Thursday, May 24, 2012

What You Learn In School

All this matter we call the universe swirls around at the bottom like so much silt. High above, the waters clear and eventually, if you swim high enough, you may glimpse that wonderful mythic Sun all the fishes whisper about in school.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Spell for Darkness

9 yards of rain
5 perfect kumquats
a thimbleful of old odds and ends no one remembers the names of

Sit in darkness and feel the rain fall. Shake the memories, filling the darkness with the voices of the past. After they have settled down, eat one kumquat. When the taste just lingers on the tongue, eat the second. There are times when we must feign insanity. Eat the third kumquat. For really bad cases of darkness, eat the fourth. Otherwise, bury it with the fifth. Cover the seeds with memories and let the rain soak the ground.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Speed Of Consciousness

Modern occultists, alchemists, and magicians will sometimes say that consciousness speeds up evolution.  Dion Fortune was a proponent of this. She was pretty experienced when it comes to things like the nature of consciousness, much more than me, so I certainly don’t want to second guess her. But I really don’t think the point of existence is to get through it as fast as possible.  It’s not a race.   

It's not that we are speeding up evolution by doing alchemy. It's that consciousness slows down and complicates the way to the divine source.  Consciousness makes the path tricky.  Consciousness adds turns and switchbacks, dead ends, detours, and the occasional roadside tourist trap.  What had seemed in childhood like an obvious and delightful traipse up the mountain because a lifetime walking in your own shoes.

And I note a cool thing about the effect of consciousness.  It’s like how sometimes, everything just goes by so quickly and other times it goes by slowly.  Consciousness can affect those rates. Sometimes we enter a state of heightened consciousness and it’s like flow. We are apprehending many things at once, easily, a billion points of existence all at once with ease, and we come out of the state to find that hours have gone by in what seemed like a timeless moment. 

And sometimes, consciousness is like a road trip through the back way.  You leave behind the mindless interstate that transports you unchanged to your destination and instead see every tree and roadside attraction, you feel every turn.   You pay attention to all the small places on the map. Consciousness may make evolution go faster, but it also gives us more to evolve.  We end up not going any faster than non-conscious matter, but we have so many more opportunities for doing so, so many ways to do it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Adorable Ouroboros

I found him in a treatise on alchemy. He looks like he’s playing. So often alchemical processes are inscrutable, but this little guy is showing how the re-creation of self out of self can be recreational as well. He is obviously having a lot of fun.

In the ouroboros, everything that happens comes from within, drawn out through consciousness then consumed, brought back into the body to await the inevitable rise into consciousness again. Recreation of the self out of the self, a self-sustaining process. The ouroboros does not need to pull in sustenance from others. He doesn’t need to talk to others, or pay attention to anything outside of himself.

I often fantasize about this state, but really, it can be a drag. When this process happens in a small part of reality, say an individual human, the law of entropy comes into play. Every time we consume ourselves, we lose a bit of energy. Every time a thought re-emerges into our consciousness and instead of doing something to change it, we simply break it down and forget it, the thought will re-emerge later with a little less verve. Eventually, our thoughts will feel pale and boring unless we allow something new to enter the system.

But the ouroboros is only one state of a dynamic process. Look into his eyes. He’s spotted another game to play.