Chapter 7

The Ninth Key

Mysticism teaches that there are a variety of methods, a technique, really, for every person.
These can be divided into general categories.
Silent meditation would be one of these.
Chanting another, and ecstatic motion still another.

What do these different techniques do? 
They access different aspects of the divine.
The divine is everywhere, in all things.
It exists in every phenomenon, and every energy.
When you practice a particular technique you are tapping into a certain energy.

The Bhagavad Gita teaches that there are eight such energies.
This is not to say that this is all there is, it is merely one way to consider the situation.
It is a metaphysic, one particular way of organizing reality, but itself no more inherently real than any other filing system.

The first four energies are earth, air, water and fire.
These are the four elements.
Of these, the first three are accessible to absolutely everyone.
Earth is the energy of physical matter.
Science has today understood that even physical matter is itself energy, it is just energy that moves very slowly.
When you practice physical techniques you will access this energy, the energy of the body, of nature, of the earth.

The second is air, the energy of the mind.
This is an energy that most people have great amounts of, but it is out of control.
Whenever you practice a yoga, a technique of mental discipline, you are redirecting this mental energy, toward transformation.

The third is water, the energy of the heart, of feeling. 
When you connect to your emotion, to your feelings, you can tap into this energy.

Fire is the last of these four. 
It is an energy that almost anyone can reach, but not all.
You must have developed some sense of longing, a spiritual desire.
There are many people in the world who are completely asleep, they have this not at all.
This key is then unavailable.
Even without being a mystic, you may have this longing and it can give you the energy to commit great acts.

Beyond the realm of the elements there is the energy of the ether, the mind, awareness, and ego.
They are accessible only to the mystics.
The ether is the first of these, it is the energy of the astral plane, through which one can gain a deeper vision of the real.
It is your deeper material senses.

The mind is the next level.
This is the pure mind, a state that eastern mystics often refer to.
When you have completely focused the energy of the mind, of air, you will suddenly tap into an entirely new source of knowing.
You will be aware of that which your conscious mind would never have believed itself capable of knowing.
You will gain the knowing that is beyond learning.

Awareness is the next of these.
It is the energy of the flow, of moving naturally.
With it you can develop empathy, the ability to truly see the hearts of others.

Finally, there is the ego.
It is the great barrier to consciousness, but when it is overcome, you can use its energy toward the divine, rather than as an impediment of the divine.
The ego is your mask, your false persona.
But when you have understood that you are beyond it, you may then don or drop it as you will.
You may assume all personae, and be the fullness of what it is to be human, you can put on any mask and be anything.

These are the eight energetic keys.
But there is a final one, a ninth key that lies beyond.
It is enlightenment.

It is the divine itself.
It is life.
When you can reach this key, you become a Buddha.