Sherry: What's the strangest mystical experience you've had so far?
Ivan: They all had to do with failing In love with my sweetie. Those are the only real ones I can talk about. The other ones I'd rather not talk about because It would all just sound too-- you wouldn't even believe it. You wouldn't believe It If I even started.
Sherry: Ah, now that's not true.
Ivan: I'll leave that one for some very far future autobiography. I've experienced synchronicity In vast waterfalls. But, on the other hand, I did discover very early in the Church of the SubGenlus that If you Ignore those coincidences, they stop happening. They only happen If you're looking for them. When I first started working on the Church of the SubGenlus, for the first couple years, the level of sychronicities, apparent omens, and portents got so completely out of hand that I had to call a halt to It. I thought I was losing my mind. I thought, God damn It, I'm starting to make decisions based on superstitious omens and portents on something that I practically made up.
The Reverend Ivan Stang has a point there. Of course magic works - if you do it enough. As far as changing consciousness goes, anything works if you do it enough. Creating new habits, self-reprogramming, founding new traditions... this is how it's done.
I've talked elsewhere about the "paradigm shift" that happened 1999-2001; not because of anything metaphysical, but because of September 11 combined with Seattle combined with the dot-com crash, combined with the lack of the Y2K problem solving everyone's problems for them. (Although some diehard mystics seem to have just shifted the date till 2012.) In any case, the zeitgeist took a radical turn for the materialist/political around that time, which of course has been for good as well as for evil. Rev. Stang agrees:
I get a big kick out of speaking to pagan gatherings, New Agers and so forth, and basically working them up Into tears of concern and wonderment over the environment, and meanwhile sneaking In all this science and rationalist stuff. You might say we learned our lesson when those escape vessels didn't show up. And although we still believe that everybody should send their thirty dollars to "Bob" to play It safe, also, maybe we should learn how to build our own ships.
And that's actually been the thrust lately. It wasn't really a planned thrust. It came along afterwards, and I'm glad It did. But It's a great follow-up gimmick now. It's like, yeah, well, for now we've learned all we can about the little grey men from outer space and so forth. For the time being UFOIogy does seem to be a dog chasing It's own tall, and rife with buckets of self-delusion everywhere you look. Perhaps It might not be a bad Idea to maybe think about taking care of the spaceship that we're on already, using something besides prayer. You know, It's great for everybody to visualize world peace and pray and so forth, but when you talk about the hundredth monkey, you have to remember the hundredth Manson, or the hundredth Hitler. (laughter) All that other stuff.
Apologies for not posting more. Working on my music - practical magic, for me and hopefully for the audience.