We are that which is breathing;

not that which is breathed into being.

I often think about this as a way to conceive of meditation in the mystical sense.

The breath is the thing — the prime mover. The meat that forms around it and generates the electrical impulses that form sensation, thoughts, and the construct of self, are mere by-products of the breath, which is a function of a kind of will exterior to consciousness.

I have found that this thought experiment (or it it, perhaps, a fundamental truth of existence?) helps facilitate achievement of the meditative state.

Insights, inspiration, and discussion are encouraged and appreciated in the comments below.

Please consider sharing using the social media buttons provided.

Read Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Liches, Leucrotta, Love, & Loss

Chapter 18

“It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but retire a little from sight and afterwards return again.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Realm of Dreams
Jotunheim Intersection
Sanctuary Rim
1984 AD SR

A giant, lifeless world of nought but rock and ice, the planet called Jotunheim takes 22,000 years to traverse its long ellipse that stretches far out beyond the warmth of yellow Sol.

It would be 10,000 years before Jotunheim would return from the distant apex of its path around the sun to again cross the asteroid belt that marks Sanctuary Rim: the event horizon that separated the quaint magicless realm from the bedlam of the wider sorcerous multiverse where the probability fields at the foundation of reality can be accessed by consciousness. The intersection of the orbit of Jotunheim and the event horizon of Sanctuary was called the Jotunheim intersection: a weak point exploited by the chaos-fuelled entrolopers who lay relentless siege upon Santuary Rim as it manifested within the realm of dreams.

Peregrinus-Sherle floated between two enormous asteroids and looked back toward the hundred-and-forty-four soldiers in her command. Some crouched on asteroids others floated in the space between the shattered rocks that had once been the planet Tiamat. As was sometimes the case, the waveform signatures of physical matter stretched into the proximal planes as well. The asteroids of Sanctuary Rim were just as substantial here in the dream realm, as they were in the physical reality the dream warriors assembled here would know in their waking lives.

The dizzying assortment of sizes and forms, colours and manners of dress and arms of the assemblage of warriors was typical of a legion of the Morphean Guard: the subconscious heroic self-images of sleeping consciousnesses from the worlds within the circle of Sanctuary: the defenders of the border between the grace of the magicless realm and the dark anarchical force that would have that peace fall to the chaos of the beyond.

Peregrinus-Sherle drew the falcon sword and it cried the falcon’s cry as the razor sharp blade rode the metal lip of the scabbard. Sound was possible in the indigo space of the dream realm.

“They come now sleepers! In all the manifestations I am told, and in the usual number!” Her voice rang clear in the ears of her troops.

“But no matter, that,” she held her sword high above her head in a gesture of defiance. “For before we are lost to wakefulness, there will be none!”

The troops roared then. “For Sancturary!” And it was precisely in that moment they felt the knotting in the stomach that indicates the approach of the denizens of chaos most vile and fell, churning into being beyond the event horizon of The Rim.

“With haste!” Peregrinus-Sherle turned to face enemies yet to appear, and by force of will alone shot herself beyond the asteroid belt and across Sanctuary Rim into magical space. She knew from experience, and by the cacophony of bellowing voices at her back that her troops followed.

Some of the dream warriors were of elephantine proportions, others were as small as insects; they wore, some of them, the form of flora, some of them, of fauna. Many were combinations of both. Most, but not all, were humanoid in appearance and all were regaled and outfitted for battle with kit spanning the cultures and eras of all of the four worlds of Sancturary.

Peregrinus-Sherle’s eyes widened. Now, where there had been nought but space and floating rock, a barren landscape faded into the ephemeral reality of the dream realm. It was always this way. Always, a world emerged beneath the floating warriors. She looked down to see her companions setting down on what would be their battleground: a consensual manifestation of a subconscious need for substantial footing shared by the dream warriors and the spectral spawn that would begin appearing any moment now.

From her vantage point in the sky above the strange, bleak wasteland that had solidified hundreds of feet beneath her she felt a static cracking in the air behind her. Mouthers! She thought – probably suspended in the sky by some construct conjured by liches yet to appear.

“Nimbus Gamma!” she roared. Instantly, any of the dream warriors capable of flight sounded subsequent commands and took to the air in the direction where she had detected the energy.

On the ground, she saw leucrotta and bugbears emerging from vortices to confront her troops.

Keeping her eyes on the area where the aerial troops now hovered, she felt the energy she had sensed at her back intensifying and her fist tightened on the falcon sword. Its purple eyes sprung open.

She had been correct. Fully materialized now, in direct proximity to the event horizon of Sanctuary Rim, the vile mouthers – amorphous gelatinous masses of salivating, mewling, screaming mouths of all colours, sizes and varieties – began gnawing at the unseen border between magicless and magical spacetime. They were suspended on a translucent, pea-soup-green skyscape she was now sure from the colour was being conjured by liches.

Then, triggered by a crackling of energy and a sick heat on the back of her neck, she spun and in an upward diagonal movement brought the screeching falcon sword across the face of the beholder that had appeared immediately behind her. A gash opened across the floating, eye-filled orb. Foul gore followed the arc of her blade and the dead husk began its descent to the surface below.

Always, invariably, there were mouthers, beholders, bugbears, leucrotta, and liches. The numbers of each varied with each attack, as did their tactics, but always there were only these five creatures.

To the Pentarchy it was known that the entrolopers were the dark fantasies of the one who had become Abraxas made manifest from a wave of chaos energy that traveled back through time from the moment of the Abraxas’s defeat in the future. The Five had postulated that they were embodiments of repressed frustrations from the dark recesses of the mind of a teenage Earther.

Called the Abraxas Wave, it had first appeared 8000 years in the past shortly after the time in which the Pentarchy had hidden the Grimoire. It was theorized that the phenomenon – a final desperate salvo from the subconscious mind of the failed Abraxas – had been drawn, as to a beacon, to the time in which the Grimoire was hidden from the moment 3000 years in the future when the Abraxas would fall.

For the 8000 years then, up to the present moment, the entrolopers had laid siege to Sanctuary Rim in the dream realm. And for 8000 years, the Morphean Guard, the constructs of the sleeping consciousnesses of beings within the magicless realm had defended the sanctity of sacred Sanctuary.

She saw the first of the liches then. Mounted upon a spectral wyvern it had conjured, it turned its gaze upon her. Somehow even in the hollow sockets of the skull that was its head under its tall hat she could see nought but raging madness. And though, after so many times looking into those eyes she had learned to confront them fearlessly, in this moment she felt terror. On the fringes of her vision she sensed red lights – flashing. Then blue. Then the red and blue lights were alternating and the din of the battle far below, and all about her now in the air, faded.

Somewhere deep inside, she heard again the words she had sworn to recall in that alien, waking life unknown to her.

“When Nick is gone. Andy will know what to do.”

Then the battle receded completely from her awareness and the red and blue lights were all there was in the mind of Peregrinus-Sherle.

Home of Andy Crowley
Corbyville,
Sanctuary,
1984 AD SR

The rec room where they had fallen asleep was bathed alternately in red and blue light that flashed through the small window at the top of the wall facing the driveway. At first, Deb was not startled by it. The needle on the turntable clacked gently against the end of side two of Hemispheres by Rush. She saw the LPs strewn across the coffee table and a glow came into her heart.

Then, she felt confused. A feeling that she had been doing something important was with her and then gone. What were the flashing lights?

As her focus came into the room she saw her hand resting on the denim of Andy’s torn jeans. Her head was in his lap and his hand was in her hair. They had fallen asleep. Then she remembered, and for a moment, before the panic would set in, she was completely content.

Andy had told her he knew they were meant to be together and that he knew she had always known this too. He had told her he was sorry it had taken him so long to act on his feelings and had said that now that things were as they should be, they would never be any different.

And they had kissed. Really kissed – in the way she always knew they one day would.

She sat up now and looked at him. His head was back and twisted awkwardly. His mouth was wide open and his straw-coloured hair was all over the place. For just a moment, Deb let the love she felt fill her completely. But, just as the bliss seeing Andy had replaced the confusion of awakening, the alternating red and blue on Andy’s face was now drawing a deep dread up into her awareness.

Police? Ambulance? One or the other was in the driveway.

Then she remembered Nick’s driveway was adjacent to Andy’s and her stomach turned over with genuine terror.

“Andy!” She pushed his shoulder hard.

He smiled at her until he saw the look on her face, which caused him to sit up straight. When he saw the lights of the sirens reflected on her face his head snapped to the window.

“Nick.” He whispered to himself. It was a statement: a certainty.

“Something’s wrong, Andy,” Deb was on the verge of tears. Andy was surprised. There were a million reasons fro the police to be there. Why was Deb so upset?

“I had a dream that something would happen to him.” She said it with a certainty that unnerved him.

“What?” Andy’s mind raced. He looked hard and deep into Deb’s eyes then, looking for something that would tell him what she meant. He saw nothing there but fear.

He ran his fingers across her cheek and held her face gently. “Let’s go see what’s going on.” His voice was a calm, controlled attempt to comfort her. He would figure out what she meant by what she said about her dream later.

Hand-in-hand they topped the stairs and made their way through the kitchen. The interior door to the porch was open and Andy knew his parent’s were outside. He felt his heart in his throat and the mystical awareness that would never leave him despite his retirement from sorcery sensed anguish everywhere.

Through the screen door he heard his father talking to the police – always, he was the level head: the disciplined soldier who got cooler the hotter things got. Andy could see Nick’s dad now. He was standing staring blankly at Gail, Nick’s mother. She was sobbing and Joan Crowley was holding her.

“Nick didn’t come home last night.” Andy heard his mother’s voice from earlier in the day repeating the words in his head. And in that instant a new reality formed concretely in his mind: Nick was never coming home again.

Thinking of Nick’s parents then, he stopped hard at the screen door.

Despite the emotions just beginning to form in his own mind, he knew that him and Deb diving into the sea of emotional chaos on the other side of that door would only intensify the trauma for everyone. Andy pulled Deb close to him and held her tight.

“Something’s happened to Nick,” he whispered. “He’s gone.”

Surprisingly, Deb did not cry out; she was not even sobbing. Andy knew she loved Nick as much as he did. The three of them had been friends since before they could even use words. Her head was pressed into his chest under his chin and he could sense that she was staring motionlessly, silently, into oblivion.

He looked through the screen and saw his father’s head turn. Andy had never such despair in his face. Their eye’s locked and welled with tears in the same moment. Later that night, he would be the one to tell Andy and Deb that Nick had fallen near the flat rocks last night and drowned.

 As though she felt Andy’s pain emerge within him, it was then that Deb finally began sobbing. Instinctively Andy pulled her even closer. If he could have, he would have pulled her completely into himself, as though somehow that would make her safe from the pain.

“The silver girl told me he was going to die,” she whispered almost as much to herself as to Andy.

Deep in Andy’s mind, beneath the avalanche of grief that was building but had not yet arrived, ideas connected and a pale spark of recognition formed. In less than a moment, it flickered into anger.

The silver girl? His question did not form as words. Rather it came to Deb as a tightening of his hold on her and a subtle backward movement of his chin on her head.

“She said you would know what to do,” Deb whispered.

Andy fought to keep his voice down. “I don’t know what you mean Deb. I don’t know what to do. What dreams? What girl?” His jaw clenched and his nostrils flared. He inhaled deeply, knowing he had to remain calm.

And then, though none could have noticed in the flashing red and blue of the police lights – a dim tinge of green light rose within his forehead as his third eye opened wide.

And though he was on Sanctuary, where it should not have been possible, that seat of his sorcerous power blazed out onto the planes beyond like an eldritch beacon.

”Jasco,” Deb whispered. “She said this would happen. She said you knew what to do.”

Andy had known that she was going to say the banshee’s name.

So then, on the very day he had promised himself he would never use magic again, he accepted that he had lied to himself. And on the very night he had promised his heart to another, he accepted also, that he had lied to the one he wanted to be with forever.

Finally, the avalanche came. And though he knew more of the true nature of death than perhaps any other Earther, grief came upon Ancaster Crowley, for he would miss his friend, and the pain was the selfish pain of imagining his life as it was never supposed to be: without Nick in it.

For Nick’s parents, for his parent’s, for Deb, and for himself, Andy’s tears flowed then.

And in the hurricane of empathy, and loss, and confusion of a future suddenly completely, fundamentally different, there was another emotion as well – and were it not for the discipline of his highly trained mind that emotion would have broken through its restraints and consumed all the others.

He wiped his tears in Debs hair and summoned all the strength he had…

…for he did not want her to sense his fury.

To be continued in Chapter 19

Insights, inspiration, and discussion are encouraged and appreciated in the comments below.

Please consider sharing using the social media buttons provided.

Read Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

 

Zeus at Gichigami, the Banshee’s Plan, Cronos and The Banjoman

Chapter 17

“Like the grasses showing tender faces to each other, thus should we be, for this was the wish of the Grandfathers of the World.”

~ Black Elk

Anishinaabe Sweat Lodge
Gichigami
1984 AD SR

Torus Phi, director of the Olympian Clandestine Colonization and Acquisition Marshals (OCCAM) was one of the most renowned strategic and mathematical minds in the multiverse. As such, he was capable of doing his job in his head from anywhere. Sometimes this was a beneficial trait. Other times, a liability.

In the present moment, as he shivered by a crackling fire in the hinterland off the coast of the great celestial lake Gichigami, he was inclined to think of his occupational mobility as the latter.

Having become lightheaded from exhaling more air than he inhaled in an attempt to avoid poisoning himself on what he thought to be the toxic campfire smoke, it was a wonder he had been capable of compiling his evening intelligence briefing for Emperor Zeus.

Dizzily, he rose to his feet and absentmindedly sniffed the shoulder of his glowing white Olympian military tunic. Just as he expected, it reeked of the awful smoke of the burning alien wood. Turning his head, he snorting all the mucous he could into his mouth – and spat into the carpet of pine needles at his feet.

Well, he thought to himself. At least once the Emperor hears my report, we will be leaving this nightmare of a place.

Somewhere in a starry sky more silent than anything Torus Phi had ever experienced before, an eagle cried and was answered by a howling wolf.

How the Emperor thought he would find the answers to anything amongst such wild, primitive savagery he could not fathom. This had to have been Hera’s idea.

The sooner this is over the better, he thought as he trudged in his knee-high black boots toward the sweat lodge of the one Zeus had called the Fifth Grandfather, where ostensibly, the Emperor was learning of something he had called Dabaadendiziwin. Phi remembered that the word meant the intrinsic humility of being or something like that. He shook his head and laughed to himself.

I look forward to seeing how ‘humble’ his response to intelligence indicating Ares has met with Lucifer will be.

Then, forcing the grin from his face, pressing his shoulder blades back and tugging his tunic into proper position, Torus Phi opened the door to the lodge.

Against the steaming heat of the place he announced himself and walked forward. Sweat was already dripping into his eyes. Cursing to himself, Torus Phi blinked it away until, through the steam, he saw the enormous wolf Zeus had come to see. Beside the wolf sat his liege, the fabled emperor of Olympus: once, a tall, athletic, bearded man said to be the most classically handsome of all men anywhere, he was now a black-furred silverback gorilla of unnatural size. He reclined against the sticks and animal skins of the wall, sweating contentedly in the oppressive heat.

“Phi!” Zeus roared enthusiastically. His gorilla physiology had amplified the thunderous impact of his legendarily powerful voice. “Disrobe man! Join us! There is an abundance of wisdom to be had here. By the Grandfather’s grace, I would not have you miss out.” The gorilla turned to the wolf, whose kind, patient eyes regarded Torus as he stood sweating.

“Commander Phi could use a heaping dose of Daba… Dabdxada… err, humility!” Zeus said to the wolf and Phi noticed that the emperor made to slap the wolf on the shoulder as he said it, but restrained himself at the last moment.

“Yes sire.” Without showing his embarrassment for his master’s uncouth demeanour and the mangling of this foreigner’s language (he was more than accustomed to that by now), Torus Phi began to undress.

“But first! Zeus said. “What news of the realm have ye?”

Torus Phi, thought about how in how in mere moments he would transform this uncharacteristic calm the Emperor was enjoying into one of the arrogant, raging tantrums he was infamous for, and knowing his face was hidden as he bent to remove his boots, he celebrated what was about to transpire with a secret smirk.

“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion; in order to serve men better, one has to hold them at a distance for a time.”

~ Albert Camus

The brandy had not helped Jasco sleep, and so, though she lay in her berth on the Lady Anuket, she sat now in Sisyphus’s diner on the astral plane.

“He’s happy! He’s in love! He has his whole life ahead of him!” She said it with genuine distress and Sisyphus was moved by the rare emotion the reaper conveyed. He didn’t say anything. He knew it was she who needed to do the talking.

“I have no choice in all this, Sisyphus.” She said it as a plea for his acceptance. “So much is at stake. That is all I can tell you. But even knowing I must do these things — that I have no choice — I cannot help but feel that the cost is too high! What I have done may destroy Deborah’s sanity. Nicholas dying will only make it worse. How can I be a part of these terrible things?  The banshee buried her face in her hands and said, “As above, so below. Yes! But also – as below, so above! No?”

“I knew you needed to talk about this when you brought Andy here.” The Olympian had stopped tidying behind the counter and pulled a stool out from under it to sit down.

“I sensed the latent power of his sorcery, Jasco.” Sisyphus tried to look into the reaper’s eyes but her head was still down. “How is it possible for a native of Sanctuary to possess such sorcery – or to access any sorcery at all for that matter?”

“That, I can tell you, is a mystery to all,” Jasco said. She had collected herself somewhat and was now looking into her glass. She was embarrassed and not accustomed to so openly sharing her feelings as she had done.

There was a long pause as both reflected on the strangeness of recent events.

It was Sisyphus who broke the silence. His voice was gentle.

“That he is from Sanctuary, and potentially a sorcerer, means he is a variable in the cosmic balance of power. That he be properly managed then is essential.” The Olympian moved his head in an attempt to incite Jasco to meet his eyes. When their eyes met and held he continued.

“I hope you are not here asking one doomed to push a rock up a hill for all of time for a dissertation on ends justifying means?”

A look of guilt came across Jasco’s face then. “No, Sisyphus, I …”

Sisyphus interrupted her. “No Jasco! The pointlessness of my existence is exactly the point!” There was a smile in his eyes.

The reaper resolved to listen – to let the Olympian finish what he had to say.

“I was cursed to an eternal act of futility precisely because of my ability and willingness to intervene as an agent for change, for justice, for what I believed was the right thing to do. Just like Prometheus did, only I was never forgiven.

He paused, and appeared for a moment more forlorn than Jasco had ever seen him before. Then in a voice that cracked, perhaps with anguish, perhaps with rage, Sisyphus said, “I know better than any the high price of championing a cause and of I could go back and live those days again – even knowing what ceaseless agony awaited me – I would not hesitate to do the wrong thing for the right reason again. Given the chance to change what happened Jasco, even knowing the torture and humiliation Zeus had in mind, it would end yet again with me pushing this accursed rock.”

Jasco reached across the counter and put her small pale hand upon his, which was large and golden with Olympian aether. She thought then of the silver moon of Fey and the golden sun of Olympus, and in that moment a sense of the balance of things came to her.

She searched for something comforting to say, but the Olympian spoke before she could find it.

“Considering all the things you’ve seen in all your years – all the mourning and heartbreak you have witnessed as a collector of souls, it is a marvel to me that you fret so over the broken heart of a child of Sanctuary.” Sisyphus’s eyes squinted and his head shook to convey confusion.

Hearts,” Jasco said, kindly emphasizing the plural. “When next I meet Andy, how do I broach the death of his friend? “How do I explain how Deborah knew it would happen? What of Nicholas’s family? What of Andy’s? Do I tell Andy it was me who planted the message in Deborah’s dreams? Oh, How furious he will be!”

“You forget that Nicholas was fated to die, Jasco” Sisyphus said it matter-of-factly. “Much of the suffering in these events is not related at all to your part in this. All you have done is whisper the truth of an inevitable tragedy in Deborah’s ear. As for Master Crowley leaving Sanctuary, Deborah, and his life there, that is something he will do – not you.”

“You see all so clearly, Sisyphus.”

“I have the distance and the time for as much,” said the Olympian, without completely hiding his sadness as he said it.

“I am not sure Andy will see it all the way you have described. That is the challenge that remains to me. How do I get him through the anger he will doubtless feel for all this meddling in his affairs and the affairs of those he loves — all while the pain of his Nick’s death is still new.”

“The curse is the blessing. The blessing, the curse.” The Olympian said it proudly, as though he had not only crafted this cryptic truth – but knew it and owned it completely.

Jasco recalled many conversations they had share about how he viewed Zeus’s punishment for him as the blessing that had delivered him to the life he enjoyed now as a restaurateur in the quiet realm.

“Nicholas’s death is not your obstacle here, Jasco. It is your opportunity.” He leaned toward her as he said it, and enjoyed the twinkle of realization he saw ignite in the banshee’s eyes.

“There is an obvious play here,” he continued. “A way to convince the lad to meet with Cormac Kilroy. He winked at her. You are a reaper, Jasco. Even better – a renegade one, with no fealty to any house! You can offer him something few others in all of reality can.”

The Olympian paused to see if she would grasp the plan he was laying out for her.

He enjoyed watching her search her thoughts for what he was implying, then, unable to help himself, he continued.

“Osiris, Balder, Persephone, Lazarus, it has been done more than once before.”

Her eyes widened suddenly and the silver glow of the Fey-fire surged into her face.

“Yes, she was a reaper!” The solution exploded across her mind. “Of course! It had taken the quiet, detached reasoning of Sisyphus to make her see this, for hope was not an obvious weapon in the arsenal of one whose vocation was the collection of souls – verily, a herald of hopelessness.”

Nicholas would drown in the river, his proper fate unfolding in accordance with what the Pharaoh had heard from the Norns. She could tell Andy the truth of this. This was not deception or duplicity. The message she had imparted to Deborah in the dream realm that Nicholas would die and that Andy would know what to do when he did had been an unfortunate necessity. It was required to convince him that what he had experienced beyond, that all that had happened on the astral plane had not been a dream or a trick of his mind.

All of it, though unfortunate, was necessitated by the pressing need – the multiverse’s need – to have him meet with Kilroy, and in so doing, come to understand his sorcerous potential and his essential role in the salvation of reality itself.

She would make it clear that she had not caused the death of his friend, but had been forced by his unwillingness to work with them to send the message through Deborah to ensure he knew what had happened was real. She knew he would be angry, yes. Any reasonable person would be. But the solution to overcoming his anger would be that which Sisyphus had just now proposed.

“You brilliant devil! No wonder even fearless Emperor of Olympus feared you so!”

She was the renegade reaper, Jasco of Fey, banshee liege of the dread dullahan: a harvester of souls: a veritable scholar of the mechanics, rules and geography of death.

She would tell Andy that, though she had no part in his friend’s dying, that she could find Nick’s soul — and that she could resurrect him.

And in that moment, knowing full well what it would cost her to do this forbidden thing, she fully intended to keep that promise.

A wide smile came upon her face, and to both Jasco and Sisyphus it seemed she had resolved to accept all the things she had done – and the things she had yet to do.

Her bright eyes, which had been darting here and there in that way they do when one is formulating a notion in the mind, came to rest then upon Sisyphus’s, and without a word both knew a corner had been turned and a course in reality had been set.

Sisyphus slapped the counter causing two shot glasses to appear. She knew by their licorice scent, that this would be a toast to mark a void that had become a notion, that in turn and time, for good or ill, would become a reality.

With only his eyes, Sisyphus affirmed this much. And with his mouth he said, “May Apollo’s golden light guild the souls of Master Nicholas, and Mistress Deborah. Though they may know not their part in great and noble undertakings – it is enough that we know!”

The banshee and the Olympian smiled as they clinked their glasses together. Before they drank, the Sisyphus completed the toast, “and may a balance of the wisdom of Athena and the cunning of Hera find realization in the fine mind of perplexing Master Ancaster Crowley, Sole Sorcerer of Sancturary!”

The ouzo warmed the banshee’s heart in more ways than one.

“On to practical matters then!” Boisterously, Sisyphus slammed his glass down.

“I have no doubt that the scale, and perhaps also the significance the caper you’ve involved yourself in are unprecedented.” His face took on a nostalgic caste. Jasco wondered at what he was about to say.

“Much transpires in Sanctuary of late, Jasco. And I speak of much larger things than your dalliances with Earthers on the proximal planes.” Jasco fidgeted nervously on her stool. On many occasions before, Sisyphus had warned her that her interactions with Earthers in the realm of dreams and on the astral plane came dangerously close to being violations of the Eden Edict – the sacred rule of non-interference in the lives of Earthers. Reapers were permitted to collect the souls of the dying. Nothing more. Like everyone else, they were bound by the Binary Proclamation.

“Of what do you speak?” She leaned in, her eyes wide. With a thought, a fresh whisky materialized in her hand.

“I have long feared you would come to pay a dear price for your adventures in the proximal planes: that the Knights of Oblivion would hold you to account for what they deem a violation of the Edict. Indeed, when first you told me of what transpired with Leraje, I wondered if she was not an agent of the Knights.”

Jasco shuddered visibly at the mention of the demon’s name.

“If you think they would keep such company, then you hold the Knights in far less esteem than do I.” Jasco drained her glass.

“I do not think the marquis Leraje sought you at their behest. Far from it Jasco.” I believe you flit about the fringe of Sanctuary with impunity – and that you have enjoyed the rather-too-conveniently averted attentions of not only the Knights of Oblivion, but dare I say, also of The Five as well.”

A measure of the silver light in Jasco’s countenance faded away. Her eyes widened and her jaw clenched.

“Why do you say this?”

A satisfied look rose within Sisyphus’s handsome face.

“On occasion, as you know, I must return to my physical form in the prison in Olympus Mons.” Jasco nodded eagerly, curious to know where this was going.

“In the brief instant during which my astral body returns to or departs from my cell, I relish a glimpse of the only two beings I have seen in the physical realm for eons. Call it checking in on my friends.” He smiled at his joke, but Jasco saw the deep sadness in his eyes.

“Just two days past now, in that instant of transition, I glimpsed a sight bittersweet to me, for one I have known a moment-at-a-time every day for ten eons past was no longer in his cell.”

Jasco was in awe. Questions filled her mind, but her mouth in that moment was incapable of forming words.

“Loki remained as always in his cell, Jasco…”

Sisyphus’s face was radiant in and Jasco saw that all the sadness had left it. Only a childlike exuberance remained. Joy for a friend’s newfound freedom.

“… but Cronos was gone. And by the nature of the ragged hole I saw in the floor, I would say he was assisted in his leaving.”

“Yes indeed, Jasco of Fey, reaper of no realm, much transpires of late in Sanctuary. Too much I think to go unnoticed by the Pentarchy. I am not certain, old friend – and do not take this as an invitation to succumb to carelessness – but I think you have cause to go forth boldly with confidence in the decisions you have made here…”

The legendary, tortured philosopher of Olympus seemed not tortured at all in that moment, and Jasco took comfort in his relaxed manner.

“…for it appears to me you just may have friends in the highest of places.”

The Banjoman knelt beside Nexusa’s enormous head and whispered into her ear.

“Rest yet ancient one. We have many hours still to travel and your strength shall return as we approach the core.” He stroked her neck gently.

Cronos stood on the platform and watched the Lord of Limbo and the warmole. After what was likely the longest prison sentence ever served by any living being, everything was as a miracle to him now. For so long, he had processed no more than the four walls of his cell. His eyes were wide as saucers and the grin never left his face.

Turning on the platform and shifting his perception of time, he slowed the passage of the walls that hurtled upward toward the dark point now miles above them. For him sensation of the platform plummeting smoothly toward Mars’s core ceased almost completely.

Letters, magic circles, hieroglyphs, runes, and numbers of every culture he had known, and some he had not, were carved with remarkable precision into the circular shaft that encompassed the platform. Part of a long spiraling pattern, the markings wound round and round a remarkable distance that stretched from the tip of an inverted pyramid buried beneath Mars’s service down into the archaic realization engines at the red planet’s core.

Cronos marvelled at the scale of the undertaking. Even as the platform dropped at what he guessed was Martian terminal velocity, it was going to take hours to reach the core. He wondered how long it must have taken to carve these details all along this shaft, which stretched the radius of the entire planet. When he recollected that there were 22 such shafts, eleven around the equator and eleven around Mars’s prime meridian, he surmised that the structures were likely Martian talismans: constructs of the minds of the long-extinct Martian imagineers.

“Wonderous, is it not?” The Banjoman had joined Cronos as he admired the carvings. Upon hearing the Lord of Limbo’s voice, Cronos shifted his consciousness back to the natural rate of the arrow of time.

“Indeed,” Cronos said. “The time it must have taken. Or no time at all, if they were conjured into being.”

“The lost Martian alchemy of the imagineers.” The Banjoman said. “Somehow they managed to draw and focus the unstable accessible probability near the Rim. I find Sanctuary to be the most interesting place in all existence. Out here on the Rim this alchemy developed as a means to cope without magic. Deeper inward toward the sun on the worlds known as the Lover, the Messenger, and Sanctuary Proper, which they call Earth now, the perplexing sciences and arts that have evolved in the absence of magic are fascinating and inspiring beyond imagining to me.”

“All of this so nearby all these years.” Cronos turned his head to address The Banjoman. The titan’s eyes showed no sadness or regret, but rather shone with the excitement and wonder of a child. “I should have liked to have explored some of it again. I can only imagine how much it has changed since last I visited these quaint realms.” His head bowed to the platform and his eyes were closed.

“But alas,” he eventually continued. “It is not to be, is it Banjoman. We have a bargain.”

“That we do Cronos, and I am sure you can guess from the ruckus your breakout is going to cause, that we have not undertaken your participation in this caper lightly.” The Lord of Limbo paused for a moment.

“It cuts me deeply that you, so newly liberated from bondage, should not have an opportunity to enjoy it.”

Cronos put his hand on the shoulder of the Lord of Limbo.

“I have no need of freedom, Banjoman.” The titan said. “I have in my way found it already. I have seen much old friend. And having had so much time to contemplate all that I’ve seen, I know now that all I wish to experience is that which you and the Pharaoh have arranged for me. In the end, is not the complete relinquishment of self the ultimate adventure: the most delicious gamble? After perhaps too many adventures and perhaps too much time to reflect upon my deeds, I have come to believe that given enough time in one life we come to desire death with an intensity like to that which was once directed only toward the defiance of it. Surely you understand my curiosity in this?”

“I am not yet ready for that last adventure,” said the Banjoman. “But then I have not seen all that you have, or experienced the uninterrupted span of solitary contemplation you have been burdened with. Or should I say blessed?”

“A burden in the beginning,” Cronos was pensive. “A blessing in the end. You of all people can begin to understand what I mean by this Lord of Limbo.”

“You flatter me, Cronos. I cannot possibly know what you have experienced. But I can see in your eyes that wisdom and grace is yours now where once there had been nought but the uniquely spectacular obnoxiousness of Olympian youth.

They both laughed then, and The Banjoman saw that the titan was genuinely happy.

“To our bargain then Banjoman,” Chronos roared. And the Lord of Limbo saw the light of the aether returning in the titan’s eyes, and the golden glow rising in his primordial Olympian flesh. The energies of the realization engines were feeding Cronos. Power the Olympian had not known for sixteen millennia was returning to him.

Despite this, The Banjoman did not fear him, for his character was no longer that of the petulant Cronos of old.

“I am not aware of what happened when you did this before.” The Banjoman said. “Another of Olympus’s many dirty little secrets I imagine.” He said it lightly and they both chuckled.

“Yes, only once, millennia ago, I did what you ask me to do now in an attempt to undo a wrong I had done Rhea.” Cronos’s head was heavy and he did not look at the Banjoman as he spoke. Then he lifted his eyes and locked them onto the Lord of Limbo’s.

“And as much as I regret what I did to her – I regret the mess made by the attempt at undoing it even more. You may, all of you, come to rue the day you asked me to do this thing. The sanity of all in realty hangs upon the thread of time and it is a fragile thread in my experience. But I am satisfied in having warned you, I do not care to impose my perspectives. My course is set by what I am about to do, and I am satisfied with its direction. The choices of others are theirs.”

The Banjoman felt deeply sad for the titan and put his hand on his shoulder. “As a reader of time and one for whom passage through space and between realms is not what it is for others, I know of that which you speak better than most, Cronos. Yet I say again, we do not do this thing hastily or thoughtlessly. We do it because it is truly necessary.”

“Besides, after all these years old friend – you must know that I, at least care not one way or the other what comes — not that much anyway. And after all the time you have had to do nought but contemplate all of our parts in things, surely you now know that, though there be many paths, all come to one destination in the end.”

A small smile came to Cronos’s face, for he knew The Banjoman better. He knew he did care. The changeability and intensity of his passions were legendary. But he knew also that he had said it because he was capable of being kind and agreeable.

“Time has bestowed more wisdom on you than me, Banjoman. I have borne the pain of living longest of all beings, and in so doing I believe there is a chance I have come closer than most to comprehending the grace of The All.” I have had a long time to think about what I need.”

And The Banjoman felt then that he stood in the presence of the glory of the Cronos of old. The magical forces at Mars’s core were permeating him. The golden glow of Olympus was in him now and still growing. It was the ancient glow. The Banjoman had only ever seen it before in Gaia: the glow of the true Olympians: the demiurges – the oldest beings in existence.

“To finally die, to finally be born again – and so to forget at an end so as to learn from a beginning. Tabula rasa is the salvation I crave: for is it not true that only in the absence of knowledge can there be an abundance of wonder!

Then, surprising them both, for it was rare that it ever spoke to any other than The Banjoman, the banjo murmured a thought into theirs.

“Yes, Cronos. Yes!” it said in the words that are not really words when minds speak to one another directly.

The Lord of Limbo and the father of time, both surprised, looked at one another; and each laughed at the silly expression of on the face of the other.

“Your strategy garners the highest of praise!” The Banjoman said. “Our deal seems a certainty then.” You will have your wish Cronos.”

That the banjo had spoken was also a sign that, even though hours still remained in their journey, the platform approached the magical core: the one place, by way of ancient Martian ingenuity, where sorcery was made possible within the treasured realm of magicless Sanctuary.

The Banjoman looked over to see that Nexusa was awake and stirring to her feet. Her eyes met his but she did not speak. As a soldier of Limbo she would show deference to him in the company of others. But she did offer a nod her master to indicate she was returning to strength and that digging into spacetime through the Martian core and back out into Limbo would be possible again when the time came.

“I have no doubt you will honour our bargain Banjoman,” Cronus pointed with his eyes to the sentient banjo.” For I know your partner will hold you to it.”

There was relief in the titan’s eyes that warmed The Lord of Limbo’s heart – and also allayed his fears, for he was about to deliver one of the most volatile temperaments and powerful wielders of aether to have ever lived back beyond The Rim.

“When am I going to?” Cronos asked.

“1963, by Sanctuary Reckoning.” And as The Banjoman said the words, the happiness he had felt for Cronos, and the comfort he had felt in the choices he had made and was making now, fell away from him completely.

For despite the necessity of what they were about to do, he knew he would always feel nought but regret for the doing of it.

Read Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Nation, Race, & Reality: Liberation is an Eraser, & Imprisonment — a Pen

Meditation, Mindfulness, & Mysticism

Let’s be brief because this isn’t hard at all.

Wisdom, enlightenment, salvation, or whatever you choose to call it, is the opposite of labeling, line-drawing, or wall-building. In other words, the constructs we think in (mostly because they are fed to us) are the impediments that prevent us from seeing what is really there.

Every line you draw, every label you impose, every wall you build, and every construct you accept or conceive of to explain the world is IMAGINARY and without intrinsic meaning in-and-of-itself: a concocted convenience that is also a blemish on a reality that does not require it.

The more lines you draw, the more tangled up in the mess of artificial reality your likewise constructed notion of self becomes.

arbol_de_la_vida_yin_yang_con_el_efecto_de_madera_pegatina_redonda-r73cacf6193ee4c61a0136bc7101874e2_v9wth_8byvr_324
Meditation — the process of transcending our inclination to revere the concepts we conceive of to describe reality over the reality they describe — is the means by which we find our way to grace.

Likewise, reductionism, by way of nonsensical notions like nation, and fabrications like race are bricks in a road that put distance between consciousness and truth.

Upward and onward is an eraser. Downward and backward is a pen.

Please Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial of Andy Crowley 

For a Wizard a Staff. For a Witch a Wand. Andy Rocked and Rolled his Dice!

Centred under the poster on that filing cabinet, in pride of place, sat a small, purple velvet bag trimmed with gold cord. It had originally held a bottle of whiskey Andy had given his father for Christmas years ago. Now it contained the items he treasured most in the world: five amethyst-coloured, plastic gems – the ideal, fundamental forms that constituted all reality as postulated by Plato in The Timaeus. They provided a material focal point upon which Andy’s consciousness could concentrate his aetheric field – the forms functioned for him in the manner of a wizard’s staff or a witch’s wand. Because numbers had been engraved into the faces of the gems and filled with the wax of a gold crayon, the forms, which were known in lore as the Platonic solids, also constituted a macrocosmic representation of the microcosmic forces of probability at play in the subatomic strata of existence itself. This imbued them with an additional layer of meaning to Andy’s consciousness, which enhanced the degree to which they had served to enhance his sorcerous aptitudes.

crowleylogowhite

They were also simply dice; and as such, were the means by which he was empowered to create fantastic worlds in the beyond within – realms he occupied with his friends, whom, though they could never know true sorcery, could nonetheless indulge in a magic of another kind.

The dice were not being packed away. They would continue to go with him everywhere. They represented much more to him than their function as a magical tool. They were an anchor and a source of confidence, wonder and joy – both for him and for others in his life.

Read Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Your Comments Help Construct this Cosmos

Your Chapter Comments are Bricks in the Road

As I put the finishing touches on Chapter 17, I am posting to ask that if you have read, or are reading Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley, I am counting on you to post your opinions, insights, interpretations and inspiration under each chapter in the comments sections.

As I see it, the work to date is the first draft of the history of Andy’s multiverse, which I intend to revise and refine as a living evolving work.

In particular, I am looking for your spiritual, esoteric, occult, philosophical and mystical insights into what has happened, is happening and could happen next!

I would love to see links to everything from music videos, artwork, information resources, or anything else you would like to share with other readers.

Fan art would be a dream come true!

Please feel free to dive in!

And, as always, the more the merrier. If you are enjoying this adventure please share with others who might enjoy it to.

Thanks again,

Dave

Read, comment and share here: Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Andy’s Rec Room. Plato’s Dice. A Prison for Gods.

Chapter 16

 

None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.”

~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Home of Andy Crowley
Corbyville, Sanctuary
1984 AD SR

In preparation for his big night with Deb, Andy had spent the whole morning putting the finishing touches on the rec room he had been cleaning up for the past three months. He knew the project was about more than just creating some private space that could be theirs; it also represented turning a page on a chapter in his life.

Before the incident with the demon on the astral plane, this rec room had been his sorcerous base of operations. Books, grimoires, potions, incenses, astrological charts, and various magic circles on large scrolls had been everywhere, interspersed with plastic milk crates of LPs, D&D paraphernalia, model rocketry equipment, and beta tapes.

His mother had been horrified by both the disarray and the “devilry”, but resolved to think it all no more than part of the typical weirdness of teenage boys. Andy’s friends, who played D&D down there, simply thought the arcane clutter was cool Dungeon Master research and props.

Andy had never really been concerned that anyone would discover he was a real sorcerer. That would have been ridiculous. He was just a strange kid with an interest in occult philosophy, which was really quite reasonable considering his love of other evils like rock music, role playing games and comic books.

He lifted the one remaining box of books off the floor and carefully set it on a portable card table so as not to smudge the elaborate dungeon-scape he had drawn on the dry-erase hex-grid there. The box contained his most sacred tomes and intended to savour a quiet moment with them before he put them in their new resting place in the space under the stairs.

Reaching into the box then, he could not help but pick up the battered, dog-eared, edition of the Ars Goetia, that sat on the top. It was the listing of demons he had immediately referenced upon returning from his encounter on the astral plane.

It was unfortunate, for he had intended to enjoy this moment of reflection – this quiet goodbye to a deep, true love – but now instead, he felt deep consuming shame.

Compulsively, he flipped to the page where he had read about Leraje, also called Leraie, Leraikha, Leraye, Loray, Oray. It described a handsome archer clad in green, whose arrows caused gangrene wounds.

He had suspected right away that the beautiful demon had been the Marquis Leraje and this book had confirmed it.

For a moment, he recalled the demon’s poise and stunning beauty. Her irresistible voice – for he had heard it as female. Then the recollection of beauty was displaced again with how all he had done was stand there: enthralled, staring and useless. He imagined himself even drooling and pathetic.

Even now he did not know if Jasco had survived. And it tortured him to think he may never know, for he was not inclined to go back to find out. His failure as a sorcerer had been revealed entirely. He had been powerless against Leraje’s charms. He had succumbed completely. And a new friend had likely been destroyed as a result of his incompetence – and his cowardice.

Leraje had made him question many of the notions he had about himself and who he was but mostly the demon had made him realize he was a coward: a coward who would stand by while a friend was dismantled by one of the most capable combatants of Hell.

He was no sorcerer. Andy knew this now. Indeed, he had come to question whether or not he was even really a man.

Refusing to succumb to the spiral of self-pity, Andy reached back into the box and, this time digging a little, pulled out the Corpus Hermeticum.

The love he felt in that moment made him smile, though his eyes misted with a sense of loss.

He had thought of destroying everything. That is how sure he was that he was done with sorcery; but he could not shake the feeling that he still had some purpose to serve. After all, why had the dreams about Atlantis come to him as a child? Reflection over the past few weeks had brought him around to a notion that maybe he would become an occult scholar or historian. Maybe he could illuminate the deeper truths of reality and the realms beyond to a society that so desperately needed the ancient wisdom of mysticism. Perhaps his purpose was to do more than merely satisfy his own curiosity. Perhaps he was meant to light humanity’s way back from the preoccupation with the hyper-reductionist, ego-driven consumerism paradigm foisted upon them by aristocracy and executed through science and religion.

His curiosity took hold then and he indulged himself on a fanciful visualization of thought the fateful moment in the 14th century when humanity, had chosen the path of Aristotle over Plato and Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus, when they could have – should have – embraced both.

He thought about how completely the literal, linear, mechanical perspective of the left hemisphere of the brain came to be celebrated and revered over the mythic, holistic functions of the right hemisphere, so that, in time, the right hemisphere came to be denigrated and oppressed. Under this assault, which eventually became social, political and economic, as well as cultural, the esoteric understanding and mystical perspective of the right brain came to be regarded first as arcane, then later, as profane. This process had continued and accelerated to this day.

And now, linear, delineating, measuring, categorizing, self-obsessed left-brained humanity – having lost all sense of connection to other beings, its environment, and even existence itself, stood at the brink of social, ecological collapse, living under the perpetual threat of nuclear extinction.

As Andy saw it – and indeed, as almost every great spiritual thinker in history had seen it – humanity’s salvation would come in transcending the constructed notion that we come into nature and so are distinct from it, and in so doing recovering the awareness of our own divinity implicit in the idea that we come out of nature and so are of it.

As above, so below.

The All is the mind that thinks reality into being. Hence is The All is in all things. This, though each thing is far from being The All.

Yes! He might still have a part to play. He could educate the world. He could open minds without actually practicing the mysterious arts of the deeper mind.

Perhaps he was the Hermes Trismegistus of his time. Perhaps he would have a part to play humanity’s self-obsessed, short-sighted, tunnel-visioned trajectory toward self-annihilation.

Having been a sorcerer, Andy knew well the significance of the crossroads. And, just as humanity had come to a crossroads in the middle ages, perhaps he had come upon his on the astral plane with Jasco that day. It was possible, he thought, that his crossroad could be a crossroads for humanity as well.

In that moment, for the first time he thought about taking school seriously and attending university.

Without ever again casting a single spell, he could still be an emissary for the essential ancient truths he knew he knew so well.

His thoughts turned to how excited Deb would be to hear that he wanted to go to university, which in turn made him more excited about the prospect himself. There were curiosities here, he thought., other unknowns to be explored and mysteries to be celebrated!

Andy’s feelings for Deb, which had been impossible for him mere months ago, had come to exceed any thrill he had felt on the planes beyond.

Magic was an apt a term for the experience. As much as travelling to another plane; as much as the elation of astral flight, he had discovered the most wonderous thing he had ever known. Indeed, he had known no sorcery comparable to what he had experienced in the moment he had freed himself be with one who so deeply wanted to be with him.
Then Andy put the book back in the box, walked over to the door under the stairs and pushed the box into the scant remaining space available.

After closing the door, he turned and sat with his back against it so he could soak in what his three-months of work had accomplished.

To his right, against the wall, there was an old chesterfield that had been in his nana’s and pop-pop’s basement. He had negotiated to get it as payment for cutting the grass at their place. A huge map of the world of Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone hung over the chesterfield. Andy had drawn it himself. On a desk to this side of the chesterfield, there was a Commodore 64 and an assortment of games.

Against the far wall, opposite him, under a window well looking out onto the driveway, there was a large cabinet stereo system with a turntable under a flip-open top. On each side of it, stacked two-wide and four-high, there were plastic milk crates of assorted colours containing vinyl LPs.

A large cabinet TV with a VCR on top sat against the wall to his right. Two cardboard boxes of neatly arranged movies were stacked beside it. Two posters hung on that wall: the movie poster for The Empire Strikes Back and the starman album cover of the Rush album, 2112.

Also to his left, through a large opening off of the carpeted floor, there was the dungeon, where the D&D card-table sat between the furnace and the washer and dryer. Over an old, grey, metal filing cabinet where he had organized all his gaming supplies, a trippy, an earth-toned Lord of the Rings poster was tacked into the two-by-four studs of an unfinished wall.

Centered under the poster on that filing cabinet, in pride of place, sat a small, purple velvet bag trimmed with gold cord. It had originally held a bottle of whiskey Andy had given his father for Christmas years ago. Now it contained the items Andy treasured most in the world: five amethyst-coloured, plastic gems – the ideal, fundamental forms that constituted all reality as postulated by Plato in The Timaeus. They provided a material focal point upon which Andy’s consciousness could concentrate his aetheric field – the forms functioned for him in the manner of a wizard’s staff or a witch’s wand. Because numbers had been engraved into the faces of the gems and filled with the wax of a gold crayon, the forms, which were known in lore as the Platonic solids, also constituted a macrocosmic representation of the microcosmic forces of probability at play in the subatomic strata of existence itself. This imbued them with an additional layer of meaning to Andy’s consciousness, which enhanced the degree to which they had served to enhance his sorcerous aptitudes.

platonic-solids

They were also simply dice; and as such, were the means by which he was empowered to create fantastic worlds in the beyond within – a realm he occupied with his friends, whom, though they could never know true sorcery, could nonetheless indulge in a magic of another kind.

The dice were not being packed away. They would continue to go with him everywhere. They represented much more to him than their function as a magical tool. They were an anchor and a source of confidence, wonder and joy – both for him and for others in his life.

Andy felt satisfaction in that moment, he closed his eyes and pushed his head back against the door and succumbed to an urge to meditate, just for a moment.

It was not an act of sorcery that alerted him to his mother approaching the door in the kitchen at the top of the stairs. The natural aptitude he had developed for mystical awareness in the meditative state would always be with him. He knew her hand would be on the doorknob and the door would open, which it did. Then, he sensed her anxiousness in his mind before he would hear it in her voice.

And an instant later, when that voice actually manifested in his reality, it filled him with a momentary dread he could not explain.

“Andy, have you heard from Nick?” She yelled it down the stairs.

“Carol says he didn’t come home last night.”

“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

~ Albert Einstein

Mars, Sanctuary
Martian Olympus Mons (MOM)
Prison for Gods
1984 AD SR

The remarkably tall, dignified gentleman sat writing at his desk. It was set against the bars so he could look out into the cell across the hall. In that cell, a man with an eyeless helmet covering his entire face walked on a mechanical escalator to nowhere. He was nourished with tubes from the walls and his arms were in front of him as though he was pushing something ever upward and onward.

Both men were Olympian, though Cronos, the one at the desk, was a primeval demiurge (called a titan in Olympian vernacular) who had witnessed the birth of this universe, and the other, Sisyphus, was an Olympian philosopher who had manifested from aether around the same time as Zeus, the emperor of Olympus.

As Olympians, and therefore aetheric beings, both prisoners were immortal and possessed powerful natural affinity for probability manipulation. They represented the very reason the leaders of over 118 realms had cooperated in the construction of this Martian prison inside the event horizon of Sanctuary where magic did not work.

Cronos had spent most of his eternal sentence alternately writing and contemplating whether or not Sisyphus across the hall on his escalator, suffered a fate better or worse than his. He wondered at what the boy was experiencing in that helmet and lamented that Zeus, his own aether — his own son — had grown into such a vain and cruel man.

Almost immediately, he felt guilt for judging Zeus, for he had been much like him. Indeed, all his sons had been like him. He could not help but think they would, every one of them, fall to ill fates.

It had been just a century ago, he now recalled, that the Martian Pharaoh Motakhamun had so kindly sat here with him drinking something called Canadian Whiskey as he informed him of the death of his son, Hades.

For a moment, Cronus was thankful Zeus had imprisoned him here. His isolation had forced upon him the perspective, and the contemplative life, that lead not just to wisdom, but also to grace. For most other beings, the situation would have led to insanity. But the Olympian demiurge was different.

As one of the first beings in existence, his consciousness preceded the propensity of sentience to construct the sensation of the passage of time.

On one occasion, in a fit of classically Olympian passion, Cronus had even used this trait, in concert with his remarkable sorcerous abilities to map a path along the temporal axis of spacetime into the past.

It had been the only occurrence of such an event in the history of reality.

It had also been complete disaster.

Aside from the terrible repercussions for all involved, travelling backward against the stream of time had displaced most of his aetheric essence; and rendered feeble and confused by the undertaking, he was left completely vulnerable to the political aspirations of his conniving sons.

That consciousness could process and counter the natural entropic trajectory of the fourth axis of spacetime had been contrary to the popular understanding of reality in general. For millennia following the incident, countless mystics and mathematicians in countless realms had tried to replicate the Cronos Caniption as it had become known. Millenia after that, everyone had stopped trying.

Following consensus that the disaster had resulted from the peculiar primordial structure of Cronos’s consciousness, studying him had been considered. But after the titan, with all the gleeful menace he could summon in those days, threatened to do it again – only bigger and better, this idea was abandoned.

After that, everyone involved deemed it best to confine him within the event horizon of Sanctuary where his talent would not work.

Cronos revelled for just a moment in this recollection of the wily exuberance of his youth before quashing it. He had grown gentle and wise over millennia of monastic contemplation.

He blushed at the momentary lapse of mental discipline, and felt warmth in his cheeks. The warmth he now felt in the soles of his feet however was something new and he wondered at this sensation. Was it possible he was changing? Could he finally be growing old?

Cronus knew by now that the weakforce collected by the underground pyramids and channeled to the long-dead realization engines at Mars’s core was no longer enough to enable him to move imagination to manifestation. But perhaps something had changed.

It was what he wanted more than anything. In billions of years of living, there had been very few things he had not done. But growing old, experiencing death, and going through the transmigration on to a random, new, path in reality as a new being — perhaps even a biological one — was his only remaining desire. He had seen enough. He had contemplated enough. Few in reality had done more of either of these things.

The heat was intensifying. Could the volcano be churning to life? No. He remembered that Olympus Mons, and all volcanoes on Mars had been rendered inactive by the realization engines millennia ago.

His curiosity consumed him now. And so, by that peculiar means available only to the unique construction of the mind of Cronos, he merely willed an acceleration of temporal perception. There was no sorcery in this. He simply gave himself up to the natural direction of the arrow of time.

As he observed with his full attention now the corner of his cell heated to its glowing orange melting point before cooling again to its solid state.

Then a dull thud issued through the floor and into the titan’s feet. Cronos was giddy with anticipation. He had not know excitement like this in as long as he could remember, he was clapping his hands together and yelling. Another thud came, louder. Then another.

“Sisyphus! Sisyphus! Something is happening! A visitor, lad! A visitor!” In his excitement he had even forgotten his helmeted companion of fourteen thousand years could not possibly have known what was unfolding before his eyes.

Then the floor of the cell exploded against the ceiling and the Olympian titan’s mouth fell agape.

The silver circle of an ouroboros emerged from the ragged hole in the floor. It was fashioned from the metal of a star he had known in the earliest days of this universe when stars had been sentient entities.

And it mattered not that it could not speak to his mind here within the magicless sphere of Sanctuary, for Cronos knew well that the friend he had known in this sentient ore had long since been forged into the elegant head of a magical banjo.

Read Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Of Time, Ares & Warmoles of Limbo

 

Chapter 15

The Banjoman stroked the panting warmole’s snout.

“You have endured much here. Rest now before you make your way back.” His voice was gentle and his gratitude genuine. Nexusa, who was roughly twice the size of an Earth elephant was utterly spent.

The Banjoman had chosen her for her strength, for female warmoles were larger and mightier than males, but she was accustomed to tunneling through subspace, not matter, and the strange flux-prob weakforce at play here had taken a toll on the ancient creature.

The Lord of Limbo felt sadness that she now suffered so, but he knew she would recover. He had not chosen her solely for her powerful physicality. She was the oldest of her kind, and her wisdom and familiarity with unusual regions of spacetime had helped her cope with the strange nature of reality here – on the razor’s edge between the sorcerous multiverse and the magicless serenity of Sanctuary.

The warmole mustered a smile for The Banjoman.

“There will be no need to pluck me a lullaby, my Lord,” she said. “I already smell the lilac of the realm of sleep – though I fret some about what awaits me there in the strangeness of this place. It is to you now to complete the task.”

Her gentle, slow voice was quieter in The Banjoman’s head than it had been and it took him great effort to hear it now, this far from the coreshaft, this close to the surface.

“Of course, my lady. We will be home soon. I know this place is uncomfortable for you. Rest now and when you can, make your way back to the barge at the coreshaft. We will meet you there.” The Banjoman thought about how she would begin the slow, labourious squirm backward when she awoke, for there was no room in the freshly dug tunnel for her to turn around. Lovingly, he touched the plastic faceplate of his teal and gold, nemes-shaped martian space helm against her snout.

She was already asleep.

The Banjoman smiled for he understood that the dreams she would enjoy here, within the Rim, would be more vivid than she was used to, and he resolved to remember the satisfied smile on her sleeping face in that moment.

Then he turned around to face the wall of rock before him and un-shouldered his banjo. Still, even here, residual fluxprob weakforce from the coreshaft radiated to him from the long dead realization engines in the Martian core. He knew not for how much longer this would be the case, but for now, the strange energy – which had been called alchemy by the Martian imagineers of old — flowed through him into the legendary banjo crafted for him by the dwarven smiths of Huran-Tor.

And with an intense gratitude for the ceaseless tunneling Nexusa had undertaken for the last three days welling up in his chest, The Lord of Limbo swung his banjo mightily into the blood-red Martian bedrock.

Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.

~ Sun Tzu

Lucifer’s Yacht, Prince of Light
Port of Plutonia
Hades Prime
1984 AD SR

The muscular, shirtless djinn accepted a cigarette from the surfer-dude-looking demon who shifted about nervously and seemed embarrassed about having his arm in a sling. Smiling wide and hoping he hadn’t made too much of a show of his muscled, tattooed physique as he took the cigarette, he flipped the long braided top-knot that sprouted from his otherwise shaved head over his shoulder and leaned casually against the door to the yacht’s main lounge.

Named Zepar, he was of the tribe Marid, the most powerful of the djinn clans. Beyond his remarkable physical and magical prowess, he possessed prodigal understanding of the mechanics of sound: a useful specialty for the top security agent in the Olympian empire: the one responsible for the safety of the Imperial family.

Right now, while he was chit-chatting with this demon – who had somehow recently broken his arm – he was listening through the door as though it were not even there.

“There is no way Leraje can know for sure it was Cormac Kilroy’s sun pistol,” said Ares as he appeared to be paying the minimum possible amount of attention to the meeting. It was obvious he was hearing music some sort in his head, which bobbed loose on his neck while his fingers tapped the tabletop he imagined to be a keyboard.

“Of course you are right. There is no way to be certain.” As a seasoned diplomat, the Prince of Light had no problem masking his annoyance at the Olympian’s nonchalance. “But we do have substantiated intelligence that Arawn’s rogue reaper had been associating with Cormac Kilroy. So it is possible.”

“Kilroy is a free agent.” Unlike Lucifer, Ares did not hide his annoyance at someone ‘jammin’ his groove’ as he put it. But with Ares, who was typically so even-tempered and easygoing, even when he was annoyed, he conveyed a pleasant, soothing vibe.

In addition to his long-held fascination with piano (and more recently with pop synthesizer composition) the one who had been worshipped as a god of war had recently taken up The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. The painter’s gentle, laid back worldview jived perfectly with Ares’ reformed take on life. In Bob Ross, also a former military man, Ares had found a kindred spirit – even something of a mentor. The Olympian had even assumed the painter’s teased-out perm.

“I will inquire with Admiral Charon as to Kilroy’s whereabouts of late. He doesn’t like him, so I know he will have kept tabs on him.” Ares clasped his powerful hands together now. He glanced at the banana daiquiri, which sat in front of him untouched, before looking under his eyebrows at Lucifer. As he leaned in, his incredible Olympian arms appeared as though they might explode from the seams of his legendary trucker jacket, which would have been a tragedy, for it was crafted from highly coveted, genuine Sanctuarian denim and exquisitely weathered.

“Why the interest in this banshee? So what if she is friends with Kilroy? Everyone is friends with Kilroy!” The softness of his voice and his gentle demeanor were in direct contrast to his imposing physicality.

“What is going on Lou? If you are looking for Olympus to be involved in something, you had better be right up-front about things.” A light of excitement shot into his red eyes then and he leaned back and resumed his keyboard composition on the tabletop again. This did not break his train of thought and he continued talking while he plaid.

“You know I don’t care about your annexation of Hades. It has been nothing but good for me. You know I don’t care about your annexation of Fey. Its subjects are certainly better off under you than they were under twelve-point buck here.” He shot a rare look of disdain at Arawn, whom, as usual was intoxicated in some way or another and only half-heartedly acknowledged the insult.

“Everyone knows that since the Gorilla thing, my father prefers to keep a low profile, which makes me the de Facto emperor of Olympus. I just want peace, man. But I will not lose any more ground for the empire. Hades was as far as you I could let you go. I would hate to think you are getting greedy.” He paused for effect and allowed some heat to come into his unnerving Olympian eyes.

“Prince of Light as liberator, I can take. Prince of Light as despot… He shook his head side to side as a smile came to his face.

“… I will break.”

If Lucifer was intimidated, he showed no sign of it.

“Of all people, I think you know me Ares. It is about the arts for me. It is about beauty and expression – and freedom. I have helped Arawn see this. Hades wouldn’t see it so I had no choice but to do what I did.”

Ares’ face darkened. It was no secret that he had hated his uncle, whom he saw for the tyrant he was. But while he secretly enjoyed the regime change, he also disapproved of the death and destruction that had been wrought there. He had also not expected that the murder of his uncle at the hand of his old personal rival Tyr would be part of Lucifer’s plan.

“And let’s be honest,” Lucifer continued, “you and I are on the same page as to your other father’s priorities.” He was referring of course to Zeus’s fervent commitment to the manifest destiny of Olympus. In recent millennia, cultural and economic belligerence had replaced military aggression in the exercise of Olympian hegemony, but either way, Ares, ever the pacifist, ever the champion of free will, found his father’s arrogance, nationalism, cruelty, bigotry, and lust for power distasteful.

Zeus’s self-imposed isolation as a result of what they called Hera’s gorilla gambit, had not only put Ares functionally in charge of the Olympian empire, it had given him an opportunity to soften the edges of Olympian foreign policy.

In the elite circles of this corner of the multiverse, some had even speculated that Hera’s play on Zeus’s legendary ego, by demanding that he remain in Gorilla form and thereby in a state of perpetual humiliation, was in no small part a result of her feelings for the newer, softer Ares – and her sympathies with his politics.

“Our mutual distaste for my brother’s shortcomings as a leader are not a license for you to assume his traits Lucifer! I don’t know how to say this nicely, man, so I’ll just say it. Remember your place. Don’t try my patience. I don’t like some of the company you keep.” He jerked his head sideways in the direction of Arawn.

Ares didn’t say it but he was suspicious of Lucifer’s motives. Why so much interest in one of Arawn’s reapers-gone-renegade? Why the interest in Cormac Kip Kilroy, servant of the Stygian Navy and friend of Olympus – but also a ward of Mars? And if Mars was involved, chances are Heliopolis was involved.

There was also the matter of rumours circulating regarding Lucifer’s recent humiliation at the hands of the Lord of Limbo. Normally this would just have been considered a matter of business gossip – except for the fact that, in his briefing for this meeting in Hades Prime, Ares had been told by Director of Olympian Intelligence, Torus Phi, that The Banjoman, who never meets with anyone, had recently gone on a drunken rampage through Punta Epsilon with none other than Cormac Kipling Kilroy.

Lucifer was up to something – and apparently Mars, and possibly Heliopolis were up to something too. That typically neutral and impartial Limbo was also involved was altogether perplexing and Ares made a guarded assumption that if Mars and Limbo were involved, then all of this had something to do with Sanctuary. And finally, if Sanctuary was involved, that in-turn suggested worst-case scenario: the Pentarchy was involved.

Most of the time the former god of war, was a reasonable enough guy. But at this precise moment, he wasn’t down with being kept in the dark on something as big as what this was shaping up to be.

“Don’t make me remind you how much you don’t like some of the circles I travel in.” It was a reference to the fact that Ares was one of only a very few beings in all reality who had once been to the palace of Yod, the inner court of Heaven as an emissary on Zeus’s behalf. He had accompanied Prometheus at the ratifying of the Eden Proclamation. Rumour had it he had made a positive impression on the invisible man and woman in the invisible castle atop the invisible stairs. But there is no possible way of knowing if this was indeed true.

Uncharacteristically, Lucifer bristled at this. The Banjoman, and even merely the mention of Heaven were possibly the only two things that got to him.

He struggled to reconcile the fellowship he and Ares found in their commitment to free will with the favourable light in which the Olympian was apparently held by those he thought to be the worst tyrants in the multiverse.

“You know too well what I want.” Ares said. “I want peace.” He paused. “I didn’t necessarily get that in Hades did I, Lou?”

Even when he was being stern, Ares made you want to give him a hug, thought the Prince of Light. It was infuriating.

“Admittedly, I underestimated the propensity for barbarity of our Asgardian friends in that situation.” Lucifer appeared to mean it. But Ares smiled as though he knew otherwise.

“Tread lightly, Lucifer. You believe that to be true now. But, even with Tyr in your pocket on the inside, you knew exactly what Loki and Hela would do. This is your power and your curse my friend. I have never known you to lie to anyone other than yourself – it is how you so easily make everything you say come off as the truth.”

You need to be more grateful that I – and therefore the collective power of the Olympian empire – holds you in higher esteem than most.”

The Olympian took off his exquisite jean jacket then and hung it over the back of his chair. He was wearing a Black T-Shirt emblazoned with the album cover of The Guess Who’s American Woman. The Olympian’s powerful aetheric presence filled the room. Suddenly there was the palpable fear, agony and grief of billions of fallen souls over millions of years.

“This is why antlers here is going to leave right now…” There was no menace in Ares’ voice whatsoever, which only intensified the feeling of raw terror in the room.

Before Ares had even finished his sentence, the door to the room had opened and the djinn Zepar was standing inside it in all his blue-grey shirtless menace. Gracefully, trying not to make too much of a show of his rippling physique, he gestured in a way that indicated the way out of the room using the hand that wasn’t leaning on an enormous, gleaming scimitar.

Arawn, even when he was drunk, knew the limits of his skills. Some survive because they are combatants; others because they are cowards. Even he knew he was the latter.

Then Ares, who had picked up the banana daiquiri he had not touched until just then, walked over to Lucifer’s bar, just he had done so many time before. After rummaging about, he removed the little sword from the maraschino and banana slices in his drink and replaced it with a cocktail umbrella.

“Detachment is forgiveness. Salvation is enlightenment. All is seen as one when no harm is done. When no harm is done all is seen as one.” He repeated this in his head three times and the inclination to simply kill everyone in the room receded completely.

When he looked up he saw that Arawn, who had not said a word the entire time, was bowing and backing out the door.

Then, after a pause of a length that was altogether disconcerting to Lucifer, the only person left in the room, Ares finally finished his sentence in his softest, kindest tone.

“… and you – if you want me to ask favours of Admiral Charon – are going to tell me exactly what is going on.”

Read Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

An end to ‘man-with-halo-and-bearding’ the divine

 

Crucifixion as Parable. Salvation as Mysticism.

Is it possible the crucifixion story simply conveyed that the death of an anthropomorphic notion of god is a necessary step toward salvation/enlightenment through a less colouring-book-and-crayons articulation of God that is more all that is than shining man with beard on throne?

What if it’s as simple as the reckoning of Christ dying on the cross being demonstrative of the need to destroy our arrogant, diminutive, anthropomorphic caricatures of the divine so we could move on to ascertaining it as the totality of existence (including ourselves) as articulated in the classical mystical conception of God as another word for ‘The All’?

What if it really was a case of “when I became a man, I put away childish things” and the Christian story is actually a parable for the importance of moving beyond oversimplification by way of ‘man-with-halo-and-bearding‘ the divine?

Read Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Within a Grimoire of Glass,

a Saga, a Spell, an Age of Mysticism

Part 40s sci-fi radio serial, part 70s pulp fantasy novella, and part every cosmic prog-rock album cover ever, what is written here is intended first and foremost as far-flung fantasy fun.

Brought forth to the best of my ability with the time I have available to me in the oppressive world order I abhor, it is basically a first draft — but I am a writer by trade, so I think it is not a bad first draft. Please indulge me further on this point.

Beyond the notion that the Internet begs for an Info-Age reimagining of the serial novel medium of Dickens and Twain, I feel the web also empowers a reader with unprecedented opportunity to provide feedback that enriches the tale being told for the writer and other readers alike.

To this end, the comment section under each chapter is wide open and I encourage readers to share their interpretations, insights and inspiration. I do this not only so I can incorporate readers’ perspectives and wisdom into revisions and into the story as it unfolds, but also so that readers can augment the story for other readers with complementary information available elsewhere on the web.

Ultimately, though fun is the priority, I also envisioned this undertaking as an esoteric, occult, spiritual treatise for the age that follows the collapse of Western hyper-reductionist ego-construct-driven consumerism. Think of it as Mysticism 101 trojan-horsed in as a Saturday morning cartoon.

And so, I need readers not only to participate, but also to spread the word! As this happens, the tale can only get better and better; and by better and better, I don’t mean merely more entertaining — but also more enlightening.

As this experiment becomes a growing, living document, I believe that just maybe a new sort of sorcery will have emerged upon the plane of our every day waking lives.

Perhaps a kind of long, meandering, collaborative spell is being woven right here…

… within this glass grimoire!

Weave your way into Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

2016: A Painful End to Outside-In Identity

A New Age of Mysticism Ushered in by a Jester-King

Again, with the ticks of the hands of the nonsense of clocks, we mark the delusion that time is something other than a functionally idealized contrivance of consciousness.

As we do this, another contrivance of our hyper-delineated consumption-driven-growth reality — the  Internet meme of the moment — bids good riddance to 2016, AKA the worst year ever.

I beg to differ.

Though on the surface, I agree that 2016 delivered a lot of unwelcome news, I prefer to think of it as the final pangs of childbirth. For change is afoot. Massive change. And as they say, eggs must be broken for omelettes to be had.

Is it possible that, in the surreal probability flux of this present historical moment, under the looming prospect of a jester-king, everything has come into question at a crossroads in the evolution of human consciousness?

What if, in some collective critical mass quantum mechanical eye of the storm, all bets are off now? What if the clay is softer and more pliable than it’s ever been?

What if enough of us have decided we’ve grown weary of defining ourselves through the acquisition of trinkets and accolades just as we have also suddenly come into possession of unprecedented access to knowledge and understanding of the mystical nature of reality and the truth of the shared unity and divinity inherent in all that exists? 

As we shift from a perspective that views consciousness not as a means by which we procure the accoutrements of identity from an arbitrarily delineated reality outside of ourselves, but rather as a means by which we come to understand that the self-construct is a delusion that isolates us from the grace of the one, indivisible reality transcending within and without, and each and other, there is bound to be distress in the system.

What if the turmoil of this moment is a culture-quake of a magnitude never before seen in human history? What if this moment is a collective shift in consciousness that now simply sees us taking out the trash? What if now is the pus of a healing wound or the reflexive wailing of a newborn afraid of a light it does not yet comprehend as the beauty of a new world?

What if the nerve-ending you read this on — that interfaces your nervous system with all the other nervous systems via the global nervous system that is the Internet — is awakening the possibility of our return to an Eden, which although forgotten has not been lost?

It is my hope that as we turn a corner; that as the wheat separates from the chaff; that as the new that has gotten old falls away and a new that is older than all there has ever been is again revealed, each of us can come to know now with growing certainty that we are not alone in seeing this happening.

Maybe in 2017 the transition that now rocks the core of all we thought we knew and believed will take hold in earnest; and as ancient, whispered-about answers that have always been available within become validated to us by the world without, we will find our way back, beyond race, religion, country, politics, money, branding, fashion, and all the nonsensical masks, costumes and contrivances we have confused with who we are.

In 2016, I endeavoured in earnest to say goodbye to the hyper-reductionist consumption driven growth control matrix and hello to a new age of mysticism.

And it is my belief that sufficient wisdom has already taken root for us to now know that it is precisely because it looks like rain, that we should all finally come out and play!

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Happy New Year! Here is Chapter 14!

CHAPTER 14

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.”

~ Napoléon Bonaparte

Astral Plane

Through the corner of her eye, Jasco saw Andy clutching his chest as his astral form collapsed in upon itself. There was pinprick of green light and he was gone.

All she had worked for, all the progress she had made, was gone with him. It was all because of Leraje. The fury she now felt twisted in with the pain in her leg. She could use it. It joined the energy from her crown and her root in the blue vortex at her throat. With Andy gone safely home she could unleash it now.

And so through the silver megaphone now crushed to her teeth, and into the astral sky, came the horror of the banshee’s scream.

Her servants, the dullahan, the four horsemen, would not come to the quiet realm, she knew – but the sound was enough. Leraje stumbled back and dropped zir bow to impulsively block zir ears. The cyberi walked backwards away from the wailing banshee. Their lowered heads were twisting and flailing in the air and against the ground, trying in vain to escape the relentless onslaught of sound.

Jasco’s jaw ached with the exertion. The pain in her leg, where the snake arrow writhed maliciously and arched the length of its body against the tortured flesh, was excruciating. She felt as though the totality of her consciousness had moved to the wound. Was her will failing? She knew any injury to the astral form was insubstantial and that her meditating body in the Hall of Memories would not suffer from it. Her concern now was whether her silver cord would come and betray the location of her physical body to Leraje. Her voice wavered. She wondered again at how the demon and its hellhounds had not seen Andy and then she screamed in her own head as well as into the megaphone.

After all these months she had been so close. To lose him now, just mere steps away from where Kip would be waiting in the Hall of Memories was infuriating.

The ferocity of her tortured wail was insufferable beyond imagining to the acute hearing of the hounds of Hell. Their thrashing and howling added to the cacophony.

Then, she could maintain it no more. Spent – and not just in her voice – the moon-coloured banshee of Fey slumped forward onto the wine-coloured astral soil.

All she could do now was buy time.

“You do have quite the mouth on you don’t you?” Leraje’s androgynous voice was no less intoxicating as it wavered and cracked through zir struggle to recover from the impact of the scream. Wiping blood from zir ears, Leraje glared at zir prey with redoubled disdain.

Seeing this, Jasco smirked through the haze of the blinding pain, which had now became so intense it was causing her vision to tunnel.

“But your horsemen stooges cannot come here, can they,” the demon had collected her bow and was walking toward Jasco. The cyberi stayed where they were, whining and pawing at their ears.

Jasco could not help but swoon at the pleasure Leraje’s voice stirred in her again. She wondered now if she was clinging to her waning consciousness merely to remain in the presence of that voice. Bewilderingly, she felt that she wanted to impress the demon now – that she longed for zir approval. She was succumbing to the seduction.

“I am yours, Leraje. I can do no more. Truthfully, what chance had I against these Olympian mongrels and their dog.” Her hands now clasped her thigh exerting pressure around where the snake entered and exited. But she could not harm it. It continued to twist and writhe in the wound and around her hands. Jasco rocked back and forth. She blinked the tears out of her eyes so they now left trails upon her soiled cheeks. She felt foam at the corners of her mouth. Just as she began to wonder if she — if anyone — had ever endured pain like this before, she felt the telltale tingling in her solar plexus. Her silver cord was coming. Leraje would find her meditating form in Hypnos Somnos. If Kip were with her, ze would find him there too.

It would all be over. Everything they had worked for would be done.

“Oh! There’s that exquisite faerie mouth again. Such power! Such sass! So delightful. I can see why that cretin, Arawn, has paid so handsomely to have it back.” Leraje had recovered zir bow and had now dropped to one knee before the banshee.

Gingerly, seductively, the demon placed a finger under Jasco’s quivering chin and tilted her head up so their eyes met.

Jasco’s pain retreated slightly as though the very essence of her being could not pass up an opportunity to be this close to such exquisite beauty. The features of Leraje’s fox face; the colour and sensual sheen of zir fur; the elegant, sacred geometrical perfection of zir sloping spiral gazelle-like horns; even the perfume of zir breath were too much now. Jasco tried to drop her head in exasperation – but those eyes — the vastness in them – the love of life – the longing… the longing for her! She could not look away.

“I do have you, don’t I?” Leraje said it in matter-of-fact tone while tilting Jasco’s face here and there as though inspecting a horse at auction.

“But this isn’t the you I want.” The marquis of Hell reached behind zir back with zir free hand and pulled a long hunting knife from a sheath there.

“I’m coming to get you. And who knows what I’ll do with your physical form before I hand you over to that mushroom-addled faerie oaf. I can only imagine what he wants to do to you. Maybe I’ll take you back to Hell first to see if I can do worse…” Zir eyes flickered from cruelty to lust. “… Or better.”

Jasco, unable to look from Leraje’s eyes, felt the tip of the demon’s knife under her ribs. She had been correct about the demon’s endgame: when the knife went in, the retreat of her astral form to the Hall of Memories would lead Leraje to her physical body. A legion of Hell would follow in short order.

But she no longer had the strength to care. She did not even care that Kip would fall with her when they came. All she knew now was that the demon’s mouth was inches from hers. It was all she wanted now.

So complete was Jasco’s longing for Leraje’s mouth on hers that she didn’t hear the hiss of the superheated air or smell the burning fur and flesh that came next. Nor did she notice that the knife point digging into her side was gone.

When the mouth never came, a crushing disappointment that consumed the last remaining spark of her consciousness forced open the banshee’s eyes. And for only a moment, she looked again into the eyes of the demon. But where there had just moments before been such life, now there was only the signature vacancy of death the renegade reaper knew all too well.

Then as the demon’s body listed back and to one side, Jasco saw that the back of its head beneath its horns and behind the beautiful face was completely gone. There was no blood. Just fetid, black smoke. Then the face flopped back horrifically, and down onto the smouldering stump of a neck, and the limp body slumped to the ground.

Jasco had nothing left. The despair arising from the lost kiss had finished her.

She too wilted forward. Her last thought was excitement at the prospect of maybe feeling Leraje’s beautiful body tight against hers.

But the demon’s silver cord had already taken zir back to Hell.

And Jasco too, was gone before she fell.

There was a cramp in her right thigh from having sat in full lotus for so long — but it was a far cry from the pain of the snake-arrow she had known just a moment before. There was no vertigo, no shock. Her experience transitioning between planes, especially by way of projection, had moved her beyond such things years ago. Now, Jasco only felt the sense of calm and sensory clarity that are the hallmarks of moving from the meditative to the waking state.

At first, there was only a lingering sensual pleasure that caused the corners of her mouth to curl up into a slight smile. Then the fear rushed back and her eyes darted about the massive hall. With the remarkable agility of the Fey, she sprang from the full lotus position of meditation to the crouch of Fey-Ral with her wolf-fang-handled knife at the ready.

She sniffed frantically for the sulphuric stench of an open Hellhole. There was nothing. If Leraje was coming for her, it might take her time.

Then she saw Kilroy.

With his back to her, he kneeled in the centre of the massive archway opening onto the astral plane. In front of him was a stone bench he had dragged from its proper place against the wall to the right of the open archway.

His head was slumped down onto the bench and the banshee now saw that he had just come out of a static marksman position. His right elbow rested by his head on the bench and the smoldering barrel of the only remaining Martian sun-pistol in existence pointed straight upward toward the ceiling. She imagined the muzzle of it had just moments before rested almost touching the transition to the astral realm.

“Welcome back, Betty,” Kilroy said it without looking up, and despite the fact they had failed utterly in acquiring Ancaster Crowley, he said it with the good humour he was so well known for.

Then he turned around and rested his back against the bench.

“Sorry I had to blow Veronica’s head off.” with the jacketed forearm of his pistol hand he wiped the sweat of concentration from his forehead.

“You two looked like you were having such a good time!”

And in that moment, even a dashing Kip Kilroy full-faced grin could not make Jasco feel any better.

Even the spicy heat of the Stygian brandy had not helped. Of course Kip had been optimistic in his assessment: at least Leraje, for whatever reason, had not seen Andy and he had returned to Sanctuary unharmed. At least his sun-pistol shot had taken the demon out before Jasco’s silver cord had pulled her back and so their location had not been discovered.

Kilroy had trained his whole life to be steward to the one who would be Abraxas. So long as there was hope regarding their chances for success with Andy – it would be front-and-centre with him.

But Andy’s welfare was not what was bothering her now. Nor was it her concern that the Earther might have been so frightened by the whole affair with Leraje that he would now be more reluctant than ever to cooperate with them.

What consumed her thoughts in this moment were the details duty demanded she hide from Kilroy, and her resentment of being put in what she felt to be an unethical position by the Pharaoh. Indeed, by the Pentarchy itself!

She took another sip of the brandy. This far out on the Sea of Tears, the stars shone further into the blue-green part of the spectrum and the black of space was more of a slate grey. It was beautiful to her. She was always comforted by the sensation of being between things rather than in the thick of them: that events she was dealing with in the world were somehow less substantial or real. Being out here always offered a reprieve. Sailing between dimensions upon the Sea of Tears was one of the benefits of having fallen in with Kilroy.

The beauty of the night out here, the warmth of this third mug of brandy would give her the strength she needed to recollect that night when she had met with the Pharaoh. She wanted to be perfectly clear on what was going to happen next, now that Andy had likely retreated to Sanctuary, and very likely into himself. She wanted to be sure she did not slip up and, in so doing, reveal something to Kip that would betray her responsibility to her ultimate mission.

She drained her glass and reminded herself that deceiving her friend was a necessity. She had no choice.

Her mind then was back in the luxurious antechamber of the Martian Imperial throne room of the grand pyramid on Memphis Nova I.

“Who will harvest his soul?” she asked? Which house? Which reaper? It should be me!

“You of all people should know we cannot know those things! It is not like we have arranged this! Is that what you think is happening here? No! It comes from the Norns themselves that this is indeed the lad’s time. That this is what would be. We cannot meddle! We cannot know the details!” The Pharaoh’s tone was emphatic without being angry.

“In the event that you fail to win the spawn over to our cause, we must use his friend’s death to assure him that his experiences beyond Sanctuary were not a merely a dream or a fabrication of his Earther mind. I don’t like it either. It is unsavoury. But you know the stakes in this.”

“Please Lord, do not call him that.” Jasco was demure, she respected the Pharaoh and genuinely did not want to offend him. The large man, who was looking out the antechambers enormous windows turned his head and looked at the banshee. There was a quizzical look on his face.

“Spawn.” She clarified.

The Pharaoh smiled gently at Jasco, and she could tell he was suppressing the deep, boisterous laugh he was known for.

“Yes, of course, Jasco, I am sorry.”

There was another, longer pause.

“This is difficult for all of us you understand,” he finally said.

“Sometimes power demands service. Sometimes the greater good demands a lesser evil.” The kindness in both his manner and his voice comforted her then, for it was sincere.

“This is a small thing we do. We have hinted to the one called Deborah that their friend Nicholas will die in the future and that Ancaster will know what to do. The tragedy is not of our making and is the natural course of things. We have been told he will drown at a party and we simply use the situation to convince master Crowley of the truth of his recent experiences beyond. All of this to bring him hopefully into our service – into the service of all life in the multiverse.”

He was still looking out the window as he spoke.

“The message you have planted in this Earth girl’s dreams is the seed of countless noble deeds that will span all of reality for all of time. It is the way of heroes and legends, Jasco.”

He turned and walked to the reaper then. Her eyes were welling up with tears and the great Garuk Motunkhamen embraced her.

“It is a hell of sorts, Jasco, to be at the centre of things. Reality is oscillation, and though the pivot of the pendulum moves not, it bears all of the weight.”

“If this is such a small thing we do, why must I keep it from Kip? She looked up at him like a daughter who, knowing full well her father cannot provide the answer she wants, will be satisfied enough merely to hear his voice attempt one.

“Sir Kipling’s burden in this is far greater than all of ours.” He said, pushing an errant strand of her luminous moonbeam hair away from her tear-filled eyes.

“And his loyalty to the sole sorcerer of Sanctuary will be a thing of legends. They will be as one force together; a force for good; for salvation. Kip has trained his whole life for this. There can be no deception, no secrets between them. You must lift that weight from him. You do him immense service in this, though he knows it not.”

Jasco pulled back then and wiped her own eyes. She straightened and summoned her composure.

“The poor girl, Deborah, she will lose this boy, Nick. And then we will take Andy from her.” She said.

“We say much here of small things, though this is no small thing for her.” She said it solemnly. It was her turn to look out the window. Against the backdrop of Jupiter, which filled the sky, she spotted the hot glow of a Fey Coven witchcraft on re-entry to the east.

“This girl, Deborah, remember…” the Pharaoh was reverent then. Ominous even. The weight of what he said next was not lost on Jasco of Fey.

“… though she knows it not in her waking life, is also Commander Peregrinus-Sherle of the Morphean Guard. She will play no small part in all of this either I imagine, before all reckoning is done.”

To be continued in Chapter 15

 

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Meditating Away the Confusion between Surviving and ‘Arriving’

 Hunter Reprogrammed: Rabbit to Rolex

In previous posts this year I have spoken a lot about the notion that our society’s tendency toward hyper-reductionist reality, which takes us away from the truth and grace of the mystical unity of things, is a construct that serves an agenda. Namely, an agenda to fuel consumption-driven economic growth (and a heaping side-order of compliant obedience and indentured servitude).

The result of this agenda and the reductionist reality it employs has been the psycho-social evolution of the notion of the distinct self and the enterprise of, what I like to call identity-construction becoming the raison d’être of modern life and good citizenry

Revisiting this diagram yet again reminds us that our obsession with who we will be, and who we have been is a function of our fervent almost single-minded obsession with cultivation and augmentation of the self-construct: or as I have called it before — the coats of paint upon coats of paint (country, religion, race, alma mater, job, political party affiliation, preferred sports team franchises, brand of car you drive, brand of phone you use, types of books you read, types of music you listen to, bla, blas, and bla — and also, bla).

consciousness3

Humans now spend almost every waking minute of their day and every modicum of conscious thought in the process of procuring identity.

As I — in accordance with my social contractual obligations at this time of year — found myself Christmas shopping recently, I explored a notion.

For hundreds of thousands of years, we were hunters. Always on the lookout, not just for game — but for more game than we needed, for we were also intelligent enough to know that bad things happen and one could never know when food might end up in short supply. We were always trying to be ahead of the curve: a few bashed rabbits ahead of potential starvation.

It is likely that this inclination to be a one step ahead of god only knows what’s gonna go down today persists in our psychology, and as I circled the mall on a quest for the most just right useless thing, I began to wonder if this wasn’t exactly the instinct that is exploited in the modern age.

Have you ever had the feeling that shopping, not grocery shopping, but shit-you-don’t-really-need shopping, feels a lot like what hunting might feel like?

And so this lead to another thought.

Rather than hunting for food to survive, we now hunt for items we think will enhance how favourably others will perceive us. We are hunting for accessories and accoutrements that will raise out standing. We want to be ‘in’,’hip’, ‘phat’, ‘cool’. And even if we are in debt to our eyeballs — putting our ability to eat and therefore survive in question — we hunger for others to view us as successful.

Our instinct to hunt to survive has been reprogrammed into a hunt to ‘arrive’.

But this is problematic, for survival is a thing that is possible. Arrival (as in the getting there — wherever or whatever ‘there’ is) is not. It is an entirely arbitrary concept. A perpetually receding phantasm forever beyond our reach.

Further, where the instinct to hunt for food was necessary — the instinct to hunt for just the right hair product or the phone that is one version more recent than your workplace nemesis’s phone, is not.

But in the hunt for the next cool fashion accessory, degree, car, watch, or haircut that will demonstrate our having ‘arrived’, we put even our very survival in jeopardy. And even if we aren’t starving to death because of our financial commitment to cool, it is still a safe bet that — as study after study has shown —  our happiness is suffering. This is because, unlike the full belly that comes from chomping on the bashed-in rabbit, there is no identifiable endgame in the hunt for the thing, title, or idea that will finally, unequivocally make your specific self-construct cooler, richer, or more awesome than everyone else’s specific self-construct. Indeed, the only rewards for our effort are momentary respite in a never-ending sense of inadequacy that perpetually requires just one ‘last’ acquisition or accomplishment to put us over the top.

To my point.

Because the delusional obsession with identity-construction is derived from the same instinct that for millennia drove our inclination to acquire the means for survival, it is a deeply rooted function that is difficult to overcome.

But it should be overcome. Indeed, in a world where we can now fairly easily acquire the items we need to survive, it seems logical that undermining the hijacked hunt instinct that drives the trinket-and-bauble quest of futility just may be the key to finding lasting happiness.

But how would one sever a deep-rooted instinct that has somehow been re-directed from an unrelated and futile purpose?

You know the answer to that as well as I do.

It is not a coincidence that meditation, which reveals the ultimate falsehood of the self-construct, has been proposed and practiced for generations by exactly the same groups of people who suggest that the hunt for satisfaction by way of riches and status and approval is ultimately an exercise in futility.

The way to disconnect the instinct to hunt for survival from the delusion of the hunt for ‘arrival’ is through meditation.

To cease to exist to oneself, is to become a window into grace.

And with that…

… Have a Happy New Year, unless you’ve made other plans.

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Seasons Greetings SNEAK PEAK: Chapter 13 — Part 2 BEGINS!

CHAPTER 13

 

“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”

~ John Milton

 Of Gygax Emanation and Extra-Planar Manifestation of RPG Entities

Conceived by Earth sorcerer, Andy Crowley following his defeat of the demiurge, Bolth the Beholder, the phenomenon known as Gygax Emanation (named for Earther, Gary Gygax, creator of the role playing game Dungeons & Dragons) theorizes that creatures and entities detailed in Earther role playing games manifest on other planes of existence as a direct result of being conceived of in the minds of players of these games. The phenomenon, if true, is noteworthy because it contradicts the common knowledge that access by consciousness to probability fields within the peculiar region of spacetime known as Sanctuary is impossible.

Crowley’s theory postulates that the intense, lucid mental activity that occurs in the minds of role-playing game players enters the probability vortices and, because probability manipulation by consciousness is not possible within the event horizon of Sanctuary Rim, results in delta quanta being shunted outward across the moebius bridge onto other planes of existence as manifested entities.

The theory further proposes that mental conception related to these games results in extra-planar manifestation while other human conceptions (such as religious, literary and pop culture figures) do not due to the presence of the unique electromagnetic, gravitational, and aetheric field properties generated by the specific geometry of the dice used in these types of games.

Credence is lent to this argument by the fact that the geometric properties of these dice – three-dimensional, regular, convex polyhedrons with congruent regular polygonal faces and the same number of faces meeting at each vertex – are identical to those presented by the Earth philosopher, Pythagoras, and popularized by the philosopher, Plato, as the Platonic solids: the fundamental geometric structures of three-dimensional spacetime.

There is also speculation that the resultant field mechanics from the interaction of the specific electromagnetic and aetheric fields generated by the intensity of a player’s fixation on the future outcome of the dice roll and the flux-prob field vacuum resulting from the roll itself is a contributing factor.

Should the Gygax Emanation theory hold true it would support the hypothesis that, although the ability of consciousness to manipulate delta quanta within the probability vortices inside Sanctuary Rim remains impossible, sufficiently vivid visualizations that occur within minds of entities in the presence of material components modeling the geometry of the Platonic solids may actually manifest substantially on other planes of reality.

Sanctuary
Corbyvillle
1984

Andy pressed his tongue hard against his teeth in the right side of his mouth and was relieved to feel nothing loose there. The taste of blood wasn’t going to mean dental work. Good. No ridiculous mother lecture.

The mischievous grin the others had come to fear split his filthy face as he pushed himself up from the cleat-tortured grass and mud, tossed the ball to the referee and jogged back to the pack.

It had been about a thirty-meter run before they took him down – and he had let them do it. He knew he could score every time he touched the ball but he didn’t want to hurt anyone, and he thought it a reasonable exercise of humility to restrict the outside limits of his newfound athletic celebrity.

Despite not having cast a spell or trained in the high-grav, slow-time extra-dimensional, pocket octagon for over three months, he had retained a relative degree of speed, agility, strength and stamina that still dwarfed his schoolmates.

Momentarily, his thoughts turned again to his promise to never again cast a spell or leave his native plane of existence. His home.

Looking up to the grass embankment that sloped down to the pitch, he saw Lori and Shani clapping while Deb, more restrained and showing the appropriate amount of concern due a girlfriend who had just seen her boyfriend dragged to the turf by three Trenton gorillas, simply waved.

His thoughts turned to his plans for Saturday night.

Not even a week after he had forsaken the sorcerer’s path, he had asked Deb on a date. How could he not? Protecting her from his secret life had been the only reason he had not already done what everyone knew was supposed to happen. They had always been together. They would always be together. And on Saturday he was going to watch Flash Gordon with her again, listen to some Doors and Rush, and finally, after all these long years – he was going to make their relationship official, though he was still working out what that actually entailed.

As he smiled and nodded to the girls while he jogged back to the pack, Andy felt an incredible happiness: a sense of wholeness that was, while not mystical, still divine in some way that was new to him – and maybe always would be.

Habitually he snuck a quick look down at his hand where he held a purple translucent, icosahedron, the twenty-sided platonic solid from sacred geometry that was associated with the element of water.

The side with an engraved 20 filled with the wax of a gold crayon faced him.

Perfection.

“As above, so below,” he thought and smiled again. Then he bent low and locked into the scrum in the flanker position.

And though he relished this moment in the new life he had chosen for himself, he crushed the purple 20-sided die into his fist with a ferocity that had become his way of forgetting what had happened; his way of forgetting Jasco; of forgetting that he was a coward; of forgetting that demon, that day on the astral plane, and all the reasons he had quit sorcery forever.

Parallel Multiverse
USSSR KE-Bridge Station Gagarin
Proxima Centauri system
Orbit of Stalin Prime
1984 AD SR

“Rasputin!” The teacher roared, slapping his pointer against his desk.

The boy’s head, which had been on a slumbering trajectory that would have terminated upon his desktop, snapped up so hard he worried for a moment he may have hurt his neck.

“Commander,” he blurted. The laughter of the other cadets filled the room.

“My apologies Andrei,” The Commander said. “I have tried and tried and tried to make re-entry mechanics more enticing.” He smiled and parted his thick Comrade-Stalin moustache. He was a kind man. Andrei was not afraid of him.

“Perhaps you should sleepwalk over to sickbay lad. You have not been yourself. I’d like the doctor to see what’s up with you.”

“Aye sir.” Andrei stood up, collected his books and made for the door. The room had now fallen silent to watch him leave.

At the door he turned quickly and said. “Sorry sir”.

“It’s okay, Andrei. Get the doc to sort you out.”

In the corridor, a plasteel tube that connected the outer ring of USSSR station Gagarin, to the main hub, Andrei Rasputin eyes darted anxiously here-and-there out into space looking for him: the fascinating clockwork entity that looked like a pirate: the metal man in space with the soothing, velvet voice and spectacular stories.

Angel? Demon? Alien? God? The young man’s sharp, curious, scientific mind had run the variables and had settled upon delusion.

Soviet Imperial Stellar Navy Cadet, Andrei Rasputin was 14-years-old, and though something of a star pupil, he had been reduced to something of a nervous wreck in the last 48-hours. Indeed, he was genuinely concerned he was going insane. Though some part of him believed.

In his dreams of the last few nights, Twain, as the machine had called itself, had conveyed a stunning understanding of the Empire’s mission of hope, justice and equality. It seemed to want to genuinely help further the glorious stellar destiny of the hammer, sickle and stars.

“Those destined for greatness always suspect they are unbalanced at your age, Andrei.”

The voice was speaking to him now – for the first time in his waking mind. Somehow it was more lucid. More comforting. More real. His fear that he had gone mad was immediately gone and was replaced with something else altogether.

“You question your sanity because you have been conditioned to believe that all notions are generated by stimulus originating from outside the mind, from beyond the self – but this is not true. All great men are explorers of the realms within as well as those without. And you Andrei Rasputin are to be a great man.”

Andrei’s darting eyes fixed now outside the plasteel of the corridor upon the one called Twain. Sheathed in a lime-green glow, the machine-man floated in space. It wore a billowing white blouse, doeskin breaches and high leather boots that looked almost like Red Army officer formal dress issue. A massive sword hung at his side. On his head there was a floppy wide-rimmed hat with massive blood-red plume issuing from a wide black band.

The glowing amber slits of eyes, which through mysterious means were somehow capable of expressing kindness, beckoned to him. There was a smile in them – and a promise.

Why hadn’t the proximity alerts gone off? How was this possible? The metal man had come to him for three nights now, talking at length about empire, and destiny – and how he was to be the greatest leader the United Soviet Socialist Stellar Republic would ever know. But now – he was sure – the metal man was not in his dream. He was really here speaking to him in his mind, telepathically Andrei presumed. He had read enough science fiction and he was imaginative and open-minded enough.

“In the same way the founders of the republic brought all of humanity together and took them to stars, you will unite the peoples of yet undiscovered worlds and unite all in the prosperity of the motherland.”

Then, Andrei felt a rush of ambition for he sensed truth in the robot’s words. His panic ceased and the clockwork gears placed in his mind through the dreams of the last few nights clicked into place, meshed together, and began to turn.

Suddenly, he knew his place in history. Like Genghis Khan, Alexander, Stalin, he would conquer and in conquering bring prosperity. How had it taken him so long to see his place in the world.

He felt the hair on his skin stand on end and a snap of momentary cold. Then, inexplicably he was floating in space, face-to-face with the man of metal. And he was not afraid. Somehow he was warm. Somehow he could breathe.

“I have come to facilitate the future of the empire,” said Tin Prince Twain. His voice was comforting and paternal. It appealed to the boy who had never known his parents.”

“How am I breathing?” he managed to say through his excitement. His elation.

“You have only just begun to understand the things you can do.” The Tin Prince put his hands on the young soviet space cadet’s shoulders. “It is my destiny to show you your potential.”

The plasteel corridor, where Andrei had stood just moments before, was now filled with cosmonauts brandishing Kalashnikov atom-scramblers. They pointed and yelled at the two figures floating in space. Andrei’s clever mind quickly surmised that the implosion of air rushing in to fill the vacuum created when his mass was transferred out of the space station must have set off an alarm. The thought of the claxons blaring all because of him only accentuated his excitement.

Andrei Rasputin in this moment felt more important than he had ever felt in his life.

The Tin Prince smiled at him, but the smile was not for the boy.

He smiled because he knew his plan had worked; and because it had been so simple.

The boy’s young, untrained and accessible mind had given him everything he needed to use against him. The Earth history in this universe was the history of communist triumph.

The Red Army’s seizure of the German war machine in the first days of World War II; the subsequent communist uprisings and annexation of Europe; the invention of the Kurchatov-Einstein Bridge generator and resultant 1948 stable moon wormhole; the Yellowstone eruption and fall of America: and the 1977 mission to Alpha Centauri and colonization of Stalin Prime, the first human interstellar settlement: all of it lead to this moment and this boy. The coincidence of the surname of the Andy Crowley of this universe was not lost on Tin Prince.

“Rasputin,”  he chuckled at the familiar name. A perfect moniker for the sorcerer he would use to acquire the Glass Grimoire, and would rise to rule his native universe, the Prince’s universe, and indeed, in time, all of reality by way of the truest, purest, deepest form of communism imaginable.

How fortunate, he thought, that the discovery of wormhole generation and sub-space travel had driven the space exploration of this Earth. They had little to no interest in what they thought to be the lifeless worlds of their own solar system and had gone directly to travelling to the stars. It amused him to think of the Pentarchy and that used-car salesman Pharaoh of Mars trying to remain hidden from these Earthers!

It would only be a matter of time before these discovered that magic was possible out here beyond the Rim.

He stopped the conjecture and reminded himself he did not know if there was a Pentarchy here; or a Martian merchant empire; or even a Sanctuary; or that it had the same border in this multiverse. Was there a Binary Proclamation? What if it’s rules extended outward with these human colonies? A discomfort began to set in as he realized he was contending with too many unknowns. Suddenly he just wanted to be home.

The brash, adventurous Aleister Crowley part of him had worked a sorcerous miracle in getting here and getting exactly what he needed. Maybe all rather too easily he felt at this moment. Now, the Sam Clemens part of him was exerting its propensity for reason, caution and restraint. It was time to go.

Before returning to business, the robot from the universe next door indulged in one last moment of self-congratulations.

As a master of persuasion, he had known that the ultimate carrot for consciousness was happiness, and that happiness was won, not as most people assume, with wealth, or pleasures of the body, or even status and respect. True, lasting happiness is the product of one thing: meaning.

And over the last three days he had presented this lonely, curious, orphan space cadet with the prospect of a grander, nobler life of meaning than any Earth human in history (the history of this multiverse at least) had ever conceived of.

Then with a gesture and an utterance in Latin into the soundless vacuum of space, there was the twinkling of a bottled soul traversing spacetime followed by a flash and swirl of eldritch green.

And as the terrified cosmonauts of the Soviet Socialist Stellar Republic KE-Bridge Station Gagarin looked on in horror, the Victorian clockwork sorcerer and their young comrade – now a would-be ruler of a communist empire in the stars – simply ceased to be where they had been.

To be continued in Chapter 14
Friday January, 13, 2017
7:00 PM EST

Get up to speed!
Read Introduction to Chapter 12 here

cropped-cropped-master_cover_banner24.png

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Meditation Diagram: Consciousness as Cosmology

Q: What is the Purpose of Meditation?

A: To dissolve the parts indicated in red and develop the parts indicated green.

consciousnessascosmos

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Blues Clue’s Steve Burns And Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd Announce ‘Foreverywhere’

Update – November 2nd Steve-n-steveN’s debut album FOREVERYWHERE has been confirmed for February 2017 release…

Source: Blues Clue’s Steve Burns And Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd Announce ‘Foreverywhere’ Adult-Friendly Psych Rock Kids Album

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Meditation reveals what’s under the paint…

… and threatens a structure that prefers you not know

If consciousness, as some philosophers — and increasingly physicists — believe, is indeed a force of nature like gravity or magnetism, then YOU (aka me, I, self, ego) no more possess your own consciousness than a moon possesses its own gravity.

There is just consciousness in the same way there is just gravity. These forces transcend the delineations of reality they function upon — or within.

Gravity exists whether or not there is a planet (or an apple) available to ‘have’ gravity. What if the same is true of consciousness?

What if, what you are, is in fact, merely a collection of designations, articulations, categorizations and labels stacked one one upon the other from the moment of conception to the moment in which you read this?

Think about it. Who were you in the womb — before you were left or right handed? Who were you before you were black or white? Who were you before you were male or female? Who were you before you were Christian or Atheist? American or Canadian? Conservative or liberal? iPhone or Android? Disco or rock n’ roll?

The answer is simpler than you might expect.

YOU are the construct that results from the attributions that are layered upon consciousness. YOU are the coats of paint upon a long-forgotten phantom. YOU are the bandages and sunglasses on the invisible man.

And meditation is the means by which the YOU reconnects with what is under all the paint.

Simple really.

The reason a political-economic system that would exploit you and prevent you from becoming aware of that exploitation would prefer you did not know this (hence all the contrived, constructed arbitrary delineations of reality like race, religion, nation, political party, fashion, etc.) is that when a person becomes aware that consciousness is transcendent to me or you in the same way that gravity is transcendent to Moon or Earth, that person stops longing and fearing. And a person who stops longing (mostly for trinkets, baubles, compliments, and approval) and fearing (mostly alienation and death, both of which become pointless with this new information) they stop obeying.

This is why social structures through history, engineered primarily to limit, control and exploit, condition their subjects to prioritize the surfaces of things over the substance of them. It is why we are constantly lured to find ourselves outside rather than within.

Whether it be our gods, clothes, cars, spouses or jobs, always our happiness, security, salvation and fulfillment are to be found in constructs external to us. Always we are to strive outward for the things that will improve our lot or raise our standing. Always, there is another item to be acquired, approval to be won: another coat of paint that will ‘touch up’ and improve upon the perpetually inadequate YOU.

As for finding fulfillment and grace in things that are right here, right now, accessible, abundant, free, renewable — even infinite — well… hell no! That’s just new age hippie stuff and woo-woo at best. Or worse… arcane, sinister and altogether damnable to civilized behaviour!

Chasing fulfillment in the adornments and approvals of the outer realm is merely the trap set to keep us sleepwalking.

An earnest turn inward to the path of meditation and wakefulness is the journey beneath the caked on paint to where the force we all share — indeed, the force we all ARE —  is rediscovered.

cropped-cropped-master_cover_banner24.png

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Meet the Cosmic Cast of Characters of the Glass Grimoire

In order of appearance

Part One: Sole Sorcerer of Sanctuary (Introduction, Prologue, Chapters 1-12)

Character About First Appearance
Abraxas The all-consuming hive consciousness born of the fusion of inorganic and organic life that is destined to end free will and homogenize all sentience in the multiverse. Introduction
Ancaster (Andy) Crowley Teenager, headbanger, Dungeon Master, and sole sorcerer of Sanctuary destined to become the organic catalyst for the ascent of the Abraxas. Chapter 1
Nick Andy’s best friend. Chapter 1
Tin Prince Twain The feuding souls of Aleister Crowley and Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) inhabiting an immortal robot body built by Nikola Tesla. He is one of the most adept sorcerers in the multiverse and will defeat the Abraxas in the War of All Gods 3000 years in the future. Chapter 2
Lucifer Estranged archangel of Heaven, curator of cultural museum paradise of Hades Prime, regent of the United Hells, and unabashed champion of self-expression and free will. Chapter 2
Pharaoh Garuk Motankhamun IV Emperor of the First Martian Solar Dynasty who managed the relocation of the seat of the Multiverse-spanning Martian Merchant Empire from Mars proper to the Galilean moons of Jupiter, guardian of the gateway to Sanctuary, and adoptive father of dimension-faring swashbuckler Kipling Kilroy. Chapter 3
Cormac Kipling Kilroy Captain of the alchemical Martian dreamship Lady Anuket, lord of the inter-dimensional Sea of Tears. cormac of the Stygian navy of Olympus and general freebooting swashbuckler extraordinaire. Chapter 3
The Banjoman Irascible, but generally affable, lord of Limbo, the realm between realms. He possesses an ancient, sentient, magical banjo that is a weapon of incredible power. Chapter 3
Craig (Crease) Crowley Andy Crowley’s easy-going father, a former fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Chapter 4
Joan Crowley Andy’s loving, overprotective, and by-the-book mother. Chapter 4
Joanne Holcroft Deb Holcroft’s very cool mom. Chapter 4
Deborah (Deb) Holcroft Andy’s life-long friend and possible true-love. Unbeknownst to her, she is also the dream warrior, Peregrinus-Shirle of the Morphean Guard. Chapter 5
Sherle-Peregrinus Dream warrior in the Morphean Guard and commander of forces at the Jotunheim Intersection in the dream realm at Sanctuary Rim Chapter 5
Jasco of Fey Banshee, and renegade soul reaper for the House of Arawn from the realm of Fey, loyal friend and business associate of Kipling Kilroy, and mentor to Andy Crowley. Chapter 6
Warmoles of Limbo Some of the first creatures created in the multiverse by the demiurge Gaia. Their tunnelling through spacetime created the framework upon which material reality formed and grew. Hunted to near-extinction for their spacetime-rending claws, they were rescued by the Lords of Limbo and are now loyal only to the warriors of the realm between realms. Chapter 8
Harry Houdini Legendary Earther escapist and skeptic of all things supernatural, he was killed in a duel with Aleister Crowley. His ghost now doggedly hunts Tin Prince Twain in the pursuit of vengeance and the precious aether that will restore his life. Chapter 9
Sisyphus Olympian philosopher imprisoned in the prison of the gods at Martian Olympus Mons (MOM) for daring to object to Zeus’s obsession with furthering Olympian hegemony in the multiverse. Over the millennia he has learned to astral project and now operates an Olympian diner near Hypnos Somnos on the astral plane. Chapter 10
Michael Former archangel of the soul-trading house of Heaven who became estranged when that realm refused to intervene in the War of Hells. He now serves Lucifer as Commander of the forcers of the United Hells. Chapter 11
Anubis Supreme Arbiter of the Court of the Celestial Necropolis and commander of the Knights of Oblivion responsible for enforcing the Binary Proclamation and the sanctity of fair and just practice in the multiversal commerce of souls. Brother to the mysteriously murdered Lady Anuket who was betrothed to Kipling Kilroy. Chapter 11
Leraje Remarkably charming, genderless marquis of Hell, commander of 30 legions, renowned archer and bounty hunter for sport. Chapter 12

 

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

A Mystic’s 2016 Top Ten List of Completely Made-Up Things

In no particular order. ‘Cause, what would be the point, right?

In the tradition of year-end lists, I’ve boiled this down to ten, which is still way up from the one a true mystic would expect.

Sure, we might not be able to ignore the things on this list — but at least we can get better at seeing them as the arbitrarily delineated figments they are rather than the immutable, defined substantialities most people still imagine them to be.

  1. Time
  2. Religions
  3. Countries
  4. Races
  5. Genders
  6. Political Parties and Movements
  7. Currencies and Economic Instruments
  8. Scientific Classifications and Measurements
  9. Laws
  10. Artistic Genres / Fashion

Honourable mentions:

  1. Distinct Self / Ego / Identity
  2. Year-End Top 10 Lists

Of course, this is purely for discussion purposes.

What would you designate as the top 10 reductionist affronts to the mystic’s intrinsically indivisible ontology?

Though this list may seem completely pointless, it embodies some hope that people might start looking at reality a little differently with a mind to not taking the imaginary items on the above list so seriously.

Perhaps in doing so, we may all loosen up somewhat in 2017.

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Meditation, Mindfulness, & Racism

Science, Mysticism, & Awakening to the Race Construct

Readers of the Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley know that mysticism vs. reductionism is a major theme in Andy’s pulp fantasy adventure.

Central to the story is the idea that all reality is a unified oneness, and only by way of human constructs is existence parsed, delineated, and otherwise mangled into the quagmire of divisions, categories and labels we delusionally hold immutable and true.

arbol_de_la_vida_yin_yang_con_el_efecto_de_madera_pegatina_redonda-r73cacf6193ee4c61a0136bc7101874e2_v9wth_8byvr_324

I have said here before that I believe this mistaken modality of perception and cognition is fostered in our culture as way to divide, limit and imprison us.

I have also proposed that the practice of meditating toward mindfulness — which may merely be a modern, more acceptable way of articulating timeless practices undertaken to attain the mystic state whereby one may ascertain monism — is the means by which we return to what may have once been our natural modality of awareness, and a way out of the maze we have been conditioned to construct for ourselves.

Nowhere, except maybe in the ridiculous notion that lines on a map or coloured rectangles of cloth that flap in the wind are real things (intrinsic to the identities we fabricate for ourselves no less!), is our constructed, conceptualized culture’s reductionism run amok more obvious than with the issue of race. Or should I say non-issue — for there is, even scientifically speaking — no such thing.

The article below articulates this sentiment in terms of current events.

Racial Identity is Biological Nonsense says Reith Lecturer 

And I felt compelled to ask Glass Grimoire readers share it far and wide.

For though we live in a time where many people are untangling their consciousnesses from the binds of the arbitrary lines we have drawn, as we have seen of late, too many are still too susceptible to slipping backward into the crude machinations of the superficial colouring-book-and-crayons culture that delineates and demonizes in order to divide and conquer.

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Meditation, Black Friday, & the Hamster Wheel of Identity Construction

Conspicuous Consumption is the Disease of Disconnection

Last week, I shared the below graphic to show how I see meditation and mindfulness as a phenomenon that offers escape from the compulsion toward the self/ego/identity-fabrication that results in the imprisoning ME construct.

Though admittedly not the end-all-be-all, and certainly a mere stepping stone toward the much more complex notion of what meditation is, it was accepted with enthusiasm and much debate, some of which ventured into the realm of the socio-economic reasons why human beings need to meditate to become mindful in the first place.

consciousness3

Is it possible that we are drawn to meditation by a desire to reacquire a natural inclination to a mindful state of awareness we have lost? A return to Eden one might say.

How is it that submitting to the peace of the present moment has become something elusive and seemingly beyond reach of modern, civilized humanity? Shouldn’t we be predisposed to this disposition?

Does it really make sense that our seemingly default state of awareness is anxiety, stress and regret?

It’s weird if you ask me.

But you know what else is weird?

BLACK-trample-your-neighbour-for-50%-OFF-a-popcorn-popper-FRIDAY!

That’s weird too.

As someone formerly afflicted with careers in political science, journalism and advertising, I have come to believe that the reason the modern default modality of consciousness is a perpetual state of being anxious about the future, dissatisfied with the present and regretful about the past is because we are programmed by our society and its institutions to be this way.

In other words, people are conditioned, socialized and trained to be the exact opposite of what mindfulness implies and meditation achieves.

Why? To what end?

Well, Black Friday about sums it up.

Simply put, the individual with a mindful consciousness: the one who is intrinsically satisfied; the one for whom identity construction and longing for outside approval of that constructed identity has ceased to be the driving imperative of consciousness doesn’t NEED the latest version of the hippest phone brand to be satisfied with existence.

And so mindfulness is not preferred because it does not serve the interests of a consumption driven economic growth paradigm that likes its people perpetually

  • uncertain about what they have achieved
  • disappointed with who they are
  • obsessed with who they should be
  • preoccupied with identity construction, and
  • seeking validation of that construct

so that they are always

  • shopping, and
  • working so they can shop

From marks in school to how current our phone model is to how our asses look in our pants, the preferred modality of consciousness — the modality that has been engineered to serve the interests of the few at the top — is that which constantly scans outward for approval of the ME construct and invests every waking moment stitching the outer clown suit of being piecemeal into existence using everything from political affiliations to the painstakingly selected brand of coffee one waves prominently about as one saunters into work each morning.

They want us fractured, disoriented and jonesin’ for the next thing that will make others stand up and take notice of how on-the-ball, ahead-of-the-curve, plugged-in, awesome-smelling, slick-operating, and blinky-trinky AWESOME we are!

All this, despite the fact that it’s impossible to ever hit all the targets that move ever backwards! For ain’t it the absolute truth that what’s nifty today is nasty by tomorrow?

Welcome to the hamster wheel.

What they DON’T want are the awakened ones. And especially ones who buy into that tree-hugging, hippy-dippy, kung-fu, one-with-reality hokum! Those ones aren’t shoppers. Those ones won’t stay chained to their desks.

In the fiction I write, I postulate that reductionism run amok — the needless and arbitrary parsing and delineation of reality by way of labels, categories, designations, measurements etc. is what separates us from grace. It is the primary theme of my work.

Rightly or wrongly, I propose that the grace of the oneness that emerges when we cease (as much as is possible for us) to draw lines and impose fabricated division on an inherently unified reality is what I call mysticism. And also, rightly or wrongly, I identify mindfulness as achieved by meditation as the condition of nesting in this unity of being and reality / perceiver and perceived.

I offer for discussion that the misery in our world results from holding ourselves in the state of exile from grace that manifests when, either by the wide strokes of the paint roller of religion, or by the fine-tipped pen strokes of science, we impose our swaths and scribbles upon a reality that rewards us most for doing no more than being with it as it is.

The lines are everywhere and without thinking too hard or meditating for too long, it begins to become obvious why they are there.

Divide and conquer.

The lines have become so pervasive we no longer realize that they are arbitrarily defined and thereby imaginary! Lines in the sand, all of them: shifting and insubstantial — though most certainly NOT inconsequential!

Lines between blacks and whites; between conservatives and liberals; between Christians and Muslims; between Americans and Mexicans.

They all divide though none of them are real!

Now let’s return our attention to the point of this article: that high, holy, celebration of consumerism: Black Friday.

We come now to lines upon the lines. As though there can never be too many bars in the cage. As though nations, races, religions, political parties, alma maters, and sports team loyalties weren’t enough, we are invited to the next level.

Mac-users and PC-users; Android-users and iPhone-user; this-kind-of-car-driver and that-kind-of-car-driver; rock and disco; Coke and Pepsi; My-watch-records-how-many-steps-I-take-guy and poor-me-my-watch-still-only-tells-me-what-time-it-is-MAN!-I-need-two-fingers-of-scotch-to-dull-the-pain-guy : (

We’ve succumbed to a civilizational enterprise in social engineering that has managed to make me-being-better-than-you even better!

All of this is why we are disconnected. All of this is why we are unfulfilled.

Because they want us shopping. They want us working. They want us warring.

To my point. Conspicuous consumption of junk we don’t need to preoccupy us with the construction of false identities we don’t need has become the cultural imperative of our civilization. And we do it all only because we don’t yet get that we don’t need to.

And we will continue to do it until, I would argue, we use the door off the hamster wheel that becomes more and more accessible to us all every day.

Meditation: the vast, silent, borderless way back to the embracing grace of a reality free from the arbitrary delineations that set us against one another (not to mention setting the constructed outer self against the inner relative absence of that notion).

So I invite you again to ponder the above meditation/mindfulness graphic — this time in the context of Black Friday and these two statements.

  1. Identity Construction has become the primary enterprise of beings in our civilization and the means by which they become trapped on the seek approval-shop-work-repeat hamster wheel.
  2. Meditating toward mindful, transcendent awareness beyond the ME construct offers the promise of moving through our programmed preoccupation with identity construction and stepping off that hamster wheel.

stress

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Mindfulness, Meditation, & the Self-Construct Simplified…

… and how the unreality of past & future shackles us

Because meditation still seems exotic and inaccessible to some, I decided to sketch up a little diagram that articulates what it achieves by showing the typical socially conditioned consciousness of the average worker/citizen/voter/consumer in Western culture and the consciousness of one who has moved toward a relative state of wakefulness as proposed in most spiritual systems.

Implicit in the notion this graphic communicates is the idea of mysticism — that reality is something beyond science, religion or concepts that are used to define self (car preference, political affiliation, gender, race, nationality, hair style, preferred footwear brand, career etc.)

consciousness3

Whether you view this from an Abrahamic-Christian, Taoist, Buddhist, secular, psychological, Hermetic or mystical perspective, what I hope you find fascinating is that when you acknowledge the artificiality of time (no past / no future) as an aspect of the fabrication of — and preoccupation with — the fictional, distinct self, you come to realize you’ve been tangled in a quagmire of conceptualizations and symbols that have kept you from engaging in the grace of reality.

Along the way, another beautiful happens as you grasp the concept of mindfulness. You begin to truly understand why forgiveness emerged as a vehicle to grace. Likewise for detachment. For once you break through, you begin to see that meditation and the mindful awareness that results from it are really just the contemporary terms for countless spiritual concepts, which in turn created countless religious concepts that all represent the one way to the one place called by so many names, of which salvation, enlightenment, wisdom, higher consciousness are but a few.

For me, in the end it all boils down to just two words…

Let go.

For more mindful mystical musings, merely make your way into the metaphysical maelstrom of the multiverse of

Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Upon Pages of Glass, a Grimoire for Our Time

Returning to The Reality We Once Knew

Glass Grimoire is more than an open-ended, omni-genre approach to fiction that embraces the vast canvas offered by the Internet. It is more than a reimagining of the spirit of the 19th Century newspaper serials of Dickens and Twain, and the pulp radio serials of the 40s and 50s.

There is a reason this work of fantasy fiction is steeped in philosophical, esoteric, occult, mythological, and philosophical tradition. And it quite purposefully embodies a post-reductionist, mystical perspective: a perspective revered long before either science or religion — and a perspective finding renewed pertinence in a world where our means for sharing information and inspiration that connects us to one another is right at our fingertips.

It is my hope that this story might manifest as something we can connect to together: something that will evolve into a force that will re-illuminate and proliferate ancient — perhaps intrinsically human — truths still known to a few but still hidden from too many.

Andy Crowley’s story is conceived of as a spark within The Glass Grimoire. But it is all of us together that will fan it to a flame.

If this be the tome — one by which modern sorcery has connected us to one another by pages of glass — then this tome’s tale is but inspiration to invocation. The true magic that arises herein will do so by way of the interpretations, information and illuminations you provide, discuss and share in the comments below each chapter. In turn, those comments will become edits as a living mystical document emerges to guide us into ourselves, away from the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave, back into light.

As your participation informs and refines this evolving story, together we may craft a mystic primer for transcending the arbitrarily delineated delusion of the world to which we so lazily cling — instead to experience once again the ancient dance of being and reality eternally promised and too long ignored.

What the Digital Dickens!?

Does 21st Century Serial Resurgence Demand New Writing Rules?

I feel the Internet offers an opportunity for a return to episodic storytelling on an unprecedented scale. And I believe the web serial could reorient our entire approach to writing and literature. Think 19th Century Dickens newspaper serials — only with no need for presses, no associated production costs, no need for a printer or publisher, and unlimited access to story research and audience.

The vast scope of the canvas and the open-ended (cost-free) nature of the medium offers the promise of longer arcs, larger casts of characters, more complex world mechanics and histories, and even reader interaction and immediate feedback.

I know this will be controversial but I feel the approach to setting up a saga in this medium should be different than set-up in a typical, more finite novel. The standards for proper novel length, number of characters etc. get blown out the door. Do they not?

With a very long view taken, my approach has been to exposit (info-dump — egad!–) the complex rules of my reality in a “Concerning Hobbits” manner. I also introduce a lot of characters early. I intend to lay down the complexity up front so that things can play out. But here’s the rub…

Every criticism of the work is along the typical lines: “hook ’em with the first page”, “show don’t tell”, “I want to know why these characters have this relationship (without waiting)”, “info-dumps bad” etc.

Putting a debate about whether one is a good/bad writer, or experienced/inexperienced writer aside, I am all but convinced that we should be undergoing a paradigm shift in HOW people write — and how people read — that addresses the scale, nature, and possibility of the web serial medium.

I feel the opportunity for larger, grander, more sophisticated worlds, stories and reader experiences is done a remarkable disservice by culturally imposing a transfer of the limitations of corporate, published, single-author, 500-page, bestseller novel process onto the longer-game, deeper-dive of this much wider canvas.

Are the established writing class just digging their heels in here? Is fuddyduddyism stonewalling evolution — maybe even a renaissance?

I know there are rules. But do the same rules apply when the medium is so drastically different?

Can there be new rules? Indeed, shouldn’t there be new rules?

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

A Message to Glass Grimoire Readers

Regarding Glass Grimoire & Mysticism in Practice

Glass Grimoire is an open-ended, omni-genre approach to fiction that embraces the vast canvas offered by the Internet.

It is conceived in the spirit of the 19th Century newspaper serials of Dickens and Twain, and the pulp radio serials of the 40s and 50s, but endeavours to advance on those conceptions in a time where we are capable of accessing information that once evaded popular awareness in a medium that connects us and empowers us to share and interact like never before.

This tale is steeped in philosophical, esoteric, occult and mythological tradition and fully embraces a post-reductionist, mystical perspective.

Sharing your thoughts, interpretations and insights in the comment section below each chapter is encouraged — as is using the social media buttons to share this work and widen this conversation.

It is my hope that in the sharing, discovery unfolds, and that the cognitive delineation and division run wild in our society begins to melt away.

The words of Andy’s worlds are a dream, both literally and figuratively: a dream about how we may come to understand that the term Glass Grimoire has a meaning much deeper, and much more profound than that of a mere McGuffin in the raucous romp through reality of a teenage sorcerer from Corbyville.

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley for free.

The Prison of Obsessive Identity Construction

Fuelling our obsession

with the delusion of self

is how they shackle us.

identity

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Freedom Upon an Open Plain

Freedom Upon an Open Plain

Old skunk, satisfied,
Shambles onto an open plain.

Young owl, enthusiastic,
descends to fulfill their shared desire.

They know nothing of winners.
They know nothing of losers.

And so suffer not the anguish of such false notions.

For once again, skunk will become owl,
And owl will become skunk,

Without distinction or delusion,

Upon the open plain.

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley

Our cyborg children need our lost philosophers

Absence of Discourse in the Age of Crashing Consciousness

I make much on this blog of the power of the Internet in positive terms.

I marvel at the potential it offers in its capacity to connect us to all the knowledge and wisdom of humanity while at the same time connecting us all to one another in a way that would enable us to share the fruits of that knowledge.

But as the father of three children now coming to grips with the allure that power has, I find myself lamenting the loss of philosophy in a time when we are undergoing perhaps the most significant surge in the evolution of consciousness in the history of our species.

My 12-year-old-daughter has an iPod. I don’t know if that is right or wrong. She uses it to listen to music, which I think is important. But she now uses it to communicate with friends across the street and across the Atlantic ocean. My wife and I monitor what she does and transparency is mandated but none of this is what really bothers me.

facebook
As someone who has long studied philosophy and the esoteric traditions, I am disturbed by our collective apathy around the Internet and what it represents as a drastic reorientation of consciousness in reality that is taking place in my daughter’s generation.

Have we really sufficiently thought through the implications of a generation of children, who, from the time they can walk, carry what amounts to a second brain in their pocket: a brain, no less, that provides them with instant access to everything that has ever been known by our species and connects them to every other being in existence — instantaneously — all the time?  Is this not a big deal?  How are we not concerned about what this means for out kids, and for our humanity?

The esoteric scholar, who appreciates how Western thought’s ferocious, snowballing imbalanced focus on the linear, rational functions of consciousness (math, science, language) over the more global, mythic functions (art, music, philosophy), speaks much about how our social institutions (I would add as a function of perpetuation of economic consumption and political management of the masses) has systemically devalued, trivialized and shoved our more “intangible” means of understanding and processing of reality the point where the are at risk being extinguished for good.

The esotericists understand perfectly how we have come to this point in the evolution of consciousness where the unchecked, unquestioned adoption of the fruits of right-brained, scientific, engineered, empiricist, reductionist innovation are integrated into our lives with total trust and minimal concern. What science does is now above reproach. Were there any philosophers left, they would say that, in the minds of our time, technology has become “the good”.

Speaking of philosophers… Remember them? Those members of a society who studied, examined, articulated, and foster discussion around the most fundamental aspect of our existence: consciousness and its relationship with reality?

Well, wouldn’t they be useful right now!

Bringing me to my point.

In a world that has come to value almost exclusively science and engineering degrees that can manifest the tangible, actionable, observable aspects of being, we have systemically diminished and devalued those explorations that can explore and manifest insubstantial — but no less important — aspects of being: what we are, who we are and how we fit in reality itself.

And now, when I look into my daughter’s frightened, confused eyes some days, I wonder if we haven’t been too complacent amidst the timeless, belligerent admonishments of drunk uncle’s with MBAs at family dinners that go something like…

“What the Hell you gonna do with a philosophy degree?”

It is unquestionable to me now that we are raising the first truly cybernetic generation of humanity. And as the ones who live in cyberspace — no, ARE cyberspace — they are struggling with how to relate to us: the ones who just visit there. Worse than that, they are struggling with how they relate to themselves, with each other, and the receding reality that exists on THIS side of the 4-inch blinky, beepy rectangle that is becoming more of who they are than THEY are.

There is no conversation happening and I fear, though they are confused, afraid, and possibly already lost, we can’t help them.

And I am convinced we will seriously lament how the people who could have helped them acquiesced to pressure to become experts in corporate communications instead of Plato.

Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Mystical Web Serial Saga of Andy Crowley