2008/5/23 333 <nagasiva@...
> "Jake Stratton-Kent" <jakestrattonkent@...>:
> # 333 <nagasiva@...>:
> #> "Jake Stratton-Kent" <jakestrattonkent@...>:
> #>#> camlion@...:
> # Crowley, Crowley? The name rings a bell but can't place him.
> # Oh I remember now, nineteenth century libertine wasn't he -
> # contributed bugger all to the study of goetia despite claiming to be
> # the big bad black magician and whinging when folks believed it.;-)
> come on, didn't he publish a fairly intact version of the Lemegeton
no, he pinched Mathers work on the first book of the Lemegeton out of
five (the one called Goetia), that's a fifth, not exactly intact, and
not his own work. Also every reference to goetia in Crowley's work is
only to this book, whereas Mathers and Waite at least knew that goetia
referred to the whole genre of conjure books, and originated in an
ancient Greek term older than the European use of the word Magic. But
then Crowley never made any contributions to the scientific study of
magical history (Scientific Iluminism apparently doesn't include the
Science of History)
> after AEWaite tried to foist off a "Black Magic and Pacts" blinded
> version of the grimoires? didn't AC "fix" Waite's hamstrung problem?
Waite was antagonistic to Goetia, but gave a clearer idea of its
relation to the grimoires in general. Certainly his book has major
faults, but at least it was his! -) BTW Reading it is credited in one
of Crowley's autobiographical notes as the beginning of his occult
> didn't he put forward bits of Shaw and Swinburne or other poets with
> whom he was not competing? wasn't some portion of his periodicals
> peddled by his students who were in some cases his best ghostwriters
> (Soror Virakam comes to mind)?
what this has to do with goetia is obscure to me, unless you mean the
devalued meaning of 'cheating'.
> # which of course true gnosticism was not, it was virtually expected
> # that the student eventualy founded their own system, rather than
> # slavishly promoting that of their mentor. Anything less was seen as
> # failure.
> I like that style, but i don't like the world-hating aspects of
> the Gnostic corpus (arguably the ascetic aspects of Gnosticism).
> any idea what drove those or for what applications they are best
> suited? is it akin to the Saivite sadhus twisting their body parts
> into pretzels?
Compare the changes in Egyptian and Cretan art after major natural
disasters and external threats - it changed from positive depiction of
the good life: eating, dancing, hunting, the natural environment - to
depictions of the Underworld and threatening gods. The Roman
destruction of various cultures introduced a similar note of pessimism
into the religious expression of those cultures, particularly in the
East (there is nothing particularly negative about Zoroastrianism, but
its reinterpretation in the Iranian strand of the Gnosis exhibits
exactly these pessimistic developments). Same goes for Jewish
apocalyptic literature, its a reaction to Roman domination, looking
forward to the End Days when the evil invaders will be destroyed and
the persecuted faithful rewarded.
> you're willing to run with the 'not one and only true key' hypothesis.
> I find context sufficiently drives ideology where these are concerned
> and that predicament may determine cognitive tool form. if Jews or
> Thelemites want to believe predestination or apocalyptic fantasies
> and it helps them optimize their experience (mysticism), then more
> power to them. they should not expect me to agree with them, though,
> and the promotion of one cult's fantasies over another seems rude.
see above, maybe Thelemites who have these fantasies feel dis
empowered and look forward to a time when they will be rewarded and
the dominant culture punished? ;-)
> # Seriously though, prophecy means different things to different folks,
> detail some of the variations?
the one that matters is nothing to do with prediction, rather an
expression of the God through the Prophet, concerned with - say -
mystical practice and expressions of its results. This whole area
involves semantic problems - some connected with the Revealed/Natural
dichotomy - like the difference between an Oracle and a Revelation
(one is from the Earth, the other from Heaven).
> role-playing systems might inspire the modern mage. whereas the
> 'grimoires' of the past commanded attention due to their key
> terms and the romance of their construction (post-Jewish
> "Solomonic" magic, cast out of synagogues and churches),
it was never in the synagogues in the first place, the first Key of
Solomon is in Greek, and the first Jewish one is translated from
another Gentile language, up to and including the original Christian
elements. Sadly 'everyone knows' the Goetia of Solomon is connected to
Solomon but few of them know what goetia means or where the term comes
from. Fact is Solomon has nothing to do with the history of Western
magic, and Goetia has a great deal to do with it from its earliest
origins (before the adoption of the term magic even) to the present.
As said, Scientific Illuminism has conspicuously failed to clarify a
darned thing about the real history of magic, Crowley even went so far
as to write yet another freakin' book about Atlantis, not to mention
his Egyptian past lives - puh-leeze! ;-)
Of course these outre excursions will be excused as allegory, but that
leaves the Science rather lacking, however Illumined they may or may
> Currents rush and bunch and eddy and retrace and plunge under.
> where we are during the time of its action and what our skill
> set includes will determine our best mode of operation. you're
> likely the vanguard of independents who operate amongst those
> who are trying to establish orthodoxies. are they helpful for
> the lost or benighted? do the masses, does the Herd need their
> leadership? or examples of us being individual geniuses?
LOL - yes I guess I do rather aspire to something like that, and enjoy
the idea of pointing the way into important but unexplored areas.
That is what bugs me about modern thelema (mid-eighties onwards) - too
much focus on the dated work of Crowley and too little on continuing
and updating, and going into areas he scarcely touched on: his vaunted
'Our work is therefore historically authentic the rediscovery of the
Sumerian Tradition' for instance. Which seems to have begun and ended
with the discovery a Persian gentleman had the name Aiwass (never
proven to be the name of a Sumerian deity despite AC's assertions).
Or what he never touched on at all (a decent history of magic
debunking all the phoney baloney and showing a serious line of
development. Apart from ripping off Mathers Goetia and Enochian he did
nothing to put magical history forwards, and a good deal to put it
backwards.In that at least he has been successfully imitated!
Or got entirely wrong: his terrible instructions on pranayama, which
if the AA is to be a real scientific magical elite are in serious need
of revision rather than perpetuation.
> # aye, good systems converge in practice and experience,
> # not in detail.
> that explains a somewhat different motive than previous
> generations have expressed regarding One True Knowledge
> they were offering up in simplified form (whether simply
> metaphysical, like about gods, or cosmological, such as
> on astronomy). Crowley's disenchantment with the 777
> data didn't stop others from trying to 'complete it'.
> we should be comparing and contrasting these systems,
> seeing how they differ and of what they are composed.
> I recently reviewed one by a Stephen Skinner. I know
> there's a couple others, or comparable table-like sets.
My estimation is that in practice they are usually interpreted as
rigid classifications, They weren't meant to be seen that way, rather
they are examples of associative thinking, what is needed is training
that develops that, it produced correspondences in the first place,
and represents their real value.
> # Revealed Religion never created magic, only adapted and
> # distorted it to conform to its own models.
> neat assertion. I'll try to come up with exceptions. where will we
> be able to draw the line between revealed and natural?
Revealed and Natural, I didn't invent the terms, and hey need to be
capitalised to preserve or at least help find the original context.
> 'natural revelations' 'revealed nature'?? is the criterion somehow
> the source of the data being touted as revealed? if we ignore it
> and there is no perceivable difference in our experience or the
> universe, does this mean that the revelation was insignificant
> and/or false? how do we winnow through these "revelations"?
for now I prefer to discard them all, and return to the Natural.
Perhaps I should provide a more extended account of what I mean by
these terms (Natural vs Revealed, Chthonic vs Celestial) before you
launch into a premature critique. ;-) In the meantime while I'm no
expert on religions of the Far East, or the pre-colonial Americas, the
division makes a good deal of sense of the religions of the ancient
Near East, Mediterranean and later West. It is also a very convenient
handle for grasping the real context of goetia before the People of
the Book got a hold of it.
So, brief outline essay follows shortly.