All the world’s a stage,
"The Magus" from The Byzantine Tarot
The Chess Players, by Moritz Retzsch
"The Tarot could be described as God´s Picture Book, or it could be likened to a celestial game of chess, the Trumps being the pieces to be moved according to the law of their own order over a checkered board of the four elements"
As mentioned in the Introduction, I consider my whole work to be a kind of satirical storytelling game; a counter-game which is infiltrating the real-life role-playing game, which we all are slaves of; a game which I call: The Godgame.
In the following I will give an idea of the content.
The term “The Godgame” is inspired by John Fowles´ novel The Magus (1965), a postmodern novel telling the story of Nicholas Urfe, a young British graduate who is teaching English on a small Greek island. Urfe becomes embroiled in the psychological illusions of a master trickster, which become increasingly dark and serious.
Fowles started writing it in the 1950s, under the original title of The Godgame.
The story reflects the perspective of Nicholas Urfe, a young Oxford graduate and aspiring poet. After graduation, he briefly works as a teacher at a small school, but becomes bored and decides to leave England. While looking for another job, Nicholas takes up with Alison Kelly, an Australian girl he met at a party in London. He still accepts a post teaching English at the Lord Byron School on the Greek island of Phraxos. After beginning his new post, he becomes bored, depressed, disillusioned, and overwhelmed by the Mediterranean island; Nicholas struggles with loneliness and contemplates suicide. While habitually wandering around the island, he stumbles upon an estate and soon meets its owner, a wealthy Greek recluse, Maurice Conchis. They develop a sort of friendship, and Conchis slowly reveals that he may have collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.
Nicholas is gradually drawn into Conchis's psychological games, his paradoxical views on life, his mysterious persona, and his eccentric masques. At first, Nicholas takes these posturings of Conchis, what the novel terms the "godgame", to be a joke, but they grow more elaborate and intense. Nicholas loses his ability to determine what is real and what is artifice. Against his will and knowledge, he becomes a performer in the godgame. Eventually, Nicholas realises that the re-enactments of the Nazi occupation, the absurd playlets after Sade, and the obscene parodies of Greek myths are not about Conchis's life, but his own. The book ends indeterminately.
The Financial Times write about The Magus:
“A splendidly sustained piece of mystification... such as could otherwise only have been devised by a literary team fielding the Marquis de Sade, Arthur Edward Waite, Sir James Frazer, Gurdjieff, Madame Blavatsky, C.G. Jung, Aleister Crowley and Franz Kafka”.
In other words: the "fascinating" world of occultism, or, said in another way: The Devastating New Age Turn Within Psychotherapy.
In my Ebook, Karen Blixen – The Devil´s Mistress, I describe how Karen Blixen herself became, in her pact with the Devil, an embodiment of the same demonical element, which fascinated Milton, Romanticism, Baudelaire, etc. The Devil haunted in her, and around her, just like he haunted in figure of Prospero in Shakespeare´s The Tempest, as Mefistoteles in Goethe´s Faust, or, as Conchis in John Fowles´ The Magus. A central aspect of her storytelling was that her stories were "counter-stories".
In many ways Blixen´s work and life is a rebellion against the mediocre Christianity, which tried to clip her wings as a child. In her works this comes to expression in her “counter-stories”, for example when she, in "Babette´s Feast" reverses Kierkegaard´s three stages on the way to becoming a true self: the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious.
The mystical experience is about returning to nature, which she decribes as a fall, a Luciferian movement from the religious and ethical, to the aesthetic. She claimed that the true human nature is that of an artist.
The concept of a return to nature is also the background for her depiction of herself as a witch, a concept which came to expression in her magical circle of male students, to whom she tried to transform creative energies and images. A relationship which they described as demonical, a kind of seducement into her personal Earth-Moon Kingdom (about the return to nature as a spiritual practice: see my article, The Compass - The Forgotten Secret of Hara Healing).
In my Ebook on Blixen I also described my own mystical connection with Karen Blixen, and emphasized that her Luciferian relationship hasn´t anything to do with satanism, but with the surrender that is necessary in order to receive the mystical experience.
My own storytelling game is in that way a continuation of the philosophical themes I started in my book: Lucifer Morningstar – A Philosophical Love Story (where Karen Blixen also is a central figure).
In this book, we learn that the nature of the Devil´s game is the paradoxical. This is revealed when we guess that the Devil´s proper name is Lucifer Morningstar, which means Bringer of Light.
My own concept of Lucifer Morningstar is in this way inspired by Blixen, and is a provocative counter-story to, for example, chaos magic/black magic, the left-hand path and satanism, since I support many of the same topics: anarchism, civil disobedience, rebellion: the concept of the Idler. The practice of these was what Blixen referred to as "The Luciferian Movement".
As an example of the paradoxical in the Devil´s Game, and a reason for my own satiric counter-stories, is that today´s positive thinking movement, is directly developed out of black magic (see my article The Law of Attraction and Its Roots in Black Magic - and, a new one: "Shaman Durek": Yet Another American New Thought Missionary (a Critique)).
Let´s take two other examples of the paradoxical.
The peace symbol of the Hippie culture is an inverted version of the Algiz, a Proto-Germanic rune,ᛉ (Elder Futhark) that symbolizes “life“:
When a rune is inverted, it typically creates the opposite meaning of the original rune. The inverse of the Algiz, which symbolizes life, is obviously “death“.
Since the ᛉ is the life rune – then its inverted rune, the ᛦ, is interpreted as the death rune.
We can also notice this paradoxical effect within Christianity. The inverted cross was originally used to signify St Peter’s Crucifixion. St Peter felt unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as Christ, so he requested the cross be put upside down. However, in modern times, the inverted cross has been used as an anti-religion symbol or an anti-Christ symbol.
Which is hilarious, because the inverted cross is actually a Christian symbol. So the people using it in a negative vein, are actually just using a Saint’s cross.
I play with this absurdity on the front cover image of my book, Lucifer Morningstar, which depicts The Crucifixion of Saint Peter, a painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio:
The inverted cross is seen everywhere in Christianity. The hilarious is that pictures, as for example the below, immediately, by simpledminded conspiracy theorists, are seen as "proof" of the satanic element in the Vatican:
As a response, one is tempted to post the following image:
It is in the light of these paradoxes that I talk about so-called "Gatekeepers". In her book, Working with Kundalini - An Experiential Guide to the Process of Awakening, the shaman, and spiritual teacher, Mary Shutan, writes:
There are an unfortunate number of spiritual teachers and seekers in the modern world who are simply not healthy or who are steeped in illusion. Such teachers can be seen as gatekeepers; moving beyond their illusory or imbalanced wisdom is an initiation beyond the gate that such a teacher provides. Such teachers are needed in this world, as they free up more experienced and knowledgeable teachers to work with sincere seekers looking for clarity and evolution (page 99).
I often say that such people are steeped in a mix of half-truths and half-lies. You can of course learn from half-truths. Shutan might not agree with me when I mention people like Carl Jung, Aleister Crowley, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Robert Anton Wilson, Eckhart Tolle, Peter Kingsley, etc.
In relation to the above Hippie "peace symbol", I will also mention that movements can be seen as "Gatekeepers", as for example the counter culture movement, which I´m highly inspired by, but which also was the cause of my spiritual crisis, and my alcohol abuse. We know the "light" side of the counter culture movement: Peace and Love. But the movement also had a "dark" occult side. People like Wiliam Burroughs, Timothy Leary, and Robert Anton Wilson, were all members of the occult order: Illuminates of Thanateros. William Burroughs was, according to Arthur Versluis, quite a nasty fellow. In his book, American Gurus, Versluis writes:
[...] The interviewer later asks this [to Burroughs]: "The Beat/Hip axis, notable in figures such as Ginsberg, want to transform the world by love and nonviolence. Do you share this interest?" Burroughs replies: Most emphatically no."
the direction of Burrough´s interest in these areas [sorcery, occultism] is markedly sinister or "left-hand" (page 101).
This perhaps reflects George Harrison´s own well-founded disillusionment with psychedelics which was, in part, brought on by his visit to San Francisco´s Hight-Ashbury district in the 1960s. Rather than finding “hippie” spiritual seekers, he found a lot of kids virtually homeless and strung-out on drugs.
It has been over fifty years since the heyday of the 1960s and the brief flowering of the psychedelic era that ended abruptly when Woodstock gave way to Altamont, the achievements of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) were obscured by the terrorist acts of the Weathermen, and sensitive Beatles lyrics inspired the homicidal rages of Charles Manson´s Family (see my pop culture file: The Beatles and Their Relation to Psychedelics.
Today we see, that the New Age movement QAnon, has been labeled as a potential domestic terror threat (see my article: Covid-19: The Fall of America and the Rise of China).
It is also due to the paradoxical in the Devil´s Game, that I like to work with, in my own Blixen-inspired way, Runes, Tarot and oracle games. I like the trickster (magus) figure, and I like the idea of cards that can be read both upright and reversed (runes can also be read in reversed ways). And of course, there is the Devil´s figure.
In philosophical counseling I offer a counseling form called The Godgame. Here I directly use runes, tarots and oracles. The Godgame is, in this context, a kind of role-playing game, or, a storytelling game. It is inseparable connected with forest therapy. This is the most advanced counseling form in that it requires familarity with my cultural criticism, hereunder the general concept of The Matrix Conspiracy, and, the underlying occult structure: The Godgame.
You could say that The Godgame is The Evolutionistic School against The Traditionalist School (where I belong), or, the Anti-realism School against the Philosophical realism Shool (where I belong). Or, in a more ancient context: the Sophists against the Philosophers.
The aspect of "game" (or "mystery play"), is symbolized by my use of oracle card decks, and perhaps, especially, tarot card decks.
My use of oracle and tarot cards are more for the sake of storytelling than actual divination. However, there is a connection.
This article, the Godgame, describes the Evolutionistic School, while my article, Nordic Shamanism and Forest Therapy, describes the Traditionalist school.
When it comes to the use of card decks in relation to the Evolutionistic School, I mainly use the so-called Thoth Tarot, developed by the famous black magician, Aleister Crowley (as a supplement, I use the lesser known Shadow Tarot - see below).
When it comes to the Traditionalist School, I use the card decks developed by Hallowquest.
What is the award? Well, the whole game is about the Quest for the Holy Grail. A part of this game, at least when it comes to the Traditionalist School, is about the destruction of the One Ring, the Ring of Power, Sauron´s Ring. The opposite is of course the case when it comes to the Evolutionistic School.
In my ebook, Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien, I claim that Sauron´s One Ring has two demonical movements which are seen in our culture of today: the movement into the ego (the will to power), and the movement out towards the others in ideology. Hereby the Truth, Beauty and Goodness of the Wholeness is reduced to power and ideology. The danger is the reductionism of modernity.
Lets look at the Will to Power (a term coming from the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche). In 1898 Crowley joined the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he was trained in ceremonial magic. In Cairo, Egypt, where Crowley claimed to have been contacted by a supernatural entity named Aiwass, who provided him with The Book of the Law, a sacred text that served as the basis for Thelema. Announcing the start of the Æon of Horus, The Book declared this:
DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW
A fall into complete subjectivism. Aiwass seems very inspired by Nietzsche. After his channeling experience Crowley founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century. His followers should "Do what thou wilt" and seek to align themselves with their True Will through the practice of magick. This is clearly an inspiration for the New Age concept of create-your-own-reality. But it is lying behind a lot of evolutionistic thinking (read more about Crowley in my article: Aleister Crowley – The Eye in the Triangle).
The Godgame is a kind of children´s game, which requires an ironical distance to yourself. You play a role such as a forest wanderer, or a Grail seeker. As suggested in my article Counseling in the Mythic Forest of Rold, you are a character trying to awake from The Matrix Conspiracy and The Godgame. You are trying to become a member of the resistance, a "Godgame Hacker".
On this "Grail Quest", or "Ringbaerer´s Quest", we will discriminate between base magic and higher magic. For base magic (divination, shamanic journeys and healing) we will use some tools, such as Hallowquest cards and runes (and Crowley´s Thoth Tarot as frame of reference). For higher magic we will use Meditation as an Art of Life. The whole thing is in other words paradoxical: we use tools of base magic in order to understand the delusional aspect of base magic, and in this way enter into higher magic. Base magic is in other words a "Gatekeeper". Central in this counseling form is the healing art of storytelling.
In connection with divination, healing and shamanic journeys, I always make aware of what I, in the introduction to my first book, Meditation as an Art of Life - a Basic Reader, called "The Four Philosophical Hindrances and Openings". To see their relation to a "666 conspiracy", see my article: The Four Philosophical Hindrances and Openings. Also see the start of my article, Nordic Shamanism and Forest Therapy. Here you can read an account of the difference between base magic (shamanism, occultism) and higher magic (theurgy, meditation).
The Four Philosophical Hindrances can be seen in relation to the above-mentioned Gatekeepers.
If you focus entirely on base magic you´ll end up in the Four Philosophical Hindrances, but if you combine base magic with higher magic, you can move from the hindrances to the openings.
As I write in Meditation as an Art of Life - a Basic Reader:
[...] an important part of the opening in towards the Source is the realization of what hinders this opening. Unless you know, for example the Ego´s, fundamental essence, you can´t recognise it, and it will deceive you to identify with it again and again. But when you realize the hindrances in you (for example through the question Who am I? as Ramana Maharshi did it) then it is the Source itself - the Good, the True and the Beautiful - that makes the realization possible (page 11).
I believe the fascinating about runes and tarot cards are the combination of storytelling, paradoxes and riddles, and the sense of that they are messages from "Dreamtime". They are something to be worked with, "On a Storyteller´s Night", in front of a fire place in an old Inn, deep within an ancient forest. They make you wonder and ask philosophcal questions (on the connection between storytelling and philosophy: again, see my article, Counseling in the Mythic Forest of Rold).
The more I´m investigating occult themes, the more I´m getting convinced that we in fact see the work of a 666 conspiracy, an Anti-Christ energy in action. And that this energy is working in a highly seducing, paradoxical and trickery way.
My storytelling game is a counter-participation in my concept of “the role-playing game, which we all are slaves of”. In my written work I have already depicted how much occultism and occult magick in fact are influencing just about every aspects of modern culture.
The more I´m going into these themes the more weird it seems to become. Just an example: In my Ebook, The Scientology Game – And The Matrix Player´s Handbook, I exposed, in a philosophical way, that Scientology in fact is a role-playing game and not a religion or anything else. This is not something I make up. Just read it. And it seems, that New Age as such, with it´s contempt for preparatory practice, and the possibility for buying yourself to spiritual abilities, levels and titles, also looks like a gigantic role-playing game with masks and roles. A creation of the inauthentic human being.
At the same time, you see a movement of “new prophets” who are in progress with a complete redefinition of Jesus Christ; a redefinition which seems to be accepted by most people without much critique. This is due to that the claim of being a “channeler” has reach a truth by authority status in the world (which means, with the help of relativism, that anybody can claim whatever they feel like claiming). In the new thought movement you see Helen Schucman (A Course in Miracles), and Barbara Marx Hubbard (Hubbard is also a transhumanist and her claims are similar to two other, more famous transhumanist prophets: Ray Kurzweil and Yuval Noah Harari, who both are prophesizing the end of the world, and the beginning of the Singularity) - About the redefinition of Christ: see my article: The Conspiracy of the Third Eye.
The redefinition of Christ might have been started in Theosophy (God Sophism) which created their own concept of Christ: the Maitreya. Helena Blavatsky, a leading theosophist, is heavily accused of making things up. Geoffrey Ashe notes that her book Isis Unveiled combines "comparative religion, occultism, pseudoscience, and fantasy in a mélange that shows genuine if superficial research but is not free from unacknowledged borrowing and downright plagiarism." This style of writing is continued in numerous modern New Age books.
Then there is the Priory of Sion Hoax (which claims that the death of Jesus Christ was faked). This hoax is famously depicted as a fact (that is: not a hoax) in Dan Brown´s The Da Vinci Code, a book which cleverly plays on blurring the line between fact and fiction. This very same book was subject for a lawsuit from the authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, a 1982 book by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, where the Priory of Sion Hoax also is depicted as a fact (and not a hoax despite that this has been exposed quite clearly).
And with one of the authors of the Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, Michael Baigent, a freemason and psychologist (of course), something quite fascinating is beginning to take form. Can there have happened a meeting between Michael Baigent, Peter Kingsley and Eckhart Tolle in Glastonbury, the city famous for its connection to the Holy Grail legends, the counterculture and today: New Age? Both Michael Baigent and Eckhart Tolle have written praising reviews on all of these Peter Kingsley books: A Story Waiting to Pierce You, Reality, and, In The Dark Places of Wisdom.
The English scholar, Peter Kingsley, is a supporter of the sophists in ancient Greece, a group of teachers who taught relativism and the art of deceiving people with manipulating rhetoric. The Sophists succeeded in leading Socrates (the philosopher) to his death. Kingsley is also a supporter of the philosophy-hating psychologist Jung, and believes that psychology must take over from philosophy. He tops the list over Matrix Sophists. He is the master trickster (he even entitle himself as a trickster), and therefore absolutely fascinating (see my article: Peter Kingsley – Another Story Waiting to Pierce You (A Critique)). I don´t know yet, whether the Professor Moriarty character should be played by Jung or Kingsley. However, I´ll probably end up with Jung.
But the storyline continues. Another psychologist, the counterculture-inspired occultist and chaos magician, Robert Anton Wilson, has, in the below figure, depicted a clear image of how long back the 666 conspiracy (an offspring of The Illuminati) goes:
Read about Robert Anton Wilson in my article: The Final Secret of the Illuminati.
Also read my article: The WingMakers Project. This project seems to lead The Sirius Mystery into a new faked story, a line of conscious lying that can be traced to Theosophy and persons like Helena Blavatsky.
My concept of The Godgame is also inspired by Foucault's Pendulum, a novel by Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco. Foucault's Pendulum is divided into ten segments represented by the ten Sefiroth. The satirical novel is full of esoteric references to Kabbalah, alchemy, and conspiracy theory
The plot: Three vanity press employees (Jacopo Belbo, Diotallevi, and Casaubon) invent their own conspiracy for fun after reading too many manuscripts about occult conspiracy theories. They call this satirical intellectual game "The Plan". The three become increasingly obsessed with The Plan and sometimes forget that it is just a game. Worse still, other conspiracy theorists learn about The Plan and take it seriously. Belbo finds himself the target of a real secret society which believes that he possesses the key to the lost treasure of the Knights Templar.
The Boston Globe claimed that "one can trace a lineage from Robert Anton Wilson's The Illuminatus! Trilogy to Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum". The Illuminatus! Trilogy was written 13 years before Foucault's Pendulum. George Johnson wrote on the similarity of the two books that "both works were written tongue in cheek, with a high sense of irony." Both books are divided into ten segments represented by the ten Sephiroth.
Here we come to the modern "nightside" researchers. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn did much to popularise its model of the Tree of Life. In Kenneth Grant´s book Nightside of Eden, you can see how the Qabalistic Tree of Life shows the ten Sephiroth and twenty-two paths with their major astrological, elemental, and tarotic attributions, arranged according to the initiated occult traditions. Life is presented as a game. The Tarot cards are central, and the Tarot cards depicts a wanderer, who are traveling the spiritual path.
The so-called Shadow Tarot is a tarot system which depicts the shadow side of the spiritual path.
Below is an image from Nightside of Eden, where you can see the Tarot names:
On the next image you can see how the lower 7 sephiroth on the Tree of life is separated from the top 3 by the Abyss. This void is sometimes called the “Desert of Seth”, the Egyptian god of Chaos and Disorder. While on the front of the tree one follows pathways, on the dark side you will traverse through "The Tunnels of Seth".
Below in another image of the nightside of the spiritual path:
On the next two images yoy can see the so-called “Qlippoth”, which are used in the alternative Kabbalistic traditions of Hermetic Qabalah and Jewish Kabbalah respectively. They mean literally "Peels", "Shells" or "Husks". They are the representation of evil or impure spiritual forces in Jewish mysticism, the polar opposites of the holy Sephiroth. The realm of evil is also termed Sitra Achra/Aḥra (Aramaic סטרא אחרא, the "Other Side" opposite holiness) in Kabbalah texts.
Qlippoth presented on the Tree of Life
Qlippoth as inverted on the back of the Tree of Life
Foucault's Pendulum has been called "the thinking man's Da Vinci Code". The parchment that sparks the Plan plays a role which is similar to the parchments in the Rennes-le-Château story in Brown's novel and in The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, from which Brown drew inspiration. Eco's novel predated the Da Vinci phenomenon by more than a decade, but both novels are concerned with the Knights Templar, complex conspiracies, secret codes, and even a chase around the monuments of Paris. Eco does so, however, from a much more critical perspective; Foucault is more a satire on the futility of conspiracy theories and those who believe them, rather than an attempt to proliferate such beliefs. This is precisely my own view.
Most books written in this fiction genre seem to focus on the mysterious, and aim to provide their own version of the conspiracy theory. Eco avoids this pitfall without holding back on the historical mystery surrounding the Knights Templar. In fact, the novel may be viewed as a critique, spoof, or deconstruction of the grand overarching conspiracies often found in postmodern literature (as for example Wilson´s). Although the main plot does detail a conspiratorial "Plan", the book focuses on the development of the characters, and their slow transition from skeptical editors, mocking the Manutius manuscripts to credulous Diabolicals themselves. In this way the conspiracy theory provided is a plot device, rather than an earnest proposition. My own concept of The Godgame (and The Matrix Conspiracy) completely follows Eco in this respect.
On the one side I´m fascinated with occultism. The "nightside teachings" are completely "illuminating" in that they are drawing attention to the shadow (central in my teaching Meditation as an Art of Life). However, the Devil plays a seductive, paradoxical game. That´s my message in my book Lucifer Morningstar - a Philosophical Love Story.
In a storytelling context, you could say that the Devil has an army of demons. In such a context I call bad philosophies Demon Spells. Demons work collectively, and they plant their spells in the collective images of time: in Urd´s Web. And now we have come to the central targets of my critique, namely the Matrix epistemology and metaphysics: relativism, subjectivism and solipsism! It is not so much whether there exist a metaphysical world or not. It is whether teachers are relativists, subjectivists, or solipsists. It is their anti-realistic philosophy I criticize! It is the flaws and holes in the abstract web behind the concrete appearances of The Matrix Conspiracy (and it´s deeper occult level: the Godgame), which I´m trying to bring into light.
Demons (confused chaos titans) work collectively, feeding on collective energies. They can use a single person to generate collective energies. After they have used this person, the person, as depicted in many popular stories about "pacts with the devil", ends up in "Hell": psychosis, or mental crash. I have, for example, shown how this happened to Helen Schucman, the "creator" of A Course in Miracles, and to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho). And, according to Strasser:
"Listening to Hitler one suddenly has a vision of one who will lead mankind to glory...A light appears in a dark window. A gentleman with a comic little moustache turns into an archangel...Then the archangel flies away...and there is Hitler sitting down, bathed in sweat with glassy eyes..."
The medium is possessed. Once the crisis (ego-inflation) is past, they fall back into mediocrity. It was in this way, beyond any doubt, that Hitler was possessed by forces outside himself - almost demonical forces of which the individual named Hitler was only the temporary vehicle.
The global spreading "Pacts with the Devil" I call: The Faust Syndrome. The Faust Syndrome is central in all my writings. Read for example my article: The Faust Syndrome and the End of the Time of Enlightened Masters.
In occult circles there have, for, well, many, many years now, been practiced "Pacts with the Devil" by the use of Sigil magic. In that way they have created a line of portals. These portals are then connected to individuals through techniques aimed at opening the third eye. I seriously believe these practices are the reason for the global "success" of the New Thought movement (the movement behind the concept of "The Law of Attraction"). For an insight into the openly satanic practices behind: see my article The Conspiracy of the Third Eye (here I also present other mediums of demonical forces).
My philosophical warning against occultism is a warning against subjectivism and relativism, which it, paradoxically enough, shares with the "dayside" of New Age. I therefore believe that the "dayside" and the "nightside" are two sides of the same thing, precisely as illustrated on the above images. Again: I have documented this in my article: The Law of Attraction and Its Roots in Black Magic.
Subjectivism lures us into solipsism, the image-prison of the mind, where the external world (or reality as such) slowly is removed (see my cultural criticism).
In a storytelling context, I see a battle between evil and good as a battle between anti-realism (evil) and philosophical realism (good). These abstract philosophies are, in my view, real energy-formations of collective images, though on a highly abstract plane. And, they are the vehicles of evil and good forces. They can be "embedded" in people´s minds. Demons, for example, work collectively, and they are, in these days, successful in embedding anti-realist philosophies in people´s minds. These anti-realist philosophies are what I call Demon Spells.
I don´t think it is a wrong to characterize anti-realism as evil, since the consequences are metaphysical solipsism and moral nihilism. I give an idea about the consequences in my article: My Cultural Criticism.
The Godgame (the game between the Traditionalist School and the Evolutionistic School) is a reflection of the war between good and evil. In the last part of my booklet, The Nine Gates of Middle-earth, I describe how the American Traditionalist School was eliminated by evolutionists (as for example Ken Wilber), in the same way as Plato´s academy finally was eliminated. This is also, in a brilliant way, described in Arthur Versluis´s American Gurus - From Transcendentalism to New Age Religion.
Now, if we return to "dark" occult side of the counterculture movement, we saw that people like William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, and Robert Anton Wilson, all were members of the occult order: Illuminates of Thanateros.
The “Psychedelic shaman”, Timothy Leary, uses his so-called “eight circuit model of consciousness” along with recapitulation theory to explain the evolution of the human species, the personal development of an individual, and the biological evolution of all life.
The first four circuits deal with life on earth, and survival of the species. The last four circuits are post-terrestrial, and deal with the evolution of the species, altered states of consciousness, enlightenment, mystical experiences, psychedelic states of mind, and psychic abilities. The proposal suggests that these altered states of consciousness are recently realized, but not widely utilized. Leary describes the first four as "larval circuits", necessary for surviving and functioning in a terrestrial human society, and proposed that the post terrestrial circuits will be useful for future humans who, through a predetermined script, continue to act on their urge to migrate to outer space and live extra-terrestrially.
Leary, Robert Anton Wilson, and Antero Alli have written about the idea in depth, and have explored and attempted to define how each circuit operates, both in the lives of individual people and in societies and civilization. The term "circuit" is equated to a metaphor of the brain being computer hardware, and that the wiring of the brain as circuitry. In other words: the brain is pre-programmed by some kind of plan in evolution.
Leary can best be described as belonging to what I call atheist spirituality, or transhumanist spirituality, as described in my booklet, A Critique of the Simulation Theory and the Rise of Digital Totalitarianism. Also see my Ebook: Evolutionism – The Red Thread in the Matrix Conspiracy. for a complete description of the development towards transhumanism.
When reading all his references to philosophy and spirituality one ought to be aware that he doesn´t believe in any spiritual reality external to what the human brain itself constructs. Leary is an extreme reductionist. He is not speaking out of experiences of any external spiritual reality, but out of his own psychological constructs. He used terms like game reality and claimed that all human relationships are games, and that all views on reality are game models. Read his book The Game of Life (free download) with contributions by Robert Anton Wilson. In this book life is seen as an organic computer. Also here he expresses his ideas that evolution is proceeding into pre-programmed post-human stages which will carry us off the planet. The book treats the Periodic Table as a code-message which outlines the sequence of atomic and biological evolution and as a Rosetta stone from which some philosophical meanings of enduring human symbol-systems can be deciphered. According to Leary some ordinal symbol systems which can be understood in terms of the periodic table include: The Tarot, The Zodiac, The I Ching, The Playing card deck, The Greco-Roman Olympic Pantheon, The Hebrew Alphabet. These cultural icon systems are seen as crude psycho-logical neuro-symbolic expressions by pre-scientific cultures of the model of galactic evolution which is based on the table of atomic elements. According to Leary these occult systems are proto-scientific attempts to predict the course of life on and off the planet and can be seen as neuro-cultural communication systems in which humanity symbolizes natural laws. Leary also talks about genetic agents, or intelligent agents, people with insight in all this, and ability to change the meaning of life for others. He mentions Aleister Crowley and George Guerdjieff. You just have to add concepts like genetic engineering and scientists playing God, and you have to do with outright fascism (about spirituality as a role playing game, see my booklet The Scientology Game – and the Matrix Player´s Handbook).
He is also a guru for people like Terence Mckenna (the "Timothy Leary of the '90s"), himself a guru within the environment of Techno-paganism, a kind of transhumanist mix of shamanism, Dream Yoga, psychedelics and modern technology (see my booklet, Plastic Shamanism versus the Traditional Shamanic Awakening). Also read the Wikipedia page on Terence Mckenna. It is very good information about how shamanism today has been turned away from the traditionalist direction to the evolutionist direction.
You could also say that the "dayside" and the "nightside" of New Age both are examples of "Base Magic". Base Magic ends in what I call "The Four Philosophical Hindrances" (again: see my article The Four Philosophical Hindrances and Openings).
"The Four Philosophical Openings", on the contrary, are examples of "Higher Magic". Also see my article: Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth (a Shamanic ritual). Here the discrimination between base magic and higher magic is described in details.
If I, in a storytelling context, should talk about that there is an evil "Plan" in action, I would begin with the beginning of the so-called Kali Yuga.
In Hinduism, Kali Yuga is the last of the four stages (or ages or yugas) the world goes through as part of a 'cycle of yugas' described in the Sanskrit scriptures. The other ages are called Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, and Dvapara Yuga. The "Kali" of Kali Yuga means "strife", "discord", "quarrel" or "contention" and Kali Yuga is associated with the demon Kali (not to be confused with the goddess Kālī, who is a fighter of evil). The latter confusion however, is interesting in connection with the paradoxical in the Devil´s game (also note that "Discordianism" is highly praised in New Age circles) - I will return to the "Kali paradox" in the end of the article.
Based on a starting year of 3102 BCE and a duration of 432,000 years (1200 divine years), Kali Yuga began roughly 5,121 years ago and has 426,879 years remaining as of 2020 CE. Kali Yuga will end in the year 428,899 CE. This is probably not what New Agers are thinking about when talking about their New Age.
Hindus believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali Yuga. Common attributes and consequences are spiritual bankruptcy, mindless hedonism, breakdown of all social structure, greed and materialism, unrestricted egotism, afflictions and maladies of mind and body. One should be blind not to see that this is precisely what we see everywhere.
Hinduism often symbolically represents morality (dharma) as an Indian bull. In Satya Yuga, the first stage of development, the bull has four legs, but in each age morality is reduced by one quarter. By the age of Kali, morality is reduced to only a quarter of that of the golden age, so that the bull of Dharma has only one leg.
In the Matrix Conspiracy I talk about a sub-conspiracy called the 666 conspiracy. This conspiracy is about Evil´s plot against mankind. Is the third Antichrist among us, and will our worship of him be a sign of Judgment Day? This idea could be applied to the Kali yuga as such.
If we should talk about a lineage of worshippers, we could mention Kali worshippers in ancient India, Sophists in ancient Greece, and occultists in our modern world. Central philosophical ideas are subjectivism and relativism, which pervert Truth, Goodness and Beauty.
You could say that the "Ring War", or "Faery War", began in the beginning of the Kali Yuga. It is happening in the abstract. Pop culture can therefore, in my view, be very good storytelling expressions of this, very real, war in the abstract.
The vision of life as a spiritual warfare between good and evil is the vision of life presupposed in every great story. For any great story must take both good and evil very seriously in order to generate great drama; and the fundamental theme of every great story is always this spiritual warfare between some particular good and some particular evil. The conflict between good and evil is the source of all conflict between character – it is the internal conflict between good and evil within each character.
But Tolkien is not a Manichee: the Ring War is not between equally powerful powers. It is not even between equally real powers. It requires a little philosophical clarification to make this point clear. In his book, The Philosophy of Tolkien, the philosopher Peter Kreeft writes:
Good and evil are not equally powerful, because they are not equally real – even though evil appears not only equal to good but even stronger than good (“I am Gandalf, Gandalf the White, but Black is mightier still”). But appearance and reality do not coincide here, and in the end evil will always reveal its inevitable self-destruction (although often after a terrible price is paid: e.g., Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin). The self-destruction of evil is not just something to believe in and hope for, but to be certain of. It is metaphysically necessary, necessary because of the very kind of being evil has by its unchangeable essence. For evil can only be a parasite on good. It depends on a good host for it to pervert. “Nothing is evil in the beginning” or by nature: Morgoth was one of the Ainur, Sauron was a Maia, Saruman was the head of Gandalf´s order of Wizards, the Orcs were Elves, the Ringwraiths were great Men, and Gollum was a Hobbit. And whenever a parasite succeeds in killing its host, it also kills itself. So if evil succeeds, it fails; it commits suicide.
The philosophical argument for evil being a parasite on good is simple: evil can exist only in some being, and all being is ontologically good, good for something, desirable somehow. Evil is the perversion of some version, the unnatural twisting of some nature; and all nature is good. Logically evil is thought distortions, it is falsiable and unvalid. Existentially evil is becoming, which is non-being. Evil is suffering.
What is this parasite on the good? In my book, Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien, I have described it in chapter 10, Ethics; section 2: The Nature of Evil, and section 3: The Ring and the Devil. However, the whole book is about this warfare between good and evil.
Evil is the One Ring, the Ring of Power. As mentioned: Sauron´s One Ring has two demonical movements which are seen in our culture of today, but which always have existed: the movement into the ego (the will to power), and the movement out towards the others in ideology. Hereby the Truth, Beauty and Goodness of the Wholeness is reduced to power and ideology.
That is: The giants, for example, is in Nordic mythology described as evil, but in my philosophy they are not in themselves evil (they are wise and they are central, both in the primordial creation, and in healing ceremonies). However they can be corrupted by power and ideology, and so can both men, elves and divinities. And tools, such as runes and tarots.
Demons are probably corrupted giants.
Therefore the Godgame is a paradoxical game. And therefore the concept of Gatekeepers.
The backcover to my book, Lucifer Morningstar - a Philosophical Love Story, says:
With a preface by the Devil we are introduced to the love story of Dracula and Mina, seen with the eyes of a philosopher.
We learn that the nature of the Devil´s game is the paradoxical. This is revealed when we guess that the Devil´s proper name is Lucifer Morningstar, which means Bringer of Light.
We hear about the Devil´s double incarnation in the pain-bodies of Dracula and Mina. In the search for the unification of their love we undertake a Hero´s Journey through the Earth-Moon Kingdom of the Vampire. Like Vergil in Dante´s The Divine Comedy our guide will be Karen Blixen.
In this book I´m using popular culture to shed light on my own pain-body and the dark ancient powers I have struggled with for over two decades. In this way the book is an anologistic portrait of the experiential background for my teaching Meditation as an Art of Life.
The book is an inquiry into the nature of suffering and love.
My ebook, Karen Blixen - The Devil´s Mistress, is a follow-up to Lucifer Morningstar. Relevant here is Blixen´s concept of "counter-stories", a special literary technique. This is also the technique I myself use in my concepts of The Matrix Conspiracy and The Godgame.
In Lucifer Morningstar I especially play with two paradoxes. One paradox is my talk about the "Left Hand of Darkness" and the "Right Hand of Darkness". In the Devil´s game, I let the philosophers play the Left Hand of Darkness, and the Sophists play the Right Hand of Darkness. This is a satiric counter-theory to the occult notion of the Left-hand Path and the Right-hand Path.
The other paradox has to do with the parallels between Christ and Dracula. Let me explain.
In her real life, Karen Blixen could both refer to herself as God himself, or the Devil himself: the witch (or the vampire). She could do this, because she apparently was conscious about herself manifesting an universal image. She referred to herself as being 3000 years old and of the same age as the prophet Esajas, whom she had an intensive, conflict-accented relationship with. And all of it, her own fate, the relationship with her students, can be found reflected in her stories in a fount of variations. Reality and stories are melting together.
The initiation ritual into this magical circle was the same for each of them. She told the individual person the story of her disease, and that she in her sickroom had a visit from the Devil, which she entered into the pact with, that she from that moment of would be able to transform everything that happened to her into stories. Furthermore that if they mixed blood with a witch, they would get access to the same ancient, deep secrets and powers, which she herself possessed. They would get an image, they would get to see the dreaming tracks and the songlines in the artwork of their lives – God´s, or the author's plan with them.
Notice that mixing blood is also what Dracula and Mina do in the love scene in the movie Bram Stoker´s Dracula, by Francis ford Coppola, where she is transformed into a vampire.
When Dracula bites her (penetrates her) she gets what undeniable reminds about an orgasm. Hereafter follows a scene which reminds about the Passion of the Christ, where Jesus on the cross gets a wound in his right side. Dracula cuts the wound in himself in the left side, under the heart. And when Mina drinks his blood, he stretches his arms out, as if crucified.
Dracula: “You are now to me, flesh of my flesh, and blood of my blood."
Remember the words from the Last Supper:
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you (Luke 22:19-20)
The Last Supper is the foundation for the Eucharist symbol. This event both has an exoteric and esoteric side. The bread is Christ´s body, the wine is Christ´s blood. Therefore, when you eat this bread and drink this wine, then you absorb Christ in you; you are getting one with the energy of Christ. The exoteric side is that you only do this in order to remember Christ. The esoteric side is the mystical practice, where you actually are being united with Christ in the heart and in the enlightened consciousness. Something similar is happening in the so-called Mary mysticism, which for example is practiced on Mount Athos in Greece.
This is the foundation of the story of the Holy Grail.
The Sophists (the Grail Sophists in this context), have their own myths. In his book, Cosmic Trigger III - My Life After Death, the above-mentioned Robert Anton Wilson, talks about his researches into The Priory of Sion (in the chapter called: Beneath the Planet of The Priory of Sion). Wilson is in Paris, talking to a certain M. de Selby. De Selby tells him about the book: Jules Verne: Iniate et Iniateur, by Michael Lamy. In the book, Lamy describes The Société Angéliqué. The Société Angéliqué was a group of writers and other scholars which formed around the printer/publisher Sebastian Gryphius in Lyon in the mid 16th century during the "Lyon Renaissance". It is considered to be the antecedent of the more recent literary societies. According to the cryptographer Claude Sosthène Grasset d'Orcet the group employed masonic trappings and adopted an angel's head as their crest.
The Société Angéliqué is purported, by Michel Lamy, to be the secret society behind many esoteric phenomena and movements including the mystery of Rennes-le-Château, the Priory of Sion, and the Thule Society. Lamy indicated that he based his extrapolations about the society on previous work by Grasset d'Orcet. According to Lamy, the society's traditions were disseminated in cryptic form, and he postulated that its membership included all the usual conspiracy theory favourites: Leonardo da Vinci, Alexandre Dumas, père, Guercino, Nicolas Poussin, Dante Alighieri, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jules Verne and others.
In the book, Cosmic Trigger III, Wilson writes, in a typical postmodernist, Anti-Christian way (especially anti-Catholic way):
According to my notes, Lamy spends a lot of time discussing the origins of the vampire legend in general and noting curious parallels between Christ and Dracula: especially the details of rising from the grave and instituting cannibalistic rituals - only symbolic cannibalism in the Christ case, according to Protestants, but real cannibalism disguised as symbolic cannibalism, according to Catholic. (It depends on whether you believe the bread literally turns into the flesh of the dead Jew. Catholic dogma claims it does) - (page 150)
Wilson has, as a postmodernist, no sense, or accept, of the mystical practice of the Eucharist symbol. The only "mystical" experiences, accepted by Wilson, are experiences generated by psychedelics.
Overall, in Coppola´s masterpiece, the parallels with Dracula and the Passion of the Christ, is a red thread. In the last lines of my book, Lucifer Morningstar, I write, with a reference to the last scene in the movie:
"In the chapel where he renounced God, Dracula lies dying in an ancient demonic form. He says:
"'Where is my God? He has forsaken me. It is finished' (again a reference to the Passion of Christ).
"Mina: [narrating] 'There, in the presence of God, I understood at last how love could release us all from the power of darkness. Our love is stronger than death.'
"They share a kiss as the candles adorning the chapel light up and the cross repairs itself. Dracula turns back to his younger self, and says:
"'Give me peace.'
"Mina thrusts the knife through his heart and as he finally dies, the mark on her forehead disappears as Dracula's curse is lifted. She decapitates him and gazes up at the fresco of Vlad and Elisabeta ascending to Heaven together, reunited at long last" (page 142).
I will, in coming texts, go much more into all of the above.
Now, finally, let´s return to the beginning of the Kali Yuga, which also is the beginning of the Godgame (or spiritual war, if you want).
The Morning of the Magicians is a 1960 book by the journalists Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier. Often referenced by conspiracy-theory enthusiasts and those interested in the occult, it presents a collection of "raw material for speculation of the most outlandish order", covering topics like cryptohistory, ufology, occultism in Nazism, alchemy and spiritual philosophy.
The book is in my view a Gatekeeper in style with the counterculture. It was namely a hippie cult book. Paulo Coelho mentions it in his wonderful book, Hippie, and says that it said the direct opposite of what was the mainstream; that there exists a world which consists of incredible interesting things; that there exist alchemists, magicians, cathars, knights templars. The hippies went out on their hippie trails in order to find all this. Personally, I´m in complete harmony with this, despite that I have developed a critical attitude to the more dark and extrem sides of the counterculture.
It is in The morning of the Magicians you can find a reference to the concept of the "Nine Unknown Men".
The Nine Unknown is a 1923 novel by Talbot Mundy. Originally serialized in Adventure magazine, it concerns the Nine Unknown Men, a secret society founded by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka around 270 BC to preserve and develop knowledge that would be dangerous to humanity if it fell into the wrong hands. In other words: the oldest secret society in human history. The nine unknown men were entrusted with guarding nine books of secret knowledge.
In the novel the nine men are the embodiment of good and face up against nine Kali worshippers, who sow confusion and masquerade as the true sages. The story surrounds a priest called Father Cyprian who is in possession of the books but who wants to destroy them out of Christian piety, and a number of other characters who are interested in learning their contents.
In The Morning of the Magicians, Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier claimed that the Nine Unknown were real and had been founded by the Indian Emperor Ashoka. They also claimed that Pope Silvester II had met them and that nineteenth-century French colonial administrator and writer Louis Jacolliot insisted on their existence.
The Nine Unknown were also the final dedicatees mentioned in the dedication of the first edition of Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible in 1969 (which just is an atheist stunt, not a real satanic book).
The number nine is important in the American television series Heroes. Series writers and producers Aron Coliete and Joe Pakaski have credited the story of Ashoka and The Nine Unknown Men as one of the many influences for the series and as a clue to the mystery surrounding the number.
The number nine is also central in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship consists of nine members, also called the Nine Walkers. And, the Nazgül consists of nine ringwraiths, noble men corrupted by Sauron. As mentioned: I believe you can, in many pop culture topics, see signs of the abstract philosophies behind the Godgame.
The whole thing with the Nine Unknown is again accentuated by the above-mentioned paradoxes. For example, is the Kali worshippers in the book worshippers of the demon Kali (evil), or the Goddess Kali (a fighter of evil)? In the Wikipedia article on the Nine Unknown, there is a link to the goddess Kali, when referring to the “Kali worshippers” in the book. However, the Kali worshippers are, in the book, depicted as evil, and the Nine Unknown Men as good.
What is the Nine Books about? Again, the paradox continues. I his article, The Secret Nine of Ashoka, Nilay Nishit writes:
Undetected to the western world for two centuries and even before the legends of the world famous “Priory of Sion”, “Opus Dei” and the “Illuminati” would start, there existed a secret society in India, today known as “The Secret Society of Nine Unknown Men”. This clandestine organization, as the name suggests, was a secret and elite group of nine great and powerful people, and is said to be established by one of the most significant emperors of India, Ashoka the Great.
This society remained unknown until 1923, when Talbot Mundy, wrote a novel named “Nine Unknown Men” concerning the same society, claiming that it was founded by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, around 270 B.C. to protect an advanced knowledge that would be a danger for humanity if it fell into the wrong hands. The nine unknown men were entrusted with guarding nine books of secret knowledge. As Talbot says on, ‘The Nine Books’ were of the following subjects: –
Is the Nine Unknown Men, who have written these books, good or evil? Sophists would say good, philosophers would say evil. The books namely seem to be about, certainly not philosophy, but sophistic techniques, black magic and the beginnings of scientism, pseudoscience, reductionism and postmodernism; in other words: The Matrix Conspiracy!
The "knowledge" contained in the books, should be protected against falling in the wrong hands. Is the wrong hands those who will refute it: the philosophers? Is the right hands the sophists?
Do you want to play The Right Hand of Darkness, or do you want to play the Left Hand of Darkness?
As I write in the end of "The Devil´s Preface" to my book Lucifer Morningstar - A Philosophical Love Story:
“Lucifer,” today, is synonymous with the Devil, though it has not always been. The translation of Lucifer means “bringer of light.” It was a reference to the morning star that comes right before the dawn. The “Lu” in “Lucifer” shares with it words like luminous, luminescent, and lumens, all words meaning “light.” If we look at the book of Genesis, the fall of Lucifer is the verbal equivalent of “light-bringing.” And what happens as a result of Lucifer´s fall? Well, we´re all damned, but also, we´re granted knowledge: tremendous knowledge of Good and Evil. In other words, the darkness of our minds is illuminated! I would guess, seen in that light, that the proper name of the Devil is:
So, the ego´s complex is there, it requires a name, it wants voice, time, awareness. If not, it destroys the consciousness and drowns the world in pollution and violence.
Remember: Who killed the Kennedys? When after all it was you and me. The Devil is never doing the evil, he tempts us, etc., but it is us who do the evil (in the same way as his discarnate low-level minions, which just are some lowly imps compared to the arch demon himself). And in every case where Lucifer is accused of temptation, he´s really just imploring humans to act freely rather than submitting always to the will of some kind of authority.
So. maybe it´s yourself you need to look into, when seeking the name of the Devil.
All for now. Well played, my dear reader! Pleased to meet you. Thank you for your sympathy, taste, and well-learned politesse. You are free to go! But you are also free to stay. Make your choice!
Welcome to the Godgame!!!
The Godgame Files (philosophical articles)
Related free Ebooks (where I have outlined my own central philosophical themes):
Lucifer Morningstar - A Philosophical Love Story
Karen Blixen - The Devil´s Mistress (a follow-up to Lucifer Morningstar).
Central "Nightside" books (free PDF versions):
On Archive.org you can read and download most of Kenneth Grant´s books for free (click here). But below are two central books:
Nightside of Eden, by Kenneth Grant
The Magical Revival, by Kenneth Grant (in this book Grant is speculating about a link between Aleister Crowley and the weird fiction of H.P. Lovecraft - also see the Wikipedia link, on this book. I agree with Grant´s idea - that what is ostensibly presented as fiction is often a vehicle masking deeper realities. But in my view these deeper realities are abstract philosophical realities. That´s the whole point in my emphasis on the relation between storytelling and philosophy (see my article, Counseling in the Mythic Forest of Rold), as well as my pop culture files. I for example believe that the above-mentioned battle between anti-realism and philosophical realism, both can be found in fiction as well as in real life. However, when that is said, then there also is a third theme: namely that the spirits come with the masks we provide them with. I have investigated this in my booklet: The Runes of Rold Forest. But, in opposition to modern occult postmodernism (anti-realism/Chaos Magic) , I work with philosophical realism and critical thinking as a tool of discriminating between fact and fiction; see my article: Meditation as an Art of Life. That´s what, in the end, will lead beyond The Godgame).
Necronomicon, by Simon (this book is explaining The Magical Revival in a bit easier way. Also see the Wikipedia link, on this book. A fascinating piece of fiction?).
"Lucifer", from The Grail Tarot
In, The Wildwood Tarot, "The Devil" is called "The Guardian". This fits very well into my own depiction of "Lucifer Morningstar", as a paradoxical character: "The Guardian of the Threshold", a "Trickster", a "Gatekeeper".
See exercise 4, "Investigation of the Shadow", in my article: Meditation as an Art of Life.
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