Originally posted by BassClef
And he significantly never said he didn't believe in it either and one would have thought he would have commented in the negative because the quote
talks about two Masonic symbols, the Square and the Compass, but he doesn't say he doesn't believe in conjuring the spirits.
Why would Pike want to go out of his way to say he didn't believe in demons or conjuring them? Surely he assumed that none of his readers would
believe in such stuff. Pike was attempting to write a serious philosophical work on the history and evolution of morals and dogma throughout the
various religions and philosophies of the world. He purpose was not to spend time arguing over superstition.
The object of the emphasis, in the term "spirits of the elements", is on the word spirit and judging by the words of the Grand
Arcanum, these spirits are real, otherwise, what would be the point in conjuring up and "commanding" them?
This is actually a completely different question. When an Adept uses the word "Spirit" in an occult book, he isn't talking about disembodied
ghosts. He's talking about what Plato called the Quintessence, or Fifth Element, symbolically alluded to in the Pentagram.
The "Spirits of the Elements" are the natural forces that manifest as physical universe. Occult Science teaches that inner knowledge of Nature can
be found by intuitively aligning one's consciousness to these vibrational patterns, and that the easiest method to do this is through symbolic
To make a final statement on demonic conjuration, I can do no better but to mention the English magician and occult author Aleister Crowley. As a
beginning magician, he attempted to evoke several Goetic demons, with partial success. This eventually led him to the conclusion, shared by
practically all other modern occultists, that "demon evocation" is simply a form of psychoanalysis.
The magician will examine himself, and find some bad trait or habit he wishes to rid himself of. He then personifies the habit or trait, imagining it
having a demonic and beastly appearance. He then performs a ceremony of ritual magic where he objectifies the "demon", projecting it out from
himself, then performs a ritual banishing to get rid of it forever. This simple procedure is the basis for all the crazy stories and superstitions
regarding demon conjuring.
Obviously, as Crowley pointed, the demon has no objective reality. The negative force in our own psyche is simply imagined as a demon for convenience.
Crowley also rightly pointed out that all the so-called "demons" listed in the old grimoires were simply the gods of the pre-Christians, and were
Crowley also stated, and I agree, that this form of demonic evocation is suitable only for beginners anyway. Advanced students may rid themselves of
negative emotions, traits, and habits through concentrated will-power, without having to formalize it into an actual physical ceremony, as I've
spoken about above.
[edit on 13-3-2006 by Masonic Light]