[see Part I]
II. I do not ♥ Baby Boomers
Aldous Huxley called occult nature worship the “perennial religion,” because it is the default to which man returns when his gods desert him. It makes sense after all to appeal directly to the effects of nature, rather than their causes, when the chips are down.
Our gods have, in fact, deserted us; or, maybe, we have deserted them. The difference is irrelevant. I will not list the evident examples of Christian corruption over the centuries, nor today, as I have chronicled them elsewhere in these pages; only in passing will I submit that the world’s other faiths, which have also apparently lost their damn minds, are not acting as though the Forces they serve are almighty, or are unfolding the universe as They should.
Adherents are forcing gods’ hands to an extent that it bears consideration there was never a Hand in play at all. This week I heard the phrase, “Buddhist Militants,” among the static of the day. I said a small prayer to Whatever Was Listening that I had misheard the speaker, or that I had heard a satire show on someone’s television or radio. The Onion? At any rate, it’s bad out there.
At the admitted risk of rewriting a pomo version of Fraziers’ Golden Bough, let’s look at the essential aspects of disaffected humanity’s newest oldest story, which is a revival of some very old notions, albeit notions stoned heavy, on doses of consumerism, Hollywood and LSD, notions which are flourishing, under our noses, at a very precarious time.
Humanity’s religions and folk histories hold common themes and elementary forms that tend to repeat themselves in a cross-cultural way without losing their basic integrity. I am telling the Historians nothing they don’t already know. Joseph Campbell pumped this well dry. But we (I am an amateur, of course; please excuse the 1P plural. I make no pretense to the profession’s privileges) were trained to view this phenomenon in a very kumbaya up-with-people kind of way; i.e., as evidence of our common origins and common humanity. In contrast, many people without the benefit of learning in context, have also noticed these parallels, and have decided–and I don’t dismiss the notion out of hand–that our Bibles, Qurans, and Gitas hold a real and secret history more solid than myth and metaphor. I’m speaking of that time of heroes and gods, of miracles and beginnings, of promises and apocalypses.
The Perennial Religion’s narrative, as distinct from its foundational myths, is more fluid, but clings like a weed. It is our culture, our human culture. Humanity’s home is in the stars–we are made in Imago Dei. We belong somewhere else. There was a time when we could commune with Him or Them who made us, but some hideous fault caused the lines of Communication to break. Now we wait–for what? The Hidden Imam, The Second Coming, 2012, the Age of Aquarius, Gotterdammerung, The Aeon of Horus, The advent of the Superman, Transhuman immortality through technology or the Singularity, The defeat of Xenu a la Battlefield Earth, the return of Menachem Schneerson, etc., etc. And this would happen. Soon. If not for the dreaded Other, who work for the Enemy, and are perhaps colluding with Dark Forces, to retard or prevent the new Golden Age.
Though basic to the revealed faiths, such cyclical clock-watching is passe for many grown-up theologians. They have internalized the struggles and great swings of epochal time, and turned a calendar into a meditational mnemonic; the apocalypse, as taught by many modern Christian theologians, occurs in the human heart, in every generation, to every man and woman on earth. I like this approach, but it has two related drawbacks–people like literalism, and the revision has never really been communicated, at least on the Christian corner of the table, to the laity, in great numbers.
Rewrites occur all the time, keeping the narrative fresh1. I could fill this zine with examples. The general kernel of the unorthodox version, which is the one that threatens to metastasize before our very eyes, is contained in the exoteric teachings of the global Occult. The characters have different names, but they are constants: at the end of the last Ice Age, a group of the wise, who may or may not have been human, hopped around the globe, giving science to the ancients from pity for our misfortune, what with all the ice and starvation and such. They are, in embarrassing passages of our Holy Writs, variously, djinn, Nephilim, extraterrestrials, a Hindu family that can’t seem to get along for anything, survivors from Atlantis, the inhabitants of the Hollow Earth, or the Ascended Masters of some Caucasian or Aryan proto-Civilization, like Mohenjo Daro (of which, coincidentally, Sepoy was an inhabitant).
Continue reading The Newest Oldest Story II
- DaVinci Code, The Works of H.P. Lovecraft, anything by A. Crowley, anything by David Icke, the included texts as examined tongue-in-cheek by Robert Anton Wilson, as well as Wilson and Shea’s Illuminatus, which was only partially a joke, Philip K. Dick’s entire oeuvre [esp. the last half], many Christian televangelists when they’re being honest, X Files, The Book of Enoch, The works of Giordano Bruno, anything by Elizabeth I’s private wizard, John Dee, the speculations of Nicolas of Cusa, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, the Communist Manifesto, various “Rosicrucian” documents, Daniel, some Masonic tracts, Ezekiel, the Vedas, Revelation, Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Independence Day, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Jung’s lectures, traditions surrounding the extraterrestrial contents of the Ka’aba, The Hermetic Kabbalah, Wilhelm Reich’s work, anything by Pynchon, the recent Paulo Coehlo phenomenon, the secret doctrines of the Nation of Islam, etc. [↩]