metaphorge23 (metaphorge23) wrote,
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Seizing Power by Stephen Mace

There were some aspects of this book that were somewhat interesting but there were only a few revelations contained within its pages. Since I am a solo practitioner, his information on disseminating power in occult organizations, while interesting, was rather pointless for me to read. The structure of power within such groups is the reason that I don't belong to one. I felt that Peter J. Carroll had a more interesting take on group structures in Liber Kaos; describing his initial motivations for the organization of the Pact. Since that has now changed into a "more typical" organization it shows that the power plays inherent in many occult organizations are something that may naturally develop due to the personalities of individuals who seek identification within groups rather than in the structure of the groups themselves. Even when provided with a opportunity to negate the stratification of power within a group, in the end it all boils down to "whose wand is bigger than whose."

His description of the "Mesosphere" and its application within the Aeonic-like structure of Oswald Spengler's view of culture and empire was interesting. I think that a mesosphere does act as a medium that helps to maintain a culture while it goes about the business of creating and overwhelming other cultures so that, even as a culture peaks and then decays, it can perpetuate itself.

His response to this construct is to disengage from its means of maintenance (The Media)which is something that I find untenable and frankly ridiculous. I believe that the Mesosphere is the aspect of culture that is most susceptable to change and that one needs to participate in culture in order to affect it. One needs to use discernment in order to filter out those influences that one finds disagreeable. While the current availability and manipulation of symbols and emotions that happens within electronic mass media is something that is almost overwhelming (especially the pervasive commercialism which accompanies the communications it sends), to reject it for this reason alone is more like surrender than resistance. The title of the book is Seizing Power not REJECTING Power.

While it may be impossible to wrestle control of mass media from the hands of corporate hands, it is possible to carefully select what programs and music one accepts simply through intellectual effort and not slipping into the habit of lazy channel surfing or passive inundation of media through overwhelming exposure which allows for the manipulation of one's instincts and emotions.

Rather than just standing around and waiting for the media to present one with entertainment/morality/consensus on what is desirable and necessary in life (either in terms of what is "cool" or in terms of what is acceptable in terms of behavior and conduct), one needs to take an active role in determining the validity and necessity of the accompanying assumptions and underlying implications of what media is.

There will always be a cultural assumption and corporate ethos inherent in media that is not handcrafted in order to communicate something and such media (made without the use of creative intent--but rather for corporate gain) is always suspect and needs to be taken as such.

To rely on mass communication as one's sole means of entertainment or aesthetics turns one into a passive consumerist blob. Ephemeral and transitory entertainment and experiences like theatre, live music (when it is actually performed live), dancing, and reading decent books (rather than just trash)are things that electronic media can't duplicate and, in fact, have trouble translating into visceral entertainment. Watching a show on tape is never the same as actually being there and to experience something that exists on more than just the audio/visual level enlivens the individual and creates transformative experiences rather than simple events that transpire in front of the person rather than inside them.

Mace's idea of transforming a culture through subtle means rather than violence is a good point. Larger changes in the structure of a culture have been subtle and long-term rather short, sudden and swift. Once a culture's destiny has been fulfilled, it is susceptible to the influence of change from the inside rather than change from external forces. Mace's point on this is correct. But he never details how to go about changing things from the inside or what he feels needs to be changed (other than the mesosphere). While I don't need a step-by-step handbook in terms of what a revolution is and what such a revolution should entail, it would have been interesting to see what means he feels could be used to create this desired state of transformation.

In the end, I feel that my own posts on social action covered the areas he discussed and provided concrete examples of how to initiate such changes. I was hoping the book would provide me with more means by which to ferment such change, but in the end it didn't and therefore, I found it unsatisfying.
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