My studies into the nature of Self began with a life spent searching for truth. I wasn’t initially focused on the idea of “Self,” or “higher guidance.” Most of my studies where in systems of finding guidance from an “external force.” There was a moment, however, when I had an abrupt change, and in that moment I had a direct experience of my expanded Self (the so-called Holy Guardian Angel, or otherwise known as the Higher Self.)
My interaction with this Higher Guidance, then led me to something even deeper. Those lessons from another, the Creator of my being (creator of both my lower and Higher Self – and all points between), guided me to the concept of the Flower of Life. I had no idea it was an established topic. At the time it was the first I heard of it and it soon became the icon empowering my work.
But first, a little backstory. I began my spiritual quest as a child. Growing up in the home of a pentecostal minister, I was exposed to a variety of spiritual ideas. I lived and breathed doctrine and at times I had my own spiritual experiences. Due to my young age, I can’t attest to the validity of those experiences. Perhaps they were psychological, psychic manifestations from within me, or real external events… I can’t say. But those events proved to my young self, that there was more to the world than what the physicality described.
My first reported spiritual experience I would offer as evidence was when I was 13 years old. I was awoken in my room with the sounds of whispers. At first I didn’t know what I heard, and mistook the noise for a fan in my room. I got up to turn it off, and that’s when it was apparent. Disembodied whispers, speaking about me. Resting on my pentecostal faith I thought these demons and treated them as such. I attempted to rebuke them in the “name of Jesus,” only to find no power over them. If you wonder if I’m mad, well you weren’t the only one. I too pondered my sanity at the time. However the event never repeated. I prayed inwardly that night and felt this answer in my mind, “you will never hear these things again, but one day you will wish you could.” How strange, I thought, why would I ever want to hear such phenomenon? Many years later I would chase after phenomenon like this, and although never having this same experience, I did have other experiences, sometimes in the presence of witnesses.
One case of the paranormal, with witnesses, happened while in college. I worked on campus with an atheist. He was constant in his attack on my spiritual reading, and one day he challenged me to do a seance with a Ouija board. While I knew his intent was to disprove the spiritual world to me, I found great excitement in having someone to share the work with. I purchased the board and surprised him with it the next day. We cut classes and set up the Ouija board at his house. As his parents were at work, we had the house to ourselves. At first nothing happened, and he mocked me. He shouted insults at any spirits present, laughing… and then it happened. We were prompted to turn on the radio. Again he laughed… but he complied. I watched him flip on a radio and tune it to a local hip hop channel. It did seem absurd, but the music suddenly stopped. It was replaced with dead air. After a few seconds a very loud voice began screaming… and its words were not in English. The spoken words lasted less than 10 seconds, but my atheist friend had almost fainted in fear. The room was filled with anger, but not towards me. I knew it was towards him.
I write about these events to explain my life. I lived a life of direct experience. It wasn’t daily, but it was happening from time to time. I was driven to understand it all. My faith didn’t have all the answers, so I researched other faiths.
Membership in Religions and Orders
I became a Buddhist to become a better person. Buddhism taught me about karma, reincarnation, and emptiness. There too I had the mystical experience.
After some time with Buddhism I became an occultist, by joining the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn. I worked in the temple as an officer, helping initiate and attended every class offered. Extremely dedicated I was only frustrated by the internal politics and infighting. I left to become a Scientologist.
The control of Scientology caused me to leave rather rapidly. I did however pick up a few useful ideas and concepts to add to my bag of tricks, as it were. After Scientology I studied occultism from the Thelemic A.’.A.’., tried the first grade of Aurum Solis, followed correspondence systems from BOTA and AMORC, I studied a bit with the Kabbalah Center, as well as getting personal training in Enochian magic.
I can’t say why I left each of these systems. There was a pull towards learning, and then there was a moment of resistance. It wasn’t the workload, instead I suppose it related to my own inward gnosis coming into conflict with the groups gnosis. Only one can persist, and in that situation I withdrew myself. I opted to return back to a religious tapestry – this time following the path of late Hindu, Paramhansa Yogananda. I remained there for quite some time. Some of the calmest, nicest and purest people I’ve ever met were through that organization (Ananda.) I even tried following a living guru for a spell… a modern “Rebel Guru,” who did open my eyes to the possibility of power without words, without images, and without motion… Intent without trappings. For that I’m grateful, but it came at a great cost… and it became so apparent that he was a grifter.
The Left Hand Path
I sat outside of membership for many years. I realized I had a problem with joining and leaving so I kept myself on the outside. Up to this point everything I studied had been on one side of the spiritual fence. Having felt taken advantage of by the “rebel guru,” I noticed someone in my friends list… someone I never recognized. I couldn’t even remember how they got on my Facebook friends. The person wrote something that directly related to the situation I had with the “guru.” I clicked on his profile and noticed he was a High Priest with a Left Hand Path organization.
Intrigued, I dug deeper into this Temple of Set organization. They had a promise of finding their true Self. One member quoted Socrates in this vein, “the self unexamined is not worth living.” Unlike most LHP organizations, they were not a hedonist sect. They were erudite. Most members were Phd’s in various subjects and wrote white papers with great elucidation. I was quite impressed. One face of the organization was Don Webb, an author. He wrote directly to the importance of the individual self. I wrote Don and we chatted for many months on different topics. I almost became a member, but withdrew my application.
At some point I realized that Left Hand Path organizations, as well meaning as they may be, where still exercising a level of control in order to keep the organization moving forward and unified.
Balance of Shadow and Light
In 2019, I was solitary. Alone spiritually. My entire life I sought truth. In my younger days I had many spiritual experiences… under the authority of a modern day guru I had many more. I felt many of these groups (not all, but many) wanted to exercise control. Some wanted my money, some wanted my obedience. It frustrated me, as I couldn’t provide either. At times I ran out of money, and my obedience had limits.
At this point I no longer identified as Left Hand Path, Right Hand Path, or anything. I just sat and meditated.
Daily I would just sit in my meditation room, staring at the wall, zen style. No thought. No ideas. Just sitting. One morning in 2019, I sat there and the sunlight filtered through my window blinds to cast shadows on the wall. Observing the interplay of Light and Dark, a thought in my mind began:
“May I offer some advice, and more importantly, would you take it?”
That source was my inner Self, my Greater Self. It was the Self I had been searching for. It gave me the precepts that I’ve listed on this site. Those precepts are for me… I don’t know if they would benefit anyone else, but I’ve listed them here for anyone who might discover a usefulness in their use.
The Higher Self began to dictate a path for me. I learned of my relationship in the Cosmos. How my limited self, relates to the Greater. This formed my personal cosmology of the Self. At one end it’s microscopic (the human self), and at the other extreme it is vastly expansive. Each person holds their own reflection of the Universe/Cosmos, but it’s colored with their own nature. The Temple of Set called this the Subjective Universe, and the Buddhists called this the emptiness of reality.
My goal shifted. I sought to become one with the Higher Self. Setting an altar to the Higher Self, I began to have moments of insight during meditation.
INSIGHT: One insightful glance was in my life review of all my paths. All those paths I’ve trod, in each I felt the presence I called God. I felt it in my father’s church. I even felt it in Buddhism (a belief with no concept of God.) At one time I thought all faiths connect to the same deity…. but now I had an insight – Instead of everyone connecting to the same God, what if we are all connecting with our Greatest Self? Our Higher Self is so vast, that to us it would appear god-like. It is filled with the sense of vastness, compassion, love and hope. We carry it with us, and if we’re open to another path, we may find those feelings as we enter into communion with our Higher Nature.
I began to question the idea of God. I asked about the Divine Source, and my Higher Self directed my work to candle gazing. Nothing special. Nothing complex. I simply sat and meditated upon a candle flame… with the intent of communion with the Divine. That intent is very important.
The Flower of Life
I had a moment of breakthrough. A voice, like my Higher Self, reached out to me and gave me direction. It called itself the Creator and it spoke through a portal within the flame. It instructed me to find a symbol that was the Flower of Life, which would represent the flame, the spark of life.
Those words led me to Frida Kahlo’s work, The Flower of Life. It was a painting, abstract and mystical. I had not heard of the term Flower of Life before. Even in my past work with Kabbalah, the term hadn’t appeared. It is also a iconic idea from the Kabbalah. For me, however, I used this painting of Frida Kahlo as my portal. Purchasing a print and framing it, I hoisted it in a position in my meditation room and meditated upon it.
The lessons from the painting, were for the most part personal. I saw three aspects of Self represented in the painting. The Lightning, the Sun and the Plantlike phallic figure. This established my thoughts on the Trinity of Self: The lower self, the Higher Self and the Creator Self.
In my view there is a Creator or Divine Source, outside the Self. However, the Self is composed of its own creation aspect, which works with the Higher Self and empowers the work of the Limited (or lower) self.
There were brief moments of becoming the Greater Self… the totality of Self. Sessions lasting less than a minute would bring me into an awareness of being that was greater than my physical potential. I was one with the Higher Self, and spoke with that authority. These were fleeting moments, but precious none the less.
I learned that I am a creator, in the image of the Divine Creator. I created my own system of attainment, to help me with my path. Using a construct similar to other ancient systems, but layering a tapestry of myth that is modern, I empowered the beings and constructed an egregore of my work.
Today I am reaching back to the Christian path of Elus Cohen and Martinism, to bring forth the ideas of practical humility, service and spiritual combat. The latter is not ego based and that’s key. Often combative spiritual practices inspire the ego. The reality of spiritual combat is in the taking control of one’s vices.
Where I’m Headed
I find value in the LHP idea of Individuality and antinomianism to establish the Self separated from conformity. Yet it can’t stand on its own. The LHP as a path tends to focus on the material, infinitesimal existence. The RHP has the values of humility, unity and oneness, but left unguarded the individual becomes lost.
The balance between the two extremes offers the idea of an Individual Self that is sought to be realized. Rather than union with an external force, the union is with the Higher Self (which fills our personal universe.) In this state we become the perfected Individual. Perhaps this is what Crowley inferred in Chapter II of Liber LXV, “Thou speck of dust infinitesimal! Thou art the Lord of Glory, and the unclean dog.”
Where my path leads from here, I do not know. It has been a path of many different steps, but each has brought me to this point where I currently preside.