Magic and Dialectical Materialism
I've been doing some thinking along these lines and need to get it out. Sorry if things are a little jumbled or disconnected. Some thoughts are inspired by Liber Augmen and a recent class I've taken on drugs, religion, and mystical experiences.
Typically, materialism is viewed as at odds with the spiritual or magical due to its foregrounding of the physical realm. This means utilizing a vulgar dependance solely on sensory inputs. However, certain elements of dialectical materialism in particular lend themselves to magical practice, and religion is an important mode of social change. The great ecocidal beast of capitalism threatens the very existence of this realm and the entities that inhabit it. Only monumentous action can alter this course, and certain religions have a distinct quality that spur practitioners to seek a higher goal or reality, whether in a distant plane (heaven) or a distant future (allopathic medicine/transhumanism/liberal humanism). Dialectical materialism can be the religion of social change.
By this, I mean that the core tenants of dialectical materialism:
- Everything is always changing all the time always.
- Everything is interconnected.
- Internal contradictions are the primary drivers of change, but external factors also have an influence. See tenant 2.
- Change occurs non-linearly, with bursts and ruptures, but this does not mean the old world has no impact on the new or vice versa. A continuity exists so that change occurs less in stages, but more like overlapping paint strokes, blending one color into the next with multiple shades and colors at once.
Social construction is all the rage these days because of postmodernism but few people seem to be doing anything with it and let things dissolve into signifiers and narratives. It's not enough to just point out hypocrises and contradictions, that does nothing to stop ecocide; they must be utilized and capitalized upon. Marxist revolutionaries like George Jackson point to the love of the people as a core motivator for action, including violence. Under our current circumstances, we must not only have a love for the people but a love for all entities, since what a person is is highly conditional upon their disposability towards premature death and suffering under capitalism. The apocalyptic structures of capitalism do not only threaten an academic's thin definition of 'proletariat' or 'working class,' but the oceans, the air currents, and non-human entities that are maligned and seen as a pristine wilderness to extract resources from. Even some dogmatic/vulgar marxists, including Marx himself, view labor as a thing only humans can do, still following a Cartesian duality and animosity between 'civilizing' humanity and 'wild' nature.
Currently Observed Divine Entities & Practices
A symbol of change and cycles. See tenant one of dialectical materialism. Mother. Bringer of blood. Sepulchre of pain.
Gardening is a fun and practical skill that loosens the boundary between entities and helps destroy the catgory of human through mutual cooperation between entities. I don't mean agribusiness here, obviously.
I have done all my stick-and-poke tattoos by hand. As of late, I have taken to doing certain projects completely freehand. This began with my ram tattoo that is still in progress, which uses swirling, drippy patterns. It is only a severed head now, but I plan to continue it, with pieces of sinew, nerves, and bone still connecting disjointed and decapitated body parts.
This process is extremely meditative for me. It is a way to cause intentional, artful, and lasting pain and meaning on the body. I used to think that tattoos had to have meaning, but now I see my skin as canvas in need of improvisation. I have been constrained for far too long, and this is a way of reclaiming control over how I am seen.
Self-inflicted pain used to be a big taboo for me and something that is seriously unheathy. Self-tattooing, particularly freehand self-tattooing, allows for a controlled and creative environment to experience pain by my own hands, now as an act of care and compassion and not internalized hatred.
it tastes good, can include blessed herbs and tinctures.
The Android That Designed Itself, Julian K. Jarboe
I find myself often repeating: "You and I, we are already only whole, and shifting towards the divine. ... Give me a way of moving so space can admit or accomodate, and then reshape the entire world to hold me. ... "My life, which is worth more than anyone's wanting, including your own, is not diminished by its smallness, but honed."