As I mentioned in my last post, while contemplating whether or not to take the prestigious position of Omni-Dimensional Content Curator for Disinfo.com, I stumbled upon this recent Grant Morrison interview on Boing Boing. It’s one of those things where people kept like expecting me to do my job and stuff and I was like: ummm, I’m reading something awesome, please leave me the fuck alone. But I couldn’t so I just read it when shit slowed down in corporate hell. Lots of good info here like remembering Grant’s writing a new Brave New Word show for SyFy and an adaptation of his graphic novel Happy! starring Christopher Meloni as well. As if there wasn’t enough good shit on TV at this point, we’re apparently bouts to go into hyperweird overload. Oh, and people are still talking about Disinfo.Con, just as advertised in the headline:
“And I think the Disinfo thing came at the culmination of the whole experience that The Invisibles represented. The comic was just finishing its 6-year run when Disinfo happened.
After 9-11, all the magic I was doing went into a kind of reverse and rituals weren’t working for me in the same way. I began to concentrate more on doing magic in the specific form of the comic books I was creating, rather than staging the theatrical, ritual, performance stuff that I’d been doing prior to that.
What was the time frame between Kathmandu and the hospital and the disinfo event?
Kathmandu was ’94 and being in hospital was ’96 and then the Disinfo Con was early 2000. It was early 2000, yeah?
Yep, February, 2000. Seventeen years ago this month. You’ve also told that your take on magick is a little different than RAW’s. Can you explain how it is different?
Maybe I’m wrong. I think he saw magic – in the Crowleyan, ritual, alien contact sense – as some collision of psychology and quantum weirdness. For me, it’s much more literal and it’s all about emphasizing the transcendent, psychedelic aspects of the ordinary by following logic to its conclusion. Magic for me is all about maintaining a fluid and creative relationship with things as they are.
Simple things, like adding time, or the 4th dimension to the picture can eliminate a lot of apparent psychic phenomena, like clairvoyance, action at a distance, ESP, reincarnation etc. When you add time, you realize fairly quickly that all living things are intrinsically connected as one singular organism. You wind back into your mother’s womb, she winds back into hers, like branches retreating into buds on a tree and it all goes back in billions of unbroken lines to the first mitochondrial cell dividing in the pre-Cambrian ocean 3 and a half billion years ago. It’s no surprise that sometimes people get a sense of other parts of the structure they belong to, or experience “past lives” – those lives are all still happening, all simultaneously.
That same original, immortal cell is still at it, separating inside all of us. Maybe mitochondrial DNA might be what humans have been calling “soul” for centuries – the fact is, we actually do have an immortal indwelling presence living deep inside the perishable structure of our bodies. Maybe mitochondrial DNA has consciousness and when we narrow down on that waveband, we experience the feelings of timelessness and divinity people refer to as a religious experience…
Right after Disinfo, I read Howard Bloom’s amazing book The Lucifer Principle. That really changed the way I thought about the world at a time when things were getting a little more fraught internationally. The Invisibles came out of indie via rave culture – the dancing, the sex, the happy drugs, psychedelic consumer future, the alien imagery – but that approach didn’t seem relevant to the darker turn the world was taking around the turn of the century – the turn toward surveillance culture, the erosion of privacy with reality TV and the internet, a kind of exhaustion and capitulation to global satanic corporate forces…
Reading The Lucifer Principle forced me into a harsher and more honest confrontation with mortality, aging, fear, loss, the fragility of things. I wanted my ideas about magic to be more grounded and pragmatic too, so that I could also talk to scientists and strict materialists about what to me were undeniably real experiences but without using vague and meaningless language about spirits, essences, energies, angels, psychic powers or anything that was supernatural or New Age or faith-based. I knew magic worked. I’d had encounters with apparent gods and devils and even made real art and even money from those encounters. I’d also manifested entities I knew were fictional, so I wasn’t looking for proof of religion. I didn’t believe in survival of individual consciousness after death. I didn’t believe in Heavens or Hells or ghosts. I just wanted to get to the root of what was happening when we performed magic rituals and communicated with seemingly-discarnate entities, or made things appear to happen. Behind all the robes and chants and systems what was actually going on?
And it all sort of came down to magic being this powerful, proven method for stimulating a range of very specific and directed states of consciousness. Using the techniques of magic, we can cure neuroses, increase creativity and imagination, expand our personal limits, you know, we can add more fun, purpose and fulfilment to Life. Firstly, magicians learn to pay really close attention to everything around them; they like to see how things fit together and work so that they can make things of their own, or make things work better. They get more information and inspiration out of every moment.
Basically, the work of the Magician involves the skilled, meticulous application of Meaning or Significance to Life Experience. The more Meaning the Magician can add to Life, the more Magical and enchanted the world becomes.”
Come to think of it, when was the last time you watched Grant Morrison’s speech at Disinfo.Con? Never a bad idea to brush up and hey, someone just remastered the damn thing.