Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it. — Berthold Brecht
In the flat world—the world of sleepers—moribund and boring pundits and writers build careers from bickering over the boundaries between science and religion. Magick, if discussed at all, is simply dismissed with a sneer.
But magick is neither science nor religion. It has nothing to do with the bombastic claims and terror tactics of priests. Nor does it have anything to do with the myopic measurements of science.
Magick is art. It is the art of life. Of, as Austin Spare once said, "living like a tree walking." And in that sense, it is the most rational and sane response to life possible.
A magician is one who takes life as they find it, and wonders what they can make out of it—not for the sake of objective truth, or the accumulation of power, or some other eminently predictable goal, but simply for art's sake.
The universe, the Greeks assured us, was born from creative chaos, Kaos. And so in emulating this divinely non-sensical, non-measurable, non-predictable chaos, we affirm not only our divinity but, oh rarest of rare achievements, our own humanity.
There are no rules to magick, ultimately, nor are their rules to existence. Rules are imposed by human authorities.
Nature is divinely lawless.
Take a look outside, or on the news, and most likely, you will see a sleeping, terrified world, stuck in its patterns, reading the same headlines every day, thinking the same thoughts, playing the same petty games they learned in elementary school that they now continue as adults. ("I'm telling!" they shriek on social media, in between rounds of show-and-tell played with digital factoids, memes and clickbait articles. What an embarrassment our society has become!)
But the magician learns to stay silent, to slip quietly through the shadows and cracks of our fluorescent-lit world, staying away from the deadening glow of the modern world. And freeing themselves from such mental slavery, they begin to play new games. They begin to remember that life is here to enjoy, that the universe does want to play—any game you so choose...
Everything in our world is now surveilled, measured, tabulated, analyzed, run through algorithms, data warehoused for the coming AI gods to suck up like whales sifting doomed krill through baleen. Everything reduced to a predictable equation to be monetized.
And they even expect magick to be the same. To conform to rules and set patterns, rituals, formulae, Qabalistic tabulations. (Yes, all of these things help for a time, though of course they must all be discarded in the end if one wishes to truly learn.) They wish for magick to become a religion, or for "magician" or "witch" or "pagan" to be some kind of set identity that can be adopted, by an individual or, worse yet, a group.
These are all words, labels, dead formulations from long ago, irrelevant to our world. Only the one who can embrace the chaos of the moment and give birth to new forms as this very moment demands them can even begin to truly fathom the magick that is happening now, right now, this very moment, and always has been, the magick that all of the theories and learning and formulae are simply getting in the way of. In such a way, the unwary magician becomes the very Ape of Thoth he had hoped to overcome with his Art, a laughingstock even for children and idiots, who wonder at the pompous babble that falls from his lips in neverending sequence.
*"The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions that have been concealed by the answers." — James Baldwin
The goal of life is rapture. Art is the way we experience it. Art is the transforming experience.
— Joseph Campbell
What is possible in art becomes thinkable in life.
'ntuition is the supra-logic that cuts out all the routine processes of thought and leaps straight from the problem to the answer.
—Robert Graves (1895 – 1985) English novelist, poet, writer
The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.
We have art in order not to die of the truth.
Do whatever you will, but first be such as are able to will. (Friedrich Nietzsche)
Against boredom even the gods contend in vain. (Friedrich Nietzsche)
I desire that your conjectures should not reach beyond your creative will. Could you create a god? Then do not speak to me of any gods. (Friedrich Nietzsche)
Art is the proper task of life. (Friedrich Nietzsche)
Every man is a creative cause of what happens, a primum mobile with an original movement. (Friedrich Nietzsche)