Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Occultism isn't dying, its just difficult


That Crawford Tillinghast should ever have studied science and philosophy was a mistake. These investigations should be left to the cold and impersonal investigator for they offer two stark alternatives for the man of feeling and reason, despair, if he fail in his quest, and terrors, unutterable and unimaginable, if he succeed.

H.P Lovecraft, From Beyond
You can't measure the life or death of something by how popular it is.  ''Occultism'' isn't dying its just extremely difficult so it has a lot of dropouts or people who flit from one one oh one to another.  The complexity that occultism offers in all that ''maths'' is not to get in the way of practising magick, its a way of refining the quality and specificity of it as well as allowing you to access something deeper than wish fulfilment and the wanton manipulation of sub-lunary ''earthly'' reality by hacking probabilities.  As I said before, its not a how to means unto itself but a gateway drug into the why.

People tend to chose the path of least resistance because they are largely lazy, easily distracted idiots therefore occultism, inherently difficult as it is, was never going to get really popular just like higher level maths isn't.  If systems other than classical occultism are becoming more popular its because they are easy or offer quick satisfying results.  The simple truth is that people do not have the time, the patience, or the nous, to learn and memorize the necessary concepts. Why go to the lengths of developing an astral body when you can just get what you want by firing off a sigil, eh? Not only do they not have time for ''occultism'' but the average occultnik is just not smart enough either.  When the non-discerning do mess around they make a pig's ear out of it.

Large parts of the modern esoteric community remind me of that FB page ''I fucking love science''. Its been criticized before but what these people actually love are photographs of nature and famous figures bashing religion or espousing the virtues of a scientific world view.  Actual science, like actual occultism, is, in the main, both tedious and difficult until you get your first Eureka! moment. The public face of occultism these days is a substanceless stream of spooky esoteric images on tumblr or in-jokes on facebook.

The dumbing down of the occult community, the corresponding increase, then decrease, in its numbers and therefore the apparent need for the conversation about whether or not it is dying has been largely driven by authors and speakers, of varying quality, seeking to make a buck out of it.  Some knowledge is necessary to understand whatever it is they are offering and in order for them to make sales they need to write in such a way that thousands of tumblroids can access it. The first time an esoteric author told me to ''get a coffee and sit down for this one'' I vomited in my mouth a little and then retreated to a text written in a lost language by a dead magus as staring incomprehensibly at ancient impossible genius was immeasurably the more valuable experience*.  Even Aleister Crowley in his relentless mockery of his readers is way more pleasing than these platitudes.

The realities of esoteric studies in the WMT are years of exercises in logic, intuition, concentration, faith and imagination, and memorization of classification systems (some which require serious critical thinking), finally followed by terrifying and ecstasy inducing ritual experiments.  If you want to associate with Dee, Newton, Paracelsus, etc and their cutting edge 21st century incarnations you are going to need to understand things like hyper-spheres and endocrinology, etc. I am not talking down to you but you need to step up your game. Posting on tumblr or reading an ancient alien theory does not an occultist make. 

Do the maths, summon the alien angel, tell us what it says and you're in

Studying the occult means you are going to have to do lots of actual work memorizing what at first seems to be a series of extremely boring things that in the end lead to incredibly deep realizations and the ability to achieve highly specific magickal results (and not only the ''earthly'' variety).  Like Science. You are going to have to actively avoid wasting your time chatting shit about nothing on facebook or confusing identity politics with magick and letting your willpower turn to sewage in skinner boxes.  You are going to have to spend years performing spiritual titration.  And you'll never get a Nobel prize.  Suck it up.

Are there too many lists, too many numbers, too many difficult metaphysical concepts in occultism? Are we doing it wrong?  Do you need a coffee? And more importantly are we being judged on how ''accessible'' it is? Because fuck that. Is there too much geometry in occultism for you?  Too much classification? Does it seem too much like its more publically acceptable but equally boring nephew Science (with a capital S!) that stood on the shoulders of that self-same ''weird uncle'' Occultism to gift you the computer you bemoan about it on?

If you don't want to do that work, or in fact aren't capable, then you can kindly take yourself off to the kid's pool with its eminently readable and enjoyably inflatable material.  Leave us alone in our towers of indecipherable ancient texts, intricate theoretical hierarchies and endless calculus - we'll be fine.  Go have ''fun''.  Go ''chat''.  We have absolutely no problem with the ''death of public occultism''.  The public can get lost. This subject is, and always will be, for the secret and the few.

Occultism is too difficult for you?  Maybe, just maybe, you are just too stupid or too lazy for it.

The Yi King does not care if you read it.

Now redouble your efforts.
Love and cuddles.

*I really hope they weren't telling me to ''get a coffee and sit down because this is going to blow your mind'' in Sumerian or Etruscan.  I'd be a right fool then.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, and thank you. For going against the idiot in me - and for railing against all these pesky idiots out there. And now, back to work...