Monday, November 07, 2011

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.


  1. Loving the pants off this re-enchantment series. Bravo!


    "Wall St. princeling Barackobamun"

    There's coffee up parts of my face it doesn't normally go thanks to you!

  2. it like this was written especially for me.

  3. Wow, amazing again.

    The price tag- magical symbol of limitation par excellance. To refuse to define one's own worth by it's power is a hell of a magical step, with many spells and counterspells. "And what do you do?" "I'm a stay at home Mom (and have a value outside money)- the counterspell is for one's own self for now...

    The pyramid video in the last post was really good. Egyptology is in a sad state with absolute fear to ask the real questions- oh right, that is the state of the world...

    In hopes of co-operative change, Delorus

  4. Superlative! I believe Jung wrote that synchronicities were the psyche's way of drawing us into life -- the opposite of narrow escapism. They're a means of uniting our inner world(s) to the outer world, and alerting us that the boundaries between the two aren't as firm as materialism would have us believe.

  5. This essay was posted at exactly midnight - whatever that means...

  6. You are invited to help to form what we continue to become:

    gypsy hand

    Too brite days
    midnights that refuse to
    abide dark and secret
    as empty phrases chant
    to fairytale Moons
    I tell myself
    This is no ordinary room
    This is no fleeting flittering life
    This is a magical passageway
    sparkling like mica, like miracles

    Quiet traces
    luminous impression
    a trailing kite tail binds
    silent whimpers, sojourning whispers,
    tears shining behind mime smiles

    Crone's gnarled fingers, playing
    to spite agony
    simulate touch
    beyond ache
    Too brite cell,
    crouched scarred shadow
    I cast silhouette of metamagic gypsy

    Laurie Corzett -

  7. Re:
    "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."
    Have you read Tony Vigorito's novel "Nine Kinds of Naked" ?

    I stumbled across this book synchronisticly,and while I have only read 100 pages of the 400 so far,I have to say that Tony has become one of the authors on my favourite author's list,already.
    This story would make a great graphic novel for sure.
    He says he wrote this novel by synchronicity alone.You can read how it came about here;

    I think most people that read this blog would enjoy reading it.
    There's even a gnome in it .-)

  8. I think you have to have the inclination to seek meaning from the symbols that are paraded around you constantly before you can proceed any further. How that takes place is really up to the individual person and their own set of circumstances, experiences, and abilities up to this point. A great many people---even some that visit this blog and make comments---may not even know *why* they are in here looking and reading and wondering about all that is presented here. You just *feel* right about doing it without understanding why you are doing it. I don't think this happens to people unless they are ready for it to happen. If change is what you hope for in this society, its got to take place in your head space and in your heart space before it can manifest anyplace. But, if you aren't there yet, then you aren't there yet. If you are even in here reading this blog and reading this comment, you must be seeking *something*. Only the person seeking knows what that is. People want to experience something real in their lives. They are truly looking for something to change them and make them feel something different than they feel right now. Spewing words and leaving word tracks is not the experience. Its a trail to follow, but words and the symbols of these words which are here to convey my thoughts leave me disembodied and a floating intellect at the periphery of you, the readers, consciousness. These words are not me. The bottom of all this word dancing is that you have to do the work of seeking yourselves. We are attracted to Chris' blog here because he is saying and articulating with his words what it is that most of us are seeking and feeling from inside of our headspaces and heart places. But you eventually have to let go of Chris and go your own way. This is ultimately Chris' headspace we are visiting and you can certainly share this with him and be apart of this virtual community because he is opening that place up for us and the invitation is standing, but at some point, you have to leave the farm and go a wandering on your own. This is a safe haven. Full of goodly advice and a place to warm your self for a time. The symbology that we need to find is for us alone to find and in that place is where we will connect with the experience that is real to us and no one else because it is our journey. The symbols may be common to all of us and arise from a "human" experience we share from that. But the meaning is something that only you the seeker can untangle alone.

  9. Hey Chris,

    Your Re-Enchantment Dialogues are shaping up to be very insightful and instructive. I like your definition of introverts as people primarily living an internal, imaginative life rather than a life of the senses. I definitely see myself as part of this definition.

    In my external life I’m a low-paid bartender and dark-humoured Angry Young Man. But in my internal life I’m a kick-ass Seeker, Intuitive and Mystical Linguist blasting apart the Guarded Gates and peering into the Unfathomable. Heroic fantasy? Sure. Empowering? Definitely.

    I think we’re all exceptionally powerful at our core, and if our full spectrum of cognizance were somehow returned to us. Heroic fantasies remind us of this at a primal level; the thrill of survival, of epic exchange, of razor-sharp perception and action.

    I think a full-bodied, full-blooded fantasy life can be the most powerful form of transformation, if, as you point out, it is used to steer the course of your life.

    I think heroic fantasies of the synchronic, mystical kind remove a lot of the fear of death by reminding us that there are indeed things worth dying for – and that these things are also the exact same things worth living for. This tension is at the heart of all heroic fantasy and much genre fiction.

    If the hero is willing to die for love and honor and friendship, we are able to recognize how important these things really are – and as our hearts swell with power and conviction we realize we would rather this hero continues to be in the world, having adventures and experiencing all the love and passion that he was willing to lay down his life for.

    This tension is crucial in story-telling. In this sense, heroes Re-Enchant the world for us. Fox Mulder of The X Files is always willing to die for the Truth, but he’d rather not because the pursuit is important to him, and by extension to us as his unseen fans. He reminds us of how much we want to live, to explore the mysteries for another day or another episode.

    And, Chris, as you say, when we can use fantasy and synchronic experience to steer our lives we then become the heroes of our most cherished stories. This action of using the marriage of inner and outer reality as a compass/stern/crucible to navigate and recreate our lives is what heroes DO. And furthermore it is what superheroes ARE – since this action is the essence of magic, and superhero is just a code-word for ‘magical being’.

    I truly and firmly believe that the intricate and profound world of synchronicity is the Loving Creator’s way of saying, “You want magical superpowers? There you go. Actively work with that for a while and see how your life changes. Then tell me that you don’t kind-of-realize that you’re the lead character in the greatest story ever told. Don’t say I never give you nothing.”


  10. Mr Knowles, the vid you presented on the weekend is proof of some ancient knowledge. Thank you for presenting us Sun of an occulted nature students to that amazing truths. Shineforth brave souls! DENNIS/87.

  11. Hi all,

    As usual I love reading the responses.

    Here in northern Michigan where I live in a small town, I go to a coffee shop. Since it is a small area, people who think lots of different ways and hold different ideals congregate there. But we meet in friendship and to talk and laugh and enjoy ourselves.

    Here at the secret sun, I feel I am in another kind of coffee shop, serving the chi instead of the chai, a real energy drink for the day. Chris unlocks the shop and writes the menu. Raj, here too you are the superhero bringer of the delights, fleshing them out. Most of us have our comments and bring our best game, here to meet friends, to enjoy. I am the reasonably good tipper, an occasional joker. Filtered through the written word, the magic symbols, we take what we each need, we take it on to our day, on into our lives, more awake and aware of the magic than before we were here. We can't help but use it and it's why we come back.

    More than words.

    Have a good day my friends, Delorus