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The Magick Powers TrapThe desire for magick powers arises out of a desire for other phenomena-whether material like money and bodily luxurys or more subtle such as praise and admiraton from others plus countless other mental and emotional sensations.
Is freedom gained as magickal powers increase?
True independence is not to follow desires whether we try to fulfil them by 'ordinary means', magickal methods with objects or inner power only methods: it is all some kind of slavery to the desired object.
True spirituality is to give up desires because a desire is caused by an inner feeling of lack. Our true spiritual nature is not lacking but is essentially bliss and unshakable security. True spirituality is not to forever refine the methods of fulfilling desires: it is to realize out true nature and then desires will dissolve away.
Just think for a while: a desire comes to us for a new car. But did we choose for that desire to come forth or did it just appear within our consciousness? Now if we try so many methods to fulfil it is that not a kind of slavery to the concept of a new car? It is the same with our preferences. Are they part of our true nature? Did we choose our preferences or are we innocent of them? For example say that we like one kind of candy bar but dislike another kind. Did we choose that preference? Spirituality is to understand the source of desires and realize that we are are beyond all desires in reality.
It may seem spiritual to use mind/energy methods to fulfil a desire but really it is only a subtle form of materialism: we are still chasing after something just like the majority of people.
By definition bliss is desirelessness. Fulfilling desires via magickal means may seem glamorous but it is really little more than someone lost in a dream. We can protect ourselves from falling into the trap of endless desires by tracing the desire back to it's source within ourselves. The other direction, that of following the desire outwards into the material world, only leads to more confusion and suffering.
Here the great sage Ramana Maharshi is asked a question about acquiring occult powers:
Question : Is it not good to acquire them, such as telepathy, etc.?|
Ramana Maharshi : Telepathy or radio enables one to see and hear from afar. They are all the same, hearing and seeing. Whether one hears from near or far does not make any difference in hearing. The fundamental factor is the hearer, the subject. Without the hearer or the seer, there can be no hearing or seeing. The latter are the functions of the mind.
The occult powers (siddhis) are therefore only in the mind. They are not natural to the Self. That which is not natural, but acquired, cannot be permanent, and is not worth striving for.
They denote extended powers. A man is possessed of limited powers and is miserable; he wants to expand his powers so that he may be happy. But consider if it will be so; if with limited perceptions one is miserable, with extended perceptions the misery must increase proportionately. Occult powers will not bring happiness to anyone, but will make him all the more miserable! Moreover what are these powers for?
The would-be occultist (siddha) desires to display the siddhis so that others may appreciate him. He seeks appreciation, and if it is not forthcoming he will not be happy. There must be others to appreciate him. He may even find another possessor of higher powers.
That will cause jealousy and breed unhappiness. The higher occultist (siddha) may meet a still higher siddha and so on until there will come one who will blow up everything in a trice. Such is the highest adept (siddha) and He is God or the Self. Which is the real power? Is it to increase prosperity or bring about peace? That which results in peace is the highest perfection (siddhi).
Another danger involved with most magickal practices involves interference from non-physical entities. Even if the magickal technique does not specificially call forth such entities they become attracted to the magickal act and feed off any energies released during the ritual. Many (or some say all) of these entities seek or have the effect of distracting us from our natural state of primordial awareness. Every deceptive trick will be used on you to keep you trapped within the maze of material existence. All such ploys are completely powerless if you set your heart on self realization.
A person may come to disaster if he gains powers whilst his character is still polluted with desires, hatreds and confusions. The thoughts, speech and actions of someone with a flawed character cause harm and misery to themselves and others. Would they benefit from gaining more power? No, it is likely that the more power they have the more harm they will do. It is far better for them (and us) to study the eternal treasures within: the virtues. I am not completely against the study of magick but character improvement should be the main focus and foundation of such research.
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