I have wanted to pick up a few threads from earlier pieces and weave them together. The discussion of aesthetics and occultism at the end of Phase I and my concern with the disruptive role of capital in spiritual practice come together in this piece focusing on Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” It also has some connection to the hesitation I have around relying on narrative discourse for a deeper understanding of spiritual experience, too.
Just three things that have me thinking right now, broadly grouped together under the categories of Kabbalism, magic in antiquity, and Lemonade.
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Okay, so I have a few things that I keep thinking about or which are being put forward for me to think about, things that will probably make their way into posts of their own, but right now I want to see what I can do to just get them out of my head and put them in front of my face, see what other connections might arise thereby. Notebooking, so caveat lector.
I have had this post half-formed for a while, since reading some of Edward Butler’s work, and this post over at Hermetic Lessons served as a catalyst to extract it. The basic point is straightforward enough. If we are made of time, then it is important to think about how time can be made, how it can be constituted. Those forms of time define the substance of our experience and those forms of experience make possible forms of practice. One of the problems with this discussion is that we often have a fairly poor vocabulary for talking about this sort of thing.
I often find it easier to think about time in terms of space, in terms of the way we can abstract and spatialize time for a number of broadly mathematical operations. I think that’s pretty common, because we are better suited to conceiving of space than we are to conceiving of time. We can use our better grasp of space to ‘sneak up’ on time.
I have been a bit under the weather for a few days, so please pardon me if this post meanders more so than usual. Between some illness-inflected dreams and what little headway I have made in Word and Image in Medieval Kabbalah over the last few days, I have Moses on my mind and I thought it might make sense to talk a little about why.
One of the tings that I wanted to gently touch on again has to do with something that I said in my last post, about the nature of the work being caught up in hunches, synchronicities, and dreams, one of the reasons that I am quite fond of the tree of life model which treats the sefirot as forms of time. Which is, namely, that it makes clear what so much ritual work is about—a way of developing relationships to time.
So, this post is meant to be something of a response to two posts (here and here) over on Hermetic Lessons, a continuation of the discussion started on an earlier post on this blog. Reading those posts, I am starting to see that there are a few intuitions we share, as well as a few on which we diverge. Categorized as a notebook to emphasize that this is one more contingent mask through which I’m thinking.
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?
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.