Occultism and fear

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Cerastes
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Occultism and fear

Postby Cerastes » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:32 pm

I've been thinking about fear lately and I found an interesting statement in Argarizim:

„Fear is the greatest illusion; fear assumes dualism as a reality and seeks to escape the otherness“

That would imply fear to be a lack on consciousness- if I understand it right. (Do I?)
In abrahamic world religions the fear of god sure playes a big role in a very negative way that might be rooted in egoism.
Somewere in Fosforos (In the footnotes if I remember it correctly) it is mentioned, that unlike hate, fear cannot be purified.
Still the lack of fear is something I experienced as equally problematic, especially when it comes to occultism. Fear is not a good motivation to do something but it might be a good reason not to do something or at least a warning sign.

What's your experience/opinion on this?
Is fear something problematic per se that should be reduced as far as possible in order to let go of illusions?
Is the ideal man free of fear?
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Re: Occultism and fear

Postby Smaragd » Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:27 am

Red Bird wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:32 pm
I've been thinking about fear lately and I found an interesting statement in Argarizim:

„Fear is the greatest illusion; fear assumes dualism as a reality and seeks to escape the otherness“

That would imply fear to be a lack on consciousness- if I understand it right. (Do I?)
I like to look at fear as a gate to lost pieces of consciousness, or to greater unity. Fear tends to mark the spots in our consciousness that we have separated the most from, so there lies great potential for unifying work.
Red Bird wrote:What's your experience/opinion on this?
When it comes to meaningful acts or rituals, those involving fear seems to be always very meaningful and sort of a spear head or forefront of my path.
Red Bird wrote:Is fear something problematic per se that should be reduced as far as possible in order to let go of illusions?
I'd say it's a reaction to a problematic attitude towards a fragment and reducing the fear itself is to not trust your natural reactions. So instead of reducing I try to face it and take the object of fear in to my heart.
It's not unlike working with demons in a nurturing way. Not to feed their insatiable hunger without limits, but to integrate them in a delicate way to your wholesome effort.
Red Bird wrote:Is the ideal man free of fear?
I think so. The ideal man has found knowledge of detours or harmful ways or efficient ways to use resources etc. where fear used to be.
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Re: Occultism and fear

Postby Aquila » Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:10 pm

I wouldn't simply say that it's ideal to be free from fear but that it does have it's time and place in this world. Although it could be seen as an illusion, in the veils of illusion we are living in it does have at least protective value some people and practical value to those who have to face it as an obstacle in some conscious ways. Maybe if we'd be thinking of some kind of enlightened being there would be no fear or at least it's not an issue to such being but in our world I think it has it's place among any other feelings.
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Re: Occultism and fear

Postby obnoxion » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:28 pm

I agree with fra Smaragd exactly.

I am interested in a fear that is left over when the apparent causes of fear are eliminated. I am very concerned about having secure surroundings to my life and I avoid adventure. For example, I dislike traveling.

But when completely safe and secure, fear clings to strange things. Like in Lovecraft's short stories, it is in the architechtal details. It is, after all, at the foundation of separate existance, a root of maya in a way. And in my safe surroundings, my artificial paradise, it is there. And it is not more hidden, but more naked, because it does not wear the wolfskin mask and it does not stare you from the eye of the vertigo. And here it does become a sort of lead weight on a string for measuring the depths.
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Re: Occultism and fear

Postby Nefastos » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:56 pm

Red Bird wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:32 pm
Is fear something problematic per se that should be reduced as far as possible in order to let go of illusions?
Is the ideal man free of fear?


How do we define "illusions" is the big question here. Occultism works by the upanishadic viewpoint that everything is Maya, magical trick, so as long as there is any objective outward cosmos where exists something else as "Self", we are working with illusory projections. But since realizing this is the whole journey, we must take a bit more pragmatist an approach: that we should sublimate these illusions as far as it is possible without violence, be it physical or psychological. "Let them go" as you put it is a good choice of words, since it implies that it is already time for something to evolve & change its shape (finally into that Self i.e. spirit).

"Ideal man"'s freedom of fear should be taken in two ways. In the final enlightenment, one understands fully and de facto that there is no otherness that could induce fear in him, for he is one with everything. But that final dissolve of all separation is so far ahead still that we could – while keeping that lofty state in mind – also think of the lower initiate or aspirant, who still experiences fear, but is free from its effect in a way that he bases his actions or inaction onto that fear, is not imprisoned by it. Feeling of fear is simply an atavism for such a "hero" – which, by the way, is the word that several tantras use of the tantric practitioner, implying that such a practical occult world view demands this "fearless" attitude.

Red Bird wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:32 pm
Somewere in Fosforos (In the footnotes if I remember it correctly) it is mentioned, that unlike hate, fear cannot be purified.


Yes, it's in the Polyharmonia at the end of chapter V, including the footnote nr. 12. In Finnish we also have my article Pelosta ("Of Fear") here in the website. I consider it quite important, at least it marked a milestone for myself. Perhaps it could be translated at some point, or at least the important points may be summarised.

Red Bird wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:32 pm
I've been thinking about fear lately and I found an interesting statement in Argarizim:

„Fear is the greatest illusion; fear assumes dualism as a reality and seeks to escape the otherness“

That would imply fear to be a lack on consciousness- if I understand it right. (Do I?)


In a way I agree with the Buddhists that all our problems, including problematic feelings lie fear, are due to lack of consciousness. Consciousness here is the fully developed "monadic" (âtma-buddhi-manasic) mind of the soul and its adaptation into the brain... and the nervous system. This latter is what interests me the most, since I am extremely nervous person by nature myself, and there is almost nothing in this world that would not cause me anguish, restlessness, fright, worry, or outright horror. The whole thing is so deeply etched into my being that I feels quite a defining thing for the whole lower temperament; it's like a constant familiar companion, to be in presence of this hummingbird pulse personality. Personally I consider this as the downside of some spiritual possibilities, but of course, the whole thing could as well be taken as pathological.

This constant "horror of being in the world" – which I think comes extremely close to what Obnoxion spoke of, even though we once again experience it from the two different sides (White & Black) – is what has really fascinated me in the teachings of the Spanda vibration in the Kashmir Shaivism, and Rudolf Otto's idea of Mysterium Tremendum. Even though Otto's problem, in my eyes, is that he still confuses some interpretations of that fundamental terror or awe or "demonic dread", as he says, according to his protestant Christian views, not seeming to understand that his own psychology works from the subconscious (like it does to us all), to color these feelings in accordance with our childhood, and other, experiences.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: Occultism and fear

Postby Cerastes » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:08 pm

Nefastos wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:56 pm
In a way I agree with the Buddhists that all our problems, including problematic feelings lie fear, are due to lack of consciousness. Consciousness here is the fully developed "monadic" (âtma-buddhi-manasic) mind of the soul and its adaptation into the brain... and the nervous system. This latter is what interests me the most, since I am extremely nervous person by nature myself, and there is almost nothing in this world that would not cause me anguish, restlessness, fright, worry, or outright horror. The whole thing is so deeply etched into my being that I feels quite a defining thing for the whole lower temperament; it's like a constant familiar companion, to be in presence of this hummingbird pulse personality. Personally I consider this as the downside of some spiritual possibilities, but of course, the whole thing could as well be taken as pathological.
You seem to be quite the opposite of me at this point. I was always told to be more careful and to stop taking uneccessary risks. But since the world does seem illusionary and unreal in many ways, danger quite often feels unreal too.

About pathology I want to add, that every psychological trait that differs from the median too much is named pathological at some point but that doesn't say anything about the reason. Actually we do know remarkably little about the reasons.
Smaragd wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:27 am
When it comes to meaningful acts or rituals, those involving fear seems to be always very meaningful and sort of a spear head or forefront of my path

Yes, and that is why I always saw fear as a tool to rais consciousness not as a sign for the lack of it. Therfor it is interesting to read contrary views on this.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Re: Occultism and fear

Postby Smaragd » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:22 pm

Red Bird wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:08 pm
Smaragd wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:27 am
When it comes to meaningful acts or rituals, those involving fear seems to be always very meaningful and sort of a spear head or forefront of my path
Yes, and that is why I always saw fear as a tool to rais consciousness not as a sign for the lack of it. Therfor it is interesting to read contrary views on this.
Indeed. I like your rather fantastic and might I say a bit more active view of it. Gives me images of black channels or tunnels to be worked with.
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Re: Occultism and fear

Postby Polyhymnia » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:23 pm

"Is fear something problematic per se that should be reduced as far as possible in order to let go of illusions?
Is the ideal man free of fear?"

I think fear is a great driving force to let go of illusions, therefore it's not really problematic if one is constantly trying to go deeper. If I may expose myself a little to you all, immersing myself into this community is tackling a bit of my fear. I grew up a protestant preacher's daughter, and though my adult life led me to occultism (Hermeticism/magical qabala/Golden Dawn has been my main area of study), the fundamental feelings of that particular vein are still very familiar to my Christian upbringing, and though I turned my back on Christianity decades ago, Satan has been a figure that I've always had a hard time letting go of as the archetypal fire and brimstone bad guy. Hermeticism still makes me feel as though my path towards pursuing The Great Work is comfortable and familiar, since my upbringing dealt with alot of parallels in ritual and doctrine. Something was missing though. And upon discovering this site and this forum, I feel drawn in ways that are inexplicable to me. Concepts that I had a hard time grasping before make more sense when I factor Satan into the equation, which, still instills a knee-jerk reaction of fear in me. That's an illusion I'm shedding, and I feel it majorly stands in the way of my spiritual development.
I think the ideal man is free of fear, but I think the journey that comes with facing all of those fears is very very necessary, so being born without fear isn't ideal, but staying the course through all of its obstacles is.

Which makes me wonder if anyone could ever be born without fear.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
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Re: Occultism and fear

Postby Insanus » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:10 am

The idea that fear is the greatest illusion hints also at the great magical power of fear if we put the idea in another context. Maybe one could say that love also assumes duality, but does not seek to escape the otherness. Similar charge is there. I think certain types of fear and awe are much more in the core of left hand path than, for example hate. Just think darkness, yin, death etc. and the experience of "holy fear" is somewhere near, perhaps just behind your back or so. This fear cannot be purified because it is pure, like fear is the condition of any possible courage like a negative charge, a basis. Presence of spirit or something.
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Re: Occultism and fear

Postby Cerastes » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:35 pm

Insanus wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:10 am
Just think darkness, yin, death etc. and the experience of "holy fear" is somewhere near, perhaps just behind your back or so. This fear cannot be purified because it is pure, like fear is the condition of any possible courage like a negative charge, a basis. Presence of spirit or something.
This is why I do not believe that the ideal person is fearless.
There is a good word in German which describes a certain kind of holy fear but I couldn’t find a similar fitting expression in English (Maybe the native speakers can help me out here):
Ehrfurcht (Ehre= honor, Furcht= fear)
It’s the kind of fear that honors whatever is feared and contains a high amount of esteem and respect. You can have Ehrfurcht of a high mountain as well as of a spirit or another person. It marks the consciousness of the high potential or importance of whatever is feared. Fear is very negativly charged and largely known as a weakness, Ehrfurcht however is valued as a positive feeling.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)

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