Intense emotions bring about and empower occult rituals. Aleister Crowley discovered this somewhat by accident, as some of his writings and stories profess. However, few to none of the writings of occultists, both ancient and modern, hold up to historical or scholarly standards. We don’t have an objective, scientific approach to understanding the effectiveness of adding emotion to spiritual practice. This is just innately true, and it follows rationally that spirituality and emotions are closely tied. Crowley understood that when someone has an intense orgasm or they kill, it adds to the spiritual power of the ritual.
Let us explore what is the equivalent in Christianity. I know many who prefer the style of Pentecostal and charismatic worship services find that their emotions are engaged, and sometimes manipulated by those leading the gathering. The same manipulative practice is done by salesmen in the same way, where they mirror vocabulary, facial expressions, personalities and relational styles of a potential sale in order to close the deal. Religious circles do this naturally or intentionally in order to teach. Stories elicit emotions. Religious leaders do this to bring people into the presence of God – the engagement of the whole person requires the engagement of body, mind, heart, soul. This includes emotions.
But what of spiritual power?
Crowley noticed that spiritual rituals were more powerful when high emotions were involved. Orgasm, pain, loss of life, shocking and adrenaline-inducing sights and sounds. Obviously killing someone wouldn’t increase the presence of God, in terms of increasing the relational connection with God to the murderer. What emotional experience would cause the Christian ritual to be more powerful? I know birth, where the creation of a new life increases the connection to God, is a perfect example of this. Witnessing the creation of life is a uniquely powerful way to connect with the Creator. Sex with someone’s wife (within marriage) would do the same. Perfect intimacy, as it was designed to be, draws us closer to the God who designed intimacy.
These are rare or private events, sometimes both. I propose here some ways that we can actively engage with the Spirit, by noticing what is happening in the spiritual realm parallel with our emotional experience. As Christians, we can do this in our gatherings in an intentional, reflective, and healthy way.
There are enough horrors in the world with which we can engage. There have been violent attacks involving cars, bombs, knives, and guns in or near our communities nearly every day. These we are able to engage with, and essentially feel how God feels about them. God has feelings that we are able to access by the Spirit, and we can increase the power of our prayer. What I am saying is that Crowley and other occult practitioners discovered is the way we were designed – when there are horrors around, we can take our emotional cues from God. Our prayers will be that much more powerful when we do.
Picture a person experiencing a loss, or a near loss. Maybe a near death experience. We know, by our design, death happening around this person has the opportunity to open that person up to what is happening in the spiritual realm. Powerful emotions can sometimes cause us to withdraw from the spiritual realm, to get deeper into our heads and hearts, or to otherwise react (negatively) to the cues of the world. These emotional situations, the adrenaline, the pang of anger or the lift of joy can be a connection in the spiritual realm to our powerful God.
Find in scripture when Holy Spirit showed up and there was an un-emotional reaction.
Read the Gospels, all four of them, and pay attention to the emotion. Jesus prayed with full emotional engagement. What I am saying is, there is spiritual power in this.
The question then is, what is God feeling about this? If it is a situation with profound injustice, then we are able to tap into how God feels, and pray that, speak that into the material realm. We know when a baby is born, God feels joy with us. We know that when the poor are oppressed, God is with them, he feels with them what they feel. There is spiritual power in that. When someone dies, God is angry at the loss, the injustice, the oppression around us, and we can prophetically invite others to feel the same way about this. This compels our audience to feel what God feels, and join in with what God is doing as well. This is a means by which we can access spiritual power: by feeling in any given situation what God feels, taking our cues from him, and praying it into the material realm.