An Early Study of the IOT (Illuminates of Thanateros)
(Part I: Liber Null)
OF LIBER NULL
One of the things that interests me greatly after a comment made by my priestess – is the odd juxtaposition of Sex and Death. Yes, one can experience sex – but unless one is dead, how does one experience or Know Death? A Sorceress provided the Temple’s Liber SSS with one experience we have arbitrarily named ‘The Descent into Nox’ that contains the principles and echoes of the IOT’s exercises regarding Death. ‘The Descent’ requires standing with one’s arms outstretched above one’s head as high as they will go for a length of time which allows experience of downward force exerted via gravity. Then, after some time, the magician spirals down slowly (clockwise or anti-clockwise both have different effects) until they are lying on the ground at a state of absolute rest. At this point one is said (if one is interested in living more than they are resting) to be able to feel upward force compelling them to rise and resist absolute rest, to get up and not to die. These forces have no name. However, great power is said to reside between the spaces, in a third and sidewards force – symbolized by a hybrid of the Eagle and the Dragon, respectively. Fascinating as this exercise is – it does not allow the experience of Death either.
I’ve not yet studied Austin Spare or the Zos Kia myself so the influences IOT have taken from them will have to wait their turn. I have however had the extreme privilege of introduction and access to the IOT’s ideas and practices via one of our Sorceresses. On this knowledge I shall heavily depend.
The version of Liber Null and Psychonaut that I am reading is dated 1987, and within the introduction claims that the IOT has no hierarchical structure. From my information that was once the case – but is now no longer true. My information is that the IOT has become a corporation of individuals frightened of anyone with actual prowess and who entertain the rich and gullible via a battery of magical pretense without any depth.
My own submission to the IOT some years ago was rejected on the grounds of my admission to an ‘obsession’ with Satan – strangely it seems that despite ‘Nothing is True – All is Permitted’ that particular vice is met with reserve and well, rejected. Moreover I’ve received not a few reports that this seems to be the case for any openly LHP submissions to the IOT. Clearly – excluded by a system of hierarchy.
However, this makes no difference to the quality of the original foundation of the IOT and its ideas, some of which THEM have adopted as part of its hybridization with IOT Sorcery. The technique of Not-Thinking was adopted by THEM through a realization that emphasis on Intellect had and was having its downfalls and was primarily a masculine expression, an early expression of what should follow in the Tradition of Sorcery. Not-Thinking made its appearance in our Manifesto under the manuscript ‘Magic vs Intellect’
[It must be stressed that while THEM speak of things such as the Self, the Acausal, the destruction or taming of the ego – WE are in fact acutely aware that it is the Ego doing all the talking. Thus THEM’s aims to test the pool of the occult for genuine depth are experimental]
I note that Motionlessness, Not-Thinking, Sound Concentration and Image Concentration are common to the two groups but dealt with differently. Not-Thinking plays no part in the ONA’s MSS while Sound and Image Concentration are covered in far greater detail by the Order rather than the IOT. Of special interest is the section on ‘Magical Trances’ which states ‘if an attempt is made to focus on some form of desire, the effect is short-circuited by the lust of result’. This negation of one’s conscious efforts seems to be directly opposed to the ONA’s development of power directed consciously, intellectually, and regardless of what is stated in the former – powerfully. That is to say – a great deal of my magic involves the desire for an outcome and the active manipulation for a higher probability of persons, objects, events, situations to fall into place to bring it about. In this approach I have been consistently successful. Perhaps however, this is why I failed the External Adept Rite. And, I am aware of the possibility of having failed the Satanic Quest without knowing it by some over-development of some attribute or attachment antithetical to learning occult power.
In Metamorphosis the author states that laughter has no opposite. From my point of view his theory is an intriguing one – but then I was not convinced that the other pairs he made were opposites to begin with. How can they be – so I’m wary that herein lies a deliberate seed of form.
The Banishing Ritual is a strange concept. I tend to think the ONA are right in abandoning it – esp where black magick and drawing down acausal energies are involved.
The last time I used Sigils was during 2006 when NL and I played the stargame and sigilized our intents – ONA seems to touch briefly on this and other methods of visualization etc given by the IOT in its Naos Appendix.
Dreaming – is an interesting section. I assume its just an introduction but the author seems to think that lucid dreaming is a ‘bizarre and deadly battle’ to be fought with the “Psychic Censor”. ONA on the other hand tend to refer to dreams only as future happenings or long past memories and seldom as treat them as present modes of prescience. Our thoughts on Dreaming will eventually be expanded on by THEM – but suffice to say Opening the Way to Lucidity is in my experience, easy. I managed to achieve it in two weeks. I’ve written this down in the new DOAD II but there is nothing there that cannot be covered now. All Lucidity requires is that you enquire of your waking self periodically if it is awake or sleeping and check for signs of either – thus programming yourself to ask the same during your sleeping state. Cut out a piece of paper, a diamond worked for me – it’s an odd shape therefore noticeable. And write “Am I dreaming?” on it. Put it somewhere you will pass it regularly and ask yourself each time you see it if you are dreaming. Eventually the diamond popped up in my dream prompting me to ask, am I dreaming whereupon I became Lucid and remained in a stable state of Lucidity until I chose to leave.
I should also point out that due to my experiments I feel that shortly before one descends into sleep there arise the pre-manifestations of imagery that will shortly become full and vivid dream imagery. This stage is similar to the onset of LSD with minutely intricate patterns (so tightly interwoven and detailed as to be unable to be reproduced later on paper) – and generally very brightly coloured. But there is a difference between these colours and those we might see around us during the day. It’s as though because of the blackness of the ‘minds eye’ on which the colours project themselves (or are projected) instead of the medium of white sun or moon light by which we normally see – that they appear greatly enhanced so as to be almost neon in intensity and ‘crashing’ i.e. alternating between millions of black pin-points and pin-points of vibrant colour rapidly. This stage of near-sleep which I have called “Demaphyr” is the stage that I have found it easiest and most amenable to practicing visualization – esp. if one is trying to induce a specific dream content prior to sleep. In this state – I found shapes held their form much longer than earlier stages of forced concentration.
The statement ‘all phenomena must be paired, as the senses are only equipped to perceive differences’ is an interesting concept but I don’t feel it is sustainable. The emphasis on Duality seems like a deliberately weighted counter-point to Chaos/the Void. It seems forced as if to illuminate the importance of the latter more heavily though in another sense it says exactly the same thing that THEM have stated :any form immediately gives rise to its counter-form – however, that statement by us does not infer that a counter-form is a direct opposite, or that a pure counter-form used without alteration is applied.
It also suggests that “the thinking mind is a dualistic thing itself.” …
Kia – seems to be a rough equivalent of the Acausal – the IOT even use the word ‘bifurcation’ which is the first time I have ever seen it outside of a MS of the ONA. They also relate a view using words causal and a-causal. Whatever Kia touches is said to be Kia. The abstract terminology and exhaustive description of Kia used by the IOT seems to be related to the phenomena of an intersection neatly cleaned up by the ONA and termed a Nexion. It was of some intrigue to see that the author had gone to great lengths to illustrate this meeting place just as had tried to illustrate the meeting place in my own way in DOAD 3 with ‘The Simultaneous Pulse’.
It is something of a concern that an occult group reaches to contemporary Scientific discoveries as metaphors for their occult discoveries. As if somehow the ideas (gaining popularity) of Quantum, sub-atomic particles, quarks, “neuro-physiology” etc somehow substantiate those discoveries. The author continually refers to science for support. I read occult passages that refer to science once as a complete sentence, and a second time imagining that the scientific reference wasn’t there. There is a marked difference. There also presides an unconscious need to please and convince Science, calling on the strength of science to assert one’s claims – and then a disdain for scientists being slow to catch up to occult theory… or attraction and repulsion – aka, the telling inconsistent nature of a magical spell woven by a writer to change and re-arrange the appearance of things to suit one as needed.
In the chapter marked Gnosis, the author refers to something I have heard mentioned infrequently – the Death Posture; to achieve an utter negation of thought. I am curious as to why unconsciousness, not breathing, or staring into a mirror with a corpse-like gaze (?) are somehow representative of actual Death. Call me cynical but I’m a firm believer that Death can only be experienced when one dies. As to what occurs – who has ever remained dead and gone through the veil completely and returned to speak of it? Near-death experiences are probably the closest one comes to Death – but they too are not Death.
I see that the practice of continual masturbation without climax that I performed in the Black Moon Ordeal has a name within the IOT: karezza. I find – to my surprise, interest and bemusement – a lot of practices that I try – and assume are unnamed seem to show up synchronously and nicely explained in the records of others magicians.
It’s very rarely commented on but there is definitely something to be said for the demonstrable difference between the spaces of an author’s formal didactic tone –and the informal records made to speak of experiences in a personal tone. The experiences Peter describes are not dissimilar to my own in that fairly mundane experiences in ones youth become the foundation for expounding a theory that makes sure to use them even if it requires amplification and add-ons for the effect; since esoteric experiences like that are generally dull to relate. In this relating of his experiences he informs us of key events that at the time – are always fleeting windows – and that will await years of explanation, codification, and exultation. I.e. Mvimaedivm.
The section on Evocation seems pale in comparison to the ONA’s Dure and Sedue or other MSS on Ceremonial Magick, esp where the Evocation of Dark Gods is almost a completely divergent pronouncement to any of the little demons from grimoires and imagination the IOT offer to summon. I can imagine the czar of the Tempel ov Blood on the other hand may very well have been struck by the passage on Terror when hunting for inspiration and this idea may well have helped characterize their form. Certainly the MSS ‘Heresy’ and ‘Peace Love and Mungbeans’ seem to have remained in favour with the Tempel – both of which were works appealing to terror.
The continual reverence of Tao by the IOT may have been what drove the ONA from their doors, if indeed a partnership was the case. This is a largely impotent concept where Satanism is concerned. Though it should be remembered that the ONA, are more than Satanists – and on some levels of apprehension – they are beyond their appearances and not actually Satanic or Satanists, at all. But I am not suggesting the Order disdain the idea of Tao – on the contrary they exemplify it – how one arrives at Tao and what causes the vaccum from which it becomes apparent however, would probably have caused some dissension between the Order and the Illuminates. What is fascinating however is the details given in “Invocation’ that mirror the exact nature of the Insight Role as a role to be lived demonically and completely immersed in the associated correspondences. The following invocation to a War God is one of those pieces of description that make me recoil in embarassment at the bullshit people put themselves through to get a magical result. I suppose after the burned first incarnation of mvimaedivm all filled with demonology and bizarre directions and exhortations of the same caliber I never found my faith or respect restored in these types of frankly ridiculous rituals. I even had something of a torturous time attempting the magic described in Naos/BBOS of the ONA, such is my resentment at wailing and carrying on at the moon. However, I find the Victorian-style formality of the ONA is far more palatable than any of the IOT exercises archived in our files which seem like short-term excuses to behave strangely. Had I not met the Sorceress I might have thought the IOT a rather odd and deluded bunch – but if the Sorceress has gained even half her power from them – then they deserve my full attention.
The section on Liberation is a curious read – for not that long ago I struggled to pen the same insights regarding the secret of freedom in DOAD II. However, there are some odd things said: “you are free to do anything no mater how extreme – so long as it will not restrict your own or someone else’s future freedom of action”. Well this is just moralistic horseshit in the guise of freedom – something we’ve come to expect from our occult contemporaries and probably where the Sorceress encountered an impassable obstacle. Firstly, how does one define the cut-off point of one’s will on other things and people – is there such a thing? / Secondly, how does one develop the will without exercising it?? / Thirdly, if six magicians are in a room, each with their own will and direction, how do they each exercise it without restricting someone else’s future freedom of action?? And maybe it’s not a room, maybe its six million magicians sharing a large ball of rock. I think this was added because it was fashionable at the time for occult groups to show that while they were meddling with bizarre things on the fringe, they were somehow still responsible.
I think the sections on Heresy and Iconoclasm are well written. Actually I think the entire book is well written – though I disagree with some of its content ~nod~
Regarding Anathemism: Self-Destruction I think, that Peter knows just as I do, that writing books is unusual and tends to serve the fortification of a lie, the lie of one’s freedom magically by whatever arguments one makes against it. The sorcerer without a computer and unheard of is the most likely to attain these pipe-dreams we and others lust after.
But we trudge on hoping that our insights or example (even if it be a bad one) can benefit someone nonetheless. Of course, rather than resign ourselves to that possibility of failure we continue to work toward the goal of escaping our own deceitful occult ego – never really sure.
The section on Augoeides has very strong parallels with the ONA’s concept of Wyrd or Personal Destiny. Very interesting reading. THEM’s adoption of synchronicity comes from very early experiences with a sense of traveling aright in the universe bringing unusual events as if to confirm the path. Later, from a cross between the ONA’s acausal/Satan/Baphomet/Dark Ones and the explainations of the Ancient Practice of Keeping one’s Wyrd by literally Keeping one’s Word (Personal Honour/ISS) our emphasis on Synchronicity intensified even to the extent that I was able to conjure forth my current Mistress by calling on the Dark Ones to manifest my Animus from my will to keep my oath to THEM.
In the section of Divination the author states that ‘highly complex mathematical systems represent decadence of the art [of divination]’. I’m not sure how he reconciles this distaste for decadence with his later elaborate diagrams and mathematical workings regarding Catastrophe Theory.
Interestingly, Catastrophe Theory seems to be something on the minds of the ONA, as does probability theory – apparently, to predict chaotic problems in the extremely fragile nature of Aeonic magic and strategy.
One notes a problem with the IOT’s suggestion that magicians should notice all coincidences is the possibility of engaging in the 23 syndrome.
Now, just as the experience of Death cannot be experienced and only ever guessed at via proffered approximates – the author suggests that “if Kia had willed a different set of limitations it would have incarnated elsewhere”. Suggesting that some other probability would arise if not the current one is a deranged logic. Since things only ever present themselves at the moment they exist what possible proof or precedent is there that things would be otherwise? – other than the mutated borrowing of spurious scientific theories propounded separately from the occult to congeal into one’s theories for convenience and stability in presentation – there is None.
Further down the author goes into his ideas about the Will-power and how oaths and tests merely set up conflicts in the mind. I think that here, too, the ONA is markedly different in its insistence on will-power to achieve success. One of THEM has made some exemplary comments regarding the role of the Will and the approach of the ONA to simply force an overcoming of obstacles by willpower alone resulting in ‘a noisy farting in front of the god one is trying to impress’…
Somewhat disappointing that Peter and I should have had identical gnosis (and virtually identical poems at that! [qv. “Blanket” DOAD III] of the innermost self or soul.
I believe strongly in my magic – it’s not always intellectual and I where its not I often sketch a secret pentagram and whisper isychyros o Baphomet before intending my will. This minimal gesture is all I require with sorcery to achieve an aim. It’s stopped rain, slowed time, fixed the tv, secured a house, won things, protected friends, informed me of danger, and so on. Nevertheless, I’m skeptical of something like a Dark Mirror used to ‘communicate with other Adepts’ esp. of the objective certainty of one staring at it until a pit opens up beneath one. This hides something of an ancient word trick that WE also use. Which is to give a method (usually bizarre) and then supply the suggestion of the outcome to fill any vacuum that arises during or after its performance. I.e. if the magician is expecting a pit to occur from their efforts – they will probably create one. Viz. the 23 syndrome…
Of all the ONA’s (and IOT’s) MSS – the topic that has intrigued me most, but which I’ve not found sufficient explanation on by either group – is the Double/Immortal/Diamond-Body. While I vehemently disagree with the author’s summary of the content of dreaming, Real and Fantasy dreams indeed!, (at least I believe it requires more and patient explanation) if Peter is correct regarding his insights of lucid dreaming requiring the summonation of the hands during lucidity, then following the extremely simple and effective exercise for Lucid Dreaming should reduce the time and experiment required to achieve that state and test for yourself his theories.
I grow a bit tired of the exhortations of ultimate expression, Kia and Anon when a) I’m aware of the bullshit glamour employed by writers and the distinct difference an encounter with the IOT’s ‘Nothing is True – Everything is Permitted’ came out to be. b) a. What seems to occur in a lot of occult groups –and I notice this in THEM too – is that a good or great idea is had, but is then over-talked about. And of course, each additional word couching a simple insight contains the risk of contradiction and destruction. The Alphabet of Desire for instance seems to have arisen from a couple of good pairs Peter made due to insights from his key experiences but then required the pairing and invention of other (often sketchy) “dualities”. Although books like ours were at the time they were written, ‘Synthesises’ – in the very act of writing books one is fooling oneself. Such books, even mvimaedivm are the end stages of an early stage only – however summary, final, or wise they should sound.
The section on Aeons begs the cheeky question. If so many people are focused on the Death of Identity, Spirituality, Superstition, Belief and Ideology coming to Be iconic of this time in history/imperium etc (as are THEM) and Consciously focused on this as an expected desire while focusing the attention of others on the same and thus lusting in a collective for its result to vindicate their prophecy – by IOT’s own admission, isn’t such a prophecy doomed to failure? In fact any teachings by any system, doomed to failure once consciously focused on?
Transubstantiation: frighteningly similar to the MSS of Sruusis and Nuhrasis.
The Chaos-Sphere is also frighteningly similar to the Acausal Pentagram of THEM in which a rent of black void filled with stars flows outwards over the edges and vertices of a broken pentagram. A dimensional rift if you like. These types of synchronicity – realizing that other magicians and systems have encountered or presenced almost identical features of my subjective journey – continue to peak my interest in the idea of a collective human pool of inspiration, be it the acausal, cosmic being, or gods.
This is the only place I have seen the mention (even using the word) Aeonics, outside of ONA MSS. The ideas laid down by each group on Aeonics are very different however even though they use the same name.
An Early Study of the IOT (Part II: Psychonaut)
I think that one of the contentions I have with magic in which one moves about in frenzy or uses tools and incantations is my suspicion (and current conviction) that success in Sorcery can be reached without these means. One instance with which I have experimented is the ability to slow or increase my heartbeat with a mixture of breathing and a concentrated effort to remember (and bring forth – Qv. Grotowski) the emotions and physical symptoms associated with either complete euphoric calm or terror. Having experienced both – it requires only the emotional remembrance (or summoning up) of those states and for one to concentrate on returning to that state of physiology. For example to slow my heart down I recalled my experiences of the calm state experienced from drug trips, from times during which I enjoyed idle relaxation with no responsibilities to attend to, instances of meditation or even the joy and soothing calm of listening to music while going to sleep. Coupled with breathing from the tan tien – this is enough to slow my heart considerably. And I can do this without moving. Likewise, remembering a time of terror, the adrenaline of certain stages of previous fights suffices during which breathing rapidly and recalling the wide-eyes, the panic, the extreme anxiety speeds up my heart. All without moving.
Moreover, social change and a focus on believing human behaviour is predictable to some extent is also something I employ. For instance, when I traveled into the City on a daily basis I began regularly leaving my ticket behind for someone else to use. The gesture proved contagious and now I find myself almost always afforded a ticket by others who have done the same thing up and down the train lines. This then, is the magic to bypass the need for money to buy a train ticket simply by understanding how humans are motivated to do things. In this case, the display of selflessness exhibited by one person is copied because it has defined the situation to be enacted at a train-station when one has a still valid ticket. There are generally no other associations made with this event. Prior to this definition – one either threw their ticket away or kept it out of habit. As the first individual finds a free ticket and experiences elation they may feel obliged to continue the trend and leave the ticket behind at their station stop – they may then go home and tell of this lucky find, esp. if they were occupied at the time with the fact that they had no ticket and were going to be fined if caught – to which someone responds, “that’s a good idea, I’m going to do that next time too”. As the act becomes a trend – the practice develops into something of a secret clique of people anonymously helping each other perhaps out of defiance against the transit system and some level of revenge against its heavy-handed ticket enforcers or just the feeling of doing something good and charitable for someone else. This type of Change – is based on the notion that understanding the criteria required to change an event can change it. There are no magical symbols, no magical words, no magical actions or incantations – only a simple wordless gesture of intent. This is a small example of the social-engineering: THEM have already performed much larger scale successes and this is the tip of the ice-berg.
This procedure/approach to Change is essentially wordless; the act of a wizard of thought and the end result of a finely-tuned reaction developed to short-circuit the often chancy, ineffective, delusory, illusory, occult mumbo-jumbo, qaballa, wicca, grimoires, pacts with demons, rituals of intent and mystical rambling works like Crowley, or inverted Christianity like LaVey. When my Mistress also places her valid ticket alongside my own – it is group magic.
Concerning ‘Levels of Consciousness’ it is interesting to note the level of detail of procedures for attaining various states and what is achieved via their agency by the IOT when compared with the Seven-Fold Way which generally determines a panoramic cosmology and practical way of living with guidelines but does not go into any great detail about how to achieve its presencing – rather the overall goals are set and it is up to the Initiate to discover means and methods for attaining them.
Magical Combat is a fascinating field. We generally don’t talk about it because it’s just something you do or don’t do. What practical purpose is there in making idle threats or in letting the target know you are coming – at least that’s our general view of combat. Very early in the formation of THEM the Sorceresses and I joined forces via the ‘Acausal Voice’ and synchronized our intent to destroy a couple that had proved enemies to one of THEM. We constructed wax effigies in the likeness of the opfers and sigils and photos specifically tailored to destroy them and set about practicing the Death Rite given in the BBOS. This if course proved taxing to our temperaments and attitude to magic – and required significant alterations to the words. Memorizing the Rite was probably the most difficult part – chanting the Dies Irae the easiest. In the end though – the altered BBOS Death Rite was abandoned and the AOF – a distillation of our wordless focus and sychronicity with THEM – devised instead. Although we informed the Sydney Chapter that we had performed the Rite synchronously with them – we were in fact still at the stage of practicing it – making alterations and improving our Chanting. The Sorceress of Sydney performed a number of Rites in the meantime. The result was thus half effective. The couple – whom she had wanted dead for their decadence, split up. It was surmised that as practicing magicians they were aware of the psychic attack and may have split up to prevent the magic designed to end a couple from working. The couple became enemies and remain apart. In this instance THEM employed Ritual magic, symbolism, sigils and sympathy to work its Intent. One wonders what might have happened if we had synchronized out attack as planned. It is one of the aims of THEM to explore this power to a greater extent in future experiments – and to eventually re-examine the Sorcery contained in the Sorcery of Carlos Castenada. We rarely employ this approach however – as our unsaid maxims of Intent or practical actions toward an aim often work without the need for ritualization.
Moreover, sympathetic and sigil magic (Qv. The Star Game) is probably the most used of the traditional magical arts by members of THEM to work its aims. Certainly there is power in its ability to drive enemies from us and have them suffer or bring about synchronous and fortuitous circumstances and events.
It is something of intrigue to us if perchance other LHP groups are aiding us with their magical rituals or perhaps even the opposite for whatever reason that strategy serves. Simply said – THEM are aware of this possibility, from its own Sinisterion, and from the RHP. This is one reason why the causal form of THEM has been given a time frame of thirty years to conclude its experiments (now 28 to go) thus not fighting with entropy indefinitely – though we are equipped (and equipping) to respond to interference in the meantime if necessary.
The IOT makes special mention of the difficulty of magically attacking popular figures. This is a statement that should be put to test.
Of the Rites of Chaos: Catholicism anyone? Exorcism, Extreme Unction – ugh. Invocation to Baphomet worlds apart from that of the ONA. The Initiation Procedures are similar – though the process of Initiation seems to have remained unchanged for a long time in magical history.
The section on Magical Time is interesting. Both the IOT and the ONA scorn astrology and speak of the minimal effect planets have on the human spheres. And both revere the Sun and Moon for their effects.
We know IOT’s “Chemognosis” as “Entheogenics” more or less meaning the purposeful engagement in psychotropic drugs for directed purposes. A number of members are or were privately engaged in exploring these mediums. I’m unsure as to the mushrooms the author’s reference is to: but in Australia there are two kinds of magic mushroom or pscilocybin. One is called the ‘Blue Meanie’ because of the blue colour produced in the stalks once picked – the other is called a ‘Gold-Cap’ and unfortunately resembles about a dozen or more different toadstool and poisonous fungi closely. I have had both types. I will say this: my experiences with magic mushrooms, and LSD although both hallucinogens were very different trips. The mushroom was chthonic, primal, a deeper more submersive trip, while (on later comparison) the LSD lacked a spiritual/magical something… a sense of being artificial and synthetic pervades acid. This entheogenic exploration was something I did during my late teens early twenties. Generally speaking – I later decided it was because I wanted to ‘take the edge off’ my mind and cause some disruption to the endless torrents of intellectual activity it produced. I also took speed thinking it might sharpen my thoughts – though all I ever managed to produce whilst on speed was garbled nonsense and insane ideas – when I wasn’t engaged in the “most meaningful conversations anyone has ever had at any time ever!” type of dialogue with my companions; an effect speed is wont to do. I don’t have any interest in these mediums anymore however – having learned to enjoy and appreciate that intensity of the blade of the keenness of mind. However – I’ve also successfully re-produced the altered state effects of LSD/Mushrooms without using them by engaging my mind in the 23 syndrome (Qv. Prophecy DOAD I). So either/or, really.
Regarding the IOT’s apprehension of Baphomet – it seems to be trying to explain a similar theory put forth in our ‘Theory of the Beast’ though differs markedly in its approach – taking a more spiritually concerned – new age approach of resulting forms that man created without really putting forward a theory on the causative motivations of Mankind from available evidence – which is present and observable every day in the ancient (and very) habits of Mankind at large, both in its limbic responses and its ‘higher’ brain functions. Essentially, although the author has divergent ideas as to what happened and why certain developments were important the ‘Theory of the Beast’ is similar in tone to his own. However the context of Form and Chaos back then, in relation to Form and Chaos now, does not seem to be explicated using memes that can be practically observed here and now in the remnants of human conditioning and behaviour – rather the author leans toward flowery, new-age and romantic philosophies and concepts merely obscuring one form with another – in an effort to explain the Acausal Charge.
‘Chaos is impossible to visualize’ is a tautology – though it must be admitted that the Acausal of the ONA relies on the same faith in its absence to confirm its presence.
As for questions as to why the Snake is a ubiquitous representation of primal evil forces: logic prevails. If we take evolution as read – what became man eventually encountered something else – some other man or being, possibly what eventually came to be called a ‘snake’. What man perceived of the world and his first meeting with a snake can never be known – a subjective mystery long lost and unrecoverable – but there is no doubt that it, and all of these meetings with first phenomena, left a mark and slowly lead to rudiments of fascination and curiosity and attempts at reproduction to communicate them. Hence the eventuation of Gods, Forms, and of course, War.
What Peter describes as the effects of the Psychic Censor is understood by us to be the evidence of the Mind War – though I don’t think the psychic censor as he describes it exists – the Mind War is the schism between those who remember Chaos and those who desired Form. One wonders – If the psychic censor edits out other realities and options of experience for us – how does it ever become noticed? By its absence?
THEM could be said to be concerned with Magick associated with Chaos, (but not Chaos Magick).
With the essay on Choronzon I do agree. Though: if one posits anything as incomprehensible then one cannot then find other things comprehensible – for that thing that is incomprehensible, unknowable, cannot inform that the other thing is comprehensible. Anything incomprehensible sets a limit on the ‘comprehensible’ that inhibits complete understanding.
An interesting statement is the need for one to conceal their megalomania from themselves and make a passing show of humility because megalomania is being seriously treated by the author as an expression separate from humility / where according to Chaos Magic neither actually exist. It is a constant frustration posing inferences when creating a form since it only takes one to trip the form over. Megalomania may be worth studying given that our will is succeeding and hubris only ever a small distance away where Satanism is concerned. Of course, Peter himself makes a passing show of humility by condemning ‘unexpected cleverness’ (Something that is condemned by the IOT today I am told) and suggests how to get around the false Self – even referring to his own ideas as humble opinion (contrasting the pairing of something ((that wishes to appear)) very small against the previous statement that describes humans as conscious, magical and creative being the most mysterious and incredible thing in the universe – i.e. something very very big). False humility is a tool employed by a lot of writers lest their ego scare off the very creatures they are trying to ensnare. THEM do it too. Yet – the true and evidential force of his will despite how he wishes it to be set up to appear – is undeniable given the fact that he has gone to the trouble, of writing a book. Am I making sense when I say THEM sabotage their own forms, yet?
Of course all of these inconsistencies can be conveniently (in some cases fairly, too) explained on the level that the authors instructions were written in a different time and space – that the inconsistencies are deliberate means of presencing ‘chaos’ – or that the whole system is merely itself a tool to be used accordingly by investing one’s belief in it and empowering it to do what it purports to do – wherein we come back to the 23 syndrome and the affirmation by THEM that whatever the human focuses on – is empowered by the corresponding degree of that gaze. One thing is certain – the infinite escapism and irresponsibility afforded by the concept of ‘chaos’ will allow the IOT to dismiss who they like from their fold under whatever suitable pretext they conjure.
I greatly enjoyed the authors essays on Magical Perspective. I think it is a useful thing to categorize introductions to various other systems and his own thoughts on them have made me consider once again my own motives in relation to his ideas.
Finally, in Catastrophe Theory we find another strange occurrence between the two groups with the ONA also involved in the study of the equivalent of Catastrophe Theory to tighten Aeonic strategies and protect them from unexpected disaster.
Overall – the author certainly provided a rich field for me to sow my arrogance in my refutations – requiring a more than average discourse. I also find repeatedly that both books concepts travel alongside my own apprehensions of the occult and am struck by the similarity of expression and things chosen to express that Peter has: I will be looking further into Chaos Magic in the hope that Peter has expounded some of these ideas in greater detail. But what really stands out is the similarity and disparity of the ideologies between the IOT and ONA – I think that there exists the possibility of a relation: and if not of members then at least of inspiration leading on toward re-expressions of core ideas. But if so – who influenced who?