What’s up, Daedalus?
Thanks for your email. I will try to be more active here. Multiple people have told me that atheist/secular magick is welcome here. It’s just a matter of me posting.
I’ve been entertaining recent claims that “atheism” is a term that keeps a revolving door around theism, so I’m preferring secular to describe non-religiosity. Some others seem to prefer secular more than atheist also based on conversations I’ve had with friends.
I’m personally not sure how to make sense of Satanism. If it’s an organized religion, then there must be elements of worship. Even self-deification is a form of worship and type of theism (egotheism). It would depend on if the individual regards the self as divine and incorporates religious elements in their daily life and models. If Satanism lacks that, then I would be hesitant to try to model it as a religion. Some Satanists seem to be genuine egotheists, though, and not willing to separate from identifying as a god.
To be secular is to be non-religious including self worship. It’s interesting that “ritual” is defined as religious ceremony, yet it also refers to repetitious or patterned behavior (which doesn’t have to be religious).
When words carry multiple meanings like this, it’s tough making sense. That happens with terms like “magick,” “occult,” and “supernatural,” too. I hope we can establish more reliable terms even as we discover new details about them.
What is magick? I think magick is “the design of function.” I thought about this after pondering Crowley’s definition but feeling at odds with the idea of “True Will” and all things being conscious or driven by consciousness (as well as divinity). This refinement was also inspired by the popular philosophical investigation of existence and essence. Many philosophers have been interested in dissecting the relationship between existence and essence. Which comes first, existence or essence? Perhaps neither. They are symbiotic. There is always innate form, structure or substance (existence). It’s always doing something (essence). Perhaps existence is fundamental. However, I’ve been wondering more lately if we’re mistaken to define all design and essence as being “mind.”
What is mind? What is consciousness? I used to be more comfortable as a panpsychist (thinking mind essence permeates all things), but I’m less convinced of that now due to vague definitions of mind and consciousness.
I learned some etymology of the term “God.” There’s an old proto term “gadh” that meant “to align, assemble, match.” For my perspective, it seems like this was homo sapien discovery of design, but I’m not sure all design has a conscious designer. We later deified design because we assumed conscious creators of all things, and gadh became God.
Divinity means nothing to bugs and plants, yet there they are — still existing in beauty and essence. I don’t think we need god concepts and divinity to make sense of life and to live full, satisfying lives filled with magick and occultism. I hope we’ll reunite with naturalistic materialism but modernly. It’s OK to manipulate our bodies and environments, but there are natural barriers we have to work with. You can achieve a lot by setting intentions, but you can’t achieve everything that way. Too much in the way!
We have a tough time making sense of how we have a capacity for meaning if the universe or existence at large doesn’t. Where does meaning come from? I could write paragraphs just dissecting meaning and what that entails… got lots of work to finish today though.
It matters to me whether spirits and gods exist independently of our thinking versus them being characteristics of human consciousness.
I think the occult is better defined as the experience of uncertainty and unaccessed or undiscovered information. If you observe the underlying motivations of occult interests, it’s always established by people not knowing what the fuck is going on and trying to make their best predictions about it. Tarot, astrology, religious divination — these are indeed occult methods, but so is the scientific method!
Science isn’t an explanation. It’s also a prediction method!
All the supernatural is is whatever exists beyond our natural/personal understanding and abilities. Ghosts and gods are only 2 possibilities for what exists beyond us.
The argument you make about life’s novelty — I’ve heard other people say this recently, too. It’s definitely bizarre that we’re so isolated and unlikely. There’s still a chance that evolution is not divinely safeguarded, and there may not be any type of supreme state or True Will even though this is a remarkable experience. That’s why I refuse to (it’s actually impossible) for me to not resonate with magick or that wondrous sense of enchantment. I still factor in how the universe may not care if we exist, and that’s not to hurt our feelings. It may generally lack those conscious functions. It’s nothing personal. Plus, at least we can experience that wonder and try to preserve our lineage!
I’ve had some impressive personality changes by working with religious entities in the past, but some of my acid trips and mild psychosis (plus thinking back on Plato’s allegory of the cave and other ironies in nature) motivated me to entertain the possibility that humans are the source of godlike properties. However, I’m not comfortable calling myself a god. I had nothing to do with evolution’s spark even though I have some influence over the present and future. There are too many limitations about me for me to feel sacred, divine or supreme.
Non-religious people have occult and supernatural experiences, too. Secularists are indeed a part of magick and can be magickians. With this definition, we can appreciate the abundance of magick combinations. Religion, science, inanimate phenoman… Geez at the possibilities! We’re not crazy for entertaining religion, but I personally am more critical lately of religion.
I still find so much beauty in mythological art. The difference is my literal views of Satan being some kind of substance or structure independent of my human thinking. If I’m in a crisis, I can channel my Satanic characteristics (something rebellious, intellectual, destructive), but I shouldn’t depend on Satan to fly out of the clouds and rescue me if I’m falling from a cliff.
However, God definitely exists. The problem is that God may only exist conceptually or virtually among human brains. If God exists as a real creator independent of humans, we shouldn’t fail to factor in the atrocities happening in the midst of God’s apparent awareness and powers. Fucking psychopath!
Regarding entropy, I suck at physics. I hate this about me, so I’m wanting to learn more and be able to contribute more reliable discussion. Physics is important in occultism, but you can fuck up a model badly with just one incorrect detail. That’s why I love science. It’s always making new discoveries, and I got a bit bored with religion because I felt like I was chasing my own tail and deteriorating in the process. I thought I had a friend when I didn’t. Or rather, I’m my own best friend. We can certainly help ourselves in impressive ways, but at some point, my abilities stop. I am limited by definition. This experience is what outlines occultism IMO. It’s the experience of being restricted from other parts of existence. If all truly was “One,” occultism simply wouldn’t exist. We shouldn’t deflect from our real division. This is hard in an increasingly sociopathic society where we’re being instigated to view other phenenoma as our own solipsistic property.
Magick is different than occultism but still a part of the supernatural and occult. I can’t prove it, but it seems likely that whatever exists beyond natural understanding, whatever’s unknown, still has design (substance/existence) and function (interaction/essence). However, not all magick is supernatural or occult. I’m not convinced that all magick expressions are conscious.
If you learn something, that set of information is no longer occult to you. It could still be occult to somebody else, though. Plus, there may be details you’re missing, and those missing details are occult. Another reason I love science. It’s occult in nature by daring to reach for undiscovered information and innovations.
P.S. I’m trying harder not to stigmatize Cluster B personalities (borderlines, narcissistcs, socipaths, psychopaths). I have narcissistic parents and some problematic characteristics of my own. I’m too controlling and have a bad temper. I cut people off and won’t leave my house for months.
I think all people should be accepted and helped rather than harmed, but we should still address consequences that certain behavior has (specifically the traits in which we aim to bring harm to others). Destruction isn’t inherently evil. I can think of many ways it’s necessary. But if we become fatal nihilists in the wake of existence’s fundamental meaningless and blow each other up… then there’s nothing left of us. Whoo hoo. What winners…