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MTP-Out dated? Definition of magick

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.consciousness.mysticism,talk.religion.misc,alt.thelema,alt.occult
From: (nigris333)
Subject: MTP-Out dated? Definition of "magick"
Date: 28 Feb 1998 18:42:36 -0800

49971215 aa2 Hail Satan!


#>#># If the point is that spirituality can be applied to any 
#>#># intentional act, then I would agree, 

spirituality is not applied, it is a quality of the spirit, 
which results from intentional, volitional attention in one's 
behavior and the disciplines which inspire this.

#>#># but that does not make each and every intentional act 
#>#># spiritual and so deserving of the word "magick."

if every intentional act is magical, then it so qualifies.  if
an act must somehow 'deserve' the characterization of 'magick'
by virtue of some other qualification, then it should be made
plain what this qualification is as you see it.

#>#> ...Crowley understood (obviously) the difference, but he
#>#> was recommending that the line hould not exist - we 
#>#> should make every single act into a spiritual act.

quotation?  this seems extreme to me, targetting a level of
conscious attention to even rote detail that would seem to
neglect the very important personal mechanism of automated
habit as a beauteous conserver of attention.  perhaps given 
the level of unconsciousness afoot this is a valuable target, 
but to aim for the extreme regardless of attainment seems to
me a fool's endeavor.

Crowley did (Theorem 27) indicate that 'Magick' should be the
"keynote" of every life, that we should learn the laws of
Magick and live by them.  I don't think this was a moralizing,
but instead offering sound advice on how to achieve whatever 
we truly desire (regardless of whether he himself was able
to take his advice as offered to others).

# Crowley's definition has the agenda that you pointed out, 
# and to which I alluded, of sacralizing intentionality. 

which definition?  even if you are restricting this discussion
to an overview of _Liber ABA_/_Book Four_/et al there are at
least 2 or 3 from which to choose, each emphasizing different
elements of the analysis.  apparently you are seizing on the
one made most famous by the Beast himself, and yet I urge you
to look more carefully into the Theorems for additional
material.  it could be said that the variety are meant to be
combined into a singular understanding of magick's potential.
if you need me to quote more of the materials, I shall do so.

# ...the definition is primarily concerned with pulling down 
# the barriers between "magical" acts as commonly understod -- 
# rituals, spells, etc. -- and the ordinary acts of one's life. 

presuming your obsession with "Magick is the Science and Art of
causing Change to occur in conformity with Will", I think that this 
does not really address the method.  there has been an historical 
and dubiously-warranted association between religious accoutrement
and the manifestation of desire.  to sever this as a *necessity*
serves us in a manner which modern Science has not been able to
provide courage enough to bear, feeling a need in many cases to 
avoid the interior sciences (mysticism) and arts (ritual/symbolism) 
so as not to step on the wrong (religious) toes.  Crowley aims
to take this interior technology into modern living ('the method
of Science, the aim of Religion') rather than leaving it in the
hands of the ecclesia and monastery.

# For Crowley, if life is carried out in accord with will, 
# then it is magick. I agree with this subtext (for the most 
# part) but I think it hurts the definition as definition; 
# while banking or streetsweeping _can_ be magick, they are 
# not _necessarily_ magick, and as usually practiced they 
# are not -- they are habitual, routine, and tedious, both 
# uninspired and uninspiring. 

I don't see that 'in accord with Will' could include all
banking or streetsweeping by the definitions provided to
the various elements (in particular 'Will', but also that
bit about 'Science' and 'Art').  

# A better definition would need to distinguish between these 
# modes. Maybe "in conformity with will" is meant to serve 
# this purpose but I don't think it does so very well.

how about:

	Magick is the Science of understanding oneself
	and one's conditions.  It is the Art of applying
	that understanding in action.
	(Theorem 23!)

the concept of "Will" need be understood in order for the
more common definition to be fleshed out entirely.  and yet,
there is value in almost any definition of 'will', which
implies volition, a consciousness and directed intention,
rather than an unconscious, habituated effectuality.

# ...Crowley did not really follow through on the subtext, 
# since the book in which it appears (MTP) says nothing about how 
# to be a magical banker, but simply expresses Crowley's thoughts 
# about the ritual forms he inherited from the Golden Dawn. 

my goodness, are we reading the same book here?  there is quite
a bit of material in _Book Four/ABA_ (MTP is the third Part of
this text) which describes this subtext, as you call it, in very
extreme detail.  and yet if you are asking for a manual for all
applications, I think you have mistaken the Master's intent.

the banker is indeed provided with the perfect advice on how to
go about attaining to the magick of banking, described in
metaphor (formula) so as to be applied in *any* circumstance.

while Crowley may well have inherited all the form from the GD,
the explanation he provides within _Book Four_ expands it to
include modern Science and a scientific ideal of no mean propor-
tion.  in fact, Crowley was explaining how the forms of the GD
were visceral tools of symbolic manipulation that could be, if
the mage be skilled, extrapolated into the physical world.  this
kind of extrapolation is instructed by modern schools of the
occult (e.g. some Wiccans) yet usually with the admixture of a
God/dess or pantheon to provide the end result.

# There's a great deal about how to pray, how to circumambulate, 
# how to dismiss spirits, and so on, but not a word about how to 
# do an ordinary job mindfully. 

he was exploding the conventional terminology which has
historically been associated with magick.  if he were to simply
write a book about intentional activity then he'd have fallen
into the same level of simplicity as (the quite excellent)
writers like Antero Alli, Thaddeus Golas, and a whole host of
mystics the world over (particular Zen, Sufi and Buddhist).

but Crowley wasn't just providing a mystical text, he was 
integrating the knowledge-set of the physicalist Science 
of his time and the general scientific spirit applying the
Scientific Method in the realm of psychotransformation
and causing phenomenal change without direct physical means. 

# to sacralize ordinary, non-ritual intentionality 
# remains something of a gap in Thelemic thought -- which is 
# to say, it presents an opportunity.

it was this that I was pointing toward in my review of the
book _Voluntary Simplicity_ (Elgin, in my post called 'Modern
Thelema'), and I think that it conforms very easily and 
nicely to Crowley's most popular assertions about true will 
and spirituality.

it seems to me, however, that you may be going at this in 
a backwards manner.  intentionality integrated into one's
life *naturally* leads to a 'sacralization' or revivification
of one's spirituality (quality of subjective experience).
we don't need to sacralize the intentionality itself.  that
is the method by which human life takes on a spiritual cast.

Crowley's value, therefore, when looking at _Book Four/ABA_
in particular, and its definitions of magick, is that he
extends this and many other more conventional occult ideas
into a knowledge-set that can be easily reconciled with the
methods of scientific pursuit.  headway was made by numerous
psychologists, supplemental research of whom allows one to 
understand Crowley's approach quite easily (Jung, generally
the Transpersonals, and a few writers of a more philosophic 
bent like Ornstein, Wilber, Bohm and Hayward).

nigris (333) -

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