Sunday, July 5, 2009

Self Initiation

Self Initiation - Theatre of magick 6
No matter how successful an initiation imposed by the group on an individual might be such an operation is merely an induction, opening the eyes of the Illuminate and it remains incumbent upon him to initiate himself thoroughly. This is chiefly a matter of time and experience. He cannot expect to be suddenly, drastically changed by every act of magick he performs but he can expect the cumulative effect of many acts of magick to bring about the desired result. (however he defines it), whether or not the stated objective of all, or indeed any, of these acts was initiation.
The real rather than imagined difficulty here is the limited overview of the illuminate. Since he has no experience of the state he is aiming to put himself into and since that state is purely subjective he can work only by intuition and by trial and error.
Intuition comprises a large proportion of magick since it largely represents the organism rather than the foremind and its incessant internal dialogue. In the initiatory process the benefits of intuition are well enhanced by a flexible routine of magical operations and meditations and by the supervision and instruction of a person with a less limited overview. Whether he be called a guru, a friend or a taskmaster depends on the relationship.
Teachers do not seek pupils. Like everyone else a teachers main concern is his own development and he becomes a teacher only when he is approached for advice or instruction. Perhaps teaching will be of bend it to him.
So what is it that the Illuminate is trying to do? Obviously this changes with the individual and initiation itself is an impossible state to define. It is also difficult to observe since outwardly the initiate is no different to any other man, most of his miracles being performed inwardly. His attitude may be taken as an example, as may the way in which he relates to his work, but the Illuminate needs more to go on than this. Oblique answers to the question ‘what does initiation confer?’ may be enumerated as follows.

1) Re-acquaintance with self.
2) Improved dynamism.
3) Sustained wide overview.
4) Poise.
5) Magical power
6) Magical ability.
7) Ease of entry into the gnostic/genius state.

Of these the most important is the first. in ridding oneself of spurious personality accretions and confronting and coming to terms with the real ‘I’ the remaining qualities aimed at through initiation come naturally as one’s know- ledge of the techniques of magick becomes assimilated rather than learned.
Re-acquaintance with self has been recognized throughout the twentieth century as the lynch-pin of magick and mysticism. Aleister Crowley, using Mathers’ translation of Abra Melin as a model chose to call it ‘the Knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel’, ‘Guardian Angel’ being such a ludicrous label as to defy mockery and to transcend limitation.
In the light of scientific investigations made in the last two decades this H.G.A. might better be taken to be a censorship mechanism, and not only in the psychic sense, since this function seems to exist in the brain itself. According to Professor Le Gros Clark of Oxford University “these groups of cells (the mid-brain) are more than simple relay stations; they are sorting stations which allow for the sorting and re-sorting of the incoming impulses so that they are projected onto the cerebral cortex in a new kind of pattern.”
This approach argues not only for the concept of the observer created universe where perceptions are strained, tinted and limited according to the proclivities of the individual but also for the notion of restricted access to areas of information of the utmost value to the magician.
It is this brain function which we choose to call the H.G.A. In sifting observations and restricting access to certain types of information it acts like a fuse, offering neither too much nor too little for analysis at one time. It also prevents us from seeing so far into ourselves as to encounter the real horrors of existence. In learning to circumvent this function the magician needs the strength to confront those labyrinthine horrors and this he acquires gradually through a patiently gained acquaintance with the H.G.A. mechanism itself and the accumulated patchwork of what lies beyond. (see the Liminal Gnosis; infra). Every man has his minotaur; the magician also has a ball of twine. This ball of twine is his knowledge of himself. It can be achieved in a multitude of ways many of which are well known to adventurers of all paths and persuasions. One of the most perspicacious and essential of such systems is that set down by Lysis, disciple of Pythagoras, under the title of ‘The Golden Verses of Pythagoras’.
These lines enshrine the whole process of self-examination or ‘autopsy’ directed towards initiation. The translation given here is by Aleister Crowley and Thessalonius Loyola.


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