“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Two Questions on Magic, From an Unpublished Interview

This interview was originally regarding the Necrofascist audio/video project intended for an Industrial/Noise magazine from Finland called FREAK ANIMAL 13, in March 2007 (never realized for various reasons). This is just a small segment from the interview, which has been expanded and updated for inclusion in my next book.

Black magic – would you say that it is mostly based on enthralling seduction and domination / submission, or that it involves collaboration with, submission to entities, psychic “non-beings”? You seem rather opposed to any practice or exploration involving the use of psychoactive / psychedelic drugs; why?

Satanic magic is divided into “lesser” and “greater” types, with some overlap. Lesser magic is about straightforward manipulation in the psychological sense. Greater magic is also based on psychological manipulation but in a more abstract sense, and operatively working from the premise that personal “bio-adrenal” energy is capable of being projected and somehow swaying events. This is as much of a hypothetical stretch as you will find in Satanic magic. “Gods and Demons” or whatever, are recognized as facets of the human psyche and imagination. Disbelief may be suspended temporarily for the purpose of magic, but Satanism doesn’t postulate the objective existence of discarnate intelligences – there are just too many blatant philosophical problems in doing so. Some of the better, intellectually rigorous, practitioners of traditional ceremonial magic will maintain this distinction, but most slip frequently into belief in literal entities, and a huge number of them “believe” in the crudest sense of the term, that is really corny and inept, not to mention delusional. Even if someone has a powerful visionary or religious experience that seems to confirm, emotionally or psychologically, the "reality" of a discarnate intelligence, it is just not the same as the existential existence of the person living next door, although the psychological significance may be many times more profound. This is the epistemological dumpster most magicians fall in when dealing with this type of material. It is as “real” as, say, your feelings for your parent, pet, or child, but it is still happening within the confines of your subjective mind and cannot be demonstrated at the level of “real” as the existence of your car, or a hammer, or whatever, can be. Virtually all claims of verification of “reality” at that level disintegrate under scrutiny. But as I said “real” is an easily equivocated term. It is important to not lose your bearings in recognizing the distinction between the “realities” of your inner psychic landscape vs. the “reality” of the landscape outside your front door.

My issue with drugs is that there is literally nothing that can be accomplished in relation to magic with drugs that cannot be accomplished better without them. Even if you are engaged in a system of magic, unlike Satanism, that places a central emphasis on visionary experience or altered states of consciousness. I say this from experience by the way and not from a theoretical armchair perspective. Drugs do damage, not just physically but to you individual’s sense of perspective and judgment in evaluating their own inner states. Someone can take a hallucinogen and within thirty minutes something as mundane as a grocery list is overflowing with cosmic significance. This frame of mind can be achieved without drugs, with all collateral feelings of wonder, or whatever, by cultivated and creative suspension of disbelief if the person needs to experiment with this type of altered perspective for reasons of their own. The problem is most people lack the mental discipline and breadth of mind to maintain perspective on these altered states even without drugs. Most people aren’t that smart or disciplined. Add drugs into the mix and their already-tenuous perspective on the world around them is blown completely. That is the reason I detest those sixties counter-culture types such as Timothy Leary, and later Robert Anton Wilson, for validating drugs to larger numbers of people completely incapable of handing them, not that they themselves were capable of handing them. Leary was an intellectual waste case, a space cadet, by the time he died, and Wilson died in poverty, unable to cash in his cutesy psychedelic counter-culture clout. Nothing to admire there. “Turn on, tune in, drop out” was one of the worst ideas ever fobbed off on the masses. Not that I am protective of the masses, mind you, but it increased the overall quantity of “damaged goods” roaming around on two legs. Increased the number of faulty human livestock and human parasites. Bad idea.

It could be considered, I heard it, that LaVey’s Satanism is more indulging with rationalism, relativization and materialism than e.g. A. Crowley or A.O. Spare; do you agree? Which differences would you make between Luciferism and Satanism, if any? Would you use a word such as “gnosis”, what does it mean for you?

Yes. Definitely. In The Satanic Bible, Dr. LaVey spends as much time debunking and attacking the type of occultism and eastern mysticism that was popular at the time as he does attacking Judeo-Christianity. LaVey was entirely non-transcendental in orientation. Crowley and the Golden Dawn were very transcendental in orientation. But here’s the rub; one of the few things people like Leary and his fan Robert Anton Wilson were correct about is that human “spirituality” is essentially a neural phenomenon, and people such as Crowley, Spare, or even Ramakrishna or Vivekananda, were merely exploring and transmitting methods allowing individuals to tweak their own neural experiences. Crowley was aware of this at times but still got swept up in literal mysticism and transcendentalism. Both Leary and Wilson floated off into lala-land, probably a result of their neural systems being fried out of whack by all the drugs they were taking. And this is what virtually all of Crowley’s followers miss – what I perceive to be the core message of Crowley’s “system” – that “religious experience” is not that far out of reach for anyone if they pursue the methods he gave, whether those of ceremonial magic, yoga, or whatever – it is not that hard to induce a religious or “spiritual” experience (without drugs). The result of this should have been the realization that religious experience is not that big of a deal – to bring it down to earth, so to speak, realizing that it was as accessible as masturbation. Instead it keyed the unwashed rabble into having such experiences and falling into the time-worn traps of thinking they are something special, or messianic, or whatever – still caught up in unwarranted mystique.

Crowley, Leary, and Wilson of course also advocated value systems that elevated the spaced-out mystic above the scientist or rationalist, or the cunning and worldly – they valued St. Francis over Machiavelli – where Satanism is the exact opposite. From a Satanic perspective, I would say, so long as you have your affairs in order and don’t float off permanently to cloud nine, that there is no reason an individual should not experiment with these methods (without illegal drugs) if they find them useful, instructive, or inspiring in a psychological or artistic sense – just don’t mistake the readily accessible experience of having visions for a special message from the gods that you are something more than you are. From a psychological point of view this type of thing can be very illuminating. From an artistic point of view it can be an invaluable source of ideas and inspiration. Unfortunately most people are too mentally weak to handle it without suffering from inflated egos or ridiculous delusions of grandeur – such as happened with Crowley and a number of people I have known personally. They lost all perspective and suffered for it. They have no concept of what Satanists refer to as "The Balance Factor" - a key ingredient of successful magic.

A.O. Spare was interesting, and as Dr. LaVey has stated in interviews, much closer to the Satanic perspective, and of use in Satanic magic, than Crowley. I think Spare was genuinely muddled in much of his thinking. Reading his works, anyone with adequate reading skills accustomed to filtering through abstract material will recognize that Spare is more distorted than profound in his thought processes – but his system of using monograms (sigils), the alphabet of desire, etc. is very adaptable to the Satanic Intellectual Decompression Chamber and practical magic. Most of the would-be magicians trying to follow in his steps, such as Andrew Chumbley, etc. have failed miserably – mediocre imitators – but they will always find a market because most of the kids whoring after magic, so-called “chaos magic” or Grant’s “Typhonian” material, are for the most part desperate consumers – they’ll go after anything with similar pretenses or marketed with the right buzzwords.

You want “Luciferian”? Look in The Satanic Bible, “The Book of Lucifer.” That demonstrates what real Luciferianism is. Not the puerile transcendentalist nonsense offered under that name by pseudo-satanists invariably postulating some literal entity that they can grovel before – what a load of pretentious childish horseshit – the same crap offered by every gaggle of pseudo-satanists that comes along.

“Gnosis” just means knowledge. A real gnosis – in the sense of self-knowledge – could be had through a combination of Project Faust and what I mentioned above, in the form of cultivated methods of self-knowledge – C.G. Jung was something of a Gnostic in this sense – a sense that I can feel some respect toward, rather than the corner bookshop version of pompous “mystic” with nothing of substance to offer regarding anything. Anyone can have a boatload of visions and voices – anyone who dreams when they sleep already does – it doesn’t add up to real research, sustained thought, self-education, and introspection – especially conjoined with worldly experience. Put them to the test, they invariably fail.

JDS