Thursday, September 4, 2008
The Great Work
Farter BH just wrote a post HERE where he ponders the balance between spiritual work and practical magcik. He poses the question to himself:
"Is having a spirit do something for you the Work?"
This is something that I used to struggle with quite a bit. I remember when i first started studying Tibetan Buddhism and got access to a shitload of practical magick tech through John Reynolds. I actually had Guru's visit me in dreams to warn me of forsaking the spiritual goals. Some of the magickal paths that I have studied are focused 90% on sorcery with very little in the way of mystical training or attainment, so for someone like me: drawn to sorcery but devoted to the spiritual quest, it can be a real trap.
One of the things that Crowley said in Liber Al that I do agree with is: For there are therein Three Grades, the Hermit, and the Lover, and the man of Earth. Elsewhere he refers to these as the Zelator, Adept, and Master of the Temple and refers to the respective grades on the central pillar of tree of life. In Yesod one begins to experience the astral realms and "magickal reality". In Tiphareth one attains the K&C of the HGA. While the Master of the Temple is associated with Binah, it is only through crossing the Abyss through Daath that you attain it.
In my own practice all three of these grades are represented in daily work. I start the day with Offerings, banishing, and the Breathing of the Elements into the body to represent the first stage. I do my personalized version of the Bornless ritual to connect with the Angel and the Decent of Divinity to connect with all the Angels overall. If I am doing Yidam work, I allow this to substitute the Descent of Divinity. This reflects the second stage. I than settle in for the main practice: Threkchod which is in western terms an attempt to stabalize the Gnosis gained upon crossing the Abyss.
I have very condensed versions of all of these that can be accomplished quickly in a pinch. The condensed versions are not necessarily as good, but keep the ball rolling and fulfill my vows. I do these every day except on special days where I do no spiritual or magickal work at all (Tibetan Calander thing...)
The important rule though is: the sorcery MUST NOT replace the spiritual work on any day.
I do Thaumaturgical work every day as well: working with the wealth altar, upkeeping various lights I have set for clients, and of course longer spells in both the field and temple. All of this however doesnt take as much time as you might think. All theugia and no thaumaturgy makes Jay a dull boy, but the theurgia must always be central. One practical magick at its best is a reflection of your gnosis, which means that the light of that gnosis must be kept alive and central.