Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Flexibrain: The Great Work

So Gordon wrote recently about the need for neuroplasticity, and the effectiveness of faking being happy to create actual happiness. Not long after reading his post, another one of those smart European occultists who make me think about shit commented to me on FaceBook that I was missing a major piece of the overall puzzle with my post on scrying, and after trying to argue a bit, I realized he was right. And thus, I was wrong.

Which I hate.

Long time readers of my blog will know that when I'm wrong about shit, I admit it and own it right away. I change my mind and/or practices so I'm not doing something wrong anymore. This is because I really want to accomplish the Great Work successfully in this lifetime, and I'm willing to be humble enough to publicly admit it when I'm wrong, if that's what it takes to win.

But more than that, I'm a self-righteous prick, and the only way to get away with being a self righteous prick is to be as much of a prick about your own wrongness as you are about everyone else's*.

Neuroplasticity, the ability to adapt your brain's chemistry by adapting your thinking and activities is a key thing in the Great Work. Sometimes I get to thinking I'm hot shit on a silver platter once in a while, and then I get reminded in uncomfortable ways that I'm more of a cold turd on a paper plate than I like to think. There's always so much more to learn, so much that I've forgotten, so much left to do. I've got to be able to be mentally malleable, I can't get stuck in a position of wrongness out of stupid pride, stuck in patterns of behavior because I can't admit I was wrong. That ain't why I'm here.

Gordon was talking about how he was on an extended downer and needed to get out of it. My problem is every bit as bad, but I get stuck on an upper. I get to thinking I've done all this stuff and I'm great, like some kind of Grad Student of Occult University, and then I get reminded I'm still playing on the playground in Elementary School (literally and figuratively). Yeah, I've been through the initiations of each of the planetary and elemental spheres, I've done a lot of the Work, I've ground up the Stone and Projected it into the world.

Kid's Stuff
But that's kid stuff. Necessary, vitally important kid stuff, but kid stuff nonetheless. There's a lot more left to do. And I'd be doing it if I would just be a bit more productive in some areas of my life that I've been unproductive in.

Scrying is an important and necessary tool for accomplishing the Great Work using the Hermetic rituals I use and teach. The Modern Angelic Grimoire is based on scrying. The path to ascension that I'm using is based on that simple conjuration rite. Everything I said in that post is true and applicable in the context of the accomplishment of the Great Work and the conjuration of spirits.

But there's more to magic than scrying spirits in crystals, and even more to it than Hermetic theory and practice.

This thing that we do teaches us very specialized, very focused tools in our Hermetic laboratory. We learn through conjure, initiations, integration of forces, and the exercise of taking authority over your kingdom. We learn by taking responsibility for the things that happen in our lives, to us and through us. We learn important skills and insights about the universe and the process of manifestation, and our roles in that process.

These things we learn though, they apply to more than the system of the Hermetic Great Work. Scrying is the reading of the Mind. Rituals are the gathering together of specifically harmonic things here in the Spiritus Mundi, the material reflection of our Heavenly Homeland, to accomplish specific aspects of creation. This magical act we do, it's the observation and participation with a massive harmonic field that transcends the dimensions our flesh can sense, but nevertheless includes everything we see and feel and hear and see, intimately. It's like the universe is strings, and we are the musicians strumming them, rubbing rosined bows across them, striking them in rythyms with velvet hammers through levers and keys to create the melodies we experience.

When I was scratching at the doors of the Eighth Sphere, I caught a glimpse of how you can do that with a thought, a symbol, a word, and a gesture in an instant. Without tools or conversations with anyone else, just your mind and your body and your breath working in harmony to express the Will of God.

Getting to that point is a matter of shifting awareness from the down-here-looking-up to the right-here-looking-out perspective, where "right-here" is everywhere, including the Unmanifest. It's the actualization of AN EYE, what Eye none knoweth. It's becoming consciously aware of being the Participant-Observer.
Amoghapasa, a Bodhisattva I found googling around. Check out the Dude on his head, above and slightly behind him. I'm no Buddhist, but it looks like the Participant-Observer to me.
Hermetics is a path that takes you to the point of being able to open that eye and be that person, that observer within.

See, I think you need to go through the elemental and celestial initiations to get to know who you are and what you're capable of doing. The spirits of the spheres train us, retrain us that is, to remember what it is we are, fundamentally, creator-gods.

I've been focusing a lot on what happens after you die for a couple years. I've been looking at all this stuff that we do from the perspective of "training for what comes next." I've been looking forward to doing more of the Great Work to prepare to be a Power when I die. Along the way, I've learned about controlling the world, manifesting it according to my will and desire, for the benefit of the world in general, not just for myself. And I was into that because it was training for the "real" job to come, in my next phase as a Power. You know. When I'm dead.

And that's where I think I missed the point. At a very weird level. We aren't training here to learn how to die, we're training here to learn how to live.

So yeah, all that scrying stuff, it's very much important to learning how to live. But it's a skill that is applicable outside of the Magic Circle, outside the boundaries of the ritual room and your astral spiritual laboratory and playground. It's a life skill, to be used as much as your body's vision and hearing. The Mind is written in the clouds, the leaves of the trees, the flight patterns of birds. It is the stuff of awesome.

The rites and rituals, they teach us how to read the Mind of God in the material realm, what to look for, how to listen, how to see. But the things we learn are to be used today, right now, all the time, on purpose. It's living as a human being, mortal and immortal, united for love.

* For example, some subscribers to my blog will have received a post about how Hermeticism doesn't teach that the Universe is ONE earlier today that has since disappeared as if it never existed. I was, uh, stupidly, stupidly wrong. It does teach that, and I had forgotten that it was traditional, and not just some Kybalion crap, and in my urge to make someone else look stupid I made myself look even more stupid. I was in stupid-fucking-moron mode because I was so busy throwing shit at someone else that I didn't realize I was covering myself in shit in the process. It pays to check your hands once in a while, throwing shit makes 'em stink.