Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, May 15, 2018.
Funny, this was for me also the first time I've listened to Skeptiko and wasn't in Alex's corner.
However, I didn't get why Alex seemed utterly resistant to acknowledge any crossover between Chaos Magic (which I know nothing about), and pragmatic methods of attaining success through tools like NLP, and the variations sculpted by people like Tony Robbins.
Although I know nothing about Chaos magic, Phil was explaining it attempted to manipulate probabilities through intention setting, goal setting, visualisation, ritual etc.
As I understand it, NLP is a tool which taps into and utilises both the conscious and the subconscious mind through words and language. It also is attempting to have an effect on the world around us and those operating within it. Can it not be seen as an attempt to weight probabilities in ones favor to some degree, just like Chaos Magic?(I have to admit to not really knowing, I am guessing about much of this as I have not looked deeply into either).
I guess Alex had to do his Skeptiko thing, but it felt like it was on steroids today and I found myself sympathizing more with Phil on this point.
My intuition is that a lot of people who have had some degree of success in their lives are apt to believe that they did it through sheer hard work, determination and focus, and that anyone who does not succeed as they have by definition must be simply less determined, less focused and less hard working.
I can understand how easy it is for one to create one's own myth with oneself as the hero of the story, carving ones way forward heroically like a spartan, while less swarthy multitudes fall by the wayside ... but this is just not how I have seen that the world works.
In the same way, those who fail to make anything of their lives often create their own myths whereby the forces of darkness were arrayed against them, and although they fought valiantly, the Gods and the Titans were merciless and the odds were stacked against them ... but this is equally not the whole story.
I felt that I could hear a little of Alex's own hero myth in his defence of the Tony Robbinses of the world, and his disdain for the Chaos Magicians (whatever they are).
Loved the interview though!!!
Tony Robbins is a charlatan
Here's the thing and I said it before. I stated that what use is it of being so logical and complex, when you can be simple and tackle complex issues by actually practicing what you are interested in? I didn't get one satisfactory respond, all I got was "I have kids, work and maybe I just like this stuff as a hobby" Instead of wasting energy on philosophizing about NDE, PSI and the rest of the stuff why not experience it? Why not open more faculties of your mind? You don't have to rely on it for everything in your exoteric world, but you will damn sure get answers, maybe not in the way you intended. Spelling is deceptive.....reading a book is magick...you read and what happens? You "hallucinate" .... There are methods and manuals on experiencing these "supernatural" "phenoma" Radin has woken up (thank god) this is the bridge to the road to the complete picture, its being over complicated with word salad, old theories and dogma. Time to open up the playbook.....materialist science is overrated.....its only 1 side of the coin. Grab a notebook and start the great work!
Among the people I was associating with there, in my view, was no grasp of the spiritual dimension. This was pre Chaos magic - very influenced by Crowley and the GD. A lot of power lusts, egotism and dishonesty. Besides nobody could tell me why we should be bothering the gods with our petty aspirations. In essence it seemed to me that nobody actually knew what they were doing. Ritual seemed often to be a blunt instrument used often in meddling with matters that were not in need of intervention.
I still esteem ritual itself, and I would use a ritual approach if there I had a need to do so. However I do not think ritual magic is a pathway for me generally. I seem to be able to make stuff happen in other ways - at least sufficient to my needs and desires.
I think ritual is important and potent when engaged in in the right manner - at all levels - magical, religious, cultural, social. The subject of ritual is distinct from magic - and that's the point. You can do magic with or without ritual. Magic is often defined as bringing about change n conformity with will, using methods that have no evidence association with the outcome - but that also applies to corrupt or criminal activity -and charity.
Magic could be said to be essentially about enlisting metaphysical agents to bring about physical change. But whether that change was desirable or necessary or even good seemed to me to be not part of the decision making process - or at least not fully thought through. The drama of the ritual itself is great fun, as well as a discipline. But motive and purpose seemed to be opaque at best.
So when I raised these matters in the groups I was associated with I became very unpopular. I am not saying I was faultless or blameless, but it became pretty evident that this was not what I was supposed to be doing. So I quit. Others remained and seemed to be content in their practice.
I'm with Tom Campbell (with regards to the power of thinking etc.) All you can do with your thoughts (if we can consider them while completely separating the power they have on your physical actions) is alter odds. Quantum physics has shown (as has the placebo affect) that our thoughts DO affect matter. So what you can do, is alter the odds in your favor that a particular outcome will occur. The less uncertainty a given event has....the greater you can affect the probability of a certain outcome into your favor by way of your thoughts. You can't generate certainties, you can only manipulate PROBABILITIES. The extent which you can do this may depend upon the mental capability of the individual and, of course, the event which you are trying to manipulate. If somebody has shot a bullet at you and its a foot from your face, your thoughts probably aren't going to help you much, thats because there is almost no uncertainty involved at that point. Campbell, and others, have stated that your ability to manipulate your surroundings is MUCH greater when you are not tied to your physical body. So, when people have OBE's or NDE's, they become much more capable of affecting the outcomes of surrounding situations with their mental capabilities.
Stapp, of course, has created a theory of consciousness which he calls the quantum zeno effect. If you measure/observe a system often enough you lock it into one eigenstate.
You can also do more interesting things. So for example if you constantly measure/observe whether an electron is at position X, it will be locked into that position (the wave function will be strongly peaked about that point), but if you move the measuring point slowly you can lock the electron into following that motion.
My mentor made it clear "Magick is dangerous"
And I agree with what Wormwood said, Magick is trying to gain the best probable outcome
My class actually talked about the GD and Crowley, while they don't agree or disagree with everything he did, they did take a lot of shots at the Golden Dawn aka Golden Clowns
Michael is correct, you can use and be magickal with out rituals or tools. I don't use tools nor GODS. Some people do.....its all an aesthetic, art
Heh. It sure was! Alex, some of your attacks seemed to explode out of nowhere in an otherwise amicable conversation! This was a real surprise to me, especially given your prior favourable interviews with self-professed (if non-practising?) chaos magician Gordon White and author of a book on the crossover between (sameness of?) parapsychology and magic Dean Radin. That said, when it comes to casting stones over unprovoked criticism, I am not exactly without sin!
(Emphasis added). I think this is key. Alex has argued that there is a real distinction between that which self-help/success gurus teach or practice, and that which Chaos Magicians teach or practice, and others have questioned this, all of which is totally fine, but what exactly is it that these two groups teach or practice, and how do we define those things? I haven't seen clear definitions so far in this thread. I think they would be pretty useful.
I did enjoy the interview though - thanks to Alex and Phillip for putting it together.
I used to read some Peter Carroll and Phil Hine and practice their stuff. It's mostly just psychology, I found the approach to be profoundly disrespectful as well. They have no problem switching between paradigms as if they are first jungian archetypes, materialistic psychology or ancient magic and come off as disrespecting all of it with their casual attitude towards these things. Gods, demons and angels become mere playthings for the magicians psyche as it flits from whim to whim.
A big part of chaos magic is that it is reductionist. They reduce everything down to willpower and the beliefs necessary to direct the will, therefore the many ancient and venerable wisdom traditions become unreal. instead they are a self con job people commit merely to direct their willpower.
I also think they take Crowley way too seriously, as Alex has said the guy was an asshat in my opinion.
I do like a lot of the Chaos magic stuff but I just can't stand when people are disrespectful. It reminds me of something I heard Sheldrake say about Sam Harris, that we should try to get the gems out of the dungheap of religion.
I don't get the global warming angle. It's pretty far from being the only environmental concern that we should be worrying about on a global level. It comes across as a kind of shut down tactic where any discussion of environment gets dragged into the highly specific claims against co2 induced global warming. Instead of bashing this why not suggest what we can actually do?
Chaos Magick is basically taking scraps of traditional, tribal, and shamanic magick and mixing random stuff together. A lot of traditional practitioners don't want to share their secrets with Caucasian people. Because it gets twisted and perverted and it get commercialized. Like the New Age movement and Yoga and other things that are "hip" now. My mentor made it clear that he is only giving us watered down stuff as for 1. we are little babies 2. it can be dangerous 3. you need a foundation.
A ritual can be anything lifting weights in a ritual, meditation, skiing etc.
Everyone is magickal some more than others, if you choose to be more magickal we all have the choice.
We have went over Crowley and the Golden Dawn, the group I was with took a lot of shots especially at the Golden Dawn. Crowley did spew some half-truths on purpose or not who knows?
A lot of this stuff hasn't been decoded at all or in fragments or misunderstood.....hence chaos magick....
Its like some finds a old work out manual works out for 3 hours, but doesn't realize working out 3 hours raises cortisol levels, which are bad for your body. Its a science of the unseen and its related to Quantum Mechanics....which they have a name for in their culture
Probably because we turn their sacred experiences and traditions into party topics or veil them as secret ways to make a lot of money.
Yes it wasn't anything racial, lots of people in my group were white. Its just the way things were seen. As a matter of fact they didn't want to get it in to the hands of a lot of people no matter what the race. Because things can get bonkers and sometimes opening doors lets bad things enter in
This magick was coming from tribes from centuries ago can't have that stuff hit the public. Chaos Magick is taking a bit of every type of magick and mixing it together with the persons intent. Ritual Magick, Hoodun, Voodoo, Ceremoninal Magick, Thelema and lots of others....a lot of people in my generation consider themselves chaos magicians.....postmodern magick smh. Rather keep it to close to the source, I'm a atheist so I didn't play with the "gods"
Alchemy May Not Have Been the Pseudoscience We All Thought It Was
Although scientists never could quite turn lead into gold, they did attempt some noteworthy experiments
(Estudio El Dorado)
By Richard Conniff
SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE | SUBSCRIBE
Astronomer and Alchemist Tycho Brahe Died Full of Gold
But, in the 1980s, some revisionist scholars began arguing that alchemists actually made significant contributions to the development of science. Historians of science began deciphering alchemical texts—which wasn’t easy. The alchemists, obsessed with secrecy, deliberately described their experiments in metaphorical terms laden with obscure references to mythology and history. For instance, text that describes a “cold dragon” who “creeps in and out of the caves” was code for saltpeter (potassium nitrate)—a crystalline substance found on cave walls that tastes cool on the tongue.
This painstaking process of decoding allowed researchers, for the first time, to attempt ambitious alchemical experiments. Lawrence Principe, a chemist and science historian at Johns Hopkins University, cobbled together obscure texts and scraps of 17th-century laboratory notebooks to reconstruct a recipe to grow a “Philosophers’ Tree” from a seed of gold. Supposedly this tree was a precursor to the more celebrated and elusive Philosopher’s Stone, which would be able to transmute metals into gold. The use of gold to make more gold would have seemed entirely logical to alchemists, Principe explains, like using germs of wheat to grow an entire field of wheat.
Principe mixed specially prepared mercury and gold into a buttery lump at the bottom of a flask. Then he buried the sealed flask in a heated sand bath in his laboratory.
One morning, Principe came into the lab to discover to his “utter disbelief” that the flask was filled with “a glittering and fully formed tree” of gold. The mixture of metals had grown upward into a structure resembling coral or the branching canopy of a tree minus the leaves.
What intrigues Principe and his fellow historians, though, is the growing evidence that the alchemists seem to have performed legitimate experiments, manipulated and analyzed the material world in interesting ways and reported genuine results. And many of the great names in the canon of modern science took note, says William Newman, a historian at Indiana University Bloomington.
Robert Boyle, one of the 17th-century founders of modern chemistry, “basically pillaged” the work of the German physician and alchemist Daniel Sennert, says Newman. When Boyle’s French counterpart, Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, substituted a modern list
of elements (oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and others) for the ancient four elements (earth, air, fire and water), he built on an idea that was “actually widespread in earlier alchemical sources,” Newman writes. The concept that matter was composed of several distinctive elements, in turn, inspired Sir Isaac Newton’s work on optics—notably, his demonstration that the multiple colors produced by a prism could be reconstituted into white light.
Other scholars have at times responded to this idea with outrage. Principe was once confronted at an academic conference by a member of the audience who was “literally shaking with rage that I could defame Boyle in this way.” But younger academics have taken up alchemy as a hot topic. The early revisionist research, says Principe, “cracked open the seal and said ‘Hey, look everybody, this is not what you thought it was.’”
In a mark of that new acceptance, the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, Germany, will present a show, beginning in April, that—along with alchemy-influenced artworks, from Jan Brueghel the Elder to Anselm Kiefer—will include an exhibit on Principe’s “Philosophers’ Tree” experiment.
Does this new view of alchemy make the great names in the early history of science seem more derivative and thus less great? “We were just talking in my class about the rhetoric of novelty,” says Principe, “and how it benefits people to say that their discoveries are completely new.” But that’s not how scientific ideas develop. “They don’t just sort of come to someone in a dream, out of nowhere. New scientific ideas tend to develop out of older ones by a slow process of evolution and refinement.”
From that perspective, the scientific revolution may have been a little less revolutionary than we imagine. Better to think of it as a transmutation, like the alchemists’ quest to change lead into gold.
Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/hist...thought-it-was-180949430/#GehoIDwBiUoAXUf5.99
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We are all our own scientists in this journey, this is why I loved these occulted texts...
You don't have to practice magick its not a prerequisite
Alchemy is the father of modern chemistry....how far we have fallen to forget
Right now I am practicing alchemy of food, what foods make me feel good for ehhhh for blah, energy, all that stuff etc
Check out some Franics Bacon. Crowley is what happens when EGO gets to your head. Although a lot of lies were made up to stigmatize him
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