Once a month, for the last three months, my Saturdays have looked much like this:
This is an odd thought, but what happens if we attempt to understand Calvinism as a particularly rigid and unforgiving mode of ‘Gnosticism’? What if part of its success relies on its ability to give voice to a fundamentally gnostic experience of the sacred? I am no fan of Calvinism, but what if its problem lies not so much in its theological intuitions as its practical and rigid disciplining of them?
There are two things that I am thinking about right now that are trying to come together, so I am going to try to write my way to that.
First thing: one of the challenges of talking about spiritualist-driven practice entails attending to the concrete reality that underpins it, namely the way in which the diversity in our personal constitution has a direct impact on the way in which we can most effectively interact with the world of spirit. The point of identifying a person’s spiritual court, for example, derives from the sense that it varies from person to person and that the variation demands accompanying variations in practice.
Second thing: that historically, most forms of marginal spiritual practice has been magpie. I was thinking about this in light of my last post, in which I mentioned the way in which a single grimoiric ritual broke free of its grimoiric context and proceeded to circulate through numerous distinct occult practices, varying to accommodate the practices. And, too, in light of the way it makes sense to talk about the unity of the grimoires in a statistical sense, in terms of overlapping patterns of names and rites that are broadly shared by many grimoires alongside a set of rites and names that are particular to this or that grimoire.
Okay, so let me preface this with the fact that I wasn’t going to write this. Then, as I was writing the first draft of this, I wasn’t going to post this. I’m hardly the expert here. Then, well, fuck, people, sometimes you just need to post, because it seems like I may have more to say than some.
There is an important caveat: I use ‘you’ frequently in this post. That ‘you’ isn’t meant to refer to every potential reader. It’s a hybrid phrasing, because I am caught between referring to people in the conversation I’m referencing and to myself. This ‘you’ can be substituted with an ‘I’ in many cases, because much of this comes out of distinguishing my personal practice from various cultic ones. I guess I could say ‘we,’ but that invokes too much intimacy. So, the uncomfortable ‘you’ it is.
Okay, so apparently talking about sacrifice is a bit of a thing in one of the super-tiny microworlds to which I pay some attention. I have taken a look around following some of the links in that original post and some of the websites of the conversants I didn’t recognize in the thread that follows. The overall content of the original post? Eh, it’s alright. The degree of casual racism and classism that structures some of it…well, ignorant folks be ignorant. Folks have tried to educate them about that and they have only retrenched in their ignorance, so I won’t wast anyone’s time with that here. All I can say, is if you can’t spot it, you should spend some time examining your vision.