Mind and soul of the initiate
by Athos A. Altomonte
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Q : . ..it doesn't matter if we use a ruby or a carefully handcrafted red glass; it all depends on the value we give things...
A : Dear friend, you confirmed what very few ‘esotericists' have already discovered; the true ‘Instrument of Art' is psyche, not its ‘material attributes' or the instruments that the initiate handles.
Therefore the traditional way and the way of advanced scientific experimentation share the idea of human progress as the enlightenment of ordinary states of the physical mind. This happens through the force of conscience, which is the source of an extraordinary energy called ‘impersonal (spiritual) Will'.
All initiatory traditions devote the beginning of their teachings to working on the mental instrument (psyche), in order to widen its abilities, with the purpose of joining (building of the inner bridge) the superior will (Ego), with the will of the physical reason (personality).
From the search for this unity originates the philosophical equation called evolution of the soul. The evolutionary project is attributed to the soul (or however you want to call the strong-willed energy that animates the physical substance of any living essence) and not to the physical reason of its ‘living phenomena'.
This is how the first chapter of esoteric learning is aimed at working on oneself in order to understand how to ‘ grow to understand '. This starts by knowing ourselves with our faults and merits, in order to increase the latter and turn the former into opportunities for development. For example, anger can be turned into perseverance; sexual strength (eros) – which becomes counterproductive when it is used impulsively or perversely – into intellectual creativity (Psychè).
The first steps of the esotericist are driven by the need to understand and not by the curiosity to know . But in order to make this distinction, we must understand the difference between consciousness and desire to know , viz. we must recognize the difference between intellectual afflatus and curiosity . Between the two aspects, consciousness and curiosity, is the choice that gives value to the neophyte.
After this, under a safe guide, the lesser initiate will be able to learn how to turn his own mind (psyche) into the mirror (see initiatory speculum ) where to reflect the ‘superior reason' (Psychè), viz. the soul, which is projected into its physical instrument.