I Rose to Fall

 

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I recently asked the question on Facebook: “Who is your favorite Rosicrucian…and WHY?”

A lot of wonderful answers were given.

My question wasn’t some litmus test, after which I intended to make some clever comment on the theme. Well, maybe it was a litmus test…to see who would answer. And maybe I am now typing out my “clever commentary.” Regardless, I could not help but regard two insightful replies:

The first:

“Me. Why? Because the work is all about me… And those that come into my circle.”

The second:

“The one that never claimed to be.”

Taken together, these responses, in my view, open the Gates to the True R.C. Fraternity.

The Rosicrucian Fraternity is a controversial subject-and ironically so. After all, these were people who were willing to go “Invisible.” Not simply to obtain admittance into the Mysteries but to do so with a drive to serve the Human Race. I am reminded of the Grand Master who is revealed at the end of Hermann Hesse’s “Journey to the East.”

Hesse clearly got the picture and expressed so much in that small book.

“The first shall be last and the last shall be first.”

Now, I have worked as an occultist for over two decades of my human life. What a long, strange, stupid and sublime trip it’s been. I set my hand to the plow and foot to the path with that ravenous hunger for Truth, for the Beyond. My stomach still growls to this day. Along the way have been many ill stops. I look back and see how that hunger has led me to various schools, venues and personas. I am convinced that NOTHING will stop my ceaseless yearning save the Beloved Itself.

Having tasted of that Glory through “a dark glass, darkly,” I don’t mind the Quest. Let the Autobiography at least be interesting! After all, She is “divided for Love’s sake…for the chance of Union.”

I was introduced to the Rosicrucians through Max Heindel and his Rosicrucian Fellowship. I would later be stirred to excitement by R.S. Clymer and his School. I actually thought I had found the TRUE R.C. Order! I’d meet Randolph and spin off into the Hermetic Brother of Luxor, C.C. Zain and Co. and keep pushing onwards.

Too many roads traversed to list here. Suffice to say that I spilled out into a “World of Promise” which proved to be an empty scene of self-service, cloaked in allusion, academia and the poetry of aspiration.

There was actually an “occult scene” which rivaled any other with its politics, posturing and pretense to thrones of power. Microcosms of the Macrocosm where those who couldn’t control the bombs could at least command a baker’s dozen.

Meanwhile, Hesse’s Grandmaster is on the streets.

Alice Bailey wrote of a stage in Initiation where one had to sacrifice ALL, which included one’s own “good name in the world.” Most occultists I know speak of casting themselves into the “Abyss” as if it somehow shines a spotlight on their ability to be extreme, more advanced, better than the “sheep.”

Since when did becoming a “Master of the Temple” engender snottiness-or status as someone whose books are more worthwhile buying?

The Rosicrucians hold my fascination to this day. I’ve gone in after their “secrets.” Arthur Waite put it well in his book on the Kabbalah when he said the chief Mystery is one of Sex. Well, who wouldn’t be curious about THAT? After all, the Rosicrucians got into the Freemasons and spilled out into so many different directions. EVERYONE has the Mystery-and, if you can jump through the right hoops, you might get a taste. Dues, Deference and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.

The Rose Cross. What IS it? The Mystical Mysteries of Jesus? The conjoining of Lingham and Yoni?

The great sex magician, the Abbe Boullan, was allegedly attacked by “Rosicrucians” for his nefarious practices. Funny how one of his friends and disciples, the author J.K. Huysmans, became a member of the Catholic Church, seeking the Mysteries of Christ after such “wicked influence.” Huysmans wrote of Boullan as the only Priest who could best the Satanic Underground of Paris.

The Rosicrucians asked something that most “modern occultists” seem unable to fathom. “We will give you the Mysteries and nurture you therein…but you can never speak of this. You must only use these to serve others.”

Imagine it. You get the tap on the shoulder. It is that moment of Destiny. You were “seen and called.” They will not fail to deliver the goods-but you can never speak of this. You will only operate as an “Invisible” in this world. You will sacrifice your imagined career as a lauded “occultist,” only publishing under a penname, every labor given gratis. You will be assured a common life and a common death-and none will remember you. You will simply receive the Ultra-Gnosis and its Powers, live secretly within it and pass this on to one who carry the same.

Of course, you could announce an Ancient Order in a New Phase, “publically revealed for the first time ever.” You could even quit your dayjob-and get a blowjob- with that angle.

Hell, you could even get away with calling yourself a “Rosicrucian.”

Me, I see the Brotherhood of the Holy Rosy Cross as existing at the Gateway to the Abyss. They are those who Crucify that the Dead may Live in Christ. They are those who serve the Masters of the City of Pyramids.

How Romantic, yes? Until we realize that each Pyramid is a pile of DUST, the dust of everything we have loved, everyone we have loved, ourselves, our ambitions, our self-conception.

And the dust is blown away.

So many of our occult orders contain some degree, some initiation, which calls itself “Rosicrucian.”

These DO contain Mysteries. The Rosicrucian understands sex, healing, world cycles. But the bottom line is a sacrifice, a crucifixion, a Dying unto Rebirth.

Rosicrucians are not pedigreed.

And it is less important to know one than to BECOME ONE.

How Sweet the Honey…

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HOLY DAZE

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Holidays. I find myself increasingly detached from them. It’s not that I have any issue with Holidays in theory. As a matter of fact, I think they are quite important. Observance of the same can be a powerful link to a larger frame of reference wherein our lives are fueled, empowered and brought together. I just personally find that they creep up, wisp by and the beat goes on. Often the “mainstream” Holidays come preloaded with expectations and obligations, an opportunity for the bleeders to brandish the blade and fill their blood buckets.

“Christmas” should go without mention as such a Holiday. I can’t remember the last time December 25th filled the hearts of anyone around me with the Spirit of Jesus. Posting some shit on Facebook about the “Reason for the Season” doesn’t count.

Thanksgiving? What a joke. Isn’t that American “gorge yourself, watch football and fight with family” day? Mythic Pilgrims, Indians and dead turkeys, gizzards gutted and glued back in with baked bread.

“Independence Day?” That would pretty much be much “National Fireworks Day.” Drink cheap beer, get a glow stick and hope you’re wowed with the pyrotechnics.

Of course, there are the non-American government Holidays. Most Muslims I know take their Holy Days VERY seriously. Buddhists and Pagans? They don’t make the work calendar but there is an intentionality there which contrasts with Santa’s Season of Sales.

Don’t even get me started on “Easter,” which is weird beyond description.

All of this comes and goes.

And then there is April 8, 9 and 10.

What’s this, you ask?

Glad you did.

It is the 3-Day celebration of the writing of the “Book of the Law.”

“The Book of WHAT?”

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It’s a Crowley thing. You know, that English guy who called himself “The Great Beast 666.”

“Wasn’t he that person who filed his teeth into fangs and devoted his life to EVIL?”

If you rely on soundbites to inform your opinion, there is no point in me acting as an apologist for Mr. Crowley. I will simply say that I remember vividly when I first read his book “Magick in Theory and Practice.” I was intrigued by rumor of this nefarious character and decided to read his work. What I found blew me away. This was not the writing of some crazed devotee of the devil. I was presented with an intelligence and finesse far beyond my own, one which compelled me to question and seek, even to this day.

In that single book, I had encountered a True Philosopher, someone who had a gift to give. I was baffled and mystified. Aleister Crowley opened the Gates for me. Years upon years of study and work and experience all followed.

Now, Crowley would have been a genius whichever route he took in life. As it was, his entire international adventures and ceaseless writing all hinged around the reception of a document called “The Book of the Law.” This event was a bit akin to the Old Testament Prophets hearing the Voice of God. The Deity spoke and the Prophet wrote. The “converts,” all of whom were quite interesting folks, became torch-bearers for the “Glad Word” Crowley had announced, a New Message for a New Age.

You might celebrate the neo-pagan Holiday of Christmas with presents, pine tree and lip-service to Baby Jesus. Those who embrace the Book of the Law, penned in Crowley’s hand, regard April 8, 9 and 10 as the days to celebrate and honor.

I could have ended up as either.

Thankfully, my own life course met the writing of Kenneth Grant, Crowley’s student and friend at the end of his life.

Grant was a true original “heir” of Crowley, grabbing that torch and actually running with it.

Between my own subsequent experiences and Grant’s account of the workings of Nu-Isis Lodge, I came into a new view of the “Holy Books.” Not just those of Thelema-but ANY religion. It is a “Blakean” view, one expressed in the “Marriage of Heaven & Hell” when Blake dined with Isaiah and Ezekiel.

Blake wrote:

“The Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel dined with me, and I asked them how they dared so roundly to assert, that God spoke to them; and whether they did not think at the time, that they would be misunderstood, & so be the cause of imposition.

“Isaiah answer’d, I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover’d the infinite in every thing, and as I was then persuaded, & remain confirm’d; that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared not for consequences but wrote.”

So wonderful.

Having spent all those years reading Crowley, I can see him in the Book of the Law. That this document is loaded with power and prophecy beyond the temporal persona of Crowley is undeniable. But I feel that Crowley wrote it WITH the being he understood to be “Aiwass,” a “minister” of the Egyptian God, Horus.

Crowley was a CHANNEL and the channel colors the transmission. Wine takes the form of the wineskin.

It is only by becoming CHANNELS ourselves that we can begin to observe the nuances in such channeling.

In his epic poem, Milton, William Blake quoted the Bible:

“Would that all the Lord’s People were Prophets.”

This isn’t an “appointed role.” It is a calling unto an Art.

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Blake also said that the true worship of God consisted of honoring his Gifts in other men. For me, this includes the Authors (plural) of the Book of the Law.

The sundry calendars on our walls ask “honor” of the codified with acquiescence. But the only moment I can ever exist in is the MOMENT-and it is in this that my Deep Core is ever driven to Itself.

During this past April 8, 9 and 10, I kept a journal which I feel culminated as the sun set on the 10th. I was listening to Current 93’s “They Return to their Earth.”

I had a vision.

I saw my life as if it was flashing before my eyes at the moment of death. Every moment that was True and Real lit up. Between these moments was all the shit, slime and worthless waste.

There was no longer the view of a linear continuity where everything had equal play. Only the True and Real mattered. The rest was seen as an encrustation. Stars were suddenly lighting up a black sky, their destiny to connect and come together into a “Super-Sun.”

It was as if someone had filmed and spliced particular moments of my life into a movie which showed the True Plot (what Crowley would call the “True Will”).

I have crashed through so many Holidays. Quite frankly, the Thelemic Celebrations may as well be Christmas for me. I am not a “Crowleyite.” And God Forbid I be a “Facebook Thelemite” and post a pic of some Unicursal Hexagram on April 9th. This is not my game.

“Happy Day Two of the writing of the Book of the Law! Look, we made Cakes of Light!”

Still, I was thankful to have this Vision, to see the True Will, the Genuine Self, light up during these Days and I had to regard Crowley’s writing of the Book as a gift to Humanity. You see, Crowley vacillated in his vision. He wavered between the human race as a whole and those who could “get” the Mysteries. In his diary, “John St. John,” he regarded himself as a “Bodhisattva.” I think this is true. Call him what you want. Crowley lived his life and there is no Crowley “left” to judge. There is his only his writing. He did what he did and left behind words on paper for us to read and work through.

Accept it. Reject it. Me? I am only looking for the words that “light up” and speak to my Deep Self, a Being which may resurge into my Selfhood and through word, image or deed give something of Value to YOUR Selfhood.

There is controversy even around those dates in which Crowley said the book was dictated. This really doesn’t matter, unless we want to get Astrosophical about the whole thing. However, in the “Crowley Cultus,” recognition and engagement with the energetic impress manifest in the Book feeds force and form back into the power source, energies coalescing and becoming radiant. Perhaps it was that Zone of Power I was accessing over those three days. I don’t feel that Crowley’s Horus-trip was the “point” at which the Aquarian Age began. I DO feel that he tapped and received an influx from its birthing. With his literary and occult genius, his personality and placement, he certainly opened his entire creative being to function as what Blake would regard as one the “Lord’s People.”

His proclamation that “Every Man & Every Woman is a Star” is certainly rousing. I would say that Every Man, Woman and Child is a Vast Company of Stars, separated, like the scattered limbs of Osiris, from the Unity of a Super-Sun. Just as the Human who has “long been in darkness” comes into the Light of the True Will, the True Will comes into the Cosmic Will. All Stars conjoin in the Gnosis expressed in Michael Bertiaux’s “Lucky Hoodoo” Grimoire through the words:

“O LIGHT! THERE IS NO DARKNESS! WE ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF ENDLESS LIGHT!”

I think there is a Holy Day hiding in every moment, Holy Days expressed in glimmers, hammerings, and ecstasies, all attended by a company of Spirits with whom we have an opportunity to cooperate. Unlike my experience of docketed dates assigned, these Holy Days do not sweep by…they SWEEP IN.

 

The Inscrutable Bodhisattva

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What the hell is a “Bodhisattva?”

The term has become rather popularized in the Western world with the counter-cultural advent of Buddhism as a hip alt-religion. The Dalai Lama is now a household name and, although, perhaps, less popular than the Pope, he is recognized as a manifestation of Avalokiteshvara, the Great Buddha of Compassion. Forgoing passage into Nirvana (what is sometimes called “Passing into Extinction”), he returns again and again until all Sentient Beings have attained Liberation.

Of course, the Big D isn’t the only one who is bound to this mission. There are innumerable Bodhisattvas who have sworn the Oath and given themselves to this Path. It creates a sense of awe and respect. After all, many of us are trying to simply sort through the shit of daily life and hardly feel ready to take on the burden of the World. I doubt many would raise their hands for a “Bodhisattva Roll-Call.”

Despite this fact, my view of this term has changed over the years, turning away from the conception of a relative few elevated souls who were “ready” to make the leap into an enlightened service far beyond the capability of the average Samsara saturated sucker on the street.

I recall one particular dark and stormy night, many years past, when a young lady blew out of the rain into a small meditation center where I’d been enduring lower back pain and distra….I mean, “getting one with everything.” She seemed to be, if I may use the term, “tweaking.” Her eyes were wide and her voice shaking with a trembling urgency. She wanted to take the Vow of Refuge, right then and there. The leaders of the group were calm and told her there was a formal ceremony in a couple months where she could do this but she would be welcome to come back, meditate and talk more about it. She had no interest in this and was insistent, as if her life somehow depended upon someone saying “OK, I’ll witness this.” I think she said “I have to become a Buddhist NOW!” She vanished off into the night and I never saw her again.

I sometimes wonder what distress had been rippling through her being. So many ways to “read” the situation and no real way to KNOW. But what I DID see was the pressing need to have another person, a perceived authority of some kind, validate her. She was quite vexed when this could not immediately happen.

Now, we might be inclined to view the Vow of the Bodhisattva through the same lens, a thing to be “conferred” by another with the authority and power to do so.

So, do we wait until some ceremonial event-or at least create a romantic setting whereby we make such a sublime step, something which might support the “validity” of our claim, if not to others, at least to ourselves? And what happens afterwards? Do we get high and stay high, deflecting pain and annoyance like dust batted by the Buddha’s eyelash, as we march off to a new life of seamless serenity and good works?

Or do we wake up some moment afterwards and think “I’m just the same asshole I’ve always been?”

Does the Vow then goad us back to our Path of service? And how many times do we need to alternate between “failure” and “success” before we realize we’re in a microcosm mirroring the Life-Death-Rebirth cycle?

Yep, turns out we’re the very same people we swore to “save.”

But then I saw that any conscious taking of this Vow was not the actual taking of the Vow, that it had really been taken aeons past, long before we began rippling as gobs of goo beneath our mother’s bellies. In fact, the reason we exist is because this Vow was followed by our boarding a rocket ship aimed from an “alien” domain and toward this terra. The ride would strip us down, stretch our form and the crash-landing would be none too soft. Amnesia is a common side-effect and, bumbling through the first misadventure on planet earth, we get the Bardo Bounce-back, replete with Karmic encrustations.

Of course, this was all explained to us during the Briefing as we each received our Beacon Implant (just in case we’d get fucked up-which we did…royally).

So, we wake up, bit by bit. We wonder what that little beeping sound inside our chest cavity might be. It seems to get louder and clearer under certain conditions. It might even bring us to some Vow which is actually an Act of Remembering the Objective of the Game.

EVERYONE took the “Vow.” Granted, some are more forgetful than others but it remains a present reality. Nobody “becomes a Bodhisattva.” We only divest ourselves of those elements which have locked down awareness of its ubiquitous Presence. YOU can rise and fall but the Bodhicitta (which is the Enlightened Buddha Nature) is unaffected and perfect. It is your True Nature.

If we confuse the Bodhisattva Path with “being nice to others,” we can find ourselves in a pickle. Not that being nice isn’t nice-but this view evokes a tendency to bring a measuring stick against our actions and actually occlude Bodhicitta in the moment.

For example, how many of the starving masses did you feed today? Talk anyone out of suicide this afternoon?

“Oh, yeah…I opened a few minds at the office, helped change a tire and put in some time at the soup kitchen. But I gotta go and rescue a few baby seals yet before I can provide shelter for the homeless and call it a night.”

Well, that’s plenty to feel good about. It would certainly SUCK if you were stuck indoors for a weekend. You could lose some points sitting around the house and blowing off steam with a video game. You’ve got a rep to maintain and Amida Butsu is keeping score.

Unless, he’s not.

Not keeping score and not even a “he.”

It’s not that those things we mentioned are without merit. It is that there IS no merit. This is a point made by the Buddha to his disciple Shariputra in the Diamond Sutra, a very sacred “Bodhisattva” scripture.

If we want to split hairs, we can take a magnifying glass to any action and see how the “meritorious” could come at the expense of someone’s happiness and wellbeing, how the destructive actions of others can push into a domino effect which blesses or saves someone down the line. And then we could look at how every event is causing every other event, how any manifest thing contains the sum total of everything else. When we consider this, we may find it impossible to discern which actions are truly those given to the “Liberation of All Beings Everywhere.” We’re “damned if we do, damned if we don’t.”

Unless, we just ditch that measuring stick, the divisions of which were created by an imposition of our personal ideas of “how to save others.”

You CAN’T save anyone else. You can help people in temporal circumstances (which is great) but the same setting of those circumstances will roll around and bring back suffering. And it all ends with the death of the mortal form.

So what can we possibly DO?

We manifest Compassion and this is done by unveiling its incorruptible nature within our own Minds. This Compassion is one with Bodhicitta and therefore is not the same as feeling warm and fuzzy-or soft and sad-over other people’s circumstances. It is the recognition of Bodhicitta in what is perceived as the other. This isn’t lip-service played out in our own head-space where we tell ourselves we are really one with that other person. The recognition happens at a deep vibratory level. Its upsurge into conscious awareness evokes Gnosis, a direct knowing of the oneness of the Bodhicitta Itself. As much as dualistic consciousness remains, this upsurging rewires and remakes the mind. It cannot be considered a total transformation if dualistic consciousness remains in any way intact. But the “blowing out” into Nirvana is not the aim of the Bodhisattva. Therefore, there is a Gnostic Awakening which portends further Gnostic Awakening.

If we envision this on a linear timeline, we might want to pin ourselves onto some system of occult “Grades” or “Degrees.” The nature of the Bodhisattva in Time, however, is rushing in as much from the future as it is the past, from other dimensional realms as much as this “Prime Dimensional Reality.” Therefore, the genius of, let’s say, “Grade 8,” (representing a certain “Level of Attainment”) may be actively utilizing the scope of possibility in “Grade 4.” “YOU” may conceive of yourself as “Grade 4” but within the transpersonal Bodhicitta, you are not divided from the “Grade 8” (or any other) consciousness.

These “Grades” may even seem to be manifest as another Being. The point here is that “Beings” partake of “Being” and “Being Itself” is not limited to a human-centric view of Compassion.

E.J. Gold stated that one of the most important things one could do was to become an active and compassionate work partner with one’s Avatar in the Second Life Prosperity Virtual Ashram. This was from a talk where he was addressing the very real concern of impending death. Now, a knee-jerk reaction to this statement might be: “Are you kidding me? My life is ticking down and you’re saying that I should give time to being ‘compassionate’ to a pixel-person in a computer game? What about the people around me? What about the REAL world?”

But we could easily say the same thing about meditation. Why waste time sitting on a cushion and stilling the tide of incoming thoughts being broken on the shore when there are PEOPLE who I could help?

The Key is first understanding that the virtual space is a TOOL to develop the Bodhisattva Nature within ALL virtual spaces we inhabit or encounter, which includes the “physical realm.” Similarly, most people who meditate are equally concerned with a “Post-meditational” approach to the fluctuations of daily life.

But there is more to it than this. By developing compassion with regards to one’s avatar, one begins to sensitize to several important things. Firstly, the field of action for the Bodhisattva is seen to encompass more than Being as it is manifest in the Human Organic Form. The limitations of the Avatar’s form (relative to the humanoid body we temporarily inhabit) find analog in other fields of limitation (or “difference”). The Bodhisattva is fully capable of treating a stone, a bag of trash, a cup of coffee or even situations themselves with Compassion.

This “reflecting” of Awakening Bodhicitta opens to MAGIC, which in some cultures is expressed through Animism. Going beyond superstitious belief or mere regard, the Animist may access the fields of intelligence and empowerment uniquely connected to each form. Having understood the multidimensional relationships between the sundry Grades beyond linear time, our “Grade 4” may access our “Grade 8” through a vehicle regarded by most as “Grade 1.” The word for this is COMMUNION.

These “occult contacts” are really very easily made. In one of his books (I believe “Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior”), Chogyam Trungpa speaks of Basic Goodness inherent in all Minds. He says that almost everyone is capable of at least SOME level of appreciation. A person may be the wickedest creature we know-but he may still be capable of appreciating a good cigar, a stirring tune, a fine meal. This is a start.

We can also learn to appreciate appreciation itself, which allows us to extend it into areas we might otherwise clumsily crash on through. A single moment of attentiveness and compassion arising in such an area has its origin in the Present Bodhisattva Nature.

Future blog entries will explore how this approach is developed in virtual spaces. These spaces (taken as a whole) are not without danger. They can do anything from wasting time to corrupting the Soul. The same, however, is true of ANY space, however we label it. The Tibetan Book of the Dead stresses that all the forms which rise in the Bardos must be recognized as projections of the mind. If this is not done, the ship will capsize and the Voyager will be drawn, magnetically, into a Womb Door according to the nature of their Karmic Matrix. The Awakening to the Illusory Nature of the Bardos (which transforms the “Fierce Deities” into the “Beatific Buddhas”) may be viewed as a type of “Deconstruction.” This is not the only Art practiced by the Bodhisattva. There is also the Constructive Power, which is utterly needed if one is doing more than “strip down” into “Extinction.”

EVERYONE has the potential for both powers-and EVERYONE is also composed of a dynamic between the growth of these powers and the Transpersonal Bodhisattva Nature. Furthermore, this dynamic will ALWAYS have its own series of potential movements. It is not the intellect which will select the right one but Bodhicitta, which, like water, seeks its level.

When we realize in our deep core that we are already there, we can get to the business of being where we ARE.

HOODOO PILOT

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The noetic nom de plume “Hoodoo Pilot” emerged for me some time ago when I began study of Michael Bertiaux’s compendium of Esoteric Lesson Material, The Voudon-Gnostic Workbook. Within the first several pages we read of the Hoodoo as an Ancient “Team,” composed of the Transmigrated Atlantean Sorcerers (the “Hoo”) and the Spirits of the Dead (the “Doo”). Respectively occupying the Western and Northern Zones of the Full Lucky Hoodoo Magical Circle, these Spirits are more than willing to make contact with the Individual who approaches them through appropriate ritual and meditation, forging a link of “Give & Take” between Dimensions and Fields of Activity.

When I personally made this contact, I saw that this was a dimension of experience to be explored, navigated and mapped, a realm to be “Piloted.” One does not make such contact and remain unchanged. The mind adapts and becomes accustomed to the unique conditions of the new terrain. This necessitates experiment and construction of new vehicles for movement.

Some of those vehicles have evolved along somewhat “non-traditional” lines, although the underlying “tech” makes use of laws (or “operative principles”) which may be observed in the traditional methods of magic and shamanism.

Years back, the now classic first-person shooter QUAKE left a deep impression on me. As it goes, I was indirectly introduced to the game by E.J. Gold when I read an interview in that truly great and sadly defunct magazine, GNOSIS. In that interview, Gold spoke enthusiastically about QUAKE being a tool for “Bardo-Training.”

Beyond the adrenaline fueled hours of pumping Cthonic Creatures full of nine inch nails, my prolonged playing had the effect of altering my sense of space in dreams. Events which might have oozed into one another through membranes of forgetfulness were brought into clearer spatial awareness and continuity. It was as if-prior to QUAKE-I had been simply drifting with the undulating currents of the Astral Light. After the experience of immersion in the sharp 3-D environment of the game, I was maintaining that instinctual sense of space and movement.

I would later return to such Gamespaces to assist with astral work, “maintaining the vision” through superimposition of the two realms. Ritual on the Astral was thus facilitated by a certain locale in the handheld game Metroid: Hunters.

Gold now offers his own set of Gamespaces, specifically designed to serve the purposes of The Work. The “Retro Style,” in conjunction with techniques involving multidimensional awareness, diffused vision and attentiveness, provide a framework for a type of “Quantum Hoodoo.” There are certainly esoteric principles involved but these may be easily accessed by anyone at the ground level. This is because mulling over theory plays second fiddle to experience and practice, something readily available to anyone willing to put in the time and effort.

In a recent article for the New York Times, by Edward Rothstein, the author comments on the Healing Practices of Tibetan Buddhism:

“If this is magical thinking, it is not magic as we commonly understand it, wielding seemingly impossible powers. It is magic that relies on a conviction that different realms are images of one another: Metaphors are literally true; this really is a version of that. Medicine is astrology because the forces governing the body are the forces governing the heavens. Similarly, medicinal herbs are characterized as hot or cool partly because of where they grow, and that is directly related to their warming or cooling effects. Act in one realm — the heavens, the body or the botanical — and you also act in the others.”

Thus we have E.J. Gold observing that in the Second Life Prosperity Virtual Ashram (yet another extension of his forays into the spiritual potential of Gamespace) any rotating object functions as a prayer wheel. One revolution on a “hamster wheel” or circular spin in a dance circle is the same as chanting OM MANI PADME HUM.

Here we need to consider the space-or connective zone-between the two realms. Whether one is lighting a candle dedicated to the “Spirits of Lucky Hoodoo” or directing an onscreen form who does the same thing, it may seem that sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This will be the testimony of anyone’s Magical Diary or Record. Thus, there is always the issue of the “Magical Link.” If it’s not in place and up to snuff, results (or lack thereof) will reflect this.

We can say that the candle (physical, virtual or otherwise) is like a phone we use to dial the number of the Spirit we wish to contact. We want them to “pick up” on the other side after “dialing the numbers.” Obviously, other factors come into play with this example. Is the phone plugged in? Is our service plan paid up and operative? There is more to making a successful call than just holding the object and pressing its buttons.

Within the Prosperity Gamespace, we begin by acknowledging that what we are experience is real. We may observe that this reality seems different from our own but the events within it are, never the less, occurring. The tendency of the mind to nominalize the Gamespace is where the line gets cut. It forces the experience to conform to conditions where it is rendered inoperative. We are wishing to work in such a manner that the Gamespace is a Matrix from which transformative influence can be extended into a variety of zones. If we are dealing with chronic pain, we want to not only treat it from the realm of Gamespace but transport the treatment into another realm, namely that in which our physical bodies are. When a person has died, we wish to locate their Being and effectively direct the Guidance of the American Book of the Dead into their Bardo-Space from our own.

To do these things, we must develop skill, just as we would in meditation, artwork, Tai Chi or any other discipline. It is only by vast amounts of repetition that we begin to touch on the subtleties of practice, those moments where we suddenly experience a “Eureka!” moment, KNOW how it is done from within our own experience and then apply our new level of skill to exploration of further possibilities.

The starting point is simply learning how to utilize controls and operate within the space at hand. When this is second nature, we can tilt, ever so slightly, and begin to acknowledge the verity of what is happening. Without this, we will never get to the place where that verity extends through the connective zone into another dimension of experience and change.

In the Bardo Game “Coin Safari” there is a statement:

“One attempt does not a Habit make.”

This should be considered from the viewpoint of the “Voyager’s Quatrain” (from “The American Book of the Dead”):

All Phenomena is illusion.

Neither attracted nor repelled

Not making any sudden moves

My Habits will carry me through.”

After death, the mind itself will begin to unsheathe and dissolve in the Bardo Spaces. This does not imply the dissolution of Being. It simply indicates that we won’t “wake up” in some imagined Heaven or Hell in a “spiritual variant” of our physical form to hop, skip and jump with our present faculties at play. So there has to be a deeper level of conditioning with which one may adequately navigate. This is one of the reasons why the Tibetan Book of the Dead emerged and was put into practice.

“You get by with a little help from your friends.”

The Spirits of Lucky Hoodoo might be regarded by some as Elemental Precursors to work with the Loa and Higher Extradimensional Beings. But there are depths in the lesson material written by Michael Bertiaux which, if understood as more than a rung on some linear ladder, will open up worlds far beyond the text itself. These worlds bring us into confrontation with our Karmas-and the Karmas of the Universe in which we chose, consciously or not, to incarnate.

We begin with motive, the Need-Fire of the Rune Nauthiz. This gets us going. In Lucky Hoodoo, we make a request (and this tends to be along the lines of personal need as opposed to some abstract cosmic aspiration). Likewise, scroll the list of “Orbs” over at the urthgame (Prosperity Path) website. There are over 100 games directed at issues such as Worry, Love, Protection, Success and so on.

But from the first go, we begin to sense that there is something behind the immediate need or “First Karma.”

All of these themes will be addressed in my forthcoming book but the key is forming that link between zones. This requires practice and subsequent experience. The result will be the emergence of “Siddhis” or magical powers. We may think: if it’s this easy, wouldn’t everyone just do this thing, get the powers and get what they want?

Ah, but that’s the thing! The “Siddhis” are connected to states of what some call Enlightenment or Attainment (I prefer the term “Unsheathing” or excavating the Skandha Heap).

It’s similar to Carlos Castaneda in his popular Don Juan books. He starts out just wanting to get more information about Peyote. He ends up on the Warrior’s Path. By the time we are at the Art of Dreaming phase, the vehicle he requires has changed and he’s piloting an entirely different realm. Advanced, sure. But still getting flustered and being chided, while helped, by his Guru, Don Juan. Not the same person anymore and aware of a much larger field of concern.

A Moment of Musing on Modern Magick-and Don Michael Kraig

Have only just heard this afternoon of the passing of Don Michael Kraig. Lots of words in tribute among my “Magical Friends” on Facebook. Some knew Don and went way back with him. I never had the pleasure. But like many, I was still impacted by his writing, most notably the perennially popular volume “Modern Magick.”

When I acquired this book, I was as green to the dark arts as one gets. Well, maybe a shade of chartreuse-but you get the picture. I was still “Kermit with a wand.” The gusto was there-but I’d not even performed a basic Pentagram ritual.

Sure, I’d gotten my hands on Crowley’s “Magick in Theory and Practice” which had filled my head full of mighty and mysterious things I wanted to be in the thick of but had no idea how to! I recall the first time I read his opening chapter on the Qabala. Instantly LOST.

At that time, Craig’s “Modern Magic” was just what I needed to enter that world of Crowley. It was the kind of introduction and training you’d get from a kind teacher (and, as was my case, when no such teacher was available).

Years down the line, I’d be conversant, divergent and feeling miles away from that start point. I’d even mock Llewellyn for churning out their sometimes laughable 101’s for the masses.

But where would I have gone were it not for Craig’s “101?”

Don Michael Craig did something important with this book. He explained the obtuse simply and in a manner which could be put to use. I’ve since read a lot of “occult literature” which hides behind walls of poetic allusion (or is that protective illusion?). “These advanced mysteries are for the very few who can rise above the herd and grasp the burning Gnosis.” You know the shtick and it’s easy to see what lies behind it: “I’M one of those few-and unless you want to consciously identify yourself with the sheep I’m talking about, you’ll seek the Way through ME.”

I know a LOT of “young turks” and starry eyed wanna-bes who fall for this, kids who are ready to hurl spears at the heavens and still can’t tie their own shoes.

The thing is: NO ONE owns Enlightenment. No one can tap you on the shoulder and bestow Attainment any more than someone can keep you from it. The best ANYONE can do is to help facilitate the conditions wherein the volition of your OWN soul moves through an impasse into a Greater Sphere of Knowing. Some have a vested interest in keeping you from this which is why there are as many “occult books” as there are new diet fads. The mystification can get so thick, you might reject the “thing most needful” if it isn’t wrapped up in the glamour which keeps one’s self-image from honesty, clarity of thought and simplicity. As Wittgenstein observed, the most difficult thing is for a person to not deceive THEMSELVES. So much manipulation seems to depend on a deception which operates on the dynamics of this very tendency within people.

Now, these words are not meant to be a “condemnation of the complex” or a call to condense the creative (with its own vast and liberating potential) into some Dick and Jane primer for the masses. Along with Kraig’s writing, I appreciated the “user-friendly” work of Lon Milo DuQuette’s similar simplifying of Crowley. But I have also felt that any analogous attempt with Kenneth Grant’s Trilogies would be an abysmal failure as he is intentionally weaving a web meant to operate in liminal zones where linear thought can no longer serve or suffice.

Still, we start at the START. We learn those “Dick and Jane” drills before reading (or writing like) James Joyce. Where some would keep the kids in the cradle, Don Michael Kraig wrote to get them to graduation.

In the end, I can still deeply appreciate the words of wisdom he wrote in “Modern Magick”:

“Magick is not something you DO…it is something you ARE.”

When we realize this, we are in a place where self-image is no longer measured by a rod envisioned titles or achievements. There is a sense that one’s life is a rare and unique opportunity for growth into the mystery, that every “attainment” will be both similar and different to that of others working through the same “class,” that True Will is the True Guide.

Wherever we are, we possess powers and have needs. Related to our authentic being, these needs are the truest thing. Some have considered me an authority or “master” of this, that or the other thing. It may seem so from a position of perspective. However, as Dylan sang: “What looks large at a distance, up close ain’t never that big.”

In the meantime, I am hard at work as an “entry level student” with various pursuits, bringing to bear upon them the enthusiasm of a kid who just played his first round of Minecraft.

This evening, a “Thank You” is thus sent from my own etheric zone to the traveling heart of Mr. Kraig for his excellent textbook in which he simplified his years of experience which certainly helped at my own impasse. I know many will have a similar story to tell. Furthermore, we will all have opportunity to do the same through the routes particular to our own Path. I feel there is great joy in doing so and the teacher who does thusly is never divorced from the freedom or joy of their own endless learning.

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A Blogenning

HERMES

After numerous written and visual contributions to a variety of esoteric publications, I have finally finished the bulk of text on my first full length book project. Unlike previous writings, which have been more or less on the “arcane” side of things, this is a book about the application of virtual reality (via video-gaming) as a vehicle and tool for healing, transmutation and initiation. Prior to this work, I’ve typically written with some assumption that my audience was familiar with whatever occult topic was on the table. I could allude to-and utilize-the lingo of Aleister Crowley, Kenneth Grant or Michael Bertiaux without needing to “provide a primer.”

 

With this latest project, I am aiming at a different and wider audience, namely anyone who might find the prospect of video-gaming as a spiritual work tool an intriguing prospect to entertain-and perhaps even try. As such, I endeavor to be user-friendly and conversational. The goal is to present something which can be understood, applied and experienced in a fashion that can bring about positive change in the human life. For some this will relate to really pressing practical concerns. For others this might evoke deeply entrenched psychological issues. Regardless, all of these things are ultimately understood as vital elements in one’s sojourn through this Spacetime as a Being whose Ultimate Essence is Transdimensional. Any obstruction to this Being realizing Ultimate Essence is an immediate concern and field for operation. From this viewpoint, I am interested in how this particular tool (or Game-Tech) can address whatever is right in front of us.

 

This “tech” is not vague or all-encompassing. Specifically, it deals with the games running on the GODD engine and developed by E.J. Gold and Co. From this we move into Second Life with the “Prosperity Virtual Ashram” (also built and overseen by Gold and Friends).

 

Having finished my first work on this topic, I am looking toward the next bout of writing on this theme. At present, I feel that a book composed of short entries, a type of journal or notebook, will be of use for those who make use of the first volume.  I thought a blog would serve as a useful “sketchbook” for this endeavor. Perhaps some of the forthcoming entries here will be added to the second book in this particular series. Regardless, I’d like to post my on-going ruminations here for the enjoyment of those involved with this Path and those who might be simply intrigued by it.

 

What I found when writing the present book was that, as I endeavored to make some degree of sense to a general audience, I was also stating and composing my personal vision and philosophy on Life Itself. But I do not regard such a “statement” as absolute. Not for you or me. No matter what insight a person has, they have further insight coming in.

 

This is one reason why Wittgenstein is my favorite philosopher. In his early work, he felt he had it all wrapped up. He had entered the fray, fought and felt he had written the work to end Philosophy. He “solved the puzzle.” And then he moved on.

 

That is, until a single question, a casual challenge, blew his airtight theory to pieces, throwing him back into philosophy as an occupation.

 

Some seem to think that one has thus and such life experiences and then come forward to present their “conclusion” which is called a “Philosophy.” Wittgenstein came into the space where a “Philosopher” was one who was actively engaged in “making connections.” He died not as one who has summed it all up but as one who is continuously moving, questioning, thinking and re-thinking.

 

I’ll announce the availability of the book I have just finished when it’s ready to go. This blog, however, is not meant to serve as some ongoing “shameless plug.” Rather, I want to give expression to my own position as a Philosopher, chronicling the explorations, thoughts, adventures and even dead ends whereby we continue our movement and growth in the Labyrinth of Life.

 

Lognotes from a 25th Century Quaker