The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
We all get where Lovecraft was going with this. It’s a remarkably parsimonious (for him, anyway) description of an early twentieth century horror worldview, still shaking off the Gothic Romanticism of the previous century. However, I wonder if the inability -or unwillingness in the face of evidence today- of the human mind to correlate all its contents is not, in fact, the least merciful thing in the world.
Many of the cornerstones of monocultural and western magical ‘correct thinking’ have been shown to be shot through with unseemly people and agendas. The black civil rights movement, feminism, environmentalism, sixties counter-culture, western esotericism, science fiction… name the glass of champagne and it does not take too long to find the shadow state dick that swirled it. And over the last few decades as this evidence has emerged, demanding correlation, the broad practical occult response has been very Tobias Fünke.
Alternatively, the response has been to flee to either end of a Manicheanish spectrum:
- The physical realm -particularly the modern west- is a demonic prison presided over by extradimensional nasties from whom we must flee or over whom we must somehow triumph. Or…
- Everything is actually a luminous and wonderful manifestation of the divine and the troubles you are experiencing are due to improper thoughts because how else do I keep getting good parking spots, Mr Syrian refugee?
Because the series is called Archonology, I have been asked a bunch of times whether I ascribe to a generalised gnostic worldview (whatever that is). And the reality is I don’t. It’s just not a very good worldview, by which I mean -as maps go- it is insufficiently accurate in describing the terrain… ie the universe.
If you look at the historical conditions that gave rise to the various gnosticisms we know today, in most cases it is self-evident that the early gnostics never set out to describe reality. (Creation, sure… but not Reality.) You don’t really find the family trees and cultural/historical events you find in the Old Testament, for instance. What presides over the physical takes prominence over the physical. And it certainly nails the ‘mouth feel’ of some of these entities and their impact on the physical, but the story of our world is more than that.
Thus, gnosticism is not so much a map of London, but a set of precise instructions for getting out of it as expediently as possible. You see the critical difference here? So that it could focus on delivering its promised individualised divine experience, gnosticism sort of outsourced its description of the universe to Neoplatonism, which was the ‘right thinkers’ view of the universe at the time. (If New Scientist was around then, it would have been called New Neoplatonist. And however low my opinion of Neoplatonism, I would probably prefer to read that.)
This is why I keep glibly using the term ‘space shamanism’. Actually there are two reasons. The first is that it irritates people and I am a stinker that way. Secondly, because it can absorb the lived personal experience of extremely hostile nonphysical entities -you can say archons in the
wrong conspiratainment sense of the word, if you like- into a much broader, older and more physically inclusive experience of the spirit world… which is largely ambivalent to you until you show up, then it gets curious about you. Even in the natural world, curiosity is mistaken for attack because it can be very damaging. (Sharks.) Basically, there’s a whole bunch of stuff out there, and not everything is an interdimensional shape-shifting lizard.
Folding in Dr Witzel’s Laurasian mythology, we can discern at a sufficient time depth -30,000 to 40,000 years ago, give or take- the emergence of a set of protocols for spirit interaction that have been highly conserved across the intervening millennia (this is the story of my upcoming book, by the way) that can only have been triggered ‘spirit side’, so to speak. Golden Ages, Lost Continents, these are motifs that emerge in palaeolithic mythology at a time where they cannot be physically true, but instead speak to a sense of “c’mon guys, we used to know this”… like trying to remember someone’s phone number back in a time when people had to remember such things.
Here we see the emergence of The Fall, which Peter Grey correctly isolates as the defining motif of the western tradition. ‘The Fall’ probably arose in the context of a worldview of unreliable, sometimes-destructive, sometimes-beneficial engagement with a spirit realm that we have in some sense ‘fallen away’ from… and with that falling away comes corresponding holes in the universe’s narrative: some shit went down a long time ago and it could mean this… or that thing could be a remnant… I think maybe most of them were dicks but there had to have been at least one good guy.
And so we got the appearance of a ritualised need for allies, apotropaia and spirit journeys in a vastly old universe whose ‘true’ story we can only glimpse… enough to know it is long and dramatic. This world was also highly omnivorous and promiscuous; swapping songs, gods and tech because who knows? Maybe these pieces work?
Space shamanism -which isn’t an actual thing and is just a term- restores some of this absorbance. It is Babalon’s tampon. It is a chaos-magic-specific correlation of the contents of our world without sin, what it gets wrong and what it lies about… it is an ongoing repositioning around evidence of high strangeness and low skullduggery, because both are found in a magical universe. It is perpetual beta, which leads to superforecasting success:
The strongest predictor of rising into the ranks of superforecasters is perpetual beta, the degree to which one is committed to belief updating and self-improvement. It is roughly three times as powerful a predictor as its closest rival, intelligence.
The first time I realised YouTube could actually entertain me for a whole night was in early 2009. Granted, I’d only been in the country for less than a year and New Zealand’s appalling internet speeds may have been partially to blame, but one night after work, I sat down with a
glass bottle of wine and managed to keep myself occupied with long-ish form content for a whole evening. That was sort of the in-between time where the majority of the content finally moved up from 240p but before the crackdown on piracy was complete.
Now it is one of my favourite things to do when I have the place to myself… get some wine, open up the laptop, sit quietly (propped up in bed because I really am that disgusting) and just… vigorously YouTube. Today, one of the curious side effects of playing ‘dominant narrative whackamole’ on military infrastructure is that we have the opportunity to completely reposition worldviews simply by watching a few videos in sequence.
So watch these videos in sequence. (Bed and wine model’s own.) At the end of each one, always think back to Sharyl:
These next two relate to what I was saying about the Pope and the UN, which led to some grumbling in less salubrious corners of the internet.
Think of Sharyl, then watch this.
Manoj is everyone’s favourite billionaire, to be sure. And this is uplifting in the sense that it demonstrates what could be achieved with decentralised action. But it needs to be viewed in the context of the subsequent videos. Manoj is building bicycle-powered batteries for the developing world when there are breakaway technologies a couple of states over that blew past hydrocarbon energy decades ago.
I need further convincing that the destroyed Martian cultures were merely Bronze Age, but this is quite a good exploration of Dr Brandenburg’s work and his thesis.
The timelines of McCandlish’s story line up really well with my contention that this stuff went fully Deep Private in the Bush I 80s.
I’m not really interested in discussing whether these things are happening or not -particularly when it comes to narrative manipulation- because that ship has well and truly sailed. They are happening. It takes bravery to face that. I’m more interested in exploring how others correlate these actualities in their mind. It seems to me we exist in a universe that is massively shit, massively amazing and whose macro story is probably so incredible it could melt your face with wonder.
Never stop correlating.