I remember it as if it were yesterday. But it didn't look like yesterday. It looked like tomorrow. I remember the future, it died a generation ago. Faith in the future, I mean. Faith in human ingenuity, in solutions offered by successive technologies. Other ages had human sacrifice, reason, the Sun, chicken blood. Britain, in the third quarter of the 20th century had bigness and newness, a newness which is now old, but which still prompts contemptuous wonder at the mix of technological prowess and moral naivete.
Jonathan Meades, Remember the Future
I ate the member berries and within a few moments I had booked a camping holiday in Zeeburg, Amsterdam with my old school friends and purchased a copy of the re-booted Talisman the Magickal Quest game. Before I realised what was happening I owned nearly every expansion. Do you remember Mage: The Ascension? I member. We discussed it a lot in the Dam. It was the high-end of The World of Darkness games - where the less sophisticated goth nerds would be hiding in the darkness of the Masquerade, we Mages were using correspondence effects to open up wormholes right by the Sun and cremate them in their crypts. You can't hide from the Sun* in the Age of Horus.
One of the great things about Mage was the concept of the nine spheres - Spirit, Time, Correspondence, Forces, Matter, Mind, Life, Entropy and Prime - with a mysterious tenth sphere that may or may not resolve them all. These spheres prompted many philosophical discussions amongst my friends - were they all necessary or not, can they be reduced, is matter just a function of forces, is mind, etc? We were all fairly scientistic back then. Some of us still are.
In many ways the member berries hit the occult community first with the nostalgia expressing itself in the grimoire revival, the occult hipster's search for the elusive authenticity. In 2016 our community has generally regressed to a more medieval conversation than that found in the elegantly researched and forward looking Mage of the glorious 90s. Most magicians, when pressed, seem to think only in terms of spirit vs matter/energy, that they are a material object in a material world with some kind of veil that separates them from a ''spiritual beyond'' where all the spirits live. Is this the Middle Ages? With all the veneration of Saints you'd be forgiven for thinking that it might be. You've got to keep your eye on those member berries, maybe they are planning to take you back still further? Neanderthal shamanism anyone?
As we have been discussing in certain areas of the blogosphere you only really need mind and time at the most and your model will grow more effective if you use these concepts instead of spirit and matter. In fact, as we will continue to discuss, mind could actually be anti-time in as much as it projects into the past through memory and the future through imagination. Then you only need the time.
In predicting the future you are not occupying an outside place free from the prison of determinism it simply means that your action of prediction was predetermined and in fact any leaps or threading of consciousness (anti-time) through time via prophecy are already built into the museum of the so-called present. Conversely if you don't believe that the future already exists then it may be that you have created the future by predicting it. Those tarot cards are drawn entirely at random and then you create the reality that your customer goes on to inhabit with your ''magick''. If a bad hand is dealt you have effectively cursed the person who came to see you - on the other hand, if the rich man from the west, seen in the tarot, visits the customer and grants them a fortune you have blessed them.**
To speak of probabilities is to edge nervously around the central problem of existence - stop flirting and own it, one way or the other. In bending your knee to destiny you acknowledge and submit to a higher will, in claiming free will you assert your own supremacy.
So far, Raziel has explained this in the following way: the realm of the predestined, this museum in time, is the necessary sacrifice in order to guarantee freedom in both the astral future and astral past. You have to have a kind of prison in time which safe-guards the place in which you invent the method to escape it - i.e. time travel with the method and the stuff of anti-time being consciousness itself. Without the safeguard of inviolable fate you would be able to change time so the prison never existed and neither therefore did your freedom outside of it. The freedom that exists in the museum, is only the freedom to take away opinions about what ''you'' did or did not do, you have no freedom to alter it, you only have the freedom to judge or forgive yourself. Consciousness is an anti-time commentary on the story of your life. The only genuine act of magic in your life will be in your death.
What no one foresaw in that age of prospecting ahead was the swiftness of the reaction to its shibboleths. No one predicted the rejection of the very idea of progress. No one believed that the fault would be found with the eternal flame of the white heat. But in the time it takes to say meltdown nuclear power turned from friend to foe. Suddenly we wanted to turn back the clock to the coal fires, to the good old days of pneumoconiosis and emphysema. Nuclear power became a national bogey.
Jonathan Meades, Remember the Future
*The Form of the Good.
**Member when the Tarot was just a set of stabilizer wheels on a kid's bike rather than the be all and end all? Jesus how we have devolved.