“Human culture is a macrocosmic version of the insane rush of sperm for the egg. Keep this in mind next time you watch sporting events, romantic comedies, political debates, the Death Star scene in Star Wars, or anything else produced by human beings, for that matter.” Jason Louv, Generation Hex
I promised that when I finished savoring the delectable essays of Generation Hex that I would write more about this amazing collection of essays on magic edited by Jason Louv. First of all, I want to start out by saying how much I love the essays written by Jason Louv. His clear, crisp style of writing is intelligent, accessible, and loaded with information and resources. Have you ever read something that made you write down another title of a book to put on your “to read” list after you finished it? Jason’s essays are like that times twenty. Also, his endnotes are as much fun to read as his esssays. His authorial voice is informal, but educational and his tone is humorous but grounded in serious themes. I’m going to stalk him on MySpace as soon as I finish this blog post, but before I go all single white female on him, here’s some excerpts from the final essay in Generation Hex entitled “A Mutagenesis,” written by Jason Louv. They’re no substitute for reading the entirety of his eloquently presented essay, but I wanted to share just a bit of his writing with you. After name-dropping Swiss anthropologist Jeremy Narby and referencing his book, The Cosmic Serpent, which posits that the abundance of snake imagery in shamanic traditions across the world has direct ties to the double helix of DNA, Louv writes:
“Yet even dead sober, magic is a direct dialogue with the genetic coils. Take for instance, the accessing of gods and monsters, “archetypes” that Carl Jung attributed to the collective unconscious but would surely have cited as products of DNA if he had only had the language. (Which is more likely, that a collective unconscious should be found within some intangible ether, or within the genetic code that we all share?) It may be DNA that communicates to the magician in the language of synchronicities, confluences of life events, awakenings, satori, peak experiences and other occult events. DNA is implicit in the use of blood and sexual fluids in reifying wishes, by the combination of the ecstasis of orgasm or bloodshed with intent, along with our strongest magical link to our own beings, the little miscroscopic bits that contain the code for everything we are. The tarot, its twenty-two trumps a precise map of the human life cycle (and, possibly, a crude map of the twenty-three paired chromosomes of the genome itself, as the I Ching and Runes might also be)” (p. 262-3).
So, go look up Carl Jung if you need to and then check out this paragraph from page 265:
“British astronomers Sir Fred Hoyle and Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe, state that life may have in fact originated elsewhere in the universe (endnote 11). The constancy of the DNA seems to bear this out. It’s easy to imagine a meteor containing some kind of cellular material landing on earth, and life taking hold, propogating itself through endless recombinations until evolving an ecosystem capable of supporting the requisite intelligence (that is, us) needed to engineer travel to other planets.
“It hides as everything.”
Endnote 11 states, “This is a more plausible version of the more widely-known theory of panspermia, which posits that DNA saturates the universe.”
Yeah, so that is amazing and a hella more scientific than you probably thought a book on magic might be, right? I mean who drops DMT and then name drops ancient Greek philosophers? More people than we think, most likely, but I digress. What I found myself ruminating about as I finished this last essay of Generation Hex is what this has to with everyone’s favorite Marvel Mutants, The Uncanny X-Men. I think the idea of mutagenesis totally applies to their story and its popularity.
If magic, as Louv posits, is really meant to be used in genetic engineering and “will produce the true mutant species,” then magic directly applies to evolution (266). Ansd if we continue to map our internal cosmos (DNA) with the same regard that we explore our outer world (earth and beyond) than both of those investigations will “have the same goal–ensuring the survival, propagation and positive mutation of the human species” (265). Our understanding and proliferation of the binary concepts of mankind and divinity will dissolve–by magic. Louv puts it best when he asks, “what is magic if not the realization of the divinity of Man?…Take any instructions for spiritual attainment and replace the words ‘God,’ ‘Allah,’ or the ‘Holy Guardian Angel’ with ‘DNA’ and you will quickly see countless methods laid out before you” (266).
So, are the X-Men representative of mankind’s future via genetic engineered divinity? Are they, like Carl Jung’s archetypes, a much deeper idea than we realized? Is the larger picture that we–and this world we live in–just one giant life form? (This suddenly reminds me of the All-New All-Different X-Men’s adventure in the legendary Giant Size X-Men #1 with Krakoa the Living Island. In the story, the original five X-Men cannot defeat an entire mutated island teaming with consciousness and it takes all of their powers to defeat its life-draining abilities. What if, instead of letting Polaris cast Krakoa into outer space, the X-Men recognized their oneness with Krakoa and understood that they were all the same life form?)
“It hides as everything.”
Perhaps we love the X-Men because they represent a future that we can intrinsically feel unfolding. We feel it in our DNA, the magic of myth and science combine to create avatars of our imminent evolution.
In closing, I have to recommend Generation Hex as a book worth reading. This post centered on just one essay and it’s given me so much to think about. That’s why I took so long reading it, because I kept reading an essay and then putting the book down to let the ideas marinate in my mind. Then I’d pick it back up again. I even read other books inbetween. Generation Hex doesn’t pontificate. These authors are living their ideas in the so-called real world. They traversing planes of existence most of us don’t even think about and they’ve shared their stories here because they are the next wave. They are mystics, magicians, shamans. They are Generation Hex. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go ask Jason Louv if he’ll add me as his MySpace friend.