I have a new tag-line. Writers and magicians do essentially the same thing. They create worlds with words and will. Some of you may know that I also write fiction. This blog has some crossover with my “name” blog jamelwilber.com I use to promote my writing, and my tumblr blog I use as a catch-all for shit I find cool. All three of them contain at least some elements of both magick and writing, with good reason.
All of the great magicians created worlds and got others to believe in them. That’s why magick has always been so closely tied to religion. Whether you believe the gods came and visited them, or the shamans themselves invented manifestations of our basic urges, it doesn’t matter. At one point, they went to the people and told them the story. Those stories told people how the world works. That changes reality.
I’m sorry if I offend all you hard-core science fans out there, but your beliefs are based on stories too. What you claim is the empirical truth about how the universe functions is simply how you perceive the universe to function. No matter how hard you try, you will never take yourself out of your observations. It will always be the human story of the universe. From a social-psychological perspective it doesn’t even matter. If you make the earth-shaking discovery, you still need to get people to believe it before it impacts their behavior. Don’t get me wrong, I love science, we need to keep using it because the language of science is something everyone can understand. But while it does a great job of describing outer space, it is somewhat lacking when it comes to inner space.
Every truly great magician has invented a worldview/religion and made people believe it. As much as I bash on him and his followers, the creation of Thelema was Crowley’s greatest accomplishment, a monumental feat to create a religion in the modern age.
I have taken a different route. Lately, I have been a bit of a slacker. Holidays and illness have kept me away from my regular magickal practice. I find, however, I don’t feel all that guilty about it, because I have kept up with my writing. For me, every story is an extended ritual. I am pouring on to the page my gnosis in hopes of changing the world.
Who knows how myths truly get started. Maybe the shamans came to the people and said, “The gods told me this.” Or maybe, they just told a damn good story that got repeated so much people wanted it to be true. Modern story telling is complex in the way it uses language and other mediums to get its point across. So many stories have been told, we now concentrate on the subtle differences between them, but they still teach the same things. They still have impact. I have no problem with cosplayers and geeks acting like they are characters from Harry Potter. They are internalizing a system that’s real for them, at least for a time. That’s the essence of chaos magick.
My greatest hope is that people will read my books and internalize what I have said. They’re not so conducive to roleplaying, but I want people to learn from my characters, both their triumphs and failures, and make the same discoveries and conclusions. If I can do that, I will take my place among the great magicians. I will have created a new world.