I did not get much feedback on this essay.
I didn’t expect this on to get too much positive review, in part because it criticizes what it largely a primary assumption in most New Age thought, neopaganism included: evolution progresses up, and we must evolve up toward the divine. The skeptic Chaoist in me questions this assumption, and I imagine it irked a lot of people, especially those who base so much of their identity on how “evolved” and enlightened they are.
The only feedback I really received was the following comment in my guestbook at Blacklight Metaphysics:
a very few sentences is all it takes to recognize one of those bored,
lifeless, argumentative, aimless pseudointellects just wanting someone
to listen and care……what kind of a bullshit website are you trying
to have here?!?! “what makes us thing the Spirit NEEDS to Evolve?!!”
goddamn it, man……the ONE thing EVER EVER EVER that doesn’t NEED
Questioning assumptions is primary to Chaos Magic. Everything should be questioned, tested, and verified, and if your feelings counter what experience tells you, you should probably re-evaluate what causes those feelings (or change reality, but I suppose that’s an existential point). I question the assumption of progress because: 1) I have seen no real evidence to support a priori progression, at least beyond an emotional need for superiority; 2) I have seen too much detrimental activity predicated by such progressive thought, from New Age and neopagan exclusivism and elitism, to facist socialist and communist thought seeking to enforce progress on others by determining how they shoudl live their lives. A fascist New Age utopia does not sound pleasant to me, and I’m going to question any thoughts that such philosophies are based upon.
It scares me a little that the poster 1) chose to remain totally anonymous, not allowing me to respond, defend myself, or challenge his assumptions at all; 2) Asserted emphatically not that he was right, but that his presumption of rightness was on a topic that should not, and could not, ever be questioned; 3) the obvious dependence of emotion on his assertion, rather than any kind of reason; and 4) his instant resort to personal attacks (I’m surprised he didn’t call me a Nazi — which would have been hilarious given their acceptance of progressive evolutionary thought!) This person is not a heavy thinker, and reacts emotionally to things he can’t understand (or doesn’t want to), making him ripe for any charismatic leader — be it an author, a guru, or a shiny new president — to direct with little effort.