The concept of the Ego, having arisen from the psychoanalytic cults, and firmly embedded into the total field of experience, serves to maintain the mind-body seperation which is so fixed in our experience. Much of New Age so-called thinking appears to be concerned with removing or transcending the ego - behind which, it is implied, is a Higher Self. The fiction of Higher-Lower Self maintains the divide between 'spirituality' and everyday experience. Personally, I prefer the idea that we are each a multiplicity of selves, or, as Tantra has it, a squirming ball of Shaktis (desire-comlexes) interacting (but not all at once) with Shiva (or Kia), the divine spark of consciousness. Another useful concept is that of, rather than 'overcoming' the Ego, shifting from a condition of Ego-centredness, to that of Exo-centredness. In the former, the self is maintained by rejecting all that it is not, of being seperate to others. For the
Phil Hine latter, the self is constantly renewed (and modified) through a process of engagement with others.
As shown above, the varied practices of a psychotechnology such as magic produce various changes to the nervous system - the basis of ASCs and accelerated learning. One of the most ancient (and contraversial) means of inducing these states is via the use of drugs. The use, by "primitive" cultures, of agents such as Mescaline or Peyote has long been a matter of interest for cultural sciences, yet the rise of drug culture in the west met the repression and criminalisation. Drugs which historically, have been controlled by Societies' power holders are sanctioned tobacco, alchohol, barbituates;the consumer-acceptable choices.
It would be naive to understate the influence of drugs in Western magick, yet there is much moralising done on the subject, and an insistence that ASCs gained via drugs are not as valid as other routes. Research into the use (and abuse) of psychotropic agents indicates that users experience the same effects as Illumination brought on by other techniques. However, an American researcher, W.N. Pankhe notes that the hardest work may come after the experience, in the effort to integrate it with everyday life. Witness, for example, the number of Acid casualties who end up as Born-Again Christians. LSD was, after all, investigated by the CIA in the '50s as a possible 'brainwashing' agent. If you want to look at some of the modern research into Illumination with Psychotropics, check out the work of Stanislav Grof.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.