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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading. Whosoever disregards this does so at his own risk and peril. These are most dire. Those who discuss the contents of this Book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence. All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt. Love is the law, love under will.
The priest of the princes,
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INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND EDITION
The world is in crisis. Men of all ages look in despair on the chaos which is their inheritance from countless generations of forebears, and join in what has become a universal cry of disillusionment: “Stop the world—I want to get off.”
Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy to get off. Answers are not as simple as some might have supposed. And assuming they were, where would people go, once they got off the merry-go-round? Many centuries ago, certain sages approached the problem from another angle, and found what they considered a practical solution. If life is sorrow, then the only thing to do is to end this sorrowful existence by getting off the perpetually revolving wheel of existence. Life follows life, incarnation follows incarnation—and all of them spell anxiety and sorrow. For these sages, it was apparent that it might be millions of years before the masses of humanity would develop enough insight to be able to terminate the sorrowful cycle of existence. But for the illuminated individual who will apply himself to a specific psycho-spiritual discipline, escape might come aeons sooner than for the average member of mankind.
This release, they learned, comes only through the achievement of a higher consciousness by the individual. Call it cosmic consciousness, the mystical experience, communion with God—all spell the same message—release. None may know it for another. Each man must himself attain for himself awareness of his own oneness with infinite life—the consciousness that a state of separateness exists only within his own mind.
Not until man does recognize that he is himself a microcosm of the macrocosm, a reflection of the universe, a world within himself, ruled and governed by his own divinity, can he escape from the wheel. It is the achievement of this one realization which all schools of mysticism, magic, and various forms of occult teaching refer to as the Great Work.
The Great Work is not accomplished overnight, or even in one Lifetime. But the sooner the aspirant undertakes the task, the sooner will it be finished, and the quicker will he be released from the cycle of necessity, the wheel of evolution to which common humanity is bound. Millions of years may pass in the normal process of evolution before the mass of mankind will reach the state of freedom which those few individuals who apply themselves
to this work can accomplish in a fraction of the time. And the paradox then dawns upon them that life, instead of being sorrowful, may just as well be the opposite. “Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass and are done; but there is that which remains.” And as it has also been written: “I am divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.”
Herein lies the value of magic. Under ordinary conditions, months may be required for the flowering of a plant, but the use of a hot-house will produce identical results within a few weeks. An understanding and application of magic can telescope the time required for man to acquire the realization of his own divinity. Then, once he has become aware of the existence of his higher self, and works in cooperation rather than opposition to it, once he looks to it for guidance and direction, thenceforth regarding his ego as a tool, sharpened and polished to be employed now to fulfill the divine plan rather than in the indulgence of his own petty purposes—then will his way become easier. Long before obtaining his final release, then may he move forward on the upward path with joy and equanimity.
So it is that, at a time when the planet seems to be rocking beneath our feet, I derive great pleasure from writing an introduction to a new edition of The Middle Pillar. It is that pillar which stands dependable and relatively changeless as the sphinx, between the extremes of Mercy and Severity, the two outer pillars of the Qabalah’s Tree of Life. Equally important, it also provides basic principles of magic which can speed the student on his way to blessed release from the necessity of the accursed wheel. Once he has gained this new understanding, the student, it is to be hoped, will gradually but steadily progress until he has completed the Great Work. In so doing, not only will he help himself by stepping up his own evolutionary processes, but to that degree will he have raised the frequencies of his fellow man and even the planet itself, since all that is, is one.
Frances G. Wickes in The Inner World of Choice points out that we must “accept the experience that will bring to birth a latent potential,” and be willing to dare the leap into the unknown, diving deep into the unconscious “in search of the other unborn or lost potentials of the self.”
The Middle Pillar should prove a trustworthy guide on this search. It involves several distinct methods, each of which has been designed for a specific purpose, yet all work together to accomplish the ultimate goal, to erase the barrier between the conscious self and the unconscious, and to enable the student to find within the self, the Great Self who is in reality the only saviour he will ever have.
The use of the Qabalistic Cross, as described in an early chapter, serves as an ideal means of aiding the ego to undergo an enormous expansion, to open up consciousness on a voluntary ordered level to the dictates of the unconscious. The so-called Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is a vital technique designed to eliminate undesirable elements from the psychic sphere, and thus to permit the process of consciousness expansion to proceed without harm or hindrance. The use of the archaic exercise referred to as the Middle Pillar will increase the field of attention, aid in the achievement of balance and equilibrium, and unfold to the aspirant a completely new and remarkable sphere of power and spiritual perception.
Every technique of magic is intended in various ways to widen the field of vision of the conscious ego to the deeper, more spiritual aspects of the divine nature—which, in reality, is his true or higher self. Of the numerous techniques available in the vast armamentarium of magic for this purpose, the most vital and essential ones are summed up in the simple exercises outlined in this book.
Ceremonial magic enables man to become an engine capable of harnessing and directing the enormous power that lies within. A multitude of basic principles are utilized to this end. Adoration, which is essential to attaining a sense of unity with godhead, concentration, development of will and the use of it to accomplish a given purpose, achievement of self-awareness, and the ability to breathe properly, these are but a few of the benefits to be derived from persistent application to the basic practices herein discussed.
Various symbolisms are employed in those phases which deal with adoration, but the choice of symbols is actually unimportant. Once it is realized that basically all religions are one and all prophets are true, it is quite logical to borrow any set of symbols from one religion for a certain purpose, and another set from a second religion for a different purpose. Nor will the practices be of passing value. On the contrary, the set of adorations the student will learn from this book are to be integrated for all time into the daily pattern of living. Next in importance is the achievement of a heightened sense of self-awareness. All other exercises and complex procedures actually begin from this heightening of self-awareness. To the degree that the horizon of one’s self becomes expanded, to that extent does the self become enlarged.
The development of proper breathing habits will serve many purposes, including eradication of considerable neuromuscular tension, with a consequent increase of energy and vitality. The air by which we are surrounded, and in which we live and move and have our being, is the essence of life itself. Consequently we live, literally surrounded by a circumambient sea of energy and vitality—a divine force which can be assimilated by the simple process of learning to breathe in a proper rhythm, altogether apart from more abstruse occult theories.
Once he has gained control over his mental processes, the student can then learn to stimulate and direct his emotions. This becomes will. So complete and interlocking are the details of this system, that the emotions can then be utilized as a tool to be used in directing and holding the mind steady on a given objective. For fervor and conviction are essential to activating the productive and creative agency with man.
In the process, over a period of time, life becomes consecrated so that all one’s energies become automatically concentrated in a continuous devotion to God or the one life that courses through all of us. In short, the student achieves a perfect and harmonious identification with divine power, life, and love. And then he will know that “existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass and are done….”
The Middle Pillar was originally dedicated to S. L. MacGregor Mathers and Dr. William Wynn Westcott who were chiefs of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, to which I owe so very much. The book is merely the simplest possible representation of some of the elementary practices of that order. In actuality, it is an attempt to simplify and combine the practices both of the Golden Dawn with the insights and later developments of Aleister Crowley.
The real virtue of the book lies in its correlation of the practice of magic to modern psychotherapy. For magic places the achievement of self-awareness second in importance only to the achievement of unity with God. And Jung’s definition of psychotherapy was that which enabled one to become conscious of what hitherto was unconscious.
For untold thousands of years, man has lived in subjugation to the unconscious forces of nature—powerful instincts and drives which led him to act without deliberation or conscious volition, and in complete ignorance in fact of the forces at work which really motivated him. The Great Work recognizes that in these deep unconscious levels lies a great storehouse of power, awareness, and vitality which must not only be awakened but recognized and equilibrated for the human being to function at maximum capacity and efficiency. This in short is the major purpose and function of the teachings of this book.
I had first begun to read about psychoanalysis in the writings of Freud and Jung as early as 1926. I cannot say they meant very much to me, save as intellectual stimuli of a fascinating kind. When I first wrote The Middle Pillar, I had just entered psychoanalytical therapy, thanks to the influence of a very dear friend. The tremendous value and importance of psychotherapy as a prelude to any serious magical training was just beginning to dawn upon me.
My work with Dr. E. A. Clegg of Harley Street, and with Dr. J. L. Bendit, a Jungian of Wimpole Street in London, led me to realize the importance of psychotherapy to the beginner in mysticism and magic. In fact, thirty-five years later, in 1968, I am more strongly of the opinion than I was then. So fervently do I feel about this that since that time I have acquired some of the qualifications necessary to practice various forms of psychotherapy, particularly that of Wilhelm Reich, whose work I regard as a bridge between conventional psychotherapy and occultism. I doubt if Reich would be pleased to learn of this association of mine—but a fact it is nevertheless.
Today I will not so much as consider even discussion of the Great Work with a student until he has experienced some form of psychotherapy, I care not which. There is lacking, until then, a common frame of reference, and common medium of communication. In The Middle Pillar will be discovered the first glimmerings of insight I had in that particular direction. It still holds good today.
This passage is from a book titled The Middle Pillar by Israel Regardie
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NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR
Whoever reads this book expecting to find an informative essay on “sugar-coated” commercial esotericism will be greatly disappointed.The Stellar Man is about a science more elevated than any now known, and what it can do for mankind.
This wisdom, the true origin of all knowledge, represents the highest treasure that the human being can ever succeed in possessing in this or any other century, on the planet Earth or anywhere else in the far reaches of the Universe. It is the arte magnum, the perfect vision of the essential reality of Nature, which encompasses developing the capacity to see oneself objectively, and evaluating the true level of development of one’s own instrument of knowledge, the mind. All knowledge, in order to be true, has to be based on man’s internal reality, and has to be integrated into a wise, just, omnipresent, immortal, and eternal nature.
The ability to see reality is not a congenital capacity. The human being is only able to observe the map that he himself created from a subjective, limited, and rationalized interpretation.
This process creates a personalized pseudo-reality, of which there are as many as there are inhabitants of this planet. I call this imaginative creation “social reality,” since in practice, the individual is a mere cultural resonator and an appendage of the collective psyche of humanity. This is why people live “half-way” and are a mixture of good and bad; why they are a little asleep and a little awake; why they are insignificant even with all their delusions of grandeur. In other words, they do not live profoundly and cannot even grasp the overwhelming significance of this fact. They just graze the surface of the planet and the epidermis of knowledge.
According to tradition, more than twenty centuries ago, the greatest sage of all lived on our planet; Hermes Trismegistus, the three times great. His Teaching, being of extraterrestrial origin, was called Hermeticism. Its objective is the profound knowledge of oneself and of the Universe. According to Hermes, the microcosmos and the macrocosmos are analogous, which is why the conscious penetration into one’s own Universe will also lead the student to universal wisdom. The characteristic of this knowledge is that it transcends time and space, and corresponds to the secret anatomy of Nature, which like God, has neither beginning nor end.
When Hermes wanted to transmit his teachings to a chosen few, he found himself faced with the problem of the limitations of language, which is descriptive and informationally based. This inherent disability made human language inadequate to meet the desired end, since all authentic wisdom is “meaningful” and not “informational.” It can only be comprehended at the level of BEING, and not through merely intellectual faculties. For this reason, an unknown language had to be used, different from the language of people and nations. It is a “language of meaning,” that emanates exclusively from a potent mind at the level of higher consciousness, and which far exceeds the habitual condition of man. The “language of the gods” was the only means that could assure the comprehension of that sublime teaching.
Hermes started to transmit his Teaching in great secrecy, choosing only the most prepared as his students, due to the great difficulty that such a magnum opus entailed. In time, he succeeded in forming a few inheritors and continuers, Masters who formed an Initiatic School. They formed an occult fraternity that fulfilled its work behind the scenes and in silence. They knew that there were many neophytes who were guided by greed and ambition to obtain unlimited personal power to satisfy sordid passions, rather than a genuine spiritual or philosophical restlessness.
Many of those who gained admission into this School failed in their tests and their twisted intention and absolute lack of ethics became evident over time. The possession of ethics was an indispensable condition to be chosen to receive the highest level of instruction.
The limited and superficial information that these pretenders thus obtained became the basis for the birth of a false and spurious esotericism. It was based on speculation and superstition, and its dissemination is the foundation of the immense majority of what today is erroneously known as “magic,” “occultism,” and so forth. True and sacred occultism was the knowledge of Hermes, hidden from those who have not succeeded in mastering the language of the gods, and from those who, owing to their own limitations, pride, and pettiness, were not concerned with developing their higher consciousness.
What is certain is that despite the time and difficulties, a few Masters with the necessary power and wisdom to confer Hermetic initiation have existed in every epoch. This initiation is a mystical and transcendental event that offers the individual a certain opportunity to cross the threshold that leads to the path towards spiritual perfection and cosmic wisdom. If the individual triumphs in such an undertaking, he becomes a Stellar Man. This represents the highest goal that Homo sapiens can aspire to, and which corresponds to the culmination of the evolutionary process, but which the species would reach only after many thousands of years of successful development. Making this ascending leap leads the individual to completely overcome his animal condition, thereby moving him up one step on the evolutionary scale in the Universe. The path of self-perfection is long and arduous. There can be no other way than to pursue the attainment of authentic power over oneself and one’s own existence, and to pursue the possession of a state of consciousness in which disharmony, destructiveness, ugliness, aggression, and unhappiness no longer exist. The real Hermetic Initiate acquires the capacity to transcend such petty realities, to instead place himself in the unlimited and infinite context of absolute reality; that which transcends time and space. From that moment on, he will never again be defeated by hesitation, loneliness, or doubt. He will have united himself harmoniously with that unique and powerful force which is a creator and maintainer of life, what Hermes called “MIND.”
The Hermetic Principle says: “The ALL is MIND; The Universe is Mental.” This means that only one class of essential energy exists in the cosmos. This energy, this higher conscious and intelligent force, is divided, and projects itself into infinite vibrations and forms of life, thus maintaining the balance of creation and life of all animate and inanimate species.
The occult anatomy of the cosmos is the mechanics of Nature, whose forces reciprocally feed from and nourish man, influencing everything in his life. Knowledge, and the use of these forces, is what permits the genuine Hermeticist to act with his mind in different vital situations in order to ensure the achievement of his goals. Fate does not exist; everything has a cause and effect; nothing happens by chance. True magic bears no resemblance whatsoever to superstition and witchcraft. The true magus, is a KING of his internal world which by analogy can influence the external world. “As it is above, so it is below.” “As it is within, so it is without.”
Guided by voraciousness and greed, there are many who believe that it is possible to steal the secret and usurp the magic power, supposing that it is based on the development of parapsychological faculties. Nothing is further from reality. Magic is the path of the mutant. It is the supreme art, which leads to one’s own liberation and spiritual perfection. It is the ascending evolutionary spiral that leads the individual to the only true heaven—the one gained through one’s own merit and through internal discipline—it is the legacy of Hermes. It is not possible to reach this goal without having first dominated oneself. Nature makes the candidate for immortality undergo various tests. The will and character of the candidate have to be tempered silently in the forge of daily experience, until he cleanses his heart of all impurities. It is not possible to approach Isis, the mistress of the mysteries of Nature, without having first achieved a state of inner transparency. If this were not so, the candidate would end as the butterfly burned by the flame of a candle, for supreme truth blinds or burns the evildoer and the impure as much as it elevates the just and perfect.
The noble figure of Hermes, the envoy of the gods, rises out of the remote past showing us the correct path.
You who read this book are free to make your own decision.
THE AUTHOR Written for the
This passage is from a book titled The Stellar Man by John Baines
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We take great pleasure in presenting to the attention of students and investigators of the Secret Doctrines this little work based upon the world-old Hermetic Teachings. There has been so little written upon this subject, notwithstanding the countless references to the Teachings in the many works upon occultism, that the many earnest searchers after the Arcane Truths will doubtless welcome the appearance of the present volume.
The purpose of this work is not the enunciation of any special philosophy or doctrine, but rather is to give to the students a statement of the Truth that will serve to reconcile the many bits of occult knowledge that they may have acquired, but which are apparently opposed to each other and which often serve to discourage and disgust the beginner in the study. Our intent is not to erect a new Temple of Knowledge, but rather to place in the hands of the student a Master-Key with which he may open the many inner doors in the Temple of Mystery through the main portals he has already entered.
There is no portion of the occult teachings possessed by the world which have been so closely guarded as the fragments of the Hermetic Teachings which have come down to us over the tens of centuries which have elapsed since the lifetime of its great founder, Hermes Trismegistus, the “scribe of the gods,” who dwelt in old Egypt in the days when the present race of men was in its infancy. Contemporary with Abraham, and, if the legends be true, an instructor of that venerable sage, Hermes was, and is, the Great Central Sun of Occultism, whose rays have served to illumine the countless teachings which have been promulgated since his time. All the fundamental and basic teachings embedded in the esoteric teachings of every race may be traced back to Hermes. Even the most ancient teachings of India undoubtedly have their roots in the original Hermetic Teachings.
From the land of the Ganges many advanced occultists wandered to the land of Egypt, and sat at the feet of the Master. From him they obtained the Master-Key which explained and reconciled their divergent views, and thus the Secret Doctrine was firmly established. From other lands also came the learned ones, all of whom regarded Hermes as the Master of Masters, and his influence was so great that in spite of the many wanderings from the path on the part of the centuries of teachers in these different lands, there may still be found a certain basic resemblance and correspondence which underlies the many and often quite divergent theories entertained and taught by the occultists of these different lands today. The student of Comparative Religions will be able to perceive the influence of the Hermetic Teachings in every religion worthy of the name, now known to man, whether it be a dead religion or one in full vigor in our own times. There is always a certain correspondence in spite of the contradictory features, and the Hermetic Teachings act as the Great Reconciler. The lifework of Hermes seems to have been in the direction of planting the great Seed-Truth which has grown and blossomed in so many strange forms, rather than to establish a school of philosophy which would dominate the world’s thought. But, nevertheless, the original truths taught by him have been kept intact in their original purity by a few men in each age, who, refusing great numbers of half-developed students and followers, followed the Hermetic custom and reserved their truth for the few who were ready to comprehend and master it. From lip to ear the truth has been handed down among the few. There have always been a few Initiates in each generation, in the various lands of the earth, who kept alive the sacred flame of the Hermetic Teachings, and such have always been willing to use their lamps to re-light the lesser lamps of the outside world, when the light of truth grew dim, and clouded by reason of neglect, and when the wicks became clogged with foreign matter. There were always a few to tend faithfully the altar of the Truth, upon which was kept alight the Perpetual Lamp of Wisdom. These men devoted their lives to the labor of love which the poet has so well stated in his lines:
“0, let not the flame die out! Cherished age after age in its dark cavern–in its holy temples cherished. Fed by pure ministers of love –let not the flame die out!”
These men have never sought popular approval, nor numbers of followers. They are indifferent to these things, for they know how few there are in each generation who are ready for the truth, or who would recognize it if it were presented to them. They reserve the “strong meat for men,” while others furnish the “milk for babes.” They reserve their pearls of wisdom for the few elect, who recognize their value and who wear them in their crowns, instead of casting them before the materialistic vulgar swine, who would trample them in the mud and mix them with their disgusting mental food. But still these men have never forgotten or overlooked the original teachings of Hermes, regarding the passing on of the words of truth to those ready to receive it, which teaching is stated in The Kybalion as follows: “Where fall the footsteps of the Master, the ears of those ready for his Teaching open wide.” And again: “When the ears of the student are ready to hear, then cometh the lips to fill them with wisdom.” But their customary attitude has always been strictly in accordance with the other Hermetic aphorism, also in The Kybalion: “The lips of Wisdom are closed, except to the ears of Understanding.”
There are those who have criticised this attitude of the Hermetists, and who have claimed that they did not manifest the proper spirit in their policy of seclusion and reticence. But a moment’s glance back over the pages of history will show the wisdom of the Masters, who knew the folly of attempting to teach to the world that which it was neither ready or willing to receive. The Hermetists have never sought to be martyrs, and have, instead, sat silently aside with a pitying smile on their closed lips, while the “heathen raged noisily about them” in their customary amusement of putting to death and torture the honest but misguided enthusiasts who imagined that they could force upon a race of barbarians the truth capable of being understood only by the elect who had advanced along The Path. And the spirit of persecution has not as yet died out in the land. There are certain Hermetic Teachings, which, if publicly promulgated, would bring down upon the teachers a great cry of scorn and revilement from the multitude, who would again raise the cry of “Crucify! Crucify.”
In this little work we have endeavored to give you an idea of the fundamental teachings of The Kybalion, striving to give you the working Principles, leaving you to apply them yourselves, rather than attempting to work out the teaching in detail. If you are a true student, you will be able to work out and apply these Principles–if not, then you must develop yourself into one, for otherwise the Hermetic Teachings will be as “words, words, words” to you.
THE THREE INITIATES
This passage is from a book titled The Kybalion by The Three Initiates You can download the entire book for free here.
The Astral Flame.
Before the disciple can obtain Spirit or Astral Sight he must be (an) absolute master of himself. You cannot master the forces of nature until you can master those of your own body, and before the true initiation can take place, it will be necessary to overcome the forces of the sense nature and have absolute belief and faith in yourself.
To the true initiate the physical senses and pleasures have no attraction, they are in the world but not of the world.
Then again the fact that the ancient adepts were celibate meant that they had complete control of their sensual and physical nature or excesses.
When the passions are not controlled, the result is terrible, and the birth of countless monstrosities, which literally throng the atmosphere and continually impede the spiritual and earthly progress of the offenders, is one of the sad trials of misguided humanity. These fluidic phantoms, as they are called, fasten hold upon the person, and not all the praying and religious beliefs in the world can make up for this violation—they create abortions of the Astral Flame, things which are neither of the spirit nor human, monstrosities of vampire-like origin with no marked individuality of their own, who simply prey upon the weak and diseased, bringing them almost invariably to a terrible end. To avoid these vampires, keep clear of the terrible practice which creates them, keep your thoughts pure and your body pure—so shall you be free.
There are also in the world many people who are involuntarily vampires in themselves. They are seldom aware of the fact, but they gain all their vitality from other people with whom they come in daily contact, literally absorbing their life forces and leaving them limp and unable to explain the feeling of languor which has overcome them. When this occurs the cure is simple, make yourself positive to them, hold the thought of good firmly in your mind, and then deny the power of (evil) master yourself and you will know what is meant by evil. If you have arrived at the state of being this and also by studying my other chapters.
Concentration, absolute faith and belief in yourself to remain steadfast against those who would harm you, an even temper, untiring perseverance, pure living, freedom from animal desires—these must be yours if you would lift the veil which hides the Past and Future.
If you desire to develop your Spirit or Soul Sight so you can look into the future, and also unfold the past for others, you must fix you Mind upon one single point at a time and believe that you will succeed. Gaze into your Crystal and concentrate upon the knowledge you need—avoid speculation and make your Mind receptive. At the same time you must Will with all your might to know the correct solution of that which is to be unravelled. Remember that the normal Clairvoyant is a power in himself and is not of this world only, but has connection with the unseen.
The doors of Spirit Sight can only be opened to the man who has patience, and these words, Will and Power, Belief and Faith, are the keys to their unfoldment.
The Magic of Magnetism
It has been held for many ages, more in the East than in prosaic England and half-cultivated America, that Hoodooism or Voodooism, the Black Art and Diabolical Magic, as it is called—the Magic of Magnetism—is all humbug.
This is not true as the sad records of Witchcraft and Black Magic show, and if the person who is thus cursed, by having an evil spell thrown over them, has a weak and receptive mind and is willing by means of auto-suggestion and that craven of all cravens, Fear, to aid and carry out the will of the sorcerer, or the evil eye the results, are sometimes terrible indeed.
By means of various proceedings the person thus to be cursed is impregnated with the thought of the operator whether he be in or out of the body, and where this is very concentrated, it will bear seeds in weak and unorganized soil.
Sometimes the ancient Black magicians would mould a wax image of the victim and stick pins into it and curse it daily, the object of this amiable performance really being to concentrate the mind to the fullest extent upon the victim—it is simply a case of concentrated venom. The man or woman who holds a positive mind, who has learnt to recognize the principle of eternal good, cannot be hurt or harmed in any way by these proceedings—no matter how powerful the operator.
The magnetism in the crystal, which is focused there by the flow of astral light from the eye of the Medium or Seer, enables you to see, and it is the magnetism in your person which causes you to attract or repel those you come in contact with in daily life.
The rules to acquire this magnetism to such purpose that it can be utilized by the disciple, so forming that perfect mastery which will enable you to penetrate the secrets of nature, are as follows:—
The first Law is persistence, fixity of purpose.
The second Law is attention, concentrated attention about the person or thing enquired about.
The third Law is calmness. You can learn nothing by hurry or excitement, these things destroy the flow of magnetic currents.
The fourth Law is will, the “I will have what I want” power of the Soul. This is the pivot upon which the others rotate and without it nothing can be done.
The fifth Law is that of intensity.
The sixth is that of polarity. The positive and negative principles of nature, it represents the light and darkness, male and female, the positive and negative side of things—I have explained this positive and negative in my other chapters, so I will not repeat them.
The seventh Law is attraction, magnetism or desire.
This passage is from a book titled The Magic and Occultism of India by L. W. de Laurence (1909) You can download the entire book for free here.
“Everything that exists upon the Earth has its ethereal counterpart above the Earth, and there is nothing, however insignificant it may appear in the world, which is not depending on something higher; so that if the lower part acts, its presiding higher part reacts upon it.”
Sohar Wajecae, Fol. 156, 6.
“For in our searching are fulfilled all our desires, and we obtain the victory over all worlds.” –Khand. Upanishad.
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION
THE favour with which “Magic” has been received by those who are interested in the study of the hidden mysteries of Nature, made it expedient to publish a third edition of this book. From an insignificant pamphlet, written originally for the purpose of demonstrating to a few inexperienced inquirers, that the study of the occult side of nature was not identical with the vile practices of sorcery, “Magic” grew into a book of respectable dimensions, and now this new edition is to be still more enlarged, and I hope will also become still more useful.
The most serious objection which has been made against this book has been on account of its title; but the causes which induced me to select such a title were suggested by the purpose for which the book was intended; nor would I at present be able to find one more appropriate for it, for “Magic” –in my opinion– means that divine art or exercise of spiritual power by which the awakened spirit in man may control the invisible living elements in the soul-substance of the universe; but above all those in his own soul, which are the ones nearest to him; for a person who cannot control the elements within his own sphere or organism, will not be able to control those identical forces existing beyond his own sphere in the organism of the universal soul, or the souls of others.
But if we desire to master any forces whatever, either within or beyond our own sphere, it is above all necessary to know what these forces are which we desire to control, and how they originate, and as we have no better means to study the qualities of internal forces, than by observing those which are active within ourselves, the perception of the processes going on within our own psychic organism, and the acquirement of self-knowledge and power over oneself will be the means to accomplish our object. The art Magic is the exercise of spiritual power, which may be obtained by practising self-control, and this power cannot be acquired in any other way; nor is it possible to teach any one how to exercise a power which he does not possess, because he has not developed it. The constitutions of all men are fundamentally the same, and in each human being are magical powers germinally or in latent condition; but they cannot be said to exist before they become active and manifest themselves, first interiorly, and afterwards in an outward direction.
It was not my object, in composing this book, to write merely a code of ethics, and thereby to increase the already existing enormous mountain of unread moral precepts, but to assist the student of Occultism in studying the elements of which his own soul is composed, and to learn to know his own psychical organism. I want to give an impulse to the study of a science, which may be called the “anatomy and physiology of the soul,” which investigates the elements of which the soul is composed, and the source from which man’s desires and emotions spring.
Physical science has advanced with great strides in the realm of superficial phenomena and external illusions, but the science of the real interior and invisible man is still very little known. The mechanical and chemical forces of nature have been made subservient to physical science. She has laid the yoke upon the neck of the giant Steam and chained Electricity to her triumphal chariot; she made mechanical motion, heat, and light, and magnetism the obedient slaves of men; she made discoveries which make man to a certain extent independent of the conditions imposed upon him by space and time; she succeeded in realising certain ideas and to put them into practical execution, ideas which a century ago were believed to belong merely to the realm of the fancies of the visionary and the dreamer.
Why should we stop here? Why should it not be possible for us to advance still further, and to enchain those semi-conscious and conscious forces which pervade our own soul, and also the soul of the world? Why should it be impossible to condense into forms the living but formless Elementals to concentrate and give shape to living and universal principles, which although they are invisible for us, nevertheless exist, as has been demonstrated by those who have acquired the power to perceive and control them? Such things have been accomplished by the Eastern sages thousands of years ago, and may be accomplished by ourselves, provided we attain the same state of perfection which characterises these Adepts, and become like them, not merely learned, but wise.
To arrive at this end the merely superficially intellectual reading of books on Occultism is entirely insufficient. The divine mysteries of nature are above and beyond the power of conception of the semi-animal intellect. They must be intuitively grasped by the power of the spirit, which enters into the substance of which the world is formed. If we cannot perceive a spiritual truth with the eyes of the spirit, intellectual reasoning and book learning will not enable us to perceive it clearly. Books, dealing with such subjects, should not be masters to us to whom we must blindly follow; they should merely be our assistants. They are merely useful to describe the details of things which we already—although perhaps indistinctly—see with our spiritual perception; they are merely servants to hold up before our eyes magnifying mirrors, wherein we see the truths, whose presence we feel in our own soul.
Jacob Boehme, the great theosophist, says in regard to the study of Occultism: “If you desire to investigate the divine mysteries of nature, investigate first your own mind, and ask yourself about the purity of your purpose. Do you desire to put the good teachings which you may receive into practice for the benefit of humanity? Are you ready to renounce all selfish desires, which cloud your mind and hinder you to see the clear light of eternal truth? Are you willing to become an instrument for the manifestation of Divine Wisdom? Do you know what it means to become united with your own higher Self, to get rid of your lower Self, to become one with the living universal power of Good and to die to your insignificant terrestrial personality? Or do you merely desire to obtain great knowledge, so that your curiosity may be gratified, and that you may be proud of your science, and believe yourself to be superior to the rest of mankind? Consider, that the depths of Divinity can only be searched by the divine spirit itself, which is active within you. Real knowledge must come from our own interior, not merely from externals, and they who seek for the essence of things merely in externals, may find the artificial colour of a thing, but not the true thing itself.”
Again this self-taught philosopher says: “The intellect should be developed, but above all the heart. We should attempt to understand intellectually the laws of everything; but our own still fallible intellect should not be made the starting-point in our investigations. Man should not be governed by his intellectual speculations; but he should govern his intellect, so that the light of divine reason may shine through the former. If our judgement becomes free of all selfish taint, and the vibrations of our soul are made to vibrate in harmony with the eternal spirit, our perishable intellect will be penetrated by the imperishable light of divine wisdom; and we will be able to perceive and to solve the deepest problems of nature. If our desire and reason cling to the sphere of self, we shall see merely the illusions which we ourselves have created; but if we become free by being obedient to the universal law, we will become one with the law and see the truth in its purity.”
Let therefore those who wish to acquire “magic,” i.e., spiritual or divine power, follow this advice: let them rise mentally into the highest regions of thought and remain therein as its permanent residents. Let them cultivate their physical bodies and their mental constitutions in such a manner that the matter of which they are composed will become less gross and more movable and penetrable to the divine light of the spirit. Then will the veils that seperate them from the invisible world become thinner; then will they become aware of the fact that the circle which limits their terrestrial and phenomenal existence is merely a small segment of that grand circle wherein their existence as self-conscious beings on the spiritual plane is enclosed, and as they increase in transcendental knowledge they will grow in spiritual power, until, by the understanding of the divine laws of the universe, they will become co-operators of God, and God will co-operate with them.
The following pages are an attempt to show the way how Man may become a co-operator of the Divine Power whose product is Nature; they constitute a book which may properly bear the title of “Magic,” for if the readers succeed in practically following its teachings they will be able to perform the greatest of all magical feats, the spiritual regeneration of Man.
This passage is from a book titled MAGIC WHITE AND BLACK The Science of Finite and Infinite Life by Dr. Franz Hartmann M. D. (1888) You can download the entire book for free here.