Respect for authority is is no way amongst the requisite qualities of a magus.
I did wonder about that one.
But surely there are things- at least of the beginning of the process- that you have to take on trust?
It is the same in every field. You must test the given hypotheses out of your own substance.
When it came to magic, my substance sent me mixed messages.
>> ...my substance sent me mixed messages.
Just so, just so. The common thought of public and commercialized occulture is that the mind must be trained to make images and focus and concentrate on them until they come into manifestation. This, as you may mean to imply, is so hit-and-miss a method that it is astonishing how long-lived it has been.
A more truthful approach lies in the idea "Quod nulla vox operatur in magia, nisi prius Dei voce formetur". The greater mystery lies in the physical body, itself. Only a physical body prepared for magic can wield the power of magic. So, you are being very lucid when you say that your substance sent you mixed messages. :D
I have always had a geeky disregard for the physical body.
The Church Fathers are probably to blame.
I think of the magician as self-neglecting garret-dweller- like a Christian saint without the Christianity. That he might be a person who cultivates and trains his body is a new and challenging thought to me.
Why without the Christianity? Systems like John Dee's, for instance, are more-or-less respectably C of E, with a bit of sex and goddess worship thrown-in to leaven things a bit.
Physical development has been best-practice since at least Crowley's A.'.A.'., to my mind, which of course he developed with considerable input from other alumni of the Golden Dawn. I've known three magic types, my own teacher among them, that began their path in martial arts.
At a minimum I'd advise some solid attainment in two of the eight limbs of raja yoga: posture and breath control. Personally, I'd strongly recommend hatha yoga as well. It is effort very well spent for a host of reasons.
Why "Without the Christianity""?
It's a personal thing. I've had enough Christianity in this lifetime to last me for several.
Perhaps you did not want it strongly enough. Because if you had, you would have cultivated these things, even if they had not come naturally to you.
Perhaps not. But perhaps the not wanting it enough was all bound up with my lack of certain qualities.
The magus known best to me had little patience and nothing but profound contempt for authority.
Somehow, though, I suspect that this is some sort of cultural reference that's gone right over my head.
No, nothing duplicitous about this post. I have always been fascinated by magic.
I was told that Joel Biroco and author Alan Moore once got into an argument over dinner about which was the true reigning magus of their age. After a tense stand-off, Alan was apparently forced to concede.
This is highly amusing. One of the Western Masters lives in England, has done so since the birth of either of them, and will continue to do so after both of them have died. He gets my vote.
Really? Who might that be and in what tradition is he a Master?
I heard the story from Joel, who thought it uproariously funny. He demanded to know Alan's Word, if indeed he was the reigning Magus as claimed. Alan had to admit that he didn't have one, while Biroco did, and that was that. I even wrote a Qabalistic exegesis of Joel's Word, which I think we published.