Link to this Article: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1206
Kabbalah, Magic & the Great Work of Self-Transformation: Penetrating Today’s Veil of Information
This article was written by Lyam Thomas Christopher
posted under Kabbalah
For decades now, scholars have been debunking the tenets of Christianity. The movie The Da Vinci Code dramatizes some of their findings, revealing how the church fabricated its own lineage in order to remake itself into a holy, governmental authority. Where does the truth lie? Was Jesus actually married? Did he father a child and a bloodline? In years to come, more evidence of Christianity’s true origins will no doubt surface.
Yet does this controversial information, true or false, really strike a blow to the monks and nuns all over the world who have found illumination by using Christ as a symbol? Do their spiritual insights suddenly vanish in the face of undermining evidence? It would appear that, for some, a discredited system of spirituality is still effective in spite of damage to its academic reputation. When a mythology, properly handled, has the power to change a person, can any amount of debunking invalidate it?
Scholarly research has poked holes in the magical traditions as well. Modern witchcraft, for example, claims to be of an ancient European heritage, while numerous authors reveal that it is actually a relatively young tradition pieced together in the 1950s by Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner. Rosicrucianism has a fictional origin, too. There is no historical record of its mythical founder, Christian Rosenkreutz. And even the Golden Dawn, the most cited magical tradition in Western occultism, has a counterfeit charter in its origin. Despite these findings, people are still drawn to Western occultism. Why? Is there any substance behind the veil of facts?
There is, but it is kept safe from prying eyes. Our hero, the Scholar, unwittingly hides the entrance to the path of initiation with his “correct” analysis. He proves the legends never happened. He exposes the contrived lineages, the inauthentic publication dates and the mutually exclusive accounts of genesis. But his informational chatter is of little consequence to the practitioner. Whether the scholar proves or disproves the angels and demons of the Kabbalah to exist, for instance, has little bearing on the magician’s ability to employ them.
To remedy today’s tyranny of “correct” information, we would do well to remember that all information on a spiritual path is false. Information is not reality; it merely describes reality. Myths and symbolic language don’t have to be “true” to deliver truth. The cloud of information, in the hands of a scholar, becomes a murky veil. But presented in another manner, it becomes a powerful lens, concentrating spiritual light.
The book Kabbalah, Magic & the Great Work of Self-Transformation provides information in just such a manner. It reconstructs the broken image of Hermeticism, which has been mishandled by “correct” scholars for hundreds of years. The already widely published magical techniques of the Golden Dawn, when reconstituted into a coherent step-by-step system, comprise a powerful transformational formula. Part myth, part science, and part discipline, the book provides the solitary student with a path for self-initiation into the ancient tradition of Hermetic magic.
But it is not an easy path. Finding the mystical power beyond facts requires dedication and persistence. Some people are not ready for naked truth. “The magical work is nothing to be taken lightly,” warned a former teacher as she commented on Kabbalah, Magic & the Great Work of Self-Transformation. Her concern was that the solitary student would be unable to handle the results of a truly effective magical curriculum. Some adepts feel that the student needs guidance to use the Golden Dawn in this way. True, some who start the step-by-step course in Kabbalah, Magic & the Great Work of Self-Transformation will falter and fall short of successful change. They may initiate a troublesome process of physical, mental and emotional transformationand may get lost half-way through. The book may bring some danger. But it is perhaps more damaging to leave the average reader at the whim of the scholarly cloud of words that currently conceals the real potential of magic.
Kabbalah, Magic & the Great Work of Self-Transformation provides a method by which to navigate through that cloud. It is a simple and direct course of symbolic essays and exercises that, if unwaveringly adhered to, carries the student onward to the realities behind the veil.
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