I’d love to hear your thoughts one day on what you think is the best approach for an absolute beginner to start at.
A person can gain tacit knowledge, knowledge of how to do magic, from perception of veridical experiences. I can physically balance myself because I take a step and observe I am standing upright. Feedback about my position tells me how to position my body. That real-time feedback that tells me I am still standing is mathematically dynamical and chaotic mind you.
Tacit knowledge about how to perform magic is similar to the intuition of how to do Algebra by working out problems and checking if you got the right solution, and when you did not, you observe the steps someone else did to see how they got the right answer. The problem is how to do magic is not like how a person can work out a problem on a whiteboard.
Imitation of the experiences that give rise to the tacit knowledge and intuition comes from the art and techniques that elicit and evoke experiences and intuition. That is the practical purpose of initiation. It creates a uniform sense of culture, facilitates generation of experiences, and structures and develops ways of perceiving those experiences so that a person knows how to “see.” Without spontaneous experiences or an immersive culture to learn from, magic is hard for beginners. I learned magic like I learned to speak, so it is like asking me how to be fluent in my native language. My suggestion is to find a magician to enchant you or to teach you in person. Otherwise, you likely will not get far. Most magicians with magic that works will not teach everyone, however. Real magic is mostly inaccessible because it is contingent on the perception of veridical experiences… Many people lack the sensitivity to have those experiences, or they lack the intuition to know how to manipulate magical things.
Not all Chemists are teachers. I think the assumption that magicians are teachers is like thinking a Biologist is interested in being a Biology teacher because he is a Biologist. Many occult authors whose books are sold in stores like Barnes and Noble, like Jason Louv, have a background in journalism and/or have been editor’s, so their careers are based more on writing than magic. Professional authors who write about magic should be regarded primarily as writers. Someone who is a science journalist, for example, is not a scientist.
Most Americans are aliterate, lazy, greedy, and corrupt, so facilitating magic has severe moral and ethical problems. In addition to that, it is not fulfilling because Americans’ lack of discipline makes it a waste of my time. Not everyone is a good student of magic, but because niche markets frequently fool people into thinking magic is egalitarian in ways nothing else is, ironically for profit, everyone believes they can be students or scholars of magic. The accessibility of occult markets now is mostly because of profit. Many markets, organizations, and groups are interested in using occultism as propaganda for cultural and political changes or are interested in profit. The idea in Chaos Magic called Assualt on Reality, which started from Hakem Bey’s anarchist poetry, is an attempt of that paradigm to change cultural norms. That is political. Most occultism is more concerned with political power, culture relevancy, and profit than any spiritual or practical benefit people get. It is corrupt…