Cover painting: detail from Flow of Aum by Marlis Jermutus
The Hindu Goddess Lakshmi bestows all that we hold good in an earthly life - love, grace, prosperity, pleasure, beauty, abundance. Because of her distaste for the ancient god Indra's power-hungry ego, she disolved herself in the Ocean of Milk. In the Hindu tradition each new incarnation of the universe involves churning the Ocean of Milk. At some point after Lakshmi's disappearance, the lack of Lakshmi as well as a variety of other cosmic wonders that had grown scace, left the gods and demons so dismayed that they conspired together to churn the Ocean of Milk until Lakshmi reconstituted. Apparently it took quite a long time and an enormous amount of effort but eventually the churned ocean produced Lakshmi, and a host of assorted marvels such as Surabhi the cow of abundance, Sura the goddess of wine, Parijata the celestial tree which bears every flower and fruit one desires, Rambha the cosmic dancer, Chandra (the moon), and Dhanwantri the celestial physician with his bottles of medicines, one of which immediately captured everyone's attention. Dhanwantri possessed a container of Amrita, ambrosia, the drink of the gods, the elixir of immortality. Of course everyone ran for the bottle of Amrita. Only Vishnu had the presence of mind to distract the demons by taking on the form of Mohini, the demon's favorite mystical diva of the time. With a little slight of hand Vishnu/Mohini gave alcohol to the demons while pouring the Amrita for the gods. When things settled down a bit, the three main gods for creation, preservation and transformation, Bhrama, Vishnu and Shiva took a good look at Lakshmi and their hearts filled with desire. Lakshmi examined the three gods closely. Bhrama was already having a difficult time with his consort the talented Saraswati, and Shiva had impetuously claimed the moon for himself when she popped out of the churning ocean, making it awkward for him to take Lakshmi as well. Lakshmi respected Brahma, but probably had enough of creative egos after her experience with Indra. There are many stories of Lakshmi's love and devotion to Shiva, but Shiva was not the stable family man her talents preferred. In the end only humble Vishnu created a balance for Lakshmi's gifts to the world. It was Vishnu who brought a contented smile to Lakshmi's face.
Ware Soku Kami Nari is a Japanese mantra declaring divinity for all humanity.
Cover painting: detail from Appreciation for the Stars #1 by Marlis Jermutus
"The Eastern mystics see the universe as an inseparable web, whose interconnections are dynamic and not static. The cosmic web is alive; it moves and grows and changes continually. Modern physics, too, has come to conceive of the universe as such a web of relations and, like Eastern mysticism, has recognised that this web is intrinsically dynamic. The dynamic aspect of matter arises in quantum theory as a consequence of the wave-nature of subatomic particles, and is even more essential in relativity theory, where the unification of space and time implies that the being of matter cannot be separated from its activity. The properties of subatomic particles can therefore only be understood in a dynamic context; in terms of movement, interaction and transformation."
- Fritjof Capra
"The wave/particle complimentary seems to mirror the existential experience of consciousness . . . The ordinary consciousness of the "self"— in the vernacular sense, with no technical philosophic doctrine implied— is much like a particle: "solid," "isolated," "real," encapsulated by the skin and more or less static. When one becomes detached enough for neurological self-criticism—for revising models as one goes along— the "self" appears more like a process and even a wavy process: it "is" a succession of states, rather than a state itself (as Hume noticed) and these states come and go in a wave-like manner, "flowing" between "inner" and "outer." As one observes them come and go, one learns to choose desirable states . . ."
- Robert Anton Wilson
Cover painting: detail from Dancing on the River by Marlis Jermutus
The aspirant Enters the Ambient Temple, acknowledges Shivakara, Lord Shiva's transformative vision. The vision brings a Dimensional Crossing. Some aspirants may catch a glimpse of Zanoni's Mystical Smile, and discover Dolce far Niente.
Zanoni, written by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton in 1845, is a fictionalized account of the life of the Comte de Saint-Germain.
Dolce far Niente - "the pleasure of doing nothing"
The Greek modes describe a variety of musical flavors. Charukesi Mode, a major scale with a flatted 6th and flatted 7th, has no Greek equivalent. Charukesi is the name for this scale in the Indian Classical music system.