Thursday, December 4, 2008

Percival wanted not only the Grail, but the Quest as well...

Frater BH made a post today called Has Percival Made a Come Back? in which he ponders whether he is spending too much time on practical magick (thaumatrurgy) over spiritual Union (theurgy).  This is not the first time he has pondered this on his blog. 

I have struggled with the same issue myself. When I was five I had a vision that sparked my interest in mystecism. Later in life, while exploring various spiritual systems, I found practical magick and found that I had a talent for it. I see no reason for viewing them as separate things. Almost all great spiritual leaders performed actions that effected the world around them. Some of these actions were accomplished through magick, or supernatural means. 

I see practical magick as both a means for dealing with life to the point that we can focus our mind on spiritual illumination. Maslows pyramid teaches us that its hard to work on self actualization while our basic needs are in dissarray after all. Thaumaturgy is also the rays of light that reflect our illumination into the world. I have no interest in spiritual persuits that are divorced from the manifest world. 

While there is no inherent contradiction between Illumination and Sorcery, there is still the matter of striking a balance. I happen to know that our good Frater has been reading up on a bit of the Hoodoo of late, which while not devoid of spirit, is practiced more by people who rely on faith rather than a quest for gnosis as the cornerstone of their spiritual lives. Nothing wrong with that, but its not Frater BH's path, nor is it mine. 

I strongly suspect that his post is the result of a gentle nudging from his HGA to not stray to far from the path. I recognize this because I get those nudges all the time. I used to get them even when I would get caught up in Buddhist Lower Activity practices rather than the Pure search for enlightenment. 

Recently I have made some firm decisions about my activties as a Sorcerer vs those of a Mystic. I have some things I need to accomplish over the next few years and than I will retire from practical magick and devote myself fully to BEING. (ie: Gnosis is not enough. You must BE). These decisions have eased the burden of balance lately, but I have had trouble in the past keeping that balance, and so I sympathize. 

I only wish to point out to my freind, that he claims that he is : "a man without religion seeking the ultimate god, the ultimate unity." If this is ALL he is interested in or called to, than he is going about it in one of the worst possible ways. GD, Enochian, Hoodoo, etc aint gonna get you there in the fastest most efficient manner. You are in fact never very far from what you seek and if thats really all you are looking for than drop everything labeled "magick" which takes long and meandering routes back and forth along the paths, assidulously mapping them as you go, and take on something more direct like Zen, Dzogchen, or some other type of meditation. It will shoot you straight up the middle pillar. 

But I suspect that you are actually called to more than just seeking the ultimate God, the ultimate unity. I suspect that you are called to magick, and at least for a time, must do the balancing act between Sorcery and Illumination. 

Of course. I could be wrong. I talk out of my ass a lot. 


Ananael Qaa said...

I just posted a much shorter comment over on Frater BH's blog making a similar point about the balance between magick and mysticism (or sorcery and illumination, as you put it here). The one thing that I would add to your comments is that in my experience the "balancing act" isn't something that you ever get past - it seems integral to the path.

I have known a few magicians over the years who decided to give up on practical magick and focus on mystical attainment, and I can't think of one whose life improved or who seemed to develop any sort of expanded wisdom above and beyond the understanding they had when they were working magick. Most seemed to backslide, some pretty dramatically.

I'll freely admit to being pretty pro-thaumaturgy in my approach to the work, but I'm convinced that practical work is the reality check that mystics need from time to time.

Rufus Opus said...

I've got five big dollars that says in ten years you're still practicing sorcery or some sort of magical practice AND just "being." I personally "be" through my Work. That's how it is/AM for me. I couldn't agree more with you that if you want mystical unity and that's "ALL" (LOL), then it's a lot closer than we tend to think. Jesus said according to Thomas, the Kingdom of God is in the stones themselves, or something like that. It's AT HAND. When I read the Kingdom of Heaven is AT HAND, I always think of Ecclesiastes (shocking that a Taurus would think of the most pragmatic spiritual work ever written, except maybe The Prince) where it says "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."

Magicians tend to find magic AT HAND. And I also think magicians that abandon the Work just end up frustrated, like a carpenter who decides they can be as artistic humming.