“Neither white, nor black magic are what popular superstition understands by the terms.”
– H. P. Blavatsky, “What is Theosophy?”
For most of us, the term “black magic” immediately conjures up images of witches or devil worship or people using spells or rituals of various kinds in order to try to harm or control others. It’s true that this type of thing is indeed black magic but there are many other things which are black magic which we may not have realised are of such a nature.
In fact, tens of thousands of otherwise good decent people around the world today are black magicians without even realising it. Many popular spiritual teachings and practices today are almost entirely of the nature of black magic.
What do we mean?
This is the true definition of what black magic actually is: the definite use and application of spiritual force with a selfish or material aim.
White magic, on the other hand, is simply the definite use and application of spiritual force solely for the blessing and benefit of OTHERS.
This definition and understanding of black magic is not unique to Theosophy. It is how black magic has always been defined and viewed throughout the ages. Whenever any spiritual aspirant was found to be attempting to use spiritual or mental power to attract wealth, possessions, or material and personal fulfillment, he was expelled in disgrace from the temple, the monastery, the ashram, or the spiritual community.
It has always been understood that true progress in the spiritual life and the path of inner development and unfoldment of the soul are dependent upon selflessness, altruism, humility, and living solely to be of benefit to mankind, not to mention the noblest ethics and personal purity of life and conduct.
We find all this clearly expressed in the teachings of Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Hermes, Shankaracharya, Tsong-Kha-Pa, Lao Tzu, H. P. Blavatsky, and every great spiritual teacher and world reformer who has appeared on the scene throughout the ages.
For centuries, such teachings and practices as the “Law of Attraction” and “desire manifestation” were carried on secretly under cover of shame and darkness. Eventually, humanity having reached to the very zenith of selfishness and obsession with material gain, they began to gain public acceptance and popularity, beginning in the 19th century and spreading worldwide with great rapidity and enthusiasm as the 20th century progressed.
Because selfishness and the desire for power and possessions is such an ingrained facet of the Western psyche, it never occurs to the majority of spiritually inclined people that there may be anything questionable or wrong about trying to attract a big house or a beautiful partner or millionaire status through visualisation, affirmation, special mantras, “prosperity thinking” and “dream boards” and the like.
Yet there is something wrong and questionable about it – it is the very definition of what black magic is.
There is nothing inherently wrong with a person aspiring to great things in life but when they attempt to definitely apply spiritual and mental forces of a metaphysical kind in order to obtain and acquire those things it becomes black magic.
Let it not be thought that we are accusing the likes of Rhonda Byrne, her collaborators in “The Secret,” Bob Proctor, Catherine Ponder, Charles Fillmore, Wallace Wattles, Ernest Holmes, Joseph Murphy, “Abraham-Hicks,” the New Thought movement, and so forth, of being deliberately sinister or evil people. But what we are saying – on the authority of the Ancient Wisdom tradition – is that the teachings and practices they promote are nothing less than black magic, regardless of how much they may attempt to whitewash it into seeming like a perfectly harmless and innocent thing.
Even the slightest hint or faintest trace of self-seeking or personal desire turns any type of spiritual or occult exercise from white magic into black magic. An old Tibetan proverb related by Madame Blavatsky says that the line between the right-hand path (the path of white magic) and the left-hand path (the path of black magic) is as thin as a spider’s web.
As we can see, the whole matter hinges on the importance of the individual having reached a state of complete and absolute selflessness and desirelessness, for anything other than helping and serving humanity. And after all, this is what the spiritual life is all about!
All suffering is caused by desire. All desire is caused by ignorance. The death and sacrifice of personal desire is the goal of all true spiritual endeavour. This is the vitally important message so perfectly encapsulated by the Lord Buddha in his teachings and philosophy and by Krishna before him.
There is another area in which many people today are unwittingly running headlong into the abyss of black magic and that is the realm of sexual tantric practices.
Since tantra, like other forms of black magic, has been cleverly whitewashed by its leading proponents, many naïve Westerners have developed the idea that sexual tantra is a central, integral, and fundamental part of ancient Eastern religions such as Hinduism. They are thus often surprised to learn that sexual tantra is viewed with distaste and even disgust by the vast majority of Hindus and that it is not in any way representative of that noble religion.
The average New Ager, for example, who claims interest in tantra, would no doubt recoil in horror if he or she were to know or be exposed to what certain of the tantric practices in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism actually are.
H. P. Blavatsky merely echoed the great spiritual Masters and Teachers of all the ages when she taught that the so-called “spiritual” use of the physical body – or rather, the use of the physical body as an instrument and tool for achieving metaphysical purposes – belongs solely to black magic. The utilisation of the physical body is rightly viewed as totally unimportant by the white magicians, the adepts of the right-hand path, since they know that the physical body is nothing more than the outer material shell.
True Eastern Esotericism maintains that all the contents of the reproductive system have a direct spiritual connection with their cosmic antetypes and are therefore potent objects in black magic here on the physical plane and thus are considered unclean.
Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with two people seeking sexual union but when it is performed with the attempt and aim of utilising the sexual forces and/or fluids for “spiritual” purposes – whether called sexual tantra, sexual magic, sexual alchemy, or whatever else – it becomes black magic pure and simple.
This type of practice, according to HPB, is the most terrible of Karmic sins. Any type of “sexual magic” is automatically black magic.
Now the reader who has come to the end of this article may have formed the opinion that we are just being a “spiritual spoilsport.” This is not the case however. The article has been written out of genuine and heartfelt concern for humanity. Since the roots of desire, personal ambition, selfishness, and sensuality run deep, it would be unrealistic to expect many people to actually heed or even to just consider the things that have been said here. But if even only one soul is saved from unwitting black magic after reading, we will be satisfied that our efforts have been worthwhile.
This article may have raised more questions about various things. Please make use of the site search function (the magnifying glass symbol at the top of the page) and visit the Articles page to see the complete list of over 300 articles covering all aspects of Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement.
8 thoughts on “The Whitewashing of Black Magic”
So what are the BTG’s view on the teachings of Samuel Aun Weor?, who states that Jesus became “christ like” by practicing sexual transmutation. What is the BTG’s view on the teachings of Neville Goddard ?,who clearly taught that the human imagination was actually “God”, and that man could manifest anything he desired by simply going into meditation and visualizing that which he wanted to accomplish…..is this also considered black magic?…. just curious…looking forward to your reply
Hello and thank you for your comment and questions.
In the light of Theosophy, the teachings of Samael Aun Weor are considered to be the very worst kind of black magic. I gather that he held H.P. Blavatsky in quite high regard yet their views and stance on sexual matters were completely different and opposed to one another.
Weor believed that the underlying hidden message and teaching behind all ancient esoteric symbolism is a sexual one. Blavatsky, on the other hand, says in the sections on symbolism in “The Secret Doctrine” that such an idea is ignorant, perverted, and severely mistaken.
I gather that one of Weor’s main inspirations was P.B. Randolph of the Ordo Templo Orientis. Although Randolph is only mentioned on a few occasions in the writings of HPB, her co-founder William Quan Judge, and the letters from the Masters, it’s always in a distinctly negative, critical, and warning tone.
There is a story found in several places in the Theosophical literature about how William Judge was visiting HPB one day and she invited him to open some of her mail and peruse it for her, as people were often sending her books and she didn’t have time to look at them all herself. Judge opened a book by P.B. Randolph and had only just begun to read the first page when a message in ink was suddenly precipitated over and onto the page before his eyes, warning him that the author and teachings of that book were dangerous and to be avoided at all costs. Judge looked up at HPB who was sat on the other side of the room and before he had chance to explain to her about the message, she knowingly informed him that the Master (i.e. her Guru, the Master Morya) wanted people to be warned against those kind of teachings and had got her to transmit the message onto the paper from across the room. This type of phenomena was a fairly common occurrence in HPB’s presence in those days.
As for Neville Goddard, his teachings and philosophy were a form of the “Law of Attraction” described in the above article and are undoubtedly black magic. As was explained, to try to use metaphysical forces for any purpose whatsoever other than entirely unselfishly helping and serving OTHERS alone is black magic. Such forces and powers are not to be used for any personal or selfish purposes, since for one thing this goes entirely against the economy and nature of the Universe, which is based upon Universal Brotherhood, non-separateness, and the Oneness of all life…hence utter altruism, selflessness, and the Bodhisattva ideal in which the little personal self and all of its wishes, wants, inclinations, and ambitions, is sacrificed for the sake of the One Self and for the benefit of all humanity.
Again, I must add that we’re not meaning to imply that Neville Goddard, Samael Aun Weor, or any of the other proponents of such philosophies were necessarily sinister or evil people or conscious of practising and promoting practices of the nature of black magic. They were most likely all wishing to inspire and help others. But Theosophy strongly maintains that such things help no-one but do far more harm and damage than can readily be realised.
Thank you for taking the time to respond, i just wanted abetter understanding of their teachings from a different perspective other than my own. It is hard to fathom that Mr.Goddard could not have been aware of what he was doing, he seemed like such a very decent man. Napoleon Hill in think and grow rich had a chapter on the subject of sexual transmutation also….. so if i understand correctly it is only “white magic” when you use metaphysical means for the upliftment or advancement of a person, or a people, without ANY selfish intent involved??…. looking forward to yor response……..
Yes, you understand the Theosophical view of this subject correctly and I hope my previous answer – along with the article itself – help to clearly show and explain the reasoning and rationale behind it.
The article “The Two Paths” (https://blavatskytheosophy.com/the-two-paths/) might also help to provide further insight.
Hm… What do you think about tantric teachings of gelug-pa? Tsongkhapa wrote many treatises about tantric practices and about mahamudra. In Vajrayana copulation with tantric consort , so-called karmamudra, does in during to one from the mahamudra’s stages.
Hello Albert, how do you know that such treatises were actually written by Tsong Kha-pa himself? Can anyone absolutely prove 100% that he was the author of such works? Theosophists who give credence to HPB and the Masters may be inclined to conclude that certain teachings and treatises written or compiled by others have been falsely attributed to Tsong Kha-pa since his lifetime. We know that this type of thing has happened historically in every religion and spiritual movement so why should there be any exception in regard to Tsong Kha-pa and the Gelugpas?
You may have read the article “Should Theosophists get involved with Tibetan Buddhism?” at https://blavatskytheosophy.com/should-theosophists-get-involved-with-tibetan-buddhism/ which says:
“Some Theosophists find it hard to believe that the Gelugpa school, founded by Tsong Kha-pa, teaches sexual tantric practices but this is a fact which anyone can prove for themselves, although it doesn’t mean that Tsong Kha-pa himself taught or endorsed such things when founding the Gelugpas – literally “Models of Virtue” or “Virtuous Ones” – in the 14th century.”
There’s also the article “The Great Tsong Kha-pa” at:
We believe that the “Should Theosophists get involved with Tibetan Buddhism?” article will help to answer most of your recurring queries in regard to Tibetan Buddhism and its relation with Theosophy. You may also like to read “Self and Non-Self in Buddhism and Theosophy” at https://blavatskytheosophy.com/self-and-non-self-in-buddhism-and-theosophy/.
Since thought is the antecedent to any action or goal setting, is it an act of black magic to focus on your career goal to become a doctor or a teacher or to start a new business or to achieve enlightenment by visualizing yourself embodying these outcomes? Or is the prime determiner the motivation for the goal? One may desire to become a teacher, doctor, or business man to gain financial security or as a means to make their contribution to society or more likely than not mixed selfish and altruistic motives may be involved. When mixed motives are involved in pursuing a goal is this black magic? If it is, 99.99% of humanity are practicing a form of black magic.
Without a clearly defined goal nothing can be achieved. Even in order to achieve enlightenment, you must have a clearly defined desire for it as well as the willingness to do the work required to achieve it. Here again, that desire may initially be selfish, for example, to escape suffering or it may be as the Mahayana Buddhist claim to alleviate the suffering of others.
Thank you for your questions and comments Ronald.
You asked: “When mixed motives are involved in pursuing a goal is this black magic?”
The answer to this is “no”…and this is not what the article is saying. It’s trying to say that when METAPHYSICAL METHODS are deliberately applied in an attempt to achieve one’s personal goals and fulfill one’s personal desires and wishes, it is black magic.
To simply have mixed motives in pursuing a goal is not the same as deliberately using techniques of visualisation, “Law of Attraction” style affirmations, guided meditations for attracting money, chanting for material gain, etc.
So it’s not the case that “99.99% of humanity are practicing a form of black magic” and what you say is undeniably true, that “Without a clearly defined goal nothing can be achieved.” We haven’t denied this or said anything to the contrary.
Hopefully this brief answer will help to clarify things.
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