Why Every Hamlet Wants to Play the Clown (& Why I Do What I Do)

hamlet-falstaff

Perhaps the reason every Hamlet wants to be a clown is that he knows it is closer to the truth of the human experience. What is art but evidence of human folly at its finest? Traveling into one’s unconscious to find inspiration for conscious expression can only ever backfire horribly. This is perhaps the only kind of success an artist can hope for–a horrible backfire by which the unconscious replaces the conscious, that is, becomes conscious, at the cost of the part which was previously conscious, or thought it was. Effective art is the destruction of the supposed self creating the supposed “art.” Which reminds me of the quote someone posted at my podcast page recently:

“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our
traditions, ever reminding us to place principles
before personalities.”

The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao; the artist who can be recognized is not a true artist (though s/he may be on the way to that). A flower is that which is one with the flow, and hence can never be picked. You cannot step in the same unconscious process twice, so why try?

It has been a while since I posted at the blog. A few words may be in order about why I do what I do (besides simply calling it compulsion and leaving it at that).[1]

Conspiracy theory is preoccupied with the controlling elite. The controlling elite are supposedly driven by a desire for wealth and power and are essentially psychopathic (whatever that means). This may be true of Hilary or Trump; it may even be true of the shadow individuals behind Hilary & Trump; but how many layers do we have to penetrate before we reach something approaching a true ruling elite, and not merely their handmaids and foot soldiers?

While I have not (knowingly) met any of these individuals, and without speculating as to the existence of old seers, dark sorcerers, and/or reptilian overlords, this hypothetical hidden über-elite do not appear to me to be driven by a goal of wealth or worldly power (since they already possess it), but by something deeper and darker, but also, more nuanced (less obviously psychopathic).

By definition we can’t identify these hidden über-controllers, much less psychoanalyze them, but we do have a class of cultural elite who are very much visible to us and may be instrumental in extending and maintaining the power structures, such as they are, even while ostensibly claiming to want to challenge them.  This elite-intelligentsia class may not be included in what we think of as the 1% in terms of wealth, yet their influence is observably more far-reaching than many of the more obvious power-players. These cultural leader types have been the focus of much of my attention as a writer and podcaster recently: more visible elite social engineers who are often indistinguishable from our cultural heroes, characters such as Aleister Crowley, George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Gregory Bateson, Margaret Mead, Gore Vidal, Richard Dawkins, Arthur C. Clarke, and Whitley Strieber, to name just a few who can be directly tied, either to social engineering programs or to organized sexual abuse, or both. Such characters may or may not participate (sometimes perhaps unwittingly) in an ongoing cultural conspiracy for dominance, via not force but persuasion. The few that can be identified and named are, I now strongly suspect, the tip of a cultural iceberg that has pretty much sunk the Titanic of our individual and collective soul-connection (our capacity for discernment), and they have done so via a kind of cultural colonization of our consciousness, using every last sphere of influence, whether religious, scientific, magical, artistic, political, or spiritual.

Some would say this makes me paranoid, or at least overly suspicious. Not just “ordinary” people but perhaps especially the more sophisticated, cultural leader-y types (some of whom I have had on my podcast), people like James Kunstler, Erik Davis, John Michael Greer, Christopher Knowles, Jeffrey Kripal, and countless others, would I am sure tell me I am exaggerating or even confabulating by suggesting such a thing. Some of them might be lying, but at least some of them would be sincere in their skepticism. When you are a fish, it is very, very hard to reject water. It seems like suicide.

Yet in a way, my current perspective is the opposite of paranoia, since such a far-reaching and deep-running “conspiracy” effectively implicates every last one of us, so there is no “them” left standing. From such a (post-paranoia) viewpoint, all conspiracy theory is woefully naive in imagining external groups pulling strings (though these do exist), because manufacturing the values, beliefs, and narratives which we adopt, from birth on, and which we use to navigate reality, means that we, ourselves, are conspiring, with every breath and word, to oil and polish the golden bars imprisoning our souls, yea and verily, unto the ages. Not a pretty picture, one that makes potentially futile every last attempt to understand the nature of our imprisonment.

And to be sure, none of this prevents me from enjoying my cat, but it is interesting to consider nonetheless.

*

hamlet-death

When I talk about people who would dismiss this perspective as implausible in the extreme, a generalization that cannot possibly be backed up by specific evidence, I am perhaps really only giving voice to a part of my own psyche that continues to doubt the same evidence I am presenting. Every public figure is deceiving us? Yes, but also No! There are the specifics and then there are the generalities we make from them, and generalities are always premature. To have an opinion, one must overlook something. We enter a discussion bringing with us the generalities we have been indoctrinated to believe, such as the generality that most individuals, artistic or otherwise, are acting relatively independently and are motivated by similar things as ourselves. Or we slowly adopt another generality that is the reverse of this, that all public figures are implicated in hidden agendas and dark practices, etc. It’s way easier to argue generalities than specifics, since the former are finite and the latter aren’t. We could get into why we think any given individual is a devious cultural engineer and lay out all the evidence (as I did with Strieber), but though this would be the more fruitful approach, it also takes a helluva lot longer.

On the other hand, the generalities we end up subscribing to are either ones we have been indoctrinated with (making them, to my mind, worthless), or they are based on our own research, experience, investigation, and discernment, and hence of great value to ourselves, at least as temporary stepping stones from one side of the river (total social indoctrination) to the other, where enlightenment, if such a thing exists, awaits us.

Arguments about generalities are generally (!) philosophical ones. Discussions about specifics are more about facts and factoids and our interpretations of them, such as my ongoing arguments with people about whether the information we have about Aleister Crowley indicates complicity with organized sexual abuse and/or ritual murder, whether Whitley Strieber has CIA connections and his alien abduction experiences the earmarks of dissociative trauma states plus mind control, and so on. The obstacle that arises then is that it appears as though I am attempting to blacken the name of cultural figures and accuse them of all sorts of wrongdoings, and/or that I am exploring the question of moral corruption or evil, when in fact, I am only trying to get to the bottom of our social reality, where the truth is concealed. If what I uncover appears to us as evil, then the world itself is evil, and so are we complicit with that evil. Sorry, but them’s the breaks.

I had an insight today thinking about how what I am learning about widespread organized and ritual abuse indicates that the entire social fabric is not what it appears to be, is essentially malign. It occurred to me that, while most people (even those who recognize the reality of widespread organized ritual abuse) are reluctant to reach such an all-condemning conclusion, when it comes to individuals, that is exactly how most people react. When the truth came out about Jimmy Savile, very few people argued that he had also done many good things and so we should not judge him only for his evil acts. The fact he had committed terrible wrongs cancelled out the apparent goodness of his other actions. There was no attempt to weigh the good against the bad and decide if, overall, he might be more good than bad, or an even blend of the two, and so reserve judgment about Savile, the man. One act of the sort of depravity Savile is now infamous for is enough to condemn him in our eyes. Yet Savile was only behaving the way countless others were and are behaving and was protected by a social system, a social reality, that secretly condones the very same acts it overtly condemns. This same society is not now seen as beyond redemption or as in need of total condemnation. It is enough to condemn Savile, totally, and, while expressing some concerns about the society that spawned him, more or less continue to put our trust and faith in that same society. Savile is not so much a genuine boogeyman as a very effective scapegoat. Condemning him as evil is necessary to maintain the notion that society is generally good.

saville-hell

There is a widespread but I think atavistic belief in evil as an independent force that unifies both the religious and the secular point of view. To me, evil can’t be talked about as anything but a side effect of being and acting unconsciously for too long a period, over too many generations. It is denial that has become endemic, corrosive, malignant. But denial is everywhere, and rather than exploring the question of evil, I’m interested in examining the evidence of widespread complicity with things we consider evil, a complicity that permeates our social reality and, once uncovered, more or less invalidates everything we think we know about it, and about ourselves. Jimmy Savile is one such a lens, but only if we remember two things: that his power to commit evil was entirely dependent on the society that empowered him; and that we, as the British public who supported his celebrity, were indispensable to that bestowing of power. (If you aren’t British, substitute Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, or whoever.)

If there is such a thing as conscious, willed “evil” (such as most of us want to attribute to Savile), it pertains to participation in darkly destructive practices for a specific, conscious end. I would guess that it is a spiritual end (immortality, say) rather than a mundane one of wealth and status, and that such individuals are pursuing goals and practicing principals that are quite foreign, even incomprehensible, to most of us. At the other end of this spectrum there is the unconscious, undirected, and unintentional “evil” of what I presume must be the majority of humanity, those of us who have been roped into these agendas by being birthed through and weaned on a culture deliberately created by these groups. It’s the area in-between the two ends of this spectrum of social evil that interests me. I feel as though I have lived my life close to the agendas being perpetrated yet unaware of them, that I have unwittingly aligned with them, aspired to ends instilled in me by them, and suffered unduly as a consequence of an unconscious alignment with “evil.” For me to explore this material then is to live an examined life. It is a seed-sorting process: to identify what is truly the “I,” of the Soul and separate its pure, clear signal from the noise of what is not-I, a blind that is of the world and that has been organized (or self-organized) to simulate the soul-signal, and lure me into a seeming infinity of dead-ends.

Of course it is not enough to say (to oneself), “It is all lies!” or “Everyone who is anyone is part of the psychopathic elite!” and so on. This only leads to subjugation to another generality. One has to see the specifics of it, time and again, until it becomes a lived experience of that “conspiracy” that is not only all around us but all through us. What happens then? I don’t know. A letting go into the morass of evil? A relaxed and even amused submersion into and absorption by that which is most abhorrent to us? The shadow that is the soul, seen from a backwards I?

This is “Neti Neti,” not this, neither that. It is the spiritual path at a pragmatic, mundane level, a process of recognizing that every element within my environment has an equal potential to deceive me as to guide me, that, seen as apparent individual agents, these elements are always deceptive, and that it is only when they are seen as part of a larger, conscious design that they can be recognized as reflections of my own unconscious struggle to become conscious. All of this preoccupation with apparent artists and cultural pioneers being implicated in a dastardly plot for world domination is of course my own shadow, and world domination itself is a poor man’s–or a tragic hero’s, or a clown’s–substitute for the mastery of one’s own attachments to externals. The false individuation through violence of the psychopathic clown is a futile attempt to conquer the world rather than to surrender to the world and so overcome the socially installed “evil” (our world-allegiance) within us.

Ironically, this makes a close observation of false individuation the ideal means to a true individuation. We are whatever is left once we have rejected all that is not-us. We are whatever way is left open to us, once we have uncoupled from the way of the world.

This is why Hamlet must play such close attention to Falstaff, even if, unfortunately, tragically, they are never found in the same performance.[2]

*****

[1] These thoughts were first expressed  in the comments section at an online discussion of an essay by Brian George, “The Snare of Distance and the Sunglasses of the Seer,” Part Two

[2] This peculiar last line was perhaps an expression of the author’s desire to be less Hamlet, and more Falstaff, and be true to the principle that comedy is a more accurate repression* of reality than tragedy. If so, he of course failed, pathetically, and was a fool to try. Ha ha! [* Meant to read “expression,” but the typo was too interesting not to leave in.]

78 thoughts on “Why Every Hamlet Wants to Play the Clown (& Why I Do What I Do)

  1. Regarding motive: I’ve encountered an individual who claims great metaphysical power and some social power (could be full of BS but he tells a consistent and moderately convincing story) – he claims his objective is no less than to force a confrontation between humanity and the Demiurge Himself.

      • Well, I thought you might be interested in hearing what one of those foreign/incomprehensible goals might be, from (putatively) the horse’s mouth. Even if the guy is crazy or a troll, given the rest of the scattered material he’s written, he at least channels an “elite” mindset with high fidelity!

        • Sure; they aren’t incomprehensible or even foreign to me; I may have even shared them to some degree. One of the things that “came out” about John de Ruiter during the period I came to believe he was a dark sorcerer was that he saw his spiritual mission as letting Satan possess him to do battle with Christ within his own soul or psyche. This may have been his own justification, rationale, or, who knows, bona fide reason, for some highly questionable moral behaviors. Or he may have simply lost the plot.

  2. ‘it is only when they are seen as part of a larger, conscious design that they can be recognized as reflections of my own unconscious struggle to become conscious’

    What would happen if you let go of beliefs like that and stopped analysing everything? It seems to me, and I could be completely wrong, that your urge to uncover everything or delve into everything is your way of taking refuge in the mind and procrastinating from what you know is to be ‘done’ which is to allow it all to be.

        • Okay, another thing that’s wrong is that that was a pat answer, but please carry on writing.

          Yes, but maybe that’s because it was a pat criticism?

          A less pat answer: the suggestion, one I have heard countless times both from outer and inner voices (in other words, one I consider every time I write), did not sound like the voice of a deeper knowing, but that of an “alter” made uncomfortable by what is being uncovered here. Hence the “pat” on the head.

      • Maybe the ‘pat criticism’ was directed as a reminder to myself as much as to you, just the sense of looking for love in the wrong places, like from the dopamine rush we get from the internet or the feeling of validation we get from praise and attention. maybe the ‘alter’ you talk of is the narcist looking for it’s supply.

  3. But you are not doing it wrong, at all. I am enjoying reading these thoughts of yours. Prisoners kill child abusers, they look on them as the lowest of the low. Most people have a strong aversion. The people in charge seem to be cut from a different cloth. Responses to the freewheeling control grid we find ourselves in can range from Falstafian drunken laughter to Hamlet’s mental anguish but probably a third way, an unprovoked response should be sought. That said the fact you mention Bateson got my attention. Thank you for your writing.

  4. Glad to play some part in sparking inspiration, Jasun. Love the Fuseli painting. I see Hamlet has been doctored into the left foreground. There’s old Falstaff crashing in, landing on his ass.

    I wasn’t sure where I should leave this comment, at Metapsychosis, or here after your piece at your site. It’s an intriguing piece. I get the gist, kind of understanding it in my gut, but in my intellect, my reasoning faculty, I find myself wanting more concrete proof. Ritual abuses are some heavy charges. You mention how time-consuming, what an immense task, it would be connecting the dots. Yet, for the kind of things you assert, that’s probably the only way to get doubters and skeptics to come around to seeing more what you perceive in the shadowy depths. (Maybe you’ve attempted this before? I’m relatively new to you and your work.) In the meantime I imagine there are many who will continue to pigeon-hole you. I suppose you’ve grown used to it and to cope with charges of paranoia and whatnot have developed a considerable sense of irony, pushing it so far that pathos enters into the humor of it, and even the impending doom of tragedy. I see how this ties into how you open and close the piece, with mention of Hamlet and Falstaff, the parenthesis or bookends of your piece.

    It’s truly a gigantic thought you’re trying to get hold of. The amazing thing is that you name names, like an informant. It’s like being a whistleblower in the metaphysical realm. In relation to that gigantic thought, I feel like a fly on the hind of a behemoth.

    Crowley orchestrated and engaged in ritual abuse when he was alive, with all that occult mystery around it, but it’s amazing to think that aura continues, a disembodied Crowleyan intelligence. That’s where the difficulty is for me. I prefer demystification to feeding into continuing a legend, fattening it up, keeping it alive. Of course I desire this to be done not by turning away in denial. I want facts, even provisional facts, something more substantial to hold onto to sober up the atmosphere. Shedding light into the actual machinery of what generates the Persuasion is the only thing that will lead to the kind of knowledge needed to defuse it.

    And even if you had (or perhaps have) that knowledge, that’s only the beginning of the gigantic task and risky undertaking to get by all the armed guards, over the high walls, down the corridors full of mirrors and decoys to the inner sanctum where the machine which generates all the Persuasion is held and maintained.

    Watching Chimes at Midnight again, the vital need Falstaff has for Prince Hal – the relationship between those two is absolutely fascinating, and in the end, heartbreaking – a bite is in the undercurrents of Falstaff’s wit, an aggression, but he’s powerless except through the force of his character alone, so everything comes off with this rotund amusement, even maternal in its quality. He’s like a declawed and defanged animal who nonetheless expresses himself like he’s a mighty lion. It’s like a running gag, would be completely pathetic if he wasn’t so heartily invested in his relationships, his clever misdirections and tall tales. The pathetical is there, but he pushes through it continually (no doubt with the aid of sack or drink) like someone mired in shit and if he doesn’t keep moving will drown in it.

    • Great comments, thanks. Yes the painstaking dot-connecting has gone on for some time now, most notably in the last two series at this blog, “Occult Yorkshire” (with my own family as the departure point), and “Prisoner of Infinity” (using the writings of Whitley Strieber & Jeffrey Kripal as a way “in” to the labyrinth). More recently I’ve been looking into Crowley but have not blogged the material as yet, not counting a couple of pieces and the dialogue with Levenda.

      Metaphysical whistleblowing, I like it! Well, my ego does anyhow. This is what I called the Second Matrix: an internal architecture that has been created (and/or is self-creating) through trauma, fragmentation, & mind control, within consciousness itself, both individual & collective. It is literally diabolical. It’s also the nature of the beast, i.e., of incarnate existence. Nothing to write home about. But seeing it clearly may be the only way home…

      Of your points that stand out: Crowley orchestrated and engaged in ritual abuse when he was alive, with all that occult mystery around it, but it’s amazing to think that aura continues, a disembodied Crowleyan intelligence. That’s where the difficulty is for me. I prefer demystification to feeding into continuing a legend, fattening it up, keeping it alive.

      I would hate to think I was doing this, fattening the sacred cows I wish to ritually slaughter. The Crowley eggregore gorged itself on my own psychic energy for decades, so I feel like this is the opposite, withdrawing that “feed-tube,” cancelling the pact, reneging on the deal: blowing the whistle is something only insiders can do. I am chagrined by my complicity with the deception, but when we are fed on a diet of rotten fish, our breaths can’t not stink.

      • Crowley is dead. The necessary occult funereal closure has been completed though it has had to last decades longer than natural light would care to disclose. The massive attack on sensibility, that is occultism, is dying. We who are still alive have reached the cosmic finishing line. Nobody is to blame and blame needs repositioning. The gulp that is psychic history and domain is faltering amidst a universal panpsychism. But for Fortune it would also be negative art and philosophy. Fortune is the melody of salvation, and as such near to our increasingly humble hearts. But cosmic truth just can’t unlock our human hearts. Only we have the keys to that mystery and only we have the prescience to know that though we are forever lost, we are not ever truly not loved all the way to the problem’s end and the revelation that is divine.

    • Outer and inner limits are here screened. Have we all had our thyroids checked out recently? A crucifixion is taking place and we are not cognisant. Crowley exhausted orgasmic consciousness and its willing offspring rock ‘n’ roll delivered an endless rhythm of blues. We are essentially without wit because we are belaboured by ‘sin’. The colossus that is total worldwide depravity is what is suffocating us. We are dying without recourse to grace because we have been robbed of innocence. The Fuseli is Blakean. Hamlet is an eternal cul-de-sac from which Shakespeare (?) delivered the original software for intellectual mesmerism and a consequential intellectual cabalism.

  5. Brilliant reply, Jasun. Wonderfully vivid, and personally helpful, resonant to me, sticking in memory as some crucial piece for constructing the internal compass needed for navigating in this world. Just straight up, I love how you worded that. I can see that and understand it. This kind of envisioning helps granted it remains more hard and clear, and doesn’t pander too much to cleverness, ending up as mere obfuscation. I get the point Vivian makes about loss of wit, but I’m not so melodramatic. I still think it’s possible for flashes of wit. I’d argue that loss of innocence (inevitable) is actual fuel for wit, putting bite into it, adding flavor and spice. A baby hasn’t yet developed the faculties and understanding to be a connoisseur. It may be that wit flourishes most, and has its most brilliant and profound representatives, in the most depraved and decadent times. Sapphires in the mud. The unfolding of the lotus doesn’t happen in some beatific innocence, celestially maintained; it happens in the corruption of this world, in the debased, the soiled. Otherwise the purity of the flower has no poignance, and literally becomes tasteless, and generic.

    One of the main traits of Falstaff the character, one might say one of his virtues, is his ability to improvise full tumble, holding nothing back, waging all because he had nothing to lose, and weaseling himself out of every situation. When he was caught fibbing in the amusing extension of his tall tales, he didn’t deny but to the delight of all popped into his mouth his own failure like an appetizer. He could lose himself in the moment and be chuckling inside, with a wink and a nod, even after he had made an ass of himself. He held no grudges and just kept plowing forward, even through shit and garbage up to his armpits. His appetite for life is infectious. Wit incarnate I’d argue, surfacing in contexts both high and low, like a lifeline made of rags tied together. He frustrates and maddens because he undermines Ideals, but this is also why he’s such an attractive character. What a strange thing that he stinks but also is a breath of fresh air! As one says that Death is the Grand Leveler, something about Falstaff coincides with that. He’s a crossroads figure, everything that passes through him coming out either music, or a fart. He brings the low high, and the high low. He improvises in the moment, doing what he can to survive. He has prince in him, glimmers of a noble lineage, but also the filthy and destitute homeless we see more and more in the world. I love him, and find in him some helpful key to existing in the present world, with a robust outward flow, which, being not anemic and sallow-faced, but rather ruddy and full of blood – his wit perhaps his only weapon, his little dagger, his slim and flimsy sword, not lethal but like a theater prop, which makes one laugh all the more because of his shameless lack of grace using it – like the guy on the dance floor who has no rhythm but doesn’t give a damn and dances anyway.

  6. Ha ha! Well observed, Vivian. Was Falstaff, then, a psychopath? A grandiose narcissist? Did he have ambitions on such a scale as Trump? I hardly think so. I do think there are crucial differences. But you are right, the superficial resemblance after my description is there. I wonder what an actual encounter between Falstaff and Trump would look like.

  7. Vivian’s short observant reply is notable. I’m very glad for it. It got me thinking all early evening how it is that Falstaff differs from Trump. (Trump is up with the Power Elite and continually asserts that he’s a “winner.” He has made a brand of himself, and appears now to want to multiply and spread his name and image all over America. It might not be a stretch to say that if he could he’d change the name of America to The United States of Trump. He doesn’t appear to have introspective moments which reveal vulnerability. He’s all extroverted macho aggression. Falstaff is more the opposite, not boorish but earthy in his profaneness. His energy is robust and vigorous but there’s something also maternal about him, wide open and mutual, a kind of rough and tumble nurturing that goes on around him. He strikes me as being more of an embodiment of the Everyman. He’s not rich and in fact is in debt. He is forced by circumstances to be cunning, but he’s not ruthless and is so transparent that he doesn’t really get away with much. He is humored and played along with by those around him not for trembling fear of him but because of the unconscious force of humanity about him and because of his quick wit, which seems to rise up out of the earth and belong to everyone – he says much more interesting things than Trump, is much more gifted with words – and he does reveal human vulnerability. I think inside that mass of blubber there is a soul of fine feeling and in his spirit there is something of the innocent child.)

    Brought on by Vivian’s reply, I began thinking not only of how Falstaff differs from Trump, but also how this “guilt by association” thinking which all of us have had built-in or indoctrinated into us on some level, as part of social conditioning, blocks us from closer and more honest and intimate examination of characters. We dread certain associations, always of course wanting to stay on the side of the “good” and the “just”, and that very dread of being “associated with the bad and with evil” keeps discourse on a superficial level. Rather than humanizing, we tend demonize.

    So to bring this around to Jasun Horsley’s project – considering for instance someone like Crowley, and what it would take to deflate the Myth and break the spell of the occult power: I think attacking Crowley actually feeds blood and life into the Myth and only makes his occult power grow stronger. As counter-intuitive as this might seem, the way to deflate the whole phenomenon and to bring it down to size, to loosen the tentacle-grip on one’s psyche, is to humanize. But this of course is extremely difficult. Humanize Hitler, humanize Crowley, unearth details which more fill out their characters in a human sense, and many people, the guilt-by-association kicking in, will start to attack one personally as if one is condoning and endorsing certain behaviors.

    • the way to deflate the whole phenomenon and to bring it down to size, to loosen the tentacle-grip on one’s psyche, is to humanize. But this of course is extremely difficult. Humanize Hitler, humanize Crowley, unearth details which more fill out their characters in a human sense, and many people, the guilt-by-association kicking in, will start to attack one personally as if one is condoning and endorsing certain behaviors.

      Exactly right, and where i got stuck with the Crowley examination pertains directly to this; unlike with Strieber or Castaneda, my dislike of AC, combined with what i suspect is the magnitude of his depravity, has made it almost impossible for me to really empathize with him, as yet. Yet that’s precisely what makes it a worthy challenge for me. It’s ironic that AC defenders are actually preventing a full humanization to happen by refusing to allow aspects of the man to be considered, refusing to allow for a more rounded 360 degree view.

      Not sure about Trump or Hilary; my feeling is that the problem here is rather the reverse: seeing these as human beings rather than sock puppets for controlling forces (of the id) leads people to fall into the trap of taking theater for reality, roles for actors. The effort to humanize Hilary (including the illness) seems to be a necessary balancing out of the attempt to demonize Trump. It’s bad Hollywood script, the sort of melodrama Shakespeare never sank to. (Or that’s my impression hearing others talk about it; I don’t pay any attention to it otherwise.)

  8. Hi Jasun,

    I suppose to humanize is not necessarily synonymous with empathy. There are some characters which no matter how one cuts it or looks at it one can’t find anything redeemable or a way to relate. Identification is a hard proposition. The best one might do is see the subject plainly, allowing not just some but all the facts one can find to factor into the painting of the portrait. We humans are fallible and have our subjective biases, but I do think there’s something to be said for objective research and scholarship, at least the aspiration to a presentation of facts which first excludes interpretation. All the warring interpretations, both the attackers and defenders, just muddy the water and lead to no understanding at all. Everyone comes away empty-handed, bitter and angry. All that really happens then is an inflammation of one’s biases, everyone becoming more stubbornly hardened in their views. It becomes an entirely other phenomenon in itself. The original subject is lost in the mix. One only gets further and further away from the original subject.

    It is quite fascinating how tremendous depravity often exists behind seductive and glamorous appearances. If that depravity is predatory it obviously cannot come out into the open. It thrives in secrecy, and uses mystery to its advantage, as a means of magnetism and seduction, in some sense decorating itself in occult symbols and rituals for the purpose. It’s like bait for the trap. That’s what grabs the interest of the naive and unassuming, coming like lambs to slaughter.

    Hey Vivian, thanks very much for posting the link to the piece about Norman Ohler’s book about Hitler and the Nazis and drug use. This is what I’m talking about… This sort of thing is valuable to helping fill out the whole picture, giving one a better idea of what actually happened.

  9. Thanks, John. The spiritual battle here referred to is ongoing through and by necessity. It is what Christianity does or at least should be doing. Individuals stand a poor chance against the invisible as the odds are not encouraging. Traditionally, a collective force against evil is required in order to deflect it, or, at best defeat it. The latter, established through the purer channels of organised sacramental religion, theology, and revelation. Of course, if one has no patience with the concept of the human soul and its salvation then one can see how that plays into the hands of darker forces; the devil is laughing all the way to the Bank of lost souls. The conquest of the devil is the name of the game. It is clear not all human beings are bothered about experiencing a consciousness out with of the psychotic and neurotic suffering caused by an absence of a higher spiritual power in whose trust one places heart and soul for the brief period we are in this world. Redemption, it seems, is not a high priority for a great many. Of course, this takes us straight to the Bible and how it is not read, studied or loved. Materialistic society makes sure Christianity is marginalised for how else could the devil prosper in readiness for the ‘end’.

    The Temptation during the forty days in the desert was the occasion of a first, preliminary confrontation between Christ and Satan, who had enslaved the human race. Christ, as the evangelists make clear, was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit. The point of the incident is that in the desert, and under the trial inflicted on Him, Christ affirmed His complete subjection to the Father and trust in Him. The three temptations each show Christ refusing to do anything which was not in accordance with the will of the Father, that is, with the divine will common to Christ and His Father.

    To hasten to a point of reference I was struck by observing both Eric Clapton and David Bowie saying ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ in the middle of separate concerts, both kneeling. The occult is a prison and there seems to be only one sure way out and free of its tentacles! Salvation from such a nightmare by washing away excess arcane knowledge etc seems like a pretty good deal whilst it is available. To defeat occultism and divorce from the likes of AC requires all dials to be reset to Faith, Hope and Charity (I trust) amongst other glories of understanding.

    • Hi Vivian: I am less than persuaded by the Christian/Manichean narrative of a war between light & dark even as a metaphor (which I am guessing is how you mean it). I think it’s much saner to view Christ’s encounter with the devil in the desert as a meeting with his own internal “alter” than as any external force. Was the devil’s greatest trick convincing us he does not exist, or the reverse, convincing us of the existence of an evil outside of us to be defeated? Surely the problem of duality isn’t solved by bigging up one side to destroy the other, but by allowing them to both exist in a complementary fashion? Ergo the goal is to surrender the part of us that wants to overcome the devil and meet the “adversary” (the shadow) without weapons or defenses. The only “force” that can overcome “evil” is the opposite of force: total lack of resistance, which is one with surrender to the Father’s will (though I’d question the anthropomorphization), doing nothing to resist the devil’s temptations, besides not to believe them. What’s key to that encounter for me is that Christ didn’t challenge or accuse satan, he simply held fast to his knowing in the face of his own doubts and human weakness.

      I think I mentioned Rene Girard on Satan?

      Excerpt from René Girard’s I See Satan Fall Like Lightning (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2001, the beginning of Chapter 3, “Satan,” pages 32-38):

      Now I would like to confirm what I call the “mimetic cycle” in the Gospels. To do this we have to turn to an idea, or rather a figure, that Christians today much disdain. The Gospels call him by his Hebrew name, Satan, or his Greek title, the devil (diabolos). (1)

      In the period when the German theologian Rudolf Bultmann had such great influence, all the theologians who were up to date “demythologized” the Scriptures with all their might, but they didn’t even do the prince of this world the honor of demythologizing him. In spite of his considerable role in the Gospels, modern Christian theology scarcely takes him into account. If the Gospel references to Satan are examined in light of the preceding analyses, then we see that they don’t deserve the oblivion into which they have fallen.

      Like Jesus, Satan seeks to have others imitate him but not in the same fashion and not for the same reasons. He wants first of all to seduce. Satan as seducer is the only one of his roles that the modern world condescends to remember a bit, primarily to joke about it. Satan likewise presents himself as a model for our desires, and he is certainly easier to imitate than Christ, for he counsels us to abandon ourselves to all our inclinations in defiance of morality and its prohibitions.

      If we listen to Satan, who may sound like a very progressive and likeable educator, we may feel initially that we are “liberated,” but this impression does not last because Satan deprives us of everything that protects us from rivalistic imitation. Rather than warning us of the trap that awaits us, Satan makes us fall into it. He applauds the idea that prohibitions are of no use and that transgressing them contains no danger.

      The road on which Satan starts us is broad and easy; it is the superhighway of mimetic crisis. But then suddenly there appears an unexpected obstacle between us and the object of our desire, and to our consternation, just when we thought we had left Satan far behind us, it is he, or one of his surrogates, who shows up to block the route. This is the first of many transformations of Satan: the seducer of the beginnings is transformed quickly into a forbidding adversary, an opponent more serious than all the prohibitions not yet transgressed.

      http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board2/viewtopic.php?p=582703#p582703

      • Yes, but while it’s true that we may do well to uncover / embrace the “inner shadow”, is it not also true that a force external to our own psyches (call it evil, the adversary, artificial intelligence or what have you) might also exist, and that this should actually be resisted whole-heartedly?

        Having been raised and indoctrinated in a New Age-type belief system very much influenced by A Course In Miracles (which I later realized has some dubious MKUTRA ties), I have contemplated these competing ideas of overcoming inner versus outer “evil” quite extensively.

        One thing I have come to realize is that it’s unwise for us to simply stand down and contemplate our inner worlds while externally allowing a great evil to devour the world we all must live in. This might seem obvious to most people, but if you were raised the way I was you would understand the mental struggle it was for me to fully embrace this idea.

        I do think the inner work is critical, most especially that which brings us more in alignment with the purest expression of our true nature. Simultaneously though, I also believe that we must resist on all levels that which seeks to enslave us by standing firm in our own power and regaining sovereignty of our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical selves. In recognizing and rejecting that which is not of us, all of the programming, conditioning, inauthentic behaviours and false beliefs, we effectively resist this adversary in some way. This is only the beginning though. Active real-world resistance on many fronts is also necessary as the time for complacency is over.

        I think too many of us have been brainwashed by shame-based ways of thinking where we are led to believe that our nature is to sin and harbour all of this darkness and evil. What if that’s a lie? What if those dark and twisted elements of humanity are not in our nature, and they really do stem from something external? Do we really need to accept them, embrace them and integrate them? How can we be sure this is a good idea? Could it be some humans are more “infected” than others?

        I’m not saying I have the answer to these questions, just I thought I would throw them out there…

        • What you say and describe is essential to mental and moral wellbeing as well as any hope for the possibility of an unfolding good for mankind. Our outer selves a reflection of our inner selves and vice-versa more often than we care to admit. To seek out deeper and deeper inner perspective and knowledge is not as natural a path for humans as one might expect.It is largely forced upon us through traumatic experience or circumstance. Indeed, the unseen is dangerous, simply because it always has the advantage of surprise and incomparable resources of unconscious light and dark hues going back to humankind’s very first sensibility. When confronted by bad personal experience or insufficient external political and social threats or moves to extinguish freedoms and hard-won progress towards a way of living that is civilised and worthy; we need to be able to live and feel in an external way of being able to defend our sense of moral strength and good. The latter takes us swiftly to an external warrior status and cognition. Waking as from an overlong slumber we once again feel purpose and if rising negative forces threaten civilisation’s central purpose then we dust down and prepare to brace adversity and hostility in a manner of the wisdom of battle. Any resultant glory is, of course, dubious but the concept does exist and is constructed around an essential chivalry of mind. One where we are prepared to sacrifice all for others, ultimately, even our lives. An instinct externally higher than internally deep, and a philosophical gamble which materialises valour. Bravery is a metaphorical sword. The battle for the planet is external. The battle for our souls internal. The outer protects the inner otherwise all is endangered but the inner shapes the outer to the point of victory or defeat.

  10. Hi Jasun, this is a big one. A visualisation of The Hierophant has been signalling to me and is confirmed by your excellent analysis, writing and references here. Your understanding is persuasive and whilst reading the piece I shuddered at moments of psychological realisation. As much as I can sense the tarot’s influence on your thinking and rationalisation, consciously or otherwise, such a thought structure, such a design can’t be a mnemonic device for a set doctrine or set understanding; not that that is your intention. We are all subject to the temptations of rhetorical device.
    However, what you describe it is both a tragic and romantic landscape. ‘Tarot symbolism is a philosophical slide-rule on which the individual can work his own metaphysical and religious and psychological equations’ (from William Lindsay Gresham’s preface to Charles William’s “The Greater Trumps”, 1950 edition). Aren’t we wise to be cautious of our intensifying intelligence and philosophical and theological creativity? ‘There is no single trump which represents Man. The Tarotist himself is man and since the symbols point to relationships between God, Man and the Universe, the student at once becomes part of the Dance’ (reference, as above). The psychology of the ‘Dance of Shiva’ and its cosmic dance to destroy a weary universe and prepare for its renewal is what I most understand from your psychotherapeutic symbolism and narrative or am I running in the opposite direction for fear’s sake. There isn’t enough time eventually to truly know. We think eternally but we are not entirely sure our understanding of trauma will produce enough fuel to get us to our imagined destination. Missing is the comfort of historical theology.
    Milicent Bell analyses Shakespeare’s four great tragedies in order to illustrate how the will to believe in universal coherence and meaning struggles unsuccessfully against scepticism. Bell argues that in the four great tragedies contrary views contend from line to line so that the audience must continually question the accepted truths of the time. As Stephen Booth wrote of Hamlet, Shakespeare took his audience to the “brink of intellectual terror.” That terror was characterised by the sense of limitless and boundlessness as well as the experience of “perceiving a multitude of intense relationships in an equal multitude of different systems of coherence, systems not subordinate to one another in a hierarchy of relative power.” This phenomenon in Hamlet is characterised as exemplary of an ‘epistemological crisis’ whereby, “the individual may come to recognise the possibility of systematically different possibilities of interpretation, of the existence of alternative and rival schemata which yields mutually incomprehensible of what is going on around him” (‘Are You Alone Wise’ by Susan E. Schreiner).
    Like Montaigne, Shakespeare posed the question of how the human being could find hid bearings in an ever-shifting world. How are we to pierce through appearances to reality? Shakespeare’s characters had to negotiate reality in a universe far from God, a universe that was far from certain, dissolving, in confusion, and often malevolent. His tragic heroes searched for reality in the midst of deceptions and delusions. And, once again, the anxiety about finding truth and reality expressed itself in questions about the relationship between appearances and reality.
    In this sense, Dionysiac man might be said to resemble Hamlet: both have looked deeply into the true nature of things, they have understood and are now loath to act. They realise that no action of theirs can work any change in the eternal condition of things and they regard the imputation as ludicrous or debasing that they should set right the time that is out of joint. Understanding kills action, for in order to act we require the veil of illusion; such is Hamlet’s doctrine, not to be confounded with the cheap wisdom of John-a-Dreams, who though too much reflection, as it were, on a surplus of possibilities, never arrives at action. What both in the case of Hamlet and of Dionysiac man, overbalances any motive leading to action is not reflection but understanding. Now no comfort any longer avails, desire reaches beyond the transcendental world, beyond the gods themselves, and existence, together with its glittering reflection in the gods and an immortal Beyond, is denied. The truth once seen, man is aware everywhere of the ghastly absurdity of existence, comprehends the symbolism of Ophelia’s fate and the wisdom of the wood sprite SIlenus: Nausea invades him. (Nietzsche:The Birth of Tragedy…).
    After the revelation of the Ghost’s message and the night world of the abyss Hamlet must still struggle to exist on “that rampart between two worlds”. He hesitates because the truth is not certain; he must discern whether this ghost be “a spirit of health or goblin damn’d.” He must know whether the Ghost :airs from heaven or blasts from hell.”

  11. It’s exciting to read these comments from souls far more versed in Shakespeare than I. Despite my arrogance in drawing on his imagery for the essay, I have never seen Chimes at Midnight or any of the Falstaff plays, have read Hamlet only once and seen the 4-hr Kenneth Branaugh version, again only once. Yet it has seeped into my unconscious nonetheless, & I even had an epic dream once about the deeper truth of existence that somehow pertained to Hamlet . . .

    This last comment by Vivian dovetails eerily with something i wrote at another thread, about The Mandela Effect, just a few hours ago:

    The main difficulty I have with this theory, which I don’t actually disagree with (at least the me writing this sentence doesn’t), is that it is potentially self-cancelling. Taken to logical extremes, it means we cannot be sure that we are even in the same timeline/dimension/self as we were when we started this sentence, never mind this thread. It effectively removes all possibility of ground and leaves us, or me, staring into a perceptual abyss that goes on forever.

    Not saying this is a bad thing, just that there isn’t much left to discuss at this point because a perceptual abyss that goes on forever renders every possibility equally possible, and equally irrelevant.

    http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board2/viewtopic.php?p=612675#p612675

    • Hi Jasun

      Psychological or theological abysses have different qualities, I suggest. I intended the emphasis to be on the theological as that was my drift. We should remember also that an abyss does seemingly have a bottom it only appears to not have one.

      I was observing this particular Shakespearian crisis from a Tudor Roman Catholic viewpoint; one that Shakespeare may well have shared. The abyss as a journey downward to Hell rather than going the other way. We crave certitude but overlook or forget how presumptuous and hubristic that aspiration is.

      Condemnations of certitudes at ‘The Council of Trent’ such as predestination and certainty of justification does not mean that the issue of certitude was altogether summarily dismissed. The Christian is not to believe with certitude that he is predestined or justified by faith alone. And without a “special revelation,” the Christian cannot be certain “with an absolute infallible certitude” that he has the gift of perseverance to the end. It is finally a matter of faith.

      Theologians of the Middle Ages distinguished between different types and degrees of faith.The different forms of faith included (interestingly) demon’s faith, implicit faith, explicit faith, infused faith, acquired faith, and, most importantly, unformed and formed faith. Infused faith and formed faith were concerned with the theological triad of virtues: faith, hope and love. These virtues were infused into the soul in the reception of first grace, baptism and penance. It was, of course, formed faith or ‘faith formed by love” that was central in the process of justification, a process that included the acquisition of merits and the attainment of salvation.

      However, medieval theologians also understood faith as belonging primarily to knowledge. medieval thought was essentially cognitive. What kind of certainty could this cognitive faith possess? Medieval thinkers believed that “Faith is a firm adherence to the truth…and consequently possesses in its recognition an infallible certainty, of the contents of faith.” All very well, but the big question was, and still is; can the pilgrim or seeker possibly know with the certainty of faith whether he is in a state of grace?
      Without which salvation is at a loss.

  12. Gazooks, Vivian. Never having met you, and based on your other comments here, and now this one, and then the other one, you are a curious one! I wonder if in your past you were badly burned by personal involvement in the occult, intensely disillusioned, suffering through a process of getting it out of your system. Your comments have an urgency which indicate not mere abstract understanding but some direct involvement and experience.

    I’m personally not a Bible thumper, but I’m open-minded. I grew up Catholic and still have traces of it in me. I understand the thinking and am not afraid to go there. I’m not a radical reductionist. I like to try to understand how and why an individual has arrived to thinking and believing and imagining in a particular way. For me, there is no “one size fits all.” I like the general vibe I’m getting from you. I like how you just jump in and pour out what’s in you, searching openly for rich and meaningful connections. My first encounter with your words, I said to myself, kind of reluctant to engage with you, “Oh my – here we go: Fire and brimstone from an apocalyptic prophetess.” But then you followed with your dry humor quip to me, and that grabbed me and has me letting down my guard. (Sense of humor always scores big with me, and you show that you have one.)

    Great response by Jasun, remaining open and considerate, even as he cracks open the shell of dualistic thinking and sets what is within it wild and free, returning everything to its manifold complexity, which, being serpentine, the more one tries to grab hold of it, the more it slips through one’s hands. Very stimulating and informative, and of course a marvelous writer. Thank you, Jasun. (I mentioned in an email to Brian George before, not long ago, that I wanted to have some interaction with you, and this is really wonderful to me. I’m glad we transplanted some discourse here.)

    In the “Rigorous Intuition” thread at the link you here included, those thoughts about violence and the sacred are really something! Enormous thoughts, including those which see the origins of war in childhood abuse and trauma. There’s something about them primally and even archaically true but elusive, a grandeur and magnificence which stretches back to the dawn of Man. One can keep repeating those thoughts and sure enough have everyone reduced either to silence and awe, or to crying out. Some might even become really upset and shake their fists. There’s something about such thoughts which can’t be contained in the bottles of human conception, and passed around and talked about communely, existing rather in the same way that we exist in relation to thunder and lightning, or to a hurricane or tornado. I can very well see how such thoughts can turn into an obsession. One can become a sort of storm-chaser of them.

    Such enormous thoughts exist even to the majority, rumbling with terrifying power in the subconscious depths. Most spend their time turned away, trying to keep themselves sheltered and protected, losing themselves in everyday business or in other affairs to help them forget. I myself do this. I think it’s only human. I don’t always feel like going out of my comfort zone, my area of security, away from my smaller familiar thoughts, and exposing myself to the enormous thoughts which are always threatening to erupt within us, gathering like storm-clouds, and under certain conditions develop into a tremendous force of nature, a hurricane, or into a tornado which drops down and whirls and tears through our human constructs and habitations.

  13. Dear John, thank you for your comments which are rich in kindness and knowledge. I should point out that I am a male Vivian. No, I have not been burned by any personal involvement in the occult, far from it. However, I have spent a lifetime trying to piece the esoteric jigsaw together adequately enough to reflect exceptionally well upon the spiritual efforts and commitment of Roman Catholicism and as a result allow my understanding a degree of occasional serenity. A difficult task but one that maintains my trust and interest. I have certainly had enough psychic experiences to ideally take refuge in a Contemplative Order but providence knows best. It is greatly welcome that we can write freely on matters of great personal import or matters of wider significance on Jasun’s blog. The world would be a desperately poorer place without his enormous integrity and efforts to unravel what only the most gifted and courageous would attempt; answers where possible to the deepest and most perplexing of questions. In accomplishing the latter we all exhaust ourselves but the virtue of such effort is to heal and mend consciously and unconsciously what calls out to be helped and if possible transformed in such a way as to benefit goodness in this world.

    • I deeply apologize for mistaking your gender, Vivian, sir. For my penance feel free to call me Johnnelle or Johnisa for a stretch, until I develop a tear in my stockings and my mascara begins to run. In relation to the highest, the deepest, the Almighty and the inverse, the All Negating, what is gender anyway. Maybe in some distant incarnation, before we tumbled and split apart and fell into difference, we were all more whole in androgyny.

      So I take it by your response that you and Jasun have some history of interaction. I’m brand new to it. Haven’t really read around here yet. Wherever I am I just start right in from my guts, and give whatever rises to my poor head, every once in a while plopping down on the belly of the inflated blow up doll pedantry beneath me so that it can have its say, and I take careful notes on the way down, hearing music where others hear otherwise. Then I roll over, huffing and puffing, and start all over again.

  14. Vivian wrote: Psychological or theological abysses have different qualities, I suggest.

    Psyche = soul; Theo = God. I’d suggest that the only thing greater than the Soul is God but/and the Soul is the means by which God can … Know Thyself, so perhaps psychology is pre-surrender, and theology post-? This might account for my general antipathy for theology, Christianity, religion in general (I recently chased off a real Bible-thumper from this site, probably a bit unfairly). Theology might be the way the Soul wrestles with its confusion at experiencing itself as distant from/separate to God, an attempt to experience the Soul by understanding God, the latter which I think must always be beyond our reach. Psychology is then the reverse, perhaps, our attempt to experience God by understanding the psyche, and this to me seems closer to a working approach…. Not to get into a competition here!

    Your thoughts on faith are welcome and timely. Right after I read them I saw the enlightenment coach I mentioned to you in our last conversation post at Faceborg about two types of faith, one based on evidence, the other not. I asked which was the finer type, and am still awaiting a response. I have always been adverse to faith (as well as hope, though not to love), but I think I am ready to concede that it plays a part in my life; even though I find it difficult to distinguish it from a sort of deep and subtle knowing, at a mind level at least I would have to admit that faith is probably the best word for it. Yet I also think it is within the reach of logic, strangely. That everything moves with a purpose and that we do not need to understand that purpose until we need to understand it, if at all, this is a result of logic as well as faith. Our concern about dying for example is illogical, because we do not know what occurs (precisely why we are concerned), and therefore do not know if there is cause for concern. Logically then, one can have faith in a system that has been overseeing living and dying for aeons, before our present, quite excruciating experience of the same.

    I have to second John’s impression that your own brand of faith has the tell-tale burn-marks of one who got too close to the inquisitional fires: if not in this life then perhaps another? There is a particular quality of Christian faith that speaks of a defense against, not just that perceptual abyss (psychological and theological) but its shadowy inhabitants also (fragments of a psyche shattered by premature exposure to the “terrible sacred”?) I fear that such faith can serve as glue to stick those pieces together again prematurely, rather than being willing to endure the hollowness of apparent damnation for as long as it takes for those most rejected/suppressed shards to emerge and speak their traumatic history, and so lead the way to integration. And the last shall be the first….? This for me at least seems to be the way, and the reason for my distrust of too-easy religious or theological “solutions.” The presumption that the Lord’s Prayer is any less a case of self-willed magick than a lesser banishing pentagram ritual (or than Bowie’s heavy occult songs) only holds up if we believe that language has inherent meaning in the context of eternal formlessness. Hence I am obliged to reject all names of God in order to approach that which cannot be named and hence has so often been mistaken for the simply unspeakable, and rejected accordingly. (Hence my long-time love affair with “Lucifer.”)

    To John, your words on thoughts that resemble storms certainly speak to me (my first podcast was called “stormy weather”!). I have always loved storms and even chased one or two in my time (so to speak, gone to meet them would be more accurate). Whether we can put our money where our mouths are and extend this love of the conceptual tempest (Shakespeare again, and I think I was speaking of Caliban above ^^^) to embracing, with fully-formed logical faith, the loving destruction of our every last defense against God-the-Soul (or is that every last point of false distinction between God and the Soul?), remains to be seen. This has certainly been an unforgettable thread so far, and without so much as a violent word spoken. (Though I do seem to have adopted a strangely formal voice.)

  15. Only a few comments on what I read above;

    For this:
    ” You mention how time-consuming, what an immense task, it would be
    connecting the dots. Yet, for the kind of things you assert, that’s
    probably the only way to get doubters and skeptics to come around to
    seeing more what you perceive in the shadowy depths. (Maybe you’ve
    attempted this before? I’m relatively new to you and your work.)”

    In my experience doubters and skeptics don’t “come around” via facts or reasonings. People believe things, and those beliefs are not swayed by evidence, I have found. Beliefs are not subject to change, usually.

    As far as seeing Crowley as a human [which I think, but can’t be sure, was a subject touched upon in the essay above and the comments?]:

    If you have a chance to read or look at Crowley’s “Autohagiography” I think you will find him very human. I was told by some friends, when I was reading that book, that Crowley was considered a “dark” subject. [“And why are you interested in such dark things?” ] That book of his did not make me consider him “dark.” Though I came to realize later he is probably lying in it? But he comes across as very human and likable. I never got into his “Magick” books or his cults.

    I read a bio of him which was very well – researched and fair and lost respect for him when I found he died penniless after squandering a fortune; And as an heroin addict after basing his teachings upon the principle of “Will.” I thought it ludicrous that anyone could follow him as a teacher or take him seriously. [Shows one the power of “PR that so many adore him?”]

    I since have come to believe that he was promoted by others after his death.. since when he died he was an unknown [according to the bio I read of him called, “A Magick Life” ].

    I finally figured his followers were a cult since they couldn’t stop idolizing him and making excuses for him. I did read the “666 Agent ,” a book about him which outs him as an intelligence agent.. So I figured after he died he was just used by other intelligence agents.

    Listening to this podcast while doing some errands and traveling today :
    http://www.gnosticmedia.com/steve-outtrim-interview-silicon-valleys-secret-weapon-shadow-history-burners-part-4-occult-rituals-cult-253/ about the Burning Man Ritual Festival in the desert,

    I heard one of the founders of Burning Man say: “We are all the Man” [who gets sacrificed” ] , “We put everything of ours into him then we burn it up.” This was after reading this essay of Jaysun’s earlier in the day. The statement “We Are All Him” reminded me of what I thought his essay said, which was that “everyone is guilty.”

    I listened to the originator of “Burning Man” say that the origin of the festival was: he just got an urge to go burn a man..Larry just wanted to “Put a man on the beach and Burn him.” He just wanted to do that. That was his impulse.. “I just want to go burn a man.” he said.

    So I’m thinking of the crowd dynamics and of the scape – goat..

    Theoretically the “scape – goat” / the sacrificial victim, is the “every man.” He is “all of us,” according to this psychological projection and ritual . So I thought, “OH by accepting that “I” am the guilty party, deserving of punishment, is exactly what enables me to “harm the [Burnt] Man” / the ritual offering.” So, that acceptance of universal guilt is actually what feeds the sacrificial act.. ?

    I took a spiritual teacher , to whom I owe my life really, when I was 17. One story he told was like this : Baba said he was traveling and sitting near a lake . There were a group of Christians, near him who were all repeating over and over “We are all sinners.” “I am a sinner.” “I am a sinner” “We are all sinners.” They urged him to admit his own sin.

    He said he didn’t want to be near them because he was not a sinner.. He had to leave. “Why would I want to be around sinners?”

    Isn’t there an obvious difference between the people who love to harm others and partake of joy in that and those who try to minimize their own harmfulness?

    Isn’t there a distinct difference?

    And Baba was a non – dualist.

    In our prayers [Vedic] we bow to the “Self” who is in the form of thieves, and dacoits, and ugly and all forms.. Just because the “Self ” is the “Self ” of all , doesn’t mean the qualities of each distinct thing are not real. It’s not a mush – mash where good = bad [except in Propaganda] or 1 =2 .

    I recently saw the film “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” the Billionaire version. I worked with the creator of the movie and know him pretty well . Mr. Palast broke into some “big – wheel” 250K per plate parties [on camera] and questioned some of the people who are fucking up the world.

    They just lied and then got the bouncers.
    Or locked themselves in the bathroom.

    They all seemed like very very nice people, hanging out will all very fine people. The men Greg P. questioned sounded very truthful, while lying. They didn’t look like what is depicted as a “terrorist” nor as one’s typical villain –

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9f/Boris_natasha_fearless.jpg – “Boris Batternof” et al.

    ( I’m reminded that in my old Baily’s dictionary of 1733 “Nice” = “Fool” ) So they looked “foolish” but they are not foolish?

    I enjoyed “Chimes of Midnight” very much.. I wrote about it here after seeing it @ the beginning of this year – http://www.synchromysticismforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=59863#p59863 =

    I” m quite sure that what “went down” is not what is portrayed in the fictional accounts of those Henry plays.

    Marlowe wrote he liked boys: “All they that love not tobacco and boys are fools.” So it is claimed. Does that mean he wasn’t a great poet? No.

    Here’s where I’ve put some of what I learned about Marlowe / “Shakespeare” of Stratford – http://www.synchromysticismforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=60944#p60944 – He was apparently a spy for the Queen as was Crowley.

    I thought about what Jaysun wrote in regard to the alleged complicity of everyone in the culture. It relates to what I read about attitudes towards artists in the “olden days”/ Elizabethan Times.. and later. They, the artists/ writers owe their existence, so it was thought, to the power structure – to the society; so it is not grateful of them to attack it.

    People work in different ways to grease the wheels of the system – and the artist / writer depends upon that work of others, could not exist without it. So it is not in the power of the artist, nor should it be [?], to attack that system of which he or she is a part. It is not gainful. So the “attacks” against the system which get promoted – from Hippies, to Punks, to Alex Jones are just stances and are not, and cannot really be, outside the system of which they are part..

    “consider this,
    That, in the course of justice, none of us
    Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
    And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
    The deeds of mercy.”

    We are all at the mercy of the system.

  16. I also never agreed with the line, “They shouted out , ‘Who Killed the Kennedy’s’ When after all it was you and me.”

    No it wasn’t .

    Also it’s another event that is likely not what everyone thinks! Latest updates here upon a fascinating article, which makes sense! – http://mileswmathis.com/barindex2.pdf

  17. Good stuff, “Are Clergymen Bailiffs?” Thanks for adding on. I brought up Crowley not really to get into discussion of him, but more to bring up a principle in practice for puncturing illusions and deflating myths. Crowley just came to mind as a more obvious example of the phenomenon of an “occult presence” which lurks around even after mortal death, kept alive by a kind of fan club. Maybe we should start talking about Elvis sightings too, and Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster. Even joking aside, there is something to this curious phenomenon. On some level one might say it coincides or overlaps with any superstition which persists in the popular imagination. I suppose all monsters have their origin and their “life” in this way. What we feed into them, giving up our own personal power and caving into fear, makes them bigger and uglier and scarier and stronger. Don’t look under the bed, there might be a Creepy Crowley.

    Hi Jasun,

    You mention there’s been nary a violent word here, no running thrusts, no bombs thrown over walls, no attempts to damage and wound, and that you’ve adopted a strangely formal tone. I was thinking of this in connection to childhood trauma, how not only does the unresolved whirling chaos of it, streaming out of the deep wounds and seeming to color the world blood red, figure into outwardly directed lust for worldly power and dominance, and leads to skirmishes and war, but how the same stuff is the crucible for creating the most effective healers and peacemakers.

    There is such stuff here in these enormous thoughts, volatile and potentially explosive, where one really has no place to hide, that matters very easily could take a turn for the worse, and often do, with individuals hurling Molotov cocktails at each other and improvising other kinds of attack. Individuals become “possessed” by something that is far from the best of themselves.

    There comes a point for those pursuing self-awareness and self-knowledge and unfolding in enlightenment, where out of childhood trauma, enacted and re-enacted enough times through bad and unpleasant encounters, toxic and combative and destructive relationships, a good callousing finally develops and strengthening of the immune system. There comes a point where one can’t be provoked or ambushed and hurt in the same way one was in the past, and the current finally can be reversed (though of course there is always present the possibility of being triggered, red buttons pushed, and suffering a relapse.) One learns better though time how to read the signs and omens, how to approach situations more productively. It is then that the work of helping others can begin. I suppose it takes longer for some to reach this point than others, and many unfortunately never make it out of the vicious circle.

    One wonders if fanatics and fundamentalists only adopt their rigid and even militantly dogmatic attitude, which rolls and crushes all like a tank under the banner of the “One True God”, latching onto anyone they believe to be evildoers and the enemy, fastening on them for their anchoring, using them for a desperate stabilizing, for an intensely painful attempt to cauterize a psychic wound which gushes like a geyser.

  18. I had to leave and do a couple things after posting my last comment. I wanted to add, Jasun, that these words of yours I appreciate in their nuanced clarity. I don’t have time right now to draw out more why, but I agree with this, or feel that I’m in the same general area in my thinking. I don’t want to get into religion bashing, but I think it’s a good point about how religion is often used (abused) to avoid dealing with more disturbing and even terrifying psychic contents, which must be let in and integrated in their own time, in their own mysterious way, for a more well rounded human being containing both light and shadows to be developed. One must descend to the depths, if one will ever be able to ascend to the heights with any right, not with wax wings like Icarus, but with wings organic, one’s very own. Those who only ascend, turning away from all dark things, the monstrous ambiguities, the shadowy terrors, demonizing what they don’t understand, grossly oversimplifying, only repeating happy mantras and wishful thinking, and dreaming of unicorns and rainbows, soon enough turn into hot air balloons, colorful and bright. I will be in the bushes with my rifle.

    These lines of yours are worthy of further contemplation:

    “There is a particular quality of Christian faith that speaks of a defense against, not just that perceptual abyss (psychological and theological) but its shadowy inhabitants also (fragments of a psyche shattered by premature exposure to the “terrible sacred”?) I fear that such faith can serve as glue to stick those pieces together again prematurely, rather than being willing to endure the hollowness of apparent damnation for as long as it takes for those most rejected/suppressed shards to emerge and speak their traumatic history, and so lead the way to integration. And the last shall be the first….? This for me at least seems to be the way, and the reason for my distrust of too-easy religious or theological “solutions.” The presumption that the Lord’s Prayer is any less a case of self-willed magick than a lesser banishing pentagram ritual (or than Bowie’s heavy occult songs) only holds up if we believe that language has inherent meaning in the context of eternal formlessness. Hence I am obliged to reject all names of God in order to approach that which cannot be named and hence has so often been mistaken for the simply unspeakable, and rejected accordingly. (Hence my long-time love affair with “Lucifer.”)

  19. Jasun and John, masterful rhetoric but this particular psycho-social insight is approaching a vanishing point not dissimilar to the Scales of Justice’s verdict on the equal merit and weight of turbo-egomania vis-a-vis the sorrow and merit of personal suffering. You won’t mind me observing that you both appear to have the inclination to super-enlighten your way to the spiritual finishing line. A trait, perhaps our greatest hubristic failing not uncommon to us all. Also, traits of religious intolerance, perceived, do not match both of your good communicatory auras. Is it a case of abysmal trauma seeking to destroy the universe through human agents’ unconscious will, a determination for revenge; a Luciferic syndrome?

    How have you fallen from heaven,
    O morning Star, son of the dawn!
    You have been cast down to the earth,
    You who once laid low the nations!

    (Isaiah 14:12)

    This is how we first meet Lucifer, and according to tradition, when he fell he drew after him one third of the stars (Revelation 12:4). What happened to him is indeed a terrible fall from grace:

    You said in your heart,
    ‘I will ascend to heaven;
    I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God;
    I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
    on the utmost heights of the sacre mountain.
    I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.’
    But you are brought down to the grave,
    To the depths of the pit.
    Those who see you stare at you,
    they ponder your fate:
    Is this the man who shook the earth
    and made kingdoms tremble…?

    (Isaiah: 14:13-16).

    Jasun, clearly an area for rabid disappointment particularly as a third of the stars is a mighty collective conscious and unconscious power (an inbuilt ‘Kabbalistic’ imbalance?).

    The passing milllenia allowed the mythical fall of Lucifer to take on great colour and detail, yet this text is full of anomalies. First, how does the morning star come to be portrayed as a male? In the astronomy of the ancients, as in modern astronomy, the morning star was Venus, the embodiment of human beauty. Secondly, in its context, the entire passasge is not about Lucifer at all. The morning star is simply a metaphor in a diatribe against the King of Babylon. Through pride and presumption his might has been overthrown (or will be overthrown – for this is prophecy). As a result, and a third anomaly, the prince of light has tuened into the prince of darkness.

    The source for the more colourful accounts is probably the Christian retelling of the fall, where Lucifer is replaced by a dragon.

    And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought
    against the dragon; and the dragon fought against his angels,
    And prevailed not; neither was their place found anymore in heaven.
    And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil,
    and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out in the
    earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (REv. 12:7-9)

    St Augustine sees Satan as the fther of all evil, though he stops short of the Manichaean that he operates independently of God. He ponders whether Satan knew in advance that he was going to fall, and whether, in fact he had any choice in the matter. Augustine also expresses a wishful admiration for those who can believe in two classes of angels, supercelestial ones living in constant blessedness and a mundane class who can aspire to being blessed if they follow the bidding of their superiors, suggesting that Satan belonged to the latter group. But he can find no scriptural evidence to support such a view.

    Originally, Satan was no more than God’s agent as accuser. That is, the angel who gathers evidence of a person’s misdeeds, and presents the matter before the divine court of judgement.

    The occult and all connected to it is seen as on the wrong side of the track and always wishing to disobey and instigate profanity as a ‘living’ truth, a protest. Disobedience its fuel and its mission to explode wisdom into bits, a constant return to the origins of ‘thought’ Kabbalah: https://carm.org/origins-and-history-kabbalah (just in case one’s scholarship is unsure).

    Lucifer does not need agitprop spiritual human adherents; he (or she) wants out and a return to constant blessedness. Who wouldn’t, having somehow returned from the abyss.

    Notes: from ‘Gabriel to Lucifer’: A Cultural History of Angels by Valery Rees.

    • It is rhetoric which approaches a vanishing point indeed! The nameless, the nameless behind the nameless, the nameless nameless, count all the ways it leads back to the abyss. I see this is where the leap of faith is, where one’s hope, with a burning heart, is for the black hole to reverse and take matter into itself, pushing out and becoming whole, shining like a star again.

      This is all very interesting to me, Vivian. Thank you for sharing these excerpts. The fervency of your own belief comes through in your sharing them. There’s very little wiggle room. It’s a confrontation with a man of faith. I wonder how far you would go with this. There comes a point where it’s no longer about having a discussion, but about Conversion. I should speak for myself. I don’t presume to speak for Jasun. Even more, I do not presume to speak for all the angels and saints, or for Satan or Lucifer.

      My position is that of a human being, and a rather modest one at that. I’m not a penitent or a missionary, nor a satanist or occult magician. I stopped going to church a long time ago. I think I stopped more out of boredom than anything else. The rituals I encountered were hollow and soulless. I probably should’ve attended a Baptist Church. I myself wouldn’t be averse to shifting all this to Buddhistic thought. If I aligned myself with nature and natural processes, no doubt the man of faith would follow me there too, holding up the Bible and hounding me with it, citing passages to me like I was possessed by an evil agent.

      This excerpt is interesting to me: “The occult and all connected to it is seen as on the wrong side of the track and always wishing to disobey and instigate profanity as a ‘living’ truth, a protest. Disobedience its fuel and its mission to explode wisdom into bits, a constant return to the origins of ‘thought’ Kabbalah”.

      There’s a lot in that excerpt. Part of my own point in my previous comment is that without the profane, there is no sacred. There’s a yin and yang balance striven for in the shaking out of all the elements. I’m not insistent with the profane. I’m really quite down to earth about it. It’s not a Righteous Cause in arrogant disobedience taking place on the metaphysical stage, the celestial curtains with horoscope & tarot designs decorating them pulled apart, with me standing there, cast in High Romance as some kind of rebel angel, the opening scene me shaking my fist at God from the outer darkness. It’s not like that for me at all.

      There’s much about all this which strikes as being of a romantic imagination. I mean this as no disrespect. It appeals to me greatly too. Shakespeare… and Milton. I like Spencer too.

      Maybe I’ve been in a deep sleep, a deep freeze. It’s been quite awhile since I read any Augustine, or Luther vs Erasmus. Incredible stuff. I do remember the powerful impact reading those. It would take writing an essay to give you a fuller, more honest account of my own personal experience. I’m afraid it wouldn’t be as great as Tolstoy’s Confession. Honestly, half the time I don’t really know what I think myself. Isn’t this the reason why why we put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard in the first place? I have within me all kinds of bits and pieces floating around, much of it not really fitting together and making sense – call it dark matter. Maybe this is the “wisdom exploded into bits” mentioned in the intriguing confrontational excerpt you’ve shared.

      Definitely something to think about. I must leave my apartment shortly and will be gone all day. At any rate, Vivian, I’m not sure you could convert me, at least not in the way you imagine, but this encounter with you is sincerely welcome and engaging to me. Thank you for it.

      • Dear John
        I wish to assure you that I am not trying to convert you or anybody. I am also not who you would call a ‘man of Faith’. These are noble means of address and respect for which I am not worthy of even a glance. I am but a philosophical shareholder in an historic individual and collective human effort to love, heal, mend and encourage the pilgrim inside oneself and anyone else so receptive along the path, for whom a lift of spirit can reduce the tiresome load of psychic daily dross, heaped upon our earthly souls to the point of weariness. Both you and Jason have the gift of lifting consciousness through language and thought. It is not an uncommon blessing, indeed listening is really where the power lies and holiness rests comfortably. ‘Religion’ as a word should be relegated to a lesser lexicon which over time contains aspects of language which have become cruelly misleading.

        I won’t suggest an alternative but we all know the impeccably sweet sound of wisdom when we hear it. You are right, John, to suspect you might have dozed off into a deep sleep. We all have. It is hard to keep awake especially as we know in our hearts and the best parts of our intellects that we are at our most vulnerable when not conscious or spiritually enlivened by the humblest truth and profound understanding. Whichever fountain of knowledge we discover that can sate our thirst for matters sublime and divine becomes an eternal fountain of transcendental youth. We are touched by something that knows not death.

        Christianity and its great adherents over the millennia wait patiently for us to waken and taste the water turning into wine. Naturally, it is the same for any other source of wisdom but as we only have a limited amount of earthly time we have to use our intellectual detective skills to ensure, if we can, that our search and knowing is blessed with ongoing revelation. Once our souls have propulsion towards the metaphor of light death has no containing power left.

        Jason’s blog is an enormous gift of the Holy Spirit. He won’t necessarily like such a connotation but it is good and true to acknowledge the power of faith, hope and love in the ordinary and the unexpected. Indeed, mysterious ways are intended for mysterious people.

        As the 19th century, RC English Bishop Peter Augustine Baines would say as he would sign off yet another letter to a debt collector (as he tried to establish Prior Park College, Bath, as a seminary and school against all the odds in Protestant England:

        Further remarks on this subject I will reserve to a future occasion; and in the meantime, beg to subscribe myself, with great esteem, your very obedient and faithful servant.

        Vivian.

  20. I’m tickled pink by this reply, Vivian, and moved too. You are incredibly high-minded. The grandeur is in you. A loving purity too. Honestly, I like it. I like this better than the dropping of heavy quotes out of the golden clouds like stone tablets of the Law, shattering at my feet. Vivian in his own words, standing on the same ground as I. I wonder how you appear in person. It’s like you stepped out from the past, and I thought I was born in the wrong age. I have old soul in me too, though I’m only 47 years old. I feel like I carry a lot more inside myself than 47 years old.

    “Obedient and faithful servant” – that goes a little too far. You can be the servant of Christ, or God, but who am I? I don’t need any servants. Unless you feel you’re addressing the Christ within me, and that’s who you’re serving. That’s alright, I suppose. I’ll play along, but mind me not if the devil gets into me, so to speak, and I have a little fun with it. I’ll knock on my chest and call out, “Hey you, are you alright in there?” Then I’ll look back up at you, Vivian, shrugging my shoulders. “I guess he’s not home.” Joking aside, I’m personally so worm low, so nondescript, so average really, though I do have my small portion of gifts, that I myself should probably be a servant, but I’m too proud, or too shy – or I don’t know what I am – but I don’t like the sound of servant. I envision us both bowing and scraping as we back away from each other.

    There’s an etching by Paul Klee, entitled, “Two Men Meet, Each Believing the Other to be of Higher Rank”

    klee-Two-Men-Meet-Each-Supposing-The-Other-To-Be-of-Higher-Rank.jpg

    • Dear John

      The 19th century British etiquette of signing-off letters is to be understood in a completely different sense than you have taken it, John. Don’t worry, you have stumbled upon a heightened secret code of class consciousness and rigorous superiority through gesture, intimacy and courtesy. A very British way of living. Americans have never been so troubled as the British by such codes, to their credit. Utilising the word servant in becalming the litigant is a deliberate and sophisticated ploy of subtle intelligence through sparsity of address in order to anaesthetize the recipient. I beg your historical understanding. It is not an example of my sensibility.

  21. At this point, this discussion is becoming a little TOO “high-minded” for me. Watch out, or I might start farting and belching and Falstaffing all over this thread!.

    In my own view, the idea of obedience in relation to the Divine is as misguided as that of disobedience. Some time back, I wrote a short, Girard-inspired piece with the following lines:

    “The original sin is projection, first of the sacred onto an external “God,” and then of the shadow of the sacred, which is sacrificial murder. Worship of the divine is therefore the fundamental “satanic” act, satanic in the sense of what is adverse or opposed to God’s will.” (Full piece here: http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board2/viewtopic.php?p=583036#p583036 )

    This paradox sums up for me the impossibility, and even the undesirability, of religious faith as a living principal for human beings as much as for angels. Someone once wrote that demons do not need faith: they KNOW. The same is true of the truly Christ-ian man, or let’s say, the truly Christ-ian moment, since I am not sure if any Man can be Christ-like all of the time (even Jesus had a hissy fit with the fig-tree).

    Now, religious faith as an aid to discovering the only living principal of value for human beings, I will not deny. But nor would I deny it of plumbing, gold-panning, bee-keeping, writing, or any other human activity performed in a fully embodied and impassioned way that allows for a full immersion in material existence (the so-called satanic), that “God” (Life) may live through and as us (where we become one with existence).

    Beyond this, I am afraid that, at least without the penetrating psychological and philosophical rigor of a Girard to ground the metaphors in experiential social and psychological reality, all the Christian tales in the world are just that to me, tales. I doubt if there has ever been a true Christ-ian since Christ himself (St Peter, whose name I took for mine for a period, wasn’t). On the other hand Girard himself converted to Catholicism in the end, persuaded by his own arguments! So I am not ruling out that possibility.

    Anyway, Vivian, I do not object, at all, to the idea of my writing or other forms of expression serving as a conduit for the Spirit. (I am not sure of any need for Holiness to be adjuncted to that principal, since as John points out, every evocation of the sacred conjures the profane, hence “sacred violence.”) I aspire to nothing but a clean clear Transmission of the Soul through the Body, these being God’s twin-horned organ of perception-expression in this world. (Sorry for the devilish imagery, old habits die hard.) But effective transmission requires also reception, and I don’t think you received the message of my last post, which John highlighted. Lucifer is a fragment of God, driven by that trauma into “disobedience,” and it is this haunted, hounded, accusatory voice that has become the last, most damned, aspect of our total being, whose testimony (including the accusation) must be heard in order for the split to be healed. Christianity, in its text-and-story based, dogmatic form, always seems to involve a central element of rejection, whether of the body, of sin, of Satan, or of snakes (knowledge), and rejection can never, ever lead anywhere but away from wholeness (since for the Totality there can be no part that is not essential to it).

    This argument is probably futile, however, because it’s strictly philosophical, language-based and hence bogged down by the same metaphorical dissociation strategies as Vivian’s supposedly unworthy (self-rejecting) Christianity. What wants to express here is the living distress of that disowned, numbed out trauma fragment, hurled like Satan into the bottomless pit of unconsciousness, and walled off by the impenetrable amnesia barrier of psychic self-defense that use every last trick in the book, whether occult, scientific, artist, or religious, to keep that terrible inchoate voice from being heard. AAAARRRRGHHHH!!! I hear it in Vivian’s high-mindedness, in John’s soft graciousness, and in my own laser-like deconstructions. I hear it in every single human expression from the basest grunt to the loftiest poetry. It’s the parched bleat of the lost sheep, for love of which the entire flock must be abandoned, if need be.

    “In the war of Man against God, the child—representing the sacred, divine self—is hence both the first and last casualty, the original and ultimate “other.””

    Leave no sheep behind! Otherwise, as John eloquently wrote, these wings we are flapping are supported by nothing but wax. Our tree of life has no roots.

  22. Jasun, it seems to me that you are being self-obstructive in finding a settlement with trauma. I wish only to be supportive in saying that. If we want to stay alive then we have a duty to do exactly that, and not be dragged down by potentially imaginary powers and woes. The latter, an occult spin-off which we have to diagnose as potentially life threatening. To this end, we have to call upon higher spiritual powers to becalm or discipline our spirit of dejection, rejection and self-torture for psychological reasons as much as philosophical or ‘religious’ ones a la Girard. The impossibly complex will always beat us because we are not naturally shareholders in unhappiness. I can hear your anger and frustration in this thread Jasun. It is, therefore, polite to end it. Etiquette always saves the day.

    All good wishes, Vivian.

    • It has been a remarkable experience with sensibility amplified by the use of almost supernatural English. Thank you for providing the platform and your uniquely powerful insights throughout.

  23. “Leave no sheep behind! Otherwise, as John eloquently wrote, these wings we are flapping are supported by nothing but wax. Our tree of life has no roots.”

    Don’t mean to tax us, but the only way that any tree-of-life cannot have any roots, in my opinion, is if the human individual who belongs to said tree (and to whom said tree belongs) cannot name the genus of said tree and/or cannot identify said tree in the wild. (There’s more than one genus of tree-of-life, but, for me, there’s only one. Taxus.) That’s my flap and I’m sticking to it, whether any ewe are left behind or not !

  24. “It is not the Will of the Magician, the desire of the lower to reach

    the higher; but it is that spark of the higher in the Magician which

    wishes to unite the lower with itself…. Note that there are two

    arrows: the Divine shot downward, the human upward.”

    http://hermetic.com/crowley/book-4/aba2.html

    Seems Crowley is very thrilled to corrupt his students and

    delights in rolling in the shit? And writes very ambivalently; as does

    Leo Strauss, Same schtick, but with a different style.

    Crowley is someone whom I consider a perpetrator of crimes.. but, “hey!”,

    most of the leaders and movers and shakers of this world, who have the

    red carpet rolled out for them in every city, are too. And likely worse.

    Just because I think he was a high-class bona fide criminal [usually

    only the low classes get that label] does not mean I “dehumanize” him,

    nor that I think he was not human, nor that I do not admire some of his

    writing [since some of them , at least, are good by me, though he

    evidently puts-on a face for them.]

    A great plurality of humans are actually nasty animals, so why cover up

    the evidence and pretend? It is foolish to assume otherwise.

    I feel there is often, in the overly psychoanalyzed circles I run into,

    a projection there; whereas as soon as someone’s crimes

    are surfaced there is an immediate reflex. “Well are you better?” “Well

    aren’t you the same for seeing it?” – which only serves to muddy the

    waters..?

    It’s a “New Age” cliche: “The things that bother you in others are the things you yourself are hiding.”

    And what is the motive for that kind of response..? “No one is better

    than everyone else?” “We all belong in the gutter?” “Don’t pretend you are

    better?”

    And yes, that is based on rivalry – as alleged to be the sole human motive by

    Gerard. I find that reductionistic.

    Also, The people who are so determined to pop everyone else’s bubble [of

    happiness, of certainty, of relative mental health?] aren’t they just as

    one – dimensional and reactionary as those who desire to “convert”

    others to relationship with *their god, to “Improve the world,”

    to “be good people;” Or at least to convert others to a recognition of “something more”

    than the garbage we are led, by some “satanists?”, to believe is “all that there is?”

    It’s a moot point to me since Jayson likes to stay on the boundary

    lines. That’s a good and open place.. Not a safe place, but a learning

    place. It’s a place open to nuance and new information (at least in theory).

    There are many “evil” nasty, mean people who are very human – what do

    you think are humans?

    And of course they cover it up. That is also very human. It’s called

    shame. The “Satanist” clique go a step further – they have the shamelessness

    of the pure heartedn but neglect [to some degree any conscience ] performing

    the corresponding actions.

    Such people invert good actions to harmful ones; with glee and deliberation?..

    It’s apparently their doctrine.

    I assume either propensity has to be trained into the child / subject

    – that’s perhaps why anthropologists, professors, and pop and professional

    psychologists have to be enlisted in the large – scale social project?

    Just as a conventional religious attitude has to be trained into the subject, the

    Satanic / psychopathic stance also needs training; though of course you will

    always find your “naturals,” on either “side.”

    No one is “de – humanizing” anyone by calling-out on crimes / perps as “evil.”

    “the same” sounds like “shame”

  25. Sorry for the poor proof – reading , should read,

    “And yes, that is based on rivalry – as alleged to be the sole human motive by Girard. ”

    and

    “I assume either propensity has to be trained into the child / subject

    – that’s perhaps why anthropologists, professors, and pop and professional

    psychologists have to be enlisted in the large – scale social project[s]?

  26. Hi Jasun:

    I listened to your podcast at the link you posted here. When I first started listening, I thought, “Man, these guys sound half dead, like they just rolled out of bed and haven’t had their coffee yet. A monotone in the speaking.” I feel for your friend Steve Hail. Where he’s at is familiar to me, that headspace he’s in. I could hear a fidgety anxiety in his voice, nervousness in his snickers and guffaws, when (no doubt very hard for him) he was honestly trying to explain without giving too many specifics where he’s at in his life presently, wandering around, trying to make a change with a different and better outcome or result, and only finding that he finds himself in the same place, again and again. He sounds close to the end of his tether. You could hear the frustration and weariness in his voice. The internal grind of being unsettled and constantly worrying and the whole stress of it eventually depositing him as a wreck, him not being able to feel much anymore, a numbness setting in. One might call that the body’s natural response, shutting down to recharge. But of course the alcohol doesn’t help. I no longer drink alcohol, have been dry for quite a while now, but alcoholism is in my own family. I’ve never been a fall down drunk or have abused it to blackouts, but I know intimately (being the high-strung and hypersensitive fellow that I am) how it retards the surfacing of very important emotions one must feel fully and experience; and that process, not pleasant and can be quite agonizing – painful not as in one being wounded, but painful in a good way – is precisely one’s roots pushing down into the dark earth, seeking nourishment for the whole.

    Greetings to you, Steve Hail, if you read this. I tip my cap to you for talking about yourself like that. That takes some guts. Never easy coming out into the open and talking about where one is actually, the unvarnished truth of it, no fictionalizing, no makeup or cosmetics on it. Jasun, we appear to have a similarity in childhood of moving every three or so years. My Dad got transferred all the time when I was a kid, and I had my heart torn out a couple times, moving away from best friends at such a tender and impressionable age. I think such a thing affects various individualities in different ways. With my own particular nature and temperament, it drove me when I was younger into being a little more to myself, more introspective, shying away from getting too deeply connected. Fear of getting hurt again, of being uprooted and having to move. I have two sisters, one around a year younger than I, and one around a year older, and it affected them and manifested in them in interesting ways. Some serious personal struggles resulted and problems, cycles of self-abuse and such. Of course there are still struggles, relapses, but it helps to be more aware of what’s going on, and to talk it out, as you have done here with your friend Steve Hail.

    It’s interesting the place I’m in now. I’m still somewhat guarded, I’ve always been a bit of a neurotic, but I no longer have this debilitating fear or terror even of being uprooted in the way I was in the past, when I was younger, which led me, being so self-protective to such an extreme degree, into vicious cycles and self-defeating behavior. A dog chasing its own tail. Roots have grown much deeper, to where beyond locale more Universal is felt in me now.

  27. M:

    Yes, but while it’s true that we may do well to uncover / embrace the “inner shadow”, is it not also true that a force external to our own psyches (call it evil, the adversary, artificial intelligence or what have you) might also exist, and that this should actually be resisted whole-heartedly?

    Anything might exist, but I haven’t seen anything that suggests to me any force external to the psyche that could or should be called “evil.” If there were such a force, resistance would, in my view, be the very last thing we would want to do with it. Resistance makes stronger; a force that is blocked and denied access, whether sentient or blind, does not generally go away. At best all we have done is confirm that we are there.

    One thing I have come to realize is that it’s unwise for us to simply stand down and contemplate our inner worlds while externally allowing a great evil to devour the world we all must live in.

    This, like all things, depends on each individual case & circumstance. For many people, confronting some imagined evil devouring the world is only the means not to contemplate their inner world. & if we haven’t identified all the ways in which said “evil” (trauma) has installed itself in our psyches and prevents us from seeing the outside world at all save through that shattered lens, then how are we going to avoid making the situation worse by trying to combat it?

    Simultaneously though, I also believe that we must resist on all levels that which seeks to enslave us by standing firm in our own power and regaining sovereignty of our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical selves.

    Who or what is it that is gaining sovereignty?

    I am not sure that surrender can be conditional, or volitional; it has to be absolute and come from the deepest part of us. We are not here to serve ourselves.

    I think too many of us have been brainwashed by shame-based ways of thinking where we are led to believe that our nature is to sin and harbour all of this darkness and evil.

    Agreed.

    What if those dark and twisted elements of humanity are not in our nature, and they really do stem from something external? Do we really need to accept them, embrace them and integrate them? How can we be sure this is a good idea? Could it be some humans are more “infected” than others?

    Something has to be done with them. What can’t be transformed has to be dissolved. But if we are going to become fully open to life, doesn’t that mean being open to everything that life entails?

    This doesn’t mean not having boundaries, but a boundary does not have to be a wall.

    • Excellent reply, Jasun. Of course these are generalities, particular points or further what-one-means is always debatable, but I agree with the gist.

      (The point of what one calls “evil” might be debated, if, for instance, something was literally in your personal space and could in fact kill you. I agree that “evil”, absolutely strictly speaking, is not what that thing is in its very nature. It’s for the most part a human term. A lion is not being evil by taking down a moose. It’s just being what it is. Same with many things which put into the human realm turn threatening and menacing and could in fact kill one. This is probably a matter mostly of human perception, an inward terror turned inside out and projected onto that thing which, in itself, it doesn’t feel it is. It’s just being itself, even if that nature is predatory. So some people will call the lion evil for killing the moose, and furthermore will call any creature that’s intrinsically predatory evil. But the point which might be debated further, thinking about self-preservation, is fight or flight. I don’t think having no resistance to certain things is the way to go in all instances. Yet, Jasun, what you write is true. If dealing not from a safe distance but in direct interaction with a psychic vampire, for instance, resistance only feeds the entity and makes it stronger. It’s better not to resist and that way that entity’s “sensors” will be evaded, so to speak. That’s the first priority in the instinct for self-preservation. It’s another issue altogether, if one actually wants to slay the psychic vampire. That’s much more risky; the chances are greater for that backfiring, and awakening the killer-instinct in the psychic vampire. Most are simply not heroes or warriors, and advisedly should steer clear of any attempt at finding the soft spot at the psychic vampire’s center and waiting for the right time to drive in the stake.)

      Hey Vivian, I enjoyed your last two comments, the one here and that other one at Jasun’s podcast Language and Landscape. There you’ve lifted your reflection, pointing to a kind of poetic literature for helping along awareness, or for at least raising interesting and relevant questions. That mode suits you. You seem to have reined yourself in a bit, and I find it personally more relatable. Turning the God-Light on people full blast only turns most into deer trapped in headlights, and what really is the point of doing that.

      • Thanks, John
        Reining in is sweet indeed. It enacts clear thoughts and feelings. It allows for progress to be made. I am grateful for your prompting.

    • What you say is true, and I think any discussion around this idea is by deifitntion nuanced with many layers of meaning and interpretation.

      I do not personally use the term “evil” much as I don’t think it adequately represents what I feel is at the core of what that which I was alluding to earlier.

      To better explain, here is what I see when I look at the human condition: I see a species that has become infected with a self propagating principal that appears to be at its core anti-human and anti-life. Rather than liken this to a persona such as a Satan type figure, I would tend to liken it to a virus or a cancer. We can not know it’s origins but we can see it’s expression, recognize and name it, and most importantly attempt to heal from it and help others to do the same. This is my personal version of “resisiting evil”, but I admit most people may have a different interpretation of those words.

      Ultimately though, it’s true that much of humanity appears to be predisposed to these same anti-human and anti-life behaviours that we have seen repeated throughout history. I would propose that this may not be in our original nature and that our species and thus our collective psyche has been engineered through various means towards this end.

      So yes, the so-called “evil” exists in the psyche and must be overcome through the psyche, but beyond that I feel we should also question what external forces might have an interest in engineering and maintaining this condition rather than just accepting it and surrendering to its inevitability.

      • To the caterpillar being liquefied by the pressure, the chrysalis might appear as an external evil, also. I think a non dualistic perspective is worth aspiring to, since it includes the opposites within it, while a polarity view does not allow for that unified perspective but only a bouncing back & forth forever between the two (like our man in Magonia, Whitley). How this translates into action or nonaction is, again, a wholly individual thing.

      • Jasun – (sorry I can’t reply below since the reply function doesn’t appear on this last comment)

        Indeed, but can’t a non-dualistic and nuanced worldview still recognize behaviours as foreign to one’s truest expression of Self and reject them?

        As an aside, have you read the book A Course In Miracles?

        • can’t a non-dualistic and nuanced worldview still recognize behaviours as foreign to one’s truest expression of Self and reject them?

          Absolutely, tho it may be simper than that (I can’t speak for non-dual awareness), in that there is only ever one expression that is true in any moment, and all the others are false because “outside” oneself, i.e., coming from somewhere other than one’s innermost core. This would be a true duality yet it seems as tho it would also be the end of duality, being that everything that is not God/the Soul is seen to be unreal….

          I haven’t ever read CIM.

      • It’s all so abstract though isn’t it? From this current perspective anyways.

        ACIM is a social engineering classic. I was really indoctrinated into this book’s “teachings” for most of my life up until a few years ago when I finally recognized it for what it was.

        I recommend you get your hands on a copy – it will provide you with hours of material to deconstruct. I think you can probably find it in PDF somewhere.

        One of the (Columbia University Psychologist) coauthors was directly involved in researching Personality Theory as part of an MKULTRA sub-project, research that would be utilized in tailoring different forms of mind control to people of different personality types.

        Here’s the ACIM official version of that reality:
        http://www.miraclestudies.net/BillCIA.html

        Anyways, I thought you might be interested in comparing and contrasting your worldview with the ACIM one.

        • I am sure it would reap many clues but I honestly don’t have the will to try and read ACIM right now. I imagine there’s a core truth in it but that it’s been shaped as a psychological weapon, like all these other systems. Even the truth in pure form can do more harm than good when it comes to us from an external source.

      • Indeed, this is the case. I can’t really blame you for not wanting to read it, it’s literally mind numbing and extremely lengthy. Nonetheless, I do believe that so many of the core beliefs and assumption that circulate in modern day Western pseudo-spirituality and to some extent psychology can be traced to this highly influential though largely unknown book. It might be interesting to take a critical look at some of this material if ever you find the time and energy to do so.

      • Well, here’s an excerpt that pretty much sums it up. Could this pervasive mentality that our culture has been indoctrinated with have anything to do with people’s tendency to want to look the other way?

        T-11.VIII.12. If you perceive offense in a brother pluck the offense from your mind, for you are offended by Christ and are deceived in Him. 2 Heal in Christ and be not offended by Him, for there is no offense in Him. 3 If what you perceive offends you, you are offended in yourself and are condemning God’s Son whom God condemneth not. p213 4 Let the Holy Spirit remove all offenses of God’s Son against himself and perceive no one but through His guidance, for He would save you from all condemnation. 5 Accept His healing power and use it for all He sends you, for He wills to heal the Son of God, in whom He is not deceived.

        T-12.I.1. You have been told not to make error real, and the way to do this is very simple. 2 If you want to believe in error, you would have to make it real because it is not true. 3 But truth is real in its own right, and to believe in truth . 4 Understand that you do not respond to anything directly, but to your interpretation of it. 5 Your interpretation thus becomes the justification for the response. 6 That is why analyzing the motives of others is hazardous to you. 7 If you decide that someone is really trying to attack you or desert you or enslave you, you will respond as if he had actually done so, having made his error real to you. 8 To interpret error is to give it power, and having done this you will overlook truth.

        Mind numbing, I know.

  28. “For many people, confronting some imagined evil devouring the world is only the means not to contemplate their inner world. & if we haven’t identified all the ways in which said “evil” (trauma) has installed itself in our psyches and prevents us from seeing the outside world at all save through that shattered lens, then how are we going to avoid making the situation worse by trying to combat it?”

    It sounds to me as though you look for the resolution of trauma. In order to resolve, you have to tease apart the different elements [alKhemy]. From that you can achieve clarity; and then it will resolve. ( It’s takes “resolution” / resolve to do that? ).

    In this case, lets get to the basics, the principles:

    TRAUMA : wound TRAUMATICK – belonging to or good for the care of wounds.

    EVIL : An ill Turn, Trespass, mischievous, or hurtful act.

    Those are the definitions I work under. Do you use the same definitions?

    To get to basics – what are your definitions?

    I’m confused by the notion that: [on the public world-stage] harmfulness is “imagined,” unless it’s [still imagined?] by means of one’s own wound? Seems a bit short – sighted?

    Also is it? : to paraphrase : ~To address the widespread harm done to others in the society / culture is an escape from curing my own wound? In other words, I must tend my own private and personal wound first.

    Is that only for “some people” or just for yourself?

    When you use the word “we” and “our” :

    “if we haven’t identified all the ways in which said “evil” (trauma) has installed itself in our psyches and prevents us from seeing the outside world at all save through that shattered lens,[]”

    Are you making assumptions about others? i.e. projecting your own point of view and woundedness upon them?

    In the definitions I work under, TRAUMA ≠ EVIL ; they are two different things; (hence my interest in the teasing-out of definitions.)

    I remember this idea from the New Age maxims I was taught in the 1970’s. It was: “First straighten yourself out, before you try to help the world.” “If you are messed up / not balanced, you will only make things worse.” “Wait until you’re “Enlightened” and then you can really help the world.”

    Still Waiting.

    A generation later and the results of that Maxim are being felt. And the same people I knew back then and a whole generation since still haven’t resolved their [neurotic?] issues.

    I suspect the advise was meant as a “propaganda?” – to mis- direct people from a more public life. And, hey, it worked.

    Right, if the world is not whole and sound, how can one achieve a state of being “in our senses?” – It’s a bit of a paradox?

    Yet, a living organism always achieves things by which reckoned by pure rationality “reason,” it should never be able to do – starting with birth.

    It’s the miracle of life. A wound will heal, if tended, all by itself.

    (The wound that won’t heal isn’t a wound, it’s a curse. cf CHIRON)

    I’m reading now about my ancestors [ literally] and all they went through to create a life here, for freedom which they couldn’t get in Europe. And believed they could create here. It’s not a cliche. It really happened. It was *really not easy for them. And I guess you could say that I do relate to it because they were my family / ancestors and literally gave me my life?

    They were desperate to be free of the bullshit back in England and sacrificed a great deal for that. In the old days people even had a public life. It wasn’t “Victoriana” – style, wherein everything devolves to the private life. (The “public life” now means something terrifically ugly.) Of 700 in the original migration 200 died in just the first winter. They were desperate. That was their motive.. It wasn’t easy for them. It was a lot of work and lot of lives spent, [including the ‘Indians’ and slaves of which I do have ancestors, as well] of maybe 8 to 11 generations, depending on the exact line.

    I owe a debt. It’s not all about me.

    Many people, I would say almost a majority of “Americans,” could not “give a hoot” about their ancestors nor politics nor anything else but what’s on TV / the latest movie or band; the latest tat; whatever. That’s probably not so atypical of the past? Yet doesn’t free me from my own obligations, as I see them.

  29. “Yet, a living organism always achieves things by which reckoned by pure rationality “reason,” it should never be able to do – starting with birth.”

    SHOULD READ: [I apologize again for the mistakes. I’ve certainly missed others. Please forgive me.]

    “Yet, a living organism always achieves things, which, reckoned by pure rationality i.e. “reason,” it should never be able to do – starting with its own birth.”

    • You may have seen, I posted recently about the ancestors on FB: Our ancestors are still with us because they are us, and we them. It takes a degree of maturation to realize this, and some people never reach that realization. This only makes them more unconscious, not more autonomous.

  30. I am thinking I may have to do this week’s podcast solo as no one has volunteered. If so, I will need something to talk about. Anyone have any questions? (You can also email me, jasun [at] auticulture.com ) I may wait and address ACB’s points & questions this way, since they are good ones.

  31. And down the rabbit hole, once again:

    Perspectives: The Kingdom And The Future Of Islam

    @ 1:29:30

    Habeeb: The next episode I am going to have, I will talk about a very heavy topic and I went through half a bottle of Whisky just reading my sources and I haven’t even read half of them, but we talked about pedophilia in Islam and it is just scratching the surface of how violent their religion is. If you read the which a book that has been written by Imam Khomeini which is supposedly the modernisation of Shariah law in the 1980. So it is a very new book, all thing considered. And one of the pages has a very detailed manual how to pleasure yourself with a nine year old girl. It is there. … There is no limit in the age of the wife you take. You could marry a foetus. … The age of nine is their moderation here. It is quite desturbing when you read their way to pleasure themselves with a nine year old.

    Pedophilia and Forced Marriages in the Middle East

  32. In one of the podcasts I was listening to, a Saudi ex-muslim claimed that according to his estimate 50% of the boys in Saudi-Arabia have been raped.

    Of interest as well (a random sample):

    Sodomy and Sufism in Afgaynistan

    The document, made available by military sources, is not classified, just disturbing. Don’t ask, don’t tell doesn’t begin to qualify the problem. These are things you didn’t want to know, and regret having heard.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/MA11Df03.html

    Homosexual Pedophilia Surrounds Afghan-Muslim Culture

    No it’s not about poverty or imperialism or the usual excuses and is not simply “isolated” incidents.

    Poverty is not the problem, the culture is the problem.

    http://www.sullivan-county.com/id6/terror2005/sufism.htm

    Australia: Muslim pedophile not charged because of “cultural differences” still stalking children

    https://www.jihadwatch.org/2014/05/australia-muslim-pedophile-not-charged-because-of-cultural-differences-still-stalking-children

    Leaving out the ugly part – Hakim Bey/Peter Lamborn Wilson

    This article is an exposé of Hakim Bey, aka Peter Lamborn Wilson’s paedophilia. A fact which many commentators conveniently brush under the carpet.

    … he was wandering around Persia and South Asia, smoking opium and “looking for traditional anarchism” in Sufism. Under his pseudonym (Bey), he’s found some paedophile culture over in that region as well.

    In his essay “Obsessive Love” (Moorish Science Monitor, Vol. 7, #5, Summer 1995), in which he pretends to be quite the classical scholar, he talks about ancient religious views on romantic and obsessive love. “The Greco-Egypto-Islamic ferment adds a pederastic [i.e. paedophile] element… the ideal woman of romance is neither wife nor concubine but someone in the forbidden category…” He uses the term “spiritual alchemy” for witnessing the “Devine Beloved in certain beautiful boys,” and remarks that, “since all homosexuality is forbidden in Islamic law, a boy-loving sufi has no ‘safe’ category for sensual realisation.”

    https://libcom.org/library/leaving-out-ugly-part-hakim-bey

    While undertaking a classics major at Columbia University, Wilson met Warren Tartaglia, then introducing Islam to students as the leader of a group called the Noble Moors. Attracted by the philosophy, Wilson was initiated into the group, but later joined a group of breakaway members who founded the Moorish Orthodox Church. The Church maintained a presence at the League for Spiritual Discovery, the cult established by Timothy Leary, and it is alleged Wilson would visit it for supplies of LSD.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Lamborn_Wilson

  33. I wrote:

    In one of the podcasts I was listening to, a Saudi ex-muslim claimed that according to his estimate 50% of the boys in Saudi-Arabia have been raped.

    This reminded me of your groundbreaking essay:

    What You Should Know about Organized Ritual Abuse

    http://disinfo.com/2016/03/know-organized-ritual-abuse/

    Lloyd de Mause’s statistics indicate that the sexual abuse of children (independent of any allegation of ritualistic elements or government programs) may be as high as 50% in the US and, by extension, the western world. (It is not likely to be any better in the rest of the world.) De Mause also believes that things are better now than at any time in history.

    *

    Given the fact that the data for the Western world (50%) perfectly matches the data for the non-Western world (50%), we can safely conlude: child abuse is transcultural & ubiquitous!!! I wonder if this mean there is a biological imperative to it all?! In any case, the ubiquity of the phenomenon explains why everybody seems to be blind (willfully ignorant?!) to it, let alone willing to do anything about it! (I also have insider info about some high-profile actors in Germany who wanted to raise awareness and have been silenced.)

    It feels as if we (you, I, and everybody else here) are the real Star Trek crew, our continuing mission: to boldly go where no man has gone before.

    5,200 Pentagon Employees Bought Child Pornography – Investigation halted after 8 Months:

    http://investmentwatchblog.com/5200-pentagon-employees-bought-child-pornography-investigation-halted-after-8-months/

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