After many years away from it, and a tremendous amount of soul-searching, I have an announcement to make: I’m back in business.
This is not a repeat from 2009.
After several years of skepticism and doubt, triggered by a combination of natural growth and unpleasant experiences with people whose views on magick took them dangerously away from reality (as opposed to merely slightly away), I’ve come full-circle.
My renewed occult studies may come as a disappointment to two types of people:
- friends who adhere to mainstream revealed religions and hoped I might come around
- friends who adhere to a strictly rational, science-based worldview who will see this as a regression into superstition
My replies can be summarized thus:
- I’m sorry you feel that way. But measured by my own perception, the experiences I’ve had in the world of occult/Hermetic lore have been much more powerful and profound than any I’ve had when appealing to the mainstream religions. I don’t discount your spiritual lives, but if your particular views of God are correct, then He doesn’t seem particularly inclined to speak to my heart and soul in a meaningful way. Draw your own conclusions.
- I’m sorry you feel that way. I will say that I am delighted by the Dalai Lama’s observation that it is Buddhism, not science, which must yield when they conflict. But intellectual honesty and spiritual integrity demands that I accept my own personal experiences and observations as having at least some form of reality to them. I would remind everyone of one of my favorite quotes by Crowley:
In this book it is spoken of … Spirits … Gods … and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them. —Crowley, Liber O vel Manus et Sagittæ
That’s the essential thing. As a scientist, I can not ignore my own observations, and those of others. I do not accept them blindly; I do not attribute objective realities without evidence; and I do not claim that working hypotheses are eternal laws. But no matter how worthy of ridicule many who participate in this field have made themselves and it, I will not disregard my own experiences any longer. They are, in fine, all I have to go by.