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kore wrote

Reply to comment by enforcedcompliance in by !deleted8217

Wow, 13 years of zazen and chaos magick, that is quite unique.

How do the two interact for you? I know a significant amount about zen technique and literature, but nothing about chaos magick.


enforcedcompliance wrote (edited )

How do the two interact for you?

I find the state of mind that I find myself in during Zazen to be perfect for achieving Gnosis which is very important for my practice of sigilcraft. It's a state of latent understanding where I'm able to think clearly and not get too caught up in whether my practice is working or not. It's the moment when you're not thinking about your intention that things begin to fall in place.

This is a cool link you might enjoy.

Hun-tun, that is Chaos, is not to be confused with the chaos as typically seen in the western world as in "chaotic." It is the supreme ideal of Taoism. Chaos is wholeness, oneness and Nature. Chaos represents the natural state of the world. Digging holes on the head of Chaos means destroying the natural state of the cosmos. Therefore, to the ancient Chinese chaos not only has the meaning of disorder but also presents a respectable aesthetic state. Any outcome is based on the Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions. Since any given outcome cannot be predetermined with any amount of accuracy without knowing the full string of preceding events it is oft times viewed as Chaos even though it is the natural order of things. This idea of chaos may be very different from its western counterpart.

There is a lot I could say but I don't know where to begin. I've been itching to flesh it all out in a book, possibly. It might be fun to try and explain my practice -- especially to myself.

Oh, this is a fun read too

In more general terms Chaos Magick uses the deconstructionist theories of Jacques Derrida, the interest in random phenomena of John Cage and Minimalism, and the humor of Dada to create ritual spaces for magickal acts. To view Chaos Magick solely as a reformulation of traditional magick, however, would be inaccurate. Chaos Magick is something new, an attempt to deconstruct consensual belief structures, free the energy trapped by these beliefs, and radically alter the movement of the quantum flux. Chaos Magick is an assault on normative belief patterns, an attack on the mind’s status quo, guerrilla war on the careful considerations of consciousness.

Chaos Magick focuses on the mechanism of belief, and suggests that the process of belief rather than the object of belief is the critical element in magick. Chaos Magicians will cheerfully adopt or refute positions of belief as needed for the successful resolution of magickal acts. This orientation, which stresses adaptability as a prime asset and greets change as an accurate reflection of the true nature of reality, can be unnerving for individuals whose sense of personal identity requires that the universe be perceived as an ordered and meaningful place. Chaos Magick specifically refutes the possibility of eternal rest, or eternal order. It views the universe as a phenomena of complexity at an order of magnitude too great for normal human psychology to understand. In fact, Chaos Magicians would argue that the universe is in such a state of flux and apparently random movement that only devious techniques such as those of Chaos Magick, which deliberately subvert the conscious, rational mind have any chance of creating change in conformity with the will of the magician.

Chaos Magick is self-annihilating, bearing commonality with the crazy wisdom of the fringe elements of the Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism, with the mad monks of Zen Buddhism, and with the theoretical structures of Nagarjuna and the Madhyamaka schools of Buddhism. One of the two central Sutras (Buddhist teachings) of Madhyamaka is the Prajna Paramita, a Sutra whose title is loosely translated as

“ Beyond thebeyond, there lies awakening”.

The structure of this sutra, in which form and emptiness (Order and Chaos) are identified with one another and both found to be empty of real content, that is empty of a seperate self, resembles that of contemporary chaos ritual. The founder of the Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism was the sorcerer-buddha Padmasambhava, and some of the rituals, such as the graveyard Chod practice, are hardly distinguishable from the Chaos magician’s use of the Eldar Gods of the Necronomicon. The koans of Zen Buddhism are designed to short circuit the discursive mind and bring about a state of mind similar to that sought by the Chaos Magician.

Chaos Magick can be considered to be a psychological approach to magickal ritual. Bearing many similarities to the Stanislavsky system of Method Acting,the ritual systems of Chaos Magick aim at blocking the conscious mind and generating a state of consciousness known as “gnosis”, a state of mind in which the defenses of the discursive mind are overthrown and the magickal intention of the magician can be driven deep into the Absolute, that is to say into the quantum flux of the universe. Like Method Actors, Chaos Magicians seek to forget their identity in order to achieve their will, the change in the universe that is the goal of the magickal act. To do this Chaos Magicians use gesture, ritual, sound, visualization, the cues of their senses, meditation,and generated emotional states such as anger, fear, disgust, boredom or despair. Any method that can create the momentary state of gnosis is considered acceptable. Favorite techniques frequently involve sex, pain, and confusion. Chaos Magicians use sigils (magickal intentions that have been transformed into symbolic structures), rituals from any source and the artefacts of esoteric or popular culture to form a magickal space that might bring about gnosis.. Chaos Magick is non-discriminatory and refutes dualism. Rooted in the realization of the quantum flux and recognizing that ideas are not reality (although they may influence the perception of reality) Chaos Magick does not discriminate between White, Grey and Black Magick, between evil and good, between right and wrong. Consequently Chaos Magick is probably not for those who have not internalized a personal moral or ethical code. In fact, most Chaos Magicians would probably define themselves, if pressed, as Black Magicians but may, in this self-definition, be referring to Magick that has to do with that which is hidden, or in darkness, and so is black. Chaos Magick is not for the squeamish, nor for those who wish to argue points of ethics, nor for those obsessed with establishing varieties of social order. Ceremonial Magick and Wicca provide ample opportunities for those who wish to do the latter. Chaos Magick is concerned with developing magick that works, rituals that have specific effects, that create change in conformity with the will of the chaos magician, that are testable and can be replicated, that affect the Chaos Magician’s deep self in sometimes catastrophic ways, that are non-judgmental, non-hierarchical and devious.

Then consider this, which is one of my favorite writings EVER

This is what all the great teachers show: Zen is the practice of anarchy (an-arche) in the strictest and most super-orthodox sense. It rejects all “arches” or principles — supposedly transcendent sources of truth and reality, which are really no more than fixed ideas, mental habits and prejudices that help create the illusion of dominating reality. These “principles” are not mere innocuous ideas. They are Imperialistic Principalities that intrude their sovereign power into our very minds and spirits. As anti-statist as we may try to be, our efforts will come to little if our state of mind is a mind of state. Zen helps us dispose of the clutter of authoritarian ideological garbage that automatically collects in our normal, well-adjusted mind, so that we become free to experience and appreciate the world, nature, and the “Ten Thousand Things,” the myriad beings around us, rather than just using them as fuel for our ill-fated egoistic cravings.

Zen is also the strictest and most super-orthodox form of Buddhism — and at the same time the most iconoclastic, revolutionary and anarchistic one. The roots of Zen go back to the beginnings of the Buddhist tradition — not to any founding sacred documents or to any succession of infallible authorities, but to the experience that started the tradition: the anarchic mind! Forget the “ism” of Buddhism. It’s not ultimately about doctrines and beliefs. The “Buddha” that it’s named after means simply the awakened mind or somebody, anyolebody, who happens to “have” that kind of mind. And Zen (or Ch’an, in Chinese) means simply meditation, which is just allowing the mind to be free, wild, awake, and aware. It’s not about the occasional or even regular practice of certain standardized forms of activity (sitting and walking meditation, koan practice, being inscrutable, trying to look enlightened, etc.). Equating meditation with silent sitting is something that Zen simply will not stand for! Zen is also intimately linked to the absurd, but it can’t be reduced to doing and saying absurd things, as in the popular caricature of Zen. Zen is not nihilism, but is (like all Buddhism) the Middle Way between hopeless nihilism and rigid dogmatism (does a dogmatist have a Buddha-nature?).


kore wrote

Interesting. I've read Cafard's piece several times at this point. I think it definitely serves as an introduction to Zen for anarchists.

As far as Chaos Magick goes, those practices are always something I have been extremely skeptical of. Perhaps I am just missing the point and reading claims of creating semi-sentient beings and magical weapons too literally. When I read of, for example, Evocation in the book Liber Null, I am reminded of the term Makyo or "ghost cave" which in Zen refers to perceptual distortions during meditation that can be mistaken for seeing true nature. Robert Aiken calls "speaking in tongues," a practice seemingly analogous to something like sigilcraft, "elaborate makyo"

In general the practice of Chaos Magick seems extremely conceptual and often dualistic, which is what Zen seeks to avoid. Again, I know very little about it and it's possible that I'm just projecting my experience with magic in fantasy books and video games. But what do you think about this?


[deleted] wrote


kore wrote

Okay, thanks. I do want to understand where Chaos Magick is coming from.


sand wrote

i'd read it!


enforcedcompliance wrote

I'll make sure to post it here the day I begin to seriously work on it! It's been brewing in my head for years and I have notes upon notes upon notes.