Tag Archives: Self

The radical magi encountered a world wherein one world-image was locked in place—not just the geocentric cosmos but the whole Christian orthodox value system that went with it. Their subversive purpose revolved around the project of a free circulation of imagery, a breaking-up of the stasis and the creation of a more responsive model. The single world-view of orthodoxy was seen as stifling, tyrannical, oppressive. Inasmuch as the self interiorized this view it reproduced the oppression on the level of the subjective. The hermeticists opposed the very singleness of this worldview with a contradictory multiplicity, a critical form of “paganism” based on difference.

Hakim Bey, The Obelisk

Hermetic quote Bey Wilson The Obelisk radical magi encountered one world-image locked subversive purpose free circulation imagery contradictory multiplicity critical paganism difference

For I must pass
Desolate into the dusk of things again,
Having risen so far to fall to the abyss,
Deeper for exaltation; I must go
Wailing and naked into the inane
Cavernous shrineless place of misery,
Forgetful, hateful, impotent, except
The last initiation seize my soul,
And fling me into Isis’ very self,
The immortal, mortal.

Aleister Crowley, The Fatal Force

Hermetic quote Crowley The Fatal Force pass desolate dusk fall abyss deeper exaltation wailing naked cavernous shrineless misery initiation soul Isis immortal mortal

But horror
Seizes on the heart of the judicious.
They see only madness and destruction
In the mockery’s self innate, implicit.
Horror, deeper grief, most dreadful musings
Theirs who penetrate the poet’s purpose!

Aleister Crowley, Oracles, Sabbe Pi Dukkham

Hermetic quote Crowley Oracles horror seizes heart madness destruction mockery self innate explicit deeper grief dreadful musings penetrate poet purpose

In every dictatorship which is tottering, there is an urge towards destruction. Of self, if that only is possible. Of the world, if that is.

Peter Bryant, Red Alert

Hermetic quote Bryant Alert destruction

Somewhere I Have Never Travelled

Somewhere I Have Never Travelled: The Hero’s Journey by Thomas Van Nortwick, a 1996 paperback from Oxford University Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Thomas Van Nortwick Somewhere I Have Never Travelled from Oxford University Press

“Exploring the hero’s journey as a metaphor for spiritual evolution, this book combines literary, psychological, and spiritual insights to examine three ancient epics: The Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer’s Iliad, and Virgil’s Aeneid. Van Nortwick focuses on the relationship of the hero to one or more ‘second selves,’ or alter egos. Through these second selves the poems address central and enduring truths about human life: that heroism in pursuit of glory can lead to alienation from one’s self; and that spiritual wholeness can only be achieved through what appears, at first, to be the negation of the self. The discussion also serves as an introduction to the central themes and historical evolution of ancient epic.” — back cover

The Afflicted Mirror

The Afflicted Mirror: A Study of Ordeals and the Making of Compacts by Peter Hamilton-Giles, is available from Three Hands Press. The special leather-bound edition is sold out, but deluxe and standard hardcover editions are still available.

Peter Hamilton-Giles The Afflicted Mirror from Three Hands Press

“A shared feature of genuine magical practice and religious experience is the impression of ‘Otherness’, an entic arena of alienation and unfamiliarity. Contrasted with the more comfortable and known spheres of the Self, this ‘state apart’ provides not only inspiration and wonder, it is the dwelling-place of the gods and the prime source of gnosis, direct experience with the divine.

The Afflicted Mirror, based on a research paper presented at the 1996 AAA Anthropology of Religion inaugural conference in Kansas, suggests that for the metaphysical domain to become significant it must distort its appearance so as to attract our attention. This leads not only to validating the existence of the ‘Other’ but also illustrates its influence on how we shape the world. Providing groundbreaking insight on the magician’s actuated relationship with spirits and Gods, The Afflicted Mirror offers a pioneering examination of a topic often overlooked by scholars. As an original phenomenological model, Peter Hamilton-Giles’ The Afflicted Mirror unites such diverse spiritual states as the mysticism of the Seer, the religious ecstasy of the Saint, and the spirit-conjurations of the sorcerer.” [via]