458 Chapters
Medium 9781912573011

Chapter One: Dancing with Demons

Couroucli-Robertson, Katerina; Robertson, Ian Aeon Books ePub

Dancing with demons

I was sitting in my Athens office one overcast day in late February when Laura phoned me. She had a flat unemotional voice. “Do you deal with people who are overweight?” she said plainly.

I said that I did deal with people who were overweight, which was a slight misrepresentation of the truth, as I was only just embarking on my PhD in dramatherapy with overweight women. So, her call came as a positive omen. We made an appointment for the next day.

On the phone she had given me no idea of her current weight. She could have been anything from 60 to 160 kilos. So, I was prepared for anything. When I saw her framed in the doorway in a rather masculine mackintosh, I had the feeling I was facing a wall. She was plain and unmade-up, with a solemn face. It wasn't until we were in my office and she lowered herself into the armchair opposite me that I realised just how big she was. I guessed she must have been about 120 kilos. In fact, I was out by 23 kilos. She informed me that she was 143.

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Medium 9781904658566

34. Freedom and Responsibility: The Seventh Void

Daniels, Aaron B. Aeon Books ePub

In each unfolding moment, we define existence by the choices we make in relationship to our lived world. Again, various prepackaged ‘causalities’ may attempt to protect us from the terror of complete responsibility for our lives. Of course, a narrow sense of ‘consequences’ might emerge from our choices. Moreover, other people react to our decisions and we often do not achieve our imagined ends. Nevertheless, claiming our freedom and ferreting out the specters of ‘inevitability,’ ‘restriction,’ and the myriad ways we hand to others responsibility for our feelings, actions, thoughts, or choices is an ongoing struggle. Nonetheless, whether we simply claim our freedom or exercise it to its fullest, we are still accountable to the reality of each moment.

Responsibility is not about ‘culpability.’ Responsibility centers on the process of acknowledging the world in which we fnd ourselves. Etymologically, the word, in this sense, is about responding to life as it is, rather than the various limited perspectives that entrapping fictions may offer us. Only with some apprehension of life-as-lived can we actually be free to act, rather than react. Only through properly calibrated responsiveness can we be our own most unfolding selves, rather than playing prescribed roles. Thus, freedom and responsibility inexorably form the foundation of all authentic choice and action.

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Medium 9781911597131

Chapter XII: Tentacles Across the Ocean: Edward House, Woodrow Wilson, the Council on Foreign Relations

Horsley, Jasun Aeon Books ePub

CHAPTER XII

Tentacles across the ocean: Edward House, Woodrow Wilson, the Council on Foreign Relations

“As trusty Fabian Socialists, frequently wearing the ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ label, established themselves gradually, firmly and increasingly in the professions, literature and popular journalism; in higher education and research; in reform movements, labor union leadership, politics and government service, they trained and carried their successors along with them. Thus the movement for ‘peaceful’ social revolution in the United States expanded, becoming ever more diffuse and more difficult to pinpoint, until it assumed the aspect of a nationwide fraternity with a largely secret membership held together by invisible ties of ideology.”

—Rose L. Martin, Fabian Freeway

One obvious question at this juncture is, how influential can Fabianism have been in the shaping of world history when most people have never heard of it—or if they have, would be hard-pressed to say what it is? Ironically, Fabian influence seems dependent on a degree of historical invisibility or apparent marginality. I am aware that this is rather like the skeptics’ trope about how conspiracy theorists claim that a lack of evidence is itself proof of conspiracy. Of course this is absurd, and in my experience it's generally a straw man argument, meant to discredit a claim without really addressing it. While lack of evidence of a conspiracy obviously does not suggest a conspiracy, evidence that certain key individuals, ideas, and events have been highly influential in world history, and have been downplayed almost out of existence by the history books, does indicate a conspiratorial element at work. This appears to be very much the case with Fabianism—the very meaning of which is incremental (hence largely invisible) change.

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Medium 9781911597094

Chapter Two: God

Chupp, Teresa Aeon Books ePub

When discussing the nature of God, it is imperative for us to remember that our perceptions and understanding of God are limited, and anything we can say is necessarily partial and biased. Nonetheless, we must press forward in this work to clarify our own ideas and understanding, and to construct a foundation for a system of meaning to guide our lives. To this end, I advocate a monotheism that is panentheistic, rather than the polytheistic theology of Paganism, and this needs to be explained, and its value clarified. Theodicy, arguably the most difficult issue in theology, must also be addressed. Although there are few things that can be said about the nature of God that are not unacceptably limiting, it seems that, with restraint, we can speak meaningfully of a God that is both immanent and transcendent. I suggest we begin by investigating how we perceive and understand God.

GOD AS OUR REFLECTION

Does the need to attribute personal intention or causality give rise to the religious impulse? Did people create God to explain mysterious events they did not understand? It has been suggested that humans naturally think in terms of cause and effect, and when a cause for an event is not obvious, one is postulated. In this manner, people may have devised the idea of God in order to explain why things exist (d'Aquili & Newberg, 1999). Situations that are threatening, stressful and mysterious, such as medical problems, elicit attributions to God most frequently (Spilka & Schmidt, 1983; Wikstrom, 1987). Early humans, like all people, had a need to find meaning in events, and since their understanding was limited to their own personal experience and point of view, they may have attributed intention to natural events they did not understand, personified those events, and inferred God out of those events.

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Medium 9781904658412

5. Method to The Madness

Chapman, Alan Aeon Books ePub

5. METHOD TO THE MADNESS

OR:
‘THE FALLACY OF MAGICAL LAW

Arbitrary magical methods (such as sigilisation) are frequently mistaken for absolute magical laws. As I have already outlined in chapter 3, it must be stressed that no method or technique is essential to magick.

In this chapter, I will discuss four common methods that are frequently mistaken for magical laws. However, as arbitrary methods, we are not to regard them as superfluous or useless; rather, they are to be considered aesthetically. How much fun can you get out of using them? As ‘game rules’, how well do they promote or encourage magical invention?

THE SYMPATHETIC METHOD

From cave paintings of a successful hunt to your ex’s head on a dartboard, the belief in ‘like causing like’ is perhaps as old as Man himself. Sympathetic magick is wonderful for encouraging or developing magical innovation. For instance, if you wanted to get rid of your boss, do you acquire a set of action figures and play out an office drama of what you want to happen? Or do you draw a little picture of him, chew it up and spit it out of your office window?

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