A good time to just shut my mouth…

Death

Death (Photo credit: tanakawho)

So there was a death in my extended family a couple days ago.  My wife knew him well, but I had only met the guy once.  He was quite a different type of personality than I usually spend my time with, so it was only brief small-talk.  Nothing against the guy, there are just people who you click with and those who you don’t.

So he died over the weekend, which obviously causes a lot of turmoil in a family.  Not being terribly connected to the death, I become the comforter as it’s easy for me to be calm and mellow for people.  The problem I’m facing is this: People want comforting words about the death.

That may sound like it isn’t much of a problem.  For parts of it I’m even quite good at it.  I’ve experienced the death of a parent at a young age, so I have gentle and reassuring words in that regard.  I’ve spent enough time in therapy to know to encourage people to go with their emotions and find their own ways to grieve. The problem comes down to when people start asking about the more religious/spiritual aspects and what they should do or what is happening.

In that regard, most of the things I have to say wouldn’t be comforting to a Christian or most other main-stream religious people.  The soul, death, the afterlife, and all of those topics are things that I hold very different beliefs about, and I refuse to just tell people what they want to hear.  So the only tactic I’ve had is to either just shut my mouth and let them spew, or to turn it into a question.  When asked, “Even though he was drunk/high/sinner/whatever, do you think he’ll still go to heaven?”  I’ve been asking things like, “Well, what do you believe will happen?” and letting them roll on their own beliefs.

I think people are starting to see through it though, and the last thing I want to do is piss on someone’s beliefs in a time of suffering.  I seriously doubt it would go well.  The words that would I would want to hear are definitely not things that would help them at this point.  It’s really a sticky spot to be in because I like to help people when I can, but there are boundaries I set for the sake of others.  I think my unwillingness to talk about some of it is being misconstrued as ‘he just thinks he’s going to hell’ or some other judgement.

If someone wanted my honest answer, the best I could tell them is that I could try and find out.  Everyone’s death is unique, and how they interact with the afterlife can be different depending on a lot of things like their religious convictions, willingness to accept their own death, and even their own preconceptions as to what will be waiting for them (or not).  I have some tools (including my wife) that are available to get an idea, but that’s about it.  If they’re looking to know if someone is playing Scrabble with a specific deity, it’s a question that I feel that I should dodge out of respect.

On a personal note, illumination has been the key lately.  The ‘fake it ’till you make it’ mentality has been ruling my life.  I never realized how truly powerful the concept of illumination could be until I started applying it to non-esoteric areas of my life.

A little bit more reality change and I won’t even recognize myself.

IO Chaos!

Eyes in the darkness…

English: Singing Dog eyes glow bright green wh...

English: Singing Dog eyes glow bright green when light is shined on them in darkness. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t believe that it’s been two months since my last post.  Little N had a birthday, vacations have been taken, and living arrangements are being shuffled.  In other words, I’ve been insanely busy and have been neglecting just about every online presence I have.  The good news is, something happened tonight that made me instantly want to post it on here.

Just an hour ago I was standing outside having a smoke and talking with my wife when I saw a pair of eyes looking at me in my peripheral vision.  I’ve misidentified things in my peripheral vision before, so I turned my head and looked right where it was.  Expecting it to not be there, I was absolutely stunned there were in fact two eyes staring directly at me in my neighbor’s driveway.  It was after about only a second that they turned and moved where I couldn’t see them.  It wasn’t one of those ‘they moved away the moment I looked at them’ kind of things, I stood there sand stared directly into them for what could have been an eternity.

The first big ‘wow that was odd’ thing was that they were a deep, deep orange.  Not quite red, but well on their way.  Now, it was twilight where I live, and my neighbor’s drive is covered, so it was really dark over there.  I couldn’t see a body or a lack of a body, so that part will be a mystery.  All I saw were the eyes.  Another big problem is that they were bright.  Not like they were glowing or anything bizarre like that, they were just colorful and clear like they were two feet away in a well-lit room.  The next interesting point is where they were located.  If it was a dog (and they did look like dog eyes) it would have been a massive beast.  Something the size of a Great Dane.

After I saw it, I told me wife and we went over and looked at the driveway.  What I couldn’t see from where I was standing is with where it was, and the direction it left, it would have had to move through a jet ski to move in the direction it left.  It left towards the back of the house, so if it was just a dog, it could have slipped out that way (through the jet ski).  It means it would have also had to tip-toe past two other dogs to do it.  Stranger things have happened, so I’m not discounting that possibility entirely.

The big thing was just meeting whatever it was’s gaze.  I have never seen eyes like that in full light, let alone in low light.  They wen’t that color of normal ‘dog light reflection eyes’ either.  I’ve never seen that color before in the eyes of any living thing.  It almost looked like a bad special effect from a cheap Sci-Fi movie.

I decided to ask the cards about it and it gave me (for once) a simple and clear answer.  It didn’t mean or want to be seen.  It was keeping an eye on me (usually things watch my wife) because it doesn’t trust me for some reason.  If it becomes a problem, I have the tools to take care of it.  I was specifically told to keep my wife out of any resolution should it need to happen.

So, there you have it.  It just seems to be a totally random encounter at this point that should amount to nothing.  I always love good news!

In other happenings: I am going to be more free to do my practice in the house as my father will be moving in a couple weeks.  He’s finally going to get a little retirement place and put his feet up.  This will free up space in the house and not create awkward moments when I get interrupted in the middle of doing something.  I hate that more than anything.  It will also give me a dedicated meditation space!  I think that’s the part that I look forward to the most.

D.S.

Tales of a part-time atheist.

Atheism

Atheism (Photo credit: atheism)

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Google+ lately.  I mentioned in a previous post that there is a really good occult community, but I also enjoy hanging out in some work related communities and an atheist community.  I’ve considered myself to be an atheist for most of my life, with only brief moments of theism fluttering through.  Even in my Chaos I don’t tend to use, or even recognize, any god-forms.

I have found it interesting lately that many atheists have very different definitions of the word ‘atheist’.  A theist is one who believes in the existence of a deity(s).  It’s very simple.  The ‘a’ that goes in from makes it ‘not’ or ‘without’.  So ‘atheist’ just means someone that does not believe in a deity(s).

This has created a slight problem for me.  I have respect for those that have belief in deities.  Faith is what makes the world go around.  The only problem I ever have with it is when it is shoved in my face with some promise of eternal damnation if not followed.  This makes me have to hold my tongue a bit in the atheist community as many of them are extremely militant towards anything that science hasn’t already proven.  It seems a bit ironic to me that many of the things they believe are ‘proven’ still aren’t by their own definition, but that’s a different discussion.

Many atheists try and wrap the ‘paranormal of any kind’ into the definition of non-belief.  That’s where I start to get pissy.  Atheist doesn’t mean anything but a lack of belief in a deity.  That’s it.  Nothing else.  Are there other things out there?  In my opinion: Yes. Based on the definition, that doesn’t exclude anyone from being an atheist hat believes in them either.

It’s sad, but it seems like even non-belief based communities have zealots and groups who see themselves as superior.

The other problem is that I’m not always an atheist.  It’s one of the things about Chaos that makes it great: I can do/borrow/use/steal from any belief system I want at any time.  I can also make things up on the fly and drop them at my whim.  Craig, the God of the Park Bench, can be my Lord and savior for an hour if I want, then I can laugh him off and never think of him again.  It’s part of how I roll.

So where does that truly place me?  I’m an atheist…mostly.  I don’t believe in god(s)…unless it’s handy.  So, how in the heck does a guy put a label on that?  I know we really don’t need to label ourselves to be defined, but sometimes it’s a handy place to start.  I consider myself to be an ‘Atheistic True-Will Atmannist Chaote’.  I guess I may need to change it to something like nigh-atheist or something.

It’s a confusing spot to be in.  Chaos just doesn’t seem to fit well into anything.  It gives me the freedom I need to seek out what I want, but without any restrictions on how I do it.  I don’t see anything wrong with trying on other peoples’ shoes for a while.  In fact, some of the best things I’ve learned have come from doing that.

It’s just been bugging me the past few days that people are so restricted in their definitions.  I thought that was something I would encounter less of as I walked farther away from mainstream belief, but it only seems to be getting worse.

At least I’m armed with enough knowledge to play a good ‘devil’s advocate’ for them.  I am awesome at Christian apologetics, so I can just run rampant in there if I want to.  I behave though.  For the mots part it’s a good community.

Besides, if I can be a theist any time I want to, I can be an atheist as it suits me too.

Teaching it to my baby.

Little N is almost three now, and she’s really starting to understand more and more every day.  She plays Cut The Rope on her Nook, she has her computer, and all sorts of little techo-weenie stuff.  She has the normal toys, she just doesn’t care about them at all.  An electronic family produces an electronic child I guess.

One of the things she has also learned is the concept of life and death.  I didn’t plan for her to learn it quite so early in life, although it is an inevitable and unpleasant lesson we all must learn at some point.  I think the basics were in her head due to the documentaries that we tend to watch, and when we were at the pet store it really hit her.  At first she thought that the goldfish bobbing near the bottom was a little funny.  Then two others came by and started taking some bites at him.  That’s when she got it and her laughter turned into a terribly cry that I had never heard before.  It broke my heart.  Even if it needed to happen at some point, most of us try to shield our children for things for a long time.  The innocence of youth is lost one goldfish at a time.

So, lately her biggest concern has been volcanos.  Why volcanos?  We have no idea.  My wife is a homemaker, so we can’t blame it on childcare, and none of us can remember having a show or any other such thing on television.  She even had a terrible dream that her grandpa was going to throw her into one.  None of us can figure it out.  It’s so damned strange.

For the last couple weeks she’s been gently pleading with me about keeping the volcanos away at bedtime.  “No volcanos Daddy.”  “No honey, no volcanos.”  To combat this I took a recent gift from her grandmother (a crocheted pillow with an elephant head in one corner) and poked in her bed one night.  I told her that the little elephant was made to protect her from volcanos.  There would be no volcanos so we didn’t need to be afraid of them with the elephant next to her.  If she got scared, all she needed to do was cuddle the elephant and it would all go away.  Of course, this is an easy promise to keep because we’re just not in that kind of area right now.  Our area used to be a super-volcano that has since migrated.  Everywhere you look in our area, there is some form of lava rock.  Jutting up out of a field, used for a foundation, and even some structures were built out of it in the 1920s and 1930s.  Most of the five-hour drive to Yellowstone, and you can see the flows are much younger than where we live.  Now that we’re done with the history lesson, let’s proceed.

This tactic of alleviating and channeling fear into the elephant pillow has worked like a champ.  It has done exactly what it was supposed to do.  I was thinking about it last night, and it was a small touch of magic.  We had intent, there was an item involved and there were outward actions.  Heck, there were even words involved when I explained what it was and what it did.  If you look at it in its most basic form, it’s magic.  If there was a volcanic eruption would it protect her?  No way.  The real part of it is that it has removed those fears from her.

People do this all the time for their kids.  Then at some point, they take it away from them.  To little N it works 100% the way it’s supposed to.  There are no volcanos and no threat from them, and that’s it.  I’m sure that some of you reading this blog (agree or disagree with it) have done some of the same things.  Why do we take this away from them as they get older?  They lose Santa (totally unsustainable, but a loss in their eyes), the elephant, and many other things they believe just because that’s the way they are.  My wife was always told growing up that the auras and sensitivity she has wasn’t real.  She suppressed it as hard as hard as she could until she met me.  After about a year she told me and my reaction was just kind of neutral.  I accepted it for what it was.  I was still involved with the Catholic church at that point and I still accepted there were things out there that I didn’t understand.

I think that’s going to be one of the hardest things around here.  Even if she accepts or even celebrates whatever she knows or can do, it’s going to receive a bad response her entire life. I just don’t want her to be ashamed or afraid of whatever beliefs she has, even if it is different from C and me.  Heck, if she wants to be a main-stream religion, I’ll be glad she found a home there.  Atheist with no occult orientation?  Badass.  I hope she challenges me on my beliefs, I hope she studies other religions and cultures as much as she can and just unsettles my own beliefs.

The thing that I do not want is to take that journey away from her, and I don’t want to let others take that away either.  Disagreement?  Fine.  Ending up as a bit of an outcast?  A shame, but acceptable.  Calling everything bullshit and trying to take that belief away entirely?  Piss off.  Leave the elephant alone.  Even if it seems silly in a couple of years, it doesn’t mean it never worked.  It just means that the need for it went away.  And last night while we were putting on her PJs, I gave her a kiss and told her to never let someone do that to her.

Perhaps I’m doing it right.  Perhaps I’m doing it wrong.  Either way, it will be her choice about her own beliefs.

I love little N, I love what I believe, and I will fight for her to the death.

–DS

Chaos has been a big part of healing…

A while back I wrote a post about mental health and non-traditional religious/spiritual practices, and I wondered if the ‘pros’ were correct in their assumptions that abnormal beliefs were a red-flag for many different classifications of disorder names that they could throw at you.  It makes you question your beliefs, your sanity, and the things you experience that are outside the ‘norm’.

Recently though, I’ve had a few biggies that made a huge difference in the way I see myself and even others.  mostly me though.  I’m allowed to do that on my own blog ;)

The first confirmation was a huge section I wrote in my personal files.  I keep them because  I consider them to be more of a part of my work rather than part of my journey (which is what I tend to share on here).  They don’t really don’t do me any good, they just help set concepts and new knowledge into my head, and act as a form of ‘thinking out loud’ without bugging my wife.

I was reading a week ago and I hit something creepy in a book.  It was an entire chapter that sounded like I wrote it.  The concepts were identical, and some of the explanations were almost entirely verbatim.  These were things I know that I came up on my own through much trial and error, and TONS of meditation.  I only acquired the book about two weeks ago, and the entry was many months old.  Somehow I came to the exact same conclusion about things that someone had through my own methods.  The person that wrote it isn’t even alive.  Somehow that makes it better.  I guess because you’re less likely to be exposed to it?

Another thing that happened just a few days later confirmed one of my favorite meditating techniques, and the way I do it.  Throughout my journey with meditation I have always tried to find better ways of doing it, including trying different tools (no, not drugs.  Ever.) to help the experience.  I found binaural beats a while ago and really enjoyed the experience I had with it.  I kept fine-tuning the frequency I used when I meditated to get the best results.  After quite a long-stretch of experimentation I ended up at 7.6hz as my favorite to meditate with.

My wife’s Dr. told her (he’s a medical Dr. and a master of eastern philosophy) that the earth resonates a 7.8hz frequency (true) and that the body can too.  He said that everyone needs to experience it at least twice per day.  Certain activities, that can vary by person, can cause this frequency for a few moments, but it’s all the brain needs to get what it wants.

Do I even need to point out how close those frequencies are?  Talk about confirmation from an outside source.  My wife didn’t even know what frequency I used, only that I used binaural beats when I meditated.  I’m definitely going to try 7.8hz the next time I do and see if that slight adjustment makes things just a little bit easier to achieve.  Not to sound too shamanistic, but that frequency could really tune you into the Earth, which has some useful tools associated with it.  Nothing against shamanism, I really enjoyed that portion of my training, it’s just not the bulk of my practice; although some of my experience with meditation could easily be described along those lines.

All of that rolls down to the original point I was making in the beginning: mental health.  If you take someone who has a condition or two pop up in their life, mostly from genetic predisposition, but you add the non-traditional beliefs, it throws you into an entirely different category.  Compound that with the primary problem being so severe that it can present itself as other conditions and you can get shoved into a bucket of psychiatric misery.  Some of the things they say are wrong with you can only be treated by medication, especially if your beliefs and other behaviors don’t change.

I’m sure you can tell I’m talking about myself by now, so here’s the bucket of love involved.  I have severe PTSD (not from the military) and a predisposition to bipolar disorder.  The short part of it is that the PTSD was so severe that it presented as bipolar, etc, etc, etc… and all of the symptoms of that, anxiety, panic, social anxiety, and especially the ‘non-traditional’ beliefs threw me into the “Borderline Personality Disorder” category.  Hit it up on Wikipedia, it’s not a pretty thing.  But wait, what’s that?  A year and a half of therapy for the PTSD by a therapist who respected my beliefs made a difference?  Without the PTSD running around rampantly I don’t hardly present the symptoms of anything else?

Before my therapist moved last week (sad), I gave her privacy clearance to disclose everything about our progress and sessions to the new med lady.  I saw her for the first time today and she wants to remove the bulk, if not all, of my medication because of what we did in therapy.  So I guess that the non-traditional beliefs don’t matter any more.  Nice.

So, between the outside confirmations of some of my beliefs and practices, and the confirmation that the medical world doesn’t care since I’m too far out of the bucket for them to use belief against me, I’m feeling pretty damn good about things.  I’m not crazy in (some) of my beliefs in many different areas of my life.  Also, the work that I’ve done for the last few years has meant something.  Not just in the confirmed beliefs, but that the comfort I found in my studies was as therapeutic as it felt.

I’m not one to share emotions on here very often, but I just thought I’d share this little story with everyone.  The moral of the story?  If people tell you that you’re crazy for believing whatever it is you’re all about, just say something rude back and laugh at them.  I know that as Chaotes we can adopt any belief system we want at any time, or even waffle and mix them if we’d like, but if you believe in them, it’s never wrong.  It’s one of the fundamentals of Chaos.  Believe it.  Be it.  Own it.

D.S.

What is the ether…

Right after my post yesterday, I was asked what the ether was, and if I could explain it more.  When asked that question I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever explained it on here, even though I’ve used the term many times.  To me, the ether is glue that bonds, the energy that powers, and the gateway to all that we know.

First, in my system of belief and interpretation, the ether is what holds the soul.  Since there is no way to prove the soul exists, it really just comes down to processing the information that is available to you and choosing from there.  The information could be from belief in ghosts, earlier religious teachings, or even just a hunch you have.

I am a believer in the soul with a true will, so that makes me one of the most difficult kinds of Atmanists out there. (Note: I hate it when people make up words.  Atman(ist) is from the Liber Kaos p. 177)  Having this belief does make some forms of what I do more difficult, but it’s who I am.  As a part of this belief I find it necessary that the soul be something.  If a soul can haunt someone, reincarnate, ‘cross over’, or whatever different ideas that people believe in, there must be some form of cohesive energy that binds its composition.  What is this energy called?  Who knows.  The force?  The holy spirit?  Elmer’s glue?  I can’t say what it is because I have no idea of how such a thing would work.  So, I call it ether.

I don’t believe that it’s what makes up a soul; that it something entirely different.  I just believe that the ether is a force like any other that can interact with things.  For example: If you  tried to trap a soul/demon/ghost in a shoebox (I’ve seen sillier) I don’t think you’d really want to reach out with the same energy that something was made of.  What would happen?  Would it get stronger?  Be destroyed?  Add or remove some unplanned electricity into one of our happy little electronic devices and see what happens.  Now, grab it with a hand, a shoe, or let your cat smack it around for a while and it should survive the situation, even if it does have a couple of scratches.  Ether is what lets us interact with things on the ‘other side’, but like electricity, it can also be used to power what we do.

Some groups pray to a single god-form, others pray to a few or all of a pantheon of deities, and all of these are possible with Chaos (Kaos, whatever).  Some of us though can be deity-transient (using whichever god-form we find useful at the moment), create our own god-forms (Larry, god of the lawnmower), or be completely atheistic.  As an atheistic Chaote, my practice is designed to work with the forces that make things happen.  This, in my opinion, is controlled by the ether, the power source of magic.  Ether is typically manipulated with the subconscious implanting of intent, but there are rare times when it can be worked with directly.  They seem to happen more with time and practice, but it’s not always a sure thing when dealing with sorcery, shamanism, or ritualistic magic.  The times where it happens more often than not is during astral magic.

When I first started to do astral magic it was really an interesting experience.  It was a great compliment to the meditation I was already so fond of, so it came quite naturally to me.  The problem was that sometimes I would have uninvited guests in my astral travels.  Not another person travelling, or a Jehovah’s Witness banging on my astral door, but entities that can come in and out of things.  I became curious as to where they came from, so I started to try to figure it out.  Eventually I found the ether.  The source of it all.

It’s very hard to describe.  It’s like the energy and force that runs through all things wrapped up in a ubiquitous ball of powerful nothingness.  I know.  It makes no sense to me either.  If reality is an illusion, ether keeps the illusion intact.  If magic intervenes, ether is what guided it.  The astral is nothing more than a subset of the ether.  The ether itself breathes.  It has a rhythm.  It ebbs and flows like the tides in the sea.  It contains both the sacred and profane who try to move to what lies beyond it.

When I first started understanding it felt enlightening and liberating, but now I realize that it has just caused more questions, more to learn, and the realization that I know less than I did before when compared to the overall magnitude of things.  I can’t tell you how to get there, how to feel it, or how to experience it.  It’s not because I’m a greedy ass, it’s just because my work slowly gave me information that I could use.  Then connections were drawn, new hypotheses made and tested, etc.  Combine that with a couple of fortuitous finds, and I have my current understanding of things.

That understanding has changed and it will again.  It’s the nature of Chaos.  Half of the stuff on this blog (especially the older stuff) is total crap and out of date.  The experiences I had and the conclusions I drew were all accurate in my mind at the time of writing, but having grown and expanded my knowledge, I can see that a lot of it is very simple, rookie thinking about the entire situation.  That’s part of learning, so I leave the information alone to chronicle the journey.  The Servitors page (the most popular on the blog) may be an interesting read, but there is some information that is simply wrong (kind of).  Which parts?  I won’t tell unless I update it.  It’s quite the paradigm shit to my existing one.  If I do another, I will present it as an alternative and leave the original intact, as people seem to enjoy the simplicity that it offers.

So there is the ether completely unexplained in just over 1,000 words.  There is no big takeaway from this one, only that it’s the name I use for a number of forces and concepts that all seem interrelated to me.  As always, don’t believe it until you’ve tried it.

D.S.

There is a storm brewing in the distance…

A (sample) sigil as an iPad painting.

A (sample) sigil as an iPad painting. (Mine)

It’s odd.  My wife is a sensitive and I don’t really share that gift with her.  Once in a while there is something so strong, or so close to me that I can get a read off of it, but normally it’s just something that’s not a part of my life.  Now magic, that’s quite the different story.

Everybody seems to have their own definition of what the magical force is that seems to drive the entire universe in an esoteric way.  Even Christians have the Holy Spirit, which is a force very similar to others that so many believe in.  I decided to settle on ether (Æther is such a pain in the ass to type) because it rolls off the tongue and it’s not such a funky name that it feels awkward to say it in public.

Now that I’ve been into things for a while, I can get a good read of the currents and waves within the ether when it’s involved in my works. It’s there all the way from simple divination to some of the deep, dark work that I enjoy so much.  Lately there has been something in the ether that seems strange.  It’s a bit hard to describe, but it’s something not quite right.

Normally, to me, the ether has a natural ebb and flow to it.  At times it is stronger than usual, other times the tide seems to be out a bit.  It simply changes the methods and effort required to get the results you need.  The last few weeks there has been something turbulent, making it difficult to control, changing the strength of spells.  It doesn’t really matter the kind of spell, or the casting difficulty, they can fizzle or fire too hard without any way of controlling it.

This whole thing feels like the wind on the edge of a storm; very turbulent and very unpredictable.  Almost like a chaos within the chaos.  If you look at the nature of chaos,the math or the magic, variables are a big part of any type of prediction or success respectively.  The additional instability of the power source itself is quite possibly one of the worst variables I have every worked with.  It’s very unpredictable right now.

I’m not sure if this kind of thing is happening everywhere, but wherever I reach into the ether it is filled with instability.  I enjoy working with the ether stream directly.  I like to feel it move through my work.  I suppose I could build an item or two to help with things being so turbulent.  I could do something that would restrict the stream to its relative low point so I could work with a consistent minimum amount, making my work take a lot longer for the more complex ones.  I could also make something that works like a battery that would store what I need for later use.  I’m not even sure the last idea would work, and the ether always feels like such a living stream when I work with it, it would really be a shame to try to stifle it within a container of sorts.

My real hope is that things mellow out in the near future.  I’m already a bit timid trying to work things right now, but if they get more turbulent, who knows what it would be like.  You just have to ask yourself: If turns into a storm, do you want to buckle down inside of a safe shelter, or do you want to become Benjamin Franklin with his kite (yes, it’s a myth) and unlock more secrets than you knew could even exist.

I’m not sure if this is just the place where I pull from, but if it’s everywhere the turbulence is huge.  It just may be a passing storm that I’m getting the edge of, or it could hit straight on. The only way I’ll be able to tell is by reaching regularly and seeing what the ether holds.

–DS

Remember:  There is a Google+ community about these sorts of things.  Join us!

What a ride.

With this screwdriver bit set... I can take ap...

With this screwdriver bit set… I can take apart the universe (Photo credit: chrismetcalf)

I’ve been slacking a bit lately since I’m entirely hooked on Borderlands 2, especially now that I have my new video card.

What I have been doing is a bit of personal magic to tidy things up a bit in my own life.  A bit of Illumination here, a bit of evocation there, and even a litte bit of red.

Illumination magic is quite simple when performed on one’s self.  For me, it comes primarily from meditation, but once in a while there is outside source that gives you a little kick in the butt to help you down the road of illumination.

I’m still not out of the woods yet, but I’m right on the edge of being slapped with a bunch of drugs that would render me useless.  Not fun.  It would lead to disability because I would be entirely non-functional.  So, my Dr. and I are working the opposite direction and embracing my crazy and letting me go apeshit and just have a damn good time with it.  Odd.  He must be nutty as hell tool.  It’s either that or zombie mode.  No zombies.

I don’t really even need to point out that this concepts caused a LOT of meditation and thought on the subject, and I had to learn a lot about myself and the way I think and feel about everything.

So, if I’m going to run around like a lunatic I need to embrace the crazy and enjoy it to the point of it being the best part about me.  I don’t need to run nude down the street because I’m feeling really good, but I shouldn’t try and repress everything so deep that I can’t be who I want/need to be.  So I’ve been trying to wear the coat of this new me around, and it’s working quite well.  I have a good chunk of crazy to play with even though I’m at max dose on all my meds (one is even over max) so it’s a fun thing to play with, and it’s going quite well.  I’m not sure how this will go when the gates are let loose and all the water comes rushing out, but only time will tell that one.

My little hunk of red has just been screwing with peoples’ minds using the topic of the last post I did.  We have a really religious community here, so talk of anything but some form of Geebus is just not heard of.  I’ve been talking a little about my work with people and saying things like, “Advertising is nothing more than changing the reality of someone’s mind.  After an ad or two they want things they didn’t before; they know things they didn’t before; or even do things they didn’t before.  If you believe in all that weird esoteric stuff, it sounds like what those magic guys are trying to do.”

The few I’ve done this to just sit there for a moment and think.  Dead quiet.  Then they change the topic to something pointless to divert the conversation.

I enjoy popping belief bubbles.  I like people to question everything and ask every question.  The more I find out the less I know.  There is a concept within the book Chaos (the math, not the magic) that deals with the population of tigers and the variables that can be involved with it.  (my mind may be a bit fuzzy on this one)  It came to constantly diverging paths.  Every generation of tigers could produce a number of cubs, which could then produce x more cubs based on availability of quantity and gender of the previous batch.  Anyway, the pattern just kept spreading and spreading over time due to the variables involved.  To me, that’s how a lot of my knowledge of esoteric topics go.  Figuring out one thing presents two more things to learn, and so on.  Some may even fork 3 or more times.  All of this information cannot be understood by one person, nor can it be wrapped up in a nice, neat package that is correct in any way.  It’s convenient to think otherwise, but it just isn’t so.

If you haven’t yet; pop your own bubble.  It’ll be the hardest, most confusing thing you’ve ever done in your life.  Many times you’ll feel very spiritually alone in your pursuits, but there are oases out there where you can commune with like-minded people on your journey.  Just make sure that they are a passing part of your journey, not those who tend to wrap things in a box for you.

I always lie.

D.S.

Our daily exposure to magic…

"Remember - i before e, except in Budweis...

“Remember – i before e, except in Budweiser” – Happy FRISKY FRIDAY!!! (2929068862) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, the Superbowl has now come and gone, and everybody can settle down with the results until next season.  Wether your favorite team won or lost, I thought it was an exciting and amazing show of athleticism and strength on both sides.  That said, let’s look at the really interesting side of the Superbowl: the commercials.

I didn’t find (most of) this year’s commercials as entertaining as ones from previous years, but they still are a perfect example of our daily exposure to magic.  The bulk of modern people wouldn’t consider commercials and other forms of advertising to be magic, but if you really look at the base of what both are trying to accomplish, and the way they are trying to do it, they are more alike than they are different.

I know different disciplines use tools that Chaotes can borrow from, but at the heart of Chaos is the understanding that the purpose of anything that we do is to implant an idea into the subconscious that will be executed without conscious involvement.  The same is true for advertising.  They don’t care, or even want you to think about one of their commercials when you are looking for a product, they want you to reach for it naturally, without thinking about why you’re even getting it.  ‘I need detergent, let’s get a box of Tide.’  Or at worst is something like: ‘I need a box of detergent, the new Purex crystals sound neat so I’ll try it.”  How many product names can you think of?  About  a gazillion is my guess.  There are products on the shelves that I won’t even try because ‘I don’t know anything about them.”  I’ve never bought or tried some of the items in a store, but if I am going to, the first thing I look for is a ‘known commodity’, a.k.a. a brand I’ve had good luck with on other products.

The main concept behind many of these commercials is ‘branding’.  Most of the commercials on the big game yesterday didn’t even try to sell you anything directly (0% APR car financing, etc.).  They just showed you things funny/neat/bizarre so they became new in your mind, and more easily slipped down into the subconscious, implanting it for non-conscious recognition in the future.  That’s not me relating it to Chaos, that’s just the name of the game.  Did you see all the Nike logos on every piece of equipment on the field?  Me neither.  They’re so heavily implanted that the subtile swoosh doesn’t do anything but reinforce the brand they work so hard to maintain.

Now, think about the concept of a sigil, a ritual, or even meditation for the purpose of spell casting.  You are simply trying to slip the information into your own subconscious so it can act without any conscious thought.  Instead of grabbing something off the shelf, you are just aiming that your astral/ethereal self/energy (or whatever you think it is) will make things happen that result in the final outcome.

They aim for automatic brand recognition and action results by the target, we aim for action results without source recognition by the target (mostly).

This concept of ‘branding’ and other tools within advertising are almost exact in their process to Chaos techniques that work incredibly well.  The vast majority of the population has no idea that these concepts are so closely linked.  It would either freak them out about advertising, or it would help legitimize magic as a valid discipline.  They may not be swayed in their religious/spiritual views about the evil/good nature of the practice, but perhaps it would be taken more seriously, and people would be more questioning of advertisements.  Or perhaps people would just call shenanigans and stay the way they are because it’s easier that way.  It would probably be that last one.

It makes me smile to know that people eat this stuff up like candy because it makes my job a lot easier.  When I design ads/commercials I just ‘brand’ the hell out of things and people turn to us without question.  Both of the national competitors in our area combined don’t do 1/3 the business we do.  Why?  Anywhere you look in this valley there is our logo.  The college, high school stadiums, every charity advertisement, news, print, boards, television, pre-movies ads, etc.  We even cut the ‘name’ portion off of our logo and simply use that symbol (a sigil?) on some campaigns.  For a period we had a board up with nothing but the symbol on a white background.  We received tons of compliments on it.

They were all moved towards us and only rarely do we advertise a specific product or service.  When we do, we have massive influxes from those promotions.

It’s a pretty well ‘branded’ company, no?  We’ve even reduced our standard branding statements into a single sigil (like the Nike swoosh) that represents everything that we have implanted into our customers’ minds.  To me that’s magic, and it’s awesome.  I love to watch us do it and I love to see it on a national level.  I’m a sucker for it.  That kind of thing just works too well.

D.S.

The cards are just so unbelievable sometimes…

English: Tarot cards. Français : Jeu de tarot....

English: Tarot cards. Français : Jeu de tarot. Différences avec l’image originale : Isolation du sujet : Arrière-plan blanc Élargissement de l’image (plus d’espace autour) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been using tarot cards for quite a while now, and I have become accustomed to using and interpreting them.  They give me an incredible insight into many different topics, and are about the only diving tool that I have any faith in at all.  Despite this comfort and familiarity with them, sometimes they just astound me in ways I never thought possible.

When I was asking the cards about the topics in my previous post, it said one of the most important things I could do lay in my continuing and increasing of my writings.  I know that many of you do not know me on a personal level, but the writings aren’t usually a big deal for me.  Unless it’s something strange, I can read it (or discover it) and that’s it, so the slowing of my writings have become no big deal in my mind.  I was just writing down information that I knew anyway.

At the recommendation of the cards I began writing many of the things I have learned in recent times down to see if I could draw any new connections within the information, which is one of the bonuses that I do get from writing.  I’ve been writing almost every evening for the past few weeks, just purging all of the recent information I have onto paper (yes, paper).

Then it hit me.  My memory started to wane.  My short-term memory has gone to complete garbage.  Earlier in the week I received a text that a friend was coming to get me, replied to him, and about a half-hour later someone in the office said that my friend had been waiting outside the office for quite a while.  I know it only takes him about 5 minutes to get here, but when I asked him why he didn’t tell me he was coming he looked really confused.  I had no recollection of having received the text, or having sent a reply at all.  Nothing.  If I didn’t see the reply on my own phone I would have thought he was kidding.  It turns out that this is not the only isolated incident.

All of a sudden this is becoming a severe problem.  My short-term memory has gone to crap and my mid-term memory seems to be slipping a bit.  I had a med tweak not too long ago, so I’m pretty sure it has to do with that.  My hands shake, I can’t stay awake at work, and now I have to write everything down or I’ll forget it in a matter of minutes.

This is exactly what the cards were talking about.  Some of the big-time information that I have learned was committed to paper, and when I look at them now, they are like someone else wrote them. Weeks of information and insight would have been lost, and possibly not recovered.  I may have to become one of those crazy guys that is always talking into a micro recorder.

I’m fairly confident that switching back to my old medication routine (or a completely different set) will set everything on a solid path, but acting on the information given to me by the cards saved me from some serious loss of my studies.  Many of these little revelations lead to big ones later, and to have lost them would have been a shame.

If you use the tarot, listen well.  They can tell you more than you think.

D.S.