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Re: Psychism Bashing, Spiritualism, etc.

May 02, 1998 05:41 AM
by Pam Giese

 Caldwell/Graye wrote:
> > This is not to suggest that one should be afraid of
> > psychic experiences and run in the other direction.  But one
> > needs to use discrimination and evaluate ALL experiences (whether
> > of the physical, psychic, mental or so-called spiritual
> > realm.)
> Agreed.
> Mark

Ditto.  One of the real dangers is to enter into occult exploration before
the self is centered and before the bonds of ego has started to shake
loose.  This is were I've seen people get into trouble --it's very hard to
discriminate and evaluate when the ego is running rampant ballooned by
novel psychic experiences.  I think this is why in so many traditions the
first meditations encountered are solar meditations.  The Sun is the center
and life-giver that spreads radiance over the world. Some considered it to
be a perfect circle, or made of gold.  Meditation on the Sun bestows
confidence and centeredness while at the same time confronting the personal
ego with the fact that energies far greater than the ego exist.

As for risk, I always say "nothing ventured, nothing gained".  How can you
really conquer fear without embracing risk?  Look at the Tarot.  The first
card is the Fool.  The Fool is packed, on the journey, a dog running at his
heals, and is oblivious to the fact that he's about to step off the cliff.
It's the first card of the seeker.  As Eden Gray puts it:

"The Fool is about to enter the supreme adventure --that of passing through
the gates of experience to reach Divine Wisdom.  He is the Cosmic
Life-Breath, about to descend into the abyss of manifestation.  Every man
must journey forward and choose between good and evil.  If he has no
philosophy, he is The Fool.  He must pass through the experiences suggested
in the remaining 21 cards, to reach the card 21 the climax of the
consciousness or Divine Wisdom."

I'm not sure if I agree with Eden Gray that embracing a philosophy lets you
avoid the journey of the Fool.  Maybe he's referring to those who do not
enter on The Path at all or are content with the religion and tradition of
their childhood.  I think being the Fool and taking the plunge is a
necessary component in spiritual progression.  There needs to be the
willingness to risk and abandon one's self to the unknown.

When I was in my 20's, I went through a long period of spiritual thrill
seeking.  I found myself practicipating in Santeria and Voodoo rituals(to
name a few) and experimenting with ceremonial and some Lovecraftian magic
--spreading the wild oats, as we'd say on the farm.  In my 30's I found
myself losing almost everything --no only possesions, but beliefs and the
ideas of who I was:  shells of personality and ego that insulate, and the
masks that  are comfortable to wear.  But as Nietzsche said, "that which
doesn't kill you will make you strong".

Now in my early 40's I've calmed down and can continue on the path with a
more tempered approach.  Actually, my spiritual beliefs and explorations
are much more integrated into all aspects of my life now than when I was
living the lifestyle of an eclectic neo-pagan or in the 3HO household.

Gnosis is more than intellectually incorporating other people's ideas.  I
enjoy HPB's writing because it verbalizes and structures many truths I've
realized inwardly but have not been able to give words to.  I feel that
this is the purpose intended --that information be processed intuitively,
not analytically and literally like a Fundamentalist Christian with the Old
Testament.  Gaps, holes, contradictions, and even fabrications exist to
stimulate the intuitive sense.  This isn't a 5th grade history class when
the demand is to store and regurgitate facts and dates.  It's an

my $.02

"Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light..."

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