AdGo to My Writing for explanation of this document.Magick NotesbyJohn S Moore
90 Crowley writes of a grave crisis concerning the schools of magic. Crisis in the conflict between the black and the white schools. The white school of magic comes from Europe, says Crowley.
164 In seeking a positive philosophy of life, white magic, one does think in terms of some form of creativity, or historical action. Christianity actually provided this on the historical stage. Perhaps I should say western Christianity, a man like Cromwell.
188 D'Arch Smith's
book (The Books of the Beast). He says that he has never actually
practised any magic or occultism, partly because he had certain experience
of the horrors. What is it to practice magic or related arts and what is
their purpose? I have described magic as to do with the attainment of certain
states of mind. A poet like Mallarmé? was a practitioner. What the
point of the Golden Dawn, sex Magick etc. and what the point of my life?
D'Arch Smith writes that instead of occult practice he has stuck to bibliophily.
Do I deist from occult practices? I would not say so Magic is something
that has reference to the whole of life. I m not primarily a reader, a
collector of curiosities, a bibliophile. I am concerned with the attainment
of certain ends, largely relating to conditions of mind. Magic as desire,
having the same revitalising force as religion.
I am intrigued to learn that Wallis Budge, Egyptologist, used to assist Florence Farr, and was sympathetic to the Egyptianism of the Golden Dawn, possibly closer to a genuine sympathy with the old Egyptian civilisation than anything for thousands of years.
202 Sumerian myths and their magic. We today can move back much further than the Bible in the study of civilisation's origins. We can see the magic that underlies so much. …It was an institution like the Golden Dawn that was responsible for brining much older religious forms back into western consciousness. Magic and its creation. For a long time Christianity offered the most powerful magic in the world. Seeing Christianity as magic instead of as religion. For a while this set of symbols had immense power. The motive behind creating them. People speak of faith but what is the use of that? Christianity became a form of paganism. For a while not so much a faith as a mechanism for manipulating the universe. Christina myth, a symbolism of natural forces.
220 We might say that magic is superior to religion. Frazer thought religion was superior. But sometimes the objects of desire are more internal than external. Religion as magic, magic as desire. A system, artistic and philosophical, designed to secure satisfaction in a largely frustrating milieu and society.
327 Magic is the attempt to produce an effect by pseudo causation The connection between the cause and the effect is in a sense arbitrary. There is a formal ritualised method of bringing about some state of mind. The connection between the ritual and the desired state is not unalterable, absolute, fixed in nature. Much art and culture may be thought of as systems of magic. The zeitgeist itself as a magical aura of framework. One form of magic flourishes at one time. The concept of magic as adumbrated by Frazer, is an excellent tool of analysis. The work of Andreyev and Strindberg is a form of magic. .. One type of magic may have disastrous tendencies while it is still beautiful, powerful and effective.
333& Of a girl who committed suicide at sixteen, her mother said that she was so young she had not lived at all. But what is supposed to be so good about living? What do these adults think there is to be achieved that is so worth achieving? There must be a kind of magic they believe in, something that is worth doing or experiencing in order that something may be experienced or accomplished. It may be different for women and for men. The more passive mode of experience may be easier. A man feels called upon actively to resist. He has to escape the pattern, Break it up create his own. He seeks power, without it he is frustrated and depressed. To talk as if merely living can bring happiness and fulfilment seems somehow absurd. For happiness and fulfilment one needs to aggress, or attach oneself to someone or something that does.
347 Magic, see how that comes in. Through persuasion it is possible to effect change, to overcome a lot of the resistance with which we are faced and to experience a consequent exhilaration.
354 Most programmes to overcome this decadence partake of the nature of magic. I.e. there is an objective and action that is supposed to procure it, via the mediation of something supposedly resembling natural laws.
238 Progress in philosophy, the question whether one can ever advance beyond scholasticism? We all use words, we may say that those used by others are empty abstractions whereas ours refer directly to realities. Is this a real distinction? Naïve optimism versus affirmationism. The advance in rational control. Returning perhaps to something once known and since lost (the magic of the Egyptians?)
279 Communism, fascism. How can you have any kind of freedom until you have removed the immediate threat, the thing that is throttling you? Leninism is magic of the blackest kind. To end up feeling good, secure etc., you have to murder and destroy in the most extreme way. But without communism, where is the focus of resentment and hatred in the modern world?
91 Magic, for ideas like the psychoanalytical, that are interesting but to which we should not surrender.
237 Against Hegel, magic, rational magic. All the treasure of the past. The ideal of rational magic as to gain access to that by specific acts of the will. This is the magical and neoplatonic aim. Not the all encompassing systematised emotion of the Hegelian, that kind of monotheism. No great concern about the absolute, or the objective of which all other objectives are a part. There can be some quite specific and limited objectives.
336 Imagine some young person reading my book, when it is published, entering into my mind with all the naïve enthusiasm that is possible to the young. Magical sons and daughters. Crowley and Wittgenstein. Could even this phenomenon be the subject to investigation? Your own child is you but your magical child is you in a different way. Good way of breaking down ethnic prejudice.
160 Magical power of ideas, irrespective of whether we think of them as true or not. To see some good in Bergson. Liberation from the seeming necessity of the opposite view. A different style of ecstasy, which proves something or other. It proves that ecstasy need not be tied to memory, or concepts of memory.
240 What is my
religion? Magician. Pagan. The sheer exercise of the will as a means of
attaining happiness. Difference between that and having no religion, which
suggests mere pursuit of inclination,
Black magic, white magic. How to rise to my full stature so that I can rescue mad women.
36 Kant's whole philosophy may be seen as a way of making room for freewill. And the claim to freewill involves a quite astonishing arrogance. Metaphysical arrogance, as if the laws of cause and effect are themselves a constraint and one wants a magical power to control everything. Freud's ideas about infantile fantasies of omnipotence may be relevant here. I would not attack mysticism in favour of reality, far from it. It is gratifying and pleasurable in so many ways, But the extent to which Kant takes morality removes it quite form the 'invisible hand'. It suggests that morality is something that has to be directly willed.
310 Magic, the
magician, the internal aesthetic, the not caring what people think of you,
the ultra selfish concern. The almost deliberate embrace of something that
may look like failure, the ultra individual concern.
317 Wagner as magician. His power to manipulate emotion, significant emotion. Religion and the sense of highest aesthetic unity. These raptures, his power to manipulate, of the highest significance for thought. Like without giving way, a way of thinking about moments. Understanding how to manipulate such emotion, understanding its precise nature and quality is better by far than yielding to it.
177 See why people join parties, tailor their beliefs to clichés. It is for mental relief, escape from the feeling of oppression, taking refuge in a magical hope.
322 The Great
Work. Egyptian civilisation as having a close understanding of the Great
Work and what the real point of life is. The sexual nature of it, that
is remote from the understanding of the adolescent Buddhist.
Coming to terms with oneself and all one's experience. Transmuting what
is painful and unsatisfactory. Think of Egypt as a culture where such wisdom
was encouraged. Everything that is against the Great Work i.e. against
the alchemical transmutation of one's own life.
In our society, theories of Marx and Freud. Underlying them is magic. Essentially they are magic, this is the ground of their appeal. So more fundamental than they are is the theory of magic as attempted by Frazer. For all its faults, something is attempted here which gets priorities in the right order. What is most interesting about Marx and Freud is why they are interesting i.e. what makes them seductive given that we do not accept they are true. They are supposed to be deep and intellectual and they promise certain results. The promise is interesting. There is a form of magic, some form of boost is given by accepting these ideas.
Egypt, magic, the ideal of sexual integration. But so different from the democratic ideal that is promoted in our society. Whole philosophies elaborate simple prejudices.
192 The universe is filled with diabolical plots and traps. To say this is to say no more than that contained in the Goetia about the perils of allowing the various demons any more leeway than that permitted to them by the ritual. King Solomon bound the 72 evil spirits of the Goetia into a brass vessel solely because of their pride. Those of Babylon broke open the vessel and the spirits escaped. This is very significant. Solomon was a monotheist, ruler of a monotheistic empire, Babylon was curiosity and magic, open rather than closed, polytheistic. Solomon shut up the spirits perhaps to do honour to his own god because the spirits claimed to be self subsistent. Wreckers of the System. Babylonian magicians replaced external protection against the spirits by a personal and individual protection. Not 'do not have experiences x, y and z' but 'have them but guard yourself against possible evil effects. Solomon shut them up not because of fear but for aesthetic purposes. Try a comparison of Solomon with Gautama and Nietzsche with Babylon. It does not work, but perhaps it illustrates something.
68 Magic, the
field of transcendental desires. Degrees of clarity and confidence that
are normally impossible. Modes of perfection .
Pseudo science, often a means of reacting to sets of phenomena as much as or rather than scientific theories. Thus perhaps we may see all kinds of historical theories, the Spenglerian, the progress theory, the retrogression theory, as all equally applicable according to the purpose required.
See how Crowley made use of the ancient Egyptian religion, the first grandly systematic religion, to convey the idea of a progression of aeons. In thinking of the occult one may tend to uphold the ideal of the renaissance mage and despise popular recensions. Yet if it is part of one's task to restore paganism one must endeavour to manipulate popular superstitions rather than merely despising them.
61 Preference for voodoo over jazz, or even over Wagner. Idea of magic as a solution that does not involve the imposition of conformity. In the very claim to present all human emotion as a form of wholeness there is a presumption, a requirement of subjection.
92 How many religious codes were in reality sensible rules of hygiene? And even when they were not, how much of what seems to us as morality was in reality a kind of magic?
fear mysticism. He says his sister taught hi a gentler love. But extreme
exaltation again brings with it a certain danger. The Book of Thel,
and the Three Bears. You can tranquilise yourself, renounce ecstasy,
force yourself to live on a mundane plane. But the idea that only the countryside
can produce virtue, that city life is inherently corrupt, is not really
sound. It is one of those magical ideas. Sub rational magic as analysed
There is a sense in which man can achieve anything he desires. In another sense that is quite impossible. What has been achieved before could be achieved again. States of mind, conditions of soul. There is less mystery than people think. Think of the intense hedonism of the rococo spirit, that Nietzsche sees as a way back to the Greeks. But how much of this hedonism was clearly and consciously inspired by 'libertine; philosophers like the grossly materialistic La Mettrie? If there is a state of mind you desire to promote I say it is best to do it directly, by means of rational philosophy, and not by irrational magic. So the rococo is not really a counterreformation spirit at all, but a Protestant spirit, as the French enlightenment was obviously Protestant.
212 See how neoplatonic philosophy became Christian philosophy. See it from the magician's point of view. Dogmatic belief opens up new experiences, then try dogmatic belief. There is a point of view from which the distinction between faith and doubt vanishes. One can see Dali's point that Christian faith is like surrealism. He actually likes the Christianity of Rome from a visual and architectural point of view. But much as I appreciate the Blavatskyan or Rosicrucian myth of hidden masters or adepts, history is probably not really like that at all. Faith as satisfying desires and therefore as triumphalist. The curious mentality of the Borgias.
126 Eliphas Levi and his originality. His interpretation of tarot cards. Rationalistic magic, compatible with scepticism and analytical philosophy. Magic as superior psychotherapy. Ketih Thomas's book (Religion and the Decline of Magic) Christopher Hill, organising concepts. Jung. Essentially anti magic for the reasons the church is anti magic. Macgregor Mathers and his originality. Magic as spiritual discipline.
55 Classical culture, Renaissance culture. Reformation culture, mediaeval culture. Renaissance culture we admire immensely but it was not classical culture., Paracelsus drew a lot of his ideas from the traditions of the crafts and guilds.
26 ? Tibetan wheel of birth
134 Cultural reform. Legitimating of values. Effect similar to the neoplatonic philosophy at the renaissance, An opening up of new possible values, new possible ways of living.
176 Magical experience
of renaissance. An age when the wisdom was revered, when the latent energies
of man could find expression. 'As above so below'. Correspondences operate
through all fields of human experience. Art is to promote, at all levels,
the development and aspiration of the instincts, all round a firm grasp
of a total world of experience, resulting in a proud confidence.
The wisdom that results in an understanding of the creative energies, an esoteric wisdom producing hidden correspondences, significances.
Modern art as the fragments of an exploding shell. Suggestion that there is in the magical civilisation of the past a deeper, more abiding form of satisfaction than anything our modern age has been abler to throw up.
17 A doctrine of will, a magical doctrine, is obviously only of use to those who wish to make use of it. Those who wish to concern themselves solely with the understanding are quite entitled to speak of magic as a 'forbidden science'. A doctrine of will is not an aid to the understanding, nor is it intended as such. A magical cosmology is not so much a metaphysic as means of acquiring power. Yet magic does not reject orthodox religion, it uses it as a point of permanent reference and stability. So magic uses concepts which are arbitrary, long passages of gibberish (anathema to the understanding) barbarous names of evocation and the like Yet magic is not at all antithetical to understanding; unlike the witch the mage does not sell his soul to attain power. Magical books are to be kept hidden from the unworthy. The magician gives a personal interpretation to gnostic myth.
39 The Black Magician
has advanced some degree on the road to enlightenment, but has reached
the point where, confronted with the freedom of the void, he is more or
less overwhelmed by it. He feels a need to justify himself for being what
he is, but he cannot find anything on which to pin any such justification.
Nor can he think of anything he could become, in which his being would
Without a shred of justification on which to pin his being, he would normally become incapable of action, sinking further and further into the Abyss, into ever deepening circles of dilemma, disintegration and despair. By turning his face away from the need for justification, which he inwardly knows to be overwhelming, he creates for himself, in the Abyss, a mockery of a self sufficient being. That which he cannot be he will use his powers to play at being.
He has a particular hatred for all creatures who advance to a stage of enlightenment beyond that which he himself has reached. The only form of life he an satisfactorily live is one which involves maiming restricting and destroying other more genuine forms of life. He has no positive charge.
In a futile attempt to overcome his emptiness he tries to destroy everything that is not himself. It is a desperate action. Above all he fights reason.
He can only will by destroying. It is not that he derives a philosophical pleasure from destroying, like De Sade's heroes, only that if he does not destroy he will perish and worse.
190 Magic, strange whims of the will, almost like opium fancies, possibilities barely explored in our culture. All original art is akin to madness, on paths untrod one is on one's own, the multitude will decry. As one moves into the unaccounted, one is doing that the validity of which conventional wisdom or sanity has always denied. For sanity is judged by the experience of the multitude, and their experience can never encapsulate untried possibility even by formulae however liberal…
All experience? At least a representative sample of the most basic forms
of experience, to bring them under the power of the individual, make them
all accessible. To learn how to utilise the whole range of possible human
reactions to situations.
Renaissance culture of magic, So much more fruitful than our modern obsession with specialisation. Separate fragmented wisdoms. Then the whole wisdom would be brought into the pursuit of a specialised task. The eternal brought down into the particular
Science of learning all possible reactions, … The artist takes up one stand, identifies himself by his relentless opposition to an alternative point of view. Instead he might try to contain all points of view within his outlook, even when he is only concerned to express a segment of what he understands as whole truth. The part will gain from the instinctual truth of the whole
Integration of philosophy and magic.
47 Compare rising through the spheres and rising through the outlooks, the determining factors. Aspiration to a higher form of certainty, a higher satisfaction.. A complete liberation in the psychological sense. Particular paths limit energy in so many ways, the aim of magic is to reach a condition where the will is not so limited, where it may take its fill of a comprehensive cross section of the forms the human attitude may take.
Saddharma Pundarika, Monkey temple. Claims to be more quintessential
form of Buddhism than the particular philosophical
teaching of the Theravada. The religious feeling outflows the original
message, like mediaeval Christianity. Magic, though looking primitive,
is in fact a deeper penetration of the cosmos than any rational philosophical
doctrine. Buddha a far better symbol than Christ.
The religious aura is not just propaganda it outvalidates the original
message that was its core. See the growth of superior forms of the Buddha
beyond and above Gautama. The truth is older than the message. Faith, even
for a moment. Not understanding, nor pursuit of rigorous discipline. Just
gaining access. No more need for the constraints of religious discipline,
the world of religious understanding is before you, Elaborated by men utterly
and absolutely alien to the principle concerns of the modern world. Mapping
the higher world, the world of greatest pleasure, confidence and inward
certainty. A world of high culture and spiritual freedom.
Particular certainty about one big thing brings with it a great sense of confidence and joy. Then later it is discovered that the truly valuable thing is the sense of confidence and joy itself and the original doctrine which was supposed to bestow it becomes transformed into or replaced by a pure (magical) symbol whose function it is to invoke that sense. Buddha was only incidentally the founder of that religion which bears his name. Religion itself mostly a destructive form replaced by magic as underlying instinct asserts itself. The essence of magic is tradition and ancient symbolism. A Buddhist may thus be superior to Buddha ("the equal of Buddha') and a Christian to Christ. Christianity is sick with sin consciousness. It is a religion with a disease in its heart. Similarity between lamaism and Catholicism. Religion no longer even a moral but a magical thing. With the Counter Reformation it became again moral, the emphasis switched to forcing the individual into the dogmatic framework. The religious experience itself went on the defensive.
129 Extreme politics, anarchism for example, is magical in nature. I do not believe anarchism is socially atomistic in the way communism is. But all are magical, they promise magic cures. The reality, if they are successful, is likely to be magical too, for their advocates. The accession to power, especially absolute power, is so gratifying that the magic of the political theory, (promising happiness) can be held to have worked. Its purpose was as a means to power, though that was not how it appeared at the time. …A politician gets to power because of the support he has got behind him, his body of followers. What the idea was that turned them on is not the determining factor. … In political thinking magic is as important as science, in fact considerably more so. Take the lunatic New Left. ideas of David Cooper. Yet people like them, why? Because they seem to initiate processes of motion, to promise an exciting accession of power…a politician does not have to be a conscious cynic, that comes later; while he is striving for power he can really believe all this self contradictory balderdash, but woe betide him if he doesn't become a rationalist once he's got hold of the reins. The real meaning of any proposal to increase the general happiness of mankind, from Major Douglas to Peter Laurie is its persuasive force as an instrument for achieving power. Proposals to increase the general happiness of mankind. As instruments for attaining power they may well increase my happiness, which is equivalent to increasing the happiness of the universe. If I die, the universe dies, if I am happy the universe is happy. Some there will indubitably be who will be happy with me, with these I sympathise. Real objective increases in happiness are impossible to gage, and impossible as human motives.
Book 4. There is a certain beauty and simplicity in it. Crowley's strange
mind. Some of what he says is on the face of it hardly acceptable and seems
to contradict what we have taken as his central message. Sometimes, for
example he seems to advocate the most absolute servitude to the most arbitrary
superstition. He uses his dogmatic guru authority to play jokes on his
followers. But where do the jokes end? Sometimes he seems to abuse his
authority, as in his great admiration for the Jesuits; there sees to be
spiritual sadism, a perverse delight in the most constricted.
Vision of the demon Crowley. Does he abuse his position, issuing his thought experiment as ripened fruits of wisdom? Knowing it would ultimately do not harm to follow even the most absurd and negative injunctions, on the principle of the union of opposites? But all this is very confusing.
There is great beauty in the book the system of ceremonial Magick and its symbolism presents a religion of aesthetic sublimity,
Crowley sets up immense barriers to his understanding. He befogs and bemuses. His speculations are fascinating, but his injunctions do not form a possible system, they are traps for those who yearn to submit themselves to despotic authority, What did he achieve? Not a grand co-ordinated system. Much of what he did is marred by faults of style.
The law of Thelema for the few and secret. A system of Magick i.e. training the will to equip it for any kind of experience, expressed in whatever language.
Guarded with supernatural terrors to protect against misunderstanding and vulgarisation.
Magic- the realisation of all romantic hopes and ambitions, without losing sight of common sense.
Supernatural terrors and insuperable difficulties. Seeming unpleasantness.
104 Many of the minor movements of the present day, the ecology movement, vegetarianism, encounter groups, communal living, have strong points of resemblance to similar movements in India. They are to be classed with patent medicines as a kind of magic, soul magic. That is the level of their wisdom, and that is how we should understand it,
121 When one is
young life is good because one is receptive, has energy and life is exciting.
Peregrine Pickle's second fortune. If the energy, the freshness of youth
are to be recaptured one would have a second chance,. These magical forms
of life I was discussing, Indianisation, are various (pseudo-scientific?)
means for capturing the most desirable state of life. It is likely that
they involve an expenditure of moral and spiritual capital, but this does
not matter. If we look upon life as a task to be performed, the life
we have is limited in its time span but yet adequately long to achieve
success. There comes a time when it is good to spend the capital.
Protestant magic as distinct from Catholic magic. Protestant magic, a certain flexibility of concept. To fit in with individualism and a socially mobile population. Life magic, those religious concepts which really do enable people to make a fresh start, jolt them out of tired habits. Oriental culture. Impossibility of being a subversive revolutionary where there is a place for everything.
9 Magic, the form of a personal religion. It ought to be clear that the only justification for accepting orthodox religion is laziness and conformity. Magic provides the ritual and formulae one loses by rejecting a common church. The magician is the true religious individualist, the ultra Protestant perhaps, and should be respected n society.
15 Magic, the secret of playing on the suggestibility of a subject, working him up to an emotional pitch.
232 Oriental Magic by Idries Shah. 1 notion of a psychophysical medium, Levi's' astral light, or the Man Akasa of the Hindus. It appears to be a magically useful postulate, and should not be immediately rejected as a piece of pseudo science. 2 Magic as the representation of man's most far flung fantasies of power and greatness. as such it can work psychologically and is healthier from a Nietzschean point of view than is religion.3 one source of magical power is the knowledge of how to play on the emotions of an audience. 4 the accounts of Sudanese magicians are very interesting as showing the beginning of a style. I was impressed by many of the rituals described 5 the universality of spirit evocation 6 the arrogance of late Egyptian magical rituals and spells.
272 The Malinowski theory of magic is inadequate. Magic may serve the function of arousing useful emotion, but every ritual needs justification. To admit one's own arbitrariness is to get demoralised and die. The emotion theory is more patronising than the Tylor-Frazer. An imperialistic attitude is only the consequence of self-confidence.
57 Magic the urge for the supposedly impossible, non atomistic science. That rationalistic world view is big and powerful, Vatsayana, Bacon, Epicurus, Bertrand Russell, Hsun Tsu. But it does represent only one type of mind, one mode of possible valuation. Aristotelian science is different in kind from Baconian, more concerned with the intellectual satisfaction understanding can bring. Vatsayana's man about town may appear as a shallow obnoxious playboy. ..Much of the joy of rationalism comes from its creation, order out of chaos, cutting way dead wood. When that has been done what it left?
66 The Book
of Enoch is not without literary merit. I can think of no parallel
for such hatred in classical literature.
See the Jewish religion apart from such revolutionary hatred and what sense can you make of it? It seems the most benighted superstition. Why on earth should anyone be motivated to exchange the gods of Olympus for the god of the Jews? But it is the promise of revenge upon the wealthy and successful that is so attractive. A magical scheme for giving the unhappy and frustrated a sense of triumphant self confidence.
Magic, philosophy, science. Philosophy of science should perhaps make clear the distinction between magic and science as enunciated by Frazer. Not so as completely to reject magic, but to assign it its proper place. Right wing magic and left wing magic,
Idea that appeal, attractive ideas. Ideas that appeal to you are likely to have no appeal to others. Any number of exciting ideas you write down that leave others cold. Magic can indeed work through power of sympathy.
magic. Useful magic. Achieving the objectives of the will. Right wing magic,
left wing magic.
Fact that magic can work, especially when we understand what it is. Think of the great range of mental experiences that could become open to us. See what is magic and what is not. Perceive the limits of its usefulness as magic. Not to get hypnotised by fake science. Marxian and Freudian elements in our culture. Attractiveness and emotional charge of a lot of magic.
82 Consider history and the vast treasurehouse of possible human experience contained therein. What I call magic is a means of tapping this treasure.
102 Take the idea that capitalism, or property speculation, is the cause of bad architecture. This is pure magic, Property speculation in the eighteenth century created beautiful London squares. What is bad is bad aesthetics, and this springs from bad first principles or bad philosophy,
151 I use Frazerian accounts of magic in my analysis of the attraction of certain ideas and I refuse to base my case on any such attraction.
224 The magical approach of neoplatonism. Because it is designed to answer to human desires it does not exclude rationalism, even of the austerest kind.
258 Function of rational magic to offer emotional satisfactions for all points of view. Monarchy as an eminently rational institution, What loyalty could one have to the republic?
289 A magical
technique for satisfying pride, for visiting Hell, like Aeneas, Dante,
Virgil, Odysseus, while remaining unscathed. See the point of the pure
and simplistic morality of the magician.
Affirmation of evil. Blake versus St Augustine. Magical dualism. Evocations of demons. Goetic magic. Negative experience, including suffering. The bad trip. Attempt to affirm a world view which includes this possibility without suffering from it. One wants something higher than the Augustinian Heaven.
319 Ordinary magic
and rational magic. Kundalini yoga as magic. An ingenious and well integrated
system. One has to appreciate that its objectives are quite different from
those of western science. Nor is it precisely pseudo science, in the way
that astrology, generally might be.
Of astrology I would say that its plausibility can be quite disconcerting, There may be nothing in it at all, yet it can seem so appropriate,
There is a comparable hold the mind exerted by certain explanatory systems. Marx, Freud, Spengler, Gobineau, Janov.
One should not always trust one's convictions
25& And my
view of the world is magical. I do not disbelieve in immortality nor any
other idea that may appeal to the minds of men. I hold out a hope of existence
as pure joy through the magical freedom of all possible ideas.
The way to overcome repressive values is though the magical philosophy. Not through magical hopes, (utopian schemes etc)
The godlessness of the National Assembly was no monstrous thing, as Carlyle suggests it was. Godlessness, atheism, historically is no more or less significant than theism. Both are forms of beliefs, religious attitudes, if you like, characteristic of different times. There is nothing monstrous about having no religion, it is simply a form of religion.
The magical philosopher could come to fill the role of a priest, but a singularly non repressive kind of priest.
86 Enthusiasm for the French Revolution. What to make of it? Such enthusiasm, enthusiasm for revolution, is like unconditional loyalty to a king in that it involves a certain surrender of self determination. I speak not of those who aspire to control the revolution for their own ends but of those who are willing to surrender their own minds to the will of the people, to yield to the powerful emotion inspired by the magical hopes that abound.
93 Neoplatonism, allegorical esoteric interpretation of dogma. And its magical ideas. Idea of manipulating ideas and concepts to produce desired specific effects.
116 Notes on Jesus
the Magician. The story of the journey of the magi as derived from
the visit of the magician Tiridates to Nero, who wanted to learn magic.
Also the interesting point that the gospel story of Jesus the miracle worker does have a context, mainly that of wandering magicians for whom self deification was quite a common aim. Out of the context arises the concept 'son of god', meaning 'god' much as 'sons of men' means 'men',
The stories gathering around this wandering holy man and the beliefs associated with him, would not be immediately intelligible to the Greek theologians who had to make sense of these beliefs and stories and interpreted them in their own bizarre and ingenious fashion to create Christianity.
130 Western esotericism. An image of understanding. Resistance to the tyranny of fashion. All values generated from a rational principle. The magic at the heart of it. Magic and mysticism. The appeal of the magic, infusing society as a whole with philosophical meaning of which the primary function is the draw away from immediate prejudice.. It should not be treated as superstition. The preservation of a wisdom in the face of all the forces ranged against it.. Magic is exciting because it appeals so strongly to the desires,
324 Marxist concept
of crushing the bourgeoisie. Consider this concept. It admits that the
achievement of socialism will involve oppression, but insists this will
be shortlasting and minimal.
This depends upon the magical belief that all ideas and values are superstructures erected on a basis of economic self interest. That with the changing of the economic structure, all need to disagree with with the values of socialist orthodoxy will disappear. So that I am a petty bourgeois class enemy who needs to be crushed.
to effect change by putting out ideas. Effect change by the dissemination
of ideas. True magic, Rational magic. If one desires to see in existence
some particular value then endeavour to promote it directly as it were,
rather than hoping that some predicted change in material circumstances
will have that effect. Express it more clearly, as the neoplatonists did
at the renaissance. In many respects society at the end of the middle ages
felt old and tired. New values, it was felt, could be created.
A materialistic inertia that impedes this. It is felt that our values are determined by extraneous factors, and it is these factors that need to be changed if we wish to see a change in our values,
Rational magic. Flowers symbolise situations to be encountered in the course of life. Love sextsasy triumph, frustration remorse grief etc. Rational magic. The manipulation of ideas to serve the ends of the will.
The satisfaction of desire. Attitude to the ideas current in society, a feeling that these are manipulable. That to a great extent our desires for culture and society may be met by a suitable manipulation of intellectual ideas, that the ideas and values we entertain may to a greater extent than is often realised be open to alteration in the service of the will.
My remarks on rational magic lack clarity, and sound wishy washy.
115 Marxism, the rage of the excluded. I do feel sorry for these people. I would like to give them a means of sublimating, slaking their rage. I have some sympathy for the left as misguided magic,
134 Magick, my Stirnerism. To create a number of fixed reference points. The science and art of not being bound by the values and attitudes of one's surrounding culture. Freeing oneself from the limitations of one's time. Observation that a lot of control is possible , even on and individual level
41 the thought systems involved in magic, as analysed by Frazer in The Golden Bough are most instructive and have extensive application over many fields. Magical philosophy offering control in accordance with self interest.
Dobu. It is our custom to assert that magic is mistaken science, but it
is more than that. Pure science is disinterested enquiry, applied science
or technology is the provision of means to ends, magic is concerned with
the satisfaction of desire.
Magical technique is the means taken to procure satisfaction of desire. We see how magic can come to provide a polar alternative to religion. In general it can be said that religion is a system for the regulation, direction and control of desire.. therefore it is the case that the outlook underlying magical practice is unamenable to religious constraint.
There are many kinds of magic. Magic is indeed technique, though possibly not universalisable technique. It lacks the objectivity of science, its aims are different. Scientific knowledge is formalisable, magical knowledge is subjective, closely related to desire. By the standards of religion, magic is actively immoral. But magical knowledge is also useful knowledge. It is useful to know speedy ways to the accomplishment of one's desires. By its nature magical knowledge cannot be common.
Magic is widely used. Magical technique is an important and universal feature of human society. It should be more clearly recognised.
Throughout history the magician has been a recognised type. Many of his accomplishments were perfectly real, however dependent on the conventions of his society.
In itself magical technique may be morally neutral, but its general use may be the mark of an outlook directly antithetical to the religious.
Systematic use of magical technique is a refinement and systematisation of egoism. In a sense it is a form of artistry. The magical is a form of egoistic philosopher who makes of his personality and his philosophy a fine dramatic work of art.
The Dobu, so delightfully primitive so delightfully free of some of our most immovable taboos. The most malevolent and destructive impulses are allowed free scope without great harm ensuing and without a great sense of guilt. A race of sorcerers I can warm to, while a race of murderers might not be so appealing.
Blithe disregard of our most deep seated taboos.
157 Magic as the satisfaction of desire. The use of verbal formulae for that purpose. The genius of JG Frazer. Consideration of ideas insofar as the deployment of them answers to various public and private ideas.
164 Let us say
further that dissident ideas hold out a promise of power and freedom. This
is what I call the power of magic. Traditionally the magician accomplishes
desired results through the ceremonial manipulation of words and symbols.
Through dissident ideas we also satisfy desires it may have been thought
impossible to satisfy. But we really need some kind of systematic association
and combination, for what can one many on his own accomplish?
The Nazi philosophy a magical philosophy.
192 Mann's Doctor
Germany suffered defeat. Therefore, according to Serenus, everything German, the whole of modern German culture, was tainted. But England was victorious, was therefore everything English right and true? Black magic and white magic. It has much to do with your attitude of mind towards what you are doing. It is quite obvious that poor Leverkuhn is a monumental sinner in no sense of the word, in fact he is rather a saintly being, harmless and void of malevolence.
It ain't what you do it’s the way that you do it. Whether you feel you are serving truth or you are obsessed with sin consciousness, the feeling that you are doing what you feel to be opposed to truth. Never would I advise people to do what they feel to be opposed to truth and conscience, though there may be exceptions. Gurdjieff suggests one. But truth and conscience would be identical with your own true will.
"the best condition for
magical action is not the primitive community with its collective emphasis,
but the modern community with its individualistic emphasis, and it is here
that one may experience the pre-eminent spectacle of the magician at work.
He conceives his plans in almost solitary secrecy, or with a few cohorts;
he is feverishly protective of the exclusive right to exploit the power
of his discovery or invention; he is frequently concerned with an almost
occult effort to divine that special twist of public taste which makes
for a hit or a best-seller; he is devoted to the idea of a magic combination
of words in a certain just so order, which is a catchy slogan. He labours
to create a skilfully obsessive image of material or sexual seduction,
and is not above accomplishing this with a maximum of artifice and connotative
sleight of hand; he is involved in a complex and formal series of
cabbala like manipulations involving 'contacts' publicity incantation s
and even what might accurately be termed the cocktail libation (Maya Deren
Voodoo Gods pp189-90)
I think she is a bit unkind to the archetype of the magician. A perennial archetype, The magician is after power, but power of a special kind. He has a fascination with secrecy for its own sake. In modern society he will like to have an involvement with the secret service, to be some kind of secret agent.
Cabbalistic conjurations, He has a strange fascination with numerology, with esoteric and mystic codes. Images of seduction., He is obsessed with the power of the seducer, with charisma, sexual seduction and hypnosis, with making his own will prevail.
Crowley as this archetype in modern society. Dee Cagliostro, even Casanova. A kind of complex that tends to go together, though sometimes there are bits left out. Some magicians are notable for their chastity.
I would prefer to be more of the magician archetype. My aspirations do not fit my reality. Do anybody's? but few people have such aspirations. My reality is one of frustration, its best expression is the writhing devotee of a savage and sinister god. Not a satisfying or an erotically attractive archetype. Not one with sufficient power to secure his own satisfaction. The magician archetype is obviously the one that would be most congenial to me.
I think Crowley's idea of white black and yellow magic is a brilliant clarification. The Tao te Ching as magic. Not mystical or political but a magical treatise. It is so gratifying because it promises everything through the unexpected and paradoxical path of non action.
speaking, evil is not a choice one takes. For good may control evil, but
if evil controls good it destroys it. Evil is destructive hatred. It has
its place in the fulfillment of the subject, but not to the end of its
own destruction. Good and evil each serve a higher goal, which might
also be called good, it is not evil. But the point of magic is to permit
the manifestation of each of the force of evil and force them to serve
the magician, his will, his good, which must be good.
Frances Yates The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age. Brilliant and highly suggestive, but I feel that sometimes she overstates her case. There were other strains in the renaissance other than the ones in which she is interested, What of Machiavelli for example? And Marlowe's enthusiasms do not seem to me to lie precisely in the direction that she has indicated. And what of his atheism? Also Shakespeare's plays may very well contain very important elements of occult philosophy, but I cannot see them as propagandist manifestos. He is more interested in the human soul than in advocating cultural reform.
Again, Shakespeare to me does not come across as a Christian. I cannot accept that any one philosophy really contained him. The occult philosophy itself is profoundly unfanatical. Effectual paganism is entirely compatible with it. Even evangelical Christianity becomes merely a piece of magic an supposedly scientific fact about the universe.
Magical Christianity a cover for exploring everything. The emphasis on the exploration not the Christianity One could accept the Pauline epistles on the level of scientific documents. The real motive, however, an infinite curiosity. Satisfaction of the will.
Christian cabala, the name Jesus. Assurance required that magic proves Christianity
262 Magic is all
to do with will. Will is the original keynote of magic. Frazer remains
its best introduction. Primitively magic appears as primitive science,
trying to achieve the object of the will by bypassing the known laws of
nature. The crude magic of the middle ages. What, however is more interesting,
is the way in which more sophisticated forms of magic bypass the limitations
of doctrine and dogma to the same end of fulfillment of the will. The magician
cannot be bound by any particular doctrine of life. Any such doctrine is
at best merely an instrument for his will. The magician breaks though and
exploits the weak points in any doctrine. Hence the inexplicable nature
of much that he does. Also its subversive quality. He is concerned to find
means of overcoming resistance. All doctrines create resistance, great
resistance at certain points. The magician, by the adroit manipulation
of symbols, discovers means of overcoming these resistances, The renunciations
of magical oaths etc. These are not, as it is easy to misconceive, moral
taboos or even laws of hygiene. They merely express the facts of magical
working. The magician does forgo a certain kind of security. He forgoes
certain kinds of satisfaction. The orthodox routes to the orthodox goals
of life are barred him. This is principally because he refuses to abase
himself, to commit himself thoroughly to the values of his day. He cannot
invest all his energy is some orthodox career, because the rewards seem
so paltry to him. As for the accusation that he sells his soul to the devil,
this is almost the exact converse of the truth.
It is the conforming majority who sell their souls, he is the one who most steadfastly refuses to do so. Therefore he is unable to enjoy the pleasures that the majority enjoy. To commit yourself to a scale of values is not merely to permit yourself to be judged according to those values but to become capable of enjoying the good they promise. The slave flourishes in the approval of his master. To put it less harshly, one is playing a recognised game, with recognised rules and is therefore open to successes and failures within the context of that game. One of the most obvious preconditions of success is that the game be played wholeheartedly. For you are in competition with others who have committed their whole selves to the game,
Marlowe's Faustus is not a magician at all, but is a precise parable of the ordinary ambitious man. Goethe's Faust is a confused attempt to replace Christianity by humanism. It is not an esoteric parable. Goethe did not get the point. Faust is not a mage, he is everyman. He is looked over by a benevolent deity who gives him permission to do what he does. He is not even aware of the deity. This is outright theism. Goethe is creating a new conception of God, albeit a more humane one than had existed hitherto. I.e. he is creating values for future society, a future culture. This presages and parallels Hegel.
There are things one gives up for he sake of the Great Work. Some things that might appear like moral renunciations. The magician, for example forswears injustice, untruthfulness etc etc. He is not possessed by the unworthy motives that govern lesser mortals.
There are good reasons why the magician is not subject to such vices. His will is just, typically just because injustice is a weakness, a shortcoming, and what has he to do with shortcomings? A moral weakness is the sacrifice of a long term for a short term gain. It is the will divided against itself. Part of the essence of his vocation is that such short term gains simply do not appeal to him, they are not desired, they would not satisfy.
He renounces injustice because he no longer feels inclined to commit it. All his activity serves his major will. Satisfaction outside that major current is not possible to him. The apparent exception to this rule is when his will, i.e. his major current, is concerned with overthrow or amendment of current moral conceptions. Then it is that ordinary moral virtues may come to appear limiting. And restricting and needing to be transcended,. Strictly speaking this is a different question. What is involved are matters of symbolism and terminology. While generally the magician will probably prefer to be described as just, in specialised cases he may perceive the description as a limitation. This ins not to say his is unjust in the original sense. What is at issue is the description Which we are to apply to him.
279 Levi. Waite regards him as a sceptic. Waite's idea of the occult seems to involve a belief, a faith, in an objective hierarchy of spirits, with whom we make contact. He quotes St Paul on faith. (introduction to Levi's Transcendental Magic). The fundamental faith of magic is that it is do with will. All Frazer's magical ceremonies are to do with the will. Waites's idea of faith is just primitive. He says faith is the sine qua non of experience. On the level of experience he is talking about, faith and doubt are the same. The magician is not bound by the demands of metaphysical consistency. To the metaphysical simpleton this makes him appear a sceptic and atheist. A mere sceptic would write differently. A profound religious philosophy must include complete scepticism. Belief and doubt must be compatible. The consistency with one's earthly philosophy may be tenuous. One thing that seems to be relevant is that the earthly philosophy should not deny the possibility of occult experience altogether, Logically it might, but it would be strange.
and Magick. Its solitary, introverted quality. I.e. one works on one's
own writings. Something almost subjective. My own thought, my own experience,
my own life.
Something about Magick that other people regard as schizoid.
One forges ones own weapon, invents one's own religion, one's own scriptures.
Magick the primaeval, the alternative to religion, to God. Problem with shattering tradition, One cannot just get rid of Christianity. Magick postmodernism, fascination of Heidegger. Primal truth of the magical world view, like an extreme individualism.
and the illusion of great depth. Of great wisdom. Himself as magician,
as a sort of Klingsor with balls.
Ultimate object the holy grail or philosopher's stone, the extraction of maximum enjoyment from life as lived.
Wagner as magician, as seducer. See how even the anti-semitism can be like a path to important truths. Psychological categories such as are found in Freud.
Wagner and what he says about Wagner being central
to the German soul. Redemption etc. What this might suggest is that the
German soul is something created, ruled by magic. Wagner as magician, as
Nietzsche said, and Crowley would have approved.
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