As with many, my path started as something given, something forced upon me. I was raised a Christian, my father a pastor. My faith couldn’t answer my deep questions, and as I grew into my teenage years I began to look outside my faith.
Not only was I filled with unanswered questions, I had the odd paranormal experience that was outside the realm of my faith. Things my father’s faith said were not possible, turned out to be entirely possible.
In college I began researching the paranormal. This lead me to the mystical side of Sufism, as well as Western Occultism. Several friends of mine worked on a few occult projects which produced strange haunting results.
As I got older, I was married and a few years later divorced. I lived in constant fear and anxiety. Living alone was a new experience for me – always feeling watched, yet completely isolated.
My divorce left me depressed and frustrated – which led me to Buddhism as a solution. Up to that point all my spiritual goals were Western focused. This was the first time I attempted an Eastern path.
In 2003/2004, I took my Buddhist vows and was presented with a new name.
Buddhism taught me a deep compassion for others, even enemies. Something talked about in Christianity, but Buddhism made it a possibility.
I also learned the subjects of Karma & Emptiness. Emptiness being the lack of self-existence. This means that what we see isn’t exactly what is real. A pencil appears as a pencil, because we perceive it that way. A pencil has no self existent nature. It is our interpretation that defines it.
Chaos Magick has a similar notion: “Nothing is real, everything is permitted.” That doesn’t mean that you are allowed to do what you want, but every view of reality is allowed, as nothing is inherently real.
Buddhism was dogmatic, and this would turn me off.
After my dissatisfaction with Buddhism, I had a hunger for the occultism I studied in college. I found a flyer for a occult society, at a local bookstore and inquired within.
Much like the protagonist in Herman Hesse’s work, Steppenwolf, I found myself looking into my own “Magic Factory.” The group I joined was a style of the Golden Dawn occult order.
It was through this group that I learned of Initiation, Kabbalah and G.D. Magic.
Although I had some amazing experiences, internal politics drove me away.
Scientology was my next spiritual stop. I didn’t stay long within the group. Certainly the cost was the primary problem.
However, I did learn quite a bit. Scientology gave me tools to deal with people. Putting these tools to practice I was able to see the effectiveness first hand.
There was one magical moment in Scientology. I had an Dianetics auditor do a rundown called BasicBasic with me, what resulted was amazing. The experience was out of this world. Too much to detail here, but that experience opened new doorways in future occult work.
After Scientology, I began tasting a variety of mystery organizations. I joined the Freemasons, became a member of a several occult and mystical societies.
I worked with the A.’.A.’. (Astrum Argentum) path of Crowley’s, as well as some initiatory orders (B.O.T.A., AMORC, TMO, Aurom Solis).
Perhaps the longest group I was with was a religious group based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. To date, they were the most pleasant and happy people I’ve ever met.
While there was definite goodness in most of these groups, I did run afoul of some sketchy organizations not named. Groups that proclaimed themselves to have a living “guru” or “master,” but in reality it was often a scheme based on power dynamics and money.
For the most part I found frustration with a repeated concept that one must be led by a “master” in order to find truth.
There was one more drastic change that I would go through, and this would flip my path on its head.
Many have no clue what the Left Hand Path refers to. Some think it means something nefarious. It is a point of confusion that is for certain. My definition of the Left Hand Path, is that it is a path seeking the True Individual Self. A path that banishes the dogma of others, and the doctrine of masters and gurus.
I was introduced to this path from a High Priest of the Temple of Set. They intrigued me… and I ended up interacting with one of their members who is a published author. His books on the concept of the Daemon greatly resonated with my own concept of Self. The idea that the Self is an ever expanding force, moving from the mundane limitation towards the expansive and limitless Daemonic Self.
This is where everything changed. Up to this point I had been following the light of others. The teachings of religions, gurus, masters and organizations was always dogmatic and I accepted it – even over my own feelings.
The Left Hand Path showed me that I have self sovereignty and it’s wrong to subjugate that under the will of another’s personal view.
Inspired by Don Webb’s work, Uncle Setnekt’s Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path, I made a choice to disconnect from the tradition that had been blinding me to my own truth – constantly asserting itself over my own ideals. Even though I was no longer a believer in that old faith, it was still influencing me.
The result was the Void. I entered a phase where I felt cut off and spiritually isolated. It was terrifying at first, and then sad… but later on it became wonderful. I found freedom for the first time. I had the freedom to see things without contamination.
After leaving the light of others, I was free to read and investigate the teachings by people without it becoming oppressive. But honestly, I found most teachings too restrictive. Far too many groups stressed their own ideals, or the ideals of a “master.” They created copies of the master, but few individuals.
I strode on in isolation, and waited to reach my own inner Depth – my own Higher Self.
The Left Hand Path… while interesting, it certainly isn’t something I could live. It was a necessary stage for me, but that is all. Darkness, for me, is a tool to achieve liberation. Once liberated, Light must be found. This light is the light of inner truth – that Expansive Self and I found it.
One day, while sitting in contemplative meditation, I had a thought pass my mind. A curious thought, turned to dialogue… and as I returned to speak to this Higher guidance, I found it led me to truth.
I was guided to artwork by Frida Kahlo, and through that I had the most amazing mystical experiences. This is where I began to touch the realm of the Creator, and act as the Higher Self (if only for a few moments at a time).
Dialogue with the Higher Self is one thing… it’s akin to talking to the Holy Guardian Angel… but it’s another to become, and allow the Higher Self to speak and act through you. This brings deep calm, and wonderful advice.
I found that these sessions with the Higher Self would vaporize when my senses kicked in. Anxiety, anger, any strong emotion would push out the experience of the Higher Self. It’s very hard to hold it longer than a few minutes.
I filled a magical journal with my workings and guidance.
Reaching into the trinity of Self (limited self, Higher Self, Creator) would seem to be the pinnacle and perhaps it is. There were times when I wanted a dialogue with an internal advisor… not an external master, but one that was formed from my best intentions.
The Higher Self is a great choice to work with, but there was a desire within me to find something not as expansive, something closer to “home,” so to speak.
One day I asked my Higher Self, “what would happen if I reached out in communion to something fictional… a character from a story that inspires me?” I was ashamed to even ask it. But my Higher Self responded, “try it and see.”
The result of this experiment became a work of inner guidance on mantras, hard labor and spiritual effort. My inspiration was Star Wars, and this practice sparked new life into my practice.
Yes, it’s true that I’m already in communion with the Creator, as well as my Higher Self, but there was something being learned through this as well.
At first I kept the material to myself, in time however I thought it might benefit someone else who might find it useful to reach out to tapestry of fiction, believing it to be connecting to a real energy manifesting as their desired teacher.
This is where I’m at. I’ve had a lot of influencers along the way, and yet I cut out many dogmas, gurus and masters. I’ve sought the teachings from within over the exoteric expressions of others.