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  3. Monday, 11 February 2019
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Welcome to our new thread: Dion Fortune's Quote of the Week.' Each week, we will present a quotation from Dion Fortune's writing followed by comment, discussion or ideas that it has inspired. We hope you will find this new area of interest, and that you will join us in an appreciation of her wisdom.
Psyche Accepted Answer
Moderator
"Our work is a work of healing, and no hate must come of it. We look to see a regenerated Germany rise up in strength and greatness as well as goodwill and peace. On this great earth of ours there is room for all if they will only co-operate. All the time we are working for a successful issue of the war, we must look forward to a happy peace of constructive comradeship. This thought should conclude every meditation."


From: The Magical Battle of Britain. Letter 5, November 5th 1939.

This quote seems a most appropriate one to begin this feature. Written in 1939 it is of great contemporary relevance. It still, today, applies to the big issues of ecology, war, or the ideological or spiritual or economic conflicts between nations. It is of equal relevance to the smaller, more personal, mental or emotional conflicts where we must live and work together.
It is not for me to teach the Psychologists their business, however great the need.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. General Talk
  3. # 1
Peter Nascien Accepted Answer
Moderator
"Even the best of parents may sometimes have to be the channel of suffering to their children...."

From: The Esoteric Philosophy of Love and Marriage, page 88

At first reading this quotation can come across as startlingly misguided and contentious. Of course parents try to do their best and would never wish suffering upon their children. But DF is encouraging us to look at the wider picture in which the soul of the new-born is many thousands of years old, visiting the earth to take another step in the long journey of evolution. I think she is suggesting that we can only try our best to support that soul in what it wishes to learn.
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Nova Genista Accepted Answer
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"It is a simple enough matter to knock down Aunt Sallys of one's own setting up, and the concept of a system which the adverse critic undertakes to demolish may bear very little resemblance to that which its exponents are endeavouring to explain."

From: Sane Occultism, Chapter 8, Numerology and Prophecy

Here DF is cautioning against criticising a system without first studying and understanding that system. It is a warning, however, that is appropriate in a far wider field. Misplaced criticism of systems or ideas may arise where critics wrongly believe they understand that which they are criticising. More serious, perhaps, are circumstances where critics intentionally misrepresent the systems or ideas they are criticising - politicians and media take note.
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Psyche Accepted Answer
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"Ritual magic may well be defined as the therapeutics of the subtle planes. True, the use of therapeutics without hygiene is unsound, and the hygiene of the subtle planes is ethics. It therefore follows that the mistake which is made by many occultists is to apply the powerful alternative of magic without also employing the hygienic measures of ethical righteousness; but, rightly used, the potent medicament of magic can do for both soul and society what no other measure can achieve so speedily or so effectually, for it can break the vicious cycle of psychic infection that otherwise would have to be left to the slow processes of time. The difference between magic and meditation methods is the difference between drugs and diet- medicines will do swiftly what diet can only effect slowly, and in critical cases there is no time to wait for the slow processes of dietetics, so it must be either medicines or nothing. Nevertheless, drugs are no substitute for right diet and wholesome regime, and although magic enables a speedy and potent result to be attained, it is only by means of right understanding and right ethics that the position which has been won can be held."


From: The Training & Work of an Initiate. p.72-73.

A long quote this week, but, a clear metaphor for the different functions of magic and meditation, as well as a view on what can either limit or enhance their effectiveness.
It is not for me to teach the Psychologists their business, however great the need.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 4
Peter Nascien Accepted Answer
Moderator
"Spiritual healing comes through the Higher Self. To perform Spiritual healing you must yourself be in contact with your Higher Self, or else how can you operate from that level?.....Put first things first."

From: Principles of Esoteric Healing (Dion Fortune, ed. Gareth Knight) page 21

This is such a typical observation from Dion Fortune - clear, precise, down to earth - that no further observation seems necessary, except to say that we have probably all experienced occasions when her advice has not been followed!
  1. more than a month ago
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Nova Genista Accepted Answer
Moderator
"those of us who take up these ancient studies should pursue them as scientists, not as mystery-mongers and exploiters of human credulity".

From: Sane Occultism, Chapter 8, Numerology and Prophecy

Those who tend towards the mystery-mongering and exploitation, often for monetary gain, may be blamed for the perception of the general public that our work is a sham. But are we to blame too? Does the secrecy frequently associated with the western mystery tradition mean that it is the mystery-mongers and exploiters that the general public are more likely to encounter? How should we balance that? Do we need to balance it?
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Psyche Accepted Answer
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"It is the aim of both psychotherapy and initiation to bring about harmonisation between consciousness and subconsciousness. Both methods of dealing with the human mind depend for their results on the same factor- the resources made available to the personality when this unification takes place. Initiation differs from psychoanalysis in that it carries the process a stage further and unites subconsciousness with cosmic consciousness; save for this, the two methods have more in common than either of them realises."

From: The Magical Battle of Britain. Letter 78, June 22nd 1941.

This remains a relatively undeveloped area today, with both magical practitioners and psychologists viewing each other with some mistrust.
It is not for me to teach the Psychologists their business, however great the need.
  1. more than a month ago
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Peter Nascien Accepted Answer
Moderator
"The gods are the creations of the created. They are made by the adorations of their worshippers."

From: The Mystical Qabalah page 218

I love these blunt comments! Do we believe this to be true? Do we want to believe it?
It's worth noting that in the next paragraph DF acknowledges "Nevertheless, they are immensely powerful..."
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Nova Genista Accepted Answer
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"..the secrecy of occult schools will never be relaxed till human nature is regenerated".

From: Sane Occultism, Chapter 11, Secrecy in Occult Fraternities

This was DF's view nearly a century ago. Have we moved forwards in the intervening period? Are occult schools less secret? Has human nature been appropriately regenerated? It seems the answers to these questions must be largely in the negative. What can we do to enhance progress?
Perhaps it is inevitable that the most effective work will always be carried out in secret, thus obviating any lure of aggrandizement in the public eye.
  1. more than a month ago
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Peter Nascien Accepted Answer
Moderator
Dear Nova and Companions

I wonder if DF’s choice of the word ‘secret’ might be a bit misleading as to the nature of the work done by genuine magical groups. Perhaps a better word might have been ‘esoteric,’ meaning something that we don’t yet understand, whether this is knowledge of our own selves or of the universe - or, more likely, about how the two are connected. Once we have understood something, in the sense that we have fully realised it, integrated it within our consciousness and are able to bring it to fruition in our thoughts and everyday life, then it is no longer an esoteric secret but has become accepted knowledge and practice. Until such time as every member of the human race has reached an advanced stage of spirituality, there will I think always remain the next stage, and then the next, which remain 'secret' simply because we haven't yet reached an understanding of them.

I think the work of genuine magical groups is to provide its members with the means and opportunity to increase their understanding of 'life, the universe and everything,’ and to expand their consciousness in the belief that this will have an incremental ‘seeding’ effect within what DF called the ‘Group Mind’ and the ‘Group Soul.’ The secret, if there is one, is that it’s hard work and takes a lifetime of commitment.

Perhaps an example of this might be the Glastonbury Tor meditation found on this website. When DF originally wrote it, it was secret in that only a few folk in her Fraternity of the Inner Light were told about it. Later, it was given out to a wider circle, then it was published, and now it is posted on the internet to a potentially unlimited audience. But it is still 'secret' in the sense that it isn't broadcast indiscriminately, and I think if a public announcement was made along the lines of: “Here is a Mysterious Occult Secret. Pretend that you are inside Glastonbury Tor, and when you’re there, think about ‘Unity’’ it would be received with incomprehension and/or laughter!

In spite of the manifest challenges of the current world situation, I do feel quite optimistic about the signs that human nature has changed for the better since DF’s time, particularly in the last 20 years. I see more compassion, a more global realisation of unity and an awareness of how we are all linked not only with each other but with the planet. I see more understanding of human nature, of our emotional needs and, in just the last year or two, of our mental needs and frailties. I think it is humanity’s growing sense of interconnectedness that is our most encouraging achievement. A change which also speaks to me has manifested in the recent movements that say: ’That is enough, this must stop now,’ and of the will and ability to make it so. I suspect that what was secret or esoteric even 30 years ago, let alone in DF’s time, is now much more open. Not so long ago there were almost no occult books to be had for love or money and now we are deluged by them!! I don’t think it could be claimed this progress is due solely to the work of magical groups although I believe they have played their part.

Best wishes to all, Peter
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Nova Genista Accepted Answer
Moderator
Hello Peter and Companions
Thank you for those thoughtful and interesting observations.
Undoubtedly there is ever more material appearing in the public domain to assist folk in their efforts yet, as you say, some would still receive such things with incomprehension and/or laughter. That raises another point. At present a proportion of humanity grasps the means and opportunity to expand their consciousness and work to enhance the Group Mind and Group Soul with a view to assisting all to move on. However, as you also observe, the aim is for all to reach an advanced stage of spirituality. Does that mean that at some point there must be a 'catching up', a narowing of the spectrum of achievement, so that all achieve that advanced stage? Without that 'catching up' there would ever be the issue of some viewing such matters with incomprehension even though they have advanced because they would be viewing matters that had also advanced further. I wonder if that process of catching up is an ongoing process or whether it will be a matter of folk reaching the ultimate stage at different times. I have in mind that the Cosmic Doctrine has something to say on that point.
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Psyche Accepted Answer
Moderator
"Whose loves, however dim may be his concept of Love, is manifesting a unification and unification is the goal of evolution. God is One. Love makes One- therefore it is truly said "God is Love." Whosoever expresses Love brings Spirit, which is One, into manifestation. To be loving is to be good. Whosoever brings hate brings separateness into manifestation. To be separate is to be dead.

Therefore choose Love and Live."

The Cosmic Doctrine.

Perhaps I should have waited to post this until Sunday. However, this is my Dion Fortune quote for the Easter weekend.
It is not for me to teach the Psychologists their business, however great the need.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 12
Alfred Accepted Answer
"In any case, we cannot exercise much influence on our environment until it has ceased to have influence over us."

From: Practical Occultism in Daily Life (Chapter 2)

Responding is not the same as reacting. When we raise consciousness and engage with life from a higher, less personal perspective we withhold judgement merely based upon what benefits or harms us. By operating at this 'higher' level we work under Divine Will and become less attached to specific outcomes. Paradoxically, we are freed up to serve more effectively as agents of change.
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Nova Genista Accepted Answer
Moderator
"We made of it a hostel for Avalonians, choice spirits who did not mind the climb. We have stuck bits on to it before and behind, and though the accommodation is still sketchy and limited, and we do not recommend it to the sophisticated, it extends a welcome to all who are Avalonians at heart".

From: Glastonbury Avalon of the Heart, Epilogue

This extract is describing graphically and somewhat humorously the installation of DF's hut in Glastonbury. Whilst speaking of material matters in the mundane world, this reflects an important concept; it is not the sophistication, glamour, opulence and wealth, or the lack of those things, associated with folk following the path that is of significance. It is the intention and commitment on the inner that is critical.
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Psyche Accepted Answer
Moderator
"Each symbol upon the Tree represents a cosmic force or factor. When the mind concentrates upon it, it comes into touch with that force; in other words, a surface channel, a channel in consciousness, has been made between the conscious mind of the individual, and a particular factor in the world-soul, and through this channel the waters of the ocean pour into the lagoon. The aspirant who uses the Tree as his meditation-symbol establishes point by point the union between his soul and the world-soul. This results in a tremendous access of energy to the individual soul; it is this which endows it with magical powers."

The Mystical Qabalah.

A beautifully clear description of how to do magic!
It is not for me to teach the Psychologists their business, however great the need.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 15
Nova Genista Accepted Answer
Moderator
"The preliminary training which fits a man for the heights of occult science is, or ought to be, given in that section of the Mysteries which is known as the Fraternities. It is the function of the Fraternities to train the personality of the pupil, and in the process weed out those who are unfit for the heights in the present incarnation. No one need be ashamed, after having won into a Fraternity, to be unable to go any further; we all have to spend several incarnations working in the Lesser Mysteries before we are ready for the Greater Mysteries, and although when one has succeeded in setting foot on the first rung of the ladder the way lies open to him, it must not be thought that it is possible to climb to the top of the ladder in a single incarnation".

From: Esoteric Orders and Their Work, Chapter 8, Orders, Fraternities, Groups

Much has changed on the outer since Dion Fortune wrote the above words. In today's world, some increasingly insist that the inexperienced should be wrapped in cotton wool, that there should be no competition, no challenges, no winners and no losers; that all are equally prize winning.
It is arguable that such an approach is not applicable in occult schools because conditions must be maintained to allow those who have the potential to meet challenges and criteria, prove themselves, learn and move on. In that context, winning and losing, succeeding and failing are all necessary and positive steps on the path, all constituting progress in their own way.
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Psyche Accepted Answer
Moderator
The primary circuit, which is the cause of manifested existence, consists of a flow of force from the Unmanifest, where "our spirits ever behold the face of the Father"- a state beyond human realisation- down the Middle Pillar and through Malkuth to the Earth-soul, and it is, as always, an alternating current.

The polarity between Higher and Lower Selves is secondary to this, and dependent on it; it is, in fact, a case of magnetic induction.

The Circuit of Force: Cosmic and Elemental Circuits of Force.

A reminder of the over-arching circuit on which we depend for our vitality and our power.
It is not for me to teach the Psychologists their business, however great the need.
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Peter Nascien Accepted Answer
Moderator
"We can influence the efficiency of our government by deliberately practising 'with intention' in our own lives the qualities we wish to see expressed in the national life. Are we disgusted with complacency? Then let us cease to be complacent........."

The Magical Battle of Britain: Letter 100, January 25th 1942

No further comment necessary!
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Nova Genista Accepted Answer
Moderator
"Again, it has been frequently said that no one ought to use occult powers to benefit himself, a favourite explanation with delapidated dispensers of the elixir of youth. It is difficult for me to see the point of this argument. No one suggests that a doctor should not take a dose of his own medicine, or a clergyman avail himself of the means of grace. If one is able, by means of one's knowledge and mind power, to solve one's problems and harmonize one's condition without injury or depriving any other person, I can conceive of no possible reason for not doing so".

From: 'How Magic Works', London Forum, Vol 61, January 1935 pp15-21

This does appear to differ somewhat from the view/advice often given by others. Is there a right or wrong viewpoint on this? (putting aside the point that some may frown on the self medication by medics suggested by DF).
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Alfred Accepted Answer
What stood out for me was the phrase "harmonize one's condition without injury or depriving any other person" because in that, I think, we see the essence of what's commonly considered the Right Hand Path (or, I'd argue, the Middle Pillar!). I see harmonising one's condition as bringing ourselves into alignment with higher forces, as opposed to directing them in accordance with our own ego, and working on ourselves.
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