“Teach and practice, practice and teach – that is all we have; that is all we are good for; that is all we ever ought to do.” –Ernest Holmes
When I started to study metaphysics, it seemed so complicated. I loved the idea of the Hermetic Laws, but there were so many that I sometimes felt dizzy. (Law of Circulation, Law of Attraction, Law of Correspondence, oh my!) I read piles of texts by dozens of authors and learned hundreds of terms, sure that “the answer” would be in the next book I cracked. I took class upon class, wrote papers and created projects to demonstrate my understanding of the material. I loved every minute of it, but I began to notice something interesting. Every book, every class, every workshop – they all said the same thing. They each said it in a unique, beautiful way, but the message was always the same. “Practice,” each author told me. “Pray and meditate,” said every teacher. “Daily spiritual practice is the answer,” murmured every sage.
The truth is that I could have stopped at the very first book. At 17 years old, I read Marianne Williamson’s “A Return to Love”. I went looking for more wisdom, for deeper truths, but the absolute facts were right there on the page. Start every day with prayer. Tackle every problem on the energetic level. Develop a spiritual practice and hone my discipline. Ernest Holmes told us to “practice and teach” as the entirety of our jobs as metaphysicians. It really is that simple. Practice: prayer, meditation, affirmation, visioning. And what do we teach? We teach about practice. We teach how to pray, ways to meditate, the arts of affirmation and visioning. We demonstrate why those practices matter, and inspire our students in their discipline. We talk and sing, counsel and console – all wonderful ways to teach. And everything we teach is practice. It’s the only thing that we are good for. It’s all we ever ought do.