Sunday, April 29, 2007

Pagan Federation Wessex Conference

I'm speaking in the afternoon on 'Typhonian Magick'

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Deconditioning - the wrong way (from JSM0

Mogg wrote:
Aleister Crowley recommends that magicians
cultivate the ability to argue the case from both sides -
as in the classical techniques of the sophists.

That kind of practice found its way into Pete Caroll's reworking of the whole
Crowley thing into his first book on Chaos Magick - _Liber Null_.
AFAIK chaos magicians still take this idea quite seriously -
ie i sure i read an article either in Chaos International or Oracle where one high level member of the IOT says how he was a 'lefty' most of his life but then decided he would be a 'fascist' for a while as some sort of intellectual exercise - which strikes me as about rhetoric - perhaps with the aim of deconditioning etc.

Personally i was never that impressed by that idea in crowley et al
- always struck me as 'bad faith' -

Mark said:
Clearly, if one already feels a conscious inclination toward fascism, the sincere adoption of a fascist world-view won't enact any profound de-conditioning. If in fact one finds it repugnant ( another mode of desire to be sure) than an engagement that seeks to find the truth or genius of the perspective might well be productive. Any sincere engagement with abjected material is potentially productive. In terms of Crowley, I immediately think of the squalor of the Abbey--an engagement with a basic form of the abject--filth.

As to playing at fascism, one need look no further than the west coast post-punk demi-monde of the 1980s, a'la Exit and ReSearch magazines,Feral House Press, Boyd Rice aka NON etc. Clearly the engagement exhibited by this group is as much about an interrogation of fascism as it is an embrace.

mogg said:
Thanks - that does help clarify the issues -
i suppose 'abjection' works on, or implies that these are arranged in some sort of binary pairs of opposites.
The middle way or equipoise (ie deconditioning)
comes by using them for some sort of intellectual kartharsis.
hence the famous binaries of hindu philosophy - pleasure/pain, attraction/revulsion etc

But I suggest that there is an unlimited number
of choices available to someone wanting to engage -
the other points of view -
and that some things (eg: fascism)
can be viewed as sui generis -
i.e. they don't stand in any meaningful
contrary with anything -

Of course the Buddhism philosopher might also say that the
idea of contraries is also an illusion -
ie: just a construct of some kind -
ie: in what sense is black really the opposite of blue ??

'love and do what you will'


ps: There is also the issue of ego -
imo an egotist believes that their personal development is more important than the suffering of others - but ego is the enemy of liberation - so they are caught in a paradox??

mark said:
Of course the abject can also be a function of suspended opposition. Those things considered monstrous or Other are abjected because they violate presupposed oppositions. Indeterminate race and/or gender is often construed as abject. The various figures of the undead also enact the kind of boundary crossings that call forth banishment. Most conceptions of the left-hand path--utilization of bodily pleasures or identification with "evil" as paths to spiritual elevation--enact this "impossible" co-presence as well. All of which is to say that the embrace of the abject may serve to reveal the illusory nature of binary opposition.


Dear Mark

that's very well put but a bit tricky for me to understand ; )
But guess you are talking about the nature of taboo ?
I.e. that the ideas of constructing a set of binary opposites -
often involves a lot of unexamined presuppositions
about what is 'good' and 'bad'?

So for example in
'tantrik' praxis a 'low caste woman' may be seen as defiling
and therefore as a source of powerful, liberating encounters.
But we might well question the initial assumption of
'low caste women' = 'impure'
- that kind of thing??

'love and do what you will'


ps: in western magick the equivalent of the 'middle way'
is AFAIK the 'middle pillar' - which lies between
the twin poles of 'mercy' and 'severity' -
perhaps an idea influenced by Buddhism?