It is an error to believe that there are magical practices that one can learn. One cannot understand magic. One can only understand what accords with reason. Magic accords with unreason, which one cannot understand. The world accords not only with reason but also with unreason. But just as one employs reason to make sense of the world, in that what is reasonable about it approaches reason, a lack of understanding also accords with unreason. This meeting is magical and eludes comprehension. Magical understanding is what one calls noncomprehension.
Everything that works magically is incomprehensible, and the incomprehensible often works magically. One calls incomprehensible workings magical. The magical always surrounds me, always involves me. lt opens spaces that have no doors and leads out into the open where there is no exit. The magical is good and evil and neither good nor evil. Magic is dangerous since what accords with unreason confuses, allures and provokes; and I am always its first victim. Where reason abides, one needs no magic. Hence our time no longer needs magic. Only those without reason needed it to replace their lack of reason. But it is thoroughly unreasonable to bring together what suits reason with magic since they have nothing to do with one another. Both become spoiled through being brought together. Therefore all those lacking reason quite rightly fall into superfluity and disregard. A rational man of this time will therefore never use magic.
But it is another thing for whoever has opened the chaos in himself We need magic to be able to receive or invoke the messenger and the communication of the incomprehensible. We recognized that the world comprises reason and unreason; and we also understood that our way needs not only reason but also unreason. This distinction is arbitrary and depends upon the level of comprehension. But one can be certain that the greater part of the world eludes our understanding. We must value the incomprehensible and unreasonable equally, although they are not necessarily equal in themselves; a part of the incomprehensible, however, is only presently incomprehensible and might already concur with reason tomorrow. But as long as one does not understand it, it remains unreasonable. Insofar as the incomprehensible accords with reason, one may try to think it with success; but insofar as it is unreasonable, one needs magical practices to open it up.
The practice of magic consists in malting what is not understood understandable in an incomprehensible manner. The magical way is not arbitrary, since that would be understandable, but it arises from incomprehensible grounds. Besides, to speak of grounds is incorrect, since grounds concur with reason. Nor can one speak of the groundless, since hardly anything further can be said about this. The magical way arises by itself If one opens up chaos, magic also arises. One can teach the way that leads to chaos, but one cannot teach magic. One can only remain silent about this, which seems to be the best apprenticeship. This view is confusing, but this is what magic is like. Where reason establishes order and clarity, magic causes disarray and a lack of clarity. One indeed needs reason for the magical translation of the not-understood into the understandable, since only by means of reason can the understandable be created. No one can say how to use reason, but it does arise if one tries to express only what an opening of chaos means.
Magic is a way of living. If one has done one’s best to steer the chariot, and one then notices that a greater other is actually steering it, then magical operation takes place. One cannot say what the effect of magic will be, since no one can know it in advance because the magical is the lawless, which occurs without rules and by chance, so to speak But the condition is that one totally accepts it and does not reject it, in order to transfer everything to the growth of the tree. Stupidity too is part of this, which everyone has a great deal of, and also tastelessness, which is possibly the greatest nuisance. Thus a certain solitude and isolation are inescapable conditions of life for the well-being of oneself and of the other, otherwise one cannot sufficiently be oneself A certain slowness of life, which is like a standstill, will be unavoidable. The uncertainty of such a life will most probably be its greatest burden, but still I must unite the two conflicting powers of my soul and keep them together in a true marriage until the end of my life, since the magician is called Diahmon and his wife Bacchus.
I hold together what Christ has kept apart in himself and through his example in others, since the more the one half of my being strives toward the good, the more the other half journeys to Hell. When the month of the Twins had ended, the men said to their shadows: “You are I,” since they had previously had their spirit around them as a second person. Thus the two became one, and through this collision the formidable broke out, precisely that spring of consciousness that one calls culture and which lasted until the time of Christ. But the fish indicated the moment when what was united split, according to the eternal law of contrasts, into an underworld and upper world. If the power of growth begins to cease, then the united falls into its opposites. Christ sent what is beneath to Hell, since it strives toward the good. That had to be. But the separated cannot remain separated forever. It will be united again and the month of the fish will soon be over. We suspect and understand that growth needs both, and hence we keep good and evil close together. Because we know that too far into the good means the same as too far into evil, we keep them both together.
But we thus lose direction and things no longer flow from the mountain to the valley, but grow quietly from the valley to the mountain. That which we can no longer prevent or hide is our fruit. The flowing stream becomes a lake and an ocean that has no outlet, unless its water rises to the sky as steam and falls from the clouds as rain. While the sea is a death, it is also the place of rising. Such is Diahmon, who tends his garden. Our hands have been tied, and each must sit quietly in his place. He rises invisibly and falls as rain on distant lands. The water on the ground is no cloud, which should rain. Only pregnant women can give birth, not those who have yet to conceive. ~Carl Jung; Red Book