This is a response to Seani Fool over at PagAnarchy.net who wrote a blog listing his 15 books that most shaped who he is today. Amongst others, he has asked me to share the 15 that most influence me currently.
1. The Apophenion: A Chaos Magic Paradigm by Peter J Carroll. I’m only half way through this book so I’m not sure if I should count it yet, but since this is about what is influencing me right now, and through my current action of reading it and enjoying it, it is occupying a lot of my thoughts. So far I think this is Carroll’s best book to date. It seems to expand a lot upon some of the concepts hinted at in PsyberMagick, and present them in a much more lucid and coherent arguement. It also ties various threads together in a way that appeals to the way I think.
2. Promethea by Alan Moore. I don’t care if it is a graphic novel (or more a series of graphic novels), it continues to inspire.
3. The Invisibles by Grant Morrison. Same applies to this one. I don’t care if Grant and Alan apparently don’t care much for each other, I’ve never met either of them, so its just about appreciating their respective creations.
4. Visual Magick and Seidways by Jan Fries. Okay, I know that’s two so I’m cheating a bit. But I think these two books compliment each other so well that I think they could be combined into one big volume. Possibly an even bigger one with Hellrunar thrown in for good measure. Reading both these books changed the way I performed and thought about magick forever, and helped liberate me from thinking of myself exclusively as a Chaos Magician.
5. PsyberMagick by Peter J Carroll. If I hadn’t read this book, I probably wouldn’t have signed up to the Illuminates of Thanateros all those years ago. As a result, reading it shaped the pretty much all the path of magic I have tread ever since, including the formation of KIA. It was the first Peter Carroll book I read to, didn’t read the others until after I was in the IoT. I loved the humour in it, and enjoyed the format even though I was yet to read Crowley’s Book of Lies at the time.
6. BLAST your way to MegaBuck$ with my SECRET sex power formula! and other reflections upon the spiritual path by Ramsey Dukes. This book was my introduction to Duke’s theories, including Johnstone’s Paradox. My life would never be the same again. I still think every so often about recreating an old command line program I made for doing magick by hacking into the computer that controls our universe. It worked a bloody treat.
7. Paradoxical Emblems of D A Freher. Reading this book caused me to make a choice. That choice changed my life and freed me from certain bad decisions I’d made in the past and certain undesirable associations I’d made. But not in the way that it made me think about those things. No. In the way that reading that book is an act of magick and the choice you make when reading it plants a seed.
8. Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson. Doesn’t guarantee you won’t get brainwashed again, but makes it a lot harder for someone to do so over a sustained length of time. See through the bullshit of those who would control you. Whoever they are.
9. The Devil and the Goddess by Gyrus. Proving that a book doesn’t need to have many pages to be brilliant. This book combined with Seidways by Jan Fries to really inspire me thoughts on the importance of serpent imagery in magick.
10. Anarchism, arguments for and against by Albert Meltzer. Another little booklet that has greatly inspired.
11. Spectacular Times. A series of booklets. About seeing through the lies and propaganda.
12. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. Not the definition of consciousness I feel comfortable, but other than getting into an arguement about what consciousness ‘is’, a damn good hypothesis about the way certain mind phenomena came to be.
13. Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson. A virtual reality internet, a hacker hero with deadly martial arts skills, futuristic skaters that harpoon cars to hitch rides and a bad guy who has a nuclear warhead in the sidecar of his motorbike. Strange religious cults, babalonian mythology, glossolalia, the Mafia and an America so taken over by corporations the state barely exists. Could a be kick arse movie if they did a good job of it. A rollercoaster of a read. Damn good author.
14. Principlia Discordia. Fnord.
15. The Way of the Sacred by Francis Huxley. The common currents and themes of the worlds religions and mystery traditions exposed. Another book with a lot to say about serpents in symbolic, mystical and mythological senses.