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Wow...more pretentious than God...

I picked up a copy of Memetic Magic from Amazon. As far as I can tell, not having read it yet, the book attemts to explain, couched in mystical terms, that mankind--specifically the construct of mankind called "civilization"--represents itself through symbols, and as Occultism of almost any form boils down to manipulating symbols...well, there you go.

The back cover says the following:
This phenomenal work possesses the very real possibility of being hailed as one of the most profound underground books on the magical arts ever written.

Never before has the occult nature of society, the Root Social Matrix, been discussed. In addition, the paradigm-shattering claim is made that this book contains the foundational framework underlying a thorough comprehension of the means by which the very fabric of reality can be manipulated through simple artistic techniques based on memetic symbology.

The ancient wisdom of the pagan sorcerers is combined with modern scientific social theory by a cultural anthropologist, resulting in a new age of magic where reality itself becomes mutable.

But I am most truly amazed by the bold claim of the list of titles published by the publishing company, whose website represents an unformed symbol matrix in its purest form:

"Jaguar Temple Press puts out the most important books in the world."



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 10th, 2005 02:42 pm (UTC)
The website seems to be "parked", though I thing a better term for it would have been "towed". =P
May. 15th, 2005 03:42 pm (UTC)
Wow... sounds to me like they just stumbled across gold and thought they created it!

I've not heard of your book, though the way it praises itself makes me wonder if they're over compensating for a lack of actual material. Saying things like "Never before has this been discussed!" sounds really silly to me!

"the paradigm-shattering claim is made that this book contains the foundational framework underlying a thorough comprehension of the means by which the very fabric of reality can be manipulated through simple artistic techniques based on memetic symbology."

Which basically means, "this book is the same as most other magick books out there!" (With a little social science/psychology added for flavoring as well as inflated, verbose sentances that try to make simple things sound complicated.) Hehe... the word 'symbology' reminds me of that scene from the Boondock Saints. Where that cop slips and says it, causing William Dafoe (aka, insanely gay detective) to make him feel like an ass in the most flamboyant way possible. ^_^

Memetics are neat, though. If you want some good info on memetics, its inventors, great authors, and web sites devoted to it (all in one place)... You might wanna check this site out. <=)


They're bound to be a bit less pretentious.
*reads the quotes from the book again* Good lord.. *laughs*
May. 16th, 2005 04:45 am (UTC)
Re: *laughs*
Hehehehheh. :-) Its amazing the interesting things one can find when they do a search on a book title on the internet.

Though I do agree their is some healthy 'pretentiousness', you've got to realize its all about marketing, marketing, marketing. My books got to stand out from the competition somehow.

I have seen some really amazing things using the techniques described in the book.

Read the book before you bash it. After you read it, feel free to bash it all you want. But at least read it first, please. I might even send you a free copy if you want.

May. 16th, 2005 05:41 am (UTC)
Re: *laughs*
Actually, I *do* have a copy of the book, it looks like it's got some interesting ideas. I picked it up for a pagan book study that I'm putting it together.

My principle concern with it wouldn't be the ideas, which seem sound, but that the ideas are obscured behind grandilloquent language. I think that trimming down the language, using more common words instead of less academic words, would have made the book a lot stronger. As it is, I'm having difficulty picking out meaning, which really is a problem, and I've got a good academic vocabulary.

That being said, there are cases where expressing something's fine nuance--*particularly* those of an idea--require using precise words that say exactly what you intended. The danger is using those precise words when they're not strictly necessary. It's a trap academic writers create, because their readers are academics, and young writers can fall into, because they model their style after an academic without focusing on their target audience.

IMO (after teaching English for a few years) academic language...is a virus.

I guess I was prematurely bashing really the advertising copy, which was over-the-top, but to your favor, I *did* buy it. Mostly for the subject area (I'm particularly interested in modern/postmodern/urban magical theory), but the ad copy played into it.

Thank you for the response! There were some ideas on your "coming soon" list that really appealed, and I look forward to them!
May. 16th, 2005 07:26 am (UTC)
Re: *laughs*
I agree with your comments about the language being a little complex. I don't usually write that way. The book was in large part 'automatically' written. The words you see in the book are the words that came out without my direct conscious choice. I did choose to keep the words as they were written because I felt it was truer to the original message. Whatever it was that made me write the book gave me most of the words on the pages. Some would call it a projection of the subconscious mind, some a spirit, whatever they're both the same thing.

A couple of other books I have written that coming out soon do not take the English language to such extreme levels of complexity.

Your judgement of the language in the book is fair. I actually got a good laugh out of the pretentious comments. I do fully realize just how pretentious parts of the book sound. (But, nevertheless, I pretty much mean what I say. I left alot of the really interesting things which have happened to me and alot of the artistic techniques out of the Memetic Magic book. They are in the next book). I just found the comments about my book a little entertaining so I -had- to respond. I like reading what people say about it when they don't know I am going to see, it gives a better idea about the book.

The next book of mine coming out by the end of the summer is 'Artistic Witchcraft'. Its written in a much simpler manner. Its got a lot of my secrets in it. Its probably a much better book, too.

I hope you'll buy it.

Best Wishes,
May. 16th, 2005 07:55 am (UTC)
Re: *laughs*
I'll look into it, it sounds a little less in my area of interest. I'll definately look into the animal spirituality title that was on the upcoming releases, and I vaguely remember an urban magic book on the horizon, but I've managed to leave my copy of M.M. in someone else's car.
May. 17th, 2005 12:42 am (UTC)
Re: *laughs*
Oh, wow! ^_^ Its really neat to see an author respond to random comments out on the web about a book they've written! I'm surprised! (Pleasantly so!) How'd you find this place?

<=) I'm glad you didn't take the comments personally. To tell you the truth, now I'm more than a bit curious. Most of the book was automatically written? Did you do anything to put yourself in such a state or did it just 'come to you' and you wrote whenever the occasion struck?

*frowns* It just occurred to me that you might not check this posting again. =/ hm. But in case you do, I'm really interested in the Artistic Witchcraft book you mentioned. I'll have to pick up a copy along with your Meme book whenever I have the cash to spare. Are they available in places other than Amazon?

May. 17th, 2005 10:57 am (UTC)
Re: *laughs*
I haven't seen the book on Ingram, which is the industry standard book distributor. He might pop by again, though :)
May. 17th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
Re: *laughs*
Hi, (Message in 2 parts)

I’m a bit of an isolationist by nature, so I almost didn’t check the web page again. But I’m glad I did.

As for taking the comments personally, no, I don’t really. Only a little bit. But, as a matter of fact, a good number of people have said the same things about the language. In regards to this: first, I didn’t originally write the book necessarily with the intention of having it published. It became clear to me in time that the book was meant to be published, however. Second, the book was ‘automatically’ written. The words are not necessarily my words, but they are filtered by my consciousness, experiences, environment, proofreading, and learning. I could have made parts of the book simpler if I had wanted too. But I didn’t. I don’t necessarily agree that a book has to be simply written to appeal to a large number of people. That’s a bit of a myth the publishing industry promotes and believes. I’ve already proved a complexly written book can sell a decent number of copies. If nothing else, if someone takes the time to read and understand the book, they will get a little bit smarter by so doing. Third, I do write a little bit more on the complex, rather than the simple side on occasion. But not as complex as the writing in parts of the book.

In regard to your question about automatic writing, it might be closer to the truth to say ‘semi-automatically’ written. I am very capable of full automatic writing, but full automatic writing almost always comes out in poetic form, which is not suitable for a long book. It’s a little difficult to explain but when it has happened to a person a couple of times spiritually inspired writing is easy to recognize.

I have found that when practicing genuine magick there are times when the result of an evocation will be a temporary and genuine increase in intelligence, or the ability to understand and communicate things which, under a normal state, I would be unaware of. On some occasions after I have drawn magickal pictures, the effect of those magickal pictures will be that I will, for a short period of time, will be able to understand things which I couldn’t understand before. It seems the spirits can speak through a person, or teach a person things. But the effects wear off with time. The book was a clear example of this process.

I have found a few different methods of inducing spirits to reveal knowledge. Artistic magick works very well on occasion. I have almost no success with traditional magick, but when I do magickal artwork I have seem some things which I doubt anyone would believe so I won’t even bother making the claims.

One of the more simple methods of releasing inner spiritual potential is take GNC Ultra Mega Gold without Iron vitamin pills for a few months. Also, high-choline soy lechetin (spelling?) pills are great for artistic magick. Magick does not have to be used in isolation from modern advances. Vitamin pills really do help a lot, particularly if they’ve got B complex vitamins and choline. But they primarily work well with artistic magickal techniques rather than more traditional ceremonial magick.

A lot of the book is in ‘code’. The complexity is an attempt by something smarter than me (a spirit, or my higher self, I don’t know which yet, but I do have a good guess) to convey something about the nature of the universe that ‘I’ am incapable of completely understanding except in rare moments like the month or so it took me to write the book.

May. 17th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
Re: *laughs*
Some people have complained that I stray too far from traditionally accepted memetic theory. This is true. Some of the things which I put under the category of ‘memetics’ are not really ‘memetics’. But a lot of people fail to realize that in a lot of portions of my book, the term ‘complex memetic structure’ really means ‘thought atom or atom of consciousness’. The book is really an explanation of the workings of thought atoms. At least a chapter of the book is really about the chemistry of manipulating reality by manipulating thought atoms using artistic magick.

A good number of people have claimed that the book has too much theory and too little ‘practice’. While this is not necessarily true, I personally like theory as much as practice because when a person really understands the theory they can create their own unique version of the ‘practical’ part. The occult publishing industry discourages the discussion of theory in part because they are unconsciously practicing information control. They don’t want people to understand the ‘why’, just the ‘how’. That way, people will have to buy more books.

I checked out your memetics list through the link. It’s a good list. I used to like Richard Brodie’s book Virus of the Mind a lot but, to put it simply, he really disrespected me with a comment made about my book, so I threw my copy of Virus of the Mind away.

As for the website, Jaguar Temple Press is run by a few different people. The press has a lot of plans for the future, but it will be about a year before the books which are discussed in the second edition copy are released. Circumstances slowed the growth of the press, but things are really looking up now. In fact, things are looking great. From what I understand 6 books are planned to be released at the end of the year, including distribution deals.

If you send your address to jaguartemplepress@hotmail.com the email will be passed to me and I will send you a free copy of Memetic Magick. The third edition is being released in about 6 days. The new edition has a couple of new pictures in it, otherwise it’s the same.

Also, if SpottyLogic wants a free copy of the 3rd edition, the same deal goes for him.

I was going to post the cover for the Artistic Witchcraft book but I can’t seem to get this page to accept it. Shame, I really like the cover and wanted to get some comments on it.

May. 18th, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
Re: *laughs*
Thanks for the offer :) Let me digest what I got before asking for chocolate syrup, though :) I can't make anything like a lucid respose without reading a bit more!
May. 18th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
Re: *laughs*
Arg! And still he did not suggest where I could buy one!

C'mon! Where is that marketing?? ;p
May. 18th, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC)
Re: *laughs*
Eep. posted too soon! Ok, thanks!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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