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How to Interpret and Understand Ancient Spiritual Texts

Many modern spiritual texts have some value, but are often written from a very slanted point of view while most ancient texts were written as entertaining stories with ideas on how to live, learn and grow both spiritually as well as in relationship with others, they often contain hidden and powerful occult truths that will benefit us greatly if we know how to find them. That is what this article is about.

Problems arise when people lose sight of the original intentions of the writers, and begin to believe that they are the literal historical truth and the “only word of god”. Whether it is the Bhaghavad Gita, the Tanakh, the Qur’an, the Christian Bible, The Good Witch's Bible, or any other spiritual text none of them are the literal and only word of any great spiritual being. If that offends you then do yourself a favor, and continue reading. I suspect that you will find something very interesting here before we get done.

In my Rabbinical training, one of my favorite books was “Sefer ha Zohar” (the Book of Enlightenment), and we shall quote a bit from that, and then there is a great little workbook called “The Invisible Chariot: An Introduction to Kabbalah and Jewish Spirituality” by Deborah Kerdeman and Lawrence Kushner. I encourage you to get a copy, and to study it well as it will help you greatly with this process. You see, even though it is teaching people to study Kabbalah, it's principles can be applied to any ancient spiritual text just as well. And, after that we will cover a bit about what is known as “ICE Theology”. So, prepare to have a bit of fun!

On page 28 of “The Invisible Chariot”, and after a lengthy preparation for it, Kushner wrote, “We are now ready to explore the final level of Torah. It is called “sod”. Sod means “secret”. It is the level of ultimate meaning, total interconnectedness. Here, the interpreter reads between all of the lines, and uncovers meaning in the spaces between all of the words. He or she understands not only how every passage of Torah relates to every other passage, but also how each word and letter of Torah applies to all aspects of life. Naturally, such insight requires tremendous familiarity with the entire Tanakh and extremely clear vision.”
In other words, it is not what is obvious that counts, but the things that are hidden within the deeper meanings of even the smallest parts, and even in the spaces where there appears to be nothing at all. Attorneys often argue about the spirit of the law as compared to the letter of the law. As of the 1 of January, 2017 there is now a law on the books that effectively makes child prostitution legal there even though any adult caught being a prostitute will still be charged with a crime and possibly go to prison for it. The problem here is not so much as that the State Legislature intended to make it legal to sell the sexual favors of children as the great likelihood that it is a very poorly worded law, and the spirit, or intentions of the writers, was something much different than the appearances. The interpretation of spiritual texts is much this way as we look for a meta-physical understanding of the words beyond the physical understanding of what they say.

Consider these words of Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai from the Zohar: “Woe to the man who says that Torah represents mere stories and simple words! If so then we could compose a Torah (Book of Laws) right now with simple words that would be better than all of them (that came before)! To the present matters of the world? Even rulers of the world possess more sublime words! If this be so then let us follow them, and make a Torah out of them! Ah, but all of the words of Torah are subtle words and hidden secrets!”

And...”Woe to the wicked man who says that Torah is a mere story! They look at it's raiment and no further. Happy are the righteous who look at the Torah correctly. A wine must sit in a jar, and so Torah must sit in this raiment. Do not look at the raiment, but under it! All of those words, and all of those stories are but raiments.”

Just as we Aghori know that clothing interferes with our energy, and that our nudity represents the freedom the Goddess has given us, so to are the words and decorations of sacred texts merely a poor covering for the true energy and deep and secret meanings of all that lies beneath them. Some of our surrogates for attunements are good examples of this as they are even more beautiful without their clothes (raiment) on than they are when wearing them. Obviously, that does not include me, but they are the good example here, and not I.

And, we all have hidden secrets within us from past lives, but we cannot find them by looking at the exterior of our bodies, but must delve deep within our spirits and our minds to find those hidden gems of wisdom.

The same is true of the ancient sacred texts. We must consider their deeper and more profound meanings to be able to receive the hidden truths and great powers within them. We need to look under their garment of words and letters to find the naked (raw) power that is there for us to harness and use. And, that brings us to the lessons found in ICE Theology!

ICE is an acronym for Isagogic, Categorical and Exegetical. Isagogics is the study of the history, archeology and culture of a given people at the time of the writing of the ancient texts as this will help us to rightly understand what is being said. All too often, people in modern times will read an ancient text, or its translation, and interpret what they read in accordance to what their own culture says about it. This was the great mistake of the British when they first encountered statues of Mahakali in India and other countries in that part of the world. While her iconography actually means one thing, they interpreted it according to medieval Christianity and the other superstitions from their part of the world.

There are often concepts that are not clear in place in an ancient text, but there is a fairly simple way to interpret the basic meanings that allow you to look for the deeper understandings, and that comes from the categorical approach. We do this by looking at what the words or concepts mean all through the text, and not just in one place, sutra, kural or section. In doing so we wind up with a very rich and diverse understanding of the words and concepts that we study, and we also look at the root understandings of the letters themselves.

The exegetical approach to our study comes about by taking every facet of our study, and putting it together, and then looking for the metaphorical understanding about life that this brings to us. When we have that then we are able to spend time talking with Mahakali and the spirits about it, and then meditating deeply upon those parts that have been revealed so that we can learn to see the deepest, most hidden and powerful secrets within it. It is in the Silence of the Void of Kali that we find the hidden treasures, but it is these other processes that sets it up for us to be able to do so successfully.

So, here is a simple explanation of the process of spiritual exploration within the ancient texts. Follow this basic guide as to how it is done, and you will soon find other methods that will work for you as well that are based upon your own spiritual strengths and insights. The rewards of such an activity are profound! Here is a case in point: Whenever someone who is ill with a catastrophic disease reads through the Zohar for the first time then there is a point in the reading where the energy of the words heals them completely! My favorite version of “The Zohar” is the five volume set that is translated by Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon, and that is published by the Soncino Press in London, England and New York, New York USA.

Be Healed!


Jai Mahakali

Baba Prajna Shiva Kalidasa

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