Descent from spirit into matter

At the last review session on 12th December 2017, Pete presented his research on Esoterics and Gnostic wisdom:

References from Pete's talk:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/hesiod/theogony.htm

https://youtu.be/W_DiYxrJMzA

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/from-knowledge-to-wisdom

In continuing Clive’s essential theme of addressing the “other”, and knowing that this does not only apply to the political other, but the other in all of its forms, i wish to clarify some concepts in the realm of what could be called the Spiritual Other.

Our religious institutions have been with us for a very long time, and so it is very important to study what is behind their longevity. For something to endure generation after generation, it must have a strong philosophical foundation on which to build its ideological infrastructures.

 

It also needs to ferment some form of emotional attachment from its adherents to maintain its position in the hierarchy of power. And over, at least, the last six millennia, the two concepts most utilised to ferment this emotional attachment, to varying degrees, are Myth and Magic.

 

Myth tends to be focused around the histories of the religion and of its main protagonists, whereas elements of Magic tend to be focused on the acts of the avatar, saint or priest, and this can be observed in the miracles performed, the holy relics held or direct communion between god and priest.

 

And here, we must return to the foundation, for the foundation is only as strong as the substance that it is planted on.

 

When that foundation is firmly planted in the bedrock of sound philosophical tradition and instruction, has love at its root, tempers knowledge with wisdom and actually champions honesty and integrity, then its seismic echo will resonate for eternity, for these aspects are part of the core of our being.

 

If on the other hand its adherents come, like thieves in the night and steal the ancient treasures from which they sprung, smelting down that philosophical gold to produce  dogmatic business models that thrive on division, utilising fear and violence to maintain compliance to their brands and where the prophets of old become profits in gold, then these foundations will need to be underpinned by force, for they have been set upon the dust and rubble of what they pillaged, and would otherwise collapse under the weight of their deceptions.

 

And so, to introduce the “other” of the ancient mystery traditions and to counter the ignorant and unfounded accusations of devil worship and black magic’s toward the Gnostic and Hermetic lines in which these traditions continue, i offer the original meanings and uses of three terms previously mentioned, namely, Religion, Myth and Magic.   

 

All boldings within the quoted author’s explanations are my emphasis and italics are my thoughts.   

 

Religion:

“Now let us turn to the word ‘religion’ and try to decide just what we mean by this term. As far as we are concerned, religion has nothing to do with any creeds, dogmas, rights or churches; and there is no need to believe in a personal deity, or indeed in any God at all… We will use the term simply as a recognition of, and a communion with, the soul of that in which this visible Universe lives, moves and has its being. Here the term ‘soul’ means the emotional, mental and spiritual states of consciousness, both in man and nature – nature being considered as an intelligent force.

You will see that here the word ‘religion’ involves two things:

1) Knowledge in contradistinction to belief.

2) Action that is direct communion with the Unseen, be it called God, a god or a natural force manifesting as Law and Order”.  

The Forgotten Mage: The Magical Lectures of Colonel C.R.F. Seymour, edited by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki

 

Myth:

“The word as it will be used does not mean a supposed historical story which may or may not be true. For us it means a sequence of symbols used as an aid for learning, memorising and understanding a religious process, the true meaning of which is kept secret from the uninitiated. Man always tries to define and synthesize his religious experience. He rationalises them and they become myth with characters as symbols of the myth. For the outer world, a tale in historical form is built up. For the initiate, however, the myth is a key to a psychological and mental process which is carried out within the soul of the initiate. It is not historical fact. For the cult initiate, things are not what they seem to the uninitiated.

It was the ignorance and superstition of the middle ages that turned myth into supposed history. Today some Christians continue to confuse myth with history. Others deny that it has meaning and look upon myths as fairytales for children. Both are wrong. Myth is a method for recording psychological experiences”.

ibid

 

So when myth, through ignorance, is externalized as a literal history or childish superstition it becomes a method for manipulating or guiding psychological experience and as such makes it far easier to capture “Hearts and Minds” and in so doing helps to obscure institutional machinations and motives.

 

Magic:

…Magic takes place in the realm of the mind. It uses mind stuff to build its engines, and mental energy to drive them. I repeat, magic is of the mental world, not the physical

ibid

 

Magic- White, Gray and Black - Manly P. Hall
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9uHZLVkQxc

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