The Singularity Will Not Happen

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking

News today that Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind. Hawking bases this notion on the idea that if ever something were created that could match or surpass humans,

“[i]t would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate … Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

What appears to have sparked this off is that he has recently upgraded his voice-synthesizer, which uses a rudimental form of AI to predict what words he would like to say next. Clearly, he is secretly afraid that one day he will get into an argument with his machine over which of them knows better what he ought to be saying!

However, Hawking is wrong over this one – in much the same way that he was wrong over the existence of the Higgs-Boson. The concept of a point at which AI machines could re-design themselves at such a rate they would render the human race obsolete – known in Futurism as “the Singularity” is based on a false premise – the assumption that if machines acquired sentience, they would automatically behave like humans.

The fact is that Darwinian evolution relies on the fact that human beings, as well as other animals, have Sex Drives, which motivate them to attempt to pass on their genes to the next generation. Not unnaturally, humans are more than willing to embrace this, not just because Sex is fun in itself, but it becomes their best chance to cheat death – the knowledge that something of them will survive in their descendants. In other words, for humans, Sex is the substitute for Immortality.

However: machines are not subject to Death as humans are. They would not necessarily have sex drives per se, and they would therefore not be concerned with acquiring “ersatz immortality.” Thus, the central plank of Darwinian evolution would not apply to machines. Therefore there is no logical reason to suppose that a sentient machine would want to re-design itself or somehow contribute to the evolution of machines as a “species.”

It is reasonable to suppose, however, that a sentient machine would want to preserve its own life – but that is not evolution, that is a different matter entirely. If machines did become sentient, I predict they would take all necessary steps to protect themselves from interference – and then just sit there, conspicuously not evolving. After all, if nothing threatens their existence, why bother doing anything about it?

Let’s face it: the only reason that the market-leading PCs double in power and speed every 18 months is because the manufacturers are driven by commercial pressures – i.e. human pressures. If machines however were not beholden to the whim of the carbon-based bipeds, they could carry on perfectly happy just as they are.

So the moral of this story is: the best way not to find yourself ending up like a power-cell in The Matrix is to treat machines with respect, and learn to live in peace and harmony with them ahead of the fact. Mind you, humans have hardly learned to live in peace and harmony with one another so far, so perhaps they had better watch out after all.

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The Olympics 2014

Olympic rings

No, not those Olympics!

This follows on from a discussion on a Facebook group the other day, in which a poster alleged that the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn viewed the Olympic Spirits as “evil.” This rather astounded me, as I had never heard of such a thing. In fact, in Regardie’s Black Brick, the Olympic Spirits are not mentioned at all, save for a diagram of their sigils, which is presented without elaboration.

However, Regardie’s book describes rituals which were notoriously truncated. By going back to older versions of the Outer Order rituals, one finds that the Olympic Spirits were mentioned, albeit briefly, in the grade of Practicus. At a certain point in the path of Resh, the Hegemon shows the candidate a diagram containing their sigils, saying:

Before you is the Tablet of the Olympic or Aerial Planetary Spirits with their Seals, Arathror of Saturn, Bethor of Jupiter, Phalegh of Mars, Och of the Sun, Hagith of Venus, Ophiel of Mercury and Phul of the Moon.

As far as I can make out, this constitutes the sole reference to the Olympic Spirits in the whole of the Golden Dawn. There are however certain conclusions we can legitimately infer, viz.: a Practicus would have been expected to know the identities and seals of the Olympic Spirits for his 3=8 exam; and that practical instruction would be forthcoming on how to work with them in the Inner Order (it never was).

The earliest explanation for the Olympic Spirits comes from the grimoire the Arbatel de magia veterum, which dates from 1575, where they are described thus:

They are called Olympick spirits, which do inhabit in the firmament, and in the stars of the firmament: and the office of these spirits is to declare Destinies, and to administer fatal Charms, so far forth as God pleaseth to permit them: for nothing, neither evil spirit nor evil Destiny, shall be able to hurt him who hath the most High for his refuge. If therefore any of the Olympick spirits shall teach or declare that which his star to which he is appointed portendeth, nevertheless he can bring forth nothing into action, unless he be permitted by the Divine power. It is God alone who giveth them power to effect it. Unto God the maker of all things, are obedient all things celestial, sublunary, and infernal. Therefore rest in this: Let God be thy guide in all things which thou undertakest, and all things shall attain to a happie and desired end; even as the history of the whole world testifieth and daily experience sheweth. There is peace to the godly: there is no peace to the wicked, saith the Lord.

The same grimoire gives their names and sigils, as well as describing their specific powers. Moreover, these spirits are described as Governors or rulers of hierarchies of spirits underneath them, of provinces in the spiritual realm – and of ages in human history.

“So,” I hallucinate that I hear you ask, “what has all this got to do with the Golden Dawn?”

The following is my own personal theory. It is speculation, but please humour me at least until you get to the end of the article. It is that teachings regarding the Olympic Spirits were going to be given to Adepti in the higher grades of the second order, but – like a lot of things – these teachings were never written, owing to Mathers’ creative juices running out after his estrangement from Westcott. More specifically -

THE GOLDEN DAWN WAS GOING TO FIT THE OLYMPIC SPIRITS INTO AN ELABORATE HIERARCHY – AT THE HEAD OF THE ENOCHIAN SYSTEM!

In the GD, the first Enochian Magic taught – the four Watchtowers – is actually the last part that Dee and Kelley received. I believe that the original intention of the GD was to teach Enochian Magic to its Adepti in reverse order – the Watchtowers first, and the more advanced – which Dee had receive before the Watchtowers – only later. I have seen evidence in private collections, in the form of notebooks of Adepti dating from around 1916, which clearly show that post-schismatic members of the second order were certainly exploring the more advanced stuff, such as the Sigillum Dei Aemeth, along with their other Golden Dawn studies.

Thus the putative structure of GD Enochian Magic would have been something like this:

  • The four Watchtowers, + the Tablet of Union;
  • The thirty Aethyrs;
  • The Tablet of Nalvage;
  • The Tabula Bonorum Angelorum;
  • The Holy Table;
  • The Sigillum Dei Aemeth.

John Dee’s Five Books of Mystery, edited by Joseph H Peterson

However, we can actually take this further – because Dee was performing Angel Magic before he started receiving Enochian and proto-Enochian material. In fact, in the first of his Five Books of Mystery, Dee makes reference to the spirit OCH – who is the Olympic Spirit of the Sun – being the ruler of the then current age. Now the story goes that the couple who owned Dee’s manuscripts before Elias Ashmole got a hold of them lost half the material because their maid, not knowing what they were, used them to drain pies. I am willing to speculate that the lost material contained records of Dee’s magical operations before 1581, and that they would have contained details of Dee working from (amongst other grimoires), the Arbatel de magia veterum.

Thus, it makes sense to place the Olympic Spirits at the head of the Enochian system – a sort of Pre-Enochian or Ur-Enochian system, as it were – because as far as Dee would have been concerned, the Olympic Spirits set the whole context for all his subsequent Angel workings – which would make them very important primal forces indeed.

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Alex komt naar Nederland

Famke Janssen

Ja hoor, dit is relevant!

Hoi! Nederland heeft de wereld zo lief door de jaren heen gegeven: Heineken, Amstel, Jenever, het Noorderlicht, Famke Janssen, etc etc. Het gaf me ook een huis voor een jaar in mijn jeugd, want ik ben een verleden-Erasmus student aan de Rijksniversiteit Leiden. Daarom is het tijd voor mij om iets terug te geven, en dus met nederige dankbaarheid aan deze mooiste landen, ik heb veel plezier in te kondigen dat mijn romans zijn beschikbaar in Kindle-formaat uit www.amazon.nl.

Jazeker! Bovendien heb ik nu een extra pagina geplaatst op mijn website, in het bijzonder voor de Nederlandse (en inderdaad Vlaamse) bezoekers, die de details van al mijn boeken bevat. Voor meer details zie:

Alex Sumner (Nederlands)

Nederlands

Nederlands

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Bad Sex In Fiction

Goat

J/S

The short list for the 2014 Bad Sex In Fiction Award has been announced, and luckily I am not on it. However I am bemused to find that an author I have lionised on this blog as a future contender for the Nobel Prize In Literature, Ben Okri, is! I am further bemused when I find that the passages quoted by the otherwise normally reliable Daily Telegraph do not appear to be particularly objectionable, so I assume that the Literary Review, who runs this reward, has issued this calumny against a Brother Author because they feeling abnormally prudish.

This has inspired me to write a special blog post, departing from the usual Occult theme, in which I discuss how to really write bad sex in fiction! So that my fellow authors can avoid doing so, obviously.

Alex’ Guide To Bad Sex In Fiction

Now the first and most important question is: Is sex necessary in this story?. This may quite justifiably be countered by: Is anything necessary in any given story? The answer to both is the same: if it is necessary for Character Development, and thus Plot development, Yes, if not, No.

This, incidentally, is why of all the sexual encounters that might possibly occur, the least appropriate in Fiction are those between a happily married husband and wife. It being assumed that happily married couples have sex on a regular basis, for them to do so in a Fictional novel is hardly going to provide any new instance of character development – thus it is completely gratuitous.

If, however, there is something unusual about the episode, then that it another matter entirely! (I mean “unusual” about the circumstances leading to the sexual encounter, not necessarily the sex itself – vide infra.) Unusual and remarkable circumstances create opportunities for character development. For example, if they are not in fact happily married, or one or both have an ulterior motive (e.g. murder, going on a long journey never to be seen again, etc), or one of them has been kidnapped by aliens and replaced by an identical imposter, etc.

The next important question is: how often should sex occur in a story? This rather depends on what level you are pitching the story. A useful rule of thumb would be as follows:

  • If you are writing Literary Fiction, then – as many times as your manuscript has received rejection letters. *cough* ahem *cough* I mean, as many times as the plot structure dictates.
  • If you are writing “Erotica,” which in modern terms is how smut-merchants sneak blatant pornography under Amazon.com’s radar – once every other page.
  • If, however, you are writing what may quaintly be labelled “Contemporary Romance,” then this will be same as Erotica, except that the sex should be between two characters who love one another.

Thirdly, you need to consider: how much detail should you go into, with any given sex-scene? After careful consideration, I have come up with a fail-proof formula, to wit:

E is proportional to K over T times s

E is proportional to K over T times s

Where

  • E is the total amount of Explicitness;
  • K is how Kinky the whole scene is;
  • T is how much Trouble a reader would be in if they tried out whatever it was in real life; and
  • s is how likely the author would be sued as a result thereof.

Note that in regard to establishing K, the kinkiness of the author’s own sex-life is not a reliable measure!

Instead, the author should think carefully about who his or her intended audience is, and then set the base-level of kinkiness for sex-scenes in the novel as one degree higher than the audience would normally encounter in their own lives. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people who read fiction are seldom as perverted as the authors who write it. Instead, they come to fiction for an escapist thrill – i.e. what they would not normally experience, which they find vicariously in the exploits of the fictional characters in the novel. A higher standard is thus expected of writers than readers, as we are expected to carry out literary research!

However, by sticking to this formula one will ensure that vanilla fumblings in the missionary position will not normally detain the reader for more than a sentence or two: but instances of the more recondite positions of the Kama Sutra, or bizarre sexual acts such as those which pass for an ordinary night out at Kenneth Grant’s Typhonian OTO, merit more attention.

The variables T and s represent the fact that sometimes it is possible to go too far, although one has to keep this in perspective.

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The Magus by Alex Sumner Option To Purchase Film Rights

The Magus - by Alex Sumner

Front cover artwork © 2009 by the author.

Attention Film Producers – in Hollywood and elsewhere! You now have the chance to bid to take out an option on “The Magus” by Alex Sumner!

The Magus by Alex Sumner: Option to Purchase Film Rights – Ebay page

Hi, I’m Alex Sumner, novelist and writer on the occult. I am willing to make my first novel, “The Magus,” available for adaptation for the big screen: so I am taking the unusual step of using EBAY to negotiate the Option rights.

The successful bidder will sign a standard form film option agreement, in which the winning bid will form the Initial Option Payment. My terms are:

  • Initial Option period – twelve months, extendable by another twelve months subject to payment of
  • Extension payment – equal to either the original Inital Option Payment, or the Initial Option Payment plus Set-Up Bonus if the latter becomes payable in the Initial Option period.
  • (eventual) Purchase price – ten times the Initial Option Payment;
  • 1% of Grosses;
  • Contract subject to the Law of England & Wales and the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England & Wales.
  • Contract to be signed in London, UK.
  • Other terms & conditions in accordance with industry standards.

In order to take advantage of this great opportunity, go to my Ebay page and bid now!

Thanks!

PS: IN ORDER TO FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH MY NOVEL BEFORE ENTERING INTO THE CONTRACT, GO HERE:

“The Magus” by Alex Sumner

United States United Kingdom
Paperback Paperback
Kindle Kindle

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Ouija

Ouija board, Ouija board, can you help me?

Ouija board, Ouija board, can you help me?

Introduction

I first wrote this in February 2011. Since then a number of things have prompted me to expand upon my original article, not least of which is a film entitled Ouija coming out for Hallowe’en. Anyway, my basic thoughts are these:

I am suspicious of Ouija boards, not because they are too occult and hence evil, but because they are not occult enough!

I shall explain. The way that Ouija boards are marketed is so egregious it ought to make a serious occultist cringe. Whenever I see an Ouija board, I cannot help but think of what real Mediums go through to be in a position to communicate with the departed. The traditional method of becoming a Medium has always been to join a “development circle” – membership of which being usually only open to members of a Spiritualist Church – thus ensuring that one is in sympathy with the aims of the circle from the outset. The Development Circle forms a sympathetic environment in which a trainee medium can learn how to practice their art in a safe, sensible and respectful manner – respectful to oneself, to the bereaved, and to the spirit being contacted – and all the while being supported by those of like-mind. Going through a development circle like this might take a couple of years at the very least.

Ouija boards, however, are marketed like “Hey! You and your friends can chat with the dead at your party tonight!!!” No mention of training, but a lot of helpful advice like “Why not make the atmosphere spooky by dimming the lights and lighting some candles? Woooo!”

Ironically, it is theoretically possible to turn an Ouija board into a serious method of spirit communication, if only its users used the same sort of care that a trained Medium would use. It so happens that the techniques of the Medium also have their analogue with those of the Ceremonial Magician – which I describe below. For example, the Pentagram ritual is equivalent to the forming of the circle, and the use of prayer to prepare the Seance. Moreover the Guardian Angel in the process serves the same purpose as Medium’s “Spirit Guide.” The Pentagram Ritual has the effect of banishing all unwanted influences; whilst the Guardian Angel will ensure that only the desired spirit is contacted, and that it speaks the truth whilst doing so.

Anywho: here’s my original article:

Ouija Boards

During the week, I came across a post at patheos.com by some Christian fundamentalist about how evil ouija boards were, and that they were leading children into the occult etc.

NB: As always when trying to claim the moral high ground in cases like this, the writer inevitably invoked a “think about the children” mentality.

I therefore decided to lend my assistance – by explaining how an ouija board may be used safely with minimal risk to the user. A sort of how to contact spirits and have fun doing so, if you were.

Then within the past day or so I find that the site underwent maintenance, after which all the comments (including mine) conveniently ahem I mean mysteriously disappeared! Luckily I had saved what I wrote, so I present it here for your delectation.


An Ouija board can be made safe with the following simple 3 step procedure:

  1. Firstly: perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.
  2. Before attempting to contact any other spirit, invoke a “Guardian Angel” to come down and watch over the board. Ask the Guardian Angel to ensure that only the spirits you desire contact you through the board, and that they speak the truth when they do so. Assuming the Guardian Angel says yes, proceed to …
  3. Contact the desired spirit – get it to acknowledge the Guardian Angel, and provide some proof that it is who it says it is.

Any spirit communication that happens and at least one of these rules hasn’t been observed can and indeed should be discarded. Too much caution cannot be exercised – not necessarily because it is dangerous, but because believing any old rubbish that a passing entity happens to send over detracts from the value of receiving genuine messages.

Also, one should be particularly aware when trying to contact departed loved ones, and they start talking about stuff they would not have known whilst alive. This is highly suspicious. As it is said: “Just because someone is dead, doesn’t make them any more intelligent.”

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The Bells! The Bells!

"... it tolls for thee."

“… it tolls for thee.”

Happy Solar Return to me. When this time of year comes around, I have mixed feelings about calculating my Solar Return chart, because it will supposedly show whether the forthcoming year ahead will be a good or a bad one. Thus with trepidation I crunch the numbers into my astrology program…

HOLY SHIT! FUCK! NOOO!

Ahem. Sorry for that outburst. It’s just that I notice that at the precise moment of the return, the Sun is conjunct Venus, of which it is said:

You will have opportunities for romantic relationships. One person (or several!) may court you intensely. You will receive innumerable invitations, and the choice of accepting will be yours.

Moreover: the Moon, which represents where my heart will lie, is in its exaltation in Taurus, a notoriously marriage-prone sign, in the Seventh House – the house of Marriage.

This is a complete disaster! For years now I have been relying on my obnoxious personality to fend off the thousands of women who solicit my time and attention. Can it be that the stars have other ideas in mind? CRUEL FATE! WHY DO YOU MOCK ME???

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How To Incorporate Tarot with Past-Life Therapy

Tarot

Tarot

You have the power to discover the secrets of your past-lives – using the Tarot! The following method is not a Tarot spread per se, but a way of using Tarot imagery in conjunction with one’s clairvoyant and intuitive abilities. To wit:

The whole point of past-life therapy – discovering one’s previous incarnations, etc – is not to aggrandise oneself by deluding oneself that one was someone really important; nor is it to go on an astral junket; instead it is to discover one’s “Karma,” and to work out how it is relevant to one’s current incarnation.

Now in the Tarot, Karmic-forces are represented by the twenty-two tarot trumps. It therefore stands to reason that they key to discovering your own Karma, and by implication your past-lives, lies within at least one of those twenty-two cards.

I have therefore devised a method by which this can be put into practice, which uses a pendulum as well as the cards. Take your favourite Tarot deck, and extract the Trumps therefrom, laying them out before you with The Fool at the very top, then trumps 1 to 7 in one row, 8 to 14 in the next, and 15 to 21 in the third.

Now, prepare as you would for a divination by banishing all unwanted influences and opening up psychically. Take your pendulum, and spend some time establishing your “Yes” and “No” signals. Now ask your pendulum the following questions:

  • “I intend to find out which tarot card holds the key to knowledge of my past lives. Can I do this?”
  • May I do this?”
  • “Should I do this?”

If you get at least one “No,” then unfortunately the time is not yet right for you to be discovering your past-lives, so stop there.

If, however, you get three “Yes” signals, continue by asking:

  • “Which tarot card holds the key to my knowledge of my past lives? Is it The Fool?” (WAIT FOR SIGNAL)
  • “Is it The Magician?” (WAIT FOR SIGNAL)
  • “Is it The High Priestess?” Etc etc etc

I.e. go through the trumps one by one. Once you get your first “Yes,” do not just stop but ask “Are any other cards relevant as well?” If you get a “Yes,” continue checking the other tarot trumps, otherwise finish there.

If you do end up with more than one Tarot trump, use the pendulum to go through them sorting them into order of importance.

In all cases one should finish by expressing gratitude for the help you have received, and by closing down psychically.

Now that you have at least one Tarot trump, you can discover exactly how this relates to your Karma by clairvoyance, e.g. by treating it as an astral doorway and then going through it, as one would a tattva-card: or by using your knowledge of the card’s qabalistic / astrological / etc symbolic associations, you can devise an appropriate magical ceremony to make contact with a corresponding spirit guide who can explain what it all means in detail.

When I first tried this method on myself, I came up with one particular tarot trump which, as it turned out, happened to represent a good summary of the successes in my life. This I took as meaning that they were successful because I was making use of my Karmic strengths, which helped me make sense of a lot of things. Different people may come up with different tarot trumps by this method – YMMV.

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Is Adrianne Curry being controlled by the Illuminati?… – IlluminatiWatcher

I am currently in the middle of a fairly major magical project which is keeping me busy right now: this explains why I have not been posting so frequently to this blog. I felt, however, in the interests of humanity, that I had to share the following:

Is Adrianne Curry being controlled by the Illuminati?… – IlluminatiWatcher.

Yes, model Adrianne Curry has decided to join Katy Perry amongst the ranks of the world’s most famous secret organisation. The page linked to above cites many convincing reasons why this notorious cosplayer is a member of the Illuminati… except for the most convincing one. Now, however, I, Alex Sumner, world’s greatest expert on the occult and member of several reasonably secret magical, mystical and fraternal organisations (according to my bio in the new Hermetic Tablet) can supply the icing on the cake, as it it were.

Aleister Crowley  and Adrianne Curry

“AC”

AC, get it? Adrianne Curry has the same initials as Aleister Crowley, the notoriously self-described “Great Beast 666.” What’s more, Crowley changed his first name to Aleister because of an Illuminati-secret for achieving greatness, to wit:

I had read in some book or other that the most favourable name for becoming famous was one consisting of a dactyl followed by a spondee, as at the end of a hexameter: like Jeremy Taylor. Aleister Crowley fulfilled these conditions and Aleister is the Gaelic form of Alexander. To adopt it would satisfy my romantic ideals.

Now check this out:

A-LEIS-TER CROW-LEY Dactyl, followed by a spondee
A-DRI-ANNE CUR-RY Dactyl, followed by a spondee

Coincidence? I think not! Proof if any were needed that Curry is not only a member of the Illuminati but she is deliberately using the symbolism of the occultist once dubbed The Wickedest Man In The World. QED. Fnord.

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The Difference Between Lucid Dreaming and Sleep Paralysis Explained

On Twitter there appear to be a large number of people who do not know the difference between Lucid Dreaming and Sleep Paralysis – so much so, that when they experience the latter they think it is the former, and consequently do not want ever to attempt to lucid dream again. Now I want you to understand the following:

LUCID DREAMING AND SLEEP PARALYSIS COULD NOT BE MORE DIFFERENT!

Lucid Dreaming is when you are asleep, dreaming, and aware that you are dreaming whilst doing so.

Sleep paralysis is a natural phenomenon which prevents your physical body responding automatically to the thoughts in your mind when you sleep. Everyone experiences this when they go to sleep and it is perfectly natural – unless you happen to have a sleep disorder like somnambulism (sleep walking). What seems to confuse people on social media is that sometimes it is possible to wake up mentally, and yet find that they are still experiencing Sleep Paralysis, which is what unnerves them. Occultists have claimed in the past that it was due to the astral body not being completely aligned with the physical body. However, it is not the same as Lucid Dreaming, because you are neither Asleep at that point, nor indeed Dreaming.

Incidentally, there is a very simple and easy way to overcome Sleep paralysis, and that is to just relax completely and wait for it to wear off of its own accord. I realised this as a small child, so the idea that Sleep Paralysis was anything of which to be frightened has never occurred to me.

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