Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Term of All that Liveth

"Term of all that liveth, whose name is inscrutable, be favourable unto us in thine hour."

Death comes to us all, and when it does, those of us left behind get to deal with the loss. It is indescribable to anyone who hasn't dealt with it. When it brushes against me, I find comfort in the following section from the Divine Pymander. I don't know how well it helps anyone else, but I think it is simple, and beautiful. It's Pymander's response to Hermes Trismegistus' question about what happens when we return to the Source from which all has sprung:

59. Pim. First of all, in the resolution of the material body, the Body itself is given up to alteration, and the form which it had becometh invisible; and the idle manners are permitted, and left to the Demon, and the senses of the body return into their Fountains, being parts, and again made up into Operations.
60. And Anger, and concupiscence, go into the brutish or unreasonable nature; and the rest striveth upward by Harmony.
61. And to the first Zone it giveth the power it had of increasing and diminishing.
62. To the second, the machinations or plotting of evils, and one effectual deceit or craft.
63. To the third, the idle deceit of Concupiscence.
64. To the fourth, the desire of Rule, and unsatiable Ambition.
65. To the fifth, profane Boldness, and the headlong rashness of confidence.
66. To the sixth, Evil and ineffectual occasions of Riches.
67. To the seventh Zone, subtle Falsehood, always lying in wait.
68. And then being made naked of all the Operations of Harmony, it cometh to the Eighth Nature, having its proper power, and singeth praises to the father with the things that are, and all they that are present rejoice, and congratulate the coming of it; and being made like to them with whom it converseth, it heareth also the Powers that are above the Eighth Nature, singing Praise to God in a certain voice that is peculiar to them.
69. And then in order they return unto the Father, and themselves deliver themselves to the Powers, and becoming Powers they are in God.
70. This is the Good, and to them that know, to be desired.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Losing weight: in retrospect...

A couple years ago, I lost a lot of weight. I lost about 65 pounds. I ate healthy, I worked out, and so far I have yet to fall into that trap where you end up as fat as you were before you started, or worse. I feel great, I can make eye contact in the mirror, and look down without shuddering, and I've found a few things out about losing weight that I hadn't realized before.

Hotties Really do Hit on You

I was at a bar getting some liquor and a lady started making all the classical indications that she wanted me. I mean, it was textbook, coquettish looks, flirtatious banter, explaining she wasn't really with the guy she was eating with, the works. I was stunned. Shocked. I had no clue what to do, and just started laughing at the absurdity of it all.

And she wasn't the only one. People flirt more with me than they did when I was obese, and it's not just the ladies. The number of hot gay dudes who friend me on FaceBook is huge now, and I am not any different than I used to be online, I just have less of me in the pics. Except my beard, which is awesome.

There's an argument made that people who lose weight get hit on more because they exude confidence, and that if you can fake that, it doesn't matter if you're obese. Bullshit. People really do hit on you more when you're thinner, and being funny or smart doesn't hurt when you're also fit and your morphology isn't grossly impacted by the stored energy you don't use. The closer you are to the societal standard of good looks, the more you get hit on.

And why that isn't mentioned, I have no idea. People use it for motivation a lot. "Get that bikini body" they say, but no one is talking about, "I lost 65 pounds and got hit on at the bar by a hot person I'd totally bang if I were into banging hotties I met at the bar." 

Or if they are I haven't noticed, or I ignored it because I thought it was a gimmick. It's not. 

That might sound great, but don't get too far ahead of yourself, because...

Your Shape Changes, but You're Still Marked

When you're obese and you lose weight and you get thin, you suddenly discover you've got stretchmarks. You may already know you have them, but they become a lot more prominent when you're thin. Maybe it's because I go outside without a shirt now, and get tan, and it rings them out or something. I dunno. 

I'm marked for life, though. I can spend the next 25 years being a normal body weight, and it won't matter to my skin. I'll always have some stretchmarks to remind me I used to be fat.

I'm ok with that. I look at them and just sort of shake my head, thinking, wow, I was huge! 

Was.

And that's ok. We get one life at a time, and we can do what we want with it. I ate a lot and moved hardly at all for a decade, and I have the wear and tear to show it. It really happened, I was that guy, and I'm different now, but that was me. That's how this shit works. You do stuff, and you get experience, and it shows, physically, mentally, emotionally. We grow, we shrink, we're different and we're marked for life by what we do. 

Works for me, because that works positively too, like when you realize 

The Number on the Scale was always Total Bullshit

So when I started losing weight, I was all about the number on the scale. I loved watching it go down, and I felt great doing the calculations for BMI and seeing it go down further and further. Eventually it plateaued, and I spent some months trying to find ways to jump start the weight loss thing again, and had various layers of successes and failures.

I had made it under the BMI level that said I was obese. I wasn't losing weight, and my body fat percentage wasn't going down. I went almost totally vegetarian, and was doing shit tons of cardio. I even considered giving up drinking. Twice.

Then I started working out for real, not just doing cardio to make the number go down. I started working on my actual body shape at the muscular level, changing my shape by performing a set of exercises to target specific muscle groups. I hit a point where I actually had to gain weight to get where I wanted to be. It took a couple of months to get to the point where I could give no shits what the scale says, except in passing. I go by how I look and what I can lift now, making changes to my routine after giving it 6 weeks to see how it works. At my lowest body weight, I was 165. I'm now hovering right around 180, and my body fat percentage is lower than it ever has been, and I like how I'm looking.

My focus shifted from how much I weighed to how I feel, and now the scale doesn't matter. Healthy people don't care what they weigh, they care how they feel. 

I feel great when I eat meals that are about 2/3 veggies, some protein, and some intermittent grains. I feel awesome when I move from a 35 pound dumbbell to a 40 pound dumbbell for my set. I love watching the stuff that hangs over my pants disappear, even though my jeans are tighter in the thighs because I can almost squat my body weight now. 

In other words, I was worried about the wrong shit the whole time, even though I was successfully losing weight. It wasn't about the weight, it was about how I feel. Which rocks because, then there's 

Wrinkles

Obese people aren't wrinkly. The fat stretches the skin leaving stretch marks when you lose the weight, but it also hides the wrinkles that come with age. They pop right out when you lose weight, and you see that hey, I don't erally look 18 without my goatee anymore... and probably haven't in 10 years. Sheesh!

Honestly, I don't mind. I like my wrinkles. When I was obese, my face was round, and smooth, and I looked younger than I was... because I looked like a giant toddler. Fuck that. I'll take wrinkles over that.

Almost No One Cares

When you lose a ton of weight, you feel great, and some people are all "Go you! woohoo!" but mostly, no one gives a shit. Obese people are supportive for the first ten pounds you lose, but when you start losing a lot more and worse, actually keeping it off, they quickly get defensive, and that's kind of surprising. 

And fit people are like, yeah yeah yeah, I've heard it all before, you're losing weight, you're proud of yourself, great, welcome to the club. Now... do you even lift?

And that's also great, because your weight shouldn't be a deal at all. The most important thing is that you enjoy your time in life. I've been obese, and now I'm fit, and I can tell you I am enjoying my life so much more now, and it was hard at first, but then it got better, and now I eat what I love and get high at the gym and am socially accepted and respected in ways I wasn't, and when I see myself naked, I can see I'm the kind of guy who can lose 65 pounds and become a weight lifter without being a jerk, and I look my age, and I feel wonderful.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

8:00 PM Eastern: RO in a Guest Spot on Indigo Children Radio!


I've been working on getting on Indigo Children Radio for about a year now, since the host pinged me on FaceBook and asked if I'd like to do a spot. I got swamped and things have been hectic as shit lately, but I've got a one-night interlude between balls to the wall living large, and we're taking advantage of the rare break in my schedule to get this done.

The main topic, as usual, is Hermetics. We'll be sketching out the basics a bit for context, but then we'll move on to the more fun stuff for advanced users.

I'll be pimpin' the Holy Guardian Angel book, and an upcoming course/book combo I've got in the works with Nephilim Press, but mostly I just want to talk about Applied Hermetics, taking this shit we do and making it work for our greater pleasure. Practice preachin' the Hermetic Word, getting the message out the way it needs to be.

Check it out tonight live at 8:00 PM Eastern here at their channel on YouTube, or you can catch it later on replay.

Sorry for the short notice, but hey, shit happens.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Jupiter ... Not Fair!

Gordon's review of Pete Carroll's latest and greatest sparked a response by Jason Miller regarding a paragraph gordon had written discussing how he sees Jupiter.
For context here's Gordon's quote that sparked Jason's response:
Praying to Jupiter has always struck me as waving a little flag as the Queen goes by. This is a god of kings and Rothschilds. It is Jupiter that allows Wall Street criminals to avoid jail and have you foot the bill for their crimes. That’s what kings do. Few forms embody having different laws for the wealthy than the rest of us quite like Jupiter.


And Jason's response:
I think that if you hold a “occupy-esque” mind set about the situation: that the wealthy are the bad guys, the poor are the good guys, wealth itself is wrong and should be re-distributed, and that all problems would be solved if everyone decided to live in a Utopian Socialist Collective, that Gordon is correct: Jupiter is probably not the being you want to work with.

If however you see a happy and comfortable populace with room for growth and prosperity as being ultimately beneficial even to those at the top – than I think Jupiter is your guy. Greed and Self-interest need not be traits of the wealthy, and very often are not.

In all things, let success be our proof.
The fact that life's not fair bothers both Gordon and Jason in ways that I can't quite seem to appreciate. Jove plays favorites, some people are luckier than others at birth than others, and some people are born with disabilities, not just average, but debilitated, and everyone's set to scrabble over stuff we need to survive, and people are totally cheating, keeping more than they need while others are dying as a result.

There are cheats inherent in the system that you can't control. There are different sets of rules that apply at different levels of society, and that is so appalling to Gordon that he doesn't even think to explain that it is wrong. It's just obvious. the Royals take advantage of the perks they get, and you don't get to participate in that unless it's as a slave.

Not Fair!

Jason writes a rational defense of Jupiter, pointing out that, yes, it's not fair to get blessings when other people don't get blessings, but that's ok because Jupiter is at least open to bestowing blessings to whoever makes the offerings, if he feels like it. Because he's the King of the gods, and does what he wants.

But what's weird is that they both are sort of pointing out that there's a game we all play in life, but it's not a fair game, and there are cheats that some people have that they use to get ahead of others. That's the given. Life:

  • Game. 
  • Unfair rules. 
  • Cheats.

Gordon posts life hacks all the time. His post, if you'll remember, is really a review od some Chaos Magick stuff from Pete Carroll. "Magick," Chaos, Ceremonial, Hermetic, whatever you call it is sort of, you know... hidden secret cheat codes to the game.

Gordon is not opposed to cheats that anyone can use who has access to them. The rich use the access to the cheats they have as they see fit. The magi do likewise.

And Jason... I mean, does anyone think he isn't all about cheating to win?

But why is it cheating to strive to become all that you can be in multiple worlds, to operate at your full potential, to reclaim your inherent divine status? What's so wrong with knowing what you are, who you are, what you can do, and then doing what you want? Is there more to the Great Work than that?

My great~grandfather Genghis Khan was a fucking illiterate barbarian who did amazing things armed with nothing more than a flesh suit and a conscious awareness. So is everyone else. Do what you want, no one can really stop you. That's how you find out what your fate is really all about, by doing what you can and seeing what you get. You're here to get away with as much as you can, as much as you want, however you want.

So fair... It's really all pretty darned fair. Jupiter is an arbitrary force of benevolent luck that impacts some folks who don't ask for it, and others who do. They get wealth, privilege, and prosperity. Jupiter is the force of that greater beneficence.

Who takes bribes.

Of burnt beef fat, from a rib-eye steak grilled medium rare, served with brassica, malbec, and a scotch on the rocks.

Sounds fine to me.

:shrug:

It's still a game with unfair rules that we can cheat. Cheating is a Mercurial manipulation of the forces, through hidden wisdom passed on through that tricksy writing stuff, that can be read and understood in many ways at different times. That's the approach magicians take to things, because we're blessed that way. We find old cheats, new cheats, and use them and project them, ascending through the spheres and returning in power to create the world as we see fit.

And that's really how it works. Jupiter's a part of that, one set of forces that influence things. Even if he doesn't like you, or you don't like him... you've still got a completely wide-open set of alternatives.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Living Death

So, how you doin'?

Feeling dead?

Just a little bit, inside?

Maybe lots, and not constrained to remain stuck on the inside?

Do I need to paint you a bleak picture of the miserable existence we spend so much of our time focused on? Jobs, relationships... fucking people, everywhere, with their shit. 

All that shit.

Nah. I got something better.

I had a pretty cool experience with the forces of Mercury this morning. That's how we started our day, an early-morning alarm to get up for a Mercury hour on a Mercury day. The last one possible, skating through on the skin of our teeth. The last-ditch chance of a planetary hour of a planetary day for at least a week. And it's Hermes, ffs. Get up.

Yeah, that went through my head.

We started out the way we usually do, Modern Angelic Grimoire Style, with tweaks. Blessed the inanimate creature of god, blessed the creature of fire, blessed the animate creature of god... but then we pulled a full Israfel, because it felt just right. And into the sacred space descended the spirits, showing us both things in the crystal, speaking to and through the scryer, showing me images in the stone that she then confirmed without prompting. We had a great rite, reminded first thing out of the box that we are creator gods, reminded of the power of the tongue, and being shown the framework and the flesh of all that is, and the flow of its breath.

And then this afternoon, I'm reading the Corpus Hermeticum, and see this:
"seek ye for one to take you by the hand and lead you unto Gnosis’ gates.
Where shines clear Light, of every darkness clean; where not a single soul is drunk, but sober all they gaze with their hearts’ eyes on Him who willeth to be seen.
No ear can hear Him, nor can eye see Him, nor tongue speak of Him, but [only] mind and heart.
But first thou must tear off from thee the cloak which thou dost wear,—the web of ignorance, the ground of bad, corruption’s chain, the carapace of darkness, the living death, sensation’s corpse, the tomb thou carriest with thee, the robber in thy house, who through the things he loveth, hateth thee, and through the things he hateth, bears thee malice."
It's the escape from that shit, that living death that we're stuck in that encapsulates the Great Work. That's what we're trying to do, to wake up and remember who we are and why we're here. The things that distract us are terrible. They're a pain in the ass. Social constraints, tribal obligations, taboos, fear of being shunned, fear of starvation for yourself or your family, fear of being alone. We do things to address these concerns, these requirements. We have to pay for our wi-fi somehow, after all, we can't be ourselves without the things we use, the things we do, the things we need to be ourselves.

And it's that "self" that is our enemy. The self that keeps us plugged in so we can interact. The self that acts on behalf of those things that it needs to sustain itself without consulting you first.

That's the enemy we face. The robber in our house. How many people feel miserable and trapped by their lifestyles? How many people stay with people they can't stand? How many hours do people spend doing jobs they don't like for people they hate so they can have money they don't get to enjoy because they have to spend it on keeping everything they hate running smoothly?

Fuck that shit, man. Fuck it right in the ass.

So I was thinking about monks who try to still the mind so they can comprehend that which observes through them. They turn off the thoughts. They turn their minds within, observing that which is observing, and then seeing who's watching the observer observing. Some go to wildernesses to escape other people, to see their thoughts without need of others. Ascetic Hermits of the East and West, sitting on mountains, eating bugs and mushrooms, and trying to see god.

And I thought of Ecstatic Hermetics, having a great time, projecting yourself through the Seven Spheres, integrating their forces, empowering yourself to accomplish your Will, and in the process burning through all the shit that keeps you from being able to handle those forces.

I think they are different approaches to the same goal. The monk gets to a point where he sees that no matter where he goes, or how alone he is, that ultimately it is he himself projecting and experiencing the universe, and that cannot be escaped. The Ecstatic Hermetic pursues that as the goal from the outset, using that as the standard by which all experiences are measured.

That quote is from "THE GREATEST ILL AMONG MEN IS IGNORANCE OF GOD," in the Corpus Hermeticum. "Him who willeth to be seen." That's the "god" referenced.

Who is Willing? Who, by their Willing can be seen?

Remember your Agrippa?
"Whosoever therefore shall know himself, shall know all things in himself; especially he shall know God, according to whose Image he was made; he shall know the world, the resemblance of which he beareth; he shall know all creatures, with which he Symbolizeth; and what comfort he can have and obtain, from Stones, Plants, Animals, Elements, Heavens, from Spirits, Angels, and every thing, and how all things may be fitted for all things, in their time, place, order, measure, proportion and Harmony, and can draw and bring to himself, even as a Loadstone Iron"
That's you, too.