But what is...?
Question: What is Practical Mystery?
“Practical” refers to your every day life experience. It is how you experience being in a physical body in a physical world.—what some call “reality.” What you know, you know through your physical senses. It is also the world of thought and feelings. In this practical world, the currency you are dealing with is what is known (or believed to be known) and what is unknown but discoverable. In tarot symbolism, this is pentacles/earth and swords/air. In shamanism, this is the perspectives of snake and jaguar realms. Qabala refers to these as the Active World and the Formative World.
“Mystery”, on the other hand, refers to the Unknowable, the realm beyond the ability to be grasped intellectually, logically. Yet these “higher realms” or perspectives hold all the information, resources answers to EVERYTHING that was, is and will be. Furthermore it is a realm you have access to at all times. In fact, it is literally impossible for you and I to be separate from it. The whole kit and kaboodle of ALL THAT IS quite literally belongs to the Sacred Unknowable, the Mystery. These worlds are accessed via meditation, symbols, synchronicity, archetypal stories, the arts, certain physical experiences that are beyond words. Qabala refers to these as the Creative World and the Archetypal World because this is where the spark of all inspiration issues from, all creativity, everything that ultimately becomes manifested and “real” in the practical world. In tarot, these are symbolized by Cups/water and Wands/fire. In shamanism, these are Hummingbird (the symbol for impossible feats) and Eagle perspectives.
Question: So, it’s a form of religion?
No. Practical Mystery is a system for knowing yourself.
Question: What is “magic”?
Definition: The Art and Science of causing change (transformation) to occur in alignment with the will of Spirit.
The “magic” of mysticism is different than the most commonly understood definitions of magic.
This is not the sleight of hand, distraction and tricks of entertainment magic.
Nor is it spells, charms, incantations of wiccan or pagan magic.
While one is indeed entertaining, and the other calls upon certain natural laws governing manifestation, neither are tuned into the Highest Realms of Spirit.
Both of these “magics” are externally focused—aimed at manipulating and changing something in the outside world.
The “magic” of mysticism is grounded in the concept of “wisdom.” Especially the wisdom of Know YourSelf. It is co-creative with Spirit—your Highest Spirit in collaboration with guidance from Spirit Helpers and even Source. It always happens first on the Inner Plane, and then shows up in the external world. The process of magical change is always initiated from within.
You are the Magician. Every time you have shifted or changed or transformed something internally in which you became more clear or peaceful or focused or whatever AND that shift affected an external or physical condition—that was you practicing your magic.
Whether you are a skillful magician, able to create more and more of what you want and less and less of what you don’t want, depends on several factors:
How well you Know Your Self.
How accurate and clear you are about the truth of what you want.
How well you know and observe the laws of Cause and Effect.
How committed you are to practicing. This includes objectively observing your experiences vs habitual reaction, journaling in some way or another by which you can accurately remember, and making helpful, informed adjustments based on what you are learning.
Question: I heard it called "black" magic?
Nope. “Magic” is ‘black’ or ‘white’ depending on intent of the soul of the user.
Question: Or New Age spirituality/mystical philosophy?
“Occult” “Esoteric” “Mystical” refer to very old, schools of thought predating contemporary traditional religions. These terms generally refer to “secret” information that was once withheld from a superstitious general population. There is still quite a lot of superstition floating around (including resurgence with the “religious right”) but there is currently less threat to those familiar with the mystical systems than in times past.
Question: What is the kabbalah?
Kabbalah is an organized system or blueprint that encodes the structure of the Universe that also is the same blueprint for knowing one’s self. Kabbalah with a “k” is attributed to mystical Judaism. Cabala with a “c” is the same information. The spelling was changed when mystical Christianity adopted the system. Qabala is the spelling used by contemporary mystics who are identified as spiritual but not religious. I prefer the qabala spelling, as I feel it is free of the religious undertones that come with the other spellings. That said, “kabbalah” remains the most common spelling.
Question: Where does God fit in?
Neither Practical Mystery nor qabala are religions. There is an assumption that there is more to life than meets the eye, and that there is a “something” from which everything has been and continues to be issued. While there are a few attributes that are “assumable,” the exact nature of this Something is Unknowable by the intellect (there are numerous Biblical references that frame this as no one has looked upon the face of God and lived. Kind of like we know a thing called electricity exists and we even can harness that power to some extent, but it can only be safely handled indirectly. We simply aren’t built to be able to handle direct contact with, say a billion volts that are in a single typical lightning strike) “God” is a word of relatively recent origins that is used to describe this Something. To quote my 92 year old friend Geraldine, “The Bible says God created man in God’s image. Man returned the favor and created God in man’s image.” “God” is a word that has come to basically mean “a powerful old white guy.” “God” as Something is undeniable and kabbalah is a blueprint of certain characteristics that, with sufficient knowledge, can be harnessed for our benefit.
Question: Channelling. Who are the angels and masters? Who decides this?
This is a really BIG question—actually many questions in a few words. I am not sure I am capable of a good answer. Channelling is information brought from the spiritual realms by people who through study and/or giftedness are able to receive it. The information usually comes in the form of symbols, pictures, blocks of thought. It is subject to interpretation, as it comes through the particular filters of the individual sharing it. The reasons why channelers connect with entities who are named differently or the information varies is—to the best of my ability to describe it—kind of like math teachers. A teacher teaching a 3 year old to count speaks very differently than a college professor teaching quantum physics. The information “channeled” depends on who it is for. And is taught in a variety of styles and effectiveness unique to the individual teacher. Same with channeling and channellers.
OK, angels and archangels. “Who” depends on who you talk to. In kabbalah, angels and archangels are energies that have specific functions. They are a bit difficult to grasp because a rather simplistic culture has turned them into cupids, fat babies with wings. Or grown ups with wings who fly around and grant wishes. Angels, like God, have been given human characteristics, and consequently “invisible,” even secret, in the sense that these energies are no longer known.
Masters refers to those who have evolved to a level of attunement with the higher realms, who have access to the higher perspectives. And offer guidance of various kinds.
These terms and concepts are familiar to those who have studied various esoteric schools of thought. And require a degree of “open mindedness” along with willingness to suspend notions of “belief,” dogma, and simplicity.
I do not teach these concepts. Most people who are interested in my work already have had at least some basic exposure to some of them, OR, have a restlessness around traditional religion and are drawn to more expansive spiritual perspectives. Folks who are strict atheists tend not to be interested as these concepts appear to be just another version of superstitious nonsense. And people steeped in religious fundamentalism are much too fearful. However, there is nothing in kabbalah, or cabala, or qabala that contradicts the heart and soul of any religion that I know of. Mysticism and the great mystery schools all have the same bones and internal structure—it is only the outward appearance that is different.
Question: Meditations, esoteric teachings, and contemplations?
Basically meditation is focused attention sustained for a period of time. There are different styles of meditation, practiced for reasons and purposes. The practice most people are familiar with is mindfulness meditation. In the West, meditation was popularized by Jon Kabat-Zinn for stress management and health benefits. In fact, in the early days, Kabat-Zinn referred to his program as stress management because he rightfully believed that at the time people would associate meditation with Eastern religion and ignore the benefits. In recent years, mindfulness meditation has gain considerable momentum as a spiritual practice. Meditation is also practiced by those training in shamanism and indigenous holy people. For qabalist, there is a specific type of meditation that utilizes symbols, visualization, and elements from the Tree of Life for something called “magical meditation.” This is the system I have become quite curious about since the election and the basis for the Mystical Activism program I have been working to put together.
Some people consider prayer and meditation to be interchangeable—basically the same. But prayer is usually practiced as supplication—asking for something, whereas meditation is focused attention and receptivity. What one’s attention is focused on is the principle difference in the forms.
When I was practicing and teaching clinical hypnosis, there was lots of comparison of meditation to hypnosis. There are things the 2 have in common, but they are also different.
Comtemplation is also used interchangeable with meditation, but in my mind contemplation is more focused, studious thinking about a specific subject or object of attention. In meditation, the meditator intent is to actually suspend thinking to accomplish various intentions.
Meditation has some things in common with prayer, hypnosis and contemplation—primarily that they all are rooted in sustained mental focus. However, each one of these uses of mind is it’s own thing.
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