27 maj 2010

What is the point of orders anyway?

Order - bitching.

Something that really gets my goat is people bitching about how Order’s do not work, that they don’t deliver what they’re meant to and if you really want to be good at magick or need to develop spiritually you can’t rely on them.

This is inane bullshit, and bullshit that is fed by:

1 Those who have no idea what they are on about
2 Those who have belonged to one of the self-help or personal glorification orders (see below) and are right when it comes to those specific orders
3 Those who have a serious problem with any authority.
4 Those who listen to others instead of finding things out on their own.

There are quite a few western orders in existance today that were created by one or two people who schismed away from another order before they grasped anything of the deeper aspects of the teachings. Needless t say their orders is at best a waste of time, at worst actively bad for you.

There is more to the world of “organised” esoteric teaching groups/orders than Crowley derived lines (*cough wicca*) and 70’s revival McOTO orders and orders started by someone who is not in possession of ANY secret teaching, let alone the Royal Secret.

For a start, just look at the various Tibetan tantric lineages, the Indian tantric orders. The Sufi lines. The oral teachings given in some of the western orders. The houses of Vodoun. The magickal families that follow the regla de ocha, all the people scratched in Palo. These are all "orders" as well and they seem to work very well indeed. Then how the f*ck can we have the audacity to believe there is nothing like this in the west? Do we hate our own cylture this much?

But, you cannot find information or representative of every group and order that exists. Not even in the USA and especially not on the world wide web. The orders that do have a large presence are, to be honest, usually those who have strayed far, far, away from the metaphorical source. How many of us have studied, in deep detail the Asiatic Brethren? Ambelains orders? because here in the West we had this fantastic thing called "world war" (Twice, even, yeeey) and before that we had enlightenment, During it modernism, and all this overshadowed first by the tyrannical, at times Holy mother Church, it its political aspect and the Monarchy, and today, politics and SCIENCE.

Did you know that:

-There are lineages and orders that have nothing to do with the post-masonic Anglican/Brittish occultist streams.
-Not every organised order is a masonic derivative, because if they were, then all of them would follow the "blindfold - remove blindfold - give signs and passwords" scheme that Greer seems to think happens inside every magickal lodge.

(I imagine Greer hasn't heard of the "meet your initiator in a catholic church have your hair cut, receive an angellic name delievered to you by your initiator who is in prophetic extasy, a portion of the philosophers stone and bleed upon the altar to link yourself with the saint whose relic is enclosed in the stone" scheme.)

Oh, yes, and most importantly, IF all orders were derived from masonic sources, then they would be *useless* and cheap. They would just be "poor mans lodges", wouldn't they? Cola light doesn't contain sugar. A Masonic derivative order, would, logically, miss out someting that it is the derivative off... and you should just go and be a mason in a nice massive lodge instead of initiating in some crappy derivative, which is never as good as the orignal anyway, because well, compare someones basement or a rented room, with no marble pillars and 17th century furnitue with a proper hall.

Just look at the pomp even in this country style cheap looking hall.

Enough said. If you belong to an order that has masonic pretenses, you are better off actually being a mason. But lo and behold, not everything under the sun is a masonic derivative! There are many orders that hid as so - called high degree systems on top of the masonic system. They are thus not really derivatives, but parasites that use the masonic scene as a hunting ground for potential initiates. To be honest, historically speaking this scheme worked remarkably well 100-300 years ago. Today, I'm not so sure that this is still the way to go because the masonic housing that was keeping the groups safely hidden from the profane and made "the hidden group" easily accessible to those with an esotteric bent who were all maosns anyway, probably scares most people off nowadays in out modernist and post-modern society.

But back on track on this rant. My rant is with people who belittle orders and systems and why they are wrong. Thereby getting my goat. That i was saving for a curry. ;)

As I’ve stated before, any group you work with should have a clearly stated intention that tells you what the Purpose of the initiations and its system is. Then you can look at the people further along the path and the masters of the lineage/order/whatever. If they do not exhibit signs of having attained what the system promises then there is something wrong and you need to flee.

Let me bring this down to real life using my favourite verbal tool. A metaphor.

If you start boxing or a martial art, or even running, you will have an instructor. Even as a beginner you can look at your instructor. If he is profficient in what he himelf is trying to teach, then he is the correct person to teach it. A pudgy wuss who gets beaten up every friday night is not the guy you want to learn Muay Thai from, is it?

In the same way, if you want to learn Aikido, you do not sign up for Iaido. if you want to kick and punch someone you sign up for Muay thai, not for Judo. The two sports look different, teach you different things, have different techniques, beliefs and come from two differet parts of the world.

Behold The kicking action
Behold the throwing action.

In exactly the same way you need to be aware of what the Tradition/order/Lineage claims to give you and then you need to see if it actually does. If not, why not? Is it because of the specific local people you are in touch with? (They could be a fraud or just incompetent teachers). Or is it becasue the system/tradition order simply fails in delivering its claim? have politics arisen that see to it that nobody progresses beyond the first few steps? Is it because the knowlegde has been lost?

Let me give an example, again, this time from an actualy order:

Please read the below point from the old manifesto of the O.T.O. (http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/lib52.htm)

"4. The aims of the O.T.O. can only be understood fully by its highest initiates; but it may be said openly that it teaches Hermetic Science or Occult Knowledge, the Pure and Holy Magick of Light, the Secrets of Mystic attainment, Yoga of all forms, Gnana Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakta Yoga and Hatha Yoga, and all other branches of the secret Wisdom of the Ancients.
In its bosom repose the Great Mysteries; its brain has resolved all the problems of philosophy and of life.
It possesses the secret of the Stone of the Wise, of the Elixir of Immortality, and of the Universal Medicine.
Moreover, it possesses a Secret capable of realizing the world-old dream of the Brotherhood of Man."

Compare this mission statement with the current one available on their website (http://www.oto-usa.org/):

"O.T.O. is dedicated to the high purpose of securing the Liberty of the Individual and his or her advancement in Light, Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, and Power through Beauty, Courage, and Wit, on the Foundation of Universal Brotherhood. "

Now, it seems to me at least, that these two statements are quite different. Something would tell me, even if I didn't know for certain, that "teaches Hermetic Science " is not anylonger the most important aim of the order.

Now, to wrap u my little rant:

Find out what the group/tradition/system/order promises:

This will in actual fact be any one or more of the following

-teaching you a magickal skill with a Goetic, thaumaturgic theurgic or magianic element

(Griffin GD, SRC, Elus Cohen, Houses of Voudoun, Chaosmagick etc )

-Teaching you aspects of a tradition, i.e. Knowledge

(GD as an outer order,)

-Giving you access to Empowerment/lineage/succession, the authority to work with specific things (Minor and major orders with an Apostolic succession in churches with valid succession, Voudoun, tantric and buddhist Lineages)

-Promises Mystical Enlightenment through religion, exo/esoteric, through the aid of physical or mental exercises or simply throgh initiations/ascetic practices

(orders linked to churches, The orthodox jesus prayer, meditative practices and schools and initiations, many magickal orders, inner alchemy etc)

-Self-help / tribe / giving you something to belong to

(Many, many groups are nothing, or at least, not much more then self help groups, working to create more virtue or "balance" in your life, helping Mankind cope with the enlightenment era by replacing the family and tribe with an order or maybe let you get over your alcoholism. The A.A and N.A. being PERFECT examples. Hells angels. Blue lodge masonry falls here as well. I'm sorry, but its true. Quote from the website of the swedish system "The Grand Lodge of Sweden is an organisation, where men from various walks of life meet in a Christian spirit to fully develop their personal maturation potential, and in dignified circumstances to meet fellow men.")


Then Be carefull with

1)Charlatans. I will initiate you into palo. for 5000$ .... Riiiiight

2)Groups created by egomaniacs that only exist for their self-gratification. Thelemic Golden dawn, anyone? Or the AA? >:D

3)Groups that do not belong to the mainstream tradition from which they claim descendence Join my druidic kabbalistic hermetico sexmagickal masonic order for Women inside mens bodies of the Godess! I stole these papers and we started a powerfull lodge of Masonic kabbalists! The (real) other masons don't know what the TRUE secrets are!

4) Naive but good willed people who promote one of the above without realising. I come from a long line of witches since before X. Note: These are the poor peeps who end up order hating the most once they realise what they've done

5) groups with good intentions that still misslead. many groups fail to realise they are self-help, because they use magick, or Tribal.

Kenaz Filan makes excellent points these dangers, even though he talks about initiation into Voodoo everything he says about a Godfather/joining a house is true here as well. remmeber this isn't about Orders(TM) but also lineages kabbalah taught by Rabbis etc

In the end, if you are smart you will find "the real deal" whatever you are searching for. If you are aware of the above rules and know, in your heart of hearts what is it you truly want. Screaming at demons does not a balanced person make. Beating your wife is not very Christian, and spending 5000$ on a meditation room is not very ascetic. If you search for brotherhood, friends and to become a better person, you are better of becoming a mason then joining the GD. If you wantt o learn to evoke demons, get a bloody grimoire and get down to business, don't waste years working through D.M. Kraig's Modern Magick.

I hope this has helped at least a biot in shedding light upon the western hidden(=okkult) Tradition.

20 maj 2010

What is the "Truth"?

I have been thinking lately on the nature of "Truth" in relation to discussions about paradigms or worldviews. I am not a massive fan of "uncle Al", though he did have some excellent points that he, occasionally, actually managed to convey.

In Liber O vel Manus Saggitae, he writes :

"In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist.

It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them."(bold added by me)

How concise. How well said. If you drop an apple, it will fall. You can exlain that by using quantum mechanics, gravity or by invisible devils putting the apple on the ground, fast. The philosophic validity is meaningless, inconsequential really.

Relativists, especially postmodern relativists claim that, in the end nothing matters because, well, surprise, all is relative.

So, is everything in our heads? Could we place orisha in the LBRP circumference and then ask the blessing of the CareBears(tm) for our rites? Of course not. What you do in a system needs to be internally coherent.

But, you say, but how can people get results, from Enochian which may or may not be a Hoax? How can people get results from Alpha Omega style pyramid enochian magick, or the Simon Necronomicon?!

How come the Chaosmagickians can get results? Shouldn't their system be bullshit, if everything is not in our heads?

My answer to that is, it depends.

You see, as people before me have pointed out, if you do certain things certain things will happen. The problem with pure chaosmagick, not this nonsense you get nowadays but the vision that Pete shared with the rest of the original Leeds cabal, was that it threw the baby out with the bathwater. In the 80s it wasn't easy go get hold of much real esoteric info. Most orders that actually have or had any real access were still hiding under the communist regime or barely recovering from the second world war cullings. The 60s and 70s added their share of bullshit to the mix in the USA and UK. Real teachings were hard to come by. The masons were dying out, and there was no internet. Who cared if a little old russian lady happened to be a Superior Inconnu, a fully reintegrated being who sees God face to face, when she was quiet in Moscow trying not to be killed because she was a Christian? No one.

What was around was what was available in public press. Regardie's oathbreaking book. By the way, he was not present on any other initiation save his own ones so of course no-one shared anything worthwhile with him. Crowleyan stuff. Wiccan stuff. Random chrystal grasping stuff.
People had all these awesome, working models, but that magickal and spiritual technology was hidden away. We only had access to the tip of the iceberg. and that iceberg seemed like the biggest mountain.

The wiccans, thelemites, New O.T.O., random occultists all felt like the world was a big empty place and did not realise they were simply the biggest fish in a tiny-tiny pond. After all, who'd ever heard of sufism, the elu cohen, martinism, brethren of the rosy cross, surviving alpha omega temples, memphis Mizraim, mizraim memphis, memphis, mizraim, scottish rite, rectified scottish rite, Gnostic churches that weren't thelemic, santeria, brujeria, vodoun, candomble, Umbanda etc etc?


You couldn't just go to any library and presto find a thousand books or google everything. We only had what we had, and we were all influenced by this horrid abomination born in the minds of academics: "Postmodernism"

Postmodernism, though useful as a critical theory notion, messes with you because it is the essence of relativism.

Remember Wittgenstein and Russels argument? No?
Check on wikipedia..

In short, one of them states that if you have a box you cannot know, for CERTAIN that there isn't a cat in it. As there is no reality aside from what you perceive. The other one states that, yes there is.

The argument is one about Objectivity versus subjectivity.

Pure, nice old fashioned Chaosmagick states that everything is subjective due to the nature of the cosmos. Therefore, you really only need to convince yourself that something is possible and presto, you can do magick. That is actually the real implication of chaosmagick, Phil's inane humor aside and ignoring Pete's musings and ramblings on providing a scientific explanation as to how magick works.

The WHY is answered by "if you truly believe then it is so because the world YOU live in is fully Subjective."

Ever wonder why Phil is now a Tantric and most founders have gone on to bigger better things?

So, fine, they found the answer to Why magick works, using a postmodern approach. (A christian mystic would say that you can do magick because you are gods image... but hey, lets not be postmodern right now)

But, there was no meaning, no end. Why is the world like this? Well, you cannot know because its subjective. The problem with postmodernism is that it is a dead end. So what did they throw out?

They threw out every spiritual and magickal technology that was not explainable by their postmodern approach. The specific technology I am thinking of, that hurt chaosmagick the most is Language.
Not ouranic-barbaric. Language as a means of communication.

That thing which we signify by a word. If you and me don't mean the same thing, then we are screwed if we are talking about measurements, for example.

By throwing out the notion of the objective real, the possibility to mean the same thing by a signifier vanishes. Because, postmodernism will always rear its uggly head. As long as you work from the point of view that there is no objective reality, we can never agree that you and me actually mean the same thing by any word we say.
My inner academic states that of course that depends which view of things you take, but that is, again the postmodern virus kicking into high gear.

To get back on track.
We know that if you do certain things, certain results follow. We also know that "Why"
this is so can be answered in different ways, and depending on how you answer it, you will end up building a philosophical understanding around it.
What was it Crowley said again?
Oh. Yes, you were warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them (results or experiences)

To understand why this is so, we have to return a bit to language again and postmodernism.

This is because, There IS one truth. One, single perfect Truth. Anyone and everyone who knows this Truth agrees upon it. No matter religion, culture or time, this one single truth has remained. When this truth is what we signify by our words the other knowers of this truth understand what the signified object it. Thus are all great esoteric schools united.

However, we know Chaosmagick works, to a degree. How can we reconcile my above statement, the argument about chaosmagick and this postulated one Truth?

Simple. Postmodernism will help us. It is, all about words.

Because even IF it would be true that reality is fully subjective, it is still possible to, almost accidentally, allow two or more people to share the same subjective reality. This is known as a consensus, or consensual reality.

Put in an easy way: If you and someone else "Experience Something", the nature of that experience and how you subjectively experienced it doesn't matter as long as you can reach a consensus that at a very specific moment in the timeline something did or did not happen.

Or, bluntly: If you and I drop an apple, it will end up on the ground. In both our experiences. We can agree to call this event "the falling of the apple" and as long as we consensually agree to this, I don't care what your subjective experience is of the event, it is enough that we both agree to use the same word or sentence for it because we will signify the same thing.

Following this, academically shaky, argument, it suddenly dawns on us that we actually live in a pretty consensual reality. There is gravity, we are born live and die, if you touch a cat you feel fur.
See? When you just read "touch a cat you feel fur" you knew what I meant. Your subjective experience of what that is like is irrelevant. What I signify with soft might not be the same subjective experience for both of us, but it signifies that specific sensation (whatever that is, seeing as some people see sounds and hear colours) you get when touching a dog or cat.

The result of this is that any system, except a system that claims there can never be a system, will allow you to share a consensus reality, where you end up signifying the same signified object when you speak.

This is why a system needs to be, and usually is, internally coherent and allows people to experience the same results.

Dropping apples work the same way here as in Australia, whether you're a man woman or a tree.
Archangel Michael will have the same thing to tell me as he does to a Philosophus or a spirit conjuror or a Christian monk.

This is because the system of the Christian monk, the conjurer and the G.D. philosophus share the same consensus as to what is meant by Archangel St. Michael.

And as to the annoying question:

How come, then, some people can go years doing LBRP replacing the angels with random, possible made up deities and some people get royally f**ked because they say the name of an afro-american deity?


Maybe it is because what is actually meant by the magickal idea of "intent" can be linguistically read as "signified."

Maybe, the person who uses random names isn't actually signifying those specific deities from africa but is merely using a word some other people use to signify something else with?

Or maybe, just maybe, Postmodernism is bullcrap, and there is an objective reality, in which High Tibetan tantric buddism, chaosmagick and white male middle class western ritual magick are somehow all equally true for some strange obscure reason, without the answer being because its all in your head.

Just a thought.

12 maj 2010

Refusing to die

To change. Now, that is scary.

Choosing a different brand, walking down a different street or changing your haircolour or creating a new nickname for yourself. These things are seen as scary by society, your friends, family, loved ones, even enemies. It even scares your Self, 'cause let's face it, most people identify wit their nephesh no matter what.

Theurgy is aimed at changing the initiate. Initiations are aimed at opening doors for them to walk through. Ritually contacting sephirotic planetary angelic beings etc, its all opening doors. But you are the one who has to walk through. In the olden days (TM) if you were caught delivering a lead lamella as a curse into someone’s house you were f*cked. Today people do purifications, baptisms and all sorts of things aimed at changing, but they forget the most important thing. Letting the old die so the new can be born.

Change is good. if you come to me with the clear intention to become "more than man" from a GD perspective, or to Regenerate as a Martinist or to free yourself from the matter as a Gnostic, but then only do your practices in the safety of your own temple and refuse to start to change, well, miracles won't happen. Angels won't manifest over your room and remove your fat, Lightning won't strike to reveal a chest of gold. You need to work and WANT to work for al changes. Initiations give you an opportunity, rituals show you the way and give you the power to do X. But you still need to use your god given right and DO/(which is WILL) that thing. So stop being afraid. you can't change without letting go.

Everyday, die a little. And little by little you will transform. If this is too hard, kill everybody you know, remove all traces of your existence and give yourself permanent amnesia. Oh, right, that’s the insane crazy way. My bad. :)

6 maj 2010

Here there be Adepts

What -is- enlightenment and how do we get it? A question that has plagued the minds of sincere and insincere seekers for a long time (since the 18th century or so) and is popping up on the blogosphere nowadays. Many things are easier to describe by what they are not, kind of like god. Enlightenment is not: Walking on water Being able to cause Jesus like miracles David Copperfield magic tricks Darren Brown Mind Tricks Being a Buddha meditating under a tree constantly in short: enlightenment has nothing to do with your current projected idea of what that entails.
The above things are skills, people. Not prerequisites for reaching the highest exaltation possible.
Enlightenment has, in relatively recent years here in the west become either something that we don't speak about since we are oh so postmodern and my experience might not be the same as your experience and everything is equally (un)valid, or we end up expecting previously unheard of proofs for our enlightenment in the form of "powers" or, simply, mythological levels of being. I'm going to let you in on a secret: Bullshit.

Children playing in the Sandbox pretending to go to work like their parents are a good metaphorical comparison. Remember doing that when you were 4-6 years old? Well, that is what most people are doing when they discuss enlightenment.

Also Sod Postmodern thinking. There are very clear levels of the path, no matter system, they can all be linked together and unless my experience is the same as yours there is something wrong with either your or my experience.

-How do we get it- We get enlightenment by accident if we are 1 in a million or by working for it using a system. There is a reason it is called the Great Work. This Working For It" can be done using an exoteric/esoteric religion, philosophy, meditation qi gung or a formal western or eastern mystery school, system of magick or initiatory Masonic body. I am aware that some people follow "their own path". This is usually reinventing the wheel or in the worst case bad scholarship and in the absolutely worst case simply laziness and system-hopping. Like someone doing half a semester of every course in University, but not completing a single one. When following a path, one can often judge its effectiveness by seeing whether or not the path/system delivers what it promises. It is as simple as that. Some systems promise several things that they deliver in stages, whereas other systems only offer one thing that they often, though not always, consider to be the highest achievement. One of the systems that are the easiest for this is laboratory - alchemy, as whatever happens inside the worker is reflected in the lab. (this is a simplistic explanation for the sake of it, people) Thus, if you have managed to make gold you have reached the final stage, and you have the stuff to prove it.


Some systems give what they promise. Others do not. Some systems promise to take you all the way. Other clearly state they will only take you half way there or simply give you better tools to be able to wander the way. But, please stop trying to equate a tool (like being a nice well rounded person) with being enlightened, or one of the stopping points (Tiphareth, extreme religiousness, having a solar helper spirit) with the destination.

Returning to the example of kids playing in the sandbox:
All of us do grow up and most of us can get a job. But what that job is and how we are as persons is individual. The fact that we are working (enlightened) is one thing, how we work, what we do for a job and what we are like is individual.

Now, go out and become adepts instead of speculating like kids and feeling bad that you can't hold down your dad’s job even though you are 6 and a half!