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Ramsey Dukes Aeon Books ePub



You don’t learn about people from books. Discuss.

The first point is that it is not true—of course we learn about people from books. I’ve never met Aleister Crowley, so most of what I know of him has come from biographies.

The second point is that the sentence, although not strictly true, does contain a truth. Although I gained most of my knowledge of Crowley from books, I also learnt something about him by talking to others who had met or worked with him. Without the greater depth of empathy and understanding this personal contact provided, my knowledge of him would have been more brittle, fragmented and stereotypical. The added input had a bigger impact on the quality of my understanding of the man than on the quantity of my knowledge.

I also believe that we learn more about our fellow humans from fiction than from non-fiction books, and this is because stories encourage us to enter into the scene described and empathise with or ‘become’ one of the characters. In imagination we are no longer reading a book but participating in a drama.

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Ramsey Dukes Aeon Books ePub



I am writing this book to help people tackle the problems of everyday life.

The book recommends one simple formula: treat life the way you would want to be treated yourself. Talk to your plants; empathise with the moods of your car, the office copier or your computer. Recognise the weather, the landscape, nature for what they truly are—mighty gods—and learn to read their expressions. Study all the patterns of success or frustration in your life, name them as demons and learn to work with them rather than simply suffer or deny them.

In place of a plethora of self-help books offering Seven Secrets of..., Ten Scientifically-proven Habits of ..., The Four-step Process to Complete and Utter... and so on, I am suggesting one simple solution as the answer to everything: do as you would be done by.

How boring.

But it’s surprising how a simple idea like that can ruffle people’s feelings. I will people your world with demons, angels, gods and spirits of all sorts and persuasions—if you really don’t mind that, then you may want to skip this first part. But I know that some people won’t be at all grateful for all this fun.

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Week 6: Seeing Auras, A Final Step

Ramsey Dukes Aeon Books ePub


Last week I revealed my simple trick that allowed me to “see” nature spirits, devas and auras. If it “worked” for you—in the sense that you now have a taste of something that you previously thought you were blind to—then I invite you to continue practising it this week.

What initially might have been just an effort of imagination—“I guess I should see a little grey gnome with a blue hat, that's nice”—can soon gather momentum and become increasingly spontaneous and even surprising: “That's interesting, I feel sure that one should be blue while this one just has to be green and wispy. I wonder why?”

Gazing at a bed of daffodils is always a pleasure, but now you can gaze longer, and in a different way, seeing other forms of life emerging with surprising and increasing vividness. It becomes interesting, it adds value, yet for me it remains an effort and is never totally spontaneous. I think that is how it is meant to be for me: an additional item in my magical toolkit, rather than a natural, ongoing ability.

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It is far easier to recognise other people’s demons than one’s own. My first extended example, of the young man who could not get a job, was based on the assumption that the reader would quickly perceive the pattern and recognise that he ‘had a problem’ even when the young man was still insisting he’d just been unlucky.

As already explained, demons have their reasons to avoid being noticed, particularly when they are still enjoying the power of being able to manipulate a human without much resistance. Such a demon isn’t so worried about what other people think, as long as the host remains ignorant of its manipulation.

The exercise I suggested of scanning one’s life for circumstances when one over-reacts is much less difficult, or even necessary, when dealing with others because over-reaction becomes so obvious. The person who goes on and on about immigrants, or men, or fat cats, or teenage sex, or the monarchy, or violent crime – especially when the offending principles have little direct impact on their own lives – such a person clearly has a demon.

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Considering the examples I gave of other people’s demons and how they are manifest, it becomes obvious that there are certain demons or families of demons that crop up all over the place, whether in local groups, nations, Western culture or all over the world. These include racism, capitalism, communism, terrorism, fundamentalism, freedom, democracy, religion, materialism... the list is endless. But what can I do about a demon that is not merely resident in mine own soul but all around me?

It is a bit like asking what a gardener can do about dandelions. If they are his own problem—e.g. his garden is infested with them—then he has also to face the fact that they are also a problem throughout Britain. So does he give up?

That is a solution, to cease worrying and maybe even learn to enjoy eating the leaves and making dandelion coffee out of his uninvited crop. But the usual answer is to take steps to eliminate the weed from one’s own garden. This requires persistence, for even if there is not a single dandelion or seed left in his plot, next year’s crop in neighbouring fields will bring fresh seeds in on the wind. This does not altogether negate his efforts, for it is still easier to remove weed seedlings than it is to deal with deep rooted established plants.

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