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Thaumaturgic Sots, Hankering after Phenomena and Power

“Try to break thro’ that great maya (illusion) against which occult students, the world over, have always been warned by their teachers – the hankering after phenomena. Like the thirst for drink and opium, it grows with gratification. The Spiritualists are drunken with it; they are thaumaturgic sots. If you cannot be happy without phenomena you will never learn our philosophy.”

— Morya, The Mahatma Letters, Letter No. XLIII: 1882, p. 262., Facsimile Ed.

A Pythagorean ethic is given in Stobaeus, which reads, “It is impossible that he can be free who is a slave to his passions.” It is simple to argue with this, because it appears to us that human existence is biologically driven by passion and the desire to procreate. Yet, Pythagorean ethics tells us that every passion of the soul is an impediment to its salvation. The occult philosophy envisions a humanity improved through moral and spiritual transmutation, characterized by doctrines of evolutionary development that aims at a transformation of society. It is this transformation of man, morally and spiritually that is the vital part.

“I love those who yearn for the impossible.”
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part 2: Act II, “Classical Walpurgis Night,” 1832)

These ideas are linked to notions of human improvement, progress and cyclical time. The human condition is very much the dilemma of Arjuna, his ignorance of his true dharma to himself, and his delusions that prevent him from Self-knowledge. Though Arjuna was willing to admit of his ignorance, and had the counsel of Krishna. This line from the Gita instructs Arjuna, that humanity and civilization cyclically degenerates in spiritual knowledge and moral sense. Like trying to find an unlit candle through the halls, there is no light to guide, so we rummage in the dark.

“To protect the righteous, to annihilate the wicked, and to reestablish
the principles of dharma I appear on this earth, age after age.”
(Bhagavad-Gita, 4.8)

The philosophy of the Gita teaches how man is to be confirmed in spiritual knowledge, the manner in which one is assimilated and merges with the Supreme. The root of our confusions arise from ignorance of duty and one’s slavery to inclinations of the senses and organs, having not obtained a knowledge of true Self, and is therefore not established in wisdom, but ensnared. The wise man strives for perfection, to understand the mind and the delusions produced by passions and anger, which can be revealed to oneself through the power of contemplation and attaining to peace of mind. If one is asked to abandon all desires and acts with covetousness, it includes the delusions of grandeur and desires for power, that may arise from practice. It may also arise within one’s discovery of the depths of one’s inner nature, what it is related to, and forces one does not quite understand, yet senses, or strengths one may absorb and partake in. True spiritual wisdom can not be understood, when one is so tied to the things of this world, arising from our relations, even technology, such as self-esteem. True wisdom is said to be found in freedom from self-esteem, not its stirring — that is dispassion imbued with pure discrimination. In this same manner, you may hear and see many things in your study, but do not take them for the realities, nor get distracted by them. Do not pray, wish, or yearn for power, or desire to speak to the dead and become an attraction like the flame to the moths. Your initial aspirations and yearnings for truth will be a boon for you, for a short while, but when the highs subside, you are lost, then worry and desperation may enter your mind. Desperation will cost you the prize and your footing. The goal will evade you, and a darkness will come over you, then forgetfulness will overrun you. Do not rely on the images that flash before you, nor the concepts you have acquired. Stay the course. Do not try to name, identify, or grasp. Look beyond. Things will come to you naturally, so rest in patience, and be at ease.

Great things come to those who wait…”

The impatient aspirant, believing she (or he) bathes in the light of lights (because having felt just a portion of its rays, that exhaustless force sustaining all existing things), with mind drying like a prune in the sun, ever becomes forgetful and lost on an Island of their own making, having taken the light for a rescue boat (salvation) — the fate of many students, still scurrying and scavenging on that little Island.

“You yourself must strive.
The Buddhas only point the way.
Those meditative ones who tread the path
are released from the bonds of Mara.”
(Dhammapada, XX. 276)

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