In this assessment, I realized my own arrogance. I would love to have the mystical pilgrimages to foreign lands, sitting at the feet of enlightened gurus in India, getting lost in the bliss that is the Temple of Dendera, climbing through the terrain that is Machu Picchu. Moreover, there's not much difference between studying the works of Yoganada-ji, the Hathors, or following the adventures of Drunvalo Melchizedek and David Hatcher Childress. So, using my initial negative assessment as a mirror, what was it that I was attempting to reflect back to myself?
In truth, most of us appear to be remedial with enlightenment. We're still trying to figure out who we are. Definitions of a simple creation or an evolution doesn't quite appeal to understanding the soul, especially when the mystics teach of a much closer link to God. That's my interest in treading a spiritual path. But even after all these years of studying, if anything, I feel I may be still just scratching the surface with my limited understanding and possible experience with the "I Am" presence. But, what would separate me from the average seeker who searches the world for mystical truth/experiences? How do I place myself among the ranks of our highly cherished gurus and masters that we honor in each of our societies?
Crowley further addresses the precincts of yoga where he expounds his extreme methods of practice. Extreme being in addition to the traditional postures, breathing, etc., he would cut himself every time a thought arose. However, more akin to what may have been the above masters setting, one of the major keys appears to be limiting all possible stimuli creating a fortress of solitude. As Crowley suggests, "the greatest intelligence is shown by those of solitary habits".
It is by freeing the mind from external influences, whether casual or emotional, that it obtains power to see somewhat of the truth of things. -Aleister Crowley, Mysticism (Book Four).
I found myself psychologically struggling with this idea of extreme solitude. In fact, I was getting imaginary flashes of being stuck in a straight jacket in an empty white walled room. There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. You're faced with the predicament of exploring the only avenue that you have, your self. As an introvert who needs space, solitude, and room to thrive, I know how easy it can be for the negative ego to begin to tear you away. In the western world of accomplishments, where yang energy of "do this, do that" dominates over its feminine counterpart, one can easily get distracted by what one thinks is a "purpose" in our lives. Taking, not a moment, but a sabbatical of reflection can easily lead to guilt of not doing. Even in considering the doing, all kinds of limiting beliefs may arise, including not being good enough, fear of the unknown, etc., among the plethora of sensations that make us feel human. By saying human, I'm not alluding to a positive quality, but qualities that appear to afflict each and every one of us. Again, I can only compare this to being in a straight jacket fighting with oneself.
In summation, we often find ourselves grasping for something beyond our self, such as a mystical adventure, a guru, a secret mantra, and they are valuable tools in their own right and have furthered my own discovery. However, in the light of the three masters above, greatness seems to be achieved by diving into the depths of oneself, dealing with ones psychology, and closing our senses to the objective world and subjective interpretations thereof. Only then does it appear that we become the subject of idolatry among men worthy of espousing illumination. For which, only then does the seeker become that which is seeked.
They'll go to sacred sites.
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Overly educated and continuously exploring and revealing more behind the veil.
"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions