Bardon’s Mirrors

Recently, I decided to start working the exercises in Bardon’s Initiation into Hermetics. I am starting at the very beginning in which one of the exercises is to essentially spend a lot of time noting all of your weaknesses and faults. These are then matched to one of the four elements and also to a level of seriousness of fault. One then repeats that for positive qualities and these become Magical Mirrors of the Soul. Let me tell you its an interesting exercise.

At first, its problematic to come up with qualities actually either negative or positive but after a while and, through indirect inquiry of others, you start to get pretty good at it and my lists are prolific already (and I am not done yet!). I’m afraid I am rather a flawed individual.

The feeling that develops in your soul as you work on these mirrors is quite amazing. You begin to realize that magical power comes with real responsibility – if it comes at all. You begin to understand that while at this moment I may be a remarkably flawed individual, given the power, I could become a truly twisted and evil bastard. Imagine if, you had magical power, you were cut off on the road while driving. That little thought that goes through your head about what you wish might happen to that other driver! Those little moments of petulant anger or jealousy or lust or whatever. Imagine if you could actually bail out revenge, influence and so on. How would you be? Could you resist? or, would you become a real evil son of a B?

I got to tell you honestly I don’t know. I hope I would use my powers wisely but I suspect power corrupts and it corrupts absolutely. What about you?

It makes you realize that true physical magical ability could be a curse that leads to eventual ruin and damnation. It makes you understand that to wield such powers you would need to be in total control all of the time. You would need to be a person, well, like Jesus in the New Testament, committed to love of your fellow man, without any selfish needs and totally in control of thoughts and actions at all times.

I am not that person. This is quite clear to me – especially now.


One thought on “Bardon’s Mirrors

  1. Bardon of course, stemming from the teutonic group mind, continually confuses mastery and control. He is a magnificent teacher of mastery, about taking the Work seriously. But he never caught on to the idea of control being essentially another form of violence.

    We are taught to think of the possibility of destruction as power.
    Those who rule the world can do so, because they hold us in fear.
    And touching upon magical power, we stand in awe, because we realise that we, too, can bring about great destruction. If we are fools, we are quickly done for. If wise, we fear our own flawed selves, the karma we might invoke, the pain we might cause. All very real since magic enhances our possibilities to destruct to a great extent.
    And so we search for control.
    It takes tremendous energy and effort to maintain balance and besides, it takes only a small push to upset the balance.

    Certainly, control has its uses as a temporary measure, for the true Masters of Destruction are not the world leaders nor the great magicians but our toddlers, if left unchecked. So power to destruct is really not much of a power at all.

    So how do we deal with the terrifying possibilities of the well trained magical mind? Trying to control it, we will surely fail at some point.
    We humans all of us are so flawed, and no matter how many atomic bombs we create, be they physical or magical, we remain so very vulnerable. We may command Death but when we look Life in the face, we meet our true Master. For surely, the greater power is to create rather than destruct; to heal rather than break; and to cheer rather than scold, and to make one another aware of the tremendous joy and beauty of Life. This is our human heritage, our birthright, this great gift.
    We cannot by any measure of our own doing, attain it by effort, nor indeed by control, for it is a gift. And yet when we surrender, Life instantly rushes to our aid and shines in our hearts and eyes and empowers us.
    So here’s our answer. We need to acknowledge our master and surrender to Life, which, as it turns out, is made of pure Joy. Life’s great power is never ours to command, but it is ever there for the asking.

    And here is where Franz’s mastery comes in handy, because in building the mastery, we will have forged pipelines and channels for Life, so it can pour its Joy into whatever purpose we ask – and usually much, much more.

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