I just think this is incredibly *pious*. I've noticed a big trend in people into modern "magick" and "Paganism" to be, or to want to be, "really good". What's with wanting to be "so good"? (And I don't think that I am saying that I want to be "bad", I'm just not concerned with wanting to be so good (and pious).
I agree whole heartedly Josephine; I tend to believe that a person's spiritual / magical development will in time lead them into a lifetime of service. What an individual perceives as service is limited by that persons perspective. I am trying to think of an example to illustrate this point - perhaps it is like when someone takes home and nurtures an animal that has become injured. This is an act of compassion, and any healing that might take place may have a visible beneficial effect. Some would see this compassionate act as service, and some as breaking a law of nature. Similarly, any chosen action, even from excellent motives, may potentially have positive or deleterious consequences in the bigger picture of things, as noone has 20/20 foresight.
Is it best to focus upon personal enlightenment, which in time should bring one into harmony and accord with the universe and entail the development of the necessary faculties and gifts to be of service to humanity(?) - or should one focus primarily upon compassionate devotion to the community of humanity - which in its turn should inculcate the necessary conditions for the attainment of enlightenment? I believe a similar discourse exsists between proponents of Mahayana and Theravadinist Buddhism.
Josephine Cavopol also wrote;
>>"YOu try to separate out the layers of being within a person ( the ego, the
personality, the body, the soul etc etc). In life, in physical manifestation,
they are all of one another: you cannot separate them out in that way"
This is going to sound daft - but exactly what is a person? I don't recall trying to seperate the bits within a person, but that may be how you have interpreted what I wrote. From my perspective the concept of 'person' speaks of all of the temporal / causal things that we recognise as human life - body, ego, personality, I might as well include car and clothes....where exactly does the soul / Self sit in this person? I do not consider the soul / Self to be a part within a person at all. Break the person and you will not find their soul anywhere. I believe that body, mind, clothes and car are outward manifestations of a Self / soul that is completely 'other', and not within the born body at all. Perhaps though, the body is (a dream) within the soul?
>>"Something hits the ego, it will also eventually effect change at a cellular
level. If you effect change at a cellular level, then it will eventually bring
about change in the personality and ego."...
Yes - I agree, it just goes round and round - also known as Karma, - action and all that results from any kind of action. I believe that some modes of magic work with this mechanism.
>>"From that the deeper spirit becomes
Hopefully at some point the 'person' reaches agreement with themselves that it is all just stuff and nonsense, and reaches the realisation that despite, or even because of, all of that stuff going around, the Self / soul is as calm as a mill pond. The deeper Self does not need to be involved at all.
>>"That is what magic, whatever form it takes, is all about."
That is your perspective upon magic, but it is not completely identical to mine, and I would have thought that there are as many perspectives as members on this list. However, despite what we as individuals believe to be true, the nature of our existence is likely to be strikingly similar for all of us.