Archive for the Occult Category

Forever real

Posted in Asceticism, Buddhism, love, Magick, martial arts, meditation, Mysticism, New Age Baloney, Occult, Religion, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2009 by wizardsmoke

What’s the best thing to do with your time? To become real. But what does that even mean?

Well, as my friend pointed out, it’s the process of making the story you tell yourself — the idealized you, a tangible reality, where there is no delay or separation between your perception of self and the objective self that interacts with the world around oneself. This is the real goal of studying and practicing magic, martial arts, or a religion. They all have different means of achieving this, stimulating different paths of awareness through the body or the mind, but they aim to get to this point. A crappy curriculum of path is one that does not actually have this in the syllabus.

But just because the aforementioned methods are ways of reaching this, they are no guarantee. Most folks practicing these things are floating around helplessly just like anyone doing anything in this world. Plus, what is the ultimate point of enlightenment, or total cessation of attachments and cravings? Well, there is no point in the tangible sense, because it is the place where points are dissolved entirely. And I think I heard Ajahn Brahm say, enlightenment is actually very boring.

When people create the causes for enlightenment, as they describe in Buddhism, by laying down good karma — a good rhythm, to attaining nirvana in this life or the next, they are effectively embedding the rhythm toward that experience or dissolution of enlightenment into the intrinsic fabric of their being and mental developments. Thus the desire becomes inherent to the self-clinging being taking birth and the enlightenment is no longer such a blatant desire. If the drive toward enlightenment is buried deeply enough and forgotten (made automatic), one begins to simply manifest it, now and forever. It will sneak up on you, create an innate moral quality, guide you from beyond your intellect.

Desire is blatant and therefore must be sublimated to the subconscious to really become effective in one’s life. If one can burn out the desire for enlightenment by going in the right direction towards that experience, they are creating good causes. They are pushing enlightenment into their mind until they manifest it fully. But it has to happen subtly — big enlightenment experiences are usually the stuff ambitious crackpots or intermediate students. You don’t go to heaven, you grow into heaven, to borrow a phrase from the old-school New-Ager, Edgar Cayce. Enlightenment comes to you throughout your whole life, like the expanding, full-on deafening roar of water crashing toward you through a tunnel. Every kind of understanding happens like this, until we’re floating in the water, which is our experience made reality.

In case you didn’t know already…

Posted in Magick, Mysticism, New Age Baloney, Occult, Ultimate Reality, Wizard Quotes with tags , , , on September 23, 2009 by wizardsmoke

“Magic is quite often mistaken for sorcery. At this point I shall briefly explain the difference between magic and sorcery. A true magician relies completely upon the universal laws; he knows their cause and effect and he works consciously with these powers, whereas the sorcerer avails himself of powers the origin of which he knows not at all, although he does know that this or that will occur when he sets this or that power into motion. But he has no idea as to any other context of these matters, because he lacks the knowledge of the universal laws. Even though he may have partial knowledge of one law or another, he does not know the analogous context of the universal laws, their effects, how they develop and how and where they prevail, because a sorcerer does not possess the necessary maturity.

In contrast, a true magician, one who does not want to descend to the level of a sorcerer, would never embark upon any endeavor until he thoroughly understands what he is doing. Even a sorcerer can make use of the secret sciences and do one thing or another with good or evil intentions. In this case, it is irrelevant whether he employs positive or negative powers, for it does not entitle him to consider himself a magician.

By way of contrast once again, a charlatan is a person who is trying to deceive other people, and therefore he cannot be considered either a magician or a sorcerer. In common parlance such a person would simply be called a fraud or a con man. Charlatans like to boast of their high magical knowledge, which of course they do not possess, and they like to veil themselves in mystery, but only to conceal their ignorance.

These are the people who are responsible for true magical knowledge being so distorted and disgraced. A true magician does not identify himself through mysterious behavior or external splendor; on the contrary, he is modest and he endeavors at all times to help humankind and to explain magical knowledge to mature human beings. In order not to disgrace this holy knowledge, it should be understandable that the magician will not entrust any of the Mysteries to an immature person. A true magician will never display his true magical knowledge by any external demeanor. A true magician cannot be distinguished from an average citizen, because he adapts to every person, to every occasion and to every situation. His magical authority is internal, and therefore it is not necessary for him to shine externally.”

Franz Bardon, intro to The Practice of Magical Evocation

Astral Adams

Posted in God(s), Magick, meditation, Mysticism, New Age Baloney, Occult, Paganism, Religion, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , on August 23, 2009 by wizardsmoke

I am as sick as you are of hearing “present moment awareness” paraded around as some tepid mantra. But the reason is that maintaining “present-moment awareness” leads to something deeper, where you’re perceiving the present moment before it physically happens — before it is reflected in the mind. Like, deep present awareness dissolves the sensory and physical boundaries of time-space perception.

The place where demons and other astral beings dwell is often in those gaps between our present-moment awareness. Every time we have a distraction or are manipulated by something, we become prey to outside entities or influences. When we project our own illusions or desires somewhere else, outside of the present moment, external forces can work their way through our actions and willpower. And many religions identify external beings and individuals which surround our sphere of existence.

But it seems when you achieve some sort of awareness and dissolution of the self, there is not that concrete division between oneself and others. However, “others” can still think there is such a thing, even though this unaware other is another reflection of the interconnected cosmic self. These kinds of avenues of perception can be of benefit in regards to knowing how things work in the astral (simply that deeper awareness is able to evade the chaotic attentions of malicious beings).

The big mystery to me, is how there are cosmic beings of all kinds (real or imaginary — it doesn’t matter what you think) but they’re all just the same material. They’re all another manifestation of the self. So even if your god of choice is real, it’s just another manifestation of the cosmic self that you are. Which makes me consider the veneration of divinities within a different light than mere subservience. We’re just praying to ourselves, no matter what (and yeah, I know monotheistic religions are supposed to bypass that, but I don’t buy it).

Yoshitoshi’s Personal Encounters with the Supernatural

Posted in academia, Occult, Storytelling, The Arts with tags , , , , , , , on March 18, 2009 by wizardsmoke

One of the most interesting (and last) ukiyo-e artists from the Edo period (1600-1867) of Japanese history, is Yoshitoshi. He’s actually pretty famous for his gory pictures (some of which are featured in recent books by Hatsumi) but these represent only a small fraction of his large, diverse catalog of paintings and prints.

Toward the end of his life, Kuniyoshi (Yoshitoshi’s teacher) was commissioned by the Okomoto family to paint a votive picture for the Sensou Temple in Edo. As his subject he chose the Hag of Adachigahara, an old woman who murdered her visitors to her lonely house on the moors. (Both Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi produced several designs of this memorably cruel figure.) A few weeks after the painting was dedicated, Kuniyoshi was persuaded to attend a play about the Hag, but became sick and turned back. Before he could reach home an earthquake struck Edo (the catastrophic Ansei earthquake of 1855), causing great damage and loss of life. Kuniyoshi was unhurt but badly shaken, and when he finally arrived home his household had given him up for lost. The Okomoto family were all killed in their house. Kuniyoshi was profoundly disturbed by the Okomotos’ fate and blamed it on bad luck associated with the Adachigahara story. Presumably the event reinforced any superstitious inclinations among the students living with Kuniyoshi, including Yoshitoshi, then an impressionable sixteen-year-old.

In 1871, Yoshitoshi traveled to Oiso, south of Tokyo, on a sketching trip with some of his students. On the way home they decided to spend the night at one of their favorite haunts in the lower-class pleasure quarters of Shinagawa. Yoshitoshi’s room was on the second floor; outside his door was a narrow staircase leading down to the main hall. When everyone had settled down for the night and the household was beginning to sleep, slow footsteps were heard climbing the ladder. One of the little kamurou, child attendants of the prostitutes, screamed. Yoshitoshi rushed to the head of the ladder and saw the figure of a pitifully thin woman. He backed away; she disappeared. The next day he learned that some years earlier a woman, trapped in her bitter life, had committed suicide in the room where he had stayed, and that many people who slept there saw her ghost. He later painted an image on silk of the apparition, who beckons to a customer in a parody of the agaru gesture of invitation (agaru means literally to ascend, and by extension to sleep with a prostitute). Less than fourty paintings by Yoshitoshi have survived, along with many forgeries; that three paintings, illustrated here, are of ghosts suggest the importance of the subject to Yoshitoshi. The incident in the brothel unsettled him and may have pushed him toward his temporary breakdown soon after.

–Stevenson, John. Yoshitoshi’s Strange Tales. Amsterdam: Hotei, 2005; (pp. 11-12).

Humanus Vampyrus

Posted in health, Magick, Mysticism, New Age Baloney, Occult, Reality Bites, society, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , on January 20, 2009 by wizardsmoke

I remember I asked one gongfu teacher if he found that, after becoming accomplished at Taijiquan, he still was preyed upon by socially manipulative people, energy vampires, and so forth. His answer was, “less and less”. This, keep in mind, was the same dude with the weird energy powers I described before. Not like he could heal illnesses, but hey — I’ve always found bodily tension comes right before the onset of viral illness or a weakening immune system.

But what the hell is up with “energy vampires”? Who are these people? What is their problem? Oprah throws this term around a lot — “energy vampires”. So it’s pop-culture; play along even if you deem it baloney, empiricists. The truth is, most people (especially genuine schizo-crazy people) don’t realize that they are totally draining and “malicious” presences. I’ve had friends (even still do) who are completely draining on every possible level — total black holes of emotion — who manipulate you completely if you don’t have “space” from which to recognize, dodge, or deal with their maneuvers.

Being draining is not the same thing as simply being angry, either. For instance, I’ve found a lot of manipulative people actually get there through seriously deep depressions — like almost catatonic-level mental obsession. People who are obsessed with the weird, disgusting, reactionary aspects of existence. Depression is not really the right word for it, but an overwhelming obsession, or psychosis, with experiencing the macabre, the diseased and destructive. Not that there’s anything specifically “bad” about it.

I was talking to a friend the other day, discussing the development of serial killers, sociopaths and psychopaths. He was positing that so many disturbed individuals are led to their sadistic actions because they cannot intimately relate to anyone else. They feel isolated environmentally, but also have great difficulty relating to other human beings, let alone animals and other creatures or beings.

Many of us feel this way at certain periods in our lives — for instance, during serious bouts of depression, or after certain events have taken place — usually tragedies, major life changes or serious disasters. But these mental periods can be reflected upon and later be useful learning experiences. Someone who undergoes mental illness can often do so because they have been stuck in these mindsets for extremely lengthy periods, until such lines of thinking become the default way such individuals relate to the world at large. The inability to feel for others or to relate to them or care for them seems like a very hellish existence.

I actually found in my younger days (as if I were so old!), before I had lots of magical mental energy to spare (as if I had any now!), I was almost more sensitive at perceiving the emotional or energetic nature of most people I was around. But, because I was drained and depressed by default, I was pretty quickly influenced by or privy to the presence of other people. Nowadays, I understand what my teacher was saying, because as one develops space and energy in the mind over a long period of time, one is aware of the influence of others without being manipulated by it or attaching to such activity.

Gematria: Spiritual Rubik’s Cube

Posted in Magick, Mysticism, Occult, Religion, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2009 by wizardsmoke

I’ve always admired the study of mathematics. It’s something I’ve never been very good at, but I understand the concepts behind it and I can see from experience how someone would be very good at it. Really skilled mathematicians can wield numbers in an almost intuitive fashion — they don’t need to rigorously think out equations and formulas. And as one delves deeper into math, various patterns appear, just as they do when one becomes deeply practiced in any thing.

This is pretty cool, no doubt. Math can be considered the most pure academic form of learning, but also one of the most useless, haha! No, really, I have a couple of friends who are math “experts”; studied the stuff in school. I love when they explain mathematical theory and physics to me, because the concepts alone are really cool to me, even if I can’t practice them myself.

On a related note — Kabbalistic Gematria practice is pretty crazy. Traditional Judaic Kabbalah initiation generally would take place for an individual in their middle ages, after years and years of Talmudic study. In other words, it was like an enlightening awareness to see the connection between the various branches of life experiences on the world tree and how they are interconnected systematically via numerical-alphabetic parallels and alignments.

The modern (magickal) notion that anyone can learn Kabbalah (“Qabbalah”) and gematria just for fun is pretty insane. I mean, sure, by all means people can study gematria if they want. I don’t mean to judge. I’ve looked into it myself. So let me say, man alive! That stuff will make your mind complicated like a rubik’s cube. Everytime I start reading through Crowley’s 777 it just makes me want to wash my hands; gotta wash my hands, wash ’em, wash ’em until they’re clean, wash ’em, wash ’em, gotta wash those hands!!! (it makes me OCD)

Uh, yeah. Though there are some less confusing books on the subject matter. I just don’t like to tackle such huge subjects when I’m already doing other crazy stuff on the side. So I am hesitant to say I will master kabbalic knowledge in this lifetime (oh, what? that doesn’t make ol’ smoke a traditional wizard?? yeah, right, pal!). I am pretty interested though, to see how someone who has deep meditation insights would also see connections in undergoing rigorous mathematical study. Would they be at all similar to the connections understood by adepts at studying the Kabbalah and gematria?

Though not a math genius by any stretch of the imagination, I did have a job in college where I managed books and prices in a book collector’s vast library. In just doing simple jobs like adding up prices and totaling values and appraising stuff, I started to see a bunch of neat patterns in how numbers add up. You know, the typical pseudo-mystical exponentially expanding insights into how everything repeats, “as above, so below” the old hermetic dictum.

I found it pretty cool, but it never made me really pursue any kind of gematria study or anything, even though magick has always been an interest of mine. The truth is, I don’t think I really want to do anything with those patterns. Sure, patterns are nice and make you feel special because you see them. But it doesn’t matter. I’d rather learn to move my energy through swords. Yeah!

Anyhow, no real point here. Numbers have cool patterns like anything else and you can learn to see them but ultimately don’t do anything with them. However, there are people who can. Just pick up some Franz Bardon some time, haha! I’m sure I’ll recant my horribly naive opinion at some point in the not-too-distant future, so watch for that.

Magical Musical Miasma

Posted in Mysticism, Occult, Philosophy, Poetry, Tantra, The Arts, Ultimate Reality, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2008 by wizardsmoke

As a serious initiate on the musical path, I use music to illustrate a lot of mystical/creative/magickal ideas analogously. You know, stuff they don’t teach you in music theory.

In a great Leonard Bernstein concert series back in the day, one he held for children in New York City (Radio City?) in the 1960s, the conductor demonstrated how the pop hooks of the Beatles song “Help!” were actually the same simplified chord progressions behind a small segment of an orchestral piece by Brahms. Not that I remember the name of the video or the Brahms piece, oh no! But Bernstein got his one moment of applause from the young audience when he transitioned into “Help!” on the piano.

But Bernstein was pointing out that what pop songs do (as opposed to orchestral pieces or other kinds of music) is drill a simple pop hook or melody into your head until it is jammed in there. A good pop song gets stuck in a person’s head, like a commercial slogan. Pop music is like good propaganda and is often utilized as such by businesses (and very poorly by political campaigns, har har).

Okay, that’s nice and obvious. What interests me, though, is how the energy or inspiration behind the original compositional idea is communicated when one repeats the melodic idea or “hook” in one’s own conscious mind. That is to say, the spirit of the song-writer can be moderately transmitted to the listener, particularly as one repeats the work or continuously surrounds oneself with the music. Angry music will transmit an angry flavor, sad music a melancholy sentiment, etc. It also comes down to the integrity and ability of the composer and performer, but the spirit of the original moment is captured in the music — like in any other thing they produce (writing, film, art, whatever). In fact, if I had one criticism of classical music, it is that sometimes the energy of the composer is hidden by the fact that they are not often performing the music!

So, the reason a pop hook is more “malicious” (or functions like brainwashing sorcery) is ‘coz when a person consciously retraces the steps of another individual’s spiritual or creative output, the listener/viewer begins to recreate that energy within their own mind. This is why religious mantras are useful — they function as ways of influencing the mind to take on a certain disposition. The more one repeats something, until it is second nature, it seeps into one’s psyche.

This seems to be how spells and magic work with verse and such things. By creating a poem that both appeals to the subconscious with veiled intentions and yet is simultaneously is “catchy” at face value, sticking in the mind for its clever phrasing, alliteration, or whatever. I feel like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, the Doors and a bunch of other hippies were trying to play with this stuff (musically, visually, lyrically) when they were young (and overrated — ahahaha!) but I don’t think this method can really do much for you unless you’re a real big deal in the underworld.

Furthermore, I think most people seem to not consciously be aware of why they like or dislike things, why they are attracted to some flavors of experience or energy, why some music is good or bad (there are 5 factors that make up musical potential in my system of reasoning), and so forth. But even if you can find the most profound, blissful music in all the cosmos, people still like the same things for different reasons. And have I not repeatedly said that all people have the same emotions and poetic sensibilities, but with different capacities? Weaker music can still evoke deep emotions from someone with a lower capacity for musical depth.

That’s enough for now. I was going to discuss hand seals, mudras and so forth but more pressing business awaits! Stay tuned.