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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.