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Qabala -- Summary of my work & Now: working the paths...

To: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi
From: (mordred)
Subject: Re: Qabala -- Summary of my work & Now: working the paths...
Date: 18 Mar 1995 07:27:34 -0800

Kali Yuga 49950318 (LeGrand Cinq-Mars) writes:

|                Work with the Paths of the Tree:
|                Some Tentative Preliminary Notes

[most of this very beautiful work deleted]
|0.1...These meandering and fragmentary remarks represent what I've 
|been able to come up with in the bits of time available to me.

This taken into account....

|0.3...Both practices and the occurrences are, as it were, interfaces:  
|the actual transformations occur outside direct attention, and perhaps
|occur more effectively when attention is not focused on them.

I think this is a crucial point.

|1.0  Four modes of approach

|1.1  There are four approaches to working with the Tree that are easily 
|available to ordinary consciousness:  discursive meditation, imaginal 
|exploration, affective encounter, and ritual, somatic or physical 
|enactment.  These can be done separately or in various combinations.

This is the main reason I write.  I'd like to point out something.

|1.2...discursive meditation (interior colloquy) is a label for disciplines 
|of mulling over concepts ("doctrines" or teachings), and can include 
|certain aspects of divination or Abulafian or Lullian manipulations of 
|letters.  Imaginal exploration is a label for methods of working with 
|images and other interior sensory representations; guided visualizations
|and path-workings are examples.  Affective encounter is a label for 
|methodical and deliberate work with moods; devotional practices are 
|examples, as are certain kinds of induced exaltation.  Ritual is a label 
|for forms of physical enactment, which may bring in the other three (as 
|in a Mass), or may not (as in certain kinds of energy cultivation).

These are very interesting and I'd love to hear them discussed in some
detail by other alt.magick denizens.

|There is a fifth mode, to which the name "contemplation" might be given, 
|but that is already something that is not quite available to ordinary 
|polarized consciousness.

Here is where I leave off your writings to suggest that you are considering
here (likely intentionally) a very specific and simplistic set of tools or
approaches to the QBL.  These are the formulaic systems, as you say, quite
'available to ordinary polarized consciousness'.

I do not mean to criticize the simplicity here.  In fact this is part of
the value of the presentation.  However, I would like to point out that
there is another way of looking at QBL (among an infinity, I'm sure),
which does not involve itself specifically with the methods you outline.

I have been known to characterize the QBL as a 'system of divination' or
'group of divination systems' and received some dubious prose on this
account.  I'd like to make more clear my intent in that regard by pointing
out that the structure which you are considering in the main (the now-
popular, at least among Hermetics), the Tree of Life, 10 Sephiroth and
22 Paths, and really any variation on this, may be seen as a map, a mirror
of the mechanism of consciousness and its contents.

Granted that even some of those who engage the disciplines you mention
see the QBL this way, most of these thereafter attempt to *interact with
the map*, that is, to somehow personally and subjectively infuse 
themselves, through the processes you mention (at least), into the
model so presented in order to initiate psychotransformational states
and experiences.  They see what I'm calling a map more as a filter, a
tool to assist the interaction *with* the territory.

Now the alternative I'd suggest is similar but of a less specialized
approach: to see the structure of one's QBL not only as a map in this
way but also as a kind of 'blue-print' or 'owner's manual'.  That is,
it can be used for reflection on experiences BEYOND the map itself.

This kind of approach is more often taken with the chakra-system, where
certain symbolic associations are given planal significance (e.g. the
Muladhara or Base Chakra and the 'earth plane' of the Tarot Disks).
I'm suggesting that we retire to the relative quiet of our Sanctum
Sanctorum and reflect how what is going on in our lives fits into the
blue-print/map we see before us, and what courses we had best follow
if we wish to 'rise through the planes' within our lives.

This is a direct application of the QBL within daily life, and is in
some measure a more materialistic approach (though it needn't be purely
so).  We are not attempting to mull over concepts, explore imaginary
terrains, conduct mood-work or engage ritual activity (in the 
conventional sense).  We merely proceed to use the symbolic structure(s)
as tools of reflection, initiation, orientation and divination.  I'll
explain briefly what I mean by these.

Reflection - the basis of divinatory systems, it is composed of the
 Mage's dictum: know thyself, and yet begins with attention upon a
 construct that is supposed to approximate ourselves in some fashion.
 The mirror is the perfect metaphor for this.

Initiation - what good Christians call 'repentance'.  It involves a
 death of the old ways and a birthing of the new, a reconfiguration
 of the subtle channels of our consciousness.  Most magical and
 religious disciplines make some reference to it.  Using the QBL one
 begins by identifying one's LOCATION ON THE MAP, the place to start.

Orientation - very literal and self-explanatory.  That to which we are
 becoming oriented is the circumstance of our lives, the world and
 universe in which we find ourselves.  We orient with respect to Nature
 (interior and exterior, perhaps fusing or transcending these).  The QBL
 is an orientation-mechanism, in that once we have located ourselves
 we may then look at the objects surrounding us on the map and translate
 the metaphor, orienting within our lives (likely the Thelemic equivalent
 of 'finding one's true will').

Divination - defined in an unorthodox manner: the creation of the divine.
 Oriented, we are thus able to achieve effects, to accomplish feats
 hitherto undreamt by others.  Not only this, but our very experience is
 fulfilled in every waking action.  This is in many ways an ideal, at
 times touched upon in moments of chance synchronicity or 'Grace' (i.e.
 we lucked into our Perfect Place), but usually not approached in some
 scientific manner, such as the QBL makes available.  This last action,
 Divination, is as much the last phase as it is the entirety of the use
 of the device (QBL, Tarot, whatever).  That is, it encompasses the other
 three as well as itself in a redundant paradox (which I may attempt to
 explain at another time).

Reactions to these (admittedly rough) ideas would be appreciated.

tyagi nagasiva

Don't worry about attainment.  Anything you can add is unnecessary.  Buddha 
didn't walk the earth so that we would study Buddhism.  The zen masters 
didn't speak so that we should practice zen.  A human life is already a 
million-layer cake of practices.  There is no need for yet another layer 
on top of all the rest. (Ned Ludd): alt.zen

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