Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Revelation of St Midnight

At Amid Night Suns I am always trying to create provocative, intelligent and empowering art, with something to say about the spiritual condition of the human race.  I have spent a lot of time reading and researching the darkest aspects of organized religion, especially Christianity.  I am not an enemy of religion or peoples most deeply held religious beliefs.  However, I do find religious institutions themselves to be very dark places indeed.  Most if not all established religious institutions have a history of corruption and depravity going back for centuries.  I am not going to give you any particular example of this depravity; the information is available if you wish to seek it out.  What I will say is that I'm familiar with the appalling history of the Catholic Church and the many genocides and depravities it has engaged in since its inception.  This is not to tar all Catholics with the same brush, by any means.  Not at all.  I only want to point out the fact that Church and State have been two of the most powerful forces for human spiritual enslavement in history.  I would never deny anyone their heartfelt faith.  But I will never deny the truth either.  And the truth  is often horrifically unpleasant.


In the alternative media there is always talk of Illuminati and Satanism and worldwide occult conspiracies.  While I believe in the existence of what might be termed 'occult magick' both good and bad, and that some of these occult conspiracy stories have glimmers of truth hidden amid the modern mythology, I believe that the overwhelming majority of these stories are a stage-dressing of the banality of evil.  At the base psychological reality of things, Evil is usually squalid and petty and ugly - not grandiose, mysterious and portentous.  In our world Darkness often poses as Light, extremism as moderation, and perversity as officialdom.  If you truly doubt this, go and read any textbook about the histories of religious warfare, for example.  It will chill your blood more completely than any tale of Illuminati nefariousness.  My point here is that the Witchfinder Generals and Grand Inquisitors of actual history are far more terrifying than any satanic occultist dreamed up in today's alternative media.  The Catholic Church is an exceptionally powerful organized-crime fraternity, for example -- with countless notches on it belt in terms of violence, exploitation and oppression.  Don't believe me?  Go do some reading.  

Let me make something very clear here.  Black Magick is very real.  But it is often not what we think it is. Magick of any shade is simply Art and Psyche and Intention all working in concert to create real-world specificity.  The host of interconnected imagery associated with such things in the popular consciousness is sometimes frighteningly accurate in literal terms, but more often than not it is the imagery of the mythic imagination -- symbolic imagery from the Underworld of Psyche that is then used to hide a multitude of sins.  Often this imagery from the Shadow Realms of Psyche is knowingly appropriated by occultists and traditional religions.  This imagery is dangerously potent, and can be used to liberate individuals or control them.  The Catholic Church understands exactly what I'm talking about here -- using the aesthetic power of the imagination to create various associations and a kind of intense gravity in the minds of its followers.  Leaders and Adepts of organized religions who have an understanding of this aesthetic power are often frighteningly morbid, debased and sociopathic; more so than any so-called 'occultist'. Sometimes it is hard to even distinguish between them.


The real question that true seekers should be asking is "Where do I want to go - to the Plenty or the Abyss?"  Because that's what we as the human race are collectively faced with.  I do not believe as Voltaire's Pangloss does that we are living in the best of all possible worlds.  Rather I believe, as Candide comes to understand at the end of Voltaire's satire, that we must cultivate our garden.  We must choose between a life of witless, sightless aphorisms, or the grim reality and hard work of trying to make this hellish world a better place.  After all, we don't just wish to survive here...we wish to live here, and to flourish.  This becomes harder and harder to do when a handful of powerful religious and corporate elites decide what is holy or sacred or worthy for the billions of souls who dwell here.  

So, dear reader, yet again I implore you to begin making your own sacred magick.  Don't be afraid of creating a personal relationship with God, or the Divine, or Art, or Magick.  We can give the Creative Force any name that makes us comfortable and empowers the stories dearest to us -- whether those stories are Abrahamic, Pagan, a hybrid of some or all of these, or something else entirely.  The point is to suffuse these stories with your own meanings and your own intentions, to counteract the dark gravity that the corporate and religious elites have used to control us with for millennia.  We must take back our churches and symbols and signs from the predators and tyrants.  We must wrest back control of our psychic spaces, because these Realms of Psyche are holy and extremely powerful.  Religions could not have got to where they are today if this were not so.  Your magick can be a true spiritual liberation, so long as you intend to harm no-one and take full responsibility for what you conjure or bring forth.  As I've said here before, real magick can be so dangerous because it is SO powerful.  Religions understand this.  They understand that organized religion is nothing more or less than ritual magic.  The only true and salient difference between occultism and religion is that one claims to practice its magick in secret while the other claims to practice out in the open.  Both these positions are not entirely true, as anyone intimately familiar with magick or religion will realize.

We can only begin changing the world by changing ourselves.  Do you choose the Plenty or the Abyss?  What is your Revelation?  What do you choose to see?        

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Legion of Light

For me personally, creativity is not always about getting things perfect.  It's not always about guarding against mistakes.  For me, creativity is about a way of perceiving and behaving in the world that enlivens, quickens and empowers.  It's about creating something from nothing.  At Amid Night Suns I try very hard to live by this definition of creativity.  I started this blog with the intention of supporting Christopher Loring Knowles' exemplary work on his blog The Secret Sun - to my mind one of the best, if not the best blog on the internet. I hope I have managed to provide interesting corollaries to the mind-expanding posts offered on Chris' blog.


I have been making video content and writing posts on this blog for two years now, and I am proud of the work I've done at Amid Night Suns.  It might not be to everybody's tastes, but I see very few people making content with the tone and aesthetics found here.  That is part of the reason I'm still doing this.  Also, because I still believe in the work being done on The Secret Sun.  So, even though I've been making these videos for a while now I'm not yet ready to stop.  Far from it.  As long as there is injustice, lies and what I perceive to be a lack of insight with regards to the human spiritual condition, I'm going to keep doing what I do.  There are a thousand ways to make art, a thousand things to talk about, and a thousand ways to resist the mindless, gutless nonsense that the corporate elites keep shoving down our throats.  It just requires an open-mind, a readiness to work hard, and a little style.  There are many of us in the Reality-Based High Weirdness Community who are doing all we can to provide counterpoints and alternative interpretations to the detritus normally served to us in the name of culture.  My work on this blog will always have a touch of darkness about it -- because I never want to forget where I came from.  It keeps me honest and it keeps me seeking.  It reminds me just how precious insight, compassion and bravery really are.  Make no mistake, I'm always trying to bring Light into this place, but a truthful, honest and tempered Light.  I am trying to empower my allies and friends with my own kind of magick.  But not just empower them.  I am also trying earnestly to protect them.


In my personal life I've often been told that I make certain people uncomfortable, for various reasons.  That's fine and as it should be.  But I never want my readers to misconstrue what I'm attempting to do on this blog. In essence I see Amid Night Suns as a cauldron or furnace, attempting to produce figurative diamonds from the endless detritus thrown at the human race; an alchemical space in which I can be more myself than I'm often allowed to be in the outside world.  I deal with shadows and darkness on this blog for one simple reason: in order to begin attempting to change the world we must first attempt to understand the world as it really, truly is.  And since the world is intimately and inextricably tied to our selves, this is tantamount to saying that in order to change the world we must first change ourselves.  If we wish to make the world better we must offer better; if we wish the world to be more honest and insightful we must offer honesty and insight.  For most of the readers of my blog and The Secret Sun, this is all obvious and nothing new.  But it bears repeating.  In order to shift boundaries and thresholds, we must understand our own.  We must understand our demons as well as the better angels of our nature.  In order to truly serve the Light, we must acknowledge and comprehend the Dark.

So, I intend to keep making these videos and writing these posts for as long as there are ways to resist what interested parties are attempting to do to our world and imagination.  I tread confidently in this realm, but also very carefully -- because I know how powerful and dangerous Art and Magick can be.  The reason the human race is in such a dark and compromised place right now is because we have acquiesced to the making of a magick that we chose to ignore or didn't understand.  We have allowed predators and tyrants to make magick on our behalf, without realizing just how incredibly dangerous that is.  But more and more researchers and artists in the High Weirdness community are beginning to ask the difficult questions; honing their sophistication with all these tropes.  They are taking the creation of magick back into their own hands; with all the strange questions, subtleties and nuances that come with such an undertaking. So despite humanity's current state of affairs there is still reason for me to hope.  The better angels of our nature are not all dead yet.  My name is Legion, for we are many.    

Monday, 8 July 2013

THE BREAKOUT: Survival's Sake

I have been away from Amid Night Suns for a while, dealing with a seemingly-endless amount of bullshit in the workaday world -- struggling to survive and to be there for the ones I love.  Life does feel like a thankless struggle sometimes, doesn't it?  Despite how angry I have been feeling lately, I am also well aware that I am blessed -- or at least exceptionally lucky.  I have friends, family, loved ones and a roof over my head.  I am a Westerner who still has a fair amount of leisure time.  I am not running around in a decimated Third-World country with a Kalashnikov in my hands, fighting a war I don't understand on behalf of some unseen oppressor.  I am fighting my own war -- the War of Imagination.  I am still trying to illuminate, empower and entertain my peers in this little shadowed corner of the Reality-Based High Weirdness Community.

I am still trying to use the power of Art, Magick and Dreams to chart a path for my kith and kin.

Truth be told, I feel angrier than ever, but I'm still attempting to channel that anger into useful places -- into Art and Questioning of the debased, apathetic status quo.  I am not perfect, I am not infallible.  I am a deeply flawed human being with many facets to my character.  But apathy is not one of them.  I still believe in the Gnostic spirit of Escape, Liberation, Emancipation.  We can give the search for Freedom a whole host of names, but the seeking of a greater potential is, I believe, a noble and worthy pursuit -- especially if you are intending to liberate others along the way.

As I've stated before on this blog, a literal apocalypse is not the most pressing issue for mankind.  We should be far more concerned with the internal psychic apocalypse that has occurred and is still occurring within the Former Republic of our Imagination.  We should be concerned with the role that Fear and Cowardice is playing in our world right now.  In my humble opinion the greatest battles we will ever face are the ones fought within the confines of our own consciousness.  We must resharpen our tools and intellectual swords.  We must refocus and strengthen our manifestos, and commune with the deepest parts of ourselves.  We must tell the the Fear, Cowardice and Apathy that may still lurk within us that we see it for what it is, we know where it lives, and that we are coming to destroy it.  We must understand the battles waged within our selves -- I against I -- for our survival's sake.