What causes us to change?
Sometimes a piece of music causes us to change. Sometimes the way the light falls on a particular day. Someone says something - it opens a doorway for us. We find it happening without knowing why.
Very often we try to reason existence. We try to calculate it, to discover it. And while we can certainly discuss portions of existence and we can discover layers of reality, we find ourselves straying very far from existence itself in its absolute form. We're out playing in the world of self-discovery. We're looking at different pictures in the gallery. Very rarely do we look in the mirror of the self.
In the practice of mysticism there are four stages. The first stage is gaining power. The second stage is avoiding the loss of power. The third stage is storing power. And the fourth stage is giving power. There is a type of mysticism, a lower occultism, where there is also stealing power and using power for destructive ends. We really don't need to consider that unless, of course, someone is doing that to us. We should give it enough consideration so that we're not naÔve, but we don't really have to focus on it too much because it's not something that pertains to us.
When I say, "store power," what I mean is you are going to take awareness and consciousness and go into another plane of reality with it and leave it there and draw on it.
It's necessary first to gain power. We gain power so that we can walk through that doorway that leads to enlightenment. There are countless planes of existence, stages, where life is presenting itself in different ways. One description of the world, one way of seeing it, is not necessarily better than another. What's important rather is to become conscious and not to be fixed in any one description of reality, but to move fluidly through all of them. In order to do that, it takes a great deal of power; to reach enlightenment, to become conscious, to become what you really are, it takes a terrific amount of power.
If the house is very cold, our first step is to get the heat going, to get the furnace going. Then once we've done that, it's much easier to see where we're losing power, and also we'll stay warm while we work on closing the leaks. Then once we've reached a point where things are warm enough and we've sealed the biggest leaks, then we can increase and refine the power. Perhaps we can store fuel for another time. We can eliminate the smaller leaks and maybe if we have enough power, then eventually we can share it with someone else and help them to be liberated. These are the stages of mysticism.
The first thing that you need to do is to increase your personal power. A decision is made on a very deep level of being. We could say that power or life chooses you. We don't know why. All things cannot be explained. To try and explain everything is to waste and lose power. Certain things are better as mysteries - mysteries, not meaning that they're unknowable, but simply that they can't be explained. They have to be intuitive and felt and grasped in what we call the supraconscious.
So you have to make a list of the things that cause you to gain power. And do this accurately, you need to take a piece of paper out when you're home and write down all of the things in your life that have ever caused you to change in an affirmative way. For example, there may be particular places that you've gone to which are for you places of power, and these environments cause you to increase power, to change. There may be certain experiences, maybe helping others, maybe reading, writing, a hobby, a career, an attitude. You have to trace back all the moments in your life when you have gone through a major transit or change and recall the things that worked. In many cases it's necessary to do those things again; we have a lot of friends who help us. But in the course of life, sometimes we forget our friends. So we remember and we bring them back - exercise, a type of diet, a type of food, music.