spiritual transmission

Cut-up writing as a gateway to spiritual transmission

I've been reading Thee Psychick Bible for a little while now and came across an article by Genesis where he notes the following:

No matter how short, or apparently unrecognizable a sample might be in linear time perception, I believe it must, inevitably, contain within it the sum total of absolutely everything its original context represented, communicated or touched in any way; On top of this it must also implicitly include the sum total of every individual in any way connected with its introduction and construction within the original culture and every subsequent culture it in any way, means, or form, has contact with forever.

It's interesting perspective about cut-up and one that Burroughs alludes to in his own writings, but in not so explicit a manner. My own approach has favored the idea that the act of cutting up text frees it from its original author and meaning, and that the rearrangement of the text is the appropriation of it by the person doing the cut-up in order to create a new message, but I can also see validity in Genesis's approach to cut-up, especially if you apply the concept of spiritual transmission to cut-up.

Burroughs talks about how doing cut-up allowed him to catch divinatory glimpses of things that could occur, but it stands to reason as well that in a way you can't really cut out the original author of a text. You can rearrange the text, change the meaning, but there is still a connection of sorts to the author, to the original vision of the text. If we think of words as a means of connection with the author, not merely in terms of meaning, but in terms of an actual spiritual meeting with the author it changes our approach to text in some ways. We see it not even as a divinatory practice, but as a practice that allows us to meaningfully connect with the essence behind the writing. The rearrangement of text, and the reading become an invocatory practice that shifts us into an experience of transmission from a variety of sources.

It always fascinates me with how people approach a given technique and end up using it in different ways than others do. It demonstrates, to me, that magic is much more of an experiential process than anything else. Different people will have different methodologies and perspectives on how a technique works and all of them will be right.

Meeting the author through writing

I can't say all writing does this for me, but I've had a few experiences in my life where I've felt that reading the books of a given author has put me in touch with that author directly, in a way that I'd think of as spiritual transmission of sorts. It's actually happened with four different authors, although I've only actually met one of those authors in the flesh. The first author it ever happened with was William S. Burroughs. He was dead by the time I read his books, but reading his books put me in touch with the Old Man on the Mountain. Burroughs was there in the text, ready to come forth if the right person read his works. It's no surprise to me that his work has influenced my own approaches to magic, both in terms of textual magic and design and in other forms of practical magic. Even though I never met him in person, my encounter with him via text was one I've never forgotten. He is always there, ready to be found in his writing.

The second author and the only one I've ever met is Storm Constantine. I read her Wraeththu series and while it was a fantasy series, it was one that nonetheless felt channeled. My encounter with the spirit of Thiede, who became a permanent part of my pantheon was a powerful one, and subsequent books in the series have continued to embody that. But I also got a sense of Storm the writer and when I contacted her via email there was an immediate connection between us that is sustained to this day in the work we do together via Immanion Press. It's fair to say that Storm is one of those people I needed to meet in order to move forward with my calling and spiritual process.

William G. Gray is another author who's spirit I've encountered via his books. It's fair to say that there has been something of a spiritual transmission, at least in terms of how I approach the process of magic. Gray, in his own writing, is very systematic in his description of magical processes and I've felt his presence as I've read the books. In discussions with several people who actually knew him, I've described his presence and they've indicated it was an accurate description of him. I don't feel his presence as much now, because I think I've gotten the gist of what he wanted me to know via his writing, but as with Burroughs I can still sense his presence when I read his works.

The last author is one I've recently started reading, and I'm not sure if it's so much a spiritual transmission from him or just the fact that I can pick up something of William Gray's influence in the writing. I haven't met R. J. Stewart at this point, but when I read his writing I feel a sense of familiarity with it, and with the systematic descriptions that he provides, and it turns out that at one time he did study under Gray. So with this one I'm less certain as to whether its really a spiritual transmission or just the fact that there is some resonance in the writing that reminds me of the spirit of an author I have encountered.

I've met many other occult writers and read their books and I've gotten a lot from their works, but this kind of intimate connection is something that has been rare for me to experience. Have any of you had such experiences?