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.
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.”
Continuing with the trend of “aliens from our space” (instead of, you know, outer space), these are my notes for a classical work on the topic of “folkloric aliens”. That is, the theory that aliens have more in common with leprechauns and the lady virgin of Fatima than with Yuri Gagarin or astronauts exploring the cosmos.
This book is fascinating because it puts together a good number of reports that seem to demonstrate the power of the author’s argument. I, at least, am convinced.
Chapter 1: Visions of a parallel world.
1952 – Discovery of the sarcophagus of Palenque and the mayan astronaut. Supernatural beings in religion. “It is only the wind, making the stars sway“. Japanese UFO history, and the phenomena linked to social revolution and population uprising. Beings that come from the sky, or from another contiguous dimension. Biblical cherubim, or the sadaim, daimonas. Paracelsus himself describes these creatures in detail. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elemental (Oh, noteworthy: the statue of Undine rising from the waters. I just find it very attractive. Hot lady.) Reports of strange creatures observed through our history. French villagers in 1954 saw two beings wearing what appeared to be diving suits and huge helmets, standing next to a huge machine/device that they quickly boarded, disappearing when the witnesses attempted to approach them. Beings with huge heads often appear in these reports. Human eyes, small stature, huge heads. And they sometimes paralyze the witnesses with a ray gun or another tool they use to point with. Witnesses which, by the way, are not necessarily unreliable. More often than not, they are respected individuals, not buffoons. Why are these images part of our development as a race?
Chapter 2: The good people.
Encounters with…space cakes? A man is given three wheat cakes by italian-looking creatures who disappear on a saucer-shaped object which was hovering on his yard. Fairies in Ireland have also been giving people food. The Gentry, the fair people. UFO nests are magical circles? Scandinavian legends talk about elf-dans, the circles where the fairies dance. Sometimes, as in a particular ufo landing that took place in the US, the creatures ask for earth materials. A bag of fertilizer. Information about agricultural techniques. Just plain clean water. Or animals. “We are peaceful people. We only want your dog”. In Scotland, they are the sleagh maith, the good neighbours. The Secret Commonwealth.
Chapter 3 The Secret Commonwealth
More reports of creature sightings. There seems to exist a clear parallel between the ufo reports and the stories about fairies, dwarves or mound people (see: New Views of the Origins of the Tribes and Nations of America, by Barton). I am thinking now, where did Crowley said that thing about “today they call them angels or demons, tomorrow they will call them something else”. Is that even a real quote from Crowley? Back to the book. The author states what he calls “my basic contention: the modern, global belief in flying saucers and their occupants is identical to an earlier belief in the fairy-faith“. Some classifications put these into one of four groups. These groups being: The angels, the demons, the dead and the elemental spirits.
Were these beings simply legendary visions based upon a real race of pygmies? Did a race of short dark-skinned people really existed? Dwarves? Picts? Conall Gulban and the amhusg. The mothman. Springheel jack. Glowing red eyes.
Chapter 4: To Magonia… and back!
The Benny and Betty Hill story. A french lady attacked by black hands without arms. Soldiers carried away by the clouds, taken by the wind. People that have been taken by the fairies. Sometimes, they return with gifts. Sometimes, it is gold. The fairies also sometimes exchange their babies for one of ours (us, humans). A changeling. Of interest for us is the fact that changelings appear frequently in German fables – see German Changeling Legends. Time seems to pass slowly for those who visit fairy land. The story of Rip Van Winkle, with similar legends appearing in other cultures. For instance, the story of Wang Chih, holy men of the taoists. In his case, it was not just hours that have passed, but rather centuries. He was entertained by two men playing chess in a grotto, and when he finally returned home there was nothing left of the world he once knew.
More creature sightings, in Argentina and Brasil. In 1957, Antonio Villas-Boas was carried by four men into an egg-like craft that hovered above his tractor. He was then introduced to humanoid blonde woman with whom he had intercourse. Soon after, he was given his clothes back and left in a “waiting room”. The witness tried to steal a clock, but he was pushed aside by the creatures. They then give him a tour of the ship, lead to a metal ladder and told to get out.
Outside entities mating with humans. It’s been recorded in ufo stories, fairy abductions, and even in the Bible. Often it is written about angels taking brides from among the humans. Even the gods seem to have a predilection for our females. “Women, saith the Apostle, should pray with their heads covered, because of the angels“. In Scotland, succubi or Leannain Sith tempt the youth. Familiar spirits are mentioned often in medieval occultism. A good number of witches were cast into the fire due to their association with the lascivious familiars.
Frater Sinistrari, born in Italy in 1622, relates the story of a married woman who found herself the target of constant temptation by a succubi who would appear as a most fair young boy with blonde hair and a blonde beard. He started to act more violently when he saw the lady didn’t reciprocate his attentions. He stole her jewels, took her baby and deposited the cradle on the roof of her house, or upset furniture and cutlery. In one occasion, an entire dinner table with plates and food disappeared, with another one appearing in its place, also filled with foods, but from another world. The guests were able to eat this food nevertheless and satiate their hunger, before it disappeared and in its place the original table was seen.
In medieval times, a great amount of literature was produced dealing with the particulars of copulation between humans and demons or spiritual creatures of an evil kind. In classical literature, some of the most well-known heroes are born from these copulations: Romulus and Remus, Alexander the Great, Caesar Augustus (according to some authors, that is). The book of Genesis says that “the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair“. Of their children it is said that they “became mighty men which were of old, men of renown“
Chapter 4: Nurslings of Immortality
Knock, Ireland. August, 1879. Figures in a meadow: the virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. John. The figures were so life-like that a woman tried to hug the Virgin’s feet, but her arms only were able to grasp the air. Holograms? Then, miracles begin to take place. Healings are also associated with the UFO phenomenon. The virgin of Guadalupe.
Airships seen all over the US. Captain James Hooton reported that he had seen the ship landed, and was able to approach it and speak with one of its occupants, who was doing what appeared to be repair work. The machine, very much mechanical, took flight and was gone in no time. In another case, in 1897, Constable Sumpter and Deputy Sheriff McLemore, witnessed a couple of perfectly normal looking individuals, one man with a long beard and a woman with an umbrella. They were standing by a big cigar-shaped object, and the aeronauts even offered the gentlemen a ride to bring them to a place safe from the rain. They refused, however, saying they “preferred to get wet“.
These objects are described as even having anchors. One of these objects was dragging a rope which caught on a rail. A man descended the rope, but upon finding people waiting under it , he decided to just cut it and depart with the ship.
What if all this was a plot to manipulate people, to make them believe in things which just keep them preoccupied? More reports about sightings. Holograms theory. An elaborate hoax on the human race? Are we being used to breed some form of hybrid species, to help beings in another dimension advance their own evolutionary line? Why the presence always of this sexual component – the aliens want to breed with us. All of this is, at least until now, pure speculation. Is a religion on the making? Are these modern UFO incidents the preamble to a new mythology?
Currently, most of the organizations that try to resolve this mystery just group a huge number of people around themselves. Big sums of money and time are spent just keeping these groups alive. While not much real research is done, or the results are often fruitless. Instead, we should focus on small groups, working hard to report and classify local incidents. First-hand reports, gathered fast, published fast. Shared with every other group. Theories: 1) the whole thing is purely a mental creation of our own brains. Somehow, we manage to bring our dreams into the real world. 2) Mental entities use our brains to manifest dreamworlds into our real world. 3) Some other intelligence uses these dreamworlds to have fun, or try to teach us something. Or manipulate us?
Facts: 1) Since the 1940s there’s been an increasing number of reports. Of an increase variety. 2) the saucer myth is remarkably similar to the fairy-faith lore of some European countries. 3) The entities reported by the witnesses are usually fairly “biological”. They look slightly different to us, but still humanoid. 4) The behaviour of these entities is ridiculous and borderline absurd. 5) Apparitions follow the same model of religious miracles which have been for long been put aside in a different category.
The author believes these propositions to be true: 1) An advanced race coexisting with humans might behave in such a way that we would consider to be absurd. 2) If we don’t acknowledge our ignorance about the nature of time, our theories and explanations will remain forever incomplete. 3) The UFO reports contain all the signs of a new mythology in the making, perfectly suited to be used to manipulate society.
In which the author includes a very extensive list of UFO reports, from 1868 to 1968. Of great interest for the serious researcher. A nice catalog for the reader, it reinforces the idea that these incidents are not isolated cases of “wackos” getting lost in the night. It would seem that there is a solid reality behind these reports.
What did I learn from this book
Well, I have to say that although this doesn’t seem like an illogical idea once you meditate upon it, the truth is that it had never occured to me to try connecting the reports of modern alien abductions with old reports of european fairies, or with religious experiences such as the one that took place in Fatima. When you start paying attention to the small details, it turns out that there are more things in common than one would expect. It seems very much likely that all these incidents are part of the same category of experiences, owing their origin to the same source. What is this source? That is the part that is not yet understood by us. Is it noise, or is it purposeful? What is talking to us, what is reaching from the other side?
My personal interest would be: how can we establish some reliable channel of communication? Or, can we contact these entities willingly, if they truely exist? Would it be wise? Can we talk to them, and have them explain to us more things about our universe? Can we obtain knowledge to build a better world?
Here’s a book I had trouble putting down. I’m a sucker for strange ideas, crazy explanations of daily life events, and theories which border the insane.
John Keel is the author of the now famous Mothman Prophecies, a book in which I first realized that there are very strange things taking place in our world. If only half of what Keel writes about is true, then it seems we are and have been visited by alien entities for an unclear purpose, entities whose reality, purpose and modus operandi go against everything we would consider rational.
In the beginning, there was nothing. The spirit of god floated above the waters.
And then, Charles Fort wrote his Book of the Damned. Thousands of people across the world read about mysterious objects that fell from the sky, lights that accompanied volcanic activity, and appearance of creatures that belonged in old mythological folklore, not in our highways and mountain deserts.
John Keel analizes and develops Fort’s ideas, refining them it even further: The strange, the oddities, are coming to our world not from Jupiter, Alpha Centauri or Zeta Reticuli. They are part of our world, simply existing in a separate dimension, a different vibration, or some kind of parallel earth which we can’t perceive because of our limited understanding. Isn’t the spectrum of visible light only a small fraction of the entire range of wavelengths that fly around at any given moment?
Ok, so here we have a clear example of how limited our understanding of the universe really is. If we only believed what we can see with our eyes, we would not know about x rays, infrared, radio signals…what other things can we not perceive from our human perspective? What is our brain really capable of, what is our collective brain network capable of?
Hungry lights in our skies
UFOs are not something new. Strange things in the sky have appeared in almost every age of our human evolution. The gods came on their chariots, and demanded sacrifices. We are property, Fort said. The ancient mayan gods, or the summerian gods, or the chinese divine kings, all required from humans labour and gold. And blood. One of the things that has always intrigued me is the fact that sacrifices and pain were always part of religious adorance. The film trilogy Matrix made the whole world think about this possibility: we are here only to provide a service to other entities. In the film, humans provided energy to the machines which kept them under a simulated reality. Conspiracy theories involving reptilians or “illuminati” sometimes blame them for large-scale conflicts such as terrorist attacks and warfare. The attacks of september 11th are sometimes thought to be a sort of ritualized sacrifice, with an undetermined -to us- purpose. Some say that it was a blood sacrifice to make the gods happy, some others wonder whether the powers-that-be are not required, in exchange for power and wealth, to carry out periodical executions to feed the hunger for energy of some discarnate entity which supposedly they’re working for.
Yes, really. Religious stories from South America, Africa or the Middle East always seem to involve this common theme: we are here to work for the gods. In ancient times, the gods walked around us. They were the giants of the bible, they guided the ancient peoples, taught them agriculture, astrology, the wisdom of the heavens. But they didn’t do it for free. Controversial author Zacharia Sitchin claims that his intepretation of the summerian texts reveals that the human race was genetically created by these gods, who demanded from us that we mined the gold that they required for their planets. In Colombia, indians crafted jewelry from gold, elaborate necklaces and rings that they later simply threw into the waters of lake Guatavita. Why? For the gods, apparently.
Yes, my bad.
I would say the main ideas of this book are:
Ancient civilizations have existed, civilizations of which we have no clear knowledge and which possessed a degree of technological sophistication that we today would not attribute to them, given how far back in human history they existed.
All the records we can collect from these civilizations appear in our most ancient religious texts, which were written thousands of years after the actual facts, and by then these real entities were idolized as gods and worshipped as creators. Maybe they did engineer our species to serve a purpose, or maybe they simply used their knowledge to subdue humans and force them to labour in their behalf.
Parallel to this idea, we also have the idea that modern UFOs and ancient stories of burning trees and fire raining from the heavens have more in common than we think. Of a rather psychic and not physical nature, incidents of alien abduction, strange sea serpents or even mediumship have all in common with the sightings of the children from Fatima, or the visions from Moses and his burning bush. All through our history, the unknown has been visiting us with relative periodicity. And it adapts, it changes according to our needs. Before, it was the gods. Then, it was the fairies. Then, it become the UFOs. Soon, it will change again, reborn as a new fear emerges in our collective consciousness.
Would you recommend this book to other people?
Quite definitely. While I would not call myself a true believer, I have to admit that recently I have been exploring the theory that UFOs are coming from inside us, from inside our consciousness, perhaps messages from entities which belong to a different realm of existence, and which manifest through our physical brain, getting entangled in whatever thoughts we have as individuals and as a collective. We no longer see aliens that wear scuba suits, the alien has evolved alongside our society.
It makes more sense to me to believe that this phenomena of UFOs and other oddities in our world come from the same world, but a separate plane, than the idea that the visitors come from different planets or galaxies altogether, that they decide to materialize in front of truckdriver Joe who is then subjected to inordinary medical examinations and sometimes even forced to procreate with female humanoids to spread our seed to the most distant corners of the cosmos.
If there is anything that I have to criticize is the final chapter where the author paints a very grim image of the present world – or as present as it was back in 1988. “People are shooting each other for parking spaces!” he says. It seems more dramatic than necessary, and the author failed to see the irony in his closing statements and the fact that he himself included some examples of failed doomsday prophecies that plague our historical archives. No, I don’t think we are that bad, mister Keel. I think in fact we are in a better position in these days than we were 100, 1000 or 10.000 years ago.
That doesn’t discredit the theory of inter-dimensional psychic aliens, but it’s something that the book could have done without.
The book, as a series of sentences (probably good for google searches)
Charles Fort – Hochstetter syndrome – Pyramids around the world – Strange tools carved in ancient times – Ancient advanced races – Lightning from the gods – Animal mutilations – Are we a farm? – Cryptozoology and ufo sightings – How to serve man – Aliens own the earth – Artifacts left by the ancients – Wilhelm Reich – Missing historical records – Are we engineered? – Millenia-old stone carvings – Brainwashing and hypnosis – Seances and alternate realities – Drunk interdimensional travelers – The rise of new-age thinking – A doomsday message
Wondering whether I could achieve trance states using sound and breathing instead of psychedellic drugs, I ended up reading a copy of Cave and cosmos, a book by Michael Harner. Harner seems to have became somewhat famous for having written The Way of the Shaman, a book in which he apparently introduced a framework of techniques and practices which many shamanic traditions shared around the globe.
I can’t talk about the style or the content of Way of the Shaman, but I will tell you what I learned from Cave and Cosmos.
Traveling with the spirit.
The basis of this work is the belief in the reality of a spirit world, be it really spiritual or simply a mental space, the foundation of this book is the idea that using our imagination and external tools such as drugs or drumming, human beings can reach altered states of mind in which they can perceive, or see, to different degrees of precision, sounds, faces, other spiritual entities and have entire experiences altogether. So basically, that we can just imagine things and visit a neighboring plane of reality in which things exist independent of our subjective perception. A world of spirits, if you will.
In this world of spirits humans encounter entities that have their own ideas, their own plans and prejudices. In africa they are the spirit of the Tokoloshe, in siberia they are the spirits of the animals and mountains, in Vietnam you find them as the spirit of the ancestors of kings and queens. But all around the world, in all cultures and traditions, we see a very similar set of practices. We seem then forced to come to the conclusion that there is something, a certain knowledge and a certain reality that accompanies this knowledge, surrounding these spirits and inhabitants of the other world.
The world above, and the world below.
After laying the foundation for this spiritual traveling, we then have to analize what kind of places we are able to visit in these other worlds. Where are they, first of all? Above, and below. And right here, among us. An unknown number of worlds, of unknown size, inhabited by mostly unknown entities. How we start our imaginary travels determines where we go. If we go down a rabbit hole, or a hole in the trunk of a tree, we might end up in one of the many underworlds. Xibalba, Tartaros, the final destination is determined by our cultural expectations. Or we might decide to climb the highest tree in a familiar mountain, to find ourselves in the clouds, talking to enlightened buddhas, or any of the archangels, devas or residents of Olympus. Entities of the upper realms can heal, teach and give advice. Entities of the lower realms can destroy, curse or manipulate gross matter. But above and below are only two ways of looking at the world. We could also consider the existence of a middle world, or many middle worlds. Even if these worlds are real, it seems difficult to understand how are they organized or what rules they follow.
Meditation is the main technique used by shamans, meditation understood as using your imagination. Imagination understood as that which you see with your eyes closed.
Using a drumbeat, or listening to a recording of a drumming session, you let your mind wander around. You visualize a place you want to go to, and then use symbols to estimulate the appearance of spirits that you want to talk to. If you want to talk to animal spirits, or to talk with “evil” (mind the quotes!) entities, you want to go “down”. Hell is down, the underworld is under, caves were always the gateways to the world of the deceased. If you climb a tree, or use the rainbow as a launching platform, you visit the high realms, high as much as they are the residence of those spirits who are related to peace, serenity, and wisdom.
It seems that there is no need anymore for formal initiation into cults, religions or any secret societies in order to acquire the knowledge that the spirits have to teach. Buy a drum – no, just download an mp3 file for a drumming session, take a deep breath and lay down with your eyes closed and a firm intention to visit with your imagination the place where you will find the spirits you seek. It’s never been easier. Talk to the spirits. Today, yourself!
But, what is myth? Not just fiction, myth explains the origin of an idea or a physical element. Where do chickens come from. Why does the sun rise in the morning. Where do people go when they die. They explain the creation of a reality. The people that appear in myths are usually supernatural. Because only from the outside world can this one come into being. Or at least, it is of utmost importance because it took place in a very distant far time, a time which is before time.
It proves itself truthful because of the reality we experience. The myth about the origin of the swan’s black beak is true because well, look at the swan! What color is its beak? Where did black color come from? Pigments in bone? What are bird’s beaks made of? *pauses to check wikipedia* Oh, it’s a bone structure covered in hard keratinized epidermis. So a bone with skin. I see. Also, swans don’t have black beaks. It’s their faces that are black. Hell, I fed swans for two months when I was in Scotland and I already forgot about the swans!
Myths explain why you do things. Why do you have to arrange your house in this or that way. Why you don’t plant tomatos during july. Just an example. But why? Because of myth. And myth is so valuable as part of your culture, that you believe in it.
Myths are not fables: the fable of the fox and the grape vine is not real, and it is clearly so. Animals don’t speak, and foxes probably don’t eat grapes. Do they? wikipedia…yes, they do. But they are not very healthy for them apparently.
In some cultures, myths are kept away from the ears of the profane. Fables can be told to children and women. Myths, however, are kept for the religious castes. Today, our myths are called history, but our histories share much with the myths. They explain why we are here, why we do what we do, and we believe in them regardless of the evidence to believe in them (sometimes, familiarity replaces evidence. We believe the earth is round because entities familiar to us also affirm this).
In some cultures , myth is not just knowledge, but rather it gives the knower the power over the thing or creature that the myth is about. The myth of the creation of fire grants the power to start a fire. Hunters who know the mythical origin of the animal they are hunting are expected to be more successful than others who don’t. The people that know the legend about the origin of a healing herb are the only ones that can use to heal.
Magic and prestige of origins
Myths resemble cosmogonies on a smaller scale. They detail the change in the world, which happened in a time and a place that was not ours. Change consequence of each we have what we have today. Since they have a similar origin storyline, sometimes they begin detailing the cosmogony that surrounds the story. How was the universe created, how was the earth created, the animals, the humans, and all the way down to actual kings and families that inhabit the earth. It’s not infrequent to have long genealogies included as the opening.
I share here these notes of mine that I don’t remember now if I got from listening a podcast or watching a youtube video, but I’m doing some housekeeping and the notebook has to be thrown away. I think they are useful and I want to keep them and share them for other people.
Books are repositories of ideas. Maybe they are even alive! Who knows. I have heard of people mentioning that certain books have spirits that you can actually invoke and chat with. For example I remember reading somebody online claiming that the spirit that inhabited the New Avatar Power books had told them that the power it contained was no longer usable, and that it was no longer as effective as it was 20 or 30 years ago. If attention is power, perhaps when the books are known the most, that is when their spells are the most effective, or their knowledge is the most wise.
Here is what my notes say about preparing to read a book. Again, not my original ideas.
Have the author’s name and author’s title printed each on one page, with no other text apart from the names. Stare at them for a little while. What do you think the person looks like? What is his character? Read the author’s name out loud and imagine what they put in the book. What does the title tell you about the content?
Peruse the table of content carefully and slowly. Go from the top to bottom. Absorb the headlines and the basic structure of the book. How do you want to feel at the end?
Feel like the knowledge is food. You have seen the table of contents, now you need to feel hungry for the words. Gaze at the title again, imagine it shining like a sigil. Trace it in the air.
Visualize yourself sitting (or standing, or lying down) reading the book and absorbing the hidden meanings, what hides between the lines. Absorb the concepts from beyond that which is clear. See beyond sight.
Take this visualization into a sphere, make it clear in your third eye, see yourself turning the last page of the book. It is done!
Now you can start reading!
There’s one last part that I don’t understand but I include here in case somebody does.
7. Fold page. Put it out of your view. Consecrate with your blood.
I’m wondering which page do you fold? The title? Why? Put what out of view, the whole book? Consecrate with your blood I guess just means adding a bit of blood maybe to the cover or something I would do would be smear blood over the side of the book, like when you close the book, paint the sides with a colored marker, and then open it again to find a nice colored square around each page. Like that, but blood.