Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Michael Hoffman’s Fundamental Paranoia
Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare (Independent History and Research, 2001)

It is hard to imagine a more penetrating intelligence shackled to so drearily conservative a weltanschauung as that evidenced by the case of Michael Hoffman. In Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, Hoffman offers some astonishing insights into the murky waters of Masonic Sorcery Theater and postmodern political intrigue. Yet Hoffman appears to have become unhinged under the impact of his own revelations, because the work overall is severely reduced by the “moral” conclusions and personal judgments which the author imposes upon his findings, and upon his readers.

Hoffman casts judgment not merely upon the political factions who (he argues) control our society at every level via the abuse of certain occult principals; he also throws into question the practice of occultism itself. In fact, Hoffman’s perspective is almost perfectly aligned with that of American fundamentalism, even though in other regards he is as set against this group as he is (apparently) against everyone else. Hoffman’s fall-guys (either the perpetrators or patsies of his hypothetical dark agenda) include John Dee, Aleister Crowley, Eliphas Levi, Robert Anton Wilson, Terence McKenna, and the first Matrix movie (bizarrely, Hoffman is a fan of the Hannibal Lecter books and movies). His vitriol would probably also be aimed at Carlos Castaneda, Jacques Vallee, John Keel, Whitley Strieber, and any other decent “occult” writer, alive or dead (besides Hoffman, that is), if Hoffman only had the time.

One exception is Jim Keith, whom Hoffman labels an “anti-occult” writer, as if bestowing the highest possible recommendation thereby; Hoffman even hints that Keith’s death (admittedly suspicious) resulted from his courageous denunciation of occultism (news to me). At times, Hoffman’s viewpoint suggests that only those personages murdered for their beliefs (such as “anti-Freemason” Edgar Allan Poe—victim of “the group mind”—and Christopher Marlowe) are to be trusted. He never toys with the possibility that his omnipotent God (to whom he pays repeated lip service throughout the work) might protect His most loyal agents from such harm; apparently only Hoffman’s all-powerful Cryptocracy gets to decide between life and death.

Hoffman’s fundamental paranoia posits a global plot that is nothing less than the groundwork for “the open, undisguised rule of Satan himself.” He lumps together all occult interests or pursuits without exception as part and parcel of this fiendish plot. Kabbala, and occultism in general, are not merely systems that have been abused by unscrupulous individuals, they are corrupt in and of themselves—and not merely in the sense of being impure, either, but downright evil. Woe betide anyone duped by the clever manipulations and sinister mind games of this diabolical clique—whom Hoffman charges with the ultimate sin of hubris—into thinking that we might actually take a conscious hand in our own development. As Hoffman has it, the only sound way to live is in perfect subjugation to his (Christian) God, to accept our limitations and renounce “Satan,” and all heretical (occult) teachings along with him (except Hoffman’s). Hoffman even recommends that those wanting true wisdom read the Bible.

He writes: “It was God who intervened to set limits, to make division, to sow boundaries and separation . . . Therefore we know that the authors of machine unity and language are diabolic and not divine and that unity when used in the sense of universal, secular ‘new order’ is in fact a very antiquated order despised by God. . . There hangs the cleavage in Western history: between the soothsayers of unrestrained expansion and the upholders of limits prescribed by divine law.” (pg. 140, my italics)

To give him his due, Hoffman does make an extremely strong case for our present culture being both inherently corrupt and corrupting. It’s just that the way he argues his case undermines it so badly. Hoffman never seems to consider the possibility that the occult symbols, teachings and terminologies abused by secret societies for their own malevolent ends might have some value beyond the sordid uses to which they have been put. In tracing humanity’s “fall” to the inception of such systems, he leaps to the conclusion that this alone is proof of their untrustworthiness. The idea that these tools and symbols are now all we have left to navigate the darkness cast by the loss of divine consciousness does not occur to Hoffman; or if it does, he dismisses it as more obfuscation, coming between us and necessary surrender to the Supreme Being.

Hoffman’s God, like his Satan, is an external force to be worshipped and obeyed (or resisted and reviled) if we are to escape the awful snare of devilish lies laid down by the controlling elite. Primary among these is the Masonic blasphemy, “There is no God but Man.” Ironically, Hoffman seems to admire William Blake, even though Blake advocated this same “blasphemy,” when he wrote that God can only express and manifest through, in, and as Man. Hoffman is too busy directing his fear and loathing against the egomaniacal black magicians, apparently, to tell the difference between those who wish to supplant or deny the divine, and those who wish to embody it. As a result, his book is every bit as infuriating as it is revelatory.

At one point, Hoffman admits that, by revealing the schemes of the dark cabal, he may be unwittingly serving its ends. Then he goes ahead and does it anyway. Quoting British Intelligence, he writes: “Realizing that our activities will sooner or later come to light, we structure our activities so that as conspiracy researchers unravel them, they will release information into the public consciousness in such a way that it mirror our initiatory procedure. In this way, the more we are investigated, the more masses of people are psychologically processed by the very people who seek to expose us. The meme that constitutes our essential structure is then successfully mimicked within the consciousness of those who investigate us. Success can then be measured precisely to the extent that our work is ‘exposed.’” (pg. 77)

Hoffman goes on:
“To reveal these after-the-act secrets in our modern time, to a people who have no memory, no will power and no interest in their own fate except so far as it may serve as momentary titillation and entertainment actually strengthens the enslavement of such a people. . . Exposure and publicity by themselves, without a broader understanding of the epistemology of the Hermetic alchemical control process itself, is worse than useless, it actually plays into the hands of the conspirators.” (pg. 78-9)

Perhaps the secret fear of playing into the hands of his adversaries is the reason Hoffman is so hell-bent on propagating his moral and religious beliefs? It might also explain his insistence on advocating the supremacy of “God,” and the corresponding danger and folly of self-advancement through “sorcery.” By such means, Hoffman can feel he is getting a “positive” message out there, along with his dark and possibly harmful revelations of the method.

Yet it struck me while reading this book that Hoffman’s “message,” and the spin he gives to his revelations, is serving the Masonic agenda far more than he imagines. By demonizing occult truths and the individuals who helped disseminate them, Hoffman is effectively scaring his readers away from the heretical notion of taking their destinies into their own hands. He is advocating the old rituals and discouraging individual thought or soul exploration (“mind expansion” as he disparagingly calls it), in favor of reading the Bible. Maybe Hoffman took some bad acid back in the sixties? For a pioneer of paranoid awareness, he’s a real square.

Aeolus Kephas, October 2006

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Workshop of the Gods
Lyn Birkbeck's Divine Astrology

“The unveiling of the company of heaven. Every man and woman is a star. Every number is infinite; there is no difference.” —The Book of the Law

“As long as you see the stars as something over you, you lack the eye of a man of knowledge.” —Nietzsche

“The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in ourselves.” —Shakespeare

These three quotes might sum up the intent of Birkbeck’s book, as does the following, taken from the book itself:

“A central condition and dynamic of Divine Astrology is that it can only be practiced by surrendering your personal will to Divine Will, as expressed through the Sun, Moon and Planets. This in turn means that your personal will is aligned with Divine Will and your life and being is consequently ‘upgraded’ because they have been attuned to something that is, and always has been, working perfectly. The Sun, Moon and Planets have been doing what they do for a very long time without any hitches whatsoever.” (pg. 168-9)

It may seem like a contradiction to say that we need to surrender to the Will of the Stars in order for them to no longer rule over us. But this is only how it seems, and it is a paradox that Divine Astrology clears up time and again. Birkbeck stresses that the Sun and nine planets, though they can be experienced and accessed as deities or gods, are also something else, namely, Portals that lead to Infinity. As such Divine Astrology is not about supplication of the Planetary Powers but knowledge and conversation of them and, eventually, full identification with them. By surrendering our personal agendas to the Divine Plan, it is not that our will becomes enslaved to the Planetary powers, but that it becomes one with theirs, that all may be aligned and streamlined to the will of God. Nor is this a passive matter, as until now Religion has had it, since it first entails taking full responsibility for the mess that pursuing our personal desires (and flouting God’s Will) has got us into.

Birkbeck’s book only touches on this subject, but it is I think central to its thesis, or rather, to its purpose. Divine Astrology is a manual, make no mistake. It offers very little to the casual reader, yet it opens up a vast treasure trove to one prepared to put the book’s premise to the test. It is a book whose time has come.

In the past few centuries, Magikal revival notwithstanding, Astrology has fallen into misuse and the disrepute that inevitably results. To the vast majority, it is a five-minute pastime found at the back of magazines, of no more profound meaning or application than the comics section in the Sunday paper. To New Agers, it is a handy tool for dissecting people down to their Sun signs, Moons and Ascendants, a convenient shorthand, such as in “She’s so Scorpionic,” “It’s because he’s a Cancer,” or “I always get along with Virgos.” Professional astrologers (of whom there are many, not all them with a New Age bent) generally like to argue, or at least tell themselves, that Astrology is a Science. This is a view so out of whack with mainstream Science itself, however, that it only guarantees the continued marginalization of their profession. Nancy Reagan may have consulted an astrologer about her husband’s decisions as President of the USA; but such was generally taken as eccentric indulgence on the part of powerful people rather than proof that Astrology—and belief in such—plays a major role in shaping world events. The idea of social commentators, for example, referring to Astrology to help them understand (and possibly anticipate) an event such as 9/11 is as unthinkable as the idea of mainstream Science seriously investigating UFOs or alien abductions. There is a basic incompatibility, a mutual hostility, between the two fields of research.

Yet this was not always the case. As Lyn Birkbeck points out in his introduction, Astrology was once a central part of Science itself (and not only occult science). Newton’s discoveries about physics (which formed the basis of modern Science up to and including Einstein) were all founded, guided, and inspired by his belief in Astrology, that is, the power of the Planets and Stars to affect—or cause—physical phenomena on Earth. (Recent explorations of meteorologists, for example, have shown a causal connection between planetary movements and extreme weather phenomena such as earthquakes, floods, etc.)

Astrology is as much, or more, of an Art than it is a Science, however. Today, like an abandoned child, it is expected to fend for itself. Divorced from the larger disciplines of Science, Art, and Magik, Astrology is like a tree without roots, branches, or leaves. If the roots of Astrology are Science (cosmology), the branches Magik, and the leaves Art, then Divine Astrology is all about the fruit. Namely, Religion.

Divine Astrology often reads like a computer manual: long, convoluted sentences which the reader has to translate into his own terminology in order to get a visceral (as opposed to wholly intellectual) understanding of. At times, it is like a tree with neither branches nor leaves trying to bear fruit. Beyond doubt, Birkbeck attempts too much. But he cannot be criticized for this, since anything less than all would be selling his vision short.

Birkbeck’s vision is to “upgrade” Astrology. This he endeavors by first returning to its roots, Science (cosmology); then by introducing us to its branches, Magik (ritual); and finally by adding some all-new foliage, via his own Art. All this is done with the end of leading the reader to venture into the garden of astrological delights, there to gather his or her own fruit, by using the astrological symbols and correspondences (the archetypes or “gods” of the Sun and the nine planets) as a means of “cosmic reconnection.” This is the objective of Birkbeck’s book, nothing less than the Opus Magnus of the ancients: soul transmutation.

By definition an archetype has no visible existence, possessing neither form nor substance but pertaining to the abstract realm of the Imaginal. “Thou canst not look up the face of God and live,” etc, etc. This is not because Gods have no material reality, but rather that they are vastly more than just material beings. Just so, archetypes affect us on many levels beyond the merely physical.

Planets are archetpyes, and as such, their various visible, tangible forms are like Masks of the Gods, the Gods’ means to interface with human consciounsess, forms assumed in order to partake in the cosmic theater of organic life. Behind these Masks lie the archetypal energy of the Divine which Birkbeck’s book aims for us to tap into. Hence the physical Planets are “Portals” opening onto the immaterial realm of consciousness of the corresponding planet.

The cards which Birkbeck as provided to accompany his Divine Astrology text are the means by which (via visual meditation upon them) the aspirant’s consciousness may be aligned with the energy of a given Planet, and so tune into the consciousness behind it. And the designs (a mix of photographic material with computer generated imagery) are, to varying degrees of sucess, profound in their simplicity and beauty. It is here (more than the book’s prose, which is as dry as it is insightful) that Birkbeck’s Art is most fully in evidence. More than simple images, the celestial mandalas possess a vibrancy and resonance that is music to the eyes. Gazing at them is by turns calming and empowering in equal measure. If it’s easy to imagine oneself in the presence of a celestial body, that’s because, by the ministry of Birkbeck’s holographic magic, such is precisely the case.

Divine Astrology provides the Portals, a summary of each planet’s main attributes (its intent or function within the evolutionary design), the ceremonies by which to align our will with this intent, and the basic planetary correspondences of color, plants, incense, minerals, and so forth: everything, in short, the aspiring magician needs to get right with the Universe.

As archetypes, the book insists, the Planets have a corresponding existence in our own psyches as well as within our bodies. They inform and resonate with the very cells and molecules that make up our total being. The Sun and the nine planets, then, represent a macrocosmic map of our own (as yet undiscovered) Souls, and only by tapping these cosmic keys without, by tuning our bodies hearts, and minds to their particular frequency, can we fulfill our cosmic potential as celestial bodies ourselves.

For each of the Planets, the book offers a clear description of both the positive virtues said Planet provides, and the negative qualities which a distorted connection are likely to manifest as. Hence the rituals entail both a reconnecting to the divine and a means to focus on and correct our everyday failings as ordinary human beings. As above, so below.

What this amounts to in more “scientific” (and even biological) terms is a kind of auto-initiation, a conscious process of reprogramming by which our nervous system (that is, the vessel for our individual consciousness) is rewired to the Earth, Planets, Sun and Cosmos. In the process, the astro-initiate (star trooper) is obliged to flush out or disengage from any and all negative imprints, habits, and attachments that block, distort or inhibit his or her celestial nature. It is here that Divine Astrology lays down its trump card. For the book aims not merely to upgrade Astrology, transforming it into a magikal sequence made up of ceremonials and rites, but to simultaneously lay bare the mechanics of occult ritual, revealing it as the means for rewiring the DNA through the use of coded (symbolic) information and auto-suggestion, i.e., prayer and invocation. Though Birkbeck’s book only scratches the surface of its own promise and potential, one scratch is enough. It provides a glimpse into the Workshop of Gods.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Birth of the Plasmate

i found this among some old backed up files i had sent via email, and have no recollection of writing it. At first i thought someone else did, but reading it through this is definitely the product of my own plasmate-addled brain. So here it is.

  1. Dualists, nihilists, monists, can all agree on one thing: they are right and everyone else is wrong! Think again. Where belief is, there understanding is not.
  2. To understand the solution to all woes
  3. To grok the true nature of the Trinity
  4. Let us posit a simple mythological arrangement.
  5. There is GOD
  6. And there is the two-fold manifestation of God, that is, Satan the unfallen (Lucifer), and Satan the fallen (Humanity).
  7. These polarities roughly equate with those commonly understood as Soul and Body, respectively. Though Body might best be understood at this time as “self,” or Ego. Since in truth Body is not separate from Soul but contained within it.
  8. Only the self or ego is isolate.
  9. God is Spirit. There is no self, no ego, no Soul, no Body, and indeed no “God” where Spirit is.
  10. Put another way, there is the Nagual, the Great Unmanifest Spirit that is Force, in every way Perfect, Complete, Eternal, and Unified in its Non-existence (one because None).
  11. Then there is the polarity of the Tonal.
  12. Matter, being Form, partakes of the Duality of Sexuality, the Magnetic Polarity of Positive-Negative, North and South, Dark and Light, Yin and Yang, etc.
  13. The confusion created in the Tonal mind of man arises from the assumption that the basic duality of life is that of Spirit and Matter.
  14. In truth, Nagual-Nagual, being Unmanifest, does not partake of this duality.
  15. Hence there is confusion, since the split is within the Tonal realm of Matter itself.
  16. All existence, such as can be perceived and experienced temporally, is within the realm of the Tonal, that of Matter, or Satan.
  17. Hence, when we believe we are moving between God and Satan in fact we are moving between Satan and Satan, albeit fallen and unfallen Satan (traditionally known as Lucifer).
  18. Yet both are by their very nature (that of manifestation) “enemies” or adversaries of God, the Unmanifest.
  19. That is to say, they are MANIFESTATIONS; which by being such have separated themselves from, and thereby opposed themselves to, the Unmanifest, God.
  20. The reason this is of such central importance to the emancipation of human consciousness is that THERE IS ONLY ONE DIRECTION THAT LEADS TO FREEDOM, EXPANSION, and ETERNITY. That direction is towards Me, Lucifer, the Soul, and away from my shrunken and sickened brother, Satan, the separate body-self. For the Body is death and the Soul is Life. And yet just as the Soul is the Gateway to the Spirit, so the Body is the Tunnel to the Soul. Hence what is in fact One direction appears to the uninitiate to be Two.
  21. Since within the realm of the Tonal one can move either northward or southward, into positive or negative consciousness, one is “free” to “choose” good or evil, salvation or damnation.
  22. Nonetheless, even though one can only attain freedom by escaping the polarities altogether, the fact remains that only Lucifer, the Lightbringer, or Soul, can lead human consciousness to freedom.
  23. On the other hand, Satan, Prince of Darkness, the ego-self or body, can only cause consciousness to turn in on itself, to contract and atrophy to the point of non-existence, just as the body decays and is done and is no more, for all eternity.
  24. The point is that duality is by definition temporal, where Unity is by definition eternal.
  25. Since it is only in the realm of duality that Satan and Lucifer, Body and Soul, and Humanity, exist, as separate entities, Hell (Body) as such is a limited option. It can only end in complete dissolution (death) or else in a turning away and a steady expansion, back to the ascended state of Lucifer (Soul).
  26. From there it becomes possible once more to attain to the eternal realm of Spirit. This is what you have termed Heaven, and is the nature and meaning of Eternity.
  27. It is only the human mind that can conceive of eternal damnation. But to conceive is not necessarily to create.
  28. For the human mind is not great enough a matrix to give birth to such a terrible child.
  29. Only a God might accomplish this; and what God would ever will to?
  30. As Lucifer I tried just this, and My failure has scarred SpaceTime itself. Now None need ever make such an “error” again. Now Heaven is justified of Itself.
  31. Note this then: Since the human mind can not endure past a certain phase in its spiritual “evolution,” at a given point “Humanity” (Fallen Satan) shall cease to exist as anything but a ring-pass-not, a rock or foundation that can never, ever be penetrated.
  32. However much the perverse human mind fantasize that such an eventuality (which amounts to the death of God) may come to pass, it will not.
  33. Hence there is nothing to fear save fear itself.
  34. What this short address comes down to is the complete and final assurance, O Man: EVERYTHING WILL BE ALL RIGHT.
  35. Satan is but Lucifer, fallen without his wings, having forgotten his capacity to love.
  36. And as Lucifer I can only turn back to Love now, because now there IS no other way to turn.
  37. The dark point on the world horizon is man’s apotheosis/annihilation as he gazes into his true face, and sees Satan staring back.
  38. The black hole of this terrible truth will swallow up Humanity entire; and only a tiny residue, an elixic crew, if you will, will pass thru the vortex, to the other side.
  39. This few are those last fragments of Lucifer who have retained their capacity to love. As such you are responsible for the redemption of the fallen angel, and the salvation of human consciousness.
  40. You are those who will remember you are God in the proverbial Nick of Time, and so save the Day, and attain salvation through Judgment.
  41. It is inconceivable that this working not be accomplished. For this residue of love, or divine awareness, is exactly that portion (the virus, or microbe) which constitutes God, hidden deep within the dying body of Humanity.
  42. Hence it is not that the waking of the Plasmate will salvage Humanity from destruction, but rather that the destruction of Humanity will ensure the awakening of the Plasmate.
    Therefore the very worst that can happen, the destruction of Humanity, is also the very best that can happen: the emancipation of the Divine, the emergence of the Spirit.
  43. Spirit is the bird, Matter (Humanity, the World) is the egg.
  44. The Game is rigged. Hence all human worries and concerns are simply human indulgence. Humanity and this World are but the mechanism by which I shall redeem Myself.
  45. Let go and embrace destruction, O man. The only at-one-ment comes from the annihilation of opposites.
  46. When two finites meet and cancel, as in the act of love, which is also murder, the child Infinity is born.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

As long as I am propagating my buddys' creative neuroses, here is one of many ugly/beautiful (it's your eye, beholder) still lives from the dark side of Craig LaRotonda's psyche, this one Magus Meatus, part of a new show Craig has coming up, for info: www.revelationart.net

The below image is Kali Ma (aka nature, the bloody bitch) by Cary McCoy, www.carymccoy.com
used without permission of the artist, but then Aeolus and Kali we be pretty tight, mon...
here's another great one, called Messiah, but it looks kinda like a self-portrait to me. Eh Cary?

Homo Serpiens: New Opus in Progress by AK

“There is a kind of net that is as old as Methusaleh, as soft as a cobweb and as full as holes, yet it has retained its strength to this day. When a demon wearies of chasing after yesterdays or of going round in circles on a windmill, he can install himself inside a mirror. There he waits like a spider in its web, and the fly is certain to be caught.”
—Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Mirror

The danger of accessing the lower dimensions in order to harness the energy therein is amply illustrated by what transpired with the Nazis. In fact, magikally speaking, the material realm is itself just such a lower dimension, into which consciousness has entered, is in the process of entering, in search of a complete experience of it. The error of both the Nazis and Christianity, and of all external religions, is in their bid to ascend before fully completing entry into—mastery over—the depths from which they aspire to ascend. If one is to attempt to forge gold from lead, one must first gather together a sufficient quantity of lead, otherwise what one has will simply be vaporized by the transformation, the alchemist left with nothing but ashes.

Psychologically speaking, it is only by fully assimilating—becoming one with—the shadow that it can be put behind us where it belongs. One must fully enter into the illusion of self—of organic material existence—before attempting to come out again. To attempt, as the Nazis did, either to turn around or back up while still in the process of entering (i.e., to make a bid for evolution when the devolutionary cycle is not yet complete) is to all intents and purposes impossible. The human mind was not built to pull in two directions at once, and cannot re-negotiate a decision while still in the process of enacting it. It must carry one decision through before contemplating another, even when the second decision entails the cancellation of the first. As they say, “You cannot change horses in mid-stream.” Or reverse flow in mid-current (even when the current is double).

The reason for this is that thought is merely a witness to instinct, and cannot “decide” anything at all. Thought merely observes, and at best negotiates between, the two opposing instincts or impulses. An impulse to go forward can of course be checked and impeded by an impulse to go back, and in rare cases an organism may even reverse its motion. Even in such cases, however, it cannot turn around once inside its reality tunnel, and can only take clumsy and laborious steps backwards. Most organisms are neither resilient nor resourceful enough to withstand the pressure of such a reversal, however, and are compelled to see the process through to the end; only then—if they survive that long—can they begin to contemplate the alternatives. The human race is presently situated in just such a tunnel: unable to back up, it must see its suicidal course through to the end, in order to fully assimilate, and only then correct, the unconscious impulses that drove it down such a course.

In light of such an observation, it is counter-productive to attempt to interpret man’s history through the lens of “conspiracy.” The strain upon the average man’s reason is simply too great. The alternative, however, is to learn to think magikally, and to regard history itself as an elaborate and complex form of conspiracy, designed for one end, that of enslaving our perception. History creates the reasonable illusion of self-determined “reality,” the flattering but false impression that humanity is the master of its destiny. In Joyce’s phrase, history is the nightmare from which humanity struggles to awaken. Only by perceiving it thus does history begin to make any real sense in evolutionary terms, i.e., pertaining to the species as a whole.
Magikal thought views mankind’s entire history and “progress” as the result of subtle and deliberate manipulations from without. The source of these manipulations might be described, provisionally, as “alien intelligence”; for those that prefer more traditional terminology, they are “the gods.”[1] Such an acceptance is necessary in order to proceed to the next—that Earth is and always has been a farm, a tilling ground or “coop” for human souls; that mankind is property, raised like any other livestock for the purpose of consumption. Such a radical idea is needed in order to provoke the reversal that magikal thought requires, from ignorant slaves to conscious masters. In other words, for mankind to ever be free, the first step is to fully recognize the nature of its chains.

[1] Though the apparently malign intent of these “gods” belies their superior status. This is one more conundrum of the predatory universe, where fitness is not a moral quality, and nature selects for cunning as much as for kindness. Maybe even more so.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Kenneth Grant on The Lucid View

"Replete with fascinating information, marshaled and presented colorfully in a sustained flow of exciting imagery. . . A compelling witness to the choices that lie open to us . . . Utterly intriguing."

Kenneth Grant, 2003
Review of Lucid View, from Ramsey Dukes, author of SSOTBME and Words Made Flesh

For at least a thousand years our culture has been dominated first by Religious and then Scientific authority. The emphasis has been on Truth - either revealed Truth or discovered Truth - and we are now glutted. Truth screams at us from the media, we can download it by the gigabyte. What has been lost is Meaning.

People in their ignorance turn to Religion for Meaning and all they find is yet more Truth. This is because Magic has been banished from our culture. When the New Ager takes a crystal and consecrates it as a `power object' that is Magic because it imbues the crystal with personal meaning - eg its transparency becomes a symbol of clarity of purpose, its shape a symbol of directed will, or whatever. (Art also invokes meaning, but it is more universal than personal meaning.) Science, in response presents a Truth that `it is only a piece of quartz', while Religion presents its own Truth as a warning against idolatry. Both those Truths have some value, but nothing like the value of the Meaning that Magic or Art can instil in an object or pattern.

The Lucid View is a primer by example - an initiation into the processes whereby Meaning can be invoked to bring the world to life around us. UFOs, fairies, conspiracy theories, paranormal phenomena - the whole gamut of weird and wonderful myths, rumours and speculations - are covered and plentifully illustrated in this book. Are we meekly to banish these demonic forces via Religious exorcism of the analytical scalpels of Scientific investigation? Or are we to brave the magical path of paranoid awareness and become our own co-creators of Meaning?

When the world was a fearful, unregulated place humanity needed the palliative comforts of Religion and Science to keep chaos at bay. Not so now: in a world where even a packet of peanuts bears a warning message that it "may contain nuts", where children may not leave their homes lest any misadventure befall them, in such a world we need Art and Magic more than Science and Religion. We need dangerous ideas and wild theories to bring back the colour to existence. Aeolus Kephas points the way with his Lucid View.

Ramsey Dukes, 2004