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fundamentals of magick

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick
From: (mordred)
Subject: Re: fundamentals of magick
Date: 6 Mar 1995 19:55:14 -0800

Kali Yuga 49950306 [li ehr] quotes toshiro kageyama and writes:

|>...there hardly seems to be any difference at all between amateurs and 
|>professionals.  amateurs play for pure enjoyment, while professionals 
|>play to make a living.  the difference between them ought to be much 

|does this phenomena occur in the field of magick?

Yes.  'Professional' occultists can take themselves too seriously
and get caught up in the image of being 'a mage', whereas the amateur,
thrilling to the rhythm of the conga or whirling with the Sword of
Thelema in a spur-of-the-moment banishing is simply more intensely
'into' the spell.  

|...what differentiates an amateur from a professional?  

Literally, the professional is paid for hir services and tends to be
fulfilling the function of entertainment (in sports and stage magic)
or pest-control/prognosticator (in exorcism or fortune-telling) where
the amateur need not have *any* reason for engaging hir practice.

|or a dabbler from a serious practioner?

The serious practitioner does not do this stuff in hir 'spare time'.  She
maximizes the time she has to devote to studies, spells and instruction
and then dives in.  The dabbler treads lightly and will be through with
the subject/practice when she becomes more socially-involved (having a
family, three-car-garage attached to a house-with-mortgage, a dog named
Dave and several nonoccultist friends).

There is no shame in dabbling!  Some of the most profound and brilliant
discoveries have been made by 'dabblers'!

|...many mages abyssmally at day to day living.  (though the metric 
|of failure is unclear.)

I'd say lacking a stability and being severely challenged in the realm of
the material world constitutes 'failure' here.  Some prefer to live on the
edge of that envelope, head in the clouds, and this may be exciting for them,
though over time it may become more of a time/energy-drain than they had at 
first planned to accomodate.

|dabblers, perhaps, are quite capable of the correct motions and utterances, 

I'm unsure this is true.  For starters, there *are no correct motions and
utterances*.  My most favorite occult teachers have told me that what is
given in books and by teachers is just a beginning framework.  The real
working is taking the ritual and changing it to suit our own individual
needs and qualities.  Thus the 'correct' one is 'the one reached over time
which suits you and is powerful for you'.  It is not an absolute, and in
this way dabblers never become familiar with the rites (this is perhaps
the difference between an 'amateur' and a 'dabbler').

|...when it comes to their personal lives they lack the ablity to turn 
|theory into application.  whereas, serious practioner, perhaps, not only 
|knows the theory, but can apply it in reality.  

I don't think that this is true across the boards.  What you say is largely
on target, but my hit is that most mages don't have all of the planes down
pat, and the material plane is the most difficult in which to achieve any
degree of continued and lasting success (esp. for mages, who are by and 
large idealists).  Perhaps the true difference between the scholar and 
the dabbler is that the dabbler at least *explores* practical application.
The scholar comes to know all about the craft and never applies any of it.
She cannot help but be affected by it, and yet without application at least
some part of it tends to remain unabsorbed through lack of grounding.

|'s hard to tell the dabblers from the professionals.  

I don't think it is at all.  The dabblers will tend to shift their focus
from their work to other pursuits rather easily.  The amateur and/or
professional dedicant will be hard-pressed to engage anything *but* the
work in some form or another.

|so.  what are the fundamentals of magick?

Wonderful line of questions.  I'd say that the fundamentals are skeptical
inquiry, patient diligence and ability to fail.  Some degree of
intelligence (ability to learn) is necessary, and while a familiarity
with oneself is not essential, for a beginner it can be a big help.

|knowledge?  presumably some at least.  but what kind of knowledge?

Knowledge is not a fundamental of magick.  It is more like a ladder
which may be used to transit the Otherworld.  It is a lattice for
navigation (see Hardy's _The Secret of the Sixth Magic_), a medium
of communication and a surface which, when polished, can become a
very detailed mirror.  Even the mirror must be discarded if one
wishes to reflect upon oneself directly, however.

|wisdom?  which kind?

Wisdom is not a fundamental of magick.  It is the result of a certain
degree of achievement with the craft, and it indicates a kind of
self-awareness and attunement characterized by the most esteemed
titles within graduated frameworks of self-development.

|power?  to what end is power used?

Power is the carrot, not the fundamental.  More often than not power
is the lure which draws students into and further onward through the
initial disciplines of magick; disciplines which she'd otherwise not
engage if she wasn't feeling desperately powerless.

The end to which power is used becomes more and more important as one
delves into the skills of the craft.  Some say 'with power comes
responsibility'.  I think that with personal power comes conscience and
awareness.  That is, sensitivity and compassion yield not only very
deep influence but also healthy restraint.

|bravado?  innocence?  furtiveness?  

These are all skills which enhance the magician's charm.  They are in
no sense necessary for initial gains.  Of course innocence will be the
nature of the rank beginner, and this is something which she may find
quite valuable.  It is for this reason that many a mage takes to
teaching -- to be exposed what S. Suzuki called 'beginner's mind'.
In no small measure is the path of the mage marked by a 'return to
innocence', though more penetrating and lasting as to resemble the play
of the delighted child (Cf. Christ's recommendation to 'become as the
little children').  Such an experience is true Immortality.


HERE, at the 'Fourth Power of the Sphinx', do we have the most potent
and important tool available to any magician.  One of the benefits of
meditation is the calming of the mind.  One of the benefits of the
magical diary is the vent to expression which is so repressed by many 
idealists.  These two disciplines (or alternatives such as yoga or 
exchanging postal mail) inspire a greater calm, and from this calm can 
the mage come to be affected more by hir studies and practice.  

Eventually the silence will be the most important discipline available
to hir, as she begins to take every bit of practice into 'ordinary life'.

|i think simply living is the foundation of magick.

Simply living is what most people do.  Simple living is another matter
entirely. ;>  Living as compared to existence is of course also another

|to use magick for whatever end one need to understand the nature of what 
|one intends.  

My sister's mother (not by birth) repeats the EST dictum: 'Understanding
is the booby prize.'  I think there is some substance to this.  
Intellectual understanding is only necessary in some circumstances and
certainly isn't always needed for magical pursuits.

| needs to study the world as it is perceived and conceived in 
|the various theories of reality.  

While I think that this can be helpful I don't think that it is at all
necessary.  Hermits can come up with their own magical practices
without any connection to the greater society by virtue of interaction
with the natural or their own mental and creative worlds.

|attentive perception of the world will enable one to comprehend what one 
|is attempting.  

Attention is everything.  'Fear is the mind-killer.'

| needs the ablity to act, and one needs to hone this ablity such 
|that what one attempts will occur.  

I think that such success is over-rated and failure much more important
in the long run.

|this is practice:  learning, perception, and application.

I think that learning and perception lead to scholarliness, application
leads to dabbling, dedication leads to amateurism and payoff leads to

|in a world of instant gratification, perhaps, one needs to remember
|often practice is time consuming and a longtime in show results.
|practice, practice, practice.

Also, for some doing is the best learning.  For some study prior to doing
is the best learning.  For some seeing demonstrations is the best learning.
There are many paths down into the Valley.

|...there is no inferiority or superiority in a person, but there is a 
|difference in their practice of the fundamentals.  this shows.

Not only in delivery but in respect of behavior and reliability (honor).

|one does not start on equal footing.  thus there exists magickal
|orders with their degrees and ranks.  

Magical orders are not always an advantageous enterprise for the member.

|to what end does a serious practioner turn their ablities?

I don't think this can be answered in any absolute fashion.  It will at
first of course be determined by hir background and the circumstances in
which she grew up.  After that it will eventually resolve itself to what
is known as the Great Work, and yet this is a meta-goal/state, manifested 
within very many disciplines in different ways.

|in competition [the goal] is to win, but in magick?  

The only competitor in magical disciplines is oneself.  Some say that the
self may be vanquished.  Personally I find it sufficient to come to a deep
knowledge of myself (in the most Bibical sense ;>) and leave the 
vanquishing to others.  This does not stop me from engaging discipline,

|if a practioner cannot perform the necessities of day to day living, then 
|that practioner is not likely to be serious.

She will at least have great troubles keeping to hir discipline (as 
evidenced).  I think that all 'day-to-day' (i.e. material) difficulties
demonstrate are a serious need for study and discipline in the material
realm.  Whether this occurs later or earlier may influence the extent of
success in the Work, it may not.  This depends upon circumstances and
innate characteristics in the mage.

|one must measure the necessities for each practioner before considering 
|if they are being performed.

I'm not sure what this means, exactly, though I agree that that necessities 
have a habit of being blown out of proportion, especially in the US, where
I live.

|study is like breathing to the expert and adept.

To the dedicant, yes.

|study is not the mere rote learning, but the application of principles 
|learned long ago.  

Learned just now!  The serious student cannot be held back from attempting
application.  She will find resolution regardless of our desires to gird
hir loins.

|does a serious practioner ever stand still?

If she ever wishes to know the silence, she must eventually stand or sit
still, yes.

|a practioner that has reach their pinacle has only one way to go: down.

I don't think that this model works very well, but I do appreciate its
imagery. ;>
tyagi nagasiva

"Confusion will be my epitaph
 as I crawl a cracked and broken path.
 If we make it we can both sit back and laugh.
 But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying."

			-King Crimson, The Court of the Crimson King

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