Monday, June 24, 2013

Most blogs pertaining to esotericism  and Occult studies assume, in many if not most cases, the mantel of a master. I am wary of these. Perhaps the air of authority is what most folks look for when they are seeking after truths. I am not an authority. This blog is about my journey, not my arrival. It is about my experimentation with, and my search through various systems. If you're looking for a Guru you're in the wrong place. If you a journeying your self? Then share!

I'm one of those people who believe that there is a creative force in the Universe... call it what you will. But I believe it is awe inspiring and that it can be touched by looking within oneself, as well as other people... in as much as we may. Mysticism has always fascinated me, from the desert mystics of Christianity, to the Sufis of Islam, from the Shamans and holy people of the Native American traditions to the Occult masters of the Western Traditions. I cannot say specifically why I am pulled to study these things... I just am. It's not a call to power in the sense of manipulating the world around me, it is the power born of service and understanding. A service to the Universe, via the vehicle of 'the Great Work', or 'the Craft'.

A lot of people ask me, upon finding out that I am interested in these things, "Is it real?" My answer is, "Does it matter". The effects of this line of study ARE real and that is what matters. Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that, aside from whatever beliefs on brings to the table, I have found it to be an excellent mode for psychological exploration and analysis. Let me put it this way, what we have is a brain, a accompanying nervous system, and a body. These are comprised of, taken each on there own, relatively simple cells, which are comprised of relatively simple molecules, which are comprised of relatively simple atoms, which are comprised of relatively simple particles. Now put them all together and you get an incredibly complex, modularly integrated system, from which emerges our consciousness. What we call a "mind". The "mind" is an emergent quality, an emergent effect of the complexity of our bodies. This emergent quality seems to be downwardly causal. what I mean is that the emergent quality changes the sum total of all its parts that make it up, when it emerges. I'll write more about that in other posts, but I think you get the drift. What matters is the 'mind' is an effect of the body, the matter, and the environment in which it is steeped. By employing esoteric work in one's life we change our thought patterns, our positions on life and the world, and come to understand ourselves a little better.

First let me explain what I mean when when I use the term Esoteric.The term derives from the Greek, ἐσωτερικός or esôterikos. The root, esô means 'within'  thus "pertaining to the more inward". From a more academic perspective, Antonin Faivre proposed that among the competing understandings of what unites the various currents designated by "Esotericism" they agree that are four essential characteristics:

  1. that there exists a theory of correspondence between all parts of the invisible and the visible cosmos, 
  2. the belief that nature is a living entity owing to a divine presence or life-force, 
  3. the need for mediating elements (such as symbols, rituals, angels, visions, mantras, etc.) in order to access spiritual knowledge, 
  4. an experience of personal and spiritual transmutation occurs when arriving at this knowledge(think of satori in Zen Buddhism or a persisten enlightenment in Hinduism) . 
  5. Esotericists frequently suggest that there is a concordance between different religious traditions: best example is the belief in prisca theologia (ancient theology) or in philosophia perennis
  6. Finally, esotericism sometimes suggests the idea of a secret transmission of spiritual teachings, through initiation from master to disciple.It should, however, be emphasized that Faivre's definition is one of several divergent understandings of the most appropriate use of the term. 

The first step in my investigations begins with the Qabalah, namely the tree of life. Qabalah, or Kabbalah, is an esoteric method, discipline and school of thought. Kabbalah aims to explain the relationship between an unchanging, eternal and mysterious ayin Sof (no end) and the mortal and finite universe (his creation). Inside Judaism, it forms the foundations of mystical religious interpretation. By meditating on the Kabbalah one  seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other ontological questions. The fundamenta idea is simple, God (the Universe, the Eternal, the One) created Nature, so it, at the same time, can hide and reveal God. For those of you versed in the American transcendentalist philosophers  H.D. Thoreau and Emerson the connections of ideas here should be blatant.

Thus all manifestation in the material world is an effect of causes operating from a higher plane, and these causes can be deduced from the effects produced, right back . to the Primal Cause, God·· Himself.

As this blog unfolds i will begin with my thoughts about the qabalistic Tree of Life, beginning in Malkuth. Essentially this is a Magicakal journal about my experiments and my experiences regarding this path that I have chosen to explore. "There are many paths to the same peak" , the trick is to pick a path and walk it.