A lexicon of arcane, occult, and esoteric terms
and the original meaning of some contemporary terms
NOTE: The definitions presented here are only intended to provide a brief summary of terms as used in a context related to this website, such as you might give when a friend asks, "What does "xxxx" mean?" There is no attempt to provide a comprehensive list of "official" definitions, such as you might find on the Theosophy Wiki
Æther. The æther is a complex topic. Modern science recognizes its necessity because it is required to explain how light is transmitted through a seeming vacuum. "Seeming" because "vacuum" implies empty space, a concept that defies reason when examined in depth. That's a discussion of its own. For now, suffice to say that there can be no place in existence where nothing exists. It is the æther that fills all of space, whether there is observable matter present or not.
The æther itself is matter of super-fine tenuity, beyond the capability of today's science to detect. The æther that science does speculate on is but the grossest form of seven subdivisions on the material plane. The higher subdivisions are not even dreamt of in modern physics.
According to the ancient teachings, the æther is the fifth of seven elements. It is coming into recognition during the current stage of human evolution, and eventually will become visible to common perception. The remaining two elements are presently beyond the range of human perception, and will remain so for the duration of the current race.
The æther has long been recognized as the fundamental form of matter on the physical plane. When you have a creative ideal, that thought first manifests form in the æther before coalescing into full material form. Eventually all material substance returns to the æther.
Helena Blavatsky describes the æther as the Soul of matter and the quintessence of all forms of energy, generated by, stored in, and diffused by the stars. Without æther there could be no communication in the Universe; no light, no heat, no motion, no sound, and no change in substance.
Bilateral Music. Music with a beat that pans in an alternating, rhythmic pattern between the left and right ear. This synchronizizes activity in the left and right hemispheres of the brain, and has been shown to relieve anxiety, aid sleep, and even benefit certain physical ailments. Most bilateral music will be composed with alpha phase patterns (7-14 cycles per second), which entrains the brain to enter the alpha state. Headphones -- or stereo speakers that are situated on either side of the head -- are required to experience the full potential, though benefit can be obtained without full stereo.
Binaural Beats. A method of playing sound of two different frequencies within 10 Hz of each other into each ear. The brain compensates for the difference in frequency by creating an internal frequency equal to the difference between the two. This entrains the brain to function at the state of the perceived frequency and attain a desired mental state. This is typically the Theta state, which comprises the center of the perceivable range.
EXAMPLE: The Schumann Resonance -- the vibrational frequency of the Earth -- is 7.83 Hz, which is below the lower end of human hearing. The third octave (8th harmonic) of 7.83 is 62.64 Hz. If 62.64 Hz is played into one ear, and 54.81 Hz is played into the other ear, the brain will interpret the difference between them and hear 7.83 Hz.
Watch The Golden Ratio, which uses binaural beats to express the Golden Ratio, 1.618. Even if you don't have headphones, you can watch the first seven minutes and read the notes that guide you through the experience.
Cymatics. The science and art of exploring the relationship between vibration -- specifically that of sound -- and matter; and how one affects the other. (There is little concensus on an official definition for cymatics; many dictionaries don't even list it.) On this website, the process of "entrainment" falls under the umbrella of cymatics.
Entheogen. A psychoactive substance, typically of plant or mushroom origin, that is used for spiritual growth and the evolution of consciousness. Most people would use the more popular terms "psychedelic" or "hallucinogen."
But psychedelics have a history of recreational use and mis-use, while entheogens are used in a medicinal context and treated with the greatest respect. And hallucinogen implies that the effects exist only within the mind, having no foundation in reality. Those who experience the effects would argue that the opposite is true; that the experience provides a glimpse of a greater reality.
Entrainment. The practice of training parts of the body and aspects of the mind to resonate in harmony with a desired frequency. This can be accomplished by a variety of methods. For example: a) Listening to music or tones that are played at a specific frequency. b) Frequency generators that are applied in direct contact with the body. c) Meditation. d) Proximity to a person or object that is functioning at the desired frequency.
Since everything that exists -- be it material object, a form of energy, a thought, an emotion -- are all manifistations of a rate and mode of vibration, you are actually in a state of entrainment every moment of your life. You should always be aware of your environment and how it impacts your body and mind.
Sources of electromagnetic waves can play a significant role. Cellphone towers, power lines, microwaves from satellites, refrigerators, the light from computer monitors, etc, are bathing us constantly. Unintentional entrainment can affect one's physical and emotional state. Deliberate entrainment can be used to restore and maintain a proper balance.
Esoteric. This refers to a body of knowledge of a topic that is not in common use by the general public at the current time. All knowledge typically begins in an esoteric sense, with only a few being aware of it. Over time, as the knowledge filters out to the world at large, more recent knowledge enters into the esoteric body.
Gnosis. Knowledge, specifically Knowledge of the Self. The realization that the Self and the Divine are fundamentally identical in kind, and differ only in that the Divine is Infinite, while the Self is finite.
Occult. Hidden. "Occult" refers to topics that are generally hidden from public awareness. It does not imply such demonic or ritualistic activities as depicted in movies. Note the distinction between "hidden" and "secret." Occult knowledge is not secret; it is not locked in a vault that can only be opened by the privileged. It is simply withheld from the public at large, so that it doesn't get corrupted or misused by the profane. Knowledge is intended to be shared, and the occult teachings are available to those who seek it and show a sincere interest.
Resonance. The property of an object -- organic or inorganic -- that causes or allows it to change its vibrational frequency to match that of another, usually similar, object. It is this property that underlies the principles of entrainment.
Schumann Resonance. In 1952, Winfried Schumann observed that lightning produces electromagnetic (EM) waves. As the EM waves circle the Earth and collide, they resonate, and are amplified. Hence the term.
Everything that exists has a natural frequency at which it vibrates. Components of a larger whole have their own frequency. So you have your frequency; but your heart beats to its own rhythm. The Earth has its frequencies -- the rotation on its axis, its orbit around the sun, earthquakes -- and the Earth has its heartbeat, expressed in the atmosphere by electrical storms. This frequency, like the beat of your heart, varies. And like your average resting heartbeat, the average frequency of the Earth is 7.83 Hz. Or has been, until recently.
When you understand that the atmosphere is part of the Earth, you realize that you don't live on the Earth, you live within its body. You are not simply a resident of this planet, you, like the atmosphere, are part of it. And like all components of a system, they interact with each other.
How this interaction between you and the planet affects your physical and emotional health, and even your consciousness, is a topic too deep for this page. But it's worth noting that the resonant frequency of the Earth has been increasing. Letely, it's been spiking at double it's normal rate, and has been averaging around 8.5 Hz. And that, too, is worth its own discussion.
Synchronicity. Events that are meaningfuly related but not causally connected.
NOTE: An example often given is that you're thinking of someone, who then calls you on the phone. That's not synchronicity; that's telepathy. Another frequent example is that you hit all of the traffic lights on green, or a perfect parking spot opens just as you need it. If that's all you're looking for, don't bother reading more.
EMAMPLE: You have an appointment for a job interview. You're exceptionally qualified and very confident that you'll be selected. On the way there, you see a person who has had a flat tire, and they appear to be at a loss as to how to deal with it. You decide to pull over and offer assistance, even though you know it will make you miss the appointment. During your conversation with the stranded motorist, they offer you a job, which you accept. Six months later, you're contemplating the circumstances that brought you to your current job, which has turned out very well. You wouldn't be here if the motorist hadn't needed help and if you hadn't offered it.
You then hear on the news that the other business is under investigation for fraud; an investigation you would be part of if not for the turn of events. Six months after that, you make friends with a new employee; and two years after that the two of you get married.
As you will notice in the example, the connected events may take place minutes, months, or years apart. They frequently involve not just two, but a string of events, each one inextricably bound to the previous. These strings may span a lifetime. Most important, the events don't "just happen." They involve the decisions you make. Those decisions are based on subtle cues that prompt you in a certain direction, and that direction is often one you wouldn't normally consider.
People view synchronicity as something mysterious. In fact, it is the natural way of things. The reason people don't experience it more often is because they ignore those subtle cues. Those cues come from your higher Self, which has a direct connection to the greater plan in the Cosmic Mind, and an unobstructed view of the road ahead. You're being prompted for a reason, and it's not to get a parking spot. Learn to listen to that quiet whisper within.
Theosophy. Divine Wisdom
Vril. There is no space here to properly define this term. For our purposes, suffice to say that it describes the energy that is life and gives life and provides the power of motion to all things. It manifests in many different forms, such as light, electricity, etc.
On this website, we will look at it in the context of that life-giving energy that is also known in various disciplines as prana, chi, life force, etc. We don't discuss the nature of vril itself so much as its practical application in our daily activities: e.g. diet, exercise, rest, play, meditation, sleep, and all activities that affect our health and well-being.