Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Theatre of Magic - Ray Sherwin

I befriended Ray Sherwin many years ago indeed back in the early eighties in Leeds England, where Ray had an incense and Occcult parerphernalia outlet as well as being involved in various Occult Circles and led several magickal societies.
Here is the first Chapter of his Grimoire "The theatre of Magick"

The Theatre of Magick
Ray Sherwin

“Every Word Herein is a Lie; including the previous statement.”
(Abu Shenab, A.H.642)
This book should be read in one sitting beginning at midnight. It should be illuminated by a single lamp, other parts of the room being in semi-darkness. Subtle incenses and music will enhance the dramatic effect.
The book should not be destroyed after the first reading.
I first met Thessalonius Loyola in a ramshackle colonial-type bungalow on a blasted heath near Hollywood. The exterior of the place, which had been borrowed from a friend for the duration of his stay, belied its interior which was ordered and comfortable. The tang of leather permeated the large studio, especially when a body had just immersed itself in the more than copious chesterfield.
There was no hint of magick here except for the almost tangible aura surrounding the man himself. There was not a single book.
“I try to do without them these days, just as I do without weapons and paraphernalia, except when I’m teaching or working with one of the Lodges.”
That a chief representative of the Order should be found in this out of the way place was unusual - it was a chance in a million that I was there myself. So it was only natural that I should spend a few days with him before I left for Cairo, especially since his reputation for reclusiveness had denied so many others access to him.
We spent our time walking, usually in silence, eating, usually in silence, and talking, refreshing ourselves as we did so with the peculiar local wine of which we drank an alarming quantity each evening. The subject of these talks was rarely magick in the sense that I would have previously used the word, but slowly the pieces began to come together and after a few such conversations the first faint glimmerings of understanding periodically illuminated my, by now grape-besotted mind. The rest of our time was spent in sleeping and it was during these periods of respite that such of the new ideas as I was able to grasp became assimilated and consolidated into a coherent whole.
Although Thess himself would probably not recognize the contents of this book as encapsulating aspects of his own teaching (because they have been strained through my perception of them and tinted by my description of them) I am indebted to him for turning my previous ideas on their heads and for furnishing the ideas which form the basis of this book.
Duality figures largely in his considerations but the incessant see-saw duality so much loved by the qabalists and old-aeon magicians he totally ignores as being no more than sophistry and of no merit in nuclear magick, the science of self evolution. Nor, he points out, is duality of the day-night, male-female order particularly effective in the performance of magick except in a small number of very special cases.
He sees only one duality. The way in which Kia perceives itself and its relationship with everything else. The Kia constructs itself a body, he reasons in order to experience and in order to create an effect. Without the matter- energy - space - time backdrop the Kia is, but that is all that may be said of it. It has no measurable properties or position.
Life, as far as we know, may well manifest somewhere as a three-legged, three -eyed creature living on a planet with three suns and no moons where three sexes come together to procreate. Its tripartheid philosophy would seem as natural to it as our system of duality seems to us and yet our dualities would seem absurd and inexplicable. Our notion of duality is wholly a condition of environment and is not essential in any sense of that word. Duality suggests dichotomy. Dichotomy is a mind state and does not exist in the phenomenal universe.
Loyola’s conception of duality consists of Chaos and Cosmos, these terms being expressive of states of mind. Man looks at the universe and sees Chaos, randomity and irregularity. He imposes order on that Chaos and he sees Cosmos. This imposition of order is a tangled concept for, according to recent research, it may be that when science ‘discovers’ something new it could be inventing a rule to which the universe then conforms. We have no way of knowing, at the moment, whether or not this is the case. What is evident is that whatever model we construct for the universe , or even if we adopt a multi-modular approach, a pattern emerges, a pattern which can be used practically, magically and philosophically.
Thess demonstrates a pattern from a multi-modular approach using atomic weights, the planets and the days of the week - as follows -The metals aposite to the planets are arranged in ascending order of atomic weight. These are then transferred onto a seven-pointed star as planets in the same order, following the universal order. Reading clockwise around the star one then has the order of the days of the week. (see fig. 1)
“Now tell me the universe is not ordered!” he exclaims, and then gives an equally good example to show its randomity.
More than anything else it was this ability to argue successfully from any point of view that most impressed me about his approach. Would that I could have been able to persuade him to write down his ideas himself but he steadfastly refused to do so. My meagre offering is therefore dedicated to him with my gratitude.

Go to Part 2 - The Scene


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