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IDLE MAN

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“An idle man will never become a magician. Magic is an exercise of all hours and all moments. The operator of great works must be absolute master of himself; he must know how to repress the allurements of pleasure, appetite and sleep; he must be insensible to success and to indignity. His life must be that of a will directed by one thought and served by entire Nature, which he will have made subject to mind in his own organs, and by sympathy in all the universal forces which are their correspondents. All faculties and all senses should share in the work; nothing in the priest of Hermes has the right to remain idle; intelligence must be formulated by signs and summarized by characters or pantacles; will must be determined by words and must fulfil words by deeds. The magical idea must be turned into light for the eyes, harmony for the ears, perfumes for the sense of smell, savours for the palate, objects for the touch. The operator, in a word, must realize in his whole life that which he wishes to realize in the world without him; he must become a MAGNET to attract the desired thing; and when he shall be sufficiently magnetic, let him be assured that the thing will come of itself, and without thinking of it”

— Eliphas Levi in Ritual et Dogme de la Haute Magie, Part II [PDF]

 

“The man has desired to dream; the dream will govern the man. But this dream will be truly the son of its father. The idle man has taxed his ingenuity to introduce artificially the supernatural into his life and into his thought; but, after all, and despite the accidental energy of his experiences, he is nothing but the same man magnified, the same number raised to a very high power. He is brought into subjection, but, unhappily for him, it is not by himself; that is to say, by the part of himself which is already dominant. ‘He would be angel; he becomes a beast.’ Momentarily very powerful, if, indeed, one can give the name of power to what is merely excessive sensibility without the control which might moderate or make use of it.”

— Charles Baudelaire, The Poem of Hashish

 


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