Occasionally I get asked, “What do you believe?” It’s a natural question seeing as how the majority of people are not familiar with Hermeticism or the Hermetic lore.
I sometimes answer very generally. That we believe in the innate goodness of humanity, the practice of meditation, and the power of the individual. But sometimes folks want to go deeper. That is when I refer them to The Kybalion.
The Kybalion was written way back in 1908 presumably by William Walker Atkinson. Mr Atkinson was a successful attorney in the late 1800’s who became seriously ill and then devoted himself to a study of mysticism and the esoteric. Upon his recovery he is believed to have penned The Kybalion; a collection of the ancient wisdom he discovered during his time of study and convalescence.
The Kybalion is an interpretation and explanation of the Hermetic wisdom of centuries past. It is written in a way that is easier to understand than The Corpus Hermeticum, having been composed in 20th century English rather than ancient Greek. And, as much as I love The Corpus Hermeticum, I generally consider The Kybalion a much easier introduction to Hermeticism for the neophyte seeker. Plus, The Kybalion is so densely packed with wisdom, I consider it my primary text for study.
If you would like to listen to a reading of The Kybalion, click on the video above. It may be a little dry, but once this book is properly understood, “the doors of the Temple open wide.” Let not the flame die out!
Last week I had a wake up call. Nothing serious like a heart attack or stroke…not yet anyway. But just a gentle nudge from nature that I needed to take some serious actions concerning my weight and my health. I was feeling unusually tired last week, and I noticed I was gaining weight again. So, I decided to remove coffee and sugar from my diet hoping that would help me turn the tide. I also decided to get into an exercise program to help accelerate my weight lose. That’s where the wake up call came in. I got down on the floor to see how many push-ups I could do. I was hoping to do 5 to 10 push-ups to start out with. I could barely do 1 push up. That was it. One push up and I was worn out. Clearly I was in the worst shape of my life. So I thought far more drastic action was needed to help me get a handle on the situation.
I started doing my own private research on diet and excercise, and I found a series of videos on YouTube by Dr. Eric Berg. In these videos Dr. Berg outlines his program of Intermittent Fasting combined with a simple Keto Diet which encourages a person to cut sugar and some carbs out of the diet. I had had success in the past with the Atkins Diet, but had never focused on Intermittent Fasting. I watched several hours of Dr. Berg’s videos and then last Sunday night I decided to put the program into action. I cut all sugars and many carbohydrates out of my diet, and added a simple 12-hour Intermittent Fast to my daily routine. It’s only been 3 days, but I can already see some results.
The major difference in Dr. Berg’s Program is the focus on Intermittent Fasting. In most weight lose programs people focus mainly on what kind of food you can eat, and that’s it. With Intermittent Fasting you focus mainly on your eating schedule. You see, most people tend to eat or snack during many of their waking hours. We eat when we are bored, we eat when we are stressed, and we sometimes eat just out of habit. And many people think this pattern of eating is OK so long as they are eating healthy foods and healthy snacks. Turns out, this assumption is completely wrong.
In his videos Dr. Berg reveals that eating almost any kind of food spikes a person’s insulin level. Insulin is the hormone that converts sugar into fat. And when a person’s insulin level is high, the body is very busy converting blood sugars into fat, and storing the fat away in the body. Insulin also blocks the activity of another vital hormone we’ll simply refer to as Growth Hormone. Growth Hormones break down fat into energy and are responsible for much of our weight lose. But, when we are eating over the course of an entire day grazing our way through life, Insulin becomes the dominant hormone at work and the Growth Hormone is held back from doing its work. As a result our heightened Insulin levels cause the body to produce more and more fat and we gain more and more weight without fully understanding why. People will tend to fight the problem by changing their diet and eating healthier foods, but not by altering their eating schedule. So they just continue to eat whenever they feel hungry, or bored, or stressed. This does not solve the weight gain problem, because the primary problem of grazing throughout the day continues, resulting in elevated Insulin levels and continuing weight gain. Over time the average person becomes overwhelmed with the situation and gives up in frustration. But here – according to Dr. Berg’s Plan – is where we can gain the high ground and begin making some healthy changes.
With Intermittent Fasting we begin to pay attention to not only what we eat, but WHEN we eat it. We stop grazing throughout the day and instead schedule time for a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner and cut out all snacking in between meals. This allows our body to raise our Insulin levels during mealtimes, and then gives the body time to lower those Insulin levels throughout the day so the Growth Hormone can get a change to do its job of burning away excess fat in the body. I started the program with a 12-hour fast and then worked my way up to a 16-hour fast leaving me a reasonable 8-hour window to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in. Tonight I will be fasting for 18 hours leaving me time for only 2 healthy meals while at the same time giving my body a solid 18 hours each day to burn fat in. As of this writing I can tell by the metallic taste in my mouth that the fat burning process has begun, and so far I am feeling great.
The process of intermittent fasting, once you study it for a while, makes a lot of sense. And it is a flexible program giving different people the option of using the program in different ways. Some people like me who have gained a lot of extra weight over the years will see the wisdom in at first cutting back to 3 meals a day (minus snacking) and then working their way down to only 2 meals a day to give the body a chance to do some serious fat burning. Others will want to take it a step further and cut back to only one meal a day, and still others will choose to maintain themselves at 2 1/2 to 3 meals a day, depending on their physical needs and weight lose goals. This program can be adapted to suit any body type and most any need.
I will be posting more updates as I progress along my journey. Please keep in mind that any dieting or fasting program carries with it some health risks as well as benefits. So be sure to check this out with your own doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise routine, especially if you are already having health problems as it is. In my case I find this program makes sense and so far…it seems to be working.
If you are interested in Intermittent Fasting I encourage you to check out Dr. Berg’s YouTube Channel. I am also including an introductory video below. Thanks for taking the time to read this post. And, until we meet again, stay healthy!
Temple of The Infinite Universe now offers Spiritual Direction online. What is Spiritual Direction and what is the benefit of doing it online?
Spiritual Direction is the art of being a guide, mentor, or companion to another person on the Spiritual journey of life. The Spiritual Director does not act as a superior to the person receiving direction. Rather the Director serves more as a fellow student along the way whose goal is to help the client make their own inner discoveries and come into a fuller understanding of The Divine, the Universe, and their connection to it all. The Spiritual Director does not force his understanding of things upon the client. Instead the Director helps to create a safe and secure environment where the client can feel free to discover the God/dess of their own understanding. Here Spiritual Direction done properly is not the same as evangelism which seeks to convert another person to an understanding of things which might be very alien to the person being “converted.” In Spiritual Direction we help the client come to their own conclusions, not our preconceived agenda. It should also be noted that Spiritual Direction is not the same as therapy. Therapy focuses on healing a person’s mind, and is engaged in with a licensed therapist. Spiritual Direction focuses on healing and facilitating the growth of a person’s spirit or soul, and is engaged in with a person who shares from their own life experience and who may not have a psychological license. The focus of Spiritual Direction is Spiritual not psychological. If the director feels the client might benefit from psychological counseling, he will make that recommendation to the client and encourage the client to seek the proper professional help.
In Spiritual Direction the focus is always on what is best for the client. It is a journey where the Director seeks to nurture the client providing any insights or encouragement that the client may need for continued growth. It is also a bond of trust where high ethical standards are demanded. At Temple of The Infinite Universe we vow to never take advantage of the client in any way, not to be judgmental, and to never reveal confidential information to third parties without the expressed consent of the client. We seek to help and not to harm.
The benefits of doing Spiritual Direction online will not be the same for everyone, but will differ among different people for different reasons. Some who do not have a church or temple home, who may be solitary practitioners or shut-ins, will see the benefit in being able to easily connect online. Others who have been forced out of their original church or temple home due to reasons of sexual orientation, or church gossip, or problems concerning addictions, or other negative factors will see the value in being able to connect with a person who vows to be open, accepting and non-judgmental. And still others may be in a religious setting that suits them just fine, except that they are not able to receive the individual attention they need from their spiritual leaders. In online Spiritual Direction the client can get that kind of individual attention just by asking for it. And, as stated above, we DO NOT SEEK TO COVERT PEOPLE. Our goal is in helping you become the best person you can be right where you are at.
Witch School International. Also Known As Correllian Educational Ministries.
Harry Potter had Hogwarts. Little Wyatt on the Charmed series had Magic School. But where does the real life student of the Esoteric go to study Witchcraft and Wizardry? It may come as a surprise, but there really is an established school of Witchcraft that practically anyone with a computer connection can join, and it’s been around now for over 10 years. I joined as a lifetime member back in 2015 when it was known as Witch School International. Today it has gone through a few changes and is coming to be known as Correllian Educational Ministries. But it has the same web address, the same courses and the same mission; to help average muggles who want to learn the Correllian Nativist Tradition of Wicca begin their Wiccan Journey.
The school is really neat in that it allows students to study at their own pace. I’m still working on my 1st Degree; a study I had to set aside for 2 years due to family health problems, but have now picked back up once again in earnest. There are a wide variety of courses to choose from such as Tarot, Advanced Symbolism and Druid studies…and that is just for starters. You can also enroll in programs to become a priest or priestess in the Correllian tradition. The First Degree level takes about one year of study. After successfully completing the course work the student can then become initiated into the order if they so desire. Initiation is not mandatory; a person can take the program just for the benefit of learning more about an established branch of Wicca without being initiated into the craft.
The Correllian Nativist Tradition of Wicca is interesting in that it was the first school of Wiccan thought to embrace the internet as an educational tool. This openness has led to the tradition being spread all over the world reaching out to interested people from all races, creeds, nationalities, and all walks of life. The Correllian tradition makes no claims to exclusivity. They see themselves as one branch of paganism among many, and they seek to bridge the gaps between different schools of Wicca and Paganism so that all can unite peacefully for the greater good of all. You can become a Correllian and still practice other faith traditions. So long as one does not violate the Wiccan Rede and shows respect for Correllian practices, one is at liberty to live their life as they see fit. All in all it is a pretty laid back and easy to practice tradition.
How much does membership in Witch School cost? You can pay $5 per month or pay yearly for $29.99. Lifetime memberships are also available. The minimum age to begin study is 13; there is no maximum age. I’m 56 and loving it!
This week I am going to be focusing on Wicca in general and Correllian Wicca in particular. I first learned of Correllian Wicca about 10 years ago from Rev. Don Lewis-Highcorrell. His is a family line of Wicca which was handed down to him by his mother and grandmother. Family lineages in any esoteric field of study are very strong for the seeker as they are derived not out of theory alone, but come out of a living, growing tradition. This is one reason I find Rev. Don to be such a valuable teacher; he encourages the student to grow and explore the themes he teaches, each in her or his own way. He expects the student not just to learn the craft like an indoctrinated parrot, but to take the lessons taught and organically mold and reshape them to fit her or his life needs and experiences. His is a personal experience of the Wiccan journey, and he encourages his students to make it their personal journey as well.
It was through Rev. Don’s teachings that I slowly became aware of my own family background in the occult. Unlike Rev Don’s family where witchcraft was taught openly within the family unit and handed down from one generation to the next, my family experience in the esoteric was carefully concealed, mainly due to social pressure to fit in and the anti-witchcraft laws that were on the books in many places around the world until the 1950’s. Due to these pressures and others, my grandmother did not teach us openly, but she did give hints and clues as to her true family background. She had a crystal ball, which I have inherited, and with it she delighted her grandchildren by throwing a veil over her head and doing playful spiritual consultations. We, of course, thought it was all for fun. Later, when I learned to recognize the clues and gained the ability to reconnect with her beyond the veil, I began to learn the fuller truth. I now wonder how many other people there are who come from a similar family background and who are completely unaware of their rich family tradition. More than a few is my guess.
Below is an introductory video by Rev. Don Lewis. If you are interested in learning more about Wicca, Witchcraft, and Magic, Rev Don is a great place to start. You can find his videos on YouTube (MagickTv) and find out if you like his teachings. If so, you can find his Witch School series here at our Temple Book Store.
Just a short post to say we are just getting started on this new website. New content will begin to appear shortly, as well as some old content which I will be working to migrate from our old site. Thanks for dropping by. I look forward to be interacting with you in the future.
Frater Ralph has spent a lifetime in the study of Spirituality from a variety of different perspectives. Feeling a call to ministry at an early age, Ralph went to Savior of The World Seminary high school where he graduated third in his class. He went on to study Philosophy and Religious Studies at Benedictine College in Atchison Ks. There his studies focused on World Religions and Scriptures. He graduated in 1984 with a double major.
Ralph continued his studies at St. John’s University/School of Theology in Collegeville Mn. There his coursework included studies in Inter-Faith work and Spirituality. He spent a semester of studies in Israel which focused on Scripture In Context and the study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Ralph has participated in ministry in a variety of forms working as a lay minister within the Catholic Church, and later as a deacon and then an elder within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He was later called to be Senior Pastor at Hermitage Christian Church, and served that position for 6 years ministering to a congregation of 100 people with mixed religious backgrounds. While serving as Pastor, Ralph took coursework at the Missouri School of Religion which focused largely on Parish Ministry, Pastoral Counseling, and Spiritual Direction. He also took additional training at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa Ok.
In 2006, after a period of meditation and personal reflection, Ralph began opening his perspective to a ministry with a far more radical Inter-Faith dimension. In 2007 he and his wife began building what would later grow into Temple Of The Infinite Universe, an online Spiritual Fellowship based upon Hermetic principles which is open to all peoples of Good Will regardless of their religious background, or lack thereof. It was during this time that Ralph began the private study of The Kybalion, Wicca, Neo-Paganism, Buddhism and Eastern Mysticism. Today Ralph continues his studies in Paganism as a Lifetime Member of the Correllian Educational Ministries. He also counts himself as an internet disciple of Ajahn Brahm, a Theravada Buddhist teacher connected with The Buddhist Society of Western Australia. He considers himself as a lifelong student of life and the Esoteric. Ralph presently serves Temple of The Infinite Universe as Inter-Faith Pastor and Spiritual Director.
To Book A Spiritual Direction Session With Frater Ralph CLICK HERE.
Temple Of The Infinite Universe Inc. is a Non-Profit registered in the State of Missouri since 2015.
We are dedicated to helping good people grow Spiritually and improve themselves positively through meditation and honest self-reflection. Our focus is not on sectarian religious doctrine, but rather on Universal Principles contained in most all World Religions. We deal in personal knowledge, not faith; self-improvement, not blame; wisdom, not folly. Our main concern is helping good people to become better.