The Other Side and the Occult Thread

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TristramEvans

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I used to read a lot of the Robert Anton Wilson stuff about self imposed paradigm shifts and all that, I was into a lot of weird stuff when I was younger like self-hypnosis.
I started reading his Cosmic Trigger series after the Illuminatos trilogy when I was a teen, but I don't thinkk I ever finished it
 

Brock Savage

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I started reading his Cosmic Trigger series after the Illuminatos trilogy when I was a teen, but I don't thinkk I ever finished it
Prometheus Rising was a big influence on me in my early 20's, I should take another look at it and see if it aged well. IIRC it was basically his doctoral thesis revised for the layman.
 

David Johansen

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Probably why I ditched church eventually. Like my friend who's an ex-Jehovah's Witness: he doesn't follow that faith anymore because technically he'd already have a ticket to Hell, so why bother believe in that anymore?
The Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in hell. You're either reborn in an Earthly paradise or one of the 144000. Otherwise you simply cease to exist.


I should note that I do think the psychological aspects of things have a certain reality. Headology is damn powerful as Granny Weatherwax could tell you.

Not so much mind over matter but mind over mind.
 

3rik

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I don’t believe in most things and I’m not superstitious, but I am scared of Ouija boards. I would never play with one or have one in my house.
I always get the impression playing with a ouija board causes people to scare themselves. I too would prefer to avoid that.

There was a large enough neo-Celtic revival here in the 60s that by now a significant body of people have been raised in reconstructed Celtic paganism. They recently got a state funded Temple of Crom:

View attachment 27915
Crom = The Green Man?
 

Harl Quinn

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I don't go ghost hunting because I'm afraid I'll find something.

Completely serious.
Same here. While I'm a lapsed Christian - in that I've not been in a house of worship for nigh on 10 years now - I have a healthy respect for the Other Side and those entities that inhabit it. And I've also watched enough "Ghost Bros", er, I mean "Ghost Adventures" to learn what NOT to do. Zak Bagans ("The Bagans! We hates it!") has done nothing for paranormal research, and he certainly hasn't done any good for those he's done investigations for.

John Zaffis, on the other hand, has performed a valuable service by taking items with attached spirits and binding and warding them. Yeah, you can argue Zak is doing the same too, but he's more in it for the glamor.
 

David Johansen

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When the kids at my store have asked me about the occult stuff, I've always asked them what they would do if it worked.

There are some doors that are best left closed because once you open them, you can never close them again.

I think that's true psychologically as well as metaphysically. Once you embrace a concept as true and open yourself up to it, it's not always easy to close it off again.
 

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I was raised very liberal Catholic but I'm now more agnostic (although never a particularly big believer even as a kid) and being from the hippy West Coast know a number of Wiccans, etc.

I'm interested in philosophy, religion and occultism but have zero belief in the supernatural and pseudo-science. Love reading about cults and nutty belief systems of all kinds though. But I also distrust anyone who believes they act completely out of rational motivations as well (rationalization disguised as rationalism in my experience).

David Hume, Isaiah Berlin, Albert Camus, Leszek Kolakowski and John Gray are the philosophers who come closest to my personal beliefs. Emil Cioran too on a bad day.
 
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Klibbix!

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I started reading his Cosmic Trigger series after the Illuminatos trilogy when I was a teen, but I don't thinkk I ever finished it

RAW was my gateway to the Occult. I read everything I could find of his in my late twenties (I was particularly influenced by The New Inquisition) and was very impressed by his seemingly limitless positivity regarding the human potential. As a life-life cynical individual, I try to read stuff that challenges my shitty outlook on personal change and internalize it. Through RAW I found Regardie, Gurdjieff and a host of other people whose work has impacted me in a meaningful way.

I am on a Lon Milo Duquette kick lately, having really enjoyed his book on Qabalah and his commentary on Crowley's Illustrated Goetia. On my reading list next is the Corpus Hermeticum, and A True and Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Years between Dr. John Dee and some Spirits (which I believe are a portion of Dee's journals, published in an attempt to demonize his work).

I am currently working my way through Isreal Regardie's One Year Manuel and it has changed my life in a very serious way. Daily practice of breath work, directed thought and meditation have had a huge impact on me. I recently passed my one year sober mark (March 6th) and I have the willpower and dedication this program has generated in me to thank for my continued success. And this is all before anything really "Occult" has been performed. I am on the beginning stages of performing my first "ritual" and am looking forward to the psychological development I hope this will trigger.

I prefer not to think about "belief" regarding my studies or practices. Whether or not the entities contacted by the Operator have objective existence, or are "merely" psychological complexes accessible by directed thought, I see as meaningless; the fact remains that the methods used and the results obtained have value applicable to my daily existence regardless of their origin.

I don't want to sound all huffy or stuffy, I've really only started this path recently and hope I don't come off as being pompous!
 

TristramEvans

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RAW was my gateway to the Occult. I read everything I could find of his in my late twenties (I was particularly influenced by The New Inquisition) and was very impressed by his seemingly limitless positivity regarding the human potential. As a life-life cynical individual, I try to read stuff that challenges my shitty outlook on personal change and internalize it. Through RAW I found Regardie, Gurdjieff and a host of other people whose work has impacted me in a meaningful way.

I am on a Lon Milo Duquette kick lately, having really enjoyed his book on Qabalah and his commentary on Crowley's Illustrated Goetia. On my reading list next is the Corpus Hermeticum, and A True and Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Years between Dr. John Dee and some Spirits (which I believe are a portion of Dee's journals, published in an attempt to demonize his work).

I am currently working my way through Isreal Regardie's One Year Manuel and it has changed my life in a very serious way. Daily practice of breath work, directed thought and meditation have had a huge impact on me. I recently passed my one year sober mark (March 6th) and I have the willpower and dedication this program has generated in me to thank for my continued success. And this is all before anything really "Occult" has been performed. I am on the beginning stages of performing my first "ritual" and am looking forward to the psychological development I hope this will trigger.

I prefer not to think about "belief" regarding my studies or practices. Whether or not the entities contacted by the Operator have objective existence, or are "merely" psychological complexes accessible by directed thought, I see as meaningless; the fact remains that the methods used and the results obtained have value applicable to my daily existence regardless of their origin.

I don't want to sound all huffy or stuffy, I've really only started this path recently and hope I don't come off as being pompous!

If it's having a direct positive effect on your life, that's really all that matters. That's basically the extent of my opinion on any reigious/spiritual/occult beliefs, I'm not an aggressive athiest - I'm someone who thinks all of our brains are wired differently and different things "work" to tap into our own potential.
 

Klibbix!

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I'm someone who thinks all of our brains are wired differently and different things "work" to tap into our own potential.

Definitely! I would, however, die a happy man if I could objectively determine the existence of the "outer forces". Why yes, I would like to be Carnacki...
 

Endless Flight

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There’s been many UFO researchers like John Keel who thought monsters like the Mothman, aliens, etc were extra-dimensional rather than extraterrestrial beings. Keel said the mythical creatures would just assume different guises over the millennia as they appeared to people. He also speculated that they just liked to fuck around with people for what seemingly was no good reason.
 

Voros

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I find most (but not all) straight up occult sources a bit of a bore to read so I prefer to read books by writers like Gary Lachman (formerly of Blondie!) who can concisely explain the ideas for me in a more digestable format.

This is the most recent book of his I've read but in this case I find most of the Russian mystics he discusses quite readable on their own.

the-return-of-holy-russia-9781620558102_hr.jpg
 

Klibbix!

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I find most straight up occult sources a bit of a bore to read so I prefer to read books by writers like Gary Lachman who can concisely explain the ideas for me in a more digestable format.

I definitely agree. I would recommend Lon Milo Duquette in this regard, just because he manages to explain fairly complex ideas concisely and, more importantly, with humour. I have no real idea if he knows what he's talking about, but he seems to!

Mind you, Crowley did say, "sublimity depends upon unintelligibility"...
 

TristramEvans

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There’s been many UFO researchers like John Keel who thought monsters like the Mothman, aliens, etc were extra-dimensional rather than extraterrestrial beings. Keel said the mythical creatures would just assume different guises over the millennia as they appeared to people. He also speculated that they just liked to fuck around with people for what seemingly was no good reason.


In the novel I've written I have creatures that are akin to faeries that appear differently to whomever is perceiving them. Some characters see them as traditional faerie archetypes, others as monsters, and others as "Grays", the image of aliens from pop culture. This is an effect I explain as similiar to mimesis.
 

Brock Savage

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I'm interested in philosophy, religion and occultism but have zero belief in the supernatural and pseudo-science. Love reading about cults and nutty belief systems of all kinds though.
Dude, you and I both. I can imagine some square fool, the kind of person who is so sensible that they're daft, trying to figure me out from some of the books I've read when the simple answer is that I have an interest in human belief systems- particularly the more extreme ones.
 

Voros

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I definitely agree. I would recommend Lon Milo Duquette in this regard, just because he manages to explain fairly complex ideas concisely and, more importantly, with humour. I have no real idea if he knows what he's talking about, but he seems to!

Mind you, Crowley did say, "sublimity depends upon unintelligibility"...

I'm used to reading difficult philosophy so I don't mind tussling with the likes of Adorno or more relevantly Steiner and Ouspensky but yeah give me the potted version of Madame Blavatsky please haha.
 

Klibbix!

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I'm used to reading difficult philosophy so I don't mind tussling with the likes of Adorno or more relevantly Steiner and Ouspensky but yeah give me the potted version of Madame Blavatsky please haha.

I have a copy of the Secret Doctrine sitting there on my shelf and I'm already gritting my teeth just looking at it.
 

Ladybird

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There’s been many UFO researchers like John Keel who thought monsters like the Mothman, aliens, etc were extra-dimensional rather than extraterrestrial beings. Keel said the mythical creatures would just assume different guises over the millennia as they appeared to people. He also speculated that they just liked to fuck around with people for what seemingly was no good reason.
I've seen that sort of theory before, that things like fairy abductions and UFO abductions are the brain playing the same sort of trick on us, just filtered through different era's cultural perceptions.

For example, I've had sleep paralysis and the definite feeling that someone had got into the other side of my bed (And remember, I live alone; I'd felt them sit down on the mattress and get under the duvet) but because I'm a person alive today I was able to think that was what it was, rather than a demon or something.
 

chuckdee

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I hate sleep paralysis. Ick.

They had a storyline around that on Evil- that show is great! It couches some supernatural in the ridiculous, then shades everything around the ridiculous to make it threatening. It's very effective without being overly gory.
 

Black Leaf

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I dabbled with chaos magic(kkkkahhhh) in my twenties. Although if I'm honest I was more interested in telling people I was a chaos magician and being all countercultural than actually doing the work. Although at least I didn't build an entire practice round liking a wank. I'm looking at you, Grant Morrison.
 

opaopajr

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Met several people in roleplaying gaming who were also interested in (or actively studying) the occult. Most prevalent were in the White Wolf communities or heavy eclectic readers.

Personally I came to occultism because... "believe" is a funny word because what then do you call your reality that tangibly affects others? Reality, probability, glitches around me. Been like that since childhood and I rapidly beelined to the library's 'strange and unusual section' trying to make sense of things. That and my senses have always been hyper-acute (a la Roderick Usher) so I am accustomed that I sense more (the 5 sense and whatever more) than others and that's just the way it is. Then there are the times when people, pets, or machine sensors react to me as if I am the supernatural creature... which tends to reinforce that the weirdness I typically experience is quite connected to a reality not readily seen by most. Kinda makes you question your grounded rationality when others are pointing you out as the anomaly.

:smile: I sometimes envy your options to believe. The choice of faith is a gift, embrace it wherever it drives you! Knowledge does not have to save you. Seek truths but enjoy the mystery if it is just a luxury of curiosity.

And yes, leave doors closed you are not ready to open.
 

Ronnie Sanford

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Dude, you and I both. I can imagine some square fool, the kind of person who is so sensible that they're daft, trying to figure me out from some of the books I've read when the simple answer is that I have an interest in human belief systems- particularly the more extreme ones.
Just curious which faith system have you run with the smallest number of adherents? Not to pick on anyone but because I’m interested too. One of the most fascinating discussions I have ever had was with an Eastern Shaker.
 

Brock Savage

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Just curious which faith system have you run with the smallest number of adherents? Not to pick on anyone but because I’m interested too. One of the most fascinating discussions I have ever had was with an Eastern Shaker.
Unfortunately I don't really track that stuff and religion makes up only a small part of the belief systems that interest me.
 

Black Leaf

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Just curious which faith system have you run with the smallest number of adherents? Not to pick on anyone but because I’m interested too. One of the most fascinating discussions I have ever had was with an Eastern Shaker.
Indirectly, but the Muggletonians. (I've read some of their stuff).

They started in 1651 and died in 1979 with their last living adherent Phillip Noakes, who had kept the sect's entire records in his attic. I'm enough of a romantic that I find that a bit sad, although the records are at least with the British Library now.

(Interestingly, there may be a second American Muggletonian archive that nobody has managed to track down yet. It's possibly somewhere in Buffalo if it still exists).
 

Ronnie Sanford

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Indirectly, but the Muggletonians. (I've read some of their stuff).

They started in 1651 and died in 1979 with their last living adherent Phillip Noakes, who had kept the sect's entire records in his attic. I'm enough of a romantic that I find that a bit sad, although the records are at least with the British Library now.

(Interestingly, there may be a second American Muggletonian archive that nobody has managed to track down yet. It's possibly somewhere in Buffalo if it still exists).
Wow haven’t even heard of it. I will look it up!
 

Black Leaf

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Dude, you and I both. I can imagine some square fool, the kind of person who is so sensible that they're daft, trying to figure me out from some of the books I've read when the simple answer is that I have an interest in human belief systems- particularly the more extreme ones.
If you're interested in historical extreme beliefs, this collection of English Civil War pamphlets is an absolute joy - https://www.exclassics.com/pamphlets/pamphintro.htm
 

Séadna

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China and India are major places to look for small faiths. Satpanth is a mix of Islam and Hinduism for example. Even Hinduism itself is more a family of religions, for instance Shiva in Shaivism is not the same entity as Shiva in mainline Hinduism.

Similarly in China there were several of ways of combining Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism that resulted in hundreds of belief systems over the centuries. There are over a 100 registered sects of Taoism alone. See things like "The Queen Mother of the West" cult in Han China and Zhang Jue's cult. Or the funny "orgasm immortality" views in Tang-era Taoism.
 

spittingimage

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Just curious which faith system have you run with the smallest number of adherents? Not to pick on anyone but because I’m interested too. One of the most fascinating discussions I have ever had was with an Eastern Shaker.

I spent an embarrassingly long time trying to remember what I know about the beliefs of the Eastern Salt Shakers before twigging that I had read your comment wrong.
 

Voros

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For a journalism project I interviewed a wiccan who did earthsky rituals with her local coven. She even invited me to come see one of their rituals but I never took her up on it.
 

TristramEvans

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For a journalism project I interviewed a wiccan who did earthsky rituals with her local coven. She even invited me to come see one of their rituals but I never took her up on it.


It's a sad reality of Paganism that those most likely to get naked and dance around a bonfire are also those least likely to shave
 

Black Leaf

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It's a sad reality of Paganism that those most likely to get naked and dance around a bonfire are also those least likely to shave
Overheard at a LARP event:

Random Woman: "Why is it that the boys most likely to take their tops off are never the ones you'd want it to be?"
 

Dammit Viktor

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I was raised in a... particular New Age but half-assed still kinda Protestant household, a lot of talk of psychic powers and UFOs and straight-up witchcraft in the house. I fell out of the religious half of things due to a change in family circumstances, but I still felt drawn to the more vigorous, proactive side of the occult. Psionics, chaos magic, hermeticism... I've dabbled in a lot of things, but I've always been meticulous about not making promises to beings of Power.

Which, paradoxically, led me back into religious belief and practice, but ironically, I don't really practice any of the mystical traditions of my faith-- though I have a strong interest in some of the powers attributed to ancient kings, such as paralyizing or outright killing men on the battlefield with a stare, or fighting in two separate battles at the same time. I don't have a lot of patience for the bitchcraft endemic to communities of occultists, and I have a bit of a "that fucking guy" reputation for using (or advising) practical real-world responses to people bragging about the curses and the bindings they're working.

In general, I have a very broad belief in this sort of thing existing, but I tend to be real skeptical about any particular claims surrounding it.
 

3rik

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Overheard at a LARP event:

Random Woman: "Why is it that the boys most likely to take their tops off are never the ones you'd want it to be?"
Haha, the same probably goes for the girls? I have no idea. I am just guessing.
 
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