“That is a deep loss.” The 70 We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through.
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2,914 words Part 2 of 2 An inquiry into the doctrine of the “center” in the West would indeed be of much interest for the purposes of a further comparison, but it presents special difficulties because esoteric knowledge in the West has taken the form of cryptograms, and has been clothed in abstruse symbols and myths of many meanings to which a uniform interpretation, such as modern critical thought desires, cannot always be given. The ancient traditions about the sacred stone, the betilos are known; it had the meaning of a “center,” it was known to Rome under the name of abadir.
The etymological derivation of betilos from “beth-el” or “house of God,” is not to be excluded. This was also the name given by Jacob to the stone he used as a pillow when, in his well-known dream, he had the vision of the house of God and of the gates of Heaven.
It was, moreover, the name given by Jacob to the town near to the place of his dream.
Now, certain Western esoteric doctrines, of cabalistic origin, have developed these symbols into a theory of the basic center.Thus, referring to the fact that in Genesis the original name of Beth-el was Luz, it has been noted that luz is the Hebrew name of an “indestructible osselet,” in which the words “bone,” and “indestructible” have been used in an allegorical sense, not material but spiritual.Agrippa says that “from it, like a plant from a seed, the human body sprouts again in the resurrection of the dead—and this quality is not ascertained by reasoning but by experience.” But the fact is that in Aramaic “luz” is precisely the bone attached to the lower end of what is curiously enough known as the “sacrum,” at the basis of the spinal column, that is to say precisely at the place where the Hindu Tantric Yogic teaching locates the basic center, the muladhara; the religious concept of the “resurrection of the dead,” homologated in this exegesis with the initiatic idea of spiritual reintegration; Agrippa’s reference to the fact that it is a question of a matter of experience (inner experience); lastly, the idea, which is always part of the same tradition, that in the vicinity of Luz access was to be found for reaching a symbolical hidden city, one in which “the Angel of Death cannot enter nor have over it any power”—all this might lead us to an order of ideas similar to that of the esoteric doctrine of the hara as basic center.Patricia Beattie Jung, a scholar in theological ethics, was honored for her pioneering work on sexuality and heterosexism with the 2015 Ann O’Hara Graff Memorial Award at the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) conference in Milwaukee.Jung is currently a visiting professor of theology at Saint Paul School of Theology, a United Methodist seminary in Overland Park, Kansas.She is the author of “Heterosexism: An Ethical Challenge” (SUNY Press, 1993) and co-editor with Mary Hunt of “Good Sex: Feminist Perspectives from the World’s Religions” (Rutgers University Press, 2000).