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#33371 - 12/30/09 01:10 AM The Legitimacy of Greater Magic
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



The goal of this new post: an attempt to build a language around the black magical process; or at the very least, an opportunity to define a framework, for the black magical process within conventional terms.

My focus here is on the Greater Magical process and on the “logic” which makes it function.

The source material for the following claims: a close reading of the Book of Belial from T.S.B.

But first three quotes from the Book of Belial:

“What good is a study of falsehoods, unless everyone believes in falsehoods? Many, of course, do believe in falsehoods, but still ACT according to natural law. It is upon this premise that Satanic magic is based.”
T.S.B. P.109

“Magic is never totally scientifically explainable…”
T.S.B. P.110

“If only people were aware of the thoughts injected into their minds while they slept!”
T.S.B. P.123

There appears to me to be a form of logic behind the black magical process. The magician engages in ritual, in order to actualise his or her will, in the real world.

The magician may attempt to gain influence over and alter the so called substance, or appearance, or place of inanimate matter. Or, the magician may attempt to gain influence over and alter the actions and beliefs of individual human beings in the world.

Dr. LaVey, in my opinion, makes it clear that the latter option is of more value to the magician than the former. Dark magic is far more useful when it is aimed at human beings.

What is the logic which underpins the black magical process at this level?

A message is formulated by an emotionally fuelled actor and a laser focused will. The completed magical package is thrown outwards and is received by a passive and receptive recipient, ideally during dream sleep.

The package is received and absorbed by the recipient at an unconscious/sub conscious level and then acts through the recipient, by controlling or manipulating, the speech or actions of the recipient at critical moments, and/or in a more general way day to day.

The speech and actions of the recipient of the magical package are therefore more conducive to the wishes and desires of the magician, who designed and sent the package.

Two questions arise at this stage:
1. What is the internal nature or “logic” of the magical package itself?
2. How is it possible for a magician to send the magical package to an intended recipient? How is successful magic possible?

I would like to outline my own views (with a lot of assistance from Dr. LaVey) in relation to the first question, and then pose two options for the second question.

Dr. LaVey, in my opinion, mentions a number of times that the content of the magical package is a specific desire or wish translated into force.

The product of the greater magical act is force conditioned by purpose, by design, within the context of the balance factor.

The power and appropriateness of the imagery employed; the intense emotional need; the fact that the package deeply conforms to our shared carnal nature, but is yet realistically framed by who we as individuals are, by what we are and by what we can actually obtain in the world more or less guarantees that the “nature” of the force of the magical product will be appropriate for, be accepted by, and will successfully act on the recipient of the product, in accordance with the will of the sender.

The matter of the magical product is the form of the magical product.

At this stage I cannot confirm or describe a so called substance or materiality of the black magical product. It would seem to me that in the old battle between Plato and Aristotle I think I must fall among the Platonist’s in this regard.

Now things get a touch tricky.

How is it possible for the magician to actually send his or her magical product to the recipient, and for the recipient to receive this product and then act or think in conformity to it?

There seems to me to be two options, which I will try and sketch out. The following is speculative at this stage:

1. A form of shared language exists, possibly beyond the mechanics of the Saussurian sign, which human beings can access and address each other in. This language would actually function at the level of the unconscious or subconscious of the sender and the receiver of messages and would be capable of being transmitted over distance, without any additional mediation or assistance. A carnal content would underpin the successful message, but it would be necessarily tempered by the clarity of the balance factor. Generating a successful message in this language would be determined by Dr. LaVey’s directions in the Book of Belial. Using this language to successfully manipulate a recipient would be possible only on the basis that the recipient is unaware of the language and the way it functions and the messages he or she has received through the language. The language silently addresses itself to the subconscious or unconscious of the recipient of the message as a command or irresistible invitation etc. and is sent by the sender’s unconscious or subconscious, via the generation of a message, constructed on the basis of desire and emotion, focused will and the well articulated imagery of the sender.
2. The magician generates his or her magical package as a form of appeal to a third party, who then accepts it (provided the sender and the message are worthy) and implants the package in the recipients mind on behalf of the generator of the message. If the magician is working independently of others and is maintaining his or her own secrecy than the third party must be somehow non-human or non-material in nature. The assumption here is that this third party is conscious and intelligent, in some sense, and is capable of understanding the message and implanting it in the recipient’s mind at the very least. If we drop all representational iconography of all culturally created religious systems, than what are we left with as a legitimate third party? One could be tempted to adopt the Theory of Forms and state that the very core of an individual and particular consciousness or subconsciousness or unconsciousness, has been somehow stamped on a particular and individual organic life form by a higher universal, which in itself is consciousness in some deep and comprehensive sense and can be appealed to, and which will act as a mediator between the sender and the recipient of the magical package. If we adopt the representational iconography of established religious systems than we must necessarily operate within the worldview or metaphysical framework of such a system, which may be problematic?

Maybe somebody can find a way out of this quagmire. It would seem to me that a fairly large part of Dr. LaVey’s thinking and practice depends on it.

How is Greater Magic justified?

To Dr. A – Were you letting the cat out of the bag with Quo Vadis? Something’s up, but I can’t sniff out the full story yet?

I shall find out the secret secrets, I shall.

Goodness, I’m probably so daft and the facts are staring me right in the face. In which case, oops.

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#33375 - 12/30/09 02:42 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
Doomsage680 Offline
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Registered: 10/01/09
Posts: 111
Loc: NJ, USA
Actually, Greater Magic is psychology and revolves around influencing the self. It is Lesser Magic that usually operates on the edge of what one might call paranormal, or at least, scientifically unexplainable as of yet. I particularly put no stock in lesser magic except as another form of greater magic; convincing one's self that they can "make" or "influence" another person through sheer force of will rather than acting in the world seems quite unplausable. Of course, LaVey advocates taking action rather than allowing any "beings" to do something for you without you working towards it, and ritual is simply a way of focusing your will to aid you in that goal, though Lesser Magic does seem to be "pushing it".
I might come under fire by others here, but since my own conversion to Atheism (syntax?) I have denounced all things spiritual, magickal, or anything other than that which is completely scientific. I once believed that the mind could quite possibly have the ability to influence others, but now I only hold that it controls the self. Sure, things like confidence and body language can subtly influence others, but there is nothing "magical" about it.
If LaVey means to say that there is some other force involved in lesser magic, which I believe he does albeit vaguely, it would be the force of nature he calls Satan. I surely believe in the law of entropy but do not believe this force is anything that one can manipulate- it is not magic, and there is no way to influence the universe outside of the direct interactions one has with it.
He certainly leaves it up to interpretation, which has allowed quite a few theistic satanists (formerly myself) to go around using the book to support calling upon otherworldly forces to conduct some mystical power to influence the universe. Wouldn't be the first time that happened. Again, many colleages here are likely to disagree, but I have read TSB quite closely and believe that I am right in my conclusions. Best of luck to you.
_________________________
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#33377 - 12/30/09 02:54 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Doomsage680]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
 Quote:
It is Lesser Magic that usually operates on the edge of what one might call paranormal, or at least, scientifically unexplainable as of yet.


Wrong. There is nothing paranormal about Lesser Magic. It is nothing more than another form of applied psychology given a fancy name to make it more marketable.
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#33378 - 12/30/09 03:08 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
Morgan Offline
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Registered: 08/29/07
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To an actual Magician, there is no black or white. It's all the same shit. You do what needs to be done. When you pick a color you limit your actions, mental focus, and abilities.

There is no set logic in magic, there is just theory in practice. Until you are able to do things on command in front of an audience, what you do or accomplish is your own theory or personal way/force of action. You may get better results over time, but no one has claimed that million dollar prize yet.

Successful magic is possible when through whatever rite or ritual you choose you create a psychodrama in which you change your own headspace so you can affect change outside yourself.

As for shared language/dream time, why don't you do an experiment.
Speak to someone, and agree to send them a strong image while they are sleeping. Don't tell them what it is, and pick something bizarre. A purple eggplant, a tray of brownies. Focus on them, focus on the image, and see if you can do it. If not well you have your answer.

There is no third party, unless now you are talking about appealing to demons, gods, and etc to do work for you. Similar action to pray.

Why does Greater Magic need to be justified?
It is something that has been around a long time, some people do get results, some do not. You don't have to follow or believe in Greater Magic in order to be a Satanist in my opinion.

Lots of various sects, and groups use forms of Greater Magic not just LaVey.

The only secret is that it may or may not work for you.
On that note, you are the only one who can do the work to find out for yourself.

There is no real formula to get results other than busting your ass and doing something.

Morgan
_________________________
Courage Conquering Fear
Fuck em if they can't take a joke
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#33381 - 12/30/09 09:25 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Morgan]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
I agree with you Morgan, it's good advises you give them.

However, just for the pleasure of playing the Devil's advocate, teasing you a little bit and perhaps confusing some minds for my own enjoyment, I'll add some few comments. \:D

For the shared language, the experiment is perhaps not repeatable, but some testimony raises questions...

About appealing to demons,... this should give some material to the brain cells of some.

As for the similarity with praying. I think the prayer uses his love or compassion for praying his god. If the prayer's request is "pure" only motivated by love or compassion, then the loving god can't say no.
The magician uses his will for calling the demon and it's by the strength of his will that the demon will obey.
Can we on that basis make a distinction between white and black magic? It's a question of labels. One could say praying is white magic and all magic is all black. Is praying on the RHP and magic on the LHP?

I distinguish Lesser and Greater magic as follows:
- Lesser magic is the art of manipulating others
- Greater magic is the art of auto-manipulation

Take the attraction spell for instance. You can buy a book like "the Mystery method" where you get all the lesser magic explained in a non esoterical way. But at the end of the book the author says all this will not work if you're not able to forge a strong and original self-identity and for this the explanantions become, let's say, more esotéric \:\)

But I cannot stop repeating to all (especially rookers ;\) ) that you get nothing for nothing. You can dream about magical power, for instance being able to move objects by thougths. But be sure it will require an effort of concentrating your mind. It will also requires years of exercises. So probably the simplest way to get the object is to move your ass and get it with your body!

Magic is everywhere, even sometimes in the Talmud:
You don't see reality as it is. You see it as you are.

on top of what I'll add:
You are what you think and you can choose what you think about.


These were the keys of my magic.
Now go and forge your own keys.

Good work !

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#33384 - 12/30/09 10:31 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Fabiano]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3142
Just for the sake of argument I like to use the word "drama" as a synonym for the term magic.

Thus lesser magic becomes "lesser drama" which becomes a very nice description you gave for lesser magic being it: «the art of manipulating others».
The use of "practical psychology" to manipulate involves drama ,which can know be used as an indication "to act".
Therefor lesser magic is the way people act in order to achieve a certain result personally.

Greater magic then becomes by these terms as "greater drama". It indicates a broader and/or more important "audience" is being acted for. This audience might vary from 1 person to multiple which undergo the drama ( or are being bewitched to say it in other terms). The effects of the greater drama differs itself from lesser drama in the way of acting.
Whereas greater drama (or greater magic) might involve fantasy ideas and much more drama (in the sense of acting very intense and with much show) to delude oneself, others or for other purposes , lesser drama is just acting without any extra's or fabulous show to achieve a result.


Anton LaVey, Boyd Rice and David Myatt/Anton Long (whatever) (and maybe others) are the best examples of people who successfully understood what real magic is about: DRAMA. All three persons successfully "bewitched" people and had an influence on them by the use of a certain degree of acting skills. The best example of this is Anton LaVey being called "world most famous devil-worshipper" (correction needed?).

The real greater magic didn't took place behind closed curtains, it was there for all to see. Showbizz is just greater magic everyone enjoys and has the privilege to witness.


Edited by Dimitri (12/30/09 10:39 AM)
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#33393 - 12/30/09 01:18 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Dimitri]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3898
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Magic can mean a lot of things. I think the context of Satanism is being largely overlooked here.

In Satanism as codified by ASL, magic is defined as ""The change in situations or events in accordance with one's will, which would, using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable".

Now if we are indeed operating on that definition, there is no need to invoke the supernatural. Reality is a very large place, and as a species we really understand quite little of it. Magic, in both its forms, exists on the outskirts of human knowledge. Those things that work but are not always fully dissected to the level of examining the nuts and bolts.

In the case of greater magic, one is invoking the carnal subconscious which is little understood, but still understood enough that we, as a race, know much if not most of what constitutes "human behavior" is rooted there. Greater magic is an appeal through the use of concentrated emotional experience to affect change in the subconscious consciously, which is something, as per the definition of magic, that would be unchangeable though normally accepted means.

Lesser magic in the same vein uses techniques that affect change to the subconscious minds of others, which although many of those techniques fall in the realm of basic psychology many do not, or at least appeal to aspects of the human psyche not fully understood by science.

Is Greater Magic 'legitimate'? Legitimacy is defined by the perceiver. Greater magic is a lot more than costumes and candles. Its mental discipline and extreme focus and willpower. Can you will something in a ritual setting and make yourself believe it? Really believe? Can you work yourself into such a frenzy of emotion that you are left breathless, heart racing, and focus that on one singular goal? Is greater magic legitimate? You tell me.
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#33400 - 12/30/09 06:45 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Morgan]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Thanks very much for all of your posts.

I would like to take some time to study what you have written, before I give any sort of longwinded and possibly embarrassing response.

I, however, wanted to acknowledge some points made by Morgan and Dan in their posts. These are my own readings of course.

This attempt of mine to somehow employ a logic to somehow objectively describe Greater magic and its “process” appears to be a flawed attempt, or rather an attempt which imposes limitations on what works or what can be and what may be.

This attempt of mine to somehow “legitimate” Greater magic, may just be the particular way in which I legitimate Greater magic.

I am working on my self, in some sense, when I engage in GM ritual. I may be consciously working on my subconscious or my unconscious in order to change or alter it. I may be attempting to strengthen, focus and/or articulate my will in preparation for focused and successful actions in the outside world.

Psychodrama to change your own headspace – agreed.

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#33413 - 12/30/09 11:32 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



I wanted to continue this discussion firstly by an attempt to define terms and processes and then sum up my current position.

I thought it would be useful to draw on Dr. Aquino’s book on the CoS and in particular Chapter 22: ‘The Satanic Rituals,’ Pages 237 – 238.

There are a number of definitions drawn here. A distinction is made between Satanic magic and Satanic ritual.

Satanic magic is defined as operative. “…it is the formalized, precise working of the will of the magician upon his external environment.”

Rituals are one of the devices which may be used for magical purposes, “…but rituals themselves possess no independent power.”

Rituals are used as a type of mind mirror. “They enable the magician to see his will articulated and displayed before him, so that he may adjust and refine it.” This is described as an illustrative ritual.

Ritual can take on one other form, but it must include an additional element:

“Other rituals contain an additional step: Having first served to define and refine the magician’s will, they serve to strengthen and magnify the power of that will and to launch it forth into the material universe. These are operative rituals.” P.237

What is Greater Magic as opposed to Lesser Magic? “…Greater Magic makes use of the ritual “mind mirror” while Lesser Magic does not.”

The basic lust, compassion and destruction rituals in TSB are “…examples of basic operative rituals, i.e. Greater Magic.”

The critical point here is the following in my opinion: operative rituals establish some form of relationship between the magician and another. They have an effect on a second party.

I just wanted to follow this up further by again drawing on Dr. LaVey’s work in the TSB.

In relation to ritual: “Its main function is to isolate the otherwise dissipated adrenal and other emotionally induced energy, and convert it into a dynamically transmittable force.”

In relation to an ideal time to transmit: “The best time to cast your spell or charm, hex or curse, is when your target is at his most receptive state. Receptivity to the will of the magician is assured when the recipient is as passive as possible. No matter how strong-willed one is, he is naturally passive while he is asleep; therefore, the best time to throw your magical energy towards your target is when he or she sleeps.”

I personally reach the following conclusion from my reading in regards to successful Operative Greater Magic:

1. The magician creates a message
2. The magician transmits the message to another
3. The other, who has received the message, acts or thinks in accordance with it

The question’s, which interest me and which I may not be able to adequately answer: how is such a thing possible?

Whether our language, logic or science is capable of describing this phenomenon in greater detail is up for debate.

Or, whether our language, logic and science can describe the nature of the message transmitted and how the message is transmitted is up for debate.

Both Dr. LaVey and Dr. Aquino have stated that operative ritual is real and genuine. This is enough for me at this point. I agree with them both. I have a very high regard for their expertise and experience.

I also believe, based on their statements, that further truth claims can be made.

I come back to the two options already established in my first post – unconscious language or third party influence of some sort, for lack of a further alternative.

Since I cannot establish the validity of an unconscious language empirically, I will provisionally state that I support the second option, but I cannot confirm that our culturally created symbols, such as Satan or Set etc. can actually signify a third party at this stage.

I am provisionally rejecting other options because they are either unknown or unintelligible.

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#33429 - 12/31/09 01:13 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3898
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
 Quote:

Both Dr. LaVey and Dr. Aquino have stated that operative ritual is real and genuine. This is enough for me at this point. I agree with them both. I have a very high regard for their expertise and experience.

I also believe, based on their statements, that further truth claims can be made.



I don't think you really get it at all.If you will accept extraordinary claims of this nature based on faith I do believe you have missed the boat entirely. I am fairly sure Anton would roll over in his grave if he read this.

You sound more like a follower of Satanism than a Satanist at this point.

“It is only doubt which will bring mental emancipation. Without the wonderful element of doubt, the doorway through which truth passes would be tightly shut, impervious to the most strenuous poundings of a thousand Lucifers.”

-Anton Szandor LaVey
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#33441 - 01/01/10 10:14 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Dan_Dread]
William Wright Offline
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Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 862
Loc: Nashville
Dan, I agree with you (and LaVey) that doubt is critically important in life, that one should challenge assumptions and not take things at face value. However, I think it’s also fair to point out that faith is not necessarily a dirty word. That is, faith is not limited to monotheism.

When LaVey founded the CoS, he did not know that it would become a world-wide phenomenon and spawn a movement that would last long after his death. He believed – or had faith – that his little group would grow into something special. As it turned out, his belief turned out to be correct. This was due largely to the tireless efforts of him and those who worked with him. It was also due to things beyond his control, such as the fact that he didn’t drop dead in May 1966.

Belief is a necessary starting point for achievement. It is forming a theory – that one will graduate from college, become a scientist, etc. The best and brightest among us will then rigorously test our theories against reality and learn from the experiences. The problem is when belief is seen as an end in itself.

Certainly Matthew shouldn’t simply accept the claims of LaVey and Aquino and leave it at that. However, Matthew’s writing suggests that he isn’t content to rest on his laurels. Time will tell.
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#33529 - 01/03/10 05:32 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Dan_Dread]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



My apologies for not responding sooner. I haven’t had access to a computer for the last couple of days.

I did put this time to good use, however, by hitting the books and thinking through.

I am now more inclined to reject the notion of a third party influence in GM operative ritual.

This is based on two conclusions, which I have reached.

1. A third party model does too much violence to The Book of Lucifer and the Darwinian/Materialist ontology which underpins the Book of Satan.
2. I have re-read a copy of the original manifesto of the CoS, which I located in Dr. Aquino’s book. This is ‘The Satanism Monograph’ of 1968-1969, in which Dr. LaVey states his belief in a communication model based around telepathy.

I am now of the opinion that personal experience and personal revelation or inspiration are the only ways one can reach an understanding of a possible third party in GM.

I have experienced a type of presence during ritual, and even had a feeling that someone was looking over my shoulder, but I don’t know if this is a psychological manifestation or not.

I will now look more closely at telepathy and see how this may work in terms of a legitimate model.

In regards to the unconscious language model I posed in my first post.

This is utterly ridiculous in its current form and wording. It is not merely impossible, but rather unthinkable. To attempt to move beyond the Saussurian sign is to move beyond the form of thought itself, and of course, the nature and action of the unconscious or sub-conscious can only be interpreted consciously.

There is possibly a third side to all this and in the spirit of enquiry I will briefly outline it as I personally see it.

To Dan, no offence meant, but the fact that you have used a quote from Dr. LaVey to make your point, tends to suggest, that you too recognise his expertise and experience.

It would seem you too have relied on him as a source of legitimate information as well.

And why shouldn’t you use this resource. I mean without Dr. LaVey there wouldn’t be much knowledge about Satanism, in my opinion.

No, I have learnt a lot about this philosophy from Dr. LaVey and Dr. Aquino and I think its only fitting that I recognise that. And why shouldn’t I trust in their expertise and experience. Such trust does not blunt my critical skills. If anything that trust sharpens my critical skills.

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#33530 - 01/03/10 06:26 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Without Anton LaVey there would be no Satanism as we know it, as the cohesive 'thing' it is today, complete with boundaries and definition. Without his description of this pre-existing human phenotype, Satanism would not be what it is today. For that, I recognize his influence and expertise, and I tip my hat to the man.

This says nothing, however, of accepting his, or anyone's claims without evidence and due intellectual diligence. Claiming knowledge based on faith, be it in a book or another mans claims, is something a born Satanist knows in his heart to be a path to unwisdom and self deceit. Adopting beliefs that are not rooted in any way to Terra firma can in fact lead one to make further 'truth claims', each successive one leading further from the barebones 'thing' out there that is reality.

Faith of any sort is a cancer of the mind. A mental construct that allows one to justify the denial of, or abstaining from, reason.

If Satan represents knowledge through doubt and a rejection of stupidity, faith is certainly his unholy adversary.

With that said, once you have a '3rd party' you have completely veered off the left hand path and become what it stands against. Theism is theism is theism.
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#33533 - 01/03/10 08:35 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Dan_Dread]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



I agree with you when you state that one needs to make truth claims based on verifiable empirical evidence and reason.

My own method in relation to this particular line of thinking, regarding Greater operative ritual magic, is a fairly straightforward one in my opinion.

In this particular case I am studying the work of Dr. LaVey and Dr.Aquino, in order to understand the conclusions they have reached about a particular type of phenomenon in the world (Greater operative ritual magic).

I am then testing those conclusions against my own experience and reason in order to assist me in defining my own views.

I have certainly stated that I agree with both of them that Greater operative ritual magic is real and genuine.

This claim (regarding the reality of operative GM ritual) has been tested against my own experience and reason. I agree not only because they are both experts and experienced, but also because I have experienced the reality of this process as well.

I am of the opinion that one cannot acquire any sort of real expertise in a subject, or a philosophy, without studying the works of the acknowledged experts and than testing the experts conclusions against your own, and then making your own truth claims or accepting the truth claims of the experts you have studied.

This is a critical component in how knowledge is built in my view.

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#33557 - 01/04/10 04:28 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Yes I agree with you and Dan.

No matter how I turn or where I turn or in what way I turn, I cannot successfully challenge my deepest core "belief" or view.

I cannot redecorate or reenchant my world, and if I did so than I would lose touch with the philosophy of Anton Szandor LaVey, in my view.

I am an Atheist right down to the bone marrow, and I have not reached this conclusion in some stupid manner, but as a result of years of systematic study and by lived experience and just plain ole gut feeling.

GM must be subject centered and this would include operative GM ritual as well.

My feeling of being watched or some presence in the ritual chamber? I am an admirer of Foucault. At this stage I am assuming that it is just a general effect of panopticism.

I like to be skeptical and open minded about all things, but I just can't justify a third party view. Just too much psychic dissonance.

Unfortunately, this may rule out the TOS as an organisation I can identify with. It is a great organisation, but I must be true to myself.

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#36619 - 03/17/10 03:31 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Doomsage680 Offline
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Registered: 10/01/09
Posts: 111
Loc: NJ, USA
I always believed that LaVey made his statements about the force of Satan slightly vague so as to aid Satanists in their willful ignorance. But it is always Willful and ignorance. Only taint your perception to the point it aids you, going further defeats the purpose of embracing our material reality. Telepathy sounds nice, but don't allow yourself to believe that you are the source of truth. Truth is an objectively verifiable thing, not something only one person can know. If it isn't falsifiable it isn't a legitimate theory. If it isn't verifiable then you probably shouldn't be basing decisions on it. The Self is a biased observer of this kind of phenomenon. For example, if you do a ritual anytime soon where you would normally appeal to a single or set number of entities, try asking for more to make their presence known to you. If you work up the energy you may actually perceive more entities. Simply because you wanted to perceive them. Then ask yourself whether you are a worthy magician to earn that type of presence. I used to be steeped in this theistic stuff. The moment you stop believing the fog of spiritual pipe dreams clears out.
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- Vinny Paz

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#36650 - 03/17/10 03:09 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Dimitri]
CanisMajor Offline
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Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 49
Loc: Texas
 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Just for the sake of argument I like to use the word "drama" as a synonym for the term magic...

The real greater magic didn't took place behind closed curtains, it was there for all to see. Showbizz is just greater magic everyone enjoys and has the privilege to witness.


While I see your point about show business as greater magic;glamour,fascination,the principals of the command to look,virtual hypnotism (especially in commercials):these are staples of lesser magic.

Overlap? Possibly television and film as examples of "dual-use" magic?

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For every complex problem,there is a solution that is simple,neat,and wrong.
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#36652 - 03/17/10 03:26 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: CanisMajor]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3142
 Quote:
While I see your point about show business as greater magic;glamour,fascination,the principals of the command to look,virtual hypnotism (especially in commercials):these are staples of lesser magic.

I see Greater magic the same as Lesser magic.
The only point of difference would be that GM is used on a "greater audience"/more persons at once and being less personal (depending on which branch is being talked about in GM).
LM would be the same thing only used on much smaller scale and more on personal level.

Now GM, as I see it, can on it's turn be divided in two seperate boxes. First one being the extension of LM (i.e use of LM on larger scale) as being done in showbizz and media. The second one would be the most favoured by Theists and which is called "ritual magic".
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#36656 - 03/17/10 03:37 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3142
 Quote:
Greater Black Magic can be simplistically/mechanically be referred to as auto-manipulation, or the willed change of the self. Lesser Black Magic is changing your surroundings.

That's why I mentioned GM can be divided into two boxes, one being the "extension of LM" (describing the auto-manipulation on a larger scale), and the ritualistic box (describing manipulation or willed change of the self).

Both boxes put together would form the general "definition" idea most practitioners have.

Btw: GBM? Should I make the dancing nigger joke again?


Edited by Dimitri (03/17/10 03:42 PM)
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#36658 - 03/17/10 03:51 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3142
 Quote:
OK, I'm thinking you're on to something curious here. Are you talking about using GBM and LBM in conjunction during a ritualized performance of some sort?

Only stating that, IMO, the use of GM also implies the use of LM.
I'm actually saying that without knowing the workings of LM to a certain degree the use of GM is futile. It is in my view that LM is needed to perform GM.

Stating this brings up a problem (to me) in defining where LM "ends" and where talking about GM can start. I sorted it out by seeing GM as a sum of two seperate "boxes" being the extension of LM and Ritual Magic.

The extension of LM would imply that a person uses his ability of altering his surroundings on much larger scale. It implies that not only people in his direct envirronement are being influenced, but also people beyond that (let's say someone at the other end of the earth/country). An effect closely resembling showbizz.

Ritualistic magic is the second part of the general definition and is nothing more then the use of LM by means of altering one owns will or the willed change of the self.


Edited by Dimitri (03/17/10 03:52 PM)
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#36659 - 03/17/10 04:06 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
CanisMajor Offline
stranger


Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 49
Loc: Texas
 Originally Posted By: MawhrinSkel
Greater Black Magic can be simplistically/mechanically be referred to as auto-manipulation, or the willed change of the self. Lesser Black Magic is changing your surroundings.


This was precisely the perspective I had in mind.

However,Dimitris' statement implies an important point:while GM and LM are not polar opposites per se,there are points of overlap between the two that suggest a 'sliding scale'.

It's something I hadn't previously given much thought.As a practical matter,I am much more proficient at LM.

I'm no stranger to greater magic,I just don't have as much need for "self-contrived ignorance" these days.

But when the time arises (as it surely will),well...



Edited by CanisMajor (03/17/10 04:20 PM)
Edit Reason: tentacles everywhere!
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#36782 - 03/19/10 10:05 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
BloodRaven Offline
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Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Greater Magic is often referred to as a “psychodrama”. That is precisely what it is to me. By having an emotionally stimulating ritual one can help free themselves of unwanted negative emotions such as anger (in the case of a destruction ritual). Emotions if not properly released can lead negative behavior and inhibition.

I’m pretty sure all civilizations have/had some form of ritual and I think that says something about their effectiveness. Apparently, humans have a need for ritual. LaVey recognized rituals effectiveness when he synthesized Satanism.

Now on to the more speculative stuff….. LaVey also did often describe magic as something of a supernatural phenomenon, lots of examples towards the end of the “Compete Satanic Witch”. But you also have realize LaVey was a showman and Satanism is certainly a reflection of that. When he worked for the police department investigating calls on paranormal stuff there would often be times that when he gave a rational explanation to a phenomena, the callers would be disappointed. Another example of this is looking at all of these ghost hunter shows they have on now. Sometimes people are not interested in rational explanations they prefer sensationalism. Although many people myself included have no use for supernatural mumbo jumbo. This is why I think LaVey’s definition of Greater Magic is so open. “The change in situations or events in accordance with one’s will, which using normally accepted methods be unchangeable” (The Satanic Bible Pg 110). So for us scientifically inclined we can view the mechanisms behind GM as pure psychology while the more whimsically inclined can view it as a psychic laser beam or whatever… People just have different needs…

As a side note though, the ritual chamber is no place for intellectualizing the mechanisms behind GM. When one enters the ritual chamber they must focus their emotions in order for the ritual to be successful.

Lesser Magic is just using applied psychology to control others.

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#36963 - 03/23/10 10:32 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
exadust Offline
pledge


Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia
Since I don't believe in a possibility that demons exsist I believe that the results of greater magic are from the following.

The effects produce a psychodramatic effect which in turn creates confidence and maybe a boost in ego.

With a boost in confidence with reguards to the lust ritual I believe if in presence of the target the body may produce pheromones and may help with acheiving the desired effects.

Just remember what LaVey said in reguards to the balance factor you must know yourself and the object of your desire.

And as far as the destruction ritual if it really worked I'd probably be on the FBI's radar.
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Herein you will find truth and fantasy. Each is necessary in order for the other to exsist.

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#36971 - 03/24/10 02:36 AM Greater Black Magic [Re: ]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2576
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
Greater Black Magic (GBM) is the causing of change to occur in the subjective universe in accordance with the will. This change in the subjective universe may cause a similar and proportionate change in the objective universe.

Examine this definition. A deliberate effort is made to alter one’s subjective frame of reference, so that a thing which used to be conceptualized one way is now conceptualized in another. A distasteful situation may be adjusted to produce a favorable outcome; a live enemy may be adjusted to be thwarted or nonexistent; a desire of any sort may be realized.

Magical manuals from the medieval grimoires to the Satanic Bible have discussed the use of imagery as an aid to this conceptualization. Perhaps the most stereotypical example of this is the sticking of pins into a wax effigy to cause harm. In Walt Disney’s Dumbo the little elephant was given a feather to hold with his trunk. He was told that it was a magic feather which would enable him to fly - and he did so by flapping his ears. When he eventually lost the feather, he started to fall, until he was told that the feather was really nothing more than an ordinary feather. As soon as he realized that he was the source of the “magic”, he flapped his ears again and regained altitude.

Photographs, wax images, talismans, music, fires, swords, statues, and indeed entire ritual chambers have no more intrinsic magic in them than Dumbo’s feather. Their effectiveness in magic, again like Dumbo’s feather, comes from their significance to the magician. If he grants them certain powers in his subjective universe - if he credits them with atmospheres, auras, curses, or blessings - they will assuredly have them. They will possess these qualities absolutely in the subjective universe.

Once this occurs, the phenomenon of the Magical Link between the subjective and objective universes will transfer a portion of the quality to the items’ objective mass. The potency and endurance of the transfer depends upon the skill and willpower of the consecrating magician, the scope of the working, the amount of distortion in the objective universe attempted, and a wide variety of physical and environmental factors which may range from sunspot activity to a sore toe which intrudes upon the magician’s concentration. Perception and activation of the imbued qualities by another magician will similarly depend upon the skill and willpower which he brings to bear upon such objects.

The implications of this principle are fascinating. Among other things it explains why sophisticated magical workings based on a variety of different gods or pantheons have worked. It makes no difference whether the gods be socially generated (like those of ancient Greece) or personally created (like those of H.P. Lovecraft). It makes no difference whether the Enochian Keys be phrased in honor of YHVH (as in John Dee’s diaries), in honor of Satan (as in the Satanic Bible), or in honor of Set (as in the Word of Set). Accusations of heresy, blasphemy, and/or inauthenticity - whether historically justified or not - are simply barking up the wrong tree from a magical standpoint.

Another implication of the operational principle of GBM is that there is a large amount of it “loose” in the objective universe by individuals who are generating it without calling it by that name and without even realizing what they are doing. Every time we have an “objective impression” of something possessing a quality which its physical characteristics do not substantiate, we are sampling the results of a GBM operation on the objective universe.

To take a few common examples: Snakes and rats are usually thought to be sneaky and evil, birds and cats beautiful; smog and sludge unnatural, trees and flowers natural. Many subjective universes agree upon and reinforce such interpretations, and in the objective universe it becomes increasingly difficult to identify the phenomenon in question without the subjectively-imposed “overlay”. [Such overlays may also be called “biases”, “prejudices”, or “points of perspective”.]

We are thus the victims of a world-wide GBM epidemic which has manifest itself as political ideologies, artistic æsthetics, advertising, social morality, etc. We cannot honestly say that we “live” in the objective universe, but rather in a crazy-quilt of subjective overlays on the objective universe. The first thing the magician must do is realize this; the second thing he must do is attempt to see and understand the actual objective universe through all the camouflage. The third thing he must do is attempt to change parts of it carefully and precisely through his own magical workings, both LBM and GBM.

The “unconscious” GBM of profane society works because of sheer mass, as a herd of buffalo will break through a fence that would easily stop any one of them. At the same time this profane effort is chaotic, unreliable, and ultimately random in its consequences.

Attempts to control such massive social forces have been made by many political and religious leaders throughout history. All have failed in whole or in part, even when the illusion of control could be created. The individual Black Magician cannot change the objective universe through raw force; his is only a single, isolate will. He does possess, however, an understanding of how GBM works and the consequent ability to narrow his use of it to a precise, directed focus. It is this focus that enables his workings to succeed.
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Michael A. Aquino

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#36998 - 03/24/10 10:15 PM Re: Greater Black Magic [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Thank you for this excellent post Dr. Aquino.

I want to take some time to study the post before I add any sort of further response.

GM is a complex phenomenon.
Then take some time before you post *anything*, Matthew. No thread needs spacer posts like this. Either post something constructive or don't post.


Edited by MawhrinSkel (03/25/10 02:32 AM)

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#37041 - 03/26/10 03:55 AM Re: Greater Black Magic [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



I think I have a better understanding of the content of your post Dr. Aquino after having taken some time to study it and think about it.

I realise from reflecting on my experiences that I subjectively frame what I sense in the world and as a result I am actively intending, meaning or conceptualising what I sense in some definite way and for a particular purpose. I adopt a position in regards to my world or specific aspects of my world. I recognise that I may or may not be able to articulate some of the reasons for adopting this position and what the consequences of this position may be.

I seem to be decorating my world. I am conceptually fleshing out and colouring the bare bones of an objective world - a bare objective skeleton of a world.

The central concern of Greater Magic would seem to me to be fourfold:

1. To identify how I currently mean my world; to discover the myriad ways by which I intend or mean my subjective world; and to determine why I have meant my world in this way and then to find out what this says about me.
2. To describe and clarify the will. To determine the objective sought and then to bring forth and elaborate the subjective frame which will be most beneficial in achieving the desired objective. Or, to determine the objective sought and to change the subjective frame so that the objective sought is already achieved or else its achievement is a forgone conclusion.
3. To employ appropriate tools and work within an appropriate site and to subjectively invest these tools and this site with power in order to discern, focus, clarify and magnify the will – to articulate and impose a subjective frame of reference.
4. I may be able to effect a change in the objective world as a result of my changing my subjective frame of reference. I can conceptually acquire or rather appropriate an object by meaning it and as result setting it within a conceptual universe of my own making and have it function there in a way which pleases me or advances my cause. I realise that my options may be limited by others.

This may sound silly, but I liken GM to ceramics. I don’t know if any of you have made a clay pot on a Potters wheel, but (at least for me) the process of the Greater Magical ritual can be likened to making a pot on a wheel.

You start with that shapeless and useless lump of clay and you are hunched over the wheel and you are working and watering that slowly spinning clay and you gently touch it here and you cup and manipulate it there and you are building something functional and something which will have a place in the world.

The clay is your will. You start with a block of useless soft matter and you build it and build it and work it until it is ready to go out into the world. And all those tools you employ and that chamber you use are specifically set aside for your work and must be at hand for the work to be made and to be made successfully.

And you must realise what sort of pot you can make, what you can do and get away with talent – wise. Will your audience accept your work as quality and genuine.

Dr. LaVey mentions that it is possible to effect individuals with Greater Magic when they sleep and that this is an ideal time to perform GM. The magician is attempting to impose his or her subjective framework on a recipient/s in order to determine how and what the recipient/s will mean or intend in more or less specific circumstances.

Dr. Aquino your reference to us being “the victims of a world-wide GBM epidemic which has manifest itself as political ideologies, artistic æsthetics, advertising, social morality, etc.” reminds me that the subjective framework which we use to negotiate our relationship with this bare bones objective world is in so many cases determined by power – the power to classify, exclude, examine, to organise and project and disperse. Awareness is an important key to magical success for sure.

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#37056 - 03/26/10 04:45 PM Re: Greater Black Magic [Re: ]
Room 101 Offline
member


Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Scotland
Erg. I honestly can’t believe that SANE, RATIONAL persons are discussing their imaginary friends here.

Magic or “Magik” to the trendies, is simple psychology.

If you impart a “curse” on another, its effect on the second party is always greater if they know it has been applied.

I agree with Morgan and Maw when they say that YOU are the figure that is directly affected by any ceremony/ritual. It’s all about your grey matter, where YOU stand on an issue.

It’s a fucking sugar pill, do what makes you feel better, but in the end, you’re the only one that has sway over the world you live in.
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#37103 - 03/28/10 09:48 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
William Wright Offline
active member


Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 862
Loc: Nashville
Just a couple of quick things:

“Magic is never totally scientifically explainable…”
T.S.B. P.110

“If only people were aware of the thoughts injected into their minds while they slept!”
T.S.B. P.123

I wonder if LaVey really believed this. I suspect that he sometimes said such things with fingers crossed, to make magic seem more otherworldly and entertaining to the masses. The Satanic Bible was and is, of course, a commercially produced book. However, it’s a shame he said such things because I think they go against what LaVeyan Satanism is about. As summed up well by Fabiano:

- Lesser magic is the art of manipulating others
- Greater magic is the art of auto-manipulation

Magic is real-world, scientifically explainable stuff. People who know or care nothing about Satanism do it all the time. I just wish LaVey had been more forthright about this.

This leads to the second thing. Magic is, first and foremost, about taking action. It’s great to talk about magic, to theorize and philosophize about it, but unless you’re out there getting things done it’s just a bunch of empty thoughts. I would have more respect for a Christian with a successful career than a self-proclaimed Black Magician living in his parents’ basement.

Talk is cheap. People need to produce tangible results or shut the hell up.
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#37105 - 03/28/10 11:37 AM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: William Wright]
Arianwen Seren Offline
lurker


Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 3
Loc: UK
"Magick when explained to the satisfaction of the masses becomes science"

Magick is a real phenomenon and as such is part of what is natural. However, as we do not understand fully how it works we label it as supernatural. If you experience what is termed magickal on a daily basis then it becomes normal rather than paranormal.

It is all down to experience, perception and understanding of any natural phenomenon. We have to look past the labelling to see what is actually there.

Magick IS.


Edited by Arianwen Seren (03/28/10 11:38 AM)
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Arianwen Seren
TaoChaoSatan

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#37110 - 03/28/10 07:09 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Arianwen Seren]
William Wright Offline
active member


Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 862
Loc: Nashville
Arianwen - first, welcome to the forum.

If I didn't understand how something works, I wouldn't call it supernatural or paranormal. I'd simply say I don't understand it yet. It's a mistake, I think, to attribute what I don't understand to the supernatural or paranormal. I would say something is supernatural only if I saw what I considered compelling evidence of it. As of yet, I've seen nothing of the sort.
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In Minecraft all chickens are spies.

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#37111 - 03/28/10 09:15 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: Arianwen Seren]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



I think there are a number of basic factors which go into making a successful black magician and I think that both the CoS and the TOS are looking for these basic factors or qualities when they assess individuals for membership and for elevation into the higher degrees of their respective organisation.

Here are some of the factors or qualities I can think of.

• Can the individual actually use language and articulate themselves well? This quality can be assessed by an examination of the completed membership application. Ideally the application will contain a long list of thought provoking questions to determine writing ability (syntactical, logical and lexical choices as well as awareness of grammatical rules etc.) and hence the educational and intelligence level of the applicant.
• Is the applicant achieving his or her stated goals and/or has he or she already achieved goals which would identify him or her as intelligent, motivated and most importantly capable of applying the Satanic or Setian philosophy to their own lives in the real world? This basic factor in determining the quality of a black magician has been around for a while from what I can see. It is certainly apparent within the current CoS and I assume within the TOS as well.
• How deeply does the applicant understand the philosophy itself? How much work and study has already been undertaken and how much knowledge has been drawn? Can the applicant explain and defend the philosophy in any situation? It is a controversial philosophy and those who act as agents must be very able to explain/defend in all contexts.
• The CoS application may draw on Dr. LaVey’s typing system as elaborated in The Synthesiser Clock of The Compleat Witch. Other psychological tests may be used as well to determine who the applicant is and whether the applicant is a complete nutcase or some other type of undesirable fruitloop who should be refused membership. Jokes are used as well to determine who the applicant is.

I think one could go on and on (especially when candidates are being assessed for the elevation to the third degree and higher, particularly in the TOS), but the point I would like to make is that the black magician is a well rounded individual with a proven track record of success in the real world and with experiences which lead to genuine maturity and also the ability to be articulate in a wide variety of areas, including religion and the occult, philosophy, history, politics, science etc. I think the successful black magician is going to have a definite philosophy of magic and a definite ontological position which underpins that philosophy of magic. Many 600C members, in my opinion, would meet these criteria and have such a philosophy.

In regards to Greater Magic and The Satanic Bible. I do not think Dr. LaVey is being tongue in cheek or is joking or trying to mislead the reader in a key book such as TSB. Greater Magic is important to Dr. LaVey and his position seems to be that there are other aspects to Greater Magic than just self – transformational psychodrama. I agree based on my own experience. A large part of TSB is devoted to GM and TSR is devoted to GM.

People need to work this out for themselves in my view. I tend to subscribe to the current CoS hierarchy’s view that Satanists can maintain a variety of positions in regards to the nature and mechanics of GM and that GM can be used as one sees fit based on ones needs, within the context of a possible supernormal, rather than a supernatural.

I have stated my ontological or metaphysical position already in this thread and in others and feel no need to do so again.

My studies of GM continue. Dr. Aquino’s post related to the SU/OU relation is very important to me and to the furthering my knowledge.

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#38338 - 05/05/10 07:14 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: ]
CanisMajor Offline
stranger


Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 49
Loc: Texas
Satanists debating the "legitimacy" of Greater Magic? Now I have seen it all.

There is a predilection towards extreme Lesser Magic in this business. However, it seems that an absolute absence of Greater Magic would hardly differentiate the would-be Satanist from the typical, run-of-the-mill Atheist.

Satanist = LHP Atheist

Don't take the Devil's name if you don't play the Devil's game.

Otherwise, you may be little than a bored, pragmatic Atheist.
_________________________
For every complex problem,there is a solution that is simple,neat,and wrong.
H.L Mencken

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#38340 - 05/05/10 08:40 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: CanisMajor]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



After studying the content of the above post, I have the following question to ask in relation it:

What exactly do you mean?

I will elaborate:

• What exactly is extreme Lesser Magic and how is it differentiated from the definition and practice of Lesser Magic in general?
• What is an absolute absence and how is it differentiated from just absence?
• Please explain why the notion of Satanist’s debating the legitimacy of Greater Magic elicits the comment that you “have seen it all,” particularly when this is in fact one of those areas within Satanism, which gets discussed quite often.
• Satanist = LHP Atheist. Please elaborate on this definition and relate it to your critique of the practice of trying to legitimise Greater Magic.
• “Don’t take the Devil’s name if you don’t play the Devil’s game.” What does this mean within the context of trying to legitimise Greater Magic?
• “Otherwise, you may be little more than a bored, pragmatic Atheist.” What does this mean within the context of trying to legitimise Greater Magic?

The key to the meaning of this post may be in the words:

“…that an absolute absence of Greater Magic would hardly differentiate the would-be Satanist from the typical, run-of-the-mill Atheist.”

This really needs to be carefully re – written in order to be clear. But what does it actually mean as written?

My reading of it: the Satanist is merely a typical run-of-the-mill Atheist if Greater Magic is absent?

What is the definition of Greater Magic used in the above post and how does it function?

I think there may be a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of Greater Satanic Magic, in the above post.

The premise of Satanism is the presence of real human animals, existing in a real material world and subject to the laws of nature. Greater magical practice is based on this premise and has effect when it conforms to natural law, within the context of what is possible.

It may be articulated as self-transformative psychodrama; or as possible supernormal communication; or as the correspondence between the magician’s SU and the OU, but it works, in some sense, because it is based on the real and the natural, and has been verified by the pragmatic realist.

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#38487 - 05/12/10 11:20 PM Re: The Legitimacy of Greater Magic [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Caliga Offline
stranger


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 16
Magic has a logic but it is a poetical logic. A brief study of magical thought over the ages reveals as much about the perceived sympathy of an act or substance as to any chemical composition.

Recent decades have seen a slew of intellectual inquiry and theorizing along pseudo-scientific or quasi-psychological lines in an attempt to quantify and in some way legitimize the practice of magic. Such is, in my opinion, often weakening the very thread of what can make a magical act powerful.

If you seek to really understand the basis of magical ritual then look to tribal cultures and their imitative rites. That is where the essence lies.

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