Monday, 30 April 2012

The Blackest Light

I recently reacquainted myself with Christopher Knowles' excellent book on superheroes, mythology and mystery-cults - Our Gods Wear Spandex. It got me thinking again about superheroes, and some of my favorites.  I generally resonate with darker heroes, but am very fond of the genre in general.  For me, superheroes are where I go to seek empowerment, or counsel with the more mysterious aspects of my personality.

I have spent a lot of my life trying to channel my immense anger at the injustices of the world into various forms of art.  I am still trying to use this fury to aid me in my own spiritual quests.  I believe that anger can be used as a powerful tool of transformation, if it is harnessed and guided effectively.  As I've said elsewhere on this blog, I believe that the Shadow aspect of the human/divine psyche has lots to teach us about personal responsibility, creative power and liberation.  I believe that once these forces are effectively harnessed collectively, the human race will become unstoppable in the best spiritual sense.



I believe in finding insight and empowerment from levels above and beyond those that engineer our enslavement, but I also sometimes believe in fighting fire with fire.  I mean to say, with love in our hearts and determination in our minds we can be infinitely more powerful that the forces that wish to control us - especially when communing with our shadows in deep, illuminating ways.  I call this wisdom the Blackest Light.  It is a light that is tender, compassionate and lucid, but a light that is also dark and furious enough to stand up and stare down those who would oppress us.  These are the ways of the Ragged Magi - forces powerful enough to send a chill through the blackened heart of any dominating, colonizing force.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

This Little Secret

I believe that the functions and processes of all true art are Alchemical and magical in nature.  The act of creating a piece of art is a form of spell-casting, as too is the act of appreciating it.  Over the past year I have dedicated a huge amount of time and effort towards creating Alchemical pieces of art in the vein I have just mentioned, inspired by Christopher Knowles' exemplary work over on his Secret Sun blog.

My little video tone-poems are only seen by a handful of his members, but I persist in my efforts - because I believe that I can entertain, help, inspire and engage those few individuals who do watch my videos.  I am attempting to be the line in the sand, a modest clarion call.  Even if my little efforts affect nothing in the grand scheme, I must continue to act as if they do.  Simply put, I believe everything is connected...and that we cannot fully comprehend the ripples and ramifications of our intentions.  If our intentions are positive, lucid and pure of heart, I believe we can subtly shift the interconnected system of experience in our favor.  This is one of the oldest techniques in magic: the magus is the burning star at the center of his own system, and by acting with unwavering belief and tenacity he can manipulate, heal and re-organize that system.

In my own work I am attempting to re-write my own imagination, through the act of creating lucid art, and hopefully re-writing the Collective Imagination by proxy - even if it is in tiny, subtle ways.  My dreams tell me that among the human race are an ancient order of book-keepers and initiates who serve the Secret Truths; forms of magic that are more powerful than anything we usually dare to dream.  I call this ancient order the Ragged Magi.  This order does not merely protect these ancient magics - they also hunt and stalk the monsters, demons and old ones that travel in Psyche's Shadow.




It is often a thankless task, and usually goes unseen.  But nonetheless, they are the protectors of the children, the lost, the weak or wounded, and sometimes they speak for those who have had their voices stolen from them by monsters and villains.  These dark, corrupting forces call themselves the Absence Brethren - they are part literal, part imaginal, and they are composed of psychic, social and economic elements, straddling many worlds.  But for every villain who thinks itself unseen there is a hero who sees it.  The Ragged Magi are such heroes...and signs and traces of them remain in our mythologies, fictions and fairytales.  They can resist the kiss of the Absence Brethren, and they can read their tormenting glyphs.

This ancient order is also sub-rosa, working beneath the layers of waking, rational consciousness.  There are those among the order who have yet to recognize their place in it; although they can sense a calling, a strangeness and power that lies at the heart of them.  When these sleeper-initiates are ready, they will awaken.  The Ragged Magi is also composed of former dark ones; monsters and entities who were pierced by the Knife of Love and utterly transformed...and now they fight on the side of Love, Truth, Compassion and Insight.  This is consciousness made lucid.





It is a very strange and complex realm you are living in.  Only you can interpret the Secret Truths, only you can make the choice to acknowledge the fact that if Judgment was a day like today you would stand and fight for Truth.  Why?  Because you are a hero, a Magi, and nobody can stop you now.

     

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Beyond Good and Evil

We all have our personal mythologies, our ways of connecting to themes and stories larger than ourselves - so that we might draw strength from them and understand our place in the maelstrom of human existence and experience.  My own personal mythology is that of the conduit and crossroads.  I see myself as the janitor of the place where all paths converge, but moreover I perceive myself as a conduit transmuting dark energies into light energies...using a dark or Gothic artistic aesthetic to shine an empowered light on the mysterious places within ourselves and our perceptions.  I see this function as essentially Gnostic; embracing the shadow-aspect of this existence in order to learn and evolve from what it teaches me.

Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected. 

       - Carl Jung: Psychology and Religion


Embodying the shadow does not mean acting on our darker, repressed impulses.  It means finding an artistic and intellectual space where the shadow can be honored, negotiated and engaged with creatively.  The subconscious darkness within us usually has important things to share with our conscious minds, usually relating to feelings of victim-hood and powerlessness.  The fury of the Shadow is often a cry for help, or a call to creative arms.  In Gnosticism, the idea that reality is in some way a prison from which we must escape...or at the very least transmute from within, is a very potent concept to certain aspects of the human psyche.  In that sense, I try to use themes of liberation from slavery as a primal touchstone in my art - imagining myself as an Ex-Convict declaring war on the Archonic forces that continually attempt to enslave and control us.




However, such a declaration can amount to empty posturing and heroic affectation if the necessary intellect, imagination, subtlety and appreciation of nuance is not included within this remit.  Staring our demons in the eye is a frightening and sometimes dangerous thing...especially if we are foolhardy, undisciplined and unwilling to put in the hard work of understanding the nature of such things as deeply and comprehensively as possible.  This quote reminds us of the innate danger inherent in battling things we are not savvy enough to truly comprehend:

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. 


   - Friedrich Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil


Armed with these concepts as protection however, as our canary in the coalmine, I do believe that by facing the internal and external darkness with a measure of intellect, creativity and fearlessness - we can then begin to appreciate the true magnificence of the human soul and spirit.  Gnosticism teaches us that we are dynamic and eternal spirits trapped somehow within the realms of illusion by entities called Archons who feed on us and use us for various sinister purposes.  We don't need to take such an idea entirely literally to see the profound psychological and social truths it is attempting to transmit to us.  Even as a mythical fiction, the idea contains great power.  However, in my experience fictions are often more 'real' than we can usually comprehend.  It is patently obvious to anyone with an open, discerning mind that we are living in a realm in which numerous debilitating controls are placed upon us to serve the desires of a handful of elites.  In this sense, we the human race are the Incumbent Ones: it is put upon us to speak for those weaker and more powerless than ourselves.  It is our political, social and spiritual duty to ensure that freedom, compassion, acuity and community do not become mere urban legends in the maelstrom of political and corporate depravity.



At the end of the day it is simply a choice.  Are we going to ignore the fight for freedom, knowing full well that there are sharks and monsters and demons out there who would rather we remain ignorant and docile...and would destroy us at the first opportunity...or are we going to arm ourselves as best we can with self-knowledge, intelligence, subtlety and a spirit of adventure - and take our place in the Good Fight?  The battlefield is the Imagination.  And a dynamic, re-empowered humanity is what we stand to gain as the spoils of this Only True War. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

X Files: Ascensions



As a die-hard fan of the seminal television show The X Files, late last year I began writing a series of fan-fiction stories over on a new blog - X Files: Ascensions.  I wanted to write a series of tales that would honor the atmosphere, rhythms and intelligence of the show as closely as possible.  The latest installment is Arcanum -Part Two.  The first part to that story is, unsurprisingly, Arcanum - Part One.  
     The story that begins my fan-fiction series is entitled Now and Then, and is intended to act as a 'pilot episode' for my stories.  The stories are set in the present day and follow the lives of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully since we last saw them in the I Want To Believe movie.  For fans like me who cannot get enough of the X Files universe, click on one of the above links and rediscover the Truth... 


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Freak Kingdom



We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like "I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive..." And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: 
    "Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?"
    No point mentioning those bats, I thought.  The poor bastard would see them soon enough.


- Hunter S. Thompson



Monday, 9 April 2012

Red Rain

This is an excerpt from my post entitled Pathology of the Soul - A Realm of Imaginary Light:

Not wanting to be a cheerleader for victimhood, I appreciate that certain Gnostic concepts can seem simply too awful to contemplate with any seriousness or sobriety.  It’s a tough thing to seriously speculate that we might be trapped in a prison of near-unfathomable design.  The idea that what many think of as God is in fact a trickster demiurge (a sinister force, for want of a better term) that is utterly ruthless in its desire for full-spectrum domination – this idea is practically unpalatable due to the various horrors it implies.   I can understand the urge to balk at such an idea, and even to vilify its messengers – even if such an idea is presented as pure speculation, as it is here.
The idea of an Archon, or sinister gatekeeper to our apparent reality, is both frightening and alluring – in the sense that through such an image we can investigate our own darkest associations, with the potential to emerge as more compassionate, perceptive individuals.  But such shadow-projections do not necessarily invalidate the literal possibility of the Archon image. The rational mind might dismiss the Archon image as the symbolic embodiment of various fears and natural forces.  But, as in the microcosm world of insects and micro-organisms – our human intervention, manipulation and control would appear to them as the chaos of natural forces.  This is an important correlation to consider, I feel.

Hopefully the following video speaks to these themes and questions.  Enjoy:


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Colonies






Col-o-ny
n. pl.  col-o-nies

a. A group of emigrants or their descendants who settle in a distant territory but remain subject to or closely associated with the parent country.
b. A territory thus settled.
         c. A region politically controlled by a distant country; a  dependency.




WE MUST SEEK OUR INDEPENDENCE...



Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Run

Some old-school Midnight for the lovers and seekers.  A Coronal Mass Injection, with a soundtrack by Sarah Fimm - 'Let it Run'; one of my favourite songs ever.  This song, and this artist's work in general, is a deeply personal touchstone for me.  Here are the lyrics to this haunting song. I hope you find a similar resonance.

Visions of lovelinessVisions of open handsWe're criss cross black dotsHiding in the tree topsFriend
Everybody looking with the same expressionEverybody looking with the same expression
Are you true Is it pureAre you sure that you're thereLoved or goneCrick crackJust open the doorTo the floodLet it run wildLet it run
So left choking on the beauty of a waking dreamCalling on the skyJust to look less lonely

Everybody looking with the same expressionEverybody looking with the same expression
Are you true Is it pureAre you sure that you're thereLoved or goneCrick crackJust open the doorTo the floodLet it run wildLet it run
Everybody's busy looking down at the pavementSeeing what I see
Are you true Is it pureAre you sure that you're thereLoved or goneCrick crackJust open the doorTo the floodLet it run wildLet it run


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Flicker

We are the Living Flame at the heart of Perception; spiritus, psyche, reason and rhyme. And our imagination knows no bounds.  In the Flicker we can see shapes moving, stories being told...and signs being sent.