Occult “Community”

Preponderance of the Great

The Judgment
The ridgepole sags to the breaking point.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

The Image
The lake rises above the trees:
The image of Preponderance of the Great.
Thus the superior man, when he stands alone,
Is unconcerned,
And if he has to renounce the world,
He is undaunted.

Or, anyway, so has my daily I Ching toss. I wouldn’t normally share something so private, but it happens to be relevant.

I don’t know how I am still caught off-guard by the generally awful behavior of the so-called community of those involved in occultism, magic, mysticism, and esoteric practice. I will grant that there is such a thing as purely faulty information out there, so it is sometimes justifiable to call people out on absolute nonsense. But it seems altogether more common for occultists to criticize those who are attempting to sincerely share what they have learned. More often than not, this is done somewhere on the spectrum near passive-aggression, and without adding anything especially useful to the discussion themselves, often without even addressing the central point being made.

Though this post is directly inspired by a specific example, I’m really trying to point to a trend which I have seen play out time and again over the years of my own involvement with such things.

Well, undaunted, I carry on with my practice; yet, that world I must renounce.

Tried for Truth

In my social life
I am forced to start over;
my personality was burnt to the ground
in a livid conflagration
whose pain I was not spared by merciful asphyxia,
but made to feel all the way down.
I learnt of friends whose smiles for me remained,
and discerned those who would be as anvils
as the blows rained upon me.
Old friends made anew,
new friends made venerable,
false friends left to flutter and fade
like misprinted book leaves ripped and tossed away.
I do not rise again from my own ashes, triumphantly,
but offer myself up as bhasma
to grace, as laurel crown,
the shining brows of those whose love stays true.

Right This Moment

I don’t share much of my “personal life” on here, and I tend to hold much of my personality itself back. But, well, today I’m struck by the strangeness of humanity, myself included. My mind, my emotions, these are often so alien to me. That, I might say, is why I started to explore “things spiritual” in the first place. For as long as I can remember, the strongest “emotion” or, more precisely, sensation I felt was perplexity. Sometimes it came out as awe and wonder, sometimes as existential terror, and sometimes as viscera-powdering depression. But, really, they all go back to the perplexity. I wouldn’t quite call it confusion, but rather a recognition that there is a pattern there, but that it is way too big or way too small — in any case, not within my section of the spectrum — to be seen. Humans are more a part of this confounding “whole” than we think; one of the weirdest things about us is our shared incapacity to remember, to know what’s good for us, even as it stares us in the face and whispers in our ears.

Well, I’m glad to be here, anyway, even during the painful stuff. I’ve mostly lost my independent streak. Not to say I don’t still ask questions; I do, or I wouldn’t be here. But, as far as taking action, well, I pretty much do what I’m told. I get a signal that it is time to move; I move. It usually doesn’t work out very well, on the surface, but I learn something from it, take something away from it, and always land on my feet. I don’t know why things work like that, but when I question it too much I screw things up. This is that “faith” thing in action, I suppose.

I’m not really trying to philosophize, this time, nor to provide any metaphysical insight. Think of this entry as an addendum to the rest of my writing: less formal and thought-out than my articles, less inspired than my poetry, but just as honest as either. Maybe I’ll do more of this kind of thing, and maybe I won’t. We’ll see. I suppose, like everything else, I’ll do it when it seems the natural course, and not do it if it is merely “personally satisfying”. I guess I just feel the need to share a little bit of myself, right now. Though not entirely fun to do, I think I need to do more of it. Let’s see what happens.