Tag Archives: Society

Christians have their Cross – fetish ov guilt and shame. Christ on thee Cross – symbol ov martyrdom/sacrifice for thee sinfulness ov thee human race. unworthy, godless slaves.

We repudiate – have our own fetish/symbol for thee immense possibilities and dimensions ov thee human mind and vessel in life. Thee Psychick Cross – an alchemical symbol for (magickally) dangerous material/knowledge. Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth is “danger” to dogmatic/streamlined thought, that is to thee stability/status quo in present society/culture: thee seed to a new science/way ov living.

TOPY is…

Hermetic quote TOPY is christians cross fetish guilt shame repudiate symbol immense possibilities dimensions human mind and vessel danger dogmatic status quo

Chesed corresponds to the creative aspects of leadership, and early texts are one-sided in characterising this by love, mercy and majesty. Gevurah corresponds to the conservative aspects of leadership, to the power to preserve the status-quo, and the power to destroy anything opposed to it. These two aspects go hand-in-hand – try to change anything of consequence in society, and someone will invariably oppose that change. To bring about change it is often necessary to have the power to over-rule opposition. Consensus is an impossibility in society – there will always be someone whose opinions are at best ignored and at worst suppressed – and Chesed and Gevurah represent respectively the kingly obligation to seek what is good for the many (enlightened leadership of course!), and the power to judge and punish those opposed to the will of the king.

Colin Low, Introduction to the Kabbalah, “Gevurah and Chesed

Hermetic quote Low Introduction to the Kabbalah Gevurah and Chesed creative leadership love mercy majesty conservative leadership power preserve status quo destroy opposing consensus impossibility

the prudent but strict curtailment of the freedom of the press; the minute police supervision of all teachers and professors; and the ferreting out Illuminism in its most secret recesses…. The result will be that henceforth no one will be able to corrupt the opinion of the people … and that the real happiness of the people will no longer be threatened by the destruction of religion and the subversion of society.

Terry Melanson, Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]

Hermetic quote Melanson Perfectibilists prudent strict curtailment freedom press police supervision all teachers professors ferreting out illuminism corrupt destruction religion subversion society

These reactionaries preserved their moral purity (as reactionaries so often do) by not reading, so they didn’t have to see that Soviet writers had been using science fiction for years to write with at least relative freedom from Party ideology about politics, society, and the future of mankind.

Ursula K Le Guin introducing Arkady Strugatsky & Boris Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]

Hermetic quote Le Guin Strugatsky Roadside Picnic reactionaries preserved moral purity not reading soviet writers using science fiction for years write relative freedom ideology

I can only imagine how much a meditation class in high school, even as an after school activity, would have helped me with my significant childhood anxiety. We receive no formal training in emotional regulation, ability to focus, healthy forms of relaxation, nor in a dozen or so skills that would be invaluable to ourselves and society.

Michael Taft, The Mindful Geek: Mindfulness Meditation for Secular Skeptics

Hermetic quote Taft Mindful school

Religion & the Decline of Magic

Religion & the Decline of Magic by Keith Thomas, the 1971 paperback from Scribners, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Keith Thomas Religion & the Decline of Magic from Scribners

Religion & the Decline of Magic is Keith Thomas’s classic history of the magical beliefs held by people on every level of English society in the 16th and 17th centuries and how these beliefs were a part of the religious and scientific assumptions of the time. It is not only a major historical and religious work, but a thoroughly enjoyable book filled with fascinating facts and original insights into an area of human nature that remains controversial today—the belief in the supernatural that still continues in the modern world.” — back cover


Vril

Vril, the Power of the Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1986 second printing from Spiritual Fiction Publication / Gerber Communications, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton Vril from Spiritual Fiction Publication / Gerber Communications

VRIL, mankind’s occult power of the future, and the kind of life and society created by its use in the interior of the earth, is the vivid picture presented in this book. Written 100 years ago by Lord Bulwer-Lytton, famous English Rosicrucian, statesman and author (see: Zanoni, a Rosicrucian Tale another Steiner-book), VRIL, his last book, stands as stern warning and reliable witness to his profound concern for the future welfare of mankind.

VRIL made today’s science-fiction books possible and interesting, but VRIL itself was a serious and prophetic testament that man today must pay heed to, if he is to survive, and become MAN.” — back cover


The Society of the Spectacle

The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord, newly translated and annotated by Ken Knabb, is due March, 2014. You can check out the text of this online at the Bureau of Public Secrets, and pre-order the print edition via AK Press.

Guy Debord Ken Knabb The Society of the Spectacle from AK Press

The Society of the Spectacle, originally published in Paris in 1967, has been translated into more than twenty other languages and is arguably the most important radical book of the twentieth century. This is the first edition in any language to include extensive annotations, clarifying the historical allusions and revealing the sources of Debord’s ‘détournements.’

Contrary to popular misconceptions, Debord’s book is neither an ivory tower ‘philosophical’ discourse nor a mere expression of ‘protest.’ It is a carefully considered effort to clarify the most fundamental tendencies and contradictions of the society in which we find ourselves. This makes it more of a challenge, but it is also why it remains so pertinent nearly half a century after its original publication while countless other social theories and intellectual fads have come and gone.

It has, in fact, become even more pertinent than ever, because the spectacle has become more all-pervading than ever — to the point that it is almost universally taken for granted. Most people today have scarcely any awareness of pre-spectacle history, let alone of anti-spectacle possibilities. As Debord noted in his follow-up work, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (1988), ‘spectacular domination has succeeded in raising an entire generation molded to its laws.’ [via]

How to Kill a Dragon

How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics by Calvert Watkins, a 1995 paperback from Oxford University Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Calvert Watkins How to Kill a Dragon from Oxford University Press

“In How to Kill a Dragon Calvert Watkins follows the continuum of poetic formulae in Indo-European languages, from Old Hittite to medieval Irish. He uses the comparative method to reconstruct traditional poetic formulae of considerable complexity that stretch as far back as the original common language. Thus, Watkins reveals the antiquity and tenacity of the Indo-European poetic tradition.

Watkins begins this study with an introduction to the field of comparative Indo-European poetics; he explores the Saussurian notions of synchrony and diachrony, and locates the various Indo-European traditions and ideologies of the spoken word. Further, his overview presents case studies on the forms of verbal art, with selected texts drawn from Indic, Iranian, Greek, Latin, Hittite, Armenian, Celtic, and Germanic languages.

In the remainder of the book, Watkins examines in detail the structure of the dragon/serpent-slaying myths, which recur in various guises throughout the Indo-European poetic tradition. He finds the ‘signature’ formula for the myth—the divine hero who slays the serpent or overcomes adversaries—occurs in the same linguistic form in a wide range of sources and over millennia, including Old and Middle Iranian holy books, Greek epic, Celtic and Germanic sagas, down to Armenian oral folk epic of the last century. Watkins argues that this formula is the vehicle for the central theme of a proto-text, and a central part of the symbolic culture of speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language: the relation of humans to their universe, the values and expectations of their society. Therefore, he further argues, poetry was a social necessity for Indo- European society, where the poet could confer on patrons what they and their culture valued above all else: ‘imperishable fame.'” — back cover