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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Spiritual and Occult – Why Can’t I Stay On My Path?

Many people feel frustrated as they go from one thing to another trying different occult paths or spiritual study groups. While they may sincerely want to learn about magick or to develop their spiritual or psychic gifts, they seem unable to remain focused on any particular path. With regard to studying occult knowledge and practices this can be particularly difficult; if you have had such frustrating experiences yourself you may wish to read the following article…

Spiritual and Occult – Why Can’t I Stay On My Path?

There appear to be several issues that may cause someone to abandon their occult studies or spiritual path, even when they are sincerely interested and enjoy their path immensely. Often the person who abandons their spiritual or occult path is unaware of having deliberately done so and may feel instead, that circumstances in their life forced them to abandon their studies.

Many metaphysical teachings appear to have a common purpose, whether they are taught from a religious context, a spiritual context, or in the context of a quest for personal power. This common purpose is to facilitate the growth of our awareness, to unshackle our minds from the limits of our conventional belief systems and to liberate us so that we may re-create ourselves and the worlds we live in to better suit our personal purposes or desires.

Alas, some spiritual or occult groups try to shackle their members in order to channel their power for the benefit of their leaders. However, other groups are more egalitarian; everyone is acknowledged as an equal and there is an honest effort among the members to abandon dominance games. Most spiritual or occult groups fall somewhere along the range between these two extremes and may embrace a philosophy of personal empowerment but also serve some ulterior purpose, perhaps for the aggrandizement or empowerment of their leaders, or to realize a specific goal such as creating universal peace or combating the ‘forces of evil’.

Regardless of the motivations underlying the creation of spiritual or occult groups and the methodologies they employ to teach their practices and beliefs, it seems that all occult and spiritual groups may have a common need to challenge our conventional, conservative beliefs.

When people begin to challenge their own beliefs it can be very scary. They may be afraid of what other people may think of them, or worse, what they may say about them. They may have experiences that are inexplicable in the context of their conventional beliefs and which may make them doubt themselves so that they may sometimes wonder if they may be crazy. They may have experiences that so deeply challenge their concepts of who they are and what 'reality' may be that they become partly or wholly dysfunctional in the so-called 'real' world.

Spiritual or occult study groups may sometimes give people a context for exploring paranormal experiences or metaphysical belief systems that help their members to remain grounded and functional, but there are no guarantees.
Given their potential for exploitative practice which group a person chooses to join and to trust may make a critical difference in the quality of experiences they may have. For this reason, it is important for those who wish to follow a spiritual path or occult philosophy to learn to trust themselves before all others.

Some people may abandon some of the various spiritual or occult paths which they have tried because they have non-consciously recognized a dominance game or power trip going on with the people they are associated with, and they choose not to become a pawn in their games.

Some people may abandon a path because they are not getting adequate positive feedback either from themselves, or from members of the group with whom they share that path.

Some people may abandon a path because they have felt threatened in some manner, and in particular, they may have felt that what was being threatened was their sense of what is real and rational. This, of course is the point of metaphysical studies, to undermine conventional belief systems; to teach people to let of their old beliefs and open themselves to experiencing their worlds in a context that allows miracles or magick to exist and function.

One obstacle to following some spiritual paths, and many occult paths in particular, is that many of the teachings and practices of these paths use misdirection. Misdirection has been a necessary part of metaphysical studies for several reasons.

It is often very difficult or even impossible to lead someone into a mystical experience; this is particularly true if they are poorly prepared to have a paranormal experience. Misdirection is a way to by-pass natural mental defenses in a way that suggests something to the student or seeker that forces them to challenge statements in their minds and to discover the truth for themselves in the process, if they have the necessary critical and analytical capacity to do so in a spiritual or magickal context.

Those persons who lack the requisite capacity to think spiritually or magickally are typically deliberately directed to reach the wrong conclusions; these people disqualify themselves from the pursuit of spiritual or occult studies until they have acquired the necessary ability to think consistently in a spiritual or magickal context. But, of course, spiritual and occult paths are typically specifically designed to lead students or seekers step by step away from their old conventional beliefs and into the realms of super-natural thinking.

Also, the prosecution of heresy has been popular in many times and places; not just during the Spanish Inquisition. In order to protect themselves from persecution many spiritual or occult groups cloaked their teachings in words that appeared to conform to the local conventions or spiritual beliefs. These often elaborate disguises meant that the meanings of their teachings were hidden to the uninitiated; only initiates trained to read below the surface of their apparent messages could see the true meanings.

For this reason, many people who try to study occult practices or spiritual teachings without the requisite initiations or understanding may become lost because the teachings are complexly communicated in a perverse manner that disguises their meanings from casual or prejudiced explorers. Misdirection often entails the use of deliberate lies; many people become foundered upon the lies, unable to see the wisdom waiting just below the surface to be discovered.
And yet, misdirection is a wonderful way of teaching because so much of what students of spiritual or occult practices need to learn is ineffable, beyond the powers of description of even the most eloquent poets. Our conventional languages, concepts and beliefs have little or no means of expressing the most delicately sublime aspects of spirituality or the most powerful truths of occult knowledge.

Conventional people typically regard spiritual or magickal ways of thinking to be irrational, but spiritual and magickal thinking is rational, it is just that their underlying metaphysical realities exist within a different order of rationality. Everything about magick is predicated upon the fact that the universes we live in are capable of fulfilling all of our wishes and desires if we only knew how to correctly ask or command our universes to do so. This is a great spiritual truth that remains obscure even today. One of the fun things about living today is that the beliefs of quantum physicists are converging with the beliefs of mystics of many eras. Science is now beginning to support the assertions of spirituality and the realities of miracles and magick.

All of the reasons given above are likely to be part of the dynamics that often prevent people from finding a spiritual path or occult philosophy that they can stick with.

With spiritual paths or occult studies it often seems necessary to become a divided person. On one hand, someone who seeks spiritual truths or occult power must be able to embrace the unthinkable and unimaginable whole-heartedly without reservations, while on the other hand they may also need to maintain law and order in their lives; to stay in touch with 'reality'.

Being divided within themselves in this manner can be a painful and difficult way to live.

Most spiritual beliefs and many occult philosophies suggest that the individual must be whole; that they should resolve all inner conflicts. Even among occultists there is often an objective to find inner peace, a sense of oneness; oneness both with one's self and with god or creation.

However, paranormal experiences throw us into a situation where people must often challenge all of their fundamental beliefs about reality; people typically respond to such challenges both reflexively and conservatively, spontaneously attempting to reinforce whatever will allow them to remain grounded in their 'real' world.

Spiritual teachings and occult practices are designed to get around the obstacles people tend to create for themselves out of insecurity, but the process of surmounting these obstacles so that they may remain balanced, with one foot in the 'irrational' world of the spiritual or occult, and one foot in the 'rational' world of conventional 'reality' is a tricky business. It can create a lot of stress and anxiety for people who try to maintain a delicately balanced approach to their metaphysical journeys.

When someone is faced with re-evaluating their belief systems and they may become anxious in response to the changes occurring within themselves and how they perceive themselves in context to the world around them. It is therefore natural for them to create distractions to lead themselves away from the cause of their anxieties. Later, because of the distress that they experienced with their previous path, if they move on to a different path they may be un-aware of the reasons they have non-consciously avoided returning to the path they had abandoned.

This inner distress from feeling unbalanced or divided against themselves may be the primary reason many people abandon one path after another. This sort of inner stress seems to happen to nearly everyone who embarks upon a spiritual journey or occult studies. Some people immerse themselves in the unique worlds defined by their metaphysical studies so completely that from the point of view of the ordinary people who know them they appear to have gone insane. Other people may take a more conservative approach to their pursuit of arcane knowledge or spiritual truths, but a conservative approach may often seem to be a much slower method and may therefore be more frustrating.

It should always be possible for spiritual or occult seekers to come to terms with themselves so that they may indulge in their spiritual studies or occult practices with less stress regarding their beliefs about themselves and their responsibilities in the 'real' world, or how others who do not share their particular interest in occult or spiritual practices may perceive them.

While many seekers despair of ever finding the right path, ultimately there may be no 'right' path for anyone to follow; there may only be their own private, individual path. Most seekers will share their paths with others, but every step they take will be uniquely their own every time.

It helps for seekers to define their goals. Why are they seeking? What are they seeking?

It also helps if seekers define their fears. Do they fear death? Do they fear mockery? Do they fear life? Do they fear loneliness?

It also helps to define limits. Will they do no harm, or is some harm allowed? Will they permit themselves to be hurt, or will they flee from or resist all threats?

In the end, the answer is simple, to know thyself; yet this is the hardest thing of all...

Imagine, Believe, Experience, Be


Hi, we are collectively known by the name of Greg Gourdian for the purposes of publishing articles. We are a collective of people spanning many worlds and universes; we cohabitate many bodies in many very different or similar worlds.

We worked with the general public as a psychic reader for a little over four years from 1981 to 1986. While much of our written work is channeled, we may sometimes admit that we may have no idea who many of the voices of our channeled work may be.

We have many strange tales to tell regarding our spiritual journeys and we try to tell our tales in a humorous or entertaining manner.

While we were not an accredited teacher, we have taught high-school classes in metaphysics & parapsychology, psychology, and sociology, while we were attending our high-school as a student.

We are still emerging from the closet in regard to being a system of many people inhabiting what appears to be a single body in the context of the interface pairs we share with you. Our current written works reflect this new change in perspective as we have adopted the plural personal pronoun in order to reinforce our awareness and understanding of ourselves in regard to the multipleness of our being.

We apologize if we sometimes may sound either awkward or conceited as a consequence of making this change in how we refer to ourselves.

The core of our groups’ primary beliefs share these ideals: That love should be universal and unconditional; that liberty is our most important right, and that liberty is a gift like love which we may best enjoy by giving it freely to all others; and that justice may best be served by not judging.


Visit Greg's blog at