Apotheosis through Adversity

            All Machiavellian speculations on whether it’s better to be loved or feared aside, I have come to the conclusion that if you find yourself unloved, fear is an excellent consolation prize. The weak and obsequious are too often easily afforded something that passes itself off as love, some sort of a consolation prize for playing to people’s vanities I suppose, while the strongest will almost always be feared, particularly wherever and whenever their relative strengths must be undeniably recognized. As stated in one of my favorite slogan’s attributed to the Bavarian Illuminati: Oderint dum Metuant, “Let them hate, provided they fear.”

           Complications, of course, may arise as one struggles to preserve a clear and healthy perspective, as well as a sincere sense of humor, in the face of all this fear that will be irrationally projected onto him or herself. The ego will swell and warp to occupy whatever shape best serves in the continual harvest of this sweet rotten fruit. In fact, it’s possible to become so addicted to being feared, especially in the absence of any more positive regard, particularly any sort of deep and compassionate understanding, that one may find one’s self spiritually poisoned, or, at least, psychologically malnourished, on such a potentially dangerous and unhealthy diet of infamy.

            Despite many people's rather verbose arguments to the contrary, actual Magick is either feared, scorned, or simply disregarded almost everywhere I attempt to create it. If Einstein's definition of insanity holds true, it should be easy enough for me to continue to inflict my own brand of insanity on a world that takes little to no notice of any of these new and strange actions.

            Sadly, either he’s wrong about insanity allowing one to perform the same actions again and again while expecting different results or else I’m not quite insane enough yet. I’ll have to work on that, what with this quietly growing zombie apocalypse I see expanding all around me. Cowans.

            One last thing bears explaining: In the Aquarian Age, darkness reigns supreme, despite whatever misinformation you were sold by the endless waves of hippies who argued to the contrary. You will be ruled from the shadows by forces that bear little resemblance to anything of which you’ve been provided a mental framework to comprehend and, despite your perpetual toiling and slaving towards their ends and not your own, you will, in general, be none the wiser. These incomprehensible forces will allow you to dig yourself deeper and deeper into a pit of infantile helplessness simply to increase the relative distance between themselves and you, all because it makes their own worldly attainments and metaphysical comprehensions all the more impressive.

            When I was younger and more idealistic, this idea concerned me quite a bit, not because I worried about being left in the dark as much as I didn’t want to have to ascend into such a cruel and inhuman place, simply to remain free of what I can now see are its apparently inevitable oppressions. However, I can now understand that no one ever really goes anywhere except in relation to this one fundamental idea, that sense of an every looming and incomprehensible danger, the possibility of these unseen masters of evil falling upon you at any moment. Without that dynamic psychic tension, none of us would ever grow any stronger. Although most people will continue to cry out in the darkness for help, there will always be a few who are willing to learn to move about gracefully and with purpose while the lights remain off above us. The greatest luminaries, in my opinion, will only ever be born in such dark places as these anyway.

            I see now that my true task in this world isn’t to remove people’s perceived oppressions or to liberate them from their cares and worries, but rather to be pushed back against and attacked as one of those terrifying objects of fear and respect that reign above us all. At best I might attempt to help others perceive oppression in the positive and ultimately constructive manner that has helped me, and is still helping me, to rise above as I encounter it, but that position kind of reeks of condescension and vanity. No, a more direct statement of my intentions is this: I’m your new master until you can prove that I’m not.

            I would also like to encourage you to believe, wholeheartedly, that the actual Powers That Be are, in fact, unofficially out to get you, but don’t go so far as to allow yourself to surmise that you, or even I, will ever truly escape or defeat them completely. To even think such a thing would be to cut oneself off from an essential existential myth that’s been provided for those of us who are sincerely seeking to ascend, here, within a dangerous world of persistent but subtle threats, and countless other ingenious and hidden traps, all of which are designed to inevitably subjugate the individual to a wide variety of forces that really are greater than one’s own self. Therefore my new motto will be: Apotheosis through self-maintained adversity. How perfect the world becomes, and yet still, for some reason, most of us remain like seeds ignorantly complaining about how we're all covered in dirt. Again, stupid cowans.

            To quote a message sent by Marshal Ferdinand Foch in the first battle of the Marne: “My centre is giving way, my right is retreating, situation excellent, I am attacking.” Although I will continue to be amused by the number of people I meet who are stupid enough to fear me from the door, I will still freely admit that I think the stupidest ones to be those who don’t fear me at all; because fear, after all, is the key to understanding power, just as love is the only real key by which one might unlock the mysteries of goodness itself. Good luck and Namaste.

Zuriel: Angel of Preparation (Sept 23rd-Oct 22nd)

          The I Ching says, “The superior man thinks of evil that will come and guards against it.”

“But that’s the thing about Batman. Batman thinks of everything.”
-Grant Morrison

         According to Grant Morrison, Batman “read how traumatized children sometimes develop cover personalities to protect themselves from painful repressed memories" and something occurred to him. He wondered, “If my mind came under attack, let’s just say… if it already has come under attack… would it be possible to create an emergency personality as a defense? A back-up human operating system.”

         Of course, he’s explaining what the obviously self-aware and autonomous internal concept of “The Batman” actually is. But a psychic pioneer like Morrison is clever enough to suggest that a sophisticated enough "back-up human operating system," like the Batman, might get the idea to RE-TRAUMATIZE himself, in this case through an extensive Thogol death meditation ritual, in order to implant yet another redundancy Batman persona, the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh. This produces yet another personality, buried deep within his unconscious, which is ready to emerge should the first Batman ever completely lose his mind, the way Bruce Wayne, the original persona, could be said to have lost his.

         The layering of personalities on top of personalities in an endless procession of brave soldiers, each one making some variation on the classic “survival plan” the mind uses to preserve the individual's identity, is something Batman first recognized in the strategy of his prime adversary, the Joker. He keenly observes how the Joker kept “coming back... different.” Batman surmises that the Joker “recreates himself constantly, like some kind of super-MPD.” Although not always the case, here, at least, that old saying, “It takes one to know one,” holds quite true.

         Of course this so-called “super-MPD” (Super Multiple Personality Disorder) is perhaps not quite as uncommon as one might think. What if it’s simply far too subtle and efficient a phenomenon to be noticed, even on the grand scale on which it may be occurring, and even, most ironically, within our very own minds. The chronological path of the human body may be locked into one very definite, commonly grim, path, a march to the grave that accelerates or slows depending on our basic lifestyle choices, but the contents of our secret internal procession of eponymously named personalities can shift and reinvent themselves with every significant obstacle we encounter. Shakespeare once wrote that “A coward dies a thousand deaths; the brave die but once,” but a brilliant strategist like Bruce Wayne, or the Batman, or whatever anyone might want to call him, knows that one must die as many times as it takes, internally, to become the best Self he or she can be. I call this process Multiple Personality Engineering, and it opens doorways and vistas that would otherwise remain closed, or perhaps just hidden and unconscious.

         Realizing that we have this latent power to choose precisely who and what we’ll become makes the concept of “what-we-really-are” all the more interesting as well. Am I to be defined by the limits I was born with, by my capacity to conceive of some far less limited being whom I might now merely aspire to be, or by some temporary snapshot I might stop and take on the long road in-between? Or, most disturbingly, can I be said to even exist anywhere else but within the very exchange of these self-defining messages, somewhere within all that art, all that vital living culture, that information that each one of us must download and painstakingly sort out within our initially empty brains, all of which exists only to create another limited variation on the basic speaking, feeling, acting and reasoning human being that we all seem to become. Am I just another walking, talking, fiction, in a world populated entirely by other inevitable, painfully limited, and therefore endlessly reoccurring, characters such as myself? Who's really writing this story? Who's editing? Am I really only one character simply because I only have a single given name?

         For example, when real world detectives zero in on some ingenious criminal plot or another, as I assume that at least some of them must actually do, are they bringing to life “The Batman” persona that they read about as children, or was it this “fictional” Batman who has really been a monument to them all along. I feel that we’d argue the line of causality in this or any other similar case only to appease our vanities and our fears of insubstantiality. The basic truth is that "what-we-truly-are," that mysterious character that modern psychologists have labeled the ego and that ancient theology once called the soul, is simply another transferable cultural artifact, a complex idea that gets exported and imported by itself and to itself almost single everyday, from the artistic medium to the receptive mind, from the creative mind to the artistic medium, and of course back again. Only when you realize this can you consciously guide and direct the evolution of that very important idea.

         Returning to the sage advice of Batman again: “Obvious variations aside, there’s only one human body; 206 bones; five major organs; 60,000 miles of blood vessels. All it takes is time.”

         “Days. Months. Years, spent memorizing the finite ways there are to hurt and break a man. Preparing for all of them.

         The spirit of Batman is in his intense preparation, his training and study for all of those necessary trials that must be passed through in order to move a painfully frail mortal body through its paces until it’s finally forged into something more.

         “I’ve escapes from every conceivable death trap. Ten times. A dozen times. I can control my breathing and metabolism to control panic and conserve air. Straightjackets’s Kindergarten. Locks too. Bench pressing a pine coffin lid through 600 pounds of loose soil that's filling your mouth, crushing your lungs flat and shredding your dehydrated muscles? That’s harder…"

         “…But far from impossible.”

         “That’s the thing about The Batman. Batman thinks of everything.” Good luck and Namaste.

Tag Day Update

          While most people drunkenly celebrate St. Patrick's Day of Cruelty to All Serpentine Animals, proud Serpents such as myself mark this barely understood holiday with massively complex and public games of "tag," and other even more esoteric and secret rituals, all hidden right out in public, amongst the cloud of mundane chaos and intoxication with which we have been so generously provided.

         Whether you believe that this holiday marks the Catholic's militant suppression of the Druids, the Gnostics, or even the long forgotten Moorish settlers of Ireland, a limited number of foam weapons can and will be made available to only the most hardcore of tag players in attendance. The game is simple: Someone who represents St Patrick starts out as being "It." When he tags any other player, one of our "serpents," that serpent is converted and becomes the new St Patrick. However, any serpent who tags the current St Patrick three times before he tags them or someone else gains the right to "stay in Ireland," forcing the current St Patrick to have to search for and attack someone else. We'll also play other interesting variations on the basic game of tag, like Mass Conversion Tag and Zombie Tag, which are basically the same game, just with Catholics or Zombies respectively. Games will begin around 5:23 on CMU Campus in the Cut between Forbes and Schenley Park and continue on for about as long as we can get away with it.

         Perhaps you too will join us to both tackle and be tackled while shouting "Happy Tag Day" like it was some sort of magical get-out-jail-free card.

         (BTW, I was just informed that it's technically not; my legal counsel has suggested that I mention that "Tag Day" and it's reptilian affiliates are in no way responsible for any lawsuits directly or indirectly resulting from the improper observance of this very special and largely misunderstood time of year. However, just in case they're completely wrong, "Happy Tag Day, Mother Fuckers!")

The Cocooning at One World's End is on March 20th

          The Spring Equinox will be upon us this Sunday, March 20th, at precisely 6:21 P.M. EST. We will be on the move, transitioning people in Oakland, Squirrel Hill, and perhaps even as far as the South Side, by placing as many of these people as we can in actual cocoons, a chrysalization accompanied by various degrees of hypnotic trance, that each may emerge from the experience uniquely reborn in whatever new internal forms they might have the imagination to choose.

         This free public ritual will not only punctuate the fast approaching return and rebirth of Spring, as well as so much else all around us, but it will also provide a unique space for reflecting on both all that one has been and all that one might now become, that is, with a little shamanic nudge. In order to get as many participants as possible, I would be willing to accommodate any and all reasonable preferences of those who have some particular place they may wish to pupate and await the trumpet blast that signals the arrival of a new and better time for us all. (First bonfire on this “new year” to follow later that same night.)

         In answer to further questions about "what this is," I can only add that this is street shamanism in a spider’s womb; Ritual theater; Psychic surgery; Old medicine and new; Imago engineering; In short, as I’ve already explained above, we're casting cocoons on crowds of Castors to help them pupate into Polluxes. It’s like Kafka with a happy ending; indeed, at the end of one Aeon, another’s emergence.

         Hopefully we'll get to you before that new world does...

The Currency of Faith

          I recently read a comic book in which Wonder Woman said something I found sort of amazing. She said, “Gods… are self aware ideas. They use concept-weapons, anti-life equations, hunter-killer metaphors.” Of course, when you have a chaos magician like Grant Morrison writing the script, one can’t be too surprised when classic heroes like Wonder Woman and Batman start making deeply mystical insights into the realms of theology and metaphysics. Morrison understands that not only are all of our apparently physical forms sustained and directed by essentially energetic forces, but that all of this energy itself exists within a strange field of quantum probability, one which is acted upon and possibly even shaped by the internal forms that we all generate deep within our own minds. The pious and misguided may still look to the sky in search of divinity, but we magicians know to look within; it's far bigger in there than you might think.

         The paradox of having an all powerful and all loving God who exists in the face of enduring and increasingly more complex evils is one that has, in my opinion, never been adequately addressed by those who would have me believe my faith is anything other than a self sustained, albeit necessary, illusion. That we are left alone to face the manifestations of our worst fears cannot be excused simply on the grounds that an ultimately just God might wish to preserve our freewill, or to force us to fall back on our own resources, or to rely upon each other, all for our own good. This argument only could be applied to a very small number of cases; those select few circumstances where the people in question might realistically be expected to rise above whatever problems they have encountered. Unfortunately, the powers that move the world do not appear to be unified beneath the will of any one supreme being, but if they were, He, She, or It certainly could not be said to be full of compassion, love, and goodness. Of course, how many people would be willing to worship a peevishly adolescent God of perverse curiosities? No takers? Well fine; I hope you'll be willing to accept something in a trickster God, ‘cause I'm afraid that's all I have left in stock right now.

         At those times when I find myself completely overwhelmed with hopelessness and despair over the state of things as I perceive them to be, my best and final refuge is a state that I can only describe as “defiant disbelief.” This makes a great deal of sense given my experiences. After all, as a fully conscious magician I'm well aware of how often events seem to bend to the will or wills of any number of self-interested observers, and how essentially dream-like the world can be. Bearing repeated witness to this subtle principle has provided me with a deep and enduring faith in some manner of utterly deceptive, and often perversely cruel, God, one who appears to want nothing more than to bear a similar witness to the full extent of our own potential resourcefulness; so on those rare occasions when life completely overwhelms me, I simply remember the face of this great deceiver, and simply stop being deceived.

         My experience up to this point has inspired me to believe in little else, and I often can’t understand how other people manage to survive without the existential luxury of such a basic cosmological pessimism as this. However, I am more than savvy enough to realize how important it is that I also project healthier images onto these only apparently random events that continue to unfold all around me; images of a divine protector, an invisible benefactor, one who, in the end, really does have, if not a plan for the best, at the very least our best interests at heart. After all, if I am living in some sort of dream, one which may be controlled, at least for the time being, by some unseen adversary, why then should I not attempt to dream up an unseen ally as well; a deus ex machina, if you will. Perhaps, in the end, such dreams as these are all that will really matter.

         Although I do not believe in a divine unification above, I very much believe in the seemingly undeniable existence of the basic power itself. Knowing full well then what is ultimately at stake, I've also come to believe, very strongly, that those of us who've born witness to the existence and activity of magick must do whatever we can to ensure that it works towards the best ends possible. If there ever was, or still is, a true Illuminati, its primary interest would be to gain uncontestable control over such a power, but I assure you that, no matter what the playing field may look like these days, it's still up to each one of us to take full responsibility for our own individual shares of it; God begins inside you. Good Luck and Namaste.

Love Beats the Demon

           Last night I listened to an ad for a seduction system that claimed to exploit a “loophole” in female psychology, one with which any man could read and control the mind of any woman. Although the ad was long and worked very hard to say as many words as possible without giving very much, if anything, away, there were still a few basic ideas that it advanced again and again (probably just to fill time while it subtly attempted to exploit the “loophole” in a man's psychology that they hoped would make me buy their product).

           The most basic idea it advanced was that everyone is different, and, therefore, one must first figure out precisely whom one is dealing with before he or she can know how to deal with them most effectively. The video briefly described nine different types of women, and claimed that it only takes three questions to figure out which type you’re dealing with at any given moment. It didn’t provide these questions, of course, but it did provide one additional insight into human psychology, one which may give us a better idea what sort of qualities we’d be trying to determine with these supposedly magic questions.

           This female mind control expert pointed out that just as people are different, so are the things that will turn them on. He says that for some women, stability, safety, and comfort are very, very, sexy, while for others, a little danger and adventure are still their greatest turn-ons. I probably won’t be purchasing these videos, so I’ll never know for sure, but I imagine that all nine of those types of women are supposed to fit into one of these two boxes, with the possible exception of a third type of women, perhaps one who can't be mind-controlled through her libido, or just a woman that wants a bit of both. Perhaps nothing of this is true, but it all seems possible, no?

           The video suggests that a man shouldn't simply believe what a woman says she wants, which, to me, indicates that there must either be a popular internal conflict at work or else a pandemic penchant for deception, although the latter, I think, is far less likely. This idea of an internal conflict intrigues me because of one of many potential problems it suggests might be on the horizon for all women, particularly those in relationships with dangerous men. Men who offer nothing but ease and security are free to figure out their own potential pitfalls and downfalls.

           Although there are exceptions to any rule, I believe that, at some point in a person's life, almost everyone is excited by sheer excitement itself, be it in the form of roller coaster rides, games of tag, haunted houses, or, of course, as we get older, far less innocent diversions than these. However, dangerous fun such as this will inevitably take its toll on a person, particularly, if you’ll excuse my sexist differentiation, on women. Herein lies one of the primary sources for the internal dilemma afflicting all those lovely danger lovers.

           I believe that long term relationships with dangerous men fall apart as the average women finds herself growing into a lose-lose situation. They either become increasingly more dissatisfied with the continued dangers that their men represent, longing for the kind of stability and comfort that would naturally become more attractive with their own ever increasing maturity, OR they get their men to change into something that fits with what their heads are telling them they should want, only later to find out that they're no longer attracted to them; either way, they will probably end up searching for someone else, and another dangerous man has either been neutralized, or brought a bit closer to neutralization, by the soulful power of the feminine.

           I believe that there's an inevitable contention that always arises between the dangerous power, and at least initial seductiveness, of virile and dominant masculinity, on one hand, in conflict with the reasonable desires for safety and ease that eventually puts almost all such men at odds with much of the fairer sex, if not the entirety of society itself, on the other. This is a society which women, and the many kinds of men that they can easily control, have all worked very hard to shape to their liking, particularly in the last century. Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for both of these forces, the masculine animus and the feminine anima, but I feel that one of these has become unfairly demonized and/or completely forgotten within our modern world, and I am nothing if not the devil's advocate.

            Like Russell Crowe said in 3:10 to Yuma Flats, “Even bad men love their mommas,” but, as they pointed out in Natural Born Killers, “Love beats the demon.” It's sort of true; few things hit as hard as love, but, for reasons explained above, a truly beaten man, as well as an unbeatable one, will both soon find themselves spurned anyway. Regardless, I leave one final warning for any "dangerous man" who longs for a serious relationship with a mature and sensible woman: whether you know it not, Death is what you seek. Good luck and Namaste.

Tag Day is March 17th!

           Of all the popular holidays, I hate St. Patrick’s Day the most. While for some I suppose this holiday might, in theory, be that one special day out of the year on which we are all supposed to appreciate the finer points of Irish culture, I think I can safely say that for most of America its arrival represents nothing more than an opportune time for yet another orgy of mindless drunkenness and debauch. It is an absolute certainty that enormous numbers of people will expose their ugliest, most affected, sides, get in fights, drive drunk, puke green beer, and forget most, if not all, of this by the morning; that is, if they’re fortunate enough to escape any lasting consequences from their spate of minor mundane villainies. St. Paddy’s day is a shallow memorial to lowered intelligence and poor judgment, but this year, at least, I am pursuing a beautiful silver lining.

           Somewhere within this tawdry festival of mental and physical enfeeblement there will be a secret meeting of the Black Thorn League, an esoteric chapter of the infamous Moorish Science Temple. This meeting is of particular interest to me because, unlike some of this group’s other gatherings, it’s open to nonmembers, and, this year, I’d like to be in attendance, distance be damned.

          Rumors link the Black Thorn League to those infamous fifth column provocateurs, the Assassins, small sects of which are believed, even today, to uphold and act upon the strange occult doctrines of Hassan the Mad. A forbidden culture of world shaping assassination concealed itself for generations within the new mystical traditions of these displaced servants to a murdered Imam. These wandering Sufis remembered their proud and pointy roots and watched the world from the safety of the shadows, migrating out across the globe, showing up in unexpected places like Hungary, and, some believe, even as far away as Ireland.

           The historians among the Black Thorns cite not only a Moorish push into Ireland but also a violent push back against them and other “Pagans” by St. Patrick during his militant conversion of the Emerald Isle to Catholicism. Maewyn Succat, an Englishman, or some say a Roman, who was enslaved for years in Ireland to a Druid High Preist, heard voices one day that told him to escape and run far away to the power of the Church. Twelve years later Succat returned to Ireland a Bishop, murdered his former owner and burned his estate to the ground, and then set his sights on the rest of Ireland. The secret of March 17th is that, for all else that it may mean, it commemorates the Roman invader’s death, and is a clandestine signal for all brave Serpents to return once again to any of the rich and fertile lands that we might have lost in far darker times.

           The only real problem is that, as of now, I have only a when; I don’t currently have any idea where this meeting of the Black Thorn League might actually be. If anyone reading this can help me locate that all important final piece to my jigsaw puzzle of impending pilgrimage, I’d most certainly appreciate it.

           If you need more information about the Black Thorn League, I suggest that you start here:

           Good luck and Namaste.