Saturday, 22 December 2012
Seasons Greetings from Amid Night Suns. Here we are on the cusp of 2013; the Winter Solstice of December 21st came and went and the world still stands, albeit in pretty bad shape. Doomsday obviously did not come to pass, but why worry about the destruction of the material realm when the internal, psychic realm is already in ruins? A certain kind of apocalypse has already occurred in the realm of Imagination, and it has left our internal worlds devastated for generations now. Take a long, hard look at the world around you. What do you see? Even in the last few decades the human race seems to be galloping towards a determined forfeit of its own natural sovereignty. There were those who believed that the end of 2012 would mark the end of civilization itself, and others who believed it would usher a new age of evolved, higher consciousness. Neither of these things have come to pass.
While I accept the fact that the world is trembling on the brink of disaster, I do not perceive it as the kind of material disaster that the doom-mongers were pushing. I foresee the culmination of a spiritual disaster that began some time ago and is gathering force with each passing day, and it has little to do with the sky falling or the seas rising. Instead, this spiritual apocalypse has to do with the nullification of our insight, reason and acuity -- in short, the pathologizing of our consciousness. Although our monuments and landmarks are still standing, our children might inherit a psychologically ruined world. The elites intend us to become petty, hateful deviants fighting among each other for the scraps thrown out by the Masters -- and we are already halfway there, aren't we? But I am here to tell you that I still believe in a beneficent and glorious future for humankind. But this potential future is dependent on enough people taking it upon themselves to raise their own consciousness, and human consciousness in general. We must become adept at discerning lies from truth, appreciating subtlety, nuance and context, and, most important of all, we must cultivate the fearlessness to speak our truth and not tow the line. Such a line was placed there for the sole purpose of circumscribing our lucidity. There are no easy fixes where lucidity is concerned. It requires trial and error, comparative analysis and patience. It is a process rather than an attainable goal, and therein lies its awesome power.
A LABOUR OF LOVE
While our world still stands, our hearts and our dreamscapes are shattered. We live in a world of unimaginable violence, each of us dealing with our own internal apocalypse. Sometimes we harden our hearts because of the things and loves we have lost, and a certain amount of hardness is unfortunately necessary in this brutal world. But we must never deny our vulnerability, or close ourselves off to spirit and magic and mystery. Our loved ones, both past and present, don't want us to live a barren life rummaging through the rubble of a shattered passion. Instead, they wish that we would rise and become all that we are intended to be -- a magical, passionate entity that honors the truth, protects the weak and wounded, and fights daily to transform grief and apathy into hope. The fallen beloved are not lost. They walk beside us, unseen and sometimes seen. They pray for our spiritual emancipation, as we live and breathe.
LEAVE THE HATE BEHIND
Sometimes our world feels so dark that we seem to absorb the bitterness and anger through some kind of psychic osmosis. When we are able to gather enough awareness to notice this is happening, our hearts feel heavy and we feel ashamed that we let the darkness in. But we are only human, and we must realize that our Shadows are there for a reason -- to guard against deep darkness, rather than encouraging it. Our Shadows act as a kind of spiritual-hygiene litmus test, urging us to delve into the underworld of psyche and seek further integration. In those instances we must look at what we deny, suppress or secretly desire. The Shadow seeks to make us more whole. But the Shadow is not the same thing as the Hate that seems in ascendancy in our world right now. Such hate is the province of mercenaries, killers and psychopaths, and has no redeeming or transformative capacity. This is because Hate is the twisted evil twin of Love, not the absence of Love. It is an imperious, dehumanizing energy. In short, hate seeks to enslave our consciousness rather than set it free. But there is a power that Love can give us that is capable of immolating Hate in a blaze of Innermost Light. The Gnostics often implied that this Realm of Archons was indeed the realm that Hate made. But there are other worlds and other possibilities just beyond the horizons of our imaginations, as we live and breathe.
LIFE BEFORE DEATH
So, what is the message that I want to leave with my readers in this particular post? That Life is sacred, powerful and unimaginably magical -- and that such power trumps all the forms of hate, surrender and death-worship that we see everywhere in our world right now. For me, life is synonymous with passion, creativity and joy. We can imagine new ways of perceiving and experiencing this world, and in doing so we can rewrite the figurative music that provides atmosphere to our existences. At Amid Night Suns I work very hard to practice what I preach in terms of creativity and the healing potentials of Art. Thankfully, I'm not alone in this effort. There are others out there who believe as I do, in the ferocity of the human spirit. Some people call this power God, Genius, Love, Beauty, Insight...but for me they are all variations on the same basic principle -- the principle of Life. You are connected to the Innermost Light of this life principle, and if used effectively it can help you to cultivate lucidity and guide you towards a destiny that in your bravest moments you dared to hope for. You are the embodiment of Life, as you live and breathe.
Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Crypto- or crypt-
A LYRIC OR A LIE
Hidden; secret: cryptoclastic
[From Greek kruptos, hidden, from kruptein, to hide.]
1. gnostic Of, relating to, or possessing intellectual or spiritual knowledge.
2. Of or relating to Gnosticism.
A believer in Gnosticism.
[Late Latin Gnosticus, a Gnostic, from Late Greek Gnostikos, from Greek gnostikos, concerning knowledge, from gnosis, knowledge]
At Amid Night Suns I am always attempting to push boundaries and find new and engaging ways to stimulate the mind, heart and spirit. I believe that the work I do here is important within my own little sphere of readership. Whether you are a public member of this blog, or a private lurker, or someone who has been linked here though Christopher Loring Knowles' Secret Sun blog -- I hope that you find my work here empowering, intelligent and provocative. I don't need anyone to agree with all of my views, beliefs and insights, and I present them here in a spirit of fun and artistic adventure. What I do want, however, is for you to take any sense of purpose or motivation that Amid Night Suns might stir in you and somehow apply it to your own creative and intellectual pursuits. I would hope that you are not simply a passive consumer of the video content I provide here, and that you can find ways to use it to enhance your own life.
I see mysteries and puzzles and patterns everywhere I look, and I also see that much of what we understand to be reality are expressions of divinity that have been cryptologically encoded in plain sight. Similarly, I sense the presence of vast libraries of secret knowledge dwelling unrecognized within the data and information that we think we understand. Mostly the secrets have not been simply concealed from us, rather they have been placed in front of us in forms and contexts we do not understand, and therefore are unable to actually see. As far as Gnosticism is concerned, and the cultivation of spiritual knowledge, I believe that all human beings are capable of wisdom and profound creativity through acquiring such knowledge. There are many paths to this knowledge, both external and internal. Generally speaking, the Gnostics believed that the physical realm was a prison-like illusion that has ensnared and entrapped consciousness/spirit within matter, and that sinister forces wish us to remain ignorant of our situation and our true identities as magickal, divine entities. If there is some metaphoric or literal truth to this notion -- then the plights and dark histories of the human race seem to make infinitely more sense. We can see that there is some truth to this at least on a societal level. Corporate, criminal elites are constantly attempting to curb our freedoms and move us around like pawns on a chess board, and they have quite successfully stoked our appetites for glamour, surfaces and rigid dogmas. Along with those things comes the greed, violence and hate to which humans too often succumb. But of course, if there is any truth to Gnostic concepts, we can see that these dark appetites are by design. But there are other appetites that can also be cultivated in the human individual. We can become ravenous for insight, tolerance, compassion and justice. We can discipline ourselves to hunger for truth, and actively proceed with our lives based on these other notions. Any truth or change we want to see manifested in the external world has to begin right at home, within the internal realm of our imaginations. Storytellers and artists understand this intuitively, which is why we bother to tell stories. We are aware of the power of art to potentially liberate an enslaved consciousness.
BETWEEN MISERY AND MAGICK
We build monuments to dark priesthoods and cruel gods, who have told us that we are unclean and unworthy without their 'light' to guide us. This is a very ancient tactic of control. To successfully enslave an individual's physicality, their mind must first be dominated and their spirit essentially broken. I believe this is a fairly accurate representation of what we as the human race are currently enduring. We create hostile cities on behalf of mocking Archons, the Absence Brethren, who seek absolute power over all forms of imagining sentience. We build fallow temples that birth rivalries and bitterness, fragmenting us into smaller and smaller mutually-hateful cliques. We believe that it is our lot in life to suffer and haul the leviathan chains of this machine on our breaking backs. But there are other options. We can become more than we are. We can find our way back to sanity, back to magick.
A LYRIC OR A LIE
As children we believed in magic, in its fullest, most romantic sense. We believed in other worlds and hidden possibilities; our internal worlds of play were filled with such magic and awe. Furthermore, we believed in heroes, entities who could use such magic to battle the terrible villains that we sensed pre-cognitively were out there trying to make the world a darker place. We believed completely in those heroes. As adults we still want to believe, but we have transferred that belief into the realm of art. It seems a less foolish belief to our 'mature' reasoning, that we must put away childish things and find solace only in the safer realms of fiction. But what if we are wrong? What if our childhood 'fantasies' of magical heroes are actually much closer to the truth of what is actually occurring in our world? There are those, like the Ragged Magi, who walk the unseen realms and do battle with monsters daily. Does your adult mind dare to believe this? If I told you that the realms of magic and fiction were closely intertwined, would it then be easier to consider the possibility that magical, spiritual battles are going on all around you? One tool to begin recognizing the potential truth of this notion is the phenomenon of synchronicity. Another is a highly developed and nuanced pattern-recognition. These two perceptual tools go hand and hand. Properly utilized they can help you to recognize the difference between a seemingly normal experience and something magical, and that such magic is ultimately indwelling. It is the difference between freedom and control, the difference between a lyric and a lie.
In magic, the ultimate goal is to turn chaos into order, nonsense into sense, ignorance into knowledge. This Gnosis at the heart of all true magic is simultaneously experiential, perceptual, intellectual and emotional. It unites all levels and layers of the practitioner's psyche. The soul and imagination of the magician is akin to the Prima Materia discussed by the Alchemists. Real Magic can sometimes be quite spectacular and breathtaking, but more often it is a kind of quiet, steadfast strength and wisdom. It will not often choose to be spectacular unless it feels something valuable will be gained from such a display. It will not openly reveal itself unless you honestly and deeply choose to to see evidence of its presence. But once you decide this, to allow magic into your life in some meaningful way, it will begin communicating with you in a searingly intimate language -- your private, secret language. It will show you things about yourself, the world and consciousness in general that you had barely dared to dream. It will show you the stone of philosophers, and a hidden river of alchemical gold running through the very fabric of your soul.
Thursday, 13 December 2012
As anyone who visits Amid Night Suns regularly will be well aware, the video content that I create for this blog is very time-intensive and complicated. I spend hours sourcing, editing, and re-editing material, as well as the time taken to write the posts themselves and the prose delivered within the videos. I've made over 170 of them in the last two and a half years - all directly inspired by Christopher Loring Knowles' exemplary work over on his cultural blog The Secret Sun, and more recently The Solar Satellite. Why am I still doing this two and a half years later when only a handful of people subscribe to this blog or bother to leave comments? I'm still doing this because I'm following Chris Knowles' example, and I am trying to set an example myself. There are too many people in this world who are happy to sit back and not raise their voices when they see injustice all around them. I am not one of those people. I have always tried to speak the truth as best as I understand it...I've always tried to speak up on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves, or those whose voices are deliberately ignored.
For me, the past two and a half years have been a very rapid learning process and evolution as a writer and artist, and also as a human being. I found Christopher Knowles' blog The Secret Sun at a crucial period in my life, and it was directly responsible for steering my life onto a more satisfying path. I hope I can continue to pay it forward by replicating a similar honesty and bravery in my own work. Empowerment is the core manifesto of the work I do here at Amid Night Suns. I hope that you, dear reader, feel the truth of this. I hope that you are engaged, excited, provoked and empowered by the content I provide here. If not, then I have failed. But I will keep going in the hope that something in my writing or videos strikes a chord and helps you to feel more connected, awake and dynamic than you did previously.
For me, the image of the sun is a multi-faceted symbol shaded with nuance and various subtle meanings. It is not simply a vast sphere of burning gas at the centre of our system. It is also indicative of an ancient lost secret that teases and hints to us through various forms of sub-communication. In my art I often conflate the actual sun with a poetic Midnight Sun - an internal, imaginary sun that exists at the heart of our own personal dreamscapes. This internal sun is what I sometimes refer to as the Innermost Light; the source of truth, mystery, perception and experience. Others have referred to it as God, but I usually try to avoid this religious terminology to guard against a short-sighted or selective perspective; the whole "My God is bigger than your God" nonsense that humans seem so fond of. I would much rather explore the connections and resonances of the divine in a visionary, artistic context.
X MARKS THE SPOT
It is my suspicion that the symbol of the X is at least as old as human culture itself, and perhaps even older in our perception if time. I believe the X is a very loaded and powerful symbol, many of the resonances of which are now lost to us. I think the X denotes the sun (both external and internal), as well as being evocative of the physical/spiritual continuum through which we experience our own self-awareness. I believe that the X connotes the mysterious process of cognition itself - the incalculable realms beneath everything we see and know, that yet give rise to our individuality. For me, the X is symbolic of the Forge of Alchemy in this War of Imagination.
I think one of the most sacred goals of any alchemical or magickal practice is the transmuting of Self into Spirit, or, perhaps more accurately, the transmuting of Ignorance into Gnosis. Whether your worldview is more Gnostic or Hermetic in nature, or a blending of both, it would be very difficult to slight a perspective that has self-actualization, emancipation and compassion as its main goals. That is what I'm attempting here in my own little way. I want to make the heart more bold, more intelligent, and more wise. Without this heart I believe that all intellectual endeavours are doomed to failure. But if you really put your heart into your work and your seeking of truth then you can have a thousand flaws and make a thousand mistakes, because your intent is true and just - and by simple virtue of that fact you are aligning yourself more closely with what you seek. There are times when I am able to catch glimpses of things before they happen, a strange kind of atmospheric pre-cognition. This information usually comes to me indirectly, through odd insights, feelings and moods. You can believe or disbelieve this if you want, but because of this ability I feel a certain responsibility to do what I can to protect our future - to protect the best of what human consciousness has to offer. I feel it is a warrior's duty.
We are truly living in a War of Imagination, where Archonic forces, neo-fascist elites and petty oppressors are continually attempting to subvert and remove our natural power. They attempt to steal pieces of our minds, hearts and souls - and what they cannot steal they pervert, or attempt to nullify. We must resist this occupation of our consciousness. Our consciousness is the sum totality of our imaginations; the parts that speak, think, feel, dream and fantasize, as well as the silent and unseen parts of ourselves that conduct strange work beneath our ability to recognize them.
Imaginale is one of the many names for the First and Oldest City - a vast internal city of Light, and sometimes Darkness. There are those among the human race who fight to defend it from occupiers and colonists. Although my language to describe this realm may be somewhat poetic and ethereal, the threats that it faces are very real, grounded and ever-present. There are forces out there that seek to enslave, dehumanize and spiritually rape us - and I for one will not stand back and let this happen. Not without a fight - the fight of my life. Dear reader, you have a great power dwelling in you. This power can help you create art and influences and changes in this world that are akin to miracles. It is still possible to discover just who and what you really are - Freedom and Magick Incarnate. Let it be known, here and now, that there are cities on the sun. Cities of mystery and potential, composed of divine fire. If you stand and fight for Truth, Love and Honor these cities will embrace you - and transform you.