Over the course of the week I’ve been feeling a peculiar thing. I’ve recently begun reading Don Webb’s The Seven Faces of Darkness to find out about what he refers to as the Typhonian Current, and on one of the early pages, I read about Don Webb outlining two approaches towards magick he encountered: the practical occultists who prefer simply to use magick and want to explore and manipulate the world around them but eschew research, logic, or precision, and the scholarly occultists who love research and value logic and reason while remaining reluctant to put into practice the theories they discover. Webb felt that a synthesis of the two is possible. This reminded me of what good game design should be, as outlined by Ernest Adams and Andrew Rollings in Fundamentals of Game Design. Some people think game design is an artistic process, predicated principally on imagination and creativity, and game designers are thus artists seeking raw aesthetic and creative expression, while others think game design is only a kind of engineering, predicated principally on methodology and the implementation of rules for play rather than creativity or aesthetic expression, but in actuality game design is neither art nor pure engineering, but a craft that must bring together both creativity and careful planning and combine aesthetic and functional elements to create a well-functioning and enjoyable game, with the goal of entertainment in mind. Thus, a synthesis of two approaches, or rather two disciplines, is required of good game design. And I can’t help thinking that the more I think of that idea of game design the more I might find ways of applying that far outside that, which I suppose might serve as a decent contingency for if game design at university doesn’t work out for me.
The idea of this kind of synthesis seems familiar to me, and I relate it to the themes of Order (or Law) and Chaos. For the camps described by Don Webb, the practical occultists seem like a more chaotic approach at the expense of precision or research of theory, while the scholarly occultists seem like a more orderly approach at the expense of practice. For game design, the element of creativity and artistic expression seems like it can be related to the chaotic principle, while the implementation of rules of play and the presence of methodology and careful planning clearly represents a contrasting orderly principle. And game design and magick doesn’t feel like the only area where this synthesis could be noticed in areas of my life and personal interests, as I think many of my personal interests and tastes are not solely chaotic. For instance, metal. While I don’t claim to know much about music theory, but I have feeling there is more to the metal music I love than just raw and liberating chaotic expression and sonic aggression. Part of me suspects that it feels chaotic, but at the same time that force is brought out by technique and good musicianship. And although not all metal music is particularly technical, I think it requires at least more sophistication than punk rock music, or for that matter your average mainstream rock hit. In my own world as a creator, I think I have organized my creation in some way before, and how it might be, though this may be partly because I had making my own video game in mind a lot for a while, and when I create my world I have often put it in the context of making of game at least in my mind. I believe in freedom, but I also recognize that in our world freedom tends to be best preserved in systems that are built upon the premise of preserving liberty. I usually lean towards the belief that this requires a meritocratic system (due to the frequent failure of democracy by virtue of its vulnerability to mob mentality and unbalanced avarice), one in which leaders and officials are elected on the basis of their talent, ability, virtue, and strength of character, which would invariably require a certain amount of organization and order. Such a world would need whose who are fit to lead to inspire order, but it should also allow people to grow and influence that system by their own talents and self-belief, their own capacity to disseminate order as well as, invariably, their own desire to stake their own claim in the world and fulfill their own desires, so it would be a dynamic world order.
Not to mention, even though I’ve proudly proclaimed Chaos as a glorious thing, I have been thinking I want some structure in my life, especially now that I’m a second year university student who has not only various interests and desires, but also commitments and the obligation to study and/or do coursework. In my mind this is particularly true for me while I’m doing game design because we’re expected to do a lot of planning. It’s not just about making assets and going into engine, it’s about managing your time properly. It’s not just about doing the work, but how you intend to go about it and how much time you spend on it. I’m told that in industry you’re less likely to be hired for a masterpiece of an asset that took weeks to create than for something you can do in days, because in industry time is money and neither time nor money are limitless. Not to mention, particularly outside the course, there’s things I like to do or want to do but I haven’t been making much time for in the past few weeks or even more than the past month. Things like drawing, art-making, reading, gaming, guitar practice, etc. Part of me feels that, although chaos is a wonderful thing, it has its ups and downs. Chaos is wonderful because there’s no restrictions imposed by others, that means you’re never forced to do anything, but it might also mean there’s no guarantee of any motivation to do things beyond your desires, and your desires aren’t always very productive if you think about it. But of course, that at least hinges on the premise that you aren’t going to give yourself any direction without any kind of push. For a project to succeed, or even to achieve your goals in life, you need personal investment towards a goal, the will to achieve, but you also need direction, sometimes even a good kick in the ass if need be, to get things going.
This may seem strange, but I have this feeling recently that my life as I have lived it may have in some way been leading up to the completion of a realization that hinges on the dissolution of the boundaries between order and chaos, through which I understand not only the self, but the true nature of that life force I would have previously referred to principally as Chaos. Currently I see structure on an individual level as an aspect of will and imagination, and light and darkness as, though possessing distinct characteristics, shades of each other or of the same kind of force. And I remember talking about the dissolution of the boundaries between intelligence and emotion. Now, I would think of this as being predicated on much the same thing. I don’t believe in Order as in strict adherence the laws and rules set out by others, with no self-interest or freedom to bend the rules, but I do believe in the Self creating its own order, and in your own world you’re preserving the way it’s arranged. In a way, these are very much aspects of the self, and at the middle of the polarity, perhaps the full, raw (yet elegant), empowering and enrapturing power and life force of the self, the will, and of imagination; perhaps, the Black Flame in its truest form, defined not by light and darkness, or the power of just Chaos. And all in all, it’s important to remember the ultimate importance of the Self in the grand scheme of things. That’s the Luciferian way (and I guess the Satanic way as well) as I see it, and I think it’s also my way.
This all spawns more from reflection than ritual, but I think ritual might lead this been taking to a whole other level under the right conditions. I think art would help a lot too, and I have a series of paintings I wish to create along this theme.
Baphomet, a symbol of the synthesis of light and darkness, and order and chaos.