Archive for the 'Religion & Spirituality' Category

A Kit For Traveling Assassins?

We think an entire novel could be written around such an intriguing object!


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Thou’rt poisoned with that book

from the delightful blog: Shakespeare’s England: Everyday Life In Seventeenth Century England


“I wanted to share this fascinating object which I stumbled upon on Friday. It is a bible dating to 1600 which contains a secret arsenal of poison. Given its nature, one might assume it was used by travelling assassins, or kept hidden in the library of a large house to dispatch unwanted guests. It was for auction at the Hermann Historica auction house in Germany, and is described, in translation, as follows:


Original book cover in 1600 with finely embossed parchment-related covers. Close book intact, the pages glued to a solid block, and cut out rectangular. Inside, finely crafted device with eleven different sized drawers and an open compartment. The individual drawers with colored paper glued on, the front frame and knobs flame strips of silver and ebonised wood. Handwritten paper labels with the Latin names for various poisonous plants…”


Click here to visit the original post at Shakespeare’s England, Everyday Life In Seventeenth Century England. (Several more beautiful photos of this object are to be found.)


Mummified Monk May Not Be Dead…

A decades long meditation so deep that you are mistaken for dead. The word for this state of being is “tukdam”.


Images of Rip Van Winkle come to mind…





Monk in Mongolia ‘not dead’, say Buddhists
The monk was found wrapped in traditional Buddhist robes


“A mummified monk found preserved in Mongolia last week has been baffling and astounding those who uncovered him.


Senior Buddhists say the monk, found sitting in the lotus position, is in a deep meditative trance and not dead.


Forensic examinations are under way on the remains, found wrapped in cattle skins in north-central Mongolia.


Scientists have yet to determine how the monk is so well preserved, though some think Mongolia’s cold weather could be the reason.


But Dr Barry Kerzin, a physician to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, told the Siberian Times that the monk was in a rare state of meditation called “tukdam”…”


For the rest, click here.


On the same note, here is a story about a Hindu guru who may or may not be dead.


“They died in their sleep one by one…”

“They died in their sleep one by one, thousands of miles from home. Their median age was 33. All but one — 116 of the 117 — were healthy men…”


Twenty-five years later, in her new book, author Shelley Adler pieces together what happened…




The Dark Side of the Placebo Effect: When Intense Belief Kills
By Alexis C. Madrigal


“While people of all cultures experience sleep paralysis in similar ways, the specific form and intensity it takes varies from one group to the next


They died in their sleep one by one, thousands of miles from home. Their median age was 33. All but one — 116 of the 117 — were healthy men. Immigrants from southeast Asia, you could count the time most had spent on American soil in just months. At the peak of the deaths in the early 1980s, the death rate from this mysterious problem among the Hmong ethnic group was equivalent to the top five natural causes of death for other American men in their age group.


Something was killing Hmong men in their sleep, and no one could figure out what it was. There was no obvious cause of death. None of them had been sick, physically. The men weren’t clustered all that tightly, geographically speaking. They were united by dislocation from Laos and a shared culture, but little else. Even House would have been stumped.


Doctors gave the problem a name, the kind that reeks of defeat, a dragon label on the edge of the known medical world: Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome. SUNDS. It didn’t do much in terms of diagnosis or treatment, but it was easier to track the periodic conferences dedicated to understanding the problem.


Twenty-five years later, Shelley Adler’s new book pieces together what happened, drawing on interviews with the Hmong population and analyzing the extant scientific literature. Sleep Paralysis: Night-mares, Nocebos, and the Mind Body Connection is a mind-bending exploration of how what you believe interacts with how your body works….”


For the rest click here to go to The Atlantic.


More on the phenomenon of sleep paralysis, here.


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