On Post Modernism And Magic.
From an early age (thirteen) I was fascinated by religion (that is religion with a big “R”, world religion, not religion, “r”, that is Christianity, see book shops, libraries etc). I must admit for some time I did take on the vacant eyed, smiley-faced aspect of the “Born Again Christian”. I got better though. I studied, yoga, Sufism, obscure Christian mystics. I spent much time in the libraries alternative religion section perusing the works of Christmas Humphreys (Books ) (Christmas Humphreys, born in london in 1901, was a judge, a Buddhist, and the founder of the Buddhist Society of London ), who opened up the can of worms that is Zen Buddhism to me (my having studied yoga for a while, I found his terminology quiet accessible). My travels in religion eventually led me to Taoism particularly through the writings of Alan Watts. As an aside I was also interested in the western mystical tradition (Brother Lawrence for example). Eventually the force of learning a foreign culture collided with my obstinate side and I began to explore the native culture and religion here in the British Isles.
Paganism in all it’s various guises was an eye opener for me. Here was an attempt to move away from the male dominated, misogynistic, Masonic hierarchical structure of the Christian religion that I had forsaken with glee. Paganism is in itself a purely modern religion (there being few if any true links to any pre –Christian practices). The oldest order of druid’s I have personally come into contact with claim their line from Henry the Eighths period and no earlier. Now as an interested party in the (until recently) hidden aspects of Paganism, I of course was brushing shoulders with such occult heavy weights as Crowley, and Israel Regardie. Not physically of course but in the same sections of the book shops that I use to have to frequent to purchase anything good on Paganism.
What else could a young aspiring occultist (by now no longer Buddhist, or plain Pagan but a Pagan Occultist) really want for but the complete works of either of the above. Now here we get into my main theme (at last I hear you cry). Study closely the texts of early alchemists (Rosicrucianism for instance), and occultists, and later writers on the arts. The major theme I find in most of my travel is the denial of the objective reality (Buddhism) and the belief in the ability of the Magus to reform the mundane in the likeness of their own will. Mainly by the process of naming things correctly in order to have power to manipulate items/people.
Being an enquiring mind I also bathed my intellect in such luminaries as Marx (I read the introduction to “Das Capital”), and Bertrand Russell. Expanding into such interesting areas as Sartre’s Existentialism. As a student of the mind I was also interested in both Freudian and Jungian psychology. Of course having such a wide reading area precludes one from being anything but a passing acquaintance to these subjects.
Imagine my joy when finally arriving at university (as a mature student of thirty nine) to rediscover the work of both Sartre and Freud, leading into such people as Lacan and his developments in theory, Barthes with his extension of the same, and Kristeva (and more ). All focused on the use and misuse of language and its development as a tool being all pervasive to the point of taking over the whole of reality. To this end the Post modernist creed almost stating there is nothing but text and text is able to be infinitely manipulated.
This is purely a small essay (full of holes), which I hope may excite the reader to at least explore some of the subjects raised in order to engender debate. My final point is the conclusion that both Magus and Postmodernist end up in the same place, surrounded by words, all at their beck and call, all there to be manipulated to their advantage.
Yours the Dyslexic Postmodernist.