total information war
The lyricism of marginality may find inspiration in the image of the "outlaw," the great social nomad, who prowls on the confines of a docile, frightened order.
NOTHING SHORT OV A TOTAL WAR (STANZA L).
by Genesis P-Orridge
...real total war has becoum information war, it is being fought now...
That's thee key to change, thee key to knowledge and thee key to
development on all levels really. It's a mistake to believe in ANY dogmatic
politics. Politics is just a facade. It happens to suit thee vested interests of a
lot of different groups in society to encourage a belief that politics rules
countries and decides their destinies when, in fact, it doesn't at all. Certainly
not in thee way people are led to believe. Politics is just a convenient
charade to allow people to feel secure. It makes them believe society is in
their own control. They vote for their leaders, therefore they MUST choose
them. Politics IS just a convenient charade to make people feel secure. To
feel that it's all run consciously, democratically, that they understand what is
happening. That there are different polititians, who have different dogmas
and they argue over these in public and then thee public choose who seems
most sensible and capable to take office at any given time. Don't believe that
E believe that there has been an endless process since very early tribal
times, through settlements and towns and industrialization to contemporary
times. This E call thee "control process" and it exists independently of any
individuals. This "control process" can be operated by almost any vested
interest group at any given time in history. This process does not take sides,
has no morality, no obligations, no character, no sense of urgency. Thee
"control process" is always present. "Control needs time like a junkie needs
junk" (W.S.B.) E disagree on that control transcends time and space. Control
eats people, eats history, eats ideals, eats hope. It goes on right throughout
time, whatever disguise it might have. E am very antagonistic to thee whole
concept/situation of ultimately being controlled by a process which nobody
wants, (given a degree of individual sanity). E don't like that idea at all. If we
have any enemy at all, then thee "Control Process" is that enemy. It is vital
to short-circuit that "control process". It is a very invisible, subtle process. In
a sense it has becoum a part of each human being's metabolism. Thee only
real way this control process can be broken is simply through people
beginning to mature.
As the level of maturity of individuals increases, so does their ability to
think for themselves, to accept responsibilities, to make decisions. In a sense,
to develop an atmosphere of reasonableness and logic. Most people don't
want to develop this for quite fair reasons: they don't want to get involved.
It's a hell of a big battle and you can't even be sure who is in charge. For all
they know, they might be doing exactly what they are already programmed
to do, in fact, because any "control process" needs antagonism, it needs
people fighting against it. Its biggest strength is it controls information.
Basically thee power in this world rests with thee people who have access to
thee most information and also control that information. Most of thee
paranoia concerned with politics is about what is REALLY going on, what is
secret, what we are not being told about. Diplomacy is about that really.
So, the enemy is thee "control process" and thee power of thee "control
process" isn't actually armies and police, it isn't power through force. That is
a secondary tactic, butter not thee crucial thing, thee real power is who's got
thee information. Thee weakness of whoever controls that information bank
at any given time is that, to store and use that information, systems have to
be developed for storing it and reproducing it. Those systems are very
expensive and cumbersome, requiring capital & equipment which can't be
utilized thee whole time. So, to cover costs and keep equipment running,
these systems have to be made available to thee rest of us to keep them
financially viable. That's why you get access to cable TV, to computer time,
to xerox, instant printing and cassette recorders, even thee mail, polaroids
too, and video. These are all spin-offs from business, conglomerates and
people at thee top who deal directly in control. They develop these systems
for their own reasons, butter they are so expensive they have to mass
produce them to finance them. So we all get easier and easier ways to
mulitply our ideas and information, it's a parallel progression.
Also, another of their weaknesses, those who control control, is that they
have a very one-directional view whereas we, thee outsiders, thee genetic
terrorists, or control agents, as we in T.G. call them (meaning NOT that we're
into control butter dealing with it), we have thee mutant ability to make
Which is really what is said about creative people, or artists, or talented
criminals, that they can perceive things in a wide spectrum, from outside
they can analyse structures, play games with that knowledge and
manipulate it, throw it back. In inspired moments chuck spanners into
various works. So we get tools to increase thee efficiency of our mischief as a
spin-off from thee controllers. In return they get something from us. We are
always developing ideas which are non-linear and therefore outside their
scope butter which they can adopt and adapt. In a crisis, it is often and
outsider who sees a solution, invents a new gadget, effects a coumpromise.
So it's a two-way thing. Each side giving things to thee other as a direct
result of their intrinsic conflict. Ultimate irony and also organically cyclical
and sensible. Parasite feeding off host, host kept alive by immunity afforded
it by parasite. Thee "control process" develops machinery, equipment and
techniques which we can play with for our own ends. Butter by us playing
with them, inevitably, there is a spin-off philosophical and creative
progression, an analysis of experience which can the be taken back by thee
"control process" for its own ends. We need this system as a target, a
stimulus outside ourselves to fight against, and thee system needs a
rebellious questioning minority to develop new possiblilities from a
flexibility of view it can never posses by its very rigid nature.
It seems likely however, that very very slowly this minority is growing.
More people are breaking taboos, they have realised, through people telling
them, in leaflets, on TV, etc., in other words, through information being made
available, they have certain rights. That they can question things, they can
organise, they can set up their own structures. that is not to say necessarily
that all those things are per se right, butter it does seem symptomatic of a
larger breakdown of this "control process" than many people might suspect.
And it probably explains thee swing towards repressive ideas in politics to
cover a growing fear of usurpation by those presently in charge of thee
process and its information bank.
NOTES FROM A MAGICKAL DIARY 1967-87
The indifference ov satiation, thee knowledge ov indifference. Wise
indifference. Anxiety is a coummon term, one of thee mainstays of
psychiatry. It is defined as an emotion. It is not. It is a coumpound ov two
elements: awareness of ambiguity and a depressive reaction to this
E am interested in thee extension and investigation ov culture, ov
mythologies, personal symbol systems, thus E chose to always work with a
group ov Individuals. Our works are poor traits that interconnect. Whatever
E do, am involved in, help thee expression ov, is, in a real way, a poor trait
ov myself, and a poor trait ov each Individual member ov thee group ov
Individuals who collaborated with me on that particular work/action also.
Yet there is a mystery involved. They exist, these poor traits, because E exist,
they are collated and organised by me, and yet E do not create every part ov
them directly, they are the sum total ov all who participate. There is a chain
ov creation, rather than a chain ov coumand. It is this process and
parallelism that fascinates me, thee abrogation, or fragmentation ov specific
responsibility, and it seems in coum way linked with Charles Manson than I
often care, or dare, to admit in public. Perhaps it is merely a long-
engrammed trick to side-step total responsibility, in order to avoid a clear
case ov knowing it was me, or my act alone, that had failed. Certainly E
despise myself at many times for failing to achieve more. Yet, mystery again,
E desire achievement in order to share, to share coumpletely, and
demonstrate CARING, and thee ultimate achievement E seek is total
liberation ov thee human spirit and ALL its expressions, and total
destruction ov control and hypocrisy and all thee sick manifestations ov
inherited social values. E must fail by definition, and succeed by intention. E
guess we can only fail by failing to achieve thee goal we set ourselves, those
secrets that so few know. Who are we challenging in our imagination, who do
we wish to outdo?
Times change, people change with them and adopt thee processes, ideologies
and styles ov their time. Those people are RE-PERSONALISING their
expression ov themselves, their "art".
E do not believe that ANY art has intrinsic value. It is a result, it is not a
thing itself. It is expression and description, not experience, it is residue, it is
means. Magick is thee only medium that can be both. It was through thee
process ov art that E located Magick. Art became a diluted sham, too fixed in
thee superficial, coumsumerist ethics ov its era. E have consciously and
subconsciously substituted thee word Magick where E once placed thee word
Art, now E feel coumfortable, before E was always uncoumfortable,
suspicious, embarassed by the vacuous label my actions were presented
It seems to me Magick is about movement and change, about Time passing.
Thee Medium ov Magick is Time itself, and thee Belief ov Magick is Action.
We risk our emotions to place our vision ov how thee world and life are into
a public arena. Our vision coums from observation ov our own experiences
and RE-COGNITION. We hope to discover that perhaps we are not alone, that
other people have felt or seen thee same. Magick is about thee process ov
telling thee truth, thee whole truth, and about not having any secrets.
Paradox- where does practical discretion becoum elitist secret? E think when
it is USED to project or hold power, or to attract, in itself, or to imply
authority for egotistical reasons. Therefore a contemporary and relevant
Magickal network must be about ACCESS, sharing ov techniques and
information, it must attack thee hoarding ov knowledge and give any useful
ideas and structures availability to all who ask. There are no secret teachers,
no "more responsible" or "entrusted" masters. Magick HAS to be for
Thee Temple ov Psychic Youth is a family ov experiences. It is an eternal
search and struggle through false rules that we and others have set for
ourselves. To find peace ov mind does not mean a religious following and
isolation. This is a misleading view from thee society we now live within. It
is wrong to seek oneself in isolation when our world is proportionately city-
built, each coumglomerate full ov scared, lonely, rejected people. One must
live within thee environment ov thee Times and make THAT environment as
free as possible to as many people as possible.
This is thee trick, thee aim, thee revolver ov hope. To give people what they
already have, butter that has been buried by yera's ov varying human ideals
All we ask is that people once more work with themselves, their feelings,
FEELINGS, and in doing so, becoum aware ov others and their feelings. We
are eaten like offal by rats, treated as stinking, redundant garbage, discarded
as outdated fuel resources as the ratios ov control adjust.
It is simple, yet difficult, in "reality", to touch oneself once more. Thee
simplest things are thee most difficult. Re-integration ov every aspect ov
one's conscious and subconscious mind, all feelings, aspirations, sexualities,
fears, insecurities, dreams, skills, strengths and emotional capabilities must
be located, focussed, examined, absorbed, and balanced. Our society, and now
by succumbing to coumpetition and to tribal rivalry onece more, our own
culture, have deliberately splintered and fragmented our personalities. We
are linear, fear ridicule, follow style and muscle ov every type, we forget we
do not wish to PARTICIPATE as frozen personalities.
We have TRACKING problems, we need to link directly and make
adjustments. We do not confront each other and ourselves enough. We are
not honest enough. From thee older generation there is buried guilt that they
failed to develop their dream, were side-tracked into habits, into superiority,
into stability. These expresses via drugs, via jobs, via New Age Babble. In
thee younger generation there is fear ov failure, fear ov ridicule by thee next
generation that coums out as cynical nihilism, like thee anarcho-hippies that
drench themselves in death and Anger, righteous justified and challenging
anger, yet still it ends camouflaging guilt at impotence and a feeling that
they too are succumbing to their own systems ov habits and peer group
values, opinions and status. Guilt in LOVE, Guilt in ANGER. Yet all fueled by
It is always so easy to feel radical and be merely deluded. Whatever you do
has to make sense to EVERYONE on EVERY STREET, or it means jack shit. It
has to do with thee realities of life around you. You can't rebuild your house,
butter you can redecorate your bedroom. You can be an example. You can
win a battle everyday. Thee LOVE, and the ANGRY brigade today at their
best both do just that. Butter too many swap action for habit. To wear black,
take smack and say you don't care does not PROVE you are radical, or aware.
To take acid, and be placid does not make you cosmic or there.
Each morning you awake, you experience morning sickness, MOURNING
sickness. Mourning thee death ov your belief in human nature, in evolution,
in love, in thee fuel ov action from anger. Love can be strong and ruthless, it
can generate strong action, obsessive behaviour against all odds, it can see
thee stupidity ov thee human race, yet embrace and encourage human
beings. Anger can be coumstructive, fueling positive, non-damaging, truly
control-confronting behaviour and celebration, and reinvest humans with
Never do anything that is not instinctive. Never do anything forced upon
you. Never do anything for ulterior motives. BE ACTIVE, use ANGRY LOVE.
Each action is a true action, pure and simple, there for every other person to
take and interpret as they wish. It is that interpretation that is thee
beginning ov their struggle.
It must be voluntary to exist at all. Caring is not weakness.
TURN ON (control) TUNE IN (to your Self) DROP OUT (ov control).
There has to be a CLEAR message. It has to be possible for anyone to identify
with it. It has to INSPIRE and EXCITE. It has to generate ACTION. It must
AIM HIGH. It must spread by, and operate via EXPANSION not subtraction. It
must INCLUDE not EXCLUDE. It must be capable ov instant and constant
change. It should have no limits on thee enemies it can tackle, or thee area
ov coumcern it will invade. It must therefore be rooted in people, what they
believe they are capable ov, what they believe is possible, their behavior
and their imagination. Real and full integration ov EVERY aspect ov being a
Human Being without recourse to mysticism, afterlife, outside entities or any
personalisation ov phenomena and interpretation ov phenomena.
Responsibility for EVERYTHING must be accepted by us, by all people(s)
without fear, without excuse. Thee surrender ov responsibility (for One Self)
has always been a key problem.
What we don't understand is simply what we don't understand.
What am E thinking about? Where am E really placed?
Thinking, why am E thinking? Looking, why am E looking?
An industrial problem for Magick: SAMENESS. Thee onward progression
toward uniformity, thee suppression ov Individuality, thee pressure ov
fashion, ov peer group, thee need to belong, to avoid loneliness. Incubated
inside mass media, mass production, mass consumption and mass culture.
Thee Cloning ov Radicalism. Psychedelic Grey.
Another problem: MYSTIFICATION and EXCLUSIVITY. In keeping a
monotonous culture and society under a Control process, one creates a facade
ov experts guarding knowledge/information and its dissemination. People at
large feel excluded. magick often falls prey to this fault too. People feel
excluded, that it is not for them, that only intellectuals, or well-read literates
with leisure time have thee time, right or correct credentials to be part ov it.
Often they have been deliberately made to feel excluded and feel inferior,
unable to participate CORRECTLY, lacking in training or etiquette necessary
for true understanding. Well, bullshit! Correctness, good manners, etiquette,
spurious training are all traits ov an historic and effete aristocracy that
deserves only scorn. De-mystification is our duty, work and action our only
We are supposed to be coumunicating. What we do, what we express are
simply that, they are produced for result, not praise, to touch not impress.
They should aim to be how people are, how they respond to where they live,
when they live, how they live, and their aspirations in all these respects.
Minus thee demands ov World, Market, Career it becoums - Magick.
Magick requires hesitancy and uncertainty in its special relationship with
reality and person
Magick is a search for definitions. A series ov statements, observations and
actions blended through intuitive ritual (real or imagined) to fix in more
concrete terms thee eternal, non-extant paradox ov Time.
"We all die". "Well spoken," said thee sage to thee wall, painting it white.
1967 spoke ov LOVE and it inspired, energised, felt fresh and relevant. And
it included anger at injustice, Vietnam, sexism, hypocrisy. 1987 speaks ov
ANGER and that too can be inspired, energised, feel fresh and relevant. It can
include love, ov humanity, stupid though it is, and ov sexuality and ov life
and colour. We suggest in our idealism through sin-icism. September marks
thee WINTER OV ANGRY LOVE. Thee perception and anger at all thee Wrongs
and thee awareness and refusal to stoop to society's level ov destruction.
Dreaming ov thee romance of loneliness and thee adventure of sex. Will it
ever be resolved? Our culture guarantees disappointment. It thrives on
disatisfaction. A phallus on a string drawing us onwards. Completion is like a
needle of junk. It thrills and dies. Pagan blood. Our concern as self-professed
and reconstructed heathens, Godless and proud, is to becoum INTEGRATED on
every level ov consciousness and ov character. No emotion spared. No end in
sight. We believe at thee time of orgasm, a hieroglyph symbolising a desire,
an awakeness, can be lodged in thee inner recess of thee brain, in what is
commonly dubbed thee sub conscious mind, butter which we call thee REAL-
CONSCIOUS MIND. This act then concentrates thee entire personality upon
achievement ov thee desire. All this coums from our brains, our brains
program us. There are no demons or gods. No mysteries. Observation and
action are thee key. We can internalise our program, transmit our desire, and
observe thee video of our thoughts on thee retina of thee mind. Thee sex
moves, it groans and there really is nothing left butter thee exploration of
our final lust.
Genesis P-Orridge, October 85.
Society murders every day, it murders childrens' imagination, it murders
wives' love for their husbands, it murders men's respect for women, it
murders people's hopes, dreams, joy in Life. Society mass-murders every
day, and society is thee vehicle for control, and control is administered by
thee rich and political, thee inheritors of feudal power.
That's why capitalism/thatcherism, politicism is EVIL-LIVE if there is such a
thing as Evil. That's why we are ANGRY in our LOVE for humanity, for each
other. People are divided, scared, hurt, damaged, betrayed, their spirit
murdered every day.
RIOT IN THEE EYE, not thee riot on thee street, thee perception of life/society
and what generates this anger, seeing, SEEING thee cruel, sadistic destruction
What makes matters worse is that thee people who administer Control don't
even really know what it is, how it works, they are ignorant incompetents,
which makes everything far more scary and dangerous. That's why they
need to be removed and Control short-circuited and dissipated.
Thee Psychic Youth DROPS-OUT OV CONTROL, refuses to connive and collude
in thee murder of thee populace and themselves by society.
Music is not thee rebellion, behaviour is, perception is, thee EYE, seeing how
things are, refusing to reinforce it, be part of it.
TURN ON CONTROL NEVER ACCEPT WITHOUT QUESTION
TUNE IN TO YOUR SELF ALWAYS ASK WHY
DROP OUT OF CONTROL NEVER FEEL OBLIGED NEVER FEEL SCARED
CELEBRATE AND ACTIVATE
CARING IS NOT WEAKNESS
TOUCH YOURSELF TOUCH OTHERS
THEE BEST EXAMPLE IS EXAMPLE
MAGICK DEFENDS ITSELF
Thee hammer house of horror interpretation of Magick and Wicca is that
curses and invocations are uttered by black-robed crones whilst they eat
frogs and rat tails and drink bat's blood. In fact, so rare is thee energy of
pure, undiluted anger that thee true mechanism of magickal defence is
missed. It is a frequency generated and transmitted, just like a television
signal. It does not need conscious direction. It homes in on thee receptor by
default. That is, they are consciously disconnected from thee caring and
protection of thee Individual angered. This exposes them to thee vagaries of
a neurotic mass subconscious and within that mass thee anger still lurks.
In a sense Magick is a Zen Archer. By a combination of thee initial pure
anger, and a second stage of disconnection, considered disinterest, it is able
to defend itself by channeling "Active Truth". In simple terms, when you
care for a person, or are closely involved with them in some way. Then they
betray, abuse or corrupt that caring. You remove your protection. When you
remove your protection, they are once more open to those forces and pitfalls
from which you protected them. A true curse is to us then a technique of
inaction and non-violence from which we can perceive thee effects of
revenge without recourse to guilt on our part. Magick defends itself. It comes
from intuition, is guided by will, and honours no gods, demons, or spirits. It
is thee birthright of all human beings and thee progeny of their brain, not
some outside superbeing. Polititians and Religious leaders of ALL
persuasions hypocritically tell us otherwise. Believe none of them. Believe
only your own experiences of life. To die free of guilt is to die pure. A star.
And every man and woman is a star.
Our aim is wakefulness. Our enemy is dreamless sleep.
Thee essential structure of our Western Society is Feudal. Only thee names
have been changed to protect thee guilty. Most of thee population are merely
a natural resource, like oil, coal, water that is drawn upon for self-
perpetuation and for self-aggrandisement by those vested interests that
administer Control. No-one controls Control anymore. It has a parasitic and
debilitating life all its own. Certain very select groups have merely inherited
thee almost Priestlike role of its protection and nurturing. Control replicates
and expands inexorably, in a manner quite exactly like malignant cancer or,
to use a current example, like AIDS, affecting individual aspirations and
potential, our sense of unity and freedom, social and ideological optimism in
precisely thee same terminal manner that those diseases affect our bodies.
Time is a key to thee perception of this process. Cancer and AIDS work
through time. They are linear problems. Their destructiveness accelerates at
an ever-increasing rate until thee termination of thee host body. Control
need Time also. It hides in social structures like politics, religion, education,
mass-media, thee nuclear family. Just like a virus, it exists for its own sake.
It relies upon a certain element of belief in a rational order, acceptance of
inherited values and measurements, hopelessness.
Control relies upon manipulation of human behaviour. Culture is an
expression of states of mind rooted in thee effects of behavioural
conditioning, albeit often obliquely. Culture is also a modification of language
that can be read.
It can reveal, describe, measure and expose Control. Control can be short-
Once identified and isolated, thee parameters and limits of Control are
visible. We need to search for methods to break thee preconceptions, modes
of unthinking acceptance and expectations that make us, withing our
constructed behaviour patterns, so vulnerable to Control. De-construct to Re-
construct. We must retrain our inherited concept of what we are told is
By applying a non-linear fragmenting process to every aspect of perception,
reality, society, behaviour and ideology it is possible to modify and confound
Control, and jar its manipulation of behaviour and violation of self-respect.
Magick, as we see it, is precisely this, a fragmenting process that does damge
to Control and its primary tools of Guilt and Fear. It can operate within thee
same medium, "Behaviour", as Control. It presents a system ot challenge,
emasculate and render impotent thee parasite itself. In a real sense, it
detoxifies thee behavioural immune system, restoring its balance. Control
disintegrates, Magick integrates.
Thee method is a systematic application of the fragmenting Process to all
modes of inherited behaviour and belief.
Thee intention is reclamation of self-determination and self-description by
truly free choice.
Thee result is to neutralise and challenge thee centre of social control.
TOPY sent 5 individuals, untrained in lecturing or justification to thee very
well organised THELEMIC Conference in Oxford in October(87). We learned
that a large majority ov thee audience were genuinely interested in TOPY
and Modern Magick. A small, drunk, loudly vocal minority, were interested
in thee preservation ov thee Museum Ov Magick and their own Egos. They
confuse every Individual's right to be unique and special with their own
need to feel Superior. It's thee same old simplistic ignorance that confuses
POWER with CONTROL. At thee very least, five ov our number now realise
how awkward and frustrating it can be to coumunicate one's honesty and
enthusiasm to intellectual snobs. They also saw how a few ov these old, old
guard "Thelemites" see A. Crowley as a Hero, yet cannot observe their chosen
They talk ov flamboyance, charisma, and personality cults as weaknesses,
yet their hero exploited all these attributes to thee hilt. They criticise others
for re-interpretation ov his ideas to KEEP THEM ALIVE AND RELEVANT, and
they act like his parents, thumping their chosen bibles, chanting his texts
like doggerel, he would laugh, take thee piss and ridicule from these insecure
characters for totally missing the point. All culture is magick, and magick is
FOR ALL, not just scholars, and to be FOR ALL, it must be understood BY ALL,
and relevant to ALL. Which must include making its language modern,
FLEXIBLE, and straight forward. At least we can see thee Magickal
Establishment reveal itself for what it has becoum. A backwater. Librarians
are ov course useful to us all, butter they are best left in their closets.
Since all phenomena (or phenomenally appearing things) which arise present
no reality in themselves, they are said to be of the noumena (in other words,
they are of the Voidness, regarded as the noumenal background or Source of
the physical universe of the phenomena). Though not formed into anything,
yet they give shape to everything. Thus it is that phenomena and noumena
are ever in union, and said to be of one nature. They are, like ice and water,
reflection and mirror, two aspects of a single thing."
The Seven Books of Wisdom
In the case of a mirror, there is a third aspect, the subject/viewer. Mirrors
reveal and conceal. Their mystery permanent, their hints at doorways,
windows and thresholds out of reach of most minds. Time. Image. Idea.
There can be no separation, scientifically or subjectively. The atavistic face
gazes down into a crystal pool. Ice- cold water. Grunts. A hand shatters the
image, fear gaunt and haunting passes across, a shadowy cloud, and through
all Time that moment can persist, be reclaimed.
"What is Time, but a variety of one thing? AOS
These moments of Time accumulate, are listed under memory in our modern
synapses, are posited as always retrievable, amorphous. Nothing is forgotten,
all is permitted. In a stinking cave, muttering babies scream and scratch,
furs undulate in copulation. In one corner, bright-eyed first marks are
daubed on a wall. They are marks to function, marks to place, of Time. They
are marks to draw results and persist beyond one human lifetime. Instinct
has arisen, snake-like, coiling itself into intuition and suggested the very
power of suggestion. No-one noted down from a book this process, it grew
from watching the elements, closeness to life-forces, death-forces that
modern persons are divorced form. On this damp stone there is a curve, it is
land, horizon, ejaculation, movement.
"Magick consists in seeing and willing beyond that next horizon." The Sar.
Mrs. Paterson stares down. Pencilled into existence. It is her as she was
when she took Austin Osman Spare at 14 years old and initiated him into the
art of sexual magic and a powerful system of sorcery that she had
rediscovered through communion across time with systems and techniques
that grew from a most animalistic and pure union of instinct. She knew, and
she taught Spare, how to travel through Time, and how to remain Present in
Life after bodily death. She was a medium, but her guides were not just
ikons of the intuitive tribes, American indians, tantric Tibetans, aboriginals.
She understood the most particular secret. Her medium was herself. She was
able to ravel through mirrors back in Time, and forward in Time. There is a
drawing by Spare, pencil and gouache, finished in 1928. The main figure is
Mrs. Paterson. Coming from behind her head, making a blister in the
shimmering green aura, a half complete Face.It belongs to no-one, everyone.
It is her, literally, it is a cavalier, symbolically, it is Austin Osman Spare
literally. This one picture contains all the secrets Spare never wrote down.
He appears in the bottom right-hand corner, an old man, eyes closed,
concentrating, materialising. What Spare does is trick us. All his writings are
symbolic, they were never intended to be taken literally on any level,
despite modern infatuations to the contrary. His writings are purely
decorative. They are entertainment. His relaxation AFTER his real work. His
special trick was to convince everybody that his drawings, paintings, images
were symbolic. They are in fact his only real work. Like all great sorcerers,
he hid his real secret in apparently commonplace media. In the key picture,
he is actually kneeling. It is a photographic image of his prediction of both
his own bodily death, and his worship of Mrs. Paterson as his true Goddess.
His use of prostitutes and scarlet women of middle age in his sexual magick
was to return to his potency with his only access point through Time into
Timelessness. They were closer to Mrs. Paterson, so he used them as a
focussing visual image to recharge his contact with her. When she died, he
took her energy and literally trapped it, living, into this, and one or two
other pictures. He sinks into her chest, is absorbed, they rise together,
androgenous, both their faces, all their agaes superimposed. He has drawn
himself dying, conjuring himself into the image in advance, so he remains
always about to return.
"Art is the truth we have realised of our belief." AOS
"Art can contradict science." AOS
"Do you see those flowers growing on the sides of the abyss whose beauty is
so deadly and whose scent is so disturbing? Beware ..." -de Guatia
In his images of sorcery, his purest incantations through Art, Spare uses a
graphic skill and technique second to none. Yet his most commonly seen
works are excellent, but obvious in their skill. Sometimes deliberately fast
and loose. The nearest modern parallel would be Salvador Dali, who could
suggest perfection in a few marks, or worship HIS goddess, Gala, with a
photographically pure technique that is unearthly accurate. It seems to me
that Spare is equal in geniu to Rembrandt in the past, Dali in the present and
Brion Gysin in the future.
"The future is in the past, but it is not wholly contained in the present."
Both Spare and Gysin lived to reach new dimensions, they understood to
pursue Wisdom, no knowledge. This alone made collaboration with most
magickal groups impossible. Where the need for nostalgic elitism and power
by knowledge and length of bookshelf are too often camouflaged self-
aggrandisement where self-improvement to serve is the rality. Peladan was
in fact a prophet of developments that later became possible, and only now
become likely. Spare was aware that mystery and magick generate
fascination and action in human persons. He used his books, his Beardsley-
like graphics, his writings to attract interest after his death. He knew that
this would reactivate his soul and animate his psyche once more. He was also
shrewd enough to make ALL his Secrets non-verbal. Not one is contained in
his writings. Only the atavistic hintings, and the "Time Mirror" drawings
explain his vision.
"The Universe is a creative Process carried on by man's imagination, an
operative power capable of becoming more supple, more animate."
Teilhard de Chardin
What is happening in these certain key pictures is this. All ideas have an
image. There are no exceptions. All materials that make a piece of art are
material. They are formed of patterns of atoms and molecules, charged by
various energies. Modern psychology also accepts that Ideas are material
entities, like animals and plants. All mythological ideas, Jung states, are
ESSENTIALLY REAL, and far older than any philosophy. They originated in
primal perceptions, correspondences and experiences. The catalytic element
that regenerates a reaction between entitic Ideas and spectator (viewer of
painting) favours parapsychological events is the presence of an active
archetype. In the cas of Spare's Art, this can be anything from an obvious
glyph, a non-decorative aesthetic arrangement, or in the most intense works,
an invisible charge of energy which calls the deeper, instinctual layers of the
psyche into action. The archetype is a borderline phenomenon, an acausal
connecting principle closest in explanation to deliberately controlled, SELF-
conscious, synchronicity. When Spare says Self-Love, he means Self-
Conscious, yet egoless. When he uses the word Chaos, he is amusing himself,
and leaving a key clue. Austin Osman Spare's Chaos is both a signature and a
signpost to Future Time. ChDVH (CH)=JOY=23. AOS is simply his name, his
authorship within his secret sorceries.
"Art is the instinctive application of the knowledge latent in the
After Mrs. Paterson died, Spare was waiting to be inside her again, fused
with her energy. The key picture is the actual moment of his death, and the
moment of her death overlaid. His aim in all his magic was to reunite his
spirit and hers within his Art so that they might quite literally live forever.
They do live. Many unprompted witnesses have seen Mrs. Paterson's eyes
close, open, cry, her whole head turn, a quite literally living portrait. Magic
makes dreams real, makes the impossible possible, focusses the will.
Throughout its history, crystals, water, polished metal, mirrors have been
used to oracular ends. Spare's massive achievement is that he recognized the
potential of Art, of image, to be the most powerful mirror of all. A window in
Time, an Interface with death. In his art he captures not just an image but a
life-force and energy. What happens is this lies dormant until it comes into
contact and reacts with other energies, the viewer. Primal, atavistic man
knew this and invested his ideas/images with unrestricted power: when you
deal with image nly, as with most 20th Century Art, you don't get anything
back except aesthetics. Spare has achieved the previously impossible, a two-
way communication where his image reacts to and with us. It has a life of its
own. The nearest parallel, a mirror in which you can see another world,
another Time, another dimension, yet one you cannot reach into like water,
one your hand reaching out cannot quite touch, the glass remains solid and
frustrates us. What this energy held within his images is doing is
transcending the barriers of observed Time so what we are dealing with is a
four-dimensional object or image. This form of energy will have existed at all
times and will exist at all times.
An objective and critical survey of the available data would establish that
perceptions occur as if in part there were no space, in part no time. Space
and Time are not only the most immediate certainties for us, they are also
empirically, since everything observable happens as though it occurred in
Space and Time. In the face of this overwhelming certainty, it is
understandable that reason should have the greatest difficulty in granting
validity to the peculiar nature of telepathic phenomena. But anyone who
does justice to the Facts cannot but admit that their apparent space-
timelessness is their most essential quality. The fact that we are totally
unable to imagine a form of existence without Space and Time by no means
proves that such an existence is, in itself, impossible, and, therefore, just as
we cannot DRAW from an appearance of space-timelessness, any absolute
conclusion about a spce-timeless form of existence, so we are not entitled to
conclude from the apparent space-time quality of our perception that there
is NO FORM of existence without Space and Time. Just as physics now allows
for "limitedness of space", a relativization, it is beginning with Catastrophe
Theory to posit a "limitedness" of both Time and Causality. In short, nothing
is fixed, the possibilities ALONE are endless.
"Conscious looking is a search for verification of the notions that impel the
search, and always has a circular mirroring element in it."
In Spare's best images, it seems a medium has been found whereby the
essence that survives death but is mostly beyond our communication has
been captured by, transmitted into, an object that we are familiar with, i.e. a
painting, and we are therefore used to trying to interpret or recieve
information from. Because of the familiarity of painting, we don't put up
barriers. We expect to try and see what the artist felt, wanted to say. If
Spare said he was going to capture and demonstrate the soul after death,
most observers would switch off. There would be interference with the
transmission. Because Spare seduces us by saying this is an artwork, a
picture, when in fact it is a photograph of a mirror of an actual reality, we
remain open-minded, which means there is more chance that the
phenomenon of actual physical changes in his picture will happen. We shall
see, in short, that which many of us rightly choose not to believe in, living,
moving, changing images of post-death life force, or soul essence. You see it
reacting to you, it recieves and transmits direct into your conscious senses,
but it must also be transmitting direct into the subconscious also, just as
Sigilisation does. Presumably we transmit back to what is there, so what is
there will change over the years as it reacts with various observers. All
these energies mingle and mutate. The soul, life-force, energy, call it what
you will, is generally said to be visible through the mirrors of the soul, the
eyes. In the 1928 key works of Mrs. Paterson, the eyes are neither open, nor
shut, and this is true in much of Spare's works. They are neither rejecting
the possibility of seeing the captured soul, nor openly inviting it. This half-
shut, half-open limbo suggests responsibility lies with the viewer to choose
to commune with the elemental energies portrayed. By painting himself old
when he was young and young when he was old, Spare mirrors Rembrandt
once more and clearly directs us constantly to links backwards and forwards
through time as he succeeds in presenting an image of the apparently
"Accept nothing, assume nothing, always look further, be open-eyed as well
as open-minded and don't kid yourself."
old TOPY proverb
The psyche, in its deepest reaches, seems well able to participate in an
existence beyond the web of Space and Time, this dimension is often dubbed
eternity, or infinity, yet it actually behaves, if we take Spare's art as
representative (it is not symbolic), as either a one-way or two-way mirror
dependent for its function upon the translation of the unconscious, into a
communicable image that bonds the actual molecules of the graphic image
with its driving forces, unlocked from the unconscious into a fixed or mobile
source of power dependent upon previous viewers, and with more vitally,
our own abilities to interface directly with its energy. All "matter" is formed
of molecules and atoms, therefore, at least in theory, we CAN potentially
walk through walls by correct vibration of our own body corresponding with
the vibration of the wall. It is just as theoretically possible to lock energy
into the form of an image that has the ability to move, change, alter and
animate its content. The only gap of credibility being that of first-hand
experience. We don't believe it until it happens to us. We only know what we
have experienced, belief is rooted in recognition.
Imagination opens to syntheses larger than the sum total of reason. New
images reflect more than logical synthesis can produce. There is a radical
discontinuity in every truly creative idea or discovery. Projection direct from
image to viewer involves more than the logical mode of thinking that does
the projecting. An idea cannot exist separate from an image. For example, the
Virgin Mary image embodies the idea of "compassion". A Goddess or God is a
figurative image of an idea. Images are the root language of social and self-
control. Science attempts to explain the universe objectively, without a
viewer, therefore it cannot explain Art, or the unique effects or phenomena
Spare generate by it. This is not a possible function of science, it cannot tell
us why Spare's images can alter, why his faces change, eyes open and close,
colours vary. Photographs are said to steal souls, they certainly capture a
moment in Time. Freeze it. So do the images and oracles of Art, true Art. For
Art was originally revelatory, shamanistic, fully integrated into every
moment of Life. Spare's images capture the Process of creation, the thoughts
of the creator, and the memories of the viewer, which are recalls of past
events and feelings that are more compact, briefer, than when they took
place originally. Memories are Past-Time, brought into Present-Time. Time is
not linear, all Time exists simultaneously and points in every direction
simultaneously. It is quaquaversal, omnipresent. There is no reason why
Spare's images should not capture Time, thought and experience, then
recreate and expand it in the viewer's mind.
Subjective experience is no less real than objective conjecture. All roads lead
to Rome in a mirror to mirror function. This Function of mirroring is found in
the trance state in a simple, direct way. The higher techniques of idea and
artist's illusory skill makes active through Time and Space effects and
phenomena normally consigned to the sceptical parking lot of modern
Years of trying to rationalise inexplicable experiences adequately fall apart,
and only a unique re-assessement via Spare's self-confessed image sorcery
begins to give answers to what we see and feel. Time mirrors Time.
In the Mrs. Paterson picture, Spare depicts her at the moment of death, but
as she looked when she was young. He depicts himself, then quite young, as
he would look, old at the moments of death. He thus creates a situaltion of
contradiction. She is dead, yet alive and young, he is alive and young, yet
dead. This visualisation making the image energies circular, not closed.
This is why the picture is a window, mirror, threshold, active and useable by
them or us. The illustration is a key to understanding the entire situation
and its implications. It is a depiction of the real. Spare and Mrs. Paterson live
on in his art, taking the concept of Art being the Life and Soul of a culture
further than ever before dreamed. The only question remaining is, now that
they have cheated death, can they, will they ever come back out?
"He who transcends Time escapes necessity." AOS
"All nature is a vast reflection of that which is within us, or else we could not
know it." AOS
"Embrace reality by imagination." AOS
"What is death? A great mutation to your next self." AOS
"The life-force is not blind, we are." AOS
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