Mysticism, sacrifice, and power
[I have taken this post from another blog I started, in an effort to bridge the sensibilities there with the ones I have here. I am happy to incorporate this under the blog post category I have of Magick.]
I began considering this blog post by thinking of the importance of sacrifice in my life and its connection to the kind of power that means anything to me in a real sense. I realized that unless a mystical framework or theory becomes presented as behind these ideas, as informing what I have to say about them, my speaking of sacrifice and power would fall short or not be as fully realized here as I would like them to be.
When I speak of mysticism, I am referring to what I am becoming more and more comfortable with as my own approach to living and what informs what I am doing and value most in life: leaving the world behind. From an early age, I found more comfort in religion and spirituality, the reality this seemed to uncover, rather than anything the world might offer. For whatever reasons or circumstances helped shape my fondness for this way of living or this natural desire to more and more openly go towards these understandings, they have brought me to where I am now, and to me sharing here, and I am richer in life experience because of it.
What mysticism means is a way to discover what is outside the world, or ultimately informs the world, its origins, its reasons or ways it has existence. A mystic, which I am also becoming more and more comfortable identifying myself as, is someone who naturally and interestedly, perhaps I'll even say passionately, goes towards that experiential understanding of what lies behind all of this, the world, existence, any idea, concept, or reality that can be conceived of or that exists. A mystic then is someone who wants to merge with God, experience the oneness of the universe, or who simply wants to be real and live life from such an authentic place.
To be clear, when I say sacrifice, besides knowingly conjuring images of the dark practices of other times (which I am not endorsing here), I am specifically referring to our sacrificing a conscious sense of self, of our ideas of who we are, of our ideas of reality, of what we think we know and have established as real and solid and permanent in our lives and ways of living them. From my experience, of almost half a century now, as we start to lose our sense of self, we start to open the door into this understanding, of what lies behind it all. We are entering into the dark womb of creation, the strangely disturbing void, from our egoic perspective anyway, of an experience of absence, not presence. We are going into the place we can arrive at in meditation, a place for which I have found the practice of meditation invaluable over the years.
Addressing the idea of power now, gained from this sacrifice, we experientially know so much more, and I am not talking about faith, belief, or assumptions made. I am talking about the real experience of knowledge, and this knowledge becomes life changing, if that even captures the experience of ever having received this knowledge.
Buddhist ideas of emptiness come to mind, certainly came to mind after I had had this experience myself, which set me on another course of life. It so profoundly affected me that I am still incorporating or unpacking what I seemed to experience back then. I use the word "seemed" to describe the experience, because it is one characterized by my above definition of sacrifice, where our sense of self keeps vanishing and thinning out, to the point at which it almost does not exist--so how can we be sure of what exactly occurred, if there was no sense of self as we know it, hardly being substantially there to begin with, to reference and to make a reference back to what may have been experienced?
Power comes from understanding how nothing really has the substance you once thought it did. This knowledge as power can be recalled and be realized whenever the world may be encroaching upon you again and again. This does not become a practice of not facing reality or not dealing with what becomes presented in everyday life. Very personally for me this becomes a way to find the root of all reality again, to not only see and experience the absence of self in going there, but also the oncoming bliss that can be uncovered from that absence. It is almost as if while the experience of that peace of annihilation is ongoing, in which we are released from the bondage of having to perpetuate again and again our attachments and obligations and responsibilities in everyday life, love certainly does rush in, constituting the bliss often mentioned and referenced in spiritual practices. As maybe the most precious taste I could ever reference, as perhaps the very reason I call myself a mystic, the best way to describe this experience is to encourage and point out such self-removing practices as meditation. When you return over and over again to the knowledge and power that enemies and obstacles in your world ultimately have no existence, no substance like you had originally thought, that you are out beyond them, actually at the root of it all, what made them to begin with, you have released yourself into the bliss-peace-lovingness of ultimate existence, and upon any return to the world, after such a self-sacrificing experience, I have found that answers do become clearer, and the remedies for the world do become easier to implement. The insubstantiality of this place and your experienced sense of a loss of self, of your sacrificing of ego in going to this place to begin with, provide you with a new experience of the world: it has a less substantial reality than you remembered.
The continued practice of this sacrifice of ego and the knowledge which this brings, together these constitute the mystical path to the power I am referencing.
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Mark Newlon, feeling the embrace of the sacred feminine daily!
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