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AUTHOR’S ARTICLES

SELF-KNOWLEDGE GUIDELINES

Self-knowledge guidelines

By Angeliki Anagnostou

Self-knowledge is an absolutely personal matter, as is balance which is the goal. Self-knowledge is not an occasional pursuit, but a way of life. The struggle against our lower nature is not a theoretical matter, but a hard, everyday practice. Each one finds his own ways to carry out this endeavor, according to his psyche and idiosyncrasy.

The immersion into the depths of the existence is done ONLY by man himself, and each one goes as far as he can! … He takes some breaks to “catch his breath” and then continues.

This road is very long and quite painful and it would be good that one does not get disappointed by his failures …

Before man can embark on the long road of self-knowledge, he needs to have cleared in his mind which spiritual virtues he must cultivate.

Namely he must have made clear in his mind, the image of the perfect material man – as far as this is possible – because the virtues of this world ARE IMITATIONS of the true Archetypal Virtues that exist in the True Worlds of Agathon.

“§3. All therefore that is found on earth, are not real, but only imitations of the truth and yet not all of them, but only a few… §4. The rest is lies and delusion, and conjectures, constructed like the pictures of imagination;”
[HERMES TRISMEGISTUS, HERMETIC TEXTS, VOL. II, ASCLEPIUS & EXCERPTS, EXCERPT IIA FROM THE HERMES’ SPEECHES TO TAT]

For example: Can the perfect man be characterized by impertinence? Can he be characterized by vagrancy? Can he be characterized by ridiculousness? Can he be characterized by unrestrained garrulity? By curiosity? by violence? … NEVER!!!

What could the image of a perfect person be?
He must be: measured, serious, noble, decent, tolerant, controlled/abstained and prudent. All of these are some, imitative characteristics of Agathon.

Some basic human weaknesses which must necessarily be manipulated, must also be taken into account. Those in their turn ignite other weaknesses, and eventually if man does not control them, he ends up being held hostage by them.

Below, some serious weaknesses will be mentioned indicatively; but man, himself will have to identify his personal problems in order to work on and restrain them.

SOME OF THE BASIC HUMAN WEAKNESSES ARE:

(1) Rage/wrath generates violence, revenge, hatred. Here we have to clarify that wrath and anger are different situations.
Wrath is a long-standing accumulation of negative emotions, dominated by vengeance, hatred, spitefulness and malice. It is mainly caused by the deep feeling of (justified or unjustified) injustice that a man feels he is experiencing.

On the contrary anger, is a temporary outburst when there is an inability to handle a situation.

Anger is a brief reaction or a reflexive outburst to an unpleasant stimulus. It is also linked to the human hormonal system and the weak nervous system, as opposed to wrath which is a more internal situation.

Wrath is a situation that can be controlled with meditation, self-knowledge and prayer.
Anger, however, is never directly controlled but indirectly, by aiming at the source of the weakness that caused the outburst.
Wrath and anger are confused because both situations incite explosions of violence.

(2) Envy and Intolerance give birth to malice and vengefulness.

(3) Greed indicates the existence of a large internal energy gap/void that seeks a way to be filled. The source of the deficit can be identified/located through self-knowledge.

(4) Lust (= intense eroticism) causes degradation of morals and exacerbates prostitution. Intense eroticism weakens spirituality because eroticism and spirituality are diametrically opposed situations.

The ancient scholars identified love with the attractive force.
This attractive force lies at the base of each spiral/vortex.

Decharme in his work ‘Greek Mythology’ says:

«This primeval Eros of cosmogony, is a mythological picture that covers an abstract idea, he is indeed as they said ‘the attractive force».

The spiral is the symbol of this creation, and everything moves in a spiral manner; from the microcosm of the atom(spin) to the macrocosm of the galaxies. In the center of the spiral galaxies there is always a black hole as the ultimate manifestation of the attractive force at the base of each vortex. This attractive (erotic) force leads to the inner and denser part of matter. That’s why when something is magnetized (falls in love), it is lead to the bottom of the vortex which ancient Chaldean scholars called Deep bottom and identified it with dense matter.

«They (Chaldeans) accept the existence of seven corporeal Cosmoi, the first one, empyrean (fiery) (Spirit), after that, three aethereal ones (higher mental, soul, lower mental) and then three material ones (astral, aetheric, physically material); of these, the last one is called chthonian (earthly) and it is the enemy of light (Gr. μισοφαής = ‘Light – hater’); it is the sub-lunar world containing inside it that matter (hylē), which they call ‘the Deep Bottom’ {Gr. βυθός}» [CHALDEAN ORACLES, Gr. Tr. ATHINOGENIS I., GRAVIGGER, P. (p. 242) (ADDENDUM: COMMENTS AND EXPLANATIONS OF M. PSELLUS) ‘RECAPITULATING AND CONCISE ESSAY OF THE CHALDEAN DOGMAS’ (TEXT TRANSLATION IN HELLENIC PATROLOGY (JACQUES-PAUL MIGNE), VOL. 122 (PLACES P. 1891149 C)]

«§18 …And he who possesses Noûs (mind) will recognize himself as being immortal and the cause of death to be Eros». [Hermes Trismegistus SPEECH A]

On the contrary, when eroticism/magnetism (gravity) ceases to have an effect on the individual, being free from these anchors it reaches/ascends to the higher spiritual levels.

(5) Arrogance generates pride and conceit, and stimulates selfishness/egotism that is the opposite of spirituality. The opposite of arrogance and pride is humility/humbleness. Humility however, is not cultivated, but emerges ONLY as a side effect when man unites with his Spiritual Source, and realizes that he is simply a drop from the ocean of Spirit.

Pride and conceit are not fought directly.

(6) Judgement/indictment generates spite and envy

(7) Curiosity most often disguised under the mask of “interest” feeds the person negatively as it triggers a variety of emotions.

(8) Gluttony is associated with the basic instinct of hunger, that’s why for many people, it is difficult to control.

Out of these basic weaknesses, other inferior but equally persistent ones arise, all controlling/manipulating the human being.

Any situation that escapes measure and balance, falls into disharmony and serves the astral forces of this world.

Man, falsely identifies these behaviors with his character, and tries to familiarize himself with them by accepting them.

In reality, behind these so-called “weaknesses”, astral entities (beings) that trigger situations are hiding with their own energy nourishment as their main objective. These situations are manifested in humans as the tendencies of their weaknesses, and when these weaknesses are satisfied, the astral entities that trigger them are energy-fed by them, giving man the percentage of the 10th as a share of satisfaction …

“§10…And this happens because there are many groups of daemons round man, like hordes of various kinds; the ‘co-dwellers/housemates’ of mortals.

And they are not far from the immortals, where from, having received their land by lot, supervise the human affairs and execute the commands given by the Gods. […]

§14. All of these daemons have been allotted the authority over things and turmoil upon the Earth and it is they who bring about all kinds of unrest in social groups and cities (states) and nations and for each individual separately.
For they do transform our souls and dominate over them.” [HERMES TRISMEGISTUS, HERMETIC TEXTS, VOL., ‘SPEECH VI, ASCLEPIUS’ DEFINITIONS TO KING AMMON]

Self-knowledge guidelines

These entities in reality dwell and are nestled inside the astral body of man.

It is not incorrect that many psychic people “see” these entities as spiders, because just like spiders, these entities create burrows in the astral body and nest within them.

As soon as their need for food arises, they emerge from these burrows -where they are hiding- and create in the human “host” the required emotional states in order to force him to feed them with energy. This energy / food is produced when a person satisfies his passion, his weakness, or his lower tendency.

With the death of the human being, these entities are in panic because they lose their source of nourishment. Then they emerge from his astral body and turn to devour it.

These are the goblins the Christian religion speaks of, and this exactly is the description given in the Tibetan Book of the Dead when it describes how the scary deities emerge from the dead one’s “brain” and devour him.

[PADMASAMBHAVA, THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD]
«Oh, Nobly-born Child! Listen without wavering! Now, the eight Gauri goddesses will emerge from within your brain and shall appear to you! Do not be terrified!
From the east of the horizon of your brain, the White Gauri shall appear, her right hand holding a corpse as a club and her left hand holding a blood-filled skull-bowl. Do not fear!

From the south, the Yellow Gauri, holding a bow and arrow, ready to shoot.
[…] All these eight Gauri goddesses, from the eight points of the horizon surrounding the five bloodthirsty Herukas, will emerge from within your own brain and shall appear to you.

[…] After that, the eight Pishachi of the holy lands will emerge and appear to you!

From the east a dark maroon, lion-headed Sinhamukha, crossing her arms over her chest, devouring a corpse in her mouth, and tossing her mane.

From the south, a red, tiger-headed Vyaghrimukha, crossing her arms downward, gnashing her fangs.

From the west, a black, fox-headed Srigalamukha, with a blade in her right hand, holding intestines in her left-hand feasting on them, licking the blood.

From the north, a dark blue, wolfheaded Svanamukha with swollen eyes, lifting a corpse up to her mouth with her two hands.

[…] From the southwest, a dark red, hawk-headed Kankamukha, carrying a big corpse over her shoulders.

[…] O, child of a good family, the six southern Yoginis (4) emerge from your own brain and appear before you!

Vajra the Incorruptible, with the head of a pig, holding a blade.
Santi the Peace, with a reddish water-monster head, holding an amphora.

[…] The dark green, vulture-headed Bhaksini holding a club; Rakshasi, the red, dog-headed daemoness, holding a sharp razor.

[…] At that time, when the fifty-eight blood-drinking deities emerge from within your brain, because of your clinging, you will not recognize these abominable presences and you will resort to a frenzied flee and fall once again into utter misery.

[…] You will feel panic, agony and exhaustion. Your own projections/visions will take a daemonic form and you will continue wandering in Samsara!

[…] O, nobly-born child! Even if the bodies of the largest of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities are equal (in vastness) to the limits of the heavens, the intermediate ones, as big as Mt. Meru, the smallest equal to eighteen times the height of an ordinary human body, be not terrified at that; be not awed! All phenomena manifest as lights and images!

[…] When your own visions/projections appear in that form, be not afraid, for the body you have is a body made of your karmic tendencies, thus, even if it is killed or dismembered, it cannot die!

[…] The master of death will look in the mirror of karma and see its reflections, clear and distinct. The master of death will tie a rope around your neck and drag you away. He will cut off your head, rip out your heart, pull out your guts, lick your brains, drink your blood, tear your flesh to shreds, and gnaw your bones.

But you won’t die, even though your body is cut to pieces. Being cut up again and again, you will suffer immense pain».

… How nice!!!!!!

Self-knowledge guidelines

So, in order for man to escape as many of these entities as he can, he must subdue and dominate them. This is in fact the biggest battle that material man is called to carry out! The battle against his own self. The battle with his low nature!

Egotism!

An idiom of man that is never directly controlled but indirectly so, is egotism/selfishness, and that is why the control over it requires special handling.

Egotism is correctly identified by analysts with the Lernaean Hydra of the myth of Hercules, because when one tries to cut off a head of some manifestation of the “Ego”, two emerge and take its place.

Egotism is a very particular characteristic of human nature because it has to do with the whole hypostasis of material man. It is the driving force behind all his actions in his life.

The Ego is an individualization, which ends up like this (degraded) when ‘something’ is cut off from its Source and tries to survive independently. In order for matter to survive, it has developed the individualized Ego, a diametrically opposite and inversely relative property to that of the Spirit.

However, much material man might want to rid himself of his Ego, the effort is rendered fruitless, lest he possesses the antidote Spirit, since one cancels the other out.

Selfishness/egotism recedes only when the Spirit appears. As man gets refined, he leaves more room for the Spirit within him. When the Spirit comes, selfishness subsides.

So, the diminution/shrinkage of egotism is attained when the Indivisible / Spiritual part of the Soul is increased, as opposed to its divisible / energy part. The greater the percentage of the divisible (energy) part of the soul, the greater the “Ego”. On the contrary, if the Indivisible / Spiritual part of the soul is prevalent, then the “Ego” is small.

The diminution/shrinkage of the ego is manifested through the real profound humility and not through the pretentious one.

THE KEY:

As weaknesses are reduced, the more “space” they give for expansion and dominance of the Spirit.

On the contrary, if these demons are left uncontrolled, they completely dominate the existence of man.

Self-knowledge guidelines

TECHNIQUES

It is helpful to write in a diary the points/parts of your character that need improvement, and start working on the easier ones first and then on the harder ones.

Read these notes regularly, no matter what weakness you are working on, and at the same time always observe yourself.
Working on ourselves is equivalent to body exercises.

We can’t start lifting 50 kilos of weight untrained! We start off with fewer kilos and as we train ourselves, we lift more and more weight!!

The same applies to self-knowledge. We always start with the most manageable weaknesses and as we get stronger in this fight, we face the most serious ones. Also, we do not work simultaneously on all the weaknesses, but on one by one individually.

The average time to manage a moderate weakness is about 2 to 3 years. The good habits in our lives help improve our character.

It is helpful, every night to make an evaluation (perhaps in writing) of the day that passed so that there is a clearer picture of the successes or failures of this fight …  Stay strong!!

can you stand the truth?

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