February 28, 2014

  • Mysticism and psychology

    Mystical practices grant one extraordinary abilities by transforming human perception.

    J.B. Hollenback asserts that this transformation creates a more subtle awareness and sensitivity within the individual of his/her inner world through which the perception of reality is transformed. Increased awareness leads a person to enter deeper levels of mystical experience.

    Hollenback employs "single minded concentration" and "a "lifestyle of exclusive devotion to mystical goals" as the primary enabling mystical practices. Sustained over time these mystical practices led to the empowerment of imagination. Empowered imagination gains access to phenomena such as visualisation and hypnotic suggestion which requires a state of enhanced awareness, allowing the mystic to transcend "private" experience in a way that is ontologically and epistemologically meaningful.

    An example of a perception transformation would be a transformed perception of time making the mystic aware of not just the present but the past and future; perceived as an existential continuum, granting the extrasensory perception of precognition.

    Meaningfulness combined with Emotional intensity creates awareness of the potential to experience paranormal abilities which in turn feeds back as motivation for further empowerment of imagination.

    Jewish mysticism
    The Safedian movement

    The Safedian Kabbalah is characterised by the emergence of the Kabbalah as a social movement during which Kabbalists started to organise themselves differently. They no longer worked as one or two people, but in circles of 10 to 20 people drawn to a charismatic person reputed to have acquired powerful mystical and magical attainment. Some groups organised through contracts which described duties, obligations and privileges for membership. Rabbi Moshe Cordovero systemized the different mystical traditions and sources of Kabbalah. Rabbi Isaac Luria developed a new system of Kabbalah based on revelations he experienced from various internal figures. This system incorporated a social psychology to determine if somebody's soul is suitable for group membership and attempted to mend the soul of its deficiencies. The Safed's interrogation of the soul led to a complete corpus of teaching on reincarnation. They described the human psyche and defined a plural psyche where each individual found his own soul in the texts.

    The Hasidic movement

    The Hasidic movement (3rd wave, the late 18th and early 19th century) turned the Kabbalah into a social mass movement, not limited to exclusive circles but rapidly spreading across Jewish communities of Europe, focused on charismatic figures but attentive to everyday concerns, not just spiritual ones, and as mystical psychologists they began to diagnose solutions to everyday concerns.

    The Trans "method" was used by Hasidic leaders in social interaction to put followers into a collective group trans in a social psychological dynamic, and to explored the inner paths in the psyche. The purpose of trans was to bring wholeness and integration, provide the healing that people needed, look into their souls, explore their unconscious, and claim access to paranormal powers.
    Rabbi Kook’s writings

    Rabbi Kook claims that our notion of free choice is nothing but a "superficial aspect" and secondly he admits "our very essence is free choice". These statements can be non-contradictory because they have different contextual perspectives.

    He references an outward viewpoint relating to the physical world of fact. The word “appearance” indicates a sense perception of something external and the word “however” used right after the statement continues to speak about an internal aspect, showing that the former was concerned with an external aspect. He writes about free choice in the context of good and evil.

    He then refers to an inward viewpoint of the essential world of being and/or value. By discounting ”psychological questions” he indicates he is not dealing with a subjective inner world but with something more exalted. This refers to the soul since the text ends with “It reveals the light of individual souls…” In the second he writes about life revealed by free will in the context of an exalted state of being.

    Free choice manifests in the external world between good and evil but free will is inwardly free in that it’s creative or “revealed”. Our essence is the free will to create our own reality (“develops all that is of existence”), while the external world is merely a reflection of our application of free choice. The subtle change in perception is from man as a victim of circumstances to man as creator of his future. The creative act is revealed when it draws closer to “the absolute good and free will of divinity”.

    The two statements seem contradictory but are applied in different contextual perspectives, combining to show interrelatedness between the inner and outer worlds.

    Prof Garb states that Rabbi Kook holds an attitude of sympathy towards the secular because stronger forces are operating on a cosmic, psychological and national level than the superficial choices people make to live a secular life. He accepted secular life because it is unknowingly collaborating with the divine.

    Nationalism seeks to redeem the entire Jewish people and not just individuals or sectors. The end objective of nationalism remains lofty even if carried out by secular people. The secular can be returned to an original exalted state.

    Influenced by the philosopher Hegel’s work on history, Rabbi Kook did not view the secular movement as constituting a violation of the principles of Jewish messianic history, but rendered it as instrumental in fulfilling history. The Jewish nation is a synthesis of the secular and religious.

    Orthodox (Eastern) Catholic Mysticism
    St Theophan’s view of sin

    St. Theophan describes sin as an extreme egotistical focus on the self rather than a failure to comply with rules and laws. Sin is caused by a habitual external focus, driven by the demonic forces of social conformity that alienates man from the true self and forms attachments with the external world.

    Based on this description of sin, the title of St Theophan’s book “Turning the heart to God” implies that a transformation is needed in which the will has to be changed. A shift is needed from the external world to a focus inward to the inner being. This change must come through repentance. Through God’s grace man becomes aware of an inner dissatisfaction. Initially the ego driven personality might try to change through its own effort but will later realise that the old ego driven self must be destroyed in totality. A rebirth of the self is needed with an internal orientation.

    Ultimately man will realise, through experiencing the doubt and/or struggle that follows spiritual progress that change is only possible through the grace of God; which appears when obstacles in life are removed. The turning of the heart through repentance was followed by a war on the self and ultimately a call on and surrender to God’s grace. God’s grace manifests through emotions – through the heart - by dissolving through grace all attachment to the false self and releasing man from thinking that he must do it alone. Turning one’s heart develops human potential to have mystical experiences such as visions, dream messages or a different way of feeling.

    Hesychasm view of repentance

    Hesychasm in the 19th century was focused in Eastern Europe while 20th century Hesychasm shifted to Western Europe where globalisation confronted it with an array of spiritual teachings. The 19th century was predominantly practiced within religious traditions while the 20th century showed the emergence of mystics that practiced outside the religious traditions.

    The 19th Century experienced a shift toward psychology while a strong connection with psychology defined the 20th century. Psychology was part of the contemporary language used. Repentance was no longer just a psychological process but seen as anontological process concerned with changes on a deeper level of spiritual being.

    Demonic forces were more prevalent in the 19th century than with the 20th century which emphasised positive spiritual psychology. While 19th century focused on the destruction of the old self the 20th century focused on the transformation of self by transforming thoughts. The 19th century promoted the detachment or pushing away of attachments of the old self while the 20th century transformed thoughts by moving it to a spiritual realm.

    Western Catholic mysticism
    Trance, passivity and antinomianism

    Mysticism is a subtle change of the perception of reality. Commonalities across mystical movements e.g. Jewish, Hesychasm and Quietism coalesce around trance, passivity and antinomianism. Trance is a half-conscious state characterized by an absence of response to external stimuli. Passivity is the trait of remaining totally inactive; lacking any sense of initiative. Antinomianism claims that the soul does not need outward observance when it has reached Divine Awareness.

    The connection is in a triangular relationship: Trance, the affirmative impulse, is the means, passivity, the receptive impulse, is the prerequisite and antinomianism, the reconciling impulse, is the result. The mystic goes into a trance to reach a state of passivity to manifest Divine Revelation and the consequence is transcendence of worldly laws and religious traditions.

    Trance, used by Charismatic Hasidic leaders, assists their followers to penetrate deeper psychological layers to bring healing. The Hasidic movement used trance to transcend normative reliance on religious authorities by trusting one’s own soul. Hesychasm used somatic techniques like repetitive prayers, breathing and visualisation to reach a “stillness of the soul”. The Jewish Hasidic movement and Hesychasm used prayer and seclusion to focus on the heart or inner dimension. The 15th century Jesuits made spiritual themes compelling on an emotional level through guided imagination. Rivka Shatz connected Quietism with the Hasidic movement (the Marranos) emphasising that a passive state is needed to receive Divine Revelation.

    Passivity was emphasised by the Hesychasm movement. They saw excessive focus on self as a stumbling block. The transformation of self, needed a passive state where God’s grace dissolves all external aspects with which the self identifies. Catholic revival aimed to combat desires; redirecting the focus from earthly to spiritual matters. In Spain and Italy Miguel de Molinos promoted the need to bypass the intellect and calm it down allowing God alone to act. In quieting the mind the active powers of intellect and will are lost and a phase of darkness entered, prior to further development of the soul. Modern mysticism’s referral to “Take a nap in nothing” implies a form of Trance. Trance closes down the whole psychic system in passivity. Trance and passivity are found in the Hasidic idea of nothingness and that the ordinary conscious mind must be annihilated.

    Antinomianism is the consequence of turning within. In the 17th century, Antoinette Bourignon de la Porte developed antinomian psychology stating the soul does not need outward observance when it has reached a certain state. The focus on God transcends law and frees one from cultural/social expectations. The “Religion of the Heart” movement challenged traditional authority with new individualistic values based on meaning found in the heart. The connection of Quietism with Hasidic Kabbalah led to religious authorities being challenged. St Miguel de Molinos’ antinomianism abolished the distinction between means and end stating that once the desired end state is reached the means is no longer needed.

    Trance (as function), passivity (the surrender of will) and antinomianism (a state of being) coalesce into unity with Divine Inspiration.

    Protestant mysticism
    Quietism versus Pietism

    Both Quietism and Pietism see that Divine Power comes from the outside and that this action comes through God’s grace alone. Quitism differs from Pietism since it focuses on passivity as a central idea while the latter focuses on will. As can be seen in Böhme's a statement “All lieth in the will”.

    For the Quietist, will could be dissolved through God’s grace alone but Pietism taught there was a creative impulse with its seed in desire and human will must be transformed creatively to become God’s will. The Quietist focused on the inner experience of God's grace while Pietistic psychology focused on God's creative nature. The latter saw will as being creative and that it must flow into practical applications. The soul is seen in Pietistic terms as a desiring entity through which the divine could move while the Quietist tried to lose him/herself in God to experience the soul through a state of oceanic consciousness.

    In terms of process Jacob Böhme sought to transform desire by casting away reason until human will is God’s Will. In Pietistic psychology the transformation came through an intense and painful creative process. Quietism focused on God’s grace dissolving the attachments with which the false self identifies. In Quietism the process was a purging or cutting away the dross that inhibits the soul. Quietism moved passively away from doing to not doing, while Pietism moved creatively from reason to will.

    Recent developments amalgamate together these apparent differing approaches. JG Bennett in “The deeper man” states that if man is to transform himself into what he could be, the three worlds of will (Pietism), being (Quiteism) and function must combine to realize a soul with individual will, coherent being and coordinated functioning.

    Moving from mysticism to spirituality to a mystical humanism

    The movement from mysticism to spirituality is a post-modern phenomenon vested in globalisation. There is a shift away from mysticism relying on specific traditional teachings to spirituality which focuses more on expressing the experience of the divine in terms of general principles and psychological terms.

    Driven by technological forces that earmarked modernity, specific traditions were increasingly exposed to each other resulting in a dialogue between traditions from which common themes could emerge. Simultaneously, differences informed and influenced traditional teachings both directly and indirectly. Using psychological and scientific terminology gives neutral ways of further investigating and comparing different traditions. The risk inherent in this approach is "presentism" where historical texts are neglected and ignored in favour of a social science approach which focuses on the present moment of dialogue and interaction. Consequently spirituality only excavates the ideas of the present generation at the cost of the experience and depth gained by previous generations. A return to mysticism steeped in a historical approach will prevent the watering down of mysticism and ensure that the depth of historical text will continue to influence and inform contemporary dialogue.

    Spirituality has its obvious advantages of allowing people from diverse backgrounds to share commonalities in spiritual experiences without focusing on traditions that tend to separate one tradition from another. The disadvantage is that spirituality might become superficial and embedded only in a contemporary modality of thought. Returning the focus to mysticism has the advantage of leveraging the depth of experience hidden in traditional texts with enriched group spiritual depth. However mysticism has its own caveat in that a reliance on traditions with its own bias towards a particular tradition has the risk of separatism and elitism for particular traditions. Unfortunately emphasis on traditions most often leads to vilifying and even demonising other traditions which isolates one tradition from another. A focus on a specific tradition will make it difficult to get that tradition out of a separatist mindset since each tradition has over time built up a self-referential and self-contained logic which feeds its own sense of superiority making tradition to the group the same as what ego will be to the individuality.

    As Prof Garb indicated, a new approach towards mysticism is needed that transcends the isolationist perspective of traditions but still maintains a healthy balance between contemporary dialogue in generic terms and historical depth. This approach will be an approach that is based on humanism that focuses not on tradition but on our common human experience and history. Such an approach must be built on tolerance towards different viewpoints and constructivist investigation and dialogue. The total scope of historical records of mystics of various backgrounds seen as a collective search in humanity for deeper meaning can then become available to empower mystics.

    The balanced depth of theory and methodology will enable the post-modern mystic to penetrate even deeper into the individual layers of the soul but also to go deeper into the collective soul of humanity as a who

January 25, 2014

  • A secret meeting in Rome

    I have just closed the pages of the book: “A secret meeting in Rome”, the last pages still refraining through my mind. I reach out to hold on to the moment of the thoughts and feelings that rushes through my mind. I hope in this entry that I will capture something of the essence of the significance that permeates my being. I do not really car if what is written by me is understood of misunderstood…I hope to capture something so that I can later recapture again the peculiar combination of insight and feeling that surrounds me like a cloud. The spirit of the author vibrates still within me and yet, it is not his spirit by my own …animated by his words.

    I drew the Hanged man on the Tuesday when I received the book as a casual gift. This morning I see differently. I see things that I have not seen before. So many lines spun into my life is suddenly pointing towards a conjuncture of coming together. Am I plotting my own course through this world or is it guided by forces beyond me? What role has my intuition played in this and what role did my intelligence played in this. Despite apparent success I have always seen my lack of financial wealth and a lack of professional depth as a failure on my part. But now I look back and see it was sufficient for if I had more success my attention would have been detracted from the path I had to follow. If in either I had tasted more success the taste of it would have taken me on a side walk which would have thwarted my life path into a side path that would take many more reincarnations to correct. I sometimes wondered about this struggle within me between being in the world as an Industrial Engineer developing information systems and my mystical world of searching for meaning beyond the world of the apparent. I asked myself why am I not a pastor or a preacher so that I could have dedicated my life to my spiritual quest. Even that path would have distracted me from the real purpose of finding unity within the dyadic world I inhabit.

    In one fleeting moment so many of the paths I followed, my lines of thinking, the views that formed and shaped my mind has pointed to one conjecture where all is meeting. From the time I started blogging on Xanga, I already had the archetypes of Wizard and Warrior, I wrote about it…the Wizard bringing the zeal and the warrior the life with the stability of 4 cardinal points in the centre. I chose the handle Zeal4Living with its 11 characters and within it I locked up a deep meaning. Now after almost nine years I see where these two archetypes have led me. The seven pointed star of Riggh which I have received at the age of ten suddenly has a new meaning within my life. I know where my journey started but now for the first time I have a more complete view of where I am heading.

    Will I reach in this life that point where all these sparks of light is pointing me towards or is this life just a preparation, a stepping stone of what is to come. When I cast my view back across the footsteps I have left behind I begin to sense with urgency that it is not individual steps but a pathway I had chosen to walk. The picture of how all will combine into a moment of bifurcation is still unclear to me. I can not see in my mind’s eye the apex of this life and where it will lead. Maybe it is just to be an influential leader to the twenty or so people that has walked with me in the last year… I sense there is more. It is a sense of mission that I carried with me since that time of my tenth birthday.

    I was initiated into the path I was about to travel. One part of the puzzle still remains unsolved. Why was I initiated onto the path by a black man from Africa. All my traditions point back to a western esoteric path, western karmic patterns and western thought…and yet I was not put on my path by any of those. I was put on my path by a humble black man without name and without any possession except the warmth of a fire in the winter. I can see how so many things has guided me along my path to find myself at this present moment of being since that one day. I remember that I was told that I will die at the age of forty… at my initiation. It was always a point of concern in my youthful mind because I confused it with a real and actual death of the body. Now I can see that I joined my fraternity of brothers and sisters at the age of forty…shortly after my birthday. The forty years before was a walk in the desert, preparing me to learn and to see.

    These mentioned are but singular threads that are suddenly no longer loose threads but part of a tapestry with a pattern. Before I joined the fraternity my other point of transformation was in 1996 when I traveled to see Saul Kuchinsky to be initiated by him on an earlier path of inner growth. The preparation for that path happened a long time before that…but it was in 1996 that I unknowingly opened myself up to be guided across the threshold of my personal history and mythology. It was not an epitome of revelation but it marked such a change that whenever I look back, I can see that point as a point when a different grade of light entered into my inner being. It was nine years before my joining of the fraternity.

    There are books that has slowly opened up a way for me…meeting me when I was ready to perceive the message. The first probably the book by Saul Kuchinsky. I often wonder if he knew what he did for me and whether the role he played was ever one of conscious awareness. Some were children books without apparent content that made a profound impact, not due to its content but due to the treasure of hope and promise it fixated in my mind. Later I found more direct guidance in books from the strangest origins. Seldom was it a book from that has sold millions of copies….most of the time it would be an obscure book in the corner of a second hand book shop to be discarded by most as useless. Yet in what is useless I have often discovered the most value for my own inner being.

    I can see in every step of the way a guiding force that has lead me gently….through tough times as well as good times with consistency. Even at times I felt lost there was a flame in the sky that lead Israel through the desert that remained with me. I blogged over the years about some moments that stood out…at times in the form of a poem and at others merely as a question still unanswered. There is Cosmic guidance for all but it also requires some level of intuition to be open for that guidance. It requires some level of a burning need within that is fueled by cosmic guidance. When the moment come to hear the answer one must have the inner ear to hear the voice of conscience. If only I remain truthful to my own path that was given to me, I will have a significant life. I would like to see my life bearing the fruit of a legacy left behind for three of four generations to benefit from. I no longer know if that is feasible but it is somehow less important. What is important is the continued growth on the path that has been uniquely carved out for me. In its own way it will leave its own mark…the mark I had to leave and which was set out for me.

    How do I explain this inner light of awareness that has come to me over the last year? To many it will seem delusional, strange and for others it might even fill with a fear that repels me from them. However more than ever I know that I am carrying a light that only I can carry and that light has a purpose. I might not know the full reach of this light in the darkness but I know it is given to me as as task to carry the light as far as I am allowed to carry it. I am not a prisoner of circumstances….even though I have to live within limits. I am a free spirit, that can not be contained even if physically constrained.

    It is done. I wrote down the words that burned in my heart. I do not know if I gave adequate expression to my emotions. I am always lacking in my ability to pin down the emotion that comes with a moment of deep insight. I often fail to covey the radiance of being alive when suddenly you look back and see that you have passed a threshold. It will take time to consolidate all the feelings, emotions and thoughts that blazed through my being. I know I will have to read this little book once more for there is still much I must pull out and note down. It is a call for me to trust my intuition more and open myself up more to be led by the apparent synchronicities that happen by change and yet fills my life with essential meaning.

    Every step we take in life is meaningful, every relationship significant, every moment precious.

January 13, 2014

  • Xanga and blogging

    I will attempt to blog more often. In all honesty the new format of Xanga is not inviting community participation. The old Xanga set up was by far better than the current one and Xanga has done nothing (that I could see) since they made the change from one platform to another. It is a pity that the original concept behind Xanga had been lost. It is not just Xanga! I had been looking around at other blogging sites and there is nothing really that offer the type of community building that Xanga did. Facebook offers many features these days but I have lost my account twice on Facebook and I am reluctant to put any content there due to a lack of persistance in that information. I do believe the features are there to again create a oommunity but it requires a new way of thinking. Blogging is far more than just throwing a bunch of words onto a screen. Blogging is a need of an expression to be hurt and to connect with people with similar interests. I have currently 11 themed blogs on WordPress. At least in WordPress's reader you can click on your tag lines and see similar blogs which allows you to generate new connections and quickly see what else is written about your field of interest. The features is there but it seems Xanga does not have the wil or desire to exploit it into a proper business model.

January 9, 2014

  • Goals and objectives 2014

    I will not take my health for granted but continue to hone body, heart, mind and spirit towards maintaining optimal health. I strive to continually make a positive contribution in whatever role I play and touch each live that crosses mine positively. I strive not to neglect my duties but to reach beyond them towards higher goals. I will be honest to those people that put their trust in me. I will not allow the challenges I face to constrain me from making an impact on the world within which I live. I will strive towards stimulating my intelligence but also being sensitive to my intuition and mindful of my conscience. I will live a life of justice always seeking that which is right and I will question and test my actions in search for its just expression. I will not be a slave to the material world's demands but will be inspired by the flame of the Creative Divine. I will seek with persistance, in hope, to find creative pathways to overcome my challenges and constraints. I will not measure myself only by what is achieved and accumulated but by the increase in my being and the vitality of my essence. I will remain authentically ME

    - Reduce my total debt
    - Remain financially viable
    - Buy new clothes
    - Assist my middle daughter to get access to the training and career of her choice in 2015
    - Assist my son to continue to go to the school of his choice
    - Invest some quality time with my eldest daugter
    - Repair swimming pool
    - Repair fire place
    - Perform my duties as master of the Cape Town Pronaos efficiently and effectively
    - Grow attendance of meetings to increase by 50%
    - Be consistent in my weekly attunement with Cosmic Consciousness
    - Focus on the psychic awakening and use of all my pshycic centres.
    Story Teller:
    - Participate in one Toastmaster competition
    - Do two Toastmaster presentations visiting different clubs
    - Speak at one international conference
    - Write One PhD article for publication
    - Write up my PhD theoretical text
    - Implement Integration architecture at the Parliament of South Africa
    - Implement Legislative drafting solution at the Parliament of South Africa
    - Create more awareness for Business Intelligence in the Parliament of South Africa.
    - Establish the habit of daily Tai Chi
    - Learn the Cheng Man Chin Short form in completeness
    - Write a booklet on the Enneagram and its use
    - Paint four oil paintings
    - Expand my network in the national legislative sector
    - Expand my network in the enterprise architecture domain

January 8, 2014

  • 2013 in Review

    I again did a reflection on year 2013 using the different houses of astrology. I know that there are different interpretations and schools of thought so I again gave my understanding of the meaning of each house.

    My year revolved primarily around the following roles or archteypes that defines me:
    - Father: My role as a father and family man
    - Mystic: My role as a mystic and student of AMORC
    - Student: My role as a student doing my PHD in Industrial engineering
    - Engineer: My role as an Management information Managers at the Parliament of South Africa
    - Warrior and Athlete: My role as a Tai Chi student.
    - Story teller: My role as a Distinguished Toastmaster.

    1st House – The self
    The self, the physical body, and appearance; independently taking action

    I maintained my body's health as best as possible through the regular practice of Tai Chi. I did on average about 4 hours of Tai Chi per week in the Cheng Man Ching tradition. I changed my school where I did Tai Chi early in the year and I am happy with the change I have made. I did not had any major health issues to deal with and my heatlh is generally acceptable. I had taken two days of sick leave in totality during the year. I have aged which is evident from the grey hair that is starting to appear hear and there. My stomach is still physically my main source of concern when it comes to body image. I manage to keep it in check but it will call for continued vigilance. I can certainly improve my diet in the year to come. Although I dress neatly most of my clothing is dated since I have other finanial priorities as a parent that are more important than my personal preferences. I presented myself during the year with confidence in my leadership skills and had driven hard to achieve results of which some has evaded me.

    2nd House – Material matters
    Personal resources – material, mental, spiritual; security

    Financially I lived more in a scarcity mentality than an abundance mentality. Although the salary I earn is very good in terms of the place I live, several factors beyond my control has diluted my funds and cash flow. The economy has slowly impoveriched me as well as prices of basic commodities like petrol and electricity continues to increase. I can not put rich behind my name as one of my outstanding qualities. I had a small car accident during the latter part of the year but could at least manage to get the car fully repaired. My wife's car finally gave notice that it is beyond a maintainable state and it had to be replaced. Although it has not impacted much on 2013 it will put some additional stress on the future. I incurred additional short term debt which is really a tragedy because it was my aim to stay out of debt in totality. However if I combine long term debt and short term debt against assets I do think my financial balance sheet has improved somewhat during the year. There are some critical maintenance tasks I need to undertake in my house that I could not address in 2013 which will remain a sore eye for me. Both are luxuries - one being my swimming pool that needs a total rebuild and the other is my fire place for the winter that needs to be replaced. Financially I do not see myself getting any promotion or any sudden new income stream in 2014 so financial resources will continue to demand careful budgeting and planning.

    Mentally I continued with my PhD in Industrial Engineering but my progress was far too slow. I will have to make a big effort in 2014 to get my PhD on a good track to be finalised in the end of 2015. I need to set aside better time management to accomplish movement in this sphere of my life. My university fees were paid by my work which did not put me under pressure. The biggest resource constraint is time. I have consciously not been as much involved with Toastmasters international as I would have liked to be. I participated in one competition and won the competition which was a boost to my ego. I hope that I can resume again a more active role in toastmasters in 2015.

    Spiritually this was a year of growth for me and deepening. As master of the affiliated body of my mystical fraternity I had to confront myself with my own spiritual understanding. The regular engagement with other members of the fraternity lead to growth within me that I could not have found on my own. The fraternity gave me all the resources and support to assist me to play this role at the best of my ability. The previous master, regional monitor and fellow officers assisted me a lot to grow in my role. My sense of self have increased and I am confident in the teachings I am propagating and investigating. I will be continuing in this role throughout 2014. One can fulfill the role only for two years so one year is gone and I have the opportunity of serving one more year before handing over to somebody else.

    Security wise we had a good year with no material losses or experiences of violence against me or my family. Crime statistics in South Africa has increased but in my suburb the crime seems to be uder control.

    In terms of my Work I sometimes lacked the support I needed to progress in my aims. Some areas moved really fast and others was very restrictive. But if I look back at what my potential is and the need then I still can not be satisfied with the resources that was made available to me to achieve my goals in 2013.

    3rd House – Knowledge and learning
    Information coming from, and into, familiar areas such as siblings or areas considered as local.

    My PhD obviously took most of my learning emphasis. My PhD is focused on Information management with a specific emphasis of information as a critical resource in the democraic process of a legislator in a democratic country. I read many articles on interoperability, enteprise architecture etc.

    I completed during the year a course in TOGAF which is a standard for enteprise engineering which is good for me to have completed. I attended tHe Oracle User Group of South Africa's conference which gave me a deeper insight into the aims and objetives of Oracle South Africa.

    Within my role as master in my philosophical fraterity I have read a lot about the Rosicrucian philosophy and Alchemy. I continued with my studies of the teachings of AMORC the Rosicrucian order.

    4th House – Development heritage
    - the physical abode, family, the end of an issue

    My own house was a place of relative peace. Both my son and daughter that are still at school did extremely well and brought home fantastic results. They work by their own accord and I am greateful to be their father. My son finished his first year in secondary school and seemed to cope well being at boarding school. He and my daughter excelled in art. During the latter part of 2013 it seems as if my children matured more an there were less sybling rivalry and more cooperation. My eldest daughter with ADD and who did not finish school succeeded in maintaining her job as a assistant at school with only one drama for the year.

    5th House – Centrifugally and leadership
    - creative recreation and its results, children, lovers and artistic pursuit.

    My Afrikaans presentation for a competition about a Mouse in the house was successful sine I won the competition.

    I manage to finish three oil paintings during the year both inspired by the Most Holy Trinosophia written by St Germain and which is an Alchemically based treaty of the triune path of wisdom. One painting was that of a monk, the other of a prisoner and the other of a chamber of initiation.

    I lead Parliament's chess team to the National Legislative games and we got a third price at the tournament.

    At work in my role as manager of the business analysts and the information architect, we achieved the objectives that we set ourselves despite loosing two business analysts. There is definitely room for improvement in my management style in terms of motivating the Business Analysts and coordinating their work to contribute more effectively to the institutional goals and objectives.

    I was requested to attend some key strategic planning sessions for the 5th term of Parliament. Both the Support services branch strategic meeting and later the overall meeting where the combined leadership met to discuss the outcomes of the different branches' strategic planning meetings. At the first I made a good input but at the second I was less impactful with my contribution.

    I performed the role of Chief Judge at a show case event of the Toastmaster's Youth Leadership.

    As the Chair person of the Tai Chi Club I secured for the first time that the club got official sports clothes to practise with.

    As master of our affiliated body I organised a successful day of presentations around the topic of Levels of human consciousness with the focus being on Science, Art, Philosophy and Spirituality. Eight speakers spoke and the event was attended by more than 30 people.

    6th House – Analyzing and serving
    - the daily domestic routine, health and diet; breaking habit patterns; duty and service.

    I maintain a healthy life style in terms of doing Tai Chi, proper sleeping habits and avoiding sugar in my drinks. Generally I eat a healthy diet but there is room for improvement by avoiding take away food every now and then. I ate more salads due to a Food market that opened up close to where I work.

    My service was through the vehicle of my AMORC affiliation.

    7th House – Marriage and cooperation
    - Personal relationships, business partnerships and legal issues

    I extended my relationships within my work environment during the year and worked well with my fellow workers. The nature of my work requires a lot of cooperation. There are several places where I had excellent cooperation and where we worked well together.

    My marriage was stable and beneficial. I work well with my wife as a team on domestic issues and especially in raising our children. My wife allows me a lot of space to explore different philosophical avenues.

    8th House – Death and transmutation
    - Transformation, beginning or ending, death and birth, money

    My father went through transition in August 2013 which was a big loss for me. I focused on the values that made his life a worthy life. His work ethic, tenacity, love for life and love for my mother will continue to be an inspiration for me in my life. I missed my father since he has left us but when I look at him I do so with gratefullness for that which he gave me through his example in my life. The time was a real challenge for my mother. She still cries about every time I have contact with her.

    The death of Nelson Mandela had a profound impact on the world, South Africa and on me as a South African.

    I aquired two rats as pets for the first time in my life. It changed my view of rats considerably. I have never known that rats are such intelligent creatures. I got bitten for the first time by a female rat who had babies while I was looking for pet rats. I bought two males which turned out to be a male and a female and I became the proud owner of 11 new baby rats on 31 december 2013. To my shock and horror since I did not at all suspect the one rat to be a female rat.

    I started with a new Tai Chi School in the beginning of the year. I started as chairperson of the Tai Chi club at the Parliament of South Africa. I started as master of a Philosophical fraternity of which I had been a member since 2005.

    I introduced to Parliament the product Metasonic as a new method for automating processes. I deployed a new demo of the Oracle business intelligence suite to demonstrate business intelligence capabilities.

    9th House – Spiritual work.
    - travel and that which is alien; study and places of education ; books and publishing.

    Spiritually my emphasis has shifted to the development of my pshycic body and awakening my psychic centres based on the Rosicrucian teaching of vowels sounds, the Law of the Triangle and different methods of breathing. I also realised the value and importance of group work where the group strives towards being an ideal society that live a common set of values.

    I made an intensive study of the Most Holy Trinosophia which inspired much growth in me.

    10th House – Career
    - Social status, career, and how the community classifies you, the path with a heart, — the life activity which brings personal fulfilment.

    I developed a system for measuring and improving information management maturity within an institution. In terms of this model the Maturity of information mangement of the Parliament of South Africa improved with almost 10% during the year. I had not been able to implement the Business Intelligence system I believe is needed in the Parliament of South Africa to improve performance management and reporting. Progress had been made towards the implementation of an integration architecture that will integrate information across the different sytems used. I had been intimately involved with two critical business cases which had been driven through the system that will impact on the operation of the institution namely a system to manage Expense claims of Members of Parliament and a Legislative drafting solution. I managed to improve the quality of our Knowledge repository for our enterprise architecture.

    The biggest boost for the year was winning the iCMG Enterprise Architecture awared 2013 for Transformation and Planning. I submitted a nomination in the beginning of the year describing the manner in which we developed and executed the 2009-2014 ICT strategy in Parliament. I was teh lead architect for this project. We were under the lsit of finalists in two additional categories. Getting global recognition for the work done was really a great boost to my ego and gave me added confidence in the work I am doing.

    11th House – Relations and social awareness.
    - groups, friends and counseling
    I am still active in supporting the plight of a group of Afrikaner Boere that strives towards self determination. I firmly believe that the playing field is not equal as long as the goverment employs racial laws and policies like affirmative action, black economic empowerment, ground redistribution and University and sport quotas to redress inequalities. I do think these things can be addressed along non racial lines. With the coming national elections in 2013 I am throwing my weight behind the Freedom Front Plus a minority party with about 0.25% of the number of votes cast. They have changed tact and hope to work closely with other minority parties to achieve certain goals. As the only party fully focused on the protection of minority rights they get my support irrespective whether they get votes or not.

    I made some friends during the year but my one friend remains the bastion of defining friendship for me. Since we live far from each other we see each other only about once or twice a year. However I have to define him as a true friend who remaind a friend through the last 15 years. Besides him I met several aquantances and people and develop many good relationships but I am not a person who has many friends. I have one online friendship that truly had been a good friendship where we exchanged many ideas and thoughts. My friendships grew mostly throug my affiliation with AMORC and my practtice of Tai Chi.

    One of the highlights of my year was attending an art exhibition of one of my Friends who is a professional artist.

    The online Afrikaans group I established two years ago for general conversation in Afrikaans had been going strongly due to an excellent group of administrators that run the group for me. My main task is to ensure everybody keeps to the main rules of the group. The group now has 2196 members and is still expanding. I am still an administrator for a Tarot related group on Facebook as well with 2582 members. This group often help me to keep my interest in the Tarot active and alive.

    I attended the first Philosophical Dinner meeting held in South Africa in Cape Town.

    I attended the Chinese new year function as well as the end of year function of the Tai Chi School. In the latter I partcipated in a demonstration that we did during the end of year function, demonstrating the ten essences of Tai chi as well as the first sequences of the Chang Man Ching short form.

    12th House – Sacrifice/Abstract
    - Alone, that which is hidden; illness, intuition and psyche.

    This category will remain hidden and not written about.

December 7, 2013

  • 2013 Foto review

    Visiting a friend for New Year
    My son enters boarding school and starts his first year in the Secondary school.

    Kung Fu demonstration during the Chinese New year

    Dragon run during the Chinese New Year celebration

    Lion dance during the Chinese New Year celebration

    Attending a Qi-gong training session.

    I received a new ergonomic chair in my office.

    Accepting a leadership role in the local Rosicrucian Order.

    Finished an oil painting of a monk.

    Attending my daughters art exhibition

    Getting the news that my dad is seriously ill in hospital.

    Attending a musical show with friends.

    Attending the departure of one of the Business analysts that reported to me

    Attending the Legislative sector Sporting Code Conference

    Visiting a friends 50th birthday.

    Displaying the MetaSonic subject oriented display board during the Parliamentary budget vote.


    Attending Oracle's SAOUG 2013 conference and use the opportunity to visit my father again.

    Most holy Trinosophia
    I translate the Most Holy Trinosophia into Afrikaans.

    I take on the role of Chair Person of the Tai Chi Sports Code at Parliament and we Tai Chi classes resumes with a new Instructor doing the Cheng Man Ching sort form.

    My father dies a few days before his birthday and I attend his funeral and deliver his eulogy.

    I am Chief Judge at a youth leadership regional competition.

    Attending my son's award ceremony for being the most promising art student.


    Attending the first Philosophical dinner Meetup gathering in South Africa.

    Surprised by snow on the mountains.

    First time I am bitten by a rat.

    Attending Parliament's support services branch Strategic planning session.

    Cellebrating heritage day by going to a heritage day function at a local church with my daughter

    The Parliament Tai Chi Sport Code receives their uniforms

    Parliament celebrates Heritage day and I took on the role of organizing the stand representing the Afrikaner culture.

    Parliament won the Global iCMG Enterprise Architecture excellence award 2013 for Transforming and planning for the work for which I was the lead architect.

    I won the Toastmaster International Afrikaans humorous competition of the division.

    I finished my second oil painting to celebrate the power of the human mind to go beyond physical limitations.

    I bought myself two rats as pets for my birthday.

    Attending the art exhibition of a friend

    A police car drove into the back of my car...not much damage but enough to cause me financial concerns.

    I organized a successful meeting with 8 speakers at the Rosicrucian Order

    I traveled by bus with the Sports Codes of Parliament to participate in the National legislative games to participate in the Chess tournament. I got a third place.

    My car is repaired and looks great

    Visualizing the ten essences at the Tai Chi Year end function

    Demonstrating part of the Cheng Man Ching short form at the Tai Chi year end function.

    I woke up hearing about the death of Nelson Mandela and the tributes of the impact his life had not only on South Africa but on the world.

November 3, 2013

  • Escaping the prison of despair

    MHT golden ratio

      Escaping the prison of despair

    Only shadows are seen in the prison of despair.
    Voices in the distance rumble through the air.
    Knowledge gained through observation
    requires vision and action for retention.
    Inner light of truth illuminates the soul.

    The Greater light seen only through a hole.
    Perpetual is the cycle of imprisonment,
    unless the promise is seen of accomplishment.
    Suffering and fear but an illusion of the mind
    the promise of freedom is for man of all kind.

September 25, 2013

  • Initiation of Dedications

    In silence darkness brings rest
    till the master speaks
    I behold the star rising
    The Primal Source of All

    Thoughts I dedicated
    to be pure and creative
    Words I dedicated
    to be instructive and edifying

    Deeds I dedicated
    for harmony and balance
    Thought, word and deed
    dedicated to radiate the light

    Flame of FA
    rune of primordial fire
    purifies and burns within

    Thoughts of UR
    rune of the original cause
    healer of roots, released

    Actions of THORN
    rune of projection of power
    cycles of existence, awakened

    Words of OS
    rune of wisdom and manifestation
    free from karmic ties,expressed

    Palms, outstretched, lifted above
    Receptive vessels receiving grace
    Humble acknowledgement of ego sacrificed
    In minds eye reflects pure white light

    All Under Momentum
    All Upper Movement
    All Uniform Manifestation
    The vibration of sound

    The presence of being affirmed
    by trumpets blown with joyful chant
    releases quiet contemplation
    of the central flame that remains.


September 20, 2013

  • Parliament wins global ICT award

    On 19 September 2013, Parliament of South Africa was
    announced as the winner, at the iCMG Enterprise
    Architecture Excellence Awards 2013 in Bangalore,
    India, in the category “Enterprise (Business and IT ):
    Transformation and Planning”

    iCMG represents a community of over 70,000 enterprise architects and operates in 32 countries. The award is a global validation by peers and industry leaders, on an international platform, for enterprise architecture excellence achieved. The award is the highest recognition that can be received in the field of enterprise architecture.

    Enterprise Architecture ensures alignment between Parliament’s Business and ICT strategies, Parliament’s operating model, ICT design principles, and the software development projects and service delivery. By taking an enterprise-wide, perspective across all the Parliament’s business services, business processes, information, applications and technology, Enterprise Architecture ensures the enterprise goals and objectives are addressed in a holistic way across all ICT projects and their deployment in the following manner:
    - A collective and unified understanding of Parliaments Business and ICT requirements
    - An alignment of ICT expenditure with the strategic objectives in Parliaments Strategy
    - Tangible measurement of business benefits
    - Monitored and managed ICT risks

    ICT is an important, pervasive, enabler to realise the mission, of Parliament, which is to represent and act as the voice of the people, in fulfilling its constitutional functions of passing laws and overseeing executive action. The Parliament of South Africa’s nomination was a finalist in three categories: 1) Enterprise Architecture 2) Best Enterprise & IT architecture in Govt/Defence/Public Sector, and 3) Transformation and Planning. Parliament won the category “Planning and Transformation” for applying enterprise architecture principles and methodologies to improve effectiveness and efficiency through information and communication technology.

    The nomination was based on how enterprise architecture was applied during the development of the 2009-2014 ICT strategy of Parliament. The approach was used to identify and consolidate business requirements and to translate business requirements into strategic initiatives for implementation.

    The award is not just recognition of a past accomplishment but it is also a promise of the continued capability in Parliament to leverage value from ICT.

September 12, 2013

  • PROMISE YOURSELF - by Christian D. Larson (1912)

    PROMISE YOURSELF - by Christian D. Larson (1912)

    To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
    To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
    To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
    To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
    To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
    To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
    To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
    To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
    To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticise others.
    To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear; and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
    To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but in great deeds.
    To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.