Continuing Education

The Sistrum of Cosmic Vibration, by Dr. Bob Hieronimus

Look what we found from the files of the AUM Esoteric Study Center!

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It’s our Fall Semester listing for 1973. Look at this lineup of instructors! Many of our lecturers were internationally renowned experts in their fields including Charles Hapgood, Charles Berlitz, Brad Steiger, Olga Worrall, and Harris Coulter. Looking at these course titles makes us want to go back to school again. Who wouldn’t want to go from Basic Metaphysics to a Drawing class on the Mandala, to Astrology I, II and III? The ancient Egyptian mystery schools were a big influence on our search for meaning, as is obvious in the banner artwork for this syllabus. The ancient Egyptian karmic connections to the United States are also quite clear in the designs on LIGHT the Woodstock VW Bus. See the sistrum on the front of the bus is beginning to materialize. A sistrum is a musical instrument of ancient Egypt still used today in Coptic churches. It functions much like a rattle and here is symbolic of the cosmic energies or vibrations that make up the entire universe.

LIGHT and Color, by Dr. Bob Hieronimus

Every symbol has multiple layers and possibilities for interpretation. Colors and geometrical shapes correspond with numbers and musical tones, and each has matching body parts, chakras, and astrological correspondents. And then you have different eras and schools of interpretation from different parts of the globe to add into the equation.

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This page from my artist sketchbook dated June 28, 1969 shows some of the original planning and study that went into the designs on the original LIGHT Woodstock Bus which is currently being resurrected and reproduced. This chart compares various types of LIGHT as they relate to smells, sound, and touch as well as geometrical symbols, and color. Below the chart I see I copied the common geometrical symbols for each of the digits from 1-10. Interesting theory about the symbol for Taurus looking like an unfinished “8” and thus possibly a symbol for the 8th or 9th plane.

Layers upon layers upon layers of symbolism and arcane mystery teachings are embedded into the complex interconnected design on the LIGHT bus. Every color, every point in every star, even the number of waves in the emanating vibrations allow for deeper extrapolation.

All this talk about color sent us to one of our old favorites on the Library shelf for the LIGHT Brigade to study for this job: Man, Visible and Invisible by C.W. Leadbeater. See the color chart of how to interpret a person’s aura, and also an example of a rainbow-like aura, this one of a devotional type of person.

The Sphinx’s Lessons for Humanity, by Dr. Bob Hieronimus

3rd in our series on symbolism from the annals of the AUM Esoteric Study Center.


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The Sphinx has a human head and an animal body, symbolizing how a person must be in control over their animal/physical body, to attain “kingship” equivalent to the radiant Sun. The serpent on the head also indicates this wisdom. The sketch is from my artist sketchbooks from 1968 in preparation for the LIGHT Woodstock Bus. This experimental version included three symbols above the Sphinx’s head, first the Zodiacal symbol for the Sun, then a Christian symbol and Hindu symbol that expressed the same thing. Down the left side of the page was a continuation of a list deciphering what the many pictorial and alphabetical symbols all over the bus meant. Behind the Sphinx is a map of Atlantis and on its back haunch is the symbol of Mu, another lost continent. The cartouche on the front is that of Thutmose III.

The Sphinx shows up in a lot of my artwork. Here are two of the several appearances it makes in the Apocalypse Mural at Johns Hopkins University (1969/2015). Years later I would gain entirely new fascination with this ancient symbol when geologist Robert Schoch proved how much more ancient this monument is than Egyptologists will currently accept. See Robert M Schoch, PhD ‘s fascinating and ongoing research here:

I was recently made aware of the bizarre $27 million Creation Museum in Kentucky, a well-funded Christian fundamentalist teaching tool pumping out their dangerous interpretation of the book of Genesis. This belief concludes that the Earth is only 6,000 or so years old. I’m not sure how they explain the evidence for the advanced nature of ancient civilizations like those that built the Sphinx, but a mind closed to the wonders of the universe is certainly sad thing.


Thank you to Dr. Robert M. Schoch for providing new details on the Sphinx.

Learn more about new textual evidence (hieroglyphics that go back to the earliest dynasties) that indicates the Sphinx was the Lioness Mehit who guarded an ancient archive.

Listen to Dr. Robert Schoch in conversation with Dr. Bob Hieronimus on 21st Century Radio.

Studying Alphabets to Discover Meaning, by Dr. Bob Hieronimus

2nd in our series on symbolism from the annals of the AUM Esoteric Study Center.



Notice the dates on these pages from my artist’s sketchbook journal: July 25, 1969, with further notes made in October of 1970. This research appears on the LIGHT bus Woodstock VW Bus, but was developed even further in my next two works, the Apocalypse Mural and the Lord’s Prayer Mural, both at the Johns Hopkins University. The Apocalypse was recently renovated and is open for viewing daily, and at 2,700 square feet, it has to be entered into to be believed. However, this 360 panorama tour of the mural prepared by Hopkins in 2015 is pretty amazing in its own right.

I was, and still am, fascinated by alphabets of all kinds (including alleged alien alphabets like the ones summarized in Nancy du Tertre’s terrific book, How to Talk to an Alien). At this time I was immersed in the study of Egyptian Hieroglyphs found in the Book of the Dead. On the left side page are my drawings as I tried to grasp the foundation of the alphabet. The page on the right shows me trying out a few sentences.

There are so many reasons to believe that the establishmentarian academics in Egyptian antiquities have not translated all the hieroglyphic language accurately. One thing is for certain: there are higher levels of meaning than the standard textbook versions, and for a refreshing look at an extraordinary new way of translating the sources and meaning of Egyptian symbols, I strongly recommend Jonathan Meader and Barbara Demeter’s book Ancient Egyptian Symbols: 50 New Discoveries.
More about the Apocalypse Mural here.

A Taste of the National Anthem Sound, by Dr. Bob Hieronimus

We begin a series on symbolism from the annals of the AUM Esoteric Study Center. Starting with this post, we are taking a tour through my artist’s sketchbooks and journals during the time period of the birth of the first LIGHT Bus (the Woodstock Bus).



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This drawing reveals that one of the earlier names of the band LIGHT was A TASTE, as written here inside the Eagle’s body instead of the name LIGHT, which we currently see on the driver’s side of the bus. In the lower part of the bird I added “The National Anthem Sound,” which was a sort of motto for this band. I remember it as they wanted to give their listeners “a taste of the national anthem sound.” Is that right Bob Grimm and Trudytective Cooper? (Joe Vaccarino’s book, Baltimore Sounds, has a complete profile of LIGHT including the various name changes they went through.) I remember how we were studying LIGHT meditations and practicing meditation together before their gigs, and they performed in clubs up and down the Mid-Atlantic. Some of the most memorable for me were their popular appearances in Greenwich Village. These guys were really good and almost, almost, almost got signed to a major label record deal.

Other changes of interest to note between this early concept of the Eagle side of the LIGHT bus and what ended up as we see it today include the star of “MU” as the Eagle’s eye, and a series of Zodiacal and elemental signs inside the rising Sun, as well as inside the five-pointed star on the right.