An Interview with Israel Regardie

I’ve known about Regardie for some time, and although I don’t consider myself a very avid reader of his books, I am aware of his close connection to institutions like the Golden Dawn, and Crowley himself. So, I decided to check his “final thoughts” to see what he had come to conclude at the end of his life about magic, humans and the esoteric.

What did I learn from this book?

Mostly I got references to other works. The book doesn’t go very deep into any specific axioms or techniques, but it mentions parts of the story of Regardie and the Golden Dawn that can serve as a starting point for further research. In my case, I found it interesting to read about Wilhelm Reich, and one of the next books I’ll read will probably be Wilhelm Reich in Hell, or The Murder of Christ. Also mentioned was the book Undoing Yourself by C. Hyatt, another one I added to my list.

One of the things I found useful is Regardie’s insistence on doing psychotherapy before doing actual magical work. The same thing I remember asking the Ayahuasca people in Barcelona, “how can I be sure that this won’t release any potentially negative aspects of my personality?” Don’t worry, they said. You don’t have any demons inside. I still to this day think that those people were absolutely stupid and unaware of the knowledge they were working with.

The main part of the book consists of an interview with Regardie by C. Hyatt, and the second half or so consists of introductions that Regardie wrote to other books. Those introductions, while interesting, didn’t provide much in terms of references or understanding. I would say 90% of the value of the book comes from Hyatt’s interview.

Would I recommend this book to other people?

Yes, at least the first part of it. Like I said, if nothing else, just for the amount of references and mentions to other authors and their works.

Interesting tidbits

  • Speaking about the flesh: “Lastly, in order for it to be mastered, it must first be fulfilled and respected; no repression, no denial, no punishment, no nonsense.
  • The great mass of people are quite willing to drift along. They want no part or have no idea of voluntary forms of evolution, self-induced and self-devised.”
  • So the point is, don’t bother looking for the Secret Chiefs. If you are going to be of any importance (…) they will somehow look you up.”

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