Descriptions of the "afterlife"

iamthatis

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I recently began reading 'Ancient City' by Fustel. Notably, he begins with death, and in particular a description of the funerary rites of the Greek and Roman predecessors, which was predicated on their understanding of the Soul.

Throughout the world, we can find offerings of food made to the recently deceased. Bowls of grain, fruit, flowers, meat, wine, blood, and milk were set about the grave by the family in mourning; as well as other accoutrements such as clothing, weapons, sometimes slaves and horses were slaughtered to serve the dead in the next life. This was done not to assuage the grief of the mourners, but for the dead themselves. The funerary rite was so highly valued that one of the greatest punishments of the day was to charge the guilty of being buried without ceremony. This was a punishment that lasted well into the afterlife, perhaps eternally.

Given what we have come to suspect about the nature of 5D, and what the C's have said about the DNA-enhancing importance of deeply knowing one's ancestors, would offerings of food to one's ancestors in 5D be beneficial to this end? Or is this the gesture of a superstition based on an erroneous ancient understanding of the soul, and as such, another dead end of wishful thinking?

I ask because this is something that I used to do regularly. I have since stopped because I was doing it somewhat unquestioningly, caught as I was in a heavily Indigenist mindset. Perhaps I thought I was making the offerings on the basis of faith, but now I am more inclined to think that I was doing so on the basis of ignorance.

'Food' for thought...
 

iamthatis

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I recently began reading 'Ancient City' by Fustel. Notably, he begins with death, and in particular a description of the funerary rites of the Greek and Roman predecessors, which was predicated on their understanding of the Soul.

Throughout the world, we can find offerings of food made to the recently deceased. Bowls of grain, fruit, flowers, meat, wine, blood, and milk were set about the grave by the family in mourning; as well as other accoutrements such as clothing, weapons, sometimes slaves and horses were slaughtered to serve the dead in the next life. This was done not to assuage the grief of the mourners, but for the dead themselves. The funerary rite was so highly valued that one of the greatest punishments of the day was to charge the guilty of being buried without ceremony. This was a punishment that lasted well into the afterlife, perhaps eternally.

Given what we have come to suspect about the nature of 5D, and what the C's have said about the DNA-enhancing importance of deeply knowing one's ancestors, would offerings of food to one's ancestors in 5D be beneficial to this end? Or is this the gesture of a superstition based on an erroneous ancient understanding of the soul, and as such, another dead end of wishful thinking?

I ask because this is something that I used to do regularly. I have since stopped because I was doing it somewhat unquestioningly, caught as I was in a heavily Indigenist mindset. Perhaps I thought I was making the offerings on the basis of faith, but now I am more inclined to think that I was doing so on the basis of ignorance.

'Food' for thought...

Okay, so I've tried to think with a hammer on this one, and give a good hard whack to my question, and my own ignorance. It appears that what I was doing ('feeding the ancestors') was another dead end of wishful thinking and lack of information. This practice of mine was based on the teachings of what appears to be the contemporary revival of the Ancient Cult of Fire and the Dead. There are four men in particular who look to be the primary active advocates, or new Father-priests, of this revival. More details in this post.
 

Deckard

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Given what we have come to suspect about the nature of 5D, and what the C's have said about the DNA-enhancing importance of deeply knowing one's ancestors, would offerings of food to one's ancestors in 5D be beneficial to this end? Or is this the gesture of a superstition based on an erroneous ancient understanding of the soul, and as such, another dead end of wishful thinking?
In Orthodox Christian culture it is common to bring food during the visits to the cemetery, sometimes a veritable small feast is laid out at the grave. Especially the things that deceased liked a lot during their earthly life.
Also the cigarette is always lit for a deceased person and left there smouldering, and before drinking alcoholic beverage a sip is poured to the ground for the deceased.
Superstition or not I think this may be a good way to honor the deceased ones and establish that connection through something material of this world. But that is just me.
 

Oxajil

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I think it can be a nice gesture to have food presented that was a favorite of the person who passed away, for the guests to eat (if they want) in his or her honor. I wouldn't leave food out there and then throw it away afterwards! Maybe a piece can be put on a separate plate for the deceased. Either way, I'm sure the person would join 'in spirit' and appreciate the gathering.

Given what we have come to suspect about the nature of 5D, and what the C's have said about the DNA-enhancing importance of deeply knowing one's ancestors, would offerings of food to one's ancestors in 5D be beneficial to this end?
Did you mean: Can food offerings for one's ancestors help with a deeper connection with one's ancestors? Or: Does offering food for one's ancestors bring about positive DNA changes? Your question was difficult to understand for me! You wrote 'beneficial to this end', but it wasn't clear (to me) to what end you meant. But it seems you've answered it yourself already :-)

My 2 cents.
 

Ina

Dagobah Resident
In Orthodox Christian culture it is common to bring food during the visits to the cemetery, sometimes a veritable small feast is laid out at the grave. Especially the things that deceased liked a lot during their earthly life.
Also the cigarette is always lit for a deceased person and left there smouldering, and before drinking alcoholic beverage a sip is poured to the ground for the deceased.
Superstition or not I think this may be a good way to honor the deceased ones and establish that connection through something material of this world. But that is just me.
I think it can be a nice gesture to have food presented that was a favorite of the person who passed away, for the guests to eat (if they want) in his or her honor. I wouldn't leave food out there and then throw it away afterwards! Maybe a piece can be put on a separate plate for the deceased. Either way, I'm sure the person would join 'in spirit' and appreciate the gathering.
Part of the funeral is bringing food packets wine and a special funeral cake to be blessed by the priest during the service held in the church or chapel near or at the cemetery. These items are then taken to the grave site and are given to poor people with a lit candle. The people receiving the packet say Bogdaproste (the Romanian saying from the slavic Bog davai prastiti, May God give mercy) or Sa fie primit (let it be received).

Also part of the funeral is a gathering where the family and friends eat and drink mainly foods favoured by the deceased and funeral cake. The food and drinks are blessed by the prist as well.
That is the tradition. I will ask our priest when more or less it started.
 

whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I think this conversation about the ancestors sheds some light on Gurdjieff's talk on Repairing the Past (a man who is also Eastern Orthodox, incidentally).

I've quoted it below:
You know, ‘Justice’ is a great word; it is a great thing in the world. Objective things are not small things like microbes; they proceed according to law, just as the law has accustomed them to proceed. Among other things, remember what I said: you reap what you sow. This applies not only to individuals but also to families and nations. Often, what happens on Earth comes from something that was done by the father or the grandfather. The results fall on you, and it is up to you to put them right.

This is not an injustice; it is a very great honor for you. This will be a factor that will allow you to repair the past of your grandfather, your father, your great-grandfather. So, if you had misfortunes like that when you were young, it’s because someone sowed them, and that is why you must reap them. He is dead, and it is another on Earth who reaps.

Do not look at yourself only egotistically; you are a link in the chain of your bloodline. You must not look at this egotistically. You can look at this egotistically, but as your blood, not as your little life. Be proud of this; it is an honor to be this link. The more you are obliged to repair the past, the more you will have remorse of conscience. You will do this by remembering all the things that you have not done as you should have in your past. The things you did that were contrary to justice mortified your grandfather.

In this way, you can have ten times more remorse of conscience and your worth goes up accordingly. You are not ‘the tail of a dog.’ You have responsibilities, a family. Don’t forget it. Think about it. Search to have remorse of conscience. And next time you will tell me if you’ve found it. Your whole family, past and future, depends on you. Your entire family depends on how you repair your past.

If you repair for everyone, it’s good. If you do not repair for everyone, it’s bad. You see what situation you are in. Logically, do you understand what Justice is? Justice is not interested in our small concerns. Justice deals only with big things. It’s idiotic to believe that God thinks about small things. It is the same with Justice. Justice has nothing to do with all that, and at the same time, nothing on earth is done without it. That is Justice. Look for the reasons. You are obligated to have a responsible position in your bloodline. You must work more to repair the past.

I think bringing food to the dead is a ritual, but I don't think rituals are in themselves a bad thing - it is only bad if you do something without understanding why. The earliest Christian communities did similar things, according to Laura's new book. Making food for an elder who has passed on I think primes you and your creativity unconsciously to be engaged with this individual, to whom you are still hardwired informationally and energetically by your protein antennas.
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
A riveting account of what comes us after the passing. And the rebirth of second chance.

Scott Drummond shares his amazing experience of what he felt and saw when he was pronounced dead for 20 minutes. It is a very personal and tender moment in his life, a moment that drastically changed the rest of his life forever. He has decided to share this story now because of the events of the global pandemic, the corona virus / COVID-19.

He hopes to help all of the people suffering and wondering about what will happen to them and their loved ones. Thank you for watching and sharing, especially to those that have been impacted by COVID-19. The Prioritize Your Life series highlights experiences from amazing people to inspire us all to live a better life. A life where we are focused on what truly matters. Let's leave this world with no regrets.

Prioritize Your Life
To learn more about the procedure Scott underwent and the story behind the video, please visit:
https://prioritizeyourlife.com/inside-ep-1-pronounced-dead-for-20-minutes-what-he-saw-and-how-it-changed-his-life-forever/
End Snip:
I have many friends that don’t believe in an afterlife, or in God. They are still my friends, and we can respect each other and still be buddies despite our different beliefs. As for me, I not only believe Scott’s story, I’ve had so many experiences in my life to lead me to believe in God, I know there is much more in store for each of us after this life than we realize.

I also believe the next life will be all the more beautiful if we can make the most of our time right now. Because of that, prioritizing our lives is of utmost importance. Let’s leave this life with very few regrets knowing we tried our best and we did the most we could with the time that we had! Let’s prioritize our lives!

I will continue to search the world to find stories to help us all focus in on what’s really important. Thank you for joining me on the ride! And thank you Scott for sharing your story and for your friendship.
 

aragorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member

iamthatis

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I think this conversation about the ancestors sheds some light on Gurdjieff's talk on Repairing the Past (a man who is also Eastern Orthodox, incidentally).

I've quoted it below:

You know, ‘Justice’ is a great word; it is a great thing in the world. Objective things are not small things like microbes; they proceed according to law, just as the law has accustomed them to proceed. Among other things, remember what I said: you reap what you sow. This applies not only to individuals but also to families and nations. Often, what happens on Earth comes from something that was done by the father or the grandfather. The results fall on you, and it is up to you to put them right.

This is not an injustice; it is a very great honor for you. This will be a factor that will allow you to repair the past of your grandfather, your father, your great-grandfather. So, if you had misfortunes like that when you were young, it’s because someone sowed them, and that is why you must reap them. He is dead, and it is another on Earth who reaps.

Do not look at yourself only egotistically; you are a link in the chain of your bloodline. You must not look at this egotistically. You can look at this egotistically, but as your blood, not as your little life. Be proud of this; it is an honor to be this link. The more you are obliged to repair the past, the more you will have remorse of conscience. You will do this by remembering all the things that you have not done as you should have in your past. The things you did that were contrary to justice mortified your grandfather.

In this way, you can have ten times more remorse of conscience and your worth goes up accordingly. You are not ‘the tail of a dog.’ You have responsibilities, a family. Don’t forget it. Think about it. Search to have remorse of conscience. And next time you will tell me if you’ve found it. Your whole family, past and future, depends on you. Your entire family depends on how you repair your past.

If you repair for everyone, it’s good. If you do not repair for everyone, it’s bad. You see what situation you are in. Logically, do you understand what Justice is? Justice is not interested in our small concerns. Justice deals only with big things. It’s idiotic to believe that God thinks about small things. It is the same with Justice. Justice has nothing to do with all that, and at the same time, nothing on earth is done without it. That is Justice. Look for the reasons. You are obligated to have a responsible position in your bloodline. You must work more to repair the past.

I think bringing food to the dead is a ritual, but I don't think rituals are in themselves a bad thing - it is only bad if you do something without understanding why. The earliest Christian communities did similar things, according to Laura's new book. Making food for an elder who has passed on I think primes you and your creativity unconsciously to be engaged with this individual, to whom you are still hardwired informationally and energetically by your protein antennas.

Good post! What is the source for this quote? Which book? It reminds me of two separate passages from Castaneda's Fire From Within.

In the first, he speaks about the dominant mode of seeing the world as composed as discrete objects. This is a 'social mold' that prevents one from Seeing the world in its essence, as energy. This way of seeing, or the 'location of the assemblage point' of our consciousness, is an ancestral inheritance. One can think of intergenerational trauma, its effect on DNA, and the esoteric aspect of 'inheriting a puzzle' or a suite of Soul lessons from one's forebears.

"It would mean that you perceive energy directly," he replied. "By separating the social part of perception, you'll perceive the essence of everything. Whatever we are perceiving is energy, but since we can't directly perceive energy, we process our perception to fit a mold. This mold is the social part of perception, which you have to separate."

"Why do I have to separate it?"

"Because it deliberately reduces the scope of what can be perceived and makes us believe that the mold into which we fit our perception is all that exists. I am convinced that for man to survive now, his perception must change at its social base."

"What is this social base of perception, don Juan?"

"The physical certainty that the world is made of concrete objects. I call this a social base because a serious and fierce effort is put out by everybody to guide us to perceive the world the way we do."

"How then should we perceive the world?"

"Everything is energy. The whole universe is energy. The social base of our perception should be the physical certainty that energy is all there is. A mighty effort should be made to guide us to perceive energy as energy. Then we would have both alternatives at our fingertips."

"Is it possible to train people in such a fashion?" I asked.

Don Juan replied that it was possible and that this was precisely what he was doing with me and his other apprentices. He was teaching us a new way of perceiving, first, by making us realize we process our perception to fit a mold and, second, by fiercely guiding us to perceive energy directly. He assured me that this method was very much like the one used to teach us to perceive the world of daily affairs.

Don Juan's conception was that our entrapment in processing our perception to fit a social mold loses its power when we realize we have accepted this mold, as an inheritance from our ancestors, without bothering to examine it.

"To perceive a world of hard objects that had either a positive or a negative value must have been utterly necessary for our ancestors' survival," don Juan said. '"After ages of perceiving in such a manner, we are now forced to believe that the world is made up of objects."

"I can't conceive the world in any other way, don Juan," I complained. "It is unquestionably a world of objects. To prove it, all we have to do is bump into them."

"Of course it's a world of objects. We are not arguing that."
"What are you saying then?"
"I am saying that this is first a world of energy; then it's a world of objects. If we don't start with the premise that it is a world of energy, we'll never be able to perceive energy directly. We'll always be stopped by the physical certainty of what you've just pointed out: the hardness of objects."

His argument was extremely mystifying to me. In those days, my mind would simply refuse to consider any way to understand the world except the one with which I was familiar. Don Juan's claims and the points he struggled to raise were outlandish propositions that I could not accept but could not refuse either.

"Our way of perceiving is a predator's way," he said to me on one occasion. "A very efficient manner of appraising and classifying food and danger. But this is not the only way we are able to perceive. There is another mode, the one I am familiarizing you with: the act of perceiving the essence of everything, energy itself, directly.

So we are born into a way of seeing - but have the ability to learn the lessons of our inheritance via examination. This entails moving the 'assemblage point' - which may well be Don Juan's way of talking about learning to make use of both hemispheres of the brain.

So our ancestors gave us a starting point, perhaps some trauma, some damage. It is easy to look back at them with resentment for their mistakes (I know I was stuck in that nonsense at one point). But there is a chance for both compassion and awe to arrive by making good use of our inheritance.

My fear was that through stupidity I would lose my chance to be free and I would repeat my father's life.
"There was nothing wrong with my father's life, mind you. He lived and died no better and no worse than most men; the important point is that my assemblage point had moved and I realized one day that my father's life and death hadn't amounted to a hill of beans, either to others or to himself.

My benefactor told me that my father and mother had lived and died just to have me, and that their own parents had done the same for them. He said that warriors were different in that they shift their assemblage points enough to realize the tremendous price that has been paid for their lives. This shift gives them the respect and awe that their parents never felt for life in general, or for being alive in particular."

Personally, I find it so awe-inspiring to think of how many ancestors I must have - and then to think of all the plagues, genocides, cataclysms, wars, and famines they must have gone through. And then to think of how they still put food on the table, still raised their families, still held fast to a prayer for the continuation of life - perhaps a prayer that people like us would show up one day and do our best to become worthy as their descendants. Somehow, they got through untold centuries of strife and hardship. How, I have no clue, and what kept them going is also illusive, but even if I don't have specifics, I can still get a sense of the sheer magnitude of their efforts, and triumph of the human spirit against the adversity of this world.

And so, it seems to me that once one recognizes the enormity of the sacrifice our ancestors made for us, the price paid for our own little lives, then the thought turns to thanksgiving. This thanksgiving has been ritualized - in many cases, as the sharing of food with the ancestors. The 'ritualization' aspect is at the core of my question regarding the sharing of food. And so I think a comment reviewing ritual is in order. I've noticed in myself and in others that the C's words are taken as Gospel, and, unfortunately, an excuse to stop thinking and stop asking questions. "Oh, sounds like a ritual. Must be STS." Whereas I think what the C's are saying are awesome starting points for thinking and more questions. This is my attempt to 'examine' as Don Juan recommends above, the 'social mold' of food offerings.

So, ritual. From Ernest Gellner's Anthropology and Politics.

The way in which you restrain people from doing a wide variety of things, not compatible with the social order of which they are members, is that you subject them to ritual. The process is simple: you make them dance around a totem pole until they are wild with excitement and become jellies in the hysteria of the collective frenzy; you enhance their emotional state by any device, by all the locally available audio-visual aids, drugs, dance, music and so on; and once they are really high, you stamp upon their minds the type of concept or notion to which they subsequently become enslaved. Next morning, the savage wakes up with a bad hangover and a deeply internalized concept. The idea that the central feature of religion is ritual, and the central role of ritual is the endowment of individuals with compulsive concepts which simultaneously define their social and natural world and restrain and control their perception and comportment, in mutually reinforcing ways. These deeply internalized notions henceforth oblige them to act within the range of prescribed limits. Each concept has a normative binding content, as well as a kind of organizational descriptive content. The conceptual system maps out the social order and required conduct, and inhibits inclinations to thought or conduct that would transgress its limits.

So here we have a clear statement of what could be said to one of the tactics in the operating manual of the human machine - the enaction of a mind-altering pattern, mobilizing the emotional centre, to place limits on human behaviour.

I'm reminded that between Good and Evil there is always the third factor of context, and as such, choice. So ritual (or the repetition of a series of action performed according to a prescribed order) is a tool. And a hammer can be used to build a Gothic Cathedral... or Gitmo.

So it seems to the that the question of means and ends is important. If the prescribed order is a dominator religion or ideology that installs a lie, then the ritual is no bueno, for obvious reasons. It's a hijacking of the emotional centre for further manipulation, reifying a false identity, unconsciousness - and the result is blood. One can think of the Two Minute's Hate in 1984, the witch trials or the Gulags as the most extreme outcome of this kind.

But if the prescribed order is something more like 'fundamental cosmic laws', and the limits imposed on the human being prevent them from psychopathic behaviours, or being fed on by psychopaths, and the concept being installed is Truth, for instance, then a series of repeated actions (regular EE, crystal prayers, or, germane to this discussion, the offering of food to ancestors) could be said to bueno indeed. It's the right use of the emotional centre in service of the Divine Cosmic Mind, finding one's essence, and a coming-into-consciousness. In the past, I've called this 'ceremony' instead of ritual due to the phonemic association of 'ceremony' with 'cerebral'. So this would be an intentional habit-forming practice on the basis of thought, consciousness, intent. In other words, The Work.

Our world today is at is is because there are no limits. This is one way of understanding nihilism - nothing is forbidden and everything is permitted. Bomb the Palestinians? Permitted! Pedophilia? That's okay, too! Cover the entire world with glyphosate? Why not? According to Ibn Arabi, God is the one who said, "Let be" as the first commandment. The second is to following Being or Non-Being according to choice. Nihilism is the choice of Non-Being writ large on the social scale.

So what does this have to do with the feeding of ancestors? From the famed 'semi-retired New Mexican/Guatemalan shaman' Martin Prechtel:

Western culture believes that all material is dead, and so there is no debt
incurred when human ingenuity removes something from the other world.
Consequently, we end up with shopping malls and space shuttles and other
examples of "advanced" technology, while the spirits who give us the ability
to make those things are starving, becoming bony and thin, which is one
reason why anorexia is such a problem: the young are acting out this image.
The universe is in a state of starvation and emotional grief because it has
not been given what it needs in the form of ritual food and actual physical
gifts. We think we’re getting away with something by stealing from the other
side, but it all leads to violence.

So his statement gives us pause. Is it in fact the case that when the feeding of the ancestors stopped (in particular due to the influence of dominator-Christianity), a vital exchange between this world and the 'other world', also stopped? Is the feeding of the ancestors actually a ceremony necessary in upholding cosmic law? What evidence is there to support this?

Well, in Fustel's Ancient City, there's plenty of words devoted to the idea that if the ancestors aren't fed, they'll turn on you.

"The Hindu, like the Greek, regarded the dead as divine beings, who enjoyed a happy existence; but their happiness depended on the condition that the offerings made by the living should be carried to them regularly. If the sraddha for a dead person was not offered regularly, his soul left its peaceful dwelling, and became a wandering spirit, who tormented the living; so that, if the dead were really gods, this was only whilst the living honored them with their worship.

The Greeks and Romans had exactly the same belief. If the funeral repast ceased to be offered to the dead, they immediately left their tombs, and became wandering shades, that were heard in the silence of the night. They reproached the living with their negligence; or they sought to punish them by afflicting them with diseases, or cursing their soil with sterility. In a word, they left the living no rest till the funeral feasts were re-established. The sacrifice, the offering of nourishment, and the libation restored them to the tomb, and gave them back their rest and their divine attributes. Man was then at peace with them."

[Fustel's source for this is from Ovid, Fast., II. 549–556. "Thus in Aeschylus: Clytemnestra, warned by a dream that the manes of Agamemnon are irritated against her, hastens to send offerings to his tomb.]

Another source is from
23. Eurip., Alc., 1004 (1016): “They believe that if we have no care for these dead, and if we neglect their worship, they will do us harm and that, on the contrary, they do us good if we render them propitious to us by offerings.” Porphyry, De Abstin., II. 37. See Horace, Odes, II. 23; Plato, Laws, IX. p. 926, 927.

So it's not just semi-retired shamans feeding ancestors, lots of peoples were, too. And, as others said in this thread, we can throw Orthodox Christianity into this as well.

But just because this practice can be found across cultures in both time and space isn't necessarily enough to give it legitimacy it, or recommend it to be put into practice. Most religions, while containing a kernel of Truth, come with a huge pack of lies. Unless explicitly found to be otherwise, they're to a large degree an operating system to keep human beings dancing around the totem pole. Laura wrote in Comets and the Horns of Moses (p. 209) about sradda, which is a term describing the unthinking confidence of someone engaged in sacrificial ritual magic designed to create one's own reality. Although the topic is human sacrifice, it can serve as a general warning. Without thought, any practice can turn into a kind of mechanical worship, or sradda, entering into a covenant with 'a god' about which the worshipper knows very little of the Soul implications.

"As I pointed out in Volume I of Secret History, there is certainly evidence in the story of Jepthah's daughter that Yahweh (or, as we are now considering, the original god of the peoples of Palestine, including early Hebrews) was originally a God who may have demanded human sacrifice. I would also note that the story of Jepthah's daughter is just a variation of the almost-sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham. The Abraham-Isaac story is almost identical to a Vedic story of Manu. These acts were based on what was called sradda, which is related to the words fides, credo, 'faith', 'believe' and so on. The word sradda was, according to Dumezil and Levi, too hastily understood s 'faith' in the Christian sense. Correctly understood, it means something like the trust a workman has in his tools and techniques as acts of magic! It is, therefore, part of a 'covenant', wherein the sacrificer knows how to perform a prescribed sacrifice correctly, and who also knows that if he performs the sacrifice correctly, it must produce its effect. In short, it is an act that is designed to gain control over the forces of life that reside in the god with whom one has made the covenant. Such gods as make covenants have a tendency to get out of control if the sacrifices are not performed correctly, which can certainly describe our 'comet gods'.

And there's an excellent post discussing the modes of ritual magic as false esoteric work here.

For a great in-depth discussion of magical practices, neurosis, spirit offerings, and more, I found this post:

The following are a few quotes from The Gospel According to Science by
Piergiorgio Odifreddi, Chapter One: The Diversity of Religious Experience,
pp 27-30. Translated from the French by Henry See for educational purposes:

Mysticism is an effort to establish a direct communication with the divine and to have an immediate intuition of the transcendent; it is therefore a personal and subjective attitude based upon an interior experience.

From a linguistic point of view, "mysticism" (from the Greek mustês, “initiate”) has the same root as "mystery" and "mystification". The three notions denote something obscure, enigmatic and inexplicable, that has historically put the mystical path in opposition to the rational path in the East as well as the West.

From the psychological point of view, the experience of the transcendent appears as a negation of the exterior world and a way out of this world via an illusory satisfaction of primordial desires. The experience of the transcendent is thus typical of those who have a sense of reality that is little developed and who show to the contrary an excessive interest for their own subjectivity: in one word, the adolescent and the psychotic. As with the mystic, the adolescent and the psychotic don’t shy away from the use of auxiliary techniques that have the goal of leaving the world by other means, such as drugs and sex (think only in this regard of the Vedic soma and of tantric practices). From the physiological point of view, the ultimate goal of mysticism is to arrive at ecstasy; mysticism is therefore a sublimation of the libido and of the pleasure principle, implicating both the visceral system and the Id, and procures joy and veritable orgasms. We can therefore consider it as the phallic stage of religion.

Ritual is an attempt to obtain control of the natural via the supernatural, by means of techniques that seek to reconcile the spiritual forces that we imagine are behind the functioning of the world. It is a form of superstition that differs from magic only in that it does not seek to control the natural forces directly but works, on the contrary, via spiritual intermediaries. From the psychological point of view, ritual activity seems like a repression of the inner world by means of the repetition of formal and stereotypical actions. It is therefore typical of those who have a sense of reality that is too developed to the detriment of their subjectivity: in one word, the mature man and the neurotic. Thus, ritual and obsessive neurosis are two sides of the same coin; to put it in Freudian terms, religious rites are the manifestation of the collective neurosis, and individual neurosis is the ritual expression of a personal religion.

From the physiological point of view, ritual is expressed by a compulsive repetition and manifests as a dysfunctional activity. It unites the muscular system and the Ego and produces anxiety and a sense of guilt. We can consider it as the anal phase of religion.

Theology, to finish, is an attempt to penetrate the divine via language, discourse and reasoning: it is therefore an impersonal and abstract study that seeks to understand the absolute in the way that logic and mathematics study ideas or science natural phenomena. Precisely, based upon this resemblance and whether we consider it a deductive or an inductive investigation, we distinguish between a rational or a priori theology on the one hand or a natural or an a posteriori one on the other hand. As an intellectual and cognitive activity, the theology mobilises the nervous and cerebral systems. It is typical of the balanced and reflective man. We can consider it as the oral phase of religion on the one hand and as final point of arrival of religiosity in old age, after the mystical intemperances of adolescence and
the ritual excesses of maturity.

Our investigation will concentrate exclusively on the epistemological aspects of a natural or rational theology and will not touch upon the psychotic aspects of mysticism and contemplation nor on the neurotic aspects of ritual and action. These aspects happily come together at certain times: witness the example of Bernard de Clairvaux, the mystic who was not afraid of organizing the crusade of 1147.

It is useless to treat mysticism for the simple reason that it is irrefutable for someone who has had a direct experience and it is indemonstrable for those who have not. The attempts at translating the mystical experience in linguistic formulas have always stumbled upon the inevitable insufficiencies of language.
From an intellectual point of view, they can only evoke the judgements such as that made by Neitzsche in Le Gai Savoir (126): "Mystical explanations pass for profound: the truth is, they are not even superficial."

For analogical reasons, it will also be pointless to look at rites: as with experiences, acts are on a level that is neither linguistic nor rational, and we can not reduce them to such without violence and misunderstanding. As compared with mysticism, that can simulate a great illusion, ritual can not even mask its own concrete pettiness.

Plato had already remarked in his Laws (X, 909 d): the idea that we can win over a divinity by offerings and prayers is to lower them to the level of a guard dog that we can soften up with a mouthful of food and, in this way, and puts them below the honest man who cannot be bought under the table or via bribes. In one word, for Plato, ritual is a vulgar form of atheism, worse even than the idea that God does not exist or that He does but does not intervene in human affairs.

So, there's a lot going on here. My hunch is that Plato's giving a direct warning about the ritualized 'sradda-approach' to feeding the ancestors. One could see how easy it would be for descendants to slip into selfishness. Rather than feeding the ancestors on the basis of gratitude and a true understanding and recognition of who they are, as a link in a great chain of the bloodline, the food offerings are more like demands for good weather. So I think it depends on who is doing it, and why. If it's an unconscious mechanical kinda thing, designed to impose one's will on the world, no bueno.

Practically speaking, my Grandpa in 5D wouldn't take too kindly to being bribed into helping someone. He would, however, appreciate being asked. And he would, I think, appreciate the acknowledgement of his life of hard work on behalf of his family.

As I was thinking about this, it sounds a lot like Bennett's discussion of Reciprocal Maintenance. I first heard one of his talks years ago. I remember him stating that humans have a sort of ecological responsibility to help 'the spirits' (all those densities above us, including the DCM) in reciprocity for the help we receive from them. Rather than an entropic zero-sum game, when we give, we are also given to. This is the instantiation of a cycle of abundance in a finite world. Evolution. Here we can also see shades of de Salzmann's First Initiation where she makes it clear that we gotta pay. And pay in advance. Otherwise, if we simply take, we will be taken from. Involution is the balancing of too much taking. There's no free lunch.

in Gurdjieff: Making a New World (p 189-190). I'd say Bennett is much more theoretical in character, while Prechtel could be said to be laying out the significance in our daily lives of the abandonment of reciprocal maintenance.

"Gurdjieff asserts in Beelzebub's Tales that the doctrine of reciprocal maintenance is derived from 'an ancient Sumerian manuscript' discovered by the great Kurdish philosopher Atarnakh. The passage quoted runs: "In all probability, there exists in the world some low of the reciprocal maintenance of everything existing [note - this flies in the face of entropic science]. Obviously our lives serve also for maintaining something great or small in the world."

This passage occurs in the description of a Central Asian fraternity called "The Assembly of the Enlightened", which had existed from Sumerian times and flourished openly in the Bactrian kingdom when Zoroaster was teaching. After Zoroaster, it disappeared for a hundred generations and only now has again begun to send out into the world its 'Unknown Teaching'. I have suggested that this is the Sarman society.

[Note - Bennett calls these 24 centuries the Megalanthropic Epoch in his Dramatic Universe, an age characterized by the Master Idea that man is the ultimate value. With the transition to the new age of co-operation with the Higher Powers, what Bennett calls the Synergic Epoch, the ancient doctrine of reciprocal maintenance is due to regain its central significance for understanding human destiny.]

What is this doctrine? Reciprocal maintenance in its special sense connotes that the universe has an in-built structure or pattern whereby every class [note that this is different than density, but moreso refers to the level of organizational complexity of a Being] of existing things produces energies or substances that are required for the maintaining the existence of other classes.

Gurdjieff uses the terms involution and evolution to describe the process. Involution is the transformation process in which a high level of energy acts on lower energies through an apparatus which provides the necessary environment and conditions. The human body is such an apparatus and so is any other living organism. The earth also provides an environment for high level energy - such as solar radiation - to act upon the more passive elements of the earth's crust and atmosphere. Involution is entropic, that is to say the overall level of energy is always lowered in all involutionary exchanges.

Evolution is the reverse process. It is the production of high level energy from a lower source. This also requires an apparatus, but of a different kind, for the 'up-grading' of energy is improbable and cannot occur at all unless some high level energy is present. Life is an evolutionary process that goes against the direction of probability. The work by which man is transformed is evolutionary. It goes against the stream of life. That is the meaning of Gurdjieff's saying, quoted by Ouspensky: "The work is against nature and against God."

[Note - this is classic bombastic Gurdjieff, and shouldn't be taken at face value. A clearer formulation would be to say that the work is against entropy (which is of God)]

[P. 284 has a more clear discussion of Reciprocal Maintenance with regards to food and feeding]:

"We have here the basic state of Reciprocal Maintenance. The variety of existing forms and their complex interactions are placed in the essential relationship of mutual support. The 'spiritualization of existence' consists in the organizing of lower forms by assimilation into higher forms. The 'realization of essence' consists in the manifestation within the existing world of higher patterns of value. That is why the entire system is called one of 'reciprocal maintenance'. Each essence class derives its cosmic significance from the three properties: First, of being what it is, second, of being food for a higher essence and thirdly, feeding upon lower essence.

So, in the most practical terms - we eat bacon (2D, lower essence) and we also offer some of the bacon to ancestors in 5D (higher essence). Sounds pretty bueno to me. And this helps maintain the ones who maintain the world. Most of all, because it is (or can be) a gesture of love to those who made our lives, and as such, our evolution, possible.
 

whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
In one section of Laura's new book she cites an author who wrote on archeological evidence for the beliefs of early pre-Constantine Christian communities, where it was a common practice to feed and commemorate the dead in a simple, straightforward, relational way.

Early Christian Archaeology

There is another problem that I want to bring up, though I don’t have any wellformulated thoughts about it as yet; it still needs to be put on the table. In G. F. Snyder’s Ante Pacem: Archaeological evidence of Church Life before Constantine, we find some very curious evidence regarding what early Christians were actually doing:

Jesus does not suffer or die in pre-Constantinian art. There is no cross symbol nor any equivalent. … From 180 to 400 AD artistic analogies of self-giving, suffering, sacrifice, or incarnation are totally missing. The suffering Christ on a cross first
appeared in the fifth century, and then not very convincingly.


Jonathan Z. Smith writes:

With respect to the limited corpus of early Christian symbols – the lamb, the anchor, the vase, the dove, the boat, the olive branch, the Orante, the palm, the bread, the good shepherd, fish and vines and grapes – Snyder argues:

“Among all the symbols … none signifies suffering, death, or self-immolation. All stress victory, peace, and security in the face of adversity. The Jesus iconography follows the same patterns. There is no place in the third century for a crucified
Christ, or a symbol of divine death.”

“Orans, a loanword from Medieval Latin ōrāns translated as one who is praying or pleading, also orant or orante, is a posture or bodily attitude of prayer, usually standing, with the elbows close to the sides of the body and with the hands outstretched sideways, palms up.  The orans posture was practiced by both pagans and Jews before it was adopted by the earliest Christians. Christians may have seen the position as representing the posture of Christ on the Cross; therefore, it was the favorite of early Christians. Until the ninth century, the posture was sometimes adopted by entire congregations while celebrating the Eucharist.  [It is thought that the Orans represented the deceased person’s soul in heaven praying for those loved ones left on Earth.]  [T]he great majority of figures are female even when engraved on the tombs of men. One of the most convincing proofs that the orans was regarded as a symbol of the soul is an ancient lead medal in the Vatican Museum showing the martyr, St. Lawrence, under torture, while his soul, in the form of a female orans, is just leaving the body.”


The iconography of Jesus depicts him as mainly a youthful wonder-worker and healer. Even in the case of the popular scene of Lazarus being raised from the dead:

It depicts the present reality of resurrection rather than belief in another world. … [The early Christians] ate with the dead, talked to the dead, asked for their assistance. … The resurrection motif supports neither a view of otherworldly immortality nor a view of end-time judgment and resurrection. The presence of the dead [within the community] was made possible through the redeeming act of the wonder-worker, Jesus. Those resurrected dead then were part of the extended Christian family.

In short, what the archaeology shows is that one of the central cultic activities of the earliest Christians was a communal meal with the dead, a meal that did not recall the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The cemetery was one of the two centers of activity. In
this context, recall that Paul’s most extensive discussions of resurrection of the dead – 1 Thess and 1 Cor – are both triggered by questions concerning the status of dead members.

Early Christian graffiti in cemeteries concerns prayers addressed to the dead on behalf of the living. The meal, the refrigerium, was eaten in honor of the birthday or death day of the deceased person. The service included anointing of the headstone, antiphonal singing, and dancing; wine was poured into a depression that allowed it to enter the tomb to be consumed by the dead person. There is no sign of a more sophisticated (!) immortality, nor does resurrection, at least as revivification or resuscitation play any role. The dead remain dead, in a sphere other than the living; but there is contact, there is continuity of relationship, there is memorialization, there is presence. … Above all … a sense of confidence.

So, that’s pretty much it in a nutshell, though Snyder has an entire book with cited evidence and photographs of artifacts. Material remains are hard to shove under the rug and it really boggles the mind to try to figure out what was really going on with these groups. I have no idea what it means when taken in the context of early Patristic writings. Is it possible that there was a small coterie of Christians who were involved in the Christianity that was written about, while the large majority of followers engaged in activities that in no way reflected what that educated minority was thinking and writing? That seems difficult to conceive of, but if we look at how things are in our own day, we know that intellectual elites write and talk about many things that are of no interest to the average man on the street. Even today, many Christians (or members of other religions) go to their places of worship, perform the rituals, sing the songs, and then go home with no idea of the raging controversies in biblical studies that may actually question everything they are thinking (or not thinking) and doing in the performance of their religion. Could it be that the archaeological signs of early Christianity were something like that? Was the transition to Christianity as we know it later than we suspect? Did it take longer than we imagine? I just don’t know. It’s a curious data point, but it’s on the table and should be kept in mind.
 
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PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Merci de nous faire partager un extrait du dernier livre de Laura qui n'est pas encore traduit en Français ainsi nous pouvons avoir une vision de ses écrits en attendant...

Thank you for sharing with us an excerpt from Laura's latest book, which is not yet translated into French, so that we can have a vision of her writings in the meantime...
 

Turgon

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
There's a lot of food for thought (no pun intended) in this discussion and quote about ancestors and the quote brought up here so thank you for sharing it, @whitecoast and everyone else for their contributions. I felt a certain vibration reading G's excerpt that really highlights and illuminates the reasons why it's so important to understand where we come from inter-generationally and what honouring our ancestors and those that came before us really means. I've been working on my grandfather's memoirs, mainly interviewing him and transcribing the recordings.

But in the last several months I've put more effort into it because of a dream I had where he passed away before I had a chance to finish this work and not having all the information needed. And the feeling of remorse in my heart at not giving it my all while he was still alive was something I felt viscerally in the dream and not something I could easily forgive myself for if I continued to dilly-dally and live under the assumption he'll be around forever.

As I'm going through this process, I came to realize he's essentially the last bridge to the past and our ancestors. When it's time for him to cross over, all that knowledge could potentially be lost forever, along with the stories, insights, mistakes and experiences that have passed down from generation to generation and the dynamics that have influenced and shaped my family and myself. And what started out as an investigation into his life in relation to his experiences with Israel has turned into something else that has opened me up to so many more lives that are intertwined and connected with one another.

As I go through transcribing, investigating, asking questions and generally attempting to understand the broader themes, relationships and effects, I'm sort of struck by the underlying beliefs and ways of thinking that he has and how the trauma's, 'sins' and mistakes of the previous generations, in essence the choices that have been made throughout has accumulated into 'karmic debt' that has been passed down, and how many of those same belief systems are a part of my psyche and shapes who I am. And with that, also some of the inherent good qualities and learning about some heroic ancestors that performed amazing deeds of valour.

During quieter moments of prayer and reflection, there's a conscious recognition of who they were and because of that they are still 'alive' and watching over and observing me and that so much hinges upon what I do and how I live life - admitting to and working on inherited 'weaknesses', letting go of karmic debt by paying it forward, releasing old trauma's, developing character - not only for myself but for them as well. If this ancestral connection exists and information can travel back and forth in time, then by going through this process, are we not going through an initiatory rite of 'feeding' our ancestors and healing their past as well as honouring their memories by working towards a different future?

Just some thoughts that came to mind today.
 
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