hindu monk

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Andrew Logan Montgomery’s
WALKING THE CROOKED PATH, some thoughts on Qutub.(2013)

Andrew D. Chumbley died suddenly, on his thirty-seventh birthday, of a severe asthma attack.  There is a qabbalistic irony in that I think he might have appreciated.  Thirty-seven is the number of the Perfected Man, the seven spheres of the tree of life below the abyss crowned by the divine triad above.  It is Adam before the Fall.  For a man who had so obviously mastered very deep arcana, departing the world after thirty-seven solar revolutions is an eerie coincidence.  This doesn’t mitigate the tragedy of losing him at such a young age; it would have been extraordinary to see what he might have produced next.


I never knew the man, but I knew his work, and would comfortably place him alongside Austin Spare or Aleister Crowley in the list of the 20th century’s greatest occultists.  This was not another self-help, mass market, Llewelyn New Ager.  Chumbley had tapped into very deep magic, terrific and terrifying, awesome and awful. His Azoetia is probably the first genuine grimoire written in centuries, and his second work,Qutub, is a black jewel.  Both are now nearly impossible to find, commanding prices of one to two thousand dollars when you do, despite being less than twenty-five years old.  It’s hard to imagine any occultist in possession of them being willing to let go.

Qutub is, like the Emerald Tablet or Crowley's Liber AL vel Legis, a work of extreme brevity but tremendous depth.  It’s seventy-two verses took a year to write and one could profitably spend ten times that puzzling them out.  As Crowley said in his “Initiated Interpretation of Ceremonial Magic,” the world of magic is a mirror, and Qutub explores this riddle in slowly spiraling mysteries.  Magic is both a mask and a mirror, a projection and reflection, a lie and the truth, and the point where these opposites merge into one.  That place is Qutub, the Arabic word for “point."  The verses of this meditation are designed to bring you there.

Qabbalistically speaking, "nothingness” or “zero” is a kind of code word for God (or “ultimate reality,” if you prefer).  God contains all things, and thus nothing is all that can be said of it.  It cannot be said to be “good” because that denies it “evil,” it cannot be said to be “male” because that denies it femininity, it cannot be said to be “light” because that denies it darkness.  This is why the Buddha called it nirvana, and why the Hebrews didn’t give it a name.  God must contain all opposites because it is the source of all opposites.  Aleister Crowley nicely summed this up as n + -n = 0.  If you take all opposites and add them together, they become nothingness, perfect, without definition or limits, eternal and unchanging.  Nothing lasts forever.  Nothing is perfect.  From the Qabbalistic perspective, by stripping God of its “darker” attributes and assigning them to Satan, the Christians are committing a very serious kind of blasphemy.  God must be the totality of being.  They are cutting it in half.  (I have always found useful here the notion of “nothing” as an empty sheet of paper…because it has nothing on it, it has the potential to become anything.  Once you start to write or draw on it, you start limiting it, defining it, and stripping that unlimited potential away)


The Point then is that first breath God took before it said “let there be light."  A point exists, but is without length or breadth; it is unity, but right on the very doorstep of being nothing itself.  After that breath, the moment God says "let there be light” we now have “Two,” the duality of light and darkness.  But that initial “One” is the very first stirring of creation before that happens.


Qutub then–which enumerates to 111, also the number of the Tarot Trump “The Fool,” symbolizing the beginning of the Journey–is the start and the finish, the initial step out the door and the moment of arrival, the alpha and the omega, if you will.  It is where something comes from Nothing and returns to Nothing.  This is the sense in which Chumbley uses it.  It is a cosmological code word for the ultimate mystical experience, the dissolution of the ego and the sense of becoming “one” (or Nothing) with everything, as well as the act of creation.


This is all pretty standard mysticism.  A Sufi, a Buddhist monk, a Hindu ascetic, and a devout Christian contemplative could all relate to it.  But Chumbley takes us there along the “crooked path,” a phrase which at once reminds us of both the Qabbala’s “lightning strike” of creation and something more sinister.  And by “sinister” I mean the Latin for “left-hand.”


The Left Hand Path (properlyvamamarga) is a Sanskrit concept that arises in some tantric practices.  Without getting side-tracked, what it amounts to is a “short-cut” to enlightenment through antinomian practices.  If the goal of the Right Hand Path is to overcome the Self through bhakti (love and faith) or karma(work and meditation), the Left Hand Path seeks to do the same through jnaya(knowledge and experience).  Byintentionally breaking taboos, not out of animal weakness or by accident, the seeker breaks down all barriers between him and the Infinite.  He overcomes the Self by dissolution.  Thus in India the tantric would do things like eat meat, drink wine, or engage in ritualized sexual activity with “unclean” women.  The point was not to party, but to unwind the Self and undo identity.


The term shows up in Western esotericism in a somewhat bastardized sense, but with some similar characteristics.  Here it takes on more Jungian dimensions; the merging with the Shadow.  It attempts to reach that essential state of Nothing by embracing the negative and darker characteristics of the personality as a lover; again, n + -n = 0.  The Seeker makes a bride of those things in himself he has been taught to reject.  This is in defiance of conventional religious law, which keeps the individual divided from himself, told to embrace only the “good” within him and reject the “bad."  The Left Hand seeker embraces both in an attempt to know the totality of experience and being, and from this vantage point sees opposites reconciled.

Thus Qutub invokes some very dark characters in its verses.  Chumbley himself says of it ”…this work treats the Arcanum of the Opposer, a magical formula of the Crooked Path concerning the Powers of Self-overcoming.“  That Opposer–again the Shadow–is encountered in the work at various turns as Lilith (the first wife of Adam from Jewish folklore who refused to obey and was replaced by Eve), Iblis (the Islamic satan), and Melek Taus (or Malik Tawas, the "Peacock Angel” of the Yezidi religion, believed to be a Lucifer that rebelled but was later forgiven and redeemed).  But this is where we must remember magic is a mirror…if you look into the darkness and see only evil and sin, that is because your brought them there with you.  As Chumbley says at the opening of the book, “he who is illuminated with the brightest light casts the darkest shadow."  This is precisely why the Peacock Angel is the epitome of transformative redemption.

The whole of Qutub has a very intentional Arabic, "Sufi-esque” vibe.  Indeed, one of the “non-dark” figures invoked by the poem is Khidir, a sort of Sufi “saint” or “boddhisatva” who appears in many guises to help people discover the Infinite.  Qutub is a shadowy reflection of the poet Rumi, who wrote of God as the Lover and the Other.  My old mentor, the Sufi and religious scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr, often cited the Sufi teaching that there were many revelations and many paths, all leading to the same center.  This imagery is referenced again and again by Chumbley as the poem unfolds, as are many other images drawn from Arabic and Persian mysticism.  Looking for the center is like seeking an oasis in the desert.

And where does the poem lead?  What is the destination?  “The main purpose of magical practice,” Chumbley tells us in the poem’s commentary, “…is to refine, develop, and eventually to transmute the Entire Being of the Magician, this process being in accordance with his Will, Desire, and Belief.  It is to recreate oneself in a form aligned unto one’s True Nature.  …Although the (magickal) Current (which originates and flows from the center) affects all Nature, it has conscious direction through the Initiate, who, being possessed of the Gnosis, actively works to manifest this Current: to become Magick Incarnate.  This is the subject of the poem Qutub."  We seem to be seeing a variation here of Thelema and its doctrine of "True Will,” a concept far too large to properly enlarge here but which, in essence, states that all things in the universe have their own path or trajectory proper to them, determined by composition, position, and in the case of sentient beings, disposition.  It is not fate or destiny becomes it does not claim to know the end, but merely the proper direction one should head in.  For Thelema, the main thing is to discover your True Will and to do it, and thus you will have the “inertia of the universe behind you."  Chumbley’s own Arte Magickal seems to embrace a similar line, with the magician discovering his True Nature and embracing it, taking his rightful place in existence.  In doing so he becomes the current of magic flowing from the center of all things into the world, he becomes the very path he walks upon.  Those familiar with the Tao Te Ching or certain schools of Buddhism will recognize the concept.


But the question we are left with, is “doesQutub deliver?”  Can it actually help one discover himself and follow his path?  This is a valid question for any esoteric document, and the answer is always the same; “yes…and no.”  Chumbley is very up front with this in his commentary;


“…The mystical and symbolic language of the Poem is, in a literal sense, occult; it simultaneously conceals and reveals the sum of its meaning by way of cipher.  The eternal nature of Symbols is revealed facet by facet, moment by moment.  In being cast out before the Mind their timely significance is divined and, like a mirror, will reflect the Beholder.  Do not blame the mirror for that which it reflects.  Look Beyond–Look Within!”


In short, this is not one of those New Age works that crowd the shelves at Barnes & Noble.  This is not force-fed consumer illumination.  Qutub is challenging and will unlock only for the right people, something that can easily be said for theTao Te Ching, Liber AL vel Legis, or a thousand other esoteric works.  But it is a genuine work of esotericism, and a very powerful instrument for self-realization, something few modern books on the “occult” can actually claim.  For this reason I cannot but recommend it highly for the serious student.  With time and contmeplation, Qutub not only unlocks its doors, but yours.   

The Third Eye

The third eye (also known as the inner eye) is a mystical and esoteric concept referring to a speculative invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sight.

In certain dharmic spiritual traditions such as Hinduism, the third eye refers to the ajna, or brow, chakra. In Theosophy it is related to the pineal gland. The third eye refers to the gate that leads to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. In New Age spirituality, the third eye often symbolizes a state of enlightenment or the evocation of mental images having deeply personal spiritual or psychological significance.

The third eye is often associated with religious visions, clairvoyance, the ability to observe chakras and auras, precognition, and out-of-body experiences. People who are claimed to have the capacity to utilize their third eyes are sometimes known as seers.

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Karate: Retracing Our Steps.

Most of us know about how Funakoshi is the fatherof modern day Karate, and that he was responsible for sending Karate teachersto the west and other parts of the world to teach. But who did he learn from? And in turn, who did they learn from? and so on. Well, I decided to do a little backtracking on this, as far back as possible, hoping to find the Chinese monks.

Now, we know that Bodhidharma, a Hindu monk, is said to be the one who started passing around the art of self defense to young, homeless children, during his travels through China, where he decided to stay and  open up a monastery for these young kids, whom he called Shaolin, and many years later, monks from the Shaolin, spread their art and knowledge on their travels. Some of these monks went to the Ryukyu Islands, where they taught their art called Chuan Fa (Kenpo in Japanese).

This is where I want to try to backtrack to. There’s some info on each of the masters mentioned here, but I want to encourage everyone to research each one, or those who interest you most, so that you guys can learn more about who they were and what they did. For this reason, I’m not posting links either. Can’t make it too easy now. =]

Starting back from Gichin Funakoshi’s teachers: Anko Itosu and Anko Azato.

Anko Azato (1827 – 1906) - Not much is known about him. Whatever information can be found is based on Funakoshi’s descriptions of him. Azato was described by Funakoshi as “One of Okinawa’s greatest experts in the art of Karate”. According to Funakoshi, Azato was also a skilled Archer and horse rider, an adept in the art of Jigen Ryu Kendo, and was an exceptional scholar.

Anko Itosu (1831 – 1915) was small in stature, very shy and introverted in his youth. As an adult, he was secretary to the last king of Okinawa, before the Japanese abolished the Okinawan monarchy in 1879.

He began his study in the art of Tode (Karate today) under Nagahama city’s Chikudun Pechin (Okinawan term for the scholar-officials class of the former Ryukyu Kingdom (modern-day Okinawa), the class equivalent of the Japanese Samurai.), but was later on taught, alongside Azato, by Sokon Matsumura.

Itosu helped introduce Karate into Okinawa’s schools. In 1905, he was a teacher of Tode at the First Junior Prefectural High School, where he developed the method of teaching techniques that are still used to this day, by creating the five Pinan, or Heian, so that the students could learn in an easier manner, as he felt that the old forms were too difficult for children. He’s also credited with breaking down the Naihanchi, or Tekki, into the three forms that we know today. In 1908, he wrote the “Tode Jukun” (Ten Precepts of Karate) in a letter to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of War in Japan, in order to gain their attention. 

The letter with the precepts read as follows:

Karate did not develop from Buddhism or Confucianism. In the past the Shorin-ryu school and the Shorei-ryu school were brought to Okinawa from China. Both of these schools have strong points, which I will now mention before there are too many changes:

1. Karate is not merely practiced for your own benefit; it can be used to protect one’s family or master. It is not intended to be used against a single assailant but instead as a way of avoiding a fight should one be confronted by a villain or ruffian.

2. The purpose of karate is to make the muscles and bones hard as rock and to use the hands and legs as spears.

If children were to begin training in Tang Te (Chinese Hand) while in elementary school, then they will be well suited for military service. Remember the words attributed to the Duke of Wellington after he defeated Napoleon: “The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.”

3. Karate cannot be quickly learned. Like a slow moving bull, it eventually travels a thousand miles. If one trains diligently every day, then in three or four years one will come to understand karate. Those who train in this fashion will discover karate.

4. In karate, training of the hands and feet are important, so one must be thoroughly trained on the makiwara. In order to do this, drop your shoulders, open your lungs, take hold of your strength, grip the floor with your feet, and sink your energy into your lower abdomen. Practice using each arm one to two hundred times each day.

5. When one practices the stances of Tang Te, be sure to keep your back straight, lower your shoulders, put strength in your legs, stand firmly, and drop your energy into your lower abdomen.

6. Practice each of the techniques of karate repeatedly, the use of which is passed by word of mouth. Learn the explanations well, and decide when and in what manner to apply them when needed. Enter, counter, release is the rule of releasing hand (torite).

7. You must decide if karate is for your health or to aid your duty.

8. When you train, do so as if on the battlefield. Your eyes should glare, shoulders drop, and body harden. You should always train with intensity and spirit, and in this way you will naturally be ready.

9. One must not over-train; this will cause you to lose the energy in your lower abdomen and will be harmful to your body. Your face and eyes will turn red. Train wisely.

10. In the past, masters of karate have enjoyed long lives. Karate aids in developing the bones and muscles. It helps the digestion as well as the circulation.

If karate should be introduced beginning in the elementary schools, then we will produce many men each capable of defeating ten assailants.

I further believe this can be done by having all students at the Okinawa Teachers’ College practice karate. In this way, after graduation, they can teach at the elementary schools at which they have been taught. I believe this will be a great benefit to our nation and our military. It is my hope you will seriously consider my suggestion.

 - Anko Itosu, October 1908

This letter was influential in the spread of karate.

Itosu’s style, Shorin Ryu, became known as Itosu Ryu, in recognition of his skills, mastery, and role as teacher.

Sokon Matsumura (1797 - 1889) began his study of Tode under the guidance of Sakugawa Kanga. Matsumura had reputation as an expert martial artist, even as a young man. He was recruited into the service of the royal family of the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1816. He became the chief martial arts instructor and bodyguard for the Okinawan King, and later served in the same role for the last two Okinawan kings. Matsumura traveled to China. While he was in China, he studied Chuan Fa at the Shaolin Monastery, and later brought what he learned, back to Okinawa, helped to further develop karate, and was later known as the “Forefather of Shorin Ryu”, as he went on to develop the Shuri-Te which later developed into Shorin Ryu Karate.

Side note: In 1818, Matsumura Married Yonamine Chiru, who was also a martial arts expert, and it was said that she would lift up 130 pound sacks of rice, to sweep the floor underneath. It was also said that  she wouldn’t marry anyone who couldn’t defeat her. Supposedly, time and again, men tried, but failed. She married Matsumura, although it isn’t known if they ever did fight.


Sakugawa Kanga (also known as Tode Sakugawa) (1733 - 1815) was a martial arts master, who played a major role in the development of Te, the precursor to modern day Karate. Sakugawa trained under the monk, Peichin Takahara, beginning in 1750, for six years, after which Takahara sent Sakugawa to train under Kusanku, a Chinese master in the art of Chuan Fa, for six more years. It is said that he combined Chuan Fa with his first master’s style, forming what became known as Okinawa-te. After his training under Kusanku, he began teaching the art. He was so recognized as an expert that he was given the name To-de Sakugawa (Sakugawa “Chinese Hand”) by Takahara. He is considered to be the “Father of Okinawan Karate”, and his Okinawa-te became the base for his most famous student’s (Matsumura) Shuri-Te. Sakugawa passed down to his students the kata Kusanku, said to be one of Okinawa’s oldest kata, and developed the Bo kata, Sakugawa no Kon.


Peichin Takahara (1683 - 1760) was a Buddhist monk, mapmaker and astronomer, belonging to an upper class family from Shuri. The word Peichin isn’t a name, but a title similar to that of “Knight” given to some regents of the Court of Shuri. Takahara was known as a martial arts expert, he was highly respected as a great warrior, and his teacher was Chatan Yara. Takahara regarded the martial arts as a way of life, and is attributed to have been the first to explain the principles of Do (Way):

1. Ijo - Compassion, Humility and Modesty.

2. Fo - Seriousness, Devotion and Dedication.

3. Katsu - Deep understanding of techniques and forms.


Kusanku (Kwang Shang Fu) (1670 - 1762) was a Chinese martial arts master, who learned the art of Chuan Fa in China from a Shaolin Monk. He is credited as having an influence on practically every martial arts derived from Karate. Around 1756, Kusanku was sent, as an ambassador of the Qing Dynasty, to Okinawa, where he lived in Kanemura, near the city of Naha. During his stay in Okinawa, he instructed Sakugawa Kanga from 1756 to 1762, the year he died. After his death, Sakugawa developed, and named, the kata Kusanku, in honor of his teacher.


Chatan Yara (1668 - 1756) was known as being one of the first to spread the art of Te throughout Okinawa. At the age of 12, Yara’s parent’s sent him to China to study the Chinese language and martial arts. During his time in China, he mastered the use of the Bo and Sai while studying under the guidance of his teacher, Wong Chung-Yoh. In 1700, he returned to Shuri. Shortly after, he assisted a woman who was being harassed by a Samurai. After avoiding the Samurai’s attack, Yara took an oar from a nearby boat and used it as a weapon. He successfully disarmed and killed the Samurai. Hearing of this daring rescue, local officials recruited Yara to teach martial arts to the locals for the purpose of self defense.


Wong Chung-Yoh (1630 - ????) Very little is known about this man. He was a teacher of a martial art style called Xing Yi Quan, also known as Hsing. His school was located in Fuzhou, in the Fukien Province in China. His most notable student, who produced the lineage for modern Karate, was Chatan Yara.

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Up to here, Gichin Funakoshi’s direct lineage is over, or seems to be, at least by what I’ve been able to trace back. But remember, there were other masters that aren’t as notable as the ones mentioned here, not to mention their students. So this is in no way saying that these are the ones and only, but it is more than clear that all karate styles come from the same root, the Chinese martial art, Chuan Fa.

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Another master from Okinawa worth mentioning:

Matsu Higa Peichin (1640 - 1720) was a legendary martial artist who influenced the development of Karate and Kobudo, especially in the art of the Bo (staff). He was a student of the Chinese emissary, Wanshu, who taught him Chuan Fa. Legend states that Matsu Higa, with his Bo, stood up to the head-hunters of Formosa, and to Japanese pirates from the north, and never lost a battle. His contributions live on in several weapons kata, especially for Tonfa, Sai, and Bo: Matsu Higa no Tonfa, Matsu Higa no Sai and Matsu Higa no Kon.

Wanshu (Wang) (1621 - 1689) - Wang was the leader of an ambassadorial mission from China, sent by the Qing government in 1683 to the village of Tomari. He was a diplomat, poet, calligrapher, and a martial artist of Shaolin White Crane. He is credited with having taught Chaun Fa to the gentry of Tomari. The kata Wanshu was either created by Wang, or his students developed it in his honor. Whichever the case, this kata is practiced to this day in many styles of karate under the name Wanshu, Anshu, Unsu and Empi (Gichin Funakoshi renamed it Empi for use in his school). The two main versions of this kata are Matsumura’s and Itosu’s versions. This kata is also practiced in various Korean styles such as Tang Soo Do and Soo Bak Do. They also have veried names for this kata: Wangshū, Wang Shu, or Yun Bi in Korean. This kata is often reserved for advanced students, because of its difficulty.

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So in the end, my friends, there’s no absolute Way. Remember that next time somebody tells you about how their styles are the only truth.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! =] 

Day forty-one | Dia quaranta-u

“ Sadhu ”

A sadhu (Sadhu) is a Hindu ascetic or a monk that follows the way of penance and austerity to attain enlightenment. It is the fourth phase of life in the Hindu religion, after studies, to be a father and a pilgrim. The sadhu tradition is to renounce all ties that unite with the earthly and material in the search for the true values ​​of life. Generally a sahdu lives included in the society, but try to ignore human pleasures and pains.

Un sadhu (Sadhu) és un asceta hindú o un monjo que segueix el camí de la penitència i l'austeritat per obtenir la il · luminació. És la quarta fase de la vida a la religió hindú, després d'estudiar, de ser pare i de ser pelegrí. La tradició sadhu consisteix a renunciar a tots els vincles que els uneixen al terrenal o material en la recerca dels veritables valors de la vida. Per norma general, un sahdu viu inclòs en la societat, però intenta ignorar els plaers i dolors humans.

Kathmandu. September 2013.

© Photography Àlex Reig 2014

The following is an excerpt (pertaining to The Beatles, and George in particular) typed up from a digital copy of Lewis H. Lapham’s article - “There Once Was A Guru From Rishikesh” - published in two parts (4 May and 18 May 1968) in the Saturday Evening Post. This excerpt comes from the 18 May issue; as it’s a lengthy read, it’s under a “read more” cut.

“To the Beatles the Maharishi attributed the popular success of his spiritual-regeneration movement, and he doted on them with the proud fondness of a singing teacher or football coach. Often he referred to them as ‘the blessed leaders of the world’s youth,’ and in his happiest moments he described George Harrison as ‘a sublime soul for whom God and all the angels give thanks.’

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1. Photographer Andrew Suryono captured this amazing photo of an orangutan using a banana leaf to shield itself from the rain in Bali

2. Morning hour: This fascinating photo from Georg May shows a white fallow deer standing in the morning mist in Eifel National Park, Germany

3. A Hindu monk is silhouetted in sunlight on a winter morning at a mango garden in Dinajpur, Bangladesh (photographer: Jubair Bin Iqbal)

4. These mother and the cub Kermode bears were photographed by Kyle Breckenridge at the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada

5. Desert dawn: A hot air balloon is pictured over sand dunes about 30 minutes after sunrise near Dubai (photographer: Gareth Lowndes)

 

anonymous asked:

Yoga is for pussies and fags

lol, have you ever done Yoga before, have you ever seen people doing yoga, have you even seen what master Yogi’s look like? Yogis talk about peace, love, and chakras while testing every tendon, ligament, and muscle in the body to the painful limit. Despite the traditional narrative that it was created by Hindu and Buddhist monks, we all know that Yoga was really invented by Ancient Mauryan warriors as a means to torture their prisoners. The CIA probably uses it to torture terrorists. Championship UFC fighters and Jiu Jutsu blackbelts do Yoga to increase strength and flexibility for their grappling skills. If you are serious you are a moron.