The Year of Thinking Magically: Results

So, what's the difference between madness and true magical thinking? It's a question that needs to be asked. For me, it's simple: the difference is the result. Usually, it's the only yardstick we have at hand.

It's funny- people seem to muddle through on the edge of complete incompetence all around us and everyone lets it slide. It's not until a person begins to commit thought crimes -- ie., they begin to question commonly-held assumptions on the nature of Reality -- that their own competence is called into question and held to much higher standards than their peers.

Meaning that if you challenge the dominant reality paradigm you will receive an invisible but yet indelible scarlet letter on your forehead, and the most pathetic, most incompetent, most imbecilic people will be free to mock, ridicule and harass you with utter impunity. On the contrary- they'll be rewarded for upholding the sacred virtues of conformity, tedium and entropy that the Serious™ people want to blanket the world in.

But once in a great while a magical thinker somehow transcends all of that and is accepted into the Invisible Pantheon. This can be a curse- this pantheon is filled with people whose works are admired and praised yet utterly ignored. Aspiring Serious™ people find it necessary to purchase the works of these thinkers primarily as a kind of magical talisman that will bestow on them the Badge of Seriousness, which signals to other strivers that they are fit sexual partners, employees and dinner party guests.

So when you see copies of Finnegan's Wake, Pet Sounds and There Will Be Blood on someone's shelf, don't be surprised if they look remarkably new and un-consumed. And whatever you do, don't point out that art is meant to be experienced and understood, not simply purchased. There is no greater faux pas in middlebrow circles than questioning the magical powers of status-minded consumerism. I'm not remotely kidding.

Many magical thinkers only reach the Invisible Pantheon once they're safely dead and are no longer at risk of saying inconvenient things about Reality. Critics will praise their work and compare it to other safely-dead Magical Thinkers, though only in the context of literary criticism or anthropological observation. Philip K. Dick is one of these, you see him compared to Borges a lot, as if Dick needs the Argentine's posthumous endorsement to be taken seriously by Serious™ people. Dick's religious obsessions are particularly inconvenient, but enough Serious™ critics have granted him absolution on this count that it's overlooked.

Dick's transformative experience- the 2/3/74 event - is generally overlooked by Serious™ people, though it's often recounted with the requisite sadness, headshaking and tut-tutting. Poor soul, had a schizophrenic break, don't you know. Must have been all that mystical bullshit that did his head in.

Wait: before we go any further, let me let Erik Davis tell us what the 2/2/74 experience was exactly:

It was February of 1974, and the American science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick was in pain. The man whose darkly comic novels of androids, weird drugs, and false realities stand as some of the most brilliant and visionary in the genre had just had an impacted wisdom tooth removed, and the sodium pentathol was wearing off. A delivery woman arrived with a package of Darvon, and when the burly, bearded man opened the door, he was struck by the beauty of this dark-haired girl. He was especially drawn to her golden necklace, and he asked her about its curious fish-shaped design. "This is a sign used by the early Christians," she said, and then departed.

Like many an acid casualty (Dick himself preferred amphetamines), Dick also picked up strange signals from electronic devices, and for a time he received "die messages" from the radio....But Dick's paranoia could turn itself inside-out and become divine intervention, and once when listening to the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever," the strawberry-pink light informed him that his son Christopher was about to die. Rushing the kid to their physician, Dick discovered that the child indeed had a potentially fatal inguinal hernia, and was soon wheeled into the operating room.

Now, magical beams of pink light might seem like the definition of pathological delusion, but speaking as a parent I can tell you there's no result more important than the life of your child being saved from a painful death from an undiagnosed ailment. We can question the agency of the beam- it could well be a manifestation of Dick's own unconsciousness, which detected that there was something not quite right with Christopher but Magic doesn't like to operate like that. In order to deal with Magic you have to speak its language and deal with it on its terms, not yours.

Yet, at the same time Magic has a funny way of tailoring itself to its audience- for religious people it calls itself Miracle or Revelation. For Ray Kurzweil it calls itself the Singularity. For so-called skeptics, it's Anomaly, which needs to be promptly but quietly deleted and the deletion meticulously covered up. Dick was a bit all over the place in his religious heterodoxy, but knowing how words work he left a record as to what Magic felt like:

"March 16, 1974: It appeared - in vivid fire, with shining colors and balanced patterns - and released me from every thrall, inner and outer.

"March 18, 1974: It, from inside me, looked out and saw the world did not compute, that I - and it - had been lied to. It denied the reality, and power, and authenticity of the world, saying, 'This cannot exist; it cannot exist.'

"March 20, 1974: It seized me entirely, lifting me from the limitations of the space-time matrix; it mastered me as, at the same time, I knew that the world around me was cardboard, a fake. Through its power of perception I saw what really existed, and through its power of no-thought decision, I acted to free myself. It took on in battle, as a champion of all human spirits in thrall, every evil, every Iron Imprisoning thing."
Dick knew his religious history and called upon it to describe his experience, which essentially was the experience he'd been working up to for years prior. Same goes with Alan Moore- he didn't suddenly go from being a stockbroker to a magician. He'd been playing footsy and making googoo eyes at Magic for some time before taking the final plunge. But Dick had been a basketcase prior to 2/3/74 and if it was a psychotic break like the Serious™ people would have us believe it was the strangest psychotic break I've ever seen. This was an integrative experience for Dick, not the disintegrative collapse you'd associate with psychosis. Dick cleaned up his act, and got his house in order leading to having his work optioned by Hollywood.

2/3/74 produced results, both of the psychic kind (Christopher's hernia) and the take out the garbage and balance the checkbook kind. I realize this doesn't fit with the narrative put forward by the dominant paradigm, but neither is it unique. Not everyone ends up like Jack Parsons- his wanking buddy certainly did pretty well for himself. Jung had a nearly identical experience to 2/3/74 and it inspired him to change the face of popular psychology. He was no less a magical thinker than Moore or Dick - or Parsons, for that matter- and the only downside for him seemed to be dodging the brickbats of the Guardians of Mediocrity (that's mainstream academia for those playing along at home).

Whatever guise it takes, Magic can often produce some positive results for its suitors, providing they don't try to bend Magic to their own will. From my reading that always ends badly, for all involved.

TO BE CONTINUED

47 comments:

  1. Dude, when you rock out you rock hard.

    That you can write an essay about magical thinking that has has a punk vibe without any affectations is pretty awesome. Kudos, brother.

    Methinks you hit on something pretty potent and familiar with this post. Like, many people out there will hopefully think, "Oh yeah, that's what open-minded critical thinking with courage sounds like!"

    You know, there was a time when I thought magical thinking had destroyed me, but know I'm seeing that it's been saving my life more than ever. Cool. I can't overemphasise the empowering effect this blog has had on me, Chris.

    This stuff is alchemical gold, and I'm sure it's a very thumbed-through section of the Akashic Records (an independent label, obviously).

    Magic is real, and we're all adding our contributions to the Thesis of the Threshold. Discerning, Dreaming Minds are Mandatory.

    Peace!

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  2. Chris, there's been a lot to chew on, between everything on Alan Moore, Philip K. Dick, and Jung, an interesting series of pieces. More great work.

    I feel I have to ask this, and it might be a foolish question. Is the objective of this site to prime people to have similar experiences to what Moore, Dick, Jung have gone through? Are some people born with the predisposition to have such an epiphany? Or is this the 'anyone can learn to ride a bike' argument, where it just takes discipline to reach having such experiences. Because, I have to add, the prospect of opening up the veil to how the world is, It hit me, is a frightening prospect.

    It's no wonder, many would rather tune this kind of explorations out.

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  3. When I first got online one of my first ports of call was The Lycaeum forums ---suppodely a place that deals with all psychedelic issues, so I thought I would find like-minds.....HAH! I was in for a shock and a learnin curve experience. What i found was a preponderence, including punters and mods, of the 'scientific mindset'. Again and again if I 'dared' speculate about reality with out showing 'references' and 'evidence' I was accused of "magical thinking"---And the atmosphere was similar to the witch-hunting craze. Seriously, I cannot tell you how intense it was lol One guy there who others seemed to look at as some kind of god had the user name of 'The Bricoleur' and he was relenteless in his attempts to expose 'magical thinking' and we had many conforntations but because he had the power of moderator eventually I was banned.
    When I then told about all this at another more laid back place http://www.entheogen.com this guy followed me there and we ended up having a 99 post 'debate'(just me and him) about the mental illness myth. He believed mental illness in the official way, and I know it is a myth. My 99th post was the last one.

    This guy apparently was into something called 'rational mysticism'.

    Talking about the mental illness myth, seeing that you mentaion 'madness' in relation to 'magic'. yesterday I read this article: Allen Ginsberg at Rockland State Hospital Basically what its saying is that the stigma about 'mental illness' is still so bad that even wild creative poets like Ginsberg 'have' to have that 'shameful' past ommitted from their resume!!
    "I am writing a longer article, Are Mental Patients Really Human? that will deal with the attitudes I have just described. It is subtitled The Genteel Bigotry of the Liberal Establishment. No, hardly anyone would dare to call us “mental cases” or “nut jobs” in the polite company of those who like to think of themselves as enlightened. Instead, we are portrayed as somehow non-persons. And if, as in the case of Allen Ginsberg, we cannot be portrayed as non-persons, then it is denied that we are psych survivors."

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  4. let the divinely unintended flow :)

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  5. Great post and I completely resonated to the 2 posters above me here as well. Thanks be to RAW, I started reading PKD about 20 years ago after I read cosmic trigger 1,2, and 3. Those 2 guys totally drop kicked 2 huge scales off my eyes in my opinion. But (is it genetic or ???) it's as though you have to want those scales to be loosed because it can't be passed to the next person unless they are predisposed to be interested as well. I imagine it corelates to when someone wants to talk about current political and parlimentary procedures- I know there could be mental goods in there but I glaze over like a fatty roast in the fridge- can't even hear them after a few minutes. In fact I think politics IS magic bent to a bad will- I wouldn't be suprise if that glazing is a part of the spell...
    Best Wishes, Delorus

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  6. thought you might like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/myklroventine/2372327933/

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  7. magic = almost a religious experience I.e. Kinda like this synchronicity or mythology you, Jung, and others talk about.

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  8. The one thing about Magic is that it doesn't happen just because you're ready for it. A couple of mindsynchlinks to the forbearers;

    Archibald Lampman's poem "Frogs" which ends with this refrain;


    "That change and pain are shadows faint and fleet,
    And dreams are real, and life is only sweet."

    And another Canadian writer from the fog of time, Malcolm Lowry and his writing "Under the Volcano".

    PKD is John the Baptist and one big toe into the undercurrent of his cardboard universe is just a copy of "Portrait of an Artist..." collecting dust on the mantle.

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  9. Is it possible for you to be more awesome?

    BTW, I had a comment on a previous post of yours but didn't have time to post it.

    You talked about magical thinking being considered, in the minds of many, to be a passive "oh, wait and see, and magic will provide" thing.

    I wanted to say that this kind of approach to living is not magical thinking. It's non-thinking.

    There are people who mistake it for magical thinking. You see them in the flufferiest new-age circles, fundamentalist megachurches, etc. (is there a difference) staring up with their eyes closed and vacant expressions on their faces attempting to see something important on the undersides of their eyelids. I call this look "beholding the bright white light of stupidity."

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  10. "Critics will praise their work and compare it to other safely-dead Magical Thinkers, though only in the context of literary criticism or anthropological observation. Philip K. Dick is one of these, you see him compared to Borges a lot, as if Dick needs the Argentine's posthumous endorsement to be taken seriously by Serious™ people."

    Double-posting. Coffee again. :)

    I have noted for quite some time that a defining cognitive characteristic of mainstream "serious" thinkers of all stripes is social metaphysics.

    Social metaphysics is when you evaluate the truth or falsehood or, alternately, the value (in an artistic or other sense), of an idea in terms of who holds it and their relative social status. It is, IMHO, the most damaging and pervasive bad cognitive habit of the human race.

    The universe does not care about primate social status. This needs to be jackhammered into our heads until they bleed.

    It even comes up more than you would think in the context of the hard-rational "left brain" disciplines like science and engineering. You do not want to know how often I, as an engineer, have watched an inferior design or technology be implemented because it is approved by people with higher primate social status than the obviously rationally superior choice. The question, more often than not, is not "does it work" but "is it championed by the right people?" I would venture to say that most bad engineering is a result of this. When you use a piece of technology and think "why on Earth would they do this?" the answer is almost always social metaphysics.

    If it comes up in the hardest of disciplines, it's of course going to be endemic in philosophy, art, metaphysics, etc.

    BTW, by "hard" I do not imply a value judgement about importance. I'm just saying that it's easier to objectively judge whether an engineering design or a scientific hypothesis is correct. You can build it or run an experiment on it and test it directly. It's a lot harder (or impossible) to do that in other fields. So even in fields where you can draw a hard line in the sand, people still think this way.

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  11. Please know - I have a CD of PET SOUNDS from the late 80's in the dawn of CD players.

    The plastic case is scratched and looks well used - which it is.

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  12. Adam GoRightly spoke of a parallel between Philip K. Dick, Robert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary and a woman science fiction writer (I could search this out, but I can't remember right now)

    According to Adam, he says they all claim some sort of psychic messages coming from the star Sirius.

    It all took place in 1974, and none of these writers knew of each others odd telepathic experiences until years later.

    1974 was an intense year of UFO activity.

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  13. 17 manuscripts returned in one day (!?!?!)

    (noted by his wife in the youtube video part 2)

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  14. The "Serious" version:

    When it comes to sacramental transmigration machines, all are not created equal! There’s the Ultra-Symphonic Pink Beam Transmission Device (USPBTD) – and then there’s the rest!

    Quite simply, no other device out there can match the USPBTD’s
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    Whether your needs include transmogrification, transmigration,
    or simple transubstantiation, the Ultra-Symphonic Pink Beam Transmission Device is the choice for you!

    INSTANT TRANSMOGRIFICATION!

    But what truly sets the USPBTD apart is its unique ability to enable time-space breakthroughs while also handling your most difficult translation needs –
    from the decoding of secret alphabets, symbols, codes, and sonic sigils to transcriptions of breakthroughs of the Cosmic Self!

    Don’t wait – try the USPBTD at your local transmigration dealer
    today!

    *WARNING: Transportation beyond the Tenth Sphere and to the
    Infinite Gyre may result in inability to return to the Temporal
    Realm. Please settle earthly affairs prior to usage.

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  15. It's occurred to me that magic happens all the time in our lives, but because we are asleep and distracted the moments pass without our noticing them. So I've resolved to notice when something is in the process of manifesting. Not let it drift off in the periphery of my awareness but keep it front and center. Maybe this is what Brother Lawrence meant by practicing the Presence??

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  16. may i suggest some magical music to aid your magical thinking...

    two steps from hell... these guys are fabulous! they composed Lestat's violin 'rampage', and have contributed to many movie scores.

    two steps from hell
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=legQHBivlrs

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  17. I wonder if PKD understood
    what was in his control and
    what was beyond his will.

    That is the first step in
    any ,"magical", or spiritual
    life.

    Magical thinking has been
    my primary mode of thought as
    a diagnosed psychotic, but I
    learned to avoid the ABYSS
    because most of the Universe
    is outside of my control.

    Really I can only control
    a certain type of thought
    stream, in my own personal
    space.

    Do we re-(cognize), that the
    Universe is what it is, or
    do we try and become God and
    therefore go insane?

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  18. Methinks that this little essay, that is eventually morphing into a whole series, will eventually give birth to an entire book about magical thinking.

    Just be sure to include the blue heron at the dust-jacket artwork ;)

    PS: Re. what Mike wrote about "channeling" messages from Sirius, I would encourage anyone interested to read Blair Mackenzie Blake's essay "Dark Seed", which is part of the Darklore vol. 5 anthology, from Daily Grail Publishings —the Dogon, Sirius B, Edward Dudley Pelley, and the Blue Kachina prophecy all wrapped up in one mind-blowing entheogenic package! ;)

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  19. Mike C.-- the woman writer you mentioned is the British novelist Doris Lessing. She won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2007.

    Lessing wrote a series of books called Canopus in Argos which deal with accelerated evolution and intervention. They're also connected to Sufi ideas. She was a good friend of Idries Shah.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canopus_in_Argos

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  20. 2/2/2002 was a special date for me also, I guess there's something to Feb 2nd.

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  21. @wordsofrothschild ~ simple, 2 February is a high Pagan sabbath, that being Imbolc by name, later Christianised as Candlemas. Februus was/is also the name of the Etruscan god of the Underworld. He supposedly walks the Earth during the month that bears His name.

    Thanks again for this veritable Part 2, Christopher. This in & of itself worthy of another book from you. Cheers.

    So grateful to be w/o snow in VA,
    The Elven Mage, Anadæ Quenyan Effro

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  22. I see magic as apart of life. Just about everything has beauty to it, some things more so than others. But then, every cloud has a silver lining...as the saying goes.

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  23. 2-3-74 is shorthand for February/March 1974.

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  24. Speaking of magical thinking, bonus points to whomever else spotted the WTC Attack sync on last night's "Merlin".

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  25. "So, what's the difference between madness and true magical thinking?"

    For me, the difference is the basis.

    I think Peter Hoge, comment above, has captured the essense of the difference in his comment. Madness is essentially black magical thinking, wherein the plan becomes to bend reality to your own will.

    "Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad". (i.e., egocentric)

    "Magical thinking" is real faith. In magical thinking you do not try to assume command. Instead you seek to integrate with the Holy Will. You believe "all things are possible", because they are. You become, not a master, but an agent, a servant, of the Holy Will. This becomes your 'head', and you have no need to be taught by any man. ("call no man 'father'", i.e., priest, rabbi, pastor, masterblaster, heirophant")

    You come to realize, palpably, there is "more reason and logic than we (any human) can understand." That superior mind is the Logos. (Reason, Beauty, and Truth are One)(and is probably NOT Valis :-)

    Magical thinking is intuitive, but is derived from real experience. In magical thinking the ego seeks to conform itself to the Divine Will - the Logos - Reason, Beauty, and Truth, in which you come to "believe all things." (All Reason, Beauty, and Truth, that is)

    In madness, you seek your own will. Amazing. Do you really want that little crust of bread so badly? The little child that becomes/remains egocentric remains stunted and disconnected.
    (reference the 'madness' of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 4)
    http://carm.org/kjv/Dan/Dan_4.htm

    Only the Divine Will, God, can give you expanding, progressing, ongoing, eternal life. You really cannot seek it, as much as it (God) seeks you. You are going to expend (dissipate?) your life on something. Why not yeild to that Greatest of All Things.

    Here again is the answer to your leading question Chris:

    "He that seeks his life (egocentric will) shall lose it. (the path of egocentric madness)

    He that loses his life for my sake will find it." (God-centered magical thinking, faith, tapping into real experience. The self is nothing.)

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  26. Alan Moore said this in the Documentary "The Mindscape of Alan Moore":

    "When we are doing the will of our true Self, we are inevitably doing the will of the universe. In magic these are seen as indistinguishable. Every Human Soul is one Human Soul. It is the Soul of the Universe itself. And as long as we are doing the will of the Universe, then it is impossible to do anything wrong."

    This statement can be made into a religious view. We need only to change the word Universe to God, or Nirvana, Atman, Allah etc.

    The key to enter the world of Magic is in my view to simply express ourselves as fully as possible, that entails a deep connection to our feelings, the emotional center, the Heart/Soul/creative consciousness/unconscious.

    Like Neil Kramer said in an interview, our heart (emotional system, heart chakra) is like a compass, it shows us where to go, it warns us when we have to change something in our lives or when we are not expressing our true Will. That's why, I believe, depression is so spread throughout society these days; why we have wars, hunger, banks, lack of empathy and so on.

    Connecting ourselves to the Heart/Soul/True Self etc, allows us to read, to perceive, create, manipulate, integrate in our lives, magical patterns, magical language, magical creativity. It allows us to peer in the depths of our Uncounscious and collect incredible creative power from it (will of God?). This will also manifest in the external reality synchronistically. We may be co-creating this reality through our emotions and mind (collective and individual unconscious at the most fundamental level). That's why we have so much chaos. It's just the reflection of our collective connection to the infinite, which is pretty low at the moment.

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  27. Bruno T, what does God centered magical thinking give you, more dogma. Faith no more. All that is involved in the religion of no-thing is in itself madness. Put your chips where you will, I for one do not need any crutch for my Gnosis. Magic can and does happen within each individuated psyche. Pete H. needs his intecessor perhaps you do also. To manifest Magic one must become Gob. Dennis on my usual clearing the fog of faith and it's flawed utility. Shineforth brve souls!

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  28. I don't care about dogma. But I am interested to what the prophets, saints, buddhas etc, had to say, did and left behind.

    In ancient times people who accessed the magical world through ascetic and other practices, philosophies, art, drugs, tried to express themselves the best they could. They were misinterpreted and through this distortion, misunderstanding was born dogma, scriptures, rules, inquisition. These institutions of control are the result of stupidity, ignorance, laziness, inability and fear of experiencing themselves this states of consciousness and let go of trying to control. As Chris pointed out:

    "Many magical thinkers only reach the Invisible Pantheon once they're safely dead and are no longer at risk of saying inconvenient things about Reality. Critics will praise their work and compare it to other safely-dead Magical Thinkers, though only in the context of literary criticism or anthropological observation."

    I'd include Jesus, for example, in this category.

    (continues)

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  29. EVERYTHING is connected. Not just in a quantum sense. But even what we say, do, write, symbols, History, the cosmos. Everything is Magic and synchronicity. What we perceive as synchronicity is, in my view, a reflection of our current state of consciousness and the meaningfulness that stems from such a state. The higher the state of consciousness the higher the ability to connect the dots using magical thinking, to go beyond the superficial, time and space, dogma, rules etc. The ultimate state of consciousness might be a state where EVERYTHING is included, where there is no difference between religion, occult, magic, gnosis, politics, art, culture etc. But because we experience reality, and perceive the world and ourselves in such a low state of consciousness, we tend to separate, discriminate, divide, to attach ourselves to words, concepts, empty thinking, thus confusion is born.

    The Faith resulting from Dogma and ignorance must be transformed in KNOWING, EXPERIENCE, CONVERGENCE with the magic. In other words, we must stop worshiping and start DOING the magic ourselves. Creating, molding reality, the Dream, to our will.

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  30. Speaking for myself, 2010 was “the year of thinking magically” and 2011 will be “the year of thinking cosmically”. As interesting as people like Alan Moore, Philip K. Dick and Carl Jung are, I’ve become more and more convinced that the real prophet of our age is H. P. Lovecraft. His cosmic truth is so challenging, so stark and so mind-blowing that few are even willing to go there. The vast majority of us would rather believe in the consolation of gods or magic than confront the awesome void that our universe appears to be, and the possibility that truth is toxic to the human mind.

    I totally sympathize with this reluctance; I think the magic of people like Moore is basically an attempt to fill this void with artistic creation, but it doesn’t change the underlying emptiness. Lao-Tzu arrived at similar conclusions twenty-five hundred years ago, and perhaps with China’s rise we will see a greater acceptance of this profound view of reality after the rather horrific detour the Abrahamic faiths have taken us on.

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  31. Very cool, Chris. I've gotten back into reading PKD and it's just mind blowing. 2011 is really pushing me towards works of PKD, William Gibson, H.P. Lovecraft and the like (not to mention movies), and I'm getting immersed.

    I hope to see more thoughts of yours on this subject, awesome work.

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  32. A while ago I found this page where Starhawk - I like her but it bugs me she doesn't accept entheogens - soon after 9/11 is inspiring people to--although aware of this encroaching insanity all round-- to nevertheless plan and play the vision they WANT. I went and forgot where I had found this--is that black magic...? LOL? otherwise I would link you all to it

    But the other day I saw this video that really moved me...I had to keep pausing it because to flow with the emotions it was stiring in me. It is magical~~
    Warriors Without Weapons 2007

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  33. Sean Strange said "Lao-Tzu arrived at similar conclusions twenty-five hundred years ago, and perhaps with China’s rise we will see a greater acceptance of this profound view of reality after the rather horrific detour the Abrahamic faiths have taken us on."

    You are rallying for the rise of a communist nation who persecutes magical thinking such as Felan Gong
    and other ancient chinese wisdom ...who persecute peaceful Tibetan Buddhist...who stomp on any thinking outside of the state mandated thinking that is allowed including "magical thinking". I hope for all our sakes your bending of modern reality does not prevail. Magical thinking indeed! "Strange for sure." I think one must wake up to reality before trying to bend it to ones will. Sheesh!

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  34. I see you linked to the great interview you did with Paul Weston at the bottom of this post!
    In reply to the Feb 2nd thing being a special date, there's probably no need to point out that this is Imbolc in the pagan tradition, and also as Paul Weston has pointed out elsewhere, a point on the calendar mid-way between the equinox and solstice. He has done a number of Dr Who-type Timelord-ish experiments with synchronicity and come up with those points as very potent doorways into Realms unknown. (Or out of).

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  35. The line between madness and magic is not to be ignored. George Hansen covers this in detail in "The Trickster and the Paranormal" which is an epic thesis and a fine book. Marginality and Liminality are places artists go to not just for inspirations but art and literature people care about. We eagerly consume the result, without always considering a painting in the hand is worth an ear in the bush (sorry for Van Gogh.)

    The documentary was excellent. At the time Dick went to France and gave that speech (though cringeworthy at the time) PKD was on to something.

    These days, it is thought by serious thinkers that at some point we will be able to simulate what we we experience as consciousness in a computer. Further, we will then be able to model more than one at a time - perhaps in a computer model. And those in the model won't realize it. Unless there is a glitch, see. This is a common, common vanity of Singularity and other trans-human types. It also perfectly reasonable - IF there is no magic in the universe THEN we can model everything we are somewhere else. This is the materialist position. Phillip K Dick would appreciate the irony of consciousness and reality being amenable to someone, in a base level universe, modifying the variables of a model to basically be anything. The laws of physics aren't against it - unless consciousness is SOMETHING and not an illusion, as materialists state.

    I don't think PKD was foretelling any of that, specifically. But he definitely encountered a glitch.

    -Jon Spring

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  36. "Magical thinking" is real faith."

    @Joe...excellent comment. Strangely, I was thinking the exact same thing while driving in my car today. Faith is said to be belief in things unseen. But so-called "magical thinking" is true faith because I'm no longer limited to such blind trust. Now, I see God all around me everywhere in everything.

    As you begin to delve into to the phenomena of synchronicity it becomes even more apparent that there is a divine pattern and thread connecting all things. Ultimately, it is the joy of this eye-opening knowledge that brings one out of the dark night of the soul into the light and that sustains one in a dense world.

    That the average person does not know or care to know such truths is more the pity. But, then again, knowledge brings its own burden. To know you are living in a cardboard reality and yet to continue in it with the faith that the dream is soon coming to fruition...this is truly the narrow path.

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  37. The EPR Bridge, the Kerr Singularity, the ability to think critically, Closed Timelike Loops, ESP, Remote Viewing, the laugh of your lover or your child, synchromysticism, friendship, revelation, story-telling that makes you feel less alone, pushing yourself further than you thought you could reach -

    - all examples of magic. Result - the intricacies of the human imagination.

    We are the Dreaming Door.

    Also, many of us are quite mad, which makes for interesting back-story in the edgy sci-fi magical-realist social-realist dramas of our lives.

    Sweet.

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  38. Triple punch hole clouds on 1-7-2011 (of course) in Myrtle Beach South Carolina at Space Weather .com. Sorry I am such a clunker at inserting urls. Delorus

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  39. God, I'm so grateful for the feedback I get here. I can't say it enough. I'm working on part 3, which will probably be the last for now. But I'll be rereading your comments from this and part one before I do. I've been very busy so I haven't had time to respond individually but will catch up later this week.

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  40. THE CUSP

    For a long time, mystics, revolutionaries and lunatics have been trying to warn us that humanity will face a cusp moment, a fork in the road between two polarised extremes. More recently in our history the alternative media has been suggesting this very thing.

    We are living in an age where certain kinds of information can be shared globally in real time. This is unprecedented. It is not only Hollywood marketing campaigns that can go viral within a matter of minutes, hours or days – it’s also all our hopes, dreams, speculations and paranoia about life, secrecy, the unseen world, and the future of humankind.

    Heady stuff. If our speculations and paranoia can go viral thanks to the speed at which information can now be shared, what does this suggest with regards to human consciousness?

    ET Disclosure, the degradation of the biosphere, Aflockalypse, and endless, endless war...

    Are we freaking ourselves out with collective shadows on the wall of the global cave, or is this explosion of information-sharing ability now going to take us into stranger, less-charted territories?

    What is happening here? What exactly is it we are witnessing? Is the crossroads now looming before us in ways we would be foolish to deny? Or are we simply doing what we have always done and spinning elaborate yarns to distract ourselves from the painful business of being alive? If the latter is the case, we are doing so at lightning speed. What awaits us, then?

    Chaos? Insight? A revealing of something profound and integral for human consciousness? Self-delusions for the 21st century? Or...a combination of all these things?

    If our speculations and misunderstandings and half-truths can go viral, then can our intuitions be simultaneously doing the same? Are we indeed on the cusp of something that will soon bring into relief both truth and lies and the interrelationship between them? With any coming possible insight lies the possibility of the darkest swathes of human political, sociological, ecological and psychological history being uncomfortably, undeniably illuminated.

    Are we ready for the Cusp?

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  41. Take the Wikileaks 'collateral damage' video. That was meant to be covered up. But now we have seen the actual horror all over the net--and more, and we are witnessing the backlash from those who want to hide the actual. This is magical to me. It very much reminds me of the magical tale I read as a little kid 'The Emperor's New Clothes'

    These same warmongers wage a war on the magical mushrooms, plants, and substances---don't they?! They are like sorcerors who try and confine our consciousness into a box labelled 'full spectrum dominance'.

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  42. Side note: You mentioned THERE WILL BE BLOOD which I was thinking about just last night. Did you post a review of it at any point? I must've missed it, but I particularly like your occasional movie analysis.

    Thanks,

    John H

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  43. This makes me think that hey-personal experiences do not come with references, validation, and peer reviewed papers. And they rarely operate/exist/happen along nicely nameable/measurable materialist lines.
    In my own experience, I've discovered something very intriguing. It works like this: having an active mind, and struggling to get to sleep, I've decided to use that mind, as a meditation. So, I chew on ideas, and will follow an argument over any number of nights. everything from existence of God or not, once a meditation on the feeling of eternal existence, and currently - 'what is information/pattern?' Where I realized that information / pattern-numbers/words/symbols-things like the Fibonacci series- have an existence outside of their expression, and, while able to express them/itself through strong force, weak force, electromagnetic force, nuclear force, gravity and time, is invisible, in a way, because pattern/information isn't any of those physical laws and such.
    I'd realized that asking a simple question-like, the nature of a single unit (expressed as number 1) and does it follow that it will always be in the singular, in other universes, leads one, if one follows the train of thought, into some amazing areas.It can lead to realizations that border on, or seem to be of, a 'miraculous' or inexplicable nature-but that the act of not reaching a conclusion, unveils fascinating information/pattern/grokking along the way.
    BTW-I'm writing this just prior a dental appointment. Don't know if there's any connection there, but hey. Also-while I often largely disagree with what Christopher writes about, and have a bias against the emphasis on media, I am quite happy with that-why do I disagree? what has disturbed my complacent view of the universe? Messages, if you will, can often come from the least likely source.
    An experience in question-on a bus legendary for it's riders, as it served a less than favourable part of town, one saturday night. Old drunk guy in the back, muttering gibberish to himself. Of a sudden, in one of those pure bar gravel voices, he lifts his head, and proclaims loudly-"Y'know, you can spend 20 years digging yourself a hole. And you can spend twenty years digging yourself out of it." He lapsed back into gibberish. Interesting tome, is that I have indeed, been spending about twenty years, digging myself out of a hole.
    And that's why I read this blog.

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  44. On what you said about a Magickal Thinker transcending and joining the acceptable Pantheon... I've often said that that's what I think happened to Jesus when Christianity became mainstream in ancient Rome.

    This man set out to change the world and challenge the Pharisees. Centuries after his death, the Pharisees of the time began to use him as a symbol of the very thing that he struggled to overcome. Though I am not a Christian, I am saddened by thinking about how different the world might have been had his faith never become the vehicle for the system that it has become, if it had been left to be the mad priests of the mad Hebrew shaman.

    That is part of the reason I have never attempted to publish anything about my faith. I don't want others seizing my writings years down the line and using them to chain people. I'd rather let it affect myself and through me, the world around me. The words should be forgotten, but the essence will be transmitted. I hope.

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  45. I've been thinking about this for days now and I still can't quite decide what mental illness is, I guess it depends. I like this statement in wiki...

    "what society deems to be a patient's "mental illness" is more than likely to in fact be the patient subscribing to a different belief system than the society does".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Anti-psychiatry

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  46. I am researching to do a blog i am thinkin of calling 'the myth of mental illness and the war on entheogens'---quite a daunting project lol
    I am exploring that the underlying philosophy that fuels the dehumanization of the so-called 'treaters' and their victims--is a mechanistic philosophy. It is the notion that only that which can be MEASURED is real--hence sensuality, feeling, soul, is dispensed with and we then desensitize and become machines---and people are seen as defective machines when 'mentally ill'

    Many people assume there is an us and them, and even the many who are takin 'meds' will still imagine all those 'crazy schizos' etc who 'really ARE mentally ill'.
    This is SO important to explore because this mechanstic paradigm is oppressing ALL of us, including all species, and is attacking the very web of life. It is the same dehumanization that is creating wars and slaughtering and maiming innocent people and children for PROFIT!

    All this morning I was absorbed reading about John's story--this is a young man from ireland who is treated in a terrible brutal and dehumanized way. I cannot recommend you read this enough!
    Acknowledging The Survivor: Exclusion, Trivialisation and Denial

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