From: “Joseph Max.555”
Subject: Re: Chaos vs Eclectic magic
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 18:00:40 -0700
On Wed, 16 Jul 1997, garyb wrote:
<< What are the differences(if any) between Chaos magic and Eclectic magic? >>
I’ve read some books and articles by both Phil Hine and Peter Caroll and I like them very much. But besides the labels and institution what is the difference between their theories and say…Isaac Bonewits book Real Magic, which I’m not sure is Yellow Magic(?) or Eclectic Magic? >>
Chaos magick is eclectic, but eclectic magick is not necessarily chaos magick.
It’s more a matter of approach and attitude. Most of the practices of a given chaote or group may of course be considered “eclectic.”
But Bonewits posits a particular set of beliefs, that are basic assumptions or axioms that are to be accepted as TRUE. There’s a whole list of them, I think, if I remember the book.
Chaos magick posits no beliefs — at least none to be considered absolutely “true.” Nothing is true. You are therefore free to take anything you like and use it AS IF it were true. Everything is permitted. And the amazing thing is that even if you’re faking it it still works!
A belief system, ANY belief system, even one cobbled together from bits and pieces, copied or original, if it’s continuously subscribed to as being absolutely true by the magican, it ceases to be chaos magick.
Chaos magicians are magical agnostics. They don’t know what might be absolutely true, and suspect that nothing is — and they DON’T CARE.
This shows in the contrast between Pete and Phil. Pete’s obsession was empire building — he was fascinated by the old Magical Order gambit and wanted to do what Uncle Al did and leave a legacy. And he’s done fairly well with it. He sees it as ultimately philosophical and political, hence his aeonic theories.
Phil is more personal and “eclectic.” His passion is sociology and psychology, and his work reflects it. Each man has picked what has meaning FOR HIM and projected his magick onto it.
Bonewitz believes in ultimate meaning, of a “magical universe” governed by laws. So did Crowley. Neither would be happy with the idea that the ultimate meaning of the universe is that there is no ultimate meaning of the universe.
Chaos magick sees nothing but infinite chaos, stochastically dragged into existence by each and every observer according to their predispositions, and by manipulating these predispositions it can be bent in desired directions by a canny intelligence.
<< I like that neither have their roots in age old dead beliefs and stem from those things that draw emotion and passion from the wielder.. much like art… >>
Obviously you’re not familiar with Bonewits’ recent work, being an “Arch Druid” and all. Talk about an age-old dead belief system…
That’s where locked-in belief leads you, I suppose.