"Knowledge without use is a vain thing." -The Kybalion
Dear Friends, If you subscribe to these emails, you are likely on a mindful spiritual quest. Many of you probably go to workshops around the world, learning from wise masters and gaining insights that blow open your heart and mind. It took me years to realize that it’s not about the information we take in. It’s about the shift that we facilitate because of it. Information is a key that turns a lock, but it does little good if we don’t open the door and set up housekeeping.
The Law of Use is a crucial part of Hermetic teachings. It states that “Knowledge without Use and Expression is a vain thing, bringing no good to its possessor or humanity. Beware of ‘Mental Miserliness’, and express into Action that which you have learned…he who violates this suffers by reason of his conflict with natural forces.”
We are spiritually responsible for the utilization and sharing of wisdom. If we fail to put into practice what we have learned, it is like hoarding precious metals or money away, thereby blocking the flow for ourselves and others.
In recent years, I’ve added a 'calendar-scheduling' aspect to every process that I teach, whether in person or online, as a concrete way to integrate their esoteric discoveries. The wisdom is passed to students through various means throughout the process, and then they are responsible for bringing it into their everyday lives and sharing it with others. They work with partners to schedule reminders or short activities on a blank calendar page, staying in touch between gatherings to assist each other in accountability. Not everyone actually does this and it’s easy to tell when they don’t. The ones that do it come back the next month and have beautiful stories to tell of epiphanies and transformation. The ones that don’t, usually haven’t changed since we last saw them and they have also forgotten much of the information we covered. They are likely to be always on the lookout for the next workshop or teaching that will finally "transform their lives." I try to remain unattached, but to miss this crucial part of any process is to waste time and resources; theirs and mine.
The Learning Pyramid, compiled by National Training Laboratories, shows that we only retain about 5% of a lecture, 10% of something we read. When we add a discussion group to the dynamic, it jumps to 50% retention. Practice by Doing brings it to 75% and teaching it to others, a whopping 90%.
In my life I utilize Hermetic Principles throughout each day. It has become automatic to identify which Principles are at work for a scenario and how to utilize them to shift and manifest. I’m sure my friends get tired of my comments like…”Great job working the Principle of Polarity at such a high level!” It has taken years to reach this point and, honestly, I don’t know if I would have done it by just taking a course rather than teaching it, but I'd like to think so.
I’ve had students who experience huge light-bulb moments during a weekend workshop, but they go back into the world, living as if they always did before. The knowledge is filed away into the back recesses and never integrates into their living practice. It’s energetically still there and is doing some good, but the percentage of good that it is doing, drops drastically…to maybe 5%?
Of course I want deep change to happen for everyone, but my part of the equation is to deliver the information and hold the space for transformation, whether in a live group or an online process. The rest of the equation is up to the other person. Remember that it’s never our job to change someone else. On the flip side, it is our responsibility alone to evolve our own experiences and we do that through mindfulness, thereby claiming our own power rather than giving it away to the next book we read or the series of workshops we sign up for or blaming our partners or the world for keeping us stuck.
I tell my Hermetic students to “Study the Principles, but practice and share them also.” What difference does it really make? About 90% :)
In Joyful Mindfulness, Raven