PERCEPTION IN A NEW LIGHT
JUNE 24, 2011. Just as you might find that, under the influence of a psychedelic drug, everything you look at is fascinating and engrossing—until the drug wears off—the ordinary mind’s fascination with certain harmonies and patterns seems to find perfection…until that effect wears off and is lost.
The meal was good, it promised much, it met or even exceeded expectations, and then you were sated. Then you didn’t care anymore, until you were hungry again, later in the day.
You stand on a mountain top and look out at the clouds and the sky, and you feel fulfilled and even exalted; and then you climb down the mountain and the feeling recedes.
Pattern, harmony, space, balance, proportions, symmetry—they seem to conspire to produce this exaltation…but only a for a little while.
This “setup” is a kind of spiritual consumerism. You loved the thing you bought until you didn’t, and then you went shopping again. The new became old and then it wasn’t any good anymore, it didn’t provide the same thrill, so you needed to go to the store again.
But despite this on-again off-again, a person can believe this is as good as it gets. This is the pinnacle of experience.
He is “trained” to search out and find the right harmonies, and when he does, he says to himself: THIS IS IT.
He blocks out the knowledge that every time he begins one of these searches, he already knows the perfection he’ll find is temporary. He blocks it out so he can believe “this time” he’ll find the Ultimate.
What I’m describing here is a kind of aesthetic standard and process. It isn’t trivial. It informs many decisions a person makes.
And given that this instinct is alive and well in most people, a culture, a civilization can be designed that is automatically acceptable and even pleasing and authoritative to the general population.
The Pentagon. Not the eight-sided figure with two arms sticking out at weird angles.
The White House is a colonial structure. It isn’t a dome or a Frank Lloyd Wright series of ascending spirals.
And when a president speaks to the nation, a measured tone with even pauses tends to carry the day, because at some level the mind is looking for those rhythms and harmonies.
It’s lock and key.
The object of perception supplies what the mind wants.
This is all, obviously, happening at very superficial level. But that doesn’t diminish its convincing power.
When the subject of magic is introduced, most people automatically assume its images and explanations—and its very substance—is going to follow this familiar lock-and-key pattern. Whatever magic is, it’s going to mirror the superficial mind’s need to discover yet another experience of harmony. Of course. How could things be different?
However, magic is precisely that which moves in at a greater depth than the the percolations of the superficial symmetry-seeking mind.
Magic doesn’t lay itself out like a blueprint of columns and porticoes and balanced wings.
Magic isn’t “speaking that language.” Which is part of the reason it’s magic.
Human beings long and yearn for a certain range of rhythms and symmetries and harmonies…and I don’t care what you’re selling; if you sell it with those qualities intact, they’ll pay for it. They’ll bite.
Doesn’t mean what you’re selling is good or useful or needed. It just means you made the right moves on the chessboard of the superficial mind and its desires.
But what happens when something from the outside is projected into the superficial mind and that something doesn’t carry the right “harmony signatures and ID cards?” It’s rejected.
“I don’t understand it. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t add up. This couldn’t be right.”
People can accept the idea that magic is a secret practice from ancient times, and was hidden away by its practitioners for various reasons. They can readily accept that, even though it’s complete nonsense.
The REAL hidden nature of magic is this: it penetrates the superficial mind like an invisible arrow. It isn’t seen at all, because it isn’t in the range of acceptable harmonies.
Of course, as I’ve been saying many times, magic is imagination deployed with great intensity over a long period of time. If you imagine and create those acceptable symmetries and harmonies long enough, because that’s what you gravitate toward, you’ll eventually invent something NEW. Something that lies outside those harmonies. And then you’ll glimpse other dimensions. You’ll INVENT other dimensions. That’s the beginning of the road.
Now, after reading this, you disagree, fine. Find yourself a good photo of the Parthenon and sit down and draw it over and over and over. Make it as perfect as you can. Invent that.
AND KEEP INVENTING.