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Approaching Metaphysics Part 1
Before one approaches seriously the study of metaphysics, magick, the occult, or mysticism, it is appropriate that one prepares oneself on all levels: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. It is of vital importance that the student be psychologically prepared for the reception of Cosmic truths; for without adequate preparation, without the required purity, the right attitude and the right motive, one simply deludes or sidetracks oneself from all that which is essential in occult study to those phenomena and teachings that are unessential, delusive, and misleading; to phenomena that simply strengthen one's hold in a world of illusion, glamour, pride and ego; aside from this, should one attempt occult work without due preparation one exposes oneself to certain dangers which are far-reaching. Without adequate preparation the student would abuse and misuse occult, spiritual teachings and powers.
The karmic consequences of this abuse may stall or cause stagnation in one's spiritual evolution for countless incarnations. Basically, religion without the theological dogmas, is an appropriate basis for the study of metaphysics. Students of metaphysics are advised to deepen their religious activities by engaging in personal study of their scriptures or holy book without relying on the usual channels or interpreters for clarification. This is to preserve one's bicameral mind from external influence and dependency on "authority figures" that may be damaging to the psyche in the long run.
Purity, sincerity, humility, and a selfless motive which seeks to serve one's fellow men are qualities to possess or develop when requesting from, or studying the teachings of a spiritual/ metaphysical teacher, or even when embarking on our own by studying books on the occult. These qualities or virtues are our safeguard. They protect us from negative forces which affect our mental and emotional stability.
One of the keys to preparation is to eliminate the false ego from our thinking and centeredness. Think from the Christ level. Think the thoughts of Jesus, Muhammad-the Prophet, Krishna, Lao Tze, or Buddha. What do you think these avatars and prophets of God think constantly of? They think of God, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. Therefore we advise each student to do likewise. Thinking abstract thoughts, divine thoughts, spiritual thoughts, and holy thoughts raises the vibrations of the physical, etheric, astral and mental bodies. This facilitates metaphysical and spiritual development so needed by the human race. It improves the quality of humanity.
One of the problems which poses as an obstacle to occult and metaphysical study is that of the crystallized mind. As a preparation, the first step that has to be undertaken by the student of metaphysics and the occult is to temporary put away all previous concepts and beliefs regarding them. There are many false beliefs and superstition concerning the occult perpetuated by ignorant individuals, by psychics of a low caliber, by secular education, and even by religion, that we have to cast all of those beliefs aside and prepare our minds to really think and use our reason and intuition. Even if we had learnt metaphysics or branches of it previously from genuine teachers, it is still required of us to shelve them aside when we begin our apprenticeship under a new tutor.
Our minds should be open and receptive to the teachings of the higher worlds, but if our minds are closed and crystallized, we fail to register the truths concealed in occult and metaphysical teachings regarding the laws of the cosmos, the higher worlds, the principles of mind and one's psychic nature. If the teachings of any metaphysical system or teacher (including this writer) contradict your personal notions and feelings and you have trouble accepting them, simply shelve them aside for the time being and consider them again at a later date when you have acquired more experiences and knowledge. Realize, however, that most of the time opinions and beliefs do not reflect Truth. We teach what we personally know or what others personally know. We do not proselytize or impose our words upon others against their will. We are happy to give to others the teachings of the Spiritual Masters should they be receptive and just as happy not to give should they be non-receptive. We can lead a horse to a drinking trough but we are unable to make it drink.
Granted, that information concerning the occult the tyro or neophyte often has to regard as hypothesis, or working theories, but in time the student is given methods for investigating and proving to himself the verities of metaphysical truths and the realities of the higher worlds.
We seek knowledge, wisdom, and experience--not mere beliefs. For the student of Nature's mysteries, beliefs will not do. Beliefs are blatant expressions of one's ignorance, for if one knows, why is there a need for beliefs? If one should say that one believes in the existence of something, one implies in that statement that one does not really know if that something exists. Belief and knowledge are poles apart.
In spiritual and occult training one invokes intense energies, powers and forces emanating from the spiritual worlds. These energies flow into the whole microcosm even down to the physical level. Should the physical body and its force-field vibrate at a very low level because of the presence of impurities, toxins, and negative forces, the nervous and energy systems of the physical and etheric bodies would explode and rupture during the influx of those higher energies. This is one reason why one embarks upon the Path of Purification prior to engaging in advance occult work.
The Master's Advice
In days gone by, when a student approached a spiritual or occult master for instructions, the master would say "empty your cup." The master illustrates the purpose of this by pouring fresh tea into a cup already filled to the brim with the liquid. The tea would naturally overflow. "Likewise," the master would say, "will the teachings I fill your mind be rejected by all of your previous thoughts and false beliefs. Therefore, empty your cup." Which means, in other words, "empty your mind of previous ideas and conceptions." Most people are disinclined to accepting new ideas. They dislike change, and yet we must change towards a positive direction if we are to progress. There is a senseless fear and laziness in most people in operating their brain faculties such as using their mind to reason. Our minds must be open and flexible, yet putting all new ideas to the test where possible before accepting them. We must strive to see the logic and rationality in concepts, if any, that are new to us. In other words, we must think! It would not hurt to be critical in a positive and constructive sense of novel ideas or even religious ideas if we believe that our criticism is valid. Although the mind is limited, it has its purpose and we should not shirk from using it.
It is an important requirement for the occult student not to form any false ideas concerning himself and lower his self-esteem. He should not limit his mind and divine expression by saying "I can't do this," "I can't do that." One never knows what one can do until one tries. This applies to all branches of learning and study. Often we hear people say "nobody's perfect," and they use this as an excuse not to improve their morality, their character, their minds or even their social standing. If one approaches the study of metaphysics and the occult in this manner, one is bound to fail. Metaphysics is hard work, and those who are not interested in work should leave metaphysics alone. Metaphysical truths awaken a person from self-complacency and the slumber of mortal errors. The student of metaphysics should be prepared for this and not rebel when it occurs. When you come to the point where you can think of nothing but metaphysics in your everyday activities, you shall succeed in being a metaphysician. Metaphysics has to be incorporated into one's life 24 hours a day.
Studying the occult and metaphysics requires great perseverance, endurance, patience, and fortitude. It even requires a certain degree of intelligence. Note that we do not say education or intellect, for the educated mind and intellect at times can be more of a hindrance than an asset. Unless our mind is receptive and open to modify previous findings or concepts expounded by science or religion which from the point of view of metaphysics are erroneous, one would simply fail in metaphysical study and the probing of Nature's higher laws. The intellect, as the result of education is simply the building blocks that we accumulate, whereas intelligence is the conscious directive power that builds an edifice out of those blocks. Being educated implies gathering data and information that may or may not be true or even relevant to one's life. We should seek the sort of knowledge that is applicable to our everyday lives with its countless challenges and problems. Overcoming human problems is mastership. Intelligence is a necessary attribute to comprehending metaphysical principles. You need not be concerned of any lack of intelligence, however, for metaphysical practices itself raises one's I.Q., E.Q., and S.Q.
Some occultists, metaphysicians, and mystics have declared that it is much easier acquiring an academic degree than getting fruitful results from occult study. This is indeed true, for occult study requires unfolding the inner senses to register higher vibrations and the various phenomena of the higher dimensions, and this takes much time and energy for practice and training. The purpose of metaphysical study is to make each and every one torchbearers of Truth. Work for Truth, live in Truth, promote Truth and it is guaranteed that you will evolve into God's Light. However, seek no reward.
Metaphysical development requires time, patience, perseverance and great concentration--the type of concentration not normally possessed by the average person. This training of psychic and metaphysical faculties may take a whole life time for its perfect functioning and control. We should not be daunted by this, however. The Master Jesus said, "In patience possess ye your soul," and this each student of metaphysics must be conscientious of. The student must have patience and possess his or her soul and not allow the Dark forces to possess it. In metaphysics we learn to direct our lower self, if we do not do this, negative beings will.
It is expedient that the student remove religious and any form of prejudice from his mind and heart. At times teachers of metaphysics may refer to the text of one religion in preference to another to illustrate or substantiate certain metaphysical concepts. This they do, not because of their personal background and not because of any animosity toward the other religions, but because of convenience sake. We know that the essence of all religions is Truth itself. Metaphysicians, therefore, teach and refer to the Truth in all religions whenever possible. This brings up another subject to mind: fanaticism. Fanaticism is not to be tolerated, not in metaphysics, not in religion, not in any human endeavor whatsoever. Fanaticism simply indicates a blind belief in principles and opinions, most of which may be dubious as to their validity. Fanaticism is separatistic, narrow-minded and destructive, and should be avoided. It breaks up unity by creating divisions and schisms. It is the very antithesis of the spiritual precept: "unity in diversity." The motto of the Dark forces will always be "divide and conquer."
Man is a microcosm of the macrocosm. In religious terms, man is a reflection of God, for he/she was made in God's image. Since God is perfect, man likewise, in a spiritual sense, is perfect. Man carries the seeds of perfection within him. He only needs to unfold this divine seed of perfection lying dormant within him. When this is done all things become possible to man. In order to nurture these divine seeds, one must overcome inertia and work with the evolutionary forces of Nature.
The Motive of Study
One of the first few things that a student of metaphysic has to do is to introspect and analyze as to the motive for approaching metaphysical study. Why does one want to study metaphysics, its branches, and its various arts such as magick, mysticism, esotericism, psychometry, dowsing, or telepathy? For what reason? For what motive? Is it simply to gain advantage over another, for power over others? Or is it simply to acquire name and fame or the riches that it will produce? Approaching metaphysics with such motives would retard one's spiritual growth and is not condoned by any spiritual teacher of worth. A true and noble motive would be to serve God and humanity in spiritualizing this physical world, in manifesting Heaven on Earth, where Truth, Justice, Righteousness, Love, Peace and Goodwill between men prevails. Should your motive be negative, you are advised to transform it now. Do not deceive yourself as to your motive.
Another thing that we must not do, is to steal the secrets of heaven or gain entry into it by force, meaning that we should not force our occult growth by engaging in dubious exercises obtained through sources with no real integrity or authority to transmitting them and hoping for an instant development with their application. Should occult abilities be "instantly" procured, it would not be permanent and would result in adverse effects in most cases. We all know the low quality of plants cultivated in greenhouses as compared to the cultivation done underneath Nature's roof. It is the same with metaphysical growth. Heaven is not willing to release her secrets to the profane, and if by chance any of us acquire her secrets and apply them without the proper motive and purity, we unknowingly curse ourselves. The scriptures say that God is not mocked. This is a symbolic way of saying that the Law of Karma is operative and no one is able to avoid its influence.
The student should be aware that there are false Gurus in the metaphysical field. Every student should be wary and cautious in accepting what they have to teach, for though what they teach be sweet to the mouth, their effects may be bitter to the stomach. These Gurus have no sense of responsibility, and they control and manipulate the minds of their followers for their own nefarious reasons. They create a morbid dependency on the part of the student.
Without the adequate and correct preparation through the Path of Purification, although one may unfold in a psychic manner, if accepted and trained by a "Guru," one would limit one's psychic development and stagnate in one's spiritual evolution. The higher occult and mystical abilities requires that one be spiritually developed, and this cannot be attained without the necessary purification of the microcosm.
Spiritual Masters of the occult and metaphysics are wary and watchful of students with impure motives. It is not unusual for Spiritual Masters to reject applicants for study or to put them through certain tests, or to give them some advise and told to return at a later date, perhaps a week, or a year later. Just because a student is anxious to study the occult does not imply that he is ready for it or that he should be accepted by a Spiritual Master or Adept. Acceptance by a Spiritual Master and the initiations that he has to offer requires sincerity of motive and more besides. The false Guru may perhaps accept such a student for personal reasons--for fame, name, glory or wealth. The true Guru, however, never consider these things as criteria for accepting students, although he may work in strange ways that sometimes seem amoral or irrational in order to test candidates. An occult axiom states that, "When the student is ready, the master appears." The advise here is to make oneself ready through proper preparation and not sit and wait and twiddle one's thumbs. The master in this axiom may refer to a spiritual being, one's personal spiritual guide or guardian, or even to a metaphysical school.
It should be known that the metaphysical path is a strenuous one requiring every minute of the day. One does not engage in metaphysics at certain spare moments available. One must make time for the study and practice of metaphysics. Reduce unnecessary socializing and reduce watching TV and movies to a bare minimum; preferable not at all wasting time on them. This may result in some conflict between your friends and relatives as you settle-in to your new metaphysical routine, but consider this: what is more important, their egoistic and personal gratification and demands or your study of Truth with its eternal worth and its spiritual application in the affairs of men? It is up to you to decide; however, if results are not forthcoming from your practice because of your lack of application, you have no one to blame but yourself. One piece of advice: you may drop-out from metaphysical study but never drop-out from life, for it may be that your real metaphysical teacher and lesson is life itself. Accept whatever life brings and learn from it; otherwise, seek to change it using your God-given creative powers.
The Contemplation of Life and Death
Perhaps one of the things that a novice of metaphysics is told to do at the very outset by a true metaphysical or spiritual teacher is to contemplate the meaning of death and the opportunity that life offers. This dual theme is a healthy, sane, and balanced contemplation that when analyzed individually tends to produce an unhealthy pessimistic or overly hopeful attitude. How does one begin this contemplation? By reflecting on the following: first of all realize that we are all heading toward physical death, This might seem discouraging nevertheless is a true statement that cannot be contradicted. With every second, with every breath that we take we approach closer to our grave. Nature guarantees us nothing in life but our coming demise. This is her promise. We do not know when we will leave the physical body permanently. It may be the next hour, today or tomorrow, but leave it we shall. From these musings questions would arise: "What then is the meaning of life?" What is the purpose of life?" Shall we say as the materialists would say, "let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die"? What sort of a philosophy is that when our query remains unanswered? It would be preferable to say "let us study the purpose and meaning of life for we know not when we will pass away and God's purpose for us here may not be carried-out if we spend our time on frivolous matters."
Contemplating further, we will realize one major thing, and that life here is an opportunity. Opportunity for what? An opportunity to grow, to become, and to be. Heraclitus, the philosopher of ancient Greece said that everything is becoming. This is the Law of Change. From our metaphysical point of view, we understand that he was referring to the Law of Evolution.
Copyright © 2006 Luxamore
About the Author: Leonard Lee aka Luxamore
Metaphysical teacher, counseler, healer and merchant of occult/magickal items of Indonesia.
Magickal Items from Indonesia: talismans, mustika pearls, kerises, etc.
Magickal Bezoar Mustika Pearls from Indonesia.