What Science Fiction, Fantasy, Magic, and the Esoteric Can Teach Asian America About Love
(8 min read)
SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH
“Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”
— The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Of course, I’m more than just a little pissed at being dissed by the ladies on account of Race, especially our Yellow sisters, who really should know better. This has caused a severe crisis in my Faith in Asian American Community. Does True Love exist? Is there such a thing as “Soul Mates”, two (or more) people, gender agnostic, who are destined by the Laws of Nature to be the best compatible fit for one another, or in other words, share a Soul? And if Fate governs their eventual Union throughout all the screaming Chaos of the Universe, how can it ensure that these star-crossed lovers meet cute in Real Life?
The advent of classical mechanics in the 17th century to describe the movement of macroscopic bodies in space set the Western world ablaze with excitement. With the Laws of Motion discovered by Sir Isaac Newton, many — including the French mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace — believed that it would now be within humanity’s grasp to, in principle, predict everything for all time. This was considerably bolstered by the invention of electronic computers in the 1940s, allowing for the possibility of realizing the ultimate vision of Human Omniscience⁶⁰.
Unfortunately, Man proposes and God disposes. The discovery of the nature of Chaos⁶¹, which is used by physicists to describe dynamical, nonlinear systems, put to rest any hope of perfect prediction of complex systems. Dynamical systems are simply those that change over time. Nonlinearity refers to another fundamental facet of chaotic systems, which is sensitivity to initial conditions, otherwise known as the Butterfly Effect. In nonlinear systems that exhibit the Butterfly Effect, small changes in the initial starting positions of its subcomponents lead to wildly divergent outcomes, the magnitude of which does not linearly correspond to differences in measurement of those initial positions.
For example, say an Asian man and an Asian woman are part of a chaotic system, and they start out two feet apart and end up ten feet apart. If you change their initial stances to three feet apart — a mere one-foot difference — the final result will not be them standing eleven feet apart as we would expect in a linear system, but instead could lead to them standing on two different continents, across oceans, or even on different planets. That means, if we truly wanted to determine whether two people are meant to end up together, we would have to precisely measure the initial starting points of the entire Universe, which is often chaotic.
Quite simply put, this is impossible — not merely in practice, but also in principle, even despite the efforts of that great universal genius Henri Poincaré, who invented a whole new branch of mathematics called algebraic topology to try and tackle the problem of predicting the future positions of arbitrarily many masses (the so-called “Three Body Problem”) attracting one another under Newton’s Laws (he failed). Werner Heisenberg’s 1927 Uncertainty Principle in quantum mechanics illustrates the problem, which basically states that the more certain one is about where a particle is located at a given time, the less can be known about its momentum, and vice versa. Trying to extrapolate the original positions of ANY body from the beginning of the Universe is an impossible feat due to the Butterfly Effect — the positions would have to be precise to an infinitely long decimal place, in order to properly map onto Reality. Any extrapolations or predictions about predestined lovers, therefore, is absolute Bullshit (although a Ghanaian witch doctor did once accurately predict that I would break up with one of my ex-girlfriends). We can never know whether or not soul mates exist, unlike God.
It is instructive now to contemplate the Nature of God, rather than that which has been written in His Name. God is the Holy Trinity: Space, Time, and Mankind. Space, the Eternal, the Ground of all Existence, the “I Am What I Am”. Time, the Holy Spirit, who grants Life and takes it away, and communicates the Will of God to Mankind through its passage. And finally, Mankind, the Son of Space and Time, the Sole Arbiter and Progenitor of all Human Good (Love) and Human Evil (Injustice) in Existence. To defy God is to ignore or deny Reality, what occurs at the intersection of Space and Time. Man, of course, determines his own Fate — the Blessing of Free Will. These three holy elements are Absolute Sovereigns and Supreme Authorities of literally every aspect of the Human Condition, a fact which most right-thinking human beings will readily admit if pressed. God — and History — is Real⁶². We see both at Work every day, concretely, right in front of our very eyes, provided the scales are removed.
Dei Gratia: From Inanimate Matter to Hero by the Grace of God
From whence does Free Will, God’s gift to Mankind, spring in the Human Being? The answer is simple: it lies in the Interstitial Zone of Self-Awareness. Going back to research on advertising and its effects on the unconscious, psychologists have found that when people are informed about how their minds are being manipulated by certain stimuli, and they internalize that information and start acting on it, they are able to circumvent its effects. For example, if the liquor store patrons in our earlier psychological study are told that the genre of music influences their wine choice, and they believe it, they are then given the capability to circumvent this Sigil’s enchantment over their psyche. The same goes for the person imitating someone else eating ice cream. Knowing that they are unconsciously mirroring how much the other person ate, people can then decide whether or not they truly want one scoop or two — Knowledge is Power, especially over Yourself. Don’t be a lemming.
In Crowley’s⁶³ version of Magic and some forms of Hermeticism, this art of Unconscious Bias Busting is known as the Great Work⁶⁴, or Magnum Opus. It consists of three steps:
- Become informed about your Unconscious Biases and psychological constructs, as well as the stimuli and situations that activate them;
- Decide how to reconfigure them in a way more concordant with how you would like to behave (i.e., aligning your Unconscious Self with your Will);
- Internalize new thoughts and behaviors through practice and rehearsal in a variety of real-world situations relevant to the Bias (in the case of strong Unconscious Biases like Internalized Inferiority, White Superiority, and Sexism, that would mean in every part of your life, public and personal).
In Alchemy, this mastery of self is symbolized as the Philosopher’s Stone, while the psychologists refer to it as Self-Actualization⁶⁵, and actual philosophers call it Enlightenment⁶⁶. In order to combat the Super-Sigils of White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy, the Great Satanic Dragon that encircles the Earth, breathing the atomic fire that was summoned forth in Bohemian Grove and borne on the backs of the neoliberal vanguard of the Mont Pelerin Society, both Asian men and Asian women must all take part in this Great Work.
A Sigil for Asian Love, the Magical Power of Asian Men and Women Together: The Prodigy’s Timebomb (2018) from their album No Tourists
Of course, collective Magic has greatly diminished in the Age of Aquarius since the heady days of Woodstock, Vietnam War protests, hippies, and the New Age Movement⁶⁷ of the 60s and 70s, which brought out a cavalcade of modern-day Pagans, Wiccans, Shamanists, and Occultists like the Temple of Satan and the World Theosophist Society, a cosmopolitan spiritualist brotherhood that discovered Jiddu Krishnamurti in India and declared him the World-Messiah (a title he later recanted). The Fourth Posadist International⁶⁸ were also a part of this collective mystic revolt that had joined arms in solidarity with the racial power, feminist, artistic, and Civil Rights movements. This crew of eclectic Trotskyite guerrillas fought alongside Castro and Che Guevara in the 1959 Cuban Revolution, and also operated in Brazil and Guatemala. They were known for their founder, J. Posadas, agitating for a Nuclear First Strike against the Imperialist U.S. by the Soviet Union and China during the height of the Cold War, along with their belief in benevolent extraterrestrial (and socialist) aliens, and the possibility of human-animal communication with intelligent species like dolphins. Many of these ideas found their way into English writer Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series in following decades.
Unfortunately for all good Witches and Warlocks, Evil was afoot. In 1971, shortly before accepting President Nixon’s nomination to the Supreme Court (while Nixon, also a member of the Bohemian Grove, was busy “cracking the hell” out of Indochina), Lewis F. Powell Jr. issued the infamous Powell Memorandum⁶⁹, calling for Corporate America to become more aggressive and organized in molding public perception about business, government, politics, and the law in this country and the World through Dark Money⁷⁰ and even Darker Propaganda⁷¹. Powell was on the Board of Directors for Philip Morris and a mealy-mouthed “Thank You for Smoking”⁷² style stooge par excellence. After being elevated to the Court, the man literally tried to argue that the smoking industry’s 1st Amendment right to Free Speech was being violated because newspapers refused to give credence to the tobacco industry’s lies about how smoking doesn’t cause cancer, causing him to label the media all “socialists”.
Of course, as a Korean American, I personally hate this white supremacist neoliberal motherfucker for his influential decision in Regents of the University of California vs. Bakke, which fundamentally transformed Affirmative Action at American universities. Previously, Affirmative Action programs used to help boost Asian American student admission as a formal remedy for a century of White exploitation, pillage, rape, plunder, segregation, eugenics, military aggression against our homelands abroad, and dousing Chinese workers in kerosene and setting them on fire for “stealing jobs” at home⁷³. After Powell’s lone opinion became mainstream, Affirmative Action turned into a racist cover-up designed to promote white admissions under the aegis of “Diversity” while making it harder for generations of young Asian Americans to get into Harvard⁷⁴. Powell was also a Democrat, continuing a long and proud tradition of the Democratic Party fucking over Asians in competition with Republicans⁷⁵.
The Powell Memo was a call to arms, a Declaration of War by the reactionary, White supremacist, corporatist, neo-fascist movement and its backlash against FDR’s New Deal, Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, and the Civil Rights Movement. Two years later, the CIA overthrew Salvador Allende in Chile, and ushered in the terrifying, cold, pseudo-rational⁷⁶ hegemony of neoliberalism⁷⁷, which exists to this day and continues to choke out all Life in this world with its icy grip. After Posadas died in 1981 and the ensuing era of Merger Mania, the entire New Age Movement was rapidly co-opted and commercialized by Wall Street, corporations, and hustlers trying to make a quick buck off the esoteric symbolism.
Today, all the old hippies and witches have either been turned — often quite easily, since many had been disaffected young white middle-class children of Babbitts, who did not really understand the histories or significance behind the traditions and rituals they practiced — or are dead. Modern spirituality is just a cheap sham, an empty mouthing of words in the place of real incantations, and a bourgeois pastime for bored suckers. These include pseudointellectuals reading Eckhart Tolle’s culturally appropriated, Orientalist gobbledygook; pimple pocked “Man-o-Sphere” manbabies LARPing as Marcus Aurelius while under the psychological anesthesia of self-help scams, Jordan Peterson, and motivational speaking; and middle-aged suburban White housewives practicing yoga, chakras, and “gratitude”. Talk about a Crisis in Faith!
In such Dark Times, when Humanity is facing Extinction from climate change and all Magic seems to have vanished from the face of the Earth, how can we rekindle Hope?
Written by Albert Joon-Ho Hur
[Edited by J]
- Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell (2009)