The concept for this group blog of sorts grew out of a conversation that Frater RO and I were having about magickal bits. Shocking, I know. At some point the comment was made that I would make a good Christian and I responded in a rather ranting way that I would all except for that "myth of guilt". From there this took on a life of it's own. What follows is my theory on the whole concept of the myth of guilt and how it impacts our magickal and mundane lives. Though I am coming to see that the myth is actually a golem fed with fear and self loathing. So I say it is time to take down that golem as it has become an out of control thought form.
Each of us views the world through our own rose colored and tinted glasses. Our personal world kaleidoscopes are made up of a combination of our group and individual experiences. Come down the rabbit hole with me and I will show you around my personal whirligig of colors and patchworks.
While I would really like to blame the whole concept of guilt and original sin on the Catholic church, I am afraid that they stole that idea too. In my philosophy class we are studying Plato and Socrates. In rereading these text again (after 20 years) , I realize that the myth of guilt predates Christianity by at LEAST 400 years. When I read about Aristotle's illusion of the senses I cannot help but feel the disenfranchised nature of that prospect. Here these folks were talking about reverence to the Gods being directly a part of fear. Then they go on to state that since our senses can deceive us they must be "bad" by association. This is where I think that the artificial fracturing and delineating our parts of ourselves as "good" or "bad" starts to come into play. But those boys did not have a corner on the market. They too stole it from somewhere deeper and older.
Spin the wheel on the kaleidoscope a bit with me and see it whirl. Oh we are starting to get somewhere, but lets dig a little more.
I think that at the nature of primal man is a need to belong and to be accepted by the tribe. 20,000 years ago that was the leader of the tribe and today that has morphed through time into our church tribal leaders. Somehow that has transferred into a prospect that "if you do not do what we tell you" God will reject you. But how did all of this psychosis come about? How did we get to where we are today? How can we take down the Goliath of guilt? Hold on let me load my sling shot...
I am a big picture gal, so we will work with the macrocosm first. The first misconception is that we can somehow offend Divinity. Which is utter bullshit. It, the cosmic IT, is too big and too vast to be impact by anything that we personally do. No matter what you do in 100,000 years no one will notice - especially not Divinity. The Earth will absorb and recycle you to a point of oblivion. Any atrocity you can come up with will be absorbed and erased in the deep and vast well of time. Poison a river or blow up the Earth itself and the universe will shrug and make more. Anything that would be offended by mortal mans toiling is neither Divine or Omnipresent. As a devoted hippy, I can assure you that caring for the Earth is nothing more than enlightened self interest. We need her more than she needs us and the universal IT, does not need ANY of us.
Whack take that you golem of guilt. Hold on I am reloading my sling shot...
So how does the golem of guilt really take hold at such a deep level? Well, I think that it starts with basic transference. Our first forms of Divinity are mom and dad. That is our whole world as we are tiny. They are our representatives of the great "not us". It is really our first point of differentiation and where the illusion of separateness begins. As we get older we are told that we need to behave or else. That "or else" is a primal fear sort of "or else" that involves our days as hunters and gathers. It is in our DNA as a genetic memory. Or as a huge thought form for us magickian types. If you were cut from the pack or punished by being placed outside of the group, you were risking a strong chance of becoming lunch for a predator. Hence acceptance is not just a human emotional need, but part of our survival instinct. Now we are seeing how that golem of guilt was created. It was fed with fear and thrived on it. You are what you eat and this thing has had a steady diet of this crap for Aeon's.
So today as we grow up in our "civilized" society our parents Divinity gives way, for many of us Westerners, to a larger representative of Divinity. This comes from our respective churches and government leaders. There is an overt and not so subtle tact that they "are the only way to Divinity." It is bullshit, pure and utter manure. Here is where the golem really gets fed an all you can eat power grab smorgasbord of: fear, self loathing and general CRAP.
Over the last tens of thousands of years of society people have been faced with a task - namely how to keep "order". This is our drive for homeostasis - or simply trying to keep the status quo. So rules are set up with the goal of keeping it orderly. All sorts of rules. Rules about everything from: what God, Gods and Goddesses look like, to when we worship, what we eat, who we sleep with and where we bath.
Some of these rules have real purposes and I really must thank the Bahia's for illuminating me on how the different religions actually resolve themselves into the big cosmic IT. It is a simple concept of the division of Divine and Social laws. The Divine laws never change. How we are supposed to treat each other with dignity and respect are part of all religions. Why? Because that part IS Divinely inspired. But again in an enlightened self interest sort of way. Then comes the mutable social laws. Eat pork or don't eat pork? Why do they change. Because at some point in the time of Moses, pigs had trichinosis and eating them would kill you. So eating them was prohibited, for a damned good reason. Then they didn't have the disease and it was fine. Ham sandwiches and bacon for all in the time of Jesus. Then they had trichinosis again, no more pork for the Muslims. From a microbiological sense it is quite reasonable. From a religious continuity sense - it is like multiple personality disorder.
Though at the heart of all of these rules and laws is something entirely sinister. What started out as an attempt to lay down some guidelines, has become a flat out power grab. As a former Catholic school girl (yes I have the skirt to prove it) I never really bought into the whole thing that God would punish me for being human and having a human body. We are made in his image and he loved us most right? So I was not a big fan of the vengeful God thing. In fact I call bullshit. It makes no sense in the bigger sense of Divinity.
I am sure some of that comes from my mothers quiet refusal to give me any guilt about body explorations. When as a child, she would walk in on the rather frequent self explorations she would just quietly leave the room and let me be. Even when this took place in the middle of a large formal dinner party she just picked me and my 2 year old self up and put me in my room. No guilt and no grief implied. Most importantly in that was no trauma over being human and an acceptance of me as me. It might not always be the right time and place for it, but it and me by extension was never "bad."
So imagine my shock and chagrin when I was placed in Catholic school and the whole concept of body and flesh is bad started coming into play. I looked at the nuns like they were absolutely crazy. When I went home and asked my mother about it, she blew off the whole concept and deftly pointed out that nuns were not experts on the body or sex - unless they had a lot of explaining to do! So I was spared the grasp of that particular golem of guilt, but many I know were not.
Spin the whirligig again we are getting close now and I have a really big rock lined up on that golem.
Somewhere in the microcosmic application of these so called "social laws" someone saw a chance for some power. If you can tell another or millions of others, with whom and when they can love you have stolen a great deal of another's personal power. If you can control how and who people sleep with then you can control a great deal about a person. There really are very few things above the procreation drive on the needs scale. Here is where it gets really twisted. After a while that status quo becomes such a social force that people internalize their humanity as something "bad" and hence feed that guilt golem based on fear and self loathing. To them that perpetuate this on other humans knowingly - damn them to their own hell. And I mean it.
As for me I say to that guilt golem of fractured humanity - "You out of my universe!" And mean it. Whack with a really big reality ROCK!
But we are only half way there. Nature abhors a vacuum and that big sucking golem hole must be replaced with something. Hence the nature of the magickians work comes into focus. Aren't the colors of the kaleidoscope fantastic! Every color of the rainbow personal and cosmic is whirling in infinity. The goal here is to embrace the spinning colors and harness them into a laser beam of pure Will.
So here we go. Wheeeeeee!
As magickians it is our job to shake our personal etch-a-sketch and make a new world view. That does not mean that everything will change. Only those parts that are not conducive or respectful to our souls must change. I will take it a step further and say that we are all Divine creatures COMPLETELY Divine in ALL of our aspects. To steal a line from the Gnostic Mass " There is no part of me that is not of the Gods."
"Whack!!"Take that you banished golem of guilt!
In my humble opinion we are here to elevate our souls into a straight line with the cosmic IT. We must shed this nonsense of separateness and especially the concept that our humanity is somehow flawed from the get go. I say that despite the whole "the senses are bad theory", the ancients were on to something. I can cut the rotten part out of the apple and eat the rest. Socrates concludes that justice alone should be our guide. I would add to that a page from Crowley's book when he is commenting on Liber Oz... "Do only that which is honorable".
One of the biggest challenges to most magick is the magickian learning to trust themselves enough to just let it work. Different myths of guilt become problematic in making changes to our lives that are necessary to the Work. If you allow the guilt to get in the way of you reaching for a bit of the better things then we start putting that myth before our Work. Many times I have heard magickians tell me that they cannot do this or that because it is asking too much of the universe. Instinctively I know that is dragging some form of the guilt and self loathing golem out into the light.
If in the course of our actions we step on toes or hurt someone, then appologize sincerely and mean it. Then, this is important - move on. Do what is honorable and try to correct your course of action so that you learned from that mistake. To me that is respectful of the person you unintentional hurt. Beating the crap out of yourself and wallowing in guilt serves no purpose. Well except to feed a rather nasty golem.
To quote my favorite gay Jesuit uncle:
"You only get out of suffering what you put into it..." So give it up. Hell give it up for Lent if you must.
Another of his great quotes:
"Yea thou I walk through the shadow of the Valley of Death, I don't have to build a condo there." Gods I love that man.
There is a reason that we learn to do divination and magickal due diligence as part of most systems early magickal training. We learn to try to find our HGA, or some form of that, early on. Then we just set the tuning fork to the cosmic frequency and learn to dance!