THE POWER OF EIGHT

Eight-Ball-306x2438 is the number of POWER. It teaches us that power, in any form, cannot be maintained without BALANCE, and that balance cannot hold without accurate understanding. 8 is associated with money, business, competition, and the incorporation of anything that is useful to it. It is widely believed that those are the principle means of gaining personal power in the world, and the belief that ‘money is power’ sprang from this rather shortsighted point of view.

Yes, 8 is the number of power on the material plane but, in the context of true balance and accurate understanding, it is more precise to say that knowledge is power. But when knowledge is manipulated in order to gain power, true balance and understanding are lost. The real purpose of 8 is not to exploit the material plane, but to keep the material plane alive!

8 is the symbol of infinity. The constant flow of energy. Perpetual motion. The continuance of life. Our lack of understanding has thrown life on Earth, and the planet itself, so far out of balance that the continuance of life as we know it is seriously threatened.

We are experiencing the rebalancing of power in all worldly matters, including the money-driven corruption in politics, science, business and the media. While greed fights on for what it believes is its right to take everything, we can expect a rough ride for some time to come. But what so few seem to notice, or remember, is that there is nothing as unstoppable and immeasurable as the power of Mother Nature. We ignore her at our peril.

Without an understanding of the vital role that balance plays in holding the world ‘together’, the 8 influence translates as greed and ignorance. By its nature, greed ignores any reality that does not feed its hunger for “more”! Greed must also convince others to deny reality so that it’s power-seeking mission can continue unobstructed. Greed must control, manipulate the truth, and capitalize on anything that suits its purpose, even if it stands to destroy other aspects of life.

Power-hungry people distort the truth by making it appear that they have more power than they actually have, using the natural emotion of fear as a weapon with which to overpower. Underdeveloped 8 energy is the energy of bullies who deny their enormous insecurity by projecting their fears onto others. Genuinely powerful people rarely have to assert themselves in an intimidating way.

“The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it,
ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.”
Winston Churchill

Denial of reality has been the main cause of the great imbalance we are now waking up to on Earth, environmentally, economically, politically, and in almost every other way. However, (combined with the 2 energy of the 2000s which signifies balance through connection, cooperation and diplomacy) the 8 energy can help us to end our own denials which will, hopefully, produce an evolutionary movement away from the edge of self-destruction, onto safer ground.

The imbalance is being perpetuated by those who stand to lose what they’ve got should the playing fields of life be more even, and by those who are still mistaking their denials for reality. They even deny the existence of evolution. Of course, there is imbalance on the other side of the creation/evolution argument, too. Those who believe that everything stems from evolution are denying the fact that everything on Earth, even an atmosphere, is created – and it evolves. A more balanced look at this shows us that life is an evolving creation.

“We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.”
Eric Hoffer

It is important to understand what denial is because it exists in all of us whether we deny it or not. Denial’s mission is to capture truth and prevent it from reaching consciousness. Although truth can remain hidden for what seems like an eternity, truth cannot be totally destroyed. The mission of denied truth is to seek conscious acceptance. Its magnetism draws attention to situations which, when enough dots are connected, sheds light on the denial until we ‘sense’ that there must be more to the situation than meets the eye or ear. Truth then reaches consciousness in a roundabout way – through ‘gut’ feelings. Now, truth is breaking out all over the place, only to be denied again and again by those whose purposes are served by keeping the truth locked away, and by those who are too afraid to face and feel what the truth may reveal.

The 8 energy has the firm INTENT to be fully aware. It thrives on truth, and much of that energy is making its way into the hearts and minds of individuals all over the world, with the understanding that everyone is evolving differently, in their own way and at their own pace.

Wherever there is a “war” for the hearts and minds of people, you can be sure it is an attempt to control those hearts and minds with an agenda-driven concentration of misinformation. That tactic has not worked because the more you try to control people, the more tolerance they develop for their own feelings, and the more able they become to feel and sense the truth – even if those feelings take generations to finally express themselves.

“Reexamine all you have been told,
Dismiss what insults your soul.”
Walt Witman

The 2 energy is teaching us how much more can be achieved when empowered individuals join together for a common cause. In the 2000s, truth is finding its way into consciousness through 2′s intuitive and sensitive passageways. We are growing more adept at feeling and sensing the truth, rather than depending on others for information.

Denial does one thing only. It denies. It even denies that it is denial, and that it is denying. We can now see this quite plainly in many people who hold powerful positions.

It is often said that the ‘media’ has a left or right wing bias, but the real imbalance in the media is created by greed for money and power. These money-making and power-seeking organizations will ignore any reality that does not suit their goals, or the goals of those who pay them (their advertisers/sponsors), and their views swing in whichever direction best suits them at the time. Instead of being the carriers of truth, they select and manipulate the truth which, of course, is another form of denial. Not reporting something can be as manipulative as reporting something incorrectly, or over-reporting. Some things are reported but relevant details are omitted which makes all the difference to one’s understanding of the truth. By reporting one thing while something else goes unreported, the media provides distraction. The practice of repeating stories over and over again is a form of mind control. When a person hears something often enough, it can be taken in by the mind as fact. And, ironically, as they continue to mislead, the media insists that it is being, open, fair, balanced, honest and accurate.

One of the most positive things we can do for ourselves, no matter where in the world we live, is to turn off the TV and give our tired receptive centers a complete break from the non-stop rush of information, misinformation and mindless entertainment that is designed to manipulate our fears and dumb us down. The ‘mainstream news’ is no longer the true media. In many cases, it is a circus, run by clowns. The real media – those whose intent is to report accurate information to the populace – are springing up elsewhere and, for as long as that is their intent, they’ll have the power of 8 on their side. Truth is the only thing that can lead us out of our present circumstances.

“When an old culture is dying, the new is created,
by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure.”
Rudolf Bahro

Denial has taken such a hold on Earth that we have had to bring ourselves to the edge of extinction in order to realize how ignorant and misinformed we have been about so many things. 8 is the most powerful energy we have when it comes to discovering the truth and taking appropriate action. The overall understanding of humanity is increasing now. A massive shift in consciousness is occurring, visibly and measurably, one individual at a time. This is personal – and if you’re not denying, you can certainly FEEL the winds of change howling through the world right now. But this time, change really does mean change – a completely new way of life that is almost impossible for people to imagine at this stage – a way of life that enables us to evolve out of denial, to face reality no matter how dreadful it happens to be, and find ways to reclaim our Free Will.

Power seeking people gain power by overpowering others. They have learned that this is easily done by controlling our emotions, especially the emotion of fear. That is why 8 is often called the number of the bully. When people are emotionally confused, they do not know what to think, and then look to others to inform them. By keeping people afraid, you can mold them like putty.

The 2 energy of the 2000s is helping us to gain awareness of our emotional power – our sensitivity to reality – so that we can decide everything for ourselves, including what is true and what is not. Many of us experience this as ‘gut feelings’ or instinct, but what we have to learn now is to combine that power with the power of our minds. This means that our minds must begin the often difficult process of accepting our feelings, no matter what form they take. Our feminine energy (emotion) is every bit as sacred as our masculine Spirit, but acceptance of this does appear to be where Spirit has encountered its own limits. This is changing now, slowly, but surely. If we don’t like the way a feeling feels, we must find out what caused it, and deal with that instead of denying the feeling.

Denial comes in many guises including a belief that we should focus only on the positive and ignore what is labeled ‘negative’, or anything that doesn’t feel ‘nice’. But, surely, to be truly positive is to be truly aware. Therefore, the focus needs to be on reality, not just those parts of reality which don’t threaten or disturb our so-called ‘peacefulness’. It is amazing how many people are in shock at what is happening in the world, as if it just started yesterday. We must be careful not to use positive thinking as a form of denial. Reality has always been plain to see, but we wouldn’t look at it. We need to start looking at things as they really are, and make a conscious effort to notice what we previously ignored.

“Our complex global economy is built upon millions of small,
private acts of psycholigical surrender, the willingness of people
to acquiesce in playing their assigned parts as cogs in the great
social machine that encompasses all other machines.
The capacity for self-enslavement must be broken.”
Theodore Roszak, The Voice Of The Earth

8 is the number of SATISFACTION – knowing when enough is enough. But when 8 is abused and misunderstood, greed takes control, and greed is the opposite of satisfaction. It can never get enough – even when it appears to have it all – because it is SO afraid of losing what it already has! It needs to control everything, including people’s personal lives, thoughts, feelings and needs! It tells us that we must do what it says or some terrible fate will befall us. It tells us we cannot expect privacy. It tells us that, in such a dangerous world, we have no rights at all. To have no rights is to be enslaved. In an atmosphere of greed, human rights violations are seen as something the ‘markets’ will sort out. But, the markets are the system. The system is greed. And, as far as greed is concerned, if such violations produce more money and power, then that should be the way of the world!

“If you can find money to kill people,
you can find money to help people.”
Tony Benn

Denial is starting to bend under the weight of truth. and the lost power of the oppressed is very slowly rising through the genuine desire for real and meaningful change. It would take a lot for me to have faith in any politician, but I must say that Barack Obama is the only one I have ever heard talking about “maintaining the balance”, which seems to be the true evolved role of government. If government were to evolve into a balanced body of intelligence and compassion which exists solely to maintain the balance points of life so that all people, in our great diversity, can live freely, without the fear of being overpowered by others, then the role of government would be an awesome one indeed! The power involved is almost unimaginable because we have never been able to imagine government as using its power for the good of all, not just the few.

8 may well be the number of power on the material plane, but when our practices stand to destroy the material plane itself, the 8 energy produces reflections of ourselves and what we are doing, and we can see that we will destroy ourselves if we do not make the right changes. There are many out there who would rather die than face their own denials, and some of them do have the appearance of having more power than everyone else. That is an illusion, of course, because self destruction is the opposite of power.

8 offers correct understanding of the role BALANCE plays in holding physical life together. Our day to day lives have become increasingly dramatic, traumatic and emotional, for everyone, not just the most vulnerable. It is important to recognize just how widespread this reflection is, because it is showing us where we all are, where humanity is in our evolutionary journey. We are at the extremes of life.

The environmental condition of earth is a huge reflection of just how dumbed down we became, and how those we looked to for information have covered up the truth. They are still doing so. In terms of balance, how can any intelligent being suggest that now that the polar ice caps are melting, we should drill for oil in the two most important and sensitive balance points on the planet. The Arctic Circle and Antarctica. The North and South Poles are Earth’s electro-magnetic connection. Greed wants to drill into them in its relentless and mindless search for more oil while, clearly, alternative sources of energy which do not threaten Earth can be developed. If the poles collapse, as their ice caps are currently doing, there is every likelihood that the very axis of Earth will collapse along with it. The poles are what enable a planet to be a planet and not just a collection of rocks and dust.

In her effort to survive, Mother Earth is begging us to stop what we’re doing to her not because she will die, but because WE will. She is our first and foremost connection to the material realms of life. She is the physical manifestation of mother energy. She will survive because survival is the very nature of the feminine. We inherit our survival instinct from her. But the fact that the majority of people are still denying these survival warnings is a startling reflection of just how denied feminine energy has been in general. Survival is the most basic instinct we have. Yes, 8 is the number of power, and Mother Nature will continue to remind us, brutally if necessary, with what we still like to call ‘natural’ disasters, until we reach the necessary understanding, that SHE wields the greatest power of all on the material plane.

Strong feelings are bound to arise as the journey continues. Let them. And take full responsibility for them. There is never a need to hurt yourself or anyone else when expressing your feelings. As we continue to evolve emotionally, many of us will become much stronger for the experience. But many others will not understand what’s happening and we are likely to see people’s suppressed emotion’s exploding out of them in dangerous ways. A reflection of this comes in the form of the ‘suicide bomber’, the disgruntled employee, the rejected lover, or the crazed teenager, whose pain, anger and hatred have been held down for so long that it has to burst out in any way it can in order to express itself. It is important to understand that it is up to each of us to find ways to express our feelings safely, and preferably privately, until a deeper understanding of the emotional healing process is reached. There is a lot of information on the creativenumerology.com website, and in my book LIFE CYCLES Your Emotional Journey To Freedom and Happiness which, in Part Three, discusses in more detail the emotional healing process and its undeniable connection to Free Will.

When 8 energy is exaggerated or manipulated, it’s natural desire for correct understanding and balance gets crushed by greed – the urge to attain and amass. Concentrated 8 energy often results in inaccurate assessments and wrong diagnoses, misunderstandings, underhandedness, falsifying the truth, the manipulation of rules, winning at any cost, ruthlessness, bullying and, of course, denial, denial, denial.

Another thing to remember is that panic is the denial of what fear has to teach. Panic is a dreadful experience in which you cannot see any way out of a situation. You believe that no alternative exists. It is the feeling of being trapped and simultaneously judged against. It is usually you doing the judging but there is no way to realize that while the feeling of fear is so concentrated and indescribably intense, and while your denial is pushing its message away. You feel like you’re going to die. And yet the moment you realize that a panic attack is what you’re having, it subsides – immediately. At that point, you need to realize that you are NOT stuck in fear. On the contrary, you just let fear pass through you and out of you – and you are so much stronger as a result. If you are able to relate to this material, you are at a stage of emotional, intellectual and physical evolvement which will enable you to develop the antidote to paralyzing fear – genuine COURAGE.

We must help the process along by lifting ourselves out of our own denials, no matter how unfamiliar the concept feels, no matter how strange it sounds, and no matter how much emotion we have to let ourselves feel in the process. While it is true to say that denial of reality caused most of this imbalance, it is also true that emotion is the reality that was most heavily denied. For instance, people see some awful thing happening in the world and they ask, ‘where is the outrage? Doesn’t anybody care?’ But then, when people do get angry, they are told that anger is ‘bad’ and that we must ‘control’ this natural emotion. Consequently, nothing gets changed. How can there be outrage if rage is not allowed out?

There is nothing wrong with anger provided it is allowed to express itself. That is why loving intent is so necessary – but we must also be aware of when we are denying our true feelings in favor of the appearance of loving intent. We need a more accurate understanding of the positive power and purpose of emotion, as well as HOW to express emotion so that healing, not harm, occurs.

What makes its so hard for people to embrace their own feelings is that, in the course of a lifetime, or many lifetimes, denial has created an enormous buildup of emotional energy which must also be released from the body so that balance between our masculine and feminine can be achieved within the body. These feelings are OLD feelings. But, no matter how old and bitter they happen to be, they need acceptance in order to heal. This form of healing is going to be a massive task – impossible for some. Nonetheless, we all embarked upon that leg of the human journey in which emotional healing must take place when the numbers changed from 1999 to 2000. We must now learn how the energetic imbalance in individuals is directly connected to the planet. There are so many experiences that we have not yet had, individually and collectively, which will help us to gain deeper understanding and, perhaps, bring a sense of excitement and adventure back into our lives, and break those chains of rigid conformity that have placed such awful restrictions on our natural creativity.

“The quest for certainty blocks the search
for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition
which impels people to unfold their powers.”
Eric Fromm

8 energy helps us to see through the illusions that we mistook for life, and to look at reality head-on. The more we see things as they really are, the more emotional our lives become, the more intelligence we gain, and the more determined we are to be honest with ourselves and each other about our problems, our blessings, and our potential to change the habits and patterns of generations.

We appear to be involved in a very slow process. But in the context of time/space, rather than the linear time we are accustomed to on Earth, these changes are occurring more rapidly than we realize. Linear time denotes the amount of time it takes for an effect to occur, step by step, once a cause has been triggered, as opposed to the ‘instant’ result we could achieve if we were not so densely clogged up with unexpressed emotion and therefore lacking in understanding of how to change things. The rapid pace of life being experienced now is an illusion. We are actually evolving in slow motion.

“One day it will have to be officially admitted,
that what we have christened reality is an even,
greater illusion than the world of dreams.”
Salvador Dali.

8 tells us to look at what we’ve got and appreciate it. To appreciate means to understand the value or magnitude of something. And what we’ve got is this monotonous cradle-to-the-grave-cookie-cutter existence which cannot possibly be what life is all about. We haven’t even begun to recognize our own powers as human beings, let alone tap into them. We have been asleep to our own personal power because we’ve been so tied up in this feelingless system in which we give our power to others for the sake of what we are told is our own security. Compared with what we could be if we were more able to think and act for ourselves, we are only half present in our own lives. We use such a small part of our physical, emotional and mental capabilities, that we have not learned to test our limits, striving occasionally to think ‘outside the box’, only to find more boxes on the other side. We have all kinds of powers and can sometimes imagine them in detail. But we fail to use them because we have been conditioned to believe that we cannot.

The 8 energy has a love of high quality. It tells us that we can – and must – evolve into higher versions of ourselves if we are to survive the changes, build a balanced new reality that is based on Love, and then thrive in it. It must also be remembered that 8 is just one number – one form of energy that really does need the unique powers, vibrations and qualities of all the other numbers. Only together do they add up to balance.

“We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, each guided by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate.
The world is all gates, all opportunities.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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A Sign of Our Times or How the return of the Black Madonna Is Shaking Us Up for the Twenty-First Century

black_madonna IN REDBLACKMADONNA234black-madonna-75Every archetype has its seasons. They come and go according to the deepest, often unconscious, needs of the psyche both personal and collective. Today the Black Madonna is returning.[1] She is coming, not going, and she is calling us to something new (and very ancient as well). The last time the Black Madonna played a major role in western culture and psyche was the twelfth century renaissance, a renaissance that the great historian M.D. Chenu said was the “only renaissance that worked in the West.” [2] It worked because it was grass roots. And from this renaissance was birthed the University, the Cathedral, the city itself. She brought with her a resacralization of culture and a vision that awakened the young. In short, it was the last time the goddess entered western culture in a major way.
In this essay I want to address what the Black Madonna archetype awakens in us and why she is so important for the twenty-first century. But before I do that, I want to tell a personal story of my first encounter with the Black Madonna.
That encounter occurred in the Spring of 1968 when I was a student in Paris and took a brief trip—my first—to Chartres Cathedral located about thirty five miles from Paris. While all of Chartres was an amazing eye-opener for me, its sense of cosmology and humor and human dignity and inclusion of all of life, I stood before the statue of the black Madonna and was quite mesmerized. “What is this? Who is this?” I asked myself. A French woman came by and I quizzed her about it. The answer was as follows. “Oh, this is a statue that turned black over the years because of the number of candles burning around it,” she declared. I didn’t believe her. It made no sense. I looked carefully and saw no excessive candle power around the statue.
The story is an old one, one of ignorance and of racism. Even the French, at their most central holy spot, have lost the meaning and the story of the Black Madonna. And racism has contributed to this neglect. The Black Madonna is found all over Europe—in Sicily, Spain, Switzerland, France, Poland, Chechoslavakia—as well as in Turkey and in Africa and in Asia as Tara in China and as Kali in India. She is also named by Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. (Sometimes called the “brown Madonna.”) What is she about and why is interest returning in her today?
An archetype by definition is not about just one thing. No metaphor, no symbol, is a literal mathematical formula. The Black Madonna meant different things in different historical periods and different cultural settings. What I want to explore is why she is re-emerging in our time and what powers she brings with her. Why do we need the Black Madonna today? I detect twelve gifts that the Black Madonna archetype brings to our time. They are more than gifts, they are challenges. She comes to shake us up which, as we shall see, is an ancient work of Isis, the Black Madonna.

1. The Black Madonna is Dark and calls us to the darkness.. Darkness is something we need to get used to again—the “Enlightenment” has deceived us into being afraid of the dark and distant from it. Light switches are illusory. They feed the notion that we can “master nature” (Descartes’ false promise) and overcome all darkness with a flick of our finger.
Meister Eckhart observes that “the ground of the soul is dark.”[3] Thus to avoid the darkness is to live superficially, cut off from one’s ground, one’s depth. The Black Madonna invites us into the dark and therefore into our depths. This is what the mystics call the “inside” of things, the essence of things. This is where Divinity lies. It is where the true self lies. It is where illusions are broken apart and the truth lies. Andrew Harvey puts it this way: “The Black Madonna is the transcendent Kali-Mother, the black womb of light out of which all of the worlds are always arising and into which they fall, the presence behind all things, the darkness of love and the loving unknowing into which the child of the Mother goes when his or her illumination is perfect.” [4] She calls us to that darkness which is mystery itself. She encourages us to be at home there, in the presence of deep, black, unsolveable mystery. She is, in Harvey’s words, “the blackness of divine mystery, that mystery celebrated by the great Aphophatic mystics, such as Dionysisus Areopagite, who see the divine as forever unknowable, mysterious, beyond all our concepts, hidden from all our senses in a light so dazzling it registers on them as darkness.” [5] Eckhart calls God’s darkness a “superessential darkness, a mystery behind mystery, a mystery within mystery that no light has penetrated.”[6]
To honor darkness is to honor the experience of people of color. [7] Its opposite is racism. The Black Madonna invites us to get over racial stereotypes and racial fears and projections and to go for the dark.

2. The Black Madonna calls us to cosmology, a sense of the whole of space and time. Because she is dark and leads us into the dark, the Black Madonna is also cosmic. She is the great cosmic Mother on whose lap all creation exists. The universe itself is embraced and mothered by her. She yanks us out of our anthropocentrism and back into a state of honoring all our relations. She ushers in an era of cosmology, of our relationship to the whole (“kosmos” means whole in Greek) instead of just parts, be they nation parts or ethnic parts or religious parts or private parts. She pulls us out of the Newtonian parts-based relation to self and the world—out of our tribalism—into a relationship to the whole again. Since we are indeed inheriting a new cosmology in our time, a new “Universe Story”, the timing of the Black Madonna’s return could not be more fortuituous. She brings a blessing of the new cosmology, a sense of the sacred, to the task of educating our species in a new universe story. [8]

3. The Black Madonna calls us down to honor our lower charkas. One of the most dangerous aspects of western culture is its constant flight upwards, its race to the upper charkas (Descartes: “truth is clear and distinct ideas”) and its flight from the lower charkas. The Black Madonna takes us down, down to the first charkas including our relationship to the whole (first chakra, as I have explained elsewhere is about picking up the vibrations for sounds from the whole cosmos), our sexuality (second chakra) and our anger and moral outrage (third chakra). European culture in the modern era especially has tried to flee from all these elements both in religion and in education. The Black Madonna will not tolerate such flights from the earth, flights from the depths. [9]

4. Because she honors the direction of down and the lower charkas that take us there, the Madonna honors the earth and represents ecology and environmental concerns. Mother Earth is named by her very presence. Mother Earth is dark and fecund and busy birthing. So is the Black Madonna. Andrew Harvey says: “The Black Madonna is also the Queen of Nature, the blesser and agent of all rich fertile transformations in external and inner nature, in the outside world and in the psyche.” [10] Mother Earth nurtures her children and feeds the world and the Black Madonna welcomes them home when they die. She recycles all things. The Black Madonna calls us to the environmental revolution, to seeing the world in terms of our interconnectedness with all things and not our standing off to master or rule over nature (as if we could even if we tried). She is an affront to efforts of capitalist exploitation of the resources of the earth including the exploitation of the indigenous peoples who have been longest on the earth interacting with her in the most nuanced of ways. The Black Madonna sees things in terms of the whole and therefore does not countenance the abuse, oppression or exploitation of the many for the sake of financial aggrandizement of the few. She has always stood for justice for the oppressed and lower classes (as distinct from the lawyer classes). She urges us to stand up to those powers that, if they had their way, would exploit her beauty for short term gain at the expense of the experience of beauty that future generations will be deprived of. She is a conservationist, one who conserves beauty and health and diversity.
Furthermore, if Thomas Berry is correct that “ecology is functional cosmology,” then to be called to cosmology is to be called to its local expression of ecology. One cannot love the universe and not love the earth. And, vice versa, one cannot love the earth and ignore its temporal and spatial matrix, the universe.

5. The Black Madonna calls us to our depths, to living spiritually and radically on this planet and not superficially and unthinkingly and oblivious to the grace that has begotten us in so many ways. The depths to which we are called include the depths of awe, wonder and delight—joy itself is a depth experience we need to re-entertain in the name of the Black Madonna. She calls us to enter into the depths of our pain, suffering and shared grief—not to run from it or cover it up with a myriad of addictions ranging from shopping to drugs and alcohol and sport and superficial religion. She calls us to the depths of our creativity and to entertain the images that are born in and through us. And she calls us to the depths of transformation, of social, economic, gender, racial and eco justice and the struggle that must be maintained to carry on solidarity with the oppressed of any kind.
She calls us to the depths of our psyche which, as Meister Eckhart says, are “dark” and to the depths of the earth, which are surely dark and to the depths of the sky that have also been rediscovered for all their darkness. Black holes abound in space as well as in the mysterious breadth of our souls. We need to explore them. They too are fecund. They have much to teach us.

6. The Black Madonna calls us to our Divinity which is also our Creativity.
First, our Divinity. Because she is a goddess, the Black Madonna resides in all beings. She is the divine presence inside of creation. She calls us inside, into the “kingdom/queendom of God” where we can co-create with Divinity and feel the rush of Divinity’s holy breath or spirit. But to call us to Divinity is to call us to our responsibility to give birth.
If Carl Jung is correct when he says that creativity comes “from the realm of the mothers” then the Black Madonna, who is surely a realm of the mothers, calls us to creativity. She expects nothing less from us than creativity. Hers is a call to create, a call to ignite the imagination. What but our collective imaginations can succeed in moving us beyond our energy dependence on fossil fuels to an era of self-sustaining energy based on solar and renewable, clean fuels? What but an education in creativity can reinvent learning so that the joy and wonder and enticement of learning displaces our failing and boring educational systems? What but moral imagination can move us beyond the growing divide between materially impoverished nations and materially sated but spiritually impoverished nations?
The Black Madonna would usher in an era where more and more artists will get good work and thrive on good work and reawaken the human soul by way of moral and political imagination. [11]

7. The Black Madonna calls us to Diversity. There is no imagination without diversity—imagination is about inviting disparate elements into soul and culture so that new combinations can make love together and new beings can be birthed. Because the Black Madonna is black, she addresses the fundamental phobia around race and differences of color and culture that come with race and ethnic diversity. Meister Eckhart says: “All the names we give to God come from an understanding of ourselves.” [12] To give God the name “Black Madonna” is to honor blackness and all people of color and to get over an excessive whiteness of soul and culture. It is also to honor the feminine. Divinity is diverse. Diverse in color and diverse in traditions and diverse in gender. God as Mother, not just Father. God as Birther, not just Begetter. Gender diversity is honored by the Black Madonna and so too is gender preference. The Black Madonna, the Great Mother, is not homophobic. She welcomes the diversity of sexual preferences that are also part of creation, human and more than human. (We have now counted fifty four species of birds and mammals that have significant homosexual populations. The medieval notion that homosexuality is “against nature” has been disproven: A homosexual minority is very much part of nature.)
John Boswell, in his ground-breaking scholarly work entitled Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality has demonstrated that the twelfth century, that century that birthed the great renaissance and the Black Madonna in France, rejected homophobia. For a period of 125 years—years that were the most creative years in western civilization—diversity was welcomed at all levels of society. [13] Creativity thrives on diversity.

8. The Black Madonna calls us to Grieve. The Black Madonna is the sorrowful mother, the mother who weeps tears for the suffering in the universe, the suffering in the world, the brokenness of our very vulnerable hearts. In the Christian tradition she holds the dying Christ in her lap but this Christ represents all beings—it is the cosmic Christ and not just the historical Jesus that she is embracing, for all beings suffer and the Black Madonna, the Great Mother, knows this and empathizes with us in our pain. She embraces us like a tender mother, for compassion is her special gift to the world. She invites us to enter into our grief and name it and be there to learn what suffering has to teach us. Creativity cannot happen, birthing cannot happen, unless the grieving heart is paid attention to. Only by passing through grief can creativity burst forth anew. Grieving is an emptying, it is making the womb open again for new birth to happen. A culture that would substitute addictions for grieving is a culture that has lost its soul and its womb. It will birth nothing but more pain and abuse and misuse of resources. It will be a place where waste reigns and where Divinity itself wastes away unused in the hearts and imaginations of the people. Andrew Harvey writes of how the Black Madonna provides “an immense force of protection, an immense alchemical power of transformation through both grief and joy, and an immense inspiration to compassionate service and action in the world.” She is also “queen of hell,” or “queen of the underworld,…that force of pure suffering mystical love that annihilates evil at its root and engenders the Christ-child in the ground of the soul even as the world burns.” [14] She holds both creative and destructive aspects within her.
To grieve is to enter what John of the Cross in the sixteenth century called the “dark night of the soul.” We are instructed not to run from this dark night but to stay there to learn what darkness has to teach us. The Dark Madonna does not run from the darkness of spirit and soul that sometimes encompasses us. She invites us not to flee from pain and suffering. Mechtild of Magdeburg in the thirteenth century wrote of this darkness in the following manner: “There comes a time when both body and soul enter into such a vast darkness that one loses light and consciousness and knows nothing more of God’s intimacy. At such a time when the light in the lantern burns out the beauty of the lantern can no longer be seen. With longing and distress we are reminded of our nothingness….I am hunted, captured, bound, wounded so terribly that I can never be healed. God has wounded be close unto death.” [15] Mechtild does not run from the darkness but stays and learns. “God replied: ‘I wish always to be your physician, bringing healing anointment for all your wounds. If it is I who allow you to be wounded so badly, do you not believe that I will heal you most lovingly in the very same hour?” [16] What is it we learn in this darkness of soul and spirit? “From suffering I have learned this: That whoever is sore wounded by love will never be made whole unless he embrace the very same love which wounded her.” [17]

9.The Black Madonna calls us to Celebrate and to Dance. The Black Madonna, while she weeps tears for the world, as the sorrowful mother, does not wallow in her grief, does not stay there forever. Rather, she is a joyful mother, a mother happy to have being and to have shared it with so many other creatures. She expects joy in return. Celebration of life and its pleasures lie at the core of her reason for being. She expects us to take joy in her many pleasures, joy in her fruits. Sophia or Wisdom in the Scriptures sings to this element of pleasure and eros, deep and passionate love of life and all its gifts.

I have exhaled a perfume like cinnamon and acacia,
I have breathed out a scent like choice myrrh….
Approach me, you who desire me,
And take your fill of my fruits,
For memories of me are sweeter than honey,
Inheriting me is sweeter than the honeycomb.
They who eat me will hunger for more,
They who drink me will thirst for more.
Whoever listens to me will never have to blush….(Eccl. 24.15, 19-22)

Celebration is part of compassion. As Meister Eckhart puts it: “What happens to another be it a joy or a sorrow happens to me.” Celebration is the exercise of our common joy. Praise is the noise that joy makes. Joy, praise and celebration are intrinsic to community and to the presence of the Black Madonna. She did not birth her Divine Child by whatever name in vain. She opts in favor of children, in favor of life, in favor of eros and in favor of biophilia. She is a lover of life par excellence. She expects us, her children, to be the same.

10. The Black Madonna calls us to our Divinity which is Compassion. Compassion is the best of which our species is capable. It is also the secret name for Divinity. There is no spiritual tradition East or West, North or South, that does not exist to instruct its people in how to be compassionate. “Maat” is the name for justice, harmony, balance and compassion among the African peoples. The Black Madonna calls us to Maat. To balance, harmony, justice and compassion. Grieving and Celebrating and Acting Justly are all parts of compassion. In both Arabic and Hebrew, the word for compassion comes from the word for “womb.” A Patriarchal period does not teach compassion, it ignores the womb-like energies of our world and our species. If it mentions compassion at all it trivializes it and renders it sissy. (For example, Webster’s dictionary declares that the idea that compassion is about a relationship among equals is “obsolete.”) Patriarchy neglects what Meister Eckhart knew and taught: “Compassion means justice.” [18] Compassion has a hard side, it is not about sentiment but about relationships of justice and interdependence.
Because the Black Madonna is the goddess that dwells deeply and darkly within all beings, ourselves included, she brings with her our capacity for compassion. We are not whole—we are not ourselves—until we partake in the carrying on of compassion. Meister Eckhart taught that the name of the human soul properly is “Compassion” and that until we are engaged in compassion we do not yet have soul. [19]
Compassion knows when enough is enough; compassion does not overindulge; compassion does not hoard and does not run its life on addictions of insecurity and pyramid-building to overcome these addictions. Compassion trusts life and the universe ultimately to provide what is necessary for our being. But compassion works hard as a co-creator with the universe to see that a balance and basic fairness is achieved among beings. Compassion is present in the Black Madonna in her very essence for “the first outburst of everything God (and Goddess) does is compassion.” (Eckhart) To return to compassion is to return to the Goddess.
Cultural historian and feminist Henry Adams writes about the role of Mary at Chartres Cathedral in the twelfth century. “The convulsive hold which Mary to this day maintains over human imagination—as you can see at Lourdes—was due much less to her power of saving soul or body than to her sympathy with people who suffered under law—justly or unjustly, by accident or design, by decree of God or by guile of Devil.” [20] Adams understood Mary as the Buddhist element in Christianity for with her as with Buddha, compassion is the first of all the virtues. “To Kwannon the Compassionate One and to Mary the Mother of God, compassion included the idea of sorrowful contemplation.” [21] Only the Great Mother could provide the compassion needed by the sorrowful human condition.

The Mother alone was human, imperfect, and could love; she alone was Favour, Duality, Diversity. Under any conceivable form of religion, this duality must find embodiment somewhere, and the Middle Ages logically insisted that, as it could not be in the Trinity, either separately or together, it must be in the Mother. If the Trinity was in its essence Unity, the Mother alone could represent whatever was not Unity; whatever was irregular, exceptional, outlawed; and this was the whole human race.[22]

She was beyond the law, a friend of the outlaws who appealed to the masses who “longed for a power above law—or above the contorted mass of ignorance and absurdity bearing the name of law.”[23] This power had to be more than human. It required the goddess.
The Black Madonna, the goddess, provides the womb of the universe as the cosmic lap where all creatures gather. An ancient hymn dedicated to Isis underscores her cosmic role as sovereign over all of nature and queen of all the gods and goddesses.

I am Nature, the universal Mother, mistress of all the elements, primordial child of time, sovereign of all things spiritual, queen of the dead, queen also of the immortals, the single manifestation of all gods and goddesses that are. My nod governs the shining heights of Heaven, the wholesome sea-breezes, the lamentable silences of the world below.[24]

How like a twelfth century poem to the Christian goddess Mary is this ancient hymn to Isis. Alan of Lille wrote the following poem about Nature in the twelfth century:

O child of God and Mother of things,
Bond of the world, its firm-tied knot,
Jewel set among things of earth,
and mirror to all that passes away
Morning star of our sphere;
Peace, love, power, regimen and strength,
Order, law, end, pathway, captain and source,
Life, light, glory, beauty and shape,
O Rule of our world! [25]

Interestingly, Alan of Lille speaks of the “Mother of things” as a “firm-tied knot” and the Thet which is an important symbol of Isis is also understood to be a knot.[26] We play in her cosmic lap, we bump up against one another there, and we work for balance, Maat, and justice there.
The Black Madonna is the Throne of Compassion, the Divine lap. That is the meaning of the name “Isis” and Isis is the African goddess who gave us the Black Madonna both in Ephesus, Turkey and through Spain and Sicily directly into Western Europe. Indeed, certain passages of the Christian Gospels such as the birth narratives, which are clearly not historical but are stories of the Cosmic Christ, are passages taken from stories about Isis and her son, Horus. Sir Ernest A. Wallis Budge, the late keeper of the Egyptian and Assyrian antiquities at the British Museum, writes:

The pictures and sculptures wherein she is represented in the act of suckling Horus formed the foundation for the Christian paintings of the Madonna and Child. Several of the incidents of the wanderings of the Virgin with the Child in Egypt as recorded in the Apochryphal Gospels reflect scenes in the life of Isis…and many of the attributes of Isis, the God-mother, the mother of Horus…are identical with those of Mary the Mother of Christ.[27]

11. The Black Madonna Calls us to a renaissance of culture, religion and the city. Isis often wears a regal headdress that symbolizes her name as meaning “throne” or “queen.” Erich Neumann has written about Isis as “Throne.”

As mother and earth woman, the Great Mother is the ‘throne’ pure and simple, and, characteristically, the woman’s motherliness resides not only in the womb but also in the seated woman’s broad expanse of thigh, her lap on which the newborn child sits enthroned. To be taken on the lap is, like being taken to the
breast, a symbolic expression for adoption of the child, and also for the man, by the Feminine. It is no accident that the greatest Mother Goddess of the early cults was named Isis, the ‘seat,’ ‘the throne,’ the symbol of which she bears on her head; and the king who ‘takes possession’ of the earth, the Mother Goddess, does so by sitting on her in the literal sense of the word.[28]

The twelfth century renaissance was especially conscious of the role of “throne” and the goddess. In Latin the word for “throne” is “cathedra.” The medieval church gave birth to cathedrals—over 125 were built the size of Chartres—and every single one was dedicated to Mary with such titles as Notre Dame de Chartres, Notre Dame de Lyons, Notre Dame de Paris, etc. Over 375 other churches the size of these cathedrals were built dedicated to Mary also. In many of these cathedrals a statue to the Black Madonna can be found even to this day. A cathedral by definition meant the throne where the goddess sits ruling the universe with compassion and justice for the poor. Anthropocentrism, clericalism and sexism have co-opted the invention of cathedral to mean the “place where the bishop has his (usually his) throne.” This is false. The cathedral is designed to be the center of the city, it is bringing the goddess to the center of the city to bring the city alive with goddess energies and values. Cities were birthed in the twelfth century with the breakup of the land-based economy and religious and political system of the feudal era. The youth fled to the cities where religion reinvented itself apart from the monastic establishment that ruled for eight centuries and where education invented itself apart from the rural monastic educational system in the form of universities. Worship reinvented itself in the Cathedral in the city and apart from the monastic liturgical practice in the countryside.
Today for the first time in human history more than 50% of humans are living in cities; By 2015, over two-thirds of humans—a great proportion of them young people—will be living in cities. The Black Madonna and the “throne as goddess” motif contribute to the resurrection of our cities. They give us a center, a cosmic center, a synthesis and unity and a life-energy by which we can redeem our cities and take them back from lifelessness and thanatos. Artists gather in a city. Celebration and ritual happen in a city. Nature and human nature congregate in a city. No wonder Meister Eckhart and other medieval mystics celebrated the human soul as city and the city as soul. It is the task of a renaissance to bring soul back to city. We might even define renaissance as a “rebirth of cities based on a spiritual initiative.”

12. The Black Madonna calls us to reinvent education and art. The goddess also ruled at the university—she was “Queen of the sciences” and “mistress of all the arts and sciences” who was “afraid of none of them, and did nothing, ever, to stunt any of them.”[29] All learning was to culminate in her. She was about wisdom not just knowledge. The renaissance that the Madonna represented was both religious and educational.
Often the headdress of Isis depicts the full moon between curved horns and has the shape of the musical instrument that the Egyptians played in her honor called the sistrum. Plutarch stated that the purpose of the sistrum which is a kind of rattle was that “all things in existence need to be shaken, or rattled about…to be agitated when they grow drowsy and torpid.” [30] The Black Madonna shakes things up. Is this not an archetype for our times? Is she not a forebearer of a renaissance, one who comes to give new birth to a civilization, a birth based on a new sense of spirituality and cosmology and learning—a learning that reawakens us to our place in the universe? How will work in the world become wise as opposed to exploitive without wisdom? How will the human soul move from knowledge to wisdom without the kind of effort the goddess can bring? Without a balance of male/female, heart/head, body/spirit truly happening at all levels of education from childhood to professional degrees? How will a renaissance happen if education is left behind? What role will art play when the artist too lets go of the internalized oppression of the modern era and recommits himself/herself to serving the community and to serving the larger community of ecological sustainability? [31]
These are some of the questions raised by the return of the Black Madonna in our time. They beg for response. They beg for listening ears and attentive institutions. They beg for self criticism of nation-states, governments, corporations, academia, religion, law, professions of all kinds which are called to something new (and very ancient): a new relationship between earth and humans. One of mutuality, not mastering. One of joy and wonder, not boredom. One that honors all our relations. For this to come about some rattling of our modern cages and mindsets is in order. The Black Madonna provides such a shake-up. Still. After all these centuries.

THE BAPHOMET

the baphometThe Baphomet is an imagined pagan deity (i.e., a product of Christian folklore concerning pagans), revived in the 19th century as a figure of occultism and Satanism. Often mistaken for Satan, it represents the duality of male and female, as well as Heaven and Hell or night and day signified by the raising of one arm and the downward gesture of the other. It can be taken in fact, to represent any of the major harmonious dichotomies of the cosmos. It first appeared in 11th and 12th century Latin and ProvenЌal as a corruption of “Mahomet”, the Latinisation of “Muhammad”, but later it appeared as a term for a pagan idol in trial transcripts of the Inquisition of the Knights Templar in the early 14th century. The name first came into popular English-speaking consciousness in the 19th century, with debate and speculation on the reasons for the suppression of the Templars. Since 1855, the name Baphomet has been associated with a “Sabbatic Goat” image drawn by Eliphas Levi. Central to the accusations brought against the Knights Templar, was the accusation that, they worshipped an idol named Baphomet, which is said to have taken the form of a head or sometimes a Black Cat. The truth behind this mythos varies with various scholars. The Baphomet is one aspect of the Templars mythos, could generate so many theories as to its true origins is amazing. The interest in the Baphomet has survived over 600 years and taken many forms. The opinions on the Baphomet vary greatly from scholar to scholar and mystic path to mystic path. The purpose of this section is to shed some light on some of the theories and the connection, if any, to the Knights Templar. Mistakingly some describe the Templars as Devil worshipping Occultists, while historians of the twentieth century were of the belief that the Templars were party to the machinations of a corrupt government and church. It remains to be seen what the common consensus of this century will be regarding the order. Twentieth century historians may have believed in innocence, the Baphomet mythos did survive as is indicated by the following dictionary definition: “Baphomet was the deity worshipped by the Knights Templar, and in Black Magic as the source and creator of evil; the Satanic goat of the witches’ Sabbath and one of the names adopted by Aleister Crowley.” The image of the Baphomet is as varied as the explanations as to its etymology. A listing of some of the more common descriptions of it. An idol with a human skull Ahead with two faces With a beard – Without a beard With the heads of a cockerel With the head of a man With the head of a goat and the body of a man Wings and cloven feet The upper body of a woman (maternity) A candle on its head – a symbol of revelation combining male sexual potency with the four elements and intelligence Theories on the etymology of the Baphomet are many. To some it is believed to be a corruption of the Moslem prophet “Mahomet” or in English Mohammed. The Templars fought along side Moslem Assassins during their time and it is held that they may have adopted Islamic beliefs. This doesn’t really hold water to anyone familiar with Islam as the religion forbids all forms of idolatry. Another train of thought is that Baphomet is really a joining of two Greek words meaning absorption into wisdom. In either case the fact remains that the Templars were accused of practicing their initiations and rituals in front of a large idol of the demon Baphomet. How did this belief come to be? Since King Philip of France sought to own the vast Templar wealth, he along with his puppet Pope Clement V had the Templars captured and tortured. During these tortures they made many confessions, among these, the disclosure that they had worshipped an idol said to be the Baphomet. Were these claims true? Perhaps we’ll never know. Jacques de Molay, who had earlier confessed his and the Templars guilt slowly burned at the stake insisting the order was innocent of all but one offence, that of allowing torture to cause them to lie and confess untruths. Schonfield showed that by applying the Hebrew Atbash code to the name Baphomet, the name Sophia [Shvpia], female wisdom, is revealed. Sophia is equated with Isis by Plutarch. The number 58 is less puzzling if one remembers that five (5) is the number of the pentagram and eight (8) is indicative of Isis. We may now complete the simple equation which exposes her secret number: 5 X 8 = 40 = 58 – 18 ISIS The numbers 5 and 8 are also exhibited in the beliefs of the ‘Brothers of the Rose Cross’, where the rose is constructed with a centre of five petals, surrounded by eight petals. – David Wood, Genisis Isis’ magic was allied to the wisdom of the Egyptian god Thoth. His wife or consort, Nehemaut, was known to the Gnostics as Sophia. By this analysis, therefore, when the Templars worshipped Baphomet what they were really doing was worshipping the principle of Wisdom. – Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal Public indignation was aroused by charges of worshipping the devil in the form of an idol called Baphomet. Baphomet was the Templar symbol of Gnostic rites based on phallic worship and the power of directed will. The androgynous figure with a goat’s beard and cloven hooves is linked to the horned god of antiquity, the goat of Mendes. – Peter Tompkins, The Magic of Obelisks Some confessed that they had also worshipped an idol in the form of a cat, witch was red, or gray, or black, or mottled. Sometimes the idol worship required kissing the cat below the tail. Sometimes the cat was greased with the fat from roasted babies. The Templars were forced to eat food that contained the ashes of dead Templars, a form of witchcraft that passed on the courage of the fallen knights.” – John J. Robinson, Dungeon, Fire and Sword They bestowed worship in their chapter on a heathen idol, variously described as to its physical characteristics, but known as a ‘Baphomet’, which etymologically was the same word [in Old French] as ‘Mohammed’. [Once or twice the form Mahomet is actually used by witnesses in the trial.] Like so many persecuted heretical groups of the past, they were said to hold their chapters only secretly and at night. It was impossible for the Templars to have ‘picked up in the East’ the practice of worshipping an idol bearing the name of the Prophet Mohammed, since no such idol existed anywhere in the Levant, even among breakaway sects such as the Ismailis or the Druse. The idea that Muslims were idolaters was itself a part of another system of ‘smears’, the pejorative representation of the oriental world by western Christians.” – Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians Probably relying upon contemporary Eastern sources, Western scholars have recently supposed that ‘Bafomet’ has no connection with Mohammed, but could well be a corruption of the Arabic abufihamat (pronounced in the Moorish Spanish something like bufihimat). The word means ‘father of understanding.’ In Arabic, ‘father’ is taken to mean ‘source, chief seat of,’ and so on. In Sufi terminology, ras el-fahmat (head of knowledge) means the mentation of man after undergoing refinement – the transmuted consciousness. – Idries Shah, The Sufis During the Inquisition evidence there are several references to members of the order receiving on initiation a little cord that had been in contact with the ‘head’. Based upon the idol’s description as a “demon” having “very fierce-looking face and beard”, the idol very likely could have been Asmodeus, the “daemon guardian” who helped Solomon build his Temple. A statue of the demon guards the door of the parish church at Rennes-le-Ch‰teau. “The Templars’ stronghold in Jerusalem, the site of their foundation, was finally overrun by the Moslems in 1244. Thirty-three years later the victorious sultan, Baibars, inspected their castle and is recorded to have discovered inside the tower ‘a great idol, in whose protection the castle had been placed: according to the Frank who had given it its name [this is an unreadable word, made in diacritic letters]. He ordered this to be destroyed and a mihrab [Moslem prayer niche] constructed in its place.” – Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin – The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ During The Trial of the Templars in 1307 Brother Jean Taillefer of Genay gave evidence. He “was received into the order at Mormant, one of the three perceptories under the jurisdiction of the Grand Priory of Champagne at Voulaine. He said at his initiation ‘an idol representing a human face’ was placed on the altar before him. Hughes de Bure, another Burgundian from a daughter house of Voulaine, described how the ‘head’ was taken out of a cupboard, or aumbry, in the chapel, and that it seemed to him to be of gold or silver, and to represent the head of a man with a long beard. Brother Pierre d’Arbley suspected that the ‘idol’ had two faces, and his kinsman Guillaume d’Arbley made the point that the ‘idol’ itself, as distinct from copies, was exhibited at general chapters, implying that it was only shown to senior members of the order on special occasions. The treasurer of the Paris temple, Jean de Turn, spoke of a painted head in the form of a picture, which he had adored at one of these chapters. Nearly all the brethren agreed that the head was bearded and had long hair, and the Templars, like the majority of their contemporaries, regarded long hair as effeminate, so the length of the ‘idol’s hair was remarkable for this, if for no other reason. – Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail It is possible that the head idol was intended to represent the severed head of John the Baptist, based on allegations that he was revered by the Order. The Templars took part in the sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1203-4. Robert de Clari described the opulence and numerous relics at the sacred chapel of the Boucoleon Palace, amongst them supposedly the head of John the Baptist. An egregore is a magical entity that is artificially created by the focused thoughts and desires of a medium (analogous in many ways to Tibetan tulpas.) Supposedly a medium or statue could then serve as a tenant for the egregore, nourished by the sexual life-powers of the members. “The Egregora does exist in the so-called ‘astral plane’ and it is a demon, that is to say, an illusory entity. It is not a true Microcosm, but a gestalt of vitalized shells, a focus for everything that is negative, defeatist, maudlin, bigoted, introverted in human nature – a morass completely hostile to progress and to the spiritual evolution of mankind. The representation of the egregore as bust recalls the ancient literary tradition of animated statues or Salome, who wanted the head of John the Baptist, probably to master his visionary powers. The classic prototype of such an egregore is Baphomet, the alleged egregore of the Templars, who was (as the Roman Emperor of the Gods) likewise worshipped in the form of a bust. In the secret statutes of the Templars, Baphomet was besought with the introduction to the Qu’ran and dismissed with the 24th chapter of the Book of Sirach. – P. R. Koenig, Too Hot to Handle Another possibility as to the identity of the Baphomet may lie with Nicodemus, who in the Gospel of John who brought spices for Christ’s burial. He is also mentioned in the apocryphal Evangelium Nicodemi (4th C.) as a ruler of the Jews who testified in Christ’s favor. The Interpolation in the First Continuation of ChrЋtien’s Perceval (12??) tells of the flight of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea to England and includes the following intriguing passage: Another possibility for the origin of the Head relates to the imagery on the first Grand Master’s shield, which consisted of three black heads on a gold field. After about two hundred years, it is plausible that this head imagery could have worked itself into the legend of the Baphomet. According to more than one account, the Head was the actual skull of Hugues de Payen, which was preserved as an object of veneration. – Forrest Jackson, The Baphomet in History and Symbolism We found indisputable evidence for the charge of secret ceremonies involving a head of some kind. Indeed the existence of such a head proved to be one of the dominant themes running through the Inquisition records. Among the confiscated goods of the Paris preceptory a reliquary in the shape of a woman’s head was found. It was hinged on top, and contained what appeared to have been relics of a peculiar kind.” – Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail Herodotus (4:26) speaks of the practice in the obscure Issedones of gilding a head and sacrificing to it. Cleomenes of Sparta is said to have preserved the head of Archonides in honey and consulted it before undertaking an important task. Several vases of the fourth century BC in Etruria depict scenes of persons interrogating oracular heads. And the severed head of the rustic Carians which continues to ‘speak’ is mentioned derisively by Aristotle.” – The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown ofthe Bicameral Mind A similar tradition could be found in the Celtic cult of the severed head which figured predominently in Peredur, a Welsh romance about the Holy Grail. A great lady of Maraclea was loved by a Templar, a Lord of Sidon; but she died in her youth, and on the night of her burial, this wicked lover crept to the grave, dug up her body and violated it. Then a voice from the void bade him return in nine months time for he would find a son. He obeyed the injunction and at the appointed time he opened the grave again and found a head on the leg bones of the skeleton (skull and crossbones). The same voice bade him ‘guard it well, for it would be the giver of all good things’, and so he carried it away with him. – Ward, Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods The Baphomet is an imagined pagan deity (i.e., a product of Christian folklore concerning pagans), revived in the 19th century as a figure of occultism and Satanism. Often mistaken for Satan, it represents the duality of male and female, as well as Heaven and Hell or night and day signified by the raising of one arm and the downward gesture of the other. It can be taken in fact, to represent any of the major harmonious dichotomies of the cosmos. It first appeared in 11th and 12th century Latin and ProvenЌal as a corruption of “Mahomet”, the Latinisation of “Muhammad”, but later it appeared as a term for a pagan idol in trial transcripts of the Inquisition of the Knights Templar in the early 14th century. The name first came into popular English-speaking consciousness in the 19th century, with debate and speculation on the reasons for the suppression of the Templars. Since 1855, the name Baphomet has been associated with a “Sabbatic Goat” image drawn by Eliphas Levi. Central to the accusations brought against the Knights Templar, was the accusation that, they worshipped an idol named Baphomet, which is said to have taken the form of a head or sometimes a Black Cat. The truth behind this mythos varies with various scholars. The Baphomet is one aspect of the Templars mythos, could generate so many theories as to its true origins is amazing. The interest in the Baphomet has survived over 600 years and taken many forms. The opinions on the Baphomet vary greatly from scholar to scholar and mystic path to mystic path. The purpose of this section is to shed some light on some of the theories and the connection, if any, to the Knights Templar. Mistakingly some describe the Templars as Devil worshipping Occultists, while historians of the twentieth century were of the belief that the Templars were party to the machinations of a corrupt government and church. It remains to be seen what the common consensus of this century will be regarding the order. Twentieth century historians may have believed in innocence, the Baphomet mythos did survive as is indicated by the following dictionary definition: “Baphomet was the deity worshipped by the Knights Templar, and in Black Magic as the source and creator of evil; the Satanic goat of the witches’ Sabbath and one of the names adopted by Aleister Crowley.” The image of the Baphomet is as varied as the explanations as to its etymology. A listing of some of the more common descriptions of it. An idol with a human skull Ahead with two faces With a beard – Without a beard With the heads of a cockerel With the head of a man With the head of a goat and the body of a man Wings and cloven feet The upper body of a woman (maternity) A candle on its head – a symbol of revelation combining male sexual potency with the four elements and intelligence Theories on the etymology of the Baphomet are many. To some it is believed to be a corruption of the Moslem prophet “Mahomet” or in English Mohammed. The Templars fought along side Moslem Assassins during their time and it is held that they may have adopted Islamic beliefs. This doesn’t really hold water to anyone familiar with Islam as the religion forbids all forms of idolatry. Another train of thought is that Baphomet is really a joining of two Greek words meaning absorption into wisdom. In either case the fact remains that the Templars were accused of practicing their initiations and rituals in front of a large idol of the demon Baphomet. How did this belief come to be? Since King Philip of France sought to own the vast Templar wealth, he along with his puppet Pope Clement V had the Templars captured and tortured. During these tortures they made many confessions, among these, the disclosure that they had worshipped an idol said to be the Baphomet. Were these claims true? Perhaps we’ll never know. Jacques de Molay, who had earlier confessed his and the Templars guilt slowly burned at the stake insisting the order was innocent of all but one offence, that of allowing torture to cause them to lie and confess untruths. Schonfield showed that by applying the Hebrew Atbash code to the name Baphomet, the name Sophia [Shvpia], female wisdom, is revealed. Sophia is equated with Isis by Plutarch. The number 58 is less puzzling if one remembers that five (5) is the number of the pentagram and eight (8) is indicative of Isis. We may now complete the simple equation which exposes her secret number: 5 X 8 = 40 = 58 – 18 ISIS The numbers 5 and 8 are also exhibited in the beliefs of the ‘Brothers of the Rose Cross’, where the rose is constructed with a centre of five petals, surrounded by eight petals. – David Wood, Genisis Isis’ magic was allied to the wisdom of the Egyptian god Thoth. His wife or consort, Nehemaut, was known to the Gnostics as Sophia. By this analysis, therefore, when the Templars worshipped Baphomet what they were really doing was worshipping the principle of Wisdom. – Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal Public indignation was aroused by charges of worshipping the devil in the form of an idol called Baphomet. Baphomet was the Templar symbol of Gnostic rites based on phallic worship and the power of directed will. The androgynous figure with a goat’s beard and cloven hooves is linked to the horned god of antiquity, the goat of Mendes. – Peter Tompkins, The Magic of Obelisks Some confessed that they had also worshipped an idol in the form of a cat, witch was red, or gray, or black, or mottled. Sometimes the idol worship required kissing the cat below the tail. Sometimes the cat was greased with the fat from roasted babies. The Templars were forced to eat food that contained the ashes of dead Templars, a form of witchcraft that passed on the courage of the fallen knights.” – John J. Robinson, Dungeon, Fire and Sword They bestowed worship in their chapter on a heathen idol, variously described as to its physical characteristics, but known as a ‘Baphomet’, which etymologically was the same word [in Old French] as ‘Mohammed’. [Once or twice the form Mahomet is actually used by witnesses in the trial.] Like so many persecuted heretical groups of the past, they were said to hold their chapters only secretly and at night. It was impossible for the Templars to have ‘picked up in the East’ the practice of worshipping an idol bearing the name of the Prophet Mohammed, since no such idol existed anywhere in the Levant, even among breakaway sects such as the Ismailis or the Druse. The idea that Muslims were idolaters was itself a part of another system of ‘smears’, the pejorative representation of the oriental world by western Christians.” – Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians Probably relying upon contemporary Eastern sources, Western scholars have recently supposed that ‘Bafomet’ has no connection with Mohammed, but could well be a corruption of the Arabic abufihamat (pronounced in the Moorish Spanish something like bufihimat). The word means ‘father of understanding.’ In Arabic, ‘father’ is taken to mean ‘source, chief seat of,’ and so on. In Sufi terminology, ras el-fahmat (head of knowledge) means the mentation of man after undergoing refinement – the transmuted consciousness. – Idries Shah, The Sufis During the Inquisition evidence there are several references to members of the order receiving on initiation a little cord that had been in contact with the ‘head’. Based upon the idol’s description as a “demon” having “very fierce-looking face and beard”, the idol very likely could have been Asmodeus, the “daemon guardian” who helped Solomon build his Temple. A statue of the demon guards the door of the parish church at Rennes-le-Ch‰teau. “The Templars’ stronghold in Jerusalem, the site of their foundation, was finally overrun by the Moslems in 1244. Thirty-three years later the victorious sultan, Baibars, inspected their castle and is recorded to have discovered inside the tower ‘a great idol, in whose protection the castle had been placed: according to the Frank who had given it its name [this is an unreadable word, made in diacritic letters]. He ordered this to be destroyed and a mihrab [Moslem prayer niche] constructed in its place.” – Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin – The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ During The Trial of the Templars in 1307 Brother Jean Taillefer of Genay gave evidence. He “was received into the order at Mormant, one of the three perceptories under the jurisdiction of the Grand Priory of Champagne at Voulaine. He said at his initiation ‘an idol representing a human face’ was placed on the altar before him. Hughes de Bure, another Burgundian from a daughter house of Voulaine, described how the ‘head’ was taken out of a cupboard, or aumbry, in the chapel, and that it seemed to him to be of gold or silver, and to represent the head of a man with a long beard. Brother Pierre d’Arbley suspected that the ‘idol’ had two faces, and his kinsman Guillaume d’Arbley made the point that the ‘idol’ itself, as distinct from copies, was exhibited at general chapters, implying that it was only shown to senior members of the order on special occasions. The treasurer of the Paris temple, Jean de Turn, spoke of a painted head in the form of a picture, which he had adored at one of these chapters. Nearly all the brethren agreed that the head was bearded and had long hair, and the Templars, like the majority of their contemporaries, regarded long hair as effeminate, so the length of the ‘idol’s hair was remarkable for this, if for no other reason. – Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail It is possible that the head idol was intended to represent the severed head of John the Baptist, based on allegations that he was revered by the Order. The Templars took part in the sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1203-4. Robert de Clari described the opulence and numerous relics at the sacred chapel of the Boucoleon Palace, amongst them supposedly the head of John the Baptist. An egregore is a magical entity that is artificially created by the focused thoughts and desires of a medium (analogous in many ways to Tibetan tulpas.) Supposedly a medium or statue could then serve as a tenant for the egregore, nourished by the sexual life-powers of the members. “The Egregora does exist in the so-called ‘astral plane’ and it is a demon, that is to say, an illusory entity. It is not a true Microcosm, but a gestalt of vitalized shells, a focus for everything that is negative, defeatist, maudlin, bigoted, introverted in human nature – a morass completely hostile to progress and to the spiritual evolution of mankind. The representation of the egregore as bust recalls the ancient literary tradition of animated statues or Salome, who wanted the head of John the Baptist, probably to master his visionary powers. The classic prototype of such an egregore is Baphomet, the alleged egregore of the Templars, who was (as the Roman Emperor of the Gods) likewise worshipped in the form of a bust. In the secret statutes of the Templars, Baphomet was besought with the introduction to the Qu’ran and dismissed with the 24th chapter of the Book of Sirach. – P. R. Koenig, Too Hot to Handle Another possibility as to the identity of the Baphomet may lie with Nicodemus, who in the Gospel of John who brought spices for Christ’s burial. He is also mentioned in the apocryphal Evangelium Nicodemi (4th C.) as a ruler of the Jews who testified in Christ’s favor. The Interpolation in the First Continuation of ChrЋtien’s Perceval (12??) tells of the flight of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea to England and includes the following intriguing passage: Another possibility for the origin of the Head relates to the imagery on the first Grand Master’s shield, which consisted of three black heads on a gold field. After about two hundred years, it is plausible that this head imagery could have worked itself into the legend of the Baphomet. According to more than one account, the Head was the actual skull of Hugues de Payen, which was preserved as an object of veneration. – Forrest Jackson, The Baphomet in History and Symbolism We found indisputable evidence for the charge of secret ceremonies involving a head of some kind. Indeed the existence of such a head proved to be one of the dominant themes running through the Inquisition records. Among the confiscated goods of the Paris preceptory a reliquary in the shape of a woman’s head was found. It was hinged on top, and contained what appeared to have been relics of a peculiar kind.” – Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail Herodotus (4:26) speaks of the practice in the obscure Issedones of gilding a head and sacrificing to it. Cleomenes of Sparta is said to have preserved the head of Archonides in honey and consulted it before undertaking an important task. Several vases of the fourth century BC in Etruria depict scenes of persons interrogating oracular heads. And the severed head of the rustic Carians which continues to ‘speak’ is mentioned derisively by Aristotle.” – The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown ofthe Bicameral Mind A similar tradition could be found in the Celtic cult of the severed head which figured predominently in Peredur, a Welsh romance about the Holy Grail. A great lady of Maraclea was loved by a Templar, a Lord of Sidon; but she died in her youth, and on the night of her burial, this wicked lover crept to the grave, dug up her body and violated it. Then a voice from the void bade him return in nine months time for he would find a son. He obeyed the injunction and at the appointed time he opened the grave again and found a head on the leg bones of the skeleton (skull and crossbones). The same voice bade him ‘guard it well, for it would be the giver of all good things’, and so he carried it away with him.

20 primary universal laws

MEDITATIONThe Universe is perfectly balanced by natural and moral laws with regulatory vibrations to maintain order, when you work within the laws you can be assured of an eventual positive outcome. When the laws are transgressed you can be assured of suffering; the only purpose of this is to teach you a better way.

1.

The Law of Harmony. This law supersedes even the fundamental law of Karma, for harmony is the supreme potential of balance. The purpose of Karma is to attain harmony. If you through a rock into a pond you disturb the harmony of the pond, you are the cause, the effect is the splash and the ripples that flows out and back until harmony is restored. Similarly, your disharmonious actions flow out into the Universe and back upon you, lifetime after life time, until eventually your own harmony is restored.

2.

The Law of Reincarnation and Karma. Until you have resolved your Karma and fulfilled your Dharma, which are the deeds you must do, you will continue to reincarnate into sequential lifetime upon the earth. Neither God nor the Lords of Karma bestow suffering upon you during these lives, you and you alone decide what you most need to learn and in your earthly sojourns, and for each life experience you seek out other souls, often with shared histories, and always with Karmic configurations matching your needs. Whenever you act with intention you create Karma. Actions are considered to be thoughts, emotions, words and deeds, and the motive, desire and intent behind each. Disharmonious acts must be balanced in the future in this life or in a future lifetime, to have Soul growth.

3.

The Law of Wisdom, wisdom erases Karma. If you have the wisdom to learn your lessons through love and wisdom you can mitigate your suffering. Sadly, we seem to learn the fastest through pain, through directly experiencing the consequences of our actions. As an example, you greedily take from others, and instead of learning through wisdom and love that this is wrong, you have to experience from others someone greedily taking from you, whether later in this life or in a future lifetime.

Example 1: In your last life you were married to a Soul who is your mate today, and whom you cruelly left far another in that previous lifetime. Before you were born into your current life, you agreed to be left by your mate, under similar circumstances–this will allow you to balance your Karma–and directly experience the pain of abandonment. If through the wisdom of Master-Life-Awareness it is easier to detach consciously from the relationship with love, you will ease the pain of parting while also passing your own test, and thus absolving Karma and evolving from within.

Example 2. Assume that you have Astrologically destined a severe relationship test for May of your 35th year. If you have learned through past life awareness, as well as present life learning, to be positive, non-judgmental and without expectations in your relationship you may only experience an argument with your mate on that fateful day in May, but if you haven’t learned your past lessons, and have intensified your disharmony during your relationship you might experience a divorce in may of your 35th year.

4.

The Law of Grace. Karma can be experienced to the letter of the law or in mercy and grace. In other words if you give love, mercy and grace to others, you will receive the same in return.

5.

The Law of Soul Evolution. Everyone on Earth shares the goal of Soul evolution whether they realize it or not. We have reincarnated because we desire to evolve spiritually. By rising above all of our fear based emotions and in so doing learning how to express unconditional love we raise our vibrational rate, and move closer to a state of harmony. Even where it appears that we are not evolving we are in reality making progress. We learn through the pain of our disharmonious acts, which can be viewed as our mistakes or failures. This is the law of Soul evolution.

6.

The Law of Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva is a Sanskrit term commonly accepted by most Metaphysical adepts today. It means one who has transcended the need of Earthly incarnations but who has chosen to return to the earth to support others in achieving enlightenment. A Bodhisattva knows he will never really be free until all souls are free. Most serious students of metaphysics have entered the Bodhisattva Development Stage of their evolution.

7.

The Law of Vibrational Attainment. The entire Universe operates on the same principle of vibrational energy. When Einstein discovered that “matter is energy.” he opened the door to merging science and metaphysics. The scientists have proved that energy cannot die, it can only transform (reincarnate), and, by its very nature, energy must go forward or backwards, it cannot stand still, for to do so is stagnation, resulting in transformation. You are energy. Your skin, which appears solid, is actually trillions of swiftly moving molecules orbiting each other at a specific vibrational rate; a physical life rate you have earned in the past as a result of how harmoniously–or disharmoniously you have lived your past lives and your current life up until this moment in time. When you are harmonious for a lifetime, you will have attained the highest vibrational rate–the God level.

8.

The Law of Free Will. The law of free will operates in three ways.

1.

Although many of the major events in your life are Astrologically predestined, you always have free will to mitigate the impact of the event, or to transcend it entirely. This will result from how you live your life up to the situation you have destined for yourself to experience. If you give grace and mercy to others, are positive, loving, compassionate, and demonstrate by your action that you have learned past lessons, you can minimize disharmonious experiences!

2.

As you obtain Master of life awareness and develop conscious detachment, you will be far less affected by worldly events than in the past. A Master of Life enjoys all the warmth and joy that life has to offer, but detaches from the negativity by allowing it to flow through him without affecting him.

3.

You always have free will in how you respond to any situation. If you respond with positive emotions, compassion and integrity, you have probably learned your karmic lessons and will not have to experience a similar situation in the future.

9.

The Law of One. Every Soul, living and discarnate, is connected at the level of the collective unconscious, deep within the Higher-Self. We are all part of a great energy gestalt called God, and because we are part of God, we are God. It is the goal of the gestalt to move the energy forward, creating more energy. So, in living harmoniously, we each increase our vibrational rate and intensify the vibration of the entire gestalt. When we are disharmonious, we decrease the vibration of the entire gestalt, because we are one, everything you think, say and do, affects every other Soul.

10.

The Law of Manifestation. Everything manifest begins as a thought, an idea. Ideas and experiences create beliefs which in turn, create your reality. If you are unhappy with your current reality, you must change your beliefs and your behavior. Beliefs can be changed when you recognize those that are not working for you, and begin programming what will create success and harmony in your life. The unlimited creative power of your mind, through dedication, awareness and training, can be the wisdom to rise above your Karma. Within physical and spiritual laws, you can manifest any reality you desire to experience. In regard to changing your behavior, you must decide which disharmonious behavior you want to eliminate. Then be aware that you don’t have to change how you feel about something to affect it, if you are willing to change what you are doing.

11.

The Law of Conscious Detachment. Buddha’s earthly teachings are best summarized with one of his statements, “It is your resistance to what is that causes your suffering.” and by suffering, he meant everything that doesn’t work in your life; relationship problems, loss of loved ones, loneliness, sickness, accidents, guilt, monetary hardship, unfulfilled desires, and so on. When you accept what is, you accept the unalterable realities in your life without resisting them. Some things are facts. They exist, and no matter how much you resist them, there is nothing you are going to be able to do about them. Change what you can change, but have the wisdom to accept unalterable situations as they are, without wasting mental or physical energy attempting to change what you cannot change. Out of acceptance comes involved detachment. The ability to enjoy all the positive aspects of life, but to allow the negative to flow through you with out resistance and without affecting you.

12.

The Law of Gratitude. From the perspective of Karma and the Law of One, the more you give, the more you will receive. The more you assist others, the more you will assist yourself. The power of this Law also works in your day-to-day life.

13.

The Law of Fellowship. When two or more people of similar vibration are gathered for a shared purpose, their combined energy directed to the attainment of that purpose is doubled, tripled, quadrupled or more. This esoteric awareness has been used by covens, esoteric religions, healing groups, and recently, worldwide meditations for world peace.

14.

The Law of Resistance. That which you resist you draw to you, and you will perpetuate its influence upon your life. Resistance is fear, so it is something you need to Karmically resolve. The Law of Resistance assures that you let go of the fear by encountering it until you are forced to deal with it by learning conscious detachment.

Example: You may have a strong resistance toward people of the Asian race; Black race, Jewish race, your mother-in-law. Your resistance is fear. The quickest way to overcome that which you fear is through direct experience, thus you will reincarnate as an Asian, Black, Jew, or mother in-law in a future lifetime. When you attain Master of Life awareness and stop resisting [your fear] by consciously detaching from the negativity, the problem will be resolved. Most disharmonious situations are solved through a change in your viewpoint. By changing your perspective, you can usually eliminate the effects of a problem, and if you are no longer affected by a problem, you no longer have a problem, although nothing about the problem situation may have changed. Another aspect of the Law of resistance states, that which you resists, you become, if not in this lifetime, in a future incarnation.

15.

The Law of Attraction. “Where your attention goes, your energy flows.” You attract what you are and that which you concentrate upon. If you are negative, you draw in and experience negativity. If you are loving, you draw in and experience love. You can attract to you only those qualities you possess. So, if you want peace and harmony in your life, you must become peaceful and harmonious. Remember it is not always about the cool custom t-shirts you wear or how much money your clothes cost, that could attract the wrong type of attraction.

16.

The Law of Reflection. This Law says that the traits you respond to in others, you recognize in yourself, both positive and negative. It has four primary manifestations:

1.

That which you admire in others, you recognize as existing within yourself;

2.

That which you resist and react to strongly in others is sure to be found within yourself;

3.

That which you resist and react to in others is something which you are afraid exists within you; and,

4.

That which you resist in yourself, you will dislike in others.

In other words, you have chosen to incarnate upon the manifest plane to learn to rise above the effect of fear. Those fears will always be reflected in your reactions to others, Thus your goals are very obvious once you recognize how to perceive them. As you let go of the fear, you automatically open to expressing more unconditional love.

17.

The Law of Unconditional Love. The expression of unconditional love will eventually result in harmony. Unconditional love is not romantic love. It is the acceptance of others as they are without judgment or expectations. It is total acceptance of others without attempting to change them, except by our own positive example. The law of unconditional love says, “If you go out of your way to express unconditional love, you automatically rise above fear, and, as you transcend your fears, you automatically open to the expression of unconditional love.

18.

The Law of Magnetic Affinities. By Astrologically choosing the time and place of your birth, you determine the nature or the effects you will experience in your life. On the other side, before we are born, we make decisions about the lifetime we will be entering into. You chose your parents, other souls to interact with you, and the Astrological configurations of your birth which determine your character, personality, abilities, restrictions, and timing for strengths and weaknesses. If all of this seems too complicated to be real, be aware that you are only using five to ten percent of the capacity of your brain. And the brain-mind researchers say the human brain has 200,000 times the capacity of the greatest computer ever built. Such calculations as I’ve just described would be no problem for such a computer.

19.

The Law of Abundance. You have within yourself everything required to make your earthly incarnation a paradise if you choose to accept that which is your divine birth-right. We live in a Universe of abundance, although the majority of those populating our planet appear to view it as a Universe of scarcity.

20.

The Law of Divine Order, If you seek to understand the Law of Divine Order, study the natural balance of nature, for it works very much the same way. Everything is as it should be, although mankind (our energy gestalt) is far from experiencing its potential of total harmony. There are no accidents. Your energy, translated into thoughts, words, emotions, and deeds, causes all your experiences. This assures that you always have the learning opportunities you require to resolve your Karma, and, as with you, the collective thoughts, words, emotions, and deeds of mankind create the environment for us all. If enough souls focus their energy upon peace, we will have peace. If the majority of souls are filled with anger, we may all have to experience war. We are all one, and like the many sub-personalities within you, the dominant traits of mankind (the entire gestalt) will emerge to resolve our group Karma.