All I ask is that my results should convince seekers after truth that there is beyond doubt something worthwhile seeking, attainable by methods more or less like mine.
That's from The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, if you didn't recognise it.
Quoted in the delightful graphic novel, Aleister Crowley: Wandering The Waste.
Found one afternoon early last week, between meetings, in the always wonderful Atlantis Bookshop.
I love Atlantis. Not only because it has been the epicentre of London occultism for closing in on a century, but because it is a place you can go to get the book you need, rather than the book you want.
There are competitors that potentially offer a greater range, but that strikes me as an absurd differentiator in the age of Amazon. No one can compete with the internet if you know which book you actually want. That's not what a twenty first century bookstore should offer.
And if you don't know what you want? You go to Atlantis. This was one of those visits that was truly excellent. There were so many originals and long-out-of-print gems that I actually asked Geraldine if someone had died.
No, fortunately. "That's just the way it is, sometimes." My eyes alight on a James Wasserman book I haven't seen in years, but once owned a couple of countries ago. I mention that I was listening to a podcast interview with him recently and it was all very good and then, right at the end, he takes an abrupt turn to the extreme right and is all "the government is coming to take our guns".
Geraldine nods. "Yes. He's a lovely, wonderful man, but he reserves the right to be extremely right wing at a moment's notice, sometimes possibly just to be cheeky. He's always done that."
Of course she knows him. That's the other principal benefit of shopping here.
Something else I picked up was a little booklet by Frater Achad; Thirty One Hymns To The Star Goddess. Not exactly my flavour (despite the whole 'star goddess' bit) but extremely moving and fascinating, nonetheless. Amazon's recommendation engine would never had suggested this title to me. That's what a proper occult bookstore should do. Give you things you need, not things you want.
And by need, I want to explain this by way of Terence McKenna:
"The idea is to triangulate a sufficiently large number of data points in your sets of experience so that you can make a model of the world that is not imprisoning."
That. That is it. That is what all the interest and practice in psi research and the paranormal and forbidden history and entheology is about. Triangulating data points. To free oneself from prison. Which, speaking of Terence, presumably goes something like this:
Amazing the sort of pictures you can build when you go looking in strange places for data points that corroborate your personal experience of magic. Strange places like the oval office. From Grant Cameron's latest, UFOs, Area 51, and Government Informants:
President Jimmy Carter got to see some of the results of remote viewing and said: “The results are unbelievable. Proven results of these exchanges between our intelligence services and the parapsychologists raise some of the most intriguing and unanswerable questions of my Presidency.”
The CIA had to say remote viewing didn’t work, and kill the effectiveness of Marrs disclosure. If the book came out before the program could be shut down, it would be impossible to then say it didn’t work because it had been running for two decades and was still operational. The Marrs book was blocked, the RV program was cancelled, and the media reported that the program had been a $20 million dollar waste of money. The CIA plan had worked. In the years since the RV program was shut down there has been increasing evidence that the program had been moved to the NSA to fight the terrorist threat after 9/11. Reporters such as Gus Russo reported that the remote viewing program was alive and well hidden under black budget cover in the NSA. Now according to Russo, “the NSA considers the use of ‘psychic information’ as a legitimate form of signals intelligence, suggesting a transmission medium may have been confirmed by NSA scientists.” Russo reported that the psychic spy research was being directed by NSA's SIGINT division from Fort Meade, Maryland.
The NSA, huh? Those guys again. It strikes me as being extremely interesting that some of our best data for the existence and application of phenomena consistent with a consciousness-centric/quantum-panpsychic view of the universe is implicated in the most insidious control and monitoring technology mankind has ever created. (If indeed, we did.)
I keep coming back to Russell Targ's repeated insistence that the results of his decades of remote viewing and psi investigations only go to show that the Patanjali was correct all along, and it took us a couple of thousand years to remember it. And I keep thinking, the Samkhya philosophy Targ refers to, expounded in the Bhagavad Gita, is actually part of a much larger tale, the Mahabarata.
And the thing about the Mahabarata is that, for sure, it describes the existence and functioning of the universe in terms of consciousness/The Mind of the Creator... but it also describes wars between extremely powerful and extremely ancient beings only tangentially related to humanity's story.
Especially when Grant Morrison tells it (found via Dedroidify):
Given the experiences Ingo Swann and others had in the Stargate Programme, and given that Targ admitted to Richard Dolan that he was training military personnel to remote view the far side of the moon in the early eighties at Fort Meade (look at the last line of the above quote), it does make one wonder whether there's an extra component, intentional or no, in Targ's alignment with this particular vision.
Which is as good a place as any to share with you all The Hole In The Roof, one of Frater Achad's 31 hymns to the star goddess.
Once I knew an ancient serpent. He delighted to bask in the Sunshine which penetrated through a tiny hole in the roof of the cave.
He was old and very wise.
He said: "Upon me is concentrated the Light of the whole Universe."
But a little brown beetle, who had long lived in the cave with him, looked up, and spreading his wings passed out through the hole in the roof -into the Infinite Beyond.
Thus, forsaking wisdom, would I come to Thee, Beloved Lady of the Starry Heavens.
It's beside the point to unpack the imagery -indeed it would entirely break the spell- but I personally found it quite arresting. On a related matter, here's some Kierkegaard:
The majority of men in every generation, even those who, as it is described, devote themselves to thinking (dons and the like), live and die under the impression that life is simply a matter of understanding more and more, and that if it were granted to them to live longer, that life would continue to be one long continuous growth in understanding. How many of them ever experience the maturity of discovering that there comes a critical moment where everything is reversed, after which the point becomes to understand more and more that there is something which cannot be understood.
That is Socratic ignorance, and that is what the philosophy of our times requires as a corrective.
As Johannes Climacus truly observes, the majority of men turn aside precisely where the higher life should begin for them, turn aside and become practical, "Man, father and champion bowler"; and, as Anti-Climacus truly remarks, the majority of men never experience the spiritual life; they never experience that qualitative encounter with the divine. To them the divine is simply a rhetorically meaningless hiatic superlative of the human: which explains their satisfaction with the idea of being able to form ever clearer conceptions of it, so that if they only had time, did not have to go to the office or their club or talk to their wives, if they only had time enough they would manage to understand the divine perfectly.
The route to the hole in the roof is a dangerous one. It's not as simple, sadly, as 'go toward the light'. Sometimes the light is false. Sometimes it is concealed. I think a lot about concealed data points and their implications; the probable prehistory of our solar system, the existence of fusion tech, corporate psi programmes.
Because, to a one, they all follow the same pattern. Grant Cameron again:
More definitively speaking, the CIA worried about a flying saucer-related technological surprise from the Soviets. In a September 24, 1952 memo to the Director of the CIA, from H. Marshall Chadwell, Assistant Director for Scientific Intelligence, Chadwell outlined the Intelligence requirements associated with flying saucers:
1. The present level of Soviet knowledge regarding these phenomena.
2. Possible Soviet intentions and capabilities to utilize these phenomena to the detriment of the United States security interest.
3. The reasons for silence in the Soviet press regarding flying saucers.
The fear over the “silence of the Soviet press” was legitimate, as the Americans had done a similar thing a decade previously in World War Two; the Americans had pulled all references on atomic research from The Physical Review and other journals where such things were discussed. One high-ranking physicist in Russia had interpreted this as a clear sign. He went to Stalin and told him “the Americans are building a bomb.”
We have a visceral reaction to the very notion that there is something in the world that we haven't been told about, especially if the implication is that someone else may know about it. The idea that the manufacture of truth and reality is not solely for our benefit is profoundly unpopular, but nevertheless must be squared. From Sinister Forces:
One of the earliest members of the Round Table was Aldous Huxley, and one of his earliest experiments was with the psychic Eileen Garrett, who was placed in a Faraday Cage to test her psychic abilities, as were such other famous names in the field as Peter Hurkos and Harry Stone.
In order to support his research, Puharich approached a variety of individuals for funding, including Henry Wallace. Wallace had been Secretary of Agriculture in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration and later his Vice President. Under Truman, Wallace had been Secretary of Commerce, and in 1948 ran for President himself on the Progressive Party ticket. In any event, Wallace agreed to help fund Puharich’s research, with a check for $4,458.73 in April of 1949. A princely sum at the time. And he visited the Round Table—according to Eileen Garrett—sometime in 1949-1950.
Another mysterious donor to the Foundation was one Walter Cabot Paine, of Boston, who donated $3,000. When a researcher attempted to interview Walter Paine, he was rebuffed immediately, and Paine did not answer any questions. Arthur Young, the Bell Helicopter designer and eventual guru himself, told the same researcher that Paine was an associate of his and an oil executive who wished to remain anonymous. Mr. Young was being a little disingenuous, for he was related to Walter C. Paine through marriage. Arthur Young would remain a close friend and associate of Puharich during the 1950s, and it is this relationship that—in the context of all we have been discussing so far—is absolutely stunning in its implications, for Arthur Young was married to a Forbes heiress, one Ruth Forbes Paine, who was a descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson. In other words, very old, very white money.
Walter Cabot Paine was the son of Robert Treat Paine, a wealthy Boston Brahmin and art patron who made a special study of Japanese art, and was a direct descendant of the Robert Treat Paine who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. W. C. was directly related to Ruth Forbes Paine Young’s previous husband, George Lyman Paine (who is also descended from Colonial American “royalty,” the Lyman family). Her son by that previous marriage, Michael Paine, married one Ruth Hyde. The reason for this heredity lesson is simple. In 1963, Michael and Ruth Hyde Paine befriended two poor immigrants from the Soviet Union: one Russian woman, Marina, and her American-born husband, Lee Harvey Oswald. The documents concerning the Paines and their relatives were sealed by the Warren Commission, and even District Attorney Jim Garrison could not get access to them when needed.
Linearity has a tendency to break down when you attempt to view it in an expanded fashion. When it comes to magic, this creates some unusual retro effects. Consider the following two quotes together. The first is from Magic of the Northgate:
[I]f a magician or a group of magicians/priests are planning to do a major working, the energy will start to form itself from the moment the time, date and intention is set. The initial action of focussed intent is always the starting point, rather than the beginning of the ritual/visionary work.
The second is from Dr Sheldrake's The Science Delusion.
One of the most interesting findings of precognition and presentiment research is that people seem to be influenced by themselves in the future, rather than by objective events. Precognitions are like memories of the future. Presentiments seem to involve a physiological back-flowing from future states of alarm or arousal, a flow of causation moving in the opposite direction to energetic causation. This is in agreement with the way that attractors pull organisms towards their inherited or learned goals, with flows of influence from virtual futures through the present towards the past.
Like Kierkegaard's unthinking man, spending centuries gathering terrestrial knowledge seems ultimately circular, ultimately futile. Especially when the dispensation of knowledge is so politicised. That would be 'wisdom' with a little 'w' that Achad's beetle forsook. What is needed instead is action. Action that begins with intentionality.
Returning then, to the cave, whose dimensions are mapped out by all your accumulated data points. No matter who else is in the cave, if you have committed yourself to finding the hole in the roof, even if you only did so today, then the retrocausal implication of your intention is that... somewhere, somewhen... you have already found it.