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Discussion Areas => Theories, Articles, and Philosophy => Topic started by: Mindlessinvalid on January 24, 2011, 08:59:09 AM

Title: AOS's Neither Neither Principle for Spiritual Alchemy
Post by: Mindlessinvalid on January 24, 2011, 08:59:09 AM
Austin Osman Spare is quite possibly the granddaddy of all Chaos Magick. AOS was an artist and mage who pioneered several methods of magick through his art and philosophy. The magickal method I will be focusing on in the course of this article is that of the Neither-Neither Principle. Essentially it's a method of undoing the chains and larvae that one has placed on themselves with a semi-advanced visual and verbal meditation. The chaos magick community has put out at least one book on the subject as a method of KCoHGA (Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel), and I myself have recently pulled myself out of a dark night of the soul with this technique. Suffice it to say, mastery of Neither Neither is the opus minor of Chaos Magick as an actual magickal path as opposed to Chaos Magick as a school of sorcery.

The basics are very simple, but grasping the basics and putting them to practice are much different, as certain ineffable elements are at play in neither neither. If one can't control internal energies with a high degree of precision, stop reading now as the unfolding article will not benefit you at the current time (or keep reading, I can't stop  you and this technique won't harm you).

Firstly you must realize that all mental, emotional, and spiritual larvae/chains/demons exist as energy on one or more of your energy bodies in multiple spheres. As above, so below.

The Neither Neither Principle is essentially neutralizing energetic phenomena in your energy bodies by affirming their existence, affirming the opposite of their existence, then denying both. This is difficult because as you mention the myriad energetic phenomena, you must feel them in their entirety.

"I am manic, I am Depressed, I am neither manic nor depressed."

So you must "feel" the energies responsible for mania, then "feel" the energies responsible for depression, the feel them both simultaneously and use them to neutralize each other.

It's wise to start with a list of traits to neutralize. The bigger they are, the better (and harder) they are to neutralize.

And Now, Upon Retrospect, I ask "Why?"

All the building of the body of light in the world will not suffice you if you cannot access it for being covered in energetic chains and larvae, being controlled by your inner demons, and a few negative attachments.

The Neither Neither principle is neither simply building the body of light, nor is it simply cleaning the energy body.

The worth of Neither Neither is in that while it DOES build up energy to some degree, and it DOES clean the energy body, it frees bound energies in your body to their natural raw state.

It is the LRPB of the Chaos Magick world. Though more than that, it also puts you at the center of your microcosm which can sometimes not be the case for people who are out of balance energetically (that is to say that an out of balance person is NOT at the center of their own microcosm).

By neutralizing the energetic impedances of your energy body, you are gaining system resources so to speak.

The benefits are varied and welcome for spiritual development.
Title: Re: AOS's Neither Neither Principle for Spiritual Alchemy
Post by: Wren on January 24, 2011, 02:33:13 PM
Spare rocks. He called himself a witch. I think he'd be amused mildly/profoundly upset at his bastard progeny and their inability to embrace honest to goodness creative chaos. That being said, Tiamat has sovereignty over chaos magic's foundation, as far as I am concerned. Have you read Mace's Stealing Fire from Heaven? It is supposed to be a Spare-centric look at magic and elucidation of the alphabet of desire and the like, but made more accessible than Spare ever dreamed of deigning to stoop. I've been holding off on buying it until I'm absolutely certain I can't get it through my library, but I'm definitely tilting that way.

Neti Neti is cool too.
Title: Re: AOS's Neither Neither Principle for Spiritual Alchemy
Post by: Searching on January 24, 2011, 04:53:36 PM
Neither-Neither - excerpted from Stealing the Fire from Heaven by Stephen Mace (which I would highly recommend for anyone interested in the further study of the field)

The Neither-Neither principle asserts that there is no truth anywhere that is not balanced by an equally true opposite somewhere, and there is only perspective and circumstance to deterimine which seems more true at any given time. to apply this principle to conjuring, wait until you are absolutely positive something is true, then search for its opposite*. When you find it, oppose it to your 'truth' and let them annihilate one another as well as they may. Any residue you should oppose to its opposite, and so on until your truth has been dismembered and the passion behind it converted into undirected energy - Free Belief. By applying Neither-Neither can gut the meaningless convictions that obsess us every day and use the power released to cause the changes we desire.

Once free belief has been generated the sorcerer must focus it into his desire without allowing desire itself to contaminate his thought. To accomplish this A.O. Spare made use of sigils - linear figures the sorcerer designs to represent his wishes. Sigils serve as ways for him to focus free belief into his desires without disturbing their unconscious sleep. By using free belief to burn a sigil into his imagination, the sorcerer pushes the power thorugh his deep psyche into the Mind of God, where it can spawn whatever inspiration or happenstance he might require.

But his sigil must be special; not just any design will do. It must be psychically meaningful even as it gives NO indication of the desire it represents, and so we may not use traditional symbolism. If, for example, a wizard used the astrological symbol of the sun to designate his desire for higher wages, it would be easy for his mind to follow a logical chain leading to thoughts of energy and gold, the substance and symbol of wealth. So we need a way to design sigils that look like nothing at all.

Spare offers us a method so simple it may even be perfect. The wizard simply writes his desire down in a concise sentence, eliminates the duplicate letters, and then uses those remaining to make a linear design. If, for example, he wanted to bring home a fatter paycheck, his sentence could read: "Let me earn more from Morten," Morten being the name of his employer. His sigil could look like this:

Once the wizard has designed his sigil, he must commit it to memory. It must be so firmly in place there that he can call it into his imagination whenever he has free belief available to charge it.

As soon as he is sure of his sigil's shape, the wizard must begin to keep both it and his desire out of his thought. He will simply not permit himself to consider them. In The Book of Pleasure Spare wrote that when a sigil pops into the sorcerer's normal thought-stream, he must deliberately push it out, forgetting it by an act of will. This activates it so it "dominates at the unconscious period, its form nourishes, allows it to become attached to the subconsciousness and become Organic." In this way his sigil is planted, ready to be watered with whatever free belief he can pour into it.

To perform this watering in actual practice, the wizard must enter into a state of vacuity, generate free belief, and focus it into concentrating on his sigil.

Vacuity is the state of no thought, a cleared space much like a banishing gives. Though he doesn't mention banishing in The Book of Pleasure, Spare does suggest that vacuity may be produced through long walks, tennis, alcohol, yoga mantras and postures, even playing solitaire - anything to keep the magician's conscious mind on hold so it won't foul his sigil. Also, I might add that strong passion turned to free belief often results in vacuity, simply because the free belief is so intense that it doesn't permit any coherent thoughts to remain in one's mind. In such cases it is imperative for the energy to be focused into a sigil, for otherwise it will decay, becoming food for the worst sort of mental beastie.

In the case of our wizard's job magic, he might find himself able to charge his sigil after his wife asks, "So when are you going to paint the house already?" for the fifteenth time. Full of resentment over her shrewish tone, he would switch off the baseball game and head for the garage, then recognize that his irritation was fit power to charge free belief. So as his ego ws deadened by the rasp of his scraper, he would consider his wife's abrasive manner. Once his irritation is fully developed, he would counter it by recalling that he had promised to paint the house, that he'd been putting it off since last fall, and that the work would only get sweatier as the summer got hotter. These contrary perspectives would largely cancel each other out, but there would be a residue: an annoyance toward the house needing painting at all. To this he would oppose the fact that everything decays, and if he wished to arrest the decay he had to provide effective protection. But this would leave him with the inevitability of decay itself, which is the basis for the Buddha's First Noble Truth - that All is Sorrow. He would destroy this mood by looking for spots of pleasure close at hand, gazing down at a fire-red tulip or up to the deep blue sky, perhaps even glimpsing a tiny seagull scudding by on the high breezes.

By this time our wizard's annoyance will have no rational basis and the energy he had generated by resenting his wife will exist only as an undifferentiated potency - free belief. He can focus this into his will for higher wages by closing his eyes, visualizing his sigil, and using his imagination to fill it with power. The sigil should burn bright under this stimulus, white-hot against the hazy background, until the free belief is gone and the original irritation nearly forgotten. Then the design will fade away and the wizard will turn it out of mind until a new source of free belief presents itself and he calls it up for recharging. He will continue to soak his free belief into his sigil until Morten gives him more overtime, increases responsibilities, or a chance to learn a higher paying job. Or perhaps the wizard will realize that the working must fail, in which case he will abandon the sigil and choose a different tack against his problem.

*1. The Neither-Neither works against all limitation, material objects as well as political opinions and emotions of the heart If your 'truth' is, for instance, the fact that your house exists, simply look ahead through the years, imagining its slow decay until it finally returns to the soil, even if it takes a glacier to grind it into it.
Title: Re: AOS's Neither Neither Principle for Spiritual Alchemy
Post by: Mindlessinvalid on January 25, 2011, 08:01:04 AM
The point of that quote, whether searching realizes this or not, is that neither neither works on freeing up energy by unifying one belief or force with it's opposite.
Title: Re: AOS's Neither Neither Principle for Spiritual Alchemy
Post by: NathanE on February 07, 2011, 11:07:41 AM
You seem to be good at finding nice tidbits of knowledge and like to share them. I would like to suggest you ask to have some of the articles submitted to be moved to the magic articles area.

Minor error fixing.
Title: Re: AOS's Neither Neither Principle for Spiritual Alchemy
Post by: Mindlessinvalid on February 07, 2011, 04:10:16 PM
How would I go about making that request? I like the idea of having two of the articles I wrote put into the magick articles section.

This one and the Gnosis one.
Title: Re: AOS's Neither Neither Principle for Spiritual Alchemy
Post by: Draconic Feathers on October 08, 2011, 05:04:02 PM
Wow. Haven't been by here in a bit...surprised and glad to see some real magickal discussion here and not the same recycled froo-froo pompous robe stuff of the storm of theurgy that took the boards...(this site has always had some "new topic" come and take it over by fanatic storm...was psionics first). Also surprised to not see people coming in saying Spare was evil or something...that said: Also wow. I never really gave myself time to delve deeply into Spare except through his artwork and its energy, but that's interesting...Crowley introduces Neither-Neither in the beginning of his Book of Thoth, except through qabbala praxis...though his aim was sincerely Hermetic, I feel. Anyway, it's there and he does it and I remember first coming across was also emphasized later on in his essay on the Adjustment card (aka Justice)...which is also interesting cause we're in Libra now and Saturn's exalted in it, swinging the scales around with the power of time and infrastructure...and I come here via a google search (this topic's close to the top) :P

Also, great job making the clarification there, between Chaos Magick as a path and not just wanton sorcery
Title: Re: AOS's Neither Neither Principle for Spiritual Alchemy
Post by: Mindlessinvalid on October 09, 2011, 10:59:22 AM
I still need to request that this gets moved to the articles page.

This and my gnosis article.
Title: Re: AOS's Neither Neither Principle for Spiritual Alchemy
Post by: Frater Sisyphus on June 25, 2018, 05:02:38 PM
Spare is very much a big inspiration to me, as a partial Chaos Magician (I don't believe in institutionalized magick, the scripted stuff), his work in areas shows clear influences of Taoism and Hinduism (which I identify with among others, I'm syncretic). Neither-Neither is a very helpful tool, the acknowledgement of 'As Above, So Below' can't go without stating.  :)