Joseph Lisiewski's taunts and cajoles

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Joseph Lisiewski's taunts and cajoles

Post  MysteryStudent on Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:45 pm

I wanted to address something here that has really been bothering me.

I have just read the majority of Joseph Lisiewski's Ceremonial Magic & the Power of Evocation. It is just one of many books that looked interesting and I wanted to see if there was anything in it that I could use. Has anyone else read this?

In this book, Lisiewski spends a lot of time discussing the many pitfalls and inadequacies of the "New Age", into which he lumps pretty much every magical system after the Renaissance and Middle Ages. This includes the Golden Dawn and all of its offshoots and systems inspired by it (Thelema, Wicca, you name it...practically everything that exists after the 18th century). His basic premise is that only the "Old Systems" of magic (coming from Rennaisance and Middle Age grimoires) are effective and worth dealing with. He posits that everything else, especially the "New Age", is a waste of time. It doesn't advance a person spiritually or magically, and is just a hodgepodge of magical systems that serve only to inflate the practitioner's ego and encourage the "sling shot" effect.

That's basically what he's saying. Daily magical practice, banishing rituals....waste of time. Pointless. Obviously I'm a bit put off with this view.

I have discovered recently that I am very enthusiastic about the Golden Dawn system, and excited about its effectiveness and potential for my personal/magical/spiritual development. I don't think that doing daily rituals and trying to advance myself spiritually is a waste of time. I have been convinced by several books (and some of the good denizens of Digimob) of the power of the Golden Dawn system, and I fully intend to stay the course.

Of course, Lisiewski's main aim in his book is the evocation to physical manifestation of objective entities. I can understand his insistence on the old Grimoires being the authority on that subject. But he also advocates that his book helps the reader develop his or her own personal system of magic through subjective synthesis and subconscious integration of a belief system.

So -- and I would appreciate feedback on this -- could that not be applied to all systems of magic? It seems to me that he's basically saying that all systems are ineffective and a waste of time...except the one he's advocating. Moreover, there's all this weird Catholic propaganda (holy water, Catholic robes, Ten Commandments) that he suggests to follow the Heptameron to the letter...and he even goes so far as to suggest revisiting the religion of your upbringing. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but so far no good.

I think the subjective synthesis and subconscious integration of a belief system could apply to almost any system of magic, and it seems that many of the people in this community would agree with me on that.
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Re: Joseph Lisiewski's taunts and cajoles

Post  sendoshin on Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:00 pm

What I find to be more interesting is that he dismisses the "newer" systems as "a hodgepodge" of other, older systems - which is the same as calling them a synthesis of a new system with integration of existing belief systems - then goes on to encourage you to synthesize and integrate belief systems yourself. This seems, to me, to be more than slightly hypocritical. I would recommend looking past that dribble and looking at the actual information he presents - ignore what he thinks about it, or anything else, for that matter. That's likely as not to be the true value of his work.

As to the question you asked, EVERY method of magical workings, and every school of thought behind it, is designed to provide the user with the tools and knowledge essential to developing ability and spirituality (though some systems place more emphasis on one than the other). However, no matter the system, each individual will absorb the things provided in a manner different - perhaps FAR different - than that of his peers. Two people, with identical backgrounds, going through identical experiences, for identical purposes, at the same time, will still come through it all with completely different results. The truly strong systems, the ones which have lasted the longest (GD, Masonry, and a large handful of others), understand this, and encourage it even as they emphasize that you're not the only one who has passed this way before. The idea is spiritual growth, and each individual's spirit is ... well, individual. So yes, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

This is not to say that one should follow a single path to the exclusion of exploring others. Even if you should choose not to follow a given path, knowing what it entails and where it leads - or at least purports to lead - will help you better understand those who are traveling that path instead of yours, and thus interact with them on a level much more suited to the spiritual growth of BOTH parties. For millenia, the occult has been carefully hidden from view of even other practitioners. This was as much to protect the users from the mundane as it was to protect the mundane from temptation to misuse the power that occult pursuits provide. Today, it may still be good to shield the unwilling from what might injure them worse than anything they might do alone, but there is no need to shield each other from that which makes us who we are. That's one reason the Occult.Digital.Mobilization exists - to provide access to as much information as possible for as many practitioners as possible so they can have the greatest opportunity to grow that we can give them. By all means, follow the path you have chosen. But never ignore the others out there - what you don't know CAN hurt you.

- Sendoshin

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Re: Joseph Lisiewski's taunts and cajoles

Post  Frater_NS on Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:41 pm

As risk of been accused of having an ad hominem argument, my opinion of Joseph Lisiewski is:

1. Joseph Lisiewski write a series of book saying everybody has got it wrong, but I have the correct way of doing it.

2. By so doing, Joseph Lisiewski's sets himself up as a "guru" of his system.

3. Joseph Lisiewski publishes discussions and paid for news letters (The Howling from the Pit) on his internet site which furthers expands his "guru" status.

4. Joseph Lisiewski acts as a "guru" giving one-to-one consultancy at a price per hour. Very expensive according to his web site (now defunct).

5. Joseph Lisiewski has many followers and advocates who vigorously defend their "guru" from the slightest criticism.

6. Joseph Lisiewski retires from the occult "guru" scene in disgust (see last Howling news letter) because he can't make enough money from been a authority/guru to make it worth while for him.

If you were joining a magical group a leader like Joseph Lisiewski, should raise many red flags. Does this make his teaching suspect? Yes, I think is does as his personal agenda (guru, making money) is in conflict with the objectivity and quality of his teachings.

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Re: Joseph Lisiewski's taunts and cajoles

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:17 pm

Personally, I think this ambiguity is good for your studies, but maybe that's the RAW fan in me. Wink

Joseph C. Lisiewski, Ph.D. is a noted physicist involved in the study of the Relativistic SpaceTime Continuum, and the new physics that is exploring possibility of physical time travel. A personal friend and student of both Israel Regardie and the famous Alchemist, Frater Albertus for many years, his numerous published papers on both of their teachings, and on his own forty years of practice in both Magic and Alchemy, has helped many along their own Paths. (Original Falcon Press)

See this thread at Occult Corpus for several less than flattering views of his work.




Personally, I class him quite similarly as Hyatt - I'm glad I'm familiar with his system/work, but I'm not going to be converting any time soon.
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Re: Joseph Lisiewski's taunts and cajoles

Post  kazdax on Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:47 am

forcing people to choose a certain way of practicing ones Great Duty ..is not the way to go and this is what this author seems to do .. I have his book on Kabbalah and hell The book called Abhramelin the Mage makes fun of authors like him and that book is quite older than this authors existense ..

I think perhaps if we would think like a Magician ..then we would belive ..the author wants us to focus all our will onto one task and do exactly as noted in the Grimories as to develop that old mind that is needed for such operations as envocation working ..

Still i mean ..those Text would be nothing more than kabbalistic manupilations .. If anything newage is a bull ..
For example ..see most new agers would use the Taro card without the Kabbalah even tho knowing that the Taro cards fits so perfectly with the 32 paths .. they would still go on .. lighting candles and doing natural magic that isnt very effective in my book even tho the kabbalah has proved its existense ..one has to have a proper system to follow ..

Crowley sure has a system to follow .. Yet he seems to force others to follow his liber AL and without it his system wont work ..

Golden Dawn claims to hold secret keys to the Kabbalah..without which initiation cant happen ..

These are just tactics dervde by men who are to afraid to say .. What you need you can get directly from God .. Dont get me wrong i dont mean a Christain God as such ..tho each ones experince of that which is above them and is ever giving ..

if we dcint wait so much time waiting for the right teacher or the right book ..when all we need is above us ..

My choice would be .. Keep away from those who would force you to use there Ideas .. And the books can speak to a man just as a living life person was talking to him ..


In Love
The Morning Star

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Re: Joseph Lisiewski's taunts and cajoles

Post  mindaround on Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:11 am

The funny thing about Lisiewski is that he is a ceremonial fundamentalist. This just does not square with rationality. First, he claims that 'old' systems are the only ones that work, by old meaning Medieval. Of course, those are only relatively older to us and should be considered 'new-fangled' in the long, long history of magical practice. Now if he was trying to do Sumerian magic that would be a different thing.

In both of these examples because of cultural encapsulation it is impossible for us to subjectively grasp the Medieval mindset much less the conditions of society at that time. Forget the Sumerian, Mayan, or Egyptian mindset. We can only apply our understanding of their concepts of Deity and calibrate from there. I also sincerely doubt that anyone would really like to try to reproduce those conditions. You can't really go back to go forward. Sure, we can learn many things from these grimoires and excellent writers like Agrippa.

Consciousness evolves, there is no doubt about it, and magickal practice is essentially a form of technology that is itself evolving.

He makes the case that to contact the spirits of these ages one must follow the letter of the technology of those ages. I think he has it backwards. It is the spirits that must evolve in their way of interfacing with us if they are to remain relevant.

Many seem more than willing to do that.
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Re: Joseph Lisiewski's taunts and cajoles

Post  MysteryStudent on Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:44 am

Bravo!

I completely concur. MUCH has changed since my original post back in January. I'm not so enthusiastic about the Golden Dawn anymore, and I have explored much more of the terrain, as it were. I'm still just as much a slacker and a wanderer as I ever was, but now with more determinism to stay that way. Smile

I tend to favor the chaos paradigm now, but only because of its conspicuous lack of dogma. I don't harbor any delusions that it's "easier" than ceremonial magic somehow.

Lisiewski is indeed a ceremonial fundamentalist! I agree with all points in your response, especially cultural encapsulation and the need to be completely in sync with a cultural paradigm to understand its magick. Kirk Packwood addressed this very well in his "Memetic Magic"!
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Re: Joseph Lisiewski's taunts and cajoles

Post  mindaround on Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:55 am

I do like the Packwood book. I also enjoy some of Taylor Elwood's ideas and definitely Philip Farber as well. Antero Alli is another contemporary writer that is evolving concepts.
On memetics and their use in magick check out the free online book Art of Memetics . It is a little dense but fascinating.

Now, I don't want to give the impression as some that take the complete opposite route of Lisiewski and just make shit up without any basis in what has come before and has been proven to work. You must have some working familiarity with correspondences within the Magickal Universe to communicate on these levels.

Please read my reply to a post about why study the Kabbalah or grimoires here:

http://digimob.forumotion.net/personal-experimentations-f90/experiments-on-the-study-of-kabbalah-and-grimories-t968.htm#4017

There is a middle path between contemporary ideas and systems of the past especially as concerns ceremonial magick. Few of us are in a position to or have a need to reinvent the wheel entirely.
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Re: Joseph Lisiewski's taunts and cajoles

Post  Tchernobog on Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:50 am

'Let God kill him who himself does not know yet presumes to show others the way to the doors of His Kingdom'

Joseph Lisiewski is talking about hard work, as opposed to fantasy and imagination. The notion of cultural relativism is based upon phenomenology and solipsism and is manifest - to give two pertinent examples - in Carlos Castaneda's novels as well as New Agers' delusions about quantum physics. To assert the primacy of cultural modernity is to reject every ancient esoteric tradition; i.e. the Persian Dervishes or Tibetan Buddhism. It is the glorification of the false self. Lisiewski is a materialist. His Old System philosophy has at its basis the objective (material) existence of powers and spirits. This roots him squarely in Pythagorean mysticism and Hermetic Philosophy. The same Hermeticism that the Golden Dawn were desperately trying to rediscover. I wonder why? Perhaps because the likes of Yeats and Crowley were both better educated and vastly more intelligent than the ridiculous New Age dilettantes.


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