suicide

As some of you may have guessed there is some dark shit happening in my life. I will not go into anymore detail about the specifics but I wanted to write something that once had a purpose and now does not. These words were conceived in a very dark moment, after years of contemplation coming to a head, only to be cut off by a simple act.

Suicide –

What is suicide really? At the age of 31 my father took his own life. I was 12, my brother 9. From then until now I have had very strong opinions about what death is and ultimately what freedom is.

I have thought long about the nature of the soul and our path as individuals through the shape of reality. I have what I believe to be answers, though many may say I am wrong, these answers are ultimately the religion of one that I inhabit.

But the question is not what happens after, but what about the actions and decisions that lead up to killing oneself? Many people have said to me that the act of killing oneself is cowardly, weak, and most of all selfish. (I am not talking about assisted suicide to those in pain, but simply people who want out for whatever reasons).

Based on mankind’s pure speculation about what is on the other side of death religion has told us what to believe about the very shape of reality. We are told that suicide is a sin, is morally wrong, unethical, etc. But why?

Are we not free to do as we please with the body in which we inhabit? Our governments tell us not to do drugs but many, many of us do. Is this not my body to dispose of as I please? How is such a basic freedom, the freedom to exist or not, denied to people through religion and social norm?

The idea that suicide is cowardly to me is ridiculous. To face ones death is a noble thing. To step across the threshold of death willingly has got to be one of the bravest acts anyone can do. The answer to what is beyond death lies only in death itself. No one will ever “come back” and tell you about it.

I feel that people suffer at the core of their beings from a superhuman fear of death. Under all decisions we make is the decision to actively avoid being dead. Thus, through programming by our genetic makeup and our socio-cultural infrastructure we have learned to not die. But isn’t crossing willingly better than succumbing to the randomness of fate?

I think that those who believe strongly that suicide is wrong are ultimately afraid of death and their uncertainty about the beyond makes them uncomfortable with the idea that some people just want out of their lives.

True, suicide is the most selfish act a person can do. Other people can not be a consideration in deciding to take one’s life. Of course the world will be affected. Everything you do affects the world around you. Your choices and decisions are constantly changing your environment. Exiting reality will leave an unfortunate ripple in the shape of time. But isn’t that decision yours to make. It is your life, right?

separable

The path that we take on our life is so delicately inter-tangled with those people in our lives that each of our decisions affects everyone in proximity to us emotionally.

Every movement we make must be calculated enough to forward our progress without both negatively and positively affecting those we love. How is it in our lives that we have come to depend on others so strongly for support, or is this something we have always done, simply the animal nature of caring spread across the social grid like thick butter?

As we continue down our path (whatever path we have chosen for ourselves) we are unable to bring along others. Though we may try to share this path we take with them they can only be here with us if this is also the path that they choose.

Sharing a path is not easy and the stumbling blocks are greater the longer one is on the path with another. In the east it is believed that all life is pain and that all pain is illusion. Pain is all things, all emotions, all ideas. Friction of any kind in the progress of the soul is pain, any form of stimulation at all. But then if all of this is illusion, and we create this illusion as a way of teaching ourselves about the now, then when will class be dismissed?

coupling

What has been on my mind as of late is the whole concept of “coupling.” Obviously this tendency is based on the social mating rituals of a given culture. But why is there a sense of attachment to specific people in your genetic and mating pools? With only 2 exceptions any person I would say that I “love” is either already related to me genetically or having sex with me regularly.

I can think of dozens of reasons why it would be better for a species to create a sense of physical attachment to others in proximity to there genetic code. But what draws us to those who are not already related to us? Are we seeking to modify our genetic pool through traits we somehow know we should have?

Is it possible that we are ultimately attracted to the things we do not possess as individuals?

We all want what we don’t have?

When we consider the outcome of a long period of social change that affects our mating instincts and habits it seems inevitable that man is being genetically affected by the media and the corporations that own, protect, and fund the media.

Men and woman (but women in particular) are being told constantly what to like and dislike about themselves, their mates, friends, eating habits, etc. – mostly through the conduit of entertainment. Your horoscope, gossip column, TV sitcom, anything in your environment is passively and aggressively telling you who you should be as a person.

When we choose the person to whom we will give our emotions, and often our genetic code, how much of what we like about them is taught and how much is something we have no control over? Are we destined to be attracted to specific things because we have been shaped by our environment to want those things, or is the freedom to give one’s emotions to another an illusion and our code (and its animated algorithm of linear evolution) will want simply what it wants?

departures sigh

Returning home to pain, despair and loss. I find myself at a distance, wandering alone and wondering what is happening all around me.

I wish that somehow these thoughts could go away, as easily as a heart breaks. So many hopes of future reward are shattered as you go.

What tomorrow brings is always elusive, but then our dreams just fade away on a river of time. Drowning under a sound of departures sigh.

return (travel – last day)

Well my week of west coast retreat is over. I leave tonight to fly back to Chicago. I have had some interesting revelations both inward and outward during this stay.

The screening of my films at New Nothing Cinema last night went well. The crowd was receptive to the work, even if they didn’t really understand what it was about. The pieces I showed (One of the Sigils of the Heptameron, YHVH, and the Tree of Knowledge/Tree of Life pieces) are difficult to sit through all at once. But the crowd stayed on until the end.

In Chicago, to get a group of 30+ people into a room to watch dense experimental film would be a miracle. (Unless the artist was in the Whitney or something and the local film students were assigned to watch by a professor) The west coast, specifically the Bay area, has a great feeling of community that is perfectly represented by New Nothing Cinema (Thanks to Doug for making it all happen).

I return this evening with a head full of new ideas, thoughts and experiences. Hopefully in the wake of this trip good things will come.

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shadow

Some days a shadow falls over us, we can not explain what this shadow is or how it changes who we are but it is there, a lingering doubt on the edge of consciousness, a hand pushing you forward to your fate.

We move, even in the brightest light in a semblance of darkness, a shroud becomes our skin, our life is a blur of motion, jealousy and hurt. Why? What form have we taken through our actions that has led us here, this path a garden of forking ways, this journey now reaching its conclusion?

My mind works like a child’s toy, wound up for a moment of play and left to extinguish itself after its owner has grown bored and wandered away. I spin and I spin and I chatter in an ever descending rhythm of clicks and clacks, until I stop.

cable tv – travel (day four)

Last night I stayed in with Randy Lee and Ursula and watched cable tv, something I almost never do except in hotel rooms. TV continues to baffle me, but its misuse is something that has been talked about for decades (see the Glass Teat by Harlan Ellison). The one thing that does become more and more clear is that the effort involved in creating a 15 second national ad campaign is much larger than the effort involved in writing, scripting and acting a television show. The Simpson’s satire machine aside the average television program is less complex than an episode of Sesame Street. (But with sex/violence/human stupidity instead of education)

The human stupidity factor is becoming the greatest form of human expression and communication in the content of media in the early 21st century. By simply filming the events of normal people doing uneducated and senseless things and rebroadcasting these events back to the same normal uneducated people the media is creating a feedback loop of popular stupidity as an act of comic relief .

We are as a culture reflecting on the painful delight of watching someone hurt themselves, embarrass themselves, or otherwise create a simple situation that could have been avoided by foresight but was not. I am not saying some of it isn’t ridiculously funny, I am as inculcated in the cult of dark humor as anyone, but is that all the media has to say? “Look! Stupid people do stupid things! Isn’t that great!?”

The web is bringing us the ability to actively take a role in the form, structure and content of the data we are pounded with mentally everyday. We are becoming ever complex in our way of thinking as a race and the mind’s ability to adapt is evolving rapidly to meet the influx of data the average person is being exposed to by just going about their day. Shouldn’t the TV be trying to keep up with this architecture of active, rather than passive, media consumption?

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drunken sex – travel (day three)

Last night I went out with an old friend to a string of clubs, mainly of the singles variety. Some interesting places (Lone Palm, Elbow Room, Latin American, Make Out Room).

What struck me was the whole singles vibe. Guys on girls like flies on shit, drunk people making the case for racial inequality on the dance floor, alcohol as a social tool for getting laid. I ended up playing Galaga in the corner thinking about how ridiculous the whole thing is.

Why is it that in order to either have the courage to talk to a woman, or for a woman to have the courage to take off her clothes we have to be drunk? The more I think about it the less I like actually being drunk. It just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I don;t need to be hammered to have a good time, talk to people, or enjoy myself.

Wandering down the streets of the Mission district in search of a better place to drink I found the whole thing hilarious. Getting laid seems much harder than I remember it. The funk at the Elbow Room was good, the girls were hot – but in the end I find the whole situation distasteful.

I like to dance, and doing so with a bunch of hot girls in tow is fun – but why do we play this game of cat and mouse in order to “hook up”? When do we become adults? When does sexuality become part of the conversation without the need to be blackout drunk?

Back at Randys alone at 2am. Game over.

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marginalised music – travel (day two)

Last night I made the miraculous discovery that if you try hard enough you can be in two places at once. It was not easy but I managed to see all of the Swords and Sandals/Weasel Walter Quintet (with Henry Kaiser) then we jetted over to Amnesia to witness the act of nature that is the Magik Markers. I only caught the Markers set but the lineup included Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance/Comets on Fire) on guitar (who i hear is now a member of the band – you heard that here first).

Elisa’s vocals were as ever astounding. Like a demonically possessed Bessie Smith she wailed out emotion at its rawest over top of her abstract guitar manipulations of feedback and riff. Tight little space Amnesia – I watched the first half of the set from the street directly outside the door before wading into the packed house.

In Chicago everyone complains about how incestuous the local music scene is. Ten bands between 5 guys in different combinations. But the reality is that if you make music of any marginal form (experimental, free folk, free jazz, something electronics, whatever) the entire listening and performing audience is very very small. Inevitably this community will merge through various interactions and no matter where you are from the people you play with and who listen to your records are the same.

There is a lot of talk about the major record companies and the “independent” records companies. But the reality is that small record labels that support marginalized music are not even in the same business that the majors are in. We might share shelf space (and this is ever decreasing) but the two sets of entities are so drastically different that they have become two entirely different things. One supports music, the other uses music to make money.

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consumerist – travel (day one)

I sit in Randy Lee’s apartment in San Fran and think of the previous evenings events. I took a plane from Chicago to here yesterday morning and wandered around in downtown San Fran all day until Randy Lee got out of work. I am here on vacation and to show some films at the New Nothing Cinema and lecture on occult films.

As I meandered through the streets, most of the shops designer boutiques, some not so small, I happened upon an exhibition of works by Damian Hirst, and artist whose work I have been following since his early career. The pieces were a comment on the social use of chemicals (prescription drugs) and our almost religious dependence on them.

By far the strongest piece was “the Sacred Heart” though his use of barbed wire to encircle the heart in the place of a crowns of thorns is an icon that has been used far too often. The piece is a striking silver cast heart shaped lump embedded with razors and formaldehyde pins. It should have been on fire somehow though.

After Randy Lee got off work we wandered around a broader range of the city and I began to see that all cities in America are the same. Neighborhoods group themselves in genre defining terms. Upscale arty, all the clubs row, ethnic groups slowly being shoved aside by the common shopping experiences in relation to a given precinct of the city itself.

As man continues to mingle its genetic code at a rapid rate and our race becomes a homogeneous soup will our economic/taste/consumer tendencies define our lot as a people? Somehow I can see a feudal return to consumerism as the only defining term in our social structure. This division of people by a class of economics and taste (fashion, trends, etc) could well form the enclave arcologies that we exist in in the next 50 years.

Somehow man must struggle against the financial stranglehold that economics has over it’s future evolution. We must realize the importance of economics in determining our growth as a life-form and wrestle control of our growth from the algorithm of consumerism.

How do you want to spend your money today? Every dollar you have is a vote. When you spend money you decide who actually rules the world. Do it wisely, do it locally.

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chemical dependence

What is chemical dependence? When we talk about the “need” that someone has for a chemical, be it a drug that is socially unacceptable or a prescription they must take in order to fit into society’s idea of normal, what are we really talking about?

Each day I consume food, which is made of very complex chemicals, many of which my body is incapable of producing and needs in order to survive. Some of these chemicals are not specifically necessary as they either do nothing to advance the growth and evolution of my body, or are already made in some form by my body.

Often people are incapable of producing a certain amount of a specific chemical they can not get in their diet (or they may produce too much of some chemical) and if this condition creates a psychological difference in that person our modern society says that this should be “corrected”.

I have to say from experience that no one wants to be depressed (or hear hallucinatory voices), but isn’t depression part of the range of emotions we are given in order to interpret our surroundings and process our environment in our path through life? Depression can be too much, and in some it can be overwhelming, but conditioning society to ignore pain in order to be more socially acceptable as an individual is ridiculous. Why is there only one correct view as to what (or who) a person is?

I say that we should let people be contradictory, exist with whatever form they are given, and let them use whatever chemical modifications they feel they need to consume to get through life.

Sugar is a drug, exercise is a drug (via the adrenaline and endorphin it releases), caffeine is a drug, meat is a drug. Everything you put on your skin, in your hair, that you eat, drink or consume otherwise is a chemical that is modifying you right now, while you sit and read this.

Transcendental Cinema – Occult films screening

Hello all,

I will be lecturing at a presentation of my occult films in San Francisco on Tuesday July 17th at 8PM.

This lecture will consist of a demonstration of the practical use of occult film as a tool for ritual/magickal practice.

The lecture and screening are free admission.

If you are in the Bay Area please come out for this rare west coast screening.

Altered states of conscious welcome.

TRANSCENDENTAL CINEMA:
The Occult Films of Raymond Salvatore Harmon

Tuesday July 17th at 8PM

featuring

YHVH and TREE OF KNOWLEDGE/TREE OF LIFE

as well as a selection of rare and esoteric trance inducing experiences for the third ear & eye!

“Harmon has crafted a spellbinding visual grammar that thoroughly yet unobtrusively soaks these rich sounds into the rods and cones…”
– Signal to Noise

NEW NOTHING CINEMA
16 Sherman Street
off Folsom Between 6th and 7th
San Francisco – SOMA district

RAYMONDHARMON.COM

WARNING: Epileptics and those prone to seizures should not attend. All films presented contain subliminal content.

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will

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

It becomes more and more clear to me that the shape of reality is dictated by the collective conscious’ perception of what reality is via the force of our own will. The collective power of our individual minds shape the pattern of movement that matter takes on its evolution through time. The manifestation of lifeforce in the universe allows energy to control the shape of matter via a complex feedback of data, experience and sensitivity to changes in our environment.

What baffles me the most in the equation is the common lack of perception that this is happening. We live our lives mostly unaware of the control we exhort on the world around us. We believe we are being pushed along when in fact it is our actual minds exertion of will on the universe that is pulling time along.

Mankind has almost no knowledge or awareness of the complex system it belongs to (within the earth’s biosystem and in the infinite universe around us). What brief glimpses there are in the collective unconscious of man happen in the minds of artists and shamans, many of whom are ridiculed by the institutions that control our dogmatic belief systems.

You are in control. You dictate everything that happens around you, good or bad. You control the shape of every movement you take and thus how the fractal pattern of life evolves around you. Your will gives you power to do what though wilt – for good and for bad. Its time you accept it.