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jamie barter
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11/01/2013 12:05 pm  

I would like to possibly initiate a thread and/or ask for some advice.  Maybe this question has already been discussed and lies deep within the bowels of Lashtal in which case a handy reference would suffice.

I am often told – and nearly always read – of the value of keeping a well-ordered, regular and detailed magical diary.  James Wasserman has put together a pretty good summary of the case ‘for’ in his book of the same name.  Everyone but everyone recommends maintaining the practice – from A.C. to Maatists to “chaos” magicians.  I did in fact assiduously and immaculately (in my opinion) keep one in some detail for some duration in the past in my ‘salad days’.  However for a number of years I have found that I get, and have got, by perfectly well without the need for one.  This is not laziness, but can it be arrogance, perversity or perceptive iconoclasm?  Please counsel accordingly.  (Pre-historic or current ‘third world’ shamen for instance would never have kept a regular diary of this sort, and that’s a fact – unless they wrote it on loads of wood, like the druids, and they’ve all got burned or decomposed since then?)

During that time I made a conscious decision not to keep one; had I wished to do so I would nevertheless not have been able to join the Typhonian “OTO”, for example, on account of Outer Headmaster of the Order Ken’s insistence upon the necessity of reviewing a foetal nine-month preparatory record beforehand.  (That was one reason I never joined!  The other was the somewhat off-putting & rather unamusing and sobering list of fatalities and casualties among the membership as catalogued by Ken in his Hecate’s Fountain, for instance.)  Crowley himself recommends this virtuous maintenance of the same & gives a peerless, top-of-the-class example most worthy of a teacher’s gold star as John St. John in “The Equinox” – yet in the last twenty years or so of his life post-Cefalu he was making brief educational, but ultimately unedifying, entries along the lines of the following almost “teenage” excerpt from 1931:

3rd September: “Saw Billie [Busch] after lunch.  The superb sweetheart.”
4th September: “Billie is too marvellous.”
5th September: “Licked Billie’s cunt all p.m.  Most wonderful fuck I’ve had in years.  Nearly tore her bottom off.”
6th September:  “The best fuck within the recorded memory of living man.”

The Collected Diaries 1898-1947, or whatever they’re going to be called, are going to make for some interesting reading whenever the Caliphornian “OTO” eventually decide to bring them out.  One can understand their reluctance in a P.R. sense, as Uncle Al’s new technique had not really shown any signs of improvement by twelve years later, when he would record the following entries in 1943:

16th September: “Infinite trouble with teeth.”
17th September:  [No record]
18th September:  “L.O.V. [Gilbert Bayley], bastard, cut date:  his bastard slut of a cross-eyed daughter has come to town.  Shit!”

I have digressed slightly, but why therefore the diary’s importance?  I am open to intelligent/ intelligible arguments.  But please don’t say it’s an “aide-memoire” – that won’t quite cut the mustard…. And it can also anchor you to (a certain view of) the past, too!

Scribble scrabble!
Norma N. Joy Conquest.

{PS, nb I will be unavailable to respond for the next 2-3 days.}


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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11/01/2013 12:34 pm  

I keep a Magical Diary, and find it very useful. As well as a record of work I have done, it also enables me to earth insights and experiences. For me it's akin to a dream diary in that respect; most dreams tend to evaporate from memory quickly unless recorded, and magical/mystical experience can disappear from conscious recall too. Some people aren't interested in recording their magical and mystical work, or their dreams, and that's fine. I find it useful, and therefore I maintain a diary.

There's nothing "foetal" about the irequirement of a nine-month daily Record in support of a membership application for the Typhonian O.T.O or the present Typhonian Order. If this approach is not to your liking, then fine; others - not just me, but the existing membership, as well as present membership applicants - find it useful.

In my view you rather over-egg your case with extracts from Crowley's diaries in the 1930s and 1940s, which are generally and increasingly thin when it comes to accounts of magical and mystical experience. On the other hand there are diaries such as 'John St. John' which are superb, absorbing and useful.

Probably most people don't keep a Magical Record. It's a matter of taste; no need to make a virtue out of the fact that it's not to yours.


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William Thirteen
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11/01/2013 1:38 pm  

naturally it is a very personal decision whether to keep one or not but i have found the utility of the Magickal Diary can generally be divided into two general realms

1. in the present - the act of writing the diary can help expand, interrogate and integrate those insights which may occur during practice or throughout the day/night.

2. in the future - the magickal diary can provide a valuable resource for review of studies, past practices, the results of those practices as well as useful insights, however embarrassing, into one's historical self.

seems rather obvious really. Additionally, current digital technology can now accelerate the review process, enabling searching text across decades of drivel in a matter of seconds.

regarding the Crowley extracts, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...


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 Anonymous
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11/01/2013 2:26 pm  

Magickal Diary on my iPhone? Great idea! Like it.


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jamie barter
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11/01/2013 2:55 pm  

Hello Michael: from your first paragraph, I accept that magical/mystical experience may disappear from conscious recall (and agree with everything else there) but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

re. para 2: Perhaps “foetal” was inexact, maybe “embryonic” would have been better?  The sense I was meaning in any case was “preparatory”.  I didn’t say the approach was not to my liking inasmuch as I don’t think I gave a personal opinion on it, although I did say that it would have been inappropriate for me at the time given that I’d have nothing to show!

re Para 3: Maybe I am rather overegging the case here, although I thought I was just stating facts, but it doesn’t alter the main point – that despite the excellence of John St John as a superb example of a magical diary (as I think I acknowledged) A.C.’s method of keeping a magical record changed dramatically in the years following Cefalu.

re Para 4: I don’t think I was “making a virtue” out of not maintain a dairy – I even said that my position may possibly be considered "arrogance", also either perversity or being perceptively iconoclastic (in its own way, of course), which was why I was asking for some advice on the subject.

I notice that despite thoroughness in other respects you don’t seem to have answered the points about Uncle Ken’s casualty lists?

(Please note “I really have to go now” i.e. leave before 5pm, so unless there is anything immediate I will have to respond to anything else next week…)

N. Joy.


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William Thirteen
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11/01/2013 3:19 pm  
"Thurdan" wrote:
Magickal Diary on my iPhone? Great idea! Like it.

I can highly recommend "Day One" for IOS. Data saved as XML and can sync via iCloud or Dropbox with an OS X app. Support for TextExpander too. So wherever you go, there you are!


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Los
 Los
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11/01/2013 6:04 pm  

Like any practice, the magical diary is a tool that one can employ intelligently by having a clear understanding of what it's supposed to be doing in terms of assisting with attainment and by regularly assessing the claim that it actually is so assisting. WilliamThirteen provides a nice overview above of the purposes a diary can serve.

In order to practice intelligently, one has to be on guard against keeping a diary as nothing more than a religious practice (i.e. just keeping one because "Crowley said to keep one" or because "all good magicians keep a diary, and I want to be a good magician").

Certainly, one does not have to keep a magical diary to be a magician or to practice Thelema, but the keeping of one can be useful for many people.

"Thurdan" wrote:
Magickal Diary on my iPhone? Great idea! Like it.

As someone who recently acquired a smart phone for the first time (boldly stepping into several years ago), I can testify to these devices being useful tools as well, with apps that can instantly determine Resh times, divination apps, the ability to consult various Thelemic texts on the go, etc.


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Azidonis
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11/01/2013 7:33 pm  

I think that the practice of keeping a Record is very useful, and some might even argue necessary, up to a 'certain point'.

It is certainly required in some areas and settings, such as Mr. Staley's mention of a necessary record for entry into the Typhonian O.T.O. Likewise, a Probationer of the A:.A:. would find themselves in quite a predicament if they failed to keep one.

After that 'certain point' though, it becomes a matter of personal preference.

I've seen more cases of people who did not have Records and wanted them, then people who had Records and didn't use them.


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michaelclarke18
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11/01/2013 9:43 pm  

However for a number of years I have found that I get, and have got, by perfectly well without the need for one.  This is not laziness, but can it be arrogance, perversity or perceptive iconoclasm? 

The problem is that you don't know what you have lost, because you have nothing to validate it against.

But please don’t say it’s an “aide-memoire” – that won’t quite cut the mustard

You don't seem to want to accept that you are losing either.


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christibrany
(@christibrany)
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12/01/2013 8:43 am  

as a probationer i find no trouble keeping a magickal record, but i do find trouble finding time or energy to do Work daily.  that said when i do the work i really enjoy keeping the record. especially useful is looking back at Records from a few years ago and finding how i have improved in some ways and declined in others.  its also useful as a dream diary if the dreams feel relevant to any work that is occurring.


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 Anonymous
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12/01/2013 10:16 am  
"WilliamThirteen" wrote:
"Thurdan" wrote:
Magickal Diary on my iPhone? Great idea! Like it.

I can highly recommend "Day One" for IOS. Data saved as XML and can sync via iCloud or Dropbox with an OS X app. Support for TextExpander too. So wherever you go, there you are!

I totally agree! I haven't really done any Magick in the last two or three years, except possibly in the very general sense, but keeping a diary is one thing that I still do. And I also use Day One on iPhone, iPad and OS X, and it's brilliant. I transformed my old daily magical diaries from several years to it and I now have all of them available on all these devices, I can search them, tag, star, etc. There's over 6000 entries right now.

The only problem is that I have a big box full of older hand written diaries as well that I wish were digital. I usually never even use them, partly because it's such a hassle. Well, I bought a scanner and started to digitise them as well, though I still can't search them, etc.

But anyway, generally I can find the diaries very useful.


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William Thirteen
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12/01/2013 4:35 pm  
"anpi" wrote:
The only problem is that I have a big box full of older hand written diaries as well that I wish were digital. I usually never even use them, partly because it's such a hassle. Well, I bought a scanner and started to digitise them as well, though I still can't search them, etc.

But anyway, generally I can find the diaries very useful.

i have the same issue, a great number of written diaries, and I plan to copy them by hand into DayOne, as you can also manually define the date and other metadata. Scanning those that have drawings or other graphics might also be helpful and then attaching the images to the text entry. 

Also, as I prefer writing by hand after practice (pen & paper offer less opportunities for distraction), I have current handwritten diaries which I will copy into the digital archive.


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jamie barter
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15/01/2013 12:54 pm  
"Los" wrote:
In order to practice intelligently, one has to be on guard against keeping a diary as nothing more than a religious practice (i.e. just keeping one because "Crowley said to keep one" or because "all good magicians keep a diary, and I want to be a good magician").

Quite.

"Los" wrote:
Certainly, one does not have to keep a magical diary to be a magician or to practice Thelema, but the keeping of one can be useful for many people.

This is undeniably the case.

"Los" wrote:
"Thurdan" wrote:
Magickal Diary on my iPhone? Great idea! Like it.

As someone who recently acquired a smart phone for the first time (boldly stepping into several years ago), I can testify to these devices being useful tools as well, with apps that can instantly determine Resh times, divination apps, the ability to consult various Thelemic texts on the go, etc.

This is doubtless the case also, but “I know nothing señor” about such matters at all – I find being obliged to tote around even the most basic form of Nokia (so that people can keep in touch with me on it, more than my use the wretched thing myself) something of a pain in the rear end.

"Azidonis" wrote:
a Probationer of the A:.A:. would find themselves in quite a predicament if they failed to keep one.

Under what particular circumstances do you have in mind? 

"Azidonis" wrote:
After that 'certain point' though, it becomes a matter of personal preference.

Yes, and it is this ‘certain point’ which interests me, why & how it changes, and so on.

"Azidonis" wrote:
I've seen more cases of people who did not have Records and wanted them, then people who had Records and didn't use them.

Well, they only have to start writing one then, don’t they?  What’s the problem, exactly?  Force-field stopping them?

"michaelclarke18" wrote:
The problem is that you don't know what you have lost, because you have nothing to validate it against.

I have five years’ worth of magical diaries I kept regularly between c.1985 and 1990-1.  I have not lost these – they are on a bookshelf gathering dust and stowed away in an archive box.  I must have looked at them about three times in the last twenty years – once to demonstrate to someone else that I’d written them (a magical diary).

"michaelclarke18" wrote:
You don't seem to want to accept that you are losing either.

The reason I wrote that [about the aide-memoire] was because that is always the first argument people come out with in favour for, the evidence of which you can see for yourself by just looking at the other replies so far on this posting!

"christibrany" wrote:
as a probationer i find no trouble keeping a magickal record, but i do find trouble finding time or energy to do Work daily.  that said when i do the work i really enjoy keeping the record.

Yes I have found this too, but this is more of a sort of ‘write, and find ecstasy in writing’ sort of thing…

"christibrany" wrote:
and finding how i have improved in some ways and declined in others.

As/Or so you say!  You are of course looking at it through the prism of years lived in between, which as your observer also places its own interpretative interface upon the observed.  Also, your use of language and understanding of the vocabulary of words will have altered invisibly (imperceptibly) in the interim. 

"christibrany" wrote:
its also useful as a dream diary if the dreams feel relevant to any work that is occurring.

A dream diary is a different proposition.  For one thing it is not necessarily a regular (diurnal) procedure, and a different part of the brain is involved.

"anpi" wrote:
"WilliamThirteen" wrote:
"Thurdan" wrote:
Magickal Diary on my iPhone? Great idea! Like it.

I can highly recommend "Day One" for IOS. Data saved as XML and can sync via iCloud or Dropbox with an OS X app. Support for TextExpander too. So wherever you go, there you are!

I totally agree! I haven't really done any Magick in the last two or three years, except possibly in the very general sense, but keeping a diary is one thing that I still do. And I also use Day One on iPhone, iPad and OS X, and it's brilliant. I transformed my old daily magical diaries from several years to it and I now have all of them available on all these devices, I can search them, tag, star, etc. There's over 6000 entries right now.

I can see the thread is going to be in danger of being hi-jacked by the hi-tech crowd.  (Sigh!) Feel free, be my guest... (Just because I don’t have the gadgets myself doesn’t mean I would want to deprive or curtail anyone else’s discussion of possible enjoyment and gainful use from them.)

"WilliamThirteen" wrote:
"anpi" wrote:
The only problem is that I have a big box full of older hand written diaries as well that I wish were digital. I usually never even use them, partly because it's such a hassle. Well, I bought a scanner and started to digitise them as well, though I still can't search them, etc.

But anyway, generally I can find the diaries very useful.

i have the same issue, a great number of written diaries, and I plan to copy them by hand into DayOne, as you can also manually define the date and other metadata. Scanning those that have drawings or other graphics might also be helpful and then attaching the images to the text entry. 

Also, as I prefer writing by hand after practice (pen & paper offer less opportunities for distraction), I have current handwritten diaries which I will copy into the digital archive.

Thank you for your previous observations also, William Thirteen.  Although as you said “rather obvious really” what you did have to say was rather nicely and elegantly put in a few words.

Just hypothetically speaking, out of curiosity, I wonder what exactly would then be meant to happen if there was say an abnormal solar flare or some sort of unusual electromagnetic pulse which managed to wipe out all of the electronic data, once the handwritten copies have been presumably disposed of as surplus to requirements?  (Mind you, with the widescale social chaos caused by the collapse of society I doubt whether most people would be that concerned over a few scribbled pages…)

I mentioned something in my response to Michael in Reply #3 about “more than one way to skin a cat” – I do not have enough time to be able to do so today but will try to explain a bit more about what I meant & put something on tomorrow.

I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts!
N. Joy


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Azidonis
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15/01/2013 7:11 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
I've seen more cases of people who did not have Records and wanted them, then people who had Records and didn't use them.

Well, they only have to start writing one then, don’t they?  What’s the problem, exactly?  Force-field stopping them?

Point being, it's better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.  ::)


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dyulax
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15/01/2013 7:27 pm  

I think we should keep a daily record anyway, either we do any practices or not.

There are no two separate lifes, the spiritual and the mundane affects each other constantly. How can you evaluate the effects and progress of your spiritual path if you do not write the usual stuff you did?

Also, it's better knowing an insight I had on my true nature, or how I overcame some issue in my life, than only writing tables like "10:25 PM LBRP. Good." 


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jamie barter
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16/01/2013 4:06 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
Point being, it's better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.  ::)

A good point.  A life lesson, in fact!

"dyulax" wrote:
I think we should keep a daily record anyway, either we do any practices or not.

There are no two separate lifes, the spiritual and the mundane affects each other constantly. How can you evaluate the effects and progress of your spiritual path if you do not write the usual stuff you did?

Yes I quite agree (with the second part).  There are no two ‘separate’ lives & evaluating can also be a matter of trimming surplus requirements.

"dyulax" wrote:
Also, it's better knowing an insight I had on my true nature, or how I overcame some issue in my life, than only writing tables like "10:25 PM LBRP. Good." 

I agree here also.  The sort of table you give is the worst example of a magical diary and one which I have seen all too often for comfort!  These type of entries are meaningless both in terms of a future review or any present-time analysis.

Roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch,
N. Joy.


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jamie barter
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16/01/2013 4:30 pm  

Judging from the feedback (and thank you to all those who have contributed to the same) I appear to be in the minority here.  But as that’s not unusual I’m not unduly worried! 🙂 Originally, I daresay it may have spun from a perverse inclination – what the more new age type of psychologists would call “the rebel response” in me objecting to being told what to do in this respect by all & sundry, including putative ‘authority’ figures such as The Great Beast – but over a short time it grew, just like Topsy, beyond this.

It would be interesting to know how many people do not keep a magical diary for whatever reason but (from bashfulness?) do not wish to post as such and ‘justify’ their action as in any way virtuous on this board.

I try to accord to the principles and practice of scientific illuminism wherever possible & was wondering whether to post this entry in the end since it may be thought a little lacking in that department, but I did think in terms of my earlier posting that maybe I should attempt to be a little more forthcoming for the benefit of Lashtalians' clarity about there being more than one way to skin the proverbial cat.

Written forms of language have only been around for about 6,000 years as far as can be determined, but the present stage of homo sapiens has stayed ‘formally’ unchanged for about a hundred times as long from around the same time as it discovered the ‘secret’ of fire, while humanity as an identifiable species distinct from the apes has been on the scene for approximately one million years.  Are we really supposing that magical development as such only progressed with the advent of writing, that Tahuti-given gift?  To my perception, the reverse is true and that with the rise of the written Word and electronic technology – in some ways highly beneficial; in some others, not so – we have also progressively lost some of the old ways.
As I mentioned before, pre-historic magicians and the more contemporary shamen of Africa, the Americas and Asia – the current ‘third world’, not forgetting the aborigines of Australasia and the USA – practice their art and science without the need for recording their every-day experiences in a magical diary/ journal.  That would prove an encumbrance, a clutter to their systems, since our thought processes are dominated by verbal mentation in a way that theirs never were/ are.  As I remarked somewhere in an earlier different posting: “In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John I.1) – to which William Burroughs’ one-Word answer might have been: “Horseshit…”

How did these ancestors cope with the difficulty of their magical/ mystical experiences disappearing from their conscious recall?  The answer appears to be by the developing and honing of their latent (or not-so-latent) powers of e.s.p., including specifically their ability to access and read what, for want of anything more accurate, may be called part of an ancestral/ racial larger recall, or maybe some sorta morpho-genetic universal/cosmic consciousness thought register – the “Akashic record”?  In terms of modern technology, maybe it is the ability to read such a ‘hard drive’ by means of ‘hiding’ ( rather than permanently ‘deleting’) the features of ego/ personality conscious mental activity which would set up and create interference patterns that would otherwise corrupt the ability to effectively scan it.
In some respects also, it would be like time-travel to the event in question on a level deeper than conscious recall or reverie, as by plugging into the universal it would also engage the seven-eighths of the individual manas concerned, labelled the “sub-conscious” and which takes note of everything happening to the vehicle.  (This type of access to the subconscious appears to be the fundamental basis of Scientology® whose debt to Crowley and Thelema for some of the more sensible parts of its system has never been acknowledged by either Hubbard or his successors.)  This would nullify the condition of ‘forgetfulness’ which is the main problem that the magical diary is supposed and designed to circumvent. 

How efficient is this system? you may rightly and cynically enquire.  And therein lies a problem, my sceptical friends, as I cannot say “56%” or “more accurate than perceived recorded (written) reality when it happens”.  A given memory might even in a sense be labelled “false” if, say, logged against an actual event of recall which may later be empirically “proven” to be erroneous (e.g., say that one met someone at a symposium in 1995, when that person either later demonstrated that they did not attend that year but four years earlier, or never attended at all)…

This also brings up the notion of alternative pasts as well as alternate future lines of probability, and is where any sort of attempt at a scientific rational exposition tends to break down.  The cynic will of course then respond, “This guy is living in fantasy-land, literally!” and make that well-known circular gesture with their forefinger about their temple area.  As with many things the proof is in the tasting of the pudding, and practice, as with anything, makes if not perfection then at least a worthwhile effort.  As “magicians”, people should know & be better than that.  But whatever the ‘reason’, the basic premise still stands, my sceptical friends: magicians and shamen have done perfectly well thank you without recording their daily thoughts and experiences in a journal for tens of thousands of years.  I think we neglect the old ways at our peril, which are neither outdated nor obsolescent; although as I have remarked a magical – or in fact any sort of diary as such – journal aids recall to the conscious mind of modern-day wo/men & I suppose is therefore ostensibly helpful in that way, but is itself neglectful in terms of our abilities to still use these “old ways” of latent (or rather atrophied) powers of the mind such as esp, telepathy, bilocation, teleportation, telekinesis, time-dislocation, precognition, prophecy, etc., etc.  I am sure we will all have had some experiences with each of these what might otherwise be called siddhis until further integrated within the total microcosm of the fully-equilibriated person (i.e., without “breaks”).

The procedure on how to go about and achieve this was either passed down via the oral tradition or laid down along ancient ‘thought paths’ – like ley-lines in the psyche – accessible from ancestral/ racial (genetic?) memory by aligning one’s brainwaves or mentation with the ‘rhythm’ tracks (“words” become very unsatisfactory here!) to which one’s experience adds a further rich layer.  In a way, I suppose the technique might resemble working and accessing the Tarot paths between the sephira using the similar but not identical procedures of focussing and creative visualization & it also brings in the dreaming/ dreamtime – they are the closest familiar analogies I can place it to.

There is a sort of method in my madness but to attempt to explain it more would need to partake further of the essence of metaphor, and that may not be entirely to the sceptics’ satisfaction.  I trust this won’t come across as rambling – as most of it came out spontaneously in the form of automatic writing/ ‘direct transmission’ I have hardly edited it or honed & gone over it in detail for ‘publication’ – but if it helps & assists a ‘light bulb’ of recognition to come on for even a moment in someone’s (even one person’s) head while reading through this, my labour will not have been in vain in this posting.  BTW, this is not a new ‘school of thought’ worthy of a thesis, but a very old one, largely “buried” in our modern technological culture.  I’m not sure if this can actually significantly ‘dull’ or even erase one’s receptivity towards this sort of thing – “the jury is still out” on that one – but I feel it can’t do any harm in the meantime to at least try to minimise one’s susceptibility and to function in a more organic (there it is again! This trouble of finding the right Word) environment where possible… Maybe if Crowley had progressed very far with the Wanga he might have been able to deal with these matters more effectively?  (One of my ongoing projects is an attempt to produce an effective ‘workbook’ on the application of this but it is a long work in progress taking over eighteen years so far and rather tricky, since words are by their nature mercurial in themselves & I think it will require a more Book of Lies type of approach although I could not hope to emulate that masterpiece).

My, this has been wordy!  I will have to try to be more concise and do without (so many of) them in future...

Nōiâ ë la/Bå țʈĩnƓ: ɸ ~
N. Joy.


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obscurus
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16/01/2013 4:46 pm  

*.

I dare say...you are stretching my attention span.

*,*.


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wolfangel
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16/01/2013 6:48 pm  

Shamans recorded there acts as art as can be seen from cave painting, musical instruments, self adornment etc The mediation of messages was still incorporated into the practice but not subject to the same forms as language and words, which can sometimes seem constricting. Also they had a living record surrounding them in the communities they supported, the people themselves became a kind of record of battles lost and won. Written in flesh so to speak.

Pre-verbal consciousness is a rather different kind of experience that is recorded through the sensory media as opposed to that of language formed human construction, not as immediate some have argued, language acting as some kind of barrier to these experiences you mention, and yet we are conversing about it, perhaps you feel language is not the best medium in which to communicate this kind of experience, and yet, i find i keep a magickal diary of sorts.

Not in the traditional sense, but of prose that is descriptive of where i find myself on any given day in relationship to what i consider spiritual behaviours as well as mundane reflections. After a year of writing this i generally then, using a Burroughs technique, Cut It UP. Sometimes not randomly, so i may investigate the relationship between lets say Moonday and all the other Moondays in the first Six months and look at word and mood relationships. This then gets turned into a greater piece of prose exposing certain connections branching out upon this day. I have in the past created spoken word pieces from this. Sometimes not for the meaning but just for the sounds of the words.

I think the whole area largely depends on whether you keep a traditional diary or not, since i largely treat magick as an art and the magician figure as an artist i tend to approach it through those values and functions.


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jamie barter
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17/01/2013 5:38 pm  
"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
*.
I dare say...you are stretching my attention span.
*,*.

Sorry to read that – what can I helpfully suggest?  From some of your previous posts I wouldn’t have supposed you’d have too much trouble there?! - Work upon your powers of concentration, maybe?  But seriously 😉 I think I did imply that Reply #16 was probably (more than) enough for the time being; also if anyone hadn’t ‘got it’ by then, they would probably be unlikely to do so if even I were to ‘ramble on’ for another dozen pages.  I was interested in hearing from those who do get what I am saying to a degree or may agree with what I was suggesting, or who whether they even keep, or don’t keep a diary, themselves have evolved some other effective method from which we might all learn, and who probably may be able to articulate it better than I have been able to.

I was glad to read your pertinent contribution, Wolfangel:

"wolfangel" wrote:
language acting as some kind of barrier to these experiences you mention, and yet we are conversing about it,

Just so.  Yet we are conversing about it – that’s funny isn’t it? (in both senses of the word).

"wolfangel" wrote:
After a year of writing this i generally then, using a Burroughs technique, Cut It UP. Sometimes not randomly,

Burroughsian technique – yes, this can be very valuable & is quite innovative, although if not careful it can also end up driving one down a cul-de-sac (as with his methodology with tape splices, other media collages, etc., also.)

"wolfangel" wrote:
i may investigate the relationship between lets say Moonday and all the other Moondays in the first Six months and look at word and mood relationships.

Moonday – I am taking it that this is your word for ‘Monday’ as it appears twice within the space of six words suggesting it is more unlikely than not to be a typing error & I quite like it as being nearer to its origin etymologically, for start.  Do you do the same thing also for SunDay, Seturday or Saturnday, Tiewsday, Wodenesday, Thorsday & Freiday, or would any of these be in any way different?

This way to the Kooloomooloomavlock (does not bite),
N. Joy


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Azidonis
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17/01/2013 8:08 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
*.
I dare say...you are stretching my attention span.
*,*.

Sorry to read that – what can I helpfully suggest?  From some of your previous posts I wouldn’t have supposed you’d have too much trouble there?! - Work upon your powers of concentration, maybe?

So you wrote up a post that is three pages long in MS Word (single spaced), and when he mentioned his opinion about it being too long for his tastes, you respond with, "Work upon your powers of concentration, maybe."

Do you refuse to recognize that perhaps he simply didn't care to read all three pages of it? Your reply implies that he can't, not that he didn't want to, when his initial post on the matter was seemingly sarcastic, in the sense of, tl;dr.


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obscurus
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17/01/2013 10:15 pm  

*.

;D

*,*.


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obscurus
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17/01/2013 11:44 pm  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

My apologies for double posting and very weak attempts at humor.

On the subject at hand though, this post has caused me to go dig out some old books and papers again.
O my youth! Where have you gone? Such things that occupied my mind then! The 70's e.v. were a time weren't they?
The value of keeping the good book cannot be overstated. Or is it understated? 😮

Love is the law, love under will.


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wolfangel
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18/01/2013 5:24 pm  

Are you sure you want more ?

Well, The thing with cross referencing diary's across days dates week or months works very well in ceremonial context, using planetary days and hours if need be in relationship to astrological influences and comparing across to sephirah and paths on the T.O.L. all in all creates a good body of correspondence. Introduce to that  journalling techniques from psychology/counselling and add to that your own prose art and you have quite a bit to work with.

Adding techniques that were popular from Chaos magick back in the day just seems logical to somebody whom grew up in that period of time i guess, Take the traditional structures and cut into them to create new meaning with secular and spiritual functions. The Diary structure is so important i guess because it allows you to play with your own sense of linear time and how you form relationships to that narrative, its possible to cut and paste all these self reflections and see where new mutations in self consciousness are possible combing new elements to form new self narratives.

Time and the relationship to the naming of space is what interests me here, the qualities that i make attributions to in myself and how they reflect my experience of time over a given period, cutting those self manifestations  together through the word gives me ideas on self reformulation, juggling the parts and creating news ones from what may of seemed at the time to be nothing more than emotional/ideaological junk.

The traditional structure acts as a way to reorientate those aspects of self. The reason i use any tradition what so ever in my work (For many years i did not) is because of something very simple rebellion needs authority to rebel against and authority needs rebels to establish itself, belonging in neither camp with any identifier puts you in the very interesting position of the process between them, the mercurial dynamic, rather than the fixed forms that tend to solidify in consciousness should you self identify with one or the other too strongly. Something that becomes very clear the more of your self you see in what appears to be other.


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Claudio Cesar de Carvalho
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19/01/2013 5:56 pm  

However for a number of years I have found that I get, and have got, by perfectly well without the need for one.  This is not laziness, but can it be arrogance, perversity or perceptive iconoclasm?  Please counsel accordingly.

Hello Norma,

I see this subject in very personal character.

From my point of view, for those who register their practices of any nature whatsoever, or even daily events that are relevant to the moment you are living, the Record is valid. However, I respect when the Inner Nature whispers to someone about something essential, that is to say, if your Inner Nature tells you otherwise is not necessary to write a Record, then so be it, as it is said, the waves never repeat themselves even they are part of the same ocean.

If you allow me, I give a little humble advice here, it is never to write a Record as an end in itself.

Best wishes.

Cláudio


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jamie barter
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20/01/2013 3:12 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
So you wrote up a post that is three pages long in MS Word (single spaced), and when he mentioned his opinion about it being too long for his tastes, you respond with, "Work upon your powers of concentration, maybe."

I didn’t actually write up a post which is 3 pages of “Word”(- Hah ! that's ironic!) but two pages and five lines, I think, but who’s counting? 🙂 It’s also rather rich coming from yourself, if I may say so, someone who I think must hold the record for habitually presenting the longest postings on the site.  I checked one old one recently, following your Ariadne’s thread to the (very interesting) post on “Initiation” from the “New book on the Gnostic Mass”: where there you have generated more than that (3 pages) within the space of three hours… and since you appear to be still in the mood for gripin’, going back to your earlier gripe about the Quote function, is it absolutely necessary to quote sometimes the whole of someone’s previous post?  Surely a simple “with reference to Reply #XXX supra/infra” would suffice?  (To give just one example, your Reply #193 in “Initiation” duplicates Reply #192 for no clear reason at all.)

If you look at this posting more carefully (paying more attention yourself, Azidonis!) you will have seen that I wasn’t entirely serious in my comments there myself, and as I also said, I wouldn’t have supposed obscuruspaintus would have had any trouble paying attention himself, in view of some of his other comments on the site which demonstrate that he does not appear to have any particular trouble with his attention. 

My recommendation of “work upon your powers of concentration, maybe” was intended in a jocular spirit, and hopefully taken as such & not as a slur on his alleged inability (i.e., “Your reply implies that he can’t, not that he didn’t want to”) to concentrate.

Also, obscuruspaintus didn’t actually say that he “simply didn’t care to read” it.  He said it was “stretching his attention span”, which if anything implies that he did read it but maybe have found it hard to pay attention to the end?  I don’t know.  Nor, as you also suggested, did obscuruspaintus actually indicate whether his original post was “seemingly sarcastic in the sense of tl;dr” (I'm afriad I am ignorant in not knowing this abbreviation myself) - not that I would mind if he was doing so anyway, as long as it showed a bit of wit!

What I do know though is that for some reason you appear to want to act as his ‘spokesperson’ in the matter when he has shown he is quite capable of doing so for himself.  If you have anything further original to say yourself please do so, otherwise if you would kindly refrain from second-guessing the opinions and actions of other posters I would be much obliged.

(Actually re-reading it back again it's (=Reply #16) not that bad – could do with a spot of tightening up and like I said if I was going to submit it as an article or something I would have worked up on it, maybe.)

"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
My apologies for double posting and very weak attempts at humor.

Think nothing of it!  Where would we all be a without a little bit of humour, is what I say.

Many thanks also to both Wolfangel & Cláudio for the observations & good advice.  Let the debate continue!  Meanwhile

I remain
Daft as a brush & thick as a brick,
N. Joy


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Azidonis
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20/01/2013 6:22 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
I think must hold the record for habitually presenting the longest postings on the site.

I probably do, but I don't make smart ass remarks about it when people decline to read it for it being too long, or when they tell me so, or tell them to learn how to concentrate.

"jamie barter" wrote:
“seemingly sarcastic in the sense of tl;dr” (I'm afriad I am ignorant in not knowing this abbreviation myself)

I certainly didn't link you a definition.

"jamie barter" wrote:
What I do know though is that for some reason you appear to want to act as his ‘spokesperson’ in the matter when he has shown he is quite capable of doing so for himself.

I would have made the comment regardless of who he is. If he says the letter is stretching his attention span, or boring him to tears, that's his prerogative. Who are you then, to say "work on your powers of concentration", as though it were imperative for him to find a way to finish reading your letter?


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jamie barter
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21/01/2013 4:57 pm  

Obscuruspaintus certainly never said anything about “smart ass remarks” hirself, nor did s/he say I was “boring hir to tears” – that is totally your rather biased & weighted projection upon the matter here.  Also, your slant on language is revealing, quite emotive and (maybe-not-quite-so-passively) aggressive and you seem a little prickly, a bit touchy for some reason, as if I may have made some sort of a personal slight against yourself?  I cannot imagine why that should be the case.

"Azidonis" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
“seemingly sarcastic in the sense of tl;dr” (I'm afriad I am ignorant in not knowing this abbreviation myself)

I certainly didn't link you a definition.

This goes to show how much I know about (computer) abbreviations!  But wouldn’t it have been a lot easier just spelling out “tl;dr” meant “too long; didn’t read”, instead of supplying a superfluous & time-consuming link to somewhere else about it?

"Azidonis" wrote:
Who are you then,

“Who am I?”  In the end, just another occasionally loquacious poster like yourself.

"Azidonis" wrote:
as though it were imperative for him to find a way to finish reading your letter?

I did not say it was an “imperative” at all – again, you are making false assumptions & jumping to conclusions here when I stated quite clearly the remark was said jocularly, a concept which you do not seem able to grasp.  I notice that obscuruspaintus does not seem to have any further problem – surely it would be up to hir to remark further upon the matter, if s/he wished to do so?  I would infer myself that s/he is probably quite content with my explanation; but if not, s/he is quite welcome to take it up with me hirself.

I say again though, in case it didn’t get through: s/he (and anybody else) does not need you to speak and intercede on their behalf.  I will therefore not bother to answer any further unoriginal postings from you if they are in this vein as you become boring yourself when you start to go round and round like a dog gnawing away at a bone - & so, if you’ll pardon my French, & as the “lady” said in that excellent Ealing film comedy The Ladykillers:– “would you please buzz off” (- or: “butt out”, if you’re from across the pond)?!

Happy Monday,
N. Joy


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Azidonis
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21/01/2013 6:09 pm  
"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
*.

I dare say...you are stretching my attention span.

*,*.

Translates to - "too long;didn't read", or "holy shit I can't believe I read all of it", or to [obscuruspaintus, feel free to fill in this part].


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obscurus
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22/01/2013 12:13 am  

*.

😮

*,*.


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Azidonis
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22/01/2013 12:51 am  
"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
*.

I dare say...you are stretching my attention span.

*,*.

Translates to -

"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
*.

😮

*,*.


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jamie barter
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22/01/2013 12:41 pm  

I am not sure whether it’s worth dignifying this latest with a comment – so I won’t…

N. Joy


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Azidonis
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22/01/2013 3:32 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
I am not sure whether it’s worth dignifying this latest with a comment – so I won’t…

You just did.


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jamie barter
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25/01/2013 6:02 pm  

I was hoping that someone other than Azidonis might have responded & tried to move the discussion onwards & forwards, but as no one else has so far added anything further I may as well make an answer to your latest here, Azidonis:

"Azidonis" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
I am not sure whether it’s worth dignifying this latest with a comment – so I won’t…

You just did.

You have demonstrated my point admirably – and shown with that last response to all readers that your wit is at an all-time low.  Running on empty, in fact!

I remarked before your activities

"jamie barter" wrote:
become boring when you start to go round and round like a dog gnawing away at a bone

but needed to revise that analogy: your recent postings put me more in mind of a trapped wasp inside a jam jar, buzz-buzz-buzzing away whilst trying to find a way out! 
 
Yours whilst looking about for a swatter,
N. Joy


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Azidonis
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25/01/2013 8:02 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
I was hoping that someone other than Azidonis might have responded & tried to move the discussion onwards & forwards, but as no one else has so far added anything further I may as well make an answer to your latest here, Azidonis:

"Azidonis" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
I am not sure whether it’s worth dignifying this latest with a comment – so I won’t…

You just did.

You have demonstrated my point admirably – and shown with that last response to all readers that your wit is at an all-time low.  Running on empty, in fact!

I remarked before your activities

"jamie barter" wrote:
become boring when you start to go round and round like a dog gnawing away at a bone

but needed to revise that analogy: your recent postings put me more in mind of a trapped wasp inside a jam jar, buzz-buzz-buzzing away whilst trying to find a way out! 
 
Yours whilst looking about for a swatter,
N. Joy

All this because you won't admit a defensive response to obscurispaintus' post.


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jamie barter
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27/01/2013 2:57 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
All this because you won't admit a defensive response to obscuruspaintus' post.

“All this because…” fuck knows!  [This should ideally be called “How to Waste People’s Time and Attention, Part 94”]  Talk about hi-jacking a thread!...it calls for Graham Chapman as the Major in Monty Python bursting through and saying: “Stop this, it’s getting silly!  We had a perfectly good thread going about the Magical Diary and then you had to go and get silly…”

At risk of prolonging an already silly and absurd debate-within-a-debate still further, I will just observe that I don’t know what you can be wittering on about with regard to “defensive response”.  We are already speaking at one remove from the source hirself [Obscuruspaintus].  I’ve said that if s/he has got something to say (other than a ‘smiley’ icon) s/he is welcome to do so, and I will answer it in like spirit.  As far as I know, this is not the case in spite of you wishing to ventriloquise on hir behalf.  Hir (is it called emoticon?) registers “shocked” – this could just as easily be interpreted to mean that s/he is shocked at having hir name brought into the debate by yourself, or that s/he is shocked by your putting words into hir mouth, or shocked at this colossal waste of time & energy involved (etc.)  Only time and obscuruspaintus can tell, if s/he can be bothered!

Is there any chance of getting something more cerebral going in the (actual) matter of this enquiry? 

Incidentally, I was reminded by something I came across in Lashtal, that the Golden Dawn made no such obligation on its members to keep a diary of the type discussed, far less as entry requirements or an examination to gain admittance into higher grades.  This appears to have begun with Crowley and his recommendations in connection with the A.A., which he began with George Cecil Jones in (or about) 1906 or 1907.

There then followed the immaculate “perfect [role] model of what a magical record should be, in respect of the form” as John St. John, Liber 860, the Supplement to the first issue of The Equinox in 1909, although A.C.'s "own" diaries during this Edwardian era did not always match up to the standards illustrated, as can be discerned quickly enough.  After going through a purple prolix patch in Cefalu and Tunisia his own diary departed from these Olympian heights and a new clipped style had entered by the 30s and 40s, which I amply demonstrated on the original posting, for which I was then ribbed for ‘over-egging’it & which I acknowledged may have been the case. 
So, the keeping of a Magical Diary does not stretch back into time immemorial – not even to the time of the Rosicrucians or practitioners of the Enlightenment.  In fact we have to wait until the tail-end of the Edwardian era before the recommendation appears – just slightly over one hundred years ago.  Is anybody aware of the precedent being set before this time?

Closer examination reveals that over the whole period 1898-1947 A.C.’s diary keeping was mildly hapahazard and erratic to say the least, and not daily more often than not, and this combined with the actual contents is probably the main reason why the COTO are dragging their heels about bringing it out: most years would demonstrate that he did not practice the model of record-keeping which he preached unto others.

Plus it is full of abbreviations we cannot d.ECI.ph  [Er?].

YR(s) CRY p.t. icaLL {y},
yoJ .N


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jamie barter
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04/02/2013 5:15 pm  

Come on, now!  Surely there is more to be had out of this – no more aide-memoire related stuff, though (which I do agree with – it is the main positive point in the argument pro & con & may be of some value to 21st century ‘urban’ wo/man and have certain electronic advantages: please do continue to keep up the debate on electronic aids to keeping a magical diary - I find it interesting information even though I am not, at least currently, able to take part.)  But can we have someone else stating the advantages (or at least what aren’t the disadvantages) of not keeping one?  Are there likely to be any more contributions or should I opine this thread terminated (at least as far as I am concerned) so that it’s Going – Going… (and shortly to be Gone into the vast labyrinthal innards of the website until perchance somebody breathes new life into it & resurrects it at some future date months or years down the line?)

I summarise the main thrust of the debate (keeping all egging on one side to a minimum) as follows:

Before A.C., no one recommended keeping a magical diary (although John Dee for one, kept one, of sorts) including, notably, neither the Theosophists, the Freemasons nor even the G.D.  He recommended keeping one because of the requirements of the ‘scientific method’ of his Scientific Illuminism (“the method of science, the aim of religion” as it appeared on the masthead of The Equinox) recording the instances of magickal experiments and results as if in a laboratory experiment, completely unaware that at the time he was doing so research in science was being undertaken by Heisenberg, etc. into the uncertainty principle, which averred that the mere act of observation changes the nature of the observed to the observer.  Anybody keeping a magical record should bear this factor in mind that, as applied to the magician subtle shifts in hir apprehension of the meaning of (their) words (particularly in describing emotions) over the years will affect the matter under question.

Less than three years after the A.A. was formed, John St. John was held out to be “the model” (but therefore not a/ the real example) of how a “perfect” diary should be kept.  The undertaking was also recommended in Magick in Theory and Practice (don’t forget, incidentally, that according to Chapter XIII there, “The Book”, among other things “the pen with which the writing is done [is to] be the feather of a young male swan.”  So much more stylish and elegant than these modern ballpoint pens, don’t you know!) and Magick Without Tears, where Letter 81 mentions the main end of a magical record being the acquisition of the Magical Memory.  I would argue myself that it serves as a stepping-stone (or weapon, as A.C. puts it) which can be omitted - leapt over or left out in the armoury – by the diligent carrying-out instead of the practices outlined in Liber Thisharb. (Anyway, the main purpose of the diary as given by A.C. is to acquire the memory and knowledge of the karma of previous incarnations.  This opens up a whole new pseudo-scientific minefield but is a totally new broad subject which should properly [might already?] have its own thread under ‘Reincarnation – “real” or not?’, of which A.C.’s reputed instances (e.g., Cagliostro, Pope Alexander VI, etc.) might serve as an initial talking-point.)

Apart from a noticeably different but brief flowering of eloquence in Cefalu and Tunisia (where A.C. presumably had far fewer distractions apart from dictating the Hag to take away his time) Crowley did not seem to maintain one regularly himself and seldom anywhere near along the lines of John St. John when he did, and in the 30s and 40s entries were particularly sparse, as illustrated earlier.  Even Michael Staley, champion of the magical diary as the prime entrance requirement to the TOTO/ Typhonian Order, has remarked that Crowley’s diary for the highly important period of the reception of the Book of the Law “is skimpy and obscure” [Reply #1, "Crowley and his Discrepancies" thread].  If the magical diary was such a valid system, why did Crowley not continue with it assiduously throughout his life?  Instead of, in fact causing his written entries to depart even further away from the examples of his ‘model’ in his last two decades and actually diminishing its relevance?  If it was indeed so vital, surely he would strive to maintain it?  Indeed, it seems to be one of the few examples of where A.C. directs one to “not do as I do, but do as I say”.  If A.C. actually scrupulously followed his own advice, I may be more inclined to maintain such a diary myself; but should we just because he says so?  As Los so precisely remarked in Reply #6, “One has to be on guard against keeping a diary [just] because ‘Crowley said to keep one’ or because ‘all good magicians keep a diary, and I want to be a good magician’.”  This shows a slave mentality and sheep-like thinking in itself a thing he absolutely abhorred.  And yet ‘Thelemites’ are doing it, in droves.

I say that a magical diary may very well be valuable to the beginner – like ritual.  There comes a point in every practitioner’s life however – after actually having done an appropriate amount of the required work, I do hasten to add! – when he or she has to (re)assess for him and herself the validity of sticking to a regimen, however valid and integral it may have been in the past, and weigh this in the balance against maintaining and strengthening the meme/ morphic resonance so constructed – for example, in performing daily Pentagrams and Resh adorations.  There is an interesting thread to be activated at some point – again if it hasn’t been done already, I haven’t been able to check for myself yet – regarding how much the efficiency of the Adorations is diminished if say the Gestures element is omitted or if the Adorations are (not) performed as near to the actual Quarter points of the day as possible, as opposed to say bunching them all together at one time (or even less stringently, omitting a day or more altogether.)

Chaos and Maatists are keen on the idea of keeping and maintaining a diary too, although they are both in their ways supposed to be cutting-edge and quantum-oriented.  The TOTO too!  (Interestingly, the other seemingly omnipresent main ‘heresy’ shared between the belief systems of these 3 otherwise quite separate groups & also partaking of the new suit belonging to the Emperor, is a willingness to ascribe a greater than expected measure of objective reality to the denizens of the Lovecraft pantheon often referred to as the Cthulhu Mythos – but that is another subject for another day.)

However, shamen (for example) don’t (keep a magical diary).

Without expanding upon or reiterating my own reasons for not doing so again which I gave in some (more than enough, according to a few!) detail in Reply #16 (and therefore risk boring or shocking others to death by my method of skinning cats) I get the feeling there are more people out there who (rather than say out of sheer laziness) deliberately don’t keep one, but are also keeping quiet about it for some reason (laziness?)

Rite On,
N. Joy


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Markus
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04/02/2013 5:58 pm  

Franz Bardon has the diary as part of his course in magic. Whether he got the idea from Crowley, is not known. We'd have to check precisley which of AC's works were available in German in the 1920s-40s. Either way, he's pretty clear on the importance of keeping a diary in his first step.

Markus


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 Anonymous
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04/02/2013 10:34 pm  

Well, I do keep a magical dairy, not a daily account, but I usually write in it at least once a month.  I only write when something significant magically has or I think I have some kind of insight into my life.  Otherwise, I leave it alone. I do not record daily rituals, whether I did resh or not or at what time, or anything mundane like what I had for dinner unless it had something to do with a magical operation or something out of the ordinary I encountered.

I also write a dream journal.  I've gone where I've been writing in it almost every day, and then sometimes, don't write in it for a long time.  I find the time it takes to keep up with diaries for the sake of writing in dairies could be better spent on other things. For instance, if I spent all my time writing in journals,  I would not have time to pursue the other things in life that I find to be of value.

I also have a mundane blog that has to do with a vary ambitious project I work on that takes a great deal of time and dedication, something that mundane people believe to be possible, though undoubtedly not probable for a number of reasons.  I try to make at least one entry a month there as well, more or less depending on what I feel like doing, in order to keep track of my progress on the project.


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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Posts: 4087
05/02/2013 10:30 am  
"jamie barter" wrote:
Apart from a noticeably different but brief flowering of eloquence in Cefalu and Tunisia . . . Crowley did not seem to maintain one regularly himself and seldom anywhere near along the lines of John St. John when he did, and in the 30s and 40s entries were particularly sparse, as illustrated earlier.

Crowley's diary-keeping was very largely on a daily basis from the late 1920s through to a year or so before he died. Have yoiu read them? Though by no means as copious as the Cefalu diaries, I wouldn't regard them as "sparse". Some might quibble at the term "Magical Diary" to describe these diaries; there is not a great deal of what some might regard as formal magick in them, but on the other hand where does one draw the line between "magical" and "non-magical"? There are diaries extant for specific Workings such as, for instance, the Amalantrah Working of 1918, or the sex-magical diaries during the American period which were published by Grant and Symonds in The Magical Record of the Beast 666.

"jamie barter" wrote:
If A.C. actually scrupulously followed his own advice, I may be more inclined to maintain such a diary myself; but should we just because he says so?  As Los so precisely remarked in Reply #6, “One has to be on guard against keeping a diary [just] because ‘Crowley said to keep one’ or because ‘all good magicians keep a diary, and I want to be a good magician’.”  This shows a slave mentality and sheep-like thinking in itself a thing he absolutely abhorred.  And yet ‘Thelemites’ are doing it, in droves.

You imply here that people who keep a Magical Record are doing it because Crowley said that they should. What grounds do you have for this assumption? I have rarely kept a Record on the lines of Crowley's recommendations; I keep it as I see fit, and for my own purposes, and I credit others with the intelligence to make up their own minds on the matter.

"jamie barter" wrote:
Chaos and Maatists are keen on the idea of keeping and maintaining a diary too, although they are both in their ways supposed to be cutting-edge and quantum-oriented.

So being "cutting-edge" and keeping a Magical Record are somehow contradictory?

"jamie barter" wrote:
However, shamen (for example) don’t (keep a magical diary).

So what?


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jamie barter
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05/02/2013 5:18 pm  

My language in my earlier Reply (#36) may have been designed to be mildly provocatory, solely in order to achieve a reaction which had been lacking in the thread which had appeared to have gone flat with not much further being discussed.  I wrote it in the way of a spur, a goad, in an attempt to move the thread forwards & onward with something a bit more cerebral since it seemed to have gotten bogged down in a spasm of silliness.  From that point of view (= generating a response) it appears to have been successful and had a result, although I’m not quite sure where it will go to from here!

"Markus" wrote:
Franz Bardon has the diary as part of his course in magic. Whether he got the idea from Crowley, is not known. We'd have to check precisley which of AC's works were available in German in the 1920s-40s. Either way, he's pretty clear on the importance of keeping a diary in his first step.

I have not checked out Franz Bardon’s recommendations, but I think quite a number of A.C.’s works were made available through Germer’s Verlag publishing house from the 20s.  But in any case, whether influenced by A.C. (in-)directly or not, it would have come after the time of his own recommendation first given in the first volume of The Equinox.

"Jastiv" wrote:
Well, I do keep a magical dairy, not a daily account, but I usually write in it at least once a month.  I only write when something significant magically has or I think I have some kind of insight into my life.  Otherwise, I leave it alone.

There is a large difference, I feel, between a daily diary and one which is done occasionally (such as in a monthly basis of review) but which may be of more real value and relevance.

"Jastiv" wrote:
I do not record daily rituals, whether I did resh or not or at what time, or anything mundane like what I had for dinner unless it had something to do with a magical operation or something out of the ordinary I encountered.

Yes, a lot of this sort of thing can be incredibly time wasting & superfluous.  I wondered in what circumstances what “someone had for dinner” could possibly be of relevance: perhaps where somebody was ill as a result of food poisoning afterwards affecting their ability to do things, or maybe where it was a radically new taste experience which altered their eating habits afterwards.  One of Crowley’s students eating one of his hot curries at a time when it was in western culture a relatively unsampled dish - maybe causing them to foam at the mouth - might have been such an example worthy of note, possibly…

"Jastiv" wrote:
I also write a dream journal.  I've gone where I've been writing in it almost every day, and then sometimes, don't write in it for a long time.

I have commented earlier [Reply #12] on a Dream Diary being a different proposition of a slightly different order.  Talking of which (Order), I imagine a dream diary (and subjective interpretation of the same) would actually be a more useful tool in assessing the suitability of a would-be applicant to e.g., the Typhonian in terms of being more psychologically revealing of the candidate’s conscious and subconscious intent (or even if they were to write an essay: “Why I wish to join the Order”), but of course that is my own personal opinion here.

"Jastiv" wrote:
I find the time it takes to keep up with diaries for the sake of writing in dairies could be better spent on other things. For instance, if I spent all my time writing in journals,  I would not have time to pursue the other things in life that I find to be of value.

Yes.  My main objection is doing it “for the sake of it”, which does happen more than one would expect just so someone can then claim to have been keeping it up every day even if it is of the jejune type given earlier: “Friday, 10.25pm – LBRP: good.”

"Jastiv" wrote:
I also have a mundane blog that has to do with a vary ambitious project I work on that takes a great deal of time and dedication, something that mundane people believe to be possible, though undoubtedly not probable for a number of reasons.  I try to make at least one entry a month there as well, more or less depending on what I feel like doing, in order to keep track of my progress on the project.

Sounds quite interesting, although mystifying as well, in that I am not quite sure what you can be referring to.  But it is always a good idea to “keep track” of any progress (or otherwise) in projects, regardless of by what means.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Crowley's diary-keeping was very largely on a daily basis from the late 1920s

Only “very largely” on a daily basis – but not therefore done throughout, and only from the 1920s - when John St. John was published back in 1909 which gives the inference that A.C. took many years to get going in his stride.  But why should this be? 

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
through to a year or so before he died.

It seems odd that the practice stopped “a year or so before he died”.  He was ill in the autumn of 47 right at the end, this is certainly true, but he only first met Grant a couple of years before that when he appeared to be in full possession of his faculties to have tutored him & would presumably have been able to write in his diary?

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Have you read them?

I have not read (studied) them for about 15 years so may be unclear on some particulars.  However, again, Crowley’s diary-keeping, even if “very largely” was therefore not done throughout "on a daily basis", which appears to be what he recommended (in the same way as daily adoring the sun in Resh)  – Or if not daily, how often is one then advised to do so?  A more worthwhile monthly précis for example (as suggested by Jastiv) does not appear to have been recommended.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Though by no means as copious as the Cefalu diaries, I wouldn't regard them as "sparse".

If you don’t regard them as “sparse”, perhaps you would describe them as “skimpy” instead (pace the c.1904 revelations)?

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Some might quibble at the term "Magical Diary" to describe these diaries; there is not a great deal of what some might regard as formal magick in them, but on the other hand where does one draw the line between "magical" and "non-magical"?

Regarding whether it is a “magical” or “non-magical diary” is in a sense dealt with when Crowley gave a definition in MiT&P that “every intentional act is a magical act”, which gives a pretty broad canvas on which to operate – although what minutiae may be of relevance (e.g., as Jastiv mentioned what one had for dinner) is more open to debate, particularly as well in view of e.g., any 9-month period of assessment. 

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
There are diaries extant for specific Workings such as, for instance, the Amalantrah Working of 1918, or the sex-magical diaries during the American period which were published by Grant and Symonds in The Magical Record of the Beast 666.

"For specific Workings” did not come within the ambit of my discussion.  I accept these would probably (need to) be treated differently.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
You imply here that people who keep a Magical Record are doing it because Crowley said that they should. What grounds do you have for this assumption?

Well, there are obviously at least some of them who do.  This is a fairly safe assumption, as far as these things go.  I did not say “everyone” would, but I’d imagine it is a reasonably large proportion especially when one takes into account Crowley also as given as a secondary influence e.g., via Bardon, Wicca, Grant, etc., etc.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I have rarely kept a Record on the lines of Crowley's recommendations; I keep it as I see fit, and for my own purposes, and I credit others with the intelligence to make up their own minds on the matter.

I am sure you do, and my remarks were not intended as a personal criticism of anyone’s diary-keeping habits – good luck to them as I hope I made clear, including if they also wish to keep electronic versions.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
So being "cutting-edge" and keeping a Magical Record are somehow contradictory?

You are putting words into my mouth here!  I did not say they were contradictory (i.e., in any way mutually exclusive), just thought it worth mentioning that despite being forward-thinking and revolutionary in some other respects they seem quaintly old-fashioned in their fairly strong recommendation on the stringent necessity of keeping a (daily) diary.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
However, shamen (for example) don’t (keep a magical diary).

So what?

So, I’m simply saying (or repeating what I said earlier) that aboriginal, pre-historic or more third-world practitioners of magic(k) do not rely upon a verbal (written) account and it should not by implication be viewed as essential in any way, although it may be useful depending on the individual circumstances of the diary-keeper.  In a lot of cases it is not so much left to personal taste but touted as a raison d’être & implied that the lack of the practice of carrying it out in some way diminishes someone’s achievements and/ or standing as a magician.     

Keep On Keeping On,
N. Joy


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Markus
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05/02/2013 5:46 pm  

I see that keeping a diary is also an essential part of Autogenic Training. This was first developed in the early 1930s and it is unlikely that Schulz would have been acquainted with Crowley's work. I believe it is quite possible that although Crowley was one of the first to stress the importance of keeping a daily record, this idea would have asserted itself even without AC. When the time is ripe, such matters tend to manifest independantly from each other all over the place.

Markus


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obscurus
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06/02/2013 10:32 am  

"I wrote it in the way of a spur, a goad, in an attempt to move the thread forwards & onward", something like the mule team driver cracking the whip across the arse of the beast pulling the wagon? "mildly provocatory"?

And I cut my flatulent dogs off their raw meat treats for nothing? A foul breeze blowing through the forum was not my imagination?
I'll skip to the best part, the trite ending.

Oodely, Noodlie, Doodlie,

and lest I forget....

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Love is the law, love under will.


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jamie barter
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06/02/2013 4:37 pm  
"Markus" wrote:
I see that keeping a diary is also an essential part of Autogenic Training. This was first developed in the early 1930s and it is unlikely that Schulz would have been acquainted with Crowley's work. I believe it is quite possible that although Crowley was one of the first to stress the importance of keeping a daily record, this idea would have asserted itself even without AC. When the time is ripe, such matters tend to manifest independantly from each other all over the place.

Thank you, Markus.  I think it’s true that with increased education and literacy, the time would be ripe for such a manifestation over the last hundred years or so although it doesn’t necessarily mean it would be appropriate or correct to do so, but as I suggested it all comes down to a matter of personal taste & inclination in the end.

"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
"I wrote it in the way of a spur, a goad, in an attempt to move the thread forwards & onward", something like the mule team driver cracking the whip across the arse of the beast pulling the wagon?

Something like that, but not exactly.  (Sometimes just a little light flick is all that’s required to get things moving, you dig?)

"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
"mildly provocatory"?

A slight departure from perhaps the more usual “provocative”; I hope you will see fit to pardon my (inexact) English.

"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
And I cut my flatulent dogs off their raw meat treats for nothing? A foul breeze blowing through the forum was not my imagination?

The dogs of reason?  Can make a hellish stench, ‘tis true…

"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
I'll skip to the best part,

Yes, skip to the loo, my darling!

"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
the trite ending.

The best part!  And worth skipping everything else for, as I feel sure you'd agree.  My, how I do love these cerebral exchanges…

"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
Oodely, Noodlie, Doodlie,

I was unaware that I had the honour & privilege of addressing Ned Flanders here!

"obscuruspaintus" wrote:
and lest I forget....
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Love is the law, love under will.

Lest, or rather let’s, not forget that, of course.  (“The slaves shall serve” is also another rollicking good one from the pen of the Master, don't you know!)
 
Yum Tum Tiddlie I-Bojangles,
N. Joy


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obscurus
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07/02/2013 4:41 pm  

Finally someone who appreciates my sense of humor!


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ignant666
(@ignant666)
Tangin
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Posts: 3240
09/02/2013 7:05 am  

See- we can get along! In between "as brothers fight ye"-ing.
A warm lashtal moment; accusations of trolling & misconstruing AL & the writings of AC to follow no doubt.
There is so much snow here in Ghetto-Upon-Hudson (an hour south of Aesopus Island in much better weather)  right now.


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michaelclarke18
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09/02/2013 3:49 pm  

I sincerely regret that this thread had not been deleted and/or locked soon after the opening post all those weeks ago.

Torture.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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09/02/2013 6:46 pm  
"michaelclarke18" wrote:
I sincerely regret that this thread had not been deleted and/or locked soon after the opening post all those weeks ago. Torture.

Yes. It's been pretty bad, hasn't it? We can elect (actually, we can will) to receive the "You are ignoring this user" emblem. Its mode of use is to resist clicking on Show me the post. But it's pretty hard to voluntarily (in our heads) chop off, and not even open up, any given thread, because we never know who's gonna say something smart - as opposed to egocentric drivel.

I have it in mind to never again open up that thread running under the title of "Sandbox: Secrets."

This thread, right here ("THE MAGICAL DIARY"), has had a few (note "few") good statements, mostly being announcements about, "This is what I do," and "This is how I feel or think about it," as if anyone else ("readers") cares two toots or a pennyweight about what anyone else ("posters:) does.

Similar to The Great Gun Control Frenzy now underway in a country near you: It's not the threads that run downhill, it's the individual posters who truck in the degradation.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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Posts: 4087
10/02/2013 2:21 am  

I don't really understand it when people complain about threads the way that Michael Clarke has. I mean, newsflash: you don't have to pay attention to them if you think them so appalling.

This particular thread has in my opinion been of little value because, quite simply, if you regard keeping a Magical Record of value then you will; otherwise you won't. The original poster seems to have been seeking to justify a personal decision not to keep a Record when in fact it is a personal decision that needs no justification. Innit?


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Azidonis
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10/02/2013 4:31 am  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Innit?

Basically.


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