Alchemy for the Braindamaged VI: Not scared? You will be….

Would you like the good news first, or the bad news?

The good news is, all of you who have been clamoring for the pathway to magickal powers are about to get your wish.

The bad news is, if you actually take this route, you’ll probably go insane.

Please, lets be clear here for a minute: This series of articles is not about accumulating supernatural powers. Doing something like that for it’s own sake is not something I care to endorse, even in jest. These abilities are meant to be markers for the changes in your consciousness and byproducts of the introspective and meditative aspects that I’ve focused more on so far.

For those of you who don’t read my other stuff, ( and it seems a great many of you dropped in with your opinions without reading anything else of mine on these subjects ) I’ve written at great length about the deviations associated with cultivating psychic or occult powers for the wrong reasons. Do yourself a favor and read up on the hazards before you start playing this game.

So what constitutes the ‘right’ reason? Well, the ideal is to devote your practice to some cause or value that transcends your selfish perspectives as much as possible. Generally speaking though, you notice them if they come, develop them as learning tools, use them if you really really really have a good reason, and do your best to forget about them the rest of the time.

There are literally thousands of special powers you could attain, and the literature is rife with them. Some of them are relatively benign and form the core of most magickal practice. These are things like focused prayer, divination, possession, and summonings of various entities. The reason I say ‘benign’ is because you can have a certain amount of success with them with a minimal amount of effort, but they tend to hit a ceiling before you run into too much trouble. Others are referred to in yogic writings as the ‘siddahs’ or attainments, and are of a different order. I’ll discuss both in good time, but for the purpose of this installment they have a common root.

That root is concentration. Your ability to channel and shape energy is directly related to your powers of concentration. Any time you, or anyone else, bumps up against the so-called limits of occult power, they’ve done no such thing. All they’ve done is bump against the limits of their ability to concentrate. So before you start throwing around ill-informed pronouncements about what is and is not possible, go do some samatha meditation for five hours a day for ten years and then tell me what is and is not possible. kay?

Of course, if you actually did that, you’d probably go through half a dozen or more nervous breakdowns, bouts of paranoia, degrees of psychosis, epilepsy, and neurological disorders of various stripes. So I can understand why the misinformation out there runs so thick.

The reason most people in our society have such ridiculous ideas about what our minds can do is simple: our minds are ridiculously weak. If you think five hours staring at a wall is a ‘long time’ you don’t get a opinion in the occult powers debate. Thanks for comin’ out. If you think it’s ‘impossible’ to do anything, and you’re prepared to debate your belief in any form of ‘impossibility’, you’ll have already crippled yourself in that department anyway, whether it be starting a new nation or standing up to armed men. I’m sure you guys were helpful at the foundation of all the countries that exist right now.

I’m always sort of amused when people talk about how ‘the media’ screws with our minds. How did they do that? Are you saying the media is stronger than your own will? Did someone put a gun to your head and make you watch alla that CNN?

CONCENTRATION. Chances are your mind is so hopelessly splintered and contradictory that you couldn’t finish a half hour sitcom. A safe transition to occult powers is probably not in the cards for you. If you try, you’ll probably freak out, or kill yourself. Most postmodern ‘occultists’ have all the willpower of a heroin addict with fetal alcohol syndrome, and most of the material out there is meant to soften that fact to themselves. Old Uncle Aliester would die of embarrassment. But don’t let me get in the way of your consumer instinct towards instant gratification. For the foolish or truly dedicated, the exercise is as follows:

1. Sit still.
2. Pick an object of concentration. It helps if it’s relatively static and simple. The breath is ideal. A circle on the wall, or a potted plant will do.
3. With as little daydreaming, mind wandering and internal babble as possible, hold your focus on the object.
4. Do it every day for at least an hour.
5. For a year.
6. Yes really.

After each session, transition as quickly as possible into some kind of skill or activity you enjoy doing. If you’re obsessed with developing explicitly supernatural powers, I’ll throw in some exercises for that purpose a little farther down the line. If you don’t do the first part, none of that will do a goddamn thing for you anyway. So keep your yap shut and concentrate, grasshopper. I don’t need to hear your complaining, or tedious playa hating. Save it for your mother, or the ‘chaos’ magicians wanking their way to enlightenment.

This practice will supercharge pretty much everything in your life. Every skill will improve, every emotion will become richer. You will become clearer, stronger, more decisive. If you are already good at something it will quickly transit into the subtly supernatural. Don’t dwell on it. If you do, you’ll find yourself automatically hitting the wall in your development and you may never get past it. Focus on your training, and keep your eye on the ball. If you start freaking out, banish some more and lay off for a week or two.

Next time: reading the entrails

Alchemy for the Braindamaged V: Structures and Ultrastructures

 If you don’t think you’re a genius, you probably aren’t.
-Salvador Dali

Okay. Rather than try to shoehorn some cumbersome explanations into the body of the next segment, I though I’d take some time to discuss what we just did, since for some strange reason it seems to have thrown everyone into paroxysms of adulation or confusion.

I mean, how pitiful is it that almost nobody can just kind of sit with the feeling of being an autonomous authority? We all go through a phase of thinking we’re the center of the universe, but rather than integrate it into a healthy psyche, while acknowledging the limitations of that view in functional terms, we instead are taught to recoil in horror at anyone who dares to ignore the consensus and social norms.

And all you so called ‘non-conformists’ can shut the fuck up right now. I can see you acting all smug about how liberal/anarchist/discordian and ‘deprogrammed’ you are, but chances are all you do is bounce off the programming other people have in utterly predictable fashion. You’re perfectly willing to be hateful, narrow minded, exclusionary and prejudicial in your own ways, as long you get enough support from your peer group. Let me give you a hint: if you say you’re ‘against’ anything, or you define your life in terms of changing something about the world around you, you’re as robotic as the next idiot, so sit down and shut up. The door is always there if you’re feeling the need to assert yourself a little bit.

But anyway. Regardless of your background, it’s pretty likely the idea of being a law unto yourself is going to call forth stereotypical images of moralistic horror, like seeing yourself smeared in feces, sodomising homeless children over the kitchen table, whilst reading passages out of Mein Kampf.

If you really need to know what the intent behind my last rant was, then here ya go…
– to give you an particularly vigorous and confrontational variation on the banishing ritual.
– for those of you sufficiently able to roll with that, you may have caught a glimpse of an unconditioned and autonomous sense of will.
– for those of you who didn’t, that perhaps gives you a nice look at how neurotic and inhibited you are. It’s really hard to do all that stuff you’re talking about, someone will actually dislike me, or fight against me

Yeah whatever man. When you look at all the major achievements in history, it’s quite clear the hardest part in any of them was being willing to imagine and act on it. Suck it up.

You may recall that back in the first part of this series, I commented on how the ‘ego’, or the construct that we generally refer to as ego, may or may not have been the product of ancient alchemical development?

Well imagine this for a moment: you’re back in prehistory, part of some tribe of hunter gatherers. You’ve got a fairly well formed mythology, some notion of the cosmos, an established social order.

But then something happens. Maybe you get lost, or there’s a plague, or you eat something no one else has eaten before, or you’re attacked by an animal and survive. Maybe you’ve broken the taboos and been exiled.

If you read any Howard Bloom, you might have noticed him talk about the self destruct mechanism in human beings. We have hormonal cellular features that are meant to debilitate and kill us if we become ostracised from our social group. So back in those days, and even now, being plugged into the group story was a matter of biological survival.

So, for whatever reason, you undergo a biological and social crisis. Now, certainly, this is starting to sound reminiscent of shamanic lore yes? Joseph Campbell, the heroic quest and alla that?

The upshot is, you get a glimpse of what lies outside the normal reality structure for your tribe, voluntarily or not. You start to see that maybe it’s not as true as you formerly thought it was. In situations like that, tribes have a mechanism to incorporate you back into the society. You might become the shaman. Or to put it another way: the crazy guy who lives outside the village and answers questions that don’t have solutions in the normal framework. That’s your ‘approved’ role. It’s better than nothing, after all. The alternative is to be cast out entirely, to risk starvation, death, and who knows what. You’ve stepped outside the framework, but you’re still playing a role within it.

But maybe things play out another way: perhaps you start to see that you are not dependent on the story for your existence. You have the ability to reject that story altogether and write a new one. Maybe you’re not content to be the tame freak on the edge of society. You wanna run the show. Yeah, you still need the support of others, but if you can get enough of them onboard your story, you could turn the whole thing upside down, and then you’re the one in charge.

Pretty much every culture, particularly the oldest tribes, have a myth about their origins. Almost always, there’s what can be called a ‘culture-hero’, the one who delivered all the old rules, the taboos, the stories about creation, who laid down the structures of the tribe in distant memory. In some cases that person is credited as progenitor of the whole human race. Almost always, this person has some sort of supernatural origin. After all, where else would that kind of radical break with the old order come from?

At first, this kind of social upheaval was relatively rare. Every few hundred years at most, but as time and history march on, this new structure in the human being starts to become more and more common. It becomes harder to keep everyone safely inside the confines of the story. The ego had gotten a foothold, and things would change forever. Where once there were shamans and chieftains, madmen and culture heroes, now there are God-Kings and High Priests. Anyone with a sword could potentially overturn the whole order of things, based on a personal vision.

So it’s not suprising that around this time, people started trying to get a handle on what it was that drove all these bizarre mutations in the first place. Instead of waiting for a random accident to push someone outside the old structure, they began to develop ways to intentionally breach the structure from the inside.

So our previous installment in best understood in that vein: to try and shock you, challenge you, to push you into taking a small step into an unformed corner of the mind.

Is it a political manifesto? Is it a manual for functional skills? Is it a philosophical treatise? Yes and No. If you’ve never stepped into the realm of unconditioned will, trying to treat it as those things is futile and possibly dangerous. Once you’ve gotten outside the bubble, then those questions will answer themselves. In other words; ” go banish some more and shut the fuck up.” If you’re just curious how I personally will answer those questions in particular, then it’s forthcoming, but not just yet.

I’m willing to bet most of you have had an ‘bubble busting’ experience at some time. Like I said earlier, it’s not that rare, and less so every day. Continuing the homework assignments, particularly the banishing practices, will help you establish a firm foundation there.

Homework: write yourself a little description of your perfect world. Go into as much detail as you like. What would things look like if you successfully conquered the earth, and called all the shots?

Once you’ve done that, pick out all the features of ‘your’ perfect world that are really just rebellion against the way things are now. How much of it is just a way to escape things you dislike? How much of your ideal reality is shaped by stuff you think you have no control over? Who are your ‘enemies’ and what would you do to them if you had the chance? Can you even do this exercise without going into spams of guilt, whining and fear of external rejection?

As always, revise and update your list of goals accordingly.

Next: How to build a ten inch cock that shoots fireballs in your spare time.


I’ve been convalescing from a bit of sickness this week, so I’ve been catching up on my reading and thinking of new ways to horrify and browbeat ya’ll on my return. In lieu of more alchemical ranting right away, I thought I’d share a dream. I notice Tim gets a lot of mileage out of this, but personally I don’t have a lot of dreams I find significant. But since Tim is talking about dreams and monsters, I thought I’d recall a dream about monsters. I’ve been wanting to talk about it for a few years now.


The city is empty. I know that others are alive but I haven’t seen one in a long time. It’s night time and everything has a thin dusting of snow over it. It’s so painfully silent. There are no lights.

The beasts have taken everyone. Just taken them. I have no real fear they will come for me right now, but I know they will, and soon. I feel it’s important to be as quiet as possible.

I know what they look like, because I’ve watched them take people in front of me. There is no fighting them. It cannot be done. You simply die horribly. Taken and torn apart for no reason. One at a time, two, a hundred, a million. The whole world. Gone. I’m one of the last.

I think I’m looking for somewhere to sleep. I know they’ll find me in the morning, but I’m too cold to stay outside. There is this strange peaceful futility in all of this. It’s all useless, but the body wants to sleep. The body wants to live. I think I want to sleep peacefully one more time, because I know the end will be terrible. I think that I also want to be able to fight, even if it is useless, I want to be able to fight them. I am too tired to fight right now.

I round a corner and there she is. I feel bad now that I don’t remember what she looked like. White. Brown hair, maybe. My age. Nothing else has stayed with me.

She is surprised, as I am. Neither of us expected to see another human being again. I see her tracks in the snow. Alone.

She is kneeling over a bag full of supplies. Food. Some clothes. A blanket. She’s looking for somewhere to sleep too. We’re both afraid to break anything. Too much noise. Mustn’t make too much noise. So we go together to check more doors.

We find a place. Bare walls, bare floors. No bodies. No bodies anywhere. It’s like we’re squatting. We find a warm place to sit, with some blankets.

We talk. Not really about ourselves. It seems not to matter much. Just things. We’re both so scared and so tired. We’re both thinking about what happens in the morning when they find us. It’s not that far away. Too tired, too scared to sleep. So we talk.

I realize that I love her. I don’t want her to suffer that way. I could not bear to see her die like that. I think I’m the one who suggests another way out.

One of us, I don’t remember who, mentions the alcohol and the pills. Maybe we had them, maybe we found them in the house. In any case, we have them.

It’s so confusing and painful . She doesn’t want to die alone. She wants to know I will go with her. I love her. I will step into the dark with her if she will have me. There is no one else. We are alone. Together.

Time passes. I’m pleading with her. Please. There isn’t much time. They’ll be here soon. We’re crying. There’s no time to say anything. There’s no time to say what she means to me. Please. Please let’s just do it. Let’s go. No more pain. No more fear. No more watching the ones you love die. Cheat them of this one thing. They’ve taken everything else from us.

And we do. We take the pills. We drink. We hold each other and begin to sleep. There is no more fear. Please. Please sleep now. No more fear. No more pain. She closes her eyes, and she is sleeping now. I am so close behind her I can barely move. It’s almost over.

And then it happens. Something changes in me. I crawl to my knees. She has fallen away from me. I make myself vomit. I make the alcohol and the pills come out again. I feel some strength come back to me.

I’ve betrayed her. I know I have. It’s something I’ll bear. She won’t know any more pain. She will not suffer the way I am about to. The way I am suffering now. Wracked by guilt and loss, and soon to die horribly anyway.

I cannot surrender. I will not. I will not pass quietly. Even if it rend me from everything I love in the world I will not surrender to them. Even to die in shame and grief I will not surrender my life to them. I have abandoned her, to fight them instead. I feel I have made the choice that is true to myself. The right choice. But at the same time I know I should have gone with her. That I have done something horrible and irrevocable. It feels I have broken something inside myself.

and the sun is rising. And she is sleeping. And I am waiting still.

I woke from this dream to the most profound sorrow I can remember. And that sorrow has stayed with me ever since.

Alchemy for the Braindamaged IV: …I can do anything

Yeah, I just want you to get with it
’cause everyone that’s under your shoe
And every bird and bug in the jungle, too
And everything in the ocean blue
They just happen to know exactly what to do
So why don’t you?
Yeah, why don’t you?
The flies get it
And the frogs get it
And all them big jungle cats get it
And I bet your little dog gets it
Yeah, I want you to get with it
Yeah, come on, and get with it
White Stripes- Instinct Blues

Okay, enough of the metaphysical bullshit. You want power? Lets talk about muthafuckin’ power.

It’s really simple. In fact it’s so simple I doubt you can handle it. Yes you. I am talking to you. I doubt YOU can handle it. You’re so hopelessly crippled by all the stupid bullshit in your head and all your idiotic concepts that I really doubt you will understand what I’m about to tell you. But let’s give you the benefit of the doubt.

The truth about power is that it’s already right there in front of you. You are born with all the authority you could ever need. You have way more power than you can ever use.

…and I can hear all the little bitches whining already…. but I don’t feel powerful..whinewhinewhine…

Yeah exactly. EXACTLY. You don’t FEEL powerful. Why the fuck do you think that is? Do you think they raise robot slaves and obedient servants to feel powerful? Of course they fucking don’t, asshole. Go banish some more and shut the fuck up. Come back when you’re ready to pull your head out of your ass.

Nothing you see, or read or experience is going to make you powerful. There is nothing contained in these words. There is nothing contained in any words, anywhere. It is in you right now. It doesn’t come from people either. You are either a master or a slave. You are either one of those people who is waiting for someone to tell them what to do or you are not. It’s digital. On or off. Get with the fucking program or go home.

Still not simple enough? Do you suppose that these powerful people have something going for them you do not? Do you suppose there is some real difference between you and the politician, the rock star, the millionaire, the prophet? Did somebody infuse Martin Luther King Jr. with his authority, or did he just do it? Did someone give Jim Morrison his magnetic serpent power, or did he just step forth and get it?

Really. Really. STOP thinking. For once in your life stop thinking and understand this. Nobody has any power over you that you did not give them. The book didn’t do it, the law didn’t do it, your parents and siblings didn’t do it. YOU did it. And you can do it again. You can do it whenever you want. You can say or do or have anything you want. Humans are the only creatures in nature pathetic enough to try and justify our own existence. You’re alive–there is nothing to justify.

But won’t that make me selfish?

Fuck off. Seriously. Shut the window in your browser and fuck off. I don’t have time for people like you. Morality is a construct. Don’t pretend that you give a shit about any arbitrary construct. You do exactly what you’re prepared to live with and nothing less. You can justify it any way you like, and lots of people do. Morality is an excuse to quit thinking. If you’re afraid to actually do something useful with your thinking process, namely to examine and make intelligent and healthy choices about your interaction with people, then go back to what you were probably doing with it instead, namely disempowering yourself and becoming a better robot. There’s plenty of people out there who will gladly tell you what a good person you are. I’m not one of them. I don’t know, and I don’t care.

Society is structured to check the tendency to exert power. Law is based on the terror of natural charisma. We’re constantly exposed to examples of people who abuse other people, and this is meant to frighten us into not going anywhere near our own power, as if doing so will automatically make you into Hitler or Charlie Manson. It’s all a fucking sham. Society has fuck all to do with laws and everything to do with influence. If you want to delude yourself that morality and laws make the slightest bit of difference, you need to go back and finish puberty. Society is built on those too stupid and naive to recognise that charisma and natural influence is and always has been the glue of human groups. Period.

The world, the things in it, and yourself are exactly, mean exactly, are limited exactly and only exactly in the ways you say they are. Get it through your fucking head.

You talk about authority as if it were something that fell from the sky. Granted, that is a popular story,  but it didn’t fall from the sky. All authority came from somebody who wasn’t afraid to use it, and make up a story about where it came from. God? God is everywhere and nowhere, it’s like open source software. Make up your own story if you want, and be ready to back it up. The hospitals are full of people who didn’t have the juice to walk their talk. If you can keep it together long enough to attract some followers, then you’ll probably be fine. Groupies, friends, or employees. Whatever.

Does this sound cynical? Does this sound like I’m condoning abuse of the innocent and gullible? Why are you still here? Why are you wasting both of our times? What in the fuck makes you think I have the ability to condone or authorise anything you do? Or anything anyone else does either? I don’t. Anyone stupid enough to think that is not someone who’s going to understand what I’m saying anyway. Just go away. Flagellate yourself with someone else’s words please.

People who want to abuse and harm others are going to abuse and harm others regardless. Would you like me to do something about that? Fine. All you out there who might be reading this and feel that you may be abusive and harmful at some time in your future, go kill yourselves instead. Or better yet, just be a nice robot. Raise bunny rabbits for kids in cancer wards. I dunno.

There. Happy now? Either you’re prepared to trust that humans are mostly positive and constructive in their natures or not. It’s pretty simple.

But all that shit is besides the point. Either you get it or you don’t . You are the source of authority. Full stop. The only obstacle is quite simply whether you are prepared to get it on or not.

You will not be flying in the face of all the other authority figures out there. there are very few, to start with. Most of them derive their power from second or third hand sources anyway. They have no idea how to deal with the real thing. In case it weren’t obvious already by the sickening spectacle of hurricane katrina, the paper mache reality of all your so-called authority figures is rapidly coming clear as nothing more than the naked use and abuse of simple power. I have a lot of sympathy for anyone dumb enough to cling to these delusions like the railing of the titanic. I hope you find whatever you think you’re going to find by living that way.

Start your own Church. Start your own FUCKING COUNTRY, already. It’s not like there won’t be room for new versions of both pretty soon. You think I’m joking? I’m not fucking joking. You still don’t get it. You should go watch the Simpsons and drown in the irony like the fluid in some geriatric patient’s lungs. The world is exactly the way it is because people LIKE YOU are too fucking meek to step up and do what’s best for the planet and the people on it. You can tell me all this simple compassion shit if it makes you feel better. You can absolve yourself of responsibility with more generation x slacker bullshit:

oooohhh but what gives me the right to decide what’s best for everyone else?

Exactly the same goddamn thing that gives the latest simpering cretin on tv the right to decide what’s best for everyone. NOTHING. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Please tell me you get this. Please tell me you aren’t going to sit there and piss away the ability to do something good, because you’re afraid to make a judgement call. And yeah, I noticed I used the word ‘good’. Is that a problem? Too fucking bad. You obviously still aren’t getting this.

Once you start acting as if the universe will provide everything you want, you will see it quickly starting to comply with that state of being. All this other magick bullshit is simply meant to be training wheels and perceptual tools.

Homework: for all you fledgling power users out there, pick something on your list that requires an act of decisive will and just do it. NOW.

next time: More bullshit for those you who haven’t got it yet, and probably never will.

Alchemy for the Braindamaged III: Keep Chillin’

Turn on tha radio, nah fuck it turn it off
Fear is your only god on the radio
Nah fuck it, turn it off
Turn it off, turn on tha radio, nah fuck it turn it off
Fear is your only god on the radio
Nah fuck it, your saviour’s my guillotine, crosses and kerosene
Vietnow- RATM

Back in the day, ( and by ‘the day’ I mean the paleolithic era ) when animism was fashionable, there was a lot of concern with what you might call psychic hygiene. In those days, it was accepted fact that everything in the environment had ‘spirit’, that it could theoretically exert influence on a person, for good or ill.

Even for the hardest headed rationalist materialist, it’s easy to accept the premise that humans are influenced by the environment. All the paleolithic peoples, and their first proto-shamans, understood the necessity of exerting some discriminating control over what was influencing your psychophysical life.

It might be part of the reason certain of these tribal peoples, that still survive to this day, experience dismay with our oversaturated environment. The average modern is inundated with signals and influence that we are rarely even cognizant of. Indeed there are whole industries devoted to quashing our active awareness of influence over our interior lives. So perhaps we can benefit from learning a thing or two about how to deal with malignant spirits. You may refer to this, if you like, as ‘banishing’.

Pretty much every occult or spiritual tradition has a version of this practice. Part and parcel of developing an authentic spiritual life, or magickal will, is learning to differentiate your own consciously chosen perspectives and influences, from the ones that are conditioned, imposed, implanted or habituated into you. More refined forms of ceremonial magick place great importance on ‘purification’ of the ritual space, which means essentially to cleanse it of outside forces that may skew the actions you take there. Clarity and purity of intent are paramount.

The good news is there tend to be lots of them, that are easy to spot. The bad news is, that’s because pretty much everything in your head came from somewhere else. Aside from the odd profound innovator, everything circulating in human culture is a recombined, repackaged, blended and idiosyncratic version of something invented ages ago. After all, the physical world is more or less exactly the same stuff that’s always been here for the last several million years now. We might recombine the bits in different ways, and describe them differently, but not that much is really ever new under the sun. So don’t feel bad if you haven’t got a lot of truly original shit in your head. Very very few people do. If it makes you feel better, you’ll be well on your way to original thoughts once you’ve done a thorough housecleaning. But I digress…

My take on this skill comes in two parts. It grows and evolves in all kinds of interesting ways, but here’s how you start:
First of all, take some time to notice what is influencing your thoughts, speech, and actions in your surroundings. Other people, the architecture, the weather, your job, the media. It may seem common sense, but do you ever really think about this? Do you ever really ask yourself how different your life might be without these influences? Do you ever ask yourself how deep the hooks really go? Would you be shocked to find out how much of your life is shaped by the imagined opinions of strangers on the street? Would you be shocked to realize how much your mind is affected by a stream of pixels coming through a computer screen? How you ever thought about turning these things off? Can you even conceive of shutting these influences out?

Once you’ve done that, you can proceed to a formal banishing practice. I do recommend you take some time to do this carefully and in depth, because not many people have the concentration to do this on the fly and get any significant results. Certainly, as you get better with this you’ll develop a clearer sense of what influences you can take or leave, and how to separate yourself from the latter quickly and efficiently. For now though…

1. Find a place where you can concentrate and not be disturbed. If your mind is fairly strong you can just close your eyes on the bus or lying in bed. You may even get good enough to do this while walking.

2. Allow your mind to fill up with the felt impressions of external influences. For example, you may be bothered by pictures on tv, especially recently. But alongside that picture will usually be some kind of mental or tactile sensation which is fairly palpable. Learn to associate the images and thoughts with how they make you feel.

3. Define your personal space. This is the area where you have comfortable emotional and physical distance from things that are pressing in upon you. Depending on your comfort level, this could be limited to your skin, or as far as the room, or your house. Keep the perimeter of ‘your space’ as clear as possible. Any visualisations you can do to augment your sense of enclosed space will help. All kinds of symbolic angels, guardian animals, pillars of fire, moats and whathaveyou will work. If you have a connection to some kind of higher force, by all means draw upon that as well. As you do this, allow yourself to feel anything outside your space recede and diminish in significance.

4. You may find just doing the last step will work fine, but I’ll add a little submodal trick from NLP. You’ll probably find that your ‘demons’ ( which is a nice conceptual shorthand for negative psychic influences, at the very least ) have some kind of interior visual or auditory aspect. What you can experiment with, is purposefully altering the sensory presentation of these things. If the pictures are big, make them small, if they bright and in color make them dim and monchrome. If they are loud make them quiet. And again, if defining your space is insufficient, and they still feel very close and urgent, allow them to be spatially displaced away from you.

5. Once you’ve got a good sense of detatchment, contemplate how you might change your relationship to these external factors, now that they aren’t urgently assaulting you. In particular, examine your list of goals and determine exactly how much of that list is a result of someone or something else influencing you. While a certain amount of that is inevitable, particularly in the formative stages of a goal, you need to establish how much you want that pressure coming in on you, as an ongoing thing. What level of conditioning are you prepared to live with right now?

Repeat this practice as often as possible. ‘banish often’ is a tried and true dictum of occult practice. The seemingly endless amounts of prayers and mantras of the devoutly religious have their roots in this concept. As you get more skills, you’ll find that you can get a good sense of personal autonomy at any time you wish it, and even when you’re not consciously thinking about it.

Homework: Obviously, do the above banishing practice. Having done it at least a few times, return to your list and decide what level of influence you will accept, and if necessary change your list accordingly.

You may have noticed that I haven’t been demanding that you go out and ‘do’ anything on your list of goals yet, right? That’s intentional. You may also have noticed that some of those things seem to be happening anyway, or at least in the case of far away goals, that things seem to be coming more into focus. It may also be the case that you’ve gone out and one some stuff already. That’s fine, just add more items to your list, keeping in mind all the criteria and practices we’ve done so far.

Next; Full-On Muthafuckin Sorcery, Bitch!

Stepping Up the Timetable

‘ I know you want me to agree with you; yeah yeah yeah , it’s all fucked up, we should all go live in a fucking log cabin…but…I don’t think you’re quitting, because of these things you say…I think you say these things… because you’re quitting. ‘
Detective Mills- Se7en

Well now that some help has actually deigned to appear, and thank Christ for that, anyway, I can’t help wondering:

is this fiasco simply gross incompetence, inevitable delay in an operation of this scale, deliberate neglect, or outright failure of nerve? Does it matter at this point? I don’t know. I tend to think it’s a combination of them all.

It’s hard to imagine the ruling criminal class having the moral fortitude to face up to a shitstorm of biblical proportions, which explains the endless dithering and posturing. I tend to agree as well with this, insofar as you don’t launch a humanitarian relief operation of such scope piecemeal. It’d be an even bigger trainwreck if you did. But does that explain why armed guards turn people away who are prepared to walk out of the mouth of hell under their own steam?

I suspect there is great fear that a random mass exodus of shell shocked refugees into the surrounding area can only result in greater chaos and social distintegration. Even by the numbers like in Houston, it already appears to be causing tensions. These people have just had one of those colonel kurtz experiences, and discovered the heart of darkness. I mean, Anderson Cooper is ranting about fucking rats eating human corpses in the street, man. That shit doesn’t just wipe away when the trucks pull up.

It’s easier in situations like this when you can turn on an external threat, like in 9/11, but in this case you’ve got significant tearing within and throughout the social fabric. The self serving lies and idealistic fantasies of american life aren’t really cutting it right now.

I assume you all know what it means to cut a firebreak, yes? That’s what today felt like. Everyone’s giving some ground to let some of that scent of bloody chaos dissipate a bit. Dubya obliquely admits he may have erred, the media appear to be growing a spine again, help appears to be in full effect. And a nice symbolic gesture to quell pump shock before things get really out of hand. Too bad that when you look at some of these sources of spare oil for the poor suffering american car driver, that they don’t really hold up. Our PM paul martin can promise as much oil as he wants, but it’s not his to promise, actually.

And seriously dude, are you telling me that a week ago when we were sitting at 71$ oil that canada was the secret swing producer? Somebody has been sniffing glue. Only inbred gas station attendants from oklahoma buy this bunk. But it appears the market is willing to play along. The alternative is financial armageddon, so you can see why.

Just like everyone is prepared to let Dubyas increasingly empty platitudes slide for one more day, and we’re willing to step back from the abyss for one more day, and it doesn’t matter one bit, because we all know there’s more and more and more where that came from. The world was in bad shape before this happened and it isn’t getting better. So we cut from rampaging gangs of insane crackheads, weeping police officers and bodies rotting on sidewalks smeared with piss and shit to human interest stories about lost puppies, truckloads of bottled water, and reunions with family. It rings a bit hollow though don’t it? Sad to say. But we need it, even if it’s pleasant fiction.

Because I’m sure it’s crossed your mind at least once, like it has mine pretty much every day for over a year now: sooner or later that’s gonna be me, and when it comes right down to it, if I rely on the system to save me, I am going to DIE.

Because there’s a big difference between cannot be trusted to behave ethically and cannot be relied upon to do the simplest act of human decency to save lives. And these folks have fallen squarely into the second category.

It’s pretty clear that none of the ruling elites can trusted to look out for even the most basic and vital facts of social safety, any more than I can trust the local Hell’s Angels to get my back in a streetfight. It’s plain as day when you think about it.

I’m about at the end of my rope with the disaffected liberal dissenter routine. All of that implies that I actually recognize these people as having some sort of obligation or responsibility to any citizen of this planet. They don’t see themselves that way, and it’s long past time we stopped seeing them that way too. They’re dangerous, corrupt and incompetent. Their mandate is to serve themselves and do as little as they can get away with. Calling George a president is disservice to anyone who ever actually tried to serve the people.

Are we still going to be tripping over ourselves when these scum are lodged in a bunker directing the national guard to round up the poor and minorities for cheap agricultural labor? When everyone in your city has the same shell shocked expression as the folks staggering out of New Orleans?

Enough is enough. This shit is not funny anymore. If it ever was, which is debatable. I for one am not planning to go down with this ship.

These bastards have torn the social contract to ribbons. Time to write a new one.

I mean, I know we’ve gone a long ways towards driving out everything noble and honorable in our culture. I know we’ve slid so far from any kind of sane compass that we take the stink of corruption for granted. But I didn’t come here to carve an eloquent fucking headstone for truth, justice and human dignity. I didn’t come here to lie down while these ignorant caricatures seal our collective fate. I didn’t sweat and struggle every single day of my life to let them carry the day. And I’m not going to happily march back to the stone age because no one has the imagination or the heart to turn this thing around.

The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for…
I agree with the second part.

A Butterfly Flaps It’s Wings….

I’m ashamed, as a human being, to say that some of my predictions have come true far faster than even I anticipated.

So, you take the incompetence of officials who apparently can’t organize a rescue effort to save thousands of lives, and compound that with legions of sick, old, injured and sadly, way too naive, people, and what do you get? ‘Hell on earth’ seems conservative.

At first I thought these portrayals of marauding ‘looters’ were overblown, a pretext to contain and shoot mostly minority refugees. But it sure as hell looks like there are armed gangs raping and killing at will in the streets of New Orleans tonight. Chalk it up to a social fabric so threadbare that the moment the machine stops working, there are some who will seize the opportunity to turn their surroundings into a nightmare of unleashed egotism and rage.

That’s really what strikes me about all of this. You peel back the skin of our so-called society and what do you get? We’ve been taught to look so hard at the surfaces of things, to be so obsessed with our own trivial desires that we didn’t see the work of parasites, liars, murderers and corrupt criminals hollowing our civilization out from the inside. What’s left is a populace so atomised and alienated from any concept of community, so poisoned with a consumer ethos of entitlement and complacency, that they’ll take pot-shots at rescue vehicles who aren’t there for mememememe….

It’s reassuring to see they’ve found an angle: they’ve turned a humanitarian catastrophe, a shameful embarrassment for all the fascist fucksticks in homeland security and FEMA, into a Police Action, whereby law and order and the right to property can trump human lives.

I’m guessing most folks isolated in New Orleans have gone about two or three days with minimal or no water. At the best of times, humans shed about two to three liters a day from normal perspiration and respiration. Compound that that with stress, exercise, and high temperatures and you can imagine why virtually all the evacuees from the superdome were suffering symptoms of dehydration:

Dehydration symptoms generally become noticeable after 2% of one’s normal water volume has been lost. Initially, one experiences thirst and discomfort, possibly along with loss of appetite and dry skin. Athletes may suffer a loss of performance of up to 50%, and experience flushing, low endurance, rapid heart rates, elevated body temperatures, and rapid onset of fatigue.
The symptoms become increasingly severe with greater water loss. One’s heart and respiration rates will increase to compensate for decreased plasma volume and blood pressure, while body temperature may rise due to decreased sweating. Around 5% to 6% water loss, one may become groggy or sleepy, experience headaches or nausea, and may feel tingling in one’s limbs (paresthesia). With 10% to 15% fluid loss, muscles may become spastic, skin may shrivel and wrinkle, vision may dim, urination will be greatly reduced and may become painful, and delirium may begin. Losses of greater than 15% are usually fatal.

The rule of thumb is that three days without water leads to death. Meaning it’ll all be over one way or another pretty soon.

Last I’d heard the water levels had equalised with the lake, so the city is as flooded as it’s gonna get. I really have no idea how the fuck they can even talk about draining it with a straight face. I guess the insurance companies want to hear something like that. Have you ever seen wet drywall or plaster? There is nothing to go back to. If they actually manage to drain the place out, that’s when the real humanitarian disaster will start. Think about it.

Meanwhile, it looks like they’re doing a good job of clamping down information on the decimation of the gulf energy infrastructure. Already we’ve got fuel shortages and line ups, hints of unrest in isolated places, and this shoe hasn’t even started to drop yet. Fill up now, if you’re so inclined, but better to invest the money in water purifier and a bike.

So this is what we’ve come to, all so soon… It one thing to write about it, and predict it. It’s one thing to rant about how badly we’ve been led to the slaughter..

I hope for your sake, there’s someone looking out for you. Because it sure isn’t the ones we’ve been paying for.

At the end of the day, you’re well served to learn how to take back some control over your perceptions. To reclaim some personal authority. Because when the world cracks open under your feet, you’re really and truly on your own, and not just physically. New Orleans right now is not the place to be having a crisis of existential faith.

A prayer for the dying, if you will. and God help us all.