of, but we can prepare for through study, effort, and passion, but that seems to be only part of it. The other part, through my experience and observation in an Indian context (more below) is to empty oneself of ego and make oneself entirely receptive to the ‘source of revelation’ (however one may conceive or term it). It is like making oneself the negative electromagnetic pole, which once intense enough induces the positive pole of electric current to flow from the ‘source’.

Having been immersed in Hinduism for decades, my main reference points for revelation, inspiration or the receipt of extraordinary ‘gifts’ is from India. Besides the relatively well-known transfer of self-realization from the ‘guru’ to the ‘chela’ (Ramakrishna and Vivekananda come to mind, as well as the transfer of ‘baraka’ common among Sufis), there are numerous well-recorded accounts of more mundane forms of revelation within modern times in the subcontinent. One of the most extraordinary ones that I know of is the case of Swami Gnanananda Giri (died 1974) and Swami Haridhos Giri (died 1994). The latter was very interested in devotional music as a youth, he but was not considered to be extraordinary in any capacity and lacked classical training. But through the instant ‘transmission’ of grace from his guru (Gnanananda), Haridhos became not only an extraordinary singer, but an unrivalled expert in both the North Indian and South Indian classical schools of music – so much so that classical musicians around the country would flock to him for musical advice.

The systematic fostering of revelation in Western society is, to me, an extremely worthwhile avenue of exploration. I am not a scholar; so, unfortunately, I have no great resources to share with you, but you have my wholehearted support and interest. In the meanwhile, I am opening myself up to revelation in the field of geomancy (still work in progress!).

Sorry for the terribly verbose reply.

Ron M

(no subject)

Date: 2019-03-25 02:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] daveotn
Do you think this is also the reason for the emphasis on creative paths in Druidry? I'm most familiar with the AODA, where of course you had a personal hand in developing the curriculum, but my impression is that OBOD also strongly emphasizes the bardic arts. It seems that Revival Druidry's particular blend dedication to both creative outlets and nature study is well designed to open yourself up for revelation.

Proofs without Words

Date: 2019-03-26 04:08 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I asked a friend I was meeting for the first time what book he could give me on evolution; he handed me How the World Was Made. I read through it quickly out of obligation and gave it back not realizing why he would have chosen it. This seems to make it a bit clearer.

He was also a fan of the book Proofs without Words and all books related to visual mathematics and sacred geometry.

He loved Paul Erdos as the ultimate poser of questions in Mathematics. He would find guys who had been stuck for years on a problem, give them an easier related problem or rephrase the definition, and they would come up with new insights that ultimately lead to the solution.

My friend loved to say that when we teach, the student recapitulates the experience of creation. It is a sort of time travel in fast-motion. A shortcut to sharing the experience of discovery.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-03-27 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
"As a rite of passage, the labyrinth gave shape to the Castle's underlying political fantasy: that a devoted cabal of ‘initiates’ could work secretly to shape Irish imaginative culture using the symbols they drew from Celtic myths and occult experience. For Yeats, the labyrinth reflected the imperfect conditions of human knowledge and the lengthy process by which self awareness is achieved. As he wrote in Per Amico Silentia Lunae, the fate of human knowledge is to follow the winding "path of the serpent" and hope for "sudden lightning" flashes of illumination. (W.B. Yeats, Per Amico Silentia Lunae, 1918, p. 39.)"

Relevant? (Likely not new to you, but to make sure.)

- S. T. Silva.


ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)John Michael Greer

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