by Jake Block
Attack! Attack!! Attack!!! Many Satanists, at least in the beginning, seem to think that attacking and finding conflict is the surest and best solution to any problem. And this may be true, IF the person you are attacking is in the weaker position with no ability to fight back, either physically or intellectually, or has no force multiplier to even the odds of the fight, or provide an avenue to besting his attacker or eliminating the threat altogether.
Most poor fighters believe in the stand and deliver method of conflict with an enemy. They will simply stand toe to toe and pound each other until one of the two delivers a crippling blow. Here in Tennessee, there is a small village a few miles from here called Skullbone, whose name is derived from the particularly down-and dirty fighting style called “Skullboning,” wherein fighters stood directly in front of each other and only deliver blows to the face and head. No fighter emerged unscathed. In the end, all that is learned is who can stand the painful blows the longest. There are no tactics involved. It’s simply attack! Attack!! Attack!!!
Akin to this is the Heidelberg dueling culture of the 1800’s, which could be seen as sort of a “gentleman’s fight club” with short sabers or daggers. Often called Flash Mensur (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUh5exBJXBU), the whole purpose was to stand directly in front of your opponent wearing light armor to protect the vital organs in the core of the body, with the combatants trying to draw first blood on the face of their opponent, leaving a painful, disfiguring gash that, when repaired by the physician resulted in what was called a “Heidelberg scar.” Again, there was very little in the way of tactics, other than ducking the blow or fending it off with your own blade, but sooner or later, you earned your scar, which for some reason was seen as a badge of honor, rather than graphic evidence that you were indeed too slow or too stupid to duck.
Contests of this type were like checkers when compared to the tactical chess of modern day pugilism. “Stick and move,” hit and move out of range of a counterpunch… attack and evade became the rule in boxing and reached it’s apex and almost became art when Muhammed Ali chimed, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Even the military who had always been told that their job was to make a lot of noise and break things began to think more along the lines of light infantry teams trained to shoot and move. Their modern weapons and lighter personal armor made maneuverability possible and became a force multiplier on the battlefield. There was still a massive war machine that could be called upon if necessary, but the days of tanks and heavy artillery slugging it out, as in the Battle of Brody in 1941, when the Germans threw 1,000 Panzer tanks against 3,000 tanks during Operation Barbarossa, or the 2nd Battle of El Alamein between German General Rommel and his Afrikakorps force of 540 tanks and 116,000 troops battling against British General Montgomery’s force of over 1,000 tanks and 190,000 troops became a tactic of last resort.
Lessons learned in blood changed nations, but it somehow seems as if personal battles of today, especially when sterile and nonsensical as most that you see on the internet, remain the last bastion of impotent rage to settle non-issue molehills that have attained mountainous status in the minds of the tactically weak. Everything becomes an item of epic importance, weakening the viewer’s concept of importance itself, as if everything is equal in importance, until nothing is truly important at all.
The true tactician, whether on the field of battle, in the field of business, or in interpersonal relationships knows when to simply manage the field and when to bring out the “big guns.” There are various tools at hand that help us to become that tactician who’s skilled at manipulation and gains from conflicts, rather than being controlled by them.
“Is it a just cause, or is it just because?” Any fool can throw a punch and claim victory in an unnecessary battle. You might gain your internet “Heidelberg Scar,” for what it’s worth and the dweebish of your current web du jour might call “Huzzah” and hail your name, but it really won’t mean a damned thing to the dweebish of your alternate website who don’t know that handle, nor would they recognize that persona, for on the alternate website, you are someone else altogether. Some people go from website to website fighting the same battles over and over like some even more nonsensical “groundhog day” display, perhaps thinking that their rerun tactics might somehow be taken more seriously in a new locale.
The most powerful warrior is the intellectual barbarian, one who can use diplomacy to state his positions and mark his territory, the place where he makes his stand, but also allows his adversary no mistake in that he wishes to get along in peace, but will not shirk from a fight if it is brought to him. The retired US Marine General James Mattis is equally famous for these statements. “While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetime under Saddam’s oppression,” and “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.” His advice to his troops, “Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should be a pacifistic milquetoast. I’m no pacifist and I have my hard-won scars from wading into my enemies when the situation warranted it. But I long ago learned that in most situations, being right, rather than simply insisting on getting your way, and having a good set of negotiating skills will often take a lot of the trauma out of interpersonal relations. AND it gives you options that immediately going nuclear on someone for every imagined sleight or petty disagreement takes away from you. It’s no longer a go-no go option. SOMETIMES, you can be expected to do something else, and that provides a “third side” option that can confound and confuse. When you have the option of changing up your responses and indeed your standing positions, it forces your opponents and even your friends to realize that you can indeed think critically and independently of expectations.
The best tactical advantages are in preparedness and in judicious use of power. In going for the gun at the first sign of trouble, many a gunslinger has tasted the dust, face down on Main Street. Good gunfighters knew to assess the situation and call out their adversaries at sunrise or sunset where they could strategically position themselves with the sun to their backs and blindingly into the face of the one trying to target them in the glare. History gives us the warning to early dog fighters in the skies over war-torn Europe in World War I… “Beware a Hun in the Sun,” because an attack would surely come when the sun was high, and you, were low.
Always have the power on your side. Back in the old west, most carried .44 or .45 calibre sidearms which gave a pretty much equal stance in a straight up fight. But the wisest and longest lived pistoleros knew that calibre was important, but technology gave one an edge. There’s a code on the streets that says, “If a guy comes at you with a stick, use a chain, and if he comes at you with a chain, use a knife, and if he has a knife, use a gun. Single shot pistols gave way to six-shooters and, when possible, an ally taking the high ground with a rifle to back you up.
If you are in business and that business provides for you and your family, always have someone you trust implicitly as a confidante, and a person you pay to keep your finances in order, no matter how confident you might be that you can manage it on your own. Times of stress and trouble cause us to take chances that the unstressed us would never take on. Have someone who has the nerve and your permission to tell you the truth, no matter what that truth might be, independent of the “truths” that others whisper in your ear.
These people will allow you freedom to contemplate the issues that confront you and use your greatest tactical advantage, your own sense of self preservation and self satisfaction. These are the things that will allow you to look into the eyes of your most ardent supporter and most strident opponent in the mirror at the end of the day. Conflict is inevitable, but a little preparation, contemplation and self knowledge will help you to win the day or avoid that conflict in the first place. In the end, we all work and live better with less stress, and look so much better without a Heidelberg scar.
by Jake Block
“Laugh, laugh, I thought I’d die. It seemed so funny to me.” — The Beau Brummels
Life is a serious matter. There are mouths to feed and bills to pay and there are interdependencies in economics so vague and so intricate that it takes a master mathematician to figure them out. We are born, we toil and we die. End of story.
Well, that’s what many people think. I don’t happen to be among them. There has to be a time for play and a time for humor and mirth on this earthly plane. We as a species need to laugh and enjoy. It’s an integral part of our lives that can be observed almost from the moment of birth.
I’ve found that a sense of humor is one of the most humanizing aspects of mankind. We seem to enjoy being around people who can help us laugh, releasing us from the drudgery of the workaday world. We tend to shun those dour and gloomy people that tend to bring us down. I don’t think that I could trust a person without a sense of humor. I know that I would have a distinctly difficult time liking them. Now, I’m not talking Pinky Lee, Soupy Sales, pie-in-the-face funny, although there is a place in the world for the slapstick, but able to laugh about one’s own frailties and foibles. That’s tougher than “Who’s On First” any day!
I suppose that psychologists are correct when they say that it takes a secure person to be able to find humor in himself. I’ve often found that those who take themselves too seriously have little or no sense of humor and none when it comes to themselves. They feel that they have to be perfect in everyone’s eyes all of the time. Any show of imperfection would lead to a degradation of their power (usually magnified in their own minds) with whatever individual or group they hope to impress. If that’s not insecurity, then what is?
Perfection is an abnormal state in nature. That’s why we tend to prize it so highly what it is found. The perfect rose, the perfect sunset, the perfect this or that… all wonders to behold, yet unreachable by the vast majority, and impractical as a whole. Perfection is meant to be admired from a distance, for there chance that it be taken up in loving arms to be held or inspected too closely. Flaws in perfection are all to obvious under the microscope of public scrutiny.
As with fine pottery, a classic rose or an exquisite carving, so too is it with people who would be perfect. There seems to be an abundance of Ascended Masters, Ipsissimus Maximi, Grand Exhalted Croutons, snf High Muckedy Mucks who, by virtue of an esoteric title and “gifted insight,” set themselves apart from the general public. Maybe it’s because they have some knowledge that nature or Providence has spared the rest of the world that the majority have the same look about them… call it stoic. call it sour…it’s a lack of humor.
While we know that all people need dome humor and mirth in their lives, most of the people we know who aspire to greatness in the worlds of the metaphysical or the occult seem to leave a sad and somewhat smoky legacy upon their passing. So it was with Rasputin, with Crowley, Blavatsky, Mathers, Spare, Home, Gardner and many other “Masters.” While they may indeed have been masters in their respective disciplines, there is little doubt that their personal lives were less than pleasant.
Rasputin rose to the heights of power and prestige, yet lived in seclusion, lest his enemies assassinate him. They did. Crowley became dependent upon drugs and died alone and lonely. Blavatsky, Spare and Home fell from grace and into decline. Gardner, towards the end of his life, fell into the hands of those who would callously use him for their own ends. I have seen a “documentary” on his life that pictures the then aged man, dancing in a jockstrap device in a parody of ritual, scarcely able to maintain his dignity, and surrounded by those who had little or no respect for his past glories.
Is it possible that those who follow actually mold their own masters and predetermine their temperament? This is not only possible, but quite probable, inasmuch as those who tend to gravitate toward those who display any level of charisma demand perfection in their leaders, whether they are capable of perfection or not.
Those of us with skills in “metaphysical” or “occult” disciplines have all been victimized by those who assume that by virtue of being able to perform certain tasks, we become at the beck and call of those who have skill enough to dial a phone or knock upon a door. We might have lives of our own, children to rear or jobs to do. Those who have assumed that we will take control of their lives for damned little praise when we succeed and condemnation when we fail to get them out of the messes they’ve made for themselves, fail to understand that we do indeed have lives of our own. Their needs, of course, must always come first.
There seem to be but two ways to go. One can strictly regulate those who would follow, much as the “traditional” masters of the genre have done, becoming demigods to preserve what semblance of order they may have in their lives. The other option is to become lost in the problems and distractions of others. But perhaps there is a third way… self discipline and selective “altruism.” Help those you can when you can, and maintain your dignity, supporting those you hold dear first. Be the best at what you do, but also take time to laugh and enjoy life.
A true Master is a study in balance – Yin and Yang. There is a light side and there is a dark side, and he or she must dwell somewhere between the two. There is good in us all, and there is evil as well. Why should it be any different for the Masters? A Master can be a Master and still enjoy the gifts that life has to offer.
Even in defeat, one must look for something of humor in the fabric of one’s own life. There is humor, trust me. You may not find it in the slapstick comedy of Soupy Sales; it may be in the subtle “chest chuckles” of a Rita Rudner.
Let me tell you a true story about a Master in his own right, who had a sense of humor. Maybe you’ve heard of Captain Osho.
Now, Captain Osho was a pilot, flying for a large Japanese Airline. He was the cream of the crop. His flight logs were perfect. He could hold forth for hours on any aspect of air transportation and could accurately describe the operation of his plane and each officer’s position in the cockpit. Not only did he know the theory, he could perform the tasks… flawlessly. He was the model pilot.
One day, on a routine flight from Tokyo to San Francisco, Captain Osho landed his plane two miles short of the runway. This, of course, meant that he landed in the shallow waters in the glide path to the runway, but it was a perfect landing. People had no idea they had landed short of the runway (presumably until someone looked out the window and realized that we just don’t get THAT much rain in California), for Osho had brought his jet in so smoothly that the plane seemed to simply glide in. The plane floated so perfectly, in fact, that people were spared getting their feet wet and they made their way from the cabin to the wing and then to the waiting life rafts. As the passengers rowed ashore they sang songs and joked. It was a lark. That is to everyone except the Federal Aviation Administration.
Within days, Captain Osho was called before a hearing of the FAA. This in itself was enough to make most pilots tremble with fear. Osho sat quietly. facing the panel, who questioned him at length on his performance and training. It went something like:
FAA: Captain Osho, do you feel you were alert on this flight?
OSHO: Yes, very.
FAA: Was your training adequate?
OSHO: Yes, very.
FAA: Was your plane in good condition?
OSHO: Yes, very.
FAA: Well the, Captain, can you tell us what went wrong?
Osho stood and faced the jury of his peers and looked from man to man. He squared his shoulders and, the man standing before Masters spoke the words that have made him a legend among Masters of Aviation. He very simply said, “As you Americans say. “Osho fuck up.”
Now, the world was not prepared for this. Captain Osho, by the conventions of modern aviation should have hung his head in abject apology and accepted discredit and shame. But he knew that he had made a mistake, and he knew that the world would still turn in the morning and, despite the possibility of a disaster, which did not occur, he could see the humor in the situation and in himself. Osho was none the less a Master Pilot. He was simply a Master Pilot with a sense of humor.
Try to find one of the masters of our “occult world” with that kind of sense of humor. Take your lunch, boys and girls… it’s gonna be an all day job!
by Jake Block
There is a natural rhythm to life and a beat that drives the earth and all of its inhabitants forever forward. You can hear it in the dark silence of caverns far beneath the surface of the earth, where the only sounds are the gentle flutterings of bats’ wings and the throbbing of your own heart. Is it in the winds as they howl as well? Is it in the patter of rain on a tin roof, or the gentle gurgling of a mountain stream, or the crash of waves upon the sand? Yes, it is in all of these places and none of these places, dependent upon the the ability of the listener to hear and to perceive.
In actuality there are many rhythms, and each individual finds the cadence that suits his life and follows that beat all of his days. It is the beat of the drum that forces the rigid lock-step of the militarist… or the frenzied rhythms that haunt the minds of souls gone mad… of the gentle beat that stirs the soul of the romantic, Most are stirred by a set of particular rhythms that bring them back into synch with the rest of society, harmonious and interactive, like a gently weaving melody in the Wagnerian epics. Occasionally, there is a discordant; not necessarily “wrong,” just out of step cadence with the grand rhythm. It’s a distraction, when noticed, like the ragtime of Scott Joplin when intertwined with the harmonics of Rachmaninoff.
Those who gravitate toward the world of alternative religion are quite often discordant notes in society’s melody. One of the main comments and complaints that I receive from those in the “occult world” seeking my advice is that they feel so “out of touch” with the rest of the world, and that people just don’t seem to understand them. I tell them, “You feel that way because you ARE different and people DON’T understand you.”
Those of us who find ourselves outside of the mainstream of society are a different breed than those who plug away from 9 to 5 in search of the ever elusive “American Dream.” We are, for the most part, free thinkers, which is in direct opposition to the herd mentality that is all pervasive n the world today. We often bristle when we hear “Thou shalt not,” and prefer to make our own rules as we go along, based on what we feel is good for us and for those within our relatively close circle of friends. We tend to be, although this is a relative statement, more lenient in our attitudes toward societal norms and deviation from the norm by those we see as being “different,” like ourselves. We become a major counterpoint fo the rhythm of society, unable to integrate in to the whole of the score, yet impossible to ignore.
In the workaday world of those who make up the greater part of any society, there is a tendency to the norm. By this, I mean that if twenty-five people are standing on a corner and the “don’t walk” sign is flashing, most will stand there, even though there is no traffic or obstruction to prevent them from crossing the street. While some individuals may cluck and sigh, muttering that they have better things to do than wait for some damned traffic light, the individualist or free thinker will look at the situation, recognize the negative risk, and cross the street. Others may follow his lead, but the majority will be content to stand and wait for the signal, to move as a herd.
The sight of someone who is out of step is unnerving to society as a whole and they are likely to be met with derision and, in some cases, open scorn. This is often the case with those of us in American society who reject the Judeo-Christian philosophy and openly espouse a different path to personal fulfillment. We quite literally can become alone in a crowd and ostracized by those with whom we once enjoyed an association and friendship. Through this ostracism, the outcast’s friends and associates are once again absorbed into the societal whole and their commitment to their personal ethic and ethos, resulting in a strengthening of the society’s aggregate belief system. The rhythm of the world is intact and all is right with the world.
But still we exist, discordant as hell (in the consciousness of society as a whole), real as can be, but unfathomable to those locked into the rhythm of the world. Given that we are unassimilable, and given that we provide a counterpoint to the beat that drives their world, we become a power that must be driven out or buried.
Thanks to the prejudicial and quite often inaccurate press that the “occult world” and “alternative religious choice” has received over the years, society as a whole tends to see the world of alternative religious choice as a spider’s web of iniquity, laying in wait for its sons and daughters. While not one shred of tangible proof has ever come forth, thousands upon thousands still believe that Satanists are stealing thousands of children and using them in rituals, and that witches are hair-warted crones who stir cauldrons full of noxious potions and are bent upon world domination under Satan. As rational human beings who have (or should have) studied such phenomena, you and i know that this is hogwash, but for those who’ve learned of life under the omnipresent “Big Brother” of television, it’s slickly packaged and commercialized gospel.
We, of course, know what the world of alternative religious choice actually is… and what it has become for society. It is the boogeyman of the media. It is the last-gasp justification for fundamentalist charlatans who fleece their flocks to pay for their own iniquities and extravagances in the name of God. And it is an equally unsavory cannibalization of our own at the hands of those who would bilk those who believe. We’ve seen what the unscrupulous can do, and we’ve seen the “New Age” fall into disrepute at the hands of a few whose modern day “gypsy-cons” have tainted the world’s opinion.
But still we believe as we believe, and in refusing to swallow the party line hook, line and sinker, we are forced to move away from the herd and into a world of our own creation. Quite often, it is a solitary world of loneliness, study and introspection, punctuated with moments of euphoric revelation.
Decades ago, Alice Cooper put out an album entitled Alice Cooper Goes To Hell, dealing with his alcohol dependency and successful detoxification. One song, Nurse Rozetta, contains the line, “I got no friends and I got no home. They want us holy men to live alone.” It’s quite appropriate for those of us who have chosen this path.
We march to the beat of a different drummer, and despite the protestations of those who see our world as a threat to their serenity, we can no more change our natural rhythms than we can change the natural order of the universe. We are driven, just as they, to an irresistible rhythm that is, for us, natural. Quite often, our rhythm puts us at odds with friends and family and we can become outcasts even amongst those we claimed to be our own. C’est la vie. For everything lost, something is gained in knowledge, wisdom, and in personal freedom. The rhythm gives as well as takes.
Musically, the world has been driven by free thinkers and dreamers who can point the way with their lyric and score. They speak of love and joy and freedom, and they speak of a better world to come. My mind sometimes drifts back to a song by ABBA (OK… so it’s disco…) that puts things into perspective quite nicely.
“Like a roller in the ocean
life is motion;
Like the wind that’s always blowing
Life is flowing;
The world and the universe are in a constant state of flux and motion. There’s a new day dawning, and I think that you and I will play a significant part in it. We have seen the changes that can be wrought in but a few short years when those who desire personal freedom and vow to shake off the chains that have enslaved them. And in the end, it is not the lock-stepped militarist that brings the world of freedom, but the free thinker and the radical who marches o that “different beat.” And the beat goes on… and on… and on…
by Jake Block
(This essay is reconstructed and updated from one I published in my then in print TOTAL ECLIPSE newsletter, in September of 1990. It may be of interest to you today.”)
“The Theory of the Chinese Box.
Many years ago in the Canton Province, there appeared a wizard who carried an ornately carved and lacquered box of many drawers. There were so many small drawers that the local counter and his abacus were confounded by their number.
Soon, the townspeople heard of the wizard’s fame and made their way to his camp. “Good wizard,” they would say, “I wish for gold.” He would open a drawer and hand them the object of their desire.
Before long, Lao Tzu the Bandit came to call. He called to the wizard. “Give me all of the treasures in the box, old man, or I will kill you and take them myself.”
The wizard smiled and said, “Lao Tzu, there is no treasure in my box for you, for you are not in my mind.”
Lao Tzu drew his sword and prepared to kill the wizard. The wizard opened the smallest drawer of the magic box and, to the astonishment of all, entered. When the drawer was opened, he had vanished.
For days the bandit searched the box, but he found no treasure and no wizard to kill. Finally, in anger and disgust, he threw the box into a ravine.
Many years ago in the Kowloon Province, there appeared a wizard who carried an ornately carved and lacquered box of many drawers. There were so many small drawers that the local counter and his abacus were confounded by their number…”
Those who know me and have learned of my system of balance, have heard me speak of “compartmentalization.” Compartmentalization is a method by which one can isolate thought and dedicate a greater portion of concentration to more immediately urgent concepts or ideas. It is through this greater concentration that one is able to succeed in the “psychic, intellectual and magical sciences.”
Many times people will tell me that they find my ability to isolate thought and disassociate myself from certain thoughts and feelings to be impossible to master. I disagree. Given the proper techniques of visualization, meditation and discipline, almost anyone can accomplish this “feat.” The reason that it seems easy for me is that I have been doing it routinely for many years… and I will freely admit that there are times when even I have trouble isolating thoughts and “shoving them back into their compartments.” So, to this day, I still practice.
Some time ago, INTUITIVE EXPLORATIONS was kind enough to print a series of concentration exercises in their newsletter (Vol. IV, No. 6, Dec. 1990) These exercises were touted as being for the practicing (or beginning) magician, to hone their concentration skills for lesser magical operations. But, as readers of both Intuitive Explorations and Total Eclipse found, they were also of value to readers, “psychics,” and others who need a keen sense of concentration and the ability to creatively visualize the end result of their projects.
One of the exercises, “The Picture,” invited you to look at a picture from a magazine or some other source and “go into it” mentally, manipulating the action at will. Characters were given lives and these lives were assigned meaning and direction as you saw fit. It was an exercise in imaginative expression in the development of a final outcome in the mind… what I like to call the “Is To Be.”
Now, we will take that same exercise and take it one step beyond. We will go from the imaginative to the concrete in a first, tentative step toward the world of “practical magic.”
Before we begin, I want to express a personal and professional caveat… Before you attempt this or any other form of magic, you must be certain that you are clear on the concept. This is no game. This is an exercise in Imposition of Will, It will require intense concentration and an unqualified belief that what you will shall come to pass. Unless you are prepared to give in order to get, read on for entertainment purposes only. For those who are ready, a few of the secrets I’ve learned from my 25 years as a practicing magician are here for you.
Those who know me well know that I don’t like crowds and I hate to stand in line for anything. I seldom have to.
When I go to an attraction that I would like to see, there is normally a parking place in front of or very close to where I want to go. Being that I like rather large automobiles, this is always welcome. Busy places seem to have less business than normal, and I am usually able to comfortably enjoy the company of my guests with a minimum of distraction from the presence of “outsiders.” Waiting lists at restaurants are rarely a problem… so I don’t bother with reservations, even in the most popular of eateries. Yes, from time to time, I do get bitten, but it’s a rarity, rather than the rule.
OK, you say, so what is my secret? Did I take Telly Sevalas’ advice on late night TV and get the Player’s Card? No… it’s just a simple matter of “mindscaping.”
What is “mindscaping?” Basically, it’s the act of taking a look at your own life, be it an overview, or a macro view, and manipulating elements of your life to allow for a greater sense of control. The concept is nothing new, and to be honest with you, most people a born knowing how to do it. But sometime after the onset of puberty, we tend to shunt the skill to the side, and survival needs begin to take precedence in our lives. Mindscaping is only possible through compartmentalization. Compartmentalization is possible only when one has “paid their dues” by learning the art of concentration.
In order to begin compartmentalization of thought, it is necessary to understand how the mind’s memory retrieval system works. It’s surprising in its simplicity, and miraculous in its efficiency.
From the first moment of consciousness, while still in the womb, our minds work to catalog the sights, sounds, scents and sensations that will make each of us the distinct individuals that we are to become. Each stimulus is tagged with a coding to indicate if it was pleasurable (good) of unpleasant (bad), helpful (good) or harmful (bad). The brain must learn the shades of grey that will one day allow it to rationalize. In the beginning, the universe is always in black and white.
All sentient beings do this. In laboratory experiments with rats, one can see there is little difference in the processing of stimuli between rats and men. Given cocaine upon demand, rats have been known to eagerly rush to addiction, choosing cocaine over food, water, sleep, or sex, until they eventually succumb to its toxic effects. Given the same options, we see the same responses in individuals, unless they receive assistance in reprogramming their cataloging of the stimulus.
The addicted rats, like the addicted humans, have tagged the stimulus as “good,” because it is pleasurable. It is so pleasurable, in fact (one addict described it as “orgasm x10”), that they allow it to remain foremost in their thoughts. They allow it because they are unable to sublimate (compartmentalize) the thought.
What we see here is a dramatic picture of compartmentalization. The data shoves aside all thoughts, save that of immediate gratification to be gained through the use of cocaine. The needs and desires are still there, only sublimated; put on the “back burner” until the more pressing need is taken care of. The problem is in that the effects of the drug warps the prioritization of need.
Conversely, this same quality, when controlled and directed, becomes the catalyst for any and all “psychic or magical powers.” Those who would use the powers of the mind for “paranormal” or “supernormal” actions must develop the singular-mindedness of the addict, in which thought and subsequent actions are directed toward a specific and quantifiable goal.
In order to be able to compartmentalize the mind, one must be able to see the compartments in such a was as to make the act of compartmentalization an almost physical act. I picture my mind like a safe-deposit vault; a vast room of stainless steel walls, lined with safe-deposit boxes of varying sizes. I am the Vault Master.”
I know that each thought has an assigned box. Each box has its own key (trigger thought or word), and each box is in its own special area. The more necessary the thought, the bigger the safe-deposit box and, consequently, the closer the box is to where I am standing in the room. (If you have never seen the inside of one of these storage areas, I would suggest a short field trip to your local bank. If you express interest in a safe-deposit box, they will normally allow you a quick peek at where the boxes are stored.)
This vision is personal and may not work for everyone. You must personalize your vision of your “Chinese Box,” so that when you begin to compartmentalize, it becomes natural for you to envision yourself carefully tucking away thoughts, much as if you would store away a piece of jewelry or, if the image fits, a pair of socks.
Now, for the process itself. You must first find a state of relaxation that allows you to near the pre-sleep state. My personal method of choice has been explained in the Psycho-Immune System exercise (http://www.thesectofthehornedgod.com/?p=3435). This deep relaxation technique is designed as an adjunct to compartmentalization, and once mastered, speeds the process considerably.
Once you have reached a comfortable state of lassitude, mentally enter your “Chinese Box” and begin to experiment opening and closing the doors. Open the first door and picture yourself physically placing an item inside; perhaps a ball or a child’s doll. Let this represent the pressures of parenting… or an ill child… or whatever importance you wish to assign it. Now it is “in the box,” out of sight and out of mind. Relax and begin again, and again, until you’ve managed to categorize the major obstacles in your life. Once they have been placed in their individual compartments, you may extract one to deal with, allowing the others to remain comfortably out of mind, while you devote more concentration to this single problem at hand.
This works with pleasurable objects as well. You may go to that special compartment that contains the memory of a first kiss or passionate embrace, a moment of which you are justifiably proud, or any positive moment in your life and dwell upon it, here in your private place. Relive the moment as completely as you can, remembering the sights, sounds, smells, and emotions. When you are content, put the remembrance back into its box and move on.
Learn to isolate your thoughts in this pleasant manner through a daily regimen of concentration and meditation, and you will be surprised at how quickly pinpointing of specific ideas or concepts can occur. Once you’ve managed to organize your mind and disciplined it to concentrate on what you will it to, you will find the next step, mindscaping, a logical and relatively easy procedure.
Mindscaping can properly be termed Imposition of Will. Yes, “magic.” It can only be completed once one learns the process of compartmentalization, but once learned, you’ll be able to apply it to practically every aspect of your life.
The concept is simple. Say you are going on a trip. You pre-plan by buying a map, packing your clothing, gassing up the car, etc. Mindscaping is pre-planning and execution done in the mind.
While on your way to a popular tourist attraction, plan your arrival in your mind. Compartmentalize all of the things that have happened on the trip thus far and concentrate only on the object at hand. My personal advice is to avoid popular attractions and go for the lesser known attractions — by taking “the road less travelled,” you usually find things of greater interest. But, if you simply MUST see the Liberace Museum, picture yourself driving into the parking lot. Allow yourself to be “surprised” that there are relatively few cars and… what luck… there is a parking place right up front, just waiting for you!
Picture yourself walking up to the ticket counter and buying your ticket, amazed tat your group will be the only ones on the next tour. Imagine yourself walking amongst Liberace’s treasures… rhinestone covered piano… rhinestone covered car… rhinestone covered toilet… whatever. Granted, it IS Liberace’s Museum, and probably not much magic in getting a good parking slot THERE, but you never know!
More often than not, if you’ve disciplined your mind and have learned the concepts of compartmentalization and mindscaping, what you envision will often come to pass, with minor variations. And yes, it could all be coincidence, but you know, magic has been called a sequence of coincidences that, in the end, get you what you want, or a reasonable facsimile thereof!
In magic, it’s called formulating the “Is to Be.” It’s a tool that you might like to have in your toolbox, should you need it.
by Jake Block
My father gave me one of the most precious grains of thought when I was still a kid. The way he said it was almost as a throwaway line that a self-absorbed kid that was me nodded to, as one nods when listening idly to a random statement made by any authority figure, not so much in agreement or even in recognition, but more in distracted response to yet another factoid reeled off by a walk in moment in his life. I didn’t even think it registered until, like some timed malware, it invaded my programming, already in error, at 40 years of age. He said, “When you’re a kid, life is slow and you think that you have all of the time in the world, but when you hit 40, it speeds up and you’ll realize your time is limited and nearly gone.”
At 40, when I was just beginning to re-acclimate myself to civilian life after 20 years in the military, it came to me as a random reflection, and struck my mind almost as an epiphany that my father, recently passed had been right. It sometimes brings tears to my eyes that even though I have done some things that are pretty wonderful in my life, and a few that I am sorry for, there is less and less time to do anything about them for good or for ill, and I start to mentally calculate how much of my short, although seemingly long existence I’ve squandered.
“When I think of all the good times that I’ve wasted having good times…” echoes in my head. The old song by Eric Burdon was one of my favorites in my youth, long before I was 40, and I listened to it often. I can barely listen to it now. The words haunt me sometimes, and I realize in the hour that just flew by, never to be seen again, that I could have done so much more, had I focused on the meaning of my father’s words oh so many years ago. Now, with fewer years to waste, and hampered by the swiftly sweeping seconds on the clock, all I can do is pass that same bit of wisdom on to one who can use it and has the wisdom to use it earlier than I did.
“When you’re a kid, life is slow and you think that you have all of the time in the world, but when you hit 40, it speeds up and you’ll realize your time is limited and nearly gone.” I’ll add my own two cents, for what it’s worth, and say to enjoy life and what it has to offer, but live that life well and leave something of value behind you, because, as Eric Burdon once sang…
“When I think of all the good times that I’ve wasted having good times…
When I was drinkin’
I should’ve been thinkin’
When I was fighting
I could’ve done the right thing
All of that boozin’
I was really losin’
When I think of all the good time that’s been wasted having good times…
All of my lying
I remember her crying
My useless talkin’
I could’ve been walkin’
Instead of complainin’
I could’ve been gainin’
Yes, here we all are having a jolly good time
And everything is working out fine.
All that walkin
All of my sinnin’
I could’ve been winnin’
I have it too easy
And its a beginning of good times
I said good times
Talking bout good times”
by Jake Block
“SATANISM represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires.”
— Anton LaVey (The Satanic Bible)
“There are only two kinds of people who can drain your energy: those you love, and those you fear. In both instances it is you who let them in. They did not force their way into your aura, or pry their way into your reality experience.”
― Anthon St. Maarten
Most of us, and certainly every LaVeyan Satanist knows what a psychic vampire is, and the way to combat them and eliminate them from our lives. That said, there is often one for whom we hold affections and weaknesses that make their bite less annoyingly painful, and perhaps even erotically or “lovingly” enticing that we can allow them to feed from us for years… decades… until, at last, they sink their fangs too deep into our psyche to be ignored and, at that moment, become shocked into the recognition that this is where it must end, either through the modification of their behaviors and manipulations, or we must eliminate them from our lives, as we have so many psychic vampires before.
Sometimes, as Anthon St. Maarten says, we invite them into our lives and, when they are satisfied with the emotional, sexual or ambient comforts you provide, life can be less filled with drama and trauma than at others. But sooner or later, you can almost predict the coming turbulence when someone else might show some interest in you, be it as a friend of in a more intimate mode, and you’ll find that they can be a wedge as strong as steel and accusatory of your fidelity, even though you might truthfully insist that (as they say today,) “there is no THERE there.”
Now, we know that there are many different kinds of psychic or energy vampires out there to vex us and they can be found as close as our own home. Probably without meaning to, initially, family members who are “needy” can become an emotional drain on the family, sucking up every ounce of energy in the household with their drama and demanding behaviors until, one by one, the rest of the family finds that it is easier to give into their implicit or, at times, explicit demands than to expend energy in resisting them. You can recognize them as children, demanding that they receive the lion’s share of attention, the best of the family toys and whining that they never receive anything, and that their siblings, of course, get everything. Nip these little monsters in the bud, or you’ll find yourself in teenage hell with a little prince or princess that will turn puberty into a four letter word.
I was cursed to have a teenage princess for a sister who, probably not coincidentally at all, became a world class psychic vampire when she became an adult, and proved to the chagrin of her four husbands that unfortunately, she was a survivor, as well. I was lucky enough to catch on to her game when I was in my teens. That didn’t keep her from trying to manipulate me, though, playing the “poor me,” card whenever she thought she could drive a wedge between me and others of my family to gain an edge. I was never much for the home and hearth, and in being the “black sheep of the family,” she failed to realize that what small cache of good will I had in the family wasn’t something I was so willing to give up to support her in her latest scheme.
Under her assault, my brother wound up in jail, she manipulated my skilled father to move into her piece of crap home and rebuild it and then, when the job was done, casually announced that my father and mother would have to find a new place to live. By this time they were in their sixties and options were limited. The “bitch,” and I use that term without shame, even attempted to entice me into smuggling valuables to her from my tour in Germany so that she could pay me the cost and she could resell them. Those shipments of Hummel figurines, Meerschaum pipes, Baccarat crystal, etc. could make her a fine profit, back in the US of A… and land my ass in federal prison. I of course refused, and was met with the whine… “But you’re my brother. Can’t you please help me?” Of course not. I turned my younger brother down when he asked me to send him drugs from Vietnam, too.
This brother preyed upon anyone he could that could keep his dope supply unbroken. He played his own mother to stay at home, so he didn’t have to get off of his ass and go to work. High all of the time, and one step away from the jail or the morgue, once the light of my parents’ eyes, he became their living nightmare and, so high one night that he thought he could shoot up anything in a membrane top, he managed to shoot up some strong worming medicine he lifted from a veterinarian. That landed him in the hospital where I oldest brother and I went to visit him, alone in the room, and told him that we would buy him a shot of whatever he wanted to go out on, and leave our parents in peace. That sobered him up enough to promise to go to rehab. Three years later he contacted me for “some serious cash, bro.” He wanted $10,000 to move on. He was stoned. I refused. I had it, but Jake’s mama never raised no fools.
But even those who know the telltale signs of the psychic vampire or, if you prefer, energy vampire, can be come the victim if they aren’t perpetually on guard. All it takes is letting one’s sense of greed take over when offered that chance too good to be true, linger too long on persuasive lips or listen to the convincing lies of men and women who’ve practiced their skills on countless others before, and the web can ensnare you and even me. I’ve been known to slip up from time to time and fall for a sob story skillfully told. Nobody’s perfect, I suppose, but hopefully, one can become aware before they are completely drained and break away from the claws that bind them. I imagine that even Van Helsing could be tempted.
One must protect themselves not with the stake and mallet of the vampire hunter, although you might definitely get the urge to use them on your vampiric adversary. but with a thick skin and mental inoculation against the affects of pity and misplaced compassion in the name of “humanity.” One can care for the downtrodden and the broken hearted, but remember that in most cases, the best course of action is to leave a virus to burn itself out. Some times compassion is best served by minding one’s own business and moving on.
“Don’t waste your time with people who will ultimately destroy you, but concentrate instead on those who will appreciate your responsibility to them, and, likewise, feel responsible to you.
And if you are a psychic vampire — take heed! Beware of the Satanist — he is ready and willing to drive the proverbial stake through your heart!”
— Anton Szandor LaVey (The Satanic Bible: Not All Vampires Suck Blood)
by Jake Block
There was a man sitting in a bar, trying to enjoy his drink, but sitting next to him was a rather sloppy drunk who kept mumbling incoherently. Finally, the man said, “Hey, knock it off, will you?”
The drunk kept mumbling, so the man warned him, “Look, man, if you don’t stop that shit, you’re going to be sorry.” But the drunk mumbled on.
In a flash, the man grabbed his bottle of beer, smashed it against the edge of the bar and then jammed the sharp, broken edges of the bottle in to the back of the drunk’s hand and twisted.
“Ooooh,” said the drunk, now instantly awake and aware, “that has to be the third most painful thing I have ever felt.” With that he quieted down and ordered another beer.
“That was the THIRD most painful thing you’ve ever felt? What the hell was the second?”
The drunk looked at his still bleeding hand and then to the man next to him, and said, “Well, I used to trap bears in Alaska, and my job was to open the huge bear traps and lay them out, and then secure the chain to something heavy so the bear couldn’t get away once he sprung the trap. Well, one day I had just set a trap, and I had diarrhea bad, so I dropped my pants and well, my balls tripped the bear trap and it slammed shut on me. Yep. That was the second worst pain I have ever felt.”
“That was the SECOND, most painful thing?” The man asked and, then, shaking his head, said, “I hesitate to ask, but what in the hell was the FIRST most painful thing?”
The drunk looked up, the memory causing him to look faint, and said, “When I reached the end of the chain.”
Pain. It’s hard to quantify rate on any meaningful scale, but those in the medical profession provide a list of the 25 things that hurt worst in the human body. They are:
25 – Gout (I have had it, and i can attest that it’s pretty damned bad.)
24 – Tooth Abscess (Been there, done that… not fun at all.)
23 – Torn Achilles Tendon
22 – Road Rash (Lay a bike down at 65 mph on the highway and you’ll know.)
21 – Stonefish Sting
20 – A Bear Attack
19 – A Broken Femur
18 – Being Drawn and Quartered
17 – Venomous Insect Sting (Like the Bullet Ant in South America.)
16 – Trigeminal Neuralgia (Described by sufferers as like being struck in the head by lightning.)
15 – Lingchi (Also known as “Death By A Thousand Cuts”.)
14 – Tetanus (Remember to get those shots.)
13 – Childbirth
12 – Crucifixion (Jesus, that hurts!)
11 – Peritonitis
10 – Irukandji Syndrome (Being stung by a jellyfish.)
9 – Gonadal Torsion (Your balls get twisted… and not in a good way.)
8 – Kidney Stones
7 – Second Degree Burns
6 – Dercum’s Disease (Numerous lipomas that spread across the body.)
5 – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
4 – Cluster Headaches
3 – Penile Fracture (OW… just OW)
2 – Postdural Puncture Headache (Described as being seared by hot metal.)
1 – Emotional Pain (When the invisible wounds are so painful that death seems the only option… it’s bad.)
No matter where your pain sits on this sliding scale of pain, I’m sure you know at least one person… hell, I know of several… whose pain will ALWAYS be worse. You have a sore leg? “My leg was so sore the doctors wanted to take it off at the knee.” You have migraines? “I have headaches so bad that my blood pressure drops and I pass out.” You have mental pain over the loss of a loved one? “My aunt Grizelda died of acute acne and I slit my wrists and died too!”
Hyperbole knows no bounds when you’re dealing with the one-upsmanship of the chronic complainer. The only way to get away from them is to systematically cut them out of your life, severely limiting access to you. This doesn’t STOP them, but in forces them to victimize the nearest “not you.” Hopefully your ears and your jangled nerves will be healed by the time they somehow make their way back around to you again.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are indeed people for whom pain is chronic, from medically acknowledged sources, and some that science is still looking into, in hopes of finding not only the genesis, but a cure. People who suffer with such unrelenting sources of pain as fibromyalgia, Multiple sclerosis, shingles, bursitis, nerve damage, various cancers, stomach ulcers, AIDS, organ diseases, Rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, back pain, injury, surgical complications, depression and other sources are in real pain, and often under-treated due to the unwanted side effects of pain medications and now, the burgeoning problems with opioid induced addictions.
Being a person who is afflicted with ostioarthritis in many of my joints, including the feet, ankles, knees, hips, back, shoulders, wrists, and hands, I can identify with those whose pain is unending and chronic. I am in some degree of pain every hour of every day of my life to a greater of lesser degree. And while I take medications for that pain, I am prone to limiting my intake of my Indomethacin because I find that I’m able to work through most of the pain until it reaches a level that tends to leave me stiff and sore over most of my body. High doses of the medications used to mitigate the effects of osteoarthritis also have multiple unpleasant side effects that can be as debilitating as the disease itself.
I consider myself lucky that that is all I have to deal with, compared to others, including some of our members in The Sect of the Horned God who seriously need medications for the alleviation of pain, but because of current political and medical timidity who feel that less is more in terms of medicating for pain. And you know, it’s a shame that the whole issue has become politicized, insuring that efficient and efficacious is going to be beyond the reach of people without health care, and even those with healthcare in some cases.
The modern Hippocratic Oath that Physicians take upon beginning their practice is:
“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”
One wonders, in this age and litigious culture if modern doctors can practice their art and craft without always keeping an eye on the possibility that whatever they do, the threat of malpractice hangs over their heads and they must be aware that multimillion dollar law suits are as common as fraudulent claim. In this state, the law requires that a physician have minimum medical malpractice insurance of $1 million per incident and a $3 million aggregate limit. On top of that, there are reams of forms to complete and file, state and federally mandated reports to submit and an ever increasing workload of patients to see, especially in economically depressed areas where hospitals and doctors are fewer than in bigger cities. As well, we far too often hear of doctors being limited in their pain relief prescriptions for those legitimately in pain because of the fraudulent use of pain restriction medications. Saddled with government regulations and restrictions, they are forced to place unreasonable burdens on those legitimately in need because of those whose addictive personalities and needs unnecessarily burden the pharmaceutical supply and demand.
With careful documentation and computerization of prescribed narcotics, those who abuse the system though fraudulent attempts such as “doctor shopping” to acquire excessive drugs to abuse of sell illegally will eventually be identified and purged from the system, but in the mean time, those with a legitimate need are hampered by the greed and the untreated addictions of others.
Until that time, those of us with chronic pain will find ways to cope and maintain some semblance of normalcy in our lives. We only ask that when possible, doctors work with us to help us live as possible and that the chronic complainers who feel the need to bombard us with their spurious tales of woe just keep it to themselves and let us concentrate on the real pain we deal with every day. We would feel for you if we could, but when constant pain is a feature of you life in real time, we just don’t have the time or energy.
But if you REALLY need that pain, I know where you can get a job as a bear trap setter.
I got an email from one of the elders, not quite as elder as I, but still, long in the tooth and possessed of that glassy-eyed “1000 yard stare” of one who’s been there and done that. He wrote that he just wanted to vent because he had just been in a thread where someone with bright eyes and an undeserved swagger had lectured him on some subject that he had just read about on a web page somewhere… boils down to Satanism 101… and that the youngun had told my friend that “you old people just don’t get it.”
Prefaced with a “LOL,” the old timer assured the kid that not only did he understand it, but he had indeed written the paragraph that had fired the youngun up. I explained to him that it has happened to me as well, and that I understood how he felt. Quite often, when it happens, oldsters like us can be tempted to snap back with something like, “Looky here sonny or missy, I’ve forgotten more about that subject than you are likely to learn in a lifetime.” Most of what people write on the web is something that has been written and plagiarized over and over before, but to someone, somewhere, out there, it’s all new.
In his song “A Pirate Looks At Forty,” Jimmy Buffett sings:
“Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years too late
The cannons don’t thunder, there’s nothing to plunder
I’m an over-forty victim of fate
Arriving too late.”
For my magician friend and I, we’re looking at seventy, and I can understand how those who are relatively new on the Left Hand Path can possibly get the idea that maybe we just don’t “get it,” but get it we do, and probably have for a long, long time, so forgive us if we sometimes seem less enthusiastic than those sitting there with their pdfs or even their fresh, new paperbacks of books we bought in hard back decades ago… books now worn with age and use, with dog-eared pages and pages tinged yellow with age. It’s not that we don’t appreciate your enthusiasm, even if we might have a little doubt at your presumed expertise in your advanced age. We’re willing to give you the enthusiasm of youth, because you know, at one time, we had it too. But do us a favor and realize that just because we are so much older, we’re most probably not the doddering old farts you imagine, sitting there behind your screen.
I’ll give a shout out here to a well respected musician, humorist and master magician, Lon Milo DuQuette and refer you to his song, Don’t Write Me Off. Those with ears to hear and minds to understand might find wisdom in his little ditty…
by Jake Block
I was talking to a man the other day, and he told me that he’d really like to go see a Jackyl concert, but his wife told him that he couldn’t go.
I looked at him like he was from Mars and asked, “She told you that you couldn’t go to a concert?” “Yeah, Jake,” he said. “She doesn’t want me to go to concerts. She won’t let me do a lot of things, and you know what they say; happy wife, happy life.”
Now, I’ve heard the saying before, and while it makes some sense, because we would all like our wives (or husbands) to be happy, I have this problem with someone telling me “I CAN’T,” because I’m a grown-assed man. You MIGHT request that I don’t do something, and I MIGHT take your concerns under consideration. Perhaps there’s something that I have a previous commitment to… perhaps there’s a more pressing need for the money I would expend… maybe locusts or vampire bats are scheduled to ravage the town… you might remind me that I really don’t care much for Jackyl. But “I CAN’T” just ain’t gonna cut it. If I’m “paying the freight,” that goes double.
There are things I shouldn’t do. I know that and I understand that. But in my life, it’s up to me if I am going to accept my limitations or go against “what I ought to do,” in favor of “what I WANT to do,” so long as it isn’t hurting anyone else, taking food off of their plate, or money out of their pocket. If I WANT a new piece of camera equipment, and I have the money to pay for it without severely impacting the financial state of my household, I’ll buy it. If I want to go to the casino for a day’s recreation at the blackjack table, and I don’t have anything on my schedule that I should be home to take care of, then you can leave a message for me on my answering machine, because I won’t have a phone on me when the dealer’s asking me if I want another card. If I’m in the mood for sex, and the lady in my life tells me I’m cut off because I did A,B or C, and she felt I should be punished, well… the door is that large, upright slab with a knob on it. Walk through it.
You don’t get to tell me what I can eat or drink unless you’re paying for my dinner and it was part of the agreement for me being there, and if that was a prerequisite for me having dinner with you in the first place, I would rather eat alone at McDonald’s.
You don’t get to tell me where I can stay when I’m traveling. There are times I might travel on the cheap, but mostly I stay in 3-4 star hotels. My dime… I spend it as I see fit. Now if YOU are paying for my room, I might accept a two star hotel IF you’re paying for meals too.
You don’t get to tell me what I can do with my talents. A fellow photographer was once engaged to a woman who told him, “and after we get married there will be no more nude photography.” She lives somewhere in Ohio now, I think. Probably married to someone who never has an opportunity to come into contact with women. My photographer friend is thriving in San Francisco and shoots who and whatever the hell he wants.
I spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars learning my craft as a photographer and if I am freelancing, I will decide what, where and whom I will shoot. If I want a boss, I will take a job, and then he or she can decide what I shoot… during the hours they’re paying me! I don’t think anyone, anywhere could pay me what I would want to be paid for that kind of artistic and intellectual confinement. So, I’ll shoot what inspires me, or is enjoyable, vs what anyone else feels is a proper photographic subject. Jake’s rules of photography are no kids, no shake and take (awards ceremonies), no wedding or family party shots. If that doesn’t match up with someone else’s desires, I suppose it’s a sad state of affairs… for them. My art comes first when I am inspired to work with it.
We all have times when someone feels that they should have the right to restrict us, not for cause, but “just because.” Most often, they would never accept the roles to be reversed, and if you tried, you would surely be accused of abusing their friendship or trust. LaVey once famously opined, “It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful.” It’s hard to disagree. But it’s also hard to disagree that if you give up your personal freedom of thought and actions to someone else who you otherwise want in your life, you have to be willing to accept responsibility for a good deal of the pain you feel as a result.
Now, this is not to say that you should, as a rule of thumb, reject the advice or informational input of others. Sometimes it’s needed and it’s a vital thing to have. But in the final analysis, what you do in and with your life if your own business, and you and you alone have to live with the consequences, so one’s own counsel should and does carry more weight than even the most well intentioned advice from others. And no matter how comfortable the cell is, or how appealing the cell mate might be, I’m not going to imprison myself just because someone else thinks it might be good for me!