Alchemy, Hermeticism & Forteanism

AlchoPwn

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#32
My knowledge of Hermeticism is infantile, but I sense that Trismegistus = a triune deity. It just seems so close linguistically.
Well, technically the inclusion of Imhotep is speculative. The more likely syncretic transfer for Imhotep is Asclepius. As for Thoth being thrice great, that is more about his contributions of writing, astronomy, alchemy and philosophy etc.

The interesting thing is that Hermes Trismegistus was not depicted as a deity, though he bore a deity's name. To be fair history has even seen Popes named after Mercury (John II). In the Divine Pymander, Hermes is a mortal human being who speaks with the Divine Pymander. "Pymander" of course means "Shepherd". In that discourse, the Pymander promises him his heart's desire, which is not glory or fame but knowledge, and proceeds to impart a metaphysical philosophy to him. This reference to a shepherd god was immediately seized upon by later Christians as evidence of the "perennial wisdom of Hermes" being "antediluvian". This claim was later pretty categorically dismissed by Fr. Marin Mersenne of the Order of Minims https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marin_Mersenne who was an associate of Descartes, and a philosophical enemy of the Rosicrucians, who were a popular secret society in Europe in the 17th Century.
 
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altered_boy

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#33
Sorry for the late response, gentlemen! I've been doing some Coniunctio and the Art of CV Joint Maintenance. sorry bad pun, i couldn't resist lol. its been a pain in my ass but hey I've been learning more auto maintenance so not a total waste... but I want enough time to make a thorough contribution to the conversation, so I'll make a post tomorrow.
 

altered_boy

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#35
Thanks for the good luck, I could make a whole post about how much of a pain in the ass this CV joint replacement has been for me.... it was one of those long projects that turned up other issues I had to address, and then I found things that a real mechanic needed to look at while the front end was taken apart in my garage. :sstorm:up and running now though!


ANYWAYS, let me try to hone in on some of these many topics.

As to altered_boy being transgender, lol, I never considered that, and on the internet where we are just words on a page I am not certain there is an environment where it matters less. I, btw, am not a famous 1920s gangster boss with chronic syphilis either (for the record), so, sry to disappoint.
:rofl2:
also that was an impressively brief but accurate summary of Hermeticism. I have a feeling it would've taken me a bit longer to explain that... haha. A great deal of my study thus far has been in the ancient arts that Hermes was said to behold: alchemy, astrology and theurgy. more on that in a moment. Astrology is something i will save for another post, since we have plenty at hand here. on the topic of alchemy, I must say that you have truly fascinated me with your talk of physical alchemy, AP. I completely agree, and I've honestly never met anyone like yourself that has been able to articulate it so damn well. whenever I have read similar statements, its always been in old cryptic texts haha.

how much have you all read by Manly P Hall? 33rd degree Freemason, astrologer, he wrote the "bible" of modern western esotericism "The Secret Teachings of All Ages" http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/index.htm

This was my first formal introduction into Hermeticism and western esotericism in general. While it is impossible to summarize every piece of data ever written on these subjects, Hall leaves no stone unturned in the investigation of Hermeticism and lots of other stuff.

It really all comes down to the question of the whole Garden of Eden myth, and whether you think Adam and Eve were immortal prior to eating the apple or not. If you don't think they were immortal, then God is a lying bastard and not to be trusted, i.e. you're a gnostic of some stripe, even though you may never have experienced gnosis.
Your emphasis on their immortality is interesting and useful. it's not often posed like that, even when people compare gnosticism to christianity. i have honestly tended to focus on the dichotomy of God and the Snake more than the immortality or lack there-of of Adam and Eve. I like where you are going with that. I am certainly gnostic in this sense. the snake doesn't seem to have any attachment to any ultimate evil aside from interpretation. I kind of see Lucifer as Yin and God as Yang, although I don't particularly think that Lucifer and God are equal. and when I say god I mean man's image of God i.e. the highest possible ideal concealable. with the human as the fractal, it means that we are an exact unit of the one-whole. this is at least what is meant to be implied by the Macrocosm and Microcosm. there is of course still quite a bit of room for debate as to what exactly that means when we say humans are fractals of the divine, but chaos theory's relevance in physics and psychology certainly raises my eyebrows.

Can I ask you, have you had difficulty focusing on one thing at a time since childhood?
What do you consider to be the significance (if any) of the number forty-two?
lol on the contrary, symbolism allows one to focus on a variety of different things all at once ;) but i have indeed had to learn the lesson about the "jack-of-all-trades and master-of-nothing".

um nothing offhand known about 42, but there are a couple different ways you could go at analyzing it from my mind. you could either consider the neopythagorean symbolism and both four and two, or you could focus on the 6 that the two create when added. why do you ask?

I'd like to know if you and AB have ever met the triune deities? Tried to summon them? Evocations etc?
Yes, I practice ceremonial evocation fairly regularly. i would call it theurgy to be a little more specific, At the very least, I have certain prayers. I pray to the Goddess on a full moon, I give thanks to God in the morning, and I interact with my Logos with my art, especially writing. in terms of ritual, i'll have to build my explanation here from the ground up.

my dogma is evolutionary psychology. this is why i find Hermeticism so fascinating, because it is the threshold where psychology and spiritualism naturally coalesce. this is why I brought up my personal life a little bit in my last real post. because in my mind, in order to really understand Hermeticism and Hermes, you have to understand what drives the Hermeticist. And I emphatically say from here that I don't consider myself any masterful or formalized Hermeticist. I am but another wayward traveler following The Path.

Ironically, I use Richard Dawkins' idea of "irreducible complexity" from The God Complex throughout all of my magickal activity. I think it is most crucial to focus on what exactly you are attempting to get out of the process. its very complex but that is essentially it. once you understand what the question/dilemma is, you can decide which state of consciousness/faculty of the mind that you wish to evoke or activate. from there, the specific deities you summon are a matter of personal-resonance or it is dictated by the particular ritual you are doing.

Here is an excerpt from my novel about this exact idea "What I can say is this: magick is useful for its properties to highlight aspects of our mind that need attention. In the case of the psychic phantom limbs, proper attention is not being given to certain needs through the activities of the physical mundane life, similar to a person that is nutrient deficient through their diet. When we begin developing psychic deficiencies, our brain projects these psychic phantom limbs through dreams and artwork, whether we be observing or creating the art."

Of course, the same thing happens when we achieve maximum potential in a capacity, These projections of the mind have a whole onslaught of projections, whether they be the Solomonic Keys, the enochian angels, Jahweh or Hindu deities, or just any archetypes in the grandest scheme. this is where I am very much in line with chaos magick at this point. given the overt comparisons to be made with psychology and physics through chaos theory, chaos magick is a beautifully interesting concept. it of course does not imply that everything is chaos--but that everything is chaos until the natural systems are discovered! this kinda illustrates everything i am talking about.

In this case, for example, when I say Hermes I am not talking about Hermes as a deity, but as the transpersonal embodiment of the Hermetic principle throughout history, and same goes for any given god and their qualities that they represent.

In terms of a Trinity, I have settled on an irreducible complexity of psychology and spiritualism that leaves me with the Great Mother (Anima), Great Father (Animus), and the Logos--which would be the Holy Spirit, or the Hermetic "word", or even the Promethean fire, et cetera. The Mother is represented by the Unconscious Mind, the Yin, the ocean, the Tree of Death. The Father is represented by the Conscious Mind, yang, and land, the Tree of Life. they meet at the shoreline of waking consciousness, and thus the ebb and flow of the tide occurs (Logos). I refer you to the Hermetic cosmogony from here. Are you familiar with it? in the cases of the Trees of Life and Death, they are intertwined at the roots, like a mobius strip.

Now that I've explained a little bit what I am trying to do when I perform magick, I'll say that Anton LaVey is very interesting if you are trying to learn about the application of ritual and ceremony. I DISAGREE with LaVey's overall conclusions about motivations to use it--I am far more altruistic than he was, but his emphasis on the ideas of hypnotic suggestion, sensory deprivation, et cetera are pretty spot on. I use the LBPR for certain cleansing beforehand, burn some sage and provide a given offering to whomever I am trying to evoke. I often use cannabis, tobacco and a libation of some kind. I also have specific sigils that I draw. I think the idea of a sigil is a cryptogram of the unconscious mind, and so are talismans, totems, the symbols of the I Ching, et cetera. And a cryptogram is essentially a hypnotic suggestion that has been transcribed through the mix of word and art, usually geometric shapes.

From here, I light some candles (specific variety given the situation) tie a scarf over my eyes and say a specific prayer, again depending on the circumstance. then i meditate on the prayer until i fall into a hypnotic trance. this is a very specific switch i can feel. when you are meditating, the images in your head are supposed to ebb and flow like the tide, and eventually empty out. when you engage in trancework, the images become fully immersive like a dream. it is essentially indistinguishable from a dream and I consider what I am doing to be a sort of evocation of the REM state.

my eyes even flutter like REM sleep every time. could be placebo? it's certainly not intentional either way.

i commune with the Father, the Mother, and Hermes. I've evoked angels like Gabriel before, for instance. I have a friend that has great success with enochian magick as well. and I definitely do not mess with demons. AP made a brief comment on the difference between a "demon" and a "daemon" earlier, but that there is an existence of a nefarious trickster "energy" and even a downright sinister energy cannot be denied. the people who mess with those things are corroded from the inside out.

I could go on from here but I'll leave it at that for now. i think i've left y'all plenty to pick at from here :)
 

altered_boy

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#36
damn, that post was longer than i expected it to be! i didn't even get to discuss the evocations I have done with Hermes. ah well, there's always the next post...
 
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#37
^ Huge appreciation, AB. I haven't enjoyed a personal post so much for ages. Thank you.

All year I have been listening to Gordon White interview folks who are alive in all the ways you listed above. People like Peter Levenda, Austin Coppock, Ramsey Dukes, Jenx, Richard Dolan, Connor Habib and Jason Louv. Until 2018 I was unaware that there was a perfectly serious and rational side to magical practice which seems to have been building into quite the groundswell, and it affects everything. These folks have successfully stepped right over the new age nonsense and found the deeper magic that has always been inside human experience. The texts and the teachers are now out in the open again after such a long occultation period. Through the past 9 months I've realised that I have already been deeply ritualised in many of my weekly activities without being fully consciously aware of it. And I know I can get those ritualised behaviours to align with something positive for the benefit of my life and those close to me.

My current stance is thinking about where to begin. Which direction to take. I'm wary of the dangers inherent in the improper use of method, so for now I'm just listening, reading, poking around a bit.

I'm also conscious of the deception factor. Driving to work this morning, I was listening to Led Zeppelin's Rain Song, and the lyric "You are the sunshine in my growing" came through pretty powerfully. I thought about where we get our sunlight as growing beings. I used to get it from Jesus Christ, then for a time from the materialist science fraternity. Lately, I've lost a lot. I'm looking to grow again. I know intuitively that there's something worthwhile in magical practice. So much of what I'm hearing resonates mentally. Now I'm about ready to start. But I don't want to take the first thing that grooves with me just because it appears wholesome. I know that the lights vary. Some are wholly negative, and the shadow they cast is poison. I'm trying to be wise about it.

So your posts have been helpful. What you do is legitimate. I used to mock people like you because I'm from a culture that only knows how to belittle what it doesn't understand. I'm growing out of it.

Thanks again. Keep on. I'm really enjoying your expression.
 

AlchoPwn

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#38
Back in 1987 I was very annoyed at my bank for introducing a series of fees that were frankly just unconscionable. They had sent me a prepaid postage letter for a survey they expected me to take. Instead I wrote them a strongly worded letter that told them that they were operating under a curse and if they didn't remove their evil fees within a fortnight that there would be dire and terrible financial consequences. I included dirt from a local cemetery, and mentioned the fact that it was grave dirty in the letter, and was used to activate the curse. I also added to the letter an image of the Caduceus of Hermes, uniting the Crucifix and the infernal trident by chains, and all three pouring lightning upon the symbol of the Bank which I had made to represent the Tarot Tower, crumbling. I sent the letter on October 5th. October 19th was Black Monday.

Hermes delivers.

Of course the bank didn't remove the fees until many years later when an inquiry into financial malpractice hit them. I had long since moved to a better bank. To say there was a direct causal relationship would be impossible to prove of course, but on this occasion I reserve the right to create my own meaning.
 
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altered_boy

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#39
Back in 1987 I was very annoyed at my bank for introducing a series of fees that were frankly just unconscionable. They had sent me a prepaid postage letter for a survey they expected me to take. Instead I wrote them a strongly worded letter that told them that they were operating under a curse and if they didn't remove their evil fees within a fortnight that there would be dire and terrible financial consequences. I included dirt from a local cemetery, and mentioned the fact that it was grave dirty in the letter, and was used to activate the curse. I also added to the letter an image of the Caduceus of Hermes, uniting the Crucifix and the infernal trident by chains, and all three pouring lightning upon the symbol of the Bank which I had made to represent the Tarot Tower, crumbling. I sent the letter on October 5th. October 19th was Black Monday.

Hermes delivers.

Of course the bank didn't remove the fees until many years later when an inquiry into financial malpractice hit them. I had long since moved to a better bank. To say there was a direct causal relationship would be impossible to prove of course, but on this occasion I reserve the right to create my own meaning.
A gangster after my own heart! Haha. That is the proper use of "black" magick right there, my friend. I mean technically that would be some black magick, but there's nothing wrong with that. Cases like these are the natural grey areas and sound like something I would do if felt inclined, lol.

you must have had some sort of earnest intentions when you did this, correct? I am just curious how much of it was sarcastic, because even if Black Monday never came, I still would've found that to be a great lil prank to send through the mail. but was it something you did for kicks or was it something you were really attempting?

Either way i find the results noteworthy.

Huge appreciation, AB. I haven't enjoyed a personal post so much for ages. Thank you.
Thank you kindly. I am only humbled, truly.

I really don't mean to do any sort of grandstanding, but since you mentioned your desire to begin some esoteric work soon, i feel inclined to give a Part 2. Pardon the length, I'd like to turn the floor back over to y'all after this. lol.

I read for many years before I even began practicing at all. i never got into any of this because I wanted to gain power, or learn the secrets of the "New Age", i really just got into it because I had a hunch I would die young if I didn't find some sort of existential accountability. had a rough start in life.

i have found Gordon White to be a very genuine researcher, and I've always liked his work. haven't heard of the others but it sounds like you are on the right track.

It's really hard to argue with results. Over the few years that I have earnestly practiced so far, the results have been pretty extraordinary. I have done different types of magickal work, but I haven't learned the extents of anyone's capabilities or my own. But the most of the work has been geared towards psychotherapy--resolving inner conflicts, creating new emotional patterns to memories and concepts in my life, planning for the future, exploring the symbolic nuances of people in my life, training myself to keep my "eye" open for certain things. the unconscious mind is a moving train that never stops, so if you point it in a specific direction, you will be absolutely floored by the results you get from it.

I honestly couldn't comment much to the more superfluous magick, like getting more money or falling in love. I think a lot of that is bullshit, but not all of it. I think there is substance to things like Voodoo, et cetera. Other than the psychotherapy I have discussed above, I will candidly say here that I have found success on many occasions gleaning information about the future, or info I couldn't have known otherwise. I have had a few life altering premonitions in dreams. BUT I don't dare to scry very often, and when I do it is PURELY out of altruism. its okay to get what you want out of magick--but not at the expense of others. there's always a grey area, but altruism is always key.

and if you ask about the future too often and get too cocky then you end up like Oedipus boinking his mother lol. allegorically of course.

Scrying represents my experimentation with the boundaries of these processes. I always recommend magickal work that focuses on more practical results.

I have asked plenty questions that have fallen flat, but I've never been told a lie by the Mother, Father, or Logos. the things they have told me were either too cryptic to make out initially, or they were spot-on, or they flat-out told me that I was asking the wrong question or hadn't merited the answer to the question yet. when they were spot-on, it was information about something that would be large life events that would be happening, how certain people felt emotionally about certain things in my life etc.

The trick to that is you can't stuff the answers of the gods into your own little box. This goes for scrying, but really any magickal work. The entire experience is interpreted through symbols, so you have to understand the "irreducible complexity" of the symbol to not lead yourself astray. As soon as you do that, you can rest assured that you are wrong, and that you are beginning to open up the doors to some trickster spirits through your lingering intentions after the ritual. In the beginning I noticed inclinations to do this, but I had studied very carefully and knew the pitfalls to look for.

Let the interpretations unfurl themselves for you in time. Half the time, when they tell you something it hardly makes sense. Then you sit with it, meditate on it, mull on it while you're at work, whatever, ir eventually begins to seep into your life and you begin to witness the answer in your daily activities and through other signs. Carl Jung called these "synchronicities", when the conscious and unconscious mind form a direct and crystal-clear link between one another for a brief moment in waking life.

Really, as long as you are practicing magick to help others as well as yourself, and you keep a humble, healthily skeptical mind, then you'll do just fine.

Allow me to clarify the direction of intent for theurgy. I provide a quote from Carl Jung, Vol 8 of The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche:. He speaks of dreams, but the same goes for theurgy and all trance-state work. Think of all trances, art, and dreams as scenes in a variety of different narratives in your head, all held together by memetic webs of archetypes. “The term ‘compensation’ naturally gives us only a very general idea of the function of dreams. But if, as happens in long and difficult treatments, the analyst observes a series of dreams often running into hundreds, there gradually forces itself upon him a phenomenon which, in an isolated dream, would remain hidden behind the compensation of the moment. This phenomenon is a kind of developmental process in the personality itself. At first it seems that each compensation is a momentary adjustment of one-sidedness or an equalization of disturbed balance. But with deeper insight and experience, these apparently separate acts of compensation arrange themselves into a kind of plan. They seem to hang together and in the deepest sense to be subordinated to a common goal, so that a long dream-series no longer appears as a senseless string of incoherent and isolated happenings, but resembles the successive steps in a planned and orderly process of development. I have called this unconscious process spontaneously expressing itself in the symbolism of a long dream-series the individuation process.” [p.289-90]

Intimations of this process are the synchronicity, for example.

These intimations are deep, recurring threads of personal adaptation. By learning to understand these intimations, we begin to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the psyche, and what preferences we have towards certain archetypes, etc. then you are cooking with some gas!

The process with which we dance around these intimations is what Jung called the "circumambulation of the self". Circumabulation, if you don't know, is the ceremonial act of rotating around an idol or sacred object, etc. Jung said in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, "There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the self. Uniform development exists, at most, at the beginning; later, everything points toward the centre. This insight gave me stability, and gradually my inner peace returned.” Through the intuition of dreams, art, and trancework--and everyday life, of course, but in less concentrated ways--we circumambulate around the self and our karmas. This is also considered to be the zodiacal wheel that each and every person is said to rotate within, which is a bit of a different subject.

When I said at the beginning that I got into this because I needed to find some existential accountability--I needed to reorient my circumambulatory patterns. really this is what we all need to do! the work is never complete.

Well I hope that made practical sense and wasn't too idealistic. I really do detest the New Age movement with all my heart lol, it's all far too disengenuous and ambiguous. really esotericism cuts away at all the fluff, it doesn't add to it.
 

altered_boy

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#41
Any time, friend! Also, before you begin any theurigal work or otherwise, I recommend getting a firm knowledge of the Sephiroth and Qliphoth. These represent the classical, quintessential pathways (positive and negative) of the circumambulation of the self.

Quick afternote, I will describe my first evocation of Hermes. I've already put in the legwork, so now I'll just pain the picture.

The trance was in full effect, the dream-type sequence in gear. I was in a hotel room, waiting for Hermes to arrive. I heard a knock at the door, so I answered it and saw a full fledged Egyptian Thoth at the entry. We sat down at the table and I asked him if he was indeed Thoth. He said "no..." and after an awkward pause, he pulled off his bird-head and I saw a blue eye, brown haired Greek smiling at me. "Call me Hermes!" He was chuckling.

So anyways, I asked him for perspective on my counsel with the mother. I was asking a variety of different questions, many about my writing, but one big one was how to put to rest a past relationship. this girl and i had both gotten each other into esoteric stuff together, so it was a long intertwined thing that I won't get into.

He told me this, among other things. He brought me to the scene of the Judgement of Paris in Greek mythology. Wherein, Paris is asked to decide whom to bestow the golden apple upon. From wikipedia because I'm getting tired, lol. "The three choices were Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite offered the world's most beautiful woman, Helen of Sparta." He chooses Aphrodite and starts the Trojan War. Long story short, Hermes told me to go back and to redo this--me being Paris in this allegory. He said to give the apple to Athena instead, and then he left me to it. I did as he suggested.

Then, he lastly told me this: when my the evocation was over, I was to take an apple and slice it in half. I would stick the sigil of both Hermes and Athena between the apple halves with some cannabis and tobacco, tape the apple back together, and put this in a plastic tupperware container. Then i was to place it on top of my roof, and burn some incense on top of it (with some wax underneath so it didn't melt into the tupperware). here, I would leave the apple until it decomposed. the container was so that the animals didn't get it. it was meant to be a full decomposition process.

every time I thought about the set of circumstances that led me to the Judgement of Paris, i remembered the apple on my roof decomposing. as it did so, it was slipping from the hands of Aphrodite and settling with Athena.

i found it to serve its purpose very beautifully. and i think this is a good example of theurgy used in a practical way that has a lot of value in everyday life.

Cheers
 

AlchoPwn

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#42
also that was an impressively brief but accurate summary of Hermeticism. I have a feeling it would've taken me a bit longer to explain that... haha. A great deal of my study thus far has been in the ancient arts that Hermes was said to behold: alchemy, astrology and theurgy. more on that in a moment. Astrology is something i will save for another post, since we have plenty at hand here. on the topic of alchemy, I must say that you have truly fascinated me with your talk of physical alchemy, AP. I completely agree, and I've honestly never met anyone like yourself that has been able to articulate it so damn well. whenever I have read similar statements, its always been in old cryptic texts haha.
I have been doing more research on alchemical gold of late, i.e. the Swedish reserve. Nothing yet, but I may have some sources forthcoming soon. As to liking my summary, I thought it was pretty reductionist. Glad you thought it was ok.

how much have you all read by Manly P Hall? 33rd degree Freemason, astrologer, he wrote the "bible" of modern western esotericism "The Secret Teachings of All Ages" http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/
http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/index.htm

I have heard of him but have never read M.P. Hall. I keep bumping into his name in books about various topics. Sounds like I need to pay him some attention. I haven't had much luck finding any of his stuff at a reasonable price.

This was my first formal introduction into Hermeticism and western esotericism in general. While it is impossible to summarize every piece of data ever written on these subjects, Hall leaves no stone unturned in the investigation of Hermeticism and lots of other stuff.
Good to know.

Your emphasis on their immortality is interesting and useful. it's not often posed like that, even when people compare gnosticism to christianity. i have honestly tended to focus on the dichotomy of God and the Snake more than the immortality or lack there-of of Adam and Eve. I like where you are going with that. I am certainly gnostic in this sense. the snake doesn't seem to have any attachment to any ultimate evil aside from interpretation. I kind of see Lucifer as Yin and God as Yang, although I don't particularly think that Lucifer and God are equal. and when I say god I mean man's image of God i.e. the highest possible ideal concealable. with the human as the fractal, it means that we are an exact unit of the one-whole. this is at least what is meant to be implied by the Macrocosm and Microcosm. there is of course still quite a bit of room for debate as to what exactly that means when we say humans are fractals of the divine, but chaos theory's relevance in physics and psychology certainly raises my eyebrows.
My emphasis on immortality on this issue is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. You see, God said if you eat the apple you will die, but Adam and Eve didn't die, at least not immediately. That begs the question of how long they would have lived if they hadn't eaten the apple. The point is whether God lied to them or not, and for God to be telling the truth, then A +E would have had to be immortal.

On the other hand, neither Adam or Eve had any concept of good or evil at this point, making them what were once legally known as "moral imbeciles". Now I ask you, what sort of parents leaves their retarded kids in the care of a drug pusher, and then disowns the child when they take drugs, because they, the parent said not to. I mean FFS the kids are retards, and they have no more clue if the parent is right than the drug pusher, as they can't make a reasoned decision. Only the reasoning parties on this occasion have made immoral decisions. The parent's decision is by far the more morally culpable however, as they knew the drug pusher's proclivities, and then over-reacted to a predictable outcome.

my dogma is evolutionary psychology. this is why i find Hermeticism so fascinating, because it is the threshold where psychology and spiritualism naturally coalesce. this is why I brought up my personal life a little bit in my last real post. because in my mind, in order to really understand Hermeticism and Hermes, you have to understand what drives the Hermeticist. And I emphatically say from here that I don't consider myself any masterful or formalized Hermeticist. I am but another wayward traveler following The Path.
I wouldn't worry, it is awfully hard for anyone to claim a true lineage back to the Library of Alexandria without being an utter fraud I fear.

Ironically, I use Richard Dawkins' idea of "irreducible complexity" from The God Complex throughout all of my magickal activity. I think it is most crucial to focus on what exactly you are attempting to get out of the process. its very complex but that is essentially it. once you understand what the question/dilemma is, you can decide which state of consciousness/faculty of the mind that you wish to evoke or activate. from there, the specific deities you summon are a matter of personal-resonance or it is dictated by the particular ritual you are doing.
Interesting, so your magical workings are involved with hundreds of micro-steps? Is that what you mean by irreducible complexity? That is interesting. I personally use the idea of a Planck Envelope concept as a "set of mental brackets" around my workings to balance the incoming and outgoing energies into a zero sum that won't annoy the universe and therefore won't backlash me with wayward karma.

Here is an excerpt from my novel about this exact idea "What I can say is this: magick is useful for its properties to highlight aspects of our mind that need attention. In the case of the psychic phantom limbs, proper attention is not being given to certain needs through the activities of the physical mundane life, similar to a person that is nutrient deficient through their diet. When we begin developing psychic deficiencies, our brain projects these psychic phantom limbs through dreams and artwork, whether we be observing or creating the art."
That is a very good analogy. The notion of treating psychic potential like a phantom limb is really thought provoking. I think Jung would like this too. I enjoy the way your brain works AB. Please tell me when and how this idea occurred to you?

Of course, the same thing happens when we achieve maximum potential in a capacity, These projections of the mind have a whole onslaught of projections, whether they be the Solomonic Keys, the enochian angels, Jahweh or Hindu deities, or just any archetypes in the grandest scheme. this is where I am very much in line with chaos magick at this point. given the overt comparisons to be made with psychology and physics through chaos theory, chaos magick is a beautifully interesting concept. it of course does not imply that everything is chaos--but that everything is chaos until the natural systems are discovered! this kinda illustrates everything i am talking about.
The analogy I would use here is human language acquisition. Before we develop language, infant humans are subjected to a lot of information from their senses, but they have no conscious way to organize what is happening into anything meaningful. They know that familiar and benign shapes come by and relieve their internal pressures, and they don't even quite understand that it is they who is making that awful noise when they cry. Now while the conscious mind presently lacks the intellectual tools to find meaning in an infant, the unconscious is busily collating and filtering everything on an emotional and instinctual level. The baby gradually learns to control its wayward limbs, then one day the baby says a word, testing to see if they have understood the code they have been observing for so long. Every baby is like Bletchley Park, waiting for the penny to drop and the code to make sense. Until that time, it is all chaos, as you say.

Now that I've explained a little bit what I am trying to do when I perform magick, I'll say that Anton LaVey is very interesting if you are trying to learn about the application of ritual and ceremony. I DISAGREE with LaVey's overall conclusions about motivations to use it--I am far more altruistic than he was, but his emphasis on the ideas of hypnotic suggestion, sensory deprivation, et cetera are pretty spot on. I use the LBPR for certain cleansing beforehand, burn some sage and provide a given offering to whomever I am trying to evoke. I often use cannabis, tobacco and a libation of some kind. I also have specific sigils that I draw. I think the idea of a sigil is a cryptogram of the unconscious mind, and so are talismans, totems, the symbols of the I Ching, et cetera. And a cryptogram is essentially a hypnotic suggestion that has been transcribed through the mix of word and art, usually geometric shapes.
Your assessment of LaVey is more than fair. I think you are too generous to him. I would never recommend him to a beginner for example, as they might get run up the wrong track. There is a certain element of "pitting your intention against the universe" that I think is dangerous in LaVey. I mean, if you run full tilt at a brick wall with your head down, you might just break through a window, but it is much easier to use the door.

It is interesting that you use so many props in your workings. Personally I seldom do workings unless I have a "cause" that will give me some fire in the belly, stacked with mental clarity and sharpness of focus. On the other hand, I know your method will work, as it isn't as if I haven't used props to the same extent, but normally when I had less clarity of purpose and "passion" to burn. Then again I default Buddhist, while you seem to default to something more shamanic.

From here, I light some candles (specific variety given the situation) tie a scarf over my eyes and say a specific prayer, again depending on the circumstance. then i meditate on the prayer until i fall into a hypnotic trance. this is a very specific switch i can feel. when you are meditating, the images in your head are supposed to ebb and flow like the tide, and eventually empty out. when you engage in trancework, the images become fully immersive like a dream. it is essentially indistinguishable from a dream and I consider what I am doing to be a sort of evocation of the REM state. My eyes even flutter like REM sleep every time. could be placebo? it's certainly not intentional either way.
Really? You actually blindfold yourself to get active? I have certainly seen plenty of people do the REM thing. For the most part I am a worker in words not images. One of the things I have heard for people who do visual work is that your visualization will gain in force if you can partly close your eyes and roll them back in your head to the point where a little bit of light is still getting in, but your mental focus is heavily internal.
It is quite interesting that the visual cortex can be activated when we aren't actually seeing anything, huh? It is really borderline amazing.

i commune with the Father, the Mother, and Hermes. I've evoked angels like Gabriel before, for instance. I have a friend that has great success with enochian magick as well. and I definitely do not mess with demons. AP made a brief comment on the difference between a "demon" and a "daemon" earlier, but that there is an existence of a nefarious trickster "energy" and even a downright sinister energy cannot be denied. the people who mess with those things are corroded from the inside out.
I could go on from here but I'll leave it at that for now. i think i've left y'all plenty to pick at from here :)
I'm of the opinion that all spirits are Daimons after a fashion, but as with people, some are a lot nicer than others and some are a lot more useful than others. Oh, and some are just plain bad and should be avoided. I actually class what some people call angels as a species of Daimon. I wouldn't recommend having much to do with external entities until one has psychic self defense covered to a respectable degree of proficiency. It is a bit easy to get "mugged" or "virused" if you don't know what you are doing. I would also add that psychic sensitivity is a very two edged sword, in this situation. This is the whole psychic sender/receiver paradigm. Receivers are the sensitive ones, and they will pick up when a signal is dangerous, but often can't handle large quantities of energy. Senders can dish the energy, but they are more susceptible to parasites because they don't notice them. The real sting in the tail is that the middle ground is a moving feast, depending on what you're dealing with.
 
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altered_boy

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#43
I have been doing more research on alchemical gold of late, i.e. the Swedish reserve. Nothing yet, but I may have some sources forthcoming soon. As to liking my summary, I thought it was pretty reductionist. Glad you thought it was ok.
Well I thought the reductionist quality was well-used. For me, my constant struggle as a writer is reducing the complexity. I love being descriptive and painting a picture, which is an extremely fine line when you are doing non-fiction research. Things get wordy quickly lol I am the first to admit. But its for a purpose. Anyways, please elaborate anything you would like to hash out so far with your late research into physical alchemy?

I see the basic mechanisms of how you are talking about this process occurring, but what are the big real-world implications? How are governments implementing the ability to transmute? Sounds like you are already researching along these lines. Honestly with the whole concept, I've always thought this was the crux of the issue: it seems like there would be someway to get gold out of other metals, sooner or later. with technology moving so rapidly, it would only make sense that we would eventually figure out how to do something like this. but where is it today? how has this knowledge effected the geo-political economic paradigm, and if it hasn't, then why?

My emphasis on immortality on this issue is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. You see, God said if you eat the apple you will die, but Adam and Eve didn't die, at least not immediately. That begs the question of how long they would have lived if they hadn't eaten the apple. The point is whether God lied to them or not, and for God to be telling the truth, then A +E would have had to be immortal.

On the other hand, neither Adam or Eve had any concept of good or evil at this point, making them what were once legally known as "moral imbeciles". Now I ask you, what sort of parents leaves their retarded kids in the care of a drug pusher, and then disowns the child when they take drugs, because they, the parent said not to. I mean FFS the kids are retards, and they have no more clue if the parent is right than the drug pusher, as they can't make a reasoned decision. Only the reasoning parties on this occasion have made immoral decisions. The parent's decision is by far the more morally culpable however, as they knew the drug pusher's proclivities, and then over-reacted to a predictable outcome.
Lol yeah I saw your tongue in your cheek there, but the point is still quite interesting. I do like the thought experiment of the emphasis. I agree with your statements on the kids and the drug pusher. In the grand scheme, this conversation here is a whole alchemical cornucopia, especially when you look into the Pre-Christian, rabbinic analyses of the Garden of Eden. Lots of tradition I have mentioned, how Lilith was the first woman before Eve, and that Namaah came after Lilith. So Eve was the third and final feminine installment of God, so to speak. many of these same Kabbalistic teachings considered the snake as Lilith rather than Lucifer, because the snake was inherently feminine. this ultimately is meant to represent the initial allusion to the Qliphoth of the Tree of Death. none of this is meant to imply that femininity is inherently evil or corrupt, but at its broadest it is meant to allegorically represent what happens when femininity is already corrupt. everything can be corrupted, this is just one of those studies--if we subscribe to this line of thought. This little concept here is a BIG reason that Jordan Peterson has been getting so much hate from hardcore lefties, especially feminists and social justice warriors. Even though Peterson explains the corruption the same way I did, these types of people only see "feminine + chaos = patriarchy" and that's just not how the symbolism works.

Anyways, that's a whole different subject really. I don't think the snake is evil, but I think it represents the attention that needs to be given to evil when the human acquiesces knowledge. i.e. freedom brings more responsibility, knowledge brings forth more chaos on the outer limits. the snake is naturally associated with the feminine quality and its archetypal ability to assimilate chaos--or cause to grow further--through these specific ways.

Interesting, so your magical workings are involved with hundreds of micro-steps? Is that what you mean by irreducible complexity? That is interesting. I personally use the idea of a Planck Envelope concept as a "set of mental brackets" around my workings to balance the incoming and outgoing energies into a zero sum that won't annoy the universe and therefore won't backlash me with wayward karma.
"Irreducible complexity" is something I will bring up on a forum like this, but not something I am currently using in my research. I say this because I read the God Complex a long time ago, haven't brought up the term in conversation in a while, and I can't even remember the exact context Dawkins used it in. How the term has grown in my mind is this: "To reduce a fraction to lowest terms, divide the numerator and denominator by their Greatest Common Factor (GCF). This is also called simplifying the fraction. Click on the fraction to see how to reduce it to lowest terms." From math.com lol. I see irreducible complexity as the analytic equivalent to what occurs when we reduce the data to its lowest terms in order to cross-analyze data-sets that would otherwise seem to have little or no connection. See what I mean?

Could you explain this Planck Envelop concept some more? I see what you're saying but I'd be interested to hear more

That is a very good analogy. The notion of treating psychic potential like a phantom limb is really thought provoking. I think Jung would like this too. I enjoy the way your brain works AB. Please tell me when and how this idea occurred to you?
Why, thank you! I do appreciate it. I am proud of this one, because I came up with it on my own. But at the same time, the idea is extremely low-hanging fruit. I felt like Ramchandran poetically alluded to it with his title Phantoms in the Brain, which dealt with the subject. and the idea is inspired by ideas in the Tibetan Book the dead. i can't remember the technical terms off the top of my head right now, but I know that the demons and hellish deities, realms, that are visited between lives are karmic allegories manifest as a metaphysical entity. it is said that once the karma is accepted and acknowledged, the torment ends and the movement between lives continues onward. Dr. Gabor Mate also has a book titled In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts about addiction. i think that the Chinese idea of the hungry ghosts is essentially what i have called the "psychic phantom limb."

Your assessment of LaVey is more than fair. I think you are too generous to him. I would never recommend him to a beginner for example, as they might get run up the wrong track. There is a certain element of "pitting your intention against the universe" that I think is dangerous in LaVey. I mean, if you run full tilt at a brick wall with your head down, you might just break through a window, but it is much easier to use the door.

It is interesting that you use so many props in your workings. Personally I seldom do workings unless I have a "cause" that will give me some fire in the belly, stacked with mental clarity and sharpness of focus. On the other hand, I know your method will work, as it isn't as if I haven't used props to the same extent, but normally when I had less clarity of purpose and "passion" to burn. Then again I default Buddhist, while you seem to default to something more shamanic.
LaVey's Satanism is running full tilt at a brick wall to make a doorway! LMAO. So well said. always thought it was a damn shame that he dragged down points that were analytically interesting sometimes, with just barbaric and even ludicrous interpretations.

I agree about LaVey, I hope I didn't come across like a cheerleader or something. I'm not even trying to endorse him, but I like some of the modern scientific analyses that he helped open up. I don't recommend him as a source, its more of like an ancillary note. Part of the reason I have been writing my own book is to open up many talking points where modern science and magick naturally converge, without dragging the morose psychosis of LaVey or the deadhead hippie ignorance of the New Age into the mix. There needs to be more level-headed analysis on these topics.

My approach is quite shamanic. I have a lot of Cherokee in my blood (not enough to get any legal benefits from it, but enough so that no one I meet thinks I am white, haha). That inspired me a lot initially when I was looking for a variety of different inspirations to draw from, so I looked a bit into native american shamanism. And I was basically introduced to ritual magick by pagans, and they tend to be pretty theatrical. I see all the props as Priming mechanisms. They way I have learned to approach it is this: the newer you are to magick, the more props you should use. like training wheels, just to help. eventually, through training, these things become unnecessary. they technically aren't exactly necessary, from my point of view, but they are helpful. The blindfolding is more of the Priming. On these notes, I'll say that i'm not into group stuff, I've always done everything alone.

Yes, the visions that the mind produces when the eyes are closed is indeed amazing. The thing that separates us from animals, ultimately.

I'm of the opinion that all spirits are Daimons after a fashion, but as with people, some are a lot nicer than others and some are a lot more useful than others. Oh, and some are just plain bad and should be avoided. I actually class what some people call angels as a species of Daimon. I wouldn't recommend having much to do with external entities until one has psychic self defense covered to a respectable degree of proficiency. It is a bit easy to get "mugged" or "virused" if you don't know what you are doing. I would also add that psychic sensitivity is a very two edged sword, in this situation. This is the whole psychic sender/receiver paradigm. Receivers are the sensitive ones, and they will pick up when a signal is dangerous, but often can't handle large quantities of energy. Senders can dish the energy, but they are more susceptible to parasites because they don't notice them. The real sting in the tail is that the middle ground is a moving feast, depending on what you're dealing with.
I've always been much more of a Receiver, the only Sending I do is basically through artwork

This is why I studied for years before I even decided I wanted to approach any personal rituals. I've heard many horror stories of total idiots evoking things like ALL the 72 Keys of Solomon for power, one demon for each day. first off, if they are lucky enough to perform any of it right, they usually don't make it far before they are start going stark raving mad. its a lifelong process, and I got into it kinda early on in life out of necessity. like I said, if you are acting to aid yourself and others--and acting in a way that is not at the expense of yourself and others--then it's only going to be a positive experience. if you do this properly, you'll see even through the trickters. of course, what I just said is really complex if you are trying to be technical and specific. its easier said than done.

i've been thankful to have been given the proper prerequisite knowledge to know the basic mistakes to avoid. one of the primary tools in my guidance has been the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. I used the Qliphoth to diagnose my ailments, and the Tree of Life Sephiroth were used to formulate my spiritual, theurigical evocations for aid.

Speaking of alchemical cornucopias, Goethe's Faust is truly timeless, and I think the overall end of the story really touches on the details you are talking about. I've done quite a bit of meditation on the story of Faust and I think ultimately it illustrates how the deepest intentions of man dictate his outcomes. meaning that it counts if you try in earnest. Karma, basically. Faust did a lot of dirty shit, and he even technically sold his soul, but in the end he was still rescued by the angels and sent to heaven--and it was because of his epiphany of his pitfalls. if we act out of altruism, even if we are still ignorant, then there is always hope.

i've never had any literal Faustian predicaments, but I think that every human grapples with their own Faustian complex. "demons" are things we all carry with us on our left shoulder! they are our Hungry Ghosts, are psychic phantom limbs.

i think that when people summon unsavory deities or become tricked through ignorance, they are really not necessarily attracting anything new. rather they are corrupting natural internal qualities of their own psyche, and that is either becoming their own demon or it could be the food for some actual entity. luckily we have the angel on the right. for this last bit, i have digressed into pure speculation, of course!
 
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altered_boy

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#44
Here is an open-ended afterthought that I couldn't not add. It is a little piece of my book that quotes Faust's encounter with Lilith.

"Even Goethe decided to use Lilith for a brief and eloquent scene at the Walpurgis witches Sabbath, where Mephistopheles introduces Faust to Adam’s first wife. Faust is eagerly willing to give into his carnal desires here, but after the initial interaction, he witnesses Lilith’s face form into Medusa, this being the personification of his guilt for what he has done to Gretchen. In the scene, Mephistopheles introduces Lilith to Faust, telling him,



'Beware the lure within her lovely tresses,
The splendid sole adornment of her hair!
When she succeeds therewith a youth to snare,
Not soon again she frees him from her jesses.'


When Faust and Lilith begin dancing, he says to her,

'A lovely dream once came to me;
I then beheld an apple-tree,
And there two fairest apples shone:
They lured me so, I climbed thereon.'


To which Lilith replied,

'Since first in Paradise they grew;
And I am moved with joy, to know
That such within my garden grow.' "
 

AlchoPwn

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#45
Well I thought the reductionist quality was well-used. For me, my constant struggle as a writer is reducing the complexity. I love being descriptive and painting a picture, which is an extremely fine line when you are doing non-fiction research. Things get wordy quickly lol I am the first to admit. But its for a purpose. Anyways, please elaborate anything you would like to hash out so far with your late research into physical alchemy?
Well, as you've mentioned it, I have found out a bit. I have been digging into Van Helmont some more. IDK if you are familiar with what is called the "colorless fire" in alchemy, but that is a really good description of a number of forms of radiation. The important one for our purposes is the most dangerous i.e. neutron radiation. If you start with pitchblende https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitchblende there are various ways to refine it into yellowcake or potentially turn it into a neutron source. The important thing for the Van Helmont research I am doing is how to produce Americium trifluoride, which seems to be Van Helmont's pink crystal philosopher's stone. Once you have that, you can start turning lead and mercury into gold (and dying of cancer).

I see the basic mechanisms of how you are talking about this process occurring, but what are the big real-world implications? How are governments implementing the ability to transmute? Sounds like you are already researching along these lines. Honestly with the whole concept, I've always thought this was the crux of the issue: it seems like there would be someway to get gold out of other metals, sooner or later. with technology moving so rapidly, it would only make sense that we would eventually figure out how to do something like this. but where is it today? how has this knowledge effected the geo-political economic paradigm, and if it hasn't, then why?
The Soviet Union frequently produced gold this way in order to meet their budget for food. The main thing to remember about gold is that most of it is quickly taken out of circulation, so there is seldom much inflation of it. My family owns a small but very productive gold mine, and have been reaping the windfall of economic instability since 2008 when everyone went looking for something safe to turn their money into as a store of value. On the other hand in 2001 various economists in senior positions were saying that the importance of gold on the international market was over, and all nations should abandon the gold standard. Our gold mine has proven to be one hell of a form of "doomsday prepping", all things considered.

yeah I saw your tongue in your cheek there, but the point is still quite interesting. I do like the thought experiment of the emphasis. I agree with your statements on the kids and the drug pusher. In the grand scheme, this conversation here is a whole alchemical cornucopia, especially when you look into the Pre-Christian, rabbinic analyses of the Garden of Eden. Lots of tradition I have mentioned, how Lilith was the first woman before Eve, and that Namaah came after Lilith. So Eve was the third and final feminine installment of God, so to speak. many of these same Kabbalistic teachings considered the snake as Lilith rather than Lucifer, because the snake was inherently feminine. this ultimately is meant to represent the initial allusion to the Qliphoth of the Tree of Death. none of this is meant to imply that femininity is inherently evil or corrupt, but at its broadest it is meant to allegorically represent what happens when femininity is already corrupt. everything can be corrupted, this is just one of those studies--if we subscribe to this line of thought. This little concept here is a BIG reason that Jordan Peterson has been getting so much hate from hardcore lefties, especially feminists and social justice warriors. Even though Peterson explains the corruption the same way I did, these types of people only see "feminine + chaos = patriarchy" and that's just not how the symbolism works.
LOL I thought the reason JP was getting stick from the left was because he was a libertarian who insisted on riling them up by philosophically attacking the assumed morality and legitimacy of the authoritarian Left's position.

Anyways, that's a whole different subject really. I don't think the snake is evil, but I think it represents the attention that needs to be given to evil when the human acquiesces knowledge. i.e. freedom brings more responsibility, knowledge brings forth more chaos on the outer limits. the snake is naturally associated with the feminine quality and its archetypal ability to assimilate chaos--or cause to grow further--through these specific ways.
So you don't see the snake as a quintessentially phallic symbol? Color me surprised.

"Irreducible complexity" is something I will bring up on a forum like this, but not something I am currently using in my research. I say this because I read the God Complex a long time ago, haven't brought up the term in conversation in a while, and I can't even remember the exact context Dawkins used it in. How the term has grown in my mind is this: "To reduce a fraction to lowest terms, divide the numerator and denominator by their Greatest Common Factor (GCF). This is also called simplifying the fraction. Click on the fraction to see how to reduce it to lowest terms." From math.com lol. I see irreducible complexity as the analytic equivalent to what occurs when we reduce the data to its lowest terms in order to cross-analyze data-sets that would otherwise seem to have little or no connection. See what I mean?
Yes, I get it. It is also called "factorization" I think. When applied to biological systems as opposed to maths (I say maths these days, because mathematics is plural) it becomes irreducible complexity within your framework https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity. I added the link for anyone else reading this. My lecturers used to get annoyed at me for doing that and call me reductionist. LOL.

Could you explain this Planck Envelop concept some more? I see what you're saying but I'd be interested to hear more
The idea is that you create a mental space where ceteris paribus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceteris_paribus applies, entirely as a construct. The notion being that you can observe all the incoming and outgoing energy transactions. Anyhow, what happens within the mental space, or "envelope" is outside space-time, a bit like what happens in a document in between when you cut and paste. Terrible analogy, but bear with me. Thus you can add or subtract energy into or out of the miniature system of relationships in the mental space, provided that there is a source and an outlet for what is used. It is a bit like wiring up reality to move a certain way. Very mechanistic. You send the energy where it is needed to do the work you want it to do, and then find a way for it to earth.

Why, thank you! I do appreciate it. I am proud of this one, because I came up with it on my own. But at the same time, the idea is extremely low-hanging fruit. I felt like Ramchandran poetically alluded to it with his title Phantoms in the Brain, which dealt with the subject. and the idea is inspired by ideas in the Tibetan Book the dead. i can't remember the technical terms off the top of my head right now, but I know that the demons and hellish deities, realms, that are visited between lives are karmic allegories manifest as a metaphysical entity. it is said that once the karma is accepted and acknowledged, the torment ends and the movement between lives continues onward. Dr. Gabor Mate also has a book titled In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts about addiction. i think that the Chinese idea of the hungry ghosts is essentially what i have called the "psychic phantom limb."
Hungry ghosts is an imported Buddhist/Hindu notion where they are called Pretas. I can see the connection between addiction and hungry ghosts all too well. Very apt. Good work to come up with the idea btw. It's worth repeating.

Satanism is running full tilt at a brick wall to make a doorway! LMAO. So well said. always thought it was a damn shame that he dragged down points that were analytically interesting sometimes, with just barbaric and even ludicrous interpretations.
I get how people can lurch into Satanism, mainly as a reaction to religious authoritarianism in their lives. I am in no doubt about LaVey's intelligence, and I am somewhat sympathetic to his philosophical position, but it closes one door on a lot of crappy behavior only to open another one. It really doesn't do society much good.

I agree about LaVey, I hope I didn't come across like a cheerleader or something. I'm not even trying to endorse him, but I like some of the modern scientific analyses that he helped open up. I don't recommend him as a source, its more of like an ancillary note. Part of the reason I have been writing my own book is to open up many talking points where modern science and magick naturally converge, without dragging the morose psychosis of LaVey or the deadhead hippie ignorance of the New Age into the mix. There needs to be more level-headed analysis on these topics.
LOL, by the same token I hope I didn't sound too down on LaVey. I have certainly read him and he has some good points to make.

As to the notion of finding where science and magic overlap or naturally converge, I am in total sympathy, for that is something of a pet project of mine too, along with synthesizing different cultural systems into an overarching theory.

My approach is quite shamanic. I have a lot of Cherokee in my blood (not enough to get any legal benefits from it, but enough so that no one I meet thinks I am white, haha). That inspired me a lot initially when I was looking for a variety of different inspirations to draw from, so I looked a bit into native american shamanism. And I was basically introduced to ritual magick by pagans, and they tend to be pretty theatrical. I see all the props as Priming mechanisms. They way I have learned to approach it is this: the newer you are to magick, the more props you should use. like training wheels, just to help. eventually, through training, these things become unnecessary. they technically aren't exactly necessary, from my point of view, but they are helpful. The blindfolding is more of the Priming. On these notes, I'll say that i'm not into group stuff, I've always done everything alone.
Good! The various native American forms of shamanism are a rich tradition and I have plenty of respect for them. Frankly I find them inspiring, thought some of the legends are completely confusing too. I nearly married a part Choctaw girl when I was doing undergrad anthropology. As to the whole "use lots of props" notion, yes, I concur. They can really help.
 

AlchoPwn

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#46
Yes, the visions that the mind produces when the eyes are closed is indeed amazing. The thing that separates us from animals, ultimately.
Oh, I am pretty sure animals get them too, or they wouldn't twitch when they're dreaming. On the other hand, I think humans might have the edge on our "brother critters" when it comes to using the previsual cortex as a tool. When an engineer can use their own brain to run a conceptual version of autoCAD and rotate their vision of the bridge they're building through 360 degrees in their mind alone, it is a pretty honed "brain muscle".

I've always been much more of a Receiver, the only Sending I do is basically through artwork
LOL, I am quite the reverse. I am really good at sending. I had a psychic and sensitive girlfriend who eventually broke up with me because I could overwhelm her conscious thought when I got excited about something. She was painfully introverted, needless to say. For all that, many people think I'm an extrovert, but I'm not, I am pretty much exactly 50/50.

This is why I studied for years before I even decided I wanted to approach any personal rituals. I've heard many horror stories of total idiots evoking things like ALL the 72 Keys of Solomon for power, one demon for each day. first off, if they are lucky enough to perform any of it right, they usually don't make it far before they are start going stark raving mad. its a lifelong process, and I got into it kinda early on in life out of necessity. like I said, if you are acting to aid yourself and others--and acting in a way that is not at the expense of yourself and others--then it's only going to be a positive experience. if you do this properly, you'll see even through the tricksters. of course, what I just said is really complex if you are trying to be technical and specific. its easier said than done.
FFS! Yeah, I think I have heard of people doing that too. The good news is that they probably have no idea about what they are doing, and probably can't get it to work, as you say. I suspect anyone who tries such a thing is already pretty crazy before they start, and the ritual is merely an excuse for expressing their subsequent mental collapse. For some people, the social mask of sanity becomes too much effort to bear. I saw a horror movie called "Mandy" recently that is redeemed by the line "The psychotic is drowning in the same waters where the mystic plays". On the other hand, for the most part, I begin to feel a little sympathy for the devils being prank called by idiots and mad folk. Is it any wonder they get cranky?
 

AlchoPwn

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#47
I've been thankful to have been given the proper prerequisite knowledge to know the basic mistakes to avoid. one of the primary tools in my guidance has been the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. I used the Qliphoth to diagnose my ailments, and the Tree of Life Sephiroth were used to formulate my spiritual, theurigical evocations for aid.
I find your use of the Qliphoth as a form of self-diagnosis of illness and problems a very clever spin on how to employ the system, and I haven't heard of anyone else doing that. Of course what you have written makes perfect sense, it's just many people run a mile at the mention of anything bad, when using it as a map of how to diagnose what is going wrong is so logical. I will have to mention it to a rabbi I know, next time I'm beating his ass at backgammon this year. We have been playing bi-annually for 7 years and he has never won a game. This Qlipoth idea of yours will be great for getting him thinking (then he can blame me for distracting him when he loses again). It's a bit of a Charlie Brown/Lucy with the football thing.

Speaking of alchemical cornucopias, Goethe's Faust is truly timeless, and I think the overall end of the story really touches on the details you are talking about. I've done quite a bit of meditation on the story of Faust and I think ultimately it illustrates how the deepest intentions of man dictate his outcomes. meaning that it counts if you try in earnest. Karma, basically. Faust did a lot of dirty shit, and he even technically sold his soul, but in the end he was still rescued by the angels and sent to heaven--and it was because of his epiphany of his pitfalls. if we act out of altruism, even if we are still ignorant, then there is always hope.
Yeah, I noted your Faust quote below too. It is far and away the deepest piece of writing in German, and I somewhat lament that I never took to the language. It is filled with Hermetic allegories apparently, but they aren't so available in English translations.

I've never had any literal Faustian predicaments, but I think that every human grapples with their own Faustian complex. "demons" are things we all carry with us on our left shoulder! they are our Hungry Ghosts, are psychic phantom limbs.
Give thanks. Nobody needs that.

I think that when people summon unsavory deities or become tricked through ignorance, they are really not necessarily attracting anything new. rather they are corrupting natural internal qualities of their own psyche, and that is either becoming their own demon or it could be the food for some actual entity. luckily we have the angel on the right. for this last bit, i have digressed into pure speculation, of course!
Ah, interesting territory, those personal Daimons. I think the worst of us begins to manifest when we humans get what we want rather than what we need. We tend to want a lot of dumb and self indulgent things. Self discipline is one of the most important lessons of wisdom, and I hope to learn it eventually. ;)
 

altered_boy

your friendly neighborhood alchemist
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#48
Well merry christmas, Al! Or happy holidays, if you really prefer. I'll try to whittle down some of these topics a little bit since I helped to sprawl them out! Suffice it to say that I found all the points to be enjoyable to read.

Well, as you've mentioned it, I have found out a bit. I have been digging into Van Helmont some more. IDK if you are familiar with what is called the "colorless fire" in alchemy, but that is a really good description of a number of forms of radiation. The important one for our purposes is the most dangerous i.e. neutron radiation. If you start with pitchblende https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitchblende there are various ways to refine it into yellowcake or potentially turn it into a neutron source. The important thing for the Van Helmont research I am doing is how to produce Americium trifluoride, which seems to be Van Helmont's pink crystal philosopher's stone. Once you have that, you can start turning lead and mercury into gold (and dying of cancer).
Ha! i had a good laugh at the cancer bit. I've heard mention of the colorless fire before but that's it. I will keep this in mind when i read further! Fascinating tidbit. do i recall correctly that you have done experiments attempting to produce the americium trifluoride? or am i jumbling this with your story of your experiments in your old shed? I do love that story, haha.

Fascinating bit about the soviet union as well. What do you reckon that America has done with this knowledge? And China? These are the current primary superpowers, after all.

LOL I thought the reason JP was getting stick from the left was because he was a libertarian who insisted on riling them up by philosophically attacking the assumed morality and legitimacy of the authoritarian Left's position.
Haha! Well that certainly encapsulates the grand scheme of why he's pissed people off. But for whatever it's worth, I've heard him debate with many different interviewers his reasoning for associating femininity with chaos. He has also gone into this a bit more during his lecture on the Garden of Eden and its symbolism.
If you haven't heard it, i highly recommend it. I try not to be a fanboy of anybody, but I have a job that allows me to listen to podcasts, etc, so I've been able to digest quite a bit of JP, among many others. I think he is a great asset in general. Real good, smart dude.

So you don't see the snake as a quintessentially phallic symbol? Color me surprised.
Well this is an idea that has been in the back of mind for a while, not something I have written about in my research. Still trying to parse it all out, so I appreciate your perspective. there is absolutely a strong feminine tinge to the snake in symbolism, but you raise a fair point.

I do see what you mean about the phallic symbol, but there is a lot of historical association to the snake via the feminine archetype. Just take medusa for example. In African shamanism and Voodoo, the snake is considered a cornerstone deity. it is one the utmost importance, and it is worth noting that the highest of the african/voodoo priest class has always been the woman i.e. priestess. But now that you bring it up, I suppose there could be a hidden Yin-Yang aspect here. The feminine psyche, wielding the phallic power of the snake. on the same hand, i've heard Lilith referred to as the "Bride of Lucifer" or "Queen of Hell" many, many times, although she isn't exactly referenced as such in any classical texts. i do see what people mean when they refer to her as such, archetypally speaking. And I don't think Lilith is entirely negative or demonic as such either--I see her more like a Druidic Kali.

I'll have to think about the snake notion more and get back to you. Any more of your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Overall I see the Great mother as that which associates chaos, begins to draw chaos closer but in order assimilate it. the Great Father is more so to do with that constructs need to be made when the chaos has been dealt with. its not so entirely clear-cut, but that's a good general way to put it.

Also, JP mentions his analysis on the snake at the end of that lecture I gave you the link too. He states that he hasn't entirely decided the grandest implications of the serpent, but he gave it a very fair rendition by describing the Promethean aspects and emphasizing that Satan and Lucifer have historically been different entities. i think of JP has open minded and it was even more open minded than I expected him to be. He also mentions the evolution of humankind with the snake, explaining that the snake specifically helped develop the human's visual acuity by evolutionary necessity. we had to be able to detect the slithering around in the trees and the bushel, otherwise we were subjected to the bite...

I kind of see that as archetypally feminine so far. It's intuitive, drawing some sort or order out of the chaos of the snake's unknown qualities. but that doesn't exactly make the snake feminine, even if this is the case.

Hungry ghosts is an imported Buddhist/Hindu notion where they are called Pretas. I can see the connection between addiction and hungry ghosts all too well. Very apt. Good work to come up with the idea btw. It's worth repeating.
Hadn't yet come across the term Preta yet. Great find! And thanks again, I hope to draw more attention to it with time so I appreciate that. If you haven't read Gabor Mate' before, I recommend his as well. Great human being. He's begun to perform a lot of heroin-related rehabilitation through shamanic ayahuasca ceremonies. Its a case of a no-nonsense materialist really advocating an open-minded perspective on spiritualism.

Oh, I am pretty sure animals get them too, or they wouldn't twitch when they're dreaming. On the other hand, I think humans might have the edge on our "brother critters" when it comes to using the previsual cortex as a tool. When an engineer can use their own brain to run a conceptual version of autoCAD and rotate their vision of the bridge they're building through 360 degrees in their mind alone, it is a pretty honed "brain muscle".
Oh yeah, duh! I've seen this so many times I'm surprised I hadn't thought of it when I typed it. I have a big ol' maine-coon cat that I love. I've caught him dreaming about things from time to time. I swear in the multiverse somewhere I've been his cat and he's been my owner. JK but he's a really damn smart house pet. It's made me wonder. And yes, agreed about the human "edge".

I find your use of the Qliphoth as a form of self-diagnosis of illness and problems a very clever spin on how to employ the system, and I haven't heard of anyone else doing that. Of course what you have written makes perfect sense, it's just many people run a mile at the mention of anything bad, when using it as a map of how to diagnose what is going wrong is so logical. I will have to mention it to a rabbi I know, next time I'm beating his ass at backgammon this year. We have been playing bi-annually for 7 years and he has never won a game. This Qlipoth idea of yours will be great for getting him thinking (then he can blame me for distracting him when he loses again). It's a bit of a Charlie Brown/Lucy with the football thing
Lol that sounds like quite the friendship. For some reason I am imagining you playing Larry David in a game of backgammon :rollingw: JK i appreciate your feedback. I as well have not seen this anywhere else, and was not taught it by anyone, so I am always interested to hear feedback--especially in this case. If/when you get a response from your rabbi friend I would love to hear what he said! I have not yet had the chance to meet such a Hebrew scholar yet. I guess i could just go walk into a synagogue, but it's not the same as developing a friendship naturally of course. For the record, this outlook with the Qliphoth has helped me a great deal. I think it provides a nuanced insight into the sephiroth. I also think the Trees of Life and Death, conjoined like a Mobius strip, are archetypall equivalent to the spheres of Hell, Heaven, and the middle ground of purgatory that Dante' experiences in the Divine Comedy. another alchemical cornucopia!

Ah, interesting territory, those personal Daimons. I think the worst of us begins to manifest when we humans get what we want rather than what we need. We tend to want a lot of dumb and self indulgent things. Self discipline is one of the most important lessons of wisdom, and I hope to learn it eventually. ;)
Shit, likewise about the learning! It's a daily thing. And i agree overall. Also, interesting details about "ceteris paribus". I don't remember coming across this term yet, I'm going to look into it more. I'll likely get back to you with my thoughts, I really like the whole concept.

Cheers
 

AlchoPwn

Public Service is my Motto.
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#49
Well merry christmas, Al! Or happy holidays, if you really prefer. I'll try to whittle down some of these topics a little bit since I helped to sprawl them out! Suffice it to say that I found all the points to be enjoyable to read.
Messy Xmas and happy nude year AB. Yeah, de-sprawling is in order I think and I'll help too.

Ha! i had a good laugh at the cancer bit. I've heard mention of the colorless fire before but that's it. I will keep this in mind when i read further! Fascinating tidbit. do i recall correctly that you have done experiments attempting to produce the americium trifluoride? or am i jumbling this with your story of your experiments in your old shed? I do love that story, haha.
There is literally "NO WAY" I am gonna make americium trifluoride any time soon in a backyard athanor, LOL. Firstly, I don't know how yet. Secondly, its a frikkin' neutron source and I am not feeling that suicide by radiation poisoning is how want to go out atm. Thirdly, I am dovetailing nuclear physics into alchemy based on some book about alchemy I bought, and square peg into round hole doesn't quite describe it. Major retro-engineering.

Fascinating bit about the soviet union as well. What do you reckon that America has done with this knowledge? And China? These are the current primary superpowers, after all.
Neither China nor the USA has any need to do this. Both countries have enough economic understanding to realize that mass producing gold will only lower its price if you start dumping gold on the market. The Soviets did it because they had no choice, as they couldn't organize a Sunday School raffle if there wasn't a war on.

And I don't think Lilith is entirely negative or demonic as such either--I see her more like a Druidic Kali.
Are you sure she isn't a Norse Kuan Yin, or an Aztec Sekhmet? Lilith is a Jewish deity of cot death and masturbation guilt. Due to her role as Adam's first wife, she is sometimes considered less than demonic, but according to the myths she hates Eve and all her children, and Adam, and God. I know Lilith is big in Wicca and Feminism, and the origin of the Vulcan Finger Blessing "Live long and Prosper", as this is the sign that rabbis make over a jewish grave to ward off the children of Lilith i.e. masturbation tulpas. Leonard Nimoy turned back and saw them administering this V fingered blessing during that part of the ritual.

I'll have to think about the snake notion more and get back to you. Any more of your thoughts on this would be appreciated.
Well, if the notion of the feminine wielding masculine power suggests a world out of balance, then she is the equivalent of the Queen of Swords in Tarot.

Overall I see the Great mother as that which associates chaos, begins to draw chaos closer but in order assimilate it. the Great Father is more so to do with that constructs need to be made when the chaos has been dealt with. its not so entirely clear-cut, but that's a good general way to put it.
The Great Father is a constructor, and a killer. The Great Mother is a birther and devourer. The Great father is an externaliser, the Great Mother internaliser.

Also, JP mentions his analysis on the snake at the end of that lecture I gave you the link too. He states that he hasn't entirely decided the grandest implications of the serpent, but he gave it a very fair rendition by describing the Promethean aspects and emphasizing that Satan and Lucifer have historically been different entities. i think of JP has open minded and it was even more open minded than I expected him to be. He also mentions the evolution of humankind with the snake, explaining that the snake specifically helped develop the human's visual acuity by evolutionary necessity. we had to be able to detect the slithering around in the trees and the bushel, otherwise we were subjected to the bite...
Yeah, noted. I didn't know that JP got into esoteric stuff. I have mainly encountered his politics.

I kind of see that as archetypally feminine so far. It's intuitive, drawing some sort or order out of the chaos of the snake's unknown qualities. but that doesn't exactly make the snake feminine, even if this is the case.
I always thought the whole "stripper with a snake" thing was all about the erotic charge of the snake as phallus with a mind of its own and a hint of danger. It is odd how a hint of danger adds an erotic frisson to situations between men and women. Fear of death makes humans horny I guess, the whole Freudian eros/thanatos thing.

Hadn't yet come across the term Preta yet. Great find! And thanks again, I hope to draw more attention to it with time so I appreciate that. If you haven't read Gabor Mate' before, I recommend his as well. Great human being. He's begun to perform a lot of heroin-related rehabilitation through shamanic ayahuasca ceremonies. Its a case of a no-nonsense materialist really advocating an open-minded perspective on spiritualism.
Anyone who is helping people get off heroin is worth his salt. I actually think cigarettes are more addictive though :smoke:

You might be interested to know that a lot of people who have schizophrenia self medicate with opiates, as it makes them feel leveled out and normal. Schizophrenia seems to be a situation where the visual cortex and more often the auditory cortex start firing signals where apparently signals don't exist. A bit like the phantom limb description you used earlier. Normally this only happens when we dream, and we resolve the conflicts of the psyche internally. Schizophrenics superimpose their dream senses onto waking reality without knowing it. I suspect a lot of Forteana is a product of these episodes (which nearly everyone will experience at some time). When they start happening all the time, then there is a problem. Schizophrenia has been compared to a bad acid trip that won't end.

that sounds like quite the friendship. For some reason I am imagining you playing Larry David in a game of backgammon :rollingw: JK i appreciate your feedback. I as well have not seen this anywhere else, and was not taught it by anyone, so I am always interested to hear feedback--especially in this case. If/when you get a response from your rabbi friend I would love to hear what he said! I have not yet had the chance to meet such a Hebrew scholar yet. I guess i could just go walk into a synagogue, but it's not the same as developing a friendship naturally of course. For the record, this outlook with the Qliphoth has helped me a great deal. I think it provides a nuanced insight into the sephiroth. I also think the Trees of Life and Death, conjoined like a Mobius strip, are archetypall equivalent to the spheres of Hell, Heaven, and the middle ground of purgatory that Dante' experiences in the Divine Comedy. another alchemical cornucopia!
Yeah, Morrie gets a bit like Larry David after he starts losing games. I tease him gently, and remind him that statistically his losing streak should already be over, and "this isn't the Americas Cup", and "kvit yer kvetchin'". He loves backgammon passionately, while I am more of a wargamer. Worse still, I have figured out why he keeps losing, and have told him I'll tell him why if he wants to know. He says that the suggestion I am making is impossible.

We often chat about esoteric stuff. I'm sure he will value your unorthodox Qliphoth idea.

Shit, likewise about the learning! It's a daily thing. And i agree overall. Also, interesting details about "ceteris paribus". I don't remember coming across this term yet, I'm going to look into it more. I'll likely get back to you with my thoughts, I really like the whole concept.
Ceteris paribus comes from economics, and just means "all other things being equal" (which of course they never really are).
 

altered_boy

your friendly neighborhood alchemist
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#50
Neither China nor the USA has any need to do this. Both countries have enough economic understanding to realize that mass producing gold will only lower its price if you start dumping gold on the market. The Soviets did it because they had no choice, as they couldn't organize a Sunday School raffle if there wasn't a war on.
Ah I see. That makes perfect sense to me. in any case, it doesn't seem to me like the global market is much concerned with gold anymore, with gold-standard currencies practically being a thing of the past. certainly a thing of the past, in the case of the US. not sure about where else. but the petro-dollar is the real currency these days. i'm sure you know this all too well!

Are you sure she isn't a Norse Kuan Yin, or an Aztec Sekhmet? Lilith is a Jewish deity of cot death and masturbation guilt. Due to her role as Adam's first wife, she is sometimes considered less than demonic, but according to the myths she hates Eve and all her children, and Adam, and God. I know Lilith is big in Wicca and Feminism, and the origin of the Vulcan Finger Blessing "Live long and Prosper", as this is the sign that rabbis make over a jewish grave to ward off the children of Lilith i.e. masturbation tulpas. Leonard Nimoy turned back and saw them administering this V fingered blessing during that part of the ritual.
Given that all of these goddess archetypes have their own unique connotations--would you not consider Kuan Yin or Sekhmet to be akin to Kali? I am unfamiliar with both of these archetypes, so I'd be happy to be enlightened. I googled Kuan Yin and I found her to be a female buddha, yes? What do you mean by the Norse connotation? I actually didn't know that about Spock, but I did know that Gene Roddenberry was into alchemy and Rosicrucianism, so that makes sense! And I think that Lilith was related to wet-dreams and masturbation guilt is not something that has lent much to her esoteric context at all. She is certainly associated with the dark anima, so to speak, and connected with devious sexual fantasies, among many other things. Again, at the risk of generalizing here, I am curious as to what specific differences you are pointing out here?

While Wicca and Feminism take Lilith to unnecessary extremes, I do find the Lilith archetype to be pervasive and worth remembering, because of her specifically western roots. Not to say she is more important that any other similar archetype, but she has a bit more a personal significance to the western esoteric heritage, and thus, the collective unconscious.

Well, if the notion of the feminine wielding masculine power suggests a world out of balance, then she is the equivalent of the Queen of Swords in Tarot.
Interesting take. I don't think the feminine wielding the masculine power would inherently be a world out of balance, but is sure could be. I think the Queen of Swords is a great point, something I will have to ponder. Do you know much about the history of the tarot? I would be interested in your perspective on it and its relation to psychological alchemy. I believe you have read my book's chapter on the divination arts? Did you read the details about the tarot, how it was developed by Italian aristocracy? I think this was in the 15th century. And when it finally seeped over the French border, it damn near inspired the entire French occultism revival. From what I can see, the tarot had nothing in origin to do with the Mystery schools, but the premise of tarot as a symbolic, hypnotic thought experiment is quite interesting. i like the cards.

The Great Father is a constructor, and a killer. The Great Mother is a birther and devourer. The Great father is an externaliser, the Great Mother internaliser.
Lovely, I'm gonna remember that phrasing. On point!

Yeah, noted. I didn't know that JP got into esoteric stuff. I have mainly encountered his politics.
For real, check out his esoteric research! some people would likely disagree, but i don't have any problem at this point calling him an esoteric scholar. the guy is absolutely bursting with ideas, and he really only got into any political discourse so that he could have a platform to discuss his esoteric ideas. i've heard him so as much many times. and for that, i give him credit as well. i respect a guy who engages the contrived, politicized topics so that he can draw them to much more esoteric lengths. i am not that type of person--i write for the esoteric-minded.

I encourage you to listen to Peterson's debates with neuroscientist, Sam Harris.

And I just noticed that the conversation from the Finding Religion thread became a whole new Jordan Peterson thread. I'm gonna start jumping on there and stirring up the conversation a bit!

I always thought the whole "stripper with a snake" thing was all about the erotic charge of the snake as phallus with a mind of its own and a hint of danger. It is odd how a hint of danger adds an erotic frisson to situations between men and women. Fear of death makes humans horny I guess, the whole Freudian eros/thanatos thing.
The dark anima, in the case of the man's psyche. I guess the stripper with a snake really does kinda encapsulate the entire lilith archetype. I appreciate this brain-storm especially, along the lines of the feminine and the snake. the masculine connotation to the snake is an important distinction to be made and I appreciate you pointing it out. the feminine relationship to the snake is a bit more nuanced and second-hand, but very interesting for these reasons.

Anyone who is helping people get off heroin is worth his salt. I actually think cigarettes are more addictive though :smoke:

You might be interested to know that a lot of people who have schizophrenia self medicate with opiates, as it makes them feel leveled out and normal. Schizophrenia seems to be a situation where the visual cortex and more often the auditory cortex start firing signals where apparently signals don't exist. A bit like the phantom limb description you used earlier. Normally this only happens when we dream, and we resolve the conflicts of the psyche internally. Schizophrenics superimpose their dream senses onto waking reality without knowing it. I suspect a lot of Forteana is a product of these episodes (which nearly everyone will experience at some time). When they start happening all the time, then there is a problem. Schizophrenia has been compared to a bad acid trip that won't end.
Haha, maybe about the cigarettes! I am not so sure though. I don't necessarily think that nicotine is more 'chemically dependent" than heroin, so to speak, but I think it is perhaps harder to kick a cigarette habit as opposed to heroin. And I would wager that this is because a cigarette habit is much easier to manage than a heroin habit, and so it's harder to differentiate your life from the habit that is interlaced with the regular life. Some heroin addicts keep straight, but so many of them just fly off the deep end and lose all sense of circumambulation. so when they decide to rehabilitate, it couldn't be more of a radical change. for a cigarette smoker, it's such a subtle change. it requires more of a consistent, daily effort simply because smoking a cig is a lot less of a 13th step than an alcoholic relapsing, or a smackhead, etc.

i've enjoyed organic tobacco in my life. it's a guilty pleasure as a writer. but it's not a daily thing for me. i think in moderation tobacco is nice and studies have shown that nicotine is actually quite useful, dare I say even healthy for the mind! it sharpens focus and attention, they call it a neutropic. it's no wonder that writers have such an archetypal association with it. but tobacco itself is of course quite rough on the body. i don't recommend anyone pick it up as a habit.

I have read that tobacco had a dual purpose is shamanism. Firstly, it was known for certain cleansing properties similar to sage. And secondly, it was said to be a sort of signal-booster for a person trying to communicate with the spirit realm. it was said to help carry the thoughts of man to the spirits--very hermetic!

I think in this case it is also worth considering the damage that the additives in cigarettes create. Over 200+ additives in your Marlboro of Pall Mall, etc, and these things do everything from strengthening the nicotine to strengthening your addiction to it. not to mention all the pesticides, let's be real. and i've heard that menthol cigarettes actually have fiber glass in them...? not sure if that's a myth or not but I've heard of worse before. when the FDA says that 100% organic tobacco does not mean a safer cigarette, it's definitely total bullshit.

anyways, kind of a side note there, lol.

as for the schizophrenia: yes! i say you are on point! i think schizophrenia is a great example as to how Forteana, occultism, and natural sciences coalesce inevitably. there are sciences explaining the mechanics of schizophrenia, but these explanations only really serve to provide more questions. the answers given by the sciences not only help explain certain aspects of occultism and Forteana, but also help gauge the remaining questions more astutely. that is my take on it
 

AlchoPwn

Public Service is my Motto.
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#51
Ah I see. That makes perfect sense to me. in any case, it doesn't seem to me like the global market is much concerned with gold anymore, with gold-standard currencies practically being a thing of the past. certainly a thing of the past, in the case of the US. not sure about where else. but the petro-dollar is the real currency these days. i'm sure you know this all too well!
LOL, while on a sensible planet you'd be correct, since the 2008 crisis, the price of Gold has been immense, from a low in 2001 when it was posited that gold was an irrelevant commodity. So many "petro-dollars" dived for cover behind gold it is humorous. Everyone seems to want a store of value that doesn't decay over time, and gold has a mythic quality of inherrent value which I'm sure you can appreciate.

Given that all of these goddess archetypes have their own unique connotations--would you not consider Kuan Yin or Sekhmet to be akin to Kali? I am unfamiliar with both of these archetypes, so I'd be happy to be enlightened. I googled Kuan Yin and I found her to be a female buddha, yes? What do you mean by the Norse connotation? I actually didn't know that about Spock, but I did know that Gene Roddenberry was into alchemy and Rosicrucianism, so that makes sense! And I think that Lilith was related to wet-dreams and masturbation guilt is not something that has lent much to her esoteric context at all. She is certainly associated with the dark anima, so to speak, and connected with devious sexual fantasies, among many other things. Again, at the risk of generalizing here, I am curious as to what specific differences you are pointing out here?
Sorry, I was gently teasing you. Call it a conceit of my anthropology background but I have been taught not to mix symbols and deities between cultures, as that is a sort of New Age thing; i.e. what Deepthroat Chopra does. As to Leonard Nimoy, he's Jewish, and the 4 finger V sign is from Jewish funeral services, to drive off the lilim.

While Wicca and Feminism take Lilith to unnecessary extremes, I do find the Lilith archetype to be pervasive and worth remembering, because of her specifically western roots. Not to say she is more important that any other similar archetype, but she has a bit more a personal significance to the western esoteric heritage, and thus, the collective unconscious.
In my experience, Lilith is a great point of reference, as the women who vibe to her are nearly always suffering Borderline Personality Disorder. Lilith, symbolically, is the rejected feminine, deemed unworthy, but not without power and conceit, and hostile to humanity; all things that BPD women seem to symbolically "vibe" to. BPD is, however, close to the single most destructive mental illness, and the rates of suicide associated with it are really bad. My advice, if you meet a woman who likes Lilith, don't expect any relationship to last long.

Interesting take. I don't think the feminine wielding the masculine power would inherently be a world out of balance, but is sure could be. I think the Queen of Swords is a great point, something I will have to ponder. Do you know much about the history of the tarot? I would be interested in your perspective on it and its relation to psychological alchemy. I believe you have read my book's chapter on the divination arts? Did you read the details about the tarot, how it was developed by Italian aristocracy? I think this was in the 15th century. And when it finally seeped over the French border, it damn near inspired the entire French occultism revival. From what I can see, the tarot had nothing in origin to do with the Mystery schools, but the premise of tarot as a symbolic, hypnotic thought experiment is quite interesting. i like the cards.
Usurpation of gender roles is a good sign of a culture in crisis. A woman using male power is sterile, unless the male power she is using is for reproduction. As to Tarot, I suspect that it originally came east along the Silk Road from China into the Islamic world as a card game, but the Europeans assumed it had some sort of exotic mystical meaning. Most people I know who are competent diviners don't use Tarot except as symbology, prefering fixed systems like palmistry and astrology in combination. I believe Jung really liked the Tarot as a system of archetypes.

Lovely, I'm gonna remember that phrasing. On point!
Glad you like it.

For real, check out his esoteric research! some people would likely disagree, but i don't have any problem at this point calling him an esoteric scholar. the guy is absolutely bursting with ideas, and he really only got into any political discourse so that he could have a platform to discuss his esoteric ideas. i've heard him so as much many times. and for that, i give him credit as well. i respect a guy who engages the contrived, politicized topics so that he can draw them to much more esoteric lengths. i am not that type of person--i write for the esoteric-minded. I encourage you to listen to Peterson's debates with neuroscientist, Sam Harris. And I just noticed that the conversation from the Finding Religion thread became a whole new Jordan Peterson thread. I'm gonna start jumping on there and stirring up the conversation a bit!
Fair enough. I have watched a bit of his stuff on YouTube. I am pretty 50/50 on him. I certainly respect his intellect, and many of his arguments and opinions are interesting enough, but he often drifts into areas where he either isn't in possession of the facts or chooses to ignore them as they're inconvenient to his ideology, and I don't like that. It's a form of intellectual dishonesty.

, maybe about the cigarettes! I am not so sure though. I don't necessarily think that nicotine is more 'chemically dependent" than heroin, so to speak, but I think it is perhaps harder to kick a cigarette habit as opposed to heroin. And I would wager that this is because a cigarette habit is much easier to manage than a heroin habit, and so it's harder to differentiate your life from the habit that is interlaced with the regular life. Some heroin addicts keep straight, but so many of them just fly off the deep end and lose all sense of circumambulation. so when they decide to rehabilitate, it couldn't be more of a radical change. for a cigarette smoker, it's such a subtle change. it requires more of a consistent, daily effort simply because smoking a cig is a lot less of a 13th step than an alcoholic relapsing, or a smackhead, etc.
The statement "Heroin is a medical problem" is a double-entendre, as while it is a problem that can and should be solved by medicine (rather than censured with prohibition style laws that corrupt society), it is also true that many doctors are very good at managing their own heroin habits.

enjoyed organic tobacco in my life. it's a guilty pleasure as a writer. but it's not a daily thing for me. i think in moderation tobacco is nice and studies have shown that nicotine is actually quite useful, dare I say even healthy for the mind! it sharpens focus and attention, they call it a neutropic. it's no wonder that writers have such an archetypal association with it. but tobacco itself is of course quite rough on the body. i don't recommend anyone pick it up as a habit.
As you please. I am an ex-smoker. Apparently one of the good things about nicotine is that it does actually sharpen short term memory.

I have read that tobacco had a dual purpose is shamanism. Firstly, it was known for certain cleansing properties similar to sage. And secondly, it was said to be a sort of signal-booster for a person trying to communicate with the spirit realm. it was said to help carry the thoughts of man to the spirits--very hermetic!
Well, nicotine is intensely poisonous. It was actually the preferred blade venom of the renaissance, as you could put it on a blade and inflict a lethal dose with a cut. Shamanism in the Americas is often pretty ordeal based, and nicotine in near-lethal dose is quite a good hallucinogen. Peyote is definitely healthier though.

I think in this case it is also worth considering the damage that the additives in cigarettes create. Over 200+ additives in your Marlboro of Pall Mall, etc, and these things do everything from strengthening the nicotine to strengthening your addiction to it. not to mention all the pesticides, let's be real. and i've heard that menthol cigarettes actually have fiber glass in them...? not sure if that's a myth or not but I've heard of worse before. when the FDA says that 100% organic tobacco does not mean a safer cigarette, it's definitely total bullshit.
Have you seen "Thank You for Smoking" (2005). Hilariously dark comedy about the tobacco industry and its rhetoric. The tobacco industry lawyer protagonist puts the argument "Do you seriously think that my client wants to kill its customers by selling an unsafe product ?"

anyways, kind of a side note there, lol.
as for the schizophrenia: yes! i say you are on point! i think schizophrenia is a great example as to how Forteana, occultism, and natural sciences coalesce inevitably. there are sciences explaining the mechanics of schizophrenia, but these explanations only really serve to provide more questions. the answers given by the sciences not only help explain certain aspects of occultism and Forteana, but also help gauge the remaining questions more astutely. that is my take on it
To quote the recent horror movie "Mandy" (2018), "the psychotic drowns where the mystic swims." I have known a few schizophrenics and they tend to fall into the category of "extreme psychic receivers". I think when some receivers let their energy and defenses drop too low they can get a bit over-run by signals. Paranoid schizophrenics are a different problem though.
 
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#52
Ethanol is my own preference for ritual purposes because it's legal and doesn't draw attention to my home. I do take THC in very small quantities, but almost always away from the house so the smell doesn't attract pests. I've been burgled too often. I like the combination and the plateau it brings in the elevated consciousness. I'm happy without it, but it just enhances the mouthfeel of profundity, even in the tiniest of puffs.
 

altered_boy

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#53
LOL, while on a sensible planet you'd be correct, since the 2008 crisis, the price of Gold has been immense, from a low in 2001 when it was posited that gold was an irrelevant commodity. So many "petro-dollars" dived for cover behind gold it is humorous. Everyone seems to want a store of value that doesn't decay over time, and gold has a mythic quality of inherrent value which I'm sure you can appreciate.
Ha! I can indeed appreciate it! I wasn't aware of this about the petro-dollars ducking behind the gold after the crisis, as I don't keep up on this and don't have a strong passion for it like i do philosophy. but very interesting nonetheless.

Sorry, I was gently teasing you. Call it a conceit of my anthropology background but I have been taught not to mix symbols and deities between cultures, as that is a sort of New Age thing; i.e. what Deepthroat Chopra does. As to Leonard Nimoy, he's Jewish, and the 4 finger V sign is from Jewish funeral services, to drive off the lilim.
You are a quippy SOB, I love it! Deepthroat Chopra! :rofl2: i can't stand that guy. If it wasn't for Jung and psychodynamic theory in general, I would agree with you. And from an anthropological standpoint it certainly makes sense to maintain more of a separation between mythologies.... but when we are discussing evolutionary psychology it becomes an axiom--it is simply reducing the data to its lowest terms and comparing. i'm sure you wouldn't disagree with this, just sayin!

In my experience, Lilith is a great point of reference, as the women who vibe to her are nearly always suffering Borderline Personality Disorder. Lilith, symbolically, is the rejected feminine, deemed unworthy, but not without power and conceit, and hostile to humanity; all things that BPD women seem to symbolically "vibe" to. BPD is, however, close to the single most destructive mental illness, and the rates of suicide associated with it are really bad. My advice, if you meet a woman who likes Lilith, don't expect any relationship to last long.

Whoa! Now you're smoking what I'm smoking :joint:

I love those comparisons. This is exactly what symbolism is useful for in today's world and why it still has a place. I would concur with it all too.

I started looking into Lilith because I was trying to figure out why my anima was so upset. To put it all very very generally. It had a bit to do with the girl that I got into the esoteric with, and also with my bouts of depersonalization (i'm not one for the DSM but its useful for descriptive reasons). anyway without going into a whole thing, I would say your comment almost hits a little close to home for me in an insightful way. i appreciate it.

Usurpation of gender roles is a good sign of a culture in crisis. A woman using male power is sterile, unless the male power she is using is for reproduction. As to Tarot, I suspect that it originally came east along the Silk Road from China into the Islamic world as a card game, but the Europeans assumed it had some sort of exotic mystical meaning. Most people I know who are competent diviners don't use Tarot except as symbology, prefering fixed systems like palmistry and astrology in combination. I believe Jung really liked the Tarot as a system of archetypes
Interesting! Where have you read that it was from the Silk Road into the Islamic world, etc? It's been obvious for several decades that tarot was nowhere near the Mystery priests, but that it has always incorporated esoteric symbols in one form or another. tarot, in some way, has always been a bit of an homage to the mysteries (eastern or western) but nothing more.

Of course, the symbols used in the Italian tarot i mentioned were taken from classical mythology, and were very much akin to esoterica to begin with. i have always assumed it was a given that this was not the first LITERAL instance of the tarot deck, but rather the first instance of the modern tarot that we know of today.

so long story short, I would certainly buy your idea that it came from earlier times in these other regions. Please enlighten me!

And yes, Jung loved tarot, astrology, and etc. He really loved it all. If he hadn't gone about it in such a methodical, scientific way, he would've been laughed out of the scientific community like most others. But he was always extremely insistent on the evolutionary psychology--the symbols weren't necessarily useful in the ways that the ancients proposed, but that didn't mean that they had no use or insight.

Fair enough. I have watched a bit of his stuff on YouTube. I am pretty 50/50 on him. I certainly respect his intellect, and many of his arguments and opinions are interesting enough, but he often drifts into areas where he either isn't in possession of the facts or chooses to ignore them as they're inconvenient to his ideology, and I don't like that. It's a form of intellectual dishonesty.
How has he been intellectually dishonest? Not rhetorical, I am genuinely curious. I don't have any allegiance to JP, i just really like his post-Jungian vibe with psychology. do you think he is overstepping himself politically and being intellectually dishonest? i wouldn't disagree with that. but i haven't heard any of his esoteric research that I would disagree with. I would word some of it differently, but I can't say I disagree with it.

Well, nicotine is intensely poisonous. It was actually the preferred blade venom of the renaissance, as you could put it on a blade and inflict a lethal dose with a cut. Shamanism in the Americas is often pretty ordeal based, and nicotine in near-lethal dose is quite a good hallucinogen. Peyote is definitely healthier though.
I'm sure there will be a day when I no longer smoke. I always keep it a distance but like Bill Hicks said, "it's a shame all that second-hand smoke smells so bad because it's real good going in--tastes like steak and potatoes." lol.

Yeah, i totally forgot that I have seen nicotine in rat traps, etc. didn't know about the venomous blades though! i think what I should've said is that nicotine is not going to give anyone cancer. it could definitely cause you to seize up and die though in crazy high amounts! Haven't seen Thank You For Smoking but at your recommendation I will be watching it this weekend!

"The Psychotic drowns where the mystic swims" is something I will be remembering as well! Great stuff right there.

Ethanol is my own preference for ritual purposes because it's legal and doesn't draw attention to my home. I do take THC in very small quantities, but almost always away from the house so the smell doesn't attract pests. I've been burgled too often. I like the combination and the plateau it brings in the elevated consciousness. I'm happy without it, but it just enhances the mouthfeel of profundity, even in the tiniest of puffs.
Are you saying that you've tried some ritual work recently? Some people argue that using intoxicants during ritual and meditation is "cheating" but those people are douches and prudes. I bet they wouldn't yell at a toddler for using training wheels to learn how to ride the bike!

I only say that because I am usually high when I perform ritual or meditation. That's just me, man. I smoke too much cannabis sometimes but it doesn't plop me on the couch, and I know exactly why I smoke instead of lying to myself. If it helps you get into the proper space, there's no problem. But if you don't take the training wheels off eventually then you'll never learn how to do the real thing, of course.

Keep on trekking, homie!
 
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#54
I have never attempted a prescribed magical practice (as far as I know) but I do have my rituals. Mostly involves going away from electricity at night, charging up the synapses and then bending my neck so my face is vertical. I then oscillate my head slowly in all directions and sweep the starfield for extended periods. It feeds into my soul somehow.
If it helps you get into the proper space, there's no problem. But if you don't take the training wheels off eventually then you'll never learn how to do the real thing, of course.

Keep on trekking, homie!
I will. Thanks, mate.
 

AlchoPwn

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#55
And from an anthropological standpoint it certainly makes sense to maintain more of a separation between mythologies.... but when we are discussing evolutionary psychology it becomes an axiom--it is simply reducing the data to its lowest terms and comparing. i'm sure you wouldn't disagree with this, just sayin!
You know, I could probably write 20,000 words on what you wrote above without missing a beat, but I'll spare us both. I certainly understand your evolutionary psych position and how you are using the information. Let's just say that anthropology and evolutionary psychology approach these positions very differently, and I can see a lot of arguments both ways. In summary, reducing data is sometimes dangerous, as one can edit out important details that one doesn't understand or trivialize other cultures without meaning to. On the other hand, we have to reduce data. Every word we speak is basically a short hand form of a dictionary entry that behaves like a mathematical function or computer subroutine. If we had to unpack everything we say, we would literally be babbling forever about a context we could never establish. So what you are doing is fine if you are talkign about universal concepts like Jungian archetypes, but not good when discussing specific symbols within a given culture (unless they are human universals). So when Deepthroat Chopra (as an example) tries to sell me his Norse I-Ching deck, I spit in his eye can call him a cultural appropriator, because he has tried to conflate iron age Scandinavian social symbols with those of Zhou China and turn them into the equivalent of a Medieval European tarot deck (and none of those things have any relationship to each other within their own milieu). Not cool. But when Jung says (again for example) that Kuan Yin and Cruithni Spring Maidens are archetypes of a white-clad feminine healer, whom we see today in the form of a nurse, it is fine. I hope that explained it.


Whoa! Now you're smoking what I'm smoking :joint: I love those comparisons. This is exactly what symbolism is useful for in today's world and why it still has a place. I would concur with it all too. I started looking into Lilith because I was trying to figure out why my anima was so upset. To put it all very very generally. It had a bit to do with the girl that I got into the esoteric with, and also with my bouts of depersonalization (i'm not one for the DSM but its useful for descriptive reasons). anyway without going into a whole thing, I would say your comment almost hits a little close to home for me in an insightful way. i appreciate it.
I only mentioned the whole Lilith thing because of a fairly passionate fling I had with an unstable woman. Then I had a friend who was in a relationship with another woman, with many of the same issues. Then it popped up again with someone else. Lilith was a common thread.
I only mentioned it because women like that are difficult people, and often their own worst enemies, and I wanted to offer you a little warning bought with some bitter experience.

Interesting! Where have you read that it was from the Silk Road into the Islamic world, etc? It's been obvious for several decades that tarot was nowhere near the Mystery priests, but that it has always incorporated esoteric symbols in one form or another. tarot, in some way, has always been a bit of an homage to the mysteries (eastern or western) but nothing more. Of course, the symbols used in the Italian tarot i mentioned were taken from classical mythology, and were very much akin to esoterica to begin with. i have always assumed it was a given that this was not the first LITERAL instance of the tarot deck, but rather the first instance of the modern tarot that we know of today. So long story short, I would certainly buy your idea that it came from earlier times in these other regions. Please enlighten me![/QUOTE]

The reason I said that I think it came down the Silk Road is because cards arrive in Italy from Mameluk Egypt, and that is all Silk Road. Then there is the issue that neither Mameluk Egypt nor Italy had printing and cardboard before China, and the first examples of playing cards come from China. China, of course is also a bit famous for its use of oracles, and it has quite a few. There is also the little self-fulfilling prophecy involved in gambling with cards, that if you win, the gods must love you, but if you lose, you must be a sinner. Thus gambling has more than cards in common with divination by casting lots, if you see what I mean. Then there is the issue that the Buddhists used sutra cards with the image of a Buddha on them as supernatural seals. So, add all that together, with the "exotic prejudice" that everything from China was mystical, and you have my theory. That being said, I doubt it is original, even if wikipedia hasn't reached the same conclusions, as they are a bit speculative.

And yes, Jung loved tarot, astrology, and etc. He really loved it all. If he hadn't gone about it in such a methodical, scientific way, he would've been laughed out of the scientific community like most others. But he was always extremely insistent on the evolutionary psychology--the symbols weren't necessarily useful in the ways that the ancients proposed, but that didn't mean that they had no use or insight.
I completely agree. It is a bit like how mathematicians in Europe fell in love with the I-Ching and produced binary number theory, from which we get modern computing.

How has he been intellectually dishonest? Not rhetorical, I am genuinely curious. I don't have any allegiance to JP, i just really like his post-Jungian vibe with psychology. do you think he is overstepping himself politically and being intellectually dishonest? i wouldn't disagree with that. but i haven't heard any of his esoteric research that I would disagree with. I would word some of it differently, but I can't say I disagree with it.
Yes, that is a good summary of my issues with JP. I have now listened to some of his Post-Jungianism, and it is certainly interesting. As I said, I respect his intellect. My issue is with some of his political ideas, and by no means with all of them. I have no problem with JP giving the Regressive Left conniptions, and I can even stomach him being a bit of an Alt-Right poster boy (because he gives the Regresive Left conniptions), but when he starts talking about environmentalism, suggesting that it is all too political for him to trust it, he is playing to a straight up conspiracy theorist audience. He cannot be honest and say he understands climate science, so he says "it's all to political for me to trust now". Does that sound like an apolitical statement? It sort of does, but it is the single most loaded political statement JP has made, as he has said that he trusts the fossil fuel lobby's counter-propaganda more than he trusts the meteorologists who are trying to get the world to do something about a looming threat that is already taking lives. I can understand his distaste for the fact that many environmentalists are regressive leftists, but refusing to say, "Yeah, but forget those nobends, let's look at the actual science." is intellectually dishonest, as he has effectively allowed his opinion to be swayed by siding with one group who don't understand the science against a group of people who don't actually understand the science either. Having devoted over a month of study to coming to terms with all the climate science data myself, I understand all to well how hard it is to grasp, but the case is good, and all but 1 counter argument I have read are foolish, and the single argument that isn't, is a pretty 70/30 proposition (favoring the probability that it is a serious problem, not a temporary glitch in solar output). I think that a public intellectual who is prepared to comment on the subject of such importance from a position of ignorance is being intellectually dishonest.

Anyhow, hope the new year is treating you well, and you haven't filled out too many documents with 2018 yet. :pcheers:
 
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markrkingston1

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#56
(Sorry for butting into a very fascinating private conversation. :) )

The Soviets did it because they had no choice, as they couldn't organize a Sunday School raffle if there wasn't a war on.
Hang on, are you saying that the Soviets made gold through neutron activation and radioactive decay of initial source elements, and then actually sold it?

I must admit that I've never studied isotopic decay chains that included gold (and my study of physics ended at A-Level standard) but I was under the impression that making gold via neutron activation and radioactive decay of subsequent isotopes was likely to fail on two points: (1) Keeping the gold isotope around long enough before it decayed into something else, and (2) it would be radioactive.

Are there actually any long term stable, non-radioactive gold isotopes that can be generated within a reasonable time frame through initial neutron activation of some other element? And, if so, would making them be cheaper than actually mining gold?

(As an aside, I've heard of people scavenging metal scrap that was contaminated by fallout from former Soviet nuclear test sites. Some of this could conceivably have been mixed with gold to make things like rose gold jewellery, which could explain some instances of radioactive gold).


** edit **

Ah, there's a Wikipedia page that covers the subject here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthesis_of_precious_metals#Gold

It would seem that making stable, non-radioactive gold through radioactive decay would make only very small quantities or would be very expensive.
 
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AlchoPwn

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#58
Hang on, are you saying that the Soviets made gold through neutron activation and radioactive decay of initial source elements, and then actually sold it?
Yes, it was an open secret during the cold war.

I must admit that I've never studied isotopic decay chains that included gold (and my study of physics ended at A-Level standard) but I was under the impression that making gold via neutron activation and radioactive decay of subsequent isotopes was likely to fail on two points: (1) Keeping the gold isotope around long enough before it decayed into something else, and (2) it would be radioactive. Are there actually any long term stable, non-radioactive gold isotopes that can be generated within a reasonable time frame through initial neutron activation of some other element? And, if so, would making them be cheaper than actually mining gold?
They made gold out of mercury. Isotope 196 of gold is unstable, lasting only 6.2 days, but 197 is entirely stable and do-able. As to radioactivity, gold, like lead is a very good shield against radiation. I am pleased that you are informed enough to ask the pertinent questions. You would probably find that starting with a certain quantity of mercury, that the quantity was bombarded with neutrons, and would gradually decay back to 197, but any areas that were unstable would gradually decay back to mercury. They would wait the requisite period, then remove the stable gold. This is no doubt linked to the urban myths regarding Soviet red mercury, which were probably the waste.

(As an aside, I've heard of people scavenging metal scrap that was contaminated by fallout from former Soviet nuclear test sites. Some of this could conceivably have been mixed with gold to make things like rose gold jewellery, which could explain some instances of radioactive gold).
It isn't impossible, but the Soviets liked to keep their habit of dumping gold on international markets a bit of a secret, using shelf companies. They used to turn mercury into gold, and gold into wheat, the saying went.
 

altered_boy

your friendly neighborhood alchemist
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#59
(Sorry for butting into a very fascinating private conversation. :) )
No apology necessary, but I appreciate the courtesy! AP and I wouldn't be having this discussion on a public forum if we weren't interested in others jumping in on it. :D Interesting stuff about the science behind literal alchemy and its economic implications--although I wouldn't have much at all to add to it myself.

You know, I could probably write 20,000 words on what you wrote above without missing a beat, but I'll spare us both. I certainly understand your evolutionary psych position and how you are using the information. Let's just say that anthropology and evolutionary psychology approach these positions very differently, and I can see a lot of arguments both ways. In summary, reducing data is sometimes dangerous, as one can edit out important details that one doesn't understand or trivialize other cultures without meaning to. On the other hand, we have to reduce data. Every word we speak is basically a short hand form of a dictionary entry that behaves like a mathematical function or computer subroutine. If we had to unpack everything we say, we would literally be babbling forever about a context we could never establish. So what you are doing is fine if you are talkign about universal concepts like Jungian archetypes, but not good when discussing specific symbols within a given culture (unless they are human universals). So when Deepthroat Chopra (as an example) tries to sell me his Norse I-Ching deck, I spit in his eye can call him a cultural appropriator, because he has tried to conflate iron age Scandinavian social symbols with those of Zhou China and turn them into the equivalent of a Medieval European tarot deck (and none of those things have any relationship to each other within their own milieu). Not cool. But when Jung says (again for example) that Kuan Yin and Cruithni Spring Maidens are archetypes of a white-clad feminine healer, whom we see today in the form of a nurse, it is fine. I hope that explained it.
Well damn, preach it, homie! :thrash: I've intuited this approximately in my studies, but I genuinely appreciate you taking the time to make this distinction, I've never really heard it articulated as such and it makes perfect sense. I could always tell comparing symbols without a control-method of somekind (i.e. evolutionary psychology in this case) was dangerous and pseudo-intellectual, and that this is the ultimate downfall of the New Age--but like I said, you made the whole concept very scholastic, no intuition necessary. Great stuff

In my chapter on the Divination Arts i said this"...unless someone is looking for a traditional deck with widespread use for easier comprehension (such as the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, which is considered a classic), it is beneficial for an individual to acquire a tarot deck that is based on symbolism that they feel naturally inclined to. Tarot symbolism can be recognized in all occult philosophy whether history shows the literal cards in the culture or not, and as a result, tarot has been developed for essentially all surviving schools of genuine occult philosophy, whether they be Egyptian, Norse, or Tibetan, et cetera. The only thing needed for a logical creation of a new tarot deck that represents the classical methods would be: equivalencies between the new symbolism and the classical symbolism. Beyond this, nothing is theoretically stopping a tarot deck from being 'compatible'. "

From an intuitive perspective, I could see how this could be possible when I wrote it. But after your words, I see now that this could be done accurately--theoretically--but room for error in such a detailed analysis is far too great and can become intellectually dangerous. Thankfully, I can say that I have been diligent about this differentiation throughout my research, but in the case of that quote, I think I'll be taking it out of the final printing. Many thank yous!

I only mentioned the whole Lilith thing because of a fairly passionate fling I had with an unstable woman. Then I had a friend who was in a relationship with another woman, with many of the same issues. Then it popped up again with someone else. Lilith was a common thread.
I only mentioned it because women like that are difficult people, and often their own worst enemies, and I wanted to offer you a little warning bought with some bitter experience.
Yeah I won't take that lightly either. Good stuff here.

I completely agree. It is a bit like how mathematicians in Europe fell in love with the I-Ching and produced binary number theory, from which we get modern computing.
Whoa hold on. Care to elaborate a bit more? This is a part of history that remains yet unexplored to me! I know of the psychoanalytic fascination with the I Ching but nothing about its relationship to binary number theory.

The reason I said that I think it came down the Silk Road is because cards arrive in Italy from Mameluk Egypt, and that is all Silk Road. Then there is the issue that neither Mameluk Egypt nor Italy had printing and cardboard before China, and the first examples of playing cards come from China. China, of course is also a bit famous for its use of oracles, and it has quite a few. There is also the little self-fulfilling prophecy involved in gambling with cards, that if you win, the gods must love you, but if you lose, you must be a sinner. Thus gambling has more than cards in common with divination by casting lots, if you see what I mean. Then there is the issue that the Buddhists used sutra cards with the image of a Buddha on them as supernatural seals. So, add all that together, with the "exotic prejudice" that everything from China was mystical, and you have my theory. That being said, I doubt it is original, even if wikipedia hasn't reached the same conclusions, as they are a bit speculative.
Well I guess this post is just gonna be a bunch of praise for you because your droppin gems on me right now. I hadn't yet thought of the self-fulfilling prophecy of the gods and gambling, but again it only makes sense. that is very Jungian of you.

Having devoted over a month of study to coming to terms with all the climate science data myself, I understand all to well how hard it is to grasp, but the case is good, and all but 1 counter argument I have read are foolish, and the single argument that isn't, is a pretty 70/30 proposition (favoring the probability that it is a serious problem, not a temporary glitch in solar output). I think that a public intellectual who is prepared to comment on the subject of such importance from a position of ignorance is being intellectually dishonest.
We certainly agree overall about Peterson.

On climate change, I have been keeping an eye out for someone whose brain I can pick on this subject.

Firstly, I am fairly uneducated on climate science. The extent of my knowledge comes ancient astronomy, the Procession of the Equinoxes, etc. Yuga cycles included. So it makes sense to me that the earth goes through natural climate fluctuations as its tilt towards the sun changes over time. This makes sense to me as an explanation for climate change, but I am uneducated beyond this. I would also agree that all the pollution across the board is disastrous to the ecosystem. From smog to Trash Island to Fukushima, shit is fucked up. But is the green-house-effect really causing the earth to get warmer? I would appreciate your insight after your lengthy research. I understand you probably can't lay it all out here, but an encapsulation perhaps
 
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