The following is an excerpt from the Madame’s Blavatsky article called “Practical Occultism”. The excerpt consists of some of her advises in regards to spiritual advancement, such as strengthening will, praying, dealing with desires, and so on. It is aimed at larger audience, particularly those who are not very acquainted with deeper forms of development, so the advices may seem as precepts rather than guidance, however some of them are well elaborated. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, also known as Madame Blavatsky, was a famous figure of the 19th century in the occult and esoteric circles, and was one of the founders and key figures in Theosophical Society – an international organization that played a huge role in promoting esoteric subjects to the world in the 19th century. The article “Practical occultism” is lengthy and gives some food for thought, but the excerpt I am including in this post is the heart of the practicality of that article. It goes like this:
“Rise early, as soon as you are awake, without lying idly in bed, half-waking and half-dreaming. Then earnestly pray that all mankind may be spiritually regenerated, that those who are struggling on the path of truth may be encouraged by your prayers and work more earnestly and successfully, and that you may be strengthened and not yield to the seductions of the senses. Picture before your mind the form of your Master as engaged in Samadhi, fix it before you, fill in all the details, think of him with reverence, and pray that all mistakes of omission and commission may be forgiven. This will greatly facilitate concentration, purify your heart, and do much more.
Or reflect upon the defects of your character: thoroughly realise their evils and the transient pleasures they give you, and firmly will that you shall try your best not to yield to them the next time. This self-analysis and bringing yourself before the bar of your own conscience facilitates, in a degree hitherto undreamt of, your spiritual progress.
When you bathe, exercise during the whole time your will, that your moral impurities should be washed away with those of your body.
In your relations with others observe the following rules:
1.Never do anything which you are not bound to do as your duty; that is, any unnecessary thing. Before you do a thing, think whether it is your duty to do it.
2.Never speak an unnecessary word. Think of the effects your words might produce before you give utterance to them. Never allow yourself to violate your principles by the force of your company.
3.Never allow any unnecessary or vain thought to occupy your mind. This is more easily said than done. You cannot make your mind a blank all at once. So in the beginning try to prevent evil or idle thoughts by occupying your mind with the analysis of your own faults, or the contemplation of the Perfect Ones.
4.During meals exercise your will, that your food should be properly digested and build for you a body in harmony with your spiritual aspirations, and not create evil passion and wicked thoughts.
5. Eat only when you are hungry and drink when you are thirsty, and never otherwise. If some particular preparation attracts your palate, do not allow yourself to be seduced into taking it simply to gratify that craving. Remember that the pleasure you derive from it had no existence some seconds before, and that it will cease to exist some seconds afterwards; that it is a transient pleasure, that that which is a pleasure now will turn into pain if you take it in large quantities; that it gives pleasure only to the tongue; that if you are put to a great trouble to get that thing, and if you allow yourself to be seduced by it, you will not be ashamed at any thing to get it ; that while there is another object that can give you eternal bliss, this centering your affections on a transient thing is sheer folly; that you are neither the body nor the sense, and therefore the pleasure and the pains which these endure can never affect you really, and so on.
Practise the same train of reasoning in the case of every other temptation, and, though you will often fail, yet you will achieve a surer success.
Do not read much. If you read for ten minutes, reflect for as many hours. Habituate yourself to solitude, and to remaining alone with your thoughts.
Accustom yourself to the thought that no one beside yourself can assist you, and wean away your affections from all things gradually. Before you sleep, pray as you did in the morning. Review the actions of the day, and see wherein you have failed, and resolve that you will not fail in them tomorrow.”