Cyberpunk is exceedingly pastiche. It imitates our own postmodern absurdity much more than it explores a bizarre non-existent side-future. I suppose that this is why it’s appealing to a certain type of individual.
Cooking is as much a technology as the smartphone is. Technology, in general, isn’t so much something that I associate with the future so much as it is a product of the mind used to accomplish some end. In “Neuromancer,” Gibson’s portrayal of women fringes on treating them as mere sex objects. Linda Lee, in particular, is essentially Case’s sexual drug. Molly is quite an oddity within the general scope of Gibson’s world because she breaks away from what we come to expect of women in the first part of the book. Molly is without a shadow of a doubt a gender transgressor. She’s pretty I guess. But also pretty deadly due to her surgical augmentations. Of which were paid for through sex (she was a meat puppet). Ultimately, she uses sex as a tool to break away and isolate herself from the “normal” life that she might’ve had otherwise. As a reader, Molly is even more attractive because of this. She even leaves Case high and dry at the end…
It’s all very interesting because people out in the horrific world are slowly becoming aware of the fact that they have the ability to decide what they want to be. To many, when they become confronted with this they either:
1. Turn tail and deny it as unnatural–which it is, considering we are already unnatural beings. (their loss though)
2. They embrace it and ultimately integrate closer to their authentic Selves. (best case scenario, also the rarest)
3. Use it as a band-aid to address another underlying issue that doesn’t become apparent until it’s too late. (worse case scenario, most common)
Everyone can craft their identity. Does that mean that humanity is falling away from us though? Or is there something else to learn as a result of this? To me, it’s pretty apparent that most people can’t handle the speed at which technology is shaping the world because it constantly forces us to define and re-define who we are at every level of who we are. To observe the tangible insanity of this, you don’t need to look very hard.
Had a neat dream last night.
I was in this warehouse full of bodies. It was freezing. Black and white tile floors.
I had a choice to choose a synthetic body to inhabit. Let’s call this synthetic body an “ideal vessel” for my consciousness. This huge silver machine clicked on and gazed directly into my everything. I remember a cold shift occur, and one moment I was standing in my old body, the next I was looking at it through a new pair of eyes. My old body fell to the floor in a lifeless pile and was swept away by this huge silver scraper into these blood gutters morphing it into a gory mess of hair, skin, and bones. It made me feel emotional watching this. Which is interesting because if I now occupied my ideal body who cares about the old one?
My first reading of this dream feels like trying to reconcile attachment to my old body in the same way I might be attached to an old house. It’s lived in, comfy, and I have memories of which I associate that thing with. Everything leaves, dies, goes away. Old bodies. New bodies. All temporary. The conintuum of the higher Self isn’t so easily explained. And despite being so far removed from my old body, I remembered what it was like before. Even though I held issue with my previous body I didn’t dislike it. I liked my old body despite its faults. Which means I’m capable of finding something positive out of what I perceived to be a shitty situation. Getting used to a shift, a change, something new, takes a lot of work and effort.
I enjoy the challenge of being in less than ideal situations. Conflict comes in all levels of the human experience, but are there any that seem less ideal or more difficult than others to successfully live through? I think no. Because no matter what type of existence I lead in a human sense, I will always perceive my own struggles as both the most difficult, important, and unique.
Language. I don’t speak a language even remotely similar to you. Translation: We are similar in that we both share differences.
There’s something to be said about feeling “foreign.” I will always be a foreigner. It’s part of the experience of human existence to feel like a stranger in a strange land. I’m a Martian wherever I go. Even on Mars.
Xeper through the mirror of the Self,
Adept Nikoletta Winters
“He who knows (the Dao) does not (care to) speak (about it); he who is (ever ready to) speak about it does not know it. He (who knows it) will keep his mouth shut.” -Lao Tzu
There’s something to be said about what brings people to the point of joining the Temple of Set. Self-improvement, curiosity, material wealth, all could be possible answers. And honestly, I truly feel that the tools we have here are great at helping anyone willing to put in the work a new world filled with all three of those things. Is that all there really is though?
*Queues up some Peggy Lee*
The nature of objectivity, at least in my estimation, is that it’s incredibly fleeting. It’s extrinsic. It’s temporary. And that fact that all of this (*slaps hands on the floor, desk, my body*) is so temporary feels like motivation enough to live the best way that I can muster while I am pinned to this physical, temporary, and fragile reality. Death drives humanity. It’s a great unknown in the scope of everything we seem to think. To me, My big Truth lies NOT in objectivity. The ironic thing about death and the Lao Tzu quote starts with the opening line “he who knows does not speak.” It reminds me of one of William Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell”:
“The dead body revenges not injuries.”
The dead understand the nature of death and yet they cannot speak about it because they have fallen away from all of this—they could also care less about the body they lived in their whole objective lives because there’s an illusory quality to objectivity that I feel is discounted by some of what the basic “fast and dirty” superficial and surface level LHP philosophy has to say regarding the “Truth.”
I know what you’re thinking….
“Nikoletta, would you call getting punched in the face an illusion?”
Speaking from experience, I’ve been punched in the face quite a bit, so I’ll offer my perspective to further clarify where I’m coming from:
No, getting punched in the face is not an illusion. Traumatic physical events can do real damage to the subjective, “real” Self. Especially so when I forget that I shouldn’t get too attached to my body since I’m not going to be in it for long. Getting punched in the face is also bad because it’s has the potential to physically damage the tool in which I use to expand my subjective Self—my objective body.
The terms subjective and objective are tossed around a lot, but they really boil down to what “is” and “isn’t.” And ultimately, in my cosmology, I’m trying to reconcile the usefulness of using either term. The lines of what is and what isn’t often seem to be flipped and interwoven much more than I initially thought. A lot of times, subjectivity seems much more real because damage done to it can’t be healed without a perspective shift. And that requires, at times, making conscious choices that our physical bodies will rebel against. That doesn’t mean denying the body pleasure. But rebellion isn’t as simple as wearing a short skirt even though your dad hates the idea. Rebellion, in my world, lies in the understanding that I can pull mySelf away from automatic behaviors that are comfortable (both physical and mental) through the adept manipulation of my subjective perceptions. Do you think Set slays Apep the same exact way every night? The slice to the jugular isn’t so exciting after you do it over and over again.
When I’m in doubt, I usually find it helpful to just take a good, hard, long look at my Pentagram of Set and muse over the implications that symbol has to my life—both superficially and on an entirely different level that doesn’t cross paths with that superficial objective illusion. Objectivity, has the potential to fool my true Self through the biologically driven ego (that is NOT the Self) into wanting to stay attached to the things that have defined me through the experience of being human. My NeterSelf isn’t concerned with all of this (*waves hands around*) but it/she/him can get caught up in the irrelevant if I give into the things I really don’t want, even though my body might. To quote Blake again—“He who restrains desire does so because his weak enough to be restrained.” I desire to be more than what I am. And if that means making an effort to exercise, and eat as clean as I can afford to, or confront my bad habits, I’m going to do that. Indulgence can go to the over the top extreme of the Duc in “120 Days of Sodom” aka the way of the Libertine, or you can indulge your higher Self in creating habits and lifestyle choices that will make you happier in the long run. Of course, these are all my interpretations.
We all need to create our own cosmology. The tools are all here to make that happen.
The “existence” of Set question is hard. It’s a disservice to mySelf to try and pin down what Set, is, wants, did, etc. All of that is hogwash created by my mind to try and justify the unknown in terms of what it means to be human. I don’t like thinking about Set as the one that gave me his “gift” because, to me, that notion alone is very un-Set like. Set isn’t an immovable mover. Set is the active springing of energy.
ALL OF THAT SAID…
If I were to attempt to personify Set in a limited human sense I would say it like this:
Set is a neter of war, nightmares, conflict, storms, and all around assholery. He doesn’t have time to take pity on a bunch of hairless apes by giving them a gift. The only way that would occur is if those apes were like a giant red button and he just wanted to see what would happen should he press it. Set is chaotic neutral. He might save your life. He might also steal your car. He doesn’t want adherents—unlike other neter. The sha, or Set animal is allegedly imaginary. Imagination is weird. Set is weird. (Set is also Wryd). Humans also have the potential to be weird in the same way. Maybe that’s another reason why I’m here in the Temple of Set—to learn the Weirding (Wyrding) ways like any Self-respecting Bene Gesserit would….
Because, I mean, if we wanna get real serious here all the big life questions usually all circle back to Dune anyway…Star Wars ripped it off, so I guess it’s good enough for me to rip off as well. Of course I’m being facetious, but you should read Dune if you haven’t. Initiatory tools that are also entertainment are hard to resist recommending.
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” -Paul Atreides, Dune
Xeper through the mirror of the Self.
And bring yourSelf into new fire
Return to suffer
Without limbs! Without fever!
Climb out onto the dusty rings of Saturn
And reanimate cognition
Without limbs! Without fever!
There I heard the secret words:
“NOSTOS!” She whispered.
“ALGOS!” He cried.
Were the good times then?
If only I had known while I wasn’t living it.
I once discerned that Xeper
Was far from what it is
I started digging trenches
When my dirt came pouring in
Lady Liar, she lives in mirrors
When in fact
No pain can die
It was raining hard one evening in Bisbee
When ‘ole Beezlebub came on by…
All of my life,
My head’s a buzzin’
Screamin’ madness in my ear
What is Truth that’s not intrinsic—
But a brothel built on bricks of fear?
Everything is not enough.
Too much is none at all.
There my eyes began to leak
My frustrations drenched not dry.
My head’s a buzzin’ endlessly
That strength, once vibrant
Can one day fail
What’s a snake without a slither,
As he feeds upon his tail?
I tried on many wigs that day
In hopes of what I’d see
A look of dearth is all I found
Despite the black one suiting me
Who was this lawless princess here
Departing from my eyes?
Rejection smiled injury
There I caught her by surprise.
I tore mySelf away from that mask
I tried on exactly zero more
My green eyes moved to fuller reds
And ‘ole Bub stopped buzzing recklessly
This morning brought me realizations
Looming past me dark and tall
Everything is not enough,
Enough too much and not at all.
In all directions, I see mountains. And beyond those mountains exist the Great Darkness. Nothingness. Abstraction. Time moving forward, dragging its rusted body across the dimensions in a spiral. Every minute inevitibility comes more and more into focus. What does it mean to End? I gorge on the Never, bringing into being a renewal of sacrifice. My subconscious, a conduit, digests that which lies on the other side of the black towering Eclipse. My first deed, created out of the earth like a disfigured shape wrapped in decay, engulfs the whole of the earth in flaming fire.
Yes, I am willing to forget myself for myself. Sacrificing the who I was for the who I am to be.
The walls do weep the saddest shade of red wailing for relief to shine the light of divinity elsewhere. Their shadows creep towards the pinnacle strangling every rose that dare bloom in the absent sun.
O HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is she who raises the glass of invention. Her flesh a vessel to be shed–motionless and Dead.
Raise up your beleaguered body from the ashes of the old, for there exist no gods without imperfection, the means to create, and the ability to recognize that even the future can be reshaped and disfigured in the image of We.
Hard is the heart of fate. And every tribute? A feast for the hand of Me.