" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

February 17, 2018

Rituals Without DOGma?

"Modern western magic is a refusal to accept the position of post-modernism that each culture is unique and owes nothing to other cultures, even when similar ideas, symbols, and rituals are involved.
As a magical operator in the modern world, one has to embrace a kind of neo-universal-ism in which one recognizes the existence of a symbol structure representing an underlying reality behind all observed phenomena.
The magician is thus sensitive to the power and nature of symbols - including symbolic action, symbolic sounds, smells, etc. - and can draw inferences across the diverse cultures and times.
Just as human biology is the same whether one is a native Tibetan or African or European, etc.; and even though there may be many superficial differences and variations in language, food, and so forth; the symbol systems of different cultures may reveal superficial differences as a result of geography, history, and even religion, but the states of consciousness represented by these symbols are identical or nearly so.
There would be no syncretic religions if this were not the case, for each religion was sui generis it would be impossible to incorporate alien gods, rites, and beliefs.
Of course, this is not the case with religious dogma which fundamentally resists attempts at syncretism; but it is the case with religious praxis, which is the only form of religion that interests the magician.
As noted previously, the magician is not a member of the congregation of any religion: the magician is a priest and an independent spiritual specialist whose interest solely resides in effective methods (rituals) and convenient modes of analysis (symbol systems).
Thus the emphasis on cults versus religions, for a cult is a laboratory of ritual and dangerous practice.
It may be a matter of opinion as to whether the ritual came before the dogma or vice versa; but it has been demonstrated in the case of religions as disparate as
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Scientology that their origins are to be found in magical - that is to say, occult - ritual.
The dogma came latter."
Quoted from Peter Levenda's book 'The Dark Lord'.
The Dark Lord?
Happy New Year of the Dog...without all of the dogma;-)
Not that there is a lot of dogma found in Buddhism anyway, compared to other world religions.

UPDATE: 18th February, 2018
I saw the above news story this morning about one of Australia's oldest temples in Bendigo which is supervised by a guy named Darren Wright.
And with the name Darren he has to be a great guy, right?-)
Well, I like to think so, anyway.
'Magically whatever we have asked for happens'
"Joss House supervisor Darren Wright describes the temple as a Chinese church or chapel.
Unlike a regular church gathering, people attend on a needs basis."
I'm planning a trip to Adelaide this year and had planned to drop into visit Bendigo as part of the trip across and this temple is now on top of my "things to see in Bendigo" list.
It looks like all the signs are telling me to head to Bendigo in autumn anyway, as I was reading the above advert in my autumn 2017 edition of 'Slow' magazine when I was writing this post from the other day -
The Anti/Social Network?
And I do bank with the Bendigo Bank.
Plus, you only live once, so I should do the things I want to do while I can, right?-)
And you can't take it with you, as they say.

February 16, 2018

The Anti/Social Network?

I saw this sad story above in a local newspaper, which was about a 14 year-old girl named Amy "Dolly" Everett who took her own life because of on-line and in person bullying at her boarding school.
I've seen the advert Dolly was in over the years in various magazines, but the last time I saw her in a magazine was in the now defunct magazine called 'Slow' in their Autumn 2017 issue.
I bought that issue at the 'Byron Writer's Festival' last year along with another issue of the same magazine, which I wrote about in this post linked below -
The Earth is Not Uranus
Slow TV and Armchair Travel?
The weird thing was at the time of the festival, as much as I liked the winter edition of the 'Slow' magazine there wasn't a lot that appealed to me article wise about the autumn issue, but that nagging little voice in my head told me to buy it as the reason would make more sense in the years ahead...and I know from past experience that when this book angel whispers in my ear about a book or magazine it is rarely proven wrong in the long run, even if on a rational level that book or magazine doesn't appeal to me at the time I come across it.
The Akubra advert in the 'Slow' 2017 autumn magazine
The Akubra advert is on the back of the 'Lessons From A Wider Community' page
Ironically the Akubra hat advert in the autumn 2017 edition of 'Slow' is on the other side of the page of an article called 'Lessons From A Wider Community', which is about learning from the internet (mainly about You Tube tutorials).
The Social Network and the Face-off of the Two Marks/Masks?
So the internet is really a double-edged sword when it comes to "the wider community" it would seem...and that goes double for "community" based sites like Facebook.
Facebook's dark side: Bullying, defamation, and death threats in your local community group
And ironically also is that the Akubra hat advert in the autumn 2017 edition of 'Slow' is at the end of an article titled 'Family Tree', an article about the book 'The Hidden Life of Trees' by Peter Wohlleben.
If only humans could be as social as a tree with the social networks they have.
I feel for Tick and his family and the loss of Dolly from the family tree and to have to deal with society's stigma of suicide.
Akubra girl Dolly's bullying suicide shocks Australia
Rose McGowan offers ‘solace’ to ex-manager family after suicide
Having survived a suicide attempt myself over 35 years ago, I well know the mindset of a person who is seemingly painted into a dark corner by life and the events in their life at the time and it really pisses me off that those people who attempt such a desperate act are painted by society as mentally unstable, like in this news article in the link below.
What we all got so wrong about the story of Dolly Everett
With some people that may be the case, but I suspect that most people who commit or attempt suicide are quite sane compared to Joe Q Public.
Sure you are in a dark mental space at the time you do such a thing, but it doesn't make you any less sane than some new age type who is really happy and thinks everything in the world is "all good".
And all of those religious nut-bags who think people who commit suicide go to hell  maybe do need some help from a shrink more so than the people who atempt suicide and live? 
I'm not condoning or condemning anyone who kills or attempts to kill themselves and I don't believe people do it on on a whim just because they see a girl in the news kill herself.
I never saw a shrink after my failed attempt even though my parents knew about it at the time.
It was a voice that came into my head that night which I feel was like a "guardian angel" that told me that I could see how life plays out for me and if it does become too much more unbearable for me I could always kill myself another day.
That single thought has kept me alive for over 35 years since that dark night and life didn't get any easier for me from that night on, if anything it became worse, but like body building, the heavier the weight you have to lift, the stronger you become...unless of course you break your back, or pop out a kneecap.
But why me?
Why did the voice of a "guardian angel" save my life with a random thought that has kept me going up to this point in my life, but couldn't be bothered throwing a life preserver to Dolly?
I've thought about questions like that quite a lot over those 35 years since and "my" answer is pretty much in line with Richard Bach's quote.
That I would imagine is no comfort to Dolly's family, but in the bigger picture of things it is probably true.
I think that it is true whether you kill yourself, get killed crossing the road, die of a brain clot, cancer, "old age" or in birth.
All of our lives and deaths effect others who live on with or without us in their lives.
Life is short and there are way too many bullies on earth at the moment to make the word "humanKIND" a worthy one.
Rose McGowan in 'Planet Terror'
Dark Nut of the Soul?
At the end of the 'Lessons From A Wider Community' article in the 'Slow' magazine two turns of the page from the Akubra hat advert that Dolly was featured in is the photo shoot article pictured above called 'Active Ingredients' which is subtitled 'Ethical Outfitters'.
And it is kind of ironic to see news stories about Akubra importing rabbit skins from Europe when in Australia the rabbit has taken over the country running amok since being imported from Europe in the first place.
A Cascade of Rabbits?
There is a 'Will and Bear' hat in the 'Ethical Outfitters' article, but no Akubra to be seen here, but that's not what caught my attention and sprung to mind when I saw that article, it was the two books featured on those pages of the photo spread.
Robyn Davidson's book 'Tracks' and Peter Carey's book 'Bliss'.
Both authors I had met at the 'Byron Writer's Festival' and had copies of those books, which I have read, signed by them.
Crossing Paths With the "Camel Lady" at the BBWF
"Robyn Davidson was born at Stanley Park, a cattle station in Miles, Queensland, the second of two girls. 
Her mother died by suicide when Davidson was 11, and she was largely raised by her father's unmarried sister, Gillian.
She went to a girls' boarding school in Brisbane."
The SYNC Book 2 Syncs
My paragraph as it appears in SB2(right click to make bigger)
Sync Book 2 Sync, Too?
"Written as a dark, comic fable, 'Bliss' concerns an advertising executive, Harry Joy, who briefly 'dies' of a heart attack.
On being resuscitated, he realizes that the life he has previously drifted amiably through is in fact Hellliterally so to Harry."
Authorities warn not to joke about serious allergies
And ironically again the movie 'Peter Rabbit' starring another actress named Rose, who plays Bea, was filmed in hellishly hot conditions in summer in Sydney, Australia.
And now there is a campaign to boycott the movie over a bullying scene in the movie.
Susan Wyndham, Tracey Spicer, Barry Jones and Adam Suckling

I also wrote a post about hearing/seeing a talk at the Byron Writer's Festival called, ''This Book Changed My Life' which you can listen to at this link -
This Book Changed My Life
And Susan Wyndham's favourite children's books were the 
Beatrix Potter books such as 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit' and she talks at length about why those stories were so important to her when she was a child.
And Tracey Spicer who wrote the book
'The Good Girl Stripped Bare', a book about work place bullying and sexual harassment, was also on that panel at the Byron Writer's Festival and told of the books and authors who inspired her, too.
No Filter: Tracey Spicer vs The Boys Club
Life has shown me that we are all connected in some way to each other across the planet, it's just a shame that we can't get along with each other, or at least be civil in our interactions with others who we don't like, or disagree with.