OUR DAILY BREAD – a blog for esoteric living

For those who see life as a Mystical Adventure

Archive for Esoteric

Book Review – The Meaning of Masonry

The Meaning of Masonry – W.L. Wilmshurst momwilmhurst

My father gave me this book as a gift right before I got my First Degree in the Blue Lodge. The author does a very good job of covering some of the deeper aspects of the Craft within Freemasonry as well as very good commentary on some of the historical background of the degrees and Rites.

The real value in this piece, is the abstraction of the Degree initiations and their respective symbolism and philosophy. While there are many, many books on masonic symbolism (see series on Symbol), this book does a very good job of tying the core Blue Lodge journey together with the articles and symbols (example: a very good section on the Apron) associated with each degree through the Royal Arch. The author’s writing style is very natural and flowing and a sense of quiet reverence and respect is felt when reading it. There is mention and commentary on the further degrees and Rites as well as a refreshing dive into the mystical heritage (Mystery Schools) and alchemical tenets of the Order.

While the original publishing is relatively dated ( 1927; my copy is a 1980 revised edition), the content is no less applicable today as it was then. In many cases, the tempo and subject matter are better suited than most of the more recent published works, for the newest generation of Brethren joining for esoteric reasons, rather than purely fraternal or political ones. As I mentioned earlier, this book does have sentimental value to me ( my father and many family members are active in Freemasonry, Eastern Star etc ), but I genuinely see this work as a solid addition to any personal Masonic library… Knife and Fork Masons included 😉

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Daily Meditation Focus 16SEP2009

Unity and Separation unity

We all have our relationships in life that play out in various ways. Our bankers handle our funds, dentists clean and repair our teeth, family members and friends support our well being etc. In the western world we live in a mode of separation.. church and state, employer and employee, science and spirituality. As the scientific method and industry evolved into what they are today, the notions of compartmentalization and reductionism began to infiltrate our way of thought. In a sense, these divisionary concepts are our models of how we view the world around us, when the fundamental truth is quite opposite.

While our social structure has been hierarchical for some time, our mode of thought has not. When we see ourselves as separate from everything and everyone around us, we limit ourselves greatly and perpetuate a constant internal state of conflict. Although there are times when we want to reach out, to express ourselves and really connect with others, we often times don’t because of these constructed divisions. We create excuses (illusions)…that person is too ______ or I am not _______ enough. Where exactly do you think these thoughts are coming from?

As one begins to see the similarities, the patterns, principles and universal laws that exist in the world around us, it starts to become clear that everything is related. Shared existence is intrinsic to the entire fabric of reality..not separation. As Above, so Below.. or as Within, so Without. Things in the world are not separate.. we perceive them to be, so it appears to us as that they are. This is a very simple concept yet is causes a life of anguish and suffering for so very many people. Separation is the child of ego and while you and I seem worlds apart, we are not. We are limited and separated by our egos, not by our true selves. In regards to our journey on the path and seeing the physical experience as a mystical adventure, what is the relationship of unity to meditation and how do we overcome separation at all levels?

Please feel free to post any comments or feedback regarding this topic or share your meditation experience with our community in the Comments section below.

In regards to our journey on the path and seeing the physical experience as a mystical adventure, what roles do the standing temples and pyramids, left by the ancients, play in our present day Mystery Schools and what lessons are to be learned from them?
Please feel free to post any comments or feedback regarding this topic or share your meditation experience with our community in the Comments section below.

Daily Meditation Focus 13SEP2009

Procrastination and Distraction  Grimoire2

Today, we will shift gears a bit regarding our focus topic. Many years ago, when I first began actively researching and studying metaphysical and occult texts, I focused on the classic tomes, penned prior to the 20th century. A few of the earliest compendiums added to my later, burgeoning collection were The Grimoire of Pope Honorious, Demonographia, Malleus Maleficarum  and De Plancy’s classic, Dictionaire Infernal. A more common foray to the Path, than some may think.

As my private studies and later, more formal instruction, led me to to see parallels between the classic view of demonology and modern psychological theories, I took the next step and become quite interested in the relationships of esoteric allegory to aspects of evolving consciousness. Much more recently, I had a great conversation with my mentor of 20+ years, who mentioned in passing, that he now only identifies two demons: procrastination and distraction. I chuckled and nodded at first and then actually thought about it.

While character flaws, vices and the like plague many people, regardless of spiritual alignment, these two ego-driven aspects of consciousness can prove formidable opponents in any situation, at any step along the path. I speak of this not in terms of simple hinderances in obtaining the awareness of certain fundamental truths regarding the natures of reality and our present consciousness, but also in regards to preparations for Transition. I’ve heard it said several times over the years, that once a person is on the Path, the only obstacle that prevents them completing the Great Work in that lifetime, is themselves. In that respect, these two constructs of ego accomplish their jobs quite well. Anyone reading this text, as published, understands the draw of the Internet and now, people can tweet, blog, shop and amuse themselves with a growing array of digital delicacies that will not likely slow soon.

Since beginning our ongoing adventure within this blog, we have covered a broad range of topics and concepts, and while it is one thing to experience and internalize them during our meditation sessions, it is quite another to maintain a focussed state of mind, depth of consciousness and overall awareness during the rest of our active daily lives. In regards to our journey on the path and seeing the physical experience as a mystical adventure, what roles do procrastination and distraction play in aiding our progress on the path?

Please feel free to post any comments or feedback regarding this topic or share your meditation experience with our community in the Comments section below.

Movie Review – The Science of Miracles

This video/documentary is worth watching. I’ve seen it about a 4 or 5 times over the past year and have shared it with my family and a few friends. Gregg Braden does an excellent job of bringing together totally disparate information and sources to assemble really well thought out arguments and theories, that those on the path will immediately see value in. This is as much about scientific validation of age old esoteric knowledge as it is a glimpse of how science is running into esoteric brick walls and unclassifiable/“unacceptable” phenomena in its reductionist models of the universe. Gregg is a great story teller and a tireless researcher. This video is indicative of the new (not really so new) movement to bridge science and spirituality and the attempt to legitimize sacred sciences. It is good to see a mainstream effort to lay some type of public foundation for future generations in the western world.

Starring: Gregg Braden Director: Hay house;Inc. 2009, 75 minutes

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Book Review – The Initiatory Process in Ancient Egypt


The Initiatory Process in Ancient Egypt – Max Guilmot, PhD., F.R.C.

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This is the first of many book reviews that will be appearing on this forum . During  the past decade, I’ve amassed a fairly respectable collection of esoteric volumes and have decided to review most of them to some extent. At only 35 pages, this book is one of the shortest reads in my collection, but does have praiseworthy qualities.

Max Guilmot was a Rosicrucian and Belgian Egyptologist. His insight into the initiatory process in Middle/Old Kingdom Egypt is evident within the first few pages. The key concepts that are conveyed in this piece rather well are that of the rites and initiations done in life and the Raising of the Dead in Temple context; the final Temple degree initiation. While the Regeneration (reintegration) topic is set in the Osirion, rather than the Great Pyramid, it is clear that the experience of transition was being fulfilled while living. The negative confessions of Ma’at and the preparations of the journey are fairly well visited in this piece. I must note that this piece must be read in a traditional esoteric interpretive way… much reading “between the lines” is required to truly understand the authors intentions and knowledge he intended to impart.

To see the Book of the Dead, (Book of the Coming Forth of Day, Book of What is in the Duat) played out as an intitiatory Rite, the true Rite of Passage, is a welcome change. A quick note: the Book of what is in the Duat, can also be interpreted as: the Book of what is in the Bardo, or even the Book of what is in the Intermediate Gap, for those with a background in Tibetan Buddhism. While that parallel has not been publicly authored before to my knowledge, it is apparent to me that access to that conscious state is a shared teaching between those Mystical branches. For those of you that choose to do so, this rarely documented relationship is an excellent topic for mediation.

Welcome adventurers!

Welcome to Our Daily Bread. Topics covered range from Sacred science, meditation, Kabbalah, Sufism, Tibetan Buddhism, the nature of consciousness, the relationship of ego to higher faculties, alchemy, initiatory & Inner traditions; cultural musings on comparative religion, esoteric commentary, Freemasonry, esoteric orders and the Mystery Schools, book and video reviews, Pharaonic Egypt, our interpersonal relationships and the fostering of personal empowerment for All. This is a different take on issues and realities than is normally seen. Join me for an online mystic adventure.