Nonduality and Spiritual Experience

On the Occult Corpus website, DAC claimed that “Anyone who has knowledge of the spirit world and an existence of after death knows their physical time is very invaluable. This is why most magicians use magick. Because the world of matter and energy which we experience on a day to day basis is not as valuable as the immeasurable universe we seek to commune with. When you have suicidal musings not out of self pity but out of an eagerness to experience the rest of the universe, what is wrong with that. In the grand scheme of the universe all humans magickal or not are of the least significance. All there is to gain from magickal arts is to break the grievous cycle of human life.”

In response, I suggested that this is one level of understanding, which is valid. However, once you see that “Kether is in Malkuth and Malkuth is in Kether,” then you begin to realize that the “spiritual” and the “physical” are interdependent and seamlessly One. In Zen, this experience culminates in the realization of nonduality when all of the mundane experiences of daily life are seen to be experiences of the ultimate reality.

A similar realization comes in Christian Mysticism and Sufism and the Qabalistic tradition I mentioned above leads us to the same viewpoint. Human life is incredibly valuable; it gives us the best possible opportunities for developing knowledge, compassion, wisdom, and experiencing the universe through infinite discourses, conceptual systems, and schemas.

When we see that “nirvana is samsara and samsara is nirvana,” then what is there to escape from? Enlightenment is washing your dirty socks. Buddha is your shit in the toilet. Oneness with the Divine is cutting up carrots. All humans are significant, as are all other conscious beings, for we are all the bearers of the universe’s awareness of itself. We all add richness to reality. Each one of us contributes something unique to the universe, a new mode of expression in form and experience. DAC sees the world and experiences things that Adam and Cavalier do not; how wonderful!

Certainly human life is full of suffering, irrationality, injustice, etc. However,in our brief time here, we must determine what we can do to help the human species and the other species of the Earth and what we can do to overcome the roots of suffering so that we see clearly and live peacefully. This is an attainable goal. It is no good to relegate ourselves to a lifetime of suffering when this need not be the nature of our life.

Magic and Buddhism

My good friend Roberto Antonio Valenzuela asked me to comment on this informative article on A Buddhist Perspective on Magic.

My response was the following:

The first thing I should say, Roberto, is that there is no single “orthodox Buddhism.” What is “orthodox Buddhism” depends on where you are; if you are in Tibet, it’s Vajraraya; if you are in China, it’s Ch’an or Pure Land; if you are in Japan, it’s Zen; if you are in Thailand, it’s Theravada.

In some schools of Vajrayana, various “magical” practices, such as those described in the article, are explored. It is stressed that the practitioner is not to become attached to the results of the practices; enlightenment is the goal. In Theravada, most “magical practices” are ignored in favour of ethical cultivation, clearing the mind, and cultivating various states of meditative absorption (jhanas). In Pure Land, the magic of the salvific power of Amida Buddha as allowing entry into the Pure Land of the Western Paradise is stressed. In Zen, these are all considered besides the point; what matters is seeing into the true nature of all things here and now and realizing enlightenment in this present moment.

With that said, some of the techniques described here do correlate more with Golden Dawn teachings than with stresses in the orthodox Buddhisms (the plural is deliberate). For instance, “celestial vision” corresponds to “astral vision,” the power attained by the cultivation of the Middle Way corresponds to the “Way of Balanced Powers,” the way past the extremes of Mercy and Severity on the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life. “Magical Meditation” is also a practice of the Golden Dawn, and the magic of “spirits” through evocation and invocation is an advanced teaching within the Order.