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Hermetics, Satanism, Magister Templi

To: alt.satanism,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.consciousness.mysticism,talk.religion.misc,alt.magick.order,alt.magick.moderated,alt.psychology.transpersonal
From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Hermetics, Satanism, Magister Templi (was Hermetics, AC's Texts)
Date: 17 Nov 1996 00:21:50 -0800

49961024 AA1  Hail Satan!


"Jason Carpenter" :
#> #The central work of any and all orders is the destruction of the Ego 
#> #in favor of the higher self. 

nigris (333) :
#> this is not true for the Order of Kaos.  is "Ego" somehow different than
#> "ego"?  I'm so behind the times.  many Satanic orders would probably laugh
#> at that too.  if something doesn't exist can it ever be destroyed?

Mark Nuttall :
#[nigris], could you reference some useful documents and/or web sites on this? 
#I'm interested in the models and maps of the "self" that are used in such

start with the vamamarg: 


it'll be undergoing some additional changes surrounding the nonSatanic
viewpoint of Satanism ("Satanic Ritual Abuse", Neopagan/Occult excerpts),
but the links there should provide some starting fodder for decent docs.


#When coming to magick/self change/transformation/growth, an individual may
#exhibit a number of behaviour patterns that, were they made obvious to the
#individual, they might want to change. 

this sounds rather tautological to me.  if one views magick as the changing
of the self, then of course those coming to magick will want to change 
their self.

#Limiting beliefs, conditioned behaviour, "game" playing patterns 
#(`wooden leg' etc), neuroses, a lack of empathy... I refer of course to 
#the standard complex of behaviours sometimes known as "ego"... 

I don't know from where that concept of 'ego' comes, but it is not the
only 'ego' known, though certainly the most objectionable and usually 
the first to be meant when speaking of 'destroying/changing the ego'.

#"ye who have bent your backs to the yoke of slavery" etc. Ok, these
#things may "not exist" at some level, but the pattern is still 
#manifesting in the here-and-now. 

I agree, and I tend to class them as 'strategies of personal behavior',
some of which we have outgrown or found the disadvantages of employing.

#If the "ego" is not to be destroyed (since it doesn't exist) what then is 
#your "Satanic" view what is first to be done? 

given your concept of 'ego' above, then when an individual decides that
it is time to change these strategies of behavior (perhaps 'molding the
ego to a shape more to one's liking'), then mysticism may be engaged
in this effort (usually involving a concentration of energies), as well
as magick applied to effect the desired result (often including 
symbolic rites).

as I tend to use the term, the ego is an imperative personality-matrix
necessary to social interaction.  within a more Buddhist and/or 
psychological mindframe, it is a constantly changing interconnector 
which has its foundation in the self (another changing thing without 
permanence), the locus of 'personal identity'.

#What is the central work of a Satanist? 

this is by no means clear.  perhaps in its most essential character it
is the manifestation of what is desired ("getting what you want").  that
work is a distinct expression of the egoic self made sacred by 
self-acceptance and working with what we have available.

of course what is desired will vary from individual to individual, and
I think the most mature Satanists begin to notice, over time, that desire
is not *quenched* (as thirst) through these workings, and so we begin to 
work on more central processes of the self to establish longer-term 
satiation.  this is common to most magical paths, and is when the Pact 
with the Devil of the Satanist truly begins.

#> usually the assertion "I am God" does not appeal to the conservatives.  see
#> Al Hallaj and a few others.  now "You are God" is ok, mostly because then we
#> can still see that you are willing to disempower yourself in favor of the
#> herd. 
#It's all very well telling me I'm God.. is a sense of self-importance a
#Satanic Virtue? 

if there can be said to be any 'Satanic Virtues' (authorities such as LaVey
and Aquino and a number of others certainly appear to maintain them) they
surely center upon things surrounding strength and self-esteem.  

the idea of 'self-importance' is rather vague.  often it is denegrated as 
a FALSE sense of self (arrogance), implying that what is claimed is 
unjustified, and yet in order to assess this one must be quite familiar with 
the individual in question and make a claim oneself as regards the validity
of one's perceptions (assertions about arrogance can easily be indicators
of it in the speaker).

#If "I" am "God" I must surely have to recognise that "You" and "Everyone 
#else" is also "God" ... what's changed? 

typically when Satanists speak of gods they don't really care to delve
into 'God'.  this sometimes implies an over-arching cosmic entity which
we have found no basis for presuming.  usually Satanists I've met speak
of *themselves* as gods, and mean by this something like 'masters of
their own destiny' or something very self-willed, self-controlled.
this has few of the implications of 'God' in the Judeochristian sense
(are there other notions of 'God' than this exact sense?).

#I'm God, you're God, that stone is God... how should knowing that 
#"I am God" change my behaviour and outlook? 

speaking about one's relation to 'God' is usually an interpretation
of nonJudeochristian cosmologies into said paradigm (thus the lingo).
the most meaningful usage of this term to me is in relation to one's
*experience* (in that it includes awe, reverence, equapoise, etc.).

if you mean by 'I am God' that you identify yourself as the omnipotent,
omniscient Godhead, often Jehovah or Yeheshua Messiah or some other
tripotentate, then few will seriously believe you and some may actually
take it upon themselves to terminate your life.  knowing that you are 
this 'God' would probably provide you with a heady arrogance, as is 
common in association with the authority of this tribal deity (esp. OT).

if you mean by 'I am God' what you appear to imply above, then your
experience of yourself is destined to influence your behavior in ways
indescribable to the hearer, rarefying and transporting you to feelings
and actions beyond the rationalization of those 'below the Abyss'.

#If "I am God" why am "I" experiencing all this limitation?  What vital
#fact/viewpoint have I overlooked? 

it all depends on what you mean by the term.  there is no reason that
the divine cannot take varying shapes and consciousnesses, sometimes
being trapped in limitation and at others experiencing the majesty
of infinity.  they are merely different states of being, neither more
or less desirable from a perspective of the eternal.

#Have I mis-parsed the symbol-string "God"?  If so, can you tell how? 

I am not sure how you have parsed it, though your usage above implies
a sort of Indian co-extensivity that I do not usually see among the
devout in the Judeochristian religions outside the occasional mystic.

#Have you written anywhere about what _does_ happen on entering Binah?
#Magister, share your Understanding with us lesser lights. 

'entering Binah' is a metaphor.  what happens as regards this is well-
described by many masters within the Hermetic and Thelemic traditions.
I have written reflectively on a related subject (the Black Brothers)
which touches on Binah somewhat, and would love to hear feedback:


some quotes I found inspiring in reflection of this query follow (I'd 
also be happy to respond to more direct inquiries as from my own 
limited experience, tho I don't know how easily this will be understood 
-- everyone is a 'Magister' in some aspect of their lives and certainty 
regarding one's station is at times difficult to come by).  

it should be said that there are at least 2 paths upon the traditonal 
Tree of Life (Hermetic, Lurian) which facilitate this transit (more in
my own English version), though typically the '17th', that crossing 
Daath rather than 'side-stepping' from Geburah to Binah or diving *into*
the Abyss, is what is discussed.

	...they are in error who suppose the Ego in *Tiphareth*
	(the selfhood that we intuitively locate within us, near
	the heart) to be something independent, something separate
	from the Great and Indivisible Self seated in *Kether*....
	every personal center of selfhood is a point at which the
	power of the single, universal Self is concentrated.

	     Thus, the path of Zain [17th] leads upward from the
	Sphere of the Sun to the Sphere of Saturn [Binah], because
	in traversing the path we depart from the illusion of
	separate selfhood, which still persists while we are still
	Lesser Adepts, and arrive at the realization that the
	semblance of separate individuality is but the effect
	produced by the One Self's power of *concentrating its
	limitless energy at any particular point in time and 
	space*.  Read and reread this paragraph until you grasp
	its inner meaning.  Here is something which leads the 
	mind beyond limits of words, and if you will follow the 
	clue, you will discover the secret....

	     [Zain's] function is to combine the powers of the
	automatic consciousness (subconsciousness) and the Ego-
	consciousness (self-consciousness) in perfect equilibrium.
	All the practical work of a true Rosicrucian has to do
	with this.  The essence of the technique is developed
	from the theory ... that subconsciousness is always
	amenable to control by suggestion.  By putting this to
	the test of practical application, we gradually divest
	subconsciousness of her various disguises (and in the
	process also divest self-consciousness of its diguises)
	until the two modes of personal consciousness are in
	the purified state represented by the two human figures
	in Key 6, The Lovers, which corresponds to the path of

	     This, as the text [Book of Formation] says,
	"disposes the righteous to faithfulness," for the
	righteous are those who have brought their thought,
	feeling, and action into harmony with the universal
	order.  And the faithfulness to which they are disposed
	is represented by Key 11 in Tarot [Justice/Adjustment].
	It is serene confidence that *even now, despite all
	appearances to the contrary*, perfect Justice is mani-
	fested in all the complex operations of the Great Work
	of the Life Power's self-manifestation.  The wise do
	not look forward to a day when Justice will rule the
	universe.  They perceive intuitively that Justice *does*
	rule and they school themselves to discern its operation,
	even though that operation may be thickly veiled by

	...The perfectly harmonious relationship between the
	conscious, subconscious, and superconscious aspects of
	the Life Power, as symbolized by [Key 6], is an actual
	state of being for the adept who is about to complete
	his advancement to the Grade of Magister Templi.

	     This is necessary, because the "mastery of the 
	Temple" is more than control of the physical body.  It 
	is control of every vehicle of the Self, from the 
	innermost to the outermost.  From the causal body down 
	to the conditions of what is commonly understood as 
	environment, a Master of the Temple is able to determine
	every form taken by the Life Power.

	     You are not to understand from this that he is a
	"miracle-worker" in the commonly accepted sense.  But he
	has comletely identified his personal consciousness with
	that abstract mind that has its seat in *Binah* and
	that Oriental teachers usually describe as the Higher
	Manas and Qabalists call *Neshamah* (NShMH)....  
	A Magister Templi has so completely identified his inner
	life with the ["*Ha-Shayaim*, 'the Heavens', representing 
	the archetypal plane of causes"] plane of consciousness
	that he knows himself to be at all times the channel of
	the power that does actaully control the forms of all

	     All the forces known to science are perceived by him
	as flowing outward into manifestation through his
	personality.  All laws perceived by scientists are
	recognized by him as being in actual operation through
	his daily life.  He goes even further than this.  He knows
	himself to be a channel fo forces that no exoteric
	scientist has ever recognized, and an administrator of
	laws that exoteric science may never discover.  Please
	consider carefully what has just been said.  Persons
	who are far below the Grade of Magister Temply may
	*believe* themselves to be vehicles of such forces and
	administrators of such laws, and their belief is correct.
	A Master of the Temple *knows* what others merely believe,
	and his knowledge is based on experience.

	     He has learned the secret of directing the creative
	forces that are called "Elohim" in the Bible.  These are
	the seven phases of the One Life-breath, symbolized by
	the seven sides of the Rosicrucian Vault.  A Magister
	Templi understands this sevenfold power and can control
	the forms taken by its self-expression.  Thus, he is in
	the position described by Swami Vivekananda, who uses
	Hindu terminology and calls the Holy Life-breath by its
	Sanskrit name, *Prana*.  Speaking of the adept who can
	direct the *Prana* perfectly, Vivekananda says:

		What power on earth coudl there be that would
		not be his?  He would be able to move the suns
		and stars out of their places, to control
		everything in the universe, from the atoms
		to the biggest suns....  When the Yogi
		becomes perfect there will be nothing in
		nature not under his control.  If he orders
		the gods to come, they will come at his
		bidding; if he asks the departed to come,
		they will come at his bidding.  All the
		forces of nature will obey him as his
		slaves, and when the ignorant see these powers
		of the Yogi they call them miracles. 

		{_Raja Yoga_, by Vivekananda,...}

	_The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order_,
	  by Paul Foster Case, Samuel Weiser Inc., 1989; pp. 276-8.
	   []bracketed notes and restatements my own, though I did
	   quote Case at times; {}set notes those of Case.

while I don't always enjoy the control-orientation which the Hermetic
mages focus upon so strongly, I tend to agree with this as a description
of one's experience and relation to the cosmos as one experiences the
consciousness-maturation described.  besides knowing one's true will, 
the Magister is able, sometimes through delicate processes, to 
participate in its manifestation directly (didn't Crowley say something
about uttering hir Word/Logos at this point also?).

	6. The Grade of Master of the Temple....

	The essential Attainment is the perfect annihilation of that
	personality which limits and oppresses his true self.

	_Magick_, by Aleister Crowley, eds. Symonds/Grant, 
	  Arkana Books, 1973; p. 331; Appendix II: 
					'One Star in Sight'.

I'd parallel this to the Christian (and Jewish?) notion of circumcision
of the heart, in which we shear ourselves of personal characteristics
(my 'strategies of personal behavior') which do not conform to our true 
will (perhaps what Case calls the 'Life Power').  this does not 
necessarily require that the entirety of the self or personality be 
annihilated, and Crowley's own lower level motto, Perdurabo (Latin: 'I 
shall endure unto the end') simultaneously asserts this principle 
while underscoring a Biblical claim to Salvation (Matt 10:22).

	The Magister Templi is pre-eminently  the Master of Mysticism,
	that is, His Understanding is entirely free from internal
	contradiction or external obscurity; His word is to comprehend
	the existing Universe in accordance with His own Mind.  He is
	the Master of the Law of Sorrow (Dukkha).

	Ibid, p. 331.

to me this suggests that the Magister Templi is firmly walking along
the 8-Fold Path of Nirvana, manifesting awakening continuously.  it
also appears to incorporate the Buddhist notions of Nagarjuna as
regards 'right understanding', being beyond the literal and limited
cogitations of logic-structure.

	To attain the Grade of Magister Templi, he must perform
	two tasks; the emancipation from thought by putting each
	idea against its opposite, and refusing to prefer either;
	and the consecration of himself as a pure vehicle for
	the influence of the order to which he aspires.

	He must then decide upon the critical adventure of our Order
	[the AA]; the absolute abandonment of himself and his

	Ibid, p. 332.

as I interpret this 'abandonment' does not mean that these things are
necessarily *destroyed* or annihilated, but they are RELEASED.  this
is why he says above that the Magister Templi is a 'Master of Mysticism',
since typically the full-fledged mystic renounces all things (releasing
them and coming to a nongrasping relationship with them, truly being
'in the world but not of it' in this sense).

comments/corrections welcome.


nigris (333) 

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