“True occult and Theosophical books ought to be prayers and poems; calculated to lift the heart and the mind of the reader up to the highest regions of thought, and aiding him to descend into the innermost sanctuary of his own being; so that he may become able to open the senses of his interior perception and grasp himself those divine ideals which are beyond the understanding of the semi-animal intellect; for spiritual truth cannot be brought down to that level; it requires, for its recognition, the rising up of the spirit to its own plane. Neither can and may reveal to another the light, if the light does not reveal its presence to the investigator. All that a book can do is to aid the reader in opening his own eyes.” ~Franz Hartmann
Author: Harold Boulette
Mystical and Spiritual Books
Books on the occult, the mystical, and the spiritual can help one who wants to know the history of such organizations, but in general, they will do next to nothing toward making you more spiritual. You don’t become wealthy by reading books written by wealthy people, and you don’t become spiritual by reading books written by spiritual people.
On the other hand, there are books about wealth that attempt to teach you how to gain wealth yourself. Those books can help if you follow the instructions in them. Likewise, books that attempt to teach you how to awaken the spiritual faculties within yourself are very useful, but only if you follow up by practicing the techniques found in them. Books that simply tell you pleasant tales that make you feel good, such as the very popular “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, do little to raise your spiritual awareness (there is nothing wrong with reading such books, just be aware that they are not making you spiritual).
Another thing to be aware of is that even the best spiritual books and mystical books are intentionally incomplete. None of these books teach a complete path to enlightenment. They are intended as a starting point, a way to get onto the right path. The more advance teachings are rarely put into writing, and when they are, they are in books limited in distribution to members of those advanced spiritual schools that teach such things.
The point Mr. Hartmann is making is that spiritual books alone, no matter how well written, or how spiritual the author may be, never provide a complete answer; they can only point you in the right direction. It is up to you to take the basic instructions and follow them to help awaken those dormant spiritual faculties that sleep within. One thing that needs to be clarifies is this idea that one needs to go within to find the spiritual. To a certain degree that is true because the first thing we have to do is change ourselves: the way we think, what we believe, what we accept as truth. But it needs to be clear that we also need to look outside of us or we will never find that spiritual truth. Mr. Hartmann doesn’t say that in the quoted text, but he hints at it when he says that spiritual truth cannot be brought down to the level of the brain-mind, the “semi-animal intellect” as he calls it. So just as the old saying about going to the mountain if the mountain won’t come to you, you cannot expect the spiritual beings to descend to your level, you must rise up toward them. Some things like prayers and poems can help do that, Even more music and chants, burning incense, Beyond those basic methods, one needs to join a spiritual school to learn more advanced techniques.
This post was previously published on the Solar Wind spiritual blog.