I have had a moment of spiritual quandary that has met on the crossroads with political and social quandaries of others. And I have a question at the crossroads: are you a wizard? If not you should be.
But let’s first talk about what a wizard is.I don’t mean some one who can turn a person into a newt ( I thought I did that but turns out Newt Gingrich acts like a newt).
So what does a wizard in the occultist sense do? He starts first with personal discipline and grounding. He creates a sanctified or sacred space. And using the tools of a wizard he bends the creative forces of the universe either to his faith(as with the neopagans) or with his will.
In this occultist sense I am very much a wizard (though with little sorcery) though I lack some of the tools of a wizard’s craft (discipline being one of them)
We look at celebrities, and some of the people at the top of our social order are enchanted (successful without being wizards) most of them apply the same tools of the wizard.
Hobbes Leviathan, a foundational work in what lead to a liberal-democratic-capitalist order not only created a sanctified space for wizardry, and taught us the tools of its wizardry…. The leviathan teaches us to summon a servant that can become a terrible master.
And in our federal reserve we see the famous lesson of wizardry taught by Walt Disney and his ink and paint homunculus mickey mouse. A great film lesson which drew from the wizardry of its time and the wizardry of another age.
So economically, culturally, technologically, and politically we exist in a world of wizards. And the wizard world often times leads to antidemocratic and anti republican outcomes.
Some wizard will always be the fat kid in slitherin to the pinnacle of wizardry in harry potter. But the fact that we cannot see the wizardry in how the world is shaped the wizards become removed from the world to their own enchanted alter realms. This separation promotes the antidemocratic and antirepublican notions and separates people from their wizard power.
I was inspired by some words in National Review to start to think about the world as a Wizard
1. He is a product of what Neil Postman called the “now this” society. We watch the news of destruction in Joplin, Mo., and then a commercial for Tide, followed by a commercial for a slick horror film, followed by a story about a celebrity divorce. Some of it is real, some of it isn’t. All of it is high-quality and entertaining. All of it is treated in a fleeting way.
Thus, we begin to live our own lives as a series of disjointed fleeting events that we judge for their entertainment value … and create a society that makes it possible for a New York representative to tweet a picture of his underwear to a 22-year-old Seattle coed while watching a hockey game being played in Canada.
2. He is a product of the age of the digitized body. Marketing yourself isn’t just for celebrities anymore. Now, we all market ourselves, choosing just the right Facebook profile picture and photo albums to tell the story we want to about our lives. We start to divorce our “self” from our actual body. This phenomenon reaches its extremes in avatars and sexting: The digital me becomes the exciting me.
Thus we are create a society where a member of Congress is able to carry on inappropriate relationships with half a dozen women he has never met and send his body’s constituent parts to the four corners of the nation from the privacy of his TV room.
3. He is a man in the age of “wimps and barbarians.” In this digital arrangement, female identity takes a terrible hit: A woman becomes valued for her sexuality above all. But as Terrence Moore points out, so does male identity. He said men become “barbarians” or “wimps.” Barbarians are emotionally insensitive selfish men who do the kinds of things former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is accused of (and Arnold Schwarzenegger has admitted to): Treating women as means to pleasure without regard for their best interests. A “wimp” is very different but ends in the same place: He uses women thoughtlessly in order to feed his emotional neediness.
This creates the kind of guy who does things like what tweetmate Meagan Broussard says Weiner did. “He was trying to get me to talk about myself sexually. … He would ask me weird things, like ‘Did you miss me?’ I didn’t understand that — how could I miss someone I hadn’t met and didn’t know?”
4. He grew up in a world where “family” and “religion” became abstract terms. Instead of growing up in a culture of families staying together for better or worse, he grew up in the divorce culture where other arrangements can always be made (I don’t mean that he was a child of divorce; he was, but that is a secondary consideration). And instead of growing up in a culture where religion has to do with what you believe and how you behave, he grew up in a culture where, as Moment magazine put it “Weiner has always been assertive about his Jewishness” but “doesn’t belong to a synagogue or consider himself close to a single rabbi.”
This invoking of Anthony Weiner to me casts why being a wizard and shaping the Post Modern world (Being the Ubermensch) or becoming the last man (shaping the world around you) is a conflict that lies under the surface of our larger political conflicts. People are critical of the Material and Consumer cultures we have today, but these cultures are dominated by people who let things define them…..they do not define their things.