Xenofact’s Xine #5 is Out!

It’s here!

Hear how I visited a Bigfoot museum! Hear me rant about how people want to save imaginary children to avoid helping real ones . . . or anyone. Read about how the I Ching helped me reduce stress (really). Plus I’m putting my mashup art in each issue, so you get some wild graphics as well!

Rounds up Xenofact’s blog posts from February 2024 to April 2024! Available in print and PDF form (Print at ko-fi.com) (free PDF – itch.io or ko-fi.com).

A Dialog Across Time

A large part of mystical practices is about correspondences among things. Omens and runes, Sephiroth and Hexagrams, all are about a the deep orders and patterns of the universe. Then again what is mysticism of all stripes but the idea of an involved, deep, living universe?

Of course anyone who’s dealt with correspondences in such practices knows there are two things you can count on:

  • A history of charts, graphs, grids, lists, and so on trying to understand these correspondences.
  • People not agreeing on these things currently or throughout history. Sometimes quite pointedly.

It’s strange, isn’t it? Anyone who’s read a tarot or cast Hexagrams has had those moments where things just line up. You know you’ve stumbled onto something deep, something real where all those correspondences and commentaries line up . . .

. . . but also there’s so much out there talking about those correspondences. From online arguments to ancient commentary it’s a bit overwhelming.

How are we to deal with all these writings on correspondences over time? As a person interested in the I Ching, I’m used to hearing people discuss commentaries by various authors centuries or even aeons apart. I even have translations of two specific commentaries on the I Ching, one for meditative practices, one for organizational practices. It takes a certain level of commitment to decide you want to detail good organization advice for sixty-four different hexagrams.

But needless to say these historical commentators aren’t always on the same page. Or the same book. It can be confusing or even distressing, as you wonder if someone has gone off the rails or is just to deep for you or is using a regional or timebound reference.

Over time I’ve come to think of all these commentaries and charts, conflicting as they may be, conflicting as their creators may be, as an effort over time. We’re all trying to figure out how the universe works, how the parts line up, to find the structure behind reality. They may not agree, but maybe by study we can find more about just how it all lines up. We can be part of the dialogue, but that’s going to take us stepping up, reading, contemplating, and thinking.

Nothing is right. Nothing is perfect. You could write the most complete and accurate book on mystical correspondences ever, but how much of it might be bound by time, place, and cultural references? But a dialogue? A dialogue is something that can go on over time.

We can even be part of it.


The Monsters They Brought With Them

There’s something wrong with so many famous people, rich people, and famous rich people. They’re ranting about conspiracy theories and weird reproductive obsessions. There’s talk of aliens and hallucinatory trips, drug usage, and secret history from people supposedly directing our future.. Something is off with these folks.

It’s not just things they say or believe for a profit or fame – I mean they do say these things for profit and fame. But it seems they really believe some of this crap, at least before they find something else to freak out about. There is some real fear there under the usual isolated-rich-famous-weirdo delusions.

It seems weird to be so afraid of everything. I mean you got money and fame and everything, why be so terrified? Why be so terrified of things that are clearly bullshit?

Well beyond daddy issues and the usual problems that make people fall into conspiracy thinking, I think one issue is these people are so isolated.

You’re rich, you can do anything you want. But also you depend on other people, people who say what you want to here so they stay on the gravy train. You are flattered and complimented. You are isolated and detached from reality.

You’re famous. People love you, talk about you, follow you (often for almost no good reason). Of course that means once again you exist in an isolated world. You are of course flattered and complimented, probably even moreso if you were just rich.

If you’re rich, famous, or both you exist in a kind of bubble, separate from reality. You’re in a kind of virtual reality crossed with an isolation tank. There’s no reality, there’s just what you brought with you.

And many people bring monsters with them.

Fears and delusions rampage through their minds, echoing off of the walls of their strange isolation. No one is going to correct them or even help them. That might make them angry and cut off the money train.

Told what they want to hear, they operate in unreality. Reality will shift to what they want to hear, delivered by hangers-on, investors, and an adoring public. But that also means their own terrors and insecurities can find root in their fallow minds. People who want to get ahead may also play off of their concerns.

Most of all, I suspect many of them know this isn’t real. You know people are lying, are flattering you. The news cycle constantly reminds you of your mistakes and fallabilities. You’re out there, famous, rich, exposed to the eye of reality and the eye of yourself. Every day, maybe every minute on social media, someone is reminding you you’re not right, you’re not perfect, you’re just a bank account and a PR department wrapped in flesh.

The rich, the famous in our world are so disconnected I wonder how much of their strange paranoia is just their own bouncing off the walls of their own unreal prison.

Unfortunately they make decisions about our lives.