Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Getting Real Traction in the Work by Getting Your Desires

Ok, so yesterday's post focused more on the things I disagree with Frater Acher about than the things I agree with him about. That's totally not fair, because I do think he's awesome in his own way, and I want to make sure everyone knows I respect him and his path. It's just not for me... and I disagree that magicians should not focus on miracles and the manifestations thereof.

I think what he's doing is trying to get people to focus on expectation management. Too much focus on the materialization of the spirits can make you lose your perspective and mistake a vision obtained for a successful rite, and overly focusing on the physical stuff you get as the outcome can blind you to the real benefits of magic and this hermetic stuff we do.

I think that's what Acher is focusing on in his advice, the outcome. And he values the internal outcome the most, the changes to the inner man within the magician, because that's what brings the peace, the stoic contentedness that he believes is an enlightened state. He is totally right, too, it is the internal changes to you that matter most. The person you become as you do magic, the harmonization of your spheres, the learning who and what you are that make you capable of doing whatever it is that you're here to do... That's the real reason we do the magic to manifest the world, because the process changes us into who we are, it teaches us the things we have forgotten while incarnated. It makes us fully human, i.e. divine and in the flesh at the same time, in harmony. That's beautiful. And that is more important than the flashy magics, in the long run.

But here's the thing... I also think people should be happy. I believe happiness is a spiritual tool, an indicator that points directly back to their True Will, their Providence, their Fate, their Destiny, their Raison d'ĂȘtre. I don't think there's a better or more pleasant way to discover and apply your Will than to go after the manifestation of what you want. Nothing will make you happier than achieving harmony between the things you do and the things you want to do. When your life manifests your desires, your Will becomes obvious. You learn Who you are, and Why you are as you pursue the things you want. You develop the ability to discern what you "really" want when you manifest things that you thought you wanted and they don't make you happy. You learn the spiritual lessons that reveal what it is that really makes you happy underneath the physical situations, relationships, or material things.

The material manifestations... those are just physical representations of Ideas to magicians like me, Hermeticists who are at home in the cosmology of neoplatonism. They are the clumsiest forms of the Idea, and are furthest from their core source.

But we are also in physical bodies, and the physical interaction of "us" with the physical manifestation of the desired thing reveals a physical harmonic that is a manifestation of the interaction between my eternal spirit sourced in the Primum Mobile that manifests as light in extension for the joy of existence and the Idea that is manifested in the desired thing. Manifesting what you want physically is awesome.

It's also a major part of why we're here, all of us. The creation and manifestation of our worlds. There's a reason it makes us really thrilled and gives us supernatural perspective, elevated understanding, a rush of endorphins, and the divine madness of being a god. It is beautiful, on purpose, as a signpost that you are doing it right. 

So the problem a lot of people with spiritual inclinations have with this kind of ecstatic approach to finding spiritual attainment through the fulfillment of desires is that, quite simply, it is dangerous. I advocate focusing on pleasure because it can teach you about yourself. If you really apply your mind and your reason and your intellect and your constructive interest to the understanding of what makes you happy, if you go after your Genius and work with it to learn from your pleasures, you will succeed in awesome ways.

But if you let your desires master you, if you fall into the trap of just feeling the good feelings without applying yourself to understanding what the experience represents to you across the spectrum of the "worlds," physical, mental, spiritual, and how that impacts eternity, you're wasting your time. I tell people to go after what they want with the assumption firmly in place that you will do so under the umbrella, with the intent of "knowing thyself."

But I also have little doubt that you'll really be able to do any of the magic I recommend and end up on the wrong side of the left hand path. Yes, it's dangerous, but if you're regularly working with angels, spirits, and your HGA, you've got little to fear. They, and your own inner spirit that strives to be all that it intends to become, will ensure that even if you slip up a bit, you end up in the right place sooner or later.

So get started with the simple stuff. Conjure the spirits with the intent to get some money, or a new car, or a better relationship, or a career path. Look at your life, the things that you have, and the things that you do, and take a close look at how these things make you feel. Note the things about your life that bring you pleasure. Note the things that need to change in order to bring you pleasure.

Then determine the right spirits to conjure up who will bring you the desired results. Then conjure them. Then ask them to change your world. Then evaluate your results. Then determine if you're happy, and if so, why. If not, why not. Then decide what you want to do next, alter the existing outcome, or start something new. Then do more magic to get what you want, and see how you like it when you get it.

Repeat this, ad infinatum. Seek the Kingdom of God. Find it. Rule it. Let this process transform you from ignorance to understanding, from puny human to immortal god, from ignorance to transcendence (and back again). As you get the things you want, you'll be happy. As you see that you are powerful, you will become content. As you learn that the things aren't the fun, you will learn the mystery of why we're here, and the power of fun, and the experience of joy.

And you'll develop traction, spiritual muscles. You'll live a magical life that is filled with wonder, insight, and wisdom. You won't turn into an arrogant self-absorbed prick all the time, you'll know with each passed mile marker along the way that you are accomplishing your mission by keeping in motion, never stopping until you've been completely undone and put back together. You'll keep moving forward, onward and upward, you'll just keep swimming... I'm running out of trite cliches here, but give me a minute, they'll be back...

Traction. That's the key. You keep moving... like a shark.


  1. Disclaimer - these are musings!

    Emphasis on 'willing' what you 'want' is strange. There is so much to learn in the restraint of desire or for instance in the pursuit of a skill that you don’t necessarily ‘want’. Indeed these are the essence of the first two steps of Yoga that your precious Crowley lays out in Book 4, Yamas and Niyamas.

    Neoplatonism is not a legion in testudo formation. Significant disagreements occurred e.g. Porphyry and Iamblichus, the disagreements you are hypothetically discussing here are largely the same.

    I dislike your use of the word ‘just’, as it seems it could be replaced with the word merely – it suggests an aloofness which doesn’t seem to work with what you say next. To be honest I am not sure I entirely like your use of the word ‘physical’ either – the objects around you that you perceive exist in your consciousness, you are only conscious of your consciousness of them, or even more so, you are conscious of your perception of them. At no point does your awareness directly connect with the objects themselves so their ‘physical existence’ is largely an assumption. More meditation on the cave and the line is necessary I think plus a bit of reflection on that maybe the idea of forms as derived from Socrates has been heavily interpreted and perhaps misinterpreted. I see the forms as an idea that is useful on the way to enlightenment, i.e. that mind is the primary nature of all things (therefore there is no ‘just’ ‘physical’). When mind is accepted as the primary nature of all things, Parmenides ‘On Nature’ makes sense.

    Manifestations on the astral are equally rewarding and also equally difficult to achieve. Bringing down and going up are equally heroic.

    The point about the primacy of pleasure is inimitably Taurean. But happiness does not always equal ‘pleasure’.

    If this is a post for 101 as previously discussed I think it is unwise to recommend people begin summoning spirits without completing some training in stoicism first. The reason that Crowley *begins* Book 4 with Yoga is because stoicism and exploration of consciousness are necessary phases in development to handle the other stuff like difficult spirits. Its kind of drilling and battlefield reconnaissance before the actual battle. Wandering around summoning spirits willy nilly *is* dangerous.

    These things said I do largely agree with the general thrust of your post and tacking away from what I say here, I say to you why not assume an even stronger position? Sure the people of the last century’s orders consumed in the end by the rise of psychology, post-structuralism and identity politics may say the flashy pyrotechnics are not where the action is really at but I disagree. I am with Fr Ashen. I think summoning to ‘physical manifestation’ should be essential – whether it be in the shewstone, the smoky light of the temple, in the appearance of moths, spiders, bats, wolves, old men, babies – or in the terrifying ecstasy of a thunderstorm you evoked. Knowledge of the self involves knowledge of your own power – and that knowledge is the most frightening thing of all, because with it comes responsibility, it’s no longer possible to blame everyone else.

  2. First off, Blogos, everything you disagree with me about is bullshit. Your reasons for disgreeing are bad, and they reflect character traits which are the direct manifestations of your core beliefs, et tua criceta fuit, et pater vester Odoratusque est sicut sambucus.

    That said...

    Everything you've agreed with me about is brilliant and indicates the keen wit and clever mind I appreciate among the brethren.

    I don't go further and insist on the physical manifestation of spirits because that's not why I do magic, and it is functionally meaningless.

    Frater Ashen insists on it because he fundamentally disbelieves his magic. He has to see to believe.

    I believe that when you do magic, sometimes you see manifestations of the spirits, and sometimes you do not. This has no impact on the success of the rite.

    Specifically, the appearance of the spirits does not signify the success of the magic. It merely proves that, while doing the rite or while observing phenomena, the magician perceived what they interpret as a manifestation of the spirit.

    Early in my practice, I perceived spirits many times, and did not receive the promised result. Was the spirit lying? Was I delusional? I don't know. Regardless of whether I saw the spirit or not, I didn't get what I wanted. If you can see a spirit and still have your rite fail, that makes it a weak metric.

    Furthermore, I've gotten stuff I asked for when I did not perceive the presence of the spirits. This experience made the metric of "seeing" spirits meaningless in my practice, and I carried on.

    These days I think it's cool if I see the spirits, but the main intent is to create the world. I can feel it happening, whether the spirit is manifesting to my eyes or not.

  3. So, along the lines of "enchanting for desires" I read an interview not too long ago with Genesis P-Orridge about the sigil practice of thee Temple ov Psychic Youth, which I owe far more to my understanding of "chaos magic" than I do to pope pete.

    In the interview Genesis says that the people who carried out the full program of doing a sigil a la Spare on the 23rd of the month for 23 months found that what they actually became really adept at was knowing what it was that they really desired. They kind of learned more and more about what it was that they really wanted, and how to go about getting more of that.

    I thought it was an interesting comment, and one that relates to what you've been saying lately R.O.

    Fu Mang-chu


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