Meta-Magick: The Book of ATEM: Achieving New States of Consciousness Through NLP, Neuroscience and Ritual Paperback – Apr 3 2014
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About the Author
Philip H. Farber is the author of FutureRitual: Magick for the 21st Century, a manual of neurological exploration and he has produced several DVD packages on magical topics, including Magick for the 21st Century, Essential MetaMagick, and How to be a Megalomaniac. He is also an instructor for Maybe Logic Academy, www.maybelogic.org, and a certified hypnotist and a licensed trainer of neurolinguistic programming, with a private practice in New York's MidHudson Valley.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I was disappointed to discover that in order to make use of the majority this book, one must find at least 2 other people who are ready, willing, and able to spend a portion of 36 consecutive days practicing the various Atem exercises as a group.
Each of the 36 exercises are presented using only brief instructions and minimal detail, ending with "discuss your experiences with your partner(s)," so of course, reading through them without actually practicing them, is less than exhilarating.
Once this section of the book is completed, the reader is then repeatedly informed that the "36 Days of Atem" exercises are a prerequisite for all of the remaining exercises contained in the book, thus rendering everything past page 57 effectively useless until such time as the reader has gathered a group of interested parties together for practice.
Seeing as I have yet to practice the "36 Days of Atem," I can only comment on my experiences from the first section of the book, which contains well over a dozen exercises that are designed for solo practice, as an introduction to working with Atem. In short, Philip Farber deconstructs classic occult magickal rituals into effective and innovative NLP exercises that will easily fit into any belief system (or lack there of). As an NLP enthusiast, I found them to be both useful and entertaining. As a practitioner of Chaos Magick, I found his approach inspiring. The concept of Atem itself, is simply brilliant and well-supported. His writing style is clear and concise. The only thing I found lacking was a phonetic spelling of Atem, which would be helpful since many of the rituals require speaking the name aloud.
Otherwise, I suspect the rest of the material is just as fun and effective as the exercises from the first section. I only wish Farber had made it more accessible to solo practitioners (he certainly seems capable), or at least to have made it more clear that the system requires group practice.
Aside from that, this is a great read for both occult and NLP practitioners alike.
Farber also focuses on eight powers: Communication, neuroplasticity, transformation, transmission, beauty, understanding, balance, and opening. The book doesn't overtly focus on these powers much...instead the focus is more subtle. You will experience them through doing the exercises in the book, which is what the author intended.
Meta-magick definitely is not intended to be something intellectually read, so much as it is intended to be experienced and worked with. You will get a lot of leverage out of this book if you do the exercises in them. It's an excellent book to introduce people to magic, but is also good for intermediate to advanced practitioners.
Atem is activated simply by reading the book, but it is a very weak activation, requiring a "deeper" activation by following a ritual given at the end of the book. Philip asks us to activate Atem, but never gives any compelling reason to do so, in fact, despite the title of the book, Atem is specifically discussed very rarely in this book. Atem clearly is an entity who can communicate and think, but we are not told what Atem thinks or what Atem has ever communicated to anyone, only that Atem can think and can communicate. Atem is a very boring and generic personality.
Unlike Philip, let's be direct and honest here: In magick, Atem would be called a deity, and the purpose of Philip's deity is to act as a repository for the destruction and creation of memes. In other words, Atem is Philip's deity of memes. Yet the way Philip pawns Atem off on the reader with his "just reading this book activates Atem" demonstrates that Atem is not good, for Atem is manipulative, selfish, and has hidden agendas. Can we trust Atem? No, because we can't trust Philip and Atem is Philip's creation, not ours.
As the title of the book also suggests, this book is not about magick, but about meta-magick. What makes it "meta-"? Meta- can mean many things but it is context that determines what it means and the context here is "outside what is real or usual". This makes the title sound redundant, since magick, in and of itself, is already outside what is real or usual, but I think the real meaning here is that Philip has invented his own personal style of magick, one that is untested and with no history of success behind it.
Philips claims that his magick is based on NLP and memes, yet this is not a book about NLP or memes. For that, you would need to read other books on the topics, so clearly this is not a standalone book or reference, making it incomplete and useless for beginners of this particular style of magick. A practitioner of Philips magick style will be weak and ineffective compared to other styles, due to lack of understanding and examples of the very thing you are supposed to be evoking or invoking.
The ritual exercises are good practice for magick and that is the only good thing about this book. Rituals exercises like the ones in this book would be effective at making people feel magickal, but magick is more than about feeling, it is about understanding the magickal world, and Philip offers no understanding of the magickal world whatsoever.