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.