(Another old post, from back in August of 2009, before recent events. Interesting to me, maybe to you, to see where I was from where I am. I was doing a lot of Work with the Lemegeton's Goetia at the time. Kinda shows.)
Recent stupidity has me wondering about what the best option is. I look at this stupid world and the stupid people in it, the intellectuals debating, the middle class clashing at rallies, the lower class getting blown to bits as the ideologies work their way through society, and as a magician I'm faced with this question: What am I supposed to do with it?
Being moderately illuminated, having done the Work to refine my sphere and get in touch with God, am I supposed to try to bring my insight and understanding to the world and make it a better place by getting political and shit? I see what happens to people who do that. Even if I took over the world and instituted a Hermetic Illuminist global utopia, I'd still fuck something up and some people somewhere would get screwed and want to kill me and take over. Or some member of my government would stage a coup, or I'd turn into some insane despot who burns the feet of my nation's soccer team if I don't think they ran fast enough. The human brain is deficient. No sensible person would want the responsibility of running a planet, which leaves it in the hands of the senseless.
Should I just write about what I think and hope it makes a difference? Like I said, people who discuss things on an intellectual basis end up starting ripples that move throughout society, eventually ending in some mother weeping by a closed casket because the corpse of her baby doesn't have enough face left to have an open casket funeral. If I advocate Judeo-Christian ethics, am I innocent of the death of the abortionist shot by the pro-life zealot? If I advocate a woman's right to choose, am I innocent of the death of unborn children? There are real life consequences to writing about what I think. I may not be Manson telling Tex Watson to launch Helter Skelter, but I might end up being a part of what influences someone to do something insane.
Voltaire's solution from Candide appeals to me, tend my own garden, address the issues that arise in my own sphere and resist the urge to get involved in the wars, politics, and adventures of the remote world. I could bury myself in my Hermetic Magical Pursuit of the Great Work and let the rest of you turn the planet into a living hell. But there is no escape. What right would I have to protest Big Brother sending a gov't case worker in to monitor my diet and exercise if I do nothing at all? What right do I have to protest someone taking my children and placing them in a molesting foster parent's care because I practice a form of Christianity most Christians call Satanic?
And my kids... I owe them more than that. I'm supposed to be getting them ready to make the best possible life for themselves when they leave the relative safety of my sphere of influence. They deserve to be able to succeed in this fucked up world to the best of their abilities. I need to equip them with the wisdom, the knowledge, and the skill to interact with the rest of you without getting themselves shot, brainwashed, or imprisoned.
The worst option I can see is just going along with it all, day in, day out, work until I can't anymore as a wage slave cog in the machine that's aimed firmly at global misery. The thought of just living out my life, doing the best I can and hoping things work out alright in the end is maddening. It's like being trapped in an insane asylum where the inmates are the guards and everyone thinks they're free.
There's another option, and I just can't see it. I'm blind, or drugged by the limits of the flesh to the best option, walking around in the equivalent of a thorazine sedation, where the drug that keeps me docile and non-violent is genetically engineered to be produced by the body I'm trapped in.