This will be an odd little entry, as in it I hope to address questions of authenticity concerning both the T and the sorcery of my blog’s subtitle. Particular questions, not general ones. I hope the result is somehow coherent…
I’ve read in blogs and various places several times phrases similar to this — “I consider an armchair magician to be a parody of a magician.”
Similarly some feminists, mostly last-generation ones or maybe the generation before that (the history of feminism isn’t my forte), have said of transsexual women things like this — “He’s a man who has mutilated his body” or even “He’s a man who’s mutilated his body in order to exercise male privilege over women.”
None of those is a direct quote, but rather a paraphrase of a direct quote. I’m not going to get directly involved with people who make such claims nor with their foolishness. For reasons that I hope are rather obvious, if you’ve been following my little blog, when it’s claimed that any subgroup of people are mere parodies of real members of said group, I get frustrated, angry. I’ll start with armchair magicians, so called.
An armchair magician is one who reads about the occult, about magic, who has probably over time accumulated considerable knowledge of the bewildering maze that is occultism and can thread that maze intellectually, but chooses not to practice magic. An armchair magician who never speaks of his (pardon the non-inclusive language, English simply is a sexist tongue) interest to practitioners perforce remains unknown, so the armchair magicians I’m concerned with here must also perforce have reached out in some way to magical practitioners. Perhaps on online forums, perhaps they never miss Pantheacon. For this reaching out they get called, by some, parodies. (N.B.: I’m using the term magician here as a blanket term for any practitioner of magic — there are no doubt armchair witches, armchair sorcerers, armchair vodouissants, etc., etc.) —I deplore this.
Think of the huge amount of knowledge some of these folks must possess. Practicing magic takes time away from learning the lore of magic. The armchair magician has no praxis to exhaust his time. All that knowledge isn’t sitting idle in his unconscious. The human brain and mind are always busy. I imagine that knowledge as being worked on by the unconscious, that new neural pathways and neural maps are being forged, new connections between knowledge and knowledge are forming all the time. If this is true — and who can or can’t say as of the present time that it isn’t true? — then the armchair magician’s mind may well be transmutating his accumulated knowledge into wisdom, all unknown to the armchair magician himself. The transmutation of knowledge into wisdom — that’s magic.
Again, who at this present time can say it isn’t so? I do not mean to be saying I believe this of all non-practicing occultists, but I believe this is quite possibly the case for some, for a few, or maybe for most. I simply do not know and neither does anyone else. My idea is a what if. I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. —This what if is the reason I wish those who call armchair magicians parodies would STFU. I’m not saying that these practitioners have no right to call whoever they wish a parody. They have the right to act and speak stupidly. Many exercise this right daily. Visit any occult forum online and see for yourself.
Hence I regard the armchair magician as a member of a subgroup of all bona fide magicians.
As I answered the question posed by the armchair magician with a what if, I’m going to address the question of who are the real trans* people and who aren’t by means of a what if.
What if someday genetic markers are found that can with great accuracy “diagnose” transsexuality in a person? I put the word “diagnose” in scare quotes because transsexuality is not a defect nor a genetic disorder. There’s a great probability this test will in fact be possible some day. But what if, say, a transsexual woman were to take this genetic test and find that she does not possess the “right” genetic markers? Would she then somehow, in that instant, become a fake transsexual woman? Would she, in short, in that instant become a man who has mutilated his body and is parodying a real woman? No.
Why not? Because we cannot and must not regard genetics as fate. To do so is to reduce the human being to the status of a machine. All humans have their robotic, machine-like behaviors. But men and women, the genderqueer and the intersexed, are also transcendent spirits. We all possess within us a spark of the Divine. Another way of saying the same thing is that we all exist in part at the metaphysical level of perfection, the highest wrung on the ladder. We are each of us a potential Buddha, we are all potentially just like the Master Yeshua. To reduce the human being to the level of a machine is, to my mind, blasphemy. Genetics is machinery. We are far more than our genes.
That brings us back to the transsexual woman of the near future who has failed the genetic test for transsexuality. Again, does that mean that she is not a real woman? No. She remains a woman for no other reason than she chose to become a woman. Choice … freedom to chose … without these we are each of us doomed to the state of machinery. Do you wish that for yourself? I doubt it. If you already believe that of yourself — in other words if you have already chosen the state of the machine for yourself, as many of the more militant atheists out there do — then I pity you. Poor machine… Only you’re not, you can kill your esprit but you can’t kill the spirit that you are.
Any male-bodied person who chooses to become a woman, is a woman. Any female-bodied person who chooses to become a man, is a man. Anyone at all who cannot or will not choose either gender, is neither male nor female, they’re genderqueer or intersexed. (I’m simplifying the terminology here, I know — the minutiae of queer theory change constantly and elude me).
There are many other groups of people who suffer similar judgment and ridicule. Otherkin, for example — therianthropes, Angelkin, Demonkin, Elfkin, and other Kins doubtless that I don’t know about. Who am I to ridicule them? The number of human beings currently living on our planet is fast approaching the sum total of all the human beings who ever lived before. Meanwhile we humans are wiping out the animal population of planet Earth. Where are these new souls coming from? —If you believe in any sort of rebirth, reincarnation, or metempsychosis, as I do, do you really think that nothing can go wrong between lives? in the bardo or the In Between, which is my own name for the state between lives? Do you think the transition from one life to another is always easy or smooth?
Why do I believe in reincarnation and the state I call the In Between? Because I have experienced them — I have crossed the Lethe in this lifetime. It is not always an easy or safe journey. Hence I’m willing to give Otherkin the benefit of the doubt. Some, without a doubt, merely engage in fantasies and wishful thinking. But all? I doubt it.
There are other harmless, ridiculed groups who make up very small and harshly judged minorities, but I’ve made or attempted to make my points, so there’s no need for further belaborment. I simply apply analogous thinking to them.
The Master Yeshua supposedly said Judge not lest ye be judged. I don’t believe in a One and Only True God, and I don’t believe in karma, at least not as the word has been flung around in the West since the advent of Theosophy. So if you judge and judge unfairly and harshly, who will be the one to judge you?
I will, for one. Whatever that’s worth. I don’t believe I’m alone.