[NB] Winding Evolution and Consciousness More Closely

I’m building up to a larger idea, but I want to start with some small steps, taking my discussions about consciousness and evolution just one increment further. This started with my comparison of consciousness and evolution in order to preserve the concept of consciousness as a process and retain the practical reality of individual consciousnesses (which I will try to call ‘intelligences’ to help differentiate the two levels).

This will be a little abstract to start, but I hope to start digging down into the dirt of it as time goes on.

Continue reading “[NB] Winding Evolution and Consciousness More Closely”

[NB] More Consciousness, Less Fine tuning

I have been using the Kabbalistic framework heavily of late, but let me come out and try to parse it out with less arcane terms. What the discussion of klippoth, of fall and fracture, help me think through are the mechanics of consciousness. I suspect Gordon is on to something when he says that consciousness is primary and spirit work is secondary, but only if we flesh out secondary and primary in the right way.

Continue reading “[NB] More Consciousness, Less Fine tuning”

[NB] Ichorous Proxies

“[T]he traditional witch types don’t like to hear that toad bones and the rest of these icky ingredients are proxies for some symbolic/psychological language…”—Gordon, Chaos Magic: Fracking the Spirit World

This talk of proxies set off a chain of thought that I want to just throw up here in a notebook post for later reference. While I may not be a traditional witch in the sense Gordon talks about here, my use of the grotty bits has some affinities with them.

Continue reading “[NB] Ichorous Proxies”

[NB] Similarity and Contagion

So way back in the early twentieth century, James Frazer drew a distinction between two sorts of ‘spurious’ causality that animated magical thought. Interestingly, despite Frazer’s clear argument that these forms of causality are spurious, the concepts were broadly adopted by the mid-twentieth century revival of magic in Europe, inflecting the theory of magic.

I want to revisit Frazer’s use of these distinctions and think through them a bit. I want to keep in sight his underlying presupposition that he is describing superstition (i.e., a special kind of cognitive error), but I obviously don’t plan to ignore the potential utility of these concepts to genuine occult work.

Continue reading “[NB] Similarity and Contagion”

A World of Experiences

The principle that I am adopting is that consciousness presupposes experience, and not experience consciousness.

Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality (Corrected Edition, 53)

Whitehead and spiritualism seem a bit like peanut butter and chocolate to me, so I thought I would throw up a post about this quote. I’ll unpack the two key terms in it before diving into the spiritualist angle.

Continue reading “A World of Experiences”

The Cave

I can assume we are all familiar with the allegory of the cave, right? If not, well, follow that link for the crash course. I have generally thought about it only in passing because of its account of the blindness and clumsiness that follows illumination. A dream put me in mind of it, so I took a look at it again. It’s a funny allegory. Plato spends so much effort describing the shadows on the wall, but when he moves to describe the intelligible realm, what does he do? He uses the same visual register that defines the shadow realm. Which is sort of weird, right?

Continue reading “The Cave”

Glittering Antiquity

Okay, while I’m at the keyboard and thinking about consciousness and magic, I’ll gripe just a little. (And, by gripe, I do mean to imply a certain lightness to what follows–not a burning critique, just a little grousing.) Why in the world are some folks deadset on making magic and spirits something that emerges from some era untouched by the taint of modernity? I get that, yes, there are a number of cool techniques that have developed in history that got sidelined in the eager march of materialism and that some salvage operations are in order. I get, too, that some of those techniques are connected to specific sorts of spirits and so developing those techniques requires a little face time with spirits we have come to associate with a (more or less) distant past.

Continue reading “Glittering Antiquity”