Step Five: Real Vs. Imagined Communication
>> It is only during grade IX and above that the practitioner can evoke true external intelligences and not just the contents of his psyche - bearing this in mind, how come the passive communications of grade V with one's HGA and the deceased is real and not just brought out of the psyche? <<
Number one, the Step Five technique is *passive* communication; whereas, Evocation is an *active* form of communication. The Step Five work is not *evocation*. Instead, it is passively making the medium of communication available for the use of the entity you wish to communicate with.
Secondly, with the Step Five work, the subjectivity vs. objectivity depends upon several factors, not the least of which is how truly one has mastered the exercises up to that point. The Step Five exercises will test the student's powers of discernment and this trains the student's abilities of *objective perception*, the honing of which are an absolute prerequisite to the Practice of Magical Evocation. In other words, the *passive * communication begins a learning curve which leads to the faculties necessary for PME.
The technique itself does not guarantee that your *initial* experiences with passive communication will be anything other than completely subjective expressions of your own psyche. However, consistent *practice* of the technique *will* lead you to the ability to discern between subjective self-projection and actual contact with an objectively separate, discrete entity that is *not* yourself.
>> One of the primary problems here is that there is a fundamental paradox: if the magician is communicating with an external, objective entity where is the empirical data which validates it's objectivity? You have certainly hit upon a conundrum. However, why does it matter? <<
In Bardon's Hermetics, it matters very, very much. The difference between a self-projection, or a subjective misinterpretation of the objective reality, and an objective perception of the objective reality, is like the difference between theater and true magic. The faculty of objective perception is *fundamental* to the practice of true magic. Without it, one builds an initiatory "house of cards" which will surely collapse, a castle of sand which will surely be washed away.
>> From a hermetic perspective, we are all slivers of divinity, therefore anything we create is imbued with the same divinity. <<
Well . . . it's more a matter of diminishing returns. :) We create with only as much "divinity" as we are capable of *projecting*. If we don't even know the depth of our own divinity then we can project or pass on only an infinitesimal fraction of what divinity we truly posses.
Initiation is a set of personal-evolutionary or self-evolving techniques whereby we consciously and intentionally seek to uncover our own divinity and seek to express it more completely and clearly. Your argument that anything we create is imbued with the *same* divinity as we possess doesn't equate from an initiatory perspective. Better wording might be: "Anything we create is imbued with as much of our divinity as we are able to project into it."
To my mind, your argument doesn't justify your statement that it doesn't matter if an experience is a subjective projection of one's own psyche or an objective reality. In Bardon's magic, it *does* matter. :)
>> It is a truism to say that the magical world-view finds no contradiction between saying that an entity is both external to one's self and completely subjective. If someone says that it has to be one or the other, they have not fully embraced the idea of their own divinity, indeed, they are not living in a magical paradigm. <<
I would hope that as Hermeticists, we would want to look a little deeper and not take this sort of statement at its superficial value. For this statement to be valid from an Hermetic perspective, it would need to be re-written as: "One can have a completely subjective perception of an objectively external entity." This does *not* mean that the external entity is therefore subjective. The only thing 'subjective' in this equation is one's *perception* of the objectively external entity.
But as magicians, or at least as Bardonist's, we are training our faculties of discernment and perception so that we can indeed objectively perceive the objective reality of things. It's at the *objective* level that the magician functions! The objective reality *is* the "magical paradigm". Therefore it is vital that we be able to discern between the objective and subjective.
If one cannot tell a subjective perception apart from an objective perception of an objective reality, then one will *easily* mistake a projection of one's own psyche as an objective perception of an objective reality. And conversely, one will *easily* mistake an important objective perception as a subjective projection and mistrust what should be trusted. In other words, a lack of discernment in this arena *will* lead one to a great amount of confusion and take one down many blind alleys.
>> Would I be correct if I'd say that it is easier to perceive objectively in passive communication than in active communication? <<
Not particularly, especially in the beginning it's a challenge no matter which technique one employs. The main thing is, it's safer and less consequential.
>> Another question, just about semantics: would it be correct to call passive communication invocation of a lesser degree? <<
No, this is not invocation. Invocation is when you call upon an external entity to fill your self-awareness. With passive communication, all you're offering up is your "empty" hand. In other words, the entity does not fill your self-awareness. Invocation is a passive form of merging your awareness with another; whereas, with passive communication, there is no merging of awareness.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
11 March 2004