I Am That Which Remains: The Joy of Mortality
This could just as easily have been titled “Why I LOVE Lon Milo DuQuette”.
His latest book, Homemade Magick: The musings & mischief of a do-it-yourself Magus (Llewellyn 2014), typifies what I so enjoy about his writing:
(1) Humour. Humour. Humour.
(2) Honesty, authenticity, and anecdotes illustrating that no Magickus – even one as influential as LMD – is above being a human. Great example: A chapter in which he describes how his lifestyle led to his top weight of 310 lbs (when I saw him in Amsterdam in 2005 or so, he did look like Humpty Dumpty). And how a ‘demon blogger’ confronted him with his own words – The only thing I can change with magick is myself – and asked why he didn’t use his magick to invoke the spirits of diet and exercise. (He lost 150 lbs. See how our demons can help us?)
(3) Magickal knowledge and practice that is profound, practical, and transformational. Like the trance (or the excerpt of it) that follows.
A Self-Initiation Trance Ideal for Samhain
Actually what I’ve wanted to convey with this blog is the wonderful trance/homemade self-initiation LMD presents in Chapter 4 of Homemade Magick. It seems to me to be particularly appropriate for Samhain, but I’ve just used it – with credit to Himself, of course – as part of a yoga retreat. Nothing like lying in Corpse Pose and coming to grips with your own mortality/immortality at the same time!
Here’s an excerpt:
Voice: Visualise the toes of your right foot.
Focus your attention on the toes of your right foot and visualise them clearly.
Voice: Are you the toes of your right foot?
You think this is a pretty silly question. Of course you are not the toes of your right foot, and you tell the Voice that.
You: No I am not.
Voice: Visualise the toes of your right foot disappearing.
You visualise the toes of your right foot painlessly dissolving away.
Voice: If those toes were missing, would you still be you?
Another silly question. Of course you would still be you if you were missing a few toes.
You: Yes. I am that which remains.
Of course this process goes through the entire body – toes and feet and legs, fingers and hands and arms, sex and guts and lungs and spine and heart, physical senses and brain. Point being, according to LMD, “Knowing you are you when you no longer have a physical body is the greatest magical power one can possess and the secret to overcoming death.”
Consumed by Sekhmet (and not by fear)
This trance really resonated for me as I’d had a spontaneous, parallel experience some years ago while listening to some shamanic drumming: I met Sekhmet in a flaming-hot desert. She devoured me – tenderly. As she consumed my body with loving ferocity, I felt no pain and no fear… and when she was finished, I realised that the ‘I’ that is really I, was still there.
The peace of that vision stayed with me for a while. But as a Being wearing the Meat Suit the needs of the ‘meat’, and its fears and joys and struggles, obscured the eternal truth. In the past months the fact of dissolution and death has felt heavy and confrontational. LMD’s beautiful, concrete, ‘Homemade Ritual of Self-Initation’ (from which the above is excerpted) was a reminder of the timeless perspective we need as magical people. Life everlasting will not be scientifically proven by Hillbilly Ghost Hunters. It rests here, in the truth of the heart and the loving wisdom of Godsoul (the ‘I’ in all of our incarnations).
Here’s how the ritual ends: a blessing.
I am a light shining in the darkness.
I am the pure thought of the Divine.
I am the deathless centre of all life.
When all else is gone, I am that which remains.
Have a beautiful Mabon, with bloody-red leaves that trail into Samhain.
Posted by Fortuna.