mms

sometimes
Fair enough. I don't think not wanting to put everything on the net makes you like Gollum. Plenty of good reasons not to do so that aren't just mindless hoarding related. I've been trying to be confessional enough in this thread to make it worth reading anyway.

Onto to something more interesting:

The thing is though that almost all the important 20th century artists and some musicians in Europe anyway, were touched by people like the Theosophists etc, the further you dig the more you find the influence of this and spiritualism, the connections get really interesting, esp with things like ideas around synasthesia induction, colour organs, kandinsky etc, i guess in some ways it's the internal the remapping of belief, and objective life in the Aftermath of the European Wars.

You ever looked into the roster of the Golden Dawn? Pretty incredible line up of loads of the talents of the day. Wallace Budge (famous Eygptoloist), Bram Stoker, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen and women as well - Moina Mathers, Florence Farr, Annie Hornimann. Amazing cast of characters.

Phil Hine has been doing a lot of research into this and the influence of theosophical ideas on contemporary occult and new age - don't know if any of it has been put online yet though. It's been the subject of a couple of lecture series' at Treadwells. Worth getting down there if you can.

Also, for piece of post-war aftermath writing infused with occultism - check Steffi Grant's intro to "Zos Speaks". It really is an amazing bit of writing. Evokes a whole world that's not disappeared.

sounds very interesting, i will check that, i wonder what the platform is to play out these things now, i keep on thinking internet etc, but it seems too easy to say that, and it's a crap cliche.

The thing seems to be changing and adapting too, ppl are beginning to realise it doesnt all start with the golden dawn, although alot of ppl seem stuck in victoriana, or a kind of dull gothicness.
That Blackwood book ' the willows' is perfect, an absolutely perfect description of animistic nature.
 
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Martin Dust

Techno Zen Master
The thing seems to be changing and adapting too, ppl are beginning to realise it doesnt all start with the golden dawn, although alot of ppl seem stuck in victoriana, or a kind of dull gothicness.
I think this is the key, but all the new orders aligned themselves and took on the old rituals from yesteryear out of fear of having no history I believe. They didn't need to IMHO.
 

mms

sometimes
Steve Grasso is a friend of mine too ... really great guy & the most inspiring magician I know, I think ... really makes sense of the whole mess.

Loved the oppositional emotional sigilisation .. I'll be trying that.

I'm really into all this too. Dunno what to say really. I'm a bit drunk. Erm ... chaos magic is great & much maligned now, as devotion has lost its sting & everyone wants to get back to religion, apparently, but sigils really work & the old-school Golden Dawn shit still has real power. Every sigil I've ever performed has paid off, spectacularly. & personally, I try to do the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram at least once a week, with incense & candles & daggers & the full works, & it's still the best grounding meditation I've ever practiced.

I'm with Luka, completely, on the basics though. Synchronicity & kindof letting the subconscious naturally bleed into & be bled into, the world, just seems to work. For me at least.

I'm glad this thread is here. It's lovely to read of people's experience of this.
Yes i know Steve too, superb fellow, as down to earth as a person could be and a real artist.
 
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DannyL

Wild Horses
If anyone is interested in Spare, you could do worse than check out Fulgur's website: http://www.fulgur.co.uk/authors/aos/

They have several Spare books for download for free, some essays and other bits and pieces. Various people are meant to be working on biographys of Spare - Robert Ansell is one, I think. Be interesting to see what they have to say when they come out and how much they disrupt the view of Spare put about by Kenneth Grant.

This is a nice essay by him:

http://www.fulgur.co.uk/authors/aos/articles/the-living-word-of-zos/

Related to the chat about sigils above:

Fifty years after his death it is this resolve, the Stoicism of Zos, that seems a much more authentic legacy than the cults of acquisitive formulae descended from popular myth.
 

rob_giri

Well-known member
magick etc

I apologize if I undermine this thread, as I have not bothered yet to read it's entirety.

The subject in question is something of great importance to me and I have spent some years in study of, and this is what I have to say


Magick is the art and science of changing the 'brain' with one's Will, and effecting change in the universe with one's will. That is, it is the process of participating in the transformation of one's nervous system - including the various muscular tensions around the endocrine system, towards the accessing and embodiment non-local sources of consciousness, and the accessing and purifying of the various forces that make up the personality. The art of harnessing the power of the mind, opening the heart and becoming oneself.

The interesting note is - the difference between Magick and Mysticism. Whereas Magick is about harnessing Will - control over the forces of nature, Mysticism may be more about Receptivity - becoming receptive and harmonized to the forces of nature. Every religious/spiritual/metaphysical/esoteric bias relates to these two polar sides in different ways. Too much of either is usually where shit falls from the sky - one can be either too Magick-orientated with the Will (libertarian nut-case magicko control freaks) or be too submissive with mysiticism (religious submission, hippie fatalism, bliss-ninny flakiness)

In short - most of what you hear and read about magick and the occult is very misleading and mostly bullshit, in my opinion.

One can examine Aleister Crowley as the obvious source and reference point of 20th Century magick (given that it was he who in fact coined the term 'magick' with a k after his seminal years in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn)

The Golden Dawn were a group of occultists who distilled down hundreds of years of Western occultism, mostly from the hebrew Kabbalah and Continental Tarot tradition, and developed a system laiden with their own dogmas in late 19th century London. They invented a new language that promoted responsibility, autonomy and integrity beyond religious submission. Their source material was mostly from a few continental occultists from the 19th and 18th century and Dr John Dee's enochian studies. They invented a lot of it too, including the Tarot-Tree of Life connections and coining the word 'Qabala' with a Q, to seperate it from the more orthodox-Jewish 'Kabbalah'.

Aleister Crowley effectively distilled that information in his own oevre and then his protege, Israel Regardie, further distilled it into a new system. Regardie's time studying Wilhelm Reich was very important in this, as it helped Regardied both psychologize and somatisize Crowley's esotericism. His book about Crowley 'The I in the Triangle' encaptures this view.

Subsequently, Regardie's protege Christopher S Hyatt (Alan Miller PhD), from the 70s-80s, then distilled it even further, mixing it with elements of Sufism, Indian Tantra, the methods of G. I Gurdjieff, Neo-Reichian Practices and his double-PhD expertise of 30 years experience in experimental and laboratory psychology. If one wants to study the most modern up-to-date magickal study then Hyatt's lineage and legacy is the way to go. He coined this sythesized system 'Undoing' and mixed it with his own misanthropic Randian Libertarian politics, for better or worse.

Then there are the Golden Dawn sects that are still operating from Regardie's legacy, mostly in the US - and most importantly, The Chaos Magick groups and writers such as Phil Hine and Peter Carroll, Zos and the Temple of Set, who took most of their information from Crowley, A.O Spare, the NLP practicioners and Robert Anton Wilson - who both took their information from Alfred Korsybski's General Semantics.

That leaves us with Hyatt and the Chaos Magick people. There are many other groups of course. For a really quite good summary of what Magick really is essentially all about, I suggest reading this by Nick Pell. http://blacksungazette.com/?p=399. Notice the innate misanthropic bad-ass attitude.

Hyatt's system stands out as the most up-to-date because of it's basis in physicality, mostly disregarding unnecessary metaphysical nonsense. As Nick Pell says in that article - 'if you're not changing the body, then you're just programming your mind with more bullshit'

In my opinion, though they all have merit and are really genius in their own way, and cater to the freaks and weirdos who are into this shit, these groups fail, for me at least, in a few regards. They disregard the mystical embrace, and as such most 'modern magick' (followers of Hyatt's Undoing, Chaos Magick people, neo-Crowleyites) is really a deluded form of ego-inflation. They fail to really reconcile proper rationale and sense-presence with their own metaphysics, and more often than not it turns into a self-indulgent soup.

Since the question about Magick, that's the important information to know about the Western magickal lineage.

In terms of Spiritualism and Theosophy, most of that can be seen as origins of what we call 'new age' now - in terms of the fluffy light-headed stuff that is all talk, all metaphysics and no guts. Hyatt was a reactionary against that stuff and that was his true genius - he saw that thanks to Madame Blavatsky most of modern spiritual practices are cloudy-headed bullshit that talk of a seperation between this and that, a fixation on auras, kundalini and chakras and all that other shit. These things are real and very valid, for sure - but the way that the theosophists talked about them and the attitude they had towards them in their disembodied way was delusional and dangerous. Don't even bother with spiritualism or theosophy. Rudolf Steiner, however, was amazing in his own right.

What stands apart from all of this stuff was and is the system brought to the west by G.I Gurdjieff, most commonly referred to as 'the fourth way' or just simply 'the Work'. Gurdjieff taught a hugely expansive system of Self-integration, self-initiation and ungoing self-work that stands apart from all of the hermetic magick traditions and makes them seem awefully naive. One of his main premises was that theosophy, magick and spiritualism were all forms of psychosis and were not to be trusted because of their fixation on metaphysical issues which only increase and expand fantasy and don't promote one to really engage with reality and one's Conscience. I won't and can't go into it because it can wait for another discussion. Crowley visited Gurdjieff's chateau outside Paris once, and after showing him hospitality for a weekend, promptly threw him out and told him never to return, condemning him as a filthy, dirty person. Gurdjieff died like a king and was given a funeral by thousands of Parisians and was mourned as 'the greatest man alive', whereas Crowley died a poor, forgotten heroin addict in a old nursing home. Interesting story. Gurdjieff's source material was ancient Egyptian, central-Asian Sufi and ancient esoteric Christian. Western Alchemy with its bias towards receptivity has a lot to do with Gurdjieff, as opposed to Magick's bias towards Will.


Lastly, there is Antero Alli. Antero is a Finnish-born filmmaker, theatre-director, ritualist, astrologer and author who lives in Berkely, CA and who has been writing books since the 80s, starting with his seminal 'Angel Tech'. Angel Tech was inspired by Gurdjieff, Timothy Leary, Robert Anton Wilson and Hyatt himself - although Antero eventually broke away from Hyatt after they reached a point of essential disagreement - Hyatt was a magician invested in power and Will, whereas Antero was a mystic, invested in devotion, art and receptivity to the body. Their ordeal is discussed in Antero's new book 'The 8-Circuit Brain' that just came out as a 20-year anniversary follow up to Angel Tech. In my opinion, it is the greatest work of esoteric literature. Antero is not concerned with hermetic magick, Crowley or any of the bullshit that comes along with esoterism and the occult - he is interested in real, pragmatic, action and artistic orientated self-work that's aim is the accessing, emobdying and transmission of innate integrity, autonomy and authority in a DIY anarchic fashion similiar to Hakim Bey's Immediatism and the ontology of the TAZ. In my opinion, aside from Gurdjieff, it is about the best group of ideas and practices of what people are looking for when they use the word 'magick' that is around. His ritual Paratheatre practices based up the philosophies of Jerzy Grotowski is a non-dogmatic form of self-work which, in my opinion, stands above any 'magickal' practice that has ever been popularized. No bovine excretia, as Robert Anton Wilson used to say.

Anyway I've gone on for too long. Just my two cents in case u were interested.
 
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DannyL

Wild Horses
Vinyl of course, also being something of a fetish for most of us.

Actually, a mate of mine (Phil, Mal) was saying that he thinks Spare would have hated the designer packaging/mini-industry that's sprung up around his work. Does seem to go against his exhibiting in pubs, Anathema of Zos backturning...

BTW here's a bit of a Spare pop-psych curio:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMxwn_1K0Aw
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Hyatt's system stands out as the most up-to-date because of it's basis in physicality

Hyatt's stuff is a knock off of Reichian therapy really via Regardie. As it's systemised and designed for solo working, you won't go as far as you would do in therapeutic relationship - unless you're very lucky maybe. They are still great exercises though. Though I think you can tear out those 6 pages and chuck away the rest of his books. Not much else in IMO.

Also, the guys a fucking loon - have you seen The Psychopah's Bible? Horrible book.
 

rob_giri

Well-known member
Yea I would have to agree with you here, almost completely. Somehow I can't help but see some significance and importance in his point of view - but his investment in Randian libertarian shite and misanthropic attitudes was undoubtedly connected to the eventual cause of his death.

I would replace what you say about 'therapeutic' setting with group 'self-work'. There is a big difference between the two. Certainly, his bias towards isolation and solo work is flawed in that it doesn't ever reconcile with Gurdjieff's premises, firstly of working with people, secondly of the danger of falling into your own fantasies if you keep too much to yourself.

I think Hyatt failed in the end by not being able to honestly see past his own big-headed insanity. Just look at a lot of his followers - bunch of big-headed jerks to a man.
 

rob_giri

Well-known member
And also sorry if my long-winded post was too assuming - you obviously are well versed in this literature and language. The post was intended for those who weren't. I've seen this forum usually as a place for those who excel vastly in other areas of intelligence but not neccessary the occult and so forth.
 

woops

is not like other people
Yea I would have to agree with you here, almost completely. Somehow I can't help but see some significance and importance in his point of view - but his investment in Randian libertarian shite and misanthropic attitudes was undoubtedly connected to the eventual cause of his death.
what, of cancer?!?!

a friend of my Dad's, who knew of my interests in this kind of thing, told me he thought there was someone "working against him" when he was ill. Struck me as pretty paranoid really.
 

Martin Dust

Techno Zen Master
Hyatt's system stands out as the most up-to-date because of it's basis in physicality

Hyatt's stuff is a knock off of Reichian therapy really via Regardie. As it's systemised and designed for solo working, you won't go as far as you would do in therapeutic relationship - unless you're very lucky maybe. They are still great exercises though. Though I think you can tear out those 6 pages and chuck away the rest of his books. Not much else in IMO.

Also, the guys a fucking loon - have you seen The Psychopah's Bible? Horrible book.
I once reprinted a Reich booklet, man the letters I got from that made me never touch one of those again :)
 

Martin Dust

Techno Zen Master
Vinyl of course, also being something of a fetish for most of us.

Actually, a mate of mine (Phil, Mal) was saying that he thinks Spare would have hated the designer packaging/mini-industry that's sprung up around his work. Does seem to go against his exhibiting in pubs, Anathema of Zos backturning...

BTW here's a bit of a Spare pop-psych curio:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMxwn_1K0Aw
Say hello to Phil from me, it's been a while. I guess he would hate it but had he lived in this time I think he would have loved it :) Maybe he would have hated the mentality rather than the object/volume?
 

rob_giri

Well-known member
I once reprinted a Reich booklet, man the letters I got from that made me never touch one of those again :)
Care to explain ?

"ITT : why there's nothing 'natural' about undoing yourself with enhanced meditation...
?


What I meant by cryptically writing about his libertarianism being connected to his death - I wasn't saying being an Objectivist is bad for you, I just mean that his political psychopathy was fuelled by his destructive habit patterns. Yea I can't really explain any more so I'll just leave it at that.


And I will take back what I said before - I really believe that he was one of the greatest geniuses ever in a lot of areas, and in a lot of other areas not so much. The same as Crowley really. So many reasons to admire him and so many reasons to condemn him. And that DOESN'T make him all the more genius, that just makes him admirable at least to a certain degree
 
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