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LHP, Black Magick, School of Black Magick

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.satanism,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic,alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick.tantra
From: 333 
Subject: LHP, Black Magick, School of Black Magick (was Left Hand...)
Date: Tue, 04 Jun 2002 05:58:11 GMT

50020423 Chaos Day! Mars Day!

>> The one Joseph Campbell uses makes the most sense to me - the right hand
>> path is the established path of your culture. It is the tradition that 
>> is handed to you. Left hand path is on the other hand jumping out into 
>> your own wilderness. 

reasonable, though I'm not a big fan of Campbell. 
Cavalorn :
> The left hand path is called that because in certain cultures the right
> hand is the one you eat with and the left hand is the one you wipe your
> arse with. One is 'clean', the other is 'dirty'. It's that simple. :)

I can imagine, though I've never heard this described as the origin of the
usage of the distinguishing phrases. almost without exception I remember
reliable resources indicating that 'Left' is a reference with respect to 
the practitioner, and originates within Indian Tantric rituals in which 
this orientation of ritual blocking served to imply the *transgressive* 
and controversial ritual sex with an unknown (often variable, lot-driven) 
partner. sometimes the implication is that it might even be a family 
member (incest), though seldom is this emphasized. 'Right' indicates 
either symbolic sexuality or that with a dedicated partner, by 
arrangement, less controversy (equated with 'less difficulty' by many 
mystics -- compare Dee and Kelly and their instructions by what they 
called Enochian angels to wife-swap).
>> I have on a number of occasions seen people mistake the "black 
>> brotherhood" for the "left hand path" 

is it a mistake? some identify them, in their usage, as has been 
pointed out.

re Crowley:
> As I've already pointed out, he identifies the two completely. They are
> never anything _other_ than interchangeable.

almost agreed.

my impression in review  of "Magick Without Tears" (MWT) and 
"The Book of Wisdom or Folly" (BWF) is that the Black Brothers 
are considered the walkers of the Left-hand Path, massive 
departures from the more successful Right-hand Path, at which 
point (Abyss, entry to Supernal Triad in Qabalistic diagrams 
and Hermetic lore) the White proceeds alone and the Black is 
supposed to remain fixed and trapped (cf. MWT; p. 109-121 
Regardie, ed.), and Black Magicians he compares as sneak-thieves 
to Black Brothers as Hitlers. yet 'the Black Brotherhood' is less 
of a path and more of some nefarious aggregate of the FAILURES of 
the White Path per se (especially of certain type -- egotism at a 
level of adeptship at which some kind of trans-Abysmal ordeal is 
to take place, with varying results depending the conformity of 
the aspirant to the proper course described). Grant, Nigris, and 
others have taken this matter somewhat further, recontextualizing 
Crowley in a manner not unlike Einstein's recontextualization 
of Newton's discoveries. 

here's Crowley:
	As far as the achievement or attainment is concerned, the two
	Paths are in fact identical....

	Mark well this first distinction: the "Black Magician" or Sorcerer
	is hardly even a distant cousin of the "Black Brother." The 
	difference between a sneak-thief and a Hitler is not too bad an 

	The Left-hand Path is a totally different matter....

	Now, if there is any difference at all between the White and Black 
	Adept in similar case, it is that the one, working by "love under
	will" achieves a marriage with the new idea, while the other,
	merely grabbing, adds a concubine to his harem of slaves.

	The about-to-be Black Brother constantly restricts himself; he is
	satisfied with a very limited ideal; he is afraid of losing his
	...that is the precise term used in *The Vision and The Voice*,
	to describe the Great White Brother or the Babe of the Abyss, but
	to him it means victory; to the Left-Hander it would mean defeat,
	ruin devastating, irremediable, final. It is exactly that which
	he most dreads; and it is that to which he must in the end come,
	because there is no compensating element in his idea of structure.

	...Perhaps the Black Brother deserts his Angel when he realises
	the Programme.

	Perhaps his error was so deeply rooted, from the very beginning,
	that it was his Evil Genius that he evoked.

	In such cases the man's policy is of course to break off all
	relations with the Supernal Triad, and to replace it by inventing
	a false crown, Daath. To them Knowledge will be everything, and
	what is Knowledge but the very soul of Illusion?


	To cross the Abyss is a permanent and fundamental revolution in
	the whole of one's being.

	Much more, upon the brink of the Abyss. If there be missing or
	redundant even one atom, the entire monstrous, the portentious
	mass must tend to move with irresistable impact, in such direction
	as to restore the equilibrium. To deflect it -- well, think of a
	gyroscope! How then can you destroy it in one sole stupendous
	gesture? ...

	... I hope indeed most sincerely that you will whet your Magical
	Dagger on the Stone of the Wise, and weild most deftly and
	determinedly both the White-handled and the Black-handled Burin.
	"Magic Without Tears", Crowley, ed. by Regardie, Falcon Press
	 Golden Dawn Publications, 1989, copyright OTO; pp. 109-112.

do you have something more pertinent which equates them? thanks.
what do you think this "Programme" is to which Crowley refers?
do you agree that such a thing may be 'realized', or is this
just Crowley associating himself with the Powers of the Universe
and the Divine Cosmic Plan?
> [Illuminatus!] may be partly responsible for the misconception 
> that Crowley viewed the left hand path as an actual path which 
> one could take instead of a calamitous cockup.

Grant and Nigris make something of this notion also, redeeming 
it in some ways.
> What does happen sometimes is that people mistake 'magician of the black
> school' for 'black brother', but that's a seperate discussion...

from the same book, however (Three Schools of Magick in chapters 6-8, the
Black Brothers/LHP in chapter 12). I'd suggest that these represent 
changing attitudes on Crowley's part, at one time more dualistic 
(Liber 418) and at another less dualistic and more specific (Three 
Schools, where Black includes Annie Besant and her "negroid Messiah" 
(likely Krishnamurti), as well as).

Crowley writes:
	...Do not confuse [the Black School of Magick] with the Black 
	Lodge, or the Black Brothers. The terminology is unfortunate, 
	but it wasn't I that did it....

	The Black School of Magick, which must by no means be confused with
	the School of Black Magick or Sorcery, which latter is a perversion
	of the White tradition, is distinguished fundamentally from the 
	Yellow School in that it considers the Universe not as neurtral, 
	but as definitely as a curse. Its primary theorem is the 'First 
	Noble Truth' of the Buddha -- "Everything is Sorrow." In the 
	primitive classics of this School the idea of sorrow is confused 
	with that of sin. (This idea of universal lamentation is 
	presumably responsible for the choice of black as its symbolic 

	... The basis of the Black philosophy is not impossibly mere 
	climate, with its resulting etiolation fo the native, its 
	languid, bilious, anaemic, fever-prostrated, emasculation of 
	the of the soul of man. We accordingly find few true 
	equivalents of this School in Europe. In Greek philosophy 
	there is no trace of any such doctrine. ... The culmination of 
	the Black philosophy is only found in Schopenhauer, and we 
	may regard him as having been obsessed, on the one hand, by the
	despair born of that false scepticism which he learn from the 
	bankruptcy of Hume and Kant; on the other, but the direct 
	obsession of the Buddhist documents to which he was one of the 
	earliest Europeans to obtain access. He was, so to speak, 
	driven to suicide by his own vanity....

	...[continuing about "the Black tradition":] We have already 
	mentioned the Evangelical cults with their ferocious devil-god 
	who creates mankind for the pleasure of damning it and forcing 
	it to crawl before him, while he yells with drunken glee over 
	the ageony of his only son. [AUTHOR'S NOTE: "N.B. Christianity 
	was in its first stage a Jewish Communism, hardly 
	distinguishable from Marxism."] But in the same class, we must
	Christian Science....

	Practically no Westerns have reached the third stage of the Black
	tradition, the Buddhist stage. It is only isolated mystics, and 
	those men who rank themselves with a contemptuous compliance 
	under the standard of the nearest religion, the one which will 
	bother them least in their quest of nothingness, who carry the 
	stories so far.

	The documents of the Black School of Magick have already been 
	indicated. They are, for the most part, tedious to the last 
	degree and repulsive to every wholesome-minded man; yet it can 
	hardly be denied that such books as *The Dhammapada* and 
	*Ecclesiastes* are masterpieces of literature. They represent 
	the agony of human despair at its utmost degree of intensity, 
	and the melancholy contemplation which is induced by their 
	perusal is not favourable to the inception of that mood which
	should lead every truly courageous intelligence to the 
	determination to escape from the ferule of the Black 
	Schoolmaster to the outstretched arms of the White Mistress 
	of Life.
	 Ibid., Crowley, ed. by Regardie, pp. 72-6.

so Crowley was setting out to create some kind of Absolute Global Standard
within which the various religiomystical traditions might be classified and
understood. the various schools have predominant characters, overall levels
(Crowley's Yellow superior to that of the White and in turn the Black). 
if you feel I've misunderstood this, please offer correction. 

and yet Crowley seems to be saying that he is not the fabricator of this
global system, that someone *else* has made it and he was only passing it
on. and yet I have seen this nowhere else. is there evidence it precedes
Crowley in some way? Besant and these Christian evangelists of whom Crowley
speaks here never refer to themselves in this way, so it is the projection
of someone *else*, not the mystics and occultists themselves.

hints, anyone? another one of Crowley's deceptions?

> Anyway, much of the current horseshit about the 'left hand path' - sex,
> drugs and whatnot - completely overlooks the fact that the original
> Tantric left hand path uses these things within a context of established
> religious taboo. 

not sure what this means. agreed that the phrase's origination seems to be
within traditional religious context and that the more controversial. 

> For some reason (can't think why) people are more keen to seize on the 
> sex & drugs aspects, 

easy analysis here. as Weil has correctly suggested, one of the common
characteristics of the species human is our desire to alter our state of
consciousness. the reproductive urge and the biochemical changes included
in following it out are well-known as integral to human behaviour. this
predisposes human beings to these vectors of approach.

in resonance with tradition, many if not most Indian Tantrics (e.g.,
see "The Tantric Tradition", Agehananda Bharati, Samuel Weiser Inc., 
1975, amongst additional academic expositions) do associate Tantra with 
sexuality, even if only in some symbolic manner. the restrictions of 
mature humans from intoxications of one sort or another, and their 
occasional use for both mystical and recreational purposes, may also 
serve as a lightning rod where 'Left-handedness' come into play on 
account of the theme of transgression.

> which aren't even taboo any more in Western society, 

I'm not sure I can follow you here. sex with strangers as part of religion
is not truly accepted in Western society. in fact, if one follows the 
popular Neopagan communities developments, one can see resistance to such
ideas even in the more liberal neuvoreligious culture in such cases as the
Church of the Most High Goddess in the mid-90s. there is a divergence of
attitude toward psychoactives and sexuality and their place in religion,
especially where the impressionable and immature are concerned. my report 
on this within the CAW may be seen at

and one can see in such institutions as the OTO a goodly representation of
liberal conservatism with respect to psychoactives (less emphasis on the 
ingestion of "wine and strange drugs" described in Crowley's scripture for
sacred ritual, for example; conformity to conservative social norms in 
appearance so as to avoid controversy and heat from resident cultures, 
etc.).  sex magic and rituals involving psychoactives are even downplayed 
or completely forbidden within some traditional Hermetic orders, e.g.
Rosicrucians are sometimes even upset about the *concept* of magic, let
alone talking about sexuality as well. 

an entire thread could be taken up with an attempt to describe the limits
of what today includes "taboo in Western society". I think you'd agree that
incest (along the lines of ruling brother-sister deities generating the 
gods who are to come) in a literal sense is considered taboo, and in some 
instances the phrase 'Left-hand Path' implies the possibility of this.
> and discreetly overlook the parts which involve such things as 
> ceremonial use of corpses or excrement.

you can imagine that such advanced practices are reserved for those who are
capable of engaging these types of rites. few are particularly suited for
these aspects of Left-hand Path taboo-breaking.

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