Sun Tzu and the Calling of the Spirits

Recently I’ve been mourning the passing of my cat and thinking how tough he was to go through life with certain “white cat” illnesses which I kept at bay for well over twelve years. Yesterday I was thinking about how animals adapt to their environments, particularly cats.

It’s no surprise to anyone that, of all the domestic animals in the world the cat has endured every know environmental condition and can create or re-create their own environments to suit their own needs.

Which brings me to that little book known as " The Art of War".

While pondering my mission to adequately perform any evocation of any spirit from any known grimoire, I was struck by the fact that most magicians that I have encountered had little if no idea about prior immersion into the spirit’s background in question. Most would simply state that they would go through all the requirements from their magickal system, following all the procedures very carefullly, and even one friend of mind actually drew the complete Goetic circle on canvas which took him over a month to complete.

All this in order to produce the result - a spirit.

Although the traditions of true Goetic evocation is an art form on its own, and these magicians will continue to pass on these valuable lessons to the next generation (if any will hold the flame of course), I was still contemplating the why and how of any evocation.

One principle stuck out - almost like a flash of artificial nirvana

A magician must not only immerse him/herself into the spirit in question but also “adapt” him/herself into the spirit 's own personality,environment, etc.

I am not referring to re-creating the spirits environment within your temple through colours and such, but through becoming the actual spirit you want to evoke.

There is much to be said about the process of immersing ones self into the world of any spiritual being. My magickal successes have always been attributed through the idea of viewing two opponents. On one side is one opponent who believes in “its” ideals" and the other who struggles through to break the barriers. This could be viewed as a game of chess where strategy and wit can either make or break a good game.

Adapting to your opponent can be viewed in many ways, but please do not think i see or believe that all the spirits I call forth are my “opponents” as I use this word solely to convey a thought/concept as best i can. All I am conveying is to re-think strategy prior to any evocation attempts.

In the art of war , Sun Tzu states:

“The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.”

I cannot make a better claim to what a true magician in this lifetime should be. Virtues are cornerstones of adepthood, no matter if its white or black.

“In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.”

The object of evocation is to “perform” and not “practice”. God knows i have practiced magickal rituals to last a thousand lifetimes.

"Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. (2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. (5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.

Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

The above needs no explanation.

I was also contemplating the idea behind the “assumption of a god-form” which would be an excellent way to connect with any being on a personal level prior to an evocation. If the Goetic spirits were gods in one culture then demons in another, then it would follow that assuming their “form” would also allow one to become that spirit in some mystical way.

To control the spirit you must become the spirit. At least this was in my mind a few days ago. Immersion is the prerequisite but to adapt unto a spiritual being’s world and soul would bring both of you together in a unique way.

I am thankful now that I have found EA Koetting’s Evoking Eternity book which reinforces the principle behind this little known concept.

Should anyone want to read the art of war online its free.

That was a great post concerning parallels…I first read The Art of War at 12 and many times since then…It is a priceless classic…A few other books I would advise others to read are The Prince by Machiavelli, The Tao Te Ching, The Kybalion, and a book called The Giver by Lois Lowry…You should be able to find these online for free…I went to post links but my phone deleted my entire post…

From the book.

"XIII. The Use of Spies

  1. Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.

  2. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits; it cannot be obtained inductively from experience, nor by any deductive calculation.

  3. Knowledge of the enemy’s dispositions can only be obtained from other men. "

That’s a nice blind right there. Every one of the great armies has psychic spies and solicit information for them on the enemy. I don’t think this is an invention of modern times, because if you go as far back as Babylon you can see ritual played a crucial role in war, particularly in the taking of a town.

But it all goes back to this I Guess…

“All warfare is based on deception.”

I always get the feeling when I read over this book like it always seems to touch upon something slightly spiritual, but nothing is ever spilled out and it goes right back to being a military strategy guide. It seems so regimented as a book of war, but I’ve pondered if some of the lines do indeed carry a much deeper meaning than what most people perceive.

It reminds me of many martial traditions of the orient that have claimed lineage to a patron demon or spiritual teacher. It makes me wonder if that’s where they went for their ideas on warfare, if not from spirit.

Best of Luck,
-Frater Apotheosis

To reference what Frater Apotheosis wrote: whether it is a blind or just a context-change, as the terms of interpretation and “reading between the lines” (assuming) vs actual intell… (and thus… yet most texts about it just write it as if it is straightfwd tactical pointers)

And in terms of this entire thread it may already be known the context, which English Language texts don’t seem to incorporate (espec the pop-lit ones), The Art of War, I Ching and Tao Te Ching are three core Taoist texts (where each sentence can have a chapter written about, or as a teacher I’ve learned from puts references in terms of “practice” energetic-meditative… in that case “each line can be considered a book title”) -thus lower-Taoism is the way of Wizards and Sorcerors while higher-Taoism is the way of Awakening… so in that context, the Art of War is inclusive (as well as being from a system that reasons if one is to do something, than do it- if one is to meditate than really meditate… if one is to go to war than decimate

(whether armies in battle, or cultural-competition… I think most can see that the majority of the text is more discussion/diplomacy ~changing the terms of what is being discussed, in a continuum with “steel-gauntlet within a satin glove” [to quote Ice-T “My Lethal weapon is my Mind”]

Excellent post S.V.E