Bô Yin Râ: Mardi Gras of the Occult :: The Kober Press
The Kober Press

Bô Yin Râ:
Mardi Gras of the Occult

Bust of Bô Yin Râ

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From Resurrection, Chapter Five, "The Mardi Gras of the Occult."

The peculiar pleasure of hiding behind a mask and in disguise to play all sorts of pranks is given license, as one knows, to have its way without restraint at a specific season once a year; and where this custom is observed with wit and in good humor, one gladly will observe the revels as they pass, even if one does not feel the slightest inclination to take part in the parade.

After all, the time allotted to this merriment is brief; nor is there any dearth of serious days to follow.

Only when the urge to don disguises to indulge in mummery runs wild in spheres of life wherein such conduct has no business does it become a problem.

One such domain wherein the jests of carnival appear to be in season all year round is that of modern occultism; despite the many earnest seekers who with pure intent would here discover
satisfying answers to the enigmas of existence.

Merely by surveying recent, or the latest publications in the field—to the extent this still is possible today, considering the flood of needless products on the subject—one cannot miss examples of the most unbridled Mardi Gras.

Yet all this patent mummery insists on being taken seriously and thus presents a danger for many who approach it.

With unbelievable impertinence one practices the most outlandish slight-of-hand and offers it to the uncritical, whose numbers never seem to dwindle, as the true, authentic art of “magic.” With unsurpassed audacity the operators of this carnival display themselves in gaudy, glittering costumes and demand that one regard their tinsel as pure gold, and take their glassy beads for precious gems.

But however shopworn and transparent the postures of the trickery might be, each new gesture will unfailingly attract new converts.

If it merely were the spiritually immature, who keep on running after every harlequin who drums his rattle on his bag of tricks, claiming it contains the ultimate “philosopher’s stone,” one possibly might understand it. What almost seems beyond belief, however, is the fact that all too often even people let themselves be hoodwinked who elsewhere miss no opportunity to boast about their thoroughgoing skepticism.

Where is the reverence before the wisdom of the greatest sages that have walked the earth if one can be deluded to believe that some obscure adventurer might know about the mysteries whose depths to probe the wisest of the wise had labored all their lives and would reveal to only pupils who could comprehend them?

Can one seriously believe eternal wisdom has become so trivial in our day that buyers cannot be attracted unless it will be dumped like overstock at discount prices?

Are there truly minds today prepared to tolerate the notion that one is able to attain the union of one’s soul with God by occult exercises of whatever kind? And does one hold those in such low regard who in their day had truly reached this goal that one imagines their profoundest secrets are unveiled, because some impecunious pamphlet writer claims that, being an initiate, he came to know them, in detail, and under more or less mysterious circumstances?

One is often tempted to believe that any trace of basic judgment bids farewell to the majority of minds the moment they explore the realm of the “occult.”

Here, everything is taken at face value, which would at once be recognized as counterfeit if one did not naively trust the self-promoting bluster of those who try to sell their brass as solid gold.

Credulity appears to have no bounds, especially if the presumed “initiate” will skillfully deflect all questions touching his own character by means of lofty words he took from others.

If, furthermore, he will give the impression of expertise in many fields, suggesting to the uninformed that here they face a master of all knowledge, then such a charlatan can hazard almost anything without the risk of having his deceit unmasked.

A well-stocked box of index cards, together with a sizable collection of tracts on occult lore, both old and new, is often the entire arsenal of the pretended knowledge of such a pettifogger; and only his disciples’ unawareness of dubious publications of that sort protects him from discovery.

There is no need to single out particularly entertaining jests that flourish in the occult Mardi Gras.

Whoever will observe this carnival hilarity with open eyes and is not overawed by daring acrobatics shall find examples at discretion; and if he feels inclined he well may recognize whole categories of repeatedly recurring Mardi Gras disguises.

The most exotic characters he may encounter in this masquerade; and if he has not lost his sense of humor, a hearty laugh will more than once relieve his natural indignation.

But shame and pity for the human being’s sake are bound to sadden the observer when in the midst of this grotesque commotion he watches those who actually believe in the disguises they adopted and can no longer recognize that they are wearing masks.

The more one learns to see through all the glittering costumes, which some parade in solemn gravity, while others make them sparkle by their fancy leaps, the less one feels desire for such company.

Here we find the perfect playground of all who were derailed in their existence; and more than one who, in his ludicrously trimmed magician’s robe, now plays his shopworn, wretched part had only come to choose that role since he had failed in life and, facing imminent collapse, sought refuge in the realm of the occult.

For those entrapped in this dilemma, however, necessity brooks no constraints; and even if at first they did not dream of actually believing in the things their costumes represented, the pressure of their situation gradually compelled them to appear imbued with faith, a challenge they accomplish with consummate skill.

After all, a mask will only be effective at a proper Mardi Gras if it successfully conceals its bearer.

Were it not that all too often honest seekers are bewildered by this travesty, one simply might ignore it and move on.

But human souls are here in peril; and even if for most of them, who sometimes fail for years to recognize they had indulged in a perpetual carnival, a sobering Ash Wednesday is ultimately bound to dawn, the bitter knowledge of having wasted precious time remains a constant obstacle; despite the fact they later may pursue the only path that leads to the attainment of the goal they had originally longed to reach.

They now must time and again admit to themselves that if they were deceived the fault was theirs alone; for no one here is free of guilt who let his judgment be so paralyzed that he was able to mistake this masquerade for the authentic path to truth.

Whoever in external life believes each promising advertisement without first making sure that the promoter can be trusted, should not complain if in addition to his loss he also will reap mockery.

How much more consequential, then, becomes the duty carefully to choose before one trusts, if on such trust depends the bliss or desolation of the soul that longs for light and clarity!

One surely need not be endowed with singular intelligence to comprehend that God’s eternal Spirit, which is to unify itself with the awakened spirit of the human self, cannot be tricked into this union by means of “methods” one can learn from merchandisers selling occult “secrets.”

It simply is such trickery, however, that all things in the end amount to in the various, for the most part purely physical, “exercises” offered to their followers by any of the carnival magicians, who are but sorry imitations of blessed Count Cagliostro.

Thus it clearly is the aim to get by devious means what one believes too difficult to reach in honest ways that never fails to lure new victims into the nets of vain impostors.

It likewise is the craving to experience signs and wonders that leads to this result; but here one disregards completely that even the most wondrous of mysterious events that mortal senses can perceive no longer has the slightest worth the moment when these senses must forgo their service.

Whoever will not cast aside all things that veil his timeless self—wherein he shall unendingly abide in Being, in God’s eternal Spirit—and hide that self from his mere earthly consciousness cannot attain the union with his living God.

How, then, could any mortal ever hope to bring about that union, which is to last through all eternity, if in addition he festoons himself in carnival apparel of all kinds?

He thus awakens only forces that so effectively will bar his path to God that it becomes impassable to him; for only those who truly are united with their God, are capable, by virtue of the Spirit’s might, to master the demonic forces, which fools awaken only from their sleep in the belief that with their help they will ascend to godlike wisdom.

Only unsuspecting ignorance can casually dismiss the fact that powers of that kind exist.

But those who clearly see the world with open eyes will all too often recognize the traces of their ruinous activity.

Consummate masters of disguises of all kinds, they lastly are the unseen puppeteers who pull the strings to move the marionettes which populate the occult Mardi Gras.