Tag: initiation

Initiation and Islamic gnosis

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Dusk at the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in Brunei on the eve of Ramadan, photo by tylerdurden1“We must not consider gnosis as a religion among others, but as the heart of all religions,” said Allamah Tabataba’i, one of leading Shi’ite Muslim thinkers and clerics of the 20th century. “Gnosis is one of the paths of worship, a path based on knowledge combined with love, rather than fear. It is the path for realizing the inner truth of religion rather than remaining satisfied only with its external form and rational thought.”The sentiment was echoed not long ago, at the end of December 2014, by Iranian cleric Grand Ayatollah Alavi-Gorgani. “We should not think that unity is only for Muslims,” the he proclaimed, “God wants us to have unity with other religions as well.” What made Grand Ayatollah Alavi-Gorgani’s statement even more remarkable is that it was made in response to -- and as a criticism of -- atrocities carried out in Iraq against Yazidis and Christians by the terrorist militia calling itself ISIS. Read More

Letters: Are magical initiations necessary?

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Spiral Nature Letters, Mailbox background by RaSeLaSeD - Il Penguino, with additional work by PsycheThis query came in via email, and it's one I receive quite a bit, in vary forms, so I was glad when the person who sent it said I could share it, and my response, on the site:

I have recently read your article entitled "Why I left OTO" and in the beginning of the post you described yourself as being already a magic practitioner for 15 years. Now, the paragraph made me infer that you have undergone some form of "self-initiation," learning the topics, theories, rituals, insights on your own and only later attempted to join a community, and this process of self-initiation is something I have been striving for for a few months now. Read More


Depression, the dark night of the soul and magick

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The dark night of the soul, photo by Marko MiloševićI have had some interesting conversations with some insightful magicians, discussing the phenomenon of the dark night of the soul, and the feelings of desolation, despair and deep depression which can occur to anyone who is following the initiatory path of magick. There seems to be consensus that all magicians at some point retire from the world (and, in a sense, renounce it) to undergo the mystical rigors of the dark night of the soul while seeking union with the One.Strangely, I seem to be one of the few who takes issue with this. I think that it has more to do with a mystical approach to the godhead than a magical approach, and there are also the issues of chronic or situational depression, isolation and despair that have really nothing to do with spiritual ascension. In clinical depression, removing oneself from the world is a common symptom, and strong feelings are often replaced with a feeling of numbness, stasis or apathy.The real question then, is whether or not mystics and magicians experience the iconic dark night of the soul in the same way. Read More