Concepts can be considered Islands brought out of the sea of terra incognita through sheer mental effort. From the Etic sea comes an Emic cross section. Like the manifestation of the Elder Gods, whose nature is so abstract and strange that They impact our reality only in the same way a sound wave can be reflected on a metal plate coated in sand. .
When we learn magick, we are given a set of Signatures, essences which can be used to call forth corresponding potentials from Chaos. Over time, concepts and maps get built around these Signatures. An example of these would be the Tree of Life.
An interesting phenomena occurs when individuals deal with the Tree of Life on the one hand, and the Qlippoth on the other. Those dealing with the Tree have basically the same kinds of experiences. They encounter the same entities and so forth. Failure to do so is taken to mean that one has missed the mark. .
The Qlippoth are a different story. Some working with the “Adverse Tree” experience eldritch, Lovecraftian horrors. Others simply enter formless spaces with only vauge impressions as to where they are. .
It would appear that formalization of the Tree has created an “Island” which the repeated practice of Aspirants has made more or less constant. The Qlippoth, long defamed and shunned, have no such formalization. Each has a title, and an association with a Sepiroth to which they said to be “opposite” or the “unbalanced energies” of. But there is no sustained practice at the level that the Tree has received. .
I would argue that exploration of already formed Islands constitutes training and study, while exploration of the Qlippoth is an example of the real purpose of magick. That is, to bring something new through to manifestation. Magick has long been at the vanguard of social change. America was a dream in the eyes of occultists like John Dee and Bacon long before anyone brought it into being. Liber AL heralded the beginning of the end of the Modern age of centralized “Truth” and the beginning of atomized “Truths.” .
It is as if long ages of practice have created both the means for crafting a vehicle (think Iamblichan Theurgy) and a map of the previously constructed Islands. With each new Island, magick opens a Gate that brings forth changes in the world. .
Each “doctrine” can thus be considered less a representation of reality than a Working in and of itself. It is the discovery of a potential, which it then seeks to integrate in the matrix of preexisting Workings. .
Finally, it should be remembered that each Island is only a relatively solid and coherent aggregate of Chaos. Thus one will encounter morphings, non-local communications with similarly constituted Islands. Sirens that sing tunes in harmony with those a thousand miles away. .
The choice facing the magician, at a certain point in their career, is whether to stay on an Island, and like a Lotus Eater avoid the shiftings of Chaos around them. Or to venture out on their self-made vehicle, the Boat of Their Soul, and begin crafting/discovering new Islands in the Terra Incognita. .