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Benefits Of The Gd?


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#41 starfox

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 07:04 PM

lol done !

#42 Sheperdess

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 08:00 PM

May I join please if the starfoxer will be buying me big ice cream with many color plus if he has the Mustang car Violet like we may go on the topless cruise to talk of Golden Dawn and something Ha Ha!

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#43 vives gladio

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 06:03 PM

Ok, I have the gigantic Golden Dawn book by Israel Regardie. Does anyone have thoughts or insight on whether grabbing the Cicero Self Initiation book would be a good addition, or if it would be more or less redundant with regard to the information I already have access to?

Appreciate any thoughts.

#44 Imperial Arts

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 06:24 PM

"Self Initiation into the Golden Dawn Tradition" is excellent. Anyone who thinks they know their Western Hermeticism can feel free to take any of the grade tests and see if they can get a passing score. It is comprehensive and detailed. I'm not saying it's true or correct, but it's detailed all the same.

Regardie's materials are the sparse hand-outs given to initiates. The Cicero's book fills in the gaps for those lectures. For example, Regadie spends about three sentences on the Samothracian Kabiri, but SIITGDT gives a whole sub-chapter on them. Trying to figure out Geomancy and unable to make sense of Liber Gaias? The Cicero's have worksheets for that, as well as formats for astrology and Tarot.

The drawback is that the rituals are beyond lame. You'll have to improvise, and just following along with a tape recorder as they suggest is probably not going to be terribly magical for you. So as a bibliographical assistant, it's a great book, but as a practical guide it has a few rough edges.

Edited by Imperial Arts, 29 November 2017 - 06:24 PM.

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#45 vives gladio

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 05:05 AM

Thank you very much, I think this convinced me to get a copy. I actually just finished their "Essential Golden Dawn" and found the writing style agreeable, so I think there's room on my shelf for more of their work. Getting more detail is highly desirable - I understand with some things you just have to feel it out to find what clicks, but my experience in other areas has shown me that there's a lot of room for false-positives and flawed assumptions to steer someone well into the weeds. I'm hoping to avoid that as much as possible so that when I undertake it, I am giving the material a fair chance. If someone cooks a meal poorly, it isn't really fair to blame the recipe if they didn't follow it in the first place. I want to reduce the possibility of a poor execution spoiling whatever it is that the process is intended to result in.

Understood on the rituals. I will try to maintain a certain suspension of disbelief and make an attempt at executing with the correct spirit. Truly appreciate the reply.

Edited by vives gladio, 30 November 2017 - 05:16 AM.


#46 wren

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 06:29 AM

View Postvives gladio, on 30 November 2017 - 05:05 AM, said:

Thank you very much, I think this convinced me to get a copy. I actually just finished their "Essential Golden Dawn" and found the writing style agreeable, so I think there's room on my shelf for more of their work. Getting more detail is highly desirable - I understand with some things you just have to feel it out to find what clicks, but my experience in other areas has shown me that there's a lot of room for false-positives and flawed assumptions to steer someone well into the weeds. I'm hoping to avoid that as much as possible so that when I undertake it, I am giving the material a fair chance. If someone cooks a meal poorly, it isn't really fair to blame the recipe if they didn't follow it in the first place. I want to reduce the possibility of a poor execution spoiling whatever it is that the process is intended to result in.

Understood on the rituals. I will try to maintain a certain suspension of disbelief and make an attempt at executing with the correct spirit. Truly appreciate the reply.

Heads up, the rituals will have you visualising imaginary temple officers. Without a good visual imagination and memory, it can be technically difficult while also being uninspiring.

#47 vives gladio

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 01:59 AM

That's fine. For the LBRP, if I'm going to do that one justice I'm supposedly visualizing something like 18 different things already and being an utter novice I'm sure I'm leaving things out that I don't even know about yet.

The initiation itself is a bridge I'll worry about crossing at a future point, really what I'm hoping for is to fill in the gaps that the ... shall I say terse description my current book is providing for me.

#48 Spida

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:52 AM

View Postmonsnoleedra, on 17 November 2017 - 07:23 PM, said:

That one still hurts my head at times when I re-read it. To be honest not sure I have read it word for word though. Funny early on it was pushed more as a must read than even The Spiral Dance by Starhawk. Of course in my heck of the training woods the various books of the dead were pushed more than The Spiral Dance.

And I understand the Work may contain inaccuracies; I do like the talk of the Solar System though, and some of the Mysteries associated with it. It's also always good to arrive at certain conclusions via contemplation and to then have your ideas reiterated and reinforced independently by an Author. Infamous as they may be.
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#49 vives gladio

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 06:15 PM

The book "The Middle Pillar" contained exactly the kind of expanded details I was looking for, including some visualization components I had not yet seen mentioned along with some more information on "vibrating". Still need to break it down to apply it, but having a clearer objective is a great starting point.

#50 R. Eugene Laughlin

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 06:56 PM

View Postvives gladio, on 21 January 2018 - 06:15 PM, said:

The book "The Middle Pillar" contained exactly the kind of expanded details I was looking for, including some visualization components I had not yet seen mentioned along with some more information on "vibrating". Still need to break it down to apply it, but having a clearer objective is a great starting point.

That book also reinterprets the purpose and meaning of the GD developmental schema through the lens of Freudian psychoanalysis with some Jungishness peppered in. When considering the value of Regardie, and that work in particular, it's worth understanding his personal biases, which were largely a manifestation of his era. In the decades to follow, the Freudian model of the psyche (largely shared by Jung) utterly failed in the face of ongoing psychological research; that's an important thing to consider as well.
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#51 vives gladio

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 11:10 PM

I will definitely keep this in mind. I am enjoying Regardie's manner of writing, and trying to appreciate his efforts without taking it too far. I guess that does shine a certain favorable light on the terse descriptions I was reading in my larger Golden Dawn book - there's fewer granular details but less opportunity for the kind of personal biases you refer to to take root.

#52 Adamantium

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 03:18 AM

Imperial Arts wrote:

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I can assure you that the magicians of the Golden Dawn or ANY other magic group are no better off in terms of their magical capabilities than anyone else. Groups offer certain resources, bit secret doctrines that somehow make the magic work better than usual are not among them. How can I be so sure? Because I know people. Lots of people, and they talk. Other people here who know a wide selection of occultists can attest to the same... we all know people who joined those groups, and some of us know the grand poobahs, but we know those folks aren't getting anything unavailable to the rest of us in terms of magical education.

This has very much been my experience as well and Imperial Arts' F.A.K.E. acronym is very apt from what I've seen in groups. I know the grand poobahs of several different Orders. Some of them, because of their years of intensive study rather than any 'secrets' their Order has a monopoly on, have esoteric knowledge that is incredibly profound, so much so that it fills me with awe to hear them discourse on some topics within the highly multilayered G.D. system. With that said, with only a few exceptions, their magical capabilities seem to be all roughly on par, from what I've seen, and some of them put forward their own idiosyncratic views they pass off as secret G.D. teachings that are sometimes flat out, demonstrably false. I've had learned and respectful academic debates with some of these individuals on some of these topics.

At the end of the day, it's worth bearing in mind that occult Adepti are ordinary human beings like the rest of us. And like any other group of people, It has been my experience that amongst the magical Adepti of any tradition, whether the G.D. or Solomonic, Thelema, Neo-Pagan community, chaos magic or any other,, you'll find some really paranoid, arrogant, deluded, narcissistic types and some genuinely kindhearted, wise, compassionate, and down to Earth people with fantastic intentions and emotional stability. If you've got the former at the head of your Order, the sooner you get out, the better. If you've got the latter, you're in good hands provided you keep your critical thinking sharp just in case.

At this stage, as I see it, the main reasons that anyone would want to to join a reputable G.D. Order are to have access to a consecrated Vault when you reach the Second Order and a group of people with similar interests with whom to interact and spend time. Some Orders do have unpublished manuscripts they hide from the others and reserve for their own members. However, I have friends in most of the major G.D. Orders and I've seen some of these elusive manuscripts. For the most part, they're not all that revolutionary or significant. Some Orders pride themselves on having early versions of the G.D. Grade Rituals at their most Masonic which have not been published anywhere, for instance. But I've seen those rituals and they are nothing special, unless you think the G.D. was at its best when it was at its most Masonic, which is a claim that I tend not to sympathize with since the G.D. Officers did not tend to have a profound grasp of the inner mechanics of working as an Initiator at that stage in the history of the Order.

As I humbly see it, the Whare Ra versions of the Grade Rituals are way more detailed in their elaboration of the energetic and astral work that the Officers do during the ceremonies -- see Pat Zalewski's fantastic Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries for more on that subject. I know most of the living Whare-Ra Adepts personally and in my experience, they are very kind, down-to-Earth, good-humored people of the second category I mentioned above. I would have happily worked with any of them in a Temple or Order setting, but alas, I'm a humble Canadian far from the sunny shores of New Zealand, and most of them are either near or well into their 70s and retired from group work altogether.

Coming back to the OP, Tb777, my experience with the G.D. over nearly a decade now has been that when it comes to the Grade Rituals, you get out of them what you put into them, much like a classic computational model. I've seen self-initiates work the Grade Rituals as powerfully any as group Temple ritual I've seen. I've seen group workings of the rituals that were incredibly flat and superficial or were filled with mistakes that disrupted the initiatory effect. At the same time, I've also seen people race through the solitary rituals, in say, the Ciceros' fantastic Self-Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition, very superficially, and get equally superficial results, and some groups who worked the Grade Rituals so well you could barely stand by the end of it. If you put a lot of love and time into preparing for the rituals properly, building your implements, doing the preparatory meditations, and so on, solitary initiations can work very well. if you feel less ready or willing to do that, working with a solid group can be worth the time, provided they are competent, well-managed by reliable, down-to-earth, psychologically stable Chiefs, and not a den of sexually exploitative or psychopathological pseudo-Adepts.

These words from vives gladio are very wise too, and I second them:


Quote

As an aspiring neophyte myself, I can't comment on the merits or detriments of joining a group, but I think something worth considering is your relationship with your friend. If you did try joining up and it wasn't for you, would it ruin a relationship?

Really, only you can decide if something is a good fit. If you're curious, the best way to find out is to try. There should be some kind of interviewing process, which like finding a new job should be a two-way street - it isn't just about being accepted by a group it also has to fit your desires. There's always a degree of compromise and a willingness to try to conform for the sake of harmony, but I think if you listen to your heart you'll know the difference between accommodation and compromising your own self value.

Edited by Adamantium, 27 February 2018 - 03:32 AM.

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#53 Adamantium

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 03:27 AM

As a side note, I respect that many of my friends here and even respected Adepti like Regardie and Mathers have found Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine to be a stimulating and fascinating read, and it certainly is a key text for understanding the historical context of the 19th century Victorian occult scene that gave rise to the Golden Dawn. My experience on the work has been a bit different however, and I speak only for myself here. From my humble perspective as someone who was initiated into both Kashmir Shaivism and Advaita Vedanta and studied classical yoga in depth with living human Gurus, as opposed to nebulous astral 'Mahatmas,' Blavatsky seems to have distorted, garbles, misrepresented, and misunderstood many of the Sanskrit terms she claimed to use as the basis for her system and philosophy. It's worth noting that even Jiddu Krishnamurti, who had been groomed in India as a messianic 'World Teacher' for the Theosophists, left Theosophy and The Secret Doctrine behind when he realized how problematic many of its teachings were from a traditional yogic standpoint. But I digress.

Quote

Ok, I have the gigantic Golden Dawn book by Israel Regardie. Does anyone have thoughts or insight on whether grabbing the Cicero Self Initiation book would be a good addition, or if it would be more or less redundant with regard to the information I already have access to?


My answer to this question is a wholehearted and enthusiastic yes, vives gladio. If you are working alone, the Ciceros' versions of the Grade Rituals are fantastic and you likely won't find better solitary versions of the rituals anywhere else. Even if you aren't working alone, the Knowledge Lectures are the most full-bodied and comprehensive you'll find anywhere, period. That includes those in Regardie's black brick. They're so good that in our Order, we use them as our curriculum, even though we work as a group; I've done both solitary work and group work and appreciate them from both standpoints.

Imperial Arts' comments on the book are absolutely spot-on and I fully agree with nearly everything he has written above. Unlike my friend IA, though, I quite like the Ciceros' rituals for the most part. The one thing I am not so fond of within them is the idea of not assuming the relevant Godforms, but instead assuming "Officer-forms." I have done the rituals with both approaches, and assuming the Godforms rather than the "Officer-Forms," which are an artifice that the Ciceros made up makes a tremendous difference.

Of course, the challenge to this approach is that Godform Assumption was usually only taught in the 5=6 Grade, so I realize it can be quite a lot to ask of a solitary Neophyte, although it is how I personally proceeded when I got started.
As a result, one thing I've counselled people who are psychologically stable and were preparing for self-initiation to do--and if you're not psychologically stable, please follow Regardie's wise advice in the Introduction to the Golden Dawn and go through psychotherapy before getting into magic--is to spend time practicing systematically assuming each of the Godforms used by the Officers in the Neophyte Ritual and recording meditations done while in the astral forms of the Godforms one week at a time.

In other words, spend one week with each Godform, doing a daily Godform Assumption and meditation thereof in addition to spending some time each day reading up on the lore and mythology associated with that Godform. When you complete them all, do the Ciceros' Neophyte Ceremony, doing all the Officer parts in their respective assumed Godforms. Since you'll already have a deep connection to each of the Godforms, it will be a much more potent experience. If that seems like a lot of work, well, it is. It is not for everyone, I happily admit, but those who are ambitious, psychologically stable, grounded, and down to earth, it's worth it.


Imperial Arts wrote:

Quote

Regardie's materials are the sparse hand-outs given to initiates. The Cicero's book fills in the gaps for those lectures. For example, Regadie spends about three sentences on the Samothracian Kabiri, but SIITGDT gives a whole sub-chapter on them. Trying to figure out Geomancy and unable to make sense of Liber Gaias? The Cicero's have worksheets for that, as well as formats for astrology and Tarot.

These words are spot-on. This is the main problem with Regardie's brick and why it's best used as a reference work and not as a curriculum guide, in my opinion.

Vives Gladio wrote:


Quote

The book "The Middle Pillar" contained exactly the kind of expanded details I was looking for, including some visualization components I had not yet seen mentioned along with some more information on "vibrating". Still need to break it down to apply it, but having a clearer objective is a great starting point.


If you like The Middle Pillar, Regardie's Garden of Pomegranates is well worth the read too. The Ciceros' detailed advice for Qabalistic Pathworking in Part II of their edition of that work is worth the price of admission by itself, although I disagree with them and my friend Poke Runyon that pathworkings can be done as guided meditations. In my experience, it's best to simply astral project into the Path test the vision with all of the correspondences of the Path, and then explore whatever survives the tests, talk to whomever appears, and see what plays out. This is the approach that Mathers, Farr, and others recommend in the Second Order teachings and I stand by it from my own experience as well.

The wise R. Eugene Laughlin writes:

Quote

That book also reinterprets the purpose and meaning of the GD developmental schema through the lens of Freudian psychoanalysis with some Jungishness peppered in. When considering the value of Regardie, and that work in particular, it's worth understanding his personal biases, which were largely a manifestation of his era. In the decades to follow, the Freudian model of the psyche (largely shared by Jung) utterly failed in the face of ongoing psychological research; that's an important thing to consider as well.

This is a very important point. Regardie, following Dion Fortune and others, developed a very psychological theory of magic and interpretation of the G.D. teachings. It's by no means the only possibility. Pat Zalewski takes a different approach, and for a radically different view more embedded in the Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance theories of magic, I'd highly recommend reading the works of Jake Stratton-Kent, Aaron Leitch, Dr. Stephen Skinner, and Dr. Joseph Peterson. Reducing magic to psychology is, in my view, a very limiting approach, especially to work with grimoiric evocation for instance, and I say that as someone with a background in psychology and neuroscience who currently works in clinical palliative care.

In my view, I keep the matter of whether the spirits with whom we work in magic are 'psychological' or 'objectively spiritual entities' up in the air and refuse to decide. When speaking to them, I simply speak to them 'as if' they were objective and existed independently. From a yogic point of view, the two interpretations come down to the same thing in the end, since all is Brahman and there really is no 'inside' as distinct from an 'outside.' As the Qur'an puts it, "wheresoever you turn, there is the face of God..." Or as the Qabalah puts it, the All of the Four Worlds ultimately reduces to the primal One, which is itself simply a manifestation of the No-thingness that transcends all human conceptions. From the standpoint of that Absolute, neither subjective nor objective, neither One nor many exists, and all these metaphysical debates fall swiftly into Slence...

Edited by Adamantium, 27 February 2018 - 03:47 AM.

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#54 Adamantium

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 04:06 AM

As some further references relevant to your OP, Tb777, here are some articles I've written both for people working towards Self-Initiation and others for people coming at the G.D. from a group perspective that you may find interesting.

Please note that these were written over the course of the last 8 years and reflect very different levels of magical knowledge and experience. With that said, I think even the early articles still offer some insights that may be relevant to people newly beginning the Neophyte work and reflect my state of mind at the time, which was full of zeal and enthusiasm:

1. Gifts of the Golden Dawn Grades

2. On the Ciceros’ Neophyte Grade Ritual

3. 10 Tips for Preparing for the Neophyte Grade Initiation

4. Deeper Mysteries of the Great Work: Golden Dawn, Buddhism, and Advaita Vedanta

5. Fundamental Principles of Magical Theory

6. Lost Journals from 2010 – My Neophyte 0=0 Grade Initiation

7. Lost Journals from 2010 – Frater F.S.S.F’s Neophyte Initiation

Edited by Adamantium, 27 February 2018 - 04:08 AM.

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#55 R. Eugene Laughlin

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 04:20 PM

View PostAdamantium, on 27 February 2018 - 03:27 AM, said:



...Reducing magic to psychology is, in my view, a very limiting approach, especially to work with ...

My point was much more specific: that the Freudian/Jungian model of the psyche was a reasoned-out theoretical construct that failed miserably in the face of ongoing empirical findings from most every area of research within psychological science.

To add...on the value of psychological science to the modern magician, one need only recognize that magicians are no different from everyone else in that we all perceive, feel, think, categorize, infer, learn and change from experience, acquire skills, develop expertise, etc., all of which bear directly on magic as a practice. To ignore that science in this day in age is, perhaps shun-worthy, willful ignorance.
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#56 Adamantium

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 03:36 AM

View PostR. Eugene Laughlin, on 27 February 2018 - 04:20 PM, said:


My point was much more specific: that the Freudian/Jungian model of the psyche was a reasoned-out theoretical construct that failed miserably in the face of ongoing empirical findings from most every area of research within psychological science.

To add...on the value of psychological science to the modern magician, one need only recognize that magicians are no different from everyone else in that we all perceive, feel, think, categorize, infer, learn and change from experience, acquire skills, develop expertise, etc., all of which bear directly on magic as a practice. To ignore that science in this day in age is, perhaps shun-worthy, willful ignorance.


Oh yes, indeed, I hear your point, R. Eugene Laughlin. I know your own view is very nuanced, multilayered and sophisticated in this regard and I hear your critique of the Freudian and Jungian models from an empirical standpoint loud in clear. It's very much how I appraise the matter as well. Coming to that realization was a major motivator to me to look elsewhere for a grounding for magical theory than in Jungian or Freudian concepts.

With that said, there have been some recent Neo-Jungian attempts to give the Jungian concepts some more robust grounding in evolutionary psychology and cognitive neuroscience that I quite enjoy. Professor Jordan Peterson isn't always the most systematic from a neuroscientific perspective, but he has done some interesting work revisiting Jung from the point of view of contemporary personality psychology and neurobiology, particularly in his Personality And Its Transformations course at the University of Toronto, which I would highly recommend as a solid introduction to personality psychology for those who are just beginning to explore the area.

The Freudian theories have definitely been severely battered by the stormy waves of empirical counter-evidence, though, and rightfully so. I'm grateful to Freud for getting the clinical psychological and psychotherapeutic balls rolling, but God forbid we mire ourselves in his morass of speculative psychobabble. At his worst, Jung falls into the same critical traps, although he is far more nuanced and sophisticated than he generally gets credit for being.

Funny enough, it was the publication of Jung's Red Book or Liber Novus in 2009, after the long wait of his estate hoarding it to themselves to protect the myth of Jung as scientist,
which I only thoroughly explored last year, that inspired me to return to the Western Mystery Tradition after a long time away studying and practicing the Eastern paths of Zen and Advaita Vedanta. His "active imagination" work is very similar to an unstructured take on Pathworking and Skrying and Traveling in the Spirit Vision from a Golden Dawn perspective. I experimented with Jung's method a great deal and made some interesting discoveries with it.

As an added treat, The Red Book is an absolutely beautiful book from an artistic point of view too, with all of Jung's really beautiful paintings of his visions integrated into the hand-written, illuminated manuscript. It's well worth the time it takes to explore and meditate on it. Jung studied the alchemical texts extensively and many of the esoteric symbols crept their way into his visions as well, which makes them quite fun to read from an occult perspective.

Edited by Adamantium, 28 February 2018 - 03:54 AM.

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#57 Adamantium

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 03:41 AM

As an added point, I think that trying to understand the Qabalistic View of the Soul(s) through the lens of Freud, as Regardie frequently seems to try to do, is a really bad idea and very intellectually and theoretically sloppy. It creates massive misunderstandings of the subtleties of these many-layered Qabalistic notions. The ego can be roughly equated to part of what is encapsulated in the Qabalistic notion of the Ruach, but by no means by a simple one-to-one correspondence. The Nephesh is far more than just a Hebrew take on the Id. And the Superego is so far removed from what the Qabalah means by the Chiah, Neshamah, and Yechidah, that it's a nearly an insult to the tradition to even make the comparison as some authors I otherwise really respect have done. But alas, we magicians are indeed ordinary humans, prone to insight and foolishness, and often more of the latter than the former! ;)

Edited by Adamantium, 28 February 2018 - 11:17 PM.

Frater S.C.F.V.

"People mostly turn to [non-theurgic] magic for three purposes, or combinations thereof: love, prosperity and revenge, or to get laid, get rich or get even." --Caliban

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#58 Sheperdess

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 05:16 PM

View PostAdamantium, on 28 February 2018 - 03:41 AM, said:

The Nephesh is far more than just a Hebrew take on the Id. And the Superego is so far removed from what the Qabalah means by the Chiah, Neshamah, and Yechidah, that it's a nearly an insult to the tradition to even make the comparison as some authors I otherwise really respect have done.
Yecidah (“single one”) relates to the ultimate unity of the soul in God, as manifest by pure faith, absolute devotion and the continuous readiness to sacrifice one’s life for God.

Who today have met these requirement? If the explanation from Jung etc is sloppy can you explain what the Qabalah means by the Chiah, Neshamah, and Yechidah, means to you?In a mystical sense do you see any other analogy in these 5 component?

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