BY NAMES AND IMAGES
Straphalos and his new student Kasmillos ascended a small slope that led up the base of the Mountain of Abiegnus. Presently, an archway stood before them decorated with a carving depicting a child sitting upon a lotus flower with his left finger touched lightly to his lips. Straphalos halted allowing Kasmillos to bravely stride forward through the archway. But, as he sought to pass through, his progress was suddenly arrested as he found himself in contact with what felt like a wall. Striking the transparent obstacle with full momentum, he rebounded forcefully, landing on his backside. Straphalos helped Kasmillos to his feet, as the latter dusted himself off.
Kasmillos: Thanks for the warning.
Straphalos: I have found that students learn to be more careful about what portals they attempt to pass through if they have an early lesson on what it means to be refused admission.
Kasmillos: I don't understand. There is no wall there. How and why was I denied admission?
Straphalos: Not all obstructions in magic are visible nor intuitively obvious. There are many portals into the Higher Mysteries that only admit they who use the proper key. Yet, when gazed upon by the uninitiated eye they appear to allow any and all who wish to pass through. Many an uninitiated pretender, seeing no obstruction, believe themselves to have passed through doors that remain closed to them.
Kasmillos: What is the proper key then to open this strange door?
Straphalos: For this door, the clue is inscribed there upon the arch. What you see is half the key provided.
Kasmillos: Half the key is the inscription of this child upon a flower?
Straphalos: Indeed, for this door leads to the initial lessons on this path, those of the power and benefits of Silence.
Kasmillos: What then is the other half of the key?
Straphalos: The Name of the force described by the Image, the ancient Egyptian deity Harpocrates, the god of Silence.
Kasmillos: But, I said nothing as I sped through the archway. I *was* silent.
Straphalos: You misunderstand. Silence is more than just the absence of speech. You enter this archway to learn what Silence truly is, not by the aid of already having known and mastered it.
Kasmillos: What you teach me here changes much of what I understood about the stages of learning. I thought the grades and degrees of development in magic marked your progress.
Straphalos: In many ways they do, but not in the way you would think. A grade or degree of learning in a true initiatory school marks the beginning of learning a thing, but does not presuppose or demand mastery of the Mysteries that came before. For none can complete the acquisition of knowledge and mastery for any subject in the esoteric arts within any single lifetime. But, yet they may, through progress, still be ready to add new things to their storehouse of Wisdom. A school of initiation is a treasury of beginnings, but empty of endings save that of the first step which ends your ignorant life of before, to allow rebirth into your new life in the Light.
Kasmillos: So, what must I do to take this step?
Straphalos: You must invoke the power of Silence upon yourself that your innermost spirit may feed upon its Mysteries. In time, as you develop, your spirit will digest the hidden knowledge and reveal it to your waking consciousness in practical ways.
Kasmillos: And, how may I invoke this power?
Straphalos: By Names and Images are all powers awakened. See that inscription? Let it be inscribed upon your mind's eye. Replicating its form in the faculty of your imagination, intone the Name and recieve that spirit of Silence upon you. You will then have your key and this door will obstruct you no more.
Kasmillos does this and enters safely. His soul oddly refreshed in an unspeakable and subtle way by this act.