Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Enlightenment Bombing

Wow, I didn't expect to stir up any trouble with my last posts. Apparently I've left some Golden Dawn initiates all concerned though. Fr. Sincerus Renatus expresses his respectful opinion here. Morgan Drake Eckstein follows up here.

I think I addressed the concerns they express in the Follow up post, specifically in the last few paragraphs. The idea of enlightenment bombing your enemies is a very tricky ethical issue. It's thorny. That statement I made about being a Christian and doing this kind of magic for their own good was drippingly sardonic on purpose. I don't know if that came through strongly enough. My ironic wit perhaps doesn't translate well across borders.

The warnings at the end are all about the consequences you face when you take it on yourself to "make someone better." If you're going to play god, you'd damned well better be at least a lower-case god, or it's going to hurt.

It's approaching hubris to think you're at a point where you can determine where someone else is at in their path and what they need to do next, right?

Well...

You know those Hermetic Diagnoses I provide? It's part of my job to know where people are at in their path as it relates to the planetary spheres. I'm a professional, and my clients tell me I'm damned good at it. I know where people are at, if I check, and I happen to have a lot of faith in my divination talents when it comes to this arena.

So yeah, as a matter of fact, I can tell where people are at and where they need to go. But that's not all I did that got people upset. I had the audacity to send a punishing spirit, AND to then dare to put someone in the Alembic and start the fires below. How dare I take it on myself to mess with their spiritual destiny, their fate...

Well...

Fate. See, I'm in the flesh as I type this. I'm not just a spirit floating around with highly developed telekinesis powers that let me type without a body. I'm really human, ten fingers, ten toes, one nose. As a result of being in the flesh, the experienced Hermeticist will understand that I must have passed through the sphere of Saturn on my way down to the material realm. Consequently, I TOO am subject to Fate. I'm part of it, in fact. An agent of Fate. It's my fate to suffer the shit talkers in life, but it's also their fate to be in my kingdom, and to become the subjects of my god-practicing sessions.

Which brings us to another point. Do I think I'm God? Long time readers know I do not think I'm God. I've argued against that a lot. I'm part of the sum total that is God, but I am not all of it. I'm just part. I'm an individuated consciousness, I have a divine spark, but as long as I experience my existence from my point of view, I know I'm not God.

I am, however, made in his image. God made us, in my opinion, to experience his creation, and also to keep him company. We are like God. We are the answer to the question that is "Michael." We're little-g gods, made to participate in the creation and maintenance of the world the same way God did it, as outlined on the emerald Tablet. We take ideas, we speak them into being, we pass them through the Spheres and we create the world. We Work with our brothers and sisters in the cosmic hierarchy in maintaining and ruling our kingdoms. We are equipped through occult practice to meet the responsibilities of running our world as we see fit, in power.

The initiations we go through bring us wisdom as well as power. The wisdom keeps us from using the power wrong. The wisdom also comes from using the power wrong. Those warnings at the end about how much hypocrisy the universe will put up with? Yeah, that's called "experience." Painful experience that I wouldn't trade for a life of luxury and wealth.

The nice thing about this kind of rite, this enlightenment bombing, is that it cannot succeed if it is outside of God's will. Or the True Will of the person, or their Destiny or Fate or Karma or whatever. It is the kind of thing that if you try to do it and you ought not to, you will personally reap the rewards of the attempt instead of your intended victim.

And that's a really good thing. I'm a "MOVE, or move me" kind of guy when it comes to obstacles. I've been around the block enough to know that I am not perfect. I know when I meet an obstacle or an ordeal that resorting to magic will help me, no matter what, because it will either move the obstacle, or it will teach me how to move around or even to use the obstacle to my advantage.

It might hurt. Initiations usually do, and it hurts like building muscles hurts. Painful, terrible to endure, it really sucks in the moment, but when the pain is gone you're left with two things, power and the wisdom to use it.

I've been around the block a few times. I don't think I'm a 9=2, or at Jesus' level of ascended master. I don't think that's really necessary to accomplish my purpose here on Earth. I do know that if it is necessary, my life will unfold in a way that makes it inevitable. I'm not holding my breath though.

I do think I'm at Jesus' level in some ways, but mostly in the ways he said I would be. "These miracles are nothing compared to the shit you're going to be doing!" he said. Sort of. "Have I not said you're a god?" He said that too. He also said we're all children of God. Just like he is. He's our brother, our big brother, the eldest, the First, but still an emanation of God, just like us. We have the same Dad, and Dad loves us all the same. We're all as necessary as Christ. We all have just as important fates to fulfill. And we're given the powers we need to accomplish our goals.

And the powers we receive are guides, too. You don't get to conjure evil daimons if you're not supposed to ever conjure them. That power exists for a reason. So far, I've found it exists primarily to cast evil spirits out of other people's lives. It brings healing and peace of mind. But I also find in the Divine Pymander that the evil daimon is sent to the impious to afflict them until they return to the pursuit of their Source. And that's all I did with my issue. I sent a spirit to afflict them in a minor way, and then I did what I could to bring them back to pursuing their Source.

It occurred to me to do this because it's my fate that it would occur to me. I perform microcosmically the same functions God performs macrocosmically because I'm his microcosmic image. I take all this stuff we're learning and studying and practicing seriously. I believe it. It has strong explanatory force. It makes sense.

And if I'm wrong, I'll get slapped down, and I'll emerge a better man for it. And that's alright by me.

16 comments:

  1. Frater I've just finished reading the two blogs you referenced in this post, and while I am loathe to dignify the Holier Than Thou crowd such as they with a response, I agree with your rebuttal 100%...

    I would further assert, in response to your statement "I don't think I'm a 9=2..." that such grades and degrees in this day and age are of very little merit in and of themselves anyway; In these days of "astrally initiated" online magickal orders whose only requirement for ascension is that the student pay his dues and memorize old knowledge lectures sufficiently to pass online grade exams, wearing a 9=2 or any other such designation means about as much as a diploma from one of the unaccredited distance learning schools advertising college degrees "as seen on tv".

    What makes a man a Magus today is, and I know this is a revolutionary concept, PRACTICING MAGICK.... And if the extent of ones Magickal experience is daily LBRP/BRH and their Grade ceremonies, they are about as much a Magician as Harry Potter.

    To say that any act of Magick which alters someones path or affects their "destiny", or deprives them of their will is black magick is equally meritless; In any act of Magick, the goal of which is not to commune with "God", there is the potential and indeed the likelihood that someone other than yourself will be affected so. Working to bring about better career opportunities? Dont act befuddled when your boss is fired and you are promoted, thus doing him harm and diverting him from his path. Working to draw love and intimacy into your life? Don't whine when a married woman leaves her husband and children to be with you, or is unfaithful to her spouse with you. Working to bring about fortune and a windfall of cash? Dont act startled if Uncle Ted dies and leaves you a sum in his will.

    While this response does diverge somewhat from the subject, I find it relevant in that while such actions may not be INTENDED to affect another or take from them them will, all of them, as with much of Magick, has the potential to do so. Does that make us all black magicians?

    ReplyDelete
  2. M.C., no, that doesn't make us all black magicians.

    But conjuring demons does, so you're screwed. ;)

    At least we'll have good company in hell.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah well, then its off to hell with me! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Think this post nailed it:) I started out with Reiki in my youth. Pretty soon I was sanding it to every person I percieved an imbalance in, which of course was based on an inflated ego hiding behind spirituality.
    What happened though was that sometimes I could feel the transfer happening and sometimes nothing happened, which would make me frustrated. Then I realized that it was not up to me to decide if this person "needed" a transfer or not. So I began using this statement: "If it is in accordance with Divine Will, let this person recieve Reiki"

    Most of the time it worked, and very strongly and well at that, other times it did not. And I figure Divine Will decided which way to flip the switch. All I could do was to offer my services:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Rufus Opus,

    Thank you for this thoughful and balanced response. Yes, divination is valid tool to use to "diagnose" a indvidual. This question was also raised by A.I.T.

    It's true that we are all part of the faith of someone. The question is that plane we should work on in the great network of circumstances we call fate or karma. Man is a special creature in the creation; we have a divine prerogative, that of mending that what was broken, i.e. God; it is our task to raise the sparks as Qabalists say. In a way, what you are doing can be considered doing just that, or is it? Well that's the question that I cannot answer to my full satisfaction.

    I'm a humanist, in its original sense. That is, I regard Man as being divine in origin and manifestation. We are all "lesser gods" so to speak, the microcosmig reflection of the macrocosm (i.e. God). On this part I agree with you. But the integrity and individual value of a human being is sacrosanct. Take away the free will of a human, you take away his dignity.

    I do agree that experiences make us grow as spiritual entities, and I also sense a humbleness in your reply. But at the same time we should steer ourself to act in a way that we perceive to be "according to the Divine Plan", from our limited point of view. It is here where ethics comes in. My ethics says that human free will is sacrosanct and is not an affair to be meddled with.

    In all therapeutic professions, discussion and debate about ethics must always be kept alive. I'm working as a professional case worker and psychotherapist. Issues of ethics are always held in the fore front of discourse. That should also be the case with spiritual therapeutics. That's why I have addressed these issues today. Ethics helps us steer us safely through all the pits that we otherwise could have falled into.

    I also agree with you basically that manipulation of Man's Will can only be affected by the consent of God, or else it will have massive retribution. I suppose that divides "Black Theurgy" (imposed healing) from "Black Thaumaturgy" (magical attack); although nothing can be affected ouside of God's Will, direct manipulation of human will works on higher hiarchial levels (mental as opposed to astral).

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe,
    S:.R:.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fr RO,

    I understand your position and I don't want to extend to much here, because I believe that some things are not to be accepted.

    And regarding what M.C. said: "What makes a man a Magus today is, and I know this is a revolutionary concept, PRACTICING MAGICK.... And if the extent of ones Magickal experience is daily LBRP/BRH and their Grade ceremonies, they are about as much a Magician as Harry Potter."; I agree with the first part: "PRACTICING MAGICK", and the for the rest: dude, you have no fucking idea what you're talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  7. To practice magic, is to impact the world around you. The only difference between someone clear on the mechanics and some who doing magic for an unspecificed good outcome is clarity. I don't see any moral difference.

    Further, not exercising one's skills, talents or magic has an impact too. If one can change the world for the better and chooses not to, what does the say about one's moral character?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Let priests wring their hands about such things, we magi do what needs doing.

    I strongly believe in justified work. I respect, my lady-hearted (conjure term) colleagues and their decision to not engage in certain magical acts, but when it comes down to it, magick is an act of manipulation; even if you are only trying to turn things to your favor you are manipulating something or someone.

    We wield power and as anyone with power knows sometimes it is necessary to use that power bluntly and even with the intent to harm. But like all power it should be used responsibly and with wisdom.

    Just as it is unwise to go about blasting anyone who cuts you off while driving, it is similarly unwise to denounce something as black magic and evil simply because it might be forceful or coercive.

    ReplyDelete
  9. With all due respect to Sincerus Renatus and others who share the same opinion, I cannot agree with most of their take on it (notice I said 'most').

    Magic itself is manipulative, and influential. If one is concerned with manipulating someone or influencing their free will, then one should not practice magic, especially magic for real-world results.

    Calling magic "black" is, to me, a really bad term. it implies that only certain kinds of magic can harm a person or do Undesirable Things to them. But that's REALLY not the case.

    As an example from my own life...

    Just before he and my roommate met, my roommate's ex cast a general "Draw A Lover To Me" type of love spell. The two fell in love at first site. My roommate became absolutely enamored, but became an asshole. They caused a lot of disruption in my life, and jsut as I got over it, the ex strung the roommate along in this messed up things I've since called a "Progressive Breakup". When they finally did completely split, the ex would no longer speak with the roommate, leaving him a broken mess. The roommate tried to kill himself over this, right as I was about to finally have my finances on track for the first time in over a hellishly stressful year. His attempt and the subsequent medical leave on therapy, meant that I had no help with the rent.

    Now I'm broke, about to default on one loan and one credit card, and the roommate is just now having to readjust back into normal life. I've had to shoulder both of us for everything, and I'm having to take a second job to make ends meet.

    The twisted thing is that the roommate is still enamored with the ex and thinks they're going to get back together, and wants to still be friends because this person is still supposedly his best friend.

    So, given the nature of that spell the ex had cast, what again is black magic and what is white magic?

    Once again, all due respect to S.R., after having been *indirectly* affected by a love spell like that...much of that perspective falls short, at least for me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Conjureman, excellent, excellent comment which echoes my own beliefs expressed last night on my blog. The whole discussion of "The Ethics of Black Magick" inspired me to sit down and say some things I've meant to for quite a while, and while mine was in my usual long-winded fashion, your says it perfectly in far less. Kudos brother!

    @Jay, another excellent point; If we as Magicians set ourselves aside from and even above the mainstream by developing abilities that transcend theirs we must also understand that with power comes responsibility, and if it lies within our power to help people, with or without their knowledge or consent, it falls on us to do so.

    @VL, I'll keep it quite simple... I know EXACTLY that the fuck I am talking about. nothing passes through my lip (or in this case fingertips) without having been thought out completely and I dont speak on subjects for which I have no frame of reference. to em your grades in HOGD, Amorc and Martinism mean about as much to me as the "I Graduated From Hogwarts" button my daughter wears. Grades, degrees and nifty little initials like GH, VH or the link prefacing your name mean nothing. There are GD , OTO and other Adepts for whom such venereable rites as the LBRP, BRH and Watchtower Ceremony represent the magnum opus, and whom call themselves adept having made use of no greater Magick than these. I know this and I know a handful of them personally. And yes, I reiterate the statement that having "Greatly Honored" in front of their name does not change the fact that they are about as authentic a Magician as harry fucking potter. These days grades mean shit. Knowledge, EXPERIENTIAL knowledge, not theoretical, not academic, but PRACTICAL is what makes a man a Magus. Guys like RO (not to involve him in this but hes a prime example) who are members of no order, have no formal initiations (save for the spiritual ones which are the ones that actually matter), grades or degrees and who have no cute little #=# next to their name denoting their level but who actually get their hands dirty and practice real Magick, who experiment, fail, succeed, learn and teach, THEY are the true Magus of the modern age, NOT the guy with the cute little GH in front of his name who thinks his shit don't stink and the occult world owes him respect because of his title.

    I dont know you VL and I cant say whether or not you are one such; I dont know if you are one that actually digs in and practices REAL Magick or if you're like unto those who do their daily lbrp, middle pillar and occaisionally another piece from Regardies books and think they're a Magus. If you are the former, you have my respect and I apologize if my words offended you, but they are mine and I wear them along with everything they represent. If you are the latter type, then I frankly dont care.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Quick sidenote, (and sorry for hammering your comments section with such a long post RO)

    VL while I may not agree with you, I gotta say I do respect the hell out of your forthright, pull no punches way of speaking. nothing I hate more than the namby pamby politically correct shit that pervades our community where everyone walks on eggshells to avoid offending everyone else. When someone is says some dumb shit, fucking call it dumb shit. When someone is a moron and just begs to be beaten with a sock filled with batteries (like christian day), fucking call them a dumb shit. And when you think IVE said some dumb shit, goddammit tell me I've said some dumb shit!

    You get plenty of points from me for that one anyway VL!

    ReplyDelete
  12. @M.C., ConjureMan & Ocean Delano: With all due respect, it wasn't I who gave this kind of practice its designation "black magic", Rufus Opus did. Let me quote him: "I think theurgic rites against another person are the truest form of black magic."

    Regarding your other points, we have to agree to disagree.

    @M.C.: Today's Golden Dawn Order isn't exacly what it was 123 years ago. After the 1999 reformation the magical work in the Outer Order is substantial, and that of the Second Order even more so, which also includes Alchemy. If you don't believe me, may I please refer you to Fra. A.I.T.s blog: http://heavenswithinearth.blogspot.com/

    I have fullest respect for the hardworking solo magicians out there, such as yourself or RO, but I must make it clear that our initiates are hardworking magicians and alchemists, so please give them the due respect that also they deserve. Although there exists Temples and Orders that you have have described you cannot use that as a general standard anymore. Until you enter through the treshold of a live Temple you actually have no idea what a particular Order does when it comes to training of the initiate.

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe,
    S:.R:.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lookat this guys! Not only would we not have known eachother a couple hundred years ago, but if we did and we talked like this we would surely have been STONED!

    It's so sweet what we do here, innit?

    Ahhhh, feel it, feel that love.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I suspect some people on this thread ARE stoned, anon.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, and MC, you and VL are totally brothers from another mother. You do similar things magically, and you have similar attitudes about magic, dealing with issues, and taking care of business that needs to be taken care of. You already know him better from the G4J group as Mr. V.G.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Conjureman Ali, I'm honored as usual that you take time to comment.

    Your understanding of the occult powers we wield and the ethics involved are more visceral and real-world than most GD practitioners. In their practice, it's not uncommon to actually do rituals, long involved rites that do not change anything at all, not even indirectly, and they still consider that a successful rite.

    I do not pass judgment on their beliefs. I recognize that it's where they're at with the universe, and despite getting the creeping horrors at the idea of living such a spiritually neutered existence personally, I respect that it makes them happy.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comments, your opinions are valued, even if I disagree with them. Please feel free to criticize my ideas and arguments, question my observations, and push back if you disagree.