Sunday, July 5, 2009

Theatre of Magick - The Scene

Theatre of Magick pt 2 - The Scene
For thousands of years certain sections of all societies have practiced magick. Invariably it was a pursuit which conferred power on the individual who practiced it. Everyone has heard stories about what magick was like in the past, but what is its relevance today?
Magick has always been a study of the mind and how to make use of it s latent powers. Some of these powers are still considered by most people to be supernormal. It also sought to use powers which the people saw in nature and many of these techniques we now believe to be absurd. Until the middle of the nineteenth century magick remained obscure and rather haphazard in its approach. Then two things happened which changed the situation. With the relaxation of legal restrictions brought about by a new tolerance, a different class of person, the educated class, allowed itself to become involved and to publish its ideas and its findings. Secondly, a new field of research was being opened - psychology.
Of course psychology and magick go hand in hand, each complementing the other, but there are differences. The most important difference is that psychology is the study of normal mind functions and application in psychiatry is to correct a dysfunction, bringing the individual back to the state that is considered normal. Magick is the study of para- or super - normal functions and its application is to devate the individual’s ability taking the normal state as a starting point.
Another difference is that whereas psychiatry is imposed on the subject by a therapist, in magick the practitioner is both subject and therapist, taking his own decisions and moving in his own direction.
In the past magick was a hit and miss business relying on arbitrary belief systems. With the benefit of scientific and psychological paradigms it has become a science in its own right, a science of self-recognition, and self- improvement through the process of initiation.
The current magical revival places less emphasis en authority than did the revival of the nineteenth century. Crowley, Spare, Johnston and their ilk are mostly responsible for this since it was they who put at our disposal the techniques of self initiation and self-realization. The individual has, to a large extent, superceded the hieradical organism to which he would, at a previous time, have necessarily belonged.
This is not to say, however, that organized magical groups are an outmoded device - on the contrary, they ought, for many reasons, to be actively encouraged. But it does mean that the working methods and objectives of any magical group must constantly change to reflect the mood and conditions of the individuals of whom it is formed, Instruction in technique, personal guidance and the interaction of ideas are the requirements of the aspirant. Mystery mongering and secrecy are obsolete except in special cases which will be discussed in their place.
This book is an introduction to a magical system with no dogmas or tortuous belief requirements. The would-be magician needs nothing but the will to work and the ability to question his every action.
RAY SHERWIN Cairo, 1982.

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