Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Wedding of Sophia (Review & Commentary)

I am back with another review and, this time, with more commentary.

Today’s book is The Wedding of Sophia: The Divine Feminine in Psychoidal Alchemy, by Jeffrey Raff, PhD, Nicolas-Hays, Inc, 2003. In this book, Raff attempts to demonstrate the alchemical work of combining opposites to achieve the Great Work and his theory of the Psychoidal Realm and Psychoidal Beings. The Psychoidal Beings are beyond the Jungian definition of Archetypes, which exist in humanity’s psyche and are only symbolic representations of mythic themes which humans gravitate towards. On the other hand, Raff attempts to explain that Psychoidal beings are real entities which can be compared to emissaries from a higher spiritual plane or from God. For me, the most interesting parts of Raff’s book was his description of the alchemists’ goals and their efforts in attempting to realize the Great Work – the union of two opposites to create a new, transformed and complete being; the Rebis. For those with a desire to learn more about alchemy, I would recommend this book. Raff gives insights into the symbology of alchemy and even alchemical references within the Bible. I chose not to dwell too much on the Psychoidal theory he put forth (Sorry Dr. Raff).

The two opposites the alchemists are attempting to join are God (masculine/Power – sometimes referred to as the King) and Sophia (feminine/Wisdom – sometimes referred to as the Queen). Sophia as a consort or feminine aspect of God is an ancient tradition found in Gnostic teachings, the Kabala (as the divine Shikenah) and in the Bible (as Asherah). The division of the God into a masculine entity representing Power and a feminine entity representing Wisdom is also found in Freemasonry. The goal of the alchemist is to work to bring the two entities together properly so as to combine and balance the aspects of each into a stronger, more complete being – and in the process increase the power and knowledge of the alchemist by virtue of his/her work. The alchemist is also transformed with God and Sophia and receives the gift of everlasting spiritual life. This is the Great/Divine Work also referred to as the Alchemical Wedding.

Why is this important? Alchemy (and other philosophies) does not view God as a perfect and omnipotent being. It is felt that God “is in the process of becoming.” Raff goes on to say, “The marriage sets the stage for the on-going evolution of God. This is possible because Sophia is the personification of divine knowing [knowledge].” Now this is where I start my pontification…
Given that God is continuously evolving/growing, or, as in the case of this book, transforming, why would God need man in order to evolve? God’s interaction with man may teach it something about itself. Interacting with your creation teaches you something about your creation (limits, growth, care, requirements…). But also may teach you about yourself (perspective, limits, self-reflection…).

Also given that god created man to learn who God is (this Gnostic theory is from another book…), interaction with man may be necessary to access that knowledge. What if the connection between God and man is weak? We are not angels or spiritual creatures, so interface may be difficult. As a collective race, we are just now thinking that we understand something about ourselves, so how could we understand enough to interact with God on its level? All the data acquired through our learned experiences would trickle “up” to God; learning is slow and much of the info/data would be with the individual. Think of a computer. This computer’s function would be to learn information. And with this computer the info/data would stay until it is full or the computer gets to old to function properly, and eventually it crashes. The hard drive (with all the experiences/data) can then be removed from the CPU/Body and sent to a great repository to be “up-loaded”. Now, what if this computer was able to make a connection with the repository/server? All the data learned by the computer could be immediately transferred to the server/network. Additionally, data/knowledge could also be “down-loaded” to the computer from the network (updates, patches, virus protection…). The computer would have knowledge from the whole collective network. Each component is learning, sharing, growing, evolving and transforming. (Now go back and replace “computer” with “person”, “hard drive” with “soul”, and “repository/server/network” with “God”.)

Man has done the same thing when he created computers and then the internet; only he created the “individual” first. Why? Because man never (collectively) understood his connection with “God”. So when he created, he created a thing in his own image – a “stand-alone” system.

So how do we upgrade? According to Raff, alchemy is one tool to use to work on ourselves and understand the materials given to us. We must understand our tools and the components with which we have to work. We must understand that if we want the world to be better, we must start with ourselves. We must work on our connection to the divine and realize the divine within our individual selves and how that divine is connected to every other individual. We must work to make “God” better, so the feedback is better.

If you could, what would you fix about God? Good. Now go fix that in yourself. We are all responsible!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Tree Falls

Everybody has probably heard the Koan: If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one to hear it, does it still make a sound?

Lately, I have seen a lot of altered versions of that question. This version is on t-shirts, bumper stickers, posters, greeting cards, billboards, television ads, blah, blah, blah…. The version goes this way: If a man speaks, and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?

I find this as further proof that there truly is a “Shadow Matriarchy” conspiracy at work in the world. What is the Shadow Matriarchy? Maybe one day I will tell you…. But the reason this is proof is because this cute little jab at men has gone unanswered for many years. Well, people, here is the answer I am going to spread around (and if you have any testosterone in your body, you will spread it around also):


Boo-Yah! Yeah! I said it! Make me a samich!!!

Ed, Edd, & Eddy

I am only going to write a short (quick) blog in response to a challenge by Dan.

I actually started thinking about this cartoon a while back. My son loves to watch the seemingly brainless antics of these three buffoons. After watching them a few time, I started thinking that there has to be something other than inane stupidity (I still do think that is all that was intended by the creator). But, I noticed that each character was locked into a simple attribute. Ed is a simple and strong oaf. Edd (AKA Double D) is the brainy and non-athletic type. Eddy is the schemer who is always maneuvering the other two to try to make money – with the goal of buying jaw-breakers. (This is so simple you are probably already anticipating the result…)

Given the near identical nature of each boy’s name, they apparently are each aspects of the same person. Ed represents innocence and the single minded strength in that innocence. Ed sees beauty and fun in everything. He is usually depicted with a vacant stare as if his mind is in a constant state of Samadhi. (He would be the Chakras four and five)

Edd (Double D) is the analytical one who explores, examines, and dissects everything. He is the higher intellect and reason. He is usually the first to identify the flaws in Eddy’s scams but he still goes along with it. (Chakras six and sometimes seven)

Eddy represents the Will and the desire for status. He worries what others think of him. He wants to be older because he thinks it will make his life easier. He is always thinking of ways to make money. Ironically, his schemes require more work than doing honest work for honest pay. Eddy is the driving force which drives the other two. Without Eddy, Ed’s strength would have no direction and Double D would have no focus. (The bottom three Chakras with a strong emphasis on the third)

Obviously, money is the ‘ticket’ with which they purchase ‘happiness’….

The Canker sisters represent the confusion and perplexing anxiety a prepubescent male has about ‘icky’ girls.

I bet you all can figure out the rest of the characters, as they are all rather one-dimensional.

Back to you, Dan.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

2012 - The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Review)

I just finished reading 2012 – The Return of Quetzalcoatl, by Daniel Pinchbeck (Penguin Press © 2006). For the longest time I have been sensitive to the eminent arrival of this marker in time. I have discussed its meaning with people and attempted to decipher exactly what might happen to the world and human existence on the Winter Solstice of 21 December 2012 (21122012) – just looking at the numerical version of this date calls to mind some kind of higher ‘binary’ system where the ON/OFF code is replaced with a third alternative = NEITHER-ON-NOR-OFF….

Daniel Pinchbeck has compiled a vast amount of knowledge on the myth, fear, and spirituality of the apocalyptic year 2012. His book identifies this event as an archetype of the collective consciousness for all man. He searches the possible purpose for why various cultures and religions have prophesied of the inevitable destruction of mankind (including whether 2012 will be the time when extraterrestrial intelligences overtly reveal themselves to the population of Earth).

Many sects within the Christian religious Belief Systems (B.S.) warn of an Apocalypse from the Book of Revelation. During this prophesied time many terrible things will come to pass; earth quakes, famine, war, etc. These are all signs leading to the great conflict between Heaven and Hell known as Armageddon. At the end of this conflict Satan will be defeated and banished and the earth will be transformed into a utopian world as Heaven descends to earth.

Islam has its own prophesy of the end of times. Muslims also subscribe to the B.S. that Jesus will return (Didn’t know that, did you)? There will come a time marked by bizarre signs, some as disastrous as famine and some as strange as women dressing as men and men dressing as women (girlfriend, we are here already!). Prior to the Day of Judgment, around the Second Coming of Jesus, the ad-Dajjal ("The Impostor Messiah"), an evil figure who is blind in his right eye, shall gather an army of those he has deceived and will lead them in a war against Jesus, who shall be accompanied by an army of the righteous. (

Daniel Pinchbeck, in his book, states that the Hindus consider the age we currently live in as Kali Yuga. This age is named for the destroyer goddess Kali. This period of time is considered the dark age of man and the end of this age will mark a total renovation of the world and mankind.

The Hopi nation of North America feels that we are all in the Fourth World or the fourth incarnation of this Earth. Their legends tell that there were three Earths before this one and that we are soon coming to the end of this world.

The Aztecs believed that the entire universe dissolved and regenerated itself from time to time. This current world was known to them as the Fifth Sun.

All of these prophesies seem to indicate that the end of the world is near. Only the Mayan culture gave a precise date in time. “According to their calculations, the Earth is approaching a cosmic conjunction that represented the conclusion of a vast evolutionary cycle, and the potential gateway to a higher manifestation … [which] also marks a rare astronomical event: the alignment of the Earth and the Sun with the “dark rift” at the center of the Milky Way on the winter solstice of December 21, 2012.” [page 12]

What will happen at that precise time? No one knows. Yet, the media is playing its usual role of over dramatizing the concept and preying on the fears of those who will believe anything anyone tells them. Go to a bookstore, search the internet, watch television and the movies. Everywhere you will find books on 2012, conspiracy theories, new age theories, religious ranting, and science fiction stories all based on this new gimmick.

Is there hope for mankind? I agree with Daniel Pinchbeck; the marker in time 2012 is not an end of the world but an end to our history, instead. 2012 is a marker for a new beginning; a process of new creation and a new integration of the mind, body and the spirit – mankind’s next step in evolution!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cartoon Spirituality

So – I am on the treadmill in my living room this morning running and my youngest son is watching a cartoon; Courage the Cowardly Dog on the Cartoon Network. For those of you who do not have kids or watch cartoons on a regular basis (Dan) you might not be able to follow most of this blog. (Look it up, watch an episode or two…) As I am watching this cartoon, I came to a realization that there may be a spiritual interpretation to the main theme of the cartoon. So, here we go!

The premise of the cartoon is that of an old couple (Muriel and Eustis) and their dog (Courage) living in the middle of a desolate area called Nowhere, USA. In every episode this group experiences a life threatening challenge presented by some supernatural or mythological being or force. Also in every episode, Courage the dog comes out the hero thus saving the day and living up to his name.

Eustis is a grumpy, grouchy, greedy old man. He is portrayed as having no teeth and always complaining about something; especially the dog. If he can blame his poor judgment or the resulting predicament he got the group into on Courage, he will do it in a heart beat. Sometimes, when Courage does something right, Eustis grumbles, “Stupid dog”. Eustis is primarily motivated by his greed. And when he is in danger he will do anything to save his own skin, including selling out his wife, Muriel. Eustis represents our baser selves, only interested in wealth, success and comfort.

Muriel is the kind, patient partner of Eustis. She loves both Eustis and Courage unconditionally, but she does recognize Eustis’ shortcomings. Muriel always seems to see the bright side and is welcoming of some of the bizarre creatures that end up on their doorstep. Muriel and Courage are a pair and where Muriel is, Courage can be found right beside her. Muriel represents our better selves. She is open-heartedness, optimism, and kindness. She understands that the true value of life is life itself and not what you try to squeeze out of it.

Courage is the main character of the group. He is afraid of everything. Overly cautious of the strange and unknown, but at the same time sympathetic to beings who are in need of help or friends. And no matter what beastly situation threatens Muriel (and even Eustis), Courage always finds a way to resolve the problem – sometimes to the benefit of the group and the creatures mutually. It is interesting to note that where there are times that Courage does not know what steps to take in order to save Muriel, he consults a sarcastic computer which is in the attic. More on this later….

The setting for these dramas is the rickety farm house in the middle of “Nowhere”. Without getting into too much detail about the symbology, a house represents a person. Whenever you dream of being in a house which you are familiar with, it is a sub-conscious symbol for your Self. The basement is your sub-conscious, the attic is your higher consciousness, and the rooms in between are different aspects of you. The two human dwellers of the house are also representations of the person; Eustis is the baser Mind-centric aspect and Muriel is the higher Heart-conscious aspect. Courage is the spirit guide of the person. In many esoteric stories and symbols, animals (especially small dogs – see the Fool card of a traditional Tarot deck) are the spirit guides of humans. They are the connection between us and the hidden world of spirits and intuition/instinct. This is why he is bound to Muriel, the Heart. The Heart sees things that the Mind cannot perceive. Muriel is the gut-instinct while Eustis is the opportunist who asks himself, “how can this person/situation/being benefit me materially?” When Muriel is in trouble due to being too trusting of strangers or because Eustis’ greed drags her into danger, her spirit guide kicks in. Many of the episodes show Courage attempting to warn Muriel, but he cannot talk. He usually tries to communicate by changing his shape and/or pantomiming the threat. Like many of our guides, Courage attempts to reach Muriel and Eustis through symbols and abstract methods. Eustis fails to recognize what Courage is trying to say because he doesn’t want to ‘hear’ the message or because his greed blinds him. Muriel (the Heart) is the only one open to ‘listen’ to her guide. Although Muriel trusts her guide, there are times when she feels Courage is being overly cautious and she extends her friendship to a scammer and a fraud.

As I stated previously, there is a computer (PC) in the attic of the farm house. In the cartoon, it is extremely rare to see either Muriel or Eustis ‘accessing’ the computer in the attic (the higher consciousness). It is the spirit guide who does the ‘accessing’. So what does the computer represent? Among esoteric thought and new age philosophy there is a theory of a kind of storehouse or well of all knowledge commonly known as the Cosmic Consciousness or the Akashic Records (ala Mr. Edger Cayce). Usually only psychics and those initiated into the esoteric mysteries are said to be able to access this vast knowledge which contains all information from the past, present, future, and possibly the realm of the Spirits. Obviously, any spiritual guide would have access to it and this could explain some of our epiphanies throughout our lives; knowledge or inspiration from seemingly nowhere.

As all of this is going on in the ‘house’, each episode has an X-File style story-line. The house has been established to be a person, any person. The name of the local is Nowhere – in other words: no where in particular. The location does not matter and could be anywhere we happen to be. And the weird happenings are representative of those things in our life which we have no control over and may appear to happen with no reason. How many times things in our own lives have given us the feeling that there must be some supernatural force (god, satan, karma, fate, luck, cosmic will…) behind the incident?

I find this theory of mine interesting because the more I thought about all this (give me a break – I was on my treadmill for 38 minutes) I wondered if the creator or authors of the cartoon purposely embedded all this in a child’s show in order to imprint a spiritual “map” through the children’s psyches. A sub-conscious seed telling them to trust their Heart and Instincts in times of distress.

Maybe I am reading too much into this cartoon - - Maybe not….

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Secret History of the World (Review)

I just finished reading The Secret History of the World (As Laid Down by the Secret Societies), by Mark Booth (Overlook Press © 2008). For me, this book offered a great insight into the possible consciousness of early mankind and answered some obvious (and not-so-obvious) questions floating around my brain.

Some of the Secret Societies Booth references are alchemists & Freemasons, The Illuminati, The Knights Templar, Gnostics, and The Rosacrucians. Some of the topics he discusses are the Garden of Eden, Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, the Sphinx, Lucifer, Mohammed and Gabriel, Zarathustra, Francis Bacon, and the Seven Seals.

One of the premises set forth by the author is the secret societies long held the theory that the evolution of human consciousness had an impact on the ‘realities’ of the world in which man dwelled. As our perception of the realness of the material objects in our world increased, our perceptions of the spirit world decreased. In essence, what we thought (think) may have had (have) a direct bearing on what actually was. In today’s language, we are co-creators in our universe.

Now it is easy to nod one’s head and think, this is an interesting theory or allegory for the ancient’s explanation for their lack of understanding of the mysteries of the universe. But we are learned people in a technological age. That kind of psycho-babble would never fly today. But then I read an article in the June 2002 Discover Magazine written by Tim Folger (I have a lot of catch-up reading) titled “Does the Universe Exist if We’re Not Looking?” In this article the scientist John Wheeler researches whether the universe exists if there is no one to see it. Based on the strange reality of quantum physics, Wheeler feels that the universe will remain in a kind of quantum uncertainty until the act of observing it collapses all the probable states of the universe to 'create' a ‘reality’. An experiment is explained where light/photons collapses into a particle or a wave long after it has been emitted from a distant galaxy. It appears the photon can remain in an uncertain state for the billions of years of inter-galactic travel until an experimental observation makes it collapse into a wave or a photon. This would mean that our observation today created a probability outcome billions of years in the past.

Now back to the book - - Are we influencing the evolution of the universe? If so, what is the ultimate outcome? Booth has an answer for that as well. As good as I thought this book to be, I do not lightly recommend it to everyone. I have been a consumer of books on esoteric knowledge about religion, philosophy, and history for quite a long time. So as I read the Secret History many previous concepts and theories came to my mind – ‘co-experience’ to use a term learned from Robert Anton Wilson’s writings ( If you are into this kind of information, then rush out and get the book! If you are more dogmatic about history and religion (especially the religious Belief System – aka B.S.), then you may want to go out and buy another Chicken Soup for the Soul book. (Bon Apetite)