Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Intellect

This keeps popping into my head so I got to get it out.  Look away now or suffer the stream of consciousness that is about to ensue. ;-)

 Plato called Aristotle 'The Intellect'.  However, he did NOT mean that as a compliment.  Aristotle Was smart, gifted-even intellectual. However, Aristotle was ALL Mind/Brain.  Did not balance the Mind with the heart or rest of the body for that matter. Plato may have been more of a Meta-physician if you will, while Aristotle was Pure Science. Nothing wrong with Science, it is great actually.

Reasoning however, should be tempered by more than Logic/Mind. Balance should be the goal.  Not too much feeling/Heart, but not too much logic/Mind either. Knowledge is simply knowing/being aware of things.  Wisdom is putting that knowledge to good use, for the betterment of ALL.

By all means be Intellectual. Read, Learn, Discuss.  Remember, however, to temper that Logic with Body and Soul through the Heart. I myself am proudly Intellectual, at least by the Modern Standard.  I also seek to balance my reason with Heart and Soul.

 I think that is gist of what has been bouncing around in my head.  Hopefully at least one person will read it and Understand...

Bill Schell
(AKA) Frater Frabato

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Western Mysteries-An Introduction



The Western Mysteries

What do we mean when use the phrase Western Mystery Traditions?  In general this includes everything not of Eastern origins.   Many equate the Western Mysteries with Jewish Mysticism and even Esoteric Christian beliefs and practices.  While that is or can be a part of the Western Mysteries, it is not all there is to be found.  The Western Mysteries were heavily influenced by the rites and philosophy of many different Pagan sources.  Some of which include the likes of Socrates, Plato, and Pythagoras to name but a few.  Also included are the rites of Osiris and Dionysus and the Eleusinian Mysteries.  Another whole topic that could be included under the Western Mystery umbrella would be the Holy Grail and the Grail Tradition itself.  

The Western Mysteries often makes reference to High Magic also known as Theurgy.  What is High Magic?  Ceremonial Magic is often called High Magic, but the two terms are really not synonymous. High Magic is more precisely defined as Magic where the end result is to bring the practitioner closer to the Divine.   Connecting with the Divine is the ultimate goal of High Magic.  High Magic is focused on bringing oneself ever closer to uniting with the Divine on ALL levels.  

High Magic is as much art as science.  The roots of High Magic are ancient, but the techniques have continually evolved and adapted through all ages.  High Magic is also known as Hermetic Magic as it is derived from the hermetic arts and sciences.  High Magic uses and relies upon a complex system of correspondences derived from numerous sources including but not limited to: Alchemy; Astrology; Angelic whether Enochian or not; the Elements-Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit/Ethers; Gematria; the Tarot; and Qabalah-spelled with a Q to distinguish it from Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Cabbalah.

The Mother of the Mysteries is no less than ISIS Herself.  Isis is the Virgin of the World.  Isis is one of the most important symbolic characters in the Mystery Tradition.  It is from the womb of Isis that initiates are born.  All adepts are daughters and sons of Isis.  Which makes each initiate Horus, the ‘Widow’s Son’.  Even modern Masonic Lodges refer to members as the Widow’s Son.  Ever heard that phrase before?  Well, if you hear it again now you know they are talking about Isis.  The murder of Osiris is said to be the destruction of Wisdom.  In some traditions it is said that the job of Horus is to avenge the destruction of wisdom.  Isis-the Widow- is the Mystery School itself and through her efforts the redeemers of Wisdom are continually produced.

Throughout the study of the Western Mystery traditions we often come across a certain term repeatedly.  That term is ‘The Great Work’.   The Great Work is another term for the primary goal of many facets of the Western Mysteries.  Each step along the Path of Return brings one closer to the Divine. The Great Work is nothing less the achievement of union with the Divine at the highest possible level. The three pillars of Alchemy, Magic, and Astrology are used to achieve this goal.  Alchemy is defined as being the Operation of the Sun.  Magic in this context is defined as the Operation of the Stars.  Astrology in this context is defined as the Operation of the Moon. Together they are the Three Parts of the Wisdom of the Universe as laid out in the Emerald Tablet of Hermes.  The Emerald Tablet is the origin of the phrase, ‘As Above, so Below.’.  The Emerald Tablet also refers to the three parts of the wisdom of the whole Universe.

Hermetic Philosphy derives its name from the writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus.   This name is really a title which means the Thrice Great Hermes.  Hermes is the Greek god name associated with a much older Egyptian God Thoth/Tehuti.  Hermetic teachings heavily influenced the Western Mystery Traditions and through them the Renaissance and the Reformation.  That tells you where the name came from, but still doesn’t tell you anything about Hermetic philosophy.
The Hermetic philosophies found in the writings of Hermes are collected in numerous volumes called collectively the Corpus Hermeticum-17 volumes of which survived. Another much shorter text is the famous Emerald Tablet of Hermes.  

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes

True, without falsehood, certain and most true, that which is above is as that which is below, and that which is below is as that which is above, for the performance of the miracles of the One Thing. And as all things are from One, by the mediation of One, so all things have their birth from this One Thing by adaptation. The Sun is its father, the Moon its mother, and the Wind carries it in its belly, its nurse is the Earth. This is the father of all perfection, or consummation of the whole world. Its power is integrating, if it be turned into earth. 

Thou shalt separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross, suavely, and with great ingenuity. It ascends from earth to heaven and descends again to earth, and receives the power of the superiors and of the inferiors. So thou hast the glory of the whole world; therefore let all obscurity flee before thee. This is the strong force of all forces, overcoming every subtle and penetrating every solid thing. So the world was created. Hence were all wonderful adaptations, of which this is the manner. Therefore am I called Hermes Trismegistus, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world. What I have to tell is completed, concerning the Operation of the Sun.

The Kybalion-is more modern book containing the Hermetic Philosophy, though it was published over 100 years ago now.  

THE SEVEN HERMETIC PRINCIPLES. 

"The Principles of Truth are Seven; he who knows these, understandingly, possesses the Magic Key before whose touch all the Doors of the Temple fly open."

The Seven Hermetic Principles, upon which the entire Hermetic Philosophy is based, are as follows:

I. THE PRINCIPLE OF MENTALISM.
“THE ALL IS MIND; The Universe is Mental.”

II. THE PRINCIPLE OF CORRESPONDENCE.
“As above, so below; as below, so above.”        
 
III. THE PRINCIPLE OF VIBRATION.
“Nothing rests, everything moves; everything vibrates.”

lV. THE PRINCIPLE OF POLARITY.
“Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.”

V. THE PRINCIPLE OF RHYTHM.
“Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compenstates.”

VI. THE PRINCIPLE OF CAUSE AND EFFECT.
“Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.”

VII. THE PRINCIPLE OF GENDER.
“Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.”

The Tree of Life
One of the primary symbols seen throughout the study of the Western Mystery Tradition is Tree of Life.  The Tree of Life is derived from Jewish Mysticism and perhaps more properly the European Pagan influences to which the early practitioners of Occult Hermetic Qabalah were exposed.   Within the Tree of Life we have three Pillars and 10 Sephiroth and 22 Paths connecting them. Hmm, just happens to be 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.  There are also 22 Keys or Trumps in the Major Arcana of the Tarot.  Each Tarot Key is related to a letter of the Hebrew Alphabet and is assigned a Path along the Tree of Life. 


  
A more familiar view of The Tree of Life may be the image below.




The Pattern on the Trestleboard as listed below walks us down the Tree of Life from top to bottom.  You might notice there are eleven statements listed but only ten numbered Sephiroth.  The other one is for Daath which is not always listed or counted among the Sephiroth.  Daath does exist though and could be the subject of many a discussion.   I’ll let everyone decide which of the eleven listed statements is actually for Daath.

The Pattern on the Trestleboard

This Is Truth About The Self
  1. All the Power that ever was or will be is here now.
  2. I am a center of expression for the Primal Will-to-Good which eternally creates and sustains the Universe.
  3. Through me its unfailing Wisdom takes form in thought and word.
  4. Filled with Understanding of its perfect law, I am guided, moment by moment, along the path of liberation.
  5. From the exhaustless riches of its Limitless Substance, I draw all things needful, both spiritual and material.
  6. I recognize the manifestation of the Undeviating Justice in all the circumstances of my life.
  7. In all things, great and small, I see the Beauty of the Divine Expression.
  8. Living from that Will, supported by its unfailing Wisdom and Understanding, mine is the Victorious Life.
  9. I look forward with confidence to the perfect realization of the Eternal Splendor of the Limitless Light.
  10. In thought and word and deed, I rest my life, from day to day, upon the sure Foundation of Eternal Being.
  11. The Kingdom of Spirit is embodied in my flesh.
One lesson of sorts that we find when studying the Western Mysteries asks us to take our own path and or beliefs and see how it fits upon the Tree of Life. Where does your path fit upon this the Tree of Life?

Bill Schell

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

To My Temple I Am Faithful

I awoke the other morning with the phrase 'To my Temple I am faithful' in my head.  I heard it in a dream like state just before I woke up, one minute before the alarm.  I heard it not in English-at least not only in English.  It was in many languages all at the same time.  Including Latin, In templo meo me fidelem.  I rather like that I heard it in many languages as well. I understood it in all of them all at once, which seemed to add a greater perspective.

'To my Temple, I am Faithful.'  I have been Pondering that phrase since hearing it.  What Temple? The inner Temple. The Temple that is inside us one and ALL. That temple not built with hands.

'To my Temple, I am Faithful.'  This simple phrase speaks volumes, to me at least.  It is a simple phrase with a much deeper meaning.

'To MY Temple, I Am Faithful.'  It is my own Temple as it is lies within me.  From it I reach the Most High. My Temple connects me to ALL.  It does so because it is within everyone else as well. I would venture to say it is in Every Thing else as well.

Another way to state this might be, 'To my Heart, I am True.'  Or one might pledge to be True to the Core.  All these phrases hit upon the same truth, which is, there is a Sacred space within us all.  It is a Sacred Temple which connects our Mind, Body, and Spirit.  It is a Temple through which we are connected to the greater whole. 

'To my Temple, I am Faithful.' I love it. I Love my Temple and it is filled with Love.

'To my Temple, I am faithful.' I Will be Pondering that phrase for some time to come.

'To my Temple, I am Faithful.' What does that mean to you?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Improvement Begins With Thought



Improvement Begins With Thought

Buddha said, ‘All that we are is the result of what we have thought.’  All things begin with thought.  Thoughts can manifest themselves into reality; this applies to all thought forms whether positive or negative.  With that in mind, we should be careful what we spend our time thinking about.  When thinking about something we are devoting energy to it.  To perhaps oversimplify things if we want to help we should think positive thoughts.  If we spend our time and energy worrying about what might happen, we are only helping it to become a reality.  We may not be able to control much in this world, but we can control our own thoughts.  Control of our thoughts leads to control of ourselves.

In gaining control of ourselves, we begin to gain control of our little piece of the world.  In controlling our own thoughts we take one step closer toward a greater connection with THE ALL.  The Kybalion states, ‘THE ALL is MIND; The Universe is Mental.’  We all live in our own little worlds, but they are all connected back to this larger world.  This world is connected back to this Universe, this dimension and all others.  We are all connected back to the Source.  The Primal Sound or Thought that is the Source-THE ALL.  Once we realize this connection on a Planetary scale the world itself will be changed.

His Holiness the Dalia Lama stated, ‘Inner darkness, which we call ignorance, is the root of suffering.  The more inner light that comes, the more darkness will diminish.  This is the only way to achieve salvation or nirvana.’

We must start with ourselves and find this Inner Peace and Light.  Where do we start?  We start with our own thoughts which lead to our actions.  We can then radiate that light to those around us and to Mother Earth Herself.  We can be like Lighthouses and help illuminate the Divine in all that surrounds us.  Each little candle of Light adds to the total.  With our help the Earth itself can increase it’s own Light Divine.

Aristotle said, ‘We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then is not an act but Habit.’  We need to make a habit of our inner work to bring it excellence.  Our work on ourselves as individuals helps the whole of the Universe to reach ever higher levels of consciousness and ever higher levels of vibration.  The effort expended by each individual in contacting their own Higher Self or raising their own vibrational level is not lost.  That effort or expended force clears a Path making it easier for the next person or group to follow.

Bill Schell
(AKA) Frater Frabato
(Formerly Known As and sometimes still known as) Mr. Moon

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Time

Once Upon a time, Time itself did not exist.  Do you believe/Can you perceive that to be true?  What if Time still does not exist?  It does not, at least not the way most of us perceive it.  Time does exist upon the physical, but does it above? Maybe, but in a different way from a different perspective.  What if before and after are happening at the same time on another plane?  The Past, Present, and Future all happening at once.

Meanwhile on the physical all we have is the Now, this moment which is ever changing.  The only constant is change itself.  The past is over, the future is yet to be. We are here now to learn from the Past while living in the Present in such a way as to make the Future that which we wish it to be.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Full Disclosure-Time to Give



I grew up poor in the South of the U.S...  We received food Stamps.   We also picked up our commodities like Cheese, canned goods, powdered milk and other staples once a month.  I remember more than once also going to a food bank for other things to get us through the month.   I got shots and Immunizations from the county to stay healthy.   I qualified for and got free lunches at the school as well.

 I worked every year of high school, at least during the summer from the time I was 16.  That first summer job was only possible due to a state program.  A program which granted funds to a tiny town council/city hall.   This in turn allowed the city to hire a few teenagers to mow, run a weed eater and other general outdoor cleanup.  I paid for my own clothes with the money I earned, this way I got wear what I wanted. Senior year I worked at the school after school-cleaning.  People would be leaving and there I was pushing a trash can to start on some of the outbuildings.  With this money I paid for my own car-well used-but mine none the less. 

I was raised a lot by my grandparents.  My grandfather drove a garbage truck for a long time.  My grandmother worked mostly cleaning hospital rooms.  My mother also worked at least for awhile in the same hospital cleaning as well.  For awhile I remember my mother working as a maid at some type of hotel.   I think at some point all of my four uncles also drove a garbage truck.  Off and on we lived as, what I guess they call now, a Multi-Generational Family-cheaper that way.

As a child I was conscious of the fact that we were poor.  I never tried out for any team or group that would require any type of expense or travel because I did not want my family to have to figure out how to pay for it.  What I did do however was read and study.  The only way I was ever likely to go to college was through a full scholarship.  I actually ended up with a Full Academic scholarship to the local university because of a great score on the ACT.  I really only used that one semester.  After which time instead of signing up for the next semester I signed up for the Marine Corps instead.  After six years of active duty I was Honorably Discharged from the Marine Corps.  I decided to try college again, this time using the GI Bill.  Thanks to the GI Bill and a Pell Grant, I was able to afford a two year Associates degree.  One of those years I worked two different jobs one from 1-5PM, then the next started at 6PM-9 or 10PM.  I eventually was able to cut back to just one part time job most of the second year and actually had time to study and do homework.  

I was lucky enough to get a job that paid great, especially for this state.  It was a Union job with good pay and good benefits.  I will forever be a supporter of Unions because of this job.  Now for the past year and a half I have been working in a management position.  I never would have got this position without the degree.  I never would have gotten the degree without the GI Bill and Pell Grant.  I never would have received the GI Bill or Pell Grant without government help.  Without the ACT scholarship, I never would have been able to go to college in the first place.  Well before that even; with help from the federal, state, even county and school boards I was able to go to bed healthy and well fed.  Being healthy and fed made it much easier for me to be able to learn and get the grades which made all of this possible.

Without help from others including Government, I do not know where I would be today.  I am fairly certain it would not be sitting in this office, writing over lunch.  This is why I give to Food Banks and support local groups which help those in need.  I know I am but a few steps removed from where they are now.  It is my turn to give back as it was given to help my own family.

Bill Schell