OEITH #108 The Limits of Magick
In this episode we brace ourselves, take a deep breath, and consider magick and spirituality as an antidote to suffering, but not without their risks and limits; a bullshit exercise from Robert Anton Wilson; the limits of belief-shifting; dubious "exercises" in books on magick; the belief in belief-shifting; reality and belief-shifting; results from a recent sigil; possibilities for their causation; magick as adaptation to reality; the limitation of reality; the inescapability of feelings; the influence of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) on the contemporary understanding of suffering; Aaron Beck on depression as faulty cognition; the locus of responsibility for suffering; belief-shifting as a form of CBT; how work with spirits can also fall into this dynamic; how CBT and belief-shifting chime nicely with capitalism and neoliberalism; Byung-Chul Han on self-exploitation under neoliberalism; Mark Fisher on the dirty secrets of capitalism; how neoliberalism distracts us from these; magick and the lure of pseudo-freedom; Federico Campagna on the paradigms of technic and magick: instrumentality versus meaning; psychogeography as the practice of transitioning from technic to magick; Gareth Rees on car parks and the ubiquity of sliced ham; the limits of technic and capitalism; the insatiability of desire and the inevitability of suffering; a means to an end versus the endlessly meaningful; bringing meaning to suffering; magick as a means of encountering reality; Campagna on magick and technic as two contrasting ethical frameworks; avoiding harm versus maximising salvation; magicians as always caught between these two ethical outlooks; magickal crises and the pains of magick; the magick of the oppressed; Trump's presidency and its end as a magickal result; anti-magick as the elimination of the Other; depression as the absence of the Other, and magick as a reaching out for the Other; Han on the Other as a metaphysical anti-depressant; meaning as connection with the Other; mysticism as recognition of the self as Other; magick as a spectrum, including forms of magick that tend towards technic.
Federico Campagna (2018). Technic and Magic: The Reconstruction of Reality. London: Bloomsbury.
Mark Fisher (2009). Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? Alresford: Zero Books.
Byung-Chul Han (2017). Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and New Technologies of Power, translated by Erik Butler. London: Verso.
Byung-Chul Han (2018). The Expulsion of the Other: Society, Perception and Communication Today, translated by Wieland Hoban. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Catherine Jackson & Rosemary Rizq, eds. (2019). The Industrialisation of Care: Counselling, Psychotherapy and the Impact of IAPT. Monmouth: PCCS Books.
Gary Lachman (2018). Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump. New York: TarcherPerigree.
Gareth E. Rees (2019). Car Park Life. London: Influx Press.