Saturday, July 28, 2012

it's a crying shame

All those Victorian and fin de siècle folks running around England in robes and wizard hats.

magical Yeats

Sneaking around in dubious history, looking for incantation books and traces of Hermes Trismegistus. Wasting their time and wasting their brains. They thought they were onto something. Esoterica, secrets of life and death, knowledge of ancient and ultimate reality.

Balderdash. What silly, silly nonsense.

It's too bad that Gurdjieff set up shop outside of Paris too late for those English folks to realize how absurdly they were behaving. Gurdjieff would have told them that all their rumors, devices, runes, alchemies, rituals, and secret books were to be taken metaphorically.

All that hocus-pocus stuff was merely the bastardized version and peripheral goo of a core principle: the deepest level of consciousness is not awake yet in humans; only through prosaic sweat and struggle can anything exceptional, lasting, and spiritual be accomplished; knowledge is not cheap and only comes about through the "alchemy" of transformative inner work; before one can know or do, one must first be.

No spells. No occult books. No Blavatsky tricks and shortcuts.

But even all that Gurdjieff stuff eventually grew tiresome for me. I prefer the magic of poetry to the seeking out of hidden truth or becoming too freaking real.


  1. Dear Tim,

    Unfortunately, I know from personal experience that some of the spells cast by human beings on one another can be quite effective; however, I agree with you 100 percent that "knowledge is not cheap and only comes about through the alchemy of transformative inner work; before one can know or do, one must first be."

    The hocus-pocus or occult is a shortcut, in my opinion, similar to a pyramid scheme on the financial market. It can influence especially those who are susceptible, but it does not produce any valuable good. It causes definite harm, especially to those lower on the totem pole. Whether those who use it for power eventually regret it, I am not sure, but I suspect this.

    How do you feel about Jung? It seems as if you are leaning toward his "take" on the imagery of the occult.

  2. Thank you for the thoughtful comment!

    Those spells you know about from personal experience -- are you saying you think they are objectively real effects of intentional magic; or do you mean that the victims reacted to them psychologically, sort of making them come true?

    I might have to get back to you on Jung. There is so much there to think about inside his world of ideas. I guess my main hesitation with Jung is that all his categories and archetypes and synchonicities and stuff remain in a kind of abstract "space," free of any physical connections or bothered very much with actual tangible evidence. :)

    Having said that, I suspect Jung would see all that mumbo-jumbo magiks stuff as block-headedness. As mistaking the merely symbolic for the efficacious.

    Somewhat similar to the way Gurdjieff thought about it. Though with Gurdjieff, there is always that rumored potential, when via hard inner work, some rather "unusual" aptitudes are said to appear.