The following is draft chapter for a book on magical techniques, principles, and concepts, synthesising traditional magical concepts and modern Psychosynthesis principles. To understand the nature of esoteric and occult secrets it is worthwhile looking at the origin of the words esoteric and occult. Esoteric derives from the Greek word esoterikos, from the root word eso, ‘within’ . The word occult derives from the Latin words occulere, ‘conceal’ and occultus, ‘secret’ . Both of these words, esoteric and occult, are used to describe the study of arcane wisdom, the spiritual mysteries, and magical and hermetic philosophies. ‘Secrets’ often form the basis of many mystery schools, occult organisations, and magical groups. Often there are various oaths and obligations a student or member is expected to undertake and uphold, even if they end their association with the group or philosophy. There was, and still is, often said to be a punishment for revealing of the ‘secrets’ to non-members, sometimes to be enforced by members of the group or perhaps via karmic laws or self-inflicted punishment of guardian of one’s own soul. The safeguarding of ‘secrets’ by groups often forms a control structure that is designed and enforced via a hierarchy. Perhaps it is solely at the discretion of a group’s leader, or perhaps via a council, committee, or members of a certain rank or grade. There may be many reasons given for the control of such information, such that it is incredibly powerful, dangerous in the wrong hands, or that it will not be understood, abused, or ridiculed by non-occultists. There even may just be some emphasis on the importance of keeping secrets, maintaining oaths and obligations, or working out of sight (as is the essence of occult). Generally what it boils down to though is control, with the leader or leadership seeking to control who can and who can’t learn the so-called ‘secrets’ peculiar to their system. I would even go as far as saying that for some groups or ideologies, the careful controlling of ‘secrets’ is to cover up the lack of true wisdom and understanding. I am not suggesting that these groups don’t have knowledge that they closely guard and keep secret. However, I do call into question the occult and esoteric nature of these ‘secrets’. They can keep knowledge hidden, and call it a ‘secret’. They can maintain that it is wisdom, and claim that a person needs a certain amount of understanding to understand and safely or correctly use the information, concept or technique. Knowledge can be gained others; individuals, groups, books, etc. There is no doubt about that. The modern Information Age has seen a proliferation of philosophic, hermetic, magical and religious texts either via books or in more modern times via the Internet. All manner of once secret information has now been revealed, and is easily obtainable by anyone with access to a search engine. Sometimes various control mechanisms have been invoked to have ‘secrets’ removed from the web pages, even to the point of lawsuits to target those who revealed the information. Some will argue that these groups have the right to control their knowledge, their information, and only reveal it to those they deem worthy of it. Perhaps it is their right to attempt to control information they are in possession of. I would like to suggest that all the energy put into controlling and maintaining secrecy is pointless and doesn’t really assist in understanding and wisdom of esoteric and occult concepts. Further, I would like to suggest that true occult and esoteric secrets cannot be revealed – they must be experienced, thereby making the revelation of the information portion of a ‘secret’ relatively useless to someone who has no context for the information. True ‘secrets’ tend to be of a personal nature gained by experiences, intuition, and revelations from the Higher Self. Esoteric secrets are the secrets within. Occult secrets are hidden deep within our psyche. Gnothi Seauton (Know Thyself) of the ancient Greek’s gives us an indication that knowledge of the Self is a central part to learning the Mysteries. It is only via our Self that we can access our Higher Self – the part of us that is described as being of a higher dimension, metaphorically described as higher or deeper within our psyche. It is the Self and the Higher Self that are ultimately the holders of all our personal ‘secrets’ of occult and esoteric wisdom and understanding. As our Higher Self contains the blueprint for our life’s purpose there is nothing we cannot learn from our Higher Self that we need to know, if we need to know it. Seeking out knowledge for the sake of hoarding it doesn’t help us unfold our life’s purpose. By spending time and energy maintaining and controlling ‘secret’ knowledge we are likewise wasting time and energy that could be better put to use in living our life, exploring our purpose, and continuing our journey and evolution. Another important point, I believe, is that due to the individual nature of our personal journey, knowledge that is a revelation to us, revealed via our Higher Self, may have little importance to someone else’s path and journey. It is more important for them to learn and understand how to arrive at their own conclusions, their own wisdom and understanding, and essentially their own secrets about their purpose in life. This aspect breaks down control structures, disempowering hierarchies and empowering the individual. It is a ‘feature’ of true wisdom that it cannot actually be controlled. Control is part of the polarities of the physical world where someone can have power and disempower someone else. Once wisdom and understanding are actually achieved, the true ‘secret’ can be synthesised from this. I believe that this true ‘secret’ or ‘truth’ will be easy to recognise within our own psyche (the inner world), as well as an applicable principle present and observable within the external world – as above, so below. Once someone is familiar with the process of learning from their Higher Self they no longer require other’s to reveal secret knowledge to them. The source of all their wisdom is easily accessible and the truth of the ‘secrets’ can easily be demonstrated or observed, both internally and externally. Others may well know the truths, secrets, and principles already, and they may carefully guard those secrets and control who can and who cannot be told them. If the secrets are universal principles and not only relevant to an individual then it is completely pointless wasting energy on concealing them, as they are already concealed from those who do not currently understand how to discover them for themselves. If the ‘secret’ is of an individual nature, only of use to that individual’s purpose and journey, then it is likewise a waste to conceal the secret from other’s, as other’s cannot benefit from the knowledge anyway. This is not to say that there is any point, or need, to reveal to all and sundry what knowledge, wisdom and understanding one finds from the esoteric and occult secrets revealed by their Higher Self. One can work in silence, in the background, without any effort to maintain secrecy, unless secrecy is actually necessary and needs to be maintained for a particular part of one’s journey. If you are following your life’s path, or at least attempting to follow the guidance of your Higher Self then the need for control is gone. Secrecy will be maintained if secrecy needs to be maintained, because that is what your Higher Self will provide for you. There is unlikely to be a struggle, unless there are particular lessons contained in the experience of that struggle that you need to learn.
- Magic Lessons
- Translation Resources