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High versus Low Magick

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.magick.order,alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick.tantra,alt.magick.folk,alt.religion.wicca,alt.horror.shub-internet
From: (Gratuitous Pseudonym)
Subject: Re: High versus Low Magick (otherwise it's stage magic)
Date: 4 Jul 1996 16:33:49 GMT

In article <4rfh8r$>, (A'yin Da'ath) wrote:
> (Gratuitous Pseudonym) wrote:

>>In an organization which seeks as one of its overarching purposes to 
>>transcend ego-consciousness through the pursuit of magick, it seems 
>>counter-productive to create a hierarchical rank structure which tends to 
>>inflate the ego.  Ranks are measures that pit one person's development 
>>against another.  One needs no rank to know where one is, one needs ranks to 
>>know where others are, comparatively.
>Actually this again is wrong, at least in the A.'.A.'. In this group,
>you do not know who is who. The only person you know is your teacher.
>You are forbidden to have contact with known members of the order,
>which is still OK, because you can never be TRULY sure who's in and
>who is not. If you don't know anyone but your pupils, then you can't
>really compare.

I realize that many groups take steps to minimize the holier-than-thou 
problem, but rank structures, even when they try to hide them, are a 
distraction.  I prefer to consider these ranking labels as applying to certain 
states of consciousness, not to levels of development.  One perceives things 
as a Philosophus or an Adeptus Minor,depending upon circumstances, but that is 
not what one *is*.

>As for the free-form system proposed, I am intrigued... however, I
>remain, as ever, an optimistic pessimist (I dream, but know it won't
>happen). I like the idea, however order inevitably arrises out of
>chaos (true, it eventually re-enters chaos, however order then
>re-arrises again, in an endless flux), 

Indeed, so it seems.  This is merely a function of our modes of perception, 

>and someone in a group becomes a leader. 

When groups assemble, politics inevitably arise.

>People, unfortunately, need to believe in something, even if it is
>atheism :) 

I think it is possible to arrive at a state where all beliefs are in flux and 
nothing at all is believed.  We may then select tentative beliefs for the 
accomplishment of some purpose, magical or otherwise, and let them go again 
when we are finished.

>In a circle (please, someone, anyone- is this the appropriate term? Help me, 
>I'm asking you to teach me), do you let the innocent bystander conduct 
>everything? Do you let the new aspirant run the ceremony? I doubt it. You 
>still draw a distinction, no matter what, and that remains hierarchal.

There are no innocent bystanders in a magical operation.  Everyone involved is 
a new aspirant.  Who does what is merely an arbitrary convention.

>If you doubt still yet- Would you let me, a hermeticist, come to your
>ritual, and then let me conduct it, without intiation or prior
>teaching? I wouldn't let a Christian run my services, as I would not
>let a Buddhist do so. Would you, as a Wiccan, let me, as a Hermeticist?

I'm pretty fond of doubt, as you might deduce from my other posts.  I have not 
considered myself a Wiccan for a great many years.  Nor a Christian, nor a 
Hermeticist.  When I do group work, I deal with magicians of all sorts of 
styles.  The format for any particular working is decided upon by consensus, 
based on what we seek to accomplish.  When the work is done, we retire.

>There is hierarchy whether you wish it or not.

That is true only if you choose to perceive it so.

>>A reasonable good translation of the exclamation "Hekas, hekas, esti 
>>bebeloi" is "Stay out of the temple now, you profane ones".  This phrase 
>>appears repeatedly in the opening ceremonies of the Golden Dawn and many 
>>other spin-off organizations.
>So? Did I say that I ignored the 'profane?' I think profanity
>proliferates (sorry, couldn't help the alliteration) no matter what. I
>hold sacred my knowledge, and I would not like it profaned in any way.
>As I think you would not.

So long as you draw a line and declare this sacred and that profane, you will 
see things this way.

>While we're exchanging semi-zen stories involving spit:
>Once there was an american tourist visiting a Zen monastery. He had
>very pre-concieved notions that the Monks were very liberated from
>religious dogma, etc. So, much to his consternation, he witnessed the
>monk who was showing him around bowing and kissing the feet of every
>statue of the Buddha they passed. Finally, after the 23rd kissing of
>feet, he ejaculated: 'Why, you Zen's is not as liberated as I thought!
>Why, I could spit on that statue, and I would be fine 'n' dandy.'
>And the monk smiled greatly, a large missing-many-teeth smile, and in
>broken English, managed to say:
>'OK, you spits, I bows.'

That's a good one.  Thank you.

>Exactly. Religion and government, as I have repeatedly stated in
>political diatribes and religious debates, do NOT mix, or the
>production of a dogmatic Theocracy bordering an Orwellian nightmare
>will arise. 

So they do.  Religion and government seem inextricably bound to one another, 
though.  Both are different manifestations of the imposition of order on human 
thought and behavior.

>Since I have a bit of bias for the organization which I
>run, I will say that the Order of the Sangraal is safe from this. 

We all believe ourselves free of the illusion that others fall prey to.  It is 
hard to see our own.

>We have no goal but to help each other. The supreme master of the Order,
>me, couldn't really care less if it became Fundamentalist Christian
>overnight (I would just found a counter-organization), so long as
>people continued to seek what they want to seek. 

This seems contradictory.  If you would found a counter-organization, you 
would not be participating in the evolved version of the original.  Thus you 
would no longer be the Supreme Master of that group.  You can only be the 
Supreme Master of yourself.  Anything else is merely a convention.

"You spits, I bows."

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