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Dialogue between Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber

Andrew Cohen:
I have never been particularly interested in evolution.
Initially, after my “awakening” in 1986, I was teaching by following what my teacher had sent me. This was my experience: everything is simply what it is, there is no place to go and nothing to do. The essence of the teaching was the realization of this truth. Beginning and end of the story. I was so sure of this way of seeing things that I seriously questioned the authenticity of any approach to lighting that involved time, the future, becoming.
And I was wary of any teacher who taught something that involved time, the future and becoming.
However, I gradually began to notice that although many of my students had powerful awakening experiences, in most cases they fell, at times, into narcissism, desires, neurotic obsessions, they were still prey to deeply conditioned impulses and limiting.
Then I started to increasingly take into consideration the need for a true transformation of the human being, so that it could become a living expression of that emptiness and purity that is discovered in spiritual experience.
Gradually, over time, I became increasingly interested in developing the ability to embody and
to manifest beauty, perfection and totality as human beings in the world, and not only to the experience of the blessing of the pure Being.

This was the beginning. After a few years, something new began to emerge in my teaching. The first time I became aware of it was when I started conducting retreats in India. One morning, while I was talking, something suddenly exploded in me. I don’t know where it came from: an impetuous passion sprang from me spontaneously pressing for this miracle, this mystery beyond time to manifest itself precisely in this world, in ourselves, as ourselves. This caused disturbance and inspiration for many people and also for me. It happened more than ten years ago.
Since then, it became increasingly clear to me that this passion was a passion for something that went beyond lighting in the traditional, oriental sense, meaning as a vertical ascent: free yourself from the wheel of becoming, completely transcending this world without leaving a trace . What is important to me is different now. The perhaps ambitious goal is not only to transcend the world but to transform it, to become an agent of the evolutionary impulse. While the ego surrenders to this impulse, our being is literally pervaded by a divine and luminous energy and a passion to transform the world and the whole universe for a cause that has nothing to do with ourselves.

This change of vision, which occurred many years ago, was one of the reasons that made me move away from my teacher. Whenever my teacher listened to me say that it was possible to accomplish something other than just getting rid of the wheel of becoming and simply Being, he thought I was corrupting and distorting his teaching. At some point, I began to conclude that there must be various types of lighting, different kinds of awakening, with different results too.

I began to call this teaching ‘evolutionary enlightenment’ or ‘Impersonal evolutionary lighting’. In this teaching, the emphasis is placed not only on the realization of emptiness and pure Being, but also on the need to become a radically and profoundly transformed human being, therefore capable of manifesting its highest evolutionary potential in the world. I had never really had the opportunity to come across a vision like this. Only recently, in fact, when I discovered Sri Aurobindo and Tailhard de Chardin while doing research for our magazine, did I begin to find echoes of my own passion. A passion for evolutionary lighting, for an awakening to the truth of who we are; and the courage to grant us permission to feel the urge to manifest it in the world with our whole being.

So what I wanted to discuss with you first is the following question: what is lighting? I think it is an important topic both because many people are interested in spirituality today, but also because the traditional definition of lighting may no longer be able to respond to the needs of a world that evolves over time, the one in which we are now living .

Ken Wilber:
I basically agree with everything you said, of course on some things my approach is different. You have exposed a number of truly important concepts. Maybe we can start with what you mentioned last, that is, if there are different types of lighting. Of course, this question may seem, at first, quite strange, because lighting is evidently all-encompassing, timeless, unchanging, eternal, etc. So it’s hard to imagine that there can be two different types of anything that is defined in this way. But, in reality, it is also possible to find in the traditions at least two important lighting concepts that are very different from each other.
One was prevalent during the so-called Axial period (more or less from 2000 BC to 100 AD). Its best expression is perhaps found in the concept, expressed by the Buddhist Theravada tradition, of nirvana or nirvikalpa, which basically means immersion in the formless dimension, where there is no manifestation, no object emerges.
It is a state of consciousness absolutely devoid of change, absolutely devoid of space, of ego, of agitation. The classic analogy for those who have had this experience is that it is a state similar to deep dreamless sleep. You enter a formless state of consciousness. This state, nirvana, was believed to be the highest level of realization and was thought to be completely separate from samsara. The world of emptiness was completely separate from the world of forms. The void was transcendent and timeless; the manifestation was subject to time, it was suffering, illusion, etc. The goal, without any doubt, was to get rid of samsara, the ‘wheel of rebirths’ and immerse yourself in nirvana.

I think that the real revolution in spirituality occurs more or less in that period and is mainly due to two geniuses: Nagarjuna in the East and Plotinus in the West. They breached what would be called ‘non-dual enlightenment’ or ‘non-dual realization’. It is a profound understanding of nirvana or emptiness or timeless or transcendent, but it is also a union, in the sense that it embraces the whole world of forms, the whole world of samsara. Therefore the realization of non-dual traditions is not limited to immersion in a formless state, of cessation of all manifestation, but considers that this ‘formless’ or emptiness is one with all the forms that emerge moment by moment.
This state, sahaj, is, we can say, both the basis of the bodhisattva vow and the beginning of the tantric tradition. The idea was that somehow the world of samsara and the world of nirvana should go hand in hand together or it would not be possible to have a full, complete, integral being. Therefore, it is always true that dharmakaya or emptiness or perfectly formless dimension is not involved in the passage of time, but this is only half the picture. The other half is that there is the current of time, there is development, development, evolution, transformation.
The key to all this is the understanding that the only way to completely and permanently achieve the void is to transform, to evolve, develop its vehicle in this world of forms. The vehicles that are about to make the vacuum must be able to cope with the task. This means that they must be developed, transformed and aligned with spiritual realization. It still means that the transcendent and the immanent must, so to speak, give flavor to each other.

B.C. : In the vehicle?

K.W. : Exactly

B.C. : Then you are saying that the vehicle has to improve.

K.W. : Yes. Sometimes it happens that some people have some form of immersion in the void, a radical realization of this infinite, boundless consciousness which is their true reality, then, as you said, this state is exhausted, and those people they return to the usual egoic vehicle, they are again the usual contract, and they don’t know what happened. Yet they do not want to undertake a real practice or a transformative journey that would make their vehicle capable of maintaining that realization in a more complete and lasting way. This is a shame because, as you said, they exclude themselves from the world of forms, from the possibility of being involved in this world and, at the same time, from what it is necessary to do to become a transparent vehicle of the timeless.

The best thing for a non-dual or integral realization is to work on both planes. In a sense, we have to perfect our ability to completely realize the void moment by moment, but it is the void from which all forms emerge, moment after moment.
Therefore we must have a total acceptance of the world of samsara as a vehicle and expression of nirvana itself. Unfortunately, I think you’re right when you say that many non-dual schools don’t respect this understanding.
We tend to favor one horn or the other of the equation: or we immerse ourselves in samsara, that is the sensorimotor sphere – nature is spirit, every manifest object is considered spirit, etc. – or you dive into the dimension in which there is cessation of all forms. While what I believe you and I are interested in and certainly what we are talking about here is a realization that embraces both emptiness and form. And let me add this: evolution takes place in the world of forms, not in that of emptiness.
This then means that evolution is the other half of the equation, so if we do not contribute to advance evolution, we cannot even fully realize that emptiness that we are.

B.C. : Excellent. Now I would like to go further. In fact, in your description of the non-dual vision in which the distinction between nirvana and samsara disappears, in this interpretation of enlightenment, it seems to me,
however, to understand that the idea is still to be freed from this world.

K.W. : Yes, I understand what you mean.

B.C. : Well, then I now face the question of what enlightenment is in relation to the sphere of time and becoming. What I try to highlight is what I call an ‘evolutionary impulse’. As I said before, it is an ecstatic compulsion to transform the world. Now, this push is different from what is said in the traditions of the bodhisattva vow because, in my opinion, the bodhisattva vow is about the commitment to stay around long enough to free sentient beings from this world. But in the ecstatic evolutionary impulse I am talking about, liberation is in fact found through surrender to the imperative of evolving in this world.

K.W. : Not getting rid of it.

B.C. : Quite right. In this interpretation of enlightenment, all consciousness and energy are used in the service of creation itself, beyond the ego. In other words, the vehicle is used for this great and demanding goal. Lighting, the ecstatic release that takes place daily, must be found and experienced directly and consciously only through an absolute and perfect rendering for this purpose.
At least ideally, therefore, if something like this is possible, there would be no egoic motivations and would be constantly consumed by the fire of this cause which would also escape our total understanding, since its climax always takes place in the future.

K.W. : Yes, I agree with the general sense of what you say. Let me rephrase it like this. As I said before, there has been an important change from the religions of the early Axial period that emphasized asceticism, transcendence, cessation, non-dual traditions. This change was epochal: the void was no longer separated from the form, it was realized that the void is nothing but form and the form is nothing but empty, as the Heart Sutra says. Now this new understanding, which leads to Mahayana Buddhism and Vajrayana, did not exist in previous religions. The oldest argued that the world of samsara is spirit. That is to say, immersion in pure manifestation, in nature. Then came the Axial period which claimed: “No, the transcendent is the only spiritual reality, only the ascending dimension, timeless, is the true reality.”
The non-dual approach says: “Wait a minute, you are both right.
What we have to do is find a way to achieve this union. ”
The original vow of the bodhisattvas was: “I vow to attain enlightenment as soon as possible for the good of all other beings”, in fact, as Kalu Rimpoche used to stress: “If you postpone your enlightenment, how do you think you can save someone else, you idiot! ”This approach became more mature in the tantric vision. However the common basis of the two traditions, at least implicitly, was the understanding that nirvana and samsara, emptiness and form, timelessness and the dimension of time, being and becoming, are the two aspects of a realization whole wheat. In the realization you have to embrace both. But you are right when you say that traditions have often not remained faithful to this vision. I also think there is another meaning or a deeper level of understanding of non-dual realization understood as an evolutionary impulse in the world of evolving forms.

B.C. : That’s exactly what I’m talking about!

K.W. : I think the reason can be found precisely in what we said: a sage, say thousands of years ago, could have a profound realization of dharmakaya or pure emptiness, a profound realization of nirvikalpa samadhi, and then also a profound realization of a union with all forms. So the essay in question would have realized both the void and the world of forms and that they are intrinsically one. Emptiness and forms emerge moment after moment as ‘void of all forms that ecstatically emerge’. But nevertheless, the most perfectly enlightened essay, in the sense of sahaji, of non-dual experience, can only be ‘one with’ the world of forms of its time. And that world does not have the knowledge we have today about the world of forms.

B.C. : You mean about evolution.

K.W. : Of course, especially evolution, its exact nature, what it means, what happens in the world of forms. In it we discover an unequivocal trend towards ever greater levels of differentiation, integration, complexity and unification. It is a fundamental understanding because it means that our vehicle in the world of forms is becoming more transparent and therefore more capable of understanding the processes taking place in the world of forms. This changes everything. No matter how deeply enlightened someone could be thousands of years ago, the world of forms then did not include this knowledge. So this was not part of their realization, even if their realization of emptiness was as wonderful as it can be for us today, because emptiness is emptiness, it does not change, it has no moving parts, etc. So we are not taking anything away from the essay lived thousands of years ago, but we recognize that we have at least one more thing: we live today. In thousands of years people will look back at our world of shapes and laugh hysterically at how idiotic we were. In the meantime, we must move forward in incorporating the radical void into the world of forms. The result is a kind of evolutionary vacuum, or ‘evolutionary lighting’. Yes, it is.

B.C. : In this evolutionary illumination the important element, if I understand correctly, is the surrender to the movement of an impulse that awakens and that pushes to participate in a planetary way in the evolutionary process for the sake of evolution itself. Evolutionary enlightenment is this, it is not a simple achievement of one’s personal liberation from or transcendence of this world.

K.W. : Yes I agree.

B.C. : I underline precisely this change of accent from one vision to another. This seems significant to me for the definition of what lighting is nowadays, since the number of people who are starting to take an interest in lighting increases, what it is, what it means. I would say that in ninety percent of cases, if not more, the message they receive is limited to transcendence, personal transcendence. And while usually we are also asked to abandon self-centeredness and to feel compassion, rarely, indeed never, we refer to that revolutionary and impetuous passion for the total transformation of the world, that push that arises from the spiritual heart when it is truly liberated from the world. I mean that very often what is served is a tepid and strange mixture of ancient lighting concepts seasoned with ideas on compassion based on “new age” type emotions. In this way, a path is indicated which will not lead to achieving the fire of true liberation.

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Spirituality

Taj Mahal – An Amazing Love Story

The construction of the Taj Mahal (literally translated from the Persian language as “Crown of the Mughals”) was associated with the name of the beautiful woman – Arjumand Bano Begum, or Mumtaz – “Queen of the Soul”.

At 200 kilometers from the capital of India, Delhi, on the high bank of the Ganges tributary – the Jamna – is the five-domed Taj Mahal mausoleum. The white-stone structure surprises and delights with its perfect proportions, an elegant mosaic of colored precious and semiprecious stones, and skillful carving.

The Taj Mahal is a whole complex of buildings. Taj – white, and around the fortress and minarets of red sandstone. The mausoleum has absolute proportions: on the base and height – an exact square, each side of which is 75 meters. Several paths stretch to the Taj Mahal, between them there is water in the pools, first the entire mausoleum is reflected in it, and as it approaches, its individual details.

Local architects worked together with artists from Damascus, gardeners from Constantinople and Samarkand to create the Indian pearl. When creating the interior, interior decoration of the mausoleum, the craftsmen used the best varieties of white, occasionally yellow and black marble, mother of pearl, jasper, agate, emeralds, aquamarines, pearls and hundreds of other stones.

QUEEN OF THE SOUL

Arjumand Bano Begum was only 19 years old when she became the second wife of Prince Guram (future Shah-Jahan). And although the prince had several more wives and many concubines, Mumtaz won the heart of her husband and undividedly owned him until the end of his days. It was an unusually romantic and poetic love. Mumtaz was not only his most beloved wife, but his most faithful companion since the turbulent times when Prince Guram wandered around the world, pursued by his father Jahangir, when he obtained his throne in a fierce struggle with his brothers. In 1627, Guram, having gained a final victory over them and seized his father’s throne, assumed the title of emperor, Shah-Jahan – “ruler of the world”. Mumtaz finally became the queen of India.

Shah Jahan adored his wife and each time he honored her, held lavish receptions and grandiose celebrations in her honor, without her any important ceremony would begin, and not a single state act would be adopted. Mumtaz was present at the meetings of the State Council; her opinion was almost never disputed by anyone.

The portrait of the queen, painted by her contemporary, has been preserved. Violating one of the strictest prohibitions of Islam – to draw portraits of animals and people, an unknown artist skillfully conveyed the beauty of Mumtaz, a white-faced Persian, a pearl of the East.

A happy life together ended abruptly. In the spring of 1636, Mumtaz suddenly fell ill: before dying, she turned to her husband with a request to take care of their eldest daughter, Jahanara Begum, and took an oath from him – to build a tomb worthy of their love, their joint nineteen-year-old married life. Mumtaz’s death shocked Jahan.

WHITE AND BLACK PALACES

Widowed, he commanded the construction of an unprecedentedly beautiful mausoleum. Shah was presented with many different projects, the authors of which were the best of the best architects of the East. Of these, he chose a project created by Indian architect Ystad Khan Effendi. Following this, a twenty-thousand army of builders was driven into Agra: masons, marble cutters, jewelers and handymen. Marble was brought from Makran near Jaipur, sandstone from Sikri, gems from India, Afghanistan, Persia and Central Asia.

The entire complex of the mausoleum was created over twenty two years. Having fulfilled the mandate of “the queen of her soul”, Jahan proceeded to a new, no less grandiose construction – exactly the same mausoleum, but only of black marble, for himself – on the other (left) bank of the Jamna River. According to the Shah’s plan, both mausoleums, like marital chambers, were to be connected by a high lace bridge of black and white marble. Preparatory work has already begun, but this plan, unfortunately, was not destined to come true.

While Shah Jahan was building a new tomb, his sons fought among themselves. Having defeated the brothers, one of them – Aurangzeb – seized power in 1658, killed the brothers, arrested his father and imprisoned him in the Red Fort under reliable guard along with his beloved daughter Jahanara Begum. Shah Jahan spent the last years of his life in the marble palace that he had once built for Mumtaz, from where he could constantly see the Taj Mahal. Here he died on January 23, 1666. Fulfilling the last will of his father, Aurangzeb the next day ordered his body to be transported to the Taj Mahal and to be buried next to Mumtaz without any ceremony or honor.

UNSOLVED SECRET

The Taj Mahal mausoleum stands alone in its inexpressible beauty on the banks of the blue Jamna, reflecting its clean, proud appearance. He appears as a vision from another, better, cleaner world. “The Taj Mahal has a secret that everyone feels, but no one can interpret.”

“The Taj Mahal attracts you like a magnet. You can stand for hours and all look and look at this marvel, at this fabulous ghost, ascending into a bottomless azure sky. The illumination of the Taj Mahal changes like a mirage. It glows from the inside, changing hues depending on the position of the sun: it suddenly turns light pink, then bluish, then pale orange. At night, under the moon, against a black sky, it looks dazzling white. Just coming very close, you notice that he is covered in the finest patterns woven over white marble, the marble blocks are encrusted with gems and seem to shine through, emitting a flickering light.”

The dazzling white walls of the mausoleum are covered with mosaics – garlands of flowers made of precious stones. Branches of white jasmine from mother-of-pearl shimmer with red pomegranate flower from carnelian and delicate tendrils of grapevine and honeysuckle, and delicate oleanders peek out from the lush green foliage. Each leaf, each petal is a separate emerald, yacht, pearl or topaz; sometimes there are up to one hundred of such stones for one branch of flowers, and there are hundreds of similar ones on the panels and grids of the Taj Mahal!

DEATH NOT SHARED

In the central hall of the mausoleum are two sarcophagi sculpted from white-pink rocks of marble, decorated with floral ornaments. These are the cenotaphs of the dead, symbolic projections of those who are in the lowest part of the mausoleum. There, in the underground vaulted room, dusk reigns. Both tombs with the remains of the royal spouses, Mumtaz and Jahan, like a screen, are surrounded by a white marble carved fence about two meters high, decorated with fabulous flowers – red, yellow, blue, along with green garlands, interlacing of marble leaves and flowers.

What is the power of the impression made by the Taj Mahal? Where does the insurmountable impact on everyone who sees it come from?

“Neither marble lace, nor the thin carving covering its walls, nor mosaic flowers, nor the fate of the beautiful queen — none of this alone could make such an impression. There must be a reason for something else. However, something in the Taj Mahal fascinated me and thrilled me. … It seemed to me that the mystery of the Taj Mahal is connected with the secret of death, i.e. with that secret, regarding which, in the words of one of the Upanishads, “even the gods were at first in doubt.” Above the tomb, where the queen’s body lies, a light burns. I felt that this is where the beginning of the clue lies. For the light shimmering over the tomb, where its dust lies, this light … is a small transient earthly life. And the Taj Mahal is a future eternal life.”

PLACE OF PILGRIMAGE

The creation of the Taj Mahal dates back to the time of the conquest of India by Muslims. The grandson of padishah Akbar Jahan was one of those conquerors who changed the face of a vast country. A warrior and statesman, Jahan was at the same time a fine connoisseur of art and philosophy; his courtyard in Agra attracted the most prominent scientists and artists of Persia, which at that time was the center of culture throughout West Asia.

The son of Jahan Aurangzeb (“the beauty of the throne,” 1665-1706) was nothing like his father. He was a stern, withdrawn and ascetic-religious monarch. While still a prince, he disapproved of the useless and devastating, as he believed, activities of his father. Aurangzeb spent his entire long and hectic life in military campaigns aimed at maintaining power over the empire.

Aurangzeb raised a rebellion against his father, accusing him of spending all the state revenue on the mausoleum. He imprisoned the former lord in an underground mosque in one of the inner palaces of the Agra fortress. Shah Jahan lived in this underground mosque for seven years; sensing the approach of death, he asked him to be transferred to the so-called Jasmine pavilion in the fortress wall, to the tower of lace marble, where was the favorite room of Queen Arjumand Bano. There, on the balcony of the Jasmine Pavilion overlooking the Jamna, from where the Taj Mahal was visible at a distance, Shah Jahan died.

This is the brief history of the Taj Mahal. Since then, the mausoleum of Queen Mumtaz has gone through many vicissitudes. During the wars that continued in India in the 17th and 18th centuries, Agra repeatedly passed from hand to hand and was often plundered. The conquerors removed the large silver doors from the Taj Mahal, carried out precious lamps and candlesticks, and tore ornaments from precious stones from the walls. However, the building itself and most of the decoration remained intact. The Taj Mahal is now restored and carefully guarded.

But today, the Taj Mahal is partially dressed in scaffolding due to the fact that cracks appeared on the walls. The marble Taj Mahal weighs many hundreds of thousands of tons. A huge mass presses on the soil, and it gradually settles. Over the past centuries, as a result of soil displacement, the mausoleum leaned toward the river, although it is invisible with a simple eye. Once the high-water Jamna came close to the building, but then the river became shallow and receded. This last circumstance changed the structure of the soil and also affected the stability of the mausoleum. Now it is decided to plant trees on the banks of the Jamna in order to stop soil erosion.

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Spirituality

Image of the Antichrist on a 14th-century fresco – who painted it and why?

The Antichrist, unlike Christ, the Son of God, is not the son of Satan, but a simple man. In Christian ideology, the Antichrist will appear shortly before the end of the world. Antichrist will be descended from Dan. This is one of the so-called 12 Tribes of Israel – the descendants of the sons of Jacob, who formed the Israeli people.

Antichrist will become an authoritative ruler of people, will arrange persecution of the righteous. This period in the Revelation of John the Theologian is called the Great Tribulation.

There was no specifics in the Bible about the Antichrist, so all further assumptions are futurism based on treatises of symbols and various interpretations. In particular, Calvinist Anthony Hoekema in his book “The Bible and the Future” believes that up to 75% of people will die during the Great Tribulation and this period will last for seven years.

And then, all Christians are united in this, there will be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Last Judgment. When all sinners – both living and dead – will get what they deserve, the righteous will receive eternal paradise.

Christians were afraid of the Antichrist, so he was like Voldemort in Harry Potter – the one whose name cannot be called. Well, to portray him was generally forbidden.

The first image of the Antichrist appeared already in the XIV century. And its bold author – Vitale da Bologna – lived a transitional period from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It was during this period that it became possible to show freedom of creativity.

In northern Italy there is the Pomposa Monastery, which in the 9th century was founded by Benedictine monks. Over time, the monastery turned into a party place for people of art. The walls in the cathedral of this monastery were painted by Vitale da Bologna.


Even closer to the wall … Look at the bottom right … Take a closer look.


Here is the image of the Antichrist on the wall from an old Italian mural of the 14th century. 


Frescoes in the Cathedral of Pomposa, the image of the Antichrist is highlighted in red

Here lived the famous medieval musician Guido d’Arezzo. He reformed musical notation, prescribed a new scheme for the designation of keys and intervals. It’s d’Arezzo that we owe modern letter designations in music, for example C sharp major.

The famous Petr Damiani, a poet, philosopher and theologian, worked a lot in the monastery. Despite the fact that all art was saturated with Christianity (the culture of scholasticism of the Middle Ages!), creativity found its way. People tried to realize bold ideas for their time.

As often happens, where there is art and creativity, freedom of morals arises there. After all, art must be true. Art must find paradoxes in our reality, notice inconsistencies and vividly declare them! But art in the service of the state, in the strict framework of those in power, is already PR propaganda.

But back to our hero. He really wanted to add brightness to his religious canvases and he was drawn to ominous plots. After all, there you can truly imagine the whole storm of emotions!

The monks ordered the painting “The Last Judgment” from him. And Vitale da Bologna painted the walls of the cathedral at the request of the customer, and on the pretext of realism added the Antichrist there. And so this first image of the chief man who was in the service of Satan appeared.

However, customers demanded to depict it as disgusting as possible. The image of the Antichrist turned out to be some kind of fictional, phantasmagoric – more reminiscent of the devil from fairy tales. But the antichrist, as we recall, is a man!

Attempts to portray the Antichrist were made in the future, but these were more episodes. So, for example, the Antichrist was seen by another Renaissance artist Luca Signorelli.

Luca Signorelli. Fragment of the painting “The Sermon and Works of the Antichrist”, 1500

Here, the Antichrist looks like Christ, only with an ominous expression. And Satan whispers his thoughts, who looks like an ordinary petty demon.

And it is this picture of Signorelli, in our opinion, which better illustrates the real image of the Antichrist. He is an ordinary person. Which, most likely, will consider that it is doing the right thing and for the good of mankind. After all, logic is a double-edged weapon, it is always ready to justify any crime with great reasonable goals.

14th century fresco called “The Funeral of Satan”

In the Middle Ages, striped clothing was treated extremely negatively, there was even a case when a shoemaker was sentenced to death for wearing striped clothing. It happened in 1310 in the French city of Rouen. In those days, striped clothing was considered devilish.

Among the many excellent medieval frescoes in the Verona Cathedral, there is one especially curious. It is called “The Funeral of Satan” and depicts an enemy of the human race lying under a striped veil on his deathbed. Actually, it is the color of the veil and the appearance of Satan that attracts attention.

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Spirituality

A yogi who has lived for more than 70 years without food and water has passed away in India

In the Indian state of Gujarat, the yogi Prahlad Jani died at the age of 90, claiming to have discovered the “elixir of life,” which allows him not to eat food and water for at least 76 years, reports NDTV.

According to the assurances of the followers, and there was plenty of them at the holy hermit, Prahlad Jani died on May 26 in his native village of Charada, where he was brought at his personal request a few days ago. For two days, his body will be in the ashram so that followers can say goodbye to the mentor.

Prahlad Jani was known for statements that he has not eaten and has not drunk since childhood – according to some sources, from 8-9 years old, according to others, from 14. Doctors twice, in 2003 and 2010, conducted a comprehensive examination of Chunrival Mataji, as they called a yogi, and the second time he was two weeks under the supervision of employees of the Defense Institute of Physiology and Related Sciences of India. During this time, he did not eat a crumb, did not drink a drop, did not meet his natural needs, while his bladder was filled with a small amount of urine, but then it was absorbed into the walls.

“We still do not know how he survives,” said neurologist Sudhir Shah from a recent examination.

Jani himself assured that in childhood he was blessed by a goddess, after which he left his native home and refused food and water.

A number of foreign researchers questioned the findings of Indian colleagues, pointing to the imperfection of control systems.

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