Imagine that you wished to establish a magical order so that people could come together to practise and explore a new type of magic.
You would need people to take on various administrative and organisational responsibilities.
You would need to establish a system of magical progress and attainment in this new type of magic.
At the beginning you would have insufficient human resources to accomplish this at a stroke so you would have to make a compromise: -
To establish a structure you would have to give out positions that represented both administrative and magical roles and responsibilities, somehow fudged together.
Thus your organisation would begin as a de-facto Oligarchy and the means by which people acquired various grades and responsibilities would remain far from transparent.
Eventually the organisation would require reform as it began to suffer the strains of members becoming disaffected with the obviously fudged grade structure that it needed to get it started.
The required reforms would simply separate administrative from magical positions and give proper definition and credibility to each, thus: -
A) Administrative positions would become subject to periodic democratic election, thus giving them a Proper Mandate. (Even though where electorates remain small and friendly one would expect most elections to pass unopposed).
M) Magical grades would become subject to peer review, with at least some independent review from someone in a distant temple, and grade awards would depend on the completion of an agreed program of work at minimum, plus other work of choice. This would restore to such traditional grade terms as Initiate, Adept, and Magus, a Proper Recognition of Merit and Accomplishment.
Reform always brings some pain and sacrifice and some hard work, but complacency kills eventually.
Any order which does not move onto Phase 2 of organisational structure will remain hamstrung by the Oligarchical fudges used to create it, and suffer from disaffections amongst its members which keep it small and fractious.
Peter J Carroll.
Review. Imaginal Reality, Voidcraft, volumes 1 and 2. Aaron B. Daniels. Aeon Books.
Over 400 pages of tight print, plus illustrations by Laura M. Daniels.
When this curious bundle of surprises arrived I felt thricely intrigued to note that I had apparently already written a back cover pump for it, as had an IOT Pact Magus who pronounced it ‘the finest book on contemporary existential magic he had ever read’.
I do recall that Professor Daniels had sometime ago emailed me a draft of it and that I had opined that it looked like ‘a full cerebral download’ and that as such, it probably needed to appear as two books, which it now does. However he does seem to have extensively re-written it as well.
Nevertheless my comment of ‘Full Cerebral Download’ still stands. Here we have in these two volumes, a huge rambling tome that seemingly touches on just about everything remotely connected to the Professor’s thoughts on philosophy, psychology, biography, magic, imagination, and occulture. Expect an uneven and challenging read, as this opus lurches wildly across a whole spectrum of disciplines, you may also need a dictionary to hand.
After a bit of a struggle with volume one, I found a reading method that suited. I treated these books as a ‘Late Night Philosophy Rant with a Friend’. I think you need to read a bit, stop, marshal your objections, and argue back for a while, and then read some more, rather than just plough through it doggedly.
Except where they have the temerity to assert and defend some sort of positive position on ethics, ontology, or metaphysics, most philosophers have become the askers of awkward questions and the keepers of useful sarcasms. They tend to wield the razor of destructive analysis more than they use the trowel of construction. Daniels comes pretty close to cutting himself with the razor of existentialism and he has some pretty cutting things to say about the pretensions, evasions, and delusions of magic and spirituality and the whole occult, esoteric, and new-age scene.
The whole meaningless-meaningful duality seems to vex him mightily. Existentialism can wield the razor of over-mighty intellect with enough sullen violence to nihilisticaly extirpate the meaning from anything, and he presents us with visions of void-ness and emptiness. He quips that his students call him Dr. Downer.
However he offers his own antidote; in the absence of given meanings we need to become the meaning makers ourselves. We also need to experience the moment of the here and now, (presumably, temporarily without the encumbrance of the mighty analytical intellect or the second-hand meaning structures that our commercialised cultures offer). The ideas and symbols and glamour of magic provide a language in which we can construct our own meanings and identities, (except where commercially provided of course).
All this comes pretty close to the Chaos Magic perspective of treating belief as a tool rather than as an end in itself, and indeed the whole corpus of Voidcraft makes numerous references to Chaos Magic.
If philosophers have become the keepers of useful sarcasms then perhaps we can liken psychologists to people trying to map a very cluttered and complicated building in pitch darkness by daubing faintly luminous coloured paints around. It all looks superficially convincing but that merely shows that the impossibly complex mind will tend to reflect any structure or model you care to impose on it.
The Imaginal Psychology that Daniels advocates, teaches and practices clinically seems to incorporate this perspective; it appears to have grown out of the Jungian approach towards a more sort of ‘multimind’ position or polycentric view of the self(s). That all sounds like good Chaoism to me.
I got two thirds of the way through the second volume to find that the last third of it consisted of a vast glossary. Despite that I’d found it hard going I had a feeling of aw, shucks, its finished, just as I’d felt myself(s) getting engrossed in the process of argument and agreement with it. However even the glossary, (itself larger than some books of mine), provided a great deal to chew on.
I note with satisfaction that the UK courts have just ruled that the Diocese of Plymouth cannot claim that its priests acted as self-employed consultants and thus itself escape the legal consequences of their despicable actions over the last 60 years at least.
When the whole vast topic of child abuse began to surface within the catholic church I felt a certain satisfaction that the truth had finally come to light and that the myth of occultist abuse of children, started by fundamentalists in the USA, has finally become discredited as a baseless excuse for a literal 'witchunt'.
I went to a vaguely church of england school and to a vaguely church of england affilliated scout group, most of the weddings and funerals I have attended seemed vaguely church of england too. Vague seems the operative word here, it all seemed rather silly and harmless and its practitioners defended its mumbo-jumbo in vague and evasive terms, generally preferring to emphasise its ethics instead.
I had no experience of catholicism untill I spent a couple of terms teaching in a catholic school circum 1980. I had assumed it resembled anglicanism but with more bells and smells. I actually found it rather nasty, the whole school seemed to run on physical violence and metaphysical fears and threats. Since then I've travelled more widely in catholic countries and formed an even lower opinion of it.
I can now well appreciate Richard Dawkins classification of catholicism as the world's second worst religion. The current pope spent a decade as the head of the inquisition to his predecessor. It beggars belief that he did not take a leading role in the child abuse cover up.
When you look at the iconography and the behaviour of catholics the underlying emotive dualities of that faith become all too apparent. Its emotive appeal depends on a mixture of the dualities of 'sentimentality and cruelty', 'guilt and self-righteousness', plus 'sexual inhibition and sexual machismo'.
Just look at all those sickly sentimental virgin and child images juxtaposed with the pornographically cruel depictions of the crucifixtion. The whole catholic guilt trip goes hand in hand with self-righteousness. Self righteousness (rather than innocence) provides the actual emotive duality with guilt.
Combine cruelty with self righteousness and you explain the horrors of the Inquisition. Combine cruelty with guilt and you explain their fascination with mortification of the flesh. Combine guilt with sentimentality and you explain their self-pity. Combine sentimentality with self-righteousness and you explain their false piety. Then when you start adding in the sexual inhibition-machismo vector as well you get even nastier combinations. They do say that catholics make the 'best' whores and nuns and rapists, and their priests make the 'best' child abusers. Ugh.
The EU Synarchy, conceived with malignant intent and in economic ignorance, by elements of the european political class, now looks headed for precisely the disaster that UKIP, half the UK Conservative party, and other weird eccentrics predicted for it.
All conceivable short term futures for europe look pretty bad now, but the sooner countries extricate themselves from this nonsensical project the less they will suffer.
Some time ago I transferred the liquid assets of all my companies to a non-eurozone bank.
On a lighter note I attended the late samhain meet of a certain magical order for an invigorating weekend of rituals varying from the deadly serious to the intriguingly surreal. How satisfying to see it all still going strong some thirty years down the line.
Semester 2 of Arcanorium College's 6th glorious year officially begins today, www.arcanoriumcollege.com
I'm now working with the new lightweight style ash wood pocket wands, the metal ones were making holes in my clothing.
The Greek government's threat to offer its people a referendum on the euro-bailout package before the finalisation of that package may yet lead to another glorious Thermopylae moment. If they say NO to the empire they will take heavy casualties but secure their freedom, and probably bring the whole empire down eventually.
On a lighter note I present my Samhain Eisteddfod poem here publicly, as its on a secular rather than an internal metaphysical topic. So celebrate this halloween with a poem about the most comprehensively dead person of my knowledge, an ancestor from some 34,000 years ago.
Paviland Man, some thoughts upon Europe’s oldest tomb.
Pavilander, what took you in your prime
Those thirty thousand years ago?
Was that mighty mammoth skull
Laid to rest with you by friends
Some token of your final fearsome prey?
So how on earth did you bring to ground
Eleven tons of muscle and tusk
With flint headed spears?
Or did you heave great boulders down
From the top of the cliffs
Or stampede them over it
With blazing fire torches
Whatever, it must have took cunning and guts.
For such a fine send off
You must have had love or respect
Precious grave goods and offerings of ochre
And what was that for, that blood of the earth
For strength in the next world
Or a token of honour in this one?
I’d guess you would have had children
By your age in those ancient times.
Though over a thousand lifetimes
Separates you from us currently here
You may live in our blood and our genes
But your language we can never know
Yet your tools and your ornaments and tomb
Say to us plainly and clearly
That you must have had thoughts just like ours.
Your friends they gave you the best plot
A high vaulted cave of a million years, facing the sun
Proud and bleak it stands in the bare cliff face
It has seen the seas draw back and turn into plains
And watched the seas return again
Though dolmens and barrows may crumble
Or be stripped of their turf and their stones
That cave survived the glaciers the floods and the storms
The invention of farming left it untouched
Kingdoms came and went, unnoticed
Our feeble buildings do not last like caves do
Our empires rise and fall again to dust,
Let us hope our last archaeologist
Returns you to your resting place
When this fragile civilisation crumbles - like the rest.
Well, it seems like busy week in my absence. Ghadaffi met a well deserved squalid end, hopefully this will serve as a warning to other tyrants, quit and run at the first sign of dissent. Summary justice will hopefully prove sufficiently cathartic to allow Lybians to forget about all the collaborators they could have spent years dragging through their courts to little useful purpose. After all it ended nazism not too badly, we just hung a few of the worst for show and let the rest off, and now Germany seems a nice enough place.
Just exactly what the EU has cobbled together for the Eurocrisis remains unclear. I suspect the deal has many as yet unrevealed clauses, just how much power over its subject nations the EU Synarchy has actually purchased, we have yet to find out.
The protests at the financial crisis do seem to have raised consciousness a fair bit about the ludicrous state humanity has allowed its politics and economics to evolve into, but when will some brave political soul stand up and state the obvious, that the goal of constant growth represents not the solution but actually the underlying problem itself?
Whilst away I read Terry Pratchett's latest, Snuff. I'm pleased to report that despite that he now has to dictate because he can no longer type, he has lost nothing of the wit, style, wisdom, imagination and humanity for which we love him to bits. So read it.
Also whilst contemplating classical and modern pantheons of various gods and goddesses and daemons, and taking a carefull arms length peek into the realms of the elder gods, I came up with the concept of 'Theometry', the description and classification of deities and daemons from various pantheons, qualitative and possibly quantitative comparative theology if you like, using a bi-planetary schemata so that Mithras for example comes out as solar-martial, Odin as jupiterian-saturnine, and so on, this all seems to feed into the growing corpus of what may become The Esotericon and The Portals of Chaos, with the Elder gods representing supernal or stellar archetypes at the limit of human imagination.
With our 6th year now well under way, I'll post advance notice here of next Semester's courses at Arcanorium College, www.arcanoriumcollege.com In addition to all courses in progress and in archive, members also have access to the magnificent library, common rooms, and bar where we plot and discuss psychic revolution and the unconventional arts and sciences.
Semester 2, November 7th - December 17th
Pete, Octarine Magic & Barbaric.
Res, Building Dreams. Tadhq, Gaelic Magic.
In the Octarine Magic & Barbaric course we will study pure magic rather than applied magic, this means that we will do practical magic for research purposes, to enlarge the scope of magical theory and practise itself, and to discover what we can or should do with it. Participants can take on a research topic of their choice and also develop tools and ritual to enlarge the Ouranian corpus.
Two other members of staff will also conduct a 3 week course each at the same time, I know roughly what they will attempt, and it looks facinating.
The hunt for the origin of U, the ubiquity constant of about 6 x 1060 , which relates the Planck mass, length, and time to the corresponding mass, length, and time of the universe in Vorticitating Hypersphere Cosmology continues.
The size of the Ubiquity constant has implication for the degree of effective indeterminacy, and hence of magic, as shown in The Octavo.
Does it constitute an arbitary parameter of this universe or does something define it?
If the electron neutrino constitutes the smallest possible mass of a matter particle, then we might expect that mass to bear some relationship to a fundamental quantity, and the following relationship showing the Gravitational Fine Structure Constant for the electron neutrino, which consists of the ratio of the squares of the neutrino and Planck masses, may apply:
Gmν2 /hc = 1/U
In which case the electron neutrino would have a mass of about 2.8 x 10-38 kg, corresponding to 6 x 10-3 eV, electronvolts. Now this looks like a very reasonable figure for a mass that we cannot currently measure accurately, but believe to have a finite value somewhere below 3 x 10-1 eV.
Should the measured value of the mass turn out to have this value, it would then seem a truly remarkable 'coincidence', indicating that the single spacetime chiral and generational spins of the electron neutrino in the HD8 model do somehow relate to the macrostructure of the universe and define its parameters.
With the completion of the latest Knights of Chaos campaign all qualifying survivors have started to place their armorial crests in the Knight's Hall at Arcanorium College. I chose this one. First Earth Batallion will conduct another campaign later in the year.
If, as R A Wilson observed, 'Magic is what you do when you have exhausted the posibilities of common sense', then lets go for it and try saving the biosphere with sorcery as nobody else seems willing to try, and the resources of common sense seem sorely in need of some practical metaphysical assistance.
On another matter, I suspect that in addition to the usual cosmic limit of v ≤ c , relative velocity never exceeds lightspeed, another limit also applies, namely that m/l ≤ c2/G , the amount of mass per length in a spherical body, can never exceed lightspeed squared over the gravitational constant. I suspect this limit arises because such a configuration of mass creates a hypersphere (3-sphere) as its radius excess grows and that any further addition of mass would force such a hypersphere to expand. Ergo the univere cannot contain singularities.
Now two questions arise from this, and I'd appreciate email inputs here:
1) Can we develop a proof of m/l ≤ c2/G from some other mechanism?
2) Assuming that m/l ≤ c2/G underlies fundamental particles (Planck scale hyperspheres) and the macro structure of the universe itself, ie that they both consist of hyperspheres, does anything prevent the formation of hyperspheres of intermediate size?
Greek Debts, an afterthought, we owe the Greeks so much, they gave us mathematics, theatre, figurative sculpture, many varied philosophies, proto-democracy, and the destruction of the tyranical Persian Empire, now hopefully they will give us yet another gift, the destruction of the hated EU.
I’ve had a hailstorm of enquiries about this latest bit of apparent strangeness from Cern,
See original paper here
This may all end up as a false alarm, however lots of questions remain about the pesky little neutrinos. If they do have a miniscule mass then they shouldn’t travel at lightspeed anyway, but at a bit less.
Neutrinos from supernova explosions seem to arrive here a bit after the photons, possibly indicating a slightly slower than lightspeed journey.
That they do seem to oscillate between electron, muon and tau varieties in flight suggests that they probably do have a small mass, and this indicates that they may behave as Marjorama fermions rather than Dirac fermions and thus behave as their own antiparticles.
Now we can model antiparticles as time reversed particles and a particle travelling backwards in time would give the appearance of travelling faster than light. The HD8, (hypersphere/hyperspin dimension eight), hypothesis includes the transactional interpretation of quantum physics and thus sufficient time symmetry to allow this.
Now just maybe neutrinos can oscillate through a time reversed mode as well whilst in flight and this could result in them appearing to exceed lightspeed.
Perhaps the effects of having a small mass which tends to reduce their speed to below lightspeed and a time reversal oscillation which tends to push their apparent speed beyond that of light both come into play in various situations.
It all looks quite intriguing, we await further data.