Who is number two?
..and who does he work for?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

domine delivre danikon daljinom "pax requiescat ineffabilis"

step by step,
Fragility shatters
bleak blackouts in lamentation.
Cacophonous wails
grief strewn & shock stricken,
filled with pain unspeakable.
Trapped & surrounded by lengthening shadows
upon tattered souls submerged in dismay.
Barely pumping
piercing putrefaction,
dripping somber anathema involuntarily
over the pale glamours

o christ, child
i wish it could be easier.
this raw & piercing cold
keeps getting colder.
smoldering our endurance,
blowing out the pilot light,
cutting the connection during prime time.
cruelly irreparable
with nothing
not a single one can undo.

All succumb
All devoured
conquered at the
inevitable crossroads into
the abyss
deep, morose & mourning
ever comatose
in the crash common coryza machinations of fate
& callous commerce
sustain the rusted chrome pumping
saturnine cancerous gasoline
grating taciturn diseases careening
on the pallid stale grey tundra
crushed under unspeakable feats

there can be no denial of dharma
in the perilous parallax of existence.
1st point = suffering, tribulation & precious brevity.
all one yet alone.
a part but still never apart from
the paradox
encompassing sorrow
staring down eternity
as the world turns
on a dime
without reason.
without rhyme.
...or so it seems upon this stage sublime...

can liberty be attained beyond struggle?
will these bound empty tombstone bones ever resist the urge for restriction?
is there only despair amongst melancholic catatonia
betwixt the dried crumbling ruins of petrified airspace
gone dead
tuned to strains of static
fatally fragmented for perpetuity?

accidental split decision
jagged hesitation pulsating
rapid vermilion careening
clasping at clutches
the moment slips into the stream.
sudden oblivion.
redemption lost.
& only regret remains
while the dance carries us to
the curtains fall,
as bright new snow veils
over the old ashes

reprocussive concrete
active consecrations
still ringing in reverberation of
cathartic echoes
energetically produced & caught
on carbon particle imprints
where matter evaporates aetheric.
information transformed
undeniably irrepressible offcolor signals that transcend the bonds of phenomenon.
breaking repetitive restraints,
chains of thanatotic mantras
reiterating that
"all things must pass"...

acceptance reflects
"yes, i agree...
but love conquers all things."

it shall always come & it shall allways go
one cannot but carry on.
even this mystery can be beautiful:
that nothing ceases
except the tears which find clarity
reflecting amidst the disillusion
&which find that moment
right before the everglowing apparition rises

try without trying.
seek not this,
nor that,
just release
& return.

you are home now.
you are free

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Spare's Ontology by St. Mace

The whole question of "What is real?" is one that has plagued the pursuit of knowledge ever since people became sufficiently aware of themselves to realize it needed an answer. A major difficulty is the problem of what is objective and what is subjective, or what is really out there and what is just projected out onto it by our own biases—our hopes, needs, fears and preconceptions, conscious and unconscious, admitted and denied. All we can know is what we perceive, so it is impossible to be perfectly objective, and yet objective reality is real enough, as anyone knows who has been in an automobile accident. The elimination of the perceiver's bias is one major aim of the scientific method, with its emphasis on measurement and replication intending to ensure that scientific theories work for anyone competent to apply them. But these safeguards reach their limit as soon as we begin to study anything that may be conscious, for mind may not be measured and will show a perverse defiance to attempts to fit it into repeatable experiments. Even so, certain academic psychologists still work to reduce all mental functions to what may be quantified in a laboratory setting, and come to the wholly logical conclusion that mind is no more than a side effect of the existence of nervous tissue. This makes as much sense as trying to set a broken leg with prayer and is the clearest possible proof that strict scientific methodology breaks down at this point.

Magick attempts to provide a middle ground between science and credulity, but this does not mean we escape the objective/subjective conundrum. Instead we rephrase the problem as that of macrocosm and microcosm. In magickal usage the macrocosm consists of the powers in the universe beyond us. The microcosm consists of the powers we have inside us. Traditionally, magicians have presumed that one or another of the ancient planetary mythologies can provide a symbolism descriptive of the powers available to us. The powers are personified as "the gods" who somehow project their particular powers in from the outside, and the human entity—as the "creation" or "emanation" of these gods—is a composite of these powers, which we thus experience from the inside. Once the magician chooses such a symbolic architecture, he or she has available the techniques of ceremonial magick to manipulate the powers this architecture includes, and through these techniques can either exalt a power or abase it, either draw on it or diminish it as his or her will might determine.

Thus does the magician acquire a symbolic interface through which he or she might manipulate power, and this without being obliged to deal with the question of what power as such really is.

The key to the effective use of any symbolic system is the complete unconscious assimilation of its components by the magician who uses it. In the Golden Dawn tradition this is done by memorization of the symbolism, ceremonial initiation in terms of the symbolism, and, most importantly, astral discipline. That is, one must be willing to impose the Rosicrucian structure onto one's astral visions, to require that whatever displays they choose to make be in terms of the imagery used by that system. Aleister Crowley, for one, is quite clear about this, insisting that we banish as demonic deceivers any entities who resist the requirement that they so conform. In my own personal experience this was hardly necessary, for my visions seemed anxious to do so. This was hardly reassuring to me, making it obvious that my unconscious was willing to take on any imagery, so long as it was self-consistent and able to include all the more conspicuous dualities that entertain our existence. This the Golden Dawn system surely does, and admirably so. Nonetheless, I found the whole notion of self-programming of symbolism to be personally repugnant. Thus as soon as it was clear to me that this was, in fact, the purpose of Rosicrucian training, I wanted no more part of it. My teacher at the time, Frater O.T.L., hearing my loud and articulate denunciation of the Rosicrucian option, graciously recommended that I look into the writings of an English sorcerer named Austin Osman Spare.

The essence of Spare's magick lies in his solution to the objective/subjective, macrocosm/microcosm conundrum that we just covered. Spare addressed the problem with a direct attack, coming up with what can only be described as a practical solipsism— solipsism being the belief that the self is the only object of knowledge and thus, by extension, the only thing that exists. "What is there to believe, but in Self?" he asks in The Book of Pleasure. "And Self is the negation of completeness as reality. No man has seen self at any time. We are what we believe and what it implies by a process of time in the conception; creation is caused by this bondage to formula." (p. 1) Which is to say, what we believe determines what we experience, which determines what we are, which, over time, determines what is, because through our presumptions we shape whatever comes into contact with us, according to our power. Reality is the objective residue of a subjective process. In his Focus of Life, Spare elaborates:

Eternal, without beginning is Self; without end am I; there is no
other power or substance. The everchanging modifications and
diversities we see are the results of forgetfulness, misinterpreted
as nightmare senses. When the Self again desires, then I only and
nothing else shall remain. Permitting all things, whatsoever is
imagined comes out of it. (p. 21)

To give an idea of the dynamic in all this, in The Book of Pleasure Spare offers the argument of me (the reader) and a butterfly. I am conscious of being "I," the butterfly is conscious of being "I," and therefore my consciousness and that of the butterfly are the same. Spare errs in presenting this as a logical syllogism, in which terms it must fail, but it isn't really logic he's giving. Instead it's a description of the facts of his perception, upon which he based his magick, which worked.

The consequences of accepting that my "I" (me!) is the same as your "I" and the same as every other self-aware "I" in the whole of existence—that it's all at bottom a common experience made separate only by our belief in our alienation—are somewhat far-reaching. The Golden Rule becomes a truism and the decision to eat flesh presupposes a willingness eventually to be eaten. But to think that I am fundamentally the same as that bitch mosquito I just swatted, or that sonofabitch who cut me off on the Turnpike this afternoon, well, it's just too difficult to believe and so we don't, mostly. Creation is the result of this separation, the result of all the points of view—identical in source, essence and being both with each other and with the primordial I—seeing Self as something to eat, to fuck, or to flee from so as to keep from being eaten. From, again, The Focus of Life.

And in this living nightmare, where all is cannibalism. Why dost thou deny thyself? Verily, Man resembles his creator, in that he consumes himself in much filth.
Heaven gives indiscriminately of its superabundance to make the ghastly struggle called existence.
The necessity was a deliberate serving of its own pleasure— becoming more alien. Remoteness from self is pain and precocious creation. (p. 7)

The necessity of creation was a deliberate serving of pleasure to the I, letting it see Self as a ground to be mined for pleasure, an object, not really Self at all. With this split came pain, and a desire to avoid pain even as pleasure was more fervently pursued. The split spawned millions of species and thousands of stratagems from fins to hard shells, from flight to pheromones, all the efflorescent life of the natural world. And in essence the split is simply belief embodied in flesh, the biological reification of "a process of time in the conception." To the extent we can recognize and reintegrate these, if only through an erasure of our own belief, the Cosmic Momentum behind Infinite Creation will be ours to tap, to do our wills.

At least that's the way Spare had it, which certainly does not mean that's the way things really are, even though his magick was effective. We can just as easily say that his self-alienated solipsism is simply an effective attitude to have when addressing power to do magick, even if existence in itself is not solipsistic. After all, the only way we can encounter the powers of magick is through our perception; we can even say that everything in consciousness is either a source of power for manipulation or else something that inhibits our manipulation of it. The fact is that what is really out there is not that important magickally. What matters is the way we take it in, the underlying assumptions we have over what it is, and what we are able to do with it. Optimism and pessimism are obvious examples of such assumptions, attitudes that can color our whole approach to life. More subtle are our preconceptions concerning what is possible, on what is and isn't connected in the "outside" world. Through taking the solipsistic attitude that All is Self, Spare evades the problem by making everything "inside," and All Things have their connections there.

So for Spare it is our habitual attitudes that hold us back, our beliefs as opposed to our ideas. [The English Chaos magician Peter J. Carroll proposes the intriguing notion that the difference between a belief and an idea is that an idea may be true, while a belief is always false. Ideas may be true because they are merely recognitions of patterns in what is perceived. Beliefs are always false because they define the way things are in an absolute sense, and the Absolute is something that does not permit any manner of definition.]

 It is as if our beliefs are tracks that run parallel to power, drawing on it to move us along but without allowing us to address it directly, to tap it deliberately and exploit it. We must leave these tracks if we would do so.

For Spare, belief is the main obstacle to the work of the magician, with beliefs concerning the nature of spirit and psyche the most insidious of all. "Religions are the projections of incapacity," he writes in The Book of Pleasure, "the imaginations of fear, the veneer of superstition...while oftimes the ornament of imbecility... What you have ordained in your righteousness is your very rack, imagined though it be!" (p. 1) Faith he condemns as mere self-delusion, since it "'protects' but does not change the vital." For instance, if a man has faith that some benevolent deity has saved him from his personal pack of demons and that he is thus no longer their puppet (in spite of usually ample evidence to the contrary), then he will believe that there is nothing more to be done and will not take the trouble to meet them on their own ground and bind them into submission, which is the only way to control them with any degree of reliability.

"When faith perishes, the 'Self' shall come into its own... Myself, I have not seen a man who is not God already."

But then even beliefs that define man as a god do not escape Spare's condemnation, for he is equally derisive of traditional magick. "Others praise ceremonial Magic, and are supposed to suffer much Ecstasy! Our asylums are crowded, the stage is overrun! Is it by symbolizing that we become the symbolized? Were I to crown myself King, should I be King? Rather should I be the object of disgust or pity." (p. 2) He tells us that magick is a natural thing, our ability to spawn events as if by chance, ceremony more a style of living than any sort of production. And he dismisses the traditional practice of classifying different types of power according to their places in a theosophical scheme. "The freedom of energy is not obtained by its bondage, great power not by disintegration. Is it not because our energy (or mind stuff) is already bound over and divided, that we are not capable, let alone magical?" (p. 3)

The unbinding of mind-stuff is the essence of Spare's approach to magick—that and also its channeling in ways that do not bind it, that allow it to be focused according to will without putting any restrictions on the magician's ability to specify its use.

For Spare, it isn't just beliefs concerning the nature of the divine architecture that bind our power, but any belief short of Self-love. Self-love is an acceptance of and ecstasy in the Self as a whole, the sum of all possibilities in all times and places, what he calls Kia. Without definition, its name a designation rather than a description, Kia is a typical mystic Absolute [Whole] and can be equated with the Chinese [Wuji], [the Hindus Parabrahman], [the Buddhists Nirvana], the Qabalistic Ain Soph, [the Gnostic Pleroma] and the Neoplatonic One. "Obvious but unintelligible, without form, its design most excellent... How mighty it is, in its assertion of 'Need not be—Does not matter'![See also "The Tao which is Tao is not Tao" of Taoism & "Neither this, nor that" of Hinduism] Self-love in complete perspective, serves its own invincible purpose of ecstasy. Supreme bliss simulating opposition is its balance... Could we but imitate its law, all creation without command would unite to serve our purpose in pleasure and harmony." (p. 8) Which is to say, our cosmic purpose as nodes of perception in Kia is to enjoy it, taking all seeming contradiction and conflict as variations on its infinite power—power which, once we recognize it for what it is, will be ours to use. But we cannot so long as we are enthralled by beliefs smaller than love for Kia, for these inevitably trap us in the snare of duality—simulated opposition, to be sure, but deadly enough for those who are caught in it. It is out of our conceptions that duality comes, out of our tendency to make distinctions.

Whenever we make a distinction—whenever we say "It is this and not that"—we are unconsciously affirming that that is equally real to this, and thus must in time supplant it. If I believe order exists, then so also must disorder. If disorder did not exist then order would be a constant state and would never assert itself enough to be believed in. If I say male exists, then so also must female; if there were only asexual reproduction, then there would be no way to make the distinction, and only life would be recognized, whose opposite would be death. And so it is with any distinction we allow ourselves to make. "Duality in some form or another is consciousness of existence. It is the illusion of time, size, entity, etc.—the world's limit. The dual principle is the quintessence of all experience, no ramification has enlarged its early simplicity, but is only its repetition, modification or complexity, never is its evolution complete." (p. 9)

Now for distinctions like predator and prey, male and female, and life and death, the dual principle is obvious and easy enough to accept, at least in the abstract. Nor, on this level, is it anything we can easily render down for the power in it, these distinctions being the result of the collective machination of Self and I—the pattern of Creation itself. So if we are to tap the power of Kia behind duality, the dualities have to be closer to home. A good place to start looking is among those distinctions at the root of our emotional reactions—energetic responses whose power will be available to accomplish our wills, if only we can reconcile the distinctions.

The distinctions that we enforce, that we insist are truth, are the ones that constitute the crippling beliefs. Suppose, for instance, that a farmer looks at his field and tells himself that it is lush. If he has accepted the dual principle, he will simultaneously affirm that there is also land that is arid, and that in time his field may become arid, too. But if his self-interest requires that his land will be lush, and the rainfall diminishes, then his belief in lushness will cause him to irrigate. For a time, perhaps even for several lifetimes, this tactic will succeed, but ultimately the salts in the water will build up in the soil, making it not only arid but a stinking desert, sterile to all life. His enforcement of his belief makes the poles of the duality more extreme, bringing on the violent intervention of the opposite—crippling to Self-love and the power that comes out of it. As Spare writes in his Anathema of Zos: "Belief foreshadows its inversion. Overrun with forgotten desires and struggling truths, ye are their victim in the dying and begetting law." (p. 13)

The way of no belief would simply be to change crops to account for the shifting rainfall, going from corn to grain to grass as required, always taking care not to strain the soil for the sake of short-term profit. This requires sensitivity and thought, a mind brimming with ideas, but not belief, which only stifles the creativity needed to be in harmony with what is perceived, to truly love Self.

Of course scientific technologies can be applied to situations like this to extend the reign of one element of a duality over its opposite. To cut down on salt build-up, drains may be installed in a field to carry off waste water. But the reversal will still come eventually and will be that much more extreme—for instance salty soil littered with clay tiles instead of just salty soil. Any technology that does not account for all elements of its component dualities will ultimately fail. The whole perspective of scientific materialism, by treating all things as dead and devoid of spirit, will also.

But while the dual principle is a subtle problem in physical technology, in moral and social technology it is overtly malignant. The most blatant example of a moral duality is that of good and evil. To exalt what is perceived as "good" or, worse, to try to wipe
out "evil," only strengthens what we don't want, causing it to manifest in ever purer forms. The Catholic Church's desire to wipe out the perceived evil of disunion and heresy caused it to create its Inquisition, which itself became an unsurpassed instrument of horror. America's attempt to banish the evil of Communism culminated in the abscess of the Vietnam War. And then when it lightened up and just pushed the equilibrium in an abstract military sense, Communism collapsed under the weight of its own dogma.

The good/evil duality plays havoc with our inner states of mind as well as the course of history. If we allow the situations or people we encounter to in any way offend us, Self-love and the power it supplies will be impossible to maintain. To believe that something is offensive and combat it, even if only in our minds, is to split it off from Self and lose our power to perceive it accurately and manipulate it decisively. Also, the energy we devote to opposing it will give it a sharper definition and a greater strength.Of course it isn't just anger and offense that can alienate us from Kia. Fear does it, too, as does guilt, sentimentality, greed and pride. In Spare's published work he implies that the source of these is our limited beliefs. For myself, I must say that I don't think he goes deeply enough. In my own experience, beliefs that have a foundation in an emotional response to circumstances are generally products of biases that are wired into personality, psychic reflexes that may be interpreted as independent spirits or demons and managed through an ongoing program of evocation and magickal control.

Spare, on the other hand, treated the problem as one of beliefs as such, and attempted to dismember them through two more general techniques—an exercise he called "the death posture" and the use of a logical tool he called "the Neither-Neither principle." The death posture is just that—a posture—so it isn't really relevant to this essay, but the Neither-Neither fits right in, it being the corollary of the dual principle—its precise counterpart, in fact.

The point of the Neither-Neither is that just as the assertion of any distinction makes necessary its opposite, so the combination in mind of a distinction and its opposite will nullify the duality and release the energy of the original assertion as an undifferentiated power that should then be used in magick. This energy Spare called "free belief."

The Neither-Neither works against any belief, from a belief in the existence of any "permanent" object (just imagine it over time) to emotional necessities to the airiest philosophies. Of course the more committed one is to a belief, the more difficult it will be to conjure up the necessary opposite; in cases where the belief seems absolutely necessary, it will take great personal power just to see the other half of the duality, and even more to transcend the two halves to leap to the level where both may be held in mind simultaneously.

Also, just because a person is able to accept both halves intellectually doesn't mean that he or she must accept them both as equally valid courses of action. That is, it is important to distinguish matters of Fact from matters of Will. To apply the Neither-Neither to the statement "I am alive" is to affirm that "I will die," but this does not mean I am thus obliged to make it so. So long as it is my will, I may fervently promote the Life half of the duality. But my purpose will be supported if I can accept the reality of the Death half, for by dancing close to it great power may be snatched, power that may be used to live all the more triumphantly.

To close, I would only remark that once you generate free belief, you should always focus it into some sort of magickal working, for if you leave it lying around it will energize one or another of your dominant demons, bringing the alienation back all over again, even if in a different form.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Everything Must Go - On! by C. Abrahamsson

"For nature applied to nature
transforms nature.
Such is the order of tbe natural law
throughout the whole cosmos, and
thus all things hang together."

PLEASE CONSIDER THIS IDEA: new, consciously made, magical, talismanic totems as members/parts of a new divinity. Artworks of different kinds become cells and building blocks of a new pagan pantheon of intelligence, of whose essence future generations can rely on and partake of. Special importance should be given to indigenous, traditional, tribal folk culture, woven into the mosaic fabric of genuine human creation. The final times of our mercurial technocratic culture could actually help in setting this up before these new gods are properly established enough to live on through the rituals of the post-technocracy-survivors.

In ancient grimoires, forces were evoked to visible appearance in order to be questioned and/or commanded through certain arcane techniques and mind-frames. This was also true of art up until High Priest Duchamp celebrated the mental and conceptual while discarding two-dimensional bourgeois thought and a wordly Weltanschauung. When art suddenly became intellectual, intangible and non-personal, the power of the old forces by no means decreased. They just went into a slight hibernation, awaiting the duchampian antithetical fulfillment. The coming synthesis of tangible, will-driven talismanic art and an anti-bourgeois, non-commodified approach will be a distinct characteristic of our new pantheon's magical bag of tricks.

Is it a far-fetched idea or one worthy of consideration? I think it should be considered as a project where individual seeds are sown in communal ground, where each garden patch then in itself becomes a new seed, and so on. I believe it is possible to make a quantum quilt of new creative possibilities.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if the sacrament of the new religion will be psychedelic - either organic or chemical. The transubstantiation process in itself and the integration of the divine in edible, digestible form has been with us since the dawn of human time. The psychedelic age, with its chaotic beginnings in the mid 1960s, has been instrumental in bringing forth a radical re-evaluation of art, aesthetics, thought, philosophy, etc. I can foresee this pleasant open-mindedness becoming a prerequisite for future communications with the very principles of life, of nature, of human interaction as well as those of art and culture. We discover things when they're apparently badly needed. We seem to have a built-in intuition in situations of dire emergency. An expansion of the mind and a related expansion of art are crucial emergency routes at this point in time and space.

What's wrong with the old grids and frames of reference then?

Well, I don't think anyone really doubts the sincerity of some religious believers or entertainment industry people, but the focus on greed in both areas help facilitate what I call the "180° phenomenon." What's put on for show actually, in reality, signifies the opposite. An example: although the "moral" key in disaster movies - that we should all work together as one human race post the big disaster - seems fair, fine and human(istic), the effect of the movies actually engender subconscious fear of disasters that will very likely never happen. What on the surface appears to be benevolent cathartic entertainment in fact cements the biggest lie of all: that humans are victims of nature, separate from general biospheres and eco-systems. Well, in a sense we are the victims now, but i t's certainly no fault of nature's! What does this huge fear create in human beings? As with all fears, a desire to be safe. How do people handle this today? They consume.

Here's another example: If it's so painfully obvious that many people are starving today, why then not, as a first step at least , celebrate, encourage or even enforce the use of contraceptives among the cultures and people who can't, at this point in time, deal with their own fertility? The gilded pro-life (so called) benevolence of the Catholic Church and State makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. They simply engender fear through fiction so that people remain loyal to the herd. And pay their dues. The same old story over and over again. Our contemporary Axis of Evil is the epiphytic effect stemming from the Vatican and Hollywood, both enticing dream factories working overtime to create very real nightmares.

However, everything must go, disintegrate, fall down, evaporate . . . As all empires crumble, so will the hegemonial grip of fragmenting entertainment and the parasitic power of the monotheistic power structures. After this huge "paradigm shift " has taken place, I foresee a development towards a post-technocratic neo-feudal culture, where food access will be the driving force. A variety of land owners will protect what they have through privately owned armies and regional skirmishes will be common. The technological "daze" will have created a new breed of mindless serfs who will be forced into manual labour. Basically: when the
technological culture has gone overboard and greed disguised as misdirected altruistic charities (as in the ongoing NGO swindles) have created very hollow human infrastructues, we are faced with Homo Talionis and desperate living again.

In this scheme of things, the artist will no longer be a state-funded iconoclast of irony, but one of religious stature and active function. The art has to be relevant to the times, as always. One gets the culture one deserves. If artists conscious of this already now start working in their own pantheonic cellular bio-art-work, the transition may be gentler and more intelligent, with less violence and devastation. Showing the past in its often violent manifestations through art can help change how we approach the future. Non-dogmatic instructions are just some of the building blocks I'm referring to.

The escapist aspects of wishful thinking are easier to distill in hard times. That's why art in our present times is thin, evanescent, transparent, dreamy, infantilistic, afraid. The current core of thought on a deeply rooted emotional level is spelled S-U-R-V-I-V-A-L. If our own culture is afraid to deal with it because of complacency or ingrained fear best cured with entertainment, then pioneers and movers and shakers will have to take responsibility and show new models and possible avenues. It really is time for our culture to grow up.

By "growing up" or "taking responsibility", I'm not specifically referring to technological solutions of "saving" energy, the environment, nature etc - humans in panic seemingly always need to "save" something ! - but rather of multidimensional artists evoking new behavioural patterns, intelligence interchanges, existential models. These experimental engineers will very likely not use the commonplace given methods (art history, empirical science, interest-based economy, etc) but rather seek out entirely new ways based on visionary perspectives and, not forgetting, common sense.

When we meta-program the future through our art, we are very aware that our will is not singular and its manifestations may not be exactly as "wished" (analogous dynamics may occur in traditional magic). If we do good according to our own plans, yet the world is breaking apart in cataclysmic upheavals of politics and
geo-shudders, we shouldn't be discouraged. We cannot fully grasp the mechanics of art, at least not until a greater kind of illumination has taken place. Whether one is secure, safe and pampered or vulnerably naked in the rubble, it is important to never lose [confidence] in art and its transformative powers. Instilling will and soul in artworks has created, creates and will keep creating major changes in the world outside your own.

We are accustomed to art being a secluded area of activity for kooks and experts. Some become successful and take on the roles as clowns or jesters. Some remain unsuccessful and take on the roles as tragic clowns and derogatory objects of ridicule. The experts, like similar people in high finance, do essentially nothing but are expert in meta-trading adjectives dealing with "worth" and "relevance". What could be a free-flowing exchange of irrational (in the good sense, I have to emphasize), emotional and radical ideas, has become hi-jacked/lo-jacked and dragged into an arena of stress, trade, illusion and mere decoration. I'm not merely talking about fine art in the traditional sense, but about our entire culture. Everything's commodified and marketed except perhaps events (performances, temporary installations, etc) which are usually handled by a sub/supra-economy of institutional funding. The direct communication between artwork and viewer is perhaps best handled by classic structures like museums and publicly available collections. The shady relationship between these kinds of structures and the art dealers is more than well-known though. Kickbacks mean the possibility to kick back and who could ask for more in stressful times like these?

Grassroots reactions in the form of art are seldom vital in themselves in the long run, but definitely interesting as phenomenae where art in itself is actually looked upon as more powerful than throwing a rock at a building. The expression of aggression and frustration by proxy is an emotional-magical act that could be integrated in mainstream culture if it's loud enough (punk culture being one clear example). That's how the overall culture works, by sucking up new, radical and aggressive seeds into its own slow-grinding soil. Whether the seed later becomes a bland garden flower or a nutritious vegetable no one powerful curator or institution can singularly decide. Herein lies not only great stimulating mysteries but also great optimism for the future.

And here we come again to the crux, so to speak: history shows, again and again, that change in direction, culture and behaviour comes not through divine providence but through distinctly human initiative. People with ideas and the will to manifest the ideas in question take on the role of creators and leaders and then change everything. How does this revolutionary process begin? It begins in fractions of thoughts and invisible inspiration that gradually conglomerate into ideas or feelings that in their turn eventually take on the shape of communicable forms (words, images, "memes", etc). Then, through a suitable medium, these formulations are spread and given by talismanic proxy to the world outside the mind(s) of the formulator(s). The sparks drifting towards the fuel.

Our culture is currently saturated with opportunities of communicating which, quite paradoxically, make it harder to communicate. If everything is apparently ablaze, who can see the flame of Prometheus? Our culture is saturated with possibilities of travel and discovery, but to an increasing degree we are only met by a globalised culture similar to the one on our own street. Our culture is saturated with concepts like freedom and choice but advertising, expertly using feelings of insecurity, make most people strive for complacent and comfortable homogenity. It's literally the emperor's new clothes designed by black magic: everyone wants a piece of the exclusive but everyone looks exactly the same!

Is it far-fetched to call our present culture one of illusion? We are presented with givens but none can really tangibly be taken, unless you very clearly leave the trodden paths. "Who dares wins "is something we are taught, but the culture as such does not encourage its manifestation in action.

At this point, we can touch upon the concept of magic in itself. As with most terms, it is used as the tribal leaders see fit. Today, it is undoubtedly synonymous with stage magic, tricks, illusions, extravagant, flamboyant magicians and their scantily dressed assistants. The magical aspects of pre-science and pre-culture, the pioneering seed-sowing work, are humourously disposed of. The aspects of empowerment of the individual. tribe, society, etc, ditto. The aspects of consciousness training also. Anything or anyone that distinctly brings magic back to a tangible surface, will be associated with certain negative keywords that are inherited from one indoctrinated generation to another. Why is this? The fear of real tangible change in one's life is greater than the fear of abstracted demons and wizards in our entertainment-drenched contemporary mythology.

Is my view of the future too dystopic? Isn't it better to try and get along in peace and harmony instead of painting things black? Well, of course it is, but not to the point of cheating ourselves that human happiness comes from dictated consumer patterns. Or that genuine happiness comes from obeying those one intuitively feels are ripping you off (or even apart) . My view is not dystopic. It is realistic. The varnish of our civilization is wearing thin and that is neither bad nor good. We, as caretakers of the present times, can probably enjoy our lives in wealth and comfort until we die. But the lives of our children may not be so blessed. The present superstitious belief in science, technology, urbanisation, globalisation, etc, is making a big pooh-pooh mess and unfortunately I believe there will be a big and violent "baptism of fire" in the centuries up ahead.

Counter-seeds of change can and will have to be planted today. And they are. The spirits of the elements and other spheres will have to be evoked to visible and tangible appearance. Let nature in her splendour, beauty and philosophy be the guide. The guidelines are readily available. If we are currently living in a so called technological heaven, then the gates of hell should be opened and minions of pro-human demons should be warmly welcomed to create havoc and tear apart all the digital illusions that enfeeble and fragment us. Regardless of our languages or terminologies, let's just agree that change is necessary. Not the transparent "change we can believe in", but one where future generations can look back at us and nod in proud approval rather than shake their heads in utter despair.

It could be appropriate to end as we began, with a full quote from the Gnostic philosopher Zosimos. Not necessarily to tie this in with the "ancients", but rather to give another fine example how the basic, well known conditions of life that we all share are preserved for future evaluation - and resonance. It is through poetry, literature, art and music that we decode and then encode ourselves, our children and those around us. We can indeed set examples for ourselves and for the future.

"BEAUTIFUL IT IS TO SPEAK AND BEAUTIFUL TO HEAR, beautiful to give and beautiful to take, beautiful to be poor and beautiful to be rich. How does nature teach giving and taking? The brazen man gives, and the moist stone receives; the metal gives, and the plant receives; the stars give, and the flowers receive; the sky gives, and the earth receives; the thunderclaps give darting fire. And all things are woven together and all things are undone again, and all things are mingled with one another, and all things are composed, and all things are permeated with one another, and all things are decomposed again. And everything will be moistened and become desicated again, and everything puts forth blossoms and everything withers again in the bowl of the altar. For each thing comes to pass with method and in fixed measure and according to the weighing of the four elements. The weaving together of all things and the undoing of all things and the whole fabric of things cannot come to pass without method. The method is natural, preserving due order in its inhaling and its exhaling; it brings increase and it brings stagnation. And to sum up: through the harmonies of separating and combining, and if nothing of the method be neglected, all things bring forth nature. For nature applied to nature transforms nature. Such is the order of natural law throughout the cosmos, and thus all things hang together."

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Shimmer, Sparkle, Spin & Burn by V. Cummer

WHAT IS DIVINE INSPIRATION AND WHY DO WE NEED IT? Why do we put ourselves through the efforts of creation, giving and giving of ourselves over and over again, when it sometimes seems there is so little return? Why do we feel compelled to write, as though our very blood and breath, our bodies and our spirits, couldn't live without it?

As though we have little choice but to dip into that divine well and drink of it as best we can and, in so drinking, surrender ourselves to what comes after. The words surge through us and we can't just help ourselves. We must write or die.

As poets, it's true that we can't help but be inspired by the wonders and horrors of the world around us and our own experiences in it, both sweet and the bitter, but poetry comes from a divine source is clearly something special. It seeks to cast a light darkly through a stained glass window, a light that otherwise might not be seen. It seeks to tell a truth that can't otherwise be told. It seeks to transform all who hear it, spreading change in both creative and destructive ways. While the poet who becomes the conduit for that light, that truth, that transformation may not, at least at first, even be consciously aware what it is we've gotten ourselves mixed up in. We may not know we've essentially become a priest or priestess of the Muse.

Words pour through the hands of a poet like drops of crystalline water, sparkling and sparking off the outer world, looking for purchase in the physical. Poetry wants to describe what is difficult to describe, hard to capture. It tries to hold the shimmer of the dying sun on the waves, the gleaming arc of the stars across an impossibly deep night sky, the smile and scent of a newborn baby, the energy rising up within you as you dance around a Beltane fire, something you can't otherwise grasp and yet are intimately drawn to. As Yeats puts it, the true poet is all the time a visionary...

Divinely inspired words carry an even greater charge, one that resounds through all aspects of prophecy, magick, and witchcraft. These words have power because they remain closely linked to the web that lies behind the physical form of things, a shining web that some call Wyrd or fate itself.
Of course, all destiny cannot be written in words, cannot be captured in a physical shape. Yet destiny must, by its nature, find its way into this world and the only way to do that is to take on form.

The current of power is the bright darkness and black brightness that hides behind divine poetry, divine song, divine prose, all of them paeans to the Goddess Muse. They are prayers to destiny, seeking to grasp what cannot otherwise be grasped. We know its there because we've felt it on rare occasion. We've caught a glimpse of what is really real through the cracks in the world's skin. We've dreamt and dance it, and yet seen it slip away as soon as the dream ends or the dance dies.

Of course, it means pain to hold the truth of these words, these feelings, even for but a moment. It's an ecstasy and astonishing to behold, just for a breath or two, what lies behind the window they make on the greater universe. But then for a poet to be a channel for the divine, we must live in pain and pleasure for the time it takes to write these words down - knowing the whole time that they can never be enough, never tell the whole story. All we can do is brave the pain and not let ourselves be carried too far adrift into the rapture. All we can do is struggle to submit ourselves and our meager talents to the gift we have tapped into.

Truest poets often die of this gift. We are torn apart by the forces we have unleashed upon the page, the canvas, the world. We wear ourselves out by rushing ever after that singular experience; often giving up what most others think makes living worthwhile. But then what can food and family, fame and fortune, mean to us when compared to the glories of drinking the divine essence? Better to be a bright light and burn out than to live on in the slumbering dark.

Like prophets of old, we can't quite help it. We can't resist that bargain, difficult and dangerous though it might sometimes be. That beautiful light is just too terrible to resist, and to make the attempt to put it into words becomes a quest as great as any hero ever undertook. But then we are heroes in our own way - going Out There, experiencing the edge of what is normal and stared, and then going even further, into the dangerous Abyss. Trying to find a way to bring back what we've found there and give it purchase in this world. Through our efforts, what is supernatural might become quite natural. That is, the odd may well turn into the norm, the strange becoming the accepted way of things. And then, the poets of the next generation must do it all over again, pushing the envelope, sparking the continued evolution of the human spirit and collective psyche.

Many artists have found themselves on that bittersweet edge, riding between ecstasy and despair. John Keats, Edgar Allen Poe, John Wilmot, Sylvia Plath, [Jack Kerouac] - there are many names, many gravestones, some well tended and some forgotten, scattered along the battle line of the Arts. And yet how could they not fight the fight? They were all drawn to it, unable to resist, unable to be anything else but whom they were meant to be. They chose to live until they died and to not demean the price, to not deny their gift.

This is our shared journey, the journey of the poet and the madman. It's much the same journey as that taken by the practitioner of the occult, the seeker after what is 'hidden', what can't be grasped by mortal means. For magick is an art like any other and needs inspiration, and so must seek to court the chancy favors of the Muse. Ritual may be expected method rather than the pen or the keyboard, yet they are all tools in the end to touch the source and bring about transformation.

We, as poets, are the Witch, the Magician, the Prophet, the Shaman, the Star. We are all wanderers in the dark, seeking to bridge two worlds through the sheer power of the word, allowing that bright current to flow through us. Destruction, change, rebirth, passion, fear, heartbreak, hunger, need, bravery, seduction, daring - all must pass through the page and out into the world. As ideas and spirits and forces far too great to exist in their present form and be intact in the physical find their manifestation through the arts.

We do our best to open that door for them to enter in, even if it means we pay a great price for the effort. Even if, sometimes, that price means everything. For we hold the door open through our life force, bleeding to bring to the world of form something that's never been seen or known before. Out of love, we make new what is most needed. We do it because we can and because we must. For that creative force, once felt, no longer allows us to turn back. We've tasted the divine and we want desperately to share that essence, that experience, as best as we are able.

Who are we and why do we do this? We are poets. We are madness. We are desire. We are prophets. We are witches. We are the evolutionaries of the world and revolutionaries of [destiny]. We are glitter in the hundred thousand eyes of the great spider who sits in the very center of all that is chaos and empty and nothingness and weaves all that is real and there and perfect. We are the darlings of daring and the servants of the art, an art we would willingly allow to break us, if only it lets something truly special into the world.

From Datura : An Anthology of Esoteric Poesis

Monday, June 17, 2013

Magic Psalm by Allen Ginsberg

Because this world is on the wing and what cometh no man
can know
O Phantom that my mind pursues from year to year descend
from heaven to this shaking flesh
catch up my fleeting eye in the vast Ray that knows no bounds
-- Inseparable -- Master --
Giant outside Time with all its falling leaves -- Genius of the
Universe -- Magician in Nothingness where appear red
clouds --
Unspeakable King of the roads that are gone -- Unintelligible
Horse riding out of the graveyard -- Sunset spread over
Cordillera and insect -- Gnarl Moth --
Griever -- Laugh with no mouth, Heart that never had flesh to
die -- Promise that was not made -- Reliever, whose
blood burns in a million animals wounded --
O Mercy, Destroyer of the World, O Mercy, Creator of Breasted
Illusions, O Mercy, cacophonous warmouthed doveling….”

invade my body with the sex of God, choke up my nostrils with
corruption's infinite caress,
transfigure me to slimy worms of pure sensate transcendency
I'm still alive,
croak my voice with uglier than reality, a psychic tomato
speaking Thy million mouths,
Myriad-tongued my Soul, Monster or Angel, Lover that comes
to fuck me forever -- white gown on the Eyeless Squid --
Asshole of the Universe into which I disappear -- Elastic Hand that spoke to Crane –
Music that passes into the phonograph of years from another Millennium -- Ear of the buildings of NY --
That which I believe -- have seen -- seek endlessly in leaf dog
eye -- fault always, lack -- which makes me think...
Desire that created me, Desire I hide in my body, Desire all Man know Death, Desire surpassing the Babylonian possible world
That makes my flesh shake orgasm of they Name which I don’t know never will never speak –
Speak to Mankind to say the great bell tolls a golden tone on iron balconies in every million universe,
I am thy prophet come home this world to scream an unbearable
Name through my 5 senses hideous sixth
That knows Thy hand on its invisible phallus, covered with electric bulbs of death –
Peace, Resolver where I mess up illusion, Softmouth Vagina \that enters my brain form above, Ark-Dove with a bough of death.

Drive me crazy, God I’m ready for disintegration of my mind, disgrace me in the eye of the earth,
Attack my hairy heart with terror eat my cock Invisible croak of deathfrog leap on me pack of heavy dogs salivating light,
Devour my brain One flow of endless consciousness, I’m scared of your promise must make scream my prayer in fear –
Descend O Light Creator & Eater of Mankind, disrupt, disrupt the world in its madness of bombs and murder,
Volcanoes of flesh over London, on Paris a rain of eyes – truckloads of angelhearts besmearing Kremlin walls – the skullcap of light to New York –
Myriad jeweled feet on the terraces of Pekin – veils of electrical gas descending over India—cities of Bacteria invading the brain __ the Soul escaping into the rubber waving mouths of Paradise –
This is the Great call, this is the Tocsin of the Eternal War, this is the cry of the Mind slain in Nebulae,
This is the Golden Bell of the Church that has never existed, this is the boom in the heart of the sunbeam, this is trumpet of the Worm at Death,
Shovel my feet under the Andes, splatter my brains on the Sphinx, drape my beard and air over the Empire State Building,
Cover my belly with hands of moss, fill up my ears with your lightning, blind me with prophetic rainbows
That I taste the shit of Being at last, that I touch Thy genitals in the palmtree,
That the vast Ray of Futurity enter my mouth to sound They Creation Forever Unborn, O Beauty invisible to my Century!
That my prayer surpass my understanding, that I may lay my vanity at Thy foot, that I no longer fear Judgment over Allen of this world
Born in Newark come into Eternity in New York crying again in Peru for ultimate Tongue to psalm the unspeakable,
That I surpass desire for transcendency and enter the calm water of the universe
That I ride out this wave, not drown forever in the flood of my imagination
That I not be slain thru my own insane magic, this crime be punished in merciful jails of death, men understand my speech out of their Turkish heart, the prophets aid me with Proclamation.
The Seraphim acclaim Thy Name, Thyself at once in one huge Mouth of universe make meat reply.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

De Occulo Bjundo remixed by Syd Arthur

1. This is thee Book of the Growing of the Nostril Horn of the OverWHOAMan-icorn, of which the symbol in the profane world is the dot in the circle, and of which the meaning is Illumination.
2. Thou who readest this doth not read; thou who seeketh shall not attain; thou who understandeth doth not understand. For attainment and understanding cometh only when thou art not thou, yea, when thou art no-thing.
3. Once there was a Dude, a disciple of some great Member of our Order whom men name the Great Bud which signifieth He Who be Here & Now Mate. For men asked the Great Bud, Are you a God? And he answered, No. And they asked again, Are you a saint? And he answered again, No. And they asked then, What are you? And he answered: I am awake, mate. Thence is he known as the Great Bud, the Awakened One.
4. And the Dude, in order to awaken himself, practiced the Art of Meditation as taught by the Great Bud, which in its original form before being distorted by False Imaginings and Elaborations of Theologians, was but this: To look upon all incidents and events and Remember to Say Unto Thine Soul of each: This is transitory.
5. And the monk looked upon all incidents and events, Reminding himself always: This is transitory.
6. And the monk came close to Awakening, and therefore was he in great peril, for The Lord of the Abyss of Hallucinations, whom our Order calls E. Gawd, the Sky Tyrant, cometh quickly to one near Awakening, to hypnotize him again into the Sleep of Fools which is the ordinary consciousness of Men.
7. And E. Gawd did sorely afflict the Dude with death of offspring, and insanity of loved ones, and eye-troubles, and slander, and malice, and the great curse of Law Suits, and diverse sufferings; but the Dude thought only: This is transitory. And he was closer to Awakening.
8. And E. Gawd, the Sky Tyrant, the Lord of the Abyss of Hallucinations, then caused the Dude to die and reincarnate as an almost Mindless creature, a Parrot, which flitted from tree to tree deep in the jungle; and E Gawd thought, "Now he hath no chance of Awakening."
9. But a brother of the Great Bud came strolling one day through the jungle, chanting the Teachings, and the Parrot heard, and repeated the one phrase over and over: This is transitory.
10. And Mental Activity began in the Parrot, and the memories of his past life came to him, and the meaning of the teaching, This is transitory; and E. Gawd cursed horribly in frustration, and caused him to die again and reincarnate as an Elephant, even deeper in the jungle and further from the languages of men.
11. And many years passed, and there seemed no chance of Awakening for that soul; but the effects of good karma, like those of bad, continueth forever; and eventually Men came to the jungle, and took the Elephant captive, to sell him to a Boss Playa.
12. And the Elephant lived in the courtyard of the Boss Playa, and many years passed.
13. And another brother of the Great Bud came to the Boss Playa, and taught in the courtyard, and his teaching was: This is transitory. And memories awoke in the Elephant, and meaning was understood in the memories, and Awakening again came close.
14. And E. Gawd cursed wrathfully, and caused the Elephant to die; and this time E. Gawd took good care that reincarnation would recur at the furthest possible remove from all chance of Awakening, for E. Gawd caused that the monk be reborn this time as an American Evangelist.
15. And the Evangelist was of the Moral Majority and he journeyed across the American nation, North and South and East and West, preaching that all were in danger of hellfire, and that there was only One Path to Salvation, and that this Path lay in believing All he Said and doing All he Demanded.
16. And he enslaved many, who became mental Automatons, and these Automatons went about crying: Hallelujah! We Are Saved!
17. And Gawd was gleeful, for now the soul of the monk was further from Illumination than ever; for previously he had been a Subjectively Hopeless Idiot -- id est, one who is aware of his own hopeless idiocy -- but now he was an Objectively Hopeless Idiot -- id est, one who Thinks that he Knows when in fact he doth Know Nothing.
18. But the Evangelist met with others of the Clergy to discuss sending Missionaries to the Heathen of the East; and there One spoke of the superstitions of the Transient and Eccentrics, and he mentioned the Great Bud teaching that All is transitory.
19. And Mental Activity began in the Evangelist, and memories of Past Incarnations stirred; and E. Gawd, in bitter frustration, attempted the Last Trap of All, and caused the Evangelist to become MegaBroWhoaMan, Master of Masters, Penultimate Supreme Being of all possible Universes.
20. And MegaBroWhoaMan abode in Divine Bliss for billions of billions of years, creating many lesser Supreme Beings who created Their own universes and were as Gods to them; and MegaBroWhoaMan watched all this Activity and rejoiced in it with High Indifference; for MegaBroWhoaMan was Consciousness Without Desire.
21. And the Dude now seemed at last cut off from Illumination forever.
22. But finally MegaBroWhoaMan observed, after watching many Supreme Beings come and go, and all Their universes grow and flourish and perish, that the great Law of Laws is that All is transitory.
23. And MegaBroWhoaMan realized that He, too, was transitory.
24. And MegaBroWhoaMan achieved Illumination.
25. And MegaBroWhoaMan came back to ordinary consciousness in the mind of the Dude practicing the Great Bud meditation of looking on all things and thinking, This is transitory.
26. And the Dude did not know if he was a Dude imagining he had been MegaBroWhoaMan or MegaBroWhoaMan playing at being a Dude; and thus was his Illumination perfected.

[Lovingly remixed from RAW by Syd Arthur]