Here we give a general introduction to the Spiritual Wisdom – also particularly helpful is the Hermetic teaching of the Kybalion given in a page on our Teaching section
By the Wisdom we mean Spiritual Wisdom – this is understood as being an eternal truth revealing itself behind a multitude of faiths and paths - it has various names, including the Perennial Philosophy, Mysticism and the Ageless Wisdom.
Evelyn Underhill, in her book ‘Practical Mysticism’ gives the following definition:
‘Mysticism is the art of Union with Reality. The mystic is a person who has
that union in greater or less degree, or who aims at and believes in such attainment.
interesting ponts arise from this simple definition. firstly, it is an ART which needs perfecting, then there is the concept of UNION, of being one with, and not simply just knowing, REALITY.
In this section we want to see if we can come to an understanding of just what Evelyn Underhill meant by Reality.
What is this Reality ? – lying behind all spiritual beliefs is what has been called the ‘Ageless Wisdom’ or the Perennial Philosophy. A simplified statement of this philosophy says that consciousness can be found in three levels
Accessed by the intellect and senses
- The Physical
- The Intellectual and Emotional
Accessible through meditation and other spiritual practices.
- The Spirit - the Higher Self - gives access to the world of greater Wisdom
It is this latter state that we want to explore.
The essential concept of the Wisdom is that of a numinous, spiritual, Divine world that inter-penetrates the material world.
Awareness of this infinite and universal energy of love and wisdom enables us to see the divine spark in all aspects of nature and in all other individuals. This applies to the arts, science, philosophy and religion, which can only be truly whole and complete, if they also honour the numinous spiritual world.
It is difficult to keep this balance as we are confronted with the events and demands of the material world, which do not seem to reflect this idea of a shimmering, numinous presence. But the Wisdom holds that we must be able to live with the paradox and dichotomy of two apparently completely opposing views.
There is a concept is that there is one unified Whole embracing everything that is spiritual and everything that is material. Lying behind everything in this Whole is the Mind of All.
This universal mind is in every aspect of the material universe. A form of consciousness is found everywhere - from the smallest sub-particle of an atom, through the molecules, elements and cells that form every structure and being.
The idea of the material and spiritual universe being one coherent conscious entity is the essence of the Wisdom. All is One – but appears in many different aspects.
Everywhere there is consciousness and everywhere there is life, for there is no empty space or inanimate matter anywhere in the universe.
A gulf exists between the consciousness of the Divine One and the awareness of a human being. Contemplating the extraordinary size and complexity of the universe it is apparent that a mind capable of creating this Whole is beyond human comprehension.
By necessity, a gradation of consciousness is needed between the one indescribable Divine and the ordinary human.
This infinite ladder of consciousness – of different awareness and complexity - is occupied by intelligent entities from the most mundane to the most supreme.
This range of beings at different stages of consciousness enables the incarnate human to find a guide at the level of awareness to which he can relate
Certain advanced spirits have developed to the point where they no longer need to re-incarnate but are available as helpful intermediaries between the Divine one and individual incarnate souls. These advanced souls are recognised in many forms including inspirers of individual religions such as Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed, avatars, saints, masters and guides. They are available as teachers and guides for incarnate individuals and are a part of the ladder of Consciousness;
A central belief of the Wisdom is that, in order to make progress in developing higher levels of consciousness, it is necessary to refine the ways in which we live our everyday lives and to develop a regular spiritual practice.
This practice can take many forms, including Yoga, martial arts, chanting, dancing and prayer. The most universally recommended is that of meditation.
By developing certain practices, including meditation it is possible to access beings at higher levels of consciousness – this access in turn enables a sharing in the infinite sea of cosmic wisdom that is available