Alchemy for the Braindamaged XI:The Putrefaction

 

 To the alchemists, of course, the symbol and its very meaning had far more esoteric connotations. To them, poison represented an agent of transformation, a vehicle for the reconciliation of opposites. And there is an alchemical myth about a poison which for most men is extremely deadly, while for the elect it confers mastership and absolute power. Boyd Rice- Vessel of God

 At a certain point in the work, you may come to a place where a lot of heavier, darker emotions come to the fore. It may feel like your life and mind are dissolving into chaos.

I wouldn’t want to tell you that it’s a ‘good’ thing, but it is neccisary and you might as well embrace it.

It may be that in the augoeides work, you will find that the projection of idealised self images helps draw out some of the repressed material in your psyche. By definition, accentuating all the things you want to be, can only mean repressing the things you don’t want to be. You may add all kinds of Jungian blather about the id and shadow at this point. Nevertheless it is true.

It’s also a manifestation of unresolved contradictions that may take on life of thier own because of the energy your concentration practice is feeding them.

But that split is never a clean one. There are always things left on the other side of that wall, that you need. Maybe you left your clarity in the basement when you threw your rage out. Maybe you took the edge off your confidence when you decided to be stop bullying people.

In ancient alchemy this is known as the nigredo, the darkening, the putrefaction, the descent into chaos. The immersion into the shit and poison you’ve been incubating in your head for so long. The crisis that precedes re-integration.

It goes round and round like this and sometimes you need to wallow in the sickness to find the pieces you’ve lost. The alternative is madness, or worse.

It can be seductive. To see yourself without remorse, or restraint, without compromise. It’s easy to rationalise a little bit more, to be a little less compassionate, to feel more self rightious than you deserve. If it never comes, it never comes, but I’d be remiss in not mentioning it. Pretending I didn’t have a little eruption of it the other night. It’s part of the work.

So for those of you waiting for me to ‘flip my shit’ again like I did in part IV, here is my shadow, off the leash and out for a run, like I anticipated in part VIII, in the safe realms of fiction land.

*********

Don’t speak. Don’t bother calling for help. Anyone who tried to come between you and me is dead. And you’ll be dead too, soon. Everything you stand for is systematically being reduced to rubble and ashes as we speak, and in a few minutes I’m going to snap your fucking neck with my bare hands.

But not yet.

First I want you to understand why I’m here. I’m not here because you and people like you have raped the earth, violated children, twisted and perverted everything that walks crawls or flies to line your pockets.

I’m not here because of that.

_________

The sword has been sitting in the corner for several years. I don’t pick it up very often. It’s real. real steel. Real edge. For some reason I kept it in the corner of my eye for so long. And now I know why.

I pack the few things I care about in a small bag. And then I pick up the sword. I leave this place, forever. There is nothing for me here anymore. I have nothing in common with these people, these words, these platitudes.

__________

People may think I’m dead by now. I ‘ve been in the woods for almost a year. I have to rip free of all that old garbage. It’ll make me weak and slow and it will kill me before I do what needs to be done. I squeeze my mind until it’s like a perfect diamond. I’ve always known it would be this way in the end. Why did it take me so long to face what I really am?

No more. I walk back to the city. It’s time to give them something to fear.

___________

The posters are simple. Vague ideas, vague promises. Classes on awakening, I say.

Once they’re in the door I start to condition them. Some are only useful for money, or influence. But enough of them are able to carry guns. Most are cannon fodder, but a few can be turned into perfect killing machines. It’s easier when you’ve done it yourself.

I don’t need many. It’s so easy. Too bad the only people who do it are pathetic hedonists and manipulative narcissists.

In another life I might have cared about the irony.

___________

I start small. My soldiers need to taste some blood. An executive or two. Some hits to cut a piece of the drug trade. Short term money.

There’s so much built up resentment in society. Everyone wants to lash out at these scum but no one had the intelligence or the guts to make it happen.

That’s the sad thing. This robot factory is so fragile and yet we work so hard to keep it going. Even the ‘revolutionaries’ just secretly want to be in charge. Fuck them and fuck their merry go round. I’ll feed them their own hearts.

_________________

It amazing how easily some folks see what they want to see. It didn’t take long at all to convince all the usual lowlives I was just another decadent cult leader with a gang of fanatics, ready to do some business on wall street.

My first meeting on ‘investing’ my drug profits and all I can think of is how badly I want to kill them all. But I don’t want a thimble full of rats blood.

I want a river. And I want the fattest pigs in the barn. And the little parasites will all burn in the end, too.

___________

I’d feel a little worse about dealing heroin if I t weren’t being primarily consumed by my rank and file cultists, who I cherry pick from all the biggest investment banks, brokerage houses and wall street legal firms. They already thought they were on a mission from god. I’m just a sub contractor for god. I’m clarifying their mission statement.

Someone said once that there are no heroin or cocaine cults. That’s partly true. Can you call wall street a cult?

___________

The first day of the big push makes 9-11 look like the fourth of July. How much easier is it to wreck the system when you’re practically running what’s left of it, after years of neglect and disfunction? I practically advertised I was going to do it, but they didn’t take it seriously. Cowards always think deep down that everyone else must be a coward too.

Marshall Mcluhan said once that the people who own society have no belief in it. “why is it still here, then?” someone asked him.

Because no one can be bothered to clean it up and get rid of it, he said.

It’s amazing what you can buy off the back of a truck in the former soviet union. It’s even more amazing no one ever used one.

___________

I shook his hand once at some dinner. As I looked into his eyes I imagined punching my hand through his chest. He blinked and smiled awkwardly.

I told him one day I would come thank him, and all of his friends, for everything they’d done.

And here I am.

___________

I’m killing them all right now. It took years but I found out all their names, all their hiding places, and where they would run when it all came crashing down. You guys knew the system was coming apart anyway right? You dragged it out a lot longer than I expected. Got a little more blood from this stone we call earth.

I knew you’d all try to run. And I was waiting for you. The paedophiles, the rapists, the blackmailers, the liars and thieves. I have all your names, and I’ve spent many many years training men and women whose sole joy is the idea of tearing people like you apart. Most people would give anything to have such a clear sense of happiness.

So put them out of your mind. Because if they’re not already gone, they soon will be. You guys did such a good job of hollowing out the military and police force that they won’t be able to fight for you. Nor do they care to. I’ll be the one teaching them to grow food in a few years.

And you’ll be nothing but a memory.

So I’ll tell you why I’m here, at last. I’m here because one day a long time ago I was looking at you on tv. This is when you were still officially in power, you see. And you gave the camera one of those smirks.

I’m sure you know what I mean. Those smirks where you’re just broadcasting to everyone how untouchable you are. How you can take what you want and play everyone for fools and make a mockery of every honorable and compassionate thing in this world. You pissed on it. You and everyone like you, and you thought no one would ever call you to account for it. We’re all too weak and stupid and complacent to fight you. That’s what your little rapist’s religion tells you, right? Well I guess you were wrong. Yours won’t be the first stupid religion to join the ashpile of history.

I wonder… how many children died, and the last thing they ever saw was that fucking smirk on your face? How many?

If you can remember even one of their names, I promise I’ll make it quick and clean.

No? That’s too bad.

My first name is from the bible. It’s etymology is “god remembers”.

God remembers.

I used to wonder what that might mean. Now I know. So we know who you are, and we know who I am, and we know our business together.

Have you ever wondered what a thousand rich child molesters crucified on the front lawn might look like? With their severed cocks stitched up inside mouths that have had all their teeth kicked out? The world is about to see what that looks like. I always wanted to be an artist, you know.

That’s why I’m here. This may end up being the purpose of my life. And if so, then I can accept that. As long as you die knowing that there is justice in this universe and no one escapes it.
Not now. Not ever.

It took me a long time to understand it, but we all have a place in nature. This is ours. The world makes us and unmakes us. How many lives have you unmade? You had to know someone would come for you eventually. It might as well be me.

Don’t worry. I’ve had a long time to think about this, and I guarantee it won’t hurt any more or less than you deserve.

Smile for the camera.

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Alchemy for the Braindamaged X:Into the Crucible

 This’ll be an extension of the last installment, being as it an expansion of the augoeides process and how to go about it. I’ll share some pieces of my own approach, and give some tips on how to fill out the skeleton.

You definitely need to add a personal element to make the daimon spring to life for you. There are vast regions of the mind you either cannot or choose not to access under normal circumstances, and this is one way of coming in through the back door, as it were.

Making your lists, and projecting them forward tends to be a highly linear, left brain kind of process, and there is the possiblity of making your future into some kind of exaggerated projection of the trends of your present, and you need a way to sidestep that. You need to find a way to make a phase shift, not just an additive progression. Real life as most people live it isn’ t like that, and the great work even less so.

In the past I’ve had success using poetry or fiction to accomplish that kind of whole mind synchronization, but in this case I’ll take a different angle, and use questions, as I’d recommended you do before. As we go farther, the methods will get more and more abstract by neccesity.

Questions are powerful, because depending on how you shape them, they open up a space your mind is compelled to fill. If you ask your holy guardian angel why you’re such a fuckup, then your mind will fill that space you opened with something. So be careful. You don’t need superhuman intelligence giving you superhumanly accurate reasons why you’re a failure in all your relationships, why your job sucks and how you’ve failed everyone you ever cared about. It’s not much fun, believe me.

On the other hand, if you use them well, they can unlock that holistic right brain integrative function that most of us can’t quite get a grasp of. It works in much the same way the use of divination does. Treating symbols as answers does more or less the same thing. Since we’ve already done that, you might want to try it.

In any case, let’s jump to the example. I’ll be picking this conversation up with a version of myself that is somewhere between the second and third iterations. So he’s a practicing medical massage therapist, proficient speed reader, ordained and learning to teach dharma classes, and solidly in the habit of meditating at least two hours every day, and spending another two polishing the martial arts every day as well. A long ways from who I am now, but still recognizable and intelligible. This piece will help solidify the connection so I can move into the fourth or even fifth iterations of the process without snapping the thread.

I formulated the five questions ahead of time, cleared my mind with some concentration practice, did my banishing, and then sat down to write the answers out.

_________________

In brief, what are the biggest differences between your current life, and my own?

I work for myself and make my own schedule. I quit the old job once I was getting money for massage work, which freed me up to do things that actually meant something to me. I have so much more energy, now thatI don’t have to bridge the disconnect between the job I was doing and my purpose in life. That kind of thing drains you a lot.

I have more time to train and study. I worried that there wasn’t going to be enough time to do everything, but as my mind got stronger and I felt better, the days went farther and I did more with them.

I eat better, feel better and look better. I’m more relaxed, more flexible and faster than ever. I can read a book each day easily in a couple hours. It’s hard work to do so much and finish it all every day, but it’s easier than not doing it, you know what I mean?

I’m more confident, now that I don’t have to justify not doing everything I’m capable of. I’d rather be exhausted than frustrated and ashamed of myself any day of the week.

I make more money and spend less. Pretty soon I’ll have enough to go to japan to train or maybe new jersey and the tracker school. I’m thinking about perhaps buying land the way ran prieur did.

How far removed from me in time are you?

About two years at the rate you’re going. Maybe a little less.

What are the things that from the perspective of the future I ought to change today, to make the biggest difference in myself?

Spend less time thinking about what you’re going to do and just do it. Like I said, it is hard work, you know that, but doing it is easier than feeling like shit for not doing it. You know well that getting off your ass is the hardest part.

Be more open and giving with people. Yes, they don’t understand where you’re coming from. And yes it’s not easy explain to them, but you don’t have to. You’re never going to be a boring person, so quit trying to protect yourself from them. Petty and vindictive people will be petty and vindictive people, the last thing you want is to become just like them. It won’t kill you to smile a bit more. Not everyone is a broken robot who needs a shrink. It feels good to help, but it also feels good to be friendly.

Other than that, quit wasting so much time on trivia. Going back to the same websites ten times a day isn’t helping anything except to take the edge off your boredom. Practice more instead.

What is my life really about, and what is my purpose here?

It’s simple when you think about what you’ve always done and still do. You’ve always seen a different world than this one. You never accepted that we were stuck with this. Nothing is impossible and you’ve always known that. Even when you were the lowest you never gave up. You never surrender to despair. That’s why you’re here. You’re here to give people hope. To show them things they can’t bring themselves to believe. To give them hope when there is none. To point to a better world, when no else can see it , and never let anyone take it away from you.

Not to fool your self or others. Not to pretend that things are different than they are. But to face what the world is and to face the job of making it better. If you can face it, god can fix it.

Everything you’ve learned, everything you’ve done is a way to prepare yourself for that.

What is your list of goals, and how do you pursue them?

I’m at a transition. I’m starting to get a handle on the skills I set out to learn when I was a kid. now I have to think about what to do with them. I’ve gotten good at helping people one a time. Now, that I’ve gotten my own stuff more or less under control, I have to think about reaching out to more.

At the same time, I want to diversify. My mind is getting strong enough to bridge a lot of fields and take in huge amounts of information quickly. I’d like to be able to get an overview of everything, and then make some concrete decisions of how and what I’m going to do in the long term.

I’ve been with Alaina for a few years now and I think I need to give some thought to our future together. Up until now I’ve sort of been coasting while I worked on myself and she developed her career. Time to change that.

The dharma practice is very fruitfull. I’m starting to see glimpses of what the culmination of the path might be. I’d like to set aside time for retreats to bring that about. I think it’s possible I may have to reasses everything when that happens. I feel sure that it will, sooner or later.

1. 3 hours of insight or concentration practice every day
2. teach dharma classes for beginners
3. give some serious thoughts to the future of my relationship
4. make plans for a spiritual retreat of two weeks every year
5. 3 hours of martial arts practice everyday
6. look into buying some land
7. practice dream yoga to reduce my need for sleep and explore lucid dreaming
8. expose more people to my hobby-based writing and speaking
9. do a structured series of readings in one new field every month
10. make concrete plans to go to japan or the tracker school in new jersey

What do you want to tell me that I haven’t already asked?

There’s only so much preparation you can do. Risk can only be reduced so far, no matter how much you study and train. Don’t fall so in love with skills and knowledge that you hesitiate to give yourself when it’s needed.

Don’t forget that all you really want is to connect with a larger purpose. At a certain point you have to make a leap of faith and trust that you will either survive it or you won’t. But at least you will be where you were meant to be. That’s not easy to accept, but it’s the truth and you know it.

____________

Next: apocalyptic supermind

Little Black Engine….

 

The world is my expense
The cost of my desire
Jesus blessed me with its future
And I protect it with fire
So raise your fists and march around
don’t dare take what you need
I’ll jail and bury those committed
And smother the rest in greed
Crawl with me into tomorrow
Or I’ll drag you to your grave
I’m deep inside your children
They’ll betray you in my name

RATM- sleep now in the fire

The function of the Ahrimanic project is to first and foremost inhibit the perceptions of those it gets it’s hooks into, primarily by reducing people to the level of subhuman cravings , but secondarily by brutalizing them so profoundly that they haven’t the capacity to look beyond the superficial spectrum of sensations which Ahriman presents as ‘reality’.

If you have any working knowledge of the dark underbelly of global financial geopolitics, it’s easy to see that it revolves around power. Usually in the form of money, drugs, oil and political influence. Remember that we do not seek things in themselves, but what the things mean to us. While there are obviously exceptions, if we take the behavior of the ruling elites as a whole there seems to be a set of underlying premises that revolves around power and influence as the organizing principle.

The important thing to remember about all people is that no one ever wants to think of themselves as the bad guy. Everyone rationalizes themselves as the hero of their own story. So while you can imagine many of the dodgier elites in the world successfully telling themselves they’re good christians who enjoy the blessings of the church, or maybe a noble benefactor of the global economy, and social progress ( these folks are more likely to be luciferians btw ) when you stretch those activities to encompass mass murder, wholesale child kidnapping and abuse, and epic amounts of narcotics, the usual narrative probably comes up a bit short.

So how does someone like that successfully rationalize their existence? In the animal kingdom, a lion or a tiger or a vulture doesn’t need to rationalise the fact that they attack and kill the weak and the slow, or that they pick over the bodies of the dead and consume them. But humans are a bit different. We need to go to (for example) exclusive club events and participate in mock human sacrifice before the idol of a giant stone owl named after an ancient pagan deity.

I mean, what the fuck, right? But what you’re seeing is the symbolic structure of what you can think of as a social class of predators. Even ‘regular’ paedophiles do this. Even they can somehow mange to construct a seamless fantasy world wherein they are the heroes. So imagine what you can do with billions of dollars and lots of friends who are in the same shoes.

But at the end of the day, what it’s really about is not having to look at yourself. Not having to see what you really are and what you really do to people. Because that would mean you would have to see what has been done to you. And that’s the key to it all.

It’s common knowledge that while not all abused children become abusers, pretty much all abusers were themselves abused. It’s not instinctive to attack and brutalize other human beings. You have to have learned it from someone. This phenomenon is well understood in juvenile criminal services. The only difference between the hardcore juvenile offender who becomes the hardcore adult violent sexual offender, and the elite class predator, is the support network which conceals and enables the behavior.

Imagine an abused child filled with self loathing and rage, incapable of empathising with others, lacking any real impulse control, and then place that sadly all too common person in context of powerful contacts, influential family, and vast wealth. Most common predators end up in custody because they have no money to purchase gratification, no support network to protect them, and no social reinforcement to think beyond the moment.

With the elite predator or sociopath, there’s no reason why they would ever be identified as such, let alone incarcerated, and no reason why they wouldn’t be able to have family and children, and no reason why they wouldn’t imprint that behavior on those children, reproducing the cycle. This sort of thing happens even in lower class society. The only difference is the poor can’t afford the trappings to justify, let alone glorify, this lifestyle, and the rich not only can, but seemingly do.

In the same way paedophiles will band together on the internet for group identity and support, to justify, rationalize and glorify what has been done to them, and they do to others in turn, the elite predators have gone to great pains to construct an ideology based on social darwinism, destruction of the weak, rampant egotism, power, self gratification and dehumanisation. Any ‘normal’ person plugged into this reality tunnel would inevitably be trained and reinforced to mimic the behavior of the other predators. To do other wise would be suicidal.

I guess the idea is to pretend that the condition of being a bestial subhuman predatory parasite is somehow a superior condition to the hoi poloi, because if you were to face that really you’re just sick and damaged and unable to see outside the spectrum of degradation and abuse, the truth would destroy you. You wouldn’t be a master of the earth, just a degenerate.

So you can begin to see how this supports the Ahrimanic project. You’ve got a self perpetuating cycle that latches onto people, and essentially destroys their ability to see higher experiences, and plugs them into a fantasy world where they’re ‘free’ to do whatever they please at the expense of others who are in turn utterly dehumanised and blinded as well.

I think it would be mistaken to suppose that all of this is done soley to support the ‘system’ of political corruption, oil, drugs and what have you. It certainly serves that purpose, but at this stage it’s more a chicken and the egg thing. You need the predator religion to support the system, but the system is also progressively more slanted towards protecting and supporting the predator religion. If you dismantled the system of abuse, degradation and blackmail, the politics would collapse, but conversely if you took away the huge amounts of money and energy it takes to hide this thing from the public eye, the system of justifications these beasts rely upon to look at themselves in the mirror would begin to suffer as well. Denial is hard work after all, and lately as the energy system begins to unravel, you can see the little black engine begin to break through the floor boards.

Re-enter the Dragon

 

There is no way out
You can scream & you
can shout
It is too late now
Because
You have not been
paying attention

radiohead, 2+2=5

Okay. while I’m sure you’re all dilligently plugging away at your alchemical fires, this’ll be a kind of reapproach to the whole ‘crypto fascist, paedo-narco-satanic, counter-initiatory’ body of work which I’ve spent a lot of time on in the past, with an eye to bringing the whole thing into a little clearer focus, in hope that it all hangs together in an intelligible way.

I do want to give big props to Mr Channel Null for stepping up and taking a run at this stuff, and contributing to our collective understanding of the big picture. His work ethic is admirable. By all means have a look at his series of articles on these subjects. The come back and watch me wallow in the wretched hive of scum and villainy.

In so doing I’ll be taking another pass at the work of Rudolph Steiner. I’m really pleased to see other people take up his theories lately. I’m not a huge fan of Daniel Pinchbeck overall, but he seems to get Steiner, and goes out of his way to turn people on to this underappreciated genius.

Now the main thing when you’re exploring the metaphysical or occult roots of evil behavior, is to have a consistent definition of what ‘evil’ means. I imagine to a large extent this is a subjective thing, given as it is, to various kinds of moralistic and superstitious hysteria, but I will offer my own definition and I don’t think most of you should have any problem with it.

Most spiritual traditions would agree that the purpose and highest goal of human beings is to manifest unconditional love. By ‘love’ we mean an attitude of open hearted giving to others, in spirit, if not necessarily in deeds, as there is always an element of ‘idiot’ compassion in giving people things that may destructive or counterproductive to them.

By unconditional, we mean exactly that: to be free of conditioning. Unconditioned behavior, thinking and perception. To be fully ‘free’ and conscious at all times. These for our purposes constitute the highest good. From the viewpoint of Rudolph Steiner these would be the aims of the Christ current of human evolution.

The adversary of the Christ force, ( which if we were to take a broader perspective would include all the prophets and teachers such as Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, bahuallauh, etc..) is personified as Sorat, the Dragon, and if we consider him the polar opposite of the Christ consciousness, then his attributes seem fairly clear. Totally conditioned lust. Taking anything and everything you want in a totally robotic and thoughtless manner.

So essentially Sorat would like to turn us all into heartless hypnotised zombies driven entirely by selfish lust and hunger. Anyone who does nothing but take, would eventually notice how empty they feel, but luckily, in this case, they would be too asleep to notice anything besides their moment to moment lusts anyway.

Posed between Sorat and the Christ are two other forces known as Lucifer and Ahriman. Each has a positive side and a negative side. An aspect to be integrated and utilized and an aspect that tends to mislead, trap or retard the growth of a human being, that needs to be outgrown and discarded. Each can be seen as an ‘arm’ of Sorat in their own right, but also as a pathway to Christ if taken correctly.

Lucifer is the maker of moral robots. He is the one who wants to lead everyone into a perfect homogeneous heaven in the sky, full of light and wonder. Everyone must fall into line with this purpose. Lucifer brings the light of love, after all, but the only absolutely certain way of making sure everyone loves each other is to control their behavior entirely. So the pitfall is dogma, lack of critical thinking and fantasy, which needs to be discarded in favor of an authentic choice to love, accept things as they are, and give to others.

Conversely, Ahriman is the champion of the Free but Amoral. We can do whatever we want, but nothing means anything, because there is no moral order. The quickest and easiest way to ‘free’ someone is to tell them there are no rules, and inhibit the ability to perceive any kind of larger reality than their own desires. In that sense Ahriman is identified strongly with the superficial material plane, because if the only plane you see is the material there’s little or no risk of spotting a higher meaning to anything and you can do whatever you like. So we need to free ourselves from conditioning but also be able to recognize a reality that transcends our selfish desires, outgrowing the childish indulgences and excesses of the willfully ‘amoral’.

So now that we’ve hammered down the defintions a little clearer, I’ll be looking to pull together a lot of my older material and some new stuff to paint a nice coherent picutre which can then become the basis for making some usefull predictions and analysing the incoming data.

along the way, I may make another contribution to the emerging genre of satanic satirical snuff fiction which I’m not sure I want to be rembered for, but hey, everyone needs a hobby.

Alchemy for the Braindamaged IX: Solve et Coagula

 

  At this point, you might be thinking that I’m just fucking with you. Week after week, I swear, I call you names, I make impossible demands, and threaten you with madness and insoluble moral and ethical paradoxes. Perhaps my rhetorical excesses are just an excuse to pick at everyone’s emotional scabs and call it insight. However I assure you there is a method to it all.

I certainly have sympathy for anyone who wants to get their back up about all of that, and start taking exception to my approach, but that would be too bad, because then you’d be missing the opportunity to look at yourself, which is a lot more worthwhile thing to do with your time.

For instance, you may or may not have noticed, that with a couple of exceptions, I haven’t put a lot of emphasis on ‘getting’ the stuff on your lists. Rather I’ve encouraged you to explore your desires, clarify and strengthen your intention, and in general check your head.

The reason for that is, getting the shit you want doesn’t matter. Not yet anyway. For most people, getting the things you want is like a heroin addict getting a fix. It’s only useful insofar as it shows you how far you’re prepared to go to get your latest hookup. Save yourself the hassle and go watch Requiem for a Dream, and come back to me.

It’s by far more beneficial to go ahead and do things, but pay more attention to the evolving process of your own will, as it begins to purify itself. This purification process, along with all the other skills I’ve been sharing, lay the groundwork for the biggest piece of alchemical heavy lifting you’re likely to attempt on my watch. The statements of intent, the willingness to commit yourself, the cleansing of external influences, the freedom to express your will, even if it’s just to yourself. The cultivation of concentration, and a symbolic scaffold to hold the mind together under stress, as you explore and integrate aspects of the unconscious. This is all going somewhere.

This is the invocation of your inner genius, your daimon, your true will, your spirit guide, the holy guardian angel.

In the kabbalah, there is allowance for a kind of interface between the individual human and the divine will. Under normal circumstances you just sort of muddle along and hope for the best, but when you’re able to open this channel of communication, you are utterly transfigured.

This happening is not as rare as you might suppose. What is rare is undergoing it consciously. Usually what happens is someone gets ‘abducted by aliens’ or talks to the archangel gabriel, or has some kind of profound visionary experience and then marches off in a transformed state, but having unconscious contact through a symbolic intermediary, carries the traces of that distortion. In many cases various kind of madness and general flakiness ensue.

Not that you can dispense with the symbolic intermediary altogether mind you, that’s what we spent the last couple episodes on after all. But if you selected and built the map yourself, and you know it’s just made up, you won’t commit the cardinal sin of postmodernism: mistaking the map for the territory. ie: if you made the filter, you won’t make yourself over in the image of your filter. That’s just embarrassing and pitiful.

The filter is like clothing. Or like I said earlier, a scaffold. It’s supposed to take the stress of causing changes in the deeper structure. When it’s done the job, you drop it. If alien abduction or angelic visitation helps you reboot your personality, then go ahead and use it. But don’t mistake that for the source of the reboot. There are enough flakes on the internet as it is, thank you very much.

anyway: here’s the basic framework of the invocation. If you do this honestly and carefully it will take a fair bit of time. Spend some days on this, and don’t rush it. It’s important to proceed in measured steps.

I assume you’ve got got your list, and you’ve spent some time with it, gone through an iteration or two? You’ve done some things, dropped others, and prioritised them.

What I want you to do now is take the least important thing on your list, and imagine that you’ve already done it. Let your imagination fully absorb that and play with the ramifications. Maybe it’s fairly trivial, and that’s good. Mine is getting a bike. How does getting a bike change things, what’s different? Use some of the submodal tricks we discussed in banishing to enrich this experience. What’s the ripple effect in other areas? Do I feel differently about my life, my experience? Maybe not much. That’s fine.

But move up to the next thing. Imagine you’ve gotten that. Again, from the perspective of already having the last item, allow yourself to experience the changes that come from achieving the next goal on your list. If your goal is some kind of practice or process you’re trying to improve or implement, then assume you’re at the point where it’s natural or automatic for you, not a thing that needs will to maintain, at the level you specified.

It’s really important not to rush this. If you go too fast or pile on too many imagined outcomes your suspension of disbelief will go snap and you’ll have lost the thread of the working. One or two a day is plenty. Be sure to banish when you do this before and after. Treat it as a kind of meditation, which it is. Not as a wishful fantasy trip.

Once you’ve done the whole list in your mind, absorb the implications of that. How have you changed as result? How are you a different person? Do you see life differently? Are you more confident, more reflective, more relaxed or creative? Who is this person, and how different are they from the person you are right now? And yes, do think of this as a different person. Not only is it true, but it also makes it easier for your mind to accept and process. Do you dress differently, walk, talk and think differently? Maybe a little, maybe a whole lot.

Now from the perspective of that person, make a new list. Ten new things that person wants to do. Ten things that come from a different way of thinking, of being. Repeat the process. Imagine you are that person and absorb the impact, step by step, of meeting all of that persons goals. At this point most of your effort will probably be spent bridging the discontinuity between you and them. If necessary go back and make sure you haven’t short changed any of the logical processes in your mind. It’s critical to be able to see your self going from one to the next to the next in a way your mind will accept as plausible.

Now do it all again. You are now alchemical punter version 3.0 Now move on to version 4.0 Another whole list in your mind. Yes, this could take weeks or months to do properly. That’s good.

Pretend you’re writing an biography of a real person. Describe the thinking and feeling process as they reach out to higher and higher aspirations. Understand how much deeper and clearer they see things. What are their priorities, their hopes, their fears?

You may, at this stage, conduct a kind of dialogue. At any point, simply ask this other self some questions, and answer them from that perspective. I guarantee you’ll find it very informative to talk to a version of yourself with much more confidence, skill and clarity.

Continue this to at least three iterations. You may be feeling a bit woozy after two. Maybe you’re a big old psycho and want to go for four or even five. Whatever. Just be careful not to snap the thread. Banish often so as not to contaminate the working with bullshit from the rest of your current life.

In any event, you want to follow these logical operations until you generate a massive amount of discontinuity. You have to do this in such a way that your mind accepts the plausibility of it, but is eventually forced into a kind of crisis of reevaluation by the gap between that self and the one you have now. If you’ve done it well the other person is almost unrecognizable to your current iteration.

If your mind is strong and your imagination vivid, you may even be pushing the boundaries of what is normally considered to be ‘human’. You may be incubating a self image that borders on the posthuman or semi divine. If it inspires, awes, or even terrifies you, then good. You’ve done it properly.

If you haven’t done it already, then have your dialogue now. There’s no reason to wait, you could have done it many times already, but now take the time to have a serious discussion with this being, and specifically address where you’re going with your life and how you can bring your current actions more in line with the long term strategy.

Flesh it out. Make it real. How does that version of yourself think about family, or friends? Do they still like the same kind of books or tv shows? Where do they live and how do they live? Do any of those things even matter anymore to this being, at least in a way that makes sense to you right now? Do you even speak the same language anymore? Can you understand this other self of yours? Or has it become too alien?

What happens to most people who experience this, is for some reason or other that crisis of discontinuity builds up in the deep mind, created by contradictions, fuelled by intense emotions or mystical experiences. At some point the disassociated self images rip loose and force a communication with with the frontal mind, sometimes in a highly allegorical and symbolic fashion. It will present itself in a way that may not be factually accurate, but easier to accept than the truth. Doing it the way I’ve presented here should sidestep those problems. It’ll be slower and probably less dramatic, but you’ve have the benefit of presence of mind and some influence over the content.

In many traditions it is said that before this process is undergone that all acts of magick are inevitably poisoned by the cravings of the ego. You would simply be feeding the hungry ghosts in your head. There’s no guarantee your higher self is less egotistical than you are now, but you will almost certainly find that beyond a certain point your concerns will blend naturally into the universal, the profound, the archetypal and the idealistic.

Some folk may have doubts there is such a thing as a higher self. That humans are what we are and we should just learn to accept it. That idealizing some new form of life is just a pretext to judge and reject others and promote some kind of fascist fantasy trip.

But maybe it’s just growing up. Maybe it’s just learning to take responsibility for all the powers we really have, instead of judging us all for the actions of a few. Maybe it’s possible to have bigger hearts, stronger minds, broader shoulders. Maybe it’s possible to be an example and not an object lesson. Maybe it’s possible to ask more of ourselves and let others do as they please. Perhaps we can quit being ashamed of what we are, or what we’re not, and start making some tentative steps towards something we can hardly imagine right now.

Maybe you can live without excuses, without doubts, without pointless resentments, confusion and fear. Maybe you don’t really need that stuff as much as you seem to think you do.

If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while now, or any of the links in my sidebar, you are hopefully not simply crushed by the weight of the problems in the world today. It’s easy to look at the tidal waves of corruption, filth, murder and deceit, and throw up your hands, to turn back to your own concerns and leave the world to fend for itself. That’s natural. We’re only human after all. And these things seem so far beyond the grasp of any normal human being. The path of the mystic is to rest in the unchanging. To accept the ebbs and flows of impermanence. To treat all things as the will of god.

But the path of the magus is different. You are a part of nature, you can change things, you do have influence, and you don’t need to be afraid to use it. Your will is as valid as any other. You will is just as much an expression of god as any other. To do nothing, to do anything. The same. To retire to your cave or transfigure the earth. The same.

Terrence Mckenna said here that perhaps the only hope for the salvation of the world is through magick, through the alchemy of the will expressed as change. That preaching hasn’t done it, that science and reason haven’t done it, that humble acceptance hasn’t done it either.

So maybe the solution to our ‘human’ failings is to become something more.

With that in mind, while we’re currently on part ix of these, really, we’re just now getting started.

next: a brief pause for station identification

Alchemy for the Braindamaged VIII: A panful of mercury

So… You’re prepared to take a run at the practice of divination, yes? You’ve picked out your own shiny new symbolic map of things and you’re itching to learn the secrets of the universe. Predict the upticks of the stockmarket and cash in! Or at least figure out when you’re gonna get laid again.

But as usual I’m going to rain acid and aborted fetuses all over your parade, friends.

You want to understand your future? Do you even understand your present? It’s right here after all. Take a good look. Do you understand that?

No? How about the past? It’s not even happening anymore. It’s all over and done with. No moving parts. All the information is there. How about it?

I didn’t think so. What I’m getting at here, besides my usual tactic of browbeating my readers, is that you’re not really looking to understand some temporal junction. You’re looking to understand yourself. Your reaction, your perceptions, your meaning to things. Even if I handed you deadly accurate facts about the future, all of it is going to interpreted in terms of it’s relevance to you, in this moment.

So why not cut to the chase? This is the best use for divination practices in my opinion. There are others, obviously, but the best is to hold up a symbolic mirror to the workings of your own mind. Everything starts there, and ends there. And even if it doesn’t, as far as your concerned, it still does. Being stuck inside your own head is a bitch that way…

So at this point you may be wondering, what’s the best, or correct, map for understanding your own mind? The one you have, that’s what. It makes no difference. It could be a stream of random numbers, cut up pages from a book, or flyspecks on a wall. It doesn’t matter. The real operation takes place in your head.

The mind has an incredible capacity for pattern recognition. When you see faces in the clouds, those faces are really in your head, yes? This is the same thing.

The ancient alchemists used to heat up cinnabar in a pan and watch the mercury slowly separate and bead up over the fire. This was a metaphor. This seemingly magickal appearance of this flowing liquid mirrorlike mindstuff was understood as isomorphic for the processes of the mind. The fire of inquiry and meditation would seperate the reflective mind from the base material. The birth of consciousness. Does any of that have anything to do with ‘real’ mercury? Only tangentially. Only by mapping one thing over another. Only by transposing the pattern of a known thing over the unknown.

Does this tell you the truth of how things ‘are’ ? Maybe. Maybe not. What it definitely does, is tell you a lot about how your perception works. And that’s more valuable anyway.

So how do you do this? The simple answer is however you want. But it helps to have some kind of clear inquiry in mind. Pick out your map and find a way to put it in motion somehow. Divorce it from the ordering routine of the mind. Shred it and reassemble it. Cards are good because you can shuffle them. Clouds and tea leaves are good because they move, albeit slowly.

Then sit with it. Pretend that you just got the answer to your inquiry. What is it? What are you being told here? What is your subconscious trying to communicate to your conscious mind, when you make that space, when you provide a symbolic language or an unformed pattern for it to speak with?

That’s what it’s really all about. Dredging up the unformed chaos of the deep mind. Or, at least, it will seem like unformed chaos at first.

So, with your indulgence I’ll walk us through an operation of this kind.

Our inquiry will be some area where I feel a void of understanding. Some gap in my perception. Lets go for primordial horror, hey? Let’s find out what my worst fear is. My deepest unacknowledged terror.

Our tool will be the Crowley toth deck. The meanings of the cards don’t really matter. It’s what the symbols suggest. So don’t feel I’m cheating you by taking a prepacked set of meanings. I’ll be going at right angles to all that anyway. I just find the images resonant and impactfull.

We’ll keep this reasonably simple and use this online reading widget so you can play along or do your own. More explicit card references are here.

The structure of the reading makes no difference either, but it can help if you’re not able to just stare at a piece of black glass and trip out like old John Dee used to do. He received a symbolic language to summon the apocalypse. I’m just trying to find out what scares the fuck out of me…

so:

card one, which represents me.

the five of wands: strife– wands are the will, the organic lust as opposed to constructed ideas, which are swords. The number five represents the introduction of time and change. The preceding four is the number of solidity and form. The appearance of matter is followed by the introduction of instability, conflict, impermanence. Will immersed into time. Conflicting desires. Thwarted lusts. Thinking of my earlier discussion of inner conflicts. Fear of being torn apart by inner conflict? Never finding peace or resolution. Primal desire as source of suffering?

card two, the current situation

atu viii: Adjustment– cosmic justice and balance. The sword of karma. Leveling of inequities. In my case, justice is a huge issue. I’ve always secretly wanted to be a superhero, to fight for justice and truth. I’m definitely afraid I may find myself on the wrong side. To realize one day that I picked a path to injustice, that I’m really the villain of the piece, not a hero.

On another note, Adjustment is a reminder that the universe is not human. Cosmic justice is not about us. Forces rule us all that care nothing for our perspective. Do you love something inhuman? Do you crave the embrace of something which cares nothing for people, or their suffering? Cold calculations. Fear of inhumanity. To serve justice, but be the bad guy in the eyes of others, who remain in the human perspective.

card three, the obstacle

atu xx: The Aeon– Epochal change. Phase shift. The Apocalypse. Final judgment. As a buddhist I tend not to buy into external judgment, but karma remains. We judge ourselves. Our decisions do have consequences and eventually everyone has to face them. The world seems on the cusp of great changes, a final judgment on our momentum as a species.

Fear of my growth truncated by historical events? Of not reaching the high ground when the flood hits? Being on the wrong side? Not able to make your peace until it’s too late. Dramatic change of context that makes everything obsolete. On another note, the egotistic hope for deliverance from on high. Hoping time does the work for me? Wanting to be freed of the obligation to struggle.

card four, the goal

the queen of swords– swords represent air, the power of motion, division, constructed ideas. The queen is water. The passive, fluid principle. To adapt and flow. To me the queen of swords has always stood out as the person who is incredibly skilled and deft in the little details, but seems to miss the big picture. Win every battle and lose the war. Have all the tools to solve the problems in front of you, but miss the point of the whole thing. I spend all my time learning things that may be usefull in the short term, or on a case by case basis, but ignore the larger importance of certain things. Is martial arts skill that big a deal compared to medicine? Is medicine that big a deal compared to spiritual truth? Where do you plant your flag and put in the time to attain mastery? You have to serve the highest good you can see. I over-desire the mastery of small goods, small problems. ” never bring a knife to a gunfight ”

card five, foundation of the current situation

three of swords: sorrow– the three is the minimal number to create a shape. The idea intelligible. The base concept of division and separation. Primal suffering rooted in wrong views. The necessary descent into delusion. Life without pain has no meaning. Fear of embracing pain. Wanting to escape, or think your way out of it, when you need to simply accept that some pain, some evil can never be eliminated, nor should it.

In tandem with the earlier stuff, a fear of justification. If some pain is good and necessary, then the temptation is to contribute to it, or excuse your contribution to the suffering of the world.

card six, the past

the queen of wands– hard one. Not as much history with this image. Fire and water in synthesis, the integration of active and passive principles. Time spent building up my assertive side to balance my mostly passive nature. Too much, not enough? Adding more contradiction than I can handle? Afraid I’ve got too much backed up habit to ever really change?

card seven, the future

the knight of cups– HAHAHAHA!!! the exact opposite of the queen of wands. the same contradiction but reversed to the other side. my future is the mirror image of my past. Oh goody. All I’ve done is take a different perspective on the same dysfunction, and called it an improvement. Always wanting the other side of the fence. Maybe it’s not true, but I’m scared to death that what I think is growth is just more of the same. Welcome to Kafka. Neo is a part of the matrix, after all.

card eight, the future enviroment

the nine of disks: gain– the illusion of getting everything you want. the rain of riches in your perfect world. being too lost in your wealth to question it. don’t get distracted by success. so long thwarted, so long pushing at old barriers. fear of breaking through and just going back to sleep again. missing the whole fucking point. getting everything on your list and thinking that’s the reason for doing it. wrong. wrong. wrong.

card nine, the influence of society

atu xiv: art– alchemy, synthesis, union of opposites, the birth of higher forms. everything I think I want, but imposed on me from outside. It wasn’t my own work and struggle, it was just the way things were always going. The world makes of you what it will. You think you’re free and that’s exactly what you were supposed to think. You didn’t have to do anything. Nothing you did mattered. It’s all good and it was always supposed to be good. You had nothing to do with it. ego. conceit. self importance. The rebellion of lucifer.

card ten, the challenge.

atu i: the magus, the juggler, the master of keeping everything in the air at once. the summit of magickal skill. zac of all trades. everything to everyone.

Not up to it. too much to learn, too much to do. No one can ever measure up to that. not equal to the challenge. inadequacy. or maybe, I am up to it, but I don’t really understand the cost. What will meeting that challenge make of me?

card eleven, the outcome

atu o: the fool– spontaneous insight, blind luck, the holy fool. Touched by god. jumping outside the frame. Divine madness. Compete disconnect from my old understanding. Trust in god and shut up. You know nothing. Forget what you know, forget what you think you know. Forget it all. Just a fool.

*cough* ….

well. hopefully that’s a painfully clear examination of how to do something like this. it was certainly painfull for me…lol.

I sense a peice of allgeorical fiction in this…

next time: Augoeides

Alchemy for the Braindamaged VII: A Symbolic Order

Before we move on, a couple more points on the last installment relating to concentration: why it works, how it works and why it’s hazardous.

It helps to think of the mind as a kind of ecology full of all kinds of conflicting impulses, beliefs, concepts, and emotional perspectives on things. This whole ecology is sustained more or less by the attention/energy you give it. In practice you can treat energy and attention as the same thing. In truth one follows the other so closely they might as well be the same.

Now attention has ( at least ) two aspects to it, and they can both be trained. Breadth and depth. Most of us have no problem with a extremely wide and diverse breadth of attention. We maintain views on the whole universe after all. Or we think we do anyway. Most of us have a lot less practice maintaining attention in depth. To do that requires holding the focus in a single place for long periods and if you’ve not had a lot of experience with that, it can be highly uncomfortable. The thing to remember though, is the depth of our attention is also the depth of the well of energy we can tap. Very shallow very superficial attention = very shallow and superficial supplies of energy.

So, going back to our ecology metaphor. We tend not to notice the contradiction and conflicts in our mental ecology because we rarely, if ever, probe deep enough into it to notice them. That, and since the supply of energy is so shallow, nothing in that ecology ever really gets big and fat enough to cause problems in the whole system. With deeper concentration that can change fast. You may find that tapping into a much larger supply of energy can feed some or all of your weird internal aberrations to grotesque levels. This is why I recommended highly that you consciously and deliberately direct that deepened faculty of attention into things you enjoy, and useful skills. That, combined with the mental housecleaning in the other parts should keep you out of trouble provided you are mostly sane and stable to begin with.

What you do not want is to turn your new willpower that can crush diamonds and use it to probe the tattered edges of your self esteem, or nurse old grudges, or tear apart the last remanants of your existing ontology. At least not until you’ve taken the time to craft a new one. Feeding those subjects a massively increased fund of energy will send you round the bend right quick. I’m willing to bet most of you have had difficulties in this area already, even without the help of intense mind power. So it helps to exercise a little restraint, and to have a nice durable map to guide that new wand of yours with.

Now there are no shortage of maps these days, and no shortage of fodder to make new ones. This is the gift of postmodernism after all. We have the god given right to shred anything placed in front of us to expose it’s inherent flaws and contradictions. It’s unweildly excesses and unverifiable pronouncements. We feel good and calm in the act of doing this. We feel the rightness of it.

But I’m here to tell you, that sometimes, ripping a map apart is entirely besides the fucking point. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do something.

We think we’re defending the holy right to overturn dogma and ask ‘the tough questions’ as if no one had ever done that before. What you need to understand, particularly under the circumstances I’ve described above, is that you really will benefit from having a map that doesn’t get shredded. At least not by you.

The nice thing about abstraction, is that it permits us to compress the whole gamut of phenomena into a manageable and internally consistent system of symbols. And believe me, when concentration states are overloading your brain and nervous system, you will definitely want a solid backbone to hang your ontology on, even if you don’t feel the need to subscribe to it unquestioningly.

We tend to have this neurotic thing about the ‘real truth’ as if nothing is acceptable except the naked reality of things. Problem is, if that’s all you’ll settle for, you’ll most likely end up chewing your wrists open in short order. For the time being, you need to learn to suspend your ruthless cutting apart of the ground beneath your feet and use a model of reality, not because it’s the ‘real thing’ but because it works. And you need to learn to filter things through that map. Not all the time, but when you have to, because sometimes you will have to. Sometimes you will need to to have a framework there to interpret something, or you will freak right the fuck out. The rest of the time you can happily just sit in the unknowingness of the grand mystery of whatever the popular buzzword is these days, as long as you have a nice serviceable symbolic order to fall back on.

There is a part of your mind that really really needs to be able to define and encapsulate your relationship to the word around you, as a means of handling stress. It doesn’t need to be all that convincing or comprehensive a definition, it could be patently absurd. But having a good definition, one that leaves you lots of room to maneuver, to make revisions, interpretations, even to rip out and replace chunks, is a lot better than simply assimilating christian theology as a subconscious safety net, which is probably what a lot of you are doing right now. If it’s not that, it’s gonna be something. The problem isn’t being stuck without a net. The problem is being stuck with a shitty net that you’re not consciously aware of, that won’t take the strain of what you’re doing, and will rip under pressure. If that happens, then my friend, you are truly FUCKED.

Don’t underestimate the benefits of a symbol system to fall back on. Even if on some level, you know it’s arbitrary. It’s better that way, anyhow.

Homework: pick a symbolic map of the universe. Four that I recommend highly would be the I ching, the kabbalistic tree of life, and norse runes. My personal preference is the crowley thoth tarot, which incorporates the tree of life as well as the tarot symbolism.

Not only are all of these fairly flexible, but they provide avenues for divination practice, which is coming up. But suit yourself.

DON’T immediately start questioning and subverting your new model. Use it. Play with it. Interpret the things that happen around you through that lens. When you get bored with that, set it aside and come back to it later. Resist the urge to pick it apart. Save that shit for CNN and the drudge report.

On a related note, start examining yourself for contradictions and internal conflicts. Your list is a good entry point. Looking at the why and what and how of your goals, I’m sure you’ll find that some of those things don’t mesh. You’re doing one thing at the expense of another thing, you’re moving in one direction here and another there, you’re stressing here and chilling there, you hate this and love that. You believe totally here and question ruthlessly over there.

These are the fault lines in your psyche, and as you progress in your practice these fault lines will open up in a big way. Most likely you will suppress the conscious knowledge of these chasms in your mind as they widen, and simply experience it as intense levels of stress. You might think that these are harmless usages of the mind, as if going in two totally divergent directions entails two different minds. They don’t. It’s one mind. Your mind. Think about this carefully.

Eliminate as much of the conflict and contradiction as you can right now. Quit fighting yourself. If it means narrowing your focus and scope of activities temporarily, then do it. If not, you’ll almost certainly wish you had done it, later on.

next; PRIMORDIAL FUCKING CHAOS!! CTHULHU FHTAGN!
…or, like, reading your tarot cards, and shit. or both.