Philosophy is as important to self-development as is spirituality and empirical experience. In the ancient world, the subjects of philosophy, mythology, religion, and even science, were not seen at odds with each other. In fact, they were thought to represent realities analogous to one another, expressions of the same model used in different levels of being.

Through a philosophic understanding of the world—through a synthesizing of the mind with the order of the cosmos—the soul becomes free of its limiting vices; one becomes more rational, their psyche and internal life become more harmonious and conducive to perceiving higher realities. Without philosophy, humanity would be adrift in a sea of subjective thought, experiences, and superstitions, placing opinions and views and borrowed from social convention or habit over logic, reason, and the natural order of the cosmos. Philosophy is a way of being and a way of being in the world. It can be applied to any area of life and be used in any context of reality.

This is not the limit of philosophy either. Much religious thought derives from philosophy. The premise of a single God, or monad, comes from philosophy, as does God in trinitarian form. The concept and nature of the soul and spirit come out of philosophy, as does an understanding of the heavenly spheres, forms of proper virtue, divine intelligence, and unifying the soul with the divine (henosis). Concepts of alchemy, talismans, spiritual beings, and the power of art to elevate the soul through beauty have cognates or origins in philosophy as well.

Digging deep into the Western Mysteries, one learns that many forms of mystic thought have roots reflected in ancient philosophy through the likes of Plato, Pythagoras, Artistotle, the Stoics, and others. Practices of theurgy are widely discussed in ancient philosophy. Because of the critical influence of philosophy over the centuries, these thinkers should be considered as common ancestors to the diverse mystic traditions reaching us today including Christianity, mystic Judaism (Kabbalah), Sufism, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, and the pagan traditions.

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