Review of Magical Literature
by Michael Bertiaux
Review of Magical Literature
by Michael Bertiaux
O Michael Bertiaux είναι σήμερα ένας από τους διασημότερους όσο και αμφιλεγόμενους occult συγγραφείς του δυτικού κόσμου.
Ασφαλώς έγινε και παραμένει γνωστός χάρης στον Kenneth Grant ο οποίος τον εκθειάζει για τις μαγικές του εργασίες στο Ρεύμα του Νεκρονομικόν.
Το κείμενο που ακολουθεί αποτελεί μια κριτική που έγραψε και δημοσίευσε ο ίδιος ο Bertiaux στο προσωπικό του web site, για τα Νεκρονομικόν των Wilson και Σίμωνα.
Αν και μικρό σε μέγεθος, αναδημοσιεύω το κείμενο διότι προσφέρει μια διαφορετική πτυχή στο αίνιγμα του Βιβλίου των Νεκρών Ονομάτων, ερμηνεύοντας δηλαδή την μαγεία των Μεγάλων Παλαιών με όρους ψυχολογίας του βάθους…
The Necronomicon, edited by George Hay. Introduced by Colin Wilson. Researched by Robert Turner and David Longford, etc. Neville Spearman, 1978.
The Necronomicon, edited by Simon with an introduction. Schlangekraft, New York, 1978.
Since there are two versions of this book, I will refer to the English edition as NE and the American as NA.
On page 53, Colin Wilson in NE states that probably the concepts of the N will be researched more by Jungian psychoanalysts than by magicians.
The implication being that N refers to very deep levels of the psyche, hitherto unsuspected. We can say that the psyche is indeed very deep and the deeper one gets in one's researches the more there is unknown or deeper than where one has reached or come into terms with through analysis.
Is the N a book which describes unexplored regions of the psyche? And, if so, how would one proceed, assuming one could or would want to?
Ceremonial magic and even the sex magick of the many Crowleyan orders seem to be based on working with either the conscious mind field or the superconscious. Granted that the existence of the superconscious mind is not proven, unless the data of transpersonal psychology is invoked, but assumed. Magicians are usually not philosophers.
Now, I wonder if Colin Wilson is referring to the fact that we must move in an opposite direction than that indicated by Crowley. Kenneth Grant on page 12 of The Magical Revival (London, 1972) discusses magical systems which can be understood as yogas of the higher self, the personality, and the subconscious.
The system of Crowley is aimed at the fulfillment of the higher self, that of Spare, for example, is id-oriented. Now, the magic of the N goes deeper than the Id, or the subconscious self, and seems to approach the realm which I have called for years that of "the transcendental id".
Hence, we might ask the question whether one might be on the right path in seeing the N as a guide book to the very deep regions of the transcendental id. Colin Wilson probably would say "yes". Then we have to assume that if N is such an instrumentum, we must try and find out how it works. What is its mechanism of analysis?
If we were to use N as an ordinary grimoire, it would seem to me that we would be aiming it too much to the conscious mind, possibly we might touch the subconscious through light trance work, but not get really much deeper.
The words of power are aimed at disturbing the unconscious and of actually causing analysis-burn to certain deeper levels. I might add that analysis-burn is very like sun-burn; in one case the skin which is not normally exposed to sunlight is burned through exposure to it. Analysis-burn happens when certain levels of the deep psyche are exposed via analysis (usually through very heavy analysis of archetypal dreams), the deeper levels are exposed and shocked (in mild cases this shock requires some rest and meditation so that through the operations of the transcendent function an adjustment can occur, but in severe cases of burn hospitalization is necessary) and the compensation mechanisms have to go to work at deeper levels in order to bring about an adjustment of spiritual and/or psychic energy.
Hence, the power of the names of the Old Ones in N can have a very traumatic effect on the psyche of the magician. This is one of the major dangers connected with the use of N.
At the same time we might ask why the deeper aspects of the psyche are so disturbed by the use of these names. Do these words describe ultra-archetypal levels retained in the roots of the mind from the most archaic human experiences and racial/collective memories? Perhaps they do.
The psychological reality of these names of power therefore seems to suggest some kind of a cosmological reality. For the racial experiences summed up in memories and archetypes must refer to something experienced either in the deep regions of the inner worlds or cosmologically. Do these names refer to inner-plane entities or to actual natural forces perhaps identified with the archaic experience of the elements, as the Old Ones are assigned to elemental quarters, etc.?
I would answer that both views are possible: 1. There are inner-plane cosmic beings who were experienced by archaic man. The memories of these experiences are stored up deeply in the ancient parts of the soul - i.e., very, very deeply.
2. At the same time there seems to be also an elemental correspondence in the cosmological sphere, so that inner-plane entities could actually causally control the forces of nature through a very deep kind of mind-essence. The archaic levels of the mind undoubtedly know that this is so and had very deep experiences of this power which are retained as memories.
However, if there are these ancient memories they are very important for the investigations of the magicians. True, many will say that I am confusing the work of the scientist with that of the magician. I agree that I am if we mean by magician someone in the Golden Dawn or OTO traditions in most instances. However, there are magicians who are in my words "esoteric engineers", and anyway these would be the only ones to read these pages (cf. Kenneth Grant, Cults of the Shadow, London 1975).
Now according to esoteric engineering, the magician is also a scientist and such a magico-scientist works with fields and with machines, usually those of his own invention (cf. the M.S.R., 3rd year course). There are already in existence certain of these machines for exploring the deeper regions to which N refers and hence should be applied by the experimenter.
I also want to suggest that there is another very simple method to use when doing this kind of research. I am referring to the uses of the book N in its NA edition in a word-association test.
The rules for operation could be quite simple, all you need to do is write out some of the archaic names on index cards then flash them before the eyes in order to see what the name is, on the other hand you may stare at the word on a card for a while, or someone may call out the words and names of power. The response which comes next is what is most important. That will reveal what the deep levels of the psyche want to release to the ego or conscious magical mind. Lastly the time-lapse is important, for a long pause may indicate a very deep level is being activated, on the other hand, a quick response may indicate that the transcendental id is in a state of very profound agitation.
On the other hand, a quick response may indicate only a shallow or superficial level of the id is being "mined". Those who wish to explore this subject may write to me and ask about membership in the IAOZAAM magical order and anyone may write and inquire about details connected with this word association test.
There would seem to be a very deep world where the psychological and the cosmological orders are connected in an ontological unity. The use of the machines of esoteric engineering and the word-association test, and any other interesting implications of N in both its NA and NE editions should be extremely welcome to the magician. In my own researches I have been stimulated very much by the implications of these two books. One of them is really just a machine designed to explore precisely the exact lattices of the deepest regions of the psyche, and these lattices and matrices are exact and have their own ideal-true logics.
But, there are other regions where we can only form hypothetical shadows of schematisms and the merest of scaffolding, because we are not yet ready to enter directly into such memories. For these memories appear to be more than mere memories, no matter how profound the experience, for while they are thought to be memories or to appear as memories they seem to be more than memories.
Indeed they are the traces in psychoid tissues of these archetypal Old Ones, and perhaps they are even more than that, for they appear to be relics of these ancient horrors. Now, these relics are neither dead nor alive, but sleeping, perhaps in a very light trance, or engaged in deep meditation. By the constant use of magical words and names they slowly begin to stir, to come closer and closer to the surface of consciousness, to rise upwards drawing closer and closer to the grounds of the ego.
This process of inducting the psychoid contents of the deepest levels of the transcendental id appears to be the purpose behind the N. I see this whole process as a new type of spirituality, a return to the primordial levels of being and correspondingly away from the shallow aestheticism of Graeco-Egyptian pantheons, which refer definitely no deeper than the id.
In NA there is an attempt to re-present the archaic levels of Sumerian magical currents. This is moving in the right direction in terms of consciousness. We know for example that the skandas or skandhas of the reincarnating ego would possess deeper Sumerian levels of analysis (for want of a better phrase) than those which were identifiably Graeco-Egyptian.
Furthermore, the Sumerian levels of the transcendental id or Sumerian skandhas would serve to provide doorways for an exploration and entry into the Atlantean and Lemurian levels. From the Lemurian levels we could come very close to the skandhas wherein remain the traces, relics, and entranced presences of the Old Ones. Hence, the extreme value of NA as an instrument for deep analysis.
But we want to go beyond more than just the magical geography of the transcendental id and all that it implies. I would suggest that the magical discoveries and inventions of this age will bring about the scientific advancements of tomorrow. The magician is to be thought of as a pioneer in the analysis of the continuum of nature and inquiry.
The magician should be able to unite the insights of a meta-Sumerian level of analysis through word-association with the most advanced of zothyrian instrumentalities via esoteric engineering. This will result in many new breakthroughs for human creativity.
I suggest that we look at the N in terms of what it can suggest to the magical imagination and to the higher levels of the magico-scientific world order and the eventual establishment of a zothyrian technocracy within the continuum of nature and inquiry.
And while much to be found in the present versions of N, i.e. NA and NE, might justifiably be considered highly speculative and unproven, I prefer not to specify these many points, nevertheless these books are to be considered as very, very helpful to the magician who is seeking to expand his methodologies and meta-methodologies in areas where cosmological speculation and psychological analysis meet.