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Magic/K and Religion

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick
From: "John B" 
Subject: Re: Magic/K and Religion (was Magick)
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2001 09:08:44 -0700

Everyone would need to decide what constituted "religion" and "magic",
before this question could be adequately addressed. sri catyananda uses the
qualifier "formal" to, presumably, locate religion within some kind of
official establishment. But there are those who find religion in other
places. Without a rigid orthodoxy of some kind, the boundaries between
magical and religious practice blur.

The most pivotal question, I think, depends on the importance you place on
individual interpretation. On the meaning of activities performed, and
whether those activities have some objective meaning beyond the intention of
some actor. If an atheist pursues some atheist agenda through activities
which contain religious forms (completely meaningless to the actor) is the
activity religious? In other words, is simple phenomenology sufficient to
determine the meaning and identity of human activity? The next question
should, perhaps, be to wonder whether some arbitrary personal definition of
either magic or religion can validly be applied to the activities of someone

I don't make any distinction between magic and religion, but is that because
there are no distinctions to be made? or is it because what distinctions
there are seem irrelevant to me? I have had this discussion before on
alt.magick, and the opinion of my 'opponents' seemed to be that the level of
intention, the differing levels of average passivity, were sufficient to
distinguish magical from religious practice. This lead them to reinterpret
any willed activities in "formal religion" as some form of accepted magic,
masquerading as religious practice. Once that reinterpretation has been
accomplished the argument became circular. In an attempt to demonstrate the
differences between the two activities, they ably demonstrated the identity
between the two categories.

Clear definition is very useful. In the end, though, the personal investment
in these categories makes any real communication difficult, very few
magicians or religious people are eager to see themselves as members of the
other category, and very few smart people are willing to see themselves as
creating long rambling arguments just to protect an emotional attachment.

On that ironic note,
Take it easy,

John B

nagasiva wrote in message <9i40q2$>...
>50010706 VI! om Hail Satan! tag team
>>>> Does anyone know if there is any magick (witchcraft) that is
>>>> NOT associated with any form of religion?
>Blue Rajah:
>>> Magick deals with states of consciousness that are generally
>>> associated with religion, so you won't find any magical systems
>>> that are completely unassociated with any religious concepts.
>sri catyananda :
>> I disagree. The querent asks about magick and then defines
>> this as witchcraft., thus removing it from the Crowleyan
>> definition of magick as a religio-mystical activity.
>even so there is no reason Thelemic magic be restrained from
>atheism. no gods (or God) necessary, regardless of the number
>of Thelemic cults (Nuit, Hadit, RaHoorKhuit, Ma'at, Babalon,
>Chaos, Baphomet, Scarlet Woman, Beast, Pan, Tahuti, Satan, IAO,
>Lao Tzu, Krishna, Moses, Buddha, et al) may arise. where the
>practice of magicK is concerned religion is not necessary,
>though certain aspects of it (e.g. its aims) may be embraced).
>the only association of witchcraft and magicK of which I am
>aware is through John 'Jack' Whitehorse Parsons, who wrote a
>few things about witchcraft and is sometimes referred to as a
>satanist in the popular media. his devotions to Babalon are
>certainly well-known, though the text available by him on the
>subject of witchcraft is rather small and vague.
>> In fact, there are many magical traditions with little if
>> any connection to any formal religion.
>how little? how many have absolutely no connection?
>>> Exactly what do you imagine you would do with non-religious magick?
>the same things you could do with religious magicK. isn't the
>important part that you get to know your Holy Guardian Angel,
>cross the Abyss, become a Magus, and transcend into ipsissimi?
>or did you wish to abandon the Crowleyan framework?
>>> You're not trying to throw fireballs or win the lottery, are you?
>> And why not try to win the lottery with magic? People undertake magical
>> conjurations for such purposes all the time! And many claim a degree of
>> success, i might add.
>and why not try to throw fireballs? eventually one figures out that this
>may be metaphor for some other activity (such as social, or astral, or
>something other than physical). magic === fire === sphere === projectile
>>>> I've been searching for just the right thing to get into for
>>>> years, but it always seems like it comes with a religion or "set
>>>> of beliefs" anyway.  I'm firm with my own spirituality/values/
>>>> moral obligations, and not looking to change my whole being to
>>>> "fit" into one specific thing.
>>> Perhaps it would be easiest to look for a magical system within your
>>> current religion, rather than to seek a magical system that has no
>>> religious associations at all.
>> Good advice, and it is just as good for agnostics and atheists as it is
>> for religious peoiple. In short, there are Christian mages, Jewish
>> mages, Moslem mages, Hindu mages, and so forth and so on -- virtually
>> every religious tradition has an accompanying magical system that
>> developed within the same culture and shares some or all of the moral
>> and ethical structures of that culture.
>depends on who's looking. "one's current religion" may have been that
>into which one was trained by one's family, for example, or part of a
>needy phase one selected but for which one now had no use.
>the best of ka0S majjiq is without consistent system or form.

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