Friday, November 27, 2009

Premature enlightenment and the faith of no-faith

The initial Promethean enlightenment philosophy was radical; it has now become the status quo. As Crowley described, the spread of even the best ideas will grow batches of charlatans who have poor understanding and merely preach the faith, in this case the faith of no-faith -- a rising form of pseudoskepticism whose dogma is based on an assumption of stasis in science that is in of itself illusory and self-contradictory.

Whenever you depart from the radical -- the quick progression of ideas, and the violent changes both mental and environmental that come with it -- you become an institution and furthermore static. An organization that has calcified can no longer be radical, and that which was once dangerously progressive has become conservative and reactionary. This is the heart of my understanding of progress -- that it leaves any snapshot of itself quickly in the dust. Neal Stephenson had a nice geological metaphor for it in In The Beginning... Was The Command Line. The point stands that those who marry the spirit of their age soon become widowers -- or, in many cases, far worse: they become the delusional Norman Bates, married to the corpse of the culture that birthed them and willing to kill those who dare endanger their warped rear-view mirror.

How could this have happened? The age of reason has been declared far too soon -- but Voltaire failed to realize that perhaps the thing holding Reason back was the very worship of Reason. Early enlightenment thinking was agnostic -- thank Jefferson for the way that was passed on into early United States legislation, and by extension many of the similar documents that were modeled after it. Over time, though, the twin cores of Prometheanism -- "Nobody knows" and "Let's find out" -- were separated. The former was largely the victim of the ever-present human ego, which appears to be the largest factor (outside of a tendency for baldness and a terribly acrobatic vocal tract) separating us from the other apes; we forteans and other beautiful mutants were by and large the takers of agnosis, since it scares even the most forward-thinking of those who prefer to live in the past and tends to be considered a sign of weakness by the ones who still think throwing shit is a good way to solve problems (some shit is written, some is spoken, some is lead, and now we also have nuclear shit -- the purpose remains the same, though: put it down to lay claim to territory, and throw it at whoever dares trespass). The latter was pursued doubletime, but was somewhat useless in many cases seeing as people tend to get supporting evidence for things they already know, regardless of whether or not it is true -- it was perhaps a mismeasure of man to assume he could be objective.

Well, now that the clergy is firmly in place and the pious populous is supporting the saints and the cardinals, we can firmly expect the heretics and the theologians (which set contains the other?) to be locked up in monasteries. Perhaps a new hermeticism is needed; an alchemy of revolutionary agnosticism where reason is more tempered. We all know that when the village is global, everyone in the monastery and the trivium alike will pick the short line -- a socially constructed reality, enforced by faith: the faith that we have no faith, and need none, and that our work will lead to the elimination of faith and agnosis alike.

Hey, Mister Architect: You're number one!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Faith in Chaos

Though the net is all a-twitter with The Vigilant Citizen's shocking exposees on the Lady Gaga Code, the same blog is also known for explanations of the esoteric meanings of films of whose hidden agenda the author does not approve. To break with this slightly, I will discuss the esoteric meaning of a film of whose hidden agenda I thoroughly approve:

To claim that Pi is about mathematics is false. The exoteric plot is indeed about maths -- the main character, Max Cohen, is a brilliant mathematician searching for a pattern in the stock market; when he finds it, he is pursued by both Wall Street and a sect of Kaballists who believe that the pattern he has found is the true name of god. He has hallucinations along the way, and in the end he puts his tired overworked brain out of its misery.

The esoteric meaning, obvious to anyone who has spent a significant period of time training in western mysticism, appears to be to some extent distinctly discordian in nature. A brilliant mathematician, torn up inside looking for order in all things, decides to tackle what appears to be pure chaos. He finds the order in the chaos, and after a long trip through chapel perilous, gains enlightenment (or re-gains it) by realizing that not all things must be ordered -- the mystical transformation from aneristic avatar to balanced human being. Along the way, in hallucinatory trips and 'real world' adventures alike, he is faced with several themes: the search of light (the ain sof of kaballah is mentioned explicitly; he looked at the sun as a child and went blind, mirroring the early kaballist who went blind from imagining God's robe and its infinite spiral of light that bends space and time -- and he refinds it in part during every fade to white), the search for order in apparent pure chaos (pareidoila and the law of fives is mentioned outright by his mentor, along with the metaphor of the go board), and the backlash against his own mind for doing so (the hallucinatory and real beatings of his brain, Sol's stroke).

In a way, Pi is a very canon representation of how RAW might approach the interpretation of a Kaballist's journey through chapel perilous. The Kaballah method would involve mathematics explicitly; gematria is dropped into the plot. The man's reality tunnel becomes horribly inverted -- he is able to predict things that cannot be predicted, but he is unable to predict the otherwise expected. Only when he gives up the search for order in all chaos -- and indeed, has faith in chaos -- is he at peace. His last line of the film, "I don't know", shows his inner peace in agnosis.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Disangelion -- GAINAX and gnosis

Hideaki Anno once famously said, in response to a question about a gnostic reference in End of Evangelion, "I have no bloody clue; fanwank something". Since then, it has been assumed that most of the references to gnosticism in his masterwork Neon Genesis Evangelion were "pointless religious references", and that they were there for no reason other than because the abrahamic religions are exotic and sexy in japan.

However (though this may be the Law of Fives in action) I posit that Anno had (and perhaps still has) a far deeper understanding of gnosticism (among other 'fringe' sciences) than is usually assumed.

Point: Humanity is the 18th angel. (The seventeenth is free will, which we will get to later). Arguably, humanity is the demiurge (samahel). Note that humanity's method is science, and is otherwise incapable of the feats of reality manipulation that the angels are incapable of.

Point: There is an (otherwise entirely out of place) focus on quantum mechanics throughout the series. All the violations of newtonian physics directly addressed in the series are blamed on the peculiar properties of 'particle-wave matter' (mind you, all matter is particle-wave matter technically; the wavelengths of macroscopic objects are superlative enough that they can be discounted). There is also direct mention of quantum mechanics terms (specifically, terms for orientation such as 'top', 'strange', 'charm', etc.) in situations having nothing at all to do with quantum mechanics (such as during the discussion of Rei's early programming, to be mentioned later). This mirrors the idea of multiple layers of reality, as well as the idea that on a lower level of abstraction the properties of matter as known do not exist.

Point: The description of Rei's early life involves elements specifically similar to descriptions of the Monarch Project. These elements differ from descriptions of MK-ULTRA (particularly psychic driving, which the Monarch Project seems to be working off of). Some elements have been jumped upon as Freudian (such as the comment that Rei's subconscious is made up of "light and water" -- which sounds like a description of Oceanic Consciousness), but other elements fit better with the Monarch hypothesis.

Point: Anno did not restrict symbolism to gnosticism. Kaballah and Freemasonry are also referenced -- the Sephirothic System and the 'angelic alphabets' in the opening sequence are most notably tied to Kaballah and the Nerv pyramid is explicitly Freemasonic, as is the sequence of "dogmas" underground. Several elements belong more to hermeticism, and the entire basis of NERV and GEHIRN's philosophy is enlightenment-style 'luciferianism' or 'prometheanism'. SEELE lives up to its name, being an amusingly reactionary detournment and mockery of the Illuminati concept -- about as anti-illumination as possible, and the very model of a stereotypical NWO.

Point: The nature of the Angels mirrors that of Jacques Vallee's 'ultraterrestrials'. They are alien, supernatural, and have powers far beyond our own, not to mention the focus on eyes, light, insectoid elements (as common in DMT trips), and sexual organs in their designs, yet they come from earth in a single flap. The use of the word 'angel' in english and 'shito' (meaning messenger) in japanese highlights an important point which Anno must have been aware of -- while the japanese and english terms are different between 'messenger' and 'angel', the hebrew word is the same. To make the association triply is to imply that which Vallee put forth in Passport to Magonia and John Keel (another Keel -- add this to Chairman Keel, and the Ikari family, along with the nautical terms that saturate the naming in the series) that the angels in the old testament were in-deed ultraterrestrials of the same type as Indrid Cold and our friendly MIBs (which, when appearing in NGE, are amusingly human, and quite fallible).

Note that I don't claim Anno is any sort of occultist. After all, all of this information is readily available to anyone who looks, especially after 1988 when the internet became publicly available. However, Anno seems to know far more than he claims to know about these occult subjects. Does he claim a-gnosis for the sake of saving a long explanation using terms unknown to an average translator, in an unfamiliar language? Or does he have other reasons to hide his knowledge? Or, perhaps like Phillip K Dick, the insight came and went with his episode of mental illness.

Neon Genesis Evangelion is only one of a number of things in the popular visual media which have an esoteric meaning only hinted to by the exoteric meaning. I plan to post about more of them in the future.

Argentinian gnomes

While reading the Gralien Report, I have come across at least three articles about german-style gnomes appearing in Argentina.

Watching the videos, it all looks like a single shot -- no cuts. Likewise, from the way the camera is handled, it looks as though they *are* shot on cell phones. We have two potential explanations, that I can see:

1) It's a hoax.
2) We have physical entities that resemble (or perhaps are) germanic-style gnomes.

In terms of the potential for a hoax, the following has been brought up:
Film in HD, edit, degrade image, compress as shit, upload to Youtube.

It doesn't seem to me that that's particularly likely, unless it was filmed in HD on a *very* small camera. Likewise, shadows and such look alright.

In terms of a hoax with actual props (say, a remote control device of some kind, or -- as Micah of the gralien report suggests -- an actual small or deformed person), the fact that it's a single shot makes this far less likely. Anyone who has filmed and edited videos can tell you how difficult it is to manage without cuts, and anyone who hasn't must only look to Hitchcock's "Rope" to see precisely how well a master director manages it.

The second possibility is that something (which appears to be a gnome) is hanging around Argentina and showing up on cameras. There is, of course, difficulty in using this when you subscribe to any variant of the psychological explanation for fortean phenomena (particularly gnomes and other fae-folk), except perhaps pareidoelia. However, I am hard pressed to think of what else, aside from a gnome, this looks like.

Altogether, these videos appear to pose a problem for everyone who doesn't believe that actual gnomes exist in Argentina.

If anyone has any ideas for other methods by which a hoax like this could be perpetrated, other things that the 'gnome' could be in the video, or other hypotheses for how entities of the non-physical variety could show up on film, please comment and let me know.