Copyright (C) 1998 by William Mistele.  All rights reserved. 

On Transcendence

Part of the task in Bardon's first book, Initiation into Hermetics, is to
come in contact with your Guardian Angel.  You also seek to
encounter and to identify with Divine Providence in its four aspects
of all-embracing love, power, wisdom, and immortality.  These are
very high ideals and goals.  I suggest, then, at the very beginning of
practicing with Bardon that the student take stock of what his own
individual sense of the sacred and of transcendence is. 
     According to the mythologist Joseph Campbell, the first and
primary condition any mythology or spiritual training system must
fulfill is to awaken and sustain awe and gratitude within us.  It is
possible  to perceive life as radiant with light and wonder. 
This is a mental realization.  It is a matter of perception-- a way of
experiencing the world as new.  
    Life as portrayed by the mythologies of the world has a
dimension of mystery. It is both terrifying and fascinating.  It is full
of horror and wonder.  In it, we encounter danger and beauty, the
unknown and also true love. 
     There is a mystical, emotional awakening, or a spiritual rebirth
which is essential for living life to the fullest. With it, we are able to
step back from our identities and social roles and gain a perspective
on who we are.  At the same time, through contact with these
archetypal domains, we are introduced to a vast, spiritual landscape
existing within each of us,  a place where we can discover those
resources and treasures which best fulfill our lives. 
      (The following is from my essay on the Spirit Jachil). This first
function of any religion or spiritual training system takes us into a
state of  transcendence.  Transcendence develops in us a state of
mind which is completely detached and separate from life.  And yet
it is so illuminated we are free to embrace all that is within life with
both passion and compassion. 
     The druid, for example, creates in his mind a grove of trees or
stone circle on the astral plane.  There he is free to meet and interact
and to be inspired by all the wise men and women of his tradition. 
There he meets the Goddess and celebrates the illumination of the
   When druid is in his inner plane grove, he is completely there with
all of his imagination.  It is a waking dream and his well-being and
peace are complete.  If he finds a difficulty or disturbance within his
psyche or if he has a traumatic experience in his personal life, the
grove offers him support and insight for working through it.  
   At the same time, the difficulties in his outer life serve to challenge
him to explore more deeply the spiritual resources available within
his grove. The journey within must be profound enough to
encompass with wisdom and love all that he experiences in life.  In
this way, his personal problems are captured and transformed
through a spiritual quest.  
     The imagery of transcendence, like the center of a grove or
circle, becomes a sacred place where we gather the wisdom and joy
from all that we experience in life.  It is a place of celebration.  Yet
we continuously journey outward from the center of the circle in
order to grow and to experience new things.  Growth involves going
outward and focusing ourselves on specific tasks as well as returning
within to attain oneness. 
     The druid has a personal spiritual path symbolized by a personal
grove.  And yet he also delights in sharing the his path and sacred
imagery with others.  There is a collective grove to which he also
belongs.  This grove is where the wise men and women from all
ages of his tradition come together to share their experiences and
inspiration.  This imagery, then, offers reassurance.  It keeps him
from feelings isolated or stuck.  In place of feeling anxiety or
desperation when he discovers the darkness within him, he finds joy
and strength in the challenges which lie before him.  He has the
connections and the resources to help him follow his path.

Exercise: Exploring Your Own Transcendence

Take a few minutes and consider what the sacred is to you.  That is,
what are your greatest sources of inspiration?  When and where
have you had encounters with the greatest beauty, wonder, awe, and
mystery?  When did life feel most alive, most precious, full of hope
and joy?  When did love share with you its greatest treasures and
   These questions are answered by reflecting on your personal
experience.  But the personal, in this case, also contains
transpersonal depths.  Feel the light and the energy underlying your
experiences.  This brings you into contact with sacred.  In these
moments, you were able to see life from a great distance, as if
standing on the outside looking in. But also the depths of life were
open to and flowing through you. 
   Some individuals will imagine and recall specific locations where
they have been or specific individuals whom they interacted with. 
For others, feelings come to the surface.  However you wish to
recall the sacred, imagine now that you can connect to these
experiences again whenever you wish.  
   The sacred is a place of mind and heart, like the center of the
circle, to which you return again and again.  It is what you enter into
whenever you begin a spiritual journey.  It is what guides you and it
is to where you return.  Our experiences with life enable us to enrich
our sense of the sacred.  It grows stronger as does our identification
with akasha, the one light that shines throughout the universe who
some call Divine Providence.  
   At the same time, when we are amid a great difficulty, conflict, or
state of confusion, we can enter the center of the circle, symbolizing
akasha.  Then we can undertake a inner plane pathworking or series
of meditations in search of the resources and experiences we need in
order to be more effective in life.  Akasha, the center of the circle,
grove, our inner plane temple, or place of the sacred is where we
begin our journeys and it is where we return from them.  
   There is a process of processing, gathering in, and integrating the
essence of all we have learned from life.  And there is also a joy and
conviction we exude as we depart on new journeys into the
unknown.  From this psychological and spiritual perspective, our
difficulties and problems become challenges.  They contain the
elements of the great work we willingly embrace in order to
transform ourselves and the world through the power of love. 

Spiritual Community

At the same time, our individual sense of the sacred is not an
isolated and private experience.  We belong to spiritual
communities.  There are others like ourselves who wish to taste fully
and to celebrate life's great mysteries.  Therefore, along side our
individual symbolism and imagery of the sacred there is also a
collective imagery.  
    For the druid, there is a personal grove where he goes to work. 
There is also a collective grove which is a place on the inner planes.  
Part of our exercise, then, is to continue on and imagine what this
place of meeting would be like as well. 
     In chapter 9 of Initiation into Hermetics, Bardon gives an
exercise relating to mastering the four fundamental divine qualities. 
He says, "The truly wise adept, who always considers the four
elements in his development, will represent the concept of God in
four aspects according to the laws of the universe, namely, the
omnipotence, corresponding to the fire-principle, the omniscience
and wisdom belonging to the air principle, the omnipresence with
the water principle and the immortality with the earth principle."  As
you contemplate and enter into these divine qualities, Bardon says,
"The meditation has to be so profound, so pervasive and so
convincing that the astral body becomes, as it were, identical with
the virtue."  
   Bardon's work emphasizes individual initiative and
accomplishment.  There is certainly also a collective or community
of those who seek to master and to celebrate the highest light of
akasha or Divine Providence.  As the above quote indicates, for the
magician, the divine is represented in four aspects.  As an exercise,
take any or all of these four aspects and imagine what a community
would be like which is commited to embodying these qualities.  
   If you think of a community of loving individuals, imagine what
that would be like.  Imagine it as a community in the real world. 
And imagine and experience it concretely as a inner plane
experience.  As if all those on our earth who indeed seek to love
with all of their hearts are able to meet with each other and to share
their vast array of experiences.  Visit this place on the inner planes. 
Make it part of your heart. 
    Much of magick relates to the power of imagination.  If you can
imagine something and experience it a 100% as real, then it is much
easier for it to manifest.  You already embody it within your heart,
mind, and feelings.  Those in contact with you can sense its
presence and influence.  These exercises, then, serve to uplift the
vibration of the world we are in.  The images serve as mental and
astral vehicles for establishing telepathic rapport and communication
wtih others.  We are then drawn to, nourished by, and inspired by
those who share the same high ideals. 
   (See also my posting under Asmodel, a spirit of universal and
cosmic love, under Planetary Spirits, in which I give four steps for
meditating on a community dedicated to the highest ideals of love,
light, and service).
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