Magickal Notes from the Path 1

Beyond LHP

I’ve found that over the past few years I’ve become less polarised. I don’t really see myself as an “ex-Whatever”. That was a part of my path, but I do see myself as “beyond” this. It is like I’ve grown out of than that belief, however it is still a belief (or set of beliefs) I understand, and reside in my past. Someone once wrote that “once you learn something, you cannot unlearn it”. While I don’t ‘unlearn’ stuff, I learn more and the past becomes the foundation from which I can grow and evolve, perhaps like Nietzsche’s comments that a tree stretching up to heaven must have roots reaching down to hell. “Hell” for me is our own unconscious in turmoil. Having the resolve to explore it in whatever way is necessary takes committment and courage.

Magick With Tears

I don’t believe someone can progress very far in their own spiritual evolution without spilling a few pints of tears! To be complete, I believe we need to cultivate our soft and intimate side, perhaps even moreso than the hard and unyielding side. Even the “mythology” of warriors has the romantic notions of a fearsome man who can rip his enemy limb from limb one moment, and the next comfort a small child who has lost their mother, or make passionate love to his partner.

Magick & Psychotherapy

Israel Regardie was the first, and only (that I’m aware of), modern occultist to propose all aspiring magicians need to take a course of therapy as part of their journey. Of course, modern therapies (particularly those with Transpersonal elements) have things in common with Shamanism. And any modern therapy that gets the client to use their imagination (for visualisation, etc) is in a sense working with internal magick. Magick often tends to unbalance people, or perhaps it just attracts those who are unbalanced or on their way to crisis. I know it certainly helped tip me over the edge and come face to face with the Abyss …

Most of the important and essential concepts and ideas can be kept very simple and jargon free. It works just as well. It can take a little more to explain in simple language, and perhaps because of this the ‘need’ arose for psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists to create jargon and labels.

In some countries psychiatrists and psychologists are not required to go through therapy themselves. A psychiatrist I once spoke to told me that overseas where he trained he had to do several months of therapy. While such a short period of therapy many not be sufficient for a deep experiential understanding, it at least gave him an insight into his own inner workings.

The problem that can arise when the therapist has not undertaken the work themselves is an “us versus them” mentality where the professional person believes they are ‘perfect’ and the client is ‘broken’. It seems clear to me that doctors and nurses often seem to be very dysfunctional people. It is difficult to be empathetic when you see yourself as whole (and perhaps the rescuer) and the other person as the victim. It sets up a dangerous polarity, as a rescuer needs a victim to maintain their own self-identity and potentially has an unconscious or hidden agenda of keeping people in the victim space. Someone who has “been there” on the other hand is often better equipt to act as a guide rather than rescuer. The “this is how I became self-empowered” approach rather than “what you need to do is…”

Picking a modality of therapy gives you a framework. I don’t believe it is essential to stick to what you first learn, but it is essential to pick something and get a frame of reference! It is like finding the high-ground to get an overview of the landscape if you’re lost. It also makes learning another system easier, as you can compare the two systems, and peg out the similarities and differences. I tend to “think” using various concepts including Jungian Psychology, Western Kabbalah, and Psychosynthesis. All are similar, and all have differences. The Tree of Life (particularly the Supernals, and the Middle Pillar) provide some good conceptual frameworks to compare and relate to other things.

Union with Godhead

Perhaps rather than “union” it is a recognition that we are already part of God/Absolute. From The Gospel of Thomas and some Kabbalistic material the concept is clear that “The Kingdom of God is already here.” Some Kabbalistic material suggests that the “Messiah” of Christianity is an externalised myth of the “Messiah” energy which we can connect with, similar to the concepts of Higher Self or Holy Guardian Angel.

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