Out of This World, 6-8


6. (pp. 87-103) "Journeys through the Mind".

p. 91 activities "of the dream-soul, ... on which all the great iddhi (Pali for siddhi) were based" {all these are functions actually and regularly performed in out-of-body experience; none really belong to ordinary dreams}

"From one person he becomes many, and from many he becomes one again. ...

Unhindered he goes through walls and through mountains as if they were empty space.

He dives into the depth of the earth and comes back again as if out of water.

He walks on water without sinking, as if on earth. ...

He takes the great and powerful luminaries, the sun and the moon, in his hand, and pets them. {as in the Sat-dharma Pun.d.arka Sutra}

He even reaches the world of brahman (i.e. the universal soul) while in the body."

pp. 91-2 differing attitudes toward levitation in Bauddha literature

p. 91

"According to Pali texts, the main iddhi of the Tathagata (Buddha) is levitation (Samyutta Nikaya 5.283). ... Yet, on the other

{Vietnamese Dhyana is devoted to promoting miracles, whereas Chinese Dhyana is devoted to demoting them.}

p. 92

hand, ... the Buddha dissuaded ... from walking over water ... . As John S. Strong ["WMFM"] noticed, magical powers, and especially the power of levitation, are treated in quite a contradictory manner in Buddhism".

"WMFM" = John S. Strong : "Wenn der magische Flucht misslingt". In :- H. P. Duerr (ed.) : Sehnsucht nach dem Ursprung. Frankfurt : Syndicat, 1983. pp. 503-18.

p. 101 Taoist pilgrimage to Makkah [p. 100 "inserted at the end of a 1597 collection authored by Lo Mou-teng ... is the fictitious account of a 1405 to 1432 expedition to Mecca ... by the Taoist master of heaven"]

Disembarking from his ship, Wan Min "lands at a city who population is a genetic mixture of human beings and animals ... . Among them, Wang finds his deceased wife ... . Wang realizes that he has landed in the underworld.

He passes for his ex-wife’s brother and is given a tour of hell by her new husband.

{>bi^-melek took as his wife S`aray, whom her husband >abram had designated as his sister (B-Re>s^it 20:2).}

Noteworthy are the river of blood

{the river of blood is also Norse}

with two bridges that can be crossed only by relatively good people ..., while

the wicked must muddle through the blood, fighting against brass serpents and iron dogs. All this is Chinese Buddhist scenery ... :

{Brass serpents and iron hounds are not at all "Buddhist", but are instead standard features of the Taoist path for souls of the dead.}

{A "brazen serpent" was in the path of travel of the exodos (B-Midbar 21:9 – "S"BO); and the serpent-tailed hound Kerberos is compared with heated iron by Euphorion (Page : Select Papyri III, No. 121 – "K").}

Dame Meng is supposed to mix the potion of oblivion for the dead, which is a sort of water of Lethe that allows them to reincarnate" (ChDC, pp. 18-20).

"Along a dam where a nasty wind throws water in the faces of the people ..., walk ten categories of ghosts" (ChDC, pp. 25-7).

"S" = http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?&artid=488&letter=S&search=SERAPHIM&searchOpt=1#1618

"K" = http://www.theoi.com/Ther/KuonKerberos.html

ChDC = J. J. L. Duyvendak : A Chinese "Divina Commedia". Leiden : Brill, 1952.


7. (pp. 104-13) "Spiritual Vision".

pp. 105-6 Avestan shamanism

p. 105

"According to Gnoli, the Ga^thic maga refers to an ecstatic experience ... with the Zoroastrial archangels, the amesha spentas (beneficent immortals). This state is .. a special illumination (cisti), a form of transcendent knowledge ... . The Middle Persian tradition also speaks of a spiritual vision, an incorporeal psychic (me^no^g) vision as opposed to a physical (ge^ti^g) vision." ("SM")

p. 106

"Gignoux believes that shamanistic elements in Zoroastrianism are connected with the Iranian concept of the free soul, called bony soul (astvand ruva^n) in Avestan." ("CO&AO")

"SM" = Gherardo Gnoli : "Lo stato di ‘maga’ ". AION 15 (1965), pp. 105-17.

"CO&AO" = Philippe Gignoux : "Corps osseux et a^me osseuse". J ASIATIQUE 277 (1979), pp. 41-79.

p. 107 vision of Vis.tasp

"For three days and three nights Vishtasp goes through a near-death experience, while his soul travels to the upper paradise, Garo^dma^n, ... and a Middle Persian source adds that the mixture of ho^m and henbane ["the Avestan drug bangha, probably henbane (Hyoscyamus niger)" (p. 105)] is brought to him by the Archangel Ashvahisht (Asha Vahishta)." (Denkart 7.4.75, in "JMIP", p. 15)

"JMIP" = Marijan Mole’ : "Le jugement des morts dans l’Iran pre’islamique". In :- Sources orientales : le jugement des morts. Paris : Seuil, 1961.

pp. 108-10 Book of Arda Viraz

p. 108

"Vira^z ..., as a faithful Mazdaean (Zoroastrian), ... is married to his sisters ... . ... consanguineous marriage (xve^do^dah) is again a ... trait of Sassanian Mazdaeanism (probably introduced by the western Iranian priests called Magi) ... . ... Eventually in a fire temple he perfumes himself, ... takes three cups of mang, and sleeps ... for seven days ... .

p. 109

On the seventh day, Vira^z’s soul comes back ..., ... bringing ... greetings from ... the gods of the dead. He then dictates ... the report of his otherworldly journey ... . In his account, the gods Srosh and Adur receive his soul as soon as it leaves the body. ... Thus they arrive at the Cinvat bridge. There the soul of Vira^z remains until the third day. ... On the third day, a scented breeze rises from the southern region of Ohrmazd, and the dae^na ..., the image of "his own religion and his own good deeds," comes before him in the form of a young girl [maiden] with large breasts, long fingers, and radiant skin ... . The dae^na explains to him that she is such because of his own "good thoughts, good words, good deeds, and good religion." ...

p. 110

Because of Vira^z’s merits, when he advances on the Cinvat Bridge is becomes nine lances wide. The righteous one passes, ... and the god Rashn, who holds in his hand a golden balance to weigh the deeds of the deceased, appears in front of him. Then Srosh and Adur take him on a tour of paradise ..., but first ... they take three steps to heaven,"



to __

for hu-__ (good __)

where there are the souls of those who were pious __




mat (thoughts)

but did not recite prayers, nor practice kin-marriage, nor exercise leadership




uxt (words)

but did not recite prayers, nor practice kin-marriage




vars.t (deeds)

and "perfect"


"Beyond the three heaven there is a fourth level, the endless light (anagra raoc,a), where the paradise of Ohrmazd is located. ... The great archangel Vahman takes Vira^z’s hand and introduces him to the courtiers of the sovereign god, who are the bony souls of Zarathustra, Vishtasp, and other religious leaders ... . Eventually he is introduced to Ohrmazd himself".

{/VIRAZ/ would appear to be phonetically identical with /VIRAJ/, the name of a goddess assuming various successive guises according to the Atharvan Veda. In later literature (such as the Puran.a-s, this name (in the form /Virat.a/) commonly denoteth a male deity.}

p. 111 advocacy of non-mourning for the dead

"according to Mazdaean religion it is not good to shed tears for the departed because those tears contribute to a large afterlife river, and the souls of the dead have difficulty crossing it."

p. 112 punishment of sexual non-compliance by women

A woman was deemed "disobedient" to her husband if she "did not consent to copulation whenever he wished." (AW, p. 210)

In hell there were "women hung upside down, with "the semen of all kinds of demons," ... poured continuously into their mouths and noses, for having denied their husbands [sexual] intercourse." (AW, p. 212)

AW = Fereydun Vahman (transl.) : Arda^ Wira^z Na^mag : the Iranian Divina Commedia. Malmo : Curzon Pr, 1986.


8. (pp. 114-53) "Greek Medicine Men"

p. 118 Life of Ye-s`es Tso-rgyal

"a woman tempted by demons who take the shapes of ... young men ... . They ... embrace her, rub her breasts, fondle her vagina, and kiss her".

pp. 115, 118 Kirke & her swine

p. 115

" "Cirke with the braided tresses," ...

{Inasmuch as /Kirke/ signifieth ‘falcon’, cf. the falcon-goddess who hovered over WSI,R.}


changes Odysseus’s companions into swine."

{Inasmuch as Kirke transformed men into also other species than swine ("Wolves and lions", GM 170.i); therefore cf. the variety of species of animal whereinto In-anna transformed her successive husbands.} {The Balinese "pig-spirits" may, howbeit, be comparable with the charges of Eumaios the swineherder.}

p. 118

"On ... Bali, ... during a feast one is possessed by pig-spirits and imitates a pig" ("CD").

"CD" = Ele’mire Zolla : "Circe, la donna". In :- Verita` segrete esposte in evidencia. Padua : Marsilio, 1990. pp. 131-52.

p. 121 walk-in type of spirit-possession

"In the sixth book of his Pharsalia, Lucan (39-65 C.E.) describes a procedure called nekyomanteia (corpse oracle), which consists of the temporary animation of the body of a recently deceased person." (CM, p. 69)

CM = Pierre Boyance’ : Le culte des Muses chez les philosophes grecs. 1936.

p. 122 direct-voice type of spirit-mediumship

"divination, called engastrimythos, ... a dialogue with the dead." (GD, p. 245)

{cf. the GASTeRocheires from (GM 73.b) Lukia, homeland of the oracular god Apollon. (The /-cheir-/ could refer to the spectral hands so often visible in se’ances for the dead.)}

GD = W. R. Halliday : Greek Divination. London : Macmillan, 1913.

pp. 123-4 healing by incubation-dreams in temples

p. 123

Asklepios was "worshipped in temples where he effected cures by sending his patients dreams ... ." (Aelius Aristides : Oratio 48.31-5, in AC&I, vol. 1, pp. 210-1)


"Asclepius would usually appear in a vision (opsis) during a dream, promising the patient that he or she would be cured and giving different prescriptions, some of medicinal dru and others of actions" (AC&I, vol. 1, pp. 204 sq)


"she slept in the temple of Asclepius at Troezen and saw a dream. It seemed to her that the sons of the god, while he was not present but away in Epidaurus, cut off her head, but, being unable to put it back again, they sent a messenger to Asclepius asking him to come. ... It seemed to her

p. 124

the god had come from Epidaurus and fastened her head onto her neck. ... And after that she became well." (AC&I, vol. 1, pp. 234)


A woman of Messene "slept in the Temple and saw a dream. It seemed to her that the god approached her with a snake which was creeping behind him; and with that snake she had [sexual] intercourse." (AC&I, vol. 1, pp. 237)

AC&I = Edelstein (transl.) : Asclepius : a collection and interpretation of the testimonies. 2 voll. Baltimore : John Hopkins Pr, 1945.

pp. 124-6 the oracle of Trophonios at Lebadeia

p. 124

"rites are described at length in Pausanias’s Guide to Greece (9.34.4). ... . ... the postulant ... drinks from the water of two springs called Lethe and Mnemosyne ("forgetfulness" and "memory"). These two springs are also mentioned on ancient gold amulets for the dead".

p. 125

According to Ploutarkhos, at "Trophonius’s sanctuary ... Timarch of Chaeronea ... goes down into the cave to ask the god about the nature of Socrates’ daimon ... . ... Thus freed from the body, Timarch’s soul expands happily like a sail in the wind, listening to the music of the spheres".

p. 126

"The second-century satirical writer Lucian wrote a Nekyomanteia (ghost raising) based on the lost Nekyia of Menippus of Gadara (third century B.C.E.), in which the cave of Trophonius ... appears to be an entrance to the netherworld. The Magus Mithrobarzanes shows Menippus how to return from the netherworld to Greece using Trophonius’s cave." ("COT", p. 583)

"COT" = Hans Dieter Betz : "The Case of the Oracle of Trophonius". In :- David Hellholm (ed.) : Apocalypticism in the Mediterranean World and the Near East. Tu:bingen : Mohr (Siebeck), 1983.

pp. 129-30 "true earth"

p. 129

In the aithereal region is "the true earth, whose ground is made of precious stones far superior to those known to us, and is full of gold and silver,

{In the Puran.a-s, the Tala-s (realms below the earth’s surface) are described as composed of pretious stones.}


and marvelous trees and animals. In the Platonic dialogue Gorgias (523a ff.), true earth is called isles of the blessed and is populated by a race that navigates on air, ... is not subject to illness

p. 130

or decay, and meets the gods face to face in their temples, for the gods are ... shining inhabitants of the upper ether."

pp. 142, 144-5 Herakleides of Pontos

p. 142

"Jacques Flamant has recently noticed" [EE, pp. 37-8] that there is "the advantage of conciliating all competing orders of the planets" in the hypothesis by Herakleides of Pontos, that "the planets revolve around the earth, except for Mercury and Venus, which revolve around the sun".

p. 144

Herakleides (of Herakleia in Pontos in the 4th century B.Chr.E.) "invented an Iatromante of his own, Empedotimus of Syracuse ..., whose mixed name was made up from the names of Empedocles and Hermotimus. This fictitious character ... reported his own visions ... . ...

p. 145

Empedotimus also called the Milky Way "the way of the souls going through the heavenly Hades," and ... in the middle of a desert he ... attended the judgement of the dead."

pp. 145-6 Klearkhos of Soloi; Labeo

p. 145

"Clearchus told the story of one Cleonymus of Athens, who went through a near-death experience. His soul flew to astral worlds. ... A man from Syracuse, who was experiencing near death at the same time, appeared in the same place ... .

p. 146

The two cataleptics witnessed the judgement, punishment, and purification of the souls of the dead under supervision of the Erinyes. Before going back to their countries ..., the two intruders promised each other to try to meet and make further acquaintance."


"The Latin writer Cornelius Labeo reported a very similar story, ... that "two persons died the same day and met at a sort of crossroads, after which they were ordered to revert to their bodies; and they decided to become friends until they die."" (EE, p. 37)

EE = Couliano : Expe’riences de l’extase.

pp. 147-8 Ploutarkhos : Daimon of Sokrates

p. 147

"Timarch ... looking down ... sees a frightful chasm {Tartaros?} ... . A disembodied voice offers to explain the puzzling things around him, but not above him, which remain unseen, "for they belong to other gods." ... "What is the Styx?" asks Timarch, and the voice answers : "... It passes across from you here, cleaving the light with its vertex; it extends upwards ... from Hades below, and where in its revolution it also touches the world of light, it bounds the last region of

p. 148

all ... [De genio Socratis 591a]. ...

The turning point of birth is at the Moon. ... As the Styx draws near the souls ... in terror ... slip off ..., swim up from below and are rescued by the Moon ... . These the Moon, with lightning and a terrible roar, forbids to another birth ... ." [De genio Socratis 591c]"

p. 148 Ploutarkhos : On the Face in the Orb of the Moon

"For many. even as they are in the act of clinging to the Moon, ... some of those souls too that are on the Moon they see turning upside down". (De facie in orbe lunae 943d)

"The moon is full of hollows and recesses. ... . ... the two long ones are called ‘The Gates,’ for through them pass the souls now to the side of the Moon that faces heaven and now back to the side that faces earth." (De facie in orbe lunae 944c)

The side of the Moon towards __

is named __.


"Elysian plain"

the earth

"House of the counterterrestrial Phersephone."

pp. 150-2 Ploutarkhos : On the Belated Vengeance of the Gods

p. 150

[near-death experience by Aridaios of Soloi :] "the soul, "Open like a single eye," it can now "see around in all directions at once. [De sera numinis vindicta 563e]

{"a single eye looking at the whole horizon" is, according to Giordano Bruno, the nature of the sighting of unitary Artemis (the monad, "the One, ... the truth" -- E&MR, p. 77),

{"if thine eye be single, thou shalt be full of light" (Matthew 6:22; cf. Luke 11:34)}


Carried away by the astral light, which looks like a quiet sea,

in contrast with the sighting of sea-goddess multiplex "Amphitrite,


Aridaeus’s soul (psyche) can ... see the spectacle of souls of the dead; like balls of light changing into human shapes, they move up from the earth".

origin of all numbers, all species, all causes" (p. 76).}


"Plutarch’s narrative ... has seven major sequences ... . The first sequence introduces us to the messengers of justice, Adrasteia and the three Erinyes ... .

The second sequence deals with the "scars" left by sins on the soul (565b), a motif borrowed from Plato (Gorgias 523d-24e). ... passions ... leave another mark on the soul that can only be deleted through ... the Erinys named Dike; this mark consists of color."


a soul __

is __


"in baseness and greed"



"cruel and harsh"



"intemperate in pleasures"



"jealous, envious"



"When you see a disembodied soul, the color gives you a reliable means of rating the soul’s "aura." ...

p. 151

In the third sequence we meet a special category of the dead : those who, during their lifetime, had been initiated into the mysteries of Dionysus (565a-566a).


In the afterlife ... they spend their time in foolish pursuit ... .

{Dionusos opposed slavery (GM 27.h); and advocacy of the abolition of slavery was described (by writers who did not which to be treated as subversives) as a "foolish pursuit" (because abolitionism was severely opposed by governments).} ...


A fourth sequence shows ... Orpheus, who went into the beyond in pursuit of his wife Eurydice,


but did not remember well what he saw ... .

{Orpheus saw that the deities in the netherworld could be charmed by music (GM 28.c), a fact well-known to shamans.}

p. 152

A fifth sequence is meant to emphasize that no one has ever visited a region above the moon and lived to tell about it. ...

A sixth sequence gives a description of ... the heavenly Hades (probably the lunar zone called "Hecate’s recess" in Timarch’s myth). ...

The seventh and last episode takes ... to a place where souls are apportioned the kinds of bodies they deserve in order to go down into the world.


The soul of the emperor Nero ... because ... he restored the Greeks their freedom ... becomes ... an innocuous frog."

{This (singing by frogs) is likely an allusion to the Hellenic-style singing-performances promoted by ("NFRB") Nero.} {The specific association of Nero’s singing performances would derive from Suetonius statement (joke?) that during Nero’s singing-performances some of the audience "shammed dead so they could be carried away for burial." ("ENFDEM")}

E&MR = Ioan P. Couliano (transl. by Margaret Cook) : Eros and Magic in the Renaissance. U of Chicago Pr, 1987.

"NFRB" = Mary Francis Gyles : "Nero Fiddled While Rome Burned" THE CLASSICAL JOURNAL, Vol. 42, No. 4 (Jan. 1947), 211-217. http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/journals/CJ/42/4/Nero_Fiddled*.html

"ENFDEM" = "Emperor Nero: feigning death to escape the music" http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/ivanhewett/8697961/Emperor_Nero_feigning_death_to_escape_the_music/

p. 151 metempsychosis & non-metempsychosis

"Neusis also means the movement of a rocking cradle; it implies that the {prospective} baby-soul on high {in heaven} is swinging {cf. "Swing low, sweet chariot"} toward the place {forthcoming} birth. It also explains why

some Platonists would make the Milky Way {which is produced from the milk suckled by a baby (GM 119.a)} into a storage place of souls on their way to being reborn :

{Deities of the Milky Way are ("CEDCR") TONACAtecuhtli and his wife, their names perhaps referring to

baby-souls probably feed on the same food as physical babies."

TONACAcuauhtitlan, or Chichihuacuauhco, where the souls of dead babies are fed milk (HLAW, p. 163)}

"the true initiate, usually initiated in the major mysteries of Eleusis, is never supposed to be reborn again in the world. From a place at the summit, his or her soul contemplates "the mud of the world" {"dust of the world" in terminology of the Bauddha system, wherein non-rebirth is likewise sought} below and has absolutely no desire to return here."

"CEDCR" = "A Colonial Era Decipherment of Codex Rios" http://www.famsi.org/research/pohl/jpcodices/rios/

HLAW = Manuel Aguilar-Moreno : Handbook to Life in the Aztec World. Oxford U Pr, 2006. http://books.google.com/books?id=ZseasJq3WzEC&pg=PA163&lpg=PA163&dq=


I. P. Couliano : Out of This World : Otherworldly Journeys. Shambhala : Boston, 1991.