WITH the inner attitude of prayer and the words so spoken - amongst also those expressions directed regardless of actual phrases and formulas - with prayer indeed we become connected with all aspects of our true divinity, for the world is hushed and quietened. It is in times of prayer that we may shut the doors to the world for a time, in order that we may return into our worldly activity renewed and restrengthened by the order of true and holy communion.
It is O.K. to laugh during prayer, as much as one may also exhibit all manner of emotions which do surface - but one would not make jest, one would not confer cunning, one could not bring malice, spite or great vengeance into this form of inner speak. We become transfixed in the world, and we may err relentlessly in countless ways, but when we turn our eyes and thoughts inward, and set our heart upon meaningful examination, we find that those attributes unworthy of God fall from us, and are denied 'time', denied expression. So apart from that which prayer does invoke, it does also enhance a man by the practice of altering into more perfect accord, with appropriate behavior and good attitude of spirit.
It is difficult to sustain prayer for very long periods as the world and its ways require much attention from us. But however, one solitary prayer does by itself enter into the new day ahead and does make a difference. Even though we may be quickly forgetful, even though the two worlds appear not to meet, it is the gesture and the relaxing of inner tension which allows for participation to be welcomed by these our higher worlds. That we may be responsive, that we also too submit, that the single act of welcoming such higher determination, sets and revolves around our daily activity.
It is not to say that a man is 'empowered' all the more, but that he becomes knowing of that empowerment. For the communion of prayer is such, that indeed all prayers are answered - in time. To enter into prayer is to hold the faith that prayer does permeate - to release oneself into trust, into the line of light.
It is within the realm of prayer that the creative powers of man are best defined, and shall become quite perfect. It is not fancy, it is not imaginative, but of the true practice which will one day become the greatest and most important determination within a man.
Imagine if all the attention and time given to peripheral studies was directed to prayer? How quickly the student would advance! This is not a statement of selfish endeavor - for even if it were to be seen as such by the student, it would be better that the student was indeed practiced and conversant, and would therefore have all folly in time, revealed. How little it is often aspired to or exclaimed, "Oh, if only I could develop myself in prayer, and work more often, give frequent practice and persist!"
It is not that prayer is to be regarded as simply an exercise, but it is also the most important exercise within a man - who if practiced and practiced with stern intent, shall come to perceive the inner worlds and their gravity upon the fate of Man.
To begin the new day and before retiring, to seal the day past, we refer inwardly to maintain our marriage of both worlds. And whereupon the student does confer in this way at the beginning, it shall be that during the day's activity also, he may slip into his inner devotions and take nourishment thereby. It shall become as natural as any other conversation.
Prayer requires those qualities of meditation which dispel the waft and the busyness from our presence, which enhance our abilities to receive yet further inspirations, that we might cease our own 'chat' and though fervent, be disposed to hear the inner voice or bathe in golden silence. Silence yes, can be golden. And yet, there are those souls who are apprehensive to venture deep within themselves, for herein lies the first and second gateway, herein also the symbols of all 'spirit speak'. And they are immediately so filled with doubts and apparitions, also too the chatter of images past and present, and they feel rather afflicted by such loss of the world, and they plunge depths of drowsiness, unconsciousness, as they step the inner door.
It is of no matter that sleep ensues; it is rather that we are earnest, and so quietened, reverent, somber, thankful, and grace imbued, upon entering into slumber. But also, if we can retain our consciousness, to the point that we are self-conscious and yet ego-infilled, and come to know of the source which we strive to meet, then the visions that shall follow will magnificently uphold a man, and speak to him directly of the mysteries that he does long for.
There may be many a worthy exercise for all aspiring students, and trials a'many throughout the day's activity, which provoke and poke at a man until he becomes quite weary. There are enchantments everywhere, not the least which is that of the misgivings that we hold - the illusions of self, the images of self in relation to the world. And it is to the practice and art of geniality and of virtue, that is recommended in all fiery activity. Second to this and to that, is the practice of prayer - for the rays which envelop a man, and reach out towards all that he does touch, bring Heaven herself a little closer to the Earth, and unite, reunite, all of those beings who cannot otherwise be embraced by us.
For herein is our true family - those of the loving, most loveliest of souls; they who we carelessly abandon, when in ignorance, ignore them so. In prayer they may draw close; and it is quite possible to recognize their presence - a multitude - all personal friends, of many a station, character and degree. And it is these souls, from many many kingdoms, who are responsive and eager to commune and assist with a man. Without the condition of prayer, it is as they are so blocked and 'put out' by all manner of gorgonic and demonic, inharmonious, chaotic, reckless and immature beings who thrive on the inconsistencies of man, and also his impressionability to upset, chaos and disharmony. They live in argument, they live in illness, they sit on the backs of the greedy, they chew on the ear of the insensitive and unsympathetic - they laugh and jeer and provoke many an accident; they sit aside the smug and self-satisfied; they thrive too on covetousness, on astralities of desiressness; in habit, in fear, in bony frame, in jagged glass.
However, when a man enters into prayer, regardless of how feeble his attempts, the door to these saturated beings is slammed shut. They are thrown off, they are hushed, they are dismayed, they cringe and croak - for herein the man refers all he has and is, to those beings whose stature renders all imps benign. They are what they are- only as significant as man himself does make of them. And with prayer they are exiled, flung out from his being, stripped of their sustenance.
And it is not with malice or anger that we should confront these urchins of the world and lower spheres, but that we should be so consistently pure within ourselves that they may enjoy a much improved future also, and be transformed. But because such is consistently slow and tedious, and does not of itself makeover a man with a handful of good desires- and also we dwell in a world so utterly confused with the magnitude of impure thoughts and relative fiends- we should but be overcome, were it not for the heavenly graces and the conferences in prayer.
No man may tell another how to pray. Of course it is wondrous indeed when men do pray together; and difficult also. But whatever the expression, it must come honestly and from the heart, and is most thoroughly recommended as the first and most important practice of any man; particularly those who seek esoteric knowledge, true esoteric knowledge and guidance throughout.
I am in Thy Hands my Father,
I do live in each of my brothers,
I wish only to serve He who loves best,
and no other;
And by this, I shall love too, whom He loves.
And from the highest expectation,
I shall come to my true station,
And in humble gratitude, renounce all costly sins.
Within the Hierarchies there can be little or no intervention unless it is called upon and drawn unto a man, by a man. It is possible through prayer, by such attitude of being, to be as cleansed, as pure enough in order to receive guidance and protection, inspiration, fulfillment and intervention, from many a different being (or for that matter a loved one), who has cleaved to the service of God, and therefore Man.
One does in fact have many a personal Angel and guide - although not necessarily so individually allotted as to be inextricably bound, there are associations which span eons, and caringly enveloping a man or his brethren fellowship, family or race.
We are not in isolation as is depicted by our blindness towards Heaven - we may approach many an individual being and call upon them through prayer directly, advancing to them because of our having such a previous relationship. Remembering also, that it is because we are of Christ and of the Father, that we too know them and have parley and discourse and be so heard upon call.
It is through common interest, a shared affinity, in which souls are drawn. And it is sad that Heaven has become so indistinct unto the world. But with what we do have and all that we are, we may broach the unseen realms in solitude, in happy prayer, and come so close - you know that the brilliance, the luminance, is so great indeed and difficult to encompass, that a man must learn also to withstand so much beauty, so many wonders, lest they too will consume him. It is a delicate balance indeed, that we may absorb and expend - not to be broken by sin, nor crushed by wonder - for it is those places known to us, in deep memory, of outstanding beauty, that would claim us and we them happily, but do only frequent, as with each, temporarily. And it is painful to leave, but is painful also to remain; unless by the effort of progressive development, we are so enhanced that each stay be yet a little longer ... with further insights revealed; and so managed, having been incorporated within our own beings, and therefore interpreted without rendering ourselves impotent by such experience.
Paradise is grand, but is deadly also to the ego. If we are to claim Paradise for ourselves, then it must be done that we are also of that substance: of beauty and grace, in spirit refined. Only our higher selves may make that pilgrimage, and each time is nourished and impressed - but does grieve for that which it could not take into those realms, and returns to recover other aspects immature.
The 'forced' initiations held glimpses into profound spaces, where certain aspects within the nature of a man could not be reconciled, and the man was caused much grievance by this. This is the damnation of Hell - it is the perception of Heaven, without the means to make entrance - and no greater Hell can there be!
Bless all, and ask only for those things which are lasting and of value. Discard your worldliness, your worries and your grievances. Submit all that is difficult to the Divine, and be at peace with this.
Who is this silent Master come,
Whose memory goes backTo where the stars come from?Shall He speak to me,Or be silent, as dumb?Can I abide, with the OneWho surely does know,The trek, and the distance,I am yet to go?This silent, sad stranger,Who invokes joy to behold,Who by His very nature,Uplifts and upholds.
Shall I stretch out my hand,To meet His that awaits?Shall I know of His Love?One that will not forsake!
And by the strength that is His,This man shall never break!As I stand at this frontier,With He who awaits.