Drama and Meaning
in progress -
This will be a difficult essay to compose... it contains the tension of contradictory teachings united into Change.
Quick story - Capt. Ahab takes his new ship The Pequod out on its maiden voyage, bags a giant white whale named Moby Dick, sells the oil, lives wealthy and happily ever after. Now, that is not as much an epic as the tale Herman Melville wrote, but one suspects the Captain would have enjoyed his life more. Beware of letting Drama creep into your daily life, it can have difficult consequences.
Learn the skill of focus, the skill of compartmentalization and the skill to entertain new ideas within a limited mental space without leakage. Know Yourself, and Know that everyone around you is as valuable to the world as you are right now.
There is what occurs, and there is the meaning which we impose on that which we perceive to have occurred. They overlap, but are not the same.
There is what happened in front of witnesses, and each witness perceived that event from a different angle, a different set of expectations, came to their unique conclusion about that exact same event shared with others. There will be an overlapping area of agreement, with slivers of different interpretations attached at the edges.
Within these partially overlapping spheres of shared attention, will be the components each human being shares by virtue of being bi-pedal beings. We see well in front of ourselves in the day light and are less competent at protecting and feeding ourselves at night, we are born dependent, grow into independence, then support communities. We will share the Treasure House of Images, the Astral Plane collection of archetypes, though perceiving them each in our own Image.
On top of this shared Humanity, we will share Culture, Language, Humor and Habit, all creating further bridges between individuals. But each individual Spark of Heaven which manifests on Earth will also be unique by Nature, unique in circumstances, and (most importantly) unique in its efforts towards Change.
While Circumstances set up different approaches to Life's lessons, all Paths lead to similar encounters in which one can Know Thyself. These events can be climactic, disastrous, euphoric and instructive, usually all at once. They change one's viewpoint, so the reaction to external events yields moments of Enlightenment, and experiencing that particular Truth changes perceptions of future events. Once Initiated, our life-long purpose is revealed, but so are the contradictions which retard our efforts. Using the 4 Fold Method of Y H V H, these contradictions need to be known, owned and explored before being enveloped, digested, converted and put into action. But at this stage, the final Heh, the results must be tested against the circumstances and situations of your life. It is the effect of your Inspiration (Kether) manifested in your WORK (Tipareth), expressed uniquely (Yesod) for it's effects in your life (Malkuth).
To preserve Life and Limb, it is wise to tread carefully when applying Spiritual Truths to your daily Life. Know, Will, Act but be Silent. It preserves the tension which powers Change / Magick.
To be clear, like exploring the Tree of Life, the Sepheroth and Paths, are experiences, not permanent residences or "attainments". The Zen Cohen says Before Enlightenment, gather sticks, carry water...After Enlightenment, gather sticks, carry water...but smile. The same activity can be filled with Meaning, Spiritual, if approached with Understanding.
But what we experience in our Spiritual Lives should not destroy our Physical lives. As we invite the Universe to show us its dramatic side, confining our experiments in our Circle, or Laboratory (Work - Pray). So the Magician must learn to to Know, to Will, to Do and to learn Silence. To subdue the tongue is the first step in subduing the chattering Monkey Mind which is a distraction from direct experience. This is one of the two most fundamental skills, learning Reception, to create an inviting space within oneself for the Light.
Enjoy the excitement of fiction vicariously, don't feel the need to make that excitement the basis upon which you build your daily Life. There are few useful reason to invoke Cthulhu or any of the horrors of H. P. Lovecraft or the Goetia, so "do not call up that which you can not put back down". Participate in "Witch Wars" or ideological conflicts rarely if at all, Hate clings to humans like a foul odor. Dress in the manner of those around you to create Invisibility, it is easier to reveal one's Spiritual side only to those interested, and use the Glamour of a daily mask often. Offer sympathy, but advice only when asked, other people's problems are part of their lives for THEM to solve, not puzzles for those around them.
Many of the exercises and vows of Ceremonial Magick are designed to stretch sanity, so confine them to your Laboratory / Circle / Temple until mastered.
For example, while each of us is the most important person in our own subjective Universe (a medical Mental Health problem when taken to extreme known as Solipsism). Value CAN be obtained by treating every event in your Life as a direct message from God, but balance it by recognizing the Truth that a Red Light can also just be a red light, an earthquake affects many people, not just yourself, and those types of beliefs can lead to psychological, narcissistic and criminal actions. EVERY ONE IS A STAR, not a planet around your Star. Your special relationship to the Godhead is not threatened by another persons' special relationship with their vision of God. Beware Messianic delusions that exalt you over others, they are a trap. Each of us must create our own Book of the Law /Torah /Bible, a document written by Humans under the Spiritual influence of the Creator, specific to that person's understanding, but of only limited value to others.
Study other people's visionary WORKs for the process they used, rather than the easier to observe Content of their Visions. This is one of my major issue with the OTO. Wealthy young Aleister Crowley understood he had to build his own Spiritual Universe, in which he would play the central role of "messiah" (being raised strictly Christian). It contained diverse elements from Jewish Qabalists, Egyptians, Babylonians and Christian sources with nothing in common EXCEPT HIS OWN EXPERIENCES with them. Crowley is the center upon which his religion of Thelema was formulated. It is the PERSONALIZED universe he describes, and offers to each of us with the saying "Every Man and Woman is a Star". And it was great, FOR HIM. Learn from his process, not the personalized content, deities, Spirit guides, and visions of another.
But as The Old Crow got older, and broker, he became more addicted to the adoration and privileges of being a Messiah. The A∴A∴ or Argenteum Astrum (the Silver Star) curriculum was designed for the Individual's attainment. The OTO or Ordo Templi Orientis was the place for Group WORK, and for that WORK they (in my opinion, mistakenly) focused on the CONTENTS of Uncle AL's visions rather than his methods, doing his rituals verbatim. As we are all different, and modern day Ceremonialists were rarely restricted by Plymouth Brethren fanaticism when we were young, to value the example and sacrifices made by those early Thelemites, seek your own Angel, not Crowley's Holy Guardian Angel Aiwass. Write your own Book of the Law, based on your incarnation. Be the Magus, not an imitation of another who died long ago. Also, it is antithetical to an anarchistic philosophy like Thelema to try to contain it within a hierarchical Lodge structure, as One Star does not rule Another.
Be kind, every soul you meet is in your same situation, swimming the unknown towards a dim but dark shore. Each of us will have our Ups and Downs, and knowing we are not alone helps. Some people may lash out at you, trying to transfer their own internal pain to others, in hope of relief (rarely works). Others are acting out their psychological and Spiritual issues, splashing you in the process without much malice or notice. And many bumps in Life are due to simple collisions in the dark, as we all try to swim in the Material World together, focused on our own Path.