Many people in the past twenty years have felt called upon to distinguish spirituality from religion. Last year I humbly accepted a request to be a guest blogger at episcopalcafe.com and my first posting was about this very thing. I enlisted the aid of a good and old friend who is a spiritualist in the Akashic Records and together we co-authored the posting on January 20, 2014 which is still available in their archived postings.
“Akasha” is a Sanskrit word meaning “sky”. Sanskrit is the classical language of India and is considered to be the liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. In the book “Light of the Soul”, Alice A. Bailey discussed the Akashic Records. “The Akashic Record is like an immense photographic film, registering all the desires and earth experiences of our planet. Those who perceive it will see pictured thereon: The life experiences of every human being since time began, the reactions to experience of the entire animal kingdom, the aggregation of the thought-forms of a karmic nature (based on desire) of every human unit throughout time. Herein lies the great deception of the records. Only a trained occultist can distinguish between actual experience and those astral pictures created by imagination and keen desire.”
In discussing other culture’s mythologies we have used the terms history, archaeology, and theology. Now that we are in the Eastern mythologies, we need to include theosophy and anthroposophy. Theosophy is today considered to be much like a chapter in the book/belief system known as esotericism. The Theosopher is the person seeking to understand the universe and the knowledge and mysteries contained within and then unite the universe, mankind, and anything thought to be divine. Today the goal of theosophy is considered to be like embarking on a great voyage, a journey into the beginnings of creation and the purpose of all.
Anthroposophy is the brainchild of philosopher Rudolf Steiner and reflects some of the Germanic myths we already discussed. Steiner believed that to learn about the spiritual world, one had to improve one’s personal development, one’s abilities to perceive and experience the natural world. It came about due to the language of theosophy and seeks personal improvement to gain access to the answers found within the spiritual world.
If you are beginning to think I have fallen back into some earlier postings on mythology, you would partially correct. If anything, we have learned that “everything old is new again” as we’ve discussed topics through this blog. Last year at this time we were walking our way through the psalms and proverbs and discovered that the writers of those faced many of the same fears and doubts that we face today. Then during December we explored the various religions of the earth and found some great similarities. We also learned that the diets of many are the same diets health organizations advocate today.
If you think theosophy and theology might be connected you would also be correct. As early as the third century ACE, the two words were considered synonyms for each other. It was not until the thirteenth century with the work “Summa Philosophiae”, allegedly written by Robert Grosseteste, that a distinction between the two terms was made. Grosseteste described theosophers as writers whose sole inspiration were sacred texts. He believed theologians were learned persons whose job was to explain the writings of the theosophers. In other words, the two words meant exactly the opposite of how they are used today.
Kabbalah is a term often heard today, especially since it had gained such famous followers as Madonna and others in the entertainment industry. It is a theosophical doctrine within Jewish mysticism which introduced gnostic motifs into aspects of Judaism. Kabbalah references ten Sephirot powers in its divine realm whose purpose is the unification of man. There are two main schools of thought within Kabbalah and, if interested, I hope you continue to learn about this.
In all of our discussions about mythology, I have touched lightly on the outer scopes of the belief systems resulting from them. I am neither a scholar of such nor an expert, just a traveler passing through. What does interest me is that most if not all have the same intent: the unification of man with his world, his universe, and his fellow man.
For me, spirituality is one aspect of our living and religion is one way in which we elect to live, the compass we use in our wanderings in our universe and living. The mythologies of mankind brought awareness of our existence, sometimes in magical ways and other times in imaginative ones. Regardless of the culture or period, though, they all gave greater meaning to our presence.
You have meaning. You have purpose. You hold a place of importance in this universe. If you gain nothing else from my mumblings of mental thoughts that I call this blog, I hope you are aware that you have meaning, purpose, and importance to the world. None of us are the king or queen of it, merely worker bees. However, the hive of life needs each of us and we need each other.
Thank you for being a part of my universe and I sincerely hope that today, you feel joy in your living. Whether you consider yourself spiritual or religious doesn’t really matter; neither does your nationality, status, or appearance. What is critical is the “you” that lives within. You are, after all, the world’s gift to itself. Remember, regardless of what comes your way, it is just one chapter in your story and the book of you is not completed. Live a great chapter today. Tomorrow we will find ourselves in a garden. Hope to see you there!