28 February 2019

Shhh! Pie Ritual

I started writing this one about three weeks ago, that post went off on a tangent, so it became the "Discordian Mystic Blogger" post. Putting a bit of clear, blue sky between the concept of the post and the execution of it has had some effect on what the post is actually about.

The key part of this post is a pretty standard session of mockery of the wholesale adoption of the word "spiritual" by people who like to also misuse the word "energy". It's not kind, but it is important and necessary to those drawn to the magic and the mystic to point this stuff out on a regular basis. As it happens I don't like the magic, the more mystic I get the less magic appears to be a good idea overall. You want to use something you literally cannot know about as the vehicle for manifesting your power physically, go ahead, but disappointment and/or madness are the likely outcomes.

If you're liable to get butthurt by me mocking something, by the way, remember I'm a practising Discordian, it's part of my devotion to eventually mock EVERYTHING. So today it's "spirituality". My key beef with even using the word can be adequately summed up by having a look at the semantic nightmare that is the Wikipedia page for the term. It's become one of those words whose connotations are so broad as to render the term effectively meaningless.

The litmus test is that I could if I so desired, describe myself as spiritual, but you could put me into conversation with another person who described themselves the same way and we would have nothing in common whatsoever. The other key point, in my recent experience of these things, is that more and more self-described spiritual people have a mandatory love of crystals that I do not have.

Of course, the very nature of the catch-all vagueness that is "being spiritual" means that I don't have to and that if you do then that's also fine. It's a bit, however like being agnostic. Being agnostic, at this time is a series of negatives, you are not-religious, not-atheist and also not-spiritual, probably.

I guess that if you are spiritual and agnostic, that might be fine. If you are religious and spiritual, that's allowed but, I sense, frowned upon by the religious side. If you are atheist but spiritual I think that means you go UFO-spotting(?), or ghost hunting, or believe in bigfoot, I mean that it is theoretically possible, but very confusing.

So it's possible to be spiritual and for that to mean almost anything. It's weird, it's the club for people who aren't joiners, like, at all, but seek a sense of belonging with fellows they cannot identify (because, trust me, it isn't "everyone else who's also spiritual") and also with some higher power that falls outside or beyond the definitions of a higher power enshrined in any sort of organized mass-religious organisation.

This, you see, is why I would identify myself as a Discordian Mystic. I was going to go for "Shaman" but apparently being a shaman necessarily involves communing with spirits you believe in (and it really doesn't matter whether I believe in spirits or not I am confident that I cannot reliably communicate with them directly) and also experiencing altered states of consciousness. People experience an altered state of consciousness every time they dream (or whenever they rewatch Videodrome), but I suspect this is not what the phrase is intended to encompass. So, I'm withdrawing my Shamanic application form.

Mystic, on the other hand, specifically being one, is not a common thing but encompasses a vagueness that I have just been taking pot shots at  "spirituality" for exemplifying. As this is an extreme example of my own semantic hypocrisy and demonstration that my ego is out of control I will naturally throw myself into this dubious role whole-heartedly and so deny the weasel-word spirituality even as I attempt to bolster my edginess by planting a flag in the term "mystic".


But why all this jumping around from foot to foot, wrestling with what or even if you believe? I think it's important that everyone has this struggle. I think that it's also important that it's never a done deal. I think, furthermore, that if what you believe doesn't have the name of something on the menu then you should probably try a bit harder to give it a name yourself.

Probably not much more to say on that part at present. So, let's move on...

My relationship with Tarot cards began a good while before my relationship with Discordianism.  One of my great advantages growing up was that, for a variety of reasons, my parents didn't really believe in anything, and yet both had an interest in things they didn't really believe. It is in this manner that I read some Tarot books and, eventually, Piers Anthony's Tarot trilogy, an obscure work that has had a profound effect on some people.

As it turns out Discordians did as a social group eventually get round to producing their own stab at Tarot but the project status is currently half-baked, like most Discordian things. It probably doesn't help that the pope in charge of this project decided to make up their own card schema, which takes the piano of the Tarot deck and turns it into a key-tar. Piers Anthony added a suit and some Major Arcana cards in his work, which is kind of like when Holly in Red Dwarf decimalised music with the new notes "woh" and "boh".

Not that I'm really offended by people making stuff up, that would be the bad kind of hypocritical, not like the hypocrisy from further up which is the good kind, follow? But if your Tarot isn't 78 cards, 22 Major 40 Pips, 16 Courts then it isn't really a Tarot deck in the same way that a keytar isn't a grand piano.

Recently, and for reasons of permanently evolving karma I have been drawn back into my Tarot studies, and have found myself refreshed with a new sense of purpose in the endeavour. So, this entry is like an introduction to my Tarot Journal, which I have been filling out since the 6th of February and which I will be adding in (back-dated for entries before this one) to my regular blog from this point.


Well, there's a lot to the answer to that question. I'm sure it will all come out in the wash. In the first instance, though, I think it is because I would be keen to get people talking about the Discordian approach to Tarot work. Are people who like Tarot interested? Are Discordians? Are you?

Could be that this is the latest in the series of failed attempts to get a proper discussion going on here. But, as usual, I have cheated in that the discussion topic helps me roll forward even if nobody else has anything to say on the topic.

14 February 2019

The Loneliness of the Discordian Mystic Blogger

Last year I spent a lot of time exploring my options with regards to producing audio content. Overall, it went well, the biggest barrier being the time needed to actually record the raw audio, once that's done editing can be achieved here and there on an ad hoc basis.

I have other thoughts on that but you know where to keep track of those.

As a consequence, and due to other relevant factors, blog output was low. The chief and most important factor in dialling back blog output is pure and simple. Blogs are pitched as public online journals but they're really a low-effort format in talk followed by Q&A. To date no low-banter, interaction based format I've engaged in has attracted the attention of anyone interested in bantering.

This, actually, is the problem with both the blog and the podcast. Neither are supposed to dwell in splendid isolation, existing in and of themselves. Both do. The big problem with this being that once you have learned to please yourself with these things then the work is done and further work may only be completed via the vehicle of interaction.

The podcast suffers from this far more than the blog, podcasts are supposed to spawn a web of in-jokes, correspondence and helping each other get better. Blogs may just end up being public, online journals but some are vastly improved by being rallying points for various communities.

I can understand that this doesn't look like the rallying point for a community, maybe for "fans of Leo Stableford - author" I think that's what author blogs are supposed to be, but I'm not really that bothered about that.

This is supposed to be a Discordian, Philosophy, Mysticism, Spirituality blog. What's really funny about that is that it kind of became that during the era in late 2017 we shall call "The Great Content Glut of 2017".

The lesson this teaches us is that "Clear communication is very hard". I actually don't know for certain why no one ever comments on my blog. My last post about top 10 albums was pure initiate a conversation about music fodder. It was, if truth be told, aimed at my more musically minded friends and they did comment upon it upon my personal wall of social media interaction, but it wasn't the treasure trove of interesting observation and opinion that I was craving.

I took a quick skim through some of the product of the Content Glut just now and future me had questions and comments to pass on to past me, no issues. This is what leads me to believe this blog is not so much "read" as "parsed by advertising bots".

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't by any means think of myself as an approachable guy. I feel that close personal connection to the assertion that "I'm a weirdo" in Radiohead's DNA-targeting opus "Creep". The thing is, I am writing this obscure strangeness in order to attract other weirdoes, those who cannot help but ask a question or post a comment. If not here then on some publically-available social media timeline.

And yet, barely anyone ever does. I do not, and have never had, the skill of "reaching out" across the void to create a space, safe or otherwise, for philosophical-mystical-Discordian banter. Having said that, I note this is something I have in common with virtually all other publicly posting Discordians I have encountered.

Maybe Discordianism, for some weird reason, discourages thoughts, input and all but the most *birdsong*-posting of meme-laden banter. I'd ask for thoughts but, well, see above.

This post hasn't turned out at all like I thought it would. In fact, I should probably save the post title and image I had for an actual post about the title I had come up with. Sorry, have devolved into meta-stream-of-consciousness. Catch you soon. Transmission Ends.