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life without television

The rain finally stopped sometime last night. Today was cold and blustery, at last genuinely autumnal, with only a few puffy white clouds in the sky. As many of you know, I'm not very fond of autumn or of cold weather, but after six days of rain, it was a relief.

This afternoon, having discovered that trying to work before the move is finished is utter frelling folly, I took pictures down off walls, repaired a light on one of the display cases, packed a few lingering odds and ends, and so forth. Tonight, we had a gigantic Indian feast — lamb vidaloo, chicken madras, saag paneer, veggie samosas, aloo nan, and lots of pullow rice. I ate till I thought I might hurt myself.

I've been trying to reorganize my thoughts, because this move has to end eventually. I've been trying to get my head back into the story place, the place where Daughter of Hounds is waiting to happen. Waiting on me to make it happen. Not much luck so far. Too much distraction. But I am trying.

Lots of thought too on the difficulties I'm having reconciling my continued admiration of science with my explorations of chaos magic. Though the authors I've read so far do pay a sort of lip service to modern physics and continually state that chaos magic is a bridge between the scientific method and magic, none of them have actually done much to demonstrate how one simultaneously holds an empirical outlook and engages in frequent "magical thinking" (to borrow a familiar term from psychology), much less have they demonstrated an adherence to anything resembling scienctific practice. In a lot of ways, this is really the same old problem I had with science and religion, and it's weird territory to be revisiting.

If you've sent me an e-mail in the last, oh, let's say two weeks, and I've still not replied, or if I already owed you an e-mail, apologies. I hate when I don't have time to properly answer letters, even the electronic sort. I'll try to deal with the backlog as soon as things are calm again, but I'm not making any promises.

I've been listening to WRAS 88.5 FM (Georgia State) all evening, enjoying the fact that, this weekend, the djs aren't bound to any format. The music has been much better than usual. Spooky, who was once a dj at WRIU 90.3 (Univ. of Rhode Island), says it's always like that, thing getting better when the djs are left to their own devices, which doesn't surprise me. It works the same way with writers.

Tonight, Spooky and I intend to be boldly retro. We shall play Scrabble and then I'm going to read some Lovecraft. Last night, we watched a documentary on serial killer H. H. Holmes and a spectacularly peculiar Japanese zombie film, Stacy, which might have been worth renting if only for "butterfly twinkle powder." More I will not say.

Comments

( 5 comments — Have your say! )
gregux
Nov. 26th, 2004 03:45 am (UTC)
I've recently begun a study of chaos magick myself, and your thoughts of science vs. magick are part of the problem I'm having with it too. My scientific background is applied rather than pure -- I was originally an engineering major in college -- but the same reservations hold. The only thing that keeps me from giving it up is an utter lack of belief in anything supernatural and taking a purely psychological approach: I'm using it to change me and my relationship with the world, rather than trying to change the world to suit me. When it comes to anything supernatural, I think along the lines of what Harlan Ellison said, and I know I'm misquoting, "I'm so much an atheist there isn't a word for it."

An amusing aside:

A few weeks ago, I bought a t-shirt from one of the chaos magick sites that bears the phrase "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted." I wore it this afternoon when I went to my brother's for Thanksgiving with the family. At most holiday gatherings, I have those who have to give me advice on how I should be living, second guessing what I'm doing, and generally making me miserable and resentful. This year there were a lot of comments about the shirt (I was vague about its source, but not it's meaning), but none of the usual shit I have to take. I actually had fun for once. Whatever works, I guess.
greygirlbeast
Nov. 26th, 2004 03:25 pm (UTC)
and taking a purely psychological approach: I'm using it to change me and my relationship with the world, rather than trying to change the world to suit me.

And this is pretty much where I am at the moment. I'm having trouble accepting a great deal of magic, simply because I see no evidence that it has any power to influence the world around me. It's very much the same as prayer in that respect. However, I see great potential for magic to succeed where psychotherapy has failed me. I may craft a magical system (and I am currently doing so) for the purposes of guiding my life and healing myself and keeping myself healthy. But, at this point, I can't do more than pretend (and there's not really anything wrong with pretending) that this system (or any other) has any force to influence the universe beyond my personal psychocosm. Of course, I'm at the threshold of believing that nothing else can be demonstrated to exist, so maybe that's for the best.

The only thing that keeps me from giving it up is an utter lack of belief in anything supernatural

I tend to place many supernatural phenomena into the category "unverifed and/or unverfiable Natural Phenomena." It's not that I don't believe in "ghosts," for example, but that I suspect hauntings have a lot more to do with temporal distortions than restless spirits. And so forth.
gregux
Nov. 26th, 2004 07:48 pm (UTC)
I could buy the "temporal displacement" theory. I'm not deeply versed in quantum physics, but from what I do know, it could make sense.

But, at this point, I can't do more than pretend (and there's not really anything wrong with pretending)

Pretending is good. Helps keep us from collapsing under the weight of knowing who and what we really are. I remember seeing a psychologist on TV years ago who said that the strongest driving force of humans was not self-preservation, but preservation of self-image. He claimed it explained why people sometimes perform heroic or stupid acts that could and sometimes do result in death -- someone runs into a burning building to rescue another because he sees himself as that kind of person.

I don't know if this guy really knew what he was talking about or not, but I'm willing to take it at face value. I've got more important things to ponder, like how to get laid more frequently or meet someone who isn't flat out stupid. I just hope these two goals aren't mutually exclusive.
tagplazen
Nov. 26th, 2004 05:17 am (UTC)
butterfly twinkle powder

Have I told you I loved you today?
stardustgirl
Nov. 26th, 2004 03:38 pm (UTC)
Last night, we watched a documentary on serial killer H. H. Holmes

Was it "America's First Serial Killer"? I have plans to watch it this weekend. Not long ago I went on a historical hauntings tour of an old neighborhood here and one of the homes sits on a lot (the original house long gone) where he committed his final murder before being arrested.
( 5 comments — Have your say! )