Monday, November 14, 2011

What's the Endgame?

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
- H. L. Mencken

Fascinating comment on Débrouillard Magique from EKB:
That said, how is this essentially different from the rave-ist chaote scene in the 90s? Contextually, it's quite different. Essentially, I'm not seeing much to distinguish it from the Mondo2000 reading magical thinkers as they built the Valley start-ups that busted in August 2000. Other than making loads of cash (note the term used), what's the endgame?
What's different in the Peak Oil movement today vs. the 70s? There's a lot less oil, and it's got more traction.* Essentially, I would say it is not different, other than we're older, heavier, and have more kids. And we do different drugs to modify our serotonin levels.  Society trends in 15-20 year cycles, each generation adapting a bit, growing stronger and more effective. Consider it a continuation of the current, if you like. We're older, smarter, and we've got better magic than we had back then. We've can remember what happened 25 years ago now, when we weren't even 25 years old then.

The endgame... What has the endgame ever been? To get from where we're at today to the moment of our death in a manner that makes us happy, satisfied, and proud of what we've accomplished with our time on the planet. Figuring out what that means to us, and then actually doing it is, imo, the Great Work.

* Less oil... more traction...


  1. {I'm guessing that my M2k reference should've been a warning that I'm shooting for fast and dense in my bandwidth. Mea Culpa.}

    The comparison of Sys.D and Peak Oil is apt. Sure, it was discussed then and now. The process of mediated dissemination has increased it's reach and depth - in the 70s, Peak Oil was simply "fuckin' greedy Arabs!" or other less flattering verbal ejaculations around the dinner table at Maison Boyle. I'm sure similar happened for many of the rest of us of our generation - the exceptions were often limited to academia and the deep non-urban coastal eco-culture.

    That's what I'm saying by contextual differences: the who, what, where, when, and how are different between then and now.

    The Why of this is elusive. And mostly illusory, if I'm reading your correctly. Sure, get the cash. You gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women... I'm not in it for that. I can short-circuit that with a Bill and the right corner of town anytime. Same with Lead-into-Gold (a loaded .38 at ATM). Those would be the classic and almost canonical approaches to System.D, leading me to feel that the only real benefit is speed and low-learning curve.

    My point in all this is that unless there is some significant reason of Why to approach The Work through association with piracy and criminality beyond the materialism described, I'm hard pressed as to why I'd want to have any part of it except in the most dire and desperate of circumstances.

    Mencken has a point about the temptation... but it's notable that he doesn't go on to say that it should be done or is even a good idea. The "sheep for a lifetime or lion for one day" argument has always been hollow to me - the "maybe" position of being crafty, sneaky, and subtle is far more attractive IMNSHO. It also keeps you alive to fight another day...

  2. @EKB, the occult arts are fundamentally about working with the powers and forces of the unseen world to get what you want, circumventing the laws of nature and nations to get an advantage by living by spiritual laws that transcend the natural and political spheres.

    It's not about getting the cash or anything like that. It's about understanding that we are not stuck in the economic fiasco portrayed on the official news channels. We have other resources available that we may not be aware of.

    I'm not advocating setting up shop as a fence for stolen goods, or trafficking humans for cash to get power to get women.

    I'm advocating living in the world we live in, as it really is, not as the news corps want you to think it is.

    Why? Because there is intrinsic value in seeing through the illusion that all our needs can only be provided for through the blessed and holy outlet malls of the corporate elite.

  3. ... Which is my point about the nomenclature becoming an issue. In the prior post, you say it *is* about the money and economics. Not that there's anything wrong with cash or wealth or financial magic or any of that.

    When you start talking about how it's used in the context of your sources (East African piracy, smuggling, and human trafficking culture) without providing an essential differentiation between the uses, that's where I start having problems with using the term to apply to anything I'd do outside of absolute life and death situations.

    The 90s chrome-entrepreneurism was simply another point of the same range, yet it's the same range of exploitation ("code monkeys'll figure it out by then and we'll be rich!") Packaged only slightly differently, it's the same exploitation of humans for material gain seen at the Big Boxes (which lies at a different point on the same range as well).

    Sure, perhaps couching this in spiritual terms might make it different in result - switching models has that effect. I don't share your confidence in that and I don't really see this as anything but a new package for something that you rightly point out has been part of the magical community for some time.

    In game theory, if a player chooses to disregard the rules, the game ceases to exist. If the player instead chooses to apply a strategy that isn't what the rule designers intended yet violates no rules, the result is often remarkably effective. This is at the core of the Bargaining Problem and Nash's solution to it - the way A wins is to get up from the table and abandon the bargaining. B is forced to change their offer to keep A in the game for shared benefit. The so-called "egalitarian" solution is also interesting - everybody gets their absolute minimums because they set them as minimums. This sort of "rules hacking" is more along the lines of what I think your shooting for than what you've been describing in the context given. I could be wrong, as usual.

    It doesn't change the essence of the Work per se, even though it does change the tone of the process of working... and equal care would be needed to avoid turning it into bad macroeconomic games as well. I just find the idea of using Exxon's tactics against them and their cronies slightly more agreeable than anything associated with the sources you give. YMMV.

  4. I'm all for living in the real world and trying to get what you want, but when you propose to do this by "circumventing the laws of nature and nations to get an advantage by living by spiritual laws that transcend the natural and political spheres" you would seem to have entered the realm of gibberish.

    Can you give me any non-imaginary examples of ways you have done such things? I would love to see the laws of nature circumvented, but whenever I've investigated such claims in the past, I've invariably found a drug-addled, occult-obfuscated, deranged, irrational or otherwise delusional mind at work, but no such circumvention. Would you care to elaborate your claim?

  5. Jesus said that if the people didn't praise him as he waltzed into Jerusalem, the stones themselves would sing his praises.

    Do you think they would have had little rock mouths, little rock tongues, lungs, and lips?

  6. @Sean's request for results: kind of my big thing these days.

    The most recent big thing has been using NLP and hypnosis to lead people into ketosis while not varying their carbohydrate intake. Stepping back from the biochem lesson, it's basically something that's not supposed to be possible according to most medical thinking (the more detailed maths are in the papers in the bibliography of the Atkins Diet book). I've had 5 successful replications so far... but I'm still considering it anecdotal until I can get a larger data set and better confirmation than home urinalysis.

    I didn't do this through débrouillard: I did it through looking at the rules that these people had set for themselves as "conventional strategies" being interpreted as rules while the biological aspects are the actual rules. Can't break the rules without causing serious harm (i.e. forfeiting the game), but you can change the strategies so that holes in the rules can be exploited.

    This is the other big thing about systems or rules: unless the infinite myriad of possible situations are addressed specifically, there will always be a hole to be exploited by the cunning. In game design, rules-light and comprehensive are incompatible...

  7. Sean didn't ask for results, he asked specifically for evidence that the "laws of nature" were being broken.

    I don't think anyone can offer that.

    The spirits I work with do things to make things manifest. The things they do always manifest in accord with the laws of physics and within the constraints of the physical world we live in.

    That happens because that's how it works.

    There aren't loopholes, there are just things we don't understand. Consistently causing ketosis using NLP and hypnosis doesn't bend any rules, it only goes against a current theory. You're providing cases that will require further modification to the theories, or perhaps a new theory, or maybe you're simply proving the body responds to the mind by producing chemicals that are required because the mind thinks they are required. You're still operating by the rules, it's just rules that haven't been documented or understood.

    When I used the phrase "laws of nature" in the post, I used it inappropriately. I was talking about how people without access to magical influence experience life. Magicians circumvent the societally normative "cause and effect" channels, but they still are working within natural law. It is natural for humans to work with spirits to change experienced reality at the causal layer. they are operating within the normal laws of manifestation, they are just using techniques and tools that are "hidden."

  8. @Living Judas Priest lyrics: you're right, my fail.

    It's hard to go against Nature, because that's a part of Nature too. It's simply doing something that lies outside the filtered observed phenomenology.

    A dietitian or physician would say I'm either faking the results or something's massively medically wrong with these people, because the results indicate something outside the knowledge base of digestive processes. I could counter that it's their error in interpreting their knowledge as the relative extent of the rules of Nature. That they know everything there is to know that's applicable...

    This isn't to say that embracing ignorance as equal to knowledge is valid - just that the full dataset of the world is far more complex than we fleshy bipedal bags of mostly water can process conveniently. It's possible to have an extensive knowledge of something, but it's more than a bit arrogant to think that it's the absolute extent of what there is to know.

  9. yeah, like "junk DNA". :D

    "Ooops, it actually does something."

    Next thing you know, someone will figure out what the appendix really does.

  10. @RO: It's a safe harbor for "good bacteria", so when we have massive diarrhea (like a cholera infection) and everything gets flushed out, we can "re-populate" the rest of our intestines and get back to normal digestion ASAP, hopefully before you die of any deficiencies... if the dehydration hasn't killed you already.

    ...sorry, couldn't resist; it's the medical student in me.

  11. Awesome!

    Next thing you know, I'll have a million dollars in the bank.


Thanks for your comments, your opinions are valued, even if I disagree with them. Please feel free to criticize my ideas and arguments, question my observations, and push back if you disagree.