Learn Not to Blame Yourself

 

As a novice monk in Thailand, Ajahn Brahm always got sleepy during meditation. He felt hopeless about himself until one day he realized that it was not his fault. Ajahn Brahms teaches us to not blame ourselves or others because difficulties are great opportunities to learn.

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Broke Occult Masters and Other Poseurs

So many occult societies amount to nothing more than goth day at Disneyland.

It’s all well and good to claim that you have esoteric knowledge (or even that you have improved your life through a particular occult philosophy), but the proof is in what you have done all on your own, absent inheritance or a trust fund or a high-earning spouse. This is also a problem I have with YouTube witches going on about their practice and offering classes / e-books on various topics. I think to myself, that’s great but you are clearly a suburban housewife with sources of income that do not come from your occult work. So don’t tell me you’re a success because of your witchcraft. You’re a success because hubby works 60-80 hours a week at the firm. If you think you have a clever way of improving your lot, that’s good, but you have to practice it openly and not hide behind e-marketing facades. 

I think having a day job is an important aspect of being an occultist. It’s not a requirement. You can rely on money magic and gambling and all that and I believe make things work. But that’s not an easy life. In A Dark SongJoe Solomon, the antagonist of the story, is a real jerk. But to me that just resonates with the public occultists I’ve met who try to support themselves with their art. It makes you hard and bitter because it is so damn difficult. Sure, it can be done, but if you want to lead a posh suburban lifestyle, don’t think your money magic is going to be there like a steady income. It’s going to be up and down with no safety net forever.

The problem with many occult groups—from bullshitty prosperity new thought all the way to gravely serious initiatory stuff—is that you still have to put your pants on one leg at a time and go make a living. I believe Law of Attraction can help. I believe in most forms of occultism and magic, from the superficial to the scholarly. Magical things can definitely give you an advantage. But the material world makes its demands and we have to answer unless we want to live in a tunnel with the other Temple of the Vampire members who bought into that philosophy and mailed in their subscription payment.

I pick on the ToV a lot because I see them as the quintessentially hypocritical style-over-substance occult organization. It’s all well and good (and great marketing to a certain frustrated type of seeker) to say, “We believe in dayside mastery (i.e. getting your life and finances together) as well as nightside (occult) mastery.” But if you meet ToV members, and I know several former ones, you quickly see that they have developed a level of fake doubletalk about how great their lives are because of their mastery of dayside-nightside techniques. The reality is that they’re getting their egos fed from membership in the group and that is all. It is fundamentally important, for anyone looking to improve their lives through esoteric philosophies and groups, to look at the members carefully. They are the products of what their groups can create—if they have even benefited at all and not just misrepresented their privilege. All the fancy talk in the world will not change this fact. If the group was started by two guys in a trailer and they are now receiving a passive income from membership fees, think about that.

I’d like to feature this blog post from Ray “Dr. Hawk” Hess.  I’ve enjoyed his book, Backwoods Shamanism, quite a bit and think he makes a lot of sense here when he’s talking about the idea of paying for spiritual services.  Obviously, I agree with his conclusions, but sometimes it’s good to present a perspective that comes from a different voice with different experiences.  To that end, I suggest you click on this link and see what he has to say: https://doctorhawk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/on-monetary-compensation-for-spiritual.html

I also highly recommend his book, which can be purchased here: http://a.co/9gb6JU3

 

Source: On Monetary Compensation for Spiritual Services…

If you can’t just drop everything and run off to Ibiza, then make doing magic an adventure at home. And again, this for me is something near to the core of what magic is about -learning to experience your world in different ways, if only so that you can start tweaking it gently at the edges. Doing magic is about being responsive to the challenges of your environment-often a response borne out of necessity. When you find yourself dumped in Cairo at 4 a.m. with your luggage at the other end of the city you can begin to appreciate the strengths of a freestyle approach to practical magic which enables you to shape ideas and approaches and pulling together an ad hoc enchantment to sort out the situation. The mistake that newcomers to practical magic often make is that, having identified a problem, they go looking for a ‘ritual’ or spell which they believe will remove it. Now I’ve never seen a spell to ‘discover where the hell your luggage has got to’ and it’s impossible to come up with a spell/ritual for everything which life might throw at you. So it’s more effective, in my view, to be able to pull ‘something’ together out of a hat.

— Phil Hine, Prime Chaos

Leading a Magical Revolution: a Counter-Cultural Response to Student Loan Debt

You want to be a witch, to be part of a counter-culture, go to the OG cultural revolutionaries.  Consider the following.

Two ideas from Abbie Hoffman in the introduction to Steal This Book:
1. [C]orporate feudalism as the only robbery worthy of being called “crime,” for it is committed against the people as a whole. Whether the ways [this book] describes to rip-off shit are legal or illegal is irrelevant. The dictionary of law is written by the bosses of order. Our moral dictionary says no heisting from each other. To steal from a brother or sister is evil. To not steal from the institutions that are the pillars of the Pig Empire is equally immoral.

2. Until we understand the nature of institutional violence and how it manipulates values and mores to maintain the power of the few, we will forever be imprisoned in the caves of ignorance. When we conclude that bank robbers rather than bankers should be the trustees of the universities, then we begin to think clearly. When we see the Army Mathematics Research and Development Center and the Bank of Amerika as cesspools of violence, filling the minds of our young with hatred, turning one against another, then we begin to think revolutionary.

And one from Jonathan Back in Spirits Walk with Me:
In everyday life Gerry liked to adopt the concept of being a ‘person-state’, who decided what was or wasn’t appropriate for the sole citizen of this nation – himself. In cases where he was tempted to commit what according to the laws of the United Kingdom would be classed as a crime, the act was seen instead by Gerry as a disagreement between two states.

____________

Pay back what you owe, but also value your own life path and the need to develop.  Do not enslave yourself because of money.

To attempt to pay back student loans in a way that wrecks your life—to even alter the course of your life to accommodate the post-industrial capitalist power structures that have commodified learning and health care, which should be fundamental human rights—is INHERENTLY IMMORAL.  We are complicit in our own victimization every time we get depressed about money.

Ancillary observation: we must be clear with ourselves that life choices (where, how, by what means, and fundamentally speaking, what we do every day) cannot depend on psychological social pressure exerted by inherently corrupt corporate power structures.

Survive: say no to the military-industrial corporate egregores and be who you want to be.  Live the way you want to live.  And go under their radar (because they are vicious and will try to ruin and destroy you if you appear to be a threat).

Fight: resist the best way possible, which is to spread tolerance, learning, and critical thinking.  

SPREAD YOUR MAGIC.  MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT ANYONE UNTIL YOU GET TO KNOW THEM.  BUT EDUCATE, ENCHANT, AND BRING ABOUT A REVOLUTION THAT MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER INSTEAD OF TEARING IT ALL DOWN.

You are part of a community.  You are a community.  Legislate your own well-being.

A Dark Song (2017)

 

The ending is corny and I don’t get the use of the Reiki symbols (I can make up a reason for their use in a particular scene of the movie, but that would just be me reading into it).  Otherwise, I have never seen a more realistic film about a complex magical ritual.  Amazing, actually.