The other day I had a chance to talk about spiritual development with one person.
My interlocutor’s main idea was that he was successfully working on his spiritual development and personality transformation without a School or a Teacher. When I asked what exactly did his work on spiritual development consist of, it turned out that this person was trying to become “less egoistic, more kind, open and positive”…
Indeed, a good and positive endeavor.
But can such work, aimed at the formation of positive personal characteristics, be called spiritual development?
To some extent, yes.
However, when we speak of spiritual development from the standpoint of Magic and Esotericism, we mean something completely different, something that is usually dubbed “Vertical Evolution”.
Lets look at the idea of Vertical Evolution in more detail.
When ancient esoteric systems speak of spiritual development, they mean concrete work aimed at developing those properties of one’s consciousness (monad), which alter the consciousness in such a way that it starts perceiving higher levels of reality (subtle planes) and becomes able to perform conscious actions on those levels.
These are not empty or abstract concepts, but concrete, targeted work that yields precise, absolutely practical results.
So what does this work consist of?
According to all the spiritual teachings of the world, each human has a dual nature. On the one hand, everyone has a physical body – a mortal material shell, but on the other hand, the physical body is the carrier of an immortal spirit, soul, or monad (the terms used are not fundamentally important here).
Most people identify themselves exclusively with the body, the physical shell. For these people, nothing exists outside the physical world.
Religions, in turn, urge people to believe in the existence of an immortal soul and the spiritual world outside the physical world, but they do not provide an opportunity to somehow verify their claims.
On the other hand, true systems of spiritual development, to which Magic and Esotericism certainly belong, do not just offer unproven belief in something outside the physical world, but make it possible to verify the reality of the soul and subtle planes through personal experience.
By doing special exercises – Magical Practices, one changes one’s perception and gets the opportunity to first feel the subtle non-material world, and then to see it.
Imagine a person who is blind from birth but suddenly acquired the ability to see.
They would face a number of new things:
It turns out that what religions call the “soul” is in reality a whole set of subtle energy bodies that, like the physical body, have their own anatomy and structure;
It turns out that any impact aimed at these subtle bodies is instantly reflected in the physical body;
It turns out that the subtle world is full of its own inhabitants and Forces that are inaccessible to the perception of an ordinary person;
It turns out that what happens to people in the familiar physical world is only a reflection of the interactions and processes that occur on the subtle planes;
It turns out that the physical world is only a small part of true reality;
It turns out that the subtle planes have many levels which are inhabited by various beings and Powers, among which there are spirits of humans, as well as completely non-human consciousnesses, beings that are called Angels and Demons in religions, and much more …
By continuing your training and practicing Magical Practices, you can not only learn to perceive these worlds, but you also start performing conscious actions at these levels: subjugating the invisible Forces that control reality, finding Teachers, Allies and Helpers …
This work on expanding one’s perception and gaining abilities for active actions on the subtle planes is called Spiritual Development or Vertical Evolution. Not the formation of positive character traits, as some people consider.
Now let’s think – whether independent Spiritual Development, without Teachers and Schools, is possible?
First, in order to transform your consciousness and change your perception, you need energy. And not just any energy – you need High-frequency energy, the sources of which are located on the subtle planes. It is this energy that Students receive from their Teachers – who, in turn, must be able to work on the subtle planes themselves.
Second, a solitary study of subtle planes can be simply dangerous. Like the endless ocean, which contains harmless inhabitants alongside predators who are happy to dine on you, completely different creatures also live on the subtle planes, including those that pose threats to humans.
Third, imagine a person who decided to master the violin by themselves. But instead of starting with the basics, they immediately try to play a difficult piece. Such an attempt is guaranteed to fail. The same thing happens to people who spontaneously attend various trainings, where they are invited to over the course of a few days become magicians, project astrally, open their third eye and the like. Apart from enriching “businesspeople from magic,” nothing happens in such cases. The person leaves such courses disappointed, thinking that magic does not exist and that all esotericism is simply fairy tales for fools. But who is to blame for this situation? Only the person themselves, who decided that they can become a Mighty Mage over the weekend. Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon.
For some reason, everyone understands in order to learn something complicated, you need a lot of time and effort, but from those same people’s points of view, one can learn Magic, the art of managing reality, in a couple of days …
A very naive attitude, isn’t it?
Thus, to obtain a result in the Art of Magic, at least the following conditions are necessary:
1. An experienced Teacher, who has done that what they teach to others, who is able to give their students the energy that is necessary for the progress in learning.
2. A school with a well-developed teaching system, leading the student step by step from simple to complex, helping in the learning process and correcting students’ mistakes.
3. A persistent and purposeful Student who is serious about their spiritual development, who does not give up on difficulties and understands that serious achievements in Magic are the result of serious and lengthy work.
Without an experienced Teacher and a well-developed training system, any novice Magician is guaranteed to learn nothing and sooner or later either find a normal School and Teacher or join the ranks of skeptics who have lost faith in the reality of Magic. Or they will work on the qualities of their character, taking it for Spiritual Development and Vertical Evolution …