Thursday, 21 October 2010

Blog Talk Radio Crowley and the Loch Ness monster lecture

Boleskine House

My recent Blog Talk Radio presentation,an hour-long Typhonian entertainment entitled Aleister Crowley and the Loch Ness monster is available as archive download.

Doc Shiels notorious 1977 photo.

Aleister Crowley is the second most famous inhabitant of Loch Ness, having owned a home there in the early years of the last century. Occult folklore has suggested a link between his activities there and the later return of the monster. This appears to be absurd but can lead into a fruitful surreal consideration featuring the magick of Crowley’s Aeon of Horus in connection with monster hunting and UFOlogy.

It is based on the chapter 'Loch Ness Leviathan and the Boleskine Kiblah' in my book 'Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus'.

Listen to it here:

Blog Talk Radio Huxley and Crowley lecture

My Blog Talk Radio presentation entitled Huxley and Crowley: Goodbye to Berlin, Hello Sgt Pepper is available now as archive download. it is one hour in length.

When Aldous Huxley and Aleister Crowley met for lunch in Berlin in 1930 the two great visionaries could never in their wildest imaginings have anticipated the events that would lead to their posthumous appearance together on the Beatles Sgt Pepper cover in 1967. From the backdrop to the movie Cabaret to Timothy Leary and the Human Be-In and the Summer of Love, here is a story of myth, ideas, and influences, taking in a whole host of cult figures and providing an introduction and context for the psychedelic era.

Material drawn from my book Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus.

Listen to it here:

Monday, 11 October 2010

The Secret Life: some thoughts on Strieber and Castaneda.

I read an article today by Christopher Knowles on his Secret Sun blog entitled Netherworld. It concerned the way that some imagery and ideas concerning the ET mythos has a disturbing power that seems to stem from a deep recognition of something that defies rational analysis. Indeed some of its expressions may appear entirely dubious. Nonetheless, the strength of emotional response it stirs indicates it expresses a profound truth. The quest to understand what that means may be crucial for our understanding of our true nature and place in the bigger scheme of things.

Check it out here

I had a few thoughts on these issues immediately. Joseph Campbell surveyed the world's mythology and isolated the common elements of the core myth of the story of the hero and did us all a great service.

My feeling is that a core myth also lies as the heart of the deep level of response to some of this "alien" material. There may be no one single source that completely reveals it and we have to dredge it up but I am inclined to think it will have a Gnostic tone in some way as so much great sci-fi does.

It will carry that poignant sense of something already familiar. It may reveal we have a multi-dimensional life, or at least a life where some of the most fundamental action is often happening out of our conscious awareness until some strange set of wake-up calls starts to reveal it.

I was also reminded of a short but fundamental section, that I feel deals with the same mystery, entitled Intimations in my Avalonian Aeon. I was a bit saddened to have to edit the Castaneda references out of the published version so I'm happy to post the original piece here again.

In November 1987 I read Communion by Whitley Strieber. This famous work, which was later filmed, tells the story of the author’s alleged encounters with extra-terrestrials. Everyone I knew who had read it seemed to be polarised by extremes of response. There were some who detested it and lost no opportunities to mock it. An episode involving an anal probe, featured in the movie, was the cause of much hilarity. Others used it to fortify their religious beliefs about the space brothers’ intervention on Earth.

The book had a profound impact on me but not for any of the usual reasons. I felt it was probably the best contactee account that I’d read, but I wasn’t overly concerned with determining whether or not it was “true”. I was intrigued to learn that Strieber had been involved in a Gurdjieff group for a lengthy period but that was just another fact for the data bank. What stirred me at great depths of my being was a theme that ran through the book that I felt to be supremely evocative in the manner of some archaic myth that hints at the hidden realms of one’s deeper life.

In the course of the story, Strieber had a series of experiences that stimulated memories of events that his conscious mind had no recollection of. These events were by no means trivial. As they were uncovered it became clear that they represented the most important, the most fundamental events of his whole life. Gradually he began to realise that the life he thought he was living was not his real life at all. The other, forgotten life was, in fact, more “real”. It was the hidden dynamic of his true destiny and had, in effect, been “living” him. This realisation, this process of catching up on himself, created a turn around in his sense of self that permanently mutated his feeling of identity.

I recognised the theme as one I had already encountered a variant of and been strangely moved by before. It had been in Carlos Castaneda’s The Eagle’s Gift. This was the sixth in the famous sequence of the author’s adventures in shamanic sorcery apprenticed to don Juan. In this book, Castaneda told a story of experiences that led him to uncover buried memories of magical episodes that took place in another realm of perception, but were nonetheless anchored to actual physical locations and dates in time. These events constituted a coherent teaching and were of great importance. Somehow it was possible to live through such a process but have no conscious awareness of it in later memory. When the time was right and ripe certain subtle cues served to begin the reawakening.

Castaneda has had his doubters and denigrators over the years. As with Streiber, some are extremely hostile. I’d surveyed the critical literature and carried on reading each new work regardless. What mattered was what the books called forth from within me. That was the test of the potency of the magic they embodied. And that theme of the secret life touched some part of me very deeply.

Seeing it restated in Communion led to me pondering it again. I wondered if there was a similarly mysterious, secret coherent dynamic, functioning from some other realm outside of the range of my normal perception that was somehow “living” me? During an obvious phase of major change in my life, I was open to such possibilities and hoped I was ready to pick up on any clues to lead me on.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Blog Talk Radio Crowley lecture

I have just presented a feature on Blog Talk Radio entitled

Aleister Crowley: beyond the legend of infamy.

The material is essentially the intro to my book Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus with a few other hints of how the work unfolds.

It can be listened to here