HyperMagic

May 11th, 2014

SONY DSC

 

Those acquainted with Neuromancer, The Matrix Series, Aeon Flux, Fight Club, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Holographic Universe Theory, Zhuangzi, Jorge Luis Borges, Jean Baudrillard, Umberto Eco, Garry Crystal, John Tiffin, Nobuyoshi Terashima and George Ritzer will grasp more easily the meaning which the term “Hyperreal” is intended to express.

In short, a common term in Semiotics and Postmodern Philosophy, “Hyperreal” is the quality of something that is real without having an origin or reality, or an authentic fake. It is also what appears to be “more real than reality itself”. Tiffin and Terashima inform us that Hyperreality is the condition in which what is “real” and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together in a way there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins. As it was pointed by Ashin Ottama in a video shared by @hippi in Kenosophy, we live 96% of our lives in concepts (representations or interpretations of reality). Hyperreality is, thus, the representation of reality mistaken for reality itself; and we mostly live within it. People often mistake the character for the actor; Disneyland is the Hyperchildhood; Gatorade is the Hyperwater; The Media is Hypercommunication that deals with Hypertruth; Porn is the Hypersex; Fitness, the Hyperbeauty; Coke is the Hyperhappiness. Celebrities, the Hypergods. Nespresso, the Hypercofee… and the list of artificial realities can grow frighteningly longer. Money. Plastic Surgery. Safety. Las Vegas. Anastasiya Shpagina. Snowboard in Jamaica. Numbers. Dubai. Banana flavored taffies that taste more like bananas than the actual bananas. Ego. The American Dream. Cosplay. Mind. Science. Sex dolls. Electronic cigarettes. Internet. Facebook. Democracy. Stock Exchange. History. Kabbalah. Solar System. Nagual. Politics. Consumerism. GPS. Air Conditioning. FREEDOM – yeah, baby, freedom is indeed a lie; if you think you’re free, think twice; you’re probably wrong.

In a Hyperworld, Magic alone is maybe not enough. A Hyperworld calls for Hypermagic. But isn’t any magical practice already Hyperreal per se? It seems that human experience of Hyperreality isn’t all that new.

Reading Marcel Mauss’ “General Theory of Magic” and, before him, James Frazer’s “The Golden Bough”, we are led to the conclusion that Hyperreality is the essential basis of Magic. Frazer calls Hyperreal “Homoeopathic Magic”. He says: “Homoeopathic magic commits the mistake of assuming that things which resemble each other are the same”. If Magic is about shaping reality, then it is first necessary to understand the principles that rule ‘reality’. And of course this raises other one-thousand deeper questions; questions that were already pondered by Zhuangzi, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and others, and that became known in Western Philosophy as “The Dream Argument”. It postulates that any state depending on our senses should be cautiously examined to determine whether it is in fact ‘reality’. In the Dream state (except for Lucid Dreams), we are usually unaware that we are in fact dreaming. So what would be, then, safe grounds for us to determine, while in the Waking state, that we are living in the ‘real’ World? Eastern mages had realized this long ago and developed a system of consciousness exploration called Dream Yoga, also called Milan or Svapnadarśana, which is basically what we know as Lucid Dreaming. Apart from our senses, there is another body of rules that are usually employed for ‘reality checking’; and it refers to what we learn, not by experience, but by being told. Of course I have to agree thus, with Marcel Mauss, when he asserts that Magic is a social phenomenon (usually an unnoticed or overlooked fact). Memetics. No wonder Chaos Magic and Thelema work better than Shamanism or Traditional Witchcraft in big cities. People willing to perform Shamanism, Pagan Rites or Witchcraft will inevitably feel the need for wilderness.

To summarize, Nothing is Real (can you perceive the truth in the sentence? Only NOTHING is Real); everything else is meaning. Reality and Fiction are identical if the proper stimuli can be provoked in consciousness. Everything consists of interpretation, conceptualization, representation. Model and Paradigm. That’s why Perception plays a stupendous role in Magic. To manipulate ‘reality’ (or better saying, Hyperreality), we have to manipulate consciousness.

So I feel more than compelled to formulate the questions: is there something like Hypermagic? The practice of Magic through representation of Magic? If Astral Travel (model), Sigilization (representation) and Ceremonial Magic (simulation) are already Hyperreal and Magical in essence, what forms would Hypermagic take? Is it possible that we are in fact practicing Hypermagic instead and that there could never be something like ‘real’ Magic? Can this puzzle be solved?

Hermetic Principles, Chakras, Sephirot and Practical Magic

March 22nd, 2014

So… continuing the line of thought exposed/formulated in the NeoHermetics post, here we go for the correspondences…

The idea is to provide a more practical use of the Hermetic Principles and to explore them in a magical sphere rather than only in a mystical/theoretical area.

I assume that when you correspond an Hermetic principle to Sephirots, Planets, Chakras and all that 777 paraphernalia it is easier to grasp their concept and submit them to practical application in order to achieve results…

I do not really believe, for instance, in the magical spheres given in the RPG game Mage: The Ascension, but I’m sure its authors are brilliantly smart, creative and talented enough to help us in creating new avenues and in how we could magically experience concepts such as the Hermetic Principles of Kybalion. The same applies for Carroll’s ideas from The Octavo, which I linked to the principles in the previous post.

So, this is my proposal, organized in a kabbalistic order:

kbl

  • KETER – PRIME – PRINCIPLE OF DYNAMISM (ORIGINALLY NOT FIGURING IN KYBALION) >> Golata
  • CHOKMAH – LIFE (CHIA) – PRINCIPLE OF STASIS (ORIGINALLY NOT FIGURING IN KYBALION) >> Lalata
  • BINAH – ENTROPY – PRINCIPLE OF ENTROPY – (ORIGINALLY NOT FIGURING IN KYBALION) >> Lalana
  • CHESED – CORRESPONDENCE – PRINCIPLE OF CORRESPONDENCE >> Ajna
  • GEBURAH – FORCES – PRINCIPLE OF POLARITY >> Manipura
  • TIPHARET – UNITY – PRINCIPLE OF GENDER >> Swadhisthana
  • NETZACH – TIME – PRINCIPLE OF RHYTHM >> Anahata
  • HOD – MIND – PRINCIPLE OF MENTALISM >> Sahasrara
  • YESOD – SPIRIT – PRINCIPLE OF VIBRATION >> Vishuddhi
  • MALKUTH – MATTER – PRINCIPLE OF CAUSE AND EFFECT >> Muladhara

 

Where the first word always stands for a Sephirot, the second for a magical sphere as used in the White Wolf game, the third for an Hermetic Principle and the last for a Chakra… The first three Sephirot, as always, are above the classical Seven and here the Principles are artificially managed into a roman decimal map to fit the Kabbalah.

Enjoy/Criticize/Create/Destroy.

To finish, KNOW as a child (Atziluth), DARE as a youth (Beri’ah), WILL as a an adult (Yetzirah), and KEEP SILENT as an old man (Assiah). Here we aim to answer the Sphinx’s classic riddle with the “monster’s” own four powers. And they correspond to the Four kabbalistic Worlds.

Magic is the science of manipulating symbols

March 16th, 2014

@MrAlanMoore, I Love You

NeoHermetics

March 13th, 2014

It has been about three years I first read The Octavo, by Peter Carroll, and around ten since I first read The Kybalion, by “The Three Initiates” (but most likely by William Walker Atkinson). And despite a whole century separates these two works, they seem to have much in common; both works share a somewhat similar aim and method, and I hope Apophenia may help me in demonstrating it…. so, first of all, let’s invoke her blessings:

 

“XIQUAL UNGASCAB GESIZAL CHUWAKAGATHAZ CUDTEG. COYANIOC FODDAWITH POZATHOR GYCAPORUS GODON. CHAEQUAI NEKOZY CHAZITER EMUUL ETHENG. QYOPAL JOACHABIM DOHBLE THECJECHED DAHZOO. KABOTHEYA OFTALA AEPALAZAGE. CHOYOFAQUE!!”

 

Dear Muse, please help us in the following missive.

 

In short, both Octavo and Kybalion intend to map the Universe and synthesize its fundamental Laws. Atkinson actually outlined such laws in Kybalion’s predecessor, The Arcane Teachings, but they improved in Kybalion – so we would put The Arcane Teachings aside for a while. Both works, Octavo and Kybalion, have a strong Pantheistic approach and seem to consist essentially of a means for Mental Transmutation (or The Great Work, if you will). And of course Octavo counts on a much more advanced paradigm, full of equations and Quantum Physics, but it is also incredible how “advanced” Kybalion is for the time it was composed.

Neo-Hermetics

Ok, let’s cut to the chase. Kybalion posits there are Seven Principles, namely that of Mentalism, Correspondence, Vibration, Polarity, Rhythm, Cause&Effect, and Gender (its older brother, The Arcane Teachings, postulates instead Seven Laws: Orderly Trend, Analogy, Sequence, Rhythm, Balance, Cyclicity and Opposits). Now, in The Octavo, the Universal Principles are conveniently named Spells and consist of Eight complicated but very interesting equations, to which each chapter is devoted. Atkinson also dedicates one chapter for each of the Seven Principles (despite Kybalion has actually more chapters than that).

 

One could immediately dismiss any comparison for the numerical difference of postulates, but those who actually read The Octavo will realize that one of the spells, the Spell of Practical Magic (7th Chapter), rather describes a technique employed by magicians and not a Universal Law; and besides it, anybody acquainted with Carroll’s works may recall his preference for the number Eight. Number Seven, on the other hand, allows for much more correspondences due to its classical employment. Seven Planets, Seven Chakras, Seven Musical Notes, Seven Colors of the Rainbow, Seven Alchemical Stages, and so on…

 

Well, I spent some time trying to connect both Principles and Spells and submit the results below. Kabbalah, Liber 777 and Kaos Hieroglyphica have been very helpful in such endeavor.

 

I will write more about each Principle/Spell in future, along with the reasons that led me to relate them (apart from naturally being an Apophenic maniac) but, for now, here we go with the correspondences. As Principles and Spells don’t share a simultaneous order, here they are shown in Kybalion’s order.

 

THE KYBALION

THE OCTAVO

PRINCIPLE OF MENTALISM SPELL OF ILLUSION
PRINCIPLE OF CORRESPONDENCE SPELL OF BINDING
PRINCIPLE OF VIBRATION SPELL OF SPINNING
PRINCIPLE OF POLARITY SPELL OF LINKING
PRINCIPLE OF RHYTHM SPELL OF IMPRACTICAL MAGIC
PRINCIPLE OF CAUSE & EFFECT SPELL OF SUBTLE MAGIC
PRINCIPLE OF GENDER SPELL OF NARRATION

—————

SPELL OF PRACTICAL MAGIC

 

I’m also working on a draft which further expands this relationship to encompass the seven lower Sephiroth, the Planets and Magical Spheres by intent (the later I borrow from fiction that in turn was borrowed from History) with the objective of providing a more practical application for all of this craziness.

 

Finally, I would add three other Principles (borrowed from Mage: The Ascension) which, in my paradigm, stand for the three basic expressions of the Void: Dynamism, Stasis and Entropy. And then we have the Tree of Life.

March 5th, 2014

sφnx

February 21st, 2014

 

red

THEN YOU’LL SEE THAT IT IS NOT THE SPOON THAT BENDS; 

IT IS ONLY YOURSELF.

 

(Spoon boy)

On Siddhis

February 1st, 2014

Is it possible that existence is our exile and nothingness our home?” – Emil M. Cioran, On the Heights of Despair, 1932.

People seldom approach Magic and the Occult for other reasons than the so called “Magickal Powers” that can purportedly be acquired. Magic and its effects are at least as old as human thought itself; maybe even older. The oldest sources we have about it date back to 40,000 years ago, in the cave paintings from the Aurignacian period. Some thirty-five thousand years later it had developed to a body of knowledge and practices more akin to the Magickal Thought as we know it today. I’m speaking of the Sumerian civilization. However, as Sumer is still a matter of much speculation, I rather focus on one of their closest heirs in both time and space for this post: the Vedic culture. To introduce it briefly, Indus Valley and Vedic civilizations show heavy influence from, and trade contact with, Sumerian, Elamite and even Egyptian cultures. Not only artifacts but also mythologies and spiritual practices of Vedic culture show us that they might have shared more or less the same world view of their older cousins. In fact, the so called Vedic Period is assumed to have started just after the collapse of Harappan civilization and with the migration of Indo-Iranian peoples to North-western India. The connection between Vedic and Elamite cultures (regardless of time and space) can be effected via the Elamo-Dravidian languages of which Harappan language is also part. Indologist Malati J. Shendge have identified Harappan culture with Assyrians, which in turn developed from Akkadians – whose Empire had once ruled Sumerians and Elamites. It is interesting that Mount Meru, a sacred mountain in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist cosmologies, considered to be the center of physical and spiritual universes, is called Sumeru in Sanskrit – the same word by which the Akkadians identified the Sumerian peoples and their homeland. Vedic culture, on its turn, developed philosophical and religious systems like Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Budhism, which have influenced western Occult since 18th and 19th centuries.

Now before you feel sleepy, let’s delve into the Siddhis more objectively. These are magickal powers within Indian spiritual systems, acquired or developed by some people through Sadhana, ego-transcending practices that may range from Mantra Recitation, Hatha Yoga, Milam (Dream Yoga) and Meditation Trance to the realization of Pure Consciousness or Naked Awareness. A magician, someone who develops such powers, is called Siddha or Siddhar (one who is accomplished), and the god Shiva is acknowledged to have been the first Siddha. Hanuman, Ganesh and Krishna are also Siddhas. This leads us to conclude that Sadhana and Siddhis are godly practices, taught to men by the gods, like in the famous instruction of Krishna to Arjuna:

Arjuna: When a person at such an elevated stage, what duties does he or she perform?

Krishna: Meditation.

Arjuna: How is it done?

Krishna: It is an effort to control the flow of thoughts in the mind without coming under their grip. The effort is to direct the flow of thoughts away from selfish desires and towards the spiritual. This practice must be done in thorough seclusion, alone.

Arjuna: Please say more about the proper location for meditation.

Krishna: It should be in a sanctified place. You should make a place to sit that is a little bit raised off the ground, out of kusa grass covered with deerskin, covered by cloth. Sit there with good, steady posture, and practice directing the flow of your thoughts to a single point; curtailing your external sensual activities. This practice will make your soul very clear.

Arjuna: Can you elaborate on the “steady posture”?

Krishna: Hold your torso, neck and head straight, balanced, firm and steady.

Arjuna: What about “curtailing the senses”?

Krishna: Restrain your perception from wandering here and there; focus your eyes on the tip of your nose and don’t look elsewhere.

Arjuna: How can the mind’s flow be controlled?

Krishna: Follow the brahmacari path – pursue no lusts. Then you will be peaceful. You must practice giving up all fears. Then your mind will come under your control.

Arjuna: When I have my mind under my own control, what should I do with it?

Krishna: Seat me within your pure mind! Make me your ultimate goal.

Arjuna: What is the result of this practice?

Krishna: Dedicating your heart and soul constantly and regularly to this practice, you will attain the supreme santi (peace): nirvana (liberation) and come to my position.

In most of eastern systems, though, Siddhis are not aimed by the adept, but are rather side effects of enlightenment, by transcending Ahamkara: the illusion of Ego. It is not surprising that in Chaos Magic and Zos Kia magickal results are acquired by tricking the “conscious mind” or “psychic censor”. Behold that Krishna’s orientation – pursue no lusts – resumes what has been explained by both Crowley and Carroll regarding the short circuiting effects of “Lust of Result”. In Liber Null, we are taught that “the will can only become magickally effective when the mind is focused and not interfering with the will”. Ego is a social construct, a product of the Mind, which in turn is itself an illusion. Therefore, magickal effects can only be attained by No-mind (Gnosis) and (un)fortunately this state cannot be prolonged for too long. This is when consensus reality is exerting little or no influence at all in us.

I personally like Carrolls’ mathemagickal approach (despite I am aware that some chaotes would prefer put it aside) and have found his formulas extremely handy for understanding how the hell Will shapes reality. In Liber Kaos, we have the following equation:

M = GL (1-A)(1-R)

Where “the magic factor M is made up of four factors which represent the essential components of any magickal act, namely Q, gnosis, L, magickal link, A, conscious awareness, and R, subconscious resistance. These last two factors, A and R, act negatively to reduce the effectiveness of magic”. The closest the resulting M is of 1 the better.

Ok, so we have already seen, and it is amply discussed on the web, that conscious mind or psychic censor (A) spoils magickal effects, but not everybody realizes that a big portion of A is composed by our adherence to Consensus reality. Try as hard as you can, it is possible to delete or acquire habits, change worldviews radically, embrace contradictory philosophies and become a very different person from what you have been, but when it comes to the basis of mental processes and structures it is nightmarishly difficult to detach from. That’s why, in my experience, A determines R: it is Consensus Reality mode on, influencing how we perceive reality and interact with our desires, that increases our subconscious resistance to magickal powers. It can be fairly easier to get an improbable job or amount of money than to expel fireballs by the hand. The same does not apply when one is dreaming. But why? Maybe because the damn consensus reality, with its morals, judgments and other social constructs are diminished in the dream state. And this is why Milam, Dream Yoga and Lucid Dreaming are important to the Great Work. It helps one reducing the thickness of the wall of consensus reality and broadening one’s perception of the illusory nature of reality. If you don’t believe consensus reality is that strong, try to read something about “Tinkerbell Effect” – you’ll be amazed.

I believe the Siddhis a magician may manifest or achieve totally depend on the consensus reality in which (s)he is inserted and upon which his/her mind construct is structured. Children are less affected by consensus reality (and frequently manifest magickal effects; often unwarily and uncontrolled), but on the other hand, they lack “Narration” abilities (that, to an extent, paradoxically depend on consensus reality) and have desires that hardly exceed the 3rd circuit of Leary’s eight-circuit model of consciousness (an interpretation would say that children are successful magicians, though, for they always get what they want).

Let’s conclude with some traditional Siddhis:

• reducing one’s body even to the size of an atom;
• expanding one’s body to an infinitely large size;
• becoming infinitely heavy;
• becoming almost weightless;
• having unrestricted access to all places;
• realizing whatever one desires;
• possessing absolute lordship;
• the power to subjugate all;
• knowing the past, present and future;
• tolerance of heat, cold and other dualities;
• knowing the minds of others and so on;
• checking the influence of fire, sun, water, poison, and so on;
• remaining unconquered by others;
• being undisturbed by hunger, thirst, and other bodily appetites;
• hearing things far away;
• seeing things far away;
• moving the body wherever thought goes;
• assuming any form desired;
• entering the bodies of others;
• dying when one desires;
• witnessing and participating in the pastimes of the gods;
• perfect accomplishment of one’s determination;
• orders or commands being unimpeded;
• the attainment of knowledge about the twenty-four tatwas gained by examining the determinable and the indeterminable conscious and the non-conscious constituents of creation;
• knowledge gained by associating with an enlightened person;
• knowledge gained through study of the vedas and other standard ancillary texts;
• knowledge gained from a kind-hearted person, while engaged in the spread of knowledge;
• knowledge gained regardless of one’s own needs while attending to the requirements of those engaged in the search of the highest truth;
• freedom from pain, disappointment, etc. that may arise due to lack of spiritual, metaphysical, mystic knowledge and experience;
• freedom from pain etc. arising from possessing and being attached to various materialistic gains;
• freedom from pain etc. caused by fate or due to reliance on fate.

According to one of the 196 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, “Siddhis result from practices performed in previous births, or by herbs, mantra repetition, asceticism, or by Samadhi” – that is very similar to our understanding of Gnosis within Chaos Magick.

On Emptiness

January 27th, 2014

First of all, it is of paramount importance to understand the concept of Emptiness and why it is valuable in Magick. This understanding must be not intellectual, though, but empirical.

The influence of Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu ideas in Spare’s system is evident, even if (sometimes) in an antithetical manner. His criticism is more specifically towards unnecessary morality and dogma, like “Quietism, Buddhism, and other religions, everything which denies the flesh—is the great inferiority to God in ourselves, an escapism seeking sanctuary through fear of life and inability to accept ‘this reality’. They were hurt? Or was the odalisque unsatisfactory or too expensive? They expected too much for too little, or were too mean to pay—therefore: ‘All is illusion’…” but on the other hand his concept of Kia is variously comparable to Tao, Brahman (the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world), Jiva and Atman. Spare describes Kia as “the absolute freedom which being free is mighty enough to be ‘reality’ and free at any time: therefore is not potential or manifest (except as it’s instant possibility) by ideas of freedom or ‘means’, but by the Ego being free to receive it, by being free of ideas about it and by not believing. The less said of it the less obscure is it. Remember evolution teaches by terrible punishments-that conception is ultimate reality but not ultimate freedom from evolution” (The Book of Pleasure).

Isn’t that the Pure Awareness of Dzogchen?

In the classical Liber Null, Peter Carroll further explains that “Will and perception are not separate but only appear so to the mind. The unity which appears to the mind to exert the twin functions of will and perception is called Kia by magicians. Sometimes it is called the spirit, or soul, or life force, instead”. And he continues: “Kia cannot be experienced directly because it is the basis of consciousness (or experience), and it has no fixed qualities which the mind can latch on to. Kia is the consciousness, it is the elusive ‘I’ which confers self-awareness but does not seem to consist of anything itself”

Another of Spare’s concepts, Neither-Neither (does not matter-need not be), the state in which the mind has gone beyond conception, total vacuity, resembles a lot the Neti Neti (not-this not-this) of the Upanishads. “Purge thyself of belief: live like a tree walking! Take no thought of good or evil. Become self-active causality by Unity of thine, I and Self. Reality exists but not in consciousness of such: this phenomenal ‘I’ is noumenal and neither-neither. Now thus is concentration explained: ‘The will, the desire, the belief; lived as inseparable, become realization’”.

Needless to say, but Crowley too has been highly influenced by Eastern ideas of consciousness. Hadit, for instance, identifies himself as the point in the center of the circle, and declares “I am alone: there is no god where I am”. Hadit is the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star, which is essentially identical with the Rigpa of Dzogchen – said to lie at the heart of all things. Interesting enough, Atiyoga is synthesized in three principles:

1. Direct introduction to one’s own nature;
2. Not remaining in doubt concerning this unique state;
3. Continuing to remain in this state.

And isn’t it the Great Work of western Magick resumed in three?

1. Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel;
2. The Great Work of the Probationer Grade of the A.:A.: is considered to be the pursuit of self-knowledge to obtain the knowledge of the nature and powers of his own being. (The Confessions of Aleister Crowley);
3. The Great Work should also be something that is integrated into the daily life of all.

Crowley says “The Great Work is the uniting of opposites. It may mean the uniting of the soul with God, of the microcosm with the macrocosm, of the female with the male, of the ego with the non-ego” – Magick Without Tears. And he concludes in his Little Essays Toward Truth: “The Quest of the Holy Grail, the Search for the Stone of the Philosophers—by whatever name we choose to call the Great Work—is therefore endless”.

Here we can have a glimpse of the interconnectedness of Eastern and Western schools which aim the same Gnosis. There is also the eastern concept of Siddhis (magickal powers arising from the Gnostic Sadhana), but this is a subject for another post…