So recently, I decided to black out my web site, get off Facebook for a while, and shut down my weekly podcast radio show. There were a lot of reasons for doing all of these, but it comes down to a) The Great Work b) simplify…
Making the Decision to temporarily (or longer) pull the plug on a few things
So this isn't meant to be a longer rant, my confusion and pain is meant to be a teaching moment. If you read any book on podcasting, social media marketing, PR or other books, you might come to the conclusion that pulling the plug for a while is just a hugely bad idea for marketing. Perhaps. There comes a wall when what you need is space.
I don’t know whether it was the other kinda asshole occultists complaining about Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole in berating fashions, getting into a pissing war over the 30 day challenge with others who clearly had fucked ulterior motives, or reading blogs where people just seemed to post the blog for endless debate and friction, or a post about why posting Baphomet on your Facebook is bad for marketing, and I was so much better then that (which was done with good intentions)…. Or the endless requests for magical spellwork
… but in the course of life, working with Ra and Gigong, something snapped, I hit that wall.
I think alot of people have hit that wall, but the idea that you might loose standing, potential sales, or opportunities presents a hard choice. No one in the public eye wants to hurt their brand, and I’d like to write another book, maybe have a couple people even see that. Maybe even make some money at this stuff.
But then, I had that moment of rage and just went, Shove it. It was building for a while. No really, burn it down.
Taking an extra day to sleep on it, I decided lets make that temporary. 3 days into doing that the fog is clearing. Realizations occur. Pyramids, Monuments, and the like NEED a plan. I don’t have one, and while alot of this was going on, I didn't have the space to make one. Work Responsibilities, Family and some bumps in the road, show responsibilities of having to speed read the books authors would give me, marketing responsibilities… and I am struggling to get 20 minutes to do serious Gigong work.
Right… if you feel like that… something IS amiss, let yourself hit the nuke button. THAT can be the answer. Seriously.
One day into this process, I came into contact with Leo Babauta, Free Focus at http://focusmanifesto.s3.amazonaws.com/FocusFree.pdf. Now Leo has written the Power of Less, and several other books. He says he’s not anti technology, but that's debatable. He is pretty hardcore ZEN, This is a free fantastic book. The book was correctly articulating exactly many of the concepts I was trying to get grapple with and starting to build a framework around. It was a nice synchronicity.
I still will probably write several blog posts about simplifying.
Really it was simple…Shit became not fun, amazing, or inspiring.… and I was struggling to meet commitments. In what is a radical sense, he’d say don’t. Nuke the commitment, simplify.
Really I love doing magic, but talking about magic became tedious, the marketing became tedious. Facebook was getting tedious (and I will have to more about Facebook in a second). Dissolve, Destroy, Reframe, and Separate from the Negative is my current mantra.
Really this Author Andrieh Vitimus guy, basically said to do all that in Hands On Chaos Magic. Maybe I should go read it.
The Author Versus the Magician
Regardless of whether some people will agree or not, the truth is that the anti-nominal nature of the magician will sometimes chaff with the nature of the author. These roles have very different purposes and sometimes they cross conflict.
When I thought about what I was doing 10 years ago, I got to say, I was somewhat of an asshole, not quite as much as other chaos magicians, but somewhat. I just didn't really give a shit. Just do the magic and not give a shit. Once you go more public, that makes things very much scrutinized. People will say, it isn't so, but I won't buy it. Anything role, even the public, become self-sustaining and self-constraining. That doesn't mean people won’t be rude or be jerks, but the egregoric force of their public “self” has a subtle effect. It either encourages certain actions, or not. Really, I know some magicians will say, oh I am above that… or its all part of a plan but then we get into the question of authenticity… One does not have to read very far into Social psychology to know the impact that roles have on behavior and personality. I just think magicians and occultists forget that impact, or worse think they are above it.
Is a carefully contrived “mask” as authentic? The worst part of this is that mask can be consciously created, but it still changes the subconscious… There still is a magical imprint on the practitioner.
The Demon of Social Media
Social media is very seducing. Each little like is a positive emotional boost. At one point, I thought
Are those Facebook interactions authentic? I came to the conclusion, no. I know many others will disagree me and that's fine. I saw friends who were friends in real life, do things which were pretty hurtful (and I believe they would have come to that conclusion too), and other people I started to serious rethink things about them based on the Facebook stuff. I’m sure, they have probably done the same. Mutually, Exit Stage Left out of the life. Change is the only constant.
But Facebook and the social media push the drive forward. Drive to publicity, drive to one-up-ship, drive to do things which hurt each other not out of meanness, but because other motivations drown out any empathy. It really isn't the people, but it IS the Medium which encourages it. It is the constant state of distraction. The constant need to attention that the system wants to create. After all, it's more money for them to advertise to you.
Attention is a powerful intrinsic motivator, but it is a harsh and subtle drug. Think about it. How much do we do for attention? How difficult is it to get attention, and then Facebook comes along….. Instant Attention Machine, but its not real attention, its a demiurge like attention. Like a shadow that doesn't really fulfill, and it's done by design. I can’t control other people, but I also don’t really need to see the regular updates. In a way, the shadow of time allows for a better appreciation of the person and acceptance of the flaws. The microscope of instant and always attention, highlights all imperfection to mega-stadium levels.
Really, it's the stunning rate of the information and response, not the communication … that to me was one of the issues.
Simplify, Dissolve, Reframe.
Starting on a Media Fast
3 days in so far, clearing the head.
What I am doing:
Got off Facebook.
Resigned myself to stop reading any and all blogs. If I want to interact with an author, I'll do the old fashioned way, through their books! So I can take notes, and figure it out. Although that doesn't mean I don’t welcome comments, and I do want people to communicate (just at the slower pace).
Stopped listening and creating podcasts.
Stopped reading or responding to any comments whatsoever ( except on the 30day Challenge).
Instead for a bit I will focus on writing more blogs, Gigong and Ra work. When I get the time, I will rebuild my personal web site according to an actual plan :)
I still LOVE my readers and listeners…I really do.. I just got to slow shit down. I have a sneaky suspicion though, that I am not alone.
Controlling the Information Streams.
While we can’t control others, we can control or filter our level of information connection. Leo makes some excellent points about this. With endless streams of information, and detail, we each are put under the microscope. Sometimes, external situations make it even worse. That’s the real problem of an endless attention machine. Priorities shift subtly, and perhaps the wrong things are prioritized. The drug becomes the hidden motivation.
The Great Work
Now onward with my simplification and gaining the space to plan, to be, to become.
In the moment, now.
In the moment, now.