Log in

No account? Create an account
The Vicarage
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends]

Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in reverend_mark's LiveJournal:

[ << Previous 20 ]
Tuesday, July 17th, 2007
9:26 pm
wings of hundreds of beats per second, of people whose wings are just a blur.
So I spent two weeks in a building contemplating joy.

What I found myself thinking was about how amazing this joy felt, like a million scarlet volts coursing through me, the walls all full of light and colour and all smells and tastes and sounds a little more incredible and a little more miraculous.

In the middle of this I realized that I was also gripped with fear - of the moment when it was going to switch itself off. Sure, I feel good NOW, but what the fuck am I going to do when it's over? I'm probably not going to get a warning. Where do I find the next dose, because now that I have it I can't bear the thought of living without it. Oh no.

And I guess it's understandable, as soon as something feels amazing you don't want to ever have it not be there, especially now that you know how good it feels. I often think fear and anxiety are directly related to a perceived possibility of loss.

It's always the most essential things - love, inspiration, joy - that are so fleeting and so transient, or so it seems, and you want to catch it and pin it down in a photograph album for easy reference at a later date. However, putting your finger on it is when it slips away and you're left with its absence. So what to do.

I don't know, my joyful friends. The only thing I can suggest is going boldly into joy and not asking questions. I'm not very good at it but I think I'm getting better.
Thursday, May 31st, 2007
12:14 am
Something that I see a lot is joy being viewed as finite. That if this person beside me here feels more joy, then that means that there's less for me to feel. Therefore, let's make sure that no one - especially the people we want to see miserable - have any opportunity to feel good. Enter character assassination, cloak-and-daggering, superiority complexes, anything that works.

I wouldn't call it jealousy, because it's not; it's misguided self-preservation. It's the fear that something is going to be taken away.

Joy is not a pie that can only be divided into a finite number of pieces. Joy is not something that is devalued the more it's spread around. The value and potency of joy is constant and always has been, it's not a market that can be flooded.

Letting go of this kind of joy-hoarding is difficult, because we live in a world of checks and balances and competition; letting go of joy-possessiveness feels as if we're about to lose something, like leaving a wallet in the middle of the street.

Let go of it. Let it move. Hope it gets around. Realize that we don't need joy on a short leash, that it will always stay in friendly proximity.

Saint A.
Sunday, May 27th, 2007
3:19 am
After talking with the Good Reverend at some length last night I realized that I am taking something huge for granted. Maybe trivializing is a better word.

Short story: this summer I'm going to get the opportunity to do something for one of my absolute all-time heroes, a man whose work I have looked to as a hallmark of what I want to accomplish and measure up to. I get to go overseas to do it. If you had asked me a year ago, I would tell you that there is no way that I would ever be in this position, although I'd give my front teeth for a shot at it.

The Good Reverend feels that this is a manifestation of recent wishing/hoping/dreaming, and I had not really thought of it that way. I'd thought of it as a coincidence.

And because this opportunity was followed by a blow of crushing proportions that threatened to steer my life completely off course, it seemed a lot less meaningful.

So what's the point of this post? Myopia, my compadres. Joy cannot be seen under a microscope, joy requires a step back and a panoramic view, joy up close looks like a fucking tangled mess, you need to stand way back and unfocus your eyes and then it leaps out, larger than life and in three dimensions.

I forget this often.

Saint A.
Sunday, May 20th, 2007
9:55 pm
I admit it, the pressure got to me.

The Good Reverend handed the reins of TCOJ over to me some time ago and I did a terrible job of being a Joy Disciple. I was reminded tonight that this should have been remedied already and I thought, you know, I have been thinking about this lately.

Mostly because of an old article I reread recently, Napoleon Hill and his "Thoughts Are Things" missive that is often bastardized on the motivational speaking circuits. Hill's point is that what you think determines what you live, and that thoughts are powerful things, not fleeting little events that don't matter. I've read this article dozens of times and the thought of the mind as an instrument of determining reality always makes my blood run cold, in an OH SHIT BUT I SPEND SO MUCH TIME LAUGHING AT BULLSHIT ON YOUTUBE sort of way. I think about all the pollution that has been in my thoughts, and that if Hill's theory is true, me and most of the Western world is terminally fucked. Or our realities and states of being are, at any rate.

It's obvious that committing oneself to joyful meditation at all times would bend and warp the world around us and result in beautiful twists of time and space, but who has time for that? But, dear reader, I contend that this is precisely the point - who can afford NOT to immerse themselves in joy, steep themselves in beauty, drape themselves in magic? Do we avoid it because it's easy and safe to continue to be distracted by YouTube and the latest killing spree on the news? Does our inherent inner potential render us impotent with some sort of performance anxiety? I don't know. Tell me what you think. Tell me, if you're not continually basking in the glow of your joyful mind, why not. And if you are, please come over for dinner and a chat, I have questions for you.

Saint A.
Saturday, June 24th, 2006
3:30 pm
Hands up who`s broken?

Share with the class.
Saturday, May 27th, 2006
3:26 pm
Ramblings of a man without sleep
I`ve been paying a certain rapt attention recently to studies that show the differences between Western and Oriental types in how they process images. Studies of eye movements seem to make a fairly conclusive case that presented with an image with clear foreground / background components, such as , oh I don`t know, your standard holiday snap of someone stood grinning in front of something, the former tend to spend most of their time scanning the foreground wheras the latter tend to spend most of their time perusing the background.

Other, relatable studies that I`m a bit fuzzy on right now, bear with me, I`ve been up all night drinking, seem to show similar things in terms of the order in which the young in said cultures acquire verbs / nouns and so on and so forth.

Which is absolutely fascinating. If we shoehorn in broad, surface level, ignoring the increasing we`re all America now angle, notions of the characteristics of Western vs. Eastern religon it makes absolute sense as to which one the Christian Church fits in and which one Buddha is spawned by.

So what came first? The neurology or the religion/culture?

Discuss. I`m musing here and have no actually formed ideas.
Sunday, May 21st, 2006
2:07 am
Flicking through some recent(ish) New Scientists recently, I came across a very interesting discourse on Logos and Mythos.

To summarise for you good people, it`s very much the notion that humanity has broadly grown up with two strands of description as to it`s condition. To place my own spin on things, Logos primarily governs the observable world wheras Mythos governs ones internal worlds. Both are equally required for a balanced world, and indeed, our primary concern over here at TCOJ, a balanced individual.

Just to be clear here, stood as we are in front of a computer screen in the early 21st century, Logos=Science and Mythos=Religion.

Nothing, as such, new there. What was particularly resonant about the article was, and I`m paraphrasing, and quite possibly paraunderstanding here, the notion that as the accelerated culture curve really started to kick in, Logos clearly started banging out result after result after result and usurped the balance. And Mythos became a dirty area. And as a result Mythos began aping Logos.

Or, to put it in a way that might actually make sense, that the area of Mythos, or as we tend to see it these days, religion, has only recently been seen, pushed, and understood as LITERAL truth. That this is very much a recent idea, and that peoples interaction with mythos pre logos eminence was not so absolute.

Which of course is what I`ve been banging on about interminably all along.

Interestingly, I noted recently that Rodney Orpheus (a bit of a hero for all right minded Mythos followers and an example to us all) pretty much declared himself as a Humanist on his blog recently. In my view of "the occult" this makes absolute sense.

Hurrah for Logos and all it`s done for us. But Hurrah for Mythos too.
Monday, April 17th, 2006
4:58 am
Something odd has happened. The last few TCOJ posts have been rendered unseeable. The Universe will have it`s little laughs. If you can see this again all is well, and you can click back to the last week or so`s worth of posts.
4:16 am
I`ve never really paid attention to Easter before. But I guess, push come to shove, I have never experienced this time of year as your good and dear Reverend before, and it behooves me to do so.

It`s all very fashionable to point out, sagely, whilst a cloud of smug descends around one, to note that this is a hijacking of a fertility festival. After all, what have bunnies, spring chicks and eggs to do with the Christian Festival of Easter?

But I put it to you all now, that the Festival of Oestre does not come with Bank Holidays. Jesus Died On The Cross for your long weekend.

But lets meet in the middle. In the true spirit. Because whatever religion you adhere to, even those hijacking the calender but giving us a couple of extra days holiday in the process, you cannot deny that we are in the midst of a festival of rebirth.

So I want you all to post here in all sincerity, details on how you have been reborn. And if you have not been reborn, I want you all to post, as a starting point, details on what you would like to be reborn into. As insignificant as you like, just write it down here, no one but you is checking back to see if you`ve done it in a years time. You`ve had an extra day to think about this. Manifest it by noting it. Rebirth is for all.

Those of you who have for some reason, either culturally or for lifestyle reasons not been granted a few free days, instead share with the class the reasons why you have not been granted the free day to become anew in. For whatever reason. It will be a learning experience for all to hear this.

Blessed Be.
Thursday, April 13th, 2006
9:38 pm
Gah. You think you`ve handed over the reigns. And then what?


Not even an "astrid woz ere" on the user profile. Shameful.

Looks like I`m back in charge then. hey ho. Speak to me my children.
Saturday, April 8th, 2006
2:55 am
Friday, April 7th, 2006
11:58 pm
There may have been a coup recently. One of those nasty ones I`m afraid, in which right of succesion is achieved nefariously. I`m still holding on here however, but be careful. The night of 1000 knives has occured. Possibly.

Anyway. Semi serious, Semi Spoof religion that this is, no-one has for the longest time now taken up the always open offer of a nice sit down and a cup of tea and a chat about what ails them. And as always, yes, feel free to take the piss, but this just means I`m not talking to people who actually did need a nice sit down and a cup of tea. I`m aware of my own conceits, so you won`t actually be achieving anything other than denying someone who needed it a nice cup of leaf based caffeine.

And, as always, I`m happy to chat to anonymous. What I`m going to have a go at is one of those futuredated posts that you can always grab hold of. I fear that through not understanding the subtle workings of this newfangled LJ thing that I will just be permanently at the top of your friends lists for alway. Let me know if that does in fact happen, and please feel to advise upon how I can be less fat handed if it does.
Thursday, April 6th, 2006
1:00 am
So. To Summarise. Whilst Drunk.
Your good and dear Reverend is always aware of the conceit in some of the things he says. This Live Journal exists having looked at the conceit that this Journal exists based entirely upon squarely in the eye and decided, nah, fuck it, thats absolutely fine.

You pays your money and you takes your choice.

The "disclaimer" here, such as it is, is that following the broad advice of TCOJ may well lead to a period of hardship in ones life. This is the way of things. Sometimes one needs to raze an eyesore to the ground in order to be able to build a thing of beauty. In all things there is positive and negative. Destruction is part of the wider group that is all things. (1)

The trick here is not to get into loops. If you destroy things so you can start again because THATS WHAT YOU DO then there`s a possibility that you have bought into negative destruction. Even if you have perfectly good reasons for destroying things that you act on. Again. and Again. And again. Then despite the fact that you have perfectly good reasons for destroying things, there is perhaps a notion that you have failed to internalise the reasons as to why destruction was required in the first place whilst rebuilding.

One of our founding fathers, Uncle Aleister put much store behind the notion of"Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law". He explains this notion as it should be understood (and, y`know, he wasn`t a man adverse to the notion of watching people go off and shaft themselves. Very much best thought of to my mind as one of the best scholars of comparative religion and mysticism of his day, and in some ways ever, but still not adverse to being his day and ages version of Chris Morris) in his novel "Diary of a Drug Fiend".

(and I paraphrase)

- "Do What Thou Wilt."
- "Bang on sonny jim. I`m having me some of that".


- "Ah. I rather appear to have squandered my inheritance on cocaine and heroin. I rather appear to be given over to such substances and am consequently in a wretched state of being. I rather feel this is all your fault for advising me to do so."
- "Did I Fuck"
- "You told me to Do What I Wilt!"
- "Yes. I did. Young Fucko. You might have misunderstood the concept of True Will here. I didn`t actually tell you to do what the hell you liked without fear of consequence. The truth of the matter is, that the state you come before me in rather suggests that you`ve been acting against your True Will. If this is what you were *supposed* to be doing we wouldn`t be having this conversation".


And in a related holding forth

- "Yes. I did indeed tell you to partake of Strange Drugs whenever you could. However I put it to you that the point at which addiction set in, indeed, at a point some way before this, you had ceased to do this, you were in fact partaking in Familiar Drugs".


Which is less metaphorical (in the context given) than it probably should be. Crowley being, and I`ll certainly fight you over this, the Chris Morris of his day, but also to his discredit a little bit of the Pete Doherty of his day as well. I respect his writings massively, but I probably wouldn`t want to go for a beer with him.

But you get the point. Ultimately the goal is opening up and becoming yourself. To confuse the techniques and advice given to you with this goal in mind FOR the goal is to swap one cage for another.

That being said, if you need a cage, I like to think TCOJ offer very competetive rates on this. Call now. Our operators are standing by. etc. They wear PVC to boot. Look at them. They`re *SHINY*.


(1) I guess TCOJ ultimately believe, that 6 months of hell is the correct option against a life of putting up with. You should not confuse this with tabloid versions of aspirational living in which whatever you do, wherever you do it, and whoever you do it with, you will always be "putting up with". Show some sense here. You should also not confuse TCOJs agenda for one which says "oh dear. You appear to have died in a squat of a heroin overdose. Thats a shame. Still. Better than being an accountant eh?"(2). And I should stress that last one a bit, because your TOPYs of this world seem to be prone towards falling into that sinkhole and I`m nothing if not shamelessly TOPY influenced. I`m trying here for the odd inspirational word, the odd "we`ve all been there" moment, and ultimately for the whole to be liberational in a very specifically not specific sense - because anyone who claims they can be specific to YOUR life should not be trusted. And of course a bunch of knob gags. The reason why every religion to date is ultimately worthless is because they don`t get the fact that The Universe Likes Knob Gags.

If I am sometimes vague and contradictory thats because YOU SHOULD NOT TRUST ANYONE WHO SELLS YOU A PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE THAT *ISN`T*.

(2) Especially since theres no good reason why an accountant is removed from Joy.
Wednesday, April 5th, 2006
11:07 pm
There is a new addition to TCOJ Dogma.

Regardless of the nature, location, or seniority of your job, you are required to ask "Do You Want Fries With That?" to any seriously bullshit request made of you.

The nature, location and seniority of your position may, as an example, involve you being sat the wrong side of the desk in the job centre. Or it may involve you managing million dollar deals with international clients. You still need to ascertain whether or not they do, in fact, want fries with that.

Heaven/Satori/72 Virgins/72 Experienced Whores with no Gag Reflex/Whatever depend entirely upon your adherence to this.
Sunday, March 26th, 2006
9:51 am
Two men are identical in every conceviable way apart from one - whilst they have read exactly the same books over the course of their life, they have read tham in a different order.

They have very different realities indeed.

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006
9:53 am
This arrived on the Bad Signal today

Subgenius Chil Custody Brouhaha

It seems of some relevance to TCOJ. Questions raised by reading the article linked to may well be explained by the links at the end.
Monday, March 20th, 2006
9:53 pm
I managed, (given the predicates, which become the main point of debate of course, but which are both valid points of scientific discourse at the level of being a professional academic, and a core foundation of TCOJ), to prove to myself the existence of God (And indeed Gods) last week. Albeit in the most abstract way possible, which of course is the only way a God you can take seriously exists.

Which caught me on the fucking hoof, let me tell you.

It seems right and proper that the A+B=C. Fuck!!!!! equation remains as a comment on someones LJ somewhere and no more.

I am nothing if not a sectionable prophet.
Friday, March 17th, 2006
9:58 am
Mad Thoughts Day
The observant amongst you will notice last week was Jihad day instead.

Back to normal again, so make with the mad thoughts people. An impressive early bout of sanctity already from parishioner Gashinryu who is claiming to be experiencing the aftereffects of standing near a rack of chemicals that were hit by lightning.
Tuesday, March 14th, 2006
9:42 am
Pure Morning
One of the things I`ve been discussing with people in light of the bold "The Root of All Evil" by Richard Dawkins is that one of his main failings was that he missed a trick. I think it`s a brave man who in the current climate dares to broach the notion that religon, at every level of sanctity MUST be open to challenge, and he made some much needed observations, particularly on the damaging reality tunnels that organised religions seem almost designed to perpetuate, but I still think he missed a trick.

One of my long held beliefs, and in many ways the underlying foundation of The Church of Joy is that whilst creation myths, cosmologies, etc. etc. of the majority of religions remain a matter of faith rather than scientific fact, and indeed, are frequently at great odds with established scientific wisdom, that the religious experience itself is real, valid, and empirically verifiable. To have so completely skirted round this issue served to undermine Dawkins rather severely.

There was a nice round up in New Scientist recently illustrating that the baby has by no means been thrown out with the bathwater. Although not mentioned, indeed I rather suspect in no way aware of it, I thought that the article was very much in the spirit that RD Laing pioneered to no small controversy and at great damage to his career, with his Anti-Psychiatry movement in the 60s. In a nutshell, the notion that it is not the job of the scientist to write someone off as "mad" and bring them, through whatever means neccesary back into the reality tunnel as endorsed by society, or, to be more accurate, the reality tunnel endorsed by The Psychiatrist - but to instead understand the subjective experienced reality of the patient. The notion that in, if not all, but many instances that however divergent there would still be a coherent reality being experienced, and that it was important to not only make the attempt to understand this, but to also understand why such a reality had been embraced by the patient. What, if you will, was the purpose of this divergent reality? What did they get out of it?

Very much the same view here - lets put aside any notions of how correct the reality of those who embrace a religion is, and instead ask what do they get out of it? Immediately there seem to be significant statistics, no doubt rather annoying ones for rationalists, that those who embrace a religion tend to on average be happier, healthier and live longer. Which rathers makes those who would sneer at an said peoples irrational beliefs look themselves rather irrational.

To cut a long story short, simplyfying variables though it is, we`re talking Placebo effect here. In some religions we`re also rather obviously talking Nocebo effect - Voodoo Curses for instance (though one suspects if one looked, one would find less immediately obvious Nocebo instances in all religions)

As I`ve said before - just because something never happened, doesn`t mean it`s not true. If statistics show, as they seem to, that worship of a God who doesn`t exist brings greater happiness and a longer life to the worshipers, on what grounds do we claim that this God doesn`t exist? Indeed on what ground can we claim the rationalist high ground by deciding in favour of a shorter and less joyous life?

To further send the issue round in circles, a massive factor of any placebo effect is belief in the placebo. Faith only works if you have faith. The first thing any decent Magician realises is that the best defence against Magick is to simply not believe in it. Sceptics out there are absolutely correct when they tell me Magick doesn`t exist. Because for them it doesn`t.


The win win situation of course is to gain the benefits open to those who partake in a religion without any of the major disadvantages that come with an organised, dogmatic and quite potentially self serving hierarchical structure. (looks pointedly).
Friday, March 10th, 2006
12:05 am
72 Virgins available for those willing to go beyond the call of duty

Legally, I reserve the right to the obvious fact that "by beyond the call of duty" I clearly meant something less than what you just did at the point at which I am legally embroiled in clarifying this. Still. 72 virgins. They don`t know the meaning of the word less. or indeed legal.

Making these blasphemours number two on google would at least make some of the 72 virgins giggle and blush coquetteishly.

And Jihad is declared on This Lot as well whilst we`re at it.
[ << Previous 20 ]
About LiveJournal.com