Director of the Institute for Hermetic Studies, Mark Stavish, is a life-long student of philosophy and mysticism. He addressed such topics as trends in the New Age movement, spiritual, occult and esoteric practices, Masonic rituals, and lucid dreaming. The ability to become aware that one is dreaming within the context of a dream can be used as a tool "to change the content of the dream, and begin to confront many of your fears, and bring out many of your own inner qualities," he said. He recommended training the mind with four simple affirmations as you are about to fall asleep: "Tonight, I will sleep; when I sleep I will dream; when I dream I will become aware that I am dreaming; and I will remember it."
Spirituality is really the study of our own mind, Stavish suggested, noting that Buddhism is a kind of "metaphysical atheism," as there is no creator in Buddhism. He detailed some of the Masonic initiation rituals, and their use of symbols like the square and the compass, and their unique Masonic symbolism related to the building of the Temple of Solomon. As far as interest in the New Age movement and the occult, it tends to be cyclical, and it's in a downward phase now, he observed.
He defined "welfare spirituality" as the modern idea that people can get something for nothing-- a kind of "free immortality." But this notion is not present in many ancient spiritual traditions, "where immortality was something you earned of your own efforts," he noted. In terms of "end times"-- prophecies and cycles that point to an ending, we can use this ideology to work toward enlightenment and illumination, Stavish remarked. "The key is compassion and generosity and courage. And those are things that happen through traditional initiatic structures" which can take root in developing a spiritual practice, he said.
First hour guest, analyst of geopolitics and foreign policy Craig B. Hulet commented on the Boston bombing and other current events. Some media reports have compared the bombs to the IEDs used against US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he said this was inaccurate, as the IEDs tended to be more lethal than the 'homegrown' devices seen in Boston. If al-Qaeda had been involved, they might have used the devastating C4 explosive which would have killed every person within a hundred yards, he added. Hulet believes the perpetrator will eventually be caught, but it will take the combined effort of thousands of law enforcement officers now headed to Boston to work on the case. He also talked about the catastrophic explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco, Texas, which happened earlier in the evening.