19 May 2016
10 May 2016
Aleister Crowley, the Great Beast 666 his own self, died penniless in a boarding house on the south coast of England on 1 December 1947. There is an urban legend that his last words were something along the lines of "No, no! It can't end like this!"
Two of his more infamous disciples fared little better. John Whiteside "Jack" Parsons blew himself up (probably accidentally) at his home laboratory on June 17 1952. A slightly more trustworthy hadith suggests that his last words were "I wasn't done." His magickal brother, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, on the other hand, died living as a recluse and a fugitive in a trailer on a rach in remote California on January 17 1986. Very strong traditions (for example from his attendant Steve "Sarge" Pfauth) suggest that Hubbard - although he had amassed a personal fortune estimated around $400 million, was worshipped as a spiritual leader by thousands, doted on by celebrities, even created his own goddamn paramilitary force and a machine of oppression which outlives him and wrecks people's lives to this day - repeatedly commented in his last days that his own had life ended in failure. Certainly failure to exercise his own demons - which was, underneath all the grifting, no doubt the true motivation behind Scientology.
The classical scholar and reactionary racist politician Enoch Powell is credited as saying "all political careers end in failure". Do all magickal careers do so as well? Or all artistic careers? Or anything at all where we try to change the world? Hazrat-e-Pir Dr Javad Nurbakhsh (ya haqq) commented to the effect that most people who set out on the Sufi path fail because they started with the wrong motivation. What is the wrong motivation? Virtually anything. Because all motivations come from the Self (I want spooky powers! I want social status! I want to conquer my inner demons! etc etc etc), and the Sufi path is all about transcendence of the Self and annihilation in the Absolute. If God or the Machine Elves or "Bob" or whoever wants you to die penniless, burned to a crisp or on the run from most of the governments of the globe, who are you to say otherwise, pinkboy. (Why, certainly, should you expect a happy ending to your character's arc when Aleppo is burning and the oceans are rising, etc etc.)
It's getting close to the 10th year anniversary of this blog, and I have to question whether the Chaos Marxist project, itself, ends in failure. Successes? I met some nice people and got some nice zines in the mail. Some friendly Discordians made a "greatest hits" package of the earlier stuff. Some of the stuff is literally true and still useful - although I don't think "I" really wrote that stuff, in the same sense that ibn Arabi maintained that The Bezels of Wisdom were written by Prophet Muhammad himself. The real stuff is always a transmission from Universe Central. To some degree, also, the world has caught up - since Anonymous became a real thing, the post-1968 toy-town Marxist groups are splitting and falling to pieces, and the "Lacanian left" (the good ones, like Jodi Dean not that racist fucker Zizek) have finally managed to start taking the subjective factor in ideology seriously. (There is a whole book to be written on the similarities between Lacan's approach and what a Sufi master or a Zen Buddhist teacher do, "holding space" for the ego to confront itself and what Gurdjieff called "the real horror of the situation").
But I never managed to start my own community or lineage or wherever. There is no Chaos Marxist current, community, party or international. I have allies; but it's just me, like it's always been. And certainly I never hit upon the Magickal Key that would unlock every puzzle of the movements for global liberation, peace and happiness, etc. Because that's what I was going for. Really big magick. But that was ego. It wasn't just enough that the world be saved, but that I, or at least ideas which originated in this particular brain-pan, should save it. And - hopefully - not be so messed-up on a personal basis any more. Or it wouldn't matter that I'm socially anxious and crippled by toxic shame, if I was freakin' Noam Chomsky crossed with Kate Bush crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer or whatever.
But here I am, still pursued by nightmares, still afraid of, and unable to love, my brothers who don't know the law.. The ideas have ceased to come - the new ideas, at least, the old stuff is still perfectly valid and useful. The God Hercules has left me, that had loved me well, to use another metaphor. Perhaps the illusion was that doing something good would make me good, or at least be able to make me believe in my own right to exist. But you can only get that in a real community, and perhaps I can never be part of a community which would have me as a member.