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By Irreverend Hugh, KSC
Many of you out there are probably wondering just what the hell all of this talk about paradigmal
fluidity or random beliefs really is. A lot of you who have invested serious amounts of time, energy,
effort, and material resources engaged in one single belief or spiritual path may find the idea that there
are people belief shifting and paradigm switching to be offensive. This discussion, then, is probably
not for you. Unless you would like to know what some of us 'paradigm pirates' are up to.
The art of paradigm piracy, often called metaprogramming by those doing it for spiritual or
evolutionarysounding reasons, is today practiced most selfconsciously by Chaos Magic
practitioners, Discordians, and others influenced by those streams. Many NeoPagans also practice a
sort of paradigm piracy, though will not admit to consciously doing so, unless they are more
experienced or wise. And while there are always, fortunately, many people who are engaged in
learning from spiritual paths, religions, and/or mystical traditions other than their own, not many of
those could be said to be doing so with the express purpose of gleaning all the knowledge, technique,
and wisdom that can be absorbed before moving on to the next one. You see, a paradigm pirate does
this sort of thing deliberately, not because they would want to 'broaden their mind' by knowing what
others are doing (though this is a useful sideeffect). A paradigm pirate goes into each belief system as
readily and open as the new initiate or newly bornagain believer, as a fully participating member, in
order to gain for themselves a sense of what works within each particular system (and how it works),
so that they can try to get a clearer grasp on the many facets of reality in the efforts to be more
magic(k)ally and psychologically successful. Another important goal is the immediate happiness that
the fluidity of such an approach causes.
Each paradigm pirate has, of course, their own personal reasons for doing such things. Many usually
cite 'mind expansion' and perceptual fluidity as tangible goals. Some cite a voracious appetite for
knowledge and ways to become more effective. A few may even go so far as to say that they are
looking to learn about their 'true self' or 'higher power,' though this last reason is much derided as
being a bit too 'hokey' for the rest of us. Despite the reason for engaging in such a thing, paradigm
piracy is a healthy spiritual approach to the participation in life.
Paradigm pirates are eclectic, but not like the 'willy nilly' eclectics of the more New Age or fluffy
bunny NeoPagan sorts. Paradigm pirates care nothing for whether or not a system or religious
tradition is considered 'evil' or 'misguided' by any other group. They will explore it from within and
get as much from it as the most serious and dedicated adherents of that tradition. Unlike most
'eclectics,' paradigm pirates do not go around telling everyone what they are about. Many people won't
even know when they have crossed paths with a paradigm pirate. They blend in with their 'adopted'
tradition so much that they can convince the 'true believers' and the 'adepts' that they are sincere. This
sincerity is not false, as the paradigm pirate is sincerely seeking out knowledge and ways to grow.
But, once they feel that they have gotten all that they can get from the tradition or system, they move
on to others. Many people who stick to one system or tradition their whole lives will often notice the
paradigm pirate only by their sudden absence. "What ever happened to soandso? She was doing so
well walking in her faith." But then again, the absence is also often easily taken as a sign of 'falling
away' from the 'one true faith' or 'the goddess' or 'magic' or whatever other terms people use to express
their spiritualsupremacist views about their own group.
There are many techniques that are useful to this approach. But before we go any further, some
mention should be made about the much celebrated and hyped experimentation using
entheogenic/psychedelic drugs. Many people who experiment heavily with such drugs often fall into
the error of assuming that people who don't do so can not possibly open their minds to expansion or
perceptual shifts. This error can only be maintained by those who refuse to investigate the plethora of
techniques that do not involve drugs at all. Likewise, many people who avoid entheogenic drug
experimentation tend to assume that those who do so can not possibly arrive at any real meaningful
insights. There are merits to each argument. Likewise, identifying too strongly with one side or the
other can blind one to the deficiencies. It is best to keep an open mind to any techniques, regardless of
whether you personally prefer to engage in them. Blowing one's assumptions to pieces is the true
measure of success on any path of wisdom or knowledge, and if that does not happen to you, then you
are obviously going about it the wrong way.
Regardless of what techniques are used, paradigm piracy is not as interested so much in techniques
themselves as it is in spiritual/mental living fluidity and magic(k)al effectiveness. A discussion about
some concepts with a few examples of actual paradigm piracy will be helpful. The following
discussions are for those of you who may be interested in this sort of thing.
"You can only fully understand a belief when you know the circumstances in which that belief is
Have you ever heard of the term 'cutup' used in experimental writing, art, or even magic(k)? (If not,
you should read the following. If you are already acquainted with cutups, you can skip ahead to the
next paragraph.) Cutups are a good way of breaking one out of one's mental habits and can lead you
to an infinite variety of expression. In terms of magic, cutups can lead you to a metaparadigmatic
understanding of how energy and meaning can be manipulated by your usual modes of expression. An
awareness of this can lead to some interesting occult applications for those of you practicing magic(k).
Cutups can also provide you with an endless source of divination, not only in the more traditional
occult spheres, but also in seemingly everyday and ordinary events, turns of phrases, or artwork you
may come across (and get a chance to apply the technique towards). Cutups have been used in many
novels, such as those of Robert Anton Wilson, or William Burroughs. Many artists today use the
technique, some of them without even knowing where it came from. The basic idea is that you take
something, such as a text, and you cut apart the various phrases and words, recombining them to find
new potentially powerful expressions. It also gets you to break up your habitual and lazy methods of
perception. In art, the same idea is applied to various images in order to open up to new ways of
seeing. With magic(k), cutups can use these as starting points for other things. Which leads to the
You can use the technique of cutups on yourself. You simply take various phrases that mean
something to you, or that express your innermost desires, or beliefs about yourself and the world, cut
them up and recombine them. Or you can switch them around. You can even do it via soundrecording
devices. Or, for a different tack, photographs and video. This can provide you with some interesting
insights to your own perceptual habits and how to change, expand, or leave them behind.
Another way of doing the same thing is through the practice of what Chaos Magic practitioners call
'random beliefs.' The practice of random beliefs can give you an insight into paradigm piracy like no
other technique. Using cutups with your most deeply cherished or preferred beliefs, or with other
beliefs, even those you may find offensive or questionable, will illustrate this to yourself more than
reading anyone else's accounts or results (though they may help). You may also wish to try spending
an entire day or so acting and perceiving from within belief systems that you come across. This is a
step towards paradigm piracy, though the actual paradigm pirate is able to pick any belief system that
interests them and, after studying it, leap right in with all the fervor of a 'true believer.'
There are many beliefs out there for you to pick and choose from. Not only the more obvious ones
that may bother you, such as the Jehova's Witnesses, or the beliefs of the local Christian Evangelical
group, but also the more obscure ones. The trick is to not get caught up into the external props and the
viralmeme thoughtforms, but to intuit the underlying structure of the beliefs themselves, and be able
to understand for yourself how those beliefs empower their adherents. It is good to have as much
access to as many beliefs as you can get a hold of, since they are the tools you are working with.
Without getting too specific, since you need to do this yourself with whatever manifestations of belief
you find expressed by those around you, here are some types of belief you may wish to play with.
openended atheism: There is no god at all, though what's this I hear about paranormal shit?
strict materialism: There is certainly no god at all and all that magic(k) crap is simply superstition
and irrational feedback loops
monotheism: There is a god. The One and Only God, and S/he is your God! If you don't believe this,
you are an ignorant sinner in need of salvation/enlightenment/reality, especially you polytheists
dualism: We are the good guys and the rest are the bad guys, or vice versa. Our God and Her/His
power is of the light. Yours is of the devil/dark/nogoodshit. (Also applicable to other belief
polytheism: There are all sorts of gods and goddesses and spirits and powers worthy of respect,
worship, and love. Those monotheists are simply stuck up
onetruth: This is the real truth. All others are lying or deluded. (Similar to monotheism, except that
it needs no god. Usually people who come up with such 'truths' can be revered like a god)
many truths: There are many truths and approaches to Reality/God/The Universe. Don't be so
sad nihilism: Nothing really matters anyway. The hammer drops on us all. Why bother?
happy nihilism: Nothing really matters anyway. Might as well have some fun
neurotic essentialism: Everything matters and has meaning. Omigods! I am so worried! What if?
relaxed essentialism: Everything matters. This is pretty damned sweet. No matter what happens,
there is significance to this. But why worry? That's just how it is
zenpretendism (a.k.a. monism): Everything is really an aspect of the one universal 'buddha,
consciousness, source, whatchamicallit' so I'll eat when I eat and shit when I shit
As you can probably tell, these have been through a little cutup process and are presented in ways
that are easily mixed and matched. There are so many others, such as the beliefs that social
revolutionaries adhere to, or some of the finer points of the various spiritual or religious systems. But
you can pick up those as you go along.
Paradigm pirates don't stop at the 'random belief' thing. They fully immerse themselves in each
particular belief system, usually joining a particular group that espouses or practices the system. This
can be dangerous as it opens one up to the real possibility of conversion. The smart paradigm pirates
will leave the belief system or tradition behind once they become aware of this possibility. With time
and practice, it becomes easier. However, sometimes some downtime is needed in order to recover.
Also, some very real social connections may be established, such as in some of the more cultish
groups, that may have repercussions. Thus, it is easy enough to try metaprogramming oneself in the
comforts of your own life, but for a real go of it, you need to get a little 'down and dirty' and actually
delve a little deeper so that the insights and energies of the belief system as it really operates, as
opposed to how it is presented in literature you may find, can be intuited from those who adhere to it.
This is especially important in many magic(k)al traditions, or in many NeoPagan, New Age, or
mystery groups, where the participation in ritual with others is the core of the practice.
There is no need to be an asshat about it, either. Some groups, especially the NeoPagans, have no
problem with you participating even when they know you are a paradigm pirate. (Though, you may
wish to use a more diplomatic sounding term for it.) There are some groups that will give you all they
can teach you right up front, and you have the freedom to leave at any time. Other groups may be a bit
more secretive about what they do and may look unkindly on you for leaving. In the end, remember
that any agreements you may make with others are simply at your own discretion.
Certain groups may require more of an involvement than others. Some may have you wearing
various ritual clothing, or lack of any clothing, for participation, others may simply require a
knowledge of the correct gestures and/or phrases at appropriate times. Some groups may require a
more radical commitment entailing hairstyles, daily clothing, diet, and various exercise and study
regimens. It is entirely up to you whether you wish to temporarily adopt such requirements for the
duration of your exploration. A lot of people may belittle such requirements, and that may be your
ultimate outlook as well. However, there are many key constructions of magic(k)al power embodied
in the practice of such requirements and you certainly don't want to overlook those. Just never lose
sight of the fact that you are doing it all for a reason other than the that of the 'true believers.' No one
else in the group need know of your intentions, and if you play your role well, no one should suspect
that you are not 'one of them.' You may wish to start practicing this sort of thing with more open
groups, such as some NeoPagans or some Buddhists before you attempt to try it out with one of the
more hard core cultish groups.
Likewise, some religious groups, such as those practicing Santeria, may require you pass through
certain rites which have the potential to profoundly affect who you are and how you go about thinking
about the world. Such groups also have very clear guidelines to determine whether what you go
through is genuine. So you may need to involve yourself up to just a little bit shy of actual conversion.
I don't know, though. With the Santeria groups, you have to at some point become initiated and
matched to a certain Orisha, and then at some point, you are expected to be able to manifest that
Orisha under full possession. So, with that example in mind, you may wish to carefully determine
what it is you want out of a group before you decide to 'join.'
Some Witchcraft covens also require the traditional 'one year and one day' of study as a dedicant
before they decide to accept you into most of the rituals they practice that have real content and
power. (At least the covens that haven't succumbed to the more fluffy bunny strains of Witchcraft.)
The more experienced covens, or at least covens with more experienced elders, may actually be more
open to you if you lay out your real intentions beforehand. This is an avenue you should try, if only
because working in covens can create a close bond with the other members, and some of them may be
able to intuit your intentions. In these cases, there is no need for pretending to be a 'true believer.'
Also, most covens only require participation in the rituals and a certain degree of study and practice at
developing certain insights. They don't usually require you to believe in anything.
Most nonaligned NeoPagan, or other open 'circles' don't really care what you are about. Though
many tend to be a bit fluffy or caught up in much of the interminable talking and squabbling about the
various things that concern them, such as magic(k)al themes, or the correct form of Christianbashing
that attempts to pretend to not be bashing. They are easy enough to participate in, though you may
find you have to waste some time with a few before you find one that has something for you.
Just remember that with whomever it is you wish to do whatever it is you are trying to do that you
don't lose sight of your intentions. You stand a good chance of making many new and interesting
friendships with people. Also remember that those connections are really the basis of any group,
regardless of whatever each particular group might say. As such, they could be a source that could
draw you into actual conversion. Keep your eyes open.
Regardless of the fact that I have chosen to primarily base my own activities and perceptions on what
I consider my own twin fonts of inspiration, NeoPagan Witchcraft and Buddhism, I am also, as some
of you may know, well identified as a Discordian. To explain to you how these three things fit
seamlessly into my awareness and life more than I have, would be a bit off track for this discussion.
Just keep in mind that my Discordian practice, along with my Chaos Magic experimentation, has led
me to be aware of my own paradigmal piracy. The following examples will illustrate exactly how I
have gone about doing this. But first indulge me in a short explanation of how I came about being a
paradigm pirate (or at least my favorite version of what I tell myself).
When I first started getting into practicing what is known as 'High Magic(k),' I learned much about
astral projection and out of body experiences. This taught me the remarkable fluidity of this thing we
call 'identity' along with the perceptual limitations and/or possibilities that various 'identities' can
contain within themselves as integral assembly points for 'knowing' and 'feeling.' This corresponded
closely, though not exactly, with my Buddhist training which showed me much of what goes into how
we see ourselves as 'selves.' If one can assume or take on different forms or identities when doing
astral travel, or otherworld journeying, (and sometimes these different identityshapes are necessary
when doing so), then it is no stretch to begin applying such techniques and experience to the various
thought habits, lifestyle patterns, and feelings, that various ways of belief, traditions, or
spiritual/magic(k)al systems exhibit in 'this world' or society.
This realization led me to conclude that paradigm piracy is what I have been doing all along, well
before I was aware of the term. Ever since I was little I have enjoyed exploring other religions and
talking with followers of those religions to the point where I felt like I could join. Regardless of
whether I actually went along and joined or not, I understood where their sense of potency was
coming from and all the uses of the various props, rituals, and techniques used to strengthen adherents'
faith and commitment. Eventually I realized that various religions and traditions have specific
language styles and thought forms, and that I could use those as well as any 'true believer' in speaking
with such people in order to encourage them or discourage them from doing whatever it is they felt
they should be doing. (This is actually a lot easier to accomplish among adherents of belief systems
that rely on orthodoxy and dogma then it is to do among people who are NeoPagans or freethinkers
of one type or another. The codes underlying dogmatic beliefs are easy enough to learn. Subsequently
all one need do is spout the correct ideas and express the correct feelings.) When I discovered
religions where this sort of thing was cherished and encouraged, such as Buddhism, or NeoPagan
Witchcraft, I had found a good base or 'home,' so to speak, from where I could express all of the
results of what I was experimenting with in other various systems, some of them mutually
contradictory and even antagonistic. It was only natural that once Discordianism and myself came into
contact, that I would use that as a major 'home/base.'
One of the first examples of my own conscious paradigm piracy, or metaprogramming is: When I
first started practicing NeoPagan Witchcraft, I fell into contact with an extremely cultish group of
Christian fundamentalists who viewed me as a Christian that needed to become a 'true believer' and
thus a member of their own group of congregations. I obviously kept my Pagan affiliations to myself
when dealing with them. I simply went on ahead and 'studied the bible' with them when they would
call me up to do so. The thing that really bothered and vexed these knobs was that I knew so much
about their own dogma, doctrines, and beliefsystem that they could not find one shred of scriptural
evidence that I could not counter with equally valid scriptural evidence. They could not 'bring me in.'
Although I should say that they made a brilliant effort. (Being raised into a sort of Pentecostal,
evangelical, and allaround 'hardcore' version of the religion gave me a wonderful advantage as I had
to study the bible meticulously. I knew the 'lingo' and the tactics for conversion, inside and out.)
Eventually, they brought me to the pastor of their local congregation since they were at a loss. Heh. I
know they thought that such a 'spiritual giant' as their pastor would make quick work of me. I wish I
could say that I trounced the pastor, but he was as good at the game as I was. So we sat there together
with his bible, quoting and citing scripture to each other, and me pulling my 'truebelieverbutnot
goingtojoinyourgroup' act had them all perplexed. It must have taken an hour or so, with the end
result being that the pastor said he would pray for me. (Though from the look on his face, he was
furiously pissed off that he couldn't get to me.) At that moment what I could have said was that I was
now a Pagan and that his prayers wouldn't matter. But I played my paradigm part to the full by saying
"No Thankyou. Pray for someone who needs it." And then I left. Heh. With a good feeling inside. I
had been sincere in my game, so at the time, I was really into the religion and argued as passionately
as the pastor did. I was of course in a very real danger of reconverting since Christianity was a
religion that I had known since I was a child, but I stuck to my guns. I knew that no one belief system
was enough for me, unless it was one I created for myself, and then it would have to be subject to
endless change and adjustment. The rest of that spring and summer I put my piracy on hold and got
into learning the whole Witchcraft thing from some very intelligent people. (Which could be seen in
itself as another aspect of that piracy.)
From the above example, it is clear that my earliest experiences of paradigm piracy were with
Christianity. But I have also gotten myself absorbed into various New Age groups and have done
similar things with those adherents. I even stumbled across a couple of 'Druids' and shared some
alcohol and ritual with them and they were impressed that I knew what I did about them and their
group (which is easy enough when people blab on and on about what they do and how it makes them
special). Eventually they left because one of the Druids was training the other one and he felt that my
influence and 'knowledge' might compromise whatever teacherstudent relationship they had. Heh. It
was a good time while it lasted. I have also 'outThelemized' some practitioners of Thelema, who were
under the mistaken impression (where could they have ever gotten that impression? I wonder.) that I
was some sort of higher up in one of the various Thelema or pseudoThelema groups. That was easily
enough accomplished because I do like Crowley's writings and certain of the rituals he devised. No
harm there though. Since the Thelemites I ran into were at least good natured, if only just a little bit
creepy, I let the cat out of the bag before they totally made themselves look like fools. I didn't tell
them that I was a 'chaos magic' practitioner or any of that sort. I told them I was a Witch, and this
blew their minds because the Thelemites tend to view all the NeoPagan Witches with condescension.
I guess they never knew any of the elder Wiccans, or NeoPagan Witches, back before the current rise
of the fluffy bunny phenomenon.
After reading some of the Hare Krishna material given to me by one of their wandering adherents, I
was fully able to engage them wherever and whenever they came across my path. The fact that I could
argue for Krishna Consciousness as eloquently as they could only made them perplexed when I told
them that after all, I have decided to be Buddhist. Heh. I was even able to use what I learned of both
Buddhism and Krishna Consciousness to help a Buddhist friend who had become an unwilling victim
of one of their evangelists. I was able to cite both Buddhist ideas and Bhagavad Gita lines to
thoroughly confuse them, thus saving my friend the bother of a wasted hour or so. Since I am also a
practitioner of Buddhism, it wasn't hard at all to make impassioned statements about Buddhist
philosophy and why Buddhists would view the Krishna Heaven as simply another delusion. I believe I
sorely tested their faith in their Lord Krishna that day. (By the way, I wouldn't recommend trying to
infiltrate the Krishna groups since they know right way by your hairstyle and dress if you are really an
initiate or not. Unless you are willing to undergo their initiation for whatever reason.)
I have also done various things such as instruct people on how to properly genuflect when they enter
Cathedrals to pray. I have taught people various 'correct' ways to do Wiccan ritual. Some of those
'ways' were mutually contradictory on purpose to see if they would get the jake. (Though I really
didn't spill any beans there as some people are so convinced by a lot of the froufrous going around
with their fluffy bunny Wiccalite that all I had to do was make a quick reading of their expectations
and the literature they were studying). I have convinced socialist revolutionaries that I was one of
them. There are so many more examples. The trick is to assume a 'character,' if you will, and then act
how that character would. To pull this off successfully entails a lot of research and practice within
various systems. At all of these times, I was 'truly' sincere about my involvement. You sort of have to
be, to convince others. And you really can not learn anything unless you are willing to place yourself
firmly into the characterrole of being a 'true believer.' I enjoy my own 'homes' of NeoPagan
Witchcraft, Buddhism, and Discordianism precisely because their practices and rituals don't
necessitate participants becoming 'true believers' in anything. You simply practice the rituals, study
the materials, and find out for yourselves the insights and mysteries.
Random Rocking of the Boat
You may wish to try a few experiments in 'rocking the boat' among those around you through being
shifty with their belief systems. Why you would do this is, of course, entirely up to you. One of the
benefits of doing so is to clearly expose just how beliefs and perceptions work on both others and
yourself. As a paradigm pirate, it is up to you whether to care about what people may think of your
piracy. One of the best ways to rock the boat is to argue passionately about how far someone else has
fallen from their beliefs. When that person is pretty much on the edge of remorse or at least anger, you
can then puzzle them by switching tack and defending the views of either a similar belief or one that
is diametrically opposed, depending on how you want to proceed.
Sometimes you may wish to 'hijack' someone else's paradigm in order to accomplish whatever you
have set out to do. Many times, especially if you are Discordian, you want to do something more far
reaching than simply rocking the boat. Perhaps you are looking to crack someone else's paradigm
apart, opening them to the chance of expanding their mind, or getting them to wake up. This is what
we Discordians call "enlightenment on a silver platter," though the subjects of these exercises tend to
disagree with that title.
One of the Discordian methods for hijacking another's belief system is through guerilla ontology. The
Discordian learns the belief system, all the catchphrases, fnords, and emotional memes and then goes
out to find a practicing adherent of that belief system. Usually, the Discordian uses the various
dogmas, gestures, and thoughtmodes, to prove her point that Eris, or some other deity, is really the
'One True God' of the believer. Other points may be proven using someone else's belief system. (I
once convinced a Christian who expressed very antiPagan sentiments that he was really a Discordian.
I would have left him alone had he left me alone. Since that was not the case I figured I would counter
his attempts to correct me with a few confusing things from his own belief system. I subtly twisted
them around however so that the end result was that he asked me if it was okay to be both Discordian
Many times Discordians will compete with the adherents of certain belief systems by subverting the
beliefs and counterevangelizing those people who, for whatever reason, have become targets for
conversion. Such activities are amusing in and of themselves and, if done well, should thoroughly
confuse or anger the 'true believers' attempting the conversion. Out of the many other things you can
do, try fabricating revelations and scriptures of your own that match closely the expectations of the
'true believer.' This is patently difficult to do among those who belong to belief systems in which the
written scriptures are said to be 'complete' or 'sealed.' You have to be particularly careful here. Perhaps
you can subtly modify existing scriptures. (You wouldn't be doing anything much different from the
founders and the caretakers of such religions anyway.)
You may wish to get together with one or a few other paradigm pirates to hijack or rock the boat of
various belief systems. There are advantages to this. You have the safety and assurance of not being
alone, and thus not an easy target for a group of 'true believers' should they catch on. You also have
the advantage of more energy and creativity than one person alone. Then there is the best reason of
all: A good time shared by all.
Benefits of Paradigm Jumping
Jumping and hacking through paradigms can gain you some unique advantages. The above cited
mental fluidity is one of those advantages. People often assume that a stubborn resilience in the face
of change is a virtue and a strength. However, the ability to change one's mind and/or perceptions at a
moment's notice is a better virtue. Instead of standing up and defending some apparently solid
foundation underneath your feet, which can only confuse you when it cracks apart, you should skate
across the blowing sand drifts, or surf across the waves of shifting phenomena, realizing that you are
also as shifty. You have by now heard of the metaphor about the tree that bends in the wind being the
tree that survives the storm. Well...you are not a tree, but a human being. You therefore have more
options than just standing straight or bending when the wind blows. All paradigms and beliefs are
your playground and your set of unique tools and symbols from which you can build or grow your
own Alphabet of Desire and your own Primary Arcana. Or whatever you choose to make or get out of
the whole thing.
You will find yourself able to look out and see exactly how others' beliefs limit their possibilities,
and if you are wise, you will see how this insight can apply to your own life. You may also learn how
others' beliefs can limit your possibilities. The trick is to also learn how to use these tools of beliefs to
not only open up your own possibilities but also to limit others' actions, if need be. Hacking through
another's paradigm can gain you insights into that person that even they themselves may not have
realized. But such actions are not done for the potential for manipulation that this obviously opens. It
is usually done for the ability to empathize with another, or even to go beyond empathizing and
actually delve into another's own perception. Do you actually still believe that it is impossible to delve
into another's perception to see and experience the world as another?
If you have everything you need if you just believe, then why not have access to as many beliefs as
you can find. That way, your chances are at least increased. Beyond all that, your operational rituals
(magic(k)) will be considerably more effective since you will have more mental tools (beliefs) at your
disposal, along with whatever perceptions, thoughtmodes, and godforms that go along with that.
Your horizons will be considerably expanded if you allow yourself the multifaceted access to many
different paradigms simultaneously. You can view phenomena from the paradigm of a skeptical
materialist, an adept occultist, a fanatic of God, a shaman, and a Wiccan highpriestess to gain as
many different perspectives as you can. Out of which one of these is the 'Real' Truth? Exactly none of
them, of course. But if you have access to many different paradigms, you can not only gain a meta
paradigmatic understanding, but you can also choose which paradigm is the best or most appropriate
for your perception at the moment. Not all paradigms are good for everything or all times, obviously.
Metaparadigmatic understanding can also help you towards the practice of emptyhanded magic. All
of your magic(k)al tools will be psychic/mental energy constructs, many of them 'supercharged' by the
various belief systems you have pulled them from. Since you will be used to changing/shifting
paradigms at a moment's notice, you will also learn to be able to 'compose' such magic(k)al constructs
'on the fly,' so to speak. (These magic(k)al constructs which bend and shape energy and information
can be seen as simply small aspects/parts of the building blocks of what go into paradigms anyway.
Also, many of the tools used in magic(k)al traditions are simply the foci for such constructs.) You will
find increasingly that you will need rely less and less on actual physical ingredients for any sorcery or
enchantment, though there will still be times when you want to use them.
Some Sort of Conclusion
This is supposedly where I take all of the previous meander and sum it all up. Too bad I won't be
doing so. I will leave you with some words of encouragement and, possibly, advice. In as much as any
of that can be said. In as much as any of it may mean anything.
As much as I may have discussed some of my own experiences and ideas about paradigm piracy, I
have left out the greater part. This is because it is important for you to not become prey to the idea that
anything I may be doing is any better than any of your own experiments or experiences. I can't say
what my own reasons for paradigm piracy are without going into more meander (and if you are really
interested in all that you can read some of my rants on this site, or you can correspond with me). We
each have our own reasons and must draw our own questions from those reasons. Just remember that
others around you may choose not to understand what you are doing, for whatever reasons of their
own. This should only spur you on in your endeavors. After all, YOU are the one who is living YOUR
Those of you out there who have waded through this discussion and still object to the idea of
paradigm piracy, or even of paradigm shifts, should reassess your beliefs. And regardless of what you
may feel, think, or believe about paradigms, others are not beholden to your preconceptions. The
conclusions you jump to are your own.
"It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to have firm beliefs."
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(K)opyleft, 3170 (Aftermath 67th) by the D.S.S.S.