Monday, July 1, 2013

An Interview With Sucae Sounds



I am pleased to offer my lovely readers the newest addition to my magical interview series here at Flight of Hermes. Today I am blessed to share the musings of someone who has touched my life, heart, mind, and soul since the genesis of my humble blog. Many of you may already know him from his own blog Suecae Sounds. Robert is an exquisitely talented musician, photographer, and philanthropist. Whenever I need a little boost of inspiration I often find myself listening to his new musical creations or pursuing through the many nature inspired photos he has posted to his site. I even have the honor of owning one of these lovely pieces (and if you're looking for a unique and uplifting gift, I suggest shopping Sucea Sounds!). But, as much as I love his art work...I love his mind and soul even more. Robert and I have shared many conversations over the years and his incredible depth as a person and enlightening thoughts are like a blossoming lotus bursting from the dark waters. I believe this interview offers a nice glimpse of him and a reflection of his new album Alpha 3...a gorgeously dark symphony of electronic music....think Angels sweeping through stormy, electric  clouds! And if I may be so bold...great album to play in the background if your doing any type of Lunar work.... Yes, of course I will post the link!     Here it is 

Now, without further adieu....

1.) Some of our readers may be familiar with you already from the blogosphere, especially from your own blog Suecae Sounds and from your various musings on others' music, photography, and magical/spiritual based blogs. Has magic/spirituality inspired your photography and art or vice versa? If so could you allow us to peek inside the veil as to how they may work together in your mind/soul to create a completed work?
To me, art is about craftsmanship – a careful process in which the artist continuously realizes his or her possibilities to partake in acts of creation. You train, practice and work your way to master your instruments – you learn to distinguish and see the hurdles and struggles not as a burden, but rather a process of joy. Art has taught me to see life in a less mechanic way, I believe it has made me kinder. In one of the aphorisms by Friedrich Nietzsche, he claims: ”Art makes the sight of life bearable by laying over it the veil of unclear thinking.” (My emphasis)

I think this has a truism in it, but rather than seeing art as a force of unclear thinking, I think it is a cry of the soul to render life into what it could be. True art is a transformative force that challenges us at the very core of being, it asks us questions about existence. Great art can move us beyond our lifeless systems of thought, beyond ourselves, and makes us known to ourselves!

Also, spirituality has definitely influenced me, in a number of ways – to me it comes forward in its most profound in seemingly simplistic acts. In the Christian communion, the short poems of the Taoists, the Sufis of world religions, the easy going playfulness of children. My motifs, music and images draw inspiration from all of this. Even when I am portraying what could be considered the anti-thesis to these aspects of existence. When I write music I attempt to reflect the underlying currents of life, create pieces that move me. I believe this can be apparent in my musical creations.

But it is important to note that spirituality is a vague term that can range from everything from a belief system to certain types of practices. When it is used to describe something that is not transformative, it becomes something which is all too common; ideological makeup. I believe it is important that whatever practices you do, you should do it in order to celebrate the holies. And perhaps more importantly, it can bring a redeeming and redemptive quality to existence which makes destructive conditions we find ourselves in, loosen its grip over the mind.

2.) You just released a new album...can you tell us a bit about it and its deeper meaning to you?
On the outset, I think most may feel that Alpha 3, the short album in question, has a certain amount of emotive songwriting in it – and this is certainly true. To me, it was very challenging to write, I pour myself into what I do, and I wish for my work to reflect a wordless state of depth. There are deeper layers that are meant to create such an impact as to render me, and hopefully others, sensible towards underlying themes of life. The overarching goal is for my art to be authentic. I created it to learn to know myself, following the old maxim, and the remarkable thing – is that when others tell me how it impacts them, it deepens my understanding of myself as well.
3.) Sometimes when I listen to your music I get a sensation of floating in the darkness, almost as if I'm experiencing the beginning of creation, or the Holy Womb energy. I'm sure each person has their own experience with your music, but please tell us what message would you like your listener's to come away with?
I'd like the listener to create their own worlds with the aid of my music. When you really listen, you create music with me. Saying that, hearing you say this confirms my own wishes, most readers here should be aware of the Hebrew concept of G-d and what predates the tree of life. Not using the specific terms of that system, I believe music could be seen as a re-imagining of the beginning and what came before. I’d like to propose the idea that music is one of the ultimate ways of connecting to not only our potential, but also remind us of that which is sacral, that which we cannot conceptualize through the written language can be performed through melodies and rhythm.
Even if we accept the materialist notion that anything beyond ourselves, in the physical sense, are fantasies, which I personally don’t - the bios, life, our eros sublimated as a longing for agape still demands us to move beyond ourselves. I’d like my listeners through the act of experiencing music to become more themselves then what they were.
4.) What are your future artistic plans? Where do you feel that artistic evolutionary energy is bringing you?
The currents are high, the sea doesn’t allow for clear vision. Still, I think most know that there is a joy in going into the unknown. Alpha 3 is out there. I cannot control how people will react to it, although I am very happy to see that it has found a few hearts until now. Recently, I've made some changes to my studio that may alter some of my working methods musically, perhaps this will be reflected in future works. Consciously I am trying to move into a place in which I relate to my own creative process, and also listening, in such a way that it doesn’t become mechanistic. Having said that, art continues to be both a place for discipline as well as freedom to me.
4.) You are also involved in quite a few humanitarian/social reform efforts. Can you share with us some of the issues that your passionate about? Do you feel as if your spiritual/magical life has anyway affected your motivation to go forth and be involved in these efforts?
If you are serious about life, and look at our common potential, I believe you may come to the natural conclusion that both economic and political dimensions that impacts life needs to be reformed. For a long time I’ve been engaged in a collaborative political projects. This being said, I don’t believe in reducing the political process to argue about which party to cast one’s vote for.

The natural sciences are quite clear in terms of the threat man made pollution is posing to the biosphere. It is also becoming increasingly clear that “business as usual” is not a viable option. I consider this not a “natural” process, an unavoidable turn of events, but a willful movement that is considered natural because to many leaders do not want to take responsibility for their actions.

This is, for me, a depressive insight at times. But still it is important to remind oneself that there are people who do great things. Grassroots political campaigns, social support-structures and communities are there and can be seen as a constant reminder of what needs to be done, and also, what actually Is done. I know of the emotional impact of a few people expressing support for their favorite artist, can have. Similarly, I believe people in general have more power then what they sometimes choose to acknowledge or exercise.

I work on maintaining a very calm relationship to what I view as holy. Maintaining a center when you are taken in by a storm can make all the difference to the outcome, or at least, it serves as an ideal to me. Down deep, the way we more commonly looked on the heart before it became reduced to a physical machine, makes sense to me. I have to remind me to let it; the heart and its hopes, be the motivator behind my actions. 

5.) Lastly, an old tradition here on the Flight of Hermes is to offer a free-flowing moment where you can share your life wisdom with the rest of us. What important lessons do you feel as if you learned up to this point in your life...if you could share any knowledge or opinion with the rest of us, what would it be?

I am a literary person. I could share a few quotes. But I choose rather to speak a little about life.
The age old divide between body and soul is pretty much dead in the western world, but the divide hasn't been bridged, or replaced with something better, we have reached a point in which the spirit, psyche or soul is denied its existence, aside from recognizing it on a purely instrumental level. For some, I believe the experience of being confronted with this social truth, could be very painful.

Also, there is a strong appeal in what could be seen as abstraction run amok, reducing life into theory. This will most likely not give us the existential understanding of life that we so clearly seek. It can rather be seen, perhaps, as a way to keep life at a distance. But Ethics starts with Bios. Understanding is experiential. Life is dynamic, it changes, and we probably shouldn’t reduce our “maps” in which we help to guide ourselves in life, to canonical law in the fundamentalist sense. Also: be humble and try to be kind. Find people in which you can engage in dialogue, look for friendship. Perhaps our idea of community, of friends, can yet again become a force for recovering lost meaning.

At least, that is one of my hopes… 

Thank you so much for taking your time to share your thoughts with us Robert. I am already looking forward to hearing more thoughts and music.

Nosce te Ipsum

Soror FSO

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls!


Avete FOH Readers,

I am pleased to announce the release of the new book Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls When first asked to participate in this project I was unsure of where this journey would take us. The range of Orders, personalities, and knowledge from which these commentaries would be made was sure to make for an interesting outcome, and one I can say I am very proud to have been a part of !

What makes this book so unique is that it offers a glimpse at the evolution of the modern Golden Dawn. Once a completely secret Order, the Golden Dawn, through the facilitation of modern day culture and  technology has developed into a system of great breadth, elegance, and knowledge. Arguably we could say that this has always existed within the seed form of Golden Dawn Tradition, but just as modern day science continues to grow and develop with increased experience and experimentation, so does that of the magical sciences.

One of the beautiful things about the Golden Dawn that I have come to love and find of great import is that it generally attracts free-thinkers. Because of this quality of many a GD mage we have been able to experience a veritable freedom of information that has become accessible through books, magazines, and the internet so that even the solitary practitioner can find a plethora of knowledge to support his spiritual path. On a side note, I do not believe that true spiritual paths are stagnant, but have the ability to grow and change in application with the development of society so as to stay pertinent to the contemporary spiritual seeker. Thus, I think that it is only natural that the fundamentals of the GD system have become available outside of the traditional Temple setting in the modern era.

I have come to find throughout my time as a GD student and Adept that the summation of the effects of this freedom has resulted in more of a spiritual boon than a degradation to the Tradition. Honestly, this was not something I always believed, but as a scientist by trade I find the power of observation is quite effective in leading one beyond spiritual prejudice. It is said..."You know a tree by its fruits", and I have witnessed two things concerning this 1.) fundamentalism and isolation breeds hatred, contempt, and chaos 2.) tolerance and collaboration cultivates innovation, learning, and non-attachment. If one is to truly lead a spiritual life one must use the power of spiritual and intellectual observation to eliminate falsities in ones consciousness. If the techniques available to the public through books, articles and respectable sources are practiced correctly than one will benefit a great deal from these teachings and have the ability to gain the deeper knowledge they seek and develop true mental discrimination. Now that being said, I support whole-heartedly the joining of an Order and the use of initiation if available... and the hope is that the information that is readily available will encourage one to do so. Being a part of an Order with a functioning Temple/Temples not only allows one to receive feedback on their progress through a trusted mentor but accelerates growth through community, physical initiation, and access to information that is not publicly available. also warms my heart to know that the true Seeker almost anywhere in the world can have the ability to follow the Golden Dawn tradition even if a Temple or mentor is unavailable to them. 

Concordantly, the effects of such accessible knowledge has been to lead the development of the Golden Dawn to a point where a variety of Orders are available with slightly varying approaches that allow for anyone of any background, ethnicity, and religious/spiritual education to find an Order they feel comfortable joining and which engages them in a manner that best .fits their personal development.  No, I may not believe nor follow the precepts of all Orders represented in this book, but I relish in  seeing a community of people genuinely following the path in a manner that is right for them and will lead them to enlightenment quickly and efficiently. The Mount of Abiegnus is tall and wide, but the summit is acuminous i.e. at the base there is room for many paths, but for the true Seeker they all lead to the same place.

This then leads me back to the allure of this newly published book. Each contributor is representative of a different Order with different, but similar training, allowing for a vast representation of perspective. Unlike the vast majority of previous GD books that have come from the viewpoint of a certain Order, this book offers a variety of spiritual vistas from which to draw from. Each contributor has proven themselves as a vast storehouse of knowledge and magical experience. Each is a noted mentor, writer, and contributor to the GD community via various fora and each has gained the respect of the Orders and their contributing authors thus making this book an excellent representation of the modern GD current.

What I truly like about this book however is that it is a testament to the true brotherhood that has existed for many years in the GD but has often been overshadowed by in fighting between certain groups which unfortunately left a bad taste in many an initiates' mouths. The truth however always overcomes and the great deal of love and devotion shared between Orders shines through in this collection of commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls. In summation, this is the most unique book on Golden Dawn teachings to date and will, I believe, live on in posterity for many years to come. I only hope that this will be the first of many collaborations expanding and offering the unique viewpoints of the many Orders which exist today.

Thank you to those who facilitated this great project, to those who took their time to contribute their ideas, and to those who take the time to read it and utilize it to expedite their spiritual growth. My hopes is that you, the latter whom I speak of, will begin/continue to lend your thoughts to the community on the various blogs and fora for which this book will be discussed and continue this new found tradition of collaboration for the benefit of future generations. And, if you happen to come across a commentary that you truly connect with and are not currently a part of an Order, I urge you to seek out the information via the websites available to see if that Order may be a good fit for you!

Find the book here!

Coming Soon!...look forward to a most exhilarating interview with mage and artist Sucae Sounds!

Nosce Te Ipsum,

VH Soror FSO