January 18th, 2011
| | Posted in Essays
maslows hierarchy of needs. The Hierarchy of Lies is just like this, but upside down.
When I was about fifteen, I got my hands on Aleister Crowley. I don’t remember which essay it was, or what it was about. The only thing I remember about that essay was the spelling. Not magic, magick. Magic is the work of a skilled theatrical artist, an illusion of something impossible. Magick is an act of will that produces a change in nature, the fact of something impossible.
Why Magick? An Evangelistic Essay.
By Michael Scott
I need a chart. An inverted pyramid graph. On the lowest and narrowest tier, should be the most basic and foundational of human ideas. Upon this foundation there should be ever larger platforms, supporting ever greater numbers of stranger, more interesting, and more specific ideas. The chart must have no crown, but be in a state of infinite upward growth. Always, at the highest frontier, would be the most exotic echelon of human thought. This Gnostic Hierarchy of Lies (working title only) would be a most excellent tool. All human ideas require acceptance of other, more basic human ideas. One, for example, can not subscribe to a political ideal unless they first accept that society needs to be governed. This is the definition of magick.
When I was about fifteen years old, I adopted my first slogan: “If you tell the same lie enough times, it becomes the truth.” I don’t remember where I heard it (likely not from Aleister Crowley, for he was never so clear), but I began repeating it to everyone who would listen. I told this lie about lies so often that it became my truth. Today, when I preach about magick (for one can only preach, never teach) I call this slogan the First Magickal Principle.
When we examine the First Magickal Principle, against the Gnostic Hierarchy of Lies, something amazing happens. Once you have your truth – Windows Vista represents a vast improvement over its predecessors — you can start telling other lies on the shoulders off that truth, to re-enforce the belief in it:
World of Warcraft Plays better on Windows Vista.
Vista surfs the internet with greater ease.
Upgrading to Vista will improve the functionality of your PC.
And with all these lies rapidly becoming truth, you are in a prime position to start telling a third kind of lie. A lie about something new, completely removed from the original truth, but which relies on acceptance of it: the new version of Microsoft Office is effing sweet! My spread sheets are better then EVER!!! Of course, this new version of Microsoft office only works if you’re running Windows Vista, but that doesn’t matter. Everybody already knows you should be running Vista, because Windows Vista represents a vast improvement over its predecessors.
So with a few well placed lies, Microsoft cemented the most frustratingly high density operating system of all time as the new industry standard. The lie had become the truth. Vista was not inherently better at running programs but, because new programs are all written to be most compatible with the particular quirks of this new industry standard, all other versions of Windows got worse at running programs.
“The first step was admitting that I was powerless against Windows Vista.”
Not only an example of corporate magic — flash, showmanship, misdirection, and surprise — but also corporate magick: an act of will, that manifested a change in nature. In this case, the nature of your software.
So, why magick?
Why not marketing?
Well, way down near the bottom of that Gnostic Hierarchy of Lies, not on the foundational layer, but quite near the bottom, we find that everything in nature follows laws. There are Laws of Physics, Laws of Nature, Mathematical, Chemical, and Biological Laws. There are Federal Laws, Provincial Laws, Civil Laws, Codes of Behaviour, Biblical Commandments. Magickians even have a Law:
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,
Love is the law, love under will,
There is no law, beyond ‘Do what thou wilt.’”
-Crowley, Book Of The Law.
One can learn something of the inherent truth of law by looking at any example of a legal system. It is actually possible to gain an extremely complex understanding of the Big Lie by examining the rules of marketing, rules of war, rules of construction. Pure magick is not strictly necessary when one can easily examine other types of systematic principle, but if your thinking begins with markets, then all things become, in your mind, brands. If your thinking begins with war, then all things become battles. If your thinking begins with construction, then all things become condo developments.
So market your business (act of will), and strengthen your brand (change in nature); practice your shooting (act of will), and improve your gun-play (change in nature); decorate your condo (act of will), and create a home (change in nature). Be amazed when the result of the act is greater then the sum of the labour; when your book review of The Chubby Bounty Hunter, becomes, beyond all reasonable probability, the second result in a google search; when your essay on magickal properties of The Canadian Penny, of which you are so proud, is the eighteenth.
But you are not a brand.
You are not a war.
You are not a condo development.
You are not a magick spell either, but that lie is more complete. You are an act of will (sex), that produced a change in nature (you). Magic is a way of understanding the rules, and telling the lies, that aims at getting closer to the truth. A person is a euphemism, and is a twoot a euphemism for that euphemism.
When you are at work, at play, at church, with your lover, when you sit on facebook, or twooter, or wordpress, your behaviour in those arenas is also an act of will, a magical lie. This lie, though, is about you. It is not about your brand, it is not about your struggle, it is not about your work, it’s about the kind of person you want to become. This is not simply a mater of semantics.
Wizardry is not my brand. Communism is not my brand. Atheism is not my brand. Kindness is not my brand. Watered Down is my brand. Wooden Rocket Press is my brand. Wizardry, Communism, Atheism, and Kindness are not things that I am selling, they are things I am. I tell those lies only to please myself, only because I want to believe in them.
I understand this, because of magick.
By Michael Scott