Twin Cities Solitary Practitioner's Tea Time Message Board › Zarathud’s Magic (A Preview)
|A former member||
Or Magic from a Nutshell
One fine day, not so long ago, Zarathud was seeking relief for his sorely aching back. Being moved by enthusiasm for spending an hour with his Beautiful Buddhist Masseuse, he stopped at Starbucks, and purchased extravagant caffeinated beverages, and lemon bread with frosting on top. His Beautiful Buddhist Masseuse, Natasha (apparently her Asian parents were big fans of James Bond), was most pleased with his offering and offered in return her conversation, while they partook of the delicious refreshments.
"I was planning to go to the temple this morning," she opened, "to make to make donations for good luck."
"Oh," said Zarathud, while sipping his latte and savoring the white frosting. She had broken the bread in half, and insisted that he take the frosted side. Zarathud would have preferred that she'd broken it the other way so they both got frosting, but his taste buds weren't complaining.
"Isn't that what you do when you put money in the offering plate at church?" she asked.
Zarathud replied, "Um..."
"What are you anyway?" she asked. "Do you go to church?"
Zarathud was relieved to be relieved of the first question by the second.
"No", He replied. "Not anymore", he added, in hopes of continuing the progression away from the first question.
The conversation proceeded to this, that and the other thing, and they had a most interesting conversation during the massage that went a half an hour overtime and all of it paid for by a gift card he'd received for doing an online focus group about frozen sea food dinners for an hour after work one night earlier that week, but that's another story. "Not a bad deal overall", he thought to himself afterward.
This is a book about Magic. It's about setting intent and taking action towards that desire. Zarathud does not give a fig newton about spelling Magick with a K, for those few who care, but he did meet his Beautiful Buddhist Masseuse through another girl named Kay. Again, that's another story.
This story is about putting your money where your mouth is and doing magic in the 21st century; without robes, wands or candles. It is rooted in Chaos magic, but also in consumerism and philanthropy, if you can imagine that.
Let's get straight to the point. Question number one is, "What do you want?" Put the book down and don't pick it up again until you can answer that. Seriously. End of chapter one. Just do it. This is called the Nike process. If you don't remember that ad, you're too young to be doing magic. Send the book back for a refund and get a job.
OK, that wasn't such an easy question, or maybe it was. If you have a grand intent, great. Perform the operation and then forget all about it. It will take a while to see the results. If you aren't quite sure what you want after all, you're in good company. Start with something small, but make it something you really want. Some operations can really only be done once, as your current state of doubt is part of the magic that makes it possible. If all else fails of course you can just go Meta and ask to find out what you really want, but that's another story...
The basic operation of Magic is simple. Zarathud uses a 4 part formula: Program, Trance, Symbol and Taboo. Don't get too hung up on the word Taboo. By that he simply means the ability to repress and forget about something - to not even think about it. He has found in trying to discuss this topic that the topic of taboo is itself a taboo, which is going Meta again, but he likes that word and that just makes it all the more powerful. Apply to Self is one of his favorite concepts.
Back to the formula. In practice, all four parts tend to run together to some extent. Programming creates trance, in trance symbols become more pronounced and the chosen symbol(s) effectively create and seal the taboo.
What does Zarathud mean when he uses the word "Trance"? One definition of an Altered State, you're free to use that term if it's less loaded for you, is any state of mind that is different from the state that preceded it. Highway Hypnosis is one example that most of us are familiar with. You get in the car and drive to work. When you get to work you don't remember the drive because you were driving on auto-pilot, thinking about the day ahead, or the night before, or you wildest dream, or your worst memory. Stop! You just went into trance again, didn't you?
What does Zarathud mean when he uses the word "Program"? Zarathud happens to program computers for a living, so he's kind of like a fish trying to explain the concept of water, but a program is just a series of detailed instructions, a recipe if you like. Again, if you've never baked a cake or watched a cake being baked or lived in a house where the oven wasn't used as an extra cupboard, you should probably put the book down and get a job, or at least go to the store, buy a box of cake mix and follow Betty Crocker's instructions first. That's a program.
What does Zarathud mean when he uses the word "Symbol"? Well it's been said that all that is, is metaphor, which is to say that all language is metaphor, which is to say that the word is not the thing, the map is not the territory and the menu is not the meal. That's the general idea, but it's a little more philosophical than Zarathud is comfortable with, and there is another reason why he doesn't like to go that way.
Words are pretty deeply ingrained in most modern humans. For all practical purposes, words more or less are the thing in our minds and the more we live on-line, the more often the map does become the territory. As far as the menu and the meal are concerned, Zarathud advises you to consult with Betty Crocker.
Zarathud personally likes to use his own symbols, things that are meaningful to him personally, but abstracted enough to shed their connotations of origin. He will share with you just one of his personal symbols, just so you get the idea. The rest are his own, as yours will be your own. In a certain operation he desired to symbolize friendliness, but using a fresh symbol to be given meaning by the operation itself, rather than his past associations with the word. He thought of a handshake, and abstracted it to something like this -o-
We won't discuss Taboo. Ha Ha, JK. No seriously, have you ever just changed the subject because you didn't want to discuss something. Zarathud once tried to elicit his younger sister's opinion about Lady Gaga, but she insisted on talking about the new restaurant opening next door. That's what he's talking about, doing that with your own internal dialog.
Saint Paul, MN
"Let's get straight to the point. Question number one is, "What do you want?" Put the book down and don't pick it up again until you can answer that. Seriously. End of chapter one. Just do it. This is called the Nike process. If you don't remember that ad, you're too young to be doing magic. Send the book back for a refund and get a job."
The slogan "Just Do It" originated by:
"Just Do it"
...[Mr. Gilmore, the notorious spree-killer, uttered the words “Let’s do it” just before a firing squad executed him in Utah in 1977. Years later, the phrase became the inspiration for Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign)....
“Just Do It.”
The famous Nike slogan came from a rather unlikely source – spree killer Gary Gilmore, who received the death penalty for murdering two people in Utah in July, 1976. Just before a firing squad did their duty, Gilmore was asked if he had any last words. “Let’s do it,” he simply said.
When Dan Wieden of Wieden+Kennedy was tapped to create a tagline for Nike a decade later, something about Gilmore’s words just seemed to fit. “Let’s” was changed to “Just” to add a dash of emphasis.
Read the full text here: http://www.mentalflos...
You must be to young to have this remembrance. (for if this is the beginning of the 'Nike Process)...I am glad I am old enough to have recalled it before I put it into any of my practices.
---I have left the bookstore..No purchase made.
We've had others explain the Program, Trance, Symbol and Taboo, formula before. Its one that I'm sure works, my personal one is intention + imagination + energy = reality. But then the Taboo really helps explain the letting go part. For manifestation will not work until you let it go, plant the seed and let it grow so to speak.
You have an interesting way of speaking, I'm assuming its the discordian nature, I loved the whole if you don't know "Just do it" you're too young to be doing magic and just get a job thing. :)
Thanks for sharing, hopefully we'll see you at one of our meet ups. Next one is 21:00 12/05/12.
Edited by Ben on Dec 5, 2012 11:55 PM
Saint Paul, MN
(It is always appreciated to hear one admit their short comings. I shall do so now, and admit mine)
The Discordian Nature:
Truly a different view..of one I have not known till now. I had to do much research
to understand it...I also had to re-read your story, to “experience” it.
(you may be young to remember some of my history...I am not so old, as to want to understand
and acknowledge for yours.)
Thank you for sharing your story.
(I am not sure still of the "books," so, in the mean time..I'll work)