Terminology A-Z


Agnosticism: The view that the existence of God or the supernatural is unknown or unknowable. Ahimsa: A religious concept which advocates non-violence and respect for all life. Ahimsa (अहिंसा ahiṁsā) is Sanskrit for the avoidance of himsa, or injury. It is interpreted most often as meaning peace and reverence toward all sentient beings. Ahimsa is the core of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. Its first mention in Indian philosophy is found in the Hindu scriptures called the Upanishads, the oldest dating about 800 BC. Those who practice Ahimsa are often vegetarians or vegans. Aikido: (合気道 Aikidō, also 合氣道 using an older style of kanji) Literally meaning "harmony energy way", or with some poetic license, "way of the harmonious spirit", is a gendai budo – a modern Japanese martial art. Practitioners of aikido are known as aikidoka. It was developed by Morihei Ueshiba (植芝盛平) (also known by aikidoka as o-sensei (大先生)) over the period of the 1930s to the 1960s. Technically, the major parts of aikido are derived from Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu (大東流合気柔術), a form of jujutsu with many joint techniques, and kenjutsu (剣術), or Japanese sword technique (some believe the tactics in Aikido are especially influenced by Yagyū Shinkage-ryū). Aikido is also considered to contain a significant spiritual component. Akashic Records: (Akasha is a Sanskrit word meaning "sky", "space" or "aether") Said to be a collection of mystical knowledge that is stored in the aether; i.e. on a non-physical plane of existence. The concept is common in some New Age religious groups. The Akashic Records are said to have existed since the beginning of the planet. Just as we have various speciality libraries (e.g., medical, law), there are said to exist various Akashic Records (e.g., human, animal, plant, mineral, etc.). Most writings refer to the Akashic Records in the area of human experience. Ascension: Ascension is the term used to describe moving from a lower vibrational consciousness to a higher consciousness. It involves acknowledging standing in your full power of who you are as you co-create the illusion of separation while existing in a high vibrational state of love. It is accomplished by consciously connecting with the tools and experiences of your akashic record held within your DNA with the help of your higher self. This is done by merging and balancing the high vibrational essence of who you are into physical manifestation. More simply stated, ascension is recognizing who you are and connecting to that aspect of yourself by raising your consciousness through vibration. For some people, the main purpose of this lifetime is to ascend. A free comprehensive e-book on ascension can be found here. Ancestor worship: (拜祖), also ancestor veneration (敬祖) A religious practice based on the belief that one's ancestors possess supernatural powers. Astral Relating to a subtle body and plane of existence that coexist with and survive the death of the human physical body. Astral body: The astral body refers to the concept of a subtle body which exists alongside the physical body, as a vehicle of the soul or consciousness. It is usually understood as being of an emotional nature and, as such, it is equated to the desire body or emotional body. Astral plane: The astral plane, also called the astral world or desire world, is a plane of existence according to esoteric philosophies, some religious teachings and New Age thought. Astral Projection: Out-of-body experiences (OBEs) achieved either awake or via lucid dreaming, deep meditation, or use of psychotropics. The consciousness or soul has transferred into an astral body which moves in the astral plane. Astrological Age (Cycles of the ages): An astrological age is a time period in astrology which is believed by some to cause major changes in the Earth's inhabitants' development. It roughly corresponds to the time taken for the vernal equinox to move through one of the twelve constellations of the zodiac. Astrological Age of Aquarius: Thought to bring with it an era of universal brotherhood rooted in reason where it will be possible to solve social problems in a manner equitable to all and with greater opportunity for intellectual and spiritual improvement. It is generally described by astrologers that in the Age of Aquarius there will be a blending of religion and science to such a degree that a religious science and a scientific religion will be formed. Aura: Energy field emanating from the surface of a person or object. This emanation is visualized as an outline of cascading color and may be held to represent soul vibrations, chakric emergence, or a reflection of surrounding energy fields. Animism: The religious belief that all objects, places, and creatures possess a distinct spiritual essence. Atheism: In the broadest sense, is the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity.


Bagua (concept): (Chinese: 八卦; pinyin: bā guà; Wade–Giles: pa kua; lit.: 'eight trigrams', Korean 한국어: 팔괘) A fundamental philosophical concept in ancient China. It is an octagonal diagram with eight trigrams on each side. The concept of bagua is applied not only to Chinese Taoist thought and the I Ching, but is also used in other domains of Chinese culture, such as fengshui, martial arts, navigation, etc. Bahá'í Faith: An emerging global religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh, a nineteenth-century Iranian exile. Blessing: (from to bless, Old English bleodsian or bletsian) Originally meant "sprinkling with blood" during the pagan sacrifices, the Blóts (reference: AHD). A blessing, (also used to refer to bestowing of such) is the infusion of something with holiness, divine will, or one's hopes. Within Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and similar traditions, formal blessings of the church are performed by bishops, priests, and sometimes deacons, but as in many other religions, anyone may formally bless another.


Chakra: In Hinduism and its spiritual systems of yoga and in some related eastern cultures, as well as in some segments of the New Age movement—and to some degree the distinctly different New Thought movement—a chakra is thought to be an energy node in the human body. Channelling: The act of attaining information (from a state of being in the present moment) from higher power or spirits and bringing it forth through writing, speaking, teaching or music. Cosmogony: [Gr. Kosmogonia from Kosmos the world and root of gignesthai to be born] The coming into existence, the creation and origination of the universe. It is also the study of these aspects. So a cosmogony describes how the Universe came to be; hence, the creation myth in the Book of Genesis is one such cosmogony, and there are many others, both scientific and mythological. This contrasts with cosmology, which studies the Universe at large, throughout its existence. Chromotherapy: Chromotherapy, sometimes called colour therapy or colourology, is an alternative medicine method. It is claimed that a therapist trained in chromotherapy can use colour and light to balance energy wherever our bodies are lacking, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. Clairaudience: Ability to hear things not audible within normal hearing ranges. It includes the audible perceptions of ghosts, spirits and those who are in the astral realm. Clairsentience: A clairsentient person is able to perceive energy fields (through physical sensations), including a person's aura and vibrations (such as voice and how words are strung together). This may also explain the ability to "sense" the presence of non-corporeal entities, such as ghosts. Clairvoyance: Extra-sensory perception whereas a person perceives distant objects, persons, or events, including perceiving an image hidden behind opaque objects and the detection of types of energy not normally perceptible to humans. Typically, such perception is reported in visual terms, but may also include auditory impressions (sometimes called clairaudience) or kinesthetic impressions. Cosmic consciousness: Cosmic consciousness is the concept that the universe is a living superorganism with which animals, including humans, interconnect, and forming a collective consciousness which spans the cosmos. Creator/Source: Creator is a term used to describe “all that is” within our experience. The Creator of everything is an energy source that created angels and dimensions and then sent forth aspects of itself (Creator is both male and female) into the lower vibrational dimensions in order to have experience and to know itself. These monad aspects then sent forth parts of themselves as souls as so on. Creation is infinite and cannot be fully understood in third dimensional thinking. Regaining the knowledge that you have an aspect of Creator within the human body is the most important awakening realization.


Dark Night of the Soul: The Dark Night of the Soul is used to describe a process of cleansing and clearing that involves facing your shadow self. Your shadow self is the aspect of your soul that carries the darker or lower vibrational experiences. In this phase it seems like everything is going wrong and that you are being abandoned by your guides and angels. It is what prompts questioning everything and leads to solving your issues. Once you emerge from this dark night of the soul you look back upon it as a blessing, feeling lighter and clearer than ever before. Deism: Historical and modern deism is defined by the view that reason, rather than revelation or tradition, should be the basis of belief in God. Deists reject organized religion and promote reason as the essential element in making moral decisions. This "rational" basis was usually founded upon the cosmological argument (first cause argument), the teleological argument (argument from design), and other aspects of what was called natural religion. Deism has become identified with the classical belief that God created but does not intervene in the world, though this is not a necessary component of deism. Dimension/ Multidimensional: The Creator created dimensions in order to experience various vibrational levels because it is so big that it cannot experience it any other way. A dimension is a specific frequency of vibration. All dimensions are connected and overlap each other and all dimensions are interdependent upon each other, which describes the term multidimensional. There are many levels within each dimension. Dhammapada: (Pali, translates as Path of the Dharma. Also Prakrit Dhamapada, Sanskrit Dharmapada) A Buddhist religious scripture, containing 423 verses in 26 categories. According to tradition, these are answers to questions put to the Buddha on various occasions, most of which deal with ethics. Dharma: (sanskrit, roughly law or way) The way of the higher Truths. Beings that live in harmony with Dharma proceed quicker towards moksha, nirvana, or personal liberation, a concept first taught in Indian religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism). DNA Upgrade: Our DNA is the genetic code that makes up our multidimensional existence. Besides the non physical higher dimensional pattern, DNA contains the instructions needed for a physical living organism to grow and function. DNA is found in the nucleus of every cell in our body except in red blood cells, and is fully repeated in every cell. The dormant strands of the higher vibrational DNA in our cells have been termed “junk DNA” by scientists. One of the goals most of us made in for this incarnation was to receive the DNA upgrade that is available to us as we astrologically move into the Golden Age and out of third dimensional density. This DNA upgrade will open the door to experiencing multidimensional life while existing in a physical body, which is unique to physical beings in our Universe.


Eckankar: Eckankar, Path of the Light and Sound of God is a teaching founded by Paul Twitchell in 1965. The teaching emphasizes the value of personal spiritual and physical experiences as the most natural way back to God and does not advocate reliance on external authority, books or dogmatic beliefs. Ego: In spirituality, and especially nondual, mystical and eastern meditative traditions, the human being is often conceived as being in the illusion of individual existence, and separateness from other aspects of creation. This "sense of doership" or sense of individual existence is that part which believes it is the human being, and believes it must fight for itself in the world, is ultimately unaware and unconscious of its own true nature. Empath: Possesses the ability to sense the emotions of other sentient life forms. Energy: Energy in spirituality refers to a widespread belief in an inter- or intra-personal forces. Believers assume spiritual energy to be of a different type than those known to science, and therapies involved are often classed as alternative medicine. Emanationism: Technically is a henotheism component in the cosmology of certain religious or philosophical systems that argue a Supreme Being did not directly create the physical universe, but instead emanated lower spiritual beings who created the world. Entheogen: A modern term derived from two Ancient Greek words, ἔνθεος (entheos) and γενέσθαι (genesthai). Entheos means literally "in God", more freely translated "inspired". The Greeks used it as a term of praise for poets and other artists. Genesthai means "to cause to be". So an entheogen is "that which causes (a person) to be in God". The translation "creating the divine within" that is sometimes given is not quite correct -- entheogen implies neither that something is created (as opposed to just perceiving something that is already there) nor that that which is experienced is within the user (as opposed to having independent existence). Epigenesis: The philosophical/theological/esoteric idea that since the mind was given to the human being, it is this original creative impulse, epigenesis, which has been the cause of all of mankind's development. Eschatology: (from the Greek eschatos meaning "last" + -logy) A part of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or the ultimate fate of humankind, commonly phrased as the end of the world. In many religions, the end of the world is a future event prophesied in sacred texts or folklore. More broadly, eschatology may encompass related concepts such as the messiah or messianic era, the afterlife, and the soul. Etheric plane: In Theosophy, the etheric plane is related to the Prana principle and is understood as the vital, life-sustaining force of living beings and the vital energy in all natural processes of the universe. Etheric body: The etheric body or vital body is one of the subtle bodies in esoteric philosophies, in some religious teachings and in New Age thought. It is understood as a sort of life force body or aura that constitutes the "blueprint" of the physical body, and which sustains the physical body. Eutheism, dystheism, and maltheism: Eutheism and dystheism are dialectic opposites within the spectrum of theistic religious beliefs. Eutheism is the belief that God exists and is good. Dystheism is the belief that God exists but is not good.


Fifth Dimension: The Fifth Dimension has been described as the dimension of Love, of living totally from the Heart. In order to enter into the Fifth Dimension and stay there, all mental and emotional baggage must be left at the door. No fear, anger, hostility, guilt exists there—no suffering or sense of separation. Mastery over thought is a prerequisite. Manifestation in the Fifth Dimension is instantaneous. You think about something—it comes present. People generally communicate through telepathy and have the ability to read each other’s thoughts and feelings with ease. The experience of time is radically different: some describe it as “everything happening at once.” There is no distinction between the past, present or future. Many of us are having experiences (or “dreams”) that feel like visits to the Fifth Dimension. These are exhilarating—tremendously exciting and hopeful. They keep us moving on through the difficulties that sometimes arise as we travel through the Fourth Dimension and into the Fifth. Four Dimension: This is the “bridge” we’re all pretty much on now and will be for a relatively short period of time. In travelling through the Fourth Dimension, we are preparing ourselves for the Fifth. Many of us have had experiences of the Fourth Dimension for a number of years now without realizing it. We can know we’re experiencing the Fourth Dimension when we have moments of spiritual awakening and experiences of heart-opening. Other times, it can happen when we’re simply feeling clear and quiet inside. Everything within and around us feels lighter, less rigid. There’s a sense of spaciousness and upliftment. Time is no longer linear in the Fourth Dimension—there’s an ongoing sense of being in present time, with no interest or even awareness of past and future. And we can discover that time is malleable—it can actually stretch and condense, much to our third-dimensional surprise. Manifestation is much faster in the Fourth Dimension. Something we simply think about can show up very quickly. In general, when we’re experiencing joy, love and gratitude, we’re experiencing fourth-dimensional consciousness. The Fifth Dimension Free Will: We exist in a free-willed Universe. This Universal Law allows us the power and responsibility to choose how we define and perceive our reality. Free Will is responsible for the allowance of darkness on the planet and thus throughout the Universe, as Creator gave all souls the ability to create whatever they choose. The greatest irony of free will choice to be other than light/love is the threat of destroying the experience of living in a free will existence. Universes that are not free-willed operate through goals and agreements through a group high mind consciousness which gives them direction toward experience.


Glossolalia: (from the Greek, "γλώσσα" (glossa), tongue and "λαλώ" (lalô), to speak) comprises the utterance of what appears (to the casual listener) either as an unknown foreign language (xenoglossia), meaningless syllables, or utterance of an unknown mystical language; the utterances sometimes occur as part of religious worship (religious glossolalia) and are commonly referred to in such circles as "speaking in tongues". Gnosticism: A blanket term for various mystical initiatory religions, sects and knowledge schools, which were most prominent in the first few centuries AD. It is also applied to modern revivals of these groups and, sometimes, by analogy to all religious movements based on secret knowledge gnosis, thus can lead to confusion. Great Awakenings: Commonly said to be periods of religious revival in Anglo-American religious history. They have also been described as periodic revolutions in American religious thought. The Great Awakenings appear to form a cycle, with a period of roughly 80 years. There are three generally accepted Great Awakenings in American history: The First Great Awakening (1730s - 1740s); The Second Great Awakening (1820s - 1830s); The Third Great Awakening (1880s - 1900s). Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Punjabi: ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ): Granth is Punjabi for book; Sahib is Hindi meaning master, from Arabic, meaning companion, friend, owner, or master – is more than a holy book of the Sikhs. The Sikhs treat this Granth (holy book) as a living Guru. The holy text spans 1430 pages and contains the actual words spoken by the founders of the Sikh religion and various other Saints from other religions including Hinduism and Islam.


Hypnagogia (Hypnogogic): Hypnagogia are the experiences a person can go through in the hypnagogic (or hypnogogic) state, the period of falling asleep. Hypnagogic sensations collectively describe the vivid dream-like auditory, visual, or tactile sensations that can be experienced in a hypnagogic or hypnopompic state. Hypnosis: Psychological condition of altered state of consciousness in which some people may be induced to show various differences in behaviour and thinking, like heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction. Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy is a therapy that is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis. A person who is hypnotized displays certain unusual characteristics and propensities, compared with a non-hypnotized subject, most notably hyper-suggestibility, which some authorities have considered a sine qua non of hypnosis.


I Ching: The oldest of the Chinese classic texts. It describes an ancient system of cosmology and philosophy which is at the heart of Chinese cultural beliefs. The philosophy centres on the ideas of the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change (see Philosophy, below). In Western cultures, the I Ching is regarded by some as simply a system of divination; others believe it expresses the wisdom and philosophy of ancient China. Incarnation: The act of a soul sending forth an aspect of its consciousness into a physical body. The soul comes into the fetus in the womb of the mother before the baby comes through the birth canal. When a soul incarnates in this manner, it takes a risk of not remembering that it is tied to its Creator. The purpose of reincarnation is to provide an opportunity for soul evolution, however by incarnating a person can get stuck on the wheel of karma. Peace of mind, serenity, and calmness are descriptions of a disposition free from the effects of stress. In some cultures, inner peace is considered a state of consciousness or enlightenment that may be cultivated by various forms of training, such as prayer, meditation, T'ai Chi Ch'uan or yoga, for example. Many spiritual practices refer to this peace as an experience of knowing oneself. Integrity: Comprises the personal inner sense of "wholeness" deriving from honesty and consistent uprightness of character. The etymology of the word relates it to the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete). Evaluators, of course, usually assess integrity from some point of view, such as that of a given ethical tradition or in the context of an ethical relationship. Involution: The process by which the Divine manifests the cosmos is called involution. The process by which the creation rises to higher states and states of consciousness is the evolution. Involution prepares the universe for the Big Bang; evolution continues from that point forward. The term involution comes from the idea that the divine involves itself in creation. After the creation, the Divine (i.e. the Absolute, Brahman, God; all these essentially mean the same thing) is both the One (the Creator) and the Many (that which was created).


Japa: (or Japam) A spiritual discipline in which a devotee repeats a mantra or the name of the God. The repetition can be aloud or just the movement of lips or in the mind. This spiritual practice is present in the major religions of the world. This is considered as one of the most effective spiritual practices.


Kabbalah: Kabbalah literally means "receiving", and is sometimes transliterated as Cabala, Kabbala, Qabalah, or other permutations. According to its adherents, intimate understanding and mastery of the Kabbalah brings man spiritually closer to God and as a result man can be empowered with higher insight into the inner-workings of God's creation effectively enabling prophecy and even control over nature. Karma Yoga: Karma yoga or the "discipline of action" is based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Sanskrit scripture of Hinduism. One of the four pillars of yoga, Karma yoga focuses on the adherence to duty (dharma) while remaining detached from the reward. It states that one can attain Moksha (salvation) or love of God (bhakti) by performing their duties in an unselfish manner for the pleasure of the Supreme. Kundalini: Kundalini according to various teachings is believed to be a type of "corporeal energy". Kundalini is envisioned as a serpent coiled at the base of the spine. According to Hindu tradition, through specific meditative exercises, Kundalini rises from the root chakra up through the spinal channel, called sushumna, and it is believed to activate each chakra it goes through. Kundalini Yoga: Kundalini Yoga is a system of meditative techniques and movements within the yogic tradition that focuses on psycho-spiritual growth and the body's potential for maturation. Karma: (Sanskrit: कर्म from the root kri, "to do", meaning deed) or Kamma (Pali: meaning action, effect, destiny) A term in several Indian religions that comprises the entire cycle of cause and effect. Karma is a sum of all that an individual has done and is currently doing. The effects of those deeds actively create present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life. In religions that incorporate reincarnation, karma extends through one's present life and all past and future lives as well. Koan: A story, dialogue, question, or statement in the history and lore of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, generally containing aspects that are inaccessible to rational understanding, yet that may be accessible to Intuition. Koans are often used by Zen practitioners as objects of meditation to induce an experience of enlightenment or realization, and by Zen teachers as testing questions when a student wishes to validate their experience of enlightenment.


Law of Attraction: The Law of Attraction is commonly associated with New Age and New Thought theories. It states people experience the corresponding manifestations of their predominant thoughts, feelings, words, and actions and that people, therefore, have direct control over reality and their lives through thought alone.


Magic: Magic and sorcery are the influencing of events, objects, people and physical phenomena by mystical, paranormal or supernatural means. The terms can also refer to the practices employed by a person to wield this influence, and to beliefs that explain various events and phenomena in such terms. Mantra: A religious syllable or poem, typically from the Sanskrit language. Their use varies according to the school and philosophy associated with the mantra. They are primarily used as spiritual conduits, words and vibrations that instil one-pointed concentration in the devotee. Other purposes have included religious ceremonies to accumulate wealth, avoid danger, or eliminate enemies. Mantras originated in India with Vedic Hinduism and were later adopted by Buddhists and Jains, now popular in various modern forms of spiritual practice which are loosely based on practices of these Eastern religions. Merkaba: “Mer” means Light, “Ka” means Spirit, and “Ba” means Body. Mer-Ka-Ba, or “chariot of ascension”, means the spirit/body surrounded by counter-rotating fields of light. According to Drunvalo Melchizedek, the merkaba field is a permanent and highly ordered Merkabic structure of inter-connected electro-magnetic counter-rotating energy spirals (wheels withint wheels)that exist as an integral part of all creation. The activation of the merkaba field within our bodies will allow us access to the higher dimensions through consciousness. The activated merkaba field looks like a multi-coloured spinning orb. Sometimes the term miracle may refer to the action of a supernatural being that is not a god. Then the term divine intervention refers specifically to the direct involvement of a deity. Moksha: (Sanskrit: मोक्ष, liberation) or Mukti (Sanskrit: विमुक्ति, release) Refers, in general, to liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth. In higher Hindu philosophy, it is seen as a transcendence of phenomenal being, of any sense of consciousness of time, space, and causation (karma). It is not seen as a soteriological goal in the same sense as in, say, a Christian context, but signifies the dissolution of the sense of self, or ego, and the overall breakdown of nama-roopa (name-form). It is, in Hinduism, viewed as analogous to Nirvana, though Buddhist thought tends to differ with even the Advaita Vedantist reading of liberation. Jainism and Surat Shabda Yoga traditions also believe in Moksha. Monad: The monad is the “oversoul” which created the aspect of consciousness of your soul. A monad consists of a male and a female aspect, and when incarnating into a lower vibrational density these two split up and continue to split further into lifetimes. Imagine a wooden wheel of a bicycle where the hub is the male or female part of the monad and the spokes are the aspects of soul consciousness or lifetimes. All lifetimes of the monad occur in the “now”, outside of space and time, and the experiences of all parallel lifetimes can be accessed by each soul once the connection is recognized and strengthened. Muraqaba: The Sufi word for meditation. Literally it means "to watch over", "to take care of" or "to keep an eye". Metaphorically, it implies that with meditation, a person watches over or takes care of his spiritual heart (or soul), and acquires knowledge about it, its surroundings and its creator. Mysticism: From the Greek μυω (mueo, "to conceal"), is the pursuit of achieving communion with or conscious awareness of ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct, personal experience (intuition or insight) rather than rational thought; the belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible through personal experience; or the belief that such experience is a genuine and important source of knowledge. In the Hellenistic world, "mystical" referred to secret religious rituals.


Nasma: A body made of the purest form of light (called Noor) which is purer than any visible color. Shah Wali Ullah was the first who give hints about this body. Qalandar Baba Auliya give its more details while Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi thoroughly described that body. This body is actually that is controlling the human physical body. The lights coming from Nasma to material body are visible only through Kirlian photography. These visible lights are called Aura. (Citation Needed) Neopaganism: (sometimes Neo-Paganism) Describes a heterogeneous group of new religious movements which attempt to revive ancient, mainly pre-Christian and often pre-Judaic Indo-European religions. As the name implies, these religions are Pagan in nature, though their exact relationship to older forms of Paganism is the source of much contention. New Earth: This is the term used to describe the fifth dimensional Earth that will be accessed through the shift toward ascension. The requisite for experiencing a New Earth will be the vibration match according to the Law of Vibrational Attainment, as the New Earth will be vibrating at a fifth dimensional frequency. New Age: Describes a broad movement of late twentieth century and contemporary Western culture characterised by an individual eclectic approach to spiritual exploration. It has some attributes of a new, emerging religion but is currently a loose network of spiritual seekers, teachers, healers and other participants. The name "New Age" also refers to the market segment in which goods and services are sold to people in the movement. Nirvana: In the Indian religions Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, nirvāna (from the Sanskrit निर्वाण, Pali: Nibbāna -- Chinese: 涅槃; Pinyin: niè pán), literally "extinction" and/or "extinguishing", is the culmination of the yogi's pursuit of liberation. Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, described the Dharma as a raft which, after floating across a river, will enable the passenger to reach nirvana. Hinduism and Jainism also use the word nirvana to describe the state of moksha, and it is spoken of in several Hindu tantric texts as well as the Bhagavad Gita. Nondualism: The belief that dualism or dichotomy are illusory phenomenae. Examples of dualisms include self/other, mind/body, male/female, good/evil, active/passive, and many others. A nondual philosophical or religious perspective or theory maintains that there is no fundamental distinction between mind and matter, or that the entire phenomenological world is an illusion (with the reality being described variously as the Void, the Is, Emptiness, or the Mind of God).


Plane (cosmology): In metaphysics and esoteric cosmology, a plane of existence (sometimes called simply a plane, dimension, vibrating plane, or an inner, invisible, spiritual, supraphysical world or egg) is a theoretical region of space and/or consciousness beyond the known physical universe, or the region containing the universe itself. Many esoteric teachings (e.g., theosophy and rosicrucianism) propound the idea of a whole series of subtle planes or worlds or dimensions which, from a centre, interpenetrate themselves and the physical planet in which we live, the solar systems, and all the physical structures of the universe. This interpenetration of planes culminates in the universe itself as a physical structured, dynamic and evolutive expression emanated – through a series of stages, becoming progressively more material and embodied – from. The Supreme Being: Which allows from Itself the irruption of auto-Singularities, as the Big Bang, originated from Its unintelligible Chaos. Predestination: Predestination is a religious concept which involves the relationship between the beginning of things and its destiny. Predestination concerns God's decision to determine ahead of time what the destiny of groups and/or individuals will be and also includes all of Creation. Premonition: Premonition refers to a situation when future events are foreknown or forecast. Premonitions are usually treated as a result of paranormal or supernatural feat. However, it is possible that the human mind is capable of forecasting an accurate view of the future. Prophecy: In a broad sense, is the prediction of future events. The etymology of the word is ultimately Greek, from pro- "before" plus the root of phanai "speak", i. e. "speaking before" or "foretelling", but prophecy often implies the involvement of supernatural phenomena, whether it is communication with a deity, the reading of magical signs, or astrology. It is also used as a general term for the revelation of divine will. Throughout history, people have sought knowledge of future events from special individuals or groups who were thought to have the gift of prophecy, such as Oracles at Delphi in ancient Greece. Cultures in which prophecy played an important role include the North American Indians, Mayans, Celts, Druids, Chinese, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Egyptians, Hindus, Hebrew, Tibetans, Greeks, and many in the Christian tradition, among others.


Qi: Also commonly spelled ch'i, chi or ki, is a fundamental concept of everyday Chinese culture, most often defined as "air" or "breath" (for example, the colloquial Mandarin Chinese term for "weather" is tiān qi, or the "breath of heaven") and, by extension, "life force" or "spiritual energy" that is part of everything that exists. References to qi or similar philosophical concepts as a type of metaphysical energy that sustains living beings are used in many belief systems, especially in Asia. Qigong: (simplified Chinese: 气功; traditional Chinese: 氣功; pinyin: qìgōng; Wade–Giles: ch'i4 kung1) An increasingly popular aspect of Chinese medicine involving the coordination of different breathing patterns with various physical postures and motions of the body. Qigong is mostly taught for health maintenance purposes, but there are also some who teach it, especially in China, for therapeutic interventions. Various forms of traditional qigong are also widely taught in conjunction with Chinese martial arts, and are especially prevalent in the advanced training of what are known as the neijia (internal martial arts).


Reincarnation: As a doctrine or mystical belief, holds the notion that one's 'Spirit' ('Soul' depending on interpretation), 'Higher or True Self', 'Divine Spark', 'I' or 'Ego' (not to be confused with the ego as defined by psychology) or critical parts of these returns to the material world after physical death to be reborn in a new body. The natural process is considered integrative of all experiences from each lifetime. A new personality feature, with the associated character, is developed during each life in the physical world, based upon past integrated experience and new acquired experiences. Some Reincarnation theories express that usually rebirth is made each time in alternated female and male type of bodies. Also that there is interaction between pre-determinism of certain experiences or lessons intended to happen during the physical life, and the free-will action of the individual as they live that life. Responsibility assumption: A doctrine in the spirituality and personal growth fields holding that each individual has substantial or total responsibility for the events and circumstances that befall them in their life. The term responsibility assumption thus has a specialized meaning beyond the general concept of taking responsibility for something, and is not to be confused with the general notion of making an assumption that a concept such as "responsibility" exists. Rosicrucian: The Rosicrucian Order is a legendary esoteric order with its roots in the western mystery tradition. This hermetic order is viewed among earlier and many modern Rosicrucianists as a "College of Invisibles" from the inner worlds, composed of great Adepts, aiming to give assistance in humanity's spiritual development.


Sadhana: Spiritual exercise by a Sadhu or a Sadhaka to attain a desired goal. The goal of sadhana is to attain some stage, which can be either moksha, liberation from the cycle of birth and death (Samsara), or a particular goal such as the blessing by a deity through his or her appearance before the Sadhaka at the end of the limited Sadhana. Sadhana can involve meditation, puja to a deity, namasmarana (sometimes with the help of a japa mala), mortification of the flesh or unorthodox practices such as in a smashana sadhana on a cremation ground. Each type of Yoga entails its own type of sadhana. To embark on a sadhana, a guru is required to give one the necessary know-how and the seed for the future result, in the form of some diksha, initiation, which he or she has received from his or her guru. Satori: Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment. The word literally means "to understand". Satori refers to "deep" or lasting enlightenment. SBNR: Acronym used by individuals who define themselves as Spiritual But Not Religious. Seven Virtues: Derived from the Psychomachia, an epic poem written by Prudentius (c. 410). Practicing these virtues is alleged to protect one against temptation toward the Seven Deadly Sins. The Seven Virtues considered by the Roman Catholic church are those of humility, meekness, charity, chastity, moderation, zeal and generosity. These are considered to be the polar opposite of the seven deadly sins, namely pride, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, sloth and greed. Shabd: (or Shabda) Literally means “sound” or “word” in Sanskrit. Esoterically, Shabd is the “Sound Current vibrating in all creation. It can be heard by the inner ears.” Variously referred to as the Audible Life Stream, Inner Sound, Sound Current or Word in English, the Shabd is the esoteric essence of God which is available to all human beings, according to the Shabd path teachings of Eckankar, the Quan Yin Method, Sant Mat and Surat Shabd Yoga. Adherents believe that a Satguru, or ECK Master, who is a human being, has merged with the Shabd in such a manner that he or she is a living manifestation of it at its highest level (the “Word made flesh”). However, not only can the Satguru can attain this, but all human beings are inherently privileged in this way. Indeed, in Sant Mat the raison d’être for the human form is to meditate on the Sound Current, and in so doing merge with it until one’s own divinity is ultimately realized. Shamanism: Refers to the traditional healing and religious practices of Northern Asia (Siberia) and Mongolia. By extension, the concept of shamanism has been extended in common language to a range of traditional beliefs and practices that involve the ability to diagnose, cure, and sometimes cause human suffering by traversing the axis mundi and forming a special relationship with, or gaining control over, spirits. Shamans have been credited with the ability to control the weather, divination, the interpretation of dreams, astral projection, and traveling to upper and lower worlds. Shamanistic traditions have existed throughout the world since prehistoric times. Shinto: (神道 Shintō) (sometimes called Shintoism) A native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. It involves the worship of kami, which can be translated to mean gods, spirits of nature, or just spiritual presences. Some kami are local and can be regarded as the spirit or genius of a particular place, but others represent major natural objects and processes, for example, Amaterasu, the Sun goddess. The word Shinto was created by combining two kanji: "神" shin meaning god (the character can also be read as "kami" in Japanese) and "道" tō meaning Tao ("way" or "path" in a philosophical sense). Thus, Shinto means "the way of the gods." After World War II, Shinto lost its status of state religion; some Shinto practices and teachings, once given a great deal of prominence during the war, are no longer taught nor practised today, and some remain largely as everyday activities without religious connotations like omikuji (a form of sortition). Shunyata: (Śūnyatā, शून्यता (Sanskrit, Pali: suññatā), or "Emptiness") In Buddhist metaphysical critique and Buddhist epistemology and phenomenology, shunyata signifies that everything one encounters in life is empty of soul, permanence, and self-nature. Everything is inter-related, never self-sufficient or independent; nothing has independent reality. Yet shunyata never connotes nihilism, which Buddhist doctrine considers to be a delusion, just as it considers materialism to be a delusion. Simran: 'Simran', derived from the word 'Smarana,' (from Sanskrit), means: remembering or contemplating on the highest – that which should be valued in memory, in general. It teaches that: everything changes while inner and outer purity naturally happen. Smarana does not project about restriction through God or religion. It shows that remembering the highest aspect of life that one has seen will eventually open up what's important to an individual. Soul Contract: Before we incarnated, we planned out certain events which would lead us to be able to accomplish things we agreed upon in our soul contract. Some of these things include who are parents or guardians are, what type of socioeconomic situation we will be born into and what energy signature we will have by being born into a particular zodiac sign. There are many people in this lifetime that we made soul contracts with, from our parents to our spouse to our first-grade teachers. Spiritual Protection/Clearing: Our spirit guides and angels can provide spiritual protection from interference in our energetic field as we progress on our path to a higher vibrational way of existence. Part of the learning process of this lifetime involves being subjected to low vibration in order to learn how to identify, transmute, and clear lower energies that may exist in our auric field. These energies may have been a part of a past life that we carried forth into the next lifetime and cannot be carried forth into the fifth dimension, or they may be hitchhiking entities that can sneak into the auric field through fissures. The clearing of these energies is necessary in order to move into the vibration of love of the fifth dimension. Once they are cleared, asking for protection from other lower vibrational energies and entities helps to continue to raise one’s vibration. A guided clearing meditation is one way to clear and protect. Water is an excellent cleansing agent when infused with love and intention, and sea salt baths with baking soda can also assist with cleansing. Crystals are also an excellent way to clear and protect, as they can absorb and transmute energies. Soul Group/Soul Mates: When Creator created monads it created them out the rays of its white light. When this light is differentiated it becomes the colors of the rainbow. Monads were split into groups of colours known as rays. For example, a blue ray monad will have a purpose or characteristics different than a green-ray monad. Blue-ray monads have more in common and vibrate at the same rate as other blue ray monads, thus they are naturally attracted to each other. Furthermore, monads split into souls and vibrational groups are formed within each soul. These souls incarnate together in order to help each other spiritually advance. Soul mates from a particular soul group recognize each other when they meet in this lifetime. A soul mate may incarnate as your mother or father in one lifetime and then they may switch it up to be the daughter or son in another lifetime. They could be husbands and wives or they are an influential person in your life that helps to balance a past life energy or lesson. Soul mates from a soul group love each other so much that they may have volunteered to be a difficult aspect of your lifetime, which is a blessing in disguise as these lessons catapult you higher on your spiritual path. Soul: The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the ethereal substance – spirit (Hebrew:rooah or nefesh) – particular to a unique living being. Such traditions often consider the soul both immortal and innately aware of its immortal nature, as well as the true basis for sentience in each living being. The concept of the soul has strong links with notions of an afterlife, but opinions may vary wildly, even within a given religion, as to what happens to the soul after death. Many within these religions and philosophies see the soul as immaterial, while others consider it possibly material. Spirit: The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning breath. In religion and spirituality, the respiration of the human being has for obvious reasons been strongly linked with the very occurrence of life. A similar significance has been attributed to human blood. Spirit has thus evolved to denote that which separates a living body from a corpse, but can be used metaphorically (she performed the piece with spirit or she put up a spirited defence) where it is a synonym for such words as 'vivacity'. Within this broad definition, theories of spiritual evolution are very diverse. They may be cosmological (describing existence at large), personal (describing the development of the individual), or both. They can be holistic (holding that higher realities emerge from and are not reducible to the lower), idealist (holding that reality is primarily mental or spiritual) or nondual (holding that there is no ultimate distinction between mental and physical reality). All of them can be considered to be teleological to a greater or lesser degree. Sufism: (Arabic تصوف taṣawwuf) A mystic tradition of Islam, which is based on the pursuit of spiritual truth as a definite goal to attain. In modern language it might also be referred to as Islamic spirituality or Islamic mysticism. While fiqh focuses on the legal aspects of Islam, Sufism focuses on the internal aspects of Islam, such as perfecting the aspect of sincerity of faith and fighting one's ego. Sufi practitioners are organized into a diverse range of brotherhoods and sisterhoods, with a wide diversity of thought. Sufi orders ("tariqas") can be Shi'a, Sunni, both or neither.


Tao Te Ching: (Chinese: 道德經, Dào dé jīng) Roughly translated as The Book of the Way and its Virtue (see the article on translating the title) is an ancient Chinese scripture. Tradition has it that the book was written around 600 BCE by a sage called Laozi (WG: Lao Tzu, "Old Master"), a record-keeper in the Emperor's Court of the Zhou Dynasty. A careful reading of the text, however, suggests that it is a compilation of maxims sharing similar themes. The authenticity of the date of composition/compilation and the authorship are still debated. Tenrikyo: (天理教; Tenrikyō, lit. The teaching of Divine Reason, also known as Tenriism) A religion of Japanese Shinto origin with some Buddhist influence. It was founded by a female peasant, Nakayama Miki, who underwent a revelatory experience from 1838 onwards. After this date, she is referred to as Oyasama (lit. Honoured Parent) by followers. Tenrikyo is estimated to have about 2 million followers worldwide with 1.5 million of those in Japan. Theism: The belief in one or more gods or goddesses. More specifically, it may also mean the belief in God, a god, or gods, who is/are actively involved in maintaining the Universe. This secondary meaning is shown in context to other beliefs concerning the divine. The term is attested in English from 1678, and was probably coined to contrast with atheism attested from ca. 1587. Thanatology: Thanatology is the academic, and often scientific, study of death among human beings. It investigates the circumstances surrounding a person's death, the grief experienced by the deceased's loved ones, and larger social attitudes towards death such as ritual and memorialization. Theophysics: Theophysics is a merger between theology and physics. A branch of theology with the aim of proving the existence of a higher supreme of all (God) using physics arguments. The main area of interest for theophysicists is the Big Bang. Theosophy: Theosophy designates several bodies of ideas in history, but the word was revived in the nineteenth century by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky to designate her religious philosophy which holds that all religions are attempts by humanity to approach the absolute, and that each religion therefore has a portion of the truth. Third Dimension: Third Dimension is not the things you see: the table, the tree, the earth. These are form. All things in form are still present in the Fourth Dimension (and to some degree in the 5th); they’re simply more light-filled, not as dense. The Third Dimension is a state of consciousness that is very limited and restricted. Because we’ve been living in this 3rd dimensional reality for so many lifetimes, we tend to assume that this is the only reality available to live in. We think this is simply how “reality” is, not realizing it’s a very limited experience of reality. The Third Dimensional “operating system” runs on rigid beliefs and a fairly inflexible set of rules and limitations. For example, in the Third Dimension, we learn to believe that bodies are solid; they can’t merge with each other or walk through walls. Everything is subject to gravity, physical objects cannot disappear, and we cannot read another person’s mind. There’s a solid belief in duality, and judgment and fear are pervasive. Torah: (תורה) A Hebrew word meaning "teaching," "instruction," or "law." It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. It primarily refers to the first section of the Tanakh—the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, but the term is sometimes also used in the general sense to also include both of Judaism's written law and oral law, encompassing the entire spectrum of authoritative Jewish religious teachings throughout history, including the Mishnah, the Talmud, the midrash, and more. Transcendentalism: The name of a group of new ideas in literature, religion, culture, and philosophy that advocates that there is an ideal spiritual state that 'transcends' the physical and empirical and is only realized through a knowledgeable intuitive awareness that is conditional upon the individual. The concept emerged in New England in the early to mid-nineteenth century. It is sometimes called "American Transcendentalism" to distinguish it from other uses of the word transcendental. It began as a protest against the general state of culture and society at the time, and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard and the doctrine of the Unitarian church which was taught at Harvard Divinity School. Transpersonal psychology: School of psychology that studies the transpersonal, the transcendent or spiritual aspects of the human mind. Issues considered in transpersonal psychology include spiritual self-development, peak experiences, mystical experiences and other metaphysical experiences of living. Twin Flame: The soul's masculine or feminine counterpart conceived out of the same white-fire body, the fiery ovoid of the I AM Presence.


Unitarian Universalism: (UU or UUism) A theologically liberal, inclusive religion formed by the merger of Unitarian and Universalist organizations in the mid-20th century. UUs generally: cherish creativity, freedom, and compassion; embrace diversity and interconnectedness; and promote personal spiritual growth and justice-making through worship, fellowship, personal experience, social action, deeds, and education. While one UU may differ from another in personal creed, the term UU is a distinct theological signifier and Unitarianism or Universalism should not be confused or interchanged with Unitarian Universalism. Universal Law: A set of guidelines agreed upon in a particular universe that guides a soul along the highest path of evolvement. It is what defines evolution and existence, and should be the laws of Earth as we move toward higher consciousness.


Vibration: All matter is energy. Atoms are electrons oscillating back and forth at a certain frequency. The measure of speed of this frequency is known as vibrational density. We are awakening to the need to raise our vibration from a third-dimensional frequency to a fifth dimensional frequency. Vipassana: (Sanskrit: vipasyanā) The practise of Insight Meditation. While it is often referred to as Buddhist meditation, the practice taught by the Buddha was non-sectarian and has a universal application. It does not require conversion to Buddhism. While the meditation practices themselves vary from school to school, the underlying principle is the investigation of phenomena (Sanskrit: dharmas) as they manifest in the five aggregates (Skandha) namely, matter or form (Rupa), sensation or feelings (Vedana), perception (Samjna), mental formations (Sankara) & consciousness (Vijnana). This process leads to direct experiential perception, Vipassanā.


Yana (Buddhism): A Sanskrit word with a range of meanings including nouns such as vehicle, journey, and path; and verbs such as going, moving, riding, and marching. In Indian religions Buddhism and Hinduism, both yana and marga (road or path) express the metaphor of spiritual practice as a path or journey. Ancient texts in both religions discuss doctrines and practices associated with various yanas. In Buddhism, yana often augments the metaphor of the spiritual path with the idea of various vehicles that convey a person along that path. The yana/marga metaphor is similar to the Chinese image of the Tao (path or way) but Indian and Chinese cultures appear to have evolved such similar metaphors independently. Yin and yang: The concept of yin and yang (Korean: 음양; Revised: eumyang; McCune–Reischauer: ŭmyang; simplified Chinese: 阴阳; traditional Chinese: 陰陽; pinyin: yīnyáng; Vietnamese: Âm-Dương) originates in ancient Chinese philosophy and metaphysics, which describes two primal opposing but complementary forces found in all things in the universe. Yin, the darker element, is passive, dark, feminine, downward-seeking, and corresponds to the night; yang, the brighter element, is active, light, masculine, upward-seeking and corresponds to the day. Yoga: (Sanskrit योग, "union") A family of spiritual practices that originated in India, where it is seen primarily as a means to enlightenment (or bodhi). Traditionally, Karma yoga, Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga, and Rāja yoga are considered the four main yogas. In the West, yoga has become associated with the asanas (postures) of Hatha yoga, which are popular as fitness exercises. Yoga as a means to enlightenment is central to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.


Zazen: In Zen Buddhism, sitting meditation or zazen (Japanese: 座禅; literally "seated concentration") is a meditative discipline practitioners perform to calm the body and the mind and experience insight into the nature of existence. While the term originally referred to a sitting practice, it is now commonly used to refer to practices in any posture, such as walking.


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