Who is number two?
..and who does he work for?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Magic with a K (Let's Push Things Forward) by Mr. Alan Chapman

In an effort to demonstrate that no idea is big enough to explain existence, Buckminster Fuller once described the universe as 'non-simultaneously apprehended'. As the universe is not experienced all at once, but sequentially through space-time, we would need to apprehend all phenomena simultaneously (including that which hasn't occurred yet) in order to account for the entire universe. Because simultaneous apprehension is impossible, so too is a theory that explains everything.

This spells bad news for theories that already claim to account for everything, such as every religion and philosophy previous to post-modernism.

The idea that there is no such thing as absolute truth is a central belief of post-modern magic, and although Fuller's ' non- simultaneously apprehended universe' has been used in the past to validate this idea, it is largely pioneering research in the fields of transactional psychology and quantum physics that informs the post-modern magical world-view.

Post-modern thought has made a number of significant contributions to a freer, less dogmatic world. For instance, there's constructivism, the idea that many of our perceptions of the world are created by ourselves through social and historical processes; contextualism, the understanding that meaning is dependent on context, and so phenomena are interpreted as well as perceived; and pluralism, the recognition that there are many contexts, and no single context is privileged in and of itself.

However, post-modernism is easily misunderstood: decide the constructivism applies to all phenomena instead of just some, and you end up with no metaphysical or universal truth; misunderstand contextualism by confusing interpretation with experience, and you deny the existence of a reality beyond the self; mistake pluralism for equality, and: 'nothing is true, everything is permitted'.

Sadly, we arrived at an accurate description of magic in the 21st Century, where the absolute truth is finally revealed: the universe is devoid of all value, except the relative usefulness of a given world-view in providing self satisfaction for the [po-mo mage]!

Has the last three hundred years of Western magical development really found its conclusion in this narcissistic dead end?

Magic is suffering from the misrepresentation of post-modernism. The abuse of Fuller's 'non-simultaneously apprehended universe' as an argument for existence as devoid of truth is just one example amongst many of the post-modernist extremism that has infected Western occultism.

Although it is true that no idea can account for the entire universe, is it not true that some ideas account for more of the universe than others? Truth most certainly does exist, although it can only ever be known partially through ideas, and to a degree commensurate with the breadth, depth and width of an individual's direct apprehension of the universe. In other words, the greater the awareness of the individual, then the greater the apprehension of truth; the greater the apprehension of truth, then the greater the inadequacy of ideas at expressing that truth.

Buckminster Fuller was a mystic, not an egomaniac.


The relative nature of the personal world-view, or 'reality tunnel', has been explored at great length in the works of Robert Anton Wilson. Indeed, Prometheus Rising has the rather strange effect of making you feel a little less dogmatic, and a little freer, simply by reading it. But just like Buckminster Fuller, RAW has become a casualty of post-modern extremism. I don't think it is unfair to say that this is largely due to his own work.

Wilson describes a certain stage within the magician's initiatory career as the Chapel Perilous:

"In researching occult conspiracies, one eventually faces a crossroad of mythic proportions (called Chapel Perilous in the trade). You come out the other side either a stone paranoid or an agnostic; there is no third way. I came out agnostic.

Chapel Perilous, like the mysterious entity called 'I', cannot be located in the space-time continuum; it is weightless, odorless, tasteless and undetectable by ordinary instruments. Indeed, like the [Self]/'Ego', it is even possible to deny that it is there. And yet, even more like the [Self]/'Ego', once you are inside it, there doesn't seem to be any way to ever get out again, until you suddenly discover that it has been brought into existence by thought and does not exist outside thought. Everything you fear is waiting with slavering jaws in Chapel Perilous, but if you are armed wit the wand of intuition, the cup of sympathy, the sword of reason, and the pentacle of valor, you will find there (the legends say) the Medicine of Metals, the Elixir of Life, the Philosopher's Stone, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness.

That's what the legends always say, and the language of myth is poetically precise. For instance, if you go into that realm without the sword of reason, you will lose your mind, but at the same time, if you take only the sword of reason without the cup of sympathy, you will lose your heart. Even more remarkably, if you approach without the wand of intuition, you can stand at the door for decades never realizing you have arrived. You mighty think you are just waiting for a bus, or wandering room to room looking for your cigarettes, watching a TV show, or reading a cryptic and ambiguous book. Chapel Perilous is tricky that way."

It is far too easy when reading the above (and RAW's work in general) to assume that occultism is an intellectual pursuit- a simple game of interpretation. RAW states the Chapel presents itself when 'researching occult conspiracies'. However, it is evident from his book Cosmic Trigger that by 'researching' Bob actually means taking part in the occult conspiracy by actually performing magic.

It doesn't help that Bob goes on to claim that there are only two possible results or 'exits' from the Chapel-paranoia or agnosticism- which has the effect of reducing the magical quest to nothing but a question of belief.

Is it any wonder that 'the Medicine of Metals, the Elixir of Life, the Philosopher's Stone, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness' i.e. the Crown of the Great Work, is now considered a rather antiquated and flowery way of talking about the intellectual realization of the relative nature of all perception?

It's not for me to judge whether RAW attained to the Goal, but is it really possible to complete the magical quest and still have the option of leaving the Chapel insane? Is it really possible to attain an experience yet leave as a model agnostic?

Did Bob fail to mention a third, secret exit?

Achieving the goal of the magical quest can only result in what I consider to be the only sane world-view: Gnosticism. The world-view or 'reality tunnel' of the Gnostic is not chosen as a model, but given through direct experience. No amount of belief-shifting can substitute for this experience.

Yes, the Gnostic appreciates the arbitrary nature of all ideas, but he or she also knows of an objective truth beyond reason. No genuine teacher has ever preached literally, or claimed the truth is to be found in any idea. But preach they must, because it is better to point some in the right direction at the risk of deluding others, rather than settling for helping no one at all.

What function then does it serve to preach the extreme post-modernism of a universe completely subjective and relative?

There's no doubt about it, RAW was a mystic. Cosmic Trigger is an account of his mystical experiences. I'm not being overly generous when I say Bob preached model agnosticism partly as the necessary next step in introducing magic to the world at large, and partly as a refusal to talk about that which is beyond idea, and so risk muddying the waters.

There is a scene in Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson where Bob takes great pains to explain exactly what Korzybski's famous aphorism 'the map is not the territory' truly means. It's very easy here to think that Bob is simply promoting the idea of an observer-created universe- i.e. ' the map is not the territory' means that we all perceive with our own peculiar 'maps' of reality. However, Bob takes great care to draw attention to what is actually meant by 'territory', yet without actually ascribing any other, specific idea to it. (It is worth noting that in his later years RAW considered himself a Buddhist and a Taoist.)

I admire RAW's integrity in refusing to talk about that which cannot be talked about, but I think this approach has deluded just as many people as any of the more 'explicit' magical teachings.

Happy Rainbow People

The greater freedom afforded by post-modernism, in conjunction with the dawn of the communication age, has encourage a glorious growth in diversity of magical traditions within the Western magical community.

However, the insanity of extreme post-modernism has encouraged the delusion that all of these traditions are of equal value. As a result, magic has become vague and generalized. The plethora of available mystical experiences is reduced to a single, fuzzy notion: 'gnosis'; early stages of childhood are confused with enlightenment; rationalization is confused with meditation; beliefs are confused with perception; superstitious world-views are mistaken for magical consciousness; the pragmatism of pre-industrial sorcery is considered commensurate with post-industrial materialism. And there is supposedly one golden rule in all this: all that matters is if a world-view works for you!

Unfortunately, this approach is indicative of a failure to understand the nature of genuine magical tradition.

Genuine Tradition

Human beings are composed of many dimensions, one of which is the metaphysical. I am using the term in its Greek original sense- a 'metaphysic' is simply a language for describing mystical or profound experience. Every genuine magical tradition to have graced the surface of this planet describes the metaphysical 'plane' as the root of all others, in the sense that it transcends but includes all other experience. These traditions state that if you carry out a certain practice (such as Vipassana or the Knowledge & Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel) on a daily basis, a developmental process will begin with predictable, recognizable stages, that will eventually culminate in what can be considered the completion of the metaphysical process, sometimes referred to as the Great Work [the G Dub], illumination or enlightenment.

As the metaphysical is as much a part of being human as having a body or taking a shit, given enough time any group of humans will eventually produce a good magician who will produce a metaphysic (like the A.'.A.'., or Tantra, or Buddhism, or...etc.) that describes their experience of what it means to be human at the most profound level. This is why there are a startling number of traditions that all appear to be describing the same phenomena, but in different terms.

As these genuine traditions are an expression of the metaphysical process, and therefore concerned solely with the plane of profound or mystical experience, it is never a simple matter of choosing a world-view and reaping the intended results. There is a tradition peculiar to each magician that will bring him or her to the goal and will present itself naturally, or rather magically, at a certain stage in metaphysical growth.

There is only one golden rule concerning genuine tradition: all that matters is if a world-view works for you in completing the Great Work.

Strangely enough, examples of genuine tradition can be found (albeit within their esoteric & heterodox schools) in the three major monotheistic religions of the West: Sufism, Hasidism/Kabbalah, Christian Mysticism [all which include elements Neo-Platonism, Hermeticism & Gnosticism]. Then there are of course the sacred traditions of the East: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism; not forgetting a number of African traditions, such as those practiced by the Yoruba.

And of course, the focus of this article- Magick.

It should be noted that initiation into one of these traditions does not guarantee the expression of the metaphysical process, just as the process can manifest itself without requiring an initiation into one of these traditions.

Pseudo Tradition

However, not everyone has personal, direct experience of the metaphysical. As a result, some misunderstand the metaphysical teachings of genuine tradition and promote a degenerated version, usually by 'confusing the planes' and believing the goal of the metaphysical process is a mental, emotional or physical event.

These traditions are pseudo-traditions, offering only the outward appearance of a genuine tradition, regardless of whether effective practical magic is taught. All magical traditions that do not afford metaphysical process or mystical experience are at best pseudo-traditions. Syncretism is the ultimate example of this, as are those magical traditions that ascribe to a superstitious view of the world. (The superstitious view of the world is sometimes confused with genuine magical consciousness, which is the experience of synchronicity as a permanent adaptation or state.) These are best described in the language of developmental psychology as reflections of the 'magic' or 'mythic' states of development, and include traditions such as: paganism, wicca, heathenism. theosophy, new ageism, etc.

A tell-tale sign of the pseudo-initiate is an emphasis on practical results at the expense of experiencing the truth, or a contentment with rationalization, emotionalism or intuitionism over direct experience of truth.

Counter Tradition

Whereas pseudo-tradition is simply a case of tradition cut off from the metaphysical, there are those traditions that actively oppose the metaphysical process. These traditions are counter-traditions. Any tradition that advocates a refusal to participate in the dissolution of the [self]/'ego' in the divine is counter-initiatory - such as Satanism and Setianism- as are those traditions that traffic with entities that prohibit the metaphysical process, or restrict the magician to working solely within that tradition. The line between pseudo- & counter-tradition is easily crossed, as pseudo-traditions can easily be appropriated by the counter-tradition as a means of subverting genuine seekers.

All counter traditions are based on a misunderstanding of the metaphysical process, and operate from a basis of (usually subconscious) fear. The counter-tradition has its basis in confusion, and so the secrete master of all counter-initiates, regardless of whom they worship, is Choronzon.

Why The long face?

It should not be assumed that simply because a tradition is a pseudo-tradition or even a counter-tradition that it has nothing to offer, or that any benefits gained from practicing such a tradition are invalid.

Both pseudo- & counter-traditions can provide positive changes in [consciousness] and success in materialistic terms-such as in career or business, love-life, social role, etc., and can teach very useful magical techniques, with 'real world' results. Hence the staggering number of 'good' magicians, in the materialistic sense, that have never come across metaphysical experience. Many magical traditions are necessary and indispensable stepping-stones on the way to beginning the metaphysical process, and the expression of genuine tradition.

However, there is no escaping it: both pseudo- & counter-traditions either fail to engage with or completely ignore that part of reality that just so happens to include but transcend every other part of reality. This means that no matter how profound an experience, no matter how materialistically successful, no matter how well developed [consciousness] is as as result of practicing a pseudo-tradition, the magician will only ever know hirself and the rest of the universe at a superficial level.

Special K

Aleister Crowley reverted to the old English spelling of 'magick' to distinguish between his 'art & science of causing change to occur in conformity with will' and stage trickery or illusionism.

Times have change since Crowley's day. I increasingly find that more and more people are using the word magic in its original sense, so I've never felt the need for an alternate spelling. However, in light of the mess of the contemporary magical scene, I very much feel the need to make a new distinction.

When I talk about magic, I no longer wish to reference materialism, superstition, extreme post-modernism, and the pseudo- or counter-traditions. As such, from now on, I will make the distinction by spelling my magic with a k.

The Royal Art
Magick is the art, science and culture of experiencing truth.
This definition includes both subjective and relative truth (or perception), and objective and absolute truth (or enlightenment).

Any act therefore is an act of magick, if awareness is brought to that action. The practice of magick is the exercise and growth of conscious awareness, an expansion of consciousness in all directions and on all levels of experience.

This means magick isn't just about obtaining a material result or attaining the goal of enlightenment, although the latter is most definitely the ultimate goal of genuine tradition. It includes both practicality and mysticism, and the mastery of every level or plane of experience in between.

In light of the above, does getting high, conjuring for material results, pretending to 'belief shift', or indulging a regressive tradition (especially those that belong to the 'magical' or 'mythical' stages of development) really sound like magick?

It is time we addressed the stupidity of extreme post-modernism in our magical community. I think the best way to start is for people to spell correctly.

Post Script

Counter-tradition is NOT the same as the Left-Hand Path, tantra, black magick (i.e. magick for 'negative' ends, such as cursing), working with entities such as Satan, Set, Baphomet, Lilith, the Goetia, demons in general, or other supposedly 'negative' entities.

Although I cite both Satanism and Setianism as examples of counter-tradition, it is the approach or attitude of these traditions that defines them as counter-initiatory. It is possible to work with any entity, including both Satan and Set, and still remain within the genuine tradition.

However, counter-tradition is synonymous with the concept of 'the black brothers', and Rene Guenon often refers to counter-initiates as 'Satanists'. 


Genuine Tradition is NOT the same thing as the Right-Hand Path, white magick (i.e. using magick for 'positive' ends, such as healing), working with entities such as angels, classical gods and goddesses, such as Venus and Mercury, or other 'positive' entities.

It is possible to work with entities from the Greek or Hindu pantheon- for example- yet still remain in a counter- or pseudo-tradition. However, this will usually be a case of failing to understand or implement these traditions. For instance, it is possible to work with Kali without recognizing her transcendental aspect, and thus to fail to experience union with her as a result of ignorance.

However, genuine tradition is synonymous with 'the great white brotherhood' and the A.'.A.'.

A Classical Mess

Although in the preceding [sections] I appropriated a number of terms from the work of Rene Guenon as a means of categorizing the traditions prevalent within the contemporary magical community, it must not be assumed that I am either endorsing Traditionalism, or that [this] work is a typical example of this school of thought.

The problem of extreme post-modernism is not solved through retrospection. To reject post-modernism outright, lament the present condition of humanity, and long for a past 'golden age' is a great failure in understanding what I have called the genuine tradition.

I do not contest that Guenon was first-rate magical genius, or that his book The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times is a masterpiece. His metaphysic is elegant, and hi anticipation of our current society is nothing short of astonishing.

The main thesis of the book concerns humanity's propensity toward the quantitative, at the expense of the qualitative, as an expression of the current period of time in which we find ourselves. In more traditional terms, quantity can be considered 'substance' or 'matter', and its ultimate expression is unmanifest infinite latency- it is therefore 'unintelligible' in the strictest sense. Quality, on the other hand, is the exact polar opposite: it is 'essence' or 'form', and its ultimate expression is unmanifest infinite realization- it is therefore that which is 'intelligible'. It is the interplay of quantity and quality that produces the manifest universe.

The end-point of a movement towards quantity is uniformity, or a multitude of separate units all sharing the same qualities. (This is, of course, impossible. But it is this very denial of what is actually experienced that is at the heart of quantity, and the reason why mathematics is its primary expression.) Such units are 'confused' with each other, lost in uniformity whilst demonstrating separation.

The end-point of a movement towards quality is unity, or a union of all qualities, each distinct but inseparable. An individual experiencing unity would be 'fused, but not confused'. The self/ego is not lost, as is usually supposed by counter-initiates, but transcended and included in unity- it is an end to the illusion of separation.

Because it is only quality that can really be known, the experience of time and space cannot be anything but qualitative. Time is not the succession of quantitative units that we suppose, but a phenomenon that demonstrates qualities, such as speed and character. Of course, none of this is anything new to the magician familiar with aeonics (a study of the inner level of history/the shifts in mass consciousness).

It was Guenon's contention that we are reaching the end of a period known in Hinduism as the Kali Yuga, where quantity reigns to an extent greater than ever before. The whole of history is nothing more than an accelerating descent from extreme quality to extreme quantity, ending in what Guenon called 'the dissolution'.

If unity, or the experience of 'pure' quality is enlightenment, then it is easy to see that the traditions originating in a period in the past where quality was more prevalent, and quantity less so, are more likely to offer a more accurate metaphysic and teaching for attaining enlightenment.

However, the belief that modern traditions are necessarily inferior in nature to those of the past, and that society can only get worse, means that the Traditionalist is always of the opinion that enlightenment is being lost with the disappearance (via Westernization) of the traditional society.

And this is the fallacy of Traditionalism: that enlightenment, the metaphysical process, or what I call the genuine tradition, is synonymous with magical culture.

Although the Traditionalist school recognizes 'the perennial philosophy', or ubiquity of the expression of the genuine tradition within numerous magical traditions, it nevertheless cannot see past tradition itself.

In actuality, the truth is not any idea, religion, ideology, law, caste system, practice, philosophy or era. The truth transcends but includes all notions of space, time and culture, and is therefore not dependent upon any of these things.

In [one of the sections preceding this one], I listed a number of traditions as examples of genuine tradition; but these are and can only ever be cultural expressions of genuine tradition- they are not the genuine tradition itself. The genuine tradition, or metaphysical process, can express itself through an individual who belongs to no tradition at all, or through an individual that indulges a pseudo-tradition.

However, this does not mean all traditions are of equal value. (Out, demon, out!) A tradition that not only acknowledges enlightenment, but provides a map or model of development and instruction in a practice conducive to the metaphysical process, is of infinitely greater value than those traditions that do not.

This is why, despite the fallacy of Traditionalism, the works of the Traditionalist school (Rene Guenon, Julius Evola, etc.) are generally indispensable to the serious aspirant.

The Degeneration of Chaos Magick

Magick was left in a sorry state after the death of Crowley. Riddled with moralizing, pompous armchair transcendentalists, waxing poetical about magical matters beyond the scope of their personal experience, magick became nothing short of a ridiculous intellectual eccentricity.

Somehow magick muddled through in this state for a couple of decades, until chaos magick materialized at the end of the Seventies to save its sorry arse. Suddenly magick was a practice again, with verifiable results.

It was essential for the Western magical tradition that chaos magick exposed the fantasy that had accrued around magical practice, and it is thanks solely to post-modern thought that magick regained its vitality.

The heart of the particular delusion that held sway with some (but not all) of the transcendentalists was the belief that the truth could be found in one correct answer (i.e. theirs). Chaos magick addressed this head-on by pointing out that no one idea is the truth, and that belief could therefore be used as a tool for magical effect.

With the advent of chaos magick, there were those who refused to abandon the old approach, and as a consequence many (but not all) of the present-day proponents of the old transcendental approach tend to be quite naive when it comes to actual magical practice, and usually operate from a rather dogmatic view of the world.

However, given enough time, delusion and fantasy will produce a degenerated form of any tradition, even if that tradition attempts to avoid such a fate by pretending it's just a theory.

And so, it is time to address the degeneration of chaos magick. The delusion that holds sway with some (but not all) of its adherents is the idea that there is no truth, and the universe exists solely to provide personal satisfaction for the magician.

We can address this head-on by realizing we do in fact experience truth on a moment-to-moment basis, and it is therefore not to be found in adopting the attitude that there is no one correct answer, or in using belief as a tool. The truth is not to be found in any idea or attitude, but in direct experience itself.

With this comes the recognition that some ideas or models describe experience better than others, regardless of which model the magician might actually prefer. This does not mean that the most useful model or map is the truth, or that the tradition that leads the aspirant to the direct experience of absolute truth is the only way. Indeed, it is the very subjectivity of perception itself that allows the aspirant to reach the absolute truth through the relative value of the tradition most suited to him or her.

It is imperative that we do not assume that those magical traditions that do not address the metaphysical process are somehow superfluous or 'evil'; after all, magick is the expansion of [consciousness] in all directions. To focus solely on enlightenment at the expense of the rest of reality is as narrow-minded as focusing solely on material results and pretending there is no such thing as mystical or profound experience.

However, a tradition that acknowledges the metaphysical domain offers a lot more that what might be supposed by the simple recognition of another plane of experience, for the metaphysical transcends but includes every other level. This isn't a denial of experience at the level of 'everyday' life, but the facilitation of a greater depth and involvement with every experience whatsoever.

Perusing the material available on instruction for achieving direct experience of the truth, and for charting progress made, it becomes apparent that most of it is to be found in the sacred traditions of the East, and the old transcendental traditions of the West.

But there is a great danger with adopting a traditional view. The temptation to regress tot he belief that truth can be found in one correct answer, or in any idea for that matter, can be too easily indulged, and the retrospective attitude tends to promote a dismissal of the contributions of chaos magick and the lamentation of a supposedly rapidly degenerating occult scene. For clarity's sake: I do not believe the entire occult scene is without merit- just that there is a degenerated or delusional form of post-modernism and of chaos magick currently doing the rounds.

It is important to recognize that extreme post-modernism or any degenerated tradition for that matter, is essential to the growth of magick. The truth is found in experience, and this is no better demonstrated in the fact that humans only change when circumstances, or direct experience, force them to do so. Degeneration serves an indispensable function, and is most certainly not something to cry over.

I therefore salute the deluded proponents of both transcendentalism and chaos magick for fulfilling their appointed function, and for making progress possible.

Part 3

No other subject in the history of the human race has been as misunderstood and grossly misrepresented as that of enlightenment.

For many Eastern traditions, enlightenment is a product whose value is directly proportionate to the strength of its myth: the more enlightenment is divorced from reality, the more the devotee is willing to pay for it. The popular conception of enlightenment has suffered accordingly. For many people, enlightenment is considered fantastic, highly specialized and virtually unattainable-if it is believed to exist at all.

As for the Western enlightenment traditions, only one is still extant: magick. Unfortunately, enlightenment is considered a hopelessly regressive new-ageism by extreme post-modern magicians. It's only in the pre-post-modern (modern?), transcendental schools of magick that we still find reference to enlightenment as the goal of the magician's career.

Yet enlightenment within transcendental magick has suffered the same fate as in the East, largely thanks to the life and works of Aleister Crowley. The deification of Crowley- by himself and by his disciples- has mythologized the process of enlightenment within the Western tradition. Western magicians that still take the idea seriously do so only on the ground that it is unattainable by the average magician, let alone the average man or woman. The magical community meets with incredulity any claim to the Western magical grades that delineate the process of enlightenment, resulting in the phenomenon of the inexcusable arrogant Western magician who will only 'hint' at the achievement of his or her grade, either as feigned humility in the face of his or her incredible achievement; or a means of claiming the unattained, and the kudos that goes with it, without having to validate their experience.

However, we are not without hope: there are currently a few individuals making towards an open and honest discussion of enlightenment within the Eastern traditions, based upon their own personal experience.

I feel that adopting such an approach with regards to the Western magical tradition is overdue. I therefore offer no apology to the extreme post-modern magician, who believes enlightenment does not have a place in today's magick, or to the transcendental magician whose bubble I'm intent on bursting. I do, however, extend to everyone reading this article an open invitation to the frank and honest discussion of enlightenment within Magick.

Let's Push Things Forward

If we are to avoid the types of degeneration peculiar to the transcendental and post-modern schools of magick, without dismissing the invaluable contributions of both approaches, how are we best to proceed? In my opinion by recognizing that:

1. The truth is not found in any idea, religion, ideology, belief, law, opinion, map, model, technology, philosophy, practice, dogma, race, era (either long lost or imminent) or geographical location. 
2. Truth exists in direct, personal experience.
3. Magick is the art, science and culture of experiencing truth.
4. What can be experience using magick is limited only by the ingenuity of the magician (the subjective), but how that experience manifests is limited by the available means of manifestation (the objective).
5. The available means of manifestation is the totality of reality. This means reality is not restricted to what is experienced through the five senses, but consists of many more planes or levels of experience. As well as the physical, emotional and mental realms normally recognized, there are also what are sometimes referred to as the astral, etheric and spiritual or metaphysical planes. What is experienced at each level has subjective, relative, surface features, and objective, absolute, deep features. In other words, although the perception of each level is subjective and relative, the actual experience of each level is not.
6. The human being is manifest or expressed at each level of experience. As such, every single person has the right and the potential to address any and all levels of his or her experience.
7. Each level or plane of experience must be addressed if we are to attain to understanding, happiness and ability at all levels. Magick is the expansion of [consciousness] in all directions.
8. The metaphysical level includes but transcends all other levels, and therefore to engage the metaphysical level is not to escape reality, but to engage with life in the deepest and most profound way possible.
9. The metaphysical level is therefore to engage every other level of experience, both objectively and absolutely. To perform the Great Work on a personal level (the microcosmic) is to address the future of humanity and the manifest universe (the macrocosmic).
10. The Great Work is first and foremost a personal engagement with the metaphysical, and secondly, the facilitation of the possibility of engagement with the metaphysical for every other human being.
11. Although the engagement of the metaphysical level of experience is never just a simple matter of conscious decision on the part of the magician, the only sane and reasonable way to proceed is to practice magick habitually, study every available map or model of metaphysical development, and use that which most accurately describes and predicts experience, and reject that which does not.
12. As reality has subjective, relative, surface features, each human being can best engage with each level of experience in a subjective and relative manner. In other words, there is a tradition or path most suited to the magician for engaging with each level.
13. The metaphysical level is a fundamental constituent of every human being, and enlightenment or the Great Work is a very real, very attainable direct experience available to everyone, right here and right now, provided they apply the necessary effort in engaging with the metaphysical process.
14. Everything said in this article is not the truth, but a metaphysic based on the direct experience of a fellow human being. It remains for each and every individual to corroborate or disprove everything said here by experiencing the truth for themselves, through dedicated magical practice.

An Open Letter to the Magical Community

With the advent of the communications age and the cult of the individual, magick can no longer be defined by any one specific religion, morality, lineage, region, political agenda or aesthetic.
As a result of this, and fore the first time in history, Magicians, Shamans, Pagans, Buddhists, Voudonists, Naths, Alchemists, Sufis  Thelemites, Wiccans, Yogis, Qabalists, Heathens, Chaotes, and every other denomination, now stand side by side as a magical community.
Not only has this community never existed before [on the history of this planet!], but popular interest in the occult, and so the magical community itself, is growing exponentially. Speculation abounds as to why this might be, but there is no doubting this is a very exciting time to be a magician. This has inevitably led some magicians to conclude the magical community is going to save the world and create heaven on earth.

Unfortunately, although a number of individuals within the magical community may share certain aspects of magical culture, such a tradition or group affiliation, the magical community itself cannot be united by one single cause or aim, no matter how altruistic.

This is the nature of diversity and, in my opinion, something to be celebrated. It's a shame diversity often leads to conflict. The occult scene is dogged by incessant bickering and political posturing, which rarely benefits anyone involved. After finding myself embroiled in one too many pointless debates, I came to the conclusion that a focus on personal creative output is far more rewarding. However, I very much care for the future of magic, and I feel that sticking my head above the parapet might just be worth it for everyone involved.

The teenage dream is over. So how do we proceed? Where does the community go from here?

Obviously, starting a new movement to unify the magical community is to repeat [previous follies]. That is not to say that starting a movement, tradition or magical society/[collective] isn't worthwhile or commendable, but that no single magical culture can be the community itself. The future of magick does not lie with agendas, beliefs, traditions or morality.

The steady growth of the global magical community is happening regardless of what we do, what aims we have, what beliefs we ascribe to. We do not need to evangelize magick, or seek to convert those that are not interested, because they are coming when they are ready and of their own free will. We do not need to find an overall purpose or aim for magic, because the overall purpose or aim of current events already exists and demonstrably has nothing to do with any specific magical culture.What then? Do we just get on with our own lives until the current events come to some kind of conclusion?

No. Like any community, we have a duty. Not to God(s), not to the planet, not to any ideology, but to each other.

Should a fellow member of the community need help and guidance, whether newcomer or veteran, we have a duty to provide the benefit of our own experience, should it be useful to that person. The Problem is ensuring that our experience is both available and accessible.

With the exponential growth of people suddenly finding themselves called to a magical tradition, I believe it is imperative for each of us to shout from the rooftops who and what we are, so that we may function as a beacon for those that need a little support and guidance from someone who has been there before.

What accessible, relevant resources are there for a kid that find hirself approached by the Loa or the Tivar? Where can someone who suddenly experiences spontaneous Samadhi find help and guidance? Is the fourteen year-old girl who has discovered she can make wishes come true really be losing her mind?

Instead of incessantly bickering over semantics on a forum, let's start our own magical journals and societies; instead of lamenting the lack of good magical instruction available, let's write our own grimoires and our own interpretation of tradition. Instead of waiting for the Next Big Thing to arrive, realize it's already here:
The Buddha sought neither to argue nor to convert, but to teach those with ears to hear. We can do better than that: let's seek neither to argue nor to convert, but to offer our own experience for those that may benefit from it, not as a teacher, but as a fellow human being.

As a community, we don't need new branding or another messiah; we simply need to recognize we have a duty to each other. This isn't a manifesto, but a call to arms. Where's your blog? Where's your book? Where's your podcast? Where's your movement? Where's your experience? Where are you?

1 comment:

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