The occult gets so deep into your soul that you cannot just renounce it and walk away. It takes time and works to cut all of the ties that bind you. That is the way it was designed. For me, leaving was never an option, if anything I kept going in deeper and deeper.
When I was younger, in my early occult days, I was fascinated by the human mind and its intricate workings or its failures therein. Back then I had a friend who worked in a mental asylum and I had convinced him to let me into a specific wing of the hospital for a couple of hours at a time.
Audacious step I came to realize, as he would lock the door and bolt off down the corridor, shouting if you need help, press the panic button. There I stood, armed with my sarcasm, some iffy illusion magick and a death wish, a locked metal door, a corridor full of societies, not-so-stable individuals … jackpot!!
As time went by and my visits became more regular,I had got to a situation where I had made, well, friends with a number of these individuals, I would spend some time doing illusion tricks for them, that seemed to promote trust and in a strange way kinship, then I would engage in conversation or something to that effect, and try and get into their minds, my objective from the off. I came to know three of them for who they believed they were, Jesus Christ, Napoleon Buonaparte, and Adolf Hitler.
I came to understand that they would perceive reality differently from how I saw it, they were convinced about who they were, and as time went by and I delved deeper into their minds, I started to doubt if it was my reality that was inhibited and impaired or was it they that were seeing the bigger picture.
Fast forward to the present and I see it all the time now. No, not mental illness, but people seeking symptoms that are usually correlated to mental illness. Voices, visions, hallucinations. They want a deeper touch of the spiritual in their life.
Likewise in mental health spaces, I see the opposite. They want such things to go away, to stop bothering them. To live a normal life.
I find the juxtaposition fascinating. What some people desire, others who have it wish to cast it off. What some view as a gift, are simultaneously desired to be cast off by those with the said gift.
Myself, I walk between both worlds. When I started my occult journey, I heard of things like visions, voices, spirits, and the like as unlikely possibilities. How wrong that turned out to be, it was to become my norm.
So am I mad? Well, it only made my occult practices stronger, and more affirming. I've seen/experienced things that I know few others have, and I consider it both a curse and a blessing to be afflicted with such. Those voices that were once accused, are now affirming. I have achieved everything I could want from occult practices, and it makes me wonder: who else has?
Who else is/has gone mad? How has it enhanced your experience with occult/spiritual studies? I would be fascinated to find out.
I think people who have not genuinely experienced both, tend to conflate them. They are not the same, at all, at least in my experience. I cannot really explain exactly how, but a delusion is worlds away from gnosis.
There's a fine line between madness and occult/esoteric experiences. I think many of us walk it. But I know there is a difference between unwanted schizophrenic symptoms and the kind of visions, omens, and voices we seek. They are not the same, but maybe they're similar and possibly many of the mentally afflicted are spiritually vulnerable and being attacked by lower realm beings. The last part was a guess but there is a difference. One is controlled and desired the other is neither of those.
Ain Soph Aur - Patrick Gaffiero