The Most Dangerous Occult Book In The World

So many tales and conspiracy theories have “the most dangerous occult book.”  It’s enough the late Sir Terry Pratchett parodied it with the “Necrotelenomicon” a book by Achmed the Mad (who preferred to be called Achmed I Just Get These Headaches).  But how is such a book portrayed in fiction?

Inevitably it’s some rare and creaky tome, thick with horrific pages, and challenging or dangerous to read.  It drives readers mad, it crawls with brain-twisting truths, it twists reality  To read it is to feel something else is watching over your shoulder and it has its own plans.

However, what would a truly dangerous occult book be?  Not some kind of Anti-Personnel Grimoire (a term The Necronomicon Files by John Wisdom Gonce II used delightfully).  A book that is a threat to the world isn’t that much of a threat if it drives most readers mad.  So what would such a book truly be like, a book that delivers real power and isn’t a trap?

Well first, it wouldn’t damn well drive you nuts.  A Dangerous Occult Book – let us call it a DOB – would probably not make people insane by reading it or even being in one’s possession.  Such things tend to be noticed, and such owners tend to have painfully short relations with stakes and kindling if they stay reasonably sane.

Secondly, A DOB would not be particularly hard to use.  It may crackle with power, but if that power takes too much effort to use, it’s simply not worth the time.  It would be streamlined, simple, clear, and give you useful abilities.  If a DOB takes too long to use and is too hard you’re better off using a fist, a lawsuit, or just doing something else.

A DOB would allow you to have an effect and it wouldn’t necessarily be what’s expected.  Do you need to summon demons – or just manipulate minds?  Is it worth turning lead into gold when precognition can let you make money more subtly?  Must you be able to throw obvious lightning, or would subtle curses be more you route.  It’d would work, but it might not be obvious to our expectations.

A DOB might contain a lot of useful information that changes one sense of place in the universe.  Simply and effectively, it would change you and empower you by helping you see yourself differently.  It would keep you from being trapped by existing religions and traditions, freeing you to use that power in its pages.

Finally, a DOB would be easy to transmit, spreading power among those in the no.  It might not be overly long, it would be clear, it could be copied.  Replication would make it even more dangerous as it could be spread about, extra copies hidden, etc.

A truly Dangerous Occult Book wouldn’t be some hernia-producing grimoire.  It would be a manual.

Of course, if we’re all looking for big thick grimoires filled with incomprehensible diagrams and fonts off of a heavy metal album?  Then maybe we’d miss the simpler but more powerful books under our nose . . .

Or someone could be writing it right now.

– Xenofact

Gods, Demons, Spirits, Words

As an esotericist, I end up inevitably contemplating or discussing gods, demons, and spirits.  This creates another inevitability – the question “are they real” which is a great way to spend an evening, end relationships, or both at the same time!

On this subject, I eventually came to a conclusion I’d like to discuss.

I don’t question if gods, demons and spirits are real because of the aforementioned lost evenings and lost relationship. I’ve decided question is better phrased “are the concepts of gods, demons, and spirits useful.”  I’m sure other people have come to the same conclusion, but I figured I’d give my take since it might spawn useful discussions.

The idea of gods, spirits, and demons is that there are great living Powers in the world or Powers that we might as well treat as lifelike.  By recognizing them we may understand them and interact with them more effectively and safely – be it in ritual magic or just navigating through life.

For instance, I realized Facebook is a god (or perhaps a demon) even in the most materialist sense..  It grows and changes, adapts and adjusts, it’s in our minds and influencing our behavior.  It’s very much like a living thing, though one I’m keeping a wary eye on.  We just happened to make it, though perhaps some of us may wonder if it’s a mask on something else.

Seeing a corporation as a god or spirit, a living being, helps me think about and interact with such organizations.  These are not simple organizational flowcharts and bank accounts – they are living (or lifelike) things that very much affect us.  It’s also a reminder to be careful making or calling forth these organizational egregores and golems made of money.

I can also look at our planet – where I stray reluctantly into the Gaia hypothesis, albeit the less convoluted take.    Our planet is as complicated as a living being.  We might not treat it as a conscious being (though as we thinking beings are part of it . . .) but it is complex and organic.  Realizing you’re in a big natural system – a god or spirit – is a way to survive and prosper, though I have to admit I’ll take survive these days.

Yes, I feel sort of naive and plastic-packaged-New-Agey saying this, but referring to Earth as a godlike being is a reminder that life here is a complex situation.  A bit more “this-is-a-big-system-we-can-see-as-alive” and less “well that summer was surprisingly rainy” would be good for us.

I can also slide into psychology and talk about archetypes, those great patterns and emotions and interpretations hardwired into our minds..  Our myths could be seen as dressing up those deep elements and experiences to better understand them.  The thing is they have very real effects.

Language is a real vital force in our life – and we have stories of language-gods like Thoth and Seshat.  Love is part of our lives and we have stories of Freya and Venus.  The archetype view reminds us stories aside, there are forces in all of us, driving us.  In short, gods, spirits, and demons – hardwired into us by evolution.

Finally, I can get supernatural  Many of us reading have had Those Experiences where things get wider and strange, where Someone Reached Back or Out.  Some of us have been there, and the hardest belief or most scalpel-like skepticism doesn’t change that.

I’ve had such experiences.   Somehow it never makes you feel special, does it?  But it does make you think “yes, there IS something to the idea of gods, spirits, and demons,” sometimes while you’re lying in bed trying to process whatever the hell just happened.

I walked through several “explanations” for gods, spirits, and demons to show that the concepts are useful for each.  Do I think any above are The Explanation?  I just used this to illustrate my thoughts. – and I haven’t touched on Neoplatonism, hauntings, etc.  In fact I think all of the above are true to an extent and then some.

No matter one or many explanations, we are in a world of great Powers.  The idea of gods, spirits, and demons give us tools to recognize this, deal with it, be part of it, or defend ourselves when necessary.  If nothing else we need to recognize something very big may fuck with us and kill us.  I take a more benevolent view, but I also want these terms just to keep an eye out if you know what I mean.

Perhaps terms like god, demon, or spirit are archaic and I would agree!.  These words are terms of old, heavy with baggage and carrying the additional burden of multiple interpretations people fight over.  I’d love some new, friendly, usable words.  But until we have better ones – and perhaps we do and just don’t use them – they’re what we have now.

Might as well use the tools we’ve got in this wild, mysterious, complex world we’re in.