Friday, April 04, 2008


When I first heard the word "invocation", I thought of people in dark robes, standing around a circle, chanting and making strange gestures… scenes from an old horror movie or (in my case) a Mexican comic book. The basic real parameters were all there: the formation of a circle, the intensification of energy and effort through the presence and attention of many, the use of sound, image, voice and emotion, and the calling forth of a greater being from beyond the apparent collective reality. But the particular details were, and are, unnecessary.
A particular way of dressing, a particular vocalization, a particular technique or movement, a particular general tradition, a set of dogmas and beliefs… these are all elements in various invocations, but none of them define what an invocation is, none of them predetermine how to recognize when an invocation is happening or, much less, how to purposefully bring one to Life. As with all language, the word can be useful if utilized clearly, but it can also cloud our vision with prejudices, preconceived ideas and images, child-like fears and hopes, and extraneous connotations and implications that may seem incidental to the definition but can ultimately define or even completely curtail the possibility of an actual experience.
The map is not the territory but the map can definitely limit the territory that we are able to travel. If we restrict ourselves to following the map, then, for all intents and purposes, the map becomes the territory and the rest, the raw untouched chaotic oceanic reality, will remain unknown.
And so, my particular prejudices, ideas, connotations and images about the word "invocation" would limit my possibility of participating in and actually staging a real Invocation.
One strategy to deal with this situation is to banish the most charged words from our vocabulary ("god", "spiritual", "moral", "heaven", "meditation", "yoga", etc.) – all the words that have been used too much, have been burdened with so much extra baggage, so many other implications and intense emotional charges, that far from being useful, they become a great obstacle in the path of any true Searcher. In this case, we would have to start from scratch and redefine the Universe using completely new language (or language that has been deeply modified) to arrive at a completely new map. This can be very powerful and it is very highly recommended.
Another strategy is to re-imprint the old word through new experience. If we have an experience that is powerful enough, full of blinding hot radiating Reality, then it may burn away the baggage of the old word and leave it fresh and clean and ready to be used as new. Once I experienced a Real Invocation, and attached the old, used, stained word "invocation" to that experience, the word became new, powerful and recharged. Additionally, I was able to recognize that I had experienced other lesser invocations in my life but I had not recognized them as such. I hadn’t seen them as invocations precisely because they did not fit with my intellectual idea, my imaginary construct, of what an Invocation was.
There can be no substitute for experience.
You may read about these things. You may study carefully, imagine, conjecture, philosophize, theorize, make diagrams in your mind and come to tentative conclusions. You may do this for years and it won’t get you any closer to understanding the true nature of an Invocation. But one single flash of direct real experience with one Real Invocation will bring it, burning and crackling with electrical fire, speeding to the core of your innermost Being.
When such an opportunity comes, may your heart be open enough to receive it and may your eyes be open enough to recognize its true nature.

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