For many of us Magick is a search for truth, a quest to rending the veil of everyday life and take a glance at what hides behind. Or as Goethe put it: "So that I may perceive whatever holds, The world together in its inmost folds." The current discussion on energy in Magick is a wonderful example of this. Patrick on Pomomagick even concluded "this is exactly the sort of discussions magicians should be having."
For sure this indeed is the type of discussion magicians have been having for the last centuries. It might even be the type of discussion magicians might be best known for? Just look at many of the magickal source-texts outside of the grimoires. They are full of theories on what actually happens behind the veil of everyday life...
Considering this long history of researching into the occult one can easily come to the conclusion that this must be the essence of Magick: to delve into the immaterial world and research the true connection of cause and effect. To become a scientist of the netherworld. To analyze, deconstruct and rationalize what seemed occult and arcane and mystic before. To shine a bright light into the darkness. To comprehend what was incomprehensible before.
Let me take a stand against that. Let me argue that nothing is further from the essence of magick as I see it. Nothing twists means and ends more.
Here is why: Magick is a mean to serve life, not the other way around. Magick is a mean to overcome crisis and return to happiness. Magick is not the dissection table of spirits but the table at which we commune. Faust might have been a successful geek, but he certainly wasn't a successful healer. Here are my two cents: The essence of a magick is the ability to lead a happy life.
Please don't be lead astray by this. From my humble experience it actually takes a lot of magick, a lot of faith, a lot of secret ingredients to lead a happy life. Many people claim it, yet few people truly dare to strive for it. Even fewer people accomplish it... - My biggest personal learning over the last years was this: Before rending any veils on the spiritual realm, I need to rend the veils I erected around myself first. How can I expect to be allowed to see and speak the truth on a higher plane, if I don't have what it takes to the speak out the simple truths in everyday life?
The 22nd Path on the Tree of Life leads from to Tiphareth to Geburah and is associated with Justice and Truth. Here is what the Sepher Yetzirah has to say about it: "The Twenty-second Path is named The Faithful Consciousness. It is called this because spiritual powers are increased through it, so that they can be close to all who dwell in their shadow."The most accurate description of the experience of this path, however, can be found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, more precisely in the famous Judgement scene:
Here the deceased has to declare innocence in the Hall of Justice. Standing in front of the god Maat (i.e. the divine embodiment of Truth as the term translates) the deceased purges all the hidden and forbidden things he/she has done in life. Only after this purge is completed can the deceased proceed and be reborn in the netherworld. The central element of this judgement scene therefore is a confession in front of the god of Truth. It is a moment of radical honesty about the life one has led and the deeds one has kept secret and hidden within.
That is why the center piece of the iconographic depiction of the scene is a huge scale on whose left tray is kept the heart of the deceased and on its right tray a feather (i.e. the feather of Maat, that symbolizes Truth). Only if the heart weighs less than a feather is the confession successful, the purge completed and the deceased sufficiently purified to be reborn.
So if we want to speak about the netherworld with authenticity - how do we make our hearts weigh less than a feather first?
Well, I guess we stop holding on to things and start speaking out what we keep inside. Our hearts can become lighter by sharing and by speaking out the truth about ourselves and what we feel inside. If nothing needs to be contained, if everything can be perceived and experienced freely our hearts can allow our blood to flow free like a river and become light like a feather.
I guess rending the veils we have built around ourselves is the principle step before any advancement beyond Tiphareth can be made. The first step is taking the weights off my heart which I have placed there by not confessing my true thoughts and feeling, my real shortcomings and narcissistic desires to myself...
The good thing is that there is a real sharp knife out there to rend these veils. Interested? Well, here is the one book that helped me reduce 'the weigh of my heart' and keep it light at least for now. It arrived years too late in my life. Hopefully it's earlier for you:
Here is what Brad Blanton has to say about iThis book is the best shortcut I know to perform true Magick, i.e. to leading a happy life. It is simple and it is painful. Very painful. It is the 22nd Path of Justice in 284 pages. Here is what Brad Blanton has to say about it:
"I am sixty four years old. I have been a psychotherapist in Washington, D.C., for 30 years. People come to my office and pay me money to pay attention to them and do what I can to help out. (...) This is what I have learned: We all lie like hell. It wears us out. It is the major source of all human stress. Lying kills people. The kind of lying that is most deadly is withholding, or keeping back information from someone we think would be affected by it. Psychological illness of the severest kind is the result of this kind of lying. Psychological healing is possible only with the freedom that comes from not hiding anymore. Keeping secrets and hiding from other people is a trap. Adolescents spend most of their time playing this hide-and-seek game. The better you are at getting by with playing hide-and-seek during adolescence, the harder it is to grow up. 'Important' secrets and all the plotting and cogitation that go with them are all bullshit. The mind is jail built out of bullshit. This book tells how the bullshit jail of the mind gets built and how to escape."
So. If we are all trapped in a prison called 'intellect' I conclude the 'the sort of discussions magicians should be having' better help us figuring out how to break free from this jail built out of bullshit?
If discussing how the use of energy in Magick can free us from this prison eventually, then let's dig deeper. If, however, this discussion just is another theoretical metal bar in my bullshit jail that separates me from real experience, then I will rather kill my intellectual mind and break free from all this bullshit...
Here is what the wonderful Micah P. Hanson has to say about killing yourself to break free and making your heart as light as a feather:
A dream of her, I honestly don't remember when / Should I tell all my friends, I'm gonna do myself in / Sure they'll try to stop me, try to call cops on me / But I kill myself, force them to give in / And it's a long way to sanity but I know you won't show me, anyway (Micah P. Hinson - A Dream of Her)
-- Continue reading part 2 --