Monday, January 02, 2006

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

No comments: