Would You Care to Trance?


Neurologists do a lot of work studying the brain and the effects of aging and maturity on its function. They don't tend to do much work in the way of consciousness, since the Archonic paradigm that dominates academia and the sciences doesn't allow for the existence of such a thing.

So what I mean to say is that if you feel that the world has become cold, gray, dead, inert, hopeless and meaningless you're not imagining anything at all; the Archontic philosophy that arose in the 18th Century has annihilated all meaningful resistance to its dominance so even the opposition to the ruling class is entirely Archontic; materialist, reductionist, mechanical, dialectic, dead, empty, anti-human.

We live in this William Gibson Reality, only without any of the cool bits. The attack on Sony Pictures was straight out of a Gibson novel (even the hackers' name) and yet another signal that the digital cuttlefish that controls information has a soft white underbelly that can be exploited to deleterious effect (the Cloud hack was an earlier shot across the bow), and the danger only grows.

The Transhumanist movement and the Singulatarian movement have most certainly run out of gas in the past few years, with Singularity prophet Ray Kurzweil getting a day job at Google, but the promise of a mechanistic Nirvana lives on in their hearts. I don't know how much currency it has in the greater culture; it seems that digital trivia and binge drinking (eg.,distraction and oblivion) seem to be the preferred methods of deliverance for the Millennials.

The ubiquity of digital media has made Archontic reality a literal Borgsong, an inescapable static that is rewiring our brains every day (and our DNA, according to some scientists) preparing us for the Skynet Apocalypse that seems nearly inevitable. But at the same time I sense a growing discontent, a silent, simmering dissent that can't even identify itself, its gripes, its goals.

But if you know the psychology of repression, you know that makes it all the more potentially explosive. The Archonic media gives constant voice to their preapproved pseudo-dissenters, not a single one of who challenges the materialist status quo, but human souls are starving and wounded and henceforth unpredictably dangerous.






As Timothy Leary once said we can't understand an interior process until we have an external model. The Archons and their simpering toadies (make no mistake, all of them live in a state of perpetual misery and self-loathing) recoil at the truth of this but the fact is that our Skynet is just an inferior simulacrum of our interior supercomputers and the nonlocal superconsciousness that makes up the Collective Conscious/Unconscious.

This isn't a "belief"on my part, it's a conviction.

Archontic pseudo-reality is all about turning off this signal, using the tired tools of ridicule and pseudo-skepticism. And as it stands, consumer culture keeps people tranquilized enough not to care. But no student of history-- or science-- expects any status quo to remain in place forever.

All drugs-- chemical or digital-- run the risk of tolerance and inefficacy, and we're just one medium-strength solar flare away from the whole system going down for good.

I know entheogens are being talked up again, and I'm encouraged by the serious work being done with them, but I've been working with hypnogogic trance for a number of years now (which I briefly mention in this post) and I'm getting to the point where it's as powerful as any hallucinogen, but seems to more reliably tap into what I can only refer to nonlocal consciousness. 

I can only describe it as a kind of remote viewing in that I'll drift along in that fuzzy stream of semi-consciousness and then find myself in the middle of the ocean or on top of a skyscraper in a stark moment of clarity.

In another time people might have called these moments "astral travel," in that I very often visualize-- with great clarity-- places I've never been or seen before. Whether or not these visions are "real" in an objective sense is immaterial, the point is the experience itself and the effect it has on bridging the conscious and unconscious spheres.


It's not always entirely pleasant in a soft, floaty kind of way, but it's always profound. And it's kicked loose a roadblock on my creative impulses that I've struggled against for several years now, so I can't help but wonder if these moments of shock are helping to rewire my unconscious mind in a way that it has become more accessible to my conscious flow, which is really what hypnogogic trance is all about.

So this form of meditation isn't just for kicks: it's about positive change. I feel like I've turned back the clock on certain sectors of my own neurology, and that's vitally important for someone in my line of work.

How do you do it? It's almost laughably simple, but it requires a lot of experimentation on your part. What you need to do is sustain a state where you are semi-awake, able to access both your conscious and unconscious thoughtstreams. Similar to that state you experience after you've awoken from an afternoon nap.

I use a bunch of pillows to position myself so that I'm comfortable but in no danger of actually falling asleep. I recommend trance/ambient music (SomaFM's Drone Zone is excellent) and any kind of supplements that may relax you (Theanine, Valerian Root, St John's Wort) or maybe a glass of warm milk or tea. Again, you want to be relaxed but you don't want to fall asleep. It's simple but not easy, if you get my meaning.

My single-most played track ever, and
 a very powerful invocation for trance work

The encouraging thing about the process is that in my experience it is accumulative, in that your prior results accumulate and contribute to future results. It's a practice, in other words, not like a drug. It's not really meditation because the point isn't to quiet the mind, the point is to turn up the power of the mind as far as you can handle.

But you're doing something unique in that you're trying to unify the conscious and unconscious, sort of like a computer tapping into a network. It's psychedelic as hell, far more chaotic and nonlinear than dreaming (which is why I scoff at the theories of UFO abduction reports being the result of hypnogogia), and produces the occasional auditory hallucination (bells and tones, usually, but sometimes voices as well). It's gotten so I keep a notepad on my bedstand since interesting little phrases and riddles frequently pop up during the flow.

And it's my experience that there's another network available beyond your own conscious mind, though I'd really have to sit down and catalog the reasons why. I'd rather you experience this for yourself. If you're a willing psychonaut, get ready for a lot of work but also major dividends in the future.

A Return to First Principles

OK, here's where we're going.

Ever since I started this blog, I knew I didn't want to spend the rest of my life doing someone else's laundry. I came into this having published a couple comics series (unfortunately during the bleakest years of the downturn) and having serious interest in a couple screenplays I worked on (one of which was apparently of very serious interest to certain parties, as longtime readers will remember).

I'm a fanboy, I will cop to that without hesitation. But I'm also a creator. For reasons too fraught to explore here, creativity has been a bit of a minefield for me in the past and remains so, but fortunately blogging for seven years has given me the tools to look outside the the snakepit and see the world outside and raid it for inspiration.



I had been toying with the idea of podcasting, but continuing, nagging technical problems (the latest are totally inexplicable issues with our routers that can drop our internet speeds to dialup levels at inopportune times) are now seen as portents.

Plus, there's the whole thing of me not really liking to talk all that much. Some people like to hear their own voices, some people feel the need to be the center of attention where ever they may roam. I always need to take a nap after I do a podcast, classic introvert that I am.


So, here's the thing; I have a script written for what I intend to be the first of three graphic novels. Don't ask how or why, when the Muses strike, you obey. So obviously the next phase of the Secret Sun concept is a return to first principles.

This isn't some vague plan, the script is done. And I've already started on the second volume. Not only is the script written, but I also have the script storyboarded (or thumbnailed, if you prefer). I use film language because I'm pretentious, but also because the storyboards are necessarily the format I'll be using for layouts.


And I use the storyboards to gather reference the way directors use boards to scout locations and the like. I'm also in the casting process (like I said, pretentious), which means I'm going through all my sketchbooks, which are filled with my sketches of random characters and types, and pooling them for the "actors."

Now here's another thing; I didn't intend to do any of this. 

It quite unexpectedly imposed itself on me. I had been planning on working on a new book. I just couldn't figure out a topic compelling enough to write about given the nightmare wasteland that is publishing these days.

The plot and themes are all 100% Secret Sun, and Easter eggs will be laid everywhere. I'm a huge believer in stay-in-your-lane, dance-with-the-one-what-brung-ya. In fact, there's a subplot that's leftover from an X-Files comic pitch I had been kicking around for a while.


Moreover, any kind of disclaiming or journalistic distance or whatever is kicked to the curb here; the whole point is Katie-bar-the-door,  no-holds-barred, no quarter asked or given, but I will be following a modified take on the Ten Thirteen maxim in that it's only as highly weird as it is real.

Now, here's the other kicker: I don't plan on making people wait around for months while I work on this. Ever since I first got online a million years ago (back when 2400bps was state of the art) I dreamed of doing an online comic strip. Now there's a million of them, but in fact I tried to get my first publisher (Sirius, in fact) interested in doing one back in 1995. They couldn't see the point. So I'm consciously formatting the story so it can run here as a strip and then be collected in an album format.


Now, there's a massive caveat and that's my work schedule. I'm in a fallow period now but things could heat up at the drop of a hat. But the gods smile on me; I recently received a call from a friend who I've been trying for years to get to work with me and he told me he's ready when I am.

To say I was happy to hear this news is like saying Obama and Holder are a tad hypocritical about the militarization of civilian police. So, a lot of pressure is taken off my shoulders- I finally have a drop-dead pro to watch my back with my freelance work.

In the meantime, I plan on curating some "classic" Secret Sun pieces until I have new strips to post (and probably concurrent with them as well). Not to be immodest, but I'm pretty stunned by the depth of material on this blog, and I think many of you will be as well. Now I can return to my original ambition- to be the Alan Moore who draws his own material....

So stay tuned...

UPDATE: Just did a page count- 72 pages. I began shooting for 48.


Hallmarks of Our Modern Myths, Part III


MAGIC AND THE OCCULT SCIENCES

Another aspect of these films is the glorification of magic and the occult sciences. This idea extends to the speculative forms of empirical science we see regularly in these myths. Indeed, Arthur C. Clarke once famously wrote that science in a sufficiently advanced form is indistinguishable from magic. 

Supernatural magic is the basis of most of modern myths. Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey are ostensibly science fiction, but Star Trek regularly dealt with paranormal concepts like psychic phenomena (and warp drive as it's portrayed is arguably magical), and the Monoliths have no basis in science. 

Neither do the powers of Solaris, which are similar in nature to those of the Monoliths. There is the barest shred of scientific rationalism ascribed to the happenings in Cocoon, The Matrix and Eternal Sunshine, but for all intents and purposes what is being depicted is magic.


Magic and the paranormal are taken for granted in the Dune and Star Wars stories, in the forms of ‘the Force’ and the ‘Weirding Ways’. These same powers are given to John Murdock in Dark City. Magicians are seen as the guardians of all that is good in The Lion King and the Harry Potter movies. 

The occult-minded Templars and Freemasons are depicted as the unsung heroes of  American democracy in National Treasure and the various Dan Brown block blockbusters. And every  wacked-out paranormal, occult, magical, supernatural and religious idea that ever existed has found its way into The X-Files at one point or another.



COLONIZATION

Implicit  in many of these stories is a colonialist agenda, particularly in the space operas.  As mentioned before, the mission of the USS Enterprise is essentially colonial. The goal is to absorb foreign planets into the socialist military dictatorship of the Federation, an obvious analog of Globalism. 

This is also the mission of the various space agencies in 2001, Mission to Mars, Red Planet and Solaris


However, colonization is often differentiated from conquest here. Most of these films do not present invasion and submission as virtuous or desirable. Military action is usually and perhaps disingenuously depicted as defensive when undertaken by the protagonists of these stories. 


In Star Trek, the peaceful means of the Federation are deliberately contrasted by alien races like the Borg and the Dominion. But at the same time the weltanschuang of the stories is one of liberty and virtue being under constant threat, a mindset neoconservatives  have appropriated from the movies to justify their doctrine of endless, ‘preemptive’ war.




Star Trek and Independence Day also explicitly champion the idea of a neoliberal variety of Globalism. Star Trek presents the planet Earth as ruled by a single entity, and the creation of such is an unspoken subtext in Independence Day as well. Star Wars and Dune both present a universal ruling body, similar in many ways to the Federation in Star Trek.

Alien colonization, malign or otherwise, is also the main source of dramatic conflict in 2001, Cocoon, The X-Files, Independence Day, Dagon and Solaris. In the latter two films, the audience is made to identify with this alien colonization as a participant through the viewer’s natural identification with Paul Marsh and Chris Kelvin. 

Of course, this makes perfect sense in the context of the Modern Myths when one decodes what Dagon and Solaris actually represent.