If you believe you exist because of what you do, then every moment you are unrealized.
Buddhism is very theurgic (although without the God) with their focus on Nirvana and other gifts in the practice are secondary. Yes, and theurgy is just the pursuit of an acknowledged divine or spiritual work. It doesn’t require a deity for a focus in an absolute sense. In fact, Brahminical spirituality had elements of non-theological theurgy as well. Most of what we know of eastern asceticism is Indian theurgy having nothing to do with the teachings or veneration of Gods in a direct sense.
Some schools of Christianity might consider theurgy as being blasphemous. The idea that you can become like God. Indeed. Some believe that the only acceptable theurgy is ordination into the apostolic lineage, and that lay people can only receive the benefits of divine wisdom though the churches intervention.
Maybe that’s why religious people hate magic, because it is seen as stealing power instead of asking for it. The other part is the magical attitude that cosmic powers can be understood as something other than a divine mystery or getting power from beings other than God. That is part of it.
Now there is another methodological difference between magic and theurgy. In theurgy, the creative process is seen sort of like a recipe, and to alter the recipe is to sour the finished product. So their rituals are sort of like following a cookbook to the letter, and the recipes are seen as received by virtue of divine inspiration.
Along with your entire life. Yes. They believe that everything is definable and comprehensible in the context of the divine order.
They say you pray by living a certain way. Yes.
In the case of magic as its own practice, it’s seen as the product of human understanding and thus is left open to human innovation and creativity. With the magical model there is no absolute order to break, just a system of relative order. The virtue of the magic system being its functionality more than it’s piety.
Like a mechanic who can only fix certain engines, as opposed to an engineer who could design a new one. That’s a good metaphor. Truth in magic is related to function and purpose. Truth in theurgy is related to perceived harmony and integrity.
Now there is a functional framework to theurgy. The cosmogony of whatever tradition the theurgist follows. Their practice involves a walking in their Gods footsteps in a sense, and it’s believed that by acting as the God acts and performing the functions the God performs, you advance along the path they set out. This is also a heretical belief according to many more modern views of religion though it is the basis of the veneration of Saints in Catholicism.
Like pilgrimages? Yes. Pilgrimages are seen as a way to literally draw in more of the power and wisdom of the God with the belief that being in contact with these holy places imprints you with the power that the God expressed there.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.