Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Importance of Inner Understanding

Let no one imagine that if they were duly pushed through all the Rites of the Mysteries, and met every Master available who told them every secret there was, and whatever teaching they demanded, all this incredible experience would make one iota of difference to their fundamental being by itself. In any case, the genuine Mysteries do not work in such a fashion. Real 'Teaching' comes to and through the individual Initiate himself, via his Inner contacts with sources of spiritual enlightenment.
This true teaching and learning cannot come through books, lectures, or ordinary verbal instructions. These may inform, but they do not teach. Information collects in a mind, but teachings changes an entire soul because it is imparted by Spirit. An informed person is not necessarily a truly instructed one. In 'occult' circles, it is not uncommon to encounter those with books and equipment valued at perhaps thousands of pounds, yet with no real Inner Understanding. Possibly in the same room may be a much more advanced soul with no literary possessions to speak of, or any great intellectual achievements, who, by direct contact with Inner Wisdom has acquired truths beyond the power of death to take away.
This is why it is considered 'un-Wise' in the Mysteries to rely overmuch on written matter and accumulations of what has been lightly termed 'Occult haberdashery'. We lose all our physical properties at death, and our mental stock-cupboard soon becomes exhausted or valueless as we change our nature. Only the Inner Realities of Spirit substationally remain with our souls, and those are to be obtained by our accomplishments in their particular force-fields.
At one time, a few of the stricter Schools forbade Initiates to write of any spiritual subject, or even to read about them. This was not for the sake of mere secrecy itself, but to compel the Initiate to seek Truth Inardly rather than from externals. They were allowed to communicate their traditions orally within a Circle of their own Companions only. This was to ensure that the Spirit of Wisdom which comes to those who 'gather in the Name', did so under the most favourable conditions for its reception.
One of the commonest questions asked in all sincerity by Neophytes is: 'What shall I read to help me on my Path?' Very few would accept the truth that only fractional representations of spiritual Verities can be made in human words, and they would be better employed seeking these within themselves than looking for them in other people's findings and opinions.
Nothing except sheer experience of life will get the notion out of their heads that the more they stuff themselves with second-hand arcana the more Initiated they will be. They might as well try to appease hunger by reading an account of a banquet on a menu card, or dress themselves from the illustrations in a catalogue. All that books can do is supply information on methods. They do not, and never have supplied the means.
The craving for sheer information is natural enough to modern Westerners however, though it should be guided into useful channels where possible. Recommending books is always a difficult matter on account of individual needs, but on the whole probably the best idea is to suggest reading that encourages the seeker to look for Light Inwardly, and proposes methods of approaching this spiritually vital problem. Whatsoever deals directly with these topics, and inspires a reader to do, be, and become a more perfectly evolved soul, is worth recommendation. The rest is intellectual entertainment, worth while for mental decoration and display, but scarcely likely to result in betterment of actual being.
This should not signify that intellectual achievements are to be despised or belittled, but they must be placed in proper perspective when seen by the Light of Illumination. They are means and not ends in themselves. If they are sought as useful means to assist the spiritual development of a conscious entity, then they have values in the eyes of Inner Awareness. If on the other hand, they are acquired purely for personal gratification and advantage, then they are worth no more than exactly that. By themselves they will not lead us along the Line of Light towards Divinity, but only to a simulated state of self-importance. Therefore they should not be sought for their own sake, but for a higher use they might serve.
Once more it is a case of seeking the Kingdom first, and then making necessary additions afterwards. If we face facts honestly, we shall find most individuals are drawn towards the Mysteries by the hope and desire of having new and thrilling experiences of consciousness or gaining superior powers over others. To put matters crudely, they are looking for kicks. The genuine Mysteries have a good way of dealing with such approaches - they offer neither thrills nor unfair advantages over anyone. No wonderful visions, exalted experiences, incredible personal powers, sensational successes with sex and finance. Nothing in fact, except hard spiritual effort with no particular reward except in its own achievement. Faced with such a disappointing prospect, sensation seekers soon abandon the purlies of the Holy Mysteries and look elsewhere for excitement. Who shall blame them?

From 'William G Gray - Inner Traditions of Magic'

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