The act of Invocation provides you with an easy opportunity to better your relationship with the Tao. It is the method by which the universe will listen to you and communicate with you. It is part of Te referred to in Tao Te.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is an Invocation?
Invocation is the simple repetition of a statement, usually silently to yourself. In other religions, it would be called prayer.
Invocation does have 5 significant differences from prayer:
- Prayer systems generally involve the presence of a divine being that is listening to and interpreting the prayer. Because there is an interpreter, the skill of the person praying is not all that significant. After all, you’re talking with a god (a super being); the super being should be able to figure it out no matter how badly you fumble it.
- In Taoist ritual sects, prayer can be directed toward one of the pantheonic gods of Taoism. However, doing so from the 4 Ascendant Tradition perspective is largely unnecessary. The reason: You are the Tao, a small part of it. When you invoke, you are the Tao invoking the Tao.
- Because of the piece of Tao (or Tao in Tao) relationship, invocation is as much about setting up a relationship with yourself as it is with the Great Tao.
- The Tao is built to manifest invocation according to very specific rules. It does not require a Santa Claus like God to hand out goodies and favors to you. Manifestation is automatic and always follows the structure of the laws of invocation. Knowing those laws is the difference between your invocation being heard and not heard.
- Because invocation is law-based, you can inadvertently invoke the wrong thing. Just like in life, you can say the wrong thing or order the wrong thing. Of course, you can produce harmful results by doing so.
The first great problem of invocation: the dirt of language.
As a piece of the Tao, you are equal to all other pieces of the Tao. This does not mean that you have the same things or that you have the same power as everything else. It means that you have equal standing and access under divine law. What that means outside of Tao tech-speak is this:
Rule: As an equal being, the Tao assumes that you know what you are doing (not that you’ll never make errors), and will give you exactly what you want when you ask for it-no matter how horrible it is.
There are a lot of little things that complicate this rule. One of them is language.
When you start invocation, you will use language and generally repeat a phrase. Language is not the best method for expressing a divine relationship. Language comes from a social mind world, and so is inherently not divine. When you use language, you tap into the memories and experiences you have for those words. Some of these memories are saying exactly what you want said. Some of the memories are connected to your desired meaning, but change the meaning so it’s less clear.
All of those things, both the very clear and the sidetracks, get put into the invocation.
Think of it as using muddy water to make a drink.
No matter how good the formula for the drink is, once you use the muddy water the drink will be tainted. The more scattered or busy your mind is, the muddier the water is, the more horrible the concoction is.
As you get better with invocation, the water gets clearer. You form a better relationship with the Tao part of you. You start to express your invocation with a more complete self.
Of course, you have to make it through this training curve and not invoke yourself a pair of elephant ears by accident. To do that, you start with the invocation of gratitude.