~ The Art of White Magic ~
What is spiritual creativity? Naturally, there are many answers to this question. The answer that I would like to suggest is that it represents any creative expression that supports the evolution of spirit. Within the Esoteric Philosophy, the urge to create is a fundamental feature inherent in all aspects of creation. Whether discussing the creative potential existing within a human being, or the creative drive found within the ensouling life of an entire solar system, the esoteric tradition maintains that all grades of life are characteristically creative. From the perspective of a human being, this creative urge must be understood as a natural byproduct of living a spiritual life. Spiritual creativity will always emerge when one aspires to live according to divine intention.
In the esoteric tradition, divine creativity is synonymous with the art of white magic. To understand this, it must be stated that we are here referring to the magic of the soul, and not those creative endeavors that are commonly directed by one’s personality. When using the term “white magician”, we are, therefore, referencing the spiritually directed individual who is seeking to consciously create according to divine law. The principles of white magic represent the ancient processes used to create outer forms according to the will and intention of the soul itself. It requires that one reach upward to sense the soul’s creative intention, then find the means to outwardly apply what is sensed. In truth, white magic is the art of translating that which is vertically perceived into that which is horizontally expressed.
In the ancient esoteric texts, we are informed that the soul is in a constant state of meditation throughout the entire duration of incarnate existence. This is an idea often not considered by many spiritually inclined people. Yet, such information is crucial if one is to truly understand the creative process as it is initiated by the soul. The soul meditates, and this as a necessary step in preparation for the magical act. It must be understood that the meditation here discussed is not the meditation that we as individuals often do as a regular spiritual discipline. That too is an important feature of the creative process. However, in this context we are referring to the soul as it meditates on its own plane.
Interestingly, in the esoteric literature we are given a series of fifteen ancient rules for effectively performing white magic. These rules are presented in A Treatise on White Magic, by Alice Bailey. Actually, as one studies these rules it becomes apparent that they are not “rules” in the conventional sense. Perhaps it is more fitting to say that they are aphorisms having revelatory value, in that they contain the key to how to successfully participate in the soul’s creative process. Regrettably, it is not possible to present each of the rules of white magic in the context of this brief article. Even so, reference to a couple of them may well serve the purpose of giving the reader an appreciation of the depths of wisdom that these rules convey. The idea that the soul meditates can be seen in Rule #1. It reads:
“The Solar Angel collects himself, scatters not his force, but in meditation deep, communicates with his reflection.”
In the esoteric tradition, the soul is frequently referred to as the Solar Angel. Here it can be seen that the soul is in “meditation deep”. By so doing it concentrates its forces in order to generate the power necessary for it to “communicate with his reflection”. As you might guess, the reflection here noted is the personality (lower-self) of the individual. This is the first step in the divine creative process. The soul must assert an impression into the waiting mind of the individual. This is by no means an easy task for the soul, for it must assert its impression into a mind that is often clouded with unwholesome thoughtforms. Such soul-inspired impressions are extremely subtle, and are most often lost in the miasma of the many scattered thoughts that engage our minds on a daily basis. This then gives us a greater understanding as to why the soul must concentrate its forces while “in meditation deep”. Simply stated, the soul needs to generate enough energy to project its divine wishes successfully into the darkened pool of non-spiritualized thought.
In the second stage of the creative process the magician begins to build thoughts around the idea that the soul has projected into his/her waiting mind. There are many people who have notable experience with this phase of the process. We have an impression that has come to us, perhaps in a state of contemplative meditation. From that impression we begin to dwell on it and build ideas around it. It is the process of making the divine idea mentally concrete, and therefore more usable. This is an essential feature in the magical process. The challenge is to build these subsidiary thoughts in such a way that they do not unduly distort the original idea sent forth by the soul.
Admittedly, distortion will occur, for it is an inevitability within the creative process. There is always something lost as one attempts to give structure and form to that which is essentially intuitive and without form. Even so, the building of a form around a divine idea is essential if one is to concretely manifest any soul-inspired idea. It really doesn’t matter whether we are trying to express a divine idea in words, in movement or on canvas. Whenever form is used to express something formless, there will always occur a diminishment of the originally sensed idea. The challenge facing the magician is to minimize the degree of diminishment and distortion that occurs when attempting to magically create. Fundamentally, the ancient rules of white magic center around this very issue. How do we divinely create with as little distortion as possible? This is by no means an easy task. But it can be done when one watchfully knows where, within the creative process, distortion is most likely to take hold.
After the mind has built a variety of concrete thoughts around the soul-inspired idea, the next step in the process is to allow the created thoughtform to descend into the magician’s emotional field (astral body). In the magical process, emotion plays a crucial role, for it is through the use of emotion that the descending thoughtform gains the necessary power to ultimately become a tangible reality in the world. It could be rightly said that emotions, when properly utilized, add the necessary vitality and vigor to the spiritually inspired thoughtforms that we hold within us. One need only reflect on personal experience to see the truth in this notion. Do we not find that the ideas we hold with greatest conviction are far more powerful within us than the ideas that we entertain, but with little or no passion? Are we not more able to manifest an idea when we “feel” strongly about that idea? Essentially, the waters of the emotional plane must bathe the soul-inspired thoughtform, thus imbuing it with a sense of emotional conviction.
Yet just as there are difficulties related to building a mental sheath around the soul’s intention, there are perils associated with this step in the creative process as well. Though it is essential to add an emotional flavor to one’s soul-inspired thoughtforms, the amount of emotion to be given is a crucial consideration. This is most noted in Rule 10. It reads, in part:
“As the waters bathe the form created, they are absorbed and used. The form swells and increases in strength; let the magician thus continue until the work suffices.”
As already mentioned, the amount of emotion to be imbued into the idea is important. And when the appropriate measure is correctly determined, the “work suffices”. Yet, when one’s soul-inspired idea is not given enough emotional (water) vitality, it will surely “die of thirst”. For most of us, this is easily witnessed in our personal experience. Frequently we have a good idea but it never comes into being because we fail to add emotional vitality to it.
Conversely, if the thoughtform is given too much emotional charge, then it “drowns” in a torrential flood of watery emotion. This experience most of us know all too well. Frequently we become overly enthusiastic about an inspired idea, then rush forward into a frenzy of activity. The result of this is that we prematurely burnout and thus fail to manifest the idea we so dearly cherish. Unbridled enthusiasm can also add much distortion to our idea because it can result in a loss of perspective. As would-be magicians, we must learn to wisely use our emotions in the creative process. Lack of emotion must give way to emotional conviction toward the idea we seek to externalize. And, equally true, the over-enthusiastic reaction to an idea must be calmed by developing a sense of emotional temperance.
Through the use of the third-eye, the soul is able to precisely discern when and how to outwardly present its ideations to the world. This is the final phase of the magical process. It is a realization that comes in the form of a sudden knowingness as to the application of the magician’s soul-inspired thoughtform, as well as the proper timing of its delivery. The method most appropriate to this process is contemplative meditation. For the results of such meditative work provide the magician with an understanding of right-timing in order to ensure that the thoughtform created will be given a healthy birth into the outer world.
Through contemplative meditation, the magician develops an understanding of the various cycles energetically present in the outer world. He or she will then be able to intuit the magical moment (within such cycles) when the thoughtform must be birthed forth. However, when not wisely considered, the magician will deliver his/her soul-inspired idea into an environment that is unready, and therefore non-receptive. Sadly, the thoughtform is then considered stillborn, for it dies at the moment of its birth. When such occurs, the magical effort comes to naught.
White magic is truly a term synonymous with spiritual creativity Admittedly, it is an art that does not come with ease. It requires much introspective work, and an understanding of the means by which the soul seeks to express itself though its outer garment, the personality. In truth, we who are attempting to walk the spiritual path are not white or black magicians. Rather, we are best described as grey magicians because we are still motivated by both soul and personality objectives. Yet walking Path presupposes that there is a desire within each of us to tip the scales in the direction of the soul, thus gradually lighten the tint of that grey. Essentially, we learn to be more creatively responsive to the inner master, the soul, and less reactive to the independent agenda of the personality. Such is the destiny of every human soul, in this life or another.
© William Meader (revised and updated in 2021)
Biographical Information: William Meader is an author, teacher and counselor. Much of his work is focused on the subjects of Spiritual Creativity, the Evolution of Consciousness and the Art of Meditation. At present he is teaching in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He resides in Oregon, and can be contacted through his website at meader.org.