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A Third Axis to Scientific vs. Mystical Knowledge Question

William Blake, The Temptation and Fall of Eve,...

William Blake, The Temptation and Fall of Eve, 1808 (illustration of Milton’s Paradise Lost) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Author: Joseph Paul

One of the raging topics in my High School forum last week was a piece triggered by Denzil Bob about Scientific vs Mystical Knowledge. In it he quoted a stanza from the poem ‘Auguries of Innocence’ by William Blake:

“To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.”

Denzil argued: “Mystical knowledge, even if it transcends reasoning and baffles expression, is no less factual and experiential, even as scientific knowledge is precise and exact. The poet understands it to some extent, and yes the child too. Descriptions need not be only verbal; they can be felt in the heart and felt along the blood, and expressed organismically as the child can or the charismatic does. One of the fallacies of life is that experience in the spiritual realm is some kind of levitationary disembodiment…..the truth is that, as incarnated spirits, we cannot experience our spirituality except through our bodies….Why do we think that only scientific knowledge is derived from experiment and observation? Are the meditative insights of the spirit not observation-based? Yes, the object of observation may be different……the mystic looks within, exploring consciousness, piercing the veil of even the unconscious. The scientist explores the external; the material world…….The intriguing thing is that when he investigates the sub-atomic world, the scientist, like the mystic discerning the psychic world, arrives ultimately at the same essential unity of things. And, in the throes of this in-depth revelation of the nature of things, both realize the inseparability of the observed and the observer, the symbiosis of the cognitive and the intuitive in the experiencing, and learning and discovery that occurs….”

Reminded me of my school days where we had to interpret similar poems and works of Shakespeare. And also set me thinking….

As I read the well articulated perspective on the above subject, I also realized that apart from Science and Mysticism which occupied my professional and personal time earlier, I am increasingly getting drawn into more quality of life impacting issues at a global and at the country level. And a vast majority of the online personal content seem to reflect this trend. I began wondering..

Denzil described two major axis of the human paradigm in the evolution timeline – mystic and scientific knowledge. Though appearing to be at variance, he has rightly portrayed the intersection of these to be key to where the human race is today. Depending on the characteristic of the individual, they tend to be more of one than the other in varying degrees and at different stages in one’s lifetime. The Poet-Philosopher on one end of the spectrum to the Professional-Scientist at the other.

But with an increasingly connected and timely awareness driven world, is there a third axis that is coming into play. If you call the other two as intuitive and cognitive, can we call this empathetic (for want of a better word) which drives the modern man’s action and reaction. Maybe, it is even replacing mysticism at the timeline. I see that in my children and in the talking subjects of their peers. The local sparks and the global fuel that drove the rapid revolutionary changes in the Mid-East would have been brought about, in an earlier era, through philosophy and science only after many years, if not multiple generations.

Let me take the liberty of adding this dimension to William Blake’s lines, where he states that you can “experience the macrocosm by contemplation of the microcosm”(-as explained by Steve D in answers.yahoo.com):

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower
…inequality in a tear,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour
… change destiny in a thought.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/mysticism-articles/a-third-axis-to-scientific-vs-mystical-knowledge-question-6610339.html

About the Author

Software Architect at a Fortune 100 company in Delaware, USA.


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The Shaman’s Journey: The Shaman and Intent

articles_shamanism1Copyright © Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls, 2012. All rights reserved.

There are 3 elements to being a Shaman: intent, emotional control and impeccable skills. Here we will look at intent.

“Intent is not a thought, or an object, or a wish. Intent is what can make a man succeed when his thoughts tell him that he is defeated. It operates in spite of the warrior’s indulgence. Intent is what makes him invulnerable. Intent is what sends a shaman through a wall, through space, to infinity.”
- Carlos Castaneda

Intent is the basis of manipulating this reality for anything including healing and manifestation. Reality is quite malleable really. It is just that we don’t use our will or intent to make it the best it could be.

“Inflowing thoughts come to an end in those who are ever alert of mind, training themselves night and day, and ever intent on nirvana.”
- Buddha

Often we say we want something, but deep down in our hearts be really don’t want that. And then we cry out in anguish because we don’t have that “thing” in our lives.

“Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common sense rounded out and minutely articulated.”
- George Santayana

Our reality is completely and entirely based upon our intent. You say, How can that be? I did not create this world, this country or this house. But you do accept the intentions given to you by your parents, your relatives, your school, your community, and your society. We have been taught as babies to accept the realities of others for generations. This is simple psychosociology 101. We are even taught to fear anything but these realities and so life changes at a very slow pace indeed!

So yes, you aligned your intent for housing to that of your relatives. Your idea of social success is the same intention as your society at large. This is not necessarily a bad thing! But it shows the power of intent. One more example is the phrase we hear “If it is not good for me or meant to be then God will not give it to me.” I think this is probably a good intent to inherit because you intend only good things for yourself this way. Without intending only good things in some way, you would have to assume responsibility for all the bad things that happen to as well. Get my drift? You are responsible.

“It is a sign of considerable advance when a man begins to be moved by the will, by his own energy self-determined, instead of being moved by desire, i.e. by a response to an external attraction or repulsion”
- Annie Besant, The Ancient Wisdom.

So how do we bring more good things into our lives? By intending only good things. Dwell only on good things. Whenever you think a negative thought, immediately replace it with a good intention. Picture abundance in your life. Practice looking for goodness around you. Intent creates your reality-what are you intending for yourself? For others? You know the phrase, “Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it” I guarantee you will get what you really wish for.

First, you must be in touch with your real wishes, not just your fantasies. You real wishes are the ones with emotional buttons on them. The wishes that make you cry or scare you enough to make you cringe, or bring a huge smile across your face just thinking about them. They are buried deep inside and sometimes are really echoes of other people’s intentions for you. If your father intended for you to be a doctor but you didn’t want to do that, you may still walk through your life without a purpose because you accepted your father’s intent for you all along. This is the stuff counseling is made of.

But for a Shaman, it is using intent properly now that can heal issues of soul loss like that for others. All healing begins with intent. Unless the patient himself intends to get well, the reality will be his own intent of illness.

This knowledge can be very frustrating to the healer who knows that complete healing is just a change of mind away. But intent is free will and no one has the right to usurp another’s free will. Many times I have wept bitterly before the campfire for those people who chose to suffer rather than to heal. There is only one reason for the intent to not heal and that is fear.

Isn’t it odd that people fear change more that anything else in life? And yet, that is the one thing that is guaranteed with your passage! I invite you all to embrace change. Embrace each new day, each gray hair, each meal, each encounter, and each tiny adventure of every day. Learn to enjoy the most natural thing in life – change. And learn to use it to your advantage.

* * *

Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls is one of America’s most loved elder teachers of Shamanism for today’s modern society. Her classes are always ongoing online and she also offers free initial counseling to anyone who wishes it. Visit her site to learn more at www.shamanelder.com


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Kabbalah and Science: a Journey With the Same Destination

Italiano: Albero della Cabbala, Kabbalah Tree,...

Kabbalah Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Author: Bnei Baruch

Empedocles, a pre-Socratic philosopher who lived in Greece in 490–430 BC, had a very interesting theory: he proposed powers called Love and Strife that act as forces to bring about the mixture and separation of elements. In fact, in this theory he grasped the essence of what animates nature: attraction and repulsion. These forces control everything in the universe, from the most simple and basic movements to the most complex ones such as electrons in sub-nuclear levels or even the behavior of men.

If we transfer this theory to quantum physics, which is concluding that every little thing in the Universe is connected, we can infer that there is a force that unites everything, and this force can be called “love.”

In Kabbalah, the force that connects, attracts and unites is called bestowal or altruism. Everything that exists in nature works under this law or force. The sun, for example, makes life possible with its heat and light; the moon dictates the tides; the grass grows without sacrifice to feed animals. Everything has its purpose and everything lives in perfect harmony for the sake of the whole. When a lion eats a deer, the deer doesn’t think the lion is cruel, nor does the lion feel guilt for hurting the deer. Both act without question according to their inherent nature, and as a result, the ecosystem stays in balance.

If everything is so perfect why is there so much suffering on Earth? All the suffering is created by us, human beings. While nature works in bestowal or altruism (the force that connects everything), men work in egoism (the force that separates everything). Therefore, we have two opposite forces running together in the same place: nature is trying to connect and we are trying to separate. This antagonism causes pain and suffering.

Kabbalah teaches that the source of this suffering is the egoism that acts in this world as a force of repulsion. In nature, everything takes only what it needs for survival and passes everything else on for others. In this way, harmony is maintained and there is enough for all. On the other hand, we function egoistically, thinking only about self benefit. We want more and more of everything, not caring about the impact on the whole. As a result, we have wars, famine, diseases, violence, and the resultant suffering.

How can we change the way we understand this world in order to avoid this ‘repulsion’ we are experiencing these days? We first have to change our perception of reality. Have you ever seen the Magic Eye 3D puzzles? At first glance, these look like colorful repeating patterns of dots. If you let your eyes go out of focus, however, a three dimensional picture pops out. Nothing has changed but the perspective of the viewer.

Kabbalists tell us that the same happens with our world. When we operate based on our egoistic nature, we perceive a world filled with suffering. If we change our human nature to operate on nature’s altruistic programming, then the picture we perceive will be completely different. We will see how our actions affect everyone else on the planet, and we will care more for their well being than for our own. With this new perspective, we will make different choices on how to live.

This sounds wonderful in theory, but is it realistic? Science has already come to the conclusion that everything in the universe is interconnected, but can we realize this same connection on a personal and social level? Kabbalah provides us with a methodology to attain this state of connection and bestowal. In doing so, we will finally be able to understand the true purpose of our lives. We will merge with the force Empedocles called “Love,” and “Strife” will disappear.

About the Author:

Bnei Baruch, http://www.kabbalah.info/ is the largest group of Kabbalists in Israel, sharing the wisdom of Kabbalah with the entire world. Study materials in over 25 languages are based on authentic Kabbalah texts that were passed down from generation to generation.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.comKabbalah and Science: a Journey With the Same Destination


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Are Spirit Guides the same as Totems?

The Shaman by Temari

The Shaman by Temari via Flickr

Introduction by Michael Clark  ‹ skip intro

A good percentage of schoolchildren are taught that reality is about things we can measure and easily describe. This focus on the observable world has obvious advantages. Bridges are built, science develops and economies thrive.

But that’s only half the story. There’s also the inner world described by the mystic, saint or seer. Sadly, some spiritual seekers end up like the ill-fated Greek mariners of antiquity, caught between Scylla and Charybdis or seduced by a siren’s song and getting strewn across the shoals of their own splintered psyches. And by the time these people receive psychiatric treatment it might, in some cases, be too late for any kind of healthy reemergence or reintegration.

Having said that, not everyone ends up on the rocks. Some make it through to the proverbial other side. Carl G. Jung was one of those individuals. And Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls is clearly another.

In the 21st century, however, the cosmovision¹ of the shaman remains largely unrecognized or devalued. So practicing shamans tend to be reserved when sharing their inner experiences. They probably don’t want to hoard esoteric knowledge but, instead, have realized that Jesus was right when teaching that it’s unwise to cast one’s pearls before swine.²

For that very reason I hesitated to post this article by Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls. It probes deeper into esoteric realms than other pieces she’s submitted. But hopefully these introductory remarks will facilitate the kind of open-mindedness required to appreciate such a rare, first-hand account.

— MC

Shamans Dream by Bob G

Shamans Dream by Bob G via Flickr

Are Spirit Guides the same as Totems?

Copyright © Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls, 2012.

Spirit guides may or may not also be totem animals. I have a spirit guide who comes to me as a white pelican. I have an elephant who is strictly a totem and not a spirit guide.

A spirit guide is a teacher with something to teach you. A totem animal is often a protector, a mate to travel the Inner Worlds with who knows its way around and can get you in, to your destination and out again safely.

I can ride my elephant right into the Under World and he will stop at exactly the place I need to be to effect someone’s healing. When I have the healing I climb back on and he brings me right back. If anything untoward appears he can step on it with out effort and so he protects me completely. That is a totem animal.

Why an elephant? If you look up elephants you will see, Elephant: Royalty, strength, ancient wisdom, patience, careful, confident, education. No wonder I have an elephant as a totem. He represents me. Notice too that he is not a Native American animal. That means something, too.

Your totems choose you as you are aware. You meet a totem animal, usually in the Inner Planes but sometimes it is an animal you have a special affinity for or have seen a lot lately. I prefer to meet them on the Inner Planes in meditation or such because sometimes those animals you see a lot of in this world are bringing you a message and are not totems for you. It is easy to confuse the two.

Your totem animal can change during your life. As you grow and change your totem animals may change as well. You may have several totem animals at once. But one is a life totem and represents your basic self or personality, your essence.

Spirit guides are teachers. They come to guide you in your education. They teach you things. They may have lived other lives. They may be “ascended” beings. They may be the wind or Father Sky or a guardian angel. They may be your higher self. They may be God. You decide. They can be animals or plants or trees or people. Here is another wisdom nugget, everything has three emanations or faces or appearances. We do and plants do and animals do and everything does.

When I go into the Inner Worlds for a healing for someone, I encounter some being there who is responsible for the sickness. The first face it shows me is really goofy, odd or weird and I know that is not what it really is. So I dismiss that face and ask to see its true face.

The next face it shows if it is a not nice being is some ferocious, grizzly, nasty, scary being who tries to bite me or otherwise scare me. But I am not scared because I know that is not its true face. I may have to fend it off or punch it or step on it or catch it but I am not scared of it. I dismiss it and ask to see its true face for the third time.

The third time I see what it really is and if it is a not nice being it usually looks weak and small and very lacking in every department. This is the being I negotiate with.

So I know that everything has three faces. Another example is when I sit with a rock and it turns into a lily and then it becomes a butterfly and flies away. When I sit with a river and it becomes a meadow and then it is a bear walking away.

So my totem is an elephant, a white elephant and it does not change its face around me. Why? Because it represents me! It is one of my own faces! How cool! A totem is one of your own many faces. That is why some people call them “familiars”.

Can we have more than three faces? Yup! Some people have hundreds of faces. But everything has at least three. And usually the three represent a plant, an animal and a sky creature.

Your spirit guides will help teach you intent, emotional control, knowledge and impeccability if you allow them. Remember it is always your free will to learn or not to learn. But don’t travel to the Inner Worlds if you have not mastered the skills necessary to be safe there and to do your work there. And never go there just out of curiosity. There are too many discarnate beings waiting for you to come there unaware so they can get what they can get from you. They can be tricky and sly and even devious. Even one bee is enough to stay away from. It doesn’t take a pack of grizzly bears to kill you.

Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls has been a practicing Shaman for over 50 years. She recently received a dispensation to reach out to those who have a desire to learn about a Shaman’s path and now offers an online course at www.shamanelder.com. Many people on this earth have been Shamans in other lives and only need to reconnect with their lost knowledge and skills to bring shamanic healing back to Mother Earth and its peoples. This is Shaman Elder’s goal. Please visit her website at www.shamanelder.com or write her an email for a free consultation at shaman@shamanelder.com

Notes

¹ Cosmovision is a term used by David Carrasco and others for a worldview where cultural, environmental and spiritual elements exist in an integrated whole. Because cosmovision involves connections across space and time, it implies sentiments like “yesterday I experienced some of tomorrow.”

² “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6)


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Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls’ 50th Anniversary Teaching

Copyright © Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls.

Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls sent this piece to Earthpages on October 24, 2004 and its timeless wisdom is just as relevant today as it was then.

MC

In the day to day existence we struggle through, sometimes it feels as if we get no where. We try so hard just to stay afloat in this sea of hunger, panic, need and competition. It is an amazingly hard thing to keep one’s sanity and some sense of calm and peace when we are swirling around in other people’s demands and expectations.

As I celebrate my 50th year or Golden Anniversary as a healer, I have surely seen much and experienced for myself this sense of trying to have a life that seemed to never be allowed in peace. I have worked with all kinds of people and have brought what help I could to each and every person who asked for healing. I have taught people the ways of healing in many forms, the way each person could most resonate to their own gifts for healing others. But I tell you, I have the feeling that I am trying to do heart surgery on a kitchen table.

Sometimes we throw our hands up and say, “I just can’t do it anymore!”, but no one hears us, the wind does not die down, we continue being buffeted, pushed this way and that. No matter how we try, how we manipulate, direct, avoid, manhandle, negotiate, cry, scream, or medicate, it does not stop. Is this all that life is?

Now is the time to step right into the middle of this hurricane. Get out of the howling wind and walk into the eye. Stop trying to do surgery on the kitchen table. Stop struggling to do the impossible. Walk into the most fearsome place of the hurricane, right into the eye and stand still there for a minute. The wind has stopped. There is no noise, no person, no conflict, no positive, no negative, no goals, no rewards, no expectations. Stand there for a minute. This place is even more scary than your overwhelming life. You can feel the fear in your chest here, you can feel it in your head and spine, you can feel fear physically here and can hardly bear to be here for one second. The quiet is deafening. The lack of movement is unbearable. But stay here as long as you can. Stay here for a few more moments. Listen.

Try to hear the ocean waves as they reach the shore. Are they crashing in or gently lapping the beach? Can you hear seagulls calling from the sky? Is it day or night? Become aware of what is here in this quiet place. You have come full circle back to nature. Nature who bore you in the beginning, who carries you through life although you are barely aware of her and nature who takes you back when your overwhelming life is through. Is it any wonder that all the mystical, magical practices of healers and Shamans throughout history are connected to nature. Be with the seashore and seagulls for a moment. They demand nothing of you. They are you.

Who are you here? Do you feel little and insignificant? You cannot do heart surgery with a butter knife. You feel you cannot do anything. You are so helpless really. And all that you do is just a terrible effort with so little benefit. You are tired. You want to let go. And in this place, the center of the eye of your life, right here, right now, in this most scary place, let go. Just be here. Watch the winds howling around you. Flying people and chairs and buildings and expectations and responsibilities can be seen whirling around you. But you stand in the eye where the wind is still and you are untouched by those things for just a moment. Let the fear subside. You are still.

This is the place where healing begins. This is the place I teach about. It is different for each one of us but we all have this place. As we get over being scared of it, of being in the eye of the storm we can find our true self here. But most people are too scared to stand here for any length of time at all.  For most, it is easier to be swallowed up in the storm than it is to step out of the storm and see your own smallness, your own insignificance. But in this very place, this  insignificance, lies your peace. And your ability to heal.

Some people call this place, this eye of the storm where you are small and little, God, Allah, Spirit, At-One-Ment. And because they believe it is the place of God they find the courage to stand here and not be too, too scared. And if we stand here long enough to get comfortable with this trueness of ourselves we can find the peace and love that is here, has always been here waiting to love us and heal us and give us peace. In fact, if we can spend more of each minute in this place, more of each hour, more of each day, we find that we too can find a way to heal ourselves and to heal others. We find the power of the Spirit is here, in this hurricane’s eye and this power has always been here with us. The power to heal, to love, to be happy, to be at peace. It is not of this earthly world. It is inside the center of each of us.

This is what I teach. Each of us is unique and each person that I teach to heal learns in a unique way. But I am here to help you draw back the curtain and expose the truth about your own self. You are powerful. You are the most powerful person on earth. You have the power to be happy, to let go, to be at peace right now within you. And you have the power to heal.

Fifty years of my life have been dedicated to healing and teaching healing. I have studied all over the world with teachers and healers from so many walks of life. And every one of those wise masters will tell you about the place in the center of the storm we must learn to find and stand in to realize those most precious gifts we are all given.  It is from this place that much more than heart surgery can be done on much less than a kitchen table. If you are ready to find your gifts and share with them with those you love, those you care about, those who need you, I am honored to show you how.

For 50 years of service to you my brothers and sisters I am truly grateful! I honor you for showing me the way.

Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls

Come Walk With A Shaman and re-member your own skills to heal yourself and others. Learn the ancient ways.

http://www.shamanelder.com
Copyright © 2012 Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls.
Write me at shaman@shamanelder.com


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The spiritual and practical aspects of discernment

Mysticism by gianluca.nastasi

Mysticism by gianluca.nastasi via Flickr

The following originally appeared as an entry at Earthpages.ca – Think Free.

One Aspect

In Catholic theology one aspect of discernment is the use of reason and experience coupled with divine gifts to distinguish between true and false interior perception.

As Henri Martin P.S.S. puts it:

The charism of discernment is “a kind of supernatural instinct by which those who have it perceive intuitively the origin, either divine or not, of thoughts and inclinations submitted to them.” (J. de Guibert, Lecons, p. 306). It is to be distinguished from revelation of the secrets of hearts, properly so called, made directly by God. In such revelations, which is extremely rare, objective certitude is absolute. In the case of discernment the chances of error lie in the subjective interpretation and use of the supernatural light received. Lacking an infused charism, ordinarily “God will assist by special interior light a gift of discernment acquired by experience and prudence in the application of the traditional rules of discernment.”¹

On the need for seekers to be sincere, humble and rational in the discernment process, the scholar of mysticism, Evelyn Underhill, says:

Ecstasies, no less than visions and voices, must, they declare, be subjected to unsparing criticism before they are recognized as divine: whilst some are undoubtedly “of God,” others are no less clearly “of the devil.”²

Likewise, the Protestant William James in The Varieties of Religious Experience, suggests that some lower forms of mysticism may have “proceeded from the demon.”³ The Lutheran Rudolf Otto also talks about different types of mysticism. See, for instance, “An Outline of Rudolf Otto’s The Idea of the Holy,” Chapter XVI – The ‘Cruder’ Phases.

In Protestant and Catholic Churches discernment is described as a gift and developed ability where a person learns to differentiate among

  • divine spiritual influences
  • evil spiritual influences
  • one’s truest self.

But a problem arises in that many religious people claim to discern. And often different religious and New Age enthusiasts discern differently on the very same issue, citing the “Holy Spirit,” “Allah,” “Angels” or “Objective Truth” as their source of authority.

Discernment often seems to mean taking an alarmist, knee-jerk view of issues that one doesn’t understand, projecting bad habits and transferring the unsavory contents of the unconscious onto scapegoats. This can happen on an individual level or through a kind of institutionally reinforced hypocrisy, as we’ve seen time and again in the history of religions, cults and spiritual movements.

Indeed, unconscious anger, resentment and unresolved psychological complexes may color discernment. And it seems that psychological pain, immaturity and the potential influence of fantasy or evil influences can all be intertwined.

Another Aspect

Another related meaning of the term discernment is to discover what God wants an individual to do in life, to find one’s calling, as it were. This relates to the first meaning of discernment because we can’t do the right thing in life if we’re following imaginary voices, fantasy desires or the promptings of an evil power.

Thomas H. Green S. J. notes that, within Catholicism, this second form of discernment of finding one’s calling was once premised on sheer authority. A spiritual director would simply tell a religious what to do. Today, however, the relationship between discernment and spiritual directors has evolved. Emphasis is now given on “co-discernment” and, in the larger sense, communal discernment. Authority figures only provide general guidelines, as plainly evident in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Ultimately it’s up to each individual to flesh out God’s will for his or her life.4

A Synthesis

Father Edward Malatesta, S. J. definition of discernment combines the two previous aspects:

By the discernment of spirits is meant the process by which we examine, in the light of faith and in the connaturality of love, the nature of the spiritual states we experience in ourselves and in others. The purpose of such examination is to decide, as far as possible, which of the movements we experience lead us to the Lord and to a more perfect service of Him and our brothers, and which deflect us from this goal.5

Interestingly, some believe that a higher power or spiritual gift can override personal biases, enabling an imperfect person to make perfect discernments. This dynamic may, indeed, occur from time to time but for the most part it seems that the development of accurate discernment is a lifelong process.

And, quite possibly, we may continue to sharpen our powers of discernment in the afterlife.

¹ (ibidem). (Jacques Guillet, Gustave Bardy et. al. (trans.) Sister Innocentia Richards, Ph.D., Discernment of Spirits. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1970, p. 104.)

² Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism, New York: New American Library, 1955, p. 361.

³ London: Penguin, 1985, p. 423.

4 Thomas H. Green S. J., Weeds Among the Wheat – Discernment: Where Prayer and Action Meet, Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1984, pp. 11-17).

5 Cited in Green, p. 41.

Copyright © Michael Clark.


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The Soul – Bird in Persian Sufi Literature

bird of life by Sheldon Wood via Flickr

By Rupa Abdi

Equating the human soul with a bird is found in myth and mystical literature all over the world. From Hallaj to Sanai and Rumi, Persian mystical poetry has used the symbol of Bird, beautifully. The human soul, like a bird can choose to remain caged in this perishable world or fly towards Liberation.

Ibn Sinna (Avicenna) used this motif and Ghazali wrote the Risalat at-tayr, “Treatise on the Birds”. The nightingale of Sufi poetry, yearning for the rose, singing night and day of its unfulfilled longing and union, suffering without complain the sting of its thorns – is the soul longing for eternal beauty. It is this longing that inspires the soul bird to sing. Longing is the most creative state that the soul can reach.

Rumi often spoke of the soul as a white falcon, exiled amidst the black crows, or a nightingale in the company of ravens. Rumi’s pun on the word falcon or baz, which in Persian also means “to come back”, refers to the baz’s desire to come back to its Lord and Master.

However the symbol of the soul bird’s jouney to is final abode is ingenuously developed by Attar – the master story teller of Iran, in his epic poem, Mantiq u-tayr, “The Birds’ Conversation”, also known as “The Conference of the Birds”. Fariduddin “Attar” (= seller of essence and scents), a druggist by profession, is considered by many as the greatest of the Mathnavi writers of Persian mystical poetry after Rumi. He was born in Nishapur (north-eastern Iran) and died there most likely in 1221 C.E. The idea of traveling and ascension towards the spiritual home, so dear to the mystics of Islam, found its most poetic expression in Attar’s poetry. The Mantiq u-tayr was modeled on the, Risalat ut-Tayr, Treatise on the Birds composed half a century earlier by another Sufi master, Ahmad Ghazali (d. 1126 CE).

“The Conference of the Birds” revolves around the decision of the birds of the world to embark on a journey to seek out their king, the Simurgh – their debilitating doubts and fears, and the knowing counsel of their leader Hoopoe. Each bird falters in turn, whereupon their leader urges them on with parables and exemplary stories, including numerous references to some of the early Muslim mystics such as Rabi’a al-’Adawiyya, Abu Sa’id ibn Abi’l-Khair, Mansur al-Hallaj and Shibli. The different birds represent the different personality types among humans as well as the complex characteristics that make up the human individual.

In these 4500 couplets, Attar speaks to all of us – to our inner being. We are all born with wings, but few of us discover them in our lifetime. Wings to fly back to our home – the abode of the mystical Simurgh – the Lord of all Birds, who lives on the world encircling mountain of Kaf. This journey ultimately is the soul’s progression towards inner perfection.

The different stages along this spiritual journey, which may take a different sequence in different individuals, are symbolized by Attar as seven valleys. Perhaps the series of valleys are used to denote that this journey is not that of a single ascension. It occurs in stages, and once you crossed one valley, you find yourself at the bottom of another. Valleys can be both enchanting and entrapping and the wayfarer may be tempted to linger on or get trapped in one of them. These seven valleys may be interpreted as follows:

The valley of Longing and Searching: The longing and searching of all creatures, who unknown to themselves, long for their original home. It is the strange yearning that overcomes some of us when we listen to beautiful music or behold Natures’ beauty – its mountains and valleys, oceans and springs…… It is this longing that drives us from one desire to another. Not knowing what it is that will quench our thirst once and for all – the Trishna of the Advait yogi.

The valley of Love: The all consuming Love which purifies and the lover is regenerated and altered by it to such an extent that his very being undergoes a change – his every fiber purified, raised to a higher state, resonating to a higher tune. True loving surrender, irrespective of religious tradition, reputation, name or fame, like the Love of Majnu for Laila; like the Love of Sheikh Sanan for a Christian maiden for whom he gave up the rosary for the ‘infidel’s’ girdle, like the Love of Mirabai for her Giridhar Gopal – the Bhakti and Samarpan of Bhakti yoga.

The valley of intuitive Knowledge: Also known as the wisdom of the heart, marifa or gnosis, this is direct revelation of the truth as apposed to ‘ilm‘ or discursive knowledge. This is the Atmagyana or Atmabodh mentioned in Advaita. This revelation leads to detachment from all things perishable (valley of Detachment) and the realization of the unity of all existence (valley of Unity) – of both the phenomenal and the causative world. All opposites melt, everything is renounced and everything is unified. All forms merge into one singular Essence.

According to Jami, ‘ Unification consist in unifying the heart, that is, purifying it and denuding it of all attachment to all things other then “The Truth”, including not only desire and will but also knowledge and intelligence’. These valley or state leads to the valley of Bewilderment, this is the long dark night of the soul, referred to by many Christian Gnostics – a state of perpetual sadness, and consuming desire – the agony of being in Love but not knowing with whom.

Finally in the valley of Poverty and Annihilation, the thirsty birds who undertook the painful journey in the search of Simurgh realize that they themselves – si murgh (= thirty birds in Persian) are the Simurgh. The story thus ends with one of the most inventive puns in Persian mystical poetry. This is the ultimate sought after state of fana – the nullification of the mystic in the divine presence when the seeker finds his way into the ocean of his own soul, all longing ends. However, this is not the end. When the soul has finished its journey to God, the journey in God begins – the state that the Sufis call baqa i.e. the absorption and abiding life in God – the Sat Chit Ananda of Advaita Yoga and the Sahaj state of the Indian mystic poet Kabir. Here the soul traverses ever new depths of the fathomless, divine being – which no tongue can describe. Referring to this state Ghazali says ‘When I saw the rays of that sun, I was swept out of existence. Water flowed back to water’. The water drop finally falls back into the ocean, and the mortal form of the moth is reduced to smoke and ash in his Beloved flame’s embrace. It is the Nirvana and the moksha of the soul-bird which has finally returned Home.

“The Soul – Bird in Persian Sufi Literature” by Rupa Abdi. Some Rights Reserved: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons License


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An Outline of Rudolf Otto’s The Idea of the Holy

otto1Rudolf Otto’s The Idea of the Holy: An Inquiry into the non-rational factor in the idea of the divine and its relation to the rational was first published by Oxford University Press in 1923. A second edition appeared in 1950.

This brief outline is based on a 1973 reprint of the second edition. The specialized Appendixes on pages 179-229 have been omitted.

To fully appreciate the height and depth of Otto’s work, one should really read the whole book. Here we find impressive scholarship, innovative ideas and the somewhat obvious influence of his documented travels in North Africa and Asia. John C. Durham‘s thematic summary is also recommended.

This outline is, of course, selective and should be taken in no other way. The following quotations and paraphrases were deemed most important to each chapter.† Another reader would have, no doubt, picked out different passages. Critical comments appear [in square brackets like this, followed by—MC]. Black page numbers indicate chapter lengths, red page numbers are for quotations, and blue page numbers are for paraphrases.

Chapter

Page

Translator’s Preface to the Second Edition ix-xix
Translator John W. Harvey says the following quote from Pascal’s Pensees expresses Otto’s own attitude: “‘If one subjects everything to reason our religion will lose its mystery and its supernatural character.’” xviii
Forward by the Author to the First English Edition (1923)
Otto says he wishes to study the non-rational or supra-rational but does not wish to promote “fantastic irrationalism.”
Chapter I – The Rational and the Non-Rational 1-4
“So far from keeping the non-rational element in religion alive in the heart of the religious experience, orthodox Christianity manifestly failed to recognize its value, and by this failure gave to the idea of God a one-sidedly intellectualistic and rationalistic interpretation.” [Otto was a Protestant. The Catholic tradition honors a rich variety of mystical writings from countless saints. I refer the reader to The Life of St. Teresa of Avila by Herself among other titles which I would provide on request. See also Otto's own comments in Chapter XIIMC]. 3
Chapter II – ‘Numen’ and the ‘Numinous’ 5-7
Omen has given us ‘ominous’, and there is no reason why from numen we should not similarly form a word ‘numinous.’” [Numen is a Latin word usually translated as the power, presence or manifestation of a deityMC]. 7
Chapter III – The Elements in the ‘Numinous’ 8-11
The experience of the numinous requires one to feel creaturely and dependent on some kind of supreme, overpowering might. “The numinous is thus felt as objective and outside the self.” 10-11
Chapter IV – Mysterium Tremendum 12-24
‘Numinous dread’ or awe characterizes the so-called ‘religion of primitive man’, where it appears as ‘daemonic dread.’ “This crudely naive and primordial emotional disturbance, and the fantastic images to which it gives rise, are later overbourne and ousted by more highly developed forms of the numinous emotion, with all its mysteriously impelling power.” 15-16
Chapter V – The Analysis of ‘Mysterium’ 25-30
“Mysticism continues to its extreme point this contrasting of the numinous object (the numen), as the ‘wholly other’, with ordinary experience.” 29
Chapter VI – The Element of Fascination 31-40
Lower levels of the numinous are evident in such works as the poetry of Sophocles. “It may mean evil or imposing, potent and strange, queer and marvelous, horrifying and fascinating, divine and daemonic, and a source of ‘energy.’” 39
Chapter VII – Analogies and Associated Feelings 41-49
Music feeling is something like numinous feeling in that “we attribute to it a spell, an enchantment.” But this is only an analogy. “We must beware of confounding in any way the non-rational of music and the non-rational of the numinous itself, as Schopenhauer, for example, does.” 49
Chapter VIII – The Holy as a Category of Value 50-59
We have both the light thrill of awe before the tremendum of the numen and also, and more especially, the feeling of this unique disvalue or unworth of the profane confronted by the numen…Here, then, comes in the felt necessity and longing for ‘atonement.’ One begins to crave the close presence of the numen so as to transcend one’s sense of unworthiness as “‘creature’ and profane natural being.” When we feel “guilty of a bad action…the evil of the action weighs upon us and deprives us of our self-respect.” And the negative effects continue into a second stage. “The same perverse action that before weighed upon us now pollutes us…The man feels a need, to express which he has recourse to images of washing and cleansing.”Christianity expresses the mysterious need for atonement or expiation more fully and effectively than any other religion. And in this too, it shows its superiority over others. It is a more perfect religion and more perfectly religion than they, in so far as what is potential in religion in general becomes in Christianity pure actuality…[teachers will have to demonstrate how] the Christian religious experience, how the ‘very numen’, by imparting itself to the worshipper, becomes itself the means of ‘atonement.’” 54-55, 56
Chapter IX – Means of Expression of the Numinous 60-71
“The magical is nothing but a suppressed and dimmed form of the numinous, a crude form of it which great art purifies and ennobles.” Otto says the Chinese landscape and religious painting of the classical T’ang and Sung dynasties confronts us with the numinous. He adds that the use of empty space – the void or emptiness – is a negation that allows the wholly other to become actual. [We cannot know for certain if this type of numinosity is qualitatively equivalent to others. To compound the problem, various individuals may experience this type of numinosity differently, not only in intensity but in character.MC] 67, 69-70
Chapter X – The Numinous in the Old Testament 72-81
The numinous is found in all religions but is preeminent in the Bible. “The capital instance of the intimate mutual interpenetration of the numinous with the rational and moral is Isaiah.” 72, 75
Chapter XI – The Numinous in the New Testament 82-93
Otto notes the power, majesty and goodness of God but also the presence of “weird awe and shuddering dread before the mysteries of the transcendent.” He then cites Matthew 10:28, “‘But fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’” [Some translations of this passage use the word "him" and others "God"MC]. Otto says that the idea of election (i.e. chosen by God for salvation in everlasting heaven) entails the experience of grace. [As with the term numinosity, we cannot know just what the so-called "experience of grace" means for different people. Even within ourselves, at one stage in life we may associate a certain experience with grace (e.g. an endorphin rush after jogging) and yet later in life come to experience something even more sublime, which we then designate as "grace," reformulating the previous endorphin rush as something qualitatively different. It seems the healthy (and scientific) position would be to stay open to new experiences (and conceptual updates) with regard to the idea of grace, all the while realizing that we can probably never know with certainty what another person experiences (or means) when using words like grace and numinosity. This issue arguably cast some doubt on Otto's claims about comparative mysticism and the superiority of Christianityassuming, of course, that God didn't directly or indirectly reveal true knowledge to Otto. Even if Otto's claims are correct, the argumentation would appear weak to hardcore rationalists, especially those biased against the idea of revealed knowledge. More creative and arguably advanced thinkers, however, would at least entertain the possibility of revealed knowledge rather than automatically dismissing it.MC] 84, 87
Chapter XII – The Numinous in Luther 94-108
Otto says that in “less authentic forms assumed by legend and miracle,” in its Neo-Platonic influenced concepts, and in the “paradoxes and mysteries of Catholic dogma” there is an “intimate rapport of Catholic piety with mysticism.” He suggests that the Lutheran school has “not done justice” to the numinous aspect of God as understood by Luther himself and Christianity in general. [This chapter highlights Otto's independent thinking. Along these lines Otto originally aspired to be a minister but a very conservative German Lutheran Church hesitated to give him an appointment.MC]. Otto also says that “the mysterious is much less in evidence in the official systems of doctrine, whether Catholic or Protestant.” [This may seem confusing in light of the above quotation but in Catholicism all dogmas are doctrines but not all doctrines are dogmasMC] . 94, 100,  104, 108
Chapter XIII – The Two Processes of Development 109-111
Otto speaks of a two-step process involving the initial numinous consciousness followed by the rationalization and moralization of that experience. But Otto’s view is not a kind of postmodern, open-ended polymorphism. He posits an overall spiritual and moral development in this process. “And this process of rationalization and moralization of the numinous, as it grows ever more clear and more potent, is in fact the most essential part of what we call ‘the History of Salvation’ and prize as the ever-growing self-revelation of the divine.” Otto stresses that this does not entail a suppression or supersession of the numinous, “but rather the completion and charging of it with a new content.” [Today we speak more in terms of how we 'conceptualize' an initial experience. Along these lines I often stress the role of interpretation, especially with regard to unusual experiences which supposedly prove certain beliefs (e.g ETs or reincarnation) beyond a shadow of a doubt.MC] 109-111
Chapter XIV – The Holy as an A Priori Category, Part I 112-116
Otto likens the numinous to Kant’s use of the term a priori. For Otto the numinous “issues from at the deepest foundation of cognitive apprehension that the soul possesses.” This means that the numinous “comes into being in and amid the sensory data and empirical material of the natural world and cannot anticipate or dispense with those, yet is does not arise out of them, but only by their means.” [Kant also makes a debatable distinction between (a) essentially unknowable noumena and (b) the world of phenomena. See discussion
at http://earthpages.wordpress.com/contact/#comment-10037MC]
113
Chapter XV – Its Earliest Manifestations 117-131
Otto discusses numinosity in ‘pre-religion’ in the following order: (1) Magic (2) Worship of the dead (3) The idea of power in objects, such as mana (Pacific Islands) and orenda (North America) (4) The idea of ‘souls’ and ‘spirits’ (5) Natural phenomena believed to be alive or animate (6) Fairy stories and myth (7) The rise of the daemon. With regard to (7) Otto says “to each numen is assigned a seer and there is none without one.” (8 ) The notions of ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’, ‘pure’ and ‘impure’ “already found in a purely natural sense, prior to their religious application.” (9) Otto discusses the relation between the numen and the natural. (10) He then says that the type found in (7) “the feeling of daemons,” is the purest form because the “‘religious’ emotion” isn’t being projected onto an earthly object but is experienced within the self. [Otto uses the term "diverted" in a way that seems similar to instances of Freudian and Jungian projectionMC]. Otto then says that the natural psychologists of his day ignored the importance of the “self-attestation of religious ideas in one’s own mind.” Otto says theories which attribute the numinous to “historical traditions and dim memories of a ‘primeval revelation’” are as remiss as the natural psychologists because they too ignore the importance of “self-attestation from within.” 117-131, 122, 125, 130,
131
Chapter XVI – The ‘Cruder’ Phases 132-135
“The more developed forms of religious experience…and the ‘crude’, and rudimentary emotions of ‘daemonic dread’” are both a priori. Wild fanaticism is a crudity or primitive ‘religion.’ “Here the numinous appears as religious mania, possession by the numen, intoxication, and frenzy.” [Some of the so-called developed religions still valorize this idea. For instance, there are stories and legends of Catholic saints euphorically running about convents and doing seemingly 'crazy' things (e.g. St. Francis of Assisi standing naked in public, declaring the glory of Christ). Otto perhaps addresses this issue in the next chapter.MC]. Otto says “to know and to understand conceptually are two different things.” 132, 135
Chapter XVII – The Holy as an A Priori Category, Part II 136-142
“By the continual living activity of its non-rational elements a religion is guarded from passing into ‘rationalism.’ By being steeped in and saturated with rational elements it is guarded from sinking into fanaticism or mere mysticality, or at least from persisting in
these, and is qualified to become a religion for all civilized humanity.” Otto says the degree to which a religion unites the irrational and the rational in a healthy, harmonious way is a measure by which to rank religions. [This loosely parallels Einstein's views about religion and science and might have implications for a discussion on religions and cults.MC]
141-142
Chapter XVIII – The Manifestations of the ‘Holy’ and the faculty of ‘Divination’ 143-154
Otto talks about several forms of ‘signs,’ divination and inner impulses. “Beside the inner revelation from the Spirit there is an outward revelation of the divine nature.” [Some would say that this is similar to the assumptions underlying Jung's idea of synchronicityMC] Otto says the divination of Goethe, the ‘pagan’, as he sometimes referred to himself, may be accurate but doesn’t involve the numinous as it would with a prophet. [A critic might ask how Otto is qualified to say what Goethe, himself, experienced. I discuss this issue in IX and XI, aboveMC] Acts of divination that merely entail the daemonic experience of the numinous “not at the level of the divine and the holy may in a highly cultivated mind only stir emotional reactions of bewilderment and bedazzlement, without giving real light or warmth to the soul.” Goethe is being informed by an “a priori principle that is not explicit and overt, but dim and obscure.” [This calls to mind C. G. Jung's archetypes, particularly those pertaining to the shadow. Jung's archetypes are underlying, unknowable substances existing in the genetic structures of the bodyMC] 143, 153, 154
Chapter XIX – Divination in Primitive Christianity 155-161
Speaking of Jesus, Otto points out that “His own relatives take Him for a man ‘possessed’, an involuntary acknowledgement of the ‘numinous’ impression He made upon them.” 159
Chapter XX – Divination in Christianity To-day 162-174
“Whoever can thus immerse himself in contemplation [of Jesus without sin, suffering for others]…will find the ‘intuition of the eternal in the temporal.” The suffering of Jesus and the resultant Cross, which symbolizes the eternal mystery, is the completion of Job. 169, 173
Chapter XXI – History and the A Priori in Religion: Summary and Conclusion 175-178
Jesus is the highest stage of the ‘Spirit’ where person and performance is “most completely the object of divination [and] …holiness.” Next is the prophet, who has “the power to hear the ‘voice within’ and the power of divination.” 178

† Please reference the above quotations as follows: Otto, Rudolf. The Idea of the Holy cited in Michael W. Clark, “An Outline of Rudolf Otto’s The Idea of the Holy.” earthpages.org.

The Idea of The Holy by Rudolf Otto

The Idea of The Holy by Rudolf Otto

The Idea of The Holy by Rudolf Otto

The Idea of The Holy by Rudolf Otto


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Surfin’ with Sufis

Sufism was perhaps first popularized in a 1968 film, The Mystic’s Journey, which featured the religious studies scholar Huston Smith.

In keeping with the times, Smith depicted Sufis as exotic whirling dervishes, reminiscent of the inside sleeve of the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour lp.

This contributed to a Western myth of Sufis as itinerant mystics, blissfully dancing through enchanted, far away lands.

While this depiction may not be entirely wrong, like most religious and spiritual traditions, Sufism is about real people with definite roots and different schools of organized belief.

The Sufis emerged from Islamic orthodoxy. The word sufi (Arabic = mystic) is likely based on the root suf (wool), recalling the simple woolen garments worn by ascetics. The Sufi generally believes in a kind of natural pantheism, where creator and creation are seen as one unbroken whole. So the goal of the Sufi is to totally immersed themselves in this undivided oneness.

Sufism became an organized movement around the 7th and 8th centuries, mostly in reaction to the Middle-Eastern Umayyad dynasty, which was perceived as too worldly. The most publicized Dervish orders of Sufism arose in India around the 12th and 13th centuries. These emphasized ecstatic states and were criticized by some orthodox believers but, nevertheless, remained influential into modern times.

Like any kind of religious experience, we can’t say too much about what a Sufi actually feels, or how the numinous, inner light – if any – is experienced by them. But there’s no shortage of Sufi literature that might give us some kind of clue.

The following beautifully reveals Abul Cheir’s particular identification with all aspects of existence and his understanding of cosmic totality.

I am the mote from the sun, I am the sun’s round.
I am the first light of dawn, the sighs of eve, the rustling of the branch, the roar of the sea.
I am mast, tiller, skip, and vessel. I am the shoal upon which I sink.
I am bird-catcher, bird and net. I am face and mirror, voice and echo.
I am the living tree and the parrot of the branch.
I am silence and thought, tongue and speech.
I am the breath of the flute, the glimmer of stone, the shining of metal.
I am the drunk and the grape, the winepress and tavern, the crystal of the cup.
I am the candle and the moth that circles round it.
I am doctor and illness, poison and cure.
I am war and peace, battlefield and victory; village and conquerors, hordes and wall.
I am the mortar and trowel, worker and plan, cornerstone and high tree, structure and ruin.
I am the hart and the lion, the lamb and wolf. I am herdsman of all.
I am the chain of being, the ring of all worlds, the ladder of creation, the rising and falling.
I am what is and what is not. I am the soul inside All.¹

Again, this kind of identifying with the ALL was criticized within some orthodox circles. Sayings like “I am truth” and Praise be to me” are bound to raise a few eyebrows among any kind of orthodoxy that believes everyday human beings can never be equal to God.²

Professor Alford T. Welch likens the Sufi’s quest for mystical union to the 14th-century Christian treatise, Theologia Germanica.³ Welch says that both types of mystics, Sufi and Christian, undero distinct phases in the pursuit of the ultimate realization of love and continual God-awareness.

I Purification

1. Remorse for sin
2. Confession of sin
3. Reconciliation of life

II Enlightenment

4.  Avoidance of sin
5.  Living life of virtue and good works
6.  Bearing trial and temptation

III Union

7.  Pureness and integrity of heart
8.  Love
9.  Meditation on God

However, this comparison might be a bit forced. A moment’s reflection tells us that we can’t really know if Sufi and Christian mystics experience (what they see as) God in the same way. Certainly their respective conceptions of God differ. For the Sufi, God is everything. Whereas the Christian sees God in sharp contrast to that which is “not from” or which has “rebelled against” God—i.e. Satan or evil. So it wouldn’t be too surprising if the Sufi and Christian experiences of God also differ.

Theological speculation and debates aside, the essence of Sufism might best be expressed by the 13th-century and increasingly popular poet Jala ud-Din Rumi. Rumi’s verse can be found in most bookstores and his message prefigures Joseph Campbell’s dictum of “follow your bliss”:

Why are your lips dry when the cup is full?
Conceive an impossible plan – as Noah did!
Live the life that you love!4

Sufism Links

Notes

¹ I stumbled upon this passage at the University of Ottawa library in the 1990s, before the birth of Earthpages.org. Unfortunately the complete reference is currently unavailable, although I’m hoping to track it down.

² See William Theodore de Bary (ed.), Sources of Indian Tradition, Vol. 1, New York: Columbia University Press, 1958, p. 407.

³ Adapted from Alford T. Welch, “Islam” in John R. Hinnells (ed.) A New Handbook of Living Religions, Cambridge Mass: Blackwell and Penguin, 1997, p. 204.

4 Cited in T. Freke and P. Gandy, The Complete Guide to World Mysticism, London: Piatkus. 1998, p. 111.

Surfin’ with Sufis © Michael Clark.
Photos Jelebia and Rainbow over Rabat © Michael Clark.


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Interview with Lorraine Hattingh-Spurgeon, Author of The Lottery Code

Lorraine Hattingh-Spurgeon

Author Lorraine Hattingh-Spurgeon talks to Michael Clark, Ph.D about her new book, The Lottery Code, which can be freely downloaded by clicking here: http://www.thelotterycode.net/downloadlink.php

Q: Welcome to Earthpages.org, Lorraine. And thanks for taking the time to tell us about The Lottery Code.

Your book can be downloaded on the internet. But for those who haven’t had a chance to see it, could you briefly summarize what it’s about?

A: Dr. Clark, thank you for giving me this opportunity to summarize my book.

In 1995, I discovered a hidden code in the British Lottery.

I studied it closely for nearly 11 years, but was unable to break the code.

Then on a chance visit to a religious bookstore in 2006, I found my codebook, “Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament” coded with “Strong’s” Concordance Numbers.

Soon began the arduous task of deciphering this code, a mathematical language which I called the “Lottery Code.” From July 2006 to May 2007, the code revealed 302 divine messages. The subjects of the messages vary, from God’s presence in the world to events in the Bible to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Last Judgment.

I was divinely instructed to communicate to others what God has said and to publish it abroad.

Q: A hidden code. That sounds intriguing.

From looking over your book and website you seem to be quite an intelligent, internationally educated person. Is this code something that everyone can understand? Or does one have to be a Rhodes Scholar to get it?

Maybe you could explain for our readers just how you discovered this code and why you felt compelled to crack it.

A: I get that sort of reaction all the time from people from all walks of life.

No, I cannot say that everyone will be able to understand the code.

To understand the code, a person must be able to add and subtract numbers and must be able to understand simple arithmetic. He/she must be able to put together puzzles and must be able to think and reason. Those who enjoy solving crossword puzzles, mathematical puzzles and mechanical puzzles like the Rubik’s Cube also have an added advantage.

The Lottery Code is like a jigsaw puzzle with a set number of pieces, and not all people can put together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Ultimately, the code will be understood by those who seek It and will be hidden from those who do not seek It. So no, you don’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar to get it!

I will now explain to your readers how I discovered the code, and why I was compelled to crack it.

It happened one Saturday night in London while I was watching the National Lottery draw on television. The date was April 15, 1995. I was writing down the winning lottery numbers when out of the blue I had a religious experience.

I began to feel “something strange.”

The room lit up and suddenly I felt myself surrounded by a bright light.

Instantly, this experience severed me from my ordinary life and absolutely overpowered me. And when this great power exploded within me, I had so much energy that I ran out of my house, up the street and back again.

From the moment I experienced the beauty of the divine presence, it completely fascinated me. And because I was irresistibly attracted to it, I would wait in a state of ecstasy every Saturday to receive another coded “message” from it.

It became my constant preoccupation and soon I began to see number patterns. That is why I was able to crack the code. I had found something so beautiful and precious that I would sacrifice anything to attain it. It meant everything to me.

Q: So after your religious experience – quite a significant one, it seems – you managed to perform your “usual mathematical calculation,” as you say in your book.

Could you comment on how you came to use this particular calculation? (I don’t think you need to go into the details of the operation here, as that information is freely available in
The Lottery Code).

What interests me, and hopefully our readers, is how you arrived at the mathematical method outlined in your book.

A: I had an enthusiastic and caring math teacher who told us that we could have a lot of fun and learn a lot from numbers. One of her favourite numbers was the number 9. She taught me this calculation which I used in my book. Years later another math teacher told me that numbers are full of surprises. The most interesting numbers often look the least interesting, and I could find them quite by chance. Well, that is what happened to me on Saturday, April 15, 1995, but I don’t believe it was by chance. My book, The Lottery Code proved this.

Q: It sounds like you believe you were guided, as it were, through the entire process of writing the book. To some people, that would be questionable. A skeptic, for instance, would probably say you’re just unconsciously connecting the proverbial dots within a plethora of chance happenings. A believer in God, however, might argue that there’s a divine plan to our existence, and that the entire notion of chance is just a human concept.

In light of this, I enjoyed your story about getting the car serviced in 2006, and how you went to a nearby shopping center to pass the time while waiting. Clearly, you don’t regard what happened there as a series of chance events.

Could you amplify on this, and how important these events were to the formation of
The Lottery Code?

A: In 2005, I was grieving from the deaths of two loved ones and the break up of my relationship with my sister. These events changed my life in many ways, and they also changed who I was.

I seldom left my house except to do the essentials and to go to church.

On January 17, 2006 when I walked into a local shopping center to pass the time while my car was being serviced, I had no intention of visiting a religious bookstore. Yet I felt compelled to enter that bookstore. And within 5 minutes I had found my codebook, “Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament” coded with “Strong’s” Concordance Numbers. For nearly 11 years, I had tried to break the code without a codebook which is an impossible task. But when I opened “Thayer’s” and read the first page, I saw 2 of the 3 pieces of the jigsaw puzzle which made up the code, i.e. the numbers 2222 and 5590, which correspond to the Greek words translated as “life.” (These numbers occur the most frequently in the “Strong’s” entries.)

I subtracted 2222 and 5590 from 7958, the total of all the numbers which make up the “Lottery Code.”

The difference was 146 (146 + 2222 + 5590 = 7958). 146 was by far the most important number in the “Lottery Code.” All these coincidences were astonishing.

Then as I walked out of the bookstore, I suddenly noticed dozens of books near the reception desk written by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a relative of me. Another amazing coincidence!

With hindsight, I realize that God had placed me in a vulnerable position of grief and loss for a reason. It was a test. Another one. Was I prepared to proclaim the gospel of Christ, who is “outside the camp,” and leave the camp (be rejected) myself?

“For this reason Jesus also died outside the city, in order to purify the people from sin with his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp and share his shame.” (Heb. 13.12-13): Good News Bible.

Q: Okay. To an outsider like myself who’s not particularly good at math, it seems you could have chosen different operations along the way. But, for specific reasons, you chose the ones you’ve mentioned so far. You picked the first calculation because, as you say, an “enthusiastic and caring” math teacher taught it to you. And you chose another because 7958 is “the total of all the numbers which make up the ‘Lottery Code.’”

At this point I’d like to encourage our readers to download your book (http://www.thelotterycode.net/downloadlink.php). Clearly there’s a logic and progression to your calculations in The Lottery Code. And something tells me you’re no slouch at math!

But still, you could have opted for other routes, other data manipulations. So, the question remains: Do you believe that you were spiritually guided in every step of the process? I, myself, think this is possible. Just as many believe they’re guided along certain roads while on a holiday drive, it’s conceivable that someone could be guided while thinking.

How do you feel about this? Were you, in fact, guided every step of the way?

A: Dr. Clark before I answer those questions it is important that I clarify a few things.

I was not a mathematician when I first discovered the code, nor was I a scientist when I investigated the code. I am worried that I may have unintentionally given you and your readers that impression when trying to explain my discovery – a hidden code in the British Lottery.

To put it simply, I discovered a message in the bottle of time.

The Lottery Code is for everyone. But the code only exists in mathematics, a universal language. It is a computer program which I deciphered with my codebook, “Thayer’s” coded with “Strong’s” numbers.

You say: “But still, you could have opted for other routes, other data manipulations.”

My use of “Thayer’s” is not data manipulation.

As I have said before, I would never have been able to break the code without a codebook. But from the day I discovered the code, April 15, 1995 until January 17, 2006, the day when I walked into a religious bookstore and discovered my codebook, I had never looked for a codebook because I did not know that I needed one! Nor had I heard of “Thayer’s” or “Strong’s” numbers before January 17, 2006!

After I found my codebook, I worked 8-12 hours a day, 7 days a week for over 4 years deciphering the code and checking my work. The reader of The Lottery Code has the final product: 302 mathematical messages translated into clear, simple language that anyone can understand.

Yes, I know that I was spiritually guided throughout the process of writing my book. And you don’t have to take my word for it, several of the divine messages say so.

But years before I sat down to write my book, I felt as if God was spoon-feeding me wisdom little by little. I have discussed it in the introduction of The Lottery Code.

God revealed Himself to me in such an extraordinary way that I was forced to interpret what He said by writing The Lottery Code.

And it is the same now! God is revealing Himself to you and your readers in such an extraordinary way that you are forced to interpret what He is saying through me to you in
The Lottery Code.

Yet I know that there are many, including so-called religious people, who will consider reading my book too demanding. Or even a complete waste of time.

After all, it is often easier to avoid facing up to our beliefs and their possible inconsistency with our behaviour. Perhaps people who get the sudden urge to be religious or spiritual should lie down until the feeling goes away!

Q: Lorraine, when talking about data manipulation I was referring to the mathematical operations you use, not about Thayer’s, per se. But I think I get your drift. You believe you’ve been guided along the way in order to share a great discovery with anyone willing to listen.

At this point, however, I should say that I’m not convinced that God forces us to do anything. I do believe that sometimes we’re influenced by existing forces, and sometimes those influences can be strong. But for me, part of being a Christian is enjoying one’s free will, and through that, learning why we should try to make the right choices in life.

But I don’t wish to dwell on these theological matters right now. Volumes have been written about the issue of free will…

So let’s move on to the book itself. In your view, how will readers benefit from reading
The Lottery Code?

A: The Lottery Code introduces readers to my new evidence which reveals and proves beyond a doubt that God speaks to us in our modern times. The message of my book is especially urgent today because of the lack of values in our society.

Readers of The Lottery Code can learn from my “religious experience” that the divine presence lives within all of us. But it requires us to change, to turn inwards and to find God within us. It means switching off our cell phones, computers, radios, and televisions and being alone. And if we cannot do that, then we cannot be religious or spiritual.

So, the revelations in The Lottery Code can add to our spiritual growth, if we believe them.

The series of 302 divine messages, if read line by line, will convince almost anyone to believe in God. And belief in God gives us the greatest hope and meaning in our lives and helps us cope with insecurity in this age of meaninglessness. My book can help readers find a healthy religious or spiritual outlook on life which, in turn, will heal them from depression.

But those who believe these divine messages will be forced to change the way they feel about themselves and others, how they cope with tragedy and how they behave in the face of wrong.

Q: I see. I suppose I reacted to the word “force” because I like to believe in free will. But after asking that question I remembered Saint Paul who was knocked off his horse on the road to Damascus. Here we have a man who’d been persecuting Christians, and suddenly he’s a great Apostle (Acts 9:1-19).

Could Paul have chosen otherwise after his life changing vision? I’m not sure. But my suspicion is that anyone who’s had a genuine conversion experience never really loses the desire to try to do God’s will—unless, perhaps, they become psychologically impaired from some kind of neurological condition.

Now, my next question is one you’ve probably heard many times before. But I should ask it. Part of my job as an interviewer is to ask what many out there will probably think. So here it is:

Why would Jesus bother to use a code? Why not just come again and tell it like it is? After all, being God, he could appear on all TVs, computers, radios, and mobile devices around the world to give us his message. Or, for those more mystically inclined, he could show up in the sky (or in our minds) to guide humanity in the right direction.

So, why a code?

A: Dr. Clark before I answer these questions let me say that we don’t all come to the Lord Jesus in the same way. Paul had a dramatic conversion experience in Damascus, or on his way there. He experienced the blinding light, the voice from heaven, and the recovery of his sight through Ananias (Acts 9.10-19). He had “seen Jesus our Lord” (1 Co. 9.1), and through this privilege he believed he had been chosen by God to be an apostle.

On April 15, 1995 I also had a dramatic conversion experience with a blinding light, and a voice from heaven, which I heard for 3 months until July 15, 1995.

Then in 1997 I also saw Jesus the Lord. In a hall filled with over 500 people, I met Jesus of Nazareth. This happened at a seminar, which was not a religious event. Although no one there saw what I saw, several people seemed to recognize that “something” unusual had happened to me. I found it strange that at the end of the day about a dozen people came up to me and wanted to touch me and of all things, to examine my hands.

And since then – June 9, 1997 – many people have wanted me to counsel them and to give them spiritual guidance, but I have always politely declined. Why? Because I knew in time that my purpose would be revealed to me through the hidden code I had discovered.

We all have different talents and gifts. Some people possess the gift of prophecy.

I am one of them. People who do not possess this gift should not deny that it exists because they do not experience it. It is as silly as a man who is tone-deaf saying that music does not exist because he cannot hear the differences between musical notes.

God asks us to recognize and use our talents, and not squander them.

It would appear that Jesus has a different way of dealing with each of us. For example, Jesus told a rich young man to sell everything he possessed, and give the money to the poor, and then come and follow Him (Mk. 10.21). But the rich man just could not do it because his confidence was in what he possessed, not in God who had called him. This story is even more relevant today in our materialistic society. Now to answer your questions, which incidentally no one has ever asked me before. And thank you for asking them.

1. “Why would Jesus bother to use a code?”

I don’t know. I can only surmise. I believe this advanced intelligence, which I call God and Jesus the Lord, wanted to communicate purely in scientific terms, so that there could be no misunderstanding. A code can always be deciphered regardless of your culture because mathematics is a universal and eternal language. 1 + 1 always equals 2.

We live in a secular, scientific world. And The Lottery Code is a scientific discovery, which I have demonstrated to be true to anyone who is intelligent and unbiased enough to read the evidence in my book.

I know that is was no coincidence that I had my epiphany in Britain while writing down lottery numbers. Britain is officially an atheist state. Most people there claim not to believe in God, and only a small percentage (less than 10%) of the population claim to go to church. In Europe most churches are empty. I was once told in London that churches are only used for “hatching, matching and dispatching.” However, people in Britain, like people everywhere, do believe in the Lottery. Many people believe that only money can give them security and guarantee their future.

2. “Why not just come again and tell it like it is?”

Jesus promised to come again. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Greek: Parousia) is a catastrophic event that will still take place in the future. Several of the divine messages in
The Lottery Code clearly state this fact. But this Coming is preceded by Jesus’coming in the Spirit to His community (Jn. 14.18)

I felt the presence (parousia) of Jesus when I deciphered the code. And I still do. The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ has been here on earth since the day of Pentecost, when the Church was established. So anyone who has received the Holy Spirit already has the presence (parousia) of Jesus Christ living within him/her today. The Lord speaks to all of us constantly, but we cannot hear Him because of our many material distractions.

3. You said: “After all, being God, he could appear on all TVs, computers, radios, and mobile devices around the world to give us his message.”

I think if that happened today most people would think it was an April Fool’s joke.

They would say that the image and voice were manipulated by computers to look and sound like Jesus. That it is nothing more than a computer-generated image and special effects of films like one sees in “Jurassic Park,” “Forrest Gump,” and “Titanic.” Remember when Orson Welles fooled thousands of people into believing that an alien attack was underway in his radio version of “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells. Well, that happened in 1938 before World War II when people still believed in God and traditional “family values.” The time before TVs. computers, mobile phones, the internet, and international travel. Before we knew about cyberspace. (Unlike today, in those days it was unacceptable to use the Holy Name of Jesus Christ in an irreverent or offensive way in the media and in everyday speech.) People today are no longer that gullible. Today their sense of awe and wonder is being anesthetized.

Many are not even bothered to think about God, while others feel relieved to be rid of God. They would never accept a new message from God without scientific proof.

4. “Or, for those mystically inclined, he could show up in the sky (or in our minds) to guide humanity in the right direction.”

Well, Jesus is still going to appear in glory in the sky, and there are catastrophic consequences for those who fail to be ready for His Coming (Mt. 24.51; 25.30).

For them is will be too late.

I believe that the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ lives within each of us once we receive His Spirit, not only within “those who are mystically inclined.”

But not all people possess the imagination of a prophetic mind. At Sinai, Moses saw a burning bush and heard the voice of God coming from it (Exodus 3.4).

God’s Law was given by divine revelation through the prophet Moses to us. And not all people are approved by God for their faith – only the obedient ones.

Those who are prepared to respond immediately to God’s call like Abraham who traveled to a foreign country in search of the promised land.

God calls people who are prepared to risk their lives, suffer, or die because they respond to His word. The greatest example of faith is Jesus, who suffered death and revealed what it truly means to have faith.

In our modern times, the best example of one who followed the way of faith is Sister Faustina, a Polish nun. In the 1930s, she began to receive divine revelations from the Lord Jesus which continued until her death.

I had a revelation from God. That is how I became consciously aware of a hidden code in the British Lottery. As far as I know, all the major religions began with a private revelation given to a solitary prophet or seer, which was then transmitted to the community. In the Old Testament, the books of Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah clearly show that the prophets continued to bring their part of God’s divine revelation to His people.

The Hebrew prophets had their divine revelations in the pre-scientific world. In no way do I want to compare the divine revelation which I was given and instructed to interpret and publish abroad to those of the Hebrew prophets, Saint Faustina and other holy men and women who have received divine revelations. But fortunately, the divine revelation which I received is the object of my scientific study, and not one that lies outside the scope of science.

Q: That’s quite a thorough answer!

Your remarks about the Polish nun St. Faustina caught my attention because she’s been a significant influence in my spiritual formation. However, I’ve also wondered if her strict call to Holy Obedience (to her superiors) would really work for those not given room and board by the Catholic Church.

I agree that the idea of the “saint” or “seer” can take as many different forms as there are individuals. Along these lines, someone once told me that, at one point in their life, they were “talking with Jesus” and received a message to “just be.” Another person told me that she “saw God” while in a swimming pool. And a former email correspondent claimed that they’d been visited by Jesus many times.

So these kinds of happenings are not too uncommon. And I agree that each manifestation, it seems, is tailor made to suit an individual’s unique purpose in life.

What also stands out here is your belief that The Lottery Code tells of a scientific process. Over the years I’ve pondered the definition of science and am still trying to pin it down. It seems there are so many variations when trying to define the word science. For instance, some say that Sigmund Freud’s or, alternately, Karl Marx’s theories are scientific. And some theologians, like Hugh of Saint Victor (c. 1096 – 1141), maintain that theology is the “noblest” of sciences.

To complicate things even more, a good number of leading subatomic physicists and philosophers of science are saying that the entire idea of science requires a fundamental paradigm shift—that is, we need a whole new way of looking at our world to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

Despite all this, I imagine that some critics would say that The Lottery Code’s use of numbers and mathematics does not necessarily make it scientific. There’s still room for human bias, they might argue. Some might even see The Lottery Code in terms of scientism or pseudo-science instead of “real” science. [For "scientism" I'm referring to the 2nd meaning in Collins English Dictionary].

How would you reply to this kind of critique?

A: That is a coincidence. Saint Faustina has also played a significant role in my life.She has brought the Easter message of Christ home to me. And the devotional practices in the booklet, “The Divine Mercy” which are based on her diary have taught me newways to pray for mercy. (When I pray I feel like I’m doing “spiritual exercises.”) It was also through this booklet that I was told to paint an image according to the pattern I saw, which I discuss in the introduction of my book.

It is quite remarkable to think that Sister Faustina’s Divine Mercy Devotion, as set out in her diary, was banned by the Roman Catholic Church in 1958 (20 years after her death).

And the ban was only lifted in 1978 (20 years later) because of the intervention of the Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla, who became Pope John Paul II.

It makes me wonder what would have happened to the divine message of mercy which Sister Faustina received from Our Lord Jesus had it not been for the courageous efforts of this one man. Once again this is an example of God’s miraculous intervention in our lives and the “miracle” performed by Karol Wojtyla when he chose to support Sister Faustina’s mission.

(I am hopeful that somewhere waiting for me in our world there is another lone person like Karol Wojtyla, who will read my book and suddenly realize that we have the same goal!)

You are so fortunate to have friends and correspondents who have confided in you that they have “seen Jesus.” They are blessed with eyes and ears that recognize God’s presence. Why? Because they have sought Him with a sincere heart. And they, in turn, have blessed you by recognizing the divinity in you. They have trusted you with their innermost secrets and have risked appearing foolish to you.

I have never had a friend who had a direct experience of God. But fortunately my mother, and my oldest and closest friend from childhood have always believed me when I told them of my spiritual experiences.

Ironically, I am sure that most of the theologians I have met have never seen “the light that shines in the darkness” with their own eyes. Why do I say this? Because if they had they would have been unable to teach us only intellectual information about Jesus, while omitting to teach us to seek a direct mystical experience of Jesus, and through Him of God.

That type of theology is totally inadequate for people today!

Like Saint Paul, we must strive for the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which means knowing Him (Phil.3.8).

Christians must be taught to seek a direct mystical experience of Jesus, and through Him of God, not only intellectual information about Jesus!

Mysticism has always been an important feature of Christianity. And Christians have always sought to know God through their emotions and through their minds.

(Having said that it is obviously very difficult for anyone to embrace this way of life in a hostile environment where one is constantly being bombarded with instant communication.)

You said that “some say that Sigmund Freud’s or, alternately Karl Marx’s theories are scientific.” I believe these two men gave us both philosophical and scientific theories which did not include God. For instance, although Freud based his theories on his own clinical observation, his theory of the origin of neurosis and his association of religion with the Oedipus complex must be philosophical theories. They cannot be theories based on observation. But despite his ideas being greeted with skepticism and conflicting with the society and the establishment of his day, he applied them to treating his patients with mental illness. And later on Freud’s ideas were accepted and called “psychoanalysis.”

Again, whether or not we agree that Marx’s theories are scientific, in “Das Kapital” he systematically analyzed the economy of the capitalist system of society. And his theory of the capitalist class exploiting the working class was accepted by millions of people in his own lifetime. Certainly Marx’s definition of religion as “the opium of the people” is still quoted today, so I think the founder of modern communism gave us powerful philosophical theories based on his own interpretation of history, creation and transformation in societies.

(Ironically, he had never been a “worker” in the ordinary sense of the word. And during his political exile in England, he lived in luxurious surroundings in London).

Most people today think that there is a conflict between religion and science.

Perhaps it is partly due to the philosophies and scientific theories of the influential thinkers of the 19th and 20th century like Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud, who were all atheists. But I don’t agree. I think that religion and science should compliment one another.

You quoted the French philosopher and theologian Hugh of St. Victor. Readers may be interested to know that he founded a school of mysticism at the monastery of St. Victor near Paris which became a major center of learning in the 12th century. He put forward a classification of knowledge which included the study of theology, mathematics, physics and music, so I can fully understand how he could say “that theology is the “noblest” of sciences.”

It is very sad that mysticism was always a serious problem for the church in the Middle Ages as well as in later periods, and even today. Let’s face it, men and women who can fire up the masses – reformers and preachers – are certain to have had mystical experiences. But, equally, there is a fine line between mysticism and heresy.

Anyone who can think of a direct union with God through spiritual contemplation is also capable of forgetting the church as an intermediary. I think now of the Italian mystic, Joachim of Fiore (1132?-1202), and the German mystics like Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), a Catholic nun, and in later years, Meister Eckehart (1260-1327), a Dominican theologian, and his disciple, Johannes Tauler (1290-1361), whose followers helped pave the way for Martin Luther.

Dr. Clark, I am very impressed with the way you have conducted this interview.

At times I have wondered if you could read my mind. For instance, was it a coincidence that you mentioned Sigmund Freud and Hugh of St. Victor in the same breath?

Were you perhaps consciously steering me in their direction?

Why do I ask? Because I believe the Western world’s faddish interest in psychoanalysis is nothing more than a deep longing for some form of mysticism.

Even “chatting” online with a stranger for hours on end can be seen as a search for some kind of mysticism. Some chats must seem confessional. A person who is speaking frankly, and who is gradually exposing secrets to a stranger online is not unlike a Catholic who is confessing his sins to a priest. Some chats must occasionally resemble therapeutic sessions. Therefore, the internet is being used today by many to provide them with an alternative kind of therapy. People are searching for meaning in their lives, and desperately trying to fill the void in their lives with things. For many the internet has filled that emptiness, and is being used today as a substitute for God. While for others, online chat allows them to confess their sins to a stranger without receiving absolution!

Regarding your comment that “some leading sub-atomic physicists and philosophers of science are saying that the entire idea of science requires a fundamental paradigm shift – that is, we need a whole new way of looking at our world to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.” Hallelujah! Yes, for sure, we need a new way of looking at our world.

And now I have three points to make in this regard.

1.Generally scientists carry out their work for the greater good of mankind.

In a sense, their scientific pursuit may be considered religious.

But in order to meet the challenges of the future, scientists urgently need to understand what “consciousness” really is. (By this, I don’t simply mean being awake and aware of what is going on around you, or the opposite of being anaesthetized. I mean being conscious of our mystical union with God, and our relationship and interconnectedness with nature and the rest of the world.) They need to study memory, and of course, the brain which is still a mystery. It has always been important for scientists to be opened-minded.

But now in the 21st century scientists must make a “leap of faith” across the gulf that separates science (reason) from religion (faith) to find the highest wisdom.

Albert Einstein, the great scientific genius of the last century wrote: “The most beautiful thing that we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” Carl Jung described it as the “collective unconscious.”

The great scientists have been true mystics. Through their observations of nature and their new theories, they have revealed the Divine Presence to us.

2. But having said that, the time has now come for all of us to rediscover the mystical nature of the universe, and our relationship to God in it. We must be taught once again to embrace the Divine Presence, so that we can discover who we really are.

(It must be as if we have found ourselves and we didn’t know we had been lost.)

We must learn not to fear the mysterious, but to love and embrace it like we did in childhood when we were happy, free and innocent.

We must “change and become like children.”(Mt. 18.3).

It means that we must become humble like little children.

Today we must learn to appreciate mystical religion.

3. Our children should still be taught to look at the world with awe and wonder, while they enjoy and benefit from new technology. How else will they discover who they are and where they come from? God will hold us responsible for the loss of “any of these little ones.” (Mt. 18.14)

For example, it is very important that children are taught how to describe the mysterious world around them. What better way than to teach them mathematics, which is all around them? It is the language and science of patterns. As a child I noticed that patterns are all around us, and eventually as an adult, I saw mathematical patterns in the British Lottery.

Like adults, every teenager should be taught once again to embrace the Divine Presence, so that they can discover who they really are, and not be forced by society to conform and be like everyone else.

How else will they be able to reach their full potential, and compose new music, create new works of art, and make new scientific discoveries?

You said “some critics would say that The Lottery Code’s use of numbers and mathematics does not necessarily make it scientific. There’s still room for human bias, they might argue. Some might even see The Lottery Code in terms of scientism or pseudo-science instead of “real” science. How would you reply to this kind of critique?”

In reply, I will begin by asking my critics one question.

“Have you read my book, or are you an ‘armchair critic’ who dismisses a book without reading it?”

For example, an ultra-conservative school principal in my town wrote an open letter to our local newspaper condemning J.K. Rowling and banning “Harry Potter” books from his school. When asked what exactly offended him in the books, he said he had never read any of them because they conflict with his Christian beliefs. This close-minded educator had missed the whole point, as the “Harry Potter” books have inspired a whole new generation of readers in a world in which youngsters no longer read. (Maybe some of them might even now read the Bible for the first time!)

I have always found it curious that we have literary critics who themselves have never written a book; art critics who themselves have never painted a picture; music critics who themselves have never played a musical instrument, nor composed a piece of music.

We even have conservative-minded men in charge of religious affairs in our churches who themselves have never had a spiritual experience.

Yes, I must admit The Lottery Code is a “believe it or not” story! Its series of incredible coincidences are a lot for a reader to take in.

Even I knew nothing about codes until I had an epiphany on April 15, 1995.

And I am the codebreaker!

It was only when I actually sat down to write this book that I found out the proper term for what I had been involved in for so many years. It was the science of “cryptology” from the Greek kryptos which means “hidden” and logos which means “word.”

It is concerned with communication in secure and usually secret form.

Then on April 15, 2007 I discovered information on codes under “cryptography” from the Greek kryptos meaning “hidden” and graphein meaning “to write.”

It is the science of preparing communication intended to be intelligible only to the person possessing the key, or method of developing the hidden meaning by crytoanalysis using apparently incoherent text.

As far as The Lottery Code is concerned:

  1. My codebook is “Thayer’s” coded with “Strong’s” Concordance Numbers.
  2. The Encoder must have the key code because the messages could not be generated without it.
  3. It would have been impossible for me to break the key code and translate the messages without this codebook.
  4. There is also a key word, in the form of a key number, which when it is added to certain numbers (which are also key words) translates into very significant word messages. This key word, in the form of a key number, is 146.
  5. It cannot be mentioned often enough that the messages are numerical and written in the language of science.
  6. The Encoder must have a knowledge of New Testament Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew, and English.

Readers may be interested to know that I wrote three books in order to be able to publish
The Lottery Code. Two of them remain unpublished. One is about “cryptography” and how it relates to the hidden code I discovered in the British Lottery, and the other is an autobiography in which I discuss my dreams, revelations, and mystical experiences.

So, if you want to call what you have read in The Lottery Code “science” or “pseudo-science” or something else, there is not much more I can say on the matter.

I was divinely instructed to interpret and convey divine messages to you by publishing them abroad.

It is not something that I chose, but something that happened to me. It came to me.

I received mathematic gifts. And I was forced to prophesy, if I wanted to or not.

The reason for my “religious experience”, my discovery of the hidden code, and my cracking the code was not to enlighten me, but to give me a special task to carry out.

I had to obey, although it severed me from everyday life.

The scientific evidence in The Lottery Code proves beyond a doubt that God exists and should not conflict with the customary beliefs of churchmen.

But it demands that a person is intelligent and unbiased enough to see the evidence.

A wise man once told me that you don’t need eyes to see, you need vision.

Today people have thousands of bytes of information sweeping across their screens, each with its own message. People are drowning in a sea of new ideas and information. They are confused. And so many are desperately searching for something to believe in that almost any new fad, religion, or philosophy will do.

Unfortunately, if scientific advances that can bridge the gap between science and theology are not accepted by society, then religion in the modern world is destined to slowly fade away from our knowledge until it becomes unnecessary like astrology.

The aim of The Lottery Code is to help the reader rediscover the hidden power within them, and to give them a route back to God.

Q: Well, that’s quite an insightful, thoughtful reply. And it nicely answers the last question I was going to ask (What is the main message of The Lottery Code?). So unless you would like to add anything more, I think this might be a good place to close.

Thank you so much for taking the time to shed some light on your intriguing book. It’s been a pleasure and a learning experience. All the best for your journey!

A: Dr. Clark, I have faith that the readers will take the spiritual energy that we have shared with them in this interview, and will use it in a way that replenishes them. Whether or not they choose to read my book is not the problem. The only question is whether what they choose is their great awakening.

“You must do this, because you know that the time has come for you to wake up from your sleep. For the moment when we will be saved is closer than it was when we first believed.” (Rom. 13.11).

These words of Saint Paul came to me, while I worked on this final part of the interview, although I was not familiar with this passage of Scripture.

We need to remind ourselves that these words are as relevant today as they were nearly 2,000 years ago when the apostle Paul spoke them. So his words are the perfect way of ending our interview.

Thank you, Dr. Clark, for giving me this opportunity to serve God on your platform.

Peace be with you.

Interview with Lorraine Hattingh-Spurgeon, Author of The Lottery Code Copyright © Lorraine Hattingh-Spurgeon and Michael W. Clark. All rights reserved.

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