The Reality of Magick
Although it has been mentioned before, this bears repeating: magick, properly used, develops the potential of an individual in a realistic, practical way – that is, it produces, from the experiences undergone, a genuine insight and thus an understanding of self, others and the “world”.
This is in complete contrast to what happens outside of genuine esoteric traditions where there is adherence by the individual to abstract doctrines, ideas and beliefs – that is, there is little or no understanding based on experience, on the reality apprehended through trials, hardship, explorations, and discovery. Magick returns the individual to their inner core – destroying illusion, affectation and abstraction of the arid intellectual type.
Of course, one should really say – real magick, properly used, does this. There is an awful lot of pretentious “magic” and “magick” about. What differentiates real magick is first the practical nature of its methods (which are both “internal” – i.e. psychic – and “external” – i.e. involving practical work and experiences in the “real world”, not just “in the head”) and second its structure or system: a working toward a definite goal. This goal is Adeptship (part of which may be said to be the Jungian “individualization”) and what lies beyond even this: wisdom. The striving for this goal (and the striving is necessary: it is not a “gift” from someone) changes the individual in significant ways – the is a re-orientation of consciousness, insights and achievement.
The way of magick (as explicated by the seven-fold way) enables each individual Initiate to develop their won unique understanding or “view of life” or “world-view” – that is, it creates character, it uplifts the individual, separating them from the anonymous majority who mostly merely exist rather than live and who never evolve and understand. Today, individuals are “mass produced” – and conform to the accepted ideas and norms, even in the “rebellion” that occurs, where the “herd” or some fashionable “trend” or “idea” is followed with any understanding.
Everything is categorized, made into moral opposites – and there is developing in society an almost religious zeal about certain attitudes, a zeal which restricts individual freedom and expression and which destroys genuine individuality. All this, however, goes mostly unnoticed, so low is the level of general insight – a situation brought about, in part, by the comfortable lives most people in the West today live; insulated as they are by technology, by material possessions, by the complexity of modern life and by ideal from life in its realness, rawness and danger.
That is is necessary to give an example to illustrate the categorization and zeal, which is increasingly occurring, is a sad reflection on the general level of understanding. The example to consider is the disease of “ism-itus”: the creation of an abstract idea, described by a word ending is “ism”. Examples of the “ism” are then sought – in society, individuals and so on, and then that society and those individuals must be “re-educated” is the “ism” is found since the “ism” is regarded as morally reprehensible, the abstract idea being formulated in an abstract moral way. The procedure is not new – it is essentially a religious fundamentalism, extrapolated into politics and social concerns, and may be said to derive from Nazarene belief and ideas.
The “ism” itself becomes a “totem-word” – almost a “magical incantation” – and is surrounded by an aura of guilt. To be associated with an “ism” – even worse to be an “ism” or be called the “ism” – is reprehensible, almost a “sin”, and in certain countries definitely a crime, punishable by due process of law (and usually, if convicted, by imprisonment). What this amounts to – when taken with the other abstractions foisted upon individuals (the “ism”, remember is only one example of this) – is the production of essentially characterless people who seldom if ever have any real experience of life, who conform to a certain set of attitudes, and who are psychically unhealthy in that they are infected with notions of “sin” and moral absolutes. There is little real understanding – only acceptance of the abstract forms which have been and are being projected onto and into “history”, “society” and individuals and which give the comforting illusion of “understanding” and knowledge (and also, in most cases, a smug moral feeling of superiority such as one sees in certain religious types).
Magick, however, is a means to destroy all this – and thus it really is subversive and dangerous since it can free the individual, returning them to that inner Being where insight is born and from which understanding, and ultimately wisdom, can be cultivated.
The is the reality of magick – it produces the only “freedom” that is real and which has meaning: that inner one, which allows further steps to be taken, which allows evolution to be continued. For Magickal Initiation is a personal liberation –when an individual takes responsibility for his or her own evolution.
Further, this way of freedom, this means of liberation, should not be used only by a few – it should be used by everyone, creating a whole new society (or societies) of Adepts: a whole new era or Aeon in which all have attained to self-insight.
Of course – but still possible, even if unlikely for at least the next few centuries. But herein lies that almost sacred duty of each Initiate – to keep this possibility alive by maintaining the reality and effectiveness of genuine magick.
1990 ev, Order of Nine Angles