Two book reviews.
The older generation of Chaos Magicians now begin to write their memoirs and histories and their magnum opuses. Heck hasn’t time flown since 1977 when Chaos Magic began to kick off.
I have recently received two such books, one rather good and the other abysmal; The Chaonomicon by Jaq D Hawkins, and Ouroboros by Ray Sherwin respectively.
Review. The Chaonomicon – Quintessential Chaos for the Serious Magician.
190 pages. £13.99.
By Pete Carroll.
Jaq D Hawkins’ Chaonomicon gives a fair sketch of the general history of Chaos Magic without going into excessive detail about the personalities and the inevitable personal squabbles involved. She shows the history and genesis of many of the ideas that came together to create a new way of thinking about magic and new ways of doing it.
The book contains a particularly good analysis of the historic and current functions of the Gods and Goddesses of Chaos, and the relationship between the Chaoism that began in the UK and the Discordianism that began in the USA.
Jaq also includes a chapter on the Chaos Sciences that developed at the same time as Chaos Magic and a fair bit on the life of Austin Osman Spare, artist and freestyle magician, and his techniques.
The Chaonomicon also describes many of the basic techniques of Chaos Magic in simple terms free from occult obscurantism, so readers new to the subject can find much to try out experimentally. Experienced modern magicians and esotericists working in non-dogmatic traditions may well think – yes, I already think and practise in such a paradigm. That perhaps stands as the real tribute to the Chaos Magic. What began as a revolutionary break with ancient, pre-modern, and 1880s received magical wisdom, has for many, become The New Chaos of the Normal.
An Order, The Magical Pact of the Illuminates of Thanateros formed to create and disseminate the ideas of Chaos Magic. The creative phase lasted for about five years. The dissemination phase continues and has resulted in the production of hundreds of books and manuscripts that have rendered the original Order irrelevant and now largely defunct.
The advent of Chaos Magic has had about the same effect on magical thinking as relativity and quantum physics has had upon classical science. Not everyone understands such things yet, it but those who do have a better model of reality and Jaq’s book makes Chaos Magic much more accessible.
Review. Ouroboros – A Grimoire – Ray Sherwin
By Pete Carroll.
About 100 pages of very large type and largely irrelevant pictures, overall content equivalent to a single small magazine. £25 (!!!)
The cover of Ouroboros by Ray Sherwin shows a worm eating his own tail and that very aptly describes what Ray has done in this sad, thin, and overpriced book.
If you thought Ray’s previous rant VITRIOL ill-advised and ill-informed you will find this latest offering even worse.
It hardly constitutes a Grimoire for it does not really say much about how to do magic or what sort of magic to do. It has a bit about sigils that fails to clarify his personal approach to them, and rather a lot of ‘mystical poetry’ steeped in paradoxical statements and personal idiosyncrasy. Overall, Ray has seemingly fallen into the lazy trap of declaring his every act an act of magic and of not actually doing any magic at all.
I shared with Ray (previously a scientologist, then a dogmatic thelemite), a set of ideas for a new approach to magic. He later shared with me an idea for a natural products business that he picked up in Cairo. In his typically lazy style, he did not bother to run very far with either of these ideas himself. He declined to contribute to the Chaos current when it adopted a bit of necessary structure as it went international. He did not bother to upgrade his business model when market conditions changed, and he fell out with all his former business and esoteric associates.
Ray never quite understood the full implications of the paradigm shift from the Platonic Pagan-Monotheist model to the new Quantum Neo-Pagan metaphysic, nor the compromises with culture we would have to adopt to disseminate the new paradigm. As Lionel Snell points out so well in MYOMT, magic usually follows on from changes in the scientific paradigm, and Chaos Magic represents the esoteric response to the quantum and relativistic revolution of the 20th century. Unfortunately, Ray never bothered to appraise himself of any scientific knowledge at all.
Now retired, he languishes in a small villa in the sun in the middle of nowhere, with too much time on his hands and too much time spent on the internet whilst he chews the sour grapes of regret and envy. Having nothing much to say about magic he has descended to scandal mongering, conspiracy theory, and spitting bile about old friends and associates that he lost.
In the absence of any genuine scandal to report, he has sunk to the new low of using material from the paranoid internet rants of a former occultist who has formed a cult of two persons (just himself and his girlfriend) who believe themselves heroic and persecuted campaigners against an imaginary tsunami of satanic ritual abuse. Yes that hoary old discredited chestnut, SRA.
Ray uncritically repeats nonsense from this former occultist; I had to laugh about the dog rape anecdote. This comes from a potty-mouthed fantasist who makes such a strained effort to appear weird and sinister that he just ends up looking foolish and seedy. Sure, frisky dogs will hump anything from people’s legs to the furniture, but according to veterinarians, a dog could not possibly rape a human unless several people restrained and positioned the victim and assisted the dog. Ray you have had your leg pulled.
Ray also adopts this former occultist’s technique of saying that he has knowledge of heinous crimes without actually providing any evidence, references, names, dates, or places. He just tries innuendo and recycled rumour. This technique derives from the worst traditions of lazy Lunchtime O’Booze gutter ‘journalism’. If you have evidence Ray take it to the police, do not hide behind innuendo to protect yourself from derision, or perhaps you fear libel?
Positive thinking works pretty well but negative thinking unfortunately works even better. Start nurturing regret and envy into paranoia and hatred and they manifest like, well, err, bad magic, and this fill-space offering from Ray does not even rise to the level of lousy magic.
The second expedition to the Necronomicon Mythos by Psychonauts of Arcanorium College continues to produce strange and unanticipated results.
From Hastur I received the following inspiration to complete a task that has bugged me all my life, to make some sort of simulation or boardgame that models the magical quest itself.
I have made many games in the course of a lifetime that model various real and imaginary scenarios, with the underlying thought that if you can identify the mechanisms underlying any system then you can perhaps understand the dynamics of it, and perhaps do it better in the game of ‘real’ life. Strategy Games certainly seem to sharpen the mind, and may bring us some focus on the Human Condition.
Yet most of the games involving magic that I have collected or read the rules of seem unsatisfactory. Magic typically appears only as a combat modifier in battle games, rarely as the focus of an activity or a quest in itself.
In this Hasturian inspired simulation the Elder Gods and their Knowledge and Power stand as metaphors for the abilities we humans seek in the quest for personal and species survival. They represent abilities we need to survive the future, not ghastly eldritch cosmic adversaries bent on our destruction, although with careless use they could have that effect.
Hastur may appear as an empty yellow robed void, countless aeons old, a well of cosmic indifferentism, yet it seems to take an occasional whimsical interest in promising species, perhaps to allay its existential angst awhile.
The concepts of the simulation may seem cruel and cynical; individual questors inevitably die although they may achieve much before senescence and mortality take hold. The numbers used to represent various factors all come from my calculations in an attempt to render the simulation realistic.
Oddly, the whole thing begins to look strangely autobiographical although several treasures still elude me. My own mistakes and that of others have become obvious during the course of many runs of the simulation. The virtues of maintaining a high Sanity, particularly in the early stages of a quest, become all too apparent.
See the Rules and some experimental board and pieces design in the Games section.
Build it, try it, and send feedback and questions.
Just a quickie here as a general election looms.
I do not like the British Conservative Party, nevertheless I always vote for them in parliamentary elections regardless of their candidates or their policies.
I do this because I have a long memory and because I look at what political parties actually do rather than what they say, (all politicians speak with forked tongues).
Every Labour government we have had in the UK since WW2 has left office leaving the country bankrupt. The following Conservative governments have then had to put the economy back together again.
It does seem rather important that that we have a government in a strong enough position to face down the EU by the end of next week and make a success of Brexit.
We do not have a housing crisis in the UK, we have an unsustainable population crisis on this small island with 300K people migrating here each year, but few will openly acknowledge this.
We do not have a funding crisis in the NHS. The UK lies rather high up the international scale of health funding but rather low on the international scale of healthcare delivery. The discrepancy arises from poor organisation. The NHS has far too many pen pushers, administrators and keyboard jockeys, and not enough people on the front line, but few will openly acknowledge this.
The EU gives back to the UK a proportion of the money it takes; however, it gives proportionately more to Scotland which it deems more deserving than say Wales or Cornwall. This fact underlies the stance of the SNP which doesn’t actually want either full independence from the UK and full fiscal responsibility for Scotland, or government from Brussels either, but few will openly acknowledge this.
Anyway, enough of such ephemeral matters, now to eternity: -
The probability space of any quanta in terms of 3-dimensional time comes out at the temporal volume of Gh^2/mc^7 according to my most recent calculation. The precise meaning of this remains to emerge but suffice to say that if no requirement exists for a spherically symmetric distribution then a single quantum could stretch right across the universe in some sense, as in the Transactional Interpretation.
Magic news, the great and good (well those of them that I know) have given their seal of approval to Lionel Snell’s masterful magnum opus ‘My Years Of Magical Thinking’.
On Arcanorium the results of the Shub-Niggurath working continue to come in and we prepare to approach the Necronomicon Mythos entity Hastur on matters of personal, species, and supra-species survival and change.
Update 9/6/17. Ooops, not a good election result, Brexit may now get messier, however on the bright side comrade Corbyn will not now reduce the nation to bankruptcy and Scottish Independence looks kicked into touch for some while.
A fairly recently attended ritual featuring rattles and drums has inspired the construction of the Quadrophonic Asson shown here. This stimulates auditory apophenia and hallucination whilst for example invoking and questioning certain of the Elder Gods about matters of existentialism, spacetime, quantum geometry and other matters, as part of the Arcanorium College Necronomicon project.
It consists of a gourd grown in the gardens and hollowed out and desiccated with salt, before hardening within and without with a generous application of araldite. The gourd head contains metal discs, plastic balls, quartzite crystals and sand to give a fairly full spectrum of sound and a certain amount of piezoelectric effect.
The handle consists of hard driftwood found on my Welsh beach retreat and it has a stethoscope fitted so that each ear receives the sound through the air and through the tubes to provide a wall of sound effect. Note that the tube from the stethoscope should go into an open-ended cavity bored right through the handle rather than into a simple pit in the wood.
See also a miniature stroboscope made by a friend, this contains a tricolour LED in which all three colours fire simultaneously, an a-stable multivibrator and a NE5555 chip and it gives a 50:50 mark space ratio, use through closed eyelids only. Used in conjunction with the Quadrophonic Asson it enables the psychonaut to enter psychedelic space quickly and without neurotoxins.
The three dimensional time pages of this site will soon receive an upgrade. Three forms of mathematics seem available to describe quantum phenomena as hyperspheres, Clifford rotations, Quaternion or possibly Octonion algebra, and the Hopf Fibration notation. Other mathematicians now collaborate on this; let us see what emerges.
The Esotericon site went down as the artist neglected to renew it due to the pressures of a Master’s degree. This created a temporary panic that The Esotericon and Portals of Chaos might have gone out of print, and prices reached U$ 1,600.00 on the net for a while. Nevertheless, it remains available at http://www.arcanoriumcollege.com/shop/ and my IT people will soon add some of the graphics salvaged from the old Esotericon site to these pages.
The Mandrakes (autumnalis variety) have finally gone to sleep for the summer after a good year in the greenhouses. Rich in atropine they provide a natural antidote to organophosphate nerve gases, another reason to treasure them in these troubled times of North Korean missile tests, although just how much you need to use remains uncertain.
The pond at Chateaux Chaos now has another magnificent toadpole fleet many thousands strong, these will not go on what would probably prove a suicide mission to the local community pond we built this year; it needs to develop more algal resources and weed cover first.
The worldwide marches for science last week give some hope that humans may use their precious resource of reason a little less sparingly. I love science, it makes life so much more interesting although not necessarily better, and it so often gets it wrong, diesel car anyone? Lambda-CDM big bang theory anyone? Phlogiston? Global warming?
As Lionel points out in MYOMT http://www.specularium.org/blog/item/217-my-years-of-magical-thinking-review we probably enter a new a phase of Magical Thinking where the power of belief and intent and post-truth thought will dominate over evidence-based thinking and the pace of science will slow rather than reach some sort of Kurzwellian singularity. It happened before in the first few centuries AD. Already we seem to have hit a brick wall of diminishing returns in many fields, we have abandoned supersonic passenger flight, crewed spaceflight, and any ideas of building a Larger Hadron Fiasco.
Powell observed that all political careers end in failure. Perhaps this occurs because they try to outlive their success. We can probably forget about UKIP now, as Nigel appears to have done, job well done and finished. Let us hope that Mrs May secures a landslide in the UK before taking on the EU. A win for Marine le Pen would certainly make Brexit negotiations easier by further undermining the failing EU in advance. Unfortunately, the French will probably bottle out in fear of their German masters and elect the Synarchist Europhile Macron instead.
I hope that you have all acquired, and started to read twice, and thoroughly study MYOMT by Lionel Snell as mentioned in the previous blog. Nobody henceforth gets into the Illuminati without having done so.
Finally, the season turns, the first toads have come to the pond at Chateaux Chaos and laid their astonishingly long strings of potential successors, and a solitary newt has appeared awaiting a mate. In the greenhouse, the three Greek Autumnalis Mandrakes have produced their best ever foliage but it will not last much longer and they have not yet flowered in their first five years. Thus, the plan to reintroduce them to the wild in the entire southwest of England will plainly take a century or two unless I resort to some genetic engineering.
The Spring Equinox Druidical Neo-Pagan Easter/Ostara ritual went off delightfully. I could see no point in celebrating the season of fertility by some ghastly sacrificial crucifixion of the son of some Middle Eastern deity who got promoted to monotheistic position around 700BC. Therefore, we made eggshells full of wishes and spells and affirmations (mainly in chocolate) and invoked the god of the sun and the goddess of spring in many guises, and superbly personified by some of our members, to consecrate our ‘plantings’ for harvest at autumn.
The arse end of winter seemed dominated for me by the dislocation of my shoulder a few weeks ago, occasioned by the over exuberance of our dopey giant sheepdog tugging me down a flight of slimy stone steps in the churchyard. The pain and shock seemed quite astonishing, for a moment, I felt a sort of ‘out of body experience’, a sort of superposition of the experience of standing at the top of the stone steps, lying at the bottom of it, and leaping up again shouting F*** innumerable times. My eldest up in Scotland caught a twinge of it at the exact moment according to a later call.
A neurophysiologist at grove later explained this as a peculiarity of the fight-flight-freeze sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system, but I dunno, it seemed very weird at the time. I can well appreciate why the inquisition used dislocation via the rack or the strapado as a method of torture.
At A&E they asked me to evaluate my agony on a scale of 1-10. I could still imagine blowtorches and molten lead as more painful so I opted for 8, probably a mistake, but nevertheless four medics eventually knocked me out in the end and wrenched it back in. On the bright side, I have partially mastered the awkward arts of left hand pickaxe, mattock, shovel, and sledgehammer, without too much collateral damage, round at the Memsahib’s community garden construction project. Yet at 64 this comes as an intimation of mortality and human frailness. I shall avoid surfing until at least midsummer. Whilst drowning reportedly seems a good way to go, I still have another 2 books to write, a further 3? grandchildren to welcome, New Zealand to visit, and a Michelangelo grade sculpture to make.
Meanwhile on Arcanorium College we explore the experimental belief that extra-terrestrial intelligences may know stuff that we don’t yet quite understand.
As Robert Anton Wilson said, ‘Magic is what you use when you have exhausted the possibilities of common sense’.
Thus we scroll through all human knowledge on various topics such as consciousness, biology, ontology/epistemology, philosophy, spacetime cosmology, and quantum physics and then ask the Lovecraftian Necronomicon Mythos Elder Gods for the next bits, on the justifiable assumption that something in the universe probably already knows. Whilst I have historically taken a dim view of ‘channelling’ this does seem to have generated some very provocative feedback.
Scotland has seen an export boom in the wake of the post-Brexit currency correction. The policy of the Loch Ness Sturgeon and the SNP of quitting Britain and joining the EU looks increasingly like an absurd posture. Scotland would implode economically without UK handouts and they know it, and they know they won’t get them from the EU now. The Scots just want a bit more autonomy and more subsidies.
Jean Claude Junker threatens Brexit Britain with the sort of spiteful punishing EU exit conditions that surely confirm that no country in its right mind would have ever contemplated joining this failed synarchic superstate if it had known its real agenda. Only fear holds it together now.
I recommend that we threaten to use the RAF and our missile arsenal to completely flatten the corrupt shite-hole of Brussels (having of course given a humanitarian warning to evacuate it first).
Only the French have the capacity to retaliate but I suspect they would like to see the end of it too. Only the Germans and the Euro-Political class have profited from the EU.
‘Belgium’ remains a term of vilest abuse in most of the civilised cultures of the galaxy according to Douglas Adams, one can now see why.
My Years of Magical Thinking by Lionel Snell.
If you look up ‘Magical Thinking’ on the internet, the first several dozen entries take a uniformly negative view of it. Scientists, psychologists, and anthropologists tend to regard Magical Thinking as something foolish, childish, or primitive, whilst religious commentators tend to regard it rather negatively as some misguided precursor to proper religion.
However Lionel makes a very strong case for Magical Thinking as a very necessary way of understanding the world and of interacting with it. He also demonstrates that we all use the magical style of thinking, and use it effectively, far more often than we realise, although we do tend to call it by other names, and shy away from fully exploiting it.
Until the advent of this book nobody had managed to properly and inclusively define Magical Thinking. ‘Magical Thinking’ seemed like something you sort of hopefully acquired by osmosis through studying and practicing magic. Unlike ‘Scientific Methods & Principles’ which we can state and teach explicitly, the magical style of thinking remained ill-defined until this seminal book.
So many magical books seem unsatisfactory and this book shows us why. So many of the older and newer magical books failed to encompass real magical thinking and ended up as confusing and confused tomes of either bad science or poor religion or dodgy art, or mixtures thereof.
Perhaps only a thinker such as Lionel, fluent in science, art, magic and religion, and with the keen analytical mind of a mathematician, could have precisely identified what ‘Magical Method & Principles’ actually consist of, precisely how they differ from the methods and principles of science, art, and religion, and how they provide a distinctive and powerful way of interacting with reality.
I had gradually come to assimilate and appreciate some of the methods and principles of magic over the course of a career but to see the whole lot and more, the entire philosophy of it, all in one place, came as a revelation.
I refuse to try and summarise the book here, you must read it yourself, preferably at least twice. Lionel’s exposition of the relationships between art, religion, science, and magic has tremendous depth and subtlety and explanatory power. Most fascinatingly he argues that magical thinking naturally follows on from scientific thinking in a cyclic fashion, rather than acting as some distant precursor for it.
Nobody should attempt to write another book of magic or about magic, until they have thoroughly studied and understood this one.
This book looks like a game-changer.
2017 seems to have begun with Visions and with fading Visions.
Perhaps we should speak of Imaginations rather than Visions, because Inspirations do not necessarily come in visual form.
My esoteric year began on Stokastimass, January 8th with an Invocation to The Morrigan, Goddess of Love, War, and Death, (Venus, Mars, Saturn) the Celtic equivalent of Ishtar/Eris. Does she really exist? WELL SHE DOES NOW! (Subject of course to suitable results from the various spells cast by the 15 participants physically present at the rite.)
In terms of the EPOCH chaobala scheme it would seem that many of the polytheistic deities outside of the traditional Greco-Roman pantheon actually correspond to tri-planetary aspects (or more) of the human psychocosm, and that does imply a rather large number of them. Indeed, it can probably accommodate just about any deity/goddess/god form in a way that traditional neo-platonistic kabala, hermeticism or gnosticsm cannot easily do. If I had another lifetime to spare, I would attempt to adumbrate the whole lot. Celtic, Mayan, Polynesian, etc., etc., etc.
An Invocation of Nyarlathotep coordinated via internet by participants on several continents via Arcanorium College on January 21st produced some astonishing results. For me the insight that Imagination not Will shall prevail in the pandaemonaeon of post-truth, para-rational politics, and information overload in religions, sciences, arts, and esoterics, came to the fore. Other participants received inspirations about where contemporary magi should direct their imaginations next.
We have just seen a newly re-visioned Tungsten Theresa launch herself and her nation, Elizabeth the First Style, against the insipid tyranny of the EU. I hope it works. The EU never really had a strong positive vision of itself. It failed to forge a European identity that captured its people’s imaginations. We just got a vast bureaucracy that works lousily and a malfunctioning currency. Thus, regional identities, idiosyncrasies and economic needs have reasserted themselves; the Germans will probably end up with an EU consisting of just East Germany and West Germany. The grandiose project to resuscitate the Holy Roman Empire seems doomed for the nth time.
Theresa May has the awesomely good fortune to have Jeremy Corbyn as her main domestic opponent. Corbyn has failed to grasp that the British appreciation of fairness depends on reciprocity rather than equality, and thus he remains mired in a vision of faux 1970’s student Marxism. The British do not actually mind if people become rich, so long as they spread it around and pay taxes. Nobody knows what vision the Illiberal Dimocrats have, and neither do they. UKIP at least had visions of what it vehemently did not want, blue UKIP did not want loss of sovereignty, and red UKIP did not want uncontrolled immigration and the outsourcing of manufacturing. Whilst I worked for them, I considered myself Purple UKIP, a bit of both. They have probably done their job now. Give Nigel Farage an Hereditary Peerage. Pelt Nicola Sturgeon with crap in the stocks for treason, her position makes no sense beyond faux tartan sectarian troublemaking.
Meanwhile across the Atlantic Donald Trump has assumed the office of POTUS with a visionary acceptance speech. Instinctively (as a businessperson) I tend to trust businesspeople over politicians because businesspeople always calculate costs, whereas with politicians, ideological insanity so often prevails.
Although Trump obviously belongs to the American financial elite, he can see clearly that current policies have screwed the less elite, who form his customer and employee and supporter base, and like any sensible businessperson, he wishes to redress the balance. As Henry Ford once observed, you need to enable your staff to buy your own products. Your average American now has to buy cheap imports from China. This does not seem sustainable.
Of course, all the privileged Hollywood luvvies and rich liberals have predictably come out against Trump yet it seems likely that Trump will only roll back those items of the ‘Liberal Agenda’ that have begun to fail socially and economically: -
The neo-liberal economics of uncontrolled free trade need questioning.
The neo-con-liberal idea that a western style democracy must fit all sizes and that we must therefore use military might to impose it seems in severe need of a cost-benefit analysis.
The liberal social agenda of rights rather than responsibilities needs a rethink.
The big-government politically correct health and safety nanny state, and the hyper-regulation that seem in danger of infantilising whole populations needs sweeping away.
The economic migration, which fuelled developing economies, now needs reconsideration.
The so-called positive discrimination in favour of minorities and multiculturalism need re-examination.
Culturalism needs reasserting. The liberal idea that we should respect other people’s beliefs and cultures has become perfidious, particularly when those others exhibit either no respect or envious hatred of ours. Any multiculturalism that supports the suppression of women or the primacy of theocratic principles does not deserve any respect or toleration.
Worldwide we seem to progress towards a fresh model of CAPITALIST NATIONALISM with variable degrees of mixed economy. In this, States encourage indigenous private enterprise, provide varying degrees of social security, and ‘negotiate’ bilateral economic, security, and dominance arrangements with other States. Both Russia and China belatedly came to successfully pursue this policy just as Europe and America had mistakenly relaxed it and opened their borders to uncontrolled capital, manufacturing, and population movements.
A new western world order seems in the making and it seems appropriate that Britain as the most senior of modern democracies should have led the way towards a new settlement. In Britain, we have, after centuries of struggle, pragmatically cobbled together a peculiarly sophisticated yet largely unwritten constitutional arrangement. In this we have evolved a stable balance between monarchy, parliamentary democracy, judiciary, labour and capital, that allows us to change our rulers and our political direction with minimal casualties. In Britain the membership and influence of extreme right and extreme left political groups remains negligible. On the continent things begin to look nasty.
The EU tried to impose a polity upon Europe using an insipid ideology and a mega-bureaucracy, and it looks like it will now go down very messily and perhaps bloodily into history’s wastepaper basket.
Jake Stratton Kent has unfortunately written yet another book on magic for the aeonically challenged. He began his career with so-called English Kabala, supposing that the letters of the English alphabet and their modern ordering somehow embodied intrinsic thelemic esoteric secrets rather than just representing an accidental historic mash up that has evolved from many roots. Sure, you can submit any alphabet to Kabbalistic procedures to create a bit of lateral thinking and apophenia, however random kabbalas work just as well as supposedly sacred ones in this respect.
After English Kabala failed to provoke enlightenment, JSK reinvented himself as the UKs Grimoire-ologist in chief, and the results seem similarly weak. Our understanding of magic has moved on from the late medieval and early modern periods and thus a regurgitation of ideas from those times in ‘Pandemonium: A Discordant Concordance of Diverse Spirit Catalogues by Jake Stratton-Kent’ adds nothing to our understanding of magic in theory or practice, although it will look suitably gothic to the gullible on a bookshelf.
I wish JSK a long life, hopefully within decades he may stumble upon late 20th century magic and then perhaps 21st century magic some decades after that, and perhaps eventually he will write ‘Pandaemonaeon, a Chaobala for Modern Times’, which may well regurgitate The EPOCH, a mere century after its publication.
The Hopf Fibration probably represents the trajectories of material within a vorticitating hypersphere such as this universe, and it possibly relates to the modes of fundamental particle behaviour.
This means I shall now probably have to master quaternion and perhaps octonion algebra, groan. However, on the bright side another mathematician has joined me in the quest.
New Year’s Address 2017
1) Penumbra Livros have just published Liber Null and Psychonaut in Brazil in Portuguese. My hardback sample copies arrived as a surprise present on xmas eve, it all looks very well done with the diagrams beautifully reproduced. Although I cannot read the text, the emails I’ve had from the translators indicate their fluency in English, so I guess the translation will have come out equally well done.
2) I have just read the latest draft of ‘My Years of Magical Thinking’ by Lionel Balgrave Snell, aka Ramsey Dukes, aka Dr Wunlita Suzuki (and no end of other aliases) who must surely rank as the finest metamagical theoretician currently, or perhaps ever, incarnate. In this masterly summary and exposition of a lifetime of magical thought, Lionel muses deeply on the relationships between art, science, magic, and religion. You may not find much of immediate practical use in this tome but it certainly expands and contextualises the magical way of thinking as a distinct and increasingly relevant way of relating to perceived reality. Lionel told me he had tried to write about magic for the general reader in this latest book. He may achieve that, in places he digresses into magical thinking strategies in the dark arts of politics and marketing, yet I will always regard him as ‘The Thinking Magician’s Magician’, the wizard who looks into the ideas behind the ideas, and as such he may well go down in history as the 20th & 21st century’s version of Paracelsus.
I found his idea of the symmetry between scientific ‘falsifiability’ and religious ‘non-believability’ stimulating, and wondered if that symmetry might extend to ‘improbability’ in magic and ‘dislikability’ in art. Each discipline need to find the appropriate level of such things and ‘modern’ art seems to have tried to enhance its exclusivity by going heavy on the dislikability.
Hopefully Lionel will publish MYOMT sometime in this coming year.
3) A Robert Anton Wilson Biography by Gabriel Kennedy may perhaps appear this year. http://www.rawillumination.net/2016/04/propanon-man-behind-new-raw-bio.html
I have passed on a few reminiscences from my meetings with Bob; and some contacts to those who knew him for the project. RAW had a very seminal impact on the lineage of ideas from which much of Chaos Magic took its inspiration. RAW did apparently join the IOT Pact along with William Burroughs and Dr Richard Alan Miller towards the end of their lives but I understand that in Bob’s case this probably meant a largely honorary position.
The ancients happily invoked various gods and goddesses for technical and political advice, how to catch game, when or whether to wage war and son on.
In the dreary monotheist aeons, humanity seems to have scaled back its expectations and merely contented itself with creating deities to advise on quotidian matters of personal and social morality and emotional wellbeing.
All this will change this coming months when psychonauts from Arcanorium College get down to the serious business of invoking the Elder Gods of the Necronomicon Mythos to ask some questions of a more serious nature concerning technical matters about life, the universe, and everything.
On Wednesday I shall present a challenge to the assembled philosophers and metaphysicians of The Salon in this city: - the idea that Neoplatonism perhaps needs replacing as the default spiritual/metaphysical idea of the west.
2017 shapes up to become the year when neo-liberal economics and social liberalism go into reverse. The neo-liberal economics forged in the Thatcher-Reagan years seem to have eventually delivered economic decadence. Free-trade has hollowed out the manufacturing capacity of developed nations and left their economies dependent on service industries and property investment. Only the very rich in developed economies and some of the poor in developing economies have really prospered from this.
In developed nations, social liberalism has similarly promoted social decadence. Multiculturalism and minority ‘rights’ have eroded social cohesion. The nanny states have increasingly replaced responsibilities with ‘rights’, and the inevitable backlash approaches.
‘Globalisation’ has failed rather badly because uncontrolled market forces act mainly to the benefit of those few people able to exploit them. The EU has failed to benefit the majority of its citizens and this coming year will probably see it unravel further.
A Europe predicated upon the exclusion of Russia has never made much sense anyway. Donald Trump’s desire to seek a rapprochement with Russia could well show Europe the way. All three blocs have far more to worry about in the shape of Chinese geo-political ambitions and Islamic militancy.
Of the four major blocs in the world, Europe seems the weakest player as this year’s round opens. Whilst it still has a large but sluggish economy it remains militarily weak and unwilling. The EU experiment has failed miserably and needs replacing with practical trade and defence treaties because the attempt to impose political union by mega-bureaucracy has failed.
Global warming becomes ever more alarming. Despite what they say, the world’s politicians seem determined to avoid an economic downturn by reducing fossil fuel use, and instead they have pinned their hopes on technical solutions evolving without enormous investments.
That seems like a huge gamble, we desperately need massive improvements in renewable energy technologies, efficient solar plants, massive wind and tidal power projects, better battery storage facilities and so on.
Hypersphere Mechanics proceeds apace; if it doesn’t get falsified then a book explaining the behaviour of both the entire universe and fundamental particles using the same principle may eventually emerge.
See the latest here http://vixra.org/abs/1612.0069 at the home of rebel scientific publication.
Every quantum has a spinning hypersphere in its heart.
I don’t know where this will all lead; it began with a youthful intuition, when looking up at the stars having just learned about atoms. Hermes Trismegistus’ assertion of ‘As Above, So Below’ added encouragement when I started to read Hermetics.
So far it has generated the result that the universe has no temporal boundaries, merely a temporal horizon, so it must have already spawned almost unimaginably advanced intelligences of almost unimaginable age. Quantum effects may permit communication….. and they may also explain the strange and erratic phenomena of magic.
A caterpillar inflicted moderate damage to the middle sized of the three mandrakes; I wonder if it got stoned whilst doing so, I repositioned it outside in the garden, having a moral rule against destroying higher life forms to save lower ones. Slugs and snails go into adjoining woodland. This rule of course allows me to eat anything.
When someone said that “90% of science fiction was crap” the Science Fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon replied “90% of everything is crap”. This has become known as ‘Sturgeon’s Law’. It seems generally true, just look at most architecture, most books, most music, most of what appears on television, most of the things politicians say, most of the uninhabitable planets in the galaxy.
However it also seems a pretty hard law to live up to as it means achieving an average of two hours and twenty four minutes of personal excellence every day, a tough call.
Review. The Dr Strange film.
I had both eagerly awaited this and dreaded what Hollywood might do with it. The Dr Strange comics played some part stimulating my youthful interest in magic. As expected the film uses a vast amount of CGI to depict the effects of magic but these occur mainly in astral and mirror worlds or the dark dimension, so ordinary reality does not get too non-believably distorted. The ‘Energy Paradigm’, as they call it in magical circles, remains hotly disputed with many including myself preferring the ‘Information Paradigm’ in which magical ‘energy’ appears only as an imaginative metaphor for effects which do not actually depend on ‘energy’ at all.
The scriptwriting and storyline seemed both sufficiently similar yet interestingly different enough to the Marvel Comic stories to prove engaging, look out for some Lovecraftian touches to the plot. Plus it looked pretty damn good in 3D.
I don’t know why the Eye of Agamotto appeared as green though.
P.S. For the wizard in your life get the Esotericon and Portals of Chaos, order soon for xmas. http://www.esotericon.org/
By the grace of Azathoth and partly thanks to a wearying dose of flu that left me idly playing with algebra under the duvet, something coherent seems to have come through on the Quantum Hypersphere front. See it here http://vixra.org/abs/1611.0133 at the home of rebel scientific publishing.
Basically it shows that we can recover the basic fundamental equation of quantum physics by treating quanta as hyperspheres, (‘magnified’ by the Uncertainty/Indeterminacy Principle), that ‘rotate’ in exactly the same way as the entire vorticitating hyperspherical universe, thus revealing a deep and unsuspected* symmetry between the microcosm and the macrocosm.
Everything spins. Spin and Spacetime mutually uphold each other, and matter and energy arise from their interaction.
(*Well actually I intuited that at age 14 having learned about atoms and then staring at the stars. Now half a century down the line some maths finally emerges.)
At Arcanorium College www.arcanoriumcollege.com we prepare for a second expedition into the Necronomicon realm of the Elder Gods to seek the Gods of the Future and whatever eldritch secrets they may choose to impart. The preparations will take a month or so; so time to build instruments and amass sanity points ready for January. Courageous Psychonauts may apply.
A family holiday in Crete in October proved fascinating. The island probably inspired Plato to write of Atlantis. The Minoans seem to have had a very agreeable bronze age culture, they worshipped a goddess whose name we do not know and who probably didn’t hold a pair of snakes (it seems that the British archaeologist Arthur Evans reconstructed 2 figurines doing that because he thought they looked more pagan that way, but all the other goddess statues have outstretched arms) The Minoan culture seemed fairly peaceful, the cities didn’t have walls and we haven’t found much weaponry. There doesn’t seem much evidence of sacrifice except votive offerings of cute little bronze and pottery animals. Cretan ‘bullfighting’ didn’t involve killing the bull, just a display of bravery by getting yourself tossed over its back. Bronze axeheads feature everywhere as both ceremonial and actual tools but these look far more like tree felling axes than battleaxes and tree felling must have featured as a very significant activity for an agricultural society on a heavily wooded island. Minoan culture, like the mythical culture of Atlantis, came to an abrupt end ~1,240BC, probably due to catastrophic earthquakes and/or the explosion of the Santorini volcano and subsequent tsunami.
The three Mandragora Autumnalis that came as seeds from a wizard in Greece have sprouted on cue at Samhain again for their 4th year. They don’t seem to like the British climate, they grow only very slowly and now resemble small parsnips, and they haven’t flowered yet, but this year they have a space in the greenhouse rather than the kitchen window.
Happy new POTUS to all my American correspondents. A Clinton victory would have meant more of the same which doesn’t work. The parallels with the Brexit result seem worth noting, both phenomena depended heavily on the issue of Globalisation. We haven’t managed Globalisation at all well, and now the furious people have elected politicians who say that they will manage it. The religious right have inconsequential influence in the UK but they can hardly claim a victory in the person of Trump. Sovereignty proved a significant issue in Britain; we didn’t want to become swallowed up in the failing superstate of the EU. However as Archdruid Greer USA points out, the sovereignty of the states in the face of an overbearing and out of touch federal government played a part in Trump’s victory too.
I don’t imagine that as a businessman Trump will start any wars that do not have a good expectation of making a profit. An alliance with the Russians against the common enemy of civilisation in the Middle East seems like a good idea. If I held the presidency of Mexico I’d build that wall myself to prevent the vast exchange of drugs for guns that has so badly scarred my own society.
Trump’s climate change policies do however give cause for alarm.
Nevertheless he likes Britain and he has already bought parts of Scotland, and he likes our dear old Nigel Farage.