The Inner Journey – Gary Kidgell
When one undertakes the path of spiritual transformation one seeks to effect a butterfly-like transformation within the chrysalis of the human psyche. This process, so aptly described by the initiates of Ancient Egypt in their concept of the ‘winged pharaoh’ arising from the sarcophagus or pupal case, begins after a period of ‘divine unrest’ where the transient affairs of the material world, and its attendant maya, no longer satisfy nor sustain one. The chrysalis stage of this transformative process, constitutes the ‘spiritual path.’ This is the path of initiation where one seeks to achieve the coniunctio of the mediaeval alchemists – the heiros gamos or ‘sacred marriage’ whereby the elusive philosopher’s stone, symbol of the Awakened Self, is obtained. This enables the antagonistic yet complementary opposites of manifestation to be resolved thereby mirroring the macrocosmic union of the male and female aspects of deity which are essentially as one but which manifest as a duality. Examples here include the Hindu Shiva and Shakti, the yab-yum of Tantric Buddhism and the wedding of Zeus and Hera in Greek myth.
Theosophy symbolises the spiritual path as a mountainous ascent where a serious of initiations confer vast expansions in one’s consciousness allied to a greatly enhanced capacity to carry and express the energies of the divine. The scaling of the ‘cliff-face’ of the mountain of initiation, whereby one attains the summit of human consciousness, entails the lessons and experiences of many lives being compacted into a short few. As the symbolism here implies, this process is most arduous and extremely challenging. However, the magnificent vistas this confers, in the form of the higher initiations, render this most worthwhile. This is the journey to the “other shore” described by H.P. B. in The Voice of the Silence illustrated by the Jain tirthankaras meaning ‘crossing-makers’ and the Buddhist yanas or ‘ferryboats’ that enable one to reach what the shore of transcendence.
In utilising the classical teachings of Theosophy, allied to a consideration of related mythological symbolism, this presentation shall consider the ascent of the cliff-face of the symbolic mountain of initiation. The immense value of the wisdom teachings as a ‘map’ of the psychic terrain and its associated dynamics shall be demonstrated as the spiritual aspirant undertakes the practices and disciplines of the path.
When one experiences the ‘pull of the monad’ the path beckons. One then enters the ‘mythical landscape’ of the inner worlds in pursuit of initiation. This is depicted in the Grail legends as the ‘Forest Adventurous’ where the questing knights encounter many tests and trials in seeking to attain the sacred vessel – symbol of the higher Self as a receptacle for the divine energies of the monad. It is no coincidence that when attaining sufficient age to embark upon the journey to meet his father (in heaven), Theseus elected to undertake the challenging coastal route whereby he would confront and overcome a serious of chthonic bandits guarding entrances to the underworld wherein reside the ‘spiritual riches’ represented by the cornucopia of Hades. Similarly, the spiritual aspirant does not court an ‘easy life.’ As H.P.B. states:
One only inflexible rule has been ever binding upon the neophyte, as it is binding now—the complete subjugation of the lower nature by the higher. From the Vedas and Upanishads to the recently published Light on the Path, search as we may through the bibles of every race and cult, we find but only one way, —hard, painful, troublesome, by which man can gain the true spiritual insight. And how can it be otherwise since all religions and philosophies are but the variants of the first teachings of the One Wisdom, imparted to men at the beginning of the cycle by the Planetary Spirit? (The Secret Doctrine, H.P. Blavatsky)
The gateway to initiation is blocked by what H.P.B. describes as the Dweller on the Threshold –the aggregation of one’s personality attributes that have accumulated throughout one’s many lives in physical incarnation, including repressed and undesirable characteristics. The Dweller must be confronted and overcome. At this stage of the monad’s evolutionary journey one faces one’s personal Kurukshetra of the Bhagavad Gita; the Lernaen Hydra and Cerberus of the Heracles Myth; the Minotaur that Theseus was required to vanquish within the labyrinthine realms of the psyche. It is the dispatching of the Dweller that enables the aspirant to proceed to exalted states of consciousness. The slaying of the gorgon Medusa by the Greek hero Perseus leads to the emergence of the winged-horse Pegasus, representing the capacity to engage in flights of consciousness, and the emergence of the Pierian Spring – the Spring of the Muses which symbolises precipitations from the realms of Atma, Buddhi and Manas.
Who is who: Gary Kidgell possesses a lifelong interest in all matters of an esoteric nature and has been a student of the wisdom teachings for over thirty-five years. He joined the society in 1994 as a founding member and President of the Dundee Theosophical Lodge. Gary is also a former Organising Secretary of the Scottish Regional Association. He works as a writer and professional astrologer offering consultations in esoteric astrology.
Gary has lectured extensively on various esoteric subjects both within the U.K. and Europe. His book ‘The Inner Journey Pathways to the Higher Self’ has been distributed internationally. Gary has also compiled, presented, and currently serves as a tutor in respect of two online audio-visual courses: Foundations in Esoteric Studies and Esoteric Psychology – The Seven Rays, these are based on the work of the English Theosophist Dr Douglas Baker with whom he studied for a Bachelor’s Degree in Metaphysics at Claregate College.