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good reliable books
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2/18/10 5:28 PM
Hello everyone!

I am becoming increasingly interested in all this magick thing, which I must admit I dislike very much.

It has taken a tremendously short time for me to realise the huge amount of shit-literature that has been published about the subject, so I was wondering:

What books are good, reliable, and serious?



In a previous post Daniel mentioned about these: "Bhante Gunaratana's The Path of Serenity and Insight, The Visuddhimagga, the Accidental Experts Guide to How to Leave your Body (found somewhere in the wiki here), books such as Donald Michael Craig's Modern Magick, Astral Dynamics".

(Apart from the Visuddhimagga, why are these good Daniel? especially the Craig's one, it looks real doggy!)

Thanks!

Andy

RE: good reliable books
Answer
2/19/10 12:59 AM as a reply to Andy Coke.
Andres Coca Lopez:
Hello everyone!

I am becoming increasingly interested in all this magick thing, which I must admit I dislike very much.


heh emoticon A healthy love-hate relationship.

It has taken a tremendously short time for me to realise the huge amount of shit-literature that has been published about the subject, so I was wondering:

What books are good, reliable, and serious?


"Advanced Magick for Beginners", by Alan Chapman. If you'd like a kind of "pre-view", check out the "Camel" and "Three steps to Heaven" e-books on the "Baptist's Head" site he's maintaining together with Duncan Barford.

It's good, because it's compact, fun to read, encyclopedic, and practice-oriented. It's serious because Alan actually did all those exercises and knows what he's writing about.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: good reliable books
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2/19/10 11:06 AM as a reply to Florian.
cheers Florian!

The world would be more fun if we all wore ropes and funy masks.... I know magick is no just like that, but I still think the world would be a better place in that way. My girlfriend told me that apparently in the US the are whole famillies that dress and act like magicians 24/7, with the big sticks and the beard and all. Isn't that fun!?

RE: good reliable books
yoga magick
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2/19/10 2:19 PM as a reply to Andy Coke.
You can also check out the Yoga take on magick. Check out the lessons on "Samyama" in www.aypsite.org.

RE: good reliable books
Answer
3/6/10 5:41 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:

heh emoticon A healthy love-hate relationship.


Ok, I think it is official now. I'm reading Modern Magick and drop in to the local magick shop in Edinburgh (The Wyrd shop). The people runing it is great, I even talked to them in Spanish! I am going to order there Allan's book.

So here we go!

Florian, may I ask whats your experience with this stuff so far?

Cheers!
Andy

RE: good reliable books
Answer
3/6/10 8:54 AM as a reply to Andy Coke.
Andres Coca Lopez:
Florian, may I ask whats your experience with this stuff so far?Andy


See this thread.

I also do Yi Jing readings now and then.

For me, Magick and the Powers are fairly low-key, though. I wouldn't have touched this stuff with a pole until a few years ago; it was mainly Alan and Duncan's down-to-earth way of presenting it that made me reconsider my opinions; and reading Crowley, I was struck by how his definition of Magick is congruent with the Buddha's definition of karma (there's lot's more interesting stuff in Crowleys work, if you can stomach his schmaltzy writing style and imagery) Also, I like having conceptual frameworks like the Iddhi/Powers and Magick around, especially when dealing with A&P stuff.

Finally, it's fun (if you like that kind of fun).

Cheers,
Florian

RE: good reliable books
Answer
3/12/10 5:48 AM as a reply to Florian.
Cool! Thanks Florian. I got my hand on Allan's little book. And today I'm steeling from the lab a lab-book so that I can start doing my journal.

I plan on doing a journal of all I do (everything, not just magick), from how many hours I sleep to what I eat, and emotional changes and everything. I'll do it for a couple months and then see what I get out of it.

Cheers!
Andy

RE: good reliable books
Answer
3/14/10 3:17 PM as a reply to Andy Coke.
Just finished the book. Very nice! But it left me feeling a bit ungrounded, if that makes any sense. Seems to me that it treats very different points with not much of a connection between them or a general framework, so to speak.

Maybe it is just me and I just need to re-read it. I know I will definetely be coming back to it when I read more things, and then I will realize what a great book it is. I will soon start doing the exersices when all that I've read starts to sink.

Needless to say that the style in which it is written is great, it is stylish and I had a few laughs.

Cheers!

RE: good reliable books
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3/15/10 11:51 AM as a reply to Andy Coke.
Hi Andres,

yes, re-read! For all it's light tone, the density of good stuff is very, very high. For example, I lost count (literally) of how often I re-read the handful of sentences about desire being a prison, to be found in the section on the "dirty f-word".

BTW, to me, the "glue" between all the different points and techniques is in the "prophetic narrative" part.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: good reliable books
Answer
4/7/10 10:06 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:


BTW, to me, the "glue" between all the different points and techniques is in the "prophetic narrative" part.

Florian


I'm in my third read of the book, and that chapter is very confusing emoticon I guess I might understand it better if I did magick for a while... but in the meantime, could you tell me what you think of...

basically he is saying that what is behind all this is not causality (if that even exists, because now I'm really confused x_x), but syncronicity, i.e. different events with the same nature take place. Is that what he is saying?

Now, the part of divination blows my mind. He says it doesn't mean this is a deterministic reality, but again, it is based on synchronicites... Doesn't that mean that when you do a reading, you are casting your own spell, so that the cards you take (out of chance) will make a future event happen that shares the fundamental nature of the cards you took? But that doesn't make sense! emoticon

Thanks!
emoticon

RE: good reliable books
Answer
4/8/10 11:30 AM as a reply to Andy Coke.
Practice will certainly help with understanding. It's the same as with any skill, meditation, speaking a language, swimming...

Here are two hierarchies for comparison:

Atoms form molecules, which form cells, which form organisms, which form societies, ...

Causal events form perception, which forms experience, which forms patterns (such as synchronicities), which form the (prophetic) narrative...

So it's not really "causality vs. synchronicity" at all. It's about meaning, and how it is created, and how to intentionally shape and otherwise influence this creation of meaning.

Regarding divination: you take a causal, random event and study it, finding patterns, building meaning. The intention is that another causal, random event, perhaps in the future or otherwise unknown, has the same meaning. This intention is the important bit. Intentions have results, just like the Buddha observed (he called it "Karma").

Making sense or not - what are the assumptions which prevent this from making sense? What else happens if these assumptions are (temporarily) dropped? Something like a "willing suspension of belief" (in these assumptions), to add a little twist to that saying? If something changes as a consequence, at what level (in the above hierarchies)?

Cheers,
Florian

RE: good reliable books
Answer
8/12/11 4:09 AM as a reply to Andy Coke.
Have you looked into any of the Golden Dawn literature? Or stuff by A. E. Waite, Israel Regardie? Dione Fortune? Also, I think that the books by Ophiel are useful, esp his Art and Patrice of Astral Projection. For more modern stuff, I really recommend T. Thoryn Coyl's work. Best of luck

RE: good reliable books
Answer
8/12/11 5:06 AM as a reply to Brant Michael Torres.
Thanks for your suggestion Brant.

I'm actually working within the western tradition rather than theravada. I'm finding Alan Chapman and Duncan Barford's stuff really good and helpful.

In particular their trilogy (The blood of the saints, etc.) is great, they show you how they went thru the all of the stages, a la magick, with many of the techniques they used etc. So it is pretty funky stuff.

Cheers!

RE: good reliable books
Answer
1/8/12 4:40 AM as a reply to Andy Coke.
that's very cool. I actually started training in the western tradition, mostly, when I was young though a group called The Brotherhood of the White Temple that my mom was part of. Lots of visualization techniques, vibrations of hebrew god names to open up spiritual centers etc. Hope your progress is going well emoticon

RE: good reliable books
Answer
2/8/12 1:04 AM as a reply to Andy Coke.
Hey yall.

I come mostly from the Postmodern Magickal scoundrels that Alan writes about in that grenade book, which I'm quite fond of. I think that it's interesting that you're rereading it. I probably ought to myself, but what struck me so deeply is how he said that magick is an experience. The line I've crafted and I finally get to publish write now is

"The difference between performing magick and studying it is sort of like the difference between falling in love with someone and reading their report card."

There. I am proud of myself. Anywho, magick is kind of my lover, and I'd like to share with you some of my favorite report cards.

Carl Jung's intro to the Iching (great for NOT EXPLAINING HOW IT WORKS, but making you think different regardless)

S.S.O.T.B.M.E. by Ramsey Dukes. I feel he's got the greatest definition of what magick actually "is" or can be.

Peter Carrol's stuff is great because he read everything, relays it all as entirely meaningless, uses complicated mathematics to daze you into believing him, and then stamps a pin on you that says "ILLUMINATI". He's kinda the ultimate "That book is evil!!!!!" guy, but there is more under the surface. He doesn't talk about morality much, but he generally seems to assume or suggest that we no better, not through "compassion" as such but through basic intelligence. (morality is unpacked well in SSOTBME)

Phil Hine's great because cute.

Also, Jan Fries rulz.



Thoughts on divination:
Here's some intellectual frameworks that one CAN use, if they really want to;

The reading makes the event happen (enchantment)
the event makes the reading turn out certain way (divination)
The effect is in our way of reading more than the actual cards, stick, etc alotted (this could psychic or psych)
We deep mind it (rorshack, psychological approach)

But even these divisions are half thought. Jung says that in medicine, we use cures before we know how they work. In short, I have no idea how it works! ;)

anyway, I hope this post didn't ruin anyone's lives!