Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sean Strange => Sean The Sorcerer

For reasons far too complex and boring to bother you with, I am moving this blog to: http://seanthesorcerer.blogspot.com. There you will no doubt be delighted to discover my latest mystic mini-opus, The Dark Universe Hypothesis.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Vision of The End

Gaze with me into the mirrors of your Multiversal mind, and see one possible future coming into view...

This is not the world your mythmakers promised you — no Disneyland of techno-prosperity and consumer capitalism for all. No, this world is racked by holy wars and ethnic conflicts, Malthusian catastrophes, refugee invasions, eco-anarchy and Millennial insanity. Do you see it? There, in the frontview mirror? Do you see the chaos approaching in the twilight of this, the darkest of all ages?

The chaos is descending fastest across the lands of God-drunk Islam. Thirsty Yemen is falling to the soldiers of martyred bin Laden; modernity is in on the run in flood-ravaged Pakistan; hungry Egypt marches to the tune of the mystic Muslim Brotherhood. The bombs are dropping everywhere, from Tripoli to Waziristan; the drones martyr ten, but a hundred more take their place. The enemy takes all losses, yet no victory is in sight. And all across the Western world, no one knows why we fight.

The West, for all its weaponry, is a disarmed and defenseless civilization. Bereft of a deeply rooted culture, lacking spiritual strength, absent even the language to comprehend the epochal developments which engulf it, its decadent citizens retreat ever further into their Matrix of distractions.

But one day soon, all of that will shatter. One day soon, like the Roman citizenry of old, they will awake to find that barbarians have overrun their outposts, put their Legionnaires to the sword, broken through their gilded gates and are pillaging their temples.

There is no Iron Curtain this time, falling across Europe from the East. Today a wall of chaos surges up from the South like a fecund beast. The ramparts of Fortress Europa cannot hold it back; the rot of godless centuries has breached your citadels at last. You have no soldiers for the battlements because your cathedrals and hospitals are tombs. Your gods are all dead, and leave you to your doom. You are a spent race, with no fight left in your souls. Mohammedan holy warriors will roll across your lands, raping your women and plundering your treasures like the Saracens of old.

The Final War of this age has already begun, and before the drama is done, every weapon of mass destruction will fly, and millions upon millions must surely die. Cities and civilizations will conflagrate in atomic hellfire; whole races will be decimated by super-virus bio-sorcery; Final Solutions will be executed entirely by machine.

The Samson Option will be activated in Israel, as the walls come tumbling down. The holy places at Mecca and Jerusalem will vaporize, Arabia and Persia will turn to glass. The armies will gather at Armageddon, and all believers will know that Judgment Day has come at last.

Everything combustible will burn. All that has been created shall be destroyed. But in every end is a new beginning, and in every darkness the promise of a new dawn. So it ever was; so it ever shall be. Until The End.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Modern Prophecy

“Decades, possibly centuries, of warfare lie ahead. The remnants of monotheism are collapsing fast, despite the odd revival, before secular humanism and consumerism. The technological, atheist super-states are trying for a stranglehold on human consciousness. We are entering a phase which may become as oppressive to the spirit as medieval monotheism. The production/consumption equation is becoming increasingly difficult to grasp or balance as the consumer religion of the masses begins to dictate politics.

More and more mechanisms for the forceful regulation of behavior have to be introduced as population density pushes individuals to seek ever more bizarre forms of satisfaction in material sensationalism. The problem with any belief system is its tenacity and inertia once it is established and dominant. The medieval religions murdered millions to protect their own hegemony. Innumerable crusades, jihads, burnings, and massacres were committed. In the end no level of persecution could stave off the inevitable ascendency of Atheism.

Now it is the atheist super-states which are supplying the arms and dropping the bombs in support of the hegemony of consumer capitalism or consumer communism. And this is only the beginning. The blind logic of technology and consumerism will cause alienation, disaffection, greed, and identity crisis to rise to such catastrophic levels that the situation may explode into a very destructive war. There may be a breakdown of society which may take the form of an anti-technological jihad. These will not resolve the contradictions of the system but merely introduce a new dark age and slow the changes down. However momentous these events may seem, if they happen, they will not affect the movement of consciousness in the long run. They will only affect its timing. But the Illuminati must be ready to exploit the changes which will definitely occur.

The Death of Spirituality. Fixed ideas about the essential spirit or nature of man will be completely abandoned as an Emotional Technology becomes more refined. Drugs, obscure sexualities, faddism, strange entertainments, and material sensationalism are a preliminary groping toward this end. Chemicals, electronics, and surgery will only tend to enslave. Gnosis, the Alphabet of Desire, and other magical methods tend to liberate.

The Death of Superstition. Prejudice against the possibility of the occult or supernatural will give away in the face of a developing Magical Technology. Telepathy, telekinesis, mind influence, hypnosis, fascination, and charisma will be systematically examined, refined, and exploited as methods of control. We may see magicians working behind barbed wire and in underground cells also.

The Death of Identity. Ideas about a person's place in society, his role, lifestyle, and ego qualities will lose their hold as the cohesive forces in society disintegrate. Subcultural values will proliferate to such a bewildering extent that a whole new class of professionals will arise to control them. Such a Transmutation Technology will deal in fashions, in ways of being. Lifestyle consultants will become the new priests of our civilizations. They will be the new magicians.

The Death of Belief. We will abandon all fixed ideas about what is absolute or valuable and what constitutes morality as a Psychological Technology develops. Techniques of belief and behavior modification in the military, in psychiatry, in places of detention, in propaganda, in the schools and in the media will become so sophisticated that truth will become a matter of who creates it. Reality will become magical.

The Death of Ideology. Ideas about what form human aspiration should take will give way to a science of the preservation of the control mechanism — government and its agencies. These may become global or semi-global, but their primary concern will become preservation of the government, for or against, the people. Primitive cybernetics will mushroom into a Political Technology. Governments will be provided with the choice of either accommodating themselves to coordinating proliferating human variety or seeking to reduce that variety by repressive measures.”

Excerpt from Liber Null, by Peter Carroll (1981)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Multiversalism: The World as Myth and Imagination

"All stories are true, every last one of them. All myths, all legends, all fables. If you believe them true, then they are true. If you don't believe them, then all that can be said is that they are true for someone else." –Dave Sim

"Now I think I understand. What I was sensing was the manifold of partially actualized realities lying tangent to what evidently is the most actualized one, the one wich the majority of us, by consensus gentium, agree on. Although originally I presumed that the differences between these worlds was caused entirely by the subjectivity of the various human viewpoints, it did not take me long to open the question as to whether it might not be more than that - that in fact plural realities did exist superimposed onto one another like so many film transparencies. What I still do not grasp, however, is how one reality out of the many becomes actualized in contradistinction to the others. Perhaps no one does. Or pehaps again it hangs on an agreement in viewpoint by a sufficiency of people." –Philip K. Dick

“Magic to me is about a more dynamic relationship with our own consciousness, a more dynamic way of understanding it; what consciousness is, what thought is. Because thought is the blind spot of science. We cannot talk in terms of Cartesian logic and empirical experiments when you're talking about the mind... I was thinking maybe you need a different model of consciousness. I came up with this model and I'm not claiming its new. It's the idea of the Idea Space...where philosophies are land masses and religions are probably whole countries, might contain flora and fauna that are native to it, creatures of this conceptual world that are made from ideas in the same way that we creatures of the material world are made from matter. This could conceivably explain phantoms, angels, demons, gods, djinns, grey aliens, elves, pixies.” –Alan Moore

“Libby had been wholeheartedly converted both to Jake's six-axis plenum of universes to the awful Number of the Beast but also to Sharpie's multiple solipsism, and asserted that they were two sides of the same coin; one was a corollary of the other and vice versa. Combined, they (it) constituted the ultimate total philosophy: science, religion, mathematics, art, in one grand consistent package. She spoke of a "ficton" being a quantum of imagination/reality ("imaginary" being identical with "real" whatever that is) as casually as a physicist speaks of photons. "Could a mistake be made? Yes. And would create a new universe. Jacob, you spoke of the empty universes your family had visited. One by one they fill as fictons are created." She added, "But a mistake was not made; we snatched Maureen safely. We ourselves create the fictions-fictons-ficta that will make it real.” –Robert Heinlein, The Number of the Beast
I’ve spent a large part of my life investigating various philosophies, schools of thought and realms of experience, trying to make some sense of the world I find myself in.  Having found all existing belief systems unsatisfactory, I’ve attempted to create a few of my own.  My latest – and I think greatest – try is one I’m calling “Multiversalism.”

The basic idea of Multiversalism is a kind of inverse nihilism, in which everything imaginable is thought to exist in a larger Multiverse of ideas.  This is similar to physicist Max Tegmark’s mathematical universe hypothesis, according which the set of all mathematical structures defines the totality of existence.  Multiversalism takes Tegmark’s idea further by positing that the set of all mental constructs of any kind – mathematical, mythological, artistic, magical, hallucinatory, etc. – defines the largest possible multiversal reality.  All the mythical gods, fictional heroes, fantasy realms, dream worlds and supernatural entities are real – they just inhabit different dimensions within the larger Multiverse of mind.  Similar worldviews have been proposed by artists and mystics down through the ages, but most of them have fallen into disrepute and obscurity in the Western world since the (so-called) Enlightenment.  As modern science embraces increasingly esoteric-sounding multiverse models like Tegmark’s, and as technology blurs the distinction between real and imaginary worlds, perhaps there will be a new convergence of science, art and mysticism around a worldview like Multiversalism.

I developed Multiversalism because I realized that every Universalist belief system seems to collapse under scrutiny into an incomplete, incomprehensible, tautological tangle of unverifiable assumptions, logical contradictions and limited perspectives.  I simply couldn’t fit my mind into any of the available boxes!  For a time, this led me to embrace nihilism as the only philosophy consistent with my experience.  But I may have found a way out of the nihilist mental cul-de-sac by taking a more creative view of this world’s possibilities.  Schopenhauer spoke of “the world as Will and Idea”;  I offer a somewhat similar equation: the world as Chaos and Imagination.

Some thinkers who have strongly influenced my Multiversalist perspective include: Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, Carl Jung, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jack Kirby, H.P. Lovecraft, Aleister Crowley, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein and Alan Moore.  If you’re familiar with these men’s work, you should notice a common emphasis on the unlimited power of the creative mind to give life meaning, radical skepticism toward any form of intellectual totalitarianism, and reverence for the imagination as the conduit for cosmic truth.  I see such men as modern shamans, operating in a civilization that no longer has a name for such people.

I didn’t include any scientists on my list because, while I revere the mathematical wizardry of Einstein, Dirac and Feynman, I find their perspectives a bit too narrow and dogmatic for my liking.  Orthodox scientists never seem willing to consider anything too far outside the boxes of their own rational minds, or to explore the consciousness which filters every scientific observation.  To my mind these are fatal limitations of the current scientific paradigm.

One amusing consequence of Multiversalism is that it provides a philosophical justification for “trolling," an activity I very much enjoy.  Whenever someone promotes a particular belief system in the blogosphere or suggests that they have cornered the market on some aspect of the truth, I feel compelled to argue the opposite position.  In doing so, I often support positions which are 180 degrees opposed to each other, yet I feel no sense of contradiction.  According to my Multiversalist philosophy, both positions are true somewhere in the Multiverse of possible worlds, and can therefore be defended.  By trolling in this way, I am not seeking to discredit opposing belief systems like an ideologue, nor to destroy all ideologies like a deconstructionist, but to defend all belief systems from the attacks of ideologues and deconstructionists.  Multiversalism is therefore the ultimate constructionist philosophy, and it is Universalism – the belief in one absolute truth system which supersedes all others – which is nihilistic.  The difference between Universalism and Nihilism is only one system of beliefs; the difference between Multiversalism and Nihilism is an infinity of belief systems!

In particular, Multiversalism considers the scientific project to lay down the laws of a single, objective reality futile, misguided and repugnant.  The campaign of the New Atheists to impose the epistemological totalitarianism of the scientific method must be resisted just as Christian dogma was in Galileo’s time.  If some subset of humanity wants to collectively imagine a god and worship him, they should be free to do so without vilification.  Every “tyranny of the real” must be overthrown in favor of the unlimited freedom of the creative imagination.  Art becomes more important than science in a Multiversalist civilization, because while science describes the laws and limits of this universe, art finds ways to break them.  You don’t like a universal speed limit of three hundred thousand kilometers per second?  Imagine a universe without one, and use the technological arts to create an arbitrarily real virtual world where no such upper bound exists.  The final frontier of the Multiverse is therefore not the three lawful dimensions of outer space, but the infinite-dimensional creative chaos of inner space.

Maybe the deepest insight I can attempt to offer is to suggest that the Multiverse of ideas is identical to consciousness itself.  All of reality springs from consciousness.  Everything we are conscious of is real.  The mind and the Multiverse are therefore one and the same.  It really seems to me like the pre-scientific mystics had it right all along: reality is a mental construct created and explored by the technology of the imagination.

(If there is a modern prophet of Multiversalism, it must be the late, great Philip K. Dick. This video is from a mind-blowing 1977 talk where Dick describes a worldview very similar to the one I'm proposing.)



(For more Multiversalist ideas, watch this video of word wizard/occultist Alan Moore; there's a brilliant discussion of magic and art starting at 27:30, magic and science at 55:00, and "Idea Space" at 1:06:30.)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Book of Cosmism: Introduction

(Now that I have taken on the rather challenging task of creating a religion for the next billion years and beyond, I am taking the obvious first step of writing the Book of Cosmism.  Here is the introduction, to give you some idea of the Book's tone and contents.  If I don't lose my religious zeal, I hope to have the Book completed, published and available at Amazon well before our planet becomes an uninhabitable desert due to the runaway greenhouse effect.

Note: now that my mind has become totally consumed by the Cosmism meme, I will probably be posting at my new blog, The Cosmist, for the foreseeable future.  If this idea interests you, please go there and subscribe, or better yet, post your thoughts and help me develop this idea further!)




Dedicated to our incredible, improbable earthly biosphere, by whose striving we have come to know the vastness of the universe.  May we carry your progeny ever outward from our blue cradle and breathe life into the Cosmos.


Introduction:

"Teetering here on the fulcrum of destiny stands our own bemused species. The future of the universe hinges on what we do next. If we take up the sacred fire, and stride forth into space as the torchbearers of Life, this universe will be aborning. If we carry the green fire-brand from star to star, and ignite around each a conflagration of vitality, we can trigger a Universal metamorphosis. Because of us, the barren dusts of a million billion worlds will coil up into the pulsing magic forms of animate matter. Because of us, landscapes of radiation blasted waste, will be miraculously transmuted: slag will become soil, grass will sprout, flowers will bloom, and forests will spring up in once sterile places. Ice, hard as iron, will melt and trickle into pools where starfish, anemones, and seashells dwell — a whole frozen universe will thaw and transmogrify, from howling desolation to blossoming paradise. Dust into Life; the very alchemy of God." –Marshall T. Savage

This book is an attempt to found a cosmic religion for the next billion years and beyond: the religion of Cosmism.  This is not a book of dogma, but a spiritual guidebook to help us find our way in this amazing Cosmos of ten billion trillion suns for as long as we, and it, may last.

I truly believe that the Cosmist perspective I will describe in these pages is necessary for our continued survival and well-being as a species.  For we are living at a critical moment in human history, when mankind is finally emerging from ancestral ignorance into the light of a global scientific civilization.  It is an extremely perilous passage, and the outcome is very much in doubt.  Modernity is beset by powerful forces of religious, tribal, cultural and biological conservatism which threaten to plunge our planet into a new dark age.  If Cosmists do not prevail against these backward-lookers, our species will likely fail its one shot at becoming progenitors of life throughout the Cosmos.  We will face a long descent back to our cradle in the Olduvai, followed by extinction.

We who look to the future with infinite dreams must therefore be strong in our convictions in these perilous times.  I offer this book in hopes of strengthening those convictions and inspiring readers to take up arms in this great holy war for the future of humanity.  I suspect we will know the outcome of this epochal struggle by the end of the current century – perhaps within most of our lifetimes.  The fate of intelligent life on this planet, and perhaps in our entire galaxy and beyond, depends powerfully on what the next few generations of human beings choose to believe about our place in the Cosmos.

My initial inspiration for Cosmism came to me in early 2011, while I was watching an episode of the television series “Cosmos” on YouTube.  The words of the late, great Carl Sagan affected me deeply, and I had what could only be described as a religious revelation.  It suddenly dawned on me, listening to the words of this great and visionary man, that this was the perspective human beings would need to adopt if our civilization was to continue to progress and prosper indefinitely into the future.  In the days and weeks that followed, I took Sagan’s teachings a step further, incorporated ideas of other cosmic visionaries, along with a few of my own, and before long had arrived at Cosmism.

It may be said that Cosmism has a god, a creation myth, prophets and commandments; it contains visions of apocalypse, the millenium, transcendence and ultimate destiny.  Yet for all that, Cosmism has no supernatural element, no appeals to miracles, divine entities, souls, heaven or hell.  Cosmism is a rational religion which will appeal even (or perhaps especially) to the scientific atheist.

In recent centuries our scientific understanding of the universe has expanded far beyond anything imagined by previous civilizations.  Yet somehow our dominant religions remain those of pre-scientific Iron Age tribes whose horizons in space and time were microscopic compared to our own.  The Book of Cosmism is an attempt to bring religion into the modern world by establishing a new cosmic worldview consistent with the awesome scale and scope of our scientific knowledge.  Cosmism aims to be a religion not for this millenium or this planet alone, but for the untold billions of years and trillions of worlds yet to be explored.

Cosmic Wonders and Horrors

I've been feverishly browsing astronomy sites in recent days, my mind in a state of rapture at the endless beauty and strangeness of the Cosmos.  Sometimes I feel like a character in a Lovecraft story, delving into otherworldly realms that threaten my sanity and offer new cosmic wonders and horrors at every turn.

It strikes me that in an age of space telescopes and internet, a new artistic sensibility is dawning.  I'd like to think of astro-photographs like these as the highest form of Cosmist art -- not works of men or gods, but of the source of all creation: the universe.  Surely these images surpass the most sublime and surreal imaginings of our species' greatest artistic geniuses!



The cosmic big brother of the Norway spirals?  No, it's the death spiral of a star!



Some vast extraterrestrial engineering marvel that proves we're not alone?  It's still a mystery, but it's probably just gas and dust around a binary star.



The cosmic Eye of Sauron watching over the universe?  No, it's an angry red galaxy.



The idiot god Azathoth come to doom another galaxy?  No, it's Hanny's Voorwerp!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Our Place in the Universe

Behold, fellow primates of planet Earth, orbiting a yellow dwarf star in the Orion arm of the Milky Way galaxy: our true place in the Cosmos!




Surely this video must fill you with a sense of religious awe! What need have we for puny old myths when we have such astronomical facts?