Re: Re to RJI - Fraud vs the Magical Imagination
Nov 09, 1995 08:21 AM
by John R Crocker
> >Virtually everyone holds some form of self-image within
> >themselves and it greatly conditions the world they apparently live in
> This image is the activity of mind in creating a notion of
> personal self.
Actually I believe that to look at this in some greater detail
there are a number of partial self-images some created by the mind but
others not mental ... in fact some perspectives on the Jungian idea of
acrhetypes for instance believe that children are born with
predilections to recognize particular "catagories" - like "Mother" for
instance and activily seek to personalize or particularize these images
.. to find an actual person that fits the catagory - and even further
that several of these latent in-born catagories refer to the self as
well - and all this before a mind has even become functional.
> >.. it functions almost as a filter that determines what few aspects of
> >the totality of the actual world will become apparent to waking
> It acts as a filter in accepting some perceptions unaltered
> and in rejecting or altering others. But besides that aspect
> of filtering it further creates the illusion or false sense
> of an external objective world a world that exists apart
> from oneself. It is possible to achieve a pure state of
> awareness in which this activity ceases and we gaze upon
> the actual nature of life.
Don't quite follow you here - you don't believe there is an
objective world that exists apart from the perceiver? Didn't think you
were a post-modernist -:.
> >I believe what self-imaging magic attempts to do is to first
> >elevate this image from the unconscious up to the light of day that is
> >to take conscious control of what is generally an unconscious assemblege.
> We do need to take responsibility for what our personalities
> have become. We start off growing and changing only in response
> to external stimuli. With foresight planning and self-direction
> we can enact changes in our lives that are not subject to external
> events but are directed from within. This is a higher form of
> taking charge of our lives.
I suppose but this isn't the same thing as the specific magical
practices under discussion.
> There's a still higher form of self-direction one which retains
> control but yet takes others into account. This is the same
> initiative to grow and evolve unburdended with the notion of
> having a personal self. In this mode there's never the thought
> of "what's in it for me" but always of "what's best here" even
> if we personally do not end up better off.
Well I'm not sure by what line you are measuring "higher" here
as what you describe seems to be the basic ethics I was taught in
gradeschool - do what is right regardless of whether it causes personal
pleasure or pain etc. etc.
> >.. but ultimately to the point where the transformation itself shatters
> >even the glorified image - hence using an image to finally shatter Image
> The sense of "shattering" is a Western experience equalivent
> to the dark night of the soul. An Eastern approach has no such
> experience but rather as Naropa would describe it experiences
> a sense of "eternal delight". The shattering is the experience
> of the destruction of the apparently objective world that we
> thought we know. An Easterner would not have build into his
> psyche a strong dependence upon this illusory objectivity and
> not miss it when it vanishes before our eyes.
Well "Easterner" is a mighty broad term ... perhaps you mean
"some practitioners of some forms and branches of some of the spiritual
traditions" in the East? There are a good number of "Eastern" races that
are every bit as if not more materialistic as "Westerners" and if the
Eastern "psyche" doesn't contain a dependence upon the illusory objective
world Hindus & Muslims probably would not be slaughtering one another in
India the Chinese wouldn't be attempting genocide in Tibet etc. etc.
> You make the whole thing sound quite dramatic! But it does not
> have to be dramatic but can be as easy a thing as smiling back
> in response to a baby's smile.
Isn't this however a matter of style rather than substance?
What ultimate difference does it make whether it is dramatic or subdued?
Some like drama others like quiet contemplation and this may be nothing
but personality nuances that vary from life to life. The world is
currently in the midst of stunning and very rapid change and this has
produced as a natural reaction something close to a collective
obsession with security with minimizing risk with maintaining control
with keeping things quiet and calm.
Looking back through history many religious and spiritual
traditions as well as the type and stages of the "path" they each
describe are often if not usually at least partially *reactions* to
or perhaps vibrations generated to balance the world as it was when
they were born. Religions born in times wild and insecure often encourage
calmness and inner certainty as part of the "path". Religions born in
violent times encourage peace and love as parts of the path etc.
> >... and in
> >seeking and falling in love with *that* image ultimately again
> >bursting through the image - to surface again into the real world
> >outside of the pond.
> The sense of "surfacing" is the experience of nondualistic
> consciousness the experience of sunyata or emptiness the
> transcending for the moment of the sense of personal self.
> A "shattering" or "dark night" may be gone through if we're
> heavily attached to our ego our personality the activity of
> manas in creating a sense of self. It does not have to be
> that way thought.
I would say that the only ones that could know this are those
permanently free of form. Perhaps for some it *does* have to be that way.
Besides which whether it has to be or not was not really the discussion
here ... we were talking about the specific path described in western
magic - and by the way not one that I personally practice. In fact I
believe both what is commonly called the "Eastern" and "Western"
approaches are heavily tinted with anachronistic assumptions and could
use to be re-framed from the ground up. As is beginning to happen.
> The idea that the Western and Eastern psyches are different
> and therefore Eastern approaches won't work in the west is
> -- I think -- "sour grapes".
Well a growing body of psychological literature would dispute
this. In fact I've recently been reading a Freudian psychologist who was
western trained but had occaision to practice in India who goes into
great depth about the very profound differences between European and
Indian psyches. This might make an interesting discussion though.
> There have been gaps in access to the spiritual path in the
> West. The initial object of the T.S. was to bring Eastern
> ideas to the West. We also have certain biases that prevent
> us from flowering spiritually. These biases must be taken
> into account when working to bring others to the Path.
Again "East" and "West" seem very confusing and imprecise. Those
"Eastern" ideas are according to the masters not only not uniquely
"Eastern" but in fact are alledged to be behind every major religion
eastern and western in history. And even that "inner" religion that
stands behind all exoteric ones when spoken of by HPB is spoken of as
being present in countless forms all over the world and when she talks
about the different places it has appeared she mentions far more
*western* traditions than "eastern" ones ... in fact when she *named*
our Society she did not use the translation of an *eastern* term but
rather the translation of a *Greek* name that came from the Alexandrian
Philalethians. Even further this "ancient" wisdom was alledgedly present
during historical epochs when the continents themselves looked very
different - our current "east" and "west" would be utterly meaningless if
the landmasses alledged to exist in "Atlantian" times were present.
Any many of the traditions she mentions as definately being aware
of "inner" Theosophy most definately did not simply sit and meditate and
quietly reach the final transformation ... but engaged in all manner of
ceremony and ritual - often quite "dramatic".
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