Here There Be Monsters

          Although it was no less than the late great Friedrich Nietzsche who warned that those who fight monsters must be careful, lest they become monsters themselves, it’s my belief that one could do far worse than to become a “monster.” Interestingly enough, the word comes from the latin monstum, which means “an evil omen” or “a warning.” Although we typically associate monsters with fantastic and terrible beasts, or even simply things that are unusually large, the idea that such an epic mythical occurrence is inherently ominous or undesirable, heralding some sort of divine punishment, is one deeply ingrained within our collective unconscious. Experience has taught me that the appearance of a so-called monster is, indeed, a sure sign that some kind of retribution is coming, yet not, as one might expect, from any inherent evil within the monster itself but rather from the pettiness of the frightened masses, hoveled together within the pale shadows of their most cherished and institutionalized inadequacies.

          I am reminded today, as most of my fellow man celebrates the murder of their over-sanitized and anemic God, how dangerous it is to have any sympathy for the homicidal smallness of those of us who would so unfairly rebuke anything of great power and majesty with a term so unfair as “monstrous.”

          If we push back even farther, to the word from which monstrum itself is derived, monere, we will find that it holds a slightly less sinister meaning, indicating simply “advice” or “a reminder.” Indeed, for those of us who aspire to anything beyond the rather limited scope of consensual reality, monsters do serve as both an inspirational example and an awesome reminder of the great titanic forces from which, I believe, we are all descended.

          Esoteric orders from the Temple of Set to the Soma Sema have all made extensive use of monstrous archetypes to provide basic form and structure to the training of magical initiates. Werewolves, Vampires, Dragons, Djinn, even Elves and, believe it or not, Cyborgs and Sith Lords have all served as models for esoteric guilds devoted to the development of martial, meditative, or magical practices. Although the particular details behind any of these various initiatory orders are not technically public knowledge, secrets can be hard, in fact, pretty much impossible, to keep in an information age packed with extremely skilled, motivated, or wealthy seekers.

          Yep… that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.

          However, while we're on the topic of monsters, it being "Good" Friday and all, I feel that I'd be remiss if I failed to share one of my favorite esoteric interpretations of the cruxifiction. There is a classical theory of the universe that states that our reality is but a small pocket of order shaped by divine forces from out of a vast sea of limitless and pure chaos, the likes of which is mercifully beyond our current imaginations. This pocket is something outside of which we can't see or even comprehend, just so you don't think that by "chaos" I mean the apparently chaotic swirlings of debris in space; No, I mean a transdimensional realm that exists beyond the ubiquitous limitations of space, time, and the other physical laws that provide order to reality. It was once believed that should these divinely imposed boundaries of natural law ever be undone, transgressed, or in any way overturned, the objective world as we now know it would come to an end, and all but forgotten primordial forces, forces which are currently barred from existence in our world, would again come into being. In short, magical things tug on, and will eventually unravel, the threads of reality itself, and this is why the word for monster indicates a bad omen.

         There are some who believe that the "consequences of our sins" from which the blood sacrifice of Christ was intended to save us was nothing more than the potential havoc that a sinful humanity would have unleashed upon itself if it was ever given access to the full power and potential of the chaos described above. This is why the Blood and the Name are such potent banishing tools in the hands of those pious few who even to this day continue to sanitize the world of any and all supernatural seepage; Those who've driven out the now all but forgotten monsters of a bygone age and have thereby helped to create a more stable, singular, and sane static reality, one where the painfully slow, yet undeniably safer, advances of science could be, and have been, achieved.

         Yet it is also said that we are nearing the end of the Blood's power to unequivocally deny the cataclysmic return of the Great Old Ones, and, if such dire prophesies are true, then those hard won advances of scientific progress will soon be sorely tested against an unprecedented resurgence of our now slumbering psychic potentials, the likes of which are only barely comprehensible to the modern man. At least, most modern men.

         Most people find such antiquated ways of looking at the world hard to take seriously, and having little to no belief in magick, also see little chance of the laws of physics ever "breaking down." Regardless of one's metaphysical or spiritual beliefs, if mankind is unable to adjust to the enormous degree of power that will soon be available to it, if not due to this dubiously prophesied "return of magick," then most certainly via the impending technological singularity, we will all find ourselves faced with a very real and very dangerous Apocalypse, one which will reveal not only the true nature of man but the fate of our species as well. One way or another, there will once again be very real monsters here, very, very, soon, and, like it or not, they will almost certainly be us. Good luck and Namaste.

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