I was recently asked my thoughts about a well-known magical system, one I have never participated in and know only from literature and its members. My reply was simple: heroic systems attract those who want to be supermen but in the end often end up broken at the bottom of the mountain they tried to scale so quickly. Jean Dubuis would often say that the word “Patience” should be inscribed above the door to every alchemist’s laboratory. The same is true with other occult practices. The idea that we can create a magical system of degrees that require very specific forms of psychic phenomena before one can move to the next degree is wonderfully enticing in theory, but impractical and even dangerous in reality. Each person is different, and guidelines need to be set, but it will never be certain when a skill or ability will develop or show itself. Often, the most dramatic displays of psychic or magical ability if you will, occur spontaneously during emergencies. Psychic research has demonstrated that the greatest amount of failure happens when subjects are working too hard, when they fail to relax, when they are attached to the outcomes and thereby block the process. As Crowley said, “Lust for results.”
This “lust for results” or failure to relax and allow nature to unfold as it will within our spiritual path can create serious mental and physical illnesses. These have been detailed in our IHS Monograph ‘Pathology of the Sublime’ and discussed in detail at several seminars. While it is very easy to induce psychic illnesses it is not always so easy to repair them. However, it is easy to avoid them, particularly if one is not seeking to become a super being or save the world, but simply wanting to “know thyself” as the ancient mystery schools put it.
It is interesting that in Tibetan Buddhism, Vajrayana these illnesses are known as Lung Disease, or Air disturbances. Again, Dubuis discussed this at length at various times, particularly in relation to Enochian magic and certain theurgical practices. We have discussed this in our IHS Monograph “How to Study Enochian Magic” as early as 2004, and again in our seminar and Study Guide “Pow-Wow: Traditional Folk and Grimoire Magic”.
In summary, and of interest to us as qabalistic students and practitioners, these diseases center around the heart and create not only stress, neurotic thoughts, nervous disorders, as well as breathing and circulatory illness. This is no surprise as the heart is associated with Tiphareth and the Vice of Pride – or the belief in one’s own superiority and greatness. It is here that students get ‘mission driven’ to save the world, reveal the new magical, occult, spiritual, or political system that will save the world – or so they think. It is also no surprise that here is where personal suffering is at its height as the practitioner is given a very real understanding of their actual place in the cosmos, hence the experience of the ‘crucifixion’ given to this sphere of activity.
At the root of all ‘meditator’s disease’ is spending too much time in your head, overdoing practice, visualization, ritual, and an obsessive need for perfection and perfectionism. In Elemental terms, too much Air, and not enough Earth, what amounts to not being grounded in daily life. There really is such a thing as an ‘air head’ and this is it, only it can really become a very serious mental and physical health problem. Exercise, eat more protein, don’t overdo the breathing exercises, and keep your feet on the ground, so to speak.
For more information on this important topic see our monographs listed above at Amazon.