Today's post is dedicated to a few random thoughts and catching up on some questions that I haven't answered yet.
Random Thought #1 -- Hedonism
A friend posted on Facebook that she thought hedonists were lucky because they were not concerned with spiritual issues and experienced all this 'pleasure'. I can empathize with her point as at one time I agreed with her. I no longer agree.
To me, both approaches to life are the result of a particular bias towards pleasure. Those that view pleasure has unhealthy spiritually have not yet learned that the Logos is just as present in the body as anywhere else. Pleasure comes from the Logos itself. It is as if these people value pain over pleasure. In reality, these things are equal. Each has its uses. Furthermore, these folks are often adopting a puritanical Christian viewpoint, whether they be Christian or not, and worse yet, do not understand the theology and practices of those whom view the ascetic life of value.
The hedonist is not anti-spiritual by definition, though he or she could be by personality. The trap of the hedonist is the idea that their self-worth is enhanced by the number of sexual conquests; whom he or she can drink under the table; when he has better toys; or a nice house etc. Furthermore, many that live this life-style simply can not say no to their pleasure of choice. This is little more than the act of a slave.
Those that can sleep with whom they will, making wise choices of partner(s), drink when they will, making wise choices of time, place, location and amount, and other like hedonistic acts are simply living life through its pleasures and pains. I see no harm in that. Denying oneself sex or a drink or whatever one's pleasure out of a sense of guilt or biased judgment may be as harmful as indulging for one is denying a part of oneself.
Random Thought 2 - Of the Gods
John Michael Greer makes the point in "A World Full of Gods" that an omnipresent one-god philosophy breaks down when acts of injustice occur and "God" is no where to be found and does not correct the situation. However, polytheism expresses this situation just fine when it says the Goddess Justice was simply not there at the time. That is a very simplistic redaction of his argument. Those into intellectual studies should read this book to enhance or augment their intellectual understanding of polytheist philosophy.
The philosophies are incomplete in assuming the other reality does not co-exist at the same time. I've experienced gods. Those that are immanent can and do manipulate the reality of their followers be it for good or ill as they have plans that do not necessarily take our own desires into account. The more transcendent gods can be present but not in a way that alters reality in a concrete way that we can perceive. If this can occur, then an omni-present god could behave the same way.
Question 1: How Did I Get My HGA
My practice has been primarily through a Golden Dawn lodge. After doing quite a bit of personal alchemy there, I used Crowely's Bornless Ritual daily for a couple of weeks. That brought about contact. I must be clear that I have had contact, I know his name, his sigil, his history. However, there is a difference between that and full continual presence this I do not have yet in a way that I can perceive. That is why I will say things like "he is hiding something," or "he seemed distant" or other such things. When full contact occurs it is like being with a immanent god form. Someday, I will have fully actualized the relationship, not yet.
Question 2: Poke Runyon Technique
I have tried to explain this various times in this space but I still get questions about what I mean. Poke Runyon has a book and DVD out explaining his technique. It is worth a read for the moderately experienced practitioner as well as the book buyer that reads but does little magick. In these works he outlines a system with its own practices and tools etc. I do not criticize his system as I have never participated in it nor have I ever met Poke. I do find his idea to be interesting. Warning the LBRPs done on the video are a bit questionable and even a bit silly looking.
He has popularized, to the chagrin of some, that goetic 'demons' are to be evoked through a mirror that is gazed into by the practitioner until the point that the practitioner's face morphs into that of the spirit. Some find this idea to be dangerous. Poke does not as he ascribes to the theory that demons are merely a part of the subconscious. I do not agree with him on this issue. However, I do not feel the practice is as dangerous as some would have you believe assuming your are experienced enough at your Work.
Since I do not practice his system, when I say that I am borrowing his technique, I am inscribing a sigil on a mirror (which is not what he would do), gazing at my reflection in the mirror, until I trance out. I have only received the barest glimpse of a spirit this way. Though, I did see a perfect white pentagram once. I do enter a trance state pretty fast doing things that way.
Perhaps I should say that I perform a bastardized form of his practice. Oh, wait, I'm a mage, I can't say bastardized, I should say 'redacted'.