Good Morning and Welcome to Voxhermes!
A quick review of our previous lessons will show that we have been giving you means and methods to:
- Assess your own understanding of your actions, their causes and their effects.
- Recognize patterns, interrupt them, and from that, begin to change them if desired.
- Perceive the various patterns of psycho-physical energy and their intimate relationship in directing your life.
- See that self-realization is the result of self-expression. Therefore, the more we express, the more we can realize, and “the more we can Be.”
- See that our individuality is the foundation for our enlightenment, and that physical reality is the total expression of cosmic powers for that to take place.
- Understand the central and all-powerful reality: that our concept of our sense of self, of our being, is the beginning, the path, and the fruit of the spiritual path.
Across all of our lectures and publications we have stated the importance of maintaining one or more notebooks of your studies and practices. In the past, books such as these were closely guarded, as they were often the basis of entire systems, lineages, and schools of initiation. Your notebook of exercises and results is YOUR Book of Life as it is the BOOK OF YOUR LIFE! Keep it close to you. Review it, and pay close attention to what it is you are learning from it.
Hermeticism is often referred to as a “religion of the book,” meaning that the written word plays a key role in its transmission and survival. While the foundation text is the Corpus Hermeticum, other books and manuscripts are important as well. Some of these will vary from school to school, or tradition to tradition, but in the end, all of them are but indicators, guides, or suggestions about the Path of Return. The true Path of Return is the totality of your own experiences.
By now, some of you may have recognized that we have taken you through ideas and practices that have a relationship to specific spheres or levels on the Tree of Life. Not all schools use this diagram, but it has become common over the last century, so we will reference it as well. We have pointed out to you how to figure out where you are on terra firma (on Earth, or Malkuth), described the various forces or psychic energies of nature as well as “karma” (or cause and effect) and how these affect your innermost thoughts as well as the world around you, given methods for self-observation, and discussed the importance of our language as a shaper and definer of our experiences: the Word as a magical or creative act.
It is here that we will continue our work, as the Word is related to form, analysis, intellect, and limitation or definition – unique expression. Coupled with this is the formation of various theories and practices. All theories and practices represent a specific and unique form of conceptualizing, experiencing, and understanding the cosmos and our place in it. It is irrelevant whether these be “spiritual practices” or “mundane learning.” By this point in your studies, you may have begun to suspect, if not realize, that there is no such thing as a firm division between the “spiritual” and the “mundane”; to even speak in these terms is to reinforce a false division. There are only actions and results. All actions stem from our foundational theory or philosophical view of life. If we are narrow and limited, then our results will be narrow. If our view is open, wide, and can entertain a variety of possibilities – without being sloppy or foolish – then we can progressively experience and demonstrate a greater degree of integration between the Three Alchemical Principles of Salt (matter), Mercury (energy), and Sulphur (consciousness).
We start with one or more schools of instruction or initiation and often move on from there. These schools all have their own philosophical foundations, terminology, and sets of practices designed for specific outcomes. It is during this long apprenticeship that we often think in terms of our practices being superior or preferable to our daily life. We want more time to “practice,” meaning: to perform rituals, chant mantras, or create visualizations from the depths of our mind. It is very important to have a daily practice, one that is progressive in nature. It is, however, foolish to think that one, two, or three hours of occult practices a day will solve any of our problems if we have not spent time in understanding our own thoughts and emotions (or if we have not taken the time to bring those practices consciously into daily life). We say “consciously” because each person is always using their creative powers, even if they are unaware of it. Our previous practices of self-observation and vocalization of “I am” point out to us very specifically and unequivocally where we direct our creative power along with how we contradict ourselves and engage in self-sabotage.
When you realize that, at the base of all practices:
1) you must possess a mind open to a host of possibilities,
2) yet focused on a specific outcome at a given time,
3) that is based on your self-identification, or “I am” statement,
4) with a positive attitude,
5) coupled with a positive emotional state,
6) united with breathing to provide energy along with physical/mental relaxation and
7) visualization of outcomes, then anything you do has the potential to be a “practice” or, rather, a practical example of “the Path.”
If we want to be even more precise, we can expand this to include:
8) realization of the macrocosmic and microcosmic expressions of
9) the foundational energy of the cosmos.
However, these last two points are what move us from the purely microcosmic – the domain of personal psychology and self-help – into the realm of the esoteric, or magical, alchemical, and mystical.
With these final points we realize that “water rises to its level” or that “like attracts like.” If our mind is calm, even for a moment, and we are filled to some level of happiness or relaxation, then we will cultivate it (that is, grow it within ourselves) and attract it, finding ourselves with situations and people where more of it will manifest. The same is true with our desires and aspirations: if we wish to succeed at a given task, we will find ourselves around others who are working on similar tasks or who have already succeeded. Later on, we will address this in terms of “collective consciousness” of groups, or egregores, as well as how to form healthy groups of friends, and why they matter for our journey through life.
The Power of Positive Thinking …
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