KINGS WITHOUT SUBJECTS
JUNE 21, 2011. Different emails are coming in these days. Artists, inventors, innovators. People who are quite serious about magic.
They are kings without subjects, because they just CREATE. They don’t rule, and they don’t want to. They know all about that ludicrous arrangement. The power of these kings without subjects exceeds anything the most venal dictator can muster, even if the fact isn’t immediately apparent.
These true kings have walked out on the massive self-defeating stage play. Gone, gone.
I continue to return to the subject of MEANING. What means something and how does it mean something and who decides what it means and how narrow and locked-in does meaning have to be before it makes sense to the bulk of humanity—and what training has that bulk received that makes meaning such a tight and close passageway? And why is this important?
Every society needs shared meaning, but the inevitable outcome is the closing of the noose and the polishing and trimming of ideas and words until they are mere nubs of what they could be.
Imagination goes in the opposite direction.
It has no conditioning. It isn’t pre-programmed. It doesn’t bow down to any central authority.
Kings with subjects require a chained vocabulary and troops to back it up.
The artist throws that off and doesn’t look back, because he’s already out ahead of it. He’s already digested the common language and has embarked on a journey that goes light years beyond it. Which is where magic is.
Sometimes he think he should mollify and reduce his personal revolution because he has invented meanings that outstrip the consensus by so much. But he learns this is not the operating principle. He needs to keep going, he needs to improvise even more intensely.
The world is busy enforcing and adjusting and tempering its basic hallucination of consensus. Eventually, this leads to humanity as an ant colony. It may be a good ant colony, with specialists trained to within an inch of their lives, carrying packages here and there. But no matter how many explanations are given to bolster the existence and necessity of the colony, no matter how much tinkering is done, the result is inevitable. A living machine.
And an explosion of buried rage will be, in the long run, ineffective.
For those who’ve seen the north star of imagination, it was never a real option.
Think about this. Those old alchemists who were trying to transmute consciousness into a much larger version of itself…what were they dealing with? Well, they had concepts of elements—earth, air, fire, water—and they had this thing called Quintessence, which they never quite identified. They had the notion of transformation of elements, and they had the idea that these elements, in some form or another, existed in consciousness, like archetypes. Suppose…these notions had never been thought of before? Pretend. Suppose these notions of elements and Quintessence and so on had never been thought of by anyone before the alchemists. They invented these ideas to help them in their quest.
But, people say, that’s impossible. The thoughts and ideas had to come from somewhere. Somewhere earlier. That’s always the case. Or: there’s a kind of pattern of meaning that already exists, and the alchemists were tapping into the pattern.
But suppose that wasn’t the case. These alchemists just cooked up the ideas out of nothing.
They invented the ideas and they invented their meaning.
What I’m getting at here is that magic needs new meaning. Brand new. Yet most people think it’s an ancient lost art, and we have dig down and recover it. It’s already there. It has to be unearthed.
This is—taken to an extreme—the ant colony argument. The pattern of the colony and the history of colonies…they are THERE. They just need to be discovered and refined and adjusted and streamlined. The perfect colony awaits us. We need to lay out the MEANING on a table and look at it and put it under a microscope and trace it. Then we’ll know.
This is false.
Every artist has a moment when he realizes this, when he realizes he is inventing meaning that has never been there before.
He’s not merely adding a little twist to an already existing meaning.
He’s inventing meanings, and they are not packed-in and perfect. They burgeon with implications.
This is also the road of magic.
Society does not believe in magic. Society has no truck with magic. Society wouldn’t know magic if it was standing in the middle of the street. Society knows organization.
At some point, organization becomes coercion. This force, organization, explains itself to the populace, and the majority accepts the explanation—even if the force is harmful and destructive. This is why I write about the medical cartel. Few people actually recognize the degree of poisoning that is going on. From the drugs. Few people recognize that because they are wide-awake hypnotized…they have bought the explanations. They pride themselves on being able to recite the explanations. They pressure family and friends to go along with the system.
This is just one example of what happens when MEANING becomes a shared and tight territory.
Magic is something else, something entirely different.
The caterpillar spins a cocoon and then, later, comes out of that chrysalis of old discarded meaning into a space where sheer creation and improvisation and invention are the cardinal facts of existence.