At the fifth stage of spirituality, the mental powers are strong enough to rearrange molecular structures and create new material realities. This is the stage of development, which is represented in Western cultures by the wizard, and in Eastern by the magician.
It is the destination of the occult path, and is attainable by Westerners, but our handicap is a fear of power. Power and materiality are considered very unsafe to those whose spiritual awareness has developed in Christian cultures, where saints make miraculous things happen because they are good and have God on their side. This kind of power is perceived as a gift, and as such, something quite different from that acquired by training ourselves to make our minds a template for creative energies from a higher world. The very word magician is tainted in the West with inferences of charlatanism and misuse of power.
In Christian cultures, we seek spiritual safety in powerlessness, and leave those without consciences to wield the power and make the money. This dysfunctionality is the price we have paid for harmlessness. In general, those at the fourth stage of spirituality would rather work themselves to death than contemplate handling power, and most of us will.
In other cultures, on the occult path, individuals arrive at the fifth stage without ever having gone through the second. The occult path, which is as old as mankind, bi-passes the solar plexus and the heart centres, and leads directly from the sacral centre to those in the head. Those who are opening the heart may join it; indeed Theosophy was constructed around such a situation, but a controlled solar plexus and open heart, which are the focus of devotionalism, are not the focus of the occult path, which is why it is a source of abiding unease in the Western psyche.
Black magicians exist, typically at the third stage of spirituality, with exceptionally well-developed mental powers and much knowledge, but still self-centred.
At the fifth stage a magician with his brow centre open will value life in all its forms and the planet that supports the opportunities of all. He could not do harm because the patterns in the mind, which give rise to harmful behaviour no longer exist.
An identification of spirituality with devotionalism, specifically Christianity, shuts our minds to the larger picture and to the awareness that spirituality is a process of refining energy. The stages of spirituality are objective energetic realities. We are limiting ourselves with this identification now.
The major Eastern religious traditions, all have their esoteric and magical levels, but literature from the fifth stage is scarce in the West, and works written by Westerners are scarcer still. Druidism lives on, but without vitality.
It was intended by the Hierarchy that Theosophy would incorporate the fifth stage, but this did not happen. Perhaps the problem was one of East and West and the Western distrust of power and those who have it. The name of Franz Bardon, the Eastern European, who was to undertake this task, is all but forgotten, and that is surely as the authorities want it now, as in his lifetime. He was a prisoner of the Nazis and then later died in police custody in Czechoslovakia at the age of just 48. A magician is a very different kind of threat to the Establishment from a religious zealot or a utopian. He works on the material plane and he works alone, elusive and reliant upon no one and impossible to read. These qualities alone are enough to get a person labelled as subversive.
Thanks to his secretary, Mrs. Otti Votavova, Franz Bardon’s works are still available and should be bought and studied by anyone who is waking up to the realisation that if we do not control our minds, they will by default create a reality for us from negative thought, negative speech and bad language.
The Wizards’ Bible written by the late Louis G Sikes is a small treasure; and The Way of the Wizard to which Deepak Chopra has put his name, is also a useful intellectual preview of the fifth stage.
Western writing on the fifth stage as it is perceived from a lower level of awareness, through the duality of good and evil, and white and black magicians, has produced some engaging and enduring popular works of fiction. The books of Tolkien and JK Rowlins fall into this category. Although it is personality drama that makes the works of both writers entertaining, they contain much wisdom also, although not presented in a systemic form. These works are of enormous importance for keeping alive the vision of a more conscious existence for those who are battling materialism.
Now, in the Twenty-First Century the same too could perhaps be said of Carlos Castaneda’s works, although the intention behind them was more directly didactic and the presentation more schematic.
If, in their different ways, these books can communicate that with a cleaned-up speech and a mind brought under better control, we would have a different experience of life, then they are doing their work and preparing us, not to be magicians, but to draw on the knowledge of the fifth stage and to use it the best we can. We may not be able to move molecules and create alternative realties because we do not have the discipline, practice, control or conviction, but we can change our relationship to those realities, which form around us by a more conscious engagement and make our choices more conscious. This is the beginning of personal power.
Western spirituality needs to go determinedly to this place now, because if it does not, we will go mad in the hells we are creating for ourselves from our negative thoughts and words.
So much of our suffering and illness comes from our sheer ignorance of the power of the spoken word. In the town where I live when in the UK, if you move within earshot of two young men together they are likely to be swearing with every second word; if you see two older men together they are discussing their illnesses and hospital appointments; and if you see two women of any age they are verbally running down some hapless third party.
It is probably no different in your own town. This is the throat centre tightening its grip on our lives. Worthless verbiage, which fills lives with toxins and ugliness goes out into the ether via phones and the Internet to be toxins in the lives of others. The throat centre is linked to the form-building sacral centre and we create with words. The stronger the throat centres the more enduring the form that it creates. We are intellectually capable of understanding this now – by courtesy of our developed throat centres. But we need explanations that focus upon energies, and are free from the emotive terminology of devotionalism. Sin or energetic self-harm? They amount to the same thing, but they are not heard in the same way.
Cleaning out the Augean stables was one of the Labours of Hercules. Hercules is associated with the sign Scorpio and the planet Mercury, and the generation with Pluto in Scorpio, who demonstrates an extraordinary truthfulness in personal communication, may yet take on the Augean stable of the Western speech and thought forms and clean them up
An Arrangement in Time and Space: Conclusion.
The five stages of spirituality, which have been outlined in these articles, are available to us on what the Theosophical tradition calls the Path of Evolution, which is to be defined as the default spiritual route taken by the personality through the circumstances of everyday life, over many lifetimes.
On this route, the personality is able to refine vibration, make contact, first with the Ego, formed at the first stage of spirituality, then with the Monad; and become more powerful and more capable as consciousness becomes more inclusive. We understand that on the path of evolution it takes many lifetimes to reach the first stage, but the progress after the second stage is more rapid. The second, third and fourth stages may be achieved in one lifetime. To function at the fifth stage, a certain kind of vehicle is necessary: one with what astrologers recognise as a strong cardinal influence. At this time, in the West, magicians are born rather than made up.
Spiritual traditions, spiritual ideas and teachers may be expected to play their part in helping the personality from one stage to another on the path of evolution. But this kind of involvement is to be distinguished from that of the path of accelerated development, upon which a teacher of a suitable calibre may take a pupil through all the necessary stages in the course of one lifetime. This undertaking requires total commitment on the part of both teacher and student, and will requisition most, if not all, of an adult lifetime. This kind of exclusive relationship is qualitatively different from the relationships that Westerners tend to make with their teachers and gurus, in which we come and go between spiritual life where we are inspired and supported, and personality life where we make money and reputations - and our personalities stronger.
Enlightenment or the sixth stage must be set apart from the previous five because the personality cannot take itself beyond itself. Enlightenment, which is the merging of individual consciousness into that of the Monad, is the product of a highly specialised energy management over many years, in the course of which an individual under supervision is freed from the prison of the personality’s structures.
We need to have those years available if we are to try for Enlightenment. And first we have to find a teacher and a spiritual tradition. Irina Tweedie’s book, Daughter of Fire, exists as a testimony of her relationship with her teacher a Naqshbandiyya sheikh, and the work they did together to dissolve the structures of her personality consciousness. It is noteworthy that Madam Tweedie was Russian by birth and her Sufi path a devotional one.
It is the way of the West (and of occultism) to empower the personality, not go beyond it.
Spiritually-aware people are generally familiar with the term the Path of Return upon which personality consciousness is turned into soul awareness. From the fourth stage we can be said to be on the path of returning, i.e., making a contribution from the world of spirit to our planet. The greater the contribution, the higher the quality of contact with the Monad. When Enlightenment occurs, the planet has the benefit of a completed human being, who has brought spirit and materiality into a state of resolution.
It does not matter that we have an inadequate view of the higher stages of spirituality when we are starting out. It is enough that it is an inspiring and motivating prospect. But at the third stage, if we are serious about planetary service, we need to get rid of sentimental and naïve ideas, and get down to work, because we have only so much time.
Enlightenment then should be put in its rightful context, which is planetary service. It is inadequate to see it as the ultimate spiritual hit, or the inevitable reward for goodness and spiritual merit. An individual can escape the wheel of reincarnation without being Enlightened: to escape we need to pay off our karmic debts. Those who continue to Enlightenment remain in incarnation to serve the planet. There is nothing inevitable about Enlightenment, and nothing of the personality, except its vehicle, can remain.
At the fifth stage of spirituality, which is the more appropriate spiritual goal for Westerners, opportunities are created there for humanity by all that is brought into being. Even a small increase in the numbers of those taking note of the ways of a wizard and controlling thought and speech forms would lift the vibration in the West above the present level where we are brainwashed and controlled into living and behaving like battery hens, and calling this worryingly, the human condition.