Where are We on the Tree?

This is an excerpt from a facebook group where the topic came up “Where are we on the tree?”

I think very few people can [cross the abyss]. I think in our present age we hang out in Da’at. We have literally all the knowledge in the world at our fingertips but we have absolutely zero wisdom. In some ways we live in a bizarre universe where we have to first work back down the tree through kindness and severity and so on until we stop simply knowing about these things – passively observing them – and actually experiencing them. Once we understand those, we can finally enter malkuth and literally go outside and understand nature. The problem is we think we know everything and it makes us prone to extremism. Eventually we can sort of enter kether but most of us won’t ever have perfect understanding and wisdom.

What do you think?

Fork the Blog?

I’ve been considering forking the blog and starting another blog. There was a small but vocal minority of readers who were really pushing to keep the technology posts and the philosophical posts separate. I sort of mulled over the whole thing and then lump the problem of having another kid on top and the blog has become neglected. On one hand I think forking the blog might be a good thing because I can publish whatever I want on philosophy and magic and not offend the more conservative readers. On the third hand, the blog has never been about philosophy or technology exclusively and included things like brewing beer, working on the car and house, politics, TV, local food and parenting. It wouldn’t make much sense to have a blog per topic.

I’m sort of curious as to how people use this particular blog. WordPress is actually piss poor about telling you how people use things – I know the most popular post on this blog about PM Delivery Services nets the majority of it’s people who read it from google, but I only know that because they tell me that. If anyone has any particularly strong opinion, I would be interested in hearing it. You can also mail it to me, contact info is on the left hand side.

AE Waite’s “Ceremonial Magic”

The language alone is just fantastic, I’m hoping the rest of the book holds up:

Behind this Open Entrance to the Closed Palace of the King–which is so like the eye of the needle–there is the concealed tradition in and behind the mysticism of Christian Times. About this it is scarcely possible to speak here, and it will require some care not to confuse the image with which I have opened my statement. The Open Entrance of course leads to the Palace, but at a certain point there is found an exceedingly hidden postern and a path beyond, which is absolutely unattainable except through the lawful entrance, because, although the Kingdom of Heaven tolerates a certain quality of enlightened and loving violence, the sanctuary of all its sanctuaries responds only to the violence of that man who knows how to lay hands on himself, so that he may carry none of his extrinsics to the most intrinsecus place in all the world of God. This postern is hidden deeply on the deepest side of tradition, but by what can be traced concerning it, I think that there has been such a going to and fro upon the Ladder of Jacob that something more of the states which are not the term, but are perhaps penultimate thereto, has been brought back by those who have accomplished the next but one to all of the Great Work. I think further that they have gone so far that they have seen with their own eyes some intimacies of the term itself–being the state of those who go in and do not evermore come back.

These are aspects of the Secret Tradition in so far as it has declared itself on the side of God. It remains now to be said that there is a tradition à rebours, and though it may seem very hard to put it so roughly and frankly, I have not taken all the consciousness of the inward man for my province to smooth or reduce any of the distinctions between the loss and gain of the soul. The tradition a rebours is definitely and clearly that of miraculous power in the quest and attainment thereof. It is summarised by the ambition of the Magus in its contrast with the desire of the eyes and the hope which fills the heart of the true mystic. I am not intending to suggest that the Magus as such is of necessity at issue with the decalogue, or that he is under judgment by this sole standard, whether for vengeance or reward. As the position is capable of dogmatic statement, and as such is without any subjection to vicissitude, I will express it in dogma as follows: Whosoever goes inward to find anything but the Divine in his centre is working on the side of his own loss. As there is the height of Kether in Kabalism, so there is the abyss which is below Malkuth, and those who are seeking to exercise the powers of the soul apart from its graces are treading the downward path.

From the Book of Ceremonial Magic. This is one of the more annoying problems with Western (Occidental) thought – there’s really a golden thread in the religious text be it dealing with Sufi Islam or Abrahamic Judaism. In the west, of course, we worship money and consumption. We ignore the sublime and the inspired because we have access to every satisfaction. When we do that two things happen – we lose sight of what is in ourselves versus what is outside of ourselves and we can no longer experience exaltation. As a people, we have lost sight of the idea that every rainstorm is the Great Rite, and every loaf of bread to a starving child is nothing less than communion itself because it nourishes the body just as much as it encourages the soul to go on with life.

And what of the mysteries? How many churches teach esoteric Christianity? Has anyone studied Kabalah outside of the synagogue? Does Christ get mentioned in the mosque except as the scourge of the temple? (Seriously, post in the comments because I’m guessing even people who consider themselves “religious” and attend church weekly don’t study this stuff). Because we no longer dirty our hands in the business of living, we forget the divine inheritance. We, as people, have been given a terrible and divine responsibility: As above, so below. As without, so within. Do we sit here and let our lives pass us by or do we experience the world as it is and reflect on our experience?

Robert Rubin’s Defensive Occultism

Robert Rubin was kind enough in sending me an advanced copy of his book Defensive Occultism. It’s being self published through Lulu. Robert is a professional occult investigator in the Philippines and has contributed to Mysterium GMA. In America it’s roughly similar to what happens on Paranormal State with less Chip Coffey finding spirits of little boys everywhere. The episodes are a mix of tagalong and english so I really have no idea what’s going on.

The book itself starts out with a comprehensive who’s-who of the possible ailments. While in America we just have “ghosts”, Rubin’s book covers everything from maligned psychics to rogue occultists. While not everyone might agree on the classifications, the book itself is comprehensive and devotes enough time to each topic to cover it fully. The second part of the book covers briefly methods for identifying whats actually at work. This section sort of reads like a lot of DuQuette’s work where things are explained enough to get started but leaves enough room to fill in the details with your personal flare. The final part of the book is actually what you can do to protect yourself if you’re so inclined. People will recognize the LBRP here and be surprised at the inclusion of some voodoo sort of work. To Americans, this is going to be an interesting take on the culture combination.

If you’re interested in Ghost Hunters or Paranormal State in the American market but wish the programs had more depth to what actually goes on, this is the book for you.