Mencken pointed out already in the 30’s how people increasingly saw themselves as victims for men of political and financial hunger and with this pointed out the way towards the climax of conspiracy theories in the 1960s. Conspiracy has probably always been around in the shape of plots and plans to achieve highly personal ends, most commonly vile or sinister. Today a conspiracy always give the idea of a selected gathering of people who driven by power and politics attempts to feed upon people or governments in order to reach their own highly selfish ends. As a psychologist I find it an interesting phenomenon as it is clearly tied in with both insanity, in particular schizoid and paranoid personality disorders, but also, from my stance as a conservative traditionalist, it also affirms the sad state of the world, where modern man feels lost. In the hunt for explanation, for consensus and meaning it is almost accidental when a person starts to see patterns of conspiracy or patterns of love. It is a sad effect of where and when the organism is in space, place and own life. It speaks both of the fragility of the dislocated human psyche as it does of the great alienation of modern man.
And for some people the alienation is graver than for others, the questions just keep on piling up and the feeling on estrangement just grows and grows into a need for finding causes for explaining existence in an unfair world. There are in other words deeply rooted in projection, a common mechanism of defense for the organism when it sees its sense of self worth threatened by feelings of inferiority, failure and emptiness. In many ways we can perhaps understand the adherence to a belief in a world of conspiracy to be the other pole of nihilism. These are two of the three choices the alienated modern man often are presented for, the last one being depression.
Modern theories of conspiracy always focuses on scapegoating and slander, no matter the lack of coherence in the theory, if it somehow makes sense for the individual in this state of self defense, it will be used as a valid argument. This fits well into the psychological profile of the modern man seeing conspiracy around him, that responsibility for own life is pushed out and upon those conceived to hold some uncanny power. When these same individuals are backing up their insanity with proposing moral, good and lofty ideals, often of a traditional nature it all falls on its own insanity and sadness. Often these figures do not see how they are portent of the spirit of modernity, a spirit that goes counter to tradition and it is in this spirit of modernity we find scapegoating and slander. In all traditional African societies I gained knowledge of through my work as an anthropologist I have found that scapegoating and slander had no acceptance, in fact to blame others for your own mistakes were considered as reflecting bad character at large. Slander was always considered to be the very seed of dysfunction in the society.
This harmonizes with tradition proper, where man is called to recognize his destiny as Gods image, not as a being wholly born by material and social impulses, as is often the modern view.
As Hofstadter commented in his observation of American politics:
...it is hard to resist the conclusion that this enemy is on many counts the projection of the self; both the ideal and the unacceptable aspects of the self are attributed to him. The enemy may be the cosmopolitan intellectual, but the paranoid will outdo him in the apparatus of scholarship...
Hofstadter is merely pointing out symptoms, the causes are naturally related to the greater disintegration of the world order, where man has discarded the celestial world in favor of a purely material existence. There is little left for modern man to orient meaning towards, meaning is wholly dominated by the social construct he finds himself unwillingly interweaved into. It is sad, and I understand. If scapegoating and slander makes the search of meaning more easy,if it is helpful to point one of your five fingers towards a conservative traditionalist focusing on the cultivation of good character and call him ‘evil’, I say as Ifa says: “Honey will always remain sweet” and don’t forget that when you point one finger towards a man, you point three towards yourself.
Postado por Nicholaj às 10:00
The spirit host of the cult of Kimbanda is subject for much confusion, both in terms of origins, function and nature. It is like these spirit denizens are provoking more questions than they answer.
The most common understanding of these spirits is the one expressed by Umbandistas and Kardescists where the spirits of Kimbanda represents the powers of the left (roughly hell) and thus is a spiritual class in need for spiritual evolution. The idea is that the denizens of hell are vile and evil troublemakers that will evolve if they are used in works for the betterment of humankind. The divine light will then expand in these spirits and they will become baptized and finally obtain salvation. From a traditional perspective this idea is not replicating the whole truth of this mystery as it is lacking in foundation and reasoning. If we attempt to define the nature of Exu with the tools of sacred symbols to aid us I believe a quite different understanding surfaces.
The most salient traits are the use of the colours red and black, the trident, the preference towards alcohol, tobacco and the sexual. By assuming the form of the devil they automatically enter into the position of people at the crossroad, forces that are here to challenge us – and thus represent the power of choice. Further, as everyone who met one of these spirits can confirm is that these spirits always challenge our sense of self importance and are likely to point of areas of ourselves related to shame or weakness. In this they can become wise and demanding friends or vile enemies. The face given to you is ultimately a reflection of the choice you make in the crossroad.
The redness represents as the sexual connotations the idea of passion and force, interestingly enough it is also from a traditional perspective the colour associated with the apprentice and the student where the black is synonymous with mastery. This is also evident in the idea of raja guna, the energetic circuit represented by passions and emotions in the doctrine of Yoga. The interplay between red and black suggest a passionate road towards mastery, and it is a road that constantly challenges everything in our life we are emotional about. And herein lies a great key, how Exu and Pomba Gira constantly challenges yourself deceit and your misplaced emotional life. Since these are realizations most people deny for themselves naturally the spirit challenging exactly this, in the name of personal growth, will be sees as the devil or accuser. Further on, the colour scale does give us two planetary and two elementary associations. The planets being Saturn and Mars, the two maleficas, and the elements earth and fire.
Now, as we have defined in large strokes their nature, how is this then manifested in the so called kingdoms? The kingdoms are in a symbolic sense seven in numbers, but of course this is not a number of quantity, but carry the essence of the mystery by the number itself. This means pretty much as for instance the planet Mars in houses and signs give a particular reflection, so does Exu in the various kingdoms. The particular reflection of this power in a given location will serve as the commander of the kingdom in question. For instance, the line of mossorubi, a line consisting of the more vile and demanding spirits, often of African origin is headed by Exu Kaminaloâ, further down in the hierarchy we find Exu dos Ventos as his right hand and Exu Morcego as his left hand. This speaks of a specific order related to the preservation of a given lineal succession. If we for instance want to focus on the commander of insanity and nightflight we find here Exu Morcego to be the head of the kingdom followed by Exu Asa Negra and Exu das Sombras and a handful of others bounded together by the association to possessing wings.
Yet another element is the syncretism inherited in Kimbanda, mostly from the perspective of Umbandas holistic focus on union, which leads to Orixas and angels are all making part of Umbanda, while in reality Umbanda was given birth by a Caboclo and thus it is essentially a cult for the veneration of the dead ones of the land, the native Indians. It is here Umbanda and Kimbanda is finding its resonance, they both being cults dedicated to the dead ones of the land. I would suggest however that the great divide between Umbanda and Kimbanda is something that at first look seems similar, but is not. Namely that Umbanda is highly syncretistic, while Kimbanda is not. Rather Kimbanda has as its object synthesis. This simply consists in the recognition of a given reflection of this particular force within the natural kingdoms followed by interaction and cultivation. This means that the focus for action is different. It is about recognizing what we are dealing with and understanding it and not the creative construction of bridges within other pantheons. It is here we find the contemporary interest of finding the root of Kimbanda amongst many practitioners. Some focus on the importance of Africa others on Brazil and yet others on Europe – and all are right. Forced migration to Brazil happened as much from southern Europe (Spain and Portugal) as it happened from Africa, naturally this generated a common sympathy amongst the outcasts that in turn found themselves to be more in harmony with the equally mistreated native people of Pindorama or Brazil. The origin was as such a mutual recognition of practices and beliefs not based on differences of culture, but on the similarities.
Postado por Nicholaj às 06:26
I was surprised and then thrilled by the quality of this text. Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold is articulate and writes with the insight and enthusiasm of someone who has not only been steeped in the subject but has a tremendous love and respect for it. This devotion is plainly evident in his writing. It contains some of the glitches that these sorts of self-published works tend to have; typos, grammatical issues and or other editing mishaps, but with this text I barely even noticed or cared. This is unusual for me because bad editing is something that irritates me thoroughly and in truly dismal cases such as Jason Miller's The Sorcerers Secrets, can be a deal breaker for what otherwise would have been a good book. Not so with Kiumbanda: A Complete Grammar of the Art of Exu. Despite these textual glitches, the author's voice remains clear and his exposition of the subject is lucid and fascinating.
Frisvold begins by saying that he does not speak for the tradition as a whole but instead offers his take of this Afro-Brazilian tradition known as Quimbanda, or as Frisvold prefers to call his presentation, Kiumbanda. Quimbanda is often understood as the left hand path to Umbanda and has a deservedly fierce reputation as a blistering fast and dangerous form of spiritist magic. This reputation has led some to think it is a vulgar sort of afro-brazilian satanism or simply a pernicious black magical technology. Frisvold takes great pains to elevate his tradition beyond this perception, and really, to instate it as an elegant and even beautiful spiritual path. Having said that, the author's warnings proliferate throughout the text, portentously noting:
"The powers of kimbanda and kiumbanda are real powers. It is the union of earth and fire and the spirits themselves possess a force and strength so massive that they can make the soul bleed and the astral anatomy be shaken into shreds and pieces in order to accomplish the solidification of man's true essence".
Starting out with that dire statement and several exhortations that the would-be Kiumbandista seek out proper initiation, the author does something peculiar but perhaps appropriate for the nature of this text: he offers a complete and exhaustive manual, a grammar, for contacting and working with almost all the major spirits of the system. Pontos riscados (the mystical sigils that one draws to call the spirits), ponto cantados (the songs used to invoke) as well as offerings; other correspondences, and for the majority of spirits, a working of some sort is given.
It is no exaggeration to say that a wealth of material has been offered in this text and certainly more than enough for curious and hapless dabblers to "fuck their shit right up", as the turn of phrase goes. I mean it. If you are a self styled "evil-sorceror" enthralled by the ooky spooky 'voodoo' aesthetics of New World magics then here, my friend, is a quick and deadly way for you to destroy yourself! Step right up.
And this is what I like about the boldness of this text. Frisvold does not hold back and he does not baby-sit his readership; because these fierce spirits take care of their own system and those who stray onto their crossroads better be ready to do so or they will be turned into soft fleshy playthings for the Exus. To give you an example of just how feral these spirits are: Frisvold discusses the syncretism between the demons of the Grimoirium Verum and the Legion of Exus remarking that the GV sigils are used to bring forth a gentler, more wholesome aspect of Exus. That's right, spirit-seals from one of the most notorious black grimoires ever written is used to calm down the temperament of these entities.
It is perhaps this syncretism that is one of the most interesting aspects of the Quimbanda/Kiumbanda tradition, because as the saints were syncretized with the spirits if Umbanda and other New World traditions, Quimbanda took for its spirits the mask of the devil. A reasonable evolution considering that missionaries kept calling their system intermediary, Exu, the devil! But as Frisvold is quick to point out we must not be fooled by this syncretism into thinking the Exus and Pomba Giras are demonic. The role the Grimoirium Verum plays in the system is nuanced and complex and Frisvold makes his disdain for oversimplification as well as the satanizing of the system abundantly clear. Similarly, the author pays short shrift for Thelemites appropriating Pomba Gira for their Babalon or any other short sighted thelemic mash-up.
What this book does beautifully, in my opinion, is to offer one of the most elegant and articulate philosophical frameworks for so-called left hand path type of magic and spirituality I have yet encountered. This clever and considered evolution could only come out of this New World synthesis between African, Brazilian and Western magics. The reason? It is exactly because of the New World traditions' inherent ambiguities - ambiguities that naturally transcend the distinct moral and philosophical dualisms western occultism is inevitably drawn into - that such a coherent path has developed. If you are truly looking for a 'left hand path' of gnosis then here it is, as a living breathing tradition that quite validly traces back for thousands of years. And as Jake Stratton-Kent once suggested on his Grimoirium Verum yahoo group; that is because the greatest magical synthesis since Alexandria is really taking place in these New World traditions and not in the bourgeois occult boys-clubs of the west - as so many occultists have vainly fantasized.
This is not an easy book to own because it is so enticing - seductive even - like Pomba Gira, and like her, dangerous as a switch blade. I find myself coming back to it again and again mining it for insights and for examples of sophisticated ways to work with dangerous spirits in a folk-magical oeuvre. If you are interested in Afro-Diaspora religion and magic and especially the synthesis between western grimoire magic and african forms you should get this book. If you are interested in left hand path gnosis and you are sane and have sense of self preservation you should also get this book. If you are an angst filled instant-occultist in black tights looking for a cook book to help live out your dark fantasies of using 'voodoo' powers to crush your enemies, then, I recommend you take up yoga and leave this book be - it will be your undoing.
But then again, you probably wont be missed anyway.
The book can be ordered by visiting http://www.lulu.com/
Postado por Nicholaj às 10:30
If we look to traditional doctrine I believe the truth surfaces in sad shapes turning this event into a sign of the times. Accepting the cyclical manifestation of material history and its gradual degradation caused by the revolt of the royal warriors, this is largely referred to as “the fall”. The fall caused the axis of the celestial center to move, leading to the poles being inverted. The inversion of the poles leads to yet another consequence natural to its descending movement, namely that the murky forces of chaos and iron threaten to break in to the sacred centre. In the 18th sure we read how Dhul Qarnaya raised a wall around the sacred centre to keep these turbulent and rebellious forces out. But as time passes and the degeneration of sacred science drives the world into the dark age of spirituality the fissures in the wall gets bigger and these destructive forces seeps in and naturally they seek to destroy the few vestiges of tradition left in this Kali Yuga.
Disasters such as these are of course saddening and the heart do break, especially for us who has spiritual family in Haiti, but perhaps the pain is easier to understand, and through understanding the pain is more easy to take. Again, if we turn our attention to the traditional worldview and the cyclical unfolding of history we see the benefic and malefic hand in hand as they generate the consequences of the fall towards its end. And in the end lies the renewal and return. The Golden promise of rectification which brings everything back to the Principle and from this the reestablishment of the primordial state.
So, my point is, there is no curse, there is no unexplained forces at play, there is no angry Lwa that attempts to manifest its anger upon people. It is quite the opposite, vestiges of traditional doctrine is given blows all over the world, it be by capitalist corruption, political wickedness or the use of nature to disguise the rebellious actions taking place outside the wall.
With this my prayers goes out to the upholders of faith in Haiti in this time of tribulation and immense hardship. Aybobo!
Postado por Nicholaj às 10:13