Mysteries of the Sun: The Hermetic Teachings of Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
"Eternity, therefore, is an image of god; the cosmos is an image of eternity;
and the sun is an image of the cosmos. The human is an image of the sun."
As twilight settled over the verdant countryside, the dilapidated bus in which I rode neared the city of Sherbrooke in Eastern Québec. My ultimate destination was a few miles outside the city--the Domaine Blagoslovenie, a retreat center situated on 22 pristine rural acres, founded by the Bulgarian philosopher, Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov (1900-1986). Ever since I first heard about the Domaine (whose name translates into “the Realm of Blessings”), I had longed to visit.
In July 1996, I finally had a chance to spend a week there, during the annual three-week summer congress of the Canadian branch of the Fraternité Blanche Universelle (the Universal White Brotherhood), the organization of Aïvanhov’s students. Although a little nervous about the trip (I knew no one at the center and was to be the only non-Francophone in attendance), I was excited about finally meeting the students of Aïvanhov, whose books I had read since 1988.
Aïvanhov, considered by many to be an adept, taught in the classic Western esoteric tradition.[i] Inspired by Pythagoras and Plato, he taught his students to reawaken to the gnosis or spiritual knowledge within them by interpreting the “living book of Nature”; in esotericism, Nature is often understood as book of “symbols and hidden realities to be ‘read’ by the intuitive mind.”[ii] He believed that in order for people to become reintegrated with the Divine, which was the aim of human life, certain practices were paramount. These included living a morally pure life, which included a modified vegetarian diet (he sanctioned the eating of fish). Moreover, music was paramount to one’s spiritual advancement, in his opinion. His students spend many hours singing sacred Bulgarian songs in complex four-part harmonies, as well as listening to classical music, especially oratorios and masses. But the most significant aspects of his teaching revolved around solar meditation.
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