From THE ORANTE AND THE GODDESS IN THE ROMAN CATACOMBS
By Valerie Abrahamsen
Traditional Interpretations of the Orante
Ever since their modern discovery in the catacombs and on other artifacts such as sarcophagi, Orante figures have been studied and interpreted by early church historians, art historians and other scholars. However, among present-day scholars, there is no consensus on their meaning.
One common interpretation of the Orante is that she represents the “soul of the dead person – whether a man or a woman – rather than an actual […] woman” 7 or “the immortal image of the dead, under the guise of a young girl.”8 The question becomes, why use a female figure to depict the soul? One explanation is that the word for soul in Greek, psyche, is feminine, and that the Orante is similar to other personifications of qualities and virtues; Nike, for instance, is a female personification of the quality Victory, and Tyche/Fortuna personifies Luck or Fortune.
However, in Gnostic and other literature of the early Christian period, Continue reading
The word Kasina means a meditation object whereby the mind is concentrated. There are 10 types of Kasina. The following are how to meditate with Kasina based on Visuddhimagga or the Path of Purification.
1. The Earth Kasina (Pathavi)
The method of meditating using the Earth Kasina can be readily understood by one with previous experience from a past life. He or she might just see a farm or rice paddy field and the Learning Sign (Uggaha-nimitta) would arise easily. Those who do not have such merit must create a Kasina. There are two ways of making an Earth Element Kasina: movable and fixed in position.
Movable Kasina Continue reading
by Dr. Gautam Chatterjee
PANCHABHUTA Or Five Elements. Our whole cosmic quest of the world and beyond starts from the point of panchabhuta (five elements) which then manifests in an enjoining manner to form the life force and then, later, those five elements disintegrates to ensue a celestical traverse at the Paramanu (atom) level.
However, we will first try to understand these five elements which are Earth or Prithvi; Water or Jal ; Fire or Agni; Air or Vayu and then Ether or Akasha. Each of these Five elements has its own character and celestial elements which we will gauge in the following lines.
Earth (Prithvi): One can touch earth and smell it too! However, there are two types of earth. One is Continue reading
Combinations of Power (Rahu and Ketu)
By Joni Patry, 2008
In Vedic astrology the lunar nodes, known as Rahu and Ketu, have special powers in a chart. Often referred to as our karmic destiny, they indicate our greatest gifts and our darkest issues. In prediction they are where the annual eclipses fall, and indicate the areas of our life that involve the most transformation for that year. When the lunar nodes are combined with another planet they take on the quality of that planet. Each combination will produce very different results.
Rahu and Ketu are described as shadowy planets because they are associated with the eclipses of the Sun and the Moon. These shadows developed the powerful myths and meanings bestowed on the nodes, myths of struggles with demons, serpents, and forces of darkness and light. Symbolically they may be seen as our own shadows. Continue reading
Corruption of the Demiurge
From Montalk, 2010
What the Greeks and Gnostics called the “Demiurge” is a universal intelligence that fashions our world. It is said that the Demiurge converts abstract metaphysical archetypes (higher thoughts/ideas) into physically manifest forms, akin to your browser turning source code into a displayed web page. Just as a browser obediently displays what it’s given, the Demiurge projects, shapes, and perpetuates physicality in accordance with the archetypal thoughts fed into it by the Creator. Archetypes are the building blocks of meaning, the fundamental alphabet of existence, the abstract thoughts of the divine, of which all things are but particular expressions.
Why is the concept of Demiurge even necessary? Well, we know from the “reality creation” phenomenon that our own minds can shape reality by directly altering the probability of events. Due to the Continue reading