Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Three Paths of the Magic of Light

Kasmillos: In our Order their are many magicians, but I am beginning to discover that they do not all practice the Royal Art in the same manner.

Straphalos: Indeed, there are several ways to approach mastery of the self and the Spirit.

Kasmillos: But, we all learn the same techniques, we practice the same rituals, we endure the same initiations. Why is it, then, that we do not all walk the path in a similar way?

Straphalos: Our bond is in our destination. Our individuality is expressed in the manner of our journey. We are not like a church, we do not impose our personal enlightenment on all. Everyone's Revelation is unique. The invokation of Spirit, Power and Light will reveal different things to different people.

Kasmillos: So we all start at the same place, greatly diverge and end up at the same point?

Straphalos: In a sense. Although, it is a mistake to believe that anything a person comes up with on this Path is automatically worthy and right. We all fall short at some point, usually at many points. That is why the Power of True Discernment is so greatly sought for and envied by those who see the most clearly on this Path.

Kasmillos: So how do we judge truly the manner in which we follow this Path?

Straphalos: Pray and invoke the Higher Light for the Gift of Discernment; you will need it.

Kasmillos: All well and good for when I do achieve it. But, what of until then?

Straphalos: Over the millenia of the Western Mysteries, it is clear that out of the many ways to pursue the Great Work, a few show themselves to be more effective and blessed than others. If you contemplate these paths and try them, you will not go wrong. Though, you may find that one is more right for you than that which you initially chose.

Kasmillos: What are these paths?

Straphalos: They are three in number: The Path of Active Invokation, the Passive or Internal Path, and the Path of the Practical Magician. All magicians who specialize in one of these three ways still work elements from the others, but their personal gifts, character, and motivation will distill out one path that particularly characterizes their journey. One that fits them better than the others.

Kasmillos: What is the nature of the Path of Active Invokation?

Straphalos: This is the most common way to pursue our Mysteries. It is characterized by the frequent use of our rituals for the general development of the powers of our souls. Those on this path are exhorted to "Invoke and Invoke often!" for this sets up a standing wave of vibration in our Sphere of Sensation that ever elevates our consciousness and powers until we stand in the presence of the Ancient of Days, interwoven with Light and in unity with our Higher Genius. This path is pursued by the frequent and reverential practice of developmental ritual magics.

Kasmillos: What, then is the nature of the Passive or Internal Path? Do they not also practice ritual?

Straphalos: Yes, they do, but their focus is different. Those who pursue this path are far more meditative. Their emphasis is on stillness of the body, while their conciousness is trained by internal practices to open up to the Infinite Spirit. They draw upon the ceaseless stream of splendor that descends to us from God. Where others merely put out their hands to sip from this treasury, the practitioner of this path reaches out with great vessels to harvest far more of the vast bounty that continually surrounds us. Outwardly, their life appears charmed and effortless. They are like a leaf blown by the Breath of God. Always they appear at the right time and place, always they possess what they need and plenty more to share with others generously. They learn, by their focus, to surrender to God's Infinite Mind, and in so doing they find perfect peace. Instead of rising up the planes from strength to strength as the Active Invoker, they simply appear in God's Presence, traveling through the realms between without moving.

Kasmillos: How then, does the Path of the Practical Magician differ?

Straphalos: This is a very useful and attractive path to those who still bear many mundane dreams, yet also desire to rise above the material in time. They are the clearest about their goals and desires and learn to focus their Magical Will most strongly. To them, the journey is not about a starting point and an end point with an epic adventure in between. Their path is characterized by a series of goals, accomplishments they wish to manifest in stages: smaller dreams in succession which add up to Greatness. These smaller accomplishments act individually as rungs in a ladder, each one propelling them forward to greater understanding of the world and themselves. Magicians on this path tend to focus on practical, as opposed to developmental, magics. Their work and practice is about manifesting specific things and conditions of a practical nature to their needs as well as for the benefit of others. Consequently, they tend to be the most relevant to the non-initiate, for their efforts improve mundane lives and make communities more prosperous.

Kasmillos: So the Practical Magician is the most service oriented?

Straphalos: All of them are, and all of them aren't. A magician can be equally selfish or philanthropic in any of these paths. Active Invokers can be concerned only with their own empowerment, or they they can use their power to heal bodies and upflift souls. They have the greatest chance of showing the Divine Light to others and changing the spiritual direction of those around them. They are like a Light Shining in the Darkness. Followers of the Passive Path can isolate themselves like monks living in the world interacting rarely with those outside of themselves, or they can mingle with an open heart among the lost, welcoming those whom God brings to them serendipitously to comfort and guide. They have the greatest chance of bringing Peace Profound to the tired and world weary, and healing the wounded heart. They are like a Well of Living Water, that those lost in the desert of their own jaded nightmares stumble to and are refreshed and awakened. Practical Magicians can gather for themselves of the world's good for their own consumption and gratifcation only, or they can turn and share their manifest bounty with those in need. They can raise up Temples and Hospices and liberate those enslaved by poverty and misfortune. They have the greatest chance of ensuring the continuation of the Mysteries for they have the means to establish the institutions and facilities that give permanence to things. And they provide the most tangible proofs to the non-initiated of the efficacy and relevance of our Path. They are like a Font of Prosperity blessing any community of which they are part.

Kasmillos: So none of these three Paths is greater than the other.

Straphalos: Indeed none. And, further, elements of all three must be learned by all who would call themselves "Magician of Light". But, one will fit most naturally with you and become the way in which you best and most efficaciously interact with the Spirit and the World.

Kasmillos: How can I choose which one to follow most closely?

Straphalos: Invoke often, meditate in stillness, and discern your goals clearly so that you may pursue them by the combination of conscientious magic and worldly action.

Kasmillos: In otherwords follow all three paths?

Straphalos: Indeed, and in so doing God, by your Holy Angel, will Light your Way.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Physician, heal thyself.

Kasmillos: What is meant by the command: "Physicisan, heal thyself?"

Straphalos: Why does that confuse you?

Kasmillos: Because, a physician can hardly work on oneself. Every physician I know seeks another physician when they themselves are sick.

Straphalos: Do you really think that the physician referred to in the sacred writings is a physical doctor?

Kasmillos: Ah! So you infer that the context requires this physician to be a physician of souls. Even so, the question stands. When such a one is suffering or misguided, they require another to help them.

Straphalos: I don't disupte that, however consider who a physician of souls really is. Who can be one?

Kasmillos: Anyone. All of us.

Straphalos: Really? You would truly assert that every person in the world is actively involved in the healing of someone else? If that were so, why do multitudes of suffering individuals wander through the world lost going from one soul to another, rejected by one, ignored by the next, unfulfilled and confused. If there were really so many phsyicians, why are there so many patients?

Kasmillos: Fine, semantics. What I mean is that all of us are called to be physicians of souls.

Straphalos: I would accept that, but the text does not say: "Potential Physician, heal thyself", it says "Physician, heal thyself." It speaks of a fully realized initiate, a Hierophant. A Revealer who changes and heals souls. One who sees clearly their calling, learned their art, and practices it conscientiously. If you really believe that this demanding exhortation is meant for merely anyone of good will and spiritual intent, then the sedentary nature of new age spirituality has confused your reasoning.

Kasmillos: How so? We each have a Higher Genius, we are all called to be as angels one day. We all have the power to help someone and should. The archetype of Hierophant belongs to all.

Straphalos: Yes, but it is foolish to act the part in service to others prior to genuine attainment. It would be as the blind leading the blind. What part does an amateur have in the performance of surgery? Society imprisons the quack who practices medicine irresponsibly and without true learning. Why is it so difficult to ascertain that not all are ready and capable, if even called at all in their present lifetime, to guide a wounded and suffering soul through spiritual healing?

Kasmillos: I can accept that not everyone would want to do such a thing. And, I can accept that not all who aspire to be of such service can do so without further development themselves. But, what of the original statement? It still tells a healer to seek their own healing from within rather than from outside themselves.

Straphalos: Yes.

Kasmillos: Although, I agree that we are all responsibile for our own development and happiness, I still believe it takes the help of others to do so.

Straphalos: You are wise to admit this. Very little in this world or the next can be accomplished by oneself alone, no matter how powerful, strong, or wise you may be. Those who imagine themselves powerful enough to survive in isolation and contain the courage to attempt to do so, quickly find themselves washed away by the flood of reality. If you ever doubt this, imagine what it would be like to be the only human being to survive the death of the entire species, to live a long and lonely existance on a barren, unpopulated world with no other living soul.

Kasmillos: Not a pleasant thought. And it certainly underlines my point.

Straphalos: Indeed, but also consider the Hierophant, the revealer, changer, and healer of souls. They are hardly alone for there are many patients for this kind of healer. But, they are also completely alone, for they are rarely in the presence of another healer of their calabre. God uses them efficiently for there are so few laborers and the need is so very great. There is a figuritive line out the door and around the corner for the help of such genuine healers. They are universally surrounded and yet alone at the same time. They must learn to heal themselves.

Kasmillos: Why can't one come into their lives to heal them, too, as they do for others?

Straphalos: Truly, though such Hierophants wander and seem to enter many lives, what they really do is make themselves available and others are brought to them. Those who come into their lives are those who are ready and needful of change, of healing, of initiation. When others don't need these things, they do not go to Hierophants, they go to others to fulfill lower needs. The golden treasures that a genuine Hierophant has in abundance can be acquired nowhere else and there is no price worthy of them, so they are often given freely. But, many are the places and people where lesser gifts may be bought, sold, and exchanged. So, that is where the multitudes spend most of their energy and desire.

Kasmillos: That is a very mournful and thankless state to assign such a spiritual worker. Surely, they would need assistance, themselves.

Straphalos: Agreed. All must be fed and cared for.

Kasmillos: Then how does the Physician, heal him or herself?

Straphalos: The Hierophant is a font of spiritual treasures. They must learn to give such gifts to themselves, as well. As they heal others, they must not neglect themselves, or they will die. They must take the time and effort to work their sacred art upon themselves, invoking, evoking, seeing, arising, revealing to themselves as they do for others. They must make spiritual medicines for themselves, as they do for others, and take them.

Kasmillos: Does that not mean they would also become in danger of "Drinking their own Koolade?" as popular wisdom says of cult leaders?

Straphalos: Absolutely! And now you understand why not everyone can be ready or even called to be a Physician of Souls. All who take this bitter-sweet burden stand in very real danger of delusion. They must have enough humility to allow themselves to be corrected, especially from their own kind. Now you see the role Physicians of Souls have for each other. They are not there to heal each other, they reflect and hold each other accountable for their delusions.

Kasmillos: I see, but is there really nothing the patient can give the physician in return for their work?

Straphalos: There is, but few pay it. Remember that when Christ healed the crowd of lepers, only one came back to thank him. Gratitude and payment are not reasonable motivators in the Telestic Art. Those who look for such are regularly disappointed by poverty and betrayal.

Kasmillos: So thanks is the payment?

Straphalos: No, there is a hidden part of the teaching about Christ and the Lepers that few know. From less read texts that have been held sacred to Church Tradition, it is known that the leper who turned back and thanked Christ later became a student of his and became a bishop of the early church, guiding and healing others.

Kasmillos: So the only sufficient payment to a genuine Hierophant for their service is to become one yourself.

Straphalos: Amen. And for every patient that becomes a genuine Physician in their own right, it makes the crowd that didn't worth healing.