This is the second installment in a multi-part series exploring a unique and powerful approach to entering the Merciless Pathways of the Dark Goddess:
“The magician must seek more and more the reality of his own unity of consciousness.” – Michael Bertiaux
“The many thoughts, ideas, notions, and abstractions, as beings flowing in the mind, become one mental unity, one thought, and that thought begins to think about that one thought, and then it finds itself thinking about itself. This is how the magician becomes the God.” – Michael Bertiaux
“Develop a mind which rests on no thing whatsoever.”- Diamond Sutra
Before we discuss the opening of doorways , we must address the concept of preparation. The mind must be prepared prior to approaching the shadowy pathways of the Nightside Goddesses. This is why the study of Advaita Vedanta and the esoteric practice of Atma Vichara or “Self-Inquiry” play such a crucial role in the trafficking with trans-mundane intelligences.
The philosophical system of Advaita Vedanta slowly prepares the aspirant to develop an awareness which does not solely depend upon the conditioned Ego for support. If this does not occur, all experiences will be filtered by the mundane perspective of the paranoid Ego. Any idea or any intelligence which is threatening to the Ego will be labeled as “dark” or “frightening”.
Deeper States of Being
Unfortunately this mislabeling is all too common in the Western spiritual environment and is even found within Western occult movements. Through the study of the non-dualistic system of Advaita Vedanta, the aspirant starts to draw consciousness away from external stimulation and return to deeper states of being.
All external experiences rest upon a dualistic phenomenological state of perception and the consciousness must be drawn away from this type of thinking if one wishes to open deeper perceptual doorways or communicate with the darker intelligences of the Goddess. The waking state of consciousness or Jagrat is the perceptual environment of the dualistic conditioned material world. This type of thinking cannot function in the Nightside.
Advaita Vedanta seeks to draw the aspirant’s mind way from waking conscious, even away from the dream level, to reach a state beyond mundane perceptions; the mind literally comes to rest on “no thing.” As a result, one can examine and approach various levels of being and intelligences without the filter of the Ego.
This is one of the key preliminary practices of Tantra as it serves to create a state of fearlessness in the aspirant. All decisions made by or colored by the Ego are reactionary and fear based.
Advaita destroys all fear in the fire of awareness. This fire of awareness is fueled by the ultimate fire Kundalini. By the dedicated study of Advaita Vedanta, a deep perceptual fire is kindled which is but a spark from the ultimate fire of the Kundalini Goddess.
Yet only a resonance is struck by study alone. Study of and by itself is powerless in many aspects unless it is empowered by a tradition or current fueled by Gnostic power. In the words of Huang Po, “ ‘Studying the Way’ is just a figure of speech. It is a method of arousing people’s interest in the early stages of their development.” These types of statements are often touted as a reason not to study or as an argument against intellectual development. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no room for sloth or simplistic thinking on the path to the Dark Goddess.
Lost in a World of Ghost and Shadows
Egoistic thinking will often refrain from and demonize intellectual pursuits such as Advaita as the Ego senses its immanent loss of control and will avoid this at all costs. This is also how the Ego will react if one traverses the Nightside path without proper preparation. One will be lost in a world of ghost and shadows. If one is lucky and returns, then the Nightside is seen as evil and dangerous and its paths are called forbidden. However if these paths are traversed in deeper states of consciousness, an entirely different landscape is revealed.
Perhaps the most mystical method used in Advaita Vedanta is the technique of Self-Inquiry or Atma Vichara. This was the main method used by Ramana Maharisi, perhaps the most revered of all Vedantic teachers. Beguilingly simple in method, Atma Vichara is the most puissant technique for dissolving egoistic thinking and perception. It consists of tracing the “I- thought” back to the deepest source of existence. The mantra “Who Am I?” is used to question every perception presented to the aspirant’s mind.
Behind each thought and each perception lays a ground of experience. Who or what is this ground of being which experiences the thoughts? One must ask “Who Am I” at each moment of thought until the thought itself dissolves as clouds dissolve in the sky.
A Virus Once Ingested
The mantra “Who Am I” serves as a virus which once “ingested” will slowly and methodically dissolve all dualistic perceptions on all levels of being. It can escape all “virus protection” of the Ego due to its subtlety and simplicity. It is able to enter all levels of the mind: Conscious, Superconscious, Subconscious, and Unconscious.
Many expecting “secrets” and instant enlightenment turn away from the method of Atma Vichara. Without proper perspective, it appears impotent in power. But to the aspirant who is prepared, the mantra “Who Am I” serves as an incendiary catalyst to the melting of the Egoic grip and acts as a Gnostic key to deeper dimensions of perception and communication.
Pathways to the Dark Goddess
Ramana Maharishi himself stated that this method, although the most effective and powerful, was not suited to all temperaments. Many seekers will have to pursue deeper intellectual study or use preparatory techniques of Yoga such as pranayama, pratyahara, and mantra vidya before the mystical method of Atma Vichara would yield its bittersweet fruit.
The pathways to the Dark Goddess are not linear nor are the methods used to travel Her roads. In our next post we will begin to explore these methods and roads in greater detail, and introduce the reader to trans-mundane intelligences whose sacred names strike a chilling and ominous chord for those who know them – the dark trinity of Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, and Dhumavati.