Death Of The Daydreamer

“Man, the magical being that he is destined to be, is no longer magical. He’s an average piece of meat,” writes Carlos Castaneda in The Active Side Of Infinity. “There are no more dreams for man but the dreams of an animal who is being raised to become a piece of meat: trite, conventional, imbecilic.”

There’s no disputing that today — the age of the internet and social media — is entirely different to even two decades ago. Almost everything is instantly accessible — from music to sex. And an endless choice of products are available at the click of a button. But, something more insipid has occurred, slowly, and almost undetectable. We no longer dream as did those who came even half a century ago.

Let’s look briefly at a few fundamental differences between the twenty-first century Westerner and those of previous, and other, cultures:

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The Forgotten Teachings Of Chaos Magic

It might seem a rather bombastic claim to speak of the “forgotten teachings of Chaos Magic.” Take a look on Youtube or surf the net for anything related to that modern occult movement and you will find a lot of people either making insider jokes about magic (perhaps referencing Harry Potter) or talking about how to create sigils (by writing out a statement of desire (i.e., what you want to happen) deleting the repeated letters, and then abstracting the remaining letters into a kind of symbol or sign). It all looks quite trivial and, frankly, a bit silly. 

Leaving aside the odd obscure classic, such as Ramsey Dukes’s SSOTBME: An Essay On Magic, the books that both defined and launched Chaos Magic were Peter J. Carroll’s Liber Null and Psychonaut (later repackaged as one book by Weiser). And in them are brief instructions on how to make sigils, as well as chapters on meditation, banishing, the evocation of spirits, invocation, and so on. (If you are specifically interested in sigil magic, and are looking for a more in-depth and advanced work on the subject, also check out Frater U.:D.:’s classic Practical Sigil Magic.) 

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The Romantic Outlaw

“But the Romantic Outlaw must have something to rebel against,” writes Camille Paglia, Sex, Art, And American Culture: Essays. As Paglia complains, though Rock music was once created by outsiders who “read poetry, studied Hinduism and drew psychedelic visions in watercolors,” today managers make sure to sanitize and repackage the music before it’s even aired.

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