Spirituality and Magic – Don’t Sell Yourself Short
Author: Friendly Spirit
I’ve read some informative and highly interesting articles on Witchvox recently and wanted to share a perspective that perhaps may help some in their dealings with their own spirituality. This includes rituals where many find sources of enlightenment but also includes just about anything else, eclectic or traditional, in the general areas of spirituality, magic, ethics, etc. My comments do not center on promoting my own beliefs. Rather I’d like to comment on keeping a bigger picture in mind no matter which path or paths you choose.
The bigger picture is, what are you really and how does what you are relate to which practices you use or follow in seeking spiritual enlightenment? I’d also like to suggest a few simple things to keep in mind when choosing a path or religion.
Which Path/Religion to Choose?
I don’t think that anyone but you can say which exact path or religion is right for you. And I’m not sure most can tell if they don’t try things. I guess the “right” one is the one that works for you. Try things and see what helps you improve your spiritual life. Does it help you to be a happier person or live a better life or feel more spiritual or does it not?
It’s a simple question really but then things should be simple.
But how do you know what to try in order to see what works best for you? Well, I guess many will try different paths before they find out but I can offer here some very simple guidelines in helping eliminate any while conducting your search. These guidelines work very well for me but, if they are something that does not work for you, then don’t use them:
- Does the path/religion preach that you are small or insignificant and it offers you a way to improve? I say reject that path/religion because it is based on a lie. The lie being that you are small and insignificant. You are not. You are an immortal, spiritual being.
- Does the path/religion depend substantially on faith, fear of gods or such things as damnation, etc? I say reject that path/religion as it is based on a lie. Your goal in spiritual enlightenment should not be based on fear, mysteries that you cannot comprehend, etc.
- Does the path/religion suggest not harming yourself and others and does it have at least some system of ethics against doing the above? I say look into it. Ethics are logic, really. They are things that just make sense if you truly want to expand spiritually or in any other way. It makes sense because you the immortal being are good and you will hinder your own growth when doing harm.
- Does the path/religion hold firm beliefs that are contrary to your own, even though your own harms no one including yourself? I don’t suggest getting into it unless you yourself are trying to change your own beliefs, as you feel they are incomplete or somehow wrong.
- Does the path/religion involve the use of drugs, hypnotic suggestions, invalidation or evaluation of you by others? I say reject it, as real spiritual enlightenment depends on you either regaining or otherwise obtaining a personal spiritual improvement which, in the end, depends on you and not the invalidation and/or evaluation of others.
- Does the path/religion promote kindness and things loving? If so, this is a good point as such things as kindness and love are completely natural to a spiritual being. Those times you could not be more mean or tough in a situation were not really signs of weakness. But the times you could not be more kind were signs of weakness as, again, kindness and love are natural in a spiritual being who, when itself, is truly good.
So What is The Bigger Picture to Keep In Mind in Any Path or Practice?
Keep in mind what you yourself really are verses what is being dealt with in your practice. I feel this is most important in order to obtain the maximum benefit of any path towards spiritual enlightenment.
What you are is very different than what you are being. For example, in this life you may have a female body, be a mother, a wife, an office worker and a Witch. Those are all identities you have assumed as you progressed in life while your body developed from the stage of its birth to where it is now.
Can a good spiritual path help you to be a better mother, Witch, neighbor, wife, etc? Sure it can. It can assist you in being anything you want. But, here again we are addressing what you are being in this lifetime, not what you are.
So, you’re not that body you have, right? I mean, for example, if you lost one of your hands in a car accident does that change that loving thing that is “you?” That thing that loves your children, arts or music? Is your body that thing that soars to wonderful music or what you consider beautiful in nature or otherwise? No, it is not.
I was in a Pagan chat room recently and in it this wonderful lady talked about children and other things, which was a great chat. She was obviously a kind and caring person but she stated that we all love our children because of a genetic imprint that makes us feel nurturing, defending, and so on. I loved her but I wanted to scream out, “YOU ARE MUCH MORE THAN THAT!” Yes, human bodies and animal bodies do have a “life force” and a genetic line that does provide for caring, nurturing, etc. (or else there would be no real continuation of a species), and when you take on a body you tend to be affected by it and the genetic line BUT you are so much more than that.
It was not appropriate to argue in that room nor did I feel a need to argue, but I really wanted her to realize she was SO much more than some sort of “genetic imprint” connected with a body…
Yet science often stops at just that point in trying to measure what you are. The physical universe can make a great “playground” in which to play and bodies can be a “calling card” spiritual beings use to identify and play with each other.
So if you are not your body, are you your mind? Again, you are selling yourself short if you agree that you are your mind. Here is a simple exercise you can do as you read this right now that might help you conclude you are not your mind:
Read these next two paragraphs and then close your eyes and think about it
Pick a pet or other animal you have with you or had with you once. Was it in your house? What color was it? Size? How did it look? When you think of a time with it, do you see it in your living room, outdoors or what? What was it doing then?
You can do this exercise with a child, a friend, whatever. Close you eyes now and do it and, when you are done, open your eyes and continue reading this.
Okay, so I am going to assume you just did the exercise. Who was looking at the picture(s) of that pet, animal, child, friend or whatever after you closed your eyes? It was not your body as your eyes were closed. Was it your mind “looking” at that? No, in fact it was YOU looking at it. And what you were looking at was a part of your mind (the pictures and things you saw).
My point is, you are not your mind. You are an immortal spirit that currently has a mind and a body.
Your body is located in time and in space (for example, here on Earth) and the pictures that make up your mind are locatable as well. But you yourself are not so located except by your own considerations and your agreement with the considerations of others.
While this is a subject that would take up a great deal more writing space than is available here, my whole point is if you want to get maximum spiritual enlightenment from any path you choose, please keep in mind what YOU are and never get confused with what you are not (a body, mind, tools of magic, etc.).
For example, the idea of using crystals, stones and other physical things to produce energy or other effects could really work but not for the reason many think. Matter (physical things) are just solidified energy and if someone figured out (by accident or otherwise) how to “tap it, ” lots could be produced. Some physical things like crystals perhaps store more energy than physical things like granite. I believe that different paths and people of older traditions have discovered a lot of that.
But what’s most important is that it’s NOT something bigger than you (the spirit). You’re tapping into something that can be amazing in terms of what is generally agreed to be possible BUT it is comparatively nothing to what YOU (the spirit) could produce. If it helps you to tap the energy and magic that is “sleeping” inside of you then by all means do it.
If people could practice such things with the bigger picture of what they really are in mind, to the point where they at least don’t worship such things as the tools of magic, then it could really be something special.
Just because we spiritual beings may use bodies and other physical things in order to communicate with each other, does not mean that we must be limited to that or to what is commonly agreed to be the limitations of bodies in order to perceive or communicate.
You know, you have many agreements in place automatically all the time with regard to your body and mind. Such agreements as human eyes see only certain hues, human ears hear only certain sounds, words are important to communication, you must breath air, and so on. If a spiritual being had the body of a cat for a lifetime, it likely would go into agreement with what a cat sees, hears, senses and the like. Same with any other body type. But they are only considerations you have agreed with and you yourself as a spiritual being are not restricted to such limits. If actions taken in rituals or otherwise in different paths help you to simply “disagree” on all those limits to perception, then they are probably good actions if they lead to your own spiritual enlightenment. And they are probably good things to do until some day you will be able to bring all the magic and abilities out of yourself without need of any tools.
Spiritual enlightenment is a matter of rehabilitating the spirit’s (your) abilities so that YOU may make a better life for yourself and others. Don’t be impatient and expect yourself to go from where you are to perfection overnight. If in any way you find yourself improving any aspects of your life (you feel better, you’re no longer depressed, some things come easier now, you feel more love for others, etc.) then by all means be happy as your effort on your path is working. Keep it up. It gets better and better as you grow spiritually and realize more of your own potential.
Just keep in mind that it is you the spiritual being that is awakening and that all the magic there is, is in you now. And if some path helps you find it within yourself for the improvement of you and others then it is a wonderful thing indeed.
You don’t HAVE a spirit. You ARE the spirit. Remember that and I believe you will get much more out of your practice.
I have made no attempt here to comment on a god or goddess or anything else besides you. I believe that subject is very highly personal and that the more you expand spiritually, the more you understand such things. I only want to point out that you are something very, very special and much more than most people or even many religions let you believe.
Personally I have a very deep affinity for the Goddess. Every time I even reflect on that subject I feel wonderful. I do not categorize her in ways that many others have done. I personally don’t feel her under the many names people have given her in the past. Nor in temples dedicated to her in the various forms that might have been real to people at the time they gave her a name or a temple. Rather, personal to me, I see her everywhere, especially at times where I feel more enlightened. I reflect on her every time I see the love of a mother for her child, when I see anything nurturing, when I so much as see a spore fly in the wind and settle on the ground, knowing some day it may grow to be a plant.
I feel all that at times when I see kindness, love, the good in others. I see her when I see what in many lifetimes I’ve perceived as spirituality, courage, caring, wisdom, magic, strength and all things good. I think of all these things when I think of true “femininity.”
I don’t believe you have to roam anywhere to see her and the best evidence of her is within you now.