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Be Not Afraid. We need all of you.

Once upon a time, the wealthy would-be elite hired alchemists to toil in their basements in the hopes of free gold. Now, the seekers of truth toil in their own kind of solitude, uncovering their own depths and facets as they discover and explore the occult and ignored worlds within the meme-mesh of linguistic spells and behavioral conditioning that passes for consensus reality. What slithers just outside our peripheral vision is a world of injustice, horror and depravity that sickens the soul and begs the question, what can we actually do? Fight, yes, of course, but how?

Before we play at being knights we have to understand the quest that calls us. First, one notices The Program of the Outer Game and feels its slowly-acting poison, then one rebels and lashes out with fire and lightning. Galleries, libraries, and record stores are filled with the often beautiful and empowering results of this urge. Yet after its initial thrill, rage only exhausts us and creates ripples of new harm that amuse The Adversary. Some never leave this Dantean cycle, but some begin the dance of initiation and realization. In time it is these who seek to change the code of the Outer Game itself.

We can all choose to go from played, to player, to programmer. The seasoned Hermetic axiom "as above, so below; so within, so without" served the alchemists of old and it can serve us today. The journey from slave of circumstance to sovereign co-author of the universe is a life-long walk uphill, but when the fog of mesmerism parts, we find it is the only path there is to walk if we take freedom seriously. The Inner Game must be mastered to shift the variables of its worldly counterpart.

The mantle of the Great Work we have taken up and dusted off unfolds through the various works that we all do, unsung though they may be. It is the doing that matters, the persistence that pays. The dark gnosis oscillating beneath the veneer of the Verbal Hologram can be exhausting, even consumptive to behold and accept. There many are trapped and dissolved by the carnivorous vortices of despair.

As angels told us when we were on speaking terms, "be not afraid." Apocalypse has come to mean sure doom, but its true meaning is a time of unveiling and change. Revelation is terrifying and wonderful. As we dig and expose and bring to light, it's good to be reminded to serve and heal self in order to serve others and combat Our Situation, The Con, The Adversary. We each recognize the Hydra differently from our own perspective and we each feel called to sever the head nearest to us in the hope of more freedom for all. We must, however, take the wise old advice of Nietzsche and avoid becoming monsters ourselves as we fight the Beast, through sins of omission that make us less than who we are.

The first thing to do is to honor your body. In a time when we are being tugged at by the gravity of immersive technology it is ever more easy to forget the actual feeling and needs of physical life. It is therefore a radical act indeed to resist the cultural siren song and take damn good care of yourself. The flesh is the interface of all our work and we are often quick to take it for granted. The service we are called to requires us to be our best. The sound mind requires the healthy brain, and the brain requires certain things of the body to work at its true potential. Your human vehicle may seem common or flawed to you but it is very special and very demanding. Do not get mired in guilt and regret. You already know where you have slipped and where you can strive, but let us visit a few suggestions to remind you.

Drink water. It sounds simple, but many of you may be drinking lots of coffee to dig and lots of booze to forget. Both will rob you of water. Hydrate sufficiently and be sure to replenish your electrolytes.  A good rule of thumb goal for daily water intake is to take half your weight in pounds and use that number of ounces. It will seem like a lot, but as you pass on soft and hard drinks in favor of water more and more, you'll feel the difference. Filter it as you're able, for Lord knows the tap is a gamble. Take magnesium in water if you can, as it calms the nervous system.

You are what you eat, so eat as well as you're able. Whole foods (meaning fruit/veg/grain/nuts etc rather than processed, not the chain store) will deliver the purest and most sustaining energy. There's a combination that will work for you and you owe it to yourself to find it. The less processed, the closer to vitality and the further from the well of toxicity and addictions which beget illness and dependence on drugs.

It's all your choice, but the less you feed from the animal kingdom, the less suffering you send into the pain collectors that feed the demons of this world, and the less you diminish yourself with the resonance of the abattoir. Keep up with your vitamin C and zinc to stave off the ubiquitous viruses. Clean fats like MCT oil will give you more and better energy than processed carbs. To be an alpha, get your omegas. Rebuild your gut biome and watch your cognition and intuition rebuild themselves and grow. Finally, eat your greens.

Get out and get moving. Shake your heart and lungs to life with activity. Go anywhere, but go. Have a walk or a ride around the block as often as you can. Fresh air, natural light, blood flow, and stimulus unrelated to the mystery that plagues your mind will all recharge you. Tearing veils and processing what is revealed can be very taxing, and we must give ourselves a break between digs to stay fresh and useful. Whether those that eat your pain are the archons of the Gnostic lore, the demons of the Church, or the 0.01% Wendigo Class of vulture capitalism, they all depend on burnout and collapse in those who would expose them. Starve them with your grace.

This will seem hardest: get enough sleep. Insomnia haunts many an investigator and activist. Whatever dreams may come, take the hints, but keep your sense of humor. Balance the nightmare fuel with something light, even funny before bed. Laughter clears the soul of ghosts. Relaxation is as much a need as oxygen. Do as much as you can to reset the mind and prepare it for rest. White noise or calm music will help. Soma FM is full of useful material for this and runs 24/7. I recommend the "Drone Zone" station. They're worth supporting, as are all that increase the calm in this frenetic world.

The most punk rock, righteous thing you can do in a destructive culture (and ours at the moment is an empire of death cloaked in lip service to virtue, make no mistake) is to be creative. Your voice is the one that needs to be heard. Keep adding truth to the conversation in person and online, but also, create. You may make the art that saves a life, and if nothing else it may save yours. Take time to express all that is building inside you. Transmute the poison, or just drain it off. The alchemists were playing with fire for better reasons than minting gold. There are bacteria that eat radiation. Life adapts and loves to redeem its obstacles. Learn to smile at and accept your pain before burning it for light.

When you are overwhelmed, that is the moment to show yourself love immediately and do what must be done to ground yourself. Again, I urge you to explore meditation, yoga, or benign magick if you're so inclined (banishing rituals are a great idea). Also, do truly random acts of kindness. People open like flowers when they're seen and served. Explore your best and worst aspects. Write down your rambling thoughts, especially the hideous. Get the shadow out where you can see it. Learn what you can from its point of view, and dismiss it politely. Fill the space it leaves with love. You'll never run out of room.

Day must always dance with night, but out of darkness cometh light. To quote another hoping to inspire those who fight darkness, "Do not lose heart. We were made for these times." We can all feel the tremors building. The towers are tipping. The Kingdom is within us. Babylon is nervous. This is it. Don't give up. Thank you all, strangers and friends alike. Good journey, fellow travelers.



Look upward, but start inward.

Individually we can and will transform for the better, but what then? Change will need to ripple out on a mass scale and with speed if we are to avert apparent disaster. The secret to survival has always been community. What is required is for each of us to drop the victim script, change the way we play at life from survival to service, and come together to form islands of sanity. By asserting our individual power, uniting as collectives (while avoiding the trap of confrontational tribalism), and calling power to the carpet, we build a foundation for the kind of upheaval that must be sought and fought for to move into the next phase of human achievement.

In the twilight of the 60s, people began to look to the stars again, not as guides for life on earth but as destinations in themselves. It was a visionary time, and we had grand dreams of building new worlds, but we didn't follow through. The will was there, but we got distracted by various sideshows and our output didn't match our fantasies. It may be for the best. The way we have behaved as terrestrial explorers doesn't bode well for how we'd fare as space colonists.

Looking to space still feels like the next logical step for a species looking to shake off stagnation and return to its roots of adventure, but taking the current domination/victimhood game to other worlds would be a staggering tragedy. If we take seriously the very real and imminent threat to our home world and use that fire to get our asses moving toward collective maturity, we may find the world we wanted was already here underneath the one we rushed to build out of fear. Once we've grown up enough to take care of this planet, I'll feel better about making footprints elsewhere.


Don't Feed the Animals

People love a fight, and so do the people that manage people. Infighting keeps us common folk busy while the Champagne Club find new ways to rig the game. Besides that, it's a waste of energy.

On a person-to-person level, fighting for fighting's sake gets nothing done but wearing us out, and in the end all we're doing is filling the bellies of emotional parasites that grew along with our developing egos.

Starve the bastards, say I.

No one actually “wins” an argument that relies on insults and curses. Far better to be humble and accept that no one knows everything than to lose friends and loved ones over “being right.” This is a lesson I’m still learning. It’s one of the Big Ones. When engaged in verbal battle, stand up for yourself, but never forget the other person is a human being with legitimate emotions and concerns, most of which may be yet unknown to you.

You can catch your hackles rising and keep them down. You can slow the rush to out-shout or out-wit or out-hurt the person on the other end of the argument. You can, with Herculean effort, move beyond the primal need to react, to win, to destroy the other. You can walk away.

If you stick it out without resorting to cheap tricks, there may come a moment in the midst of a word-war where your eyes meet those of your “opponent,” and the mask of rage drops for a split second. There’s opportunity there. If you detect a smile when you expect a smirk, reflect it. Let it become a laugh if it’s happening. Those are the moments when perception has dropped from the head-view to the heart-view. This is exactly what you want and need to work toward peace rather than toward violence.

From the head-view reality is often a set of circumstances that don’t match desires. We get beat down by this. It’s frustrating and painful, and we’re jealous of each other. It’s this pain, this sense of unfairness that kicks behavior into feral, hurtful, even sinister territories. The heart-view knows this. It sees the tragedy we share, the futility of fighting it, and thus the dark comedy of our situation. It may put a smile on your face at inappropriate times. It's not a smile of amusement exactly, more like one of understanding.

How much dwindling time and energy do we waste trying to squash the Universe into our idea of its ideal form? How much more do we waste hurting each other without solving the problems that cause the suffering? Were we to take the energy we waste on fighting, we could put that energy to better use, together, and improve our station. That’s one of the cosmic jokes.

We tend to pick up anxiety and the reactionary behavior that we use as a shield against it when we are quite young. We’re still forming our personalities and it’s usually a response to trauma, so it runs deep and can take a long time to deprogram. The slow going can be frustrating, but if you own your reactions, you’ll stay honest. I am not pitching ease here, but I am pitching freedom. By increasing observation and decreasing mindless cooperation you can learn how your inner demons operate and how they take you over.

Emotions are often looked at as choices, but like thoughts, they’re more like electro-chemical events. They may be aided by habit but they aren’t quite our fault. Our reactions do fall within our responsibility, and it is our reactions that create our reality. It’s tempting to believe we’re just victims of fate when things are tough, but it’s dis-empowering and only keeps things worse than they need to be. Everyone is going through this. Be merciful.

Think back on some of the “bad days” you’ve had. How much of that drama was preventable? Was it really just a rain of bad luck or can you trace the dominoes back to choices made in a flash of anger or the exhaustion of despair? Think now on a “good day,” and try to run the tape backward. Did the good luck flow from better choices made by a calmer head? Chances are that you’ll see these patterns.

You can catch the parasites in the act when they use your mental energy to suit their aims, and in time you can send them packing before they get warmed up enough to play puppet show with you. You never sold your soul, and they don’t own you. If they claim a contract, tear it up and walk out of the Ring of Fire into a path you forge by your own will. Try not to throw coals at people. Most don’t deserve it, and the ones who can will just duck. Either way you’ve still burnt your hands. Like a lot of things that appeal to ego in the moment, it’s not a winning move.

There's an old saying: "Measure twice, cut once." This prevents extra work and extra damage. We do well to know each side of the story whenever we can get it. Regarding argument and all human relationship, perhaps the saying should be, "Measure twice, then don't cut at all."





Random Matter Suspended in the Dark*

At the moment I can't be bothered to give a tinker's damn about the human allegory in the White House or the FBI or the other alphabet agencies or news orgs or whatever. PBS>CNN forever anyway. What I'm concerned about is a little thing called the shared predicament of the whole damned human race. And it is one race, with myriad adaptations manifesting as physical differences that a bunch of yard apes still think is important enough to scrawl swastikas over. Screw em, that kind of person is lost and dying out anyway. I am focusing on the rest of us. People who can still see, and feel, and think.

We’re in a pretty uncomfortable boat, all told. It's tough out there in the Grid. We crave acceptance, social standing, and love. As we play soul-Tetris, we often have to play the piece that doesn’t fit. Without the satisfaction of being received as we are, isolation comes on as sure as puberty (and the two are likely to coincide). Feeling alone when we’d rather feel connected is a very strange sensation to explain. I’ve never lost an appendage, but I imagine it’s quite like the syndrome known as phantom limb.

In this case, it’s not an arm or leg we miss. It’s the rest of the human race and the web of life we dismiss as fuel and food. It’s the sense of clan, or family, or community in general. It’s the feeling of being connected to everything that we get in glimpses from time to time. That fleeting joy that leaves a gaping space when it goes. It hurts, damn it.

The more we suppress awareness of this pain the more it manifests as ignorant and destructive behavior. We’d do well to cop to that and start addressing it in the form of solutions. Otherwise we’re just passing the buck to our kids and their kids and so on forever or until we’ve wrecked the place beyond repair. I suspect our best hope of escaping the undertow of mass extinction is to stop pretending this is working for anybody and start getting creative right now.

I leave it to you to determine what that means in your life.

*Lifted from the song above.

Ol' Scratch

A long, long time ago, we hired ego to run the shop. It festered and got drunk on its own power. We fed it our allegiance and it metastasized into a dark god with as many forms as there are imaginations. I call it Adversary: a kaleidoscopic projection from the sadistic fantasies and masochistic nightmares of every human mind into the material world, with human action as its vehicle.

Every culture has an archetypal form of this night-side of our species: The Bogeyman, the Scapegoat, the Trickster. It is hated and denounced, yet its gravity is such that it draws worship and obedience, especially when it infects and displaces our notions of authority and divinity. Mankind needed a Devil, so we made one, but forgot both the origin and the responsibility. Some time just after taming fire, we grew frightened of our magic and pushed it down.

In the shadows of the subconscious, our collective darkness wove itself into a perfect deception. To Adversary, centuries blew by like dead leaves. It dressed up as other gods. It made delicious promises and terrifying threats. We started working for it. We learned to bow and to sacrifice without question. We gave it our children.

We convinced ourselves it was the god we wanted. We whitewashed our shadow instead of integrating with it. The more we deny it, the bigger it gets. Darkness, when visible, can be balanced with light. Darkness unchecked only hungers and devours, never filled.

Frame Work

Recent events have reminded me to question initial  interpretations, whether in the form of packaged media or my own estimations of what's going on. It keeps one honest to be willing to throw out comfortable paradigms in the light of new data or context.

People (including me) toss around the idea that perception is reality, but it's a bit more complex than that.

Perception effectively becomes reality, assuming that when incoming sense data sticks to existing bias/expectation, the individual welcomes habitual thoughts which reinforce a worldview embraced out of familiarity. Our impression of an image is always colored by the frame in which it appears.

Ok, more than a bit.

What we fail to remember is that we are the makers of the frames as well as the images. The eyes merely gather the light. It's in the brain that identifiable shapes, colors and meanings are born. We are all so busy now that our brains fill in the gaps with what we think ought to be there. How often are we more projector than camera?

Something to ponder when you find yourself beset with thoughts that put you in a mode of anger, jealously, anxiety, depression, and so on.

Maybe the picture is fine. Maybe it's just in a tacky frame.