Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hermetic Soteriology

Hierophantic Psychopompery

At Its Finest


Soteriology is the study of religious* doctrines of salvation

Salvation. That's a fun thing to think about, isn't it? What exactly does it mean? 

Who, or perhaps, what are we saving? From what danger or threat are they being saved? What does this "salvation" look like in real life? How can you tell if it worked?

In the Hermetic doctrines, we learn that people are gods, extensions of the First Father created to be an intelligent companion/vessel through whom the cosmos could be simultaneously created and experienced.** This answers that first question, who are we saving? We are saving humans. 

But what are we saving them from? What is the threat or danger? What problem is being solved by Hermetics? That's kind of more complicated. 

People live and die, creating and experiencing their world whether they know it or not. Remember, Hermetics teaches that our purpose is to simultaneously create and experience the cosmos, including, but not limited to, the material world. The most materialistic, unspiritual person you know, the dumbest clod-hopping troglodyte who has ever mocked you for having spiritual beliefs is no less a manifestation of god than you are, and has no less power to create and experience their world than you have. The most mundane people on the planet still make decisions and perform actions that materialize their world, just like you do. 

So the problem that Hermetics solves is not whether or not we are able to accomplish our spiritual purpose. The salvation of Hermetics is not the creation of empowered gods. That's totally not the problem.

In the core Neoplatonic philosophy, we learn that the problem we have is that we have lost and forgotten our race and value.*** We live in ignorance of who we are. That's the problem. We behave badly and make things bad for ourselves and others because we forgot that we have the power to create and experience our lives. We do not fail to create our worlds, we fail to create our worlds consciously

Hermetics gives us a framework to reclaim our race and value. It provides the means to create and experience the universe on purpose. Like the god you are. This is the point of the Great Work. It cleans up the things that separate you from your highest potential, and it changes your consciousness in the process. 

And it is a process. You don't start out ignorant, and then have one thing happen that makes you instantly conscious of being a god. You hear about something, and you perform an experiment. During the experiment, you have an experience that confirms what you heard. The words have become a solid known thing because you have experienced it. This is "gnosis." 

Gnosis is the method of the Hermetic "salvation" process. We conjure spirits for this and that, and we learn more and more about them, how they work, and how we work. We learn about our relationships to them, and over time, we pick up their patterns, behaviors, and abilities. We change by interacting with them, by learning from our experiences, by getting to gnow them, getting to gnow all about them...

And it is a gradual process. It doesn't happen over night, and it never truly completes. You can finish phases of the Work, but as long as you're still in the flesh, you still will have the opportunity to learn new things, to experience new frontiers, and to create new things to experience. It never stops. There is no end in sight, and that's awesome, because ultimately it is the most fun thing we can do with our lives. It is always fulfilling, it never leaves you empty or alone.

And sometimes we are more aware of being creator gods than others. Some days we feel magical, other days we feel overwhelmed. Sometimes it's all bliss and fun and JOY, and other times it's walking through the necessary material steps to resolve an undesirable manifestation, and those times can be long and boring and not very fun at all.

If you think about them too much. Fortunately, as on long boring car trips, our Dad has given us things to keep ours minds off the monotony. As long as we keep on traveling towards the destination, it's fine to enjoy the distractions, in my humble opinion.

Just don't mistake the distractions for the end goal.

Someone asked me recently point blank, "Have you accomplished the Great Work?" I don't like to talk about it because as soon as I do, people will suddenly forget reading anything I've written above, or in any other blog post for the last 6 years, and will nearly hurt themselves in their eager rush to leap to the conclusion that I am an ego-enslaved delusional black brother.

I shit you not. 

I'm about to perform an experiment to demonstrate this on FaceBook. I am going to post the following as a status:
I have successfully accomplished the Red Phase of the esoteric Great Work. I have:
* Created the Philosopher's Stone
* Ground it into powder
* Projected it into the world
Behold, I heal the sick, raise the dead, and make the blind to see!
Thus am I the salvation of the world.
Watch what happens, and feel free to play along. I ask that no one mentions this blog post in the comments, and that if you have already commented, then found out that it was an experiment, that you do not go back and change or remove your comments in the interest of science. 

And remember, it's all in fun.

I find it absurd that anyone can read all the stuff I've written over the last six years and still think anything I write in an ecstatic state of gnowing I'm a creator god is somehow the equivalent of "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light, no man cometh to the Philosopher's Stone but by Me!" I mean, I put the "RO Bullshit Zone" warning right there on the front of the blog. Sic Magus cavete, let the Magician beware.

But here's the real deal: 

I, Rufus Opus, have accomplished the Great Work

I really have. I have completed the full cycle. I have taken my sorry lazy ignorant ass through the Black, White, Green, and Red phases of the Great Work, refining and perfecting myself until I created the Philosopher's Stone, healed the sick, and turned shit bricks into solid gold.

Some aspects of that statement are more literal than others.

Did I say I am enlightened, perfect, a manifestation of pure perfectly functional conscious godhead now and forever, in RO's name you pray amen?

Nope. I just said I created the Philosopher's Stone, and used it to heal my world and the people in it. It's not that big of a deal. It doesn't make me perfect or better than any man or woman on the planet besides the sniveling wretch I used to be. It doesn't mean the Work is finished either. Cycles repeat. A Stone I create today becomes the Prima Materia of the Stone I create tomorrow. It doesn't stop. 

Now, this post is working on your mind, making you think about things I'm talking about. Some of these things line up, some don't. You're figuring out which parts you agree with, and which parts you don't. Some people are focusing on the parts they disagree with, and are thinking up arguments. Others are focusing on the parts they do agree with, and are thinking up ways to test it, put it into practice, implement it.

But everyone is thinking about how they are creator gods experiencing the universe now. Remembering this fundamental TRVTH of your race and value is the core Salvation offered by Hermetics. By bringing it to you, talking about it, getting you to think about it, I have performed in a very small way the salvation of the world, and those within it.

Aww yeah, bitches! Ungh! 

But here's the thing: so what? It's what I do. I talk about magic, if you haven't noticed. I remind people they are gods and they can do magic to change their world. I teach an approach to getting good at it, and recommend other approaches that seem to work pretty well too. That doesn't make me very special. It's just me doing my thing. Some days I do it well, some days not so much. Just like everyone else.

I don't get any ego boost out of any of this shit. Being aware that I'm a creator-god is not an accomplishment for which I should be proud. It's like being proud of the color of your skin, or being proud of breathing, or being proud of taking a shit. These are all things that are natural. 

Rather, I get an ego boost out of doing it particularly well. When I create something really awesome that I LOVE to experience, I am thrilled to death, and love it so much. I am also grateful, and I don't lose sight of the role I play in relation to every other role played in the manifestation of my awesomeness, but I also don't sell it short. Ego boosts aren't all bad. You don't check your brain at the door, of course, but it's ok to enjoy it when you're awesome.

The trick is not to stop though. Never think you're finished, or that you've arrived. Never cease to strive for MORE, more fun, more pleasure, more joy, more awesomeness. Bigger badder better, even if it's just more bigger badder better experiences of no-thing-ness. Strive for excellence, strive to always do better than before. Hunger, thirst, yearn for perfection...

And most important of all ... 

Never.

Stop.

Moving.

* Religions relate humanity to spirituality through narratives, symbol sets, and rituals, among other things. They tell a story about how humans relate to eternity, death, and various rank and file invisible entities that influence the manifestation of the world. Whether you consider "Hermetics" a religion or just a philosophy and set of practices doesn't matter for the purposes of this post. The point is that "Hermetics" comes with a doctrine of salvation.

** See the "Neoplatonic Basics" series of blogposts, also available as an ebook or for free online.

*** New readers, note that "race and value" are not references to the flesh suit you are wearing or its unique genome. It is a reference to the race and value of the invisible god looking through your brain at the material world.