First published in Mystic World, May 1931

SILENCE -The Lightning Path
By C. F. Russell

A CHAPTER of a textbook on Magick is headed, "Of Silence and Secrecy: and of the Barbarous Names of Evocation." One looks in vain for anything pertinent to the first half of this title. Without any preliminaries, the author goes on to discuss the second topic. There is not a word to elaborate the first. Elbert Hubbard's famous essay on Silence is another attempt to teach this valuable lesson of silence. Opening the book, the readers finds nothing but blank pages. As everyone knows, silence is the fourth power of the Sphinx.

Perusing the numerous volumes written on Mysticism, Magick, and Hermetic sciences, one is strongly impressed with the fact that the majority of initiates and teachers do not know how to keep silence. More frequently than not, their pages simply drip with hints, suggestions, and allusions to secrets which they and a few privileged adepts know but do not care to divulge to the lay public. One realizes that it is impossible to produce a worthwhile thesis on occult phenomena and methods unless attention is drawn to symbols and processes, the full meaning and nature of which it would not be advisable to disclose too plainly. Nevertheless, since a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing, very often the safest policy is to speak right out and to leave the results of one's candor in the hands of those guardians appointed by authority to watch and to ward the sanctuary.

Vanity and pride are habits that must be overcome by the adept who would learn to keep silence. The emotion connected with these habits is the specific expression of the ego. The real master has destroyed his ego and is therefore conspicuous in his manifestation through the absence of this emotion with its concomitant signs and indications. The black brothers are just the opposite; they are incomplete masters, not having conquered the Demon of the Abyss whose chief peculiarity is that he can never keep silence.

The great philosopher Berkeley considered it a marvel that any thinking individual could contemplate seriously the wonder and beauty of the universe without being immediately aware of the presence of its creator. I suggest that the reader meditate upon these remarkable characteristics of divinity, namely, that God does not boast, or make any insinuations that can reach the ears of either the unworthy or the worthy. He knows how to keep silence, and He does keep silence. Contemplation of this sublime truth should convince the earnest seeker after enlightenment that the exercise of the fourth power of the Sphinx is actually the quickest, easiest, and best way to accomplish the great work, that is, union with God.

One can use this power to achieve other things. One can enter the silence during any act or ritual using one’s own performance as a talisman to produce some desired end. Entering the silence means to absolutely forget the result you desire to obtain. Silence is a positive attitude. It arises through concentration on the feeling of assurance, or sureness. If you are about to do something concerning which you can make no mistake, you will have a feeling of confidence, certainty, which, in some cases, can approach to joy. This is the real significance of what is termed Ekagrata or onepointedness. This does not mean that your aim or object must be a single thing, but rather that there is nothing whatever to separate the idea from its execution. It is the reality of that entity termed volition which always unites the intention with the movement which fulfils it. Strive through meditation to isolate and identify what takes place at the moment of the birth of any activity, whether a thought or a physical movement, and you will learn how to attain Ekagrata — the key to Samadhi.

Whatever works well works without attention. For example, you say to yourself: I will typewrite this letter in order to obtain means to build my house. Then you proceed to typewrite the letter, not once thinking of your original affirmation. If you can do that you will find that the typewriting of the letter has actually generated in you the force to solve your original problem. Here is the secret. Your act and your thought have become one, in time, simultaneous. Two planes manifest, or symbolize, the same identical idea or spirit. This constitutes a marriage and harmony, or what is called an act of truth or silence.

You can arouse the state of mind proper to an act of silence by concentrating on an image of yourself equal to the actual fact. Thus, if you are typewriting, imagine yourself as just where you are typewriting. Transfer your consciousness completely to your imagined figure, which coincides in time and space with the actuality. Forget the actuality and identify yourself in consciousness with the image. If you do this correctly you will be insensible to any pain or other sensation which accompanies the actuality and you will be astonished with the result.

You can increase the enthusiasm which comes through this practice by uniting the thought and its materialization in a sort of dance by speaking and willing at the same time, bearing in mind what you are doing on every possible plane of being.

Another aid is to make dynamic the idea of instrumentation. For example, while copying a manuscript you let the words, letter by letter, pass through your mind, into and through your fingers and the keys of the typewriter, or the stalk of the pen or pencil, out upon the paper. Concentration and drill make this a wonderful exercise.

While you are silent your true will is being accomplished. Those ideas which are uppermost and dominate your mental atmosphere are harmonized and blended together while you forget them. "The voice of the soul in its nature eternal and unchangeable, comprehending all, is silence. The voice of the soul dynamic in the way of its will, is song."

This method can also be used to awaken the Kundalini. One of my pupils while writing a short note, using this method of concentration, experienced such a burning sensation at the base of his spine, that he had to pause, being afraid, in order to relieve it.

During any true magical ceremony one forgets the purpose of the ceremony and the process of invocation or evocation and becomes automatic, independent of the conscious will, just like the operation of breathing. You can often energize your enthusiasm, at times, merely by sneezing for a definite purpose. One way to do it is to think of what you want just before you are ready to sneeze and forget it entirely while sneezing. Another way is to hold on to your desire in a formless state during the act. Another useful scheme is to concentrate so intensely on your desire that you forget you are sneezing!

You can take an act or function, something that is easily forgotten, like pulsation, and consecrate it to do something for you. When an act becomes automatic the conscious and the subconscious are connected at that point and become one. Some part of you is always in the silence, and may be employed as a spell to acquire or to generate the power to do what you will. This is the goal of Karma Yoga.

The way of Tao is to let the mind do its own thinking; the body its own acting. This way is linked with the final perfection of the Sphinx. But aside from this there is a phase of extremely practical magic', which is suggested by the phrase in Liber Legis — "always unto me!" An act in the silence (an act of which you are quite unaware) is always "unto Nuith," because everything which increases the power, health, or sanity of a person brings them that much nearer to "Nuith" — to the consciousness of the continuity of existence and the omnipresence of Her Body.

The best acts to choose from are those which are of art, such as song, or the dance or analogous operations. First, declare your will and manifest it in some sign. Make a mental picture of what you wish to become, or the desired event, or make a statement as a fact of what you propose to do. Affirm it and assert it as true. Concentrate upon it to the absolute exclusion of everything else. Banish everything else from your mind. Remember that thoughts and things are not made, but are born of the marriage of two other thoughts or things. This is the secret of working with the subconscious, either for bringing up an idea from the hidden wisdom within you, or for generating an event from the subconsciousness of the world. Christian Scientists have a part of this formula, which accounts for their occasional success. Now that which you have formulated will come to pass, or will bring about the chosen event, when you enter the silence. Remember that the only thing that ever keeps any idea from being immediately executed the moment it arises in your consciousness is the inhibition of your other ideas. The moment you have achieved the formulation described – and forgotten it, it begins to function. The sooner you recall your archetype the more immature will be your results. Leave it alone. Forgetting also must become automatic. If you make both your act and the design silent you will generate double the force. The symbol or purpose of the operation is in the silence (with God); you are unaware of your act, whatever it may be, so that is also in the silence. In reality they become united.

Rituals, in dramatic form, work by this species of magic to convey a truth to the mind of the watchers and likewise the actors. The best drama will be the one which conveys the Truth of the Cosmic Sacrament. The best way to do this is to use the whole Universe in the Play. That is easier than it sounds. The Tales of the Round Table give fertile and pertinent examples. For instance, read about Merlin and Vivian.

The above formula can also be adapted to what is termed the formula of transmutation. Take your purpose and incarnate it —– make it concrete. Change its plane from the concrete to the intangible or abstract but keep your firm hold on it. Make it formless but do not loosen your grip. This is like thinking of an idea but refusing to let it formulate in words. Now perform some act which has a natural climax, such as diving. At the instant of the climax bring up your idea with a splash, if you are diving! A thought held in this manner becomes a center of attraction, gathering all kindred thoughts with which it has a link. When it is released it drags along with itself into your consciousness a host of new ideas worked into harmonious and intelligible fabric.

There is another adaptation called the Formula of Invisibility and of Consecration. All things exist — but there is a certain reality that depends solely upon communication and intercourse, use and experience. In order for a thing to be real for you, you must have with it some common point of contact, a magical link. Everything which communicates with your consciousness constitutes a practical dealing of God (reality) with your soul, and you can so interpret it. The union between your own soul and that of the Second Person of the Trinity is intimate and profound, but it depends upon your own will and character that it should continue. Before man was driven from the Garden of Eden, the sex functions were united in one body which was androgynous.