When I was younger, prettier and single I used to hit the Sydney club scene fairly frequently. I’m talking thrice a week. Minimum. Till sunrise. This was back when the music industry was actually a cool place to work ( if you were young, pretty and slutty.)
Here’s my abiding psychic impression.
MDMA, the active ingredient in the pills I was taking was actually a powerful clairvoyant inhibitor. (And I’m talking “active”. You English or east coast people don’t know what you missed… West coast is feeling me because their drugs were more Mexican and thus more potent. East coast made the mistake of bringing some of theirs in from eastern europe or africa. I got this from a mexican druglord I had a stoned “club encounter” with. But mostly I’m talking to the English. your ecstasy is like aspirin. I encourage you to read into that.)
However, it turns out, it was also an extremely potent clairsentient activator.
In fact, it got to the stage that I could tell my pills were coming on when my psychic vision would “dim” like stage lights and I would become aware of being -outlines in the dark- standing around me, occasionally and probably begrudgingly moving in time with the terrible late nineties trance I adored. (And still do. Sorry.)
I loved these beings. I could only call some of them by name and that was as a result of doing some workings when I wasn’t out on a Friday, Saturday or -gods help me- Wednesday night. But the feeling of connection was there. Most of them weren’t me but also, they were. Even those that werent technically me would still be the last things standing next to me, even if i were sitting in the chair at the end of death row.
It was like discovering you had another six arms you previously didn’t know were there.
These are beings that I can still call in now, if not by name then at least by feel.
And it wasn’t just me.
As I peaked I could see every other clubber, every other raver, and eventually even the taxi driver taking me home (or -too often- to some random waiter’s home) was like a complete, inviolate X-men team of guides, totems, ancestors, familiars, angels and selves.
Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. It was unbelievably inspiring and certainly comforting to feel -if not to see- just what another human looks like once you have stepped sideways.
And here is where we get to an unavoidable failing in the classic chaos magic approach.
In any complex system -downsizing corporations or the public service for instance- there is a point beyond which you can’t cut anymore or the whole thing will collapse… An unrelenting drive toward efficiency actually becomes less efficient. An overweight horse isn’t efficient but half a horse is useless.
If results are the top priority then, paradoxically, the belief that belief can be used as a tool may not actually be the most efficient, most “results friendly” metabelief. It might be half a horse.
Surely, when you temporarily adopt the belief that some silly robes, funny sounds and mildly unpleasant smells can change the momentum of this universe it’s better to underpin this belief with something that is potentially more revolutionary than just “fake it till you make it seems to work”.
What about the belief that a human being is a luminous, complex, multipart, unknowable being unique in the entire universe….
Surely it is better to throw out the clairvoyance -the arrogant “seeing” and go with the more primal “feeling”.
Be assured I’m not exactly saying this is “true”, just that it might be more effective than a belief in effectiveness.
Outside of actual spell casting, think of making this your “resting place”, your default setting, your home airport:
What you look like to a high, accidentally trance-susceptible, gay teen in a Sydney nightclub is the real you.
You can tear down whatever ideas you like about however you think magic works… But in the long run both your sorcerous efficacy and your spiritual development will be better served by really stitching this idea at the bottom of your brain:
You are a luminous being, unique in all the universe.
If you need any help implanting this idea then read this micro short story and then -for the love of trance- buy this incredible book.
But before that, read this short story about a horse.
In the afterlife, you are treated to a generous opportunity: you can choose whatever you would like to be in the next life. Would you like to be a member of the opposite sex? Born into royalty? A philosopher with bottomless profundity? A soldier facing triumphant battles?
But perhaps you’ve just returned here from a hard life. Perhaps you were tortured by the enormity of the decisions and responsibilities that surrounded you, and now there’s only one thing you yearn for: simplicity. That’s permissible. So for the next round, you choose to be a horse. You covet the bliss of a simple life: afternoons of grazing in grassy fields, the handsome angles of your skeleton and the prominence of your muscles, the peace of the slow-flicking tail or the steam rifling through your nostrils as you lope across the snow blanketed plains.
You announce your decision. Incantations are muttered, a wand is waved, and your body begins to metamorphose into a horse. Your muscles start to bulge; a mat of strong hair erupts to cover you like a comfortable blanket in winter. The thickening and lengthening of your neck immediately feels normal as it comes about you. Your carotid arteries grow in diameter. Your fingers blend hoofward, your knees stiffen, your hips strengthen, and meanwhile, as your skull lengthens into its new shape, your brain races in the changes: your cortex retreats as your cerebellum grows, the homunculus melts man to horse, neurons redirect, synapses unplug and replug on their way to equestrian patterns, and your dream of understanding what it is like to be a horse gallops toward you from the distance. Your concern about human affairs begins to slip away, your cynicism about human behavior melts, and even your human way of thinking begins to drift away from you.
Suddenly, just for a moment, you are aware of the problem you overlooked. The more you become a horse, the more you forget the original wish. You forget what it is like to be a human wondering what it was like to be a horse.
This moment of lucidity does not last long. But it serves as the punishment for your sins, a Promethean entrails-pecking moment, crouching half-horse half-man, with the knowledge that you cannot appreciate the destination without knowing the starting point; you cannot revel in the simplicity unless you remember the alternatives.
And that’s not the worst revelation. You realize that the next time you return here, with your thick horse brain, you won’t have the capacity to ask to become human again. You won’t understand what a human is. Your choice to slide down the intelligence ladder is irreversible. And just before you lose your final human faculties, you painfully ponder what magnificent extraterrestrial creature, enthralled with the idea of finding a simpler life, chose in the last round to become a human.
Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.