two items I found interesting from the book:
Anonymous. Meditations on the Tarot. Chapter 2
Drinking your Religion to Death:
"The mystic who wants only the experience of mystical states without understanding them, without drawing practical conclusions from them for life, and without wanting to be useful to others, who forgets everyone and everything in order to enjoy the mystical experience, can be compared to a spiritual drunkard."
Transforming Experience into Tradition:
"..the process of transformation of mystical experience into tradition; such is the law of the birth
of tradition. ...... the death of the tradition manifests itself in the degeneration of its constituent elements, which become separated. ... philosophy separated from magic, gnosis and mysticism becomes a parasitic system of autonomous thought which is, truth to tell, a veritable psychopathological complex, because it bewitches or enslaves human consciousness and deprives it of its liberty. A person who has had the misfortune to fall victim to the spell of a philosophical system (and the spells of sorcerers are mere trifles in comparison to the disastrous effect of the spell of a philosophical system!) can no longer see the world, or people, or historic events, as they are; ... "
So, Traditions are formed and also die. The thing to avoid is the attachment to a tradition as an all-encompassing belief or religious entombment... we do not know everything, and those who speak do not know.
Knowledge changes and grows. Experiences change and grow. So must we. Liberty for the mind to grow seems essential.
... any true traditon is alive, so it includes change... a true principle is that which allows you to continue moving... traditions and systems are indeed different... ;-)
A philosophical system is part of any tradition.
Fundamentalism is one of the first distortions in thoughts. They get drunk on their (Religious) beliefs and often assume a view where a change in a thinking pattern is a sign of moral weakness. It can become intertwined into politics as well. The world is full of people entrapped by a Philosophical Spell.
In a year of change, this issue appears in many forms and hindrances.
It is appropriate this year, in particular.
"the spells of sorcerers are mere trifles in comparison to the disastrous effect of the spell of a philosophical system"
When I read the book I thought on the line Hegel-Marx-Lenin and its effects, which included the exile of the "unknown friend" who wrote this wonderful book. I wish I could, but I can't deny that people who think or try to think systematically are everywhere.
Yes, mind can be best friend or worst enemy. Yes, the world is full of people entrapped. But, by a "Philosophical Spell"? mmmmmm this is dangerous terrain... the Philosophical Spell and religious fundamentalism have in common that they are obsessions but, in my opinion, the first takes hold of mind and the second of emotions.
This question can lead us to the core of all esoterical stuff, depending on if we understand "Philosophical Spell" as a kind of metaphor, a literary resource, or as a kind of virus made of mental subtle matter.
A thinking pattern and a response pattern are not the same for me. I'd change your statement into "where THINKING on a response pattern is a sign of moral weakness" ;-) A true thinking pattern is made of questions, of different kinds of questions if it's to be interesting, and good quality ones are reflexive: they question themselves.