About how to distinguish a performance artist from a magician

Yesterday I read an article about Marina Abramovic who allegedly invited Clinton Campaign chairman John Podesta to an occult spirit cooking dinner. This story was the result of the leaked Hillary Clinton Email Archive proudly presented by Wikileaks.marina 1.pnghttp://vigilantcitizen.com/featured/chairman-clintons-campaign-john-podesta-attended-occult-spirit-cooking-dinner-hosted-marina-abramovic/

The article was discussing this story as if they had uncovered a Satanist cult group which was intending to … do what? Although the article was highly suggestive, the purpose of this supper was not hinted to. The reader would have to fill the blanks himself. Obviously, one might assume that in these election times one might be inclined to make a pact with the devil, sell his soul in order to win the election, right?!

While reading this story I also began to question if Marina could indeed be a black magician. As a performance artist, she is purposefully investigating all the dark and rejected aspects of our soul. While doing this she is not shy at all of using occult symbolism. To me personally, I feel that she is doing a great job in bringing our rejected parts back into the light. I admire her mission and immense courage.

Curious, if she was indeed a black Thelematic magician, I searched the internet. Surprisingly enough, I was not able to find any conclusive confirmation that she actually was a Satanist!

And thus I had to figure it out for myself. And I came to ask myself the question: what actually is the difference between a performance artist and a magician? After some consideration I came to the following two criteria: intention and skill.

Let’s start with intention. Marina as a performance artist describes exactly what she does: she performs. Her main focus is on the outer form. By showing rejected images and symbolism from our subjected subconscious, she helps is to reintegrate our darker aspects into ourselves. And as a result, healing can arise. From an outer perspective, it might look like Marina is doing the same as a magician. But for a magician, the main focus lies in achieving a goal, rather than the display of outer form. Magic is the art of changing consciousness at will in order to achieve certain goals. Certainly, a magician uses certain outer forms (regalia, robes, etc.) but this is only secondary for what he actually tries to achieve.

The second criteria is skill. Let’s visualize Marina performing an open heart surgery on a living person. Although, it might look like she knows what she is doing, I am quite sure that after the operation the patient will be dead. And nobody in their right mind would be surprised of this: Marina does not have the many years of studying and training to perform such operations. She could be interested in them: yes. She could have read about open heart surgery: sure. But nonetheless she will not be able to bring the operation to a successful conclusion. The same goes for the magician. A magician in the Western Mystery tradition has many, many years of training. When he is initiated to a certain degree, he is only qualified to perform rituals up to this degree. A magician works mainly on the so-called astral planes. These are energies which cannot be seen with the untrained physical eye, but which can be felt by sensitive persons. He works with energies and forces which he is able to control completely. And similarly as an open heart surgery, a ritual is only a success when the goal of the ritual is achieved. Marina can make draw symbols with blood and sperm on a wall, but in the end the following matters: was she actually able to successfully raise certain energies in order to achieve a certain goal?

And this brings us back again to intention. If Marina is able to perform magic, what is the purpose of these rituals? Is this to banish poverty from Earth, to create a lovely soup or to generate bad health to someone? Magic based on the intention of the latter would be black magic. The other two examples can be considered to be white magic.

Based on the above, I do not believe that Marina is a Satanist. She is a very inspiring and talented performance artist, but she most likely lacks the skills to perform satanic rituals. Also, although she explores the darker sides of human nature, I do feel that she has a good intention.

Later in the day, a response from Marina was published where she stated that the allegations were complete nonsense. The spirit cooking ritual was actually a normal meal and John Podesta was not even present at the dinner. Interestingly enough, for this dinner Marina did make an outstanding traditional soup which did make her guests feel remarkably uplifted and reborn…

marina 2.pnghttp://www.artnews.com/2016/11/04/marina-abramovic-on-right-wing-attacks-its-absolutely-outrageous-and-ridiculous/



Scent of a woman – a modern Grail legend

– spoiler alert –

Scent of a woman is a movie about initiation and healing on a deep and profound level. An old warrior (ex-marine) is hurt (cynical) and blind (literally and figuratively for the beautiful things in life). He wants to die and goes to NY for a final blast. But, since he is blind he is accompanied by his young and inexperienced nephew. The old warrior starts to teach him some tricks. Such as manically driving in a Ferrari through NY. The boy is shocked at first, but learns fast. Next they go out to a dancing venue. In the magnifiscent (typo and it stays) scene Al Pacino (blind old man) dances the tango with a beautiful woman. The young boy watches closely and intrigued. In the end the old warrior dresses up in formal attire to commit suicide. The young boy catches him just before it is too late. And then the balance of the movie shifts and the boy initiates the old man by convincing him to start living again. Through the innocence and love of his apprentice the old warrior’s heart melts and he is magically healed. A bit like how Amfortas is healed by Parsival. I cannot recall if in this movie the grail question is asked: ‘what ails thee my friend’, but it seems to be a similar mechanism. The boy cares about the old man and through this love, the old man is healed. And thus, in the end both men have learned a lot and are healed in their hearts. Now then, why is this movie called ‘Scent of a woman’? On the surface this movie is much about lust: the old man wants to go out with a bang and do all the exiting things once more before kicking the bucket. The sex drive of a man is the most primal force for life. But underneath there is more. Something that the old warrior seems to have forgotten. Or something he is not able to feel anymore because he is hurt. But his (naive?) virgin nephew still knows what that is. It is the true love of the woman. It is Courtly Love. The Holy Grail. That which nobody can see (the warrior is blind) but what you perhaps can smell. This hint of a deeper layer in the movie draws us deeper in on the quest. And because of this Scent of a Woman is a Great movie indeed. The movie ends with a trial at the university where the young boy needs to defend himself for not snitching on another person. In the trial he refuses to speak up. But the old man does speak up. In a compelling speech the old man speaks about the lost knightly virtues of the University and how these virtues are almost also removed from the young boy. ‘There is nothing worse than the sight of an amputated spirit’. I need to see this movie again soon.

Maar een man mag niet huilen.

Of hoe mannen in de 21e eeuw met hun verdriet omgaan.

Mijn vriendin huilt een stuk meer dan ik. Ze is immers een vrouw, toch? Wanneer haar emoties te hoog oplopen uit zich dat in tranen. Op zich vind ik dat een prachtige kwaliteit: haar hart staat open. Ze is nog kwetsbaar en niet verhardt (zoals ik misschien).
Ikzelf huil niet zo snel. Zelfs als er reden ik om te huilen, huil ik niet. Mijn tranen zijn als kostbare parels.
Ik vind het wel lastig. Ik zie meteen wanneer mijn vriendin verdrietig is. Maar omdat ik niet huil, mist zij wel eens wanneer eens verdrietig ben. En soms heb ik het gevoel dat ik daardoor niet begrepen wordt. Mijn vriendin zegt logischerwijs: ‘dan moet je duidelijker communiceren wanneer je verdriet hebt.’ ‘Meer gebruik maken van je emotionele interligentie, zeker?’ denk ik dan smalend. Maar ze heeft wel gelijk: hoe moet zij nu ruiken wanneer ik verdriet heb?
Het ding is: ik ben niet bang om mijn verdriet te tonen. Ik kan best huilen wanneer dat nodig is en daar schaam ik mij niet voor. Het is alleen dat ik als man mijn verdriet op een andere manier uit. En op welke manier dat dan is, weet ik helaas nog niet…
Wat ik wel ervaren heb in mijn onderzoek naar mannen en kwetsbaarheid, is dat mannen veel kwetsbaarder zijn dan dat ze toe willen geven. Misschien ook wel naar zichzelf toe.
Maar een man mag toch niet huilen? Misschien huilen mannen wel van binnen. Work in progress.

Our lost and suffering men

Dit filmpje raakt me. Mannen in onze maatschappij zijn lost. Gevangen tussen hardcore consumentisme aan de ene kant en het goed ontwikkelde gevoelsleven van de vrouw aan de andere kant. Mannen weten niet meer wat het is om man te zijn omdat het ze niet meer wordt geleerd door hun vader. Hun vader heeft het ook niet meer geleerd. Door de mechanisatie en automatisatie is een eeuwenlange traditie van manneninitiatie verloren gegaan. Het antwoord op de vraag: hoe kun je krachtig zijn in je kwetsbaarheid en andersom. Het boek Iron John heeft voor mij in dit opzicht veel betekend. Mannen zijn lost vandaag de dag en velen moeten zichzelf initieren. Misschien dat mannengroepen hier een bijdrage aan kunnen leveren.

Spiritual initiation for the soul is like a taking an influenza vaccine (griepprik) for the body. Knowing that certain developments will inevitably come on your path, you would emulate these experiences in a symbolic fashion. Such an initiation would stir up certain processes inside you in a controlled way. As a result you would recognize them and be able to deal with them. When the development actually takes place, you will be able to go with the flow instead of drowning in the waves.

Quid pro quo with the Devil for growth

In the movie Silence of the Lambs, Clarice tries to find a serial killer and for this she needs to negotiate with Hannibal Lector, one of the most dangerous serial killers alive. He might even be the Devil himself. She interrogates him a couple of times, but Hannibal only will only answer when Clarice tells him something about herself. The more essential Hannibal’s information becomes, the more intimate and painful Clarice’s story becomes.
This movie can be seen as a double initiation. Clarice is advancing at the FBI with help of her boss. This is the rational good guy, although his motives can be second guessed (is he sexually attracted to Clarice)? But at the same time, Hannibal also initiates Clarice on his way. This initiation is most exciting. Obviously Hannibal is the bad guy, but his intentions toward Clarice are good, almost fatherly. The only glimpses of human expressions on Hannibal’s face are when Clarice tells him about her childhood trauma.
For Clarice to truly solve this case, meaning her own transformation from a poor town girl into a strong and independent woman, she needs to get back in touch with her childhood trauma. Yes, innocent lambs are slaughtered every day and when you see this without your daddy to protect you, unable to free them, you will run as fast as your legs will carry you. But life is not about running. It is about confronting your fears and conquering them. This is what Clarice does when she ultimately kills Buffalo Bill in the dark. The kills her unconscious fear in the shape of the Cretan Minotaur. It is worth to be noted that this confrontation was only possible with the help of the ‘evil’ Hannibal and by reconnecting with her deepest fears.

A movie is a much more efficient way of telling a story compared to a book. A story is told in only a couple of hours as opposed to days. But due to the effort of reading a book, imagining the story and the surroundings in your mind, a story truly can become alive in you. Reading a book throughout days and weeks can guide you through processes and can clarify deeply human themes.

Pop music initiation

In deze dagen van Top2000 luister ik naar al die fijne platen, maar vraag ik mij ook af wat de rol van de popmuziek is in onze tijd. Muziek is een oeroude passie: het appelleert aan diepe gevoelens. Na de 2e wereldoorlog werd muziek ineens voor iedereen bereikbaar. In plaats van volksmuziek, klassieke muziek, religieuze muziek of artistieke muziek (jazz) ontstond er popmuziek die iedereen (veelal blanke jeugd) thuis kon maken, beluisteren en bekijken. De onderwerpen van de muziek begonnen vriendelijk en wat ondeugend (rock&roll) maar zochten geleidelijk aan de grenzen op van het toen gangbare. De beatmuziek had haar wilde haren, experimentele rock zijn drugsgebruik, en heavy metal maakte zich los van de kerk. Popmuziek zet zich af tegen de gevestigde orde iedere generatie weer. Het is een teken des tijds omdat het juist die thema’s aansnijdt waar de jeugd op dat moment mee bezig is. En binnen de popmuziek vinden mensen een sociale identiteit: ben je een punker of een rocker? De artiesten zijn onze sterren: we kijken tegen ze op. Zij geven onzekere pubers een uitweg uit het grote donkere bos. Ze initiëren ons. Als Pan geven ze dubbelzinnige teksten en muziek die gaan over liefde en vriendschap en experimenteren met seksualiteit en drugs. Ze waarschuwen voor de gevestigde orde die ons dwingt in de sleur van een kantoorbaan. We vinden met vallen en opstaan onze weg (net zoals de artiest voor ons heeft gedaan). Na onze zogenaamde formative years wordt deze popmuziek een dierbare herinnering aan onze fase van initiatie. Het sprookje van de popmuziek heeft haar taak volbracht. We realiseren ons dat we niet allemaal popsterren of voetballers kunnen zijn en toch zullen moeten werken in de maatschappij voor ons dagelijks brood. voor ons geld. Melancholisch luisteren we deze dagen naar de Top2000. De popmuziek heeft ons losgemaakt van de dogma’s van de vorige generatie (these) en ze heeft ons geleid uit het bos dat onze puperfase was. Maar de weg die ze wijst is voornamelijk het afzetten tegen de vorige generatie (antithese). Veel popmuziek lijkt niet te slagen in de synthese om onze Passie te integreren in het dagelijks leven. Deze dagen luister ik veel naar die fijne platen van de Top2000. Nu ik wat ouder ben lijk ik aan een volgende fase van initiatie te zijn begonnen. Ik ben beter naar de teksten gaan luisteren en begrijp ik de muziek beter. Ik vind steeds meer aanwijzingen hoe ik mijn Passie kan integreren in mijn dagelijks leven. Door mijn rol in de samenleving op mij te nemen en daar mijn eigen klank aan te geven.