In my previous blog on the Syrian Refugee crisis, I proposed resorting to Sorcery to find out what the best solution ought to be. This naturally leads to the question: can Magic be used to put such a solution into effect?
Tag Archives: Martinez De Pasqually
News today that some scientists have theorised we may be living in The Matrix. This is based on the idea that the fact that cosmic rays always hit earth with a specific maximum energy of 1020 electron-volts, this somehow implies that this limit is controlled from outside by mysterious beings who are running this Universe as a simulation.
However: just as Neo and his friends had the Agents called Smith, Jones and Brown to spoil their fun, so we have Agents of our own called Thomas Bayes and Pierre Laplace! I.e. in all their theorising, the scientists have not once accounted for how probable it is that these results can also be explained by the Universe not being a simulation.
Nevertheless, this has prompted me to write an occultist’s explanation of the whole deal. The Matrix has been described as a parable of Gnosticism in the past: however, this is a rather superficial analysis. In actual fact, the viewpoint of the fictional millieu evolves from a Gnostic to a Neo-Platonic setting as the Trilogy progresses – as I shall explain below.
The basic premise of Gnosticism is that humans are enslaved within the material universe, which is a prison. The ultimate aim of existence is therefore to defeat the spiritual forces which are enslaving us, escape from the material universe, and re-take our place in the “real” or Spiritual Universe.
At once there are some immediate parallels with The Matrix, to wit:
|The Architect is the Demiurge, the creator of the material universe, and hence ultimately responsible for enslaving humankind.|
|The Agents are the Archons, who actively work to prevent us breaking out of the material universe.|
|The Oracle is Sophia.|
|Neo is the Logos, who helps us poor souls break out.|
|The Red Pill is Gnosis, the key whereby to achieve spiritual freedom.|
|Zion is the Pleroma, the real Universe where everybody is free.|
However, this straightforward correlation to Gnosticism was complicated – along with most other things in the Trilogy – by Matrix:Re-Loaded and Matrix:Revolutions. The main problem is the concept of the existence of rogue sentient programs such as The Merovingian and his chums, the Key-Maker, Seraph etc – and ultimately Agent Smith himself. These characters – who exist within the Matrix, but are independent of the forces controlling it and thus follow their own agendas – don’t really have parallels in Gnosticism – but they do in certain Neo-Platonic frameworks.
The Oracle remarks in the second film that these entities are in fact left-overs from previous versions of the Matrix. This basically mirrors the cosmological view espoused by Martinez De Pasqually – the founder of the Elu Cohens and by extension an inspiration behind Martinism – in his Treatise on the Reintegration of Beings. To wit: the so-called Demons of the material universe are in fact spiritual beings that did not fit in nicely in with previous emanations of the spiritual universe. Thus they were consigned to this universe as a sort of prison.
In the third film, this parallel is taken to its logical conclusion when at the climax, the forces of the Matrix, instead of fighting against Neo and friends, ask Neo to defeat Agent Smith, the quintessential rogue sentient program for them. Neo’s prize for doing so is that the war is ended, those that want to be released from the Matrix are freed, and everyone can now play nicely with each other. This is the scenario envisaged by De Pasqually i.e.
|Neo becomes “Yeheshuah,” the mystical Jesus, sent to save the material universe.|
|The Architect is still a demiurge-type figure – the “Supreme Architect of the Universe” as De Pasqually has it – but now he has become a Neo-platonic demiurge – i.e. one that is willing to be merciful to the souls of the virtuous who are trapped within the material universe.|
|Agent Smith – collectively – represents the various Demons, whom “Yeheshuah” (Neo) has to defeat and drive back to ensure that the inhabitants of the material universe (the Matrix) have the chance to achieve their spiritual potential.|
Thus, the Matrix Trilogy collectively represents a development from Gnosticism in the first film, to Martinez De Pasqually style Neo Platonism in the third film – with the second film being a transitional mish-mash between the two.
A Golem is said to be an artificial helper, given life through various magical enchantments so that it acts like a sort of automaton. There are several accounts in the form of hearsay evidence that such beings were created in real-life, although it now appears that the most famous one – the Golem of Prague – was almost certainly a literary invention of the early 19th century.
But what of the others? By gathering the various bits of lore together, we can make the following generalisations:
“… even if they do say ‘Jehovah.’”
First of all, creating a Golem is not something anyone can do. Regarding the Golem of Chelm, alleged to have been created by Rabbi Eliyahu, one source stated:
“And I have heard, in a certain and explicit way, from several respectable persons that one man [living] close to our time, whose name is R. Eliyahu, the master of the name, who made a creature out of matter…”
In other words, Eliyahu was not just any rabbi but a Baal Shem Tov (“Master of the Holy Name”), i.e. someone who had been initiated into the Unwritten Qabalah – the true pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton.
Coming from a Hermetic Qabalistic background, I wonder whereabouts the genuine Unwritten Qabalah figures in the process of initiation. I am led to the conclusion that, given that the Unwritten Qabalah – the true pronunciation of YHVH – is the highest secret of the Qabalah, it can be reserved to no other place than the highest grade of the system. Hence a true Baal Shem Tov is what we would consider an Ipsissimus.
Even if Eliyahu’s status as a Baal Shem is a coincidence, the creation of a Golem would nevertheless still require a high degree of mastery of the magical formulae implicate in the Tetragrammaton, as I shall explain infra.
Feet (and everything else, for that matter) of Clay
The Golem is said to be created from the dust of the Earth, or more specifically “clay,” just like Adam, the first man. Likewise, the Golem when destroyed returns to dust – either when de-activated by its creator, or when confronted by a Rabbi with superior Qabalistic skills. The Golem of Prague, for example, was said to have been created from the clay of the local river.
This, however, is a blind. In Hebrew, the word for “clay” is itself Adamah – from the root Adam meaning “man” (hence the name of the first man). Hence, to say that the Golem is created “from clay” is a Qabalistic cipher – the true material out of which it is formed comes from within Man himself.
In a dreadful episode of the otherwise classic X Files, a Jewish character tries to explain to Mulder how the Sepher Yetzirah is a spell-book containing the secret to creating a Golem. What is ironic is that not only should the Jewish character have known better, but so should Mulder – who, according to the show’s canon, had previously been the author of a thesis entitled Serial Killers and the Occult.
What is in the Sepher Yetzirah though is a description of how the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet each relate to the human body. This is how the story about the Sepher Yetzirah containing the instructions to create a Golem arose. If (potential sorcerers reasoned) God formed the human body with the aid of the twenty-two letters, might it also not be possible to create an artificial body in much the same way? That is to say, by working Qabalistically with each of the letters, thus creating the Golem by means of a twenty-two-fold enchantment.
Here we begin to see the real (i.e. initiated) meaning of the Golem story. It is not simply a story about a magical automaton, but was a blind for a technique of Qabalistic Magic involving the twenty two letters of the Hebrew Alphabet. Indeed, several eminent occultists have explored this theme in the past couple of hundred years.
Martinez De Pasqually
Martinez De Pasqually (1727 – 1774), founder of the Elus Cohens, prescribed a ritual for initiates of his order: every year, starting on Easter Sunday, they would over the course of twenty two successive days perform an invocation of each of the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet. The details of the ritual were published by the late Robert Ambelain (1907 – 1997) in his book The Practical Kabbalah, which was then translated into English by a certain Piers Vaughan who published it on the internet. Unfortunately Ambelain’s French publishers took amiss at this and forced Vaughan to withdraw his translations – although not before a great many people, myself included, had safely downloaded them. 😉
Ambelain’s commentary on this ritual is however very superficial. As to the reason for actually performing the ritual at all, he says without elaboration that it is to obtain “kabbalistic super-powers.” It only takes a little more analysis, however, to see some of the deeper potentiality. The rite begins on Easter Sunday – the day of the Resurrection, and hence a day representing re-birth and new life. It focuses on the twenty-two letters, which as we know from the Sepher Yetzirah are attributed to the formation of (amongst other things) Man. Thus the whole ritual can be seen to be a personal rite of creating a new spiritual life for oneself. In this light the Golem thus formed is not a clay monster bought to life; it is a new, spiritually re-generated version of the Initiate himself.
Bardon (1909 – 1958), described a system of associating letters, their magical or spiritual properties, and the parts of the body in his book The Key to the True Kabbalah. Bardon uses the German alphabet, rather than the Hebrew one, although there seems to be a phonetic correlation between the German letters and their equivalents from the Graa version of the Sepher Yetzirah.
Viewed in the light of what I have discussed regarding the Golem, one can argue that Bardon’s system is not merely to enable the magician to perform various thaumaturgic feats through a sophisticated method of letter pronunciation – but ultimately to re-create or transform the magician himself.
The Rainbow Body
Bardon’s method is notable in that colour-association is used for each letter. Thus if one were to take this to its logical conclusion, if one were to visualise oneself with all parts coloured according to the respective letter, one would end up with a veritable “rainbow body.” A method of how this might be visualised using more Golden Dawn attributions is described in an article I wrote for the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition in 2005 entitled “Healing In The Hermetic Tradition.”
By coincidence – though not necessarily by much – the term “Rainbow Body” refers, in Tibetan, to the ultimate attainment in the Dzogchen Tradition. By taking the esoteric practices known as Thodgal to their ultimate conclusion, it is said to be possible to self-liberate into a non-material Body of Light – which event is also said to be accompanied by the appearance of rainbow-like phenomena, even to an observer. Thus, the Rainbow Body is effectively a vehicle for attaining immortality.