31 Mar 2022 03:45 - 17 Jun 2023 08:29
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    • SSOTBME Revised - an essay on magic, book by Ramsey Dukes, recommended by PF of WS. The full title is "Sex Secrets of the Black Magicians Explained", which is mostly a joke. The guy is very RAW-ish in that he is constantly playing around with his degree of seriousness, and talking about the fact that he is doing so...something inherently metacircular about this whole space, although I'd be hard-pressed to define it. As I mentioned in High Weirdness review, it's sort Hofstadter-ish self-reference games but coupled with a fairly aggressive Trickster energy, this stuff inherently is fucking with you.
    • This book was an interesting read, if only because the author has a decent command of technical and computational metaphors. This puts it more on my wavelength than your typical occultist.
    • Magic as a mode of thought
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    • "Feeling" means more like, pattern recognition as opposed to conscious, linear, verbal thought. Right-brain stuff. This part of the book is surprisingly computational, by which I mean it makes perfect sense from a cogsci sort of perspective.
    • ... I want to suggest that our brains have evolved a non-logical data processing facility which is, in its own way, every bit as useful and sophisticated as reason but which we tend to play down or analyse away because its causal connections seem so tenuous. This facility, which I called 'feeling' acts much faster than reason and seems to process vast amounts of data in parallelrather than sequentially like logical thought. (p9)
    • chaos magic allows for such modern sensibilities by putting the dogma through a blender. A typical blender is "Let us adopt a belief system in which..." and then follows the crap about dark forces. The word 'paradigm' makes a useful blender for people with over-Scientific sensibilities. (p17)
    • Also a ref to Austin Spare's " As if " technique, sounds like something I should know more about.
    • It is actually better Magic to keep the discovery to oneself rather than evangelize it as if it was a Scientific or Religious truth.
    • hm. makes sense I guess, logic and science are inherently shared and public, Magic is inherently private and subjective.
    • Chaos magic as the safest there's "as if" stance provides protection against fanatacism and delusion.
    • p45 science inherits dogmatism from religion, magic inherits skepticism from science. Noice!
    • p57 Chapter 4A on demons has a lot of theory on anthropomorphization.
    • Ch 7 on theory: This guy is obviously something of an amateur as a writer/thinker, which isn't exactly a criticism since I'm very much in that way myself.
    • So he's talking about the compatibility of materialistic mechanism and the usual suspects, emotion values soul etc.
    • p121
      • Like all the best Magical ideas, this one goes completely against normal belief: mostly we tend to cherish the complications, inconsistencies, and confusions in our mind. We are afraid of simplicity because we feel that a human who had purged himself of this great cloud of complications would become cold and 'inhuman', so much have we identified with complexity. But surely we can sympathize with each one only to the extent that we have some elements in common? So surely anyone who had reduced himself to those simplest elements would, far from being inhuman, be the most truly human and sympathetic of us all?
      • Whoah, that hit me hard for some reason. Partly because, yes, I have a lot invested in my own complexity.