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Friday, April 5, 2019

Bohemian Travel Stories as a Spiritual Exercise

by Carme Magem

In fact, it is only his body that lives and has its residence in the state; his soul, however, holds all this to be puny and meaningless, and contemptuously wanders all over the place, “under the earth,” as Pindar says, and measuring whatever is on its surface, and “above the heavens,” observing the stars, and in general thoroughly investigating the nature of everything that is, but without lowering itself to the level of any of the objects in its vicinity.

Plato, Theactetus, 173c (this is Plato´s description of the philosopher, which, probably with roots in facts, sounds like a description of a shaman. Philosopher in this sense, simply means what the word means: a lover of wisdom. Modern philosophers are so removed from this, that it only is the name they have in common). 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Five Basic Exercises in Philosophy as a Spiritual Practice

Streets of Naples, Italy

Question: I have a good job, wife and children, success, but something is missing. I don´t feel that I live. There is a constant sense of negativity. I have tried out positive thinking, but it doesn´t seem to help. What could be wrong with me? 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Greco-Roman Philosophy as a Path of Enlightenment

A central inspirator for my philosophical counseling practice is Pierre Hadot. Hadot's recurring theme is that philosophy in Antiquity was characterized by a series of spiritual exercises intended to transform the perception, and therefore the being, of those who practice it; that philosophy is best pursued in real conversation and not through written texts and lectures; and that philosophy, as it is taught in universities today, is for the most part a distortion of its original, therapeutic impulse. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Thought Training, Incubation and Meditation Upon Death

The Ancient Greek Healing Tradition called Incubation. Incubation was also a spiritual practice.

Question: I have been meditating for many years, and I have had a lot of benefits from it, but now I seem to have reached a point where there doesn´t seem to happen anything further. I can´t stop my thoughts, they keep on repeating the same themes. How can I progress further? 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Meditation as an Art of Life - The Ancient Logos

In my book A Dictionary of Thought Distortions I claim that the Sophists used thought distortions as a way of getting on in the world, while Socrates (the philosopher), used critical thinking. I consider this book to be a kind of philosophical diary on how I, during my spiritual crisis, used critical thinking (elenchos, the art of refutation) to distinguish base magic (New Age), which leaves everything to chance, and may lead its practitioners to consort with falsity and evil daemons, and higher magic or theurgy

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

“Everything is New” – Morning Meditation

Alley Of The Dream, by Leonid Afremov 

Every morning you are born out of Hara.

You come from Omphalos, the Navel of the World. You come from the metaphysical time, the enchanted time. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Primordial Meditation

Remedios Varo—Solar Music

Our language, all our fictional productions, are reflections of the universal images in the great vision of the creation. They are signs from the metaphysical time, from the enchanted time. 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Peter Kingsley – Another Story Waiting to Pierce You

Peter Kingsley is an English scholar who work with the assumption that philosophy is a spiritual practice with a spiritual purpose. This is a quite central aspect of my own view of philosophy. But it is not new. Pierre Hadot is another scholar who have emphasized this, and who is a central philosopher for the new movement of philosophical counseling. You could also mention Algis Uždavinys. Uždavinys (1962–2010) was a prolific Lithuanian philosopher and scholar. His work pioneered the hermeneutical comparative study of Egyptian and Greek religions, especially their esoteric relations to Semitic religions, and in particular the inner aspect of Islam (Sufism). Upon graduation he came in contact with the writings and authors of the Traditionalist or Perennialist school, and this influenced his comparative exegesis, notably his studies on Sufism, the Ancient Egyptian religion, and his assertion of the substantial continuity of Greek philosophical tradition from Pythagoras down to the latest Neoplatonic authors. In this last claim he was expressly indebted to Pierre Hadot. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Kundalini as a Top-Down Awakening

Normally a Kundalini awakening is understood as a bottom-up awakening. This was how my own kundalini awakening began. In India, spiritual practitioners talk of a coiled energy, called kundalini, that lies dormant at the base of the spine. When this energy fully awakens, it rises up the spine through a central channel, called in Sanskrit the sushumna, awakening and clearing each chakra as it goes. It can feel like gentle warmth, or a powerful surge of electricity. Energy completing its ascent up the spine is called a “kundalini awakening”. This is generally a powerful and ecstatic spiritual experience if the energy makes it right through the crown. You can have a white light experience or feel temporarily enlightened. The kundalini, however, does not always move all the way through the top of the head. It may stop at any point along the way. It can rise to the solar plexus, increasing personal power and confidence, continue to the heart, increasing deep love and compassion, open up the third eye to intuitive perceptions, or flow up into the head, activating the pituitary and pineal glands. 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Eckhart Tolle Show - a Critique

Who is Eckhart Tolle? Wikipedia says:

Eckhart Tolle, born Ulrich Leonard Tölle, is a spiritual teacher. He is a German-born resident of Canada best known as the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. In 2008, The New York Times called Tolle "the most popular spiritual author in the United States". In 2011, he was listed by Watkins Review as the most spiritually influential person in the world. Tolle is not identified with any particular religion, but he has been influenced by a wide range of spiritual works. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Final Secret of the Illuminati

”Perhaps the final secret of the Illuminati is that you don´t know you´re a member until it´s too late to get out.” Robert Anton Wilson, in Cosmic Trigger I – Final Secret of the Illuminati (page 88)

Cosmic Trigger I is the first book in the Cosmic Trigger series, first published in 1977 and the first of a three-volume autobiographical and philosophical work. It has a foreword by Timothy Leary, which he wrote in the summer of 1977. The first volume was published without numbering, as the second volume did not appear for nearly 15 years.

Wilson is one of many psychologists who want to be philosophers instead of the philosophers. The book deals with Wilson's experiences during a time in which he put himself through a process of "self-induced brain change" as well as vignettes of his earlier life. The main discovery of this process—which, he tells us, is known in certain traditions as Chapel perilous—is that "reality" is mutable and subjective to the observer. 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Psychopath's Bible (a critical book review)

The Psychopath's Bible: For the Extreme Individual, is a book by Christopher Hyatt. Christopher Hyatt was an American psychologist and psychotherapist who wanted to be a philosopher instead of the philosophers. The description of this book goes:

In the most of the world, psychopaths have gotten a bad rap. That, of course, is quite understandable since almost all of the world's religious and social philosophies have little use for the individual except as a tool to be placed in service to their notion of something else: 'God,' or the 'collective,' or the 'higher good' or some other equally undefinable term. Only rarely, such as in Zen; in Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism; in some aspects of Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism; and in some schools of Existentialism, is the individual considered primal. Here, finally, is a book which celebrates, encourages and educates the best part of ourselves --- The Psychopath. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Aleister Crowley – The Eye in the Triangle

The Eye in the Triangle: An Interpretation of Aleister Crowley, is a book by Israel Regardie. The book description sounds like this:

“Aleister Crowley, the greatest Magus of the twentieth century, redefined the very basis of the Western Esoteric Tradition. His incalculably vast influence reaches through all modern occultism. Whether acknowledged or not, he is the father of the modern arts of ceremonial magick, Western Tantra, Tarot and Wicca. His devotees ascribe even greater significance to his life, regarding him as the prophet of the modern age.” 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Timothy Leary – a Psychedelic Shaman Playing a Fascistic Game

Timothy Leary is called a ”high priest of LSD” and a ”psychedelic shaman”. He believed that LSD showed potential for therapeutic use in psychiatry. He used LSD himself and developed a philosophy of mind expansion and personal truth through LSD. After leaving Harvard, he continued to publicly promote the use of psychedelic drugs and became a well-known figure of the counterculture of the 1960s, and therefore also in New Age. He popularized catchphrases that promoted his philosophy, such as "turn on, tune in, drop out", "set and setting", and "think for yourself and question authority". He also wrote and spoke frequently about transhumanist concepts involving space migration, intelligence increase, and life extension (SMI²LE). Below you can download his book: 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Age Magazine: “Donald Trump – a Gift”

In January 2018 the Danish New Age magazine Nyt Aspekt, brought an article called Donald Trump – a Gift. The article is written by Serge Beddington-Behrens, a “transpersonal psychotherapist and shaman, who are teaching all over the world”. The article is reproduced from the English New Age magazine Kindred Spirit. I couldn´t find the English version and the following is based on the Danish version, as well as my translation of this into English. Eventual grammatical errors are therefore due to me. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Meditation and the Philosophical Diary

You have travelled for a long time. You are a philosophical globetrotter and are on a quest after the secret of life. You enter an old library filled with mystical books. One of them catches your eyes. It is wrapped in leather and covered with dust. You open it. It is filled with blank pages. It is the book of yourself, it is the book with the history of your soul. But you must write it yourself. It is your philosophical diary. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Counseling in the Mythic Forest of Rold

In the mythic woods of Rold Forest, far away from the artificial Matrix of the modern world, I offer shamanistic/philosophical counseling to people who are in a process of awakening from the Matrix; people who can become members of the resistance, people who can become Matrix Hackers. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Mindfulness and the Loss of Philosophy

Today meditation is usually associated with mindfulness, where philosophy, spirituality and religiousness have been reduced to psychology and psychotherapy (just think about how the term "ethically-neutral", in modern mindfulness is seen as something positive). In other words: mindfulness has become a part of what I call the Mythology of Authenticity

Monday, December 3, 2018

Why the name change from "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" in the UK to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in the United States?

In the book Harry Potter and Philosophy, the editors write in the introductory article The Magic of Philosophy:

Philosophers, both Muggles and non-muggles, love Harry, which is more fitting than one might imagine. When the first Potter book was published in the United States, the subtitle The Philosopher´s Stone was changed to The Sorcerer´s Stone. The rationale was that Americans would be put off by reference to philosophy. Philosophy it was thought, evokes esoteric and daunting images of the ivory tower. This may have been a miscalculation

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Witch Power, Occult Awakening and Dangerous Illusions

In Rold Forest we have a witch. Her name is Dannie Druehyld. In her book Heksens Håndbog (the Handbook of the Witch) she writes that to live like a witch is to live with the Goddesses, the flowers and the call of the birds – to live cyclic. To experience everything which happens, as a part of a magical puzzle, where every splinter of reality, every human being, you meet, is a piece of your life´s puzzle. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Philosophy, Storytelling and Shamanic Healing

The Arabian Nights illustrated by Charles Folkard

The Thousand and One Night is not something which had died. It is a book so vast that it is not necessary to have read it, for it is a part of our memory – and also, now, a part of tonight.

Jorge Luis Borges, Seven Nights.

Shamanic/philosophical counseling is about healing the Soul of Man. Therefore you can also call it spiritual healing. The essence of spiritual healing, in my context, is to discover, and especially, accept, your true creative calling in life. If you do this you will experience the enchantment of being helped by the spirits. The first step in this direction is help to become a life artist. All in all, I call my help guided primordial meditation, a return to the Source of consciousness, which again is a return to the Source of nature.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Witchcraft, Shamanism and Storytelling

The Storyteller, by Josephine Wall

Mother Earth is a concept which witches and shamans are working with. They feel at home on Mother Earth. To get into the philosophy of Mother Earth it would be a good idea to read literature on witches and shamans. A good beginning for studying witches is Erica Jong´s wonderful book Witches. In this book you will find a lot of references to further reading on the subject, as for example Margot Adler´s book Drawing Down the Moon, and Margaret Murray´s The Witch-cult in Western Europe and The God of the Witches.  

Saturday, November 17, 2018

A Shamanic Kundalini Awakening (a critical book review)

When I was in the process of realizing that my kundalini awakening, and the many years of spiritual crises, had many similarities with that of a traditional shamanic illness and initiation, I stumbled upon a book called A Shamanic Kundalini Awakening. It is by Brendan Ring, an Irish musician, author, and, in his own words, a mystic. I was thrilled, but was quickly disappointed. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Yugas (a critical book review)

In their book The Yugas: Keys to Understanding Man's Hidden Past, Emerging Present and Future Enlightenment, the two American “scientists” Joseph Selbie and David Steinmetz, have written a revisionist version of the Indian philosophy of the Yugas, the four-age cycles of history and time. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Cosmographer Who Stole Lucifer´s Dreams

Location: San Marco (Piazza San Marco), Venice, Italy

The title of this photo is People are satisfied with words, which means that they live of words, and is from my photo blog The Visual Pilgrim. The text to the photo goes: 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Thou Shalt Not Criticize!!!

Philosophy is under attack. The precious store of ancient wisdom is under attack from charlatans, the Sophists. This was Plato´s warning, and the warning is more important today than ever. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Examples of Atheist Propaganda in Skeptical Inquirer - Example 2: Steven Pinker

Learning about human progress is not an exercise in optimism, cheeriness, or looking on the bright side: it´s a matter of accuracy, of understanding the world as it really is (Steven Pinker, Skeptical Inquirer). 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Examples of Atheist Propaganda in Skeptical Inquirer - Example 1: James E. Alcock

The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), formerly known as the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), is a program within the transnational American non-profit educational organization Center for Inquiry (CFI), which seeks to "promote scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims." 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Ken Wilber likes to play Wyatt Earp when responding to criticism

Ken Wilber has tried to make an evolutionary theory of everything. But any theory of everything implicates the so-called nondual bias. Nondual bias arises when you describe something as nondual, while forgetting that you can´t describe anything without implying the negation of it. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Return of the Sophists

The so-called ”Californian Ideology” have emerged promoting a form of techno-utopia as a reachable goal. "The Californian Ideology" is a 1995 essay by English media theorists Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron of the University of Westminster. Barbrook describes it as a "critique of dotcom neoliberalism".

Is Facebook a Matrix Machine?

With my concept of The Matrix Conspiracy I put myself in the risk of being accused of being a paranoid conspiracy theorist (see my article The Matrix Conspiracy). This is not the case. My concept is a theory of conspiracy and not a conspiracy theory. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

We use ourselves over ability by doing things, which basically don´t interest us

Street art by Unknown

We use ourselves over ability by doing things, which basically don´t interest us. And at the same time we have still not found out, what we seriously are interested in: our true calling in life. We haven't discovered what our real interest is, and we feel a fundamental disappointment, bitterness, or perhaps rather guilt: the feeling of not having accomplished our possibilities, the feeling of lack of life-unfolding and unlived life, and the annoyances over this. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Existential movement is a characteristic of being, not a phenomenon of consciousness

Alley Of The Dream, by Leonid Afremov

We know movement and change from the outside world.

Existential movement is connected with Man, with identity and personality. It arises in the individual person´s relationships with the surrounding world. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The WingMakers Project

On heav’nly ground they stood, and from the shore
They view’d the vast immeasurable Abyss
Outrageous as a Sea, dark, wasteful, wilde,
Up from the bottom turn’d by furious windes
And surging waves, as Mountains to assault
Heav’ns highth, and with the Center mix the Pole.

Silence, ye troubl’d waves, and thou Deep, peace,
Said then th’ Omnific Word, your discord end:

Nor staid, but on the Wings of Cherubim
Uplifted, in Paternal Glorie rode
Farr into Chaos, and the World unborn;
For Chaos heard his voice: him all his Traine
Follow’d in bright procession to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then staid the fervid Wheeles, and in his hand
He took the golden Compasses, prepar’d
In Gods Eternal store, to circumscribe
This Universe, and all created things:
One foot he center’d, and the other turn’d
Round through the vast profunditie obscure,
And said, thus farr extend, thus farr thy bounds,
This be thy just Circumference, O World.

—John Milton, Paradise Lost bk vii, lns 210-31 (1667)

The conception of a world driven by a celestial mechanics not altogether fathomable by humans, is distinctly a classical Greek idea. Plato called God the Divine Geometrician, and invoked the challenge of Prometheus – the challenge directed to humankind to unlock these secrets (note the title of Mary Shelley´s famous novel: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus)