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Old 07-02-14   #1
pentacat
 
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Default Sane Occultism - Dion Fortune - Part 2 (Discussion)

Sane Occultism (AKA: What Is Occultism?) - Dion Fortune
Part Two: Is Occultism Worth While?

-----*-----

New neat thread for a brilliant chapter.
Any thoughts, questions, summeries regarding this chapter anyone?
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Old 07-03-14   #2
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Default Re: Sane Occultism - Dion Fortune - Part 2 (Discussion)

Could someone kindly explain this part of the book to me please?

''The grandeur of it's theories ennobles human life and enables us to see our fate and acts in a perspective related to the cosmos; but is that glorious background interstellar space or painted canvas?''

''There is only one test, to walk straight up to it and see whether the stones of the Path are beneath one's feet or if one has simply torn one's way into the sordid back premises of a theater.''

''Speaking for myself, I essayed that experiment upon my first introduction to occult science. In brilliant colours, books, lectures, and personal talk depicted occult arts and astral phenomena and a cosmogony of the type of the elephant who stood upon a tortoise, and I saw at the first glance that I was dealing with painted cloth and put my foot through it to show mu opinion of it.''

''Then I used my knowledge of psychology to enable me to go behind the scenes and penetrate into the minds and motives of those who were staging the puppet-show I had been invited to witness. I saw the wires that supported the fairies and the machine that enables the god to appear at the critical moment; the manage with one eye on the box office, the author with a much-revised manuscript; the producer in consultation with the stage-carpenter and limelight man; the action trying to synthesis their egos and their parts.''

''Then I penetrated deeper esoteric schools as dressing-rooms in which the actors made up for their parts; I issued forth by the stage by the stage foor into the sordid purlieus of theatre-land where men and women fought outside gin-palaces and children sprawled in the dirt of the gutter, and there, lifting my eyes for relief from the sordidness of it all, I saw above me the very stars in their remote and shining reality that had been depicted upon the painted scenery of the theater.''

''Then, and then only, did I see the significance of the drama and realize that it was not an attempt to deceive but to portray, and I was glad to go in humility and gratitude to the front entrance and pay the price of a seat that I might watch the interpretation of life that was being represented therein. I had had my lesson and learnt the function and limitation of a school of initiation.''
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Old 07-03-14   #3
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Default Re: Sane Occultism - Dion Fortune - Part 2 (Discussion)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentacat View Post
Could someone kindly explain this part of the book to me please?
Wow. And I thought Uncle Al was florid, grandiose, and pretentious. He was a mere babe in the woods compared with Dion Fortune, it seems. I will also confess to the use of extravagant, self-indulgent verbiage myself on a regular basis, but I am humbled by what Fortune has accomplished here.
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Old 07-03-14   #4
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Default Re: Sane Occultism - Dion Fortune - Part 2 (Discussion)

[quote=pentacat;314637]Could someone kindly explain this part of the book to me please?

Quote:
''The grandeur of it's theories ennobles human life and enables us to see our fate and acts in a perspective related to the cosmos; but is that glorious background interstellar space or painted canvas?''

''There is only one test, to walk straight up to it and see whether the stones of the Path are beneath one's feet or if one has simply torn one's way into the sordid back premises of a theater.''
All she's saying here is, you can't really decide if occultism has value or not unless you actually practise it.




Quote:
''Speaking for myself, I essayed that experiment upon my first introduction to occult science. In brilliant colours, books, lectures, and personal talk depicted occult arts and astral phenomena and a cosmogony of the type of the elephant who stood upon a tortoise, and I saw at the first glance that I was dealing with painted cloth and put my foot through it to show mu opinion of it.''

''Then I used my knowledge of psychology to enable me to go behind the scenes and penetrate into the minds and motives of those who were staging the puppet-show I had been invited to witness. I saw the wires that supported the fairies and the machine that enables the god to appear at the critical moment; the manage with one eye on the box office, the author with a much-revised manuscript; the producer in consultation with the stage-carpenter and limelight man; the action trying to synthesis their egos and their parts.'
Here she refers to her early encounters with Theosophy, really - and other forms of spiritualism that were popular at that time. She had a background in psychology and is basically saying, she initially analyzed occultists through a kind of reductionist lens and thereby would have blocked her own future interest in the field. She's also cautioning us to use discretion and discrimination!


Quote:
''Then I penetrated deeper esoteric schools as dressing-rooms in which the actors made up for their parts; I issued forth by the stage by the stage foor into the sordid purlieus of theatre-land where men and women fought outside gin-palaces and children sprawled in the dirt of the gutter, and there, lifting my eyes for relief from the sordidness of it all, I saw above me the very stars in their remote and shining reality that had been depicted upon the painted scenery of the theater.''

''Then, and then only, did I see the significance of the drama and realize that it was not an attempt to deceive but to portray, and I was glad to go in humility and gratitude to the front entrance and pay the price of a seat that I might watch the interpretation of life that was being represented therein. I had had my lesson and learnt the function and limitation of a school of initiation.''
So, this passage describes her process of initially reducing ceremonial magic to a series of psychological complexes, but then coming to a personal gnosis about it all and learning some humility(which also, always teaches us DD!) She's saying, in a nutshell;

1) to decide if occultism you have to experience it, eg PRACTISE it

2) she personally rejected the ideas or dismissed them as neurotic, until her own lightbulb went off and she started to really learn

Does that help at all?
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Old 07-03-14   #5
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Default Re: Sane Occultism - Dion Fortune - Part 2 (Discussion)

[quote=feranaja;314644]
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentacat View Post
Could someone kindly explain this part of the book to me please?

All she's saying here is, you can't really decide if occultism has value or not unless you actually practise it.
Here she refers to her early encounters with Theosophy, really - and other forms of spiritualism that were popular at that time. She had a background in psychology and is basically saying, she initially analyzed occultists through a kind of reductionist lens and thereby would have blocked her own future interest in the field.[I] She's also cautioning us to use discretion and discrimination!




So, this passage describes her process of initially reducing ceremonial magic to a series of psychological complexes, but then coming to a personal gnosis about it all and learning some humility(which also, always teaches us DD!) She's saying, in a nutshell;

1) to decide if occultism you have to experience it, eg PRACTISE it

2) she personally rejected the ideas or dismissed them as neurotic, until her own lightbulb went off and she started to really learn

Does that help at all?

Thanks so much, it will definitely help me put some notes there and have a better understanding of it. What did you mean with DD by any chance?

PS: hug! I appreciate your help
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Old 07-03-14   #6
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Default Re: Sane Occultism - Dion Fortune - Part 2 (Discussion)

Oh you're most welcome. I so rarely get to talk about Dion, and she's been like my spiritual mother for 30 years now. I once read the whole Sea Priestess out loud, a chapter a night, to my partner(who slept through much of it, but I managed to invoke something very interesting, a long long story. Not recommended, lol).That was supposed to read D&D - discretion and discrimination. Something I still have to work on, some of the time - not as much as I used to, but still.
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Old 07-03-14   #7
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Default Re: Sane Occultism - Dion Fortune - Part 2 (Discussion)

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Originally Posted by feranaja View Post
Oh you're most welcome. I so rarely get to talk about Dion, and she's been like my spiritual mother for 30 years now. I once read the whole Sea Priestess out loud, a chapter a night, to my partner(who slept through much of it, but I managed to invoke something very interesting, a long long story. Not recommended, lol).That was supposed to read D&D - discretion and discrimination. Something I still have to work on, some of the time - not as much as I used to, but still.
That sounds interesting. If you'd like to talk about it for the sake of sharing feel free even in a privet message but I have no expectation and no pressure on you I have a feeling I'll be mentioning Dion a lot she wasn't my first read but definitely the most influential and sane one.

"she's been like my spiritual mother for 30 years now."
I'm honored to have the opportunity to share, talk and learn about Dion's work here and with you than.

Thanks for answering btw
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