Well ladies and gents, we’re at war; in a world so close to attaining perfection. The good news is we’re outnumbered one thousand to one. Since those odds are about the same as mediocrity to genius it is both a privilege and a tactical advantage to the elite few. At one time one might have been able to say Chaos Magick was merely a trend, but it’s held on too tightly in the only circles that matter in today’s occult world: the online ones. This is the alembic of ideas forming the world of Hermetics today and tomorrow, where the only accurate pulse of the occult can be taken.
The enemies of chaos magick are the enemies of the occult, and it’s all for the same reasons. They fear losing control. This is the very reason that Tantra seems to be dead or dying in most regions of the world, but it is actually on the upswing in practices such as Chaos Magick and to some extent American Buddhism and Taoism. Freedom and real Magick will never die, no matter how viciously it is attacked. It isn’t difficult to point to the attacks themselves, for our history as occultists is a litany of blame, isolation, betrayal and petty degradation.
The frivolity with which Chaotes treat Magick is the subject of some distress in those more interested in less modern paradigms, but this is a minor complaint considering that the true roots of Chaos Magick are ancient and legitimate. It is an advantage to Tantra that it is framed in the modern, as it stands to lose nothing and finds an audience it would have otherwise lost in the detritus Tantra has acquired, despite its gem-like core. This stands as a virtue in a time when belief systems which are rotten to the core but have acquired some gems, are held up as paragons of virtue by some misguided persons. Catholicism comes to mind, a Church which killed Giordano Bruno, a paragon of Hermeticism (Occult Science) less than five centuries ago. The Italian infestation still has not apologized for that, and even if it did, should any initiate ever believe these lying monstrous worms? Their doctrine of self-sacrifice and exalted misery stands in stark contrast to the axiom “There is no God but Man” and every line of the Book of the Law.
Religious nicety worships at the altar of group-think, where Chaos Magick does not. Individuality is the ideal in Chaos, not social harmony in and of itself – though freedom is proclaimed as a guiding force towards natural social harmony just as promised to us by Crowley with Thelema. Individuality and anarchistic freedom are the religious virtue of the Chaote, if there is one at all. Diversity is fun – that’s the whole point. This is a good reason for Chaos to be popular with anyone, even if few people really understand or appreciate what freedom is.
This freedom extends to several sore points in the occult where it has been slow to evolve: the secrecy and subsequent stagnation within the orders, and the inessential trappings that have piled up in the traditions outside of the larger orders. The orders have become tombs of old knowledge, stagnating and unimpressive – easily revealed by any serious investigation. The great silence of the orders on current events and the larger discussion of the occult outside of their pet grimoires is strange. This tells us that they all hope if they just leave the Chaotes alone we’ll somehow go away. Chaos is in for the same ride – except it is far more wild and uncontrollable. If you criticize Chaos you cannot help but paint yourself as either irrelevant or afraid, if not merely ignorant on what it is.
Chaos is like Jeet Kun Do is to the martial arts. It’s a modifier, a hack, and it wasn’t quite possible before the founding of America and all that came with it. Freedom of speech – real freedom of speech, including the ability to criticize the most powerful man in the country without fear of penalty, and the complete security of freedom of religion which has been improving year after year with a steady victorious march.
The action, dynamism and brilliance of Tantra pairs very well with Western culture, which also values individuality, freedom and innovation. Tantra failed in the East due in part to a betrayal on its own soil – the aversion to the world in India – the world which Godhead created, and in China, the fear of analytical study in Taoism which “made the great miss” and failed to apprehend Science because of its pet preferences.
It remains to be seen if Tantra’s second wind in this millennium will hold – Chaos magicians make all kinds of mistakes in their thinking today, so much so that one often hears of someone “being attracted to” “considering themselves akin to” or “reading about” Chaos Magick rather than going all in and stating that they are definitely a Chaote.
The weakness in Chaos Magick is this illusion that it is something entirely new – that it is not in fact founded on the shoulders of giants and a rockbed of steel as far as practice goes. In this it is dangerous because newcomers can flounder without much needed guidance. The ordeals that we know are consistent enough that we can consider them to be real and unavoidable in the human condition. Crossing the abyss is one such ordeal, but there are others, less formally marked.
When push comes to shove you want more than a cool looking chaos star in your pocket, and for some there is little else they take away from Chaos Magick except for the freedom. In that sense its usefulness is limited. It remains to be seen if the movement will progress or stagnate.
Beyond that the threats to Chaos Magick and Tantra are as real as they ever were 500 years ago in Europe and Asia, within those regions. In America it enjoys immense security with the US Constitution and prevailing attitudes bearing the hallmarks of The American Enlightenment. It holds the key to unlocking the basic inhibitions that tear at the axiom “There is No God but Man”.