Body Language, Ritual, And Self-Development

In medieval Europe, a man about to be made into a vassal (generally a knight) of a feudal lord went through a special rite. It will seem familiar to you. He knelt on the floor and placed his hands together, with the fingertips pointing at his lord, who would then clasp his own hands around them. At this point in history, as with the pre-Christian tribes of Europe, Christians prayed with their arms open, and up, in a kind of wide V-shape — which reminded the latter group of Christ on the cross. It was only later that, influenced by the rite of making a vassal, Christians adopted the posture of kneeling and placing the hands together when praying.
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The Sufi Mysticism of Music, Sound, and Vibration

Within the sayings and practices of both Sufism and music, one can find all the necessary conditions that are needed to cultivate higher states of observation and consciousness.  Upon the attainment of these higher states, says scholar Irene Markoff, the seeker can finally achieve the desired “spiritual intoxication (wajd) and a unique and intimate union, even annihilation (fana’), in the supreme being.”

In Sufi music, this practice is known as Samāʿ (Arabic: “listening”). It is the mystical approach of practicing “listening” in order to achieve remembrance (Dhikr) of the divine spark in our heart of hearts. Through chanting — and while in a mystical trance — participants reinforce their ecstatic state with the aim of reaching a “direct knowledge (maʿrifah) of God or Reality (ḥaqq).” Continue reading “The Sufi Mysticism of Music, Sound, and Vibration”

Using Your Advantage. Is it Really Unfair?

“Find your unfair advantage” — Marc Ecko.

There are people who have unfair advantages, of course: e.g., parents with money and connections, a psychopathic ability to manipulate others, or perhaps a physical appearance that makes it possible to cruise by on looks alone. (I’m sure you’ve met people in all of those categories.)

But this isn’t actually what Marc Ecko means by “unfair advantage.” In fact, if you read about his career and life, he struggled, took risks, and did the work, going above and beyond his competition. He won out not by finding his “unfair advantage,” but, in fact, by using his fair advantage. He simply made the best of the skills and knowledge he had acquired, over many years.

It’s a curious thing, but people with skill often feel guilty about it — and sometimes even ashamed of it.

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