Archive for the ‘magick’ Category

“My concept of the new man is that he will be Zorba the Greek and he will also be Gautam the Buddha: the new man will be Zorba the Buddha. He will be sensuous and spiritual, physical, utterly physical, in the body, in the senses, enjoying the body and all that the body makes possible, and still a great consciousness, a great witnessing will be there. He will be Christ and Epicurus together.” Osho

There are two primary modes of energetic expansion – for simplicity and becasue that’s how I experience them I’ll call them ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’.


This is the development of awareness.  Recognising your own and other’s patterns.  Process work, knowledge of self and others. There is a sense of sharpness and clarity about it. Although it is not seeing, this kind of energy opening is closest to the sense of sight.

As you start to develop this faculty one gets on top of the emotions and recognises them for arisings in the bodymind.  A non-attachment begins to develop and often changes in language take place – “I am sad” becomes “There is some sadness today”.

For me it feels centered in the Ajna or brow Chakra.

A flowering of vertical mode is what is commonly thought of when we call someone “spiritual”


This is the development of the capacity to move energy through the body, to sense into things and respond intuitively.  There is a warmth and feeling of aliveness about it. This kind of opening is closest to the sense of touch and movement.

As this faculty gets more developed there is a sense of flow and of being able to strongly affect the energy of others, heightened senses, increased pleasure. When this further develops it becomes an ability to go with the flow and there is a deep acceptance of what is.

For me it feels centered in the Svadhistana or belly chakra.

When there is an opening and expansion of the horizontal we often view people as artistic.


Practices which emphasise the vertical are meditation, enquiry such as Maharshi’s “Who am I?”, and deep process work through tools such as the enneagram.

Practices which emphasise the horizontal are creative and expressive ritual, dance, ecstatic prayer, sacred sex 

Practices which use both modes – Yoga, Magick, Singing, Active Meditations, Tantra, Dzogchen


Risks of an overemphasis of the vertical are dryness, a lack of juice, excessive analysis. Spiritual practitioners with a strong vertical and an underdeveloped horizontal mode get stuck with insufficient energy to power through conditioning and other internal blocks.

Risks of an overemphasis on the horizontal mode are an excess of undirected energy and this leading to all the dangers we associate with artistic temperament, mental instability, addiction, excesses of emotion.  Artists with an underdeveloped vertical often do not acheive much the undirected energy spills into drama and indulgence instead of being channeled into creativity.


Masters who emphasise the vertical mode – The Buddha, Zen Masters, Ramana Maharshi, Al-Maas

Masters who emphasise the horizontal mode – Rumi, Ramakrishna, Amma

Masters who have emphasised both modes – Osho, Gurdjieff, Adi Da, David Deida


I don’t think the initial journey toward unity can be attained through timid steps in both directions and an attempt to stay in balance.  That way lies a static underdevelopment in both spheres.  Each should be explored wholeheartedly and yet there needs to be a recognition that when diminishing returns are being obtained in one sphere, it is time to push the pendulum back the other way and start shifting modes.


In my own growth I have found a definite sense of swinging between these practices and at times in my life I have primarily explored one or the other.  I think of my time in business and then my time living in a park and a squat.

A few years back when I was strongly rooted (stuck.) in the horizontal I had the good fortune to meet an amazing woman who was very dedicated to vertical expression (primarily in the form of process work rather than meditation so I did not recognise it).  We proceeded to push each other very hard – it was mostly agony because of sharp shards of remaining ego we still both had (despite prior shatterings) and which we were configured to recognise and demand abandonment of in the other.

This kind of intimate partner work though intense proved to be a fast, high energy track. 

Right now the expressions have both reached a certain level where there is enough momentum that development is proceeding similtaneously 

Narcissus and Goldmund

In the book of this name Herman Hesse examines something similar to the two modes I speak of here through the  characters Narcissus and Goldmund.

“The thinker tries to determine and to represent the nature of the world through logic. He knows that reason and its tool, logic, are incomplete–the way an intelligent artist knows full well that his brushes or chisels will never be able to express perfectly the radiant nature of an angel or a saint. Still they both try, the thinker as well as the artist, each in his own way.” Narcissus

“Perhaps there were husbands and heads of families who did not lose their sensuality by being faithful. Perhaps there were people who, though settled, did not have hearts dried up by lack of freedom and lack of risk. Perhaps. He had never met one.” Goldmund

“Dear friend, how little you know me still!  Perhaps I did ruin a future monk in you, but in exchange I cleared the path inside you for a destiny that will not be ordinary.  Even if you burned down our rather handsome cloister tomorrow, or preached a mad doctrine of error to the world, I would not for an instant regret that I helped you on the road toward it.” Narcissus


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Giving up Smoking

I don’t smoke, but someone on the alt.magick newsgroup recently asked for advice on quitting and I pointed them to advice given in 1998 by a character called Erwin Hessle.  On review this is excellent advice and can be applied not just to smoking but to any other habits where change is desired.

Here is a suggestion. Make a list of reasons why you want to stop. Possible ones could include:

"I want to feel more healthy/more fit/less breathless"
"I want to stop myself/my house/my car smelling"
"I don’t want my children to start smoking"
"I don’t want to die horribly"
"The extra money would come in handy"
"I hate feeling addicted to cigarettes, I want to be in control"
"It’s less socially acceptable these days"

You can find other reasons, the ones which are most important to you. Print this list out, or write it down in big letters. Stick a copy on your wall, and carry one around in your wallet. At least once a day, read the list *out loud* to yourself (if you have someone who will put up with it, read it out loud to them daily as well). Every time you feel yourself craving a cigarette, read the list out loud again. The purpose of this stage is to constantly remind yourself of your goal, even  especially) in times of doubt. It is very important that you read the list out loud, rather than in your head. Action is much better as a reminder than is thought. These are the magickal words of the incantation, if you will. The reasons themselves are the magickal weapons.

Secondly, analyse your smoking habits. Do you light up first thing in the morning? With your first coffee of the day? As soon as you get in your car? Become aware of these habits, and try to break them. For instance, have a biscuit with your coffee, instead of a cigarette, or drink orange juice instead of coffee. Have a mint as soon as you get into your car, rather than a cigarette. The purpose of this stage is to break the habits which you associate smoking with, and smoking is a very habitual thing. You must become conscious of them, and destroy them. Smoking whilst out with friends is a particularly devilish one, especially if they smoke also. Use your own ingenuity to find ways around these problems. Anticipate the problems, and plan for them in advance. These are the magickal actions, and circumambulations.

Thirdly, choose a day when you will stop. It’s always easy to put it off, but recognise that it is a long hard slog, that there is no easy way out, and be determined that you are going to stop this behaviour, because you are strong enough to do it. The day before, clean your house of any lighters, ashtrays, matches etc. Remove all sources of temptation, and anything that will make giving in to the temptation easier. Don’t just put the ashtrays in a cupboard, take them to the garbage dump and physically get rid of them. This is a very positive action, and will strengthen your will. Be determined. The purpose of this stage is to remove temptation, and strengthen will. It is the banishing, and the consecration.

Fourthly, tell all your family and friends that you have decided to stop. This has two purposes; to make it more difficult for you to start again, since you have revealed your plan to everyone, and it gives them a chance to help you. If you feel the craving, moan about it to someone. This is the charge to the spirit, if you will.

Fifthly, try to plan some rewards. Give yourself a treat at the end of the first day, first week, first month etc that you manage to stop smoking. This is positive association, the object being to associate stopping smoking with good things, rather than bad things. It strengthens will. Saving the money that you would spend on cigarettes could help here. You could buy yourself something real nice after a month.

Keep busy. Many people smoke when bored. Do something with your time. It may help to start a (very gentle) fitness program at the same time, since the benefits of this will be far more apparent once you stop smoking. This is more positive association, and fitness training in itself builds self-confidence, improves will-power, and leads to a happier outlook. Whatever you do, don’t sit around dwelling on how miserable you feel not smoking. Do some relaxation exercises in times of stress. Use your own ingenuity to find other methods. But don’t overdo it; if you take up a fitness program, or anything else, don’t cut yourself to pieces if you dont keep to it religiously. This will just make you feel worse.

Finally, think positively. Tell yourself how much you enjoy not smoking. You may feel like shit, and be dying for a cigarette, but tell yourself you are having a great time regardless. Think about how long you have been smoking, and how glad you are, and how good you feel that you have broken such a long habit. Find out what it is that makes you feel good, and do this as much as you can. Don’t dwell on the issue. Put cigarettes out of your mind. Just think, "I’ve quit, I feel good", and then think about something else.

As in anything else, there are no shortcuts in magick, but a magickal outlook can help you to find more effective methods, and generally helps you to be more successful in causing change. The most imporant points again:
1. Constantly remind yourself *why* you have stopped.
2. Break the habits that cause you to smoke
3. Remove temptation
4. Tell others, and get their support
5. Reward yourself for success
6. Keep busy, think positively, and develop your willpower

At the end of the day, say to yourself, "This is easy. All I have to do, is when I want a cigarette, I just don’t have one". It really is as simple as that, and the above exercises are designed to help you realise this in the quickest possible time. Remember that *you* are in charge of your life, not the cigarettes. Also remember that the strength and willpower you will gain from stopping smoking will lead to a whole range of other benefits in your life. You could get fit, become involved in sports, become more relaxed, more confident and many other  hings, which will lead to an improvement in your personal and professional life. You *can* do all these things, you just have to convince yourself that this is the case.

Erwin Hessle, 8=3

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