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Christ, Christianity and Magick

To: (FiatLVX XMagick Listserv)
From: tyagi mordred nagasiva 
Subject: Christ, Christianity and Magick
Date: Kali Yuga 49941228

I find it fascinating that 'Xristos' is used in so many different ways, as
a term.  One uses it as a name for a personal being with whom one may
commune and grow closer (perhaps through magical devices).  One uses it as
a noun for a type of energy or consciousness which one may manifest, perhaps
comparable to certain elements of our psyche (all the best ones? :>).  Here
is an entry in my _Metaphysical Bible Dictionary_, put out by the Unity
School of Christianity, for 'Christ':

Christ, christ (from Gk.) -- *anointed; the anointed; the Messiah*.

A name, or title, applied to Jesus of Nazareth (Matt. 16:16; Acts 17:3).
Jehovah of the Old Testament is the I AM, or Christ of God invisible; the
Messiah is the promise of the visible manifestation of that I AM or Christ,
and Jesus Christ is the fulfillment in man of that original spiritual I AM,
or Jehovah.

*Meta* [The metaphysical meaning of 'Christ':]  Christ is the divine-idea
man.  Jesus is the name that represents an individual expression of the
Christ idea.  Jesus Christ is the form of the name that is commonly applied
to the man of Galilee who demonstrated perfection.  Christ Jesus is the idea
that is being expressed by men as the result of their faith in and under-
standing of Truth.

Christ is the only begotten Son of God, or the one complete idea of perfect
man in Divine Mind.  He is the embodiment of all divine ideas, such as intel-
ligence, life, love, substance, and strength.  In the architect's mind
there may be one masterpiece, but that masterpiece is the sum of all the
beautiful ideas that have come to his mind.  This Christ, or perfect-man
idea existing eternally in Divine Mind, is the true, spiritual, higher self
of every individual.  Each of us has within him the Christ, just as Jesus
had, and we must look within to recognize and realize our sonship, our
divine origin and birth, even as He did.  By continually unifying ourselves
with the Highest by our thoughts and words, we too shall become sons of God,

The cosmic man, or grand man of the universe, often referred to by religious
mystics [cf. the recent discussion about the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the
Pentagram and the quote from the Corpus Hermetica], is the Christ [rather 
than ADM KDMN in QBL], and the Christ is the higher self of man.  Thus a
seemingly great mystery is reduced to simple numbers.  We do not realize
the nearness of this cosmic man, because we have not found our real selves.
Jesus Christ educated His followers to discern the real man.  He taught
that there is a power in man that gives him authority over the things of
the world.  This principle is the higher self, the spiritual man, the Christ.
If we would succeed we must bring forth the principle; it gives dominion and

Spiritual perception reveals to us that we are not persons, but factors in
the cosmic mind.  Reveal yourself to yourself by affirming: "*I am the
Christ, son of the living God*."  Look at yourself not as flesh and blood,
but as Spirit.  Jesus Christ affirmed His true self and the Father acknow-
ledged Him.  The reason for the limited comprehension and power of the
ordinary man is found in the fact that he sees the world about him as
under material law, and agreeing with it he makes himself part of it.

Christ is the cosmic man, the grand man of the universe, demonstrated,
developed, brought out, in every man.

The birth of Christ in man is the bringing to consciousness of the spiritual
idea of man -- the Christ of God -- through the quickening power of the word
of Truth.  It is the beginning in the inner realms of consciousness of a
higher set of faculties that, when grown to full stature, save the whole man
from ignorance and sin.  It is a growth in man as tangible to those who
reach certain stages as is that of the child to the mother.  In its begin-
nings it is a mere quickening flutter, under the stomach, accompanied often
by unusual sensitiveness in the emotional nature.  We do not in the first
stages of this process understand it, and sometimes are moved to put it
away from us.  This is the spiritual significance of the statement that 
Joseph was merely "betrothed" to Mary, yet she was "great with child."  The
soul is heavily charged with divine life, and so full that it cannot
express itself intelligently, because no union has yet taken place between
it and the understanding (Joseph).

pp. 150-1; Unity School of Christianity, inspired by Charles Filmore.

I see this as a very important paradigm from which to posit magick and its
relationship with Christianity.  Above, the focus is upon the 'true self'
or 'higher self', and my favorite meaning for 'true' in this sense is that
of the WHOLE: positive and negative, upper and lower, lightness and darkness,
all that is the pure and perfect human without repressions and fractions and
denials.  Coming to God 'skyclad', naked, we throw ourselves upon the altar
of our humanness.  Christ is the target, the example par excellence, of one
who found that true self and manifested it.  And yet, there is some reason
to beware of emulation, as I will point out below.

The way I'd apply all this to 'magick', then, is the term is quite often
associated not only with the mechanism by which we may find our true selves
but also that entire process of discovery.  The very fundamental dictum 
along the magical path implies it: 'know thyself'.

| long as it doesn't go to your head and you go on a power trip because 
|of it....:) 

My impression is that individual power trips are not tolerated and that they
are only accepted when they are harnessed by a powerful group, hopefully
containing the increased egotism so that it infuses the entirety.  However,
I think the dangers are present whether in an organization or alone, AS ARE
THE BENEFITS.  We too often overlook the benefits of the 'egotistical power
trip'.  There is incredible learning in that experience.  Some of the most
potent and influential geniuses, the very movers and creators of the world,
have been tremendous egotists.  It is possible that Salvation can be found
through engaging such experiences and mastering them.

|...when I work my magic I am an instrument of my God working through me to 
|heal the problems of the world....  

This is an important area and it intersects shamanism rather directly.
It is where the sharp focus upon magick as some kind of 'technology'
becomes blurred and shifts, since we are doing little more than channelling
a 'greater power', which thereafter accomplishes the Work.

It is said that shamanism must include healing as an indicator of its
function and presence.  Without the event of the healing, it becomes mere
sorcery, playing with power.  The shaman often heals hirself and then goes
on to assist others in their healing process.  So it seems we may be able
to connect 'Christian Magick' with shamanism in that it may involve finding
our true selves (Christ) and then assisting others to find this same
consciousness (likely more by example than anything else).  Living in such 
a state, how could the problems of the world not dissolve before our eyes?

Much like the Vaisnava who does not wish to 'become Krishna',  as many
Hindu saints have said, we do not wish to *become* the sugar, we wish only to
*taste* it.  Given an understanding where one is forever separated from the
divine in reverence, certainly one would not wish to become that divinity.

[re: striving to be 'Christ-like']

There is a danger in this.  Let Needleman speak for me:

It becomes clear that throughout history as we know it, the very first
idea that disappears from tradition when it begins to lose its power is
this teaching about gradations of the being of man.  When this happens,
it is no longer possible to distinguish elements of a teaching meant to
support the developmental process toward awakening, from descriptions of
the results of awakening; far less is it possible to see the real
distance that separates ordinary human life from the moral and spiritual
powers that are actually associated with the highest states of presence
but which, through a terrifying irony, have been assumed by whole
societies to be the innate characteristics of every human being just by
virtue of his physical existence.  Thus, before one can speak of the
extraordinary powers and gifts [charism] (to use the traditional Christian
term) associated with the highly developed spirituality of the saintly,
one will have to speak of such things as freedom of choice, clear intel-
ligence, and goodness of will (altruism) not as given characteristics of
our being but as themselves results of inner discipline.  These latter
characteristics may be said to be a necessary condition for the higher
reaches of spiritual attainment, and they may also be said to be aspects
of the birthright of man insofar as natural man is defined as the "likeness
of God."  And from this point of view, the distinction between nature and
grace must be read to position our present level as not even at the level
of natural man.  We are subnatural men.  Yet the teachings of the great
religions as we know them are meant for natural man, in whose essential
nature there lies an activated disposition toward God.  "Before the Fall,
Adam was able not to sin."

_Lost Christianity_, by Jacob Needleman, Harper and Row, 1980; pp. 125-6.

Thus just 'being Christ-like' may not be enough.  We may need to go through
very intense periods of trials and sin in order to learn the very real 
lessons of which Jesus is said to have been master.  People start at different
places, and Jesus was perhaps an exceptional individual, comparable to the
Buddhas that are reincarnated according to Buddhist teachings.  Demonstra-
ting the Royal Road, Jesus may have been showing us the *result* of such
endeavors which must include repentance, rebirth and spiritual living (i.e.
'initiation').  This does not mean that it is necessarily our path to live
as he did.  It could be that we shall need to move in quite the opposite
direction before we can settle into the Majesty that is rained upon by the
Grace of God.  The shortest distance between two points may not be a straight
line in this case.  It may become a zig-zag, or a circle.

Who are we to say what is God's will for us?  He may instruct
us to do precisely the opposite of what is considered 'good Christian
living' by the masses.  In avoiding this, do we not doom ourselves to Hell?

I think that Christian Magick is not only a kind of technological support
of a religious ideal, but it is the same in essence as 'Muslim Magick' and 
'Thelemic Magick' and 'Satanic Magick' and perhaps even 'Mormon Magick'. :>  
Given different raiments and names, these may only seem to be different 

While I am not a big fan of this type of syncretism when carried to extremes
(i.e. 'since they are all the same, why distinguish them?' is the followup
question to be pondered), I do think that this is concept is quite useful and
bears upon the many many many similarities I've discovered among these 
traditions and ideals.

'Surrendering to God's will in the Garden' may include things which will 
frighten, nay, shock us to our very core.  We may be asked to give up our 
self-image, our livelihood, our social relations, our favorite activities,
even our conceptual truths.  It might not all be petunias and perfume.  Look
at Job.  He wasn't expecting what he got, and I doubt that God would treat
us any less severely in so important a matter as the Salvation of our soul.

Whether magick is the cause of change outside us, inside us, or the entire
configuration, I think that we shall be affected by this process or tool.
And I don't think that this affect will merely be some sort of mushrooming
desire for more and more power.  My impression is that magick is a humbling
experience, and such experiences inevitably lead one to see the value of 
self-transformation and the potential for a Great Work; the Salvation of all.

nagasiva, (Lucifer)

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