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  • #46
    Actually, it's that version which he illustrates in his review, though he appears to be reviewing the edition first published in the US by Avon.
    Funny he should get so hot and bothered, of course, because the story was never intended as a 'attack' on Christianity. Mind you, blokes like that tend to make me wonder why I haven't attacked their belief systems more thoroughly. I almost feel it's my god-given duty... :) It's that kind of fundamentalism which is making me less and less tolerant of organised religion, these days. I was much more tolerant when I wrote that story!

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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    • #47
      To quote Bakunin from God and the State:

      "...a master, whoever he may be and however liberal he may desire to show himself, remains none the less always a master. His existence necessarily implies the slavery of all that is beneath him. Therefore, if God existed, only in one way could he serve human liberty-by ceasing to exist.
      A jealous lover of human liberty, and deeming it the absolute condition of all that we admire and respect in humanity, I reverse the phrase of Voltaire, and say that, if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him."

      The organized structures that dominate spiritual thought have, as mentioned above turned spirituality into politics (or worse - economics). The whole idea of a belief system that says "we are exclusively right" smacks of fascism. I remember seeing Jacob Bronowski, in his seminal TV series "The Ascent of Man", squatting in a pool of ashes at Auschwitz (that probably contained the ashes of his parents and family) saying that this was what a belief in absolute certainity leads too....

      Re Behold The Man... I remember borrowing it from my Catholic school library when I was 14 - god only how it ended up there. I remember thinking at the time (though with less eloquence) - "so this is dissent!". Thanks for that Mike. Now 26 years later its energy still stays strong with me - it's an inspiration for something I am writing (which will unfortunately probably be unpublishable in the Christian world....) :roll: I only hope that I have the talent to make it work....
      Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.
      Bakunin

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      • #48
        While I love the book, and couldn't disagree with the guy more, you must admit that when you wrote the scene where Karl fucks Mary that you had to have felt the death threats coming in as you typed.
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        • #49
          Further evidence of Mr. Moorcock's obvious ties to the devil:

          http://dbhome.dk/carlo/cat.htm

          Mr. Whiskers indeed!
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          • #50
            Though I am secular on a practical level, with leanings towards agnosticism, the romantic side of me leans towards a fairly complex system, which combines Gnostic, Hindu, and Buddhist teaching with a spattering of various religious and shamanic ideas from Native American and Mayan systems.

            So far as existence goes, I like the way Carl Sagan described it in Contact. There are basically two types of existence, the phenomenal and the numinous. The phenomenal is that which we can experience with our physical senses, interact with and measure. The numinous is that which cannot be directly experienced, though its presence can be inferred by how it effects the phenomenal.

            On the numinous level, there is a certain interconnectness between things. Quantum interactions and the like. Basically every bit of energy and matter can be connected to every other piece, though with varying degrees of separation. In some ways, they can be said to be connected by time, in the same way they can be separated by space. An objects mass exerts gravitation, which affects the curvature of space around it, which in turn affects the rate at which time flows.

            I entertain that in the vast Cosmos, that other forms of life, with varying levels of consciousness and awareness exist aside from ourselves. I consider it possible that consciousness can not only exist on a level such as ourselves, but on smaller and larger scales. For instance, driver ants can know instantaneously (faster than the speed scent can travel) if the queen dies. Their behaviour seems almost indicative of a multicellular organism in which the cells are not physically connected. On another level, I conceive its possible consciousness can exist on a plantary, stellar, galactic or even larger scale.

            What the hindus call Brahman (and the Gnostics call Iao) could represent the tautology of consciousness. Also the illusion which is called Maya, or the Gnostic Demiurge Ialdabaoth both describe our perceptual disjointedness which makes us feel separate from the Cosmos around us, could be the result of our complexity as well the a difference in scale. The pieces of the cosmos which make it up, such as in our case, could have developed to an extent where we perceive ourselves as apart from the system rather than part of it.

            In essence, shamanism, is a recognition of the natural patterns and rhythms around us, and shamanizing is the process of using ritual practices and exercises to bring the individual consciousness (Atman) back in tune with Cosmic consciousness (Brahman). Hindu tantra (and to some extent its Buddhist counterpart) realizes something similar, that our sensual perception can be used as a vessel to connect with higher levels of consciousness. The eastern state of samadhi is anaologous to shamanic ecstasy.

            In some ways, I see organized religious to be a perversion of the shamanic/tantric process. Ritual exercises designed to induce trance and ecstatic connection became more and more formalized, until people began to forget why they are performing the ritual in the first place. The means becomes the ends, and then new means are ascribed to the ritual, which in turn becomes dogma. People forget that symbols are vessels or gateways which are designed to create a connection between the mind and an idea, but religions seems to forget this, and then the symbol becomes the idea.

            This is why making idols was forbidden in the old testament. If you make a representation of that which you beleive in, sooner or later people are going to mistake that representation for the real thing. But though the use of ritual exercise can be used to bring about a change in conscious state, its use can also be used for comfort and familiarity. So basically, I try to avoid any organized religion, because its too easy to fall in the trap of suggestion and conditioning.

            As for life after death. I entertain the idea that just as part of us is phenomenal and made of matter, that there is another part of use which is energetic and numinous. I kind of perceive consciousness as light. With light there are various degrees of frequency and cohesion. If a mind is scattered, then on death consciousness may dissipate into space much in the way the light from a light bulb scatters. However, if it is exercised, then it becomes more coherent, like a laser. And a laser will travel through space, keeping it integrity over longer distances than incoherent light. Perhaps the frequency of this light, which would be our beleif, determine the direction, or afterlife to which consciousness travels. With energy, frequencies attract similar frequencies, and quite possibly our state of mind may very well determine the next stage of consciouness after death.

            Of course all this is speculation, and I have no real evidence to back any of it up. But its a romantic notion which I feel comfortable with. I can't say my beleifs are any more valid than anyone else's, but at least I think about it.
            Yuki says, "Krimson used to be known as Kommando, but he rarely uses that name anymore. Sometimes he appears as Krimson Gray as well. Do not be confused, he still loves cats and bagels."

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            • #51
              To be honest, I never once thought of death threats or of giving offence, perhaps because I was raised in a secular background and taught myself most of what I know about religion (Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy was the best book on the subject I know -- respectful without going for any particular sect). And England's church attendances are dropping by thousands a week, apparently. It was an intellectual debate, a question of faith and all that. I had no intention of giving offence and it wasn't until the book was published in the US that I started getting the death threats. The aggressive nature of evangelical sects was something I thought of as belonging to the 19th century. I didn't realise that so much of America hadn't actually moved out of the 18th, let alone the 19th!
              When most of your experience is of what are now called the Blue States, you don't get an idea of what's going on in the hinterland. It always seems exaggerated. Until you encounter it, of course. Which is another reason for me wanting to get back to godless old Europe as soon as possible! It was me decided to settle in Texas, because I wanted to experience all that stuff at first hand, to try to get a sympathetic understanding, which I did. Where it was possible to HAVE a tolerant understanding. Otherwise I must admit I feel a terrible contempt, which goes against my egalitarian and fundamentally tolerant nature and which I feel guilty about. You wonder how people can be exposed to so many rational, tolerant models and still wind up sounding like they're living in the Dark Ages. I suspect that many people settled in the US because they couldn't take the progress and that the forces which tried to send Europe back to the Dark Ages during the 20th century found more resonances, ultimately, in the US than they did in Europe. Frightening to me, when I think of it like that. Luckily, I also remind myself that America is the home of many brilliant thinkers and moralists and that the Dark Agers are still in the minority. Like proportional representation, however, in pre-Nazi Germany, they are a large enough group to elect some pretty scarey people. I wish I was leaving with less of a bad taste in my mouth, though ultimately the idealism I have invested in the US hasn't gone away. I just think it's all going to take a little longer than I'd originally imagined!
              I continue to have respect for that same Perennial Philosophy Huxley talks about and am, indeed, a produce of it. I practice, I hope, what that philosophy preaches. I think Christianity at its best echoes that great, enduring tradition. I think in its corrupted form it's probably one of the worst examples, because it's SUPPOSED to be about peace, tolerance and -- um -- understanding.... As someone said recently, you don't find the Sword of Jesus in any church or museum, any more than you'll find the sword of Buddha anywhere.

              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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              • #52
                I fully see your point about not expecting the fundamentalist reaction of America when you wrote from an English perspective. I'm so used to that reaction that I become blindsided to more progressive realities such as most of Europe.

                Which leads me to mildly debate what you have to say about being sheltered from the fundie extremists by living in "Blue states." Not true. While, the west coast will never be the Carolinas, just as there is Austin as an Oasis in Texas, there are inverted pockets of puritanical bigotry in any of the "Blue states."

                I don't know if you're familiar with the battle still going on over the governorship of Washington state (who I work for though I live across the river in Portland these days,) but it is a clear example of this ideological struggle. Yes, it is also a clear example of two parties bloated with money to waste fighting over power, but the red side is just as backward as anywhere in the south (and unfortunately the blue side is nearly as wishy-washy.) The majority of the neo-cons have learned to keep their bible thumping in the backrooms in hopes of winning over a few greedy middle of the roaders with talk of tax cuts, but you can still see their gun racks on the pick-up trucks.

                Back when I lived in ultra-liberal Olympia, WA I had a co-worker at Kinko's hand me a tape of a sermon another co-worker had given him from Bible First Baptist Church in neighboring Lacey, WA. It was all about a man's God given right to own a gun, and the preacher spent a big part of it rattling off his personal arsenal at home to the amens of the faithful assembled. The guy that gave it to me figured I'd probably do something useful with it, and I did on public access t.v., thankfully I didn't get shot for it too.
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                • #53
                  Yes, I was short-handing, really, but I was talking about my experience. Although I made it my business to cross by land from NY to LA several times, I never really LIVED anywhere but in the big cities, which are by nature pretty liberal. As you approach LA across the desert, you start to notice that you can only get Christian programmes on the radio, so I know what you're talking about. My own belief regarding red and blue is that if Kerry had, indeed, had a set of strong convictions he probably would have won. The Democrats have a serious problem there. And I suspect it's not really a problem of whatever faith you happen to believe in, but how you practise it. Kerry knocked out Dean in a pretty ruthless way because he and his people know politics, but they don't know them as well as Bush's people. They either needed to be a bit more ruthless or, better, had some principle they believed in. I would have no problem in voting for a convinced Christian, for instance, if that Christian's actions coincided with what I believe Christianity stands for.
                  Sadly, with the emergence of the Christian cross decorated in the colours of the American flag, which I'm seeing more and more, I think we have a form of sentimental religiosity, a primitive, corrupted belief system which is no more than the worst kind of superstition, calling itself Christianity.
                  Aggressive imperialism which I thought I'd seen the last of in the UK and which seems to be coming back in both our great nations in a very disturbing way -- guns and bibles. That poor guy wants to be a missionary. Makes sense to me. And it's no surprise to me that missionaries are regarded with deep suspicion by the people they hope to 'help'. There are a lot of people out there who haven't forgotten the British methods, even if Americans, ironically, seem to have forgotten them!

                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                  The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                  Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                  The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                  Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by TheAdlerian
                    It does not help that I look a bit devilish as well. Actually, it does help because I secretly like it.
                    You'll have to keep that tail tucked in your jeans...
                    \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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                    • #55
                      I believe I've mentioned here before that I am a Luciferian. Luciferianism is not an organized religion and for the most part Luciferians don't even consider it a religion although it probably fits in the category in some ways. Since most of us stumble upon this path by ourselves, it is very diverse. I won't go into other Luciferians' beliefs unless you guys are interested.

                      Personally, I believe in God, Jesus Christ, Lucifer and various other "characters" in the Bible. I do not, however, view them all the same way that Christians do. My personal path revolves around Lucifer as the lightbearer and morning star. Luciferians do not see Lucifer as the enemy. We feel that Lucifer is more of a liberator of mankind. We achieve this liberation through enlightenment which we believe is a gift from Lucifer. Only the possibility is a gift...we must work for every bit of it. Lucifer, in no way, represents "evil." I'm not some sort of infernal devil-worshipper or glue-sniffing gothic loser (no offense to glue-sniffers or goths). In fact, I do not worship Lucifer at all. I respect him, admire him, and even honor him, but I do not bow down and submit to him. It is a common belief amongst Luciferians that Lucifer would not approve of such submission anyway. For lack of a better way to explain my relationship with Lucifer, I generally describe him as my sensei.

                      On the topic of Christ...I think he was an alright guy. I don't find anything wrong with the ideas he tried to teach. I also don't have any problems with Christians who actually try to follow his teachings. It is God that I have a problem with...not Jesus.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by TheAdlerian
                        t does not help that I look a bit devilish as well. Actually, it does help because I secretly like it.
                        :lol:

                        Also..

                        Thanks, as always, for the information, Danistry. I learned a lot from some of your other conversations about your beliefs.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by TheAdlerian
                          Last night I was watching a movie with Ingrid Bergman called The House of 7th Happiness (maybe)...
                          Close. It was called The Inn Of The Sixth Happiness. The pedant in me can't resist pointing that out for anyone who might want to look the film up. :P
                          'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

                          Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

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                          • #58
                            Wasn't it a Pearl S Buck story ? Or was that only The Good Earth.
                            Had some of the same romantic (and romanticised) view of rural China.

                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                            • #59
                              Danisty, is the belief system you outline different from Anton La Vey's famous Church of Satan? I note some similarities, but it sounds perhaps a bit tamer. I've gotten in an argument online before with the current head of the Church of Satan as I get a distinct feeling he doesn't tell the whole truth by any stretch of the imagination.
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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Dead-Air
                                Danisty, is the belief system you outline different from Anton La Vey's famous Church of Satan? I note some similarities, but it sounds perhaps a bit tamer. I've gotten in an argument online before with the current head of the Church of Satan as I get a distinct feeling he doesn't tell the whole truth by any stretch of the imagination.
                                My belief system is different from the Church of Satan. I think a lot of "left-hand path" occultists started with the CoS because of it's fame. I first read LaVey's Satanic Bible in 9th grade and considered myself a "LaVeyan" or "modern" Satanist for quite a few years. Then, as is often the case with spiritualism, I had an epiphany. Modern Satanism was all wrong for me for so many reasons, but the first and most obvious was that I'm not an atheist. Just because some of LaVey's ideas sounded good didn't mean that it was the right path for me. Why remain stuck in a path that isn't 100% perfect when I could just make my own path? I reviewed a lot of what LaVey had taught and decided that it was a little immature. I mean no offense to Satanists of any kind, but rebellion, while at times useful, just didn't seem very substantial as a way of life.

                                As far as being tamer, I find that this is true of most Luciferians. It seems that many of us are rather introverted and deal with Lucifer on an individual basis. We tend not to feel the need to preach to others or impose our lifestyle on others. Overall, I'd say we are a bit more forgiving than Satanists and not quite as selfish. If Lucifer loves humanity, why shouldn't we? These are, of course, generalizations.

                                I have no idea who heads the CoS these days. I haven't been involved since LaVey died. Personally though, I make it a point to assume that all church leaders are not telling the whole story. It's their job to make the organization look good. Christians do it as well by avoiding some of the aweful things that have happened in their history (and even some things that are happening now.) I don't think really that any religion is better than any other religion in regards to that. I don't let it piss me off though...it's only human nature, afterall.

                                By the way, there is a Church of Lucifer. I just don't believe in what they teach. They are only one example of Luciferians (just as Catholicism is only on example of Christianity.) If you really want to know more about what I believe, you can check out my site. It's small right now because it's very new...only a few months old. The forum there will give you a fairly well-rounded idea of what Luciferianism is all about. The link is in my signature.

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