The Stellar Man, Second Edition (Hermetic Philosophy) 2nd Edition
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From the Back Cover
Humanity has been converted into a race of automatons, under the influence of a cerebral and cultural hypnosis that is nearly impossible to perceive, but which controls every aspect of our internal and external life. From cradle to grave, we struggle, enjoy, fight, love, hate, suffer, play, worry, get educated, think, work, marry, procreate, grow old, and die without ever being aware of this hypnotic condition which is part of a cerebral program from which we cannot deviate for any reason, even if we try to do so.
This book is about freedom from the slavery that afflicts the entire human race. It presents the reader with the possibility of knowing the unvarnished truth of life, and lays out the path to true happiness, self-development, and transcendence through the ancient wisdom of Hermetic Philosophy.
About the Author
- Item Weight : 0.16 ounces
- Paperback : 310 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1882692047
- ISBN-13 : 978-1882692040
- Product Dimensions : 5.75 x 0.75 x 8.75 inches
- Publisher : John Baines Inst; 2nd Edition (September 1, 2002)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #106,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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First, let me tell you what I DID like about it. What I DID, personally, resonate with. Then I will share with you why I deducted stars and realized that Hermeticism is NOT FOR ME.
PROS - What I agree with:
1. I agree with what he says about how our submission, as humans, to the God of Money, led us astray and brought upon us a world of suffering.
2. About how Sapiens' Real age, in terms of evolution, is barely that of a child.
3. what he says about egocentrism, megalomania, the Individual Beast (ego), how the ignorant run on a program/hypnosis, fast asleep. Yes! So true!
4. what he says on the group trance. Collective sleep. What many philosophers dubbed "The Herd Mentality." How it is much easier for the ego to merge within a herd/tribe/gang/cult, in order to avoid the challenging, brave work of looking within oneself. Yes! This is VERY evident right now in how Trump so easily herds his base!
5. About how the goal is to Wake Up and to break the chain of sleep. Yes! I agree!
6. I love the analogy of the pendulum, to describe the forces/momentum that pulls our awareness.
7. I love the expounding on Kybalion Principles!
CONS - What I DIDN'T agree with:
1. Membership - the premise of this book is: Becoming a Stellar Man = (equals) becoming a Hermeticist. It is about why one would want to JOIN, and who would qualify to JOIN.
The problem that I have with this is that promoting IDENTIFICATION with a group, no matter what it is called, keeps one affixed to the Ethnocentric (group/herd/tribe) level of development. Much like a Christian saying that only Christians will be allowed into heaven, or the Muslims saying their own version of the same thing. This level is below the Integral and Spiritual (read Ken Wilber, Robert Kegan, Jurgen Habermas, Carol Gilligan, Claire Graves).
This reminds me of a conversation that I once had with a Jehovah Witness who claimed that the mere act of JOINING the group, gave you supernatural protections. According to him, it has been proven that a Jehovah Witness cannot be hypnotized! The very adhesive (identification) necessary to make it's members feel special, unique, THE ONES.
John Baine's own echo: "Hermeticism is the ONLY [my emphasis] living Philosophy, the ONLY knowledge which is idea, concept, flesh, blood, and Spirit."
In contrast, the advanced Eastern traditions never make such claims. In fact, Krishnamurti would always warn the groups that would form/gather around him, to NEVER turn their coming together into a "movement." He knew that ethnocentric identification was not much better than egocentric identification, because it was still identification. Still bondage, still sleep, still samsara, still illusion, still an us against them program.
In Buddhism, there is even a saying, "if you see the Buddha cross your path, chop his head off." In other words, don't identify with the concepts of the mind. Don't belong to a herd, ANY herd, even the one called Buddhism.
2. Value Exchange - this is where Baines REALLY lost me! On page 143, he writes: "we must distrust those who teach without asking anything in return"..."that which is valuable to POSSESS [my emphasis, pointing out ego] always requires something of equivalent value in return."
NOT TRUE AT ALL! Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Sri Ramana Maharshi, J. Krishnamurti, Ramesh Balsekar, Adyashanti, etc., had the exact same goal/purpose that Mr. John Baines claims to have, to AWAKEN the sleeping mirages. Yet, these Masters never charged a red cent! They weren't about herding. They could care less who the currents placed before their presence or who the currents pulled away. They were well beyond the level of duality, and never even noticed who came and who went. Who remained for one day, or who remained for a year. Identification for these Masters had gone beyond the levels of body and mind.
3. Obedience - a student is required to "take an oath of absolute obedience to his instructor. He must be willing to renounce everything, if this is required," says Baines on page 197. Classic Guru relationships also required this. But in reality, the Higher Intelligence is what is creating the currents that get the right person to the right place. The performance of rituals often does so much more to amplify our conditioning, than to liberate us. And this brings me to my next point:
4. Intentional Volition - "Hermeticism is not in any way for those who are lazy or cherish their comfort. On the contrary, it is for those who are willing to make titanic efforts towards evolution," says Baines on page 138.
This is my contention: we, in the Ultimate sense, are Already Spirit, the Absolute, the Non-Dual Source, Reality, etc. what all of these modalities/teachings intend to point us to, in order for us to Awaken to said Reality, right? I like the analogy often given, about the fish who, upon being born, notices that almost all of the other fish are swimming frantically all over the place. He is soon programmed to do the same. See, all of the crazies had fallen for the idea of THIRST (separation, for us). Now, imagine being this fish, and many schools/groups/tribes, of fish telling you that ONLY they can give you a quenching of your thirst. Permanent and final satiation. The very END of thirst (human/animal suffering). To do so, one school wants to have you swim in a certain way. Do circles in a certain direction. Each school has its own, unique pattern, its own method, it's own ritual. Of course, each group claims that theirs is the real one, the one that actually, truly works.
Yet, you also meet teachers who a aren't swimming frantically, and who couldn't care less about selling and recruiting. "NO! That is the whole problem!" these teachers say. The idea that you have to DO something, go somewhere, perform, go from a point A to a point B! NO! stay still for a moment and just observe!" When you do that, when you, NOT DO, you notice that your fish body shifts in subtle motions. Back and forth. Gently, back and forth. WHALA! You are swimming in the very thing you were searching for! You were always already completely submerged in water! There was never any effort required to realize what was always already 100% the case! Always already there! In fact, the very idea of volition, of having to do, of investing "great effort," is what kept the illusion alive! What kept you "asleep."
Anyway, this is my personal opinion, and I am writing this in hopes that I may help at least one mirage brother or sister who has already matured, or is just hatching from the egg of Ethnocentrism (group mind, herd/tribe/cult/team, etc); who might be at the very cusp of realizing that Water is, was, and will always already be 100% the case!
I say this having read books on physics, philosophy, biology, psychology, and generally informative subjects with the intent of expanding my mind as much as possible. I still have much to read and learn, of course, but out of all the great books I've gotten my hands on, this is the only one that I was compelled to re-read immediately after finishing it the first time.
There isn't much else I can say about it. Pick it up and see for yourself!
If this particular path of self-learning is familiar to you, you are likely to be a person who does not blindly believe anything. At minimum this will greatly stretch your imagination and give you new possibilities to ponder. Strong religious believers are unlikely to make it through the first few chapters. Paradoxically, I found that it illumines what is published in the Christian Bible.
To paraphrase the book's opening, this is not a new-agey, happy and simple path to follow; the book outlines a very high level of mental focus and spiritual training that not everyone would be able to even get half-way through, let alone to the level of an Initiate. If you're looking for a book that gives you things the sugar-coated path, look elsewhere...