I recently met an interesting person and we got into a rather lengthy conversation. I learned that he has been studying Hinduism for many years and spent long lengths of time in ashrams. His preferred method of enlightenment is through independent study combined with the occasional stay with a guru in order to sift through and organize the knowledge he gained on his own. The longest of his visits was around a year in duration. He travels the US and considers himself to be a wanderer.
While speaking with him, I got to the topic of divinity within man. My new friend told me several stories and then mentioned one of his favorite techniques in Hinduism. One can invoke certain Gods when in need of help, usually invoking the God whose particular attribute would be most helpful to you. I’ve never considered the psychological significance of this before. Putting aside whether these Gods ‘physically’ exist or not, this is a very interesting practice of self-empowerment.
That night I randomly flip open Peter J. Carroll’s ‘Liber Null‘ to find the following:
Metamorphosis may be pursued by seeking that which one is not, and transcending both in mutual annihilation. Alternatively, the process of invocation may be seen as adding to the magician’s psyche any elements which are missing. It is true that the mind must be finally surrendered as one enters fully into Chaos, but a complete and balanced psychocosm is more easily surrendered.
The Magical process of shuffling beliefs and desires attendant upon the process of invocation also demonstrates that one’s dominant obsessions or personality are quite arbitrary, and hence more easily banished.
There are many maps of the mind (psychocosms), most of which are inconsistent, contradictory, and based on highly fanciful theories. Many use the symbology of god forms, for all mythology embodies a psychology. A complete mythic pantheon resumes all of man’s mental characteristics. Magicians will often use a pagan pantheon of gods as the basis for invoking some particular insight or ability, as these myths provide the most explicit and developed formation of the particular idea’s extant. However, it is possible to use almost anything from the archetypes of the collective unconscious to the elemental qualities of alchemy.
…the aim of invocation is temporary procession by the god, communication from the god, and manifestation of the god’s magical powers, rather than the formation of religious cults.
I enjoy reading several books at once so after I got my dose of Chaos Magic I flipped open ‘Cosmic Trigger‘ by Robert Anton Wilson, which I’ve been re-reading. It’s definitely worth reading books over in order to understand its subjects in a new light. Now, there isn’t much significance that this book has similar ideas to Liber Null because they share the same origins. Nonetheless:
The Shaman also experimented extensively with Crowley’s method of achieving and transcending religious visions. This is based on Hindu Bhakti yoga and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, with a typically Crowleyan difference. In bhakti yoga, you form a love-bond with a particular divinity, dedicate every waking moment to Him (or Her) and invoke that Divine Being by every method possible, especially vivid visual imagination. Loyola’s method is similar, except that you have no choice about which divinity to invoke. Crowley’s twist is to carry this through until you experience a real manifestation of the God, and then immediately stop, and start over with a different god. After you have run through three or four divinities in this manner, you will understand Nasrudin’s Donkey (the neuro-programmer) and you will be increasingly skeptical about everybody’s reality-maps, including your own.