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EPILOGUE

In his own epilogue to IIH, Bardon states: "Occult abilities are mere side effects; you could consider them a compass for spiritual development, designated for noble purposes only, and as aids to your fellow man; that is why they are reserved only for the true magician." Many people have the impression that a highly advanced magician will, by necessity, be constantly practicing the magical abilities that they have acquired. But this is not always the case. Just because you possess the ability to accomplish something, does not mean that you must do so. With initiation, the acquiring of magical abilities is not the point -- the point is to learn them as a path to higher achievements. An interesting, rather ironic, part of the Mystery is that the attainment of great magical powers (and here I do not refer to mundane powers which are usually abused by those who possess them) renders the magician uninterested in needlessly altering the universe. As the magician passes a certain point in their ascent, she or he may actually initiate fewer and fewer mundane magical actions.

The goal of Hermetic initiation is essentially spiritual, but the path to that goal involves the acquiring of many mundane abilities. Without learning those abilities and going through the transformations that their learning brings to the initiate, the ascent would halt at a very low level.

I would hope, through my many remarks that you have so patiently read, to convey to you the manner in which the sincere student must consider the attainment of the many, seemingly glamorous, magical abilities that Bardon describes throughout IIH. These are not the goals to strive for -- they are only interesting scenery along The Way.

One can spend decades or lifetimes, learning abilities that will greatly impress others, but in doing so one will only be delaying their ultimate realization. This is the Long Way. The Short Way is found when one does not become too involved in (attached to) the magical trickery and instead focuses upon the ultimate goal. There is no less achievement in this Short Way -- rather, the achievement is greater, sooner. This is The Way that Bardon directs the sincere student toward in IIH.