Part I – Finding common ground
It’s funny, the more I venture into different esoteric studies, both in Western and Eastern traditions, the more I find signs that point me back to where I started.
This manifests on different levels, but I’m particularly struck by how the spiritual constructs that make up our heritage – something often seen as irrelevant, limiting or oppressive – can be an incredible asset for our esoteric work, specific keys for specific doors.
While there are many different paths and none more valid per se, I’m realizing there’s something very powerful about the connections to Light found in the traditions we’re born into.
Religion and myth
Because I was raised in a specific place and time, and within Western society, certain pathways are wired in my consciousness, certain portals.
This ancient knowledge, these building blocks of our collective and personal subconscious (and therefore identity), were coded into myth – the pantheons of old religions and civilizations. Gods, demons, heroes and heroines, nature, entities would represent the various currents within ourselves, we would see them interact, we could gain some understanding of what their purposes were and develop a blueprint to structure the world around us.
In the West they were re-coded into the Epics of Gilgamesh and Homer, then into poetry and drama. The Athenian theater told us about about inner struggles and social dynamics, coloring in the dark space of individual consciousness, bringing light to the paradoxes of humanity – setting a frame of concepts and values intimately tied to our inner landscape. Theater is just an example, the medium is incidental to the context: whether it’s through morality plays, through paintings on walls and vases, through the printed word, through art and symbolism, through enterprise, our shared myths create a dynamic within us that directly informs what we do, and is reflected back by what we create.
They say it takes 100,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery, to develop a neural pathway where action is no longer action – it’s the direct extension of thought, bridging the separation between subject and object.
In the Western world, re-coded in the the Judaeo-Christian tradition, myth is fully intertwined with reality, daily life is set up to constantly bridge my inner structures and the outer structures all around me. Art, churches, paintings, buildings, stories, symbols, they constantly ignite direct pathways to the esoteric teachings, to Light: to the core truth we all share.
The stone that the builders rejected
Growing up I was very wary of Christianity – considering the track record of misery and horror – so I distanced myself from it, and from religion as a whole. I delved into Western esotericism, traveled East more and less metaphorically, became a Reiki practitioner, was exposed to various paths. More and more I kept finding links back to Christian language, figures and concepts; at first they pissed me off, then I sort of tuned them out. Eventually – as life unfolded in its hilarious way – I started to see a different picture.
I now see Christianity as an operative frame that has coded a specific and universal path, and is both a keystone of Western reality, as well as an access point to ultimate reality; it takes Western tradition (from Egypt to Stonehenge, from Mesopotamia to Rome, from Quabbalah to Quetzalcoatl) back to the Source, through the human experience, with magic available to all.
I’m not saying other traditions and paths don’t do that, or that this one is better. I am saying that because of the blueprint I assembled myself with – which I share with many in the Western hemisphere – it’s already downloaded and ready to go, and it’s geared to integrate exactly what is at play in our reality.
Good and evil
I get a clearer sense of what this path is when facing something a main plot point to any myth: the struggle between good and evil. It’s a main plot point because it’s a core current of reality: life and death, light and dark, charge and discharge, solve et coagula, and so on. And so all stories have an antagonist, all traditions have a Satan: in Christianity, that’s Lucifer.
Lucifer is the bringer of Light. It embodies the glory, direct action, will of God. Mastery, in a sense. Until it becomes Satan: pride, rebellion – perceived separation, fall.
Jesus is also a Master. The difference is that he offers his mastery to God, he chooses mastery as oneness, not mastery as dominion. Non nobis, non nobis sed tuam da gloriam: the Christ decides not “to have” what is offered by the Satan , but “to give” all to the All, acknowledging that’s its true identity. Giving is an act of conscience, not a “stripping myself” of something, but a “realizing the true place” of it.
The “here take this” of the demon suggests an offering, but the fine print actually sells the belief of “taking” – which is tricky because it betrays a necessary notion of distance from what you’re taking: it tears a hole in the One, it’s what brings separation, the fall.
The fall is self – inflicted: while perceived as the choice to affirm oneself over something else, it’s really the choice to tear oneself from being , it’s sin; to believe that ultimate reality is not there, to rip oneself from the Whole and fall like the lead to the bottom of the alchemist s beaker. I choose to deny an aspect of reality (in this case, the core and ultimate aspect), and so my experience of reality reflects that: not a happy place to live in, and yet something I try to bring others over to (“take their soul”) in an attempt to fill the endless void I opened inside myself.
Lucifer brought light from source to creation (then got a little sidetracked); the Christ brought light from creation back to the source, closing the circle and “activating” that portal, the alpha and the omega. He is the way because he is us, someone who lived by the reality of That Which Is, not the lies of the void.
It’s not the bringing of the light from the source to creation that is problematic, it’s not getting sidetracked into the illusion: that’s when we undo ultimate reality, substitute messenger for message, way for destination, self for ego.
Connecting to ultimate reality, thinking, speaking and acting informed by that perspective, that is (at least to me) the point of Christianity – and the point of all paths in the Light. To be in a state of direct connection with the center of Divinity, and so nature, others and ourselves; realizing that the hypothetical point we’re focusing on is One, and there is no such thing as center because there is only One, infinite, being itself.
I am deciding to focus on the Christian access point because it’s already here, a path with clear signs, shelters, guides and wise Knights to escort. It’s a path that has coded information in a way I can read by virtue of existing within a certain context: I have they keys to unlock it, and I do love myself a path where most of the heavy lifting is already done.
Most of all, I do love myself a path that emphasizes a certain structure, but that ultimately is about finding the most effective way to connect with the essence in every structure, in every path. A path that I can start where I am, finding that I am .
Part II – Getting to the next screen
Ok. But, in practice, what action do I take when dealing with inner and outer conflict, with perceived separation, which happens like all the time? What do I do when confronted with darkness? What is the right thing to do?
This has always been a very pressing question for me, in various forms. At first I thought it was about protecting myself from something; I was drawn to the concept of exorcism as a way to fight something. Practicing Reiki helped me create a space where I could approach the matter from a slightly different perspective.
Integration and destruction
Exorcism is a ritual intimately connected to healing and liberation.
I see it as a way for us to carry ultimate reality into the world through action, a mastery of Light. Christ healed the sick, the Gospel of John tells how he did that by healing the sin – heal the perceived separation, filling it with being, bridging it into ultimate reality; in all the Gospels that’s a sign that accompanies those who resonate with ultimate reality like the Christ: they can render whole that which is separated, cast out demons.
What we exorcise are first and foremost our own shadows – tendencies, beliefs, disturbs (in very rare cases, entities). When facing them, it’s not about violence, and casting something out in that sense. That just casts more shadow, more separation: Light is a bridge from that which is to what doesn’t know it is. They say a noble victory is when no blood runs on your sword: a noble victory is integration, not destruction. In exorcisms – that is to say, in spiritual action – destruction is not the ultimate aim, nor attacking or casting out: shining light, being light, bringing that ultimate reality into our current reality, that’s the aim of the action. Filling ith Being the delusion of void. The result is either darkness being transmuted into light, finding itself welcome in that which is – or darkness choosing the belief of separation, casting itself out.
We are continually presented with points of choice: offer to God (perceived dis-empowerement, real freedom) or keep for oneself (perceived empowerment, real slavery); build a temple to divinity, or a house on a collapsing black hole; trust that which is, or… not. Evil is ignorance of truth, “they don’t know what they’re doing”: if we did, we probably wouldn’t build houses on collapsing black holes.
There are many ways to bring light that are not an exorcism – or, rather, that are just a very symbolic one – like being open, honest, being clear with consent and intent; there are also many ways of promoting transmutation and integration that rely on other traditions or no tradition at all. My point is that in the traditions immediately around us we may find buried spiritual treasure – that perhaps we are sometimes quick to dismiss precisely because they are immediately around us.
It’s probably a good time to say that the title of this entry is not indicative of this being a masterclass, but of my beginner status. As such, the findings are really more questions; and where you find statements, the chances of them turning out hilariously inaccurate are high.
In hoc signo vinces
So far, I found that Christian tradition (with related symbolism, figures and ritual) lights up the connection to ultimate reality, especially if you grew up in some degree of contact with it; further, that exorcism (as described above, and foremost as an inner process) has specific vibration that calls out the same vibration in me: a clear, focused heart, ignited into action.
When connecting to concepts or sacred figures, I feel a sense of what it is to act from my center, from the center of creation being a part of creation.
Even when the center becomes dense, it becomes lead, it becomes identity and hits the bottom of the beaker.
next class: REMEDIAL ATTACHMENT (not at all inspired by real events)