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Originally posted by Madrusa
It's always interested me that Himmler collected as many transcripts of witch trials as possible for his own personal study, i wonder if Germany was ahead of the game in that regard, as they were at the time in so many fields, and that the methodology of modern witchcraft is employed by the state.
Originally posted by DrunkYogi
I think that part of the problem is that some people think they are perfect.
There is no "unknowable force" acting us to behave like animals - we ARE animals. Society is a relatively new invention. It's flawed, and the protection it offers the individual, despite our convictions to feel otherwise, is extremely limited.
And call me kooky, but I thought The Crucible was a thinly veiled allusion to the Joseph McCarthy era
All effective magick stands on three legs: imagination , emotion , and feeling; everything else - all the words and gestures, the implements and costumes, the elaborate circles and furniture - serve only to reinforce and focus these three capacities. If any of these three is lacking, then the work is likely to fail; once you are skilled in using all three, you can dispense with practically all the other things people sometimes insist are essential to the practice.
Of the three, emotion is the power that drives the whole show; emotion from the guts, and from the heart. I will go even further; it is not just emotion, but passion that is the power behind magick. Passion in the sense of an intense desire to be connected to that which you are seeking to invoke; a desire that places no restrictions or limits on the connection, but which is so one-pointed that nothing save that which is sought is included within its focus. And passion in the sense of a boundless enthusiasm for the acts by which you seek to create that connection. Admittedly, this is the ideal case; but the closer you can get to it, even for a few moments, the more likely your work is to be successful....
In its highest form, this unconditional passion becomes almost indistinguishable from what is called "Divine Love", which is the closest that one can come (within the worlds of manifestation) to the transcendental state of the Mother aspect of divinity. Passion-for-connection transforms into a state of pure relationship, pure Love, in which all distinctions are erased; both the nature of the magician and the nature of that being invoked disappear, totally lost in the link between them.
Imagination provides the medium (rather, an opening to the medium) through which magick produces its results. The personal imagination seems to blend seamlessly into the astral light, the larger magickal universe; the point at which one becomes the other is impossible to define clearly. An object that begins as a purely internal construct - created and sustained by the imagination of a magician, propelled by the power of emotion - can move out into the astral light and take on a life independent of its creator. It can gather or become a container for magickal power, and act back on its creator (or on others) in ways that are impossible for him to produce through his imagination alone. Conversely, beings and powers operating on levels the magician cannot yet perceive can make themselves known to the him through his receptive imagination, opening his awareness into new realms of experience.
Feeling is the third leg of the tripod, and the final key to success in magick. In order to bring into being the conditions you desire, you must create in yourself the sensations and feelings that the things you have created through your imagination are real, and that the goal of the operation has already been accomplished. In the magickal universe, when you act with all your being as if something is already real, it becomes real. This feeling of reality is the trigger that causes a symbol to move from the imagination into the astral light.
This key to magick is simply stated, but in practice it seems to give the greatest difficulty for most people. The usual culprits are intellectual doubts - "I know I am only imagining this" - and fears of various sorts, e.g., "what if it makes me go crazy?" Both of these have to be ruthlessly eliminated from the magician's consciousness for the duration of the operation. After the work is completely over, you can be as doubtful and fear-ridden as you want; a certain amount of doubt, of critical examination, is healthy and appropriate at that time. But during the work, you must be completely focused on feeling (not thinking) that what you create is real.
Some might be concerned that this "believing makes it real" idea is actually a form of self-hypnosis, a way of fooling oneself by reducing the critical faculties. A genuine success in performing the ritual will dispose of this concern. At some point in the work a threshold is crossed; the strength of the invocation produces an even stronger response from somewhere outside yourself. Events in your magickal space take on a life of their own, at least partially independent of your will. And - most significant - they begin to manifest an intensity, richness and texture that it is utterly impossible for you to produce through your imagination alone, no matter how adept you might be in its use. Once this has been experienced even a skeptical mind must grant that the events are "real" in some sense even if not in the same way as mundane happenings.
"Dearest heart," whispered she, softly and rather sadly, when her lips were close to his ear, "prithee put off your journey until sunrise and sleep in your own bed to-night. A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts that she's afeard of herself sometimes. Pray tarry with me this night, dear husband, of all nights in the year."
- We command that those persons who follow this rule shall embrace the name of Catholic Christians. The rest, however, whom We adjudge demented and insane, shall sustain the infamy of heretical dogmas, their meeting places shall not receive the name of churches, and they shall be smitten first by divine vengeance and secondly by the retribution of Our own initiative, which We shall assume in accordance with the divine judgement."
[Emperor Theodosius, The Theodosian Laws, A.D. 380]
"Orthodox Christians assembled the Bible not to bring all the gospels together, but rather to encourage uniformity. From the plethora of Christian gospels, Bishop Irenaeus compiled the first list of biblical writings that resemble today's New Testament around 180 C.E. By 393 and 397, Bishop Athanasius had a similar list ratified by the Church councils of Hippo and Carthage. By prohibiting and burning any other writings, the Catholic Church eventually gave the impression that this Bible and its four canonized Gospels represented the only original Christian view. And yet, as late as 450, Theodore of Cyrrhus said that there were at least 200 different gospels circulating in his own diocese. Even the Catholic Encyclopedia now admits that the "idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning... has no foundation in history."
(Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History, p.16, pub. A.D.1995)
- "You know, it's very interesting to think of the history of Christianity. During the first five centuries, there were lots of Christianities, lots of ways of being Christian. And then, in the period of Theodosius in the fourth century, the only religion allowed in the Roman Empire was the Christian religion, and the only form of Christianity allowed in the Roman Empire was the Christianity of Byzantium's throne."
(Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, p.248, pub. A.D.1988)
- "From the very first centuries, what was to become Christian orthodoxy vehemently suppressed those Christians of psychic, shamanic, or visionary temperament called the Gnostics. The authorities of the early institutional Church soon established a strict orthodoxy of doctrine against to which all contrary views were stigmatized as heretical. When in 313 the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official state religion, attempting to syncretize it with various sun-god cults, Christianity was left to deal with the many cults that swarmed within the Roman Empire. The monotheistic zeal to convert and eradicate the diversity of polytheism gave the Church an authoritarian character that has plagued the West ever since with schisms, councils, inquisitions, and witch-hunts..."
(Roger J, Woolger, Other Lives, Other Selves, p. 71, pub. A.D. 1987)
- "It may truly be said that the blackest and bloodiest records that history can show us are the attacks of the Orthodox Church upon the Gnostic mystics."
(Frances Swiney, quoted by Lloyd M. Graham in Myths & Deceptions of the Bible, p.446, pub. A.D. 1991)
Again, I wonder whether it is by design and intention that such dark power games play out as they do and by the people who play them; or maybe it all started out as an irrational and instinctual type of fear of the unknown brought on in people and society when a tragedy befell them, or something to that effect.
As I stated in the OP, I don't think we are going to be able to do it, and I think we can all agree that we are not only heading there, but we are there now.
In order to bring into being the conditions you desire, you must create in yourself the sensations and feelings that the things you have created through your imagination are real, and that the goal of the operation has already been accomplished.
The only way out of this is to kill the secret self.