View Full Version : Spiritual Guidance from untrustworthy guides

02-21-2012, 03:15 PM
They've all I've got. Half says go with, the other says go my own.

Whenever I make ground on my own they throw me a curve, making it pretty much reasonably impossible for me to not go with them but there's always that inkling saying 'you don't remember why, but you should keep going solo'. I can't recognise my ego either, so I dunno.

Has anybody here had experience with this kind of thing?

solomon levi
02-21-2012, 07:21 PM
I don't know if i can say anything helpful, but if i could advise, I would say do not
worry about which choice or path you take. They will become defined after you take them,
not before. It is better to know directly than to act on someone else's knowledge/advice.
So keep doing whatever until the answer becomes defined for you. If you are unsure, be
unsure until you are sure. :)

What do you mean you can't recognize your ego?

What I realised was important for me is to become one's own authority.
Whenever the voice in my head describes something, I question, "What do I need of a voice
and a description when I can see for myself presently the reality before me."

Eventually, one realises that having a voice and/or an ego do not matter.
Let them do what they do. Dog's bark; voices talk; egos ego. None of that is who you are.
Controlling one's ego is just as silly as trying to control everyone else in your life.
Your ego is not who you are any more, or less, than your neighbor is who you are, or your body,
or your thoughts, or what you see, etc... So the ego is seen as an object, just like the environment,
and the self rests in a state of non-identification or impersonal witness. Unless you want to be personal -
sometimes life is more fun or enjoyable when we play a role. It's up to you. :)

02-22-2012, 12:02 AM
Yes... Seems to me that’s a common problem in alchemy. In a sense you kinda have to go it alone. In another sense you have to rely on the words of others. I’m fond of this explanation:

"Several Hermetick Philosophers have provided a method for the diligent seeker which can be used as a kind of Ariadne’s thread to find one’s way through the labyrinth-ine obscurity of alchemical literature: select the best books, read and re-read them, carefully compare the places where they agree and how they agree, for there the truth is to be found. Also compare where they differ and how they differ, for further discoveries will still be made. Be suspicious when they appear to speak most clearly and candidly; and meditate upon the places where they are most obscure. Thus little by little the pattern of truth will emerge, like the watermark in paper held up to the light.

Each and every individual who is seriously interested in alchemy must patiently submit to this ordeal, which is in fact an initiation. There are no short cuts, and over the years I have learnt through bitter experience that nothing in this field can be made 'easy' without damage. For the lesson of the Ancient Way can truly be learnt only by travelling upon it. All else is pure speculation, futility and vanity."

- Stanislas Klossowski de Rola, The Golden Game

One of the key points in all that is “the best books”.

Because of “untrustworthy guides” it’s necessary in my opinion to find the source of the information. If someone on the Internet or in some cheap book says X about alchemy, find out why you should listen to them. Follow that chain of referenced sources backward through time reading the original texts along the way until you have a fairly decent idea of the source of the information, the original author, and why it might be important to you. But everyone from Jung to Albertus Magnus has had some wrong ideas about alchemy and your job is to find the common “right”. In that sense it’s a slow individual process. Of “knowing directly” as Solomon put it.

For instance, I trust the words I quoted above because a couple days after reading them I read Arthur Dee’s Fasciculus Chemicus, and the same thing was echoed there. So at that point I could at least be assured that it wasn’t some random piece of 21st century opinion (which there is way way way too much of). On this forum for example, many contributors will say contradictory things. In coming to the truth of the matter, I think it’s best to frequently ask each other “how do you know that?”. It would be nice if the answers to those questions suggested readings, instead of piling personal speculation on top of personal speculation on top of personal speculation.

02-22-2012, 04:43 AM
For instance, I trust the words I quoted above because a couple days after
reading them I read Arthur Dee’s Fasciculus Chemicus, and the same thing was echoed there.

I sometimes find when I hit a wall I will just search on a single thought and follow threads, not worrying where the
thread is going and I stumble on some wonderful things. Everyone should try it, but don't expect...I think that works better.

At the same time I can relate to what Chenkel says in the quote above, but I read little and sometimes I just know
when I know and when I don't know I don't worry as there is always something else to do until the next chapter ;)


02-22-2012, 01:40 PM
What do you mean you can't recognize your ego?

I believe in a Higher Self, so I don't know whether I'm following it or an ego when I make big decisions (like disobeying authority). Some pretty messed up stuff has been happening here, mostly in my room, and it happens after I make a break for it, so I don't know (for sure) if I'm being protected from myself or being coerced.

I like what you all said about taking it steady. Although I feel like it's imperative (because I feel outgrown), I'll just take it easy-ish.

02-22-2012, 03:25 PM
BTW, regarding the ego, I don't know if I'm being egoistic or smart when I make said breaks. Anywho

02-22-2012, 05:39 PM
Egotistic: When you have such a high opinion of yourself that you act despite rational evidence, or opinions presented by the majority of recognized authorities on the topic. (It’s okay to trust your gut and to think other people are wrong. But it’s irresponsible to not rationally debate something to find the truth. If you know better than someone else, prove it, so that everyone is better off for the exchange.) Contrary to popular belief, there are some really smart people with advanced degrees out there that study some facet of alchemy. We’d do well to listen to them.

Smart: When you disagree with someone but carefully assess why you disagree with them based on personal experiences, evidence presented on both sides of the argument, and the opinions of others who are recognized authorities on the topic. Evidence based debate instead of "respect my authoritay" based debate.

“The second difficulty consists in the apparent disagreement of those who profess to exercise our Art at the present day. Amongst those persons are observed a great diversity of method, and a considerable variety even in the choice of their substance. The mistakes of some of the professors of Alchemy make men doubt the genuineness of its claims. “ -Petrus Bonus

Gishlain: That sounds like a good strategy too. But I’m curious about how you work without reading very much. You must read something that you’ve based your ideas and work on? Internet forums? Correspondence? Just curious.

“...Reading does as it were, kindle a clear Lamp in the Understanding, without which there will everywhere be darkness and Thick Clouds. But the reading of Good Authors ought to be often repeated, otherwise it will not be profitable." -Maier

02-24-2012, 02:13 PM
Reading the posts on here – the shorter ones, often confirm feelings encountered beforehand.
Everything for me started with the Bagua which is an image of yin yang surrounded by eight
trigrams, ☰ ☱ ☲ ☳ ☴ ☵ ☶ ☷.

Here is an example of a Bagua.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2e/Bagua-name-later.svg/275px-Bagua-name-later.svg.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ba_gua)

I had a blank wall in my bedroom that I wanted to decorate with something unusual. I chose an
image from a random book on my book shelf, the book was not one of mine; I think my wife had
borrowed it from a friend. Its subject was divination; briefly covering the many types of divination
that are out there of which I knew very little. I opened the book to a random page with the
intension that whatever unusual image I found there I would use. It turned out to be the Bagua and I
painted this image on my wall about five feet in diameter. Night after night I would look at this
image until I felt I to wanted to know more about it. I knew it came from a section of the book titled
“The I-Ching – The Book of Changes” so I read up on it and started to use it as a guide. This was
about nine years ago and I have never looked back. I cast the I-Ching every day and trust its
guidance above all else. I never take it for granted as I am sure that anyone who is familiar with it
would understand.

My Bedroom Wall. ( http://genius.toucansurf.com/Bagua.jpg)

I believe any form of divination would do the same, e.g. Runes, Tarot etc... It is a way of receiving
guidance from “what is”.

When I painted the Bagua I needed to put the circles around it and found a food mixing bowl that
fitted exactly around the circumference. It was just a random choice which placed 28 circles around
it and I Have never given it much though until now.

In the Poetry (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?2194-Poetry&p=19494#post19494) thread by Nibiru I just posted some information on Yeats and in it is a link.

Yeats's Lunar Phases (http://aliscot.com/ensenanza/4033/victorian/lunar.htm)

Is it coincidence that there are 28 phases in the Yeats’ article and 28 circles around my Bagua?

Is it coincidence that just before I posted a poem by Yeats in the poetry thread which had a strange
image with it...

http://www.yeatsvision.com/Images/Bas2xGyre2.gif ( http://www.yeatsvision.com/Geometry.html)

That I also posted a thread on “The Seal of Solomon” ( http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?2685-Seal-of-Soloman&p=19515#post19515) with geometric similarities for no particular


As I have said before, I follow threads and it has led me to where I am today.

I am not very organised, but it would have been nice to have kept a record of the threads I have
followed as there are many coincidences.


“...Reading does as it were, kindle a clear Lamp in the Understanding, without which there
will everywhere be darkness and Thick Clouds. But the reading of Good Authors ought to be often
repeated, otherwise it will not be profitable." –Maier

I believe the Maier you metioned in the quote above is Michael Maier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Maier)? As up until a few days ago I
had not come across him, but I have been reading about him recently and now you quote him...another coincidence?

I read little as I let the words come to me :)


As a side note...I am not sure of the date of origin of the Bagua but the trigrams represent binary
numbers from 0 – 7. With Heaven ☰ representing zero and Earth ☷ representing seven.

The trigrams can be paired to give a hexagram and this can represent 0 – 63, hence Heaven
over Heaven represents zero and coincidentally is the first reading in The Book of
Changes ...“The Creative”.

However the rest of the hexagrams do not follow a binary numerical order, as Earth over Earth
which represents sixty three is the second reading in The Book of Changes, “The Receptive”.
This allows for the 64 separate readings contained in the I-Ching

02-24-2012, 05:02 PM
Yup. Michael Maier is where it's at. The quote comes from Atalanta Fugiens.


You seem to be really into the mandala's. Even if you don't like the idea of reading Atalanta, maybe you'll find something in the music or emblems to meditate on.

03-04-2012, 08:04 PM
It took me years to really trust my guide, that in the end, turned out to be my future more evolved self. The problem even with that is that one can only understand so many "levels" above ones current understanding. Beyond that distortions and misunderstanding creep in.

I say what I do from the experience of teaching Tantric Alchemy. While I can teach people certain methods, I can share certain "access points", I can help a person to be catalized but I can't do their work for them. The "structure" of an Alchemy is part of the system. There are many different Alchemical sequences a person or a pair of persons can participate in. Which ones to do in what order is a different matter. Sequences start with purification and end in a new "synthesis" of being, over and over. Generally those things that affect "objectivity" need purification first. That is usually the initial problem, to know what to go after and how. A person usually gets established in Alchemy with the completion of the 3rd sequence. To stop after that is a messy business and to be avoided.

My remarks apply to spiritual alchemies of a Tantric variety, whether celebate or sexual, has the energies that are the same. Shamanic substances work very well in this context too. I don't know how this translates to those doing "lab" alchemies. I find it takes several years for a person to complete those first 3 sequences or typically quit on the third one and not complete it and walks away. It takes somebody who knows and practices what they are doing to help others on their way. Learning from books can be helpful when one has enough basis to understand what is being said. However, the unspoken, and unspeakable, teachings are important. And who do you trust on that? There are at least a couple of people I know of who I would trust to know what they are doing in this. They would find the idea of "certification" or "credentialization" laughable at best.. J.R. Haule, in his book on Tantra, estimates that 99% of those self identified as to teaching "Tantra" are teaching "sacred sex" or some partial teachings and that only 1% are teaching "Tantric Alchemy". That goes along with Sturgeon's law that 99% of everything is bullshit.

solomon levi
03-06-2012, 08:26 PM
BTW, regarding the ego, I don't know if I'm being egoistic or smart when I make said breaks. Anywho

Hmmm. After some time, maybe years, maybe less, of practicing self-observation, it shouldn't be difficult
to know the egos ways. One just has to watch carefully and honestly and see the motivation of our actions.
The big move is when we begin to want the truth, the "what is" of a situation, more than we want to see
what we'd prefer to see, more than we want to be right, more than we want to be secure, comfortable, familiar, etc.

Otherwise, the head can trick us so maybe listen to your gut if you don't trust your head.
(I know some may say listen to your heart, but I find the gut (enteric brain) to be more accurate).
I am not demoting the heart in any way. Just recognizing that the heart can still make confused decisions
due to emotions, misconceptions of love, wanting to be loved, etc.
Personally, it was my practice to stay in the fire rather than bail. At least in fire I knew I was learning, being tempered, etc.
Fire will reveal what is ego and what is not.

But it's all very personal. If my wiser self could talk to my self of 10 or 15 years ago, I'd tell it not to worry about
making wrong decisions. If you are truly of the spirit, you cannot step out of its path - it won't let you go. :)
Life/spirit is the real teacher, and it is wherever you are. And life will always be first-hand experience - it won't ask
you to believe or have faith or trust or even to understand at all. The mind that wants to understand everything, in my
experience, is dropping an anchor on spirit, slowing down progress, because it wants to have knowledge, security,
the idea of control... All these we will surrender for truth, for spirit.

Understanding ego is an evolution as I have observed it.
At first ego means the big things, an ego maniac, someone who thinks they are better or special, someone with a lot
of self-importance, someone puffed up in their knowledge. Ego is also synonymous with image, our image of ourselves,
the image we portray to others, the mask we wear, what we want to show people and what we want them not to see -
persona/mask/appearance. Like a lot of relationships start on the wrong foot because people are showing their best and
hiding the rest. Down the line this will look like deceit, like you aren't who you appeared to be when the rest starts to
emerge, as it must if you truly want a loving relationship. Another word for that is pretense. It's really nice to meet someone
without pretense, without ulterior motive; someone who is consistently their natural being, very human, non-judgemental.
Anyway, the evolved, if I may, idea of ego isn't the rough and rowdy barbarion it was in the beginning - it is something more
subtle - it is that which separates one from anything else - identity, the thinking mind, the accumulated knowledge, the
conditioned self, that which says "I" which knows itself as "I" by excluding itself from not-"I". At the root, it is the whole
subject-object relationship which is the source of separation, yet also the source of existence/manifestation. That's probably
more than you need to know at this time. :)

I hope things become more clear for you SahasraRa.