[PSA] Another Day, Another Page: SY in History

I want to thank Andrew, Blogos, and Iago, for their comments lately. There is a lot of common ground to be had, but also a lot of opportunity to see where there is much ground still to stake out, much ground that needs to be made, whether or not it ends up being common or not. I realized that I haven’t really sat down to organize my thoughts about what I think the Sefer Yetzirah is as a historical thing and that this is one of the important elements I need to put out there to have some discussions with people. So, I sat down and started to work out a page for that.

I’m putting it under Big Ideas for now. As with all of my pages, treat it as a work in progress which might change as I grow in my own understanding.

[NB] An Education: Grades

A comment from Blogos on a recent post leads in useful directions. If we take seriously that one of the most basic and profound magical achievements is the realization of your individuality in the full context of your life and lineage, how ought we to approach the challenge of a magical education?

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Not Quite Poverty, but…

I’m old enough to have come of age intellectually when Hardt and Negri were making a splash with their Empire. Sitting close to the heart of that book was a call for new virtue rooted in poverty. I remember more than a few folks I knew at the time feeling like this was some sort of romantic claptrap and, having been poor, I was inclined to agree with them.

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[NB] Viridis Genii (Pt. II)

I don’t find myself wanting to write too much about the conference. Or, rather, I want to write about it, but there is a disconnect between what happens when I start writing and what I want to talk about. I’m having a hard time even reading the proceedings. I have definitely talked a lot about it, but writing seems to run a little counter to what I took from it.

That probably tells you more about where I am at right now than anything else. It is definitely not because there aren’t things to say or because the conference proceedings aren’t interesting. When it comes to the proceedings, at least, I have a good idea of why I am not reading them too vigorously. The proceedings are a good reflection of the workshops and lectures, but I don’t want to quite revisit them like that. Not yet, at least.

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[NB] Viridis Genii (Pt. I), Some broad themes

This won’t be a single post affair, but I want to lump my discussion of the conference together under its name. To distinguish posts, I’ll just add a paranthetical number in a series and an occasional subtitle. So: Viridis Genii, part one, two, three, etc.

My first attempt at writing this rambled and rambled, because there was just so much cool stuff going on at the conference. While the rambling wasn’t exactly pointless, it just felt a little off for what I am after. So, instead of subjecting you to that, I will subject you to a first post where I paint in very broad strokes some of the themes of my weekend at the conference. I’ll resist the urge to namecheck everyone (there’s a program here!), but sometimes I can’t help myself.

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By Theft and By Gift

I believe it was in Difference & Repetition that Deleuze specified that the foundation of any system of exchange was not exchange at all, but theft and gift. This fits into his broader argument in that text regarding the derivative nature of systems of equivalence and representation. Those are deep waters, beyond the scope of a blog to plumb, but I want to focus on that bit about theft and gift in regards to a discussion of spiritual syncretism and appropriation.

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The Naming of Kinds

Categories are dangerous things. The separation of one kind of thing from another at the conceptual level leads us toward deeper knowledge and deeper ignorance simultaneously. Once we separate one kind from another at the level of concept, we prepare the way for forms of action that treat them as separate in actuality.

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A Way without a People

Recently, Andrew Watt put up a post about geomancy resources he shared with a ceremonial magic 101 Tumblr, in part in response to Gordon’s lament of the fragmentation and erasure of magical knowledge. It is a fine post for the audience, but it seems like the audience is part of the problem underlining Gordon’s lament. It is another ‘101’ affair because, well, the history of fragmentation and erasure leads us to ‘go back to basics’ constantly.

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Through Home’s Window

Die Vergangenheit führt einen heimlichen Index mit, durch den sie auf die Erlösung verwiesen wird. (The past carries with it a homing index by which it is referred to redemption.)(Walter Benjamin, Über den Begriff der Geschichte/Theses on the Philosophy of History)

It’s hard to live in the market, it’s hard to live in this world. Sometimes, thoughts of home are all that get us through it. I haven’t talked a lot about home, though. There are reasons for this, first among them that we don’t all share the same home. The elsewhere, the heaven, to which one of us returns may not be identical to the heaven to which another returns. I share the market with you, I might not share home.
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