Time Experiments, Ethics part 2

Posted on June 20, 2009
Filed Under book review, Culture, Ethics, Experiments, Magic, Taylor Ellwood, Vince Stevens | 8 Comments

On Friday, my group and I did some work with time magic. The first two experiments we did were based off of Jean Houston’s book The Possible Human.

We did one experiment, where we would experience our consciousness as a unit of time, such as a second, minute, year, 100 years etc. Eventually you lose track of the units of time and enter into a non-linear state of experience with time. Each of us who did this exercise experienced a very similar state of mind.

The second experiment was one where we worked with three segments of time on a yardstick, as it were, but altered which segment of time (past, present, or future) was more prevalent during the meditation. It was an interesting experiment, again because of the state of mind it put us in, moving us out of a linear state of mind and into a non-linear state of mind.

Both of these exercises are useful ones to do, to put you into a very receptive state of mind for doing time magic. They don’t take very long to do, but they condition your mind to push itself outside of the constraints of linear time.

The final exercise was done with the Goetic Daimon Purson. In the mythology I’ve created around my own use of time magic, Purson is a guide on the silver strands of time. I introduced him to my group last night, partially as a way of thanking him for his services and patronage and partially as a way of helping the people I work with learn a bit more about my own approaches to time magic. We used the tesseract board to evoke him and my experience with was of two trees twisted together. I thought that rather odd until late that evening, I came across Ipos, another Goetic Daemon of time…so I’ll be contacting him soon.

So an update on the Ethics book. I’ve started working on chapter one and it’s coming together nicely. I got some responses on the first post, both from commenters on this blog and from a blog entry by Augogeides along the lines of arguing that magic is a technology and puzzlement that there’s a need to write about ethics as it pertains to occult culture. It was also argued that ethics as they applied to magic boiled down to being able to determine if an action was ethical or not, regardless of whether it was a magical action or a non-magical action. That’s the gist of it, or at least what I got from what was said.

When I talk about ethics and magic, I’m talking about taking a proactive approach to ethics, which incorporates practical magical techniques into how one approaches ethics in his/her life. However, I don’t think merely determining if an action is ethical or non-ethical, and then making your choice to follow through on that action or not, is really ethics…or rather I think of that as reactive or cover your ass ethics, ethics utilized as a way of making sure you aren’t doing anything wrong (or aren’t getting caught). I don’t really think of that as a useful approach to integrating ethics into one’s life because it doesn’t make ethics part of your life process and growth. Instead it’s just a convenient code to check on occasionally to make sure you are in the clear. I have a lot more to say about this, but I’ll save it for the book. Suffice to say my and Vince’s approach and outlook on ethics and their role/integration in magic is decidely different from what I’ve usually encountered in the occult community.

Book Review: The Evolving Self by Mihayli Csikzentmihayli

I wish I could say this book really represented an evolution in psychology or how we conceive of the self, but the truth is, it really doesn’t. If you read this author’s other works, then this work can be thought of as half a step beyond those works. At times the author is judgmental, condescending, and whiny, and he doesn’t offer much in the way of a concrete definition of self. The final few chapters predictably focus on flow, but don’t  provide anything significantly new to the theory that he hasn’t offered anywhere else.

Two out of five

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8 comments
imagineyourreality
imagineyourreality

Not even that.

You're quite correct that a universal approach wouldn't work...but it's always useful to present other options, outside what is often chosen.

Ananael Qaa
Ananael Qaa

So are you trying to develop some sort of universal or at least transpersonal ethical system that could be applied to individuals within occult communities? If so, I'm not sure whether or not that would be desirable or even possible given how differently individual people approach magick.

Ananael Qaa
Ananael Qaa

So are you trying to develop some sort of universal or at least transpersonal ethical system that could be applied to individuals within occult communities? If so, I'm not sure whether or not that would be desirable or even possible given how differently individual people approach magick.

imagineyourreality
imagineyourreality

When I'm focusing on ethics and magic, I'm approaching it from more of a social/cultural issue within the occult subculture, and less from a technological perspective. My interest, in fact, is how ethics is or is not incorporated into a person's magical work, as well as looking at ways to take a more proactive approach toward ethics within the occult culture.

Ananael Qaa
Ananael Qaa

When I talk about ethics and magic, I’m talking about taking a proactive approach to ethics, which incorporates practical magical techniques into how one approaches ethics in his/her life.

It wasn't my intention in my article on Augoeides to give the impression that the only valid sort of ethics are those that are reactive or applied after the fact. I deliberately left that question open to the practitioner, whether his or her ethical system is simply reactive or if it includes proactive components as well.

I think in that light my general contention still stands - if the most ethical course of action requires you to behave in some proactive way using mundane methods the same is true if you decide to use magical methods. Or do you see magick as fundamentally different from other technologies? If you don't I'm curious as to what you think the distinction is.

Where magick makes proactive ethical decisions more complex is that being a skilled practitioner does make you powerful enough that you can sometimes accomplish things that would be impossible by any other method. That needs to figure into your decision making, but the same could be said for most other tools or technological innovations.

Ananael Qaa
Ananael Qaa

When I talk about ethics and magic, I’m talking about taking a proactive approach to ethics, which incorporates practical magical techniques into how one approaches ethics in his/her life.

It wasn't my intention in my article on Augoeides to give the impression that the only valid sort of ethics are those that are reactive or applied after the fact. I deliberately left that question open to the practitioner, whether his or her ethical system is simply reactive or if it includes proactive components as well.

I think in that light my general contention still stands - if the most ethical course of action requires you to behave in some proactive way using mundane methods the same is true if you decide to use magical methods. Or do you see magick as fundamentally different from other technologies? If you don't I'm curious as to what you think the distinction is.

Where magick makes proactive ethical decisions more complex is that being a skilled practitioner does make you powerful enough that you can sometimes accomplish things that would be impossible by any other method. That needs to figure into your decision making, but the same could be said for most other tools or technological innovations.