Integral Magic is Violet Magic, a Meta-System of a Construct-Aware Worldview
You’ve heard of Black Magic and White Magic, archaic terminology referring to the use of magic for evil or selfish purposes or good and benevolent purposes. In the Integral Magic™ system, these uses of the terms are deprecated. Instead, there are nine different colors which are used to designate magical techniques or abilities dependent on each of Nine Squares (which are similar to Stations of Consciousness).
(There is a New Black Magic – but it has to do with connecting to the so-called “root chakra” or regressive technologies which are not necessarily evil or good. And there is a New White Magic – but it has to do with using ego strengthening technologies to create states of equilibrium, processes which are not necessarily good or evil. We will talk about these colors of Magick another day.)
The New Magick is basically Violet Magic, a meta-system of a Construct-Aware / Ego-Aware worldview. What is that? According to the consciousness researcher Susanne Cook-Greuter, who has gathered reams of empirical psychological data and looked into this sort of thing longer and with more depth than most people, it is a stage of ego-maturity which has become fully Ego-aware, and is found in only a very small percentage of folks. (In Ken Wilber’s Integral Spirituality, these stages correspond to the Indigo and Violet altitudes.) She writes:
The Construct-aware and the Ego-aware Stage [5/6] is the final observed differentiation in the sequence of overall differentiation or separation from a previous worldview on the path to an ever greater integration or union. Unfortunately, the “professional” labels that have been used or suggested for this stage — Magician, Alchemist, Crone, Jester etc. — are all inadequate to express the varieties and depth of understanding, this level is able to gain. The professional labels tend to reflect behavioral aspects of this stage that are not shared by all of its representatives.
Some of the characteristics of the Magician stage of consciousness: the individuals “start to pay attention to their own emotional and rational processing patterns”; it is like “living at the edge of meaning and meaninglessness”; thoughts and feelings are experienced as “fleeting and recursive”; they distance themselves from the “automatic judgment habit”; they become more aware of their “partial defenses against … impermanence”; they deeply know the “predicament of living in language”.
In early stages, the Ego-aware individual can feel lost in a bottomless pit. But at later stages, the Alchemist gains increased “access to intuition, bodily states, feelings, dreams, archetypal and other transpersonal material”. Indeed, non-rational sources of knowledge may become equally important as rational deliberation for understanding life and the universe. As a result, flow states or bliss states often emerge as a “spontaneous experience of a direct mode of being in which knower and known momentarily merge”. Cook-Greuter concludes: “Ego-aware individuals represent the first stage that looks at all experience fully in terms of ongoing fluctuations.”
Magick as defined by Thelema, as we have seen, is fundamentally concerned with Change. Change is the unique preoccupation of the Ego-aware individual. Magick also extolls the role of a Magician or Alchemist or Crone who stands apart from the crowd, possessed of the ability to tap transpersonal material for making new forms of meaning. It seems that Magick is right at home at Construct-Aware and Ego-Aware. However, the ingredients of the Magician (spells, runes, divination systems, and so forth) may be used by individuals at any level of ego-maturity.
It is therefore fitting that we recognize the potential for Magick to be a primary or preeminent technology for persons at the Construct/Ego-Aware worldviews, known to Integral Theory as the Violet altitude. However, we must cautiously acknowledge that very often practitioners of magick fall well below this rarefied level of development in practice. Indeed, common tools such as newspaper horoscopes are designed to appeal to the Self-Protective or Opportunist worldview (known in Integral Theory as the Magenta altitude). Magenta and Violet are easily confused!
The Integral Magic system is the only worldview which recognizes nine forms of Magick and gives each one a color. Its own “home color” is Violet, the worldview of the Construct/Ego-Aware Magician or Crone or Sorcerer. If Integral Magic isn’t recognized yet by mainstream Integral Theory, the reason is obvious in this author’s opinion: Integral Theory itself is a form of the Context-Aware worldview at which Blue Magick resides. In the Wheel of Wholes, the techno-magic interface endemic to the Violet Square, the Blue Square precedes the Violet Square by one step.
In other words, Integral Theory may be a stepping stone for some on the road to Violet Magick. If it looks like it might be a step on your journey, welcome aboard!