happydog1960: (Default)
The only thing keeping us from being gods is ourselves. When will we learn to get out of our own way?

At least that is the thought that occurred to me earlier this week, when I was being held responsible at work for situations that were not my doing. I did some crisis building and had a good old fashioned panic attack, which I recovered from thanks to friends. But the rest of this past week, I had a good thought about why I went into panic mode.

The first reason is fear. I have fears of being reprimanded at work because I have issues over losing my job; that is, fear. I got fired from Bridge House unceremoniously and without provocation during a high-stress period when I was investing myself too heavily in the job and not heavily enough in myself. So I have a fear around the issue of getting fired.

My brain goes into a panic mode. I’m 51, it says, how am I going to find work somewhere else? How will I take care of myself and my family? And on and on until my fear has me, in my imagination, living in a cardboard box under the overpass (that’s where my fear always ends up, of course).

But I know, from losing my job at Bridge House, that this isn’t going to happen. I lost my job; I went without a job for nearly six months, and nothing happened. It was harder to pay bills but not impossible. I didn’t end up under the overpass in a cardboard box.

So why was I freaking out? Old scripts, and overvaluation.

I run old scripts in my head. They’re not even my scripts; I just play them out because I’m used to doing that. The fact that they’re not even my scripts is not relevant to that part of my consciousness that is terribly afraid; the scripts just automatically get run.

I know that my fear over unemployment comes from my parents, who grew up during the depression, and more specifically from my mother, whose family suffered a series of tragedies that made them deeply mistrustful and fearful. Without meaning to, that hereditary fear transferred itself to me. At my worst moments the desire to be safe and secure (although we know that there is truly no such thing outside of slavery) tries to seize control of me, and when it does, I make bad decisions. Fortunately this time around I made the decision to reach out and to wait instead of act out of panic. It paid off.

The other part of this equation is manipulation. My employer, or rather my immediate supervisor, manipulated me into finishing someone else’s work through intimidation and fear. She, knowingly or unknowingly, tapped into that fear of unemployment to scare me into doing what she wanted me to do, which is finish someone else’s work. This will not happen again.

If the old Zen proverb “The way you do one thing is the way you do everything” is true, then fear has kept me from doing many things in life. This is a difficult realization to come to. It is true that I am making fewer decisions out of fear now. But the consequences of old decisions linger, and the ghosts of old decisions made in the past by people other than me linger in my consciousness.

These ghosts have to be dealt with, and these consequences are to be dealt with. The way to deal with them, I think, is to continue to move forward. I know what backward looks like, and I know what looking backward leads to. I know that looking into the future, when I look through the eyes of fear, only leads to crisis building.

What I do have is here and now. I have myself, and my own power-from-within. I have my true friends and my true family. I also have the knowledge that I am more than my job, more than how others who don’t know me well perceive me, and even more than I know. If I pay attention to the words of my spiritual paths, to the teachings, in both Feri and Thelema it is emphasized that we are innately, truly, and essentially divine. I know this. It is a part of me. It is me.

All I have to do is to get out of my own way.
happydog1960: (Default)
I was having a discussion with some friends who I don't see very often. They live in California, the other side of the U.S. from where I live, pretty much. We share the same esoteric tradition, and we were talking about how we came to this tradition.

For me, it was a journey of many years and would take a long time to talk about. Of course when talking with friends there is time to do these things. One of the things that came up was the concept of Mercy.

I came out of fundamentalist Christianity. I put myself in fundamentalist Christianity when I was about 19 years old and got more involved in it until I ended up in Charismatic Christianity, which is that brand of Christianity that believes in healing by laying on of hands, speaking in tongues, prophecy, being "slain in the spirit," (that is, going out of the body and having visions) and such like. All good things, right? Right. Except that it came with a nasty dose of homophobia, sexism, and hard right-wing politics.

And Hell was ever present. Mercy was only talked in terms of the mercy that God would grant you if you "accepted Jesus," because otherwise, there was no question of mercy; you would go to Hell when you died, and be burned in the Lake of Fire with the Beast and the Devil at the end of the world. The only mercy that was granted to you was if you submitted to the patriarchal "God" (or more accurately, demiurge) on his throne, acknowledging the "fact" that you were the scum of the earth, loaded with sin, and deserved nothing but destruction were it not for the death of Jesus on the cross.

However. Eventually I cracked under the weight of Hell. Because my question was: how could a good God knowingly create a universe where He knew his creations would suffer for eternity? Because if the Christian God is omniscient and omnipotent, then he created the universe in the full knowledge that Satan would fall, and that Hell would be created. This meant that God had foreknowledge, and planned, for some of his creatures to be tortured for eternity and extinguished from existence; He knew it would happen, allowed it, and approved it. Which made this "God" far more of a monster than any Devil. Cosmic genocide on a scale that makes Pol Pot or Saddam Hussein look relatively innocent. They could only torture you to death; God, however, would torture you for aeons.

This God I could not live with, and so I left fundamentalist Christianity. I could either go mad trying to worship this "God," or save my sanity and go to Hell, and I chose my sanity. At the point I left, it was no longer possible for me to worship or love the Christian god without going absolutely and literally insane, because He was antithetically opposed to who I was, and I could no longer try to "make" myself be what I could not be - a "good Christian" by the definition of the fundamentalist Christian code.

So I left all that behind. I pulled away and abandoned it all. Of all my Christian friends, only one ever tried to talk to me about why I left; the rest never bothered. So much for brotherhood in Christ. Of course, perhaps I was so obviously going nuts that they felt like they didn't want to be infected. Or perhaps I was showing my disenchantment more than I knew, and they didn't want to be bothered.

In any case, Jehovah and I broke up; it was over, and it was a nasty split.

I drifted for a long time until I got a tap on the shoulder from Goddess. I won't go into detail about that right now because then this would get very long and I would go past my point. When she tapped me, I began trying to figure out an appropriate Goddess, or form of Goddess, to worship, and through sheer luck (as if there was such a thing!) I began burning incense and praying to Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy in the Buddhist tradition.

Through this worship I began to feel the quality of Mercy in full. Not the submissive cry of "Mercy!" that the slave makes to his slavemaster when the master takes up the whip to beat him senseless, but Mercy as a genuine attribute of the Divine. (These days I would perhaps think about relating this to Chesed or Tiphareth on the Tree of Life, but I digress.)

I began to see, and feel, that the Goddess Kuan Yin granted Mercy as a pure quality to anyone who called on her, without expectation of repayment. The Christian God granted his limited mercy only on the condition that you submitted to him utterly, with the knowledge that this mercy could be terminated at any time if you transgressed.

The Goddess Kuan Yin granted her Mercy without stint and without any mercenary agenda. Mercy was who She was and what She embodied, and she granted it to those who asked. "Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice," she says in both the Book of the Law and the Charge of the Goddess (which are not unrelated, but that is a different story).

This Mercy changed my life. I learned that on this spiritual path of Paganism, Mercy was granted unconditionally. I was not an evil soul whose every decision was bound to be wrong, and whose ultimate destination was Hell if I disagreed with the demiurgic "God." I was a child of the Goddess, beloved of Her.

At that point in my life when I was deeply wounded from fundamentalist Christianity, that Mercy was very real and very powerful and very healing. I think that is one of the qualities that Neopaganism can boast of, in spite of the negatives that many point out; it is healing for those who came from the clutches of a cruel Demiurge and his false church of humiliation and shame.

Mercy gets short shrift these days, but I think that there is much to be said for it as a quality. We all have received undeserved Mercy at some point in our lives. I know that I have, and I am and remain grateful for it.

So thinking on these things, tonight I will burn incense in front of my statue of Kuan Yin again, even though I have moved on to different understandings and a different path from the Neopaganism I started with, in gratitude to Her and in thankfulness for that Mercy.
happydog1960: (Default)
In Feri we have a prayer which is as follows:

"Who is the flower above me, and what is the work of this God? I will know myself in all my parts."

When I was baptized into the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, I said, as part of the ceremony:

"I will know my own Will. I will do my own Will. I will rejoice in the Will of my God."

It seems to me that there is very little difference, if any, in these two statements.

In a little more than a week I will be going away for several days, into the woods, where I haven't been for a long time, to work with these two oaths. To take up these tools (or these weapons, perhaps) and see what can be built (or, perhaps, destroyed) with them.

I sometimes wonder why I waited so long to do this. I could have done this in my 20s, or my 30s, I think. Then again I think I probably could not have done it. I was not "there" yet, wherever "there" is. Maybe I wasn't awake enough. I don't know how to put it exactly.

I am grateful that my energy sometimes leads people to think I am younger than I am, but sometimes I feel older than I am, and wonder if I paid too much for the knowledge I have. Sometimes I wonder if I paid enough, if I am grateful enough, paying back enough.

Sometimes I wonder if either of these questions have any validity in the light of the Work of this God, the Will of this God, which is so much more than I understood when I was younger, and so much more than I understand now.

I do know that when I go into the woods, my intention, my will, is to simply be with these statements, these concepts, and let them sink into me. (I initially typed "sing into me," which is probably better.) I won't lie and say that I am not confused at the direction my spirituality is taking. I hope to resolve some of that confusion, or at least come to terms with that confusion and accept it as a Holy Chaos of some kind.

Yes, I haven't called, I haven't written, I haven't communicated. I have let what I do for a living weigh too much upon me and I have let myself get distracted in a lot of ways. And I have distracted myself so I wouldn't think on that heaviness. But maybe it is time to face it, to take it on, and to see if it is real or if it is illusion. I have a hint that some of it - maybe a lot of it - is illusion.

More than this, I want to catch at least a glimpse of the Flower above me, a hint of the Will of my God, and to rejoice in that. To find that center and substance within myself and to let it expand, to get some vision of

Thou who art I, beyond all I am,
Who hast no nature and no name,
Who art, when all but thou are gone,
Thou, centre and secret of the Sun,
hou, hidden spring of all things known
And unknown, Thou aloof, alone,
Thou, the true fire within the reed
Brooding and breeding, source and seed
Of life, love, liberty, and light,
Thou beyond speech and beyond sight,
Thee I invoke, my faint fresh fire
Kindling as mine intents aspire.
Thee I invoke, abiding one,
Thee, centre and secret of the Sun,
And that most holy mystery
Of which the vehicle am I.

I hardly know what I am saying here and I do not expect you to know, either, so if it is a mystery to you, rest assured it is a mystery to me, also. All I know is what I feel right now and I will go into the woods to see what it is.
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One of the benefits of steady employment is buying stuff. I got a Korg Monotron (http://www.korg.com/monotron) recently and I am enjoying the hell out of it. It's essentially an analog synthesizer circa 1972 or so in a box about the size of a smart phone.

It has every quirk of a 70s analog synthesizer, as well as all of the bizarre and/or tantalizing noises (depending on your point of view). Personally I like analog synthesizers much better than digital. The sonic quality is weirder somehow, probably due to the danger of non-reproducibility. I don't know why I made up that portmanteau word. What I mean to say is that once you make a sound on an old analog synth, there isn't a whole lot of guarantee that you'll be able to get that particular sound again, due to the fact that the old analog synths sounded different daily depending on temperature and humidity.

That was what made early synthesizer records amazing, in retrospect. I remember seeing ELP on TV in the 70s. Keith Emerson was playing a synth with one hand, while with the other he was plugging and unplugging 1/4 inch patch cords into what looked like an old telephone switchboard and twisting knobs madly in between. It was pure insanity. Now it can all be harnessed, sampled, sequenced and controlled, but then it was pure craziness. That was why he had the big old Hammond organ as backup, because if everything else failed, the B-3 rammed through a fuzz and plugged into a Marshall amp would sound freaky enough. (Ask Jon Lord who used to duke it out on a fuzzed out Hammond/Marshall combo with no less an ego than Ritchie Blackmore, and at the same moose-killing volumes.)

Listen to Kraftwerk's "Autobahn." I admit that to me, that particular song is one of Kraftwerk's crowning achievements, and in a lot of ways I think that's how synthesizers should sound. That song is oddly comforting to me, the synthesizers sound warm and friendly. A little like Rosie the Robot off the Jetsons. Rosie is trustworthy. New synths are dangerously like robot real-dolls, unnaturally close to reality in a creepy way. Older synths were erratic and homely.

There was a reason why a lot of the first synth records were about space, mystical, and science fiction themes; they didn't even try to emulate earthly instruments until much later. They went spoinnnng and blup blup blup blup and fffsssshhhheeeewwwwwww and other noises that have to be described onomatopoeically because there isn't an English word for them per se. The intro to Rush's 2112. Pink Floyd's "On the Run." Early Tangerine Dream, "Phaedra." All the synth noises on Hawkwind's "Space Ritual," "Doremi Fasol Latido," and
"In Search of Space." Every sound effect in every Tom Baker-era Doctor Who episode. All those beautiful strange noises, and from machines that were quite costly in their time.

Now I have all this in a box the size of a smartphone that cost me $60. Like its forefathers it is erratic and homely and the noises it makes change with temperature and humidity. Its ribbon keyboard is unreliably pitchy, and the merest twist of one of its knobs can make a sound that could blow up your speakers if you don't keep the volume down. Just like the original items.

I love it. I will be recording with it soon. It'll sound like 1972 and I really don't care. I twist the knob and strangeness happens, uncontrollability, chaos ("...Chaos, the sole viceregent of the Sun upon the Earth..."), all of the transcendent weirdness reborn under my fingers and multiplied into wiggly bleeping swishing infinity. Sound is a God and the Monotron is truly Godly. I recommend them highly.
happydog1960: (Default)
Filled out the application to be initiated into the Minerval. I feel this is the next necessary step, but I would find it hard to explain why.

I was listening to a Thelema podcast where two magicians were talking about what drew them to Thelema. They both agreed that what had drawn them to Thelema initially, when they were young, was the idea of being powerful magicians; only later did they understand and learn the value of working with others. I thought that was very striking in that what drew me to Thelema was precisely the opposite; it was the Gnostic Mass, a group ritual, that showed me the power and beauty and glory of Thelema.

Yet I feel I am not going away but coming toward. The resonance remains, the overtones change, but the notes are still beautiful and ringing out. I do not understand, but I do not have to understand; I have to follow my heart. My heart is Feri; my heart is Thelema - O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!

My path is not straight but winding. Maybe that is the fate of those who follow that bonny, bonny road that lies:

"across the ferny brae -
That is the road to fair Elfland,
Where you and I this night maun gae."

And there are means and means.
happydog1960: (Default)
Actually, no such thing is possible. All transformations, transmogrifications, transitions, etc. are going to provide moments of spiky sharpness that will make you go OW. Well, it happens that way for me, anyhow. I don't know about the rest of you.

Less trust for the stability of LiveJournal since the Russian Attacks, but I still like the LiveJournal, and the LJ format, so I'm trying it over here to see what is up.

In the meantime, I will use the newness of this DW stuff to post more and cross post as well.

Tojours gai, whatthehell
happydog1960: (Default)
This is a test message. If this were an actual emergency, you would be assimilated by the Russians by now. This is only a test.
happydog1960: (Default)
All right, still trying to sort this all out with the DDOS and whatever whatever.

Anyone who has a Dreamwidth account, I would appreciate an invite.

Second, how do I import my posts over here to over there (or somewhere?)
happydog1960: (Default)

This weekend was the Gnostic Mass Intensive (which is what it turned out to be) with Jim and Nancy Wasserman down at the brand new Oasis temple, which is absolutely gorgeous. My contribution was basically to pull some rug remnants out of the floor and unload a truck. There were lots of people who did lots more, and man it is beautiful, and will become more so over time.

Anyway, Jim and Nancy Wasserman. They are great folks.  I admit initially I was a bit suspicious because I know Jim is somewhere slightly to the right of Ayn Rand politically, and in doing Gnostic Mass instruction he has a tendency to say things like, "I know where you learned that, and who you learned it from, and it's WRONG!" He seems to regard California as the source of all noxious heresy and we won't even mention the word "Obama," OK? But away from all that, it is always to be remembered that he is the second oldest male Thelemite living after Lon Milo Duquette, and studied directly under Grady McMurtry, which puts him in a straight line back to Uncle Al his-ownself, and this does not count for naught.

Especially if you attend a Gnostic Mass where he and Nancy are presiding. I dunno if you remember the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, but in that comic, whenever the Freak Bros. would honk on an excellent doob the caption would read, "CLANG! HONK! TWEET!" and their eyeballs would go all loopy. I think that pretty much describes all of us at the Oasis after the Mass that they conducted was done. We were all just sort of wandering around going Hurr Durr and saying intelligent things like, "Wow," and "Wow," with the occasional "WOW" thrown in.

I am being facetious up above, but during the Mass, for real,  I saw Jim manifesting the Gods. I don't often get to see somebody embody like that. It was thunderously powerful and I am not joking when I say that. Nancy was also definitely drawing down (to use the Wiccan term). It was very powerful, past my vocabulary to say.  I had some questions about why they did things the way they do during his presentation, but after the Mass I was actually surprised to find out that he really was concerned about my experience of his way of doing the Mass. I had no problem admitting that I was wrong, and that his way of doing things definitely Works. He's obviously done the mass hundreds of times and put a near-obsessional level of thought into it (as evidenced by the book, "To Perfect This Feast,") but the power of what he and Nancy do is present. Force and Fire indeed. It was an astounding way to inaugurate the new Temple.

We went out to Angeli's afterwards and ate like fiends. It took some time for everyone to come to after the Mass, but when we did, the urge was EAT! FOOD! NOW! and so Angeli's was the place we ran for. I sat next to Jim and conversed a bit with him and he is far less intimidating than I anticipated. Actually a very friendly and super-knowledgeable man. Nancy is graciousness embodied. If you have a chance to go to a Mass with Jim and Nancy you ought to go immediately as soon as you hear about it.

This Thelema business is getting more and more under my skin. I found out that you don't have to have been baptized and confirmed in the EGC before you can take your Minerval.  I was under the impression, for some reason, that I had to take Baptism and get confirmed before applying for Minerval, but nope, that is definitely not the case. I don't know where I got that idea, honestly, because nobody told me that and I didn't read it in the Intertubes. I guess I based that on my experience with the Christian church, where baptism comes before confirmation and then etc. after that. But regardless. That means that Minerval is actually much more imminent than I thought it might be.

However, to be honest, I still want to get confirmed in the EGC before I take the Minerval. There seems to be a kind of symmetry about it that I like.
happydog1960: (Default)
I've had an ad up in the Neutral Ground for a while looking for a musical collaborator. I got a phone call from a young woman the other day who was interested in the ad. We were talking on the phone and it seemed like it was going good, until she asked me how long I had been playing guitar.

I said, "Well, I've been playing since I was 13, and I'm 51 now." "Oh," she said, and then there was a dead silence. Something was wrong. "I hope that's not a problem," I said hopefully. "Well, it sort of is," she said. "I'm 19." 

"Ah," I said. 

"I mean, I know that, you know, I don't think you're like that," she said apologetically, "but people might think, you know, that it would be kind of creepy." 

I switched over into Professional Mode, that tone of voice that I use when dealing with Business. "I certainly understand," I said. "Well, I hope you find what you're looking for in a musical partner, and thanks for calling." 

And that was that.

Part of me understands, I think. And part of me doesn't. That part of me that doesn't understand is very angry at a world that assumes that an association between an older man and a younger woman means they are up to something "creepy." It infuriates me sometimes that there can't be anything that isn't tainted by people's filthy minds. The other part of me understands that there are, indeed, plenty of creepy 50+ year old guys who are trying to get younger women into their beds any way they can, and she has a right to be careful indeed.

Once again, betrayed by my sex - because there are men who can't keep their fucking dicks under control, and I get blamed for their shit - and by my age - because our society regards anyone over 40 as a pile of dead meat who should disappear, and clear the decks for the shiny new children.

Very frustrated and angry about this. It's been riding on my mind a lot this week, and it happened this past Monday the 13th. The last thing I want to do is come off as a creepy old dude. I guess I should change the ad in some kind of way to reflect how old I am? Or just take the damn thing down and learn to deal with the fact that nobody wants to work with a 51 year old musician except in conjunction with a bunch of other 51 year old musicians, in a cover band, playing "Mustang Sally" and "Brown Eyed Girl" till I puke blood  from the sheer boredom of it all? Or buy a laptop and load GarageBand on it and say "fuck you," to the idea of working with other musicians who are progressive and interesting? Because there are NOT ANY IN MY AGE GROUP.

My generation is thoroughly annoying to me. That kind of cover band thing, playing the greatest hits of another age, is what a lot of people my age WANT, and what they LIKE. Dullards then and dullards now. And most of the music that my generation's dullards adore sounds as ancient and antique and irrelevant as Fabian and Frankie Avalon to me.

I don't want to play in a cover band with a bunch of losers, to be honest, and if that's all that's offered to me then I reject it. I can't change how old I am. I can't change how I look. I also can't change my restless mind or the fact that I want to make music that originates with me and has at least some sounds in it that haven't been heard before in quite the way I do it. I can't put aside the fact that I am an artist because I am not 20 years old, or because I am not famous, or because I am not attractive. Art doesn't work that way.

Art is in you and it seizes you and it does not go away unless you try to force it to go away, and even then Art lingers and torments you until you either die or turn to making art again. The artist manifests art, he/she is a priest/priestess of the Gods. It's a calling that doesn't lessen with age or even with circumstances; limbless artists who paint with their stumps, artists with dimming sight who use bigger canvases and brighter colors, musicians getting operations and injections to beat the arthritis that threatens to stop them from playing their instruments, dancers who modify their art and learn to choreograph even if they cannot move, poets who memorize their work if they can't write it down.  Even movie critics who have to have their jaws removed modify computers to speak with their voices, so they can review again.

Art is a Divine Force of the Universe. It flows through the artist. The purpose of the artist is to express that art. Our society has trivialized and made art into a servant of our economy, or a servant of our soulsick morality, or held it in suspicion and abeyance because art will not be tamed, it will flare forth and burn everything down if it is contained too long.

If I have to do this by myself so be it, but if there is any chance I can meet like minds I want it. But the longer I go, the less I feel that it might be possible. And oh Goddess, do I always have to make music with men? Men are so tiresome. Where are the female musicians?
happydog1960: (Default)
Ganked via Anaar from Karina
happydog1960: (Default)
One of the things about doing Liber Resh (http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/lib200.htm) every day is that it brings me into an awareness and alignment with the sun and the times of day. That sounds like nothing. "Of course I know what time of day it is," I would have told you.

But the actual truth is that I didn't, or so I am learning. I missed doing the ritual at straight up 12:00 noon, and so I did it at 2:00 today. I was worried about that being too close to the afternoon, but at 2:00 PM the sun here is only a little bit off dead center in the sky, and it's hot - definitely Ahathoor in her triumphing, regardless of whether it's 12:00 noon or not. 

Afterward I was thinking that I had not actually noted the position of the sun in the sky at that time before, which is an astonishing thing to admit, having spent 51 years on this here planet, but true.

Sunset here, especially at this time of year, isn't 5:00 or even 6:00. It's more like 7:00 or 7:30 when the sun goes down. So Tum gets home in his joy pretty late, so to speak. Midnight is midnight wherever you are, unless you're above the arctic circle, I suppose. And sunrise is sunrise, although I admit to having hailed Ra at 11:00 AM on the weekends when I sleep in late!

Keeping track of the sun and the times of day has also brought me into the knowledge of how I need to manage my time better. I have found myself at noon saying, "Yes, time for Resh," and then something happens, especially at work, and I end up "coming to" at 12:30 or 12:45, or, as above, at 2:00, and wondering what exactly I did that was more important than hailing the sun. That brought me up short. How do I spend my time? Is what I am doing at that time part of my Will, or someone else's? 

Another thing that I do when doing Resh is that I imagine myself embodying the deity addressed. In the morning I try to imagine that I am Ra; how would he stand? What would he be wearing? How would it feel to be Ra? That's a pretty interesting exercise right there. The same thing with Ahathoor, Tum, and Khephra as well. They all "feel" different, to be sure, and I'm starting to get a different feeling from "being" them for a moment. At the end of the day I try to "be" all four of them briefly and then return to myself. I am getting a lot out of this exercise on top of an exercise.

What I'm getting out of this is the idea of tuning in to the divine flow of energy throughout the universe, and how it resonates in me as well. William Blake said, "Energy is eternal delight." That's one of my favorite Blake quotes, but now as I practice Liber Resh I think I'm beginning to actually see and feel what that means. Another example of how everything comes together when I'm doing a daily regular practice. And so I write it down to help myself remember what it feels like, so I can keep doing it.
happydog1960: (Default)

I have no desire to come off perfect. I know people who do, inadvertently, and though I appreciate their bright mirror nature, it gets annoying sometimes. Of course, a mirror can be annoying because it shows me my flaws.

My ideal is to be present and come from my center. To be genuinely myself, whatever that is. Of course, being genuinely "myself" indicates that there is a Self. That's OK. But I hope that I don't confuse Self with Ego. Anyway, the place I try to come from is a place of openness, and as much as I can interpret it, honesty. I don't want to shortchange myself, but at the same time I don't want to let the Ego run wild either. It's all a balancing act.

I had an interesting experience that was pretty close to no-self. The alarm went off at 5:00 AM one morning last week, as it does in this house, and I was sort of drifting anyway in the sleep/not sleep mode. The alarm is set to NPR. There was a man talking about his wife, who was a munitions expert in Afghanistan. He was in Afghanistan as well. She went out on a mission to disarm an explosive, and died. He described sitting by her bedside and knowing that she was dead a long time before the doctors told him she was. He talked about what he does now, how he misses her, how he still has pride in his memory of her strength and fearlessness.

The no-self that was in that moment listened to those words and, in a sense, absorbed and radiated with what he said. I dislike using the word "I" here, because there was no such thing; there was a no-self hovering in the space in front of those words and feeling the radiation of those emotions come through and be refracted back, love and grief and pride and a feeling of honor toward the spirit of the man who spoke and his wife as well. When the word "honor" entered my head I suddenly fell into self-consciousness, because in order to honor someone, there has to be an "other." Suddenly I was "self" again and the man was "other." It was disappointing to have an ego again, in a sense. The ego is not a bad thing - it is necessary in this plane - but I value that no-self experience very much.

In my dreams recently, there have been very many conversations with people, including the Panther Woman mentioned a while back, but with others also. Many of these are intimate conversations discussing - I don't know what. But they are intimate conversations. There are occasional visits even in the daytime to impart little bits of - something? - wisdom, certainly. I am not sure if I should talk about these or not, because not everything needs to be shared, but I learned a significant truth about myself this way. Under the surface of my mind in the dream state, there is even more going on but my waking mind does not remember. This does not bother me as much as it used to, because I understand that I am communicating on an intimate level with someone who is talking to the Fetch. These conversations with people hold more resonance than a dream alone, the dreams that I have that process information during the day, the mind's rumination in sleep. These are different. It is now obvious to me that I am talking to someone again in my dreams who is actually there, but on a completely different level of reality.

Jenya recommends the Seth books, which I read long ago in the 80s, and picked up again recently as I was curious how the information had aged or what my level of receptiveness would be like now. I find a great deal in what Roberts/Seth writes that is resonant with both Feri and Thelema, and gives me a lot to think about. Actually that is inaccurate. I do not "think about" it. I try to let the information go into me and germinate. I am intent on experience now, intent on sensation and beingness, in the moment, and seeing what is there as-it-is, and feeling it.

I know that I am tired and should go to bed now. I can feel my tiredness. But I wanted to share this with you, for what it is worth.


May. 5th, 2011 01:35 pm
happydog1960: (Default)

Why magical and spiritual groups can seem more like asylums than ashrams.

Anyone that has been involved with magical or spiritual organizations for a long enough time begins to notice a sad truth: Such groups tend to be dens of neurosis, backstabbing, and behavior that is generally lower than what you would find in a typical corporate environment.

I have spent a good amount of my career navigating these waters and for this reason generally try to relate directly to teachers, not groups or orders.

Many people seem to think that this behavior exists because the members are not doing the work. I used to think this way as well.

A long time ago though, someone who was a student of Gurdjieff told me that he once said that spiritual groups are like garages for your car. Before your car goes in it probably does ok. When it comes out it will be better than ok. But while it is in there being worked on, its not a pretty sight. Its guts are all over. Its smeared with grease. It being taken apart and put back together repeatedly.

So in some cases the politics and odd behavior of people in a given magical group may be a symptom of doing genuine work rather than not. Than again in some cases people are just assholes. Discernment is a vital quality for a Sorcerer to possess.

happydog1960: (Default)
I had a dream the night of my baptism, after I got home from the Oasis and fell asleep. It's important to write this down.
I was taken into a great hall and led into a vast room where I met many, many people, all of whom appeared Egyptian in some way. Some were very hail-and-well-met friendly and some were casual nodding friendly. Many of them gave me advice and welcome, and of course I cannot remember the exact words. (I would be so wise if I remembered everything I was told in dreams.) But the most striking of all the beings I met in this place (in this temple, really, because I think that's what it was) was the black panther woman.

She was reclining on a couch and kept transforming back and forth from a black panther into a woman and back again. I don't think transforming is the right word. She kept oscillating between the two forms, eliding between them until it was hard to tell what was what. If I tried to fix my vision on her it would not stay. She was a shapeshifter, human and feline. She held a nobility and a dignity that let me know that this was an important meeting. Without a word she told me that she wanted to ask me some questions.

I said then, as I do now, "My Lady, whatever questions you wish to ask me, I will answer in full. " As is usual in dreams I do not remember if she asked me any questions or not, but my answer remains the same.
happydog1960: (Default)
It's happening.
I am going to be baptized into the EGC.
I have so many emotions going on at once right now, I can't even tell you all of them, or even describe them.
I'll try and figure it out later.
For now I have to go to bed and try to sleep, at least a little while.


Apr. 14th, 2011 12:34 pm
happydog1960: (Default)
 Dear *****:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

My reasons for seeking baptism are not easily explained, because they are not entirely clear to me, but I will do my best. 

The first and most primary reason I became interested in Thelema is because of my attendance at the Gnostic Mass, which honestly overwhelmed me.

As a practicing witch since the late 1980s and an initiate in the Anderson Feri tradition, I am not unfamiliar with the occult. I owned a copy of the Book of the Law for many years, and even bought a copy of The Law Is For All in an effort to understand it, to little avail. I understood and resonated with the first chapter, but the second and third were utterly mystifying. I did find a lot to think about in Magick Without  Tears, but I didn’t go any further.

My attendance at the Gnostic Mass changed all that utterly. After the Mass, I was bound to go home and find my copy of the Book of the Law. I did that, and started reading it again. It seemed to open itself up to me at that moment, and I began to understand it. I do not claim to understand it in full and I think anyone who said they did would be a liar and a fool, but I began to get an understanding. Since then, I have been reading Liber AL quite frequently, at one point daily and now only a little less so.

The Gnostic Mass is a ritual of great beauty, great power, and great meaning. I am moved by it, and it fulfills a need in me that I did not know that I had. I want to find out more about the energy that I feel behind and through the Gnostic Mass.

I feel very drawn to Thelema. It is a living, powerful, and active spiritual tradition, but more than that, I think that there is a great deal of truth, if you will, in what it teaches. In a world that does not understand nor accept Light, Life, Love, and Liberty, the Thelemic current seems to be a powerful antidote to that lack of understanding. Being baptized into the EGC would bring me into a “continuity of consciousness,” so to speak. I would be part of a heritage of gnostics and seekers, and honorable heritage with many who have gone before and who can provide valuable insight and guidance.

The older I get, the more I begin to realize that there are things that are meaningful and things that are not, things that are consequential and things that are not, acts that have meaning and acts that are meaningless. Life is short, and the pursuit of the inessential can be fatal to the development of the soul.

I believe that the soul does evolve from lifetime to lifetime, and I am encouraged to find that in this New Aeon there is no death, but “dissolution in the kisses of Nu.” However, I do think it is terribly important to use my time wisely.

The quest for Gnosis seems, at least to me, to be the wisest way to move forward. I do not mean the quest for asceticism, but for Gnosis; that wisdom which is gained through experience as well as scholarship. What I see of Thelema so far seems to offer the balance between scholarship and action, between the active principle and the receptive principle – Hadit and Nuit – producing Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the child of their balance and their passion. Learning balance and passion is one reason I would like to learn more of this path.

The Book of the Law is not something that can be explained easily, well, or at all, perhaps. Nonetheless I am very struck by it, to say the least. It may well be the word of a New Aeon, offering a bright hope in a time where other beliefs bring only fear of the end of all things. I am taken by the idea that we have passed into the era of Horus, leaving behind the sacrificial night-fear of the Aeon of the Dying God. The Book of the Law seems to tell me that I should seize Gnosis, woo her madly, because she desires me. And if the EGC is built on the principles of Thelema found in the Book of the Law, then if I want to learn of this New Aeon, it would be wiser to go to those who are working to realize this New Aeon in themselves.

I want to find out more about Thelema and how the 93 current resonates with me. I do not know the future but I know that I have found something that resonates with me in Thelema, and I would like to learn more by experiencing it with Alombrados. I desire to join the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica; it is my Will.
Thank you for reading this. I look forward to hearing from you.
Love is the Law, Love under Will - 

M*** S
happydog1960: (Default)
I haven't been on here in a month? Good lord. There's too much to catch you all up on. Far too much.

I've never even been to Dreamwidth.

I will try and pull something together for the few and proud to read soon.
happydog1960: (Default)
While on his travels, Jesus passed by a rotting skull. He commanded it to speak. The skull said, 'Spirit of God, my name is Balwan ibn Hafs, king of Yemen. I lived a thousand years, begat a thousand sons, deflowered a thousand virgins, routed a thousand armies, killed a thousand tyrants, and conquered a thousand cities. Let him who hears my tale not be tempted by the world, for it was like nothing so much as the dream of a sleeper.' Jesus wept.

- al-Tuturshi, from the Siraj al-Muluk
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