Showing posts with label Jung. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jung. Show all posts

Fragments of an Alien Faith, Part 2 (UPDATED)

Earnest, well-intentioned scholars like Elaine Pagels and Gilles Quispel worked very hard to bring Gnosticism back into the public consciousness in the past 40 years but presented a Gnosticism that I'm not sure the ancients would have necessarily recognized. 

The Gnosticism they put across in their books semed more a substitute for the worthy liberal Protestantism they were raised in, and didn't quite grapple with the fundamental weirdness of the ancient sects. Because if you read the actual texts you see that Gnosticism was more Protean than Protestant, more Unarian than Unitarian.

We looked at the Mandaean light beings and light-ships, and touched upon the flying cloud and pillar imagery of Gnostic texts like Revelation of the Magi and The Gospel of Judas and then brought the gonzo UFOlogy of John Keel into the mix. 

But there was another flying cloud passage from The Apocalypse of Adam that struck a chord with me:
And the eighth kingdom says of him that a cloud came upon the earth and enveloped a rock. He came from it. The angels who were above the cloud nourished him. He received glory and power there. 
Again, the flying clouds that land and hover and produce "angels" and what not. But something seemed familiar about this passage; Jacques Vallee, from Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact, wrote this about the manifestation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, some 30 years before the Nag Hammadi texts were discovered:
From a nearby cave or grotto came a golden-colored cloud. Soon after came an entity, described as a beautiful lady, who placed herself above a bush that was moving as if it were windy. At Fatima, there was a wind which "moved across the mountain without touching the trees." 
The Lady of Fatima consistently appeared in the top branches of a small tree, whose center shoots were found bent toward the east, as though tilted in that direction when the apparition departed. Lucia, of Fatima, was closely questioned on this point and stated that "our Lady's feet rested lightly on the top of the leaves." 
This event reminds us not only of Adam but also of the Revelation of the Magi. A cloud descends, produces a divine being who then instructs an earthling in the ways of Heaven. The Apocalypse of Adam wouldn't even be discovered for another 30 years so there's zero chance that the little Catholic peasant children of rural Portugal were LARPing ancient Gnostic texts for the lulz. 

What is especially important here is that the events at Fatima led to what many researchers call the largest mass UFO sighting in human history, the so-called Miracle of the Sun in 1917. Even more astonishing is that all of this became one of the most important events in modern Catholicism. 

As we've seen, the Queen of Heaven and mass miracles are nothing novel to the 20th Century; similar events during the Second Punic War led to the official adoption of the Phrygian goddess Cybele into the Roman pantheon, a goddess whose renown would come to outshine most of Rome's native goddesses and rival that of fellow import Isis herself.

Like Keel, Vallee doesn't labour under the Saturday morning cartoon reductionism of the Ancient Aliens crowd when it comes to these kinds of manifestations. Vallee sees all of this as something far more profound. 

Like the Gnostics, he sees these numinous intruders as ambassadors from another dimension entirely, nothing less than a slap in the face to our concept of being itself, stating that "the UFO occupants, like the elves of old, are not extraterrestrials. They are the denizens of another reality."

Slapping people's conceptions of the space-time continuum in the face, particularly when it's accompanied by remarkably lucid and consistent contact narratives, didn't make the ancient Gnostics any friends either. 

This episode from The Acts of Peter plays like any number of contact stories I've read in UFO literature, right down to a being who manifested appears one way to one set of witnesses and entirely differently to another (see: Hill, Betty and Barney). Note the "light as cometh in the clouds." Again, they're talking about a different kind of cloud:
And when all had prayed, the hall wherein they were shone as when it lighteneth, even with such a light as cometh in the clouds, yet not such a light as that of the daytime, but unspeakable, invisible, such as no man can describe, even such that we were beside ourselves with bewilderment, calling on the Lord and saying: Have mercy, Lord, upon us thy servants: what we are able to bear, that, Lord, give thou us; for this we can neither see nor endure. 
And as we lay there, only those widows stood up which were blind; and the bright light which appeared unto us entered into their eyes and made them to see. Unto whom Peter said: Tell us what ye saw. And they said: We saw an old man of such comeliness as we are not able to declare to thee; but others said: We saw a young man; and others: We saw a boy touching our eyes delicately, and so were our eyes opened.  

We're only scratching the surface here. But what I wanted to impart is that the Mandaeans' remarkable literature is by no means an isolated phenomenon, that it grew out of a culture steeped in a cosmic consciousness filled with all kinds of flying vehicles, most often described as "clouds" or "clouds of light." 

But as mentioned before, there is precedent for this language in the Hebrew Bible. Although artists beginning in the Middle Ages, depicted all of these "clouds" as clouds, the word seems to have another meaning here. As documented extensively by "Bible UFO" researchers, it appears throughout the Book of Exodus, referring to the Host of Hosts as he guided the Israelites through the Sinai as a "pillar of cloud". 

As quoted in the prophetic book of Nehemiah 9:19 : “Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take."  

In the prophetic book of Daniel (7:13), this vision comes again, associated with Divinity. “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence." 

Evolution: From popular Phoenician Horus winged disk amulet 
to popular Gnostic Abraxas amulet
 But as Biblical historians have discovered with the Ugaritic religious texts which were unearthed in 1973, the language of the Hebrew Bible evolved from the older Canaanite religion of Ba'al. The Canaanite sky god is rather stunningly referred to as a "charioteer of the clouds." From the Ugaritic Baal and `Anat Cycle:
I say to you, O Prince Baal, I declare O Charioteer of the clouds: Now your enemy, O Baal; now your enemy you will smite. Now you will destroy your adversary. Take your eternal kingdom, your dominion of all generations.
The Ba'al literature is filled with heavenly hosts busy at work up in the un-cloudlike "clouds", tantalizingly reminiscent of the much, much later Gnostic texts. Of course, all of this will be taken for granted by ancient astronaut theorists, but we like to show our math here. 

And for good reason. The standard AAT exegesis might be the most direct path from point A from point B, but there's always been a major stumbling block for me; it just doesn't seem alien enough. 

It's just not weird enough to account for the strangeness these texts go to such great lengths to delineate. No one spent more time with their heads in UFO reports than Keel or Vallee and both of them ended up dispensing with the Man-from-Mars kind of thinking that still dominates UFOlogy and AAT. Why? Because there was too much evidence that you had to throw out in order to hammer that round peg into that square hole.

Take Synchronicity for example. Both Keel and Vallee were all about it, observing that Synchronicity followed UFOs around like a lost puppy. And the grand-daddy of all things Synchro, Carl Jung, began his career in the high and the weird with this text right here,  with the Mithraic Liturgy of the Paris Codex. 

There's been a lot of debate as to whether it's actually Mithraic, that it reads more like a Hermetic text, despite the shout-outs to Helios Mithras. Either way, this isn't technically a Gnostic text, but like the Nag Hammadi Library it is an important part of the Western esoteric canon and kicked off the occult career of one of our most important modern Gnostics.

But as we looked at a few years back, the Liturgy also reads a lot more like an abduction account, since this particular sundisk has doors and windows, what sounds like a rocket engine with exhaust pipes and beings inside it going about their business.  In short, it sounds like a kind of space shuttle than an interplanetary craft. 

Written at least seventeen centuries ago.

But the thing is, this whole experience starts with the abductee tripping balls on some kind of mixture of "herbs and spices." And according to Graham Hancock, this exact kind of experience is not unknown to ayahuasca shamans either. (Note: you might want to read the version of the liturgy with the visual aids here):
...It is impossible for me, born mortal, to rise with the golden brightnesses of the immortal brilliance ...Draw in breath from the rays, drawing up three times as much as you can, and you will see yourself being lifted up and ascending to the height, so that you seem to be in mid-air. 
You will hear nothing either of man or of any other living thing, nor in that hour will you see anything of mortal affairs on earth, but rather you will see all immortal things. 
For in that day and hour you will see the divine order of the skies: the presiding gods rising into heaven, and others setting. 
Now the course of the visible gods will appear through the disk of god, my father...
As you might imagine with a flying disk that sucks up random humans, this disk seems to have an exhaust system.
...and in similar fashion the so-called "pipe," the origin of the ministering wind. For you will see it hanging from the sun's disk like a pipe. 
You will see the outflow of this object toward the regions westward, boundless as an east wind, if it be assigned to the regions of the East--and the other similarly, toward its own regions.
And surprisingly, the pilots of this disk seem rather alarmed at the ritualist's presence at first. But then seem to shrug and say, "oh, just another tripper. Back to work."*
And you will see the gods staring intently at you and rushing at you. So at once put your right finger on your mouth and say: "Silence! Silence! Silence! Symbol of the living, incorruptible god! 
Then you will see the gods looking graciously upon you and no longer rushing at you, but rather going about in their own order of affairs. 
This is really the freakiest ancient text I've ever read. And damn if this doesn't sound like a spaceship going into hyperspace. But that's crazy talk, right?
So when you see that the world above is clear and circling, and that none of the gods or angels is threatening you, expect to hear a great crash of thunder, so as to shock you. 
Immediately after you have said these things the sun's disk will be expanded. 
And after you have said the second prayer, where there is "Silence! Silence!" and the accompanying words, make a hissing sound twice and a popping sound twice, and immediately you will see many five- pronged stars coming forth from the disk and filling all the air.  
If you want to know why I believe this isn't just the Sun they're talking about, oh, maybe it's on account of the fact of THIS DISK HAS FRICKIN' DOORS. And a very noisy engine, I have to say. They might want to have that looked at:
"And when the disk is open, you will see the fireless circle, and the fiery doors shut tight." 
Say all these things with fire and spirit, until completing the first utterance; then, similarly, begin the second, until you complete the seven immortal gods of the world. When you have said these things, you will hear thundering and shaking in the surrounding realm; and you will likewise feel yourself being agitated.  
Then open your eyes and you will see the doors open and the world of the gods which is within the doors, so that from the pleasure and joy of the sight your spirit runs ahead and ascends. 
Now when they take their place, here and there, in order, look in the air and you will see lightning-bolts going down, and lights flashing , and the earth shaking...
But here's where things get interesting. Inside another set of doors in this flying disk up in space, are yet another surprise:
After saying this, you will see the doors thrown open, and seven virgins coming from deep within, dressed in linen garments, and with the faces of asps. They are called the Fates of heaven, and wield golden wands.  
Oh dear- the Reptilians have arrived.

Reptilians have become a bit of a cliche in modern UFOlogy, but it's not as if they're a brand new thing. According to at least one apocryphal Hebrew text, the Watchers were also Reptilian, you have all the feathered serpents of Mesoamerican mythology, and bringing us back on topic, the Serpahim/n were also serpent-like. 

This text comes from the Nag Hammadi Library and sports the portentous title, "On the Origin of the World." Needless to say, this "chariot" was probably similar to Ba'al's cloud chariot:
And before his mansion he created a throne, which was huge and was upon a four-faced chariot called "Cherubin"...Furthermore, from this chariot the seventy-two gods took shape; they took shape so that they might rule over the seventy-two languages of the peoples. And by that throne he created other, serpent-like angels, called "Seraphin", which praise him at all times.    
I needn't remind my readers that the ancient Egyptians placed serpents at the pineal gland on the head-dresses of royalty and so on, but please do note that one of the major Gnostic cults took their name from the Greek word for serpent:
The Ophites evolved in Egypt during the 2nd century AD and existed for several centuries afterwards. The name derived from the Greek 'ophis', meaning 'serpent', and relates to the great reverence which the Ophites had toward the serpent, a reverence inherited from traditional Egyptian religion, and which passed into Greek mythology in the stories surrounding Asclepios, the god of healing. 

 Mysteries abound. Of course, some of the earliest artifacts we have of a settled human culture are of the startling snake people of Tel al'Ubaid, the pre-Sumerian Mesopotamian culture who carved a number of snake-headed people who looked remarkably like the so-called "Reptilians" of UFO lore. 

This symbolism is well known to those involved in the AAT and High Weirdness research communities, and is all over the place in Sumerian culture, as well as other ancient cultures as well. To see it in Gnostic literature adds a new layer to a mystery that seems to deepen at every turn.

But the association with the Seraphin or Seraphim with serpents was also used in the Apocryphal Book of Enoch, which by sheer dint of coincidence just happens to sport that very same "cloud" UFO imagery we see all over the Gnostic literature. 

Which makes a strange kind of sense, seeing that a kind of UFOlogical imagery seems to link all these various apocryphal traditions together:
 39:1-3 And it will come to pass in these days that the chosen and holy children will descend from the high heavens, and their seed will become one with the children of men. In those days Enoch received books of zeal and of anger, and books of disturbance and of expulsion, and "mercy will not be upon them," said the Lord of the spirits. And at that time, a cloud and a whirlwind seized me from the face of the earth, and carried me to the end of the heavens.    
"The Book of Enoch" is a misnomer, it's actually several books cobbled together. And it's chock-full of what seems the freak-daddy UFO joyride of all time, with Enoch being given a tour of the Heavens and the Earth by the non-fallen Watchers. Note the uncanny description of a volcano here:
And they took and brought me to a place in which those who were there were like flaming fire, and, when they wished, they appeared as men And they brought me to the place of darkness, and to a mountain the point of whose summit reached to heaven. And I saw the places of the luminaries and the treasuries of the stars and of the thunder and in the uttermost depths, where were a fiery bow and arrows and their quiver, and a fiery sword and all the lightnings.  And they took me to the living waters, and to the fire of the west, which receives every setting of the sun. And I came to a river of fire in which the fire flows like water and discharges itself into the great sea towards the west. 
We'll be looking more at Enoch and the Watchers in the future, but as it happens there's good reason that both Jewish and Christian authorities rejected the books for inclusion in the canon- it's the same reason that the Freemasons were probably so fascinated with them. 

It seems that the Watchers were borrowed from Lebanese (read: Phoenician) religion, bringing us back to those mysterious pictographs that Jacques Vallee was so fascinated by. From Haaretz:
The myth of the Watchers, familiar to us mainly from Jewish texts, started out as an Aramaic myth in Lebanon. Most of its elements are best understood against the backdrop of Lebanese folklore and local artistic landmarks, which played an important role in historical memory as early as the Hellenistic period. 
Jews learned about the myth through apocalyptic circles, only then connecting it with the biblical story of the “sons of God and daughters of man” in Genesis 6.
It seems that certain Jewish mystics were fascinated by ancient depictions of flying men and sun-disks and folded them into stories they were hearing from the locals in Lebanon, and folded it all into the ancient tales of the Nephilim, marrying it to the ancient patriarch Enoch.
The ancient, engraved images looked to the later observer like a vestige from the world of the Watchers (Aramaic: ‘irim ), primordial angels who, according to popular mythology, descended to earth in hoary antiquity and bequeathed civilization to mankind. 
If you will, these are aliens, in a way resembling those recounted by Erich von Däniken in his pseudo-scientific book, “Chariots of the Gods.” 
Ahh, those chariots again.

One of the Phoenician flying disk pictographs that fascinated Jacques Vallee
This one depicts Melqart (known to the Greeks as Heracles) battling griffins
And as I've long suspected, the Watchers were someone else's gods who were literally demonized. 

After all, the Watchers "taught enchantments and root-cuttings" and "taught men to make swords, knives, shields, breastplates, the fabrication of mirrors and the workmanship of bracelets and ornaments, the use of paint, the beautifying of the eyebrows, the use of stones of every valuable and select kind, and of all sorts of dyes, so that the world became altered" and "taught the science of the constellations" and "taught the bitter and the sweet, the use of ink and paper"and all other sorts of useful arts and sciences while the Archangels merely taught men how to grovel. 

You knew going into it that there was something wrong with this story. 

Seeing as we started all of this with the followers of John, it's only appropriate to end it for now with a reference to Oannes: 
Babylonian mythology already told of ancient sages who were half-man and half-fish who emerged from the sea and bequeathed civilization to mankind. This old myth was revived in new garb in Lebanon, Syria and the Land of Israel in the Hellenistic period. In its Jewish form, the myth bore a new aspect: the Watchers conveyed forbidden knowledge, brought to human beings in an original sin. The bearers of the knowledge in the present version were not ancient fish who emerged from the sea but the mysterious angels who descended from heaven.
Forbidden knowledge? Well, that brings us right back to the very core of Gnosticism, doesn't it now?

We've only scratched the surface here- this is simply the start of a conversation. But it's an important start. I'll be continuing my study of these texts, having seen them now in a whole new light. 

Pun intended.

UPDATE: In a stunning turn, a recent news story on Al-Arabiya reveals that the Islamic Caliphate maniacs- current oppressors of the Mandaeans- confess to drinking blood. 

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shocked the world with its beheadings and mass killings and now an alleged member has declared that the group relishes “drinking blood.” 
Self-claimed ISIS militant Rabie Shehada, known as “the Palestinian slayer,” made the chilling statement in a video recently posted online. 
“I swear we are a people who love death for the sake of God just as you love to live. I swear we are a people who love drinking blood. We came to slaughter you,” he said in the video. 
“We love dying for God as much as you love life,” he also said in the brief footage. 
The 26-year-old militant is believed to be from Nazareth, a city in northern Israel with a predominantly Arab population, according to an Al Arabiya correspondent.

And from the ancient Mandaean prophecy:
"And men will be polluted and during that period man will drink the blood of fellow-man. All that is fair (will disappear) , (but), amongst Nasoraeans, he that is steadfast in and holdeth to these teachings and this great revelation will rise up by the path of believers and will behold the great Countenance of Glory."
Nazareth, Nasoraeans? Something is unfolding here.

*The liturgy reminds me of the Star Trek episode "Homeward", in which Brian Markinson (X-Files, Caprica) plays a primitive villager who finds himself beamed aboard the Enterprise and experiences utter religious terror at the knowledge of a ship orbiting in space. 

Unified Weird Theory: An Introduction

Hey, you wanted weird...

Food preparation is both an art and a science. It's a science because it's about taking certain elements (ingredients) and subjecting them to various processes of measurement and mixing and exposing these to carefully determined levels of heat (sometimes cold) at determined intervals in order to achieve a desired outcome. It's an art because there are all kinds of variables that cookbooks --or even training-- can't account for or predict.

As with a schoolkid's chemistry experiment, you are often dealing with catalytic agents that change the basic nature of the ingredients you are preparing. Drink-mixing-- a related science/art-- is much the same way. My favorite example is the Long Island Iced Tea, in which you take carefully measured portions of various liquors and end up with something remarkably similar to a can of sweetened Iced Tea, something you'd never guess would ever result if you tasted the individual ingredients themselves.

With cooking it's also important to choose the right ingredients in the best available quality. Sometimes you can make magic with inferior ingredients but only sometimes. Bad ingredients can not only ruin a dish, it can also affect your taste not only for that dish but for that type of cuisine. It's a visceral thing, and doesn't respond to the rules of scientific rationalism. Nor does any endeavor that makes life tolerable.

I find it's best to prepare several different types of cuisine. You'll find that your understanding of one will help you better understand the other. I suppose there are people who stick to one kind of cooking- or dining- but I think you'll find that most people enjoy a variety of dishes, often at a single meal. Only one kind of food can get really boring really fast.

And so it is with the World of Weird: you have the paranormal (which includes topics like Synchronicity and remote viewing), fringe science (which includes psychedelic research) and exopolitics (which includes topics like UFOlogy and ancient astronauts). I'll toss in parapolitics into the mix for good measure, since disinformation and manipulation from outside parties is always an issue for anyone who doesn't want to think like a pasty, horn-rimmed gelding with their nose buried in the mainstream media's starfish.

The problem is that too many people plant their flags in one plot or the other (or the other), and zealously lob grenades at their neighbors rather than focusing all of their aggression where it belongs; the defenders of the corrupt establishment.

Hence you see UFO people arguing with paranormal people (although UFO people seem to spend most of their time fighting with each other) and paranormal people arguing with entheogenic researchers and so on and so forth. And of course that guy is a shill and this one is a plant and come to think of it so are you, at least according to the third guy.

But for me, that's not only a waste of energy, it's also extremely short-sighted and self-limiting.

I realize that I might be older than a lot of people reading this and I've been into this stuff since the 70s and certainly have no shortage of weirdness in my bio. But not only do I not think these things are separate and distinct, I very much believe that you really can't have one without the other: that "it" only really works when you put them all together (in the proper formulation, of course). I have come to see all Weirdness as profoundly interconnected and interdependent.

I have my own biases; I don't believe UFOs are spacecraft filled with Reticulan anthropologists and I don't think psychedelic drugs are the key to human evolution (and therefore should be gobbled at will), but I'm more worried about the mindless drones staring at "reality television" (sic) than I am about forcing someone who's interested in any kind of weirdness at all to agree with me.

I also realize that it's no use trying to distance yourself from any of the other Weird phyla in hopes that you'll be seen as respectable by the mainstream. Why? Well, because the elites are creating a world in which even the smallest deviation from their pronouncements, whether through The New York Times or the conservative media, will not be tolerated. Questioning conventional wisdom in any way at all will brand you as a heretic or woowoo or a "conspiracy theorist". So in for a penny, in for a pound.

I've spent more time than any sane person should working on these blogs. For every article I've posted here there have been hours and hours of research and agonizing you don't see, which is why I can't post with the frequency I used to.*

But it hasn't been time wasted because it helped me realize that all these weird interests I had before I started blogging here were all very deeply and profoundly connected, and figuring how exactly has totally changed everything.

The next step is to figure what to do with this realization in a world that is rapidly becoming a real-time sci-fi dystopia. 

I realize that a lot of people want to distance themselves from the UFO question- and looking at the state of modern UFOlogy I really don't blame them.
But it's an inextricable part of the puzzle and always has been, no matter what kind of deceiving gibberish that noxious theocratic shills (I don't use that term lightly- I mean literal, bought-and-paid-for shills and conmen) might try to foist off on an ignorant nation of YouTards under the cover of objectivity.

But the beauty of it is that you don't even need to believe in the objective reality of UFOs for the recipes to work. Like so much of the World of Weird, UFOs are a topic you should take seriously but you don't necessarily have to take literally.

Let me retrace my steps here...

In the early summer of 1998 I began printing out a ton of information on UFOs and ancient astronauts and conspiracy theories and all the rest on three hole punched paper and binding it into a book. I had downloaded all of this stuff off the Internet and had intended to use it as reading material for my plane trip out to San Diego for Comicon.

I barely cracked it. By the end of the summer I was using the printouts as sketch paper.

I lost interest- again- just as I had around the same time I got online a few years earlier. There was just nowhere to go with the extraterrestrial hypothesis. At least for me.

It was such a break that when I sat down to watch The X-Files' seventh season premiere "The Sixth Extinction" in early November of 1999 I remember telling my wife, "oh, they're doing the ancient astronauts stuff. I used to be into that kind of thing."

In the interim I wrote the published Our Gods Wear Spandex and the unpublished Ancient Dramas, Modern Myths which certainly mentioned UFOs and aliens in the context of the plotlines of the films I was looking at, but that was about it. My primary target in Ancient Dramas were the ancient sun worship cults, which I didn't really understand at all when I wrote the book because hardly anyone else did (or does).

So I started the blog to promote Spandex and blog about the weird stuff I wrote about in private.  But more importantly I wanted to field-test ideas explored in Ancient Dramas. I remember looking at photos of Rockefeller Center and having it click into place- whoever designed this place was paying tribute to what I called the "Heavenly Beam" which manifests itself in the person of "Prometheus", whose statue there is in fact based on depictions of Mithras the Aryo-Persian sun god, not the hoary old Titan of Greek mythology.

Mithras was important because he was the god of choice for the Roman alpha male and his rites and cults were remarkably similar to more recent secret societies. I used to get an eyeful of old Mithras when my wife worked at the old AT+T headquarters, since a giant golden statue of him stood over the main entrance to the site. Back then I thought these symbols had meaning to the guys in the corner offices, but came to realize the real action was with the artists and architects, who were consciously- or ritually- drawing on symbols that their ancient forebears had done.

Or once did, rather, before modernism and post-modernism devastated not only the basic skillset of architects, artists and designers all over the world but also erased any spiritual connection they might feel to the Dionysian Artificers or Medieval stonemason guilds. Anything that inspired- or even entertained- people as they marched to their flourescent-lit cubicles was systematically destroyed.

It was more important to hammer the general public in the head 24 hours a day with dehumanizing CIA-promoted abstract art and sub-Lego architecture that would depress the most committed Soviet, all to serve the true agenda of elevating the cult of Mammon to its present state of unchallenged divinity. 

So it took several years for me to decode all of this. I started off steeped in Jung, but didn't quite make the connection that Jung had started his life's work with a headful of the Mithraic Liturgy and ended it obsessively studying flying saucers.

It wasn't until I went back and re-read that Liturgy that it all became clear- this text, which ultimately introduced the term "collective unconscious" in the global lexicon was in fact nearly identical to any number of 50s vintage Contactee fever-dreams, with flying metallic disks with doors and beams and ramps and crewmen and all the rest of it.

Unfortunately for the skepdicks, it was written at least 1700 years ago and was probably based on a text written long before that. They had no science fiction to contaminate their UFO visions.

In between all of this I was invited by Jeff Kripal to lecture about Jack Kirby at the Esalen CTR, where I discovered that despite all the frothing nonsense you hear from little fascist weasels, Esalen itself is about as sinister as (and in fact was eerily similar to) an episode of Portlandia.

Jeff also invited Jacques Vallee and a woman from MUFON and everyone was talking about UFOs. I had just finished working on The Complete X-Files and wondered if they were really taking this stuff seriously. At that point it had been a full decade since I had thought much about the topic. But I didn't really understand that they meant something different than little gray dudes in interstellar frisbees. And as I wrote, I got a real-time immersion into the world of weird upon returning from first trip out to Big Sur.

It wasn't until I let go out of the "nuts-n-bolts" version of UFOs --and the pomade-and-bronzing-spray version of Ancient Astronaut Theory-- that all the pieces fell into place. But there were more pieces to the puzzle.

Like a lot of guys in their early 20s I was into psychedelic research, but Cyberpunk stole me away soonafter. Part of the pitch with Cyberpunk was virtual reality, which my next great fixation- Gnosticism- took a more dim view of.

But at the time I didn't realize that what made William Gibson's novels so interesting --and all the other Cyberpunk writers' books less so-- was how he leavened his take on VR with ancient archetypes from the Mystery religions, albeit through their (direct)Vodou incarnations. I read about the Mysteries when I was up to my ears in Gnosis magazine and so on, but it all seemed like some lost, archaic curiosity, a precursor to more effective systems like Gnosticism and Christianity.

Boy, was I wrong.

Soonafter I returned from Esalen I was contacted by Jeremy Vaeni to appear on his Culture of Contact podcast. I was still extremely leery about the abduction thing; even when I was into UFOs I saw it all as dissociated sexual abuse trauma, if not outright fantasy. But even then I was trying to make sense of it in the context of some  kind of induced experience, similar to VR. It wasn't until I really begin to look into the issue that that all made perfect sense. Abduction-as-induced-VR -experience would come to be a major theme on this blog.

VR will remain primarily theoretical as entertainment, because even with our superfast computers it's still devilishly labor-intensive (and if you can brainwash the masses with an attention-starved freak and a video camera, why bother?).  The more sensible course would be to bypass the visual cortex all together and go straight to the brain. I'm sure that's being worked on and I'm sure that if it goes wide it will be as porn, not government mind control.

Of course, the mix of Gnosis and VR--and an unhealthy dose of Singulartarianism - went mainstream with The Matrix, but for my money it was more interesting (and sexier) when done as Gnosis/VR/alien abduction narrative the year before in Dark City (ironically the same year I dropped the UFO ball for a decade). The VR in Dark City is a bit more analog, but it's essentially the same concept.

For me the Gnosis/VR/alien abduction/sex was even more interesting in 1964 when it was done as the original pilot for Star Trek and then again in 1967 when done in The Invaders. I'm sure you can go further back still, but both seem to draw from The Outer Limits' ep "Nightmare", which itself was based on The Manchurian Candidate.

And if you read Bruce Rux, you'd know he believes that the real basis of MK Ultra and the rest of the attempts at Manchurian Candidate mind-control (which I would say were all scuttled in favor of EvangeliCIALism and now the brutal control techniques we see being used out in the open today) was not North Korean prison camp interrogation techniques but then-classified "alien abduction" reports.

The common denominator in these televised dramatizations was the men behind them and their connections to people in the military and police, which gave them access to the real currency of intelligence work, gossip. Outer Limits producer Leslie Stevens, Gene Roddenberry and Invaders producer Quinn Martin were the right mix of connected and maverick to tell interesting tales out of school. And all three would have a profound effect on the culture, not only in America but all around the world.

But what also connects the three is a interest-bordering-on-obsession with the strange frontier between weird science and the occult. Stevens wrote and directed the ultra-bizarre Incubus with William Shatner, Roddenberry dropped some serious weirdness into Trek (right under the noses of tedious sci-fi scolds like Harlan Ellison and Isaac Asimov) and later wrote the occult-themed Spectre (with Outer Limits alum Robert Culp) and the original treament for Earth: Final Conflict. Quinn Martin's only feature film was the classic Mephisto Waltz and his final project was The Aliens are Coming, very much an attempt to update The Invaders.

So even though everyone else might be telling you you're wasting your time with this stuff, I'm here to tell you that entire religions have been built on much, much less. The problem is that external conditions have historically inhibited the effective study of these topics.

I'm here to tell you that the people who might mock you for being interested in Weirdness are in fact the saddest, most pitiful creatures you could ever meet. They are desperate self-loathers who hide their existential despair by searching out people who they think they can dump on with impunity.

But the shoe may be on the other foot some day, when the former middle class realizes that all of the scientists and academics we're told to worship as new gods are really nothing else but crackwhores for Mammon's techno-predatory gloryhole. Start preparing for that day now.

The first step to that future starts with you and it starts with one question: is all this worth my time or would I be better off doing something else? Is this all junk culture detritus or very ancient wisdom in disguise?

What is culture after all, and who decides what is junk or not?

And are the hyperprivileged drones and/or paraphiles at CSICOP and TED and The New York Times and PBS and Freethought Blogs qualified to make those kinds of decisions for me?

* I had intended to do the Mystery Hour more regularly until my computer began crapping out post-Sandy (I can't afford a new one at the moment) and experienced delightful surprises such as the port for my headset not working and Audacity crashing every time I tried to open a file in it. I also found that the people I had approached to appear on the show weren't exactly chomping at the bit to cooperate with me. That's show biz for you.

Punk Alchemy: Burning Away Impurity (Calcination)

My recent posting on the alchemical symbolism of The Fifth Element was anything but arbitrary. Alchemy- the symbolism and psychology of which, rather- has intruded into my life in fascinating ways recently.

It's been more than a lifeline; this has been a challenging  year for me in many ways, and without the context of the Alchemical process, it might be rather bewildering as well. Bear in mind that I'm referring not only to the Jungian interpretation of said process but a distinctly punk rock reinterpretation thereof.

Punk Rock was a reaction to the post-Beatles school of thinking that argued that the old, pre-Rock rules must be reasserted. Technology, virtuosity, and intellectualism were the watchwords of the post-Psychedelic progressive rock movement, which reached its first flower with King Crimson, led by my guitar god, Robert Fripp.

But even Fripp came to rebel against the claustrophobic strictures of prog, which had become a cliche once the drugs and egotism had stolen away the muse from his class of players. Fripp found liberation in working with self-described "non-musician" Brian Eno, who was more punk than the punks themselves in the mid-70s.

And that's the strain of punk (there are hundreds of them, many of them totally useless) that we'll take inspiration from. The school which learns the rules before throwing them out and starting again.

The first stage of the Alchemical Great Work was Calcination, in which impurities were burnt away and only the purest essence remained. Jung saw the allegory of Calcination in the analytic process where the various untruths and disguises that the patient hid his or her true self behind were exposed and discarded, or burned away. This was usually the most difficult and fraught stage of analysis, since these impurities had many years to accumulate, and to become part of the patient's identity.

Many of us don't have the discipline to undergo this process ourselves. Many of us are clever enough to create new masks to replace the old ones. Perhaps a Jung would be wise enough to recognize when the purification process was truly complete, but many lesser clinicians would not.

For many of us, external realities are taking care of this for us. I've always said that you only know a person's true character under pressure, and we're seeing a lot of people who once hid behind masks of respectability be exposed as anything but once the heat is turned up. It's been ugly in some cases. But perhaps clinging to the impurity of Ego is the father of all monsters.

I'd written earlier how The Alchemical Tarot seemed to be a particularly useful tool for me lately. It remains so, and I can't help but wonder if the surreal, almost comic book-like imagery of Alchemy plays some role in this. Truly powerful images are themselves pregnant with psychic power, and I can't help but wonder if Robert Place's well-studied imagery is part of the magic there.

But the Tarot--which is not something I'm usually given to working with-- seems to be particularly effective given this Saturn transit I've been dealing with. I had a Saturn-in Cancer transit from 2002 to 2005- which literally nearly killed me- but at the same time it was a time when these symbol systems spoke more clearly to me.

And now this other transit (don't ask me how I won the jackpot and got myself a second go-round) seems to be similar, in that not only have I been forced into this Calcinatio process, but these extraordinary ways of knowing seem to be accessible.

The first transit took a lot of things away from me, things that I valued, but it also led directly to Our Gods Wear Spandex and The Secret Sun and all of the rest of it. In many ways, I get the feeling that this second transit is putting me on another path- or perhaps back on the path I was before- removing valued distractions that I may look back on and see rather as obstacles.

Of course, when you're dealing with all of this you tend to focus more on the stress and unpleasantry, but the first go-round helped give me a greater perspective, leading me to take action before action is forced upon me.

Unless you're one of the richer-than-ever 1%, things are probably pretty rough sledding for you as well. But you're probably discovering how much impurity there was in your life, how much non-essence you've been convinced was somehow important. To my way of thinking, only the life of the Mind is real, everything else is a trap, meant to imprison us in the material world.

The very imagery- the language- of Alchemy defies the material world, just as the Dadaists and the Surrealists did. Looking back it's almost impossible to imagine these guys were really trying to literally turn lead into gold. It's hard to imagine they were trying to do anything literally. Their riches were their art and their understanding of transformation.

So a challenging time can become literally that in the context of Punk Alchemy- a challenge to burn away everything that's been holding you down or keeping you enslaved. In this context, the Calcinatio is a process of liberation from the traps of the past.

The Re-Enchantment Dialogues, Part 4: Innies and Outies

Alan Moore, author of the 21st Century.
Sketch by Joe Linsner for Spandex

One of Jung's great contributions to the modern psychological lexicon were the terms "introvert" and "extrovert." These terms have been a bit dumbed down over the years, with introvert coming to describe shy, retiring wallflower types and extroverts describing loud, boisterous salesmen/politician glad-handlers.

However, you can have outgoing introverts and vice versa. The term introvert- which is the one we'll concentrate on here since it probably describes most of the people reading this- can be described more succinctly as an individual whose life experience is filtered through his or her own internal narrative.

Or more aptly, extroverts are those telling the story of their lives to others and introverts tell it to themselves. And again, there are sorts of caveats and amendments to add here and it's not really to be taken literally since most writers tend to be introverted, but let's forget them for now. Let's concentrate on the fact that introverts live a life of the mind and not of the senses.

Kirby, whose stories intruded
on the flow of linear time.

We understood the mechanics of all of this for a very long time, before the rise of consumer capitalism (and then the predatory/monopoly capitalism we have today) demanded that everything be commodified, that everything be reduced to a price tag.

A price tag in a state of constant deflation, I might add.

The process of re-enchantment demands not that the price be reinflated but the whole idea of a price tag on human experience be abolished. Magic is neither bought nor sold, it doesn't even respond to that kind of terminology.

Lovecraft, who blurred the boundary
between fiction and the occult

And since Magic has traditionally been understood to be a harmonization of our inner reality and the invisible forces that control the flow and rhythm of our outer reality, the key is to learn the symbols that gravitate towards you and stop to think what you are meant to do once those symbols harmonize on the interior and exterior expressions of your life.

In other words, it makes no sense to study symbolism and Synchronicity unless you are going to eventually use them to steer the course of your life.

And now as the exterior expression of our lives becomes more hollow and impoverished, learning how to understand and then to surf the waves of Synchronicity is increasingly important. In fat times, introverts are always left out, always outsiders looking in. Those folks on the borderlands between the inner and outer worlds abandon ship and ride the gravy train. In lean times, the equation is often reversed.

One of the reasons I wrote Our Gods Wear Spandex was that I understood that the mainstream was gravitating towards suphero fantasies (the same escapist fantasy of the harried nerds and geek populations they either ignored or bullied in their school days) because they finally began to understand that they were nothing to the masters of the Universe lording over them.

If anything they-- especially if they are in the middle classes-- are an irritant and an obstacle to the program of impoverishing and disempowering the entire world population so that the various plans and agendas could be put into place without delay or obstruction.

In the best-case scenarios, a lot of those put-upon kids were saved by heroic fantasy, whether superhero-flavored or not. They were able to enter into a parallel reality-- an inner reality-- where they weren't helpless or marginalized. Innovations like role-playing games and hardcore punk --as well as the eternal last refuge of the victimized sensitive, the martial arts dojo-- offered practicable methods to exorcise those demons and reinvent themselves and their place in the world.

We're still too early into the process to see if the mainstream will be rescued by variations on this same process, but the fact that a lot of kids have decided to stop waiting for saviors (like Wall St. princeling Barackobamun) and take to the streets is certainly an indicator that things are indeed changing.

What I'm trying to say here is that all of the things we talk about here are often dismissed or ridiculed, but that's only if they are used for a kind of rank, escapist onanism. Synchronicity-spotting is just a stoner's game if it isn't A., applied to one's own life, and B., used as a way to change one's relationship to the world outside.

Sure, you can go to any convention, whether pop-cult or "New Age," and find a lot of hopeless cases who have shut out the world from their reveries. But you can find those kinds of people anywhere. And it's the people who shut out the world inside that end up doing more damage to themselves and the people around them.

But we're not allowed to talk about that.

Even so, I know a lot of people who took that inspiration and changed the course of their life (often getting themselves out of some very difficult situations) because of those same stories. If you add in symbolism and Synchronicity to all of that and turn on new seekers to the mix, who can tell what will happen once that formula kicks in?

Magic, probably. On a worldwide scale.

The Exegesis: That's the Spirit

"Spiritual but not religious" is a phrase that's become increasingly common these days. What exactly the phrase means depends on who lays claim to it. For some it means they still believe in church teachings but prefer to sleep in on Sunday. For others (more than the former category, probably) it means a belief in angels, reincarnation, and a host of quasi-Christian/New Age syntheses.

It's one of those times when language fails us, something that seems to happen more and more often when dealing with anything esoteric (see: Aliens, Ancient). You could fill a dictionary with words whose meaning has been degraded, tarnished or even reversed (like "hipster") in the past 30 years or so. Hyper-mediation is to blame, but our public discourse is even more so, never mind the dumbing-down process going on in our schools and on our TVs.

Because of this, we have to use words provisionally, adding disclaimers like "but not religious" among many others. Many of us have to devise something on the level of a creed to navigate the minefields of language we're face with.

Unfortunately, even when all that is said and done, the concept of "spirit" itself is like quicksand. It tends to describe either some kind of emotional state on one end of the spectrum and a belief in ghosts on the other. Which is to say that some people find a self-construction of beliefs, practices and rituals to be comforting and others a belief in communing with disembodied personalities. Often both.

That's all fine with me. You'd be surprised how many people who claim to be above all of that simply construct a parallel analog thereto, whether it's based in "science" or politics or sports or whatever. It's inevitable since we either atomize ourselves as mere consumers in a mechanistic, material view of reality (an increasingly popular option) or we find some way to tap into something beyond ourselves.

In that regard, what we call "spirituality" is the operating system software to facilitate that process.

You won't find very many long-lasting secular societies in history. Atheism may be painted in the media as the inevitable next step in the grand march of history, but it's actually a time-tested symptom of a declining civilization, one that surrenders to the comforts of materialism and urbanism and fails to reproduce itself.

We certainly saw this in Greece and Rome, as the Cynics and the Skeptics turned their backs on the old gods and the old ruling families gave way to more vigorous peoples from the east.

But at the same time there was also a radical religious fundamentalism running a parallel track to the secular.
In the case of Rome, religious extremism among the Plebeians and a nihilistic atheism among the Patricians ultimately led to Constantine, who himself led to Theodosius, a blood-thirsty theocrat who drove the Empire into the ground, where it gasped for air for a century before the Goths finally put it out of its misery.

Not a comforting precedent.

There's a myth among the "Brights," as they like to call themselves, that secularism inevitably leads to Enlightenment, when it actually leads to materialism and Me Generationism. Richard Dawkins is in fact the spiritual godfather of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.

When there's nothing to believe in, why not indulge in raw hedonism and materialism? Why not create a culture devoted to nothing but tangible pursuits? Maybe 2% of the population (at most) will adopt "Reason"-- whatever that means-- as its new god and the rest will look out for Number One.

Fundamentalism is equally materialistic. Never mind the obvious example of the "Prosperity Gospel"-- by far the most vigorous brand of Evangelicalism in the marketplace. If you get any Fundamentalist or Evangelical talking, the conversation will inevitably come down to politics and politics only, right-wing politics to be precise. Your Pentecostal and Charismatic types maybe less so, but they too are often motivated by what "they"-- "they" meaning "not me"-- are doing in the here and now (read: "gays").

Spirituality-- however you chose to define it-- is an indispensable part of our operating system as a society because there come times when there's not much else to hold on to. We've enjoyed an unparalleled period of prosperity and comfort, but there are all sorts of indicators suggesting that period may be coming to a close. But Spirituality also inspires people to think beyond their own temporary interests and think about the future as well.

The question then becomes which spirituality will emerge as the old ones wither-- in North America and Europe, at least.
Many people rightly turn away from "spirituality"- and by God, I truly despise the word itself-- since we associate it with people, values and ideas that make us physically ill.

Whether its organized religion or ditzy aunties clutching their crystals or whining media gurus dispensing refried bromides on HuffPost, the word "spirituality" has a whole host of sick-making associations attached to it like lampreys.

But at the same time I loathe its usual definitions, I also understand that it's a concept that no truly healthy - and sustaining- society can do without. But how that concept is disseminated in another question entirely.

I'm reminded of how refreshing the concept of the "New Age" seemed in the early 80s before it was immediately hijacked by the ditz brigades. In turn, "neopaganism" became appealing to some people, and then the Christian mysticism of The Da Vinci Code milieu, and then finally how "occultism" became a refuge that your maiden auntie couldn't follow you into.

It's amazing how quickly things are used up and discarded these days (how queasy do you feel when you hear the term "consciousness," for instance?).

The point being is that this operating system I refer to often needs to define itself but by defining itself it becomes fodder for consumer culture. It's something that's happened to every counter-cultural movement in history, recent history at least. But here's where evolution demands the disclaimer, demands the negotiation.

What a new spirituality-- let's stick with "operating system" so I don't puke-- needs to do is identify itself by what it seeks to accomplish and how it intends to go about that.

The buzzwords might work in the old media context, when everything had to be boiled into soundbites, but new media allows room to breathe. You can describe your goals and your means without resorting to labels, if you so desire.

It's amazing how what is done around here is really no different than what the ancients did- the smarter ones who didn't take everything literally, that is. Symbolism and synchronicity were pretty much the primary tools in the esoteric kitbag even then, often accompanied by various kinds of divinatory tools.

It was understood that the gods or the angels or whomever spoke to people in symbolic language and that symbolically-charged coincidence was usually the means of transmission.

Then you add in the various meditation techniques, the augmentations (if you will), various types of scarabs or amulets and assorted systems of divination and you understand that that ancient esotericism was a remarkably pragmatic undertaking, a way to understand the nature of the world and use that understanding to get certain things accomplished.

Sure, your Richard Dawkinses may scoff at it all but people who'll still be remembered long after he's rotted away took it all very, very seriously.

Carl Jung was one of them, and perhaps the most important for us today. He was able to re-translate a lot of these operating systems that either been forgotten or fallen into disrepute for modern people. Of course, his writing is often hard to parse and it's best to rely on worthy interlocutors to understand but that's the way these things go.

There are a whole host of others who can help navigate the currents as well. I'd only recommend you stick with the ones who seem to be planted in those time-tested means, rather than going for any "version 1.0.1" type of systems. If you catch my drift.

If you've gotten this far I don't need to sell you on any of this, but this essay isn't about selling you something. If anything, it's about encouraging you to dust off the old books you bought when this was all new and redouble your efforts-- and your commitment to the path you're already on.

Sometimes in the middle of a journey you tend to lose sight of where you came from and where you're going. Taking another look at the roadmap and the itinerary can be a great help if you have to stop and change a tire, or you run out of gas in the middle of nowhere.

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

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.