3  Magic

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I went through a period of life, right around my Zen Buddhism phase, where I wanted to be able to perform magic. I guess a little like Aleister Crowley, who invented the term “magick” (and said to pronounce it, “mage-ick”) because the original word had been infected by all the cheap charlatans and stage show fakes. So also me, I wanted some real, honest to goodness magic. Telekinesis or telepathy would have been good, making stuff blow up with your mind would have been better, but maybe to fly… with no visible support, don’t even need wings, though sprouting wings and flapping them would—I must say—be choice as well, so that was really the ultimate thing for me, for real magic to be able to perform. Or play guitar better than Jimi Hendrix. Would also have sufficed.

One of my artistic personas was the being called, “Warlock”. I think I mostly got that from a comic book, The New Mutants, where there is sort of their mascot with that name, who was a mechanical being from out of this world. He was not machine like you’d think, not stiff or shiny, but black with squarish white tracings like a circuit board come to life. I think it was sort of like Green Lantern, who could use anything he could imagine, using his ring, because that Warlock could shape himself to basically anything he could think of. I believe he once made himself look like David Letterman. (Strange the things that come so readily upon recall.) So it was technomagic. 

You probably know Arthur C. Clarke’s notion that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; I think this as well. But like I am wont to do, I will take it a step further, and just say that all magic is is technology we don’t understand. One supposes that is in the same vein as “sufficiently advanced”. And I really like taking things a step further, one step beyond.

Crowley said something like, “Do what thy wilt is the whole of the law.”

And yeah, I guess I get what he was trying to do, a nice little reduction which expressed his own idea of freedom, personal or otherwise, but I must say (to his chagrin) that it’s sorta… cute, the sentiment. ’Cause I can do you one better, O Master Therion. And it goes like the entirely opposite way, the way I have it set up. Look:

Start with, “God is love.” The funny thing about that is, thanks to Joseph Heller, you don’t need to believe in God to believe God is love. Heck, you don’t even need to believe in love.

Then the next level: “There is no law.” Ha ha! None, not even that one the Beast 666 guy put out there. This goes somewhere, so let me continue.

“Everything is true.” I will postpone what or why.

So, the last thing, you already know: “Walt Disney is God.” Does that give you any ideas of what all the above is supposed to convey?

One by one: God is love, and there is no higher. (The threshold, a real threshold, is ∞—beyond which cannot be conceived. God is there.)

There is no law, there is only what is, and what is not. (Satan is a lawyer. I don’t know what he was like in Heaven, but fallen, the ex-angel is a lawyer.)

Everything is true! All the good stuff you were hoping for, that you could scant whisper lest the whisper vanish the hope, believe it. You know why?

Walt Disney is God. I have thought that all the secrets of the universe could be distilled into that one phrase. If you really, really mean it. Sometimes I have thought that it will get worse before it gets better, or that’s the hope holding on, like the star that lingers in the pre-dawn skyline, the morning star it is called, what “Lucifer” is supposed to have been referencing in Isaiah (again), which once I thought I were he, just for kicks really high slam dunk severe psychosis smelling of starfall upper upper crust don’t touch me landing in Australia ball lightning burst into light bat wings proud as he fell but understanding… finally understanding… it is better to serve in Heaven. Because there is no Hell. Only a one way trip to oblivion.

And that would be the name of they who would replace the Light Bringer’s position. Oblivion. Did you not know it is not so simplistic as you may think, that a Plan did exist that was not followed, where Lucifer did not rebel? Do you not understand? That was not supposed to happen. Because people seem to think the One had always planned for that, for the brightest to fall from their halo heights, and then that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was naturally supposed to have been eaten of, that the fall of Eve and Adam were always in the Plan. They weren’t supposed to do that. They weren’t. God was not lying to them, and there was no “hint hint nudge nudge, wink wink wink” go right ahead Mr. Serpent tempt them and so forth. These all went against the Plan. The Plan adapted, each time, because God ain’t no fool and REALLY knows what They’re doing, so whatever mistakes happen—as they say, if you stumble, make it part of the dance. And God can get down. Boogie like you wouldn’t believe.

And the Beast 666 guy, I mean really, he swore up and down he was that part in Revelation, though how he took over the world and stuff never seemed to happen, which makes me wonder if that was why he offed himself, sigh, but that exact guy I once had a dream about him (and this one really was a dream instead of me saying it was in a dream so I don’t seem as weird if I tell you I experienced this bizarre shit while awake and sober): there was a poem he wrote in real life about being the Beast 666, and it ended with the couplet, “I will earn it if I can/It is the number of a man,” and I heard him say it too, in the dream, I think. And like with a jiu-jitsu mental maneuver I countered it with, “I will earn it in the least/It is the number of a beast.” Hah! Not sure how well that went over with him. Anyway.

Magic. There is a thing Adonai said to me in a dream (hint hint), where I, when I was down and out and burning dollar bills in an ashtray seeing Washington’s head become a charcoal mushroom, well, he said something very interesting: “Work is magic.” …and in my head like it lit up, 5! 5! 5! (Because 5 is the number of magic, donchaknow?) But the true meaning of it I did not find out till much later. That is another pattern you should be picking up on. I originally thought what he was saying was not to look for any other magic than what can be done with honest labor. Something wholesome like that (he being Sir Wholesome of the Jungle). And then… who knew that rock bottom had a sub-basement? ’Cause it does. It’s sort of a dungeon area. Lots of screaming. At that point, I had become such a failure, such a disgrace to humanity itself, that all I could count on was that I was going to spill whatever cup of whatever I would carry, trip and fall on nothing, repeatedly, stuff like that. That sucked. But! Very important but! I understood something about that phrase. It came with an idea that when Descartes said once in your life at least you should try to doubt EVERYTHING, and when he did that, he came up with, “I think therefore I am,” because if he wasn’t, logically, he couldn’t be thinking, and if he was thinking, he couldn’t not be, right? Aha! No! What I realized, knowing failure so intimately, that the mere working of one set of gears, when threaded with another, they are sure to work… think about that. No one expects anything else. Except me! Because why? Why do you count on that being guaranteed? You have no basis for it, if you see, just like Hume was going on about induction, that Descartes did not doubt far enough. “I think therefore I am,” yes, but only if logic itself held. No one told you or your mom or your cousin or even dad and granddad it would. Everything could fail. Like they say, I don’t know who discovered water, but it wasn’t a fish. Yah. Work is magic. That things work at all is magical, and we don’t notice it, don’t notice how incredibly magicaleverything really is, all the time. We don’t notice that miracles happen every day simply because they happen every day.

And then there are wizards. Really. Wizards. There is a part in The Princess Bride, not the movie, but in the book Inigo after practicing his swordplay for 20 years showed his stuff to someone and asked them if he could be said to have mastered it. Whether he were a master or not. And the other dude was like, no. You’re not a master. That they had seen this kind of thing once before in their life, and it was in fact a miracle. Inigo was a wizard. It goes like this, the fourth the fifth… I mean, it’s this list: apprentice, journeyman, master, wizard. Simple as that. And there are some. Well, have been 2 for sure, 1 I think they’re still working on it, and there will be a total of 7 or 8, depending how you count. A wizard, not in swordplay, just in general. A wizard of life, you might say.

The first one was… drumroll… Moses. His wizard piece? You’d think I’d say parting of the Red Sea, but I’m not going to say parting of the Red Sea, for one because that was a mistranslation, and it’s “Reed Sea” or “Sea of Reeds”. The Red Sea is impossibly wide and deep. That not being it anyway, his wizard piece was the receiving of one of the holy names of God, namely, “I AM” (which is EHYEH in Hebrew). You see? It’s brilliant! What They are saying is, “I exist”, “I am God”, and “I am the only God.” For no other god has the name, “I AM”, but They do, They ARE.

If you know anything about Gnosticism, which is somewhat of a fringe religion, a bunch of them believe (and I used to be one of them) that the God of the “Old” Testament wasn’t the True God, the God of Josh. Josh’s God was supposed to have come from Higher, seeing how different in character he was in comparison to the Sodom and Gomorrah bombing God of old(er).  In fact, they believed that the whole of the material world was a big frickin’ mistake, sort of like Douglas Adams’ when the universe was created everybody thought that that was an horrendous error and were all real upset about it. We were (or was it some of us were?) beings of light, who needed the salvific knowledge (the Gnosis) to return to the Pleroma, the “fullness of light”. Matter sucked. They had some other weird ideas, too, and I’ll probably get back to those at some point.

See, they did not, do not understand how powerful is the written word. Josh’s “Father” could only have been the I AM, because They closed off all other possibility with that name. The “Old” Testament is not so old, and it is scripture, and the “New” Testament is technically just additional scripture (that not everyone believes belongs with the original scripture). 

And I’m pretty sure Josh understood this, too. Some of the very weird stuff the Gnostics believed were about Josh, like that he was never here in the flesh because that’s like matter and matter sucked as I said before, or that the real Messiah was in a tree laughing while a physical form which wasn’t actually the Messiah was being crucified. Which no, that sounds horrible and what kind of Messiah would let that happen? Christ. Seriously. Not my Josh. The Josh I believe in took everybody’s place in pain, like the common mythology surrounding that Godawful event. And Josh, by the way, was the second wizard. His wizard piece? Yeah, you got that one right: he defeated death. I have this funny idea and I don’t think it’s funny to Jewish people because they still believe that the real Messiah is still coming, and that he would be just a dude and not a Demigod like Josh was supposed to have been, and I’m like (this is the rude part) are you saying that he was overqualified? And maybe also they have some idea of the Barcelona Disputation. It was a debate between a Christian dude and a Jewish dude, and the Jewish dude made some really excellent points, one of which was that if Josh were actually the Messiah writ large, then why was it that we all did not yet live in a Messianic Age? The Christian dude really didn’t have an answer.

But I do! Yeah, what I was saying before, about the two days in the earth and on the third he rose again: this is that. That’s what you should be looking out for, the Messianic Age, that after two days have passed, to God, that we would be entering into that, a realm of peace and prosperity, of justice and compassion: EUTOPIA. The Beginning Is Near.

Do you not see it yourself? I would tell others of this idea and of our victory and they for the most part reject the notion, because they still see so much crime and injustice in the world, instead, writ large. And I try to explain it to them: we can see it. All this shit that’s happening has been around since time began and the mythical Cain killed his own brother Abel. But we have recording devices now. People are getting busted that once, they would not fail to sleep very well through the night because there would have been no way to finger them like we do right now. As I said, the Beginning Is Here in limited release, and there are people out there, more than any other time since the beginning of the world who are getting the justice that they deserve, both in the positive and the negative. “They shall reap of what they sow.” Wherever that is happening, EUTOPIA, the Messianic Age, it’s here. Present and accounted for. I mean, if you ask, why wasn’t Josh the Messiah figure we expected? Because the kind of Messiah they expected came in the form of a guy named Bar Kokhba, who had the backing of the Jewish priests and high priest and all the other top Jewish people of the time. A warrior type, who led a rebellion. And was defeated. And notably did not come back to life. ’Cause God always does what we expect Them to do, right? (Please note the incredible amount of sarcasm in that last sentence.)

Yeah, no. Josh was he, is he, in fact, and defeated death and went back up and he’s going to come back the same way he left, from out of the sky, but… in another 40,000 years. I have that on good authority. Let me quote you some Bob Marley: “Most people think great God will come from the sky, take away everything, and make everybody feel high. But if you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth.” (emphasis mine) You see, the idea of Josh was not to find a way to get to Heaven. That’s what he became. Instead of following the path that he followed, we came to worship him instead, and basically gave up on the core idea that he came down to show us: it is to bring Heaven unto earth, not to think so little of this place here that we’d expect it didn’t matter how we treated this home, because the Great Son of God is going to just erase everything around us and take all of us away. Like, I heard a joke once: the good news is, there is no Hell; the bad news is, you’re in Heaven. You have no idea. You really have no idea. Have you ever had it explained to you how oxygen comes from the outside world into our lungs and gets spread through all the parts of our body? You really need to look that shit up, because it’s miraculous. I mean, it is beauty itself. I’ll tell you right now, the reason I stopped being a(n obnoxious) Gnostic was when someone remarked that in this material world, how much beauty existed in it. Every day, a sunset unlike any of the others that had come before. Every day. There’s that proof of the existence of God by St. Anselm which is kinda neat but wrong, but I have my own thing about that topic, which is an argument: an argument for the existence of God from beauty. It goes like this (the fourth the fifth): Carl Sagan once remarked, and I was really young and impressionable at the time, so this was Gospel to me, that we live on an average planet orbiting an average star, in an average galaxy in a ho-hum group of galaxies and so on. The thing about that is, there was this scientist who was doing some research on serial killers, and when he sort of averaged out their features into one face, it was aesthetically much handsomer than any of the individual faces. If you think about it, that’s what we usually consider beautiful. So, you get where I’m going, right? Where we live is not average. Where we live is beautiful beyond measure. And lest we think in the same way as those who thought we were the center of the universe, in fact what I’m trying to tell you is that there is so much beauty in the world that there is no way it has no meaning other than the arbitrary bits of it we ascribe. To all of it. There is just too much. That’s my argument.

Now, what I know about the third wizard is that they are rumored to be alive right now, as I write this. Not sure yet what the wizard piece will be, but understand that it’s not going to be better than Josh, this third person. Josh was the greatest, period. Why? Because you do something to top defeating DEATH. No? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Anyway, Josh said once that there would be some who’d do mightier works than he had done. But really, the Resurrection. Come on. And maybe you’ll say that there are other myths out there about their heroes coming back from the dead, and yada yada. There’s also what Ricky Gervais said about there being 3500 religions in the world, but yours is definitely real. Wink. But see? There are these two ways to go through life, believing everything and doubting everything, and either one removes from you the requirement to think. What I’m telling you is that there is one true faith, and it’s… drumroll… Judaism! And why might I say this, being Catholic and all? (See, my mother was Catholic and my wife is Catholic. I’m Catholic.) Because it’s again, what was written? “Joshua Nazareth, King of the Hebrews,” was it, the “crime” he was being put to death for. I’m using “Hebrews” because, fun fact, the term “Jew” and “Jewish” come from only one of the 13 or 14 tribes of Israel, namely, Judah. That was King David’s tribe. So if Josh is the Messiah, and if he’s your Messiah (and he is), then the correct faith is Judaism, which is still the one in existence right now. So if this is the case, why don’t I convert? 1. There’s no way I’m getting circumcised, and 2. Funny thing about Judaism, it doesn’t send someone to eternal torture for not being Jewish. Hilarious, actually. Christians everywhere should be fuming. Heh.

Also relatively hilarious front the right angle: the great authority at the time, they, as far as they knew, declared in writing that Josh was the King of the Hebrews. Ha! Really, I think they’d be really behind that notion. Crucified him, after all. Which had an unintended effect. I imagined this one time Genghis Khan pointing to one of our modern crucifixes and just blurting, “You can’t defeat that.” Do you see his point? He’s making an excellent point, if you think about it.

We don’t think about it at all these days. I know YOU haven’t. The symbol of our faith (which is, again, one of the incorrect ones, and sorry Ricky just because there are 3500 different religions doesn’t mean that just one can’t be right and all the rest of them wrong): we worship a dead man hanging from the instrument that killed him. We look to a completely defeated figure, dead, immobile, nailed to a piece of wood, and say that this is a symbol of the Living God, and in fact, it will be that the strongest person among us will thus pray to God at Their weakest, for strength. If the crucifix is victory, how the fuck do we defeat THAT? Yeah, good one Genghis.

Another thing, I think I figured out the meaning of the Cross. Let’s start with St. Paul, and his notion that because of Josh’s perfect sacrifice, we are no longer bound by law, but are saved by grace instead. So, as I am wont to do: one step beyond Saul (and BTW it is either Saul or Paul, not that he became Paul from Saul when he had the blinding light vision conversion), the thing that we still needed to do, according to him, was to have faith in Josh as Messiah, resurrected, but… what if, not? not even that? See, this would make sense of why Josh never wrote anything down or at least dictated the most important set of instructions that we could ever receive, namely, how to get to Heaven, and enjoy eternal life. 

What if, since Josh was the only one who of the entire populous ever, was worthy to get to Heaven? So, one of the things that God the Parent gave to God the Child was that he could bring along as many people as he wanted. Therefore, he would be the one Judge of ALL. I mean, no, we’re not all Jews, hereditarily, or conversionally, but if he came to breathe out the Comforter, which is then assumed to reach everywhere and probably everywhen, then God the Spirit has been with all of us our whole lives. And as Paul/Saul showed, God can “convert” us by divine fiat, with no action necessary by us. Then, what the Cross meant was that the grace of salvation he could impart to anyone, whatever they believed or not. So then the question of, how do you get to Heaven can be answered by any child, with simply, “Be a good person.” That’s my Josh.

So, do you get it yet? Everyone everywhere who’s ever heard that there was a God in Heaven, especially the ones who have heard that “God is love”—every one of those who have that question, “Where was God?” … “Where was God, when…?” *pause* *blink* …well, look at that thing you see every day, if you live in any of the Christian-type places. You never really thought about it, did you? “You cannot defeat that.” You are looking at a man who is dead or at least dying, soon to cry out before he gives up the ghost. Hanging from a piece of wood. You don’t think about that at all, do you? The work that is magic. Because maybe there’s your answer, everyone’s answer to that question no one answers, not really, because when they reply that it is because They have a plan which we cannot fathom, a mystery no one can scry from anything visible in the heaven above; that’s just sky now, right? God really isn’t up there, just a lot of empty space. Because to the question, “Where was God?” I might just point to our victory, there, hanging, dead or dying, hanging from that piece of wood. 

Maybe he was there.

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