Chasms Between Esoteric Schools & How to Bridge Them

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Nefastos
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Chasms Between Esoteric Schools & How to Bridge Them

Post by Nefastos »

An extremely important part of the Star of Azazel's philosophy, but not nearly enough discussed.

I take a stride from this discussion from Quotations relevant to the Path:
obnoxion wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 11:49 am
Seyyed Hossein Nasr is of the Traditionalist school, and he is inspired especially by Frithjof Schuon. As Frithjof Schuon considers the classical depth psychology to be satanic, it is only to be expected that Nasr subscribes to the same Traditionalist dogma. Another Traditionslist dogma is that post-renaissance art is degenerate. It might seem strange that such movent should have so strong stance on art, but it has to be remembered that Traditionalism was first concerned with art history. I am an avid reader of Traditionalist writers, but I disagree on many importan topics with them. For example, I admire modern art and consider C.G. Jung one of the most important Western thinkers.

This was a funny coincidence, since I touch this problem between Jung & traditional(ist) occultists in an article I just today sent to be published in our web site.

It made me think once again, however, this deep problem in antagonism between the different esoteric schools. Sometimes those chasms open because of some actual differences in ethics (ethical differences being difficult to bridge, because they are so fundamental), but sometimes the differences seem to be in emphases and would seem to be mutually complementing rather than excluding.

I would very much like to encourage discussion about this subject: What are the unbridgeable differences between esoteric schools of thought & practice, and which are not? How to unite the hands where that would be welcome & possible, regarding these theories & practices?

When stumbling upon one of these schisms which to me as an outsider often seem hard to accept as absolutely dividing, I try to go to myself and think about the problems I have with some of the esoteric schools. I think that is a process every one of us has to keep in mind: trying to be alert where compromises can & should be made, and what are truly problematic differences in paradigms, and why.
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: Chasms Between Esoteric Schools & How to Bridge Them

Post by Wyrmfang »

I agree with Nefastos that the only unbridgeable chasms are in ethical questions, broadly understood. After all, in all esotericism, there is the idea that words and systems are inadequate to epress what is really in question. Formal systems can contradict each other, and while this should not be taken too lighly either, it is not something that means absolute opposition. Genuine bridging happens mainly in practice; theoretical bridging comes tens or hundreds of years later, if ever. There is also the risk of false bridging, finding superficial theoretical bridges when there is in fact an unbridgeable practical difference. Though I regard myself as an esotericist, I would, for instance, affiliate myself rather with almost any form of "materialist" or "atheist" thought than with those modern forms of Satanism which disvalue humanity and ethics (this goes even for the nihilistic variants of atheism, because I consider it more honest than its esoteric counterpart). In my view, letting real differences be where they are in theory while cultivating the connection in spirit has much to do with SoA´s idea of Satan.
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Re: Chasms Between Esoteric Schools & How to Bridge Them

Post by Kavi »

Although I know this is not only about certain schools, but because Seyyed Hossein Nasr is mentioned I want to give my perspective.
I started to read Nasr's book about Islamic art and especially chapter dealing music was the biggest disappointments but at least one could have more "tools" to think of. Also the art discourse in Iran before and after revolution is interesting and maybe a bit complex too.
I think revival of traditional art was beneficial in some ways but there are also some downsides too but also good.

For me the unbridgeble element is the puritism and somekind of essentialistic attitude especially within art discourse. (i.e. electric instruments are unnatural and mock the creation with their impurity)
The paradigm somehow seems to scream of existential despair although what kind of paradigm doesn't?

I am not sure if I am able to bridge anything but at least I try to attain sincerity and try to approach these topics with open heart.
Like Wyrmfang says, I think theorems and practice should at some point connect with each other and be applicable. Sometimes these topics give me cognitive dissonance and real headache as theories claim other while current living tradition might insist on or refutes something else entirely and then I might agree with different paradigms and disagree at same time.
It's also very humbling experience.
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Nefastos
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Re: Chasms Between Esoteric Schools & How to Bridge Them

Post by Nefastos »

Kavi wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 3:17 pm
It's also very humbling experience.

Indeed. The great beckoning glamour of fanaticism is in its rewarding feeling of certainty. The "pride" (lessening of shame, which is often confused with humility) thus earned would be exceedingly hollow and false, but such a temporary boost to one's ego might feel priceless if the hunger for it is strong enough.

Wyrmfang wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:22 pm
After all, in all esotericism, there is the idea that words and systems are inadequate to epress what is really in question.

That's true. Philosophies often tend to argue not only because their factual points would be contradictory, but also because they confuse their different fields of functioning.

Mars wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 9:08 am
obnoxion wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 10:31 pm
Mars wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:50 pm
"The worst king is better than the best president."

This is misanthropic madness. I, too, have royalist leanings, and I admire the Nepal-mandala and the kingdom of Bhutan. But as one can see from the example of Nepal, strictly metaphysical models will not save from eventual decline. No outer form will last.

Yes, this is my main problem with the Traditionalists; their esoterism is so tied in forms that it drowns with them.

Whatever the esoteric school, that "esoterism so tied in forms that it drowns" is well noticed.

I think that occultism/magic/the sacred are truly universal things, and therefore ultimately independent of form. (Of course a form can be better or worse, but the Heart cannot become totally unreachable.) This is a basis of a certain Jesuitic reasoning in me. In an unlikely scenario that our religious freedom would be taken away and someone would be converting me to whatever different system with a sword-point, that would not mean so much for me. So, I can now only pray my God in the form of a giant spaghetti monster? That's fine with me; opens some intriguing new practices, I'm sure.

Naturally I do not mean that we should overstress even that aspect. That's the problem of chaos magic and such systems. Unless one approaches her own chosen system with piety and earnest responsibility of formal integrity also, the too loosely built up astral vapours easily give way and lead only to the path of least resistance. One lets herself go too easily. Like I said in another discussion: "the ceremonial orthodoxity is not an emphasized part in the Star of Azazel practices. We have many reasons not to stress that, but the thought that changes would not matter is not among them. Even the slightest changes in how a daily ritual is made has a huge impact, or, let us say, the changes we make tell a great deal of ourselves & bring results accordingly."
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: Chasms Between Esoteric Schools & How to Bridge Them

Post by obnoxion »

The outer forms are still not a trivial matter. But excessive protectivity towards these outer forms often seems to betray a lack of faith in God. Should these outer pillars be sacrosanct, they will rise again from the ocean's bottom if necessary.

As it happens, I just stumbled on a relevant quotation. It condenses Abhinavagupta's views on the importance of outer forms in the context of ritual:

"While discussing the relationship of external and internal, Abhinavagupta notes that if initiation occured only interiorly there would be a lack of exteriority and therefore a limitation and a dualism. To avoid any limitation (avacchedahanaya), the external rite (bahir api karya yago) is also sought"


- John Dupuche's essay "The Wisdom of Excess: Guru, Initiation and Practice in an Extreme Tantric Ritual" (from an anthology of essays on Tantra, "Tantrapuspanjali - Tantric Traditions and Philosophy of Kashmir" (Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts/ Aryan Books International, 2018; p. 196), edited by Bettina Sharada Bäumer & Hamsa Stainton).
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Nefastos
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Re: Chasms Between Esoteric Schools & How to Bridge Them

Post by Nefastos »

obnoxion wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 5:51 pm
"if initiation occured only interiorly there would be a lack of exteriority and therefore a limitation and a dualism. To avoid any limitation (avacchedahanaya), the external rite (bahir api karya yago) is also sought"

This is exactly how I feel.

When I begun my own spiritual path, I felt that all the world of matter would not be enough to present the total supersubstantiality of spirit, or even a meaningful part of it. In other words, my own Taurian focus on substance was so overwhelming that it annihilated itself in its utmost demand of totality. Only later I learned that it is exactly of this richness of substantiality of spirit everywhere that we can, and should, meet it also (that is, secondarily) in its incarnated forms in matter. These compromises are what make the full the fullest. Like it is said in Tabula Smaragdina: its power is even more added (add to something that's already full: an awesome mystery!) when it has been brought to earth again.

One can see this process of mine in Polyharmonia: the original iconoclastically pure main text, and later added footnotes that take this secondary, complementing aspect of outer aesthetical substance into consideration.
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: Chasms Between Esoteric Schools & How to Bridge Them

Post by Kavi »

Nefastos wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 1:51 pm
Wyrmfang wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 9:34 pm
the bull-horned giant Izdubar

Jung's Izdubar–Gilgamesh is not only bull-horned, but also "the bull-man". He is a type to what my last chapter's "green man" has become: the virile force of nature, now partly integrated and more man-shaped.
I bring this quote from Red book reading group as I believe it can be used in my post or should there be just topic for archetypes?

I should definitely one day try to read intensively Jung and I see many brethren here alike read alot of him.

My question is this. Jung sees archetypes, like green man in much more broader way than simple category would?
In other words green man can be seen as wild force of nature which for outsider it can look like barbaric and much more? In other words one could see from popular culture Yoda and comic book character Swamp thing in the frame of green man?
But it could also be represented in more concentrated manner like Al-Khidr from Islamic tradition? (when fish Moses carries disappears Khidr will appear and where ever Khidr's feet touch it starts growing grass and also different violent lessons Moses is given etc.)
So instead of different criteria and exact definition archetypes by definition of Jung are veeeery flexible?

Here we come to my point why I posted it in this topic:
In other words even in postmodern paradigm which might look at things as mere social constructs this way of looking at archetypes might still be valid in the eyes of such paradigm?
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Re: Chasms Between Esoteric Schools & How to Bridge Them

Post by Wyrmfang »

Kavi wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 4:22 pm
In other words even in postmodern paradigm which might look at things as mere social constructs this way of looking at archetypes might still be valid in the eyes of such paradigm?
In a sense yes, I think. It seems to me many-Crowleyan esotericists (and perhaps Crowley himself) conceive it this way. It might be asked where then comes the objective nature of the archetypes, if there is no extra-human source to them. But the point is precisely that if there is no extra-human source for anything (even the meaning of natural facts is conceived as constructed), then there is no problem how approach it truthfully. It is not a view I espouse but it´s consistent. In general there a kind of dialectic between modernism, post-modernism and esotericism. It is easy to detect some esoteric traits from Nietzsche, Heidegger or Derrida, but not that much so in case of Hume, Kant or Rousseau.
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Re: Chasms Between Esoteric Schools & How to Bridge Them

Post by Boreas »

There is a lot of work of separation of the dross and unification of the essential to be done before the esoteric world itself works as a unified front of ascension in planetary scale, notwithstanding the Galactic.
The torch is known to every living man by its pale, bright flame; it always burns where princes sit within.
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Re: Chasms Between Esoteric Schools & How to Bridge Them

Post by Nefastos »

Boreas wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 7:54 pm
There is a lot of work of separation of the dross and unification of the essential to be done

You are very right that both of these are needed. The great work for unity & Oneness is not just a haphazard piling together of every possible approach, but more like an alchemically careful balancing of different sides. Otherwise the world / the work would be accomplished already, while we see that is not the case.
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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