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Excerpt 40

"I have noticed recently on this list and others, a trend to think of Psychic Abilities as being the same as Magick. I personally see the development of Psychic abilities as a byproduct of the Magickians Training and Practices, but do not see Psychic Powers as being the same as Magick."

Modern conceptions of psychic powers i.e. mediumship, acquiring information from dead relatives etc. tend to be rather limited to the outward manifestations of such abilities and show no regard for the actual core abilities/skills that allow such parlour tricks to occur. For me, I tend to view psychism as a skill involving, at its core, the perception of energy and consciousness (both internally and externally). Magick as a term implies a broad set of practices for achieving one's goals, the majority of which, from my observation, contain that same core with one addition: the intentional manipulation of energy and consciousness (by 'consciousness' I include mental visualization and use of symbolism to effect changes within one's self). Obviously the end result/goal can vary from person to person i.e. Higher Magick (spiritual development) or Lower Magick (causing practical change in the physical realm), but for either form to work the magickian MUST be able to perceive and manipulate energy and consciousness both internally and externally. If you take away that central core, all you're left with is a bunch of ineffectual arm-waving and chanting.

(For those who claim their arm-waving and chanting are effective although they don't perceive energy or consciously manipulate anything, I would still attribute any effect to an indirect influencing of energy and consciousness, though I wouldn't consider it as effective as the conscious perception and direction of energy/thought would be by comparison. The latter skill allows the practitioner to apply his/her force of Will and any energy streams toward the most advantageous places e.g. finding the Achilles Heal of reality that they wish to influence, rather than wasting energy and effort by splattering thought and energy all over the place while wishing and hoping that something will work eventually.)

Even in the case of ceremonies (ala G.D.) where the primary medium being worked with is symbolism (though not entirely - they still did plenty of energy work at the same time), a vast understanding of the mechanics of human consciousness would be necessary to effect predictable changes in a candidate.

"Many Magickal/Mystical organisations used to and still have rules against allowing "Natural"/Untrained Psychics in joining there organisations, AMORC Used to have this Rule though I am not sure now, Dion Fortune and Buttler both write about the dangers of a "Natural"/Untrained Psychic becoming involved in Magick, and both had rules in there Groups against there admittence, again this may nolonger be true."

I've heard of this, but the only reason I can think of would depend on the physical and energetic configuration of the person him/herself. If the person's psychic abilities were the result of some radical illness or physically caused mental imbalance, then I certainly wouldn't want them in my group either because they'd be a loose cannon potentially channelling high levels of unbalanced energy and attracting all sorts of entities from several planes at once (not all of them good). Those types possibly aren't fixable and could border on insanity more often than not. Their presence would also tend to unbalance those with whom they worked.

"Part of the reason for this is that the "Natural" can become overwelmed when developing there Abilities, they are also believed to attract entities not all of which are harmless, AMORC looks at the Natural Psychic and there Aura as not being properly "alligned", and generally notice that MOST (not All) Natural Psychics tend to have difficulties in intergrating the Abilities into the Psyche, often leading to personality disorders. (this has allso been noted in some more Ancient writings though I cant remember where I read it)"

I tend to disagree with that view, having seen quite a few natural psychics (not the fluffy new-age type). It is unfortunate that there are a sizeable percentage of naturals who are quite ungrounded and unbalanced, but I wouldn't say they're not able to be worked with and readjusted. I've probably only met one or two whom I'd NEVER consider working with as it would be a lost cause - I suspected a genetic or physical problem as the root of the trouble. Most naturals I've seen tended to develop far faster when immersed in a traditional structure than any non-naturals who had to struggle and work years at developing the same abilities.

"What is interesting is that the Magickal/Mystical Organisations recognise that through the Training regimin and exercises these Abilities can be awakened in those whom they lie latent."

To an extent - it's still hard to beat past experience and fluid, effortless natural talent. For example, Itzhak Perlman would probably be a far better natural/self-taught musician (even without formal training) during his next lifetime than someone who had never done music during any previous lifetime.

"The Training Programs also help the previously Latent Psychic to gain a better controll of, and a ballanced intergration into the Psyche of these Developing "abilities."

I agree with that.

"They also recognise that Psychic abilities are not required or necessary to be a successfull and accomplished Magickain."

I would agree with that statement but only in the modern sense of the term, not in my definition as the direct "perception and manipulation of energy and consciousness" on a non-physical level. If you take away perception and manipulation of energy and consciousness (both internally and externally) then how would you perform spiritual evocation (e.g. Goetia - you wouldn't know if you summoned the spirit because you wouldn't be able to see/hear it), invocation (i.e. knowledge and conversation of H.G.A., getting a macrocosmic response during god/goddess work etc.), astral projection (a manipulation of your own consciousness causing a temporary separation and perception of external realities), rising on the planes or any sort of full-on Qabalistic work (not a purely internal/mental game), scrying through symbols to obtain greater knowledge of them etc. etc.

Something I've noticed in my reading over the years is that in various mystical schools and ancient texts on spiritual development there is often an emphasis on developing the 'sight', or some other archaic reference (usually with religious overtones) to the awakening of one's latent psychic potential. Such references make me question any modern schools that say such abilities aren't necessary to successful magick practice. That's like saying you don't have to be able to actually hear music to become a great musician. The last I heard, there weren't many deaf violinists worthy of mention or in great demand …

A misc. thought and observation (in rambling fashion) that's been on my mind for a while:

I've seen lots of people who practice the middle pillar ritual and other various rituals for years who neglect developing some basic 'psychic' or spiritually perceptive skills. What I've noticed is that if a person isn't applying his/her exercises toward some practical ends (for sake of practice/development) and developing some basic psychic/energy/consciousness skills, he/she often gets diminished results as the rituals tend to degenerate into little more than yogic-type exercises for health. What good is going through extensive exercises if you're not actually obtaining the change in your consciousness that you desire? How many people here, for example, have attempted union with Higher Self after months of extensive ritual work and achieved nothing for all their effort outside of a little buzzing in their limbs or a severe headache? If they'd combined their rituals and exercises with some developed psychic skill (e.g. ability to sense energy and consciousness) they might be able to perceive the spiritual responses that they previously were incapable of noticing. In other words, what I'm saying is that the rituals and exercises are probably working, but the practitioner is often not capable of noticing the results for a long while due to a lack of certain skill (the human level of consciousness needs to be trained to notice other frequencies besides those 3 of solids, liquids, and gases) due to the viewpoint often proffered by modern schools of practice that say psychic talents are best as a by-product.

(Late comment: I'm beginning to think that some modern schools don't have many talented members or teachers who have developed their skills of spiritual perception to any great degree. That would explain why such schools might want to down-play the importance of such skills.)

On a related note: I'm coming to the conclusion that "psychism" as a term may need to be redefined at some stage, or some better term invented. I only use it for lack of a better, but I'm often misunderstood due to previous connotations of the term.