Be Kind Rewind.

Whatever do ancient VCR tapes have to do with ancient scroll?   Well I'll tell you: they are all apart of the cyclical plan the creator gods put out there to keep us occupied.   Allow me to explain.  

In ancient Egypt books were written on a material called papyrus.  Papyrus was made from papyrus reed, which grew at least six feet tall and was found only in the Nile Delta.  the papyrus reed is now almost extinct in Egypt.  But it was abundant in ancient times and was a valuable export.  
The first step in making papyrus was to cut the papyrus reeds into strips.  These strips were laid side by side in a single layer.  Then another layer was laid on top of the first, with the top strips at right angles to the bottom strips.  The strips of reed were pounded together until they were crushed into a sheet.  Then the sheet of papyrus was smoothed out and left to dry.  

To make a book, several sheets of papyrus were pasted together end to ten.  A wooden rod was attached to each end of the long piece of papyrus.  Starting with the right side, the papyrus was rolled onto the rod to create a papyrus roll. 

It was on these rolls that books were written.  A scribe began to copy a book by unrolling a new papyrus roll a few inches, so that the writing surface was in front of him and the rolled-up portion was on his right.  He wrote in columns a few inches wide, unrolling more papyrus for each column.  He used a pen made from a reed, with ink made of soot, gum, and water. 

To read a book, the reader held the roll by the rods attached to each end.  As he read, he unrolled the papyrus on the right and rolled up on the left rod the part of the book he had read.  When he got to the end of the book, the papyrus was now rolled on the left rod instead of the right one.  And so the reader -- or more likely, his/her servant or slave -- had to unroll the book from the left rod and roll it back up on the right rod so that the next reader did not find a backward book.  The phrase "Be Kind, Rewind" was probably used in some form or another back then, just as it would be over two-thousand years later when we reached the height of analog video recordings for home entertainment.  The VHS (Video Home System) much like the ancient papyrus scroll, had to be rewound after viewing.  For awhile, the large VHS renting stores like Blockbuster even charged a fee for tapes that weren't rewound -- I know, I fought a lot of them.  

So there you have another cyclical wonder of the world.  Conversely, just as VHS tape was replaced with the DVD which didn't have to be rewound, the papyrus roll was replaced with animal skins which were called parchments.  This advanced technique was achieved by stretching and smoothing out the skins of sheep and goats to make a thin and smooth kind of parchment called vellum.  A book made this was was called a codex and much as the DVD was a huge advancement over the VHS, the codex was a huge advancement of the papyrus scroll because it was more durable and didn't have to be rewound after reading.  

Of course, just as the computer/internet has replaced the DVD, parchment was replaced by paper and the books were plentiful, well, at least until the Christian church came along and burned them all to alleviate the competition.  Fortunately, truth does find its way.  

On this day, the Norse trickster god Loki and his consort Sigyn are honored.  Loki is the god of strife, discord, and evil, as well as tricks and practical jokes.  So, fellow truth seekers, be especially careful of a certain US president on this day, oh, wait, he has already tweeted:

Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!


Focusing on the Angels for World Peace.

Esoteric Sunday

Peace on earth and goodwill to all...  yes, easier said than done, that is, until you add in the one ingredient that could accomplish such a thing?   Answer:   Angels. 

Why Angels?  you ask!  Well, they are the one common spiritual thing in us all.   That's right, from Jews, to Muslims, to Pagans, to Erudite Scholars -- be still my beating heart -- we all seem to recognize the angels.  

The Jews  seem to have the oldest writings on angels written around three-thousand years ago with the three angels that visited Abraham in in Genesis 18: 1-5.  Who were these masked crusaders?  I'm not sure but it is funny that Abraham is the father of not only the Jewish faith, but the Christian and Muslim faiths.  Hmmmm, can you say Hedge-Your-Bets boys-and-girls?  But I digress, this is a loving, Sunday morning post for world peace.  

In the New Testament there are two angels named: Gabriel, who announces to Mary that she will bear a son who will be the promised Messiah (Luke 1: 26 - 38), and Michael, who fights against the Devil (Jude 9; Revelation 12:7).  Both angels had already been named in the Jewish book.  

Then there are the Islamist who's Quran is said to have been transmitted by Gabriel (Jibril) in chapter 2 verse 97.  Yes, the same angel who announced to Mary that she would bear the Messiah,  met up with Mohammad in the desert to give him the Quran.   

Although, less obvious, there are angels in Zoroastrianism/Hinduism symbol with its spread wings, and of course with the New Age/Paganism, we see angels in mind, body, and spirit of us all. 

Plato believed that between human beings and the gods were intermediate beings called 'daimons' who could inspire human thoughts and actions. 

So you see, angels are as common to us all as breathing air and drinking water are to our existence.   Angels really seem to be the only religious thing we all agree on.    

So lets do.  

Come on: all angels are naked!  Gosh, get your mind out of the gutter.


July 29th is the first day of the runic half-month of Thorn.  Nothern traditon honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. 


Journey to the Center of the Earth

Mr Teed

Cyrus Read Teed didn’t set out to become the charismatic spiritual leader of one of the strangest religious cults in the late nineteenth century.  Nor did this shy, well-mannered farm boy from upstate New York dream his name would someday be linked to one of pseudo-science’s most bizarre theories: cellular cosmogony.

It all began during the Civil War when young Teed was called away to fight for his country in the Union army.  During the war years, while recuperating from a sunstroke that left his left arm and leg paralyzed, he heard stories about strange creatures supposedly living at the earth’s core.  How was that possible, he wondered, unless the earth was hollow?

New York 1890
After the war he returned to New York and set up a medical practice specializing in herbal cures.  He also started reading everything he could get his hands on about the mysterious realm inside the earth, leaving no stone upturned in his quest to learn all there was about the natural history of the earth as well as the cosmos.  He read books, subscribed to newspapers and magazines, frequented libraries and attended lectures on the subject.

In time the knowledge-hungry young New Yorker found that many scientifically accepted theories circulating in those days clashed not only with his religious principles but with his own developing ideas of a smaller, more compact universe.

While working in his laboratory late one night in the autumn of 1869, Teed experienced what he called a “divine illumination.”  A vision told hi how to turn lead into gold — an ancient alchemist secret known as the “Philosopher’s Stone.”  Later that evening he had a vision in which God appeared to him in the form of a beautiful woman and revealed the secrets of the universe to him.

One secret that emerged dealt with “Cellular Cosmology” — the belief that the earth is practically stationary in time and space and exists as a concave sphere, with all life on its inner surface—kind of like a gigantic inverted cave.  His controversial notion was outlined in a book called The Cellular Cosmogony, or The Earth in a Concave Sphere, which he wrote under his adopted name of Korean, the ancient Hebrew name of Cyrus.

According to this view, the known world is located on the inside of the earth’s curvature, beyond which there is only the darkness of a celestial void.  At the center of the sphere, rotating in unison, are the denser atmosphere that screens the other side of the globe.

To prove his theory, Teed measured the curvature of the earth—a measurement that contradicted the Copenican hypothesis but which has yet to be disproved.  In fact, he offered $10,000 to anyone who could prove wrong his measurements or theory.  He found plenty of takers, but each time scientific measurements were made, the results were the same as Teed’s.

More than anything else, Teed’s belief in the concave earth was an article of faith, based on his own religiously inspired research and study.

“To know of the earth’s concavity,” he once wrote, “is to know God, while to believe in the earth’s convexity is to deny Him and all His works.  All that is opposed to Koreshanity is antiChrist.”

The concept of a hollow earth was nothing new in Teed’s time.  Many people still accepted British astronomer Edmund Halley’s theory of a hollow earth as fact.  Halley, of comet fame, had proposed that the earth might consist of several concentric spheres placed inside one another in the manner of a Chinese box puzzle.  More starling was the scientist’s contention that some of these spheres might support life!

Famed adventure writer Edgar Rice Burroughs produced several novels with hollow earth themes.  His fiction was preceded in 1864 by Jules Vern’s classic study of life underground called Journey to the Center of the Earth.  Both Burroughs and Verne had been inspired by the theories of an early-nineteenth-century American eccentric named John Cleves Symmes.

Edgar Rice Burroughs
Like Halley, Symmes—an army captain and enthusiastic world traveler—believed the earth was made up of five concentric spheres, but suggested there might be a huge opening, known as Symmes Hole, at each of the poles.  The ocean, said Symmes, flowed in and out of these openings.

In 1906, a book called Phantom of the Poles followed up on the hollow earth theory.  Said author William Reed: “I am able to prove my theory that the earth is not only hollow, but suitable in its interior to sustain human life with as little discomfort as on its exterior....”

Somewhat more influential than Reed was Marshall B. Gardner, who rejected the “absurd”notion of Symmes but enthusiastically adopted the idea of openings at the poles.  Gardner believed the interior of the earth was illuminated by a small sun about six hundred miles in diameter.  When Admiral Richard E. Byrd flew over the North Pole in 1926 and saw no gaping holes, Gardner countered by suggesting the government was covering them up from the public.
Buoyed by these and his own findings, Teed decided he needed a quiet, isolated place to work and to establish his own concept of social and religious order.  In 1894 he found such a place on the banks of the Estero River deep in southwest Florida—a three-hundred-acre tract of land he called the Koreshan Unity.

Starting with only a handful of followers, the evangelical alchemists and herbalist went to work building a new society dedicated to the principles advanced in his new cosmology.  The new settlement—which he named Estero—soon opened its doors to scores of other disciples from as far away as Chicago.  All along, Teed believed that Estero would become one of the world’s great intellectual and religious centers.

In planning his “New Jerusalem” in Florida, Teed visited several communes, including one established by the Harmony Society in Economy, Pennsylvania.  He saw firsthand the everyday workings of communal societies—models, he felt, of celibacy and communism. He also spent some time with the North Family of Shakers in Lebanon, New York, where he was admitted as a full member.

Teed and his faithful flock spent the next decade building more houses and libraries and churches in the wilderness.  They also built a thriving tropical nursery, a handsome Art Hall, tennis courts, baseball fields, marinas, a general store and even a museum devoted to the display and interpretation of Teed’s curious teachings and scientific research.

Model of Teed's Museum
Teed eventually abandoned his herbal practice altogether and proclaimed himself the messiah of a new religion called Koreshanity.  He launched a newspaper, The Flaming Sword, which helped spread his gospel until it ceased publication in 1949.

In spite of Teed’s spellbinding oratorical and marketing skills, his “New Jerusalem” in the Florida sun never reached the population of ten million converts that had been his much-publicized goal.  In 1908, two days after Christmas, the old visionary died from injuries received during a political brawl in Fort Myers, leaving behind his unfinished city and a personal and professional legacy steeped in mystery and legend.

To this day, no one know where the enigmatic spiritual leader got the money to finance his project.  Nor is it clear how he managed to lure scores of young women—many of them married—to his Florida hideaway.

After his death, Teed’s body was placed in an immense mausoleum.  The corpse was guarded twenty-four hours a day by teams of young women and men because of his promise to rise from the dead.  Many of his followers believed he would be resurrected on Christmas Day the following year.

Teed's Grave
 But in 1921, a hurricane struck the southwest Florida coast, washing away Teed’s gleaming tomb along with many other buildings.

Forty years later the state of Florida turned what was left of Teed’s religious and intellectual empire into the Koreshan Statre Historic Site.
Historic Site
Although the last of the original disciples died in 1981, site volunteers still offer guided tours and slide shows of the settlement.  Many of the buildings erected by the Koreshan remain, thanks to rehabilitative and restoration efforts in recent years.  Of special interest is the site’s Museum and Library at the World’s College of Life—Koreshan United Headquarters—on Corkscrew Road along U.S. Highway 41.

Here many of Teed’s original books and furniture are on display, as well as an exhibit showing in three dimensions how his radical “cellular cell” theory puts the surface of the earth on the inside of the globe.  Many of the founders’ other bizarre beliefs are analyzed with charts and diagrams, including his contention that the on is an illusion, that gravity is really centrifugal force and that a horizontal line on the earth’s surface eventually intersects the earth’s upward curvature.

Other displays seek to prove his theory that the sphere is about twenty-five thousand miles around, just as the scientists say, and that China is about eight thousand miles away, through the earth’s center—straight up!



Those Silly Reagans.

The Reagan's With Their Atheist Astrologer

 Both Ronald and Nancy Reagan relied heavily on astrologers when making decisions, but they were not the first in the White House to do so.  The lives of both Lincoln and Harding also relied on them.  Reagan first became interested in astrology when he was a young actor, and he later got Nancy interested in it.  From then on, their schedules were dictated by their astrologers—who included Jeane Dixon, Carroll Righter, Ed Helen, and Joan Quigley.  British witch Sybil Leek claimed credit for Reagan changing his inauguration as governor from noon to just after midnight.  Ed Helin, who began doing Reagan’s charts in 1949, said, “As President, he was primarily concerned with the timing of events and how his popularity would b affected by his actions.  he called me to determine the best timing for invading Granada, for bombing Libya, for launching the Challenger—things like that.”  helix was paid by the Republican National Committee and was still doing work for them in 1990.

`Although the Reagans professed to be very religious, they almost never went to church.  But for their 1980 campaign, arrangements were made for them to attend an Episcopal service in Virginia.  As they were about to take communion, Nance asked Mike Deaver, “Are those people drinking out of the same cup?”  He explained that they would be given wafers first and they would dip it into the cup.  Reagan couldn’t hear these instructions and was asking, “What? What?”  to which Nancy responded, “Ron, just do exactly as I do.”  As the tray of wafers came by, she took one, dipped it in the chalice, accidentally dropped it in the wine, and turned to Deaver with a horrified expression.  Reagan promptly took the host, dipped it, and dropped it into the wine as well.  Deaver said, “I watched the minister move on, shaking his head, staring at the blobs of gunk floating in his wine.”

If this isn’t Orwellian, I don’t know what is.  On my way into work this morning I heard a report on NPR that stated “Americans Are Saving Less Than They Have Since 2007.”  Interesting, I thought, remembering how that fact was true in my life, how after the George Bush meltdown of the economy and a bad-film investment, I was broke.  Nice to know I’m still in the average.

Then, I get in the office and imediately begin avoiding work by looking at the news feed on my favorite morning web search — which includes — and I see this headline: Bloomberg: Americans Have Been Saving Much More Than Thought, New Data Show.



Madame Blavatsky, Odin and Sleipnir

Into the shadowy world of Ouija boards, seances and ghostly rapping from beyond, there once sauntered a controversial character whose alleged mystical powers and outlandish theories on religion, the cosmos and lost civilizations shocked and entertained a gentian of Americans.

Helene Petrovna Blavatsky, known to legions of devoted followers as Madame Blavatsky, was a guiding force behind the spiritual renaissance of the late 1870’s that saw reputations—and financial fortunes—of mediums and mystics surge to new heights of respectability.

At one point, this chain-smoking, hot-tempered daughter of Russian nobility and founder of the Theosophical Society would boast that she was more popular than either the king of England or the president of the United States.

In spite of her great popularity, however, there were those who insisted that Madame Blavatsky was nothing more than a fraud and a vulgar adventuress.

She once wrote:  “I am repeatedly reminded of the fact that as a public character, as a woman who, instead of pursuing her womanly duties, sleeping with her husband, breeding children, wiping their noses, minding her kitchen and consoling herself with matrimonial assistants on the sly and behind her husband’s back, I have chosen a path that has led me to notoriety and fame; and that therefore I had to expect all that befell me.”

Born Helen Petrovna Hahn in czarist Russia, the future spiritual leader early showed a marked interest in fantasy and make-believe.  One of her favorite childhood games w  to entertain friends by telling them stories about invisible companions she called “hunchbacks.”  Her storytelling skills were said to be so great that she often frightened the other children and made them have nightmares.

When she was sixteen, Helene married Nikifor Blavatsky, the minor government official thirty years her senior.  The marriage lasted only a few months, but she would style herself forever as Madame Blavatsky.

While still in her teens, Madame Blavatsky—a tall, striking beauty with dark hair and exceptionally blue eyes—embarked on a series of global travels and adventures that would eventually take her to America.  For the next twenty-five years, she wandered the world visiting hidden monasteries in Tibet and the catacombs of Rome and Paris and studying the secrets of the Egyptian pyramids, eventually winding up in New York in June 1873.

Her timing couldn't have been better, Madame Blavatsky now plump and graying, was immediately caught up in the wave of spiritualism and interest in occult phenomena sweeping the nation.  At a seance in Vermont she met Colonel Henry S. Olcott, a newspaperman, lawyer and ardent spiritualist.

The pair teamed up to form an organization called the Theosophical Society, after the Greek words for “god” and “wisdom.”  The society’s stated purpose was to investigate ancient mysteries, such as the secrets of the pyramids and the “nature of people of the distant past.”

“A Theosophist,” Madame Blavatsky once wrote, “is one who gives you a theory of God or the works of God, which has not revelation, but an inspiration of his own for its basis.  In this view every great thinker and philosopher, especially every founder of a new religion, school of philosophy, or sect, is necessarily a Theosophist.”

“Hence,” she concluded, “Theosophy and Theosophists have existed ever since the first glimmering of nascent thought made man seek instinctively for the means of expressing his own independent opinions.  Theosophy is...the archaic Wisdom-Relgion, the esoteric doctrine once known in every ancient country having claims to civilization.”

In 1875 Madame Blavatsky published her first book, an enormous and very confusing volume called Isis Unveiled.  Critics snickered and were generally harsh in their reviews, but the massive work did succeed in gaining large numbers of occult-minded followers.

Highly successful, the book was followed by another in 1888 called The Secret Doctrine.  In this landmark two-volume book, Madame Blavatsky reported that revelatory spirits from the Orient had taught her about the lost continents of Atlantis and Lemuria.  Scholars and critics were quick to claim that much of the work was stolen from books by other occultists and crank scholars like Ignatius Loyola Donnelly’s book on Atlantis.

Nevertheless, the book sold extremely well, earning Madame Blavatsky immortality among die-hard followers of mysticism and popular lost worlds’ theories.  Written in the same lofty, confusing style of her other worlds, The Secret Doctrine sets out the author’s view that the Lemurians were the third of seven “root” races of mankind.  The fourth race was the Atlantans, who were said to have evolved from the Lemurians as Lemuria San beneath the sea several thousand years ago.

Atlantis, which occupied a spur of ancient Lemuria, was destroyed about ten thousand years ago during a cataclysmic upheaval.  Madame Blavatsky believed that refugees from the disaster escaped to Central Asia where they evolved into modern Hindus and Europeans.  She also suggested that survivors might have fled to America, where they intermarried with Indians and gave them the technology to build the great monuments of Mexico and elsewhere.

It was in India while researching her book that Madame Blavatsky was introduced to the “Masters,” or “Mahatmas.”  The Mahatmas supposedly were spirit forces that dwelled in the mysterious and remote mountains of Tibet.  According to Madame Blavatsky, these kindly “lords of the unseen world” confided great secrets to her during their travels together—spectacular secrets about out-of-body travel, archaic history and the cosmic future of mankind.

Among the “fundamental truths” taught to her by the Mahatmas was reincarnation, the belief that “all people living on the planet are brothers immortal, living and reliving their lives.”

By the late 1880’s Madame Blavatsky was at the pinnacle of her international fame and fortune.  But fate was gearing up to deal her a crushing blow.  A report written by famed English psychic investigator Richard Hodgson wrote, “we regard her neither as the mouthpiece of hidden seers, nor as mere vulgar adventuress, we think that she has achieved a title to permanent remembrance as one of the most accomplished, ingenious and interesting imposters of history.”

Even devout Theosophists began to regard their former leader with suspicion.  Some questioned her stability, while others called her “a potentially dangerous woman.”  Growing numbers argued that Olcott should take her place as head of the organization.

Weary and frail, the once-powerful mystic agreed to step aside and then retired to a friend’s house in London.  On May , 1891, Madame Blavatsky died quietly in her sleep.  The old Theosophists body was cremated at Woking Crematorium in Surrey, England.

Finally, Madame Blavatsky's breakdown with the Theosophist Society was not long lived and today she is still continued the mother of their reasoning.  In 1924 the then leader of the society, G de Purucker, lectured on Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine; eventually, he s implied her works in a book called Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy.  A great read you can and should read for free at FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC. 

Parts of this post from The Good, The Bad, And The Mad. 

 On this day (July 26) the festival of Sleipnir, Odin's eight-legged horse that can take the rider between the three worlds: Asgard (heaven), Midgard (Earth), and Utgard (the underworld).  As the Norse sky god, god of war, and god of the dead, Odin had the ability to transcend the planes of consciouness, which allowed him to oversee the fate of the human beings.


O Henry, Karma, and the George Washington of South America.

O Henry

On this day in 1901, William Sydney Porter is released from prison after serving three years in jail for embezzlement from a bank in Austin, Texas.  In jail, he began writing stories to kill his time and earn money to support his young daughter.  Can you imagine how low of a time it was for this guy?  In prison?  No freedom.  A real major f*&k up!

Well, since Karma is as Karma does, prison made this man the writer we all became to know as O. Henry, who, after his release moved to New York and worked for the New York World, writing one short story after another.  In 1904, his first story collection, Cabbages and Kings, was published.  His second, The Four Million, contained one of his most beloved stories, The Gift of the Magi.

So, boys-and-girls, if you find yourself in a prison today, don't frown, there is a reason; and so, take a few breaths, meditate, and see why the universe has you there.  It's all good!

Love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man's starving! O. Henry
Read more at:
Love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man's starving! O. Henry
Read more at:

Love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man's starving! O. Henry
Read more at:

Speaking of Karma:

Images of the Buddha can be identified by distinctive physical characteristics, postures and hand gestures.  The unique physical features of a Buddha are known by the Sanskrit term lakshana.  The most conspicuous are the ushnisha, a cranial bump indicating special wisdom; the urns, a round tuft of hair between the eyebrows, indicating supernatural vision; short curled hair,indicating the renunciation of worldliness; and long pierced earlobes, indicating boiling (ancient Indian royalty wore huge pierced earlobes that stretched the lobes).  The ushnisha sometimes takes the form of a flame, indicating illumination and a gentle smile on the lips.

The Buddha may also be shown in various postures (asanas), which can be divided into sitting, standing and reclining poses.  The seated postures indicate stillness, as in mediation; the standing postures refers exclusively to the Buddha’s physical death (parinirvana).

Hand gestures (mudras) indicate a specific activity such as teaching, mediating or offering reassurance to specific incidents in the life of the historical Buddha.  In this standing Buddha figure from Sri Lanka, the Buddha’s right hand is raised, palm outwards with the thumb and forefinger together in the gesture of discussing the Dharma (Vitoria mudra).


Simon Bolivar
In case you forgot, today is the birthday/anniversary of Simon Bolivar, who was born in Catracas, Venezuela on July 24, 1783.  His victories over the Spaniards won independence for Bolivia, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.  In the Latin countries, Bolivar is referred to as The Liberator and the George Washington of South America.  


Finally, for those of us in Texas experience the "cyclical" earth warming -- yeah, right -- here is what O Henry had to say about the heat in Texas.

The people of the State of Texas consist principally of men, women, and cowboys.  The weather is very good, thermometer rarely rising above 2,500 degrees in the shade and hardly ever below 212. 
                                                                                                                            ~~  O. Henry 

peaceful, loving, change is coming!

The world is changing, and the change is good.  That thought came to me this morning in my Buddhist chants/prayers.  ...

Thanks For Being!

Thanks For Being!