Peter J. Carroll
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Liber Null & Psychonaut (1987)
- Liber Null & Psychonaut: An Introduction to Chaos Magic - online text
- Magic is the science and the art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.
- p. 15; this is a slight paraphrase of the definition of Aleister Crowley in Magick in Theory and Practice: Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.
- Man considers himself center of will and a center of perception. Will and perception are not separate but only appear so to the mind. The unity which appears to the mind to exert twin functions of will and perception is called Kia by magicians. Sometimes it is called the spirit, or soul, or life force, instead.
- p. 28
- Kia cannot be experienced directly because it is the basis of consciousness (or experience), and it has no fixed qualities which the mind can latch on to. Kia is the consciousness, it is the elusive "I" which confers self-awareness but does not seem to consist of anything itself. Kia can sometimes be felt as ecstasy or inspiration, but it is deeply buried in the dualistic mind. It is mostly trapped in the aimless wanderings of thought and in the identification with experience and in that cluster of opinions about ourselves called ego. Magic is concerned with giving the Kia more freedom and flexibility and with providing means by which it can manifest its occult power. Kia is capable of occult power because it is a fragment of the great life force of the universe.
- p. 28
- As a great master once observed: "There are two methods of becoming god, the upright or the averse." Let the mind become as a flame or a pool of still water.
- p. 31
- In certain tantric rituals the candidate is first beaten by his guru, hashish forced down him, and he is taken at midnight to a dark cemetery for sacred sexual intercourse. Thus he achieves union with his god.
- p. 35
- It is a mistake to consider any belief more liberated than another. It is the possibility of change which is important. Every new form of liberation is destined to eventually become another form of enslavement for most of its adherents. There is no freedom from duality on this plane of existence, but one may at least aspire to choice of duality.
- p. 45
- Space, time, mass, and energy originate from Chaos, have their being in Chaos, and through th agency of the aether are moved by Chaos into the multiple forms of existence.
- p. 52
- The first aeon comes out of the mists of time. It was an age of Shamanism and Magic when the rulers of men had a firm grasp on the psychic forces. Such forces conferred a high survival value on puny naked man living in intimate communion with the dangers of a hostile environment. This form of consciousness has left its mark in the various underground traditions of witchcraft and sorcery. It has also survived in the hands of several aboriginal cultures in which the powers were used to enforce social conformity.
The second Pagan aeon arose with a more settled way of life as agriculture and city dwelling began. As more complex forms of thought arose and men moved further away from nature, the knowledge of psychic forces became confused. Gods, spirits, and superstition uneasily filled the gaps created by loss of natural knowledge and man's expanding awareness of his own mind.
The third, or Monotheistic, aeon arose inside of the pagan civilizations and swept their fold form of consciousness away. The experiment begun once in Egypt but failed. It really came into its own with Judaism and later with Christianity and Islam, which were offshoots of this. In the East, Buddhism was the form it took. In the monotheistic aeon men worshiped a singular, idealized form of themselves.
The Atheistic aeon arose within Western monotheistic cultures and began to spread throughout the world, although the process is far from complete. It is far from being a mere negation of monotheistic ideas. It contains the radical and positive notions that the universe can be understood and manipulated by careful observation of the behavior of material things. The existence of spiritual beings is considered to be a question without any real meaning. Men look toward their emotional experience as the only ground of meaning.
Now some cultures have remained in one aeon while others have swept forward, but most have never completely freed themselves of the residues of the past. Thus sorcery tainted pagan civilizations and even our own. Paganism taints Catholicism, and Protestantism... There are signs that a fifth aeon is developing exactly where it my be expected — within the leading sections of the foremost atheist cultures.
The evolution of consciousness is cyclic in the form of an upward spiral. The fifth aeon represents a return to the consciousness of the first aeon but in a higher form.
Chaoist philosophy will again become a dominant intellectual and moral force. Psychic powers will increasingly be looked to for solutions to man's problems. A series of general and specific prophecies may be extrapolated from current trends to show how this will come about.
- p. 88
- An ancient Chinese curse runs, "May you live in interesting times." Since the fall of the Roman Empire, there has rarely been more interesting times than these. Whenever history becomes unstable and destinies hang in the balance, then magicians and messiahs appear everywhere. Our own civilization has moved into an epoch of permanent crisis and upheaval, and we are beset with a plague of wizards. They serve an historic purpose, for whenever a society undergoes radical change, alternative spiritualities proliferate, and from among these a culture will select a new world view.
- p. 113
- Physical processes alone will never completely explain the existence of the universe, life, and consciousness. Religious answers are just wishful thinking and wanton fabrication cast over a bottomless pit of ignorance. To explain their occult and mystical experiences, magicians are forced to develop models beyond the scope of materialistic or religious systems.
- p. 151
Liber Kaos (1992)
- In Chaos Magic, beliefs are not seen as ends in themselves, but as tools for creating desired effects. To fully realize this is to face a terrible freedom in which nothing is true and everything is permitted, which is to say that everything is possible, there are no certainties, and the consequences can be ghastly.
- p. 75
- Matter can be conveniently divided for descriptive purposes into space, time, mass, and energy. However we can only describe any one of these phenomena in terms of the other three. Any definitions we care to make about matter are thus tautological.
- p. 83
- The Conscious mind is a maelstrom of fleeting thoughts, images, sensations, feelings, conflicting desires, and doubts; barely able to confine its attention to a single clear objective for a microsecond before secondary thoughts begin to adulterate it and provoke yet further trains of mental discourse. If you do not believe this, then attempt to confine your conscious attention to the dot at the end of this sentence without involving yourself in any other form of thinking, including thinking about the dot.
- p. 87
- The Insubordinate Ritual:
The Candidate hands a previously prepared necklace to the person who will be the Recipient of the insubordination.
The Recipient places the necklace about his or her neck and kneeling before the candidate asks:
R: Will you test me as my Fool, so that all may understand?
C: I will.
R: Will you test me as my Jester, if none else will criticize?
C: I will.
R: Will you test me as my Chaplain, that no fault lie unremedied?
C: I will.
R: Will you test me as my Confessor, lest I neglect my own progress?
C: I will.
R: Will you test me as my Inquisitor. if I exceed my authority?
C: I will.
R: Then how ill you be known?
C: As your ______ ______
R: Then take this necklace my ______ ______, to remind us of your duties.
(The Recipient then give the necklace to the Candidate. The Ritual is concluded by a brief barrage of insulting noises directed by all at the recipient.)
- p 212-213
- PsyberMagick: Advanced Ideas in Chaos Magick
- We doubt that any facts actually exist. We only have observations and interpretations. Most of the interpretations remain questionable.
- p. 12
- So many people seem to spend their lives trying to appear normal, predictable and consistent to themselves and those that surround them. They just end up bored with themselves, bereft of any depth of inner resources, suffocated by the inhibitions that defend their own monolithic identities.
- p. 13
- It has taken us two million years to elevate politics from the level of a monkey squabble, to a level comprehensible to a six year old child.
- p. 35
- Enforcing equality to compensate for the monstrous unfairness of nature destroys liberty.
But total liberty leads to various forms of "aristocracy" and decay.
Yet total equality leads to oppressive statism and decay.
However, equality of opportunity leads to a vibrantly chaotic and creative meritocracy.
- p. 42
- No left wing parties have any respect for liberal economic values; and most centre and right wing parties merely promote a paternalistic stateism. Does it thus fall to the self-reliant students of the ruggedly individualist philosophy of magick to champion a certain measured libertarianism?
- p. 44
- WE CAN ONLY ESCAPE THE BLOODY AND IGNORANT NIGHTMARE OF HISTORY BY EXPLORING ALTERNATIVES WHICH TODAY LOOK FRIGHTENINGLY WEIRD.
- p. 46
- Magick will not free itself from occultism until we have strangled the last astrologer with the guts of the last spiritual master.
- p. 47
- Magic doesn't suit everyone. Only those prepared to take full responsibility for themselves should apply.
- p. 53
- The pseudoscience of astrology has no place in magick. Astrology has already died twice: once with the classical gods, and a second time after the Enlightenment. The complete failure of contemporary psychology to create anything other than a vocabulary of intellectual rubbish has encouraged astrology to resurface.
- p. 64
- New Age-ism
I could Love it: —
If dolphins had as much intelligence as cats,
And stopped trying to rescue sinking pieces of wood.
If crystals actually did something useful,
Other than grease the wheels of commerce.
If the Goddess had made animals taste less good,
So I didn't want to eat them.
If astrology could tell me anything,
Other than the trite and obvious.
If whales could do something more impressive,
Than merely occupy a lot of space.
If corn circles came from enlightened aliens,
Rather than Wiltshire pranksters on cider.
If channellers could speak in hieroglyphics,
Instead of pop-psychological twaddle.
If sharing, caring, non-sexist men,
Could do anything useful in a crisis.
- p. 65
- NOTHING IS TRUE. EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED.
A decade on and the rest of the page remains blank for we still cannot find a single datum that remains true under all possible circumstances, nor evidence of the impossibility of anything under all possible circumstances.
But by all means have a go....
- p. 83
- Indeed, linear extrapolations make no large-scale sense in a universe that has spatial and temporal curvature.
- p. 87
The Apophenion (2008)
- The Apophenion : A Chaos Magick Paradigm
- I regard physics as that subset of magic that works fairly reliably. I regard magick, in the traditional sense, as a kind of physics that we strive to understand and render more reliable. So it all comes down to the same thing, a quest to understand and manipulate the world with a self-consistent and coherent theory.
- p. 7
- Can we find "The Universe in a grain of sand"? Well perhaps, but a stone seems easier to visualize.
- p. 11; this makes reference to William Blake's Auguries of Innocence: "To see the world in a grain of sand…"
- "Being" exists only as a neurological and linguistic illusion.
- p. 18
- An old joke puts its thus, "when a man speaks to a god its prayer, when a god speaks to a man its schizophrenia"... Many people hear voices without suffering any of the debilitating and dysfunctional effects associated with schizophrenia, some treat these as sources of inspiration of develop religious ideas around them, others become mediums or occultists.
- p. 38-39
- Does the universe as a whole exhibit any kind of consciousness that we can interact with? Does the universe seek to evolve greater complexity and more sophisticated consciousness? Could it use some help from us in this? Do all species seem worth preserving regardless of their economic value to us? Does some mysterious circularity in time connect consciousness and the very existence of the universe?
Most Neo-Pantheists like to think so.
- p. 62
- Flat Earth theory serves well enough for a trip from the cave to the water hole and back, and a third dimension going up into the sky and down underground serves to accommodate gods and devils — A lot of people still think like that, believe it or not.
- p. 100
- Science Fiction Gods; Do they take much of an interest in us? I doubt it. How much entertainment does an ant's nest provide you with?
'Adepticus Sir, that bunch of Ornithoids on Artoc 4 that you asked me to observe, well they've just trashed their planet.'
'Oh that is a pity Initiatus Jones. What was it this time, ecological screw up or nuclear winter?'
'Worse than that sir, i looks lke they were mucking around with vacuum energy without having first invented the Mobius sphere.'
'Ah yes, the old classic mistake, we loose a few like that.'
'Could we not have tipped them off about it Sir?'
'I'm afraid not Jones, stupidity must remain its own reward, it's regrettable but there you are. Did you salvage anything?'
'They composed some fairly good poetry a couple of centuries ago, and some rather fine cloud sculptures fairly recently, I've logged some records in the archives.'
'Splendid Jones, I'll peruse them this evening. What about those Apes on Sol 3, how are they getting on?'
'Quit a bit of warfare as usual Sir, mostly based on chemical explosives these days, but with the occasional use of plutonium. Many of them have developed a belief in a big bang theory, and they reckon that they have the maths to prove it.'
'Really? Smith in anthropology will probably find that hilarious, I'm sure she would appreciate the data. It was one of her old Stomping grounds you know?'
'No I didnt know that Sir'
'It was a long time ago Jones, and a bit of a fiasco actually, she gave them a piece of her mind about some of their barbaric behavior which then abruptly became worse. Ever since then they have been obsessed with the number plate on her craft, it read 'JHVH'. The department gave her a desk job after that.'
- p. 107-108
Quotes about Carroll
- [He's] the most original, and probably most important, writer on Magick since Aleister Crowley.
- Carroll's website
- Templum Nigri Solis - A Brief History
- Arcanorium Occult College
- Peter J. Carroll Interview from Abrasax Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 2
- The Magic of Chaos by Peter J. Carroll
- Liber KKK - An introduction to Chaos magick technique by Peter J. Carroll
- The magician as Rebel Physicist by Pete Carroll