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This is a sensational find and read! Last Friday, December 14,

Guillaume Gallimard, a respected French literary scholar

and researcher, discovered an unpublished manuscript

written by Michel de Nostradamus–perhaps the greatest prophet

of all times–hidden in a metal chest inside a crypt in the prophet’s

birthplace, in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France. Provocatively titled

Les Propheties Mayannethe Nostradamus predictions, written in

the prophet’s customary quatrains, give a clear, graphic description

of the ‘wonderful and terrible things that will unfold’ as an aftermath

of the Mayan Calendar Effect this coming Winter Solstice on December 21st. 

 

The highlights of the earthshaking Nostradamus predictions on

the Mayan Calendar Effect are as follows:

 

1) The world economy will soon collapse, causing an apocalyptic

     financial nightmare that will reduce first-world economies

     to beggardom and the unexpected rise of third-world nations

     as tiger economies.

 

2) There will be a sudden dramatic shift in human consciousness

     from a destructive Material Age to a peaceful and harmonous

     Spiritual Age characterized by universal love and brotherhood.

     National boundaries will be erased and everyone on Earth will

     become a global citizen.

 

3) A massive red-colored comet will hit or miss Earth early next

     year, depending on the collective wish of humanity to will its

     survival or extinction as a species.

 

4) More earth changes in the form of catastrophes like tidal

     waves, earthquakes, super typhoons, snowstorms, volcanic

     eruptions and meteor showers. There will be meltdowns in

     nuclear facilities, and an all-out nuclear confrontation which

     can still be prevented if humanity changes its ways.

 

5) The impact of the red comet will trigger a polar shift. Most

     countries in the Northern Hemisphere will have a tropical

     weather while those in the Eastern Hemisphere will have

     a cold climate.

 

6) Otherworldly beings in huge numberless spacecraft will appear

     in the sky alll over the world and save one third of the human

     race in a grand lift. The ‘chosen ones’   will be relocated in

     space cities while the earth is undergoing extensive physical

     and spiritual cleansing.

 

7) Next year the World Savior will appear from a country in Asia.

     The Antichirst will also emerge from a troubled  country in

     the Middle East.

 

8) Portions of the ancient Lemurian continent and its spiritually

     and scientifically advanced civilization will rise in the sea between

     Indonesia and the Philippines.

 

9) A new world religion will appear in the horizon and unify all the

     races and peoples of the earth. Wars, diseases, politics, economic

     monopolies, racism, dogma, and superstition will be thing of the

     past. Extra sensory abilities like clairvoyance, telepathy, psychometry

     and psychic healing will unfold in man.

    

10) Science will soon stumble into a revolutionary principle

     of travelling vast distances in space through a ‘time machine’.

 

11)  A kind of cybernetics technology will lead to the creation of a new

        hybrid humanity with artificial organs that will endow man with 

        superhuman strength and enable him to live indefinitely.

 

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HUMAN ENIGMA

by Felix Fojas


Man is a wonderful enigma and mystery. He has a seven fold nature consisting of a physical body, an emotional or astral body, a mental body, a causal body, a Christ body, a buddhic body, and a paranirvanic body or body of bliss. Yet man in his ordinary state of consciousness is asleep, for he is completely under the control of his false self or ego. In turn the ego is subdivided into a physical or instinctive ego, an emotional ego, and an intellectual ego–which are fragmented and uncoordinated, each seeking to dominate the rest.

Thus man lives in a hazy, subjective world, a shadowy globe which is molded out of pure fantasy and illusion, forever preventing him from perceiving objective reality as is. No wonder the life of a man in a waking-sleep is a continuous nightmare and he cannot experience lasting peace and contentment in both his internal and external life. Neither can he attain wisdom and enlightenment in such a state of sleep where total chaos, duality, contradiction, and suffering reign.

The key to man’s redemption is how to transcend his threefold ego which is imaginary and does not exist in reality. This can be achieved through a two-step technique or method called self-observation and self-awareness. Just by acting as an impartial or non-judgmental witness to the petty activities of his ego, one can practice self-observation. If he makes a regular practice of self-observation from moment to moment–which can extend from a few months to many years–something that varies from one person to another, he gradually awakens into superconsciousness.

There are seven types of humanity. Man number one is primitive man who is governed by his animal instincts. Man number two is the emotional type who feels and gropes at life. Then there is man number three, the thinker who uses his mind as his eyes to observe and understand the world.

On the opposite end of the pole is man number four, five, six and seven. Man number four is one who through self-observation and self-awareness, has partially awakened his authentic self and whose power of intuition guides his life towards achieving objective consciousness of his spiritual nature. Man number five is one who has fully awakened and has attained objective consciousness of his own being. At this point he becomes immortal and is conferred the title of Master of Wisdom, the Christ-Man, one who has learned all the lessons he needs to learn on Planet Earth and has liberated himself from the Wheel of Birth and Rebirth. Man number six is one who has achieved objective consciousness of both his own being and the universe itself. Man number seven is the apex of spiritual evolution possible for a human being in which one has become the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega, and is transformed into a wave of bliss that has fully merged in the ocean of the Absolute. If ever man number seven is reincarnated on Earth, assumes the role of an Avatar, a great spiritual teacher who has taken the path of sacrifice in order to spur all of humanity to a higher state of divine
consciousness.

To hasten one’s spiritual development it is imperative to understand and abide by the following cosmic laws:

1. The Law of Three

2. The Law of Seven

3. The Law of Karma

4. The Law of Love

5. The Law of Abundance

6. The Law of Compassion

What is the Law of Three? It is the cosmic law which is based on the principle that energy, whether physical or spiritual, operates in the universe as a triad composed of three elements. In Christianity the Law of Three is symbolized by the concept of the Holy Trinity composed of God the Father, God the Mother or the Holy Spirit, and God the Son or the Christ. In Hinduism, this is represented by Shiva the Trimurti, which consists of Shiva the Creator God, Kali the Goddess of Destruction, and Shakti which is the Preserver aspect of God. On the other end of the spectrum in quantum physics, there is the electron, the neutron and the positron.

Let us now proceed to the Law of Seven. This law states that the universe, as far as Earth’s humanity is concerned, is divided into seven dimensions or planes of existence. In the absolute sense there are ten of more planes of existence but this is beyond human understanding. The seven planes relevant to mankind include the physical, emotional, mental, causal, the Christ plane, the buddhic plane, and the paranirvanic plane. There is another plane which is the etheric, but it still belongs to the physical plane and is its most subtle part. In turn the seven dimensions are further subdivided into fourteen, twenty-four, and forty-eight subplanes.

What is the Law of Karma? It is simply the law of cause and effect and which is substantiated by and made flesh in the biblical passage “As ye soweth, that ye shall reap also.” In other words, If one sows a negative deed, that individual will also reap something negative in the shape of a curse or bad luck. This is precisely why Confucius, the great Chinese sage, advocates the observance of a strict ethical or moral code, which is encapsulated in the Golden Rule “Do unto others what you wish others to do unto you.”

Next is the Law of Love. Love here requires a definition since there are many kinds of love. By love we are not referring to mere physical or romantic love. The type of love in focus is objective, unconditional love. Or love in a pure, unadulterated state. Which means that one must love everyone else equally, fairly, and with no strings attached. In short, a person must love for the sake of loving without expecting anything in return. Always bear in mind that divine love, which radiates from the Supreme Creator, is the greatest force in our universe and beyond. As such there is no other force in existence, whether positive or negative, that is greater than or can equal the power and intensity of Love.

The Law of Abundance pervades both physical matter and spiritual energy. Simply put it is based on the eternal law that abundance is the birthright of man and he deserves to receive infinite blessings and prosperity from God. However, if a person is not getting his just rewards, it is because something is blocking him from God’s blessings–perhaps the possession of negative traits such as jealousy, pride, selfishness and greed. Man is God’s steward of wealth on Earth. Hence abundance and prosperity is man’s natural state. There is no gainsaying the fact that those who are generous to others and engage in philanthropic causes become richer, while those who are miserly towards their fellowmen become poorer and poorer, Charity, aside from Hope and Faith, is one of the exemplary virtues that benefit both the giver and the receiver.

Last but not least, the Law of Compassion deserves an explanation. This law is based on the sacred injunction that “we are our brother’s keeper.” Thus we must always, as soul workers or as disciples of a true Spiritual Master, care for and serve others wholeheartedly and without conditions. This act of caring for others should not only be exclusive to our fellow human beings, but must also include animals, plants, and minerals–other forms of being, whether animate or supposedly inanimate, which is a misconception because even a humble stone, or a grain of sand, or energy for that matter, has a consciousness.

Aside from understanding and applying the aforementioned cosmic laws, one must simultaneously engage in seven lines of work to achieve a balanced spiritual life and find a shortcut to the Kingdom of Enlightenment. The first line of work is ASSIMILATION. In this work one must take the initiative of accumulating knowledge in both theory and practice in the hope of finding the real answer to the what, who, when, where, why and how of our existence. Of course in this line of work practice makes perfect and there is no substitute for experience.

Objective knowledge or wisdom, which involves soul-understanding and research, must replace subjective knowledge or mere ego-learning. In the words of the Russian mystic George Gurdjieff, “to strive to know ever more and more about the laws of world creation and world maintenance.” In assimilation the keynote is attention. Will power is needed here to concentrate one’s attention single-mindedly upon a subject or object to acquire total knowledge of its essence. One must have the capacity to possess and be possessed by a thing in order to know it inside out, before that something reveals its entelechy or spirit.

The second line of work is STRUGGLE. Struggling with one’s weaknesses is only possible if a man is detached from his ego, his lower self. In order to affirm one’s essence, one must deny or negate the body, the emotion, and the mind-centered ego. Pain and suffering is involved here because doing something that the lower self or ego does not want one to do creates a lot of friction or tension not only in the physical body, but in one’s feelings and thoughts as well. But once a man suffers pain to the limit, he is automatically jolted out of ego-induced sleep into wakefulness in spirit land.

The third line of work is SERVICE. It means helping one’s fellowmen individually, by directing the work to a single person, or collectively by rendering service to the community. The third line of work involves a lot of sacrifice and responsibility. The best way of doing service is just by performing a helpful action without expecting anything in return. This is known as selfless service, which is an effective act or technique of renouncing one’s ego. The third line of work requires a social conscience, a sense of duty or responsibility. There is a need to get something done and one must simply do it. Contrary to the egoistic attitude that one is not his brother’s keeper, if he wants to evolve spiritually, it is imperative that he attends to the needs of his brother with the same urgency and attention he is giving his own personal needs.

The fourth line of work is MANIFESTATION. The work manifests itself. One has nothing to do with the action either actively or receptively. One is just fulfilling a role and one’s ego or personality has nothing to do with it. Action is performed with a sense of detachment. The measure of success in this line of work is if the manifestation is genuine. Only by fulfilling one’s work with quality, with a labor of love, can the Work truly manifest. Note here that work is spelled with a capital “W” which stresses that work must be done by the Spirit and not by the ego.

The fifth line of work is RECEPTIVITY. This kind of work has something to do with one’s willingness to receive help. This is difficult work because very few poeple are humble enough to admit that they need help from others. In sprituality, as in ordinary living, “No man is an island…” to quote the English poet John Donne. Thus a spiritual seeker needs the help of an incarnated physical master, ascended masters, spirit guides, and the company of invisible helpers like devas or angels, to assist him in his quest for enlightenment. Moreover, a person–who has a mindset and whose thoughts and ideas are petrified–cannot be a repository or holy grail for new wisdom .An aspirant must take full advantage of the darshan or personal blessing from a spiritual master, or baraka or spiritual energy that radiates from holy shrines associated with saints and divine beings. It is therefore important for one to have absolute trust or faith in a spiritual guru or master.

The sixth line of work is SUBMISSION or SURRENDER. One must sacrifice the lamb of one’s ego upon the altar of selflessness. To find the Master within, one must surrender to the Master without, to an external spiritual guide. This work requires mastery in the art of letting-go. Submission requires that we unlearn everything we have learned in the past to allow something totally new and different to enter our consciousness.

The seventh line of work is ACCEPTANCE or PURITY. The student of the spirit must accept his being or essence, as well as the essence of other beings without any bias or reservation. One must wholeheartedly accept his or her present condition in life as well as that person’s assigned spiritual mission on Earth. This predicates that one must not compare oneself to others. The practice of total acceptance of oneself and the selves of others ultimately leads to Purity. It goes without saying that Purity is the twin flame of Acceptance. Purity implies that one must be pure in word, body, action, feeling, and thought–in all departments or spheres of life.

The topics discussed here are the golden keys that open the door to enlightenment. There is nothing more to be added or subtracted in order to achieve total mastery of oneself. So let us conclude by reflecting on the sublime words of an unknown ancient sage: “Who is the greater man, he who has conquered the whole world, or the man who has conquered himself?”

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HOW TO ATTRACT A SPIRITUAL MASTER
by Felix Fojas

Like child who must learn the alphabet before he can ever graduate into higher learning, a beginner in Occultism or Spiritualism must learn his ABCs. Moreover, he must take pains in applying whatever rudimentary knowledge he has learned. Apply it not once or twice, but on a regular basis. It is the only means by which he can achieve greater heights

 in this endeavor. For in Spiritualism, mere theory without practice is equivalent to zero. A good introduction to spiritual practice is contained in that small, inexpensive book At the Feet of the Master.

The above mentioned spiritual masterpiece was dictated to J. Krishnamurti, a highly evolved soul, by his personal Master when this Indian occultist was a mere boy in order to serve as a guidebook for all those who are on the path of spiritual discovery. Bear in mind that the pearls of wisdom contained in this book are easier read than done.

For the benefit of the reader who does not have a copy of this book, permit me to give a summary of its contents. According to Krishnamurti’s Master, there are four qualifications for those who wish to tread the path of Spiritualism, namely: discrimination, desirelessness, good conduct, and love. 

To quote the words of the Master:

The first of these qualifications is Discrimination and this is usually taken as the discrimination between the real and the unreal, which leads men to enter the Path. You enter the path because you have learned that on it alone can be found those things that are worth gaining. Men who do not know, work to gain wealth and power, but these are most for one life only, and therefore unreal. There are greater things than these—things that are real and lasting; when you have seen these, you desire those others no more.

In all the world there are only two kinds of people—those who know, and those who do not know; and this knowledge is the thing which matters. What religion a man holds, to what race he belongs – these things are not important; the really important thing is this knowledge – the knowledge of God’s plan for man. For God has a plan and this plan is evolution, When once a man has seen that and really knows it, he cannot help working for it and making himself one with it, because he knows, he is on God’s side standing for good and resisting evil, working for evolution and not for selfishness.

If he is on God’s side, he is one of us, and it does not matter in the least whether he calls himself a Hindu, or a Buddhist, or a Christian or a Mohammedan; whether he is an Indian or an Englishman, a Chinaman or a Russian. Those who are on His side know why they are here and what they should do. They are following the unreal instead of the real. Until they learn to distinguish between these two, they have not ranged themselves on God’s side, and so this discrimination is the first step.

But even when the choice is made, you must still remember that of the real and the unreal, there are many varieties; and discrimination must still be made between the right and the wrong, the important, the useful and the useless, the true and the false, the unselfish and the selfish.

Between the right and wrong Occultism knows no compromise. At whatever cost, that which is right you must do, that which is wrong you must not do, no matter what the ignorant may think or say. You must study deeply the hidden laws of Nature, and when you know them, arrange your life according to them, using always reason and common-sense.

However wise you maybe already, on this Path you have much to learn; so much that here also there must be discrimination, and you must think carefully what is worth learning. All knowledge is useful, and one day you will have all knowledge; but while you have only part, take care that it is the most useful part. God is wisdom as well as Love; and the more wisdom you have, the more you can manifest of Him. Study then, but study first that which shall most help you to help others. Work patiently at your studies not that men may think you wise, not even that you have the happiness of being wise, but because only the wise men can be wisely helpful. However much you wish to help, if you are ignorant you may do more harm than good.

You must yet discriminate in another way. Learn to distinguish the God in everyone and everything no matter how evil he or it may appear on the surface. You can help your brother through that which you have in common with him, learn how to appeal to that in him; so shall you save your brother from wrong.

The second qualification for an occultist is to cultivate the virtue of desirelessness. The aspirant must try to limit all worldly desires as possible, for all selfish desires blind and the occultist cannot possibly devote himself to the work of his Master if his heart is 

cluttered with desires, no matter how high their objects might be. Also, the occultist must have no desire for psychic powers; they will naturally come when the time is ripe. 
To force the development of psychic powers is extremely dangerous. It can even lead to possession by negative spirits or to the destructive practice of black magic.

Another type of desire that the aspiring occultist must obliterate is the desire to meddle in the affairs of other people that leads to nothing good. As to the third qualification which is Good Conduct, the Master of Wisdom made specific mention of the six points of conduct which are as follows: 1) Self-control of the mind; 2) Self-control in action; 3) Tolerance; 4) Cheerfulness; 5) One-pointedness; and 6) Confidence.

The fourth and the most important qualification on the path of occultism is Love. For love is the greatest power in the universe and also the greatest manifestation of God’s divine nature. The budding occultist must learn to love his neighbor as himself. On the cultivation of love, the Master has this to say:

In daily life Love means two things: first, that you shall be careful to do no hurt to any living thing; second, that you shall always be watching for an opportunity to help.

First, to do no hurt. Three sins there are which work more harm than all else in the world — gossip, cruelty and superstition — because they are sins against love. Against these three the man who would fill his heart with the love of God must watch ceaselessly. See what gossip does. It begins with an evil thought and that in itself is a crime. For in everyone and in everything there is good; in everyone and in everything there is evil. Either of these we can strengthen by thinking of it, and in this way we can help or hinder evolution.

Then as to cruelty this is of two kinds, intentional or unintentional. Intentional cruelty is purposely to give pain to another living being; and that is the greatest of all sins – the work of a devil rather than man.

There is cruelty in speech as well as in act; and a man who says a word with the intention to wound another is guilty of this crime. Superstition is another mighty evil and has caused much terrible cruelty. The man who is a slave to it despises others who are wiser, tries to force them as he does. These three great crimes you must avoid, for they are fatal to all progress, because they are sins against love.

In effect a person who strictly follows the advice Krishnamurti give in his book will truly find himself kneeling at the lotus feet of his Spiritual Master. The rest is eternity.

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Man is under the delusion that he has free will.
He earnestly believes that “I am the master
of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.,” to
quote William Ernest Henley in his poem
Invictus. Yet in reality, man can be likened to a
puppet that think that it is its own puppeteer
who is in full control of its life and destiny.
Free will is an absolute concept–it is either
black or white with no gray in between because
there is no such thing as partial free will. Either
man’s will is completely free or it is under the
total control of some superior force or entity.
If man can will or control every minor detail
as well as all the major events in his life, then
indeed he has free will. But logic and experience
dictate that man doesn’t have free will. And if man
cannot even take charge of his life, how much more
can he will his own death? Even if a particular man
commits suicide, there is no guarantee that he will die.
Someone or something might just pop out of the blue,
come to his rescue, and sabotage his death wish.

At this stage, man starts asking the ontological question:
“If I don’t have free will,  who or what is in full control
of me?” If a man is religious, he will conclude that God is
in absolute control of his fate or destiny. But if that man is
an atheist or a skeptic he will say that it is his instincts,
or human nature, or Nature itself, that is in total control of
his life. And if the same man has a psychological bent,
he will say that it is consciousness that is controlling him.
In fact consciousness is all that exists in both the noumenal
and the phenomenal worlds. The noumenal can be defined
as existence in potentiality or at rest, while phenomenal is
existence projected in time and space, which is existence
that is actively being manifested in the physical world.

Hence man is under the absolute control of consciousness
which, at a certain time in his life, will confer enlightenment
upon the individual at its own pace and leisure–without
the man lending a helping hand in the matter. But the paradox
here is that once man becomes enlightened, man’s personality
and the universe where he projects his existence will mysteriously
dissolve. Then something miraculous, magical and mystical happens
through the grace of universal consciousness which can also be
called God. At this juncture, there is no longer any trace of free will
because the concept of will itself vanishes in the horizon and is
sucked into the great void of nothingness.

The supernatural beliefs of ancient Filipinos can be gleaned from the writings of Spanish conquistadores, historians, and missionaries. At the time of colonization, the population of the Philippines was estimated to be 700,000–based on the census of tributes implemented by Governor Gomez Perez Dasmariñas whose term of office only lasted three years from 1590‑1593.

According to Fr. Pedro Chirino, Antonio de Morga and other Spanish writers, the ancient Filipino believed in a supreme being called Bathala, the creator of heaven and earth, and all living things. Under this all‑powerful god was a pantheon of lesser gods like the Visayan goddess of harvest and fire Lalahort; the Bagobo god of war Darago, and Apolaki, the Pangasinan god of war.

Pre-Spanish Filipinos also worshipped the spirits of their ancestors called anitos. They carved wooden or stone idols to represent their gods and anitos, which they kept in their homes and propitiated with food, animals and other sacrifices to bring about success in war, a bountifuI harvest, or a happy marriage. However, not all anitos were benevolent. Bad anitos existed in the shapes of the spirits of dead tribal enemies.

In A Short History of the Philippines, the Filipino historian Nicolas Zafra states:

Besides the Supreme God, there were lesser gods or spirits. They were called anitos. There was an anito of the forests and mountains. They prayed to him whenever they went out to those places to hunt or get timber. There was an anito of the planted field who they invoked for good harvest. There was an anito of the seas. They prayed to him for good luck in their fishing expeditions and in their voyages. There was an anito of the house, too. They invoked him when someone was sick or when a child was born.

Concerning the religious beliefs of early Filipinos another Filipino historian, Gregorio Zaide, in his book History of the Filipino People, notes:

During pre‑Spanish times our people were either Muslims or Pagans. The Muslims were the “Moros” of Mindanao and Sulu, Mindoro, and Manila Bay region. It should be remembered that at the time of the arrival of the Spaniards, Manila and Tondo were Islamic kingdoms.

Being superstitious, they read omens in the appearance of crows, crocodiles, and birds. Comets they believed to be a harbinger of bad luck like famine, epidemic, or war. Likewise, the howling of a dog or the falling of a tree at night was an omen of death. Sneezing before the start of a journey also foretold death or an accident along the way.

To quote Zaide once again:

Many of the superstitious beliefs of our forefathers still remain to the present day. Among them are the following: (1) when a young girl sings before a stove, she will marry an old widower;  (2) when a hen cackles at midnight, an unmarried woman is giving birth to a child; (3) when a pregnant woman cuts off her hair, she will give birth to a hairless baby; (4) when a cat wipes its face, a visitor is coming to the house; and (5) when a person dreams that one of his teeth falls out, somebody in the family will die.

The pagan priests and priestesses were called katalonas and babaylanas, respectively. They officiated in ritual sacrifices, aside from serving as physicians, soothsayers and prophets. The highest priest, akin to a bishop, was called a sonat. It was he who appointed the priests and priestesses. The sacrificial ritual was performed either inside or outside the house, and usually ended in feasting and merry‑making.

Our ancestor subscribed to the concept of life after death. They believed that each individual has an immortal soul that travels to the other world. The souls of good and brave men go to a heaven called Kalualhatian, whereas the souls of evil men are flung into a hell known as Kasamaan.

To prepare the dead for his journey to the underworld, his relatives placed food, wine, gold, weapons, and other personal effects and provisions in his grave. When a datu died, his slaves were killed and buried with him, to serve his needs in the afterlife. In terms of burial practices, the corpse was embalmed, placed in a coffin made of hard wood or a burial jar, and eventually buried in a grave or a cave.

Miguel de Loarca, a conquistador, gives a graphic description of the supernatural beliefs and religious practices of ancient Filipinos in Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas, a treatise on the Philippine islands that was published in Arevalo, Spain, in June 1582. Fr. Juan de Plasencia, a Franciscan missionary who came to the Philippines in 1577, also dwelt on the same matter extensively in Dos Relaciones, which saw printing in 1589.

Miguel de Loarca reports, regarding the belief of ancient Filipinos in the destiny of souls:

They say that there is in the sky another god  called Sidapa. This god possesses a very tall tree on mount Mayas. There he measures the lives of all the newborn, and places a mark on the tree; when the person’s stature equals this mark, he dies immediately.

It is believed that at death all souls go directly to the infernal regions but that, by means of the manganitos, which are the sacrifices and offerings made to the god Pandaque in sight of the mount of Mayas, they are redeemed from Simuran and Siguinarugan, gods of the lower regions.

It is said that, when the Yligueynes die, the god Maguayen carries them to Inferno. When he has carried them thither in. his barangay, Sumpoy, another god, sallies forth, takes them away, and leads them to Sisiburanen, the god mentioned before, who keeps them all. Good or bad alike, he takes them all on equal terms, when they go to Inferno. But the poor, who have no one to offer sacrifices for them, remain forever, in the inferno, and the god of those regions eats them, or keeps them forever in prison. From this it will be seen how little their being good or bad avails them, and how much reason they have to hate poverty.

The occult ritual performed by babaylanas, Loarca vividly depicts:

 The priestesses dress very gaily, with garlands on their heads, and are resplendent with gold. They bring to the place of sacrifice some pitarrillas (a kind of earthen jar) full of rice-wine, beside a live hog and a quantity of prepared food. Then the priestess chants her songs and invokes the demon that appears to her all glistening in gold. Then he enters her body and hurls her to the ground, foaming at the mouth as one possessed. In this state she declares whether the sick person is to recover or not.

In regard to other matters, she foretells the future. All this takes place to the sound of bells and kettledrums. Then she rises and taking a spear, she pierces the heart of the hog. They dress it and prepare a dish for the demons. Upon an altar erected there, they place the dressed hog, rice, bananas, wine, and all the other articles of food that they have brought. All this is done in behalf of sick persons, or to redeem those who are confined in the infernal regions.

It appears that witchcraft was a common practice among ancient Filipinos, as Loarca describes with interest:

In this land are sorcerers and witches–although there are also good physicians, who cure diseases with medicinal herbs; especially they have a remedy for every kind of poison, for there are most wonderful antidotal herbs. The natives of the islands are very superstitious, consequently, no native will embark on any voyage in a vessel on which there may be a goat or a monkey, for they say that they will surely be wrecked. They have a thousand omens of this sort.

For a few years past they have had among them one form of witchcraft that was invented by the natives of Ybalon after the Spaniards had come here. This is the invocation of certain demons which they call Naguined Arapayan and Macburubac. To these they offer sacrifices, consisting of coconut oil and a crocodile’s tooth; and while they make these offerings, they invoke the demons. This oil they sell to one another; and even when they sell it they offer sacrifices and invoke the demon, beseeching him that the power that he possesses may be transferred to the buyer of the oil.

They claim that the simple declaration that one will die within a certain time is sufficient to make him die immediately at that time, unless they save him with another oil, which counteracts the former. This witchery has done a great deal of harm among the Pintados, because the demon plays tricks on them. The religious have tried to remedy this evil, by taking away from them the oil and chastising them.

Loarca also mentions a form of divination or fortune telling used by pre-Spanish Filipinos:

These natives have a method of casting lots with the teeth of a crocodile or of a wild boar. During the ceremony they invoke their gods and their ancestors, and inquire of them as to the result of their wars and their journeys. By knots or loops, which they make with cords, they foretell what will happen to them: and they resort to these practices for everything that they have to undertake.

Native beliefs concerning death are also included in Loarca’s writings. For example, pre-Spanish Filipinos believed that those who are stabbed to death, eaten by crocodiles, or killed by arrows climb on a rainbow to heaven and evolve into gods. Those who die by drowning are most unlucky. Their souls are trapped in a watery grave forever. Those who die young are believed to be the victims of goblins called mangalos

who eat their bowels. For those who die in their old age, the wind comes and snatches their souls.

When someone dies, his relatives light torches near his house. At night armed guards are posted around he coffin to prevent sorcerers from touching it, for fear that it would burst open and a terrible stench will issue from the corpse. When their father or mother dies, the children of adult age mourn by fasting and are forbidden to eat rice until they succeed in seizing a captive in battle. Occasionally, a man, after a relative’s death, vows to eat nothing and eventually dies of hunger.

Fr. Juan de Plasencia takes into account that the pre-Spanish Filipinos had a rudimentary knowledge of astronomy and were staunch believers in omens:

Some of them also adored the stars, although they did not know them by their names, as the Spaniards and other nations know the planets–with one exception of the morning star, which they called Tala. They knew too, the “seven little goats” (the Pleiades)–as we call them–and, consequently, the change of seasons, which they call Mapolom and Balatic, which is our Greater Bear.

They were, moreover, very liable to find auguries in things they witnessed. For example, if they left their house and met on the way a serpent or rat, or a bird called Tigmamanuguin which was singing in the tree, or if they chanced upon anyone who sneezed, they returned at once to their house, considering the incident as an augury that some evil might befall them if they should continue their journey–especially when the above-mentioned bird sang. This song had two different forms: in one case it was considered as an evil omen; in the other, as a good omen, and then they, continue their journey. They also practised divination, to see whether weapons, such as a dagger or knife, were to be useful and lucky for their possessor whenever occasion should offer.

Judging pre-Spanish Filipinos through the eyes of a Christian, Fr. Plasencia categorically branded all types of pagan practices as devil worship and divided their practitioners into twelve categories:

The distinctions made among the priests of the devil were as follows: The first, called catolonan, was either a man or a woman. This office was an honorable one among the natives, and was held ordinarily by people of rank, this rule being general in all the islands.

The second they called mangagauay or witches, who deceived by pretending to heal the sick. These priests even induced maladies by

their charms, which in proportion to the strength and efficacy of the witchcraft are capable of causing death. In this way, if they wished to kill at once they did so: or they could prolong life for a year by binding to the waist a live serpent which was believed to be the devil, or at least his substitute.

The third they called manyisalat, which is the same as mangagauay. These priests had the power of applying such remedies to lovers that they would abandon and despise their own wives, and in fact could prevent them from having intercourse with the latter. If the woman, constrained by these means, were abandoned, it would bring sickness upon her, and on account of the desertion she would discharge blood and matter. This office was also general throughout the land.                    

The fourth was called mancocolam whose duty it was to emit fire from himself at night, once or oftener each month. This fire could not be extinguished; nor could it be thus emitted except as the priest wallowed in the ordure and filth that falls from the houses; and he who lived in the house where the priest was wallowing in order to emit this fire from himself, fell ill and died. This office was general.

The fifth was called hocloban, which is another kind of witch of greater efficacy than the mangagauay. Without the use of medicine and by simply saluting or raising the hand, they killed whom they chose. But if they desired to heal those whom they had made ill by their charms, they did so by using other charms. Moreover, if they wished to destroy the house of some Indian hostile to them, they were able to do so without instruments. This was in Catanduanes, an island off the upper part of Luzon.

The sixth was called silagan, whose office it was, if they saw anyone clothed in white, to tear out his liver and eat it, thus causing his death. This, like the preceding, was in the island of Catanduanes. Let no one, moreover, consider this a fable: because, in Calavan, they tore out in this way through the anus all the intestine of a Spanish notary, who was buried in Calilaya by father Fray de Merida.

The seventh was called magtatangal, and his purpose was to show himself at night to many persons, without his head or entrails. in such way the devil walked about and carried, or pretended to carry, his head to different places; and, in the morning, returned it to his body remaining, as before, alive. This seems to me to be a fable, although

the natives affirm that they have seen it, because the devil probably caused them so to believe. This occurred in Catanduanes.

The eighth they called osuang, which is equivalent to “sorcerer”; they say that they have seen him fly, and that he murdered men and ate their flesh. This was among the Visayas Island: among the Tagalogs these did not exist.

The ninth was another class of witches called mangagayoma. They made charms for lovers out of herbs, stones, and wood, which would infuse the heart with love. Thus did they deceive the people, although sometimes, through devils, they gained their ends.

The tenth was known as sonat, which is equivalent to, “preacher.” It was his office to help one to die, at which time he predicted the salvation or condemnation of the soul. It was not lawful for the function of this office to be fulfilled by others than people of high standing, on account of the esteem in which it was held. This office was general throughout the islands.

The eleventh, pangatahojan, was a soothsayer, and predicted the future. This office was general in all the islands.                 

The twelfth, bayoguim, signified a cotquean, a man whose nature inclined toward that of a woman.

In Myths and Symbols Philippines, Fr. F.R. Demetrio, S.J., describes a kind of psychic initiation ancient Filipino priestesses underwent before assuming their sacred roles:

We have it on reliable sources that shortly after the coming of Christianity (Alcina 1668), the call to the office of bailana or daetan (priestess) among the Bisayans began precisely with this madness, or tiaw that the candidate underwent.

Alzina has interesting stories telling of just this fact:

The future bailanas were wont to be lost for quite some time. They were said to be brought into the forest by the spirits. When finally found, they were seen sitting absentmindedly among the high branches of trees, or seated under a tree, especially the balete.

Sometimes, too, these people were found stark naked, with disheveled hair, possessed with a strength beyond the ordinary.

Invariably they appeared to have forgotten their former selves. A power that they were powerless to shake off had them under its total dominance. Only after these people had been cured of their initial illness, did they begin to function as bailanas. This function made them the specialists of the sacred in the community.               

In the aforementioned book, Fr. Demetrio recreates the belief of ancient Filipinos regarding the nature of the soul, based on the observations of Don Isabelo de los Reyes in La Antigua Religion de la Filipinas. To quote the Jesuit scholar:

Juxtaposing the description of Edward Taylor with passages from De los Reyes in Religion Antigua these points are clear:

1.   That the spirits of the dead of the early Filipinos was incorporeal but possessed of an aerial body which resembled its corporeal owner, and appeared like a smoke or shadow, for the souls are in the form of smoke or shadow; and though unseen, they are audible.

2.   The spirit independently of its corporeal owner possesses personal consciousness, volition and love for its living relatives whom it visits either on the third or ninth day after death, and for this purpose the windows of the house of the bereaved are always open, the entrances are spread with ashes for the spirit to leave its imprint on them.

3.   Though impalpable and invisible, still it manifests physical power in the noises it makes to make its presence felt. The spirits can lure the spirits of the living to lose their spirits and become insane.

4.   That the spirit of the dead can incarnate itself in animals.

Over three centuries of Spanish colonization and Christianization wrought their impact in reshaping the supernatural beliefs of Filipinos. From the ancient worship of Bathala, most Filipinos have shifted their faith to Jesus Christ. From venerating diwatas or mountain goddesses, many Filipinos have become devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. And from wearing charms, local believers have switched to scapulars and religious medals.

Yet somehow the supernatural beliefs and practices of their ancestors still exert a major influence in the daily lives of modern Filipinos. This is evident in the many rituals of folk Catholicism that bear a strong resemblance to their pagan counterparts. This is apparent in many Filipinos of today who still wear charms and amulets, and regularly

consult mediums, faith healers and even witches. Most of all, this conclusion is reinforced by the groundswell of local cults that espouse a happy blend of Christian and pagan beliefs, if not a complete return to the supernatural tradition of their ancestors.


ANTI-POEM

 

I say death to the poem:
strangle all metaphors,
electrocute all images,
poison all rhymes,
shoot all synechdoches,
stab all allusions.

For heaven’s sake, stop being a poet
just for once. Murder all nuances
that confound the reader
and beguile him to tread
a labyrinth of words;
for once, hide nothing from him,

give him the gory head of a vision
on a bleeding silver platter
(it’s not your fault if he
lacks a well-oiled heart).
Yes, give it to him straight
from the subconscious

sans frills, sans artifice,
as visceral as possible—
gash and gore—
the elemental gangrene of speech
dripping with the smelly green
pus of wisdom.

Shove it in his face:
its eye sockets dark and deep.
Its caved-in nose;
a few molars missing,
its cracked dome shining in the sun:
a sonnet’s grinning skull.

 

 

CONSCRIPTION

 

I do not know who conscripted
me into this one-man army.
One day they just sent me an urgent
telegram ordering me to show
my face in the recruitment center
or else. I was neither issued
dog tag, rifle, nor uniform.
They did not even bother to send
me to boot camp for proper training.
Time is the enemy they said
whose army was fast approaching.
I even had to buy my own pad
and pencil. Then they quickly shipped me
to an invisible front where
I fought a secret war with words.

Asia Writes website:

http://www.asiawrites.org/2011/06/2-poems-by-felix-fojas.html

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Sometime in 1988 my live-in partner hired a second maid, a fifteen-year-old girl by the name of Bebet who was stocky, of medium height, with a pockmarked face and a dark, grayish complexion. I would often see Bebet walking absentmindedly in the yard while mumbling to herself. At that time we had a small altar in our bedroom where we regularly said our morning and evening prayers. Going back to Bebet, my girlfriend noticed that each time the maid would pass by our bedroom window while we were doing our mystical invocations, she would cringe and shiver for no apparent reason. At any rate we just dismissed Bebet’s strange behavior as a harmless coincidence.

Barely a month after Bebet moved into our house, strange things started happening. First, a drinking glass shattered in the kitchen without anybody touching it. Then one midnight, while on her way to get a glass of water from the refrigerator in the kitchen, my girlfriend saw Bebet seated on a sofa in the dark living room–as if waiting for someone since the front door was wide open. My girlfriend immediately accosted Bebet, who merely stared blankly at her and shuffled back to the maid’s room like a sleepwalker. When my girlfriend related the incident to me I had the suspicion that Bebet was up to something sneaky. Either she was trysting with a boyfriend, or was under the influence of shady characters that were planning to rob our house. From then on I kept a close watch on our teenage house help.

One day Bebet complained of a toothache that made her left cheek swell. My girlfriend brought the maid to the dentist who decided to extract Bebet’s tooth. Noticing that Bebet was a bleeder, the dentist gave her some capsules to stop the bleeding. Two days later Bebet couldn’t get up from bed and big blobs of blood stained her pillow and blanket. Strangely, her gums had started bleeding again. As a first-aid measure, I made pranic healing passes on her cheek, which stopped bleeding after a few minutes.

A week later another drinking glass mysteriously exploded in the kitchen in the presence of Bebet and my girlfriend. Alarmed, my live-in partner excitedly related the incident to me and concluded that we were under some sort of psychic attack. This was nothing new since we’ve had quite a number of peculiar experiences in the course of our spiritual quest. Because I had been practicing exorcism and psychic healing for many years, my girlfriend begged me to do something about the eerie goings-on in the house.

I dismissed the occurrence with a laugh and assured my girlfriend that there must be a scientific, physical explanation to the whole matter. Perhaps the drinking glass in question was near the stove that must have caused the thing to shatter. Vehemently disagreeing with me, my girlfriend claimed that the object was nowhere near the stove but on a tray near the washbasin when it shattered–surrounded by fragile wineglasses, which were all left intact. Still skeptical, I decided to do nothing about it.

As Gemma, our other maid in her mid-twenties, was cooking scrambled eggs one morning, she distinctly heard some grating sounds in the frying pan. She deduced that tiny fragments of eggshell had accidentally dropped into the pan and were responsible for making the sounds. Without bothering to inspect the eggs, Gemma served them to me on an oval plate. On my very first bite, I heard a crunching sound and felt something lodge between my teeth. Prying the thing loose with a toothpick, I was shocked to find out that it was a sharp sliver of glass. It suddenly dawned on me that I was lucky the glass did not pierce my gum. Prodding the rest of the scrambled eggs with my fork, I discovered that they were studded with slivers of glass! At that point I realized that we were really under psychic attack.

During that time my girlfriend and I were in the process of scouting for a new residence since her mother, who owned the house we were occupying in Loyola Heights, had decided to sell it to a condominium developer. Leafing through the pages of a newspaper one Saturday morning, I saw an advertisement about a lot that was for sale in Conception, Marikina. I got in touch with the real estate agent at once and set an appointment to visit the place that very same afternoon. Unfortunately, my girlfriend and I found out that the lot was not to our liking. It was then that I spotted a two-story chapel nearby with a big sign in front which read: “St. Anthony’s Spiritual Healing House.” I pointed it out to my girlfriend who looked at me with surprise. All of a sudden both of us had this terrible urge to visit the healing center.

Excusing us from the real estate agent, my girlfriend and I went straight to the healing center and were met by a small, fair complexioned woman in her late thirties. She introduced herself to us by her nickname “Lucky” and that she was healer-medium in the place. Aside from the chapel where healing and mediumistic sessions were held regularly, there was also a man-made underground cave about ten feet deep and thirty feet long. At the bottom of the cave was a natural spring that supposedly gushed forth with miraculous healing water.

Without ado I told Lucky about our hunch that perhaps we were brought to the healing center by our spirit-guides for a special purpose. Lucky smiled, nodded in agreement, and strode toward the front of the chapel. She then sat on a throne that was in front of the altar. Uttering some mystical words in pidgin Latin, Lucky immediately fell into deep trance and spoke Tagalog in a tiny man’s voice: Welcome to St. Anthony’s Healing House. I am Calixto, King of the White Dwarves. I know that the two of you are on the spiritual path and have guided you here on purpose. Beware! Your lives are in danger. The dark forces are attacking you. Do you have any questions?”

“You are correct,” I said in astonishment. “Strange things have been happening in our house. King Calixto, please tell me who is behind the psychic attacks and how they can be stopped.”

“I know fully well who is behind the evil deeds. But you must find out for your self—and you will—soon! Use your own psychic ability to overcome the entity. Also bear in mind that there is someone in your house who is being used as an instrument by the entity. Find out who it is and you’ll succeed in defeating your foe.”

“Thank you for your advice, King Calixto,” I said gratefully. “Can I ask another question?”

“Go ahead,” King Calixto replied.

“A relative of mine has recurring asthma. Would you kindly recommend a cure for him?”

“Tell your relative to gather the tiny roots of a pine tree at dawn on a Friday. Remind him to boil the roots for seven minutes before drinking the concoction. I assure you his sickness will disappear within seven days.”

Shortly after giving advice to the rest of the people who had gathered in the chapel, Lucky finally came out of her trance.  My girlfriend and I thanked her profusely and voluntarily donated fifty pesos to her cause. We promised Lucky that we would visit her again hurried back home to find out who really was the mastermind behind the psychic attacks.

It was already dark when we reached our house and food was ready. We decided to have dinner first before subjecting the two maids to an investigation. My girlfriend thought that it would be best if we talk to the girls separately so that they wouldn’t have a chance to compare notes. After getting the consecrated medallion I used for psychic combat and a glass of ordinary tap water, I immediately called Gemma.

“Touch this medallion,” I said. Gemma obeyed me at once and touched the medallion.

“Do you feel anything?” I asked.

“Nothing. The medallion feels normal … just like a piece of metal,” Gemma replied.

Afterward I told Gemma to drink from the glass of water on which I had earlier prayed over and magnetized with a secret mantra.

“How does the water taste?” I asked.

“Just like plain water,” Gemma said in an amused tone.

I felt relieved that the results of the psychic tests I gave her to determine if she was being possessed by an entity or was the under spell of a witch were negative.

“Thank you, Gemma. Please call Bebet. Tell her I want to talk to her alone.”

In a short while Bebet  approached me shyly in the living room.

“Did you call for me, Kuya?” she asked.

“That’s right. I just want you to do a few things for me.”

Bebet nodded and her lips curved into a half smile.

“First, I want you to touch this medallion,” I said.

The moment she held the object, her hand jerked as if it had touched a live wire.

“Why, what happened?” I asked.

Kuya, the medallion throbbed and felt very hot,” Bebet answered in a tone of alarm.

I shook my head and gave her a new glass of water on which I had also prayed over with a mantra.

“Drink this. Just take three gulps,” I commanded.

The moment Bebet drank from the glass, her face contorted into a mask of discomfort.

“How does it taste?” I asked.

“It’s awful…very bitter…just like gall,” Bebet complained.

Since Bebet’s reaction was positive to the two tests, I knew that she was the one King Calixto was referring to and bombarded her with more questions.

“Have you experienced anything strange lately, Bebet?”

“Yes, Kuya, strange things have been happening to me,” she readily admitted.

“In that case tell me about it,” I said.

“The first one happened six months ago. At that time I was still working for a couple that lived in Antipolo. One night my mistress told me to buy something in the sari-sari store. It was already eight in the evening and the road was dimly lit. I noticed that a tall man was following me. I became afraid and tried to walk faster but the man, whose feet seemed to glide in the air, caught up with me without effort. When I looked back, I came face to face with a stranger who had glowing red eyes and a pair of fangs. Horrified, I sank to the ground and blacked out. However, before losing consciousness, I felt a strong energy—which felt like an electric current—enter the soles of my feet. When I regained consciousness, the terrible-looking stranger was gone.”

“What happened afterward?” I asked with interest.

“Since then the strange man started appearing in my dreams and waking moments.”

“What does he want from you?”

“He is very powerful and orders me to do odd things. Like the night madam saw me all alone in the living room. Before that I was already asleep in my room. The man mysteriously appeared in my dream and commanded me to go to the living room and open the front door for him. After that I just found myself in the living room and the door was wide open. Fortunately, before he could enter, Ate came to the rescue and woke me up from my trance.”

“What did the man want you to do then?”

“He said in my dreams that he wanted to give me some candies to eat.”

“How about the strange things that have been happening here, is the man also responsible for them?”

“Yes. He wants you to become afraid and confused so you would stop praying and healing other people.”

“Do you know what kind of man he is?”

“ I know-he’s a vampire! But I’m too weak to resist him.”

“You know it’s a good thing you haven’t eaten the candies he has been offering you, otherwise you would have been under his complete control. I can help you, but you must give me your full trust and cooperation.”

“Please help me, Kuya. I can’t stand it any longer,” Bebet begged.

My girlfriend and I led Bebet out of our bedroom, put a chair in front of the altar, and told her to sit. Then I tied her to the chair and ordered her to keep still. After lighting some candles and incense on the altar, I made circular passes at Bebet’s body with my magic wand–which I had personally carved out of black coral and etched with the appropriate kabalistic inscriptions–to cleanse her aura. At that juncture I invoked my spirit-guides and read the passage from John: 17 in the Bible which I have always found effective in when performing exorcism.

“Relax, Bebet. Now I will I capture the vampire’s soul and let it enter your body so I can depower and interrogate it.”

Bebet nodded in silence. I pressed my lips close to the crown of her head, uttered a secret Latin mantra, and blew upon her fontanel. Almost immediately Bebet had a seizure and sank into deep trance. I felt a gross, powerful energy envelop Bebet’s body and knew that the vampire had already taken possession of her.

“Tell me your name!” I shouted at the entity.

At first the entity stubbornly refused to answer. I uttered another powerful mantra, this time in Sanskrit, and pointed my magic wand at Bebet’s third eye located in the center of her forehead. The entity growled and cursed. Bebet’s head started moving up and down and from left to right involuntarily. Fearing that Bebet might break loose from the chair after her body kept on shaking violently, my girlfriend held her in a bear hug and prayed the Gayatri mantra. A few minutes later, Bebet’s body became limp–an indication that the entity had already weakened.

“Now are you ready to surrender?”  I asked in a loud voice. “Or do you want me to douse you with holy water?”

“I give up! I give up!” the entity shrieked in a man’s voice.

“I command you to reveal your name and identity to me,” I said firmly.

“My name is Roberto ————–.” The vampire answered in a low, humble tone. “I live in Antipolo where I work as a casual laborer in the Department of Public Works.”

“What have you been doing to Bebet?”

The entity hesitated to answer. I immediately inserted a cone-shaped seashell between Bebet’s fingers. The entity howled in agony.

“Stop! Stop! I’ll tell you everything,” the vampire pleaded.

“As a vampire I am not able to prey on a victim every time I’m thirsty for human blood. That’s why I have been using Bebet as my reserve food. Instead of draining all her blood in one sucking, I feed on her little by little lest she die.

“Actually it is not the physical blood that we vampires suck, but its astral counterpart which gives vitality to human beings. Once we prey on a victim, the physical blood turns watery and anemic.

“The truth is we vampires don’t have the power to attack our victims physically. It is the astral body of a particular victim that we puncture and suck energy from while he or she is asleep or unconscious.”

“How many people have you killed?” I asked.

“Many…” the vampire claimed. “Please forgive me.”

“How did you become a vampire?”

“My mother passed on the power to me when I was twenty-one years old. She made me swallow a black shiny stone.”

“From now on you will cease to be a vampire. I will remove the curse your mother has bequeathed to you,” I said and pressed Bebet’s solar plexus.

Moments later Bebet burped and opened her mouth as if wanting to vomit. I cupped my right palm and placed it near her mouth. Then she retched and I felt an invisible stone-like object drop in my palm. Placing my left palm over my right one, I crushed the astral object.

“Now you are free from the curse. Go back to your body and leave other people alone. Repent your evil ways and live a normal life. Go in peace and may God forgive you.”

I uttered a secret mantra, tapped Bebet’s head, and commanded: “Leave now!”

Suddenly Bebet’s body became limp, and her sickly pallor slowly regained its normal color.

“I command you to wake up, Bebet,” I whispered in her ear.

As if responding to a post-hypnotic suggestion, Bebet immediately woke up and I gently untied her from the chair. When she realized what had happened, Bebet broke into tears and thanked my wife and I for releasing her from the bloody clutches of a vampire. Based on my own knowledge and experience, there are two types of vampires- the conscious and the unconscious. Conscious vampires are just like Roberto in the aforementioned story I have related. On the other hand, unconscious vampires are ordinary people who lack vitality and involuntarily siphon energy from healthy individuals as reflex mechanism to recover their lost energy.

It is a common occurrence that one bumps into a stranger in a public place and right after the seemingly harmless encounter, one feels lethargic and drained of energy. This is a glaring case of unconscious vampirism that leads to a temporary loss of energy on the part of the victim. This phenomenon is commonly referred to in Tagalog as “nausog” or “nabati.”

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 HOW TO RADIATE INNER BEAUTY

(Originally appeared in Magical  Blend’s Natural Health & Beauty Magazine)

 by Felix Fojas

Beauty is a word or concept that lends itself to multiple definitions, a legion of denotations and connotations, a swarm of metaphors and symbols, and seemingly wears the innumerable faces and disguises of Mata Hari herself, the queen of spies, instead of just possessing a single countenance and a set of few, fixed characteristics. Which inevitably entices us to pry open the Pandora’s box of our curiosity, unleashing a host of provocative questions like: Is beauty a purely aesthetic experience? Is it exclusively a sensual encounter with a beautiful object, whether animate or inanimate, that gives us a frisson–making our hair stand on ends and gifting us with a sublime or elevated feeling occasioned by a tingling, subtle sensation caressing our spine? Or is beauty an elusive, abstract butterfly whose astral wings are impossible to crucify with the pins of our five senses on the solid wall of reality? Is beauty skin deep or is it something that inhabits the very core of our being?

Questions inevitably beget more questions. Does beauty belong to the realm of forms or to the realm of essences, or perhaps both? Does beauty, as the cliché goes, “lie in the eye of the beholder,” or is it an enigmatic and mysterious aura, charisma or ethereal force that radiates from one’s soul or spirit? Is beauty dictated by one’s whim and fancy? Is there any scientific explanation to beauty and is it, like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, determined by one’s acceleration and position in time and space? Or can beauty be measured by a clear-cut, rigid set of universal aesthetic standards?

And how do we perceive beauty? Through a glass darkly as seen through the telescope of a woman-hater? Or through rose-colored glasses worn by a lovestruck swain? Is beauty like the many shiny, multicolored fragments in a kaleidoscope? Or is beauty best probed at extreme close-up, through the lens of a microscope, revealing minute hairs, pores and pigmentations magnified to the nth degree? Perhaps beauty is a hologram, a continuum that stretches beyond time and space, into eternity itself. Are we then forced by circumstance and necessity to invent the ultimate probing device, a newfangled “beautyscope,” to mint a novel word, if only to perceive beauty in its totality, from all possible angles and dimensions?

More questions arise and enthrall us like dancing houris. Is the appreciation of beauty inherent in man’s being? Is beauty largely conditioned by one’s cultural programming through traditional social graces and rituals as well as through brainwashing by the mass media? Is perception of beauty dictated by one’s personal state of evolution, depending on whether he is the physical, emotional, mental or spiritual type? Yet casting people into stereotypes has its obvious pitfalls. In reality, the typical man is a much more complex being and weighs beauty through a combination of so many criteria that varies from person to person. And at this point we have not even tackled the gender- sensitive question: Does man’s appreciation of beauty differ from that of woman?

Poets and philosophers throughout the ages have attempted to define the truly beautiful. When the Romantic poet Keats exclaims, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” he is not alluding to physical beauty, which is fleeting or ephemeral, but to that winged species of beauty that miraculously descends from what celestial sphere. From the aesthetic standpoint the philosopher Edmund Burke, in his treatise A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1776), gives seven specific tangible qualities of beauty:

On the whole, the qualities of beauty, as they are merely sensible qualities, are the following:  First, to be comparatively small. Second, to be smooth. Thirdly, to have a variety in the direction of the parts; but, fourthly, to have those parts not angular, but melted as it were into each other. Fifthly, to be of a delicate frame, without any remarkable appearance of strength. Sixthly, to have its colors clear and bright, but not very strong and glaring. Seventhly, or if it should have any glaring color, to have it diversified with others. These are, I believe, the properties on which beauty depends; properties that operate by nature, and are less liable to be altered by caprice, or confounded by a diversity of tastes, than any other.

So says Edmund Burke.

The latter-day writer Diane Ackerman boldly declares: “A beautiful face is enough to start the engines of love.” If indeed, beauty is purely physical, then it can be preserved and shielded against the ravages of harsh elements and old age through a fine combination of healthy diet, the skillful application of cosmetic products, wearing fashionable clothes, and reconstructive surgery. I will not belabor the point, for thousand of books and tips have already been written about the physical aspects of pulchritude. At any rate, outer beauty is skin deep, which is the impermanent manifestation of beauty that is perceived through the senses by one’s ego or lower personality. In fine contrast, inner beauty is the essence of one’s being that is perceived directly by the soul or spirit and is therefore everlasting.

In the slim book The Fragrance of Beauty, her tour de force, Joyce Landorf–a homemaker, career woman and spiritual seeker all rolled into one–shares her profound concept of inner beauty:

 

When a man sees a woman, he looks first at her physical qualifications. It’s a built-in natural trait with him. He’ll look at her face and her figure, but not necessarily in that order. Then, if a woman has those marvelous inner qualities that are of God, the man will see the shining reflection of God. The physical and inner looks blend into one picture, and the total woman comes into focus. The entire scene in his mind becomes one of pure joy. The woman is warm, giving, alert, fun to be with, loving and, yes, spiritual, but she also has an earthly sexiness that is uncommonly beautiful, and all he can say is, “Wow!”

St. Peter states: “Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God” (1Peter 3:4). The following are practical tips on how you can radiate inner beauty, no matter what your sex and gender, no matter what your age. I deliberately used the word “radiate” and not “cultivate” or “develop.” For beauty is neither outside you nor is something you must acquire. Beauty is more than an enchanting mask you have lost and must find again. Deep within, you already possess beauty that can never be lost.  All you have to do is not to discover but uncover your inner beauty—that rock-encrusted gem, clean and polish its facets, and make it permanently shine like a diamond or emerald this very moment:

1. Rid your consciousness of negative emotions and thoughts. For negative emotions, like fear and anger, and negative thoughts, like wanting to deceive or harm your fellowmen, are dynamos of bad vibrations. In turn this will repel those around you who’ll find you ugly and repulsive, no matter how physically attractive you are. Moreover, these negative tendencies also drain your youth-preserving vitality and life force called chi in Chinese or prana in Sanskrit, causing you to age long before your time.

 2.    Believe in the power of daily prayer. Kneeling down or seated, with your eyes closed and your hands clasped in a gesture of prayer in the center of your chest, inhale and exhale deeply seven times and silently, fervently pray: “Lord, bless me with inner beauty and divine love.” Intone this three times and end your prayer with the word “Amen” or the phrase “So be it.” This will anchor or ground the energy of your prayer to the earth. Repeat the same prayer immediately before going to sleep.

3.  Believe in the power of affirmation. After washing your face each morning, look and smile at your reflection in the mirror, and say in a low voice but with conviction three thrice: “I love myself unconditionally. I love my fellowmen unconditionally. Everybody loves me unconditionally. Like the sun I radiate unconditional love and beauty in all aspects of my being–physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. 

4.  Believe in the power of visualization. Sit on a chair or on the floor (half or full lotus position) with your eyes closed and your spine erect but relaxed. Put your hands palm up on your lap with the tips of the forefinger and the thumb of each hand touching each other and forming a ring, and with the tip of your tongue lightly touching the roof of your mouth, to keep your body a closed circuit and your psychic energy from leaking out. On the first inhalation, visualize a white, luminous shaft of light coming down from heaven, entering through the top of your head, and nestling in the center of your chest. On the second inhalation, visualize another white shaft of light coming up from the center of the earth and meeting the shaft light of heaven in your chest, transforming into a white circle of light one inch in diameter. You now have a balanced polarity of yin (female) and yang (male) or negative and positive energies. Inhale and exhale seven more times.

5.  Believe in the power of color meditation. Pink is the color of love and beauty. You can charge or empower yourself with pink energy anytime of the day or night. While in a kneeling, sitting, or standing position, raise your hand with open palms to heaven. Breathe in and out seven times. Every time you inhale, visualize a pink shaft of light descending from heaven, lodging in the center of your chest, and turning into a circle of pink light one inch in diameter. During exhalation, imagine the pink light expanding and filling up the entire cosmos.

Apply one or any combination of these techniques that is best suited to you. Note that the more you radiate beauty and unconditional love from your soul or quintessential self, the more outer beauty you possess. Consequently, you attract more beauty and unconditional from other men and women, from other creatures on earth, and from the entire universe itself until you become the graven image of the Supreme Cosmetologist and Beautician—the ultimate creator/creatrix of outer and inner beauty, and of love human and divine. And in nurturing and radiating your inner beauty, the old dictum “Practice makes perfect!” is of the essence.

                                                                                                 

                                                      

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THE ART OF LETTING GO

by Felix Fojas

for Joanna Allas

 

In Love you must be

A master in the art

Of letting go and dispel

All green shades and grades

Of jealousy and hate.

Do not put your beloved

In a golden cage,

A mechanical bird

Singing you paeans of love

That ring hollow and untrue.

Under no circumstance

Sculpt her into a proud

Masterpiece of your own

Shiny marble ego.

Love for her sake and let go.

 

Los Angeles

March 13, 2012

1. There was a man from Bohemia

     Who had such severe bulimia

     And all the mouth-watering food he ate,

     He would quickly retch and regurgitate,

     That queasy man from Bohemia.

 

2. That man from faraway Tonga

     His proboscis–kinda longa!

     And people often mistook his nose

     For a sea serpent or a fireman’s hose,

     That freak from unheard of Tonga.

 

3. That ambassador from Britain

     His white tuxedo bloomed with stain

     When he spilled Zinfandel unawares

     While conducting his foreign affairs,

     Sir Tipsy Turvy from Britain.

 

4. There was a witch from New Orleans

     Who always wore those faded jeans.

     None ever dared to annoy and vex

     Her, for she might counter with a hex,

     That vengeful witch from New Orleans.

 

5.  There was a princess of Bhutan

      Who fell for an orangutan.

      When she was questioned by the Queen Mother:

      “Will I have a freak for a granddaughter ?”

      “Ours a fling!” said the princess of Bhutan.

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