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Re: Universalism in Abramelin

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  • Joseph David Stolowitz
    It is not my intention to dismiss culture and history - only to keep them in their proper place. I have never claimed that cultural diversity should be
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 13, 2006
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      It is not my intention to dismiss culture and history - only to keep
      them in their proper place. I have never claimed that cultural
      diversity should be destroyed and that we should all be homogenized.
      I would disagree with anyone who goes to that extreme. I don't know
      if I should be considered New Age or not. Not all New Age writers go
      to this extreme you are describing anyway. I think its possible that
      those who are universalists have also been misunderstood and
      misinterpreted. There are many gifts under the same spirit - whether
      we are talking about the Abramelin stream specifically or the
      spiritual dimension of Reality as a whole, diversity of background
      and talent and perspective can be a huge asset. I belong to a couple
      of very diverse spiritual communities myself, and we are all the
      better for it. What I was saying is when we are approaching more
      universal subjects and experiences, it is a fallacy to assert
      they 'belong' to any particular, individual school of thought and
      practice. They are inspired by an Agency that transcends and works
      through all human organizations and ideologies. This Agency can
      inspire and communicate the process we see at work in Abramelin
      irrespective of time or location.

      I think the research and experience of magicians on the whole - such
      as but not limited to Aaron's explorations - has established that the
      principle of the Holy Guardian angel has an equivalent in every
      culture and spiritual path, albeit under different names and aspects.
      It would appear from Abraham's accounts that Abramelin was both a
      monotheist and a universalist, inviting anyone of any religion who
      acknowledged a belief in some Supreme Being to undergo the operation
      (although it seems he really had to struggle against personal
      prejudices when it came to women). He acknowledged his Jewish
      heritage, for instance, but felt free to move beyond it and even
      protest against it when that tradition became constrictive. For
      example, he was very opposed to usury - what we would today call
      predatory lending. He gave allegience only to what he called God. You
      can read this for yourself in the text. Therefore, I think it is
      superfluous to say that he or the operation he distilled belong to
      any particular ideology or ideologies. The narrative of the text
      shows that he and Abraham his student acknowledged, lived by, and
      succeeded through the power of a Providence which arranged everything
      for them ideally. In fact, Abraham asserts that to be successful in
      the operation, we must rely on that very same Providence and Grace.

      It would appear that Abramelin distilled the essential requirements
      necessary to train and create an inspired and spiritually-allied
      priest. He passed this knowledge on in the form of a universal
      template that could be used anywhere in space and time to initiate a
      priest in the classic understanding of the role as a bridge between
      heaven and earth; aligned in harmony with individual destiny, and
      able to overcome and transmute negative forces and entities via
      transcendent faith and power. Now, the text itself does not say where
      Abramelin learned his methods and how he devised the operation in the
      form we have received. What it does conclusively establish is that
      Abramelin perceived and taught that the Divine works through, with,
      and beyond human history and organization. So which if any school(s)
      of practice - recognized by scholars as gnostics or otherwise - he
      acquired his instruction and methods through would have been seen by
      him as just means to an end.

      An analogy from the New Testament:

      "What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants,
      through whom you came to believeĀ—as the Lord has assigned to each his
      task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.
      So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God,
      who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have
      one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.
      For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's
      building." - 1 Corinthians 3:5-9

      And from the same epistle:

      "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are
      different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different
      kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

      Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the
      common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of
      wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same
      Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of
      healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another
      prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another
      speaking in different kinds of tongues,and to still another the
      interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same
      Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines."
      - 12:4-11

      I hope this helps clarify things. I also hope that your own
      experience of the Abramelin operation went, or will go, well. Myself,
      I am not yet 25 for another year, and am still limited to
      preparation. I considered breaking the rule and starting early, but I
      decided to wait. I'm very glad I did - I have discovered and
      experienced so much in the interim, that I am sure that when I do get
      to do the operation for myself, it will be a rich experience indeed.

      Peace,
      Joseph David
    • Harold Roth
      ... This is exactly what I am talking about in terms of smearing all cultures and practices together. Every culture has its own practices. They aren t
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 14, 2006
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        Joseph David Stolowitz wrote:

        >I think the research and experience of magicians on the whole - such
        >as but not limited to Aaron's explorations - has established that the
        >principle of the Holy Guardian angel has an equivalent in every
        >culture and spiritual path, albeit under different names and aspects.
        >
        >

        This is exactly what I am talking about in terms of smearing all
        cultures and practices together. Every culture has its own practices.
        They aren't comparable, because they have to be taken in their context,
        not taken outside of that context. You say they are all the same, but
        they themselves do not see it that way, and they are the experts. There
        is nothing about any particular view that puts it above all others
        enough to say that all those others are really the same (which means in
        fact that they are the same as the speaker's views).

        It's true this view is not limited to New Agers. I have also heard it
        from Christians who say that the Hebrew Bible is "really" about Jesus
        Christ or that Kabbalah is "really" pre-Judaic.

        Harry
      • Scarlet
        Thelema Harry, It s true this view is not limited to New Agers. I have also heard it from Christians who say that the Hebrew Bible is really about Jesus
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 14, 2006
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          Thelema Harry,
           
          "It's true this view is not limited to New Agers. I have also heard it
          from Christians who say that the Hebrew Bible is "really" about Jesus
          Christ or that Kabbalah is "really" pre-Judaic."
           
          ++*Smile*, Christians have been saying the Hebrew Bible is all about the coming of Jesus Christ for over 2000 years now, so it must be true :)
           
          ++I think what interests me about Abramelin is that it actually conflicts with Gnostic paradigms. Here's Abraham listing  off a long lineage of Jewish Fathers as the authority of the text he is writing - and yet many Gnostics groups saw this same line of Jewish Fathers as evil, misguided and in many ways liars. That's not to say that Gnostics didn't have Guardian Angels, they did. The Ophites really interest me, as there Serpent diety matches the Agthos Daimon of the Greeks.
           
          ++That being said, Guardian Angels were massive in the Roman Empire. Constantine was famous for his Guardian Angel coming to him in a dream as Apollo, and then later in his life coming to him in a dream as Christos. In fact the Byzantine church tried very hard to stop Emperors having Christos as their personal Guardian Angel. These Guardians were worshiped along with the Lars, or household gods. Everyone had them, and pretty much every culture that came into contact with the Romans also has Guardian Angels. However, because of the spread of western culture over the last millennium or three, it is really hard to see what is indigenous and what is syncretized these days. It is really easy (for example) for a Westerner to match the Orisha of Santeria or Ifa with the planetary deities of Greece and Rome,  but all Santeros that I have met have told me that they are not the same. :) And to them, they aren't.

          Will
           Love
            ALWays
           
          Scarlet
           
          On 12/14/06, Harold Roth <groups@...> wrote:

          Joseph David Stolowitz wrote:

          >I think the research and experience of magicians on the whole - such
          >as but not limited to Aaron's explorations - has established that the
          >principle of the Holy Guardian angel has an equivalent in every
          >culture and spiritual path, albeit under different names and aspects.
          >
          >

          This is exactly what I am talking about in terms of smearing all
          cultures and practices together. Every culture has its own practices.
          They aren't comparable, because they have to be taken in their context,
          not taken outside of that context. You say they are all the same, but
          they themselves do not see it that way, and they are the experts. There
          is nothing about any particular view that puts it above all others
          enough to say that all those others are really the same (which means in
          fact that they are the same as the speaker's views).

          It's true this view is not limited to New Agers. I have also heard it
          from Christians who say that the Hebrew Bible is "really" about Jesus
          Christ or that Kabbalah is "really" pre-Judaic.

          Harry


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