Can You Really Achieve “Enlightenment” By Reading Books That Were Downloaded Illegally?
With the rise in Internet use, access to once difficult to obtain books is now much easier. This also comes with a downside; downloading illegal pdfs by famous authors has become a new current trend. While this is a bit frustrating for the author, the reader obtaining information in such a manner has a lot more to lose.
Most grimoires, like the Simon Necronomicon, are laced with traps. The traps are used to protect the system. This means that if a person were to obtain a copy of the book and would try the experiments listed within the text, they would backfire. The reason that this is done is to make sure that those who use the experiments of a said grimoire are exercising certain principles pertaining to the mission, or work of a certain group and their agenda. This is not only the case for the Simon tome, but also works by Crowley, Grant, Gurdjieff, and many others.
Practices of this sort are not only limited to Western Ceremonial magick, but also the Cabala, Reiki, Shinto, Sufism, Taoism, Christian Mysticism, and many more. Most of the published information, covering magical and mystical topics, is for particular individuals who are already working with the said path, or individuals who have acquired a certain amount of “working knowledge” about a certain path.
Many authors and organizations focusing on occult teachings are well-aware of the common practice held by the uninitiated and their effort of obtain such material. What the uninitiated fail to realize, is that even if they have a said text within their possession and can read the words, they will never be able to “read” the text unless they are mentored by someone who is has been initiated into the system they are reading about. The only thing that can be obtained from illegal downloads in a misinterpretation of “ideas.” Ironically when these ideas are taken literally by the uninitiated, they create a prison for themselves and their minds.
These things happen because they have not employed the work necessary to understand and really “read” some of the ideas that are right in front of them. The work cultivates certain emotional states that make new information is to digest. If a person obtains a certain text and is not involved in the “work,” they will digest the information in the wrong emotional state, which is like giving someone water mixed with poison.
Another way that problems of this nature can present itself is by the misunderstanding of certain terms. Everyone interprets experience, life, and language based on what they have experienced prior to obtaining a new set of ideas. When these individuals come in contact with new information, they will define the terms read based on how they understand the words, or their meaning. But, certain words fall under the category of code words. Others may be defined differently by the author and the initiated practitioners of a certain paradigm.
In the same manner, books like the Ivory Tablets of the Crow and the Yi Jing Apocrypha of Genghis Khan follow the same principle. The knowledge contained in these books can only be acquired by the practice of certain formulas. The meanings of certain passages are not those of public opinion. These principles also apply to many popular magical and mystical texts today.
Curiosity is a part of human nature. Yet, for those who are looking to evolve spiritually, curiosity can rob the life of some vital years, or put a person at a greater distance from their desired goals. It is important that we invest our time and interests wisely. If we really appreciate the information that we have received, then it would make sense to pay gratitude and respect to the author by obtaining an official copy of the said work.
When information becomes difficult for us to obtain, due to pricing and etc., then we should work extra hard in making the extra monies available to buy a copy. This is one step in initiation in itself. Sometimes it is a sign from the universe that the information may not be for us at the time. Trying to achieve “enlightenment” by the use of information we obtained illegally is an answer in itself.
2 thoughts on “Can You Really Achieve “Enlightenment” By Reading Books That Were Downloaded Illegally?”
The books are written down because of two motivations – the Teachers had no-one to teach, so there was no-one to receive the knowledge. The second problem was that the Teachers quite simply forgot. For a limited subset of texts, there are blinds. For a majority of texts, there are simple errors. For all texts, these can be fixed by practice. They’re supposed to be a handbook or guide anyway, not particularly scripture.
That being said, it really looks to me like you’re trying to separate the armchair occultists from the practicing occultists.
To the practicing occultist, the theft of a book is academic to the point of using a library. The value to them isn’t to have the book but rather to evaluate the ideas contained therein against his own. His motivation for piracy isn’t the cheap thrill of theft, but to compare and contrast other people’s thoughts and working methods. If we attribute misinformation to either traps, blinds, or carelessness, it matters not to the practicing occultist because it would be rare that they use the information presented wholesale.
The armchair occultist does run a danger of ruining his life through magic, but that’s like saying that an “armchair carpenter” has some greater risk of cutting off their own hand. The discernment of ideas is something learned by each person, and the book doesn’t change it’s contents based on a library loan or a torrent file.
The goal of the author is to present information in such a way that the author ensures their own economic success and to do that, they need to add enough well reasoned thought to the work to appeal to the practicing occultist, and they need to add enough explanation for the structure of the system presented that the armchair occultist will be motivated to actually use the information presented.
Very interesting points. Thanks for posting some really good insights on the topic. I do understand the reason why practicing magicians read other material that they may download. if it is available, people will seek to receive it. Some with honor, will download and then buy the book. However, I can’t see a true magician, practicing for that matter, so excited that they seek a illegal means of obtaining some information. When the magician has really discovered their path, they realize that the true work is not exercised by “grabbing techniques” or studying conclusions. The reason for reviewing published material is known and discussed in other circles. It is good to read other material. we may find a gem or what have you. but actively seeking to information by illegal means, uhmmm that’s another thing all together.