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 The Folly Of Assumption
th0th
post Apr 8 2010, 11:30 AM
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

I'm new to this forum, and as I acclimate further, I've noticed a lot of younger (15-20) folks on here - I suppose this comes with the territory. I find myself cringing at their posts, which are, unfortunately, often peppered with assumptions, or at least questionable scholarship. For instance, last night I replied to a post in LHP about whether "Satan/Lucifer" was "good" or "evil". The poster (if he reads this, it isn't meant as a personal attack) wrote further...

QUOTE
from a christian view such as everyone who i know how could you go about telling them that devil is not bad i have been reading The Satanic Bible and its very interesting LaVey is a brilliant man.


Frankly, this bothered me. A lot. It bothered me because it spoke to a deep misunderstanding of spirituality. It bothered me because living a magickal life isn't about proving anything to anyone any more than being Christian is (ideally) - it is a personal journey. And, finally, it bothered me because the poster seems to be failing to perform his due diligence on, and to question, LaVey - just as Bible scholars fail to question the persons that wrote the Bible. Any merit aside, it is not unlikely that LaVey was a charlatan who lied about his reasons for developing the Church of Satan, just as Gardner, Sanders, etc.

I am by no means a heavily experienced ceremonial magician, but I certainly understand the importance of scholastic diligence and the folly of assumption in esoteric studies. Failure in these areas is arguably common amongst students and practitioners of the occult. I suppose the reason this irks me more greatly when it comes to young folk is that, in my experience, they tend to recklessly seek darkness and readily assume a narrow, exoteric understanding of their pursuits as if it were the most profound exegesis possible.

I suspect that this gravitational effect is not the result of a "true inner darkness" (if there is such a thing), but rather a shallow desire to "be dark" (having been a young man grasping for an identity, I understand the desperation with which we attain to adjectives as ornaments to a budding personality). Otherwise, it strikes me that they would seek a deeper understanding of the spiritual beings they're supporting; for example, it seems more than a little ridiculous for someone to become a Satanist based strictly on a Judeo-Christian interpretation of an antithetical diabolical figure.

Thoughts?

Also, for others who attempt to avoid the folly of assumption, and pursue the study of magick, and its requisite and auxiliary fields, with great diligence - would you be so kind as to recommend books and authors that satisfy an acceptable scholastic baseline? I'm already quite familiar with the works of Crowley, but I'm very curious about other systems and modern magickal authorities.

Love is the law, love under will.


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AUMGN for the restless, ARARITA for the Rest.
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bym
post Apr 8 2010, 02:33 PM
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Greetings!
Careful! You may get labelled if you make any disparaging commentary on the youth in Magic today!LOL! As far as reading material...it depends on the nature of your 'beast' (sorry, punning can be annoying)
For an interesting almost Christianized Hermetic standpoint you have Franz Bardon. Dion Fortunes works have always been a favorite of mine... Also the writings of the Aurum Solis can be very informative.
Butlers works are a worthwhile read, as are Stephen Skinner. The vast collection by Mathers is recommended but, being a Crowley person you probably have read him extensively. Kenneth Grant has some rather odd trips down 'reality' lane as does Michael Bertiaux (sp?) That whole splintering of the OTO provides some interesting insights and humor...*grin* Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled is now a classic. I could go on....with the Schuelers Enochian works or Rosemary Clarks Egyptian texts (move over Budge) and lastly the whole of the Theosophists writings. Again, more is coming but space is limited.

As far as younger people and Magic.... this would apply to most everyone but especially younger males....it has been my observation and my humble opinion, that most people within that grouping are there for a limited set of circumstances. (STOP! before you-all have a canniption-fit...) as we enter the world we wish to gain mastery over ourselves and our environs. Magic is a way to do this...in a non-overtly competitive way. Younger people are drawn to the 'Dark' because it affords a faster path to power. Coupled with the whole 'rebellious theme' and there you are. LaVey is an idiot. He was a publicity hound. I remember when he first made the scene....an ex-circus performer/criminologist/idiot. The newspapers ate him up! He borrowed bits and pieces from everywhere (including Enochian)...*sigh* You can lecture, plead with, talk to or even stand on your head...but you'll always be wrong or unsympathetic or 'weak'....etc ad nauseum with the younger crowd. (NO, NOT ALL of YOU) They know it all and value little what they get. But...that has always been true of 'the generation-gap'...! (In my case, many generations gap) But I digress....soggy brains! *sigh* (IMG:style_emoticons/default/i_triangle.gif)


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th0th
post Apr 8 2010, 03:48 PM
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QUOTE
Careful! You may get labelled if you make any disparaging commentary on the youth in Magic today!LOL!


I tried to be careful how I expressed that, hoping I wouldn't end up doing that. Ideally, I hope to impress upon anyone fitting the given description that the magickal life comes with responsibility to know what they're doing, to own their information, to be dedicated... to be a student, a magician, a transcendent being - not someone who could be caricatured as a bad guy on "Charmed".

QUOTE
As far as reading material...it depends on the nature of your 'beast' (sorry, punning can be annoying)


No worries, despite whatever my initial impression may be, I'm far from humorless (IMG:style_emoticons/default/haha.gif) Thanks very much for the suggestions.

For magickal study, I'm prone to scientific illuminism, and the more unbiased, the better. I feel I've been well-conditioned for a magickal career because I've incorporated a good deal of middle path ideology into my universal overview; unfortunately, as a result, it turns me off to obvious prejudices (which is something I suppose I'll need to work on) and the people who express them; naturally, I struggle with Crowley sometimes, but the depth of his knowledge keeps the intrigue. In another thread, someone suggested that Dion Fortune comes across a bit anti-Jew, although I can't really qualify that; if it's true, I would notice, and it would annoy me. Honestly, I always liked Christopher Penczak's thoroughness and objectivity, but alas! if only I could resurrect Hemingway for a brutal edit-job and extensive de-fluffing. It's technique I'm after - technique and systems, as free from dogma as possible. (As soon as I can afford it, I'm buying a copy of Magick In Theory And Practice.)

For mysticism (i.e. psychic gifts and divination), I would tend towards authors who can understand and integrate the alchemical psychology of Jung. This is because I find mysticism to be primarily intuitive, thus deeply interconnected with the subconscious mind. I don't actually know of any authors that do this. I'm synthesizing my own understanding through various Jung-influenced works and a smattering of Gnostic and Hermetic anecdotes on spiritual alchemy, motivated by the notion that the process of spiritual alchemy leads to greater realization of subconscious / intuitive / mystic potential.

QUOTE
The vast collection by Mathers is recommended but, being a Crowley person you probably have read him extensively.


Some. I've got his translation of the Key of Solomon the King and Kabbalah Unveiled (re-reading the latter right now). But, mind you, I'm also calling into question the potentially dubious scholarship (and/or outdated information) of the founders of the G:.D:. and other occult societies; Blavatsky arguably does not exhibit equivalent scholarship, although I'll grant there's more bad than good, and I really do need to pick up Isis Unveiled...

QUOTE
as we enter the world we wish to gain mastery over ourselves and our environs. Magic is a way to do this...in a non-overtly competitive way. Younger people are drawn to the 'Dark' because it affords a faster path to power. Coupled with the whole 'rebellious theme' and there you are.


Acknowledged. But it's annoying when it ends up making this look like a silly game for kids. I can't tell you how many times I've seen "Wicca saved my life" on other forums written by 13-year-olds. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/angry_pissed_off_emoticon.gif)

QUOTE
LaVey is an idiot. He was a publicity hound. I remember when he first made the scene....an ex-circus performer/criminologist/idiot. The newspapers ate him up!


I wouldn't quite go THAT far. He did make some good points. Granted, they were probably other people's points, but media-whoring aside, there is SOME worthwhile and non-sensationalist value to some of his work. Not to give him too much credit, of course. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/bigwink.gif)


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z:.a:. - mucro pondera divinus
[ 61 + 146 = 0 ] : [ ªnode + ªngel = ªur ]
AUMGN for the restless, ARARITA for the Rest.
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Mchawi
post Apr 9 2010, 11:45 AM
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Mark Stavish is a favorite of mine, agree with your point on doing away with the diatribe but I suppose for certain characters its ''nessary'' as they become more shamanistic and have to lead you on a way of belief to better resonate at their frequency so to speak. Others who are simply following paths and commenting on them can offer theory without opinion on the Atlanteians or comments on personal opinion and view. Lon Milo DuQuettes chickhen Kabbalah is a brilliant introduction to its theory... forget who it was that said it, applying the age old saying, ''As above so below'' that as high up in development you become is balanced by how down to earth you need to be, Milo does that very well. Haven't read their books for a while but Melita Dennings O.A.S, Ogdoadic system is another outside of the usual, avoid the fluffy stuff though, think they use it as a way to engage the New Age hoping they'll dig deeper. W.E Butler is a less well known Regardie a bit heavier on the nose. Pat Zalewiski... hope they carry on the 'Z' texts if they're not deemed too revealing, found his writings flow well, enjoyed reading the theory as well as the story behind New Zealands G.D. Don't think I have anything by Gareth Knight. Paul Foster Case, is another.

Find it good to read up on people outside of the G.D, while I enjoy reading and collecting books I found, rather learnt that its not such an idea to delve into too many theories stemming from the same source as they seem the same but have diffrent angles to them, end up adopting bits and peices only to find that they don't fit so well together .lol. Reading outside of a school of thought can be refreshing though, Dennings and G. Gurdjieff offer that. Don't belive that you have to be a scholar to be a Cerimonial.M, its more that those types are drawn to it over other systems. Theres something about mankinds insecurities that says we have to know everything about something rather than trust and exist. Fine, have it fit into a personal worldview but theres no real need to rack your brains breaking down each association in a temple ritual... gets to the point when you know without knowing anyway, ''do your practice and all is coming'' as the yogis say.

Satanism, unsure why a youngster would go there except in an attempt to scare people and get a bit of attention bit like those animals that puff themselves up to fend off would be attackers, pretend to be all dark and scary to have people respect you. Cultural veiws of the devil and evil can be somewhat aside from other religions, serves a purpose and isn't all out badass ''Satanism'' has been around in forms for a long time past mainstream religions like some schools belived that God is so all powerful that he wouldn't consern himself with creation, that creation as we know it is the work of some demon rather than God. Colin Wilson (The Occult & Beyond the occult) offers a theory that the witch hunts of europe were valid hunts for such schools and that there were devil worshipping groups running riot during those times.

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Xenomancer
post Apr 9 2010, 09:15 PM
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...haha. Please do not find me a bit crude for suggesting this, but understanding the physical aspects of the world will also help. This is how sages of times long past were able to wield such wisdom. In the words of a mentor of mine:

"Chop wood, carry buckets, reach enlightenment...chop wood, carry buckets!"

I digress. Reading books on the properties of the universe as we know it would give a wonderful new perspective on the world for which magic could work as a venue. As Vagrant Dreamer said in a recent post of mine, things in this world have their magical analogues, and vice-versa. Also, to supplement this, one should know firsthand where the postulations about magic we have today come from. In addition, one should also pay attention to where the ideas and philosophies that have shaped the ethical principles of magical practice have come from. So, here's a beginner's list:

Brief History of Time - Steven Hawking
The Universe in a Nutshell - Steven Hawking
Pale Blue Dot - Carl Sagan
The Analects - Confucious
Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu
Metaphysics - Aristotle
Elements - Euclid
The Mystery of Numbers - Marc-Alain Ouaknin

The whole idea is to educate oneself before you practice!!

I made that mistake long ago, and regretted it! Now, I absorb virtually every book I can lay my hands on, all the while meditating on what I learned in my garage with a cigarette and a tall glass of drink.

If anything, I will openly advocate the scholar's path to magical practice. Learn, Learn, Learn! The reason I advocate this approach is because, verily, to learn is to live. When we stop living, we stop learning, and vice-versa.

CAVEAT: If you're not laughing during any of it, you're not doing either correctly!! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif) Marvel with glee at what you find!


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-Never learn the Art of Sword before the Art of Dance. - Celtic Proverb
-Even with spiritual power, an unchecked ego will only seek to deify itself. - Frank MacEowen
-One cannot traverse waters without causing waves. - Xenomancer
-I find it interesting that we as scholars of metaphysics have no problem discussing the intricacies of the threads of reality, but when it comes to the things that really matter, we forget them. - Xenomancer
-This world is your home. We have a mix of everything here. If you want better, make better. There's no rule of going elsewhere for the tools. That's what magick is about. - Xenomancer

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Mchawi
post Apr 23 2010, 07:28 PM
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Another reccomendation, of them all i'd lend you this one, "Talks with a devil" by Ouspensky. Brilliantly funny and well written a story told from the perspective of the devil discerning things from his point of view as lord of the material world and none else as, of course, there is nothing else .lol.

Haven't lost myself in a book for ages, excellent author, a pupil of Gurdjeff.

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ThothSphere
post Oct 11 2014, 10:14 PM
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I suggest something that has helped give me great clarity and solid foundation in knowledge and philosophy, and that is the ra law of one material. Its extremely dense but if patiently perused will yield an utterly balanced look and perspective of all things esoteric ( at least in a basic foundational sense). Also a truly refreshing read as the source of the material seems to be quite devoid of an often characteristically human lack of balance that one often sees in well, material from human sources. Oh and i forgot to mention that the material is allegedly a channelling of a super- intelligent non human non terrestrial source (nor from the inner planes). I'd say let the material speak for itself and then one should decide how intelligent this source is. I personally feel that the knowledge of these aliens is near supreme.

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