He experienced and then wrote about one of the more famous abduction/encounters that became the film, Communion?
Well, he said that if there had been better science fiction available as a kid, rather than all those Cold War invasion fantasies, then his subsequent encounter would not have been so terrifying… it may even have been numinous.
He is aware that whatever the thing actually was that appeared in his bedroom that night, the appearance it projected was not its authentic one. Some of that was down to the entity, because The Neighbours like their trolling… and some of it was down to him.
This is very perceptive. It speaks to the impact your psychic architecture can have on your experience of the universe at large… and what happens if you let others build it for you.
There has been quite the volume of feedback regarding both the ongoing archonology series and particularly the recent post exploring the interrelationship of our occult beliefs and terrestrial power. Emails, gtalks, comments… mostly that it’s hurting people’s heads.
Good. We shall call this the gnostic ice cream headache! This is what cracks in your psychic architecture feel like. Too often, we receive a new piece of information and look to slot it into whatever mental shape we already have. I get asked what does this all ‘mean’, or -more disappointly- what should we ‘do’. These are indications that you are trying to slot new jigsaw pieces into an older picture. Resist that urge. Embrace the ice cream.
Gnostic cities of gold
Remember that 80s animated programme, Mysterious Cities of Gold? How the two kids had interlocking medallions that -when combined- ultimately opened the gate to the city of gold?
Hermeticism and gnosticism are the two medallions and the city of gold is the western esoteric tradition.
Historically, gnosticism has been under-emphasised by occultists. There are probably some very good reasons for this. During the Renaissance, you could explore hermeticism under a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, but going gnostic would very much get you burned. (The esoteric interpretation of this is that the demon yahweh would begrudgingly tolerate hermeticism because it could insert itself into the cosmology… but gnosticism gives its whole game away.)
The second reason is separating out what gnosticism has to say about the material world from the historic context that gave rise to it. What we call gnosticism actually offers quite a spectrum of interpretation for the physical world… some of which clearly show the emotional impact of living in occupied Palestine and (later) North Africa. It’s all evil overlords and prisons and oppressed people yearning for freedom.
But to throw the demiurge out with the bathwater is to miss the other medallion that unlocks the city. Because the material world is patently not a glorious playground of happiness and personal expression upon which the Supreme Architect has personally set you to rule over all you survey. We must problematise our conception of the material realm if we are to move through it.
An accurate representation of our situation is expressed with the western esoteric concept of the labyrinth… which we can’t seem to get right.
It is not a stylised vagina of some ever-elusive great mother, one which represents the cycle of life and death or whatever. It is a map of our incarnation. The little ‘you are here’ arrow does not point to the entry of the labyrinth. It points to the centre of it, because it shows the descent of spirit into matter. The labyrinth is a depiction of how we managed to find ourselves enfleshed and the challenges implicit in the process of defleshing. (Carnivale – from the Latin, carne vale, farewell to the flesh.)
We may point to the imperial orientalism of the mid nineteenth century as one of the principal doorways into the western current of the idea that matter is a holy playground (for white Englishwomen who live within walking distance of Lancaster Gate). But if you read your Upanishads, you will see that, yes… matter is the interplay of Shiva (consciousness) and Shakti (power/energy)… but nevertheless there is Maya. Our conception of this interplay is illusory. The entire universe is holy, sure, but to approach the manifest realm in such a way is to be entirely fucked.
Punchdrunk and poor
With all my heart, I appreciate that many of us are punchdrunk… I have been economically destroyed twice since 2008… literally destroyed. Iraq destroyed. We require a more sophisticated -a larger– conception of life on earth in order to survive it. As behaviours, putting dollar bills under candles and pretending that fictional harvest festivals from seventeenth century England are somehow applicable in Florida are no longer fit for purpose. We require more ambitious maps.
Let’s play a little visualisation game:
Deanna Troi is engaged in one of her many battles with the Enterprise’s food replicator to get a proper, full-fat, real-chocolate, hot chocolate. Eventually she succeeds, and as she picks up the mug, the Enterprise hits some blah blah subspace blah blah… which disables life support and gravity dampeners, while spinning the ship off into space. As the ship spins, the floating globules of hot chocolate begin to coalesce into a ball. The chocolatey bits sink to the centre of the spinning ball of milk. As the temperature aboard the ship cools, a skin begins to form over the milk blob, so that you could gently touch it and set it wobbling.
That, kids, is earth.
It doesn’t quite align with our idea of elemental earth as solidity, or our over-emphasis on seasonal festivals, does it? And nature’s ‘infinite variety’ looks considerably less impressive when you realise it’s all just microbes on wobbly milk skin.
As previously discussed, a cornerstone assumption of the western esoteric worldview is that physical reality is a manifestation of the Divine, brought into being to experience Itself, and is thus sacred. And, indeed, it probably is.
Sacred, however, doesn’t necessarily mean nice.
If we may interpret some of the underlying myths in world religion as paranormal encounters -and I think we may- then the sacred is often downright terrifying. Encountering God can kill you. The evidence that early shamanic cultures viewed the natural world as sacred is very strong. The evidence that they viewed this sanctity as benign or well-disposed to humanity, is weak. We may reasonably trace the appearance of the fundamentally benign nature of Nature to post-urban fantasises about life in the countryside. Yes, all of Creation is sacred, but you still aren’t getting a happy ending. (Not even the Romantics fell for that.)
Still need some convincing? Four in five Americans will now struggle with poverty over the course of their lifetime. If magic is probability enhancement -and it is- then you’re not exactly off to a good start. Grinning like a fast food worker, keeping your chin up and just waiting to be chosen is not going to move the probabilistic needle much.
Because you won’t watch it, I’m going to quote from this excellent presentation and even better Q&A from the redoubtable Morris Berman.
The first question he is asked after his bleak but balanced overview of the state of the western world -and I’m familiar with this- is “how do we fix it?” In this case, he’s asked whether a benevolent dictator is required. Because in our heart of hearts, we have all wished for this… and felt ashamed. I even briefly, genuinely, wished for the Queen to permanently disband parliaments right across the Commonwealth. She already runs the place, anyway, and hungry, poor, subjects have a tendency to get head-choppy. So our short term salvation is in her best interest. But no… it’s a band aid. Read on:
It really is a good question because democracy after a certain point gets into a crisis… democracy can only work with a fairly intelligent population and we don’t have that… so it’s coming apart at the seams.
I’m not particularly an advocate of taking the system and somehow fixing it, because I don’t think history works that way. So even if there were a benevolent dictator… in terms of reorganizing a whole civilization, it’s quite impossible. So in terms of scenarios for social change… honestly, I think this just has to play out, democracy and all.
At the end of that, the situation will be so dysfunctional that all the alternative experiments that have been going on, with alternative energy and alternative currencies and so on -and Spain has something like 325 experiments of this nature- those things will become more and more attractive.
The analogy I would make is the waning of the Middle Ages. We are now in the waning of the Modern Ages. That’s what’s happening…. that period, which lasted in that case about 200 years, was a very depressed one psychologically. Because people lost their moorings and that’s what’s happening today. It won’t take 200 years in our case but we are entering a period of people being completely dislocated and just doing more of the same. That’s all they know how to do. So I think this will eventually play out.
“This will eventually play out” is “we’re gonna win” in other words.
Fortunately, modern magicians rarely make the mistake of equating accrued personal wealth with proficiency in the magical arts. But this masks a potentially more dangerous perspective error. “I can use magic to become wealthy, but I don’t want to spend my life accruing money, I want to make art and go hiking and such.”
We shall call this perspective error the Republican’t Delusion. Because it encodes the idea that your lack of wealth is your choice.
Beyond the fact that you probably did choose to incarnate during the rare event that is the collapse of an archonic regime -which carries with it a certain degree of comfort- this belief is utter bullshit. It is factually incorrect.
Statistically, incarnating now on this wobbly, chocolate earth run by bloodthirsty madmen has fucked you. Putting dollars under candles for mommy gaia and believing that you are a special snowflake needs to end.
We require a new ontological equilibrium. It is not only our own precious little falsehoods that are no longer fit for purpose.
As for your gods? Consider them Morris Berman’s benevolent dictators. When it comes to the gods, I’m with Gwen on this:
As a young woman, my grandmother won an opera scholarship to London. But the war broke out and all scholarships were cancelled. By the time the war was over, she had a young family. So that put an end to all of that.
I think about my grandmother’s situation reasonably often. Your dreams aren’t coming true. That much is clear. At this stage, you will be lucky to retire in something other than penury. But when in history have our dreams ever come true? Which brings me back to the original point. Without a gnostic component, the western esoteric map of physical incarnation just isn’t fit for purpose.
We don’t need to manically repeat the same old, shrill, optimistic claptrap. We don’t need to pin on our namebadge, grin and say have a nice day even louder. Inspired perhaps by watching the audio commentary on The Nines… the best modern gnostic film you’ve never seen… like Hope Davis’s character, S, we should instead say is that all there is to a fire?
The world is going to come at you with everything. Don’t say I am an all powerful wizard and this should not be happening! Respect my authoritah! Waaaah! Say is that all there is… is that all you got, motherfucker?
Because that’s not all there is. The Continental ennui that inspired the song should be a reflection that this isn’t all there is. Material existence -even tragedy- is curiously incomplete.
Is that all there is to a fire?
And what there is to a fire is even weirder than we can possibly conceive.
The ‘answer’ will be weird
The latest update in scientific materialism’s complete inability to form a cosmology that actually encompasses human life is that we are all pimps… pig chimp hybrids.
I’ve been following this story for my own reasons. Without going into too much detail, the pimp hypothesis is very strong. It’s the combination of morphological and genetic comparison that has me particularly interested. Because genes probably don’t do what everyone thinks they do, anyway, which means we probably shouldn’t rely on them as the sole source of information when looking for human origins.
The list of anatomical specializations we may have gained from porcine philandering is too long to detail here. Suffice it to say, similarities in the face, skin and organ microstructure alone are hard to explain away. A short list of differential features, for example, would include, multipyramidal kidney structure, presence of dermal melanocytes, melanoma, absence of a primate baculum (penis bone), surface lipid and carbohydrate composition of cell membranes, vocal cord structure, laryngeal sacs, diverticuli of the fetal stomach, intestinal “valves of Kerkring,” heart chamber symmetry, skin and cranial vasculature and method of cooling, and tooth structure. Other features occasionally seen in humans, like bicornuate uteruses and supernumerary nipples, would also be difficult to incorporate into a purely primate tree.
McCarthy has done extensive research into the broader issues, and shortcomings, of our currently incomplete theory of evolution. As the increasing apparent, magnificent, speed with which morphological change can occur continues to present itself for us to comprehend, the standard theory of random mutation followed by slow environmental selection, seems to stall. In my own opinion, female choice undoubtedly provides much of the functional “speed-up” we observe, but other mechanisms of mutation, or pathways for acquired characteristics to be fed back to the gonads (through retroviral transfer?), now need to be considered anew.
The bitter, frustrated tone in this piece would be familiar to anyone who has ever had their hypothesis dismissed rather than refuted… and it systematically unravels all the knee-jerk attempts to ignore the pimp theory. Of particular interest to me is the examination of retroviral transfer.
Also raised was the argument that pigs and humans might have converged anatomically as a result of longstanding animal husbandry, not limited to but perhaps including genes carried over by retroviruses. If that is, in fact, a general mechanism that operates behind the scenes, then we might justifiably ask—why don’t a lot of the traits that distinguish us from primates connect us with dogs, with whom we have obviously lived, at close quarters, since prehistoric times? Why is it only pigs?
As a refutation of the refutation, it is sound. But it’s the capacity of viruses to move genetic information between species that interests me. As you know, I think we can make a reasonable case that the very base of the tree of life is a giant supervirus that landed on earth and unpacked. And now it turns out that we probably became half-pig, half-chimp meatsuits fairly quickly. Oh, and DNA responds to sound and other frequencies. DNA, the majority of which is shaped like a human language.
The next thing I am about to say is absolutely not science. It is speculation. Don’t lump it in with the findings above.
I had an early morning dream/vision once, of Marduk and Ea’s creation of mankind, from clay and the blood of Kingu. It was quick and perfunctory, the way you might toy with something while speaking on the phone:
Two beings squatted -almost apelike- on a dark, empty, barren landscape. There was a sun or an enormous fire over the horizon, because they were silhouetted in low, red light. It was windy. The place felt like a staging area, like it was built just for this, so little effort was put into prettifying the place. Then one of the squatting beings just scooped up a handful of nearby clay, without even looking… that was how little it cared. Still squatting, it ‘clapped’ its hands together. Picture a child making a mud pie. That was it.
The next part of the vision was a flipbook sequence of therianthropic gods… mostly Egyptian… Anubis and Thoth multiple times for whatever reason… and I got the impression that these gods appear to us this way to indicate the interoperability of genetic code. The creation of physical life on earth was literally plug-n-play. We are plugged together… like using chunks of existing open-source computer code from around the web to build a new site.
It was the second part of the dream/vision that enabled me to view the first part ‘correctly’… as a mythic conveyance of complex information.
Regardless of whether genes actually do anything other than code for protein folding -and the evidence is currently insufficient to make a call either way- planet earth is covered in great chunks of interoperable programming code of unnecessary complexity that overlaps in the strangest of places and responds to sound. (What if DNA was what Kingu is made of? You don’t expect it to be a physical substance, do you?)
And now scientific materialism has so boxed itself in with its own limitations that a currently unrefuted theory of the origins of our meatsuit relies on some kind of really, really, weird ‘After Dark’ version of The Jungle Book… complete with semi-serious suggestions to try and get a pig and a chimp to bang today just to see what happens.
Given that you don’t need physical spacemen for a, pun-intended, Hybrid Pimp Annunaki theory when you already have ancient superviruses that can survive in space at the bottom of the tree of life, retroviral genetic transfer and a coding language that responds to different frequencies… how is that any more insane than pigs and chimps fucking each other as an origin story?
I put it to you that the Hybrid Pimp Annunaki theory is less of a violation of our existing understanding of human origins than a ‘bacon and bananas fuckfest’.
It seems to me that for a cosmology to be useful, it must be able to map both factual data and our experience of the world. If you start ignoring bits that don’t fit a preferred model, you aren’t experiencing… you are LARPing. (Or you are Richard Dawkins.)
Like Strieber’s comment about better sci fi movies improving his encounter with the paranormal, we must all take charge of our own Verne Effect. To move as successfully as possible through the material realm, we need to move from a map that is 100% wrong to one that is only 99%.
Your experience of magic and sychronicity is real. The evidence for psi effects is overwhelming. The evidence for the continuity of consciousness beyond death is equally overwhelming.
But what is also real is your present -albeit temporary- existence as a possible pig/chimp on a coagulating ball of hot chocolate currently undergoing a political and economic collapse, orbiting a misbehaving sun in a solar system that displays every evidence of repeated cataclysm.
The Empire never ended.
But neither will we. We, who are what’s left after a fire.