[Türkçe için yorum bölümüne bkz.]
Dear Friends, this is the second post (2 of 3) dedicated to Fernando Pessoa’s views on ‘Initiation’. Here he hints at the perils usually met along the paths one meets in his ‘journey back home’. Beware, as all is not what it may seem, be-aware then…Enjoy !
‘Only he who has acquired the knowledge of God
in the three states of creation can be called:
delivered for ever.’
M+R, II, 51’
The paths of mysticism and magic are paths where trickery and errors are often encountered. Mysticism implies to mainly trust intuition; magic implies essentially to rely on might. Intuition is a work of the mind that allows us to access the results of the working intelligence without using it. Might, in the sense of magical power, is a work of the mind that allows to benefit from the results of continuous effort without indulging in it. Mysticism and magic, even if they need time to work, are shortcuts towards knowledge.
In a way, mysticism and magic are both a confession, an admission of weakness. The mystic knows he doesn’t possess the strength of the mind to access truth through it. The magician senses that he doesn’t possess the strength of the will to access truth or might by the power of his very own will. The idle young adolescent who guesses at things, or guesses something about them, is a mystic in her narrow field, too lazy to try to know. The village woman that seeks to retain the love of her husband with love charms and philters is a magician in the limits of her roof, too ignorant and to weak to strive for it with her own natural charms and by sustained seduction. In both cases, there is an escape from reality.
This doesn’t mean – or doesn’t necessarily mean- that the results of mysticism and of magic are always bad. But it means that there is no indications that a criteria exists allowing us to distinguish a good from a bad result on either paths. In the Gnosis, that mobilizes our intellect, reasoning serves to the least as a ballast; like this we can compare a result to another and verify if they contradicts in themselves or between them. It is possible that we may reason poorly, but at last we do reason. If we are making a mistake it is because we are making a mistake, not because we are mistaken like in the two other paths. One may compare this to the calculation mistakes, where the mistake is not about calculation but about poor calculation. Calculating still is the adequate manner to obtain a result.
The first temptation to overcome to avoid the errors met alongside the path is the World. The second temptation to overcome to avoid the errors met alongside the Inn is the Flesh. The third temptation to overcome to avoid the errors of the Crypt is the Devil. Temptations are common to all paths, but the mystics are more exposed to the temptation of the World, the magicians to the temptation of the Flesh and the gnostics to the temptation of the Devil.
(To be continued)
Extracts translated into English from the French edition of ‘ An Essay on Initiation’ in ‘The enchanted Violin ’, English works of Fernando Pessoa, Christian Bourgois, 1992