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There are two philosophers I have quoted below although I'm not sure if philosopher is the appropriate term for them, as you may agree after reading these short summaries. One was a renown Swedish scientist and seer, the other an Armenian esoteric mystic, yet they were both much, much more than that.
The reason I created this post is because both greatly influenced and informed my thinking after years of study, and so it was natural that many of these insights would surface throughout the Elysium's Passage series. Several of these quotes, I believe are profound glimpes into the meaning of life and our afterlife.
For many, Emanuel Swedenborg and G I Gurdjieff have provided the world with unique philosophical, psychological and theological perspectives, although less so within traditional academic circles where little is known about them. My opinion is that the unconventional knowledge and understanding of these two remains far beyond the scope of humanity's general consciousness at this time.
But their ideas and vivid experiences will continue to spread because their lives and words resonate truth and hope for all seekers of wisdom. And because of that, I believe their perspectives and deep insights into the human experience will continue to ripple throughout the world.
Tell me if you agree with me in the comment section at the end of this post. NGM
GEORGES IVANOVICH GURDJIEFF
Gurdjieff lived his early years in the Transcaucasia region which had a rich ethnic mix comprised of Georgians, Armenians, Kurds, Greeks, Turks and Russians.
At the age of fifteen he set out to wander the world, gleaning whatever ancient wisdom he could in scattered Sufi ashrams, Christian churches, Buddhist temples and assorted mystery schools across central Asia, Egypt, Rome, Iran, Russia and going as far as Tibet.
He later established himself back home in Russia where he taught his esoterica under his own auspices, often in Moscow and St Petersburg. In the first half of the twentieth century, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, his student, brought many ancient esoteric traditions to the Western world such as the Enneagram. He also wrote certain classical scores for piano designed to awaken human consciousness and introducted Sufi whirling dervishes by bringing several to New York to perform.
They escaped the Bolshevik revolution by traveling on foot down through Georgia to Istanbul in 1920. Each established their own institute, Gurdjieff in Paris and Ouspensky in London, as they taught and disseminated their ideas on the nature of consciousness and other arcane philosophies. For example, teachings in the Forth Way school of thought include concepts such as being present, self-remembering and non-identification, to name just a few.
Unfortunately, concepts dealing with higher consciousness are not well understood or recognized in most universities in the West, since so few know anything about esoteric philosophy. (One notable exception is eminent Philosopher Jacob Needleman from San Francisco State University). Anything written by Gurdjieff, Ouspensky or other students such as Orage, Nicoll, Nott and Bennett are recommended, although certain books can be challenging at times. The Gurdjieff Foundation has several affiliate organizations throughout the world. (For more information, refer to the Gurdjieff Foundation web site.
Without self-knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.
Conscious faith is freedom. Emotional faith is slavery. Mechanical faith is foolishness.
It is very difficult also to sacrifice one's suffering. A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering.
Awakening is possible only for those who seek it and want it, for those who are ready to struggle with themselves and work on themselves for a very long time and very persistently in order to attain it.
Two things in life are infinite; the stupidity of man and the mercy of God.
I will tell you one thing that will make you rich for life. There are two struggles: an Inner-world struggle and an Outer-world struggle...you must make an intentional contact between these two worlds; then you can crystallize data for the Third World, the World of the Soul.
In order to awaken, first of all one must realize that one is in a state of sleep. And in order to realize that one is indeed in a state of sleep, one must recognize and fully understand the nature of the forces which operate to keep one in the state of sleep, or hypnosis. It is absurd to think that this can be done by seeking information from the very source which induces the hypnosis.
One thing alone is certain, that man's slavery grows and increases. Man is becoming a willing slave. He no longer needs chains. He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it. And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man.
If you want to lose your faith, make friends with a priest.
Remember you come here having already understood the necessity of struggling with yourself — only with yourself. Therefore thank everyone who gives you the opportunity.
Better to die than live in sleep.
What is possible for individual man is impossible for the masses.
What is nearest to us is man; and you are the nearest of all men to yourself. Begin with the study of yourself; remember the saying 'Know thyself.'
The only type of sexual relations possible are those with someone who is as advanced and capable as oneself.
You are in prison. If you wish to get out of prison, the first thing you must do is realize that you are in prison. If you think you are free, you can't escape.
Life is real only then, when "I am".
Modern civilization is based on violence and slavery and fine words.
The one great art is that of making a complete human being of oneself.
The crowd neither wants nor seeks knowledge, and the leaders of the crowd, in their own interests, try to strengthen its fear and dislike of everything new and unknown. The slavery in which mankind lives is based upon this fear.
Never will he understand the sufferings of another, who has not experienced them himself, though he have divine Reason Man such as we know him, is a machine.
Only help him who is not an idler.
Don't judge a man by the tales of others.
By teaching others you will learn yourself.
In speaking of evolution it is necessary to understand from the outset that no mechanical evolution is possible. The evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness.
Man such as we know him, the "man-machine," the man who cannot "do," and with whom and through whom everything "happens," cannot have a permanent and single I.
He changes as quickly as his thoughts, feelings and moods, and he makes a profound mistake in considering himself always one and the same person; in reality he is always a different person, not the one he was a moment ago.
In literature, science, art, philosophy, religion, in individual and above all in social and political life, we can observe how the line of the development of forces deviates from its original direction and goes, after a certain time, in a diametrically opposite direction, still preserving its former name.
A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake. A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering.
The sole means now for the saving of the beings of the planet Earth would be to implant again into their presences a new organ … of such properties that every one of these unfortunates during the process of existence should constantly sense and be cognizant of the inevitability of his own death as well as the death of everyone upon whom his eyes or attention rests. Only such a sensation and such a cognizance can now destroy the egoism completely crystallized in them.
It is very difficult to explain what takes place in me when I see or hear anything majestic which allows no doubt that it proceeds from the actualization of Our Maker Creator. Each time, my tears flow of themselves. I weep, that is to say, it weeps in me, not from grief, no, but as if from tenderness.
Swedenborg was a highly regarded scientist in Europe in the eighteenth century and was closely associated with Sweden’s royalty as a friend and administrator (Royal Assessor of Mines).
In 1741, at the age of 53, much of his life changed when he became exposed to the spirit dimension. First beginning with dreams, a few years later he reported his soul’s heavenly visitations that continued for the remaining twenty eight years of his earthly life. This he described as his spiritual awakening. From then on he recorded his celestial visits that included speaking with hundreds of spiritual entities, not all in the higher realms.
He wrote several books of theological concern, with over eighteen works published in Latin. Most of his works are deeply profound, and for some, perhaps difficult to read. His most popular and arguably easiest to comprehend is Heaven and Hell (1758); a popular introductory summary of his experiences and conclusions.
Given the nature of his experiences and how remote his spiritual discourses were from conventional life, some considered his works insane. But this was largely mitigated by his impeccable reputation as a scholar and scientist with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He was also part in the Swedish House of Nobility (the Swedish Riddarhuset) and Parliament (Riksdag).
On a personal level he was characterized as being a very pious and warm-hearted man, speaking easily and naturally. Many literary luminaries became devoted readers of his works including, Jorge Luis Borges, Daniel Burnham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Y.B Yeats, John Flaxman, George Inness, Henry James Sr., William Blake, Carl Jung, Immanuel Kant, Honore de Balzac, Arthur Conan Doyle, Helen Keller, Czeslaw Milosz, August Strindberg and D.T. Suzuki.
There are several books written on him and his works, many of which can be accessed online.The following quotes are a small representation of some of my favourites.
This I can declare: things that are in heaven are more real than things that are in the world.
Heaven is not located on high, but where the good of love is, and this resides within a person, wherever he or she might be.
We are all spirits inwardly. This is what's alive in the body, not the body on its own.
Such as the love is, such is the wisdom, consequently such is the man In a word, to grow old in heaven is to grow young.
Happiness is in service, from service, and according to service.
Love in its essence is spiritual fire. Man knows that there is love, but he does not know what love is.
A man after death is not a natural but a spiritual man; nevertheless he still appears in all respects like himself.
The inner self is as distinct from the outer self as heaven is from earth. We do need to realize, though, that it is the quality of our love that determines the quality of this life.
Love comes into being through useful service to others.
We are, because God is.
Man, before he is being regenerated, does not even know that any internal man exists, much less is he acquainted with its nature and quality.
In the spiritual body moreover, man appears such as he is with respect to love and faith, for everyone in the spiritual world is the effigy of his own love, not only as to the face and the body, but also as to the speech and the actions.
People who have intended and loved what is evil in the world intend and love what is evil in the other life, and then they no longer allow themselves to be led away from it. This is why people who are absorbed in evil are connected to hell and actually are there in spirit; and after death they crave above all to be where their evil is.
Man, when he is re-born, passes through the ages as he who is born; and the preceding state is always as an egg in respect to the subsequent one, thus he is continually conceived and born: and this not only when he lives in the world, but also when he comes into another life to eternity: and still when he cannot be further perfected, then to be as an egg to those things which remain to be manifested, which are indefinite.
For heaven is within us, and people who have heaven within them come into heaven. The heaven within us is our acknowledgment of the Divine and our being led by the Divine.
Love consists in desiring to give what is our own to another and feeling his delight as our own. The nature of heaven is to provide a place there for all who lead good lives, no matter what their religion may be.
The activity of love and faith is what makes heaven. A life of faith without love is like sunlight without warmth—the type of light that occurs in winter, when nothing grows and everything droops and dies.
Faith rising out of love, on the contrary, is like light from the sun in spring, when everything grows and flourishes. For every man’s soul is in a spiritual body after it has cast off the material coverings which it carried about in the world.
When the topic of religion comes up, materialists start to debate about it with one another and with other groups. The ensuing proposition and debate rarely results in an affirmation of the faith that God exists.
Materialists associate more and more with the evil, because only from God can one do something good with a love for what is good. Every man is received in heaven who receives heaven in himself while in the world, and he is excluded who does not.
Goodness and love mould the form into their own image, and cause the joy and beauty of love to shine forth from every part of the face.
Heaven is such that all who have lived well, of whatever religion, have a place there.
What a man thinks in his spirit in the world, that he does after his departure from the world when he becomes a spirit.
The more one is absorbed in so-called philosophy, the greater one's delusion and blindness.
He who is in evil, is also in the punishment of evil. Such as the love is, such is the wisdom, consequently such is the man.
The first book of the Elysium's Passage series THE SUMMIT is now available for purchase across the world at www.amazon.com
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SUMMARY OF ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE: THE SUMMIT
This the first in a series of five Elysium narrations regarding a young British philosopher named James Phillips who finds himself living in an altered state of reality while still remaining on earth.
After experiencing a near fatal fall while climbing to the summit of a remote mountain in the Andes, James awakens in a new dimension. He soon encounters two mysterious beings who provide him with a very different perspective on the nature of his existence. Over the next year, before his body recovers from the coma, he is challenged to re-examine his understanding about life’s meaning and purpose far beyond anything he previously believed, or could believe.
An engaging and sometime surreal adventure with intimations of impending romance, the narrative explores the most important questions about life, death, reality and our ultimate destiny.
The Plains of Elysium (Champs-Élysées) was described by Homer, Hesiod, Virgil and many other poets as the paradisiac afterlife realm reserved for heroes. As the title suggests, this is about a journey through a passage that leads towards Elysium’s exciting realm of existence.
To read a sample press review at: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15515775.htm
PENDING PUBLICATIONS IN THE SERIES
The Summit, is now available for purchase on www.Amazon.com and www.Amazon.ca
With the exception of the last novel, the other three have been written but still require more editing before publication.
The following titles in the Elysium's Passage series are projected to be released as follows:
THE SUMMIT is now available
SURREAL ADVENTURES spring 2019
MYSTICAL ROMANCE fall 2019
HE ELIXIR spring 2020/21
THE RETURN sometime in 2021