There are some geographic regions in the world where the hidden vibrations seem to be energized, reminding everyone of the important existential questions. A society built on metaphysically sophisticated assumptions is always interesting, and to the uninitiated, downright bizarre. This article will cover a shortlist of such societies, where the lines between the flesh and the spirit are blurred.
Upstate New York, USA
It is no secret that Upstate New York is a hub for esotericism, experimental social organization, and societal progress. For hundreds of years, various cults and spiritual movements settled in the vast woods and lakeside of Upstate New York. Some magic in the air and soil attracted the open-minded (and sometimes closed-minded), ardent believers in the true potential of humanity.
In the late-1700s, the town of Watervliet in Albany County was settled by the Shakers, a fundamentalist sect of the Quakers who escaped England and found safety, freedom, and divine inspiration among the quiet forests and waterfalls. Later in history, the nearby hamlet of Lily Dale was settled by Spiritualists -- a religious movement based on the belief that dead spirits are real and can communicate with the material world. Why would such a religion, which hosted regular mediumship demonstrations and séances, choose New York state to conduct its occultist activities? One can only guess that the energy there is conducive for such activities. The 1960s hippie movement was similarly undergirded by spiritual expansion. The town of Woodstock, NY was the site of many-dimensional breakthroughs. Even obscure spaces like Esopus Island in Hudson Valley have hosted wicked magicians like Aleister Crowley. Today, religiously inclined institutions like the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors and the Yoga1 Resort are plentiful throughout the state.
Every year, millions of religious pilgrims travel to the ancient Indian city of Varanasi, also known as Banaras, to pay respects to cosmic deities. One of the more eccentric aspects of the city is that bodies are burned on the banks of the Ganges River, which runs through the city. Visitors will see, smell, and hear massive funeral pyres with tall flames engulfing exalted bodies, echoing processions and prayers, and ringing gongs and bells. The souls of the deceased are purified by fire and given a strong chance of returning to the divine light by being dispersed into the holy waters of the river.
Tourists who visit the Shiva Temples of Banaras might see and partake in the religiously sanctioned use of opium, cannabis, and psychedelic substances. Shiva worshippers, called "Babas" or "Sadhus", are completely devoted to their faith, and have proven to be ungovernable. They have special rights and privileges that were afforded to them simply because the government has no control over them. Clearly, Varanasi facilitates raw existentialism that minimizes the petty limits of social acceptability and material influence.
This one is a little obscure, but it is no doubt a place of enormous spiritual significance. Aksum, also called Axum, is a coastal city in the Tigray region of Ethiopia with a long and decorated history. Predating the Roman civilization, as early as 400 BCE, the city was home to the Aksumite Empire, a powerful marine trading civilization that had enormous influence in the region. The kingdom is considered one of the world's four major powers alongside Persia, Rome, and China.
- Fun Fact: Aksumite coins have been found as far away as India
While not much is known about the ancient religion of Axum, it is clear that the city has an outsized spiritual influence on the world. Before adopting Christianity, and later Islam, the Axumites, who had their own writing script, followed Old Testament traditions as well as native polytheism. The Kingdom is even mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, which has led many scholars to conclude that the Ark of the Covenant is located in the Church of St. Mary of Zion in Axum, where it is guarded by a virginal monk with the sole responsibility of protecting and upkeeping the Ark until death. Every generation's guard of the Ark suffers from partial blindness, supposedly due to exposure to the radioactivity emitted from the Ark. Not even high priests can enter the inner chambers, which are enclosed in thick walls of gold -- a perfectly dense container of radioactive energy.
Cairo, Egypt may be a bit of an obvious choice for a spiritual hub, however, much of the spiritual significance has been undermined by Hollywood movies, penny dreadful literature, and commercialized tourism. The Ancient Egyptians were incredibly advanced. They practiced a metaphysically complex religion that undergirds the very fabric of modern society. The Emerald Tablet of Thoth is an ancient text that is infamously associated with alchemy, occultism, hermeticism, and Kybalion spiritualism. While the Tablet is difficult to date, scholars know that it is supposedly a message from Hermes, who is the Hellenized version of Thoth, an Egyptian messenger God.
For whatever reason, the land of Egypt, with its ancient monuments to God and practice of spiritualism and astral projection, was imbibed with divine knowledge, which, when adapted to any science, would yield incredible power. Commonly known universal principles such as "As above, so below" came from the Emerald Tablet and formed the basis for alchemy, which was then adapted to physics by Newton, and later adapted to economics by John Locke.
Perhaps to find out the true spiritual potential of Egypt, one must meditate in the inner chambers of an ancient pyramid that is open to visitors. One such pyramid is the Red Pyramid, which is aligned with the equinox and other celestial events, acting as a conduit for cosmic energy.