‘…the technique is a science between knowledge and learning.'
I would say that this topic is the keystone of the whole initiatory system.
If we strip it of the dialectic frills that characterize mysticism, we might compare it to hygiene, which is the essential support for medicine. And this is a true statement, like it is true that orgonomy supports the mental hygiene of the initiate.
By saying this we don't mean to discredit mysticism, or at least true mysticism. Indeed, some of its practices, such as ritual theurgy, can be considered as practices of spiritual hygiene of the initiate.
The fact is that in order to fully understand its use and usefulness we should translate the meanings of its rules, praxes and concepts into modern terms. Most of all, as it has already been done, we should prefer scientific mysticism which, in my opinion, is far superior to ancient hermeticism.
Specifically, I mean the scientific language that goes from Jung's analytical psychology to Assagioli's psychosynthesis. In other words, in order to prevent misunderstandings and false interpretations, the esotericist as well should look for the correspondences of ordinary terms. Nevertheless, he should not forget that the esoteric truth cannot be found into words, but in the occult sense that they ‘convey'.
There are some traditional methods of protection and correction. They work in different ways depending on the level of initiatory ability and competence. In simple terms this means that the more we are competent and able on the initiatory subjects, the more our methods work effectively.
I am referring to the ‘vibrant tones' evoked by the friction on the Tibetan bells; whilst the tolling of our bells is their exoteric representation.
In the esoteric use of sound we also find the sound of mantras ; indeed, mantras are not ‘prayers' but the emission of so to speak rolling sounds. They are supposed to cause external and internal effects on those who emit them. We will not enlist these effects here.
Under certain aspects sound is believed to be a ‘purifying aspect'; in actual fact, its esoteric function is as a ‘correcting agent'. But we only mention this issue because it would be too complicated to describe how a devotional aspect, such as the enunciation (sonority) of prayer is in actual fact a system that catalyzes and distributes energies.
Sound acts on the conscience up to modifying its structures of thought (the physical mind). Sound is able to exalt their ‘goodness' or repress their ‘badness'; if it is not well directed it can reverse the results, exalting low instincts and repressing higher impulses (inspirations).
Therefore the tones of sound are the ‘esoteric instrument' of the initiate, but not the only one. We must also add the ritual use of perfumes, which we are not familiar with except for the use of pleasant or unpleasant ‘smells'. But it is much more than that. Indeed, sound as well as smell can become a corrective element for astral intelligence; the so-called physical reason. It is able to produce lots of exalting or depressing changes on the thought-structures of conscience.
Sound and smell are not the only ‘correctives' for the astral sphere (instincts, impulses and emotions) and the physical mind (concrete thoughts based on attraction and repulsion). But if they are properly understood, they would make any ordinary ritualistic aspect superfluous.
All this refers to the so-called ‘little mysteries'. The ‘great mysteries' involve other instruments, more advanced and subtle than the previous ones. In our instance, talking about mental and spiritual hygiene, we cannot help mentioning the cleansing of the chakras. It can be carried out in different ways depending on the ability and competence of the initiate (see lesser initiate or greater initiate). The first instrument is water, the second one is fire.
The first method uses an exterior means, water. Therefore this is the ‘instrument' for the lesser initiate (see esoteric meaning of baptism). The second one uses an inner method; fire (the light of the soul). Therefore it is the ‘instrument' of the greater initiate.
The methods of water or fire (light of the soul) used to cleanse the chakras is not a metaphor but an operating reality. I'd say that this is the last reality that the initiate can ‘activate' by himself (see method of evocation-invocation) without needing the help of planes higher than the physical existence. Indeed, he should have reached the ‘perfect mastery' of the ‘ inner bridge ' or have the ‘unconditional' support of a greater Brother who is willing to absorb all the impurities and then eliminate them through his own ‘bridge'. This charitable action must be done properly, otherwise the risk is inner poisoning; astral, mental and even spiritual poisoning.
The method of water or ritual laver has been described in an article published on Esonet, called Cleansing the chakras .