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Fragments of an Initiatory Reality
Fragment 4: Instruments and methods of the esoterical research
«It is true, the esotericist doesn't like discussing his principles in public, neither is he used to “disclose” to the common vision the meaning of symbols and allegories. It is awkward, in fact, the task of the man who wants to exteriorize the esoterical teaching, vulgarizing it, extracting it from its natural habitat that is the “silent thought”, because the word corrupts the essence of the idea, which is preserved and transmitted by a continuous series of Adepts' minds.
If the esotericist had to resume to the extreme the fundaments of the initiatory teaching when using the word, in order to make it easier to understand, he will end up mutilating them, like a body without limbs. If they are too simplified and their fundamental principles reduced, in any form they are presented they will undoubtedly fade, becoming a meaningless and even fancy “appearance”. And this is certainly improper.
On the other hand, if we try and express some subjects in their real dimensions and with the right depth of thought, they will end up being abstruse, and they will confuse the listener that will then abandon them. And this is improper, too.
Therefore it is always difficult to find the right balance between what is right to say and how convenient it is to keep quiet. Between what is dutiful to show and how better is to leave in the shadow. The action of cutting and therefore hiding part of something is always hard for the esotericist's sensitivity; it is a disheartening operation for his mind and a painful one for his conscience.
It is certain that, especially at this time, many esotericists wonder for how long the “pearls” of the initiatory wisdom will have to be hidden in the hearts of a few Adepts. They wonder when, finally, the drops of that wisdom will be “thrown” in the hearts of many aspirants that are waiting for them, without, for this, being trampled on by bad Fellowship or corrupted by bad Masters. This is the moral question that every esotericist must sooner or later face and resolve in his conscience ».
The best instrument for the esotericist is the esotericist himself, but the first instrument that every neophyte meets on his journey is moral. Initiatory moral is not that of solemn enunciations, made by formulas as ceremonious as inconclusive. It doesn't imply occasional acts of charity either, which are done more to please the doer than the possible receiver. The moral as it is intended in an initiatory domain is for the neophyte an instrument for direction, most of all. It is a model on which he calibrates his own thoughts and founds his actions, so that the moral becomes the source from which initiatory ethics flows.
Judgment, that in a mundane sphere is a personal opinion, once modeled on the principles of initiatory moral becomes the upright judgment. Through this the individual action will become the upright action and the common use of the word, the discursive dialectic, will become a complete instrument for expression through the upright saying . All this and more happens because initiatory moral, on the contrary of the case when it's founded on an egocentric vision, is based on the fundament of the research for the Common Good.
As it happens in many types of moralism, the initiatory model doesn't qualify itself, but the things it gets in touch with. It harmonizes the form of the concepts thought and improves the quality of action; by doing so, it absorbs the terms of comparison and evaluation through which it can interact on the quality of intentions, elevating the quality of the motive.
By applying the principles of the initiatory moral we end up avoiding the influences originated by a selfish and egocentric kind, inspired by the commercial vision of the “do ut des”, on which the logic of the profane world is based, where the main features are the emotional spurs of price-punishment . In this culture the price-punishment element is the first thing to determine the evaluation of necessity and the value of every effort.
Through moral we also learn tolerance ; sometimes it is misinterpreted and becomes the duty to endure the annoyance that others can cause through acts or words.
The spirit of endurance is commendable but it is not enough to be considered an element of superior sensitivity. The latter, in fact, understands the different and even the opposite from oneself; it lets us interact with him in order to understand his motives as if they were ours. Understanding a motive or an intention, though, doesn't necessarily mean to accept them and here tolerance becomes an act of intellectual generosity or even love. This is the certain sign of a superior sensitivity. In an acute mind accompanied by a deep intellectual generosity , the loving interaction with any external cause creates the special sixth sense called empathy.
Empathy is a psychic process that goes much further than intuition. It is a perceptivity that becomes acknowledgement and knowledge towards one's own similes, even if they are different; it makes one feel a sense of participation to their emotions and feelings, their joys and distress. Participation leads to the comprehension of the feelings of life and leads to compassion for the pains of the world. Compassion is the feeling that pushes the person who feels it to do one's best in the old offer of the Consolamentum . It means to put one's comprehension available for the consolation of those who are in pain, waiting to be freed from the consequences of their mistakes and their inappropriate or inopportune choices. Empathy is not only this, though.
Overcoming the boundaries of apparent differences can lead, through empathic contact, to the acknowledgment of forms of existence completely different and only close to the human community; living substances that follow it, like animals and plants, and that precede it anticipating its evolution.
In ancient times the development of this particular sensitivity was symbolized by a third eye . The third eye is the symbol of a vision that accompanies the physical one. It is the vision of the intellectual mind and then the soul. It is the vision through which love and spiritual wisdom open the mind of the initiate, enlightening it.
Each “eye” represents the ability to observe and understand a particular dimension of reality . From the slowest vibration of the material plane to the most exalting of pure feelings, to the deepest and more aggregating sense of the soul. In synthesis, the third eye is the symbol of the three-dimensional vision where to the masculine-feminine of the two cerebral hemispheres is added the deep vision, so to say, of spiritual sensitivity. The mental instrument is then completely receptive.
From a high moral sensitivity originates a correct ethical action because, directed by the measure of right, good and beautiful , the adept will always find the right weight and measure for everything he'll decide to do or to say. This able balance will determine not so much the use of the word, but the use of the silence that will turn tolerance into a superior level. This will be the time to find new and more efficient initiatory instruments.
If we observe the most pragmatic currents of esoterical thought we will find some constant factors in the intellectual spurs. They seem to demonstrate, even in the diversity of languages, the existence of similar instruments for different goals. In this case the apex towards which the different lines of thought, both mystical and mysteriosophical, converge, is the inner regeneration. Each of them, in a different way, states that it wants to push their proselytes to untie the bonds of the passions of the inferior nature and dominate it.
Ancient words state that “man becomes king of himself and of his inner kingdom by dominating the animals of his own physical nature”.
The task of initiatory education is, most of all, to show how to reach a good inner balance through the good management of self. Initiatory education makes use of a teaching that develops in synchrony the triple mental matrix of the adept:
• impartial feeling and
• active will.
In doing this the main instrument available to the initiate is his own psyche.
If someone finds himself on his own, without the safe direction of a guide, he must avoid a common mistake: that of confusing the colors of his own aspiration with the realization of what he's aspiring to.
Often the young researcher can't see the difference between what he wishes and the source of his inspirations. Only the most educated one can see the gap between the desire that moves his inspiration and the concreteness of its realization. In order to separate the wish of the aspirant, that can remain a dream, from the stage of the concrete realization, it is necessary to perceive clearly the goal, that is not the end, but the beginning of the work that he will carry on himself.
In order to quickly accomplish to the needs of the apprentice, it would be useful the presence of an experienced and careful guide to direct him, without fail, on his line of least resistance and keep him there. Of course no written text will ever replace the didactic induction that can only take place by directly practicing the subjects of esotericism.
Every initiatory realization starts with the desire of reaching an ideal of superior order. This ideal must be, first of all, identified without fail. As a matter of fact, problems sometimes fatal originate from indecision and uncertainty that, among the least experienced, are the main causes of loss of intellectual orientation. It is not enough, though, to perceive the goal we pursue. The access to a high initiatory ideal can be reached only by accomplishing an inner metamorphosis (see metallic Transmutation). In the first stages of this process it will be necessary to learn that:
• It is necessary to take care of the search for reality by recognizing the principles and the mental processes that support the conscience.
• It is necessary to improve the ability of working on oneself . This work must be cyclic and consistent, because the quality of the result is proportional to the intensity of the applied force.
• It is necessary to anticipate the influence that the model chosen as a reference will have. The first expectations are usually full of gaps and ooze with imagination. In other words, the first aspirations usually are not very reliable and therefore the choice that one thinks the most suitable can result in a bad company. The choice of the model of reference, therefore, can't be done lightly, because it will affect irreversibly the process of one's own way of experience. The initiatory experience, therefore, must be a well directed way that should end with a revelation and an inner illumination. Given all the unexpected factors, in order to reach the most suitable model to one's attitude the best thing to do is to appeal to the safety of the principles of a well demonstrated teaching, to the help of a guide or to the example of a Master of life.
• It is necessary to anticipate the effect that time will have on every single action. Because every action, like every movement, is the factor that moves as many phenomena. They all undergo a cyclic progress of action and reaction to whose effects we must pay the highest attention and caution; otherwise one might be swept away by the unexpected reaction to an action triggered a long time ago and then forgotten.
All methods use a particular mental attitude that, if it is used properly, will become the true instrument of work of the initiate.
The special mental attitude that characterizes the initiatory status is concretized with the development of gifts such as the ability of mental attention. This develops a high ability to concentrate that ends up by coagulating in a high focalization of the intellectual faculties.
The ability to fully focus one's thought by directing its power on the desired object produces in the head of the alert conscience the status of deep attention that eastern esotericists called the inner silence.
In the silence in which one can sweep over the turbulences of passions, the will of the adept can learn to project his own perceptions beyond themselves. This means that under the right guide one can practice exercises of psychodynamics in which the mental impression, the visualization and the auditory image play a relevant role in the development of physical senses, that can reach an ability of perception higher than the simply physical and subjective one.
- Exercising the tactile intuition,
- Exercising the intuition of smell,
- Exercising the visual intuition,
- Exercising the gustative intuition,
- Exercising the auditory intuition,
- Exercising the volitive intuition.
By exercising the will we develop the connection with the part of conscience linked to the essence of the Ego, but we need to dilatate the whole complex of perceptions in order to originate a continuous expansion of the consciousness towards what we want to know. When the contact with what we want to know occurs, we act on it with a mental action called dynamic penetration. This is the instrument of intelligere , that is to perceive through intelligence the meanings implied in every form or concept.
Behind the Latin word intelligere there is the same principle of the Greek word esokerikòs. Both mean the ability to penetrate the essence of every meaning proceeding from the outside, the point of view of the observer, to the inside of what we want to know. This is the synthesis of the esoterical fundament.
Esotericism is a method of enquiry, that is an analytical process that from the exteriority of the surface penetrates towards the central nucleus of every essence, being or idea and reveals their deepest contents. This is esotericism.
Once at this level another psychic potentiality can be developed: that of visualizing all that is perceived or created by our mind. It is a mental attitude that from thinking what we want to understand allows to see what we want to know.
But “seeing what we think” can't remain only a didactic statement or pure theoretical abstraction. It must be supported by examples of a method that, even partially, can give at least an idea of the techniques that are practiced in order to strengthen some mental faculties.
The methods of mental development are based, at least at the beginning, on image and light. But the creation of the interior “light” in order to strengthen the mind and dissolve many of its undesired waste can be dangerous if used improperly. Therefore we will stick to the use of the images.
To be able to get hold of the use of the mental images is not mean feat.
The esotericist is usually familiar with all kinds of symbols. These are physical images but without a soul. More precisely the symbol is the incarnation of an idea lacking of its “spirit” that is not there any more but that should be found. How? This is the question. When the spirit of an idea is found, the spirit and the idea will truly belong to the person who found them. Therefore in order to get closer to this principle, in the next fragment we will try and exercise on the practical use of – living symbols -.
We will use images that operate only on the emotional planes of the mind, so to allow experimentation at any level of research.
Athos A. Altomonte