My first dialogue exclusively about 16 Maps of Hell, with Hermitix, is now up, Download here.
The 16 Maps of Hell campaign has now achieved its first two goals and (as you will see in the sidebar), you can now pre-order both the smythe-sewn paperback and the audio book mp3s (estimated release date October 31, 2020).
The final goal is to raise another £2,220 to cover costs of a 50 copies print run of smythe-sewn hardback editions.
If and when this goal is reached, all subsequent funds (including pre-orders) will go towards a simultaneous print-run of perfect-bound copies. Of the 200 first-run of smythe-bound paperbacks, 140 are currently pledged to early contributors, leaving only 60 copies still available.
The difference between perfect-bound (glue) and smythe-sewn (thread) is threefold: aesthetics, durability, and flexibility (smythe-sewn books, I am told, lie open). The perfect-bound paperback will be about $10 cheaper than the smythe-sewn.
Those who selected option 3 before May 24th will also receive the audio book, as promised (option 3 no longer includes the audio book). You will also have the option to pre-order the hardback, once I reach a certain amount in the fundraiser, at which time you should receive an email from me letting you know the moment that window of opportunity is open.
Option 2 is now for either the audio book or T-shirt; those who selected option 2 when it was only for a T-shirt will have the option of receiving the audio mp3s, instead of a T-shirt.
The other edition to the campaign is the inclusion of a 100-page PDF of the introduction and first 2 chapters of Homo Serpiens Redux/Redacted: Emerging from Occultism (Jasun Horsley Vs. Aeolus Kephas), a rewrite + commentary I began last year and abandoned when other projects became more compelling. This PDF will be sent to all those who selected, or selects in the future, options 2 through 6. After the fundraiser ends, it will no longer be available. (How’s that for incentivization?)
Below is the foreword to that uncompleted opus, as further carrots for the aeolian soup.
An Author’s Recantation, 2018
“But in a society like ours which both fundamentally denies objective metaphysical truth, and at the same time provides a vast spectrum of false doctrines, either foolish, unconsciously sinister or deliberately subversive, which masquerade as metaphysics, the person with the potential to be a ‘knower’ is misdirected at every turn, and is in danger of becoming either a religious skeptic, since the religious doctrines he is exposed to seem childish to him (ignorant as he is of their deeper meaning), or an apologist for seemingly more sophisticated doctrines which, unknown to him, are radically opposed to traditional metaphysics.”—Charles Upton, The System of Antichrist
After John Lennon met Yoko Ono and left the Fab Four, he wrote a song called “God,” about how he used to be the Walrus but now he was simply “John.” In the song, he lists a bunch of things he no longer believes in, ending with the Beatles. Any rewrite of (what was once) Homo Serpiens: An Occult History of DNA from Eden to Armageddon, by Aeolus Kephas, seems destined to turn into a very long, faintly wistful list of all the things I, the author, no longer believe in, ending with “Aeolus Kephas.”
I no longer believe in DNA, occultism, apotheosis, sorcery, psychedelics, rings of power, or “magik.” I am even having doubts about the power of myths or Jungian psychology. Not that I dis-believe these things, nor do I intend to deny that they may have limited value as tools for understanding the human condition (starting with my own). But I’m not especially interested in using them anymore (except maybe for Jungian psychology), not even in the abstract, and as a result, I find much of Homo Serpiens to be at best irrelevant, at worst, downright erroneous. The question is, then, where does that leave this text? The answer is: with a whole lot of holes in it. For one thing, there are an awful lot of quotes that I used to prop and beef up my arguments that will have to go.
Homo Serpiens was published in 2009. In 2013, I started work on what eventually became Prisoner of Infinity: UFOs, Social Engineering, and the Psychology of Fragmentation. During the process of writing, I discovered a truly mind-boggling tapestry of interconnecting groups, individuals, and agendas that appeared to have been responsible for a very long-term program of “memetic engineering,” namely, the seeding and watering in our culture of a vast and complex set of memes, or belief systems, relating to spiritual, religious, scientific, political, and metaphysical ideas. As a result of what I uncovered, names that appear frequently in Homo Serpiens—and that are cited as reliable sources—names such as Whitley Strieber, William Irwin Thompson, Aleister Crowley, Terence McKenna, Carlos Castaneda, Graham Hancock, Michael Harner, G.I. Gurdjieff, and Joseph Campbell, now appear to be very far from reliable. In fact, I now consider them to be either witting or unwitting agents of those same programs of cultural engineering and mass deception.
This is a wide spectrum, but there are degrees of complicity. Even so, I am aware that the core problem isn’t so much having relied on the wrong sources, but relying on external sources at all, and that I risk making the same error, all over again, if I rely heavily on newly discovered authors, such as Charles Upton or Rene Guenon, to help formalize this intellectual departure for me. On the other hand, no man is an island, and I am currently seeking tools by which to extricate the bad from the good, both in my own psyche and its products, such as Homo Serpiens. Sometimes the best way to drive out a nail is with another nail.
In the original, 2009 author’s note to this book, I described it as a work of “Imaginal landscaping”: “an attempt to use myths, both ancient and modern, as maps for exploration of the psyche and, by extension, reality at large.” I wrote:
While history is a dead thing, a mere record of past events, written by a controlling elite for the maintenance of power, myth is a living artefact, an interactive medium that comes fully into existence only via contact with the human psyche. While history is pre-interpreted, myth, like dreams, is not. Its meanings depend as much or more upon our response to the narratives described as on any inherent meaning found in the story itself. Homo Serpiens is a mythic narrative about mythic narratives, a meta-myth of metanoia, and a work of “gonzo occultism.” Nothing of what follows is “true,” in the sense of being established by history, science, or Consensus “fact.” Far from it. As such, this work is perhaps best described as an autobiography, albeit a transpersonal one—memoirs of a local DNA complex.
So far so good. Unfortunately, the above was more of a disclaimer than an honest declaration of intent. There is very little of an autobiographical voice in Homo Serpiens, 2009, and that is perhaps the first thing I would hope to introduce into it, as much as humanly possible when working with such grandiose, authoritarian, abstract, and belief-soaked material. In fact, I would be inclined, if it were possible, to strike this book from the Akashik record entirely, pleading hubris and youthful folly (and conceit) as my excuse. Since this is not possible, and since the work was published and has affected an unknown number of psyches, it behooves me to at least offer a remedy, or an enema, for any conceptual contamination it may have caused. What interests me most about this text, now, in fact, is just how much it subscribes to—and helps promote—many of the beliefs, values, and methods which I now consider misguided and pernicious, even while adhering to values which I still consider right and good. It is a god-awful muddle, in other words, of wrong-headedness mixed with a sound intuitive sense of goodness, that results in truths being mangled to fit in with “philosophies” (ideologies) that see truth itself as a tool for the will to power, a means to the end of “storming heaven.”
Aeolus wound up his opening note with this:
Homo Serpiens is also an apocalyptic work that attempts to understand—and prepare for—the critical juncture at which we find ourselves as a species. And if it is true that we are now at “the end of time”—that is, the completion of an evolutionary cycle—it becomes all the more pressing to cast our gazes back, one final time, towards our beginnings.
Equating the end of time with the completion of an evolutionary cycle is perhaps a nice, tidy example of the afore-mentioned muddle-headedness running through this work; for when time is no more, what becomes of evolutionary cycles? I believed that, with Homo Serpiens, I was mapping a kind of species “hero’s journey,” showing the means by which humanity—via the audacity and courage of superior individuals or “sorcerers”—was allowing God to come all the way into conscious, human, temporal existence. That human beings could access divine consciousness—reality, big R, or heaven—via their own efforts and ingenuity, in fact that this was the only way for this to happen, as if God Himself (though I would not have allowed God a sex) needed Man to embody Him, in order to exist at all. Or at least, to evolve into a new, greater, deeper manifestation. That, to invert a religious saying, God’s extremity (limits) was Man’s opportunity. I now see things somewhat differently.
In The System of Antichrist, Charles Upton writes:
Cultural trends develop around the infra-psychic zeitgeist, and within the context of these trends, organized groups grow up in response to the forces which have brought them into being. In some cases these groups are simply made up of people who espouse the modernist or postmodernist myths determined by the “spirit of the times.” Other groups, however, will openly worship the forces which have inspired them, not understanding that they have in fact taken a stand against the perennial wisdom, the metaphysical truths of the ages. These Guénon terms “anti-traditional” or “pseudo-initiatic.” Most New Age organizations would fall under this definition. And lastly, there are other groups whose goal is to deliberately undermine revealed religion and traditional metaphysics, so as to bring in the reign of the Antichrist; these, in Guénon’s terms, are the agents of “counter-tradition” and the “counter-initiation;” they are “Satan’s contemplatives,” whose role is to subvert, not simply exoteric religion, but esoteric spirituality as well.
I think that what I mapped out in Homo Serpiens was closer to a tragedy than a tale of victory. I hope that the material in here—if it still has any relevance at all—serves to show how human beings—the author, anyway—will perform every possible contortion and effort to avoid surrendering to Reality (to death, mortality, awareness of limitation, and to God), including, finally, the artful assembling of an almost (a massively loaded almost) perfect counterfeit of the infinite and absolute, so as to get to have our communion wafer and eat it. That this effort is doomed to failure, and that, in its very failure, lies God’s opportunity.
This might seem, paradoxically, to vindicate those efforts at storming the pearly gates. If the fool, Man, persist in his folly, he shall become wise? Perhaps, but not through his own efforts but only as a consequence of exhausting them. And that God—our own true nature and essence—is waiting on one thing above all: for me to reach this point of exhaustion and apparent defeat, at which I am able to see, and own, my folly through God’s eyes. To see oneself as God sees one, after all (however painful), is to see, and be, as God is.
Only and simply as it ever has been.