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    Mudras hand symbolism hand mysteries part 2

     

    [Note: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our website] The lines on the palms of the hands are believed in the occult science of palmistry to designate a person's character and changing fate. In all systems of palmistry--Chinese, Hindu, and Western, certain portions of the hand and fingers represent the celestial bodies--the sun, moon, and planets. Palmistry tells us that the hands come in various shapes: "square," "conical," "spatula," etc; each shape with its own special meaning. The fingers likewise come in assorted sizes hinting of the owner's personal psychological constitution. Lines or marks are to be found on the palms of the hand, and throughout life these are constantly changing in formation. Why lines appear in the hands and may reveal a person's character and probable future is a mystery that remains to be solved. One theory is that the lines are caused by nervous energy or fluid coursing through the physical body leaving its imprint, its indelible marks on the sensitive, impressible palms of the hands. It is believed that the nature and strength of the marks are determined by the intensity of this vital-fluid which in turn is caused by the inherent qualities of the indwelling soul. The regulator of this nervous-energy appears to be the soul-impressed brain. To explain this in another way: first, the soul influences the brain with its innate characteristics, its character, then the brain releases and regulates the nerve-energy flowing through the body which is recorded on the sensitive portion of the hands appearing as lines and identifiable marks. This theory is logical but it does not explicitly explain how one's "fate" may be indicated by the etches made upon the palms of the hands. Perhaps we could explain this simply by saying that one's character, beliefs, and attitudes determine to a large extent one's so-called fate, and so by knowing a subject's psychic make-up it is possible to know his or her probable future. For instance, if a subject has a slothful character, we could predict that he or she would experience financial problems and poor health. This principle is based upon the Law of Cause and Effect and is nothing mysterious. Terence Dukes in his book, "Chinese Hand Analysis," tells us that the hands may be analyzed at different levels, not only from its physical aspects, but from its psychic constitution as well: "Because of the principle (Li) of transmutative levels, it also became possible to interpret a hand from its energy flow rather than its physical attributes, and the 'psychic' element (as we would call it today) became accepted. The interpretation would differ depending on the level of paradigmatic and hermeneutical ability of the analyst. From observed hand patterns, a Taoist analyst may be able to tell that you have rebuilt your home, a Chen-Yen Buddhist that your grandmother's spirit was watching over you, and a Buddhist-cum-Taoist that your liver was overworking! The well-trained cheirologist could tell you all three and more, for such training implies trans-level understanding and not just prognostic ability." Whether a coincidence or not, the palms show a significant number. The figure nineteen in Arabic numerals may be found etched on them. Using the terminology of palmistry, the figure consists of the "life," "heart," and "head" lines. Nineteen is definitely esoteric being one of the two numbers discovered thus far with which the Quran, the holy book of Islam is structured. There are several million nerve cells on each fingertip and these are extremely delicate. The surface of these fingertips are covered by ridges called rugae, which are developed in the fetus during pregnancy as early as the eighteenth week. The formation of these ridges do not change in life and remains until death. They cannot be obliterated by any process. Accidents may efface them, but as the skin recovers, the original pattern appears once again. That each individual has a different set of fingerprints were observed by ancient people and they utilized this to identify themselves to others. For instance, the ancient Assyrians and Chinese made use of fingerprints to sign legal documents in the same manner that we use signatures. Technically, the study of the well-defined patterns of ridges on the fingertips is known as dermatoglyphics. It is believed that the modern study of dermatoglyphia or fingerprints were first conducted by the Czech physiologist Johannes Evengelista Purkinje in the 19th century. Some time later, the British scientist Sir Francis Galton proposed the use of fingerprints for identification purposes as did his ancient predecessors. Modern fingerprinting was first pragmatically implemented by British police officer Sir Edward Richard Henry (1857-1930) in Bengal, India in the 1890s to identify criminals. What is the occult explanation of the unique patterns of our finger ridges? As understood metaphysically, physical man is an expression of the Soul. Patterns upon fingertips are caused by the Higher Self, or the Ego stamping its identity upon the tissues of the body by way of the blood and forming ridge patterns to be found nowhere else in the world. Since each person has his or her own Ego, unlike animals, each individual is unique, "one-of-a-kind," like a facet of a cut diamond that has its own effulgent glory. As we have said previously, the hands are reflective of man's inner being. The uniqueness of the Soul may be seen in its shadow, the physical body, together with its micro-components. The tactile sense is believed to be the most complex of the five senses. It is said to possess at least eleven distinct sub-senses. There are millions of sensory end organs in the skin. There are sensory detectors of cold, heat, pain, texture, pressure, etc. These senses work through the central nervous system. There are also subtle senses of the skin related to the autonomic or sympathetic nervous system. These subtle senses capture energies vibrating beyond the energy-spectrum perceptible to the five senses. The occasional twitching of the eyes, ears, and various parts of the body that have time immemorial been attributed by occultists to metaphysical forces are actually true in fact. The subtle senses of the skin are ultra sensitive to thought and emotional force emission whether from an internal or an external source. The belief that when the right eye twitches means that "someone is thinking of you," reveals a basic occult truth often derided by skeptics. The sensitivity of our skin differ in the various parts of our body. The fingertips and mucous membranes, as an example, are more sensitive than most parts of the physical structure. According to embryologists, our skin is sensitive to light and is convertible to sight receptors. They explain that small cells, called ocelli, are to be found all over the skin, and that these cells resemble miniature eyes. Among the body parts that are sensitive to light are the forehead, chest, cheeks, temples, and hands. It is no wonder that some people are said to have the unusual ability to sense colors or even "read" words through their fingertips. There is an amazing soothing power in the hands. We often use it to comfort and delight another by touching, caressing, and stroking. We please and tease our loved ones with our playful fingers. In romance the touch of the hand is as essential as the kiss. In Act II, Scene II of "Romeo and Juliet," a famous Shakespearean play, the young Romeo while admiring Juliet from afar wishes that he were a glove on her hand caressing her cheek: "See how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O that I were a glove upon that hand, That I might touch that cheek!" Human hands are fascinating, enchanting and evocative. They often fill us with wonder with their beautiful or repulsive appearance. The pioneer of modern western palmistry, d'Arpentingny, expresses it eloquently: "there are hands which naturally attract us, and there are hands which excite in us repulsion. I have seen hands which seemed covered with eyes, so sagacious and so penetrating was their experience. Some, like those of the sphinx, suggest an idea of mystery; some betray recklessness and strength, combined with activity of body, others again indicate laziness and cunning." Doctors and scientists have recorded the fact that the lack of touch--of fondling, petting, and caressing of babies and children cause them to suffer psychologically and physically--their emotional condition being affected even in their adult years. Children are most vital and healthy when exposed to an affectionate dose of touch. Generally, children who receive more hugs from their parents grow taller and more intelligent than those who do not. Autistic children who are disturbed, withdrawn, and frightened respond to hugs and caresses more readily than they do to any cold clinical treatments. The loving touch is therapeutic and can be more potent than pranic or Reiki healing treatments that are apathetically and mechanically given. We often wonder why without the touch of loving hands we find our lives empty, meaningless, and burdensome. We seem to lose a sense of purpose, enthusiasm, and self-motivation. Metaphysics has an explanation: energy when imbued with a certain characteristic becomes a force that when emitted from a person may cause changes in the ambient surroundings. When such a force is tinged with the power of love and affection it uplifts all that it comes into contact with. Human beings, animals, and even objects that receive such a force are transformed and ennobled. This is the reason why it is always preferable to return love for hatred, and affection for anger. Whatever we touch ought to come from our hearts. The human touch, affectionately given, also help to anchor or ground the consciousness of those who are psychologically disturbed to the physical plane and prevent hallucinations from taking place. Sensory input through the tactile sense is vital for a balanced mind. Adults as well as children require it to maintain sanity. The handshake or a pat on the back from a friend is always reassuring--especially when it comes from one's Guru. In a stressful period of life a massaging hand on the shoulder does wonders to relieve loved ones of tension and cause them to relax. The touch is truly magical when we consider how a mother comforts her innocent babe with the touch of love. In this respect if animals had hands they would certainly use them to express affection just as humans do. Lacking them, snouts and beaks are employed instead. Some of course, are able to use their cute and sometimes deadly paws. In many cultures the handshake as a traditional custom originated with the intention of showing that no weapons were held concealed in the hand and that the two persons involved in the handshake did so in peace and friendship. Hands behind the back or hidden in pockets have always been regarded with suspicion. To the knowledgeable, the handshake reveals a lot about a person's characteristics. The firm, strong grip often indicates someone who is willful, determined, and disciplined--all leadership qualities. Weak grips naturally denote weak natures. Gentleness, enthusiasm, energy, clumsiness, self-confidence, inferiority complexes, etc.--all these may be sensed by the power of the grip, the vigor in which the hand is shaken, the length of time in which the hand is held, and the jerks and movements that it makes. Hands are applied for various purposes in daily life. They are used for eating, cleansing, working, creating, worshipping and expressing oneself. Man instinctively clasps his hands in prayer--a very significant mudra that has the power to intensify inherent energies and may cause precipitations to take place on the physical plane. Ever since bygone days, hands have been used as a calculating device. The simple counting of the fingers was a universal method applied in primitive times. Our most used modern method of computation utilizes the base of 10. This is derived from the ancient usage of the ten finger-digits in calculationsplex systems of counting have been devised using the appendages of the hand. Javanese mystics, for instance, have unique formulas to calculate certain life's cycles using only their fingers. Hand postures are sometimes used to represent numbers. These manual gestures for representing numeration have been chiefly employed in the past by the Romans and Greeks. There are many functions of the hand that may not be replaced by robotics. No mechanical hand may ever offer the same dexterity, sensitivity, grace, and versatility as a natural hand would. It took millions of years for man's hands to evolve to its present state of perfection. Man may create machines to do the tasks normally done by his hands, but he will never replace them completely by his inventions, just as no supercomputer would ever match the intricacy of the human brain--not for a long time yet anyway. Hands are used to communicate and reveal thoughts. We often use all sorts of gestures to emphasize or stress certain words, ideas and feelings that we wish to convey or project outwards. This is normally done unconsciously without any willful intent, executed through subconscious impulses; at times willfully, as for instance, the sign of hunger or thirst, or a "come here!" hand movement. A whole psychological branch of study has developed out of these gestures. As part of the study of "Body language," hand gestures have become an important subject in understanding the operations of the human psyche and human behavior. Sign language uses the media of the hands in order to communicate. When forced to interact with someone speaking a different language we often make use of signs. The American Indians, for instance, developed their own forms of sign languages to communicate with tribes not of their own native tongue. Things of nature, ideas, emotions, and sensations all have their particular hand-sign. The gestures that the American Indians possessed were elaborate enough to carry-out a detailed non-verbal conversation. Other races or cultures have also developed their own sign languages such as to be found in certain cultural groups in Assam, Eastern India, and of the Aborigines in Australia. In modern times manual gestures have been developed for the deaf. Aside from lip-reading, the deaf are often taught to communicate through definite forms, signs or poses of the hand. In this communications system, there are basically two types of signs: natural signs and systematic signs. Natural signs stand for objects and ideas whereas systematic signs stand for word-by-word or letter-by-letter renderings of the written language. Among the disabled, the blind likewise benefit from their hands by reading words in Braille. In contemporary times, the hands are used extensively in the art and science of speed reading by those who seek to augment and optimize the volume of their reading input and comprehension ability. Sign language has also been successfully used to communicate with animals--with the anthropoids in particular. It has been observed by researchers that apes have a large capacity to memorize and perhaps understand hundreds of signs representing abstract concepts. The sensitivity of the fingers of the hands may be increased in order to sense colors and energies as alluded to above. Psychometry, for instance, is the occult art of reading energies in objects so as to uncover their personal history. This is especially done through the media of the hands. Impressions are received through the autonomic nervous receptors in the hands and conveyed to the brain for translation into images, thoughts and feelings. In yoga teachings, the term sparsha (lit. "touch") denotes superperception of the tactile sense, of which development is a by-product of meditation. Hands are often used in healing. Perhaps one of the most famous mystical brotherhoods of the past to apply the life energy emanating from the hands therapeutically were the Rosicrucians. The members of this spiritual organization practiced the "laying-of-hands" like their ancient counterparts, the Therapeutae in Egypt and the Essenes that lived along the shores of the Dead Sea. In past centuries, western occultists like Paracelsus and Anton Mesmer similarly made use of this etheric nerve-energy emanating from the hands for healing purposes, the latter calling it "animal magnetism." Ancient Greeks called people who healed with the power of their hands, "cheirourgos," meaning "hand-workers." The word "surgeon" is derived from this Greek term. The ancient Egyptians believed that the hands emanated a force filled with healing and life-giving properties. They called this force sa-ankh. Other ancient cultures called this power by various names. That man emanate energy from the hands is the reason why some individuals are said to have "green thumbs," meaning that plants are sympathetic to such persons and the life-giving force that they radiate and respond by growing healthy foliage and producing abundant fruits. Everyone emanates magnetic rays from their hands and fingertips. Healers naturally have a much more powerful flow. That power flows from the palms is recognized by the monks and priests of Buddhists monasteries in China in past centuries. Mainly used in therapeutics and the martial arts, "the Buddha Palm" as it is called, has found its way to our modern world and into the Occident. Hands may be luminescent under the right conditions. The Jews have observed that the hands of holy people at prayer often become incandescent; Christians likewise believe that the fingertips of saints often shoot forth rays of light. It is proven with modern Kirlian and high-frequency photography that the hands and physical body emits energy. These modern devices reveal indubitably in a concrete manner how we are surrounded by our own personal bioluminescent magnetic-field that otherwise may only be seen through etheric sight. The human aura is generally heterogeneous in its various layers and sections. Each part of the body emanates a different force in accord with its state of vigor and vitality. The diverse energies of Man's aura, or bio-magnetic field may be detected through the hands. Negative, sickly, or congested energies in the aura may be sensed by the trained hands through the sensations of density, heat, coolness, electrical tingling, etc. In conjunction with this, the hands are also used to clear or balance energies in the aura. Hands are certainly great instruments used in most alternative therapies. Why some are left-handed and not right-handed may seem a mystery to some. There are those who believe that this is inherited; however, this cannot be conclusively proved. A plausible answer from the metaphysical point of view, is that this is a karmic habit and is related to a past life injury upon the major hand. Incapacitated in the use of the right hand, the soul intelligence was forced to apply the minor hand in daily activities. This became habitual and was later carried over to a future incarnation where it still remained for the soul the hand of major use. Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    Mudras hand symbolism hand mysteries part 3

     

    [Note: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our website] In ceremonial magick of the Western Tradition, the hands and fingers are used for various purposes among which is to trace symbols, sigils, and signs in a consecrated space or object. They are also utilized to banish, invoke and direct forces to certain targets. In contrast to the adepts of ceremonial magic, stage magicians apply the hands to entertain audiences with their many illusory tricks. They call this, "prestidigitation," or "sleight of hand." In prestidigitation, the hands are used in various ways to deceive and mislead the eyes, and also in guiding the mental focus of the audience. The saying that "the hands are quicker than the eye," is a well-known clichй used by stage magicians. While still on the topic of entertainment, we have to consider the applause. The clapping of hands in modern usage is an expression of delight, agreement, an accompaniment to music, or appreciation for someone's stage performance. Metaphysically, it is said that ovation dispels the presence of angelic beings. These creatures of light dislike the vibrations produced by the applause. From the occult point of view, therefore, clapping is regarded as a negative practice. In dance, gestures of the hands are essential in conveying or expressing symbolic messages and metaphorical meanings. They possess a rich vocabulary and tell non-verbal stories that evoke our primordial emotions as well as divine sensations. This can easily be seen and experienced in the hula-dance of the Polynesians. These dances and hand movements narrate various myths of the land that transports us to another world. In Hindu classical texts regarding dance, hundreds of hand gestures are mentioned, together with descriptions of the thirteen positions of the head, thirty-six of the eyes, and nine of the neck. In the Hindu dances based on the Carnatic music composition, the following mudras are used among many others: Raaga mudra, Tata mudra, Aachaarya mudra, Naayaka mudra, Vamsa mudra, Biruda mudra, Lakshana Grantha mudra, Prabandha mudra, Sthala mudra, etc. Although the many poses of the hands in traditional dance may portray symbolical meanings, they are also functional in the sense that they modify the morphogenic or auric field of the human organism, and likewise meant to regulate the energy flow within the etheric body. There are numerous forms of dance or dancing style prompted by the various levels of the psyche. Basically, we can classify three types of dance originating from the subconsciousness, consciousness and the superconsciousness. The instinctive or primitive dance originating from the subconsciousness is well known and is displayed by both man and beast. Most of these movements and their awkward gestures usually are mating courtship dances and the release of pent-up energies. Cultural dances evolved from these unrefined movements. They are a projection of what the psyche understands of beauty, grace, form, rhythm, etc. The third category may be called mystical dances. They originate from higher levels of consciousness beyond the reach of the conscious mind, but whose energies may be channeled through the physical body producing divine movements. Some forms of dancing are the amalgamation of all three classifications. The traditional dancing styles of Eastern countries such as India, Thailand, and Indonesia are typical of these. In these dances mudras are often formed to alter the consciousness of the dancer and indirectly affect the consciousness of the spectators. About 16 years ago the writer personally witnessed one of the traditional Javanese dances performed by a very talented young man. The dance was called "Kesadaran," or "Consciousness." We were spellbound from start to finish. Music often make us move and sway our hands, feet, and body unconsciously. Why does it do this? For the simply reason that musical energies have the power to possess our beings and cause an altered state of awareness making us lose a certain degree of control over our physical motor system. All beings are susceptible to the influence of music. Animals and plants are especially vulnerable. In Greek myth we often hear tales of Pan, the personification of Nature, dancing to the mystical tunes of his pan-pipes, and all those who heard him play would also join in the fun, the mirth, and the merry-making. Similarly, when the Greek sage Orpheus played on his lyre, all became entranced, even the rocks listened attentively. In the Hindu tales of the gods, as found in the Bhagavata-Purana and the Gita-Govinda, Krishna is said to have enchanted the gopis, or shepherdesses of Vrindavana with his lila dance and magical flute-playing. Each gopi was so mesmerized and distracted by Krishna that they would forget everything else around them. They would become so one-pointed that they would believe that they were the only one present before their Lord. Evidently, music has the power to cause ecstatic feelings. The god Shiva is often portrayed in iconography in a dancing pose as Nataraja, or "Lord of Dance." Representing the Consciousness aspect of Nature, why does Shiva engage in a Cosmic dance? It is because Shakti or divine energy, flows through his being and causes spasms and convulsions at first, and then rhythmic movements in attunement with the beat of the Cosmos. Amidst spiritual flames, Shiva dances rapturously, burning and transmuting all of the old outworn forms of life hindering cosmic progress. In a microcosmic scale, a Shiva-dance likewise occurs to a practitioner of mudras. Spontaneous dancing may transpire as a result of the awakening of the life-force in the lowest psychospiritual center of the etheric body. While conducting the mudras the practitioner's whole being would often move involuntarily. The physical body might sway forward and backward, left and right or rotate on its axis. His or her hands would move on their own accord in circles, in arches, in figure-eights, in a chopping upward-downward movement, or oscillate in a left-right or forward-backward direction; sometimes the hands are mysteriously placed at various layers of the aura, or even at certain focus points--at the chakras or energy centers of the body. While Shakti is active, she may also induce the practitioner to assume unlearnt mudras. The energies invoked through mudras have an intelligence all of their own and they do their work through movements. They know what to do to balance, purify, transform, or integrate celestial energies into the microcosmic system. In the martial-arts field, hands are used as weapons of defense or destruction. The "Tiger's Claw," the "Iron Fist," "the Drunken-style Fist," etc, all indicate the manifold lethal forms that the hands may assume to strike an opponent or to ward off blows. In contrast to this, the finer arts make use of the hands constructively and creatively to produce wondrous objects of art, and to compose and produce heavenly music. Like the Cosmic dance of Shiva, the movements of Tai Chi, Pencak Silat, and other forms of self-defense have part of their origin in an awakened source of energy moving through the limbs producing involuntary movements. These movements were later noted down and turned into the various steps of martial-art discipline and training. Some systems of metaphysical development teach us to move the body in a certain way. Though this has an effect in stimulating energies in the body it is not quite as effective in producing the desired results as when compared to the assuming of mudras that cause the energies to produce natural movements all of their own accord. When we clasp our hands by interlacing our fingers, the thumb at the uppermost, whether right or left indicates which hemisphere of our brain predominates. Psychology tells us that if the right thumb is uppermost it is logic or reason that is predominant within us, or if the left thumb, intuition. The hands play an important role in empowering the mind to function optimally. Since energy radiates from the palms and fingertips, they are often unconsciously utilized as stimulators re-connecting lost or poor links between synapses of brain neurons. In the book Body Magic, an important work on esoteric man, Benjamin Walker describes how the operations of the hands often attempt to improve the mental processes by certain placements: "When the fingertips of the two hands are placed together, a circuit is set up with the brain that is believed to assist thought. People in deep thought will often talk with their fingertips pressed together, as if unconsciously aware of the need to establish such a current to assist their concentration. If a man wishes to recall something he has forgotten, his hand will instinctively touch his forehead to contact with his fingers the source of his thinking." From what has been written thus far, it is evident that hands play a prominent role in everyday life. This can also be seen in the way we have invented all sorts of idioms regarding them. For instance, "lend me a hand," "hands-off," "hand-in-hand," "old-hand," "hands-on," etc. The Application of Hands in the Spiritual Path In the Spiritual Path hands are used for the following purposes: As an instrument of healing. As an instrument of blessing and consecration. As an instrument of general service. As an instrument of teaching. As an instrument of purification, invocation, prayer, and communion. ********** As an instrument of healing Chakras, or energy-centers are to be found all over the body. There is a chakra to be found in each palm of the hand. There is likewise a minor chakra at every fingertip. The size, activity, and power of these chakras are dependent upon various factors. One of these is the purity of the subtle channels terminating at those chakra points. These subtle channels or etheric nadis convey the life-force all over the body and may be projected outside of the body through the hand chakras. Healers of various metaphysical traditions make use of the hands to convey healing energy or to break up toxic crystals imbedded in the tissues. Since ancient times Chinese doctors have been diagnosing a person's state of vitality through sensing the strength of the energy radiating from the hands, from the phalanges of the fingers, and the pulse at the wrist. Among the many systems of alternative therapeutics that make use of the hands are acupressure, Shiatsu, Chakra healing, Reiki, Rosicrucian Contact healing, Body Electronics, various forms of massage work, etc. Like Jesus the Christ, every Initiate on the Spiritual Path is essentially a healer, though he may not blatantly proclaim or advertise himself to be one. When circumstances and necessity calls for it he would gladly offer his services to the suffering one, always stressing, however, that it is not he that works, but the "Father " within him. As an instrument of blessing and consecration Metaphysics teaches and proves through various experiments which may be personally verified by skeptics that energy radiates from the hands. This energy may be used to magnetize objects, places, spaces or people for various purposes. The religious term for magnetization is consecration. Blessing is a form of consecration. It refers to the magnetization of a human being rather than an object with a spiritual force. Generally, in the act of consecration or blessing we seek to raise the vibrations or frequency of a person or an object, or to empower it with certain energies that would turn it into a psycho-spiritual generator that would influence its immediate surroundings in a certain way. Thought-forms imbued with mental suggestions and emotional power are often attached to these blessings. Curses operate much in the same way as blessings, they however, bring about negative effects. The curse on Tutankhamen's tomb is a classic example of this. Where people are concern in the act of blessing, the metaphysical practitioner would also seek to clear obstructive or congested energies preventing the person from being aware of or communing with his or her Higher Self. Once this purification is achieved the person would possess a clearer line of communication with his hidden god or genius and acquire a stronger sense of protection, faith, and a constant guidance from the Most High. In the act of blessing or consecration, the hands work in harmony with the power of the spoken word to modify the magnetic-field structure of people and objects. As an instrument of general service The hands are tools of service and humanitarian aid. Spiritually and socially, it is applied in extending a helping hand to our fellow beings, to those in need of bare necessities, comfort and solace. In spiritual teachings, karma yoga is often associated with the hands in active giving without any thought of remuneration or recognition. This is a vital principle. The desire to serve humanity must come from the heart without any thought of self or ego. Selflessness, self-sacrifice, and active service are important virtues that the spiritual aspirant has to embody and express at every breathing moment. When self-comfort, self-importance, and self-aggrandizement are the sole motives of help to others then the hands are misapplied and any act carried-out is unmeritorious. Spiritual disciples should not attract attention to the fact that they are serving. The best service is done quietly in the shadows without any fanfare or advertisements. The Master Jesus explained it concisely in this manner: "Do not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing." Occultly, the left hand is used for receiving energies, while the right hand is employed for giving them. As an instrument of teaching Spiritual Gurus teach in various ways. They give teachings orally, in writing, telepathically, through example, symbols, drama, and by the use of gestures. The hands can convey lots of information when knowledgeably used. Symbolic movements of the hands may portray the workings of Cosmic laws and spiritual principles. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes the hands may tell what the mouth cannot. A loving touch tells something that words are often unequipped to. In Zen Buddhism, the Guru often gives shock treatments to his students with the use of the hands. A rap on the head or a slap on the face at the appropriate moment and psychological condition after intense meditation is supposed to cause a student to suddenly apperceive the natural state of his mind and thereby become enlighten. As an instrument of purification, invocation, prayer and communion Perhaps the most common use of hands in religious and in metaphysical spiritual work is its application in prayer. Basically, this does not require any specialized knowledge. The hands are instinctively used when appealing to God, to higher intelligences for intercession or when used simply as gestures of adoration or reverence, just as we instinctively scratch our foreheads or pull our beards when we seek to arouse our mental powers. The hands may be clasped, outstretched or assumed in any other way that the heart dictates while in silent prayer. Esoteric teachings, however, teaches various mudras, or hand gestures that have specific purposes for the invocation of cosmic forces and spiritual beings. The liturgical formula "The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Amen" in the Christian Tradition accompanied with the touching of the appropriate points of the head and body at the conclusion of a prayer conveys a certain power to the etheric body when correctly done. However, the perfunctory manner in which it is performed provides very little of worth. In Hinduism, such placing of the hands upon certain parts of the body with magical intent is called Nyasa. To commune with the divinity within us we may apply various mudras that facilitates mystical communion. Mudras establishes a psychic condition in the mind and body that temporary elevates our consciousness, and disperses the etheric webs that protects the psyche from being prematurely bombarded by psychic/celestial energies. It aligns and unites our objective consciousness with the superconscious mind. An altered state of consciousness is easily achieved through the use of the hands in the performing of mudras. Through mudras our communion with the so-called supernatural is controlled. We open and close the portals to higher worlds through the application of our will. In ceremonial magick the hands are extensively used to direct and build up forces in one's sacred place of worship and practice. Symbols are drawn on the ground or in the air with the power radiating from the hands and chakras to invoke and evoke cosmic metaphysical forces. The avatar Sai Baba is often seen making gestures in the air. He does this for the purpose of dispersing and cleansing the ambient surroundings and atmosphere from negative energies. The metaphysical practitioner or ceremonial magician makes use of the hands in manifesting certain things and conditions. To conclude this article we would like to praise the hands for what they offer us--the opportunity to grow and serve. The fingers and thumbs of the hands should not quarrel among themselves as to who is the greatest, as related in some ancient fables, for they all have their place in supporting the need in us to further pursue our dreams, in fulfilling our earthly tasks and cosmic mission. The harmonious conjoined functioning of the fingers and thumbs of the hands is a metaphor for the right relationship and cooperation between the sons of men to manifest the Will of God, just as the fingers and hands manifests the will of its possessor. The noblest use of our hands is to extend it in friendship, in kindness and in unconditional love. Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    Mudras hand symbolism hand symbolism beliefs part 1

     

    Human hands have never lost their fascination to our ancient forefathers, and even now in contemporary times, the novel roles that hands play in the humanities with their dexterity and grace never cease to amaze us. The wondrous execution of a Chopin piece, or an objet d' art fabricated carefully by a master hand--they constantly evoke a sense of joy and wonder within us. The Spirit within us responds positively to the beauty, the harmony, and the symmetry of sound and form as manifested by Nature and human hands. God's gift to man is the freedom of choice and the will to implement that choice. On the physical plane, the hands are naturally the instruments of that will and divine blessing and have come to symbolize Man, or Adam; for only beings on the evolutionary level of man are given the prerogative to determine their own fate. It is said that not even angels have this freedom to choose, for their nature compels them to abide by the divine law. Man on the other hand, through choice, learns what it means to align himself with, or to disobey Cosmic laws. Man learns the consequences of his actions, and wise is he who takes responsibility for them. Through choice man succumbs to his lower nature and builds pandemonium in his mind and heart or he may give ear to the prompting of his divine Self and form the New Jerusalem--the new abode of peace in the lower aspects of his microcosm that this condition may become ingrained in his character and nature. By choosing the latter, the teaching of the Master Jesus--"Neither shall they say, lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke:17:21)--shall come to pass. God, Nature, and the higher worlds communicate with Man in various ways--through dreams, through the intuitive and psychic faculties, through symbiotic energy exchange, signs, omens, and especially symbols. Basically, symbols may be classified as natural and artificial. Natural symbols are found in nature. Artificial symbols are those that we invent ourselves and assign certain basic meanings to them. Certain occult symbols--of the natural and artificial types--are known to Adepts and the multitude of beings in the spirit world. Most of these symbols have their origin in archetypal realms in the mental planes. Utilizing these in metaphysical or magickal ceremonies, rites and rituals, facilitates communication and the synergy between habitants of worlds and realms. Objects of nature are outward symbols of inner realities within our psyche. Understand one and we will eventually understand the other. Master the inner realities and the outward symbols assume a congenial expression to correspond with the inner psychological condition. Since our hands are related to the will aspect of the Spirit, empowering one will have its effects on the other. We will not delve too deeply into this for it will take us too far into the Magical Tradition and beyond the subject matter of this article. Suffice to say that contrary to the understanding of most metaphysical students, Masterhood or adeptship has very little to do with psychicism and much to do with the magick of the divine will within man--the will to love, the will to serve, the will to sacrifice, the will to self-forgetfulness, the will to selflessness, the will to give, the will to create, the will to surrender, the will to be pure, the will to forgive, the will to be open-minded, the will not to be judgmental, etc.--most important of all, the will to implement the promptings of the Divine Spark within the microcosm. Our hands should not be undervalued. Without them we are less effective in carrying-out our mission in life. In the higher worlds we express our creativity through thought--mind-generated sounds, colors, and light. All of these occur instantaneously with thought as the creator. Because of the density of physical matter and the factor of time, something other than the above means are required to fashion things in concordance to our desire and thus assist us to fulfill our purpose for being incarnated in the three-dimensional realm. Our hands are a projection of this need. In the higher worlds, our subtle bodies in their primitive state did not possess hands, and even though now that the astral and etheric bodies have evolved and assumed the human form, the incorporeal limbs may be dispensed with for they are not essential for us to function in the higher dimensions. Having stated the importance of hands here in the physical plane, let us now inquire briefly into hand esotericism, symbolism, signs and the various beliefs regarding them. Though our treatment of the subject here leaves much to be desired, the metaphysical student will find many things here of great interest and they would certainly be stimulated to research further. Because of their importance, many beliefs grew concerning the hands. Countless symbols and signs were created using the hands to convey knowledge and information to those who understood the underlying keys of the secret teachings taught in esoteric schools. In religion, hands symbolize the divine presence, influence and power. In Catholicism, the power and influence of God is often portrayed in medieval paintings and murals as an almighty hand issuing from the clouds to convey something of spiritual importance to saints and prophets. Actually, the "All-Powerful Hand" has its origin in ancient Egypt. The monotheistic Pharaoh, Akhenaton (1379-1362 B. C.) and Queen Nefertiti of the 18th dynasty are often depicted in sculpture relief as receiving energy from Aton, who is represented by a sun-disk. This can be seen in the tombs at Tel-el-Amarna. Rays of the sun-disk are portrayed as elongated arms terminating in hands reaching out to the royal couple and bestowing upon them the life-force. The mystical Qabbalistic tradition of Judaism assigns the human hand as the symbol of the letter Yod (y). Having the numerical value of ten, which relates to the ten fingers, the letter Yod is recurrently depicted in esoteric art as "rain drops" showering from heaven. Example of these may be seen in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. Modern Catholics present the hand of Jesus as the Hand of Power or "Mano Poderosa." In the depiction of the crucified hand, all of the fingers are extended with various saints standing upon the digits. We present a version of the hand here with a scholar's commentary: "The image is of a huge wounded (but not bleeding) right hand, which points up through clouds, cut palm toward us. The lines in the palm are shown, and it looks like the head line is cut. The fingers are all of eerily uniform length, with a long thin thumb. Small, disembodied, winged cherub-heads float in the sky above the hand. "To the left and right of the hand are four kneeling female angels who gaze upward and bear the tools of the crucifixion. Of the two on the left, one holds a bowl to catch Jesus' blood; the other holds a spear and vinegar sop in one hand and hammer and nails in the other. Of the two on the right, one holds a cross and the other a crown of thorns. "Atop clouds on the little finger stands an older male saint with a book. The ring finger's clouds hold a female saint; the middle finger's, a younger male saint with a white lily; the forefinger's, the Virgin Mary; and the deformed thumb's clouds bear the toddler Jesus holding a globe in his right hand and raising his left." From the above we may surmise that not only are hands the symbol of Man, they are also the symbol of divinity, for the sacred hand of the Divine One have its influence upon the mundane affairs of humanity when men have gone too far astray from the path of Truth and righteousness. Scriptures are replete with stories of divine intervention or action with materialized hands as a media of information conveyance or operation. Not only did the hand of God "inscribe" the Ten Commandments upon the stone tablets prepared by Moses, it also warned Belshazzar of his impending doom--a spirit hand materialized and wrote on the wall "Mene, Mene Tekel, U-pharsin" (Daniel 5: 24-25). From a metaphysical point of view, this is not unusual. Such manifestations are actually the work of what is called in occultism, "Invisible Helpers." These are initiates with occult and paranormal abilities working on behalf of humanity. They work on the higher dimensions in their nightly excursions through "astral projection." Some of the higher initiates have the ability to materialize their hands or other parts of their body so that they may function directly on the physical sphere aiding those here who are in dire distress or as in the case above, as a warning to arrogant, tyrannical rulers. The ancients attached special occult significance to every part of the human body. The symbolism of the human hand alone may fill several volumes. Symbols may signify abstract or concrete concepts, imaginative or real events, natural or "supernatural" phenomena, spiritual or material principles. In what we have found, the ancient sages and philosophers made used of the hands to portray and symbolize many things of worth to the evolving soul. They taught many things using the hands as similitude, allegories, analogies, and examples. The left and right hands were often represented for the many polarities that we find and experience in life. For instance, hot/cold, high/low, darkness/light, etc. The left hand was often associated with the negative aspects of life, the right with the positive. In the Christian scriptures the Master Jesus instructed us to prevent the left hand from knowing what the right hand is doing; or in other words to be detached from the good that we do without craving for rewards. Jesus' analogy of the hand, though, has various levels of meaning other than the one cited above. The ancient sages observed that generally, the right hand was the active one in comparison with the left. Whole philosophies grew from this simple consideration alone. The right hand is electric and is associated with activity; the left hand is magnetic and related to passivity. Gaskell explains this in another way, he says that hands are a, "symbol of the directive principle of activity either outgoing (right) or incoming (left). The positive and negative aspects of Divine action in the soul." Hands are a prominent feature in Judeo-Christian symbolism. In Judaic mysticism, the ten fingers of the hand represent the Ten Commandments of the spiritual law just as the ten toes of the feet represent the Ten Commandments of the physical law. In Esoteric Christianity, the thumb with its three phalanges symbolizes the threefold divinity or the Holy Trinity--the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, or the creative, preservative and destructive aspects of God, from the point of view of Hinduism. Since most religions and philosophies have their trinities what applies in Christianity regarding its symbolism likewise applies to the rest as well. We might add that hands raised upward as in prayer, is symbolic of one's aspirations towards the spiritual life. According to Christian Qaballistic thought, the fingers signify the four elements and the 3 phalanges of each finger the divisions of the elements: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. The 12 phalanges of the fingers of each hand when brought together represent the 24 Elders. The 6 phalanges of the thumb in this context signify the six days of creation. In hand esotericism, the thumb is regarded as the king. Hindu metaphysics teaches that the thumb signifies the Paramatma, or the spark of the Universal Soul within the microcosm, and the rest of the fingers symbolizing the other major components of the microcosm. Anthropologists consider the development of the thumb as a vital evolutionary step in the perfection of man's anatomy. The thumb is to the hand what the hand is to the brain. It is the function of the thumb in hand mechanics that allows for cultural and technological development. Classical Romans and Greeks regarded the thumb as sacred to Venus or Aphrodite, attributing to it a phallic significance. Thus, it came to symbolize fertility. The traditional Javanese of Indonesia would never point with the forefinger as it is considered impolite to do so (the writer found this rather amusing as a child); the thumb is used instead thus implicitly revealing its sacred and royal nature. The thumb is all-important in palmistry, especially in Chinese cheiromancy. According to Oriental palmists, with the thumb alone it is possible to tell the predisposition of a person, his character, future, and state of health. The quality of a subject's chi, or energy is revealed by the size, color, and other characteristics of the thumb. The dimension of the thumb is an indicator of a person's will-expression. A large thumb reveals great strength of character and practicality; in contrast, a small thumb denotes weakness, and lack of willpower. The three segments of the thumb disclose certain qualities. The size of the first phalange or top segment shows whether a subject has good willpower, personal determination and other leadership qualities; the second or middle phalange, shows logic, judgement and reason; the third segment, which includes the "ball of the thumb," called "the Mount of Venus" in palmistry, shows the strength of a subject's passion and ability to love. One's karmic potential may be seen in the thumb as well as the state of one's relationship to the environmental surroundings. The thumb is a symbol of power and as such it is the one used in anointing rites in the Christian churches. Habitually hiding the thumb in a closed fist indicates a defensive, introverted, disturbed and insecure person. Sucking the thumb is an infantile gesture. Psychologically speaking, the thumb is related to the superconsciousness. Apart from the thumb, in palmistry, the fingers signify various strength or weakness of one's character according to their size and shape. Generally, long fingers belong to the philosopher and the intuitive person. It also shows that the subject is painstaking and loves detail. Fingers that are excessive in length indicate cowardice, cruelty, and a servile attitude. "Spider-fingers," or hands with extra-long fingers and with amazing flexibility is the condition known as "arachnodactyly," or the "Marfan syndrome" which was named after the French paediatrician, Antonin Marfan (d.1896). Such fingers are possible signs of various diseases present in the physical body such as tuberculosis, paralysis, and cardiac problems. Short fingers in contrast to long ones reveal alertness, impatience, and bluntness. Fingers with spatulate tips indicate practicality and realistic attitudes. Individuals with square tips love system, routine, and regularity. Conic, or tapering tips shows impulsiveness, idealism, intuition, and the love of art. The index finger or forefinger was regarded as venomous in bygone days. Even in present times it is rude to point especially with this finger. When using the japa mala, tasbih, or rosary to count beads while chanting mantras and prayers, the forefinger should never be used for it is normally applied for mundane purposes and therefore, not considered sacred. The planet Jupiter is represented by this index finger. Psychologically, it is related to the conscious mind. The middle finger is known by various names: medius, digitus impudictus (immodest finger), digitus obscenus (obscene finger), digitus infamis (disreputable finger), and fools's finger. It is a finger normally not used for wearing rings and is the finger of the planet Saturn. When extended solitarily while the other fingers folded, the middle finger represents the phallus, like the thumb. The folded fingers in this pose represent the testicles. It is often regarded as an obscene gesture. This finger of Saturn symbolizes the borderline state between consciousness and the unconsciousness. The ring finger (anularis) is often called medio proximus (next to the middle) and also digitus medicus, "physician's finger". In past ages it was believed to be the healing finger and was used for various medical purposes. Wounds were supposed to heal quickly when stroked by this finger. Apothecaries of medieval days used the ring finger to mix their potions, and ointments were rubbed on the skin using it. Rings were especially used on this finger thus giving it its name. Apollo, or the Sun is the ruling deity of the ring finger. This digit represents the emotions. The little finger, otherwise known as the "ear finger," is related to one's libido, one's sexual force. Though a convenient instrument to clean one's ear with, it was named "ear finger" because it had the power to stimulate one's psychic sense of hearing by its insertion into the ear-canal in conjunction with chanting, breathing and visualization exercises. This was especially practiced by the Druids and those connected with the Mystery Schools. In seances, the little finger is used as a point of contact between sitters, forming a vortex of energy among them. The little finger represents the planet Mercury and the unconsciousness. According to Chinese palmistry, the three phalanges of the fingers relate to three animalistic qualities. The first phalange closes to the palm represents greed; the middle phalange, hatred; the phalange at the uppermost, ignorance. In pictorial terms, these three vices are symbolized by the cock, the snake, and the pig. The spiritual opposites and antidotes to these negative qualities as taught in Taoist philosophy are non-attachment, wisdom, and compassion. The elements are represented by the thumb and fingers. In Chinese cheiromancy, the thumb represents chi; the index finger, water; middle finger, earth; ring finger, fire, and the little finger, air. In Mudra Vigyan, the arrangement is quite different as we shall see later. The papillary ridges on the fingertips with its manifold patterns have intrigued man since recorded history. Many believe that the labyrinthine drawings and carvings found in caves, in ancient catacombs and tombs were marks representing the identity of its possessor, in the same way that fingerprints serve to identify us in our own era--it represented a person almost like a signature. It is assumed by some that these engravings or tracings function in an occult way making it possible for one to invoke from another plane of existence the bearer with a mark similar to the one represented in concrete form. In later periods this practice may have evolved to the use of spirit sigils and seals in ceremonial magick. Rings are often worn on fingers to strengthen certain elements lacking in the physical, emotional, and mental bodies. Oft times we unconsciously feel a certain element wanting in our psychological and physical constitution and we seek to ameliorate this condition by stressing the importance of the finger that represents the element in question with an ornament. The degree of insufficiency is indicated by the size of the finger ornament. We have personally seen subjects wearing huge stones on almost all of their fingers. Fears and insecurities were apparent in their mien and facial expressions. There are many so-called superstitions related to hands. According to one old belief found in European countries, is that the severed hand of a murderer may be used as a charm for gaining money and breaking entry into houses. This gruesome hand-charm is commonly known as the "Hand of Glory." A careful preparation is required to form the charm. After removing the fluid matter from the hand, it is salted and dehydrated; the fat is likewise extracted and mixed with wax; the hand and concoction are then formed into a candle--after which it is ready for its nocturnal excursion. Supposedly, it has the power to open up locks and bolted doors. It is believed to have a hypnotic effect causing anyone to see it to be petrified--like the mythological Medusa's head--and to consequently, obey its bearer. Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    Mudras hand symbolism hand symbolism beliefs part 2

     

    [Note: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our website] According to its votaries, the hand of the crucified Jesus is believed to possess occult virtues. When worn as an amulet it is said to be an all-round good-luck charm. Prayers are said in conjunction with its presence on one's person. One prayer associated with this particular amulet is as follows: "I carry a likeness of your pierced hand as a fervent symbol of your infinite kindness. Thou who has known such suffering, reach out your hand with a blessing. Thy pierced hand inspires this humble prayer that I may call on Thee to grant me peace and happiness. Amen." Generally, charms in the form of hands, and in any pose--whether made of metal, stone, or inscribed--were often carried to ward off the "Evil Eye," or the ietattura as it is called in Southern Italy, or ain al-hasad, the "Eye of Envy," by the Arabs. The ancient Sumerians referred to it as IG-HUL, "Eye Evil." The Evil Eye is an ancient belief and not without any metaphysical substantiation. From the metaphysical point of view, eyes radiates energy and the quality of this force is tainted by the will and character of its emanator. Like all forces, the power flowing from the eyes may bless or curse others. There are many examples of amulets with a single eye on the palm of the hand. It is believed that this attracts the Evil Eye in accord with the Law of Attraction and absorbs its malevolent influences. In order to counteract the malignant rays emanating from the eyes of negative individuals, the Hamsa Hand, or the Hand of Fatima charm was invented by the Arabs to re-direct these individuals' willful attention and malefic glances. Fatima was the daughter of the Prophet Muhammed and Khadijah. She was said to be a very virtuous woman, and it is believed that the charms representing her embody all of her solid virtues and would protect and bring good fortune to its bearer. The fingers of the Hand of Fatima symbolically represent the five pillars of Islam: 1) observance of the Ramadhan fast; 2) pilgrimage to Mecca; 3) alms-giving; 4) observance of the daily prayers; 5) profession of faith. The right hand is used to symbolize the Hand of Fatima, for it is the hand of honor, in contradistinction to the left, which is the "unclean hand." In most Eastern cultures it is considered rude and inappropriate to give things with the left hand. Like the Arabs, the ancient Egyptians used a symbol called "the Great Hand" for various protective purposes, one of which is to ward off evil magnetism. Most hand amulets appear with a single eye on the palm. There are instances of this in various cultures. Amulets were not of value only to the living, but to the "dead" as well. In ancient Egypt, an amulet called dejebaui, or "two-fingers" were often placed among a mummy's swathings to help the deceased one to ascend and ride on the boat of Ra to the afterlife. This amulet depicted the index and middle fingers and was usually made out of black basalt, green stone, or obsidian. During the enunciation of a pledge the right hand is often raised in the air. This originated in ancient customs where the raising of the hands were used to invoke the presence of the gods. Raising the right hand while making a pledge is therefore, tantamount to saying, "In the name of God . . ." Another version is to place the right hand on a holy book while uttering an oath. The significance is similar to the above. In the West, many hand-signs have been made popular with its constant use throughout the centuries. For instance we have the V-sign with the index and middle finger raised while the others flexed and clasped by the thumb. This signified victory and triumph. Similar to this is the Mano Cornuto, where only the index and little finger are raised, and the rest folded onto the palms. This represents horns, the devil, and the powers of evil. In the Orient, though, this sign is said to have the power to ward off demons. Kuan Yin is often depicted with this mudra. The Hung Society of China uses it as a sign of membership and also to signify "Man," who embodies both Heaven and Earth. In Italian witchcraft, the Mano Cornuto represents the crescent moon of the goddess Diana. Another prominent hand sign is the Mano Fica, or figa, the sign of coitus where the thumb protrudes between the first and second fingers of the closed hand. It is of ancient origin The Romans and Etruscans were well familiar with this sign having made images of it. Lika Mano Cornuto, the latter sign is a popular amulet against negative forces. Crossing the index finger with the middle finger also has a sexual significance. It symbolizes the generation of life and by association a good outcome in one's hopeful expectations, in one's enterprise possessing an ambiguous upshot. Another sexual gesture much more explicit is the repeated insertion and withdrawal of the forefinger of the right hand (the phallus) into a circle formed by the thumb and index finger of the left hand (the vulva). The pose of the left hand in the above gesture is also an "O. K." sign. One of the old superstitions states that the sexual act brings good luck, good fortune, and prosperity. Perhaps because of its connection to fertility rites where the energy aroused and released during sexual ceremonies in open fields is believed to empower crops to grow abundantly. This belief is also one of the reasons why phallic and coital amulets were carried on one's person. Such charms were thought to bring about fortunate circumstances to the wearer. Sexual amulets made out of metal, bone, and wood were very popular in the classical worlds of Greece and the Roman Empire. A hand sign that is mainly used by the sacerdotal priesthood of the Christian Churches, is the Mano Pantea. This is the sign of benediction posed by extending the thumb and first two fingers. The ring and little fingers are folded onto the palms. This mudra can be seen in the various paintings and murals of Jesus, the Saints, and priests. In Latin countries, the Mano Pantea is also often used as an amulet against the "Evil Eye," when thus employed it is normally covered with other protective symbols as reinforcements. An upraised thumb represents the erect phallus and is a sign for life, success, prosperity, and acceptability. In contrast, the downward pointing thumb denotes defeat and is the veto sign of condemnation or the death sentence. The middle finger solitarily extended is one of the obscene gestures vulgarly referred to as, "up yours." It signifies the command to perform an unnatural or perverse sexual act. The famed Buddhist temple, Borobudur in the island of Java was constructed in the form of a mandala--a symbolic diagram of the cosmos. It is built in tiers, and at every level, there are numerous statues of Buddhas sitting in silent meditation. At each point of the compass the contemplative Buddhas assume a certain mudra. Those facing North bear the Abhaya (fearlessness) mudra, while those in the East show the Bhumisparsha (earth-touching) gesture. The Dana (giving) mudra is the hand pose of the Buddhas facing South, and the Dhyana (meditation) mudra of those facing West. Other mudras in the precincts of the temple are also to be found such as the Vitarka (debate) and Dharmachakraprayartana (teaching) gestures. This careful orientation of mudra bearers to compass points is symbolic. It is related to the quaternary principles to be found in the micro - and macrocosmprehensive teachings concerning these may be found in the esoteric aspects of Buddhism and esotericism in general. Symbolic marks or imprints are often found on the palms of statues and icons of Buddhas and Avatars. These marks indicate the power, virtue, or attribute of these God-incarnates. In Hinduism, Shiva appears the most with these hand drawings. Many kinds of marks exist. Several are to be found on just the palms of Gautama (Shakyamuni) Buddha alone. These palmar designs probably originated from the special marks that do physically appear on the palms. Cheiromancy identifies several of these as the square, the grille, the island, the cross or star, etc. Hands were revered by the Hindus for centuries. One of the Shivaic tantrik rituals of India gives the following liturgical adoration to the fingers of the hands: "Om Sham I bow to the thumbs Namah. Om Shim I bow the index fingers Svaha. Om Shum I bow to the middle fingers Vashat. Om Shaim I bow to the ring fingers Hum. Om Shaum I bow to the little fingers Vaushat. Om Shah I bow to the front and back of hands Phat." This chant is accompanied by specific mudras that purifies the subtle channels of the upper limbs. Not only is this ritual practiced in India but variations of it may be found in Bali as well. In the marriage ceremonies and sexual rites of Oriental cultures such as in Tantrism, Yoginis or Shaktis often paint Yantras and other symbolical diagrams on the palms of their hands with henna or red dye. These diagrams normally have intricate floral patterns and are magical and hypnotic. They are used to attract, to mesmerize, and to empower themselves and their sexual partners. In Islamic mysticism, specific gestures are often employed to help produce an altered state of awareness. Dervishes, for instance, pose their hands in specific mudras and hand signs while dancing and whirling around on a single spot. Some Sufi sects would trace the 99 names of God on their bodies with their right hand while engaging in zikir, or recollecting and focusing upon God through constant chanting. In ancient times there were the Mystery Schools that taught to the selected few the laws and secrets of Nature and the Universe. History has recorded numerous of these schools and temples of esoteric knowledge among which were the mysteries of Isis, Sabazius, Cybele, Eleusis, Orpheus, Mithra, Asar-Hapi, and Odin. To state the mission and purpose of these metaphysical institutions we can do no better than to quote the eminent Freemason, Robert Macoy: "It appears that all the perfection of civilization, and all the advancement made in philosophy, sciences, and art among the ancients are due to those institutions which, under the veil of mystery, sought to illuminate the sublimest truths of religion, morality, and virtue, and impress them on the heart of the disciples. Their chief object was to teach the doctrine of one God, the resurrection of man to the eternal life, the dignity of the human soul, and to lead the people to see the shadow of the deity, in the beauty, magnificence, and splendor of the universe." Within some of these Mystery schools, when the candidate is first initiated and accepted as a neophyte, he or she is often given an effigy of a human hand filled with symbolic images to contemplate. This hand is referred to as the Hand of the Philosopher, or the Hand of the Mysteries. When these symbols are understood, they provide the neophyte the keys to facilitate the transformation of their lower nature into divinity--from man to god. Regeneration, transmutation, and empowerment are the consequence of the application of the laws and principles that these ancient symbols represent. Among the many secrets that they portray, they teach how one may commune with one's Holy Guardian Angel, or one's Higher Self. The practitioner of the secrets of the Mysteries undergo a rebirth as a result of the growing influence and expression of the Higher Self in everyday consciousness. The Philosopher's Hand may be regarded as an alchemical manual taking the conscientious student step by step through the alchemical process. In Freemasonry, the Hand of the Mysteries is known as the hand of the Master Mason. In some Masonic groups, this is the title for the highest of the three degrees to be found in the hoary and august fraternity. In this article we have included three examples of these symbolical hands. The first illustration shown is a bronze hand to be found in the British Museum. This specimen in the Mano Pantea gesture, is covered with several important symbols among which are : a ram's head, serpent, frog, vase, crocodile, turtle, cornucopia, scales, woman with child, table with loaves of bread, and a cane. It is supposed to be Egyptian in origin. The second hand is a painting redrawn by J. Augustus Knapp from an 18th century water color, and is taken from Manly Hall's "Secret Teachings of All Ages"; it was executed with the alchemical process in mind. In this illustration there is a figure of a fish which symbolizes mercury--the principle of the Spirit within the microcosm. This aquatic creature is surrounded by the element of fire that represents the psychological aspect of man, or the human soul. The rest of the fingers individually refer to the various steps of the spiritual path of transmutation of the base nature of man into the resplendent gold of divinity. Kaballistically, the hand shows the mastership of the crowned thumb (the Will) over the four worlds represented by the fingers. These four worlds are referred to as Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiah, or the World of Archetypes, the World of Creation, the World of Formation, and the World of Manifestation. Atop of the fingertips in Knapp's illustration are symbols representing the various components of the microcosm: the lantern, the Concrete Mind; the Sun, the Abstract Mind; the Star, Buddhi; the Crown, Atma. The little finger holds aloft a philosophical key, which reveals the secrets of the Mysteries. It also symbolizes the etheric body, which is considered by Western Initiates as the key to occult development. The wings surrounding the hand is a sign for transcendentalism--the things of the Spirit as opposed to matter. The eyes, on the other hand, indicate the divine aspect of omniscience unfolded in the Master Mason after having discovered and applied the "Lost Word." Hindu versions of the Hand of the Mysteries are diagrams known as Hastakara Yantra. Like their Western counterpart, these hands have various symbolic images depicted on them. Among other things they illustrate the relationship between man and the cosmic forces. Like Hindu yoga, in Feng Shui, or Chinese geomancy, there are 5 elements: Water, Wood, Earth, Fire, and Metal. In Chinese palmistry the little finger is associated with air, the ring finger with fire, the middle finger with earth, the forefinger with water, and the thumb with chi or metal as mentioned before. This system differs from the Hindu yogic mudra tradition. First of all, in yoga philosophy the fifth element is akasha or space, which although correspond to chi, does not relate to metal at all. According to mudra teachings, Angutha or the thumb corresponds to fire, Tarjani or the forefinger to air, Madhyam or the middle finger to akasha, Anamika or the ring finger to earth and Kanishthika, or the little finger to water. In this work on mudras, we will stress more on the Hindu yogic assignment of the elements to the fingers and thumb. The application of elemental mudras in conjunction with the elemental tattvic tides is a great tool in elemental magick. Hand Signs in Religious Art Hand signs are an essential part of life. They are used to convey silently but powerfully the intention and thoughts of their user. Humanity has for ages utilized sign languages. It originated at a period of Man's evolution when he was incapable of communicating his abstract and concrete thoughts with words and phrases lingually. He was solely dependent upon gesticulations as a media for expressing his feelings and passions. This primitive form of communication is still being used by modern man in certain situations and expediency. Not surprisingly, the intelligent classes of anthropoids also make use of hand-sign movements such as the beating of the chest in expressing anger or authority. The fictitious Tarzan could not resist aping this gesture from his Darwinian guardians. Certain specific hand signs are to be found all over the world. Many cultures preceding and succeeding the Christian era share common gestures that express particular concepts. It has been suggested that these gestures all have comparable basic ideas or significance because of their appearances in similar contexts. This is known through their repeated portrayal in the many paintings, sculptures, and drawings of the past available for our scrutiny and study. Mediaeval Christian art of saints, prophets, and the Holy Trinity, and the gods and devas of Egypt, India and the South American Indians are often depicted with similar hand positions. Contemporarily, we find school children perpetuating certain traditional signs that have their origin in religion and pagan practices. For instance, crossing the fingers as a sort of prayer so that they may be free from chastisement when interrogated of their wrong behavior--this may be a corrupted form of the ecclesiastical use of the Sign of Benediction. There are many professions that make use of signs only known to their members or affiliates. For instance, merchants, masons, tramps, gamblers, prostitutes--all have signs known only to themselves with which they signal one another. Because of the profuse use of signs and gestures by the Italians in their everyday life, anthropologists believe that these descendents of Romulus and Remus are not able to carry out a satisfactory conversation if they were prevented the use of gesticulation. Occultists believe that most gestures or hand signs that are found in religion and in society have a common origin in the prevalent Mystery Schools of the past where they were used in a ceremonial setting. Modern Freemasonry as one of the many descendents of these Occult Temples of Wisdom and Knowledge still perpetuates this custom of hand signs in their initiatory rites. Like the Freemasons, secret societies in the Orient also have ceremonies where esoteric signs are employed. One of the secret associations of China, the Hung Society, have certain signs and gestures with which communication is carried-out among the affiliated members--not only in the ceremonies but in everyday life as well. The aforementioned society, likewise, have plentiful mudras or signs representing the principles of their philosophy. In its doctrines, the five elements of Taoist esotericism are signified by poses that are also to be found elsewhere around the globe. The mystical Dervishes, established by the Sufi Rumi, apply hand signs for occult purposes. They invoke the Divine Presence by utilizing these signs that corresponds with the 99 names of God in their dance rituals, as already alluded to previously. Artists of all ages have secret codes and teachings with which they unveil in their artwork. In archaic times it was a dangerous matter to openly publicize occult and spiritual teachings that religions steeped in fundamentalism were dramatically opposed to for these teachings threatened their political structure and lessen their value in the eyes of an evolving humanity. It is for this reason that the Mystery and metaphysical schools established by the ancient sages went underground and operated clandestinely. They promulgated their teachings through signs and symbols that acted on one level as their calling card. Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    Mudras hand symbolism hand symbolism beliefs part 3

     

    [Note: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our website] As a support for our statement above, we might mention the Tarot cards as an example. These esoteric cards nowadays degraded to a method of divination, was actually a training manual for the promotion of one's spiritual and divine expression in the world of matter. The pictorial diagrams of the Major and Minor Arcana holds secrets that the casual operator of the cards are unaware of. When properly understood the Tarot cards take us step by step to our goal of human perfection through the alchemical process. Having gone underground the Initiates of the Mystery Schools were quick to appropriate the popular religions to embody their secret doctrines and practices. Not only are satanic elements quick to jump on the bandwagon of spiritual establishments, angelic forces are adept in letting the Dark Ones think that they have the upper-hand while in the meantime reorganizing their army and infiltrating stealth-like into their religious camp upsurped from the Light forces. Like Dante, angelic consciousness wrote books of their spiritual wisdom using Christian imagery; or painters like the multi-genius Leonardo Da Vinci, who represented important occult precepts in his artwork using Christian themes. Music composers too, cleverly inserted mystical formulas and teachings into their symphonies, concertos, operas and sonatas. As an example, the musical piece, "The Magic Flute" of Mozart comes to mind. However, what is relevant here is that occult signs are portrayed profusely, graphically in art, and we would do well to focus on that. Above we mentioned Da Vinci who conveyed teachings in his art productions. There were many others, like Albrecht Durer, Fra. Angelico, and Raphael. The signs that these artists and many others around the world for countless generations represented in their paintings and drawings were related to the secrets of initiation and the process of spiritual development where human genius, I. Q., creativity, morality, and holiness were raised to a sublime degree. The ancient Greeks, Chinese, Hindus and many other cultures and civilizations all had their initiates who were highly developed mentally, morally, and spiritually--these men and women were well beyond their time and the lay people viewed them as demi-gods and apotheosized them. The artists and artisans of the secret Mystery schools made used of almost every material available for conveying the metaphysical doctrines of the Ancient Wisdom, such as papyri, stone, bronze, terracotta, clay, mosaics, ivory, enamels, stained glass, gems, crystals, cloth, wood, canvas, tiles, leather, etc. The most prominent feature of the art productions of the Initiates of the Mystery Schools were the hand signs and this was known as the Ancient Sign Language which was transmitted from Age to Age, culture to culture. J. S.M. Ward made a thorough study of this secret sign language and in his book, "The Sign Language of the Mysteries," he identifies several of these hand signs and gestures to be found mostly in Christian art although by no means limited to Christendom. In his book Ward offers many instances of each sign. He explains that these hand poses are to be found all over Europe, Africa, Asia, India, Oceania, the Americas, ancient Crete, Polynesia, Babylonia, etc., in short, all over the world. Among the hand signs that he discusses are: Sign of Preservation Sign of Faith Sign of Distress/Surrender Sign of Death Sign of Praise Sign of the Heart Sign of Prayer Sign of Benediction or Blessing Sign of Secrecy Sign of Destruction Sign of Exultation Sign of Reverence Sign of Horror Sign or Resignation Sign of Sacrifice Sign of Heaven and Earth Sign of Despair/Regret Sign of Preservation There are many variations of this sign. Basically, it is posed by placing one hand over the heart and raising the other at an angle at the elbow with the hand pointing upwards. In some forms, it is the index finger that points skyward. In most depictions of this sign it is the left hand rather than the right that is raised. There are numerous instances of this pose in Egyptian art. The Egyptologist, E. A. Wallis Budge, interprets the hieroglyph with this sign as Hen, or "praise." The god Anubis is often represented with this hand posture, and murals in the palaces and tombs of the pharaohs often illustrate votaries of Ra with this significant gesture. This sign is also found in the Minoan and Mycenaen civilizations. In Christian art, Jesus is often portrayed assuming many occult hand signs, among these is the Sign of Preservation. The sun god Damuzi of the Babylonians while descending into the underworld likewise bears this sign, as depicted on certain objects. In his book mentioned previously, J. S.M. Ward tells of a Roman sarcophagus in the Bardo Museum, Tunis, showing the emergence of Jonah from the whale that swallowed him for three days, and making the Sign of Preservation--in effect, indicating that his life was saved. Among the mystical Islamic sects, the Whirling Dervishes appropriate the use of this important hand pose in their ceremonial rites and practices. In archaic times, the Sign of Preservation was adopted by those petitioning the deity for the preservation of oneself or someone else, and with the strong conviction that the request was granted. In contradistinction to this, it was also employed by those of high spiritual attainment assuring others of their salvation. In Christianity it is often associated with the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Sign of Faith This sign resembles the Sign of Preservation with the exception that the hand pointing upwards is not squared at an angle and not pointing to the sky. It points outwards away from the body. Like the above sign, many examples of these are to be found distributed all over the world. Sign of Distress/Surrender When the two hands are lifted upwards above the head with the elbows bent--this is known as the Sign of Distress. This is one of those universal hand signs, and it seems almost human nature to fling the hands into the air when in despair or when faced with overwhelming pressure as a sign of psychological turmoil and the "giving-in" to a certain situation, or when feeling helpless. Therefore, it is not surprising when we find the use of this sign all around the globe as depicted in artistic works, and experientially in everyday life. This sign is an appeal for aid and is universal like many of the other signs mentioned in this section. Its use can be traced as early as 3,000 B. C. Quetzalcoatl, one of the gods of the Mayans, is sometimes depicted with this hand pose. Sign of Death This hand sign is related to the throat chakra, or psychic center. It consists of placing the hand's edge-whether left or right hand-at the throat. The thumb points directly at the throat itself. It is actually a moving gesture and is effected by moving the hand's edge across the throat as if to cut it. This sign suggests that something is to be terminated or killed, or that it is already dead. The ancient Romans and Egyptians were well familiar with this sign and in some Christian paintings of the crucifixion, the disciple John the Beloved is portrayed with this sign of cutting the throat while standing before the crucified Jesus. Arabs and Sudanese make use of this sign to swear their innocence uttering that God should cut their throats should they be telling a falsehood. Several American Indian tribes employ this sign as a salutation meaning that they are "faithful or true unto death." Sign of Praise This sign is similar to the Sign of Distress except that the hands are not lifted above the head but extended forward in front of the body, inclining upwards with the hands facing outwards and the elbows bent. This is also a greeting sign and the initial start of the salaam gesture of the Arabs. Sign of the Heart This sign is accomplished by placing the hand over the heart. A survival of this gesture in modern times is the bowing of a gentlemen to a lady with his hand to his heart as a salutation of respect, or as it was customary in the 17th and 18th century in Europe, for a man to remove his hat and to place it at the heart region when greeting the opposite sex. This is a hoary sign. It is to be found in ancient Egypt, Rome, and even in Crete in the Minoan period. It is also to be seen in the mosaic art of the many old churches and cathedrals. The meaning of this sign is a little obscure. It has been suggested that it signify faith or fidelity. However, with the placement of the hand at the heart we may make a conjecture and say that it concerns the finer sentiments of a person conveyed to the object of his attention or affection. Sign of Prayer This is probably the best known of ecclesiastical signs which is also used by the lay person. It consists of placing the palms of the hands together with the fingertips pointing in an upward direction. Another Sign of Prayer is the folding of the hands together intertwining the fingers. Sign of Benediction or Blessing In Christianity, this sign is utilized mainly by the priesthood. It is used by priests to bless people and consecrate objects. To assume this sign, the third and fourth fingers are folded onto the palms with the index and middle fingers held upright. The thumb may also be erect or it may be folded upon the ring finger. The significance of the erect thumb and first two fingers in the act of blessing is that the grace, virtue, and power of the Holy Trinity are being conveyed. Occultly, the subtle energies flowing from the hands are stronger at the terminal points of these digits than they are at the ring and little fingers. Sign of Secrecy This is a sign that has survived to contemporary times and can continually be seen in everyday life. It probably originated in Egypt during the heydays of the Mystery Schools. This sign was associated with Horus, or Harpocrates--one of the forms of Horus. This sign is executed by putting a finger to the lips as though to seal it. Its significance is that of secrecy and silence. In the Mystery Schools the Initiates were pledged to a vow of secrecy, never revealing the secrets of the Temple unless authorized to do so. Even nowadays, the following injunction may be found in occult schools: "know, dare, do, and be silent." Sign of Destruction When one or both of the hands are seen on the solar plexus in religious art, it signifies destruction. We can understand the significance of this sign when viewed from a metaphysical point of view. The solar plexus chakra is a storehouse of potent energies that may be used for good or ill. When this center is awakened prematurely in a disciple's life, it may cause problems that the disciple is not equipped as yet to handle. Physical, physiological, and psychological--not to mention karmic difficulties--might arise when a disciple foolishly stimulates this center. The solar plexus chakra is an emotional focus and by being polarized at this level one may have trouble extricating oneself from the lower instinctive and egoistic nature. The disciple may be destroyed by this center and evolutionary progress postponed, thus the hand gesture on the solar plexus came to be associated with destruction. There are numerous examples of the Sign of Destruction in Art. In India, Shiva, the Destroyer is often depicted with this gesture. Many Greek and Christian art-forms also bear personages with this sign. Sign of Exultation This hand pose is a sign of joy and satisfaction; it is done by extending the hands above the head with the fingertips of the hands touching. Though not as numerous as some of the other signs, there are several examples of these in Christian art. In China, the Hung Society uses this sign to represent the metal element. Sign of Reverence Reverence in the sign language of the Mysteries, is indicated by the shading of one's eyes with the hand, whether left or right. In some variations of this sign the eyes are fully covered. This sign originated in cultures where it was impolite to look directly at one's superior; for instance, a soldier would make this sign when saluting a superior officer. Another possible origin of this sign is the experiences had by blessed individuals during angelic visitations. The presence of these spiritual beings compels the beholder to shield their eyes from the angelic radiance. This hand gesture is not unique to any race for it is to be found distributed all over the world--in Ceylon, Australia, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Sign of Horror One of the dramatic signs, the gesture of horror is made by extending the right hand, palm outwards, while the head is turned to the right as though refusing to see something objectionable or frightening. The left hand is this gesture point outwards and in a downward direction as if trying to expel something. Examples of this sign in art may be seen in the Vatican and in the British Museum. Sign or Resignation This sign consists in crossing the arms upon the chest with the fingertips of the right hand on the left shoulder and the fingertips of the left hand on the right shoulders. This gesture is sometimes portrayed with the right hand over the left, but the reverse is regarded as a more proper representation according to tradition. This is another one of those signs that may have originated in the Mystery Schools of Egypt. The god Osiris and the statues representing Egyptian pharaohs are often depicted in this pose by artisans. For some specific reason the Egyptians also buried their dead in this manner, with the hands of the mummy crossed upon their breast. Even the sarcophagi or mummy cases of the deceased bear a pictorial resemblance of them with the same sign. In the Renaissance, artists often depicted Mother Mary with such a hand pose. Like the many hand gestures described herein, the Sign of Resignation generates a certain occult power of which we shall discuss later in an upcoming article when we apply and incorporate the sign in our mudra practices. The occult function of a sign is just as important as its esoteric meaning, perhaps even more so. Sign of Heaven and Earth This sign is executed by extending one hand above the head pointing skywards, and the other extended downwards pointing to the earth. According to Ward, the significance of this sign in Christianity is that someone had descended to Earth and later re-ascended to Heaven. Or alternatively, ascended to Heaven and later descended to Earth. There are numerous examples of this sign in Christian art related to the raising of Lazarus, the descent of Jesus into Hell to save the inhabitants, and Jesus' resurrection. There are many variations of this sign. Sometimes the hand with its open palm pointing upwards has its fingers together; occasionally we find examples where the index finger points upwards while the rest of the fingers folded onto the palm. The British Museum has a collection of Babylonian objects where the Sign of Heaven and Earth may be seen. In Greece, examples of this sign are associated with the Eleusinan Mysteries. Sign of Despair/Regret Regret, despair, and sorrow is indicated by resting the head upon the right hand and the left arm, which is horizontally across the solar plexus, supports the right elbow with its hand. Occasionally, this position is reversed. There does not seem to be any strict rule to this. In paintings with crucifixion themes, the Virgin Mary is often depicted with this hand position. There are examples of this sign of Persian and Greek origins preserved in museums all over the world. Having explained the various hand signs to be found in art it would be appropriate if we were to emphasize that the signs described above are not merely symbolic or gestures without any occult significance. It is not too commonly known that these signs generate certain virtues as they modify, purify, intensify, and empower one's auric energy-structure or one's surroundings in some subtle manner. These signs are mudras with occult values. Mantras, incantations, and liturgies often accompany the signs. Most votaries of religion are unaware that their ceremonies are actually magickal rites and processes that call forth unseen influences. For instance, making the Sign of Preservation by the spiritually evolved occult practitioner, evokes spiritual and angelic forces that protects the person or persons to whom the sign is being directed to. The sign assures the petitioners and recipients that they will be protected and preserved from negative psychic attack. It is instinctive for people to assume specific mental and physical attitudes when interacting with divine forces. We unconsciously feel hand signs and gestures to be efficacious in aiding the establishment of a contact with higher intelligences and requesting their intercession. Hand-signs, or mudras are of great benefit to our well-being. In future articles, therefore, we will apply this mystical science in a practical way that may be practiced by the average person. Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    Mudras hand symbolism mudra power part 1

     

    [Note: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our website] Why practice mudras? Some students on the spiritual path have a faulty understanding concerning mudras. They feel that it is far beneath their dignity and that they no longer require any kriyas or external methods in order to attain enlightenment. They even arrogantly belittle others who incorporate mudras into their spiritual disciplines. Though it may be true that external forms of movement or gestures are not essential, they do offer a great boost of energy and power to maintain and support one's position on the path towards the Light. Individuals who blatantly declare that mudras are not a necessary part of sadhana or spiritual discipline, or who find such practices beneath them for they are presently engage in "higher methods" are those that have not reached the spiritual goal themselves and have not acquired a universal point of view. They seek to fly before they can run, or run before they have learnt to walk properly; or even stand before able to walk gracefully. They remove the rungs on the ladder on which they are standing. They seek to imitate the state of the enlightened ones without undergoing the necessary disciplines to reach that state themselves. May we state emphatically here that we do agree that mudras may not be required by some. It all depends on their present state of awareness, spiritual development, and psychic purity. Nevertheless, may we remind our readers that even high beings such as spiritual avatars, Buddhas, and celestial Bodhisattvas regularly assume mudras to teach, to invoke energies, and to carry out their spiritual tasks. By stating this we would like to point out that mudras may be practiced by anyone, no matter where he or she may stand on the evolutionary path, and with great mundane and supermundane benefit. Benefits of Mudra Practice It would be interesting to note the benefits of mudra practices--the effects that they have on the mind, body, psyche and bio-magnetic fields. Below are just a few worth considering that are directly palpable or perceptible through personal experience: Health I. Q. improvement Empowerment of the Aura Expansion of consciousness Awakening of the three aspects of kundalini Acquisition of siddhis (paranormal powers) Transformation & regeneration of the physical body *********** Health The power of mudras clears the subtle channels and psychic centers in the etheric body allowing life-force to flow unhampered to the organs and all parts of the body. Regeneration and improved health is the result. I. Q. Improvement As the cleansing process takes place in the head, clarity of mind is felt and the mental faculties are considerably enhanced making it possible for the innate soul-intelligence to express itself with greater intensity. Empowerment of the Aura The magnetism produced by the mudras cleanses the bio-magnetic field of the body and empowers it with greater vitality also forming a protective shield against negative forces. Awakening of the three aspects of kundalini The three aspects of kundalini: prana kundalini, chit kundalini, and para kundalini are awakened and stimulated to greater activity. Expansion of Consciousness As a result of the cleansing process and the activation of Shakti in the form of kundalini, one's consciousness is transformed, transcending ordinary awareness. Acquisition of Siddhis In concomitant with the transformation of one's consciousness, certain powers and virtues of the soul would unfold and dormant spiritual senses would arise. Transformation & Regeneration of the Physical Body The overall effect of the constant practice of mudras is the complete transformation and regeneration of the mind-body principle, a spiritual expansion of the consciousness stylized in the Mystery Schools as the "Second Birth" and symbolised by the newly-born phoenix bird that grew out of the ashes of the old. ************ The Theory of Mudras and its Practice Mudras attracts cosmic energy into the microcosm. They arouse the etheric body's latent energy into awakened activity. All of the dormant nerve cells of the brain are vivified and stimulated into action. The functions of the organs of the physical body are optimized. The immunity system is strengthened. The energies that mudras awaken manifests as magnetic and electrical force depending on their form. Like the physical body, the etheric body has its own "nervous" system, or channels conveying prana and other energies of etheric origin. In yoga teachings, these channels are called, "nadi." In Hindu texts the number of nadis are variably given as 72,000 and 350,000, of which 72 nadis are said to be particularly important. Every mudra clears some of these channels from impurities and psychic toxins. There is not one mudra, however, that have the power to cleanse all of them. For this reason the practitioner of mudras incorporate and employ many mudras in his daily routine. There are many components of the psycho-energetic system that mudras affect, not just the nadis. With the power of mudras, the chakras, for instance, are freed from obstructions and congestion; the aura is cleansed of negative effluvia, and the subconscious mind is purged of its negative contents. While practicing certain mudras, especially the types that generate or attract cosmic energies, the hands if clasped together for some time, would break apart and move independently. The practitioner should not be too concerned over this but just go with the flow. The hands break apart for the simple reason that enough power has been collected and that the cleansing or magnetizing processes are now under way. When the body accumulates more power than it can handle, or when it has assimilated enough energy from the incorporeal worlds, the hands would naturally fall out of formation, vibrate and shake in peculiar ways. Aside from the invocation of energies, of communion with divine forces, mudras as mentioned before, also have the power to purify the etheric nervous system and the energy-centers to be found in the etheric body. It cleanses all obstructions and congestion that prevents the free flow of pranic and kundalinic forces through the nadis and the chakras. The etheric or "vital" body as it is sometimes called, is the blueprint and the power house of the physical body. When the interface between these two bodies are affected adversely in some way because of the toxins that we generate through negative thoughts and emotions, and the degenerative substances found in the food that we consume, and likewise uncleared karma and trauma, then the physical body would suffer as a consequence. Ill health and a poor immunity system would result. Substances would crystallize in the tissues and the fluid-networks in the body, giving rise to muscular pain, impaired functioning of the organs, and the ossification of blood vessels which technically is the diseased condition referred to as arteriosclerosis. Certain mudras may heal these maladies. While performing mudras, it is not unusual for the hands, arms, body and head to move on their own accord. The movement patterns that the mudras generate during practice are countless. In fact, just when you thought you have seen them all, a new one appears. Mudra gestures and body motions are kinetic expressions of the elemental forces in the psycho-physical body. The predominating force propels the mudras in a distinctive pattern. Earth energy makes the least movements. When the hands in a mudra pose remain in a single position for long periods is indicative that the earth element is prevailing. The water element moves the hands in large, wide circles or wavy movements. Fire energy causes the hands to move with great force in straight movements and jerks. The elemental force of air is graceful and flowing. Its movement is a combination of curves and straight lines. Most nondescript motions of the hand belong to the Akasha (etheric) element. In Yogic teachings, this subject of elements belongs to the field of Tattva Vidya (Science of the Elements). The directions in which the mudras flow likewise reveal the element in power. Upward movements indicate the influence of air; downward, that of earth; to the right or forward, fire; to the left or to the rear, water. Why do mudras cause the hands and arms to move without any direction or control by the conscious mind? As we clasp our hands in mudra formation we cause energy to build up in the various psychic vortices in our hands, arms, and body. These vortices take on different polarities--positive, negative, and neutral. These emanating centers fluctuate in their polarity and strength in concordance with the currents generated. The resultant magnetic fields of these vortices interact with one another causing the law of attraction and repulsion to take effect. This causes the fascinating motions of the mudras. However, it should be emphasized that even though the conscious mind does not produce the swaying and oscillation of the body appendages, it does have the power to cause the motions to cease. Therefore, there should not be any fear that mudra practices might cause an impairment in the conscious control of one's motor movement. Time and Place for Mudra Practice Mudras may be practiced at any convenient time--at odd moments of the day. However, as a discipline, it would be beneficial to practice mudras in the morning and evenings. Practice mudras prior to meditation, for they are conducive to a more relaxed and deep meditative state. Mudras should be practiced in an isolated place or room, well ventilated, and free from any disturbances and prying eyes. Because of the mystifying movements that the hands make we do not want any outsider to think that we have gone bonkers. How long should each mudra be held? Generally, each mudra is to be positioned for a period of 5-30 minutes. Let your intuition function here. It will tell you when you are ready to stop or continue with a succeeding mudra if required. Sometimes in a practice session, the mudras themselves will tell you when it has done its work and that you may proceed with the next one. This is indicated by mudra movements launching from its position in front of the body or chest and then returning to it to remain still and quiet. Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    Mudras hand symbolism mudra power part 2

     

    [Note: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our website] What Would Occur During Practice? Having described briefly the effects of mudras, their theory and practice, it is important that some knowledge regarding the actual occurrences during practice be known as these might cause some unnecessary alarm and consternation. Below we list some points that are likely to occur during mudras practices and should be understood as a natural result of the generation, accumulation and flow of the Shakti principle: Warm sweat--this is a good sign. It means that the body is undergoing a cleansing and healing process. Swaying and rotation of the body--this shows that the body's attunement with the influx of the invoked energies is taking place. Hands moving and resting at various chakra points--this is the result of energy being channeled into specific parts of the body. Hands moving and resting at various layers of the biofield--this indicates that certain areas of the aura is being cleansed or being magnetized. Hands moving in an up and downward chopping movement--this is one of the signs that the nadis or subtle channels are being opened and unblocked, or that the aura is being cleansed. Hands moving in a forward-backward movement--same as above. Hands moving left to right--same as above. Hands moving in circles or ellipses--same as above. Hands moving in arcs or in figure-eights--same as above. Hands moving erratically or with other definite patterns--same as above. Hands vibrating intensely--same as above. Sudden jerks of the hands--same as above. A strong sense of energy surrounding the hands and body--this is a sign of a build-up of cosmic forces in the body. A sensation of warmth, tingling, and power in various parts of the body--same as above. A sense of tingling, and energy flowing throughout the whole body--this means that the nadi channels have been purified to a certain degree and that energy now flows freely without any obstructions in its path. Movement of the head--a sign that the energies have moved up to the head to clean the energy pathways. Cold sweat--this is an indication of circulatory problems. Cease mudra practices for the time being until the body regains a certain degree of health. Physical gymnastics at this point would help. Breaking up of hand formation--this shows that the body has absorbed enough energy for the time being or that it is being overcharged. Whatever happens here just go with the flow. Yawning and belching--this denotes that stagnant chi (prana), or energy is being removed. Spontaneous pranayama, or control of the life-force flowing with the breath--this shows that the Shakti flowing in the body has taken control over the respiratory processes and as a result, the mind may slowly undergo a transformation and the awareness-principle will be heightened. Should spontaneous pranayama occur, one finds oneself doing kumbhaka (the retention of the breath) effortlessly and naturally. Activity of inner perception or the manifestation of psychic visions, sounds, etc.--this signifies that the contents of the subconscious mind is being cleansed of all dross. During this process visions of gods and demons may occur, landscapes may be seen, unusual sounds heard. Jerking movements of the body like a frog-leaping as though levitation were to take place. Experiencing negative emotional states of anger, hatred, etc.--this is caused by the Shakti force purifying sushumna, or the central channel of the etheric body corresponding to the spine. All of our karmas, traumas, pain, and emotional feelings of our past and present lives are lodged there and when Shakti encounters them she releases and expels their crystallizations and the psyche temporarily re-experiences them. Positive feelings of bliss, joy, and mirth are also lodged in sushumna and these may likewise be experienced. If one were standing while doing the mudras, one might suddenly feel an inner force taking over and the movements of the hands, feet and limbs in a dance is a possibility as iconically displayed by Shiva in the Cosmic dance. It should be noted that all of these sensations and hand-movements are temporary and represent certain phases of pranic or energy influence. The motions may start out strongly at first in early sessions but later evolve to graceful movements or even to stillness. Convulsions and spasms are common manifestations of the activities of energies within the subtle and physical bodies. These are positive signs so let them happen. Yoga kriyas such as bandhas, and the types of mudra processes mentioned in the yogic text Gheranda Samhita may likewise happen naturally. Spontaneous occurrences of these are safe--much safer than doing the yogic exercises through your own conscious volition and forcing their manifestation. If none of the above are observed during practice, a knowledgeable spiritual Guru may empower the disciple at his own discretion so that progress may proceed at a greater pace. Whatever spontaneous movements or yogic processes occur are necessary and appropriate for you. The Shakti energy that flows through you knows what to do to spiritualize and transform your whole being. Shakti is an evolutionary force and she will lift you up to greater heights if you will let her. When Shakti flows through your being you may find yourself spontaneously practicing all of the yoga systems. For instance, you may find yourself withdrawing your senses and focusing within to your Higher Self, as in Raja Yoga; find yourself emanating an overflowing love for Nature and all life, as in Bhakti Yoga; or even acquiring divine knowledge effortlessly, as in Jnana Yoga. One may even find oneself chanting as in Mantra Yoga. Do not be startled or afraid of the movements that occur naturally without your conscious volition or direction. You can exert your will at any moment to stop them if you wish; however, by doing so you will be hampering the occult work that is being done to you by the presence of the spiritual force. It would be best to let it run its course. Only in this manner will you reap the full benefit of mudra practices. There are many stories of spiritual practitioners experiencing spasms and involuntary movements of the body and hands while engaging in meditation. One of the spiritual messengers of God referred to as "the Seal of the Prophets" is an instance: One day while meditating in a cave at Mt. Hira, Muhammad, the future Prophet of Islam was said to have shivered uncontrollably. This occurred when a voice commanded him to "recite" or "read." Replying to the voice that he was unable to do so, he was instantly seized by a spiritual presence (Shakti) that was previously sensed to be in his vicinity (forcefield). What was the real nature of the Prophet's experience? Were the convulsions that he experienced symptomatic of an unusual energy flowing throughout his body? What were the spiritual yogic exercises that he was engaged in that brought about such an experience? Did he make use of mudras, or any other esoteric practices? It is said that the Prophet was a "widow's son." In esoteric language this refers to an initiate of the Mystery Schools; the latter was called a "widow" after the goddess Isis lost her husband, Osiris, to the machinations of their brother Set, who is the personification of evil and materialism. Isis was the symbol of the Mysteries. In these mystical schools spiritual disciplines and practices were taught to the initiate. Mudras were undoubtedly one of the many teachings given. After mastering the teachings and attaining a higher level of consciousness, the initiate would emerge out of the womb of Isis and become Horus, the would-be slayer of his evil uncle. Mudras & Spirituality It is vital to keep in mind that the sensations, effects, and powers that mudras help unfold are not an end in themselves--they are simply a means to an end. They are tools that may support us to achieve Self-Realization. Evolving to a higher state of awareness or experiencing oneness with All That Is should be our primary aim. Other motives are just baubles that should be given up. Mudras, meditation, or any other religious discipline when exercised for the sake of acquiring the gifts of the spirit is not spiritual work nor is it spirituality. Offering unsolicited advice is not spirituality; predicting people's future is not spirituality; perpetuating a sense of mortality and helplessness in people is not spirituality; causing others to maintain materialistic attitudes is not spirituality. To seek the Giver rather than the gift is spirituality; to give of oneself without thought of self is spirituality; to cease forcing one's desires, or imposing one's will upon others is spirituality. So long as the sense of separation exists, the sense of duality, the illusion that we are separated from everything else, we shall never attain the state of true spirituality where only divine love is the law. The "heresy" of dualism in one's mental conception and spiritual blindness is what prolongs the "sleep of the ages" where one is ignorant, unaware, and unresponsive to the eternal Truth of Oneness. Spirituality has many expressions, however, none of them have anything to do with acquiring or vainly displaying psychic powers. Initiates are not always psychic or magickally powerful, but they are sensitive to inspiration, to spiritual impulses emanating from celestial spheres and the Spirit within. Those that ambitiously seek psychic powers and abilities for self-centered purposes normally end up shackled in the astral realm where they become the playthings of malicious spirits. It is much wiser to first purify the mind, body, and soul of all negative energies, congestions, sense of limitations, and blockages and developing the love-wisdom-intelligence aspect of the soul before embarking on any psychic development. Without the proper spiritual and moral preparation we would be deluded, deceived and entrapped by wayward psychic forces. Mudras are definitely a help on the Path of Purification, but it should be accompanied by other practices and studies that awakens the heart, and the acquisition of esoteric knowledge and wisdom. Preparation Empowering the Hand There are energy points in the hands and fingers just as there are all over the physical/etheric bodies. Called chakras (lit."wheels") in Yoga philosophy, these vortexes of energy may be detected and their existence verified in various ways. Perhaps the most simple method is to directly feel them in one's hands. This requires a certain amount of sensitivity though, which may be acquired through an exercise that we will provide below. Pendulums may also be used for detection. Hold a pendulum (any sort will do) in your right hand and hold it above the palm of the left hand. Watch it slowly move in circles. The swing may be clockwise or counterclockwise depending upon the flow of the energy from the palm whether it is outwards or inwards. The circumference and velocity of the swing indicates the size and activity of the chakra. At various points of the fingertips the pendulum might swing too indicating the presence of a minor chakra. As related to Mudra-Vidya, or the "Science of Mudras," what sort of unfoldment or empowerment do the hands require? What sort of preparation is necessary for the successful performance of mudras? First of all it would be helpful to massage the hands often so that they would be flexible enough to assume the positions of the mudras. Most of the mudras are easy to do; some, however, may require isometric exercises of the hands as a preparation. Flex your hands often--bend it, contract/relax it, stretch the fingers, and massage them. This would create a greater flexibility in the hands and would be conducive to a better performance of the mudras and enhance the circulation of blood. Massage of the hands after mudra practices is also suggested to help circulation of the blood and remove stiffness. Those with short, stubby hands may have some problems doing certain mudras, unlike individuals with long slender fingers that palmistry identify as "philosophical" and "psychic." However, subjects with short fingers normally are not the type that would be interested in yoga, spiritual training, or mudras; logically speaking, as the person reading this series of articles is intent in developing spirituality, they should not encounter any obstacle practicing the mudras or executing the forms. The next essential step is to empower the hands to increase the sensitivity, activity and size of the hand/finger chakras. This may be done through such exercises as the focused attention upon the palm of the hands and the fingertips. This particular exercise enlarges the hand chakras so that there may be a greater stream of energies flowing bi-directionally according to need. To carry-out this exercise follow these steps: 1) Focus upon each fingertip for about a minute each. Feel them tingling and vibrating. Begin with one hand and then move on to the other. 2) Now concentrate upon the palm of either hand for about 3 minutes and then move on to the palm of the other hand. Feel as though a flower were blossoming in your palms. Do this every day for about 40 days during which time the size of the chakras should be permanently extended and greater sensitivity achieved. In the meantime, it would be permissible to commence mudra practices simultaneously with the hand-empowerment exercise. Meditation Pose and Inner Tranquility Generally, most of the mudras may be done while seated in a chair, cross-legged, or standing. Certain mudras may call for specific body-positions. If you are knowledgeable on Hatha yoga and flexible enough, you may assume the various asanas or body positions while practicing mudras such as, "Padmasana," "Siddhasana," and "Vajrasana." Before commencing mudra-exercises, the practitioner would reap the most benefit by first relaxing the mind and body so that a certain degree of inner tranquility may be attained. Any relaxing method taught in occult schools may be employed; one may use contraction of the muscles, perhaps even coupled with visualization and auto-suggestion--the point is that the physical body and mind should be deeply relaxed so that they may not hamper the energy-flow coursing through the subtle channels. Mantras, or Words of Power Mudras may be accompanied by chanting and vibrating certain bija (seed)-mantras (words-of-power) that stimulates/activates the chakras and enlarge the subtle channels, or otherwise affect the psycho-physical body in some metaphysical way. Whenever possible, appropriate mantras would be given in association with the mudras in the following papers of this Mudra series. Chanting may be verbal or mental--directions will be given for this. Seed-mantras should be vibrated strongly as you chant them so that the power of the mantra would be felt in the various psychic centers. Vibrating the mantras does not imply raising the volume of your voice, it implies chanting the words-of-power in a peculiar way so that the vibes are felt palpably in the microcosm; some seed-mantras requires right intonation. Breathing Exercises and Visualization Pranayama, or the art of controlling the life-force through rhythmic or specialized breathing, may be engaged in while simultaneously doing the mudras. Some mudras may specifically call for a certain breathing technique. Generally, though, if instructions are not given, breathing should be allowed to flow naturally without any conscious direction. Visualization may be employed to support specialized breathing. Cosmic energy may be visualized as a brilliant silver, white, or gold force--each of these colors do have their specific properties. You may experiment to feel the sensation and know the effects of each of these forces. As a general rule, always inhale as you visualize energy flowing into you, exhale as you channel energy to a certain object, area, or space. In the following papers of these series, an extensive amount of mudras of various traditions will be presented for practical application. Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    Mudras hand symbolism mudras of the egyptian tradition

     

    The ancient Egyptians possessed a fount of occult and mystic wisdom. In those days the Egyptian mystical brotherhoods or "Mystery Schools" at Luxor, Thebes, Memphis, and Heliopolis, collectively represented one of the several portals leading to the Universal Great White Brotherhood whose existence was established by cosmic beings for the purpose of advancing the evolution of man through the application of spiritual disciplines and the apprehension of Cosmic laws. These teachings were given in secluded places, in subterranean temples, and at night under the canopy of the heavens. Many eminent Greek sages studied at these Egyptian schools of metaphysics, among whom were Plato, Thales, Pythagoras, and Democritus. In these Mystery Schools, the goddess Isis was especially venerated. She personified Nature and according to one Greek interpretation she signified occult knowledge. Isis also represented the Mystery Schools and those undergoing training therein later emerged out of her womb and became known as the "twice-born," for they were newly born of the Holy Spirit. Contrary to what is popularly believed, the Great Pyramid of Cheops was not built as a tomb, but as a "House of Initiation," a place where the teachings of the gods were given by the "Master of the Secret Places" to those who successfully passed the severe tests of earth, water, air, and fire. Spiritual disciplines were taught that ultimately transformed each spiritual aspirant at the point of their graduation into an embodiment of a god, or in our modern metaphysical vernacular, "a perfect human being," or a "Christ,"--an anointed one. In these sacred temples of learning and wisdom were to be found countless statues, most of which were considered and worshipped as gods by the ignorant masses, and as idols by the equally ignorant religious fanatics of succeeding generations. Those involved with the initiatory temples, however, regarded these statues as teaching devices and used them to portray certain aspects of the microcosm and the laws or principles of Nature. Many metaphysical disciplines were given to the tyro to practice in these Mystery Schools; among the spiritual exercises given were the mudra disciplines. Some of the statues and pictograms of the Egyptian gods are portrayed with certain mudras. The neophyte was taught to assume these mudras while conducting meditation, breathing, and visualization exercises. Below we present just a few of these Egyptian mudras that you may incorporate in your daily spiritual routine. You may choose to do only one at a time in a single session. This is permissible; however, these Egyptian mudras, would confer the greatest effect when all are done together successively in a single work-out. 1) The Sun-Bearer Mudra. Place both hands outstretched above the head holding an imaginary sun. Palms upward. Visualize the microcosmic sun as a divine fiery radiance--it is in fact the presence of your Higher Self. Imagine the rays of the Higher Self pouring into your upturned hands. Maintain this visualization and hand position for five to ten minutes. Chant the mantra, "HU" over and over. This Egyptian mudra helps one to absorb higher energies. The hands being positioned beyond the lower layers of the aura and above the head makes it easier for one to contact the magnetic-field of the superconscious Self and thereby empowering the lower aspects of the microcosm. Unless otherwise indicated, let the breathing rhythm be natural in this and the following exercises. 2) The Cross-Chest Mudra. This is an Egyptian gesture of royalty. The left hand is placed on the right side of the chest, and the right hand on the left side-as may be seen in the statuette of Osiris. As you will recall, this is the Sign of Resignation. If you are standing or sitting upright with the spinal column erect instead of in the lotus position, keep your feet together. This will close the circuit at the lower region and allow energies to circulate. Take a deep breath while in this position and hold it for as long as comfortable. Then release the breath slowly. Repeat three times. After three cycles of deep breathing maintain the mudra for five to ten minutes more while breathing normally and chanting the mantra, "AIM" several times. This mudra draws the energies of the aura into the physical body, especially in the chest region. It helps to strengthen and awaken psychic centers there such as the anahata chakra, or heart center. The thymus gland being empowered via the heart chakra, the immunity level of the physical body would naturally be fortified. This is one of the mudras taught by the Rosicrucian Order, a mystical fraternity perpetuating the ancient occult wisdom. According to the Order's oral tradition it was founded in ancient Egypt by Thutmose III--one of the enlightened pharaohs that ruled the land of the Nile. This mudra integrates the positive/solar and negative/lunar forces in the body. Divine power in the physical system results with the use of this hand pose. 3) The Praise Mudra. The members of the Egyptian Mystery Schools were well versed in the meaning and art of praising their gods. The temple hierophants knew that the secret effects of praises were upon the person giving the praise rather than the god receiving it. About two thousand years ago we were told to love our enemies by an Initiate of the Egyptian Mystery School. Why? Because love ennobles us. It does not matter if another deserves our love or not. The act of loving unfolds our divine nature and causes a greater force of our Higher Self to indwell in the physical form. The same principle applies to praising God, or any higher being more advanced than humanity. Divine beings or the Source of all do not care if we praise or adore them in any way. They are egoless and therefore unconcerned if we respect them or not. In religious and spiritual teachings channeled down from the intelligences of Light, we are taught to give praise and thanks to higher powers. This is not for their sake but for ours. The celestial beings are concerned over our spiritual development. The act of praising with a sincere and selfless heart causes us to be energized with a renewed power and a zest for life and is a healthy and a most essential spiritual discipline. Although praises may be given in any bodily position, the Egyptian Masters have found that a particular pose with a certain mudra offers a maximum effect. This is done by squatting with the right knee touching the ground while the left knee is raised. The left hand closed in a fist, is placed on the chest The right arm is extended upwards to the side of the head and the hand also is in a fist pointing upwards. A variation of this is to use the right index finger to point upwards. Anubis, the god of the dead, has modeled this pose nicely for us. Maintain this position for 5-10 minutes while giving silent thanks to God for the life within you. During which time breathe normally while chanting the mantra, "EMA-HA." In a little while you will feel regenerated. You will feel joy pervading your being. 4) The Solar Plexus Energizer Mudra. All felines are symbols of solar energies. So it is apt that Sekhmet, a feline goddess as depicted here, assumes a secret pose that strengthens the sun center of her physical being, or in other words, her solar plexus. The solar plexus has nerves connecting to almost every organ in the body. By channeling energies or concentrating it in the solar plexus, we cause our organs to function optimally. But one must be careful, as over-polarization might cause problems. Assume this mudra while standing or sitting. Breathe normally. Close the left hand into a fist and place it over the solar plexus as shown by Sekhmet. The right hand, should also be in a fist but placed to the side of the body. After 5-10 minutes of maintaining this position reverse the hand positions. The right hand in a fist over the solar plexus, while the left hand to the side of the body. Do this for another 5-10 minutes while mentally asking your Higher Self to energize your solar plexus and also chanting slowly the mantra, "RA-MA" about 9 times. 5) The Magnetizer Mudra. This mudra has a twofold purpose. It is used to absorb pranic energies from the environment or from some specific source; it likewise is employed for the purpose of magnetizing one's aura so as to strengthen it against invading metaphysical forces. This mudra confers various benefits, it may improve one's health, augment one's store of psychic energy, acquire charisma, etc. To execute this mudra one may sit or stand, or assume the asana as portrayed by the goddess Nephthys: place the left foot underneath the buttocks and sit on it. The right foot is placed on the ground with the knee pointed upwards. Now put your two hands in front of you, palms outwards. If you are doing this mudra to absorb energies then visualize and feel the energy from infinite space streaming into the palms of your hands as sparks of golden and silvery lights. Or if you wish to attract energy from a specific source--from the sun, for instance, then visualize and feel the "yod" or "rain" drops of power entering your palms from the sun. Do this for 5-10 minutes. Visualize the cosmic forces entering your being as you inhale. To magnetize your aura with this mudra, simply imagine and visualize a flow of golden energy flowing from your palms and filling your aura--a circumscribed space surrounding you. See your aura being permeated with this effulgent energy. This should be done for 5-10 minutes. Visualize psychic energy flowing from you as you exhale. Whether you are absorbing energies or magnetizing your aura, chant the following mantra several times while visualizing: "EMA-BA." This mantra will anchor the power to wherever you are directing the energies. Chanting may be done verbally or mentally whichever is comfortable and appropriate. The mudra is also used to confer or empower others with energy. After generating the necessary energy, focus your palms to the back of the recipient about an inch away from the physical form. Then, visualize energy flowing from the palms of your hands and into the body of the subject. You may visualize the energy as a brilliant white, silver or golden light. While thus channeling energy from your palms, move them upwards and downwards along the right and left sides of the spine where the ganglia of the nervous system are located. This operation will have a healing and strengthening effect on the subject and if done in conjunction with specific powers possessed by the operator--these could also be transferred or channeled. 6) The Pyramid Mudra. This mudra strengthens the negative polarity of the physical body and generates a strong magnetic force for attracting cosmic energies of the positive polarity, thus balancing the "Yang" and "Yin" of the microcosm. This mudra is to be done prior to the magnetizer mudra above. The animated image shown is an excellent portrayal of this hand-mudra, though it is unnecessary to move your head as shown by the toon-image. To do this mudra, simply place the palms of your hands together and above the head. Place your two feet together while in the standing position. Now hold this position for 5-10 minutes while chanting and vibrating the word "Ma." After several minutes of chanting, inhale deeply and then exhale and hold your lungs empty for as long as comfortable. When you need to breathe, do so, and then as you exhale, repeat the above. Do this special breathing for several cycles, after which you may continue with the other mudras. The above represent just a few of the Egyptian mudras that have come down to us, the explanations of which are simply guidelines. Feel free to improvise and experiment. [Note: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our website] Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    Mudras hand symbolism mudras of the esoteric christian tradition part 1

     

    All religions without exception have their roots in the Spiritual Hierarchy of the Great White Brotherhood (GWB), although some have strayed afar from the original teachings of their messengers and founders and the purposes of their establishment. Fortunately, in every religion there is an esoteric side perpetuated by the Initiates of the GWB. We will not discuss the Great White Brotherhood in detail here, those who are interested in acquiring more information may refer to the many metaphysical books on the subject. Suffice to say that the GWB is the "community of saints" mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. The members are non-sectarian and universal in their attitudes and beliefs. Collectively and individually, they have transcended dogmatic religions and their schisms, and have embraced the pristine teachings, principles, and laws of the Spirit, which is the source of pure Religion. Within the GWB is a Spiritual Hierarchy of Cosmic beings that represents the God-Government of our beloved planet operating at present in higher dimensions. The members currently holding offices in this hierarchy were the saints, prophets, sages, and avatars of the past. In one aspect, "heaven made manifest" is the application of cosmic laws governing the omniverse and upheld by the GWB, on the individual, social, national and international levels. As alluded to above, every religion has an esoteric aspect where the Ancient Wisdom of the GWB is preserved for those who are spiritually awakened and prepared to receive higher revelations. Teachings of Deity cannot be confined or limited to a single book, tradition, or teacher. Revelation is a continuous process that meets the growing spiritual and psychological needs of humanity. As the "prodigal son," humanity answers to God's call to return Home by initially being obedient to the unfolding spiritual "conscience," or the "still small voice" of the Spirit. Religions were established to foster this growth--not to enforce and educate a false conscience based on man-made interpretations of the Word of God, but to awaken within the soul that which is already inherent and supra-natural. This was recognized by Socrates who, with his unique system of inquiry, sought to awaken the souls of his listeners to "recollect" Truth. Pure religious precepts direct men and women to free themselves from the creation of a sense of limitation and negativity in all expressions--in thought and behavior, for these hinders the voice of the Spirit from making its presence felt--and consequently, the delay of the spiritual evolution of the indwelling Soul. Enforced religious dogmas programs in us a state of being where we no longer have any personal desire to commit theological "sin," of which consequence is the rise of a sense of morbid guilt and fear in their violation or non-obedience; this unnatural psychological condition prevents the Christ photonic-energies from penetrating the lower aspects of the microcosm. It is to the voice of the Spirit and the scripture of the Heart that one should pay heed, not to the confused interpretations of the minds of men. "Behold, I (the Christ-force) stand at the door ("Sahasrara" chakra, or crown psychic-center), and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Rev:3:20)" Essentially, the purpose of exoteric religion is to prepare us psychologically for the pursuit of the greater metaphysical mysteries where we are taught to transcend our mortal state of being in mind, body, and soul, and to acknowledge and identify ourselves with the Truth of our inner nature. Purification is the first step in the Mystery Schools of the GWB, and essential religion is the portal leading toward the atrium of the GWB. Only when an individual is perfected in the embodiment of the cardinal virtues as taught by religion, will he be ready for the next phase of esotericism. Bypassing any step along the way only entails returning to the point of embarkation. People may claim to be illumined, to have witnessed Heaven in all its splendor, to have experienced the highest bliss, to know and socialize with the Ascended Masters, to have risen the kundalini and anchored the higher chakras into their physical form, or to have "seen" God; however, if the sense of duality and the sense of the false ego with its negative expressions still exist strongly within them, and their inner light shines but dully, all of their claims are false. They have entrapped themselves in a world of glamour and illusion and misinterpreted esoteric precepts. Students of spiritual paths may assert that their methodology takes them quickly to the mountain-top via the helicopter route; however, they often land on the holy mountain still with their feet shod, back loaded, and hands empty--with nothing to offer their Source but earthly garbage. Alternatively, while flying in their helicopter, they sometimes do not land at all, preferring to enjoy the ride and view. This is unfortunate--as they end up in a cloud of spiritual smugness. Esotericism is the "meat" of the Spirit in contrast to the "milk" of exoteric religious precepts meant for infants aspiring to the spiritual path. In Islam, the heavier nourishment symbolised by meat is referred to as "Hakikat" and "Marifat" or in Christianity as "Gnosis." Judaism knows it as the "Kaballah" while in Hinduism it is the "Gupta Vidya." "Vajrayana" and its teachings is the Buddhist equivalent to the esoteric side of the Semitic religions. Christianity, like so many other traditions, was influenced by various foreign elements--not only Judaism, and Buddhism, but also by the various Mystery Schools existing in the several centuries prior to and after its establishment. One of these Mystery Schools were the Essenes, a mystical Order of some prominence and existing in the region of the Holy Land when the Piscean Master walked the earth. They are unrecorded in the gospel stories except for the few references regarding their members--the men in white robes who were mistaken and interpreted to be angels. The Essenes were a semi-monastic Order that was formed for the purpose of preparing the conditions necessary for the incarnation of the Christ Spirit macrocosmically and microcosmically. The parents of Jesus were members of the Essenes as were the parents of John the Baptist. Naturally, the future avatar and his way-shower were raised under the tutelage of the Essene Brotherhood in preparation for their holy missions. According to esoteric tradition, while in his teens and early manhood, Jesus traveled to Egypt, India, Tibet, Persia, and Greece to study in the Mystery Schools. This was Jesus' so-called "lost-years"--18 long years that the canonical scriptures enshroud in mystery and are mute. During his ministry Jesus formed a secret metaphysical school. The number of members in this school was at least 120 (see Acts 1:15). These students were given esoteric teachings in contrast to the general populace who were taught metaphysical mysteries in parables and similitude. The masses were taught exoteric precepts, the gospel, or the "good news" which were clarified and elaborated in secret assemblies. Students of the esoteric doctrines of Jesus were shown how to realize the truth of the gospel in a single embodiment, here and now, and not senselessly wait for some future event to occur that would raise them from the grave. "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man (the Truth, the Way, and Life) coming in his kingdom (the lower microcosm)." Matt. 16:28 Out of the many there were those earnest few who wanted to delve further into the mysteries of life and they were subsequently invited into Jesus' secret school. The metaphysical seminary that Jesus established may be referred to as the Inner Court, in contradistinction to the Outer Court that are represented by the Churches of our present day. In the 3rd and 4th centuries after the advent of Christ, because of political and egoic ambition, the leaders of the Outer Court divorced itself from the Inner Court and even attacked and persecuted its members and hierophants. Later known as Gnosticism, the doctrines of the secret school of Jesus subsequently went underground and branched-out into several spiritual/magical Orders, metaphysical schools, and secret fraternities. The Cathars, Knights Templars, the Order of the Garter, the Order of the Round Table, the Martinist Order, the Rosicrucians, and the Alchemists, were some of these organizations descended from the arcane school of Jesus and preserved and perpetuated the metaphysical teachings that he had taught. The esoteric precepts of the incarnated Christ concerns the transformation of man into a divine being, the manifestation of Heaven on Earth, the unfoldment of spiritual virtues and powers within humanity, the embodiment of the Christ force and consciousness within the lower aspects of the microcosm, etc. Jesus especially taught how each member of the human race might emulate him and acquire what he acquired, attain what he attained, overcome what he overcame. In his public teachings Jesus emphasized that he was the model for us all, that we should all become like him in order to unfold the Kingdom of Heaven within our hearts and be saved from our personal ignorance with the power of the Truth of our spiritual essence. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6 We will not go into detail of the story of Christianity and its hidden history in this mudra-series. All we wanted to do was to give a basis for the secret practices of the mudras associated with Christianity. These disciplines were known to various historical personalities who were initiates of Esoteric Christianity. There were those whose profession was art, and they depicted the secret signs and mudras in their paintings, drawings, and sculpture. Although there are many secret mudras in the Esoteric Christian Tradition, below we will present just a few of the more popular ones including their purposes--these may be practiced by the spiritual aspirant with untold benefits. The Benediction Mudra (Mano Pantea) If we can curse and swear at one another so easily why is it that no one ever thinks of blessing one's fellow men? Blessings, or Barokah as it is called in Islam, are dynamic operations of the Divine Spirit acting through pure instruments, whether angelic or human. Ideally, the operator channeling blessings from on High must be pure in mind, body, and soul and have attained a certain degree of attunement and oneness with his/her Progenitor. Whatever flows through a conduit is tainted by it. This is how energies are transformed into force. Force is energy imbued with a certain quality or character. It is for this reason that some degree of spirituality must be attained before one is qualified to serve as a channel for blessings to others, for it is inappropriate to radiate from our beings the quirks and negative characteristics of our personality. At least, when giving blessings, we should strive to raise our vibrations and frequency to match as much as possible the standards of our Higher Self. How this is done may be learnt from a true spiritual teacher. The act of blessing or consecration is facilitated by the benediction mudra. The benediction mudra is a sign, signal and code to our Higher Self and spiritual beings that the act of blessing is about to take place and that cooperation from them is requested. Psycho-energetically, the mudra also temporarily rearranges the auric and etheric structures to act as a conduit for the flow of "gift-waves," as blessings are called in the Buddhist Vajrayana tradition. In the Benediction or blessing mudra the first two fingers and thumb are used--these represents the etheric, air and fire elements of which the formal ritual of the baptism of "fire" is facilitated and enacted. The object to be blessed may be a living organism, an object, or an act. Blessings raises the frequency of the person or thing receiving the blessing, and integrates into them a divine power that lasts for some time. Being blessed by a holy, spiritual person, acting as mediator, is spiritually beneficial in that it makes the Path of Life easier for one to tread and to spiritually evolve. Both the giver and receiver of blessings are benefited in some manner that is often too subtle for detection by the insensitive, untrained mind. In this literary work it is possible for us to offer only a simple method for blessing others. The art of glorification actually requires spiritual training and disciplines that are beyond the subject matter of this mudra-series. To bless an object or someone, first visualize energy in the form of a ball of light hovering over your head. Reach out to it mentally and emotionally, raising thoughts and feelings as high as you spiritually can. Then let the light descend as a beam through the crown of your head and flow outwardly from you from these three points: Ajna chakra, or between the eyebrows; anahata chakra, or heart center, and your right hand which is making the sign of benediction. The full or complete sign of benediction is executed by first placing your left hand over your heart, and with your right hand assume the Mano Pantea sign, that is, extend your thumb and first two fingers vertically while folding the ring and little finger into the palm. Then recite this invocation: "Elohim (3x). I call upon the angelic powers of the Universe, in the name of the Most High, in the name of my Mighty I AM Presence and Holy Christ Self, (state the name of your Holy Christ Self if known) to establish N . . . (name of person or object) in the Power of Truth, Light, Life, and Love. Ateh Gadol Le Olam--A. m.e. n." 3x Next focus upon the subject or object that you wish to bless. See light from those three points mentioned above flowing to and enfolding them. If an individual, visualize the person expressing joy, peace, and happiness, or the object aglow with divine radiance. Especially see the subject's higher chakras aglow with light. After several minutes of this, seal the energies in the person's aura or object with the mudra by making the sign of the cross or any other symbol meaningful to you while at the same time decreeing: "May the peace and power of Heaven's blessings be upon thee." This operation may be done from a distance with the subject visualized in one's mind's-eye. [Note: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our website] Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    Mudras hand symbolism mudras of the esoteric christian tradition part 2

     

    The Channeling Hands There are times when we need to direct healing energy to a person. This may be done with the Channeling Hands. Although there are many techniques and methodologies for channeling energy depending on the nature of the problem and the healing tradition, this method is simple to recall and does not require much effort on our part. For a general healing, the two hands are extended outwards--towards and within the aura of the patient--a centimeter or two away from the subject's physical body. Imagine the hands radiating a white-golden force filling the patient's aura. Next seal this magnetic-field with an inscription of a symbol meaningful to you. Trace this symbol in the air slightly above or beyond the person or object. Like everything else in metaphysical practice, prior spiritual training under a true Guru, directly or indirectly appointed by the Holy Council of the Chohans, gives greater satisfactory results in healing operations. The Manifester Mudra "And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook." 1 Kings 17:4,6 Elijah, one of the biblical prophets, was commanded by God to go to the "wilderness" to "hide." This can actually be conjectured to be God's (actually a Guru's) command to Elijah to undergo a spiritual retreat to engage in meditation and other spiritual disciplines. Such spiritual retreats are called "Uzzlah" in Islam and "Hitbodedut" in Judaism, of which a specific physical environment is not always meant. Some people seem to think that meditation should only be done in peaceful and quiet surroundings--this is not true for someone of Elijah's caliber who is able to precipitate such conditions in his soul whenever he wills. Advanced practitioners are not dependent on the environment for peace, for this is a false sense of peace. True peace comes from within and is a state attained by meditators wherever they physically find themselves. Now while in retreat Elijah was fed bread and meat by ravens. This anecdote may be interpreted literally or more appropriately, esoterically and symbolically. We will not overdwell upon this issue here. What interests us is that Elijah's needs were somehow fulfilled by an external force as a result of the workings of Cosmic laws. The scriptures do not relate this, but Elijah's desire or need was preceded by a request to be sustained--"ask and it shall be given"--that is the spiritual injunction. How desires may be requested for fulfillment is "coincidentally" depicted in the picture of Elijah above. The finger-tips of the two hands are placed together forming an empty space between them. Occultism teaches that this mudra builds up a natural magnetic-force between and around the hands while in this position, and this force may be imbued with a certain quality, feeling, idea, or thought. The resultant accumulation of power and the magnetization of this packet of energy with a thought or feeling is known as a thought-form, and at more advanced levels where a degree of consciousness is embued to it, the packet of energy becomes a "servitor" or a "familiar." When subsequently released to the Cosmic realms, this thought-form strives to manifest on the physical plane that which it was programmed to do. This is why we name this mudra "the Manifester," for it helps to generate the energy and force to manifest one's desires--one reason why it is instinctively used during prayer. The mudra is one of the secret tools applied in the art of mental creation. We may manifest anything within the world of possibility and such manifestations may occur instantly or after a time delay. In order to manifest anything, one must first accumulate psychic energy. There are many methods of doing this which are taught in metaphysical schools. One must also be able to release the thought-form to angelic intelligences and elementals and to urge their cooperation in the work of manifestation of which in this context we act as the First Cause. Their help are essential and this cannot be done if we do not acquire and maintain a good relationship with these beings or have authority over them. In the biblical story of Elijah mentioned previously, these elemental and angelic beings are represented by the ravens. As this work with the elementals requires training under a qualified Guru, we will not offer the formula in full here for to convey such power to those who would abuse or misuse it is a dangerous thing to all parties concerned. We are to be responsible for what we give out. If a student abuses power the teacher likewise reaps a percentage of the karmic effects. There are metaphysicians who would deny this in their ignorance; nevertheless, it is true. In their ignorance, irresponsible "paranormals" or Gurus offer their occult teachings, their so-called powers and knowledge without any consideration as to the moral fitness of the recipient. We emphasize right here that some things just cannot be put into print for public consumption--not when the false ego reigns supreme. However, to return from our digression and putting the training work aside, the basic steps for manifesting anything are as follow: 1) Assuming the mudra and the generation/accumulation of Power 2) Attunement 3) Invocation of the angelic intelligences and elementals 4) The building-up of the thoughtform and empowering it 5) Release of the thoughtform with the certainty and faith that it will manifest The Beast Master Every student of biblical study is familiar with the story of Daniel and how he was thrown into the lion's den due to the nefarious plot of jealous individuals (Daniel 6:3-24), and also how he survived the ordeal. Like many other stories in the scriptures, this tale offers more value to us when interpreted esoterically rather than understanding it in a historical sense. Metaphysically speaking, beasts of prey represent the lower instincts, desires, and emotions within man. The task of the disciple is to tame these energies and harness them for a higher purpose. Therefore, Daniel, having subdued the lions signifies a disciple's spiritual mastery over the forces governing his four-fold personality--his mental, astral, etheric and physical bodies. The Beast Master mudra collects energies from the cosmos and directs them to the heart, it also raises and transmutes the lower "animalistic" energies residing in the solar plexus to the heart region where a major chakra is located. The energy that accumulates in the heart builds up the chakra that subsequently attracts a greater influx of power from the Monad, which is the divine spark within the microcosm. To conduct the Beast Master exercise, extend your left hand outwards, palm facing upwards. The right hand should be placed over the heart, palm inwards. The next step is to visualize the left hand collecting energy from the cosmos. See silvery-golden light from a spiritual source entering your left palm and travelling to your heart. Do this for 5-10 minutes. By placing your right palm over your heart, a closed-circuit is formed that would build magnetism within the chest and thus further nourish the important heart-center. Continuing to the next phase of the exercise, while still in the same mudra position, visualize a ball of energy in the solar plexus region. See it scintillating and vibrating with power. Suck this energy upward to the heart until the ball of energy at the solar plexus diminishes while the energy in the heart chakra area increases. This second part of the Beast Master should also be done for several minutes. After completing the second stage, continue with the last step: Visualize a scintillating ball of silvery light above you. Chant and vibrate the word "Yeheshua" for 7x. Now inhale deeply and as you do so, direct a beam of light from this silvery ball of power above you to the crown of your head--continue visualizing its descent downwards where it engulfs the heart. As you hold your breath, see your heart covered in divine radiance as depicted in the picture above of the Benediction mudra. Exhale when you feel uncomfortable. Repeat the chanting and the breathing cycle for 5-10 minutes. Once the heart chakra has unfolded, the energies residing in it may be directed in various ways by the white magician. The Heart Polarizer Mudra The purpose of the Heart Polarizer is to strengthen the psychic center in the heart region and to polarize one's consciousness at the level where love reigns in all its splendor. The average person is polarized in the solar plexus chakra where the lower emotions are based. By transcending this chakra and focusing and functioning from the heart center we liberate ourselves from our human mortal thoughts, feelings and attitudes, and claim the heritage of our innate divinity. To perform this mudra: place the left hand sideways against the center of the chest, thumb inwards to the heart as may be seen in the picture above. Maintain this position for 5 minutes or more while doing deep breathing. Focus your attention upon the heart where the spark of your divinity lies. The Energizer Mudra (Sign of Reverence) This mudra generates a certain energy within one's bio-magnetic field. It is a hand pose to be found in the practices of countless spiritual traditions and religions. While in prayer we often assume this pose and arise out of it spiritually strengthened and nourished. The power generated with the use of this mudra uplifts the mind giving one a new zest and enthusiasm for life. Needless to say, one of the secrets of prayer is the pose of the body and hands that configures one's energy structure to greatly facilitate the communion between worlds and the exchange of forces. Execute this mudra by uniting both hands at the level of the chest, palms together and fingers pointing upwards. Maintain this pose for 5-10 minutes--or much longer if you are able to. Feel the energy developing in the area of the hands as it slowly spreads up to the arms and body. This mudra could trigger an automatic response from the nervous system resulting in unusual movements of the limbs and body. The Christ Wisdom Mudra This mudra develops in us spiritual wisdom. As mentioned in a previous chapter, every finger symbolically and magnetically represents a certain element. In this mudra we have spirit or ether (middle finger) acting on air or the mental faculties (index finger). When the mind is influenced by spirit it develops spiritual wisdom--not the wisdom of this world, but the wisdom of the gods that transcends human understanding. For 5-10 minutes (or longer), place the tip of the right forefinger upon the tip of the middle finger of the left hand. The rest of the fingers of the right hand are folded, while in the left only the thumb and first three fingers are extended. The palms of both hands should face towards the chest. Refer to the painting at left. [Note: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our website] Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    Mudras hand symbolism what are mudras part 1

     

    [Note: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our website] When we study Eastern philosophies, beliefs, culture, and the pragmatic yogic methods of Hinduism and Buddhism, we often come across practices of systematic hand gestures. The rites, rituals, initiations, dances, and spiritual disciplines of these Oriental religions and traditions are replete with multifold forms of hand gestures with symbolic meanings and empowering virtues. In Sanskrit these gestures are called mudra. Mudra means "seal," or "symbol." The word has various connotations or definitions in Yogic and Tantric philosophies. In Hatha yoga, mudras are special physical asanas, or body-postures; they are also certain exercises or processes that arouse into activity one's innate energies. The ancient yogic text, the "Gheranda-Samhita," describes twenty-five of these mudras among which are: ashvini-mudra, bhujangini-mudra, kaki-mudra, khecari-mudra, maha-mudra, manduki-mudra, matangi-mudra, nabho-mudra, pashini-mudra, sahajoli-mudra, shakti-calani-mudra, shambhavi-mudra, tadagi-mudra, vajroli-mudra, viparita-karani-mudra, yoni-mudra, etc. The above yogic manual advises us that these mudras are to be kept secret with great care and not to be conveyed to anyone unfit for their reception as these mudras could confer tremendous power and psychic abilities called siddhis. Those without the right spiritual qualifications could cause untold harm to themselves and others should they engage in these exercises and be successful in unfolding occult faculties. The psychic powers acquired therefrom would be misapplied, misused and abused for egoistic purposes--and this is potentially fatal for one's evolutionary growth. These mudras were therefore esoteric in nature and reserved for the chosen few--the true spiritual aspirants, and not for the worldly-minded or the overly spiritually ambitious. This doctrine "for the few" was observed carefully by mostly all spiritual traditions. In one ritualistic text of the Vajrayana Tantra concerning an initiatory teaching, the chela or student is enjoined to, " . . . spread this teaching with great caution. It should be kept secret from both sinful and Dam Med (oath-breakers) persons; from sophisticated and foulmouthed persons. This teaching should not be given to skeptical and defamatory persons; it should not be bestowed upon heretical and insincere persons. It should not be given to the thief of Dharma [spiritual doctrines] or to those who do not observe the precepts. Keep this sacred teaching from such persons is a rule you should observe." In his manual on yoga, which consists of 195 Sutras, Patanjali never once mentioned mudras, nor the serpent force, or kundalini for that matter. Perhaps he considered these teachings esoteric and not meant for general circulation. Aside from the possible acquisition of paranormal powers as one result of the awakening of the kundalinic force lying latent at the base of the spine, the mudras described by the Gheranda-Samhita also results in rejuvenation, and the sought for liberation from the mortal, human condition. Intense and constant practice of these mudras in conjunction with other spiritual exercises is said to have the power to transform man into a living god. Hand mudras, we believe, do have this kind of effect. Hindu Tantrism has a different understanding of mudras. To the practitioners of Tantra, the term refers to a shakti, a human female participant in the maithuna, or sexual rites; or even to the parched grain as one of the five ingredients used in the panca-tattva rite because of its physical resemblance to the yoni, the female genitalia. Shaktis are called "mudras" because in the process of ritualistic and yogic coitus they have an effect similar to body and hand mudras. Mudras awaken dormant psycho-physical centers and purifies certain subtle channels allowing for the circulation of energies to take place; Mudras facilitates concentration, and are a powerful means of communing with the forces and divinities lying within man's inner nature; women have a great access to psychic energies; thus, the sexual yogic act, when properly conducted, does the same thing. Being highly respected, a woman proficient in the Tantric arts is referred to as a "mudra," or to be more specific, "Karma mudra," of which there are five kinds, categorized according to various psycho-physical characteristics. In another sense, "closed electrical-circuits" of the subtle channels in the physical and etheric bodies are also known as "seals," or mudras. In passing, we should mention that the large earrings worn by members of the Kanphata Order in India are likewise called "mudra." The Kagyu sect of Vajrayana Buddhism uses the suffix "maha" meaning "great" in association with the term "mudra." Thus, the conjoined word mahamudra means "the Great Seal," or "the Great Symbol." In this context, the word refers to a state of direct realization and experience of the ultimate nature of the Mind or Reality where all dualities and sense of separateness from All that Is are transcended. Putting aside complexities, the definition of mudra is simply "symbolic gesture." Chogyam Trungpa in his book, "Mudra," defines the word as, "a symbol in the wider sense of gesture or action. It is the inspiring color of phenomena. Also it is a symbol expressed with the hands to state for oneself and others the quality of different moments of meditation, such as touching the earth with the right hand as a witness to Buddha's freedom from emotional and mental frivolousness." Yoga teachings in general explain that mudras denote the hand gestures and movements used in the performance of dances, rituals, rites, and while engaging in spiritual exercises such as meditation. Mudras symbolically express inner feelings and inner psychological states; they also generate various qualities such as fearlessness, power, charity, and peace in the practitioner and to on-lookers. In another ancient text called Soma-Shambhu-Paddhati, a great number of these hand mudras are described. Perhaps the best known by yogic practitioners and students are abhaya-mudra, anjali-mudra, cin-mudra, dhyana-mudra, and jnana-mudra. Some of these mudras are known by other names, especially in other cultures and spiritual traditions. It is this latter understanding of mudra that we shall be dealing with in this series of articles. To sum up, we present Nik Douglas' definition of "mudra" to be found in the glossary of his book, Sexual Secrets: (Mudras are) "mystic hand gestures used to focus subtle energy, transmit teachings through symbols and confer psychic protection. As an aid to Tantric meditation, mudra can also mean woman in her role as Yogini. The same term is sometimes used to refer to cereal grains used in Tantric rites. " The Origin of Mudras It is not quite known when or where systematized and stylized gestures originated. Almost all ancient cultures made use of hand signs in one form or another. Hand Signs were employed even in earliest times in religion, in the rhetoric art, in social intercourse, in builders' and trade guilds, etc. The operative Masons--the Comacines, the builders of Europe's finest cathedrals, and the hoary trade guild known as the Dionysiac Artificers--who were responsible for the construction of ancient buildings and structures--all made use of hand signs as a system of communication and protection of their conclaves or secret meetings against unauthorized entry. In Hinduism, as well as Buddhism, hundreds of mudras were formed for yogic purposes, for ceremonies, drama, and dance. Most of these were symbolic in nature, others, however, had metaphysical virtues. There are literally hundreds of mudra-gestures formed by the ancient yogis and sages; however, they are all based on four basic hand positions: the open palm, the hollowed palm, the closed fist, and the hand with fingertips together. In the Occident, the study of hand gestures in ritual and its spontaneous movements is called cheironomy. It particularly relates to gestures used in esoteric symbolism and certain forms or signs used in religious ritual. In occultism, each hand gesture has certain significance as well as embodying a certain force. Ritual gestures were an important part of religious ceremonies in most ancient cultures. They were said to have the power to call upon the gods, to unfold powers, and to affect the surroundings in various ways. The ancient Egyptians regarded the hand poses of their god-incarnate pharaohs as highly potent, even if it is just a pictorial representation. While depicting these pharaohs in murals or while forming statues of them, artists were careful not to misrepresent the mudras assumed by their sovereign for fear that it would evoke an unwanted force. Power in the Hands The hands when used systematically in mudra exercises result in a wealth of benefit for the practitioner. Not only does it improve one's health, they also generate the energies that would empower one to live a dignified life as a child of God. Specific hand gestures assist the unfoldment of one's divine potentials, or inner divinity lying dormant within one's being. Mudras facilitate the awareness of our inner nature, the reality of Spirit, the oneness of the Cosmos. It arouses the spiritual heart to expand and express itself with effulgent radiance. Through love, selfless love, unconditional love, divine love, it is possible to conquer all things. It is with love that we approach God, not through fear; fear will never take us to the divine throne. To express love is the beginning of wisdom. By practicing hand gestures we eventually find ourselves communicating with Nature, for some of her esoteric languages are signs and symbols. Mudras generate structured magnetic fields with forms that resemble computer fractuals and images. Abstract forms reach the higher planes of life where angelic forces reside. Thus, by performing mudras we may eventually find ourselves socializing with cherubim and seraphim. According to scientists we use about 10% of our brain potential. Mudra practices may change all that, for the energies that it awakens clears all of the vessels--physical and non-physical--of obstructions and blockages that prevent the brain from being nourished and developed. New synapses between neurons are formed when the brain receives a good supply of chi or prana. An increase in I. Q., a strong memory retention, improved learning ability, and mental alertness, are some of the results of cleared energy channels. When empowered the brain forms new connections with the etheric brain. These connections resemble and function as miniature sutratma, which is the link between the lower quaternary of the microcosm and the higher components that we normally refer to as "the Spirit" of man. The more links between the etheric and physical brain, the more powerful and intelligent the brain becomes. Mudras awaken the power of the hands to act therapeutically and magically. The psychic centers in the palms and fingertips are activated to their optimal level by the consistent application of mudras. This eventually facilitates the free outflow and influx of cosmic forces that may be utilized for various occult purposes. With such power, even a mere touch may mesmerize, enchant, fascinate, or quicken the "dead." Hands with such power would definitely be an asset not only to the metaphysical practitioner but also to those involved in social and business affairs. Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    Mudras hand symbolism what are mudras part 2

     

    [Note: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our website] The Various Traditions In these series of articles we shope to describe the mudra practices to be found in various religious practices, such as in Buddhism, and Hinduism; and in various countries rich in cultural traditions as for instance, Japan, India, China, Tibet, and Indonesia. Mudra teachings are also to be found in Christianity and in the Egyptian tradition. Contemporary development of Runic lore has also its own version of hand-gestures designed to offer psychic benefits. We will describe some of these and teach how our readers may put these mudras into practice to assist their spiritual unfoldment and the improvement of their mundane lives. Regrettably, there are many powerful mudras to be found in mystical schools and traditions that we have not been able to get access to and thus present in these articles. For instance, Chen Yen or Shingon Buddhism, which is considered as an esoteric tradition, has a rich heritage on mudra practices. These mudras are performed in conjunction with mantras and the visualization of mandalas. According to their doctrines, mudras, mantras, and mandalas represent body, speech, and mind. Chen Yen Buddhism teaches that the culture of these three aspects of the microcosm leads the practitioner to a higher spiritual state of being. Another Buddhist school that teaches mudras is the True Buddha School led by the Living Buddha Lu Sheng-yen. One would have to be a follower of the Living Buddha in order to acquire the mudra teachings. The Spiritual Path At the very outset of these articles we would caution our readers not to misapply any phenomenal powers that they may acquire through the practice of the mudras. Always aim for spirituality, not for the attainment of illusory baubles. Do not strive for the phenomenal, the sensational; or be obsessed with spiritual powers. The goal is soul-development, not self-aggrandizement. The spiritual tyro should not succumb to self-deception, self-complacency, self-centeredness, self-importance, and all egoistic tendencies. Until the false ego is subdued, one has not reached the proper state where enlightenment may be acquired or where spiritual forces and powers may be properly harnessed and applied; even the so-called awakening and rising of the kundalini force will not be optimal in its influence. There is too much deception here. Psychicism is often mistaken for spirituality. Visions may delight the ego, seeing spirits may make one think highly of oneself, the vain display of "supernatural" powers may leave one too self-complacent. In the end the evolving soul gets stuck in the astral mire, no matter how sublime visions or experiences may be. The nature and apprehension of one's visions is related to one's evolutionary status. The higher we are the more true our understanding and perception. Those who claim the ability to see sublime visions while being morally bankrupt are only perceiving the lower astral planes and the projections of their own subconscious minds. What true spirituality is cannot be stated too openly for the reason that it would be falsely adopted or assumed by those pretending to be "Masters" in order to fool an unwary and ignorant crowd. The true Master, however, has his own criteria and is able to differentiate the false from the real, the quacks from those who are genuine. If the reader argues that he or she seeks powers so that they may be of help to humanity it is time for introspection. With what you have right now, are you helping humanity? Do you make sacrifices on behalf of humanity? Do you serve selflessly? Please do not deceive yourself. It is always wise to first work upon your own character before undertaking the unfoldment of powers. Without a true Guru one could be led astray by dark forces posing as representatives of Light. The spiritual path is filled with thorns and mirages. The closer one gets to the goal, the more temptations, obstacles, tests, and trials one encounters. The chelas, students of the spiritual path often succumbs to glamour and illusions, false understanding and beliefs. Without the Guru's aid, they could fall. But most often while bathing in the false astral light they forget the Guru and seek instead temporary delights. Students of metaphysics should not attempt to fly before they can run, run before they can walk, walk before they can stand, or stand before they can crawl. In their ambition to attain spiritual power and personal bliss quickly, students of metaphysics make the mistake of jumping from Guru to Guru, from teaching to teaching, from tradition to tradition, not realizing the traps that they are laying for themselves, and thus delaying the divine grace that the true Guru would channel to them. They would also not experience the Guru's essence in such a manner; nor will they receive all that the Guru would like to give. It is like digging a well for water. We would dig 5-6 m before reaching water. If we were to dig a meter here, a meter there, we would end up with nothing substantial. Students would end up confused: one Guru says this, another says that, etc. Students that follow many Gurus simultaneously are not loyal to the instructions of any one of them. It is also unfair to the Guru as a problem might arise in their spiritual disciplines. Who would then be responsible for that? To which Guru should the student go to? The spiritual aspirant is unaware that certain traditions are incompatible, that some rays do not mix well, and that by practicing them together these might eventuate in psychic and psychological impediments and problems. Masters have always cautioned us to "make haste slowly." The ancient Rishis and Yogis were well aware of this problem of the neophyte, they therefore established Guru Puja, or the worship of the Guru. Essentially this was not for the purpose of glorifying the Guru in any way, it was for the purpose of assisting the chelas or students to maintain focus, to develop divine love, to instill a sense of identification with their Guru so that they may become like the object of their adoration. Students would derive the utmost benefit by sticking to a single Guru. Only in this manner would it be possible for the chela to experience "Guru Tattva," "Zat Guru," or the essence of the Guru where the Supreme Being expresses and bestows through the Guru untold spiritual wealth upon the loyal and devoted student. We may claim that we express unconditional love; and yet, if we do not have trust and faith in our Preceptor, if we do not apply his instructions and advice seeking pastures in other fields and hoping for a quick attainment, and thus destroying all that the Guru wishes his disciples to accomplish--that is, to unfold in an orderly and proper manner--then it simply proves that our claim of unconditional love is false. There are agents of the dark forces stomping around looking for victims. They entrap their prey by flattery, big promises and a show of "psychic powers" and the like. Metaphysical students should be on guard and not fall into their clutches for their path lead downward to the abyss. The spiritual path toward the lofty goal of Buddhahood, human perfection, or the ascension may be compared to a ladder consisting of many rungs. Each rung should be treaded upon. Missing a rung would only mean returning again in a later life time to learn or experience it. Attaining nirvana, experiencing bliss, or acquiring an expanded consciousness is all well and good but a person is no closer to the goal than before. Prior to starting off his career as a human soul Man was in such a divine natural state, tranquil, blissful, sans ego; and yet he incarnated for a reason, for a spiritual purpose. Would we negate this purpose now by ignoring it and experiencing bliss for our own sakes alone? The goal is the Ascension and in order to do that the quaternary principles--the physical, the etheric, the astral, and the lower mental bodies would have to be transmuted and raised to the causal level, and this cannot be done with the false ego still running amuck, when the sense of mortality still holds sway, when self-centeredness is the whole purpose of existence. The experience of bliss does not indicate a high spiritual development. There are various levels of bliss, not all of which originate in the blissful center of the Soul, or Higher Self. Man possesses certain components in his being that records past feelings whether of trauma or joy. When stimulated or cleansed these components release their contents and is experienced by the consciousness. This experience is often mistaken for the impregnation of the Holy Spirit. An advanced consciousness no longer judges dualistically what it perceives. It does not differentiate between the good and the bad, the evolved and the unevolved, the beautiful and the ugly. It is only aware of the presence of God in all. When we get down to spiritual basics, psychic powers mean nothing. They do not take a person closer to God. Possessing paranormal abilities do not make a person spiritual. Spirituality has nothing to do with what you have or what you know. It has to do with what you are, and how well you are expressing your Divine Self. Therefore, in conjunction to the study of mudras we would adjure our readers to develop purity, love, affection, detachment, disinterestedness, gentleness, harmlessness, beauty, selflessness, self-abandonment, and other divine virtues. Also, deepen your metaphysical knowledge of Cosmic laws and apply spiritual precepts. Do not miss a rung of the ladder leading toward the goal of human perfection. As said before, if any rung is missed you would have to return to start all over again in order to tread it. It is wonderful to unfold unconditional love and to experience bliss but do no forget that Divine Consciousness has many spiritual aspects and attributes, each one of which the spiritual aspirant would have to personally unfold. The person with the full unfoldment of one or two divine virtues has still a long way to go to reach perfection compared with another who has almost unfolded all of them but incompletely as yet. It is therefore, difficult to judge another using human values and perception. Mudras are tools to spiritual development. They should be used in conjunction with other metaphysical disciplines and not applied as a sole sadhana or spiritual practice. There is no one method or technique that is superior to another. They all have their place in a disciple's daily work-out, and each have their own purpose and effect. Thus, while engaging in mudras, one should not give up one's daily prayers, meditations, occult disciplines and other yogic practices. Chelas should not be attached to the sensations that mudras give--their purpose is not to offer personal delight; rather chelas should be focused more on the goal of human existence. Purpose of These Series of Articles All that we need to progress spiritually may be found within us. We were told by the Master Jesus that heaven is within us, within our beings; it is not a place that we go to when we pass away, or after the last angelic trumpet call during the last days of the Apocalypse. We do not deny that in some scriptures heaven is said to be a place. There is some truth in this belief, in this context we may equate heaven to the various dimensions, planes of existences, or realities. However, the heaven referred to by Master Jesus is quite different. It is more of a state of being, a level of awareness, a spiritual attitude. The more we depend upon our inner being, our own Self, our own resources for our own evolvement, the more quickly we will reach the goal of human existence. Excessive dependence upon external agencies simply prolongs our state of ignorance and our human, mortal condition. This is one of the reasons why in Holy Scriptures we are warned not to visit street fortunetellers, paranormals and such, for they frequently instill in us a false sense of self-assurance and complacency, or conversely--needless fear. They misdirect our attention to things of no eternal worth. They are part of that materialistic scheme of the Dark Ones that hope to delay and if possible, thwart humanity's soul progress. Salvation does not come from without, it comes from within. The savior of humanity lies within our own hearts. We have to find him there. This is a simple message that all mystics and saints have been telling us. We may disregard it at our own peril. The purpose of these articles is to assist the raising of the awareness and the expansion of the consciousness of our readers who apply the teachings of the mudras. They are keys to personal development and spiritual unfoldment. By practicing the mudras consistently, the practitioner would in time realize the following: The existence of unseen forces and Intelligence The omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience of Energy The existence of other dimensions and realities The oneness of all life The errors of dualistic perception The blissful nature of the Spirit, or the Self The various powers of the Soul The illusions of time and space The birthrights of the Soul such as health, tranquility, prosperity, joy, etc. The powerful nature of Divine Love The ephemeral nature of physical life Morality as a soul necessity The sacredness of all sentient life The reality of the Soul . . . and many other things that cannot be put into print or understood intellectually. Mudras may take us to spiritual heights that we have not reached heretofore. It initiates us into the world of pragmatic mysticism. All that a true spiritual Guru may do is to offer keys, guidance, advice, and teachings. He or she is unable to force any chela to comply or to obey because of the Law of Free Choice. It is up to the disciple to trust, have faith in and to open-up to the Teacher. One of our intentions in the writing of these articles is to help preserve an important aspect of the cultural heritage of humanity. Here and there in these works are to be found spiritual gems and seeds that may not be recognized as such. In any case, we believe that they will eventually take root in the fertile grounds of our reader's mind and sprout in an active enhancement of the human condition disregarding commercialism and all partisanship and fanaticism of race, religion, color, gender, tribal affiliation, etc. Although these series of articles are incomplete and have their shortcomings, the author feels that it would still fill the void in most people's awareness concerning esoteric methods of spiritual development. There are many occult techniques, systems, and traditions at our disposal, we only need to search for the tools that work for us. An open mind, fearlessness, and humility are all necessary qualities that would help us in our search for the keys to spiritual knowledge and unfoldment. We reiterate: everything that we need to evolve and grow spiritually we already possess within us. We just need to be shown and given the keys that opens the right portals. These articles, it is hope, would offer a bunch of these keys that would unveil for the reader a greater world of understanding and experience. This is what the writer wills. Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    My prayer for tonight

     

    God. Thank you for the day today. God, I tried to do everything to the best of my abilities. I may have done few things right and others wrong. Please forgive me, my mistakes and please reward me for my successes if you so desire. God, I want to forget today and get up fresh tomorrow. I also want to forget all of my past. God, I want to love tomorrow as if it is my birthday. I want to treat tomorrow as my new birth and forget all of my past. This will help me live life in a new way every day without any burden of the past. God, please help me doing this. God, There are many incidents of my past which were very bad when they occurred. But today, I don’t even remember them. I want to do this to all my incidents of today. I don’t want them to fade away from my memory slowly. But I want to bury them now. God, please help me doing that. God, Please give me new ideas tomorrow. Please give me a new outlook. Let me treat all the obstacles as challenges. Let me enjoy fighting with them rather than getting frustrated by them. God, please give me a new way of looking at the things. Let all the situations be a test situation for me. Rather than getting annoyed and irritated, let me look at them as my adversaries that have to be outwitted by me. Let me do this in a playful way. God, let me do this everyday. God, let me pray to you in the same way everyday. God thank you very much.

         
    Mystery of the soul part 1

     

    "They will ask thee concerning the Spirit. Say: The Spirit is by command of my Lord, and of knowledge ye have been vouchsafed but little" (Koran Al Israa 17:85) Introduction At present we are living in a very complex era that humankind's intelligentsia call the "Space Age," the "Computer Age," the "Atomic Age," the "Information Age," and the "Technological Age." These are descriptive culminating "Ages" of the Piscean period that will soon give way to other developments. In time, we will hear terms or phrases such as, the "Ascension Age," the "Quantum Age," the "Hyper-Space Age," and the "Photon Age." All of these latter Ages allude and refer to the characteristical nature of the forces that will soon interact, interface and integrate with humanity in the coming Aquarian Age causing a transmutation within the psychosomatic system of man at cellular and atomic levels. The two-helix DNA structure comprising our genes would split and multiply into twelve strands, in accord with the same law that divides a cell. Certain atoms within the pineal gland would simultaneously become active, as would certain sections of the brain. The synapses and dendrites of the neurons of the brain would form new connections all over the grey matter linking both the right and left hemispheres, and both the cerebellum and the cerebrum. Chakras beyond the major seven would likewise be stimulated and anchored into man's lower force-field. Additionally, the various layers of the chakric-system and their many petals or attributes would unfold giving man untold abilities. It is said that the attainment of enlightenment is not merely a psychological event, it is also a chemical and electrical one. It is in fact an alchemical affair. In short, in the Aquarian Age man will be spiritually mutated, and made anew to a greater perfection-but only if man is prepared and works to facilitate this. This transmutation is the evolutionary quantum leap that awaits humanity. With all of the awe-inspiring metaphysical developments that would occur, there are still simple truths that would need to be addressed to enlighten the layman, such as the existence of the soul, which is the topic of this paper. There are lots of seekers and potential seekers of a higher reality that need to be shown the way. It is the writer's hope that this paper would fill the void in people's mind regarding the hidden side of their existence, and hopefully, cause then to fathom further in the marvelous mysteries of the universe. The Search for the Soul The scientific search for the soul began ever since the dawn of spiritualism that had its onset in the early decades of the 19th century when the Fox sisters claimed communications with the spirit world. Still, in spite of all the "marvelous" high-tech achievements of man in these latter days of the Piscean Age, the question of the existence of the soul and its survival of physical death remains unanswered successfully by conventional science. The soul's existence has not been academically and scientifically "proven" in the laboratory to the satisfaction of scholars of all branches of learning; on the other hand, however, the non-existence of the soul has not been proved either. To our knowledge, the devices that would monitor, measure, and scan frequencies beyond the known energy-spectrum remains to be invented ere the concrete proof of the existence of the soul required by Science may be attained. The many inventions of Tesla and Edison revealed that they were pioneers working on this problem. Throughout the centuries philosophers have been speculating upon the existence of the soul and its survival of the body; of its nature and relationship to the physical form; of its origin and destiny; and also of its possible glorified nature, or its state of immortality. However, intellectual and analytical reasoning have failed to provide any substantial evidence of an independent entity existing apart from the physical body. The serious search for the soul by our world philosophers and thinkers through a priori, or reason alone seems to have waned in the twentieth century. Perhaps it is realized that the intellect has its limitations in grasping, comprehending, and truly knowing abstract and metaphysical matters, or it could also be the realization that any concept that could be thought of has already been conceptualized in the past--that any novel ideas would merely be variations of former metaphysical speculations and of the wide variety of theories, and would not make man any more wiser. This would once again substantiate the eternal truth that there is nothing new beneath the sun. Still, there are always die-hards. The physical senses, the mortal mind, and the intellect are poor faculties when it comes to determining the nature of Reality or the Absolute. What is relative may be known intellectually and experienced objectively; relative absolutism may be speculated upon though without knowing whether one's conclusions are of the absolute truth in the absence of scientific proof, even if they be rational and logical; examples of this is the "Unified theory" of Einstein and the "Idealism" of Kant. Absolute absolutism is simply indescribable and ineffable. It transcends the intellect, and anything said about it in conventional terms is simply misleading. Even our description "indescribable and ineffable" may be inappropriate. From the standpoint of the Absolute all that we know of whether through our senses or intellect are perhaps erroneous and illusory. In the Qabala, the esoteric oral tradition of the Hebrews/Jews, the Absolute is called "Ain Sof." It is the hidden God, the Source of all not mentioned in the exoteric scriptures. Jehovah, the god of Moses, with his human characteristics, is merely a reflection of the supreme god found in the pantheons of the coexisting cultures of the time. The existence and nature of Ain Sof was not publicized because the Initiates knew that the mental capacity and spiritual development of the masses had not reached the required level whereby such revelations could be intuitively grasped and safely applied. This state of affairs still exist nowadays but with a twist. Now the mental development of man has far outpaced his spiritual side. Whenever abstract matters are discussed, the human mind tend to concretize and anthropomorphize that which cannot be objectified or understood intellectually; and with man's failure of apprehending abstract matters he comes to the conclusion of their non-existence. Man, therefore, becomes ignorant of his ignorance. Though the above ideas concerning Reality may appear to be distinct, in actuality, they are interrelated and are connected with one's mode of apperception and intuitive insight. Superficially, they are our different ideas or understanding of Absolute Reality. We will not speculate further upon this, for the more we delve intellectually, the further we stray from the truth. Reality may only be known and experienced mystically. How is the soul related to the above concepts? Is the soul merely another invention of the mind, or can it be known and experienced in a physical and concrete manner, or any way that transcends the physical senses and intellect? As the Age of Pisces relied heavily upon analytical thought in order to apprehend "truth," so the Aquarian Age will rely most emphatically upon altered states of consciousness, intuition and other higher faculties in order to perceive, experience and comprehend abstract realities. Whether the intuition or a higher faculty proves the existence of the soul will depend entirely upon the empirical knowledge acquired by each individual in an absolute state of awareness. That science would finally prove the existence of the soul, or certain aspects of it at some future date we have no doubt, but the answer to such a question may be acquired here and now through mystical means. In the coming Age there will be a shift of emphasis from speculative metaphysics to applied metaphysics or practical mysticism. Though this is already occurring with the varied activities of the proponents and exponents of occultism and metaphysics in the last few decades, this condition will intensify further in the next millenium. The true knowledge of the soul would have to come from the soul itself. It cannot be otherwise. Science may only discover aspects of it. When Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to humanity he ushered man onto the road of civilization and into the path of spiritual inquiry. Fire relieved prehistoric man of many fears. With the discovery of fire, man could for once in his life relax in the comfort of his cave without the fear of being attacked by unexpected predators. In his new-found ease man commenced to think and introspect. His higher mind began to awaken and he started off pondering upon the existence of invisible realms and a "self" independent of the material form. This cogitation was triggered by certain experiences that he had such as dreams, psychological impressions, and unexplainable instinctive knowledge. In dreams he felt that something within him goes forth out of the body to continue the activities of the day. This was the birth of the belief in the existence of the soul. The belief and search for an incorporeal principle of human life, therefore, goes way back beyond recorded history and is to be found in all cultures in one form or another. So far, only the spiritual cream of society--the mystics and saints--have solved the problem of the existence of the soul through experimentation in the laboratory of the Spirit. Throughout the ages mystics, sages, and prophets have impressed upon us the importance of knowing the immaterial entity that animates and directs the body. Some consider this entity to be the mind, the self, the soul, the life-force, the spirit, the ego, the personality, the psyche, the Spark of God, etc. They declare that it is only through knowing this intangible reality of man is it possible to know one's Source and one's purpose of being. The instinctive drive that motivates and impels man to search for the soul stems from the imponderable soul-factor itself. The importance of the search is sensed by the mind but the exact reason is not known explicitly. This is what Jung called the religious instinct. Moreover, this "instinct" is not to be found in man alone, but also in the other primates and the cetaceans. Another curious fact is that the higher animals exhibit many so-called human qualities such as guilt shame, and pride. If these feelings are associated with the soul, then soul, or at least soul-essence may be said to indwell in animals also. However, man is considered the only being that wonders about the soul, death, the after-life, etc. In The Meaning of Immortality in Human Experience, William Ernest Hocking (1873-1966), the American philosopher says that, "Man is the only animal that contemplates death, and also the only animal that shows any sign of doubt of its finality." Does the soul really exist? And what is the value of identifying the soul? Without the search and discovery of the "soul" along with the knowledge of its purpose of existence through whatever means possible, there would always be a feeling of dissatisfaction and uneasiness in the bosom of man. Without the undeniable proof of the survival of individual identity life would appear to be a series of meaningless events and experiences. If the soul does not exist and everything ends at the death of the human form then all the struggles and all the strivings in life serves no purpose. Why bother with the harsh teachings of life if all will end up in total annihilation with not a single iota of the immaterial man surviving the physical form? Suicide would be a convenient escape; and yet, somehow, we sense that suicide somehow violates cosmic rules--rules laid down by whom or what? On the other side of the coin, man's inflated ego has caused him to believe that he is the only creature on earth with a soul. His "superior intelligence" is proof of it. Man believes that no other creature possesses faculties such as imagination, reason, and the will as he has--the vital faculties needed to control and direct the environment. This reasoning gave man a sense of supremacy and uniqueness; and also the sense of being the chosen one of God, for was he not made "in the image of God"? This is basically an egocentric point of view, one that gives rise to the exploitation, abuse, manipulation and ultimate destruction of Nature. Associated with this belief is the presupposition that intelligent life only exists on earth, and that Man is representative of it. Man is so blinded by the ego that he does not realize that life adapts itself to whatever conditions it finds itself. The chemical and environmental necessities for sentient life here on this planet may not be the requirements for the manifestation of life on another planet. Life may subsist on other or unknown elements. For instance, carbon being the basis of life on this planet may not be the basis of life on other planets. Other planets may make use of silicon, silica, or other materials instead. That which gives life is not any of the known gases, but the universal life-force called prana. Aside from this, from the metaphysical point of view, life does not solely exist in the spectrum of energies that we objectively perceive, but exists even beyond that. So, as an example, a planet such as Venus or Pluto may be host to intelligent beings residing in the higher dimensions of the planet without being detected by the crude telescopes or instruments that we call technologically advanced, such as the Hubble Space Telescope. Vital questions that might be addressed are whether animals possess souls, or is this a unique gift to man alone; is soul a substance or a function; and that if man evolved self-identity out of the functions of the life-force, at what point of his evolution did he acquire it; and should soul be considered an entity, at what point in the fetal development does it ensoul the form, or does it enter when the baby takes in its first breath? Such questions may only be answered should we possess a true knowledge of the metaphysical part of life. A study and understanding of all of the seemingly intangible aspects of nature such as the microcosmic constituents and functions of man--the etheric elements supporting organic life, the divine spiritual force that sustains the microcosmic structure, the three-fold Soul, etc., assists greatly in answering profound questions. Man possesses subconscious knowledge of his soul, but for some reason he blocks this out consciously by "pretending" to be ignorant. He hypnotizes himself into disbelieving immaterial realities for this is the line of least resistance to him. Actually it is much easier to remember than to forget. The proof that the soul, the spiritual essence of man exists is that we are searching for it! It is the mystery of the soul searching for itself. We realize that this topic is controversial in nature, and as being related to religion, it acquires a certain sensitivity among religious fundamentalists. However, this emotional sensitivity should be shelved aside in the rationalistic study of the soul; for one must be objective, open-minded, sensible, tolerant, and circumspect in the acquisition of beneficial knowledge. Unrestrained emotionalism is a hurdle towards the acquisition of truth. Hopefully this paper would offer the reader a greater insight into the mystery of the soul and our intense search for it. This is a complex subject and it would not be possible to wholly satisfy the intellect. Its purpose is no more than to act as a stimulus for the mystical consciousness of the one perusing its pages. Whenever we use the word "soul' we are generalizing and mean the whole immaterial part of man, unless otherwise specified or implied. DEFINITION The Webster's Dictionary defines soul as "the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life," and also as the "spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe." It also defines the soul as the "person's total self." Religion and philosophy regards soul as the immaterial aspect or essence of the microcosmic man that confers a sense of self and being--a sense of being an independent entity, quite apart from the external environment. Basically, religious philosophical thought believe the soul to be eternal in essence. Neoplatonism is one of the school of thought that propounds this tenet. The theologian and prelate St. Augustine likewise, believed in the immortality of the soul, as did Cicero, the Roman orator. The soul is often thought to be synonymous with the mind or consciousness. Theology builds up upon the above definitions by considering the soul to be divine in nature and capable of surviving the dissolution of the physical form. In our modern times the belief in soul survival is called Survivalism. Certain schools of metaphysics further assert that the soul, or spirit to be a spark or emanation of the Source of all and that it is an evolving aspect of the microcosm working towards apotheosis or deification. Perhaps it would be superfluous to say that the soul-concept is subjective. Whether it exists is beside the point: the Self, or soul as an essence has never been perceived objectively by anyone. What are seen as phantoms or ethereal forms by psychics or the average person during certain psychological states are possibly the sheaths enshrouding the spiritual essence. If we have a soul, then what are we? What is "it" that is supposed to possess a soul or Self? Can a Self possess a Self? Is the soul to be differentiated from the Self? Unless we recognize that there are various aspects to the immaterial man we would not begin to understand him. It is in this respect that Occultism, Mysticism, the Ancient Wisdom and Metaphysics in general, are far in advance of the knowledge possessed by exoteric Religion, Philosophy, and Science. The soul is not wholly definable. We may generalize and say that the soul is the immaterial aspect of man; and yet this non-substantial quality of man is composed of various components, not all of which may be immediately apprehensible by the various faculties of the mind. Also, our media of information conveyance such as words, signs, and symbols are incapable of transmitting the whole truth as it is. The divine aspect of the immaterial man cannot be expressed through language, nor can they be formulated into ideas. A faculty of a lower aspect of the microcosm is incapable of knowing a higher aspect in its entirety. In order for a higher aspect of the microcosm to be known it is necessary to exercise the faculties associated with it. For instance the clichй "it takes a thief to catch a thief" describes and supports our proposition exactly. No one knows a thief better than another thief. Likewise, in order to know something we must be that something or function at its level. This metaphysical principle has a very wide application, and many unusual occult phenomena may be produced from its use. Although the academic definition of the soul has been given above, there is no standard agreement or understanding as to the terms "soul" and "spirit" and also of the other spiritual concepts taught in the many religions, sects and cults. This lack of standardization causes confusion and often result in senseless heated debates and even physical conflicts. Some systems of metaphysics consider the above terms as archaic and specific words denoting the various aspects of the soul or spirit are utilized instead. Should religion update its terminology and doctrines in accord with the modern findings of science and the pure spiritual teachings of mysticism it would be more aligned with the plan of God and attract more followers into its fold; as it is, true religion appears to be withering in the temples of God. This statement may be contradicted, however, those that argue against it may not understand what true religion is. The many attributes of the soul are generally known to be the personality, the conscience, the emotional feelings, the mental faculties, the Ego, the memory, the various levels of consciousness, and the will. Generally speaking, philosophy, religion, and metaphysics are all in agreement as to this. Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
    Mystery of the soul part 2

     

    RELIGIOUS BELIEFS When we speak of religious beliefs we mean its theological tenets. Christianity and Islam share common ideas and beliefs having their roots in a common source--Judaism. This religion in turn derived many of its doctrines and beliefs from the Persians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Chaldeans, and the Sumerians. Perhaps it would be true to say that almost every religion is syncretic, though they may try very hard to cover this up. Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Taoism are more mystical in nature and differ greatly from the Semitic religions in many basic principles; Hinduism comprising of many philosophical schools of thought, embraces various theological ideas. Some schools of Buddhism teaches that there is no permanent entity called the soul; that what is thought to be the soul is simply a collection of karmic tendencies transmittable from one incarnation to another. Their extreme views are nilhilistic in nature; however, it is doubtful whether this was implied in the teachings of the Buddha. For instance, if there is no Self, then there is also no Gautama Buddha in existence; and yet, prayers are still being directed by the faithful to this exalted being. Fundamentally, although these religions have diverse concepts regarding the soul they all point or refer to the One where all sentient beings originate. All have their own particular name or names for this Source, and all have their personal ideas regarding this Divine Essence. Theological precepts are often tainted with the frailties of the human ego and intellect and thus offer a poor basis for the study of true religion and its revelations concerning the soul. Nevertheless, we will strive to present its beliefs with as little bias on our part as possible. This section will be brief, for to do justice to the subject would require many pages and go beyond the scope of this work. In Christian theology it is believed that the soul prior to birth is devoid of any individuality or personality. It is only when God breathes through the nostrils of man that the soul acquires self-consciousness, and is a "living" being--and this condition of being alive is believed to remain with the soul after death. In the Book of Genesis it is recorded that, "God made man out of the dust of the earth, breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and made man a living soul." (Gen 2:7) The phrase "living soul" is equated to the state of being self-conscious. According to this notion unless there is an awareness of the existence of an ego, or a self, a person or being does not truly have a soul. Such a creature is "soulless." A person may be alive imbued with the soul-essence, the life-force, and yet remain soulless, in the sense that it is not self-aware. Some states of insanity may represent beings who are "soulless." While the living soul is associated with the awareness of the ego, immortality is associated with the awareness of the superego, the Higher Self. This idea, though, falls in the province of metaphysical thought. Basically, theology consider the soul to be a substance implanted in man. It is believed to be an entity divinely created and bestowed upon man when man takes his first breath. Christian theology formulated the idea that man is a divine creation, the highest of all beings, and that the whole universe was created for man alone in support of his existence. In Christianity the terms "lost souls" or "degraded souls" are often expressed. The moral quality of a person's life is believed to be able to affect the soul. However, from the metaphysical point of view soul-essence is immaculate, perfect, immutable and divine. What may be affected is not its essence but its conscious expression. The consciousness arising from soul essence is that which evolves and strives to reflect the image, archetype or blueprint that God created for man. This is stated emphatically in Genesis; however the statement is often interpreted literally. This blueprint is the image or divine qualities of God. It does not refer to form but to the inner nature of the life-essence. The Hindus, generally speaking, believe the soul to be an entity that resides in the physical body and is subjected to reincarnation in accord with its karma. The Upanishads says that, "The Supreme Person, of the size of the thumb, dwells forever in the heart of all human beings." Its esoteric wisdom, moreover, tells us that the immaterial man is constituted of various principles each having their own particular function. The highest principle within the microcosm of man is the Atma, or according to others, the Paratman. In the Bhagavad Gita, the microcosm is represented by Krishna, Arjuna, the carriage, and the horses. Krishna is the Spirit, the highest aspect of man; Arjuna the evolving soul; the carriage the mind; and the horses the senses. Graphically five horses are often represented. They represent the senses of man through which the vital force escapes and runs uncontrolled. In yoga and esoteric practices the senses are subdued so that the vital force may be directed within to awaken the sluggish Arjuna. Krishna is the guide that assists Arjuna in this project. ANCIENT BELIEFS As we mentioned before, the belief in the survival of the soul after death goes way back to the earliest development of humankind. Primitive Neanderthal tribes, for instance, would bury food, tools, and weapons along with the corpses of their departed in order to provide them with the bare necessities in the afterlife. This custom still survive in some cultures and is a clear indication that not only is soul survival believed in but that the afterlife as a continuation of the sort of life lived in the physical world is likewise presumed. Animism was the prevailing belief among prehistoric man. Everything was considered alive and pervaded with a soul-force that even gave inanimate objects a consciousness and an intelligence of some kind. Stars in particular were believed to be souls long dead and living in heaven. To the primitive mind, the sky or firmaments were considered to be heaven, just as hell was thought to lie beneath the earth. That the soul "resided" and functioned in the physical body, a location was sought for its residence. Some believed the heart to be the organ of the soul, others pointed to the head. Some primitive cultures thought that the blood was the vehicle of the soul--that the blood carried soul-substances to every part of the body. The demon Mephistopheles in a play written by Goethe (1749-1832) declares the blood to be a "curious thing." The belief that the blood is the vehicle of the soul is not without foundation, however. If the soul in this context is considered to be the life-force, prana, chi, or even oxygen, one can only surmise how the primitive mind intuited this scientific fact. Scientifically, it has been noticed that blood-transfusion often causes a temporary change in character in the person receiving the donor's blood. Could it be that blood is impregnated with one's soul-characteristics? As the blood was associated with the soul, many primitive tribes such as the Scythians evolved the custom of drinking the blood of their enemies or victims in order to absorb their courage, strength, power, and abilities. The custom of forming blood-brothers is also based upon the belief in the importance of the blood as related to the soul, and its transcendence over fleshly ties. Members forming blood-brothers would drink the blood of fellow members thus forming a soul-bond overriding the normal flesh-and-blood relationships. The ancients often depicted the soul as a bird often human headed, perhaps referring to its ability to fly. The Aztecs, ancient Greeks and Egyptians among the many ancient races, for instance, often portrayed the souls of their dead in murals and pottery as a winged bird taking flight from its lifeless corpse. Eagles, hawks, doves, peacocks and phoenixes were often used to represent the soul. Not only the head, heart, and blood were believed to be the seat of the soul, but likewise the breath. Believing that the breath is associated with the soul and life, the aborigines of Papua New Guinea would breathe through tubes into effigies of their forefathers in order to confer a certain vitality to their departed souls. This is a magical practice based on the law of similarity. Many tribal cultures practiced the placement of obstructions in the nostrils of their dying ones as a last effort to saving their lives. This they believe would effectively prevent the soul from escaping and causing the death of the body. It is believed among ancient and savage people that the soul being associated with the life force, illnesses or feebleness of the physical body are caused by the escape of the soul from the gross form. In extreme cases the soul force was "captured" by some evil spirit and it was the task of the shaman, the tribal witch-doctor to recapture the soul and restore it to the corporeal body. The ability of the shaman to dissociate his incorporeal aspect from the gross form supposedly facilitated this sort of work. The Ancients' concept of the soul has evolved throughout the ages, and even now our scientific understanding is constantly in a state of change. Our conceptions regarding the soul is associated with our various notions regarding God. As man evolves so does his awareness of the soul and his Source. Man has formed many ideas regarding the nature of his creator. In this context it can be seen that the phrase, "God creates man, and man creates God" has a basis in truth. Among the ancient cultures, the Egyptians and Hindus were the most advanced in their understanding of the soul. We in particular refer to their mystics, hierophants, and sages. They regarded man as a microcosm with many aspects, both material and incorporeal, with each aspect having its own function to play in the life and destiny of the soul. Their many teachings live on today in contemporary metaphysico-occult philosophy. The ancient Greek philosophers and sages such as Thales, Plato and Pythagoras derived much of their occult knowledge from these wise priests of the Orient. SCIENTIFIC VIEWS Along the scientific vein, certain schools of thought believe the self or ego to be a by-product of a brain function, and yet what gives rise to this function is not known, and only given an educational guess. The section of the brain that "causes" a sense of self is likewise not yet discovered. This concept of the "brain causes consciousness" is fundamentally the viewpoint of the mechanists that sees man as merely a machine. The above concept is flawed, however, because portions of the brain have been known to be destroyed and yet the presence of a sense of self still remained. In the condition known as hydrocephalus, for instance, large sections of the cerebral cortex may be destroyed or missing, being filled instead with cerebro-spinal fluid, and yet individuals suffering from such a condition may lead normal lives without suspecting their blight. They may even have an I. Q. above average. The mechanists, Freud (1856-1939) among them, claim that our behavioral actions are automatic responses to external stimuli, and that life is a result of the right combination of chemicals derived from food and oxygen. That an animating force exists to vitalize the organism they may concede but this force is looked upon as a physical energy akin to electricity. The mechanistic theory describes how perception takes place through the stimulation of the senses that creates nerve impulses, and how these nerve impulses travel to the sections of the brain related to the senses, and how they form sensations; but the theory does not consider the real perceiver that tries to make sense of the sensations. To mechanists, the perceiver is thought to be one of the functions of the cerebral cortex. In short, the mechanistic concept leaves no room for the existence of the soul. To a mechanist the purported existence of the soul is considered as an absurdity. If the eminent neuropsychologist Karl Lashley (1890-1958), author of Brain Mechanisms and Intelligence, after years of research could not discover the seat of memory in the brain, how much more difficult would it be to discover the seat of the self or soul--not withstanding Descartes' (1596-1650) assertion that the pineal gland is its locus. This French philosopher and mathematician also declared, "cogito, ergo sum," or "I think, therefore I am" thus implying that the Self arises into existence as a result of thought, or as a function of the mind. Nevertheless, mystics have proved to themselves the possibility of transcending thoughts and yet remaining in existence, and possessing an exalted sense of Self, unified with the Cosmos. The mystic's standpoint is supported by Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), French philosopher and writer. To Sartre, existence does not depend on the functions of the mind, that a being does not exist simply because it thinks. According to Sartre, existence precedes the mind--or thinking. Rene Descartes' statement is therefore erroneous, or perhaps our interpretation of his statement is wrong. "I think, because I am" would be closer to the truth. In spite of this, Descartes was somewhat accurate in believing that the pineal gland plays an important role in man's occult physiology as we shall see later when we discuss the metaphysical purview. Mainstream science may disavow the existence of the soul on the pretext of its immateriality, undetected by their instruments; and yet, matter in its actual state in similarly immaterial. This was the proposition of Leibniz (1646-1716), the German philosopher, who considered matter as a manifestation of Mind--"a stupid variety of mind." To explain this graphically, for instance, what we call concrete matter is actually made up of moving molecules. Molecules in turn are made up of whirling atoms, and these are composed of even smaller particles. Should these sub-atomic particles be magnified "nothing" would be found. Matter, is therefore, made up of "emptiness." We may call this void "energy," "mind," or "spirit," but whatever we call it, the fact remains that matter is actually as insubstantial as the soul. If the reality of one is accepted why not the other? The many particles composing matter are filled with this "nothing," or space. Another curious fact is that if we were to remove the space inherent within a human body, for instance, and all the "particles" united, the total compaction would result in a piece of matter no larger than a mite of dust. Leibniz's theory is also paralleled by the thoughts of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), the American Trancendentalist. According to Emerson matter is "a phenomenon, not a substance." He also considered the material world to be, "a divine dream, from which we may presently awake to the glories and certainties of day." Science informs us that nothing is destroyed. That matter is just energy possessing a certain structure and magnetic-field. It is acknowledged that everything in existence is made up of energy. Now as the existence of consciousness and a sense of self are undeniable, they should be thought of as indestructible as well, for Science has already implied the idea in its equations. So why then does Science not accept the possible existence of disembodied consciousness--the soul?--because it cannot be perceived? Quiet an absurdity, really--even while embodied the Self cannot be seen. Can you see your Self? From whence does the sense of self-identity come? It seems that mainstream science is still a long way in finding this one out. However, new paradigms are being formulated by open-minded scientists who are now considering the world-view of eastern mystics in conjunction with the new developments and discoveries in the field of physics and psychology. The theories of quantum physics and transpersonal psychology are closing the gap between essential religion and conventional science. Regarding the mystery of the Self in relation to the brain we are reminded of the words of the researcher and scientist George Buletza who said in the Rosicrucian Digest (Sept. 1983) that, "Rather than the brain producing Self, it is the other way around. The brain is a product of Self, of Being ever striving to be. The brain is the incredibly fine instrument created by Self in the process of expressing its own nature . . ." It has been observed in many laboratory experiments all over the world that human consciousness reveals an ability to extend itself beyond the boundaries of the brain and body, that somehow it may perceive or influence events at distant places. Such mental activities suggests to some scientific observers that consciousness may exist independent of the corporeal form. Many branches of science such as physics, psychology, astrophysics, and biology, are investigating the soul, and each has their own particular methods of inquiry. Perhaps the most important branch of science that has been developed in recent times, relatively speaking, is parapsychology. Parapsychology Parapsychology is that branch of science that studies the nature of psychic or paranormal phenomena. Its scope of investigation covers a wide range of subjects: for instance, ESP, hauntings, poltergeist activity, Near-Death Experience, Out-of-the-Body Experience, UFOs, Strange Creatures, Weird Phenomena, etc. There are now many institutes investigating, studying, and teaching this branch of science. The word "parapsychologist" is often misunderstood. Many people seem to think that being a parapsychologist is synonymous to being psychic. This is erroneous. A psychic may not be a parapsychologist, and vice versa. A psychic is someone who perceives impressions through higher senses not ordinarily registered by the physical senses. Psychics may not generally understand the impressions that they register, and may simply believe and be fooled by illusions and appearances. A parapsychologist seeks to understand unusual phenomena through scientific analysis, and by using empirical methods with the aid of carefully devised instruments. A mystically inclined metaphysician, on the other-hand, basically strives to understand phenomena with the aid of his intellect, intuition, and other higher faculties. The parapsychologist's basic methods are three-dimensional, the psychic's four-dimensional, and the mystic-metaphysician's, five-dimensional, or even higher. To illustrate the difference between a paranormal and a metaphysician's understanding of phenomena, we will just illustrate one out of many. As an example, supposing a psychic were to receive impressions of an impending disaster, he would consider it to be truth and proclaim it to others. He would make all sorts of predictions anent the impressions that was registered in his mind. He would consider it as a revelation of God. The metaphysician on the other hand, knowing Cosmic and natural laws, understands the impressions received to possibly be thought-forms-mind creations of fearful beings. Man radiates thoughts, and these thoughts, perhaps without a basis of truth, are received by psychics. The unfortunate thing in all of this is that thoughts are creative. What we habitually think about with intense emotion have a tendency to materialize. So dire predictions often come true; however it does not have to be. We have to learn to eliminate fear. When psychics make predictions they are instilling and intensifying fear among the masses. Now this is a vicious cycle. When people are made fearful by psychics they begin to imagine more catastrophic horrors and these thoughts radiate out again to susceptible psychics who repeat the whole procedure over again. The momentum eventually grows until it manifests physically. However, let us not digress too far and return to our subject: Parapsychology has established various avenues of research for determining the reality of the soul and the survival of personal consciousness. Although the results of their research are inconclusive by the standards of mainstream science, parapsychologists have been successful in acquiring evidence and vital knowledge that when analyzed seemingly validates the age-old belief in the existence of the soul and its survival of bodily death. Nevertheless, parapsychologists have formulated various theories as to their findings, not all of which aligns with the traditional view of the soul. It is also important to note that the term "soul" is rarely used in mainstream science or parapsychology. The terms "mind," "consciousness," and "personality" are often used instead. Copyright © 2006 Luxamore

         
     
         
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