Pagan Studies - Reviews
Dreams of the Magus:
Where Angels Fear to Tread
G. Peter Madstone, CreateSpace, 2009
One word: paradox. I have only read a handful of books that explore the often-overlooked “divine dichotomy” of spiritual paradox; the force that upholds and maintains all of reality. Magicians, Witches, and innumerable other spiritual path-walkers so often quarrel over details; in my eyes, one must step back from the smaller bits in order to see the bigger picture.
It’s easy for practitioners to pour over esoteric texts that expound on technique, history, and application, but many such texts seem to lack universal scope. For example, it’s one thing to “do” a spell, and another entirely to connect with the cosmos and understand exactly why and how that spell works on a microcosmic and macrocosmic level. Luckily, Magus Madstone’s text is the exception to the rule.
This book is clearly part of the author’s Great Work; he touches on spiritual truths and questions that permeate numerous religions and belief systems around the world, yet never tells the reader that he or she must believe exactly how the author himself does. As a messenger of higher truths (as well as even higher questions), Dreams of the Magus is especially relevant for those wishing for a new perspectives in their magick.
I have one quarrel with the author and one quibble. Quibble first: the book is self-published, which makes it a bear to acquire by the potential reader. The quarrel is in format: Dreams of the Magus is not structured like typical nonfiction spiritual guidebooks, and the chapters are simply numbered like a novel. This is fairly appropriate to the content, however, since much of this book comes across as a channeling or thought-stream, which can pose a difficulty for readers who desire more clear structure or wish to explore particular aspects of these esoteric contemplations rather than having to read it straight through.
That being said, those who are wishing to put aside their ultra-analytical occult minds will find solace in the intuitive nature of these essays. Those who feel a natural inclination to the intuitive, meditative, or reflective aspects of esoteric spirituality will feel a particular connection to the author. Dreams reminds me simultaneously of the challenging style of Robert Anton Wilson and of the contemplative musings of Thich Nhat Hanh — and with that, we are right back to paradox. I, for one, am pleased to have gone along with Mr. Madstone for the ride.