Researching my temp book, i’ve been semi-tediously going through my Sent emails folder, from March 2004 when i began office work, to March 2009 when i quit it for good. There were roughly 6 months without work in that period so in all 4 to 5 years, the time i spent in the war in my last life.

Buddhists are generally incorrect. They are specifically incorrect in regarding each life as a step beyond the last, with a clear teleology. Though we are influenced by the past, it’s more complicated than simplistic notions of Karma. Each life is a way of playing out the essential concerns, discords, resistances, terrors, hopes. Each life is in a sense independent of the others – just as one could say that each performance of Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony is independent of the others – and more so if you imagine that the musicians have no idea there has ever been, or will ever be, another performance.

Re-reading my old emails i realise how much i have changed since, e.g. 2008. In part it is the natural consequence of nearly dying three times (twice by my own hand in Kiel, once by my lungs in France last month), in part the repeated contact with the old Germanic gods, in part going from a minimum wage data entrist existence, to being an English teacher – a professional schmoozer, if you will. All this is liable to change an elberry.

Magic is an important element here – i was aware of it in my last life, but (as far as i know) lacked the tradition to understand it. In this sense, i was much as elberry was  pre-2008, unconvinced by the standard materialist account but unwilling to swallow the New Agey/Aleister Crowley-style bullshit on offer. i existed in defiance of the world in which i lived, flagless.

This is not an easy stance to hold. This last life is the only one i know of, in which i existed without a magical/esoteric tradition. The Christianity on offer in the churches wouldn’t have meant much to me; and the esoteric strains were thin on the ground. Without a balancing tradition, which is both external and internal, it was a difficult life. These traditions are external in that you don’t simply invent them; and internal in that you recognise this is you, that these runes comprise your being.

An email to a friend from February 2009, when i had decided to leave office work but had no idea what else i could do:

Feeling unusually low today, worthless & useless, no good for anything. God, i wish there was something i was good at, just one thing, even if only killing people. i shouldn’t be alive, there’s no purpose for me. i’m like a bit of material left over, not enough to fashion anything, just lying around uselessly.

A week or two ago i remembered Holden Caulfield and his forlorn desire, to be “the catcher in the rye”, akin to a crossing guard. Today, as i was going out for booze & food, some small German children on t’other side of the road asked if i could return their ball. They were about 6 years old and nice, polite, as Germans often are. The road is fairly quiet but sometimes the Bosche crusade at speed and it isn’t hard to imagine a child being wiped out by an Audi. i saw their ball under a car and kicked it over.

i’ve been feeling unusually peculiar of late, as Juniper is on holiday and i’ve had little social contact outside of teaching. These periods are useful. When i do rune work i notice, for a day or two afterwards, a lot of odd coincidences and a sense of being joined to the world, an assurance and power. My natural state is one of imbalance – i naturally seal myself from the world and so exist in a Urizen-like isolation, slowly dying. To connect, i must surpass my self. Magic is one way. The important thing is to for my self to be surpassed by a higher order; only then can i really live. To be whole, you must bend – this is the mystery of Sowilo.

The original Satan – the first person to consciously identify himself as the enemy of god, and to elaborate this in the spaciousness of death – turned therefrom, eventually. Likewise i’m trying to make an accommodation between myself and the world, to serve.

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