The Deceitful Occult Ego

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It is indicative of the sorry state of most occult paths – and the people who follow them – that there is an abundance of dis-information, deceit, mystification and cultivation of egos.

Consider a typical case: a young man develops an interest in occult arts, and eagerly seeks information and contacts. Books and articles are read, contacts made, perhaps a group or three joined. Soon the young man is part of the ‘occult scene’ and one of three things usually happens: (1) he accepts some system or person, for awhile and tries to follow what is expected – then, after some ‘practical’ work, decides it is not right for him and moves on to another system or person; (2) after a little while he comes to believe he has attained his goal (and thus is an ‘adept’ or ‘Master’ or whatever) – usually after engaging in a few rituals and a lot of conversations and meetings with others; (3) after e short or intermediate period cultivating and fawning upon others (and thus assisting them in their endless campaigns to ’safeguard’ their own reputations by attempting to discredit others via rumours and so on) he establishes an identity for himself – exaggerating his own achievements, knowledge and contacts. In short, there is the perpetuation of old Aeon traits and values – contra what the occult in general is supposed to be achieving.

Two things are involved in this process: the desire (mostly unconscious and natural) for self-importance and self-delusion. Part of this self-delusion occurs because of the ‘intellectualisation of the occult’ – there is too much talk, too much acceptance of what others say (particularly about others) without first-hand knowledge, too much theory and too much ego-domination where ‘cleverness’ (particularly in words) is rated above practical experience. Too much concern for someone’s ‘past’.

The result is almost inevitable (and a waste of the potential of occultism) – the young man achieves no real progress, no real insight no real occult abilities. He has become infected with the ‘occult disease’. Instead of going within, into the wilderness, to lose all illusions and delusions and begin the hard and solitary path to Adeptship by practical work, there is the camaraderie of being ‘in the know’, of ‘being accepted’ or working (mostly in intellectual or pseudo-intellectual ways) in a certain ‘niche’ and thus becoming self-satisfied in a comfortable way. The occult thus becomes a ‘habit’ or an interest- a source of self-congratulation (perhaps even of material income) and a place where a ‘role’ is obtained and lived out. Some ‘practical’ work may be done – but the end result is the disposal occultists so familiar from the recent past and the present: the attender of meetings (or the more modern ’symposia’ or ‘conferences’), the seeker after and spreader of gossip and rumour, the pseudo-intellectual dilettante writing articles and books (and perhaps even editing a magazine) not from direct, personal experience but rather from hearsay, from self-opinion and from intellectual aridity and cleverness. Or, perhaps, the plagiarist enjoying a cliquey success and amateur adulation – or t he self-appointed ‘master/adept’ who may need the mystique of an organisation to mask his lack of character or charisma or who may be so self-deluded that he actually believes he has attained his goal. Then again, our young man may turn out to be one of those many failures who hang around the ‘occult scene’ – flitting from one group to another, one ‘master’ to another, and talking, worshipping (both ‘gods’ and ‘masters’) and talking again and accumulating a mass of useless information, ‘lore’ and ‘grades/degrees’.

Despite the interest in recent years in the techniques or ways of the occult – despite all the many words written and spoken – there has been little or no real achievement on the personal level: no increase in the very few adepts. Instead, almost the opposite has occurred – an increase in self-delusion, in glorifying the ego at the expense of gaining insight; a turning away from effective experience to the glorification of the vapid, the intellectual and the ‘non-directive’ sensation-seeking, temporary, ‘mind-expanding’ experience. In short, there has been less real self-discipline and more ego-biased stupidity and stimulation. Adeptship, and the wisdom that lies beyond that, is obtained by a slow, hard process which requires self-discipline and the self-overcoming of hardships. There is no path to it which is not without difficulties and which is not solitary – which does not require the discarding of all those props which most require to survive: a dogma, friends, ideas, companionship, lovers, material security, ‘masters’… There is no potion to obtain which when taken will suddenly give insight or wisdom, no sudden revelations – from god or mortal – which instil wisdom, no technique to be used a few times a week, no ritual or rituals which will give personality or character or self-development.

This process requires years & involves certain ways of living – & often a certain guidance. It requires also the desire to reach the goal, to not give in when things become difficult or confused – a tenacity to follow the chosen path to its ending.

The occult knowledge and insight of an individual is shown most of all by their bearing – by the way they relate to others. But this bearing is not the assumption of some ‘role’ (such as ‘master’ or ‘guru’ or whatever) – rather, it is genuine and spontaneous, full of individual character: neither affectation nor pretension. This is so because the knowledge and insight is within, acquired from experience. Where there is lack of real knowledge end lack of insight, there is pretension, artifice, the “I must preserve my own ego by doing down all others” syndrome, and the inebriated laughter of the ill-disciplined, ill-at-ease discussion machine.

Our young man would do well to try and find some guidance from an insightful individual – and be prepared for a hard and long journey. Perhaps then, in time one new adept will arise, and the ‘New Aeon’ will be brought a little nearer.

Anton Long

Order of Nine Angles

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