This series of posts will demonstrate one potential avenue for extending Leary and RAW's eight circuit model of consciousness by adding an additional four circuits. The inspiration behind this objective is an attempt to describe the kinds of consciousness that a successful lovecraftian system of magick would bring about, without descending into an gibbering babble of indescribable monstrosity in the face of hitherto unknown vistas. Fleeing to the safety of a new dark age is not our agenda.
In today's post, we will address the unfortunately widespread view that lovecraftian entities cause "insanity," and that they are malign. We will conclude with a list of the titles for circuits 9, 10, 11, and 12.
Most of Lovecraft's stories end with madness, horror, and unnameable dread. This is true. I don't deny this. What I suggest instead is that "madness" and "horror" are the result of improperly clinging to one's old consciousness or mode of existence, when a truly transcendent experience is at hand. Many of you have probably heard of "crossing the abyss." There comes a time in every magickal system in which, if one is to progress any further, they must make a leap, and leave behind their old way of being. In the depths of this experience, rationality lets up.
Gnosis is always nonrational. This does not mean "irrational," or improperly applied rationality, but instead ways of thinking and being that do not engage with the scientific mode of division: ratio. Solve et Coagula. Not everything is a problem meant to be solved. Unfortunately, when you pull out your chalice, and begin pooling things together, people armed only with athames may think you mad. To be fair, the nonrational mind is acting in a way that makes no sense at all to the rational mind. From the perspective, it is mad. It's certainly not rational! But, as any practicing occultist learns, writing off other modes of consciousness simply because they are incongruous with one's current mind is not productive. In this series of posts, we will instead seek to describe far flung modes of consciousness from within the rational mind. We aim to speak a circle of words around unspeakable things, with the hope that the thing inside the circle may be invoked.
Our other topic for today is that lovecraftian things are somehow "evil." Personally, I'd like to throw out the concepts of "good" and "evil," entirely, but let us entertain this point. While many narrators in lovecraft's stories describe these beings as malevolent, you'd be hard pressed to find a negative description of their agendas. In The Call of Cthulhu it seems that their most heinous act is causing nonwhites to hold orgies. Terrifying. Truly terrifying. Terrifying indeed, to a repressed racist. Hopefully we can recognize that almost everyone that sees these beings as evil, does so because "sex is icky," or "Nonwhites are evil."
A more intelligent point is that these incomprehensible powerful beings don't particularly care about humans. That's true. To a higher dimensional beast constructed of crystalized moments of time, individual people are no more than organelles with a cell. How much do you care about a mitochondrion within one of your skin cells? Most people have probably never considered that they might feel empathy for a skin cell, let alone a single part of it.
On the other hand, we can find a few positive descriptions of the intents of these beings. Here are a few excerpts from The Whisperer in Darkness that may prove useful.
“It seems that the evil legends about what they have offered to men, and what they wish in connexion with the earth, are wholly the result of an ignorant misconception of allegorical speech—speech, of course, moulded by cultural backgrounds and thought-habits vastly different from anything we dream of. My own conjectures, I freely own, shot as widely past the mark as any of the guesses of illiterate farmers and savage Indians. What I had thought morbid and shameful and ignominious is in reality awesome and mind-expanding and even glorious—my previous estimate being merely a phase of man’s eternal tendency to hate and fear and shrink from the utterly different.”
“All that the Outer Ones wish of man is peace and non-molestation and an increasing intellectual rapport. This latter is absolutely necessary now that our inventions and devices are expanding our knowledge and motions, and making it more and more impossible for the Outer Ones’ necessary outposts to exist secretly on this planet. The alien beings desire to know mankind more fully, and to have a few of mankind’s philosophic and scientific leaders know more about them. With such an exchange of knowledge all perils will pass, and a satisfactory modus vivendi be established."
“The main body of the beings inhabits strangely organised abysses wholly beyond the utmost reach of any human imagination. The space-time globule which we recognise as the totality of all cosmic entity is only an atom in the genuine infinity which is theirs. And as much of this infinity as any human brain can hold is eventually to be opened up to me, as it has been to not more than fifty other men since the human race has existed.”
To summarize: These things appear evil due to ignorance, and cultural conceptions that do not apply. They seek to bring our own consciousness to a higher level. They flit between clusters of space-time.
We will now conclude by listing what I have titled circuits 9, 10, 11, and 12.
Circuit 9: Consonance and Dissonance
Circuit 10: Both and Neither
Circuit 11: Deciding what to be Consonant or Dissonant with
Circuit 12: Transitioning from Phusis to ____________
See you next time!