Epiousios approaches some of the most basic questions about initiation and the Elect. For example the question of how and why does someone find their way to something like the Temple of Set? Epiousios works with Runa, guiding us to the Path. It is how Set seeks his Elect.
Imagine watering your lawn with a garden hose – the stream leaves the spout strong and unified; but the further it gets it disperses and spreads out. Leaving droplets on grass and leaves, some of the water then sinks into the earth. Different forms of organic life react to it differently – they all need water but in different amounts and have different methods of absorbing it. Now imagine a similar stream from a great cosmic garden hose. As the stream moves through the Cosmoses, and eventually over the surface of Planet Earth, there is a gradual dispersal such as you might see with any other stream. Not all forms of organic life happen to be in the right place at the right time where the droplets are falling, and different forms of organic life have different reactions to it and different ways of integrating with it. Many are in the right place but unable to receive, or can receive only certain filtered aspects. Those that are in the right place and able receive – that is awake and prepared to receive – can begin to make efforts for attracting and receiving more in the future. And then certain locations – for instance our Solar System and Planet Earth – seem to be in the center of the stream. A similar cosmic pattern is reflected in the Parable of the Sower in the Synoptic Gospels.
There seems to be intention and purpose behind this stream – as though there were a gardener guiding the hose. Epiousios manifests for us in the form of impressions that are derived from a higher source (the gardener). Initially in profane life we may find these droplets dispersed in various forms of impressions, for example art, music, literature or architecture which seems to bear some higher frequency, purpose, or sense of the sacred than do other sorts of art, music or literature and so forth. In most cases if studied far enough it will be found that such manifestations were themselves ultimately derived/created by previous generations of initiates working with the Supersubstantial.
Certain events will conspire, often by means of of shocks, to create within us the right kind of open state to be able to receive the Supersubstantial. These droplets congeal and Remanifest within us, taking on a magnetic quality. Gurdjieff referred to this as Magnetic Center, and you can find obscure references to this process in other ‘lost’ systems, like Tibetan Buddhism where it is claimed special new bones are formed in the bodies of Saints as a result of their earthly initiation, or in Vedanta where there is an idea of different ‘bodies’ being developed within being through initiatory processes, bodies which then allow us to see and move in new ways. In any case, the accumulation of Epiousios within our being over time eventually may grow to a certain point that it connects with the force called Runa and becomes an attractor for yet more Supersubstantial elements and experiences; it begins to lead us somewhere. Or perhaps something within us grows to the point that Runa begins to pull it in a certain direction; we fall into the orbit of something greater than ourselves.
Initially this magnetic draw may lead us to certain other people – individuals, who share a common interest in those same apparent influences of music, art, or literature. This step along the way can be quite exhilarating as we make connections with others who share values not embraced by the mainstream. But if we continue in this manner; that is continue to find opportunities to open ourselves to receiving higher influences, we will soon see that this is only an intermediary step and that there is far more that is needed. Ultimately the magnetic pull – the force of Runa – is drawing us toward the source, which varying somewhat with time and place means an initiatory school or esoteric circle of some sort; a place where ideas about personal psyche-centric evolution are studied. For 21st century Westerners it mostly means the Temple of Set. In the past it could have meant an Ancient Egyptian Priesthood, a Gnostic School, or Pythagorean Academy. This is one reason why you see certain recurring ideas and patterns in such circles; for instance the idea of sacred guardianship, and the clear indication that there is something substantial that requires guarding and cultivation. Such a place constitutes the source of Epiousios. Now that same energy that had previously been accumulated in bits and pieces through various esoteric influences, may now be experienced directly.
The Temple of Set in this sense is a place where Epiousios is intentionally accumulated, gathered, and cultivated. Epiousios is the life’s blood of an Initiatory school. Here one has the opportunity to work with the Supersubstantial directly and in a far more accelerated and intensive manner than one possibly can in profane culture or by working alone. There are a number of reasons for this; one is the synergy and exponentially multiplied magnetism created by numerous people working together with a common aim, like a grand symphony. It is very important that one understands the difference in the quality of energy received in an Esoteric Circle via ‘direct’ Epiousios as compared to the quality of energy that one receives outside of an Esoteric Circle via ‘indirect’ Epiousios. Within the Circle it is received directly – from and in the presence of other Initiates. Outside the Circle it is received only by intermediate vehicles – again like literature, arts, or music – which you might say carry a certain residue.
The other reason work is accelerated in an Esoteric Circle has to do with the sort of state one needs to be in to be able to work with Epiousios, and to be able to receive these higher influences – that is, an open state. To those unfamiliar with these sorts of ideas, an “open state” may seem abstract; they may not understand, or understand only in terms of their own experience which is of a profane nature and can result only in an incomplete understanding. But within the right kind of school one can learn what it means to be open, and practice doing so in a safe environment. Even if one is able to achieve an open state in the profane world whether by effort or accident, it will be of no use if not in the right context; that is, a context where Supersubstantial influences are present. Additionally it must be a safe context, meaning there are no nefarious or exploitive forces or individuals around. Again, a legitimate Esoteric School will have a sense of sacred guardianship, and make certain efforts to keep the initiatory environment clear of such influences.
The importance of having a safe place for working with the idea of openness cannot be overemphasized. Being in an open state allows you to receive the Supersubstantial, but also can leave you susceptible to unethical, exploitive, even criminal intentions. There are many charlatans and crooks out there who know this, and this is not only a reason to exercise caution in your searches, but also a reason why initiatory schools are needed – they provide a ‘safe zone’ for openness. These then are two important functions of the Temple of Set,
- To act as a repository or well for Epiousios
- To provide safe conditions for working with Epiousios
Once one has found their way to The Temple, a variety of techniques for cultivating receptivity can be explored – meditation, ceremonial magic, discussion groups and so forth. Most if not all of these techniques and practices facilitate some level of exchange between initiates, which means exchange of the Supersubstantial. To this end, the Priesthood of Set bears a tremendous responsibility in maintaining safe conditions for the Temple of Set, so that openness is encouraged. Thus might the Temple remain an effective well-spring of Epiousios.