Saving the World one Wizard at a time: Selfishness, Morality, Universal Love and the Occult community

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If you want to get at the plain truth, 

Forget about right and wrong.

 For the conflict between right and wrong, 

Is the sickness of the human mind.

 

It is most revealing how differently people react to the above passage in the occult world! Some declare it beautiful, wonderful, profoundly wise and most helpful. Others declare it horrible, evil, psychopathic and most destructive. The moment you say anything about “transcending morality” the hero comes riding in on his big white horse screaming shame, shame on you for not trying to save the downtrodden, the dispossessed and those poor (fill in the blank here) people. Call me evil, or bent if you like, but I tend to feel that morality itself— “principles of morality”, that is—was a major cause of suffering, since it only weakened that natural goodness in us which would spontaneously manifest itself if not interfered with or commanded by moral principles or moral law. There has been much talk in the occult community as of late about Fascism, Racism, Morals and Ethics when it comes to an occult practitioner and who he or she associates with.  One day, Lao tse chided Confucius for “bringing great confusion” (should I say “confucian”?) to the human race by his moralistic teachings. He said “Stop going around advertising goodness and duty, and people will regain love of their fellows”. I have to agree with the Old man,There is, perhaps, a vital difference between transcending morality and denying or rejecting it. To reject morality is, in a way, to be involved with it. the Taoist ideal is not so much to feel that we shouldn’t be moral (which is, of course, a kind of morality of its own), but rather to be independent, free, unentangled with moral “principles”

 

-In the age when life on earth was full, no one paid any special attention
to worthy men, nor did they single out the man of ability. Rulers were simply the highest branches of the tree, and the people were like deer in the woods. They were honest and righteous without realizing they were “doing
their duty”. They loved each other and did not know that this was “love of neighbor”. They deceived no one, yet they did not know they were “men to be trusted”. They were reliable and did not know that this was “good faith”.
They lived freely together giving and taking, and did not know that they were generous. For this reason their deeds have not been narrated. They made no history. -Chuangtse

 

The moment we puff out our chests and start judging others for being less moral then ourselves, we create a History that we must strive to write at all costs, “Look at me, I’m so much better then you, I fight for Good, Morality and the World at large, look how shiny my cape is!” This becomes unsustainable, and once you add the huge Ego of your garden variety Occult practitioner, things go down hill very quickly. The Taoist Yang Chu was reputed to have said, “I would not sacrifice one single hair of my head even to save the entire human race!”

 

Just think of it! Not a single hair to save the entire human race! I find this statement absolutely beautiful! I cannot tell you with what joy, satisfaction, and utter relief I read it. I once expressed this sentiment to a fellow magician who asked in genuine astonishment, “Why? Do you believe the world would be better off if everyone acted selfishly rather than unselfishly?” Of course I don’t believe this. Of course I prefer universal love to total selfishness. Who in his right mind wouldn’t? Then why do I love Yang Chu’s statement so much? Sounds pretty inconsistent, doesn’t it?

 

Well, it isn’t. Let me explain.

 

In the first place there is a vast difference between loving a proposition and believing it. What I love is Yang Chu’s beautifully honest expression of this sentiment (in contrast to the usual hypocritical moralizing about unselfishness).  The fact is that the loss of a single hair is not even painful and represents absolutely no sacrifice whatever.I don’t think that Yang Chu was literally worried by the thought of losing a hair. He went to this extreme in order to express a principle. What is this principle? Is it really that one should be selfish? If I thought this, I
would consider it just as ridiculous as the idea that one shouldn’t be selfish. I believe that what he was really objecting to was the idea that we should apply moral criteria to the question of selfishness.  I believe that the statement of Yang Chu will do far more good in this world from the actual point of view of helping us liberate our natural unselfishness than the opposite course of preaching universal love.

 

This is quite hard for most RHP magi to swallow, but lives deeply in the bowels of the LHP and is being debated heartily to this day.The point is this. If I should feel like being helpful to others, then I might indeed sacrifice considerably more than a hair of my head. I would then do so of my own accord without being told by others that I should do so. And if I should not feel disposed to being helpful, then no amount of reason or morality or being told that I should will in any way increase my desire to be helpful and will not in effect lead me to sacrifice even one hair of my head. In other words, there is absolutely no point in telling another person what he should do. If he already wants to, it is superfluous (nay, maybe even harmful), and if he doesn’t, it is useless. I think this is what Yang Chu was really saying. His statement sounds more like a simple declaration of independence then an ethical plea for selfishness, and I enjoy using it to make other occultists cry ( see my other posts in this blog, I often refer to myself as an asshole, there is good reason for this, so please try to keep up. ).

 

There are those Occultists who believe that selfishness is the natural state of man and that it is social influences such as religion and education which “train” a man into the superior state of unselfishness. But there are those who believe the very opposite and would say that at birth our natures contain as much (if not more) unselfishness as selfishness and that the very process of trying to educate unselfishness only serves to cripple it and prevent it from growing, which it would naturally do if let alone. It seems that this is also part of Yang Chu’s message, and this was made quite explicit by later Taoists in such statements as “Give up advertising things like goodness and duty, and people will regain love of their fellows.”

 

there is a difference between morality and moral fanaticism, a distinction should be made between selfishness and what might aptly be called selfish fanaticism. Repugnance to Violence might be called a moral principle, but pushing this to the extreme of all Violence is wrong in any circumstance would certainly be called fanaticism even by most moralists.There is a form of Taoist ethical philosophy that I try to follow ( and sometimes fail horribly at) which might be characterized as “letting things go their own way, not interfering, not imposing one’s will on nature, letting things happen of their own accord, not trying to reform the world, not trying to “improve” the world, but simply accepting things as they come.” This philosophy is intensely irritating to many Magicians, as well as “activists” who believe this is the worse course possible and is in fact responsible for most of the evils in the world. They would say that the last thing we should do is to let things go their own way; if we do that, things will go terribly! It is up to us to prevent the bad things in the world from happening! I cannot think of any philosophy more irritating to someone on a moral crusade than some good old Taoism! Indeed, many will say that Taoism is the perfect philosophy for the “purely selfish individual who has everything he wants in life and to hell with the others!”
In opposition to the activists, the Taoist quietly points out (or sometimes loudly points out) that the trouble with activism is that people who go forth trying to “improve” the world—even those with the best intentions (at least on a conscious level!) —usually “fuck up” matters, and only succeed in making things even worse than they already are. The Taoist sage reminds us, for example, that revolutions often establish even worse tyrannies than they overthrow.  I tend to live and let live rather than interfere with the world’s affairs. I am not fanatically committed to any doctrine of noninterference; it’s just that I usually don’t like to interfere. As for Magi who love to busy and bustle and meddle
about and who constantly interfere in other folks ways and paths, I don’t interfere with them either—I also let them go their own way, doff my hat and wish him the best of luck….

 

Stay Gold everyone…..

 

Saving the World one Wizard at a time: Selfishness, Morality, Universal Love and the Occult community was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand

HorrorMagick: A GUIDED TOUR OF HELL

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BEFORE JIGSAW, THERE WERE FREDDY KRUEGER AND JASON VOORHEES. Before those two were slicing and dicing up teenagers, there were Michael Myers and Leatherface. And long before either of them, there were Dracula, the Wolfman, Doctor Frankenstein, and his monster. And before all of them, there was Nergal, Lord of Death.

 
Horror has, among all of the genres in film and written works, one of the longest, most distinguished, and often misunderstood bloodlines in history. It is often overlooked by critics who don’t see anything more than blood and guts on the screen, or a collection of cheap scares. But what is most often missed is its commentary on society and life in general. It’s use in Magic is sorely overlooked, and in the coming blog posts I’d like to take the time and tell you why I think this is so.

 
This genre also has a unique ability to show, in a frank, explicit manner, the ills of society and be a warning to us if we don’t do something about it. This is where we can get away with showing some of the ugliest, most disgusting things. We can explore that shadowy side of human nature that many people would rather have swept under the rug. And people will pay money to see it! Before films were invented, the horror genre already had a long history in myth, folklore, short stories, novels, dime novels and just about anything else that could be written, printed, or told on a dark night in front of a fire. But how did anyone ever think of making a horror movie?

 
The invention of movies by Thomas Edison was seen at first as just a passing fad, nothing that was going to be of importance. After all, pictures and film had been around for a long time. Although Edison had figured out a way to make pictures move — and at first, it was exciting to see a person walk about, do a dance, flex some muscles — those clips became boring really quickly. But soon early filmmakers had the idea to make moving pictures tell a story, and Edison created one of the earliest film stories in The Great Train Robbery (1903), the first Western, shot in New Jersey.The French fell in love with the invention of the movie camera and almost instantly saw the potential of the machine mixed with the arts. In 1896, the first horror film was shot. It was only three minutes long but it proved that fear could be contained and retold countless times. The Devil’s Castle scared its audience and gave them a taste of what horror films would be in the future.

 

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The art of film progressed, and along with it, horror films were one of the genres that progressed at a good pace.
German Expressionism was an important art movement of the early twentieth century that had a great influence on all film, but especially on the beginnings of horror. Expressionism was an artistic style that depicted subjective emotions rather than objective reality “through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy and through the vivid, jarring, violent, or dynamic” way using formal elements, This is just how HorrorMagick works, taping into these primal emotions and bringing them to flesh, sometimes kicking and screaming…but back to the Tour.

 
One of the most memorable and influential films was the 1920 German silent movie The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
From Wikipedia, on The Cabinet of Dr Caligari2—
“The film tells the story of the deranged Dr. Caligari and his faithful sleepwalking Cesare and their connection to a string of murders in a German mountain village, Holstenwall. Caligari presents one of the earliest examples of a motion picture ‘frame story’ in which the body of the plot is presented as a flashback, as told by Francis.”

 
The narrator, Francis, and his friend Alan visit a carnival in the village where they see Dr. Caligari and Cesare, whom the doctor is displaying as an attraction. Caligari brags that Cesare can answer any question he is asked. When Alan asks Cesare how long he has to live, Cesare tells Alan that he will die tomorrow at dawn — a prophecy that turns out to be fulfilled. Francis, along with his girlfriend Jane, investigates Caligari and Cesare, which eventually leads to Jane’s kidnapping by Cesare. Caligari orders Cesare to kill Jane, but the hypnotized slave relents after her beauty captivates him. He carries Jane out of her house, leading the townsfolk on a lengthy chase. Francis discovers that ‘Caligari’ is actually the head of the local insane asylum, and with the help of his colleagues discovers that he is obsessed with the story of a medieval Dr. Caligari, who used a somnambulist to murder people as a traveling act.

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Cesare falls to his death during the pursuit and the townsfolk discover that Caligari had created a dummy of Cesare to distract Francis. After being confronted with the dead Cesare, Caligari breaks down and reveals his mania and is imprisoned in his asylum.” The pivotal twist ending reveals that Francis’ flashback is instead his fantasy, and the man he claims is Caligari is in fact his asylum doctor, who, after this revelation of the source of his patient’s delusion, claims to be able to cure him.This story was the boilerplate, if you will, of a number of horror stories to come.

 
Soon after Dr Caligari, other great European horror films were released, cementing the structure of the genre. In 1921 a Hungarian film called The Death of Dracula, the first vampire movie, was made, the first of many adaptations of Bram Stoker’s novel. In 1922 Nosferatu was produced from an unauthorized film adaptation of Stoker’s novel. It was shot on location and because of copyright problems, the vampire was named Nosferatu rather than Dracula and
the location was changed from Transylvania to Bremen. In 2000, a film called Shadow of the Vampire was made that explored the question of what would happen if the central character, played by Max Schreck, were a real vampire.
Of course, the legend of Faust was brought into play as a movie in 1913 with Student of Prague. A student makes a pact with the devil for wealth and women. (It sounds like a pact made every week by some of the magicians I know in the United States.)

 

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The Jewish story of the Golem was also used in early monster movies, such as in The Monster of Fate (1914) and the remake in 1917, The Golem and the Dancer. These were interesting stories of a man-like creature made of clay, bought to life by a secret Hebrew prayer placed into its mouth, based on the idea that God, or rather the secret prayer, can create life where there was none. The version of 1920, The Golem, was an expressionistic film that had many of the same story components we see later in a more recognizable form in the Frankenstein films.

 
Okay, now that we’re talking about monsters, in this case the man-made kind: Many people don’t know that the first Frankenstein monster movie was made in the United States in 1910 by, of all people, Edison, in his Edison Studios. It was a 16-minute one-reel film, and there were some differences from the elements of the story as we know it, most notably that the monster was not created from body parts but inside a cauldron of chemicals.

 

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During the early twenties while Hollywood was still learning how to walk but did not talk yet, there were some horror films made with the first American horror film star, Lon Chaney. Chaney had been a stage actor known not just for his performances but also for the transformations of grotesque makeup that he used for his characters. He was known as the “Man of a Thousand Faces.” His 1923 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame was considered a classic until the Charles Laughton version. Chaney’s ultimate performance was as the disfigured, deranged Erik in The Phantom of the Opera in 1925. It was the dark, expressionistic tones that helped set the standard for horror films in the ’30s. The unmasking scene is still a pivotal moment in the genre.

 
In the U.S., the 1930s were the years where horror films in Hollywood came to the forefront and entered into their Classic Age. Dracula, with Bela Lugosi, and Frankenstein with Boris Karloff arrived in American theaters in 1931. These films marked the beginning of a rush of different horror films. Dracula was based on the stage play of the same name, in which Bela Lugosi had won great reviews as the Count from Transylvania. Universal bought the rights to it and wanted to cast a known actor as Dracula. The actor everyone wanted was Lon Chaney, but, unfortunately, he had passed away in 1930, forcing Hollywood to do something it never really likes to do: hire the stage actor for the film.

 

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Universal had decided to do two films at the same time. Sound was getting popular in the U.S., but most theaters still hadn’t been turned over to sound. However in most of Latin America the theaters were newer and had already been converted, so the studio decided to shoot the English version during the day and the Spanish version at night to save money. Director George Melford was hired to direct the Spanish version, while Tod Browning did the English version with Lugosi. Melford realized this was an opportunity for him. With his Director of Photography at his side, Melford
would watch the dailies shot by the English version unit and try to outdo them with better camera movement, lighting, and so forth. To this day many critics consider the Spanish version more impressive visually than the English version.

 

Just a few thoughts on the History of Horror and HorrorMagick, as we close on another Halloween, I will write more soon but till then,Stay Gold….

Sources: Wikipedia, Horror screenwriting : the nature of fear  by Devin Watson ,http://filmmakeriq.com/lessons/a-brief-history-of-horror/http://nofilmschool.com/2013/10/a-look-at-the-history-of-horror-films

 

HorrorMagick: A GUIDED TOUR OF HELL was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand

A Review of “The Billionth Monkey” : by Richard Kaczynski

51pYfENpSjL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Fun fact: All writers are crazy, to some degree. There is a reason for it — actually making it through a novel almost requires it. If you love to read, then you’re continually benefiting from other people’s craziness. And by this standard you would think Mr. Kaczynski is quite insane (I did at first), but in a delightful, Slapstick 0 to 80 Mph sort of way. For someone born and breed from the city of New Orleans, this book gives some of the best descriptions of the city and it’s likes’ and dislikes’ by a non-native that I’ve read in quite sometime. Filled with nerd humor, dead bodies, and more Pop culture references then you can shake a microwaved kitten at, It strains my imagination to the breaking point to even attempt to tell you what this book is about without ruining it for you.Let me just put it this way, say you happen to live in a world where every urban Legend your grandma’s, boyfriends, ex-roommate’s uncle told you about slowly became real and tried to kill you. What would you do? Mr. Kaczynski gives us a few ideas, along with sight gags in print, occult facts mixed with the Snarky Observations of the main Protagonist’s “companion” , Dr.Who style, AND a Hamlet scene comic book at the end. Why? I can’t tell you that! Read the book and see, I promise you dear reader, you will not be disappointed.

I Give this one a Tip of my Hat, and look forward to his next work with rabid anticipation.

Stay Gold folks…

Review by: Vincent Piazza

A Review of “The Billionth Monkey” : by Richard Kaczynski was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand

Horror Magick part 2: The Evocation of Pinhead

 

 

“Its voice, unlike that of its companion, was light and breathy-the voice of an excited girl. Every inch of its head had been tattooed with an intricate grid, and at every intersection of horizontal and vertical axes a jeweled pin driven through to the bone. Its tongue was similarly decorated.”

— The Hellbound Heart, Clive Barker, ch. 1

 

 

As I’ve said in part one of this blog series,  In its current form, the horror film itself is the perfect breeding ground for creation of ready-made thought forms and egregores preprogrammed with abilities and skills that would put any Goetic King to shame. Putting it another way, monsters are not just for horror films anymore, so why waste such a valuable resource? So, I’ve decided to put it to the test and write an Evocation of Pinhead, the main hell priest and cenobite of Clive Barker’s novella “The Hellbound Heart”. Made famous by the Hellraiser movies, It was originally published in November 1986 by Dark Harvest in the third volume of their Night Visions anthology series, but was re-released as a stand-alone title by Harper Collins in 1988 after the success of the movie, along with an audiobook recorded by Clive Barker and published by Audioworks.

 

This Mythos of Pop Culture has endured to this day and has quite a strong fan base, with comics and tee-shirts, new stories and another sequel in the works. I felt he was the perfect Horror egregore for my first test of the system. He is also talkative, and this is quite a good thing as I believe a calling of Jason or Michael would be much harder to work out when it came to the evocation proper, and no one wants Freddy in the house for any length of time, at least not the same place that you wish to sleep.

 

For those of you who haven’t read the story or have not seen the film (the 1% of those who read my blog ),The story focuses on a Puzzle Box (Lament Configuration) and the horror it wreaks on a family which is unfortunate enough to come across it. Pinhead (his real name was Elliott Spencer) was born Elliot Spencer and opened the Lament Configuration after becoming disenchanted with human life from his service in World War I. Like the other Cenobites, he lost all memory of his human identity following the transformation and serves the deity Leviathan by abducting others who solve the Lament Configuration and torture them in a labyrinth realm called Hell. In the Hellbound Heart we find Frank, a nihilist and selfish moral degenerate who has participated in every hedonistic pleasure, extreme experience and sexual perversion known to man, each time seeking a greater pleasure higher than the last. Jaded, Frank hears rumor of a mysterious puzzle box (the Lament Configuration) which opens the gateway to a realm of unfathomable carnal pleasures. Frank tracks down the current owner of the box in Düsseldorf and obtains it through performing “small favors”.

 

Frank manages to solve the puzzle while squatting in the attic of his grandparents’ house, where he has set up an elaborate display of flowers and a jug of his own urine. A gateway opens and appearing from it are the Cenobites, Lead by Pinhead, a race of distorted creatures who practice an extreme form of sadomasochism centered around agonizing torture and mutilation. They see little difference between extreme pleasure and extreme pain and drag Frank, willingly at first, into their extradimensional realm, where Frank begins what he realizes too late will be an eternity of torture.

 

If you wish to read the whole story, you can find it here http://www.amazon.com/The-Hellbound-Heart-A-Novel/dp/0061452882, and if you plan on repeating this experiment, I suggest you do read it, at the very least. On to the Ritual…

 

Note: while this Ritual is called “The Evocation of Pinhead” the Hell Priest despises that name so it will only be used once in the Evocation (see below) if you succeed in this rite, I would suggest you refer to him as Hell Priest or Cenobite. You may also call him Mr. Spencer, but he will be quick to inform you that is no longer his name.

Supplies:

Myrrh and Musk (Tears and Passion) Charcoal and an Incense burner

A Low table that you can sit in front of cross legged ( Lotus or Half is preferred, indian or tailor style will work if you can’t) Have the table face North.

A bunch of flowers (some wilted, some fresh) a jug, jar or cup of your own urine. Place the flower to the left of the burner, the jug to the right.

6 candles, two burning behind you, two on either side of you, two placed on the table behind the burner.

Something to cause you pain and draw blood with (Razor, Knife, Pin)

A Chain and a Hook, placed before the burner.

A Small Wooden Box with six sides, you will hold this throughout the ritual

I started with a calling of Leviathan while doing so I visualized a large Sea serpent coiling about me, creating a circle.Did a Microcosmic Orbit 6 times and pushed my Aura out from my Tan T’ien to the edge of the serpent.

 

I then Began this Evocation:

“I call to thee, Elliott Spencer, Known to the Worms of this realm as Pinhead. I conjure thee, Great and Terrible Hell Priest, in the name of your creator, Clive Barker, to walk into this circle of Leviathan and appear before me. Heed my call and come now, oh Master of Pain, Cenobite, reside in the Pit no longer (at this time, stroke the box with your fingers, turn it over and over in your hands and see it in your mind’s eye start to glow and open). Hell Priest, I have completed  the task you have set before me, the puzzle is solved, pleasure and pain indivisible shall be the state of this chamber. I wish to see the sights you have to show me. ( Then say the following call six times, once for each side of the box)”Cenobite come to me, Hell Priest come to me, Elliott Spencer come to me, in the name of Clive Barker, your creator, I call to thee.”

 

If he has not shown himself after the six calls, you may do another set of six, but I would suggest no more then that. When and if he comes, be very respectful as if dealing with the most arrogant of kings. I had a conversation with him about the nature of Pleasure and Pain, and I suggest that you do the same to gain insight into this eggagore before asking for anything from him. I then Cut myself with my straight razor and offered some of my blood into the burner for payment, I strongly suggest you do the same with whatever implement you have at hand, for in the lore the cenobites never leave without drawing blood and causing pain first. I then asked him politely to return to hell, he seemed satisfied and quickly did so( interesting note, he flickered in and when he left he blinked out, like a cathode tube television turning off.)

 

I then thanked Leviathan, dissolved the circle, and pulled my Aura back into my Tan T’ien, cycled the Microcosmic orbit and stored the Qi in my Tan T’ien. I accept no responsibility for the mental state of anyone who tries to repeat this ritual.This stuff is experimental and I have no idea what the side effects may be, if any. If you do so, my only suggestion is that you find out all you can about the lore of the Hellraiser sub-universe. Watch all of the Movies (even the bad ones), read the Hellbound Heart and the Scarlet Gospels as well for a deeper understanding of what you are dealing with, before you proceed.

All Art and Writing Copyright 2015- Vincent Piazza

Stay Gold everyone….

 

Horror Magick part 2: The Evocation of Pinhead was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand