Archive for Magick

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


Posted in Daoism, Feng Shui, Magick, New Age Baloney, Qi, Technology, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by wizardsmoke

Some people I know seem to think feng shui is bunk. They have a nice, vain, insecure little chortle to themselves about how obvious it is that feng shui (originally ancient Chinese burial practice) is complete bunk; something for dopey LARPers who don’t understand the brilliance of science and the difference between correlation and causation.

W. Smoke, Esq.’s flawless argument for how feng shui works is as follows:

(1) Everyone agrees that music can be an emotional catalyst — a conduit to emotional and psychological states of mind. Even people who don’t care much about music will agree — music makes movies, advertisements, plays, etc. much more manipulative and affecting. Music is a medium of illusion, but an obvious one, which can make it more potent, ironically. So, we can be affected by music.

(2) If music does this, so do all forms of art — especially visual art. Paintings by sorcerors and illusionists have distinct effects upon the mind and environmental perceptions (stare at Van Gogh for too long and you feel spaced or forgetful) ; macabre or horribly melancholy paintings do likewise. There are also uplifting paintings: great masterpieces of sculpture, Daoist and Buddhist calligraphy, pinnacle achievements of technical craftsmanship in oil painting or ukiyo-e prints. All art and legit creative expression colors our mind.

(3) Paintings and music are intrinsic portions of a man-made environment. Sinister paintings create a sinister environment. And sinister art is simply a certain arrangement of lines, melody/harmony, aesthetics, etc. So, one could simply create an environment with completely decrepit and queasy arrangement, and the environment would be totally draining on a level related to natural energy. All environments naturally betray creative color or energy.

Ah! But that’s the missing link here: energy, or specifically qi. Most people don’t believe in it, because it’s not some concrete stuff they can put into a cup. The irony is that people don’t give a shit about the things that they can see and touch. Most of us, anyway. Actually, this is the entire point of prayer in religion (particularly Judaism/Xtianity/Islam): to elevate one’s gracious awareness of the delicate importance of all things we take for granted, like food and water, friends and family, the internet, our precious blog audience, etc.

So, for people to be aware of qi, they have to be aware of really basic things in the first place. Even if people could “prove” the existence of qi and these kinds of things, it wouldn’t make much of a difference. What good are people who refuse to cultivate qi because some scientist didn’t prove it to them first? Does anyone prove a sex drive to other people before they feel sexual impulses?

My science is too tight!

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.

Zen Fiction

Posted in Buddhism, Christianity, Cults, Monasticism, Occult, Religion, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Ah, love or hate Brad Warner, the “reform” Zen master, I can give the man props for one primary element of his particular brand of Zen Buddhism: his denial of the existence of an ultimate being/teacher with superpowers. He routinely points out how there is no such thing as a religious superman or infallible leader. I think this is an idea that is overwhelmingly sparse in religion, even amongst Zen Buddhists.

A ha, of course there’s tons of stuff to disagree with Brad Warner about (his Zen Buddhism, like a lot of Zen Buddhism these days, seems watered down — but what do I know?). For example, he claims rebirth does not exist. Which is a major no-no with almost everyone else in Buddhism. And he writes for Suicide Girls, which is questionable, since SG has the potential of being a grimy business scheme.

Still, Brad was only a pretext to discussing religious infallibility, which he has conveniently written about on his most recent post. I know people are afraid of dismissing the idea of a superhuman. The problem is only when people fail to see how “super powers” are only the result of intense practice in any particular thing. It seems the “super” powers of realized minds are actually just the result of incredibly sensitive, mundane mental awareness. I do wish you could protect people from all cults by telling them no person is infallible, there is no superhuman state of existence, etc. But no, everything else sucks people in just as hard: sporting events, politics, romantic relationships, and so on. Still, if Brad is honest, I admire his intention to help people see cults for what they are.

I tend to see “magick” and the traditional occult sciences (astrology/divination, geomancy, Kabbalah, elemental magic) as having been misappropriated by “New Agers.” Most of these practices are considered bunk in the modern scientific world, but they hold esteem– at the very least– as cultural traditions which continue to operate, but as fringe novelty beliefs.

Some hermetic sciences are more like “internal sciences” or “theorems for experimentation with one’s inner mind.” And when people go mad in sorcery, it’s not all that different from a traditional religious teacher going nutso. Sorcerors, like all community leaders and organizers, often fall into the ideas of thinking they’re a god or an excessively powerful person. They think their ability to manipulate people is a sign of their intelligence (the basic tenet of Ayn Rand-ian “philosophy”).

But I think, without all the fancy esoteric dressing, the only honest “answer” to the average human’s need for salvation and deliverance from this world, is one which prescribes that the individual sit and only think of the present moment — the breath. It’s kinda hard to make a cult out of something so simple. Or is it?

Those things I’m wary of: certain kinds of Tibetan Buddhism; martial arts groups like the Bujinkan — I wonder if their dogmas aren’t just intentionally powerful illusions, meant to pull in initiates. Because this stuff totally happens in every religion in the world. So don’t you dare think you have the key while no one else does.

Are you there, God? It’s me, Wizard…

Posted in Christianity, God(s), Mysticism, Occult, Philosophy, Religion, Ultimate Reality, Uncategorized, World of Emotions with tags , , , on May 12, 2008 by wizardsmoke

So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb. –Dark Helmet, Space Balls

In Kentarou Miura’s Japanese manga, Berserk, one of the best scenes is one he didn’t even include when he initially wrote/illustrated it. It involves a character’s encounter with God and he (Miura) thought it was “too much, too early” for the Berserk audience.

The chapter eventually leaked online and I gobbled it up. In the short chapter, a character encounters God, and it turns out God is the idea of evil. Like a pure manifestation of desires. As this God explains it in the encounter, God didn’t always exist as this source of the universe, but was gradually created and heralded by human suffering. People needed a reason for things to be like they are; they needed something to blame their broken dreams and miseries and pleasures upon. And over time, this belief forged God as central to existence — the idea of all evil, the pure wellspring of desires. Although man made God, God became real and full of potency. By this account, when people pray for things to change or whatever, they are praying to this pure manifestation of desire which reacts by creating more causal chains of existence. In other words, Nietzsche and The Secret — together at last!

Wow-wee! That sure doesn’t fly alongside the typical belief structures of Judeo-Christianity/Islam! At least the pagan belief systems weren’t threatened by this ethically because their morality was not tied up in ideas of good and bad. For pagan beliefs it was often do whatever the gods ask, or channel/emanate the god of one’s own archetype irrespective of judgment. And in Buddhism and Hinduism, don’t we find gods who just think they’re the essence of the universe, but they’re really a temporal identity fluxuation too (albeit on the highest level possible)? Yeah… thus it strikes me that only the monotheists would the ones most threatened by, and most likely subject to, this “crazy” revelation found in Berserk.

Really, don’t you think a lot of misguided people actually end up duped into praying to the “devil”, or to the essence of desire and so forth? Man, I feel that energy when I’m in certain old churches, or encounter power-charged statues, battlegrounds and so forth. It’s not “evil” it’s just a deep manifestation of desires and hope — a lingering sensation of empathy for liars.

Does that make sense? The urge or yearning to believe in something compassionate and father-like which will make things right. You know how it is: you look at a politician or some horrifying FOX news political pundit. Sure, you want to believe they’re good people, but they’re clearly not. That empathy or desire to want to believe them is the equal reaction to them lying and trying to trick you. It’s the weak feeling that allows illusions to take place — the submission of will to another. Basically, you temporarily pity someone who is trying to scam you and they take full emotional advantage of you. That’s why I don’t trust emotions.

Salvation is not so much “salvation” (that easy, perfect, lazy and heavenly life everyone imagines) as it is a complete step off of the boat of life — a shove off of not just this mortal coil, but the coil of all conditioned existence. That’s scary enough as it is, going beyond human life. But even bleaker is if you’re a spiritual nihilist: you think some kind of peace beyond isn’t a possibility, that one has to assume that the meaning of life is made by whomever has the strongest powers of assertion and self-indulgence (and bullshitting). Whomever asserts themselves like a king in the astral or physical planes is correct and wise by virtue of their strength. That’s the occult path in a nutshell, methinks.

So why isn’t there some idea of good as Miura’s God of the cosmos? Well, “good” doesn’t really exist the way “evil” does. Meaning, it exists by it’s non-manifestation or something. Because, (remember Willie B!) desire or “evil is the active spring of energy.” That’s why the politics of restraint and peace are so much harder to stir up in a country versus the politics of war.

Everything in this world may be easily evoked and obtained through evil, which being contagious needs little evoking because everyone is relatable to it by their correlatives. –Austin Spare

“Good” or virtuous actions tend to avoid being noticed. That’s how it works in martial arts, too. The set up for techniques almost never involves starting a conflict, it’s very often receiving the conflict. Most modern “self-defense” martial arts require an outside set up or approach in order to function most effectively. That’s how Aikido, Budo Taijutsu, Taiji, white magick, etc. tend to function. That’s why a martial artist who goes around starting fights eventually gets their ass kicked, even if they’re really good. By attacking you give the other person a chance to react and a space in which to move outside of you. “Good” is made up of the stream of existence that evades or outlies the penetration of desires. This is a big subject, so I’ll talk about it s’more later.

The crux of my message? You might be interested in reading Berserk. Berserk talks about this kind of thing a lot, how people’s faith becomes trapped within worldly objects and so their beliefs become easily manipulated by whomever seizes it (a la the renaissance church and so forth). Muira’s stuff about the pope is so accurate it gives me goosebumps! Plus the whole thing is so violent and gory it’s a perilous journey for your soul. Enter at your own risk, wayfarer!