“I don’t distinguish between magic and art. When I got into magic, I realised I had been doing it all along, ever since I wrote my first pathetic story or poem when I was twelve or whatever. This has all been my magic, my way of dealing with it.“
I couldn’t sleep the other night, and one of my friends was on facebook. He kept pressuring me to calm down my inner spaz and sit still long enough to watch this random Alan Moore documentary he had posted, and I was like, “But it’s SO long.”
“Chill out and watch it,” he said.
“OK, asshole,” I thought.
Alan Moore is the author of From Hell and other such fascinating comic strips. He likes to wear rings on his hands that weigh a lot, apparently, so it was hard for me to take him seriously for the first 8 minutes of the documentary. “He’s lord of his rings,” said my friend. But then I as continued to watch, I got hooked. He speaks my language.
Moore talks about writing and other forms of art as magic. He also talks about almost everything you could think of, from the perils of monotheistic religions that ignore all that “primitive” cultures have to teach us, to tarot as a form of communication with the universe.
As a magician, Moore steeps himself in the mystical. He speaks of a type of idea stream that connects us all–the reason, he thinks, that 6 people came up with the idea for the steam train at once in our recent human past. He talks about how our greatest responsibility in life is to discover and respect our own soul–that too many people are numbing their souls out because of this responsibility we each have to tune and and listen to our own intuition, to be our own person.
How horrifying that thought can be. Being our own person, knowing what our soul needs, he says, is our reason for being here: To know and be true to ourselves serves the universe.
It all resonated with me, specifically since I am at a point in my life where I am not easily swayed by easy answers. I’ve had to spend a great deal of time alone recently, recalibrating my entire modus operandi and tuning in (yet again) to what might be my purpose in life.
We are here, and the one thing each human being has been given by nature, god, what-have-you, is a will. Why would we be given a self by nature if it is so unwieldy and untrustworthy, if we have to constantly pray to be released from it?
We have free choice. To turn your will over is weird. Who are you turning it over to? A group of other people so afflicted by their own wills? Someone else’s god?
It’s OK to ask the universe what your purpose is, how you can best serve mankind, but I don’t believe this mumbo-jumbo monotheistic churches and programs with god-fear in them teach you about how your own intuition and will is a bad thing. It’s not.
Sure, I chose to pursue substances to numb myself out in my early life, and who is to say whether that was a biological, mental or emotional urge to obliterate myself or escape what were very hard-to-bear situations in my life, but I choose not to do those things now. I learned from my mistakes. I don’t credit anyone else for my choices. It’s a constant reassessment and decision for me to not obliterate or anesthetize the soul I am responsible for.
I can’t say I don’t wish I could take an escape route at times, that being so painfully aware of everything, having an “inner spaz” as my friend puts it, is not completely overwhelming. But having to face the demons I’ve had to face in my life has made me aware, also, of this: We choose our own reality. We choose what we believe in. Almost anything you believe in can become true if you believe in it enough.
No one else can give us the answers. This is my life to live. No one else can tell me what to do with it.
I spent the majority of my twenties trying to do what others thought was best for me, from my husband to support groups to my employers. I didn’t want to make those decisions anymore. It was too hard to be responsible for what the outcome of my own actions would be, too hard to face that I alone was completely accountable for where my life went. If I don’t practice guitar, I won’t get better at it. If I don’t reach out to new musicians constantly, I won’t be able to start a band. If I don’t write, I won’t finish my book.
I am responsible for my own life. I am not a passive rider in this vehicle of body and soul.
I didn’t mean for this to turn into a rant, but I have been pondering a lot of these things lately. I, like anyone else, want to belong to something, fit in, be cool. But because of the lessons I’ve learned so far in my life, I am also extremely self-reliant, and I don’t think this is a bad thing. Groups can be dangerous. People in numbers tend to do things they wouldn’t on their own. We all have our own intuition for a reason. There is no larger universe that doesn’t mind and communicate with each and every one of us. I don’t need a group as my spiritual medium, I have answers all around me, through my pen, through my gut, in meditation, out in the woods, if I only listen.
“Organised religion has corrupted one of the purest, most powerful and sustaining things in the human condition. It has imposed a middle management, not only in our politics and in our finances, but in our spirituality as well. The difference between religion and magic is the same as what we were talking about earlier – I think you could map that over those two poles of fascism and anarchism. Magic is closer to anarchism.“
Back to Moore’s idea that writing is magic. I believe he is right. We have the power to change what people think through words. Writers, musicians and artists ARE magicians. We are changing consciousness through our craft, it’s a great responsibility. Moore also mentioned that fame as we know it never existed on this level in the past. In the past, you could be famous and have around 1,000 people know who you were. But now, with mass media, the fame machine creates and regurgitates celebrities, people dream of becoming famous instead of heading out to sea, as they did in the past. At least the sea, says Moore, is an element that can be understood. Fame is not.
Anyhow, I recommend you watch this. It blew my mind. This guy is tapped in, for sure.