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Rational Magick and Responsible Instruction

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan,alt.pagan.magick,alt.religion.wicca,talk.religion.misc,alt.magick,alt.paranormal.hexes.spells.magic
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: Rational Magick and Responsible Instruction (was Re: little nasties?)
Date: 11 Jun 1997 04:49:12 -0700

49970611 aa2  Hail Satan!

(my personal bugaboo: LBuRP and 'Nasty Spirits'; warning; this is a semi-rant)

my dear friend Ambarbara ( writes:
>I was pretty irritated with some of my coven mates the other day because
>they were potraying little nasties to my student as primarily malevolent,
>dangerous & predatory

"little nasties", so called, would be, yes.

>I thought various things about the mental health of some of my mates
>then felt bad because I was sitting in judgement
>then I went off & dealt with my slightly frightened, but basically
>rational student

frightened of little nasties?  instruct her in the art of philosophy.
to accept so readily the expression of your "mates" exclaims mightily
of her unreadiness to be studying magick.

>I told her that in my experience anyone who performs exercises or ritual
>to increase awareness in the mind, spirit, etc runs a good chance of
>having some weird experiences.  I have lots of strange perceptions as a 
>result of yoga, breathwork, ceremonial magickal practises, etc.  By 
>enlarge these experiences tend to be fun and exotic rather than dangerous.

then perhaps they are different than "little nasties".

>I told her I will teach her the LBRP, that's one of the main purposes 
>of the ritual

it is an evil rite which causes the downfall of the beauty of magick and
perpetuates the precise "little nasties" mentality with which your mates 
were probably indoctrinated.

>I told her not to let her fear take hold because the best defense is a
>calm, clear mind.  Laughter & disbelief work well

"Fear is the mind-killer...." (Herbert)

disbelief?  too late by then.  laughter?  not usually very possible for
the frightened newbie.  what confusion to say 'there are enemies, they
are dangerous, laugh at them and disbelieve in them'?  insanity.

>I told her it is extremely rare that people are visited by truly
>malevolent spiritual entities 

inform her as to how rare, what these experiences are really like, 
and how people tend to deal with it.  do they go insane?  are they 
'possessed' like in "The Exorcist"?  are they made to do things 
which are loathesome and horrific (with feces? :>)?  how many such 
encounters have you had with these nasties and this phenomenon?

>& don't invite anything in & most likely you can never be possessed

there's prophylactics for you.

>Just trying to be responsible

you were?  then you could have instructed her in the art of rational analysis.
disbelief is the FIRST thing one ought learn, not some hoaky ceremonialism
with mythos attached followed by warnings and hand-waving.

(can you tell I have strong feelings about this subject yet? :>)

>Are there other techniques for dealing with little nasties anyone might

never get into the paradigm.  oppose the instruction.  dissuade the idiots
who put forward the notion that the spirits are malevolent.  it is very much
like 'black magick'.  while there is some truth to it, that truth is largely
overblown and fallacious, better reframed within polar paradigms.

>I would feel really bad if she went off & got hurt practising rites if I
>had neglected to give her all the tools to  deal adequately

here is the advice I would give her:

	1) most of what people say is asinine; don't believe them; instead
	   ask serious questions in response and see where they are
	   coming from; form hesitant hypotheses about the world and try
	   to use some common sense and Occam's Razor; base what you know
	   on your experience, not on the 'authority' of others in the
	   realm of magick or religion (being guided is one thing, taking
	   what anyone says as 'gospel truth' is hazardous);  from your
	   hypotheses form your preferred operating paradigm; allow for
	   others which may compete, entertain these occasionally but only
	   for the purposes of decementation or flexibility

	2) resist the urge to presume the world is out to get you or that
	   there is a Maleficent Force of Evil which you must oppose;
	   such dualism is inevitably constructed to trip up and destroy
	   the religious and occultists who begin playing with this tar baby

	3) avoid all rites which reflect the world in dualistic (rather
	   than polar, unified or nondual) ways; consider carefully the
	   notion that 'light' and 'consciousness' are often relevantly
	   related and that a great number of 'occultists' are egotists
	   out to expand their knowledge and power over others, all in
	   the Cause of Righteous Liberation and Goodness; instead, if
	   you find rites traditional or non that you like which have
	   these characteristics, reformulate them toward more stable 
	   ends before you admit them into your regimen (if you even
	   *have* a regimen)

	4) whenever confronted with what could possibly be spectres of
	   this nightmare perspective (ghosts out to possess you, monsters
	   under your bed or in the closet, demons trying to take away
	   your magick wand, etc.) stop what you are doing, assume the
	   most powerful stance and mudra and appearance you can muster
	   and then take a very clear and direct LOOK at where you think
	   this entity resides; spend a great deal of time watching them
	   and trying to understand with clarity what they are doing and
	   if they are even there;  you will most often find that they
	   are figments of your own mind; otherwise you may find that they
	   mean you no harm at all and you have misunderstood them

	5) consider carefully the nature of the cosmos into which you
	   were born, what type and quality of structure it has or you
	   want it to have, and what your place is within it; don't
	   worry if you don't think you know enough, plan it out and
	   get some basic ideas from which to proceed; then watch the
	   world as you conduct your life and rites and make changes
	   to this model based on evidence which persists in response
	   to actions taken within it;  you may find that your original
	   construction will not need many adjustments to function very
	   well for you; this doesn't mean it is 'True' except that it
	   naturally conforms to your experience, just that it is what
	   you like and with what you are most comfortable

	6) if you are ever afraid of someone of power trying to hurt
	   you or of your own weakness during an upcoming period, make
	   a protective talisman and place within it reserve energy
	   for later protection; study offensive spells and tools so
	   as to know what to expect; practice with them if you feel
	   it valuable & within a 'best defense is a strong offense'
	   mentality; learn how to do what you interpret as 'carefully
	   constructing and/or reinforcing defensive magical wards or
	   nodes'; above all remember that intention and belief are
	   powerful weapons of influence and that there is a great
	   deal of substance behind the power of 'believing something
	   into harmlessness or nonexistence'; ignorance is no excuse,
	   but disbelief can be a powerful ally

	7) when any of the above doesn't work, carefully act as if
	   what you are encountering is the unknown; learn about it,
	   assimilate it into your worldview; protect yourself from
	   it when you perceive a real threat; learn to scrutinize
	   particular and fascinating objects which intrigue or
	   frighten you; separate yourself from them, treat them the
	   cautious respect they deserve; remember that a neutral 
	   acquaintance which at first appeared fearsome is better 
	   to hold onto than an enraged enemy whom you just smote 
	   with your flea-flicker wand.

given this advice I would ask her to challenge and discuss every bit
of 'magical knowledge' she has ever learned, doubt it strongly, and
then reconstruct what she can from her own experience and desire,
watching the line between these two (experience and desire) as she 
goes through life and reworking her method and approach as necessary.  

above all I would advise her to choose more carefully her instructors,
minimize those whom she listens to with deep belief, and relate that 
I find there are people in the occult world who will get no end of 
pleasure from frightening and awing her with their malicious lies and 
poor misunderstandings.

doubt them all, let their gods sort it out.
     (emailed replies may be posted)  -------  join the AMT syncretism!!!
   see  ----------        call: 408/2-666-SLUG!!
   ------- zombie children have invaded Philadelphia, film at 11 ----------

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