Manly P Hall: excerpts on ceremonial magic


This opened my eyes a little. It could be controversial for those of us who dabble in the magic. Hall says that much of it is derived from the dark magic that put Atlantis under, and I am very much into the prosperity psychology…
Your thoughts?

Manly P Hall: excerpts on ceremonial magic. From The Secret Teachings of All Ages.
…Among the Qabbalists of the Middle Ages were a great number of black magicians who strayed from the noble concepts of the Sepher Yetzirah and became enmeshed in demonism and witchcraft. They sought to substitute magic mirrors, consecrated daggers, and circles spread around posts of coffin nails, for the living of that virtuous life which, without the assistance of complicated rituals or submundane creatures, unfailingly brings man to the state of true individual completion. Those who sought to control elemental spirits through ceremonial magic did so largely with the hope of securing from the invisible worlds either rare knowledge or supernatural power. The little red demon of Napoleon Bonaparte and the infamous oracular heads of de Medici are examples of the disastrous results of permitting elemental beings to dictate the course of human procedure. While the learned and godlike dæmon of Socrates seems to have been an exception, this really proves that the intellectual and moral status of the magician has much to do with the type of elemental he is capable of invoking. But even the dæmon of Socrates deserted the philosopher when the sentence of death was passed. Transcendentalism and all forms of phenomenalistic magic are but blind alleys–outgrowths of Atlantean sorcery; and those who forsake the straight path of philosophy to wander therein almost invariably fall victims to their imprudence. Man, incapable of controlling his own appetites, is not equal to the task of governing the fiery and tempestuous elemental spirits. Many a magician has lost his life as the result of opening a way whereby submundane creatures could become active participants in his affairs. When Eliphas Levi invoked the spirit of Apollonius of Tyana, what did he hope to accomplish? Is the gratification of curiosity a motive sufficient to warrant the devotion of an entire lifetime to a dangerous and unprofitable pursuit? If the living Apollonius refused to divulge his secrets to the profane, is there any probability that after death he would disclose them to the curious-minded? Levi himself did not dare to assert that the specter which appeared to him was actually the great philosopher, for Levi realized only too well the proclivity of elementals to impersonate those who have passed on. The majority of modern mediumistic apparitions are but elemental creatures masquerading through bodies composed of thought substance supplied by the very persons desiring to behold these wraiths of decarnate beings…
…The visible universe has an invisible counterpart, the higher planes of which are peopled by good and beautiful spirits; the lower planes, dark and foreboding, are the habitation of evil spirits and demons under the leadership of the Fallen Angel and his ten Princes…
…The most dangerous form of black magic is the scientific perversion of occult power for the gratification of personal desire. Its less complex and more universal form is human selfishness, for selfishness is the fundamental cause of all worldly evil. A man will barter his eternal soul for temporal power, and down through the ages a mysterious process has been evolved which actually enables him to make this exchange. In its various branches the black art includes nearly all forms of ceremonial magic, necromancy, witchcraft, sorcery, and vampirism. Under the same general heading are also included mesmerism and hypnotism, except when used solely for medical purposes, and even then there is an element of risk for all concerned. Though the demonism of the Middle Ages seems to have disappeared, there is abundant evidence that in many forms of modern thought–especially the so-called “prosperity” psychology, “willpower-building” metaphysics, and systems of “high-pressure” salesmanship–black magic has merely passed through a metamorphosis, and although its name be changed its nature remains the same.

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