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Holy Contemplation

Another practice promulgated by Ignatius draws on the power of human imagination, inviting God to speak to the aspirant through the evocative story-telling found in the Gospels. In this adaptation, the Thelemic holy books are used. Any passage that arouses one’s sensory imagination will do, but frequent sources include The Heart Girt with the Serpent, The Emancipated, The Vision and the Voice, and The Book of the Law for their powerful, detailed imagery. Passages that involve conversations or interactions between figures are especially well suited.

  1. Having selected a passage, take a moment to breathe and reflect on the sacred source of the scripture and the Prophet 666 who delivered it into the world.
  2. Read the passage several times, taking note of the scenery, the figures involved, changes to the scene as the parable progresses.
  3. With the passage fresh in your mind, withdraw your senses from your immediate surroundings. Close your eyes if that helps. Find your senses, including your discursive sense, now part of the scene. For all the detail in the text of these passages, there is much left to the imagination. What do their voices sound like? What scents fill the air? Is the pace fast or languid? How close or far apart are the figures? Are there other people there who aren’t expressly mentioned?
  4. Place yourself directly into the scene as it plays out. Try on different roles as seems fit, being perhaps a fly on the wall, or taking on the consciousness of one of the figures, or even inserting a new figure into the narrative. Does anything change depending on the perspective? Use this opportunity to speak directly to the other figures, inquiring, praising, challenging, or petitioning as you feel called.
  5. As the scene brings itself to an end, sit quietly for a time and absorb new sensations that may have arisen. Close with the nepios prayer.