Book Learning

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Post by Rhea Kaye 08.04.22 15:14

For some strange reason, it is now quite in vogue to insult and diminish occultists who are eager to learn from books.
I’ve noticed this blooming everywhere, and wanted to take the time to share a few thoughts about it.
I have found that the vast majority of people who do this - diminish the people who proudly learn from books - are at a point of stagnation in their lives and practice, whether they are able to admit it or not.
Often, these people pretentiously take the name of popular deities or figures in a spiritual path rather than coming up with a more honorable thing to call themselves, or somehow have dishonest intentions.

Here is my own personal issue with this popular, low effort, and very lazy argument - there is a vast difference between cultivating the skill of conducting your own personal practice and ritual or learning how to do something like sense/manipulate energy, and actually initiating yourself.

My counterpoint: Soooooo many people love to accuse Asetianists in particular of being these clueless bumbling idiots who don’t know how to embrace any form of spirituality beyond a book, but they seem to do this 100% of the time solely because something Luis Marques presented in his works directly contradicted their precious beliefs about their abilities or reality as a whole, which severely threatens their ego. The Aset Ka is attractive to them (per usual) but only as long as they don’t have to confront several truths vital to understanding Asetianism in the slightest. If you attempt to patiently explain why and how their experiences and things they are claiming don’t make sense, you get the typical snotty, insufferable arrogance of, “well some of us actually learn in the real way and not just from books.”
The issue is that Asetianism and all things it encompasses requires initiation, and you cannot self initiate in any traditional system. We go through organic initiations of course and one could say we do indeed undergo self initiations as well, in a way, but that does not and cannot happen without some form of contact with the Asetian Flame. You do not, and cannot, have access to that Flame without contact with the official works, which are not mere books but metaphysical gateways.
That being said, you cannot do something like read the AB for example and decide all of a sudden that you have the power to initiate others through Khenmet because you had that dream one time and it feels good. You cannot decide, a random person off the street, that you are now a voice of Anpu or Aset because they’re talking in your head. In other words, the tradition stands on its own and making up your own nonsensical fake gnosis does not suddenly mean it will become part of that current of energy. It does not mean you will unlock all the important keys that people with many decades of experience patiently advise you to take your time on because those things take much time.

For example, I can’t just decide randomly out of nowhere that I am going to learn pathworking through the Kabbalah, as well as how to work with each Sephirah, but without any books because I am The Most Advanced Witch Who Ever Lived and my Magick is Supreme. It doesn’t work that way. Put in an extreme way to highlight the point, that is how people end up completely bullshitting entirely new spheres and making bizarre theories, and leads to an incomplete or downright inaccurate approach. The Kabbalah was once shared only through initiation and was even highly limited and elite in terms of who was allowed access to it. If you wish to learn Kabbalah, the least you could do is humble yourself and pick up an official book on the matter instead of fabricating answers.

You aren’t born having every answer and key to the universe. And sure, you don’t find every answer and key in any book. Then again, when has anyone in the community ever argued that?

You aren’t born with all the answers and sometimes the only way you can learn something new about the occult that you didn’t already know is through - a book, or several hundred.

Personally, I feel like this argument against books got started by people who actually don’t know what they are doing, or talking about, but their experience of reality is something they will hold fast to until the bloody, bitter end. They will do all manner of mental gymnastics and egotistical excuses in order to keep believing that their way is the right way and if a world-renown Master directly contradicts their ideas about being an Ultra Special Witch or Experienced Vampire, suddenly people who “read books” are “armchair occultists”.
Call me whatever you will, but I believe in this funny little thing called “I am not an expert of the occult or metaphysics, and have much to learn”. With no Master teacher around who can directly pass down initiations, as it happens in secretive Orders, what does that leave? Grimoire study, along with the very obvious facet of exploration and getting your hands dirty, which we shouldn’t have to keep explaining to people in every debate.

After being around for some years I just can’t help but feel fed up with it all, with the pretentious arrogance of those who follow popular occultism, either knowingly or unknowingly. People who at every turn display Main Character Syndrome - every faint inkling, idea, and opinion becomes Cannon in any serious path to them.

Asetianism and other traditional systems are not altered by your will. They are things you have to actually focus on for decades and lifetimes, many times without direct and immediate satisfaction.

Even if you are some kind of intermediate student, you don’t just suddenly become advanced through your own desire to do so alone. Once again, some kind of initiation is required. I assume that is why the serious covens and Orders (the private kind by the way, not the ones you received a stupid Facebook invitation to) are guarding actual, serious power. What do you think they would be able to guard or shield if you can just decide to become an adept off the street using google and YouTube alone?

It feels like ranting into the void to say all of this, but I felt it needed to be said, as I have grown weary of people who are so desperate to hold fast to their pretentious perception of power that they are unwilling and unable to entertain a perspective and argument that tells them they are not, in fact, receiving direct word from Aset Herself. (Insert eye roll here).

You might make the argument that past life experience matters. I would argue that many people confuse past life experience for a futile hope that reaches no further than their own misfiring brain - you are not an Elder, or a powerful Serpent, you are not a past life pal of some obscure deity and true maturity often includes putting down those pointless blind hopes generated by the ego in favor of having a clean slate for honest learning. I have seen so many people claiming to be Asetians online that I also felt this needed to be said.
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Post by Ramla-Meryt 12.04.22 12:53

You aren't ranting into the void at all - these words have weight. I am sure that there are individuals here who share your conviction on the matter.

I definitely agree that while book learning is not the be all and end all, it is definitely important.

As something of an example from my own experience, I have recently helped someone publish a work focused on a goddess that is both dedicatory and academic. It focuses on an idea that is rooted in cultural transmission. However, the theory in the current 'mainstream' of both paganism and history is dismissed, and already there have been multiple examples of the book's premise being mocked. This coming from individuals who have not read the book. How then are they to judge it properly without doing so?

If someone buys a book, disagrees with the content and makes a criticism based on a grounded position of assessment, that shows fair judgement. If someone refuses to read a book and dismisses the theory without even examining the evidence presented for themselves, how are they aware that what is within does not shed light on previously unexplored pathways or conclusions? It is a strong point of frustration.

To connect it to Asetianism, I would relate it to people dismissing and mocking the public words of the Order that are available to us without actually reading the books personally or making an attempt to connect to the material with a genuine heart. If someone reads the works and decides that they are not for them? Fair enough. But trying to make it appear as though they are standing on a pedestal of rightness without engaging with the material strikes me as nothing less than the worst manifestation of ego.

I would much rather read a book and find my worldview adjusted - as has happened multiple times and will no doubt happen again - than carry on blindly assuming that what I have decided on is the be all and end all.

I agree on the past lives perspective. Taken outside of Asetianism as well, what happened in the past might shape or temper to some degree present perspectives but, at the same time, the lived now is far more significant. People will not regard you based on what was but on what is. (That is aside from the absolute cringefest of 'Akashic Records Diploma!' and 'Past Life Spells' that I see advertised on a semi-regular basis).
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Post by MysticLightShinethForth 29.04.22 9:27

I recall someone saying that to the occultist study and practice are equally important.
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Post by Jonathan 29.04.22 10:02

I agree on all points being made actually. Good contributions with valuable thoughts brought forward by all of you. Sometimes it makes me sad that many of the gems from this forum are to be lost in the void as there are valuable lessons here oftentimes better than some book collections, that could certainly be of worth to future generations of occultists that will follow us.
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Post by Ramla-Meryt 30.04.22 13:16

Jonathan wrote:I agree on all points being made actually. Good contributions with valuable thoughts brought forward by all of you. Sometimes it makes me sad that many of the gems from this forum are to be lost in the void as there are valuable lessons here oftentimes better than some book collections, that could certainly be of worth to future generations of occultists that will follow us.

Wait, is the site shutting down? Or are you instead referring to inactivity?
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Post by Jonathan 30.04.22 17:49

I meant mostly inactivity as well as how content has moved mostly to social media and not many people are sharing articles and discussions from forums anymore.
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Post by Ramla-Meryt 30.04.22 18:34

Jonathan wrote:I meant mostly inactivity as well as how content has moved mostly to social media and not many people are sharing articles and discussions from forums anymore.

Thank you for the clarification, I was concerned. You do make a good point - I will make more of an effort to share things here in future.
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