© fra Nagahel 2007
Generally, Occultism seems to be distorted by so many misconceptions and delusions even in the midst of those who might call themselves as occultists, that we have felt it to be in place to refer shortly also to the practical side of occultism, and to shortly lighten in an elementary level, the objectivity of occult methodology that is ridden and purified of personal beliefs. This text has been scetched out first and foremost in the intention to point out the absolute importance of practicality in the holistic life view of the Occult science.
Occultism, due to the degeneration of the external characteristics of “its temple” in this time of entertainment mentality and spiritual-intellectual laziness, is easy to see and (supposedly) to explain away as being a some sort of ecstatic escapism or as a development of high-flying philosophical (or un-philosophical) cosmologies. This kind of attitude and view can nevertheless satisfy only mediocre fools, ignorant and naive people and those, who are unable to get rid of their either acknowledged or sub-conscious prejudices regarding The Sacred Science and Art. Ecstatic mentality, and even escapism from a certain point of view, that is, in the context of the old escape from prison analogy – and only from this! – can be seen as being an integral part of methodology of occultism, just in the same way as the use of the enormous potential of human imagination together with intelligence and emotion. However, no real occultist would never use or submit ones self to be used (!) by these in a irrational way or as a meaning in themselves, but only as a means to an end in the methodology of the sacred science and as the holistic use of the capabilities of the human soul in ones search for the truth and ascension. In some occult doctrines it is also easy to see (by one understanding the basic occult doctrines), clearly as commanded by some sort of higher intuition, to present occult truths veiled in an apparently mad mysticism, so that the profane could not grasp their core and abuse them.
Occultism can never be easy and mundane because of its enormous demands (and promises), but in fact it can – and it must be in order to be a holistic and an integral system of development – be also a completely practical wolrd view and something to be approached in everyday life. What would be the value of anything, whether in occultism or in life itself (what we can see meaning completely the same in their most profound meaning), if it did not contain challenges, demands, requirements, something to accept and other things to discard? “Completely same to me”, “let everyone do as one pleases” etc., can work as a guiding principles of life only for those who are living in an extreme spiritual laziness and for soulless creatures flowing around in phleghmatism, whereas even any layman who still takes life devotionally must have some clear guiding lines and ethical principles after which to work with. Surely, “to each his own” can be seen as one sort of a guiding principle in occultism and in magic without creating any kind of illusory morality around the saying, but even then it follows only the the laws of absolute justice in the inner and external reality of man.
In Occultism, ethical and spiritual principles, guidelines, demands and challenges have been taken to the extremity that is proper to them, because of which real practical occultism can suit only for those people, who consider life as a some sort of a challenge and as a test, meaning that they are experiencing life in a religious way, devotionally and idealistically; as I see it, the ones naturally getting into the practice of operative occultism or magic, are – or should be, for the Lord’s sake! – those already individuated beings, who have exhausted the meaningless entertainments and delusions of external life; who think that being drifted away by the currents of life as such cannot be the final answer to the scorching yearn of knowledge inside of them; who cannot accept the views of the limits of man and nature that weak and fearful men have made for themselves in their false need to feel safe, especially in this era of stone dead materialism; who cannot crawl back into that empty shell that they have abandoned when the spirit in them have awaken; and who know the profound potential inside of themselves, that is only awaiting to be actualised as the temporal personality reaches towards it.
Every self-observing, a person often a little prone to introspection and the one who in a goal-oriented way develops ones own character, who may even have the admirable quality to inter-connect and unite the apparently opposite and contradictive aspects of ones own soul, for example strength of character, power, and true internal sensibility, is already a potential occultist; the only yet a very meaningful difference between the one who practices “normal” self-development and a true practical occultist is, that the aspirations of the first-mentioned are not necessarily completely acknowledged and consciously aimed towards ascension; nevertheless the difference is a line drawn in the water and easily rectified with the right kind of knowledge. It is often so that even the despotic need to control ones self and ones inner potential leads to the occult road – although the despotism will surely appear so sweetly delusional in some point also. People, in whom the aspiration for the truth has awaken in such a volume, that they are ready to step into the purifying gleam of the scorching fire, knowledge, understanding, wisdom and love, will naturally seek the answers from occultism, mysticism and from the occult arts, that do not make any kind of illusory lines and limits for their yearnings, but in this great promise of freedom and power demands even more from them; for the first practical requirement of the operative occult praxis is, that man is absolutely willing to loose ones self, or more clearly the delusional image one has habitually and because of external conditionings learned to consider being ones own self. Even this first step into the foreyard of the occult temple seems to be too much required from the greater majority of men, who in their mediocre pettiness and in the midst of their wanderings in the labyrinthine emanations of the outer circumference, are not able to abandon the meaningless joys and sorrows of their small lives, that because of perennial habit have become for them though an illusory, yet due to faith (!) all too true a reliance.
Good, the base is now set and therefore we can lift the veil of the occult practice and methodology in a general level. The “normal” sense-based existence is being controlled and governed especially nowadays by the material reality, or more clearly expressed, the experience of material, solid and tangible reality. There is not need to disregard this way of experiencing reality or to fight against it, since then we are more likely to define its general value and we become bound by it in some way or another. Occultism does not a priori disregard and deny, in the vein of materialistic science, the “concreteness” or the reality of different levels of consciousness and their hieratic relationship between each other, but instead it aims to study all of them as ontological and metaphysical realities in the confines of possibility. Since every individual, who is truly interested about occultism and has studied it more or less internally, is without a doubt convinced about the fact that the external and sensible reality is not the same as the whole of it, it is due to this experience one has already actively in use also a more inner vision about a spiritual (or psychical, nevertheless more refined and plastic) reality.
When we have clearly seen through the illusory character of “the ordinary life”, it receives a wholly new meaning itself. Both the material point of view as well as the spiritual one can and in the end they must live side by side, even though they are often in an apparent contradiction with each other. Actually, one of the greatest challenges is to have the ability to “remember” and to be able to hieratically solve different modalities of a multi-levelled reality into each other – a thing that happens in an occultist quite naturally and without any kind of fanaticism for the good of spirituality, usually but not necessarily in the cost of material well-being; the different ways of experiencing reality are situated in different levels of consciousness, and do not often or necessarily not at all meet each other in the sensible reality. As a side note, we can see for example art and so called religious experiences being some of those ways how these different levels of reality leak, or sometimes almost violently rupture into the mundane life through the people aspiring towards them – sometimes even completely without a conscious aspiration and intention of the individual. To use a analogy made by Eliphas Lévi for example, Newton certainly did not invent the law of gravity by himself, the law largely invented Newton; it is this kind of an emergence of the internal reality that happens in every real scientist or an artist in the moment of great innovations, since it is one of the fundamental ways of the God so. Nature to manifest in the world through individuals more or less conscious about it.
One of the reasons for the lack and atrophy of the so called silent knowledge and spiritual insight, is in its very nature of silence and apparent non-existence, especially in these times when our internal senses are almost completely shut down by a multitude of external things, by superficial and meaningless information. To describe this with a few symbolic representations, there might be only the most external peak visible from a massive ice mountain, just like the foundation of a large building is deep in the earth; or to use the most classic example, the more older and greater the tree is, the more deeper and far-spread its roots are laid and from thereon they take their nourishment, when in the same time its branches are spread far into the air and reach towards the heavens. In the same manner this kind of inner, silent voice, constantly traverses in the background, and has a vibration either of a far more lower or of a far more higher scale than what might be audible to us, yet nevertheless forming the background and the peak for the audible sounds. I doubt that no one – even the most sceptical – is absolutely willing to accept and believe that the reality ends or has its very basis in the limits of our material senses.
It was a custom to say about the participation for the mysteries of the ancients that one did not go there to learn, but to change through an active and deep inner metamorphosis. Absolutely the greatest part of the practical occult development happens in the inner, spiritual and ethical constitution of man. Although the main part of this kind of development is largely subjective, it nevertheless has very wide ranging effects for everything that man does and how one works in the world. It is not possible or even necessary to aim to change the world in a larger scale, but it is important and possible to observe and to change if necessary, how we ourselves face and experience the world. The existence or non-existence of far-away star systems in the material universe, the truthfulness of metaphysical and cosmological theories, the long or short term societal or political theories etc.; any of the just mentioned mean nothing when compared to a tiniest change in the inner constitution and in the ontological structure of mans inner consciousness. The only thing that is truly important when we are aiming higher in the portals of the occult and magical temple, is the active inner metamorphosis, the creation of ones skin again and again to meet better the internal ideal and the truth in a greater scale. The very first practical rule of occultism is therefore the inner change of man via observation of thinking, emotions, and all habitual ways. One who aims to be a operative magician must absolutely to understand the fact that there is no such thing as the personality in its self. This does not mean however, that we would be changing ourselves into some sort of un-personal beings governed from the outside, and that every single an occultist would be some sort of a mechanistic end product of an illusory occult factory and a replica of one another. On the contrary, the temporal personality and its most best qualities will begin to shine in a completely new way, they will grow in quality and will change slowly into more and more refined state, while the whole individual will evolve even in such characteristics that have earlier been completely latent or invisible.
A magical operation, ritualism etc. without a deep and profound meaning, understanding and intention of it, is nothing more than mental masturbation and fits only for those countless dabblers and pseudo-occultists who have no passion, ability and devotion to break through the servility of their own vanity and outside their delusions. Phenomenal magic is completely of a secondary importance and follows only some higher intention, so called “flashes and explosions” are delusional, and those seeking them do far better for everyone if they search the nearest eye swindler or a circus “magician”.
The work of an occultist is therefore not primarily and only an intellectual processing and theoreticizing. “The doctrine of the eye” can lead very badly to delusions if it is not integrated into the totality in a creative and constructive manner. In occultism, the intellect is integrated into the work, but the real evolution and change happens not that much in the cognitive faculties than in ones whole constitution, character and being, “in the heart instead of the head”, so to speak. This is because in occultism every individual ability and appeal is aimed to be integrated into the service of the whole, by challenging ones weaknesses (first and foremost of the soul) with the help of ones more stronger qualities, where every action and thought is potentially aimed towards ascension, the real ontological metamorphosis and a true spiritual awakening being the goal. Taking again a recourse to a symbolical representation, mans heart is the very centre of ones life force both symbolically and concretely, every vein having its beginning in it through the main artery, and every single part of the human organism works in the service of it without the need or possibility for anything else. In reality, not a single one of the more important actions of mans life happens primarily in the reflective, superficial and mental thinking but far more deeper, although we are very used to place the feeling of ourselves in our heads and the material physiology tells us that the brains are the source and end point of all actions and consciousness. The more unconscious and the less acknowledged these things working in the background, the more holistically and wide range an effect they bear upon a man, confining and licking ones self into the imprisonment of a one or a few reality tunnels, delusional in their aspect of safety or stability.
Since the occult metamorphosis is possible only through a deep and especially qualitative change of the inner constitution of man, it can never be externally studied and wholly abstract like profane knowledge. Because of this occultism can never be democratic and for anyone to verify through the use of external instrumentation or theories; to reduce the initiatory metamorphosis into some sort of cold or a stone dead mystical theory is worst sort of profanation of the sacredness of occultism. In every real occultist and magician there can be seen in a very clear way the lack of desire for argumentation or fighting for the truthfulness of this or that thing, in some even in the extent that there can be seen a clearly goal-oriented (without a doubt because of inner understanding of the matter at hand) appeal to veil every kind of operative magical knowledge from the profane eyes, and instead to limit ones self only for a some sort of a general pointing out about the nature of things. In the internally and essentially unified doctrine of different occult traditions there is mentioned almost without an exception that anyone who divulges the greater secrets of the sacred science by handing them out to the profane, will lose everything one may have reached and condemns ones own self to perdition. There are many proofs of this in the course of history. This particular thing is certainly not the effect of some kind of vanity or superficial and stupid pride, not even considering the upholding of some sort of a veil of mysticism in order to create a imago of a magus, instead it follows logically the basic law and the ancient truth of occultism, according to which “the gods love secrecy”.
Even from these above mentioned extremely short and general descriptions we can perceive, that where the methodologies of occultism/magic have been understood and internalised holistically, they are completely independent of the personality and absolutely objective, in the right circumstances producing the same results independent from the beliefs of the individual. – In this same connection it still must be stated, that there are no mechanical occult techniques that could be able to replace understanding. Again, to level down The Sacred Science and Art into some kind of a completely subjective visionary trip, for the personally appealing categorization of ones astral visions or theorizing, can suit only for naïve fools or for those superficially and completely “academically” oriented who, to quote a great French metaphysician René Guenon, “will luckily never be able to lift and penetrate even the tiniest veil of the Great Architects of the Orient and the Occident”. Occultism can never be wholly rationalistic, but its absolute requirement is the dedication and engagement of the whole man into the tasks at hand, and this holistic approach must be one of the reasons for the apparent fantastic character of occultism in the minds of lesser men, who still haven’t learned to use all their abilities actively, but instead see their most real being as being one when with human reason / rational faculties, when with emotions, depending on their personal, collective and sub-conscious contingency.
True occult praxis is so extremely demanding, difficult and time consuming, that it is rarely even imaginable that a person having an appeal only for rationalizing on the other hand and for the mystical ecstasy on the other could ever get interested about the its demanding doctrines in a vital fashion, and to engage ones self into the practice of them. Practical occultism is far too scientific to be suited for the religious man only, and it is far too artistic to suit for the one who sees the world only through the grey lenses of the materialistic science. Because of this it has been called with the names of The Great Work, Science and Art, Ars Regia (The Golden Art) and so on, because the absolute requirement is the holistic refinement and rectification of the individual and a commitment that integrates ones whole life into the service of the spiritual ideal, without any kind of upholding of personal needs and materially self-centred goals; shortly, that man gives his own self for the truth without asking anything other than truth for return. The upholding of petty personal needs, not even talking about the prostitution of magic into the service of them, will because of the absolutely justified laws of necessity throw man straight back into that shell that is fit for the nourishment of worms and parasites. One cannot connect any sort of transcendental morality even into this thing. The whole matter is purely practical in its basis and has its main thesis in the fact that either mans inner constitution and status is changed to receive, refine and to use a higher kind of knowledge, or to become as a kind of a sacrificial meal of “the gods” in the never-ending transformation of existence.