Monday, April 16, 2012

Omens vs. Black Magick

Although it is unfitting for someone like me to say this, in dying it is my hope not to become a Buddha. Rather, my will is permeated with the resolution to help manage the affairs of the province, though I be reborn as a Nabeshima samurai seven times.One needs neither vitality nor talent. In a word, it is a matter of having the will to shoulder the clan by oneself.
(Reader beware: some Edo period Samurai, such as Yamamoto, were homophobic.)

Let us imagine that you are a powerful magician or sorcerer on the 'net. Just, you understand, for the sake of speculation itself. And let us imagine that one day, while traveling, you notice something flying towards you... And that this thing headed your way, as you wander on foot or perhaps in a named vehicle, is definitely a projectile and that it will intersect with your current trajectory if you do not stop or alter your course. So you do, and the problem is solved.

But let us imagine that previously you helped spark a fuckoff huge flame-war, and that there are people incredibly pissed off at you. This is not so hard to imagine; magicians love arguing on the internet. Why, it's our favorite pastime! And let us imagine that you wonder if it is, in fact, the manifestation of a curse.

So you divine on the matter, but nothing pops up. Your wards are tight; your ways are shielded, your allies remain all beside you with no claims that you are under assault. Thus, arguably, the probability of a black magician is decreased. What then, though, might the intrepid magician make of this situation?

He might, at least if he were myself (and I hardly have all the answers), wonder if it were an Omen. And if it was, what might this omen – this message flying through the sky and towards one's person previously at speeds that would be bad to encounter – what would it mean? Might it not mean that sometimes, events just transpire and while they can look like they are bad for us, that is not necessarily the reason they have occurred.

Indeed, our magician has recently been in a flamewar, and this omen could be a direct result of that occurance: a warning that not all conflicts have to met head-on. And that meeting them headon, like some form of courageous badass, is in fact not the path to take. Sometimes the best thing to do is move to the side and let the projectile – perceived as dangerous – pass by.

For were we to consult Sun Tzu's The Art of War, we will find a great many things that would in fact prevent hostilities and allow us to overcome them. For example, he tells us that:
The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”
... If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
And much more besides, such as describing the extreme needs of espionage during a time of war, and in many cases some flamewars would not even occur if these needs were met. For were spies dispatched to monitor the enemy, to discover if an attack has been prepared and launched, and then the discovery was made that no such event had occurred, there would be no such flamewar. For the spies would carry back a message a message that no such attack had occurred, and a misunderstanding was at the heart of the matter. And the General would be forced to concede that he did not understand the full details involved in the battle he was prepared to make.
Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits; it cannot be obtained inductively from experience, nor by any deductive calculation. Knowledge of the enemy's dispositions can only be obtained from other men.
Welcome to the real world. If you plan to make war, then you must get your hands dirty. If you are unwilling to get your hands dirty, then you have no business making war – on ideas or your enemies. If you have no foreknowledge of the circumstances that have led to the conflict, then you have no right to lead troops. And if you cannot accept this, then you must put war aside and learn to live a life of peace. Or be annihilated by the sheer forces that you cannot possibly comprehend which will bear down upon you.

We do not need less war. We need less wasteful war, both in terms of ideas and actions. A great many occultists think they need not make these considerations, that these principles do not apply to their activities. They are wrong.

On the other hand, if our hypothetical situation was caused by black magic? The time to dispatch the spies has come.


Scylla said...

Speaking from prior experience: Sometimes you feel like you just got socked in the face. STOP. THINK. Did it taste like your own fist?

I dunno, a time or two I think I've received an omen from -myself-. In the form of a slap.

Even weirder when one day I sat down and literally thought "I should not have done that shit, I wish I could-... OH GOD, I DID SLAP MYSELF."

Cat Vincent said...

A more than reasonable tactical assessment, Jack. Luck out there.
Meanwhile, to inspire the troops, VNV Nation & Max Headroom explain The Art of War