Eschewing explanations based in particular worldviews, in favour of an emphasis on personal observation (‘results’ doesn’t quite cover it), one persistently lands in a worldview that emphasises the interoperability of personal observation.
It came up earlier this week in a conversation with Jake Stratton-Kent, but the persistence of this High Victorian British Museum/Fauxballah has left us with a ‘shape’ for western magic that is just not fit for purpose… It struggles to ‘hang’ praxis and western spirits on.
Even the inherent categorisation of experience or spiritual progression is sort of bent into this unwieldy shape. “We’re in Malkuth now so you’re going to learn these things… and then it’s on to Yesod so here are some unbelievably twee and inexplicably popular Orphic moon hymns that rhyme like they were written by a lonely high school girl, sobbing in a toilet cubicle…. and then we’re onto blah blah blah.”
The Lodge System also fails to match how we experience tuition and magical skill. We should have something more coven-ish that organically builds around one or two talented people and their connection to a specific spirit/current/god…. even if that particular being is up in Chesed or whatever.
Now, I don’t play well with others and don’t especially care too. So the practical limitations of the existing occult milieu don’t bother me all that much.
But I do have a borderline-OCD need to fit everything into a unified, interoperable map… the idea is not to change the data points of the western esoteric tradition, but have them cohere in an updated fashion… one that includes all available evidence, rather than just the bits you like or fit into your lodge scheme.
So here are some of the points I made in favour of ‘NeoTheosophy’ in a long, unbidden, meandering email to Jake. Call it adding a little narrative to magic’s org chart.
My needs for a coherent, interoperable system
- It must match the things we now know from consciousness research… ie it probably needs an underpinning consciousness model. Which ‘white people’s Hinduism’ certainly provides. These would include psi effects, telepathy, quantum observation, etc.
- It must match what we now know about history… specifically that the Pre-Vedic tradition is our best example of what a hypothetical Ur Cult may have looked like. (But also, the story of repeated cataclysms and such now looks to be startlingly accurate.) Which is definitely an area of ongoing personal interest.
- I would include the very good evidence for vastly ancient artificial structures on the moon, Mars, Phobos, etc in this… because, as far as I’m concerned, that’s all there in the Mahabharata.
- Ganesha. Because SO awesome.
- Grant Fucking Morrison.
And finally, there is something terribly pleasing about resurrecting high imperial tech in an age of acute imperial decline (and the rise to prominence of Southern Asia).
Because we all know that Theosophy had quite the case of ‘very bad company‘… sharing lopsided racial views with the Nazis -and the rest of Europe, to be fair- about the origin of certain cultures, races and ideas… and Leadbetter never met a little boy he didn’t like… and it ultimately suffered the same fate as most white, Middle Class alternative spiritual groups: scandals, then a slide into irrelevance. (Though I note it has existed continuously since its inception. Mentioning no names.)
Like the halcyon days of empire, our world has never been faster moving or more unequal. The sheer volume of everythingness washes old ways of seeing the world off Mount Meru and out into the ocean. Whereas the first Theosophists had to struggle with the existence of electricity and whether or not it was a metaphor for some kind of spiritual energy, we’re in a world of invisible death rays and total surveillance. How are the plans for your latest urban harvest festival coming along?
Besides. Look what it offers.
What NeoTheosophy offers
- It provides an interoperable explanatory mechanism for sorcery. (Siddhis and David Gordon White’s work on the links between tantra and alchemy, etc.)
- It provides a consistent framework for energy and consciousness manipulation (chakras and meditation) that doesn’t rely on goy misinterpretations of Hebrew or bashing certain concepts into a shape you like.
- It provides a thin veneer of civilisation (which I might argue is a necessary interface for those of us living in it) that makes it easier to access its obvious neolithic shamanic underpinnings: Shiva/Lord Of The Animals/Death/Entheogens/etc.
- It provides a more inclusive bestiary for demons and elves and spirits and gods, right up to UFO phenomena. (Obviously important to me.)
- It offers a post-death framework that isn’t binary: ie not either/or reincarnation.
- It provides different levels of sainthood and is built around the spontaneous eruption of groups around charismatic or talented leaders. Each group can work with whatever Masters, beings and gods it has an affinity with.
- It finally de-yahweh’s the antiquarian fauxbbalah shape of spiritual progression inherent in western magic, where the ultimate goal appears to be merging with the angry cloud man you rejected in the first place.
- The notion of maya or material illusion provides a way to incorporate a gnostic view of the universe in such a way that it de-contextualises Gnosticism’s Roman imperial occupied milieu. As does the Kali Yuga, of course.
- Does not require silly aprons.
Still… Even just as a mental exercise… NeoTheosophy… food for thought.