Tuesday, February 9, 2016
The WMT - Blogosphere vs Facebook
In the What Went Wrong series I suggest different factors that are responsible for the decline of the WMT - social media, chat, nerdiness, identity politics, teacher-student relationships, baby boomers, servicing the needs of the lowest common denominator (the new and/or stupid), authorship, ''journalists'', identity politics, advertising and petty sorcery. Monkey see monkey do. I am willing to weaken my stance on some and strengthen it on others. What I still think we lack are peer to peer discussions about theory, healing, astral work, Qabalah and most of all actual magickal experience*.
I want to focus on the Blogosphere vs Facebook debate today as part of a larger discussion on public esoteric space.** Many of you fellow bloggers swore to update your blogs more regularly this year and I sincerly hope you keep up with targets because it is an immensely rewarding experience in and of itself - combining letter, essay, diary, treatise and article - and you know you benefit. Even if I disagree with you, or have no idea what you are talking about I enjoy grappling with different ideas and approaches. It is exactly the same as oaths to get fit. Keep going, it will be worth it for your mind and your community. If you are simply a reader then join in and start writing!
The Blogosphere*** is a tremendous gift to our community that allows both freedom of expression and freedom from advertising****. It exercises will and creativity - the highest manifestations of being - and encourages discourse between peers. Having to craft a post - bearing in mind the differing concentration spans, available time, levels of readership, etc - disciplines the writer's work. You have to balance between accuracy and simplicity. As a form it has problems but remains the best we have right now and should not be squandered.
Facebook on the other hand, as a public space, is almost the complete opposite with messages and discussions about esoteric matters crammed into little blue Skinner boxes, where your deepest thoughts become eye-straining content for Zuckerberg's advert sandwich - the medium is fundamentally degrading, humiliating and pathetic. It cheapens what you do and makes you lazy. It is saturated by petty ego, finely veiled advertising, the panoptical pressure of the invisible lurk and constantly falls prey to the demonic forces of chat. Unlike the Blogosphere it is not even slightly demanding for the user. Its easy to click like, emote or banter like a twat. Way too easy - like buying alcohol. If you are crafting your finest thoughts on Facebook then more fool you - they will become lost on your prison walls rather than in the archives of your library.*****
People become shy of blogging for a few reasons but probably the two most common are laziness and lack of inspiration. If you are struggling to write something yourself then respond to something that you have read - respond in a comment if you like, I am not condemning marginalia, but writing a short essay of your own on your reflections as a response is even better. If you are practising, as you should be, just write a short account of what has been happening, it is better than nothing.
As I said above I think we need to talk more about magickal experience - be it armchair or otherwise - and avoid too much deviation into extraneous topics unless they directly relate to a magickal throughline. One problem with the blogosphere is in its tendency to bleed out into identity politics and conspiracy theory. While these can be worthwhile topics of themselves and do have direct bearing on esoteric issues in some articles I find myself wondering where the magic is. The reason I point to healing and astral work is to go against the trend of desire satisfaction sorcery which should really be considered a gateway drug into the why rather than as a how to means unto itself. Qabalah was the lingua franca and we now lack one. ''Is it because I is Jewish?''
In Moorcock's ''Blood: A Southern Fantasy'' there is a division between the First and Second Ether. The First Ether is ruled over by insects and encourages conformity to the Singularity. This is Facebook. The Second Ether is the world of freescalers and chaos engineers abseiling between dimensions. This is the Blogosphere.
Just so we are clear.
Next up - Raziel on yes-no dimensions and daughter cells.
*I would much rather you explain what actually happened than vaguely allude to it.
**Youtube is more important and benign a format than facebook. One of the things I am willing to weaken my position on is ''magickal journalism'' - I was worried about the format at the time descending into trivia and anecdotalism but I've seen good work since I made the original post. The original danger remains.
***The secret is in the name.
****Unless you choose to advertise yourself.
*****There is something to be said for private groups but this post is about public esoteric space. The only rational way to use Facebook is to use it to pull people out of the First Ether and in to the Second, then welcome, educate and support them in its use. Reinforce the First Ether at your own peril. I consider time there to be the same as spending it in something which is radioactive.