Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Raziel - Consciousness as Anti-time

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.

Friday, November 25, 2016


To create I have destroyed myself; I've so externalized myself on the inside that I don't exist on the inside except externally.  I am the empty stage where various actors act out their plays.

Fernando Pessoa, the Book of Disquiet

Believing that you are a physical object in a physical world whose thoughts happen inside their head is not only delusional its also extremely limiting.  The feeling of your body, of being ''in'' your body is exactly that, a feeling or sense of yourself  which is being displayed in your mind along with all the other sights, sounds, smells and feelings of your sensorium.  You are not rooted in your feeling of body self any more than you are rooted in a passing scent.  They are all your thoughts.  This mental universe is the reality you live in.  To mistake the feeling for the actual thing itself is the shadowy cave that most of us spend our lives in.  Although we assume this mental impression of the self is mirroring the physical self, when it itches we itch, we also know that sometimes what we are feeling may have no genuine cause in the physical world - i.e. delusional parasitosis.

Whenever you touch an object, you never touch the object itself, you ''feel'' your ''feeling'' of it, you never see an object directly you see the impression of it in your mind.  If people grasped this simple truth about the mental universe and lived that way they would realise that there are no thoughts in their heads, the thoughts are flowing in the air around them, because the air that they percieve is literally the mental impression of that air in their mind - the feeling of the air is made of thought. Understood and lived in this way the world around you becomes your outer mind and allows your higher self to communicate directly from the objects themselves.

For instance if I observe a tree then I am not directly observing the tree, (assuming the physical universe is real) I am observing the mental impression of the tree created in my mind by light signals bouncing off the tree, activating photo-receptors on my retinas which send a signal to the visual cortex which then converts it into the image of a tree which I observe from my sense of self awareness from somewhere else in my mind - I only ever see with my mind's eye in this way, never directly through the physical eyes.  Alongside this, my impression of the tree includes all the information that I know about trees in general and this specific tree in particular - my mind includes this knowledge in the image.  I don't have to engage actively retrieving information on the tree, my consciousness has embedded it in the image itself.

I started thinking about this when I was reading someone's face and body with physiognomy the other day.  There is no part of me that was analysing them or the information presented from inside my head.  The information is delivered directly from the physiognomy of the person to the words that I say to them in the reading without any kind of ''interior'' middle man that analyses them or chooses the words to say.  The only thing this delusional middle man seems to do is cause interference with the activities of the intuition pulling information from the outer mind through its various egoic noises - pride, pretensions, anxiety, etc.

I mentioned in an earlier post about there being ''nothing'' above your head because you can't look above your head.  Of course you can look in a mirror to see above your physical head, but from the sensory location of your consciousness. you can't see above your mental head.  In the mental universe this empty space, this nothing above your head is in truth occupied by the magickal lamp it is the position from which light flows into the mental impression of objects that exist in the mental universe - the source of inner light.  Thoughts flow from the objects themselves and concentrate just in front of the mental impression of the face. Similarly there is nothing ''inside'' my head.  The idea that there are ''thoughts in our heads'' is simply a delusion that we buy into because we sadly mistake the mental for the physical most of the time and therefore believing ourselves to be physical we fill up this interior non-space with babble.  As I mentioned previously magical study should flip understanding every so often and this lesson is no different.  Your head itself is empty, it is the world around you that is full of your thought.

All that I've done, thought or been is a series of submissions either to a false self that I assumed belonged to me because I expressed myself through it to the outside, or to a weight of circumstances that I supposed was the air that I breathed.  In this moment of seeing I suddenly find myself isolated, an exile where I always thought I was a citizen.  At the heart of my thoughts, I wasn't I.

Fernando Pessoa

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mertilda and the Universal Substrate II

In Kabbalah, Malkuth is referred to as the Fallen Daughter, Nuqba, (Matilda, the Little Mermaid, etc) the Depth of the Past, and is pendant to the Tree of Life.  She fell when the vessels shattered and only through deeds and intentions can be married to her husband Zeir Anpin - the six central Sefirot which represent the spatial directions - and finally united with Binah as the Superior Mother and the Supernal Triad of Future, Good and Evil more generally.


The way I understand this is that our 3d experience of reality can be rectified by practically examining* the 5d space/time/observer complex to transform our delusional ''physical'' experience into a true mental experience. Through rectification and unification of the Sefirot (the 10 axial ends of the 5 dimensions) the isolated experience of being an object in the physical world transforms into the unified experience of being in the nucleus of your own consciousness.  This cell of consciousness then becomes ''membrane-bound'' (Binah) which allows direct and specific experience of the Bloodstream of Time (Kether) through the 231 gates.

Rectification means contemplation and practical exploration of the Sefirot in the ''physical'' world through dialogue with personifications (living archetypes represented by the people/events around you) and in the ''astral'' plane** through the drama of other-dimensional entities (4D, 5D, i.e. rectified and unified beings or beings from other points in time - Gods, spirits, etc). Unification can only occur when the individual Sefirot are brought into relationship with each other through the medium of paths/letters which can also occur through dialogue.

Dialogue is the combination and permutation of letters (astrological forces) into words and their exchange and interchange. For the purposes of these external unifications, individuals, ''spiritual'' or otherwise, can be brought into your sphere through conjuration - the method can also be used in meditation/contemplation (hitbodedut).  Encountering all phenomena as a direct dealing of God (existence, reality) with one's soul is important in this as it teaches you to be mindful of all things that happen from the seemingly trivial to the obviously important.  The idea of pathwalking as an exercise for the physical world, as opposed to guided meditation is complementary to this.  You pay attention to how (the events of) the path talks to you.


It is extremely easy to work yourself towards a rational understanding of the cell of consciousness that you live in.  You know how your eyes and ears work and that all sensory signals are displayed in your mind as a display of reality which you observe from another point in your mind.  To live this way is extremely unfamiliar and disorienting.  The Hermetic Lessons provide all manner of models and experiments in order to train your mind to experience reality in this way.  We ''run and return'', experience 5d for as long as possible and then return to 3d.

In the last post - Mertilda - I discussed imagining that the world around you and that the space which separates you from other objects/people is fluid.  When you move your hands around imagine the resistance of fluid, when you speak imagine how sound propagates underwater.  The nature of the 5d world feels more like viscous fluid than gas.  Experiments with mental light are equally compelling. Look into a lightbulb for amoment, and then watch the blob that forms in the mind from the retinal burn - this blob is not there in 3d is it?  Contemplate that all the images you experience are composed of this mental light and watching the nature of that blob, contemplate the fluidic qualities of that light. Do likewise with sound, with smell, with touch.

Contact with the Bloodstream of Time is the ultimate goal of all Kabbalistic work.  This is alluded to in the idea that the 5th world, the tip of the Yod, is known as the ''World to Come''.  The highest act of practical Kabbalah is prophecy - Kether is ''The Depth of the Future''.

*Carve, engrave, weigh, permute, probe, etc - a la Sefer Yetzirah.
**The deep future, deep past or reversiverse.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mertilda and the Universal Substrate

Water is the principle or element of things. All things are water.

Thales of Miletus

We know that we are all psychic when we are young and then have it educated out of us and the classic Roald Dahl story Matilda speaks to this experience. An actor I was working with on Kingdom Come said that seeing Matilda the Musical had changed his life.  The following week I worked with Laurence Olivier award winning Eleanor Worthington Cox the star of that same musical on the set of roman adventure TV series Britannia.  These events were clearly entangled.  Through conversation with my partner, who is both a big fan of Matilda and the Little Mermaid, we developed the concept of ''Mertilda'' - the psychic mermaid.

One of the great limiting factors stopping people from developing or rather redeveloping their psychic powers is will vs desire, very little of the former and a great deal of the latter. I often think the rise of the popularity of ''working with spirits'' as opposed to developing your own powers is because this is the easy way. This is a more important topic than I want to address in this post but we all remember our youthful Matildaesque experiments with psychic powers and our discovery that psychokinesis takes a lot of effort and its often easier to just ask or ''command'' someone else to pass you the pencil rather than levitate it into your hand with your mind.  Favours for favours though.

Another limiting factor, and the real subject of ''Mertilda'' is the nature of the conductive medium. Most magicians these days, almost entirely deprived of both willpower and imagination by the internet, dutifully live in the delusional 3d reality and then conceive of models that justify/explain their magickal approaches - typically either an energetic or psychological model which does not need to challenge the existence of the material world or a ''spirit model'' which hypothesises some kind of other reality beyond the veil of the physical where spirits ''live''.*  Either way they conceive of themselves as an object in an objective world, relating to other objects, be they people or items, in and through space.  In this 3d world people believe that the medium which separates them from the things they want to influence is (typically) air/gas/atmosphere.

The early pre-Socratic philosophers argued about the nature of the universal substrate - fluid, gas, fire, number and pure thought were suggested as possibilities - and subsequent pre-Socratic philosophers tried to invent schemes that fit some or all of these ideas together - like the four elements of Empedocles or the Atomism of Democritus.  Some of the weird assertions of Parmenides in ''On Nature'' - for example, there is no such thing as movement or size - make a lot of sense when you analyse the universe as a mental phenomenon.

As the Hermetic Lessons have established we only exist in the mental universe, the existence of the physical universe itself being a massive leap of faith.  The nature of this mental universe absolutely mirrors the structure of the biological cell - the nucleus of the cell being the psychic impression of our own bodies and the feeling of being ''in'' our own bodies, and our perceived environment being the cell that the nucleus is contained within, this finally being membrane bound by the limits of our outer mind and connecting to the bloodstream of time.

In the perceptual bubble of this cell, the space around us, we believe that we are surrounded by the gas of the atmosphere and that this is the medium between us and other individuals/objects but how would our existence, including our psychic abilities, differ if this medium was liquid, i.e. if you were a merperson?  It would change the way sound is transmitted, the way your voice would work, the way you move, the way your body feels, how it would feel to breathe, etc.  Extend this further and imagine what it would be like if you were separated from the other people around you by a solid, that you were all encased in some kind of rock in the fossil record. Create little thought and dexterity exercises, move your fingers through the air and imagine they are interacting with these different mediums - feel the liquid dripping through your fingers, feel the pressure of the stone encasement - or even better go for a swim, explore the sensations and then try to bring them back and apply them to other environments.

In our true psychic reality, as some of you will discover, the medium is more gelatinous - something in between oil and wax mirroring the cytosol/cytoplasm which makes up the majority of the cell i.e. 70% water admixed with various other components ends up resulting in a kind of gel.  Some of these ideas have been explored in the Quarry of Magic Strange but really throughout the Hermetic Lessons there are detailed references to this cellular state of existence and the applications that become available once you embrace it.

''You seeemed so far away,'' Miss Honey whispered, star struck.
''Oh I was.  I was flying past the stars on silver wings,''  Matilda said.  ''It was wonderful.''

Matilda, Roald Dahl

*Neither is necessary in the time dependent model.  Mirror dimension is the reversiverse, astral dimension is the future or past.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dr Strange

The other night I went to see Dr Strange although I admit I am not a big comic book fan and had never heard of the character before I met Vincent Bridges (who referred to himself as Dr Strange). The film is basically ''Dr House meets Inception'' a producer's wet dream but effectively an empty husk entirely lacking in creativity or risk taking in acting, writing, casting, directing or production design.  Three themes stood out that are worth reflecting on.

1. Gesticulation - the little circles that are made with the fingers by the characters in order to open teleportation portals, summon weapons etc.  Do you use some kind of mudra in your practice?  For many many years I used to imagine I was turning a ships wheel whenever I would turn left or right and when I wasn't in company I made the physical gesture.  I imagined the resistance of the water and that I was some kind of galleon tacking through the ocean*.  Like pictoglyphs becoming letters this gesture became simpler and simpler until it became like the turning of the wheel gesture in Dr Strange.  When through the work on cellular consciousness around 2001 I made the realisation that in the mental universe the world turns around you rather than you turning in the world, I began to use this gesture as a way of embedding that in my consciousness. I wasn't turning the ship anymore I was turning the world.**

2. Astral Projection  - both the mirror dimension and the astral dimension exist and should be being explored by the magicians of today but like the film rapidly eschews astral reality in favour of teleportation portals and OBEs in the ''real world'' (i.e. delusional 3d reality) so has Occulture - those portals being windows on the net. This is probably the deepest loss imaginable for our traditions and is the primary victim of the weapon system known as the internet. The ratio of astral time to FB time is criminally low.  I honestly don't know how many of you have the temerity to call yourself magicians.  The rich tapestry of the astral universe has been replaced by the vacuous tapestry of the web and we are all the lesser for it.

3. Time vs Timelessness - the good-evil axis of the story.  Although this is woefully under-explored in the film in favour of clumsy character building we have to accept that both the 3d world of our physical reality (the one we assume we are in, and the one that most people think they occupy) and the 5d world of our mental reality (the one we are actually in all the time) are both subject to the 4th dimensional progression of time.  Whether you are leaping through teleportation portals or conjuring spirits for Faustian bargains time is going forwards all the time.  In the film the only way out of mortality and entropy is the ''dark dimension'' of timelessness which, after a few rather lame twists, is re-established as the bad guy, pseudo Cthulhu for kids, and which Strange has to pull a Jesus on at the end.  This concept needs closer examination and more metaphysical work.  It appears from conversations with Raziel that most of time is uninhabitable, that 99.9999% of universes or ''probabilities'' are dead and that only those universes/probabilities who converge in the invention of time travel cohere.  Dr Strange at least attempts to explore this paradox but one thing remains crystal clear - the contemporary Western Mystery Tradition is even more lacking in imagination than this comic book film of it.

*Imagining the air around you as either fluid, or a very thick viscous gel will spur understanding of the mental universe and how to make impressions on it.

**37 -Yechidah - ''I am a whisk in a fishbowl''. Another way of looking at it this idea of turning the world is to imagine that you are standing in the middle of your perceptual consciousness in the same way some one might be in the middle of a bathyscaph.  In front of you is a horizontal wheel that comes from a pole through a small platform in the centre of the floor of the bathyscaph. When you turn the wheel the walls of the bathyscaph move but you remain facing forwards, the walls move but the base platform for your feet does not.  Although it is difficult to teleport remote viewing can happen through these portals and the astral can be entered from them.

I know that I live inside a bubble of consciousness, my cell and my temple, which I have never moved from and which has never moved. In embracing loneliness and the paradox of this prison and other paradoxes like it realities have opened to me that I did not think were possible.  I have never looked above my head in the mental reality.  Above my head is the magickal lamp which fills the cell of my consciousness with the mental light that illuminates it.  I can't even move my head, I am permanently fixed facing forward, when I think I move my head to look at another part of my cell, the pixels in front of me are redefined to show something else - the world has turned around me.  I have never seen my back.  Up my spine there runs the magical wand, a psychic current which brings experience from the entire cell to the centre of my ignorance, the centre of my ''head'', the magical brain in its cup. I can't see inside my head.  Another paradox - the only way to see inside that cup is to go out beyond the perceptual bubble. Down my spine runs the magical sword, purging my consciousness of anything I don't want or need to be there, sweating and excreting probabilities.  I have never seen inside my cells where lies the magical pantacle of my karma, the source of experience, each one unfolding itself in the proteins that make my hormones, my mood swings, my pheromonal and bioelectric interactions with others, the cumulative expression of all my ancestor spirits, human and non human - correctly understood all the stuff of thought.