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224 pages, Paperback
First published January 15, 1987
Any state of mind may arbitrarily be chosen as an objective for transmutation, but there is a specific virtue to the ones given. The first is an antidote to the imbalance and possible madness of the magical trance. The second is a specific against obsession with the magical practices in the third section. They are:
[..]Laughter is the only tenable attitude in a universe which is a joke played upon itself.
The trick is to see that joke played out even in the neutral and ghastly events which surround one. It is not for us to question the universe's apparent lack of taste. Seek the emotion of laughter at what delights and amuses, seek it in whatever is neutral or meaningless, seek it even in what is horrific and revolting. Though it may be forced at first, one can learn to smile inwardly at all things.
Lévitation (which includes the ability to walk on water and fire, as well as in the air, or at fantastic rates across the earth) is accomplished by supporting the body's weight with these aetheric force lines. In the case of firewalking, the force is used to repel the heat and flames.
Developing an ego is like building a castle against reality. It provides some defense and a sense of purpose, but the larger it is, the more it invites attack, and, ultimately, it must crumble. There is a further problem. All fortresses are also prisons. Because our beliefs imply a rejection of their opposites they severely restrict our freedom.
MAGICAL, MYSTICAL, AND religious enterprises seek to fulfill five basic human needs, which can be identified as follows:
To provide techniques of Emotional Engineering.
To give life a sense of Meaning.
To provide some means of Intercession or Intervention.
To supply an explanation of Death.
To formulate a Social Structure or Cult.
People are not persuaded into belief intellectually. They are persuaded to perform religious acts in childhood or while under stress. Afterward they develop or accept the rationalizations and opinions that go with it. To convert a man to anarchism, persuade him to throw a bomb for various romantic emotional reasons. He will subsequently have to adjust his beliefs to justify what he has done. .... At first only the smallest and most inconsequential obediences will be demanded. These force the rationalization that one is in fact loyal to whatever one is giving one's obedience to. This loyalty is but a stepping stone to greater acts of submission, usually of one's intelligence, wallet, and sexual favors…
The activities of cults would seem to presuppose a high degree of cynicism among their leaders. This is rarely so. Most have swallowed their own lies and deceptions totally, or else rationalized them in terms of an even higher cause. As a result, their burning obsession equips them with a certain charisma which puts fire in their eyes and inflames their speech. And what is the end result of all this cultish activity? Commercialism or a Police Raid.
Attempts to use the various tricks of the teacher enumerated in this section will be immediately spotted and ridiculed.