Saturday, April 12, 2008

Book Review: Kabbalah, Magic and the Great Work of Self-Transformation

Once you've decided that strict materialism doesn't work for you, or that dualism doesn't work either, there's an obvious question: what to do about it. As I mentioned in a prior posts, there are two main paths: mysticism and hermeticism. The two paths aren't really that different, they just have different areas of emphasis. The mystic path emphasizes experience of unity; the hermetic path emphasizes using symbolism to work on your subconscious to balance the different parts of your personality. Each path in practice contains the other.

If you are interested in the hermetic path, Kabbalah, Magic and the Great Work of Self-Transformation by Lyam Thomas Christopher is a possible option (but also see this alternative). This book is designed to be used as a self-study course in hermetism, but it can also be used as preparation for joining a mystery school, as it explains the concepts you'll need starting from a basic level.

One of the good things about the book is that the program set forth forces you to take your time and let the concepts and practices of each stage sink in before proceeding to the next. There is also suggested reading given for each stage. By the end of the book (which would take years if you follow the program), you'll be qualified to do independent work and research. Think of it as a self-study bachelor's level course in hermetism.

I'm not following this program myself because my current program (link in the sidebar) has over 15 years of lessons and has the same general principles and goals. But secrecy oaths and the like are a problem for some, and those people should consider this book.

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