May 24th, 2007
|02:29 pm - Thoughts on Theurgy, Transhumanism, and Magical Practice|
For the last several years, I've become increasingly interested in Greco-Egyptian magic and late classical occultism in general. My current focus of interest is theurgy, which academically is a fairly contentious subject, since there is no precise definition of what it means, much less descriptions of how it was performed. My best understanding is that is was a system of spiritual practice designed to simultaneously allow the practitioner to gain access to divine wisdom and understanding and to at least briefly become divine.
Naturally, this idea appeals greatly to me, since I have long maintained that "playing god" should be one of the core goals of humanity. In any case, I'm in the midst of reading various texts about theurgy, and am eager for any good recommendations of either scholarly of serious occult books on the subjects. Currently, my major sources are: Witches, Druids And King Arthur by Ronald Hutton, Hekate Soteira: A Study of Hekate's Roles in the Chaldean Oracles and Related Literature, by Sarah Iles Johnston and this excellent site.
Thinking about this has made me consider the role of magic in my life and how it relates to my interest in transhumanism. The answer, unsurprisingly is that my interest in both is identical. On the purely practical side, I am interested in the uses of both magic and technology to extend my physical and mental capacities, and more importantly, on a spiritual level, I am interested in using both magical techniques and transhuman technologies to enhance my spirituality. More specifically, I am seeking to understand and encompass more of the divine, and am interested in both using various spiritual practices and (when they become available) technologies for improving my intelligence, memory, and ability to access and process information to enable me to understand both the physical world around me and the spiritual dimensions of existence.
Sadly, using of various transhuman technologies will need to wait until they become available, but recent discoveries regarding memory and performance enhancement drugs, electronic implants, and possibly even magnetic fields, indicate that the first steps in serious intelligence enhancement are no more than 5 years away. So, for the moment, I'll be investigating theurgy and related practices. Ultimately, I most interested in combining spiritual practice with posthuman technologies and seeing what occurs, but that likely won't be for 10-15 years. In addition to reading, I'm also preparing to embark on the series of planetary initiations found in the excellent Graeco-Egyptian Magick by Tony Mierzwicki.
Current Mood: contemplative
A few thoughts--take them for what you will:
If it's Intelligence Intensification you're interested in, I cannot recommend highly enough the Eight Circuit Model of Consciousness, particularly Robert Anton Wilson's classic "Prometheus Rising".
Re: The Graeco-Egyptian stuff, I've not done it in years personally, although I know that both sannion
and his girlfriend erl_queen
are both very
involved in that stuff, particularly the Greek. They also both live just down the highway from you in EUG ;-)
We should really all talk sometime about the Willamette Valley Pagans & Occultists getting together every few months...
This is a fascinating subject to me. Thank you for the links.
I have long maintained that "playing god" should be one of the core goals of humanity.
The difficulty with humans becoming Gods is that it usually involves humans becoming more powerful without a concomitant increase in wisdom, compassion or even self-restraint. Given humans utter failure to use their immense power responsibly so far, I think giving them even more power would probably be a very bad thing.