throughout a history of western culture the role of magic has faced two overarching concepts, morality and legality, in the codification of an authorized worldview. this book is therefore a reaction to the medieval ages when magic was viewed through the lens of the church, specifically in the twelfth century when gratian produced his decretum effectively providing the canon for modern political theology. complementing a mass practice with a perception of physical reference, magic could officially be contested as an institution of heresy. what I hope to explore with enchantment as enlightenment is not a by-the-books analysis of law in the age of a moral economy, but ethics and intent during the onset of modernity and what capacities society currently possess to experience living beyond illusion.
myth not only mediates but defines our existence. whether we digress on archetypes, linguistics, nationalization, or various social phenomena there is a comprehensive shift towards liberation by unification. imagine the potential for social harmony if immigration were a right, alternatives to commodity economics were encouraged, or something as simple as adequate bike safety precautions were in place. as the old proverb goes, “if you want to go fast, go alone. if you want to go far, go together.” to go together humanity must develop its critical consciousness and continue to recognize the reasons for organization. liberation is consciousness.
now let’s talk illusion. a mass consensus throughout the web offers that illusion is a distortion of the senses, a misrepresentation of a true sensation acted upon or being acted upon by an external agent. the vedas declare the realm of human experience as maya, the illusion of a shared projection, the divine magical power of the supreme lord. cue: gratian’s decretum. compiled in 1140, the benedictine monk gratian organized nearly four thousand texts mastering all areas of church discipline and regulation, even resolving contradiction in rules accumulated from different sources. sharing the growth period of academia within the first european universities, gratian’s moral labor became the affective base for a teaching of canon law that has remained fundamental to this day. whether one thrives or endures in a nation that announces “in god we trust” on its currency is irrelevant to accepting the prescribed decretum within the self. as we are, human nature ferments within the chasm of a war on comprehension, a tugging of ideological interests maintained by hierarchical governing structures. sociologists have written extensively on the prescription of perception, and whether we speak of transnational disputes or cultural taboos we articulate the illusionary nature which composes a common reality.
erving goffman argued that much of human behavior is cued by expectations, determined by frames hosting our context of action. ernst gombrich added that when a frame is appropriate it is seamlessly unrecognizable, and it is only once the frame becomes disagreeable that we are suddenly aware of its presence. between these studies there exists an argument for ‘the humility of things’, in belief that objects are important not due to their physical capacities but because as humans we do not ‘see’ them. the less we are aware of objects the more powerfully they can determine our expectations by reifying what’s agreed upon as normative behavior, and without consciousness there can be no challenge. marxism views humanity as the outcome of its capacity to transform the material world in production; the projection of which we create ourselves. it is thus that capitalism is neutered, for this belief interrupts an otherwise virtuous cycle of creating objects which in turn manipulate our understanding of who and what we can be. plainly, capitalism represents a loss of humanity in the wake of commodities and brands. but all is not lost.
marcel mauss believed that all social possibilities are possible simultaneously, and that the main function of ideology is to highlight a certain form or practice and propose it as the essence of humanity. as form develops in sophistication we are capable of seeing more complex possibilities for ourselves, as presented in a thread across nietzsche's notion of primordial unity, barthes’ observations of paradigm, and deleuze’s implication of the virtual. we cannot know who we are, or become what we are, except by engaging and confronting the historic material projection that continues to manifest through us. for hegel this ouroboros bears a sequential form, in which the process of objectification inherits the potential to both assimilate or become irrelevant. maintaining this view, culture, comprehension, and perception always have the capability to outplay a condition and represent common truth.
enchantment as enlightenment seeks to reorganize illusion and reposition the self to understand our reality as a shared, constructed realization. every person has the potential to make a great impact on the world, but to go far we must go together and to go together we must act with intent, outside of prescription.
now that we have arrived back at the intersection of moral agency and individual capacity, or human nature via paulo freire’s concept of conscientization, we can effectively construct the form we wish to be a part of. by practice of modern d.i.y. we know this concept as community cooperatives and through means of d.i.t. (doing-it-together) we see this as ‘becoming the change we wish to see in the world’. radicalization by means of accessible practice is the most effective magic for outplaying a paradigm, and the creative fuel in an engine of occupied chaos. the following is a pocket book of guidelines made to incite questions of liberation, for if the illusion of reality is a divine magic then the encapsulated experiences and interactions become documents of the magical. tapping into this magic is as inclusive as breathing.
a grimoire is a textbook of magic, a collection of spells to create a magical object or happening. does a cookbook not host the same effect on food, or a manifesto on ideology? self-publishing has historically been a multilogue among dissidents and marginalized citizens, and as the grimoire conjures the unreal the zine also hosts the potential to influence the reality of a reader. the cover of this collection is an indicator of what can be found inside. enchantment as enlightenment is written in the runic alphabet, a writing system that has found historical practice for purposes of magic. the geometric pattern is a sri yantr, formed by nine interlocking triangles appearing from a central point. this central point is bindu, the convergence of reality with the all-encompassing unmanifest state. bringing these symbols together i hope to encourage an open interpretation of historical condition and discover complements from collaboration.
keep this in your pocket, read it on the train, and i hope that these incantations assist in conjuring the magic of every moment. for the already converted may this become a reminder. and for the repressed or hesitant, may enduring provide you with the challenge to exist without egotism.
keep a notebook. jot down anything of interest whether it be the way birds speak to each other in the morning, the matching yellow hues between a yoohoo and a butterfinger, or the various languages heard within a day. allow time for these notes to collect, ruminate. when reflection feels appropriate look through this notebook and keep an open mind for patterns that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. this is the essence of your environment.
this pocketbook does not exist without its chapters like a community without collectives, an ideology without organizers, or digestion without a stomach. parts and wholes are the presence and absence of intention and the unders and overs of a threading. the unconscious roles of a premeditated schema.
in the interconnectedness of our existence, an individual action is never but a small piece of an articulating whole. to narrate reality only takes staying in bed and navigating twitter. to define requires the connection of a physical capacity, the validation that an intervention of particles sparks change.
indulge in social opportunity and initiate interaction, among the importance of a constructive social environment together we navigate and define what it means to inhabit the now. if you’ve seen an admirable performance make an effort to speak to those involved and whenever engaged treat the other party as a friend, sincere communication opens doors of perception.
our bodies respond to a wide capacity of motion, but for this thought let’s reduce them to active and passive experiences. if passive motion refers to a third-party force such as planes, trains and automobiles then an active mobility consists of voluntary movement such as walking, swimming and for this purpose, biking. while an urban landscape applies a mold for the automobile and the rural environment takes pride in its relatively organic development, biking becomes an inherently re-territorializing practice. for the victims of globalization, known today as the third world, the bicycle has even rose to an iconic rank of economic opportunity.
dispose of any preconceived notions understood of a bike. forget lance armstrong, forget point a to point b, and especially take leave of a sense of direction. now ride. whether treading asphalt or dirt acknowledge a personal interaction with the bicycle and the mechanical interaction in space. understand individual movement, daydream on natural reaction, and over time come to appreciate the bicycle as spatial anarchy.
at any point in time it is highly encouraged to bike with other people, preferably as many as possible. throughout the world this type of gathering is organized under critical mass, a creative insurgence on two wheels. believed to be an offense by numerous law enforcement authorities, what critical mass lacks in a political protest is invested in a participatory, inclusive demonstration of social space which encourages critical thought. give it a shot and then go on to the next sentence...
millions of years ago the molecules and atoms that compose our bodies were single-celled aquatic beings. mobility was a meticulous process which required the limbless locomotion of movement dependent on the body as a propulsive structure. today we humans are of a few modern species to be endowed with bipedalism, movement upon two legs. take a moment to either imagine or enact the mobility you’ve seen in other species. if you resonate with a tree, be a tree, or if a caterpillar feels enticing explore the dichotomy of the pupa to the moth / butterfly. movement is our orientation with the world.
whether we accept or regress, technology moves on. media alchemy is the anchor in an infinite current of information and a commitment to responsibly manipulating mediated environments.
one could view this practice from the social media addict who curates subscription feeds to a tee, or the market consultants and analysts who scheme so intently each season to place products throughout our tunnel visions and peripheries. if personal identity is a memetic, then these units of informations which are absorbed can certainly be hacked and tailored to cater any desire. culture jamming is an anti-consumerist method of media alchemy whereas catalog culture is quite the opposite, becoming the manifestation of product integration.
to become a successful media alchemist is to practice moral prosumption and interact with our mediated environment in a positive, constructive manner. krzysztof wodiczko’s projections communicate large scale realities upon the common spaces of architectural facades. his message is typically of critical insight to various cultural issues, and his alchemy is of the image’s relationship to environment. the nostalgia evoked by sampling and remix communities teases a manufactured lineage of memory and mass communications. and community relations are bonded by those who navigate their way through the magical in complementary ways.
as comprehensivity, synergy, and the interconnectedness of natural and social phenomena become vital to the human navigation of well being, the privatization of ideas grows to be a great crime. we have witnessed platforms for crowdfunding launch countless dreams into reality and the crowdsource initiative efficiently maintain any reality between the occupy movement and facebook.
to understand that every structure’s success is rooted in participation is to acknowledge where constructive progress has previously been made. from geodesic domes to the kibbutz model of living there is unprecedented harmony in consensual solidarity. even darpa, the military funded defense advanced research projects agency and inventor of such projects as the internet, is shifting their focus to cloud-based open source software.
whether it be a painting, band, book, recipe, business model, social theory, or itinerary, allow it into the commons for conversation! knowledge is only possible in participation.
is there anything you want to see, do, know, or share? write it down and post it in a public space. ask a stranger, ask your friends, ask your friends to ask their friends and so on. notice an injustice upon yourself or a group? organize a forum for conversation!
reality is a social symphony without meaningful conduction, and when acknowledged bears the potential to introduce the most constructive or debilitating of situations. this is the university, organized religion, political ideology, as well as the neighborhood arts center, cooperatives, and blogosphere. in his book the temporary autonomous zone hakim bey describes sorcery as “the systematic cultivation of enhanced consciousness or non-ordinary awareness and its deployment in the world of deeds and objects to bring about desired results.” is this not the application of simple realism into a distracted culture? personal passion is an intoxication, shared beliefs are magic.
organize a zine fair, a night of music, a circuit bending workshop, an open discussion, a book club. these are less events than they are multilogue, and when a comfortable handle on organization is reached it’s time to take on the festival with your new partners in composition. the festival is media alchemy in manifest, that is, a space of converging interests finding a common platform for presentation and discussion. the festival has the potential to influence perception and relations, both within the active space and permanent afterglow.