Monday, August 31, 2015

The Importance of Biology and Understanding the Hermetic Lessons

Biological knowledge is of immense value to the practising magician.  For thousands of years biological classification, whether or not it was fully systematised at the time, has allowed shamans to collect plants and herbs to tend the sick of their community.  Biological knowledge is useful in answering metaphysical questions such as the immortality of the soul and the nature of the self.

To begin with a practical point, in this post on Demonslayers I discuss the use of garlic pills (allicin), colloidal silver and vitamin D in fighting the undead (i.e. pathological microbes).  I want to say that I tried this in combination for the first time the other day and it was incredibly potent.  I seriously recommend you add these to your alchemical storeroom, especially if you live in Britain and are vulnerable because of the lack of light.   Although I suggest in Demonslayers that demons as they were understood are pathological microbes I want to be clear that this is not a materialist explanation.  I personally do not believe in matter as it is currently understood and think Rupert Sheldrake has a lot to provide to the scientific community when he talks about assumptions in science.  I see no reason why the fundamental nature of the universe is not Mind and therefore all matter, and living matter, are manifestations of that Mind.

When we talk about the source of pathological microbes - human emotional states are a good place to start.  If you are consumed with hatred, fear, sadness, anger, etc you are almost certainly stressed out.  Stress in the form of cortisol causes your immune system to dysfunction which allows various viruses that are dormant in the ganglia of your nervous system to emerge (this is why when you get stressed you might suffer recurrences of herpes simplex type I (cold sores) and II).  Your own mental demons have therefore released physical demons.

Furthermore if you are constantly unhappy, for whatever reason, you may well be a source of infestation - a carrier so to speak.  Disease is always in you, so you don't necessarily notice, considering this to be your normality, but your presence is causing spikes of infection in the population you mingle with.  Deeper than this and speculating, human DNA contains viral DNA, so it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that an individual can actually generate demons from within themselves as opposed to simply store them.

The Hermetic Lessons contain all kinds of useful applications of biology to magickal undertakings - healing, immortality, the true will, time travel, etc.  They are a continuance of the alchemical tradition of our ancestors, incorporating new discoveries into our Hermetic foundations.  There isn't more of this because there are precious few individuals in the Western Mysteries with scientific knowledge and these days people are more inclined to chat than work.

Demonstrating by way of example, one of the main subjects of the Hermetic Lessons is a physiognomy informed by recent findings in genetics, endocrinology and other aspects of the biochemical sciences.  This physiognomy is designed to allow you to discover your own genetic root character and some of the likely advantages and disadvantages that this comes with.  Although the subject here is identity I want to distinguish it from identity politics, an area which leads to more harm than good, much to the chagrine of the hordes of pagan social justice warriors who pour their lives into it, I am sure - more on this later.  The genetic identity discussed in the Hermetic Lessons crosses race, gender and sexuality.


My own genetic identity is predominately what I call a Mime, a set of genes I have inherited from my mother.  This genetic identity has its basis in the hormone cortisol which is released in stressful conditions.  Because of the way this hormone is released I have a much higher resistance to stress than the other physiognomical characters meaning I can stay cool, remain stoic or masterly, for longer in worse conditions, although it means that I can appear to be emotionally cold during these times.  Where other people flip out and lose it I am able to multi-task very effectively (symbolised by the juggling) and have incredible stamina and resilience but when I reach the breaking point though I will have a complete meltdown as opposed to a series of mini-ones.

This set of genetics also comes with a propensity to manic-depression - a disease which most people self-medicate.  Most of the time I have a kind of basal hypomania which allows me to function in the above described working conditions but during my long holidays the depressive aspect of the character generally manifests as indolence.  The ability to control environments combined with the more Venutian aspects of the character leads my artistic inclinations towards sculpting and crafting, when I engage in theatre arts (directing, acting, stage crafts) I tend to chisel the finished project from an initial block of stone, so to speak, rather than let it grow or explode out of me as another physiognomical character might.  I therefore approach the arts with a scientific mindset.

In order to manage my characteristics most effectively I need to pay attention to warning signs of too much stress and be pro-active in my relaxation remedies.  One sign is clenched teeth at night, although other common indicators for this character are skin conditions.  Remember when the cortisol gets too high you will get sick but for this character they will get really sick - therefore demonslaying at any sign of infection is also important as well as recognizing early symptoms as signs of stress.

Attention is one of the fundamental bases of the universe, in fact when we say the universe is Love, we might also say that the units are Attention.  I am more susceptible to negative attention than positive attention because of my position in the web of attention that underlies the genetic characters, for instance I respect and react to intelligent criticism and despise and dismiss mindless sychophancy and compliments.  My natural state is general flirtation, but under negative attention I will become more vampiric and seek out the positive attention of a single individual to restore the balance.  Under positive attention, I will become an indolent dreamer until the effects of it fade away and I am returned to my natural state as a lover.  This idea of there being a natural egoic state dependent on the attention we recieve is fundamental to the way in which these characters metabolise social nutrition - this equally applies to spirits.

These physiognomical characters are intended to help discover this genetic identity so we can manage our own psyche, get the best out of ourselves and heal others.  Although my blog is not as widely read as those with a lower reading level, generally more accessible content or more gossip and internal politics I understand that it is read by some of my peers in the blogosphere.  I therefore know that there are readers who are Shellfish, Prisoners, Many Mannered Mind Men, etc as I know what these individuals look like and therefore what they are most likely to struggle with as problems encountered on their paths.  I can see how their underlying genetic characters are influencing not only their activities in the physical world but also their writing style.  To be in denial about the influence of your own genetics on your behaviour is just that.

Whether or not the fundamental nature of the being we are is the genetic character or simply inhabits the genetic character temporarily it is to our own advantage that we play the hand we have been dealt.  A great deal of unhappiness in the world comes from not understanding that hand or wanting a different one.  As I said in my post on Genetic Disease if we have a set of natural skills but because of distorted attention (whether it be from the media, or general society) we are seeking a different one we are simply going to be a less potent version of that character and constantly unhappy.  Lets imagine that instead of being comfortable in the suit of the Mime as I have described above, I desperately wanted to be a Jay - a character which is effectively an adrenaline monkey, very lithe, dextrous and good at sprinting, hunting etc with a fine, naturally acquired musculature and monstrously fast metabolism.  I would spend way way more time acquiring that physique and that set of skills, almost certainly of lesser quality than a natural Jay, while letting my own genetic gifts atrophy - this is surely idiocy.  To be clear though if I have a natural inclination to manic-depression, or another character has a natural inclination to fat storage, or alcoholism, I am not saying just go for it, pile on the sugar and booze - with this knowledge of the genetic self, you have to moderate your own excesses as I have described, whilst simultaneously pushing your own gifts towards excellence.

That is Alchemy.

If you are looking for ways in which to use the Hermetic Lessons, go through the earlier posts on the various characters, the hormones they are associated with and the masks they use in order to complete their metabolism and you may find things that speak to you or to other people you can help. I rely on these characters because its often something in the physique which speaks of pigginess, or a piscine quality, or avian features that is telling us their secrets of pain and power.  In today's world with the media providing a source of attention designed to play on your fears and insecurities we are way more likely to encounter physiognomical characters out of place or whose problems are more extreme - whether it be anorexic Bloodless Beings, alcoholic Shellfish, obese Prisoners, aggressive Many Mannered Mind Men, etc and our primary task as esoteric practitioners is that of healing the sick.


What if the map is the territory?

How could that be possible?

What if the territory you are seemingly experiencing is, in actual fact, a map?

Maybe you can judge a book by its cover?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

What is Cellular Consciousness?

Cellular Consciouness is an approach to consciousness based on the Metabolism of Time.  It explains consciousness as the process through which a being ''digests time'', (or perhaps that it arises as a necessary result of the digestion of time).  In this model consciousness is understood to include:

- your apprehension of possible futures and the way in which your actions have consequences that go beyond your immediate sphere of awareness
- your perception/understanding of your immediate environment
- your awareness of the way in which you analyse that environment and respond to it as well as specific awareness of specific analyses and responses
- your awareness of your awareness (for most people this feels like it sits behind the front of your skull)
- the faculties of remembering, forgetting and your memory

Through cellular consciousness we understand that our awareness of our self, our environment and that which is beyond our perception as described above is extremely similar to a cell's awareness.  Its potential and ability to affect its environment are ultimately under the dominion of the nucleus, this nucleus is contained in the cytoplasm which becomes the perceived environment of the nucleus, this cell is then separated from other cells and the body at large by a membrane - from the ''bloodstream of time''.

I used the following diagrams to explain how the cell's experience mimics our own:

This image represents our experience of our physical body and maps it over to the DNA

This image represents the limits of our physical influence and maps over to the nucleus which the DNA does not leave.

This image represents the limits of our sense perception and maps over to the cytoplasm of the cell.

This final image represents the limits of our mental perception and maps over to the cellular membrane.  All perception, awareness of our physical reach and our actual physical body occur within the larger sphere of the Mind.  All experience is mental experience.  This is the essence of the teaching of Plato's Cave.

The DNA spiral being at the centre of this cell is then subsequently mapped over to the Metabolism of Time diagram itself  - thus the ''head'' of the being is the thing mainly concerned with anticipating and planning for the future, the chest of the being (heart, lungs) are the ''present'' (beating, breathing) and the lower part of the being is involved in dealing with the past (digestion, elimination, excretion and reproduction - our genitals store ''the past'').

There are a great number of posts on this at the beginning of the Blogos which explain the links to molecular developmental biology, endocrinology, etc as well as providing all sorts of useful tips for physiognomy and other more ''esoteric'' applications.

I agree that is necessary to clarify terms and try to be as specific as one can be otherwise communication is impossible - terms like consciousness and ''soul'' are definitely subject to such criticism*.  To suggest that the biological sciences are useless in the pursuit of magick is absurd as genetics is clearly embedded in the ancient mysteries that have been handed down to us and its scientific theories and ideas are of both theoretical and practical value. All science is of use to the magician but you must return its ''heart'' - I agree that Science as a sociological phenemonena and institution allied to the military industrial complex and various corporate bodies has a lot to answer for.  If people are struggling to understand what I mean by any of the terms used in the Hermetic Lessons please ask me questions and I will attempt to be as precise as possible.


*''Energy'' is the one that gets my goat.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Tree of Life - The Tree of Time

Ten Sefirot out of Nothing.  Their end is infused with their beginning, and their beginning with their end, like a flame attached to a glowing ember.  Know, think and imagine that the Creator is One and there is nothing apart from Him, and before One what do you count?

3:1 Sefer Yetzirah - Saadia Version

Time cannot be defined without assuming a beginning and an end.  We assume a birth and death.  The universe is assumed to expand and contract, that it has a big bang and will have a big crunch.  The dimensions of Space-Time-Observer that were discussed in the Tree of Depths only exist between these points - the Start and the Finish because time cannot exist without a space and observer and viceversa.

The display created by your mind as a sensual picture of the world around you does not exist in the actual moment.  The information your mind uses to build this display takes time to get from the physical world.  This representation then exists somewhere in your mind and you observe it from another position from within that same mind.  Our whole consciousness is in the past.  We never percieve now, only then.  Although ahead of us, the moment does not exist in the future.  The future is also then.

Our decisions based in the yesterday of the mind's perception of the moment influence the tomorrow of the future - but neither of them are ever present.  Future and past spiral around the moment.  Our physical body exists in the physical moment, only our consciousness does not.  When we say physical body we don't simply mean the transitory form, but also the strange states of the various atoms that make it up, along with the information contained in your genetic code which is somewhat immortal.  In taking this approach to the physical body it could be considered your soul.

Our consciousness, our Inner Mind, analyses the moment it recieves, remembers pertinent information, adjusts the moment by making a decision and then forgets the information back into the storehouse of the memory.  In cell biology, this could be likened to the nucleus, the repository of genetic memory, prompted by a chemical messengers, tapping its DNA for the correct protein to manufacture in response.  The changes made to the cellular environment and the subsequent affects of that change on the body at large go on to feedback into more chemical messengers.  If we are the nucelus, then what surrounds us as our perception is the cytoplasm of the cell, our psychic cell.

Other cells are making their decisions to change the environment, so the reality that finally emerges is consensual, though much of it is forced.  Although you influence reality, your will is one will amongst many and much can be achieved through dextrous use of other forces rather than simply exerting your own.

Percieved time, must by necessity begin and end, in the same way finite objects, in order to be observed, have to have edges.  These edges though are the secret to grasping the point at infinity.  When considering the diagram of the Metabolism of Time and its connections to the Tree of Life, in order to understand it you have to know that since most people believe the reality they observe to be actual physical reality rather than a mental representation of it - it causes Malkuth (the experience of the moment) to fall (i.e. they believe the moment is the actual moment).  The Metabolism of Time shows Malkuth in its position at Daat as a way in which to rectify the Tree of your mind.

Pathwalking - Partzufim in Prague (Castle to the Old Town Square)

The following photoset was produced as a result of a Kabbalistic pathwalking in Prague.  At rough intervals along the way from the Castle to the Old Town Square we found locations to shoot the characters that were appropriate to the Sefirah they represented and entered into a diaoluge with the Genius Loci.





Sunday, August 16, 2015

The WMT - What do you mean by results?

How am I glutted with conceit of this!
Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please,
Resolve me of all ambiguities,       
Perform what desperate enterprise I will?
I’ll have them fly to India for gold,
Ransack the ocean for orient pearl,
And search all corners of the new-found world
For pleasant fruits and princely delicates;       
I’ll have them read me strange philosophy
And tell the secrets of all foreign kings...

 Dr Faustus, Christopher Marlowe

There is some kind of discussion/argument going on about lodge magic vs semi-solitary grimoire magic at the moment, although to be honest its hard to see it as it is fragmented across blogs, facebook pages, etc.  From what I can gather some people are trying to argue that the grimoires will get you better results than magic designed by a magical order.

In this respect my own background is mainly self-initiation through the A∴A∴, following their syllabus of reading and practices, though I have been supported by excellent mentors and study groups over the years and fortunate enough to remember a lot from last time.  As you progress through the A∴A∴ curriculum you learn to refine the various faculties of your being - memory becomes magickal memory, logical being becomes science, emotional being becomes art, mind becomes soul, etc.  As this refining continues you acquire various psychic powers or siddhis - memories of previous lives, mesmerism, hyper-referencing, improved reflexes, remote viewing, clairvoyance, prophetic powers, etc.  This process is one of self-discovery, of revealing the real being inside you and understanding what it is doing.

You'll also come into contact with the grimoires.

I think the question of the quality of results in magic is a good one and if we are to use the method of science we have to be able to at least roughly compare them.  I don't think these discussions have to descend into ''my magic is better than your magic'' at all and I hope we all agree that as practising magicians we are always trying to improve our results alongside our knowledge of the mysteries.  

The quality of the magician is going to affect the result though - if the magician is illogical, delusional, or otherwise insane its going to be a little difficult to trust that the result is genuine and precise.  The extent to which the will is refined in the individual is also important and one of the key features I believe of a grimoire magician is that they are less likely to be flakey and pay more attention to perfection in detail than your typical new age pick and mix magician and this is bound to have a knock on effect in quality of will.

Before we can compare results though we have to define the aims of our magic.  If we are attempting to manifest something in the physical world (lovers, power, prosperity, fertility, health, victory, revenge etc) we have a number of different approaches available.  It is certainly possible to employ spirits to do this but with the powers you possess yourself, through initiation, it is more than possible for you to ensure manifestation of the above without their aid.  If your aim is material and you have developed some of the powers I describe above then why bother the spirits? In fact one of the dangers of relying on other beings is in the room for misunderstanding - we all know the horror stories of spirits burning the house down or killing grandparents because you tried to get them to give you money.  If you are going to employ spirits for this kind of manifestation you need to be as precise as you can be in the communication or expect some havoc. 

You should probably also question your motives.

At the level of Practicus in the A∴A∴ you have to study the Qabalah and if you do study Abulafia, the Ari, Isaac of Acco, the Bahir, the Zohar, etc rather than study the Kircher-derived crap of Crowley et al, you will eventually become a practical Kabbalist, the systems of which rely mainly on two books - Sefer Raziel and Sefer Yetzirah.  It was during this Practicus initiation that a work involving the summoning of the Archangels of the Sefiroth led to a very brief but powerful communication from Raziel to abandon the Tarot and study the letters.  The obvious logical problems with Kircher-derived QBL had always caused me issues and once I started studying Sefer Yetzirah in Theory and Practice by Aryeh Kaplan and applying the techniques my understanding was completely revolutionized.

The results I have had by pursuing my relationship with Raziel and the Kabbalistic grimoire traditions have been exhilirating - walking the paths, summoning Angels, conjuring the letters, developing my astral body, moving to Prague, living in Edward Kelley's Tower, and completely immersing myself in the alchemical and kabbalistic traditions - and vastly outweigh those outside of the grimoires.  The Kabbalah made me seriously question what I meant by result.

Can I use magic to manifest change in the physical world, yes - but what change?  Do I make myself rich, famous, attractive, powerful, etc by bargaining with spirits?   Can I conjure the spirits to material manifestation?  Can I raise the winds or rend the clouds?  Can I remain eternally young, cure disease, heal the sick, transmute the elements, project into different dimensions and time travel?   Can I rectify the worlds?  Can I make someone happy?  Can I mend a single broken heart?

What do you mean by results?

Perhaps I am not the magician, perhaps Raziel is.
Perhaps I am the result.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Theory of Knowledge - Genetic Disease

My colleague's grandfather worked on the understanding that if you carry one recessive gene for sickle cell anemia you won't have the genetic disease but you will have a certain extra resistance to malaria.  Being a carrier here confers the advantage and it lead me to wonder what advantages being a carrier of other genetic diseases brings and also what advantages those who are unfortunate enough to have a genetic disease are hiding?  For instance an individual high in clotting factors in their blood is considered diseased because of a higher chance of thrombosis but would it have been an advantage in our wilderness evolution to not bleed out as quickly as others?


I have noticed that people who store fat easily around their abdomen along with diabetics and people with abdominal epilepsy tend to be dreamers with extremely powerful abilities to imagine and visualise, and who are happy with their own company.  This ability to dream and fantasise often results in them not taking too much exercise and thus compounds their issues with fat storage.

People don't really discuss or compare the traits of their consciousness very often but things like memory, visualization, creativity, reflexes, taste, etc have genetic bases and those bases could rest in the same place as what we typically call genetic diseases.  Unless I am in astral trance my imagination tends to be hazy at best and I read stories very textually but for the imagineers I mentioned above, worlds explode into life in their inner eyes.

People tend to focus on the traits that they consider to be their disadvantages - fat storage, skin problems, depression, metabolism issues, etc - and rarely consider the advantages that come along with them or that they may be interwoven.  Your character defines your suffering but it also defines your special powers.  This character is the root character contained in the genes that you carry and it naturally wears a mask, a normal part of functioning consciousness but only healthy when it is in line with the roots. When people despise their own body, etc, or are mocked by others the ego mask gains strength from the fear, guilt, anxiety and ends up becoming diseased with self-loathing, etc.  The extremes of this are seen in cosmetic surgery*.

The choice with any disease we bear is how we relate to it.  Do we seek to mollify its excesses - i.e. eat less and exercise more if we are prone to store fat or pro-active relaxation for those of us plagued by stress-related skin or bowel conditions?  How far do we strive in that direction? If I am naturally a plump master dreamer will my vigourous course of exercise reduce the time I have to create worlds on the astral plane? What if your special powers of creativity, or athleticism, or lovemaking, or imagination, come at the price of a cancer gene or latent paranoid-schizophrenia?  What if , in an effort to cure or reduce the effect of genetic disease, we cure or reduce our special powers?

Would you rather be a suffering somebody or a smiling nobody?

*I am not against all cosmetic surgery, some of it is clearly unnecessary and excessive.