My friend Jack responded to some of my recent posts here. Read that first if you like, even though I extensively quoted here.
is one of those risky examples of counter-points to magickal utility
that I've seen expressed by others; the first is that if any one at
all has their course in life changed, or there is fall-out, the
magician is principally at fault.
As the primary infuser of the energy of change into a relatively static situation, he is certainly not irresponsible...oh wait.
Jack: He goes on to state that many
younger magicians fall prey to their “lower selves”. I consider
this a dangerous example of dualistic thinking, for it presumes to
understand the nature of magickal work and break everything into a
“Good/Evil” dichotomy, a mind-virus that individuals in the West
have a tendency to suffer from.
Allow me to back this up a bit. My presumption is that the people impacted believe in that dualistic world view. Why? Because most people do. They will perceive events in their life as good/bad. No matter how much they later grow spiritually, someone's death, job loss, bad date, etc. will be dealt with as a negative. The people so impacted will feel pain. To sit back and say well, they only feel pain because of their dualistic perceptions, while true, is lacking in compassion.
Secondly, almost all magick assumes the good/bad paradigm. Otherwise, you wouldn't be trying to obtain anything by magick aside from that which covers your basic needs of food and shelter. It is good to have a wife and bad not to, at least that is the judgement Jack made doing the magick he admits to performing. Therefore, claiming those wounded in the fallout should adopt a non-dualistic world view is a bit philosophical rationalization.
Personally, I honestly believe and know that everything is perfect/nothing matters (non-dualistic...I think) but if you step on my toe, it will hurt and I will say, "Ouch." If you drop a sledge hammer on my toe, I will say, "$(@$)_ ouch!" Healing time will be longer too. Even if I met a new friend in the hospital that enriches my life, I am still going to be upset with you for your negligence. Twice as upset if you knew better and didn't care about me enough to stop. Three times as upset if you deny you dropped the hammer.
Should you do that in a variety of circumstances to a variety of people, I will stand against you until I believe you have grown into something more in alignment with the principals I expect my associates to hold. It is fine if you disagree and behave differently, I just ask that you hold them over there...preferably in another state.
Frankly, as scary as Jack likes to think he is, he's a hell of a nice guy. If he ever dropped a hammer on my toe, I'd assume it slipped. I'd also expect him to buy me a New Castle. Why, because if Jack dropped a hammer on my toe, he wouldn't deny it. My response would be, "You owe me a New Castle."
Robert appears to be making the mistaken assumption that the young
magician being led around by the nose by their “lower-self” will
not be lead into circumstances that lead them to knowledge and
conversation with aspects of their “higher-self.”
No. Before I get there, let me say that old magicians can be lead by the nose by their lower selves. See my posts about my Nephesch taking over when I thought I could use it instead of it using me. Mistake! I was thoroughly led by the nose for a day or two after.
Mistakes are essential to learning. Any magician that wants to be lead to his higher self will find that path regardless of type of magick practiced or other intent, unless he gets caught in the glamour of his own magick or creates such a disaster s/he walks away from the entire process. The problem is that many, while saying they do seek the so-called higher, have no real intent to grow whatsoever. Growth tends to be more a factor of maturity than effort and while positive, not fully effective. Normally, this silly stuff is about power. Which segues nicely into his next line.
he's following the prototypical “it's all power!” assessment that
bothers me very much. He assumes that if the magician uses “Get
Laid Quick!” sigils, they'll be using it a means of power over
someone else, or neglecting a desire for love. As I stated in my
responses to his Sitri post, I see nothing wrong with using magick to
engineer circumstances in which sex might occur. What I consider
wrong is mistaking sex for love, or the desire for sex as a mistaken
desire for love. If we stand by the admonition of “Know Thyself!”
then we must also understood the root of our desires.
I am pretty sure we agree on everything here, except his assumption on what I assume. My objection in the Sitri post was more along these lines. If you call a beast like that seeking sex but your psychology is really looking for love or acceptance, you are in a world of hurt or will be. I stand by that.
tell someone that they must seek love over sex, or vice versa, is a
fatal conceit. It presumes to know the desire, path, and capability
of any given young magician. It is a very foolish thing to do, even
if people do hurt themselves.
I never meant to imply such. In fact, I think I cleared that up in a response to Jack earlier.
of living this world is learning to live with the hurtful things that
happen in it. Any system of magick, spirituality, or mysticism that
seeks to diminish this factor is also foolish, for we cannot live
True: But I don't think it is our right as magicians to randomly cause pain that facilitates someone else learning that lesson. We have no idea who is ready for that lesson. To cause pain and simply say, "their fault, they don't know," demonstrates a lack of compassion and is devoid of personal responsibility.
False: As I am seeing with the MM, the lessons learned are much less painful than initiatory system while being just as effective. I did not seek that but that is what it appears to be. I am still collecting data so that may change.
Jack: First,assuming you can see all the given variables in any situation is
wrong-headed. Even if that single-mother may end up without what may
be the first, and easiest to seek out job, is to assume she will not
within a week apply for a job that pays more money and gives her what
she needs. Second, as Jason points out in his comments, you can
specify not to harm others. I cannot speak for others, but almost all
of my work for material items involves divination beforehand, and
careful consideration of the results. I have passed over
many-a-working because I drew the “Tower” card in an particularly
inauspicious position, with similarly terrible cards arranged around
it. My perspective has always been that “we all go to the Tower,
some more than others!” but that doesn't mean I prefer to avoid
intensely messy situations. Included in plenty of those divination
performances were questions regarding how those around me or involved
may be impacted by my actions.
First, Jack is arguing that since we don't know if she'll get a better job than the one I take from her, taking it is just fine. By this logic, I can break into a home and steal the TV because I guess maybe possibly that they can get a better one with insurance, if they have coverage. In the woman's case, I sure hope she can feed her kids for that week or can keep the phone on so she gets that job offer.
That said, I fully recognize the reality that anyone that gets the job takes it from another that needs the job. Yes, this belies my argument. There is a third thing...I will let Jack figure out what I mean.
Secondly, Jack is essentially conceding he does things to avoid the concerns I have while debunking said concerns. He is arguing what ought to be and then planning for the reality of what is. As long as he plans for reality. I am good.
have also made plenty of mistakes by failing to perform the above,
normally due to my own personal conceits. Like I've said, you cannot
learn without making mistakes. And sometimes those mistakes hurt both
you and those who you did not wish to hurt.
Once again, Jack is arguing my point. Thanks for the help.
you wish to perform Theurgia and seek your higher-self, and those
spirits that coincide with it? I totally recommend doing that.
However I do not think you have the right to suggest that course of
action is best for everyone. It
may be best for you, because that is your path
I like plenty of Cthonic gods. Lots of people have no idea what I
mean when I speak those words. That's okay.
This is one of Jack's fatal traps. He assume that a theurgist making these points is trying to argue that the way of theurgy is the only way. This is silly. In fact, I so indicated in my posts that this is not so, albeit not directly. So, I will now. Any other magickal path is valid and acceptable in my book. The fact that I have an opinion does not mean I devalue your path. It means that I have an opinion. My opinion is that some magickal practices and errors can harm others, as well as the magician, an opinion, Jack agrees with, at least from how interpret his post.
Jack: What,you can't gain the skills to stop that process or recognize what's
happening? Just a suggestion: if this happens, then you need to
increase your skill set to recognize manifestations for what they are
and put a stop,
the person whose Will is being impact
before that situation arises. You cannot blame someone for a
manifestation that you failed to take into account. You could have
spent time learning those skills, rather than simply doing soul-work.
I don't accept ignorance as an excuse, rather ignorance is a teaching
tool and demonstration on how to become a better magician, in my
This is where Jack just got silly. Oh, that mugger hit you over the head and stole your grandmother's ring? Well, that is your fault isn't it? Had you just learned karate...
He also is assuming a few things.
The first is that the magician and the Person B are of relatively equal skill set making this attempted or accidental theft somehow acceptable. He is essentially saying, yeah, that person I mugged, no problem, she knew jujutsu. So, it is totally okay if I sneaked up and blindsided her, totally fair play.
As someone that has the wears a cringing chicken as a sign of my combat skills, I have chosen a life devoid of violence. That makes me vulnerable to thugs. It will suck if I get hit over the head and have my wallet stolen. It sucks even worse to live in such fear to make preparations for that. My life path is too busy with things I value more than catering to my fear of attack.
Secondly, he is assuming anyone else in the equation even knows what magick is. No. All this poor man knows is his wife left him, his kids won't speak to him and alcohol takes the pain away. That's okay though right? After all, he needs to learn pain is an illusion. This dualistic thinking is his problem.
Jack: Please: feel
free to critique my thoughts!
I will get right on that.
Let it be known I love Jack. He is self-admittedly insane, a damn fine magician and has more mental faculties hungover than I sober. Jack has taught me stuff that has nothing to do directly with magick. He also owes me $5.00 for a pack of cigarettes I bought him five years ago. That said, we will mostly always have this discussion in some form or another. There is no animosity on either side.