Rational Theistic Luciferianism: The Occult Mind, Neural Nets and the Call of the Gods
This is an article in a series on Rational Theistic Luciferianism, for the other articles see:
The Old Gods
Who were the gods of Stonehenge? Lost to history, the unknown gods, the nameless elder and eldritch gods who demanded human sacrifice.
The earliest construction on the site of Stonehenge are from the Mesolithic part of the stone age, between 8500 and 7000 BC. 10000 years ago. A handful of pits with huge pine tree trunks in them. This is not long after the last ice age, the Younger Dryas which ended around 11700 years ago. The end of that ice age rendered Britain habitable again (barely) and modern arrived and the island has been inhabited continuously since then.
Much later, around 3500 BC a cursus (earthwork enclosure with parallel banks) and long avenue leading to the site were dug using antlers as picks. Discarded antlers are perfect for radiocarbon dating. About another thousand years on Stonehenge was built, this is neolithic stone age man. We presume it has religious significance and was a temple. The shadows of some of the stones sort of align at midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset.
We know nothing of their gods or their language. We assume they had language, they could certainly collaborate. Our ancestors, the ancient dead, shrouded by the darkness of prehistory.
The Roman conquest of Britain in 43 AD is regarded as the start of recorded history. This is the era of Boudica and the legends of the ancient Britons.
The gods of those who built the cursus and avenue way were just before the arrival of Bell Beaker culture. A point of social development in Europe sophisticated enough to produce the inverted bell shaped beaker drinking vessel, near the start of the bronze age.
Those people died off, a mass die out that took out around 90% of those ancient Britons. A large body of people moved across Europe and then through Ireland and then into Briton. A people who we would come to call the Celts, driving archaeologists and anthropologists apoplectic apparently, who arrived into mostly unoccupied lands.
These are the people who built Stonehenge, and honoured their gods there. The first we know of their gods and religion is when we get to the Druids, and the Romans.
Julius Caesar wrote of the Druids in Gaul, the Gaulish Druids who they called the barbarian philosophers. Under Claudius the Druids were slaughtered at Anglesey. Tacitus had this to say of the battle:
A force was next set over the conquered, and their groves, devoted to inhuman superstitions, were destroyed. They deemed it indeed a duty to cover their altars with the blood of captives and to consult their deities through human entrails.
Prior to this battle the Romans had already encountered the Druids of Briton. Tactitus recounts: the legionaries were awestruck on landing by the appearance of a band of druids, who, with hands uplifted to the sky, poured forth terrible imprecations on the heads of the invaders. And that these "terrified our soldiers who had never seen such a thing before".
In the second century Diogenes Laërtius had this to say, also referencing the lost magic of Aristotle:
Some say that the study of philosophy originated with the barbarians. In that among the Persians there existed the Magi, and among the Babylonians or Assyrians the Chaldaei, among the Indians the Gymnosophistae, and among the Celts and Gauls men who were called druids and semnothei, as Aristotle relates in his book on magic, and Sotion in the twenty-third book of his Succession of Philosophers.
We know Julius Caesar was a horrible liar in his reports from Gaul, but we also know that it is likely that the Druids engaged in ritual sacrifice with burial sites having been found in Gaul and elsewhere, but this is still disputed.
Diodorus Siculus, who may have been a druid, wrote about Druidic sacrifice:
These men predict the future by observing the flight and calls of birds and by the sacrifice of holy animals: all orders of society are in their power ... and in very important matters they prepare a human victim, plunging a dagger into his chest; by observing the way his limbs convulse as he falls and the gushing of his blood, they are able to read the future.
What little we know about their religious practises we know less of their gods. The old gods. A religion of nature and the land. Nature who is red in tooth and claw.
Of the legends of the ancient Britons Boudica, our tragic and glorious warrior Queen, most stirs the heart. A legend spread by the Romans, of how they almost lost Britain to a great uprising led by Queen Boudica and viciously put down by a single legion returning from the slaughter of the Druids on Anglesey.
There is a modern Druid movement, but it traces its ancestry not to those original Druids of antiquity but from the European occult revival of the nineteenth century, and Eliphas Levi writing about ceremonial magic in impenetrable high French.
Levi was a contemporary of Schopenhauer's. Schopenhauer realised that all that could be known of life was Will and Representation (1819), your capacity to effect change and the forms of the mind. Schopenhauer concluded, therefore despair. However he led a decadent life.
Levi came to much the same realisation, but instead concluded: therefore magic.
For those interested in the modern Druid movement The Celtic Golden Dawn, by one of the chief Druids in Britain, is a superlative work. It is a Celtic reimagining of a pagan spiritual practise based on the Qabala in the tradition of The Golden Dawn.
True ignorance is to confuse knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge puffs up whilst love builds up.
Beware those who mistake studying the occult for doing the occult, who confuse knowledge for understanding.
Some quotes from Aleister Crowley on sexual repression and destiny:
"Destiny is an absolutely definite and inexorable ruler. Physical ability and moral determination count for nothing. It is impossible to perform the simplest act when the gods say "No." I have no idea how they bring pressure to bear on such occasions; I only know that it is irresistible. One may be wholeheartedly eager to do something which is as easy as falling off a log; and yet it is impossible."
-- The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, 1929
"The fact is, of course, that the puritan has been turned by sexual repression into a sexual pervert and degenerate, so that he is insane on the subject."
"As long as sexual relations are complicated by religious, social and financial considerations, so long will they cause all kinds of cowardly, dishonourable and disgusting behaviour. "
-- The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, 1929
"It is a terrible error to let any natural impulse physical or mental stagnate. Crush it out, if you will, and be one with it; or fulfill it, and get it out of the system; but do not allow it to remain there and putrefy. The suppression of the normal sex instinct, for example, is responsible for a thousand ills. In Puritan countries one inevitably finds a morbid preoccupation with sex coupled with every form of perversion and degeneracy."
"In these days, when devils enter into swine, they do not rush violently down a steep place. They call themselves moral reformers, and vote the Prohibition ticket."
-- Moon Child, 1917
I feel the call of the gods through my desires and passions, what I'm drawn to. I hear the call of the gods through coincidences and synchronicities in my life. I hear the call of the gods through culture and art, music and movies. I hear the call of the gods in nature and the wild. I hear the call of the gods in hearing their names all around me and knowing their nature and imagining their works.
Lucifer is light bringer, the bright morning star. Son of the morning and daughter of the evening. Where there is illumination, progress, fresh insight and light, there is Lucifer and the work of Lucifer.
The Occult Mind and Neural Nets
The human mind, psyche and spirit, is occult. Life is occult and life is spirit. We are spirit as life is spirit.
The power of the occult is found in correspondences and associations. In the legends of the gods we find correspondences and echoes within the depths of our own soul. The forces and ideas that have shaped humanity and our experience and understanding of life are found in the world around us, external reality, as well as being foundational and formational within our own minds and depths.
Correspondences in the human psyche with occult symbols and principles that echo back to the fundamental aspects of the mind, back in history and through evolution both biological and social, and echoing too in the same deeper aspects of the wider world from whence they came. The power of pure abstract thinking. Spirit as essence, abstraction to the forms.
How and why is this true? How does music and art move the soul and move the passions of the human hearts in ways that go beyond rationality and conscious understanding? How are we changed, and our lives impacted, by forces outside our control and understanding, and can we bring light to the operation and tides of the unconscious and our own shadow that appears as fate?
So much of the operation of our own unconscious happens in the minds of other people. This is the shadow, how other people respond and react to us and how that affects and influences us. We're social creatures, like it or not, and we do some of our thinking together. It all happens in and through and because of neural nets.
Neural nets, neural networks, can be found in two basic forms. Biological and software. Biological nets are the basis of all intelligence and consciousness on planet earth. Neural networks are the basis (although not the only stone in the foundation) of the modern scientific fields of both data science and artificial intelligence. A series of algorithms and techniques for data processing have created a revolution in the way we work with data, this is called data science and is a branch of Artificial Intelligence. At the heart of this is the software neural net. An implementation to run on computers, processing numbers as everything in a computer is a number, of the neural net that our brains are made of.
If you're not familiar with software neural nets, this is a reasonable article on the topic:
"Your brain contains about 86 billion neurons and more than a 100 trillion (or according to some estimates 1000 trillion) synapses (connections). The number of “neurons” in artificial networks is much less than that (usually in the ballpark of 10–1000) but comparing their numbers this way is misleading."
Deep learning involves more than one layer of software neural net, closer to how our brains work. We're not really sure how software neural nets work, they're a black box, but we know they work in a similar way to the neural nets in our head. The major difference is that in software we only have AI (Artificial Intelligence) and not AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), true intelligence. We can put together an algorithm using neural nets and we can teach it something by encoding our own understanding into it. This is "training the model", with a training data set which it can learn to recognise. If this dataset matches well to the real world then the model will work well. Any bias in the dataset will produce a biased model. This is how you get facial recognition systems based on AI that only work with white people, because of the bias in the training data.
The big difference between AI and AGI though is that our current AI can't learn new things. We can teach them something, usually just one thing, but they can't learn in the field or adapt to changes. We don't have general intelligence. What makes our intelligence so powerful is that we can learn how to learn and we can learn new things. The human mind starts as an almost entirely blank slate, fresh and clean neural nets waiting to be trained. Take a baby crocodile fresh from the egg and throw it into the bush and it will survive. Well, probably. Its behaviour and instincts are hard wired and it only has limited capacity for learning. A much smaller neural net than the human one. A baby human knows virtually nothing. About the only innate knowledge is the nipple, beyond that everything is learned. That takes time, so their young take a lot of care, but they're extremely flexible. Apex predator.
Here's a pop science crude summary of how a neural net works. A neural net can learn to recognise an idea or a pattern. That can come from text or numbers or sound or images. Anything that a computer can turn into numbers. You feed the neural net the training data, let's say images of cats, and the neural net builds up an abstract "idea" of what a cat is based on all the different cats you show it. Given a new image it can look at it and judge how close to a cat it "feels" based on the training data it has seen. A typical neural net model might be a classifier. A binary classifier being the most common and basic type, and given a picture it can classify the picture as "cat" or "not cat" based on how well it matches the fuzzy idea of "cat" that the model has stored.
So the fundamental operation of neural nets, both software and in our heads, stores correspondences. Our heads also store specific memory and data. We store some of the training data along with our abstract idea. Memory also works with correspondences and associations. On a psychological level we have short term recall and long term memory. Memories can be a bundle of feelings and impressions including words and sounds and smells and thoughts and feelings, and are stored by association with other "similar" things. When you recall a memory it is refreshed, maybe even changed subtly, and new associations can be made. Or memories aren't associated with very much, are rarely recalled, and fade from reach. So at the heart of how our brain processes, and how our memories work, depend on the properties of neural nets which operate by correspondences and associations. How well does this new picture correspond to our idea of a cat?
“To call up a demon you must learn its name. Men dreamed that, once, but now it is real in another way. You know that, Case. Your business is to learn the names of programs, the long formal names, names the owners seek to conceal. True names . . .”
― William Gibson, Neuromancer
“Perhaps Legba, the loa Beauvoir credited with almost infinite access to the cyberspace matrix, could alter the flow of data as it was obtained by the scanners, rendering the vévés transparent.…”
― William Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive
What relevance does this have to the occult? We learn, our character is built up, by these correspondences and associations in our neural nets. We have pleasure and pain detectors and through experience we learn what makes us happy and what causes us pain. We learn what we want and how to get it and what we don't want and how to avoid it. This happens by interacting with the outside world. Our minds start blank, more or less, and are fashioned through our sensory impressions and how our biological firmware responds to this. Our brain builds the software of our mind, our personality, based on experiences. Biology and genetics and chance gift us particular hardware, the brain, for this software to run on. The process of learning creates new connections in the brain and shapes aspects of the physical brain, new physical connections are formed through learning. So the combination of software and hardware, the biology and our personality, is the firmware (or wetware perhaps) that makes "us", our experience of life all happens here.
Fundamental to this are correspondences and associations, our ability to pattern match. We can get this wrong, "A Beautiful Mind" is a work of art and true life story of what happens when this pattern matching runs amok. Madness can happen. Even madness is impossible to define, except by reference to normality which is also impossible to define. We're all mad, it's just a question of how well the hallucinations of your mind match the evasive objective reality that no-one experiences directly except filtered through their sense perceptions and inherent biases.
The occult is the study of and working with the fundamental and foundational currents of life, particularly human life. Call them the spirits or forces or currents, however you rationalise and think of these things. The common ideas, like survival and comfort and commerce, that have shaped your way of life and the way of life of others and how that has influenced the way you think and see life, how your neural nets have been trained. Social and consensual reality. The collective unconscious, the water to our psychological fishbowl that we may not even see, the power of the invisible. We do this through finding and manipulating correspondences that map to our lives and psyches, to the outside world and to the inner world and psyches of others, with a language of symbols and symbolism. Abstract thinking, the power of pure abstract thinking. The Platonic forms, the living archetypes of the mind.
Where there are correspondences energy can flow, there is recognition, a meeting of eyes, light can travel, there is connection. Life happens. They're the stuff ordinary life is made of, like a scent evoking memories of childhood delight.
The human mind is occult because intelligence is occult. William Gibson prophesied, in Neuromancer, that when true AI arose the old gods would be found within it. Such a deep insight into the nature of intelligence. So AGI, when and if we find it, will also be ruled by occult principles.
I've seen so many good people lost to domestication. Self immolated, their wildness put away into a box to be taken out and admired every now and then. It grows a little smaller each time, but that doesn't matter for age dims the vision anyway.
The Seeker and the Light
This picture shows a few items from my altar. I aim with all the elements of my altar to have personal mythological or spiritual or emotional significance as well as "objective" mythological significance.
The statue is called "The Light of Knowledge" (by whoever made it) and represents the seeker and the light. It is also a talisman of the modern fantasy of ancient magic. See how easily it fits the wizard archetype of popular culture, it could be Gandalf or Dumbledore or Rincewind.
Television and movie fantasy occupies such a large space in the popular collective consciousness. We suspend our disbelief and "believe in it" for a while, and love it. That ancient magic seen through modern eyes.
The symbols in the photo are the sigil of Lucifer (Venus) and Leviathan's cross, the alchemical symbol for Sulphur. The stone at the top left is Azurite, then blue Apatite and Fuchsite with Ruby. The wand is the wand of Sirius Black from Harry Potter. The lego witch at the back was put together for me by my daughter Irina, who we also call Nuca which is a contraction of the diminutive Irinuca meaning little Irina. Nuca also means walnut. Her grandmother would sometimes call her Nucutsa, which means little walnut. Irina has the wand of Hermione Granger and Delia has the wand of Nymphadora Tonks. All members of The Order of the Phoenix.
Juju is an Open Source devops tool, AGPL copyleft licensed, written in Go for the automated deployment of systems to the cloud or bare metal. It is made by Canonical who also make Ubuntu. Juju means magic and Ubuntu means community.
Meditation is concerned with inner reality. Ceremonial magick with the fusion and bridge between inner reality and outer reality.
Inner transmutation, the philosopher's stone, is the goal.
"My personal Satanism stands as enemy, Satan and Ahriman the spirit of destructive opposition, to the evil gods of the slave religions and conventionality who are identified with the super-ego. The id, the primal urge and surge, is represented with Leviathan that ancient enemy who dwells in the ocean."
A Sense of Honour
Ethics, a sense of honour, is important to life. Having honour is central to being a real person. If you have no principles by which you try to live, to hold yourself to, then you have no way to make sense of yourself and understand yourself. If truth isn't important to you then you won't find it.
Common morality is full of compromises and deceit and hidden cruelty and barely hidden prejudice. If you are only as good as everyone else you're terrible. How can you know yourself, without having a basis to judge yourself? A sense of honour and integrity is necessary in order to have strength of character and depth.
No honour, no character. You can't be a person, be known and know people, without being able to explore your motivations and actions. How can you stand firm without believing in what you do and who you are, and how can you do that if you have no principles to hold you. A life without principles is blown away and shrivels and is gone like straw in the kiln.
If you have no honour how can I trust you? It is impossible to deal honourably with a dishonourable person.
The double minded person is unstable in all their ways. If you want depth, you need honour. If you want real understanding, you need honour. If you want to stand and keep on standing you need honour and integrity. People without honour are weak, neurosis riddled, unable to really grow or change.
So when people treat you with a lack of honour, know that they are weak. You don't need revenge, life will surely have it for you.
Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.
Dishonour is its own reward.
The big danger of taking your morals from your crowd, even a good crowd, is that they can and often do drift or hide cruelties. To have your own ethics is to know what they are, to have principles and live by them and to be rooted and grounded. That's only true if you stand up for them even when nobody around you does. Otherwise you just think you have ethics but actually take them from the crowd, and then before you know it you're a fascist. A reluctant one perhaps, reluctantly evil without really knowing what you're doing.
A good test is how do you react to people you don't know when you're in a group - do you take your cues from the people around you on whether to accept them or not? How you treat strangers is a moral issue. It's so easy to not think and take your morals from the crowd, which might just be the morals of the worst of them.
Bring light to the unconscious parts of you by making conscious choices.
A Commitment to the Truth
You can't have an honest search for truth if you're willing to deceive yourself about your motives or who you are, or about who your friends are. Even if the truth is inconvenient or you do it to be nice. This tells us the right code of ethics, a commitment to the truth. But speak the truth in love, there are many paths through truth and silence may be one of them.
Deceiving ourself, letting ourselves off the hook, becomes a habit practised so readily we forget we're even doing it. You can't know yourself if you hide yourself away from yourself and others. Speak your truth that you might know it. Stand up for it in order that you might be a real person, and not just an imaginary one with imaginary ethics. The ego, the stories we tell ourselves, obscure the truth that lies beneath but never goes away.
If you're ruthless with yourself and the truth, holding beliefs lightly and appropriate to your degree of confidence, open to multiple possibilities, accepting when you're wrong and able to turn swiftly when the occasion demands it - then you can learn quickly and see deeply. A well practised commitment to the truth sees deeply, it clears away the weeds.
Everything changes, even the past. Reevaluate your personal history in the light of new information and new ways of seeing things. Reinvent yourself and be made new all the time. Having multiple perspectives brings insight, lots of different ways of seeing things all reflecting aspects of the truth. How we see ourselves, and the past, always changes with time.
What we think is happening, and the reasons for it, are very rarely what we think happened and why five years on. So remember that as you evaluate situations, let things unfold and see what happens.
If you practise telling the truth, even when you're angry, then you can get very good at it. There is nothing more cutting than the right truth spoken in the right way. Have compassion on your enemies, for compassion sees deeply. Control of the mind means control of the tongue.
"But the greatest people," says King Lamus, "are those that refuse to be treated like squalling children, who insist on facing reality in every form, and tear off ruthlessly the bandages from their own wounds."
-- Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend
Make the sign of a pentagram.Make the sign of Lucifer's sigil.Make the sign of the pentagram again.
Lord Lucifer, bright morning star.Son of the morning, daughter of the evening.I consecrate this symbol to you.With holy wonder we abjure the spirits of the air,With holy wonder we conjure thee, Lucifer, bringer of light.
Gnostic and Mystic
I love the parable of the vinegar tasters:
Confucius, Siddharta and Lao Tsu were all tasting vinegar together.
It is sour, declared Confucious. For people are degenerate and in need of rules to correct them.
It is bitter declared Siddharta. For life is suffering, but there is a path out of suffering.
It is sweet declared Lao Tsu. For life is sweet if only we know the way.
To this extent Taoism is better than Buddhism. In all other matters it is inscrutable.
The early disciples of the Christ were called followers of the way. The way is love, love is the way.