As I have stated in several articles across the years – and more so recently – it is very important that each of us apply so-called “spiritual principles” in our daily life. This comes primarily from having a goal, a purpose, a compelling future that drives us forward so that we can get out of bed in the morning. I have also pointed out, for many in the esoteric community this goal that makes one’s life meaningful has too often been hijacked under the false notion of a “higher calling.” This higher calling is often spiritual or political in nature, or even a combination of both; regardless, there is one thing common to both: utopian ideals.
The ease of this substation is amazingly simple, and everyone on the Path falls for it at some point. The reason is that we do not trust ourselves to make a decision of how to express our deepest nature. This is in part because we do not recognize it when we see it, and also because many “spiritual movements” are highly organized, to the detriment of the individual student. Too often an almost impossible ideal of spirituality is presented to students – one of Hollywood proportions. Since this great realization has not occurred as many think it should, then something wrapped in the form of spiritual or humanitarian service is often seen as the means to its accomplishment. It is true that good acts with the correct intentions build good habits that in turn benefit us. But what is often sold as “service” to the Invisible Masters too often becomes a means of sustaining an organization, lama, or foreign building project at the expense of one’s real self-expression.
We have discussed this phenomena at length in relation to the idea of egregores, those entities of collective consciousness that have an effect on every member which is a part of it. What is often ignored in the discussion of egregores is what occurs in any group activity – the lowest common denominator dominates the course and direction of activities – often at the expense of the individual. The teachings of some groups will even say that the psychic power and experiences their members have are a result of their participation in the egregore. While this may be true, it also means that, as the legendary ‘Watcher’ and ‘Librarian’ Rupert Giles of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer said, “All magic is borrowed power.” Borrowed means that if the results of our Work does not come from our own direct inner awakening, it is not our own – it is simply borrowed and creates a debt that must be repaid.
You see, self-expression, self-realization, and spiritual awakening are one and the same. The self may be One, but we have many facets to our being, many ways of expressing the Life that we are; organized, formal spiritual practice and service to our Master, Lodge, or Lama and Center are just one form of expression.
In many schools of Western esoteric practice the Tree of Life as expressed in Qabala is often used. For the most part this image is used as symbolic map of the cosmos, and our initiatic journey is described as climbing or ascending the Tree. However, an easier and more useful approach is to invert it as is often seen in the works of Jacob Boehme. Here, the roots are in heaven (the invisible domain), the crown is in physical life (visible domain), and the various spheres or levels are in fact the ‘fruit’ of the branches – or our expression of our potentiality here and now – instead of a goal or destination to be arrived at.
When asked, “What is your True Will?” many students stumble and look dazed as if they have taken a fall down a long flight of stairs. It is clear they do not know, because if they did, the answer would come as quickly as they recall their name. Instead, a formulaic response composed of noble-sounding words – all of which are ambiguous and therefore meaningless – spews forth. This simple question, which should be answered in seven to twelve words, or the length of an average sentence, now becomes a paragraph. And it is not just any paragraph, but one to make even Bulwer-Lytton proud.
The first thing about identifying your True Will is to know that it is something you really, really, really want to do. It is a direct expression of who you are, of your very being – that is, of your being alive, regardless of all external circumstances. It is in fact an overwhelming desire. It is the energies of the cosmic spheres working through our being, the seeds of the microcosm growing to fruition within us. If it is to write, then you will write. If it is to paint, then you will paint. If it is to be a therapist, chemist, mathematician, then that is what you will do, and you will find a way to do it, as it is a driving passion. It will be “what you do in the world, to express the hidden nature of the World.”
What makes this important is that this activity in most instances will be very individualistic, even when it has an impact on others. This impact may be through direct participation, such as being a physician or police officer, or indirectly though creating artistic expressions or cures for disease. This activity will also be one that encourages others to express themselves in their best and most ideal fashion as well.
What it most likely will not be is an activity wherein force or compulsion is used (either through legislation or moralizing) to get others to think and act as you do. This is a false idealism and the path to Perdition. It most likely will also not involve being a professional occultist of some variety. Too often we have seen that those who gravitate towards these “professions” often do so out of a well-placed idealism, but an underdeveloped will. That is, the courage to do what they are really passionate about is subjugated to the false cover of “spirituality.”
How does this happen? There are many reasons, but primarily because there is the belief that spirituality or esotericism has some specific means of expressing itself. In fact, esotericism is not a thing, or a subject to be studied, but a philosophical view of the cosmos and one’s self that is expressible through every activity. There are no preferred modes, only ones that are easier to identify – such as writing, ritual, or meditation. I hear this a great deal with many of my astrological and writing clients. They want to enter a “helping profession.” This very notion implies that what they are doing is not helping themselves or anyone else. Rarely is this true; but glorification of so-called “helping professions” means that some people lose sight of the fact that every profession is a helping profession, as it involves solving problems for others. In the same manner, everything we do is an opportunity to express our Self, our very essence. All we have to do is remember that, and act accordingly – but that also means spontaneously and courageously.
You see, your True Will is nothing other than expressing the fact that you are alive, and doing so in a manner that is beneficial to yourself and others. It is done joyfully, courageously, and generously. It does not need to be revealed to you in a flash of light or by a booming voice on a mountaintop. It is who you are and how you act when you are relaxed, untroubled, and not thinking of yourself, and yet, are your very Self.
You do not need to search inside yourself to find your True Will. It is often bursting forth demanding attention and expression – THAT IS YOUR TRUE WILL. Simply accept it. Let it move in and through you. This is far easier than it is often made to sound. Each of us is on the edge of that place, that moment of possible action, more times a day than we realize. The key is to recognize it. To do that all we need do is relax and trust our S/self.
Next week we will examine some of the effects of inner awakening and how to mitigate the more potentially more damaging ones so as to get the most out of our spiritual journey.
For more information see:
The Mind of Hermes series at YouTube
Accompanying materials to the YouTube series can be found in:
Words of My Teachers, available through Amazon.com