I am way too tired to put links to everyone. Suffice to say that yesterdays debate has broken out amidst the blogs and Jack, RO, AIT, Balthazar, Jow, and nicely summed up by the Scribbler who laid it out very nicely in a post that I 100% agree with.
We are at this point having two separate debates:
1. What is the place of energy work in magic? what is energy work? how essential is it?
2. What is the appropriate level of synchretism or cross fertalization in magic?
I am tired of #2 for now. People know where I stand in general and I am preparing a post to flesh that out in more detail soon.
#1 is more interesting at the moment.
Patrick Dunn made a bold and pretty cool statement that I partly agree with: “The vast majority of talk about magical energy is bullshit. That which isn’t bullshit is that in which “magical energy” is a metaphor for something that isn’t bullshit.”
The first part I disagree with. Most talk about magical energy is not bullshit, it is however a metaphor for something that isn’t bullshit.
There are different types of energy out there and different ways of working with it. I recently have a series of three lectures on advanced energy practice at Mystical Tymes in New Hope PA and one of the excercises I did was to open up peoples channels and have them run energy from different sources. You can do this right now. Simply stand up and face east. Feel the psyco-magic flow that is linked to the path of the sun and the rotation of the earth. Now face north and do the same thing. You will feel a shift as your etheric body and mind automatically switch into locking in the magnetic flow on the planet. Obviously you can tap into specific sources of energy for different things. Some are obvious like planets and rivers and such. Others less-so such as particular pure lands or mandalas that act as batteries of power for specific work.
Now Frater AIT, who started this whole thing, has stated ” I consider “energy work” to be an umbrella term that covers meditative practice that involves the energetic bodies and the spiritual energies….and thought this was a pretty standard understanding. Energy work isn’t just visualization-based exercises; for example, the Incantations we utilize in Enochian Magic have a powerful effect on the energetic bodies and are potent energy work. They require no visualization at all, only vibration and meditative trance. I don’t know of any spiritual traditions that exist completely without it. The African traditions certainly utilize it as well, with active sacrifice and prayer done to align one with the God/Spirit that one is working with.”
But this doesnt quite sound like what he meant originally, nor what most people mean when they talk about energy work. I agree with his assessment that various types energy is involved in almost every ritual, prayer, offering, etc that you make in magic and also that the subtle bodies are effected by meditation and prayer. This however is not really energy work. Your breath is effected by running on a treadmill, but you wouldnt call it “breath work”. On the other hand the sources like Mantak Chia and Charles Luk are directly dealing with the manipulation of different types of energy using channels and structures in the etheric body. There is a big difference between noting that meditation has an energetic effect and actually going into the channels and playing with that energy consciously. Its the difference between ringing turning on a light switch and re-wiring the house.
I think that this type of work is important. It certainly is to me. I also think that certain goals can only be attained by it, and other goals are attained much easier with than without it. I think the same about spirits, infomation magic, and psychological magic too. They all have a place. However not every system deals with them directly and that does not invalidate those systems. It just means that they do what they do and you do something different.