1. Order, Psyche, Insanity And Chaos
The Olympian gods prepared to hold a banquet and sent out invitations to all the gods apart from one to the black goddess whom they feared above all others; however she learnt of the coming feast. On the appointed time of the banquet when the entirety of the gods were all assembled the black goddess entered the great hall and rolled a golden apple amongst the gods that caused chaos in the heavens. After much deliberation the gods came to the understanding that there were three amongst their number most deserving of the golden apple; Hera, Pallas Athena and Aphrodite. So Zeus decided that their Olympian problem as was always the want of the gods, should be sent to earth and placed before a man to deliberate on. Paris lay asleep beside a mountain when he awoke abruptly and was startled to see three naked women that he knew to be goddesses standing before him. Now to see a god nearly always meant one would die soon, but to see a god naked spelt instant death and here stood three; however the goddesses apprehending Paris’ fear allayed him of his concern and told him that he must make a judgement as to who should posses the golden apple. Hera stepped forward first and said “I am wife of Zeus and share his marriage bed, if you give me the golden apple you shall have dominion over the whole of Asia.” Next Pallas Athena stepped forward and said “I am the goddess of war, wisdom and industry, if you give me the golden apple you will defeat all your enemies and rule a nation with great wisdom.” Then finally Aphrodite stepped forward and said “I am the goddess of love if you give me the golden apple you shall have any woman you desire.” So started the Trojan war with the golden apple held by the handmaidens of Aphrodite.
It would seem to this writer human to file information into categories (although Aristotle [384-322 BC] was the first to be historically credited with formulating a system of categories. He didn’t however have a category in his system for what things couldn’t do, i.e. ‘horses have four legs, a head, a tail and are herbivores’, but not that ‘they can’t fly’). It wasn’t until Sir Francis Bacon [1561-1626 AD] recognised this discrepancy that the situation was corrected (although it raised the fresh problem of induction, see Karl Popper’s [1902-1994 AD] ‘The Poverty of Historicism’, which plagues philosophy of science to the present day according to Popper). So it seems strange that ‘want to order’ should be labeled as various mental ‘disorders’, obsessive compulsive disorder; a fear of the trauma, and an attempt at correction, of the chaos of one childhood perhaps? Alternately the schizophrenic in his natural mental state before medication makes patterns out of data, often making simplistic links between different pieces of information such events and/or systems, He lives on the edge of Friedrich Nietzsche’s [1844-1900 AD] abyss. Again it is an attempt to make order out of a natural state of chaos. The manic depressive who can’t bear the threat of the chaos of a collapsing world has no mental resources to combat his condition. It is as natural as the correct level of entropy that allows for life to flourish, if there is low level entropy, at a sub atomic level micro-chaos is dominant and micro-order diminishes. Is it therefore any surprise that the human mind calls for order, the average size of the human brain in comparison to our bodies has shrunk between 3 and 4 per cent over the past 10,000 years or so, if we are not diminishing in intelligence, then we must be rewiring our brains to become more efficient due to the fact less brain mass requires fewer calories. However if we are becoming more stupid would we eventually reach a critical level where we are no longer capable of functioning as humans and revert to beasts? After all during the early days of psychiatry mental illnesses such as schizophrenia were considered forms of autism; the highly autistic has severely diminished levels of intention, so incapable of interpreting situations and very often with an aversion to human contact.
The minotaur lives in the deepest recesses of the maze called Labyrinth, Daedalus gave Ariadne a magic ball of thread that unwound it’s self showing the way by which Theseus found the minotaur, grabbing hold of it’s hair he slew it in sacrifice to Poseidon. So men slay monsters that reside in the deepest recesses of the mind, that maze called Labyrinth, surely the magic ball of thread is more than simply a cunning magical tool, as that gives no explanation as to how to operate it (if control is order, then chaos has no object!): imagine if you will the man trapped in the mind of a monster, Theseus in the mind of the minotaur so to speak and you have Anton LaVey using Ariadne’s magic thread to track down criminals for the United States police force, navigating the dark places of the left hand path. What is this magic thread then? In fact it must be psychology, its root, stem and branch, ‘the eye of Odin’ plucked from the god and placed in the centre of the world tree. Odin gazes out through one eye to the outside world that we usually perceive and within with his eye placed inside the world tree, upon the metaphysics, the outer macrocosm and the inner microcosm (different organs are governed by different planets i.e. the liver is governed by Mars, the lungs by Mercury, the spleen by Saturn etc.) and so without so within, as above so below. It should be noted that Odin is in fact Mercury by another name and has a complete knowledge of the metaphysics of the world (metaphysics as it was understood in the ancient world not what passes for metaphysics in the contemporary world with its preoccupations with linguistics and semantics. metaphysics translates as something like “the underpinnings of reality”), in his dealings as messenger of the gods.
So like entropy are the human mind and body born out of high entropy and pulled towards the low entropy of decay and death. Heraclitus [c.540-c.480 BC] looked up at the heavens and thought he saw meaningless debris strewn across the heavens (Heraclitus was the first human recorded, to be struck by this natural chaos, previous to him the heavens where believed to be the ordered domain of God or the gods, so the Psyche orders the mind and Heraclitus’ observation is all the more remarkable). The personality of the mind was known to the ancient Greeks as Psyche another feminine principle who was the lover of Eros who in turn was the companion of Aphrodite. Should chaos and order be viewed as a duality? If one views supposed dualities such as day and night one can only conclude they are con-structures based on the relationship of certain geometric relationships i.e. the Earth only has one star and one satellite (although we might exist in a rare pocket within the universe, with the correct high level of entropy again and although isn’t it absolutely bizarre that the Sun and the Moon should be the correct size and distance from the Earth as to be the same size in the sky) or concepts such as good and evil, and what is evil? Who judges what actions are evil? Humans are mammals, therefore animals, how can humans be judged evil for certain actions such as infanticide yet a lion that takes over a pride will kill all the cubs of the previous lion with impunity, is the lion evil, so how come the human is, worse many of the people who will express this view call themselves atheists and yet hang onto Christian morality like a life raft. This isn’t a diatribe against Christians nor atheists, simply muddle headedness. However it brings us neatly to the Gnostic Christians, those dualists. In fact from the Arian Gnostic church and gnostic heresy in general right up until the time of the medieval Gnostic Cathars who believed that the God of the Old Testament was none other than Satan (that is Samuel rather than ‘the devil’ or Lucifer whose Cannenite name was Azazzel), Plotinus [204-270 AD] took the Gnostics to task for setting Satan in direct opposition and bestowing upon him almost equal powers to God himself. So we come back to order and chaos as dualities, disorder or chaos ‘Pan’-icks us, however Pan is also known as Apollo, the god of light and sober thought and order. It would seem that The Roman equivalent of the ancient Greek Apollo was Helios and the cult in Rome to Helios was called ‘The Cult of Lucifer’, Lucifer meaning ‘light bringer’ in Latin; the evening and morning star. So perhaps order and chaos are naturally whole, seems fairly straightforward really.
The cabalistic tree of life should be viewed using “Alice Through the Looking glass” type spectacles; that is left is right and vice versa. On the left hand path, that is the right hand side, is the unrepentant sinner lost to the snares and traps of Cronus, lost in discursive thought and the fiery element of time and space; whether time is the predetermined block of Parmenides [Born c.515 BC] or indeterminately flowing as Heraclitus believed. On the right hand path or the left side of the tree is the repentant sinner of discursive thought led into the darkness by the ‘evening star’ his redemption and rebirth are signified by the coming of the ‘morning star’. ‘The path less taken’, or ‘the middle path’ that is taken through meditation or non-discursive thought that leads to communion with the Godhead, or what Plotinus called ‘The One’ or ‘The Good’. And the opposite of ‘The Good’: Plotinus believed evil was no more than matter it’s self; that is simply to say the material, Plato [c.427-347 BC] when asked “why is there evil in the world” replied that it was a side effect of the creation of the universe. The Buddha alluded to the Mayan veil of tears (the illusion of ‘reality’ its self), possibly a side effect of desire (Prince Mara, the prince of desire who confronted the Buddah during his life). If all is an illusion then everything is permitted – Ne Capiaris.
The cubists were the first to experiment with collage but the dadaists further explored the techniques of chance, the usages there of and its ability to place one in a synchronised frame of mind, and practiced how to maintain it by not being either too blasé about it, or too paranoid. Others too experimented including T. S. Eliot [1888-1965] in ‘The Waste Land’. Further the surrealist practised magick and relied on chance, a favourite nineteenth century writer of theirs being the Comte de Lautreamont [1846-1870 AD] and his book ‘Maldoror’ the famous line from which appeared in Andre Breton’s surrealist manifesto: “As beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing machine and an umbrella.” It is not the authors intention to detract from the likes of Phil Hine [Born 1960] or Peter J. Carroll [Born 1953] but we in Klondike recognise the the remarkable abilities of the early chaos magician William S. Burroughs [1914-1997] an early and important progenitor of the art. With Brion Gysin [1916-1986], Burroughs formulated the cut-up technique allowing for chance elements to divine the future (or possibly create it!) By the time Burroughs had finished his ‘Soft Machine’ trilogy he had begun to lose interest in the method and on leaving London to return to the United States in the early seventies he no longer used it, because as he claimed, employing the system had become second nature in writing. If one can overcome an aversion to references such as ‘mugwump jism’ or male ‘erect nipples’, then one would be advised to read Burroughs’ literature particularly the cut-up trilogy (also see: ‘The Magical Universe of William S. Burroughs’ by Matthew Levi Stevens). John Lennon [1940-1980] taking his cue from Edward Lear [1812-1888] wrote ‘A Spaniard in the Works’, is it really random nonsense or a work of anarchist subterfuge?
“And how do you know that you’re mad?”
“To begin with” said the cat “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?”
“I suppose so,” said Alice.
“Well then,” the cat went on, “You see a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags it’s tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”
We can all concur with the Cheshire cat that we are “All mad here”; so who are the sane ones? The height of Lennon’s writing must surely be the sublime ‘Come Together’ from 1969’s ‘Abbey Road’ album – “He come on flat-top , he come grooving up slowly,” Lennon’s pean to Chuck Berry and his duck walk and continues “he got juju eyeball, he one holy roller,” Little Richard perhaps? Of course it is easy to misinterpret song lyrics as Charles Manson did with the Paul McCartney written ‘Blackbird’ which he mistook for a song about a looming race war. So one can fool the public into thinking something is nonsense and actually have some subliminal message to convey. The chaos aspect is dangerous, after all John Lennon ended up at the wrong end of “…A Warm Gun”. The subliminal surrounds us constantly. Nietzsche was aware of this in his day and believed that most people were only aware of ‘sign and surface’, also a contemporary of Nietzsche’s, Georg Sorel believed most people were like somnambulists going about their business unaware that they were crossing a vast abyss across a tight rope. Some friends in Klondike would say film is the most potent form of vessel for subliminal messages (just think of the films of the Lucifer inspired Kenneth Anger). So we truly live in an enchanting world.
Not allowing for random changes in tense, an example might read thus:
“Elephant trunks on your new born baby, pater gratefully eats the placenta and bloodied maiden voyage Britannia lays on her back dreaming of past glories. King Kong, Bomber Harris and Savile Row with glitter in their hair stroke the grinning tiger’s hungry stomach, a million seamen cry out to Roger the cabin boy. The witchdoctor pulled out the crone’s last tooth and happiness rolled over and kissed misery on her itchy nose, as the totem sank beneath the western water line and the liquid sky melted into the night. The Black Forest Nazis rallied once more to the knock kneed Norse gods; to storm the battlements while the faerie folk held out broomsticks as peace offerings and jumped over inverse gloves. Thatcher’s withered, rotting buttocks propped open the coffin lid and deposited a black mass of raven’s wings far from the bleached tower of London. As the water tap rose above the eastern horizon, the four amigos of the apocalypse mounted their prams and vanished like djinns into a dissonance tonic.” His friend said as he slumped on the table.“Amen to all that, England’s a fishmonger’s stall after a bad days sale under the hot Sun.” Cried out Lord Rollicking Butt-Fuck as his friend closed his mouth, shut his eyes and dropped to the floor and passed out in a puddle of his own piss and vomit. “Everything changes but it all remains the same. The scripts are old and the props are dusty, we simply can’t escape ourselves, how we fear to die ill at ease. We beseech you lord of dreams to leave us be this evening so we may make company with dark slumber’s embrace. We are base cuckolds.” His friend lifting his soiled head makes one more pass “you pompous ass,” and passes out.
Psychology is the bedrock of magick; to learn psychology one must read all one can and not just books necessarily on psychology. After all those that control the Earth possibly do it from within their rooms in the lunatic asylums of the world. Complete madness is utter chaos; ‘Pan’-‘Demon’-ium has the power to strike us dumb. I shall leave the last word to Friedrich Nietzsche: “If you stare long enough into the abyss, eventually the abyss stares back at you.”
Part two of Grisly In Klondike’s essay on dualism, order and chaos can be accessed here: 2. Dualism, Holism And The Psychology Of Love In Time And Space