Palmistry For All

Palmistry For All – Cheiro

Cassian was one of the first and most prominent of the Semi-Pelagians, maintaining that while man is by nature sinful, he yet has some good remaining in him, and that, while the immediate gift of God’s grace is necessary to salvation, conversion may also be begun by the exercise of man’s will. He further asserted that God is always willing to bestow his grace on all who seek it, though, at the same time, it is true that he sometimes bestows it without its being sought. These views have been held by a very large part of the church from his time, and embrace much of the essence of Arminianism. The style of Cassianus is slovenly, and shows no literary polish, but its direct simplicity is far superior to the rhetorical affectations which disfigure most of the writings of that age. At the request of Castor, bishop of Apt, he wrote two monumental and influential treatises on the monastic life. The De Institutione Coenobiorum (twelve books) describes the dress, the food, the devotional exercises, the discipline and the special spiritual dangers of monastic life in the East (gluttony, unchastity, avarice, anger, gloom, apathy, vanity and pride). The Collationes Patrum, a series of dialogues with the pious fathers of Egypt, deal with the way in which these dangers (and others, e.g. demons) may be avoided or overcome. At the desire of Leo (then archdeacon of Rome) he wrote against Nestorius his De Incarnatione Domini in seven books.

Palmistry For All

Palmistry For All

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Palmistry For All.

ISBN: 9783849676605.

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Importance of hand shape in palmistry (from wikipedia)

Depending on the type of palmistry practiced, and the type of reading being performed, palmists may look at various qualities of the hand, including the shapes and lines of the palm and fingers; the color and texture of the skin and fingernails; the relative sizes of the palm and fingers; the prominence of the knuckles; and numerous other attributes of the hands.

In most schools of palmistry, hand shapes are divided into four or eleven major types, sometimes corresponding to the classical elements or temperaments. Hand shape is believed to indicate character traits corresponding to the type indicated (i.e., a „Fire hand“ would exhibit high energy, creativity, short temper, ambition, etc. – all qualities believed to be related to the classical element of Fire).

Although variations abound, the most common classifications used by modern palmists:

Earth hands are generally identified by broad, square palms and fingers, thick or coarse skin, and ruddy color. The length of the palm from wrist to the bottom of the fingers is usually equal to the length of the fingers.
Air hands exhibit square or rectangular palms with long fingers and sometimes protruding knuckles, low-set thumbs, and often dry skin. The length of the palm from wrist to the bottom of the fingers is usually equal to the length of the fingers.
Water hands are seeable by the long, sometimes oval-shaped palm, with long, flexible, conical fingers. The length of the palm from wrist to the bottom of the fingers is usually less than the width across the widest part of the palm, and usually equal to the length of the fingers.
Fire hands are characterized by a square or rectangular palm, flushed or pink skin, and shorter fingers. The length of the palm from wrist to the bottom of the fingers is usually greater than the length of the fingers.
The number and quality of lines can also be included in the hand shape analysis; in some traditions of palmistry, Earth and Water hands tend to have fewer, deeper lines, while Air and Fire hands are more likely to show more lines with less clear definition.

 

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The Sacred Writings of John Cassian

The Sacred Writings of John Cassian

Cassian was one of the first and most prominent of the Semi-Pelagians, maintaining that while man is by nature sinful, he yet has some good remaining in him, and that, while the immediate gift of God’s grace is necessary to salvation, conversion may also be begun by the exercise of man’s will. He further asserted that God is always willing to bestow his grace on all who seek it, though, at the same time, it is true that he sometimes bestows it without its being sought. These views have been held by a very large part of the church from his time, and embrace much of the essence of Arminianism. The style of Cassianus is slovenly, and shows no literary polish, but its direct simplicity is far superior to the rhetorical affectations which disfigure most of the writings of that age. At the request of Castor, bishop of Apt, he wrote two monumental and influential treatises on the monastic life. The De Institutione Coenobiorum (twelve books) describes the dress, the food, the devotional exercises, the discipline and the special spiritual dangers of monastic life in the East (gluttony, unchastity, avarice, anger, gloom, apathy, vanity and pride). The Collationes Patrum, a series of dialogues with the pious fathers of Egypt, deal with the way in which these dangers (and others, e.g. demons) may be avoided or overcome. At the desire of Leo (then archdeacon of Rome) he wrote against Nestorius his De Incarnatione Domini in seven books.

The Sacred Writings of John Cassian

The Sacred Writings of John Cassian

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The Sacred Writings of John Cassian.

ISBN: 9783849676582.

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Short biography of John Cassian (from wikipedia)

Cassian was born around 360, most likely in the region of Scythia Minor (now Dobruja, a historical region shared today by Romania and Bulgaria), although some scholars assume a Gallic origin. The son of wealthy parents, he received a good education: his writings show the influence of Cicero and Persius. He was bilingual in Latin and Greek.

Cassian mentions having a sister in his first work, the Institutes, with whom he corresponded in his monastic life; she may have ended up with him in Marseilles.

As a young adult he traveled to Palestine with an older friend Germanus, with whom he would spend much of the next twenty-five years. There they entered a hermitage near Bethlehem. After remaining in that community for about three years, they journeyed to the desert of Scete in Egypt, which was rent by Christian struggles. There they visited a number of monastic foundations.

Approximately fifteen years later, about 399, Cassian and Germanus faced the Anthropomorphic controversy provoked in letter form by Theophilus, Archbishop of Alexandria. Cassian noted that the majority of the monks received the message of their patriarch „with bitterness,“ and charged Theophilus with heresy for impugning the plain teaching of the Holy Scripture. Following an unsuccessful journey to Alexandria to protest the matter, Cassian and Germanus fled with about 300 other Origenist monks. Cassian and Germanus went to Constantinople, where they appealed to the Patriarch of Constantinople, Saint John Chrysostom, for protection. Cassian was ordained a deacon and was made a member of the clergy attached to the Patriarch while the struggles with the imperial family ensued. When the Patriarch was forced into exile from Constantinople in 404, the Latin-speaking Cassian was sent to Rome to plead his cause before Pope Innocent I.

While he was in Rome, Cassian accepted the invitation to found an Egyptian-style monastery in southern Gaul, near Marseilles. He may also have spent time as a priest in Antioch between 404 and 415. In any case, he arrived in Marseilles around 415. His foundation, the Abbey of St Victor, was a complex of monasteries for both men and women, one of the first such institutes in the West, and served as a model for later monastic development.

Cassian’s achievements and writings influenced Saint Benedict, who incorporated many of the principles into his monastic rule, and recommended to his own monks that they read the works of Cassian. Since Benedict’s rule is still followed by Benedictine, Cistercian, and Trappist monks, John Cassian’s thought still exercises influence over the spiritual lives of thousands of men and women in the Latin Church.

Cassian died in 435 at Marseille.

 

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John Calvin’s Bible Commentaries On The Books of Zechariah And Malachi

John Calvin’s Bible Commentaries On The Books of Zechariah And Malachi – John Calvin

Calvin produced commentaries on most of the books of the Bible. His commentaries cover the larger part of the Old Testament, and all of the new excepting Second and Third John and the Apocalypse. His commentaries and lectures stand in the front rank of Biblical interpretation. The greatest part of ZECHARIAH was written, according to Lowth, in prose; but he adds that „some parts about the end of his Prophecy (Zechariah 9, 10. and the beginning of 11.) are poetical and highly embellished, and that they are sufficiently perspicuous, though written by a Prophet, who of all is perhaps the most obscure.“ The last of the Old Testament Prophets, as admitted by all, was MALACHI. Who and what he was, we are left without any knowledge. Some have supposed him to have been EZRA under another name, or under the name of his office, as MALACHI means a messenger. But most think that he lived near a century after HAGGAI and ZECHARIAH.

John Calvin's Bible Commentaries On The Books of Zechariah And Malachi

John Calvin’s Bible Commentaries On The Books of Zechariah And Malachi

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John Calvin’s Bible Commentaries On The Books of Zechariah And Malachi.

ISBN: 9783849676575.

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Biography of John Calvin (from wikipedia.com)

John Calvin (10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564) was an influential French theologian, pastor and reformer during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism, aspects of which include the doctrines of predestination and of the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation of the human soul from death and eternal damnation, in which doctrines Calvin was influenced by and elaborated upon the Augustinian and other early Christian traditions. Various Congregational, Reformed, and Presbyterian churches, which look to Calvin as the chief expositor of their beliefs, have spread throughout the world.

Calvin was a tireless polemic and apologetic writer who generated much controversy. He also exchanged cordial and supportive letters with many reformers, including Philipp Melanchthon and Heinrich Bullinger. In addition to his seminal Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin wrote commentaries on most books of the Bible, confessional documents, and various other theological treatises.

Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530. After religious tensions erupted in widespread deadly violence against Protestant Christians in France, Calvin fled to Basel, Switzerland, where in 1536 he published the first edition of the Institutes. In that same year, Calvin was recruited by Frenchman William Farel to help reform the church in Geneva, where he regularly preached sermons throughout the week; but the governing council of the city resisted the implementation of their ideas, and both men were expelled. At the invitation of Martin Bucer, Calvin proceeded to Strasbourg, where he became the minister of a church of French refugees. He continued to support the reform movement in Geneva, and in 1541 he was invited back to lead the church of the city.

Following his return, Calvin introduced new forms of church government and liturgy, despite opposition from several powerful families in the city who tried to curb his authority. During this period, Michael Servetus, a Spaniard regarded by both Roman Catholics and Protestants as having a heretical view of the Trinity, arrived in Geneva. He was denounced by Calvin and burned at the stake for heresy by the city council. Following an influx of supportive refugees and new elections to the city council, Calvin’s opponents were forced out. Calvin spent his final years promoting the Reformation both in Geneva and throughout Europe.

 

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The Comte De St. Germain

The Comte De St. Germain – Isabell Cooper-Oakley

Among the strange mysterious beings, with which the eighteenth century was so richly dowered, no one has commanded more universal comment and attention than the mystic who was known by the name of the Comte de St. Germain. A hero of romance; a charlatan; a swindler and an adventurer; rich and varied were the names that showered freely upon him. Hated by the many, loved and reverenced by the few, time has not yet lifted the veil which screened his true mission from the vulgar speculators of the period. Then, as now, the occultist was dubbed charlatan by the ignorant; only some men and women here and there realised the power of which he stood possessed. The friend and councillor of kings and princes, an enemy to ministers who were skilled in deception, he brought his great knowledge to help the West, to stave off in some small measure the storm clouds that were gathering so thickly around some nations. Alas! his words of warning fell on deafened ears, and his advice went all unheeded.

The Comte De St. Germain

The Comte De St. Germain

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The Comte De St. Germain.

ISBN: 9783849676568.

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About the Comte de St. Germain (from wikipedia.com)

The Comte de Saint Germain (Born ~ 1691 died 27 February 1784) was a European adventurer, with an interest in science and the arts. He achieved prominence in European high society of the mid-1700s. Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel considered him to be „one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived“. St. Germain used a variety of names and titles, an accepted practice amongst royalty and nobility at the time. These include the Marquis de Montferrat, Comte Bellamarre, Chevalier Schoening, Count Weldon, Comte Soltikoff, Graf Tzarogy and Prinz Ragoczy. In order to deflect inquiries as to his origins, he would invent fantasies, such as him being 500 years old, leading Voltaire to sarcastically dub him „The Wonderman“.

His birth and background are obscure, but towards the end of his life he claimed that he was a son of Prince Francis II Rákóczi of Transylvania. His name has occasionally caused him to be confused with Claude Louis, Comte de Saint-Germain, a noted French general, and Robert-François Quesnay de Saint Germain, an active occultist.

 

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Clairvoyance And Occult Powers

Clairvoyance And Occult Powers – William Walker Atkinson

This book is a treasure chest full of occult wisdom. It includes twenty lessons that will let the reader dive deep into his own powers and deal with strange phenomena and spiritual wisdom. Atkinson talks about the astral senses, clairvoyance, telepathy, mind reading, crystal gazing and many more spiritual and mystical topics.

Clairvoyance And Occult Powers

Clairvoyance And Occult Powers

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Clairvoyance And Occult Powers.

ISBN: 9783849676551.

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Clairvoyance in history (from wikipedia.com)

Throughout history, there have been numerous places and times in which people have claimed themselves or others to be clairvoyant.

A number of Christian saints were said to be able to see or know things that were far removed from their immediate sensory perception as a kind of gift from God, including Columba of Iona, Padre Pio and Anne Catherine Emmerich. Jesus Christ in the Gospels is also recorded as being able to know things that were far removed from His immediate human perception.

In other religions, similar stories of certain individuals being able to see things far removed from their immediate sensory perception are commonplace, especially within pagan religions where oracles were used.

In most of these cases, however, the ability to see things was attributed to a higher power and not thought of as an ability that lay within the person himself.

 

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The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians

The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians – William Walker Atkinson

The student of the history of occultism and the esoteric teachings, and even the average reader of current books and magazines, finds many references to „The Rosicrucians,“ a supposed ancient secret society devoted to the study of occult doctrines and the manifestation of occult powers. But when such person seeks to obtain detailed information concerning this supposed ancient „order“ he finds himself baffled and defeated. Before acknowledging the futility of the quest, however, he usually investigates one or more so-called „orders“ having as a part of their title the word „Rosicrucian,“ only to find himself invited to join such „order“ upon the payment of a fee or fees ranging from a small amount in some cases to quite large amounts in others, each „order“ claiming to be the „only original order,“ and asserting that all the others are base imitators. This book will give you all the insights on this secret order.

The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians

The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians

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The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians.

ISBN: 9783849676544.

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What is Rosicrucianism? (from wikipedia.com)

Rosicrucianism was a cultural movement which arose in Europe in the early 17th century after the publication of several texts which purported to announce the existence of a hitherto unknown esoteric order to the world and made seeking its knowledge attractive to many. The mysterious doctrine of the order is allegedly „built on esoteric truths of the ancient past“, which „concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe and the spiritual realm.“ The manifestos do not elaborate extensively on the matter, but clearly combine references to Kabbalah, Hermeticism, and mystical Christianity.

The Rosicrucian Manifestos heralded a „universal reformation of mankind“, through a science allegedly kept secret for decades until the intellectual climate might receive it. Controversies have arisen on whether they were a hoax, whether the „order of the Rosy Cross“ existed as described in the manifestos, or whether the whole thing was a metaphor disguising a movement that really existed, but in a different form. In 1616, Johann Valentin Andreae famously designated it as a „ludibrium“.

By promising a spiritual transformation at a time of great turmoil, the manifestos tempted many figures to seek esoteric knowledge. Seventeenth-century occult philosophers such as Michael Maier, Robert Fludd, and Thomas Vaughan interested themselves in the Rosicrucian world view. According to historian David Stevenson, it was influential to Freemasonry as it was emerging in Scotland. In later centuries, many esoteric societies have claimed to derive from the original Rosicrucians. Rosicrucianism is symbolized by the Rosy Cross or Rose Cross.

 

 

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The Pilgrim’s Progress

The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan

The Pilgrim’s Progress was published in February 1678. The irresistible charm of this book which gratified the imagination of the reader with all the action and scenery of a fairy tale, which exercised his ingenuity by setting him to discover a multitude of curious analogies, which interested his feelings for human beings, frail like himself, and struggling with temptations from within and from without, which every moment drew a smile from him by some stroke of quaint yet simple pleasantry, and nevertheless left on his mind a sentiment of reverence for God and of sympathy for man is still in effect today.

The Pilgrim's Progress

The Pilgrim’s Progress

Format: Paperback.

The Pilgrim’s Progress.

ISBN: 9783849676537.

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Plot summary of The Pilgrim’s Progress (from wikipedia)

First Part

The entire book is presented as a dream sequence narrated by an omniscient narrator. The allegory’s protagonist, Christian, is an everyman character, and the plot centres on his journey from his hometown, the „City of Destruction“ („this world“), to the „Celestial City“ („that which is to come“: Heaven) atop Mount Zion. Christian is weighed down by a great burden—the knowledge of his sin—which he believed came from his reading „the book in his hand“ (the Bible). This burden, which would cause him to sink into Hell, is so unbearable that Christian must seek deliverance. He meets Evangelist as he is walking out in the fields, who directs him to the „Wicket Gate“ for deliverance. Since Christian cannot see the „Wicket Gate“ in the distance, Evangelist directs him to go to a „shining light,“ which Christian thinks he sees. Christian leaves his home, his wife, and children to save himself: he cannot persuade them to accompany him. Obstinate and Pliable go after Christian to bring him back, but Christian refuses. Obstinate returns disgusted, but Pliable is persuaded to go with Christian, hoping to take advantage of the Paradise that Christian claims lies at the end of his journey. Pliable’s journey with Christian is cut short when the two of them fall into the Slough of Despond, a boggy mire-like swamp where pilgrims‘ doubts, fears, temptations, lusts, shames, guilts, and sins of their present condition of being a sinner are used to sink them into the mud of the swamp. It is there in that bog where Pliable abandons Christian after getting himself out. After struggling to the other side of the slough, Christian is pulled out by Help, who has heard his cries and tells him the swamp is made out of the decadence, scum, and filth of sin, but the ground is good at the narrow Wicket Gate.

On his way to the Wicket Gate, Christian is diverted by the secular ethics of Mr. Worldly Wiseman into seeking deliverance from his burden through the Law, supposedly with the help of a Mr. Legality and his son Civility in the village of Morality, rather than through Christ, allegorically by way of the Wicket Gate. Evangelist meets the wayward Christian as he stops before Mount Sinai on the way to Mr. Legality’s home. It hangs over the road and threatens to crush any who would pass it; also the mountain flashed with fire. Evangelist shows Christian that he had sinned by turning out of his way and tells him that Mr. Legality and his son Civility are descendants of slaves and Mr. Worldly Wiseman is a false guide, but he assures him that he will be welcomed at the Wicket Gate if he should turn around and go there, which Christian does.

At the Wicket Gate begins the „straight and narrow“ King’s Highway, and Christian is directed onto it by the gatekeeper Goodwill who saves him from Beelzebub’s archers at Beelzebub’s castle near the Wicket Gate and shows him the heavenly way he must go. In the Second Part, Goodwill is shown to be Jesus himself. To Christian’s query about relief from his burden, Goodwill directs him forward to „the place of deliverance.“

Christian makes his way from there to the House of the Interpreter, where he is shown pictures and tableaux that portray or dramatize aspects of the Christian faith and life. Roger Sharrock denotes them „emblems“.

From the House of the Interpreter, Christian finally reaches the „place of deliverance“ (allegorically, the cross of Calvary and the open sepulchre of Christ), where the „straps“ that bound Christian’s burden to him break, and it rolls away into the open sepulchre. This event happens relatively early in the narrative: the immediate need of Christian at the beginning of the story being quickly remedied. After Christian is relieved of his burden, he is greeted by three angels, who give him the greeting of peace, new garments, and a scroll as a passport into the Celestial City. Encouraged by all this, Christian happily continues his journey until he comes upon three men named Simple, Sloth, and Presumption. Christian tries to help them, but they disregard his advice. Before coming to the Hill of Difficulty, Christian meets two well-dressed men named Formality and Hypocrisy who prove to be false Christians that perish in the two dangerous bypasses near the hill, named Danger and Destruction. Christian falls asleep at the arbor above the hill and loses his scroll, forcing him to go back and get it. Near the top of the Hill of Difficulty, he meets two weak pilgrims named Mistrust and Timorous who tell him of the great lions of the Palace Beautiful. Christian frightfully avoids the lions through Watchful the porter who tells them that they are chained and put there to test the faith of pilgrims.

Atop the Hill of Difficulty, Christian makes his first stop for the night at the House of the Palace Beautiful, which is a place built by God for the refresh of pilgrims and godly travelers. Christian spends three days here, and leaves clothed with the Armor of God (Eph. 6:11–18), which stands him in good stead in his battle against the demonic dragon-like Apollyon (the lord and god of the City of Destruction) in the Valley of Humiliation. This battle lasts „over half a day“ until Christian manages to wound and stab Apollyon with his two-edged sword (a reference to the Bible, Heb. 4:12). „And with that Apollyon spread his dragon wings and sped away.“

As night falls Christian enters the fearful Valley of the Shadow of Death. When he is in the middle of the Valley amidst the gloom, terror and demons, he hears the words of the Twenty-third Psalm, spoken possibly by his friend Faithful:

Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4.)
As he leaves this valley the sun rises on a new day.

Just outside the Valley of the Shadow of Death he meets Faithful, also a former resident of the City of Destruction, who accompanies him to Vanity Fair, a place built by Beelzebub where every thing to a human’s tastes, delights, and lusts are sold daily, where both are arrested and detained because of their disdain for the wares and business of the Fair. Faithful is put on trial, and executed by burning at the stake as a martyr. A celestial chariot then takes Faithful to the Celestial City, martyrdom being a shortcut there. Hopeful, a resident of Vanity Fair, takes Faithful’s place to be Christian’s companion for the rest of the way.

Christian and Hopeful then come to a mining hill called Lucre. Its owner named Demas offers them all the silver of the mine but Christian sees through Demas’s trickery and they avoid the mine. Afterwards, a false pilgrim named By-Ends and his friends, who followed Christian and Hopeful only to take advantage of them, perish at the Hill Lucre, never to be seen or heard again. Along a rough, stony stretch of road, Christian and Hopeful leave the highway to travel on the easier By-Path Meadow, where a rainstorm forces them to spend the night. In the morning they are captured by Giant Despair, who is known for his savage cruelty, and his wife Diffidence; the pilgrims are taken to the Giant’s Doubting Castle, where they are imprisoned, beaten and starved. The Giant and the Giantess want them to commit suicide, but they endure the ordeal until Christian realizes that a key he has, called Promise, will open all the doors and gates of Doubting Castle. Using the key and the Giant’s weakness to sunlight, they escape.

The Delectable Mountains form the next stage of Christian and Hopeful’s journey, where the shepherds show them some of the wonders of the place also known as „Immanuel’s Land“. The pilgrims are shown sights that strengthen their faith and warn them against sinning, like the Hill Error or the Mountain Caution. On Mount Clear they are able to see the Celestial City through the shepherd’s „perspective glass“, which serves as a telescope. (This device is given to Mercy in the Second Part at her request.) The shepherds tell the pilgrims to beware of the Flatterer and to avoid the Enchanted Ground. Soon they come to a crossroad and a man dressed in white comes to help them. Thinking he is a „shining one“ (angel), the pilgrims follow the man, but soon get stuck in a net and realize their so-called angelic guide was the Flatterer. A true shining one comes and frees them from the net. The Angel punishes them for following the Flatterer and then puts them back on the right path. The pilgrims meet Atheist, who tells them Heaven and God don’t exist, but Christian and Hopeful remember the shepherds and pay no attention to the man. Christian and Hopeful come to a place where a man named Little-Faith is chained by the ropes of seven demons who take him to a shortcut to the Lake of Fire (Hell).

On the way, Christian and Hopeful meet a lad named Ignorance, who believes that he will be allowed into the Celestial City through his own good deeds rather than as a gift of God’s grace. Christian and Hopeful meet up with him twice and try to persuade him to journey to the Celestial City in the right way. Ignorance persists in his own way that he thinks will lead him into Heaven. After getting over the River of Death on the ferry boat of Vain Hope without overcoming the hazards of wading across it, Ignorance appears before the gates of Celestial City without a passport, which he would have acquired had he gone into the King’s Highway through the Wicket Gate. The Lord of the Celestial City orders the shining ones (angels) to take Ignorance to one of the byways of Hell and throw him in.

Christian and Hopeful make it through the dangerous Enchanted Ground (a place where the air makes them sleepy and if they fall asleep, they never wake up) into the Land of Beulah, where they ready themselves to cross the dreaded River of Death on foot to Mount Zion and the Celestial City. Christian has a rough time of it because of his past sins wearing him down, but Hopeful helps him over; and they are welcomed into the Celestial City.

Second Part

The Second Part of The Pilgrim’s Progress presents the pilgrimage of Christian’s wife, Christiana; their sons; and the maiden, Mercy. They visit the same stopping places that Christian visited, with the addition of Gaius‘ Inn between the Valley of the Shadow of Death and Vanity Fair, but they take a longer time in order to accommodate marriage and childbirth for the four sons and their wives. The hero of the story is Great-Heart, a servant of the Interpreter, who is the pilgrims‘ guide to the Celestial City. He kills four giants called Giant Grim, Giant Maul, Giant Slay-Good, and Giant Despair and participates in the slaying of a monster called Legion that terrorizes the city of Vanity Fair.

The passage of years in this second pilgrimage better allegorizes the journey of the Christian life. By using heroines, Bunyan, in the Second Part, illustrates the idea that women as well as men can be brave pilgrims.

Alexander M. Witherspoon, professor of English at Yale University, writes in a prefatory essay:

Part II, which appeared in 1684, is much more than a mere sequel to or repetition of the earlier volume. It clarifies and reinforces and justifies the story of Part I. The beam of Bunyan’s spotlight is broadened to include Christian’s family and other men, women, and children; the incidents and accidents of everyday life are more numerous, the joys of the pilgrimage tend to outweigh the hardships; and to the faith and hope of Part I is added in abundant measure that greatest of virtues, charity. The two parts of The Pilgrim’s Progress in reality constitute a whole, and the whole is, without doubt, the most influential religious book ever written in the English language.
This is exemplified by the frailness of the pilgrims of the Second Part — women, children, and physically and mentally challenged individuals — in contrast to the stronger pilgrims of the First Part. When Christiana’s party leaves Gaius’s Inn and Mr. Feeble-Mind lingers in order to be left behind, he is encouraged to accompany the party by Greatheart:

But brother … I have it in commission, to comfort the feeble-minded, and to support the weak. You must needs go along with us; we will wait for you, we will lend you our help, we will deny ourselves of some things, both opinionative and practical, for your sake; we will not enter into doubtful disputations before you, we will be made all things to you, rather than you shall be left behind.
The pilgrims learn of Madame Bubble who created the Enchanted Ground and Forgetful Green, a place in the Valley of Humiliation where the flowers make other pilgrims forget about God’s love. Christiana, Matthew, Joseph, Samuel, James, Mercy, Great Heart, Mr. Feeble Mind, and Mr. Ready-To-Halt come to Bypath-Meadow and, after much fight and difficulty, slay the cruel Giant Despair and the wicked Giantess Diffidence, and demolish Doubting Castle for Christian and Hopeful who were oppressed there. They free a pale man named Mr. Despondency and his daughter named Much-Afraid from the castle’s dungeons.

When the pilgrims end up in the Land of Beulah, they cross over the River of Death by appointment. As a matter of importance to Christians of Bunyan’s persuasion reflected in the narrative of The Pilgrim’s Progress, the last words of the pilgrims as they cross over the River of Death are recorded. The four sons of Christian and their families do not cross, but remain for the support of the church in that place.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

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Aradia – Gospel Of The Witches

Aradia – Gospel Of The Witches – Charles Godfrey Leland

Indefatigable in research, Mr. Leland collects from the mouths of Italian peasants all the information still surviving concerning witches and their rites. Much of this he incorporated in his previous writings, and much more-some of it, we are glad to think, on the point of appearance-has yet to see the light. It is difficult to over-estimate the interest of these survivals in Italy of pagan faith and rite, and it is eminently desirable that so much of them as possible should be preserved. They are on the verge of disappearance, and what is not now reclaimed will inevitably perish. On this point Mr. Leland insists. There are still, however, some few people in the Northern Ramagna who know the Etruscan names of the twelve gods. Invocations to Bacchus, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, and the Lares may yet be heard, and there are women in the cities who mutter over the amulets they prepare spells known to the old Roman, and have lore which may be found in Cato or Theocritus. Aradia (Herodias), it may be said, is, according to the Vangelo of the witches, the daughter of Diana by her brother Lucifer, the god of the sun and of the moon, who for his pride was driven from Paradise. Aradia – not, Mr. Leland thinks, the Herodias of the New Testament, but an earlier replica of Lilith-is the chief patron of witches and the teacher of witchcraft. Deeply interesting is all that is said concerning her, and the book, which translates the poetic invocations, is a treasure-house to the student of witchcraft and myth.

Aradia – Gospel Of The Witches

Aradia – Gospel Of The Witches

Format: Paperback.

Aradia – Gospel Of The Witches.

ISBN: 9783849676520.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

More information on the book (from wikipedia)

Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches is a book composed by the American folklorist Charles Godfrey Leland that was published in 1899. It contains what he believed was the religious text of a group of pagan witches in Tuscany, Italy that documented their beliefs and rituals, although various historians and folklorists have disputed the existence of such a group. In the 20th century, the book was very influential in the development of the contemporary Pagan religion of Wicca.

The text is a composite. Some of it is Leland’s translation into English of an original Italian manuscript, the Vangelo (gospel). Leland reported receiving the manuscript from his primary informant on Italian witchcraft beliefs, a woman Leland referred to as „Maddalena“ and whom he called his „witch informant“ in Italy. The rest of the material comes from Leland’s research on Italian folklore and traditions, including other related material from Maddalena. Leland had been informed of the Vangelo’s existence in 1886, but it took Maddalena eleven years to provide him with a copy. After translating and editing the material, it took another two years for the book to be published. Its fifteen chapters portray the origins, beliefs, rituals, and spells of an Italian pagan witchcraft tradition. The central figure of that religion is the goddess Aradia, who came to Earth to teach the practice of witchcraft to peasants in order for them to oppose their feudal oppressors and the Roman Catholic Church.

Leland’s work remained obscure until the 1950s, when other theories about, and claims of, „pagan witchcraft“ survivals began to be widely discussed. Aradia began to be examined within the wider context of such claims. Scholars are divided, with some dismissing Leland’s assertion regarding the origins of the manuscript, and others arguing for its authenticity as a unique documentation of folk beliefs. Along with increased scholarly attention, Aradia came to play a special role in the history of Gardnerian Wicca and its offshoots, being used as evidence that pagan witchcraft survivals existed in Europe, and because a passage from the book’s first chapter was used as a part of the religion’s liturgy. After the increase in interest in the text, it became widely available through numerous reprints from a variety of publishers, including a 1999 critical edition with a new translation by Mario and Dina Pazzaglini.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

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Veröffentlicht unter Mysticism, The Sacred Books (English) | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea – Kakuzo Okakura

The ’Book of Tea’ is nothing less than an absolutely correct interpretation of Japanese life. Mr. Okakura came to the United States as a special commissioner of the Japanese Government to examine into American art. He has made a really careful study of this subject. What he has to say about Japan is not only well said but worth saying.

The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea

Format: Paperback.

The Book of Tea.

ISBN: 9783849676827.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Basics of Teaism (from wikipedia)

When the tea ceremony is understood and practised to foster harmony in humanity, promote harmony with nature, discipline the mind, quiet the heart, and attain the purity of enlightenment, the art of tea becomes „teaism“. The term „chadao“ has two words, the first being ‚tea‘ and the second the Chinese loanword tao/dao/ native suffix -ism (also Japanese: 主義), and could thus be read as ‚teaism‘. Another, more literal reading of the word is the ‚way of tea‘ (茶 tea and 道 way), comparable with for example 弓道; the way of the bow. The term can be used to describe tea ceremony as the interests in tea culture and studies and pursued over time with self-cultivation. Teaism is mostly a simplistic mode of aesthetics, but there are subtle insights into ethics, and even metaphysics. Teaism is related to teamind. A sense of focus and concentration while under the influence of great tasting tea. Teaist is a person who performs or enjoys the art of tea and teaism. In Chinese and Japanese, as well as Korean traditional culture, there are well-developed teaisms.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

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The Sacred Writings of St. Athanasius

The Sacred Writings of St. Athanasius

Athanasius was the greatest champion of Catholic belief on the subject of the Incarnation that the Church has ever known and in his lifetime earned the characteristic title of „Father of Orthodoxy“, by which he has been distinguished every since. This book contains almost 700 pages with his most essential writings, as well as valuable introductions to them.

The Sacred Writings of St. Athanasius

The Sacred Writings of St. Athanasius

Format: Paperback.

The Sacred Writings of St. Athanasius.

ISBN: 9783849676810.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Short biography of St. Athanasius (from wikipedia)

Saint Athanasius of Alexandria (/ˌæθəˈneɪʃəs/; Greek: Ἀθανάσιος Ἀλεξανδρείας, Athanásios Alexandrías; c. 296–298 – 2 May 373), also called Athanasius the Great, Athanasius the Confessor or, primarily in the Coptic Orthodox Church, Athanasius the Apostolic, was the 20th bishop of Alexandria (as Athanasius I). His episcopate lasted 45 years (c. 8 June 328 – 2 May 373), of which over 17 were spent in five exiles ordered by four different Roman emperors. Athanasius was a Christian theologian, a Church Father, the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism, and a noted Egyptian leader of the fourth century.

Conflict with Arius and Arianism as well as successive Roman emperors shaped Athanasius‘ career. In 325, at the age of 27, Athanasius began his leading role against the Arians as a deacon and assistant to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria during the First Council of Nicaea. Roman emperor Constantine the Great had convened the council in May–August 325 to address the Arian position that the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, is of a distinct substance from the Father. Three years after that council, Athanasius succeeded his mentor as archbishop of Alexandria. In addition to the conflict with the Arians (including powerful and influential Arian churchmen led by Eusebius of Nicomedia), he struggled against the Emperors Constantine, Constantius II, Julian the Apostate and Valens. He was known as „Athanasius Contra Mundum“ (Latin for Athanasius Against the World).

Nonetheless, within a few years after his death, Gregory of Nazianzus called him the „Pillar of the Church“. His writings were well regarded by all following Church fathers in the West and the East, who noted their rich devotion to the Word-become-man, great pastoral concern and profound interest in monasticism. Athanasius is counted as one of the four great Eastern Doctors of the Church in the Roman Catholic Church. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, he is labeled as the „Father of Orthodoxy“. Some Protestants label him as „Father of the Canon“. Athanasius is venerated as a Christian saint, whose feast day is 2 May in Western Christianity, 15 May in the Coptic Orthodox Church, and 18 January in the other Eastern Orthodox Churches. He is venerated by the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutherans, and the Anglican Communion.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

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