This week’s post is the latest of a monthly series of open-discussion posts focusing on books I’ve written or recommend. Our theme for the present is Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth, and this week we’re discussing “The Spiritual Ecology of History” (pp.119-131). I’d like to ask readers to keep their questions and comments focused on that chapter and the ideas it contains; I’m currently hosting a weekly Ask Me Anything post on Mondays on my Dreamwidth journal at https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org, and there’ll be a more general open post on this blog in due time, so comments on other subjects should go to these venues instead.
The chapter covers a fair amount of material, but those of my readers who have followed my blogging for any length of time know the central theme already. Over the last couple of millennia, it’s become fashionable in many spiritual traditions to insist that the universe we know, with all its frustrations, its limitations, and its annoying lack of interest in our preferences, will shortly be replaced by a shiny new universe that will cater to our sense of entitlement and fork over the better lives we think we deserve.
Popular though these notions are, they’re nonsense, for reasons that have been covered already in the book. The seven laws that make up the heart of Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth apply to our collective destiny as much as they do to our individual aspirations. Just as each life cycles from birth through childhood, youth, adulthood, old age and death, each human society has its own life cycle of growth and decline. Just as the universe will not hand you enlightenment just because you want it—the path of initiation is a path of hard work!—the universe will not hand our species Utopia just because we think we want one.
May I put things quite bluntly? The cosmos is not your Mommy. It will not clean up the messes you make, nor will it rescue you from the consequences of your own bad choices. You have a relationship with it, but it’s like the relationship that any individual cell in your body has with you. When’s the last time you concerned yourself with the personal desires of a single cell in your gall bladder?
On the other hand, unlike the cells in your gall bladder, you have an option if you want to become something more than you are. That’s the path of initiation—a path that has to be walked by the individual, one laborious step at a time. No one will do the work for you, but every step you take has been taken before, over long ages, by those who have followed the path before you and left guiding marks along the way.
Questions? Comments? Discussions? Have at it—subject, of course, to the usual rules.
Next month’s book club post will go on to an important work of occult philosophy, one of the most influential such works in today’s occult field: The Cosmic Doctrine by Dion Fortune. Please note that there are two different editions of this work in circulation these days. The currently available edition, published by Weiser, reproduces the original 1924 privately printed edition; the edition most often found in the used book market, published by Helios in hardback and Aquarian in paperback, is the revised 1966 edition. I personally prefer the revised edition, because that’s the one I used in my original study of the text, and the revisions to my mind sharply improved the clarity of the presentation; the same material is covered in both editions, though. I own copies of both, and will give citations from both, for those who are prepared to read along and study this extremely useful manual of magical philosophy.