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Why do you study the occult?

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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby Cybernetic_Jazz » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:29 am

I'd agree on that, ie. most people's penchant for blissful ignorance, and I think for a lot of us it seems like the red tape in life is ruled by brute and irrational forces that there really isn't even a way to get under with dedicated effort. Add reductive materialism on top of that and I don't think most people know what else to do.

I had a talk with a close acquaintance in one of the orders I'm in and he said something that to the effect that it sounds like I'm growing up and in some of the best senses of the phrase. That's probably true. One of the challenges early in the path is that you have no idea what to expect, a lot of the 18th and 19th century greats seem to promise the moon (Rudolph Steiner was great for that), and being pitched the idea that in 10 years dedicated time you can do anything you tend to go with it - partly because you're sold the idea that belief is such an integral part of the engine that it can't work without intense faith.

To that end I think it's just a resizing of expectations and realizing that this is a very long-slog process. Knowing that means that I'll aim to be jogging the rest of the way rather than sprinting. it's also humbling to know that Plotinus - the most sublime Neoplatonist philosopher, maybe had between half a dozen and a dozen experiences in his life. I should probably ask myself, when I'm craving too much more knowledge or understanding, whether I could write something like the Ennead. I also have to ask, very honestly, if my desires are partially escapism and - if so - realize that the universe is not in the wish fulfillment market, regardless of what Rhonda Byrne wants to tell people.
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby Rin » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:38 am

Cybernetic_Jazz wrote:I started the studying initially because I wanted to sort out the reasons why I'm here, what I should be doing with my spare time, and what activity was productive vs. what wasn't.

Before I got started I was on a drift into full reductive materialism, when that got blown I was also deeply concerned that I'd find myself on an emotional roller-coaster of the worst sort. That was partially true, also partially due to a lot of particularly bad job experiences over the past several years.

I'm almost back where I started now - ie. pretty nihilistic, believing in the efficacy of most magical practices less and less, but I have at least sorted out that what's going on could be best described as a sort of radical functionalism - ie. consciousness is both larger structures and constituents. I think conscious 'I' experiences tend to be the amalgamation of smaller organisms, ie. dynamic systems can either partially enslave a smaller system (such as being a member of a societal egregore - magical or mundane, such as city, nation state, etc. in the later case) or just about fully enslave it in the case of our cells belonging to our bodies, and in the latter case the tightness of the binding is what brings identities as vivid as our own together. Add to that I think neurons are about the most highly-leveraged carriers of conscious energy that we know of in nature. I think of WIlliam Mistele talking to Bardon's elemental kings and queens and realizing that while many of them might seem to have the energetic and conscious equivalent of a couple dozen people or more their usual concentration of awareness is over millions of square miles which, density-wise, is abysmally poor and from that degree of concentration gap, say 10^15 orders of magnitude if not greater, I can understand why most scientific professionals would think that neurons create consciousness and that all the rest is just a lot of hocus pocus or wishful thinking.

I'm still going forward with this stuff because I really don't know what else to do. I don't necessarily have much hope that it can radically transform my life for the better (not that its fully ineffectual, by and large I just think the world is messed up enough that really great options hardly exist). At worst, like religion, it could keep me out of trouble or at least processing the darker regions of my own observations on life from a safer distance and from a place where I won't get hit with the bitter pills hard enough to veer off into self-destructive behavior. The other part - if it has any positive effect whatsoever on how things go after we die, if 'we' do in fact exist afterward, to know about this stuff and not do it seems incredibly foolish. What sucks is that I think at least several things like astrology, divination, and gematria (at least beyond a very superficial layer) is most likely superstition or over-broadening criteria for falsifying claims into Barnum statements and almost everyone who speaks authoritatively on magic seems to buy into that. Maybe that's just me being sophomoric but it seems like we have hierarchical systems, we have to find a place in them and find ways to gain stronger integration of our own conscious being, and I can't think of much else that can be done. I don't really look forward to great experiences because I think, in that case, it's people who've done this probably for quite a few more lifetimes than I have and, as MP Hall put it, some people are able to pierce the veil, the overwhelming multitudes who even try this stuff will at best have just a few mystical experiences - just as likely none. That and my time in orders suggests, just by watching people, that 30 or 40 years of study really only makes so much of a difference in people's capacities - for every La Bron and Michael Jordan you have millions of people who shouldn't quit their day job.

I do hope that I'll get more positive energy and thought shot back into my practices but for now at least this is just my religious practice of choice.


Have you tried looking outside the Western Hermetic paradigm? I became somewhat similarly disillusioned with Western Occultism and the scene surrounding it, but I found myself reinvigorated by a new sense of purpose (and making exponentially greater progress) since I abandoned the Western stuff and started to delve headlong into Eastern (primarily Daoist, but of course there are plenty of other options) training.

There's just so much more available, with so much more breadth and depth, in any single one of the Eastern paradigms, than there is in the entirety of Western Occultism, which is largely degenerated, syncretic and over-intellectualised.

Give it a thought - there's so much more out there beyond arguing over Kabbalistic correspondences and Gemmatric calculations and whatever stupid nonsense some dude wrote 100 years ago while he was trying to make sense of what some dude wrote 500 years ago while he was trying to make sense of the mistranslated fragments of what some dude wrote 1500 years ago.
"The path of the Sage is called
'The Path of Illumination'
he who gives himself to this path
is like a block of wood
that gives itself to the chisel-
cut by cut it is honed to perfection"

- DDJ, Verse 27

"It's still magic even if you know how it's done." - Terry Pratchett
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby Cybernetic_Jazz » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:52 am

Rin wrote:
Cybernetic_Jazz wrote:Have you tried looking outside the Western Hermetic paradigm? I became somewhat similarly disillusioned with Western Occultism and the scene surrounding it, but I found myself reinvigorated by a new sense of purpose (and making exponentially greater progress) since I abandoned the Western stuff and started to delve headlong into Eastern (primarily Daoist, but of course there are plenty of other options) training.

Yeah, I'd actually be glad to read up on Daoism and some of the other systems if you can think of any texts that you'd consider to be a good starting point.

As far as Kabbalah's concerned I do like most of Paul Foster Case's work enough to stick with it for a while - mainly because I don't feel comfortable closing the door on one system or another until I feel comfortable enough with my knowledge-level to know that my feelings toward it are accurate (with esotericism that can take quite a bit of patience). I'm also currently reading more of William G. Gray's work because he seems like one of the sharper minds in western esotericism and I'm hoping some of his work can aid me in clarifying or dispelling some of my thoughts and apprehensions.
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby inMalkuth » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:03 am

Most of the Western esoteric traditions are based around a few concepts that transform into a complex world view. All one need do is learn these ideas and decide what they think about them, and develop from there.
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby Cybernetic_Jazz » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:19 am

I get the impression that there are certain types of exercises that are more helpful than others, certain exercises that one neurotype responds to better than another, etc.. and it's also a question of how long the exercise periods should be or for how many weeks, months, or years they often need to be keep up for the results to bake in. For as valuable as this is it's really a shame that there are so few, at least that I've encountered, specialists in this area of inquiry. The next best thing seems to be the internet, finding people who can relate to you or seem to come from a similar spot, and ask what worked for them.
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby Kath » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:56 pm

blindwake wrote:What is it that drives you to study?


I could probably list a lot of reasons, but really if i want to express the original core of it all... It's like an itch I can't scratch. I have this 'feeling' of "almost remembering" something very important, like it's on the tip of my tongue, but just out of reach. Except it's not just one detail, but a whole, reality-changing epiphany... something so big I feel certain it would be like a casting off of a cocoon, in terms of consciousness. But, just back in the mist of the mind, close enough to know it's there, but not close enough to make out clearly, even though it seems very vast. I want to remember, or to relearn, either way. Every uncovered knowledge is the sweetest candy to me, and a step closer to my true love, Understanding.

That said, I bring an enormous pinch of salt to 'studying' the wisdom as expressed by other humans. Simply put, most people who publish their ideas are the sort to imagine themselves experts in some way, and I feel that's a warning sign that someone has started doing more stroking of their pet theories than open minded exploration. And there's so much damn dogma, it's maddening. And everything you read has to pass the test of social popularity before the book can even become available to you. And what I really seek are the truths which border on the fringe, or beyond the fringe, of the ineffable. So "study" as many occultists study, to me, is just rudimentary background concepts, of varying validity. I make myself an encyclopedia of such trivia, but what excites me is more the active first hand excursions into the unknown.

blindwake wrote:What is it that you hope to accomplish with occult knowledge?


To master the self, the whole self. To remember everything. To tear down the ethereal cage which I feel vaguely around me in this existence. To shed the ridiculousness of mortality. To overcome the limitations of an ape-brain. To evolve as a finite being as much as is possible (ie: "all the way").

I do find there are Siddhi's involved. But while potentially useful materially, really they are incidental to the matter of enlightenment.

blindwake wrote:For me, I wish to learn to manually invoke emotion. My impulse is basically non existent.

I do not understand why a person feels sick when they watch their loved ones die. Why they stand paralyzed at the approach of danger. Why they feel guilty when people disapprove of their actions. Or why they dance when they hear music.

I want to know what it's like. Calculated efficiency is worthless when it is not driven by an irrational will.

When I do magick. It's got a very heavy 'sorceric' vibe. By that I mean I 'feel' the substance of what I'm doing, extremely viscerally. It is perhaps more frenzy than trance, though I like to think i synthesize the two, even though they might seem incompatible to many. The stuff I am handling is very emotionally charged. Even though a part of me is dispassionately focused, and the Will is this blend of calculating and frenzied. Ferocious yet precise. So anyway, my point is that I am very familiar with the substance and handling of emotion, or really as i'd more think of it, emotionally charged resonances in the stuff of reality. WHich probably sounds like gobbledegook...

I come from a past which included a lot of uncontrolled emotion. But I don't really have that anymore. The dynamics of emotion are too... bluntly obvious to me, on a ethereal-mechanical level, to be blindly tossed about by them. For example, say there is a situation which could cause fear... will I indulge or pass? Its a horror movie, it'll be more fun if I indulge... so fear gets a green light, and then I'm enjoying the movie properly. Generally, outside of entertainment purposes, I don't greenlight fear. It's not bravery, or courage, I'm not overcoming it, I just unplug it, it's just... "off". I tend to evaluate my emotions and prune them in such a way that I allow emotions to inform my sense of purpose and meaning, but don't allow them to run amok.

I was in an accident, kinda like you described, but in my case I was certain I was going to die. I saw death coming at me in the shape of a large truck bumper, it was in slow motion, as I slip into a slo-mo state fairly easily. I had an emotion which I would describe as a "sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach", and my inner dialog was something along the lines of "well I guess that's that". Personally I didn't like the sinking feeling, and felt a little ashamed of it. It was far from anything like panic or irrational fear, but still I felt silly for having it. Bit of a personal failure, that I didn't stare the grim reaper in the eye with a proper smirk on my face. Obviously I was mistaken about my demise (barely).

Anyway, I can do stone cold dispassionate. Or un-finite consciousness dispersed zen-ish. Or regular ape emoting. Or frenzied emotional flow channeling. Any of the above, to more or less any degree, in more or less any situation. So I get the emotional flatline, though myself it's optional. Similarly empathy, i can amp it up to a very intense level, leave it normal-ish, or turn it totally off.

Do you find you are unable to feel? Or do you just mean that you find you have a choice in the matter? that you don't have 'uncontrolled' emotions?

Anyway, I do think it's very possible to manually invoke emotion, if that's your goal. Or alternatively to channel it, in such a way that you kinda get your hands wet, but not your shoes.. if that makes sense. I'd go so far as to say it's very possible to evoke emotion in others, outside of anything they might feel due to their 5 physical senses. Potentially very strongly so. Inter-mind stuff is probably my very best subject in hogwarts :P
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby blindwake » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:19 pm

That said, I bring an enormous pinch of salt to 'studying' the wisdom as expressed by other humans. Simply put, most people who publish their ideas are the sort to imagine themselves experts in some way, and I feel that's a warning sign that someone has started doing more stroking of their pet theories than open minded exploration. And there's so much damn dogma, it's maddening. And everything you read has to pass the test of social popularity before the book can even become available to you. And what I really seek are the truths which border on the fringe, or beyond the fringe, of the ineffable. So "study" as many occultists study, to me, is just rudimentary background concepts, of varying validity. I make myself an encyclopedia of such trivia, but what excites me is more the active first hand excursions into the unknown.


I find most "studying" is just symbols which circularly reference each other. It's all correspondences that don't actually mean much in a practical sense. Or, there's no evidence to back up correspondences.
I've spent so much time trying to find a functional wheel, that I finally just decided to reinvent it.

Do you find you are unable to feel? Or do you just mean that you find you have a choice in the matter? that you don't have 'uncontrolled' emotions?


I can feel a certain limited number of things by impulse (uncontrolled), but the rest of my emotions seem to have an unusually high threshold for release. I can feel anger a lot more easily than happy, etc.
If I do feel an emotion, I'm not forced to act on it. I just watch. It was weird, the first time I think I was actually happy in a normal sense (I think) , I could feel my face forcibly tensing up into a smile.

I'd like to say that I can turn my emotions off and on, but I think my switch flipping is less about emotions, and is more of a mental thing.
I can trick myself into thinking I feel a certain way because it's all mental. But it's less of trickery, and more just me deciding to act based on how I think I should feel.
If I decide that I love someone, I be loving. If I decide to be afraid, I make myself shake a bit. It's an act that comes on by reflex sometimes, just out of habit. But really, for the most part, there's no feeling there.

I do have some say in the matter, but I get a really bad headache when I try to force on all of my emotions, and if I spend the necessary time to "get my systems running" it all shuts down if I go to sleep and wake up. It also takes significantly more effort every time I want to "turn on". It's like I'm burning out triggers. This makes it extra difficult to stay "on" when I have to reset daily. I'm working on a sustainable solution.
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby inMalkuth » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:59 am

You might consider looking for truth. When you find something that resonates, your emotions become genuine. Sure, we can all fake it, or fake it til we make it, or turn on the water works to get our way. If you want to experience genuine emotion, you need to hold on to something that matters. Yes, its a vulnerability, and I wont bother explaining why you would want it. All I can say is that Im glad to have found mine. Peace.
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby blindwake » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:39 am

You might consider looking for truth. When you find something that resonates, your emotions become genuine. Sure, we can all fake it, or fake it til we make it, or turn on the water works to get our way. If you want to experience genuine emotion, you need to hold on to something that matters. Yes, its a vulnerability, and I wont bother explaining why you would want it. All I can say is that Im glad to have found mine. Peace.


Resonation yes, truth no. I don't believe in absolutes, mainly because I don't think the universe is finite.

There's a difference between faking it, having a natural trigger, and using a manual trigger. Emotions are just feelings automatically evoked by bodily functions. If the bodily functions cease to cause emotion, you can still cause it by yourself. It's just harder. A feeling is a feeling. Doesn't matter where it's coming from.

Emotion as a vulnerability is highly useful. No explanation necessary. I've come to an understanding that emotional impulse and cold calculation are both necessary components of an intelligence. There is no such thing as meaning if you have no feeling to feed. You cannot live for pleasure if you are unable to feel it. You simply go through motions.

At that point of non-feeling, there are two real choices: damn the world, or damn yourself. It'll take the eating of souls to reach the abnormal threshold for feeling, and there is only so much fuel to burn. The selfish option has no good ending, because earth is like a cage for a fire: new oxygen doesn't come in easily. The selfless option, or rather, non-destructive option, is to use other people as mediums for feeling. If you can't get a high, at least you help others, and live vicariously through their expressions. If you can't feel pain, you'd might as well poke the bear just to see what its response is, right?

Emotion: Irrational Will
Calculation: Strategy

If there is only strategy, it does not have anything to serve. Every program needs to serve something, or else it is time for deletion.
I can't wake up. Can't kill the ideology.
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby inMalkuth » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:28 am

I have to apologize to you. I dont have the energy, or the inclination to process that post. As long as it works for you, I can find no reason to debate. Peace.
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby blindwake » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:46 am

I have to apologize to you. I dont have the energy, or the inclination to process that post. As long as it works for you, I can find no reason to debate. Peace.


You aren't required to respond. It is enough that I spend time rebutting your statements. The time thinking is constructive in itself.

However, given your lack of inclination, I must in the future, assume that you will continue to lack an inclination for conversation. I will now ignore you.
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby inMalkuth » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:07 am

You can ignore me if you wish, most people do [crazy]

As I said, no offense meant.
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby cactusjack543 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:39 pm

blindwake wrote:
I have to apologize to you. I dont have the energy, or the inclination to process that post. As long as it works for you, I can find no reason to debate. Peace.


You aren't required to respond. It is enough that I spend time rebutting your statements. The time thinking is constructive in itself.

However, given your lack of inclination, I must in the future, assume that you will continue to lack an inclination for conversation. I will now ignore you.


you know i just posted this on my website.. -


im a spitting bucket to man mabby mans pride but ive seen humanity for 5 years taughen it out with 20 winks and five awake so as of today dedicate yahooanswersowners to life including computer bots.. sorry for the long delay... Smile)....
I a only human 30 year prair to have a white picket fence with a nice spiritual healing lady golly... - ---.- 666:)....astoservemycity

Now just be quiet while my name plays you the opening theme to Mr. Dressup however one could give this all up so easely with women as bowned problem solver leading to lost of everything..
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby Cerber » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:32 am

blindwake wrote:What is it that drives you to study?
What is it that you hope to accomplish with occult knowledge?

I don't really study it, per se. Just skipping through it sometimes for some usefull tools, concepts, and methodologies.
Like visiting some diy shop. I try not get lost, everything might seem like very useful and I'd like to have a warehouse full of the tools, but there is just handful I would ever actually use. Gotta focus on the reasons you came there and your shopping list, and skip through it all as fast as possible or I will come home with bunch of useless stuff I don't need, nor I can really afford etc.
Same with the occult. Gotta stick with my shopping list, can't afford to be drowned in the all of it, or else it, and me with it would lose purpose, we would be useless.
It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.
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Re: Why do you study the occult?

Postby ErebusNamtar » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:20 am

blindwake wrote:What is it that drives you to study?
What is it that you hope to accomplish with occult knowledge?


When I started out it was purely "let's go nuts". I'll be honest, I was young, had many "dark" interests (edge-lord that I was ::) ), had a few paranormal experiences and was basically quite a foolish teenager.

As I aged and progressed it became much more about self-discovery and growing as an individual. I don't follow any strict rules or systems and go with whatever feels right to me. My beliefs about the occult are therefore uniquely mine and lean heavily towards chaos magick.
I have become much more skeptical and know lots of things simply do not happen IRL but I also do know the things that actually can go bump in the night.
I am a lot more certain of myself and the things I know but am not arrogant enough to believe I possess god-like knowledge. I have come to know myself; now it is time to try and get to know the universe.
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