It is in vogue nowadays to simply admit that occultists are after power. Many claim they are only after lofty spiritual goals. Well yeah, what is the difference?
I know a woman that is a hoodoo practitioner. She'll curse you into next week if she wants. She'll bless you too. She makes no apologies. I like her. She is upfront and honest about what she does. Generally speaking, she is a nice person with a good heart. Though, I would suggest you don't mess with her. She is controlling her mundane world. Is this the application of power or a band-aid over her fears?
There are monks that sit on sharp pointy rocks in some cave or monastery and contemplate Jesus, Buddha, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. They control their mundane world by shutting it out. Is this fear or a higher purpose? What do you think they'd call it? I call it both.
I practice theurgy. I want to be as good a human being as I can possibly be. This is a noble goal. Bullshit. It is fear like anything else. Noble or not, what am I afraid of?
When people do magick, even with the highest of goals, divine union or whatever it is we tell ourselves, it is best to ask a question. What fear is this act soothing? Afraid to ask that question? Then you are so fearful that you are afraid of your own answer. How much more afraid are you of the reality behind that answer? The oracle at Delphi said Know Thyself. That statement has endured for one reason. It is necessary. Utterly. Completely. Necessary.
There are smaller magicks. Magicks that are cast because we are defensive, pissed off, feeling small or out of control. When people do these magicks, they aren't asking the question, what do I fear? They are telling themselves that they are justified. They aren't putting band-aids on their fears. They are masking pains they cannot face. This is a work of the smallest thing on this earth, their monstrously huge egos. These people don't have the courage to ask what they are afraid of but the rest of us know. We know.
I know what I am afraid of. Do you know your fear?