Pop psychology studies and
rosy cheeked optimists who always
turn the conversation away from unpleasant topics
and seem to be afraid of the depths
and seem to be afraid of digging.
Yes easy to pick on sometimes even
transparently stupid but
they have a point.
Thinking about negative things affects your performance.
It affects your ability to do
anyone who has ever played darts knows this
to say nothing of more complex pursuits.
And it goes beyond that
those little whorls of chaos
whether they are drug addicts
or perpetual victims
or just helpless fools
the people who can’t get chaos outside of their life
who regale you with their medical problems
who are always tired
or who are always angry always
fighting with the bus driver or the waitress
throwing things breaking things.
Have you ever known someone
who broke things consistently
without ever displaying anger?
Just kind of a blanket insensitivity to how things work?
They kill things by “accident” as well.
The superstitions about vampires and the evil eye
phenomenologically sum up generations of experience
even if the causality is fucked — the basic idea–
That negative, disorganized, sickness obsessed people
will make you physically weaker, dumber, less creative
more prone to accident and disease is
The dark has much to recommend it
Dark Eros, Thanatos, the facticity of your own death
the car wreck charisma of disaster
the vicarious enjoyment of suffering
that you do not have to work out
the fascination with the facial expressions of agony
these are real and valid subjects of art and meditation
and find places of honor in every spiritual tradition
of age and depth.
But they can also unground, and weaken and poison.
The magician needs to stay in the center of the circle
surrounded by the names of the positive forces
armed with weapons of power and craft
and the demons need to stay in the triangle
where they can be vivisected and interrogated and understood.
If you make a habit of letting the demons
run roughshod over your life
(or if you traffic much with the people who do)
you will find yourself working a lot harder
then you really have to.