In all my years as a Pagan magician and mystic (30+yrs at this point) I have come to understand that all I need to know or experience, in terms of spiritual awareness, has ever been made available to me via the vehicle of committed spiritual practice. No amount of study, stimulating conversation with either like-minded or challenging souls, or intellectual rumination can help one come to terms with spiritual, magickal, and mystical realities the way dedicated spiritual practice can.
Spiritual awareness is, in this context, akin to falling in love.
No amount of reading up on the subject of falling in love can truly prepare one for the reality of what it really means to fall in love. Of course, one can read all about the evolutionary benefits of pair bonding, the neuro-chemical tides released by the brain when one feels love, or any number of brute, and often sadly reductionistic, facts on the subject of love as a biological reality. One may even accomplish being seen as either quite intelligent or as an insufferable bore, depending on the company one keeps, due to the ability to regurgitate such trivia on demand.
However, despite the fact one's brain is brimming with others' thoughts on the subject of love, none of this second-hand knowledge will be more than a footnote in the awareness of one who has actually fallen in love. The thoughts of others on the subject of love are swept away in a tsunami of personal experience that makes pale and shallow the pedestrian intellectualizing that once served as truth.
Such is the experience of the Divine for those who are willing to set aside being armchair magicians and mystics and who, instead, are willing to do the work and experience for ourselves what others merely talk about.
My theology is distinctly monistic (basically Panentheistic Dialectical Monism) in approach and though, nowadays, monism seems to have fallen on hard times within some sectors of the Pagan Community, I've never been one to pay much, if any, attention to the theological squabbles of others, I have always sought instead to follow the path of practice, study, and personal gnosis.
|Isis Rising by Gilbert Williams|
Prayer to Isis Panthea
It is not I who love, but you who love through me.
It is not I who touch, but you who touch through me.
It is not I who embrace, but you who embrace through me.
It is not I who perceive, but you who perceive through me.
It is not I who feel joy, but you who feel joy through me.
It is not I who weep, but you who weep through me.
It is not I who sorrow, but you who sorrow through me.
It is not I who rage and anguish at cruelty and injustice, but you whose righteousness is manifest both through the severity of justice the mercy of compassion who moves through me.
It is not I who reach out, but you who reach out through me.
It is not I who bring healing, but you who heal through me.
It is not my virtue through which I live in accord with Ma’at, but by you who are the heart of all virtue.
It is not I who breathe, but you who breathe through me.
It is you who are my Mother.
It is you who are my Lover.
It is you who are my Beloved.
It is you who are Sovereign of the Elements.
It is you who are Mother of the Gods.
It is you who are the Supreme Mystery whose veil none have lifted.
It is you who are both Seeker and That Which is Sought, both the Sacred Journey and its Destination.
It is not I who live, but you who live through me.
When I breathe my last breath, It is not I who shall die, but you who shall pass through the Gates of Death and it is not I who shall be reborn, but you who shall be reborn again to participate in the Great Dance, you who are dancer, the stage, and song.
Praise unto you Mother Isis, you who are my Guide, my Wisdom, and none other than my own Divine Self.