Thursday, 13 June 2013
Readers of this blog will be aware that Amid Night Suns is very interested in the connections between Art and Magick. In my posts I often refer to Art as the Oldest Magick, and this is intended quite literally as well as symbolically. I am very interested in exploring the interlinked terrain of Psyche, Art and Magick, and have intended to develop a canon with the work done on this blog -- a corpus of exploration and meditation that offers empowerment and insight to those who are seeking. You might not agree with every detail of my explorations, you may not even find my words or videos personally engaging, but I hope you recognize that the intention behind them is genuine and heartfelt.
I am trying to create a kind of artistic theurgy with my work -- the invocation of 'divine spirits' for the purpose of alchemical-psychological transformation. I am not as interested in the conventional understanding of henosis -- unity through perfect oneness -- as I am with empowerment through multiplicity; a quickening comprehension of the vast and multi-layered Myriad. I take the ancient Vedic and Hermetic adage of 'As Above, So Below' very seriously, and while I definitely believe in a kind of mystical interdependent unity, I am far more interested in active insights, feelings and experiences; creativity, passion, excitement and multiple possibilities. I am interested in empowering the human individual here and now.
I believe that our brains and minds and souls and spirits are qualitative descriptions for the various connected aspects of divine reality -- whether such reality is manifested through a neurochemical, intellectual, emotional or metaphysical context. I believe that our consciousness is nothing less than the tempest of the true creative force, nothing less than the Storm of God itself.
I believe that unimaginable secrets concerning humanity's true origins and true potential are locked within the genetic code of our DNA. I believe that, both symbolically and possibly quite literally, a human entity is an infinite lightning strike captured in the bottle of physical reality by Archonic forces. For me personally, Gnosis and emancipation is not about transcending the flesh -- as I believe our biology was originally intended as a Holy Vessel capable of miracles, before the intervention of unknown forces -- but rather it is about dedication and commitment to the deepest communion possible with the tempest of divinity that still rages at our core. This communion requires diligence, patience and respect, because divinity in its true form can be dangerous -- just as Magick and Art can be dangerous -- without the required insight and dexterity required to wield it effectively. There are no shortcuts to Gnosis or Magick or Art. All require the best of ourselves; our most concerted effort. But with enough patience they can show us wonders -- the human heart lit up like a star, and lightning dancing across the surface of a human eye.
Wednesday, 5 June 2013
'Gnosis' is a Greek word meaning knowledge, and in the context of mysticism, mystery cults and Gnosticism it signifies spiritual knowledge, enlightenment and insight. In the broadest possible sense the human experience is supposed to be a search for this spiritual knowledge -- for Truth -- the discovery of things as they are at the deepest levels of reality. In this sense both Art and Science are supposed to be two seemingly opposed aspects on the same fundamental continuum in this search for truth. And yet, especially today, art and science often fall far short of this profound remit. Once upon a time I think science was supposed to provide us with Gnosis of the mechanical 'how' of existence, and art with the resonant 'why'. The debased, apathetic nature of our times suggests that we have fallen far short of providing this How and Why. It seems that, at least in an internal imaginative sense, we are a race of at least partially fallen beings. Even those who find no sense in the ideas of Gnosticism would probably concede that the human race is currently falling far short of its potential at least politically and socially. After all, the vast majority of the human race lives in abject poverty and squalor. So, the seeming prosperity of the western world is not really indicative of the human race as a whole. When you really think about it, most of the planet is a third-world or just above third-world economy. Most of the human race are exploited as little more than serfs, cannon fodder and handmaidens for the corporate, military and religious elites. Often in the west we tend to gloss over or completely ignore these brutal realities, thumbing desperately at our iPhones and swallowed by our 'reality TV' shows.
But, for me at least, Gnosticism speaks to the actual state of affairs of the human race -- it speaks to these horrible inequalities in wealth, power and privilege. It may speak in a largely metaphysical sense, but anyone lucid enough can see that the boundary between the metaphysical and physical is often a slippery and permeable one. The visionaries and dreamers have always told us that there is a greater fullness to be found with regards to human potential. Also they have intimated that there is a profound wrongness in our world. Furthermore, Gnosticism attempts to find reasons for this wrongness; not merely ignoring it and hoping insanely that it will go away or leave them untouched.
Christopher Loring Knowles quotes the French writer Jacques La Carriere in a recent post at The Secret Sun, entitled Unified Weird Theory Addenda: Astro-Gnosis Redux:
The fundamental difference that separates the Gnostics from their contemporaries is that, for them, their native `soil' is not the earth, but that lost heaven which they keep vividly alive in their memories: they are the autochthons of another world. Hence their feeling of having fallen onto our earth like inhabitants from a distant planet, of having strayed into the wrong galaxy, and their longing to regain their true cosmic homeland, the luminous hyper-world that shimmers beyond the great nocturnal barrier. Their uprooting is not merely geographical but planetary.
This profound alienation is something I myself have experienced and relate to quite deeply, as I'm sure many dreamers have too. This sense that I am living in a world cut off from some profound fullness, some totality of divine powers -- that I am living in a world almost devoid of the spiritual light that I suspect to be the true state of consciousness and experience. Anyone who is familiar with my work here at Amid Night Suns will have probably grasped by now that I am a huge fan of the movie Dark City; a Gnostic parable dressed in the Noir aesthetic of a 1940s crime thriller. The film is actually a brilliant and detailed metaphysical exploration of the Gnostic State of Man, a film that is intimately wrapped up in the genesis of this blog.
Again from Christopher Loring Knowles', from his excellent post at The Secret Sun entitled AstroGnostic: Dark City, or Crucified by Time:
The Strangers are always working: creating false memories (rewriting history, in other words), changing the shape and form of the city, moving people from one life to another (note that all of these methods are being used on us all of the time in the real world). The Strangers assemble regularly in their lair to perform the ‘Tuning,’ the telepathic ritual that maintains their control over this world. [...] Stripped of its meaning as an elemental parable, Dark City makes very little sense. It’s never explained who Murdoch is and why he has these powers. It’s never explained what these powers even are. It’s never explained how he came to be. The only way he makes any sense at all is as an AstroGnostic Sun god. That is the key that unlocks all the mysteries of Dark City. The connections to Proyas' Knowing are tantalizing in relation to Dark City, in that our own planet becomes the prison, the Sun the executioner and the Strangers become the saviors. Is Dark City in fact our own planet, and are we the prisoners of unknowable Archons of indeterminate origin?
If there is any truth to Gnostic interpretations, literally or symbolically, then perhaps the boogieman in all his fictional incarnations is the closest that our collective memory will let us get to the actual rape that began our pathology. And humanity has become a race of broken, pathological creatures. All the violence and exploitation around us cannot imply otherwise. [...] The memory allows us to remember the trauma but at a distance and with certain artistic licence. I think this artistic licence is not a place of hopelessness; it’s a place of power. It means that even though there are distortions and horrors involved in truly understanding such a potent myth, these things can, through a strange circularity, eventually allow a fuller recognition of the thing. I would suggest it is akin to catching a glimpse of something real behind a stylized depiction, remembering something once seen in a realm of imaginary light – some important, painful truth that we have carried with us in our private, psychic spaces for a very long time.
But more than this potential collective memory of Archonic presences on the edges of our understanding, what kind of spiritual insight can imagination and dreaming afford us? How do we come to better understand our internal, psychic sight? In the movie Knowing the child character Caleb Koestler is shown a vision by the Whisper Men, of a fallen Earth on the brink of destruction. A vision that presumably leads to his decision to leave Earth with the Whisper Men despite his father's fear. This destruction of the Earth always struck me as a metaphorical destruction; something occurring within the visionary, imaginative realms of the psyche -- almost as if the Earth's fiery obliteration by the Sun is more of a metaphorical Gnostic tipping point, a point of no return. I think the film's themes and the intentions of the filmmakers are left pointedly ambiguous. But regardless of whether Knowing's Whisper Men are truly malevolent or benevolent, I think the film speaks quite intently to the human desire for escape -- escape from a world that appears to be falling ever more deeply into an Abyss -- an escape into a greater fullness and potential.
It is my personal belief that the human race is at an alchemical crossroads, that there is a divine fullness contained within us -- that we stand now before the Gate of Lucid Dreamers. We are being asked by strange powers and signals what kind of future we wish to fashion for ourselves, and we are being prompted to understand our powers of imagination ever more keenly.
We are being asked to take responsibility for our Dreamer's Sight.
But as far as Gnosis goes there is more to it than just dreaming and imagining; there is also application. We can imagine escape, or a greater fullness, but we must also fight for it. And, if Gnosticism has any truth to it -- whether literally or metaphorically, we must fight tooth and claw for it because the Archons are not about to hand it over. 'Pleroma' is another Greek word that means fullness. It has many shades of meaning depending on the context, but in Gnosticism it is generally taken as the totality of the true divine powers -- the fullness of real existence in contrast to the fallen prison-realm of the Archons. It is my belief that our connection to this fullness was once contained within our DNA, and indeed still is despite the best efforts of Archonic forces to wall it off from our immediate use.
I believe the human individual was not engineered primarily as a slave race for Archonic forces, as some Ancient Astronaut theorists have claimed, but rather we were later genetically and psychically tweaked for this purpose. I believe that the human race was originally a powerful race of Vessels -- mystical reliquaries intended to be Keepers of the Innermost Light; entities designed to house the literal and metaphorical power of the Pleroma itself. Furthermore, I believe these Vessels were almost omnipresent creator-beings; what might be termed warrior-priests of the Infinite. Does that sound like a bold and bizarre claim? Good. We have a lot of time for the bold and the bizarre here at Amid Night Suns.
Of course, you needn't take any of this literally to grasp the symbolic power of what I'm trying to convey here. If you want you can view these ideas as artistic conceits intended to empower you, as this is indeed a partial truth. But the real truth -- the fullest truth -- is, I suspect, something beyond our wildest imaginations. We must fight to become these Vessels once more, these warrior-priests of the infinite, because nothing less than this will satisfy the ferocious spark of divinity concealed at the very center of ourselves. The Archons, whether literal or symbolic, are well aware of this; hence why they present us with a labyrinthine hall of smoke and mirrors to distract and frighten and disempower. So, Amid Night Suns would hope that you are not fooled by the machinations of the elites and oligarchies both banal and exotic -- and are instead led towards your real path of knowledge and truth and the application of such Gnosis. Remember your Warrior's Light.