Mind vs Materia (Jason Miller)

Mind vs Materia (Jason Miller)

I run into people who have had such a strong emphasis on either mind or materia, that they have difficulty incorporating the other, or even treating it as “real magic”.

Now, just to be clear lets define terms for this post…

MIND: By mind, I am talking concentration, visualization, and the direction of what most would call “energy” (or chi, prana, lung, ruach, light, fluid, magnetism, whatever not-quite-right-but-good-enough term you like). In short anything that does not involve something that is audible or visible to someone standing next to you.

MATERIA: Here I am not just talking about herbs, bones, candles, oils and items in your botanica shopping cart, but also spoken words and occasionally ritual gestures. In short I am talking about the manipulation of stuff that is visible or audible to someone else in the room.

When I send out lessons that have heavy instructions for visualizations, meditations, or (gods forbid) the manipulation of energy, I almost always get push-back from people who feel that all such practices stem from new age nonsense, and are therefore to be avoided. I will also get push back from people who are exclusively sold on the “spirit model” and who believe that spirits are not just a part of magic, but are in fact the only part of magic. Any talk of mind or energy being manipulated by the Sorcerer is therefore new age woo-woo or worse… Golden Dawn based magic.

On the other hand if I send out a lesson that demands people use specific tools and get their hands dirty with herbs and oils, there is always someone that wants to just visualize everything or “do it in the spirit body“. This even extends to speaking invocations and chanting mantras aloud. “Can’t I just think the words?” I am asked pretty much at least once every cycle*.* Do you want thought results, or ones that actually manifest here? If so then speak your words motherf*@&r!

Last week I was chatting with Ben Joffe about a magical text from Tibet that is entirely about magic done with the visualization and inner heat or (gtummo). Now, you can deny that this is magic all you want but operations for casting glamours, controlling minds, reversing curses, and collapsing houses fits the definition of Sorcery for me just fine. You may also be thinking “yeah, but that eastern magic… BAH! Magic is magic is magic. There are different traditions of course, but this giant dividing line of east/west is ridiculous. When we are talking mechanics of how the stuff actually works all that is irrelevant. Its like saying “well those are eastern physics, so of course gravity works differently“. So let’s ditch the idea using visualizations or directing bodily energies is new age claptrap right now. It is a part of magic all over the world and has been.

Let’s also get rid of the idea that everything is in the mind, and that believing in spirits or the power of herbs is superstitious nonsense. Poppycock! I can name a half dozen instances of spirits behaving in ways that run counter to the beliefs of the people working with them, and spells that did nothing until hard materia was brought in to provide a physical link for manifestation. The death of the “psychological model” came about by people comparing it to other models and finding it wanting.

If you want to maximize your effectiveness at magic, take a look at the whole picture and see where your work might be lacking. Is it all in your head? Get that shit out there! If you are looking for more than “feelings” as result, you’re gonna have to do more than just think hard. Get off your ass and make some offerings to the spirits. Oil up those candles and burn them over the petition. Chant the mantra loud and for a long time. Think it’s all outside of you? Start logging some time on the meditation cushion and learn to concentrate. Do inner heat until the astral sight is so strong that you can’t see across the room. Start peeling back the layers: physical, etheric, astral, psycho-noetic, mental, causal…. yeah, I know it’s not in your favorite grimoire – but this ain’t the 1600’s. Stop LARPing.

Sorcerous Synergy

Its not just about having the whole spectrum of magic at your command, each side of this false dichotomy effects the other. Having trouble seeing those spirits even though you have followed the instruction’s to the letter and spent 2 months mortgage on ebony scrying stands? Try inner heat practice. Three weeks of consistent practice and you won’t have to wonder if spirits or the astral are real. Not getting results from wanking off to your sigil? Place it on a candle that is burned on top of your targets clothing, and dusted with the same herbs and powders that you then blow on their door stoop. Is Belial not answering? Have you learned how to actually concentrate and direct the will? Not delivering the familiar he promised? Maybe you just don’t have the chops to communicate or see it. Meditate, work the energy of the body.

And another thing: sometimes the very long arduous and downright tedious preliminaries and methods can be circumvented if you have a regular practice involving mind and energy. If you think that I am now yet another sorcerer recommending a shortcut, you are wrong. Long periods of chastity and fasting, followed by hours of repetitious prayer are in fact the shortcut for people who are not doing the work every day.