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Found 10 results

  1. This is a pieace I wrote awhile ago that I thought you worthy Bums might enjoy.... In the course of its long history, Daoism has been transmitted and adapted variously beyond China. Deeply embedded in Chinese language and culture, its ritual and communal practices have generally been less adaptable, but Daode jing thought, tales of immortals, and the various longevity and meditation techniques have found eager audiences. Especially Daoist thought and long life practices have spread in several East Asian countries, notably Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. In the West, too, the best known and most widespread aspect is Daoist thought; many concepts and maxims of the Daode jing have made their way into American and European culture. Much less well known and embedded in a different social milieu is the transmission of Daoist temples and ritual structures. Many remain within the framework of Chinese immigrants, but some organizations also attract Western devotees. Most recent is the Western adaptation of Daoist-inspired health practices and meditations. Following in the wake of increased health awareness and the popularity of yoga and Buddhist meditation, Daoist associations, centers, and masters are becoming popular. However, not all of them are properly speaking Daoist; rather, they often focus on qigong and taijiquan in exclusion of Mystical and Magical Practices. Just as different aspects of Daoism have attracted different audiences in East Asia over the millennia, so the modern transmission of the religion to the West matches a variety of interests and works in multiple social contexts. Most generally one can say that philosophical or literati Daoism was attractive first of all to missionaries and later to the intellectual elite. It offered a different way of looking at the world, proposed new principles of life, and encouraged a change of attitude toward the world. Today it is seen as opening a balance to the American (and Western) tendencies toward uncontrolled growth, environmental exploitation, corporate greed, and political corruption. Small is beautiful, and most happiness can be found in a simple life. Organized Daoism with its priestly hierarchy, religious scriptures, and devotional practices, on the other hand, fosters a sense of connection to the gods, community integration, as well as ritual services of protection, purification, blessings, and exorcism. It came to the West with Chinese immigrants and in close connection with Chinese popular religion and has remained for the most part an ethnically based organization, housed in inner-city temples and supported by local residents. Longevity Daoism, with its exercises, meditations, diets, and fengshui, has only been available in the West for a few decades. It appeals to well-situated, health-conscious people who are concerned with personal well-being, business success, and environmental protection( you know, Those People ). They often come to the practices for health reasons—be it recovery after an accident, weakness due to chronic disease, increased signs of aging, or the wish to reduce body stress exerted by contact sports, hard martial arts, or power yoga. Typically practitioners begin by looking for merely physical benefits, but then develop a sense of qi flowing in the body and gain an empowerment of a completely different sort. While many stop there, some move on to inquire more deeply into the conceptual and historical background of the practices and thus encounter Daoism. From there, some go on to advanced training in internal alchemy and more spiritual techniques whose ultimate goal is complete health leading to immortality. Daoist thought in the West is represented first and foremost in the Daode jing, the best-known representative of Daoism wherever it appears. In the West, it attracted first attention through a translation into Latin by Jesuit missionaries, presented to the British Royal Society in 1788. This rendition hoped to show that the mysteries of the Christian faith were known to the ancient Chinese, matching Dao with God, like logos conveying the triple sense of supreme being,reason, and word ( a mistake to say the lest, and has muddied the waters about trying to give a grasp on what in the nine hells the Dao is, ever since). The first English translation by James Legge (1831-1905) appeared in 1891. It, too, attempted to impose Christian theology onto the Chinese text. This changed in the course of the twentieth century, so that by the end of World War II a number of translations and interpretation had appeared that attempted to read the text in its own right and do justice to Chinese thinking. By now, there are over 300 English translations of the text and its concepts have made major inroads into Western societies. The dominant mode of apperception is individual and personal; people appreciate the philosophy as it helps them to change their own thinking and their way of being in the world. Unlike in China, where the text has always also had a strong public dimension, there are very few political concerns associated with the Daode jing in the West( I believe this could change the face of our current political arena, if a few candidates running for the highest office in the land adopted some of the wisdom found in the lines). Popular Daode jing ideas in the west tend to involve four distinct areas of application: the Western tendency toward action and progress (Work,Work,Work till you drop!); the importance of reducing stress(Fuck I need a vacation); the reversal of come common cultural and ethical values(If I get Tattoo 35, does it still pissoff my parents?); and concerns for the environment and social harmony (Peace, Pot and Microdot). Balancing the Western push for increased consumption, the need to always have more, always get new things, and always acquire bigger objects, is the essential idea of the text to “know when it is enough.” This means that there is a level of material wealth and internal satisfaction that requires one to go along with the present and let go of advancement and progress. Having reached this point, an increase in consumption, a rise in position, or a multiplication of wealth will add nothing further to one’s community status or internal well-being. On the contrary, it will create complications and various kinds of difficulties that are entirely unnecessary and make one feel worse, not better. This latter concept in the Daode jing is expressed as the “continuous alternation of yin and yang.” Understanding the world as moving in an ongoing flow of rise and fall, increase and decline, people can make wise decisions. Too much growth will result in reduction; a period of calmness and apparent stagnation is the beginning of a new surge of energy. There cannot always be nothing but growth; nature requires moves in all directions, up and down, rise and decline, come and go. Even Aleister Crowley threw his hat in the ring when it came to the study of Taoism… “From 1908 to 1918, the Tao Teh King was my continual study. I constantly recommended it to my friends as the supreme masterpiece of initiated wisdom, and I was as constantly disappointed when they declared that it did not impress them, especially as my preliminary descriptions of the book had aroused their keenest interest. I thus came to see that the fault lay with Legge’s translation, and I felt myself impelled to undertake the task of presenting Lao Tze in language informed by the sympathetic understanding which initiation and spiritual experience had conferred on me. During my Great Magical Retirement on Aesopus Island in the Hudson River during the summer of 1918, I set myself to this work, but I discovered immediately that I was totally incompetent. I therefore appealed to an Adept named Amalantrah, with whom I was at that time in almost daily communion.( Amalantrah appears to be an astral being. Crowley’s Amalantrah working with Rodey Minor and others does not settle the question of Amalantrah being physical or incorporeal. This consultation took the form of ritual questioning of a spirit, and attendant visions of which the ‘codex’ would be one.) He came readily to my aid and exhibited to me a codex of the original, which conveyed to me with absolute certitude the exact significance of the text.I was able to divine without hesitation or doubt the precise manner in which Legge had been deceived. He had translated the Chinese with singular fidelity, yet in almost every verse the interpretation was altogether misleading. There was no need to refer to the text from the point of view of scholarship. I had merely to paraphrase his translation in the light of actual knowledge of the true significance of the terms employed. Anyone who cares to take the trouble to compare the two versions will be astounded to see how slight a remodeling of a paragraph is sufficient to disperse the obstinate obscurity of prejudice, and let loose a fountain and a flood of living light, to kindle the gnarled prose of stolid scholarship into the burgeoning blossom of lyrical flame.”- (THE TAO TEH KING (LIBER CLVII) A New Translation By KO YUEN (ALEISTER CROWLEY) THE EQUINOX (Volume III, No. VIII.) I will talk more on Taoism’s influence on Western thought and occultism as time permits, but I believe this is a good enough start for now. Stay gold folks. Sources: Clarke, J. J. 2000. The Tao of the West: Western Transformation of Taoist Thought. Komjathy, Louis. 2004. “Tracing the Contours of Daoism in North America.” livia Kohn,1999. “Introducing Daoism” Crowley,-The Equinox Vol III
  2. Hey, I have been reading and learning for years now with out any real practice. Recently that changed and as I begin to explore the vastly different world of trying these tequniques and not just reading about them I would love people who have accomplished more than me to post how/what they found to be helpful and hurtful. If you feel you can help me out as a teacher I would love to hear from you, PM me Thanks, SlippySlim
  3. Hello, I'm just interested in the scope of what is supposedly possible through magical practices, AND, would like to hear personal stories of what any of you've managed to achieve through it. Primarily interested in ESP and healing stuff, but, any manifestation, Siddhi/Siddhis in general, invocations, OBE, Astral Travel, anything interesting I guess. Cheers guys
  4. Hello, I am wondering if anyone has had any success with actually reaching certain stages of the IIH steps. I have come to notice and attain certain miraculous feats...but not in the way described or instructed by the book. I am specifically interested to know if anyone has had any success in making elementals and the physical elementary, or the fluid condensers to magically animate pictures.
  5. The Storm Riders

    Just watched this for the second time. Brilliant movie if you are into HK movies ala sword & sorcery, magic and gung fu. Enjoy!
  6. Portable Magic

    I recently finished Portable Magic: Tarot is the Only Tool you Need by Donald Tyson. It was a very interesting book and the goal of it was basically to compress an entire system of ritual magic into Tarot cards so that you can perform simplified rituals on the fly without all the excess baggage. I feel i can say to a large extent i feel he has succeeded in this goal (i have yet to test any of his methods). It was very interesting to see how he managed to construct the circle and triangle with the cards and utilize an astral space for his working, i actually thought it was quite and ingenious ingenuity. I have no doubt that the system he works with is effective. Also what i also found very interesting is that although he works purely with Tarot for the sake of the book. If you open it up to utilizing tools in combination with the tarot, simple things like candles, bowls...etc....it would seem to greatly enhance ones flexibility in doing work. The only bad thing i would say was the amount of repetition in the book, it got a bit annoying sometimes. Also for someone who knows very little about ritualistic magic and the Golden Dawn i found the introductory chapters very interesting. Others whom are more well informed than i might find them extremely boring. Also i would also say that in general i am not a fan of ritualistic magic and the Golden Dawn. Therefore in regards to using their system of correspondences as well as using triangles and circles i was a bit skeptical. I think a lot of using circles and triangles is fear-based. Thought that is just my extremely novice opinion given i have never used any ritualistic methodology. Overall, this was a good book on using the Tarot for Ritualistic Magic albeit at times it could get a bit complicated and it is my personal preference to keep things simple. I have already ordered Tarot Spells by Janina Renee in order to give me a taste of the opposite side of spectrum of using Tarot cards for magical workings in order to balance out my perspective. I may also read Tarot Spell Caster by Terry Donaldson if it ever comes out on Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Magic-Tarot-Only-Tool/dp/0738709808/ref=pd_sim_b_3 My 2 cents, Peace
  7. Soul Mirrors and The Tarot

    I have done Bardon's Black and White mirror exercise twice....and I have always found it to be quite Insightful and thought provoking, however recently I came to up with the idea to do my soul mirrors via utilizing the Tarot. I drew 3 cards which reflected my most important negative attributes and 3 cards which reflected my most positive attributes, I imagine if one wanted to do a full reading of his personality he might draw 10 cards for each side. I have only done it once and have found it to be a very useful technique for self reflection and analysis (after all that's what the Tarot is for) and thought I would share it with the forum. Not sure if anyone else has used this approach before, just something that intuitively came to me. I personally like using the cards more than the methods that Bardon suggests of sheer self analysis because a single Tarot card (symbols in general) can speak volumes about you as a person and help harness both our conscious and subconscious powers and bring forth gems for our enrichment. If anyone tries it feel free to post your thoughts, I would be very interested to hear your experiences. Anyways, hope this technique is useful for others. My 2 cents, Peace
  8. Found this article on another site and thought it was interesting and worth sharing: "A while ago Jack had a great post about some of the reactions people have had about certain magical practices and how they might be dangerous, lead one into insanity, away from Holiness, etc.. I liked the post, because when I was younger, I got a lot of the same kinds of looks from some people. I went plunging into the Tunnels of Set with nothing but Falorioss images on photo paper and a beat up copy of Nightside of Eden. I held a Typhonian Portal open in my bedroom for a week straight until my neighbors could feel something terrible going on. I created Servitors with no expiration date that are still roaming the city of Philadelphia 17 years later. I took three types of psychedelics at once (LSD, Mishrooms, and Datura) and became a Buddhist. I formed a cabal of the CAOTO to have all night trip explorations on psychedelics most people have never even heard of. I summoned demons for frivolous reasons and paid the price. I played games with the weather, and other people paid the price. I did a public performance of the Mass of the Phoenix in front of 30 people at a Unitarian Church and yes I bled all over. I integrated BDSM into sex magic rituals just because. I nearly wound up hospitalized for a few days because of the effects of an un-grounded Chaos Sphere. I charged half cocked into an exorcism that I clearly could not handle. I charged half cocked into another one soon after, that I did handle but would not have been able to unless I failed the first time. In short I learned by getting my hands dirty and playing the game. I have only met Jack once, and we never did not come up together, but I think we have some similar experiences in this regard. We both survived, and we both have friends that did not. So what all this brings me around to is magical timing. We talk a lot of about time according to planetary days and hours. We plan according to eclipses and according to lunar phases. We sometimes even plan out according to season, but I wonder how many of you give thought to when in your life you are going to do something. A lot of the things I did then, I would NEVER do now in a house with my wife and kids. Honestly some magic I would never even do once I got a job I cared about. Some of this is the type of stuff I list above the gung ho excursions of a magical youth but others are not so simple. Take the HGA for instance. I had friends deeply worried about me when I was doing Samekh every day. There were times that I was absolutely close to coming unhinged. Some people treat it as this thing that is the pinnacle of magic and should only be undertaken once you have accomplished years of work I think it should be done very early on in ones career because the upheavals that can be brought up in the work can be enough to tear a family apart. Crossing the Abyss is another one. Unless you are doing it through meditation (which is more effecient and smoother than any more active magical method) it might be best accomplished before one is settled, or after one is retired. Than again, different people lead different lives. Lots of Tibetan Buddhists get asked to do Ngondro, which usually requires 100,000 full prostrations. Some Lamas brag (or get bragged about) that they did it two or three times! When they dont mention is that they did it when they were 12. Doing 100,000 prostrations is a great way to keep a 12 year old monk occupied. Its a challenging task for someone in their early 20′s. It can be downright harmful to overweight western suburbanites in their 30′s and 40′s, and every year at least a few people blow out their knees doing it. Good practice wrong stage of life Not that long ago a friend of mine that is my age was talking about engaging in a long series of Ayahuaska based magical experiments and wanted to know what I thought. I basically told him that ship has sailed. He has two kids at home a few years older than my kids. I asked him how would you feel if you got an emergency call that your child is in the hospital, and you still have 5 hours of tripping your balls off to get through? Everything from ritual equipment you keep out, to things you invoke in the house, to ways that you alter your mind state, have serious impact in real life. Doing something when you are in college may not be a good idea when you are raising toddlers. Than again revisiting that in later life, might be ideal. In fact, it is the last phase of life that many cultures consider the most spiritually productive. Many people who ask to become Sadhus get told to wait until they have a family and career first, than become a Sanyassi after they retire. I wonder if any of the people that were criticizing Jacks practices were simply at a place in life where the kind of psychic or circumstantial upheaval that could be caused was unthinkable to them, yet very easy for Jack to handle. I know that is how it was with me, and I need to remind myself when I talk to some people, that is how it is with them now. How has your stage of life effected your practice? Have to put anything away for the kiddies? Any good stories of youthful psychic shinanigans? Got anything planned for the empty nest?" by Jason Miller Link to original article: http://www.inominandum.com/blog/timing-of-magic-over-lifetime/ My 2 cents, Peace
  9. New Member

    Hey, I have been interested in spiritual growth for a while but am just beginning to get serious. I have Franz Bardon and I think it is a good start but I am not sure how much I relate to the specifics of his dogma. So I have been going on my own with particular interest in spirit guides and such. I believe i contacted them (3 of them) once but it was brief and our communication was brief and uninformative. I am looking for guidance on meditation practise because I am severely undertaught on the subject. All in all i have been really impressed with what i have seen/experienced in my short personal attempts and want to dive deeper in. I need some guidance to point me in the right direction. My beliefs about spirits and God are not classified in any category that i know (and I'm in philosophy ) so it is my own belief and it is shaping well through my early attempts. Please message or reply if you can help me out! Thanks!