Those who don't care
Those who believe in something
Those who have Gnosis.
Now, someone asked me the following question:
"What is the difference between a Gnostic and a Christian, because it really seems that they both do the same thing, following myths and stuff".
Someone else asked me:
"What is the difference between a magician who claims to be enlightened who can work with spirits and do miracles and a magician who has actually found the stone of the wise, seeing as they both seem to do the same thing, you know, majicka."
I thought about charging sex, money and power for a made up answer, then I realised I'm not a douchebag and can do so for free with the real answer.
It is all about the attitude. You see, all those holy texts out there, from the bible to the Bhagavad Gita to Liber Al were made up by someone who themselves may or may not have had gnosis. It might be they had gnosis, it might be they mistook a vision for a moment of gnosis or it might be they were complete and utter dicks and just wanted a way to control people.
The attitude needed is to choose to work with a religious myth. Not because you believe in it, not because you were raised in it, but because it happens to resonate with the cultural scheme in yourself and you can make the tools work.
Whilst you do this you are 99% the same as any Psychic, someone who truly believes. Thats the point. But when you start to have mystical experiences that show the bringing on of what in alchemy is often referred to as the albedo phase, you will not ground them in the tradition, running back to a textual or authoritative source, you will work to understand them based on your lived experience thusfar.
Then, when you are truly ready the grace can in some few cases bestow upon you gnosis (See the Life story of Boehme) or you may be lucky enough to be guided by someone else who has gnosis and they can impart this upon you. When this truly happens you will know it.
Because until a Gnostic has Gnosis s/he is merely a psychic who is intellectually drawn towards that which s/he perceives as gnosis, whereas a psychic doesn't even ask the questions intellectually and simply accepts.
But from the view of the one with Gnosis, they are both psychics because they both live either in the world they choose to believe in, or the world they have been made to believe in, not the world that is truly there.
The same rule applies to a magician as does a gnostic, here however, the mythologem that is referred to is called the Stone of the Wise, that is not a stone.
The books are made up in the same way as above, sometimes by people who know how to make others make use of existing symbolic systems to interface with the mind of the Godworld, some who have no ideas and just wanted to make a buck. Same goes for modern books on magick used for "enlightenment" versus magic made for practical results. Some are shit and others are really good. Compare with the old Alchemical texts where some actually could guide you to Gold others were outright dangerous and some were extremely good chemistry handbooks.
In the same way as it is impossible to get Gnosis by following concrete rules, it is not possible to attain unto the stone within the context of the lower work within magical traditions.
It certainly is possible to become a very effective magician, to have practical results, even to experience magically altered states of consciousness. But tell you what. You are not doing anything different then millions of people in oriental Asia are doing daily. The rituals, the conversation with spirits all that, they do from birth. The pujas, the offerings, the communing with spirits and their ancestors, casting powders on the people next door... this is being done by many more then you could count.
"There are more people practicing magick today then ever before". I'm truly sorry but that is utter bullshit in the context it was said. There are just as many people practicing magick today as there has always been, except in secularised countries like USA and Europe and heavily dogmatised religio-political places where even having a bad non-religious conformist thought will get your face melted with acid. And even so the enormous amount of people born in China and India and the region makes up for our slackness.
Aside from that? No, people still do magick. The same way as people in the desert do and did. The same way as egyptians woke up and fed their housegoods, as Romans bowed slightly before the fire in their house etc. My grandmother refuses to pour out hot water to this day as she doesn't want to hurt the housetomte. A lunar consciousness exists in many places as a matter of fact and has done so as attested by countless academically accepted historical sources such as papyri, lead-tablets and ethnologic research conducted the past 50 or so years attests to. Doing magic and having a living relationship with spirits and being good at magic is not something true and unique for a select few that we have managed to bring back from utter destruction.
It is not magic itself that will raise you to find the stone of the wise, it is a very specific application of mystical and magical techniques that might if you are lucky, bring about the change.
Argent's inane metaphor of the week:
Following recipes will make you a good cook, and if you have any talent whatsoever you may even learn to cook without a recipe. Thats good. Welcome to the club of being a magician. But until you can turn that fucking turnip into a carrot, you do not have the Stone of the Wise.
It is here that it is all brought together. For Gnosis is not non-dual awareness, it is not unio-mystica. the Stone of the Wise is not an initiation, or to wank around with God.
Gnosis and The Stone are the same thing and both can only be bestowed by divine Grace in very exceptional circumstances (Life of Boehme, St.Martin, Jung) but most often it is achieved by the littlest amount of helping push, the yeast given by someone who has some already. The light of the Gnosis within someone, a particle of the Stone.
Until that is in place the magician is a magician without Gnosis. Without the Stone of the Wise.
Is this a bad thing?
Nope. Everyone should do magick. Everyone should learn how to speak to spirits. Everyone should be a psychic and have some form of relationship with the divine.
But should we claim that what in alchemical terms is barely an albedo phase is the end-result?
This tendency started with Crowley and the world around the WW1 when modernism shattered the Western world and brought about the end of the enlightenment era and plummeted us down into a meaningless pit.
We overcompensate. It is not enough to learn how to cook, we want to change parsnips into oranges. And we will use the cookbooks for this end for surely they will have the keys?
It is not enough we recover from the curse of modernism and seek to be in communion with the divine. No, we will use a portion of a religious system, say the bible, and seek complete enlightenment through that, ignoring that within that framework the only people who have all needed to reach the highest possible level whilst alive are really the bishops.
People want the fast way forward without knowing what it is. They don't want to serve the Lwa they want to become a houngan. It is not enough to learn self-defense and get in good shape, no you want to open your own dojo.
I am not saying that it should take 50 years to get Gnosis. I am saying that you can spend 50 years and never get it.
Alchemy has broken down the mystical-magical language to as pure a symbolic system as possible.
Doing religion and doing magick all fit into the earliest forms of having developed a lunar consciousness (think, a mirror) and working with the preparing for Nigredo.
Without having passed through Nigredo there will be no albedo, hence no citrinitas and thus no rubedo.
St. Mother Theresa was seeking for Albedo for over 30 years. Why? because she used the wrong tool for the wrong job.
If you want to be a good magician, if you want to have a relationship with the divine then do it. But don't enter into a process that you don't know how to get out of.
To have the Stone of the Wise or have Gnosis you need to pass into the alchemical Albedo phase and then transmute that into rubedo.
Do you have to be perfect to summon Raphael for a chat? Hell, no. Do you need to fast for 7 days just to jinx someone? Doubt it.
But if you have worked through your nigredo phase and the white-gray mass starts to brighten, then you will not be a bag. You will no longer be tied to outer forms. You will truly have been turned inside out and cleansed. Remember that bad thing you did? Gone.
Only then will you truly be able to say: I am utterly and perfectly happy with myself in every single way all the time. And you will also have performed the traveling into the deepest reaches of the world/beyond the astral/the subconscious (yourself) and there found the centre and that centerpiece will be you.
You will not care about things. You will not be angry or happy. You might experience these things but they will not move you from your center.
This is Albedo, this is where todays living orthodox saints, he none-phoney sadhus and Daoist masters reside in. and you know what? Just as there are little old women who can make a meal to beat any michelin star chef, can hex you to death with a glance no matter how much magick you have done, so there are people who have through very hard work gotten to this point.
If you truly can look into your own eyes in the mirror, away from your friends, away from the internet, away from even the eyes of god and say that this is the case, in everysingle moment, then you have achieved the albedo.
Not only will you have by necessity passed through the Dark Night of the Soul and met your guardian, but if you'd have done so, religion and magick, as performed by others will not be a part of you anymore. You will live and breathe divine contact as the RightHandMan of God, (written for westerners as I'm sure you get it by now).
it is here and only here that What is really meant by the Knowledge and conversation of the HGA can be achieved. That the work to create the alchemical body takes its start because it is the center-sun that is the prima-materia for this work. Not the lead you are now.
Then, and ONLY then can the Rubedo phase start and that work can utterly ruin everything and blemish the white with impurities forever. Any and all ideas you have about the Rubedo are false. Even the projections upon the albedo are as incorrect as a 7 year olds musings about old age are.
And just to pull my dick out: The blog exists partly to help define lines, not to offer theories, none of this is theory.
There, that should have answered the 24 emails I received asking questions.