Friday, 1 May 2020
Left Hand Path, Middle Path, or Right Hand Path?
The Left Hand Path is basically the idea of acquiring power for power's own sake, usually with demonic or diabolical sources, and for the purposes of serving one's own personal desires. There may be more to it, depending on one's personal definition, but that's loosely what it amounts to. Certain forms of sex magick and demonic/diabolical worship are common in the LHP. Thelema and various forms of satanism are LHP.
The Right Hand Path is a path of servitude to the Divine, and often involves working with certain religious concepts, such as karma, being purged of sin, and obeying the Threefold Law. Abrahamic religions are considered RHP, but RHP is really any path that calls you to serve the Spirit - it doesn't just mean going to church, reading the Bible, and eating your vegetables. Medicine people who serve their community, for example, are RHP.
The Middle Path is somewhere in between the two, between self-indulgence and self-mortification. Buddha discussed this as "the Middle Way", and so Buddhism is often compared to the Middle Path approach, but really it can take any form that considers a balance between the two extremes. I would say anyone who is seeking to become enlightened is on some kind of Middle Path, or should at least adhere to it.
I often joke about the LHP, because I don't see it as a particularly enriching or significant path for personal betterment. I may be biased, having had spiritual problems (this without even searching for trouble) but the idea of looking to work with forces like this makes no sense to me, when there are much finer, richer sources to work with. I often watch LHP videos and I shake my head at what these occultists have to say - some seem to prop themselves up on a pedestal as master black magicians, when what they speak of sounds like hokey melodrama, while others worry me - some are sweet naive souls being used as pawns by forces that I don't believe have their best interests at heart. At best, the LHP makes sex interesting, it is a play toy that can lead to fascinating mind trips that are little more than weird experiences that keep you trapped in illusion... at worst, they corrupt you, and can lead a person down a path of ugliness. I have heard arguments on both sides, but I have yet to hear a black arts occultist who moves me with wise words the way a mystic does. Crowley may have moved some people in his writings, but he was an interesting poet, a wordsmith, and a rather cunning rogue. When LHP goes wrong, it is VERY hard to get out of, and that should be kept in mind for anyone foolish enough to pursue it. Black magick fucks up your karma, and it can stay fucked up for lifetimes to come.
The RHP is, in my opinion, only worth pursuing seriously if you are called to it by higher sources, or if there's a pressing need for help from Divinity. Otherwise, it's rather bland. RHP should not be about serving an institution, but unfortunately, that's what it's come to be associated with, thanks to religious nonsense. RHP should be about serving Spirit, nature, the universe... it is forming a friendship with God, it is being in touch with the Mother... it is a powerful, beautiful thing when it is done right. RHP can be fine for some even if one is not called to it, but it's just not the same as it is for one who is being called to serve. I believe that RHP, of the three, is the most powerful path for spiritual gifts, but that's only if you're called to serve the Spirit. In that case, you are gifted the things you require to serve creation, because you are fulfilling a need, not just because you desire them. Saints have had some of the most amazing abilities of prophecy, sight, and the working of miracles, to name some examples. Some say LHP is good for confronting forces that help you refine yourself - I say these forces just delude you and hold you hostage... refinement will often come on the RHP in the form of the dark night of the soul, for example, to do that job for you. You don't need real demons for that kind of work... you will be confronted by your inner, metaphorical demons. I should also add - if you are in trouble spiritually in some way, there is no better path for you than the RHP. But, if done badly, RHP is one of the stupidest paths.
In the end, it is my opinion that the best path, for most people, is the Middle Path. It's the perfect balance between the two extremes, and probably the best for refinement and releasing oneself from karmic patterns that are difficult. It doesn't have to be Buddhist, but that's one of the most famous examples of it. Siddhis, or powers, may come your way on the Middle Path too, but it's wise not to seek just to acquire them - if they come your way, they are a stage in your journey, but consider them a door prize towards the final goal. Powers, for their own sake, are never the wisest approach to spirituality if you truly desire enlightenment, so to me the LHP makes the least amount of sense for refinement. Sadhus in India spend years and years and years and years of gruelling practice, working with Shiva, in the hopes of acquiring powers from Him, but only if He is willing to offer them. Easterners often look down on western occult methods and practice, seeing them as unsophisticated and foolhardy. (I think what most LHP people really want can be found along the Middle Path, but it takes a lot of work to get there, and the LHP might be a quicker way to give you interesting phenomena, depending on what you're working with. But that phenomena is not real power... it's illusion.)
I am sure many black magicians would disagree with how I interpret things, but spirituality is not science - these opinions come from experiences of my own, from my studies and how I relate to what has worked and what failed. I don't trust it's possible to have a healthy relationship with certain dark powers, especially if you are a kind, sensitive soul. These things prey on innocence, seeking to corrupt it, and they may delude you into believing that they care, while feeding you interesting lies to keep you trapped in mental phenomena. The Buddha cautioned about buying into mental phenomena too much, and LHP is rife with that kind of thing. I still doubt my psychic abilities a lot, even though people tell me I'm quite accurate, so I am not eager to demand payment for a reading just yet.
Summing up: RHP is best if you are called by the Spirit to serve creation or you need God's help, MP is best if you seek enlightenment. LHP is playtime. That's just how I feel, having survived demonic possession.
UPDATE: One more note, this on the concept of the sacred -
I have come to associate sacredness, in its truest sense, with anything that is relevant to the needs of the Spirit. "Sacred" is a term that gets thrown around in esoteric and new age circles a lot, like "quantum" or "mystic", so even LHP people sometimes like to consider their practice as something of the sacred, except in this case they claim it's sacred to the diabolical. But because the definition of evil is "what shouldn't be", that means that nothing of the devil can truly be sacred. RHP is definitely sacred (when serving the needs of the Spirit - otherwise, it's often conservative religious nonsense), and I'd say MP is also sacred, when it is in the best interest of the development of the soul. LHP is not sacred, because it just deludes you.
(I think LHP groups often call ritualistic things "sacred" when they really are just sexy, and they want to attach special meaning to them. Just because something is sexy, it doesn't make it sacred.)