what I really want is a world wherein I feel generously supported in having disreputable adventures, free to be my expansively weird self.
That if desperate times call for desperate measures, then I am free to act as desperately as I wish.
Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire
An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for June 4th, 2014
“Stunning Digitally Composited Star Trail Photos [by Justin Ng] of the Night Sky over Singapore” — EDW Lynch, Laughing Squid
- “Transtheism or Numinalism” — April D DeConick, Forbidden Gospels Blog
“I am continuing to think about this word that we don’t yet have to describe a religious point of view that sees all conventional religions as inadequate human constructions, that have not been able to communicate the experience of an ultimate reality that transcends us. […] I am thinking now about these possibilities: 1. Transtheism […] 2. Numinalism”
- “Free” — Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti
“Be not of any Faction: A wise Man is always free.”
- “‘Muslim Gospel’ Revealing the ‘Christian Truth’ Excites the Da Vinci Code Set: Jesus Christ on a Cross: Not.” — Annette Yoshiko Reed, Religion Dispatches
“For [John] Toland, this was not just another apocryphon. From this ‘Turkish Gospel being fathr’d upon Barnabas,’ he claimed to have been led to recover “the original plan of Christianity” as centered on Jewish-Christian beliefs that ‘Jesus did not take away or cancel the Jewish Law in any sense whatsoever.’
This, Toland argued, was the very oldest form of Christianity, only it was lost to history when ‘converts from the Gentiles… did almost wholly subvert’ it. On the basis of the Gospel of Barnabas, Toland characterized the most ancient Christianity as harmonious with Islam as well: its account of Jesus, after all, was perfectly conformable to the traditions of the Mahometans [i.e., Muslims], who maintain that another was crucified in his stead; and that Jesus, slipping thro’ the hands of Jews, preach’d afterwards to his disciples, then was taken to heaven.”
“At least from the evidence now at hand, there’s little to support the theory that the GBarn is authentically ancient. The question, rather, is why this possibility continues to arise again and again despite the paucity of evidence. Why is the idea of this gospel—and speculation about its possible suppression—so compelling to modern readers? How has on-line speculation about a Syriac manuscript of an obscure apocryphon risen to the status of e-Rumor, spreading widely through social media and persisting for years?”
- “Virginia County Board: Followers Of ‘Pre-Christian Deities’ Forbidden To Deliver Opening Prayers” — Matt Staggs, disinformation
“… I’m assuming deities contemporaneous with Christianity are just fine, so grab your Pope cards and take the next flight to Chesterfield, Subgenii: These folks clearly need ‘Bob’ and his redeeming message of Slack.”
- “Leonardo Ulian’s Technological Mandalas Signify Worship of Technology” — Sara Barnes, Beautiful/Decay
“Artist Leonardo Ulian offers another interpretation of the mandala with his assemblages of electronic components, copper wire, and more. The intricate, finely detailed works radiate the innards of what makes technology tick. Ulian crafts smaller geometric patterns within a larger, more general shape that become more impressive once you see close up shots of his handiwork.”
- “Inside the Church of Scientology’s New $14 Million Compound” — Nelson Groom, VICE
“The outside of the building melds surprisingly well with its surroundings. However, this all changes when you walk inside. As soon as you step through the entrance, the vibrant lighting and futuristic decor make you feel like you’re on the set of the latest terrible sci-fi dystopian flick. It’s prompt validation that this is not your average church.”
- “‘Be Here Nowish’ is a Queer, Spiritual Comedy from the Creators of ‘Every Woman’” — Liz Armstrong, VICE
“Be Here Nowish had a soft launch last month and now emerges in its entirety, picking up where the main characters, fuck-ups in their own right, left off, finding themselves in Los Angeles among a group of freaky devotees of a guru played by Kyp Malone from TV on the Radio.
Adam, are you personally involved in any of the kooky spiritual stuff that’s going on in Los Angeles?
Adam [Carpenter]: Does Pilates count?
- “How to achieve altered states of consciousness” — Jarred Triskelion, Spiral Nature
“Entering altered states of consciousness has a dramatic effect upon a ritual. Everything becomes more profound, from the smell of the incense, to the colour of the candlelight, to the feel of your wand in your hand.”
- An interactive Enochian resource from Keep Silence: Spirits of the Great Table
- “Abolish the Week! It’s unnatural. It’s unnecessary. Why the seven-day week has got to go.” — Ben Schreckinger, Slate Culturebox
“But whence the week? Throughout history, human societies have found it useful to divide time into groups of days shorter than a lunar month. One of the most common uses of this cycle has been to establish a regular market day, though just how regular varies. At one point, the Basques evidently employed a three-day week. For centuries, China, Japan, and Korea employed a 10-day week. Other societies have employed four-, five-, six-, eight-, and nine-day weeks.”
- “Vampires, Ghosts, and the Legacy of Antiquity” — Sarah Veale, Invocatio
“So were vampires ghosts? Were ghosts vampires? These days most of us can easily distinguish between a vampire and a ghost and would consider them two very different phenomena. Examples from antiquity, however, suggest a blurring of these distinctions which lasted until the modern era. This overlap in the supernatural has caused much consternation among scholars who study the undead, complicating what would otherwise be neat categories.”
- “Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone” — Mallory Ortberg, The Toast [HT Rob Bricken]
“‘This is really more of a question for the Economics of Potion-Making, I guess. What time are econ lessons here?’
‘We have no economics lessons in this school, you ridiculous boy.’
Harry Potter stood up bravely. ‘We do now. Come with me if you want to learn about market forces!’
The students poured into the hallway after him. They had a leader at last.”
- “Restoring the Lost Sense: May 29, 2014” — Craig Conley, Abecedarian
“How consciousness bends the body: an illustration from The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception by Max Heindel, 1911.”
- Taliesin Gilkes-Bower quoted at “Lighting a 7-Day Candle for Saint Google” — Max Pearl, Cluster Magazine; see also “St. Google Prayer Candles”
“You know, Saint Isidore of Seville was declared the patron saint of the Internet and computers by the vatican. You can imagine confession as the ultimate data-mining and blackmail tool. The church had to coerce people with the idea of infinite hell to get them to confess, and they could still lie if they wanted to! Now we just give away access to every single piece of ourselves for free. So the need for protection from Saint Google is very real.”
- “A footnote about the publishing industry” — Charlie Stross, Charlie’s Diary
“But the trouble with disruption is that it’s dangerously close to detonation. You can end up destroying what you sought to shake up and take over.”
- “Burning the MRA Playbook (Or, #YesAllMRAs)” — Chuck Wendig, terribleminds
“We get flicked in the nuts by a badminton birdie we’ll double over for 20 minutes, moaning and rocking back and forth. Our balls are like little yarn-bundles contained in a thin, wifty sack of outlying flesh. They unspool like bobbins of delicate thread when damaged. Women on the other hand push entire people out of their lady-realms like divine fucking beings.”
- Post-Culture Review, via tweet
"Does this look infected to you?" [points at entire existence]
— Post-Culture Review (@PostCultRev) May 29, 2014
If you’d like to participate in the next Omnium Gatherum, head on over to the Gatherum discussions at the Hrmtc Underground BBS.
The word of the Law equals ninety and three,
The word by which mankind will someday be free
Of the chains of slavery and oppression!
I raise up the cup and adore Babalon!
— In Nomine Babalon: 156 Adorations to the Scarlet Goddess
The Hermetic Library arts and letters pool is a project to publish poetry, prose and art that is inspired by or manifests the Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to submit your work for consideration as part of the Arts and Letters pool, contact the librarian.
“Pale women sickening for some sister breast;
Lone sisterhood of voiceless melancholy
That wanders in this Hell, desiring rest
From that desire that dwells forever free,
Monstrous, a storm, a sea.” [via]
The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin
“I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor, that’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate;
has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:
machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical,
our cleverness hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little:
More than machinery we need humanity;
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.
Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say “Do not despair”.
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die liberty will never perish …
Soldiers: don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder.
Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate, only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers: don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty.
In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written:
“The kingdom of God is within man”
Not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men; in you, the people.
You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let’s use that power, let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfill their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.
Soldiers! In the name of democracy, let us all unite!”