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The Magic Model

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The Magic Model

Post by Newman on Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:45 am

I'm heavily into the occult for many years now, and I just discovered a very interesting model for magic... and for the LoA (I'll talk about the LoA version here, the magic one is a bit different).

You probably know Bashar's theory of permission slips (if you don't, watch this video:)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QkT8dW4U4c

I discovered that sometimes it's very difficult to believe in wonders... or in change.
You just can't get over things, you can't believe that everything's going to be all right.
... or your rational mind can't relax for a moment to let your reality work out the next step (yes, I'm talking about allowing here).

So what then?

Then you need magic.
When we're young we believe in magic... then, later, everybody tells us that there is no such thing as magic, spells, wonders, etc... that reality is unchangeable.

Now wait for a moment: What is magic?
Is it real? Can you define it? Can you "use" such a weird power?
Your rational, logical mind will tell you: there is no such thing as magic.
It's not logical! How could such abstract phenomenon exist?

In this thread you'll see that magic does exist!
Well, not in a way you'd expect, but let's just say: You CAN use magic!

From the perspective of the Law of Attraction, magic is the ultimate shortcut.
It's:
- a very good feeling
- maximum allowing
- a leap of faith
- creation without limitations
- using your innate Godlike powers
- ultimate freedom

How to use magic? + How does magic work?

Yes, this is a 2in1 question.
Magic is the opposite of your "unchangeable" reality.
When you observe things and people, you feel that your world is there (even without you, the observer).

You do "normal" stuff, everyday.
You walk, you eat, you see / hear / smell, etc...
That's "normal".
And, of course, there's causality, logic, consistency.

... and all of this is YOU.
Your world.
... made by the Law of Attraction... which is MAGIC!!!

Your life is governed by magic - your thoughts become things, and your emotions guide you in this process.
Oh, and beliefs! Let's not forget beliefs!

If you want to use magic, you HAVE TO believe in magic.
No, I'm not talking about visible, "flashy" spells like the ones in fantasy movies.
Your thoughts are magical, you see.
But we don't let magic work properly! We're limiting ourselves.

Ok, ok you all know this.
But how to use magic?!

This time I'll say: like in those fantasy movies!
While it's not visible or "flashy", you'll feel it's power.

Magic is not about logic - it's about emotions, feelings, allowing.
You don't even have to cast a specific spell.
Just do it! Try it! Wave your hand, relax and let the "magic" work!

Sounds crazy?
EXACTLY!
It is crazy. It's not "normal" - THAT'S THE POINT! Very Happy
That's why it can bypass you, your ego and your limiting beliefs.
It. Just. Works. Smiley

I'm not saying that you should use the LoA like this all the times.
And, obviously, casting spells in front of everyone would be a bad idea, so you either do it privately, when you're alone or just using small gestures (or without using any gestures at all).

Now one could say: But this method is about the "How?" and not the "What?"!
I don't think so.
Even your legs are permission slips for getting A from B without instant teleportation.
Magic is not the goal, it's just a tool. Just like a car or a job, or anything, really.

Remember: don't try to find some logical theory or explanation for magic!
Again: IT. JUST. WORKS. Smiley
Magic is magic, just like in fairy tales.

It's the Law of Attraction without YOUR limits.
You don't even have to ask for something.
Just visualize light, flying spells, flowing energy, ANYTHING!... or just feel good and let the "power" engulf you.

SUMMARY: Magic is an illogical, irrational, allowing state of being.
You can use magic without any specific goal in mind, and it will still help you in everything you want to manifest.
Magic is a permission slip that let you use your full creating potential.

UPDATE #1: The trick is the doing part.
You have to use magic.

Cast spells, raise energy, feel the power - that's the trick!
Doing some illogical, "magical" little ritual that will help you... somehow.

It's all about trust.
You trust the Universe, Source, your Higher Self and let everything work out in the best way it's possible.
It's not you, not your ego... it's magic. Wink

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Re: The Magic Model

Post by LittlemissSunshine on Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:54 am

I am going to try this right now. Actually I have tried it before. But its always good to have a little reminder. Think big, think in miracles.
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Re: The Magic Model

Post by Newman on Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:55 am

I hope this model can serve you well, LittlemissSunshine!

While the "act as if" method is the easiest and most powerful technique, it's good to have some "magic" when we feel powerless.

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Re: The Magic Model

Post by Lotus ♥ on Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:17 pm

Hi Newman, and welcome aboard.
That was a great post, really (and a great debut). Smiley

I honestly believe you possess a real talent, especially writing like a "speaker" not just a writer. You have the ability to imagine your readers (or rather audience), assume their argument, bring it in and right away respond to it. Very Happy Your post is full of such inner dialogs between you and your imaginary audience, and as such it finally comes out so bright, lively and spirited. Not to mention the great content that I personally fully agree with.

So keep up my friend  and welcome one more time—(also welcome to Lilac).


Last edited by Lotus ♥ on Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Magic Model

Post by LittlemissSunshine on Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:36 pm

Well like Lotus says the way you describe it is very encouraging! I have tried this yesterday but I don't think I was in the right mindset yet. I intended from a place of frustration. That's never a good basis. So today is a better day. I am in full expectation of magic now. Like u are saying, raise the energy and use the power, I lacked that. U need to be fully open to it as well. Tomorrow I am going to try it again Smiley
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Re: The Magic Model

Post by Night Eyes on Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:48 pm

Gosh Newman i'm so sorry, i'm going to sound a bit stupid here... i dont get how you use this technique.... what do you do to use magic?.. i'm not sure i've followed

or do i just wave my hand whilst visualising and feel the magic flow?

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Re: The Magic Model

Post by LittlemissSunshine on Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:27 pm

I think the thing with magic is that you need to believe in it. I usually just ask and intent. If I feel I need to do some kind of ritual to add some power I do it. But not always, it's just believing in the magic that makes it happen. But well I have weird stuff happen often. That makes me believe in magic. It's just one of the things you can do to draw your desires into your life.
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Re: The Magic Model

Post by lunareclipse on Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:02 pm

Ohh I used to love magic when I was a teenager, I had a book called Magic and I always had my nose in it. I had my magic box as well with my magic objects and did various spells. I'm pretty sure most of them did work.

For example we had a ghost in our sauna. Dead serious- all of us heard footsteps there, saw objects moving and doors opening on their own.
Then I did some magic ritual that I can't remember well, but it involved 2 branches from a rowan tree tied to a cross with a red string. It seemed to have worked, we haven't heard anything ever since and it has been like 20 years.

Magic is good to use when you have a belief that you yourself do not possess enough power or control to make something happen, so you think when using a ritual, the universe or something else will do it for you. It is all your own energy of course, but it's easier to believe if you follow some system that has worked for others, it will render similar results for you too.

This of course is not to discredit magic, it's a great tool and permission slip to use if it works for you. In magic you focus your energy into a ritual or object very intensely for a short period of time after which you let go assuming and believing the magic is doing the work for you. Which is why it works so well sometimes Very Happy

SUMMARY: Magic is an illogical, irrational, allowing state of being.
You can use magic without any specific goal in mind, and it will still help you in everything you want to manifest.
Magic is a permission slip that let you use your full creating potential.
I love that, because magic helps you sneak past that logical part of mind that says things are not possible for you or it's too good to be true.

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Re: The Magic Model

Post by Newman on Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:58 pm

Night Eyes wrote:Gosh Newman i'm so sorry, i'm going to sound a bit stupid here... i dont get how you use this technique.... what do you do to use magic?.. i'm not sure i've followed

or do i just wave my hand whilst visualising and feel the magic flow?

Fair question.
I just started the thread without thinking the whole thing through, so I'll edit it later, I promise!

But yeah, basically what you said:
Night Eyes wrote:or do i just wave my hand whilst visualising and feel the magic flow?

Also this:
lunareclipse wrote:I love that, because magic helps you sneak past that logical part of mind that says things are not possible for you or it's too good to be true.

So: you cast your "spell" - it can be the visualization of golden light, sparks, lightings, etc or just "waving your hand". Anything that feels like magic.
It should be easy, allowing, and it MUST feel good.

But the most important part is: you have to know that it IS magic.
It works like magic, it acts like magic, it feels like magic... you don't know HOW it's going to work (because it's magic!!! Very Happy ), but it definitely WILL work... because it's magic.

If you'll understand you'll laugh out loud.
It's going to be an "Aha!" moment, trust me!

Magic is the exact opposite of the rational, "mundane" mind / consciousness.
And that is why you can boost your LoA practices with it (lunareclipse's reply is about this).

If you still have questions (and / or I couldn't explain it well enough), just ask! Razz

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Re: The Magic Model

Post by satty on Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:21 pm

Hey Newman,

Thanks for sharing this technique.

Will give it a try..

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Re: The Magic Model

Post by Freya on Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:30 pm

Newman wrote:From the perspective of the Law of Attraction, magic is the ultimate shortcut.
It's:
- a very good feeling
- maximum allowing
- a leap of faith
- creation without limitations
- using your innate Godlike powers
- ultimate freedom

So magic is basically the product of one's highest self/universal consciousness?

Is it described in this quote, or is it a little different?



Thank you for your time. Smiley

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Re: The Magic Model

Post by Newman on Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:41 am

satty wrote:Will give it a try..

Ok, I hope it'll work well. Smiley

Freya wrote:So magic is basically the product of one's highest self/universal consciousness?

Is it described in this quote, or is it a little different?

I'll be honest with you: I'm still experimenting with this model.
Even for simple, "ordinary" magic(k), this method is weird and unorthodox - they'd say to you: "You can't just wave your hand, feel good and do magic(k); that's not how it works. You have to follow the rules."

But the Law of Attraction is not like that.
While it has its own rules, freedom, allowing and positive feelings are very important parts of them.

Now your question: Let's just say that yes, your description is very accurate.
When you use the magic described in this thread, you
- let your higher self do the job
- get very close to God
- are in the Flow / Vortex

It's a permission slip, just like walking, reading, speaking, etc.
It helps you to feel positive about your goal without over-thinking it (or worrying).

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Re: The Magic Model

Post by lunareclipse on Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:10 pm

Kinda ties into the subject, so I'll ask this here instead of starting a new subject.

Do you believe things like curses or evil eye exist and are possible and used these days?
For example, if a person or a whole family has suddenly from a certain point of time onward majorly bad luck, ill health, people dying, financial and relationship failures- do you think it may be because somebody has cursed them? I mean for one person it's easy to say that it might be just their belief system and fears that attract it, but for a whole group of people?

Makes me think of Poltergeist and similar stories where the whole movie set or cast is said to be cursed after, or say- everyone dies that enters a catacomb of a pharaoh in some stories you hear.
http://www.cracked.com/article_16541_the-insane-true-stories-behind-6-cursed-movies.html

Obviously, you may speculate that the curse only works because the person believes they are now cursed, but I've heard of plenty of cases where the person doesn't even know of the curse, yet it works. Even simple cases, not just voodoo.

For example this Estonian lady said many people accused her of being a witch or having evil eye, because whatever she wished for people to have, came true.
She had many examples, but one was a case when she was walking a dog with her friend and some teenage brat went by on a motorbike and swerved as if trying to run their dog over on purpose, laughed and took off. The lady said "You'll be pushing that bike home" and as they walked on couple minutes down the road they saw the same guy coming back pushing the bike next to him, which now was clearly broken.  In this case, the guy wasn't aware of the "evil eye", yet it worked.

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Re: The Magic Model

Post by Freya on Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:20 am

Now your question: Let's just say that yes, your description is very accurate.
When you use the magic described in this thread, you
- let your higher self do the job
- get very close to God
- are in the Flow / Vortex

It's a permission slip, just like walking, reading, speaking, etc.
It helps you to feel positive about your goal without over-thinking it (or worrying).

Thank you, Newman. I hope to get into a place like that soon - don't we all!

Do you believe things like curses or evil eye exist and are possible and used these days?

I don't believe the evil eye or curses exist except in fiction, but Sheldrake (paranormal scientist) has written some interesting reflections on the evil eye in his book The Sense of Being Stared At - here.

All of these things are fascinating topics. Smiley

I always love those "curse of the pharaohs" stories...



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Re: The Magic Model

Post by Freya on Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:50 pm

I just found this article about the magic of practical Kabbalah (Jewish esoteric tradition) and thought I should post it here. As seen below, adepts at Kabbalah (cabala) "could extract wine from walls, heal the sick, and even revive the dead...."


Does anyone have any other thoughts on Kabbalah?

Wonder-Workers

By: F. Levine
First Published: 2000-06-15
Last Modified: 2006-04-20
The story begins with the words, "There was a person who wrote amulets." ...we can easily guess that a frightening experience awaits this person. —Gedalya Nigal, Magic, Mysticism, and Hasidism.

Both the practical Kabbalah and its practitioners, the Ba'alei Shem (Tov) ("Masters of the [Good] Name"), have been causes of dissension, debate, and controversy as long as they've existed. There has always been a faction, sometimes large, sometimes small, which looked on the practical Kabbalist's actions as distasteful, dangerous, and even heretical. Since there were also a number of charlatans and false messiahs who preyed on people's ignorance and emotions, there was also a healthy dose of distrust of the Ba'al Shem–at least in the minds of the more purist rabbinical leaders. In many places and times efforts were made to forbid practical Kabbalah altogether.

Origins of Ba'alei Shem
The term Ba'al Shemfirst appears in the writings of Genoic-era (500-1100 AD) Babylonian Jews, in a negative connotation. Hai Gaon (939-1038), a leader of Babylonian Jewry, strongly denounced them, writing off their wondrous activities as "nonsense". Rabbi Judah ha-Levi (c. 1150-1217) suggested they were misguided, believing that when a "prophet" spoke and something came of it, "they thought that this speaking [meaning, the words uttered] was the cause of this wonder." Maimonides (1135-1204) not only opposed Ba'alei Shem, but the use of Divine Names in any activity.

Is It OK To Be A Ba'al Shem?
Even those masters who studied Kabbalah (practical or theoretical) were known to express their reservations. One anonymous author wrote:

Indeed it is worthwhile to study these matters for the sake of knowing the power and dynamics of the creator of the world, but not in order to do [them]. You shall study them in order to comprehend and teach."

from The Secret Name of 42 Letters. Tr. Moshe Idel.

Rabbi Judah he-Hasid (1150-1217) advised that mystical books containing Divine Names were to be hidden from sudents, lest theystudy it without supervision and "incur punishment." He also commented that anyone who "conjures" angels or demons, interprets dreams, or invoke the Divine Name to accomplish something would come to a bad end.

Although Rabbi Joseph Gikatilla (13th century) wrote an entire book on the mystical properties and uses of the Hebrew language and Names of God called Garden of the Walnut, he later changed his position, warning against that route of study in a later, theoretic work, Gates of Light.

European Jews of the medieval period, however, displayed a more favorable attitude toward Ba'alei Shem, and preserved and wrote numerous stories of both real and fictitious ones.

The mainline, conservative rabbinical view is reflected in the character of Rabbi Benish Askenazi, one of the protagonists in Isaac Bashevis Singer's Satan in Goray, which is set in the late 17th century. He strongly opposes the study of Kabbalah by young men,and does not tolerate practical Kabbalah at all:

Occasionally, adepts in the cabala, men who could extract wine from walls, heal the sick, and even revive the dead, would appear in Goray. But Rabbi Benish did not permit them to stay long...There would be a certain amount of grumbling, Rabbi Benish's foes claiming that he disbelieved in the cabala...But the rabbi remained steadfast in his ways, maintaining, "So long as I live, there will be no idolatry in Goray!"

Noonday edition, 1996, p. 25.

Ruth R. Wise, commenting on the novel, suggests that the rabbi is a symbolic authority for Ashkenazic Jewry–that is, Jews west of the Iberian peninsula–"stand[ing] firmly in this rational tradition of legal authority and political conservatism." (Noonday edition, 1996, p. xxxi.) Taking her view a step further, "Ashkenazi" originally meant simply "of Germany", a country which, along with others in Western Europe in more recent centuries, was more likely to be intolerant of practical Kabbalah than those of Eastern Europe.

Qualities of a Ba'al Shem
Despite the varying opinions and controversies, the Ba'al Shem or any practical Kabbalist is meant to be a profoundly good presence. It takes someone very special to be a Ba'al ShemTov. He must first be pious, unwavering in faith and character. He is likely a scholar of one sort or another. He must have access to hidden knowledges. He most likely is skilled in meditation and self-discipline. He also must use and handle the Names of God with utmost care and respect, as if they were volatile chemicals. One mistake in their use could spell disaster.

The practical Kabbalist must never abuse his power or use it for personal gain. Practical Kabbalah should only be used forgood, and in emergencies. However, what constituted "good" and "emergency" varied by time and place, and what procedures were considered acceptable also varied.

The Ba'al Shem had to be prepared for adversity. He had to be impervious to threats, ridicule, and disbelief, often from his own people due to the bad reputation sometimes attached to the title. In centuries past, he sometimes had to be ready to face charges of witchcraft–or flee for his life. In some stories he is portrayed as risking his life to take a stand and defend the community against attack or reprisals. While some were well-established in a community, many are portrayed as wanderers, with no real home, at least for some portion of their lives. He might have traveled at a time when highwaymen were plentiful and the locals had a low tolerance of Jews in general, less for one who couldn't be accounted for. In addition, some of the work itself was dangerous, and could result in physical and mental harm, or even death.

It is no surprise, then, that some of these wonder-workers seem to have been viewed as mild eccentrics. Perhaps it was the way they dressed, or how they said their prayers, or the uncanny way they seemed to come and go without warning, they way they seemed to know and see things from afar, an odd personality trait, strange meditative practices, etc. A number of them were young prodigies or oddly late bloomers (or so it seemed, at least).

What would compel someone to take on this somewhat controversial and risky lifestyle? In the worst scenarios, it's the lure of power or greed. Men who followed this path were dangerous, and typically ended up getting what they deserved in the end (at least if you believe the folklore and other accounts which claim to be factual reports).

The true Ba'al Shemhad the desire to do good coupled with a deeply spiritual nature, with a dash of activist thrown in. It has been suggested, particularly in Elliot R. Wolfson's essay "Walking as a Sacred Duty" (found in his book Along the Path), that his wandering was a spiritual quest, or even an obligation. The wanderer "uplifts the sparks" of his own soul through his experiences, turning the fallen holy and elevating the spiritual status of those he meets through his actions. He also might "accompany" or embody the Shekhina, God's Presence among the Jews in exile.

Tzaddikim and Ba'alei Shem
The most enlightened spiritual leaders, Kabbalists or not, are sometimes called Tzaddikim, which means "righteous men". Tzaddik is also found translated as "saint"in many books, though obviously not in the Christian sense. It was the Tzaddik's job to set the best example, to spiritually guide people, to act in their interests, to "uplift" the mundane world to a divine level, and to try to achieve an ideal state of life suitable for the coming of the Messiah.

A man called a Tzaddik by his community often commanded respect and influence, and may have been held in a sort of awe by the people around him. It is not surprising, then, that many stories exist concerning Tzaddikim who save the innocent by means of their almost superhuman virtue.

The concepts of Tzaddikim and Ba'alei Shem sometimes overlap in their activities and attributes, and in their tendency to travel. A Tzaddik need not be a practical Kabbalist (or a Kabbalist at all), though it's more likely a Ba'al Shem–at least a true one–is a Tzaddik. By this same token, being a rabbi and/or a Kabbalist does not mean that one is a Tzaddik. It is a title for the truly exceptional.

Secret Tzaddikim
One theme which occurs periodically is the idea of the secret Tzaddik, a wondrously righteous man who gives no outward clue as to his capabilities. This is not to be confused with a simply humble Ba'al Shem. Sometimes these people are the most powerful, only revealing themselves in a time of great need, often vanishing once their duty has been done. Such a figure is found in literature in the strangely knowing and subtly powerful character of Schemajah Hillel in Gustav Meyrink's The Golem, who is not a rabbi or leader, but the Jews' registrar in Prague.

A related variant of interest is that of the lamed-vovnick: "One of the Thirty-Six". (The letters lamed and vov represent that number.) There arose from a figure of speech in the Talmudic legend that there are thirty-six righteous souls in every generation upon whom the world rests. They are also called "hidden saints",as they operate very discreetly. Sometimes a lamed-vovnick will disguise his righteousness in boorishness, poverty, modesty, and even apparent stupidity, so as to divert attention from his true identity. If he's found out, he'll deny it all, move to another community where he's unknown, and continue to quietly work for the good of all.

Historical Examples of Ba'alei Shem
Although Ba'alei Shem are mentioned in fairly early literature, stories and records of individuals (real and fictitious) seem to be more common from the 11th century on. A book from this period, originally called Sefer Yuhasin and known today as Megilat Ahimaaz (The Scroll of Ahimaaz, after its author), details the lives of a number of Ba'alei Shem active in Italy in the 10th and 11th centuries. These include Abu Aharon, who used a Divine Name of God to force a lion to turn a mill; Ahima'az the Elder, who temporarily resurrected a young man by slipping a parchment with a Divine Name on it under the skin of his arm; and Rabbi Shephatia, who exorcised a demon from the daughter of Emperor Basil the Wicked, and also used Names to travel faster than humanly possible to get to his destination before the Sabbath using a technique called Kefitzat ha-Derekh, "The Shortening of the Way".

In the Maaseh Bukh (1763), Rabbi Judah he-Hasid (who lived c. 1150-1217, and is actually never explicitly called "Ba'al Shem"), is said to use Names to locate thieves, revive the dead, use amulets, and travel by means of Kefitzat ha-Derekh. This is somewhat interesting, considering that in Rabbi Judah's own book Sefer Hasidim (The Book of the Pious), he is against the use of amulets and advises extreme caution (though is not totally against) the use of the Divine Names.

In the book Maaseh Nissim (1696), Rabbis Leizer and Reuven of Worms use Divine Names to produce a man from a jug and put him back again; Leizer also knew how to trap demons in bottles and make them reveal information to him, particularly the identification and location of criminals. From this period we also encounter Adam Ba'al Shemof Bingen, a ficticious hero of Yiddish stories.

Some Ba'alei Shem were important rabbis and talmudic scholars, such as Elija Loans of Frankfurt and Worms, Elija Ba'al Shemof Chelm, and Sekel Wormser of Michelstadt. Others who bore the title were scholars who devoted themselves to the Kabbalah, such as Joel Ba'al Shemof Zamosc, Benjamin Beinisch ha-Kohen of Krotoszyn, Samuel Essigen, and Samuel Falk, the "Ba'al Shemof London". All of these men were active in the 16th to 18th centuries. Some had the personality of a wandering wonder-worker, while others are described as community rabbi-leaders who made occasional forays into the practical Kabbalah.

Rabbi Naphtali Katz of Poznan (d. 1718) had a deer head mounted on the wall which had Holy Names hidden inside of it, and because of this there were never any fires on his street; he had a ring engraved with Names, probably for use in exorcisms; it is said he once resurrected a dead man, saved a groom from the forces of evil, and won a battle with a sorcerer. His German contemporary, Rabbi Ephraim Reischer, was known for exorcising evil spirits from people and places.

Later in the 18th century, we encounter two men whose reputations are mixed. The first is Rabbi Samuel Essigen, who by some accounts is a miraculous healer and exorcist, but by others is a showman and a quack who accidentally caused the death of a young woman while attempting to drive a demon out of her. The other is Rabbi Eybenschuetz, a popular leader and amulet-writer who made a dead man indicate a liar in a dispute and caused the arm of a man trying to shoot him to be paralyzed. He also was said to be able to cure infertility, read other people's thoughts, cause sins to appear written on the sinner's forehead, and identify people's past incarnations. He also practiced physiognomy. However, it is also related of him that he made a calculated effort in promoting stories about himself, was evasive in answering questions about events he described in printed material, and that a servant whom he treated rudely later claimed he had helped Eybenschuetz fake a haunting.

Following this somewhat dubious pair is the more respectable Rabbi Hayyim Azulai, also known as Hida (1724-1807). Active in northern Africa and Israel, he was a charismatic spokesperson who collected donations for yeshivot, (Jewish religious study schools) and was a founding member of the Jerusalem yeshiva Bet El. His travels and status granted him access to numerous libraries, and he even owned several manuscripts written by the great Kabbalist Isaac Luria. With the help of these resources eventually became an expert in the study of Kabbalah. He himself wrote treatises on Kabbalah, prayer, Names of God, angels, and the use of amulets. His exceptional knowledge made him friends among both Christian and Jewish scientists, philosophers, and royalty. Hida made a living by writing and selling amulets, which were greatly valued; after his death his signature was regarded as an amulet and the people of Tunis swore oaths on his name as late as 1912. Despite his immense popularity, Hida lived a fairly humble life, and his sincerity helped repair the bad reputation which had attached itself to the practice of amulet-writing.

The most famous man to bear the title Ba'al Shem Tov was Israel ben Eliezar Ba'al Shem Tov, or "the BeShT" (1698-1760), the founder of modern Hasidism. An orphan who worked various jobs, he appeared to have little interest in scholarship, and often came across as a solitary dreamer. The truth, however, was that he was wise beyond his years, and spiritually very gifted, but as a result of a decree from heaven, could not reveal his true nature or his capabilities until the age of thirty-six. There are, however, a body of stories which tell of episodes from his youth in which he discreetly "saved the day".

Ba'alei Shem in Fiction
We encounter another figure, this time fictitious, in modern literature. Although never explicitly called a Ba'al Shem, the character of Reb Gedalia the ritual slaughterer in Singer's Satan in Goray is a particular example of the negative variety, and Singer portrays him with plenty of distaste. Like a traveling evangelist, he comes to the town of Goray, shining with health and optimism, singing the praises of a wondrous man soon to be revealed as a false messiah, Shebbetai Zevi. The hopeless people in town are quite taken by him. But Gedaliah has gone astray. He is not a deliberate con artist; rather, he has wrongly put his faith in and performs his wonders in the name (and supposedly power) of Zevi, a real man whom history generally regards as a very human, deluded heretic. Under the sway of darker powers, Gedaliah gradually reveals himself to be straying farther from goodness, and eventually finds himself in over his head.

Although a number of authors, including Scholem, Trachtenberg, and Schwartz, discuss or relate stories of Ba'alei Shem and wonderworkers, Gedalya Nigal dedicates a very thorough chapter to the portrayal and actions of the Ba'alei Shem in literature in his book Magic, Mysticism, and Hasidism. Many of the people mentioned in this article are discussed at length by Nigal.

Suggested Reading
If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more, I recommend:

Scholem, Gershom. Kabbalah. Keter Publishing House Jerusalem, Ltd., 1974. Full Listing »

Trachtenburg, Joshua. Jewish Magic and Superstition. Atheneum, 1987. Full Listing »

Ansky, S. The Dybbuk and Other Writings. Yale University Press, 2002. Full Listing »

Nigal, Gedalyah. Magic, Mysticism, and Hasidism. Jason Aronson, 1994. Full Listing »

Singer, Issac Bashevis. Satan in Goray. Noonday Press, 1996. Full Listing »

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Re: The Magic Model

Post by Freya on Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:54 pm

And since I realise that was rather dense -- an excerpt from The Three Types of Kabbalah :



It is important to realize that the Kabbalah is more about losing ourselves than about finding, becoming more other-centered and less ego-centered. The literal translation of the word Kabbalah is 'that which is received.' To receive we must be receptive. We must open ourselves, creating a vessel in which to absorb that which we wish to understand or grasp, and in turn become part of Kabbalah. To open the self to a higher reality, to view the spirit within the matter, to raise our consciousness to the point where our perception of reality is completely changed, and the divine within all creation is revealed.

Generally speaking, Kabbalah is divided into three categories: the theoretical, which concerns itself primarily with the inner dimensions of reality; the spiritual worlds, souls, angels, and the like, and the meditative, where the goal is to train the person who is studying to reach higher elevated meditative states of consciousness and, perhaps, even a state of prophecy through employing the Divine names, letter permutations, and so forth. The third type of Kabbalah is the magical, which concerns itself with altering and influencing the course of nature. It also uses the Divine names, incantations, amulets, magical seals and various other mystical exercises.

With regards to the latter, the vast majority of the more important texts of magical Kabbalah have never been published, and perhaps for good reason. Besides being a highly complex issue to master, even when mastered it can be at times dangerous. Many of the earlier Kabbalists have deemed the magical Kabbalah as a precarious discipline. R. Joseph Della Reina (1418 - 1472) was one of the great masters of the magical Kabbalah. Legend has it that he attempted to utilize his spiritual powers to bring the ultimate redemption, and in the process of failure became spiritually injured. Some say he committed suicide, while others say that he transmogrified as an apostate. Others say that he simply went mad. Many Kabbalists in the generations that followed took his actions as a warning sign against practicing advanced transcendental and magical Kabbalah. From therein, the magical elements of Kabbalah have, for all intents and purposes, become extinct, and its knowledge has been completely forgotten.
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