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Tag Archives: Chaos Magick

II. “Agent Smith Syndrome” or “No Exit” OR: “Everything is permitted, nothing is real.” (Continued from this post.)

According to the apocalyptic storyline which my friends and I had concocted – a shared movie storyline in which we (of course) had cast ourselves as the heroes – the dawn of the Aquarian Age after the turn of the Millennium would signal a return of the Holy Grail, since the symbol of Aquarius is a person pouring water from a cup or some other vessel. I was certain that this would be the deciding factor which would turn the tide of the battle in the “good guys’” favor. Of course the “bad guys” would try to keep it from being found, or would try to keep it for themselves.

Looking back, it was easy to see that part of the reason for this shared mythos was that it allowed us to transition into mundane adult life and function as “grown ups” without fully giving up our belief in magic, and the idea that there was more to existence than selling our labor, punching a time clock, and collecting a paycheck.

We weren’t sold on the idea of selling out, becoming 9 to 5 wage slaves, eventually having kids, buying a minivan, and moving to the suburbs. In short, it was a way of rebelling against the stability that we felt our Baby Boomer parents had betrayed their radical youthful ideals and dreams to achieve.

This was primarily happening for us during and after Bill Clinton’s re-election, when most of us were in our early twenties and going to college, working entry-level retail jobs, service jobs, or tech support jobs during a time when it was still taken for granted that a person could “work their way up the ladder” to economic prosperity. None of us were aware then that few of us or our Millennial kid siblings would even get a shot at the kind of stability and prosperity that our parents’ generation got to enjoy, anyway.

But we all felt that something was coming. The idea that some sort of cataclysmic event would occur right around the year 2000 weighed on the collective subconscious. You could feel it. We just had no idea that it would take the shape of the Dotcom Bust and a massive terrorist attack in New York city in 2001, followed by nearly a decade of war, and exacerbated by a financial crash in 2007 and 2008. We were thinking it would be way more fantastical and esoteric than that.

X Files and the film Independence Day had people watching the skies for Zeta Reticulan invaders. David Icke railed against the Reptilians that he claimed controlled society at every level. We’d watched the ATF stakeout, and eventually the botched raid, on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco on our TV sets in 1993, and seen the pictures of the creepy scene of the shrouded bodies in their Nike sneakers when the Heaven’s Gate cult committed mass suicide in 1997. And all of it fed back into the shared mythos of our peer group.

As I mentioned before, we were awash in conspiracy theories and a deluge of movies with apocalyptic themes, as well as the new age, religious, and occult literature which had become available to us as we graduated high school, got jobs, and started to investigate different belief systems. We appropriated ideas from everything we saw or read: from adaptions of ancient texts, to science fiction and fantasy novels, and comic books.

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With all of the recent drama that has been going on in some of the more esoteric circles that I’ve moved in, and with all of the recent life upheavals that I’ve undergone, I finally accepted the fact that a lot of the beliefs that I had been clinging to over most of my adult life are probably bullshit. I started out wanting to believe certain things when I was a teen getting into Chaos Magick and Modern Ceremonial Magick, and ended up just glomming on to the things that seemed most similar to the group that I started out in, which imploded.

When those groups imploded too, I finally began to see a pattern. I realized that I was being attracted to certain types of personalities that were parasitic and implosive, and whose influence was maybe detrimental to my development as a person. I had to accept that I’m temperamentally unsuited to working in certain kinds of groups, anyway. And it follows that if one just looks for the information that confirms what one wants to believe, one ends up screening out any new pertinent information that could change the whole game.

However, I have encountered a lot of concepts and ideas that I have liked, and have worked for me; so over the past year or so, I have basically been trying to determine what is bullshit, what works, and what does not. I have determined that I work best when I act independently and do my own thing, and so that is what I’ve resolved to do from here on in.

I’ve had to re-evaluate everything I believe about Magic(k).

The current mindset in America today is rife with magical thinking, which is taking our country down a path that is dark and frightening. Philip K Dick had a saying: “Reality is that which does not go away when you stop believing in it.” There seems to be a large subset of folks in this country who believe that they can ignore the scientific data that we are headed for environmental collapse if we do not do something to arrest the trend towards climate change, that we are headed towards more economic trouble if we don’t do more to regulate our financial system and stop the folks on Wall Street who treat our economy like it was a casino, that one can “pray the gay away” and that everything nasty that they claim about folks who believe differently than they do is true, without any actual observation or analysis of any of these actual situations or persons.

None of this has anything to do with the occult as it is actually practiced, but I had a wake-up call and realized that I don’t want to structure my belief system like this. I don’t want to have a mindset that does not take hard data into account – that there are things that are verfiably true, things that are verafiably not true, and just ‘believing’ in something does not make it so. Science depends on peer review and analysis of data. It’s not just an ‘alternative’ to other religious belief systems. Most of what I have seen of actual working  Magick seems to confirm Terry Pratchett’s concept of Headology.

Chaos seems to state that because reality is perceived differently by everyone, you won’t get two accounts of anything that will line up enough to be objectively measured. It is part and parcel of the Chaos Magician’s experience to be able to entertain paradoxical belief systems in one’s head simultaneously in the course of being a practitioner. This just goes with the territory. And this is becoming more difficult for me to do as a lot of the things I have believed in have been  proven wrong in the course of my own experience.

What I would like to do is observe where Scientific Fact and “Magick” intersect, if possible. It seems that experiences of Magick are highly subjective. This article by John Michael Greer is still the best one that I’ve ever read on the subject.

Helena Blavatsky seems to have kept reiterating that the Hindus have come closer than anyone to actual universal truth. I’ve had a lot of syncrhonistic encounters with people this year, in which folks are suggesting that events in Hindu mythology can be seen as metaphors for actual Scientific phenomena. One example: the concept of Maya expressed in the conflict between Stephen Hawking and Leonard Susskind over the Black Hole Information Paradox. (I.E. are we actually experiencing the physical universe, or a holographic experience of the physical universe?)

I guess the fact that I’ve rebooted this site again and kept it going means that I am still trying to figure out what I believe personally about all this. And that those beliefs are still fluctuating from day to day.