Date: Sat, 23 Aug 1997 14:24:52 -0500 (CDT)
From: chuck27[at]ix[dot]netcom[dot]com (Chuck Cosimano)
Subject: Re: Chaos Magick and Morality
The problem of morality in magick and lack of it in Chaos Magick is not so much a problem for the magicians as for those around them. Morality, after all, is nothing more than a set of principles, usually, but not always, stated that groups of people expect others to live by if they wish to be accepted into that group, be it a small religious cult like the Amish or a broader civil society.
Now magick, as it deals with the raw energies of the cosmos and the various non-physical (at least as we understand the term) entities that abound therein, operates in a universe where the principles of any given human social grouping are simply not going to apply. For example, if I invoke the deity Electricity, that god is not going to care if I use his energy to light my house or electrocute my neighbor. The society I live in will have definite and strong opinions on the matter, but the deity will not. The reason for this would seem to be relatively simple. The consciousness that runs the universe does not give diddly about human social opinion, if it even knows that such a thing exists.
That being said, magicians are social beings. And while lots of us would like to think we have totally freed ourselves from the social strictures of our mundane or worse (orthodox wiccan, for example) neighbours we still have a lot of things floating around in us that we have internalized and are not just going to leave, nor do we want them to. And every once in a while we run into them just after spending hours and hours fulminating against morality only to find ourselves experiencing what can only be called moral outrage and then our fellow magicians laugh at us because we got caught with a principle showing.
Now, explaining this to someone else, particularly someone who is not a magician, can be nigh unto impossible because that person may have internalized so many rules that the concept of working in a value-free structure is either inconceivable to that person or so utterly terrifying as to be unthinkable. For example, my fellow Theosophists will tie themselves into intellectual Gordian knots trying to figure out the workings of Karma and the along comes Uncle Chuckie who unties the knot the same way Alexander the Great did. I cut it by simply saying Karma is hokum. This makes them somewhat nervous, but since they know me they don’t get as terrified about it as they used to. Even so, they still live a world where the universe is run along the lines of Victorian sentimentality and get very bothered about things that other people consider to be merely annoying or entertaining. They aren’t going to change, so I don’t try to. And as they know they can’t change me, they have come to the conclusion that I am a refreshing bit of heresy and we enjoy each other’s company tremendously. The same situation probably applies to most of the people on this list in one way or another depending upon whom they hang out with.
It would seem that Chaotes, being the mad spiritual anarchists that they are, will never quite fit in with any stated concept of morality but will rather follow their own internal systems.
“When you are willing to do that which others are ashamed to do, therein lies an advantage.” The Book of Lord Shang
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