Eques Peregrinus

Rituals and "ex opere operato"

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In the catholic doctrine, and, I suppose, also in most esoteric orders, there exist the concept of "ex opere operato" — the result is produced by the operation. For example, if a sacrament is made by a priest as indicated in the missal, then, according to the catholic doctrine, the sacrament will be valid, the "ability" of the priest being irrelevant to this operation.

 

 

This last point bothers me. I only see a few reasons why an unskilled priest (or magician in case of a loge) would suddenly be able to do the same work as a skilled one. One of them would be that the sacrament itself is a kind of spirit's "contact form" (in the catholic doctrine to God itself) which does the work for the priest. An other would be that the sacrament is a kind of recipe which permit anyone following it to achieve a similar result.

 

 

However, I also find many reasons for "ex opere operato" to be a superstition. If you excuse me this sophism, there is an very good motivation to invent it. In the case of an organised religion, without that concept, there would be no guarantee that a priest could perform all sacraments (and even with the guarantee that a priest could perform them, nobody would be sure that he is not slacking on his job).

 

A better reason to doubt this concept is that certain sacrament were changed through time. For example in the case of the baptism, it was first performed on adult people which were naked and completely immersed. Later the baptism was mostly performed on babies, with the complete immersion replaced by a sprinkling of water on the head.

 

An other reason is the intangibility of the result of most sacrament, which is therefore impossible to verify (which led some people to doubt the sacraments themselves, but this is not the topic).

 

On this last point, in case of magic, from which we can expect tangible results, there exists a very large number of spells and rituals to gain money, to get sex, to curse, to find buried treasures, etc... Of course, they were created as an answer to a demand, and some people cast spell after spell, and perform rituals after ritual without success.

 

 

Therefore, I tend to view the "ex opere operato" with a certain amount of skepticism, even if I can entertain the idea that there might exists certain rituals which are effective in themselves.

 

 

What is the opinion of other bums in this matter?

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"On this last point, in case of magic, from which we can expect tangible results, there exists a very large number of spells and rituals to gain money, to get sex, to curse, to find buried treasures, etc... Of course, they were created as an answer to a demand, and some people cast spell after spell, and perform rituals after ritual without success."

 

So this means that in this case is applied the law of statistics: if you repeat something in a very large number, then the phenomenon that you seek, even with a very low probability to happen, it will happen eventually. But again just because this is how statistics work.

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We live in a culture of imitations, simulacra, illusions, as-ifs.  With the sacrament in particular, the real thing used to be  performed by a shaman chosen by the spirit world, not appointed by the church authorities.  The sacrament was an entheogen, which did not require faith or qualifications from the lay folks partaking of it, it worked for the same reason your ignition works when you turn the key. 

 

Magical technology works like any other -- you have to know what you're doing when you use it.  Some magical technologies are more user-friendly than others, anyone can press a button -- and, provided they know which button to press, the thing will be turned on.  Others are not user-friendly and require an expert to operate.  Even if it's just driving a car, it is not obvious how to make it work if you have never been told or shown how to start it, and don't know that you need a charged  battery and some gas in the tank.  Once you know, it's a no-brainer.   With magical technologies, however, information is withheld -- part of it, or all of it.  You are told that you can drive a car if you pour "the blood of a lamb" into the gas tank, so to speak.  And then you take an imaginary journey in a car that never started.  That's how our organized religions dispense magical procedures -- just so that they don't work.

 

Of course lay folks are unlikely to stumble upon the absolutely correct magical technology by going through whatever motions without knowing the whole deal.  Something will be missing, something will be amiss in a typical case.  The real deal is kept secret.  And a lot of it is not dabbler-friendly.

 

It's very easy to convince people that it's not real when indeed what they are left with is simulacra.  They are asked to "have faith" -- that's something you need when you are dealing with a non-working model.  Have faith, be a child, play the game, use your imagination, put together two chairs and have faith that it's a car to take you places.  No faith is required in the case of the real thing.  It just works.  But you have to have the real thing, and the real procedure.  That's as rare as a real BMW on the shelf in the nursery where a 3-year-old's toy cars are kept.   

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I think you might benefit from reading the writings of different saints that who got a real kick out of the eucharist. A great number of them didn't even like the priests or were troubled by their lack of dutifulness or strict morality. But, even so, they were always ecstatic about the eucharist.

 

You probably wouldn't like the flowery quality of the devotional page and the psychodramatic quality of what is written. But, anyways, I was thinking a little bit about Gemma Galgani (though there are many similar saints)---there were times when she didn't want to go to the confessional because she was spiritually sensing that the priest wasn't....priestly. But, in accord with a vision she had, she went anyways because there was a strong presence of spirit in the church.

http://www.stgemmagalgani.com/2008/09/eucharist-and-st-gemma.html

 

 

I dunno, there was a time when I looked very in-depth into catholic theology. It was like a science of how their religion worked conducted primarily by people who couldn't feel what was at work. It was informed, to a great extent, by the spiritual lives of the saints. So, personally, I am inclined to think that it is an accurate description. It probably doesn't capture the nuances of a direct experience but it is a survey-science of the mystical experiences of devoted Christians.

 

 

There is definitely room for abuses of the doctrine but, if you know how doctrine was formed and formulated, I am fairly certain that you will see that control was a feature that was twisted out of something authentic.

 

Reading the saints is a nice idea, I am going to look at this link.

 

Note also, that I am not particularly against the Catholic Church. Many parts of their dogma make sense, either in general, either if we undestand it from a restricted viewpoint of a clergyman living in the middle-age. Sometimes, even when the doctrine is about control.

 

For example concerning exorcism: The Church consider than any baptised person can perform a valid exorcism, however, the exorcism is considered legal only if it is performed by a priest. Which make sense, since we not want to mess up this operation.

 

Then of course, there are the Inquisition and witch burning stuff, which the Church inherited from the roman laws, abolished, then re-established.

 

"On this last point, in case of magic, from which we can expect tangible results, there exists a very large number of spells and rituals to gain money, to get sex, to curse, to find buried treasures, etc... Of course, they were created as an answer to a demand, and some people cast spell after spell, and perform rituals after ritual without success."

 

So this means that in this case is applied the law of statistics: if you repeat something in a very large number, then the phenomenon that you seek, even with a very low probability to happen, it will happen eventually. But again just because this is how statistics work.

 

This is precisely what is bothering me. These statistics are far too low to consider that the operation itself is producing the result. It seems they work "ex opere operantis" — the result is produced by the operator.

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Operator implies pulling levers, pressing buttons and twiddling dials to get a process to work. Whether the operator is happy or sad, of a pleasant disposition or otherwise seems irrelevant for the process to work. As a sacrament the faithful would see the Eucharist as a holy mystery and instrument of grace which works through the limitations of the priest. I had often wondered why priests asked to be prayed for, so this is recognition of their human frailty which fits with "ex opere operato". In one of her books Dion Fortune mentions that she recognised power when she saw it and saw it in the Mass.

 

When it comes to other rituals maybe it depends on context, tradition and the goal of the ritual whether the outcome is affected by the state of the operator beyond the capacity of reciting the right words and performing the prescribed actions.

 

However has anyone read any accounts of untrained people or even trained people performing magical rituals without due respect or the appropriate inner orientation? I have, the mechanics of the operation worked but it ended badly for them.

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In the catholic doctrine, and, I suppose, also in most esoteric orders, there exist the concept of "ex opere operato" — the result is produced by the operation. For example, if a sacrament is made by a priest as indicated in the missal, then, according to the catholic doctrine, the sacrament will be valid, the "ability" of the priest being irrelevant to this operation.
 
 
This last point bothers me. I only see a few reasons why an unskilled priest (or magician in case of a loge) would suddenly be able to do the same work as a skilled one. One of them would be that the sacrament itself is a kind of spirit's "contact form" (in the catholic doctrine to God itself) which does the work for the priest. An other would be that the sacrament is a kind of recipe which permit anyone following it to achieve a similar result.
 
 
However, I also find many reasons for "ex opere operato" to be a superstition. If you excuse me this sophism, there is an very good motivation to invent it. In the case of an organised religion, without that concept, there would be no guarantee that a priest could perform all sacraments (and even with the guarantee that a priest could perform them, nobody would be sure that he is not slacking on his job).
 
A better reason to doubt this concept is that certain sacrament were changed through time. For example in the case of the baptism, it was first performed on adult people which were naked and completely immersed. Later the baptism was mostly performed on babies, with the complete immersion replaced by a sprinkling of water on the head.
 
An other reason is the intangibility of the result of most sacrament, which is therefore impossible to verify (which led some people to doubt the sacraments themselves, but this is not the topic).
 
On this last point, in case of magic, from which we can expect tangible results, there exists a very large number of spells and rituals to gain money, to get sex, to curse, to find buried treasures, etc... Of course, they were created as an answer to a demand, and some people cast spell after spell, and perform rituals after ritual without success.
 
 
Therefore, I tend to view the "ex opere operato" with a certain amount of skepticism, even if I can entertain the idea that there might exists certain rituals which are effective in themselves.
 
 
What is the opinion of other bums in this matter?

 

 

To the second part . I have always seen the conundrum, and there is no way out of it. Being old enough to witness the earlier form of the Mass in Latin, and being expected to learn some to be an assistant ( an attempt at making me an altar boy  ..... fail !  )  even then at that age the question sprung to my mind; if we are supposed to do the Mass the way we are 'supposed to', then how can it be changed in order to attract more people.  

 

The answer is, the Pope says so, as he has a direct line in.    The mechanics are flexible depending on any Pope 'updates' .  

 

The first  issue above ; any 'operator' just isnt enough, he has to have church approval.  No matter how perfect his techniques energy ritual understanding ....   it is all null and void without proper 'spiritual'   administrative approval .  A defrocked priest cannot say Mass ......  he can however say a Black Mass   ^_^   

 

This issue seems to encompass  the old conundrum ;   is Abracadabra a magic word that anyone can use  as it holds power itself ?    

 

-  Open sesame !  

 

Or is it a tool that can only be used by those 'permissible' ,  that use a 'power' not contained in the word alone ?   IMO those questions off the table, as that is not the reason for practice , not where I am heading....  for me, however, for religion priests and churchgoers, it is a different destination.  I  had experience with it in the past myself ( being once ordained the Gnostic Church.  The same applies there ,  doesnt 'really work' unless the admin approves) .

 

For me,  with this, it is little different from any club or organisation.  MY ability is changed in  no way whatsoever if I do or dont do my black belt exam that my instructor has been harping on about for years .  It has no effect on my ability to teach or coach either.  

 

It does have purposes related to things like marketing and 'authority'  and hierarchy and 'important' stuff like that   :closedeyes:   (and puts $180 in his pocket   ;)    .  

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Pretty much anyone can color in one of these...

 

Color-Me-Calm-Adult-Coloring-Book.jpg

But how many can create and paint one of these...

111109061136-leonardo-da-vinci-exhibitio

What I'm trying to say is that some things just require you to do it, and it works for anyone of basic capacity, while other things are an art and require skill of the doer.

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We live in a culture of imitations, simulacra, illusions, as-ifs.  With the sacrament in particular, the real thing used to be  performed by a shaman chosen by the spirit world, not appointed by the church authorities.  The sacrament was an entheogen, which did not require faith or qualifications from the lay folks partaking of it, it worked for the same reason your ignition works when you turn the key. 

 

Magical technology works like any other -- you have to know what you're doing when you use it.  Some magical technologies are more user-friendly than others, anyone can press a button -- and, provided they know which button to press, the thing will be turned on.  Others are not user-friendly and require an expert to operate.  Even if it's just driving a car, it is not obvious how to make it work if you have never been told or shown how to start it, and don't know that you need a charged  battery and some gas in the tank.  Once you know, it's a no-brainer.   With magical technologies, however, information is withheld -- part of it, or all of it.  You are told that you can drive a car if you pour "the blood of a lamb" into the gas tank, so to speak.  And then you take an imaginary journey in a car that never started.  That's how our organized religions dispense magical procedures -- just so that they don't work.

 

Of course lay folks are unlikely to stumble upon the absolutely correct magical technology by going through whatever motions without knowing the whole deal.  Something will be missing, something will be amiss in a typical case.  The real deal is kept secret.  And a lot of it is not dabbler-friendly.

 

It's very easy to convince people that it's not real when indeed what they are left with is simulacra.  They are asked to "have faith" -- that's something you need when you are dealing with a non-working model.  Have faith, be a child, play the game, use your imagination, put together two chairs and have faith that it's a car to take you places.  No faith is required in the case of the real thing.  It just works.  But you have to have the real thing, and the real procedure.  That's as rare as a real BMW on the shelf in the nursery where a 3-year-old's toy cars are kept.   

 

These paragraphs made me think about the golden calf story in the bible, precisely the moment where Moses destroys the tablets after seeing the people misbehaving.
 
I looked it up, in the Exodus and realised that I did not knew the story well (this well known film is to be blamed for that). Moses does not simply sit on top of the mountain for 40 days then went down with the tablets with 10 commandments. I emit the hypothesis that at least 3 versions of Moses ascension to the Sinai were compiled and more or less stitched together.
 
In Exodus 21 to 23, Moses has to wait for 3 days before ascending the Sinai, the 10 commandments are given, then the description of a altar, then a list of laws are given (concerning servants, social responsibility, etc...). Note that there is no mention of tablets in these chapters.
 
In Exodus 24 to 33, Moses has to wait for 7 days before ascending the Sinai, then he spend 40 days on the top. The chapters 25 to 31 describe the material and consecrations needed for the rituals, then in the last verse, the tablets are given. In this version the people waiting for Moses on the top of the Sinai build a golden calf and when Moses came down the mountain and saw the people dancing with the calf, he broke the tablets. Their content was therefore never disclosed.
 
In Exodus 34 to 40, Moses ascend the Sinai in a morning with tablets he made himself, at the top of the mountain, he got dictated a set of commandments (different than the first set of 10) and the chapters 35 to 40 describe the ritual stuff, much of the material was already described in chapters 25 to 31. Note also this version is (rather crudely) stitched to the previous one: At the beginning of the chapter 34, it is claimed that new tablets are to be made, then Moses is instructed to build them and to go up the Mount Sinai. However, the large similarity between chapters 25 to 31 and the 34 to 40 let me think they originally were separate versions, in the same manner there are two versions of the creation of the world.
 
If we restrict ourselves to the chapters 24 to 33, then claiming that the tablets are containing the missing parts to make the rituals effective fit nicely.
 

I am now wondering: If we take a sacrament/ritual as a recipe (or as a color book), with some parts missing (which prevent its successful realisation), am I correct in thinking that these missing part were communicated verbally, or learned through an initiation, and therefore not present in texts?

 

 

However has anyone read any accounts of untrained people or even trained people performing magical rituals without due respect or the appropriate inner orientation? I have, the mechanics of the operation worked but it ended badly for them.

 

I have read here and there about untrained people dabbling with occult stuff like Simon's Necronomicon and being frightened by nightmares or physical manifestations like knocks or objects moving, but it is still possible that they are making up stories. Concerning trained people, Josephine McCarthy wrote recently that her work with the Arbatel caused her problems. It seems that the structure of this grimoire contains unequilibrated elements which she missed in previous readings.
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These paragraphs made me think about the golden calf story in the bible, precisely the moment where Moses destroys the tablets after seeing the people misbehaving.
 
I looked it up, in the Exodus and realised that I did not knew the story well (this well known film is to be blamed for that). Moses does not simply sit on top of the mountain for 40 days then went down with the tablets with 10 commandments. I emit the hypothesis that at least 3 versions of Moses ascension to the Sinai were compiled and more or less stitched together.
 
In Exodus 21 to 23, Moses has to wait for 3 days before ascending the Sinai, the 10 commandments are given, then the description of a altar, then a list of laws are given (concerning servants, social responsibility, etc...). Note that there is no mention of tablets in these chapters.
 
In Exodus 24 to 33, Moses has to wait for 7 days before ascending the Sinai, then he spend 40 days on the top. The chapters 25 to 31 describe the material and consecrations needed for the rituals, then in the last verse, the tablets are given. In this version the people waiting for Moses on the top of the Sinai build a golden calf and when Moses came down the mountain and saw the people dancing with the calf, he broke the tablets. Their content was therefore never disclosed.
 
In Exodus 34 to 40, Moses ascend the Sinai in a morning with tablets he made himself, at the top of the mountain, he got dictated a set of commandments (different than the first set of 10) and the chapters 35 to 40 describe the ritual stuff, much of the material was already described in chapters 25 to 31. Note also this version is (rather crudely) stitched to the previous one: At the beginning of the chapter 34, it is claimed that new tablets are to be made, then Moses is instructed to build them and to go up the Mount Sinai. However, the large similarity between chapters 25 to 31 and the 34 to 40 let me think they originally were separate versions, in the same manner there are two versions of the creation of the world.
 
If we restrict ourselves to the chapters 24 to 33, then claiming that the tablets are containing the missing parts to make the rituals effective fit nicely.
 

I am now wondering: If we take a sacrament/ritual as a recipe (or as a color book), with some parts missing (which prevent its successful realisation), am I correct in thinking that these missing part were communicated verbally, or learned through an initiation, and therefore not present in texts?

 

 

Thats a question for a Rabbi or some other textual scholar.  And depending on who or what 'school of thought' you will get a different answer. Inner content is gleaned by understanding (Interpreting) other texts , influences, etc . Then there are the codes ( like gematria ) . 

 

But this is definitely the case  with some modern ritual script ; 

 

"  E directs C to place his hand on the HVL and both recite the p.w.  _ _ _ _ _ _ _  . " 

 

In this case they more written for those that know the ritual and serve as a 'reminder script' 

 

As far as multiple versions go, the Bible is full of them,  that starts at Genesis , we even start with variant creation myths.  Its such a jumble, I would not be using it for much .  But what rituals it describes !    Even just the outfit ! 

 

image001.jpg

 

 

I had to make a replica of that once .... WOW !   What a trip !  The breast plate is interesting ; 12 different stones and gems in array, connected by gold chains to stones on the shoulders, layers of  various cloth between   crystals and  metal , an umin and thurin hidden inside ( whatever they were )

 

I have read here and there about untrained people dabbling with occult stuff like Simon's Necronomicon and being frightened by nightmares or physical manifestations like knocks or objects moving, but it is still possible that they are making up stories.
 
Or they have disturbed their psyche or imagination .... they might believe  it .  I know more than one person that wigged out after that book, but they were heading that way in the beginning . 
 
Concerning trained people, Josephine McCarthy wrote recently that her work with the Arbatel caused her problems. It seems that the structure of this grimoire contains unequilibrated elements which she missed in previous readings.
 
Well, training certainly helps!  Would you start fiddling with the house wiring if you were not trained or had knowledge of electricity ?  My first reading of  the Necronomicon  ( and I had heard all the stories and, if my memory is correct, a bit of a freak out intro by the author ... ?  Or did he freak out at the end),   anyway, after a few pages I was ..... wtf !  ( no, not for that reason   :D )  ... a magical text structural reason.  people say there are no banishings in this Necronomicon 'system' , that is what makes it dangerous.
 
With a bit of insight it can be seen that the banishings are at the end, but should really be done before and after ( standard practice)  .... if one knows what one is doing, one would just read through it and realize that. In nay case, the whole thing is rather amusing ... guy spends the 'whole book' in invoking Sirius energy, then at the end freaks out as he is 'plagued' by 'dog-faced demons ' . 
 
All right then . 
 
That is why it is best to learn what you are doing first, have some type of 'qualification' , right or contract to do it in the first place, examine the base material and then rewrite for performance. 
 
Many a time I have practically explored a ritual or done a run through and   some things in it are wrong or impossible . One needs smarts ...  one example is the use of the double cubed altar, interpreted by some as a cube up to the hips, thats a big cube !   My take is the height of the double cube is up to the hips, which makes a good working height and makes 'common sense'. Someone argued endlessly with me about this , I couldnt see the point of  arguing about minute textual considerations and syntax as what they were saying was a little crazy, as  this should define proportions of other equipment. EG, If you made the altar that big and followed instructions  for some other rituals, and made the circle a certain size, it would not fit inside the circle, the 'solution' is to make a big circle , but then you need a  really big room or a hall  or something
 
I went to their 'temple'   and frankly it was ridiculous,  things hardly fitted in under, some things looked like they were for giants and other things shortened or crammed in to fit .  ..... I mean, a 'trained 'magician , should be able to walk into an 'operating area' temple, Lodge etc, (in his tradition ) and at a glance immdiatly know all is correct and in in proportion and harmony , it should give a feeling of  " Ahhhhh ! "  ..... not  "WTF has gone on here ? "     :D 
 

Ho hum   .... such was the life of a    'travelling  assistant to  an  S.G.I.G.  

 

 

Edited by Nungali
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The overwhelming ephasis on personal power is a distinct product of 19th century magnetism. This sentiment is best expressed by Jules Dupotet Sennevoy, a highly influental but underappreciated figure of the occult revival. I have selected the following quotes from an abbreviated translation of his work going by the name "Magnetism and Magic".

 

The reader will note that I insist on none of those auxiliary methods in my experiments which were considered necessary in ancient times: the silence of subterranean passages, the cave of Trophonius, forest gloom, the sound of wind and storm, thunderclaps, sepulchral lamps - nothing, in short, calculated artificially to increase the sensitivity or activity of the soul. I use no grimoire, consecrated emblems, vervain, or magic wand. I do not make invocations, or prayer. My room contains no human relics, or "hand of glory," drug or perfume. Those who use such instruments, in my opinion, are learned in words, but not in realities, and can only influence people with diseased imaginations. Nor am I served by familiar spirits - though one magnetizer has gratuitously made the suggestion. I have never made any such claim; if there were any truth in such a statement I would confess it. I do, undoubtedly, feel a certain shock throughout all my being: I experience an unusual sensation. When these experiments are succeeding I share somehow in the process: my organism seems under some restraint. No doubt this is essential and even indispensable for the operations of magnetic magic. That is all. As for the rest, all depends on the previous preparations. I banish from my mind everything not related to my subject, and have only the end in view - a matter needing great prudence and attention.

Thus I voluntarily become an instrument and seek only its perfection as far as may be. Finding what a human machine can produce under certain conditions, I try to fulfil them. I know very little, but, had I been better instructed at the start, I should have been the first of all magnetizers. Reader, pardon my self-esteem! As I am introducing a new art to you, I must make you understand me: I claim to be a sorcerer, a magician.

I behold extraordinary phenomena; they are the result of a force or agent emerging from my own personality. Does not the power of beings that have life and force emerge from the same source? Life gives life: what matters it which organ is used? Is nature restricted to one method or channel?

Here I am verging on the secrets of magic: and my readers must "divine" where I cannot speak openly. The vital principle which animates us - has it no body of its own? Though invisible, is not its form very real? Does not the oak exist unseen in the acorn? Must we only believe what we can see with the eyes? Are we not influenced every moment by imperceptible agents? That which ever escapes our sight is exactly that which makes us what we are: life is extended throughout all Nature, but we are only conscious of its more material aspects.

Thus there exists around us in space an agent differing from all known forces, whose properties and qualities have little in common with the "dead" forces discovered by our scientists. This agent provides the substance of our life, sustains it for a time and receives it back again when disengaged from its material shell. We gain from it our inspiration, knowledge, and understanding. It has a constant attraction for us, yet is an unknown ally, and we have ceased to use it. This, and no other, is the magic element used by thaumaturgists.

The true magic agent is - the soul! You can only grasp it because it is welded to matter: and it is only so that the natural life energizes supernaturally and becomes an animated invisible. Learn to understand the operations proper to it, and you will do well to remember that all this contains a sacred mystery which must not be revealed to the first casual inquirer.

As we have seen, the soul is considered the efficient cause of all magical operations - later, in the development of animal magnetism, willpower and imagination came to play a pivotal role. A reading through Arthur Schopenhauer's "On the Will in Nature", specifically the chapter entitled "Animal Magnetism and Magic", will shed a great deal of light on the structure of modern esoterica. It can be found here;

 

https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/On_the_Will_in_Nature/Animal_Magnetism_and_Magic

 

It is quite unfortunate that Dupotet's statement "indeed, we ought to substitute the word Magism for Magnetism" never became a reality. Instead, there is an underlying tendency, a culturally ingrained meme, which follows the sentiment of the early magnetisers - to interpret traditional magic through the lens of magnetism. Magnetism and traditional magic have quite different operational frameworks. It is important, I believe, to consider the magic of the oldtimers through their operative framework, not through a modern reinterpretation.

 

I wish to emphasize: magnetism is a subset of traditional magic, in particular of Graeco-Arabic Neoplatonism as it was expressed in the Renaissance. This post is long enough as it is, and I do not have a sufficent education in Platonism to continue further satisfactory, so I digress.

 

An excellent example of "ex opere operato" would be the occult virtues of minerals, plants and animals; Agrippa relied strongly on the "Marvels of the World" by the 16th century Pseudo-Albertus, who himself drew on the 4th century Hermetic treatise "Kyranides". The application of this philosophical doctrine is perhaps best known through contemporary Hoodoo rootwork.

 

Another example of "ex opere operato" would be De Imaginibus by Ibn Qurra, which is an astrological treatise dealing with the creation of talismans, some of them specifically suited for ones natal chart. Instead of employing the inherent powers of nature as in rootwork, one employs the power of the stars through astrological technique, which has nothing to do with "magical training" in the conventional sense.

 

Another important consideration we must take into account is the Pythagorean Quadrivium, being the four sciences of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music. It doesn't take much imagination and willpower to see how these disciplines extends smoothly into the sphere of traditional ritual magic.

 

With that said, the operator is never seperate from the operation - on the contrary, the two melt together. I will finish my ramblings with this: while the operator has a soul with it's own inherent powers that can be utilized, the operation too is constituted of elements with their own inherent powers.

 

On an interesting sidenote, in consideration of the Catholic mass, I believe it might be fruitful to consider the meaning of the Biblical Greek word power; dunamis.

 

https://gotquestions.org/dunamis-meaning.html

 

However, dunamis is not just any power; the word often refers to miraculous power or marvelous works (such as in Matthew 7:22; 11:21, 23; Mark 5:30; Luke 5:17; 9:1; 10:13; and Acts 8:13). Dunamis can also refer to “moral power and excellence of soul,” according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon.

 

Perhaps most importantly, dunamis can refer to “inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth” (ibid.). In Matthew 22:29 Jesus tells the Sadducees, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” Jesus also said, “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). In other words, the Lord has inherent power residing in Himself. Dunamis is part of His nature.

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What is the opinion of other bums in this matter?

 

that those who promulgated the idea of "the church" want sheep, not shepherds, and purposefully watered things down to prevent knowledge from being gained, or more importantly, power from being attained.  they dont make J into an otherworldly character far beyond the reaches of normal mortals for nothing.  the big man's his pops after all, so dont even go attempt "miracles" because the only way you'll have them happen is if you have *that* much faith - and since you have to be a saint to have that much faith, you're shit outta luck there sheep, sorry.  now go worship.

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[...]
 
What is the opinion of other bums in this matter?

 

 

I've been raised as a catholic.

The clear understanding of each devotee is that his salvation doesn't depend on the spiritual level of the priest: a common saying is "Do as I teach, but don't follow my example".

A clear political reason: even if the Pope himself do wrong, the Church is a source of purity and salvation.

 

Also, there are plenty of Eucharistic miracles in which bread becomes real flesh, but none of them is dependent on the priest himself. I remember a couple of them: in one instance, the priest later admitted that he didn't really believe in the ritual and he was amazed as the miracle happened in his hands. In another instance, bread became flesh in the mouth of a devotee known for her sainthood.

 

Stories? maybe...

 

I still believe that there's a sort of egregore behind the catholic church which prevalently acts in the mind of devotees and trough priests, but sometimes it can manifest creepy magic like blooddripping statues, stigmata and demonic possessions.

Edited by Cheshire Cat
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even more interesting, or perhaps alarming, is how that egregore is attached to/used by the ziofreaks..

Edited by joeblast
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that those who promulgated the idea of "the church" want sheep, not shepherds, and purposefully watered things down to prevent knowledge from being gained, or more importantly, power from being attained.  they dont make J into an otherworldly character far beyond the reaches of normal mortals for nothing.  the big man's his pops after all, so dont even go attempt "miracles" because the only way you'll have them happen is if you have *that* much faith - and since you have to be a saint to have that much faith, you're shit outta luck there sheep, sorry.  now go worship.

 

Wow !   That was a bit poisonous !  

 

All 'churches' are not the same you know .  I suppose you are assuming 'Christian Church' and  to further narrow it ; Christian church of a  specific kind. 

 

Our 'church' never wanted any sheep. We wanted people's individual inherent genius to  grow develop and flourish.  And develop their power.    Then again, I should not expect you to know of such things ,  it is in the minority.

 

I am not sure what you mean about 'go and attempt miracles '   ? 

 

Often we were asked to 'water things down', as so much was contained in the liturgy. If people wanted that they were able to join an 'Order' associated with the Church  ( similar to Monks )  where everything was set out in a step by step learning process.

 

Then again this was a Gnostic Church ,  people were expected to form their own links and gain their own knowledge, not approach  the 'spiritual'  or the 'divine'  via the clergy but through themselves, not emulate the knowledge of clergy, but develop it for themselves. 

 

To open the sheep pen, to use your metaphor .... to break down the fences. 

 

A group ritual is supportive, and most of the people were not really that interested in the liturgical ceremony ..... until something significant happened to them  that made them feel they needed some action or support  (in the usual  things ;   birth and death were the main ones,  the 'sacraments' , the important 'nodes' of life, seem more significant).   One in particular;  a requiem  service  for a member whose  son died .... intense ....  but he wanted the ceremony and later told me how much it helped him. 

 

I also  put together a funeral service once;  I researched it, I knew the woman personally and about her life. The central part was taken from Normandy Ellis transliteration of the Egyptian Book of the dead , a chapter  Entering the plethora of stars.  Afterwards I got feedback on it,  very good feedback, people told me that is what a funeral should be like.  It was actually very beautiful, her children thanked me.  The we buried her within the roots of her favorite giant tree in the rainforest behind her house on our land .

 

Another friend died.  They had some ceremony with a paid celebrant. At the beginning, as she was saying her stuff about my friend, she didnt even know her name and had to stop and keep looking down and reading out the name each time it came up in her rote little speech.  It was pretty horrible, The people tried to eat some food .... one or two had drinks ... what a mess !  

 

- in this aspect, the sharing and supporting, in some ways  DBs is like this.  people need someone to talk to about certain matters at times.  

 

That is all in my past, years back. But still I am called upon in my 'priestly role'   ; distraught friend whose dog died  .... yeah, its 'only ' a dog, but the person was distressed.  My boss , who was paying to keep his father alive and realized he should 'turn off the machine'  yet had a flotilla of wailing ethnic aunties  asking him how he could kill his own father .   We talked everyday on the phone for ages .   He knew my background, my experiences, my studies, my qualifications ... and would  amuse himself about that ....  but when the shit hit the fan , psychologically  ( or spiritually, if you like ) ,   he realized I was the only person  he could talk to ...  his only other options where  religion; Islam (some relatives ) , Christianity ( his environment ) or Zoroastrianism  (his ethnic proclivity ) , but he isn't religious .

 

I have seen this issue a fair bit, people still want ceremonies and understandings relating to their rites of passage and significance.  Some are offering alternative ones . I have not been very impressed with  whats on offer.  Maybe marriage , I have seen some good alternative marriage ceremonies.   

 

However, in a lot of my 'spiritual council ' I find people can be pretty messed up due to  conditions implanted by other religions and churches .  So I guess that is what all the spitted venom  in the above quote was about . 

Edited by Nungali
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magic?

 

yeah magic !   Whattup  ?    Unbeliever ? 

 

Check this out ...... the  bird appears outta 'thin air '   !    :o

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nungali
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The overwhelming ephasis on personal power is a distinct product of 19th century magnetism. This sentiment is best expressed by Jules Dupotet Sennevoy, a highly influental but underappreciated figure of the occult revival. I have selected the following quotes from an abbreviated translation of his work going by the name "Magnetism and Magic".

 

As we have seen, the soul is considered the efficient cause of all magical operations - later, in the development of animal magnetism, willpower and imagination came to play a pivotal role. A reading through Arthur Schopenhauer's "On the Will in Nature", specifically the chapter entitled "Animal Magnetism and Magic", will shed a great deal of light on the structure of modern esoterica. It can be found here;

 

https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/On_the_Will_in_Nature/Animal_Magnetism_and_Magic

 

It is quite unfortunate that Dupotet's statement "indeed, we ought to substitute the word Magism for Magnetism" never became a reality. Instead, there is an underlying tendency, a culturally ingrained meme, which follows the sentiment of the early magnetisers - to interpret traditional magic through the lens of magnetism. Magnetism and traditional magic have quite different operational frameworks. It is important, I believe, to consider the magic of the oldtimers through their operative framework, not through a modern reinterpretation.

 

I wish to emphasize: magnetism is a subset of traditional magic, in particular of Graeco-Arabic Neoplatonism as it was expressed in the Renaissance. This post is long enough as it is, and I do not have a sufficent education in Platonism to continue further satisfactory, so I digress.

 

An excellent example of "ex opere operato" would be the occult virtues of minerals, plants and animals; Agrippa relied strongly on the "Marvels of the World" by the 16th century Pseudo-Albertus, who himself drew on the 4th century Hermetic treatise "Kyranides". The application of this philosophical doctrine is perhaps best known through contemporary Hoodoo rootwork.

 

Another example of "ex opere operato" would be De Imaginibus by Ibn Qurra, which is an astrological treatise dealing with the creation of talismans, some of them specifically suited for ones natal chart. Instead of employing the inherent powers of nature as in rootwork, one employs the power of the stars through astrological technique, which has nothing to do with "magical training" in the conventional sense.

 

Another important consideration we must take into account is the Pythagorean Quadrivium, being the four sciences of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music. It doesn't take much imagination and willpower to see how these disciplines extends smoothly into the sphere of traditional ritual magic.

 

With that said, the operator is never seperate from the operation - on the contrary, the two melt together. I will finish my ramblings with this: while the operator has a soul with it's own inherent powers that can be utilized, the operation too is constituted of elements with their own inherent powers.

 

On an interesting sidenote, in consideration of the Catholic mass, I believe it might be fruitful to consider the meaning of the Biblical Greek word power; dunamis.

 

https://gotquestions.org/dunamis-meaning.html

 

 

True, natural and astrological magic works by the operation. But, concerning the sacraments, at least in the case of the mass, there are no astrological considerations and only tidbits of natural magic, like the use of frankincense. There is some sacred geometry incorporated into the architecture of churches (at least the traditional ones) and some sacred music, but they are not mandatory for the rites. This is why it surprises me that they are meant to work "ex opere operato".

 

 

I've been raised as a catholic.

The clear understanding of each devotee is that his salvation doesn't depend on the spiritual level of the priest: a common saying is "Do as I teach, but don't follow my example".

A clear political reason: even if the Pope himself do wrong, the Church is a source of purity and salvation.

 

Also, there are plenty of Eucharistic miracles in which bread becomes real flesh, but none of them is dependent on the priest himself. I remember a couple of them: in one instance, the priest later admitted that he didn't really believe in the ritual and he was amazed as the miracle happened in his hands. In another instance, bread became flesh in the mouth of a devotee known for her sainthood.

 

Stories? maybe...

 

I still believe that there's a sort of egregore behind the catholic church which prevalently acts in the mind of devotees and trough priests, but sometimes it can manifest creepy magic like blooddripping statues, stigmata and demonic possessions.

 

The term "egregor" is a translation from the French "égrégore" which was invented by Victor Hugo, the greatest french poet (unfortunately), for his master work "La Légende des Siècles".
 

...

C'est à Malaspina de parler. Un vieillard

Se troublerait devant ce jeune homme; il sait l’art

D'évoquer le démon, la stryge, l'égrégore;
Il teint sa dague avec du suc de mandragore.
...

 

This term itself seems to come from the greek "grigori", which means "watcher" or "guardian", and seems to have been used to speak of the spiritual beings we call today angels.
 
Now, the question is why did some guys in the 19th century decided to use this term to describe a kind of group mind entity?

 

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Even though I am very busy, I am going to take a little time for a short post here.
 
To understand part of these issues you need to understand Aristotle's treatment of causality, because that is what this thread is all about, causality, and from Hellenistic times to 1700, the default theory of causality among the educated was Aristotle's Four Causes.  That is why I made a special thread about them in my posts about Agrippa here:
 
Aristotle's Four Causes in Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy
 
and attempted to show their usefulness in the understanding of an important aspect of magical tradition, that of "occult virtues", here:
 
Occult Virtues as formal causes in occult philosophy

Which is why this bears repeating here:
 

I approached the Golden Dawn Temple and its ritual system as if I were retro-engineering a complex circuit board, and in the process I learned a great deal about the structure of magic and its practice. On many levels it was well worth doing. People who wish to dismiss the Golden Dawn are welcome to do so. It is their loss, not mine.


Rituals also have "occult virtues", as systems of representation with a well formed logical structure.  This is an aspect of rituals that is completely lost in modern magic.
 
In thinking about causality in magic in Aristotelian terms, the magician and his training become an efficient cause, but also the whole root of his ability to do magic is the "occult virtue" of his "soul" as a microcosm and its reflection in the macrocosm.  The occult virtues of natural things, of times and places and yes, even of ritual and verbal formulae, are the result of formal systems as the expression of the the Platonic "ideas" existing in the "archetypal" world, and magic becomes very much the study of the formal properties of such systems, whether expressed in Natural, Astrological, or Ceremonial magic.
 
As for egregores, I am familiar with its origin in fiction, and the details of how it became used in magic are not important, but if I recall correctly Levi used the term, but it had certainly become a technical term by 1900.  I spent a about year of intense study, beginning in the summer of 1968, with the most complete book of theory on them in English, Mouni Sadhu's, The Tarot, so I certainly know about them and their use and construction, but the whole theory and practice is little understood these days either.  While my study of Sadhu's book was before I read Agrippa, what I learned from Sadhu can definitely be assimilated into that framework and even benefits from it.  This is why I said here:
 

As one grows in ones apprehension of True Divinity, one can embody it in any name system one may wish and even create new ones to serve ones needs, for such names are merely tools which the magician uses. Those who fear any egregore will never know true magic, in so far as egregores are useful, they serve the magician, the magician does not serve them.

 

In regard to Roman Catholic sacraments, while Aristotle's four causes contributed to the discussion of them, at least to believers their efficacy has to be assigned, not to anything magical, but the grace of God manifest through the covenant with "the Church".  That said the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation is probably the most interesting interpretation of the Eucharist among the Christian sects from an esoteric and magical point of view.

 

As I said I am busy and I don't have much time right now to elaborate on any of the above.

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