By Charles McBride
If you’ve been paying attention to the bulk of material on mysticism that is floating around the internet at this site and various others you’ll quickly begin to see certain patterns. Key words like focus, will, and energy come up in any writing done within these areas. There is of course a reason for this and that is simply put all techniques share this in common. What most mystics won’t tell you is the dirty little secrete of mysticism. This secrete has been around since the beginning and continues to manifest its self in almost all areas of representation. The secrete of course is that any material we provide you is nothing more than training wheels.
For the adept in the arcane arts we quickly realize that all ceremony follows a pattern, all meditations follow a pattern, all visualizations follow a pattern, all methods follow this same pattern. The first step is to set up that what your doing is going to be outside the physical realm but impacting the physical reality in some way. The second is to purify the existing space. The third is to set an intent and translate that intent into physical actions. The last step is then to return to a normal state of being having taken something along with yourself for this act. Ultimately this is present in Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Hermetic Mystics, Taoist Mysticism, Sympathetic Low Magics, and even traditions as old as Animal Sacrifice make use of these methods.
Usually after a few lessons the student begins to ask what is next in mysticism and often the teacher replies that when the student truly understands the nature of what they have done only then will they be able to fully appreciate the lesson. Students often give up quickly with this. Those few students that do stay on gain a better understanding. Even rarer though a teacher will spell out just a little bit of the nature of mystical energy work and the next phase of mysticism.
The purpose of this writing is to do just that. This little bit of text will serve as both a validation and invalidation of all you have learned up to this point. Consider carefully as you read onward you can ignore the statements written but the truth still exists within it. Once you recognize the nature of the next points you will never be able to go back to another persons structured ceremony quite the same way. You will be capable and able in all areas of the mystical once you learn this lesson but you will never be able to accept any one single way as the only way.
Taking the Training Wheels Off:
All you have learned has been to condition you. This is the first thing you must realize, you’ve been conditioned to the energies, to the methods, you’ve become “sensitive” to the psychic phenomenon happening around you. You likewise have been conditioned between society as well as your practices up to this point to see certain images in a certain way. Psychologically you have learned to interpret intuition, energy, and it’s flow in these symbols, patterns, and ideas. None of this is a bad thing. However in recognizing this you may start to see the break down of symbols as a whole. Once you recognize that the symbols are only a method of conveying energy through intent you gain a great benefit and a terrible curse. On the one hand no symbol will hold more power than your own force of will. The other side of this is your ability to re-purpose energy, symbols, and intents. This is the step in recognizing the entirety of the universe as energy. Bindings cease to be bindings with this rationalizations, shields cease to be shields, cleansing ceases to cleanse, and yet these things all do what they do because they hold the intent. A shift in the sensation of energy and a binding becomes a cleansing or even a pathway.
This recognition of energy and its connection to intent is the first step to taking off the training wheels. You may have read or listened to a lesson on something called Free Form Qi Gong. The idea within this is that one simply sets their intent and lets the energy, which moves in accordance with will through the body, to guide the limbs as well as the further energy structure, into a pose matching accordance with will. Such a technique is simple and was presented early within the instructions of The Labyrinth yet is very advanced as well. Free Form Qi Gong is the second phase of all other techniques learned yet it is limited by most into a martial expression of energy. When one recognizes that intent can carry the body, mind, and spirit through the exercise of mysticism such techniques lead to a type of free form ceremony. This is the removal of the training wheels.
Face North, Turn Exactly 22 Degrees:
In mysticism we begin with ceremony, ritual, and other such methods of training wheels to gain us an understanding that what we are about to do is special. Precise examples of movements are done because precision is taught to us to be a special thing at an early age in education. Consider lining up with your fellow students in class and heading out to recess. Such things are made special but yet also constructed. You and your fellows could as easily be herded with less structure yet on some level special occasions are granted a degree of precision. Consider funerals, weddings, graduation, even a birthday party to some degree all have a level of formality. There is a set series of movements to be moved through further making the special occasion recognized as special.
To take the training wheels off completely is to recognize that you and only you determine what is special within your actions. This means you can recreate the feeling of “special” and “connected” by recalling the sensation of what it was you did in those ceremonies and allowing that feeling to guide you directed by your intent. You may find yourself falling into a pseudo pattern of what you once used or even an entirely new pattern of movements and thoughts.
Now With Your Onyx Ring, Sapphire Amulet, and Bag of Tricks…
Often likewise in mysticism we use tools to conform an energetic pattern. Objects hold patterns better than simple thought alone. This may be due to symbolic linking or to certain structures in materials. Mystics all over the world will tell you the value in quarts, wood, metal, even some plastics, and many other materials. There is some level of agreement that these things can be used as amplifiers. In taking the training wheels off though these tools become training implements, devices applied to energetic manipulation, they themselves can never be the source of your power complete. Once you take the step of removing the training wheels from your mind you recognize the infinite flow of the universe. You determine that the only symbol fitting your power is the infinity symbol. True you may choose other methods, you may still express yourself in certain ways, but in your heart of hearts you give up the illusion of superiority. You recognize that the Tyre Rune, the Taijitu, The Cross, and The Hammer are all attempts to express the infinite in a finite moment.
This is much as a master swordsman recognizes the sword. They see it as an extension of their own power and all swords then become equal in their hands. The tool becomes unnecessary and instead the skill utilizing the tool, their will, training, body, and frame of mind are the real weapon. Remove from a master of one weapon their chosen tool and you have reduced them only in a level of their expression. You have not removed their true power in this, only shifted the expression to another tool such as the body. Mysticism is no different in this respect.