The three Directors of the Silent Eye – Sue Vincent, Stuart France and myself – are usually the nucleus of a monthly ‘management’ meeting held at a friend’s house in Manchester. We have begun a process of reviewing the core principles of what we teach and under whose ‘guidance’ we create the four workshops held each year.
I highlight the word guidance, above, because these principles are so fundamental to what we have done since the launch of the Silent Eye School in 2013 that, for us, they have taken on a life of their own – becoming what the ancients would have known as ‘Virtues’ or channels of specific learning, alive in the combined consciousness of the three people involved. This is not to say that we ‘channel’ anything. The pretence, or assumption, of so-called channeling is rife in the world of esoteric teaching where it is plainly a tool of the egoic consciousness of certain individuals to attribute contact by themselves with higher worlds. When we say channel in the way I use it, above, we mean the coming alive of knowledge such that it expands its own presence in the mind and heart of the recipient of its truth…
Each week, the three of us receive and comment upon the home journals of the students (Companions, in our terminology; since we share a individual journey with each of them) as they travel through three inner landscapes within their own inner and outer consciousness. Over time, we have built up a picture of how our monthly lessons, combined with the personal tuition we provide, lead to a developing understanding of these living principles, that form the basis of our three-year teaching programme.
During our last monthly meeting (July 2018) we resolved to create a series of articles to provide our own ‘commentary’ on these subjects. These would be made available, via The Silent Eye blogs, to anyone interested in our Work. They would also be the basis of more detailed discussion with our Companions, as they progressed in their own studies. On the basis that they represent our most sincere attempt at documenting our own, developing understanding, we have named them: Principles of Fire. This does not equate them with alchemical fire – though there would be nothing wrong with that – but indicates how their personal evolution within each of us unfolds.
This is the first of those articles. The subject is the linked nature of Belief and Faith, and the power of the human consciousness to transcend the limitations of both.
Let us start with Belief.
Belief might be considered as the crystallisation of a pattern of thought which forms a nucleus around which each of us can learn to face something fundamentally bigger than ourselves. I might believe in God; or I might believe in something simpler, like Goodness in the human ‘soul’, or the idea that there is a deeper and separate level of my own consciousness that lies ‘beneath or inside’ what I view as my self. It does not matter what you believe in; the principles are the same.
As a student of the esoteric (hidden knowledge, contained and available within life) we will probably come to this by absorbing the views of someone else; either via a living teacher or a powerful book. Certain books, written from a perspective of true understanding, contain ‘seeds’ that are capable of germination when they fall in the right soil. The Bible speaks of such things in the parable of the Sower and the Seed (Matthew 13). The soil is the consciousness of anyone who seeks deeper understanding with sincerity.
Whether we are influenced by a person or a book we may be affected in such a way that we feel an ‘expansion’ of our being. We identify that feeling with what, suddenly, becomes a new perspective. That perspective then become a belief.
This experience can be so profound that some people become a mental or emotional ‘warrior’ to defend and expound their new belief; yet all we have is the first glimpse of a path ahead of us. Yet, it is probably important that we react in this way. By doing this we generate a surge of emotion, and emotion, though capable of terrible inaccuracy, carries the kiss of our essence – that part of us that has a reality far deeper than the everyday personality.
We may persist with our new belief in one of two ways. The first we might call static. A static belief is one entirely received from somewhere else that carries the authority of another – including our parents. With this, we may wish to imprint the world with the rightness of this belief, such that we prove its correctness by stamping it on others. The word ‘zealot’ has historically been used to describe the barren nature of this behaviour.
The second way we might persist with our new belief is to carry it forward, experientially, regardless of others’ opinions. This brave step ignites something new in us, something that enlarges a sense of ‘me’ in a different way. We feel alive with the sense of empowerment in our search, and know that this comes from the fact that we are seeking a validation of our new ‘truth’ entirely from within ourselves and our corresponding experiences in life… which we suddenly find to be linked. The seed has germinated, the sense of excitement and freshness gathers pace. Though we may not know it, we are experiencing the first stages of a new type of life.
When we pass through this personal gateway, often referred to in mystical teaching as a ‘portal’, we enter the world of Faith. Within a state of faith, the elements of the belief take on a fiery life of their own, one in which there appears to be a direction of much deeper – and much more alive – understanding.
This direction is neither belief or faith, but points to something deeper, whose power is breathtaking. What that is will be discussed in the next of these articles on the Principles of Fire.
Stephen Tanham is a director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit organisation that helps people find the reality and essence of their existence via home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised.
His personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at stevetanham.wordpress.com.
You’ll find friends, poetry, literature and photography there…and some great guest posts on related topics.
Castles of the Mind workshop
Weekend of 14-16 September 2018.
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