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The Rules of the Road

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

If an Adept were reduced to owning just one book, I would recommend a good unabridged dictionary. It provides a great jumping off place for most anything one wishes to express vocally or in writing. The dictionary defines “spirit” as the life principle and the word is derived from the Latin “spiritus’” meaning “breath.” This definition is further elaborated on to include the thinking, motivating and feeling part of a person, sometimes called the “soul.”

There is a tendency to separate this aspect from the physical body and in some cases to connect it with the supernatural. This result of our deductive reasoning approach to things, from my pint of view, leads us a bit astray as it does not take into consideration the gestalt (the whole is greater then the sum of the parts) power that is inherent in a living person.

Going back to the original definition, it can be said that any living thing is infused with a spirit. People who practice shamanism take this a few steps further or it might be said that they extend the definition of “living” beyond the normal scale of such things. At this point I’m going to accept the definition of “spirit” as life force and work from there.

For the most part, a sorcerer’s intent is focused on ordinary reality. The complexity of substance and interaction occurring in this arena is so immense that it is best very poorly understood. For instance, if you read Time magazine during the month of June 2001, you will know that astrophysicists now believe that the majority of the universe is made up of “dark matter and energy”, the properties of which are pretty much unknown.

One of the observable properties of ordinary reality is that everything moves and the vast majority of this movement is not in what we would call an orderly fashion. Out of these types of observations arose Chaos Theory in the late 1960’s. (Interesting times, those! This also marked social phenomena that said that people were going to have to practice those ideals that they were so quick to voice and those ideals applied to everyone. HORRORS!!!)

From this and Quantum Theory grew the metaphysical concept that the universe was primarily chaotic in nature and that order was at temporary and for the most part, illusionary. From the observational standpoint the Universe cherishes two things: 1) change, and what grows out of it, 2) diversity. This is the benchmark that a Chaos sorcerer operates from. Thus, the sorcerer works to harmonize with the waves of probability coursing through the universe and by strength of Will fueled by Spirit (life force) cause shifts in flow.

Ge, Gaea and Gaia all mean Earth. Gaea in Greek mythology is the Earth personified as a Goddess, the mother of Uranus and the Titans. In Chaos Theory there is a concept called the Gaea hypothesis, in which the conditions necessary for life are created and maintained by the life itself, in self-sustaining process of dynamic feedback. Carrying this into the realm of metaphysics, it could be used as a partial justification for the belief in reincarnation. I’ll admit that my concept of Deity falls within this area.

In the popular culture scene, George Lucas brought Gaea, greatly expanded, to the public’s attention as the Force in Star Wars. This was not by accident, as Joseph Campbell was a significant collaborator on the Star Wars script. This should not be a surprise coming from Lucas, whose company is named “Industrial Light & Magic”, and who is recognized by his peers as having a powerful questing spirit. And so, if you have ever said, “May the Force be with you”, even in jest, you have acknowledged Gaea, the spirit of our planet and maybe our spiritual source.

Within Quantum Theory lies the statement “the everything is connected with everything else.” Within a person this is especially true of body, mind and spirit. It has been said that the body is the temple of the spirit that dwells therein. It definitely processes outside sources of energy in the form of food, liquids and other environmental circumstances that are necessary to sustain both the mind and spirit. Both the disciplines of Huna and Yoga recognize that and further have some specific exercises to raise power that are connected with breathing. The word “haole” in Hawaiian, which has come to mean “outsider”, originally meant “without breath” and referred to spiritual lack of ability.

Max Freedom Long publicized the Art of Huna, which he considered a psycho-spiritual discipline that could be fitted into most religious contexts. Much of his work concerns the establishing and maintenance of the spiritual Three-in-One gestalt that make up a human being. It is well not to underrate the importance of a healthy body in regards to the support of the spirit. Of course, this is a two-way street and a strong spirit goes a long way toward preserving the body.

Now, what are some of the ways of enhancing the spirit? A lot of these methods can be listed under a title called accomplishment. If you set yourself a task and carry it through to a successful conclusion, part of your reward will probably be a spiritual “lift”, a sort of buoyancy feeling of achievement. Another method is an appreciation of something we consider awesome or beautiful. The more esoteric routes of enhancement are initiation, illumination and gnosis.

Within the psycho-spiritual paradigm initiation, illumination and gnosis are the three primary methods of enhancement and they are a process. In ordinary reality we undergo levels of initiation of one sort or another and hopefully we learn from them. What we learn in the broad sense of the term can be called a state of illumination. Within the spiritual realm gnosis is part of the application, the knowledge that impels action.

All of this process can be spiritually enhancing in that they widen our options for accomplishment of something beyond the ordinary. The chaos factor may truly surprise us when it comes to what such accomplishments yield in the long run. Athens became a democracy almost overnight, a form of government that had never been practiced on that scale before, so far as we know. Thus was set in place an opportunity for the spirit of the citizens to be expressed in both an individual and collective manner.

As I have mentioned, spiritual accomplishment is a process. Most of the time, what popular culture calls “spiritual” is connected with a religious paradigm or something that is called supernatural. From my point of view, our life force is a force of nature and is connected to everything that surrounds us. I went through a major personal initiation in the early 1970’s that firmly set me on the road to becoming a magick-user. I was already experiencing crisis at that time and as the result of a gestalt experience, initiation and illumination occurred in less then an hour.

This left me with the task of learning gnosis, a word that has been defined in several ways; from the state of no-mind, one pointedness, to understanding the knowledge that impels one to act in a certain way. Like much of what we know, it has to be experienced to grasp it’s meaning. Practicing magick gave me the experience that I was seeking and expanded both my personal reality and the energy to delve more deeply into it. From this point of view I feel I have been spiritually enhanced.

The Spirit does have an enemy. The name of this enemy is depression. If this state of mind is not brought on by a biochemical imbalance it probably stems from a loss of faith in one’s ability to positively interact with one’s environment. This inwardly focused state of negativity constricts the production of life force by the subconscious and in extreme cases can lead to death.

Case in point, during the Korean War many American prisoners of war literally turned their faces to the wall and willed themselves to death. Much was written about this after the way and some preliminary steps were taken to counter the effect, primarily in the form of encouraging prisoners to focus on resistance and escape. One doesn’t have to be upbeat all of the time. There is a neutral status. But, depression is not noted for solving problems and maintaining faith in one’s self and considering obstacles as temporary in nature sure helps the spirit along.

In summation, I consider being spiritual as opening one’s consciousness up and becoming aware of the place we occupy in nature and all of its complexity and diversity. There are probably about six plus billion ways of doing this. How one (individual) and like minded people express their spirituality should always be a matter of personal choice. Our forefathers struggled hard to establish this opportunity for us and we should not neglect exercising our options. We Pagans are considered by some of the major religions to be heretics. This means that we hold views that are not sanctioned by official church doctrine. The word “heretic” comes from “able to choose.” Let’s keep up the good work!

George D. Jackson – Adept V


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