Monday, 16 May 2011

This is Not a Review: "Low Magick" by Lon Milo Duquette


This is not a review of Lon Milo DuQuette’s “Low Magick: It's All In Your Head ... You Just Have No Idea How Big Your Head Is”, as I’m not very good at reviews. So instead this blog post is about some of the things that I learned from reading this book.
  1. Telling a story is a great way to teach
  2. There’s not enough humour in the interested-in-the-occult community
  3. Big G and definition of monotheism

1. Telling a story is a great way to teach
The idea that stories are a great vehicle for teaching is not rocket science. However, in practice I’ve found that the books which I’ve read or lectures that I have listened to which employ this technique have mixed results.

Some work really well and other times it does not quite hit the mark. One powerful technique that I’ve come across frequently is to tell a story that stirs the emotions. Once the passions are awakened and the mind is engaged to follow this up with focus on intellectual and rational side of the mind. That way of engaging both sides can leave a lasting message that resonates with the listeners.

Anyway, back to the main point of this lesson – although I differ in my worldview with Lon Milo he none the less has an easy to read style and it’s quite funny (in my opinion). Which made reading this book very enjoyable and since it’s told in story format - I shall remember it for longer.

2. There’s not enough humour in the interested-in-the-occult community
This is my general perception of my limited interaction with the world of esoteric studies and practice. It’s likely that I’ve not done enough research in this area, so if you know of more examples of people combining humour with teaching subjects related to magic and mysticism then I’d love to hear about them – please leave a comment below.

3. Big G and definition of monotheism
The one thing that I disagreed strongly with was when the author was talking about the Big G (God) and monotheistic religions. I can only comment on this from a Jewish perspective but it seemed to me that the author was making a distinction between Jews who believed that God is a guy with a big beard who sits on a cloud and those who had what he called an understanding of esoteric Judaism.

To me this distinction is one of education. The former is a child-like view (that some adults still have) and the latter is one of someone who has studied the inner meaning of the Torah (Written Law) and Talmud (Oral Law). This is a spectrum of understanding and is influenced by how much a person has studied and meditated on these concepts.

In Summary
Anyway, in summary the book was entertaining due to the humour it contained and educational in its use of stories. Would I recommend it? Yes, it was a fun read. Did it change my attitude or understanding of magic? To a small degree.