So, proceeding carefully, let talk about what I’m trying to do, and just as important, what I’m NOT trying to do.
It’s no secret I’m interested in exploring the cutting edge of unfolding human potentials. It’s no secret I’d like to see more people take up that discipline. But what I’ve come to realise is that as currently constituted, magick presents an unnecessarily intractable semantic and conceptual barrier to many people who might want to do this.
In the past my attitude has been to simply say fuck em if they can’t keep up, and the hardass neo-traditionalist in me is certain congruent with that. It’s a fine line between lowering the gates and lowering your standards and I have no tolerance whatsoever for the latter, so rest assured there will be none of that.
But there is a line there and you can walk it. The actual practice is hard enough to do, you certainly don’t need to make it hard to understand. This is not the middle ages anymore, and we don’t need to fear being tortured and burned at the stake, or broken on the rack for exploring unconventional mindspaces or underutilized aspects of causality. Truthfully the issue these days is not that people care what you do, the issue is that in many cases NO ONE cares what you do, and by extension, in many cases no one cares what THEY can do, which is a real problem.
Part of what I’ve come up with and what I’m interested to explore is the ubiquity of magickal, ( or perhaps more properly, shamanic ) process, and how in some ways almost everyone already does this, and doesn’t know it. I’m not interested in bolting more shit and cumbersome labels on top of all the old shit and cumbersome labels we already have. I want to systematically and carefully throw out the limiting categories and semantic restrictions which serve no purpose and then redefine the open space that exists after you do that. So I’ll be trashing a bunch of labels and competing metaphors and replacing them with just one. Which will still leave the space for people to freely interpret in their own sphere while making an actual public discourse possible.
That said, I’m not looking to dump all over anyone’s beloved jargon or dogma set, or harsh your buzz for whatever practice you’ve got going. You don’t need me to make up your stuff for you, and you don’t need me to tell you how to do what you’re already doing.
However, what we have up until now called ‘magick’ has vast untapped potential as a social phenomena and that’s something I’m very curious to explore more. For better or worse this is the era of socially networked intelligence, technologically mediated swarming behavior and hyperdistribution. And ultimately if you’re going to have a real social phenomena to examine and experiment with, you need a big enough base to look at, and a simpler way of understanding what you look at.
I’m still interested in the culture of self-selected esoteric evolutionary edgerunners, flaming out in mad pursuit of visionary experience, and supranatural power, but we all know that is never going to be a very big demographic, and rather than expecting the masses to climb over each other to join the planetary party that never ends, we can let it down a little bit and have other people in the game without compromising our own high standards. Not everyone who plays basketball is going to be Michael Jordan, but not everyone wants to be, and more to the point, if they never learn the rules of the game, a lot of those Michael Jordan’s will never discover what they can do. At this stage in history we’ve got a pretty good idea of what an individual can do with a working knowledge of these arts. What we don’t really know is what a hundred or a thousand people with working knowledge and shared understanding of that realm can do, together. And it’s long past time.
And part of that is knowing, once and for all, what is essential and what is not, and what standards can be compromised and what not, and if we can do that, then there need be no fear of losing what is valuable in a tsunami of populist fervour.
I should also say at the outset I am not interested in doing another reductionist trip. I’ve done that already, and it serves a certain purpose to reduce all magickal phenomena to subjective experiences, or linguistic experiences, for the purposes of discussion, but it’s time to aim a little higher than that. It’s not all in your head, but it’s not all embedded in the material stratum either. It’s expedient to think that, sometimes, but it’s also lazy.
And ultimately, even if no one gives a good god damn after I’m done with this exercise, it will still leave me with a framework big enough to hold everything I have done in the past, and most everything I will do in the foreseeable future.
So, enough preambles and qualifiers. Next time we start tearing things up…