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Symbolic Lattices, Elegance, and Magical Value

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick,alt.divination,alt.tarot,alt.consciousness.mysticism
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Symbolic Lattices, Elegance, and Magical Value
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2003 08:55:43 GMT

50030627 viii om Pisces-Age-Y2006

#>#> anyone can throw an attribution system together.

farid al-qahar:
#># why then aren't they all as popular as 777?

#> magic is the domain of the misfit. Crowley promotes as a
#> Bad Boy, drawing attention with his antipathy. I'd suggest
#> that Agrippa's "Three Books of Occult Philosophy" and maybe
#> even the pseudo-Agrippa's "Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy"
#> are more popular. otherwise I haven't noticed many other
#> attribution systems constructed which might compete.

Joseph :
# Barret's "The Magus"?

well, that's somewhat of a ringer, since Barrett's work is
a redaction of Agrippa. :>  good suggestion nonetheless.
I'm sure there are others. I don't know how popular 777 is
in comparison with modern texts ostensibly providing some
kind of attribution-matrix. divination systems sometimes turn 
into such things (tarot for example, or sefirotic trees as
Crowley enjoyed in table-form).

#>#> his source was von Rosenroth. competent scholars on the
#>#> subject of the Kabbalah are clear: Crowley was a sham.
#># which authority asserts this?
#> most, probably. notably Scholem.
# neo-cabbala vs orthodox cabbala.

that's certainly one way of looking at it, but considering
what Kabbalah usually contains, 777 is kinda wan for it.
compare Eisen, or classics like Pico della Mirandola or
something. lattices aren't very much more than outlines,
or models for symbolic cross-fertilization in ritual.
even Levi is arguably more substantive, however contrived 
or uniquely-derived his Neo-Kabbalah might be. one might
have to add "The Book of Thoth" to really begin QBLing
with Crowley (hey that should be a book title!).

please don't overlook my praise for 777 as an *example of
an occult tool*, however. as 'Neo-Kabbalah' it fails to 
be engaging (wrapped up in deception and Hebrewphilic
fantasies as such an effort is), but as a map for internal 
associations of meaning and what the Crowleyans and 
those qabalists call 'a filing system for all of language 
using gematria' it is worthy of consideration as a 
divinatory and ceremonial lattice moreso than some kind
outline of Neo-Jewish-Mysticism.

#># why is the tzaddi - heh switch/ interchange nonsense?
#> inelegant. illogical. unsustainable. based on some sort
#> of interior experience of Crowley's rather than any
#> other obvious and comprehendable notion. I'd love to
#> see it defended here as somehow sensible. thanks.
# This gets back to my thesis on the irrationality of 
# divination, any set of symbols or correspondences that 
# works consistently  for the practitioner are legitimate 

note: I never raised the subject of 'legitimacy'. I don't
know how one would go about assessing that quality per se.

# and do not need the imprimatur of some "legitimate" or
# "orthodox" system to validate them. 

they certainly do for some people. for you and for me maybe
the criteria is a bit different (e.g. results), as have the
Crowleyites also contended.

# Obviously this switch was important for crowley, and 
# though i have my own ideas about it, i do not use it 
# in my own practice.

that doesn't touch the criticisms which I brought to bear
against it (one of which -- 'nonsense' -- Jason successfully
defended and I congratulated him on it :>). the other three
were "inelegant, illogical, and unsustainable". the latter
is the weakest, of course, but the first two you seem to be
merely saying are unimportant, which of course I deny. 

I would counter your assertion by saying that 'legitimacy'
without basis is valueless, and I'd agree that absent such
a basis, anything will do. if all one wishes to do is look
into a batch of random objects and divine, then it doesn't
really matter what those objects are if one is skilled as
a diviner, and one's selection is arguably arbitrary. if 
this is your point (that divination is a personal art that
requires no standardization for its result), then I agree.

where I disagree is when we begin to speak of constructs
that will be used in ritual for meditation and extreme
intensity of concentration, affecting consciousness in
ways presumed related to the object of focus itself. in
such cases I suggest that elegance, symmetry, and logic
are conducive to greater personal balance, successful
self-absorption attuning to greater natural character 
and rationality are arguably better tools for the task. 

the real issue where this discussion is concerned is which 
of these are more elegant, have effects as targets of 
reflection and focus that one desires, and are conducive 
to inspiring volitional power, directionality, and what 
is generally associated with the aims of magic. this 
is PARTICULARLY true in mystical applications of 
magic, where spiritual advance or progress are sought.

ignoring the actual results, one could just as well toss 
a vase into the air and look at shards in divinatory 
reverie. how this would affect a constant or repetitive 
absorption on its configuration is the more interesting 
issue: one seldom addressed or analyzed on account of 
the lack of familiarity with multitudes of systems or
focal tools (the chosen one being adopted by virtue of 
some tradition, dogma, or irrational predisposition that 
will usually serve to reify the very obstacles one may 
seek to overcome).

compare such 'database' conceptual lattices as 777 with 
graphics that have traditional meaning and value, such
as mandalas, or tankhas, or sand paintings. radial
symmetry, arguably, is of comparably greater value in 
being conducive to personal integration than mere 
bipolar symmetry. linear constructs, proceeding from
some origin-point and moving on to an end-point, rather
than a circular path recycling back to the origin, are
more conceptually in line with certain experiences or
values, cosmologies or inspired development.

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