Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Age and Occult

I used to joke that when New Agers progress after years and years they would find themselves reaching the stages that a serious magician begins at.

Based on some of the weird crap that happened to me on retreat I am starting to wonder if it is the other way around.

17 comments:

Frater POS said...

ROTFL...i love it when magick does that to me. The shifts in perspective are sweet.

lifencompass.com said...

VERY curious

Brother Christopher said...

what the previous commenter said. Look forward to some further explanation to this statement

The Scribbler said...

I third the motion.

Rufus Opus said...

:)

Jow said...

Fun! We went to a New Age shop a while ago while on a mission for tasty cupcakes. It was a bit of a shock to realize that the women in there were everything a person could want to be really: Happy, Kind, Financially Stable, Steady spiritual practice, and not groaning under the weight of some dark, gritty, film noir seriousness. They also had a dump truck load of compassion and understanding.

I suppose there is something to be said for the maturity of someone who can respond with love and light to everything; from a traffic jam to serious trauma.

petoskystone said...

nice to know that your vacation was an interesting one ;)

Lavanah said...

This made me smile.

Miss Sugar said...

Moar details, please!

Norma said...

This post made me happy and curious.

emv5 said...

i do hope you will share details...

Ananael Qaa said...

I suspect it's more a case of magical and mystical practices better preparing you for the spiritual contact and realization that can legitimately result from New Age methods.

Lots of practices New Agers teach can be pretty profound - just as one example, the "Law of Attraction" is pretty much how most intuitive magick works. The errors in treatments like "The Secret" lie with the assumptions that (1) the method is all-powerful and deterministic and (2) anyone can just do it automatically with little discipline or practice. As a result of these assumptions the distinction between fixing thoughts with intention and general positive thinking can be blurred or confused outright. This isn't a problem for an experienced magician who has already learned the difference firsthand.

At any rate, wherever you find them profound experiences are always welcome. Like most of the other commenters here I hope you'll be able to share more.

溫緯李娟王季 said...

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Christopher said...

I think that New Age processes are fundamentally magickal processes combined with a bit of comman sense psychology. The popular Law of Attraction stuff is, of course, one of several Hermetic Axioms and when that is combined with positive thinking processes you have something that can be pretty effective.

What New Age material suffers from is from shoddy metaphysics in that there is no consistant "Map" of the universe being used. Of course maps are relative insofar s they are subjective diagrams of objective non-physical or inner psycho-spiritual realities, but they do allow one to access different levels of consciousness or levels of reality. This access can become very consistant once you have a good operational rapport with your subconscious (ie. your whole consciousness knows exactly where you want to go and what you want to accomplish).

New Age maps are basically "planes or light and love" or some "beings of light and love" with some ascended masters and channelled entities thrown in. Generally, there is no grounding in a reliable map that one can reuse again and again. Magickal traditions have the benefit of syncretic, organic development over time. The maps and models of reality weren't created by pop spiritual gurus but by folks who "saw" those worlds and interacted with those beings.

Also, modern occultists often have some knowledge of depth psychology, comparative mythology, hypnosis (self or hetero) that leads to a depth of experience and understanding. New Agers sometimes have a knowledge of the New Thought Movement but that is about all. I have yet to meet a New Ager who has read Jung, Joseph Campbell or Michael Harner.

In my experience, New Age processes are superficially beneficial but don't tap into the deep unconscious the way magickal practices often can. Now, if a magickian approaches New Age tools and techniques as a magickian then, in my experience, these techniques can be an invaluable supplement to one's deeped magickal work.

My experience of New Age types (which I certainly once was) is that they are happy, largely well adjusted and psychologically healthy. Because New Age techniques are designed to get one to such places, I would deem them largely a success.

My exprience with occultists is largely we are not so happy (even avoiding happpiness as being Pollyana or "fluffy"), not so well adjusted (which is often a good thing) psychically healthy on a deeper, more self-aware level (more honestly in touch with the shadow, more accepting of themselves fully) and far, far more psycho-spiritually independent.

If we occultists/magicians could take what we have going right for ourselves as a group and would allow ourselves a bit more joy and gratitude and stop with the self-conscious attempts are being oh-so dark and deep we would be better off.

Christopher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Besom Buddy said...

In response to Christopher: I have read Jung, Michael Harner, Regardie, Sutin, Crowley, Joseph Campbell, etc. and I am a "new ager" in the eyes of some... yes, I even spent some time (as a non-member) at a Lodge...

Matt said...

In my experience, committed, serious New Age practitioners (stop laughing) are more likely then occultists to have demonstrable psychic abilities. Occultists, on the other hand, are more likely to throw good parties.