Re: Why did the illuminati take hold in Europe in particular?
Hehe. I knew this would lead to questions.
First things first though. Psholtz, Bohemia is where the Illuminati first appeared officially, in the form of the secret society founded by Adam Weishaupt.
Concerning magic - it's much more tricky.
All so-called secret knowledge of all genuine traditions contain certain ambivalent or obscure references to disciplines like alchemy or metaphysics. Kabbalah is one such occult tradition. There are many others, like Sufism, which makes use of very similar, and in some cases identical, symbology as the Kabbalah does, or Zen Buddhism, The Tao-Te-Ching or - in the Western traditions - Mithraism, Hermeticism, and such.
These doctrines make use of certain physical, mental, psychic and spiritual excercises to induce a higher level of consciousness, which then would give them the power of acting on the world as if by "magic". Really, one shouldn't even use the word 'magic' because of the total and absolute corruption of it through the New Age movement and its various manifestations, like fantasy and science fiction, Wicca and Witchcraft, etc.
These have NOTHING in common with the esoteric ("inner", as opposed to exoteric, meaning "outer") teachings of traditional wisdom I mentioned above.
I'll quote from Michael A. Hoffman's book Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare:
"Aleister Crowley, in a statement to OTO initiates concerning one of his books, describes the underlying epistemology behind the glamor and enchantment which causes the occult con-game to become weird reality we inhabit in America today: 'In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth, and the Paths, of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether they exist or not. By doing certain things certain results follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them."
Now, by quoting one of the most evil men who ever lived on this Earth, I'm not saying I'm an adherent to Crowley. On the contrary. But what he had deep knowledge about was Black Magic; how to "do certain things" so that "certain" WANTED "results" followed.
As I understand it, what made Crowley evil was not the "tools" he used. He had given in to his Ego (in my opinion Ego equals Satan, as I've stated elsewhere on this forum) and let it take over his whole being. THAT'S what made him evil. The "tools" are there for anyone to use - unfortunately! - and it seems our times are characterized, among many things, by the fact that this power is in the wrong hands.
By no means is this possibility of power only for evil people; very much the opposite is true: it is MEANT to be used by the RIGHT people FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL. This means the RIGHT people need to harness this wisdom and take it BACK from those degenerate, spiritually corrupted people usurping that power today for their own dark purposes.
Three things are sacred to me: first Truth, and then, in its tracks, primordial prayer; Then virtue–nobility of soul which, in God walks on the path of beauty. Frithjof Schuon