Star Wars embodied the idea of a power that connected everything. The power itself was neither one way or another but could be used for so-called “Dark” or “Light” purposes. While that’s a story, a modern myth, it is wrapped in the tapestry of Daoism, and has some elements that would be found in modern magic systems.
Daoism defines the Dao as a Force that exists in nature (and supernature). It is a overwhelming element that from which all things are made, and to which all things return. Daoist magic (as described by Dr. Jerry Alan Johnson, among others) utilizes feeling and mind.
In the West many Eastern philosophies were boiled down to structured systems of making change conform to one’s will – which we call magic (or magick). Systems of magic were derived by Franz Bardon, the Golden Dawn, Aurum Solis and many others. These systems utilized ritual, corresponding elements, and symbols.
Right vs. Left Hand
Today many an aspiring magician seeks that hidden truth, that secret tradition, and so they join an occult group. Often there is a result, and that result leads to more results. People often try different systems and in the end they might come to a conclusion that I came to.
Left-Hand path traditions do not share the goal of Oneness. Nor do they seek to bow their head to a deity. Instead the goal of Left Hand Path spirituality is Individuality – not just in some human fashion, but the spiritual LHP seeker is looking for the totality of Self (that which expands beyond the human body).
Author Don Webb describes this expanded Self as the Daemon in one of his great works on the Left Hand Path1. This Daemon is not “demon” as thought of in Western religion. It is the force that Socrates described, it is that inner teacher, that guide within.
Unlike the Left Hand Path, the Right Hand Path is not self-identified as such. The term Right Hand is a description from those who are not in alignment with their views. We on the Left Hand Path of spirituality see all those who either seek Union with Divinity, and/or servitude to another being, as belonging to the opposite spectrum – the Right Hand Path of spirituality.
Right Hand Path philosophies would account for almost all orthodox religion in the world, as well as many mystics. It is the draw of the Daoist, the Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Mormon and anyone else seeking to submit, or merge to another.
Will, Desire & Belief
In my experience (which may differ from the reader), magic works despite the system itself. Those rituals, fears, goals, symbols, elaborate memorization all program the mind towards the result. In themselves the systems mean nothing, they have no intrinsic power. An ancient book of Solomon, or an old pagan language only has power if you Believe it does.
I suppose this is the idea behind the Chaos Magic movements. Admittedly I know little of Chaos Magic, but it’s my understanding they have a similar philosophy – that magic can be produced by these elements. In this regard such magicians will create a mythos (or use a completely modern fictional mythos) of their desire.
As for me, when I came to my own awareness of this truth, I felt I no longer needed rituals, ceremony, ancient language or other trappings. To me it’s all tapestry, and I can achieve result without any of it.
I was raised in a Christian home (my father a minister). As an adult I joined Buddhism, then in time I joined an occult order… later on I became a member of many other occult orders, in time I joined a Hindu order founded on a Guru. To date, I’ve been involved in modern religions, ancient ones, and a smattering of occult societies.
What I discovered in all of it, was that each thing I belonged to could produce results. It wasn’t as though one group was more accurate or powerful than another. The Golden Dawn group produced results, as did the Thelemic. I saw miracles in Tibetan Buddhism, as well as Hinduism.
How could all of it work equally? At the time, I thought there must be “one god behind it all,” rather like a computer and each spiritual practice was like a different piece of software communicating with the CPU. But it didn’t explain the results I had in Buddhism – as Buddhism doesn’t have a view of god.
It was in quiet contemplation, that I had a moment of Awareness. What’s called Gnosis… that “flash of lightning in the dark of night.”2
I realized instantly that the reason all these systems and religions worked, was not because of the system, but because of me. I was bringing the success.
What I thought was “god” was really me… an expansive form of me. What Don Webb describes as the Daemonic Self. What Socrates called the Daemon. What Thelemites call the Holy Guardian Angel. I prefer to call it, my Daemon.
The Daemon is so expansive that it feels very foreign. The aspirant can’t often accept it’s themselves that is working through them, so they personify it, and one’s own Belief creates the display of something paranormal. The glowing ball of light, the whisper upon the air. The result of the work itself. It’s all the Daemon – the Individual’s Self.
This force (Daemon) of our own nature is what powers our magic, our work. It is The Force that empowers the work we do, both mental and spiritual. It is a battery that can be accessed to fuel the miracle, the paranormal, and spiritual awakening aspect of our lives.
Utilizing one’s Will (like a sharp spear head), and one’s Belief (like the spear shaft), The Force is thrust to our target via our Desire of the outcome.
I believe that the Daemon requires our work, as we require it. The Daemon is like a large expansive field. In analogy it could be thought of as the Ocean. Our work is like a sharp focused spray of water, able to cut through rock and stone. We produce, the Daemon provides.
The aspect of one’s focused Intent, is the Will described here. It isn’t as much a thought, as I think a feeling. You have an Intent, and with that intent you may have little thought going on.
As an example, when you go to push a door open (stand up, walk to a a door and push the door open) – what thought did you have? Was there a thought, or was it more the intent, that feeling of moving the door with your hand?
A strong Belief in the results will produce a better outcome. This is why people are drawn to old Grimoires. There’s an idea or concept (perhaps from media), that the older a teaching the more reliable it is. That creates a belief in the aspirant.
Egregores are another belief generator. An egregore is a hive mind… a collected belief structure. In truth such things have a life of their own. The Rosicrucian group AMORC refers to their spiritual location (non-physical location) as such an Egregore. It is the thought form of the body of believers.
Guru’s & leaders with magnetic personalities are able to sway and control the beliefs of the organization.
Consider though the NEGATIVES of these… these items only work based on their ability to make you think they work. Each has a controlling negative.
Grimoires create dependancies on ideas from hundreds of years ago. These books are also someone else’s path. By following it as one’s path, one is not initiating into the path, but rather re-initiating the egregore or current of the Grimoire.
Egregores, guru’s and leaders take away one’s Individuality. They establish the thought of the guru, leadership or in the case of an egregore, the collective beliefs of the past. Does any of that edify the Individual? Or does it train a person to become a copy of the leadership, guru and egregore’s past?
The CHALLENGE is to be inspired with a strong belief that is outside the context of a book, or historic belief.
Once I worked with an energy being (whether it was a real external being, or an aspect of my own nature, I can’t say) and I asked it to prove itself to me by moving a chair across the room. It’s reply, “No. You have no real Desire for that, ask me something you care about.” I had a problem with something in my physical life, and we worked on that… miraculously it was resolved within an hour.
I have learned to work with those things I have a strong Desire with.
The stronger the Desire, the more powerful the work. In this way our dark emotions are very useful. Pain, physical or otherwise is useful as is hatred, anger, frustration and so on.
The greatest goal of magic is not manifesting money, power of authority. It is instead the establishment of one’s Supreme Individuality. Often we start with obtainable goals… profane goals. We want a new job, a mate, a better place to live. Magic can assist. But if that’s all we do with it, we aren’t much different than the hard working slaves that surround us. Slaves to the grindstone.
It is the Supreme Individual that drives my goal – becoming the totality of the Expanded Self, as well as the myopic self (human self). This is done through the work of mindfulness, thoughtfulness, reaching out spiritually to the Daemon and tightening the grip on the process.
Deity has its place in the process as well. While some consider their path to be atheistic in nature, others seek the direction of growth outside the human experience. Are there spirits, beings, gods/goddesses? What force drives the Daemon? Who is the originator of the Black Flame?
These are all worthy questions that I can’t answer, nor can anyone. The answer comes from an Individual Gnosis, through Individual effort in the service to one’s own spiritual growth.
For me, this is magic.
- “Uncle Setnakt’s Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path”
- Quote attributed to the Dalai Lama, ref: https://www.amazon.com/Dalai-Lama-Flash-Lightning-Night/dp/B00N4HJDHW