Inner Guides

Astral and paranormal experiences, dreams and visions.
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Grohan
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Inner Guides

Post by Grohan »

Do you think there exists such a thing as "inner guides"? In many occult traditions there are references to Higher Self, Holy Guardian Angel, conscience, intuition, spirit animals etc. I feel confused about these notions as some focus on Self and others focus on some kind of spirit helpers etc which are supposed to help us. Especially in New Age circles the idea about spirit helpers seems to be very popular and often accepted with no criticism.Why are they supposed to help us? Maybe they are just some astral phantoms? Isn't it enough to connect to our Self so why waste time with this kind of stuff? Or do they carry some wisdom which is more readily available making it a helpful thing to connect these? So maybe some of them serve spiritual ascension of this planet?

There's also a book called "The Inner Guide Meditation - A Spiritual Technology for the 21st Century" by Edwin C. Streinbrecher where the author introduces an visualization where you can access an inner guide. I'm not into visualization so I didn't pursue that path much. Yet it seems to be highly potent practice if the author's descriptions are correct. He also talks about connecting with Tarot card archetypes etc. So what could be this inner guide? A soul of an deceased person? (Interestingly, the author of the book also notes how Tarot archetype Devil or Old Pan is represented in crude forms as our current understanding of this archetype is currently quite limited)
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Beshiira
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Re: Inner Guides

Post by Beshiira »

Good questions and good points. What exactly these words mean, can differ a lot depending on the context, so it can be confusing indeed. On this area I have been most interested in the ”Inner Man”, or the ”Inner/Higher Self”. Basically, ”the best version of me possible”, or something that transcends what I am physically and mentally. This experience of the higher self has often been present if I've had experiences that could be called, well, holy. My experiences of guidance are also strongly related to this.

Grohan wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 5:12 pm Isn't it enough to connect to our Self so why waste time with this kind of stuff?
In my experience, this is where it all should start. I tend to think that if we strive towards our inner self (and through that, towards the Divine), the rest will sort of follow naturally. Of course it's not that simple, but what I mean is that if this holistic upward striving is not what makes up the foundation of our work, we might end up with very limited or naive understaning of what these ”lesser entities” are.

Like you said:
Grohan wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 5:12 pm spirit animals etc.
Grohan wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 5:12 pm Why are they supposed to help us? Maybe they are just some astral phantoms?
I believe this is exactly the right way to approach these kinds of experiences. It is far more likely that our astral visions don't show us any ultimate truths directly, but they are instead some kinds of refracted images of our subconscious or such.


Because of all this one could say that the emphasis of my personal work is quite clearly theurgic rather than goetic, if we want to use such divisions. But that being said, lately (within the last couple of years or so) I've slowly started to see the potential in working with lesser (or ”more particular”) spirits as well. In short: if we believe that our reality is made of Spirit and a myriad of spirits, we interact with them all the time already, knowingly or not, and then it might help our work to be more aware of this, and perhaps do something actively based on such a viewpoint. But at least in my own practice I feel that such work should always be in relation to this theurgic approach, meaning holism, ethics, thoughtfulness etc. So if done carefully enough, that could be done in a way that serves spiritual ascension, as you suggested, but I would be very careful on who or what to accept as guides.

I haven't read the book that you mentioned, so I can't comment specifically. In general, what comes to mind is for example that there could be different types and ”stages” of ”lesser guides”, or astral entities as well. By doing a particular practice you can get particular results, but what is it exactly that you achieve, and how does it help you and others in the big picture – these are in my opinion some of the more interesting questions.
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Smaragd
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Re: Inner Guides

Post by Smaragd »

Frater Beshiira’s answer already came very close to my views and experiences on this topic. I’d only like to add two things. First, those moments where the aspects of the Higher Self are to some degree revealed, those that are distinctly seen as sacred experiences can be actually taken as given guidance if one is able to turn it into to inspiration towards the struggles and moments that are not actually and deeply experienced as holy by the individual. These moments of sacredness that are to some degree astral experiences can be followed in the way that one learns the power behind the experience and makes an effort to be able to wield it in any given moment. I see the theurgic Celestial Hymns of the Star of Azazel a practice where these aspectual powers of the Higher Self can become known by name and consequently we start to recognize them more clearly everywhere as we do the invocations daily. Yet the powers remain abstract and sort of beyond definite reach of words and forms. The more we understand the powers and thus are able to bring them in to practice of each moment and struggle, the more able we are in turning the Hieroglyphic Key, each point of which are these aspectual powers of the Celestial Spirits. Thus the Hieroglyphic Key brings us to very practical relation to the Higher Self. These tools and viewpoints give me alot of glarity and actual help when pondering the questions of this topic.

Secondly, I’d like to add that spirit animals or spirits within a more particular area of existence can form deeply vital connections through ones soul to these spirits of theurgy. It could be that ones soul has a special need to create an initial bridge to the spirits through some specific bird or something. It can be like becoming more aware of the meanings different animals, plants, stones etc. hold and thus little by little the outside world becomes more apparently almost like another layer of the symbolic dream we are experiencing in life that is lived close to the soul. But I think that the above mentioned theurgic work can benefit and move the work with much greater swiftness (thus it is a good foundation to stand on) than just aimlessly feeling calm at the sight of a spirit animal and not knowing why, or how this thing that is experienced could be cultivated in to more holistic approach.
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Seferoth
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Re: Inner Guides

Post by Seferoth »

Yes, and one time i heard it clearly. When i was younger(about 12-14 years ago) i was going to do something really really bad and i heard clearly a voice which said "What are you doing?"...and it "woke" me up and made me realize what i was going to do and what would be the consequences of my actions. Ever since that i have believed in inner guides, guardian angels, etc.
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Grohan
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Re: Inner Guides

Post by Grohan »

Thank you for your helpful and interesting replies! It will take me some time to fully digest all the ideas you shared here.

It seems to be an interesting distinction between guides and "the powers that be" ie. entities which form cosmos which we may also view as aspects of Higher Self. From a certain point of view we may understand that whole cosmos is "guiding" us in its own peculiar way although for certain reasons we may wish to form a more "personal" link with certain entities. Lot of spiritual discernment is needed if making these kind of choices.

This discussion brought to my mind a point made by David Shoemaker in his book Living Thelema. The whole point of Thelemic path in its initial stages is to find magician's True Will so why bother with all kind of complex magical practices? The point is to begin with more "basic" magical regimen so the magician may eventually have enough "muscle" for invocation of Holy Guardian Angel (and thus find one's True Will). So these peripheral practices are means of preparation for central practice of invocation of HGA who is the "ultimate guide". From this point of view the practice in the book which I referred in the first post seems to be a lesser kind of practice when compared with the invocation of HGA (although I'm not claiming it's necessarily an "illegitimate" practice).

As a new point I'd like to share some ideas by Julius Evola from his book "The Fall of Spirituality" (aka Mask and Face of Contemporary Spirituality). Evola makes the point that we should distinguish between practices which orient us on one hand towards superpersonal and on the other hand towards supbersonal. I guess these may correspond to Ascending and Descending paths of SoA?

Evola warns of ceremonial magic as it forms ties with various entities and especially if these entities are believed to be true, they constitute an threat to the integrity of personality as the cause of actions is not in the metaphysically integrated personality but in the rite. Thus integration of all the powers in single center is undermined. Then as a second warning Evola notes that the nature of these entities is to incarnate. Even if the magician assumes that the source of these entities is in the formless aspect, these entities nonetheless have their own agenda which should be kept in mind. One should not be carried away by the will of these entities but let their mode of being become transmuted. Evola notes: "It is then that these forces might compose, so to speak, the organs and limbs of the incorruptible man". It seems that these forces could be considered as aspects of Higher Self as has been noted by Smaragd.

So here finally comes a new question which I'd like to state: when practicing for example Celestial Hymns, how do we take into account the previous considerations regarding "spiritual hygiene"? Ethics is an obvious answer but there are probably other point of views which are relevant here? And of course, you can probably never discuss ethics too much.
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Smaragd
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Re: Inner Guides

Post by Smaragd »

Grohan wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:04 pm Then as a second warning Evola notes that the nature of these entities is to incarnate. Even if the magician assumes that the source of these entities is in the formless aspect, these entities nonetheless have their own agenda which should be kept in mind. One should not be carried away by the will of these entities but let their mode of being become transmuted. Evola notes: "It is then that these forces might compose, so to speak, the organs and limbs of the incorruptible man". It seems that these forces could be considered as aspects of Higher Self as has been noted by Smaragd.
Hear! hear!
Grohan wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:04 pm As a new point I'd like to share some ideas by Julius Evola from his book "The Fall of Spirituality" (aka Mask and Face of Contemporary Spirituality). Evola makes the point that we should distinguish between practices which orient us on one hand towards superpersonal and on the other hand towards supbersonal. I guess these may correspond to Ascending and Descending paths of SoA?
I’m not versed with Evola’s thoughts and terminology, but I guess with subpersonal he meant those spirits that were referred to above as more ”particular”, i.e. more specific powers and perhaps specificly those that constitute the forms of a persona, those that may claim more emphasis than the overall balance can afford? There’s many points in this teaching of Evola’s that I see as good points for the process of understanding the larger context of the practices and emphases one takes. One crucial place of perspective to reach in ones path, the place I’m interpreting Evola to mean here, is the high ground where one can differentiate for oneself what practices or deeds are selfish and what are not. What is selfish can also be seen from the perspective of the powers in the microcosm: some part – spirit – of the human composition takes preference over the balance of the whole, the latter of which connects through the higher triad to the field beyond the microcosm of the individual. I see Blavatsky to have given a similar teaching when criticizing mediumism – the state of possession to be the very state where the possibility for connection to the Self is given up. It is terribly often that people astray in the beginning of their seeking of the occult the inner guide to be a saviour that will grant them such freedom from responsibility. A kind of false heaven.

But I would not necessarily say that orientation to either of these two – superpersonal and subpersonal – are necessarily what makes the difference between the ascending and descending path sharpened in the philosophy of the Star of Azazel. I get the point that through the superpersonal the larger picture may be granted a vision of, but that doesn’t mean one is yet able to apply that perspective in to holistic practice. For example, could it be that one practices with these ”subpersonal” spirits in somekind of trance states (in proper and as safe as possible environment) in order to work through some serious bodily traumas, and by doing so becomes able to untangle the difficult powers in practice and for the good of all? That said, I would definitely not keep this sort of trance practice in the center of my practice routine, but only work in such a way if I’d have a certain kind of need/wound I’d need to work through. It would be pointless to emphasise such practices in general philosophy because the need for them is so individual and easily leads seekers, who are thirsting for ”answers” that are foremostly felt (snare of instant gratification) i.e. mere astral maya, astray. As much as I’d like to emphasise how important it is to first practice oneself to see the whole from the unbribable balance point of the superpersonal (hoping I’m using this term in the right place), it is impossible to say in what order some individuals might have to deal with their traumas and what is the proper way to deal with some specific infernal beings.
Grohan wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:04 pm So here finally comes a new question which I'd like to state: when practicing for example Celestial Hymns, how do we take into account the previous considerations regarding "spiritual hygiene"? Ethics is an obvious answer but there are probably other point of views which are relevant here? And of course, you can probably never discuss ethics too much.
One point regarding the Celestial Hymns that was already noted in Fosforos, if my memory serves me, is that it would be best to use the hymns in consistent and balanced manner. Meaning, that one doesn't miss a day/hymn during the seven week cycle and thus doesn't emphasise one of these powers too much or leave one under too little attention.
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Grohan
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Re: Inner Guides

Post by Grohan »

Smaragd wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 11:15 pm Hear! hear!
I was amazed when I first read your comment and then couple of days later happened to read that book from Evola with a similar idea. Interesting!
Smaragd wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 11:15 pm I see Blavatsky to have given a similar teaching when criticizing mediumism – the state of possession to be the very state where the possibility for connection to the Self is given up. It is terribly often that people astray in the beginning of their seeking of the occult the inner guide to be a saviour that will grant them such freedom from responsibility. A kind of false heaven.
I think Evola is talking about the same phenomenon as Blavatsky when he refers to the subpersonal plane ie. infernal spirits (and Evola may also refer to nature spirits). False heavens are indeed a dangerous temptation.
Smaragd wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 11:15 pm But I would not necessarily say that orientation to either of these two – superpersonal and subpersonal – are necessarily what makes the difference between the ascending and descending path sharpened in the philosophy of the Star of Azazel. I get the point that through the superpersonal the larger picture may be granted a vision of, but that doesn’t mean one is yet able to apply that perspective in to holistic practice. For example, could it be that one practices with these ”subpersonal” spirits in somekind of trance states (in proper and as safe as possible environment) in order to work through some serious bodily traumas, and by doing so becomes able to untangle the difficult powers in practice and for the good of all? That said, I would definitely not keep this sort of trance practice in the center of my practice routine, but only work in such a way if I’d have a certain kind of need/wound I’d need to work through. It would be pointless to emphasise such practices in general philosophy because the need for them is so individual and easily leads seekers, who are thirsting for ”answers” that are foremostly felt (snare of instant gratification) i.e. mere astral maya, astray. As much as I’d like to emphasise how important it is to first practice oneself to see the whole from the unbribable balance point of the superpersonal (hoping I’m using this term in the right place), it is impossible to say in what order some individuals might have to deal with their traumas and what is the proper way to deal with some specific infernal beings.
This is a very good point. Working with traumas and similar issues may lead to a temporary disintegration of personality which may seem like a "regression" to the subpersonal plane but ultimately this can lead to a higher level of integration as long as one doesn't get attached to these kind of practices and experiences ie. one maintains and strenghtens connection to the Self before and after this temporary disintegration (which should preferably happen in safe and balanced setting).

Roberto Assagioli's egg diagram may be relevant here as in that model one's personality may reach toward both spectrums of consciousness when journeying towards wholeness. Therefore a dualism is avoided where one unnecessarily avoids subpersonal levels and instead one may expand both upwards and downwards while growing connection with Self (which ultimately is beyond these kind of opposites).
Smaragd wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 11:15 pm One point regarding the Celestial Hymns that was already noted in Fosforos, if my memory serves me, is that it would be best to use the hymns in consistent and balanced manner. Meaning, that one doesn't miss a day/hymn during the seven week cycle and thus doesn't emphasise one of these powers too much or leave one under too little attention.
All right, that's a good point. If one has temperamental disposition towards a certain archetype, let's say Venus, it may not be the best idea to skip Mars day! Or any day for that matter. So there are seven archetypes and when practiced as a whole, would this give a rise for something that can rise only from holistic practice of all seven archetypes - "an eight archetype" which could only be realized when the seven archetypal powers are balanced? The Self which witnessess these archetypes and acts via them as mentioned in this thread? So I now interrept this kind of practice as an attempt to balance these archetypal powers and from that equilibrium gradually realize Self.
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