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Author Topic: Interesting stuff  (Read 1786 times)

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Satyr

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Nubti

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Re: Interesting stuff
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2019, 09:04:29 PM »
Awh. So much wrong with this.

But to start somewhere...

- Trance is ill-defined here as a differentiating factor. Everybody goes into 'some' sort of trance. PTSD/ anxiety/ happiness can be easily defended as types of trances.
- The segue from trance into conmanship is made far too easy by the author. His assumptions about the nature of trance and its influence on people are laughable.
- Drawing the line shamanism -> conmen -> financiers makes sense on the surface, but there's many issues here.

1. First and foremost, financiers rely on marketing and PR to do the work for them. Hardly comparable to the tremendous otherness radiating from people who regularly experience alterity. Working in marketing, I'm 100% confident the author has no clue about how financial management/ advice works as a business.
2. Shamans/ magicians *might* rely on conmanship, sure, however to claim that's the foundation, rather than a side-effect of their practices is quite disingenuous, at least in my mind.

Those are the two things that immediately 'break' the article for me. And it's just glossed over, seemingly as if an insignificant detail, while it undermines the very core of his argument.

I mean, as a hit-piece on the financial industry, sure, whatever. It "works", and fools will fall for it.

But as an exploration of the relationship between magic and financial markets/ marketing... just no.

This brings up another question: what did you find interesting in this?

Shaula

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Re: Interesting stuff
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2019, 11:44:00 PM »
There's some good stuff in this article, like the differentiation between different types of altered states both cognitively and in terms of their cultural contexts. To add to the Thesis of this article one could argue that the contemporary masters of the market are in a sense our iteration of the Roman Haruspex, the guides to help us navigate the winds of chaos using what one could argue is a very abstract form of divination.

Funnily enough the first time I came upon the "financial guru as modern shaman" idea was in Nick Land's Fanged Noumena. The one thing I don't really understand is what sort of "heroic journey" people who work for Goldman Sachs are going on. There is a set of informal initiatory rituals (usually involving cocaine and prostitution) not to mention a very specific set of guidelines for internal temple conduct https://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/168777/ten-handy-hints-fitting-goldman-sachs

But where is the "otherness" in this scenario?

Nubti

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Re: Interesting stuff
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2019, 06:34:26 AM »
Well, by connecting it with the Hero's Journey, you get literally all of marketing and sales involved. Which I'm pretty sure we can agree is not magic.

Satyr

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Re: Interesting stuff
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2019, 04:57:07 PM »
This brings up another question: what did you find interesting in this?

The path of the magician is a series of ordeals. So, what's the point of all this asceticism, anyway?

From the article:

Quote
The Mentawai word for a non-shaman, simata, also describes uncooked food or unripe fruit; it implies immaturity. The word for shaman, in contrast, means a person who has undergone a process: one who has been kerei’d and come out the other side a sikerei.

This otherness is crucial. Convinced that shamans diverge from normal people, communities accept that they have superhuman abilities.

We know them as various siddhis, and pursue such “superhuman abilities” as a matter of course.

It's not just acceptance of these abilities and the acquired otherness within a given social context. We also accept these abilities, this alteration, in ourselves. In a most basic sense, it's the personal confidence that surviving an ordeal gives us. But it's also more than that, much more.

You could see this process at work in the social context of Thelema Lodge. Those who practiced magic intensively, or conjured demons and the like, enjoyed a higher degree of social standing, and even sex appeal, quite independent of official power structures.

And those elite few privately joked that you really haven't got very far until you had scared the bejeezus out of yourself, at least once. In fact, and in the eyes of our social group, the greater the perceived danger of a given magical practice, the greater the socio-sexual reward.

What I found interesting about the article was this curious universality of “What It Is We Do”. Whether it's tarot cards or chicken innards, the roles we play and how we acquire them are surprisingly similar.

Nubti

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Re: Interesting stuff
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2019, 05:05:16 PM »
In that context, absolutely. Although I am reluctant to use the word 'asceticism', as I've found that the ordeals manifest externally, and the only way through is to change internally. Perhaps something to talk about more, later on, as that's a massive topic with strong metaphysical implications.

Also re: feelings of 'otherness', I didn't mean social context. I've found that even people whom I didn't know reacted very strongly. I have a strong suspicion that there's a strong astral/ telepathic/ spiritual element to this.

Satyr

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Re: Interesting stuff
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2019, 05:06:59 PM »
https://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/168777/ten-handy-hints-fitting-goldman-sachs

But where is the "otherness" in this scenario?

Lifestyle? Costume?

From a certain perspective, just a college education is an ordeal that, successfully completed, separates one mysteriously from the rest of humanity. By the power of having been tried and processed in this highly stylized manner one is now magically eligible for opportunities often unrelated to the actual content of that education.

Satyr

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Re: Interesting stuff
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 07:52:19 PM »
Although I am reluctant to use the word 'asceticism', as I've found that the ordeals manifest externally, and the only way through is to change internally.

I am comfortable using “asceticisn” because this is the lifestyle we have chosen, usually slogging on despite knowing the sort of trials we will likely face.

And some of our magical practices can be relatively grueling. Planetary work can badly affect your sleep cycles, for example.

Quote
Also re: feelings of 'otherness', I didn't mean social context. I've found that even people whom I didn't know reacted very strongly. I have a strong suspicion that there's a strong astral/ telepathic/ spiritual element to this.

I agree. There is more to this than self-confidence and perceived status/alterity.

Crayola.880

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Re: Interesting stuff
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2019, 12:30:31 PM »
But where is the "otherness" in this scenario?

They are an elite group with a particular social identity, and people who are that intensely focused on their work to the exclusion of all else kind of naturally set themselves aside from the majority groups around them.  They're kind of like priests of capitalism.  The average person carries around money and might even be somewhat good at using/acquiring/saving it, but these guys live to tickle the inner sanctum of the Almighty (dollar) in ways the average person probably doesn't have the vocabulary to understand.

11. The job is the centre of your new universe
This is not down to the pressure and the long hours expected of Goldman employees, but instead because your “network now revolves around the job”. Friends and family “cannot understand why and what you’re experiencing”, says the research.