Life after death
Etymology: Arabic : Subtle.
Technical description: they are psychospiritual “organs” or, sometimes, faculties of sensory and suprasensory perception in Sufi psychology, and are explained here according to the usage amongst certain Sufi groups (key terms in this article are taken from the Urdu, rather than the original Arabic). These six subtleties are thought to be parts of the self in a similar manner to the way glands and organs are part of the body.
Among Sufis spiritual development involves awakening centers of perception that lie dormant in every person.
Activation of all these “centers” is part of the inner methodology of the Sufi way or “Work” (Wikipedia)
Phenomenological description: With a certain degree of mystical development, one becomes aware of the presence of a number of concentrations of energy located at certain points just outside the body, where one feels a circulating movement. These are the locations of the chakras. Some mystics have visually perceived these chakras and written down their observations. ( M.J.M.)
Cross-cultural comparisons: There are a number of correspondences with the Hindu chakra system:
Sirr is located in the solar plexus and is associated with the color white. It records the orders of Allah for the individual in similitude to that which is originally present in Loh-e-mehfooz (Preserved Scripturum). After its activation, human being gets acquainted with Aalam-e-Misal (The Allegorical realm – Reflection of knowledge of the preserved Scripturum.) This center is associated with consciousness.
This is also awakened and illuminated by the meditation and one-pointed concentration on it with the Name of God, Ya Hayy, Ya Qayyum. The dream state or by spiritual separation from the physical body “transcendental meditation” it can journey to the realm of the secrets.
Sirr, literally means “the secret”. Emptying of the Sirr (Taqliyya-I-Sirr) is basically focusing on God’s names and attributes in perpetual remembrance or Dhikr, hence diverting one’s attention from the mundane aspects of human life and fixing it on the spiritual realm. The “emptying” signifies negation and obliteration of ego-centred human propensities.
(corresponds to the navel chakra)
Qalb: This latifa is located in the left of Chest, four fingers below the nipple and is golden yellow, for others it is red. In it man witnesses his deeds. By awakening it man also gets the knowledge of the realm of jinn.
The word Qalb, stands for heart. In Sufi terminology, this spiritual heart (not to be confused with the blood pumping organ) is again variously described. For some, it is the seat of beatific vision. (corresponds to the heart chakra)
It is located in the middle of the forehead (between the eyes or third eye position) and is black, to others blue. It’s the equivalent of Kitab-e-Marqoom (the written book). The term Khafi means mysterious, arcane or Latent Subtlety. It represents intuition. (corresponds to the forehead chakra)
The term Akhfa or ikhfa means most arcane, deeply mysterious, or obscure, subtlety. Its location is deep inside the brain or on center-top of the head. The color of this center, according to some, is green, to others, violet. It’s the Nuqta-e-wahida (point of unity) in every human where the Tajalliat (beatific visions) of Allah are directly revealed. It contains information about the hidden knowledge of the universe. By entering into this point, the human being enters the system of the universe and laws governing the universe. This center is associated with deep perception.
It is purple in colour and it too, is connected to that veil in the realm of unification behind which is the throne of God. The last center or subtlety is “accessible only to those who have developed the others, and belongs to the real sage.” (see “The Sufis” by Idries Shah). (corresponds to the crown chakra)
Relevance of the concept: Related to the mind-body interaction.
The concept in mythology: The seven seals of the apocalypse. ( M.J.M.)
Supporting evidence: intercultural validation, similar independent descriptions from Persia and India.
Word definition: Laya yoga is a yoga form in which dissolution of self and merging with the Supreme Consciousness are achieved. Laya is a Sanskrit term meaning “dissolve.” Laya yoga leads to the state of samadhi, which is the highest unification with the Divine. It leads the mind from the state of manifestation and dissolution to moola prakriti, meaning “original state.”
Etymology: From Sanskrit laya melting, dissolution, disappearance from the verbal root lī to dissolve, disintegrate, vanish away
Technical description: What has become known as “Kundalini yoga” in the 20th century, after a technical term peculiar to this tradition, is actually a synthesis of many traditions which may include haṭha yoga techniques (such as bandha, pranayama, and asana), Patañjali’s kriya yoga (consisting of self-discipline, self-study, and devotion to God), tantric visualization and meditation techniques of laya yoga (known as samsketas), and other techniques oriented towards the ‘awakening of kundalini’. Laya may refer both to techniques of yoga, and (like Raja Yoga) its effect of “absorption” of the individual into the cosmic. Laya Yoga, from the Sanskrit term laya meaning “dissolution”, “extinction”, or “absorption”, is almost always described in the context of other Yogas such as in the Yoga-Tattva-Upanishad, the Varaha Upanishad, the Goraksha Paddhati, the Amaraugha-Prabodha, and the Yoga-Shastra of Dattatreya. The exact distinctions between traditional yoga schools is often hazy due to a long history of syncretism, hence many of our oldest sources on Kundalini come through manuals of the tantric and haṭha traditions such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Shiva Samhita. The Shiva Samhita describes the qualified yogi as practicing ‘the four yogas’ to achieve kundalini awakening while lesser students may resort solely to one technique or another: “Mantra Yoga and Hatha Yoga. Laya Yoga is the third. The fourth is Raja Yoga. It is free from duality.” (Wikipedia)
Synonyms: Kundalini yoga
Cross-cultural comparisons: See: Kundalini.
Relevance of the concept: traditional description of a mystical transformation process. ( M.J.M.)
Life after death
Technical description: The immortality of the soul
From Encyclopaedia Britannica:
Human beings seem always to have had some notion of a shadowy double that survives the death of the body. But the idea of the soul as a mental entity, with intellectual and moral qualities, interacting with a physical organism but capable of continuing after its dissolution, derives in Western thought from Plato and entered into Judaism during approximately the last century before the Common Era and thence into Christianity. In Jewish and Christian thinking it has existed in tension with the idea of the resurrection of the person conceived as an indissoluble psychophysical unity. Christian thought gradually settled into a pattern that required both of these apparently divergent ideas. At death the soul is separated from the body and exists in a conscious or unconscious disembodied state. But on the future Day of Judgment souls will be re-embodied (whether in their former but now transfigured earthly bodies or in new resurrection bodies) and will live eternally in the heavenly kingdom.
Within this framework, philosophical discussion has centred mainly on the idea of the immaterial soul and its capacity to survive the death of the body. Plato, in the Phaedo, argued that the soul is inherently indestructible. To destroy something, including the body, is to disintegrate it into its constituent elements; but the soul, as a mental entity, is not composed of parts and is thus an indissoluble unity. Although Aquinas’s concept of the soul, as the “form” of the body, was derived from Aristotle rather than Plato, Aquinas too argued for its indestructibility (Summa theologiae, I, Q. 76, art. 6). The French philosopher Jacques Maritain (1882–1973), a modern Thomist, summarized the conclusion as follows: “A spiritual soul cannot be corrupted, since it possesses no matter; it cannot be disintegrated, since it has no substantial parts; it cannot lose its individual unity, since it is self-subsisting, nor its internal energy since it contains within itself all the sources of its energies” (The Range of Reason, 1952). But though it is possible to define the soul in such a way that it is incorruptible, indissoluble, and self-subsisting, critics have asked whether there is any good reason to think that souls as thus defined exist. If, on the other hand, the soul means the conscious mind or personality—something whose immortality would be of great interest to human beings—this does not seem to be an indissoluble unity. On the contrary, it seems to have a kind of organic unity that can vary in degree but that is also capable of fragmentation and dissolution.
Much modern philosophical analysis of the concept of mind is inhospitable to the idea of immortality, for it equates mental life with the functioning of the physical brain (see mind, philosophy of). Impressed by evidence of the dependence of mind on brain, some Christian thinkers have been willing to accept the view—corresponding to the ancient Hebrew understanding—of the human being as an indissoluble psychophysical unity, but these thinkers have still maintained a belief in immortality, not as the mind surviving the body, but as a divine resurrection or re-creation of the living body-mind totality. Such resurrection persons would presumably be located in a space different from that which they now inhabit and would presumably undergo a development from the condition of a dying person to that of a viable inhabitant of the resurrection world. But all theories in this area have their own difficulties, and alternative theories emerged.
Kant offered a different kind of argument for immortality—as a postulate of the moral life. The claim of the moral law demands that human beings become perfect. This is something that can never be finally achieved but only asymptotically approached, and such an unending approach requires the unending existence of the soul. This argument also is open to criticism. Are humans indeed subject to a strict obligation to attain moral perfection? Might not their obligation, as finite creatures, be to do the best they can? But this does not seem to entail immortality.
It should be noted that the debate concerning arguments about the immortality of the soul and the existence of God has been as much among Christian philosophers as between them and non-Christian thinkers. It is by no means the case that Christian thinkers have all regarded the project of natural theology as viable. There have indeed been, and are, many who hold that divine existence can be definitively proved or shown to be objectively probable. But many others not only hold that the attempted proofs all require premises that a disbeliever is under no rational obligation to accept but also question the evidentialist assumption that the only route to rational theistic belief is by inference from previously accepted evidence-stating premises. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Phenomenological description: The here above conceptualisations of a life after death are speculative theological constructions.
A more empirical approach is the data of Out of the Body Experiences, which gives far more detailed descriptions and are not based upon previous believe systems.
See further: https://marinusjanmarijs.com/evidence-based-approach/14-research-areas/out-of-the-body-experiences-and-near-death-experiences/out-of-the-body-experience/
Synonyms: Survival after death.
Relevance of the concept: The Immaterial Soul
The model of the immortality of the soul is similar to the ‘astral body’ model, in as much as it considers that human beings are made up of two substances. But, unlike the ‘astral body’ model, this model conceives that the substance that survives the death of the body is not a body of some other sort, but rather, an immaterial soul. In as much as the soul is immaterial, it has no extension, and thus, it cannot be perceived through the senses. A few philosophers, such as Henry James, have come to believe that for something to exist, it must occupy space (although not necessarily physical space), and hence, souls are located somewhere in space (Henry, 2007). Up until the twentieth century, the majority of philosophers believed that persons are souls, and that human beings are made up of two substances (soul and body). A good portion of philosophers believed that the body is mortal and the soul is immortal. Ever since Descartes in the seventeenth century, most philosophers have considered that the soul is identical to the mind, and, whenever a person dies, their mental contents survive in an incorporeal state.
Eastern religions (for example, Hinduism and Buddhism) and some ancient philosophers (for example, Pythagoras and Plato) believed that immortal souls abandon the body upon death, may exist temporarily in an incorporeal state, and may eventually adhere to a new body at the time of birth (in some traditions, at the time of fertilization). This is the doctrine of reincarnation. IEP
The concept in mythology: Hades.
Supporting evidence: Out of the body experiences, memories of previous lives, apparitions, deathbed visions.
Word definition: Taoist term for subtle energy operation.
Etymology: The Circulation of the Light is known in Taoist alchemy as “The Microcosmic Orbit” or “The Lesser Heavenly Cycle”
Technical description: The concept in Taoism is called: “the circulation of light”. Here also we have an energy, an inner fire, that begins at the base of the spine and rises to the brain. The Taoist practitioner regulates the chi, harmonizes Yin and Yang, and attains mystic consciousness.
Phenomenological description: The inner experience of feeling streams of subtle energies.
Cross-cultural comparisons: Similar with the Hindu concept of kundalini.
Relevance of the concept: Transformative process.
Word definition: the science that investigates the principles governing correct or reliable inference, a particular method of reasoning or argumentation, the system or principles of reasoning applicable to any branch of knowledge or study.
Etymology: Word Origin & History: mid-14c., “branch of philosophy that treats of forms of thinking,” from Old French logique (13c.), from Latin (ars) logica, from Greek logike (techne) “reasoning (art),” from fem. of logikos “pertaining to speaking or reasoning,” from logos “reason, idea, word” (see logos). Meaning “logical argumentation” is from c.1600.
Technical description: Logic (from the Ancient Greek: λογική, translit. logikḗ), originally meaning “the word” or “what is spoken”, but coming to mean “thought” or “reason”, is a subject concerned with the most general laws of truth, and is now generally held to consist of the systematic study of the form of valid inference. A valid inference is one where there is a specific relation of logical support between the assumptions of the inference and its conclusion. (In ordinary discourse, inferences may be signified by words like therefore, hence, ergo, and so on.)
There is no universal agreement as to the exact scope and subject matter of logic , but it has traditionally included the classification of arguments, the systematic exposition of the ‘logical form’ common to all valid arguments, the study of inference, including fallacies, and the study of semantics, including paradoxes. Historically, logic has been studied in philosophy (since ancient times) and mathematics (since the mid-19th century), and recently logic has been studied in computer science, linguistics, psychology, and other fields. (Wikipedia)
Phenomenological description: Logic is a method to eliminate false assumptions.
Synonyms: rational, reasoning, coherence, sound judgment.
Relevance of the concept: Avoiding making logical fallacies.
The concept in mythology: The horseman
Word definition: Chinese saint
Etymology: Chinese word for Arhat (Buddhism)
Technical description: Low causal mystic.
Lohan is the Chinese term for a low causal mystic,
Arhat is the Buddhist term for a low causal mystic,
Prophet is the term for a low causal mystic within Judaism,
Tirthankara is the term for a low causal mystic within Jainism.
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The concept in mythology: The Sage.
Supporting evidence: Similar independent descriptions used for low causal mystics from different cultures.
Word definition: Dream lucidity is the awareness that you are dreaming.
Etymology: Lucid: 1590s, “bright, shining” (a sense now obsolete or restricted), from Latin lucidus “light, bright, clear,” figuratively “perspicuous, lucid, clear,” from lucere “to shine,” from lux (genitive lucis) “light,” from PIE root *leuk- “to shine, be bright.”
Sense of “easy to understand, free from obscurity of meaning, marked by intellectual clarity” first recorded 1786.
Dreaming: “sequence of sensations passing through a sleeping person’s mind,” mid-13c., (also as a verb), probably related to Old Norse draumr, Danish drøm, Swedish dröm, Old Saxon drom “merriment, noise,” Old Frisian dram “dream,” Dutch droom, Old High German troum, German traum “dream.”
The term ‘lucid dream’ was coined by Dutch author and psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden in his 1913 article A Study of Dreams, though descriptions of dreamers being aware that they are dreaming predates the actual term.
Technical description: A lucid dream is a dream during which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. During lucid dreaming, the dreamer may be able to have some control over the dream characters, narrative, and environment. (Wikipedia)
Cross-cultural comparisons: Early references to the phenomenon are found in ancient Greek writing. For example, the philosopher Aristotle wrote: ‘often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream’. Meanwhile, the physician Galen of Pergamon used lucid dreams as a form of therapy. In addition, a letter written by Saint Augustine of Hippo in 415 AD tells the story of a dreamer, Doctor Gennadius, and refers to lucid dreaming.
In Eastern thought, cultivating the dreamer’s ability to be aware that he or she is dreaming is central to both the Tibetan Buddhist practice of dream Yoga, and the ancient Indian Hindu practice of Yoga nidra. The cultivation of such awareness was common practice among early Buddhists. (Wikipedia)
Supporting evidence: In 1968, Celia Green analyzed the main characteristics of such dreams, reviewing previously published literature on the subject and incorporating new data from participants of her own. She concluded that lucid dreams were a category of experience quite distinct from ordinary dreams, and said they were associated with rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep). Green was also the first to link lucid dreams to the phenomenon of false awakenings.
Lucid dreaming was subsequently researched by asking dreamers to perform pre-determined physical responses while experiencing a dream, including eye movement signals.
In 1980, Stephen LaBerge at Stanford University developed such techniques as part of his doctoral dissertation. In 1985, LaBerge performed a pilot study that showed that time perception while counting during a lucid dream is about the same as during waking life. Lucid dreamers counted out ten seconds while dreaming, signaling the start and the end of the count with a pre-arranged eye signal measured with electrooculogram recording. LaBerge’s results were confirmed by German researchers D. Erlacher and M. Schredl in 2004. (Wikipedia)
See further: https://marinusjanmarijs.com/lists/list-of-different-kinds-of-dreams/
Literature: Books / Articles / Websites:
Book: Celia Green: “Lucid dreaming.”
Word definition: The quality of being easily understood, completely intelligible, or comprehensible
Etymology: 1650s, “brightness,” from French lucidité, from Late Latin luciditas, from Latin lucidus “light, bright, clear,” from lucere “to shine,” from PIE *louk-eyo-, suffixed (iterative) form of root *leuk- “light, brightness.” Meaning “intellectual clarity, transparency of expression” is by 1851.
Technical description: Conscious perception of mental processes.
Phenomenological description: Within awareness.
Synonyms: Clarity, Brightness
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Word definition: the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person’s life, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunities.
Etymology: Word Origin & History: late 15c. from early Middle Dutch luc, shortening of gheluc “happiness, good fortune,” of unknown origin. It has cognates in Dutch geluk, Middle High German g(e)lücke, German Glück “fortune, good luck.” Perhaps first borrowed in English as a gambling term. To be down on (one’s) luck is from 1832; to be in luck is from 1900; to push (one’s) luck is from 1911. Good luck as a salutation to one setting off to do something is from 1805. Expression better luck next time attested from 1802.
Technical description: The force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person’s life, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunities:
Phenomenological description: Generally subjective feeling related to the circumstances.
Synonyms: good fortune, prosperity.
The concept in mythology: Chinese dragon
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