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Author Topic: Magic and development  (Read 4887 times)
Ghost
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« on: April 05, 2002, 01:04:17 »

quote:

Ok I was reading a little spiritual development book by Paul Fenton-Smith titled A secret door to the universe. The topic of magic comes up in the book and this is what he has to say

"Those who study magic are seeking a short cut to enlightenment, when in reality there is no short cut."

Yes i agree that there is no short cut but I do not see magic as an attempt to find one. Yes the ultimate aim of most forms of higher magic especially cerimonial magic is in one way or another the great rite. But you have to ask yourself what is higher magic other than the symbolic change of your own mind and the melding of the ego with the subconscious mind. If mankind posses the power to do this than in my opinion it is a natural ability of man, hence what is wrong with using it as a tool to enlightenment.

Im curious as to how many people seeking spirtual development are involved in magical practice and what others opinions of the use of magic are. Im only 17 and I grow on the criticisms of intelligent others so please fill me in!

Regards to all

David

 



An interesting post.
It seems that this authour has, like many others, a pre-conceived idea as to what 'magic' is all about. This unfortunately, is a limited and narrow minded perspective, and is not uncommon.
To begin with, Magic is a horrible word. To the masses, it conjures up images of fantasy, wizards and witches, incantations and ceremonies. It attempts (poorly) to conceptualize a host of ideas and does its best to explain (in a vague and geralized fashion) that which is currently beyond our level of scientific understanding.
The truth is (my opinion), it is merely a path. Nothing more or less. To enlightenment? Sure. Maybe. That depends entirely on the one walking the path though....but what they don't tell you is that every path has many 'side roads' that you can chose to go down, and more often than not these side roads exact a toll.
Example: Cast a spell to get some money quick or rob a bank to get some money quick. Both might make you a little richer, faster, but in either case are you further down the road to 'spiritual enlightenment'? Nope. And then theres the karmic debt you've incurred for taking that little 'side trip'.
However, as with any so-called 'path', it cannot be understood by reading about it, or merely labelling it with a stupid catch-all-word (like magic)
It needs to be experienced. And, as with anything, the more you put into it, the more you will experience/learn/grow.
I am in agreement with the author that "there is no shortcut to enlightenment", but one only has to read through Franz Bardon's I.I.H. to realize that true magic is no 'shortcut', and is a lifelong (think about it....LIFELONG) process of continuous effort.
Lastly, don't bother 'growing on the criticisms of others'.....nobody on this board (myself included) can come close to giving you information that will be able to top your own personal experiences.....the experiences you make for yourself.
Whatever 'path' you take, (or decide to make on your own), the best advice I can give is for you to trust in yourself, and to go get your shoes dirty mate.  
Best regards
Ghost


 
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Fenris
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2002, 03:10:08 »

Ghost

It would seem as if my previous post I did not communicate what I was thinking clearly. And I obviously gave the reader the impression that I am strongly possitioned by the material I absorb.

Yes in my experience people of my age that are involved in 'magic' are perhaps misguided, have questionable motive and indeed have these preconceived images of what they are involved in. Fuled by the same social images that have lasted centuries and the entertainment industry.

I am not driven by the superficial or an image or obtaining a status. I am young and my knowledge obviously will not be on par with the older and more experienced people who walk related paths. Statements such as go get your shoes dirty mate and dirlling in that magic is a life long path only belittle me. You assume my level of commitment and study, the very fact that I am insulted stands as testimate to my passion for it.

It is not my intent for this post to be percieved as a strike back or aggresivness. Just to remind you that you should not assume someones level of understanding or commitment because they may be young.

My statement that I grow on the criticisms of others is another way of saying that others knowledge, feedback and advice will help me to learn more. This is not just me, this is the very reason that people read books and this forum exists. The spirtual evolution of both individuals and mankind would not get very far if everyone had to learn and obtain every bit of knowledge for themselves. I am not saying that its ok to walk in the shadows of others, we use the ideas of many people experiment with them and follow what feels right.

Im sure you probably did not mean to insult me, but you should see that young (in both age and knowledge)people like myself are the future. And should be nurtured not shruged off with the same cliches  you would say to a pesky dabbler.

My question was puerly to find out how many people who are aware that they are trying to evolve spiritually are involved in 'magic' or what are their opinions of forms of magic which are followed with this goal in mind.

 
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2002, 03:10:08 »

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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2002, 12:37:14 »

I used to do magick, but gave it up in favor of psi.  (I don't believe the two are compatible, for various reasons).  Then to, I'm not really interested in enlightenment.  No one I've ever met who claimed it seemed all that enlightened to me, and none of those I've met who seemed enlightened were trying for it.
I enjoy learning, and that, for me, is the reason I am here.  I'm not into trying to figure out what I already know...I want to learn new things.


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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2002, 12:48:41 »

Hey!
Firstly Fenris, nobody is trying to judge anyone else here, and it is all too easy to mis-interpret people, or make wrong assumptions about attitudes. But it is all based upon words and nothing else, so very easy to fly off at tangents. And if someone is actually trying to help, the best position they can do this from is one which caters for the level of knowledge of the receivor, so some assumptions must sometimes be made.

But anyway onto your question! The mystic  path and the magickal path both lead the same way, and spiritual development can be measured in steps of initiation which are the same for both paths (read Romero's article on the pulse, in the magick section, for more quality info). So yes you are right, there is nothing wrong with travelling down the magick path, but as ever a balance between magick and mysticism is best and quickest.
Personally if I see someone making a statement like that Paul Fenton-Smith bloke, I start getting very suspicions. Especially if the book is supposed to be greared towards spiritual development and hence a better understanding of the greater reality! To say everyone who studies magick is seeking a short cut to enlightenment, is an absolute statement, very wrong, and the sign of small mindedness IMO.
Personally, I am mostly the mystic sort, but do some magick, though I think I need to progress a little before I notice real changes.

Edited by - inguma on 05 April 2002  15:50:27
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2002, 21:01:50 »

Fenris,

  I would agree with the majority of the people who have posted that the word 'magic' or to a lesser extent 'magick' are well...misnomers.  The popular conception of magic is well, not very practical for those who lack any sort of ability (eg Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Craft, Charmed,...need I go on?) in directly controlling the energy around them.  And if people tell you magic/k is not used for personal gain and that 'supernatural' things are not feasible well laugh in their face.  Magic/k originated from the need to achieve personal ends, and just because they've never seen any sort of ability (fire, telekinesis, etc) does not necessarily imply it cannot be achieved...^_^.  As for the path to 'enlightenment' *hits head* well there are a number of philosophies, religions, sects, books, etc. yadda yadda that pimp out their "path", so ultimately it comes down to you and what feels right.  Be open to change.  As for 'magick' and 'enlightenment' working together...or on the same 'path'...well that really depends on your standings regarding right and wrong, if you will.  Magic/k primarly serves to manipulate energy/time strands (few actually possess the ability to effectively manipulate either BTW) and you of course must face the energy that closes that action (or circle if your speaking my lingo).  It's really up to you.  I think that energy/psi development are great TOOLS, but how you use them, like everything else in this wookaday world...is entirely up to you!  I dunno, live and experiment...than if you have any questions...feel free to post.  Just DO something about it.  ^_^

Later,
Jason

 
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2002, 21:01:50 »



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Ghost
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2002, 22:59:56 »

Hello David

quote:

You assume my level of commitment and study, the very fact that I am insulted stands as testimate to my passion for it.


I was assuming nothing about you. I was not trying to belittle you, nor was I questioning your passion or commitment.
The fact that you are insulted is not necessarily indicative of passion and zeal (though it might be part of the reason).
I suggest you look deeper and ask yourself why it is you feel this way.

quote:

Im sure you probably did not mean to insult me, but you should see that young (in both age and knowledge)people...


Ever have a ten year old tell you what you should be seeing or thinking? No offense, but thats about as much stock as I put into the above sentence.

quote:

....like myself are the future. And should be nurtured not shruged off with the same cliches  you would say to a pesky dabbler.


Right....so because you are 'the future' (um....how old do you think I am btw?), I am supposed to nuture you.
Ok, no problem. Thats a quasi-logical argument.
But there is a fine line between nuturing and spoon feeding, so if you read my response again, carefully, from the point of view of a person who is trying to help, then maybe you will see it as just that....an attempt at nurturing.
If you're old enough to feed yourself though, there's no sense in asking to be fed, now is there?
And if the truth is a 'cliche' well......so be it.

quote:

I'm only 17 and I grow on the criticisms of intelligent others


You sure about that? Cause I'm smart and I'm gonna criticize.
The "I'm only 17" part is a shield that you sound like you are hiding behind. You are obviously quite intelligent and well-read David, (your last post regarding the Middle Pillar was stated very well, and dead-on in my opinion) so lets leave age out of it (it really isn't relevant) and discuss things out in the open, ego's aside, instead of playing the "I-know-what-I-know-now-lets-see-what-others-know" game. In doing that, you are belittling ME.

You asked for an opinion as to what use magic was as a course of spiritual development. I gave it, and it is now yours to either absorb or discard.
Posting an ammendum to your original question, propped up with alot self-indulgent babble that is completely irrelevant to the original topic makes me believe that you were looking for not only an opinion, but more precisely an entirely different answer, and one that directly corresponds with your own viewpoints.

I suggest that in the future you word your questions more carefully. I look forward to discussing the topic of magic with you.

Best Regards
Ghost









 
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Fenris
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2002, 09:23:33 »

Well I have certainly learned one thing for sure. This is that when asking for advice or peoples opinions on a skill or ability you get feedback which is more or less universal. Because the topic is something which can be experimented and proven. However asking about an ideologies or beliefs with the intent or learning is a little pointless. If you already have developed your own opinions and have knowledge of the topic then all you will receive is different interpretations of the topic. And with this particular topic especially no one opinion is any less relevant or necessarily accurate, including the person asking the question.

Thank you all for your feedback. You have indeed answered my question.

Ghost

Upon  self-examination of myself in regard to my motives of my original post I was not seeking either for people to agree or disagree. Being that like many I learn everything relating to this topic without the presence of like minded others. What this means is that I have no one to compare myself to in regard to where I am heading and hence my question was more to find out. No matter how sure you are of your path it is still comforting to know the positions of others.

In a sense I was exposing myself, and while I was prepared for opposing view points I misinterpreted your response as an attack on my views I have worked hard to form. The fact I felt I was exposing myself resulted in uncharacteristically vague language use, and also the use of my age as a ‘shield’. In fact I deliberately made myself sound less sure of the topic than I really am/was. Because of the misinterpretation of your post I responded in a way which upon reflection was rather childish. I am sure if we were talking person to person such a thing would not have happened. This is one of the draw backs of print communication. Hay maybe we should learn to use those little emotion faces! () Thank you for your responses and you are welcome to email me if you wish. I do fell I should apologise.

Regards to all

David


 
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Tom
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2002, 15:40:24 »

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there is a large section on the development of siddhis (accomplishments). These include telepathy, clairvoyance, astral travel, and more. The section ends by saying that the development of siddhis can lead to a strengthening of the ego and then interfere with seeking enlightenment. It is necessary to know about them because siddhis are unavoidable. Used correctly, siddhis can lead to the greatest siddhi of all, enlightenment. This is because magical abilities directly counter seeing things as ordinary and solid and unchanging. It is not good to take a definite, solid position on siddhis or anything else just based on opinions and thinking and reading.


 
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cainam_nazier
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2002, 17:52:05 »

Question.  Is not the general term "magic" the same as what we or most of us are working on anyway?
Don't be offened yet....Here is the spin.
Think...What is magic.  The ability to alter, affect, change, be aware of, (and so on) ones reality.  Is it not?Is not metaphysics, energy raising, astral project just a more current term for magic?  Terms given to the asme things by people with inate ability.  Magic and the crafts can be learned, taught, and so. I know that there are many levels of "magic users" leading up to the individual who creates or does by thought alone.  Is that not what we are all working on in some form or another.
Lets look closer at the ways of the spellcaster.  A beginer with no talent to begin with, but only the faith that it does work.  They have seen it, they know of it, and can feel that it works.  So they spend thier time learning the spells and practicing until they can do what it is they have seen.
Now average Joe Shmoe picks up the NEW system. And he learns that anyone can do this you need only to imagine.  With days or weeks he is using NEW like a pro.  Then finds, say, telekinesis, and figures that he learned new he can learn this.  Since the princibles are the same he applies himself learns to do it in the same amount of time that he learned new.

Both people can pick up a pencil with out touching it and with out physically saying any thing.  They are the same but learned in a different maner. One just does it and the other thinks of his spell.  The whole thing behind "magic" as I see it does the same thing as what most of us have learned, are learning, or can do.  It is mirly another maner in which to learn it.  They have both opened the channels in thier mind to lift the pencil.  One believes that it was a spell or "magic", and the other believes that it was his onw doing.  For some one who uses new, or any other energy system, or school of thought to say magic is bad,  is wrong. ONly in the hands of the wrong person.  And to say that energy manipulation is the only true way to go is also wrong. Magic, spells, and cerimonies are the same thing as Mr. Bruce's NEW system.  They are both capable of taking a normal, every day person, and gifting them with truely awsome abilities.  It is what you do with them that makes it bad, wrong, or what ever else you want to tag on it.  
Personally I would view magic as the long route.  Because at some point a person using magic would have to realize that it is not the magic, but it is themselves that is causeing the willed effect.




"Fear is the mind killer."


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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2002, 22:31:19 »

Hm, well, an airplane, a car, and a boat are all methods of travel, and can usually get you where you need to go, sometimes by similar routes.

But that doesn't mean they are the same!
Magick is different from psi in the mentality that it functions best with, in the types of energies used, and the way the energies are applied.  Yes, the end result can quite often be the same, but that does not make the methods the same, nor interchangeable.


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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2002, 04:28:55 »

Greetings all!

Some very interesting points have been made. The basic broad definition of magic is the ability to create change. This is far too broad. As ghost originally pointed out by saying magic is an ugly word. Perhaps not ugly because of social perceptions but rather just because of the lack of clear boundaries of what it is. You can easily say something like ‘I’m a tarot reader’ and it can only be interpreted in one way. But if you say ‘I practice magic’ it can be interpreted in so many ways. You may say you practice magic because you celebrate the wiccan sabbats. Or because you study the lessor key of Solomon to invoke and control demons. The difference is obviously a broad one. There is just so much which to myself and other members here which we accept as a norm, but the rest of society is ignorant of and just dubs paranormal, psychic or weird. So I guess it becomes necessary to really specify what form of magic you reffer to.  

Cainam_nazier raises a very good point. People who practice forms of energy work are manipulating the very same energies that others and myself raise and use in circle. One could interpret projection as magic. Also as you say someone who casts a spell may see its success as being attributed to ‘magic’, while someone who works with their energy will credit themselves. But the lines are blurred when considering ceremonial and forms of ‘higher’ magic where the practitioner undergoes an intensive change to there self image and psychology to join their ego mind with the subconscious and to learn to question the developed standards and limits of the super ego. Basically to develop the mind to its potential and achieving the same view of self-power possessed by the energy worker. Perhaps there is someone who can explain better what Im getting at. With this in mind yes indeed the ‘magic’ path may be the longer one.

As Tom pointed out problems with the ego (in an egotistical sense affecting the ego mind not just broadly the ego mind) and magic. This is very true and a major and almost seemingly unavoidable part of this type of magic work. This must be detrimental in a sense for sure. It’s another ideology again but if you ever visit a site dedicated to chaos magic (whish is not necessarily ‘BAD’ like you would first think, but usually is) you will read some of the most egotistical and downright scary things. Scary if you acknowledge that they have power. They argue that having a big ego comes hand in hand with confidence and makes you more likely to achieve power and success. Read some of their writing and see the side effect. Here is a link to a chaos community if you are curious of how far an ego can go!

http://communities.msn.com/OrderoftheDarkTemplars

Winged Wolf I must admit that I know very little about what you mean with psi in regard to mentality, use and pretty much what it is. I am very very interested could you please explain!

Regards to all David
   


 
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2002, 07:43:03 »

Winged_Wolf.

Agreed. They are different. Nor or they interchagable because of the beliefs that are involved. But I do think that in the most basic aspects they are the same.  Its is just a different path.  It is much like religion in most respects.  Most people of faith will tell you that thier way is the only way and all others are false.  These tending to be the fanatical.  But in all actuality almost, key word, every religion is designed to teach a person the basic rules of existance.  Don't kill, lie, cheat, steal, and so on.  
I do not mean to offend by this next comment.  It is only how I see it.  Nothing more, nothing less.  And to put your minds at ease.  I am but one person, my opinion means nothing.
To continue.  In any prectice the possiblity for a person to become blinded by it is great.  They begin to think that thiers is the only path, the true path if you would.  That all others are bad and/or evil.  Wars have been started over such foolishness.
Things are bound together, regaurdless.  You may take a different path but your goal, quest, and trails are the same.  You must yourself the same kinds of questions.  And challenge your beliefs as you would with anything.




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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2002, 15:44:31 »

I like the tv show Charmed, they do a lot more then magic, they have abilities.

 
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2002, 18:38:21 »

Absolutely I wouldn't say that one is better than the other.  Psi is better for some applications, magick (of various types) for others.  I would say that, in the end, they are equal however.  I just think a person should PICK one, and stick with it.  Otherwise, they're not going to be any good at ANY of them, because they won't have time to learn to use any one of them effectively.
Magick IMO gives more impressive results, more quickly, but it's less reliable.  Psi takes longer to give impressive results, but it's highly reliable once you achieve them.

Example of mentality--ask a mage to change a traffic light from red to green.  He's most likely going to visualize the light being green, and aim that visualization at the light, to try to make reality conform with his inner view of it.
Ask a psi to change a traffic light, and he'll attempt to use psychokinesis or electrokinesis to manipulate the switch by aiming at the box on the corner, not the light.
Do you see the difference in mentality?
The above are the ideals, the mentalities which function best for magick or for psi, although not all persons may have the right mentality for what they're trying to do.  A lot of teaching psi has to do with teaching people how to think about it--especially if they come into it out of some other system--they have a lot to unlearn.


--Winged Wolf
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« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2002, 22:13:10 »

Err...Dog Faced Liar

I think you missed my point.  It is merely an example to show how our current culture and media portray any sort of 'mystical' ability.  Accurate or not.  

Jason

 
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2002, 15:51:07 »

Greetings everyone,

Many great posts here, thank you all for your insights.

I just wanted to make a few comments.

1) I would have to disagree with what a couple of people said "there is no short cut to enlightenment". I base my disagreement on the fact that several credible spiritual paths claim there is indeed a short cut. Look up written works by Paramahansa Yogananda (Kriya Yoga), Mouni Sadhu (The Direct Path), Franz Bardon (Hermetics) and I'm sure many others I have yet to read.

In essence though, I think it comes down to you directing all your energy toward the development of your spirit and putting aside most of the illusionary worldly aspects of life. As another reader pointed out, these works are for most people a LIFE LONG practice - and in saying that, if that's only how long it takes you, it would be an immense shortcut! If you believe in re-incarnation, some of the teachers I have mentioned above claim it can take hundreds/thousands of re-incarnations before achieving "enlightenment". If you can do it in 1 life-time, YOU ROCK! *grin*

So in conclusion the shortcut is that of uninterrupted pure focus and dedication.

In today's world where "being really busy doing many, many different things in a day" is looked upon as being a "good thing", it is no wonder people are so unfocused, so confused, so tired and so unenlightened (in the general sense of the word).

"He who tries to catch two hares at the same time, catches none".
"He who chooses to be a jack of all trades, shall be the master of none!".

2) To Fenris:

Some advice from personal experience, you may take it or you may leave it Smiley

a) NEVER, EVER underestimate what you are capable of!
b) Never criticize anyone, and first put your own house in order.
c) Choose your teachers wisely, the world of adults is filled with many children.

Given your apparent level of intellect, the shield of age is no longer.

May you find what you look for, smiley

antiloop

 
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Fenris
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2002, 03:02:21 »

Ok I was reading a little spiritual development book by Paul Fenton-Smith titled A secret door to the universe. The topic of magic comes up in the book and this is what he has to say

"Those who study magic are seeking a short cut to enlightenment, when in reality there is no short cut."

Yes i agree that there is no short cut but I do not see magic as an attempt to find one. Yes the ultimate aim of most forms of higher magic especially cerimonial magic is in one way or another the great rite. But you have to ask yourself what is higher magic other than the symbolic change of your own mind and the melding of the ego with the subconscious mind. If mankind posses the power to do this than in my opinion it is a natural ability of man, hence what is wrong with using it as a tool to enlightenment.

Im curious as to how many people seeking spirtual development are involved in magical practice and what others opinions of the use of magic are. Im only 17 and I grow on the criticisms of intelligent others so please fill me in!

Regards to all

David

 
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