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 Seeking A Mentor
Archimonde
post Feb 8 2011, 04:37 PM
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Great post Imperial and I agree with you and Vagrant when it comes on being faithful to the system, which is why I have, after taking a few days to meditate on the subject, decided to postpone using the system until I can be as faithful as possible. I just decided to look at it the same way I would look at almost anything, you don't show up on a race track for example with a broken down clunker so why should I take a system I have never worked with and dare to change things about it, possibly only to appease my own ego?

So yes I have made that decision to put it off for now, and I think the more I read on various occult forums, the more I tend to get tired of the whole change everything the way it works for you, nothing is real all is permitted etc etc. I mean how can someone know if it "works for me" if they have no experience to draw upon when it comes to whatever system.

In any event I appreciate the advice that you two have offered, and I also appreciate monkman for directing me to panpipes.com.


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Azhir uval nutarus, Azhir mudas ethanul. Dalektharu il dask daku ,Riftuuz e thara samanar utamus. Elas umanes azarathan rakas ibna.

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monkman418
post Feb 8 2011, 09:27 PM
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QUOTE(Imperial Arts @ Feb 8 2011, 12:05 AM) *


It might be a fine experiment. It might be scientific. It might be fifty meticulously performed double-blind tests including the full gamut of scientific processes, recorded in triplicate by seventeen qualified observers with a peer-review to follow, but unless the experiment is done with the Necronomicon itself, the results will not show what's up with the Necronomicon. They show the results of your own work. That might be fine for you, and fine for someone else, but for someone who wants to know about the Necronomicon, it's off the mark.



This makes no logical sense. The experiment is with the Necronomicon (or whatever it is we're using). How does an experiment based on Necronomicon fail to show anything about the Necronomicon? I'm scratching my head on this one, because apparently you're saying that science itself has no meaning.

QUOTE(Imperial Arts @ Feb 8 2011, 12:05 AM) *


Magic isn't science, but for what it was worth those folks have approached the subject in a scientific manner. They are in a position to evaluate the subject on their own terms, not on mine or upon the word of some paperback author or occult guru. A failed experiment is also a valid experiment!



Then you don't really care whether magick is even based on science or not, you care whether the method in the book is precisely followed. Regardless of whether the experiment works you deem it a successful experiment so long as the book is followed, and suggest that anyone who has any other experience is not in a position to evaluate the subject. You can't have it both ways, science either works or it doesn't work. And even given your willingness to only look at work that reflects the "whole" system as you interpret it, you overlook the obvious fact that there are claims that the system in and of itself is not sufficient to produce results and undermine any other explanation for the results. If the system isn't sufficient to produce results, what is making things work or not work? You fail to make this inquiry and interpret the system to be essential regardless, and this says very strongly that there are other motivations for your wanting to assert that the whole system "is the only way" in addition to calling the conclusions you make about the system into question.

QUOTE(Imperial Arts @ Feb 8 2011, 12:05 AM) *


Before anything else, I want to be clear that I am not denouncing anyone's occult work on account of failure to follow the rules. But I do say that without actually following the rules of a given system, they have no experience of the system. If their system has no rules, or they make it up on their own, that is wonderful! It is a delight to see people create something effective without needing to rip off sigils and conjuration formats from ancient literature. The world needs more magicians like that, and it is toward that end that I am probing the old literature, under the assumption that by thoroughly exploring the older methods we can get a clear idea of what magic can do and how it operates without having to make it up as we go along.



So you'll admit that people are at least practicing magick, but you won't admit that people are practicing anything that has to do with necronomicon or that people understand what they are doing in the least.

The experimental method isn't "making it up as we go along." It is based on hypotheses, methods, results, and conclusions. Moreover, it is based on a reflection on the entire process employed.

In short, your argument is that a system must be taken as a whole to be considered valid, but this would never pass as a scientific statement. Without the simplification and isolation of variables, many -if not an unlimited number of- interpretations could explain a particular phenomenon. Without breaking a text down into its essential parts, it is impossible to rule out or make implausible different factors that might explain a particular phenomenon. In other words, taking a system as a whole does not convey understanding of the principals behind a system. A system must be broken down in order to understand the elements that go into it. And without documentation, any conclusions gained by such work would likely be rife with bias, neither understanding the power of the interventions used on the result(internal validity), neither the extent to which the interventions may be generalized to other operations (external validity), nor understanding what part of an intervention was responsible for the result (construct validity). In the end, you would have an understanding of practicing the system as it is written, but you would not understand how or why or what about the system works. You would only have the system and, without any power to understand it, the only conclusion that could be reached would be to recommend that the system be practiced as given.

When I used to practice martial arts, we practiced forms, or kata, that were intended to convey principals based upon a strict adherence to a given formula. The only reason the kata were able to teach anything at all though was because the teacher broke down the various steps. Moreover, it was possible to practice a kata with perfect emulation of the form while still failing to achieve to the principals behind it. I could not practice kata correctly until I broke the principals down, and by the time I did that the kata was only a way of remembering the principals already learned. I still think the best general rule on magick is to seek to understand the purpose of the various tools, gestures, and accessories going into a ritual; but since our best understanding is only a hypothesis, the entire process must be documented, otherwise our understanding is not capable of being tested.

This post has been edited by monkman418: Feb 9 2011, 12:10 AM


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MonkMan418
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"It sometimes strikes me that the whole of science is a piece of impudence; that nature can afford to ignore our impertinent interference. If our monkey mischief should ever reach the point of blowing up the earth by decomposing an atom, and even annihilated the sun himself, I cannot really suppose that the universe would turn a hair.” --- Aleister Crowley

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."
--- Stephen Hawking

Therefore, God is a monkey.

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Vagrant Dreamer
post Feb 9 2011, 05:23 PM
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If you're going to take it from a point of view where there is a method of testing a hypothesis scientifically, then you have to also look at the scientific method of testing hypotheses, and it seems like you're overlooking the requirements for replicating an experiment.

If we look at the necronomicon - or any book for that matter - as the experimental protocols, then to validate that experiment's proposed results you have to follow those protocols, or as Imperial says, you're not reproducing the results in a way that validates or invalidates the book itself at all, and I think that's the crux of this particular issue.

For instance, if I set up an experiment to prove my hypothesis that such and such a protein chain will maintain the genetic integrity of cells as they reproduce, and I apply these proteins to a test batch of, say, liver cells; if it works, yay for me! We'll all live forever. But, someone else then has to do the same experiment, under the same conditions. If they use, say, skin cells instead, or liver cells from another animal, then even if they get the same results, they haven't validated or invalidated my research at all, and the whole scientific world will see it that way. No one will argue whether or not it still counts - they'll suggest reproducing the original experiment to a more exacting standard. Sure, it would show a kind of proof of principle, but it won't be an acceptably successful experiment until it's proven that the experiment itself can be reproduced elsewhere with the same results.

So you can't have it both ways - you've got to either apply the scientific method or not. And I think we're all saying its fine if you don't, but don't deviate from the original experiment and then claim that it's still a scientific process - it may be in its own right, like the second hypothetical group who used different cells - if it doesn't validate or invalidate the Necronomicon itself until you actually reproduce that experiment.

QUOTE
In short, your argument is that a system must be taken as a whole to be considered valid, but this would never pass as a scientific statement. Without the simplification and isolation of variables, many -if not an unlimited number of- interpretations could explain a particular phenomenon. Without breaking a text down into its essential parts, it is impossible to rule out or make implausible different factors that might explain a particular phenomenon. In other words, taking a system as a whole does not convey understanding of the principals behind a system. A system must be broken down in order to understand the elements that go into it. And without documentation, any conclusions gained by such work would likely be rife with bias, neither understanding the power of the interventions used on the result(internal validity), neither the extent to which the interventions may be generalized to other operations (external validity), nor understanding what part of an intervention was responsible for the result (construct validity). In the end, you would have an understanding of practicing the system as it is written, but you would not understand how or why or what about the system works. You would only have the system and, without any power to understand it, the only conclusion that could be reached would be to recommend that the system be practiced as given.


Without repeating the above example of what constitutes the validation of an experimental hypothesis, you're basically jumping straight to step 3, which is to begin isolating and altering variables - using a slightly different cell culture, then an entirely different kind of cell, and then the same cells in a different medium, and then the same cells and medium but a slightly different protein with a similar structure to figure out what structure in the protein is the actually responsible, and then looking a longer timelines etc. - but in the case of scientific research and reproducing experiments, you don't change a bunch of different variables to begin with. You reproduce the original experiment first, then you alter one variable so that you can be sure your results reflect a change in that one variable, and you maintain the original experiment in order to compare results. Then you change another variable and keep the other one to the original, and one by one you isolate and alter variables. What you're proposing is altering all the variables and concluding that it somehow proves or disproves anything about the book itself. All it proves is that if you perform a ritual something will happen, regardless of the procedures you follow. And that may basically be true - after all there are hundreds of traditions using ritual formats that, while often similar, call for all kinds of materials and orders of calling, meditations, incantations, etc., and for all I know they all work if you do them with feeling. All that proves is that there is a component behind it that makes the ritual work, and that's something basically every magician takes as a given unless they are a particularly religious magician who believes that only their God can cause magical effects.

But if we are ourselves the key, then do you suggest that it doesn't matter which door you unlock, or what angle you fit the key in to open that door? That regardless of how you go about unlocking the door it'll lead to the same place exactly?

Here's another problem with your model. If you never practice the book according to it's own protocols, then you don't know what to compare your results to after having altered this and that about them. Lets say, for instance, that you use a wooden dagger colored copper, and you use store bought flat bread, and a paper crown, etc. You conduct your experiment with the first gate, and you get a little light headed and go on a mental 'journey' type experience where you gain fascinating insights into the sphere of the first gate Nanna, the Moon. You come away with an altered state of awareness and for what you put into it feel that this was a successful experience.

But, what if you had used the system in it's totality? Then, instead of a mental journey and an altered state of awareness, you might have been literally paralyzed as visions appeared in the darkness around you and beyond the fire set for the watcher, felt a foreign awareness enter and alter your consciousness, and been commanded to swear an oath to walk the other eight gates or be punished for your audacity. Then all of the sudden, you're released and realize only a few seconds have actually passed.

How do you know what the genuine experience will be, if you don't follow protocol? Is it acceptable to you, to do an initially altered experiment, get some kind of result, and attribute it to the working of the book itself? The plain fact is, if you want to be scientific about it, you have to reproduce the original experiment FIRST, before altering ANY variables, or you haven't proven or disproven anything.

Certainly keep journals, record which variables were altered, and for your career in personal creative magic all together keep records and make conclusions. But, don't claim that altering or taking apart any experiment before actually performing it is in any way scientific.

peace


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sirius666
post Feb 9 2011, 08:58 PM
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I should encourage all of us to think a bit beyond the version of "science" which was taught to us in high school. To assert that something is of a completely singular nature is to neglect other possibilities. To assert that there is one correct way of performing an experiment is to assert that all other ways are incorrect. Generally - this perspective inhibits one from different points of view.

Let us bring our attention to this "scientific method" which we have relied upon so heavily to support our opinions is not the "method of science".

The process of validating a phenomenon which is well described and understood (i.e. previously validated via experiment an arbitrarily large number of times) is a matter constructing an experiment which confines the desired phenomenon to a certain behavior. Most importantly, there may be great flexibility in experimental design from scientist to scientist when he/she is testing or observing some phenomenon. For example, Scientist A may investigate the properties of the electromagnetic field by measuring the magnetic helicity density in low density plasmas. Scientist B may investigate the properties of the electromagnetic field by measuring the CV characteristic of his newly fabricated MOS device. Both scientists have measured and demonstrated the electromagnetic field through their experiments.

The game is somewhat different when one is attempting to measure or describe something which is new to science. For example, there are hundreds of experiments in progress in solid state physics which are aimed at understanding the propagation of spin-waves in anti-ferromagnetic materials at low temperature. It is, in fact, to the advantage of the scientific community to engineer creative experiments around a certain phenomenon in order to gain a greater understanding of its workings.

I hope that I have eliminated in everyone the conception that science is always a straightforward process. There are (almost) no discontinuities in nature; the interrelationships are infinite. There are many correct ways of demonstrating some phenomenon of interest. There are just as many incorrect ways of demonstrating that phenomenon. The metric by which we determine "correctness" is that the phenomenon should be reproducible.

Let us endeavour to bring these concepts into our magicks. Let us not be overly concerned if we omit the copper crown from our Venuisian invocations, but let us not wear a crown of iron in its place. Be rigid to the traditional corresponds but do not your rigidity undermine your understanding and creativity, for this is the wisdom of science.

666-Sirius-666

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monkman418
post Feb 9 2011, 09:20 PM
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QUOTE(sirius666 @ Feb 9 2011, 08:58 PM) *

I should encourage all of us to think a bit beyond the version of "science" which was taught to us in high school. To assert that something is of a completely singular nature is to neglect other possibilities. To assert that there is one correct way of performing an experiment is to assert that all other ways are incorrect. Generally - this perspective inhibits one from different points of view.


This really hits the central issue on the head. As you also elaborate, threats to external validity (look it up) do not mean an experiment is inherently invalid. I'm glad that someone on this forum understands scientific reasoning, keep it up Sirius 666!

This post has been edited by monkman418: Feb 9 2011, 09:22 PM


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"It sometimes strikes me that the whole of science is a piece of impudence; that nature can afford to ignore our impertinent interference. If our monkey mischief should ever reach the point of blowing up the earth by decomposing an atom, and even annihilated the sun himself, I cannot really suppose that the universe would turn a hair.” --- Aleister Crowley

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."
--- Stephen Hawking

Therefore, God is a monkey.

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Imperial Arts
post Feb 10 2011, 12:53 AM
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In the case of the Necronomicon, and many other occult texts, the experimental procedure has already been defined.

I think we are all well aware that the Necronomicon is not anything remotely close to actual Sumerian sorcery and religion, with the possible exception of a few of the chants and the general composition of the underlying mythology.

Aside from the mythology and philosophical aspects of the book, it is essentially an instructional text, a grimoire, a ritual book offering practical advice for those who seek to use those rituals.

If you want to explore the same aspects of magical tradition from other perspectives, with other techniques or processes, great! but it won't give you any idea of what's up with the Necronomicon.

I don't know if I am unable to make my point clear or if you are being obstinate, but for the last time I will say that my point here has nothing to do with the validity (or lack thereof) for any approach to magic.

I am saying that it is un-scientific to claim results that apply to one set of procedures will necessarily apply to a totally different set of procedures or to those which have been altered.

Don't tell me you know all about driving a minivan because you once had a pick-up truck. Does this analogy make sense? I'm not saying pickup trucks don't work, but they aren't minivans and experience of one does not translate into experience of the other except in a general sense.



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alkeides
post Feb 10 2011, 05:24 AM
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Excuse me for butting in here but I think a food metaphor would be closer to what Imperial Arts is trying to say, seeing as most of what is presented in grimoires, including the Simon Necronomicon, are essentially "recipes".

Japanese curry was imported from the British version of the dish rather than the Indian versions of it during the Meiji restoration as a Navy dish. The British version of the dish itself at the time was rather removed from its Indian origins; it didn't have any of the "hot" spices like chilli for instance. The Japanese in turn made their own modifications to the dish, adding various different vegetables, substituting pork and beef for lamb and serving it with rice (which AFAIK wasn't common among the British although it probably was in many parts of India). By now the South Asian versions of curry, tempered to suit British tastes depending on the chef, the target crowd, and the availability of ingredients, have regained popularity in Britain due to immigration.

So if a Japanese person cooks her version of curry, which originated in an earlier British recipe, which itself was modified from an older South Asian recipe, it may well turn out to be delicious. However, she can't, or at least shouldn't, claim to have made the same dish as either what an Indian person is cooking in his homeland or even the same dish that some cook in the British Navy made 150 years ago. They are all curries but all of them taste (or probably taste in the case of the old British recipe) very different.

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Vagrant Dreamer
post Feb 10 2011, 09:41 AM
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QUOTE(sirius666 @ Feb 9 2011, 09:58 PM) *

I should encourage all of us to think a bit beyond the version of "science" which was taught to us in high school. To assert that something is of a completely singular nature is to neglect other possibilities. To assert that there is one correct way of performing an experiment is to assert that all other ways are incorrect. Generally - this perspective inhibits one from different points of view.


I should encourage all of us to be a bit less condescending, and consider the actual nature of the experiment presently in question. The whole point here is: How to you know what to compare your results to if you don't reproduce the original experiment in the first place. You absolutely cannot compare them to anything based purely on description and theory when it comes to magic. That you will get some kind of result, presumably dependent on internal factors related to magical activity in general, is not in question, and never was. The question is, how can you claim the results that you achieve with your experiment are indicative of the efficacy of the Necronomicon specifically, if you yourself don't have a rule to measure by?

QUOTE

The process of validating a phenomenon which is well described and understood (i.e. previously validated via experiment an arbitrarily large number of times) .... Most importantly, there may be great flexibility in experimental design from scientist to scientist when he/she is testing or observing some phenomenon.


So far, there is no documented phenomenon to study, because in the example set by the previous several posts, no experiment was performed in the first place to validate the phenomenon claimed by the book in question. AFTER that experiment is tried out, and the individual has a baseline understanding of what CAN occur, THEN and ONLY THEN, can your further experimentation altering variables have any bearing on the phenomenon, because you can draw a line from 'point a' to 'point b' showing clearly that in the original case this happened, I changed this and such, and the same thing happened - or something different but comparable happened, let's explore the differences and find out why.

QUOTE
It is, in fact, to the advantage of the scientific community to engineer creative experiments around a certain phenomenon in order to gain a greater understanding of its workings.


Again, without an original experiment, what phenomenon are you referring to? The presence of the book, or what is actually claimed to occur as a result of it's application?

QUOTE

I hope that I have eliminated in everyone the conception that science is always a straightforward process. There are (almost) no discontinuities in nature; the interrelationships are infinite. There are many correct ways of demonstrating some phenomenon of interest. There are just as many incorrect ways of demonstrating that phenomenon. The metric by which we determine "correctness" is that the phenomenon should be reproducible.


Well, for one, I'd like to see some references backing up your interpretation here: That there does not need to be an initial phenomenon observed in order to validate that phenomenon or explore the role of the many variables therein. Because in the last few posts, that is exactly what has been claimed.

QUOTE

Let us endeavour to bring these concepts into our magicks. Let us not be overly concerned if we omit the copper crown from our Venuisian invocations, but let us not wear a crown of iron in its place. Be rigid to the traditional corresponds but do not your rigidity undermine your understanding and creativity, for this is the wisdom of science.

666-Sirius-666


If you've performed the original experiment, then I would suggest that you can replace the copper crown with an iron one to see what happens. It may be that the crown must be made of metal, not specifically copper, and that there was a cultural, but not operational, reason for using the copper crown in the first place. But, you don't know that if you omit the crown, because you don't know what happens when you use a copper one. Anything could happen, there's no way to know without doing the experiment.

The wisdom of science begins with: Observation. You have to observe a phenomenon in the first place in order to form a hypothesis and experiment with it's variables at all. If not, you're not doing science, you're guessing and cobbling things together hoping to get some kind of result.

Consider: Let's say that some individual claims to have discovered a new form of matter. However, they observed it without any kind of tools, etc. So, all you have is this individual's claim. The first thing that any scientist would do, is try to observe the phenomenon. They would either go to the same place where this individual claimed to discover it, or if he can say how to observe it, they would implement the same measures to begin with in order to observe the new discovery. After observations are collected, hypotheses arise and experimentation to test them begins.

It baffles me that the observation step is being argued against at all. You both seem to have a scientific leaning towards cataloging and observing magical rituals and effects - well, monk man at least, I don't know about Sirius' magical methodology - and yet you are both advocating skipping the initial observation all together. There is no scientific reasoning that does not begin with observation, and part of observation is determining what it is you are observing. Until you perform the original experiment, you don't know what you are observing is supposed to be compared to.

peace


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sirius666
post Feb 10 2011, 08:34 PM
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At this point, our discussion has migrated far from its origins and has become more political in nature. Vagrant, your argument is purely heuristic and completely lacking in justification. As I understand we may distill your verbiage into a few simple ideas:

1) That your "method" of performing a given ceremonial rite is correct because you do not deviate from the original text.
2) That other "methods" is not entirely valid (other than yours i.e. the by the book method) insofar as it deviates from the original.

If we observe closely these statements, we may observe that therein lies a very obvious egoistic bent. It is to your ego's advantage to parrot the correctness of your own practices. My arguments do not attack your method, they are directed at your attacks on the methodology of others and your stance of superiority.

Often, when we read texts we are left to the challenge of deriving some kind of meaning behind the symbols on the pages. There are many strategies for accomplishing this, some of which are more effectual than others. This, in a sense makes reading a creative and dynamic process, by which we expand our understanding. It is useful then to discuss then the demon of literalism, where by the reader assumes a position of absolute understanding based upon his impressions of a given text. Although this position is usually counter-productive with regards to the readers intellectual growth, it may very well provide a sense of comfort to the reader insofar as he is convinced of this understanding.

Finally, with regards to these comments regarding your "original experiment" ... just what was the "original experiment" and what were the "original" results ? How can one be so sure that the rituals were carried out exactly as spelled in the text ? We cannot know for sure. The basis of your argument is the assertion that your argument is correct.

You can't squeeze water out of a rock ...

666-Sirius-666

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Waterfall
post Feb 10 2011, 09:45 PM
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QUOTE
At this point, our discussion has migrated far from its origins and has become more political in nature. Vagrant, your argument is purely heuristic and completely lacking in justification. As I understand we may distill your verbiage into a few simple ideas:

I call BS. This is no more a logical or scientific criticism than is a tantrum by a two year old. You have had a great opportunity to learn something in an unexplored field of knowledge and have thrown it away because of your rigid belief system and overwhelming fear of the unknown.

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monkman418
post Feb 11 2011, 12:09 AM
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QUOTE(Waterfall @ Feb 10 2011, 09:45 PM) *

I call BS. This is no more a logical or scientific criticism than is a tantrum by a two year old. You have had a great opportunity to learn something in an unexplored field of knowledge and have thrown it away because of your rigid belief system and overwhelming fear of the unknown.


Are you talking about Sirius 666 or Vagrant? It's a bit hard to tell whether you are agreeing or disagreeing with the materials as you cite them.

---

The crux of the issue is the insistence that any practice inspired by Necronomicon has nothing to do with Necronomicon, and that all such practices are definitively "not" Necronomicon.

Many Churches claim to show persons "the true way," and simultaneously condemn all other interpretations of spiritual texts as paths certain to lead to hell and the devil. The question is not one of interpretation so much as one of who determines the backdrop or frame, who gets to claim "all" of Christianity, and to decide whether or not a person has really achieved heaven? Who gets to claim "all" of Necronomicon, and to claim whether the spirits of Marduk have manifested and the gates have been crossed? I think it is appropriate to claim that methods have been followed as literally as possible when this is the case, but that doesn't mean that any other methods or experiences "aren't Necronomicon." Perhaps the results are different, but to define other sets of results, and to define those results by a centralized estimation of their value, is patriarchal and inappropriate.

Certainly, there is room for critical evaluation of methods themselves. I welcome criticism of my methods. The central criticism of what I have proposed, that alterations from the text do not have anything to do with the text itself, are legitimate threats to the external validity of the results of one method to another. Threats to external validity do not mean a study is not scientific though, or that it fails to achieve its aims to investigate the phenomena at hand de facto. It might have absolutely no external validity to other methods in some cases, such as if I used a binky the clown suit for a robe, used a cigarette for a dagger, and sang "there she blows" instead of using the magick words. This is not what is being proposed however, and I don't recall hearing any interest in what kinds of variables I consider acceptable substitutions.

QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Feb 9 2011, 05:23 PM) *

Certainly keep journals, record which variables were altered, and for your career in personal creative magic all together keep records and make conclusions. But, don't claim that altering or taking apart any experiment before actually performing it is in any way scientific.


Science may be practiced many ways. As is described, you can start with a strict method and change individual variables. It is also possible to work with parts of the method. Both say something about and approach Necronomicon. It is unscientific to claim that there is one approach to a phenomena because, if the text of the Necronomicon is trying to achieve anything at all, there is a single phenomena that may be explored by many methods.

This post has been edited by monkman418: Feb 11 2011, 12:46 AM


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"It sometimes strikes me that the whole of science is a piece of impudence; that nature can afford to ignore our impertinent interference. If our monkey mischief should ever reach the point of blowing up the earth by decomposing an atom, and even annihilated the sun himself, I cannot really suppose that the universe would turn a hair.” --- Aleister Crowley

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."
--- Stephen Hawking

Therefore, God is a monkey.

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Vagrant Dreamer
post Feb 11 2011, 10:15 AM
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QUOTE
The crux of the issue is the insistence that any practice inspired by Necronomicon has nothing to do with Necronomicon, and that all such practices are definitively "not" Necronomicon.


This was not my claim, although Imperial did say this. I would not say that it has nothing to do with the necronomicon, but that it doesn't necessarily represent the full scope of the practice, and that you won't know if it does or doesn't without a basis of comparison.

QUOTE
1) That your "method" of performing a given ceremonial rite is correct because you do not deviate from the original text.
2) That other "methods" is not entirely valid (other than yours i.e. the by the book method) insofar as it deviates from the original.


You came to this conclusion by taking choice elements of what I've said so far that paint my view in the most 'egoistic' light. The following quotes show that this is not at all what I have suggested. I have suggested that the only way to know what the system offers, for yourself, is to first follow the instructions. Then you have a basis of comparison. Now there's some question as to why, if you do put everything together, would you go back and change things that don't now need substitutions. The main reason is for personal experimentation. But if you can rule out the objective elements, then you can be sure that the subjective element is all that needs examination for the experience itself. I didn't say anything about the 'correctness' of my method, nor did I claim that other methods are not valid. What I claimed, was that the practitioner can't know if their own methods ARE valid OR NOT without some way to compare the results of both methods. For all anyone knows, throwing oneself prostrate in worship to Nanna and begging wholeheartedly for his initiation may be enough to be granted entrance into the Nanna gate. Even if you have two people doing the experiment, one with all the requisites precisely and one without, unless you have a control, how do you know what happens?

QUOTE
I would suggest sticking to whatever the book calls for. That way if things don't go the way they are supposed to, you can know that it wasn't because you didn't have the correct tools. And in some books, the various tools are specific and intended for some kind of protection. Metals and various plants, etc., have been long associated with particular uses, and substituting other materials may either produce no effects, or may altar the outcome of the ceremonies in ways you don't want.


In other words, you can say, "okay, the materials aren't the key element here, and now I know that for certain. There's some subjective element I need to examine." Otherwise what can you say? "Was it the paper crown, or the copper colored dagger? Maybe I didn't pray hard enough? All the variables, what am I doing wrong? Where do I start?"

QUOTE
Start altering the ceremonies after you have enough experience and knowledge with them as they are, and have had the opportunity to start inquiring of the entities involved personally how much leeway there is - and then keep in mind that they might prefer you be less protected or otherwise in charge.


Under a paradigm that believes in evil spirits as objective beings who mean to do you harm; that your watcher may very will turn on you, or that Marduk might actually let you be 'devoured' by this or that evil being, this is very good advice. If you see them as just subjective reflections of internal complexes, then of course it doesn't matter, unless it matters to you.

QUOTE
Don't be run off from doing what you feel urged to do just because I had a bad experience. It could have been any number of things. Maybe because I was baptized as a child, maybe because I swore and oath to another god in my earlier occult experience, maybe I just lacked some quality, or had some quality, that those entities didn't like. There's no way to know now, at least for me. I might have instead asked Inanna to show me how to be acceptable, but at the time I mostly just wanted to move on, that current wasn't working for me and no other magic had harmed me that way before (energy work is a different story). And maybe others working with subpar tools are getting favorable results that I just don't know about and they never mentioned. Either way, do what you feel, but at least feel respect and reverence for any magical endeavor - after all, you're not making a cheese sandwich, you're tapping into the forces of creation!


Again, condoning flexibility. I don't know that I did the experiment correctly. I know that I had all the right materials and followed the instructions though. What I had left to examine was subjective elements. Whatever it was that happened, there was a dissonance between myself and the system.

QUOTE

So dig around, and experiment, and practice, and dig yourself out of holes when you need to; but always continually study and make sense of the ancient cultures and their mythologies and symbols that you are using when you do. It's all good and well to use this material rather than that when you understand what it means to change it - if you don't know why the first material (as an example, could be names, symbols, etc.) was used to begin with then you are acting blindly and can't improve anything about the system as you go. Magic is an interaction between spirit, consciousness, and matter. Your spirit already knows the game, you body just needs to keep going and functioning well, but your consciousness relies on understanding to make the connection between the two.


Yet again, go ahead and change things, if you understand their significance personally. If you don't know, don't change it. If you read the text, seem to understand what that material is for - then you're making an assumption about its role in the system. Is that assumption correct or not? Again, until you try it, you don't know.

QUOTE
You're now discussing magic on a general scale, which widens the issue far beyond the question of how to work the necronomicon. And, having a very, very broad experience with magical traditions and variations of approach to the subject and practice thereof, including traditions with and without tools, I can say from my own experience, and the anecdotal experiences of those around me, that it doesn't matter if you use tools or not - the difference in the results has nothing to do with the tools, but with the apprehension of the system being utilized. Magic may be a symphony, but if you don't learn to conduct, and what it means to be a conductor, and everything that goes into the relationship between an orchestra and it's conductor, your just waving your wand while the orchestra plays on like it practiced, and maybe they have some cohesion or maybe they don't, but the properly trained conductor does more than just direct their music - he infuses into their performance the kind of rolling and dynamic feeling that moves the audience to recognize a performance vs. merely a demonstration.


Again, tools don't matter, apprehension of the system matters. Apprehension is achieved through experience. Experience is achieved through practice. Reading a book can indeed create internal changes beyond the purely intellectual level, and I never denied that. But, all you then have to go on is that internal experience.

QUOTE

Here's another problem with your model. If you never practice the book according to it's own protocols, then you don't know what to compare your results to after having altered this and that about them. Lets say, for instance, that you use a wooden dagger colored copper, and you use store bought flat bread, and a paper crown, etc. You conduct your experiment with the first gate, and you get a little light headed and go on a mental 'journey' type experience where you gain fascinating insights into the sphere of the first gate Nanna, the Moon. You come away with an altered state of awareness and for what you put into it feel that this was a successful experience.


Here again: maybe you will get results, and maybe what you get will be acceptable to you, and if so then congratulations. You successfully worked the necronomicon. And In my opinion, you did. But, if someone else, for instance, asks what you got out of the books rituals, what can you say with total honesty other than: "I got this and this experience, but I changed this and this about the ritual." You can't claim, "I did the ritual in it's entirety, and this is what happened." Because that first part is now a fallacy. If you've done it both ways you can say, "I got this and this. I followed the ritual principles, but really this and this element aren't crucial as long as you have this and this, and understand that they mean this, and so on." Can you logically deny those statements?

QUOTE
If you've performed the original experiment, then I would suggest that you can replace the copper crown with an iron one to see what happens. It may be that the crown must be made of metal, not specifically copper, and that there was a cultural, but not operational, reason for using the copper crown in the first place. But, you don't know that if you omit the crown, because you don't know what happens when you use a copper one. Anything could happen, there's no way to know without doing the experiment.


Again, it's flexible, or it might be anyway, and you can start to apprehend the system on a deeper level. "Ah, that culture had access to copper, it was the bronze age and iron wasn't being widely worked with yet." Or, switch to paper and "Ah, so the metal isn't important in itself, but the crown with it's star of anu is what really matters."

I've suggested in all this only what I said above - that you need some basis of comparison from which to work, or you don't know what you might be missing. After you know, you can observe whether or not changing things makes a difference. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. Maybe it never mattered in the first place. My only argument here so far, is about knowing from experience what the full system CAN do, for yourself, personally.

QUOTE
If we observe closely these statements, we may observe that therein lies a very obvious egoistic bent. It is to your ego's advantage to parrot the correctness of your own practices. My arguments do not attack your method, they are directed at your attacks on the methodology of others and your stance of superiority.


Right, so, if you can find some reference in this thread where I specifically said "My way is Better", or otherwise can reasonably, with not a wide degree of interpretation, show that I paraphrased the same (so that excludes words like "might" or "may" or "possibly") Then I'll admit publicly there was an error in my thinking there.

I've restated my original intention and opinion several times, and Both Sirius and Monkman have ignored the portion of my own part of this discussion condoning experimentation and flexibility. My original question, summed up, amounts to "How do you know what the complete system does?" Maybe my reasoning is off, but it does seem like there's a direct, and not entirely difficult, way to answer that question. I've admitted and condoned that there is a subjective and personal element to magic above and beyond the materials or rituals employed. I'm a magician, I know that the ritual doesn't do the magic for you. My own system is cobbled together from different traditions, and works 100% of the time, most of that precisely what I expect, and the rest acceptable given my original intentions. I used systems, and then changed things and adopted practices. You can piece together a system that works by building your paradigm from scratch from the ground up. I recognize there is more than one way to do magic, and have stated that implicitly in this discussion. The question is not about magical practice in general, it's about discovering a specific system.

But neither of you have offered a reasonable argument FOR altering the system before utilizing it in its original form, other than vague and general discussions of what constitutes experimentation overall. I have given my specific reasoning and explained my position thoroughly - and given the aforementioned quotes have stated my own belief that there may be flexibility - and in response I have gotten not a discussion on the logic behind your stance; just attacks on my supposed and perceived 'egoism' and 'self-superiority'. If you're unwilling to take the time to formulate some logical arguments towards this specific work and the reasons to alter elements of it without having performed the complete system, and can reasonably argue that a practitioner can safely assume that whatever results they get out of that practice will be identical in principle to the results of the complete system (without having executed that complete system), then do so.

Otherwise, I'm not the one being egoistic here.

peace


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monkman418
post Feb 12 2011, 07:03 PM
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It is said that:

QUOTE(sirius666 @ Feb 9 2011, 08:58 PM) *

I've restated my original intention and opinion several times, and Both Sirius and Monkman have ignored the portion of my own part of this discussion condoning experimentation and flexibility.


Yet a rigid position on the ability of science to investigate phenomena is conveyed:

QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Feb 9 2011, 05:23 PM) *

don't deviate from the original experiment and then claim that it's still a scientific process - it may be in its own right, like the second hypothetical group who used different cells - if it doesn't validate or invalidate the Necronomicon itself until you actually reproduce that experiment.


The proposed study of Necronomicon is not based on a strict definition the text, as stated:

QUOTE(monkman418 @ Feb 7 2011, 09:53 PM) *

The basis of an experiment is the experiment itself and all of the conditions going into it.


You seem to believe that I mean something other than the procedures recorded:

QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Feb 11 2011, 10:15 AM) *

if someone else, for instance, asks what you got out of the books rituals, what can you say with total honesty other than: "I got this and this experience, but I changed this and this about the ritual." You can't claim, "I did the ritual in it's entirety, and this is what happened." Because that first part is now a fallacy.


On the contrary, as stated:

QUOTE(monkman418 @ Feb 6 2011, 03:21 PM) *

You can say that such a procedure uses only parts of the Necronomicon, or that the procedure deviates from the steps laid out in the Necronomicon. These statements would be factual and true. But it's still using Necronomicon.


Even this method of inquiry would spark demands for justification:

QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Feb 11 2011, 10:15 AM) *

But neither of you have offered a reasonable argument FOR altering the system before utilizing it in its original form, other than vague and general discussions of what constitutes experimentation overall.


Sirius 666 explained this very clearly already, using specific examples.

QUOTE(sirius666 @ Feb 9 2011, 08:58 PM) *

Most importantly, there may be great flexibility in experimental design from scientist to scientist when he/she is testing or observing some phenomenon. For example, Scientist A may investigate the properties of the electromagnetic field by measuring the magnetic helicity density in low density plasmas. Scientist B may investigate the properties of the electromagnetic field by measuring the CV characteristic of his newly fabricated MOS device. Both scientists have measured and demonstrated the electromagnetic field through their experiments.

The game is somewhat different when one is attempting to measure or describe something which is new to science. For example, there are hundreds of experiments in progress in solid state physics which are aimed at understanding the propagation of spin-waves in anti-ferromagnetic materials at low temperature. It is, in fact, to the advantage of the scientific community to engineer creative experiments around a certain phenomenon in order to gain a greater understanding of its workings.


If you do not consider these good reasons to experiment with a system in many ways, so be it. As stated, and restated, the basis of an experiment is the experiment itself.

Still, a more direct response to your analogy on synthesizing proteins would help clarify the merits of this position. From my perspective, and from what I gather of Sirius 666’s position, (I repeat) the basis of comparison is to experiments carried out and not to a single method. Thus, in the first experiment synthesizing proteins in liver cells, a principal is demonstrated. In the second experiment, synthesizing proteins in skin cells, a principal is again demonstrated. That principal is protein synthesis.

Now, very importantly:

QUOTE(monkman418 @ Feb 9 2011, 09:20 PM) *

threats to external validity (look it up) do not mean an experiment is inherently invalid.


And more clearly:

QUOTE(monkman418 @ Feb 11 2011, 12:09 AM) *

The central criticism of what I have proposed, that alterations from the text do not have anything to do with the text itself, are legitimate threats to the external validity of the results of one method to another.


Threats to external validity always exist between any two experiments and their results. Even in studies where the same principal (such as the electromagnetic field mentioned by Sirius) is very clearly demonstrated by two experiments, threats to external validity will be addressed in the write up. Accounting for external validity is basic to scientific literature.

In continuation of your protein synthesis example, you hold the first experiment as a standard, stating that experiments on the liver must continue on the liver. The greater question though concerns the process of protein synthesis, which may be understood best by a wide variety of data that is collected through a wide variety of experiments. A body of studies requires interpretation, and it is certainly true that the interpretations made about phenomena based on data could be wrong. Fortunately, if these have all been recorded, new data will continue to allow the perspective on the paradigm explored to evolve.

Thus, the standard of comparison is to the experiments carried out. It is possible that the results of these experiments won’t always be interpreted correctly. But if this is true, then the results of subsequent experiments, based on false hypotheses, will fail to produce the expected results. It can be certain that reality will properly refute and condone the validity or invalidity of an experiment. As long as these are catalogued, there is no problem with receiving improper results— especially since these results may allow one to revise hypotheses to even better reflect the phenomenon at hand!

Your argument, that a method must be the standard of comparison, is based on the idea that two experiments cannot elaborate upon the same principal. I have explained that external validity must always be considered between two experiments. And it is also true that protein synthesis is protein synthesis. Summoning Marduk is summoning Marduk.

Perhaps you do admit this though:

QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Feb 11 2011, 10:15 AM) *

I would not say that it has nothing to do with the necronomicon, but that it doesn't necessarily represent the full scope of the practice


But, as Sirius says:

QUOTE(sirius666 @ Feb 10 2011, 08:34 PM) *

with regards to these comments regarding your "original experiment" ... just what was the "original experiment" and what were the "original" results ? How can one be so sure that the rituals were carried out exactly as spelled in the text ? We cannot know for sure. The basis of your argument is the assertion that your argument is correct.


If protein is synthesized, protein is synthesized. If Marduk is summoned, Marduk is summoned.

Note:

QUOTE(monkman418 @ Feb 7 2011, 09:53 PM) *

While I make an argument against the text as a source of authority, I think it is important to note that I'm not dismissing using the text. Part of the reason I find this discussion so humorous is for the reason that I tend to strictly perform the methods that I do take most seriously. That given, I do not hold texts as the standard of comparison in and of themselves.


And:

QUOTE(monkman418 @ Jan 31 2011, 06:34 PM) *

I would also be wrong to say that one shouldn't be careful about following the instructions, but I don't think a goal of "perfect emulation" is sufficient to ensure that the ceremonies will function as they were intended. Understanding the ritual itself is key first and foremost.


Especially considering:

QUOTE(monkman418 @ Feb 7 2011, 09:53 PM) *

I have found that I made mistakes that either deviated from my own error in reading the text or that were caused by my own misunderstanding of the practice, and the documentation of my past methods has proved essential. This given, it seems just as legitimate to me to practice magick by pulling it apart as it is by keeping it together.


Let me clearly connect these three points: On the basis of having practiced magick by the book, I am concluding (based on experiments) that it is more important to get the ritual “right” in my understanding than to emulate a procedure. This is based on working with other systems of magick than Necronomicon. Even throwing my results aside, Imperial validates this position with another system of magick, suggesting that other persons have emulated rituals and achieved no results. This clearly forms a theoretical basis from which to hypothesize that understanding the ritual is a greater than emulating it. Of course, you are free to disagree with my conclusion based on your own experiments, and to question the external validity of my experiments to yours.

Moving on to other things...

QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Feb 11 2011, 10:15 AM) *

Right, so, if you can find some reference in this thread where I specifically said "My way is Better", or otherwise can reasonably, with not a wide degree of interpretation, show that I paraphrased the same (so that excludes words like "might" or "may" or "possibly") Then I'll admit publicly there was an error in my thinking there.


Hinting with conditionals, and implying strong possibilities, can be a passive-aggressive form of suggesting what one thinks without stating it directly. (See? I just demonstrated.)

But what might be happening by using a system “by the book,” verses through another investigation?

QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Feb 9 2011, 05:23 PM) *

what if you had used the system in it's totality? Then, instead of a mental journey and an altered state of awareness, you might have been literally paralyzed as visions appeared in the darkness around you and beyond the fire set for the watcher, felt a foreign awareness enter and alter your consciousness, and been commanded to swear an oath to walk the other eight gates or be punished for your audacity. Then all of the sudden, you're released and realize only a few seconds have actually passed.


Quite a contrast you suggest! In fact, it almost seems to be a descriptive hypothesis (almost). It could be that something was also implied here. It might be a real shame that conditionals are incapable of making direct suggestions about what we think. I’m left wondering what you really think of the difference between using and not using the method you propose as the "standard of comparison"!



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"It sometimes strikes me that the whole of science is a piece of impudence; that nature can afford to ignore our impertinent interference. If our monkey mischief should ever reach the point of blowing up the earth by decomposing an atom, and even annihilated the sun himself, I cannot really suppose that the universe would turn a hair.” --- Aleister Crowley

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."
--- Stephen Hawking

Therefore, God is a monkey.

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Vagrant Dreamer
post Feb 13 2011, 10:38 AM
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QUOTE
QUOTE
But neither of you have offered a reasonable argument FOR altering the system before utilizing it in its original form, other than vague and general discussions of what constitutes experimentation overall.


Sirius 666 explained this very clearly already, using specific examples.

QUOTE
Most importantly, there may be great flexibility in experimental design from scientist to scientist when he/she is testing or observing some phenomenon. For example, Scientist A may investigate the properties of the electromagnetic field by measuring the magnetic helicity density in low density plasmas. Scientist B may investigate the properties of the electromagnetic field by measuring the CV characteristic of his newly fabricated MOS device. Both scientists have measured and demonstrated the electromagnetic field through their experiments.

The game is somewhat different when one is attempting to measure or describe something which is new to science. For example, there are hundreds of experiments in progress in solid state physics which are aimed at understanding the propagation of spin-waves in anti-ferromagnetic materials at low temperature. It is, in fact, to the advantage of the scientific community to engineer creative experiments around a certain phenomenon in order to gain a greater understanding of its workings.



Specific examples relating to the general process of experimentation overall, hence, an example not relating directly to occult experimentation regarding an occult book with proscribed practices intended to bring about a specific kind of result. That there are general principles to experimentation that apply to both materialistic and spiritual/occult investigation and experimentation, is a given - logical exploration of phenomena applies to both sides. But occult investigation is not material investigation until we have tools and objective non-biased diagnostics to utilize in that pursuit. So, no, Sirius did not explain very clearly at all - he used another analogy. I too used an analogy, but also spoke directly about the investigation of this occult experiment in question, and occult experimentation in general.

QUOTE(monkman418 @ Feb 12 2011, 08:03 PM) *

Quite a contrast you suggest! In fact, it almost seems to be a descriptive hypothesis (almost). It could be that something was also implied here. It might be a real shame that conditionals are incapable of making direct suggestions about what we think. I’m left wondering what you really think of the difference between using and not using the method you propose as the "standard of comparison"!


When I believe something, I state it implicitly, and I have done so in the course of this discussion. I do not use conditionals to convey my biases. What I implied was the individual ignorance of expectation and the part of a hypothetical practitioner new to the system. In the case of protein synthesis or measurements of an electromagnetic field, there are objective elements to the results - reaction and measurements recorded by objective equipment, interpreted objectively and subjectively by the researchers involved. A person performing the same or similar experiments either to validate results or to produce proof of principal, has an objective data set to compare their results to. There is a necessary conditional element before going into the experimentation phase. Maybe this will happen, maybe that will happen. My conditional statements in the aforementioned example reflect only that the hypothetical practitioner in that example doesn't know either way until they do it. Which is true of yourself, and me, and everyone else, until they perform a magical experiment for the first time either by the book or on their own terms.

However, although we can treat it scientifically, magic is not a material science. We don't have the same diagnostics available and almost all results are entirely subjective, with some objective phenomenon qualifying as directly related - but even the truth of that objective element is personal to the individual, who is the only one who really knows their personal intentions and expectations of the work.

The purpose of my contrast was to show that for an individual practicing the system, there is no personal experience until one or another experiment has been executed. You don't know what will happen. You can infer, and you can take the word of others, and you can construct the ritual in your imagination and run mental exercises until you are blue in the face, and all of that will give you insight into the system and what might happen. But, until you do it, you do not know. That's what experimentation is for, correct? To find out.

If your own first experiment is done with alterations, then you can't be sure that whatever results you get are ideal for that system. There's no reasoning around this. What one has not done, one cannot reliably speak on from factual experience. They can only hypothesize, and they may do so well, or even accurately - but if they haven't done it, the fact of the matter is that they do not know yet. Summoning Marduk is Summoning Marduk - but having an experience in your imagination, for instance, is not the same has having the King of the Old Gods appear in blazing halo of violet before your eyes (i'm not suggesting that's what is supposed to happen, the book doesn't comment, but you can see what I mean here). Maybe the actual information obtained in either case is the same, and if so, then hooray! But the experience is not necessarily the same, and only one person doing it both ways or two people contrasting results from doing it both ways can say for sure. Practitioners report varying results on any kind of 'summoning' in general - some consider a presence felt to be acceptable, some demand a material manifestation the only acceptable extent. Some consider images in a mirror to be acceptable, others think that is just psychological projection. Whatever you personally consider acceptable is not under question, for yourself or any other magician. What is under question is how to know which of those kinds of experiences occurs when you do the system in full without alterations, vs. with reasonable alterations.

I'm done with this discussion, we've run around in circles and clearly have to just agree to disagree. I cannot concede that one can hold the results of an occult book as any degree of ideal results based on an altered version of the book - without having either before or afterwards performed those same instructions according to the requisites of the book. Until you've done it both ways, you can't possibly know. That's the whole basis of experimentation, to do the experiments and find out. Occult experimentation, specifically grimoire work, is not the same as scientific research into material matters. Some principals carry over, true. But it is still a more personal investigation where the key ingredient - the magician - is a major variable in every experiment.

What seems humorous is that for our personal practice we appear to believe in a similar approach. I have summarized my views, and I believe that anyone reading will be able to understand how I feel about the subject, both my personal opinion and my reasoning for it. I don't have anything else to say on the subject. Feel free to follow up with a summary if you are not certain your point has been expressed clearly.

peace


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monkman418
post Mar 1 2011, 06:55 PM
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With apologies for being absent the last few weeks...

QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Feb 13 2011, 10:38 AM) *

But occult investigation is not material investigation until we have tools and objective non-biased diagnostics to utilize in that pursuit. So, no, Sirius did not explain very clearly at all - he used another analogy. I too used an analogy, but also spoke directly about the investigation of this occult experiment in question, and occult experimentation in general.


Then I suppose the only solution is to completely dismiss whatever perspective the analogy had to offer, eh?

QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Feb 13 2011, 10:38 AM) *

However, although we can treat it scientifically, magic is not a material science. We don't have the same diagnostics available and almost all results are entirely subjective, with some objective phenomenon qualifying as directly related - but even the truth of that objective element is personal to the individual, who is the only one who really knows their personal intentions and expectations of the work.


Right. Which is why I insist on the magician's record being the basis of comparison. Whatever methods are used vary within the context of that record. So too the results. Since the magician is part of the experiment, it is impossible to separate him or her from whatever methods are used.

This given, the post-modern/existential perspective is extended too far when it denies that there is any objective reality at all, and when it denies that there are any governing mechanisms to how magick functions. Even given a defined instructional construct, a simple action like "ringing a bell," the action itself will vary based on how a person listens to the bell, and even on the basis of how they ring the bell; in other words, the defined methods in magick have extremely weak construct validity. If the construct validity in magick was strong, methods, such as ringing a bell three times, would always summon Marduk (let's assume this is the instruction for the sake of the example). It obviously doesn't, because Marduk doesn't consistently show up in my living room at 3 o' clock. The tricky part is that, if the bell is rung correctly, Marduk will appear at the stroke of three bells. There is a certain technique to ceremonial magick that is greater than the expressed method. And this is why I emphasize the importance of understanding the purpose of the method over the method itself.

QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Feb 13 2011, 10:38 AM) *

I'm done with this discussion, we've run around in circles and clearly have to just agree to disagree. I cannot concede that one can hold the results of an occult book as any degree of ideal results based on an altered version of the book - without having either before or afterwards performed those same instructions according to the requisites of the book. Until you've done it both ways, you can't possibly know. That's the whole basis of experimentation, to do the experiments and find out. Occult experimentation, specifically grimoire work, is not the same as scientific research into material matters. Some principals carry over, true. But it is still a more personal investigation where the key ingredient - the magician - is a major variable in every experiment.


I have shown that methods themselves are not sufficient to produce results in magick. Imperial has cited other magicians that have followed methods and not achieved results to support this view, and I have cited myself. Furthermore, I have agreed with you that the magician is an integral part of the experiment, and that he or she interacts deeply with whatever method is used. As Sirius 666 demonstrated, the importance of experimentation is the elucidation of a principal. Since the methods themselves are not a satisfactory basis to establish their strong internal validity to a conclusion, as the construct validity of any given methods in magick are in deep question, it doesn't make sense to argue for the "method" as the basis of comparison to an "ideal" result. The crucial factor is the mechanism by which the method functions, which may only be found in understanding the method. While I don't discourage persons from using materials in magick (jumping to the beginning of this discussion, it may be noted provided numerous links to buy the needed materials for the given experiment), focusing on the methods themselves does not guarantee that any result will occur, or that the result will even occur properly.

Perhaps the real argument here pertains to the internal conditions of the experimenters themselves. If it is held as a belief that the method is essential as given, than it may be impossible to achieve a result except through that method, since this could be a condition of the experimenter that affects a mechanism critical to the outcome. If this were true though, this condition of belief would not be necessary in order to exploit the mechanism by which the operation is carried out.

Sirius, do you have any further comments?


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---------------------------------
"It sometimes strikes me that the whole of science is a piece of impudence; that nature can afford to ignore our impertinent interference. If our monkey mischief should ever reach the point of blowing up the earth by decomposing an atom, and even annihilated the sun himself, I cannot really suppose that the universe would turn a hair.” --- Aleister Crowley

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."
--- Stephen Hawking

Therefore, God is a monkey.

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sirius666
post Mar 1 2011, 10:09 PM
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Indeed ... In science, as well as in magick, fallacies are the unfortunate majority.

To assume that science is a completely mechanical process which progresses by a set of strictly defined functions and rules is a very dangerous error . Indeed, most of the best science is a product of genius e.g. Einstein's Photoelectric Effect, Tesla's engineering of the Electromagnetic Field, Boltzmann's insight into Statistical Mechanics, DeBroglie's one page Nobel Prize winning Ph.D. thesis etc. It is worthy to note that many of the ideas of these aforementioned ideas were VERY unpopular in historical context. The postulate here is that science progresses through the creative genius who is firmly rooted in the scientific principles of his day. One cannot emphasize enough that a firm understanding in the principles of science and a flexible and creative attitude are prerequisites for any revolution in scientific thinking. Indeed the same may be argued of Magick, its geniuses, and its revolutionary ideas.

Often magicians appeal towards the "method of science" to legitimize their perspectives and process with a complete lack of understanding of or appreciation for the critical subtleties which define the process of science. This is a most detestable act, for it undermines the foundations of both magick and science.

One process, for example, which is held dearly by honest scientists in all fields is that of record keeping. In his record, the scientist keeps his experimental work and monitors his progress. So too, in magick, we proceed and progress by scribing and examining the paths that we have traveled and the projects we have undertaken. Indeed it is useless to record the results of an experiment if one has lost his record of the experimental setup, for the experimental setup provides the context through which the experimental results may be interpreted ! This notion is very clearly emphasized by Mr. Crowley "Verily, it is better to fail in the magical ceremony than to fail in writing down an accurate record of it" (Liber ABA p.239).

With this wisdom, we may press on through the dangerous web of charlatan falsities which cloud our vision and creativity. As we strive towards creativity, so we progress.

666 Sirius 666

This post has been edited by sirius666: Mar 1 2011, 10:12 PM

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VitalWinds
post Mar 21 2011, 03:01 PM
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QUOTE(sirius666 @ Feb 9 2011, 10:58 PM) *

I should encourage all of us to think a bit beyond the version of "science" which was taught to us in high school. To assert that something is of a completely singular nature is to neglect other possibilities. To assert that there is one correct way of performing an experiment is to assert that all other ways are incorrect. Generally - this perspective inhibits one from different points of view.

Let us bring our attention to this "scientific method" which we have relied upon so heavily to support our opinions is not the "method of science".

The process of validating a phenomenon which is well described and understood (i.e. previously validated via experiment an arbitrarily large number of times) is a matter constructing an experiment which confines the desired phenomenon to a certain behavior. Most importantly, there may be great flexibility in experimental design from scientist to scientist when he/she is testing or observing some phenomenon. For example, Scientist A may investigate the properties of the electromagnetic field by measuring the magnetic helicity density in low density plasmas. Scientist B may investigate the properties of the electromagnetic field by measuring the CV characteristic of his newly fabricated MOS device. Both scientists have measured and demonstrated the electromagnetic field through their experiments.

The game is somewhat different when one is attempting to measure or describe something which is new to science. For example, there are hundreds of experiments in progress in solid state physics which are aimed at understanding the propagation of spin-waves in anti-ferromagnetic materials at low temperature. It is, in fact, to the advantage of the scientific community to engineer creative experiments around a certain phenomenon in order to gain a greater understanding of its workings.

I hope that I have eliminated in everyone the conception that science is always a straightforward process. There are (almost) no discontinuities in nature; the interrelationships are infinite. There are many correct ways of demonstrating some phenomenon of interest. There are just as many incorrect ways of demonstrating that phenomenon. The metric by which we determine "correctness" is that the phenomenon should be reproducible.

Let us endeavour to bring these concepts into our magicks. Let us not be overly concerned if we omit the copper crown from our Venuisian invocations, but let us not wear a crown of iron in its place. Be rigid to the traditional corresponds but do not your rigidity undermine your understanding and creativity, for this is the wisdom of science.

666-Sirius-666



So.... You come here wanting to bring science to the occult community. You employ said science as a tool for the "quantification" of magick. And now, I read this post stating that you do not agree with the scientific method and wish for people to embrace new and unique ways to understand occult phenomenon. Does this mean I was right in assuming that your post in my poll was just to agitate me? I mean why else would you have said that? It seems to me that you are someone who obtained a degree in some electronics related field, had a distaste for the occult, and wanted to vindicate your beliefs by gauging the intelligence of those in the occult community. Do you come here actively seeking an argument in which you can dissuade belief in magick? No, you come here and spout off redundant speeches that contradict everything you've done here so far, but say it in a way that has those with a lesser grasp of English and it's larger words following you in awe of your "intellect". And what of the more intelligent people on our forums? You bring up things that you have researched to an unhealthy extent under the context that if one could scientifically validate a pre-existing(and stated in the context) occult idea, then that would confirm with yourself and the scientific community that it must be true, therein testing the occult community to prove their beliefs. Such as happened with Vagrant. You knew that you already had the information and could easily word things to baffle others and either make them make a mistake or at least make them appear to have made a mistake, in logic or otherwise.

Regardless of how much of what I just said is justifiable or provable, I think it's fairly obvious that you are only here to annoy those of Pagan faiths, and to feel "intelligent" by confusing others with principles from a field they do not understand. Just like YOU do not understand magick. The occult does not seek to be scientifically proven. The occult needs no proof. Everyone has had experiences which cannot be measured or quantified and quite possibly could not have been experienced by others.

And furthermore, I think you are an outright prick.

I speak only for myself when I say this.


--------------------
Peace.

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