SIM: To give our readers some understanding of your perspective and background, can you discuss briefly your interest in and study of various religious and spiritual traditions? How did you first become interested in this topic and how have you pursued knowledge relating to it?
Pinkham: I was drawn into the study of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions when I was in my late teens. I was quite unhappy with my life at the time and was hoping I could find some relief, and possibly even some joy, through this avenue. I began my search with yoga after hearing that its practices are designed to generate a continual inner joy. This led to my traveling to India and living most of my twenties in the ashrams with the hope of finding that inner peace and joy. At that time I followed the path of Siddha Yoga – a kind of yoga that begins with the activation of the alchemical Kundalini power. Once this power is awakened by a Gnostic Master (a “Siddha”) it purifies a seeker on all levels while activating his or her inner centers of Gnosis. Eventually it culminates in eternal joy and the Gnostic awareness of “I AM GOD.”
For this months topic of Religion, in it’s many forms, I’d like to look at it’s roots, and ask why it seems to be so taboo, while looking at the qualities and benefits that these ancient practices have to offer.
I was once within a meditation after watching a video on YouTube of Ethno botanist Terrence McKenna’s ‘stoned ape theory’; a theory, which postulates the motion from Ape to Man, was influenced by the use of psychoactive compounds found in nature.
The experiences with these extraordinary compounds could be a major contributor in all we think we know today.
In the meditation, a concept was presented to me which displayed the psychedelic experience that an Ape might have, and how he might communicate this to other members of his troop. Many of us are familiar with the famous words of Danish Economist Ester Boserup “Necessity is the mother of all invention”, and these words fit quite nicely with this example.
Should an Ape have such a mind-altering experience, it’s probable that there would be a desire to communicate it, and as the balance between having these experiences and the ability to express them outweighs, there becomes a necessity for language to develop further.
Today, Stacye Branché delivers the core message of this month’s issue in a beautiful video. Understanding and accepting different, when it comes to religion, is still a difficult task for most. Stacye shares not only why, but how, we must go about our lives with a mutual respect for the religious practices of others. If there is one message we want to share with the world in this months issue, it’s that religion is a universal common bond, and not a tool of separation. Enjoy this short video from Stacye, and be sure to leave your thoughts and comments directly with her below.
Most established forms of religion recognize the human being as one of the most magnificent creations in this universe. Bestowed with the divine gift of faith, existing in an intricate reality composed of collective beliefs and archetypes, with an intellectual and spiritual capacity to explore the profound nature of their existence. For centuries, humankind has moved through each new paradigm, held steady through a mutual faith, and a collective foundation that recognizes something greater that themselves.
So what of religion through all of these chapters of the human existence? To what degree has faith in something greater, helped shape the common grounds of each new paradigm, as humanity strives to authentically experience its deeper spiritual nature? Regardless of where you stand on the subject of religion, and independently of any particular religion you may practice, you are a part of a much larger religious equation than you may realize. In fact, religion is such a powerful concept engrained into our collective and individual psyche, that we couldn’t escape its presence if we wanted to. Even committed atheists and agnostics recognize religion as something to defy, therefore substantiating its power and presence.
Truth be told, there is not nearly enough space in this months issue for me to completely reveal the entirety of my thoughts and passions toward religion. And I will request your understanding in advance, as my thoughts here may seem a bit less organized this month due to my passionate outbursts in the topic of religion.
So that being said, I will be focused on two universally applicable insights this month, so that as many people as possible can benefit from my words in this issue.
God redeems humanity,
but nature needs to be redeemed by human alchemists,
who are able to induce the process of transformation,
which alone is capable of liberating the light imprisoned in physical creation.
— STEPHAN HOELLER(1)
The world is a living spiritual being. This was understood by the ancient philosophers and the alchemists who referred to the spiritual essence of the world as the anima mundi, the “Soul of the World.” They regarded the World Soul as a pure ethereal spirit diffused throughout all nature, the divine essence that embraces and energizes all life in the universe.
Throughout history our understanding of the world as a living being with a spiritual essence has dramatically changed. Plato understood that “the cosmos is a single Living Creature which contains all living creatures within it.”(2)While this tradition was carried on by the Gnostics and later the alchemists, the Church fathers imaged a world that was neither divine nor sacred. A transcendent divinity was the source of all creation, and humanity lived in exile from heaven in a state of sin. This doctrine created a split between matter and spirit, causing the world to be seen as separate from its creator.
The understanding of the world as sacred resurfaced from time to time over the next centuries. In the Gothic revival of the twelfth century, and later in the Renaissance, the created world was briefly seen through the image of the World Soul. In their cathedrals the Gothic architects reflected their vision of a sacred order within creation that belongs to this feminine divine principle. The World Soul animated and formed nature according to divine proportions, which the architects, masons, sculptors, and stained glass artists imaged in their creations.(3 Again during the Renaissance nature was briefly seen as a living spiritual essence:
When I was born into this world, my family was part Catholic, part Methodist. My mother chose to “enlist” me into the Catholic branch. From the age of naught until twelve, I went to Sunday services, attended school on Saturday, and was even baptized. At that time, I viewed religion and God as boring and distant, something not to be concerned about. I did what my elders told me to do, because my desire was not to be questioned. But as I aged, I did question, until eventually I decided religion was not for me. I became atheist. But the ideas learned through my religious education stayed with me: how to treat one another, what not to do, and most importantly, that there is more to our existence than the physical world. That last one was the most influential for me, and by the age of sixteen, I was firmly in the agnostic category.
I believed there was more out there, but I had no proof. Today, I call myself spiritual as a way to say Yes, I have proof of the existence of more. No, I don’t believe in a vengeful god. Yes, I agree that we should treat each other with compassion and love. Yes, there is a Source and we all come from there. So while I no longer follow a specific religion, religion did act as a starting point, planting the suggestion in me that I am more than what I see. As someone who does not look favorably on religion, I had to think about this article before I wrote it. I acknowledge that there are pros and cons, but I needed to share my thoughts carefully without sounding as though I am trashing the subject. If I fail to sound neutral, it’s because none of us really are. But I will do my best.
There's a general conversation rule that most modern day cultures share. When at the table, avoid discussing politics, and religion. The obvious reasons for this underlying conversation taboo, is that it's not polite to express your views in a neutral situation or gathering. But the real questions is, why these subjects still bring the average person to a point of self defense, and even rage? Weather we are aware of it or not, our religious believes have been so deeply imbedded into us, that we feel the need to promote them, and even defend them at times.
As humans, we need to move. Not just to lose weight or to get somewhere, but we actually would stop existing at some point if we stopped moving. All of our internal and external processes need motion. When one of these processes slows down too much, something begins to accumulate and then, a blockage occurs. In our physical bodies, you can see this happen with a blood clot. What happens when the blood flow stops circulating? When stagnation sets in? Well, eventually, life itself stops. In the same way, our minds constantly move. When you resist thoughts or emotions that you are feeling, you create a different kind of blockage but it is still a blockage. This is why people can feel stuck in old limiting patterns and beliefs: a blockage was created in their subconscious at some point in their lives. In my work, I have encountered patients with blockages in their arteries, chakras and spiritual paths. These blockages may have a different clinical makeup, but essentially they are all the same. When there is flow in our bodies and our lives, there is ease.
"Hey Mr., can you spare some change?" You feel the change of seasons? Don't go changing. I can't believe they changed my password again. The change in time always messes me up, can't figure out which way to turn my clock, forwards or backwards. I didn't realize they changed the flight time and there isn’t another one until tomorrow. Boy, have they changed!
In every moment, everything changes. The entire universe is in a constant state of flux. Even your physical body is different today than it was yesterday at this time.
Our job every day, as the embodiment of consciousness, is to constantly and rapid organize all of this information coming into our physical senses, and make intelligent meaning of it all. It is the ego that is organizing all of this information so that the world makes sense to us, and makes sense to us according to our specifications so that we can avoid fear and pain and have more joy and happiness.
I wanted to take the opportunity this month, as we look at change, to reflect upon how a few distinct traditions around the world observe the phases of life, and more particularly, the rights of passage within three specific spiritual traditions. Those living in the secular world often let a lifetime pass by, without understanding the significance of its cycles. The cycles and phases of our lives are in fact, spiritual sequences of events, unfolding for our benefit and reverence. The three traditions we will be reviewing this month are that of the Native American (Lakota) with their seven sacred instructions, Catholicism, with the seven sacraments, and finally, Hinduism, and their four Ashramas.
While all three of these traditions may stem from separate cultures, they hold a commonality in their fundamental and philosophical nature of observing a lifetime in a sacred sequence. I realize completely that many reading this are non Native American, Catholic, nor Hindu, and I chose these examples for this very reason. I ask that you use these examples, and apply them as you see fit, into your own life’s journey, using them to self analyze, and align any secular ambiguity you are experiencing. Many times, in a life free of religious guidance, we forget to look at the years passing us by, and how we are moving through them like the flower within the four seasons. Ultimately, I wish to bring a new inspiration to you through these examples, and open your thinking to analyze your place within your current cycle of life. Use the sacraments of the Lakota, Catholics, and the Ashramas of the Hindu, to examine where you reside within these rights of passage. After I briefly describe each right of passage, Ill ask you a few questions for you to ponder, regarding your own path. I’m not asking you to accept, or even experience these sacraments, but to simply utilize them as tools to observe your own life’s changes and phases.
Do you know when your being is telling you it is time? Telling you its time for a change in small ways and in big ways? Have you learned to listen to what your being needs from you in order for you to live a good and positive life?
We can all be somewhat hard of hearing when it comes to change. Scary is not even the word, depending on the change. Fear is usually at the forefront of events, and we have the most peculiar way of talking ourselves out of the most wonderful changes. You see with changes, all most of us see is the “change” part, and not what the future holds or the benefits of the change. So what we have to do is take a risk. Risk taking is not an event most people are comfortable with, and when you have to take them in your own space…well that becomes a challenge.
It’s a personal yet profound message were given from Stacye this month. We are challenged to be aware of exactly how we are re inventing ourselves, as we constantly take part within our own personal change. How are we evolving to become our best self? What people, situations, and energetic currents do we surround ourselves with, to allow our reality to spawn positive or negative changes? As Stacye so eloquently explains, there exists no bad or good change per se, only different degrees of change, that stem from the same universal source of constant flux.
Change in the New Age of Aquarius
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” ~ Charles Darwin
Change, an intimidating topic for some who fear what it will bring, that which is unknown. Change is the one thing in life that is permanent. In fact, it has defined and shaped human history since the beginning of time.
Without change, each one of us cannot spiritually mature. We are all divine, evolving souls, who have chosen to incarnate on the planet Earth, to realize our divinity, and to become fully this. This process of realizing our divinity is an unfolding that occurs through change within us.
Sometimes, these changes are rapid and volatile. Sometimes, they are more measured and consistent. Know that in whatever form these changes take place for you, it is the right form for you. It is in the form, and at the pace that your Higher Self has acquiesced to.
You’re Higher Self is that part of you that is All-Knowing, and has your Life Plan. Take reassurance that there is a Divine Order, a Divine Flow, and definitive organizing pattern behind your life and the seeming chaos.
Two years ago, I was on the verge of a tremendous change in my life, one that would see me begin a spiritual journey unlike anything I had ever attempted. This change was sudden, exciting, rapid, and heartbreaking. By the time I completed the major transition, I felt love, peace, and a new connection with a world from which I had strived to distance myself. But I also lost nearly everyone I had ever cared about, including my wife.
At the end of 2013, I had a secure job as a geographer for a Native American tribe. My wife and I had been married for over a year, after having been together six years prior to that. My stable employment, coupled with her college education, promised a bright future of home, family, and travel. I asked for nothing more. It seemed the most challenging part of life was behind me, and I would be able to coast on my achievements. Boy was I wrong.
It is often said that the only true constant in life is change: we all go through lifetimes full of new beginnings, changing relationships and social circles, new living situations and geographical locales, losing and gaining family members, and on and on. The list of changes is infinite. Yet change itself, the very processes of transformation, adjustment, acceptance, and even personal evolution, are not often enough addressed as fundamental to our spiritual and mental health.
This entire month at Spiritualists International, we are dedicating our message to address issues that are often overlooked regarding change. In an existence of constant flux, we can easily become confused by the many alterations in the course of our lives, but our goal in this issue is to look beyond this superficial tumult, to peer at the bigger picture, so we might gain a deeper perspective on change, both positive and negative, asking why we go through changes, how they affect us, and what they mean at the deepest levels of our spiritual journey.
Music is referred to by many as the language of the universe, and quite rightly so!
Personally I think we often take for granted the power of sound and how it influences the experiences of our daily lives. We know too well the concepts of vibration and how they construct our physical universe, but how often do we remember that we actually exist as an instrument in part of the universal song?
The music we listen to on a daily basis can be seen as a microscopic reflection of the macrocosmic universe, a fractal of the whole, and for this reason ‘The language of the universe’ seems quite appropriate.
Of all the art forms, Music is by far the most mysterious. As human beings we live in a predominantly visual world. Science tells that 70% of the information we rely upon for our survival and existence is visual. We are visually dominant. We rely upon sight, and therefore upon light, to extract enough of the proper information from reality to ensure our survival on every level and on an everyday basis.
In a more primitive world, we might have relied more upon sound than we do now for our survival due to predation; however, in the modern world, we feed our ears lots of ear candy, probably to ensure our emotional survival. Other art forms such as painting, sculpture, and architecture, even dance and theater rely solely or at least heavily upon vision as the primary sense of perception.
Spiritualists International had the pleasure of sitting down with Stacye Branché last week to really get down to business in the matters of music. We look specifically at the meaning of music, both lyrically and its tonality, while exploring Stacye’s exciting career. We also get into the history of music in North America, from its roots, to its present day place on the planet, as a delightful conversation unfolds between Stacye and our own Dr. Joseph Kenneth. Enjoy this special feature from SIM today, and be sure to also watch Stacye's music video “Love Love Love” below. Leave a personal comment for Stacye and share your own thoughts today.
It’s a common practice in nearly every spiritual tradition to use music to show reverence within the ceremonial moments of the practice. Weather we look at Tibetan monks groaning in unison from the depths of their throats high in the Himalayas, a congregation of Christians singing sweet harmonies in an old church house, or the piercing cries of the American Indian at a tribal pow wow, the use of music has no doubt become the central focus of most spiritual worship.
When the mind, body, and soul, work in unison to perform this action of singing, something far deeper than spoken word transpires. I completely understand that some readers will find this common knowledge, and others may be uncovering something new here, but no matter where you reside in the scale of musical understandings, (yes pun) I invite you to take a little explorative journey with me into the far lesser known forms of musical worship.
I want to address the use of music and chant in the occult spiritual practice this month, because I am certain, that the songs and chant used in ritual magic remain both hidden and misunderstood by most. Occult, by definition, entails some thing hidden or unknown, so I wanted to make a few less accessible songs and sounds available to our readers here, in hopes of revealing something slightly absent.
Language is a strange thing. The sounds that resonate from our vocal chords, to vibrate over our tongues, as our mouth shapes their meaning, are more than we generally realize them to be. Most present day languages have modified, transformed over time, been carried across oceans, and embody far less spiritual qualities than the root languages they stem from. This isn’t to say our words have no meaning, and carry no valuable frequency, but it does mean that when using chant and song in the occult world, we generally use a quality of language far greater than our languages of today.
I will be specifically addressing the qualities of three spiritually sacred languages. These will include Vedic Sanskrit (Language of the Gods), ancient Hebrew (Language of Formation), and Enochian (Language of the Angles). There are certainly others in this category of ancient tongue that carry equally valuable meaning and tone, but I will be focusing on these three primary tongues for our purposes here today.
I was guided by spirit to ask Magenta Pixie if she would collaborate with me on a video with music & voice. So I spoke with her, and she mentioned to me that she had a script that needed music to it. The timing of my guidance was perfect. I had watched many of her interesting videos she channeled, and I love her voice and the frequencies she radiated through the White Wing Consciousness Of Nine. She agreed to do the project with me, so I asked her to just send me audio of the script. Her track was awesome, and I enjoyed the journey of creating this music and listening to her voice. As we were in the process of creating this music for the album My Angels Speaks Radio Version, I was immediately going into the realms of unconditional love, joy, and peace of mind, feeling my higher spirit taking over. Upon the completion of this project, I was blown away by my good friend Daniel Saunders, from Catz Productions, for his awesome job on the visual arrangements on the video. What a team player!