The Two Ways - Mysticism and Occultism
Articles By Betty Irene Miller
The true mystic is always searching for light, for a sense of the Presence of God, for a realization of that higher power which he knows exists and with which he would become One. But he is also eager for the Divine Presence to recognize him, which keeps him in the realm of the self. He is a see-er of visions, disciple of Christ and a devotee. Nevertheless he is often fearful and seldom feels that he has reached the beloved Presence.
But when the mystic finally reaches and accepts an understanding of occultism, he sees that which always moved him to his endeavours as a mystic, was actually the Real Self. Following this he sees that union with the Real Seal or "impersonalness", frees him from duality and helps him to see that he is now what he always wanted to be a Son of God and One and one with all other Sons and that this brings him into a consciousness of that One in whom we live and move and have our being.
The occultist is one who, in pursuing occult study and practice, finds that "coarse matter and crude immature physical bodies" are a real menace to him. They make "the threat of disruption too great" and "disintegration too awful" (Cosmic Fire, p108).
"The true occultist is a scientist and a devotee". If the two are not merge then we have the mystic and a man in danger of black magic, governed by intellect instead of self-less-ness. The occultist deals with the facts and always does away with mystery when he can. The mystic loves the element of mystery and does not easily give it up. The " occult student is one who is in search of the hidden". He is in search of that integrating thread which will enable him to blend the three bodies and thus become a real personality. Then he is ready to go on to further fusions. While mysticism is the urge to union with the divine. Hence the tendency of the mystic to overlook facts in searching to understand the mysteries of this union.
"The occultist does not concern himself with effects but only with causes". The mystic is more likely to believe in effects and watch for them, for thus he proves his theories and gets the reward. But the occultist stands on scientific fact.
Usually the mystic is subject to those diseases which block the free life and inpouring energy of the soul. He brings this blockage about by succumbing to his own thought forms which have been created through his growing aspiration. These then become barriers between him and the free life of the soul and block his contact with soul energy. But the occultist falls a victim to the generally increased flow of soul energy and the energy flowing to him from the group, his Ashram, his master and the Hierarchy. All of these affect him accordingly to his ray and polarisation, often causing excessive, localized trouble. The mystic does not find himself subjective to the same conditions, unless he is rapidly becoming an occultist. (These statements however, do not apply after the third initiation.)
Triadal Wisdom which is part of the fiery path, exists for personality use, but the barriers of the lower mind prevent the transfer of this Wisdom until the lights of the Triad, soul and the lower mind, merge and serve as one. Then the Wisdom of the Triad flows freely and gives of itself to the personality as a channel for expression. This the occultist presumable knows. The mystic too, knows something of Triadal Wisdom but at the same time is so engrossed with working on self desires, even although of a higher nature, that he misses the service of the three fires that would in turn serve others. The time does come when the initiate (occultist and mystic), can and does work with the three energies of life, personality and soul. Then he becomes an expression or manifestation consciously of the three aspects of the Trinity and is on the fiery path.
The occult student is taught early that he must be able to tread the fiery way and at the same time serve truly his fellowmen in his own environment wherever that may be. The mystic is often so engrossed in meditation for his personal salvation or the salvation of others, that he withdraws from his fellowmen in order to work out that salvation. The occultist is taught how to use energies and forces so as to sweep away the concentration on lower grade matter and so have an avenue for higher vibrations. The mystic may and often does receive higher vibrations but without training such as the occultist has, much of the power of these vibrations is lost. One can easily see that each type needs the other and how in time they must synthesize.
The mystic goes quite a distance on the way. He learns to control the astral body, he recognises and walks in the Light of the Soul, but often is bowed down by the burdens which that very Light discloses and while he does believe in God unfalteringly he often cannot explain the ' why' of appearances and so is led to condemn them. Nevertheless his unswerving loyalty to God-Spirit is something the occultist must learn too. The mystic, in spite of what has been said above, finds it often difficult to differentiate between the astral and mental worlds. This he learns from occult teachings. It is easy, however, for the mystic to enter the inner world and reside there. The occultist does not find this so easy. But the occultist can face facts much easier than the mystic. The mystic finds it easy to meditate and loves the life of meditation, understanding the service that meditation can give. The occultist understands this fact without finding meditation so easy. Perhaps this is because the two need to synthesize their abilities, or the lower mind becomes the barrier for the occultist.
The mystic finds it comparatively easy to understand the realm of the heart and its qualities which he is always trying to express. But he does not often appreciate the mental plane and is indeed taught not to view things from the mental plane but from the aspirational-soul plane. Perhaps this is because the mystic is unconsciously trying to lift his consciousness above the consciousness of the little self. The occultist is taught from the beginning to focus his consciousness on the mental plane and work from there. Hence his view is not so restricted. The mystic knows little of the higher world except to him it is God and His Presence of Light that make this world. The occults learns that there are many worlds of expression in any of which, or all, he may express.
The mystic knows love which he calls the Love of God but the distinction between love and Love is not always clear. Here again the occult student is taught the difference but he finds it more difficult to practise compassion and that kind of understanding which allows of heart service.
It seems, although this may be personal, that the mystic does not understand how to free the Self from the bonds of illusion and glamour as the occultist is taught to do. However, this does not mean that the occultist always does it, although both mystic and occultist will have to achieve this freedom.
It seems that both mystic and occultist are taught by the power of the "third eye" and that it is possible to see Light everywhere through the use of this eye. But is the occultist who knows "the soul is the eye of the monad enabling the monad, which is pure being, to work, to contact, to know and to see. The mystic learns this from the occultist". It is believed also that both mystic and occultist learn that by using the power of the third eye, the astral body can be rebuilt and held steady through focussed attention in meditation.
Because of the mystic's emphasis on the Will-of-God, which is more or less dictatorial according to man's attitude, he is not apt to understand the varying aspects of Will or the rays and how his life is influenced thereby. The occult student is taught these truths as a necessary part of his education-understanding-practice.
Both the occultist and the mystic are used to suffering, but the mystic - perhaps more than the occultist, at least in the beginning of his study-work realizes that all suffering has a definite goal. The mystic seems to strain after the meaning of the world about him, by trying to attain the consciousness of the inner world, where that meaning is made clear. But the occultist is taught that the world of meaning is revealed through everything he contacts, sees, touches for the true meaning of all is veiled only by our illusions and glamour's.
The mystic, through feelings that reach out like antennae, is aware of and sensitive to the subtle world. Often this seems a highly satisfying experience and he seeks more time for its repetition. The hierarchy sometimes finds it possible to use mystics and send though them their own illuminated thoughts, for the mystic is usually a good teacher and can thus aid in world service.
In many respects the mystic purifies the lower self without then understanding how to make use of it. But when ready he is brought into contact with occult teachings on what often seems like fiery and war-like ground. Her perhaps the mystic and the occultist can meet and merge understanding the mystic learning to make new clothes for his ideas, the clothes of factual evidence; the occultist learning to control the fire by love and loving service, rather than by the too abrupt and too assured ways that he often uses.
Both occultist and mystic must learn " the way of the cross". The occultist is taught much sooner and more definitely the meaning of the cross than is the mystic but the mystic easily understands the suffering that goes along with the cross experience for he has had much of it in all forms. When fiery and subtle worlds merge then both learn through ordinary daily experiences and the attitudes that must be maintained, that it is through suffering that the life of the self is raised on the cross. The building of the antahkarana is an illustration of this for as one by one the old and limiting beliefs are discarded, the cross is mounted and the antahkarana flows forward.
The following quotation from Esoteric Astrology, p 307 states briefly and concisely what is asked of man if he wishes to achieve initiation "Before individual man can achieve initiation, he must be fully self-conscious, mystically oriented and occultly developed. He must be aware of himself as he essentially is a soul involved in form which is itself developed and unfolded through soul activity; he must be a developed mystic capable of pure vision, motivated by spiritual intent and able to perceive the uses of inherent sensitivity; he must also be a trained occultist, mentally polarized and profoundly aware of the realities, forces and energies, of existence and, therefore, free from the ordinary glamour's and illusions which colour the reactions and life of the average man".
Keywords: The Two Ways, Mysticism and Occultism, Divine Presence, impersonalness, Betty Irene Miller, Intuition, Articles, UK, Cape Town, South Africa