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March 18, 2008, 07:04:42 PM
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Magic as a Divine Science
Evolution Towards a Complete Practice of Divinity

   
   Though without doubt there are some who would disagree, I have written comparatively objectively about the various principles of magic on both practical and theoretical levels for the members here at Veritas.  I have included only what idealistic morals or philosophies were necessary in most cases so as to allow for optimal progress in that field.  I say "optimal" here because when restricting myself to such forms of writing, verily all which I can do is try to optimize the productivity of the information that I can present.  The information itself is usually not ideal in its content, and so I work within the confines of the times.  When the plague of the intellectual and theoretical "direct magic" infested Veritas, I wrote in a way which allowed those who had stripped themselves of moral progress to identify on some level with the foundational principles of magic.  When armchair magicians and so-called "scientific rationality" infected the popular culture of the online energy community, and it became "in" to argue for the sake of arguing, then I removed emotional appeal and the likes from my writings.  When it was taboo to use the word "God," then I omitted discussion of divinity.  All in all I have stripped a beautiful tree of its fruits, its leaves, many of its limbs, and the majority of its bark, simply so that others would not take an axe to the trunk of the tree itself, and thereby remove its presence altogether. 

   Fortunately, having been around for eight years in this community, I have seen all of these fads come, and now most of them are all but gone.  Where there was once only "direct magic" for the preteens and young teenagers who were afraid to reveal their practices to their parents, there is now a significant percentage of people on Veritas who actually understand the ideas behind ritual work, and when or when not such things are appropriate, and why.  Where there was once mostly speculative theorizing from the coziness of one's armchair, there is now forming a bustling community of actual practicing aspirants who are really experiencing and validating the claims of magic for themselves every day.  Where before if I alone mentioned the word "God" I would inevitably have several hateful private messages and multiple debates awaiting me, I am now delighted by finding in my inbox messages from practicing aspirants every day who proclaim that they are discovering God in a practical manner, and are being filled with humble devotion to Him.  Such a change even allowed me to write three lectures on the Qabalah, a subject which would have otherwise been entirely too "religious" for most people only a few years ago. 

   Thus, real magic in this particular community is growing.  Veritas has become a beehive of aspirants using magic as the key to realizing the Kingdom of Heaven within themselves, and it is therefore producing the sweet honey of practical realizations for hopeful seekers.  It is my hope that in the near future this nectar shall begin to flow over into other magical communities also.  Thanks to the phenomenal and intelligently constructed advent of Kobok's "Dynamic Psi," even psionics has begun to take on a much needed spiritual face.  For sincere seekers, Veritas has certainly become the online community to be a part of.  I feel blessed every day for having been allowed to be a part of such a place.  In a world where just a century ago I probably could not have mustered one hundred students in a single lifetime without performing miracles in the  streets of major cities, I have now had several thousand readers and almost two hundred students, most of which was accomplished without having to leave my home.  Certainly an incredible community in an incredible modern world. 

   All of this being said, I have written a great number of articles for Veritas, and in truth, can only give out so much more information to people who I can not directly take under my guidance, and monitor step by step.  Thus, I probably only have a few more articles left in me that I can produce for Veritas.  I presently have four books planned for release in the next five years, and this being combined with written material for my personal students, I can no longer divert much of my time to writing productive articles.  This being the case, I feel that if I am to write any more articles for Veritas, I should not stay my hand by any means, but instead write about magic with the full sense of ideals and aims which it shall be my life's goal to spread.  To write about magic as I actually see it, and as I actually believe it should be seen by others, without heed of whatever intellectual trends are presently in the community.  Thus I desire to present magic in the form which I love it as, not because it may be more empirical, practical, or rational, but because it is to me a more sublime ideal.  In all of the articles I have written on magic, I only write about it as I actually view it in passing sentences or the slip of a few statements, leaving the heart of my teachings on magic to be known only by the handful of personal students I have acquired over the years.  Through the years and the articles it has been possible for most of my readers to comprehend the arms and legs, and perhaps even the brain, of my magic.  However, it has been almost impossible for them to see the heart unless they thoroughly studied my articles while maintaining a regular correspondence with me personally.  Thus, as my article-writing years come near their end here at Veritas (it required a great deal of effort for me to find the time to at least write this article), I thought it would be a good idea to focus on the heart for a change.  That said, let it be known that the vast majority of what I will say in this article, even if it is worded in a way which makes it appear to be a declaration of objective fact and truth, is really just a statement of how I perceive it should be, and not necessarily the only way in which it can be viewed.  I can say, however, that I honestly feel the most majestic state of being which magic can exist as shall be conveyed by such statements, and that if they are followed in a practical manner, then the student shall find an exhaustless fountain of bliss and love which will forever extinguish all sorrow in his life.  Let us now begin what is already shaping up to be a long article.




The Definition of Magic as a Divine Science

   Almost none of the popularly accepted definitions of magic are actually accurate in the face of what the supreme goal of magic is.  To say that magic is "change in conformity with the will" is to say that a hammer is a particularly shaped piece of hard material as opposed to a tool use for carpentry.  It is to give as broad and as useless a definition as possible, without giving any real substance to it, and without implying any practical use.  By that definition magic is, as Aleister Crowley said, simply any process by which will is used to create an eventual result, including but not limited to picking one's own nose.  This is hardly a useful definition, and is so broad as to be entirely pointless for someone who actually wants a definition they can gasp with their own hands.  For anyone seeking to extract the fruits from the tree of magic, this now common definition will never be sufficient. 

   What definition may we accept which shall align itself with both the ideal purpose and mechanisms of magic?  Let it be this:

Magic is the understanding of natural and divine laws, their realization and application, towards the accomplishment of total illumination and self realization. 

   Using this definition it becomes clear precisely what magic is, and in a single sentence, provides some insight into both its purpose and modus operandi.  This is a definition which can provide the student for which there is any hope of progress something to actually grab onto and pull himself towards; an ability which, as we shall discuss later, is imperative to true progress.  Such a definition allows magic to be seen as a divine science instead of a skeletal frame subject to the whims of whoever is holding it. 

   Now, there are those who, in what is usually a state of blatant denial or baseless criticism (some fetal desire to play "devil's advocate"), would argue that magic can not be considered a science.  I, in turn, argue that it can and it must.  The proper way to view magic is as a divine science, and so let us consider what both the terms "divine" and "science" here imply.

   Magic is "divine" because a great deal of its knowledge is usually preterhuman in origin, and because it deals essentially with spiritual laws that supercede the physical world.  So, in one sense, it is divine because it is not inherently physical.  In another sense, magic is divine because its highest fruits are only achievable by those who have sublimated their character into a noble and righteous status, and because its ultimate aim is the realization of God within the self. 

   Magic is a "science" because not any given or guessed process will lead a person to that intended goal.  Admittedly there are many paths up the mountain of attainment, but we must also admit that digging a hole in the ground at the base of that mountain is probably not the fastest way to ascend it.  Likewise if one does not have a compass and a map, he is far more likely to get lost in his trail, and to go in the wrong direction accidentally, the result being that the journey takes so long as to be impractical.  Fortunately for the people down at the base of the mountain, a number of people who have reached the top have decided to come back down and share how they arrived there.  The details of their journeys usually vary some, but the general templates of their accomplishments, as well as the end result, are always very similar in structure.  It is this structure which is the science, and not the exact tiny details.  So long as that structure, that essential template, is followed then success is almost entirely guaranteed.  If it is not followed, then from what I have seen of others, it seems to be very hard to climb this mountain.  Some good definitions of a science which are compatible with this view can be found in the American Heritage Dictionary:

-"The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena."

-"Methodological activity, discipline, or study"

-"An activity that appears to require study and method"

-"Knowledge, especially that gained through experience"

   From these generally accepted dictionary definitions, it seems fair to imply that something may be called a science when investigation, experimentation, and a consequent experience, has resulted in the establishment of a method which is intended to reproduce that experience.  This does not mean that the resulting method is the only method.  For example, I may start a fire using the tried-and-true scientific approach of a match and some kindling.  Because that method has been used and found to produce the end result of a fire, I may safely assume (though not with 100% certainty) that if I follow that method, then I should also be able to produce a fire under normal circumstances (dry kindling, open air, etc).  However, I may also produce a fire by rubbing two sticks together, or by using a magnifying glass, which are also methods which have been used and proven to often result in the creation of a fire.  All of these are therefore considered scientific approaches to starting a fire, according to the definitions we have seen of what makes something a science. 

   In a similar way there are several tried and proven methods of achieving the realization of the self, the training and conditioning of the astral and mental vehicles, the acquisition of magical abilities and magical faculties, and/or the expansion of one's sphere of spiritual influence.  Sometimes all of these processes are included together in a single "path," and sometimes they are not, but are instead pieced together.  However, just as throwing a bucket of water onto a pile of woods is not particularly likely to start a fire, there are many so-called approaches to magic which are very unlikely to result in significant attainment.  The popularity of such approaches has resulted in those systems being the most used, which has in turn resulted in many people becoming convinced that magic is not real.  It is the system which is to blame, and not magic.  People are throwing water onto wood and expecting a fire, and when the fire does not catch, they denounce the idea of fire altogether. 

   Magic as a divine science is therefore a spiritual system aimed at inner illumination and self realization, which uses certain exact methods to allow for methodical progress towards that end.


Self Realization as the Goal of Magic

   The end of any path which would propose to call itself a divine science must necessarily rest within self realization.  What, exactly, is self realization? 

   Self realization is the illumination of the consciousness by the light of Godhead, the latter being seated within the soul itself, and not wholly on some distant, unreachable throne.  The matrix of communication between one's normal consciousness and his soul consciousness is usually blocked out entirely by random subconscious impulses, servitude to the pleasures of the senses, negative memories, a swarm of thousands of little thoughts that seem to be constantly buzzing in most people's minds.  This in turn is connected to the internal flow of one's vital force, which has five forms and functions within the internal energy system of a human being.  The flow of the internal vital force, called prana, is intricately connected to the activities of the mind.  When one is controlled, the other is controlled also. 

   When the mind is fully controlled, it is called "silent."  When the prana is fully controlled, it is called "dead."  The silencing of the mind and the control of the prana can be achieved by many avenues, but the magician accomplishes this by thought control exercises, character sublimation, conquering the senses, the conditioning of the astral body, the conditioning of the mental body, the mastery of the vital force and the akasha, and the realization of the three main magical faculties.  We shall consider this all more in the next part of this article. 

   When all of this is accomplished, and both the mind and the prana are controlled, then one becomes established in his essential nature, which is unbounded consciousness.  The false sense of the ego is destroyed, and he realizes himself as part and parcel of the unlimited, undifferentiated divine consciousness.  This realization is called Samadhi, which itself has several levels of intensity and consistency.  At first Samadhi is realized only in deep meditation, as a sort of trance.  Later, Samadhi becomes constant. 

   By regularly diving into Samadhi, one is able to perforate his consciousness with the divine light of God within the soul.  This sublimates his consciousness, transmuting it into something purely divine.  The more time the consciousness is dipped into the eternal light, the more that light can shine through it.  With regular engagement in this exercise, the magician becomes capable of allowing divinity to shine constantly through his vessel, and he becomes a reflection of divinity itself.  This is called the completion of the transmutation from lead into gold by the alchemists, it was called the End of Understanding by the Chaldean theurgists, it is called the Elixer of Immortality by the Rosicrucians, and it is called Sahaja Samadhi by the yogi. 

   The magician who can plunge into Samadhi at will is constantly in communion with the God of the Universe, and is His beacon of light.  A magician shall use his magical training to be this beacon actively in the world, and to spread it to others through his operations.  Because he has trained and conditioned his mental and astral vehicles, he shall have full control of his magical abilities, and shall have precisely those powers which he selected, knowing how to use them to their fullest.  The meditative yogi, very often, will receives a number of magical powers during his training, but they are determined by grace and natural inclination.  The magician develops of the abilities which he can devote time to without detracting from the supreme path, so that he may be able to operate fully in all three worlds.  When such a magician is fully self realized, he is God on Earth.  There is nothing which is not possible to him.  If he so desired, the sun and moon would change there place just to please him.  "I am He," he proclaims with every breath.  "Chitanandarupam, Sivoham, Sivoham."  He is the knowledge and bliss of Shiva.  "Ehieh Asher Ehieh" vibrates off his aura in every direction. 

   In the world of magic, such a person is extremely rare.  In the world of yoga, there are several every century.  Why is this?  I have studied this in depth, and believe I may safely attribute it to several reasons: in the world of magic there is not much importance placed in disciplic succession, the selfish western mind is absolutely petrified of losing any of its ego, the average western mind is scared to death of admitting that someone is "holier" or "greater" than he is, and many magicians spend too much time cultivating power instead of evolution.  There are several other reasons which I shall enumerate in my first book, but these shall suffice for an evaluation.  For now, let us give a brief consideration as to why these few points would make such a large difference.

   In the western world, every person wants to think of themselves as the greatest of the great.  "Ambition" instead of "humble application" is one's personal motto.  Obviously there  are exceptions to this, but in my experiences, most people come into the path of magic seeking some manner of greatness somewhere in their lives.  They hope that magic can provide a kind of "shortcut."  Because of this drive for ambition, which the western mind is trained to believe is a good mindset, they are afraid to devote themselves to a true spiritual teacher.  To render one's self subservient to a teacher seems, to such people, to be embarrassing and emasculating.  They all want to seem "tough," they all want to seem "independent."  Somewhere deep down, they want to be that lone ranger which they heard stories of from old western tales.  Thus, they rarely stay with any teacher for any length of time, and even with they are with that teacher, do not open themselves up entirely to his mental and astral influences.  People try to tell me that this is not necessary.  I ask them why, then, we do not have more master adepts emerging from western magic?  They respond "We do, but they are hidden and quiet because of the Law of Silence."  I am on the other side of the Law of Silence, bound  by it in many cases myself, and privy to things which many others may never know, and I say that we do not see them because, largely, they are not there. 

   It is said in yoga that the recipe for self realization is partly one's own work, partly the grace of one's spiritual teacher, and partly the grace of God.  The average man today absolutely despises these ideas.  He says to himself, "I can do it alone, all by myself, entirely independent, without anyone's help!"  He sounds like a little child.  He associates humility with weakness, which is unfortunate, because humility is key to true spiritual evolution.  If more magicians understood the recipe for success in the same way that yoga does, perhaps there would be more realized adepts. 

   Because they are so afraid of seeking the total guidance of an enlightened individual, they are subject to great errors which a true teacher would spare them from.  "We need to learn from our mistakes, and we need to make our own mistakes, all on our own,  without anyone's help," they think to themselves in the back of their minds.  One can take that avenue if he desires, but it will take many lifetimes to reach illumination.  If it is appearing independent which is important to him, he may continue on in that mindset.  If however he yearns and thirsts for God, he shall make the smart decision of bypassing all of those errors under the guidance of a guru.  One of the reasons we do not have many true western adepts is because they are all still too busy making their own mistakes!

   As has already been touched on, the ideas of "I can do it all alone, I don't need someone's help, I am going to be great," all have something in common: "I."  The sense of I-ness is horribly flawed for most people, and out of a gross but entirely overpowering fear of death and the loss of individuality, they reject instantly the idea of the destruction of the ego.  The truth is that in the spiritual path towards God the ego is not destroyed.  It is simply relocated and corrected, because the ego of most people  is "broken" and in the wrong place.  The ego, the sense of I-ness, becomes less associated with the temporal world and the physical body, and becomes more associated with the soul.  As the consciousness begins to purify and be submersed into the soul consciousness, the ego naturally begins to be modified by the personality of the Soul instead of the personality of the brain.  The soul is usually centuries if not millenia old, and so naturally has acquired a different overall personality than the brain which is at best several decades old.  Likewise, the soul has within it the seed of Godhead, and with purification, that Godly light can shine through into its personality.  Thus, one's personality under goes certain changes which make it, naturally, more godly and righteous in nature. 

   Even still, people will be petrified of that change.  The real, eternal you does not have the relationships which you have developed.  A friendship you have had for a few years may be almost entirely meaningless to a soul which has had hundreds or thousands of friends, some friendships even spanning lifetimes.  A marriage you may value so much may not be as important to a God-seeking soul which has had many wives throughout various lifetimes.  Children you may love deeply now may likewise lose some prominence in your heart, slowly being replaced by a relentless love for God.  For people who can not accept at least the possibility of that sacrifice, then the true magic is beyond their grasp in this lifetime.  For those who can, they shall see the Kingdom of Heaven before this life ends, presuming they have a good teacher. 

   Closely connected to the sense of ambition and growth to the average man of the modern world is the sense of personal power.  This is perhaps one of the most damning qualities of the typical mind.  Even if they try to convince themselves that they are seeking God, it is often really only a mask which they are trying to use to hide their real aims from themselves.  Such people would not be telling themselves that they are seeking God if they did not think that it was necessary in order to achieve absolute power.  The universal irony of God's illusory drama is of course that those who seek total power will not achieve it, and that those who do not, shall.  However, this must be a heartfelt conviction and not a conscious affirmation.  The truly attained master adept may have many powers which seem phenomenal to the ambitious mind, but he would gladly sacrifice all of them in a moment if it was what pleased the Lord.  Indeed, there are many truly attained masters out there who have done that thing exactly, forsaking their ability to work their magic for any reason other than the glory of God and the fulfillment of His plans.  Such masters may find that they can slip out of their bodies very easily in order to give someone an astral initiation into the divine science, but that it may take hours of very intense concentration to achieve a simple astral projection for the sake of their own travels. 

   For this reason it is taught that the seeker of God should adamantly reject any powers which he begins to develop, so as to avoid their temptation altogether.  The magician has a slightly more difficult task before him, and as such, is often more susceptible to temptation: he consciously develops those powers, but then must have the moral nobility to know when to use them.  This is another excellent reason for a true spiritual teacher.  The fear of the scorn of one's guru will often be much greater than the love for power, and will stay the aspirant's hand until his character has developed enough to control such urges fully. 


The Anatomy of a Magician's Self Realization
   
   We shall now go back to the subject of what self realization is, this considering in particular depth what characterizes self realization, some of the things which are necessary for it, and some of its various levels of intensity.  We will also discuss how self realization is a different process for a magician than it is for a yogi. 

   The first two things necessary for self realization are righteous living and righteous devotion to God.  In yoga, these are called yama and niyama, and are the first two of the eight limbs of yoga (ashtanga yoga, also called raja yoga).  Through righteous living one begins to purify his character and sanctify his various vehicles.  The mental blocks in the passages of internal energy begin to clear themselves naturally.  Through righteous living, sins begin to be burnt away and karma slowly dissolves.  Only a mind which has been sanctified by righteous living and noble morality is capable of seeing God.  Righteous devotion to God is also necessary, for it brings the soul of the magician into the gravity circuit of God, which causes him to be brought ever closer to the Absolute.  The various rituals of holy religions cause both the mind and the astral vehicle to be purified, and can release one from karmic ties.  Someone who does these two things alone can achieve full spiritual liberation (liberation from sin, karma, and reincarnation), but it would take several lifetimes. 

   Once good moral character has begun to be established, the magician begins to learn how to control his mind.  At first he will spend only a few minutes trying to learn how to relax his mind, and thus release the congested thought-traffic which blocks out the influence of the soul.  Gradually the aspirant increases the amount of time during which his mind is relatively silent, until he can go into mental relaxation for half an hour without disturbance, and if he so pleased, an hour or more.  Simultaneous to this, he will learn how to discipline his body for meditation.  This means that he will be able to sit still in a single position for at least an hour without moving, itching, leaning, etc, with good posture and a relaxed mind. 

   When success has been had with learning how to relax the mind, he will move to learning how to concentrate the mind.  First the aspiring magician will learn how to concentrate on a single thought for a desired amount of time without distraction, and then he will apply visualization skills so as to be able to focus on any picture or picture combination with perfect concentration.  This will increase the power of imagination as well as his overall willpower and aptitude for concentration.  Only when he has learned how to relax and concentrate his mind entirely at will does actual meditation become possible for him. 

   Many people mistakingly say, "I will go and meditate."  This is a ridiculous notion for anyone who has not extensively trained their minds.  Meditation is essentially of two stages: the first is the withdrawal of the senses into one's self, and the second is the establishment of an unbroken flow of consciousness with the object or subject of meditation.  The aspirant will begin to slide into the withdrawal of the senses, called pratyahara, as his thought control abilities in relaxation and concentration increase.  One day he shall notice that his senses have turned inwards, that all things outside of himself seem nonexistent, and that he does not have a single desire to move, speak, or doing anything which validates the idea of a physical world.  Indeed, even his breathing will begin to stop for long periods of time without him even noticing.  The manipulation of the vital force both outwardly (as in vital force accumulations) and inwardly (as in pranayama) shall aid the coming of pratyahara. 

   When pratyahara can be maintained at will, and is put into practice regularly, the mind will gradually gain the ability to go into what may be called actual meditation: an unbroken flow of consciousness with an object or subject.  First he will often be instructed to begin with an object, such as a religious symbol or a godform.  With practice he will perfect his technique so that he becomes totally lost in the nature of that object.  As he advances he will be instructed in meditation on subjects of a gradually finer nature, until ultimately he can meditate upon the nature of God Himself.  When this technique is in turn perfected, and an unbroken flow of consciousness is established with God, then the magician's mind begins to dip into the first stage of Samadhi, which occurs as a sort of trance.  Once Samadhi can be achieved, it is engaged in for as long and as often as possible, so that the mind becomes more and more perforated by God's essence.

   During this line of development, the magician will devote careful attention to the development of his astral and mental vehicles.  This will allow the otherwise vehicle-imprisoned soul to express itself more thoroughly in this world by grading its powers through the shades of the mental and astral bodies.  This allows the magician to choose which powers he desires to cultivate in order to serve the world in his preferred ways.  It will also allow him to have total control over his astral body and his mental body, to be able to project either of those bodies at will, and many other powers which are usually skipped or ignored in the natural path of spiritual evolution.  Principle among these are the three faculties of truth: clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience, with which the magician trains his senses to cut through the illusory physical world and perceive the real spiritual foundations of all things.  Unless purposely and willingly developed, these three faculties do not usually automatically emerge during spiritual evolution, or if they do, only to some minor degree and not all three together.  Occasionally if one had achieved the faculty in a previous incarnation, it may naturally unfold as one advances. 

   One of the results of the training of the astral and mental bodies, and the honing of the astral and mental matrixes so that communication between the bodies is increased, is that the light of Godhood shines through even into the aura and the dense etheric self when the inner divinity is realized.  Thus, one becomes a God in action as well as in thought and heart.  The Lord can shine through such a person almost perfectly, so that he is a mirror of the supreme Deity.  This is the fifth stage of union between Shakti and Shiva, or what some call the Awakening of the Kundalini.  The first level of Kundalini awakening all sentient beings possess.  The second level is that which is possessed by geniuses.  The third level is what is commonly known as the awakening of the Kundalini by most people.  In the fourth level one becomes a true master.  When the fifth chamber of ascension is opened up, then the individual becomes an Avadhoot, or a man through whom God shines, and who is a reflection of God.  In the sixth stage of the Kundalini's presence, one is an Avatar, or an actual incarnation of an aspect of God.  The seventh stage  is altogether beyond possibility while still alive, for in it, one exists in a body of pure light. 

   A man who was not born an Avatar can not become one in that lifetime, but if he achieves Avadhoot consciousness, may incarnate in his next life as an Avatar.  An Avatar is a material incarnation of a personality of God, usually either of the Feminine or Masculine aspect, but sometimes as the electromagnetic "Son" personality. 


The Meaning of Spiritual Liberation

   I've mentioned by this point the term "liberation" a few times, called moksha in the Orient.  But what, exactly, is meant by liberation, why would someone want it, and how does it start?

   Liberation is tied inextricably to self realization.  It is a product of Samadhi, one could say.  When you have realized God on a personal and practical level, the liberation results.  To be liberated is to break the chains of reincarnation, which we are naturally bound to, by overcoming the sorrows of the world and conquering the illusion of Maya. 

   The reason why people reincarnate is because they are not yet perfect.  The notion that one can achieve God realization in a single life is absurd, as is the very idea that we only have a single life.  For a supposedly loving God to give you only one chance to get everything right is a self contradicting irony which should be totally rejected by someone who is seeking true spiritual enlightenment.  Instead, we all have many cycles of life and death which we undergo.  Because of the effects of this physical world upon the condition of the mind within the brain, we naturally forget the processes in between these two states, and are not naturally able to view them four dimensionally.  Thus a delusive idea is created that we are in our only lifetime, simply because this is the only one which we can remember.  But if memories are what decides reality, then are we to assume that the almost limitless number of things which occurred in your life but which your forgot about never actually happened?  If you were told to do something, but later forgot to do it, does it mean that you were never really told to do that thing at all, since your forgot it?  This is hardly the case, and as ridiculous as this notion is to a man of average knowledge, so equally ridiculous is the idea of a single lifetime to someone with any practical spiritual knowledge. 

   The truth is that we do not have a single life, but many lifetimes through which we have a very realistic opportunity to advance ourselves into more sublime beings.  In every life we are submersed in the woe and agony of this physical world, and the more lifetimes we spend suffering in it, the closer we come to one day waking up and thinking to ourselves, "there must be something else beyond this."  Eventually the pains of material attachment, sensory subservience, emotional imbalance, etc, lead us to strive for a higher state of existence.  Depending on the situations of one's life, this may occur quickly, or it may take many reincarnations to discover. 

   The situations of one's life are, incidentally, closely tied to karma.  Every desire, every sin, indeed everything which ties you to this world, leaves an impression upon the mental body.  The mental body is a thin overcoat surrounding the soul which survives the second death, and is withdrawn into the soul in between lifetimes.  When time for incarnation comes back around, the impressions left upon the mental body are instrumental in deciding what form and quality the astral and physical bodies shall be of.  Likewise, these subtle impressions shall dictate where that body is to be born, into what life circumstances, from what manner of parents, and many other things which determine in large the path of one's life.  Even things later on in life, such as an important relationship or a major injury, are decided before birth by these subtle scars upon the mental body.  They express themselves so that they may be ironed out and destroyed by the light of experience. 

   For example, let us say that in your prior life you were married to a woman who was taken away from you by some manner of uncontrollable act (at least uncontrollable for you).  For the rest of that life you had the subtle regret in your mind that you could not live out that life with that person, and raise a family with her.  In this incarnation it would be very likely that you would wind up dating and ultimately marrying the same soul who was in the body of that woman in an earlier life.  You two would live together for your life, have a family, and so by the fulfillment of that desire the mental impression would disappear.  This is one way by which those impressions can be overcome.  The other is by total renunciation of those desires altogether, usually upon the soul's discovery that they ultimately cause pain and suffering.

    Liberation is achieved when those mental impressions are totally destroyed, and the only thing left in the soul is a state of being within God's all-fulfilling embrace, wherein nothing is left wanting.  Then, and only then, is the individual capable of breaking the chain of reincarnation, in so far as it no longer being actually necessary.  Even should that be the case, there are still some particular masters who will willingly choose to continue reincarnating for the sake of aiding humanity in their evolution towards the same achievement.  Such masters are usually the enlightened teachers of the various ages, who almost without trying can not help but attract large numbers of disciples to themselves. 

   The magician who has mastered the divine and spiritual laws of the universe is above the phenomenon of the world.  He is beyond the touch of karma, because he is firmly rooted in the very source of all activities.  The cycle of reincarnation is broken for him, and when he incarnates from there on, it is only for the fulfillment of some divine mission. 


Triune Development Necessary to be a True Magician

   A  magician pays close attention to the development of his three vehicles which cloak the soul: his physical body, his astral body, and his mental body.  By developing them, he refines them to allow the soul to shine more accurately and more fully through them.  One could say that his motto is that if you are using a vehicle, it might as well be in good condition to get the most out of it.  He realizes fully that his astral body will mostly dissipate at death (a part is withdrawn into the mental body), and that ultimately even his mental body will dissipate when he reaches the highest levels of spiritual attainment, which can not be had while living.  However, he also understands that while he is in the world, those vehicles are necessary.  Therefore he will develop them for the sake of optimal efficiency in carrying out his work in the world.

   The classical depiction of the magician as an aged and withered old man must be done away with.  Too often does the hopeful aspirant lose all possibility of spiritual advancement in the pages of too many books.  Resolve thyself to practice!  Seek to read those books which your teacher has you read, and nothing else, but instead resolve to practice.  Do not let your physical body fall into neglect, either, just because you spend a great deal of time in study and meditation.  What good is a well trained astral body if the physical body which houses it does not live much longer?  What good can you do in the world if you pass from it all too early due to poor health?  Take care of yourself and sharpen your body as well as your mind and astral self.

   For the physical body, I am convinced that the two most prosperous routes of development are found in the martial arts and in the rigorous practice of hatha yoga asanas.  Both of them allow for overall body strengthening and the toning of the internal organs, thus greatly helping prevent many diseases which can prove fatal or at least crippling.  Both practices will also defeat early ossification, allowing the skeletal system to remain strong even into old age.  In the martial arts one learns how to coordinate his mental intent with his physical action, so that the body and the mind fall into sympathy with one another.  In hatha yoga, the mind pours into each muscle required for the asana, and the spine is toned and made flexible.  The entirety of one's youth really depends on the flexibility of his spine and the health of the nerves which come from it.  Whether both or practiced or even if only one or the other is practiced, martial arts training and hatha yoga will keep the body in a healthy condition.  Remember that large muscles and popping veins are not the signs of health; such people actually tend to have shorter lifespans.  The real image of health is a flexible spine, toned muscles, low body fat percentage, resistant internal organs, and healthy glands.  Aside from hatha yoga, the aspirant should at least incorporate a good stretching routine lasting no less than ten minutes every day. 

   For the astral body, its "stretching" is the accumulation of different kinds of polarized energies, such as the vital force and the four tattvas.  When the aspirant can control his mind and his emotions well, then it becomes safe to practice accumulation exercises.  They should not be practiced until thought control has been perfected, however, as a wandering mind during an accumulation exercise can be damaging to one's entire self.  Whatever you are thinking of while you are accumulating an energy is naturally impressed upon that particular energy, and then introduced to your system.  In the case of the vital force this is particularly true.  Thus if your mind wanders and for even a second you feel an emotion, then both the thought and the emotion become imprinted upon a part of your astral body, and therefore also your aura.  Over time this can cause great disruptions in your character, and therefore in your progress.  Many people, presuming themselves to be "above" beginning exercises, have ruined themselves entirely by practicing the accumulations too soon with a wandering mind. 

   The "muscle toning" of the astral body is the projection of those energies.  By accumulating and projecting the various magical energies, the astral body becomes more powerful in its ability to gather and then express those powers.  Someone who has perfected the projection of the magical energies will be very powerful, just as someone who regularly strengthens his muscles will naturally become very strong.  Through the practice of accumulating and projecting magical energies, the astral body is stretched and strengthened, making it a more suitable vehicle for the magician's present occupancy.  Just as you would not want to inhabit a weak physical body, neither should you be satisfied with a weak astral body. 

   The conditioning of the "internal organs, nerves, and glands" of the astral body is the manipulation of the internal prana within your own energy system.  I have practiced Chi Kung, Tai Chi, and pranayama, and it is my personal experience that pranayama is overall the most effective for this purpose (one's natural inclinations will likely change this).  Someone who practices regular pranayama will always have a healthy internal energy system, his energy channels will always be clean and strong, his nervous system will always be balanced and productive, and his mind will be calm and clear.  Through the continued practice of pranayama the skin becomes somewhat lustrous, almost as though it had a kind of feint glow to it, and the eyes become powerful in their gaze.  This is because regular pranayama increases the strength of the astral matrix, which connects the astral body to the physical body.  In so doing, the vibrance of the astral body begins to shine into the physical body as certain qualities.

   The mental body at first can not be worked upon.  As time progresses and the astral matrix becomes strong, the astral body vibrant, the physical body healthy, and the mind becomes calm, then the mental body can be directly interacted with.  During his practices the aspirant will learn how to withdraw his consciousness into his mental body, which will facilitate the withdrawal of the senses from the outer world, allowing for pratyahara quite automatically (the student should have already experienced pratyahara by this point).  Keeping his consciousness in the mental body will make it more elastic, and more resilient to various influences.  By learning how to cultivate the four qualities of will, intellect, feeling, and consciousness into his mental body he shall allow it to grow strong and effective.  During meditation he will begin to feel the mental body push forward into activity, and his character will begin to sublimate into something more harmonious with his soul. 
   
   The student of magic will eventually make it a point to learn how to accumulate the Akasha principle within himself.  When this happens, the Akasha travels through the prana in the blood (called the vyana) into the mental body via the mental matrix.  This naturally strengthens the mental matrix, which in truth communicates to all three vehicles.  Thus, by the Akasha accumulation, the communication of all three bodies begins to become harmonized.  By dipping his consciousness into the Akasha principle accumulated in his mental body on a regular basis, the aspirant begins to transmute his consciousness into something more divine.  The Akasha, one will discover through experience, is an expression of Brahman in the form of undifferentiated consciousness.  For this reason it is said that the Akasha can not really be accumulated, though we might use the term Akasha accumulation, on account that the Akasha itself is really a form of divine oneness in consciousness as opposed to being an actual substance.  Very deep states of meditation can be reached through meditation on the Akasha. 

   When all three bodies are "healthy" by their respective standards, and the astral and mental matrixes function fully, then the soul personality naturally begins to flow into the active consciousness of the individual, and the transformation into his divine self becomes very possible.  All which is left for the magician is to devote time to the evolution of his consciousness beyond the mental body and into his soul, where absolute stillness becomes experienced, and Samadhi ensues. 


Detachment, and Control Over the Senses

   With an understanding of what is really important, a manner of detachment ensues.  In a sense, as the magician advances he realizes that the reason this simple, illusory physical world tosses him to and fro is because he is holding on to the spokes of its quickly spinning wheel.  If he lets go of those spokes, then he becomes capable of actually sitting back and intelligently observing the entire wheel, for he is no longer caught up in its chaos.  Unfortunately the vast majority of his fellow brothers and sisters have become very use to the uncontrollable chaos of the wheel, and can not at all fathom that someone would not want to be spinning in it.  Thus they label the magician as apathetic, when in truth, he is simply being objective. 

   The biblical teaching of Jesus to build up your treasure in heaven was a very sound one, and phenomenally complimentary to the magician's path.  Likewise, the teaching that one should hate this world and love the divine world holds a great deal of merit to one who is seeking the Kingdom of God.  Looking at things from an intelligently objective point of view, if one desires to achieve something then he should consider emulating the people who also achieved it, and who became what he desires to become.  Thus if he desires to achieve liberation and enlightenment, he should examine the courses of action taken by those who have been successful in this undertaking.  In my own evaluations of this, it has become clear that almost all of them had a single thing in common: renunciation.  Almost all those who had sought and successfully achieved enlightenment had, at one point in time, renounced the world and its possessions.  This does not mean that they retired into the mountains and disappeared from the radar of mankind forever.  It simply means that they reprioritized their lifestyles.

   The inability to prioritize is one of the key reasons for individual failure, and if I have a student who is not booking success in his daily regime, it is usually because he is not able to properly prioritize.  Why?  In most cases it is because the student is still too attached to things that are conflictive in nature with this path.  Use simple logic:  If I desire to move ten feet in one direction, it will become much more difficult if I am chained to something that exists in the opposite direction.  You can not jump very high wearing fifty-pound shoes.  Total success in magic can only be had if you hunger and thirst for it, for as any starving and parched person knows, there is nothing more important than food or drink to someone who needs those two things to survive.  Just as a starving man would adore food, so must you adore God and the path towards Him. 

   It falls to reasoning, then, that if you desire to ascend spiritually into the kingdom of God, then you must detach yourself from whatever chains are holding you here in the kingdom of men.  It is fine for you to have a house, but if you could not burn it to the ground and walk away without any regret, then it is a chain attached to you.  It is fine to have a wife or a husband, but if that relationship would cause you to waver in your search for God, then it must ultimately be dissolved.  It is perfectly acceptable to be popular and to have many friends, presuming that you would be equally as happy should you suddenly find yourself unpopular and having absolutely no friends.  What this means is that true detachment does not need to occur on a physical level, for verily, we are not physical beings.  The man who has a house but is not attached to it has achieved the same thing as the man who altogether renounced living in a house and now resides in the woods in a tent.  The problem is that the man who still has the house is far more likely to tell himself that he could leave it without a problem, though in reality that would not be the case.  This is a matter that becomes different according to the natural inclinations of each and every aspirant.

   Perhaps the most important detachment you can have as a seeker of God is detachment from the need for sense-satisfaction.  When the senses are indulged in, then the mind can not be calm, nor can it be pure.  Every sense indulgence is a mental and spiritual affirmation of the lie that we are physical beings instead of spiritual beings, and therefore brings one further away from the light.  In the West, there are two primary indulgences which afflict the mind: lust and gluttony, or one could say sex and food.  Due to the luxury of almost limitless pornography being at the fingertips of virtually every single person partaking of western culture, the average western mind has fallen into a state of constant lusting and no control over the sexual urges.  When the sexual urges take over then mental power becomes converted into sexual power, and the nervous system is drained of its support.  With the mind in a weakened state, the individual becomes not much more than an animal, and will often do things which if examined logically would be very immoral.  It is not uncommon in this world now for a married man to masturbate while his wife is gone, or for teenagers to waste their virginity on people with filthy morals and meaningless short-term relationships.  All of them simply want that single desire to be satisfied.  The aspirant must cut out of his being the desire for sexual satisfaction if he intends to evolve his consciousness towards Deity.  For a male, two seminal discharges a month is a safe maximum, presuming that it occurs as an act of love in a meaningful relationship, with disregard for the consequent physical satisfaction.  For a husband, it is very admirable should he only lay with his wife for the sake of procreation, and at that, no more than once a year.  For a woman these same things apply, though sex does not damage a woman's astral system in the same way that it does a man's, and so becomes a moral issue as opposed to being an equally astro-physical issue. 

   Food is the next vice in line for most would-be seekers of this path.  Many people today eat whether they are hungry or not.  Even if they are hungry when they begin eating, they continue to eat long after they are stuffed.  Over eating results in obesity and various health problems if persisted in, but on a spiritual level, it distracts the mind and reaffirms that the human being is a physical being as opposed to a spiritual being, the former being an illusion and the latter being the truth.  The sense of taste should be brought under control.  The hopeful magician will not eat more than he knows he needs to, nor shall he eat things that particularly excite his senses.  Things such as garlic, onions, salt, peppers, chilies, and hot sauces should be avoided, as should consuming red meat.  If the aspirant can safely and healthily give up meat altogether, then it shall prove even more advantageous to his progress. 

   The things which are suitable for eating are vegetables, beans, sweet fruits, rice, bran, wheat, purified unsalted butter (ghee), honey, sugar, and all sweet tasting things in general.  For drink, he can have milk, water, fruit juice, and sugar water if he desires.  He should avoid soda in general, though having one every now and then is not destructive, and in regulated amounts can even be helpful.  He should avoid all manners of alcohol in general, though once again an occasional amount of liquor is not too destructive (beer should be avoided altogether) presuming that it is well controlled and full consciousness is maintained without disturbance.  Some liquor or wine on a semi-regular basis and in small quantities can help strengthen the liver.  If the aspirant can renounce alcohol altogether, then he shall be doing well. 

   
Religion as a Key and Frame of Reference

   The magician should not fear religion, but instead, he should understand its practical uses and utilize the various aids which it offers to the best of his ability.  In general, the God of the magician is an infinite, eternal Oneness existing as undifferentiated consciousness in its essence.  Anyone who has tried to meditate on this, however, shall have quickly discovered that the mind can not really grasp God when viewed through this light.  This is where religion steps in.

   Religion has served an excellent purpose in categorizing the otherwise unnamed forces of the spiritual universe into qualitative and quantitative forms.  In so doing, it allows the seeker of God to understand Him in a way that is most productive for that person's particular inclinations, or for that person's particular needs.  Fortunate are we, for God so loves us that He goes out of His way to appear to the various cultures of humanity in different forms so that each culture may understand Him.  The rough, disciplinary, wrathful God of the Torah was perfect for a semitic civilization which itself was very disciplinary, and so God appeared to the Jews in that form.  Because they could appreciate that kind of a God, this was the form which God took, so that they would draw to Him and live a moral life.  Had the same God-Personality appeared to the Hindus he would have been scorned by people who refused to worship a God which was still subject to earthly passions such as jealousy and anger.  Therefore, God appeared to the Hindu culture in the form of perfected saintlike gods who all played a particular part in the cosmic scheme, so that every Hindu could worship the aspect of God which they could most easily adore.  The Jews would not have been impressed by a forgiving Krsna and would have been frightened by the elephant-headed Ganesh, while the Hindus would have refused to worship a God who did not have as much control over himself as their own human saints did.  Likewise, when the Roman civilization penetrated the Jewish culture of Judea and the surrounding areas, it was necessary for a new face of God to emerge in the personality of Jesus Christ, preaching a more forgiving aspect of God than that area had previously been introduced to.  Thus, as we can see, God expresses His various personalities in the ways that are most appropriate for the evolution of each culture.  If the magician searches, he will likely find somewhere in the midst of it all an aspect of the Supreme God which he personally seeks true union with, and through that gate, he can experience the limitless and indescribable Absolute.  Having an image and a name, however, gives the magician a starting place and a handle to grip. 

   The personality of God chosen by the aspirant will differ according to his inner inclinations.  In my own case I am of a more disciplined, fatherlike nature, and so am more inclined to a father-aspect of God.  Likewise, I seek to be a fully attained magician and perfected being, so it would make sense to worship God in the form of the perfect mystic-magician.  The result is that Shiva is a suitable name for the aspect of God which I feel most drawn to, and Shiva's form is a suitable imagery to depict those qualities.  Thus, Shiva is the focal point of my meditations on the Divine, for I can not practically focus on something which is beyond knowledge and form, and so instead utilize a form and a name to focus my meditations.  For some people the corresponding figure may be the personality of God presented in Jesus Christ, or for others the personality presented in Brahma, or in Krsna, or in Buddha, or whatever the case may be.  The student should choose the aspect of God which he is most drawn to, and then seek direct experience of God using that particular gate, for it will be the easiest and most practical gate through which he can enter. 




   I can not devote any more of my time to writing this particular article, and so must bring it to a close if I am to release it in a timely manner.  As I noted in the beginning, I state many things in this article as though they are objective fact, but in truth it should be understood that these statements relate to magic as I believe it should be, and not necessarily what it must be.  In its purest, loftiest form, I believe that magic can be a total path of development and evolution for one who devotes himself to it.  However, I also believe that it has been greatly corrupted and stripped of its inherent transformational power by people who love this world more than anything else, and who above all, love themselves.  It has been stripped and beaten by people who would reduce it down to a tool instead of allowing it to be a full path.

   In my lifetime I believe there will be a strong movement to bring magic to a more noble state of being, and it is my hope that one day the word "magic" will imply a veritable path of evolution as opposed to a simple tool to be used however one sees fit.  Myself and others like me are entirely dedicated to this goal, and I believe that we can make this happen in the future. 

   

March 18, 2008, 10:07:14 PM
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Veos

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  Good article and well written as usual.
Soham Sivoham Aham Brahma Asmi Mahavakya
Suddha satchitananda purna parabrahma
Chidananda Rupa Sivoham Sivoham

March 18, 2008, 10:49:59 PM
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Hech

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I have no words but these.

March 18, 2008, 10:54:07 PM
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Trillis

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March 19, 2008, 06:32:31 AM
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Jesse9209

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Another good article. :)

I'm glad your writing as you feel your should.

I'm looking forward to reading your books, be sure to tell us when they come out. Your articles have been a blessing and helped me understand and learn so much, Thank you.

March 19, 2008, 08:00:54 AM
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AB

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Meep.

March 19, 2008, 08:59:59 AM
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Metatron

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This article was one of the greatest pieces of magical literature I have ever had the privilege of reading, it was quite touching and perhaps more so then normal because the thoughts expressed mirror my own of late, where the Western Mystery Tradition is concerned especially.

 Many Thanks to you Prophecy for your time and effort.
I am the rocks of the eternal shore, crash against me and be broken!

March 19, 2008, 11:33:06 AM
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Zake

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Your writing continues to amaze us, Prophecy.  This was perhaps your most beautiful article to date.
Act; for the universe will never forget your movement, nor will it ever forgive your stillness.

March 20, 2008, 08:04:25 AM
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tazviona

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brilliant article...I like the definition of magic you have put forth in the article...

eargerly awaiting the publication of your books...

March 20, 2008, 01:11:25 PM
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Wushi

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Truly beautiful article Prophecy, out of all your articles this was probably the one which went the deepest (and believe me, they all went deep).
You give so much hope and joy for the Work, if I could cry I would.
Konx Om Pax

March 20, 2008, 01:33:05 PM
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Steve

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It's nice to see your own personal view untinted by temporary fads :)

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

March 22, 2008, 01:41:23 PM
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Wushi

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I was just wondering, which martial art do you find the most beneficial to aid in magical training?
Konx Om Pax

March 22, 2008, 03:44:13 PM
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Oriens Lvx Lucis

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March 23, 2008, 01:10:27 PM
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Prophecy

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I was just wondering, which martial art do you find the most beneficial to aid in magical training?

Any martial art will help, because all martial arts develop an alignment of the body with the mind and allow for the cultivation of mental discipline.  If I had to guess which ones might help most towards that goal, probably traditional Kung Fu and Japanese Aikido. 

March 23, 2008, 01:41:17 PM
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Wushi

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Thanks alot Prophecy, I will look into those
Konx Om Pax