Thursday, May 6, 2021

We Must Say What We Mean

Nick Farrell recently posted this article in which he unpacks some of the ways in which magicians all-too-often obfuscate the truth and sometimes outright lie. While this list, along with an earlier one that was specific to Golden Dawn, is presented in a tongue-in-cheek manner, many of the entries are also far too recognizable from my experiences in the larger occult community. I will say that both posts are amusing - go check them out and see how many of Nick's obfuscating statements you recognize. My guess is that it will be more than a few if you've spent time among fellow occultists.

I have stated repeatedly that one of my goals in writing about my work and my practice is to develop magick as a technology and improve it along similar lines to what we see in the physical sciences. I also have pointed out that secrecy and gatekeeping and the like has set us back centuries. While it is true that there are more issues involved in measuring a state of consciousness than in measuring how long it, say, takes an object dropped from a high tower to hit the ground, it also is true that modern science began to develop in the 1700's, and it wasn't until Aleister Crowley's Equinox in the early 1900s that "secret order teachings" were offered to the public in a comprehensive manner.

That the physical sciences had a head start of almost 200 years, meaning it's no surprise that magick today is about where the physical sciences were in the early-to-mid 1800's. Given the availability of information and speed of communication in the modern world, I think it is possible to catch up, at least to a degree. But when people misrepresent magick and what magick entails, when they misrepresent their results, and when they put out misleading information about their own practices to make themselves look better on social media or whatever, those people are doing a lot of harm to the cause of subjecting magick to meaningful scientific investigation.

The problem today is not too little information, but too much. Online, true and false information commonly mingle together, and to a degree this is unavoidable. But we do ourselves no favors as magicians by contributing to misinformation, or by refusing to accurately answer questions - at least according to our own experiences. We don't have anything like a generally accepted theory of magick at the moment, and more accurate data that can be subjected to peer review can only get us closer to how all this stuff really works. There will likely be false starts and proposed models that turn out to be at odds with the data, but testing to determine those is exactly how the scientific method is supposed to work.

And we all want better magick, don't we? Better probability shifts. More effective expansion and elevation of consciousness. A faster path to enlightenment, as it's commonly understood. I remain convinced that testing and compiling data can get us there - but only if the data we are working with is as accurate as it can possibly be.

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Alex Scaraoschi said...

Aaaah, Lord Manticore being ever so funny as usual :)))))

On a more serious note, it is hard to make the kind of progress you're seeking because many of the public teachings today resume to pointing aspirants to books, classes, and many other things people who do the "teaching" usually sell. Alongside that, the narrow-minded view of many who dislike lodge magick for instance makes them way too rigid when it comes to interacting with someone who's using a system based on the latter, which makes it very cumbersome to make comparisons between results based on different magical methods. Stuff like "oh you don't need the MP" when someone asks (like the latest question posted in this blog) if using it can increased their success rate is highly detrimental for progress imo and sets the occult universe back hundreds of years. So according to your comparison we're not in the early-mid 1800s, but based on the many occultists with a narrow-minded view out there we're further back in time...

Alex Scaraoschi said...

Correction: according to your comparison we ARE in the early-mid 1800s

And another thing, something which I've also found is being preached by people who have something to gain from the occult universe, whether it terms of personal image or most likely, financially: "my spells work regardless of " is another idea that's being promoted out there, albeit not so bluntly most of the time.

Funny how, for example, I've been contacted by someone quite recently who said something the likes of "according to such and such occultists you don't need to plan your rituals based on astrology and even on planetary days and hours once you've got your HGA". First off, I have no idea whether those people really said that, but it wouldn't amaze me one bit. Secondly, I have no idea whether they were referring to the one-and-only-true-transcendental-Abramelin-HGA or the Crowley-HGA :) but I don't think it really matters in this context.

So... idk what I was going to say further, but I'm glad I'm out of social media :D