... yeah, so I'm coming very close to understanding that, as far as understanding goes, Cramulus is probably right and I wrote everything I needed to write on these subjects a couple of years ago, when I first found the books which provide the "missing link" to my ideas. But the issue was that I have spent the last almost-five years on this blog attempting to give a rational justification for the embrace of the irrational. A worthwhile project, but one which I realised with a jolt yesterday I have not actually been practicing in my own life.
I've talked about, if you are serious about introducing "light from the Better World" into the closed system of entropy which is the Real World of Horrible Jobs, the need to "give up your identity" to the Higher Power that you've devoted yourself to. I suppose I underestimated how difficult that is because giving up your identity means giving up your mind, and giving up your little world. (Or at least be prepared to give those things up... if you do it right you will get them back later, all cleaned and tuned up. As Crowley put it, you put yourself together again on the other side of the Abyss.)
The last one is a concept which has just congealed for me. Just as one of those insects that lives on the bottom of ponds glues rocks and shells and sticks to itself to defend itself, your nafs / mind / ego / identity creates a little world around itself. This world is made out of possessions, habits and social relations - but only the most very important ones, the ones which shield you from the vertiginous abyss. You know - your drinking buddies, your favourite intarwebz sites, your favourite albums and books, your family, your loved ones, your local sports team. All the things that "tell you who you are" (at least in terms of the Matrix, which as we know, cannot really do such a thing).
But it also makes you blind to the real world. It's a hermetic seal, if you'll pardon the pun. You can't know Reality, and therefore what you are really supposed to be doing in order to bring Light into the world, unless you are prepared to step out of your little world and leave it behind, like a hermit crab does when it grows too big.
And the only thing that can induce you to do that - as the 12-Step programmers know perfectly well - is an act of faith, the mind / ego / nafs / identity just giving up and letting a Higher Power (call it God, an Angel, a praeternatural intelligence, the Spirit of the Age, your own right brain / Higher Self / atman) do it. To get back to politics, one of the reason the Leninist sects (possibly the anarchists as well) have put themselves into a dead end is that they built a party to change the world, but the party has become the extended ego of the participants - they have all the fuel they need but they refuse to burn it, and if anyone else burns their own fuel they're mocked for "liquidationism".
The Sufis say that this is generally not possible without a Master - as a focus for the great power of Love that you need to be able to make this happen. I have one of those now, so we'll see what happens.
I realise now that my pride is my shame - I really did think my mind could do everything itself. "What a sucker I had been. What a fool. The answer was there all the time," to quote Dr Frank'n'Furter. Everything I've really achieved, I haven't achieved myself - Higher Self did so acting through me. (You can tell that because I didn't think about it, it just "came to me", and I could barely remember it afterwards.)
So, that's my job next - building the faith to leave the mind behind. In politics, building the intellectual and activist strength to leave organisational forms behind. And hopefully in music I can leave a few holes in my solos so maybe some Music will fall through.
A very important warning: because books work on the level of the mind, they can't really teach you jack-shit about anything important in the real world. They can help your mind make sense of your experiences in the real world, but you need those real world experiences first. I've certainly had experiences reading books which seemed impenetrable garbage the first time, and the second time (after a few years doing it hard), they answer all my questions in retrospect. Probably the same goes for blogs, hint hint.