This is not to absolve the world of its ugliness, or to deny that truly fearful things exist in it. But some of these things can be overcome–on the condition that we build an aesthetic on the overcoming rather than the fear.
I recently attended a gay dance/poetry performance of uncompromising hipness: the one black dancer in the troupe had to pretend to fuck a dead sheep.
Part of my self-induced stupidity, I confess, is to believe (& even feel) that art can change me, & change others. That’s why I write pornography & propaganda–to cause change. Art can never mean as much as a love affair, perhaps, or an insurrection. But…to a certain extent…it works.
Hakim Bey, The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Against the Reproduction of Death
Even though so many past and present conspiracy theories are exercises in paranoia rather than history, there have been real conspiracies down through the years; it’s worth remembering that even the Bavarian Illuminati did actually exist at one point, and attempted (however clumsily) a program of political subversion in late eighteenth-century Germany. Distasteful as it may be to modern scholarship, the material is there, and needs to be dealt with.
John Michael Greer, Caduceus III 2, An Embarrassment of Secrets
Even though tourists appear to be physically present in Nature or Culture, in effect one might call them ghosts haunting ruins, lacking all bodily presence. They’re not really there, but rather move through a mind-scape, an abstraction («Nature», «Culture»), collecting images rather than experience. All too frequently their vacations are taken in the midst of other peoples’ misery and even add to that misery.
Hakim Bey, Overcoming Tourism
Importantly, he also encourages us to remember that this deity is really just one reflection of the divine. If we lose sight of this, we risk overly identifying with a partial force, rather than the one spiritual star in our sight—the HGA.
David Shoemaker, Living Thelema: A Practical Guide to Attainment in Aleister Crowley’s System of Magick [Bookshop, Amazon]