Could you please give us your thoughts on exactly how the bias for right-handedness is ingrained in the collective subconscious in this present era?
There are various ways to illustrate or represent this “bias” at a social level. You could describe it as “patriarchy versus matriarchy” or as what the writer Paul Bowles described (in The Sheltering Sky) as “the war between reason and atavism.” In esoteric terms, it relates to the prevalence of mystical belief over magikal (shamanic) practice, which ties into the male/female dichotomy: mysticism is male or left brain, magik is female, right brain. Because women have wombs and can create life with their bodies, they are directly connected to the Earth and to the Universe—the Spirit actually moves through them in a very real, pragmatic (bio-logical) sense. For men, however, lacking wombs as we do, we can only conceive of Spirit (and of life) in abstract terms, and then relate to our own interpretations of it. Hence our bent is towards the theoretical or “mystical” rather than the practical.
Ironically, in this admittedly simplified breakdown, science is not at odds with mysticism but more or less synonymous with it: both are theoretical rather than practical systems. The main reason why orthodox science has not recognized magik (the occult sciences) as a valid discipline is that magik can only be “verified” by practice, never by observation. It is not “empirical,” because the essence of magik (like that of quantum mechanics) is that we live in a subjective Universe. Ideally, these two perspectives—male and female—should work together, as analysis and synthesis. What happens instead is that, because the male or analytic/patriarchal mind-set revolves around separation and categorization, it has very cleverly excluded everything that cannot be categorized as being “beneath” categorization rather than simply beyond it. In the same way, patriarchal religion has done all it can to vilify the feminine and strip women (witches) of their earthly (“satanic”) power.
Another (less esoteric) way of saying this is that a patriarchal society depends on rigid structures, organization, beliefs, laws, morality, language, and so forth, and appeals to the rational mind. Because of this, it has been able, over the centuries, to create a specific structure and system of beliefs in which anything that cannot be understood or organized rationally—that cannot be expressed verbally or represented as words—becomes either an article of faith (i.e., God, soul, Heaven and Hell) or of superstition and ridicule (magik, Ufos, the occult in general; to some extent this also includes borderline paranormal phenomena such as global conspiracies, etc). The “right hand path” is all about systems of worship arranged in social patterns to exercise control over the worshippers. And since words, in the end, are what we worship, whoever controls language, controls the world. Another (again less esoteric) way of putting this would be to say that, if you want to control a populace, the first, essential step is to determine their system of values, i.e. what has meaning and importance to them. Naturally, for the control to be effective, a populace must be trained to value what is easiest to control, in other words, external things, whether concrete (money) or abstract (“God”). The reason the right hand path is considered to be the morally correct one, and the left-hand “satanic,” is that the right hand path externalizes and gives power to what is outside of us, i.e., moral imperative, God, law and order, etc, whereas the left-hand places authority and power within the individual, suggesting anarchy, rebellion, freedom, and “atheism” (i.e., rejection of a Higher Power outside of oneself; in actual fact it is closer to animism—the acknowledgment of spirit or consciousness equally in all things, including oneself). Cleary, such an idea is anathema to the patriarchal mind-set, which is all about separation, i.e., defining things by what they are not rather than what they are (hence the prevailing dualities of our culture, rich/poor, sickness/health, sanity/madness, winner/loser, and so forth). One can posit a conspiracy here, by saying that an elite group chooses to keep the secret of individual sovereignty (the Godhead) to itself in order to Lord it over the ignorant masses. But it is probably more useful to perceive the situation as a collective choice, made by the human species, to favor one “path” over the other as a means of avoiding responsibility collectively. The right hand path allows us to invest everything in external factors, either the “here and now” of home, work, marriage, family, and material comforts, or the “never-never” of the afterlife, faith, and supposed “spirituality.” In both cases, the end result is a sense of security and meaning which depends neither on individual thought nor action. Naturally, people tend to embrace values that are both ready-made and shared, that neither challenge them nor require (or even permit) any serious degree of questioning. It is the line of least resistance, and amounts to “do unto yourself as others would have you do.”
Do you see a commonality in this bias and what science now knows regarding the left/right brain dichotomy?
I think I have answered this above. Apparently the left/right brain description is currently under scrutiny as being simplistic to the point of inaccuracy, so perhaps a truer, because more esoteric, dichotomy would be Castaneda’s first and second attentions, pertaining to physical (waking) reality and energetic or “shamanic” reality (as experienced in dreams and visions), respectively. Once again the bias of the right hand or left brain (which controls the right side of the body) has rendered the realm of the imagination, however rich and exciting, as basically “unreal” (i.e., “imaginary”); in the same way, it has reduced a “myth” to “something that is untrue.” For this reason, I use the word “Imaginal,” in order to suggest not merely an offshoot or a distortion of “consensus” reality but an entire realm of being unto itself (what Castaneda called “a separate reality”). The task of every sorcerer or paranoid (and in our present time, every human being) is to reconcile and unite these two separate halves—that of the self and the double—into a single, cohesive existence. Solve et coagula, analysis and synthesis.
And, if one side of the brain develops speech, while the other side puts the words in order, do you then see the development of speech itself as intrinsically flawed?
I think, intuitively, that speech as we know it today was not only the result of a gradual loss of connection to the Spirit (or silent knowledge), but also the primary factor in accelerating this “split.” It amounts to the separation between ego and unconscious, the unconscious being a synonym for any number of concepts, all of which refuse to be encapsulated by words, e.g., Spirit, God, magikal reality, even “the Universe.” The primary “flaw” in language, to my understanding, is that it enabled people to talk about concepts without a corresponding understanding of them (just as today we talk of soul or spirituality with no clear idea of what we mean). This in turn led, over the millennia, to replacing the word (i.e., the interpretation) for the thing it was meant to describe, leading to a kind of rational dementia in which we devour menus instead of meals and mistake our fingers for the Moon.
I believe that, prior to language as we know it, humans communicated directly by what we would nowadays call telepathy. However, if I’m right, humans did not really exist as “individuals” during this period but as parts of a collective consciousness, like cells in a brain or fingers of a hand, much like plant life: apparently (from a superficial view) independent but actually (via the roots) connected to the whole Earth and partaking of its consciousness (and that of all the other plants). If so, no “telepathic” communication would be necessary, since humans would have shared the same consciousness, and in effect the same “being.” This “beingness” became gradually less cohesive as individuality began to take hold, until a point at which other forms of “communication” were introduced, such as body language. Spoken language would originally have been similar, perhaps, to that of animals today, a series of sounds or songs (judging by the Aboriginals and Native Americans, song is an even more elementary form of verbal communication than speech). If so, spoken language would have been a degeneration more than an evolution, since whatever can be communicated by speech can also be conveyed in song, with the added factor of emotion and aesthetic value.
In Ancient (magikal) Egypt, certain words (e.g., God names) required the precise vibration or tone to be spoken; to intone the word was to invoke the power of that concept (or God). (In Native American magikal practices, a spirit will tell a warrior its name, often in the form of a song, so the warrior can contact it when in need; the name will be specific to that warrior, however, so only he can use it.) To my mind, written language is when the trouble really began, and it’s worth noting that, in Egypt, the original written language was hieroglyphs, i.e., images, hence still very much in the realm of “right brain” or Imaginal reality. The difference between hieroglyphs and alphabet is roughly synonymous with that between song and speech, the former belonging to the realm of the imagination and feeling, the latter to thought and reason. According to The Alphabet and the Goddess, the original (Hebrew) alphabet can be traced back to Mount Sinai and the Jews (the ten commandments of Moses), hence was simultaneous with the invention of written Law. It was literally the Word of God. Once God (Imaginal truth) could be represented by symbols, it was no longer necessary to know Him (or Her) directly.
Could you please explain/describe this "93 current".
My primary source on this would not be Crowley but Kenneth Grant. Crowley never referred to Lucifer in relation either to Aiwaz (whom he understood to be his Holy Guardian Angel) or to the 93 current, which was summed up best perhaps by two phrases from his Liber Al: “Do what thou wilt is the whole of the Law,” and, “Love is the Law, love under will.” In other words, Free Love. Far from what the counterculture envisioned, however (at least according to Grant), both the love and the freedom which the 93 current heralds has such an otherworldly flavor to it as to be quite terrifying in its implications. There are perhaps two basic ways to understand this “free love” current (which Grant referred to as an “atavistic resurgence”): as either an external or an internal event. Externally, it relates to sexual congress with non-human beings. These beings will emerge from nobody seems quite sure where, probably because they are not locatable in space-time as physical-temporal beings, but exist as a form of conscious energy that manifests when, where, how and to whom it pleases.
Despite this, and again due to the necessary limitations of language, I think the simplest (though also most alarmist) way to describe this manifestation of Aiwaz-Lucifer-Lam is as a bona fide “extraterrestrial invasion.” If so, it may be identical to what is being experienced already by thousands of people across the world (particularly in America), amply recounted by Whitley Strieber. Since most occultists think of the 93 current as a magikal system, however, I should add that such experiences are relatively “impure” (distorted) for the simple reason that “abductees” have not consciously evoked the beings in question, are not actively seeking congress, but are being whisked out of their beds in the dead of night and having strange and disturbing things done to them (being impregnated, implanted, etc). Since the essence of current 93 is “do what thou wilt,” it follows that such experiences—lacking the key ingredient of will—are not representative. Such beings, to be properly understood, must be understood (as Strieber did, finally) as using the human mind to manifest and materialize through—in other words, as inorganic, non-physical beings (conscious energy) that employ the raw material of our beliefs to assemble a temporary form and so enjoy congress with us. Which begs the question: how can inorganic beings have sex? Why would they even want to? The answer may be in the question—if sexual congress is the means by which these beings enter fully into the material realm. Also, the assumption that sex is a purely physical, biological function must be brought into question. It’s possible to have sex in a dream, for example. The succubae and incubi of ancient folklore were not thought to be physical either, yet they definitely had libido!
Which brings me to the second, perhaps more productive, understanding of current 93, as an internal force, synonymous with the Kundalini energy described by the Hindu religion and (less reputable) Tantric systems: the sleeping serpent and sine qua non of individual empowerment, healing, magik, and heightened awareness. There is so much to say about this subject that I’d rather say nothing at all, and refer the reader to my books (particularly Homo Serpiens), which are all about the process of “waking the snake,” and hopefully even help to facilitate that process.
Regarding the relation of current 93 to the twin towers, it’s worth noting that, central to Crowley’s formula of the Aeon was the equation “0 = 2,” i.e., from nothingness comes duality. 9 + 11 = 20; the attack on the world trade center, which was a “snake-awakening” event if ever there was one, can be seen as a dramatic, magikal enactment of this formula, 0 = 2 (or rather, 2 = 0, as the twin towers became ground zero!). The Aeon of Horus signals in the most profound sense the end of duality which occurs with the fusing of left and right sides of the brain and of first and second attentions, when the ego self meets and is submerged into the Other, the double, the Higher Self. This is the fusion of soul with body that the rising of the Kundalini entails.
Do you see the end of the "love-children" as engineered by nefarious forces; as historically inevitable; or the product of a combination of both history and human interference?
Everything is a “product of history and human interference,” assuming by “history” you mean transpersonal forces. But the idea of humans interfering with the natural flow of destiny is an illusion, finally, since to act upon “history,” we would have to separate ourselves from it. History isn’t made by humans but through them.
The counterculture sowed the seeds of its own destruction. On the one hand, it was too idealistic and insufficiently pragmatic (disciplined), while on the other (paradoxically), it was overly socially orientated. As John Lennon sung, “You tell me it’s the institution, but you better free your mind instead.” The counterculture was too busy trying to engineer external change (as demonstrated by its preoccupation with fashion, beads, long hair, etc) to realize that such apparent advances are useless unless accompanied by (and in fact, mere side effects of) a deeper, internal transformation. You can take the hippie out of the establishment, but it’s a damn sight harder to take the establishment out of the hippie. The movement was destroyed from within, making it poetic (though diabolic) justice that Manson was the instrument the Establishment used to bring about this destruction. Manson was the Shadow of the counterculture, brought forth by its inability to acknowledge its own darkness and its insistence upon projecting it onto society.
Nonetheless, the real reason the counterculture didn’t “work” was simply that it had completed its work, at that time, its natural cycle. It was never meant to change anything socially, or rather, it did change things, but in the opposite way to how it imagined. The counterculture allowed the Establishment to dig its heels in and “evolve” (or degenerate) into a more fully realized totalitarian structure, as we are now witnessing. The astrologer Lyn Birkbeck (whose Divine Astrology I review here) forecasts a sort of ’60s revival, beginning in 2009 as a result of a Uranus/Pluto opposition, a massive transit of global consequences. If Birkbeck is right, I suspect this period will (in the words of a now forgotten Hollywood movie) make the ’60s look like the ’50s; but since the Shadow should fully manifest in tandem with the light (not merely as a response to it), it will also probably make the ’40s look like the ’20s.
The key difference between then and now, I think, is that this time the counterculture will operate at a far subtler and more pragmatic level, and as a result, will assume an actual temporal authority (I hesitate to use the word “political,” since the current 93 of free love which such a counterculture embodies is anathema to politics). If so, the machinery of the Establishment will have no choice but to reveal its true colors as a life-destroying, totalitarian regime, and begin to implement overtly the agendas it has been pursuing covertly for the past century, i.e., those of genocide and the open enslavement of populaces. This would be easier to justify, politically, as a more mature and functioning counterculture would be perceived as a correspondingly more serious threat, and as essentially terrorist in nature. It will be as if Manson (the Shadow) were assimilated into the counterculture—“no more Mr. Nice guy”—and as in a good Hollywood action movie (or a bad one), the nastier the “villain” becomes, the meaner the hero gets to be.
In your chapter on "Chemical Weddings" ( P. 90), you make the following statement: "Goodness, that desires but never acts, is indistinguishable from evil, that wills but holds back: both meet in the middle, both are essentially passive." Could you provide an example of this principle in action?
The paradox of providing an example of a passive principal in action! I am not sure if this is what you are after, but the first example that comes to mind is a very general but pervasive one, that of moral judgment regarding sexual deviancy. The average person regards pedophilia, for example, as a great evil, yet all such people actually “do” about it is judge, despise and revile the people who practice it (or indeed, those who even fantasize about it, such as someone who surfs the net for kiddy porn). But what is the difference between a person who indulges in pedophiliac fantasy but is self-aware or controlled enough not to act upon those urges (i.e., is passively “evil), and a person who believes pedophilia is a great evil but does nothing about it, not even by trying to understand the mentality behind it (much less helping victims deal with it), and stays comfy and smug in their own “virtue,” basking in the warm glow of righteous hatred and moral judgment? These people are simply disowning their Shadow and projecting it on others.
Another example, perhaps closer to what you are after, would be that of the liberal minded person who expresses (and genuinely feels) concern for the environment, who recycles his garbage and suchlike, yet is unwilling to consider living without the luxuries of a system built around environmental destruction. Compare this with someone who takes an “irresponsible” stance and scorns environmental concerns, taking pleasure in jokes about endangered species, but who lives a lifestyle no more destructive than that of the liberal. Or you have the example of a “racist” who makes jokes about black people and Jews but basically treats everyone as equals: compare this to a “liberal” who constantly rails against racism but remains comfortable in his own white, middle-class circle. Which is preferable? To my mind, “evil” that holds back and wrestles with its lower nature is infinitely more admirable than “good” that avoids the issue altogether.
On P.125, you propose a model of "consensus reality" dependent upon an "energy, all pervasive", which "manifests according to natural, terrestrial currents – so-caled leys – and that these currents form a grid about the Earth, in both space and time ."
Does "the Lucid View" of this phenomena perceive an actual road map for this manifestation?
Well, I’ve not seen this “road map”(except possibly during nocturnal visions or alien abductions), but I have no trouble imagining it does exist. As the quote makes clear, it would be a four dimensional map, however, which we couldn’t understand, rationally, merely by looking at it. In fact, the map you posit presumably exists in the human body itself (the DNA), and one could therefore only consult it by becoming it.
Have you any idea where one might find the nodal points, or intersections, on this grid – the earth's "hot spots", if you will?
Would any of these psychic intersections be harmful to the modern paranoid? Could these spots actually be beneficial?
That would be a question of experiencing them and seeing for oneself. On this subject, Castaneda quotes don Juan as saying that, when a warrior passes through a place of power he feels tired and is naturally inclined to remain there to charge his batteries, as it were. When he passes through a negative energy spot, the reverse is the case: he feels energized and moves through it quickly. The body seems to know how to respond to energy in the most pragmatic and self-serving manner: energy responding to energy. Earth and body are linked in such a profound and mysterious way that they cannot be understood as separate at all (bringing us back to my opening discussion on plants, etc).
On an imagined "Paranoia Scale", where would you fall?
I like to think of myself as an eso-terrorist. I practice disseminating paranoia rather than partaking in it (any more than a real terrorist would blow himself up with his own bombs—come to think of it, that happens all the time!) The goal is paranoid awareness, not paranoia per se, i.e., paranoia in the poetic and magikal sense rather than the mundane, clinical, or political sense. Whether effective or not, my work is designed to administer jolts to the reader, shocks of truth and/or beauty that I hope will put the reader in a state of heightened awareness perhaps similar to (if not indistinguishable from) a form of paranoia, i.e., the feeling that nothing is what it seems. Etymologically, paranoia means “outside the mind.” Interestingly enough, this is quite close to the original meaning of ecstasy, which means “outside the body.” In its deepest sense, paranoia entails an awareness of an order of reality beyond the parameters of the mind, i.e., outside rational understanding. It is the forerunner to heightened awareness, and the gateway to the Imaginal realms. To see the “big picture” (be it God, magik, or the Great Conspiracy), we have to leave behind everything we think we know about “reality.” The insecurity and uncertainty of such a departure—the journey into the unknown—is akin to paranoia, not in the sense of feeling persecuted, but in the sense of not knowing what is real. “All we see and all we seem, is but a dream within a dream.” What could be more paranoid than that? Yet what could be more romantic, poetic, and empowering? The key distinction between paranoid “beliefs” (or perceptions) is that only some of them empower; the rest weaken and confuse. Paradoxically, in my experience at least, it is ideas which most unsettle, derange or terrify us that give us power; ideas that provide a weird sort of comfort—albeit the comfort of despair and resignation—are the ones to watch out for. On the imagined scale of paranoia, I see myself as one who creates (or at least tries to) new myths, rather than buying into already existing ones. I am interested primarily in the conspiracy of the gods, only peripherally in those of mice and men.
Is there any question at all, that you've always wished some interviewer would ask you? [If so, here's your opportunity!]
Can’t think of one. I always find a way to say what I want to say, regardless of the question.