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Magick 101: The Proper Attitude Toward Mind & Body (Part 1)



Over the past fifty years, I have insisted that the serious magical student seeks a course of therapy as a safeguard against some of the catastrophic results which appear to overtake too many of our promising students. The difficulties seem to arise from the following:


A. The confusion between the Freudian superego (the unconscious infantile conscience) and the Order's concept of the Higher and Divine Genius (or the H.G.A.) Many students, as well as those not involved with Magic, often substitute a form of their infantile conscience for one form of "Higher Self" or another. This can lead to nothing but disaster. Instead of being guided by a Higher Genius the person is really at the mercy of infantile "voices" and values, so-called brain chatter. Not only does this cause undue individual suffering and deception, it also causes a complete halt to any real progress in the Theurgic arts and sciences. To a large extent, this confusion contributes to the often "bad" reputation students of the occult possess. Those of you familiar with the history of the Order can find glowing examples of this folly. However, there is no need to delve this deeply. Almost any group or Order has members and often leaders who have fallen head long into this pit dug for the unwary.


B. There is a frightening frequency of the occurrence of the inflation of the ego -- sometimes referred to as infantile megalomania. To help the student understand this difficulty let us define the healthy ego as a computer type decision maker. The ego's function is to help the person make decisions based on hard data. The purpose of this function should be that of survival and personal fulfillment on various levels or planes. In one sense the healthy ego is more or less nonpersonal. It realizes cause and effect in Malkuth and understands its limitations. On the other hand, infantile megalomania is a natural occurrence in infancy, and with proper development has been outgrown by the healthy adult ego. However, while this is the ideal it rarely occurs in practice, and requires some form of "therapy" Eastern or Western to accomplish this goal. In the practice of Magic or anything which releases unusual amounts of energy from the unconscious the infantile megalomaniacal substructure is re-activated, and all the illusions and delusions of self-importance  and elevation of babyhood re-emerge.  This flattery overwhelms the ego. The person takes the impersonal and universal nature of the powers he or she experiences as if he or she created the powers or experiences by what they call - themselves. If this experience called by Jung the "Mana Personality" persists for too long a period the person becomes ego-maniacal and thoroughly self-centered. This can be observed in patients undergoing psychotherapy as well as in the so-called normal man on the street. This excessive self-admiration or as Jung puts it "the naive concretization of primordial images" leads to an overinflated ego which in the end leads directly to disaster and contradicts in toto the purpose of the Great Work. The student should be also cautioned that the opposite of infantile megalomania is not milk-toast humility and passiveness. The latter is the sine qua non of a deeply buried and potentially more dangerous form of infantile megalomania.


 C. There is a danger of the blatant acting out of instincts which have been distorted through repression and denial on the one hand or their compulsive repression leading to a boring and unfulfilled sex life. Almost everyone raised in the current Judaic-Christian morality suffers inevitably from a totally distorted attitude towards this topic as well as to all biologic functions in general. Therefore a complete sex life which is not only pleasurable but aids in the evolution of the Soul is totally out of the question. What is required is a healthy attitude toward all bodily functions, remembering always that Kether is in Malkuth and Malkuth is in Kether, but after another manner. Those involved with the Great Work have often found themselves falling into the camps of excess in one direction or another, i.e. too much or too little. The proper use and enjoyment of sex is a necessary part in the discovery and development of the Higher Genius. Aleister Crowley is one of very few who has recognized the reality of this problem, although he himself at times, due to his Plymouth Brethren upbringing, fell into the same booby trap. Most of us are plagued by an average somewhat inhibited sex life, or worse yet a compulsive acting out of our repressed sexual drives. These attitudes do not aid the development of self-expression, deep and total relaxation, or serve as a vehicle for opening the deeper channels which lie within.

(taken from the Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic)

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