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Re: [WitchesWorkshop] Happy New Year

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  • jimdragontek@aol.com
    In a message dated 12/31/2001 10:22:58 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... I for one, while being carefully cautioned by many not to claim to be Wiccan, as I have
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 1, 2002
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      In a message dated 12/31/2001 10:22:58 AM Eastern Standard Time,
      l08aum@... writes:


      > My other resolution is not to 'argue' with Wiccans as this has had
      > often been misunderstood and is not worth the effort. So I will not
      > argue with anyone (not that I ever did other that offer alternative
      > views).
      >

      I for one, while being carefully cautioned by many not to claim to be
      Wiccan, as I have never been a member of a coven, so I just refer to myself
      as an eclectic witch.
      I have no fear of an open discussion as to viewpoints and ideals, so, go
      for it kiddo.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • l08aum
      MM ... be Wiccan, as I have never been a member of a coven, so I just refer to myself as an eclectic witch. I have no fear of an open discussion as to
      Message 2 of 13 , Jan 8, 2002
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        MM

        > I for one, while being carefully cautioned by many not to claim to
        be Wiccan, as I have never been a member of a coven, so I just refer
        to myself as an eclectic witch. I have no fear of an open
        discussion as to viewpoints and ideals, so, go for it kiddo.> >

        Sorry, I seem to have missed this one (posting)..... How rude of me.

        Hmmm!!... it is not worth the bother to 'discuss' with those who
        choose to 'target' + 'assault' the messenger rather than the subject
        content. ... and OH!! ... Better to be an eclectic witch if I may say
        so. The word "Freedom" comes to mind.

        The following comment by Mark A. Foster, Ph.D. titled " Neoplatonism:
        A Metaphysical Precedent for the Structural Dialectics Paradigm " is
        worthy of a open discussion..... This is from a long article at:-
        http://www.jccc.net/~mfoster/rs/neoplatonism.html

        I quote ...

        " Perhaps a useful analogy can be drawn with Gerald Gardner, the
        founder of modern so-called Wicca (or, erroneously, witchcraft) and
        its offshoot, Neo-Paganism. Although Wicca is primarily based on
        Aleister Crowley's thelemic magick, it also incorporates elements of
        reconstructed ancient Greek, Roman, and, especially, Druidic
        mythologies, as well as Tantrism. Certainly, its connection with what
        anthropologists call witchcraft, or with the "burning times" in old
        and New England, is non-existent, and it is best seen as a hybrid.
        However, all creative thinkers introduce a variety of ideas,
        including their own, into their systems, and Plotinus was no
        different. ..."

        Subjects of these nature can generate fruitful discussions however
        some members cannot open their mind up to alternative views and would
        rather 'shoot' the messenger. I belief that one must continue to
        challenge one's 'setting' to progress from Maya's trickery as NOTHING
        is REAL and yet ALL is REAL. (Oh! It doesn't mean what you think it
        may mean!!!).

        I suppose it is fair to say that they will always be some pagan
        fundamentalists, whose views cannot be shaken or stirred!!

        On a serious note, I am always happy to engage in a decent forum-
        debate or discussion so long as mutual respects exist.

        BB AY
      • Gavin
        Hi Yogi, all, Not having a bias one way or another as to Wicca, being an eclectic sort of pagan, I thought I d offer some comments on the piece you ve quoted
        Message 3 of 13 , Jan 8, 2002
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          Hi Yogi, all,

          Not having a bias one way or another as to Wicca, being an eclectic sort of pagan, I thought I'd offer some comments on the piece you've quoted here, in the spirit of viveka (philosophical analysis based on logic and insight, for the non-sanskrit types).

          The quote:

          >" Perhaps a useful analogy can be drawn with Gerald Gardner, the
          >founder of modern so-called Wicca (or, erroneously, witchcraft) and
          >its offshoot, Neo-Paganism. Although Wicca is primarily based on
          >Aleister Crowley's thelemic magick, it also incorporates elements of
          >reconstructed ancient Greek, Roman, and, especially, Druidic
          >mythologies, as well as Tantrism. Certainly, its connection with what
          >anthropologists call witchcraft, or with the "burning times" in old
          >and New England, is non-existent, and it is best seen as a hybrid.
          >However, all creative thinkers introduce a variety of ideas,
          >including their own, into their systems, and Plotinus was no
          >different. ..."

          I went and read the full article in question, and found it to be an essay on the Bah'ai faith, and its connections with Neo-Platonist thought. Wicca and paganism were mentioned only once in the entire essay, in the paragraph quoted here, as an illustration of an unrelated point. There is no evidence whatsoever provided by the author to back up the assertions about Wicca made here.

          >Although Wicca is primarily based on
          >Aleister Crowley's thelemic magick,

          No evidence is provided by the author for this assertion, not even a reference to another author making this claim. Would I be correct in thinking that this sentence in particular contributed to you posting this quote here, Yogi?

          >it also incorporates elements of
          >reconstructed ancient Greek, Roman,
          >and, especially, Druidic
          >mythologies, as well as Tantrism.

          I doubt many Wiccans would argue with this, but again, the author provides no evidence.

          >Certainly, its connection with what
          >anthropologists call witchcraft, or
          >with the "burning times" in old
          >and New England, is non-existent,

          Again, evidence? In fact, the connections made by Neil Campbell in your subsequent post, Yogi, point towards the opposite being true - his unspoken hypothesis (and I think it's a fascinating one) seems to be that inherent similarities between Eastern and Western traditions of past and present imply a historical and cultural connection. If this is true of East and West, why would it suddenly be untrue of the "burning times" and the Wicca that has been developed over the past 50 years?

          Overall, I can't see how the statement you've quoted can contribute to further discussion on the WW, given it is so flawed. personally, I'd rather read more of Neil Campbell's stuff, and discuss that.

          Blessings,

          Gavin.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Andrew
          Hi Gavin, All, ... Well, obviously I am one of those biased, nasty Wiccan types, but I didn t find too much to argue with in your observations Gavin. ...
          Message 4 of 13 , Jan 9, 2002
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            Hi Gavin, All,

            On Wed, 09 Jan 2002 13:29:09 Gavin wrote:
            > Not having a bias one way or another as to Wicca, being an eclectic sort
            > of pagan, I thought I'd offer some comments on the piece you've quoted
            > here, in the spirit of viveka (philosophical analysis based on logic and
            > insight, for the non-sanskrit types).

            Well, obviously I am one of those biased, nasty Wiccan types, but I
            didn't
            find too much to argue with in your observations Gavin.

            > I went and read the full article in question, and found it to be an
            > essay on the Bah'ai faith, and its connections with Neo-Platonist thought.
            > Wicca and paganism were mentioned only once in the entire essay, in the
            > paragraph quoted here, as an illustration of an unrelated point. There is no
            > evidence whatsoever provided by the author to back up the assertions about
            > Wicca made here.

            Pretty well spot on. While it is certainly a fruitful line of inquiry
            to look
            at just what Wicca (and indeed neopaganism in general) owes to both
            Stoic and
            Neoplatonic thought, this (one, isolated) paragraph quoted supplied no
            evidence
            for its assertions, nor cited any sources that such an opinion might
            have been
            based upon. At best we must leave its worth as totally unassessable.
            Obviously
            any familiarity with Wicca, even based on the more authoritative
            published texts
            will give ample reason to doubt that the author's assertions deserve
            such
            generous treatment.

            > >Although Wicca is primarily based on
            > >Aleister Crowley's thelemic magick,
            >
            > No evidence is provided by the author for this assertion, not even a
            > reference to another author making this claim.

            This is evident throughout the author's entire (brief) treatment of
            Wicca. It
            is also extremely dubious. It is undeniable that there has been a
            Crowleyan
            influence in Wicca - usage of Crowley's poetry is well documented for
            instance,
            yet to assert this as the primary source of Wicca is disingenuous at
            best. It
            compleely ignores quite a number of more significant written sources,
            not to
            mention the disputed sources claimed in oral tradition and lore.

            For the benefit of our would-be viveka exponent may I suggest, once
            again,
            a review of the available literature by either long time Wiccans and by
            the
            academics who specialise in this field. Heselton, Hutton, Valiente, and
            of
            course Gardner himself spring to mind.

            > Would I be correct in thinking that this sentence in particular contributed
            > to you posting this quote here, Yogi?

            Well, it would seem so... interesting that such a generally unrelated
            piece
            should be presented in this contex, and I'm left wondering just how hard
            one
            would need to search to find 'gems' like this...

            > > it also incorporates elements of reconstructed ancient Greek, Roman,
            > > and, especially, Druidic mythologies, as well as Tantrism.
            >
            > I doubt many Wiccans would argue with this, but again, the author provides
            > no evidence.

            Yep... I'd argue that in fact Wicca has elements from folk tradition
            which
            stem from Anglo-Celtic culture, as well as some distinctly Scots
            elements. To
            be sure there are themes and elements directly attributable to Classical
            Greek
            Mysteries, but much less Druidic than is commonly assumed,
            reconstructionist
            or not. Tantrism, at least filtered via the Western Esoteric Tradition,
            as well
            as influences from that GD based form of occultism and esoteric Masonry
            which
            influenced virtually all occult activity in Britain from the late 17th
            C.
            onwards. Then there is the tricky issue of the exact influence of
            Cunning craft
            and folkloric influence, not to mention the literary influences of
            Graves,
            Leland and Murray, to name just a couple... to single out Crowley, and
            even
            more specifically Thelema, as primary source seems just a bit simplistc.
            And
            all this ignores the fact that there are indeed elements which we simply
            can't
            reliably trace, but which analysis of transcriptions, copying errors and
            the
            like seem to indicate a source Gardner (or someone) copied from.

            > >Certainly, its connection with what anthropologists call witchcraft, or
            > >with the "burning times" in old and New England, is non-existent,
            >
            > Again, evidence?

            Becomes a tad repetative doesn't it Gavin?

            > In fact, the connections made by Neil Campbell in your subsequent post,
            Yogi,
            > point towards the opposite being true - his unspoken hypothesis (and I think
            > it's a fascinating one) seems to be that inherent similarities between
            > Eastern and Western traditions of past and present imply a historical and
            > cultural connection.

            Yep, though the path this has taken, and when, is a fascinating study in
            itself.
            The above passage also begs the question of just *which* particular
            definition
            of 'burning times witchcraft' is being used (academic or otherwise) and
            which
            particular 'theory of witchcraft' the author supports - sociological,
            phenomenological, rationalist, or the less respected Murray thesis, or
            that of
            Summers? Or perhaps the more broad, open, and cross-disciplinary
            approach now
            being seen, in historical framework by Hutton etc. and in anthropology
            and/or
            folklorist perspectives by Eliade and more recently Ginzburg.

            A bit of an idea of just *what* the author of this piece meant (and what
            framework of beliefs/assumptions underlie it) might offer some clarity
            to
            what otherwise seems a fairly ill-researched throw-away line that really
            constitutes a brief (and largely irrelevant) aside to his main thesis.

            Definitely leaves me wondering as to the worth of its being posited here
            in
            the first place, unless (as the earlier thread still indicated by the
            subject
            seems to imply) it was a demonstration of the brevity of life of New
            Years
            Resolutions.

            > If this is true of East and West, why would it suddenly be untrue of the
            > "burning times" and the Wicca that has been developed over the past 50
            years?

            Hmmm... indeed...

            > Overall, I can't see how the statement you've quoted can contribute to
            > further discussion on the WW, given it is so flawed. personally, I'd rather
            > read more of Neil Campbell's stuff, and discuss that.

            Yep.

            Now to just elucidate a few areas which further demontrate the flawed
            nature
            of this piece...

            > >" Perhaps a useful analogy can be drawn with Gerald Gardner, the
            > >founder of modern so-called Wicca (or, erroneously, witchcraft) and
            > >its offshoot, Neo-Paganism.

            Now, the spirit of viveka is philosphical and logical analysis, not
            emotive
            assertions. How can *any* religion (path, group or organisation for
            that
            matter) be labelled as 'so-called'? Arguments of etymology aside this
            is
            quite a condescending, and ill-informed, approach. It isn't 'so-called
            Wicca',
            it *is* Wicca. Whether the identification with witchcraft can be so
            blithely
            dismissed as erroneous depends *entirely* on the context and usage of
            the term
            witchcraft, regardless of the historicity (or lack of it) of a
            connection with
            'burning times witchcraft' (however we then try to define that).

            While it is true that Wicca was, in many ways, the first impulse in what
            has
            grown to be the broader neopagan movement, and has had considerable
            influence
            over a large portion thereof, calling neopaganism and 'offshoot' of
            Wicca also
            seems somewhat dismissive, not to mention that it clearly ignores the
            pre-existance of several Druidic reconstructions, and parallel
            development of
            Norse and Saxon paths which owe little (if anything) to Wicca.

            Cheers,

            Andrew.
          • l08aum
            Hi Gavin ... here, in the spirit of viveka (philosophical analysis based on logic and insight, for the non-sanskrit types). .. I love that word Viveka but
            Message 5 of 13 , Jan 9, 2002
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              Hi Gavin


              > ... I thought I'd offer some comments on the piece you've quoted
              here, in the spirit of viveka (philosophical analysis based on logic
              and insight, for the non-sanskrit types). ..>>
              I love that word "Viveka" but it means philosphical discrimination
              based on insight. I don't think there is logic there. Mind you there
              is more to Viveka then that. As this is an important word to
              understand I have quoted some sources here ...

              Ajna-Chakra. It is also known as the Third Eye.

              When this center is awakened the three properties are experienced. In
              the perfect emptiness there are no arguments, no problems or
              difficulties, no duality now, only unity. In the emptiness one hears
              a wondrous sound. One experiences perfect consciousness. This chakra
              is the seat of consciousness, of Buddhi (intellect) and Viveka
              (discrimination).

              http://www.chakras.net/poc-ajna.htm

              Words can bring you only up to their own limit; to go beyond, you
              must abandon them. Remain as the silent witness only. (451)

              Refuse attention [to things], let things come and go. Desires and
              thoughts are also things. Disregard them. Since immemorial time, the
              dust of events was covering the clear mirror of your mind, so that
              only memories you could see. ...

              In the mirror of your mind all kinds of pictures appear and
              disappear. Knowing that they are entirely your own creations, watch
              them silently come and go. Be alert, but not perturbed. This attitude
              of silent observation is the very foundation of yoga. You see the
              picture, but you are not the picture. (469)

              When through the practice of discrimination and detachment (viveka-
              vairagya), you lose sight of sensory and mental states, pure being
              emerges as the natural state.

              http://www.nonduality.com/asmi8d.htm

              Human Spiritual Structure: Kosas

              The manomaya kosa is the subtle mind or subconscious, (part of the
              western unconscious) mind. It directly controls the conscious mind
              and is responsible for four fuctions, 1) memory, 2) contemplation, 3)
              experience of pleasure and pain, 4) dreaming.

              Vijinanamaya Kosa
              The vijinanamaya kosa is the subliminal mind. It is the middle layer
              of the causal mind. It is able to grasp all of objective existance,
              both in space and time. It perceives all tanmatras, unlike the lower
              layers of mind. It expresses many divine attributes, mercy, patience,
              humility etc. Including dhyana, or deep meditation.

              The vijinanamaya kosa has two primary functions: 1) viveka, or
              discrimination, and 2) vaeragya, or non-attatchment. Vaeragya: Non-
              attachment can only be attained after Viveka has awakened.

              http://www.dimensional.com/~ahm/matrix/SpSt/kosas.htm


              "Studying the Way" is just a figure of speech. It is a method of
              arousing people's interest in the early stages of their development.
              In fact, the Way is not something which can be studied. Study leads
              to the retention of concepts and so the Way is entirely
              misunderstood. Moreover, the Way is not something specially existing;
              it is called the Mahayana Mind - Mind which is not to be found
              inside, outside, or in the middle. Truly it is not located anywhere.
              The first step is to refrain from knowledge-based concepts. This
              implies that if you were to follow the empirical method to the utmost
              limit, on reaching that limit you would still be unable to locate
              Mind.


              http://scribble.com/world3/meme1/space2/drunk.html


              Steps Towards Freedom

              viveka, translated as discrimination or even as wisdom. Something
              that may be so described arises in the one who begins to have a sense
              of the inadequacy of his present way of life, his values and
              objectives. He begins to ask himself, "What is the good of these
              things?" Why am I doing what I am doing? ..

              Once the process of discrimination has begun, necessarily taking at
              first the negative form of many-sided disillusionment, we pass to the
              next stage which is described as vairagya or desirelessness. This is
              not so much a qualification that has to be attained as a condition
              which follows naturally from the awakening of discrimination .

              The understanding dissociates consciousness from identification with
              the movement that is being perceived. The understanding has to be
              direct and cannot be mediated by some process of judging, remembering
              or anticipating.

              No longer compulsively mobilized to the defence of those values, the
              mind has no longer to flick anxiously through its huge collection of
              memories and images.

              In mystical or occult literature many terms and expressions are used
              which can be understood only through the immediacy of experience and
              not through intellectual analysis or comparison with something else.

              http://www2.nextcentury.com.au/twilight/HSH_STFR.HTM

              Viveka is not the intuitional Truth but an intellectual
              discrimination, and yet, it is this clarified perception that paves
              the way to the highest experience in intuition. Viveka gets merged in
              Jnana. The intellectual knowledge of Reality is the fundamental
              requisite for the dissolution of thought in the intuitional wisdom of
              Truth.

              http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/realis/realis_5.html

              At this stage I will not express an opinion on the article but if you
              take a viveka view of empathetic resonance to it and 'see' it as
              the 'seer' (author) and not the 'seen' (reader) you may grasp the
              alternative viewpoints. Bear in mind that it is a Bahai article.


              > Again, evidence? In fact, the connections made by Neil Campbell in
              your subsequent post, Yogi, point towards the opposite being true -
              his unspoken hypothesis (and I think it's a fascinating one) seems to
              be that inherent similarities between Eastern and Western traditions
              of past and present imply a historical and cultural connection. If
              this is true of East and West, why would it suddenly be untrue of
              the "burning times" and the Wicca that has been developed over the
              past 50 years?>

              There are a number of points of the article which is worth perusing
              but I will look at it later after hearing more comments. I think the
              author distinguishes Wicca from the burning times.

              Regarding Neil Cambell's article - he has more indepth articles at
              his site at http://www.geocities.com/indianpaganism/index.html

              I am sure that Neil will be happy to discuss some aspects of them. I
              think that he is a member of this group.

              There is another article that may interest you ... CELTIC WICCA

              at http://www.fortunecity.com/marina/pontoon/2457/id4.htm

              Celtic Wicca today is a combination of Druidism, Hinduism, pre-Celtic
              Fairy Faith, and many other sources, but it is based on the ancient,
              proto-IndoEuropean tribal religions.

              Separation of life energies into seven distinct elements was taught
              and practiced by the proto-IndoEuropean tribes. Such elemental
              separations were implied in Sumerian Mythology, but the credit is
              usually given to the Indo-European descendants, the Greeks, who
              publicly discussed such mysteries at length. The Celts, also
              descendants of these IndoEuropean tribes, appear to have kept the
              original beliefs in the seven elements of earth, sea, stone, cloud,
              wind, sun, and the Gods or spirit, but due to their love of teaching
              things in sets of threes, they often spoke in terms of sea, land and
              sky.

              Buddhism is an evolution of Hinduism and most anthropologists believe
              that they both evolved from the same pre-historic IndoEuropean
              religions as Druidism, so there should be no surprise that we have
              much in common with them. I am proud to say that modern Wiccans
              accept what wisdom they can learn from many sources including
              Buddhist and Hindu teachers. The more I learn about Hindu teachings
              of Dharma, Karma, and many Gods and Goddesses with a single divine
              source, the more convinced I am that Hindu teachings have directly or
              indirectly contributed nearly as much to what is modern Wicca as the
              teachings of the ancient Celts.

              Buddhist concepts about dharma, karma, reincarnation, and progression
              through multiple lifetimes are also generally accepted by Wiccans
              except that we usually have a more joyful and optimistic view of life
              than that portrayed by some Buddhist teachers..

              The Druids combined the functions of the priest, the magistrate, the
              scholar, and the physician. They stood to the people of the Celtic
              tribes in a relation closely analogous to that in which the Brahmans
              of India, the Magi of Persia, and the priests of the Egyptians stood
              to the people respectively by whom they were revered.

              http://www.fortunecity.com/marina/pontoon/2457/index.htm



              > Overall, I can't see how the statement you've quoted can contribute
              to further discussion on the WW, given it is so flawed. personally,
              I'd rather read more of Neil Campbell's stuff, and discuss that.
              > > Actually there is a lot of essence in the Bahai article if a
              Viveka perspective is taken.

              Blessings

              AY
            • Gavin
              Hi Yogi, Andrew, all, ... Give me a nasty Wiccan over a nice one any day! ... Not only that, but Wicca continues to be one of the first pagan traditions that
              Message 6 of 13 , Jan 9, 2002
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                Hi Yogi, Andrew, all,

                Andrew, you wrote:

                >Well, obviously I am one of those biased, nasty Wiccan >types,

                Give me a nasty Wiccan over a nice one any day!

                >While it is true that Wicca was, in many ways, the first >impulse in what has grown to be the broader neopagan >movement, and has had considerable influence
                >over a large portion thereof,

                Not only that, but Wicca continues to be one of the first pagan traditions that newbies tend to come across in their search for their own individual path. Its influence (conscious or otherwise) in shaping the basic belief structures of pagans who go on to other paths is probably greatly underestimated.

                Yogi, you wrote:

                >At this stage I will not express an opinion on the article >but if you take a viveka view of empathetic resonance to >it and 'see' it as the 'seer' (author) and not the >'seen' (reader) you may grasp the alternative viewpoints. >Bear in mind that it is a Bahai article.

                The fact that it is a Bah'ai article and not one directly relevant to Wicca, Witchcraft or Paganism seems the central issue.

                >I love that word "Viveka" but it means philosphical >discrimination based on insight. I don't think there is >logic there.

                So you say, but you quote from an article further on:

                >Viveka is not the intuitional Truth but an intellectual
                >discrimination, and yet, it is this clarified perception >that paves the way to the highest experience in intuition.

                Use of the intellect, in a Western context, implies a process of logic. I personally believe that logic is a perfectly legitimate stepping stone to acquiring viveka, just as meditation using an object can be used as a preliminary to meditation without an object.

                >Ajna-Chakra. It is also known as the Third Eye.

                I know. It's a misconception, and it bugs the hell out of me, because ajna is located the mid-brain region, and what we know as the Third Eye is actually a minor energy-centre known as Bhrumadhya. But then, misconceptions exist about all sorts of things.

                I am sure that Neil will be happy to discuss some aspects of them. I think that he is a member of this group.

                I for one would be happy to have his contribution.

                Blessings,

                Gavin.


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • jimdragontek@aol.com
                In a message dated 1/8/2002 9:11:18 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... I wrote that note about choosing to call myself an eclectic witch. I don t take insult from
                Message 7 of 13 , Jan 10, 2002
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                  In a message dated 1/8/2002 9:11:18 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                  l08aum@... writes:


                  > . I belief that one must continue to
                  > challenge one's 'setting' to progress from Maya's trickery as NOTHING
                  > is REAL and yet ALL is REAL. (Oh! It doesn't mean what you think it
                  > may mean!!!).
                  >

                  I wrote that note about choosing to call myself an eclectic witch.
                  I don't take insult from it, I simply discovered that I do have something of
                  a small touch of the desire for a bit of revenge.
                  I don't consider your having missed the mail being rude, there is a
                  little bit of a time-gap so to speak since I am on the other side of the date
                  line, er hemisphere ...and planet come to think of it.
                  I'd be grateful to hear of some of the references as to information you
                  used, such as Maya. I believe he (?) was a Buddhist philosopher?
                  I'm still picking up on some general outside information, so anything new
                  becomes interesting. Its surprising how simple touches of general information
                  can usefully come back to you when you can use it.
                  The website you've mentioned is also held in another file (websites-funny
                  about that). And you are correct about not bothering to 'get into it' with
                  those who would rather attack than discuss. In my case its out of respect.
                  The lady, who is on another list, took great time and pains to seriously
                  study Gardnerian Magick. As I respect her wishes, at least for her, I do not
                  call myself Wiccan for that reason.
                  I've also learned, as I've said, I don't exactly hold, as some write,
                  perfect love.
                  Being somewhat a mediaevalist, I hold to the old-style idea of the coven
                  'black man'
                  I try my best to protect my friends and 'fellow witches' from harm by other
                  than themselves. Since I do not belong to a coven, I don't have to face the
                  other side of that same coin: enforcement within the coven.
                  I know this sounds a little weird, but I was raised in an area that
                  often had little tolerance for 'fringe dwellers'.
                  I also keep in mind a quote from a Catholic priest from the 1950s. I
                  don't recall who wrote it, but the quote ends: "When they came for me, there
                  was no-one left."
                  I love open discussion and trying to come up with serious questions.

                  Now, for another question open to all: My wife once had a penpal who
                  is/was a dispatcher for the Mossman, North Queensland Constabulary.
                  Anyone have any suggestions as to how one could contact them?

                  Jimdragontek


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • l08aum
                  Hi Gavin Sorry for not replying any earlier. Been moving house and establishing a Jjana Yoga centre (at Southport) and this is taking all my time. Also I just
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jan 20, 2002
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                    Hi Gavin

                    Sorry for not replying any earlier. Been moving house and
                    establishing a Jjana Yoga centre (at Southport) and this is taking
                    all my time. Also I just got the cable internet re-connected.

                    You raised some interesting points and I think that you are
                    using 'mindfullness' form of viveka thinking. Certainly logic helps
                    in deciphering 'discrimination' of knowledge but I was looking at
                    the 'altered-states' of the sub-conscious and supra-conscious process
                    of 'viveka' contemplation. Logic exist within the physical realms but
                    at deeper level of 'inner-worship', say: quantum level, logic cannot
                    apply as non-duality concept reign. Although one 'sees' the
                    differences in 'things' one must go beyond duality of thought
                    to "realise" the truth of the ONE. The Bahai article has a statement
                    that appears to have no relationship to the overall article and yet
                    the author made a statement on wicca as if it was factual to
                    illustrate a point. There are many others that seem to hold such
                    views and I don't think it really matters as much as to why there are
                    differing views but it boils down to one's perception of things.

                    > The fact that it is a Bah'ai article and not one directly relevant
                    to Wicca, Witchcraft or Paganism seems the central issue.
                    > Use of the intellect, in a Western context, implies a process of
                    logic. I personally believe that logic is a perfectly legitimate
                    stepping stone to acquiring viveka, just as meditation using an
                    object can be used as a preliminary to meditation without an object.
                    > As you said 'stepping stone to acquiring viveka' - yes... I say
                    that one must go beyond the five senses.


                    > >Ajna-Chakra. It is also known as the Third Eye.
                    >
                    > I know. It's a misconception, and it bugs the hell out of me,
                    because ajna is located the mid-brain region, and what we know as the
                    Third Eye is actually a minor energy-centre known as Bhrumadhya. But
                    then, misconceptions exist about all sorts of things.>
                    Misconceptions exist simply because of Maya's trickery. We
                    actually 'delude' ourself. We seek god/dess elsewhere yet we forget
                    that S/He is in us.

                    > I am sure that Neil will be happy to discuss some aspects of them.
                    I think that he is a member of this group. >
                    I am sure that Neil will be happy to discuss many aspects of his
                    research on the Celtic/Vedic link. You can ask him here or at the
                    Tantrism Group which he co-moderates with me. There are several
                    others who share similar views, Dr Jonn Mumford is one. I think the
                    big mistake people are making is in relating to the immediate life
                    and not to their past ones. All lifes are not that important at all
                    but are merely part of the Grand-play (leila). There are many races
                    of beings and we would have lived all of them. This is a complex
                    subject to contemplate.

                    I also note that the aspect of 'self-initiation' is of interest to
                    some. I hold a view that when the student is ready the master will
                    come. Any form of initiation is only the start but all books and
                    external sources of learning is only a preparation for the 'internal'
                    journey. Being initiated or not is not that important. The God/dess
                    is NOT external to us. We are IT (Tat Twam Asi).

                    BB
                    AY
                  • Gavin
                    Hello Yogi, Good to hear that there s a new Yoga centre at Southport - may it be another beacon of spirituality in the world! Some more on the concept of
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jan 21, 2002
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                      Hello Yogi,

                      Good to hear that there's a new Yoga centre at Southport - may it be another beacon of spirituality in the world!

                      Some more on the concept of viveka and THAT article.

                      You wrote:

                      >Logic exist within the physical realms but
                      >at deeper level of 'inner-worship', say:
                      >quantum level, logic cannot apply as
                      >non-duality concept reign.

                      Interesting point, but I'd want to clarify (to appease the ghosts of my old Philosophy lecturers!) that logic does not exist within the physical realm in the way you are implying. It is an abstraction, in the same way numbers 1, 2, 3 etc. are also abstract, non-physical. However, logic can be applied to physical realms, just as numbers can be applied to physical objects. I don't know enough about quantum mechanics to comment intelligently as to any connection between the abstract realm and the quantum realm you are referring to.

                      >The Bahai article has a statement that appears
                      >to have no relationship to the overall article
                      >and yet the author made a statement on wicca as
                      >if it was factual to illustrate a point.

                      The statement on wicca relates in its own way to the overall article, otherwise it wouldn't be there, but all it proves is that Ba'hai adherents seem to know as much about neo-paganism as most of us do about the Ba'hai faith (which is very little, it would appear).

                      >There are many others that seem to hold such views and I >don't think it really matters as much as to why there are
                      >differing views but it boils down to one's perception of >things.

                      Or one's agenda. The author may well have decided to check his facts better if he'd been presenting his essay to a different readership... like, f'rinstance, Wiccans...

                      >I think the big mistake people are making is in
                      >relating to the immediate life and not to their
                      >past ones. All lifes are not that important at
                      >all but are merely part of the Grand-play (leila).

                      You raise an interesting point. Is it desirable, then, to be constantly aware of the "Big Picture"? What about the opposing perception, that every small moment of every hour of every life is full of importance and meaning? I would suggest that sometimes, the best way to learn (or play, for that matter) is to fully immerse ourselves in what we're doing, rather than saying, "Oh, it's all Maya. It's just trickery..." The Big Picture must get uninteresting, after a while...

                      Blessings,

                      Gavin


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • l08aum
                      Hi Gavin ... be another beacon of spirituality in the world! Just a base for like minded souls to meet and chat. ... of my old Philosophy lecturers!) that
                      Message 10 of 13 , Feb 4, 2002
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                        Hi Gavin

                        > Good to hear that there's a new Yoga centre at Southport - may it
                        be another beacon of spirituality in the world!>
                        Just a base for like minded souls to meet and chat.


                        >
                        > Some more on the concept of viveka and THAT article.
                        >
                        > You wrote:
                        >
                        > >Logic exist within the physical realms but
                        > >at deeper level of 'inner-worship', say:
                        > >quantum level, logic cannot apply as
                        > >non-duality concept reign.
                        >
                        > Interesting point, but I'd want to clarify (to appease the ghosts
                        of my old Philosophy lecturers!) that logic does not exist within the
                        physical realm in the way you are implying. >>
                        Logic does have a role to play in some forms of meditation but
                        in 'viveka' contemplation the mind is at 'supra-conscious' level,
                        beyond the five senses, and at the akashic universal mind field where
                        logic and reasoning can be a hindrance.

                        >>I don't know enough about quantum mechanics to comment
                        intelligently as to any connection between the abstract realm and the
                        quantum realm you are referring to.>>

                        The following url may give you some ideas...

                        http://faculty.virginia.edu/consciousness/home.html

                        this is a very difficult subject to understand,


                        > > >I think the big mistake people are making is in
                        > >relating to the immediate life and not to their
                        > >past ones. All lifes are not that important at
                        > >all but are merely part of the Grand-play (leila).
                        >
                        > You raise an interesting point. Is it desirable, then, to be
                        constantly aware of the "Big Picture"? >
                        This is what self-realisation is all about. The core of the vedas
                        is "Tat Twam Asi" (Thou Art That)

                        >>What about the opposing perception, that every small moment of
                        every hour of every life is full of importance and meaning? >> It is
                        Maya for its importance is for the 5 senses and the 'wheel' of
                        rebirth.

                        >>I would suggest that sometimes, the best way to learn (or play, for
                        that matter) is to fully immerse ourselves in what we're doing,
                        rather than saying, "Oh, it's all Maya. It's just trickery..." The
                        Big Picture must get uninteresting, after a while...>>
                        We are mesmerised by our be-ing that we forget our true identity. The
                        Tantrik explores differenty from a vedantin but comes to the same
                        conclusion for the body is only a biological machine (consisiting of
                        the 4 elements and sustained by the 5th prana) for the soul which
                        drives it. Freedom from this 'slavery + bondage' to the body is what
                        yogins aspire for. However, one must not deny one's dharma or kama as
                        it is part of the spokes of the wheel of samsara. Pain and sufferings
                        follow those who dwell from life to death and rebirth forever
                        believing that.

                        Blessings

                        AY (yogi)
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