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Book of Nature
Book of Eyes
Book of Inner Fire
Tortoise & Doves
The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Walt Disney Productions, 1940; fair use educational)
Book & Surfer
The most powerful spiritual learning is the fire of Love and is something that we can all practise.
Then we have the Living Book of Nature constantly teaching us, if we will tune in. Thus, even from a biological perspective:
"We are in tune [with Mother Earth], and given the chance, we do things tunefully. We dance.
Pythagoreans and medieval magicians evolved operating methods that prepared them for moments of perception. Eastern mystics and adepts of the various forms of trance induction put themselves in positions in which revelations can come more easily. But no information is the exclusive property of any sect or system. There are no stores of knowledge jealously guarded by Masonic or other hermetic groups. There is only natural knowing, and no matter how you come by it, it is the same in the end. You get a glimpse of the imagination of nature. You become gloriously entangled in the web of the universe.
This is our right in Earth’s estate. It is our inheritance."
(Lyall Watson, Gifts of Unknown Things, p.123)
Nevertheless, there are spiritual and esoteric methods and knowledge that can help us be all that we can be:
"At night while they are asleep, true disciples leave their body and join their Master, with whom they continue to learn. They read the most secret books in the libraries of the universe; they participate in magnificent ceremonies. And even though the human brain is not yet capable of remembering such events, sufficient traces may remain to leave a feeling of such calm and sweetness in their heart that on waking they say, ‘Where was I last night? What I saw was so beautiful!’ We must understand how sacred our sleep can be when we fall asleep with the desire to leave our bodies and attend these spiritual schools, for it is there that we receive true Initiation." (O.M. Aïvanhov)
"Most of the knowledge human beings seek to acquire helps them to earn a living or to shine in the company of others. It is of no use to them in overcoming life’s hardships. Initiatic knowledge, on the other hand, may not help them find a job or impress their audience, but it supports them in their psychic life because it concerns their deeper nature and it enables them to work on their own matter so as to reach a stage where they have control of themselves, in whatever situation.
Initially you will not fully understand the benefit of this knowledge because it acts slowly and deeply, and it does not produce great results immediately. But one day you will come to realize that you are not getting what you need out of the ever-growing body of knowledge that presents itself to you on a daily basis through books, newspapers, radio and television, and you will then turn to initiatic knowledge." (O.M. Aïvanhov)
Some of these methods are:-
"More and more people today are interested in the occult: they are searching for the secrets that will enable them to become powerful magicians. They think they will find these secrets in rites, talismans and magic formulas, and in spite of their total ignorance of the realities of the invisible world, they start evoking the spirits. Poor wretches! What they will find is psychic and even physical imbalance, for their spells will not be answered by higher spirits, but by entities of the lowest kind, elementals and larvae. Yes, this is the truth, the inexorable truth. Why? Because there is only one way to attract luminous spirits, angels and archangels, and that is to make continual progress in the spiritual life.
Heavenly entities will not help and encourage anyone who does not manifest purity, love, righteousness and truth. No one who lives an ordinary life can pierce the mysteries of the universe. The divine world distributes its blessings in proportion to our own efforts. There are always others who will give us the things we ask for – but at what cost!" (O.M. Aïvanhov)
"So many disciples wait for their Master to reveal what they must do to become clairvoyants, alchemists, cabbalists, mages, and so on. They don't realize that this kind of desire is of no real use to them and can even be harmful for them. Acquiring occult knowledge and powers is what should come last. And wanting to start with what comes last is a very bad trend among disciples of an initiatic teaching. They don't know anything about the psychic and spiritual worlds and have not purified themselves, but they are greedy to receive the biggest secrets of initiation. These great secrets will crush them, they will not be able to endure them; but they don't see that and they don't want to see that.
Simply being interested in occult science does not suffice. All true Masters will tell you that. But the day a Master sees that someone is ready, they themselves will bring down the veil and make everything the disciple wished to know accessible to them." (O.M. Aïvanhov)
"However great your knowledge, if your life is not in harmony with the laws of nature, this knowledge will slip from your grasp. However, if you possess the science of life that is taught in initiatic schools, your being will be flooded with eternal, universal, cosmic knowledge, and each day will bring new discoveries, new revelations.
This knowledge is already within you, but it is so deeply buried that it can be brought to the surface only if you lead a harmonious and divine life – no need for books or years of study, this life gives you all the essentials. This is why I say that if you rely only on book learning and forget about living in harmony with heaven, all your knowledge will fade and disappear. Even the talents you already possess will be lost. If, on the other hand, you decide to make every effort to live in harmony with the divine world, true knowledge will come and dwell within you." (O.M. Aïvanhov)
"The best methods to make progress in the spiritual life are the least dangerous and the slowest and yet the most enduring. The sad thing is that people are in such a hurry; they have neither the faith nor the patience to commit themselves to the slower but surer methods of light." (O.M. Aïvanhov)
"It could be said that human beings, having succeeded through their technical knowledge in taming the very forces of nature, have attained fantastic intellectual heights. But this is still not the type of perfection that the Creator has in mind for the human race. He wants us to develop faculties that are far beyond any scientific or philosophical abilities; faculties such as clairvoyance, intuitive understanding, a direct vision of things.
You will say, ‘Well then, why have humans been encouraged to develop their mental powers?’ Because they needed them as a stepping-stone to the higher faculties. People first had to move in the right direction and go through the pre-ordained stages before being ready – as they are today – to develop these new abilities, without of course losing those they have already acquired. Our intellectual faculties must continue to develop, but in subordination to these other, nascent faculties." (O.M. Aïvanhov)
"There are two sorts of knowledge. The first is the officially sanctioned knowledge that you receive in schools and universities, which provides you with the material things you need: a job, money, prestige and so on. However, this knowledge does not transform you, and you remain exactly the same with your anxieties and weaknesses. The second kind of knowledge, initiatic knowledge, may neither help you to find a position nor give you prestige, but it will transform you.
Of course, as human beings are mainly interested in material rewards, they seek the official kind of knowledge. Unfortunately this knowledge does not last. You cannot take book learning with you into the next world; it is yours for only this one incarnation. And what is one incarnation? A dream, a dream that lasts only a short while. But the initiatic knowledge that transforms us and teaches us the meaning of life is etched into our being for all eternity." (O.M. Aïvanhov)
When his master is out, the sorcerer's apprentice becomes impatient doing chores. He tries to do advanced magic, animating a broom to do his tasks. But it backfires as he cannot halt it. He takes an axe to the broom. But each splinter becomes a new broom, and moves twice as fast. The place gets flooded. Luckily for him, his master returns and stops the chaos. Watch it here. The story is based on Goethe's 1797 poem.
(Screenshot from Fantasia, Walt Disney Productions, 1940; fair use educational)
"Novices in the spiritual life often plunge headlong into schemes that are too ambitious, and this inevitably leads to accidents or disillusionment. If at your first attempt you try to jump a chasm that is too wide, you will fall in and by the time you climb out – supposing you ever manage to do so – you will have had such a shock that you might refuse to undertake anything else, however modest. But if you start by jumping only one or two feet and increase this day by day, you will gradually gain confidence and end by clearing an immense width. The same thing applies in the spiritual life.
I have already given you so many methods – a few words to say, a simple gesture to make – but you do not use these methods, they seem too paltry. And yet it is precisely simple methods such as these that can prepare you for great achievements, whereas spectacular beginnings only end in disaster. In their desire to become clairvoyant or to obtain other psychic powers without delay, many people start dabbling in occult practices and the consequences are disastrous!" (O.M. Aïvanhov)
Maps of Consciousness articles