This stems from an earlier conversational topic here.
I so much appreciate the opportunities to research, study, and connect with similarly minded people on this forum. The internet has provided a wide field for sharing experiences and broadening my horizons. Many thanks, Lady Eva for those links in the earlier topic.
I commented in the above recent post that my opinion was that having certain knowledge in the realm of occult a good thing and in my paradigm, I conceptualize it as providing powertools to children.
Children, being those who simply lack the fundamental strength, discipline, knowledge, and ethics to properly operate those tools. In legal terms children are likened to the insane and slaves and considered incompetent to handle themselves; they must be cared for, nurtured, protected/shielded (often treated with compassion)…but are not self-governing in any way.
They lack negotiating skills, so they lie; they don’t understand their motives, cannot make proper long-term decisions, so they hurt themselves and others; they don’t know how to compile information, they absorb it all; they don’t know how to sort information, they throw out good and hold onto useless; they don’t know how to express their knowledge or desires and be understood properly, so request the wrong things, and create badly; they regularly experience massive emotional upheaval and base decision-making off of faulty thought and emotion rather than logic and reason.
This is why it has been/is generally acceptable to lie to slaves, children, the insane (mentally incompetent); they cannot handle the truth; they do not in actuality want the truth.
Maybe, my vessel is more cynical, but I don’t know about commercial slavery being a totally unchosen thing for an adult human despite conditioning. I’ve very limited experience with life after all, not even half a century’s worth, in fact. There is a colossal amount to learn.
But, it certainly seems to me that those who decide that they can handle the truth, or rather that they WILL handle the truth whatever it is, that they see through the lies, do begin to search it out on an individual basis and in a very painful manner. I suppose, that because I see life as pain to greater or lesser degrees, and see human reactions and interactions as either more or less adept ways of mitigating it, I’ve assumed that painfully striving, seeking, digging is the best way to learn. Perhaps I’m incorrect; maybe it only the best way for my vessel to learn at this particular time/space.
This is the delightful essay referenced by Lady Eva and written by Timothy:
Practice, not Intellect
I find this an interesting concept, and likely I am misunderstanding the fullness of thought here.
As someone who has both taught and performed music for years, I’ll use this as my example. An individual desires to learn to play the violin because he’s heard the fabulous sounds it makes, seen the reception received by the public when a performance goes over gloriously, felt some sort of connection/’rightness’ when lifting the instrument and placing bow to strings, desires to emulate, increase capacity, and use the instrument to change himself into someone better or different; rather than John Down the Street, he will be John, The Violinist Down the Street, or John, That World-Famous Violinist Down the Street (or John Who Plays for His Own Personal Satisfaction and Fuck the Rest of the Word).
So, how does John get there? Can he do it without increasing his intellect? Can he do it without using his intellect? Can he get very far on his road at all with a limited intellectual capacity?
Basing my opinions, of course, on my experience, I have simply not observed that practice continues, that practice improves, that skills are increased and practice refined, etc. devoid of an intellect directed precisely and accurately, an intellect targeted toward a goal, a mind driven ruthlessly at times, compassionately at times, but driven to increase and expand, to grow.
There are the rare individuals who through a greater connection with the subconscious, collective unconscious, divine, or past life experience, or inborn neural processes, could pick up a violin and begin playing to a degree, as there are individuals (virtuosos) who can do similar in nearly every field.
But, using and expanding the intellect is a thing that humans must do to improve. Apart from this, there is no practice, because there is no observable increase and without this, there is no attention granted because when a thing is practiced with rapt attention, a relationship develops between the operator and the operant. A Law/Contract/Relationship is created based on the intellectual, rational, and emotional, and physical pursuit of a goal.
No matter how much I adore violin playing, and pick up my bow, what if I cannot read music, and choose not to learn, because I decide that it doesn’t matter to my playing? Well, does it? What are my goals with my playing, then? What if I learn nothing about the fundamentals of violin creation; why it was designed as it was, the function of the neck, box, bow, strings? What if I never understand WHY I should tighten the strings sometimes, and never grasp why they occasionally break? What if I want to make the best music possible and so sit for hours hunched over, tightly grasping the instrument sawing at the strings, without ever reading about proper posture before ingraining a damaging practice into my vessel?
So, with magick? What if I never learn the basics of any natural sciences and choose to use what is stated to be another natural process? What if I have no idea what fundamental rules govern the universe and want to use another tool/process governed by those same rules? Is pure experimentation without increasing the intellect, using the intellect, having a focused and driven intellect even a possibility?
Optimization of Magickal Techniques
How would an individual optimize, then without the intellectual capacity to grasp the threads of what is attempting to be accomplished, that is, all of the ‘whys,’ all of the motives (motive: cause of motion) to understand the true direction of the psyche with precision and accuracy?
What if an individual wants the best method to curse another who has caused offense? Should the individual simply find a strong curse and begin practicing? Or should the person begin with stripping down intellectually what about the offense was painful? What was the act committed, why was it allowed to offend, was the level of offense taken appropriate, is there an overblown emotional response apart from ration/logic/thought that should/could be released or used, and if so, how?
All those thought processes are intellectual. What happens when an individual has unacknowledged guilt, or totally misunderstood the supposed douchebag’s intent in the first place…and then throws what could have been a powerful curse, but instead misfires, backfires, or simply fizzles out?
I’ve read many many posts on this forum from very disappointed people whose magick simply won’t work or won’t work properly; they throw up a poorly drawn picture of their issue and expect feedback solving the problem…MAGICK! Then, again, this could simply be symptomatic of learned helplessness. It seems like perhaps I assume that it’s a given that we unlearn this on our own painfully as adolescents and adults… when maybe the better answer is learning from day one as children that helplessness is undesirable and how to avoid it, becoming powerful adults.
The first demon I contacted was Lucifer. Desirous of the best results possible, I researched. I began with the areas most familiar to me (in my case scripture), took all the notes I could and expanded from there, reading about his history, his supposed preferences, his constituents, his mannerisms, his philosophies, his acts, etc., etc., etc. Then when meeting him, I asked questions (“Do you really prefer xxx?”), observed behavior, paid attention, and decided how to continue my relationship based on my research and experiential assessment.
When I go to court, I do similar; research the court system, the judges, the attorneys, prosecutor, every name available through the internet, or public interface at my disposal, and I use them all. Then, I ask questions, observe minutia, take notes, and predict where the conversation/relationship/pact/law is going.
In the creation of a contractual relationship with anyone, it is vital to understand that person/entity/being to the greatest degree. Imagine the power one wields in court if he is aware that the person to whom he speaks had 3 children, knows the ages, knows how long the judge has been married, knows his previous judgements, educational background, what he thinks/feels about divorces and child custody, if going into court with a case related? Imagine knowing intimately the facilitator of the relationship. What if I know how the strings on my violin are designed in accordance with the bow tension, so can create the optimal pitches at the optimal volume without breakage during performance?
What if, in court, I am able to congratulate the judge on his newly born child? What if I am able to direct the current of my working with immaculate precision because through study, I made bioscience a part of my healing practice in addition to reiki? Would that yield a better relationship, because more attention and comprehension (both vital facets of love) has been put into it?
How could one increase, expand, and improve upon their practice with targeted use of scientific method? That involves observation, (often meticulous note-taking,) forming of hypotheses and prediction, double-blind or otherwise measurable testing, modification, expansion on acquired results, more observation, etc. Scientific method is how we use the intellect to navigate the world rationally for the best long-term results rather than poorly designed/thought short-term results.
I see validity behind a university disallowing a student to take Chemistry 400 without the necessary Biology 101, Geology 200, etc., prerequisites. Is it elitist? Fuck yes, it is. But, I can comprehend its rational elitism (as opposed to monetary).
A student demonstrates ability and desire, and is granted the privilege of intellectual advancement. A child shows a parent that he is willing to put in the study and hours of practice, because he has created an emotional/intellectual/physical contractual relationship; he loves to play and is kicking ass… and the parent facilitates basketball lessons because a rational/logical prediction is that the child will continue with growth in that area and money/time is not being flushed down the toilet.
A child shows further that he is desirous of growth in that area, and the parent can choose to use greater means to facilitate that relationship.
It’s likely I’ll change my mind given enough counter experiences, but so far… the most mind-blowingly useful knowledge I’ve experienced has been while out of my vessel, and upon re-entry, it has been a devastating experience having either to leave the majority of knowledge behind because my Gwendolyn-mind simply couldn’t compass it, or to have it twisted about horribly as my exquisitely limited Gwendolyn-mind attempted to assimilate it.
In my paradigm, working with demons is using my own vessel to facilitate a relationship/contract/law for a protracted and highly desired goal (or even to experimentally manifest freely a gorgeously lovely trench coat that is perfect in every way). And because my vessel happens to be inadequate to the task at hand, it behooves me to use its intellectual capacity to its fullest, AND increase it to have the best results.
My vessel’s intellectual development allows/permits/facilitates my vessel’s practical development (also why I study molecular biology, nutrition, etc.). Every evocation convergence with Lucifer has pointed me in the direction of knowledge acquisition to better understand what I am doing/requesting/contracting.
Every interaction with the natural world that is important to comprehend stands out inexplicably and when I explore as prompted (rather than assuming I’m just another schizophrenic nut seeing weird patterns invisible to everyone else), I discover a connection with a pact/relationship that is vital to its completion in an efficient and timely manner. My vessel is my facilitator with every contractual relationship, that is: my vessel is my Judge of my entire corporeal experience. (There are so many splendid scriptures about judging and the human vessel’s crap job of doing so).
And the more effort I put into the pact, or conversation with the entity the more willing to assist, the entity becomes. Rather like Belial going from mocking at every interaction I initiate, to mockingly helpful at every interaction I initiate, to himself initiating mockingly helpful interactions (my Gwendolyn vessel can behave as a rather whiny entitled brat, hence all the mocking).
My overarching goals are not simply navigation after all. They are full systemic comprehension so that circumnavigation is readily possible. I want to know the laws/relationships, so that I can update/modify/renegotiate them at will for the ultimately best results, which through intellectual and perceptual development will also change; best results today, perceived as a drop in the bucket of achievable results tomorrow. The better my vessel operates intellectually, spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc…well, the better I can align myself with a higher, lower, or different kind of power, be it demonic, angelic, christic, ancestral, elemental, necromantic, etc.
I think intellect is vital. Because without a vocabulary to comprehend myself, to conceptualize my desires, to see flaws in my reasoning, to express what I want to my constituents, I attain absolute horse shit; and that doesn’t mean ‘nothing;’ it means awful hideous perfect results that were unforeseen and unprepared for; the most painful and /or humiliating kinds of learning experiences.
It seems to me that the art of magick must be approached as science and of the intellect before it can be powerfully approached as art. Probably some correlation here to the witches’ pyramid, or elemental balance, or ten thousand hours etc., but I’m disinclined to delve into those angles.
This relates in large part to why I think Latin is so powerful in ritual (as well as a few other ancient languages). Naturally, this could be only my perspective as we, each of us, are totally unique vessels. Hence Azazel’s snappy rejoinder to E.A.s inquiry about the demonic hierarchy regarding only the operator and everything else in existence, another delightfully enlightening audio, for which I am grateful.
Nerd rant complete. Off to feed Gwendolyn vessel more probiotic organic dark chocolate.