Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Time Travel - Spirits and the Western Mysteries

The first questions that Dr Faustus asked Mephistophilis were about his true nature and that of the other damned spirits.  The conclusion of the scene comes when he asks - if spirits are damned/trapped in hell then how can Mephistophilis even be conjured to Earth? - whereupon he is told, Why Faustus, this is hell, nor am I out of it.

Faustus, repent, and God will pity thee.

Good Angel, Dr Faustus, Christopher Marlowe

Its very tricky for a relative outsider such as myself to really gauge whether questions like this have been satisfactorily answered by occult practitioners, or whether anyone has ever really dared to ask them - where do you ''live'', where do you ''come from'', how is it possible that you are here, etc.  The concerns of most so-called sorcerers seem to be about the ''physical'' result of the conjuring i.e. what they are going to get - the cute broad, two homes, becoming Head of Production, 15 million dollars - whatever the ''material'' need/desire was that initiated the conjuring in the first place as opposed to deeper knowledge of the universe and its spiritual workings. When practitioners are pressed for answers, and don't try to evade, either the answers become very woolly or needlessly complicated. Even our more experienced, well spoken practitioners seem to descend into references to different types of plane(s) with lists of cool sounding names (etheric plane, spiritual plane, astral plane, informational plane, noetic plane, logoic plane, ad nauseam) and very little understanding.

Presentism suggests that if the spirit is identified as once living then it is either trapped in the present somehow and carried forward with us from this moment to the next, or in the case of spirits considered non-living (hypercosmic gods, various demons) somehow contacted in/from some other realm/dimension (beyond the hazy veil of whatever plane - see above). Eternalism though provides a lot of explanatory force - entities, including us, are in fact communicating across or through time. This model seems to work really well and I have been applying it to entities encountered through practical work - classifying whether they are from the past or the future. For example with Eternalism a classic repeating ''ghost'' is not trapped in the present, those events occured in the past which still exists/is happening and became entangled with various different points in the timeline.  You can stretch this to say that all spirits are ''humans'' at different points in the timeline.

The problems I encounter with this line of thinking are the spirits (and ''aliens'') which are described as monstrous/non-humanoid and so-called egregores although they are not unsolvable.  As I have mentioned before the Mothman and Mantis like entities I have encountered could easily have been wearing some kind of suit, and this suit may be a necessary feature of whatever means they are using to travel/communicate through space/time - in that sense they could be post-human ''spirits'' from the future.  Similarly reptilian creatures or elementals could be pre-human entities from the past - our common ancestry in DNA weaving us together through time. Egregores would be a projection of the future, as well - so if you are involved with a successful group project that becomes more successful and you communicate with the egregore you are in fact communicating with your own selves in the future and/or viceversa.  A form of mass entanglement if you like.  The same could work with the notion of Gods as real people vs egregore/thought form - in one type of work you are entangling with the actual person the God was originally derived from in another type of work you are mass entangling with the cult itself.  When we are trying to make judgements about the relative truth of these statements and whether they are in line with observations we also have to factor in anything we have imagined on top of the real image/sense effects and the actual lensing/distorting effect of time-travel itself.

I have explored this practically when living at Edward Kelley's Tower.  The Time Phone was going to be used to attempt to communicate with the past and change what had happened by providing Edward Kelley with information that would have led him to be able to avoid some of the incidents that led to his death.  This experiment was never tried because of the untimely death of Vincent Bridges himself.  I personally tried numerous magickal experiments with the phone before that however.  Theoretically the ''phone'' can be used to build a link/connection to the future or the past and then serves as a portal (only for information) between these two positions.  I first discovered this idea when I realised that many of the so-called spooks and spectres of the tower felt like they were alive and were in fact co-locating with us as opposed to something in the past that had been carried forward, I also became increasingly aware of Kelley's (and company) attempts to communicate with the future from his position in the past through observation of these echoes and overlaps.

I am not an Enochian practitioner but one of the experiments involved sending the Calls* back to Kelley, from the future.  After establishing the link by opening the phone, I got the strange sensation that I had to disrobe.  As I lay there naked next to the tower, I was keeping my mind very still and my body perfectly relaxed and as the music grew I observed a tiny white square open in space/time/my mind(?), which opened out into a softly glowing white rectangle about the size of an envelope - this stayed there for about 5 mins as I watched it.  This was the only discernable effect other than a weird blend of tranquility and disquiet.  About three hours later in the evening, there were a series of extreme electrical effects with the power in the tower going crazy, some objects staying on during these oscillations, others cutting off, things powering down and then suddenly roaring back to life with a weird zing sound alongside other lesser but noticeable poltergeist activity, small objects moving around, other strange noises - I was pretty terrified.  There were other experiments with exchanging information in this way but they will be explored in subsequent posts.

It seems to me then that there is no dichotomy between spirit and man and that we can dispense with other ''spiritual'' realms entirely.  We are all spirits or, if you want to flirt with Mephistophilis' darker perception, that we are all damned spirits in hell right now. From the perspective of an entity in the future you would seem, perhaps, to be a ''ghost''; similarly, an entity in the past could be ''conjuring'' you from the future.  How would you know you have been conjured? Where the person in the past may feel the normal effects of conjuring a spirit (they would be some communication, manifestation, etc) from your perspective you may just enter a trance or it could all take place during a dream.  Who is conjuring who? Following this line I would expect in fact that two entangled ''magicians'' where one thinks the other one is a ''spirit'' are likely to both be engaged in some kind of magickal practice at the time, especially in the case of the more legendary experiences.  It is entirely possible that my experiences in the Tower occurred because I was conjured - rather than my own volition sending the Calls back to Kelley, Edward Kelley conjured me.

Thou art a spirit.  God cannot pity thee.

Evil Angel, Dr Faustus, Christopher Marlowe

*These are samples but an entire set of calls was recorded by Vincent and his group and used during that experiment.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Literature, Theatre, Mathematics, Kabbalah

All these little people, out there, that we see.  Y'understand? Fellow asks ''what are they there for?'' Well, Charl, We Don't Know.  But we think, you give the thing to your boy, he gives it to my boy, these people get to eat , they don't have to go beg and get in everybody's face at the airport the whole time.

Bobby Gould, Speed-the-Plow, David Mamet 

Leaders, mentors, teachers and authors have all contributed to the decline in the quality of Occulture by spurning the Blogosphere in favour of other social media in their various attempts to privatise parts of the community.  I do not think that these attempts are inherently bad nor am I condemning attempts to cash in on occult services but the way in which they have manifested have had negative as well as positive implications. Most of those who attempted this, failed, but they did their damage anyway and in their cases there was nothing lasting gained.  The Blogosphere is the single best gift Google could give us, a platform which allows for a diverse spread of different approaches - journalling, essays, theses.  It provides a level playing field, in that you don't have to already have an existing ''brand'', but requires a certain level of sophistication to use and doesn't fall so readily to the lazy demon of chat which has claimed so many of my fellow bloggers. I arrived fairly late to the Blogosphere and was amazed at its richness/diversity and am now unsurprised by the nostalgia for it as Occultniks face another day of interacting in Facebook's generic and demeaning Skinner boxes. People were moving in the opposite direction though - to other platforms more ''accessible'' than Blogging - as on the one hand Facebook allowed authors/teachers who had a product to sell to massively increase their traffic (although it inevitably deflated their allure/mystique and drew traffic from the blogs) and on the other it gave an equal voice to everyone, since it requires no skill or thought to use. I can completely understand those with a financial interest as I use Facebook myself (as an  effective marketing tool in a non-occult area) but I have to ask  - at what cost?  I restrain myself as much as possible from chat, or futile political statements, but I watch with horror at the degrading effect facebook conditioning has had on the quality of my peers and their thinking.  If Blogging is the gym, then Facebook, my friends, is McDonalds.

The ''Third method is the Dramatic,'' perhaps the most attractive of all; certainly it is so to the artist's temperament, for it appeals to his imagination through his aesthetic sense... In the third, identity is attained by sympathy.  It is very difficult for the ordinary man to lose himself completely in the subject of a play or of a novel; but for those who can do so, this method is unquestionably the best.

Magick in Theory and Practice, Aleister Crowley

When Gordon talks about literature as a possible high ground to retreat from the encroaching homogenate I think he is on to something but I would like to add a few other points.   I have been involved with the Theatre scene in Prague for the last ten years and have established myself as an actor and director.  Theatre is an interesting alternative/complement to literature as it allows like minded people to meet in public and the conversations that are stimulated by a particularly interesting play are really rewarding.  Its like literature/philosophy sports for the extroverted active learner. Back in the financial crisis Gerald Celente, in one of his ''recession proof'' economics rants, discussed theatre as one thing that would do really well - as people would be insecure in their atomised state and actually crave the real social network that theatre brings along with the entertainment.  It turned out to be true. This said you have to shop around and I think Theatre of the Absurd has really come of age.  If you can't access the likes of Pinter, Albee, Ionesco, Havel, Stoppard etc on stage then you can always read them (and sometimes watch the National Theatre in the cinema).  I accept that a lot of theatre is a bit shit, but then so are most tv shows, bands, video games, films, etc etc etc.

If you really want dry land then go where virtually no one wants to go - Pure Mathematics.  Various philosophers have made attempts to suggest that maths is a form of language (and therefore proofs could be considered a kind of literature) but I would argue that language is really a form of maths. Think about all the words that describe position in space and time, or sequential order or size, etc - if you include physics then even such qualities as colour/sound can be considered numbers. Other philosophers criticise maths in the same way they criticise science -  as an ideological construct of capitalism which attempts to quantify and qualify everything on the planet and ends up robbing the world of meaning through number.  Maybe this is why there is no love lost for our dynamic duo in this ''animist'', ''shamanic'' contemporary Occulture.

For me the elephant in the room in these kind of discussions always remains Kabbalah.  Such an amazing melting pot of mathematics, science, literature and mysticism that has been left relatively unexplored.  To be fair I would rather the Grimoire hipsters didn't go there but I am still surprised by those ''western'' magi who don't know anything about Kabbalah.  I appreciate there are resources you can access without Kabbalah but, to my mind, those going into areas which are inherently heavily Kabbalistic while lacking basic understanding score very high on the Sphinx test on daring and dangerously low on knowing.  Kabbalah, for me, remains one of the great barriers in Occulture as without a solid foundation in science, linguistics, semiology, history, philosophy, mathematics its not easy to do much with it.  After that the hours of analysis, comparison/contrasting, memorisation and practical work is enough to put off most of the twats. The air is thin up there and thankfully so is the population.   Back in the glory days of Dee, Kelley and Shakespeare - Theatre/Literature, Mathematics and Kabbalah/Alchemy rubbed shoulders freely and they continue to make fine bedfellows.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Newton vs Dee, Jupiter vs Saturn

The history of magic is like a Greek tragedy, a parade of incredible minds who paid a heavy price for trying to crash Olympus.  John Dee is a good example. Paracelsus is another.  More recently, we have Crowley and Parsons.  All of these guys were brilliant polymaths and under different circumstances probably would be sitting in the history books next to Newtons, Galileos and Einsteins.

Christopher Knowles, the Secret Sun

Dee saw further than Newton and he paid the price.  Dee was one of the giants, no titans, upon whose shoulders Newton stood, but the Queen's conjurer still maintained a better view.  The people of Saturn are different from the people of Jupiter.  They have sacrificed personal prosperity and the favourable gaze of history to risk staring deeper into the Abyss.  Dee 'read every book in the world' and so was forced to channel one from the future, Liber Logaeth, in order to satisfy his biblio-mania.  They may not remember him that well in the 21st century but Dee is a household name in the 31st.

There's a danger in judging people who were absolutely blown out by magic to have failed in some way.  People dismiss Crowley sometimes saying words to the effect of ''well he died a penniless heroin addict so he can't have been much of a magician.''  Crowley did not haggle for the egg, the price was his sanity, health and personal wealth and he paid it in full.  For a moment the vortex abated, he gazed clearly and knew.  If I am not willing to be stripped to nothing, a skeleton in a cell, then can I ever see what they saw?

Unlike Dee and Crowley, I consider myself, largely, of Jupiterian spirit.  I am committed to prosperity for my community, service to others, easing the labour of my friends, enriching their lives and, most importantly, having fun.  I spend a great deal of my time every week creating comedy with a group of actors and making people laugh.  I have responsibilities to my tribe and my loved ones that I cannot freely abandon to chase Chronos across the cosmos - however much I feel I might want to.  In my mind, Einstein and Newton, like a great many gentlemen scientists, were Jupiterians too - harnessing the forces of the universe, bending them to the service of mankind and dying as men of honour forever enshrined in history.  The Kabbalistic Tzaddikim, the Righteous Ones, could be translated as Jupiterians.

Do you understand anything about electricity Richard?  Well neither do I, all I do is establish a theory about it based on a natural observation.  I write down this theory in the mathematical idiom and obtain several formulae.  Then the engineers come along.  They don't care about anything except the formulae.  They treat electricity like a pimp treats a whore.  They simply exploit it.  They build machines - and a machine can only be used when it becomes independent of the knowledge that lead to its invention  So any fool nowadays can switch on a light or touch off an atomic bomb.  And that's what you want to arrest me for Richard, and its not fair.

Newton, the Physicists, Freidrich Durrenmatt

On this blog, I exercise my secret passion for the Saturnian.  The vast majority of material here is devoted to dealing with life, death, consciousness and time - all Saturnian themes and not those I can freely discuss with the people around me.   The eye will only see what the mind can apprehend and I have learned not to drag people into the void who are not willing to let go of the Earth.  I have a great deal of respect for those who do push out on the path of Divine Melancholia in order to more closely apprehend the truth.  I know that I lack some bravery in this respect and during 2013-2014 the Saturnian dangers of magic were made very real to me - death, madness and heresy.  I fled and lived to try for the mountaintops another day.  To dare is a power of the Sphinx, and without daring, without risk, without challenge, reward, whatever it is, is surely meaningless.  I am reminded of Pan's Labyrinth - here on Earth the lives of Dee et al seem incredibly tragic, on the Astral though, the place they truly called home, their deaths were but the conclusion of a wonderful romance.